Chetan Chauhan

Chetan Chauhan

Chetan Chauhan heads regional editions as Deputy National Affairs Editor. A journalist for over 20 years, he has written extensively on social sector with special focus on environment and political economy.

Articles by Chetan Chauhan
RTI activist Anjali Bhardwaj filed an application with DoPT, seeking a copy of the minutes of the meetings of the committee that selected Bose.(cic.gov.in)
RTI activist Anjali Bhardwaj filed an application with DoPT, seeking a copy of the minutes of the meetings of the committee that selected Bose.(cic.gov.in)

CIC upholds DoPT’s non-disclosure to RTI, goes by SC order

By Chetan Chauhan, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 10, 2021 04:22 AM IST
The government appointed former Supreme Court judge Pinaki Chandra Bose as the first Lokpal of the country on March 19, 2019.
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Glacial melting and bursts are well-documented. But little attention has been paid to the damage caused to local ecology and loss of forest cover in the upper reaches of the central Himalayas (PTI)
Glacial melting and bursts are well-documented. But little attention has been paid to the damage caused to local ecology and loss of forest cover in the upper reaches of the central Himalayas (PTI)

Don’t blame only climate. The Chamoli disaster was also human-induced

PUBLISHED ON FEB 08, 2021 09:07 PM IST
If the present pace of Himalayan destruction continues, a future disaster will be devastating. Nature will strike back again. Damaging today and repairing tomorrow is not an option. India has only one option — save the Himalayas
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Officials carry out search and rescue operation at Tapovan Tunnel, after a glacier broke off in Joshimath in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district causing a massive flood in the Dhauli Ganga river on Sunday. (File photo)
Officials carry out search and rescue operation at Tapovan Tunnel, after a glacier broke off in Joshimath in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district causing a massive flood in the Dhauli Ganga river on Sunday. (File photo)

Not just climate change, Chamoli disaster was human-induced

UPDATED ON FEB 08, 2021 12:15 PM IST
Stone quarrying, blasting of mountains and digging of tunnels in the base of the mountain system for two dams on Rishi Ganga and Dhauli Ganga rivers played havoc with the local ecology
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The farmer bodies are seeking repeal of the three farm bills.(PTI file photo)
The farmer bodies are seeking repeal of the three farm bills.(PTI file photo)

Govt denies RTIs on agri laws citing court hearings

By Chetan Chauhan, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 04:31 AM IST
Several RTI applications have been filed with the agriculture ministry and Niti Aayog since November 27, when farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh started their protests against the three farm bills.
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The Central government moved to ease concerns of the infection spreading to humans through contaminated meat or chicken, saying that in India the disease had been spread mainly by migratory birds and added that the secondary spread to poultry birds had occurred only at a few places. (Representative Image)(PTI)
The Central government moved to ease concerns of the infection spreading to humans through contaminated meat or chicken, saying that in India the disease had been spread mainly by migratory birds and added that the secondary spread to poultry birds had occurred only at a few places. (Representative Image)(PTI)

Bird flu spreads to 10 states, govt says human threat low

UPDATED ON JAN 12, 2021 09:02 AM IST
Union minister says no scientific reports on transmission of bird flu to humans.
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HT Image
HT Image

Bird flu spreads to 10 states, govt says human threat low

PUBLISHED ON JAN 11, 2021 11:53 PM IST
New Delhi: Bird flu spread to 10 states on Monday with Delhi, Maharashtra and Uttarakhand confirming the viral outbreak, which experts said would be difficult to control because a large number of birds in the wild had been infected
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Farmers guide ducks towards a cage for their culling, following detection of bird flu at four places, in Alappuzha district of Kerala on January 5.(PTI)
Farmers guide ducks towards a cage for their culling, following detection of bird flu at four places, in Alappuzha district of Kerala on January 5.(PTI)

5 states have reported bird flu outbreak: Here’s all you need to know

By Chetan Chauhan | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 06, 2021 07:35 PM IST
Centre has issued advisory to all states, asking them to test the droppings of migratory and poultry birds to prevent the spread
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A farmer working in his paddy field at Bothgarh outskirts of Morinda town in Ludhiana.(HT File Photo)
A farmer working in his paddy field at Bothgarh outskirts of Morinda town in Ludhiana.(HT File Photo)

