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Showing posts from May 27, 2017

Nurture over nature (hindu )

Study indicates that genetic factors are not a key determinant in explaining stunting in Indian children

A continuing paradox about India’s growth story in the last two decades, which have seen a substantial reduction in poverty, is the persistence of poor performance on the health count. A measure that is used to assess individual health is height based on the understanding that early-life nutrition invariably helps in adults becoming taller and that taller adults enjoy better health and therefore better living and productivity.

While considerable academic literature exists on reasons for the high rates of malnutrition and on other factors responsible for shorter height of children in India, there has also been dissenting opinion of late that suggests that genetic factors are more salient in explaining this.

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A useful paper by Caterina Alacevich and Alessandro Tarozzi, published on April 23 on the Centre for Economic Policy Research’s policy portal comes up with…

The bleak new academic scenario (hindu )

Liberalisation has eroded the institutional capacity to train young people who might pursue liberal values

The other day, a student asked me what exactly the word ‘liberal’ mean. She wanted to know whether ‘liberalisation’ promotes ‘liberal’ values. She had noticed that institutions of higher education, which are supposed to promote liberal values, were finding it difficult to resist ideological and commercial pressures triggered by the process of economic liberalisation. So, was economic liberalism different from political liberalism? And what do people mean when they refer to neo-liberal policies? The questions she was asking could hardly be addressed without invoking the political economy that has emerged over the last three decades.

When liberalisation of the economy started to receive common consent in the mid-1980s, few people thought of examining what it would mean for education. Then, in 1991 came the dramatic announcement of a new economic policy, accompanied by a package of…

The chill in Brussels (hindu )

Donald Trump’s first NATO meet confirms America’s drift away from its NATO allies

It was not a summit to indulge the nostalgia of a painstakingly nurtured post-War partnership between the U.S. and Europe. Nor was it an occasion to pronounce declarations of mutual solidarity to face up to an uncertain world. Such political and diplomatic language might, in any case, have struck an especially awkward note when leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation gathered in Brussels, given the very public airing of differences on the notion of a shared trans-Atlantic vision by U.S. President Donald Trump since his election campaign. Soon after his election, he reportedly enquired from the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, which country was next in line to quit the European Union after Britain voted last June to leave. In turn, his election had been received in European Union circles with considerable dismay, if not disbelief. German Chancellor Angela Merkel even spelt out, i…