Software is eating trade, digital platforms replacing agreements
  • Software is eating trade, digital platforms replacing agreements(13:00)
    By K. Yatish Rajawat
    Since India rejected RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) with ASEAN and six other countries, most commentators have focused on reasons for exit. The government has reiterated that it was a decision in the interest of the country. Impact on farmers due to agri-imports impact is one of the dominant reason. There are more powerful forces at play shaping the structure of global trade that India needs to account for in any trade negotiation going forward.
NIFTY may see new highs on breakout movement (Market Watch)
  • NIFTY may see new highs on breakout movement (Market Watch)(15:04)
    Markets continued to remain in a state of flux with neither bulls nor bears able to dominate the week. Markets gained on three of the four trading sessions and lost on one of them. The net change during the week could at best be termed as neutral.
Ending temple politics will help harmonize but Pak the cornerstone (Comment)
  • Ending temple politics will help harmonize but Pak the cornerstone (Comment)(09:42)
    It was delusory to imagine that the Ayodhya verdict would bring down the communal temperature, even though Muslims will acquiesce in the judgement after a brief sulk. Ayodhya is part of a much bigger enterprise. It is, to use my favourite image, a case of two interlocking triangles.
Pakistan: Internal rumblings (Column: Spy's Eye)
  • Pakistan: Internal rumblings (Column: Spy's Eye)(09:02)
    The mounting protests in Islamabad against the prime ministership of Imran Khan, led by Maulana Hafizur Rahman -- head of the influential Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Islami Pakistan -- reflect the complex domestic politics currently facing the regime in Pakistan. A largely attended march from Karachi to Islamabad set the ground for the massive agitation in the national capital. What has triggered the protest is the uncertainty that has crept into the Army-Imran Khan grid, the state of triangular links of Pakistan with US and China and the deterioration of India-Pak relations caused by recent developments.
A Cause for Concern (Column: Close-In)
  • A Cause for Concern (Column: Close-In)(10:04)
    By Yajurvindra Singh
    Mental health seems to be the new area of concern among cricketers. Players, especially from Down Under, are the latest in the list of cricketers who realize that they need therapy and help. Counselling is what they feel will put them back on track to play the game at the top level in a cool, calm and confident manner.
Growing Australia-India partnership in higher education (Comment)
  • Growing Australia-India partnership in higher education (Comment)(09:50)
    The decision of the Modi government to revamp India's archaic education system is as significant as it is laudable. It is grossly unfortunate that previous governments failed to respond to the global changes and introspect on the reforms that India's education system required. For decades, India clung on to a 19th-century education model to service 21st-century requirements. This led to genuine concerns that the hype around the demographic dividend was exaggerated because the Indian educational institutions were only churning out vast numbers of unemployable graduates, including engineers and doctors.
Lessons from telecom saga (Column: Behind Infra Lines)
  • Lessons from telecom saga (Column: Behind Infra Lines)(08:58)
    India's telecom sector grapples with the latest bout of bad news regarding the sustainability of business models, debt-levels, and lenders' issues. There are lessons to be learnt, and they must be used to ensure the non-recurrence of such problems in the future. Policy makers have two primary lessons on pricing and further developing capital markets with depth and liquidity.
Ram temple provides substratum to India's identity (Column: Spy's Eye)
  • Ram temple provides substratum to India's identity (Column: Spy's Eye)(08:50)
    The judicial resolution of the 70-year-old Ayodhya dispute has mitigated the most inflammatory cause of Hindu-Muslim divide in India and given relief to the average citizens engaged in pursuing their livelihood in peace. The unanimous verdict of the Supreme Court's five-member Constitutional Bench recognising the spot under the central dome of the demolished Babri Masjid at Ayodhya as the birth place of Lord Ram for worship and giving the title of the entire disputed land of 2.77 acres to the Hindu side is a transformative development that yields a significant end result of the long search for validation of what is a major determinant of India's national profile. The judgement rests on points of both law and fact but the apex court also invoked Article 142 of the Constitution to give a verdict of arbitration on two points- accommodation of Nirmohi Akhara in the Trust that would oversee the construction of a Ram Temple at the site and award of five acres of land by the government at a suitable place in Ayodhya to Muslims for building a mosque in lieu of their lost claim.
