It’s the tried & tested populism for Cong

After hitting prime minister Narendra Modi hard over issues like note ban and GST on the foreign soil, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi is challenging the PM at his home turf, while making a strong attempt to counter the BJP’s charges against his party of being ‘anti-Hindu’ and ‘minority appeasers’ by paying obeisance in temples. Gandhi’s move to visit Hindu holy places in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat is being seen as a befitting reply to the hardline Hindutva of the BJP and RSS.

A risky proposition

Augmented reality, face recognition, driverless and electric cars are fast gaining mainstream momentum with companies like Apple, Tesla, Google, Ford and Lyft (among others) determined to embrace technological advantage to offer superior products and disrupt status quo.

Recently, Apple unveiled its new range of phones that bought augmented reality into the realms of actual reality by taking it mainstream and embedding it as an integral part of its product. A wide variety of the changes will not only drive consumption differently, it will also change the eco system around it.

The NPA Cheat sheet

Reserve Bank of India’s June edition of the financial stability report suggested that the gross bad loan ratio is expected to rise to a percentage between 10.2 per cent and 11.2 per cent of the total loan book in March 2018 as compared to 9.6 per cent in March 2017. For public sector banks, things can get uglier — the ratio may go up to 14.8 per cent in March 2018 from 11.4 per cent.

Of tailspins & nosedives

Geopolitical worries were back in focus on Friday with markets witnessing the sharpest single-day fall of 2017.

Investors were also wary of widening fiscal deficit after the Indian finance minister announced the government may come up with measures to revive economic growth. It seems the government is finally taking note of the slowdown instead of talking up the economy.

When good is bad

Rajasthan became fifth state after Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab and Karnataka to announce farm debt waiver. This is to counter the problems faced by agriculture sector in India. Stagnating productivity, value of farm proceeds not significantly higher than input used in production has lead to stagnant farm incomes. So long as a long term and sustainable solutions to these issues are not found, farm loan waiver will keep returning at the state or even national level.

Motown Blues

GST promises to be a game changer and the government is dedicated to make it a success with a view to expand the tax net and enhance tax compliance by simplifying tax structure.

While the GST Council has been making all efforts on the simplification part, the automobile segment has been the one facing unpredictability as the council has decided on the cess —over and above the GST rates — to offset any drastic gain by the industry by virtue of implementing GST that subsumes all taxes under one tax.

DISEQUILIBRIUM: The road to success

Even while we were celebrating a second successive monsoon, we have been blindsided by the possibility of a late drought striking large swathes of India — as many as 235 districts (government has been denying this) — may end up facing the prospect. Pertinently, weak dispersal of rains has impacted water storage levels, vital for winter crops.

Coexistence As virtue

Coexistence is the greatest value that we have developed as human beings. Much of the contexts of human evolution in the face of a dominating cultural and natural environment is to believe that either God or powerful humans are in charge, and they make the decisions.

When languages are lost in translation

The Noida Sector 15 building of the Rekhta Foundation for the past few months has been abuzz with a new kind of frenzy. The foundation, primarily known for popularising Urdu among the masses, stays busy these days with students and teachers of all hues pursuing a one-of-its-kind short-term Urdu learning course. “The 30- hour Urdu rasm-ul khat (script) was my first experience of teaching the basic Urdu script and alphabets to adults. And it’s worth it,” says professor Abdur Rasheed of the Urdu department of Jamia Milia Islamia.

Decoding PMJDY

Lending, more specifically moneylending, as an economic practice has existed for centuries: first wearing the banner of barter, then under the tutelage of mercantilists and pawnbrokers, and today, in the hands of modern banks, credit card companies, mortgage lenders and the like. With such evolution, credit became a necessity but it wasn’t accessible, available or affordable to everyone. Primarily, the penurious and destitute were systematically excluded from this phenomenon.