Reflex Action

Kalyani Shankar
The opposition has failed to forge unity on the demonetisation move of the Modi government even after 50 days though the people are feeling the cash crunch and continue to stand in queues before the banks.  Despite the hardships faced by the common man, who welcomed the demonetisation announced on the night of November 8, people are also confused about how long they have to face the cash crunch. There are reports that the economy is heading for a slide and that the costs of the currency ban may well outweigh its touted benefits. The Modi...

Harihar Swarup
A year of despair ends; a year of hope begins. Ending the third year of his government (2016), Narendra Modi-dispensation is ending in state of paralysis of India’s financial system. It has totally failed to discharge its mandatory payment obligation for the millions of customers, even six weeks after Prime Minister Modi’s demonetization of Rs, 1000 and Rs, 500 notes. Bulk what has became “worthless paper overnight”. Never before since independence had our financial system been brought down to this pass, nor cash crunch on such a gigantic...

P. Sreekumaran
A court order refusing to discharge Power Minister M M Mani as an accused in a murder case has put the State CPM leadership in a tight spot.    The matter has acquired a VS versus the CPM state leadership dimension with the former frowning upon Mani’s continuance as a minister following the court order. In fact, VS promptly wrote to CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechujry seeking central intervention to sack the Minister. The continuance of Mani, a staunch Pinarayi Vijayan loyalist, as a minister after the court order, would be unfair and...

Ashis Biswas
Even as the $46 billion China-sponsored CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor) project is about to go functional, with Russia and Iran expressing their interest to participate, India faces a minor setback in developing its regional transport network. Bhutan has expressed its reservations about the India-backed BBIN (Bangladesh Bhutan India Nepal) Motor Vehicle Agreement initiative in South Asia. The contrast could not be more embarrassing for the Government of India. The CPEC forms part of Beijing’s ambitious OBOR (one belt one road) global...

G. Srinivasan
As 2016 goes out to be mere memories in a few days, the Indian economy is at the crossroads, with the Modi Government handling of the economy by injecting investment and promoting entrepreneurial élan and enterprise being a mixed bag. No doubt with its salutary majority in the lower house of Parliament, it got several pieces of crucial economic legislations passed including the Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Bill 2016 sans debate. In its two and a half years of being on the seat of governance, its track record in Parliament is not much to...

Barun Das Gupta
Manipur, the easternmost State of India, has been on the boil since December 9, when the Congress Government headed by Chief Minister O. Ibobi Singh took the fateful decision to create seven new districts out of seven existing districts all of which have a sizeable Naga population. Now the State has sixteen districts. The rumour that the State Government was toying with the idea of creating new districts was in the air for quite some time and the Nagas had started yet another economic blockade of the State since November 1, blocking both the...

Arun Srivastava
The Narendra Modi government’s decision to demonetise high-value currency notes is purely a political move. He has tried to lace it with ubiquitous economic jargons only to confuse the people of his real intentions. During the 2014 Lok Sabha election Modi had pledged to recover ill-gotten wealth laundered by crooked politicians and businessmen and then channel it into the bank accounts of ordinary Indians. But during last 30 months of his rule he failed to keep his promise made to the people. In May 2014, when Narendra Modi became prime...

However, as historical studies have shown clearly, not all underwater earthquakes generate tsunami. There is a need to measure changes in water level in the open ocean with a high level of accuracy in real time to confirm whether a tsunami has actually been triggered. For this, there is need for what are called tsunami buoys. The ITEWS has a network of seven tsunami buoy systems equipped with the bottom pressure recorders that transmit real time data through satellite communication to INCOIS 24X7. The buoys are strategically placed at...

Harihar Swarup
The choice of Lt. General Bipin Rawat as the next army chief has created a flutter in the military establishment. The bypassing of two senior army commanders is a rare occurrence. As several commanders have pointed out, the last time it happened was in 1983 when Indira Gandhi elevated Gen Arun Vaidya over Lt Gen S K Sinha (who promptly resigned). But this was not the only instance. In 1957 Jawaharlal Nehru chose Gen. K S Thimmaya superseding two senior Lt Generals Sant Singh and Kulwant Singh (the later stayed on, while the former resigned)...

Dr Satheesh C Shenoi
Where there is a will, there will be a way. India has proven this axiom once more with aplomb. Cut back to year December 26, 2004, the day world's one of the most devastating disaster struck killing 2,30,000 people in 14 countries along the rim of the Indian Ocean. Massive waves swept away buildings and people as if they were just pieces of paper. The damage was worst in Indonesia, Thailand, India and Sri Lanka. In India, an estimated 10,749 persons lost their life and 5,640 people were reported missing. The disaster led to much soul searching...

S. Sethuraman
2016 – the Modi Government in third year – is ending in a state of near-paralysis of India’s financial system with its total failure to discharge mandatory payment obligations for tens of millions of customers, even six weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation of Rs.1000 and Rs.500 Notes. Bulk of what became overnight “worthless paper” the way he put it, had been deposited well before the December-end deadline. Never before since independence had our financial system been brought down to this pass, nor cash crunch on such a...

Amulya Ganguli
Having succeeded in moving ahead of the Shiv Sena and the MNS within the Hindutva camp in Maharashtra, the BJP’s next objective is apparently to consolidate its hold on the Marathi manoos so that it cannot easily be dislodged from its present position. To achieve this aim, the BJP’s brains trust has come up with the idea of a memorial to Shivaji on 16 hectares of reclaimed land in the Arabian Sea, including a 192-metre tall statue – twice as high as the Statue of Liberty – 3.5 km off the Mumbai shoreline. While doing so, the party and its...

