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Decoding Congress failure in the 2019 general election (Comment)
The recently held general election was different from any other held in India in the sense that for this election, the ruling party as well as the opposition were in serious election mode for almost four years before it was held. On the ruling party side, the BJP knew well that its 2014 victory was more a mandate against the incumbent UPA government, and this factor would not be there in 2019.
2019-06-09
Category: India, New Delhi,National,Opinion/Commentary,Politics
RBI supports growth stance with repo rate cut
As per the latest data by the Government of India, the economic growth has slowed down to a 20-quarter low of 5.8 per cent during the last quarter of FY 2018-19.
2019-06-06
Category: India, New Delhi,Business/Economy,Opinion/Commentary
Modi's second term: Need to replace FEAR with HOPE (Comment)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's re-election by such large margins in a sweeping victory is testimony to his popularity across India. Many media articles during the seven-week long election process, however, expressed fear that a Modi victory would disenfranchise tens of millions and threaten Indian democracy itself. This perspective is attributable to what I call the FEAR (False Events Appearing Real) syndrome. This syndrome is caused by thinking that the past is a prologue and believing that only bad things will happen in the future. Modi's challenge in his second term will be to replace that FEAR with HOPE (Healing, Opportunity and Progress for Everyone).
2019-06-06
Category: India, Delhi,National,Opinion/Commentary
India, US, Japan, Australia consult leveraging private sector power in infrastructure (News Analysis)
New York, June 1 (IANS) The Quad countries, India, Australia, Japan and the US, have discussed leveraging the power of the private sector, which could balance China's economic diplomacy that promotes infrastructure development in its quest for global influence.
2019-06-01
Category: International, United States,Opinion/Commentary,Diplomacy,Politics
Minions could have sportingly leaked portfolios in a carnival of democracy (Comment)
The great TV anchors, God's gift to Indian journalism, who have been Prime Minister Narendra Modi's shrill town criers these past five years, looked sheepish covering the spectacular swearing in ceremony at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. These media stars from the loyalist school of journalism kept state secrets so deep in their hearts that they revealed not one portfolio, not even the time when the portfolios would be announced. There is an Arab saying: he knows not and knows not that he knows is a fool to be avoided.
2019-06-01
Category: India, New Delhi,National,Opinion/Commentary,Media,Politics
It's time to unsmoke: Accepting challenge to produce less harmful products (Comment)
As Chief Operating Officer at Philip Morris International (PMI), it is my job to help realize our transformation. Today, this means unsmoking the world. In fact, this is something we at PMI have been actively engaged in for more than 20 years. Yes, thats right. It has been nearly two decades since we began researching, developing and scientifically assessing smoke-free products as part of our commitment to creating a smoke-free future, which is now becoming a reality. However, for us to unsmoke the world, it is crucial to unsmoke India, which is home to over 100 million adult smokers.
2019-05-31
Category: India, New Delhi,Health/Medicine,Opinion/Commentary
2019 World Cup: A superstar extravaganza
The most defining fact about the 2019 World Cup is that even one of the lowest-ranked teams, Afghanistan, has got two players who are superstars in the world of cricket. As a team, Afghanistan is expected, if at all, to provide a scare to one or two of the biggies, or even stage an upset to add some spice to what should otherwise be a four-team race to the title.
2019-05-28
Category: International, United States,Sports,World Cup 2019,Cricket,Opinion/Commentary
Creating a vibrant community and nation through affordable housing
The Modi government in June 2015 committed to a grandiose vision of "Housing for All" by 2022, the 75th year of India's independence. With a view to provide a concrete shape to this vision, the government rolled out the "Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana" (PMAY). The scheme aimed at boosting affordable housing by providing credit-linked subsidy to construct around 2.95 crore houses in rural areas and 1.2 crore houses in urban areas.
2019-05-27
Category: India, Tamil Nadu,National,Business/Economy,Opinion/Commentary,Politics
Democracy triumphs (Column: Spy's Eye)
The parliamentary election in the world's largest democracy was watched by all countries, big and small, for reasons that are not far to seek: the likely impact on India's rising profile at the global level, the manner in which an extraordinary amount of dirt was kicked up by the opposition - itself divided by caste, creed and region - against the Modi government making the outsiders wonder about the levels to which the public discourse could dip here and the unparalleled scale of management of the polls in a country of India's size that was once again tested for the Central Election Commission's competence and firmness.
