Stories written by Ranjit Devraj
Regional editor Ranjit Devraj, based in Delhi, takes care of the journalistic production from the Asia and Pacific region. He handles a group of influential writers based in places like Bangkok, Rangoon, Tehran, Dubai, Karachi, Colombo, Melbourne, Beijing and Tokyo, among many others. He coordinates with the editor in chief and forms part of the IPS editorial team.Ranjit Devraj has been an IPS correspondent in India since 1997. Prior to that he was a special correspondent with the United News of India news agency. Assignments for UNI included development of the agency’s overseas operations, particularly in the Gulf region. Devraj counts two years in the trenches (1989-1990) covering the violent Gorkha autonomy movement in the Darjeeling Hills as most valuable in a career of varied journalistic experience.

Doctors Resist Deadly Vaccine

A spate of sudden infant deaths following vaccination in India has prompted leading paediatricians to call for stronger regulatory mechanisms to evaluate new vaccines for safety and efficacy before their acceptance into the national immunisation programme.

Protesters Resist an ‘Indian Fukushima’

Activists opposed to India’s plans to massively increase civilian nuclear power production are aghast that a plan for an Indo-Japanese nuclear cooperation deal is gaining pace even while Japan is struggling to cope with the fallout of the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

GM Crop Could Migrate Dangerously

Food security activists who secured a moratorium on introducing genetically modified brinjal (aubergine) into India fear that their efforts are being undermined by the release of GM brinjal in neighbouring Bangladesh.

Parallel Economy Keeps Indians Poor

As India grapples with rising prices and a rapidly sinking rupee, attention has turned to the country's massive parallel economy that siphons wealth away from development programmes and into the pockets of a corrupt ruling elite.

Angry Birds Skip Polluted Delhi

Every winter the Okhla wetlands, a charmed haven in the heart of India’s bustling capital city, play host to Greater Flamingoes, Greylag Geese, Tufted Pochards, Northern Shovelers and other exotic, feathered visitors winging in from colder climes as far away as Siberia.

Q&A: India to Make Food a Fundamental Right

As managing director of the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED), India’s apex agriculture marketing organisation, Sanjeev Chopra is in the thick of planned legislation to cover 800 million Indians under the world’s biggest food subsidy programme.

Corruption Eats Into India’s Food Distribution System

As India’s Parliament prepares to pass a bill to provide heavily subsidised food to 810 million people, there are misgivings over its implementation through a notoriously corrupt public distribution system (PDS).

India Goes Bananas Over GM Crops

India’s environmental and food security activists who have so far succeeded in stalling attempts to introduce genetically modified (GM) food crops into this largely farming country now find themselves up against a bill in parliament that could criminalise such opposition.

Indian Gov’t on Collision Course With Civil Society

For years India’s pro-liberalisation, Congress party-led coalition government chafed at civil society groups getting in the way of grand plans to boost growth through the setting up of mega nuclear power parks, opening up the vast mineral-rich tribal lands to foreign investment and selling off public assets.

Rape Cases Highlight “Colonial” Police Practices

Harsh police handling of public protests erupting across India over a spate of sensational rapes since December has resulted in renewed demands to reform a force that retains the repressive features of its colonial origins.

From Rags to Penury

India’s planners worry about ‘jobless growth’, but perhaps nothing illustrates this phenomenon better than a policy of handing over the collection and disposal of the capital’s refuse to large private corporations, leaving close to 50,000 ragpickers unemployed.

India Playing Risky Games at Nuclear Parks

Bhagwat Singh Gohil frets for the future of his bountiful orchards in Mithi Virdi village in western Gujarat state’s coastal district Bhavnagar. “After contending with droughts, rough seas and earthquakes we are staring at the possibility of a man-made disaster in the shape of a nuclear power park.”

India Tightening Child Labour Laws

After one of the six males under trial for the rape and subsequent death of a 23-year-old woman was deemed an adolescent and therefore entitled to leniency, juvenile rights activists have found themselves pitted against irate members of the public demanding death sentences for all the perpetrators.

All Unclear Over Nuclear

When India was admitted to the world’s nuclear power industry nearly five years ago, many believed that this country had found a way to quickly wean itself away from dependence on coal and other fossil fuels that power its economic growth.

Evolving HIV Strains Worry Indian Scientists

While India has drastically reduced the spread of HIV over the past decade, new strains of the virus that cause acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) are troubling medical scientists in this country.

India Reaffirms Death Penalty

One day after voting against a United Nations General Assembly draft resolution seeking to abolish the death penalty, India executed Pakistani national Mohammad Ajmal Kasab for the November 2008 terror rampage in Mumbai that left 166 people dead.

India Puts GM Food Crops Under Microscope

Environmental activists are cautiously optimistic that a call by a court-appointed technical committee for a ten-year moratorium on open field trials of genetically modified (GM) crops will shelve plans to introduce bio-engineered foods in this largely agricultural country.

Climate-Battered South Asia Looks to Rio+20 Formula

Far-flung South Asian communities, from the high Himalayan slopes to the Indian Ocean coasts, united in the face of extreme and uncertain weather, continue to hold on to the hope that the Rio+20 focus on disaster risk reduction (DRR) will positively influence national policies.

India Serves Up Costly Cocktail of Vaccines

Ignoring widespread concern over the safety, efficacy and cost of pentavalent vaccines, India’s central health ministry has, this month, approved inclusion of the prophylactic cocktail in the universal immunisation programme in seven of its provinces.

China’s trade minister Chen Deming opposed sanctions against Iran when rising oil prices were hitting BRICS. Credit: World Economic Forum/CC-BY-SA-2.0

BRICS Tighten United Front

At their summit in the Indian capital on Thursday, leaders of the coalition known as BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – made several noteworthy decisions that experts say hint at the converging of economic and political interests of a disparate regional bloc.

India Affirms Role as Developing World’s Pharmacy

By allowing a generic manufacturer to produce a patented cancer drug at a fraction of its current cost, India has declared that it is not about to abandon its role as the ‘pharmacy of the world’s poor'.

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