Research Articles

‘India choosing to benchmark itself on PISA a massive signal … it says India wants to be measured globally’


India recently announced that in 2021 it will be rejoining the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which tests performance of 15-year-old schoolchildren in mathematics, science and reading. India withdrew from this global measurement system administered by Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 2009. Junaid Ahmad, World Bank’s Country Director in India, spoke […..]

Crossing the Rubicon: IAF air strikes in Pakistan mark a paradigm shift in India’s strategic calculus


When Julius Caesar’s 13th Legion crossed the Rubicon river in northern Italy in 49BC, despite explicit orders not to do so from the Roman Senate, he crossed what was previously considered an unshakeable military and political red line. Caesar’s epigraphic words at that risky juncture – ‘alea iacta est’ (the die has been cast) – […..]

Easy to talk war on TV, but knee-jerk is not the answer


Not since Mumbai’s 26/11 has the nation been so united in its horror and anger at a terrorist attack as by the brutality at Pulwama. The sheer scale of the loss and the macabre images of destruction at the Pampore-Letapore section of the Srinagar-Jammu highway have so seared India’s collective consciousness that it simply cannot […..]

Mamata’s power play: SC order on CBI standoff in Bengal gives face saver to both BJP and Mamata

Illustration: Uday Deb

Not since when Delhi LG Najeeb Jung sent hot parathas to a protesting Arvind Kejriwal as the latter signed chief ministerial files on the street and huddled under a quilt outside Delhi’s Rail Bhavan in 2014, has a political dharna by a state chief minister garnered so much national air-time. Irrespective of which side of […..]

If everyone gets reservation, then no one gets reservation


In 1989, when V P Singh changed the course of Indian politics with his sudden decision to implement the Mandal Commission’s recommendations, a leading magazine headlined its coverage by calling it the “war of the crumbs”. The anti-reservation riots that followed were solidly rooted in a job market that was shrinking in relation to the […..]

Alarm bells for BJP: Congress takes big strides, Modi magic waning but still formidable for 2019 polls

Illustration: Ajit Ninan

The thrilling cliffhanger in MP notwithstanding, a few clear trends are emerging. First, like in Gujarat’s Saurashtra a year ago, Congress is on the upswing in rural India. In MP, Congress improved its tally from 56 rural seats in 2013 to 95 in 2018 while BJP went down from 122 to 82. In Rajasthan, Congress […..]

Test for BJP Satraps, not Modi: The PM remains BJP’s galvaniser-in-chief but local issues dominate MP, Chhattisgarh polls

Narendra Modi

If poll posters ever tell a larger story, the most striking thing about BJP’s campaign in Chhattisgarh is the re-emergence of Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the party’s election publicity. BJP billboards across Raipur and the Chhattisgarh central plains are dominated by mega-size cutout images of chief minister Raman Singh in the foreground, emerging from an […..]