Hindustan Times

Water crisis: In the lead up to a summer of disputes

April 8th, 2016|Categories: Hindustan Times, Newspaper|Tags: |

On March 13, NTPC’s 2,100 MW Farakka Super Thermal Power Station in West Bengal had to stop generation, given a declining availability of cooling water from the Farakka feeder canal. This hit power supply in five states, affecting 38,000 households, while leaving the town of Farakka without potable water. On the Ganga, ferries were suspended,

Subsidies should be tightly targeted, transparently administered

December 18th, 2015|Categories: Hindustan Times, Newspaper|Tags: |

While spending cuts and lower oil prices have reduced India’s deficit, our near-term outlook remains clouded. India has set aside Rs 4,55,145 crore for payment of interest on public debt in 2015 (non-plan expenditure, central government budget 2015), including those paid for special securities issued to oil-marketing companies, fertiliser companies, FCI etc. Outlays for subsidies

Pvt sector must be encouraged to broaden role in scientific research

November 6th, 2015|Categories: Hindustan Times, Newspaper|Tags: |

Modern India has had a strong rhetorical focus on science and technology, considering it a key element of economic growth and the development of a rational and critical worldview. This rhetoric, while uplifting, failed to impact on poverty reduction and development. Careers in science no longer provide enough remuneration or prestige to draw top-level talent.

Don’t Cut Loose All Strings with Indian Workers in West Asia

August 19th, 2015|Categories: Hindustan Times, Newspaper|Tags: |

The Indian indenture system, a form of debt bondage replacing slavery, resulted in the transport of 3.5 million Indians to various European colonies to provide labour for sugar plantations. Devised in 1836, by Lord Stanley, secretary of state for the colonies, a civil contract for five years confined indentured workers to their estates and paid

Restructure discoms, introduce market-relevant tariffs

June 22nd, 2015|Categories: Hindustan Times, Newspaper|Tags: |

India has 75 million households with no access to electricity. To generate power we import coal. We transmit electricity across the nation with 25% Aggregate Technical and Commercial (AT&C) losses while selling it at prices that are disconnected from market reality. With a widening gap between increasing demand and the low levels of supply, state

Game of risk: Farming in the minefields of uncertainty

April 23rd, 2015|Categories: Hindustan Times, Newspaper|Tags: |

This brings to a crescendo the rising chorus for farmer compensation. Another farmer, Ram Sahey, from Dhanawa, near Sultanpur, in Uttar Pradesh, has lost 50% of his wheat harvest to hail, losing over Rs 2 lakh of potential income. With an additional debt of Rs 3.5 lakh, he expects compensation to be around Rs 100

On the right track: Railway reforms must begin with planning, execution

February 1st, 2015|Categories: Hindustan Times, Newspaper|Tags: |

For India to grow at 10%, the railway network needs to grow at 15-20% annually. A single 200 km high-speed rail route can add $20 billion to India’s economy annually. By linking producers and consumers across the nation, it can leverage geographical advantage, creating an efficient division of production and providing the means to expand

The Real Shoots of Economic Revival Lie in Agriculture

August 10th, 2014|Categories: Hindustan Times, Newspaper|Tags: |

The rains have fallen short. An agrarian crisis is seemingly upon us. The Green Revolution was supposed to take care of everything. It was supposed to reduce dependence on the fickle monsoon, increase production, boost employment, cut down rural poverty and deter urban migration. India’s agrarian population rose by nearly 50% between 1980 and 2011

Pursue the Kautilya Line

June 20th, 2014|Categories: Hindustan Times, Newspaper|Tags: |

India’s influence has cratered over the last decade. Significantly diluted by external interference, competing powers have built strong military relationships and gained access to key ports. A String of Pearls girds the Indian Ocean, while the mountains bristle with highways and ballistic missiles. The strategic fruits of 1971 have been frittered away from a weak

Indo-US ties are important for regional peace

March 17th, 2014|Categories: Hindustan Times, Newspaper|Tags: |

India’s foreign policy ambitions have waned. With no big ideas implemented, the last few years have seen the India-US relations transform into a mundane series of empty platitudes and routine conferences. The last three months have been witness to this trend, with diplomats humiliated, India’s aviation safety questioned, the World Trade Organization complaints on the