Monday, May 28, 2012

Assault on Merit: The Untold Story of Civil-Military Relations


by R. K. Anand, Inderjit Badhwar (Edited By), Kunal Verma (Contributed By)

In this fast-paced and highly relevant book, veteran lawyer R.K. Anand details case studies of Indian Generals decorated soldiers and men of exceptional conscience and integrity who fell prey to the whims and fancies of manipulative civilian bureaucrats intent on perverting the promotions system in order to favour a buddy or please a political master.

Stung by these injustices, and with no other recourse, these General Officers turned to the civilian courts for redressal, and to Anand to represent them. He did so, showing remarkable zeal and dexterity in taking on the Government on behalf of these officers, most of whom had no money to spare for protracted legal battles. In most cases, Anand represented them without charging a legal fee. And in this process many of them found succor and relief though some of them after retirement despite the bureaucracy's brazen attempts at misleading the various benches through subterfuge and legerdemain to cover up its own malafides.

These well-documented case histories go to the very heart of the controversy over the date of birth of General V.K. Singh, Chief of Army Staff, and are a must reading for all who wish to understand one of the main causes for the growing trust deficit between India's apolitical armed forces and the politicized bureaucracy.


About the Author
R.K. Anand one of India's top legal luminaries, joined the profession in the late 1960's. During his lengthy and hectic practice as lawyer he has defended three Prime Ministers of India while they were still in office, namely, Mrs Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and P. V. Narasimha Rao. Anand is the only lawyer to have handled over ten air crash inquiries including the Kanishka air disaster.  Anand has been Chairman of the Delhi's Bar Council for two terms and was the Vice-President of the prestigious Indian Law Institute for more than five terms, each lasting three years. The institute is headed by the Chief Justice of India and two of its Vice-Presidents are India's Attorney General and Law Minister.  In his political avatar, Anand was a Member of Parliament from the state of Jharkhand between 2000 and 2006. He was President of the Jharkhand Olympic Association and succeeded in persuading the Indian sports bodies to allow Jharkhand to host the 34th National Games in Jharkhand. The games held in Jharkhand are considered as the best National Games held ever in this country.


Inderjit Badhwar is an award-winning author and journalist who has worked in the US and India on major publications and TV programmes. His 2004 novel, The Chamber of Perfumes (original title Sniffing Papa), won France's prestigious international award Le Prix Litterarire as the “best foreign debut novel,” an honour that went earlier to Salman Rushdie for Shame.  A graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism, New York, where he won the Henry Taylor recognition for “superior journalism,” Badhwar's last assignment in the US was as Senior Staff Associate for the “Washington Merrygoround” column with the legendary Jack Anderson, where Badhwar was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. After more than 20 years as a Washington journalist and TV correspondent (including ABC-TV), Badhwar returned to India as Editor of India Today, Asia's leading English news weekly, a post he held for 10 years, before becoming Executive Producer and news anchor of TV Today and Sahara TV.


Kunal Verma an alumnus of the Doon School, Dehradun and Madras Christian College, Tambaram, is a film-maker and a writer. He has been professionally associated with the Armed Forces for over two decades. He is also the author of Ocean to Sky: India from the Air and The Long Road to Siachen: The Question Why. Under the KaleidoIndia banner, he has authoured pictorials on the Military World Games, The Assam Rifles and more recently the three-part Northeast Trilogy that maps the entire peoples and the vast expanse of the entire Northeast.

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Time To Start Thinking: America And The Spectre of Decline



Time To Start Thinking: America And The Spectre of Decline  (Hardcover)
by 
Edward Luce

"Gentlemen, we have run out of money. It is time to start thinking."-Sir Ernest Rutherford, winner of the Nobel Prize in Nuclear Physics.

Time to Start Thinking is a book destined to spark debate among liberals and conservatives alike. Drawing on his decades of exceptional journalism and his connections within Washington and around the world, Luce advances a carefully constructed and controversial argument, backed up by interviews with many of the key players in politics and business, that America is losing its pragmatism - and that the consequences of this may soon leave the country high and dry.

Luce turns his attention to a number of different key issues that are set to affect America's position in the world order: the changing structure of the US economy, the continued polarization of American politics; the debilitating effect of the "permanent election campaign"; the challenges involved in the overhaul of the country's public education system; and the health-or sickliness-of American innovation in technology and business. His conclusion, "An Exceptional Challenge" looks at America's dwindling options in a world where the pace is increasingly being set elsewhere. While many Americans believe that their country can and should retain its status as a global superpower, Luce sees this as an increasingly unlikely scenario, unless Americans themselves can stand up against the country's increasingly plutocratic character. America has bounced back successfully from the shocks of The Great Depression and the Soviet launch of Sputnik, but Luce wonders if the next crisis in American confidence may knock it off the top-dog position for good.
As distressing as it is important, Time to Start Thinking presents an America in economic, social, and political crisis, in danger of losing its most defining and vital characteristic: its pragmatism.

ISBN : 99781408702758
Price: Rs. 699.00  (Free Shipping*)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Guide to good schools of India

Sandeep Dutt’s compilation, Guide to Good Schools of India,  now in its seventh edition, is a useful handbook.  It is useful, of course, to parents, at whom it is primarily directed.  Education—and when I say education in this context, I mean private education—is booming in India.  Drive through any small to big town or city in India, and you will see evidence of the boom.  From paper leaflets to huge billboards, the advertising of new schools is relentless.  Some people are offended by this.  I must admit to a degree of discomfort at the way that we are assailed by the arrival of a new school.  Yet, what is undeniable and heartening is that this is evidence of the boom in education—and in the long run that can only be good.  More schools mean more opportunities and choices for India’s children and parents.


