A core staff of just around 400 persons borrowed from the Union government, leveraged temporarily with an additional five million staff from the Centre and state governments to manage polling for 900 million electors — more than 66 per cent of whom are expected to cast their vote this year — would be a recipe […]Read More Weak institutions undermine India’s Election Commission
Even as the #MeToo onslaught against M.J. Akbar ground to an interim conclusion with his resignation from the council of ministers, we have before us the case of a Uttar Pradesh politician’s son who felt it necessary to openly brandish his pistol, to bolster his stature, in an argument during the wee hours of the […]Read More Darning India’s stressed social fabric
Today we found the grandfatherly chief minister of Haryana Mohan Lal Khattar smiling at us out of a half-page advertisement, paid for by taxpayers, announcing an “unprecedented decision” of his government. From October 1, 2018 onwards, electricity customers consuming less than 500 kilowatt hours per month would pay between 16 to 47 per cent less […]Read More Electric subsidy – Haryana’s burden of riches
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 […]Read More Unbundling State effectiveness – current perspectives
Rahul Gandhi alleged, during last week’s doomed-from the-start no-confidence motion in Parliament, that corruption in the 2016 agreement signed by the Narendra Modi government to purchase 36 Rafale fighter jets from France had forced defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman to backtrack from her assurance to disclose details of the price of purchase. Parliamentary subterfuge – unnecessary, […]Read More Secrecy, privacy and property rights
Khichdi – Risotto if you prefer the Italian version – is a traditional palliative for Delhi belly. But Delhi’s khichdi style political governance systems are guaranteed to give anybody the runs. So bad is the mess that it is difficult to find out who rules Delhi. The Delhi Government, a contender, appealed against orders of […]Read More Who rules Delhi?
The breakdown of a working relationship between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government of the National Capital Region and its officers is a seminal moment. On February 19, AAP legislators heckled, abused and allegedly assaulted Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash, the Delhi government’s topmost bureaucrat, at the residence of the Chief Minister (CM). Both CM Arvind […]Read More Delhi babus – between a rock & a hard place
Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and the four judges who went public Justices N. Chelameswar; Ranjan Gogoi; Madan B. Lokur and Joseph Kurian. Photo courtesy Freepressjournal.in ………will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established, that I will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India, that I […]Read More Supreme Court – between a rock & a hard place