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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››
Let there be light - Bibek Debroy, Economic Times
Unless your general knowledge is particularly good, you may not have heard of Gbadolite, as opposed to Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Gbadolite is the capital of the country's Nord-Ubangi district. More importantly, it was the ancestral home and residence of ex-President Mobutu Sese Seko, president of Zaire (DRC's former name), between 1965 and 1997.
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The collegium has now become nothing more than a cabal - Abhishek Sudhir, Hindu
The very credibility of the judiciary is at stake after recent allegations of misconduct against judges. The time is now ripe for reforming the process of judicial appointments to ensure that the judiciary is accountable to the public and free from interference. Justice Markandey Katju, a former judge of the Supreme Court and no stranger to controversy, has once again set the cat among the pigeons by alleging that three former Chief Justices of India made...
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Mandal vs Kamandal yet again - Badri Narayan, Mint
The striking feature of the 2014 parliamentary elections was that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Sangh Parivar used that potent mix of “communal consciousness” and “a promise of development”, especially in key electoral states of Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Bihar, to completely shatter the stranglehold of caste-based politics. They understood that communal politics will not succeed by itself but had to be linked with the growing desire for development among the common people.
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In 2005, PMO had pushed to get 'corrupt' judge made permanent - Dhananjay Mahapatra, Times of India
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had exerted pressure on the collegium headed by then Chief Justice of India R C Lahoti in June 2005 to confer permanent status to a Madras high court additional judge, referred to as "corrupt" by retired Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju. After the collegium unanimously decided not to continue with the services of Justice S Ashok Kumar after he completed the two-year period as additional judge...
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Modi must prioritise three things: Execution, execution, execution - Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar, Economic Times
Even if a Budget lacks any wow factor, as in Arun Jaitley's maiden effort, this hardly matters provided the government acts on the other 364 days of the year. The media are full of speculation of significant reforms on many fronts. But everything will depend on execution, no matter how good the ideas. Sonia Gandhi raised hopes when she made P Chidambaram finance minister and empowered him to accelerate growth. The Cabinet Committee on Investment cleared Rs 6 lakh crore worth of projects.
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Sonia tries to defuse N-Bomb - India Today
The Natwar bomb is yet to be dropped, but Congress president Sonia Gandhi has already dropped in to see the former external affairs minister. With Sonia was daughter Priyanka; they were with Singh at his Jor Bagh residence for almost an hour a few days ago. Sonia and Natwar haven't had a meaningful interaction since 2005, and certainly had a lot to talk about during their 50-minute meeting. The two have run into each other at a function or two, and in Central Hall of Parliament, but haven't exchanged any words.
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How a corrupt judge continued in Madras high court - Markandey Katju, Times of India
There was an additional judge of the Madras high court against whom there were several allegations of corruption. He had been directly appointed as a district judge in Tamil Nadu, and during his career as district judge there were as many as eight adverse entries against him recorded by various portfolio judges of the Madras high court. But one acting chief justice of Madras high court by a single stroke of his pen deleted all those adverse entries, and consequently he became an additional judge...
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Modi must find formula to dismantle monstrous diplomatic machinery - Prabhu Chawla, NewIndianExpress
In technical jargon, Track II always runs opposite to Track I. Moving parallel, they never meet. These trains of thought also end up at different platforms of the same station—precisely what has been happening with Indian diplomacy for the past few decades. Why and by who was Track II invented is anybody’s guess. While changes occur in governments, Track II members, promoters and financiers remain unchanged.
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No light at end of black money tunnel - Abhishek Bhalla, Mail Today
The government's black money probe seems to be heading towards a black hole. The Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up for this purpose doesn't seem to have the wherewithal to track the strong room where several Indians have stashed their thousands of crores of unaccounted money in banks abroad. The SIT, comprising top-notch investigators, headed by Justice (retired) M.B. Shah, has made no headway whatsoever to bring back the black money.
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Londonistan: What the UK is doing to Pakistani Muslims who live there - Khaled Ahmed, Indian Express
Multicultural United Kingdom is having problems with its expatriate Muslim community. Since a large plurality them are expat Pakistanis, one can talk about why the UK is hurting today in light of what Pakistan has already suffered under the Taliban onslaught. Former UK Education Secretary Michael Gove announced last month that the government would “require all 20,000 primary and secondary schools to promote British values”.
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