Reflex Action

S. Sethuraman
Tamil Nadu is now in political turmoils, a fragile AIADMK Government of E. PalaniswamI scrambling a wafer-thin majority in a confidence vote on Feb.18, after an ugly display of violence against the Speaker, damage of Assembly equipment, and uproar by DMK members, all designed to suit the game plan of Leader of Opposition Mr. M.K. Stalin to stall proceedings. Mr Palaniswami faces hostility from the 11-member rebel group led by former Chief Minister Mr. O.S. Panneerselvam while Mr Stalin leading the 89-member DMK sees opportunities, with a...

Subrata Majumder
Notwithstanding US President Donald Trump’ climb-down on One China policy, tension brews over the Sino- USA trade and investment. It is unlikely that Trump’s assurance to follow 40 years USA’s One China policy will soothe the relation and retrieve the normal trade relation. Though the White House statement viewed Trump’s direct telephonic call to President Xi Jinping very cordial and ensuring for a substantial dialogue between Washington and Beijing to re-rail the ties, normalization of trade tension is a far cry. China is the trigger for USA’...

Nantoo Banerjee
It is good that India has finally waken up to the perils of its growing large trade deficits with diplomatically belligerent China and sent a strong message that the current trade imbalance can’t continue for long. On the diplomatic front, China continues to put India under pressure — refusing to support India’s nuclear suppliers group (NSG) membership and its campaign against Pakistan-based terrorists and their outfits that launched dreadful attacks in Mumbai, Pathankot, etc. China also contests India’s territorial rights over Arunachal...

Arun Srivastava
With 2019 coming closer, socialist leader and Bihar chief minister has awoken to the bitter reality that his recent political flip-flops would not help him and he has to befriend a formidable force to navigate the electoral Baitarani River. Only three months back he had extended full support, moral and physical, to Narendra Modi’s move to demonetise the high value currency notes. His support to Modi came at a time when later was facing bitter criticism from politicians and economists for his policy decision. Everyone was shocked to listen to...

Harihar Swarup
It may look a little early but one has the premonition that in Punjab, Amrinder Singh is becoming the Chief Minister and in Uttar Pradesh Rahul Gandhi—Akhlesh Yadav combination is heading for a victory. In that event Akhilesh will be the chief minister for the second term. The split in the Samajwadi Party and virtual breakup of the SP has helped Akhilesh and boosted his image sky high. Heavy polling in the areas where elections have already been held indicate a definite trend. The trend is that there will be no hung house. The era of...

L S Herdenia
It might have been highly embarrassing moment for RSS Chief Dr. Mohan Bhagwat that during his presence in Madhya Pradesh MP cops busted a ISI spy ring operating in the state which is ruled by RSS blue eyed boy Shivraj Singh Chouhan. It was much more embarrassing because this spy ring was being run by some such persons who had connections with RSS outfits. This spy ring was busted on the very day (February 10) when Dr. Bhagwat lashed out at ISIS at a programme at a Madhya Pradesh town. Dr. Bhagwat said that ISIS is a threat to humanity. They...

Pradeep Kapoor
During last two phase polling, Samajwadi Party and Congress appears to be emerging as frontrunner in a multi-corner contest for crucial assembly polls for Uttar Pradesh assembly. Heavy polling in second phase also indicates that voters are determined for a government formation ruling out the possibility of a hung assembly. Significantly enough, districts with Muslim populations saw maximum turn out and heavy voting from both the communities. Since Samajwadi Party had done extremely well in in 2012  asembly elections in this region, so...

Nitya Chakraborty
The Supreme Court  judgment given on January 11 in the Sahara-Birla papers case dismissing application submitted by the activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan pleading for investigation into large scale payments made to the political leaders including the Prime Minister, has created  fresh furore in the legal circles. Leading Supreme Court lawyer Dushyant Dave, former President of the Supreme Court Bar Association, has observed in an article in a leading website that the judgment smacks of bias and it deserves to be recalled by the Supreme Court...

