The significant other

A brute majority in Parliament and having a string of state governments under its belt have worked to the BJP’s advantage in creating a situation where the opposition has been decimated and a single dominant narrative prevails in the country. Dissenting voices, even when they come from long-time allies like the Shiv Sena, are ignored or drowned out.

Made hay even in may

The trading adage “Sell in May and go away” did not apply to May 2017 as benchmark indexes in India hit record highs and ended the month with gains of 3.4 per cent. Upbeat fourth-quarter results and the finalisation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates were among the factors that boosted Indian markets.

Open access to success

The bold Make in India initiative intends to transform India into a global manufacturing hub. The government launched the programme to facilitate investment, foster innovation, enhance skill development, protect intellectual property and build a best-in-class manufacturing infrastructure in the country. The success of the initiative will be determined by the growth of the power sector; to that end, the government has taken multiple initiatives related to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and provided for fiscal incentives and infrastructure development in that industry.

Cut & Thrust: Kashmir’s past solutions

There is no difference of opinion with respect to the accession of state of J & K with India on two main issues, i.e., the Instrument of Accession and the Delhi Agreement. The rest of the powers, including residual sovereignty, are vested with the state under Article 370. All the princely states were authorised to frame their own Constitution in their respective Constituent Assemblies. At that time only four states — namely, Saurashtra, Travancore and Cochin, Mysore and J&K — chose this option and set up their own Constituent Assemblies.

The king in exile

India is the third largest aviation market in terms of domestic traffic, which touched 100 million in 2016. Domestic air traffic has shown a consistent growth of 20 per cent to 25 per cent throughout 2015 and 2016 and a number of the domestic airlines have made profits during this period. However, the grand old “Maharaja”, Air India, the national carrier, has not been able to “lift with the rising tide”: a CAG report has stated that it has been understating losses over the past three years and we once again hear calls for government to divest its stake in the company.

All’s fair in war, eh?

Kashmir is a war-zone and the army is fighting a dirty war. It is difficult to stay apolitical in the times when popular public opinion is in the grip of rabid nationalism.

Watch out for that Bubble

Avolatile week saw markets begin an expected phase of correction. The Nifty fell to 9,300 levels but later bounced back above 9,600. Sentiment was initially dampened by escalating tensions between India and Pakistan and the downgrading of China’s sovereign credit ratings by Moody’s. However, the Narendra Modi government’s third anniversary celebrations seem to have lifted the mood among investors. Mid-cap and small-cap indexes underperformed, both ending 1 per cent lower.

Landed in trouble

The British always required get away places. Shimla is the best known example as it was known as the summer capital. When summer palace was built it was best known for its pioneering use of electricity.

Walking the tightrope

For perhaps the most voluble antagonist of Narendra Modi at one time, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar seems to be running out of options on the relationship with his alliance partner Laloo Prasad Yadav and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). It is natural, therefore, that he should be taking a back seat on many issues pertaining to opposition unity, like the matter of a joint opposition candidate for the presidential elections.

Let’s get rid of mercury

Mercury is a heavy metal and one of the most toxic elements known to mankind. It is a neurotoxin that has been the cause of one of the worst chemical disasters — the Minamata disease. This global pollutant is extremely dangerous and harmful to both human health and environment. This necessitated global action and coming together of over 140 nations to adopt “The Minamata Convention” — a legally binding treaty.