Wednesday, February 10, 2016

JNU Radicals Protest Anniversary of Afzal Guru Hanging

Radical Left students at JNU staged an illegal protest in support of their 'martyr' Afzal Guru, who they claim was a victim of 'judicial killing' after being hangedin 2013 for his attack on the Indian parliament:

Monday, February 08, 2016

Quick notes: Siachen survivor, Best-paid CEO...

  • Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad: Survives after being buried under 25 feet of snow for six days.

  • Best-paid CEO: Sundar Pichai is getting a record-setting $199 million in stock.

  • Vitara Brezza: Maruti's first vehicle to be conceptualised, designed, developed and validated in India. 

  • Net bad assets of govt banks a third of their net worth: 29 public sector banks wrote off a combined Rs 1.14 lakh crore of bad debt between 2013 and 2015. 

  • How far can you incentivize investment? In the US, in the 1990s, many states were attracting foreign companies by exempting companies from paying education tax. In the southern states, which had given the most such incentives, the companies said that we don’t find skilled people anymore. Mind you, they weren’t looking for high skill necessarily, but even good high school-level people were hard to find because the school system had collapsed and the community colleges were out of business.

    So, government investment in social and physical infrastructure is good for industry in the longer run, not just in immediate demand creation.

  • Shift in momentum: Russian firepower helps Syrian forces edge toward Turkey border 

  • Pollution map of India:

Headley Fingers Pakistan in 26-11 Mumbai Attacks

American David Headley has testified in front of an Indian court that Pakistan's ISI had recruited him to help carry out the 26-11 Mumbai terrorist attacks:

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Sci-Fi TV Show: The Expanse

The Syfy channel has been airing a new TV series called "The Expanse" which is about a future where mankind has colonized the solar system. The solar system is split into 3 domains: Earth-&-Luna, Mars, and the Asteroid Belt. The Earth and Mars are locked in a Cold War type of struggle, and each is continually wooing/exploiting the 3rd group, the Asteroid Belt. The show is full of suspense and political intrigue, and has a gritty, hard sci-fi feel to it. Mars has been colonized by intellectuals with a passionate dream of terraforming the planet to reproduce the beauty of Earth. Meanwhile, the Earth itself has become overpopulated and faces environmental collapse. The descendants of those who migrated to the asteroid belt to work there extracting precious minerals have grown up in space and their bodies are too fragile to return to Earth and live in its gravity. Like the Replicants of Blade Runner, they feel treated like slaves and so they too have formed their own factional group to fight for their interests. The show is based on a series of novels by the same name.

Rajeev might like this one - it's got some of the noir brooding feel of Blade Runner, combined with Arthur C Clarke's style of technical realism, set against a backdrop of political intrigue and conflict.

Pakistan's Hand in the Rise of International Jihad

NYT's Carlotta Gall reports on Pakistan's hand in the rise of global jihadism:

Friday, February 05, 2016

Quick notes: Suspect GDP, Ad-blockers...

Thursday, February 04, 2016

my swarajya piece on innovation in gadgets slowing down at least for now

sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

Fwd: Intolerant Evictions

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: S G Naravane

MediaCrooks: Intolerant EvictionsFRIDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2016
MediaCrooks: Intolerant Evictions
Around the month-end in September 2015 a Muslim man was lynched to death by a mob at Dadri (UP). While there was outrage all over there was ...
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Around the month-end in September 2015 a Muslim man was lynched to death by a mob at Dadri (UP). While there was outrage all over there was sudden spate of artists of all kinds in an unusual campaign. They started the "Award Wapsi campaign" coupled with the "India intolerant" campaign. To rage over some incidents (selectively by the Fiberals) is one thing but for artists of various hues to be returning awards seemed very orchestrated. Nayantara Sahgal was among the first to return her called the Award Wapsi a "successful campaign". So it was a "campaign"! A few weeks back someone sent me a translation of an article by prominent Tamil/Malayalam writer, B. Jeyamohan. I'm reproducing the translation and the original article appears here.

