ibtl columns

  • Devinder Sharma
  • Poor get 'Free Lunches', Rich get 'Free Monthly Ration'

    Saturday, Feb 16,2013, 10:49 IST .

    In the run up to Budget 2013, I hear it every day. Subsidies are doles to the poor, must be curbed. There are no 'free lunches'. While social security for a majority of India's population is being considered as 'free lunches', none of the TV panelists (and newspaper writers) ever talk of 'free monthly ration' that the industry is being given year after year. The on..

  • Dalai Lama: If only Tibet had Oil...

    Monday, Nov 19,2012, 12:53 IST .

    Several years ago, must be sometimes between 1988-89, I was interviewing Dalai Lama at McLeod Ganj, a suburb of Dharamsala, where he lives in exile. I was then the State Correspondent for the Indian Express, posted in Shimla. It was during the course of the pretty-long interview wherein we had discussed about what Dalai Lama called as 'cultural genocide' in Tibet, I..

  • Trillion Dollar Plan, Enough to wipe out hunger, poverty and disease from India

    Thursday, Nov 08,2012, 11:01 IST .

    Every now and then I read about the desperate need to invest $ 1 trillion in infrastructure projects in India. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has reiterated this time and again. Addressing the Asian Development Bank at Manila in May, former Finance Minister (and now the President of India) Pranab Mukherjee said: "India needs about USD 1 trillion in the next five years for infrastructure d..

  • Retail FDI Reloaded!

    Sunday, Oct 28,2012, 13:19 IST .

    Employment generation is always on the top of agenda for any visiting Head of State. No, I didn't mean the visiting Presidents/Prime Ministers want to look into the possibility of creating employment in India . What I meant was that they come to India with the hope of creating thousands of jobs back home. I have always heard successive US Presidents spell out how many jobs they are going ..

  • Food wastage in India is not 40 per cent...

    Monday, Oct 15,2012, 18:54 IST .

    Sometimes, when I am finished with my meal at a marriage ceremony and go out to throw my patal (made from leaves) in the dustbin, I watch with great regret and concern when a team of urchins would descend to look for leftovers. After these children are done away with, I find the dogs moving in. At the same time I can spot a number of crows waiting for their turn.

  • Brazil is the biggest exporter of Indian breeds of cows... Records over 62 litres/day

    Tuesday, Aug 21,2012, 00:19 IST .

    Brazil is the biggest exporter of Indian breeds of cows. Gir cow now records over 62 litres/day in Brazil...

    This majestic cow is from Brazil. Belonging to the Gir breed of Gujarat, this cow -- named She-ra -- clocked 62.033 litres of milk in a 3-day milk competition at the 40th Expaja in Brazil, beating her own record of 59.947 litres. While Indian cattl..

  • Kaushik Basu's useless suggestions to prop up the Indian economy

    Wednesday, Jul 11,2012, 19:27 IST .

    I was dismayed to read the lead article in The Times of India today (TOI, June 16, 2012). The article: Let's not overreact by India's chief economic advisor Kaushik Basu (available here: http://bit.ly/KzAhKA) in reality makes a fervent appeal to allow FDI in retail. To bolster the sagging economy, he has only two suggestions: 1) to open up..

  • The Great Indian Gene Bazaar

    Monday, Jul 02,2012, 17:15 IST .

    It has taken the civil society years of struggle to ensure that the plant genetic resources (PGR), which is essentially the preserve of farmers, are not passed on freely into the hands of multinational corporations/seed companies. After the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was signed in 1992, and plant varieties were for the first time accepted to be a national sovereign resource, the..

  • When bankers become thieves, the economy crumbles

    Friday, Jun 29,2012, 19:41 IST .

    Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt terms the Eurozone economic crisis 'serious' and has been quoted as saying: "In reality, we're talking about one of the greatest financial rescue operations the world has seen." He was responding to a question by Swedish Radio after it was known that Spain may be the 4th member of the 17-nation Eurozone to seek outside help. It is..

  • A hungry nation exports food. It can happen only in a democracy

    Saturday, Jun 16,2012, 23:08 IST .

    At a time when the total food stocks are likely to swell to a record 75 million tonnes by June 1, out of which nearly 25 million tonnes of the stocks will be piled up in the open for lack of storage space, the demand for allowing exports is already growing. Ministry of Commerce has already started an exercise to know how much quantity of wheat can be allowed for exports.
     
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  • Film Stars endorsing social causes: Is it a dangerous trend?

    Monday, May 14,2012, 08:47 IST .

    Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen is angry. This time her anger is about film stars who put their 'pretty faces' to social causes. Even before Aamir Khan launched his weekly show SatyamevJayate (on Star Plus and DD National channels simultaneously), film stars had ventured into areas about which they knew little or cared little. But since it became fashionable, and TV channels wanted..

  • Policy paralysis: Is it an economic term for exploitation?

    Saturday, May 05,2012, 00:26 IST .

    "India no longer Mittal's priority" screamed a headline in The Economic Times (April 30, 2012). Having seen the Steel tycoon occupy the dias with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the inauguration of the Bathinda refinery in Punjab a few days back, I was obviously curious to know the reason. I read the news report more carefully. The sub-head itself made it quite clear: Policy pa..