From the Editor : Anil Tyagi

FREEBIES can enable politicians to win elections. But they will make them lose a nation.If the politics of loan waivers, higher minimum support prices for foodgrains, and unemployment dole (read MGNREGA) for rural folks continue, there will non-engineered strife in the country. Freebies may work for a time – they have worked for seven decades now – but in the end they will invariably lead to socio-economic disasters.

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Eyes Wide Shut : A Kafkaesque trial in our times

IN March 2013, a concerned group of ex-bureaucrats, including some former cabinet secretaries, met then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to advocate for urgent amendment to the incongruous provision (Section 13 1 d iii) in the Prevention of Corruption Act. The amendments providing some clarity to the corruption law were ultimately carried out five years later in August 2018.

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Corruption : From Raj to Rafale 5 – The Mundhra case

IT started with a follow-up question that politicians ask after a newspaper or news channel report. On September 4, 1957, a Lok Sabha member of the ruling Congress regime, Ram Subhag Singh, referred to an article that appeared in The Statesman a month ago, and asked Finance Minister Tiruvellore Thattai Krishnamachari (TTK) for details.

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Cover Story : Farmer Crisis Waiting to explode

There is a huge crisis in agriculture. It has remained so for seven decades. The ticking bomb is about to explode. It’s time to stop the suicides, prevent farmers from throwing their produce on the streets, and prevent migration to the cities. In fact, it is time to reverse all that we have done in the agriculture sector since 1947.

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Cover Story : Crisis in Indian Agriculture: Can it be Overcome?

AGRICULTURE anywhere has two aspects—land and man, or farm and farmer. Both are equally important, though policy makers and agricultural experts often take the former—land or the farm as more important. Increasing the productivity of land and water is important, but it is only instrumental in improving the welfare of the farmer and his family, and of course the welfare of the whole population. The welfare of people at large cannot be brought about by neglecting the farmer.

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Cover Story : Promoting Cooperative Farm Start-Ups

THE Niti Aayog’s Strategy Document for “New India @75” highlights that India is the third largest country in terms of the number of start-ups. In context of the recently launched Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) that aims at radically transforming the innovation entrepreneurship and start-up ecosystem of the country, the document further elaborates that over 1,000 Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs) have been set up covering over 625 districts. It is further aimed, as per the document, to take this number to at least 5,000 by 2019 and 10,000 by 2020. Without doubt, nurturing such an ecosystem in the country has enabled emergence of non-conventional business opportunities that leverage the ‘demographic dividend’.

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Governance : ‘Development’ sans equity is a scam

Preamble of India’s Constitution has promised ‘Equality of status and of opportunity’ to all citizens. As we have seen predatory ‘development’ achieves just the opposite and is a scam. This needs to be countered and reversed.

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State Scan : Dawn of Chhindwara model

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister seems to have started on the right note. Unlike former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s penchant for publicity, Kamal Nath has conspicuously stayed away from the practice. But, his real test will be how he manages to fulfil promises made in the Congress manifesto and also how he handles the bureaucracy. So far, he has indicated that he would not allow himself to be surrounded by a coterie of favoured bureaucrats.

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Governance : Keeping NGOs in check

NON-GOVERNMENTAL Organisations (NGOs) have existed in India in varied forms for many decades. Even though the term NGO found its place in common usage through a United Nations Charter at the end of World War II, the idea of voluntarism is centuries old. In fact, historians have noted the existence of humanitarian associations situated along the Chinese rivers since the 13th century.

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Governance : Responding to taxpayer’s woes

THE indian legal system is a live organism responding to the changing needs of time and the people and making amendments in the law when required to address the same in a timely fashion, taking into account the problems faced in implementation and the aspirations of the people. The GST Council, a constitutionally appointed body comprising of Finance Ministers of various States headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, has been doing so since the enactment of the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) on July 1, 2017 which is based basically on its recommendations.

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