2019-05-26
Category: India, Uttar Pradesh,National,Opinion/Commentary
NDA 2.0: Time filmmakers branched out (Column: B Town)
Nationalism and social issues, which the ruling government had promoted over the last five years, created new genre of themes for filmmakers. During the last five years, especially so in the last three of the Modi/ NDA era, the most successful films turned out to be the films on these genres. That was once Prime Minister Narendra Modi was accepted all over India as the leader the country needed.
2019-05-26
Category: India, Uttar Pradesh,National,Opinion/Commentary
Incremental reforms a must do for the next government (Column: Behind Infra Lines)
As the new government takes office, it is time to reflect on some of the most critical areas that need attention to boost the investment and business climate in India. While structural reforms around land acquisition and labour laws remain on the top of the agenda, the new government would do well to focus on implementing incremental policy changes and addressing gaps in the various sectors that would significantly boost the investment climate.
2019-05-25
Category: India, New Delhi,National,Business/Economy,Opinion/Commentary
Triumph of the BJP's Hindu nationalist card (Column: Political Circus)
An electoral face-off between a religious/nationalist party and a gaggle of vaguely Left-Liberal outfits is almost always an unequal contest as the scales are invariably tilted in favour of the former.
2019-05-25
Category: India, Punjab,National,Opinion/Commentary,Politics
It's time for BJP government to introduce long-standing structural reforms (Column: Active Voice)
After the BJP won 282 Lok Sabha seats in 2014 - the first time in three decades that a single party was able to gain an absolute majority - it was popularly believed that the unexpectedly strong performance was a one-off affair.
2019-05-25
Category: India, Delhi,National,Opinion/Commentary,Business/Economy
Muslims and election: They also serve who only stand and wait (Comment)
Indias 187 million Muslims deserve a round of applause for the diligent docility with which they have allowed themselves to be the "other" against which the divisions within Hindu society have been composed into an ever increasing expanse of saffron. In geological time there will also be harmony in this expanse.
2019-05-24
Category: International, Costa Rica,National,Opinion/Commentary,Politics
May 23: A day to celebrate India's democracy (Comment)
On May 23, the seven-week long Indian election process will come to an end. The votes will be counted and a winner will be declared. No matter who wins, the real winner will be Indias democracy. I say this as an Indian American who has had the privilege of living in the two largest - and, I would add, greatest - democracies in the world. I have watched in awe as this years election in India has unfolded. It brought back memories of Indias national election of 2014. The scope and size of that election was unrivalled in the history of the world.
2019-05-20
Category: India, New Delhi,National,Opinion/Commentary
Stay away from choppy market (Column: Market Watch)
Markets were super volatile all through the week. Monday saw the markets begin on a neutral note and it appeared that the anticipated reversal after eight straight days of losses would happen, but then someone hit the futures with a large sell order and markets cracked. Probably, the seller had inclination that China would retaliate on the US imposing higher duties on $ 200 billion of US imports. China did retaliate that night by imposing duties of 20 per cent and 25 per cent on $ 60 billion of US exports to China. Markets rose on Tuesday instead and the reversal did happen.
2019-05-19
Category: India, Maharashtra,National,Opinion/Commentary
The era of star secretaries (Column: B Town)
A star secretary was a phrase used to describe a man/woman who handled the work affairs of an actor. But, a lot of them fitted the bill of 'Star Secretary because many secretaries who handled stars eventually became bigger stars.
2019-05-19
Category: India, Delhi,National,Cinema/Showbiz,Opinion/Commentary
Cartels and collusion - will the cycle ever stop? (Column: Active Voice)
The Indian pharmaceutical industry has become almost synonymous with the US regulatory authorities.
2019-05-18
Category: India, New Delhi,National,Opinion/Commentary,Health/Medicine,Business/Economy
The conglomerate is dead, long live the conglomerate! (Column: Behind Infra Lines)
News headlines from across the world seem to suggest that conglomerates that dominated many industries for the past decades are seeing a seismic shift of business strategy.
2019-05-18
Category: India, New Delhi,National,Opinion/Commentary,Business/Economy
Jimmy Carter chastises Trump: 'US most warlike nation in history' (Comment)
You may not have noticed it, but Americas war with Iran started some days ago, and may not be going too well for the worlds mightiest power. This is not a war that President Trump, as Commander-in-Chief, is enthusiastic about. The eager beavers, the trigger happy foursome lurching towards war are what Irans Foreign Minister Javad Zarif describes as Trumps "B" team - Bibi Netanyahu, John Bolton, bin Salman and bin Zayed.
