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Communication in the times of Corona

This article originally appeared on the ORF website: https://www.orfonline.org/expert-speak/covid-19-india-and-crisis-communication-64102/ The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has created havoc across the world, putting extraordinary pressure on not just p

COVID-19 demobilisation: Lessons for public governance

Demobilization, like its predecessor – demonetization, is another decision gone bad in implementation.  In both instances a careful public administrative action through its governance systems could have saved the magnitude of impact particularly on the most vulnerable sections of the society. The Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, exhibited exceptional and exuberant co

Don’t fear Corona, fight it

In a bid to break the “chain of transmission” of the deadly Covid-19, India, a country with more than 1.3 billion population, observed a voluntary ‘Janata Curfew’ on March 22. This has been followed by a 21-day, nationwide lockdown from March 24. Prime minister Narendra Modi also requested people to gather at their gates, balconies and rooftops to clap and bang utensils

Covid-19 and real estate: This could be last straw that broke camel’s back

Covid-19 may turn out to be the last straw that broke the camel’s back so far as the real estate sector is concerned. It broke out at a time when pundits were estimating the GDP to be hovering around 2.5% with unprecedent levels of unemployment. This itself was a good indicator that the real estate sector was beleaguered: Covid or no Covid. After all, the real estate sector gives employme

Diplomacy in the time of Covid-19

In the thick of battle with the deadly coronavirus, India on March announced a 21-day lockdown till April 14 in its bid to control the spread of virus which has so far led to 10 people’s death and over 600 others falling sick across the country. As per experts, India, which is in the second stage of Covid-19, may see an exponential spike in death and positive cases if the virus takes epid

Covid19, lockdown, legal profession: Grief, justice & contingency plans!

Sixteenth March at Hammurabi & Solomon Partners was a usual Monday at work with colleagues starting the week on a turbo-mode. But this Monday was different. It had something unusual about it. A sense of uncertainty kept struggling to look ahead on how the days ahead would flow. Despite being an optimist, I could not quite stay on course and could see the Covid19 effect incre

POSH: Level-playing field for all, women and men

The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (“POSH”) was enacted in 2013. Seven years since then, fears of misuse are rife. Are the fears legitimate? It is perceived that women are dangerously armed with a one-sided law. Men feel oppressed as there is no specific forum for redressal of their grievances. This article, therefore, exami

Cryptocurrency is legit: How banking, firms and individuals all stand to gain

Cryptocurrency is a digital currency that runs on blockchain technology. This essentially means that no person or entity can control it. Both nationals and internationals can transact with the currency. India is one of the largest growing economies in the world today. The recent developments, about the Supreme Court lifting the ban on use of cryptocurrency in the country, can have a tremendous

Control and execution of functions by city governments

Importance of strengthening city governance  Cities in India contribute to about 60% of the economic output of the country, acting as the engines of economic growth [World Bank. (2020). Urbanization in India. Online available at: https://www.worldbank.org/en/n

`Undeclared emergency`? Arun Jaitley`s answer recalls dark days

A New India: Selected Writings 2014-19 By Arun Jaitley, with a foreword by Prime Minister Narendra Modi Juggernaut Books, 384 pages, Rs 799 Arun Jaitley (28 December 1952 – 24 August 2019) was a senior advocate of the Supreme Court and one of the most important leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party. He was the union minister of finance from 2014

A history of identity: remembering forgotten heroes of 1857

The column may begin by recalling quotations from two illustrious sons of pre-Independence India who were under no obligation to make any ‘appeasing’ comment. Noted Urdu critic, Dr. Abdur Rahman Bijnauri, made the following opening remarks, exactly a hundred years ago in 1920, in his book on Ghalib’s poetry: “India has two revealed books – Ved Muqadd

How we won the right to fly the tricolour

Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi, as one of the top lawyers at the Supreme Court, has helped shape the contemporary trends. In his latest work, ‘From the Trenches’ (co-authored with Satyajit Sarna, published by Juggernaut), he revisits eight defining cases of our times, and presents a view, as it were, from the trenches. Here is an excerpt from the book relating to one of them, Naveen J

The role model for an IAS officer

Anil Swarup, an IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre who retired in 2018, is a model bureaucrat who retained his optimism right till the end of service and exemplified dedication and commitment. His excitement at the opportunities that a job in the IAS provided is evident on every page of his new book published this year.    Anil is not afraid to speak the truth an

The greatest challenge for any government

Shouting vengeance at all and sundry while wriggling out of holes of our own making seems to be our very special national characteristic. Some recent instances are illustrative of this attribute. A number of business tycoons with thousands of crores of unresolved debts have fled abroad with the government desperately trying to bring them back by expensive and protracted litigation in foreign co

Making sense of India’s elections

With highly appropriate lyrics at the start of every chapter, combined with deep insights from rigorous analysis of data – Citizen Raj is an absolute delight to read.    In Citizen Raj, Surjit Bhalla, well known economist and commentator, looks at Indian elections from 1952 till 2019 and he does what he mentions to be his hobby which also happens to be his

The state of the Left

As we come to the close of this election season, what cannot escape even the indiscriminate eye is the decline of the organized left parties in India. Between 2004, when the Left Front had 59 MPs in the Lok Sabha, to 2014, when it had 11 MPs, the decline has been rapid and palpable. Both its national space and regional presence are shrinking.   

The real winner will be the FPTP system

The ongoing parliamentary elections are in the concluding phase/ stage. Eventually, the results will be out on May 23. A huge number of candidates are, as usual, in the fray. There are claims and counter-claims, declarations and bolder declarations, promises and astronomical promises, narratives and counter-narratives galore. Some will win - to be specific 543 - and all others will lose. Conseq

Want to win elections?

In book publishing, one of the trends for the past couple of decades has been to pick out pearls of wisdom from well known sources – philosophers, sages, novelists, economists – and package them as easy reads. Thus, we have ‘How Proust Can Change Your Life’ as well as ‘How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life’. In a series called ‘Ancient Wisdom for Modern

Why supreme court should hold a fresh inquiry

Voices say now that three honourable judges have spoken against the charges levelled against the CJI; therefore, quietus be given to the whole affair and let the matter rest there. They say the report need not be disclosed to public in view of the judgement in the case of Indira Jaising vs Supreme Court of India & Anr. (2003), which said disclosure to public would do more harm than good to

The charge of the forward brigade

The family group on WhatsApp went into a buzzing frenzy. Thumbs-ups, happy emojis, congratulatory messages. All in response to a message that made it seem as if the BBC was reporting on a survey conducted by...hold your breath...the CIA and the ISI, predicting a victory for the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Only a few wondered why the spy agencies of the US and Pakistan would conduct a s



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