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Sorted by :  July  2014
by James Petras on 31 Jul 2014 2 Comments

There are two major beneficiaries of the two major wars launched by the US government: one domestic and one foreign. The three major domestic arms manufacturers, Lockheed Martin (LMT), Northrop Grumman (NOG) and Raytheon (RTN) have delivered record-shattering returns to their investors, CEOs and investment banks during the past decade and a half. The Israeli...

by Shenali Waduge on 30 Jul 2014 7 Comments

The seminar, ‘India under Modi: Relevance for the Region and the World,’ organized by the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies and held at the BMICH, was moderated by former foreign secretary HMGS Palihakkara. The panelists were introduced by Sunimal Fernando, Advisor to the President of Sri Lanka and Chairman/Board of Studies of the...

by Sandhya Jain on 29 Jul 2014 3 Comments

Continuous power outages, a sharp rise in tariff by a regulator ever solicitous of the interests of companies gifted the monopoly of power distribution in the capital by a regime booted out for the same reason, and Delhi’s cup of woes is full. As the audit by the Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG) fails to take off and the issue of fast running meters...

by R Hariharan on 28 Jul 2014 6 Comments

The recent rampage by Buddhist bigots against Muslims at Aluthgama and Beruwala resulting in the death of three persons, and injuries to 80, rendering over a thousand people homeless, is a defining moment for Sri Lanka. The headline “Country has a responsibility to promote Buddha Sasana” in the government-owned Daily News report on the President’s speech on ...

by Jim Willie on 27 Jul 2014 3 Comments

It is finally happening in full view, in unmistakable manner, in a way that the awake, the aware, and the conscious can perceive in alarming stunning terms. The central force of Europe, the industrial juggernaut, the stable core, has begun to pivot East. The Germans have had enough, fed up with destructive US activities of all kinds. For the last few months,...

by M Pramod Kumar on 26 Jul 2014 28 Comments

Hinduism is the only religion in the world which has the beautiful concept of Ishta Devata - of choosing a favourite personal deity towards whom the devotee can direct single minded devotion. Yaska, the 9th century philosopher, comments that when the population of India was 33 crores, the Indians also worshipped 33 crore Gods and goddesses! Sanatana Dharma...

by Anant Mittal on 26 Jul 2014 7 Comments

The clamour for a reform in the Civil Services (Preliminary) Exam has been growing. After the introduction of the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) in 2011, there has been a hue and cry from by students from various regional languages against the apparent bias in favour of English-speaking students through the question paper pattern and questions. This res...

by KP Prabhakaran Nair on 25 Jul 2014 6 Comments

The river Ganga is our national heritage. According to legend, when a sinner takes a dip in the holy Ganga, he/she washes away all the sins. This author with his family was recently in Varanasi to visit the famous Kashi Vishwanath temple which was desecrated by the Moghul tyrant, Aurangzeb, who built a mosque where the temple...

by Senaka Weeraratna on 24 Jul 2014 9 Comments

India’s praiseworthy role in giving voice to the newly liberated nations following de-colonization led to the Bandung Conference in 1955; now a new role awaits India under Narendra Modi, to blaze a new trail in Asia and the larger world and it is recommended, hand-in-hand with China. In 1954, a perceptive Indonesian Prime Minister Dr. Ali Sastroamidjojo, att...

by Virendra Parekh on 23 Jul 2014 0 Comment

The much-awaited budget has been unveiled and discussed threadbare. The consensus is that faced with sky-high expectations, an economy mired in stagnation and inflation, depleted treasury and imperatives of fiscal consolidation, the finance minister Arun Jaitley has acquitted himself well with a budget which is centred on accelerating growth without sacrific...

by M R Venkatesh on 22 Jul 2014 3 Comments

Food grains [rice and wheat] stocks held by FCI and State agencies were 69.84 million tonnes as on June 1, 2014 vis-à-vis the buffer stock norm of 21.20 million tonnes as on April 1, 2014. [Source: Monthly Economic Report of May 2014 published by the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance]. That in simple language means that the Government has ...

