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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 next Dalai Lama, handpicked by China? - Claude Arpi, Pioneer
According to Beijing, it is for the Communist Party of China to ‘decide’ on the incumbent Dalai Lama’s successor. The process and the result can be farcical, as has been the case with the Panchen Lama. A topic which was not on the agenda of Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his Chinese counterpart, State Councillor Yang Jiechi, the Special Representatives for the India-China boundary issue, but which is at the core of the relations between the two countries, is the future of the Dalai Lama’s institution after the demise...
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If Patel, not Nehru, had been PM... - SK Sinha, Asian Age
My generation was young at the time of Independence. We idolised Jawaharlal Nehru and took it for granted that he would be Prime Minister when India became Independent. His “Tryst with Destiny” speech in Parliament enthused us with much hope and confidence for the future at a time when the country was mired in the holocaust of Partition. Like Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, his oration was a classic. We were rather surprised to learn that 12 provincial Congress committees...
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The supremo culture in Indian polity - Pradeep Chhibber & Harsh Shah, Hindu
The ongoing controversy in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), between the pro-Kejriwal faction and other party leaders, over organisational matters raises two important questions that concern most political parties in India. The first — why do political parties in India have a tendency to centralise? And the second — why do leaders of these parties project themselves as “supremo,” or the ultimate authority? This “high command” culture is often attributed to political parties that are dynastic in nature.
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Some standout governance - AK Bhattacharya, Business Standard
Just before the current Budget session began in the third week of February, the big question before policy-makers was how the government would overcome the legislative logjam it faced in view of its lack of majority in the Rajya Sabha. As Parliament went into its scheduled recess from March 21 for about a month, the thought of a legislative logjam that had unnerved many in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government appears to be less of a worry.
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The IAS Russian roulette routine - Srivatsa Krishna, Times of India
The next time you meet an IAS officer, instead of going with the typecast view of him being lazy, incompetent, a file-pusher who’s rotten and corrupt, pause for a moment and step back. Try to understand the powerful, often invisible influences that shape his thoughts and actions, the puissant interplay of self-interest, perceived self-interest, self-preservation, ideology, maybe even inchoate experiences that shape his thoughts and actions.
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A bunch of hypocrites - Tavleen Singh, Indian Express
The opposition parties did the Prime Minister a favour last week with their silly ‘march’ to Rashtrapati Bhavan. As I watched the aged leaders totter up Raisina Hill under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi, I understood again why India gave Narendra Modi a full mandate. Not only was the protest march a relic of an older kind of politics, so were the statements the opposition leaders made. They belong to another India, a rural idyll in which there were no cities, no slums and no possibility of farmers moving...
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Sunny Deol and Delhi media high priests - S Sudhir Kumar, NitiCentral
Ram is the editor-in-chief of the Hindu group of publications. Right from the day the government has been sworn in, this newspaper has been on the forefront of the campaign that minorities are not safe in India anymore. Not a single day passes when an editorial or an op-ed does not mention the dangers of “intolerance” (of course because of Modi!). Small incidents, frivolous incidents were all hyped up and an environment of fear mongering was created. And before you would want to pounce on me to show proof...
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Going nuclear at sea - Iskander Rehman, Indian Express
Almost six years ago, in Visakhapatnam, Gursharan Kaur, wife of then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, cracked a coconut on the hull of India’s first nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN). Subsequently named the INS Arihant or “destroyer of enemies”, the vessel was the result of decades of efforts by India’s nuclear scientists. For many years, bureaucratic languor, technical challenges and chronic difficulties in nuclear reactor miniaturisation appeared to ensure that progress...
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A resounding success or a Pyrrhic victory? - TV Ramachandran, Financial Express
The Great Indian Spectrum Auctions are moving on like a juggernaut and the yield to the exchequer is over R1 lakh crore and still counting. Much is the excitement in many government circles over this and many are the satisfied smiles over the expected healthy impact on the fiscal deficit. However some small voices are persistently raising the nagging doubt as to whether this is a really great win or actually a Pyrrhic victory. These do make us ponder on some fundamental aspects.
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The Modi regime's transparent e-auction is an eye-opener - A Surya Prakash, Pioneer
All those who were pouring ridicule on Mr Vinod Rai, the former Comptroller and Auditor-General of India for estimating the total loss from the arbitrary and non-transparent methods adopted by the Manmohan Singh regime to allocate coal blocks to be around Rs1.86 lakh crore, now have egg on their faces. It now transpires that the former CAG could well have under- estimated the loss, because the open and competitive bidding initiated by the Narendra Modi...
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