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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››
Dynasty's ruthless land-grab operation - Swapan Dasgupta, Pioneer
A few passage from All These Years (Penguin Books, 1991), Raj Thapar’s candid insider account of court life in the age of Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi may be relevant in today’s irreverent age when an outsider Prime Minister is questioning the fundamentals of entitlement. “It was within ten days of Nehru’s death that Indira rang Romesh (Thapar) one morning, sounding desperate. Meher Chand Khanna, the then Housing Minister, had apparently sent his minions...
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Moving into South Asia - T N Ninan, Business Standard
In 1991, when India launched its economic reforms, China's economy was about 50 per cent bigger than India's. By 2000, the Chinese economy had grown to two-and-a-half times India's size. Now it is five times as big. That is about the size relationship that India has today with the United Arab Emirates, or Colombia, when it comes to relative gross domestic product. 
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No low tide for the Modi wave - Vir Sanghvi, HindustanTimes
Every time the BJP comes to power in New Delhi, there is a battle for the heart and soul of the party all across India. It happened when AB Vajpayee was prime minister. And it is happening now that Narendra Modi heads the government. The best way to understand the recent by-election results is to view them from the perspective of the battle within the party. This battle follows a pattern that is now familiar to us. A BJP prime minister takes office. 
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Scaling up the Gujarat model - Jagdish Bhagwati, Hindu
Prime Minister Narendrabhai Modi — the suffix “bhai” which is used in Gujarat where I am known as Jagdishbhai, is surely derived from the Turkish “bey” and is not merely customary usage but also serves to remind us of centuries of intermingling of Muslim and Hindu cultures and religions in Gujarat — has completed his first 100 days in office. How do we assess his record till date and what advice can we offer him as he settles into his role as the most remarkable Prime Minister we have had since the days of Jawaharlal Nehru?
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The fading left: Once-mighty red bastion crumbles in West Bengal - Anurag Dey, IANS
From being virtually invincible to being rendered an also ran, the year 2014 has been a tale of the withering away of the Communist-led Left Front (LF) in its once impregnable West Bengal bastion. Already facing serious questions about its existence after the Lok Sabha polls, where it won just two of the state's 42 seats, the LF-spearhead Communist Party of India-Marxist saw both its candidates...
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'Crony capitalism delayed projects' - Pawan Bali, Asian Age
You have blamed former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the 2G and the coal scams? Suppose I am the CAG, i.e. I head an institution, and something goes wrong in that institution. Immediately there are demands that the head of the institution must resign. Last year there were two-three accidents involving naval ships and the poor Chief of the Navy had to resign. He didn’t do the wrong himself, but the top man of that organisation ultimately lands up taking responsibility and blame for anything that is going wrong.
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Destination Mars - Hari Pulakkat, Economic Times
It is a tiny spacecraft by interplanetary standards, but size does not matter in this endeavour. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is not trying to do exotic scientific experiments on Mars at the moment. This mission is simply to test the organisation's ability to take something all the way up to Mars, keep it in good health during the journey, and make it go around the planet. Doing experiments while orbiting Mars is useful, but it is not the core part of the mission. 
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Towards 100 smart cities - Ashok Gulati & Astha Ummat, Financial Express
Today, roughly 400 million Indians live in urban areas and, by 2030, this number is likely to touch 600 million. Experts tell us that to house these people properly, India needs to build one Chicago every year. How we build these new cities will decide the quality of life for us and our children. It poses a big challenge, but if handled properly, it can be a major opportunity to create millions of jobs, raise our productivity, and improve our lives for good. And herein lies the vision of the Modi government when it talks...
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China, Asia’s water hegemon - Brahma Chellaney, Mint
Asia’s water resources are largely transnational, making inter-country cooperation and collaboration essential. Yet the vast majority of the 57 transnational river basins in continental Asia have no water-sharing arrangement or any other cooperative mechanism. This troubling reality has to be seen in the context of the strained political relations in several Asian sub-regions. The river basins in continental Asia that have a treaty-based sharing arrangement currently in place are the Al-Asi/Orontes (Lebanon-Syria)...
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Towards an Asian century of prosperity - Xi Jinping, Hindu
My first visit to this ancient and magic land was 17 years ago, a time when the Indian economy was undergoing reform and beginning to show new vitality in growth. The market was booming in Mumbai, the economic centre. Bangalore was becoming increasingly famous as India’s Silicon Valley. And Bollywood movies and yoga were popular throughout the world. Its people were full of expectations and the ancient civilisation was rejuvenated.
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