Publications

What did the currency reform intend to do?

Countering terrorism, counterfeit currency, unaccounted wealth, unaccounted income…? Anupam Manur and I have a brief analysis of what the currency reform (popularly, and inaccurately, known as demonetisation) might have been...

From ex gratia to insurance

Insurance payouts maintain human dignity and create incentives for safety The derailment of Indore-Patna Express, near Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, is the first major accident after the introduction of an...

(Re)stating the case

Do the recent splits, particularly the Telangana one, suggest the need for a wider and deeper look at another reorganization of states?

Changing alignments in East Asia

by Pranay Kotasthane (@pranaykotas) Early indications about a Trump Presidency’s impact on partnerships in East Asia Since Woodrow Wilson, the goal of American foreign policy has been to prevent regional...

Cash crisis, reform and pain

Structural reform does not have to be painful. It is clear by now that the Modi government’s currency reform, involving replacement of old high-denomination notes with new ones, is inconveniencing...

Chinese inroads

The new silk road is being built faster than the world’s ability to grasp its consequences. China has worked out a railway route to Afghanistan and, from August this year,...

Why PayTM is winning the payments “battle” in India

For the last one year or so, ever since I started using IMPS at scale, and read up the UPI protocol, I’ve been bullish about Indian banks winning the so-called...

The big deal in Tokyo

After concluding the nuclear deal with Japan, the Modi government must review India’s atrocious nuclear liability regime. It is a big deal. Owing to the controversy over the replacement of...

Moving towards a cashless economy

In any transaction, the process of payment is a pain. It is a necessary step, of course, in that payment is what completes the transaction, but the process of payment is...

Dealing with loss of cash

Ever since Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes ceased to be legal tender on Tuesday night, the internet has been full of “human stories” of people for whom tragedy has...

Reasons for voting

A vote is fundamentally a blunt instrument. Each voter has exactly one vote, and this one vote needs to express the voter’s opinion on a large range of issues. Since...

President Trump. What now for India?

Play the ball as it comes to the bat Peter Thiel, a Silicon Valley billionaire who backed Donald Trump’s candidacy, perhaps best explained the latter’s political appeal. Journalists and analysts,...

New currency notes for old

A one-off reduction of unaccounted money must be followed by long-pending structural economic reforms. Some of the most insightful arguments on the demonetising of high-value currency notes have come from...

Financial Inclusion

Matt Levine had a superb newsletter recently on whether asset managers and pension funds who push customers towards buying high-cost retirement savings plans are doing a good thing or a...

What lies to the right of centre in India?

The cohabitation of traditionalists and market liberals Ever since India’s 2009 general election, it has become fashionable for many politically-minded people in the country to style themselves as being “right...

Taking stock of India’s reforms

The Modi government has done a good job of implementing many ideas already in the system. Now it has to come up with some new ones and step up the...

On public consultations and online polls

Why democratic governments must consult, but must neither be obliged to nor bound by the results Aparajita Ray, Senior Correspondent (Urban Infrastructure) of Times of India asked me to comment...

Manila on the Chinese bandwagon

The Philippines becomes the first Indo-Pacific country to declare itself for Beijing On the geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific, I have long argued that “the small- and medium-sized countries of the...

Time to abandon BRICS

New Delhi must not waste further energy on a forum that lacks any common basis. Russia needs international platforms to show that the West’s attempts to isolate it are not...

When is a war a war?

War is an inherently political instrument used to achieve a political objective, so a credible political adversary is necessary for war to be war. As the US Presidential election race...

Countering a global trend

To have a real shot at prosperity, protecting the liberal and open order is an important priority

The urge to surge

As with surge pricing for taxicab aggregators, Suresh Prabhu’s rail price surge is a smart innovation that ultimately benefits the consumer

ISI’s change of course and other stories

Pakistan’s military-jihadi complex will need more then the prospect of diplomatic isolation to change its policies. Cyril Almeida’s report reads too good to be true. Facing international isolation—read lack of...

The reaction from the other side

Post-surgical mattersLast night, militants attacked a Border Security Force-Rashtriya Rifles camp in Baramulla, killing one trooper and injuring another. Coming a few days after India announced that it had carried...

Countering the two Pakistans

by Pranay Kotasthane (@pranaykotas) Summary of an interview I gave to Channel News Asia. The Indian Army claimed that it conducted surgical strikes on terrorist launch pads in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir...

What to make of India’s surgical strike?

India’s punitive strike across the Line of Control could set a new norm Whatever might be the consequences, it is clear that the Indian Army’s operation across the Line of...

The Great American Election. Yawn.

Just enjoy the drama, if that’s your cup of tea.Every four years the news-consuming people of India get caught up discussing politics—US politics. They seem to know a lot about...

Leave the Indus treaty alone

It is unwise for New Delhi to play up the water threat Last week CNN-IBN called me while I was driving back home, and asked if they could put me...

Foreign policy and social media jingoism

Statesmanship is about rescuing policy from being hostage to mass hysteria My response to a request for comment from the Times of India: The role of social media in spreading...

On Kaveri

Change the ground, er water rules This is my response to Mint’s request for comment: The political and constitution crisis is a direct consequence of the faulty basis on which...
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