Column

Economic Dichotomy

By RAMESH KANITKAR, While it is true that much of the current high pump prices of petrol and diesel are accounted for by taxes, this is one case where high taxes are warranted. Here are 10 reasons why one says so. India’s demand for petro-good..

Findings Of Fact

According to the Supreme Court, it was not appropriate for the HC to embark upon the task of re-appreciation of evidence in the second appeal and disturb the concurrent findings of the court below, which are the fact-finding courts. IN THE judgeme..

Why everybody seems to be out on the street? -II

THAT everybody seems to be out on the street all the time, is certainly a scary spectacle. When we set out to find reasons, we may come across several factors that have led to this social situation. The sum and substance of all those may be that the atm..

THE MISSING GRACIOUSNESS

India’s public discourse can raise itself to great intellectual and spiritual height. Once upon a time, it dwelled at that level. It was first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru who had praised the young Member of Parliament Mr. Atal Behari Va..

Battlelines Drawn In Brazil

Those people who were with Brazilian Workers Party (PT) in the Lula years but were misled by the media and right wing propaganda against Dilma Rousseff in 2015 and 2016, are back now to the Lula camp. That has galvanised the anti-Temer movement. The right..

The serene Bhunda Temple

    Vijay Phanshikar Even more than sixty years ago, Sitabuldi was known as a crowded area, may be proportionate to the city’s population and its commerce then. People were always milling around, almost always in a rush to go somewher..

The Challenge Of Ganga

              There is a need for Mr. Gadkari to rethink on the projects of hydropower, irrigation and navigation being promoted by the NDA Government on the Ganga otherwise these will undo his efforts to clean ..

Improving Railways

By R. N. Malhotra The merit of pairing a locomotive in order to provide one at each end of the train is now an operational and safety imperative and the only decision directly impacting actual train running and relieving the stress on lines. While the I..

Of a journey without fear

  By Vijay Phanshikar, “From dreams awake, from bonds be free,Be not afraid. This mystery,My shadow cannot frighten me,Know once for all that I am He.” - Swami Vivekananda THIS assertion! -- “I am He” -- is a universal spi..

Works Contract

The view taken by the High Court, in the opinion of the Apex-Court , is just and proper and a possible view. The Apex-Court found force in the argument of the respondents (defendants) that the Trial Court misled itself in misreading the pleading an..

Words Of Sanity

The better we are equipped to adjust to different facets of life, better we are suited to organise our lives and usher in peace and happiness in society. For this, we also need to downplay the artificial divisions of caste, creed, language, and religion t..

Why everybody seems to be out on the street?

THE spectacle is scary. Everybody seems to be out on the street all the time. Very few seem to have time to be spent in the house, at home. In morning, people are out to the park then to the market and then to the bank or to the doctor. During the day, ..

GROANS OF FRUSTRATION

It must be appreciated that the Modi Government is not backtracking on the issue. It is firm on action and the leadership is not bothered about the threats issued from time to time by the likes of Muhammad Yasin Malik. Now that the war on terror is assu..

Sri Lankans Wary Of China

Going around the island one comes to acquire the impression that the paradigm and matrix for the development are not well defined. It needs deeper understanding and analysis of the ground level realities. The government has to exploit the natural resour..

Of the missing ‘horse’ sense

    Vijay Phanshikar, What was most exhilarating in that place was that ‘your’ horse would almost stand on his hinds when he saw you. Most people went to the Horse Riding Club -- a couple of hundred meters from the main gat..

Support Import Substitution

Prime Minister Modi should be congratulated for pushing the correct policy of import substitution that had been wrongly abandoned by Manmohan Singh. He must immediately commission a credible study of gains and losses from the WTO. We must come out of the ..

Border Management

By Brig. (Retd) S. N. Sachadeva, The challenge of coping with long-standing territorial and boundary disputes with China and Pak, combined with porous borders along some of the most difficult terrains in the world, has made extremely effective and e..