by R Hariharan on 21 Jul 2014 0 Comment

There are clear indications that the Chinese are stumbling in their effort to crush the Uighur struggle against Han Chinese domination in Xinjiang. The scrupulous semantics used by Chinese state-controlled media describe them as terrorists though the attacks lack the sophistication of modern day terrorism. It has not helped to cover up the Chinese failure to...

by Bhaskar Menon on 20 Jul 2014 3 Comments

At one level, it is very simple to explain the position of British phone giant Vodafone in India: it is claiming that because it paid abroad in black money for a lucrative property in the country, no taxes are owed How this situation developed is almost impossible to explain because much that needs understanding is buried in post-colonial debris that most In...

by Koutilya Sastri on 19 Jul 2014 2 Comments

As a young college student I used to read Dale Carnegie. In one of his books he says, “Insurance is a bet on your life. You say you will die. The insurance company says you will not. The premium you pay is the bet amount.” Not much has changed since then about insurance. The companies use the same strategies and the people approach them with the same fear. ...

by Koutilya Sastri on 18 Jul 2014 13 Comments

I have been writing for many years that mutual funds are not saving schemes. They are subject to market risks. This is always shown in fine print in all the brochures of such mutual fund schemes. Even in Television commercials, the risk factor is read in a fast mode so that no one can...

by Krishnarjun on 17 Jul 2014 1 Comment

The maiden budget introduced by the Narendra Modi government is a positive step towards his declared agenda “sab ka sath, sab ka vikas”. Those who expected some kind of “Big Bang” free-market or neo-capitalist reforms are disappointed. The budget just follows avowed objectives in the BJP manifesto for which the party received an historic mandate. If the self...

by M R Venkatesh on 16 Jul 2014 0 Comment

It is only fair that any analysis of a Budget must be rooted to the state of the economy. That would, in more ways than one, provide an overall context to its textual contents. Most economists and analysts are unanimous of their view (especially after the clear mandate to the NDA in the recently concluded elections) that the decade of UPA rule was indeed a d...

by Sandhya Jain on 15 Jul 2014 4 Comments

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s maiden budget is remarkable for blindsiding economic gurus of national and international stature with gratuitous advice for a ‘closure sale’ of the public sector. It invited the private sector to step up and contribute to economic growth, but did not bend over backwards to solicit their hitherto feeble performance. The...

by Ashok B Sharma on 14 Jul 2014 0 Comment

After the new regime presents its maiden budget, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will begin to seriously engage the emerging world economies at Fortaleza. Close cooperation among the emerging economies has become imperative as the world is yet to recover from the crisis of August-September 2008. The sixth annual BRICS Summit at Fortaleza on the northeastern co...

by Krishnarjun on 13 Jul 2014 42 Comments

The recent Supreme Court judgment banning Jallikattu is a serious humiliation of Hindu tradition. It’s unprecedented for courts to ban a rural festival that has survived and flourished for thousands of years. Even more astonishing is the fact that so-called Hindu organisations have not raised a whimper at this gross...

by Come Carpentier de Gourdon on 12 Jul 2014 0 Comment

In the wake of the recent elections to the European Parliament whose results reflect the wave of euro-skepticism sweeping the continent and evince the deep divisions between the member-countries, it is useful to recall that the present European Union is a compromise between at least three very different and potentially opposing visions, inspired by diverse s...

by Ashok B Sharma on 11 Jul 2014 5 Comments

Faced with the challenge of bringing a turnaround in the economy and bridging the fiscal deficit, the Modi Government has shifted the usual focus of the annual budget from the regular sole allocation-oriented approach to attracting both domestic and foreign investment for implementation of its novel schemes. As the global economy is showing signs of improvem...

by Hari Om on 10 Jul 2014 0 Comment

Assembly elections in the troubled Jammu & Kashmir are round the corner. The four major political players in the State – National Conference (NC), Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) -- are busy giving final shape to their respective political agendas in an attempt to win the required number of seats in the 87-member Ho...

