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WTO becomes India’s protector, not predator

When the World Trade Organisation (WTO) was created in 1995, critics protested that India must not join this vehicle of US imperialism, whose tough patent rules would ruin India’s agriculture and pharmaceutical industry. They could not have been more wrong. Both Indian agriculture and pharma have flourished under WTO rules. And today, the WTO is More >

Prospects of Third Front are not looking too good

ET Now caught up with Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar, Consulting Editor, ET Now, for his take on the Third Front and whether it will be able to shake up the Indian politics or not. Excerpts: ET Now: Will the Third Front shake up the Indian politics or not? Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar: At this point More >

Why Sonia’s right-based approach was rejected by the aam aadmi

Opinion polls predict the worstever defeat for the Congress in the coming election. The party swore by the aam aadmi for a decade, promising him succour through a rights-based approach . Alas, the aam aadmi rejects this categorically. In 2009, Sonia Gandhi created the powerful National Advisory Council with the top names in the NGO/activist More >

FIR against Moily? As absurd as one against Kejriwal

Aam Admi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal has filed an FIR (first information report) accusing petroleum minister Veerappa Moily of conspiring with Mukesh Ambani to raise the price of natural gas, bestowing billions of windfall profit on Reliance Industries Ltd. Now, the Ambanis and Congress politicians have committed a thousand sins over the years. I will More >

Ambedkar vs Gandhi: The risks of village empowerment

January 30, the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, drove home the growing irrelevance of the father of the nation. In West Bengal, not a single state cabinet minister attended the formal ceremony held by the Governor. In Mumbai, mayor Sunil Prabhu clean forgot about the usual ceremony, and blamed the lapse on the bureaucrat who More >

AAP can take a leaf out of Amartya Sen’s book

Many analysts and businessmen fear that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), dominated by socialists and Marxists like Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, is an extreme Left party. These fears are overblown. The AAP has appointed a seven-member committee to formulate its economic policy. This includes libertarian economist Laveesh Bhandari and business honchos like Meera Sanyal More >

Rupee slide to 65/dollar and shrinking CAD will boost India’s exports and growth

Once again, emerging market currencies are falling but not nearly as dramatically as in May-August 2013. The episode was sparked by the US Fed indicating it would soon taper and eventually end quantitative easing (QE3). Tapering is now partly priced into markets, but a new problem is GDP slowing and a possible financial crash in More >

The case for offshore airports

Mumbai’s proposed fourth airport at Navi Mumbai, essential for future traffic, is in trouble. Huge increases in proposed compensation to landowners have raised the project cost to Rs 14,000 crore, almost five times the initial estimate. Some villagers have refused to accept even monumental compensation (in the form of developed land with a floor space More >

How supposed job losses can actually mean rising prosperity

Narendra Modi and Arvind Kejriwal have one thing in common. Both have said “no” to majority foreign direct investment in retail markets. Modi’s rationale is obvious : the BJP has always been the party of small traders, and so he is backing the aam bania over the aam admi. But why has the Aam Aadmi More >

Falling wheat prices and controls on MSP can rein in food inflation

Food inflation is a huge problem. It has, in different years, been concentrated in different items: sometimes cereals, sometimes proteins (dairy products, pulses, eggs, meat), sometimes vegetables. Skyrocketing global prices of wheat and maize after the mid-2000s have stoked Indian inflation too. The good news is that global wheat and maize prices have crashed spectacularly. More >

Use wiki-ways to improve accountability

Dear Arvind Kejriwal, Your Aam Aadmi Party has asked the public to suggest what should be in its national manifesto. This suggests a remarkable openness.You will find thousands of suggestions attractive, especially those appealing to one vote bank or another. Please ignore all except those relating to the one thing for which you have been More >

Time to think the unthinkable: Kejriwal as PM?

The unthinkable happened in 2013: Arvind Kejriwal became CM of Delhi. What’s the most unthinkable thing that could actually happen in 2014? Kejriwal could become prime minister of India. Readers may laugh incredulously at the very suggestion. But the revolutionary success of the Aam Aadmi Party in the Delhi election shows it’s time to abandon More >

Finding a balanced approach to environment and development

India Inc is delighted with the exit of Jayanthi Natarajan as environment minister, as also with a proposal for deemed environmental clearances if formal clearances are not given within a stipulated time limit. Natarajan was often castigated for slowing environmental clearances to a crawl, freezing the development process. Businessmen also talked of delays arising from More >

Muzaffarnagar offers chance to rejuvenate Congress

Dear Rahul Gandhi, When you visited the refugee camps in Muzaffarnagar district last week, you advised the refugees to return to their village homes, saying failure to do so would mean victory for the communalists who started the Hindu-Muslim violence. You also spoke of the need for peacemakers to heal communal wounds. I visited the More >

AAP can scale up like JP, VP Singh movements

The recent state elections revealed a big Narendra Modi wave in Rajasthan (vote share up 12 percentage points), and to a lesser extent in Madhya Pradesh. But in Delhi, an AAP wave swamped the Modi wave. The BJP’s vote share actually dropped 2 percentage points. Can the AAP effect beat the Modi effect in enough More >