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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››
Forward and together in progress - Narendra Modi & Barack Obama, Washington Post
As nations committed to democracy, liberty, diversity and enterprise, India and the United States are bound by common values and mutual interests. We have each shaped the positive trajectory of human history, and through our joint efforts, our natural and unique partnership can help shape international security and peace for years to come. Ties between the United States and India are rooted in the shared desire of our citizens for justice and equality. When Swami Vivekananda presented Hinduism as a world religion...
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To Supreme Court, with anger, pain and shame - Surjit S Bhalla, Indian Express
The recent decision of the Supreme Court to deliver coal black justice raises a lot of questions. The judgment, very simply, is as follows. The SC has ruled that 214 of the 218 coal block allocations made since 1993 were arbitrary and illegal and hence, are cancelled; those who operated these cancelled mines over the last 20 years will now have to pay a fine of Rs 295 per metric tonne. Estimates are that to date, about 302 million metric tonnes (mmt) of coal has been produced...
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Modi vs the old elite - Tarun Vijay, Times of India
Prime Minister Narendra Modi achieved an unprecedented America vijay at Madison Square Garden, trouncing the Mahishasuras of despondency and voices of doom. His biggest victory is over a section of the highly visible and opinionated English speaking class, who had been biased against him for the last decade. It’s not just a visa-denying US, but the home-grown, rich and self-appointed guardians of pseudo-secular values that have seen their arrogance shredded and dust-binned.
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Dragon now has to deal with a different entity - Balbir Punj, Pioneer
The direction in which the Xi-Modi talks went made it clear that India under the new Prime Minister is willing to be gracious and accommodating only to the extent that it does not harm the country’s interest. When China’s President Xi Jinping  advanced his visit to India to be present at Ahmedabad on Prime Minster Narendra Modi’s birthday, political observers lauded it as an additional move by Beijing to woo India for the plan China was drawing for an Asian alliance around itself.
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Denationalize coal, produce gas along with it - SA Aiyar, Times of India
Denationalize coal. Auction all future coal blocks. Allow all winners to produce associated gas (methane) as well as coal. These should be the key features of a new coal policy, following the Supreme Court’s striking down of 214 coal block allocations since 1993. Many analysts call this a verdict against corruption. Actually, the court has cancelled the allocations as arbitrary and violative of the coal nationalization law, rejecting as flawed the attempt to create a loophole in 1993 through captive mining.
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The BJP’s new avatar - Varghese K George, Hindu
The appointment of Amit Shah as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president, followed by the constitution of a new parliamentary board, firmly announced the takeover of the BJP by a new generation, replacing the previous one. The transformation of the saffron party from the hopeless situation it found itself in May 2009 to the triumph of May 2014 has been phenomenal. In fact, until 2012, by when the anti-corruption movement inspired by Anna Hazare had gained traction, the BJP’s chances were bleak...
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Yes, it is rocket science! - Mukul Sharma, Economic Times
'What is red, is a planet and is the focus of my orbit?' read a playful tweet that officials of the Indian Space Research Organisation ( Isro) said via Twitter after India's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) was successfully inserted into Martian orbit and captured by the Red Planet's gravity. That happened after the MOM probe — also known as Mangalyaan, Sanskrit for 'Mars craft' — executed a 24-minute main engine burn sequence 300 days after its Earth launch in November last year. 
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Didi in a ditch - Dola Mitra, Outlook
One September afternoon in 2011, then Trinamool Congress MP Somen Mitra received a call on his cellphone. “Madam wants to see you immediately,” he was told. A livid Mamata Banerjee asked Mitra whether he had written any letter to then prime minister Manmohan Singh about a sudden spurt in chit fund companies in the state. When he admitted he had, she sternly told him it was none of his business, recalls Mitra. 
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Tibet: A 'problem' that India glossed over - Rajesh Singh, Pioneer
Spiritual leader Dalai Lama recently said that “Tibet’s problem is also India’s problem”. It’s a reminder which New Delhi would not solicit and would not want at a stage when it is warming up to China. It would not wish to antagonise Beijing by even mildly acknowledging the T issue — not after having taken the position that Tibet is part of China.
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Xi who must be obeyed - The Economist
THE madness unleashed by the rule of a charismatic despot, Mao Zedong, left China so traumatised that the late chairman’s successors vowed never to let a single person hold such sway again. Deng Xiaoping, who rose to power in the late 1970s, extolled the notion of “collective leadership”. Responsibilities would be shared out among leaders by the Communist Party’s general secretary; big decisions would be made by consensus. This has sometimes been ignored: Deng himself acted the despot in times of crisis. But the collective approach...
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