Reflex Action

Mrinal K Biswas
Even before undertaking in full earnest the work for giving India a 15-year vision document in place of 5-year plans Arvind Panagariya quit NITI Aayog which he donned as vice-chairman at its very inception two and a half years ago. NITI or National Institute for Transforming India was the brainchild of Narendra Modi India Government’s new instrument to make the country an economic power to be reckoned with in the world community. NITI pushed into oblivion the Nehru-inspired planning commission which was buried in the midstream of the 12th 5-...

L.S. Herdenia
There are major discrepancies between the claims made by the Madhya Pradesh government and Narmada Bachao Andolan relating to the rehabilitation of the oustees of the Sardar Sarovar project, a three-day tour of several villages in the submergence zone in the Dhar and Barwani districts of the state reveals. This correspondent was part of a four-member team, which visited the affected areas. The other members of the team were S.C. Behar, former chief secretary, Arun Gurtoo, former director general of police and Chandrakant Naidu, a senior...

Kalyani Shankar
Why is the NDA growing at the cost of the UPA? There was a time when the BJP as a political party was untouchable, but today it is opposite of what was seen in the early eighties.  Political pundits believed that the country was moving towards a two-front politics in a coalition era. But this has changed in 2014 after the BJP emerged as the single largest party with a majority ending the 30 years of coalition politics. Since then, the UPA is getting weakened, though it showed its strength in the recent Presidential and Vice-Presidential polls...

Arun Srivastava
A running feud with the RSS ideologues and mandarins and his inability to evolve a blue print of economic policies that suited the temperament and political needs of his political patron Narendra Modi dearly cost the Vice Chairperson of the NITI Aayog Arvind Pangariya and forced him to resign and say good bye to his old saffron friends. Arvind Panagariya renouncing the responsibility of the NITI Aayog may appear to be a personal loss for the Prime Minister. But it is not the case. If the RSS bosses did not approve of his style of functioning...

Arun Srivastava
Some senior lawmakers from Tory as well as Labour parties are seriously contemplating to initiate a move to undo the Brexit. Their move is based on the peoples’ perception that Brexit has failed to do good to Britain instead it has simply complicated the economic and employment scenario prevailing in the UK. Incidentally, a recent meet of the Theresa May’s cabinet could not reach an agreement on what a transitional implementation period for Brexit should look like. The minister could not reach a consensus. After this development some senior...

Harihar Swarup
If the BJP and its ideologues think they can erase the names of great leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and others by rewriting India’s history from the public memory, they are sadly mistaken. A quiz book prepared by the BJP to be used as the basic text to judge the general awareness of nearly 15 lakh school children in Uttar Pradesh has expunged name of Mahatma Gandhi from the list of India’s great personalities. A chapter titled “India’s first” covers everything except the country’s first Prime Minister Nehru. The indoctrination...

Dr Arun Mitra
War is the one of the most serious threat to public health with catastrophic effects on infrastructure & environment and accounts for more deaths and disability than many major diseases combined. It destroys families, communities and sometimes-whole cultures. It channels limited resources away from health and other social needs. During a visit to the Peace memorial in Hiroshima as a part of the delegation of Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) to attend the 20th World Congress of International Physicians for the Prevention of...

Anjan Roy
In line with expectations of a cut in interest rates, the Reserve bank of India has complied with the requests. It cut its repo rate (at which banks borrow from the central bank) by a quarter of one per cent. This is neither here nor there. Immediately the cut was announced, the union finance ministry expressed its disappointment with the decision. North Block had hoped for a deeper cut in interest rates. The financial markets, on the other hand, spoke with its foot down. Stock markets slipped and showed their displeasure with the RBI...

Arun Srivastava
No one can find fault with Nitish Kumar for eulogising Narendra Modi. He has followed the beaten track. Often the turn coats sing paean in the praise of their new leader. Nitish is not an exception. He is politically correct in his assessment that no one is capable of defeating Modi in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Looking at the prevalent political situation, with Congress in a bind, it is utopian to expect that it would lead a comprehensive opposition to unseat Modi.  Ever since its rout in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress...

