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All that Glitters is Never Gold: India’s Food Security Bill Raises More Questions than Solutions

Pradyut Hande is The Future Forum’s Program Director for India and an award-winning youth leader and writer. He has over 250 publications in leading national and international dailies to his credit. This is the first in a three part series aimed at addressing critical aspects of the global water scarcity problem.

In a landmark development, President Pranab Mukherjee cleared the ordinance on the highly contentious Food Security Bill, paving the path for multi-lateral political ramifications and a potentially game-changing legislation in the long run. The timing of President Mukherjee’s decision has taken many quarters by surprise considering his outlook towards the concerned issue thus far. Also the fact that he chose to clear the ordinance in its current form; even in the face of mounting criticism from the BJP, Left and other major national parties; has raised a few eyebrows. Read more

As Student Interest Rates Double, Young People Must Double Our Efforts

Written by: Aaron Kinnari, Founder of The Future Forum.

This fall, student loan rates will double for young Americans across the country. For the average student taking out Stafford loans each year to pay for college, this means the price of college just went up about $4,000. That’s a lot of money, especially considering that so many of our peers are finding themselves unemployed or underemployed in the current economy.

This is truly devastating. At a time when our students are already struggling to pay their share of more than $1 trillion in student loan debt, and one in 10 loans are in default, to raise the cost of higher education will have real, negative consequences on this generation. Read more

Embracing Brazil: Transatlantic Cooperation to Confront Global Challenges

A version of this post originally appeared on Atlantic-community.org. Atlantic-community.org is the world’s first online foreign policy think tank, and aims to provide a voice for a new generation of thinkers and young leaders on issues impacting the transatlantic community.

Memo 44: Atlantic Community members generally agree that embracing Brazil as a transatlantic partner should be a key goal for the US and Europe. While initiatives already exist to facilitate this process, they are not being employed to their full potential. The transatlantic partners must build on these initiatives and, in doing so, acknowledge Brazil as a valuable ally in combating global challenges.

Greater cooperation with Brazil would allow the transatlantic community to better address some of the biggest problems facing the world today, including development issues, climate change, energy policy, and global trade. As the policy recommendations below make clear, greater cooperation with Brazil must occur on three levels: institutionalizing existing dialogue to better address global development needs; supporting Brazil’s development of global energy policy; and encouraging Brazil to take on greater responsibility in international institutions.   Read more

Public Platform: Promoting Innovation in the Public Sector

Today, The Future Forum submitted a proposal for the Knight News Challenge, sponsored by the Knight Foundation. Please read our proposal to build Public Platform, available here, and send us your feedback.

We are at the cusp of a massive shift in how governments deliver public services.  This change is a result of two forces – a contraction of public funds requiring administrations to do more with less coupled with incredible advances in data and technology that enable policy makers to make smart, pro-active decisions, leading to more effective service delivery.
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Poverty in India: Through the Analytical Lens

Siby Jose is a writer with interest in economics and public policy, currently based in Orissa, India. He has had the chance to work and experience some of the remotest regions of the country through his extensive travails.

India’s poverty is a topic that has over the ages generated many illusory debates and equally mind boggling reasons which in no way reaches anywhere near the actual underlying fact. Some say it is because of the huge population coupled with illiteracy, caste problems and a slothful attitude. Others argue it is because of corruption. And yet another group blames it on reasons like colonial past and neo-liberalisation. Read more

When Hope Dawns Anew: President Obama Endeavours to Usher Stricter Gun Control Regulations

Pradyut Hande is a business student and an award-winning youth leader and writer based in Mumbai, India. He has over 250 publications in leading national and international dailies to his credit.

This post initially appeared on The Panoptical Perspective.

The Sandy Hook, Newtown School Massacre of December 14, 2012 sent shock waves across not just the USA; but the entire World as well. The sheer audacity and brutality of the act in the glaring absence of any veritable motive was enough to raise some serious questions. The fact that a majority of the victims were innocent children further lent a tragic hue to the gruesome incident. More than anything, the incident has put things into sharper perspective and yet again drawn the spotlight on the long raging domestic debate on gun control regulations. Set in this somber backdrop, the situation demands a great deal of soul searching followed by tangible action to address the issue at hand. Read more

Immigration Reform Would Be the Biggest Gift We Could Get This Year

Aaron Kinnari (@aaronkinnari) is the founder of The Future Forum. This post originally appeared on PolicyMic.

When it takes session in January, the 113th Congress will have a number of critical issues that demand attention. There will be the potential fallout from the fiscal cliff, a new round of debt ceiling negotiations, and confirmation hearings for new cabinet secretaries, among others. But there is one policy matter that, while complex and long elusive, enjoys broad calls for improvement and immense potential for impact. The greatest gift we could get next year from Washington would be a comprehensive effort to finally fix America’s broken immigration system. Read more

After Tragedy, We Need Action, Not Silence, From our Leaders

Written By: Aaron Kinnari, Founder of The Future Forum.

Next week, children across the country will enjoy a break for the holidays. Families will come together, sharing meals and moments of laughter.

For two dozen families in Newtown, Connecticut, this holiday, and holidays for years to come, will not be as joyous. Presents will be left unopened, future hopes and dreams left unfulfilled.

The void they will feel is unimaginable to most of us. The moments that families look forward to – the soccer games and school dances, the graduations and weddings, the years of meaningful life and lasting memories – will not come.

Seeing the photos of these children, children who look like our sons and daughters and brothers and sisters and cousins and friends, is heartbreaking. You can’t read their names or hear their stories without welling up with tears.

This is not how it’s supposed to be in America. Our schools, our churches, our grocery stores and movie theaters and street corners are not supposed to be constant reminders of the tragedies that happened there. Our children are not supposed to be forever scarred by the deaths of their schoolmates, our parents devastated by the loss of their babies. Read more

The Party of Work and Fake History

A version of this post originally appeared on the author’s blog.

David Brooks makes some great points about the failures of the Republican party to reinvent its platform since the end of the Cold War, but it’s a bit curious that he frames the article by naming Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush as “ranching Republicans” who subscribed to an “American creed” of “individualism” that “shaped America and evolved with the decades.” This is glib and also biographically incorrect. Barry Goldwater grew up in Phoenix as the son of a wealthy department store owner, not on a ranch. Ronald Reagan grew up in suburban Illinois before heading to Hollywood to become an actor. George W. Bush was born into a wealthy family in New Haven, grew up in Houston and suburban Texas, and then went to school in Massachusetts and at Yale. Read more

Has the “Big Tent” Gotten Too Big?

A version of this post originally appeared on the author’s blog.

Jeff Zeleny and Jim Rutenberg wrote in their post-election recap yesterday morning that Barack Obama overcame “powerful economic headwinds, a lock-step resistance to his agenda by Republicans in Congress and an unprecedented torrent of advertising” on his path to electoral victory. To political pros on both the left and right, it is certainly noteworthy that the country voted as convincingly as it did to reelect the president after the past four years of frustration and sluggishness. But for his part, Obama once again showed himself to be a gifted campaigner, overcoming not only the shortcomings of his first term in office but also a spirited fight from his opposition and his own woes at the debate podium. Optimism about the economy is now on the rise, though perhaps not as a direct consequence of the policies that the Obama administration has pursued or the ones it championed during the campaign. Read more