Miscellaneous

  • Suresh Prabhu to Piyush Goyal: What’s the Way Forward for Trade and Industry?

    The Wire, June 02, 2019

    Piyush Goyal is aware that the trade portfolio is at the heart of the economy and a key part of creating jobs both in urban and rural areas.

  • US must work towards reviving 2+2 dialogue without any preconditions

    The Asian Age, July 11, 2018

    An oft-used phrase these days in international relations is “rules-based international order”. Essentially, it means a shared commitment by all countries to conduct their activities in accordance with agreed rules that evolve over time, such as international law, regional security arrangements, trade agreements, immigration protocols, and cultural arrangements. Recently, however, the international rules-based order has come under severe threat.

  • Reuse, recycle for a cleaner, healthier India, and let’s cut use of plastics too

    Asian age, June 05, 2018

    Beat Plastic Pollution”, the theme for World Environment Day 2018, is a call for action and invites us all to consider how we can make changes in our everyday lives to reduce the heavy burden of plastic pollution on our cities, water bodies, forests and our own health

  • Is America not a free country anymore?

    The Indian Economist, February 2, 2017

    After a year of election rhetoric by President Donald Trump on immigration has quickly put into action by signing executive orders, proving that he’ll stand on his controversial election promises. Signed on Friday, the executive order makes more than 134 million people temporarily homeless.

  • The cult of india’s chief banker

    International Affairs, July 7, 2016

    Raghuram Rajan finishes his three-year term as Reserve Bank of India Governor on 4 September but his exit will not be an ordinary one. Rajan has been targeted for speaking on issues beyond his mandate, which did not go down well with the Indian Government. All eyes are now set on who will be his successor and the lessons to learn from Rajan’s time as governor.

  • Proactive alert civil society needed to fight against child rape cases

    DNA, Jaipur, November, 30, 2015

    Ever since the tragic Nirbhaya episode hit the headlines, reportage of child rapes (and murders in many cases) have increased causing our blood to curdle. A news report says that there has been an alarming surge in child rape cases in Rajasthan in the past one month. How can (ir)responsible men go around assaulting innocent infants just because they are incapable of resisting.

  • To renew the civil services

    The Indian Express, July 22, 2015

    Many young IAS officers often fall prey to the incompetency of the framework. Once inducted, postings and training seem to turn them into generalists rather than specialists…Civil servants should also be encouraged to move out and work for different sectors on a short-term basis to enrich their knowledge and enhance their motivation and efficiency. Therefore, lateral exit is as important as lateral entry. This has the potential to raise the civil services from its slump

  • Make in ‘digital’ India

    The Asian Age, June 01, 2015

    Snapdeal, Flipkart, Ola Cabs, Zomato and Hike are good for the economy as well as for consumers.. currently generating over 70,000 jobs. In the next five years, this could grow to a quarter million jobs.. which means more choices and lower prices. In the midst of the debate on allowing foreign direct investment in retail and in e-commerce, it would be worthwhile recalling what Christine Lagarde, the International Monetary Fund chief, early this year said to a group of students at Delhi’s Lady Shri Ram College, “Yes, I would personally invest in India.” As it turns out, Ms Lagarde is not alone. Year on year investments in Indian tech startups are growing at exponential rates, and our startups have raised close to $3 billion, and that too in the last five years.

  • Rajasthan alone witnesses 12.8% deaths due to road accidents

    DNA, February 09, 2015

    Jaipur city continues to remain on top in terms of road accidents and deaths in the state and mishaps are also reported from other cities like Kota and Jodhpur…The cost of the accidents is about three per cent of our GDP, and our record is the worst in the world. There has been some improvement last year but much more has to be done. Data shows that over 80 per cent of all accidents are due to drivers’ fault, but it would be unfair to put all of it on drivers. The enabling environment also matters.

  • Don’t carry on, doctor!

    The Hindu Business Line, January 17, 2014

    The nexus between the pharma industry and doctors needs to be broken. A doctor friend and his wife said that a pharma company had paid for their recent trip to Bali. This was standard practice, the doctor said, rather nonchalantly. The idea, he explained, was to feel sufficiently incentivised to prescribe their medicines. Britain’s largest pharmaceutical company, GSK, has just said it will stop offering allurements to doctors to promote their drugs. It will also stop linking the bonuses of sales staff to the number of drugs they sell. This is a much appreciated initiative from a leading player in an industry that has for long been accused of unethical sales and marketing practices by governments and regulators.

