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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››
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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The Only Gandhi Left - Chetan Bhagat, Times of India
Recent reports suggest the Congress party may formally induct Priyanka Gandhi, the sole Gandhi left who hasn’t yet taken a shot at claiming leadership of India. Of course, since she is a Gandhi, she won’t work her way up through the ranks. Much like Bollywood star launches, she is expected to straight away lead the upcoming UP election campaign. It’s hard when a party needs a new leader and the selection pool for the top job is limited to two reluctant siblings, one of whom has not clicked with voters.
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Akhilesh Yadav: Bound by obstinate old guard - Rajesh Singh, Pioneer
Many observers had believed that, with some eight months to go for the Assembly election, the ruling Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh received a double dose of vitality pills with the exit of a prominent backward class leader, Swami Prasad Maurya, from the rival Bahujan Samaj Party, and the merger of infamous don Mukhtar Ansari’s Quami Ekta Dal (QED) with the Samajwadi Party. But it took only days for the euphoria to unravel. Maurya did not promptly join the Samajwadi Party despite Chief Minister...
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India is now looking beyond the Mahatma - Gautam Mukherjee, Pioneer
Advocates and cat’s paws of change are trying it on social media,  virally growing in importance in India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a major presence on it, directly tweeting his observations, without distorting filters and interpreters. Opposition leader and Modi-baiter Rahul Gandhi is a more reluctant participant, using others in his ‘office’ to do his tweeting for him. The Prime Minister, a hugely modern and technologically switched-on man, has instructed his whole Cabinet to take social media seriously.
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Chabahar will provide strategic edge to India - RK Pachauri, Pioneer
Uneasy and hostile relations with Pakistan have constrained India’s ability to develop closer economic and political ties with Central Asia. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the five republics in Central Asia, namely Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan were in a state of significant disorder. These were the states which were totally ill-prepared for nationhood after having been absorbed by the Russian empire in the 18th and the 19th century.
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Under PM Modi, decision making has replaced policy paralysis witnessed during UPA regime - M Venkaiah Naidu, Indian Express
After a decade-long scam-tainted rule, India is witnessing all-round transformation. Different sectors of the economy have become vibrant as the government set out to implement the vision and mission of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is time to take stock as the NDA government completes two years in office. Although burdened by the UPA’s legacy, the NDA government got down to business soon after taking over the reins of power...
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Two years of transformation - Amit Shah, Times of India
The Narendra Modi government will complete two years at the Centre this week, on May 26. Three key elements triggered NDA’s spectacular 2014 election victory – taking development and prosperity to the lowest rung of society, eradication of corruption, and ensuring transparency and ease of doing business. While people may have varied opinions on the success of the Modi government on these three parameters, it is amply clear that we are moving decisively and strongly in these areas.
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Modi@2 - R Sukumar, Mint
Narendra Modi remains a popular Prime Minister with an approval rating of 74%, and despite what a certain section of the polity and the liberal intelligentsia wants to believe about Nitish Kumar, there is no alternative—at least, none that is evident. Any critical analysis of Modi’s prime ministership thus far has to start there. Indeed, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) now truly national (with a double-digit share of votes in Kerala in the south and West Bengal in the east in the latest state polls, not to forget its historic win in Assam)...
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Congress being pushed to margins - Arun Jaitley
The results of the five State Assemblies which went to poll in the last two months are on expected lines. The most important political analysis emerging from the results is a significant setback to the Congress party. It lost both the States of Kerala and Assam. In Kerala, it lost because its Government was mired in corruption scams.  In Assam, its traditional policy of encouraging illegal immigration as a source of vote bank invited a popular wrath. The strategic alliance between the BJP, AGP and the BPF highlighted this historical blunder...
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Rahul Gandhi’s strategy of tailing regional parties falls into tailspin - MJ Akbar, Times of India
As birthday gifts go, nothing could possibly please Prime Minister Narendra Modi more on the second anniversary of his government than a simple majority in Assam and a single seat in Kerala. Both are unprecedented. If Assam is a garden in sudden bloom, Kerala is a seed that could grow into a banyan. On the other side of the ledger, Rahul Gandhi’s ‘tail strategy’ has fallen into a tailspin. As ideas go, this had its merits for a party desperate...
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