Opinion

Discom privatisation: Draft Standard Bidding Document has many gaps

The draft Standard Bidding Document (SBD) on privatisation of discoms doesn’t offer much clarity on the modalities of PPA transfers, apart from seemingly running afoul of many provisions under the E

After using reduction in losses as bidding parameter, besides equity, asking the successor to pass on the collection will cause complications, and this needs clarity.

A cure for 100% cut-offs: More college-seats needed, govt must step up funding for this

To be sure, these cut-offs are not entirely the colleges’ fault. At the root are grade inflation and the fact that colleges are mandated to take in all applicants that make their cut-off, notwithsta

Govt needed to do more to stop permanent damage

Without a big enough stimulus, large number of units will shut down; any recovery estimate has to factor this in

In any case, simply getting back to pre-Covid levels isn’t enough because the GDP grew at a pitiable 3.2% in Q4FY20 and 4.2% in 2019-20.

New Farm Acts: Fears, misconceptions, and a few facts

Some of the fears over the new laws are Unfounded. However, the govt could have given the assurance that neither the MSP nor the APMcs will be junked.

The Act does not give any freedom to use prohibited technologies either. So much for fear of ‘GM through the backdoor’!

Fix MSME taxation: Taxation of MSMEs selling online is a major sore point

We also need to realise the potential of e-commerce for aiding the revival of Indian MSMEs and create a regulatory environment that encourages MSMEs for digitisation.

This recovery shows a promising way out for Indian MSMEs who are struggling in retail markets.

Credit guarantee: Getting it right on MSME lending

There is no substitute to direct lending, but the focus on credit guarantee scheme highlights a conservative approach by banks

Volatility in the air? Market expects some dramatic move in the rupee over the next few months

The gap between USD-INR 3-month implied volatility (6.58%) and the realised volatility over the past 90 days (4.55%) is huge and has been sustaining for over a month. Market expects some sort of drama

Having said that, though, there appears to be some reasonably strong support (technically) at 74.50, and then 75.

Ordering Change: Delhi govt lifting some restrictions on restaurants, including on timings, is a good move

The Delhi govt lifting some restrictions on restaurants, including on timings, is a good move

Understaffed and underequipped fire service and FSSAI make the problem worse.

Why breaking up the Big Tech a bad idea

The US House report conflates abuse of social media with monopoly issues, ignores consumer welfare & tech progress

MSP vs Markets: A question of efficiency

Do we want agri growth that is also financially sustainable, or the mess that we have in rice, wheat, and sugar that are MSP- and SAP-dominated?

This transition is not a ‘zero-one’ game, it is only changing the mix of how much of pricing should be state-supported and how much market-driven.

Inclusivity is lost in online lectures

Is online education catering to the needs of a chosen few?

Discoms need a stimulus package: Impartial source of liquidity needed, without the attendant bells and whistles

Unless discoms have sufficient funds to address root issues, they will find themselves in the same position of illiquidity three months down the line

Residential and agricultural consumers pay far below the cost of supply; industrial and commercial consumers pay far higher.

Urban local bodies: Fixing finances and functioning

The Fifteenth Finance Commission can hardly afford to be status quoist in its recommendations. There should be a hard budget constraint for ULBs—for the transfer-grant system to be effective, benchm

Inside Track by Coomi Kapoor: Dangerous liaisons in Bihar, tragic deaths in Modi Cabinet

The first hint of the BJP's ambitions to be senior party in the alliance with Nitish Kumar was at a virtual conference a fortnight back when general secretary Bhupendra Yadav observed that the BJP inv

Nitish compelled the BJP to announce his name as the CM candidate, but he cannot force the LJP not to carry posters of the late Ram Vilas Paswan with Modi.

United they are a-fallin! Manchester United seemingly have become a prisoner of their structural deformity

Manchester United seemingly have become a prisoner of their structural deformity

Alex Telles of Manchester United controls the ball during the Europa League match in Portugal (File photo: AP)

Across the Aisle: Impunity, thy name is Uttar Pradesh

Emboldened by great social reformers like Mahatma Phule, 'Periyar' E.V. Ramasamy, Babasaheb Ambedkar and others, Dalits have politically organised themselves in a few states; but their status is only

Members of Valmiki community during a protest against the death of a 19-year-old Dalit woman who was allegedly gang-raped in Hathras, in Kanpur (PTI Image)

Data drive: Rural India accounts for a fifth of India’s infections

On Friday, as India inched closer to 7 million infections, rural India accounted for 19.8% of India’s total cases.

COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan: An Aadhaar-like technology backbone is a good idea

Apart from the fact that the poor cannot afford the cost, it will be difficult to ensure complete vaccination if people have to pay for it.

Just as Aadhaar depended on private firms to enrol people, the vaccine plan would have to be a PPP effort with the government laying down the SOPs and 150,000-200,000 private vaccinators actually ensuring delivery on the ground.

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das does a Draghi, walks the talk

Governor Das shrugs aside inflation, makes money cheaper for governments, corporates and retail borrowers

The dilemma on school reopening: The challenge is to balance online and classroom education

The new guidelines on the phased reopening of schools are in line with a cautious, calibrated move to nudge pandemic preparation by the schools and parental preparedness to take the risk.

In all probability, we have to settle down with a mix of online and in-person schooling.

RBI MPC: No rate cuts but several steps to keep a lid on risk-free rates and incentivising bank lending

While RBI did not cut rates, it took several steps aimed at keeping a lid on risk-free rates and incentivising bank lending

Extra-dovish RBI makes policy pause palatable

RBI’s latest measures are clearly positive for bond markets and should support commercial bank demand. Expect 50 bps cumulative rate cuts by end of Q1 next year

RBI MPC

AI: A game-changer for financial inclusion

It can improve banks’ ability to screen for credit-worthiness while tailoring products to the needs of those at the bottom of the pyramid

The comments come amid a 10 per cent surge in UPI transactions by quantum of money transacted to Rs 3.29 lakh crore in September as against August this year, as more people switch to digital payments amid the pandemic.

Big win amid testing times: The chemistry Nobel this year is significant for a host of reasons

Crispr, which is a primordial immune system that prokaryotes evolved in response to viral attacks over billions of years, is now being steered by researchers to detect and battle the virus.

The promise for the treatment of a host of genetic diseases—from cystic fibrosis to congenital blindness or gene-linked dementia—and in the long run, their elimination, is a paradigm shift for human health in the league of the discovery of vaccination and penicillin.

A quantum edge for India

India’s investment in developing quantum computing and applications will reap rich dividends in the future

QC derives from the principles of quantum mechanics. (Representative image)

Gas ‘reforms’ show just how twisted Indian policy is

Only babus could argue ‘pricing’ & ‘marketing’ freedom were distinct, and even now this doesn’t apply to everyone

What really takes the cake, of course, is the distinction between what is called ‘pricing’ and ‘marketing’ freedom.

India does well to formalise collaboration with Japan on cybersecurity; need such ties to take on China

India does well to formalise collaboration with Japan on cybersecurity; need such ties to take on China

For instance, after its face-off with China, hackers based in that country have attempted over 40,000 attacks.
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