Governance Now Masterminds

Stories to read over the weekend

We replug a list of five stories and interviews that you should not miss this weekend

GN Bureau | March 3, 2017


#UP elections   #Prashant Bhushan   #food subsidy   #Birsa Munda   #demonetisation   #land acquisition   #Jharkhand   #weekend stories  
Weekend stories
Weekend stories


Whether it is for learning, banking, communicating, accessing government services, investing in the stock market or starting a social media campaign, access to the internet has gone beyond being just a need. And after demonetisation, and the movement towards a cashless economy, stalwarts of civil society and those who believe that advocates of technology have begun to recognise that equitable access to the internet should be approached as if it were a right: a new RTI, so to say. Or, as the late Devang Mehta of Nasscom had envisioned it more than two decades ago: roti, kapda, makan and bandwidth. 
 
 
I have documents about black money being laundered and routed into India. I had also written a letter [to the authorities] during the UPA time. They did nothing in this regard. I had written about a Singapore company investing Rs 6,500 crore in four companies of Mukesh Ambani… Consider all the institutions to fight corruption. It is close to three years now [of the government] and the Lokpal has not been appointed. The whistleblower protection Act has not been notified... No black money has come out – all currency has come back in the system, says activist and supreme court activist Prashant Bhushan.
 
 
The lumbering waddle of the Indian internet has been a rich fount of humorous tropes. It fuels a sub-culture that shines an unflattering spotlight on a truth that’s comic and tragic in equal measure. Sample this: slow internet is more painful than breaking up with your girlfriend. Funny. But a trope is a rhetorical device, an easy to grasp intellectual essence that often outlives the truth and obscures the need for a deep-rooted and forward-looking thought process. Take five lesser known facts about Indian internet of today.   
 
 
When Narendra Modi chose Varanasi, the Hindu holy city, as his constituency to run for prime minister in the 2014 general elections, the symbolism was not lost on anyone. As the city goes to the polls in the last phase of assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh on March 8, a mapping of his BJP’s prospects here could be obliquely seen as a comment on what his constituents think of the first half-term of his prime ministership and his big-ticket ideas like demonetisation. However, assembly elections have a local dynamics of their own. And the party’s performance will likelier reflect on the centralisation of power in the BJP’s party structure – which has since Modi’s ascent become its hallmark, and both its strength and its weakness at the local level.
 
 
The government's expenditure on subsidies sustaining the public distribution system (PDS), meant to provide subsidised foodgrain, have risen over the years while the ratio of people below the poverty line has gone down, says and analysis of PDS grants for 2017-18 by PRS Legislative Research. 
 
 
 
 

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