Opinion

AI integration will be at the core of the transition to future technologies such as smarts cars

Now, more and more device launches focus on what goes inside the phone, as Samsung’s recent launch event shows. The company launched five new devices, but the talking point was how well it has been

Tax tangle: Is the I-T Act a national disgrace?

It, therefore, makes much more sense to simplify and rewrite the I-T act; allow the department to collect tax according to its mandate, and to entrust the task of granting subsidies to the ministries

But even more importantly, complex laws, through unnecessary litigation, generate large arrears, very few of which are actually collectable.

RBI MPC meet: More rate cuts in the picture

We expect the RBI MPC to cut policy rates by an additional 100bps in FY21 in our base case of 6% GDP contraction

Given rising fiscal slippage, RBI could either indicate an OMO calendar or extend HTM on additional borrowings to banks.

Drug pricing is certainly not the issue in growing dependence on China

An introspection into the evolution of drug price control policy of India and API dependence shows that there is no evidence suggesting that price controls have led to growing dependence on China

A Drug Security Committee constituted by the DoP had identified those APIs for which India’s China dependence is extremely high.

Covid learning: Digi-health is the future, only this can help India deliver what it needs to

With just 0.6 doctors per 1,000 population and 2.2 nurses, as compared to the WHO’s norm of 1 and 3, respectively, India simply cannot cope with the demands made by its citizens even in non-pandemic

Getting so many doctors and nurses, especially in rural areas, is going to cost a lot; money that India simply does not have.

WhatsApp has done well to curb fake news, but social and messaging services need to invest more in tech

The company in association with the IFCN also provides a list of numbers and a chatbot for fact-checking.

WhatsApp, however, has been doing its bit by continually upgrading its systems.

26th Lalit Doshi Memorial Lecture: India’s opportunities in the 2020s, by N Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons Ltd

The lesson from a century ago is the worst crisis contains an opportunity for profound change. And today, if we are brave, we too can imagine a new way of living.

N Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons Ltd

Covid an opportunity: Complete digital makeover can improve education and health outcomes

A complete digital makeover can dramatically improve education and health outcomes, and in other areas as well

Chandrasekaran has given us the blueprint for resurgence, the starting points of which are investments in health and education.

Managing air quality: Urban intergovernmental institutions appear to be logical choice

A five-year plan (physical/fiscal gap) should be worked out for the entire UA. It should be based on environmental and energy audit as per the Model Municipal Law of 2003

The census towns should also be immediately upgraded as ULB status by their respective states.

Reforms driven agenda: Why it’s time to modernise the Indian Railways & make it world-class

The introduction of PPP in Indian Railways is a welcome step and can lead to the kind of reforms that can help transform India and make it a global leader

The broad contours of the Indian Railways’ proposal feature a list of 109 pairs of routes through 151 trains (rakes), divided into clusters with at least 12 rakes to be operated.

Infinity & beyond: SpaceX’s success can serve as an example for Isro’s private space initiative

Although this certainly is a feather in Elon Musk’s cap, the development is also of significance for private space initiatives.

The Indian space arm, Isro, has collaborated with the private sector in the past, but these collaborations have entailed using private initiatives as suppliers.

Post-Covid world: India shows intent to become manufacturing powerhouse, but journey ahead is arduous

Manufacturing with its employment generation opportunities and revenue-generating potential will fulfil India’s aspirations

Covid-19 is predicted to compel corporations with dispersed supply chains to consolidate and localise to avoid recently seen disruptions, where lockdowns caused assembly lines to halt.

Pension planning for poor: Government needs to rework its plan and budget

The government needs to rework its budget to account for such contributions; why waste money giving a 90% food subsidy to 66% of the population, spend it for unorganised sector workers instead.

The government needs to rework its budget to account for such contributions; why waste money giving a 90% food subsidy to 66% of the population, spend it for unorganised sector workers instead.

A repo signal is good, but banks don’t want to lend

Right now, bankers are more concerned about RBI’s decision on the moratorium, and one-time loan recast

Post-COVID-19 revival: Alongwith stimulus package, govt must focus on the low-hanging fruits

By removing GST and tariffs overall, the respective positive impact on exports is 7% and 6%

Restructuring CBIC: Vacancies provide an opportunity to relook at appointments

Fifty-six years have elapsed, and no rules for the functioning of CBIC have been drafted till date

Transparent Taxation, direct tax laws, cbdt, tax rates, Faceless assessment, faceless appeal, tax payer charter, Taxpayers

Jammu and Kashmir: Power projects can power growth

The region has the potential to generate about 20,000 MW of hydropower, creating countless jobs and numerous avenues for skill development

Kishanganga is just one in a string of power generation, transmission and distribution projects that are intended at bringing the economy back on track in the trouble-torn valley.

Should states be penalised by reducing their share of taxes because Centre failed to reform PSBs?

Reducing the states’ share in the divisible pool of taxes because the Centre requires fiscal space to recapitalise PSBs is tantamount to penalising them for the Centre's mistakes

The genuine question, which the Commission must consider, is not whether or not the issue of bank recapitalisation comes within its ambit, but the larger issue of the role of the government itself.

Why RBI should hold interest rates for now

The other aspect that the markets will look closely to the central bank for is its guidance on a one-time restructuring or extension of the moratorium

Export ‘incentives’ or fixing disabilities?

Abrupt stopping of payments is hitting exports, but other than that, govt is mixing this up with production incentives

A matter of reserves! How RBI can help India come out of Covid crisis

RBI should transfer 618 tons of gold at cost to the govt and repurchase it at 90% of market value, amounting to Rs 2.33 lakh crore transferred to the govt account.

Taxpaying capacity of India's narrow taxpaying base is decimated.

India must start work on 6G now

Either the country leads in the technology, or it bleeds as the net pay outs from SEPs become a burden

Over the last couple of years, 6G discussions have featured researchers, standards bodies and leading industry players.

Covid testing: RT-PCR the standard for international travellers, locals must make do with RAT?

What is a bit odd, though, is that the government should believe that people arriving from abroad should produce RT-PCR negative reports, even as testing in the national capital should be RAT-led.

To that end, the government’s move to allow for home quarantine by international travellers is a good one

A stronger European flavour

It does seem as if the long overdue rebalancing is coming to pass, with the Euro, which is, in any case, number two on the totem pole, likely to gain more share across the board

I don’t believe the dollar will be replaced any time soon—it still is used for over 80% of trade invoicing and represents more than 60% of global reserves.

How subsidy reforms could help take on China

A major rationalisation of subsidies can finance development of eastern India as well as reinforcing of defence in the wake of Chinese aggression.

Just as well govt scrapped FRDI Bill

The Bill was a good one, especially if govt had hiked insurance for deposits; but depositors got jittery as govt failed to make its case.

Public policy lessons from Covid-19

Create policy councils for subjects that require a mix of administrative guidance, and technical & specialist inputs.

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