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For India's debt markets, covered bonds could be a game-changer
Innovation in the Indian capital markets is needed to both boost growth and resolve the balance sheet issues of banks. Besides improving the corporate bond market and lending standards, work needs to be done to create a covered bond market to assist better lending standards. Covered bonds are bonds backed by both a pool of assets and by recourse to the borrower – providing dual recourse for the lender. Covered bonds have been a tool for credit across the world for centuries, and the outstanding amount in Europe, according to the 12th edition of the European Covered Bond Fact Book, was 2.5 t ... read more

India's Sri Lanka challenge
My wife and I recently visited Sri Lanka on a holiday with friends. For both of us, it was the first visit after almost 15 years. At that time, the idyllic island country was caught up in a deadly civil war that claimed countless lives and devastated the economy. When Mahinda Rajapaksa assumed power as the Sri Lankan President, he made the elimination of the Tamil Tigers his foremost objective. After 30 months of relentless assaults, the 26-year-old civil war finally ended in 2009, with the killing of Tamil Tigers - leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and the ruthless decimation of his supporters. ... read more

Hashimpura, Srebrenica and Rohingyas: Similar and so different
Incidents, similar in their chilling monstrosity, came to mind when I saw photographs of a row of Rohingya Muslim young men, on their knees, hands tied behind their back. Gun-wielding military police, lurking within the frame, eventually mowed them down. This is the face of the horror the world will remember. In a state of funk, Myanmar's commander-in-chief, General Min Aung Hlaing, has admitted mass graves in one village: Inn Din, 50 km north of the Rakhine state capital, Sittwe. Journalists have scoured many other mass graves. The other gruesome episode etched on my mind is Srebrenica in B ... read more

The emerging India-U.S. role reversal in world leadership
For the last half of the 20th century, the United States was the world's beacon for democracy and economic development and India was a laggard. These roles are reversing as the end of the second decade of the 21st century approaches. India is becoming a beacon and the US is becoming a flashlight. In large part, this is a consequence of leadership. India has a leader in Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is pursuing the future. The US has a leader in Donald Trump who is pursuing the past. President Trump is emphasising individualism and isolationism. Prime Minister Modi is stressing engagement ... read more

Convergence of talents: Modi must join hands with Musk for a shot at Mars
A one-km auto rickshaw ride in Ahmedabad takes Rs 10 and India reached Mars at Rs 7 per km, which is really amazing, Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasised the achievement in his speech in New York in September 2014. He was speaking about the inter-planetary plan of the Indian Space Research Organisation - that has disrupted space technologies. Elon Musk, a dangerously daring dreamer, at that time had a blueprint of a Martian journey on the drawing board of his SpaceX office in California. He not only wants to just send man to Mars, he wants to colonise it. He has planned on taking one mill ... read more

India should tap EU, East Asia to overcome 'late convergence stall'
The usual brouhaha around the Budget strips the Economic Survey of the attention it deserves. The Survey document, especially since Arvind Subramanian has taken over as the Chief Economic Advisor, has consistently pushed the envelope on economic thinking, providing exciting new insights for the Indian economy. The latest one, released three days before the Budget, introduced a new phrase into economic jargon: The late convergence stall. It is a phenomenon that the Survey fears might affect the growth process of the developing world. The basic argument is this. Economic convergence, which is ... read more

After reverses in Syria, Afghanistan, a quest for propaganda equaliser
Conspiracy theorists, who prove mostly right in the topsy turvy post-9/11 world, are these days busy switching channels -- Syria, Afghanistan, Korean peninsula and, yes, one more theatre which will be in heavy focus in June-July. All these narratives have Russia in them, including, quite surprisingly, South Korea where the media will gloat over the humiliation heaped on Russian athletes. Intelligence agencies in Washington and Moscow, operating under the universal rubric of Deep State, are circling around in the ring, psyching each other. The US, in this game plan, would be developing an off ... read more

