The Indian National Interest

The Indian National Interest

Catalyst | Reading between the Budget lines

Five broad ideas to read the budget commentary better. The first full budget of the NDA union government was presented in the parliament yesterday by Arun Jaitley, and today’s newspapers and news sites are replete with analysis of the budget and various sections therein. You will be reading more of them in the coming days and weeks, with praises […]

The Indian National Interest

The Broad Mind | Deciphering the signals behind Asad Durrani’s utterances

The former ISI chief’s successive appearances on television last week are possibly aimed at building pressure on the US to fulfil their side of the ‘deal’ by Pranay Kotasthane (@pranaykotas) Lt. General (retd) Asad Durrani, a former Director General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) appeared on the Al-Jazeera Network and BBC HARDtalk last week, and opened up […]

The Indian National Interest

Catalyst | In The Hindu: Medicines in India, For India

I write in The Hindu on what it takes to get a drug from the lab to the market. Here is the full piece along with hyperlinked references. January marked an important breakthrough in the fight against tropical diseases. Researchers at the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) in Delhi found a drug candidate that […]

The Indian National Interest

Catalyst | In Mint: Let India’s urban poor pay for good water

I write in Mint this week on how thinking along the lines of micro finance principles can change how we approach water pricing. Instead of an ideological stand on keeping water free, it’s better to ask how we can make clean water cheaper and more affordable for urban India’s most deprived. In microfinance, people also acknowledge that it costs more to […]

The Indian National Interest

Acorn | Osama bin Laden, the ISI and the USA

The ISI might have known about bin Laden. What did the United States know? For the first time, a person close enough to the Pakistani military establishment—and often its unofficial mouthpiece—has suggested that the ISI might have known about Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts, and might have traded him in for US concessions in Afghanistan. Asad […]

The Indian National Interest

Sumpolites | Eradicating Polio

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his SAARC appearance late last year had suggested that India would be willing to support and help countries in the Indian subcontinent where Polio still remains a threat. He said “We offer the five-in-one vaccine for the children of South Asia. We will support monitoring and surveillance of polio-free countries, […]

The Indian National Interest

The Broad Mind | Stand-up’s tryst with destiny

By Devika Kher The history of stand-up comedy has shown that, like all the other fields, the relevance of stand-up will grow along with its demand in society. It was the decade after the Second World War. There was still anxiety within the western communities just out of a war. The rules that existed before […]

The Indian National Interest

Acorn | Why a Swachch Bharat cess is a bad idea

A tax break will work better Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative to clean up the country showed that he was prepared to tackle the most difficult problems India faces—cleanliness, hygiene and sanitation are Mahatma Grade Problems, caused by a simultaneous combination of individual, social, market and government failures. The Swachch Bharat initiative has come about […]

The Indian National Interest

Terra Nullius | A Fine Balance

Thoughts after finishing Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance.  The older I get, the more I long to read as I did a few years ago. Maybe, I have more distractions now and hence the urgency with which I turned pages, say 7 years ago has dissipated. But once in a while, I chance upon a book [...]

The Indian National Interest

Acorn | On freedom of religion

The only restrictions to propagation of faith are force and fraud. The last few months have seen the return of religion-related issues into the public discourse. While many of these issues have existed on the agenda of religious-political organisations for decades, their contemporary emergence might has been triggered by electoral calculations and a new public […]

The Indian National Interest

Sumpolites | Promises, Promises

The Pakistani government must do more than just promise and make empty assurances to protect journalists and create a free and fair press in the country. Journalists from Pakistan and from around the world have gathered in Islamabad for the second international conference on “Combating Impunity and Securing Safety of Media Workers and Journalists in […]

The Indian National Interest

Terra Nullius | The Turkish conundrum

An important signifier of a liberal democracy is its power to introspect and retain its identity, especially when its politics shifts. A government in a liberal democracy that comes into power with a strong majoritarian mandate needs to pay attention to two things. One, if it claims to create a bold new policy, it needs [...]

The Indian National Interest

Catalyst | On counting and marrying out of caste

Most measurements of caste dynamics are flawed by a lack of good numbers, but that’s a good thing. A few months ago, my fellow blogger Karthik Shashidhar had looked at how inter-caste marriages are happening in India. He had visualised the results of an interesting paper out of European Population conference hosted on the Princeton […]