Columns

Derivative market for electricity in India: Will it lead to innovation or speculation?

The Indian electricity sector is going through an interesting phase right now. Many reforms are being introduced to increase competitiveness and transparency in the sector. The power market in India is a surplus market now and the spot prices are going down day by day. With all these indicators signaling a journey towards a mature power market for India, the introduction of derivatives to the p

A walk down the rich history of Ayurveda

The Indic Quotient: Reclaiming Heritage through Cultural Enterprise By Kaninika Mishra Bloomsbury India, 230 pages, Rs. 499    Over the past decade, India has seen a significant rise in passion for enterprise as well as pride in heritage. The two have converged to form successful ventures and imaginative social initiativ

Is China gearing up for prolonged conflict with India?

International observers will keenly watch the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee meeting next month. The central committee is the highest organ of the CCP with a mandate to execute the decision of the National Congress which is convened once every five years.   Besides economy, rising tension with the US in the South China Sea, tension with India on the Line of Actual

Covid-19 is not the only culprit for lockdown

Richard Rogers, an acclaimed Western architect and author of such books as ‘A Place for all People’ and ‘Architecture and the Fair Society’, wrote, “Architecture is about Public Space, held by Buildings.” So Rogers (without drawing an analogy from Mahatma Gandhi – my reinterpretation of his talisman – of putting the poorest man/woman at t

Covid-19 and cardiovascular disease: What the research says

According to the American Heart Association, ‘cardiovascular disease’ refers to a number of conditions including heart disease, heart attack, stroke, arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat) and heart failure. Heart failure refers to the heart’s inability to pump blood at the same level of efficiency as a healthy heart while arrhythmia refers to a heartbeat that is slower or faster tha

Why we need a new option in EVM: ‘Least Undeserving Candidate’

According to the “lesser of two evils” principle, whenever we have to choose among two evils, we should go for the lesser one. Flawed election systems provide voters such a limited choice that they are forced to vote for the “lesser evil.” This is the situation we are facing these days while choosing our representatives. Noam Chomsky, the most famous advocate of “t

Election manifestos and voters` Right to Know

Recognising the importance of election manifestos, the supreme court directed the election commission (EC) of India to frame guidelines directly governing the contents of the election manifestos in the case of S. Subramaniam Balaji v. State of Tamil Nadu & Ors. reported in (2013) 9 SCC 659. Although the EC issued certain guidelines on election manifestos, framed in consultation with the pol

India’s digital empowerment and net neutrality

The Fourth Industrial Revolution has steadily amalgamated information communication technology (ICT) in every aspect of modern human life, having a profound impact on economic and social systems by altering business structures and consumer habits. About two decades back, ICT infrastructure was an augmented resource for business, but today with technical advances it has become the first layer of

Gloves are off: Post Galwan, India junks ambiguities

It is perhaps neither new nor is it unacknowledged by people in general that India has, after the deadly scuffle with Chinese soldiers on the Line of Actual Control, decided to do away with caution or hesitation while dealing with China on issues related to foreign policy, business and investment and strategy.    On the policy front, hints came from none less than minis

Four trends that will shape healthcare post-Covid

The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted economies and healthcare systems across the world. Even in the countries, like the US, that have the highest spend on healthcare and public health emergency preparedness, the impact of coronavirus pandemic on health and livelihoods of people has been tremendous. There are three key aspects to fighting a pandemic, viz. behavioural changes, environmental prepar

Exit the Dragon, Enter the Tiger

In a major development on July 6, the Chinese army started moving back its tents, vehicles as well as troops from locations where disengagement was agreed upon in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley. This is a significant milestone in regional geopolitics with India having been successful in isolating the ‘expansionist’ design of an increasingly belligerent China aggressively pushi

A place of local democracy in pandemic governance: The case of Mumbai

Democracy in India is now taken for a fact, with an unstated assumption that all our institutions are democratic and hence often our successes and more often failures are attributed to ‘democracy’. However, a key frontier where democracy remains a challenge is that of local governments and that too in cities. In times of pandemic, the skin-deep veneer of democracy is also given up i

How India is quietly resetting its economic engagement with China

For all intents and purposes, India is going to reset its relations with China and a subtle hint to this regard has been given by the Narendra Modi government after the deadly June 15/16 night face-off between the Indian army and PLA troops in the Galwan Valley in which 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives.   From political to economic to strategic, at every level India has s

Sino-Indian stand-off: An opportunity in reimaging India

After the Galwan Valley incident of June 15, in which our brave army fought valiantly and thwarted Chinese incursion, recent reports as appearing in various publications suggest Chinese troops have come back in larger numbers to the area near the Line of Actual Control (LAC). In other words, de-escalation efforts are getting negated, and we have to prepare for the worst, while hoping for the be

When the computer screen doubles as a blackboard

How does video-conferencing affect us mentally, behaviourally and physically? Is it counter-productive? Do we have the technological infrastructure to facilitate this transition from the physical to the online world? Sadly, the answers to these questions are not promising. Students all over the world are sitting in a corner and staring at miniature screens, seeing their pixelated

Corona warrior to PM: Curb media’s negativity

 Respected Narendra Modi ji,   Let me take this opportunity to compliment the Government of India for managing the Covid crisis diligently. Being a novel virus with unknown behaviour and treatments, it is not an easy task. At the same time, the exemplary patience and perseverance of the citizens of India must be acknowledged, who continue to brave this epidemic d

What will Covid-19 promote on world stage: collaboration or competition?

 Coronavirus is the proverbial last nail in the coffin of globalization. Following this pandemic, we shall be constrained to live in a changed world. The claims of global solidarity and international cooperation have been decimated amidst this pandemic. This can be seen in the recent heightening of US-China tensions – a natural corollary of the Chinese origin of the virus and the Ame

How Covid-19 can be a boon to slash tobacco disease burden

 The two-month Covid-19 lockdown has been both a bane and a boon for India’s 27 crore tobacco users. With tobacco not included in the list of essential goods and many states explicitly banning chewing tobacco over concerns of spitting, the sharp drop in availability has forced them to undergo withdrawals, but for many it has lit a desire to quit altogether. This presents a rare oppor

Harnessing the demographic capital: how effective are skilling programmes?

Probing data concerning increased job creation and the decline in unemployment has been holding the attention of economists and been subject of discussions in several think tanks in the preceding months. The NITI Aayog reports that 3.53 million new jobs were created between September 2017 and February 2018 and 7 million people could have been added to the payroll in fiscal 2018. These numbers a

China is practicing attack as the best form of defence

For the rest of the world, it is not easy to understand China when it comes to politics or economics. Under pressure from the international community, it has accepted to open the country for a “comprehensive” probe into the origin of the deadly coronavirus. But it is not clear whether the Asian giant will work well up to the satisfaction of the probe team when it comes to investigat

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