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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››
High V: India ignites its missile prowess - Rahul Datta, Pioneer
In a major boost to the country’s strike capabilities spanning continents, barring the Americas, India on Saturday successfully test-fired its most potent Agni-V surface-to-surface missile, capable of hitting a target 5,000 km away from a canister and carrying a nuclear warhead of over one tonne. It signalled the mastering of the “shoot-and-scoot” technology wherein the missile is fired from a mobile launcher thus making it difficult for the enemy to track it. 
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Truth at last - Tavleen Singh, Indian Express
Now and then comes a moment in the life of a columnist when an event vindicates writings that have too long been reviled for being partisan or motivated by personal interest. This moment came for me last week when Jayanthi Natarajan summoned up the courage to go public about decisions she was ordered to take as Minister of Environment by her former ‘high command’. This column has been writing against the malignant misuse of the Ministry of Environment ever since Jairam Ramesh was first given charge of it.
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Winning all the way - Harsh V. Pant, Telegraph India
Just a year back, the world's two major democracies were on a collision course over the Devyani Khobragade affair. Today, thanks to deft diplomacy by the prime minister, Narendra Modi, and his team, Washington and Delhi are well on their way to chart a new course in their bilateral ties. When Modi had visited the United States of America in September last year, his critics wanted to discredit him by asking where the substance was. They argued that Modi's visit was about style, that the optics overpowered the real issues that were bedevilling the relationship.
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Rahul Gandhi: A Love Story - Rupa Subramanya, Swarajya
Few people, except for diehard sycophants, could now believe that, after his epic failure in the 2014 general election, Rahul Gandhi has much of a political future. Presumably, any dream that his mother, Congress party president Sonia Gandhi, had that her son would become the latest member of the dynastic family to become prime minister has had to be put in deep freeze. While it’s too early to tell, if Jayanti Natarajan’s revolt inspires other Congress leaders to break ranks the Gandhi dynasty’s hold on its party...
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The BCCI and the monetization of Indian cricket - Mukul Kesavan, Telegraph India
Long-time observers of the BCCI know that it used to be cricket's answer to the medieval city state. No Medici controlled Florence as comprehensively as the BCCI controlled cricket in India. The Board of Control was an independent principality, located in India, surrounded by India, but not of India. Its jurisdiction over cricket in India was as absolute as the Vatican's over Catholicism; it brooked no interference in its affairs, not even from the nation state that enclosed it.
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Guard free speech, Republic - Tufail Ahmad, NewIndianExpress
On January 26, 65 years ago, when we the people of India gave ourselves the Constitution, we adopted a new way of life defined by individual liberties, secured by free speech. In the 7th century, when Prophet Muhammad proclaimed Islam, he too gave a way of life, but let’s first go hundreds of years before him to one of his ancestors, Abraham. In Muslim imagination, his story is etched as such: as a youngster, Abraham had a questioning mind about god. Once as everyone left the village for a festival, he entered the temple...
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Why America is betting on Modi - Sadanand Dhume, Times of India
Barely a year ago, most foreign policy pundits would likely have agreed on one simple prediction: the election of Narendra Modi as Indian prime minister would set back relations with the United States, and by extension with the West more broadly. Instead, the opposite has happened. Yesterday President Barack Obama shattered a symbolic taboo by becoming the first American chief guest at India’s annual Republic Day parade. Arguably, the US and India are poised to pursue a deeper...
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NaMo’s rule by Ordinances in National Interest - Anirban Ganguly, Niticentral
There has been of late, a huge ruckus, especially created by the political drum beaters of the Congress, the Left block and in that the CPIM, over the Government taking the Ordinance route in Parliament to pass crucial Legislation. True to their Goebbelesian mindset, the Comrades have succeeded, it seems, with a little help from their co-ideologists in the mainstream media to deflect attention from the real dimension of the issue – that of Parliament being...
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A simple matter of conviction - AK Bhattacharya, Business Standard
One relatively easy way of assessing how the government has tried to address the difficult challenge of governance as well as fiscal prudence will be to take a look at what it has done with respect to delivering subsidies to those who need them the most. Three initiatives in the past few months, apparently unrelated to each other, deserve scrutiny in this context. The first initiative pertains to the fillip given to the Aadhaar network of creating biometrics-based identity for the country's residents.
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Obama leads world to India - MJ Akbar, Sunday Guardian
Relations between India and the United States have been flawed with a genetic defect ever since Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru called on President Harry Truman in Washington in 1949: a sharply divergent view of the nature of conflict in the post-war, post-colonial era. India was coming to terms with freedom and partition; America was sifting through the responsibilities of rebuilding the scrapheap of western Europe, while searching for allies in another epochal conflict looming ahead, the Cold War.
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