Columns

‘Blue Zones’ concept of healthy living and its relevance in India

A long life span free from diseases and disability, the so-called healthy aging, has been a matter of prime interest to humanity. It is widely held that the life expectancy is a function of interplay between various genetic and environmental factors. There is scientific evidence to support the fact that only about 20% of the average lifespan is governed by the genetic milieu and rest 80% by the

Gati Shakti: The National Master Plan

The launch of the Gati Shakti master plan will be a booster dose for India growth story. The plan, as the name indicates, will ensure Gati, i.e., speed and Shakti, i.e., empowerment to the ₹1 trillion national infrastructure pipeline. The plan will break inter-ministerial silos. For example, there are ministries of roads, railways, ports, aviation, mining etc and the left hand

An ‘energy crisis’ in the making

This year during the second wave of Covid-19, an unprecedented ‘oxygen shortage’ crisis gripped the national capital and several other parts of the country. A similar situation is brewing in respect of the ‘power’ situation in the national capital and the rest of the country too. However, the authorities seem to be in a denial mode, hoping all is well, and it is a tempor

After long wait of 86 years, Nobel Peace Prize goes again to journalists

After almost a century, the Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize 2021 to two journalists, Maria Ressa of the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov of Russia. The last Nobel Peace Prize won by a journalist was way back in 1935, by a German named Carl Von Ossietzky for his “burning love for freedom of thought and expression” after revealing that the Nazi regime was secr

How Indian health-tech has supported government efforts during pandemic

In 2020, before the coronavirus pandemic which got the entire world at a pause, the Indian healthcare sector was in progress at a steady but slow pace. The pandemic boosted the rate, and within a year, the sector made a leap into the future – something that would have taken the industry another five years to achieve had the pandemic not been a catalyst to the whole situation.

The Manali Trance: Economics of Abandoning Caution in the Time of Coronavirus

The brutal second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in India has left a significant death toll in its wake. Health experts advise that the imminent third wave can be delayed by following simple measures like wearing a mask and engaging in social distancing. However, near the end of the second wave, we witnessed a surge of tourists thronging the Mall Roads of Manali and Shimla, blatantly refusing to

Creation of ‘good bank’ as important as ‘bad bank’ for NPA management

After the recent announcement of the government guarantee for Security Receipts (SRs) to be issued by a public sector-owned National Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd (NARCL), there is a surge of interest around this desi version of a super bad bank. The entity will acquire around ₹2 trillion bad debts from banks (which is around 25% of estimated ₹8.34 trillion of bad debts outstanding as of

20 years after 9/11, threat to India at elevated level

We are at a defining moment of history twenty years after the deadliest terrorist attack that killed 2,977 and injured more than 6,000 in the USA. Just to recollect, four commercial flights were hijacked midtraffic by terrorist group Al-Qaeda. They took control of the flights and crashed two planes into the World Trade Center in New York. The third flight was crashed into the Pentagon and the f

Why Mumbai should be the OTTICITY of future

OTT is here to stay. Even after Covid restrictions are lifted to open cinema halls and multiplexes, customers will still continue to subscribe to the OTT platform for its user-friendly formats, privacy and most importantly, anytime anywhere convenience. Aided by cheap data plans, Indians spent about 5 hours daily on smartphone, as per the Mobile Broadband India Traffic Index (Mbit) 2021. An exp

How India is on way to becoming a nation driven by electric vehicles

With multiple big-brand vehicles outsourcing parts of their production to India, and many others putting up assembly-line factories in India, it is no surprise that India is on its way to becoming a known name in the automobile industry. Keeping pace with the global shift towards electric vehicles, in 2013, India had put together a board that focused primarily on the Indian auto

Five years of IBC: Five takeaways and five suggestions to make it better

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) 2016 was enacted in May 2016. It was a milestone event in the financial sector reforms. In its five years of journey, five key takeaways of IBC are as follows: 1.    End of the promoter’s divine right to rule the company. In the earlier restructuring / rehabilitation schemes, the success was limited as the reins of th

Fact, truth and philosophy

During an online course promoted as a foundational step towards tuning one’s mind for personal spiritual growth (presumably for eventual greater happiness and even bliss through self-realization, liberation, and other big things), the guru asked a simple-sounding question: “What is the difference between fact and truth?” Then answering his own question, he explained that while

Caste census will divert aspirational politics to narrow identity politics

There is now an increasingly growing demand, cutting across parties, to have the caste enumeration in Census 2021. An all-party delegation from Bihar met the prime minister in this regard recently. The last census in which all castes was counted was way back in 1931. In post independence India, the numbers of SCs and STs are counted, and the rest are counted as ‘general category’. T

Rupani completes five year as Gujarat CM

The BJP has ruled Gujarat for more than 25 years now. On Saturday, Vijay Rupani who was known as a soft-spoken politician has smartly completed five years as a chief minister in spite of many challenges. With 1,825 days in power, Rupani is the fourth CM in the state with the longest rule. Before him, prime minister Narendra Modi ruled Gujarat for the maximum period – 4,610 days. Earlier,

IBC is like a nuclear arsenal: Its value lies in deterrence not in use

The Standing Committee on Finance of the parliament has come out with a report on implementation of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) - pitfalls and solutions. It was presented in both houses of parliament on August 3. It has gone into the basic pillars of the IBC, studied corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP), amendments made to the code, and has outlined its observations/ reco

e-RUPI voucher, another milestone in digital India

Today (August 2), prime minister Narendra Modi launched the e-RUPI voucher system which is another milestone in Digital India. Simply put, this will be a digital payment which will be delivered to mobile phones of beneficiaries, even with no bank account and this payment is like an e-Voucher in form of a SMS-string or a QR code. To start with, the government is expected to utilise this system f

A public policy bridge across the digital divide

There has been an active debate globally and in India about the digital divide. This debate has gained additional weight during the Covid-19 pandemic because the acceleration of the need for digital access to health and other social services has thrown this issue into sharper relief. A critical public policy challenge which arises from the digital divide, when the private and public sectors are

Connecting India faster – with satellite communications technology

The need for digital connectivity has never been more pressing. The pandemic has changed work ethos and day-to-day lives of people across the globe. The new norm is ‘Technology First’, as with people moving to digital connectivity to fulfill their requirements in daily life. India’s dream of ‘internet for all’ has remained a dream. Despite the government and privat

Emerging fault lines around Indian cinema

On June 18, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has proposed to introduce the Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2021 and sought public comments thereon. The most controversial part relates to the contents of Para 1 (C) in that feedback paper which proposes to amend Section 6 of the Cinematograph Act. In simple terms, it empowers the Government to reverse the decision of the (Censorship)

Affordable housing in Mumbai: For whom and for how much?

An affordable home must be equal to (or more than) 300 sq ft carpet area. Today the lowest cost of MHADA tenement is Rs. 10,000/sq ft. Thus the MHADA cost of a 300 sq ft basic unit would cost Rs. 30 lakh (and that too, far away). Is this amount affordable to those who earn about Rs. 300,000 a year? This is the income at or near the median! In short, we are altogether ignoring 50% of population

Visionary Talk with Dr Arvind Panagariya, Professor, Columbia University & Former VC, NITI Aayog



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