Economists, Chartered Accountants, and the state of public debate in India

“108 economists versus 131 Chartered Accountants” was the headline of choice, propelled by a government that likes nothing better than to be in a perennial state of conflict. When the economists struck the first blow, it was not against chartered accountants (CAs) in particular, nor against a specific part of the bureaucracy. A group of …

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8th Nov 2016 – the day Urjit Patel should have resigned

The minutes of the central board of the Reserve Bank of India’s ill-fated meeting on 8th November 2016 are finally out in the public domain. We owe a debt of gratitude to Right to Information (RTI) activist Venkatesh Nayak, who published the document in the public domain. Thus ended the final bit of mystery surrounding …

Poor-quality toilets may be worse than no toilets at all

First, the good news for India. Nationwide, under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBA), toilets have been constructed at a rapid pace. The Government of India reports that we have gone from a sanitation coverage of 39% in October 2014 to 98% at the end of 2018. Notwithstanding the quibble that ‘sanitation’ here refers to ‘toilets’, …

A Bengali across the sub-continent – a personal reflection

When I started this blog, there were several posts that were essentially personal reflections. Over time, those posts have dwindled, as professional interests and thoughts on politics dominated. So this is a rare one...this post was written first for the Trivandrum Bengalee Association's (TBA) annual magazine. ** Having grown up a Bengali in Kerala, I …

Assembly polls are much more than a semi-final

Listening to analysts and representatives of political parties, one might be forgiven for thinking that the state assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chattisgarh and Telangana are only a curtain raiser for the upcoming general elections in 2019. While there is no need to undermine the importance of the central government in India, or diminish …