Reflex Action

K R Sudhaman
Usually there is an annual Exim Policy after the general budget to align the export sops taking into the view the new taxes. But with the Goods and Services Tax rollout now more or less certain from July 1, 2017, it is quite possible that the Exim policy is deferred to take note of the implication of game-changing tax reform GST on exports before coming out with the annual foreign trade policy. Already a committee constituted by Director General of Foreign Trade is working to align rates with GST. Nevertheless, efforts are on how to...

Kalyani Shankar
‘Desh mein Modi, Pradesh mein Yogi’ is the new slogan heard in the most populous state of Uttar Pradesh after the Gorakhnath Mutt head Yogi Adityanath took over as chief minister of UP on Sunday. The choice of Yogi shows that the BJP interprets the UP victory as a vote for Hindutva although the official text was development. Interestingly, even Yogi, who is known for his hardline Hindutva chanted soon after taking over, “Sab ka saath and sab ka vikas will be my first priority.” Optimists say give him a chance while the doomsayers claim that UP...

Nantoo Banerjee
It is good to know that the government is seriously examining if a new law is required or prevailing statutes could be amended to confiscate the properties of those who commit financial crimes in India and hide abroad. Recently, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said this in Lok Sabha in response to Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy’s query as to what steps the government has taken to bring back “IPL man” (Lalit Modi) and “Kingfisher man” (Vijay Mallya).  The finance minister, without taking names, said assets worth Rs 840 crore have already...

Arun Srivastava
Massive victory of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh has created unprecedented ecstasy in the saffron brigade and it is being described as Modi’ March signaling emergence of a new politics. The claim of Modi’s march is yet to be scrutinized in proper prospective, but one thing is certain it is the precursor of new politics of coercion and thrusting the philosophy of Hindu Rashtra on the nation. No doubt some people claim that this has armed Modi with the authority and power to translate his reforms programmes into reality and hasten up the process for...

B.K. Chum
What is likely to be Punjab’s future political scenario after the 2017 assembly polls whose outcome has thrown up some surprises? The answer cannot be attempted without analyzing the factors which have played an important role in the polls outcome. The piece begins with comments on the fate the mainstream contesting parties have met. The vanquished deserve sympathy. The victor needs breathing time. Punjab’s Akali-BJP alliance and the AAP fall in the first category and the Congress in the second. Have they earned the desired treatment in state...

Sankar Ray
Pakistan’s firm stand in curbing terrorism inside Pakistan, imported from Afghanistan, was made known by the Pak Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz on the very first day of the one-to-one meeting with Afghanistan’s National Security Adviser, Hanif Atmar in London on March 15. Aziz made no bones of Islamabad’s hard line against Talibans and complained that Afghan-based militants continued to mount attacks inside Pakistan. The initiative in this dialogue was taken by Sir Mark Lyall Grant who became the first British...

Dr Mohd Rehan Raza
Mount Thuillier is the highest point in the Nicobar Islands, located in the Indian Ocean and bordering on the Andaman Sea. The mount is located on the island of Great Nicobar, measuring 642 m above mean sea level. Its geology features intrusive igneous rock formations, such as gabbro, combined with metamorphic minerals such as serpentine. The hill is thought to have arisen due to tectonic activity in the region. One of most challenging journey to climb Mountain Thuillier , the highest peak of Nicobar began from Break water jetty , Campbell...

Nitya Chakraborty
There is a sense of demoralization among the opposition parties and the secular forces in general after the resounding victory of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The massive victory in UP, the largest populated state of the country, has given the Prime Minister Narendra Modi an invincible stature which will continue for some time unless the opposition parties can really throw up a big challenge to the Prime Minister or  Mr. Modi himself makes a major lapse. In this latest round of state assembly elections, the Congress has not...

Arun Srivastava
With the spectre of an uncertain future staring in the eyes, the NATO while have been watching keenly the next move of the American President, Donald Trump who will be meeting leaders of NATO at a summit in late May, the allies are also exploring the mechanism to improve their relations with Russia.  Trump agreed to meet alliance leaders in Europe in May in a phone call on March 12 with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that also touched on the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine. Trump was elected on a pledge to push NATO members to...

Amulya Ganguli
By “stealing” the governments of Goa and Manipur from the Congress, the largest party in these states, Narendra Modi can be said to have begun his post-poll tenure on the wrong foot. The act of larceny, as Congress leader P. Chidambaram has alleged, is all the more unfortunate since the prime minister promised in his victory speech after his party’s akalpaniya or unbelievable victory in U.P. that he will not do anything with a bad intention. However, he added that he could make mistakes. It is possible that the horse-trading which he must...

Sanjay Kumar
Accessible India Campaign (AIC) is the nationwide flagship campaign of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. The aim of the Campaign is to make a barrier free and conducive environment for Divyangjans all over the country.  It was launched by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3rd December, 2015. The campaign is based on the principles of the Social Model of Disability, that disability is caused by the way society...

L.S. Herdenia
What will be the ultimate impact of the results of State Assemblies' election on the politics of Madhya Pradesh it is difficult to say at this stage but the BJP has already started thinking about the strategy it should adopt to ensure consecutive fourth victory in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections which are due in the year 2018. The BJP won majority in the 2003, 2008 and 2013. While 2003 elections were fought under the leadership of Uma Bharati, subsequent two elections were fought under the leadership of Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Whether...

