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Birds of BR Hills

If you came for the checklist of birds of BR Hills, directly scroll to end of this post.   My journey with the Biligirirangaswamy temple hills (BR Hills) is an old one. It was during my medical school days, nearly 15 years back that I first went to the hills on a then trendy Yamaha RX 100 (2001 monsoon months). At the time, the frequency of buses were few and Veerappan was alive. In spite of his... read more

Hinduism by Kshiti Mohan Sen

With a foreword by his better known grandson, Amartya Sen, I picked up this Penguin paperback 2002 reprint of Kshiti Mohan Sen’s 1961 book last year at a Kochi bookshop. With only 138 pages for a very grand title “Hinduism”, the book seems overambitious from its cover itself. Yet, I found it to be a fairly comprehensive account of the history and (then in the 60s) present of this... read more

Universal health coverage in India: muddling through the quagmire

A guest editorial I co-wrote with Upendra Bhojani and Werner Soors on the International Health Policies blog on the quagmire of Universal Health Coverage issue and how it is unfolding in India. Ever since the Indian government’s Planning Commission’s (PC) high-level expert group (HLEG) came out with their 300-odd page report on universal health coverage in October last year, how to reach that much... read more

From questionable social subsidies to unquestioned corporate welfare

An unusually punctual gathering on the dais greeted me at Rotary Club. Thankfully, this was a gathering of unimportant people both on and off the dais; none of those species of “Very Important People” often sporting Anna-like caps were invited to the gathering and things started on time. P Sainath was supposed to be speaking on “Rural India after two decades of liberalisation” and... read more

The truth that dare not speak its name: corruption in health services

Corruption and hypocrisy ought not to be inevitable products of democracy, as they undoubtedly are today -Mahatma Gandhi Some things are better assumed and neglected, than acknowledged and attended to. In public health research, these often find a passing mention in “Discussion” section where findings are explained, and worse still, may be as a “contextual” element. Prime among this is... read more

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