Arun Venkatraman

Journalist, writer, and sustainability professional with over six years of experience working with reputed publications such as The New Indian Express, The Asian Age/Deccan Chronicle, and GQ India. My work has also been published in reputed national and international publications such as GQ Australia, The Culture Trip, and Firstpost/Tech2. Recent graduate with Master's in Climate Change and Sustainability Studies from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS Mumbai), India. Research interests – Forestry, Climate Mitigation, Forest Governance, REDD+, Climate/Energy Policy and Sustainability.  

(Currently working as an Analyst at GIST Advisory SA.)

Chandrayaan 2: A brief history of every moonshot in the history of space exploration- Technology News, Firstpost

On 18 July 2019, the world will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon landings. However, this won’t be the only Moon-related milestone we’d be celebrating that week, as India has just made official its plans to upstage the historic day with the launch of Chandrayaan 2. The mission will be the country's ride back to the Moon, more than a decade after the launch of its predecessor Chandrayaan 1. This time, it will go a step further by parking a lander on the Moon and a briefcase-sized

Meet the Irulas, India's Daredevil Snake Catchers

India has always been known as the land of exotic and intriguing cultures and traditions. But many of these cultures, or the tribes and communities associated with them, have nearly disappeared in the face of the rapid urbanisation, and only the few that have managed to adapt still survive. Read on to learn more about the Irulas from Tamil Nadu – the skilled snake catchers of India. While most of us would tuck tail and run at the very sight of a poisonous snake, catching venomous reptiles is al

What's ailing India’s rocketeers? The subdued Indian private space industry in ISRO's shadow- Technology News, Firstpost

India's private space startups seem to be stuck between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand is India’s national space agency ISRO, a behemoth whose contract doles provide vital sustenance to many startups. On the other is the increasingly commercialised side of this very same agency, which has now taken up a new and swanky commercial avatar as NewSpace India Ltd (NSIL), a somewhat indirect competitor-cum-contractor to the same startups. Over the past few years, ISRO’s been involved in just

What will it take for the world to agree on a policy for peace, expansion in space?- Technology News, Firstpost

What happens if tomorrow, China blows up an American satellite in space? Or a private company lands on an asteroid and starts mining it? A layperson would likely be confounded by these questions, and rightly so. But the trouble is this: ask an expert on space policy the same question, and the answer will likely be that it’s really anyone guess. It’s been nearly 62 years since the former Soviet Union launched Sputnik-1, the first artificial satellite launched into orbit. Space technology has gro

The Human Library Mumbai Brings Stories to Life

The Human Library collects people with interesting stories and allows visitors to ‘read’ them for sessions lasting up to 30 minutes each. While this concept started in Denmark nearly 18 years ago, it has been embraced by several countries across the globe for its mission to dispel prejudices by letting people hear the stories and ask questions. How the Human Library in Mumbai began Although India has nine other human library chapters across the country – including in Delhi, Hyderabad, Indore,

World Environment Day 2018: India's Pollution Crisis in Pictures

With this year’s theme being ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’, there’s much for India to take heart in. The country has one of the lowest plastic consumption rates in the world (11 kilos or 24 pounds per person each year, compared to a mammoth 109 kilos or 240 pounds in the US) and a fairly high recycling rate fuelled by a thriving informal plastic recycling sector. However, not everything’s rosy when it comes to the South Asian country’s relationship with the environment, especially in its major cities

The Heroes Behind India’s Historic Gay Sex Ruling

The verdict on Section 377 – part of the Indian Penal code that punishes ‘unnatural offences’ – was delivered by a five-judge bench who unanimously held that consensual sex between adults in private space, which is not harmful to women or children, cannot be denied as it is a matter of individual choice. India’s Supreme Court CJI Justice Dipak Misra further contended that the right to privacy as part of the right to life applies fully to the LGBTQ community. The decision follows a hugely popula

GQ’s Guide to becoming a space tourist

You don’t have to be Arthur Dent and wait for our blue rock to go bust before you hitch a ride on a rocket into space. And you don’t have to be Neil Armstrong either and pull out an impressive CV buttressed with 900 career flights (and a penchant for one-liners). It’s 2017, and all you need to go into space is a little bit of money, coupled with patience, and trust in Silicon Valley to pull through with its grand plans for space tourism. Checked all those boxes? Strap on your seat belt and start

GQ Guide to Blockchain: Everything you need to know

It has been called the future of trade or even the new ‘Internet’, but apart from the fact that it’s the technology that supports Bitcoin and Ethereum, not many know what Blockchain exactly is, and even less, what it means for the future. Notwithstanding the fact that it has dominated the discourse among the inner circle of the tech world, any excitement about Blockchain invariably has been drowned out by the ongoing gold rush for Bitcoin and Ethereum – its two most popular products. You’ve alre

BMW Motorrad’s new scooter is giving us hopes for the future

If a Star Wars swoop bike married a classic Vespa and they had a child, it would probably look like the BMW Motorrad Concept Link Scooter. BMW’s been reinvigorating their two-wheeler segment, the Motorrad for quite sometime now. But it looks like the German automaker might have finally outdone itself, as far as futuristic concept bikes are concerned. And consequently, also saved the scooter from becoming a glorious footnote in automobile history. This is what the Concept bike that’s been giving