Renewable wind energy: To auction, or not to auction
With an installed wind power capacity of 32.7 GW, India is the fourth-largest generator of wind power in the world. A commendable feat no doubt, and a reason to work even harder to achieve the 60 GW target from wind energy by 2022. Achieving that target and creating a feasible and economically viable wind energy market in India will require the government and wind industry participants to be cognizant of trends and changes. The switch to an auction-based allocation of wind capacity from a feed-in tariff system has been done by the policymakers to encourage more competition and better price d ... read more

India's insular dilemma in Maldives
One hopes that Indian diplomats and national-security managers are doing some serious soul-searching about how and why events spun, so swiftly, out of control in neighbouring Maldives. Given India's self-assigned role of regional net security provider, the Integrated Defence Staff, in New Delhi, must be reviewing their plans for launching what they term an out of area contingency - operation, at short notice. Should our military be called upon to render assistance to the Republic of Maldives, this will certainly not be for the first time. Nearly three decades ago, in November 1988, a group o ... read more

Long-awaited market correction finally in full swing
History has strange ways of repeating itself. The economic situation in the US and the stock market drop eerily resembles the Black Monday of 1987. During that fateful year, US unemployment had bottomed out, the stock markets had been on an elongated bull run and unmistakable signs of inflation had begun to appear. A Republican President, Ronald Reagan, had recently replaced the Fed chief on no other grounds except that of Paul Volcker being a Democrat who was not enthusiastic about the President's deregulation drive. Two weeks after the replacement on Monday, October 19, 1987, Wall Street ... read more

Winds of Change: A message for Mr Modi from Diggi Palace
In its 11-year journey, the Jaipur Literature Festival - has seen speakers using the platform to send out strong political messages. But the hundreds of thousands who gather at the literary extravaganza are also adept at sending their own message. And from their cheers and thunderous applause this year, rises a whisper: Things are not all good for Mr Modi -- in the literary space, at least -- and the mood of the nation may be changing. Narendra Damodardas Modi, the Prime Minister of India, has had a rockstar presence at the lit fest each year since 2014, the year he took power in New Delhi. ... read more

Winds of Change: A message for Mr Modi from Diggi Palace
In its 11-year journey, the Jaipur Literature Festival - has seen speakers using the platform to send out strong political messages. But the hundreds of thousands who gather at the literary extravaganza are also adept at sending their own message. And from their cheers and thunderous applause this year, rises a whisper: Things are not all good for Mr Modi -- in the literary space, at least -- and the mood of the nation may be changing. Narendra Damodardas Modi, the Prime Minister of India, has had a rockstar presence at the lit fest each year since 2014, the year he took power in New Delhi. ... read more

Winds of Change: A message for Mr Modi from Diggi Palace
In its 11-year journey, the Jaipur Literature Festival - has seen speakers using the platform to send out strong political messages. But the hundreds of thousands who gather at the literary extravaganza are also adept at sending their own message. And from their cheers and thunderous applause this year, rises a whisper: Things are not all good for Mr Modi -- in the literary space, at least -- and the mood of the nation may be changing. Narendra Damodardas Modi, the Prime Minister of India, has had a rockstar presence at the lit fest each year since 2014, the year he took power in New Delhi. ... read more

Winds of Change: A message for Mr Modi from Diggi Palace
In its 11-year journey, the Jaipur Literature Festival - has seen speakers using the platform to send out strong political messages. But the hundreds of thousands who gather at the literary extravaganza are also adept at sending their own message. And from their cheers and thunderous applause this year, rises a whisper: Things are not all good for Mr Modi -- in the literary space, at least -- and the mood of the nation may be changing. Narendra Damodardas Modi, the Prime Minister of India, has had a rockstar presence at the lit fest each year since 2014, the year he took power in New Delhi. ... read more

Winds of Change: A message for Mr Modi from Diggi Palace
In its 11-year journey, the Jaipur Literature Festival - has seen speakers using the platform to send out strong political messages. But the hundreds of thousands who gather at the literary extravaganza are also adept at sending their own message. And from their cheers and thunderous applause this year, rises a whisper: Things are not all good for Mr Modi -- in the literary space, at least -- and the mood of the nation may be changing. Narendra Damodardas Modi, the Prime Minister of India, has had a rockstar presence at the lit fest each year since 2014, the year he took power in New Delhi. ... read more

