Reflex Action

Arun Srivastava
Now there is no more ambiguity. What a coincidence the closely guarded secret was out on Wednesday in the public domain with Nitish announcing his decision to break the mahagathbandhan and going to the BJP fold. It was not only the charges of corruption against the deputy chief minister Tejaswi that in fact made Nitish to crash the mahagathbandhan of secular forces, instead it was the nasty political scheming by the BJP that made him part the company of Lalu Yadav.      For last couple of months conjectures were being made in the political...

Nantoo Banerjee
How long will the country mutely witness thousands of its debt-stricken small farmers committing suicides year after year, no matter which political party is in power at the Centre or states? With 67 per cent of India’s farmland held by marginal farmers and continuous shrinkage of acreage under their control provide an alarming picture of the future of those poor farmers and India’s agriculture. Unfortunately, political parties do not seem to be concerned about addressing the real issue of making agriculture scientifically sustainable without...

G. Srinivasan
Ever since the NDA government returned to power after a decade of wilderness in 2014, the new dispensation under the inscrutable but all the more intrepid leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is blazing a new trial on the economic landscape with gusto. Whether it was the dismantling of the erstwhile Planning Commission, a relic of the socialist past , the demonetization of high denominational currencies or the merger of the rail budget with the general budget, the Schumpeterian paradigm of creative destruction has been the hallmark of...

Dr. Arun Mitra
In the National Health Policy (NHP) 2017 document the government has admitted that every year nearly 6.3 crore people go below poverty line because of out of pocket expenditure on health. About 70% of this expenditure is on drugs and other consumables alone. There has been talk of producing cheap bulk drugs, use of drugs under generic names and also there have been fixation of price of some medicines by the government and opening of fair price medical shops. But the issue still remains as before. The government also admits that the public...

A bench of nine judges began hearing a case, which will have a far-reaching impact on the years to come and will, in effect, decide whether the right to privacy is protected and guaranteed by the Constitution of India. The case has its origins in a challenge brought to the Aadhar Card Scheme, in which one of the major arguments had been that it violated the fundamental right to privacy of a person. In response, the previous Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi had questioned whether such a right was protected by the Constitution. He had submitted...

Varun Vohra
Risk is part of all our lives and we need to take risks to grow and develop. Similarly every industry in this fast paced world needs to manage risks effectively to evolve and minimize threats. Risk management involves identifying, analyzing and remediating risks to make sure organizations can work towards their goal seamlessly. Every organization has an enterprise risk management program in some form which is used to manage various technical, business and financial risks across different spheres in an organization. Therefore risk management is...

K Raveendran
Qatar has done remarkably well to hold out against the diplomatic and economic blockade enforced by its powerful neighbours, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The tiny Gulf nation, a description most detested by Doha, but done to death by all others, has even teased its  tormentors saying  it can go on forever and manage to live with  the embargo. Initially, there were signs of panic, particularly about supply of food and other essentials in view of the land, air and sea blockade, but with generous help from Turkey and Iran, the situation...

Harihar Swarup
As expected Ram Nath Kovind is the new President of India, succeeding versatile Pranab Mukherjee but he is not as multi-talented as the outgoing President. The change of guard at Rashtrapati Bhavan will have its consequences. The equation between the President and the Prime Minister has always been subject to considerable modification and negotiation after every of change of  player; and, though Rashtrapati Bhavan is not the rival centre of power, its occupant can be a source of irritation and frustration for any Prime Minister. It is widely...

L.S. Herdenia
The debate on an adjournment motion tabled by the Opposition in the MP Vidhan Sabha on the plight of farmers saw strange arguments being put forward by the ruling party legislators, including senior ministers, while listing the causes for suicides by farmers. For example senior minister Gopal Bhargava attributed the suicides to intoxication, poverty and diseases. He claimed that out of 120 cases, only six were due to indebtedness. He squarely held the Congress responsible and said the party had misled the farmers. The conditions of farmers...

Arun Srivastava
Any country entering into a strategic relation or partnership with other country in the present geopolitical perspective is not a forbidden diplomatic exercise. Obviously India conferring the status of strategic partner to Israel during the visit of the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi to that country has not come as surprise. Though some experts have lauded this gesture of Modi, the ultimate question that has cropped up how and in what manner this new found relation will help India? India can utmost expect to gain martial training and military...

Mark Gruenberg
The death of Trumpcare in the Senate on July 18, while not the final victory for healthcare for all Americans, was indeed a huge victory for the resistance that has swept the country since the election of Trump. Activists and advocates for better U.S. health care vowed to keep the pressure on Congress after two more Senate Republicans’ defections killed the latest GOP plan to repeal and allegedly replace the Affordable Care Act, the nation’s 7-year-old comprehensive health care law. That’s because the defeat of the Republicans’ measure led...

Arun Srivastava
He had taken over the reign of the chief minister with the promise to usher the state and its people into a new bright future, take them out of the morass of backwardness and empower them. But after 13 years of his government, which incidentally was acclaimed and applauded as the example of good governance, it is an irony that the state has failed to achieve any major success in providing a new direction to education, a major component of the human development index.            The admission of failure has come from none else but the chief...

i. Sentencing of Vijay Mallya deferred: The Supreme Court has indefinitely deferred the sentencing of Vijay Mallya of the UB Group in relation to its finding that he was guilty of criminal contempt for making an unclear disclosure of his assets, in connection to a claim made by a consortium of creditors led by the State Bank of India. The Attorney General stated that the extradition proceedings were to start in December this year [State Bank of India v. Kingfisher Airlines Ltd., SLP(C) 6828 of 2016, order dated 14.07.2017]. ii. No coercive...

