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India

India’s public distribution system (PDS) is in danger of being derailed in several States across the country. Recent disruptions of the PDS have taken different forms, from compulsory biometric authentication to so-called direct benefit transfer (DBT). The consequences are alarming, but tend to go unreported.

 

On September 29, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered surgical strikes against terrorist launch pads in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), challenging Islamabad’s nuclear flashpoint theory and denting the image of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, a man he had warmly hugged at Allama Iqbal airport in Lahore the previous Christmas day.

 

Congress Member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor had, back in 2010, famously described Jawaharlal Nehru’s foreign policy as a “moralistic running commentary” on international affairs. He was certainly not denigrating India’s first prime minister.

 

It is comforting to bracket India and China and talk of this century being Chindia’s—never mind the intense hostility over the border between the two—and of the country’s 300-million-strong middle-class which, as The Economist has pointed out in its cover story on India last week, HSBC has projected will grow to 550 million by 2025.

 

In power since 2009 — his second time as premier — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has developed his own doctrine governing Israel’s foreign relations: call it the Bibi Doctrine. And it is a doctrine in which India plays an important role.

 

It seems everyone had over-reacted to the unprecedented press conference that four senior Supreme Court judges held on Friday. The judges had stated their case quite carefully though the justification they gave about the danger to democracy and their obligation to the nation had its element of justifiable rhetoric.

 

There is something intangible yet palpable which makes India-Israel relations special. Every Israeli who has visited India has felt it. Every Indian who has travelled to Israel has felt it. Every person who joins the incredible journey of India-Israel relations has felt it.

 

It is a development that is both momentous and unfortunate. The press conference held by four senior judges of the Supreme Court has exposed an unprecedented level of dissension in the top echelons of the judiciary.

 

Examining a major road-building program in India, researchers at Princeton University and the Paris School of Economics used an innovative technique to show that political corruption increased the chances that roads meant to connect isolated areas to the rest of the country would never be built, even though the government had paid for them.

 

It is welcome that the government has eased foreign investment norms further, although these are incremental, rather than path-breaking, in nature. Liberalising foreign direct investment in Air India will probably make sure that the company will actually get privatised, with a majority stake held by an Indian entity that enjoys the trust of foreign backers now in a position to bid for the company complete with its huge debt burden.

 


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Review
 
 
 
 
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The Indian government is undertaking a project to enhance and install infrastructures related to trade and customs along its northeastern frontier, that include trading points with Bhutan.

 
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Society for Policy Studies in association with India Habitat Centre held a lecture in the “China's Belt and Road Initiative: Nature, Implications and India's Response”

 
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