Ashram notebook 50 years ago: Beatles, Maharishi, crows and catapults
I received a call from an editor reminding me of my stay with the Beatles 50 years ago this February in Rishikesh. He was keen that, at this distance in time, I hammer out a piece placing that visitation in perspective. There was irony in the request itself. The value the editor was placing on the story was in sharp contrast to the cold reception it received from the Resident Editor of the Statesman all those decades ago. In my 20s then, I belonged to a generation which straddled two worlds. My love for classical Indian music did not obstruct my being enmoured of the Beatles. But the Statesm ... read more

Ashram notebook 50 years ago: Beatles, Maharishi, crows and catapults
I received a call from an editor reminding me of my stay with the Beatles 50 years ago this February in Rishikesh. He was keen that, at this distance in time, I hammer out a piece placing that visitation in perspective. There was irony in the request itself. The value the editor was placing on the story was in sharp contrast to the cold reception it received from the Resident Editor of the Statesman all those decades ago. In my 20s then, I belonged to a generation which straddled two worlds. My love for classical Indian music did not obstruct my being enmoured of the Beatles. But the Statesm ... read more

Ashram notebook 50 years ago: Beatles, Maharishi, crows and catapults
I received a call from an editor reminding me of my stay with the Beatles 50 years ago this February in Rishikesh. He was keen that, at this distance in time, I hammer out a piece placing that visitation in perspective. There was irony in the request itself. The value the editor was placing on the story was in sharp contrast to the cold reception it received from the Resident Editor of the Statesman all those decades ago. In my 20s then, I belonged to a generation which straddled two worlds. My love for classical Indian music did not obstruct my being enmoured of the Beatles. But the Statesm ... read more

Ashram notebook 50 years ago: Beatles, Maharishi, crows and catapults
I received a call from an editor reminding me of my stay with the Beatles 50 years ago this February in Rishikesh. He was keen that, at this distance in time, I hammer out a piece placing that visitation in perspective. There was irony in the request itself. The value the editor was placing on the story was in sharp contrast to the cold reception it received from the Resident Editor of the Statesman all those decades ago. In my 20s then, I belonged to a generation which straddled two worlds. My love for classical Indian music did not obstruct my being enmoured of the Beatles. But the Statesm ... read more

Government addresses affordable housing, but larger issues remain unanswered
Much on expected lines, the government in Budget 2018-19 has continued with its thrust for Affordable Housing and Housing for All scheme. The government has been consistent with its efforts in addressing affordable housing in 2017 -- be it giving infrastructure status to this segment in the previous budget, to helping increase the quantum of beneficiaries in CLSS under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana - by expanding the carpet area and re-defining income definitions. Now, Budget 2018-19 has further given impetus to affordable housing by creating a dedicated fund under the National Housing Bank -. ... read more

Government addresses affordable housing, but larger issues remain unanswered
Much on expected lines, the government in Budget 2018-19 has continued with its thrust for Affordable Housing and Housing for All scheme. The government has been consistent with its efforts in addressing affordable housing in 2017 -- be it giving infrastructure status to this segment in the previous budget, to helping increase the quantum of beneficiaries in CLSS under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana - by expanding the carpet area and re-defining income definitions. Now, Budget 2018-19 has further given impetus to affordable housing by creating a dedicated fund under the National Housing Bank -. ... read more

Government addresses affordable housing, but larger issues remain unanswered
Much on expected lines, the government in Budget 2018-19 has continued with its thrust for Affordable Housing and Housing for All scheme. The government has been consistent with its efforts in addressing affordable housing in 2017 -- be it giving infrastructure status to this segment in the previous budget, to helping increase the quantum of beneficiaries in CLSS under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana - by expanding the carpet area and re-defining income definitions. Now, Budget 2018-19 has further given impetus to affordable housing by creating a dedicated fund under the National Housing Bank -. ... read more