--- Quote:


I learnt the meaning of "Power" when I visited Delhi in 1994 to receive my Sanskriti Samman award and stayed for two days in India International Centre. I did have some familiarities with Information and culture ministries. However, IIC is the place where "Power" is served on a gold plate. IIC is located in a peaceful and luxurious bungalow with lawns, high class food and drinks, quietly moving waiters, the silken English spoken without the upper lip moving, lipsticked women gracefully adjusting their hair, the elegant welcome given to the inner circle members with signs and hugswithout making any noise!

I have stayed in many star hotels later. But I have never seen anywhere the luxury and comfort of IIC. IIC was established and funded by the Indian government as an independent body to promote arts and free thinking. If my memory serves me right, Dr. Karan Singh was also its head. I saw him that evening. I saw every intellectual that I had known through my reading of English language magazines. U R Ananthamurthy was staying there for almost four years almost as a permanent fixture. Girish Karnad was staying for a fewdays. Writers, journalists and thinkers such as Pritish Nandi, Makarand Paranjpe, Shobha De were seen everywhere in the Centre.

It was true that I was overwhelmed that day. Arunmozhi (my wife) ran to Girish Karnad on spotting him and was thrilled to introduce herself to him. I was told that Nayantara Sehgal used to come there on daily basis to have a drink. I saw her that day too. I realized that the two other individuals who were given the award along with me, Rajdeep Sardesai and Anamika Haksar were regulars there. They wear rough Kolkata kurtas and Kolhapuri chappals. Wear small glasses.Women in pure white hair and khadi saris.One of them, they said, was Kapila Vatsyayan. They said, Pupul Jayakar will also come. Wherever you turn, there were literary talks and art discussions.

That pomp kind of unnerved me. The ultra-high intellectualism seen there somewhat alienated me. Venkat Swaminathan, who saw me the next day, immediately recognised my sense of discomfort. He said, "Hey, three fourth of this crowd is just a perfect horde of crows (the Tamil equivalent of psychophants). The snobs that make their living aredraw their power by licking the boots of power centres. Most of them are mere power brokers. At best you may find one or two artists who you will really respect. And they can't bear this atmosphere for too long and willjust run away.

But these are the people who decide what is culture for this country. They can talk about everything in the world for one hour in colourful English with the right amount of jargon. But on the 61st minute, the colour will start fading. Actually they don't know anything in the real sense. Almost all are like the little boxes we find in attics which held things a long time back", said Venkat Swaminathan.

Everyone will have four or five trusts in the name of Service Organizations or Cultural Organizations. They will be flying from one conference to the other. Once they are given accommodation in a government bungalow, they can never be removed from there. In Delhi alone this crowd has illegally occupied about 5,000 bungalows. There is another Power Centre similar to this in Delhi which is called the JNU. It is the same story there too.

"Can't the government get rid of them?", I asked. He said, "normally governments do not think on that line. Because this crowd has stuck itself from the time of Nehru. They support each other. Even if some IAS officials try, they will fall at the right feet and escape".

"There is one more thing added to it" said Venkat Swaminathan. "Not only were these people just parasites, they also derive great power by showing themselves as progressive leftists. Did you notice it?". I said "Yes" with amazement. They are known throughout the world through the numerous seminars they attend. They are highly networked. Journalists around the world seek their opinion on whatever happens in India. They are the people who gave a leftist mask to the Congress Government. If you look at it that way, the amount spent on them is quite low", he said.They are the trolls sitting on the head of India and nobody can do anything to them. They decide what is art or culture or thought of India.

I have often been to IIC with my Malayalam journalist friends. For them, this is the place to pick rumours and convert them in to news. They know there are no secrets as the day wears out and the spirits rise higher and higher in the head. But I can only pity those people who engage in to political debates based on the supposedly rare gems of wisdoms dished out by these "intellectuals" through the middle pages of English newspapers. These intellectuals never actually know the real politics. They just shout on the basis of the superfluous knowledge and stand points, with the prime space enable by the network. That's all.

A long time back when I wrote about this Circle, I had mentioned that Barkha Dutt is no one else but a power broker, my own friends fought with me for degrading a "progressive fighter". Fortunately for me, within a few days, the brokering she did with Tata leaked out through the Nira Radia tapes. (Incidentally, what happened to that case, does anybody know?). But even those stark revelations could not bring down Barkha Dutt from her exalted pedestal even for a month. That isthe kind of power they have.