2019-05-18
Category: India, New Delhi,National,Opinion/Commentary,Diplomacy,Politics
A New Vogue: Authoritarian leader don't easily accept defeat (Comment)
If numbers go against him, will Narendra Modi accept defeat? Sounds like an absurd question but it worried me after I read the sub headline on the Op-ed page of the New York Times of May 8:
2019-05-11
Category: India, New Delhi,National,Opinion/Commentary,Politics
Congress and BJP: How different are their attitudes towards Muslims? (Comment)
If Indira Gandhi had won the 1977 general elections, it would have been a popular endorsement of her Emergency regime.
2019-05-06
Category: India, New Delhi,National,Opinion/Commentary,Politics
We need a clearer policy against political violence (Column: Spy's Eye)
The General Election this time has been marked by a significant amount of violence in the run-up to the polls in several parts of the country. The bitterness amongst the contesting parties in states like West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra precipitated clashes between rival workers testing the efficacy and impartiality of the local police. The institution of the State Electoral Officer did not seem to be strong enough in monitoring the performance of the district police officials and taking action against those who showed serious dereliction of duty.
2019-05-05
Category: India, New Delhi,National,Opinion/Commentary,Politics
The changing ways of film promotion (Column: B Town)
A picture is worth a thousand words and you never forget a picture you saw was the rule for and logic for promoting Indian films. Illiteracy has always been a problem and the best way to grab attention has always been through a graphic. Nowhere has this been more relevant than with the promotion of a film.
2019-05-05
Category: India, New Delhi,Cinema/Showbiz,Opinion/Commentary,Bollywood
Now's an excellent learning opportunity for Indian credit markets (Column: Behind Infra Lines)
News on Indian credit markets over the last few weeks provide us with pointers that should help shape policy and business strategy. The struggle to get bidders for Jet Airways and the tepid response from investors towards Indias fledgeling municipal bond market point towards the need for a better-structured credit market, especially as the nature of businesses evolve even as the demand for credit rises to finance consumption and infrastructure needs.
2019-05-04
Category: India, New Delhi,Business/Economy,Opinion/Commentary
History can be tough taskmaster if inferred without context (Column: Active Voice)
History has always been an indispensable part of Indian society. People across India daily begin their day with chants that have their origin in the Bronze Age and pepper their conversation with epics that have been told and re-told since the Iron Age.
2019-05-04
Category: India, New Delhi,National,Opinion/Commentary,Diplomacy
Rise of the Right in Bengal will be a novel phenomenon (Column: Political Circus)
Mamata Banerjees prime ministerial ambitions may have been severely jolted by the violence during the West Bengal elections which has recalled, according to a polling officer, what used to happen in Bihar a decade or so ago.
2019-05-04
Category: India, Delhi,National,Opinion/Commentary,Politics
Azhar's designation as terrorist turning point in political war on terror (News Analysis)
United Nations, May 2 (IANS) China's retreat from providing international protection for Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar and its patron Islamabad, marks a milestone in the political and diplomatic war on terror with potential reverberations beyond the subcontinent.
2019-05-02
Category: International, United States,Diplomacy,Indo-Pak/Pakistan,Opinion/Commentary,Politics,Terrorism
Brief halt to Trump-Democrats squabbles to tackle crumbling infrastructure (News Analysis)
New York, May 1 (IANS) US President Donald Trump and his Democratic adversaries put aside the fallout of the Russia investigations and their incessant confrontations for 90 minutes to arrive at an ambitious $2 trillion plan to fix the nation's crumbling infrastructure.
2019-05-01
Category: International, United States,Opinion/Commentary,Politics
Sri Lanka's Easter carnage: Colombo needs to be wary of Pakistan-ISIS links (Comments)
The ISIS, or the Islamic State, has eventually claimed responsibility for the multiple terror bombings in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday targeting churches and hotels, killing 359 and injuring about 600 people. The sites hit in the attacks were all frequented by tourists, and at least 42 foreign nationals died in the explosions.