Ayodhya resolved, markets should settle down (Market Watch)
  • Ayodhya resolved, markets should settle down (Market Watch)(15:34)
    Markets continued their upward march through the week but a downgrade of the sovereign outlook by Moody's caused a break in the momentum. This was further compounded by it being Friday and weekend and also the fact that four important judgments were to be pronounced by the Supreme court in the latter half of the coming week.
Rajapakse factor in Sri Lanka presidential polls(Comment)
  • Rajapakse factor in Sri Lanka presidential polls(Comment)(09:28)
    The Sri Lankan presidential election is turning into a battle between two politically influential families; the Rajapakse and the Premadasa families. Gotabaya Rajapakse, a former defence secretary is the younger brother of former president Mahinda Rajapakse, while Sajith Premadasa, Housing Minister, is the son of former president Ranasinghe Premadasa who was assassinated by the LTTE in 1993.
Prime Minister looks inwards for improving governance (Column: Spy's Eye)
  • Prime Minister looks inwards for improving governance (Column: Spy's Eye)(09:02)
    With a remarkable insight into how the governance in this country ought to be upgraded, Prime Minister Modi while addressing the Probationers of Indian Civil Services attending the Foundational Course, outlined the big picture of 'the mission and delivery' that the officers manning the famed 'steel frame' of India were expected to measure up to in their long years of duty ahead. In a first time event, the officers who were in the early phase of their training were assembled at a place outside of the LBSNAA Mussoorie -- at Kevadia in Gujarat, the venue of Sardar Patel's statue -- for the Prime Minister's address on October 31 marking the National Unity Day.
Baghdadi Dead : What it means for Terrorism in West and South Asia? (Comment)
  • Baghdadi Dead : What it means for Terrorism in West and South Asia? (Comment)(16:22)
    President Donald Trump's announcement that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State(IS) commander, died during a US military operation in Syria, later confirmed by ISIS itself, was welcome news for all fighting terrorism or suffering from it in any part of the world. This was followed by the death of their spokesperson and arrest of his sister and wife by Turkey. After the decimation of IS caliphate, IS continues to exist in small modules in many parts of the world, mainly in West Asia, but the loss of its undisputed leader, who inspired many youth globally towards radicalisation as never before, during his peak performance days, will not be easy to fulfil.
  • Embracing market prices vital for India (Column: Behind Infra Lines)(15:18)
    Issues that sectors such as residential real estate, credit markets and power generation amongst others have faced in India can be viewed through the lens of the "inability to generate a market-clearing price". Fundamentally, both price discovery and price transparency for the sectors were lacking, which made it difficult for participants to create an equilibrium around demand and supply. For sure, at a fundamental level, issues such as creating excessive housing inventory, lending excessively to poor credit names and creating infrastructure assets such as power plants that do not have adequate demand are all symbolic of the core issue.
The changing tide of cricket (Column: Close-in)
  • The changing tide of cricket (Column: Close-in)(09:58)
    By Yajurvindra Singh
    Cricket, as one popularly terms it, is a way of life. The British established the game in every corner that they were present and made it into an elite sport. The famous saying, "cricket is a game for a real live man, keep fit little man, keep fit", sums it up beautifully.
India's soft underbelly: The informal economy (Comment)
  • India's soft underbelly: The informal economy (Comment)(09:40)
    The economic slowdown is worrying. They say it is a global and cyclical phenomenon, and that things will improve in due course. Perhaps. Yet, we need to worry because the Indian economy is complex, with multiple layers in its social system that are at various stages of economic stress. They cannot afford to be stressed any further and the impact of the slowdown will be severe in these fragile segments. The tragedy is that we are losing momentum rapidly and India is already headed for a sub 6 per cent GDP growth rate which is the lowest in many years. Data on manufacturing, employment and investment indicates that sector after sector is tightening the belt. The worry is that even this does not reflect the real gravity of the situation.