But now, for the first time in the history of independent India someone has dared to touch this power circle. Warnings were circulated at the lower level for about the last 6 months. Last week the Culture Ministry decided to send a notice to them. This, perhaps, is the reason for these intellectuals to suddenly flare up against "intolerance". For example, painter Jatin Das, father of actress Nandita Das is occupying a large government bungalow at one of the premium locations in Delhi free of cost for many years. Government has sent an eviction notice to him. This is the real reason for Nandita Das strongly speaking about intolerance in television channels and writing in English newspapers (all diligently carried by the network).

Even for a man as strong Modi, I think he has touched a wrong nerve. These elements are too powerful. They can destroy India through the media worldwide. They can create a picture that rivers of blood are flowing in India. They can make businessmen around the world to halt. They can wreck the tourism industry. The truth is there is no other power centre like this in India. Tolerating them is unavoidable for India. And Modi's intolerance of them is extremely dangerous – not only for him but for the country itself

---- Unquote.

Lutyens-leeches have an extraordinary squatting ability to occupy govt bungalows that they should have long vacated. These include politicians, artists, journalists and an assorted class of elites who have little respect for rules. So when the GOI issued notices to vacate bungalows the campaign by artists was cleverly cloaked as Award Wapsi against intolerance. Yes indeed, the eviction was intolerant, it seems. Read this:

"What is likely to cause heartburn to aam aadmi perennially plagued by housing trouble, these plush flats were to be allotted for three years to eminent artistes…. In three cases out of 27, families of artistes are still residing in the flats long after their death…"

And that just looks like the tip of the iceberg. There's another article in Manoramathat shows more of the horror of "Intolerant evictions":

"Next on the eviction list are over 60 journalists who have also stayed beyond their tenure...  The practice of allotting houses to non governmental persons started during the reign of first Prime Jawaharlal Nehru, but the maximum allotments had happened during the tenures of Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and P.V. Narasimha Rao".

Any surprise then that a vast majority of the Commie media and their comrades in arts and entertainment are anti-Modi and desperately want the Congress to return to power?

PS: Although the translated article of B. Jeyamohan appears fairly accurate (as I checked other sites too) please post any inaccuracies noticed in the comments section.

sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: S G Naravane

Recognise the cancer withinFriday, 05 February 2016 | JS Rajput
Recognise the cancer within
Daily Pioneer: Leading News paper
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Intellectuals can play an important role in eliminating religious intolerance in the country. They must realise their role in strengthening ties between people of diverse persuasions and call out vested interests in minority communities
Once the Bihar Assembly election result was out, the award wapsi tirade evaporated quietly. Many heaved a sigh of relief. There were better options pending before the luminaries whose creative talents could be used more profitably in their pursuit of excellence. The Sahitya Akademi found no provisions in its rules and regulations to take back the award once conferred on a luminary and informed the anguished returnees accordingly. It's indeed heartening to note that one of the outstanding and highly respected of authors of Hindi, Kashi Nath Singh, is now ready to take back pahle wapas kiya gaya award. Media reports suggest that this transformation among several awardees is a consequence of their conviction that the 'purpose is served'. That is fine with the common citizen.
Shall one now conclude that most of those like-minded luminaries who joined the award wapsi bandwagon shall henceforth be concentrating on spreading the message of tolerance and acceptance of diversity, without political and ideological compulsions? And to achieve social cohesion and religious amity, they will shun their personal prejudices towards individuals and political parties? Every word and sentence could make a big difference. It is a tough task and highly sensitive.
Maybe Aamir Khan realised it a bit too late. The former brand ambassador of the Incredible India campaign has, once again, attempted to contain the damage he had inflicted on his own image by recalling, in a TV interview, a personal conversation with his wife. His recent reiteration that, he is in "deep love with India, cannot stay abroad for more than a fortnight", and that he shall "always speak the truth", may make many non-resident Indians and persons of Indian origin sit up. A tolerant  society that India has been for ages, Khan can rest assured that Indians, in India and abroad, shall continue to love him, and adore him, even if some select ones may call this trait a historical weakness.
There are, however, several learning experiences of the recent times, and of not so recent times, which can help in changing the outlook and widening of the canvas for those who are, genuinely, contributing towards the elimination of intolerance. Mere inheritance of great traditions and social practices is no guarantee that these shall not be dented, through persistent machinations by vested interests. Far-sight and eternal vigilance are the roots of growth for every society. Slackness in this regard can be fatal. India has to persistently guard against fissiparous tendencies and isolated spots of intolerance that do exist and are exploited by anti-social and anti-national elements.
... deleted