2019-04-28
Category: India, New Delhi,Opinion/Commentary,Indo-Pak/Pakistan,Defence/Security,Terrorism
Films and politics (Column: B Town)
The phenomenon of film actors joining forces with politicians is not a new thing. In the South, it happened much earlier while the Hindi film actors took the cue a bit late. One of the reasons the Hindi film industry kept away from politics for long was that the rulers and, as such, politicians were seen as enemies of film folk. Not one, there were many Swords of Damocles hung over the film industry by the rulers and usually used as tools.
2019-04-28
Category: India, New Delhi,Cinema/Showbiz,Opinion/Commentary,Bollywood
Moving beyond brownfield assets for infrastructure investors
Given the size of the Indian economy and expectations of future growth, infrastructure remains a crucial area of focus for both financial and strategic investors alike. As capital flow gradually picks up in the sector over the last five years and operational assets are bought out, the obvious question is: What next in terms of infrastructure projects?
2019-04-27
Category: India, New Delhi,National,Opinion/Commentary,Business/Economy
The mistakes which Rahul has made (Column: Political Circus)
Although the latest poll surveys suggest that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may not be able to get a majority of its own in the ongoing polls, the leaders of the mahagathbandhan (grand alliance), which has not been formed except in bits and pieces, are bound to regret their lost opportunity.
2019-04-27
Category: India, New Delhi,National,Opinion/Commentary,Politics
(Trans)mission Impossible? A Discussion On Monetary Policy (Guest Column)
New Delhi (IANS): The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has now delivered a second successive rate cut in the current calendar year. But a bystander only observing the bond and money markets may have been excused in believing that the second cut was actually no cut at all, or indeed maybe even a hike! Thus yields have risen across the board since the April rate cut. The quantum of rise has been between 25-50 bps in money market and front end bond yields.
2019-04-25
Category: India, New Delhi,National,Business/Economy,Opinion/Commentary
Ram's birth in Ayodhya: Memorable view from sanctum sanctorum (Comment)
There was a singular absence of frenzy last week in Ayodhya on the occasion of Ram Navmi. As the campaign for election 2019 rose to a crescendo, one would have expected the Hindutva Brigade to turn up in full force for several reasons. To obtain the Lords blessings for the do or die battle. And to focus on Ayodhya to keep the issue simmering during these crucial elections. True, the matter is in court but so is the Sadhvi Pragya Thakur matter. When were such niceties sacrosanct for the current lot? More likely, the Mandir-Masjid soufflé is not rising.
2019-04-20
Category: India, New Delhi,National,Opinion/Commentary,Politics,Religion
What if there is a hung parliament? (Column: Political Circus)
Conventional wisdom has it that the current polls will not produce a clear-cut result as in 2014.
2019-04-20
Category: India, New Delhi,National,Opinion/Commentary,Dangal 2019,Politics
Balanced approach essential on foreign currency debt (Column: Behind Infra Lines)
Recent news about an increase in Indian corporates and state entities issuing dollar bonds is welcome news, especially since it clearly shows investor appetite for lending to credible Indian business models. However, relatively easy liquidity and high investor appetite for lending in the international markets must be tempered by the fact that borrowing in foreign currencies is beneficial for businesses with certain specific balance sheet structures.
2019-04-20
Category: India, New Delhi,National,Opinion/Commentary,Business/Economy
Redacted Russia probe report to add to collusion controversy (News Analysis)
New York, April 16 (IANS) The release of the report of the investigation into allegations that Russia colluded with President Donald Trump's campaign in the 2016 election that is scheduled for Thursday with some redactions will only amp the volume of debate, rather than set the controversy at rest.
2019-04-16
Category: International, United States,Opinion/Commentary,Politics
India needs a strong leader, strong nation (Column Political Calculus)
I am a human being - Homo sapiens. But does that mean I am poor, brutish, nasty and small? That is what Thomas Hobbes had thought. Machiavelli's prince had also said that if you want to control people, the masses, the electorate - then you've to keep a whip in your hand like the ringmaster in a circus. Only a strong leader can control the mobocracy.
2019-04-14
Category: India, Delhi,National,Opinion/Commentary,Politics
The flawed narrative on Kashmir (Column: Spy's Eye)
The debate on Kashmir has produced a crop of 'experts' whose analysis is in many cases tinted by their political alignment. In the run-up to the 2019 General Election, the issue of handling of Kashmir by the Centre and the connected question of India's Pakistan policy figure prominently in the opposition's attack on the government. In essence, the stand of the Modi regime was that the prime challenge in Kashmir was to counter the cross-border terrorism instigated by Pakistani agencies from across the LOC and prevent the latter from converting some vulnerable young minds in the Valley to the path of the gun in support of the infiltrated terrorists - all in the name of faith. The narrative on Kashmir whipped up by the opposition is silent on three important aspects of the issue - these have to be explained so that the distortion these gaps produced in the Kashmir story is understood.
