Union Budget 2021-22: A perspective

Union Budget 2021-22: A perspective

Last Monday, the 1st February 2021, Finance Minister (FM), Nirmala Sitharaman, presented to the Lok Sabha the Union Budget for FY 2021-22. Since then, a bevy of economists and policy analysts have assayed and passed their expert verdicts. In fact, the stock brokers were the first to react as the FM was speaking; the Sensex zoomed by over 2,000 points before the day ended, an all time day record...[By Philip Mudartha]

Who will blink first: Modi or Protesting Farmers?

Who will blink first: Modi or Protesting Farmers?

Farmers mostly led by Punjab based kisan unions that are dominated by Sikhs, naturally, have laid a siege to Delhi. They have camped at several key border approaches to the national Capital. Men, women and children are camping in make-shift tents braving the extreme freezing temperatures of North Indian winter and demanding that these ‘black’ laws be repealed. Nothing more, nothing less; no compromises like amendments etc. Several rounds of talks have been held between government led by the Minister of Agriculture and prominent farmer Leaders...[By Philip Mudartha]

A desperate US President’s war on his people

A desperate US President’s war on his people

It is Tuesday morning, January 11th in US Capital, Washington D.C, as I pen these lines. The members of the House of Representatives have taken their seats in the legislative chamber within the Capitol. Their business for the day is to debate and pass a resolution calling upon Vice-President, Mike Pence, to invoke 25th Amendment and remove forthwith the lame duck sitting President Donald Trump, who is otherwise set to leave Oval Office on 20th January....[By Philip Mudartha]

We are poorer than Bangladesh!

We are poorer than Bangladesh!

The recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) press release on Gross National Product (GDP) numbers of member countries shocked many Indians. Egos were hurt, especially of our government supporters, according to whom Modi is doing a good job of running the country and managing its national economy...[By Philip Mudartha]

2020 Nobel Prizes in Sciences

2020 Nobel Prizes in Sciences

Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna are the first two women to share the prize, which honors their work on the technology of genome editing. Their discovery, known as Crispr-Cas9 "genetic scissors", is a way of making specific and precise changes to the DNA contained in living cells. With this tool, the ability to cut DNA where you want has revolutionized the life sciences. Not only has this technology been transformative for basic research, it could also be used to treat, or even cure, inherited illnesses..[By Philip Mudartha]

Are the agriculture reforms pro-farmer or anti-farmer?

Are the agriculture reforms pro-farmer or anti-farmer?

The Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers’ Welfare, on its website, states that three bills aimed at transformation of agriculture and raising farmers’ income were introduced in the Lok Sabha to replace ordinances promulgated on 5th June, 2020. Legislations will enable barrier-free trade in agricultural produce and empower farmers to engage with investors of their choice, said Union Minister of Narendra Singh Tomar. These bills are..[By Philip Mudartha]

What awaits the repatriated NRIs back home?

What awaits the repatriated NRIs back home?

Yes, unemployment looms large. I called and spoke to one of my protégés who returned from Qatar to his hometown in Malabar. Since coming back, he has been assisting his father in running the family grocery store. His father is fit and healthy in his upper sixties; he can run the business himself. He wants his son to try and find a job opening in Qatar, even at lower wages. In his early forties, his skill sets have no job openings in his native land....[By Philip Mudartha]

Returned from the Gulf: COVID Crisis 2020

Returned from the Gulf: COVID Crisis 2020

The following chart depicts the monthly average price of Brent grade Crude Oil for the previous five years. The price crashed to zero, beginning in March in the aftermath of global lockdowns announced to control the spread of the Novel Corona Pandemic. The unplanned lockdowns disrupted economic life in every nation especially manufacturing. The demand for petroleum products hit rock bottom...[By Philip Mudartha]

The 2020 National Education Policy

The 2020 National Education Policy

On Wednesday, 29th July 2020, the Indian Union Cabinet cleared a new National Education Policy (NEP) which proposed sweeping changes in school and higher education. Independent India followed the colonial education policy till 1968, when the parliament passed the first education policy drafted by the 17-member Education Commission, headed by then University Grant Commission (UGC) Chairperson D S Kothari. This was under the Indira Gandhi regime. Since then, India had three education policies. The second came in 1986, during the Rajiv Gandhi administration...[By Philip Mudartha]

Moodubelle: Titular Feast of St. Lawrence Church

Moodubelle: Titular Feast of St. Lawrence Church

India China Relations A Perspective History Essay - Part 2

India China Relations A Perspective History Essay - Part 2

In part-1 of this essay, we have dealt with the prelude to this war. Here, we deal with the actual war in which our military suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of PLA in both theatres. In the western theatre of Aksai Chin in Eastern Ladakh, the PLA advanced to their 1960 Claim Line on the Ladakh Ranges. In the eastern theatre of India-Sikkim-Bhutan-NEFA Himalayan passes, the PLA trounced all our forward formations and captured the entire NEFA. Their offensive began on 20th October 1962 and ended on 20th November, a month of hostilities, when they declared a unilateral cease-fire...[By Philip Mudartha]

India China Relations A Perspective History Essay

India China Relations A Perspective History Essay

On the night of June 15/16, scuffles broke out between an Indian forward post patrolling party and their Chinese counterparts in the Galvan Valley in Eastern Ladakh which is a household news story as I write this article on 2nd July 2020. This was by far the worst skirmish between the two nuclear-armed nations in 53 years. Then, in September 1967, the Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers had crossed into Sikkim (then an Indian protectorate) at Nathu La mountain pass and met with fierce resistance of the Indian armed border guards stationed there...[By Philip Mudartha]

The Saga of Two Popes

The Saga of Two Popes

It has been nearly three months of self-isolation for me in distant land of the United States of America (USA) where I had arrived to visit my son. Because India enforced nation-wide lockdown since March 24 and kept extending it in phases and closed all airports for international flights till an unknown future date, I cannot return to my home in Mumbai...[By Philip Mudartha]

Konkanni Kavita Sankhall (Poetry Chain) reaches 500 mark within a month of Launching

Konkanni Kavita Sankhall (Poetry Chain) reaches 500 mark within a month of Launching

Poetry is a bridge, an immediate path to becoming better people and being the change in the world. Poetry has been creating a world less about tearing each other down and apart, and more about coming together. Poetry has been helping us to realize that we’re not as different as we think. and despite our differences, we are not alone in our grief, pain, joy or happiness. Reading and writing poetry has been for greater good...[By Alphonse Mendonsa]

Travalogue: My 5 nation South America Tour and safe return amid COVID-19

Travalogue: My 5 nation South America Tour and safe return amid COVID-19

World-famous Mumbai based Veena World Tour company arranged 20-day 5 nation South America tour - Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. Accordingly, me and my wife Regina, other tourists met at Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai and boarded the scheduled flight to Sao Paulo, Brazil...[By John V Tauro]

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