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Opinion

Survival strategies

The World Bank stole a glance at India. It did not want to attract any attention; but it also did not want to be accused of spying. So it published a paper summarizing what it saw, but said it was for comment, not citation. So I shall hide the title. I cannot see how one can comment on something without referring to it, but my purported citations should be ignored, and treated as unmentionable antecedents of my comments.
Writing On The Wall
Ashok V. Desai
Aug 21, 2018 00:00 IST

Roiled rupee

The rupee has been badly roiled this year and ranks among the worst-performing currencies against the American dollar. On August 16, when it settled below the 70-mark against the greenback, it sent a frisson of fear through the markets and deepened the worry lines on the faces of importers. Some Cassandras have already started to weigh into the debate with a dire forecast of 80 to the dollar in the next six months. But there is a vast army of optimists which believes that 70 will serve as the virtual Rubicon for the exchange rate - the red line at which the Reserve Bank of India will intervene. For instance, in the months of May and June, the RBI sold over $20 billion worth of dollars and bought only $8 billion of the US currency when the exchange rate was hovering at Rs 65 to the dollar.
Aug 21, 2018 00:00 IST

Not at ease

Obesity undermines health, be it of human beings or the armed forces. It is thus heartening to note that the Indian army, with a manpower of over 1.2 million recruits, is exploring ways to shed flab. The reasons for this proposed transition are not far to seek. The nature of conflict has changed. Wars have become irregular, localized confrontations. This, in turn, means that armies around the world are having to remodel themselves into leaner formations that can be mobilized quickly for engagements that are of shorter durations. The other factor that has contributed to the rethinking in the defence brass is, undoubtedly, the question of finances. The paucity of funds - the army's share of the gross domestic product is said to be much lower than what is necessary - has stymied modernization plans. To make matters worse, revenue expenditures and pensions continue to soar.
Aug 21, 2018 00:00 IST

Strong Agenda

With the government embarking on a strong reform agenda to help India become one of the most desirable investment destinations, ease of doing business is improving. A series of reforms which have already been introduced focus on digitization and simplification of procedures, revising obsolete policies, and emphasize e-governance.
Chandrajit Banerjee Aug 21, 2018 00:00 IST

Healthy hues; Stellar life; Help them; Water world ; Changing image

Healthy hues

• Sir - On account of their health benefits, coloured potatoes have become ... | Read»

Stellar life

• Sir - With the demise of the former Indian cricketer and Test captain, Aj... | Read»

Help them

• Sir - The growing numbers of old people in India are neither a burden nor... | Read»

Water world 

• Sir — The rains have been delayed this year, but most parts of Patna have... | Read»

Changing image

• Sir — The government of Odisha is trying its best to draw big businesses ... | Read»

Aug 21, 2018 00:00 IST

The new terrorist

The two-kilometre radius around the iconic Raisina Hill complex in Delhi is probably the most secure zone in the country. Policemen and paramilitary personnel are as much part of the landscape as the neem and jamun trees that dot this part of the capital city.
Manini Chatterjee Aug 20, 2018 00:00 IST

How Real power works

Every creature has its uses, I am told. Even the mosquito does. But given the harm it causes, I tend to overlook its uses. The mosquito is not just deadly. It is a master-manipulator, a little beast that loves to play with its victims before going for the kill.
Chandrima S. Bhattacharya Aug 20, 2018 00:00 IST

Last minute

It is never a good idea to wait until it is too late. This, unfortunately, is a lesson that India never seems to learn, especially with regard to disaster management. The response to the floods in Kerala - the worst the state has faced in a century - bears testimony to this. 
Aug 20, 2018 00:00 IST

Conflict zone

Whose forest is it anyway? Does it belong to the animals or the people who have traditionally cohabited with the animals and tended to the forests or to the modern institutions charged with the running of the country and conserving its resources? The Uttarakhand High Court has said that the Van Gujjars - a forest-dwelling community - are a constant threat to wildlife and as such should be seen as encroachers. 
Aug 20, 2018 00:00 IST

Brilliant form; Admirable legacy; Parting shot

Brilliant form

• Sir - The Spanish tennis star, Rafael Nadal, won the 80th title of his ca... | Read»

Admirable legacy

• Sir - The former Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Somnath Chatterjee, passed awa... | Read»

Parting shot

• Sir - It is no surprise that M.K. Alagiri, the estranged son of M. Karuna... | Read»

Aug 20, 2018 00:00 IST

That smalltime imp

What, in human evolution, came earlier - consensual intercourse or marriage? The answer is obvious. One could say that the institution of marriage is Time's embroidered garment placed over Nature's plain truth. To what was spontaneous, instinctive and un-guarded, it introduces three new harnesses. Exclusivity is introduced to intimacy, constancy is brought to immediacy and the free-falling dice of animal procreation is replaced by selective processes of legacy-creation. The institution of marriage reflects society's seeking of order, method and system in human relationships as against the anarchy of unruly 'jungle' contact.
Gopalkrishna Gandhi Aug 19, 2018 00:00 IST

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