Replace PDS With Cash

It is no surprise that the Government is able to save thousands of crores of public money by moving from transfers in kind to cash transfers and at the same time purging bogus beneficiaries from the system as it has done with the LPG subsidy by crediting ..

Matter of ‘moments’

  By Vijay Phanshikar, Lamhe urte hain kabhi ya to titlion ke tarahYa kabhi khushbuon ki manind cheekh uthte hainSimat’te-phailte sanche mein waqt ke dhal karAjeeb shakl ke ban kar ‘Zamana’ rakhte hain na’mZamana?Lamhe -..

Self-styled Godmen

  “India has a long tradition of self-styled spiritual and religious gurus duping people in the name of guidance and spiritual uplift. From Chandraswamy to Ram Rahim, all have been embroiled in controversies, yet people continue to flock to ..

Careers in Defence attracting youngsters again

The sense of happiness was more than obvious. The family was radiating happiness and a deep sense of achievement. For, the efforts of the young son had proved fruitful, and he was all set to join the Armed Forces. In the next few days, he would be gone ..

Wail Of A Client State II

 It is only futile to expect Pakistan to act tough on terror groups that have found a safe haven in that country. Yet, the US seems to have no alternative but to keep some aid-pipeline alive so that it would have some check on the absolutely waywar..

China’s Influence On Lanka

By ARUN SRIVASTAVA After Mithripala Sirisena came to power in January 2015 promising to loosen ties with China after a decade of hefty funding by Beijing under his predecessor, Modi visited the island and promised to “script a golden chapter in the..

CLIMATE CHANGE DISASTER

The National Weather Service, the Environmental Protection Administration, scientists, elected officials and citizen activists have been warning for years that global warming would eventually translate into an epic disaster for the city of Houston. Despit..

When King Mahendra did not come

  Vijay Phanshikar Ultimately, His Highness King Mahendra of Nepal did not come. It was a huge disappointment to all those thousands of people who had gathered to see him and listen to him – at the Reshimbagh Ground where the King had been ..

Debate Talaq

It is a shame that a secular democratic country has been living with a practice like triple talaq fearing the annoyance of the community. Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi bungled by bringing in legislation to ensure a stipend for Muslim widows. In the s..

Leakages In Welfare Plans

By RAMESH KANITKAR If the Government wishes to move towards the goal of providing UBI or an Indian version of it, it must first lay down a robust infrastructure on which this new social security system of future can stand on without dangling. Incremental..

Of one’s unrevealed world

  The human heart has hidden treasures,In secret, in silence sealed;The thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the pleasures,Whose charms were broken when revealed From ‘Evening Solace’By Charlotte Bronte These four lines tell us what is..

SC Critical Of ‘Misadventures’

It is, the very essence of the concept of temporary injunction and receivership during pendency of a civil litigation involving any property to prevent its threatened wastage, damage and alienation by any party thereto, to the immeasurable prejudice to ..

Lokmanya Tilak and ‘his’ Ganesh Festival

Even as Ganesh festival gets going in its current form – of shockingly loud music, loud demonstration of an almost mock religious fervour, garish decorations around the Lord’s idols – one’s mind darts back to times when Lokmanya ..

PRECARIOUS HEALTHCARE

Seventy years after Independence, we are still grappling with the problem of setting our healthcare sector in order. Private healthcare is beyond the reach of a majority of Indians, who still depend on government facilities.  THE nerve-racking inc..

Exodus From Trump Camp

The exodus of corporate CEOs from Trump’s economic advisory councils proceeded at such a pace this week that the President was forced to announce the bodies were being disbanded. For many of these business leaders, their public divorce from Trump is..

Of a longing for local bus

    Vijay Phanshikar, MOR Bhavan Bus Terminus was a special place then. It is a special place even now more than sixty years later, though very chaotic and almost as if mismanaged on purpose. But, in the 1950s, the Government undertook..

