IL&FS Robber Baron of India’s gilded age

India is deservedly an “emerging market”. Information asymmetries are extreme and caveat emptor rules, making investment riskier than it should be. The rapid implosion of the Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) — a private group — bears this out. Opaque financials First, consider that no outsider knows how many subsidiary companies it has. Estimates […]

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US bringing China to heel

America’s President Donald Trump is nearly halfway through his four-year term. This is when most occupants of the White House get edgy about their “legacy” — how would America remember them? It’s too expensive to launch a war and once launched even harder to bring it to an end. Making peace is a better option. […]

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Babus as default tycoons

Our style of governance remains “provincial”. Of course nothing wrong in that. The French, despite being the last word in art, films, fashion and style – and now fighter planes – exult in the provincial core of their culture. The dapper President Sarkozy first became a mayor of a charming French commune – through the […]

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Jaitley returns as FM

Arun Jaitley has returned to take charge as finance minister well before those who care for him would have advised. So what was the haste all about? The uncharitable view would be that power abhors a vacuum. Politicians and film stars — no wonder the two often overlap — are most vulnerable to the prolonged […]

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Grow up well India

So, what are we trying to say when we repeatedly stress that 65 per cent of our population is below 35 years of age? It is not as if we are growing any younger. In fact we are ageing. And that is a good thing because it is an outcome of development. India became younger […]

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Unbundling State effectiveness – current perspectives

Context is everything. No one model exists of an effective State. Hugely diverse countries like India can benefit from a modular approach enabling sub-national jurisdictions to shape their State architecture taking into account their context, the available resources and their dreams. The last is important. “Dreams” -as opposed to short-term ambition- are a mix of […]

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