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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››
The oil games - Bhaskar Chakravorti, Indian Express
Saudi airstrikes in Yemen. An incoherent war on the Islamic State. A chill wind blowing away trace memories of an Arab Spring. And now, a framework nuclear agreement with Iran. A region that can simultaneously set the direction of the global economy, global politics and global climate has rarely seemed as full of contradiction: breakthrough is juxtaposed with impasse, conflict and failure. Of course, aside from the historical and geopolitical significance of the Middle East, the key link between the region...
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From PMO to Bharti Airtel - Sunil Jain, Financial Express
On the face of things, there is little common between the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and telecom major, but both are losing the perception battle – the PMO on the land acquisition Bill and Bharti Airtel on its Airtel Zero product. None of this has to do with the intrinsic properties of their propositions – the land Bill will benefit the country, including farmers, and Airtel Zero allows those without data plans to access certain websites/apps with the payments to be made by companies such as Flipkart (before it withdrew). 
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The key is technology, not money - D Raghunandan, Hindu
India’s notorious dependence on imported military hardware and the near moribund state of large parts of its public sector defence industry represent a full-blown crisis crying for a solution. India is the world’s largest arms importer and, with at least two decades of not replacing or upgrading obsolescent equipment through either purchases or indigenous manufacture, is on course now to spend around $30 billion in the next few years, and $200 billion in the medium term.
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Stalin 'dealt with' Netaji on London’s request - Madhav Nalpat, SundayGuardian
Only an examination of records in London and Moscow on the basis of an official request by the Narendra Modi government would reveal the truth, or otherwise, of this assertion (assuming that these be accurate and not doctored in a cover-up bid). But the same sources claim that Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin was asked by UK Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin through Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov to "ensure that Bose never returned to India and was never heard from again". According to them, "because of Bose's policy of collaboration with...
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How Narendra Modi reworked Rafale deal, and why it’s a winner - Indrani Bagchi, Time of India
Two themes dominated Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision to do an outright buy of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft from France — national security and cutting through bureaucratic red tape. In the process, India was able to get better terms for the fighters, which has been hanging fire for the past few years. The Indian Air Force has been raising red flags over the appalling lack of India's defence preparedness for some time. But this time, the Air chief received...
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Ramalinga Raju’s fall from grace - Yogendra Kalavalapalli, Mint
Byrraju Ramalinga Raju was one of the poster boys of India’s information technology (IT) industry and the company he built, Satyam Computer Services Ltd, was a fabled entrepreneurial success story until his descent into infamy six years ago. On 7 January 2009, Raju wrote in a letter to the board of directors that he had been systematically inflating revenue and profits for many years—a confession that set off panic among Satyam’s investors and unnerved its employees...
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'We have restored India's global credibility in terms of its politics, governance & economy' - Sanjoy Narayan & Shishir Gupta, Hindustan Times
The first 10 months of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's term have been eventful. They've been marked by high-profile international diplomacy-visits to India by US President Barack Obama and China's Xi Jinping, Modi's own visits to the US and the G20 summit, and his reaching out to SAARC. At home too, there have been stormy sessions in Parliament, the new government's first full Budget, and mixed results for his party in state and local body elections.
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Some prime judicial questions in India - Mint
Conferences of chief justices of high courts and chief ministers are staid affairs. Judicial and executive leaders get together for chitchat and avoid saying anything controversial. There is some talk of pendency of cases in courts and the gathering disperses until the next such occasion. Judges don’t publicly say anything against politicians. The latter are in any case chary of criticizing judges. What happened at this forum on Sunday was very unusual. Prime Minister Narendra Modi touched upon one big taboo subject...
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AIIB: Dragon power on display - Jayan Jose Thomas, Hindu
China appears to be on course to reset the existing global economic order dominated by the West. The setting up of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a multilateral financial institution, is a significant step in this direction, challenging the long-held dominance of the Bretton Woods system. Formed largely with Chinese capital and initiative, AIIB aims to fund infrastructure projects across Asia. Indications are that this new multilateral bank could rival the World Bank...
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Pakistan: Falling off our map - Ashok Malik, Times of India
Everybody likes attention, and when suddenly deprived of it is upset, befuddled and quick to blame others. This is a common human predicament. In a sense, it is an apt description for Pakistan’s understanding of India in the 10 months the Narendra Modi government has been in office. To Pakistan’s mind, the signals from the Modi government have been confusing. In May 2014, there was the invitation to the swearing-in ceremony. A few weeks later, there was a sledgehammer (in pure military terms, disproportionate)...
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