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.

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'.

INDIA: Fighting for a Less Corrupt New Year

After failing to muster support in parliament for the passage of a watered- down anti-corruption bill, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh must find ways to satisfy opposition parties, allies and civil society that his United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government is serious about curbing graft in the New Year.

Doctors continuously monitor the health of Anna Hazare, sitting on a protest fast-unto-death.   Credit: Anjan Mitra/IPS

INDIA: Hunger Shows its Power

If India’s powerful central government that rules over the destinies of 1.2 billion people quails before a slight 74-year-old man, it is because he is armed with a weapon that has rarely failed in this country – extreme renunciation through a fast-unto-death.

The 18th century Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Kerala whose vaults hold more than 25 billion dollars worth of antique gold and jewels. Credit: Haris Kuttipuram/IPS

INDIA: Temple Treasures Open Up Problems of Plenty

The discovery that treasures lying in the vaults of an ancient temple in Thiruvananthapuram may be worth more than 25 billion dollars is raising questions regarding the vast wealth owned by religious shrines in this impoverished country.

“BRICS Can Ensure Affordable Drugs”

While ‘data exclusivity’ clauses will not feature in the India-European Union free trade agreement (FTA), the threat posed by the impending deal to the world’s supply of cheap generic drugs is far from over.

INDIA: Unfazed by Nuclear Suppliers’ New Rules

Confident in the large market it offers to the world’s nuclear suppliers, India has decided to shrug off new restrictions by a 46-nation cartel on the transfer of uranium enrichment and reprocessing technologies that potentially have military applications.

INDIA: Noose Not Mandatory for Drug Crimes, Rules Court

By striking down a law that makes the death penalty mandatory for drug-related offences, the Bombay High Court has raised hopes among rights activists that other countries in the region will follow suit.

IBSA: Pro-Western Mindset Hinders India-Brazil Pharma Deals

Cooperation between India and Brazil in pharmaceuticals and medical biotechnology has begun to falter, because Indian authorities would rather collaborate with western counterparts than those in developing countries, new research shows.

INDIA: Gandhism Returns to Fight Corruption

Almost 65 years after Mahatma Gandhi used "satyagraha" or "truth force" to lead a movement against British rule in India, Gandhism is back, this time facing an enemy more pernicious than colonialism: corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen stashing stolen wealth abroad.

DEATH PENALTY-INDIA: Clemency Denial Opens Can of Worms

In a country where capital punishment is rare, human rights activists are surprised by a sudden move to hang a Sikh separatist militant convicted for bombing attacks on a senior police officer and a Congress party politician in the early 1990s.

INDIA: Violations May Hit Vaccination Plans

After a government report confirmed major ethical violations in trials of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccines on Indian schoolgirls, senior doctors are calling for transparency in clinical trials conducted under private-public partnerships.

Tata scholars at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg  Credit: Tata Holdings Africa

IBSA: India Stakes Its Bets on Training Africa

Of the various cooperation programmes Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced in Addis Ababa on Tuesday, plans for an India-Africa Virtual University (IAVU) take pride of place.

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