Government addresses affordable housing, but larger issues remain unanswered
Much on expected lines, the government in Budget 2018-19 has continued with its thrust for Affordable Housing and Housing for All scheme. The government has been consistent with its efforts in addressing affordable housing in 2017 -- be it giving infrastructure status to this segment in the previous budget, to helping increase the quantum of beneficiaries in CLSS under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana - by expanding the carpet area and re-defining income definitions. Now, Budget 2018-19 has further given impetus to affordable housing by creating a dedicated fund under the National Housing Bank -. ... read more

Government addresses affordable housing, but larger issues remain unanswered
Much on expected lines, the government in Budget 2018-19 has continued with its thrust for Affordable Housing and Housing for All scheme. The government has been consistent with its efforts in addressing affordable housing in 2017 -- be it giving infrastructure status to this segment in the previous budget, to helping increase the quantum of beneficiaries in CLSS under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana - by expanding the carpet area and re-defining income definitions. Now, Budget 2018-19 has further given impetus to affordable housing by creating a dedicated fund under the National Housing Bank -. ... read more

Government addresses affordable housing, but larger issues remain unanswered
Much on expected lines, the government in Budget 2018-19 has continued with its thrust for Affordable Housing and Housing for All scheme. The government has been consistent with its efforts in addressing affordable housing in 2017 -- be it giving infrastructure status to this segment in the previous budget, to helping increase the quantum of beneficiaries in CLSS under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana - by expanding the carpet area and re-defining income definitions. Now, Budget 2018-19 has further given impetus to affordable housing by creating a dedicated fund under the National Housing Bank -. ... read more

Government addresses affordable housing, but larger issues remain unanswered
Much on expected lines, the government in Budget 2018-19 has continued with its thrust for Affordable Housing and Housing for All scheme. The government has been consistent with its efforts in addressing affordable housing in 2017 -- be it giving infrastructure status to this segment in the previous budget, to helping increase the quantum of beneficiaries in CLSS under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana - by expanding the carpet area and re-defining income definitions. Now, Budget 2018-19 has further given impetus to affordable housing by creating a dedicated fund under the National Housing Bank -. ... read more

Government addresses affordable housing, but larger issues remain unanswered
Much on expected lines, the government in Budget 2018-19 has continued with its thrust for Affordable Housing and Housing for All scheme. The government has been consistent with its efforts in addressing affordable housing in 2017 -- be it giving infrastructure status to this segment in the previous budget, to helping increase the quantum of beneficiaries in CLSS under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana - by expanding the carpet area and re-defining income definitions. Now, Budget 2018-19 has further given impetus to affordable housing by creating a dedicated fund under the National Housing Bank -. ... read more

Government addresses affordable housing, but larger issues remain unanswered
Much on expected lines, the government in Budget 2018-19 has continued with its thrust for Affordable Housing and Housing for All scheme. The government has been consistent with its efforts in addressing affordable housing in 2017 -- be it giving infrastructure status to this segment in the previous budget, to helping increase the quantum of beneficiaries in CLSS under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana - by expanding the carpet area and re-defining income definitions. Now, Budget 2018-19 has further given impetus to affordable housing by creating a dedicated fund under the National Housing Bank -. ... read more

Government addresses affordable housing, but larger issues remain unanswered
Much on expected lines, the government in Budget 2018-19 has continued with its thrust for Affordable Housing and Housing for All scheme. The government has been consistent with its efforts in addressing affordable housing in 2017 -- be it giving infrastructure status to this segment in the previous budget, to helping increase the quantum of beneficiaries in CLSS under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana - by expanding the carpet area and re-defining income definitions. Now, Budget 2018-19 has further given impetus to affordable housing by creating a dedicated fund under the National Housing Bank -. ... read more

Government addresses affordable housing, but larger issues remain unanswered
Much on expected lines, the government in Budget 2018-19 has continued with its thrust for Affordable Housing and Housing for All scheme. The government has been consistent with its efforts in addressing affordable housing in 2017 -- be it giving infrastructure status to this segment in the previous budget, to helping increase the quantum of beneficiaries in CLSS under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana - by expanding the carpet area and re-defining income definitions. Now, Budget 2018-19 has further given impetus to affordable housing by creating a dedicated fund under the National Housing Bank -. ... read more

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