Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014
India’s fast power
India’s fast power

Modi government is enunciating a doctrine of high-speed diplomacy.

How not to draft regulation
How not to draft regulation

RBI rules on wilful default are a throwback to the age of khap panchayats.

Withering away of a revolution
Withering away of a revolution

And then the waters rose
And then the waters rose

Now, people of J&K praise army for their rescue and curse the media for publicising it.

Britain on the brink
Britain on the brink

Whether Scotland votes for independence or stays with the union, the UK will never be the same.

Silk route to Beijing
Silk route to Beijing

Delhi must participate in Chinese initiatives in Indian Ocean and shape the agenda.

Slippery ground of the secularism debate
Slippery ground of the secularism debate

A new language and strategy is needed to expose Modi’s communal agenda

Build it green
Build it green

Top-down approach to making buildings energy efficient has not worked

The disintegration of Janata
The disintegration of Janata

The party imploded in spectacular fashion, giving Indira Gandhi the chance to rise again.

Making it work
Making it work

Restructure the MGNREGS to raise overall efficiency and gains to rural households.

Out of my mind: Break away
Out of my mind: Break away

If the outcome is a narrow margin in favour of No, the battle will not end. If it is narrowly for Yes, the game is over.

Fifth column: Parivartan needed urgently
Fifth column: Parivartan needed urgently

Social welfare system created by Nehruvian socialist India is supposed to help our weakest citizens. It does the opposite.

Flip side: Dangling the participles
Flip side: Dangling the participles

The RSS has got their khaki knickers in a twist over what they are calling love jihad.

Pranab Mukherjee in Vietnam: Modi's Asian Power Play
Pranab Mukherjee in Vietnam: Modi's Asian Power Play

Mukherjee's visit to Hanoi was scheduled well before President Xi's South Asia itinerary was firmed up.

Inside track: Hooked to hookah
Inside track: Hooked to hookah

Many Indian cricketers carry a hookah in their bags and take puffs during their free time.

From the discomfort zone: Process obsession
From the discomfort zone: Process obsession

German process obsession translates to providing outstanding value to end customers when they are paying for it.

Where monetary policy is irrelevant
Where monetary policy is irrelevant

It plays no role in the rise and fall of inflation. RBI must junk its inflation expectations survey before it causes more damage to its reputation

It’s not just about 100 days
It’s not just about 100 days

Modi government may be triggering irreversible consequences through its environment policies and silence over party cadres stoking communal tensions

Failure to launch
Failure to launch

Nepal should worry about the Baburam Bhattarai committee missing its deadline

Going back to Rawalpindi
Going back to Rawalpindi

Once more, Pak army shows it does not need to seize power to be most powerful.

Degradation and denial
Degradation and denial

The charade of the abolition of manual scavenging plays on.

Catalyse, don’t control
Catalyse, don’t control

A forum for states, Centre to learn from each other should replace Planning Commission.

UP 2014, like Punjab 1947
UP 2014, like Punjab 1947

Then, too, politicians showed an inability to engage with the ‘other’. Modi should convene a ‘save UP’ roundtable and bring Mulayam and Mayawati on board.

Poor marks for transparency
Poor marks for transparency

So far, Modi government has done little to make governance more accountable

The poor parrot
The poor parrot

Controversy around CBI director’s visitors should not be used to stifle police autonomy.

Factual and fearless
Factual and fearless

That’s the kind of news that has the most effect.

Countries in arms
Countries in arms

The focus has shifted from the nuclear liability act and trade issues to Javelin missiles and Apache helicopters.

Cult versus parliament
Cult versus parliament

So far, those who think attrition would weaken the cults if the standoff is prolonged are being proved wrong.

The worker of poetry
The worker of poetry

Muktibodh is unafraid to make the labour contained in the act of imagination palpable.

Disaster frames
Disaster frames

And some bad-tempered television over a sting operation.

Insurance can be bad for health
Insurance can be bad for health

International experience points to the dangers in moving towards a system of health insurance coverage. Improving government services is the answer.

It’s time to clean up
It’s time to clean up

The debate on criminalisation of politics has been long. Now for some solutions

The dam way
The dam way

Floods in J&K are a reminder that the Indus Waters Treaty needs to be revisited

The freeze over Ukraine
The freeze over Ukraine

It must be broken. Western strategy could benefit from a vigorous diplomatic effort.

Chinese takeaway: BJP’s Beijing
Chinese takeaway: BJP’s Beijing

If Modi generates new warmth in relations with China, many of his critics at home will find it hard not to clap.

