Free Press Journal
  • Two cheers for decisions on education

    There are times when, in the din of sloganeering about what has gone wrong, people overlook the good that is being done. One sector that needs to be highlighted here is education. No, education standards haven’t improved. No, politicisation of educational institutions and course material hasn’t stopped. But look a bit carefully. There are signs…

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  • Legalise work permits for immigrants

    Hatred against immigrants is not peculiar to India alone. But it is at its peak when economic conditions are harsh, and a local population looks unkindly at people who are perceived to be snatching away jobs from locals. Moreover, the shrill cry against immigrants is a surefire way of winning political support. But look at…

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  • Manufacturing continues to disenchant

    The government talks about strengthening the manufacturing backbone of India. Slogans of ‘Make in India’ continue to rent the air. Everyone talks about how this is to be achieved. But the core issue is forgotten.  Manufacturing does not enthral the youth any more. The biggest lure for young people is to get jobs in finance…

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  • Maharashtra opens up its hinterland

    In many ways, one could draw parallels between India’s Golden Quadrilateral (GQ) and Maharashtra’s biggest roadway project. Christened as the Nagpur-Mumbai Expressway (NMEW) or the Samruddhi Mahamarg, this 701 km highway could actually transform the state like no other project has during the past five decades. To understand the dramatic change the GQ made to…

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  • Gold coin

    Government can easily clean up gold market in India

    The gold market in India is in a mess.  Smuggling continues big time.  Seizure of smuggled-in-gold barely accounts for 3% of volumes each year. Corrosion within the vaults owned and managed by the customs department — where gold is stored — is now in evidence. International buyers of Indian jewellery are wary because of the…

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  • Gold coin

    Can gold be made less attractive for smugglers?

    Listen carefully to the words that are constantly being uttered by government spokesmen. They talk about driving black-marketeers to the ground. They speak of the need to reduce India’s penchant for gold. And they promise to unearth black money. All pious sentiments, true. But now look at the facts. First, according to the government’s own…

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  • crops

    Neem project: The next big agro revolution?

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi often talks of “Save Water; Save Energy; Save Fertiliser”. By May 2015, in order to prevent the diversion of fertilisers for non-farm use, neem-coating it became a national policy. While the concept of neem-coating urea was floated by the previous government, it was Modi who decided that all urea – not…

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  • Are farmers in the country really earning less?

    The past few weeks have distressed economists and policymakers over the way farmer-loan writeoffs have spiraled out of control.  Overnight, one of the platforms that made Prime minister Narendra Modi a darling of policy makers had collapsed.  People marveled at his refusal to give in to either Chandrababu Naidu of the newly formed Andhra Pradesh,…

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  • India losing despite onward march of renewables?

    The US has walked out of the Paris agreement for containing green house gas (GHG) emissions.  And while this may cripple the carbon credits market which needed a big boost, it is unlikely to slow down India’s focus on renewables. As a recent Mercom research pointed out, “The Indian solar sector is witnessing strong growth…

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  • Energy prices favour India, may be not OPEC

    The snapping of diplomatic ties with Qatar by many Arab countries underlines the precariousness of oil politics. Much of the Middle Eastern politics are on account of, and have a direct bearing on, oil and gas. In fact, many speculators expect oil prices to harden after the Qatar development. But that might not happen. Three…

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  • Can PSUs help improve government’s balance sheet?

    The government is caught between a rock and a hard place. It wants to create jobs through massive spending on infrastructure. But for that it will have to spend money that it does not have (and FDI into infrastructure hasn’t taken off). This, in turn, means that it will have to go in for borrowing…

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  • A novel way to resolve the bank-NPA issue

    Sometimes, it is important for finance ministers to consider the valuation approach in order to resolve the non-performing assets (NPA) crisis afflicting Indian public sector banks. This is the method adopted by most investment bankers and astute financial advisers. It is what the government of India was willing to adopt in the early 1990s when…

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