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In this issue

Thinking Fast and Slow Across India, the use of cognitive enhancers—also called smart drugs—is on the rise. Modafinil, a stimulant similar to Adderall, was originally developed as a treatment for narcolepsy and attention deficit disorder, but it is now popular among many without those ailments. Although statistical data on its usage in the country is sparse, plenty of anecdotal evidence suggests that the drug is available over the counter at many chemist shops, and that students—particularly at medical colleges, but also at other academic establishments—increasingly take it to get work done and prepare for examinations. With its ease of access and purported ability to boost mental function, modafinil is likely to only become more popular. And that will make questions about the ethics, effectiveness and possible side-effects of the drug all the more urgent. Also in this issue: India’s complex history with cervical cancer; the destruction of ancient Buddhist Sites; the Uttar Pradesh government’s farcical investigation into the Gorakhpur tragedy; why Ramayana’s many voices provoke outrage; how José Rizal’s immortal poem haunts the Philippines today; a personal exploration of Goalpariya culture

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