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Cracked screen, broken dreams

Introducing Rohit Varak, who at 16 is so mature for his age. He wants to be an electrical contractor, after getting an ITI training. His family lives in a remote village in northwest Goa. Rohit is acutely aware of his father’s struggle to secure a government job. Bhago has been trying for...

The Bangladesh comparison

India was a midwife in the birth of Bangladesh. She sent in her army to liberate the newly born independent nation, and even stood up to threats from the world’s mightiest power, the United States, which had sent its Seventh Fleet to the Bay of Bengal. Henry Kissinger, the US...

Covid hospital, not coastal road

Mumbai is the richest municipality in India with a budget whose size dwarfs many state government budgets. For instance it is 50 per cent larger than the state budget of Goa. It can legitimately brag about many excellent hospitals, which provide highly subsidised healthcare services to the poor and vulnerable. Patients flock...

Police reforms still a distant dream

The Rashomon effect is named after a 1950 movie made by Akira Kurosawa. In the movie, a murder is described by four witnesses in contradictory ways. Their description reflects their own subjective interpretation and vested interests rather than the objective truth. If their testimonies are used as evidence in a...

Needed: Price Assurance

One silver lining to the 24 per cent fall in quarterly GDP between April and June was that growth in the agriculture sector was positive at 3.4 per cent. This is the first time in India’s history that we are experiencing a steep recession without any adverse shock of drought or a...

Don’t ask the SC for loan waiver

If you have borrowed money as a home or business loan, you are bound by contract to repay that loan. Repayment is over a period of time, so you also pay the time value of money, i.e. interest. Due to the lockdown, the GDP for three months of April to June was...

Why farmers are upset about reforms

Three months ago when Parliament was not in session, the Government of India issued three ordinances. Normally ordinances are issued only as an emergency law, and they have to be converted into proper legislation as soon as Parliament reconvenes. These three ordinances were about agriculture and farming. All three were...

Burden of Bad Loans

The economy shrank by nearly one-fourth during the first three months of this fiscal year. Much of this was due to the harsh lockdown initiated in March. Roughly three-fourths of the economy was practically shut for a month, after which there were a series of renewed lockdowns with partial relaxations....

Weekly vouchers will boost demand

The economy is in a deep hole, having contracted by one-fourth in the first three months of the lockdown. Hopefully the speed of contraction is slowing, but we will be lucky to see positive growth of the economy before December. So what is to be done? Everyone is crying hoarse...

The mental health cost of Covid-19

The GDP numbers are out. These refer to the three months from April to June, which were mostly about a harsh  lockdown. More than three-fourths of the economy was shut down at least for a month, and hence output, income, jobs were lost. The contraction in India’s GDP was the...
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