Not just by hitting sixes
Not just by hitting sixes

So far, government has kept the scoreboard moving with singles.

Half the sanitation battle
Half the sanitation battle

Just building toilets won’t be enough.

This parrot can’t be set free

Competence and accountability are bigger issues for the CBI than independence.

‘For the first time, Muslim countries not cordial to each other have condemned the IS in one voice’
‘For the first time, Muslim countries not cordial to each other have condemned the IS in one voice’

Akhtar-Ul-Wasey, former director of Zakir Husain Institute of Islamic Studies spoke to Seema Chishti.

Fringe goes mainstream
Fringe goes mainstream

‘Love jihad’ crusade underscores that what was once an extreme perspective has now become party line.

How to lead from within
How to lead from within

Lifting the self-imposed ban on US oil exports would make America stronger and Putin and IS weaker.

A matter of propriety
A matter of propriety

Can a recently retired CJI be appointed governor — is not a legal question.

When green shoots don’t sprout
When green shoots don’t sprout

We need clarity on how the government plans to tackle the deficient monsoon.

The children the PM couldn’t speak to
The children the PM couldn’t speak to

More than four years after the RTE was passed, the state has no handle on the numbers of out-of-school children.

‘What we have to offer each other touches the last inhabitant of Israel and of India’
‘What we have to offer each other touches the last inhabitant of Israel and of India’

Israeli Ambassador Daniel carmon talked to Sudeep Paul about the bilateral road ahead and the Gaza conflict.

Simpler government
Simpler government

Some lessons from the process of passport renewal and police verification.

Out of my mind: Binary battles
Out of my mind: Binary battles

Even the most organised political parties cannot be micro-managed by the top leadership.

Fifth column: Love jihad vs real jihad
Fifth column: Love jihad vs real jihad

It is time to stop being politically correct, and draw some red lines before it is too late.

Flip side: The visitor’s book
Flip side: The visitor’s book

CBI Director Ranjit Sinha’s case diaries would make for great reading, but so did his visitor’s book.

Inside track: Lead drummer
Inside track: Lead drummer

Modi is familiar with both musical instruments since RSS recruits as part of their training are taught to play the drums and flute.

From the discomfort Zone: Shake shake scale
From the discomfort Zone: Shake shake scale

Their ability to simplify, to sell an idea differently while understanding the competitive environment have helped Americans scale up business.

Past is political
Past is political

A potent mix of nostalgia and unresolved hurt has come to drive world politics.

Don’t confuse luck with performance
Don’t confuse luck with performance

The ‘long-term’ economic policies initiated in the first 100 days of the Modi government are, like the invisible hand, nowhere to be seen.

And now for the brain gain
And now for the brain gain

India needs to create the bandwidth to absorb the best of the returnees.

Boxed in by Pakistan
Boxed in by Pakistan

India has the options. It needs the imagination

Why #RussiaInvadedUkraine matters
Why #RussiaInvadedUkraine matters

Calling Putin’s bluff, by other means

Here comes the bridezilla
Here comes the bridezilla

The sad irony of the woman who calls the shots at her wedding.

Losing the Vajpayee way
Losing the Vajpayee way

Hurriyat has acted responsibly. It’s Delhi that has backtracked.

The story beyond uranium
The story beyond uranium

Much political work remains to be done on India-Australia cooperation.

Is this the way to energise civil servants?
Is this the way to energise civil servants?

CBI move to investigate the disinvestment of Udaipur’s Laxmi Vilas hotel on the basis of an anonymous oral complaint.

Dear Pradhan Mantriji
Dear Pradhan Mantriji

Spare a thought for our ill-treated and demotivated teachers when you take the stage on Teachers’ Day.

India, US and the bounds of goodwill
India, US and the bounds of goodwill

Modi and Obama are off to a fine start. But New Delhi and Washington must improve habits of interaction even where they have differences.

Modinama on DD
Modinama on DD

Has the public broadcaster said a big ‘thank you’ to the PM?

With skill and fairness towards all
With skill and fairness towards all

Vahanvati was the counsel for government in what was probably the most difficult time for any government before the Supreme Court.

Rise of the mob
Rise of the mob

Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri lead an attack against representative democracy.

Missing a defence minister
Missing a defence minister

National security management needs a comprehensive review.

Still waiting
Still waiting

Modi government has made tactical changes, not strategic policy shifts, to restart growth.