Nitya Chakraborty
The South Africa’s ruling African National Congress(ANC) Government led by President Jacob Zuma is facing a major political crisis as the powerful South African Communist Party(SACP), after being fed up with rampant corruption of its senior leaders including the President, has decided to dissociate from the ANC and forge new  popular front of progressive forces to fight the general elections in 2019.The present  government is fighting a fierce battle  against the opposition groups on the issue of the corruption  against the President Zuma and...

Subrata Majumder
Barely a month after heightening anti-India protests on border stand-off, China made a somersault against the protest and applauded Modi’s reforms. Further to the surprise, China underpinned India as the future global low cost factory and forecasted that India would edge out China in near future. This reflected a paradigm shift in China’s stand vis a vis India. Till now, the Chinese government and its media were hyper in snowballing anti-India protest over the border stand-off in Sikkim, Bhutan – Tibet tri-junction. China sent precautionary...

The controversial rules relating to livestock markets issued by the Central Government have been stayed by the Supreme Court, after hearing a case which challenged them as being unconstitutional. The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Market) Rules, 2017, issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests in May this year, had banned the sale of cattle for the purposes of slaughter at cattle markets all over India. This included the sale of bulls, bullocks, cows, buffaloes and camels, amongst others. It also required...

Anjan Roy
There is this continuing spectacle. You ask for an interest rate cut from the in every season: when prices show a little drop; when the stock market goes up; and, when the government thinks growth is not as much as they would like it to be. As the latest inflation print was released last week, the chief economic adviser, Arvind Subramaniam, had asked for a interest cut, criticising the RBI of committing errors in predicting inflation path. Later as the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) was given out, and it showed a drop in the industrial...

K Raveendran
Cryptocurrencies are creeping into Indian households through newspaper inserts, just like the ubiquitous coaching centres, full-body check-ups, home-delivery foods and so on.  It is perhaps for the first time that the cryptos are coming round to the ground like this.  What it means is that the time for cryptocurrencies, made famous by its most valuable brand ambassador bitcoin, has finally arrived on the Indian scene and is ready to enter the mainstream. These adverts offer the opportunity of investing money into one of the fastest growing...

Joe Sims
Our country is in the midst of a profound governmental crisis. This crisis is revealing itself deep within the bourgeois state that hallowed body of legislators, lawyers, and corporate lobbyists vaunted by some as the apogee of modern civilization. There are overlapping crises in the White House, in the executive as a whole, and between the presidency and the federal judiciary. Fault lines also lie in the relationship between the presidency and Congress with regard to traditional checks and balances and consent for judicial nominees. Congress...

i. Information on encounter killings sought: The Supreme Court directed states to respond to a petition of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) seeking that they mandatorily submit information about any encounter killings in their jurisdiction to enable it to carry out an enquiry. The NHRC has sought the information in accordance with the guidelines and provisions of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993. [National Human Rights Commission vs. Union of India, Writ Petition (Civil) No. 1012/2014, date of order 04.07.2017] ii. False...

The Supreme Court made an effective intervention in the demonetisation issue by providing relief to those with genuine reasons who could not deposit their old denomination notes within the stipulated time. In a decisive move, the Court asked the Centre to accept old notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 of persons who could not deposit them during the window period, due to genuine reasons. The Government has been asked to take a decision after verifying the authenticity of individual cases about why they could not submit the demonetised notes and give a...

Nitya Chakraborty
For the opposition parties of the country, including the Congress, July 11 was a memorable day. Not only, the eighteen opposition parties agreed on a common candidate Gopal Krishna Gandhi as the vice-presidential candidate for elections on August 5, but in an unusual development, the entire opposition agreed at the same meeting to hold a countrywide campaign against the centre’s policies. The proposal was pushed by the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee but taking into account the miserable situation in which both the polity and the...

Barun Das Gupta
The face-off between India and China is not limited to the two armies at Doko La in the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet trijunction. After a long period of hibernation, India is waking up to the challenge of China on all fronts – military, strategic, diplomatic and economic – and trying to make up for the time-lag in quick time. Efforts are already on to have the heads of state or governments of all the ten ASEAN nations at the Republic Day parade on January 26 next year. All of them will be treated as chief guests. It is a clear signal to China that...

L.S. Herdenia
The spate of farmer suicides in Madhya Pradesh continues unabated. Three more farmers, who were being pressurised by banks and moneylenders to repay their loans, committed suicide in the last two days, taking the number of suicides by peasants in the last 28 days to 45. A debt-ridden farmer killed himself by jumping in front of a train in Sagar district on July 9. Tekram Kurmi, 48, was the owner of six acres of land in Pipariya village. Tekram owed money to the bank and moneylenders; besides his crop was also ruined, his family said. RN...

Arun Srivastava
In politics, the ruling party does not always malign and implicate its opponents for sending them to jail but mainly to convey a larger message to the polity, to other political outfits; that they could be destroyed if they are not cautious. Actually this is exactly what has been going on in Bihar in recent days. The BJP targeting Lalu Yadav and his sons and daughter is part of the grand design to force him to shut his mouth ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. On Friday the CBI raided properties allegedly owned and associated with Lalu and...