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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››
Lost between caste and politics - Shivaji Sarkar, Pioneer
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 - Kanwal Sibal, Mail Today
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 - Uday Balakrishnan, Business Line
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 - Sanjeev Choudhary, Economic Times
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 - Ravi Shankar, NewIndianExpress
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 - Akhileshwar Pathak, Financial Express
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 - Jaimini Bhagwati, Business Standard
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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Terror’s godfather - Bruce Riedel, Indian Express
Hamid Gul, the former head of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence spy agency, who passed away on August 15, was the epitome of a Pakistan army officer who became an advocate and supporter of the global jihad. His legacy is an army that remains both a patron and a victim of terror. South Asia and the world are more dangerous thanks to his years of duplicity and violence. Gul died at the age of 78 in Murree. He joined the Pakistan army in 1956 and fought in the 1965 and 1971 wars with India as a tank commander.
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The meaning of India’s second IT boom - V Sridhar, Business Line
Compass, the Silicon Valley-based startup monitoring agency, just released its report: The global start-up ecosystem ranking 2015 , and we have every reason to be proud. The report ranks Bengaluru at 15, four places above its 2012 ranking. Bengaluru’s inflow of venture capital in 2014 amounted to approximately $2.25 billion, ranking seventh in VC investment among the top 20. According to, Sequoia Capital India, which raised its fourth India-focused fund worth $530 million last year...
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Technology-led innovation is the key to US entrepreneurial dominance - Vinod Dham, Economic Times
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his Independence Day address on Saturday, exhorted India to ‘Start Up’ and ‘Stand Up’, urging a fresh sense of urgency be infused into Indian entrepreneurship on the lines of the startups already changing the way business is conducted in the country. Even before the prime minister’s call this weekend, there has been much talk about innovation — or the lack thereof — in India. I would like to provide a perspective from Silicon Valley...
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