Archive for March 6th, 2019

Why many married women were banned from working in US during the Great Depression?

March 6, 2019

Erin Blakemore in this article:


50 years of Rajdhani Express

March 6, 2019

The first journey was between Howrah and Delhi on 3 March 1969. After the Delhi-Howrah Rajdhani, several other Rajdhanis were started connecting the capital to several other cities. It has been 50 years since and Rajdhani continues to capture our imagination.

There are some interesting tributes to this landmark anniversary:

From HT which has fair bit of history:

In 1960, the Railway Board in India decided to undertake a study to achieve increased speed for its trains, says an Eastern Railway spokesperson. For the past 100 years the maximum speed on broad gauge in Indian Railways had been restricted to 96 km/hour. A target of 160 km/h for passenger traffic and 100 km/h for goods traffic with an intermediate stage of 120 km/h for passenger traffic was laid. Work started from 1962. And then, as a Hindustan Times report in 1969 states, “tests began in 1967… The diesel locomotives and coaches were tested under all conditions including heavy rains.”

Finally, on March 1, 1969, the Rajdhani Express, the country’s fastest train at the time with a speed of 120km/hr, was flagged off from New Delhi to reach Howrah the next morning. The first journey from Howrah was on March 3. “It was called the Rajdhani because it would connect the country to the capital, Delhi,” recalls senior Supreme Court lawyer Anoop Bose, whose late brother, Adhip, was among the passengers on the first train. Bose had gone to see off his brother, and remembers seeing then railways minister Ram Subhag Singh garlanding the train, before flagging it off. The Rajdhani covered the distance between Delhi and Howrah in approximately 17 hours, where earlier trains had taken at least 24 hours for the same.



Mumbai’s blinkered vision of development: sacrificing ecology for infrastructure

March 6, 2019

Prof Amrita Sen and Harini Nagendra of APU in this EPW research:

Drawing on a discussion of five infrastructure projects in Mumbai, the lack of comprehensive focus in policy on environmental issues is highlighted. A project-wise focus and an unsustainable pattern of urbanisation have distanced the city development plans of Mumbai from achieving essential, interdependent goals of ecological health, environmental justice, and well-being.

Applies to most cities in India.

Assessing possible causes of shortfall in GST revenues and its implications

March 6, 2019

Prof Sacchidananda Mukherjee of NIPFP writes a useful paper on GST.

He says there is a possibility of shortfall in revenues from GST based on budget accounts. This could have wider implications:

a) Upto June 2022, revenues of states under GST are protected. So far there will be no impact on State Finances on account of Own Tax Revenue collection. However, if the GST revenue shortfall continues, Union Government will face fiscal stress and it will spillover to state finances in terms of lower tax devolution and grantsin-aid transfers.

b) The estimated shortfall in GST collection is Rs. 197,210 crore or 8.77 percent of Gross Tax revenue in 2018-19. If the share of states in central transfers (on account of tax devolution and grants-in-aids) remains unchanged at 55.4 percent of GTR, the expected fall in central transfers would be Rs. 109,254 Crore in 2018-19.

If states do not increase their revenue mobilization, they may require containing their expenditures to meet the FRBM targets. There may be demands from States to give relief from the FRBM targets, so that they could continue with present level of expenditures. It may build up public debt and may cause stress on state finances in future.


It also discusses the impact on State Finance after GST Compensation Period is over..

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