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Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar

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Posts by Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar

‘Make in India’ can’t be a policy, only an outcome

Narendra Modi has come to power by promising rapid economic growth that delivers millions of jobs. To achieve this, Modi has devised a ‘Make in India’ policy. Launched with a blaze of publicity , it seeks to make India a manufacturing giant and attract global investors. It aims to raise the share of manufacturing in More >

Why the public-private partnership model for infrastructure is broken

GDP data show manufacturing growing by only 0.1 per cent, and fixed capital formation stagnant. Rs 6 lakh crore worth of cleared projects are simply not translating into orders for machinery and construction. Lags alone cannot explain this. Let’s face it: the public-private partnership (PPP) model for infrastructure is broken. The government is trying to More >

Country’s linguistic glue is Bollywood, not Sanskrit

Education Minister Smriti Irani has decreed that Kendriya Vidyalayas (schools for children of government officials) cannot teach German as a third language (in addition to Hindi and English), and must teach Sanskrit instead. RSS groups like Sanskrit Bharati want Sanskrit made compulsory in all schools. This will evoke strong opposition, especially in parts of the More >

Modi must not create rules that cannot be enforced

In his election campaign, Narendra Modi said that for every new law we should abolish 10 old ones. This admirable sentiment expressed a golden rule of good governance — create a minimum of sensible laws and enforce them fully. Don’t create a plethora of laws that overwhelm administrative capacity and remain unimplemented. Alas, this principle More >

Six months of Modi: achhe sitare more than achhe din

Have six months of Narendra Modi’s rule produced the achhe din (good days) promised during his election campaign? To some extent, yes. But this owes more to good luck than good policy. The most dramatic improvement by far is falling inflation. After years of double digit inflation, consumer inflation is down to just 5.5%.Wholesale price More >

Did Modi learn from the fall of the Berlin Wall?

The Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago. An entire generation has come up since, barely aware of the Wall’s history. Its lessons must never be forgotten. World War II ended with East Germany occupied by the USSR and West Germany by the US and its allies. East Germany by the US and its allies. East More >

Beedis a bigger killer, tax them like cigarettes

Dear Dr Harsh Vardhan, You are rightly worried about the health effects of cigarettes. You are campaigning for much higher taxes to deter cigarette smoking, a ban on the sale of loose cigarettes, and a ban on e-cigarettes. You want three-quarters of every cigarette pack to be covered with health warnings. Very good, but there More >

Are Prime Minister Modi’s reforms half-hearted or clever gradualism?

Policy changes after the Maharashtra elections have sent animal spirits and stock markets soaring. Diesel has been decontrolled. The price of natural gas has been revised to $5.61, with a proviso to revise it every six months. Coal blocks deallocated by the Supreme Court are going to be auctioned soon. Earlier, there were some changes More >

Can Congress bounce back from No 3?

Having been thrashed in the general election, and again in the state elections last week in Maharashtra and Haryana, can the Congress bounce back? And if so, how and why? In the past, the Congress has often been written off after massive defeats but bounced back. However, we may have entered a new phase. The More >

Child labour can’t end without good schools for all

Indians are delighted that Kailash Satyarthi has won the Nobel Peace Prize for combating child labour. This includes Indians who have, directly or indirectly, used child labour in house holds, dhabas, and artisanal work of every kind (from weaving and matchstick-making to pottery and gem polishing). Child labour is so common that it evokes tut-tutting More >

Chidambaram’s ghosts

Narendra Modi has generated much hope and enthusiasm. He has been praised for the Jan Dhan Yojana, the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, higher FDI limits for defence and insurance, punctuality requirements for bureaucrats and selfcertification of documents by citizens. Some of these are simply extensions of old Congress schemes, but Modi has done a fine sales More >

Don’t bribe Pak with gas when we need it more

The government seems serious about a ridiculous proposal — supplying Pakistan five million units of imported gas per day, enough for two large power plants. When India is desperately short of gas, this is folly. Many Indian power plants lie closed for want of gas. The consequent power shortage translates into lakhs of farmers with More >

‘Bimaru’ MP now fastest-growing state in India

For several years, Bihar has been India’s fastest-growing state. In 2013-14 it has been overtaken by another backward state, Madhya Pradesh, which grew 11.08% against the national 4.7%. MP has averaged over 10% in the last three years, even as national rate has plummeted. Till the 1990s, backward states in the Hindi belt grew slowly, More >

Falling commodity prices are good, unless they signal global recession

The stock markets have soared this year, with blue chips up 30% and some midcaps up 100% or more. Many analysts believe that, even without radical reform, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administrative dynamism will help raise GDP growth from last year’s 4.7% to 5.5% this year, 6.5% next year, and 7% later. Some stock market More >

PM Modi’s US Visit: Rock show in New York over, it’s time to roll action in India

Narendra Modi’s Madison Square Garden address to overseas Indians was more a rockstar concert than a prime minister’s lecture. He had delirious fans cheering, clapping, and chanting “Modi, Modi, Modi!” He plucked their heartstrings, praising them lavishly for raising India’s global image, and promised that India would become a stunning success that would make them More >