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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...

Passing GST Buck

The past week has been dominated by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s remark  alluding to an “act of God”. She was referring to the Covid-19 pandemic which is now seen as the main cause of the unprecedented recession in India and the world. Never mind that the slowing of GDP growth, or investment...

Pandemic and exam stress

Sometimes it feels as if the Supreme Court is running the country. Otherwise why does everything escalate all the way? The SC’s main job is to examine constitutional issues, but it is often and increasingly embroiled in commercial disputes. For instance, an engineering company in Chennai had registered the trademark ‘Coronil’ back...

Reining in platforms like Facebook

In December 2015 the founder and Chief Executive of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, wrote passionately in The Times of India why it was important to give free access to internet. He was promoting the idea of ‘Free Basics’ launched by Facebook. It would give free access to basic internet services to...
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