The good news is that things seemed to have improved in the Indian economy as India’s rankings in the Ease of Doing Business quotient has risen from 142 to 130 in 2015. This ranking was conducted by the Word Bank. Clearly the moves made by the Narendra Modi Government seem to have paid off as traditionally this has been an area for concern and a major bottle neck for foreign investment since long. Yes, there is much more that remains to be done but things are moving, one must say, in the right direction. Continue reading
I must explain my unprecedented long absence from blogging. I was not well for more than the past month. It started with an attack of pharyngitis and laryngitis which later became a urinary bladder infection. The need for prostate surgery soon followed. I am resting and recuperating at home since I was discharged from the hospital on Sept 26, 2015. I have kept myself busy by catching up with my book reviews, which you will find in my website, “Prem Rao, Stories From A Story Teller,” and on my reading. Continue reading
One of the issues that has caught the attention of the nation is that of One Rank One Pension (OROP). It was appalling to see the protesting veterans being shoved around by the Delhi Police a day before Independence Day. The reason stated was that Jantar Mantar had to be “sanitized” before the I Day celebrations as done every year. This made no sense to many who were affronted that those who secure our borders could even be thought of as security risks. I wasn’t. There can be infiltrators to a mass movement. Remember the “veteran” in Frederick Forsyth’s “The Day of the Jackal”? Continue reading
The Modi Government has been in office for about 15 months and it’s time to take stock of what has happened to the Indian economy. Despite having an overwhelming majority in the Lok Sabha, the BJP has been pushed on the back foot because the opposition has better numbers in the Rajya Sabha. Several reform bills have got stuck in the legislative process. Sadly, it appears certain that the monsoon session of Parliament will go down the drain costing approximately Rs 260 crores to the tax payer. Continue reading
One of the Non-Government Organisations (NGO) that I have been highly impressed with is Akshay Patra, which has its headquarters in Bengaluru ( earlier known as Bangalore) in India. Their byline, “Unlimited Food for Education” reflects what they do to serve society. This program seeks to realize the vision that “No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger.” Continue reading
In December 2014, addressing the United Nations for the first time, India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi made a plea that the ancient form of meditation and exercise called yoga known to India for over 5000 years be celebrated by having an International Yoga Day. He was right in asking for this as yoga is increasingly becoming popular all over the world with people embracing it irrespective of their age, gender or political affinity. Over time, his request was supported by over 175 member nations of the UN. Continue reading
Some of us Old Lawrencians, alumni of The Lawrence School, Lovedale have hit upon an exciting idea. To write an informal history of the School. Of course, there have been books about the School before. “Never Give In: A History of One Hundred and Twenty Five Years of The Lawrence School, Lovedale” by Hugh and Colleen Gantzer, published in 1984 and Max Cocker’s reminiscences in “Lawrence Memorial Royal Military School, Lovedale: A Personal Account” published in 1988, come readily to mind. We plan to do something different.
In the course of a conversation I had recently with people of my age (60 +) the topic turned, as it often will, to the youth of today. Some felt they were extravagant and spent as if there was no tomorrow. Examples were given of how there was a running battle in most households in urban India regarding the amount of money to be given to kids each month and the effect of peer pressure on these kids. Sure, some of them are big spenders. Here’s an article in Trak. in. which speaks of the spending power of kids these days. It claims that they spend about Rs. 6000 per month on cosmetics, mobile phones and apparel. Continue reading
The eight edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is on. Probably the richest cricket tournaments in the world, this T20 tournament has 8 franchisees vying for the prestigious cup. The Chennai Super Kings and the Kolkata Knight Riders have both won this twice in past years. It has been galling for faithful fans of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) the team that I support, as I live in Bengaluru, that we have never won the trophy even once, despite the rich talent we had. We have been losing finalists twice.
There are several sectors in India where the worth and potential of their assets have not really been fully utilised or harnessed. The tourism sector is one of them. Tourism accounts for 6.8 % of India’s GDP and is the third largest earner of foreign exchange with earnings of $18.13 billion in 2013. Continue reading