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Lost between caste and politics

It is impossible to get any work done in Uttar Pradesh unless one is from a particular community or able to grease the right quarters in the political corridors. No wonder, the State remains in shambles, despite its potential in terms of skilled labour and progressive farmers. Uttar Pradesh remains a laggard in Team India as it is bogged down by family, caste and communal politics. Despite high potential, in terms of skilled labour, forward-looking farmers, and entrepreneurs...
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India's great diplomacy coup in the UAE

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s August 16-17 visit to the UAE was surprisingly productive. Even accounting for developments in West Asia that threaten the stability of the GCC countries and oblige them to look differently at the issue of religious extremism, the convergence between India and the UAE on the subject of terrorism is politically remarkable. India, long a victim of jihadi terrorism promoted by Pakistan, has not obtained any support on this issue from the GCC countries all these years.
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Time for a Kerala model 2.0

Not many know that Kerala, better known for its militant labour, ayurveda and backwater tourism, is also home to world-class hi-tech industries employing highly skilled workers in thousands. Two of these stand out — Terumo-Penpol in Thiruvananthapuram, among the largest manufacturers of blood bags globally and Dentcare Dental Lab, Asia’s biggest manufacturer of precision dental prosthetics located in non-descript Muvathupuza about 40 km from Ernakulam. Both these world-beating companies...
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By stealing enemy’s strategy, Nitish admits Modi connects better with Bihar

A crushing defeat can shake generals, make them question their strategy, wear away their confidence, and even kill their ambition. As the crushed general, Nitish Kumar probably went through all this in the agonizing days and months following the May 2014 defeat. One thing he probably realized that his voters were not quite what he presumed them to be. He probably also realized that he was not quite what he presumed himself to be. Before the general elections, Nitish seemed too sure of his electoral arithmetic...
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Out with the Dirty

The Nobel Prize has a singular sheen of its own. It glows like a luminous halo, laminating a personality or an organisation with its glory. As you read this, India’s coquettish climate commando, R K Pachauri, will be enjoying the balmy climes of Japan and China to yaw yaw on environmental threats, quaffing champagne and attending high-profile banquets. And the girl he allegedly sexually harassed for a year until he was exposed in February, who felt repulsed by the 74-year-old climatologist’s...
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Consumer Protection Bill, 2015: Countering unfair contracts

Towards the close of the monsoon session of Parliament, the government introduced the Consumer Protection Bill, 2015, in the Lok Sabha. The Bill is aimed to replace the pre-liberalisation era Consumer Protection Act, 1986. In these 30 years, there has been an expansion of the list of goods and services available to the consumer, the coming of e-commerce, vigorous sales promotion and aggressive advertising.
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Promote competitive federalism

