Skip to main content


Showing posts from March 18, 2012

Brand Rahul

Economics Journal: The Price of Political Dynasties

March 21, 2012, 9:00 AM IST..By Rupa Subramanya The recently concluded state assembly elections reveal that dynastic politics is alive and well in India. Above, Akhilesh Yadav, the newly elected chief minister of U.P. in front of a portrait of his father, Mulayam Singh Yadav.The recently concluded state assembly elections reveal that dynastic politics is alive and well in India. The new chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav, is the son of a former chief minister, as is the new chief minister of Uttarakhand, Vijay Bahuguna. In Punjab, Sukhbir Singh Badal, the deputy chief minister, is by all accounts waiting in the wings to succeed his elderly father, the current chief minister. Don’t forget the states that didn’t go to the polls this time around. The charismatic chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah, is the son and grandson of former chief ministers. S

US wrong on India's Iran Policy

By Bharat Karnad India has been criticized for not doing enough to pressure Iran. But Delhi has sound economic and domestic reasons for what it’s doing. The signing of the 2006 civilian nuclear deal was supposed to be emblematic of a burgeoning strategic relationship between India and the United States. After some forty or so years of frosty relations, the beginning of the 21st Century saw leaders in Washington and Delhi touting a grand strategic partnership. To realize this, the George W. Bush and Manmohan Singh administrations courted great political risk in taking on the entrenched mindsets opposed to the nuclear agreement. In Washington, opposition from the non-proliferation community nearly sank the deal during negotiations. In Delhi, the signing of the deal was so controversial it almost brought down the Congress Party’s coalition government in the 2008 vote in parliament. An upside to

Rahul Gandhi's Dalit visit exposed as photo-op by local woman

By Piyush Srivastava PUBLISHED: 19:22 GMT, 20 March 2012 | UPDATED: 19:22 GMT, 20 March 2012 The superficiality of Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi's photo-op moments in Dalit households were exposed on Tuesday by none other than Sunita Kori, a Dalit woman in whose Gauriganj house he had stayed for a night. The occasion was the laying of foundation of a pucca house for the 30-year-old woman by Gayatri Prasad Prajapati, the Samajwadi Party's (SP) newly elected legislator from Gauriganj in Amethi. Prajapati had offered help to Sunita after her house was burnt down by alleged SP goons during the party's victory celebrations on March 6. Gandhi visited Dalit for the laying of foundation of a pucca house for Sunita Kori On the campaign trail of the last Lok Sabha polls, Rahul had spent a night at the 30-year-old woman's house to show that the Congress identified itself with the Dalit cause. But he was nowhere to be seen when the woman lost her house, pro

Forces transforming the content landscape

Source: Bain & Company We are in the midst of a period of unprecedented media innovation that is changing the lives of billions of people across the globe. It is an exciting time for consumers, as innovators develop new platforms and devices to entertain, inform and connect users in ways that were only dreamed of a decade ago. For content creators, aggregators and distributors, it is a time for concern as well as joy, as the landscape shifts beneath their feet. An innovation in one part of the ecosystem may reduce costs or improve the customer experience, but it might also disrupt a content creator’s business model, reduce an aggregator’s market share or diminish a distributor’s value proposition. In this report, we profile the forces transforming the content landscape in which creators, aggregators and distributors interact with one another and with the consumer. These forces are fundamentally altering the content ecosystem with implications for users,businesses and policy p

Is School Like Jail?