How, though, should parents choose amongst the array of schools available?  Should they opt for an old, established school?  Should they instead try out a new, innovative school?  Is a day school or a residential school better for their child and their family?  What kind of fees should they expect to pay for what kind of facilities?  Is a co-educational school suited to them or a single-sex school?  This book does not answer all these important and challenging questions, but it does lead us towards some answers by giving us data on a whole range of residential schools.

Dutt’s Guide to Good Schools of India is not just a useful handbook for parents.  It is also a good starting point for education professionals—teachers, principals, school management, and officials and other policy makers—and the general public that might be interested in such matters.  I looked through the pages of the volume with a fair degree of curiosity:  who were these other good (residential) schools of India apart from the ones that quickly come to mind?  What do the old and new schools offer?  How much are we all the same, and how much do we differ?  Dutt has not written a Ph.D. thesis on these issues; but he has given education professionals a tantalizing peak into the fast-changing world of residential schools.

We in India are not very good at producing handbooks and simple, informative material for consumers.  Sandeep Dutt has pioneered the effort for schools.  I hope he continues to provide this service, indeed to improve it with each edition.
Dr. Kanti Bajpai
Former Headmaster,
The Doon School, Dehra Dun
www.gsi.in

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Book of the week

Empire of the Moghul: The Tainted Throne (Hardcover)
by 
Alex Rutherford

The brutal battle for power continues in the fourth book in the epic Empire of the Moghul series. Agra, India, 1606. Jahangir, the triumphant Moghul Emperor and ruler of most of the Indian subcontinent, is doomed. No amount of wealth and ruthlessness can protect him from his sons' desire for power. The glorious Moghul throne is worth any amount of bloodshed and betrayal; once Jahangir raised troops against his own father; now he faces a bloody battle with Khurram, the ablest of his warring sons. Worse is to come. Just as the heirs of Timur the Great share intelligence, physical strength and utter ruthlessness, they also have a great weakness for wine and opium. Once Jahangir is tempted, his talented wife, Mehrunissa, is only too willing to take up the reins of empire. And with Khurram and his half-brothers each still determined to be their father's heir, the savage battle for the Moghul throne will be more ferocious than even Timur could have imagined.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Good Schools of India


Press acclaim for the book Guide to Good Schools of India, 
published by EBD

‘All that you ever wanted to know about boarding schools in India.’
 -The Telegraph, Calcutta
‘Worth reading even for the general reader.’ 
-The Times of India, New Delhi
‘A very, very good book.’
 -Mid Day, Mumbai
‘A very useful book ...’ 
-The Tribune, Chandigarh
‘A detailed and comprehensive description of over hundred residential schools.’ 
-The Hindu, Chennai
‘The book, a first in India, is a commendable effort which will help parents weigh carefully all the available options for their children.’ 
-Business India
‘A useful effort’ 
- Cyber News, Business India
‘Finally we have a good book on the residential schools in India.’ 
- Schools
‘Where they are? What they cost you? Descriptions of the best residential schools in India.’ 
-India Today
‘A book which can greatly assist parents make a judicious choice of an institution for their children.’ 
-United News India
‘The book acts as a very helpful guide for parents and guardians wanting information on appreciable residential schools in India.’ 
-The Statesman, Calcutta
‘The book is a great boon for parents...’ 
-Garhwal Post, Dehra Dun
‘A useful book if you are caught on the horns of dilemma while deciding where to send the apple of your eye for “good” education.’  
- The Tribune
‘Sorted by name, affiliation - Central Board of Secondary Education, State Secondary Boards, International Baccalaureate and so on - and type (boys, girls or co-ed), the site offers exhaustive information on schools from Sharanabasveshwar Public School in Gulbarga, Karnataka, to Donyi Polo Vidya Bhawan in Itanagar, Arunanchal Pradesh.’  
- Cyber Chatter; India Today
‘This exclusive website is for Parents, Teachers and Students alike. In addition, it is a good resource for the Schools too. Packed with valuable information and supported by educationists and the school community, it presents to the World the top residential schools of India.’ 
- Kashmir Times
‘This invaluable compendium lists nearly a hundred top residential schools in India and will benefit both the parent and child in making the decision to enter a renowned portal of learning.’ - 
Books Today

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Book Cafe is now The English Book Depot

Book Café is now part of  The English Book Depot (EBD) Dehradun. EBD and Book Cafe are happy to serve the customers with the same old belief 'we care for you'. Book Cafe was originally promoted by The English Book Depot in 2003, and grew to a chain of 48 bookstores in 2009, owned and operated by EBD Book Cafe Pvt Ltd. The promoters of the company then decided to wind up and the Book Cafe customers were indeed the ones who faced the maximum challenges. Our heart and more so spirit is with the book lovers and we do regret the inconvenience so caused. To help us reach our fantastic customers The English Book Depot stores now in Dehra Dun and Ludhiana will serve you please. Welcome to call us on +911352655192 for support and service. Yes we will soon be offering an online store from www.bookcafe.in

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