Category Archive: Economy

NEW GDP SERIES: A CLOUD OF SMOKE

Even the trained economists are now asking one simple question – in the light of subdued mood in almost every sector of the economy how come the GDP growth figures are showing such high figures – amidst dwindling world and domestic demand. The jury is definitely not yet out.

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हम लड़ेंगे साथी… उदास मौसम के ख़िलाफ़…

We shall fight, comrade, for the unhappy times
We shall fight, comrade, for the bottled-up desires
We shall gather up, comrade, the fragments of our lives

The murder of my friend Giulio Regeni: An attack on academic freedom

Giulio Regeni’s murder is a direct challenge to the academic freedom that is a pillar of our higher education system. He is only one of many scholars to find themselves in grave danger. While it’s still not clear what happened to him, we know that others have been arbitrarily detained and abused in Egypt. As a scholarly community and as a society, we have a duty to strike to protect them and their colleagues who study in dangerous places the world over.

P Sainath on Rohith Vemula’s suicide

They say Rohith’s suicide is a depression suicide, it has nothing to do with discrimination and all the things you are talking about. One question is, why are some classes and castes in society more depressed than everyone else? But, there is a more cruel and venomous insinuation in this: This is not emotional depression, they are treating it as a mental health issue… this is inborn.

‘Where is the next John Lennon? Probably packing boxes in a supermarket somewhere.’

There is no more reason to believe that capitalism will be around forever. For centuries, the Roman Empire was able to absorb barbarian tribes, to draw them into the Roman system, to give their chiefs titles and offices… And one day, they forgot to give Alaric a promotion, which got him pretty upset. We all know what happened then. It’s permanent until it’s not, every contradiction is absorbed until it isn’t.

BLACK MONEY AND WHITE LIES

Corruption and black money are handy issues while in opposition, but those are always put in the back burner while in power. Without proper policies and concrete steps taken to unearth black money and utilising them for greater good of the nation – all talks of “na khayenge, na khane denge” or “no one dares to send money abroad now” will keep on sounding rhetorical and very hollow.

लोकतंत्र का छुआछूत संस्करण

अगर लोग शिक्षित नहीं हैं या उनके पास शौचालय की सुविधा नहीं है, तो यह राज्य की असफलता है, उन लोगों की नहीं. और, फिर एक ही देश में चुनाव से संबंधित अलग-अलग नियम बनाने का क्या तर्क है! कहीं ऐसा तो नहीं है कि राज्य क्रमशः लोगों के बुनियादी अधिकारों से अपना पिंड छुड़ाना चाहता है. आर्थिक स्तर पर बहिष्करण की व्यापक प्रक्रिया पहले ही गंभीर हो चुकी है, जहाँ देश के सबसे धनी 100 लोगों के पास आबादी के निचले 70 फ़ीसदी यानी करीब 75 करोड़ लोगों की संपत्ति से अधिक धन है.

How India failed at Paris Climate Conference

India failed to do even what a small country like Nicaragua did in the Paris Climate Conference by raising its flag questioning the autocratic change introduced in the final draft at the last moment (from ‘shall’ to ‘should’ ) while adopting the 12 page long Paris Agreement dated 12th December, 2015. The Agreement being a legal text required application of basic legal knowledge by India. In law schools across the globe students are taught that “shall” is “mandatory”. The drafters of legal documents are trained into the use of “shall” as it conveys “a duty to” be performed. It conveys obligation. Had “shall” been not important 76 pages of Words and Phrases, a multi volume work of legal definitions would not have been devoted to case laws around it. The word “should” does not express a legal obligation, the word “shall” expresses a legal requirement.

Where are the Green Shoots?

The government needs to summon the political will to step up capital expenditure by trimming subsidies, more efficient, intelligent and diligent taxation and by attracting more foreign direct investment, not only in industry but even more so in infrastructure expansion and modernization. Till then green shoots will be just like shaven grass strewn on a doctored cricket pitch. Something Finance Minister and Delhi cricket czar Arun Jaitley is very familiar with.

PROMISES, ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REALITY: THE 2015 STORY

If education, training and finally gainful employment are not provided to this population, this demographic advantage can prove to be a double edged sword for the country. This young population, if unemployed, can create social and political unrest. We can only hope that enough livelihood opportunities are created in the coming years for this gradually younger population towards an inclusive kind of economic growth – instead of announcements and propaganda of new schemes as has been done by the government in 2015.

How I ‘misused’ my non-NET fellowship

Amit is a former JNU research scholar. After a meeting on 23 October 2015 the Union Grants Commission (UGC), the apex decision making body on higher education in India, had decided to scrap… Continue reading