The Daily Reckoning Presents Jeffrey Tucker The people in my community love their public schools. So too it is in most of the country. If only they knew the costs, and I don’t mean just the financial costs, which are two and three times those of private schools. I also mean the opportunity costs: If only people knew what they were missing! Imagine education wholly managed by the market economy. The variety! The choice! The innovation! All the features we’ve come to expect in so many areas of life — groceries, software, clothing, music — would also pertain to education. But as it is, the market for education is hobbled, truncated, frozen and regimented, and tragically, we’ve all gotten used to it. The longer people live with educational socialism, the more they adapt to its inefficiencies, deprivations and even indignities. So it is with American public schools. Many people love them, but it’s like the “Stockholm Syndrome”: We’ve come to have a special appreciation for our captors

Newroz Message from KRG's Representative to the U.S. Qubad Talabani

On the occasion of Newroz, the Kurdish New Year (2712) and the beginning of the spring season, I am pleased to congratulate Kurds all over the world, and all others who celebrate Newroz, specifically the Persian, Azeri, Afghan, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Tajik, Uzbek, Uighur, Zoroastrian and Turkmen people. For Kurds, Newroz not only symbolizes the New Year and the coming of spring, but it also serves as a reminder that we have always been a resilient nation; surviving repression, ethnic cleansing and the denial of identity. According to Kurdish myth, Kawa the blacksmith lived with his people under the tyrannical rule of Zuhak. Zuhak's evil reign caused spring to no longer come to Kurdistan. March 20 is traditionally marked as the day that Kawa defeated Zuhak after which he is then said to have set fire to the hillsides to celebrate the victory leading to spring returning to Kurdistan the next day. For thousands of years since that legend, Newroz has been a symbol of resilience, highlig

India presses for BRICS bank

By Kester Kenn Klomegah MOSCOW - India's proposal to set up a bank of the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) will top the agenda at the summit of the group in New Delhi on March 28. India believes a joint bank would be in line with the growing economic power of the five-nation group. The bank could firm up the position of BRICS as a powerful player in global decision-making. "The BRICS bank does not need much capital for a start," Alexander Appokin, senior expert at the Moscow-based Center for Macroeconomic Analysis and Forecasting told Inter Press Service (IPS). "What is more important is that the BRICS development bank presents a unique opportunity for indirect investment of central bank foreign reserves inside the countries." A BRICS bank could for example issue convertible debt, which would arguably be top-rated and can be bought by central banks of all BRICS countries

The uncertainty principle

India needs to show vim and vigour in foreign affairs, says N.V.Subramanian. 19 March 2012: Whilst India is a status quo, peacefully rising power, it must nevertheless act in international crisis situations. Making excuses not to do so, or citing imperatives of national security when they do not apply, suffice or convince, do not assist the country, especially as an emerging power. After much dilly-dallying, the government has decided to support the UNHCR resolution on Sri Lanka's war crimes against Tamils. It must similarly act with decision on Iran after the proven involvement of Iranians in the attack on an Israeli diplomat in Delhi. It mustn't be prodded to do so as after the Maldives' coup. A section of the strategic community looks with suspicion at anything Western, but that is not how India can bias its foreign policy. For example, commentators have exhorted India to ignore allegations against the Sr

US to launch website to help donate funds to Indian NGOs

Washington, Mar 19, 2012, (PTI) To ease concerns over some NGOs in India misusing foreign aid, the US is set to launch an online portal that will help Indian-Americans to safely donate funds to non-government bodies back home. At the initiative of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the State Department is in the final stages of launching the ambitious website. It would change the way Indian Americans and others make donations back home at the click of a mouse rather than going through a combursome bureaucratic process and getting rid of the strain of identifying the kind of genuine NGO that would help them deliver the money and services to the targetted group. Following months of research and series of brain-storming sessions both in India and the US, the State Department is slated to launch website in late April or early May. "Right now there are a lot of people, who want to help, want to give b

Afghanistan and the Long War

STRATFOR By George Friedman The war in Afghanistan has been under way for more than 10 years. It has not been the only war fought during this time; for seven of those years another, larger war was waged in Iraq, and smaller conflicts were under way in a number of other countries as well. But the Afghanistan War is still the longest large-scale, multi-divisional war fought in American history. An American soldier's killing of 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children, on March 11 represents only a moment in this long war, but it is an important moment. In the course of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, military strategists in the United States developed the concept of the long war. The theory was presented in many ways, but its core argument was this: The defeat of Taliban forces and the Iraqi resistance would take a long time, but success would not end the war because Islamist terrorism and its supporters would be a constantly shifting threat, both in the places and in the ways


Extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances are common in Pakistan’s largest and resource-rich Balochistan province. This has led to protests against the state by the Baloch people. For decades, Pakistan’s army and spy agencies have been targeting Baloch political leaders, intellectuals and the youth. Their brutality has reached new heights as they are now targeting Baloch women and children. The leader of Baloch Republican Party Brahamdagh Khan Bugti believes that such atrocities will not stop them from fighting for their freedom. "Whatever atrocities they commit against us – be it the killing of Baloch people, women and children – our freedom struggle will continue. The movement will only intensify further. The more the bloodshed, the more we’ll fight back. No one should think that by using force and by killing us, they will deny us the right to our freedom. It’s impossible." said BRAHAMDAGH KHAN BUGTI LEADER, BALOCHISTAN REPUBLICAN PARTY Bugti also said

Telcos Vs "Fab(ulous) Five"

SOURCE: ROLAND BERGER A battle of giants is brewing in the world of telecommunications. Traditional telcos, with their five billion customers worldwide, are getting ready to take on new Internet-focused rivals offering communication platforms, services and content via smartphones, tablets and Internet-enabled TVs. Right now, the strongest of these are the "fab(ulous) five": Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft, who serve over three billion customers between them. Traditional telcos and their modern rivals each have a total market capitalization of round about EUR 800 billion. Current public opinion favors the fab five with their superior innovative capabilities, breathtaking growth rates and large cash reserves. But will that be enough to threaten the traditional telcos? READ MORE

The Secret to Smarter Schools

By Lisa Moore Posted 3/18/07 If Americans want better schools and smarter students, they should think F-for Finland. Finnish 15-year-olds score at or near the top in reading, math, and science in the prestigious Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, offered every three years by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In 2003 (2006 results aren't yet available), Finland ranked first among 40 industrialized nations in reading literacy, first (with Japan) in science, and second in math. The United States ranked 18th, 22nd, and 28th in those subjects, respectively. Finland also boasts the smallest gap between its best and weakest students, and the second-smallest difference among individual schools' performances . In the early 1970s, Finland scrapped its old education system, which steered students into either vocational or academic tracks at the end of fourth grad

India, Africa aim for $90 billion trade in three years NEW DELHI: Indian and African leaders on Sunday agreed to sharply increase bilateral trade to $90 billion by 2015 as the two sides discussed potential deals. The South Asian country is aiming to boost its trade and diplomatic ties with Africa where China has already made major inroads by striking multiple deals, building infrastructure projects and offering soft loans. The goal of achieving $90 billion in trade between India and China in three years "is a significant improvement, considering the fact that a decade ago the trade was $3 billion", Indian Commerce Secretary Anand Sharma said. Sharma was speaking at the first day of a three-day India-Africa meeting in New Delhi where organisers said more than 250 projects worth close to $30 billion were being discussed. Over 600 African delegates are participating in the India-Africa

Failure 2.0: India's big, new foreign policy idea is even worse that its last one

Failure 2.0 India's big, new foreign policy idea is even worse that its last one. And that's saying something. BY SADANAND DHUME | MARCH 16, 2012 Sadanand Dhume is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Like a pesky ghost that won't be exorcized, Jawaharlal Nehru's nonalignment policy continues to hover over India's foreign relations. Later this month, New Delhi will host its first BRICS summit, an oddball gathering of authoritarian and democratic nations united only by regional heft and implicit opposition to the U.S.-led international order. Just last week, a 70-member trade delegationheaded to Tehran to explore fresh opportunities for Indian companies in the Islamic republic, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai having previously declared that the recent, tougher round of EU and U.S. sanctions on Iran were inapplicable to India. Instead of using an ongoi