Edits & Columns

Covid crisis: Why India needs to worry about its services economy

The fall is understated, or the slowdown more pronounced, because PADO includes ‘other services’ not covered elsewhere.
The reasons for the weakness in services, although the PMI may be an incomplete or a narrow measure of the whole sector, are not hard to identify.

Covid-19: Delhi has a point on allowing hotels and weekly markets to reopen

Delhi govt has a point on allowing hotels and weekly markets to reopen, but its record on checking spread isn’t encouraging

While the Delhi government’s point seems fair, the fact is that its handling of the Covid-19 outbreak so far hasn’t been encouraging.

Covid data registry a welcome idea – it will help understand the infection better

It will help understand the disease better, allowing better response; but first, govt must fix a few kinks

But given how the outbreak seems far from over, even the late start is welcome; it will help researchers, healthcare personnel and policymakers understand the disease better, and shape more effective response.

RBI is saving its ammunition for later in case situation worsens going ahead

While we expect further accommodation in H2, the monetary policy committee would need more clarity and certainty over lowering of inflation on a durable basis before taking on further action.

India needs to clarify tax issues to prevent it from becoming a digital colony

To prevent India from becoming a digital colony, Indian capital needs to invest in start-ups. And, for that to happen, clarity on investment in innovations is needed

Too defensive: Domestic defence production continues to lag, sadly 

When the latest Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy talks of doubling the size of the domestic industry to Rs 175,000 crore in five years—of this, the export target is Rs 35,000 crore—i

India can go glocal with NEP – language is a medium, not the end

Medium of instruction should be informed by social and family environment; language is a medium, not the end.

Loan restructuring with care, and about time too

In the past, many restructured loans were undeserving; this time around, it is restricted to those hit by Covid-19.

The case of the missing CPI

It is statistically possible after assuming that the weightage of food in the headline CPI is closer to a more realistic 30%, that the headline CPI in the baseline case is already lower than the 6.1%

CPI, Retail inflation, food inflation

Govt has levelled the field for Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh to integrate in India’s growth journey

The Centre has levelled the field for Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh to integrate in India’s growth journey; the onus is now on all of us to take them along.

NPA 2020: There is no escaping English – promoting teaching in local languages encourages ghettoisation 

There is no escaping English. A not-so-savoury outcome of promoting teaching in local languages is that it encourages ghettoisation.

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.
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