Editors Column

Nepal and India may be generally compared to Canada and USA in terms of proximity. The comparison ends there. Unlike the drift in relations between the US and Canada, India has always tried to engage Nepal, even though the latter has sometimes felt stifled by India’s presumably Big Brother attitude.

India had not recognised unilateral sanctions imposed by the erstwhile Democratic administration of Barack Obama and it may be no different this time now that President Donald Trump has unilaterally pulled out of a nuclear accord signed with Iran in 2015. India’s position that sanctions that do not have the backing of the United Nations are not to be recognised is not likely change overnight.

As the din of the election campaign in Karnataka ebbed on Thursday evening, celebrations began in unlikely quarters – smart phone makers and tablet manufacturers. Political promises made by the BJP and the Congress party in their manifestos seem to have opened up the prospect of huge business opportunities for smart phone manufacturers.

As the world assesses the cost of US walking out of the Iran nuclear deal, policy-makers in New Delhi will be more anxious than anticipated. The re-imposition of sanctions against Iran will force India to re-work both its energy strategy and strategic calculations to cope up with unfolding situation.

The fall of the rupee against the dollar and the concomitant rise in crude prices to $75 per barrel may turn out to be the beginning of a tumultuous fifth year in office for the Narendra Modi government. The rupee sinking below 67 to a dollar – for the first time in 15 months – and Brent crude futures being quoted at $75 a barrel will serve as a double whammy on the economy.

Regulators are expected to arrive at decisions after due deliberation as these often have a long-term structural impact on the sector they are meant to regulate.

The $40 billion Indian e-commerce market is going through a big churn with big-ticket mergers and acquisitions in the offing. US-based Walmart scooping up home-grown Flipkart run by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal will change the face of the e-commerce business in India.

India’s technological prowess in a variety of fields somehow does not reflect in the ability to predict weather-related disturbances. Space imaging technologies and satellite-based weather forecasting has been done in India for ages. The weatherman has often been the subject of mirthful drawing room banter across the world for being usually wrong with his cloudy or sunny day predictions.

Farmers have always been pawns in the dirty political bickering during elections and it is not proving to be any different as Karnataka gears up for assembly polls on May 12. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi trading charges on farmers’ issues is a grim reminder of politics overtaking serious issues.

India’s battle against pollution seems to be a losing one. Otherwise, how does one explain that 14 out of world’s 15 most polluted cities are in India? It is a matter of shame that India has landed in such a big mess and stands with its reputation sullied when it nurses an unbridled ambition to be counted among the leaders of the world.