China Deceiving Pak

By FAZAL MEHMOOD Pakistan is realising now that CPEC project is not a big panacea it has been tom toming about. The project will basically benefit China with Pakistan getting only some crumbs thrown at it, that too at an exorbitant cost. Many analysts in..

Economic Benefits

Reviving Kalinga dialogue and handing over levers to Odisha to build linkages in Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar have had innumerable paybacks. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik pointed out that scores of benefits to his State were in store in the sect..

Of floe and flow

    By Vijay Phanshikar FLOE!Sheet of floating ice, as the dictionary says.The ice floating on a glacier, on a frozen river, on the Arctic or Antarctic surface! The scenario is etched deep on human memory, no matter if one has seen any su..

A happy and rare encounter

      MEeting the duo was a happy experience of an increasingly rare variety – a father-son twosome, discussing literature and science. The father was in his late forties and the son in his late teens. The two sat at the airport ..

NEED HOLISTIC APPROACH

  “Due to environmental degradation rains are not evenly distributed these days, as some areas get excess rain while others remain in drought, and the soil’s retaining power is decreasing due to lack of green cover and water flows away..

EC touches raw nerve

New Delhi, Aug 17 (Agencies): “Democracy thrives when elections are free, fair and transparent. However, it appears to cynical common man that we have been scripting a narrative that places maximum premium on winning at all costs -- the exclusio..

Improving Healthcare

By JYOTSHNA PANDIT National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers, known as NABH, is a constituent board of Quality Council of India (QCI), which was set up to establish and operate accreditation programme for healthcare organis..

Solution To Power Woes

The solution to our power woes is to go for a combination of solar and standalone pump storage projects; and simultaneously implement time of the day pricing. That will provide us base solar power at Rs. 3 and peaking power at Rs. 6 per unit and al..

Father the unjudgmental

  By Vijay Phanshikar I want a fatherAlways have.God won’t doHe’s too judgemental.And so I found youLike my father, absent. - I want a father, A poem by Eunice D’Souza THAT’S no simple poem! It has its complex thought, a..

Low Compensation

The respondent-Insurance Company admitted the valid insurance coverage over the offending jeep, as on the date of accident and has not proved any violation of policy terms and conditions by the driver and the owner. Hence, the Insurance Company was..

Of choices and choices of how people dress

      THE scene in the restaurant offered a pleasant surprise. The place was not too crowded, yet busy enough to appear so. A couple of birthday parties, too, were attracting everybody’s attention, plus groups of diners sat here ..

‘Music must germinate in the heart’

By Nandu Andhare The magic of Swaras play into one’s mind, knowingly or unknowingly since childhood. It is inherited to a large extent and starts showing up from the tender age of three. Initially these symptoms are ignored as childish pranks, bu..

RISE HELPING GIRLS RISE ABOVE MENSTRUAL MYTHS

Gargi Vairagare with students of New English High School, Congress Nagar   By Nitisha Jain, DO NOT enter the kitchen. Don’t touch the food, you will contaminate it. You are forbidden to enter holy places or indulge in divine acts... The li..

ACT HARSH

Cases of offensive posts against women and children on social sites, which is a form of abuse, are very frequently reported. Anyone willing to avenge an insult, real or perceived; any pervert mind bent on settling scores or any lout or waif harbouring s..

Sharif’s Ouster

By D K GIRI The Pakistan Army thrives on antagonism with India and now Afghanistan as it believes such a stance brings it political and pecuniary gains. Furthermore, Sharif had taken on the pro-army Supreme Court which has the controversial habit of dism..

GST May Hit Small Traders

The burden of filing a number of returns, increased competition from big businesses due to smoother inter-State trade, and less demand for small businesses due to the system self-invoice will cripple the small businesses in the long run. That still..

