Replies to the government’s concerns with our criticism of the DNA Profiling Bill

Credit: stewdean/Flickr, CC BY 2.0.

In response to the piece ‘Modi Wants the DNA Profiling Bill Passed Right Away. Here’s Why It Shouldn’t Be‘, published July 24, 2015, Dr. J. Gowrishankar, Director of the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics, wrote a spirited response describing the benign intentions behind the Bill and why there is a real need for it … Read more

Here’s why the Human DNA Profiling Bill shouldn’t be passed in its current form

The Human DNA Profiling Bill which the Narendra Modi government wants to pass in the current session of Parliament is one of the most intrusive enactments of its kind anywhere in the world, a measure that will render obsolete the national debate on privacy before it has even begun. Drafted by the Department of Biotechnology … Read more

The net can’t be neutral if regulators are biased against voice-over Internet

The Department of Telecommunications’ new report (PDF) on net neutrality is a deceptive piece of work. Drawn up by a committee set up in January 2015, it was perceived as a reaction to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s consultation paper in May on implementing the principles of net neutrality in Indian telecom regulation. While … Read more

Money for science

Spending money on science has been tied to evaluating the value of spin-offs, assessing the link between technological advancement and GDP, and dissecting the metrics of productivity, but the debate won’t ever settle no matter how convincingly each time it is resolved. For a piece titled The Telescope of the 2030s, Dennis Overbye writes in The … Read more

DoT backs net neutrality but wants end to free domestic Skype, WhatsApp calls

It’s just good business. Credit: balleyne/Flickr, CC BY 2.0.

The Wire July 17, 2015 A Department of Telecommunications committee has released a report on the issue of net neutrality, following the controversial policy consultation paper that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India put out in May. The report falls in life with many of the popular demands that surged on social media following the … Read more

Instead of reaching the sky, Aakash ends up six feet below

The Wire July 15, 2015 Once at the centre of the Indian government’s half-baked schemes to make classrooms tech-savvy, the Aakash project wound down quietly in March 2015, an RTI has revealed. The project envisaged lakhs of school and engineering students armed with a tablet each, sold at Rs.1,130 courtesy the government, from which they … Read more

Yoichiro Nambu, the silent revolutionary of particle physics, is dead

Yoichiro in Nambu in 2008. Source: University of Chicago

The Wire July 18, 2015 Particle physics is an obscure subject for most people but everyone sat up and took notice when the Large Hadron Collider discovered the particle named after Peter Higgs in 2012. The Higgs boson propelled his name to the front pages of newspapers that until then hadn’t bothered about the differences between bosons and … Read more

Physicists find exotic particle with five quarks

The Wire July 14, 2015 “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth” – thus spake Sherlock Holmes. Particle physicists at the Large Hadron Collider today announced the discovery of a new particle after an investigation following in the steps of Holmes’ wisdom. The particle is exceedingly rare in … Read more