The monsoon session of the Indian Parliament was washed out with no forward movement on any significant piece of legislation. This is another low point for Parliament, which was commented upon as "an arena of combat" by the President in his address to the nation on 14 August. It is time to ponder the way forward, even as we wait for less self-serving political parties to emerge. The so-called Indian National Congress (INC) does not meet the requirements of a national Opposition since it appears...
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Lead Story
Welcome infra push - Business Line
What India should do now - Suman Bery, Business Standard
PV Narasimha Rao: The sanskritist prime minister - Hindustan Times
Sex, lies and vilification: Sheena Bora’s murder and the stench of yellow journalism - Shuma Raha, Times of India
Gujarat’s Patel community doesn’t need quota - Pioneer
On borders, Rahul slams Modi for the troubles! - Pioneer
How much is Sonia Gandhi worth? - Ashali Varma, Times of India
Trai-ing not to drop calls - Financial Express
A KISS of change - Bibek Debroy, Financial Express
Missing the bigger picture on OROP - Raghu Raman, Hindu
Aadhaar and its implicit bargains - Praveen Chakravarty, Mint
Curious agitations - Mint
The empire strikes back: how the system spawned Hardik Patel - Swagato Ganguly, Times of India
Lost between caste and politics - Shivaji Sarkar, Pioneer
China’s complexity problem - Stephen S Roach, Financial Express
NITI Aayog right in looking at more private providers - Financial Express
Time for a Kerala model 2.0 - Uday Balakrishnan, Business Standard
Oil price drops raise fears of unrest - Clifford Krauss & Rick Gladstone, Bus Std
Let’s track the small bangs - Bibek Debroy, Indian Express
Pak tests India's patience for talks - Vineeta Pandey, Pioneer
NSA talks must happen - Pioneer
Emerging powers on the prowl - Mayuri Mukherjee, Pioneer
Yakub Memon: A case for media as educators - V Raghunathan, Times of India
How Kalam’s role helped avert ‘Hindu bomb’ tag - Chidanand Rajghatta, ToI
Should politics simmer in caste cauldron? - Balbir Punj, NewIndianExpress
Why we need a time-use survey - Bibek Debroy, Indian Express
Indian Universities: Decline by degrees - Upinder Singh, Hindu
As China falters, foreign investors put bets on India - Hindustan Times
Payments banks can unlock Rs 14 lakh crore funds - Hindustan Times
India needs efficient project management rather than more projects - Economic Times
To power the economy, lighten NPC burden - Pioneer
India’s cityscape makeover plan takes first baby steps - Financial Express
The price of privatisation - Anjuli Bhargava, Business Standard
Banking: Online way - Financial Express
Why inflation fell in India - Surjit S Bhalla, Financial Express
A stronger rupee makes sense now - Ritesh Kumar Singh, Business Line
Technology for the silent majority - Ram Menon, Business Line
A banking revolution - Subir Roy, Business Standard
Falling prices an opportunity for quick reforms in oil and gas - Business Standard
Highway developers to plough back money in infra sector - Dipak K Dash, ToI
The payments banks revolution - Sumita Kale, Mint
Spectrum sharing rules: A missed opportunity - Financial Express
In Delhi, privatisation of power has failed - Sandhya Jain, Pioneer
The right recipe for Indian Railways - Raghu Dayal, Financial Express
No end to call problems - Business Standard
China storm roils global markets - Devangshu Datta, Business Standard
Exit bull, chased by Chinese bear? - Manas Chakravarty, Mint
The curious case of rising onion prices - Anil Padmanabhan, Mint
Making sense of inflation in India - Sajjid Z Chinoy, Mint
Govt proposes loan swap for discoms - Sidhartha, Times of India
Swords drawn over call drop in India - RK Sinha, Pioneer
Foxconn is a giant leap for Maharashtra - Vinaya Deshpande, Sunday Guardian
Mysterious charm of Seven Sisters entices foreigners - Pioneer
Dropping call drops - Financial Express
Govt push helps investment cycle pick-up in June quarter - Dev Chatterjee, Business Standard
Rajan is right: Salaried class can't afford a house - Joydeep Ghosh & Krishna Kant, Business Standard
The better corporation - Lucy P Marcus, Mint
NPAs at 'unacceptable' level for public sector banks: FM Arun Jaitley - ET
The Neighbourhood/World
The story so far: Weak Yuan, bellicose China - Claude Arpi, Pioneer
Nepal: Blaming India for constitutional logjam unfair - Pioneer
The political risks in China’s economic crisis - Mint
If China is brewing a global recession, this will shake Asia’s geopolitical order - Swagato Ganguly, Times of India
Loudspeakers and the Korean crisis - Gwynne Dyer, Pioneer
The new ‘two Chinas’ question - Richard N Haass, Mint
Why China's leadership has lost considerable credibility - Business Standard
Another global crisis? - Abheek Barua, Business Standard
Palmyra pounded: Why ISIS is a threat to our world order - Shuma Raha, ToI
China's President Xi Jinping’s bid to reform economy, consolidate power just got tougher - Rajeev Deshpande, Times of India
Germany leads the way in medical courses & work, doctors start earning a stipend of €4,000 - Ishani Duttagupta, Economic Times
Chinese tremors - Subir Gokarn, Business Standard
India-Pak: No alternative to talks - Hindu
The Korean conundrum - Hindu
NSA talks nixed, all eyes on next India-Pakistan engagement - Indrani Bagchi, ToI
Wickremesinghe factor - Pioneer
When Persian Gulf meets Arabian Gulf against ISIS - M Mahtab Alam Rizbi, Pioneer
Opinion within Pakistan: Save the talks from dying - Omer Farooq Khan, ToI
In a first, women register for vote in Saudi - Adam Withnall, Times of India
Emerging Asia can't just rely on China - William Pesek, Business Standard
Europe's migration crisis - Claude Smadja, Business Standard
Sri Lankan verdict good for India - Deccan Chronicle
Dilma Rousseff and the Peter principle - Gwynne Dyer, Pioneer
China’s investment in Mahinda Rajapaksa has backfired - Brahma Chellaney, HT
Ashraf Ghani and India-Afghanistan narrative - Pioneer

The spy who led Pak’s deep state , Hamid Gul  - Asian Age

‘Hinduism studies in the U.S. cannot be dismissed’ , Rajiv Malhotra & Richard Fox Young  - Sunday Guardian

The uncrowned cycle king , OP Munjal  - Business Standard

Bihar will be smooth sailing for BJP , GVL Narasimha Rao  - NewsRoomPost

RSS wants corruption-free govt – but it’s easy to make false allegations against BJP leaders , Seshadri Chari, Member of BJP’s National Executive  - Times of India

Oppn is disturbing without homework or exit route , Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi  - Indian Express

11 crore members is no wild claim , P Muralidhar Rao  - Indian Express

‘Digital economy has its own set of rules’ , Paul X McCarthy  - Business Line



India is run by politicians, tycoons and bureaucrats, but there is a Superclub that discreetly dominates the national agenda. They are Nobel Prize winners like Amartya Sen, who quit Nalanda University after allegations of irregularities and nepotism, and ‘human rights’ activists like Teesta Setalvad and convicted Naxal sympathisers such as Binayak Sen. They bask in the luxury of dollars and euros, receive prestigious awards and grants, and have more air miles with junkets than the square meals an average Indian gets. Mesmerised by their intelligentsia cachet, it is the only cosy club the political class woos with corporate-funded think tank and government committee positions. Together they form the Establishment, which the ordinary Indian cannot beat.
Ravi Shankar

Lens Blogs

Modi's victory: One man who achieved the impossible -AS THE NATION awaits the prime minister-designate Narendra Modi to take over the reins of office at the Centre, it is instructive to understand the meaning of the 2014 verdict... more ››

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India and UAE: A thali of prospects - Talmiz Ahmad, Asian Age
Let’s track the small bangs - Bibek Debroy, Indian Express
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Soft News

Liquid smoke: Makes food more palatable

At Rajdhani’s thali restaurant in Mumbai they do a neat trick. The waiter brings a tray with a glowing hot lump of coal on which he pours ghee. It splutters and smokes and he quickly turns a metal tumbler over it to capture the fumes. Moments later he turns it around and before the smoke coiling inside can escape he pours in cool buttermilk.
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Dreaming up a 5G world

India might still be contemplating the advent of 4G, but in many parts of the world the chatter has moved up a notch to 5G. One thing that was clear from a session on 5G technologies at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco was that 5G would mean much more than faster internet. And in that sense it will be game-changing. Or should we say life-changing?
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The 'drinkable' book

A book with pages that can be used to filter murky drinking water has seen success in its first field trials. The so-called "drinkable book" features treated paper which can be torn out and used to kill bacteria in water, as well as printed information on the importance of filtering drinking water. The pages contain nano-particles of silver or copper which wipe out dangerous...
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Harappan culture and the truant horse

Is this then the end of our story? Not quite. The Mature Harappan culture (after about 2,500 BC) saw extensive brick construction, cultivation and use of rice and cotton, use of silver and of fixed brick altars, none of which is known to the Rig Veda - though the latter does mention other construction materials (stone, metal, wood), other cereals...
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