Debkumar Bhadra
It was Sunday and I thought it would be a nice idea to spend the holiday exploring the natural environment at Mount Harriet. The thought was driven by the fact that, I could not say no to an offer to trek to Kala Pathar with Ollie, the man who loves rocks. We decided to start early in the morning so that we could devote ample time exploring the nature and also spend some time searching for the inscription that finds mention in the letter written by Rev Thomas L. J. Warneford of the colonial Administration, accessed by Prof Clare Anderson from...

Amitabh Kant
India is making an attempt to transition to a digital payment, less cash economy. Given that only a meagre percentage of our population pays taxes, the nation’s economy also grows as more and more transactions come under banking and taxation system through digital payments. Besides, corruption in public life and governance is oiled by cash, so as we move towards a less-cash society, this anonymity which a corrupt entity enjoys by using cash goes away. Moreover, cash printing and its distribution is extremely expensive. Individual consumers...

G. Srinivasan
A tech-start up for the benefit of users worldwide such as Uber, literally meant upstart, to deliver a sharing economy that had left a profoundly disruptive impact to the existing business model that was following business-as-usual approach is now in the thick of news in India. The ongoing strike by thousands of Uber and Ola drivers in Delhi and Haryana demanding better pay had dislocated the ride-hailing services that had all but decimated traditional taxi and auto rickshaw operators with their relatively inexpensive fares for far too long....

P. Sreekumaran
In politics, timing is as important as perception. If your timing goes awry, you end up paying a heavy penalty in terms of credibility and erosion of ground support. Likewise, it is of utmost importance that you create the right perception among the public at large.  On both counts, the CPM, which heads the Left Democratic Front (LDF) Government in Kerala, suffered a loss of face by its clumsy handling of the Law Academy Law College issue. The CPM has none but itself to blame for the loss of credibility and damage to its reputation. It...

S. Sethuraman
The Supreme Court reinstating the earlier conviction of Ms. Sasikala and two other co-accused in the Disproportionate Assets Case  of 1996, may have cleared the hurdle for the Tamil Nadu Governor to invite waiting Mr.O S Panneerselvam or a new Sasikala nominee Mr E. Palaniswami to prove majority to form a new AIADMK Government. But the apex court decision on February 14 leaves huge political scars behind for Tamil Nadu, apart from likely instability, in the post-Jaya era. Ruling AIADMK can no longer be viewed an impregnable front in the 234-...

It has been my endeavour that there should be a strict Quality regime in Indian steel industry for health and safety of the steel consumers, whether it be stainless steel, construction grade steel or other steel products. We have brought certain products under Quality Control Order and are gradually expanding the scope by bringing in more and more products under BIS certification. Ministry of Steel is working on creating capacities for making special grade steels like electrical and auto-grade, with the objective of self-sufficiency and...

Ajay Srivastava
Latest data suggests signs of recovery of India’s exports. December 2016 is the continuous 4th month when merchandise exports registered positive growth. Despite weak global demand, India’s overall Trade figures also look good, helped by the strong net foreign exchange earnings from the IT-led Services Export Sector. During this period, Government kept a watch and intervened frequently to improve the export performance through initiatives targeted at improving export competitiveness: both short and long term. Indian government’s Export...

B K Chum
Some elections acquire unusual significance. February 4 Punjab Assembly election was one of them for a number of reasons. Its outcome will decide the political future of the 90-year-old five-time chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, as his age factor may act against his contesting 2022 poll. The Punjab Congress chief Capt. Amarinder Singh has also declared that February 4 election was his political career’s last election. (Badal’s legislative career had begun in 1957 when he was elected to the Punjab Assembly on a Congress ticket after the...

Nantoo Banerjee
The massive push for digital transactions and less-cash society ostensibly to fight black money menace may soon have few takers as digital payments have started dropping after their initial rise in November and December, following selective demonetization of high-value currencies. If the latest representative Reserve Bank data is any indication, the government’s campaign for digital transfers is not cutting much ice with the general public. The easing cash supply situation is slowing down digital transactions. The RBI data showed digital...

