Rich Splurge Millions

Yet don’t pay taxes!   By Nikhil Gajendragadkar Every nation needs to collect taxes to carry out developmental activities and provide some kind of security to the weaker section of society. Think: India’s population is nearly 1.25 billion but tax payers’ account for hardly 1 per cent wherein any increase in indirect...

Britain-EU Divorce

Knife-edged referendum By Amrita Banerjee (School of International Studies, JNU, New Delhi) The high voltage June 23rd referendum which decided Britain’s fate vis-à-vis existence in the European Union was ‘one of the most divisive and bitter political campaigns that ever waged’ in its history and made it quit EU after 43 years...

Nation On Strike

Bandh karo yeh natak!   By Poonam I Kaushish In this season of flood fury, civic apathy and economic disgruntlement, striking is the flavour of the season. Whereby, life came to a grinding halt Friday last when 10 Central unions with over 15 crores workers in banks, telecom, factories etc called a...

Paris Accord & After

Challenges for third world   By Dhurjati Mukherjee The Paris accord will come into force from tomorrow (November 4). Though the threshold of 55 countries was met in September, 55 per cent emission share mark was reached only in early October. In all 74 parties (73 countries and the EU) accounting for...

Digital Inclusion

Step up on e-villages   By Dhurjati Mukherjee It is generally accepted that digital inclusion leads to economic development and in the process weeds out corruption and other malpractices. After demonetisation, the emphasis on the country turning digital has been reinforced by the Prime Minister. There can be no denying that digital...

Bogie Of Empowerment

Poor remain poor The Modi Government has launched many new schemes for the poor and marginalized with ambitious goals .However, as past experience shows, most of these suffer from the same flaws: Absence of active involvement of primary stakeholders in their designing and implementation. Consequently, this is one of the...

Pvt Banks’ NPAs

Funds diverted for illegal use The bad loan situation is getting worse. The myth of better performance of the so-called private banks is busting. Now worms in the private banks are crawling out. They have increased their non-performing assets (NPA) by 39 per cent to Rs 1.16 lakh crore –...

US-India Defence Deal

Handshake alarms China   (School of International Studies, JNU) Definitive changes in policy don’t happen suddenly one day; often these take over weeks and months, and sometimes years. India and the US joint defence collaboration, under the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI), has resulted in a new security paradigm that found...

National Policy for Women

Futile, sans public support   By Dr. S.Saraswathi (Former Director, ICSSR, New Delhi) Amidst increasing cases of violence against women along-with growing demand for gender equality and justice by women’s groups, the Draft National Policy for Women was released by Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi for public comments last month. Notably,...

GST= 1 Central + 29 State Laws

No end to multiple taxes The goods and services tax (GST) is projected to set a new dimension in taxes through a supposed uniform rate across the country, something any nation would want. Ideally speaking, it is all about treating all States as equals and ushering a comfortable regime. Undoubtedly, the...

Politics of ‘Povertarianism”:

Fulfilling aspirations   By Dhurjati Mukherjee It is heartening to note that the BJP recently decided to look into the vital issue of mitigating poverty, which needs to be tackled seriously. Though commentators have long been stating that the Party is geared towards the interests of the business and middle-income sections, the...

States On Social Indices

Towards competitive federalism By Dr S Saraswathi (Former Director, ICSSR, New Delhi) NITI Aayog has announced a plan of ranking States on social indices on the basis of their performance in social sectors. Initially, the sectors included are health, water, and education – the three most crucial areas that determine the level...

Poll Eve Politics

Lessons from split up   By S Saraswathi (Former Director, ICSSR, New Delhi) Assembly elections are to take place in five States Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh – between 11 February and 8 March. Coming in the beginning of the second half of BJP rule at the Centre, and soon after...

Contempt of Parliament

Offence against voters By Dr.S.Saraswathi (Former Director, ICSSR, New Delhi) Like the previous monsoon session, the present winter session of the Parliament has also gone without completing and without even beginning some items in its agenda. Disruptions of Parliament proceedings have become the rule rather than exceptions in our highly charged political...

Allies Unhappy With Big Brother

Plan to wait and watch     All does not seem to be well in the ruling NDA alliance with allies making plain their unhappiness with the BJP’s non-cooperativeness in the States. At a meeting with BJP President to ensure better coordination in the forthcoming Parliament’s Budget session, Andhra Chief Minister Chandrababu...

