Public Policy

Has UGC run its course?

Writing at the turn of the last century on India’s education system, Swami Vivekanand forcefully argued that the “present system of education is all wrong.” The comment rings true even today. This is why HRD minister Smriti Irani announced in November last year that her ministry is reviewing most education-related regulatory bodies, including the gargantuan […..]

Bengaluru shows the way to better roads

For the past year, seven major roads in India’s IT capital have been dug-up for a makeover which, if successful, may hold the key not just to managing Bangalore’s urban sprawl but of other cities too.

When Baron Haussmann reshaped much of old Paris in the 1850s to turn its narrow by-lanes into broad boulevards or General Charles Napier obliterated much of nawabi Lucknow in 1858 to build wider roads for military policing they established a key principle of urban planning: cities and their roads are often a reflection of what […..]

Pension promise in peril?

Put simply, OROP means that every pension-eligible soldier who retires in a particular rank deserves the same pension, irrespective of date of retirement.

Military veterans claim babus are thwarting PM Modi’s poll pledge of one-rank-one-pension by inflating its cost estimates Roman emperor Augustus started the tradition of military pensions in 13 BC, when every legionary who had fought 20 years for Rome was guaranteed a pension for-life. It set the bar for modern armies, and independent India continued […..]

Modi knows it all: NaMo wows Madison Square, NRIs and corporate India but sports ministry shows challenge ahead

Modiji is a master of many things. A manly chappan-chati-ed deliverer of soaring words, a conductor of non-stop action, a magic weaver of consummate dreams and now also an international rock star whose name, like Mohammad Ali’s, will forever be conjoined with Madison Square Garden. Achhe din may not be here yet but they are […..]

Why Ban wants Modi

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s first overseas posting as a South Korean diplomat was to Delhi, his son-law is a former Indian Army officer but as Secretary General he has rarely put out a personal appeal to an Indian prime minister as he has done now. His latest appeal to Modi to attend next week’s […..]

Oh Nalanda! We need a thousand Nalandas, but if Rajgir’s current experiment is a trailer then God save us

Aspiring students at the ancient Nalanda Mahavihar could only enter by answering tough questions from the ‘dwara pandit’, guardian of the entrance gate. Only one in 10 passed satisfactorily to join this Oxford of India which was already a few centuries old before even the idea of Oxford became a glimmer in the eyes of […..]

Once there was a cartoon

Speaking in the Rajya Sabha during the debate on the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill in 2009, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal forcefully argued that education was the key to India’s future, that “it is intellectual assets that form the wealth of the country”, and that “any impediment” in the […..]