Chaudhary Birender Singh
It has been over half a year now when I took charge of the Steel Ministry, from a worthy predecessor. My experience in this Ministry as also in the previous charge, has reaffirmed my view that our Government under the visionary leadership of Shri Narendra Modi is a cohesive, collaborative and progressive team. His single-minded goal of making 21st century, the century of India and to bring back the golden era of India is keeping all of us focussed and committed to this unified mission. Each Ministry is dependent on other Ministries and...

Dr Vandana Jatav
India observed its third National Deworming Day. It is the world’s largest deworming programme covering 340 million children under-19 years of age across 36 states/ UTs. The deworming programme is India’s commitment to a comprehensive national response to the public health threat posed by worms. India carries the highest burden of worm infestation and 64 per cent of Indian population less than 14 years of age are at risk of Soil Transmitted Helminths (STH) or worms’ infestation (WHO). Soil Transmitted Helminths (STH) interfere with nutrients...

Sarita Brara
“It is may not be a big amount  but definitely useful”  says   Mukesh Kumar Verma, a teacher  of government Primary school at Gonda in UP  who received  an SMS informing him  that he had won Rs 1000 in the  Lucky Grahak Yojana. Mukesh who is all for going digital says “It is simply better than handling cash,” besides other benefits.       Another lucky draw winner ,Satish Kumar a student preparing for  tenth class board exams is optimistic that  the digital mode of payments  will ultimately  help in  ‘putting an end to  black money as the...

Mriganka M Bhowmick
Amidst speculations over the probable outcome of Assembly election in Uttarakhand, BJP and Congress are still groping in the dark- barely two days left for the poll- with the voters keeping them guessing.   The political, social and media circles are abuzz with wild conjectures over “who will have the extra edge”. This implies that no party is confident enough about its chance to form the new government. The entire state is witnessing a fight between Congress Chief Minister Harish Rawat‘s one- man show and the State BJP dependent on Modi...

L.S. Herdenia
Considerable importance is being given to almost a week-long stay of RSS chief Dr. Mohan Bhagwat in Madhya Pradesh. According to newspaper reports, Dr. Bhagwat may review the performance of the government and the BJP. The trip comes at a crucial time when Shivraj Singh Chouhan government seems embroiled in several controversies including the alleged post-demonetisation Rs 500 crore Katni 'hawala' scam allegedly involving a minister of state and an illegal sand mining dumper storm in the chief minister's own constituency. Though the official...

Arun Srivastava
The USA president Donald Trump will rewrite the history of America and the world through his new found vision "America First". Though he is accused of pushing America to isolation, Trump is unmoved in his assertion as he nurses that during last 70 years, precisely during 8 years of presidency of Barrack Obama, America has lost much of its credibility. While America’s hegemony policy lies shattered, its status of monarch of the capitalist country and economy has also turned suspect.  People have already started comparing the performances of...

Sankar Ray
The top brass of Coal India Limited, India’s unassailable monopoly entity in coal industry and, the world's largest coal producer, is on pins and needles due to tapering off of demand. The CIL’s ambition of reaching an annual output level of billion tonnes by 2020 –hitherto a realistic target- has suddenly turned into a mirage. This pessimism is scripted in a recent report prepared by India’s largest public sector undertaking. Although remaining under wraps, it has been circulated to the unions that are a part of statutory Joint bipartite...

Amulya Ganguli
Since the feudalism inherent in the choice of Sasikala as head of the legislature party in Tamil Nadu by a large number of MLAs runs counter to modern-day practices, a revolt against Jayalalithaa’s former aide was only to be expected. Although the mild-mannered O. Panneerselvam initially bowed to the subservient manner which has become second nature to the AIADMK members since the imperious Amma’s time, he appears to have subsequently realized that an aide cannot be the boss. Hence, his decision to throw his hat into the ring, negating his...