UGC doesn’t get it
UGC doesn’t get it

It needs to learn from the IITs, not impose its outdated norms.

What bypolls say, and what they don’t
What bypolls say, and what they don’t

Incumbents in the state have an advantage. But it is difficult to use the results to cull out statewide or nationwide trends.

Wherever order falls apart
Wherever order falls apart

...Germany is affected too. That’s why its decision to pitch in with military and humanitarian support in the fight against the IS.

Development 2.0
Development 2.0

Planning Commission is dead. Its successor must focus on ideas over implementation.

The Janata’s collapse
The Janata’s collapse

In its determination to politically destroy Indira Gandhi, the party succeeded in hastening her return to power.

Converging on skills
Converging on skills

But will a nodal ministry at the Centre solve all issues in a federal structure such as ours?

Bitter pill to swallow
Bitter pill to swallow

Rajasthan government’s decision to ‘target’ free medicines and diagnostics is contrary to the recommended role of government in healthcare

The tough talk begins
The tough talk begins

How Delhi’s bluntness has sharpened the Hurriyat hardline.

We don’t need no regulation
We don’t need no regulation

For IITs, UGC should go back to its earlier practice of only listing names of degrees.

A death in the family
A death in the family

Chandra was a passionate historian, but he never let political affiliation get in the way of personal and professional ties.

The eternal critic of the self
The eternal critic of the self

Bipan Chandra’s life celebrated the virtues of revisionism.

Good governance 101
Good governance 101

It is not about size, scope or ideology. Rather, it is about getting things done.

Fifth Column: Myths, lies and punditry
Fifth Column: Myths, lies and punditry

Unless the licence raj goes, India will never build the institutions of higher learning that we so desperately need.

Out of my mind: Jihadi or shaheed?
Out of my mind: Jihadi or shaheed?

We have war crimes as a new category in international law, for which there is an international court.

Inside track: After the funeral
Inside track: After the funeral

Congress persons are unanimous that Vinod Rai was a disastrous choice as the Comptroller and Auditor General.

Flip side: Global ambassadors
Flip side: Global ambassadors

Shah Rukh Khan has spearheaded the trend, but others are not far behind. Here are the nominees.

From the discomfort zone: Bathing in disruptive aspiration
From the discomfort zone: Bathing in disruptive aspiration

To establish their supremacy, French kings wanted control over nature too.

Friends for the future
Friends for the future

Modi can draw from history as he renews India’s engagement with Japan.

What’s a hit got to do with it
What’s a hit got to do with it

How well a film does at the box office has nothing to do with its intrinsic worth.

Because Pakistan crossed the line
Because Pakistan crossed the line

Can it demonstrate that its persistent counsel to the Hurriyat has advanced the cause of peace in Jammu and Kashmir?

The critical insider
The critical insider

U.R. Ananthamurthy was a writer who possessed two ways — his own and that of the other.

Some big ideas and images to match
Some big ideas and images to match

Creative talent in Hollywood is learning to sneak artistry and individuality into studio tentpoles.

Not in a fit state
Not in a fit state

Recent economic logjam underlines need to remake the state for the 21st century.

Keep out will, whim and fancy
Keep out will, whim and fancy

President need not disclose reason for dismissing a governor, but a cause must exist.

And there’s no one else to blame
And there’s no one else to blame

Since Modi has centralised power, the buck rests with him

Not by a stricter law alone
Not by a stricter law alone

Disturbing new trends have emerged in rape judgments

Felling the straw man
Felling the straw man

The problem is not with ministers’ foreign education but with their attitudes towards society

That man next to Lalu
That man next to Lalu

For now, he has reason to smile. But does Nitish model need rescuing from Nitish?

Writing freedom
Writing freedom

For U.R. Ananthamurthy, literature, at all times, was a satyagraha.

The myth of love jihad
The myth of love jihad

In its orchestration and inflammatory appeal, the current campaign shares similarities with Hindu revivalist projects in the 1920s in UP.

Because Gaza is there to stay
Because Gaza is there to stay

If there is to be Israeli-Palestinian peace, Gaza must be its foundation.

The new young
The new young

Exposure to television and digital media grew by leaps and bounds between 2005 and 2012.

Under Government Control
Under Government Control

Under the UGC Act, the HRD ministry has the power to declare any institution a “deemed to be university” (DU).

Connoisseurs of the stalemate
Connoisseurs of the stalemate

The change of mind in Pakistan via-a-vis India is real. But foreign offices of both countries remain addicted to deadlocks.

