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The Public Newsense

Cycling into the sunset

Thu, 06/07/2023 - 15:31

Bicycles were associated with wealthy young men in the early part of the 20th century, particularly being favoured by the sahibs and the Indian elite. In a few years, as bicycles became more common and popular, the prestige waned. By the 1920s it was not seemly for a senior official of the Raj to gallivant about on a cycle. A horse or carriage was seen as a better way to maintain distance and underline class distinctions. It was also not deemed acceptable to turn up to work or elsewhere looking hot and bothered due to cycling in the tropical weather.

Climate-induced displacement: A new normal for India's vulnerable communities

Tue, 04/07/2023 - 15:26

Climate change is uprooting lives and communities in India, leaving behind a trail of destruction that is hard to ignore. The lush terrain that once sustained millions is now turning into barren wastelands, as climate change continues to ravage the country. The scorching heat waves, erratic rainfall patterns, and devastating floods are leaving no stone unturned in upending the lives of millions of people, particularly those in rural areas.

Road Infrastructure 101: How not to build a liveable, sustainable city

Thu, 13/04/2023 - 15:27

On Twitter I came across someone lamenting a recently announced plan to build more flyovers in some Indian city (it matters not which city as this is a common phenomenon across the country). The tweet pointed out that increasing road infrastructure for private vehicles only encourages more private vehicles and it's a zero sum game. Of course, Twitter being what it is, someone immediately took umbrage, accusing the person of wanting to deny economically/socially disadvantaged people from climbing up the ladder and having access to their own personal vehicle.

E-commerce ‘'Dark Patterns'’ - An Unfair Trade Practice

Thu, 13/04/2023 - 15:10

Over the past few decades, the e-commerce sector has evolved significantly. Consumers are making more online purchases than ever before. To battle growing competition,  e-commerce retailers are modifying their online platforms such that it attracts customers, grabs their attention and nudges them towards completing the purchase by well designed user interfaces that influence users’ behaviour. It is not unusual for customers to add products to an e-com shopping cart, only to abandon the cart and move on to another website.

Understanding the different charges when obtaining a new electricity connection

Thu, 13/10/2022 - 15:06

Electricity is such an essential part of our everyday life that we do not consider the effort, both physical and economic, by the distribution utility to supply it to us. These include, but are not limited to, the raw materials that are used to supply electricity (such as wires),the  labour needed to install meters, place underground wires, the transportation of materials needed to undertake the work etc.  These costs are therefore levied as charges by the electricity distribution company on the consumer who wants a new electricity connection to his/her premises.