MSP only real risk protection for farmers, says new study

By Chetan Chauhan | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 20, 2020 08:10 PM IST
In Punjab, 90% of the agri produce is traded at markets regulated under the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act by licensed commission agents. Bihar abolished the APMC Act in 2006 and traders and private players can buy produce directly from farmers.
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HT Image
HT Image

Punjab farmers got 30% higher crop price than their Bihar counterparts due to MSP, says new study

By Chetan Chauhan {Edited by Narender S Thakur}, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 20, 2020 08:11 PM IST
Findings of University of Pennsylvania’s institute reveal that deregulation of markets helped traders more than cultivators; also, private players did not help in creating agriculture infrastructure
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Image for representation(HT photo)
Image for representation(HT photo)

In a first, Parliament committee to examine functioning of RTI, information commissions

By Chetan Chauhan | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 16, 2020 07:49 PM IST
A Rajya Sabha official privy to the development said the committee decides on the agenda after taking inputs from all members.
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Labourers under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) work at a site, during the Covid-19 lockdown’s second phase, on the outskirts of Ajmer.(PTI)
Labourers under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) work at a site, during the Covid-19 lockdown’s second phase, on the outskirts of Ajmer.(PTI)

Govt made record payments under MGNREGS this year

By Chetan Chauhan | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 14, 2020 04:47 AM IST
The rural development ministry, which administers the world’s biggest job guarantee scheme, was allocated Rs 84,900 crore in two instalments to fund MGNREGS in the year ending in March 2021.
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Rajasthan and West Bengal did well by keeping the unmet demand under the MGNREGA lower than the national average.(PTI Photo)
Rajasthan and West Bengal did well by keeping the unmet demand under the MGNREGA lower than the national average.(PTI Photo)

Centre left with mere 10% NREGA funds as scheme sees 243% jump in Corona times

By Chetan Chauhan | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 11, 2020 01:07 PM IST
The higher demand for MGNREGA work was because of close to 20 million workers returning to their villages from cities after the Central government announced a nation-wide lockdown on March 24.
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Former PM Rajiv Gandhi at Palam airport on December 17, 1985.(HT File Photo)
Former PM Rajiv Gandhi at Palam airport on December 17, 1985.(HT File Photo)

Evidence ignored to appease vote bank, claims new book

By Chetan Chauhan | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 10, 2020 08:00 AM IST
In the book, Kanth said that a year before Gandhi’s assassination, another similar murder of a political leader held many crucial clues.
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On Tuesday, the air pollution levels in Delhi and National Capital Region was between very poor to severe with Ghaziabad being the most polluted city with Air Quality Index (AQI) of 415.(PTI file photo)
On Tuesday, the air pollution levels in Delhi and National Capital Region was between very poor to severe with Ghaziabad being the most polluted city with Air Quality Index (AQI) of 415.(PTI file photo)

Bad-air law drafted, cleared in less than a week

By Chetan Chauhan | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON DEC 09, 2020 08:30 AM IST
On October 16, the Supreme Court said it was setting up a committee headed by former Supreme Court judge Madan Lokur for monitoring stubble burning and air pollution in the NCR and nearby areas, considered to be some of the most polluted in India, particularly in the winter months when post-harvest crop residue burning in Punjab and Haryana causes the capital to be shrouded by smoky haze.
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Lightning seen in the night sky during rain in Delhi.(ANI)
Lightning seen in the night sky during rain in Delhi.(ANI)

Deficient rain may have added to pollution spike

By Chetan Chauhan | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON NOV 12, 2020 10:01 AM IST
The northern plains have not seen substantial rainfall since last week of August. In September, rain deficiency in the region hovered between 80% and 92%, resulting in below normal monsoon rains , forcing farmers to harvest their crops early.
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Protest against farm bill near Bharat Nagar Chowk Ludhiana.(HT file photo)
Protest against farm bill near Bharat Nagar Chowk Ludhiana.(HT file photo)

How the Punjab bills will negate new laws

By Chetan Chauhan and Navneet Sharma | Hindustan Times, New Delhi/Chandigarh
UPDATED ON OCT 21, 2020 04:03 AM IST
The Punjab version of bills is aimed at addressing the concerns of farmers and may be adopted by other non-National Democratic Alliance (NDA)-ruled states, including a provision to protect the Minimum Support Price (MSP) that government procurement agencies pay for farmers’ produce.
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As agriculture, APMCs and lands are state subjects under entries 14, 18 and 22 of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, the state can frame laws on them.(AP File)
As agriculture, APMCs and lands are state subjects under entries 14, 18 and 22 of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, the state can frame laws on them.(AP File)

