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India in the age of bread and circus - Siddharth Singh, Mint
It is the age of powerlessness at the Centre. For all practical purposes, a lame duck Manmohan Singh is presiding over a system where chief ministers call the shots. Nearly a dozen chief ministers, led by Mamata Banerjee, may have just ensured the freezing of the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC). And if any proof of the Union government’s weakness was required, the Prime Minister provided it himself. Read Full Article››
Tax Games - chasing money & power - Ajit Balakrishnan, Business Standard
If the action in the Indian taxation game were reported as passionately as our sports journalists report on IPL cricket, there would be a bonanza to be made in media ad revenues and subscriptions. Instead, bored reporters dutifully report meetings of state and central government officials to discuss arcane things like "GST" and "Service Tax". The reader of a newspaper or website barely glances at these news items, except when an enterprising minister or trade association manages to attach...
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App-roaching India’s digital transformation - Rajat Kathuria & Mansi Kedia, Financial Express
The announcements of the Digital India and Skill India missions are the prime minister’s twin promises to the youth of India for a better future. Both recognise the role technology must play—the Skill India initiative, that targets to skill over 400 million youth by 2022, gives a computer-screen the pride of place in its logo. Technology is permeating our lives and changing how we live and work. An outstanding example of this is the mobile phone (in all its varied sophistication levels and incarnations).
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Sense the Scorn - Malvika Singh, Telegraph
Since Parliament is not being allowed to function, is there some mechanism through which it can be adjourned to ensure that all members of parliament lose their salaries, subsidized meals and perks for betraying India with such deliberation? What we are witnessing is nothing short of shameful. It is hardly the legacy we would like to bequeath to our children. There are men and women in the Congress who would like to encourage dialogue and debate on the issues of corruption and malpractice...
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My colleague APJ Abdul Kalam , a karmayogi - S Nambi Narayanan, Times of India
When I got an interview call from from Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) in Thiruvananthapuram for the job of a technical assistant (design) in September, 1966, I knew precious little about the organization. A bunch of young people handpicked by Vikram Sarabhai were working out of an old church in the sleepy fishing village of Thumba in Thiruvananthapuram, with the common goal of making rockets. To know more, I went to a lodge called Indira Bhavan where some of the scientists were put up.
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Judiciary above suspicion in pronouncing justice, irrespective of blood colour of criminals - Prabhu Chawla, NewIndianExpress
Yakub Memon is not a religion. It’s a proper noun like other names, such as Kehar Singh who was hanged for the assassination of Indira Gandhi, and Renuka Shinde and sister Seema Gavit who are on death row for murdering five children. All of them belong to different faiths and communities. But they share one thing in common. All have committed the rarest of rare crimes and were sentenced to go to the gallows.
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Making the great digital leap forward - Sumit Mazumder, Business Line
Most social transformations occur on the pretext of a massive revolution, be it the industrial revolution or the digital revolution. Riding on the backbone of Digital India, the Union government is committed to transforming India into a digitally empowered, knowledge-based, inclusive society. The Digital India vision has placed technology at the core of our lives. Speedy implementation of the National Fibre Optic Network will enable more rural communities to benefit from the ecosystem of services...
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Congress will run out of steam - Ashok Malik, Times of India
This past week, Parliament barely functioned. Following a range of allegations, Congress refused to let the government go ahead with legislative business till external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj resigned. The quick inference was that Congress was paying back BJP in its own coin. Between 2004 and 2014, BJP had been a cussed opposition, at times boycotting Parliament for days on end and even causing the washout of an entire session. Superficially the situation this week was not dissimilar to that in several phases...
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The judges should have the last word on death sentences - Raghu Krishnan, Economic Times
In India where it takes over two decades for the final sentence to be passed on a heinous terrorist attack like the 1993 Bombay blasts (which happened before the city was renamed as Mumbai), the one thing which is not needed is for concepts like mercy petitions to become political footballs for manipulative politicians to score goals to further their own interests. Which makes one wonder whether this concept of mercy petitions is itself needed.
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Parliament must transact business, pass key bills to nurse economy back to health - Chandrajit Banerjee, Times of India
The monsoon session of Parliament has been keenly anticipated by Indian industry which depends on policymakers to set the framework for doing business. This session in particular is critical, given that a number of key legislations are keenly awaited. A stable and predictable investment climate arising from a well-functioning Parliament with time-bound procedures is central to our economic development aspirations. The last two Parliament sessions...
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Sonia’s Congress backs disruption in Parliament - Ashali Varma, Times of India
The monsoon session of parliament is the shortest, yet the very first day led to an adjournment in the Rajya Sabha. India’s parliament meets for just 67 days a year as opposed to the US Congress at 200 days and the British for 150 days. Perhaps this was fine for India at independence as there was cordial but dynamic debates and our leaders really did want democracy to work. This is no longer true. The fact that the Congress party feels that they have the high moral ground now is frightening considering...
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