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Farm Loan Waivers and Corporate Defaulters are Two Sides of the Same Coin -Seshadri Kumar

his time with the announcement of waivers in the newly-elected governments of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan. This was followed up by similar announcements from BJP-ruled Gujarat and ASSAm. Rahul Gandhi even went onto to demand a nation-wide farm loan waiver from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. As if on cue, India’s bankers and economists claim to be alarmed. United Bank of India’s MD, Ashok Kumar Pradhan, said, “

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ASER: Uptick in primary reading and maths, govt schools script turnaround -Sukrita Baruah and Uma Vishnu

Kerala, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh — have recorded a growth in basic reading levels of more than 5 percentage points over 2016. Further, government schools in 10 states — Punjab, UP, ASSAm, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh — recorded a growth of more than 5 percentage points in basic arithmetic levels over the same period. In Kerala, which tops in Class 5 reading levels wit

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49 elephants killed in Railway accidents between 2016-18: MoEFCC -Shiv Sahay Singh

y trains. Three lions died in a train accident in the Amerli district of Gujarat in December 2018. Prior to this, 10 lions died in railway and road accidents between 2016-2018. West Bengal and ASSAm together accounted for 37 out of the 49 deaths of elephants on train tracks across the country. While the number of elephant casualties on railway tracks in West Bengal has fallen from five in 2015-16 to three in 2016-17 to two in 2017-18, the number

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Child road safety report sets off alarm bells, minister Gadkari says it's a 'failure' for him -Anisha Dutta

nched the ‘Rear Seat-Belt Usage and Child Road Safety in India’ report, pointed out that almost 90% Indians also face safety risks by not using rear seat belts. The report, conducted by NiSSAn India and a non-profit, Save LIFE Foundation, is based on a survey conducted in 11 major cities with 6,306 respondents. The report also said that 98% of the respondents were not using rear seat belts. It also noted that 80% respondents do not buy

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Time-bound plan needed to address contaminated water -Mayank Aggarwal

Chandappa Jigajinagi while replying to a query in parliament in December 2018. Of the 15,811 habitations affected by high arsenic levels, 13,577 (about 85 percent) are in West Bengal (9,250) and ASSAm (4,327) alone. As far as fluoride-affected habitations are concerned, of the 9,660, Rajasthan has the most with 5,176 habitations followed by West Bengal with 1,263 habitations.   Last year, in March 2018, the parliamentary standing committee

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P Sainath, acclaimed journalist and Founder-Editor of the People's Archive of Rural India, interviewed by Anuradha SenGupta (

ng to Anuradha SenGupta, Sainath makes a case for state intervention in agriculture and says the Modi government, with its shifting positions and policies like demonetisation has only aggravated the aSSAult on agrarian livelihoods. Dismissing the buzz about imminent new initiatives for farmers as political business as usual, P Sainath outlines why Parliament must convene an urgent special session if we want a comprehensive, long term fix to this di

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Why Adam Smith favoured public education -Alex M Thomas

ts, which is characterised by good moral sentiments: “All the members of human society stand in need of each other’s assistance, and are likewise exposed to mutual injuries. Where the neceSSAry assistance is reciprocally afforded from love, from gratitude, from friendship, and esteem, the society flourishes and is happy.” Indeed, the Wealth of Nations and The Theory of Moral Sentiments are complementary texts. Please click here to

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Miners in Meghalaya overlooked risks for higher pay -Rahul Karmakar

-The Hindu A majority of men in Bogidari in Chirang district have worked at some point in Meghalaya’s coal mines BOGIDARI: Mohammad HuSSAin Sheikh recalls how a letter from the sirdar (manager and mine supervisor) of a Meghalaya coal mine in 2002 had helped him heave a big sigh of relief. It simply read: “You are hired. Come before the season starts in a few days.” Mr. Sheikh, now 48, was desperate for a job after a crop

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Farm crisis: Short-term palliatives are futile -G Chandrashekhar

es. The country is today paying a price for the omissions and commissions of successive governments over the last 20 years. Instead of improving, the lot of the farmers has deteriorated with the paSSAge of time; and there are no positive signs of a progressive transformation. Policymakers then and now continue to look for facile options to keep farmers ‘pleased’ or in the least, not complain. The most critical reforms — structu

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Will farm loan waiver go the way of the property tax repeal? -Indira Rajaraman

oral outcomes has also been known since, at least, the Gujarat elections. But what is new with the recent five state elections is that a particular palliative, farm loan waivers, is now seen as a neceSSAry promise for electoral victory. There are some curious features to this. A useful parallel to recall is the common practice 10-15 years ago, when electoral manifestos for state elections routinely promised to do away with property taxes. That crip

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