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 […]Read More Are elite civil service cadres becoming training schools for politicians?
Terror, says our Supreme Court, is not just a heinous crime. It is crime with the intent of destabilising the Union of India and striking terror in the hearts and minds of Indians. We are not new to terror. But the digital age has made it easier for terrorists to instil fear and suspicion where […]Read More Is a 26/11 terror redux probable?
“The Great Smog of India”, Siddharth Singh’s book, is in the genre of everything-the-intelligent-person should know about air pollution in India. It’s attractively written with an easy, breezy style. It instantly sets the reader at ease that she is not about to be inundated with complicated scientific models and graphs about climate change. The author […]Read More Book Review: North India’s smoggy future
It was an unequal fight to begin with. Structurally, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the nation’s central bank, is squarely under the government’s thumb. The government appoints the governor of the RBI and can curtail his tenure. Two-thirds of the RBI’s board consists of government appointees who are not RBI officials. The government can […]Read More Urjit Patel the only winner in the Govt-RBI slugfest
Low-hanging fruit gathered with minimum effort and pain are any politician’s first choice for action. Renaming cities, infrastructure projects or roads to celebrate a distinguished political or thought leader, a sportsman, a war hero; a historical event or a way of life (Queensway turning into today’s Janpath in New Delhi) are par for the course. […]Read More The populism of “renaming” has a cost
Nothing makes Diwali sparkle more than the comforting bulge of spare cash in one’s pocket. This year there are few who could claim that privilege. Suffering in tandem are the unfortunates who catch the trickle lower downstream. Body blows to carefree spending have taken their toll. The combined effect of the Goods and Services Tax, […]Read More Deepawali depression unwarranted
The Gandhi’s (Rahul, his mom and sister) face an existential crisis. At the heart of their problem is the stance they should adopt for the national elections coming up in May 2019. The dilemma of leadership Doing more of the same would mean upping the ante, matching Prime Minister Modi and Amit Shah taunt-for-taunt, continuing […]Read More Should Rahul step up or back?
We Indians are peculiar. At least 40 per cent of us have barely benefited from Independence. Another 40 per cent have benefited only somewhat. This skewed income profile pulls our per capita income down to $1,820 (current 2017), close to the bottom at number 173 out of 229 economies (World Bank 2017). The real beneficiaries […]Read More Why India’s 20% club loves the status quo
It’s the silly season in Delhi. Deepawali brings out the worst – drunk driving, gambling, winning and losing fortunes -but thankfully no longer one’s spouse or partner, parties galore where the sparkle of “jewels” – sadly not including one’s spouse – dims the brilliance of the overhead arc lights. Its stressful working with PM Modi […]Read More Bureaucratic stress buster – public venting
Ajit Doval, India’s National Security Czar is unafraid of plain speak. But he may have overstated his case by opining yesterday that a uniform pan-India governance architecture would be best for the nation. Diversity drives political contestation and change This is not quite the way the Constitution envisages India being governed. India is undoubtedly a […]Read More Ajit Doval’s plain speak