Paranjoy Guha Thakurta

PARANJOY.JPG

Paranjoy Guha Thakurta is an educator and commentator

Don’t bank on it, yet

On August 15, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), a financial inclusion scheme that will ensure that at least one member of each and every family in Indi

An oily affair

It is sometimes said that not even God can predict the price of oil. As a humble mortal, that too a practising atheist, one must confess at the outset that the dip in the international prices of crude oil has taken me and many others completely by surprise. Iraq is in a turmoil, almost on the verge of imploding.

Insured to fail?

The more things change, the more they remain the same. The hypocrisy of the two largest political parties in the country, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Indian National Congress, stand thoroughly exposed because of the manner in which their representatives have been wrangling over the issue of increasing the cap on foreign investment in Indian insurance companies from 26 per cent at present to 49 per cent.

Modi’s job challenge

Besides controlling food inflation, the most challenging task before Narendra Modi is to create jobs for millions of young men and women, some of whom were responsible for his resounding victory in the elections. It is one thing to promise jobs and another to actually create them.

Reorient Plan panel

There is considerable speculation about when the Planning Commission will be reconstituted and who will occupy the largest room in Yojana Bhavan.

An NDA or a UPA Budget?

Finance minister Arun Jaitley’s maiden Budget clearly indicates that there is little or nothing to differentiate between the economic policies of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress.

Trading honesty for benefits

Lalu Prasad Yadav is in jail. As is Rasheed Masood. Both have been disqualified as legislators. But are elected representatives now likely to be less brazen while participating in acts of corruption, even if the long arm of the law remains rather lengthy and the wheels of justice continue to grind excruciatingly slowly?

Drowning in graft

The paradox is rather apparent. In the contemporary history of India, never have so many once-influential politicians had to spend time behind bars as they have in recent times. Yet the second UPA government, headed by a Prime Minister who was known as Mr Clean, is also being perceived as one of the country’s most corrupt regimes, packed by people with flexible ethics.

Now that the protests are fizzling out, it’s worth asking what exactly they managed to accomplish. I see two major effects.