G. Srinivasan
The post-war free and fair trade institution built by well-meaning countries, both developed and developing countries, first in the form of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) that later morphed into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995 now is in its existential crisis. It is not that the Doha Development Round launched in 2001 in the Qatari capital was for all practical purposes suspended in 2011 that lies at the root of the problem but because of the patently protectionist and defiant attitude being displayed by the...

Barnali Das
Take any project from the Mars Orbiter Mission to the simultaneous launch of 104 Satellites, the contribution of Indian women scientists in their success is being hailed and celebrated not only by India but also across the globe. Scientists like Dr. Tessy Thomas, N. Valarmathi, Minal Sampath, Anuradha TK, Ritu Karidhal, Moumita Dutta, Nandini Harinath have made every Indian feel extremely proud. Just like these scientists there are a lot of women who are trendsetters and are glowing examples of excellence and knowledge in diverse domains....

Barun Das Gupta
The day the Manipur Assembly election results were out and it was found that the people had given a fractured mandate resulting in a hung Assembly, everyone knew the game of Aya Rams and Gaya Rams would begin now – Aya Rams to the BJP and Gaya Rams from other parties. The ruling Congress emerged as the single largest party with 28 seats, followed by BJP with 21, Naga People’s Front and National People’s Party with four each, Trinamool Congress one and one independent. Then the real game began – the game of turning a minority into majority....

Nitya Chakraborty
India is expected to make its presence felt in a proactive manner as the new full member at the summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) at Astana in Kazakhstan in June 2017. At the last SCO summit, India and Pakistan were admitted as full members and India is now willing to make use of this membership by focusing on both regional security issues as also expanding collaboration in energy resources. India has got good relations with all the original six members of SCO-China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan....

Nantoo Banerjee
The Supreme Court has time and again reminded the government that the use of Aadhaar card can’t be made mandatory. But, to the surprise and chagrin of state governments and the common man, especially the poor and the needy, the BJP-led union government seems to be sparing no opportunity to link more and more centrally sponsored schemes with Aadhaar to the utter disregard of the apex court orders. The latest notification making Aadhaar mandatory for small students upto grade VIII standard, covered under the mid-day meal programme, by the union...

Ashis Biswas
India’s efforts to achieve greater connectivity with its Eastern neighbors like Bangladesh and Myanmar have made progress, as specific linkages between cities and ports get worked out. However, to sustain and maintain the present positive momentum, Delhi must address Dhaka’s growing concerns about the sharing of Teesta river waters. The issue is expected to figure prominently in bilat eral talks, when Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visits India a few weeks from now. A section of diplomats feels that she had earlier postponed her...

L.S. Herdenia
Madhya Pradesh has emerged as an important centre for terrorist activities. In the middle of last month it was discovered that a group of 9 persons in the state was supplying secret information to Pakistan's, Intelligence agency (ISI). The most sensational revelation was that some members of this group had intimate connection with Sangh Parivar. This group was getting huge sums for the services rendered by them. The investigation about the activities of these groups was yet to complete when the state received yet another shock. A blast took...

Subrata Majumder
The Deloitte survey, Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index (GMCI), 2016, forecasted India to outbid China in low cost manufacturing competitiveness in the next five years. According to the survey, while China will lose the powerhouse of low cost manufacturing competitiveness, the Mighty Five – the five Asia Pacific nations, Malaysia, India, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam – will emerge the choice for low cost manufacturing in place of China. India will be the frontrunner with four countries chasing behind, the survey said.  Among the top...

Arun Srivastava
Seventy years ago, India and Russia established diplomatic relations. Soviet Union helped India in many ways to become more self-reliant and was a true partner of India. But in recent years India started distancing itself from Russia though Vladimir Putin continued to show his friendly attitude. Nevertheless what is significant and interesting is the two countries are gearing up to celebrate the 70th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Russia in 2017, and pledged to make 2017 a special year in the history of...

Arun Srivastava
Narendra Modi was within his rights to take out a day long roadshow in Varanasi to reach out to the voters and urge them to ameliorate his personal prestige by voting for the BJP candidates from the region. More than any other leader of any other party it is the personal stature and reputation of Modi that has been at stake in Uttar Pradesh. Basically that has been the reason that Modi has been visiting the state every day and addressing the election rallies. His electoral itinerary provides clear impression that he does not trust himself. He...

Arun Srivastava
The claim of Nitish Kumar to provide transparent and honest governance lies shattered. Ever since Kumar became chief minister his thrust has been to improve the quality of education and enhance the functioning of the education department. But unfortunately this education ministry has proved to be the fountain head of all the major scams that took place during his tenure. Earlier it was the admission scam. In 2011 it was detected that more than 1.5 lakh fake students were admitted at the primary and middle class levels. Nitish government had...

Mrinal K. Biswas
Of all India’s group participations South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (Saarc) looked most promising with economic development programmes in the hemisphere and increasing importance of the same in international politics. South Asian Association of Regional Countries (Saarc) being essentially a trade bloc is now dwarfed by seemingly irreconcilable political clash between India and Pakistan threatening in the process the prospect of a broader unity of nation states which have long buried their colonial shackles. In contrast, the...

Upendra Prasad
After the five phases of voting, campaigning in Uttar Pradesh assembly election has become more intense and murkier. Bahujan Samaj Party, the main opposition in UP Assembly is now openly asking Muslim voters to vote for its candidates. Earlier Mayawati used the word ‘minority’ for Muslims, but now she has freed herself from any hesitation. The ruling Samajwadi Party has now roped in Lalu Yadav to campaign for its alliance candidates after initial hesitation by Akhilesh to invite the charismatic leader from Bihar for addressing election...