Of new, swanky campuses

    Vijay Phanshikar, Those were only models, but they had the capacity to transport you into an altogether different zone -- into the realm of academic campuses, into the almost surreal arena of man’s vision for a brand new law unive..

N-Arms: Health Threat

  By DR. ARUN MITRA The UN General Assembly on July 7, 2017 has with 122 votes in favour and one against passed a treaty which provides a categorical and comprehensive prohibition of nuclear weapons. Its preamble articulates deep concern about the ..

Article 370

By HARJEET SINGH Article 370, 35A and order 1954 are an unwanted burden which the region has carried with itself since the time of its inception. While the provisions under these articles were meant at safeguarding the ‘cultural integrity’ of..

Of delicacy in totality

By Vijay Phanshikar,   ‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers—That perches in the soul—And sings the tune without the words—And never stops—at all— And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—And sore..

‘Last Seen Together’ Evidence

It is clear from this that in a case where the other links have been satisfactorily made out and the circumstances point to the guilt of the accused, the  circumstance of last seen together and absence of explanation would provide additional link ..

Long-Lasting Ties

India and Russia have long shared cultural ties and now after the comparative lull in the relationship in the 90s, under the new NDA dispensation in India, greater cooperation is being envisaged.  The possibilities have further been bolstered by P..

THE SOLUTION

By Vijay phanshikar, EVEN as she insisted that war was no solution to the issues between India and China, Minister of External Affairs Mrs. Sushma Swaraj underlined the need for both the countries to understand how their mutual economic interests intertw..

Protect Trade Interests

By G Srinivasan, For India RCEP is the best alternative in the face of a deadlock in the WTO Doha Round of trade talks that had remained suspended since 2012. With the entry of a patently protectionist Donald Trump into the US Presidency and the outright..

Steeped in books’ romance

    Vijay Phanshikar Libraries have often had a magnetic value. They attract people. They even absorb people. The sight and smell of books, and the silence they are engulfed in -- everything has a mesmeric quality.  However, until I v..

Focus On Small Industries

The small industries create most employment in the country. This includes small service providers like beauty parlours and hotels as well small manufacturing units. Most employment is presently generated in these small units. The decline of credit ..

CA-Client Nexus

By NANTOO BANERJEE The nexus between clients and their auditors cum financial and tax consultants is becoming alarmingly common in India for want of a strong regulatory authority that can address the undesirable ‘togetherness’ between CAs and..

The moment of the dew

  By Vijay Phanshikar A DEW sufficed itself And satisfied a leaf, And felt, ‘how vast a destiny! How trivial is life!’ The sun went out to work, The day went out to play, But not again that dew was seen By physiognomy. Whether..

Levy On Entry Tax

All these appeals have been disposed of with the liberty granted to the appellants to file fresh petitions by the stipulated date, which was May 31, 2017. The interim orders passed by the apex court and which were to continue in these appeals till ..

Why should chaos accompany urban growth?

THE last week produced a need to visit a big city just for a day. It is one of the top ten cities in the country, the capital of a State, and an emerging hub for greenfield industries. It is also a vibrant place, in the sense a lot of developmental work..

Dumping The Corrupt

ISSUES & NON-ISSUES By Vijay phanshikar Lalu Yadav is not the issue; he is only a symbolism that needs to be  discarded by all of us. What is special about the latest developments in Patna is that Mr. Nitish Kumar and Mr. Sushil Modi have shown..

Clean Up The System

By G Srinivasan Prabhu did not refrain from undertaking a thorough overhaul of the existing business as usual approach and co-opted external agencies and institutions for funding its vast infrastructure development projects and programmes of a humon..

Of the spirit, the grit, the fit

  Vijay Phanshikar The first impression of the Nagpur University Playgrounds on Amravati Road nearly fifty years ago was one of a vast expanse of open space, every corner of which had been occupied by young persons engaged in different games. For..

Living With The Floods

We have increased the ferociousness of the floods by making dams, barrages, and embankments. The correct way to manage floods is to live with them. Previously, the floodwater used to flow like a thin sheet of water over large areas of the surroundi..

