Stories by Tanvi Nagpal

Expert Voices

Uncertainty looms for 4 million left off a citizen list in Assam, India

Members of Parliament hold placards against the non-inclusion of over 40 lakh people in Assam's National Register of Citizens during a protest in Parliament in New Delhi on July 31, 2018.
Members of Parliament protest the exclusion of 40 lakh people from Assam's National Register of Citizens in New Delhi, on July 31, 2018. Photo: Prakash Singh/AFP via Getty Images

The Government of Assam, a northeast Indian state, published a list of official citizens on Monday that excluded 4 million people, heightening fears of unrest and violence. The list, called the National Register of Citizens, left off those who could not prove they came to Assam before March 24, 1971, when Bangladesh (previously West Pakistan) declared independence and millions fled, with over 900,000 settling in Assam.

Why it matters: The list has renewed panic among residents, mainly Bengali Muslims, who have neither the desire nor the ability to return to Bangladesh. The register has already stripped many of the right to vote, own property or access any other social services, and six detention camps now house more than 800 people who have been declared non-residents. It is unclear what will happen to these “illegals” who are now essentially stateless, much like the Rohingya who fled Myanmar and live in camps in Bangladesh.

Expert Voices

India now has the world's dirtiest air

People commute through smog in New Delhi.
People commute through smog in New Delhi. Photo: Ramesh Sharma/India Today Group via Getty Images

According to a recent WHO analysis, Indian cities are now the most polluted in the world, accounting for 14 of the 20 cities with the worst air pollution. This is not shocking news: Indian cities, including the capital, New Delhi, make international news for their choking smog every winter.

Why it matters: Air pollution is one of the world's leading causes of death. Fine particulate air pollution (PM2.5) is linked with a wide range of health issues, especially heart and lung disease but also diabetes, hyperactivity and autism. Per Lancet, these health issues are on the rise in rapidly developing middle- and low-income countries, with the largest increases occurring in India and Bangladesh.

Expert Voices

In departure from "America First," U.S. ups World Bank commitment

A press conference at the World Bank's spring meetings on April 17, 2018.
International Monetary Fund officials hold a press briefing during the World Bank and IMF's 2018 Spring Meetings in Washington, D.C., on April 17, 2018. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Last week, the Financial Times reported that the Trump administration will support a $13-billion capital increase to the World Bank. The announcement is expected to be made at the World Bank's spring meetings with the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C., later this week.

Why it matters: The spending increase is good news for the world's lowest-income countries, and marks an unexpected turn from the Trump administration’s isolationist agenda.