  • Healthcare industry is a rip-off

    The Hindu Business Line, July 02, 2012

    The absence of regulatory oversight in the health industry needs urgent attention. A standard pricing policy is required in the healthcare sector to reduce costs. A proper regulatory system with strong enforcement mechanisms needs to be introduced to improve the quality of service delivery and keeping unscrupulous elements at bay. Local authorities at the State level should be properly empowered to ensure that minimum standards of services are offered across healthcare institutions. A speedy adoption of Clinical Establishment (Registration and Regulation) Act 2010, by the States would bring some uniformity in quality of healthcare services across private and public sectors.

  • Multi-level marketing – in need of cognate regulation?

    Times of India, December 30, 2011

    The country has been periodically rocked by scams of MLM companies and such frequent frauds indicate regulatory circumvention . Recently, two such frauds came to light where the citizens lost an estimated Rs 500 crore when two MLM investment companies, Gold Sukh and Eve Miracle, duped people of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. The modus operandi of both was similar – spreading their schemes amongst gullible investors and running away when new joining stopped. The state governments, too, have been slow to react to MLM frauds. However, Kerala became the first state to set guidelines in September 2011 for MLM companies triggered by the Tycoon Empire International scam of about Rs 1000 crore.

  • Making food subsidies work better

    Business Standard, July 31, 2011

    The ADB study showed that the deserving poor in India received only 10 percent of the benefits from the system. The million dollar question is whether the system can be reformed at all. In my opinion, it is a Herculean task and well nigh impossible. Given that the system functions with many vested interests, efforts to reform it will be countered with ‘logical’ arguments by the polity, because the system feeds on political patronage, and hence all parties are unanimous in supporting it, like caste reservations in India.

  • We’re part of participatory democracy

    The Economic Times, April 25, 2011

    Much has been written about the successful campaign by Anna Hazare in raising the ante on corruption and getting the government to agree on the participation of the civil society in drafting the Lokpal Bill. Cynics and sceptics questioned the process on various grounds, including defining civil society advocates as self-appointed guardians of public interest and so on.

  • The untapped promise of G-20

    The Economic Times, September 20, 2010

    Untapped promise of G-20

    The News, Pakistan, September 19, 2010

    Orchestrating development: The untapped promise of G-20

    The Financial Express, Bangladesh, September 17, 2010

    World leaders will gather in New York on September 20-22, 2010 to renew their pledge toward attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The rationale for the differentiated approach adopted by the MDGs is sound: income poverty is not only highly correlated with the other mentioned forms of deprivation but often the alleviation of the former can only be facilitated on a sustainable basis if there is a concerted and direct attack on the latter.

  • Renewing our pledge to help poorest nations raise living standards

    Shanghai Daily, China, September 17, 2010

    World leaders will gather in New York on September 20-22, 2010 to renew their pledge toward attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The rationale for the differentiated approach adopted by the MDGs is sound: income poverty is not only highly correlated with the other mentioned forms of deprivation but often the alleviation of the former can only be facilitated on a sustainable basis if there is a concerted and direct attack on the latter.

  • Tobin Tax: An idea whose time must not pass

    Financial Express, Bangladesh, July 25, 2010

    James Tobin’s suggestion of ‘throwing sands in the wheels of international finance’ by taxing currency trading has become a vociferously advocated initiative in the post crisis discourse on reformative regulation. The call is worthy to take a close look, as it emphasises the need for this tax in the context of ‘elusive’ capital while fiscal deficits are compounding human development deficits. With high debts with major governments, we believe that leveraging liquidity is desirable and hopefully, the political will is not ossified.

  • Ensuring food security for all

    The Economic Times, May 31, 2010

    The National Food Security Bill, 2010 that aims to provide subsidised foodgrain to the very poor is welcome, but its definition of ‘food security’ is too narrow. The architects of the food security bill have either forgotten the Rome declaration or ignored it. Right to food is not just about getting a minimum quantity of foodgrains at subsidised rates, but about broader issues of food security, which is both physical and economic . This right cannot be ensured by just having a legislation, but by considering the whole system of public welfare.

  • A fortunate delay

    Financial Express, India, May 30, 2010

    US-China currency affair

    The News, Pakistan, May 30, 2010

    The US-China currency affair

    Financial Express, Bangladesh, May 27, 2010

    THE US treasury report ostensibly aimed at decreeing China a currency manipulator, has not been released as was scheduled for the 15th of April this year. The repeated postponement of the release is to avoid the tumult that may follow the US assuming an explicit stance on the currency issue and imposing tariffs on Chinese imports. The delay may be good for the US, China and even the rest of the world since it buys all parties some time to reflect on a way out of the delicate imbalance in regard to ‘balance of payments’ involving the Americans and Chinese. The current currency spat between the US and China raises several issues for global economic stability and welfare.

