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Prof. C.P. Chandrasekhar on Union Budget 2009-10

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Newsclick.in Production, 14 July 2009

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Agenda Behind Banning Beef

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Newsclick Production, April 25, 2015

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Newsclick interviewed Prof. Salil Misra, Ambedkar University to discuss the issue of banning beef in Maharashtra and the politics and history of eating beef in India. Prof. Misra thinks that it is not just a matter of imposing a code on food habits but harming the plurality of India. He explains how the banning of beef is part of a bigger project of homogenizing Hinduism.

Prof. Misra explains how beef eating was part of Indian culture and cow becoming a sacred animal in Hindu religion. He also compared Gandhi’s way of protecting cows to Dayanand Saraswati’s Cow Protection Society which he thinks are more responsible for killing cows.

Rafale Deal: Meeting Defence Needs or PR for Modi?

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Newsclick Production, April 22, 2015

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The Modi government has recently made a quick Government to Government (G2G) deal with France for acquiring off the shelf 36 Rafale fighter aircrafts. The prices --it appears -- are yet to be negotiated. Newsclick interviewed D. Raghunandan, President, All India People's Science Network and a defence analyst to discuss the deal. According to Raghunandan, the deal being a G2G instead of public bidding as originally envisaged, is back to arbitrary decision making on defence deals. Reverting back to such a policy does not have any transparency and opens up a huge scope for corruption in defence deals.

Specific to the deal, Raghunandan stated that it contradicts Modi’s much hyped policy of “Make in India”. Originally, the deal was to have 126 aircrafts, out of which 108 would have been made in India by HAL. Dassault, the makers of Rafale, did not agree to technology transfer and have now have been rewarded with outright purchase of 36 aircrafts. Instead of the original tender which involved 126 aircrafts, 36 Rafales bought in this way, neither meets the airforce's needs of replacing almost 200 MIGs nor the long-term objective of India developing a self-reliant defence industry. All it has done is help Modi make a big PR splash in Paris, at a great cost to India's defence and procurement policy.

Why is Saudi Arabia Attacking Yemen? - Part-2

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Newsclick Production, April 15, 2015

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The Saudi Arabia-led attack in Yemen has, over the past four years killed thousands and injured even more. Newsclick interviewed Prof. Aijaz Ahmad, Senior Political Analyst, to discuss the recent events in Yemen and why these attacks are being carried out. Prof. Aijaz explains the possible repercussions of these attacks - which may also involve the possibility of Pakistan allowing its army divisions to join Saudi Arabia in attacking Yemen. Is this conflict likely to further complicate issues in the Middle East? Will this lead to the Hauthis taking to guerilla warfare against the Saudi state?

Net Neutrality: Do we need to regulate the Internet?

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Newsclick Production, April 14, 2015

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Over the last few months, the issue of net neutrality has been hotly debated by Netizens. The deals struck for instance between Airtel and Flipkart, to provide free access to the e-commerce website, have attracted tremendous criticism for skewing the online market.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority is presently examining the issue, having issued a consultation paper that seeks public opinion on the issue (in particular, whether to license communication applications and services that run over the Internet). The Competition Commission of India and the Department of Telecommunications are also apparently examining the issue in order to determine whether any regulation is required to protect the 'openness' of the Internet.

Newsclick interviewed Rishab Bailey, Director Legal, Society for Knowledge Commons to discuss the issue of net neutrality and the importance of protecting the principle. Rishab in the interview talks about how protecting the principle is essential to maintain competition in the online space, ensure diversity of content and ensure all content is equally accessible. He points out how this is particular important for a developing country like India - which still does not create much local content. Rishab believes that the consultation issued by TRAI is nothing more than an attempt at putting in place an unworkable licensing regime, which will benefit incumbent telecom companies at the cost of both the user as well as content and application providers on the Internet.

Why is Saudi Arabia Attacking Yemen? - Part-1

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Newsclick Production, April 14, 2015

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The Saudi Arabia-led attack in Yemen has, over the past four years killed thousands and injured even more. Newsclick interviewed Prof. Aijaz Ahmad, Senior Political Analyst, to discuss the recent events in Yemen and why these attacks are being carried out. Prof. Aijaz explains the possible repercussions of these attacks - which may also involve the possibility of Pakistan allowing its army divisions to join Saudi Arabia in attacking Yemen. Is this conflict likely to further complicate issues in the Middle East? Will this lead to the Hauthis taking to guerilla warfare against the Saudi state?

There is much more in the second part of the interview which will be uploaded shortly.

Gujarat’s ‘Draconian’ Anti-Terror Bill Passed

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Newsclick Production, April 11, 2015

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Gujarat government despite repeated rejections over the years has again passed a tough anti-terror bill known as The Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime(GCTOC) Bill. Newsclick interviewed Gautam Navlakha, Civil Rights Activist, to discuss the bill. Gautam strongly criticizes the bill and calls it ‘draconian’. He says such anti terror laws are biased against all the discriminated and oppressed sections of people. Gautam questions the definition of terrorism showing how Hindu terror escapes from the clutches of such laws.

Greek Crisis: Very Little Wiggle Room for Syriza

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Newsclick Production, April 10, 2015

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Newsclick interviewed Prof. Jayati Ghosh, Economist, Jawaharlal Nehru University to discuss the possibility of a Greek default in its IMF repayments. Despite the heavy burden of austerity, Syriza is under pressure not to exit the Eurozone as the Greek people don't want it do so. The Greeks have asked for relatively small concessions from the troika -- European Central Bank, the European Commission and the IMF. Greece has very little bargaining power and the EU governments do not want to make any concessions to Greece and it may lead to building up a resistance to the austerity measures they have instituted in the Eurozone. Measures that Greece may attempt such as dual currency -- a kind of IOU's to use internally while remaining in the Eurozone, all depends on whether the troika, particularly Germany will allow her to do so. While a default and a Grexitis is a possibility, the more likely scenario is a slow throttling of Greece and gradual weakening of Syriza.

Wrong About Iraq, Wrong About Iran

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Courtesy: Brave New Films, April 10, 2015

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The framework agreement the U.S. and its international partners reached with Iran that blocks Tehran’s pathways to building a nuclear bomb is barely a week old and yet the usual suspects have already denounced it as a “bad deal.”

Iran Nuclear Deal: From Outright Hostility to Limited Engagement

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Newsclick Production, April 7, 2015

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Newsclick interviewed Prabir Purkayastha, Delhi Science Forum, to discuss the nuclear deal between Iran and U.S reached in Lausanne. After the fall of Shah, the US has regarded Iran as an enemy in West Asia. Asking Iran to give up nuclear fuel enrichment is asking Iran to submit to the US hegemony in the region. The sanctions imposed by the US and the EU were more about the unconditional surrender of Iran than its making the bomb. This agreement, if it holds, means that the US is turning away from the failed sanctions regime and accepting that Iran is going to be an important player in West Asia. This does not mean that the US is changing its view of Iran as an adversary. The US now recognises the need to engage with Iran, while at the same time limiting its role in the region.

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