Agri Reform Needed

By Nantoo Banerjee Advantages of cooperative farming are many. They include consolidation of small units of land; liberal use of mechanisation; adequate and timely use of inputs like fertilisers and pesticides; technical guidance to improve skills a..

Pak Factor In Doka La Issue

By PREET MALIK There exists an alternative, of course, for China -- of dumping Pakistan and choosing India as a strategic trading partner. But in Beijing’s eyes, that would be too great a risk. FOREIGN policy formulations are not undertaken o..

Of freedom of art

  By Vijay Phanshikar     “Art, even modern art, need not be instant. In the luxury of a little time, I can try to avoid some of the most obvious traps of the news. I am, like Popeye, what I am. I do not have to be the represe..

Specific Performance

The HC has ignored the basic principles, while ordering specific performance. Excepting Earnest Money Deposit, the Supreme Court has ordered refund of remaining money paid in advance with simple interest at 6 pc per annum to the plaintiffs within 3 mont..

Dangerous drift toward moral decline of youths - II

THE real-life story of a young earning girl having not a penny in her back account, published in the last week’s ‘Loud Thinking’, triggered many phone calls and e-mail messages sharing similar stories in shocking numbers. Most of these..

The Cause Of The Lost

ISSUES & NON-ISSUES By  Vijay phanshikar Apologies to all these leaders for saying so, but it is necessary to remind them that it is better that they remain free from the trappings of the high offices they seek. For, free from those, they would..

Poor State Of Edn In Bihar

By ARUN SRIVASTAVA Nitish has been consistently harping on reaching education to the door-steps of the poor and downtrodden. For him education is the best  instrument to fight poverty and empower them, especially poor women. But after 13 year..

Shrinking Exports

There is corruption in China too but the corruption is anchored in encouraging businesses and exports. Our bureaucracy, on the other hand, will create roadblocks. They will take bribes to remove these roadblocks. The Chinese  bureaucracy takes..

Trump-Putin Bonhomie

By nantoo banerjee, The two heads of States, two countries’ top diplomats -- Rex Tillerson of the US and Sergei Lavrov of Russia -- and two translators, no one else was privy to the proceedings. However, what did not escape the attention of most G2..

China’s Paradigm Shift

By SUBRATA MAJUMDER Without India, Xi Jinping’s dream project for  globalisation remains half-baked. To this end, China will strive to engage India in larger economic cooperation in its Asian power game. In this exercise, China is unlikely to ..

Of interrogating self

By Vijay Phanshikar, “The failure of architecture to create congenial environment mirrors our inability to find happiness in other areas of our lives. Bad architecture is in the end as much a failure of psychology as of design. It is an example e..

Retire the talk, celebrate the legend

  TRADITIONS can thrive easily, even in the rat-race of commerce. Holding on its own tenet, following its own faith scrupulously, a culture can be firmly defining even in the age of redefining of traditions. The Wimbledon has stood tall as the pre..

Cruelty Not Proved

The court observed that there is no link or intention on the part of the in-laws to assist the victim to commit suicide. In absence of this vital link, the mere fact that there is a finding of harassment would not lead to the conclusion that there ..

Dangerous drift toward moral decline of youths

THIS is one subject that is going to come up for discussion again and again -- regarding the behaviour of youngsters, boys and girls in junior college or college in particular. It is common experience these days about the kind of ‘freedom’ b..

Premeditated Attack

Terrorists are beasts in the form of human species and they are not fit to be part of a civilisation we have built brick by brick through centuries of struggle and fights; they are the darkest blot in human history, inimical to anything that is progress..

Rahul Diatribes!

ISSUES & NON-ISSUES By Vijay phanshikar Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi dubbed Narendra Modi as a “weak PM” for not raising the issue of H-1B Visa in his talks with US President Donald Trump and for playing down the use of the term ..