by Ashok B Sharma on 10 Jul 2014 0 Comment

The Modi Government is faced with the dual challenge of bringing an upturn in the economy by achieving a growth rate in the range of 5.4 per cent to 5.9 per cent and moderating the trend in price inflation. The slowdown in the economic growth rate in the last two years has been broad based, affecting particularly the industry sector. The growth rate in the ...

by Ashok B Sharma on 09 Jul 2014 2 Comments

The Modi Government has outlined the future development agenda for Indian Railways that includes launching of Bullet Trains (with speed above 200 kmp), increasing the speed of trains on certain tracks to 160 to 200 kmp with an ambitious plan to have a Diamond Quadrilateral Network, connecting major Metros and growth centers of the country and providing works...

by Arun Shrivastava on 09 Jul 2014 10 Comments

We eat essentially to nourish our body and mind. Yet, food production is measured in terms of weight and not nutrition yield. Since farming method is directly correlated with nutrition yield, as science proves, logically methods that produce maximum nutrition yield at minimum cost should have been promoted. However, this has never been done anywhere in the w...

by George Friedman on 08 Jul 2014 1 Comment

In recent weeks, some of the international system’s unfinished business has revealed itself. We have seen that Ukraine’s fate is not yet settled, and with that, neither is Russia’s relationship with the European Peninsula. In Iraq we learned that the withdrawal of US forces and the creation of a new Iraqi political system did not answer the question of how t...

by Rijul Singh Uppal on 07 Jul 2014 0 Comment

On May 26, 2014, Narendra Modi took the oath of office as India’s 15th Prime Minister. The astonishing results of May 16 that provided Mr Modi with an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha meant that the new Prime Minister would be able to take the necessary steps needed to lead the country out of the ditch it has been in and lead it to new horizons in the...

by George Friedman on 06 Jul 2014 1 Comment

In February 1968, the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong launched a general offensive in Vietnam during Tet, the Vietnamese New Year. From mid-1966 onward, the North Vietnamese had found themselves under increasing pressure from American and South Vietnamese forces. They were far from defeated, but they were weakening and the likelihood of their militar...

by Franklin Lamb on 05 Jul 2014 0 Comment

Ain Al-Hilweh camp: With Washington and London affirming over the past few days their intentions to continue arming “moderate rebel factions” in Syria, Tel Aviv has now stepped up and announced it would like to be helpful as well… by joining with “moderate Arab nations” to battle their mutual Muslim...

by R Hariharan on 04 Jul 2014 1 Comment

The two-day visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi as President Xi Jinping’s Special Envoy to New Delhi within three weeks of Prime Minister Narendra Modi assuming office underlines China’s keenness, if not anxiety, in building bridges with the Indian leader who has come to power with a massive personal mandate. In spite of all the flowery rhetoric at pl...

by Sandhya Jain on 03 Jul 2014 7 Comments

In a move that took the sponsors of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) by surprise, Moscow quietly rushed Su-25 fighter jets to Iraq and is now helping to shore up the beleaguered regime of Nouri al-Maliki. This unexpected tit-for-tat for the formal division of Ukraine was doubtless worked out in close synergy with Tehran and Damascus, and will give ...

by BR Haran on 02 Jul 2014 99 Comments

After waging a legal war for almost 10 years, the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and animal welfare activists have won their case against “animal sports” such as Jallikattu, Rekla (bullock-cart race) etc., involving bulls. A Supreme Court bench comprising Justice KS Radhakrishnan and Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose, in a landmark judgment on 7 May 2014, b...

by Sandhya Jain on 01 Jul 2014 124 Comments

The spectre of a looming Congress-NCP defeat in the Maharashtra Assembly elections, due later this year, most likely provoked the Dwarka Sankaracharya’s vituperative attack on the Sai Baba of Shirdi. The election in the nation’s financial capital is a matter of survival for both parties, as well as for Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena. The...

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