Acute Water Crisis

India’s precarious future By Dhurjati Mukherjee A startling finding: India has the world’s largest population without access to safe water. Neighbours China, Bangladesh and Pakistan too are among the top 10 countries where maximum people are deprived of safe water. Indeed in the South Asian region, water contamination is high resulting...

Orlando Killings

US’s new terror reality By Amrita Banerjee (School of International Studies, JNU, New Delhi) The toxic forces of global jihadist terror, lax gun control laws and pernicious homophobia converged recently at a gay club in Orlando, Florida. The outcome was the deadliest mass shooting in the history of United States and the...

Amnesty & Sedition

Will Karnataka go soft? By Insaf Bengaluru, the IT hub of the nation, is engulfed in the sedition conundrum. With the Karnataka police filing an FIR against Amnesty International, the ruling Congress government appears to be caught on the wrong foot, worse by its own leaders. While Chief Minister Siddaramaiah initially...

Air Pollution

Claims lives, harms economy By Dhurjati Mukherjee A recently released report of the World Bank and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has come out with some startling facts, the most important being that India lost 1.4 million lives to air pollution while in China the toll was 1.6 million....

Overhauling Drug Policy

Aim for affordable medicines By Dhurjati Mukherjee The Union Government’s plans to overhaul the drug policy and ease regulatory framework may well be prescription of trouble for the common man. The change is going to impact access to affordable medicines, specially for the economically weaker sections and the lower income groups....

Village Development

Vital to tap local expertise Why have information-driven initiatives not flourished in rural India? Given that seemingly simple knowledge can have a big impact on the farming communities. It is no secret that many women collectives have struggled to save Rs. 20 per month, forget trying to become the catalysts...

Impetus For Start-Ups

Make India world hub Prime Minister Modi’s announcement of creating an Rs 10,000 crores corpus to incubate start-ups in the country indeed is a judicious decision. As entrepreneurs who use their own funds will now be able to claim capital gains tax exemption if they reinvest their profits in new...

Results A Lesson For Parties

BJP triumphs, Congress bites dust By Insaf The BJP has much to preene about. It has created history in Assam by winning a majority, opened its score in the Kerala Assembly, raised its MLAs in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. Especially, after the drubbing it got in Bihar last year and...

Develop Tourist Infrastructure

Incredible India needs homestays By Dhurjati Mukherjee Tourism is a vital sector for economic development of the country as it provides employment opportunities, both directly and indirectly. Alas, its growth has not been encouraging given the plethora of places of interest – historical sites, religious centres, mountains, oceans, backwaters etc India...

Liberalisation Vs Farmers

SC warning on land grab   By Shivaji Sarkar The recent Supreme Court judgment scrapping land acquisition in Singur and a report of the SN Dhingra Commission on illegal and unethical land deals in Haryana brings to the fore that land remains the core to both economic and political realities in this...

SIMI Encounter Row

Mp comes under firing line   By Insaf A fresh controversy has erupted over the reported encounter of eight undertrials of Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) in Madhya Pradesh. The killings have aroused suspicion with the Opposition parties accusing BJP’s Shivraj Singh Chouhan government of staging the ruthless murder. Worse, Congress...

Liquor Policy & Trade

Wanted national action plan   By Dr S Saraswathi (Former Director, ICSSR, New Delhi The Supreme Court ordered a ban on all liquor shops on national as well as State highways across the country. The licences of existing shops will not be renewed after 31st March 2017. In effect, the apex court practically...

President’s Rule in J&K & Arunachal

Centre caught in a maelstrom The BJP-led NDA Central Government is caught in a maelstrom after it invoked the controversial President’s rule in two crucial strategic border States, Jammu & Kashmir in the north and Arunachal Pradesh in the North-East. While the first was a result of Chief Minister Mufti...

Bharat Mata Ki Jai

New rules of patriotism A tempest in a tea pot or a great Mother India wiggle? A nationalistic question which depends on whether one wears his love for motherland on his sleeve or not. Whereby all true-blue Indians are counted on the basis of shouting slogans or refusing to chant....

“Temple Entry”

Women, dalits battle ahead Trupti Desai of Bhumata Brigade was beaten up the other day simply for entering the sanctum of Mahalaxmi Temple at Kolhapur, Maharashtra in a dress that is generally used by women in Punjab and not as per ‘dress code’, a sari. Once used only by the...
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