Sectoral crisis: An introspection of the BFSI sector (Comment)
Worrying distanomics: Has India factored CPEC into RCEP? (Comment)
  • Worrying distanomics: Has India factored CPEC into RCEP? (Comment)(11:20)
    By Robinder Nath Sachdev and Dr. Vivek Gupta
    As the 16 nations in Asia are marching towards closure on Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) discussions in Bangkok, it will be a major step if India signs up to the deal. But there are questions, and a raging controversy back home in India about the pros and cons of the agreement in its present form.
Waiting for markets to repeat history (Column: Market Watch)
  • Waiting for markets to repeat history (Column: Market Watch)(15:10)
    Markets began trading after a holiday post 'Muhurat' trading for Vikram Samvat 2076. They gained on all four trading days and BSE Sensex hit a new lifetime high as well. BSE Sensex gained 1,106.97 points or 2.83 per cent to close at 40,165.03 points. NIFTY gained 306.70 points or 2.65 per cent. The broader indices saw BSE100, BSE200 and BSE500 gain 2.84 per cent, 2.88 per cent and 2.96 per cent respectively. BSE Midcap gained 3.83 per cent, while BSE Smallcap gained 3.40 per cent.
Growing the Indian economy would need bold reforms (Comment)
  • Growing the Indian economy would need bold reforms (Comment)(10:52)
    Before returning to New Delhi recently after attending the annual IMF-World fall meeting, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman provided an upbeat perspective on the Indian economy. She asserted that its fundamentals are strong and attributed the majority of the problems ailing the Indian economy to a global slowdown. In the same time period, the World Bank announced that India had jumped 14 spots from 77th to 63rd on its Ease of Doing Business ranking. Together, these indicators might suggest that it should be plain sailing for strong growth of the Indian economy going forward.
Many uses of al-Baghdadi: Why did they kill him? (Comment)
  • Many uses of al-Baghdadi: Why did they kill him? (Comment)(10:38)
    In these dark days when terrorism has become a strategic asset, to bump off a superior practitioner like Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has implications. Had he begun to serve the interests not of his original handlers but, possibly, their rivals? Has he been eliminated at all? Does his disappearance leave unprotected those oil wells, which his gang or his patrons profited from? Is the drama in murky light, a bait to drag President Trump back to the West Asian arena, which he is militarily withdrawing from?
Kashmir: Lobbies at play (Column: Spy's Eye)
  • Kashmir: Lobbies at play (Column: Spy's Eye)(09:34)
    Prime Minister Modi once again spent Diwali with our Army Jawans in Jammu & Kashmir -- at Rajauri -- acknowledging the role of the army in keeping the threat of cross border terrorism in check and sending out the message that Kashmir was now fully integrated with the country. The abrogation of Art 370 by Indian Parliament on August 5 last, with a simultaneous clampdown on the assembly of people through out the state of J&K, has over these three months not altered the tenor of response from the world community that had shown, from India's point of view, a considerable degree of understanding of the compelling reasons behind the move of the Modi regime.
Road forward for Indian infrastructure (Column: Behind Infra Lines)
  • Road forward for Indian infrastructure (Column: Behind Infra Lines)(09:32)
    The recent news that India plans to open 100 new airports by 2024 is both ambitious and commendable. That said, large-scale infrastructure push whether in airports or any other sector will have to overcome challenges that are being faced across the infrastructure horizon in India. More importantly, common pitfalls such as retroactive contract changes must be avoided in the process of infrastructure creation. It needs to be underscored that the challenges that Indian infrastructure must overcome are neither new nor exclusive to India. But, a re-examination of the problems is critical to further looking for solutions that can exacerbate infrastructure creation.
Igniting Test Cricket (Column: Close-in)
  • Igniting Test Cricket (Column: Close-in)(09:24)
    The new President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Sourav Ganguly has truly ignited and lit a fire for Test Cricket in India. The first Day-Night Test match to be played in India at one of the most famous cricket venues, Eden Gardens Kolkata, will begin from November 22. This has brought about an interest and excitement, which itself is wonderful for Test cricket.
Yadav politics at the crossroads in Bihar (Comment)
  • Yadav politics at the crossroads in Bihar (Comment)(09:02)
    The Yadavs, who make over 14 per cent of the population of Bihar, are the largest and one of the most politically influential castes in the state. Their influence in Bihar politics coincides with the emergence and downfall and further revival of Lalu Prasad in the politics of Bihar.