India is free, its schools are not – Reform must have two legs: Autonomy for private schools and quality for government schools

Another Republic Day has come and gone, with an unhappy reminder of the tragic gap between our aspirations and the harsh reality. For 70 years we have wanted our children to grow up into free thinking, confident and innovative Indians. But our education system has done everything possible to disempower them. It is a heart breaking sight to see long lines of parents waiting year after year to get their child into a decent school. Most of them are doomed to failure as there aren’t enough places in good schools.

Finally, some good news!

Take the long view and you will find the world is getting better

Ten steps to $5 trillion: Lesson from RCEP fiasco is that India must execute bold reforms to become competitive

November 4, 2019 was a sad day. Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided to walk out of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations at the eleventh-hour, admitting that India couldn’t compete with Asia, especially China. It was a big and painful decision as this is no ordinary trade agreement. Had India joined, RCEP would have become the world’s largest free trade area comprising 16 countries, half the world’s population, 40% of global trade and 35% of world’s wealth in the fastest growing area of the world.

In search of a conservative Indian: We are drowned today by the shrill noises from Hindu nationalists and left secularists

The precipitous decline of Congress worries many Indians who believe that choice and a responsible opposition are important. Democracies elsewhere offer a choice between liberals and conservatives through a two-party system. Liberals prefer modernity while conservatives favour tradition and continuity; liberals want rapid change, conservatives prefer it to be gradual. Conservatives tend to be more nationalistic, religious and market oriented; liberals are more secular and oriented to social welfare.

Can India grow during the day when the govt is looking?

Gurgaon was a sleepy backwater with no local government, no industry, no railway line, and impoverished farmers, but in 2012, it has become the epitome of India's rise. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

सुशासन से भारत में घुलेंगे-मिलेंगे कश्मीरी

हमारा सामना इस असुविधाजनक सत्य से है कि हिंदुत्व व कश्मीरियत सहित हर राष्ट्रवाद काल्पनिक ह

कश्मीर के राजनीतिक दर्जेमें किए बदलाव से कश्मीरियों में गुस्सा, भय, अलगाव और आत्म-सम्मान खोने की भावना है। कई लोगों ने कश्मीरियत को पहुंची चोट को कानूनी और ऐतिहासिक दृष्टिकोण से देखने की कोशिश की है लेकिन, जरूरत राष्ट्रीय पहचान की दार्शनिक समझ की है। खासतौर पर कश्मीरियों और भारतीयों को इस तथ्य को समझना होगा कि राष्ट्रीय और क्षेत्रीय पहचानें काल्पनिक हैं। हिंदुत्व और कश्मीरियत दोनों आविष्कृत अवधारणाएं हैं। इससे कुछ रोष शांत करने में मदद मिलेगी।

Is Milton Friedman dead? Not quite. Individual social responsibility, not corporate social responsibility, must be the mantra

Capitalism has been on the defensive ever since the global financial crisis of 2007-08. Young people in the West have been turning away from the market system because of widening inequality, revulsion against high CEO salaries, and deepening distrust of business. By 2016, half of America between 18 and 29 years of age rejected capitalism in a Harvard study (with one-third supporting socialism.) Two years later, a Gallup poll in 2018 confirmed these findings when only 45% in the same age group expressed a positive opinion of capitalism.

Contra Hindutva, Kashmiriyat: How consent works in a world of invented nations and fictional nationalisms

The recent change in the political status of Kashmir has deeply wounded the Kashmiris. There is anger, fear, alienation and loss of self-respect. Many have addressed the hurt to Kashmiriyat from a legal or historical perspective. But what is needed is a deeper appreciation of the fact that national and regional identities are imagined creations. Both Hindutva and Kashmiriyat are invented. The only real 'consent of the people' is the desire of a person to live in a country.