The Indian National Interest

The Indian National Interest

RQ | Uber, Meru and Service Taxes

The use of arbitrary barriers in regulation, like the Rs. 10 lakh limit on Service Taxes is counterproductive and can lead to a non-level playing field. More importantly such barriers encourage small-scale operations which can act against efficiency A couple of months back, the Service Tax Department slapped a notice on Uber, demanding that the […]

The Indian National Interest

The Broad Mind | Short term prospects in Pakistan and Afghanistan in response to the Peshawar attack

What happens next in reaction to the gruesome terrorist attack in Peshawar is the question that continues to confound all stakeholders. Here’s a quick assessment of the short term prospects in Pakistan and Afghanistan post the attack. First, the Pakistan army is likely to ask its domestic proxies like Lashkar-e-Janghvi, Lashkar-e-Taiba and others to layoff […]

The Indian National Interest

RQ | Batch size at IIMB

A few days back I had written about how the new IIMs with a sanctioned batch size of around 60 and a faculty strength of 20 are unviable and need to scale up quickly. My argument was that one of the big strengths of the older IIMs is its faculty size which leads to a […]

The Indian National Interest

RQ | Environmentalism and the Discount Rate

Alex Epstein, in his new book “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels” has a fantastic quote (HT: Bryan Caplan). Epstein writes: It is only thanks to cheap, plentiful, reliable energy that we live in an environment where the water we drink and the food we eat will not make us sick and where we can […]

The Indian National Interest

The Broad Mind | The appropriate umpire

By Devika kher The Spicejet case allows the Directorate General of Civil Aviationto emerge as an appropriate umpire. The Government regulators got it right this time. Based on the remarks of the hassled civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Chief Prabhat Kumar took the much needed steps to […]

The Indian National Interest

The Broad Mind | The appropriate umpire

By Devika kher The Spicejet case allows the Directorate General of Civil Aviationto emerge as an appropriate umpire. The Government regulators got it right this time. Based on the remarks of the hassled civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Chief Prabhat Kumar took the much needed steps to […]

The Indian National Interest

Acorn | Welcoming Putin

New Delhi should treat the Russian president with the usual respect Samanth Subramanian of The National asked me to comment on Vladimir Putin’s visit to India. My response: Putin’s visit is part of a longstanding tradition of bilateral visits. It comes at a time when there is greater convergence of interests between India and the […]

The Indian National Interest

RQ | Targeting government transfers

Bryan Caplan, quoting from Greg Mankiw, puts out some very interesting numbers on government transfers to households in the United States. As Caplan puts it, this table shows a pattern “neither liberals nor conservatives will expect”. Some points to be noted: 1. government transfers per household to the top quintile is much more than to […]

The Indian National Interest

RQ | Uber and the narrative bias

Following the alleged rape of a Delhi woman by a cab driver who she’d engaged via the Uber app, the Delhi government has banned Uber. Union home minister rajnath Singh has issued a notification to other state governments to do the same though union transport minister Nitin Gadkari has rightly called it a silly idea. […]

The Indian National Interest

RQ | Why app based taxi services should not be banned

Writing during the Takshashila Hudson conference on India’s growth I had argued that an easy way to increase the level of business activity in the country, and thus GDP was by means of reducing transaction costs. Transaction costs are costs borne by buyers of a good or Service which don’t accrue to the seller. The […]

The Indian National Interest

RQ | Implementation and rule of law

Draconian laws coupled with lax implementation deliver too much power to regulators. This makes the business environment unpredictable and makes it harder to do business. Following the arrest for rape of a taxi driver who was hailed using the Uber app, the Delhi government has gone on to ban Uber. Not satisfied with that, it […]

The Indian National Interest

The Broad Mind | Store in India! Part II

By Ranjeet Rane Why enforce, when you can enable and engage instead? In my previous post I had proposed the idea of “Store in India” by using a four layered model, also while presenting the concept of a “Data Ecosystem” in the same post; I had discussed Data Sovereignty and Lawful Interception as the two layers around […]

The Indian National Interest

RQ | Educating at scale

You can’t run a high-quality business school with 20 faculty members In the course of a twitter discussion yesterday, journalist Mathang Seshagiri quoted numbers from a parliamentary reply by the ministry of HRD (on the 24th of November 2014) on the sanctioned faculty strength and vacancies in “institutes of national importance”. While his purpose was […]

The Indian National Interest

Acorn | Checking judicial populism & policymaking

Judges should not make policy. All manner of players stepped into the space created by the extreme weakness of the Executive branch and the logjam of the Legislative branch of government over the past decade. In stepped ‘civil society activists’, large non-governmental organisations and the judiciary. Of these only the last has constitutional legitimacy and […]

The Indian National Interest

RQ | Certainty in monetary policy

Two big takeaways from today’s monetary policy review are the institution of a formal inflation target and a commitment to consistency in monetary policy I found two major takeaways from RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan’s press conference this morning following the RBI policy review (where both the policy rate and the cash reserve ratio were held […]