Punjab negates legally debatable Central farm laws: What you need to know

By Chetan Chauhan and Navneet Sharma | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON OCT 20, 2020 04:46 PM IST
The Punjab government’s bills are aimed at protecting farmers’ interests and may be adopted by other non-National Democratic Alliance-ruled states
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According to Haryana Space Applications Centre (HARSAC), until October 15, 1,835 active fire locations (AFL) were reported from the state against 1,072 during the same period last year.(ANI Photo)
According to Haryana Space Applications Centre (HARSAC), until October 15, 1,835 active fire locations (AFL) were reported from the state against 1,072 during the same period last year.(ANI Photo)

Farm fires increase in Punjab, Haryana despite assurances

By Chetan Chauhan, Gurpreet Singh Nibber and Neeraj Mohan | Hindustan Times, New Delhi/Karnal/Chandigarh
UPDATED ON OCT 17, 2020 04:46 AM IST
On Thursday, Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh claimed that Delhi’s air pollution problem was because of local factors, but data from the Punjab University’s Remote Sensing Centre, Ludhiana, shows a three-fold spike in stubble burning incidents in Punjab as compared to 2019 (3,996 incidents from September 21 to October 15 as compared 1,266 in same period last year), with just 6 farmers booked for farm fires.
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A metro train can be seen through a haze in New Delhi on Thursday.(PTI)
A metro train can be seen through a haze in New Delhi on Thursday.(PTI)

Delhi’s rising air pollution may have an invisible Covid link

By Chetan Chauhan | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON OCT 16, 2020 09:17 AM IST
The pandemic has resulted in reduction in use of public transport, leading to more use of personal vehicles in the national capital. More vehicles on road mean more emissions and with poor dispersal, it leads to higher ambient air pollution levels
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Air quality in Delhi and neighbouring cities of Ghaziabad, Noida, Greater Noida and Gurugram was recorded in the “very poor” category on Thursday.(PTI Photo)
Air quality in Delhi and neighbouring cities of Ghaziabad, Noida, Greater Noida and Gurugram was recorded in the “very poor” category on Thursday.(PTI Photo)

A Covid-19 twist in Delhi’s fight against bad air?

By Chetan Chauhan | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON OCT 16, 2020 06:28 AM IST
Experts say that while the Covid-19 pandemic has restricted activities, it has resulted in fewer people using public transport, leading to more use of personal vehicles.
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As India headed into the 15th year of RTI amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the information commissions received severe setbacks.(HT illustration)
As India headed into the 15th year of RTI amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the information commissions received severe setbacks.(HT illustration)

Key posts vacant as RTI law completes 15 years

By Chetan Chauhan | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON OCT 13, 2020 05:33 AM IST
With the passage of time, the burden of replying to the applications increased, leading to a higher backlog of RTI applications.
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Only about 9% of these RTI applications resulted in a second appeal, meaning that over 90% of the applicants were satisfied with the government response, which transparency law activists said is RTI’s biggest achievement.(HT Archive)
Only about 9% of these RTI applications resulted in a second appeal, meaning that over 90% of the applicants were satisfied with the government response, which transparency law activists said is RTI’s biggest achievement.(HT Archive)

15 years of RTI: One-third of information commissions headless; misuse an obstacle

By Chetan Chauhan | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON OCT 12, 2020 05:23 PM IST
With the passage of time, the burden of replying to RTI applications increased, which increased response time, leading to a higher pendency of cases
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Nitish Kumar is jockeying to become Bihar’s Chief Minister for the fourth time.(HT PHOTO)
Nitish Kumar is jockeying to become Bihar’s Chief Minister for the fourth time.(HT PHOTO)

