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Poverty of ideas - Arvind Panagariya, Economic Times
Evidence that poverty has declined since India began to liberalise in the 1980s, that the acceleration in growth to 8-9% range since the mid-2000s has resulted in accelerated poverty reduction and that these trends hold for each broad social group rather than just the aggregate population is as irrefutable as it gets in social sciences. In the accompanying graphic, taken from a recent study by Megha Mukim and the author... Read Full Article››
US election: For the cynical, of the cynical - Ashok Malik, Pioneer
Every leap year, the United States presidential election becomes the most watched such event in the world. The quantum of coverage only grows with each successive election, as media and social media capacities expand worldwide. Yet, this year the election has acquired a special significance due to a mix of factors. First, there are the compelling personalities — in their own ways, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are both polarising figures, with strong adherents and sceptics.
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Congress could fall foul of the BJP’s domino strategy - Minhaz Merchant, Mail Today
The mass defection of Arunachal Pradesh MLAs from the Congress to the BJP’s new political platform, the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), has long-term strategic implications. If the experiment works, it could be replicated elsewhere. A southern strategy dubbed SEDA, patterned on NEDA, is already in the works. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi made a politically fatal mistake by alienating the party’s Assam leader Himanta Biswa Sarma earlier this year, driving him into the BJP’s grateful arms.
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North Korea's troubling N-trajectory - Dr Rajaram Panda, Pioneer
After conducting the fourth nuclear test in January 2016 and a series of missile launches in subsequent months, North Korea stunned the world again by conducting the fifth nuclear test, suspected to be its largest ever, on September 9. As if it was not enough, it has threatened to test another one soon. It claimed to have successfully tested a miniaturised nuclear warhead and “standardised” to mount them on “strategic ballistic rockets”. The reasoning offered was to protect the nation against “threats and sanctions”...
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What the shattered AAP dream tells us about ourselves - Chetan Bhagat, Economic Times
A quick online check reveals an economy class return ticket to London costs Rs 45,000 for next week. A business class ticket, which gets you flat beds, lounges and exotic wines, costs around Rs 2 lakh. However, even this mode of travel was not good enough for one AAP minister, going by news reports. He preferred to travel first class, which is a whopping Rs 4 lakh to London. Of course, ministers don't pay for these tickets themselves.
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Father versus son versus uncle: War erupts in Samajwadi Party Parivar - Lalmani Verma, Indian Express
Deepening the family turf war in the ruling Samajwadi Party in the run-up to the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav Tuesday divested uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav of all ministerial portfolios after the latter replaced him as state party president on the instructions of SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. Earlier in the day, Akhilesh removed Chief Secretary Deepak Singhal, said to be close to Shivpal and named to the post barely...
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Special, by another name - M Venkaiah Naidu, Indian Express
The curtains have finally come down on the issue of granting special category state (SCS) status to Andhra Pradesh with the Centre announcing a special package for the state. Merely according SCS status to Andhra Pradesh will not help in removing the state’s backwardness. It will also not address the problems Andhra Pradesh has been beset with after Telangana was carved out. However, had the Centre not been constrained by legal and administrative factors — the non-inclusion of the SCS provision...
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A new chapter in India-US ties - Manan Dwivedi, Pioneer
Anurag Mathur’s famous novel The Inscrutable Americans describes in detail how India and the US perceived each other a couple of decades back. Symbols and scenarios have changed since then. There is always symbolism attached to firming up and rejuvenating parched partnerships between twin nationalities and letting go of disparaging and belittling incidents. When the buck stops on the diplomatic mantlepiece of defense ties, then the bilateral equation shimmers forth in a novae manner.
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Bringing all Indians online - Pioneer
Fifteen years have passed since the last time Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries Limited entered the Indian telecom market for the first time. A lot of water have passed underneath the bridge since then, most importantly the elder Ambani brother giving up his telecommunications dream to his younger brother as part of a family settlement. But even before the family split, Reliance Communications’ initial promise had petered out, and today, the company, while a global leader in international data traffic...
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The Parable Of PK - Chetan Bhagat, Times of India
Imagine you live in a colony of row houses. You have a big family with modest means. Somehow you make it work, taking everyone’s view into account. Your family’s young generation is trying its best to come up in life, works hard and is optimistic. Imagine also that your immediate neighbour is PK. PK is poorer, less educated. PK doesn’t run his house with democracy, but rules with a stick. PK doesn’t like to change. PK sees you rise and sees an even better future ahead of you.
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Brain Stormer: PM's Balochistan Concern-Is it a good idea? - Pioneer
The 70th Independence Day speech delivered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi echoed concern for people suffering in Pakistan’s Balochistan Province as also in Gilgit and Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK). Never in the history of I-Day speeches made by any previous PM’s had referred to these issues which normally are a part of the long drawn zones of confrontation between the two neighbours.
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