CONSUMERS

GAME THEORY
Should bribe-givers be let off?
Researchers conduct experiments to study Kaushik Basu's idea that only bribe-takers should be punished. Tarun Jain reports.
Public funds
December 2012

RETAIL SECTOR
FDI: Just the facts, please
Whether foreign direct invesmtent in retail in India is good or bad should be judged by a reasoned debate based on facts, not hyperbole and exaggeration. Jacob John reports.
Trade
November 2012

MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE
Patients' rights on the rise
Amidst a rising tide of reports of medical negligence in the media, the courts have stepped in to interpret laws in favour of patients, and to award large punitive damages.
Health
April 2011

HEALTH DRINK/CONSUMERS
From snow ball to coconut lassi
This Kochi's couple's one-year-old enterprise is perhaps the only serious attempt to market snow ball tender coconut so far. And in their response to irregularity of supply, they introduced the coconut lassi.
Kerala
January 2009

COOL CART
Tender coconut juice, instantly chilled
Moments after a customer approaches this cart, the vendor pours tender coconut juice into a funnel-like part. Chilled juice comes out of a stainless steel tap below, filling a 250 ml glass, for Rs.10. Shree Padre reports about a Hyderabad-based firm.
Andhra Pradesh
May 2007

KARNATAKA : ELECTRICITY REGULATION
Citizens input on power tariffs
In a few weeks, Karnataka will once again seek public input in setting electricity tariffs. While the era of state electricity boards has ended, public participation is important to counter pressures from the government, utility companies, and the commercial private sector on regulators, write Lina Krishnan, Gautam Menon and M V Ramana.
Energy | Karnataka
November 2006

MEASURING WATER SUPPLY
Water meters help consumers, suppliers
With a properly metered water bill, consumers have a much better chance of being heard than otherwise. Yes, there are justified concerns about rights and equity when we talk of water, but metering is not anti-poor. In fact, used well, it can address their demands powerfully, says S Vishwanath.
Water | Karnataka
November 2006

PESTICIDE RESIDUES
Fiery debate back, but standards scuttled
Once again, a study by the New Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment found alarming levels of pesticide residues in soft drinks and stirred up a public debate. However, the larger issue of how pesticides have invaded the ground water and gotten into the food chain must not be missed, notes Ramesh Menon.
Public health
October 2006

HEALTH DRINK MOVES UP
Tender coconuts break into corporate offices
It's 'ready to serve' and like a soft drink bottle or tetra pack, you can take it inside any office, drink and then dispose. Sold with the brand name Tender Fresh, 1500 2000 tender coconuts every day are reaching a clientele that reads like the who's who of Bangalore's software companies. Shree Padre reports.
Health | Karnataka
September 2006

DOMESTIC ENERGY
Compact biogas plant making waves
Biogas plants are not new, but their size, relative unwieldiness and reliance on large quantities of cattle dung have held back their potential attractiveness for the domestic cooking sector. That may change soon, thanks to the ingenuity of Dr Anand Karve. Vinita Deshmukh reports about Karve's new award-winning compact plant.
Waste management | Energy | Maharashtra
July 2006

CONSUMER COURT RULES ON WATER
Farmers' win in court boosts morale
Two farmers from Chamarajanagar, Karnataka, took the state government to court for not giving them water for the past three-four years. The twist is that they approached a district consumer court, and won the case in less than a year. Veena N reports.
Water | Law enforcement | Karnataka
May 2006

ADVERTISING
What's in a brand name?
In a few seconds, advertisers tell us stories from a fairy-tale world of the strongest, whitest, coolest and simply the best. And alas, like most fairy-tales, advertisements are often false. How can consumers be better informed? Varupi Jain talked with VOICE, a New Delhi-based consumer rights non-profit.
Media
April 2006

PRS LEGISLATIVE BRIEF
Food Safety and Standards Bill, 2005
By consolidating several different laws for the food sector, the proposed bill seeks to establish a single reference point for all matters relating to food safety and standards. The scientific development of the food processing industry is also sought. M R Madhavan and Kaushiki Sanyal present a legislative brief.
Laws
February 2006

OPINION : NEW FOOD LAW
Food safety bill may hurt hawkers
The central government has proposed the Food Safety and Standards Act to 'harmonize' existing food laws. Devinder Sharma agrees the old exploitative laws must go, but says the new bill may deliver unfair advantage to the food industry over dhabas and hawkers.
Devinder Sharma | Consumers | Health | Laws
February 2005

OPINION
Death knell for low cost medicines
Medicine prices nationwide are likely to go up soon, including at public hospitals and dispensaries. Domestic manufacturers will withdraw critical but cheaper medicines as India gets ready to fulfill WTO obligations. Devinder Sharma argues that this is the beginning of a scientific apartheid.
Devinder Sharma | Health
December 2004

HEALTH AND CONSUMERS
Blowing back the smoke
Reducing tobacco consumption is a complex challenge. A broad range of efforts must be aimed at both consumers and producers, and issues relating to advertisements, promotion, and information must all be considered. Varupi Jain reports on an organisation that is lending its VOICE to this challenge.
Public Health
October 2004

Decommissioning the diaper
L S Aravinda points out that many Indian children are better off because their parents prefer natural infant hygiene, but warns of an increasing number being swayed by 'the convenience' of diapers.
Child health
August 2004

A surge for consumer rights
Power supplier responsible for steady voltage.
Karnataka
January 2004