(photo credit: article.wn.com) Charismatic leaders can mould crowds like putty. Bill Clinton’s March, 2000 “US and India are natural allies” address to the Indian Parliament; Barrack Obama’s University of Cairo “New Beginnings” address to the Muslim world, June, 2009 unleashed a Tsunami of optimism and “feel good”. In much the same way, PM Modi-the man […]Read More “Tweak” the process transparently to deliver PM Modi’s “Big Things to Small People”
(photo credit: http://www.dreamstime.com) “Diplomacy is not instant coffee” said the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs yesterday. He is right of course. If you are the “instant coffee” type, you are unlikely to be invited to join the international high table. This doesn’t mean though that, if our MEA mandarins switch from Coffee […]Read More “Class” in diplomacy
(photo credit: narendramodi.in) Later today when the Chinese supremo savours Khakra (a snack) and toasts PM Modi over a glass of aam-ras (the juice of raw mangoes), on the carefully grassed banks of the Sabarmati river, the symbolism of the location will not be lost on him. What was till recently a sludge filled, trickle, […]Read More The MO-XI connect: going beyond the rice bowl.
(photo credit: the hindu.com) It is curious that we learn nothing from experience. The World Bank, sundry bilateral and multilateral donors spent 10% of their funds during the 1990’s on developing generalized skills (also known loosely as capacity development) in developing countries before junking the program, because results were difficult to attribute to inputs and […]Read More Skills Development: putting the cart before the horse?
(photocredit: lakechalice.blogspot.com) 97.5% of Delhi residents live in urban areas, many in slums. All 17 million of them live within an area of 1500 square kilometers. Travelling from end to end, despite the horrendous traffic, takes just two hours on average. There are five Municipalities (including the Delhi Cantonment Board) to look after their comforts. […]Read More Who needs a State Government in Delhi?
(photo credit: rediff.com) Energy development, because of its scale and complexity, only happens when “deals” are struck between governments and developers. Some deals are better than others. From the public policy perspective the “deals” we should be looking for, are those which minimize “rents” and maximize welfare. In the Indian context, Independent Regulation is best […]Read More Independent regulators are good “deal” makers
Acquiring property in tony Panchsheel Park, New Delhi is every middle class Punjabi, Kalal, refugee, boy’s dream. It came true for me today just shy of 62-never mind that the apartment is old; that one walks up the stairs to the second floor; the floor is cracked mosaic; the wash basin is below and not […]Read More My middle-class, Punjabi refugee, property dream
(photo credit:southasia.foreignpolicy.com) FM Jaitley’s comments recently in Mumbai, that the media did not know much about what happens inside government, riled many a media person. Expectedly, the comment was attributed variously to smugness and being out of touch with the intimacy, the media has got used to in the “chummy’ days of the UPA, when […]Read More IndoPak: make the mangoes rot.