Archive for May 20th, 2015

Why growing central banker powers are such a problem and need to be curbed..

May 20, 2015

It is not just growing power of actions of central banks/bankers which are a problem. The impact of their words and what they choose to say has become such a problem as well.

This is one such example:


Indian PM as Mahabharata’s Abhimanyu — Will he break the chakravyuh?

May 20, 2015

Despite ME wanting to stay away from one year hype, articles keep flowing.

Here is another one by Peter Ronald deSouza of Centre for the Study of Developing Societies. He compares the Indian PM to Abhimanyu. The latter failed to break the chakravyuh which had seven circles. Extending the analogy. he points there are seven circles to Indian polity too. AS per the author, PM has managed to break the two but five still remain:

Abhimanyu was in Shubhadra’s womb when he heard Lord Krishna reveal the secret of how to enter the Chakravyuha. But he did not learn how to exit it, and that is the reason why he was finally killed in fierce battle in the heart of the enemy’s army. Not so Gandhiji, who triumphed over the Chakravyuh effortlessly. Not only was he able to enter and exit it with ease, he did so at a time and place of his choosing, dissolving it with ahimsa and creating independent India.

Jawaharlal Nehru largely designed the Chakravyuh of the modern Indian state. Even though not as easily as Gandhiji, he did succeed in entering and exiting it — democratic and secular India was the consequence. Indira Gandhi got trapped in the Chakravyuh. Like Abhimanyu, she got to the sixth circle, but was felled by the Emergency and, becoming increasingly authoritarian and paranoid, found the circles closing around her and she succumbed to the arrows from enemies both imagined and real.

We could continue preparing a report card for all the Prime Ministers and their Chakravyuhas but the coming anniversary of Modi’s first year in office is an opportunity to speculate on his chances of successfully negotiating the Chakravyuha of government.

Abhimanyu heard Krishna saying that the trick was to attack and destroy the soldiers to the left and to the right, so that irrespective of which way the circle turned, one would be able to enter it. The Prime Minister has attacked the politics on the Left but is not quite decisive in his support for the economic policies of the Right. While the Left is rebelling against his social and cultural policies, the Right is beginning to grumble that nothing has changed on the economic front. ‘Nothing is changed on the ground’ said Mr. Deepak Parekh.

In the Mahabharata, the Chakravyuh was a seven-spiralled, impenetrable battle formation. Let us see what the seven circles of Indian polity are.

There is a gross error here. Abhimanyu heard the chakravyuh breaking story from his father Arjuna and not his uncle Krishna.

So what are the seven circles?

  1. Foreign Policy
  2. Political coalition of governance
  3. Instruments of governance
  4. Respect for democratic and parliamentary institutions
  5. Public discourse of a plural society
  6. political philosophy
  7. Personal ethics

As per the author first two Foreign policy and political coalition has been conquered. The rest five remain.

Hmm…One can have his own circles here. 2, 3 and 4 can be clubbed as one and things like economics etc can be added.

Nice bit. In the end may be nothing emerges from this one year noise, But then one is getting so many different perspectives to look at such things..

Indian Liberals — a digital library of all Indian liberals

May 20, 2015

Interesting website of Indian Liberals:


The several U-turns of the NDA government..

May 20, 2015

Rohit Nigam has done a great job of summing most of them. For all you know, the current govt must actually be thanking UPA govt for starting some policies. But while in opposition NDA criticised these policies severely only to do a U-turn while being in power. And then some experts think we should thank NDA for doing a Uturn and not thanking UPA for the actual turn.

There is a huge heated discussion over whether current PM has delivered in one year or not. The obsession over such things will never die and only getting shriller with each passing day. The discussions are not over what Indian mango man has gained/benefited but whether the current PM has delivered over its promises. The two are connected but first one is more real and second is just about rhetoric and announcements. And then what is the big deal if the PM has delivered. After all he has been elected for the job. Why go overboard on it?

Why can’t govts be more humble and respectful towards opposition and vice-versa.

Less than 4% companies bagged 77% of FII flows since FY10..

May 20, 2015

Finance Textbooks tell you over and over again how opening of financial markets lead to resources going to the small and needy. The companies get listed  and how foreign capital helps these companies get access to capital and grow. Right. Wrong.

This analysis shows just about 4% of companies received nearly 80% of FII flows since 2010:


Reviving the litchi fruit before it becomes a symbol of inequality

May 20, 2015

It was just shocking to hear prices of litchis costing Rs 250 per kg in Bangalore.  The prices of fruits have increased significantly in last years. So much so, one wonders whether mango people will be able to consume mangoes and other fruits in future? Or fruit consumption like Picassos, will be seen as a sign of inequality in future?

Surinder Sud has an article on improving litchi fruit’s domestic trade and enhance India’s share in the global litchi market. Leave global markets, first make it accessible and affordable for domestic consumers:

is one of those fruits that don’t get as much attention as they should. It has substantial export potential, much of which remains untapped. Its domestic marketing, too, is riddled with formidable problems – primarily because of its transient shelf life – which are detrimental to both the producers and consumers.

India enjoys some inherent advantages over other major litchi exporting countries in terms of geographic location and the timing of the fruit availability. Besides, the country also grows some good quality litchis with distinct flavour and high pulp-to-stone ratio, which are preferred in foreign markets. Indian litchis are harvested between mid-April and June-end when good quality stuff is not available from any other litchi exporting country, barring Thailand. It doesn’t, therefore, have to compete with countries such as Madagascar, South Africa and Australia, where the litchi crop is marketed between November and February. Nor does it need to vie with Israel, where litchi is harvested from July to October. This leaves the vast litchi markets in the Gulf and Europe for India to exploit, especially during the summer.

However, a lot of constraints need to be overcome to enhance India’s share in the as also to improve its domestic trade. Thanks to its highly perishable nature, litchi needs specialised handling and transportation to ensure its prompt marketing and consumption. The paucity of infrastructure of roads, cold stores, reefer vans and other components of the cold chain management is one of the biggest hurdles in the smooth internal and external trade of litchi. Experts from the Muzaffarpur (Bihar)-based (NRCL) feel that these problems need immediate attention. There is also a need for pack-houses at or near airports for the proper pre-shipment treatment of export consignments. The other limiting factors include poor pre- and post-harvest fruit handling at the field level and the unavailability of reliable market intelligence to the producers.

Commercial production of litchi has traditionally been confined to areas such as Bihar, Uttarakhand, West Bengal and Jharkhand. alone, in fact, accounts for nearly half of the country’s total litchi output. In recent years, litchi cultivation has begun to spread to non-traditional litchi growing areas such as Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Tripura and Odisha. Moreover, some of these states have recorded higher crop productivity than that in the conventional litchi belt. The average per hectare output of litchi in Punjab in 2012-13, for instance, was estimated at over 15 tonnes, which was almost double of the output in Bihar. Besides, litchi grown in the Gurdaspur and Hoshiarpur areas of Punjab can be exported from the international airport in Amritsar.

Standard stuff on agriculture likely to standard ignorance. Agri in India should be promoted as aggressively as Make in India..

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