Like in the past, cities have borne the major brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic because of population density and their connectivity to other urban centers. The crisis has also exposed some of the fundamental flaws in our urban public health systems, transportation, quality of governance and even growing inequalities.

According to World Resources Institute, governments around the world are faced with an enormous triple challenge right now: recovering from COVID-19, creating sustainable and inclusive development, and addressing the climate crisis. Seizing the Urban Opportunity, a new research by Coalition of Urban Transitions, shows that focusing on cities is key to…


SILENT STRUGGLE: A senior citizen receives oxygen inside a car in New Delhi (AP photo)

May 3rd (the World Press Freedom Day) this year is of particular significance to India, considering that the media coverage of COVID has come under scanner. A section of Indian citizens feel the Press has overstepped its fundamental freedom in reporting the horror of the pandemic and the neglect the country is battling with. They echo the Indian government’s outburst and “foul” cry that the reports are biased and one-sided, downright “malicious and slanderous” and cause of “panic”.

Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, in his virtual meeting with Indian envoys across the world on April 30th, “conveyed that the…


Even as India burns (literally) and the Modi government continues to play ostrich, refusing even UN’s offer to help with integrated supply chain for COVID19-related materials, Indians are pondering upon one (actually two) question — Couldn’t the elections and the Maha Kumbh Mela be deferred/shelved? Couldn’t the government ensure India is far from the madding crowd, instead of flagrantly violating social-distancing norms?

Maha Kumbha Mela is a religious Hindu festival that takes place roughly every 12 years, coinciding with Jupiter’s single circuit of the Sun. Some say it is the largest such gatherings in the world. The pandemic did not…

deepan dasgupta

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