Fwd: Modi’s New Dalit Narrative Versus Entrenched Victimhood Politics

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: S G Naravane

Modi's New Dalit Narrative Versus Entrenched Victimhood...
Even today, in a post-liberalization India, Congress and Left leaders have preferred to prey on the insecurities of backward classes rather than look to make them a...
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Even today, in a post-liberalization India, Congress and Left leaders have preferred to prey on the insecurities of backward classes rather than look to make them a part of any aspirational growth story.
Ever since he entered the political arena, Rahul has made no secret of his desire to recapture the Dalit vote-bank for his party, which he, rightly but slightly simplistically, believes is key to the Congress' revival in the Hindi heartland.
The Dalits were a key component of the unbeatable Congress arithmetic during the times of Rahul's forefathers. The nineties saw them, along with the Muslims (who were another key demographic of Congress loyalists), migrate away from the Grand Old Party.
Yet, fortunately for the Congress, this migration was not towards the BJP but regional formations like the SP, BSP and RJD. The fact that the BJP was not the natural beneficiary of these migrations allowed the Congress to continue to play up its supposed stature as the only Indian party with a 'national' reach, even when they were out of power at the Centre.
Ever since they lost this large chunk of their electorate, the Congress' strategy at the national level has revolved around two major factors – its so-called 'secular' credentials which made the Congress an easier party to ally with for regional players who depended on the minority vote and the supposed 'limited' appeal of their chief rival, the BJP.
Until the early nineties, the 'limited appeal' of the BJP was said to be restricted to the upper castes and middle classes, primarily in North India. What the proponents of this theory meant to say was that even if the BJP did manage a healthy increase in vote percentages and a sizeable Lok Sabha tally, it would never come close to becoming the premier national player that the Congress was.
But the first major expansion of the BJP base, with the rise of powerful leaders from the OBC community like Kalyan Singh and Uma Bharthi, burst this particular bubble and the saffron outfit rode to power at the Centre winning three General Elections in a row.
Nevertheless, even during the heights of the Vajpayee years, the punditry unrelentingly revolved around the idea that the 'Brahmanical' and 'North Indian' inclinations of the party's ideology would continue to keep the BJP restricted to certain geographical and social sections of India. The electoral losses the BJP suffered in 2004 and 2009 only served to reinforce the narrative that while the BJP had solidified its position as the major national rival to the Congress, it still had a long way to go in order to match the Congress' 'national appeal'.
But the election results of May 2014 showed the Congress and its 'secular' allies that the winds had begun to change in India's electoral arithmetic.
Statistics from the 2014 election demonstrated that the BJP had made significant inroads into several key demographics, most of which were never seen to be natural BJP voters, like the Yadavs, Marathas, South Indians, Tribals and Dalits.
The increasing popularity of the BJP amongst the last two demographics would have been the most worrying for the party's opponents – because it flies in the face of numerous leftist political and social theories revolving around the caste system which have been written with the sole purpose of deriding the BJP, the Sangh Parivar and the larger Hindu society.
... deleted

Fwd: The Nefarious Attempts Of Congress To Takeover Kamakhya Temple

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: S G Naravane

The Tarun Gogoi-led Congress government in Assam is even willing to disregard the Supreme Court's verdict in its bid to takeover the Kamakhya temple