Bihar election wide open, repeat of Maharashtra situation cannot be ruled out

By Chetan Chauhan | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON OCT 06, 2020 09:41 AM IST
Officially, Nitish Kumar is the NDA’s chief ministerial candidate in Bihar but the LJP’s exit can create an impression that BJP can have its own CM, if the party wins more seats than the JD (U).
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There should be a base price for all agriculture and horticulture crops (a long-standing demand of farmers) below which the produce cannot be sold(HT PHOTO)
There should be a base price for all agriculture and horticulture crops (a long-standing demand of farmers) below which the produce cannot be sold(HT PHOTO)

Farm bills are welcome, but farmers need a rights-based protection law | Analysis

UPDATED ON SEP 25, 2020 05:44 AM IST
A base price will ensure a fair price for every farmer, removing MSP limitations, which cover only 22 crops. Such a mechanism would help both farmers and private buyers as it will bring about transparency and accountability in the farm trade
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The southern states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana received up to 50% excess rain during the same period with Chitradurga district in Karnataka seeing 245% excess rainfall.(Sanket Wankhede/HT Photo. Representative image)
The southern states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana received up to 50% excess rain during the same period with Chitradurga district in Karnataka seeing 245% excess rainfall.(Sanket Wankhede/HT Photo. Representative image)

Mercury rises in north as monsoon loses steam

By Chetan Chauhan | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON SEP 20, 2020 04:59 AM IST
The sultry conditions may last for the next 10-13 days, the experts added, at least till the monsoon fully withdraws from the region without any rainfall.
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North and north-west India normally receives good monsoon rainfall due to oscillation of troughs getting their moisture feed from the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea.(Biplov Bhuyan/HT PHOTO)
North and north-west India normally receives good monsoon rainfall due to oscillation of troughs getting their moisture feed from the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea.(Biplov Bhuyan/HT PHOTO)

Monsoon misses north India in September, hits south and east hard

By Chetan Chauhan | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON SEP 18, 2020 07:45 PM IST
The usually warmer weather with temperatures ranging from 32 degree Celsius in hills of Himachal and Uttarakhand to 39 degrees in Delhi, five to eight degrees above normal, has impacted horticulture
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After coming to power in May 2014, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government the following month launched the Namami Ganga project with the objectives of reducing river pollution, and promoting its conservation and rejuvenation.(Santosh Kumar/HT file photo)
After coming to power in May 2014, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government the following month launched the Namami Ganga project with the objectives of reducing river pollution, and promoting its conservation and rejuvenation.(Santosh Kumar/HT file photo)

May take decades to clean Ganga water, say experts

By Chetan Chauhan | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON SEP 17, 2020 04:55 AM IST
The dissolved oxygen level, or the amount of oxygen available to living aquatic organisms, has improved at 27 locations and the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), the amount of oxygen consumed by bacteria while they decompose organic matter, and faecal coliform (FC) content, a measure of the suitability of water for consumption, has improved at 42 and 21 locations, respectively.
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Boats anchored at a Ganga ghat in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.(PTI)
Boats anchored at a Ganga ghat in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.(PTI)

Ganga’s water quality improved between 2014 and 2019, experts say pace is slow

By Chetan Chauhan | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON SEP 15, 2020 11:11 PM IST
The maximum improvement in River Ganga’s water quality has happened in the hills of Uttarakhand, primarily due to effort been made to contain the flow of human and animal sewage.
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The compensation cess is derived from taxes on sin and luxury goods such as tobacco, cars and aerated drinks.(PTI)
The compensation cess is derived from taxes on sin and luxury goods such as tobacco, cars and aerated drinks.(PTI)

GST row: Most states likely to opt for borrowing Rs 97k crore

By Chetan Chauhan | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON SEP 09, 2020 01:14 AM IST
An acceptance by states, which is likely to be confirmed to the Union finance ministry soon, will put an end to the controversy surrounding the GST compensation payments.
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In the past, the Supreme Court struck down reservation in government jobs for castes such as Jats in Haryana and Marathas in Maharashtra in the absence of a detailed study.(AP)
In the past, the Supreme Court struck down reservation in government jobs for castes such as Jats in Haryana and Marathas in Maharashtra in the absence of a detailed study.(AP)

Haryana, Madhya Pradesh may face legal challenges over quota in jobs

By Chetan Chauhan | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON AUG 22, 2020 01:05 AM IST
On Thursday, Haryana deputy chief minister Dushyant Chautala said his government would bring a bill in the upcoming assembly session proposing reserving 75% of private sector jobs for locals.
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