Nantoo Banerjee
If 2016 goes down as the most miserable year for the largest section of the humanity in the modern history, the coming year holds no promise of better times ahead as the course of hard times and political chaos may have just began. The common Indian’s pain of demonetisation continues. The sudden government action badly affected at least one billion of India’s total population after almost 85 per cent of the total money in the system or close to Rs. 15 lakh crore was junked by a midnight government order. Almost 95 per cent of transactions in...

Pandurang Hegde
According to Central Soil Water Conservation Research and Training Institute, Dehradun, India is losing 5,334 million tonnes of soil every year due to soil erosion because of indiscreet and excess use of fertilisers, insecticides and pesticides over the years.  On an average 16.4 tonnes of fertile soil is lost every year per hectare. The non-judicious use of fertilizers has led to deterioration of soil fertility causing loss of micro and macronutrients leading to poor soils and low yields causing low agricultural yields. Realising the severity...

Subrata Majumder
The important point of US President Donald Trump is his inconsistency. He is unpredictable and naïve in diplomacy. His election campaign slogans were rhetoric and distant from reality. Even then, if it is believed that his isolationist “ American only “ policy was the driving force to let him win the unexpected battle of election, his foreign policy will be save American trajectory , while outdoing the Democratic middle path and Asia Pivot strategies. According to Chinese media, Global Times, Trump will pay little attention to Asia Pacific,...

L.S. Herdenia
According to All India Democratic Women's Association demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes played havoc with the lives of the ordinary people of our country, especially the poor, those working in the unorganised sector. The resolution, passed at the 11th All India Conference expressed the view that those working in the unorganized sector, those living in the rural hinterland and women were the worst victim of demonetisation. More than 80 people are reported dead due to the stress of having to stand in queues to withdraw or exchange...

Kalyani Shankar
What does the crystal ball predict for the year 2017?  Politically, it is certainly going to be an eventful year. For one it will be the beginning of the second half of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first term. He has already started making efforts to expand his party’s base as well as his own pro- poor image and also preparing for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. It will be a crucial year for the BJP, the Congress, the Akali Dal, Samajwadi Party, BSP and the AAP who are bracing to fight their electoral battle. It is a fight for survival for the SP...

Ashis Biswas
Muslim Rohingyas fleeing from a recent crackdown in Myanmar are heading to India for safety in larger numbers than before. An estimated 40,000 of them are known to have already taken shelter in seven Indian states, but sources monitoring refugee movements suggest the number could be considerably higher. Since October 9, an army offensive in the Rakhine province of Myanmar where the Rohingyas have lived for generations, has resulted in the killing of at least 100 people. The army was called in to ‘maintain order’ after 17 soldiers were attacked...

Arun Srivastava
Paradoxical indeed, the person, the American president, Barrack Obama who was conferred with Nobel prize for peace has been primarily responsible for wrecking fragile peace prevailing in the Muslim countries and West Asia. His hatred for Syria and its ruler Assad has been so acute that he is dismayed with the fall of Aleppo to the Syrian government. This is a rude shock to him as he nursed to end his tenure with a victory in Syria. Which unfortunately did not happen to him. Assad backed by Russia and Iran and other countries have succeeded in...

Amulya Ganguli
It is said that history will judge P.V. Narasimha Rao more kindly than his contemporaries. More than his comment about how a decision can mean not taking a decision, or sleeping through the afternoon when the Babri masjid was demolished, what he will be remembered for is as an initiator of the epoch-making economic reforms although the nitty-gritty were handled by his finance minister, Manmohan Singh between 1991 and 1996. The latter, however, may not be so lucky with the verdict of history. Although he picked up the threads of his unfinished...

B.K. Chum
Demonetisation which the prime minister had claimed would help root out black money and curb corruption has become a demon which has already started devouring the popularity of the Modi government and BJP. This is indicated by what happened during the Parliament’s just concluded winter session. The faulty implementation of demonetisation has united, at least for the present, the otherwise divided opposition which took on the Modi government. Two developments have contributed to the washout of the Parliament’s winter session which put the Modi...

Deepak Razdan
Pay Digital and Win Prizes! As India moves towards a digital and cashless economy, the Government announced on 15th December, 2016 two schemes Lucky Grahak Yojana and Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana to give cash awards to consumers and merchants who utilize digital payment instruments for personal consumption expenditures. The prizes range from Rs 1000 to Rs 1 crore and the transactions permitted are from Rs 50 to Rs 3000 to keep the focus on the common man. The schemes will not only give a boost to cashless transactions, but will particularly bring...

Nantoo Banerjee
The government may disagree, the nation is witnessing a state of undeclared financial emergency that has, apart from demonetising high-value legal tenders controlling over 65 per cent of the money supply with the public in normal times, nearly prevented people from withdrawing their own savings with banks as per needs. The small trade has come to a near standstill situation for want of regular supplies of cash. Construction and other daily contract workers have mostly lost their jobs. The sad state of affairs will continue until the cash...

Deepak Razdan
Pay Digital and Win Prizes! As India moves towards a digital and cashless economy, the Government announced on 15th December, 2016 two schemes Lucky Grahak Yojana and Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana to give cash awards to consumers and merchants who utilize digital payment instruments for personal consumption expenditures. The prizes range from Rs 1000 to Rs 1 crore and the transactions permitted are from Rs 50 to Rs 3000 to keep the focus on the common man. The schemes will not only give a boost to cashless transactions, but will particularly bring...

S Sethuraman
The Modi-inflicted demonetisation of higher value notes totalling 86 per cent of money in circulation on Novemer 8, continues to take its toll in terms of deprivation of cash for poorer millions and small traders with issues of livelihood and business thrown out of gear. The disruptive effects are also spreading to major segments of the economy. While the country lauds the Prime Minister's fight to root out black money, continuing severe limits on cash withdrawals from their accounts in banks have accentuated the misery of the people at large...