Urban centres as growth engines

Recently Delhi chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal made a comment that people from Bihar get into a train and come to Delhi by paying four  hundred rupees and avail themselves of medical facilities substantial in nature causing a drain on the resources of the Delhi state. Coming from the  chief Minister of a state more so where the national capital is located the comment looked quite strange.Though there is no bar on freedom of movement across the country and constitution guarantees freedom of movement without any restriction but still it is natural that all Indians from different nooks and corners of the country feel that they have a natural right over the capital city of the country. By travelling from some other place people  are able to claim substantial medical benefits there is something wrong the way the scheme is devised and it is high time the chief Minister concentrates on plugging the loopholes. Normally for anybody to avail such facility proof of residence and identity is  ins…

United by Monsoon Divided by Kashmir.

There's something unique about the monsoon in the Indian subcontinent. It does not respect National boundaries. When it pours pours across the subcontinent and  when it fails it fails creating a drought  like situation across the subcontinent. Though sometimes it fails in some parts and is active in some other parts of the subcontinent but most likely its effects are  uniform across the subcontinent in greater number of years.
This year the monsoon decided to pour and it's pouring cats and dogs across the subcontinent bringing in its aftermath flooding, dengue ,malaria. Even after 70 years of independence the flooding is common on both sides of the border.if the  Municipal administration department is efficient you may wade through knee deep water if not waist  deep water. The mosquito same way as monsoon does not respect the national boundaries. prevalence of monsoon related diseases are equally deadly on both sides of the border. The flies, unhygienic and unsanitary conditi…

Climate change- rally and after

Greta Thunberg Swedish teenager  sailed on a yatch  with zero carbon foot prints crossing the Atlantic  to participate in the rally on climate change on 20 th September  and in the UN  climate action summit on 23rd September at  Newyork . She has been consistently raising her voice against climate change and has become voice of the younger generation drawing world attention to  climate change which is threatening our very survival. Meanwhile scientists in  Iceland were  busy  erecting a memorial in  August to  Okjokull the first Iceland glacier to melt. In a memorial captioned 'letter to the future' they mentioned Okjokull is the first glacier  to lose its status and in another 200 years all Iceland glaciers are expected to follow.
On the other side of the coin Donald Trump refuses to acknowledge the impact of climate change .Brazil Bolsonoro is overseeing the one of the worst forest fires leading to large scale deforestation of the Amazon forests.

It is scientifically establ…

Way forward for BJP in Andhra Pradesh

2019 elections saw  BJP wave across the country. The same was absent in Andhra Pradesh where they got less than 1% vote share far less than it's traditional  vote share even when there was no wave across the country. There are reasons peculiar to  Andhra Pradesh for this to happen. Polarisation was so sharp and anti incumbency against  TDP government was so intense people looked for an  alternative who can replace the TDP government and hence even otherwise traditional voting to BJP went to YSRCP a party  perceived  to be in a position to defeat TDP.

The other reason was Telugu Desam party and its friendly vernacular  media succeeded  in presenting to the public that  BJP did not honour the commitments  made at the time of state bifurcation and is  the  root cause of all the financial problems of the state post bifurcation.But this election also opened political space  for BJP to get strengthened in Andhra Pradesh since results left Telugu Desam party totally dissimated.


Abrogation of Article 370, a masterstroke

Normally certain portions of the manifestos of political parties keep on recurring from one manifesto to the other. They are perceived both by  the parties as well as the public as statements of  intention and neither take seriously their implementation. When in 2019 BJP manifesto removal of article 370 and 35 A was  mentioned the expectation from the public was also the same. Since there was also a general  popular perception that  constitutional amendment was required  to remove article 370 and since  BJP did not get the two thirds majority required for the constitutional amendment there was no great public expectation that this would be implemented by the BJP during this tenure.

But suddenly during the last days of this parliament session the presidential order removing article 370 as well as 35a  was brought to the parliament for its approval. A provision (3)of article 370 which provided for the abolition or modification of article 370 through  presidential notification was succe…

Limited external sovereign borrowing may be a boon

Nirmala Sitharaman in the budget presented in Parliament came up with the proposal to borrow in the external markets in external currencies. 

Two main reasons given for this proposal are India sovereign external debt is one of the lowest at less than 5 per cent of the GDP and hence external borrowing is a favourable option. 
Given the emphasis the budget places on private sector investment to give a boost to the economy this measure would free up domestic funds for private investment since there is not enough domestic household savings to finance enormous needs of the Government and still leave substantial amounts for private sector investment. 
This one particular proposal in the budget has drawn the maximum debate in terms of some supporting it as an innovative initiative beneficial to the economy and another set of economists warning against the pitfalls of sovereign external borrowings. 
Swadeshi Jagran Manch also joined in the debate arguing against the move and there are reports tha…

The new govt should focus on balanced development of AP

With the World Bank dropping the proposal to fund the Amaravati project the issue came up for hot debate in the Andhra Pradesh legislative assembly with the party in power and opposition blaming each other for World Bank dropping the proposal. Original proposal envisaged Amaravati sustainable infrastructure and institutional development project to be funded by the World Bank by Rs 2100 crore Asian infrastructure investment bank by Rs 1500 crore and another Rs 1500 crore coming from the state government making it a project of about Rs 5000 crore. 

World Bank mandate envisages it to examine the environmental implications as well as how a project is going to impact the livelihoods of different stakeholders for sanctioning a project. There were complaints both from NGOs and stakeholders within the capital city area to the independent accountability mechanism of the World Bank claiming that there were major violations of environmental norms in the Amaravati project and the livelihood issues…