An attempt by the Tarun Gogoi-led Congress government in Assam to take over the management of the ancient Kamakhya temple has been nixed, albeit temporarily.
The state government had introduced a bill (the Assam Sri Sri Maa Kamakhya Devalaya Management Bill, 2015) in the state assembly on Monday that would have led to the creation of a board, headed by a serving or retired IAS officer and comprising members nominated by the government, representatives from the temple management, and the district administration as well as the state revenue and finance departments, to look after the management and development of the temple.
After Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) members objected to the bill, the government withdrew it temporarily.
But to fully understand the sinister motive behind the Congress government's attempt to take over the Kamakhya temple, it is important to delve a bit into its history. The management and administration of the Kamakhya temple, one of the most powerful Shakti peeths and an important religious site for Hindus, has been under two 'Dolois' who are elected by the 'Bardeuris' or priests of the principal Kamakhya temple, since the time of the Ahom kings.
These Bardeuris are descendants of the famous Kanyakubja Brahmins of Kannauj and were brought over to run the Kamakhya temple by Maharaja Dharmapala of the Pal dynasty in mid-11th century. There are four clans of Bardeuris and each adult male of the four clans (there are around 450 of them) can stand for election to the post of the two Dolois .
The person getting the highest number of votes becomes the 'Dangor Doloi' and the one getting the second-highest votes become the 'Xoru Doloi' ('Dangor' means 'elder' in Assamese, and 'Xoru' is 'younger'). The two Dolois have five-year tenures.
In 1992, Jnananda Prasad Sarma and Paran Chandra Sarma were elected as the 'Dangor' and 'Xoru' Dolois respectively. But when their terms were about to end in 1997, they constituted the Kamakhya Debutter Board to run the temple. Over time, this Board came to be packed with priests and pandas loyal to the Congress, which has been in power for most of the time in Assam since Independence.

Fwd: Rajeev your daily dose of Kiwi | 05 Feb

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Chakshu

The Daily Kiwi
Indian Express

Modi's Idea of India
Ashutosh Varshney
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Rohith's despair speaks of the collective failure of the teaching community
P K Basant
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Mehbooba Mufti has held out CBMs for the BJP-PDP coalition
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What if we cannot poke a little innocent fun at one another
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Going against the grain
P. S. Vijayshankar: For rural India to be vibrant, the way forward is to address the twin challenges of reviving the dynamism of the farm sector by building its climate r

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R. Prasad: Two new approaches for mosquito eradication show promise in the war against Zika and dengue.

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Madness of crowds: Don't make excuses for racist mob violence in Bengaluru
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Manage defence better: Ministry's unspent budgets underscore need for reform as India looks to modernise defence
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Let's talk about death: Euthanasia debate must focus on how we compassionately care for the dying
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Delhi needs strong governance model based on clear chain of command
Rajdeep Sardesai: A year after his victory, Arvind Kejriwal must learn to manage conflict, while the Modi regime must give up its visceral hatred for the AAP leader

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While global investors are not discriminating at present, in the long run there will definitely be winners and losers of low commodity prices.

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We are in danger of becoming a nasty, majoritarian society where the rights of the individual count for less and less writes Vir Sanghvi

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Are we neglecting India's rich marine biodiversity?
In India, while our conservation policies are geared towards terrestrial biodiversity, there are many marine species that are not protected

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Is Ritesh Agarwal ready to grow up?
If the current generation of unicorns is struggling to attract investors, future aspirants such as OYO can ill afford to alienate customers

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Lessons from the US Primaries
Given America's immensity, federal structure and regional variations, drawing comparative political analogies with it can yield more productive insights for Indian politics

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The People's Bank of China should reinforce the government's market-oriented reform plans and allow the renminbi to float

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Japan's interest rates experiment
The Bank of Japan has decided to implement negative interest rates

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Crusader for central bank autonomy
S.S. Tarapore, who died recently, advocated laying down rules of conduct of macro-policy management

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Removing constraints in higher education
The argument that foreign investment benefits only a minority is flawed

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The future of transportation design in India
Pradyumna Vyas: Physical systems, artificial intelligence will play a very important role in the future of car design

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Logo to Lockit
Shefalee Vasudev: Social correctness has its halo and LV, like other brands determined to make a humanitarian impact, is on the right trail

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Steel turmoil: Time to act
Ravi Uppal: India has to do what is good for India and the Indian steel industry

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Human rights: benchmarking business majors
Sudeep Chakravarti: CIL, ONGC and HUL are the three Indian companies in CHRB's list which intends to gauge businesses for human rights policy, process and performance

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Govt must bring down corporate tax rate to be globally competitive
By Jaideep Mishra It is time again to think loud about tax design, outlays and the Budget. In the unrepresentative days of old, there seems to have been very little discussion on expenditure and outlays….