  • Cop Flop: Civil society must step in

    Economic Times, December 21, 2009

    With the end of Copenhagen talks and delegates returning home nearly empty-handed, one can safely say that this much-touted summit was, alas, a failure. It is not very difficult to diagnose the causes for this utter fiasco. Proactive measures to mitigate climate change impacts based on reduction in emissions, however, require tempering of growth aspirations which no country is yet willing to undertake. To resolve this conundrum, we need a new approach so that the world trundles along on a business-as-usual basis.

  • Vouching for health vouchers

    The Financial Express, May 08, 2008

    The healthcare system in India is very complex and there is a clear rural-urban divide. The irony is that medical tourism in India is getting popular with patients from other countries, but our own citizens do not have proper access to basic healthcare services. On the other hand government is finding it difficult to meet the costs of ever increasing public expectations for health services.

  • Desperate measures!

    The Economic Times, May 03, 2008

    The current inflation scenario is a global phenomenon, being spurred by a host of factors, such as escalating commodity prices and buoyant demand amidst slowdown in some countries. Governments around the world are doing many things to rein it in.

  • How justified is public expenditure on government schools?

    The Hindu Business Line, June 03, 2008

    Parents who want good quality education for their children are often constrained by affordability and their wards continue to languish in government schools with the attendant problems.

  • Food crisis: The blame game

    Business Line, May 21, 2008

    The world food crisis, despite all efforts to shift the blame, has been born out of life-style imbalances in the US and like-minded nations, characterised by an excess of nutrition and locomotion.

  • Changing with times: Lateral entry into public services

    Economic Times, February 11, 2008

    Lateral entry can bring immaculate thinking and innovation, which are the basis for effective formulation and implementation of administrative reforms. In addition, the flexibility to induct people with competence and expertise will give the much required boost to the system and help in serving the people better. Ensuring that the selection procedure for lateral entry is transparent, speedy and immune from political pressures represents a huge challenge for government.

  • Etiquette: where do we stand?

    The Financial Express, November 24, 2007

    How can any country make progress with boorish behaviour fast becoming the norm? Our leaders do not even let out a whimper to tell people this awful behaviour should stop.

  • Can India become an EU member?

    The Hindu Business Line, India, February 24, 2007

    The European Union is a unique success story and thus many countries are queuing up to join it. Starting from six countries in 1951, it now has 27 members with many more set to join.

  • Ingenuity of dual-use

    The Hindu Business Line, January 03, 2007

    Whenever one talks about dual-use technology, hackles rise. For, it is a touchy subject, and has been so ever since India exploded a nuclear device the second time.

  • Runners vs travellers

    The Hindu Business Line, October 06, 2006

    After retirement, civil servants often find a sinecure. If they can in such positions take orders from juniors, then why the compunction about doing so when in regular service?

  • Food subsidy: How to reduce the bill

    The Hindu Business Line, August 05, 2005

    The food subsidy bill, consisting largely of farmer and consumer subsidies and support to the Food Corporation of India, has spiralled in the last ten years. A combination of measures, including new marketing avenues through cooperatives, price insurance and competitive bidding, may ensure equal benefits to producers and consumers.

  • Bandung II: New hope for the poor?

    Daily Mirror, Colombo, May 23, 2005

    Leaders of 106 countries from Africa and Asia representing about three-fourths of humanity met in Indonesia in April to reinvigorate the spirit of 1995. The Bandung Conference led to the emergence of the Non-Aligned Movement and was the first step towards promoting South-South Cooperation.

  • Crossed connections in open markets

    Business Standard, India, January 24, 2005

    The first WTO dispute on trade and competition in the telecom sector points to some dangers for smaller economic powers and has been reported rather scantily in the Indian media.

  • The Global Anti-globalisers

    The Economic Times, January 24, 2004

    Curtains have come down on the alternate stage, the World Social Forum. There was nothing much, which came out, though over a hundred thousand people from all over the world converged at Mumbai to look for an alternative to the existing world order.

  • Why Road Safety is the Casualty

    The Hindu Business Line, April 07, 2004

    Today, the World Health Day is being observed it with an extremely relevant theme: “Road Safety is No Accident”. In India, it is a continuing series of accidents. Therefore, policy-makers need to take a structured approach to building this component into road safety policies, and fast.

  • Press Note 18: A way out of imbroglio

    The Hindu Business Line, October 15, 2004

    The Government is keen to scrap Press Note 18 as it believes that it is restricting fresh FDI flows. Indeed, there is merit in this, and one needs to take a dispassionate view.

  • Right To Protest: At What Cost?

    The Hindu Business Line, December 29, 2003

    Two recent court judgements relating to the right to protest have resulted in a raging public debate in the country. While the average Indian has welcomed the judgements, political parties, by and large, are not comfortable with them.

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