The empty canopy at India gate

Just east of India Gate –where, under the arch, an everlasting flame flickers in remembrance of martyrs – is an empty canopy built along with the rest of colonial New Delhi in the 1930s. This once housed a statue of George V – King of England when the shifting of the capital from Calcutta to […]

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New Year gift for Kashmir

Kashmir – The Valley, as distinct from Jammu or Leh – has learnt to live with low-intensity conflict. But a new deal in the New Year would be welcome. Conflict literature presents development as an option. The logic is appealing – development lifting all boats, thereby making disruptive conflict too expensive to pursue. This is […]

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Santa on good governance

Santa Claus is known globally for his — yes, his is still a male preserve — penchant for grunting his massive bulk through chimneys, including, miraculously, the narrow outlets of smokeless challahs, into homes to bestow gifts on sleeping children. Santa the original behavioural economist He is the original behavioural economist, grading gifts by the […]

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Das – the new Raja of Mint Street

Babus are hugely upset, understandably so, at the less than laudatory media coverage of Shaktikanta Das, an IAS officer of the Tamil Nadu cadre who had retired as secretary, economic affairs, in the finance ministry and was appointed the 25th governor of the Reserve Bank of India last week. The first two governors of the […]

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McKinsey can learn from Modi

In a recent freebie on social media, McKinsey – an outrageously expensive US consultancy which spurns a fee below Rs 50 million for even the smallest task – shares lessons learnt by them for producing leaders. First, good health is critical – a no-brainer. Second, company programs to produce leaders mostly fail – this is […]

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Are elite civil service cadres becoming training schools for politicians?

It is a fashion of the times that officers of the elite Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service and Indian Foreign Service join political parties and get elected to public office. The civil service conduct rules, which require an officer to be apolitical, no longer apply once (s)he leaves government service. This approach is congruent […]

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