Feeding the beast- civil service training

Mission “Karamyogi”, the Modi governments first stab at public sector capacity development, was unveiled during the pandemic in September last year—a reminder that whilst the rest of us worked languidly from home, bureaucratic wheels continued to churn albeit with reduced physical presence. The name of the Mission derives from the Bhagawad Gita—a lively, ancient, masterclass on […]

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The problem with fiery federalism

Of the five natural elements (Panchabhuma) which comprise the world – Earth, Water, Air, Space and Fire, it is the last which best describes the existing relationship between Delhi (Union government) and Kolkata (state government of West Bengal) .Didi’s salvo protecting her citadel The most recent flare up is over Chief Minister Mamata “Didi” Banerjee […]

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Who’s in charge here?

India spends around just under 2% of its GDP on managing external threats as a core sovereign function of the Union government. By all accounts, this arrangement works well. Two generations of Indians since 1965, have never known war personally, except those brave hearts, who chose to take upon themselves, the weighty task of protecting […]

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A bottom up look at the annual budget

Despite the hoopla around the Union government’s Budget, for citizens, allocations in their state budgets matter more. Nearly two-thirds of total government expenditure is done by states and for capex, this could be even higher (FY 2020-21 BE data). Union FM primus inter pares Twenty-eight states and eight Union Territories share the enlarged pie at […]

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Democratic overload

Amitabh Kant the CEO of NITI Ayog got a taste of the underside of celebrity status when his remark on there being “too much democracy in India” created a social media storm of protest. Mr. Kant clarified subsequently that the news coverage had omitted the latter part of his sentence “……. for it to be […]

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Marching alone

One of the realizations, home-spun by Covid in India, is that there is value to “atmanirbharta” (ANB) or self-reliance – the capacity to march alone, if necessary. An admirable attribute except that “aloneness” creeps up silently on you like a habit, difficult to shake off. Looked at more cheerily, it is not so different from […]

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