Uncertain US Policies

By S SETHURAMAN US withdrawal from Paris Agreement on climate change has upset a universally agreed framework to tackle global warming. In the unsettled geopolitical conditions and uncertain US policies under Trump, security and terrorism pose greater ch..

Roadblocks In GST Way

The economy is already reeling under the negative impact of demonetisation. The growth rate has declined from 7 per cent to 6 per cent because small businesses have been hit, employment is down, and demand in the market is less. The GST regime, if impleme..

What Is China Up To?

By Nantoo BanerjeE Two-way dialogues should resolve all disputes between the world’s two major economic powers. Trust is the key. Russia, a common friend of India and China, has always trusted India as a genuine ally and is deeply involved in India..

Right To Repair

Indian consumers need to learn and so should the Government. While ‘Skill India’ is being promoted, it should also tailor it to the concept of self-sufficiency to protect the indigenous innovative workers and the proprietary right of the commo..

Value of Art

  By Vijay Phanshikar   “Humanity has lost its dignity, but Art has rescued it and preserved it in significant stone. Truth lives on in illusions of Art, and it is from this copy, or after-image, that the original image will once ag..

Disbursing Funds To NGOs

            A suggestion was made by the Apex Court to the Central Government to frame guidelines/rules for being implemented, for accreditation and allied measures before finances are extended to NGOs/VOs. It wa..

Launching a rural school-II

O NE of the most touching experiences inrural areas is visiting the schools. In most, facilities are only minimal, and the infrastructure is now here near those available in urban schools. Yet, one does come across at least some schools in which the qua..

MUCH MORE TOGETHER

  India, Israel and US can form a triumvirate in influencing global strategy towards technology sharing in human development and environment protection, world peace and war against terror. These are all urgent needs and concerns of every civilised..

A Failed Entity - VII

ISSUES & NON-ISSUES By Vijay  phanshikar Pakistan may not have been created under a negative cosmic spell, but it was certainly formed by countless negative forces with diverse objectives, some stated and some unstated. All those forc..

UNCTAD’s Timely Call

UNCTAD plumps for promoting investment in local digital content and services to expedite digital development which meant fostering and maintaining a conducive regulatory framework for digital firms, as well as active support measures. UNCTAD urges po..

From art to philosophy

Vijay Phanshikar Every morning, at 9:30 sharp, Shankarrao Patwardhan would pick up his trademark umbrella and step out of his home in Dhantoli to go to his place of work -- the Central Museum behind the Council Hall in Civil Lines. He was the museum&rs..

GDP Down, Sensex Up

        The Modi Government has pushed Goods and Services Tax (GST) and also followed prudent fiscal policy. The overall governance in the country has also improved. Share markets expect these policies to translate into higher gr..

Modi’s Trump Card

President Trump has departed from the past American policy. The resolve of the two countries to strengthen anti-terror cooperation has come as a big diplomatic win for New Delhi and a big blow for Islamabad which was trying to portray the Hizbul mili..

Between a person and a poet

By Vijay Phanshikar, “We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry. ... .” - William Butler Yeats, In ‘Anima Hominis’, 1917. COMPLEX words, though they sound so simple. For, in co..

Termination Of Pregnancy

Supreme Court has stated that one facet of granting compensation pertains to negligence and delay, which comes within the domain of public law remedy. The other aspect comes under the scheme of March 24, 2014 framed under Section 357 A of the CrPC...

Touch of greatness

Vijay Phanshikar, One adage that Dhantoli has proved rather wrong is: ‘No prophet is honoured in his own country’. Dhantoli was one area of Nagpur where many truly great personages lived almost simultaneously. The locality honoured all of t..

A Failed Entity - V

“Pakistan is an eternally client State. All the time, it is outsourcing everything. ...”. - A western diplomat who has seen ‘things’ from a close quarter, in a private conversation a few years ago. ..