Smitha Verma

Articles By Smitha Verma

78 Articles

The significant south: History of south India; how region has influenced country’s culture

A formidable book details the history of south India and how the region has influenced the country’s culture.

Electronic waste equal environmental hazard as plastic; here’s what India should be doing

Only 20% was recycled through appropriate channels. If we talk about India—the fifth-largest producer of e-waste in the world—around 1.8 million mt of e-waste was generated in the country in 2016.

From rollercoasters to flying theatres; theme parks go all out to woo Indians

Theme parks are different from amusement parks, as they not only have rides, but also retail stores, restaurants, etc, unified by a central theme.

theme park, indian theme park, amaazia, wonderla, global theme park market

FSSAI CEO: People hear adulteration, and think milk is mixed with detergent, urea. That’s not the case

"We have set safety standards for milk to be followed that have been given out to states. Every state has food safety commissioners who are supposed to keep a check on the quality of milk," says Pawan Kumar Agarwal, chief exe

"‘Adulterants’ is a broad category and even water in milk will be called an adulterant, but that doesn’t mean it is unsafe milk," says FSSAI CEO.

Milk Shaken Up: Organic, adulterant-free, dairy-free is the rage

Organic, adulterant-free milk is all the rage, dairy-free milks have flooded the market, the polypack industry is working on quality assurance after surveys fail samples. We capture the churn in the milk market.

iOrganics has a herd size of 350 cows on a 100-acre farm in Sonipat, Haryana.

Can I fake your order?

From branded footwear, apparel and personal care products to watches, fragrances and alcohol, fakes exist in almost all categories.

Water wars: Many varieties of water are available in the market, but do we really need them?

The packaged drinking water (still) market in India was valued at Rs 177.3 billion in 2017, with a sales volume of 13 billion litres.

There are so many different kinds of water available in the market today that the difference between packaged drinking water and mineral water is lost on most consumers.

Made in Marathi

Marathi cinema is on a roll with the films getting increasingly bigger and better. Big studios are pumping in more money, new awards are being launched and even Bollywood stars are eyeing the industry with renewed interest

Marathi cinema, hindi cinema, marathi movies, Marathi film, Madhuri Dixit,  Bucket List, Marathi film industry, bollywood, karan johar

Why do we need an Indian literary prize?

Bamford also gives credit to the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) for JCB group’s interest in literature.

JCB, JCB literary prize, indian literary prize

Scripting a new story: Independent publishers carving a niche for themselves on the back of their varied offerings

From coffee-table books and translations to feminist narratives and quirky literature, a handful of independent publishers in the country are carving a niche for themselves on the back of their varied offerings

books, independent publishers, story, ritu menon, Shobit Arya, Bikash Niyogi

Toast of the town: Dosa has some stiff competition from waffle, being served even at small nooks across the country

The golden honeycomb crust, once confined to the dessert menu of a five-star hotel or a high-end eating joint, has now moved out of a plush ambience to settle inside a roadside eatery.

waffles, dosa, lifestyle

Made to measure: What does an ‘India Size’ mean and do we need it?

Retail giants in India, however, are missing out on sales, as the likes of Kaushik would rather get their clothes stitched than pick up ready-to-wear attire that needs altering.

india size, NIFT, national sizing survey, india size project, india textile, indian customised size

‘With India Size, 60-70% of the population will find the right fit from the current 30-40%’

The NIFT had originally proposed the idea in 2006. But it was a gigantic proposal and there was no scheme available to fund the cost.

 National Sizing Survey, Sarada Muraleedharan,  NIFT, NIFT fashion, fashion industry, national size NIFT

Feature phones continue to ring loud

Longer battery life, low cost key factors for popularity; many using them for ‘digital detox’ as well.

feature phones, smartphones, internet, india, nokia

Science sans gender: Women writers questioning gender imbalance

Stereotypes in science have existed for a long time.

gender imbalance, gender imbalance in science, sience, Angela Saini, Sue Nelson

Literary translators empowering regional stories to find mainstream publishers, but not enough to revive this neglected segment

Interestingly, the trend is being spotted not just in India, but the world over, with translators being recognised and fêted. At the 69th National Book Awards to be held in November this year, for instance, translators will

regional stories, literary translators, translation, translated regional stories, mainstream publishers, indian translators

Keepers of Kalachakra: A heady cocktail

The storyline works at different levels—terrorism, religious fundamentalism, philosophical notions—but its basic premise rests on quantum physics and the existence of a quantum twin.

Nobody notices caste operating in society, says author Sujatha Gidla

Sujatha Gidla started writing a book on caste oppression when she realised that the answers to the questions she posed to her mother and uncle about their lives in India needed to be told to a wider audience.

author Sujatha Gidla, jaipur literature festival, The Making of Modern India

India Art Fair director Jagdip Jagpal talks about her vision for the event in the coming years

For someone who started attending the India Art Fair (IAF) three years back, getting the chance to head the show may have been surprising.

India Art Fair director Jagdip Jagpal talks about her vision for the event in the coming years

It’s a vital time to be a writer, says author Jeet Thayil

Poet-writer Jeet Thayil talks about his writing, life as a writer and what writers need to do in the times we live in.

Jeet Thayil, author Jeet Thayil, Jaipur Literature Festival, Literature Festival, india

Donald Trump’s stance against media inspired investigative reporters in America, says Spotlight journalist Michael Rezendes

“At a time when power regimes have become hostile to the media and when a vast section of the public which consumes media has become sceptical of it, the onus comes on news organisations to tell the truth,” feels Pulitzer

Donald Trump, Paris climate deal, US, United States, US economy, Paris

A tete-a-tete with Beatles author Philip Norman at the 11th Jaipur Literature Festival

On the sidelines of the ongoing Jaipur Literature Festival, the American journalist and novelist tells Smitha Verma about the time he interviewed Indira Gandhi and wrote the first news story about Bollywood in America.

beatles author, beatlesmania, philip norman, jaipur literature festival, rock biographer

#Metoo to lead to an abuse-free world, hopes Poet Rupi Kaur

At 25 years of age, she has published two poetry books, Milk and Honey and The Sun and her Flowers, which sold over a million copies. Canadian poet of Punjabi descent Rupi Kaur tells Smitha Verma at JLF what it means to be an

#metoo movement, abuse free world, rupi kaur, sexual abuse

Let there be night: The perils of light pollution

The activist, who runs Awaaz Foundation (an advocacy organisation working on environmental pollution) in Mumbai, has been relentlessly leading the fight against noise pollution for almost two decades and had now taken up the

light pollution, light trespass, over-illumination, glare, light clutter, environment hazard light

Dark Web concerns: How children are becoming susceptible to lurking dangers on internet

Today, one in three Internet users in the world is a child, making children more susceptible to the dangers lurking in the dark corners of the Web. But with no fixed regulatory mechanism to protect children from online danger

 internet, internet and children, Facebook,  iPad, whatsapp, online, children online

Google initiative Future Relics connects past with present while looking towards future

Consider walking down a museum, looking at artefacts of the past, observing the narrative that led to the modern-day world. But then, you are stopped and asked to think about the future.

future relics, what is future relics, Google Arts and Culture


Private players are being roped in for several govt-owned enterprises and experts say privatisation will be the buzzword in 2018. But how much of it will actually go through?

air india, air india privatisation, air india flights, air india industry, airlines industry, air india private, airline private players
Income Tax Calculator, Budget 2019, How to Calculate Income Tax


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