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Bengaluru incident exposes an old toxic seam of racism embedded in us
By Sandip Roy It is good that Sushma Swaraj is "deeply pained over the shameful incident with a Tanzanian girl in Bengaluru". It's good that some people have been arrested for it. However, it is...

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The real story behind 'Airlift'
The movie, Airlift, on the 1990 evacuation of over 1,50,000 Indians working in Kuwait and Iraq after Saddam Hussein invaded Iraq, depicted slackness of the Ministry of External Affairs in responding to the crisis. KP...

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Business Standard

Stress tests for Indian banks
Akash Prakash: To calm investors, RBI must come out with a clear and transparent stress test for the major Indian banks

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Anatomy of the revenue deficit
Rathin Roy: In the absence of structural reforms, there is no short-term option but to persist with fiscal consolidation

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Impact of GDP growth on income inequality
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At Yahoo!'s End: The leading internet brand could be up for sale soon
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Going beyond foundation stones
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Editorial: Can CAG audit the NIIF?
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Asian Age

A clear road to Assam
Sanjay Kumar: Though the victory march of the Bharatiya Janata Party that began in 2014 was brought to a halt ...

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Airlift: Not lifted from the facts
K.P. Fabian: The film Airlift is a commercial success. I was bewildered by its repeated attempts to suppress ...

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Swapan Dasgupta: A comic aspect of Communist politics is the insistence of the party of the red flag that its ...

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Order of nature
Mukul Kesavan: The grotesque logic of laws like Section 377

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Deccan Herald

Awards for merit or manipulation?
Come January, it is awards time in this country. A time for recognising distinguished services in various...

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Why India should be worried
North Korea is great at making news. Given that it is the only country to test nuclear weapons in this century...

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Political appointees all
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Caste matters: Struggle for civil rights
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Watching Hamlet at a refugee camp
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Dainik Jagaran

मनरेगा का मूल्यांकन
दो फरवरी को महात्मा गांधी राष्ट्रीय ग्रामीण रोजगार गारंटी कानून यानी मनरेगा के दस वर्ष पूरे हो गए। यह कानून नागरिक संगठनों के साथ लंबी मंत्रणा के बाद बना था और अपने आकार-प्रकार तथा प्रभाव के मामले में बेजोड़ था।

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अफ्रीकियों के साथ अन्याय
देश की आइटी राजधानी बेंगलुरु में तंजानिया की एक छात्रा और उसके साथियों के साथ बदसलूकी के मामले ने फिर साबित किया कि हमारे यहां अश्वेतों को दोयम दर्जे का नागरिक मानने वाली मानसिकता की जड़ें गहरी हैं।

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प्रबुद्ध वर्ग के लोगों को अवसाद में घिरकर जीवन समाप्त करते देखना इन दिनों बहुत साधारण बात हो चुकी है। व्यक्तिगत कारण हों या ऑफिस से ज्यादा अपेक्षाएं पाल लेना, ऐसी घटनाओं का केंद्र-बिंदु यही होता है कि हम वास्तविकता की अनदेखी कर देते हैं।

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फसल बीमा की बाधाएं
मुझे प्रधानमंत्री फसल बीमा योजना से बहुत उम्मीदें थीं। 2015 में आई बेमौसम बारिश और ओलावृष्टि के कारण उत्तर प्रदेश, हरियाणा, पंजाब, राजस्थान, मध्यप्रदेश और महाराष्ट्र में बड़ी मात्रा में फसलें तबाह हो गईं। जिससे कई किसानों ने आत्महत्या कर ली थी।

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sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity