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CMs rightly fear misuse of anti-terror centre - BS Raghavan, Business Line
The seven Chief Ministers who have protested against the nature and scope of functions entrusted to the National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) are absolutely right in sounding the alarm. First of all, an organisation of such far-reaching impact should not come into being without its objectives and powers having been comprehensively discussed in a conference of the Chief Ministers. They have vital stakes in protecting their respective States and the country as a whole against terrorist attacks. Read Full Article››
The twain shall meet - Ram Madhav, Indian Express
When the Jammu and Kashmir BJP gave the call for “Mission 44+” during the run up to the assembly elections in the state, we had our own assessments and calculations for how we could achieve it. We foresaw various post-poll scenarios and worked on different permutations and combinations. But frankly, not even once did we think of a situation where we would be joining hands with the PDP. Something that was unthinkable and unimaginable has happened. Today, J&K has a coalition government led jointly by the PDP and the BJP.
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Jaitley's bold new trajectory - Rajiv Kumar, Mail Today
I was full of trepidation because of the huge expectations from the Budget. This was clearly a make or break Budget for the Modi Government as it would have lost the benefit of the doubt, which it has enjoyed until now. Moreover, the fear was that with the electoral outcome in Delhi, the Government could get scared and veer away from the path of reforms. It is indeed to the credit of the Government that they have proven our fears to be unfounded. The Budget is replete with forward looking and reformist measures...
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Independent India’s first federal budget - Haseeb A Drabu, Mint
The first full-year budget of Arun Jaitley is what the Indian Constitution is meant to be: unitary in form and federal in spirit. The Union Budget for 2015 is arguably independent India’s first federal budget. No budget in recent memory or distant history has transferred this magnitude of financial resources to the states as this budget has done—not even in 1974-75 when the share of states in excise duty was doubled. This, the stated position of cooperative federalism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi...
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Thank You Narendra Modi - Rev. Valson Thampu, Niti Central
Last night I slept well. Because of you. I want to thank you for what you said in the Parliament. And the way you said it. It was exorcism of sorts. Demons must flee so that humans can remain. And normalcy return.  You spoke with a sort of ritualistic vehemence. Nothing less would have sufficed. Every word was in the right place. It is long since we, as Indians, heard anyone proclaim, “The Constitution is our scripture” or “The welfare of all is our religion”. I believe firmly (and I have been, for long, one of your critics as you know)...
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Suresh Prabhu, the Railway star - TN Ninan, Business Standard
We have a new star in the government, and his name is Suresh Prabhu. If you want to read an intelligent, purposeful, well-crafted speech that conveys clarity of thought even as it brims over with ideas and policy initiatives on every front, please read Thursday’s railway budget speech. Compare it with the speeches of previous railway ministers, with their endless lists of new train services, and you will immediately see the difference between political posturing and a professional, organizational approach.
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My land is more vital than your national project - Sandip Sen, Economic Times
My farm land is non-negotiable. Damn a national project ? Right Mr Kejiriwal, Anna Hazare, Medha Patkar, Lalu, Mulayam, Sharad Yadav and Nitish and of course Sonia Gandhi and others who oppose the revision in land bill. The opposition gang up is to stop the recently elected BJP make good its development promise. The existing law passed by the UPA would make it impossible for national projects ( not necessarily private projects ) to take off, thus ending the policy paralysis of the UPA Government.
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Rail budget: Full steam ahead - Mint
No new trains. No increase in passenger fares. Four goals. Five drivers. 11 thrust areas. That is the topline of the railway budget presented by Suresh Prabhu on Thursday. It is the budget that has the potential to be transformational—by increasing capacity and improving technology on the supply side, by improving quality of service on the demand side, and by focusing on transparency and efficiency on the operational side.
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With FinComm recommendations, Centre-state relations set to undergo dramatic change - Arvind Panagariya, Times of India
Any big change requires big ideas, decisive leadership and happy coincidence of circumstances. Nothing illustrates this better than the unfolding story of cooperative federalism in India. As chief minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi had often argued that the central government implemented schemes were at odds with the state’s needs and priorities. For example, schemes that provided funds for electrification were at best of limited value to Gujarat since...
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Me and my mandate - Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Indian Express
Deep metaphysical truths about politics often emerge in a hyper-politicised state like Bihar. I remember a conversation with a group of Nitish Kumar supporters who were upset when he broke his alliance with the BJP. One interlocutor said, “Inka gunah hai ke yeh paristhiti mein aur apne mein bhed nahin kar pa rahe hain (his besetting sin is that he cannot distinguish between his circumstances and himself)”. Politicians are vulnerable when they are unable to distinguish what is due to circumstances...
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Nalanda’s cosy club - Ashok Malik, IndianExpress
In the heat of the moment, it is easy to lose perspective. Let us step back and consider what the Nalanda University project is all about. Nalanda University and the South Asian University (SAU) were conceived by the UPA government as world-class institutions that, while being located in India, would be outside the purview of the University Grants Commission and government regulations. This special dispensation was meant to allow these universities to draw on government of India funding but recruit international faculty and students...
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