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The Asian Balance: Myanmar’s Narasimha Rao moment?

A pleasant surprise from the east This is the unedited draft of today’s column in the Business Standard: In a matter of months, Myanmar’s infamous junta diluted itself out of power, a new ‘elected’ government took office, duly freed pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest, lifted some...

The Broad Mind | So how many Indian kids complete school?

What do the Barro-Lee data really say about educational attainment in India by Siddharth Vij Yesterday, Nitin Pai linked to a blog post comparing educational attainment in India and Pakistan using numbers from the Barro-Lee (BL) dataset (available for free download on Understandably, Nitin was mortified by some of...

Acorn | The Asian Balance: Assessing India’s East Asian engagement

Geoeconomics is the key to the seas East of Singapore This was published in yesterday’s Business Standard. The Asian Balance turns one today. It had promised to “devote itself to chronicling and interpreting the unfolding geopolitics of East Asia. It will be an unabashed advocate of Looking East far beyond...

Pragmatic | Slippages in the sea

Huge cost and time over-runs in India’s naval projects Now that India has decided to go ahead with its plans for oil-exploration in the South China Sea, much against the Chinese wishes, the focus should be on the new projects of the Indian Navy. Here is an overview of four...

Acorn | Middle India’s political game-changer

Why the Annawalas must endorse individual candidates in the coming elections This is the original draft of today’s DNA column. Anna’s candidates It’s the season for game-changers. Everyone is proposing one. Here’s mine. After ending his fast at New Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan last month, Anna Hazare announced that “electoral reforms...

The Gold Standard | The post-LokPal world

I have refrained from joining the chorus of discussions because, in times such as this, there is more noise than information or substance. But, when learned friends who ought to know more start talking in binary terms – either you are with Hazare or with the UPA – then it...

Pragmatic | It is the Anna-rchy stupid!

Ends do not justify the means Imagine this scenario. Syed Ali Shah Geelani, the patriarchal Kashmiri separatist leader who offered prayers for the slain al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, decides to protest against Indian “occupation” of Kashmir by hoisting the Pakistani flag at the Red Fort on 15th of...

The Gold Standard | India’s monetary policy

Short, concise and good comment by Ajit Ranade in MINT on why RBI should hike rates today. 25-basis points is baked in the cake since that is what RBI’s review of macro-economic developments suggest, at the minimum. The central bank’s comments on the fiscal policy stance of the Federal government...

Acorn | The Asian Balance: US-Iran rapprochement

Can we help Washington and Tehran to get over it? This is the unedited version of yesterday’s column in Business Standard. As the war in Afghanistan enters what might be an endgame, it remains clear that there is broad convergence of geopolitical interests between two sets of players: Pakistan, Saudi...
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