2019-04-14
Category: India, New Delhi,National,Opinion/Commentary,Kashmir,Terrorism
Priyanka preparing UP for 2022, Rahul the Congress for 2024 (Comment)
It is true that there are no permanent enemies or permanent friends in politics. But this Machiavellian law is clearly not applicable when a coalition of parties is in the midst of an existential battle. No one can grudge the Congress partys desire to revive, but fighting the main enemy, in this case the BJP, and at the same time firing lethal rounds at allies has created bad blood among coalition partners.
2019-04-13
Category: India, New Delhi,National,Opinion/Commentary,Dangal 2019,Politics
Political parties need to focus on issue-based election campaigning (Column: Active Voice)
The Indian elections that kicked off on Thursday are a democratic exercise the likes of which the world has never seen. In the worlds largest democratic practice, around 900 million voters - more than the combined population of all the European countries, across 543 constituencies will cast their votes to decide the fate of political parties.
2019-04-13
Category: India, New Delhi,National,Opinion/Commentary,Business/Economy,Dangal 2019,Politics
Focus needs to be on creatng hard and soft infra (Column: Behind Infr Lines)
It is crucial for the government to keep pushing towards more effective growth-oriented policy framing and implementation in India.
2019-04-13
Category: India, New Delhi,National,Opinion/Commentary,Business/Economy
Enclave dwellers vote in large numbers in Cooch Behar
Cooch Behar (West Bengal), April 11 (IANS) Despite all their woes, the residents of the 51 former Bangladeshi enclaves in West Bengal's Cooch Behar district exercised their franchise in a peaceful manner amid instances of sporadic violence in the region on Thursday.
2019-04-11
Category: India, West Bengal,National,Dangal 2019,Opinion/Commentary
Digital Content Renders Cinematograph Act Obsolete (Column: B Town)
When a fad invades India, it does so in hordes. May it be mobile manufacturers, car makers, and so on and so forth. But, now, we have a line-up of streaming content providers. They enjoy an open, unhindered run on your small screens.
2019-04-07
Category: India, New Delhi,National,Opinion/Commentary
Congress manifesto a mirage not reality (Column: Political Calculus)
After I finished reading the 55-page Congress manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, I suddenly remembered a scene in the famous political satire British sitcom, 'Yes Prime Minister'.
2019-04-07
Category: India, Goa,National,Opinion/Commentary,Politics
Mission 2019: Ensuring payments and price transparency (Column: Behind Infra Lines)
The importance of the flow of capital into the power and housing sectors in India cannot be overemphasised. Recent developments in both sectors once again bring to the fore the critical issues of effective payment mechanisms and price transparency as vital factors to boost the economy.
2019-04-06
Category: International, Pakistan,National,Opinion/Commentary,Business/Economy
Will BJP listen to Advani's advice? (Column: Political Circus)
It would have been better if L.K. Advani had given his excellent advice to his party men about their attitude towards other parties before being denied a Lok Sabha ticket.
2019-04-06
Category: India, New Delhi,National,Opinion/Commentary,Religion
Rather than NYAY, strengthen public services landscape (Column: Active Voice)
The idea of launching Nyuntam Aay Yojana, a cash transfer scheme that intends to provide Rs 72,000 per year to the poorest 20 per cent Indian families, by the Congress Party if it comes to power, has stirred a debate among the policymakers about whether the move is economically viable or is just a tactic by the Congress Party to garner votes in the upcoming general elections.
2019-04-06
Category: India, New Delhi,National,Opinion/Commentary,Business/Economy
Congress manifesto gives one signal, fighting Left another (Comment)
Rahul Gandhi's choice of Wayanad as his constituency in south India has set tongues wagging. Is this an insurance just in case there is a shock reversal in Amethi? Since he is fighting the BJP in the company of regional parties, is the Amethi-Wayanad arc designed to give him, and his party, an all India aura?
2019-04-06
Category: India, New Delhi,National,Opinion/Commentary,Politics