Pranab da mimics Atal ji

  The brouhaha over Mr Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Nagpur, as the chief guest at a valedictory function of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), foregrounds the stunted nature of politics in India. Politics is about reaching out First, consider the absurdity of the prevailing schoolboy notion of “team” spirit extending to a ban on supping […]

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BJP self goals dim the shine

It is not often than an innocuous government statement becomes the fulcrum of a storm. The sudden announcement that Minister Nitin Gadkari’s plan to announce a policy for 100% electrification of transportation by 2030 was off the cards, sent shock waves through the industry and political analysts. Subsuming Gadkari’s proposed electric vehicle policy in a […]

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FM walks the budget plank gingerly

The Union Budget 2018-19 appears an honest and judicious construct when first viewed on video. Reading the fine print takes some of the shine off, going by precedent. The biggest relief is that there has been no substantive deviation from the path of fiscal discipline. The fiscal deficit for 2017-18 is pegged at 3.5 percent […]

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Is hubris slowing down Modi?

So when does hubris — the corrosive comfort of undiluted power — overtake a government? Conventional wisdom points to three early red flags. First, when routine tasks are ignored for grand ambitions. Second, when party cadres act out of entitlement rather than commitment. Third, when rant replaces reason as public outreach. Has this already happened […]

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Template Rashtrapati

Presidential elections in India are a ho-hum event for the average citizen. At best, this is a moment when the government “signals” its political identity or its governance style. The BJP-led NDA government has succeeded in the former but not the latter. Shivshankar Menon, national security adviser in Dr Manmohan Singh’s government, uses the “minimum […]

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Mixed signals stifle innovation

Photo credit: everettlaw.com Weird as it may sound, despite the rhetoric around innovation and private entrepreneurship being key for growth, this is not the consistent message emanating from government policy and regulations. Here are three examples. Ideological neutrality versus enlarging access to the internet First, consider that TRAI caved-in, in February 2016 to the “shrill […]

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