American bungle
American bungle

No one loves an Arab vacuum like jihadi extremists, and a bloody vacuum was precisely what Obama allowed Syria to become.

The barefoot government
The barefoot government

A government shorn of Western educated ministers could change the status quo.

Rethinking impunity
Rethinking impunity

Why it may be time to revoke the AFSPA in areas like Manipur.

Before it changes the map
Before it changes the map

The priority ought to be to collectively deliberate on how to confront the present and clear danger posed by the IS.

No convergence
No convergence

Some Nepalese leaders, unhappy with Modi’s new approach, are preparing to raise the ‘ek madhes, ek pradesh’ demand.

Champagne socialist
Champagne socialist

Gandhi (1982), an epic but intimate biographical film, was Richard Attenborough's greatest triumph.

To give women their due

Families have a preferred number of sons at any given fertility level as well as a preferred fertility level.

Modi’s red lines
Modi’s red lines

From Pakistan to Japan, China to US, he will be tested on ability to stick to them.

Left behind at 135
Left behind at 135

India needs a national effort to speed up human development.

Making friends with the middle
Making friends with the middle

Flexible Asian coalitions that don't include America or China should become a critical element of India’s strategy.

The wrong end of the right debate
The wrong end of the right debate

‘Neo-liberals’ emphasise sewers, sanitation and toilets, not ‘neo-communists’.

When citizen remakes the city
When citizen remakes the city

Citizen groups are chipping away at Bangalore’s urban chaos, one street corner at a time.

Charming and world weary
Charming and world weary

The noir moment seemed to perfectly illuminate Lauren Bacall.

The no blame game
The no blame game

The JD(U), RJD, Samajwadi Party, BSP, JD(S), BJD, fragments of the old Janata could come together and form a party.

Inside track: Taking no chances

Originally scheduled for July 3, Modi’s trip was re-scheduled for August 4. The visit has now been fixed for August 31.

Defeat and delusions

The Prime Minister had to select his team from the ranks of his own party but he is now making a serious effort to change the way his party thinks.

Shock treatment
Shock treatment

The appeal to provide them Pampers has been rejected, but there are some suggestions worth considering.

Perversity sells design

Americans see everything big, from them I learnt about how important it is to design industrial products for mass scale manufacture.

The labour reform myth
The labour reform myth

No evidence to show labour laws are the only, or even main, constraint to growth.

About gobi flavoured ice-cream
About gobi flavoured ice-cream

A new international cinema, of gentle fantasies of post-colonial harmony.

The religious scientist
The religious scientist

The gap of learning between India and Pakistan is significant because it goes beyond the argument of population ratios.

Levels of distrust
Levels of distrust

Survey data confirms perceptions of a trust deficit between Muslims and the police.

New at the Centre
New at the Centre

Three months is a short time, but government has emphatically regained control of its turf.

Only talk
Only talk

Why TRS supports Modi government’s decision to suspend dialogue with Pakistan.

The pragmatic PM?
The pragmatic PM?

So far, ideology has not been the defining feature of Modi’s tenure.

Stories worth sharing
Stories worth sharing

Products matter less than the narratives that surround them.

No Facebook and Twitter election
No Facebook and Twitter election

The impact of social media on electoral outcomes in the Lok Sabha polls was marginal.

‘The fire (in Pakistan) is local, even if  it gets external fuel sometimes’
‘The fire (in Pakistan) is local, even if it gets external fuel sometimes’

Farahnaz Ispahani's forthcoming book is on Pakistan’s religious minorities.

Acknowledge this
Acknowledge this

Police attitudes towards Muslims will not change unless there is political recognition of the problem.

Obama the Unexciting
Obama the Unexciting

America needs its president to illuminate and lead, not sink into petulant aloofness

No table for three
No table for three

Modi’s gamble won’t work unless Delhi gets act together on J&K, border management.

Made in English
Made in English

CSAT questions address students from urban and privileged backgrounds.

The appeal of the problem solver
The appeal of the problem solver

Modi is a seasoned politician but the rising tide of expectation poses a big challenge to his popularity.

Decoding the rage in Ferguson
Decoding the rage in Ferguson

For more than a decade, African-American gains since the 1960s have been undergoing a reversal.

Live from Mathura
Live from Mathura

Janmashtami was on our screens this week. Will other Hindu festivals follow?

Being a bully
Being a bully

India’s response to the meeting between Pak envoy and Hurriyat is misplaced.

A time to upskill
A time to upskill

A small start has been made. Technology could show the way forward.

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