Edits & Columns

Across The Aisle: Besides economy, freedom is sliding

Amidst a shallow and short-lived recovery and private investment missing, any celebration is totally premature. We must await the estimates for Q4 and for the whole year as well as the indicators for health and education, writes P. Chidambaram
Farmers block the KMP Expressway near Duhai, Ghaziabad against Centre's farm laws (PTI Image)

Atmanirbhar Bharat policies shouldn’t breed isolationism

Mandating data localisation will introduce greater vulnerability to cybersecurity issues and give foreign investors cause to hesitate over investing in India

PM Narendra Modi

Don’t force ‘EWS quota till Class 12’ on private schools

Govt should instead focus on improving its own schools and easing access to private schools for EWS via education coupons

The advocates of extending RTE’s EWS reservations upwards point to how private schools have forced students enrolled under the quota to withdraw after completion of Class VIII, effectively ending their access to quality school education.

Studying COVID: Long Covid needs to be researched

India needs to dedicate enough resources to this

The objective is to study post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 (PASC) and understand why some people are more vulnerable than the others.

Capital markets: The IPO of the future

A ‘cookie-cutter’ approach cannot be followed while undertaking SPAC transactions involving Indian companies


New Rules for OTT Platforms: Regulation or restriction?

While the intent behind the rules seems to be to curtail problematic content, empower viewers to make more informed choices, and create a level playing field for various media, at this juncture, the r

However, classification of content based on subjective yardsticks will be a challenge given such classification would, in practice, be based on the sensibilities of personnel of each OTT platform.

AI sans bias: Govt needs to set an oversight mechanism for ethical AI

India also must consider making data providers and companies deploying AI responsible for ensuring privacy and removing biases.

Researchers studying COMPAS—AI used by lower courts in the US to determine an offender's chances of committing a crime—determined that it was more likely to find against an African-American defendant.

Losing all nuance

When a complex case is reduced to misleading sound-bites, all of us are the poorer for it

The Bombay HC overturned the sessions court order, so, the accused moved the SC for anticipatory bail.

Power Struggle: Centre’s reform scheme is a mere bailout package for discoms

The Rs 3 lakh crore channeled via RLRBSD is merely another bailout for discoms. The only obligation placed on them is meeting targets they Should have to met in 2018-19

That the money is being offered on a platter is clear from virtually no obligation on the discoms (the performance targets set for 2018-19 now gets shifted to 2025).

Inflexion Points: India doing well on reducing emission intensity

Its transformation to a competitive, prosperous yet low-carbon economy now needs big bets on technology for industry, transport and cities, given how energy-use sectors will determine how quickly Indi

Broadly, emissions can be lowered by reducing energy used or the carbon content of the energy mix.

Reserve Bank can enhance social harmony

RBI needs to require that all real estate lending contracts have a clause prohibiting lenders from advancing money to any borrower (developer) who discriminates

Operationally, to ensure some daylight on this issue, RBI’s annual audit of lenders needs to be tweaked to enable it to monitor these potential crimes.

Education to employability: IITs engaging industry shoguns to teach a good idea

The India Skills Report 2021 highlights that there has been a general degradation of employable talent since 2018.

Many universities have entered into collaborations with industry to set-up learning and skill centres for students, but the IITs will be taking this a step further if they create positions for industry professionals as ‘professors of practice’, as recommended by an internal committee of the IIT Council.

Haryana should focus on getting industry to create more jobs than shackling it with domicile quota

The need is to create more jobs, not place onerous asks on industry, causing them to relocate or shut down

So, against the backdrop of thousands of jobs lost because of the pandemic hitting the informal sector hard, the Haryana government had, in November 2020, passed a law reserving 75% of private sector jobs that pay upto Rs 50,000 a month for persons domiciled in the state; this reservation, which is to stay in effect for the next 10 years, has just received the governor’s nod.

Burning Issue: Simlipal forest fire is yet another reminder of the urgent need to act on climate, at the global level

The government—both the states and the Centre—need to view this as a warning of the consequences of climate change and mount mitigation efforts urgently.

However, this year’s fire is singular in the sense that there has been an early onset of summer and a prolonged dry spell, creating the conditions for the fire to spread quickly.

Small savings, big impact: Building low-income women’s financial resilience will have wider economic benefits for everyone

While Covid-19 exposed financial vulnerabilities of individuals and households across the globe, it was women and particularly low-income women who remained more disproportionately affected during the

The pandemic has underscored the importance of saving for emergencies, making it an opportune time for FSPs to enable low-income women’s engagement with savings products.

Charting course for maritime growth

The Maritime India Vision 2030 can help India become a maritime superpower, with world-class ports & shipping

Therefore, there are plans to increase the transshipment capacity through accelerated operationalisation of such ports, development of green-field TS ports at Kanyakumari and Campbell Bay as additional transshipment hubs in a phased manner, and increase capacity of existing ports like Cochin.

Vying for growth: The focus needs to shift to sustaining growth

Higher government spending can counter decelerating recovery momentum… this should be followed by result-oriented reforms to sustain growth

Official manufacturing and trade data support these inferences.

Population Stabilisation: The future of family planning

NFHS 2019-20 preliminary findings show focusing on women’s education & health is a better route to population control than coercive measures

Recent projections clearly show that coercive population policies, which have been gaining momentum in recent times, are not the way forward. (Representative image)

Combating climate change: Make green tech affordable for low- and middle-income nations

The transition to clean energy will have to be driven by both governments and the private sector working together —just as the personal computer revolution was.

Bill Gates & Connie Hedegaard

Your Lordship, heal thyself!: UK court’s judgment in Nirav Modi case shows Indian judiciary needs to introspect and reform

Nirav Modi, a fugitive from law who had defrauded honest taxpayers of $2 billion, is on the cusp of extradition to India.

Given that the UK Court has reposed faith in the Indian system with this highly visible order, I request the SC to reflect on two broad themes.

E-waste: Europe’s ‘right to repair’ beneficial for the environment, should spur more jurisdictions to adopt similar rules

Companies and governments need to work in tandem to invest in recycling technologies and focus on research that can make more parts recyclable.

The EU, earlier this week, cleared the ‘right to repair’ Bill for some items.

The number game: Making sense of GDP estimates

The sector-wise estimate for Q4, deciphered from the three quarter estimates and the second advance estimate for the whole year, does not make much sense

The increased GST collections of more than Rs 1 lakh crore and the record collection of Rs 1.2 lakh crore in January also indicated recovery.

The return of fiscal dominance will test inflation targeting

Testing time may unfold as fiscal dominance returns with vengeance, global trends reverse

. One hopes though it will let the FIT regime continue unchanged as this hasn’t been sufficiently tested—neither over varied business cycles nor against challenging shocks.

Mining reform: What the government got right…

...and what still remains to be done, especially on taxation and royalties, as also incentivising exploration

There are some state-specific taxes Goa and Karnataka, wherein, 10% of sale proceeds have to be contributed for similar activities as specified for the DMF. This double taxation further increases the burden on the industry.
Income Tax Calculator, Budget 2019, How to Calculate Income Tax


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