Amulya Ganguli
Union minister Muktar Abbas Naqvi’s remark that not singing Vande Mataram is not an anti-national act seemingly marks a new and somewhat unexpected phase in saffron politics. This is the same Naqvi who advised those who want to eat beef to go to Pakistan and who denied in parliament that the lynching of Pehlu Khan in Rajasthan took place. Given such predictable instincts of a devoted camp-follower, it is not easy to understand what has suddenly made him sound so reasonable? To compound the mystery of the dawning of sense in a section of the...

G. Srinivasan
The nineteenth round of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Trade Negotiating Committee held its twelve-day protracted parleys in Hyderabad with Government of India hosting the event. RCEP is a proposed comprehensive regional economic integration agreement among the 10-ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations comprising Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) and its six Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners namely Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China...

Emile Schepers
In spite of threats from the Trump administration and sometimes violent demonstrations and a boycott by the right wing opposition, the scheduled elections for Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly were held Sunday, July 30. Just after midnight, the head of the National Elections Commission, Tibisay Lucena, announced that 8,089,320 Venezuelans had voted.  This represents 41.53 percent of the 19 million eligible voters in this country of nearly 32 million. This may seem unimpressive but, considering the boycott, was a fairly good turnout....

Amulya Ganguli
Nitish Kumar’s departure from the “secular” camp has been a body blow to the Opposition, but it’s even more so for Rahul Gandhi. The Bihar chief minister is the third person in the last two years to have deserted Narendra Modi’s opponents. The first was Himanta Biswa Sarma in Assam, who is now a minister in the BJP government in the state. He famously said that when he went to meet Rahul Gandhi before deciding to leave the Congress, the latter hardly listened to him while playing with his dog. It is possible that the Congress vice-president...

Dr. Arun Mitra
It was astonishing when the union health minister Shri J P Nadda said in an interview on a TV channel that the government will institute inquiry in to the exorbitant prices of drugs. It would be naive to believe that till date the government was ignorant about this. Knowing well the machinations by the private pharma companies the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) was established in 1995 to fix/revise the prices of controlled bulk drugs and formulations and to enforce prices and availability of medicines in the country, under...

Subrata Majumder
Speculations are rife over the impending new era of Sino-India economic relations. Political and economic relations, which were intertwined hitherto, moved diagonally opposite to each other. Despite border standoff intensified at Sikkim, Bhutan and Tibet tri-junction, Chinese investment initiatives are unlikely to be debilitated. Border tension is not new. Before, whenever the border tension erupted, it had a drag on Chinese trade and investment in India. India used to restrict Chinese investment with a plea on security concern. This time, no...

Himanshu Khandelwal
The Indian market made a historical day on Tuesday this week when Nifty touched the magic level of 10,000, driven by better earnings from blue-chips and strong liquidity. However, profit booking at higher levels pulled the market down to a mild correction, attributed to a psychological effect, muted Q1 results for midcaps and the forthcoming Fed monetary policy meet. Stock markets in India have been soaring as the economy enters a prolonged period of political and economic stability. At elevated valuations, near term returns seem uncertain...

Nitya Chakraborty
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) leadership is in the habit of committing major political blunders in the month of July. The earlier historic blunders took place at the central committee meetings in July 1996 by rejecting the proposal to  make Jyoti Basu the Prime Minister and in 2008, the CC decided to withdraw from the UPA Government of Dr. Manmohan Singh on the issue of the India-US nuclear deal. True to its tradition, at the latest central committee meeting of the Party on July 23 to 26, the CC rejected the proposal of the West...

Amulya Ganguli
Nitish Kumar’s return to the BJP after a brief spell in the “secular” camp will hurt the opposition at the national level more than be of any help to his latest allies. In the BJP, he will not only have to play second fiddle to the powerful Narendra Modi-Amit Shah combination in Lutyens Delhi, he will also have to give up any hope which he may have nurtured about a larger role in national life, which was his for the asking when he was among the BJP’s opponents. Now, he will have to remain confined to Bihar and contend with the rising clout...

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...

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...

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...

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...