Sreeram Chaulia

Sreeram Chaulia.JPG

The Budget scissors

By coincidence, both India and the United States are simultaneously witnessing intense political jockeying over fiscal deficits and the size of the government budget. The bone of contention on budgets goes deeper than how much disposable income you or I will have in the next year.

CET in 3rd week of March: DTE

The Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) has issued a notification about the Common Entrance Test (CET) for engineering and pharmacy courses that has been scheduled for May 16.

Jamboree of the elite

The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in the Swiss alpine resort of Davos is supposedly a barometer of the condition of the planet and the big issues of our time. It is a prestige symbol and a weathervane with a legend for bold prognoses and innovative proposals.

Barack Obama 2.0

American Presidents in their second terms do not have to worry about a third shot at office and can make hard choices. As Barack Obama’s second swearing-in ceremony approaches on January 20th, many would be measuring him with the yardstick of whether or not he puts the greater good above partisan interests in the next four years.

Rising softly, with intent

In a New Year coming on the heels of waning economic growth and all-round policy paralysis, India will be hard-pressed to meet the expectations of its own people and those of the comity of nations. The facts that we have a democratic polity, a relatively peaceful multi-ethnic and multi-religious society, and a promising emerging economy are all subject to constant testing rather than being set in stone.

Deadly derangements

Two ghastly attacks on schoolchildren in China and the United States last week are bound by a common thread of deranged social relations and political systems. Far from being one-off tragedies attributable to individual crackpots, the knifing of tiny tots at a primary school in China’s Henan province and the shooting of six-year-olds in an elementary school in the state of Connecticut are manifestations of illnesses inherent in the socio-political structures of the world’s two most powerful nations.

Predator or angel?

Is China a comradely benefactor or a predatory exploiter of developing countries? This question has carried crucial import in world affairs ever since China’s relative heft and weight began expanding. It has divided peoples and governments across the Global South, with some viewing China as a welcome alternative to neo-colonial Western interventions, and others portraying it as a rapacious, resource-hungry beast that is denuding the natural wealth of poorer countries.

Supping with the devil

West-ern powers rar-ely live up to their slogans of promoting human rights in their foreign policies. In the developing world, Western homilies about the need for greater political freedoms and rule of law are met with cynicism and ridicule because we know the past and present of this doublespeak.

Of election & selection

Rarely in history do two political leadership contests occur simultaneously in the world’s two pre-eminent nations. The coincidence between the 57th presidential election in the United States and the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China has the capacity to impact the entire planet due to the collective weight of these two states and their forms of governance.

Revolt of the regions

Even as the economic crisis-plagued European Union (EU) crawls towards creating more supranational structures for a single banking and fiscal union, a reverse trend of sub-nationalistic separatism is complicating the quest for a “United States of Europe”.

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I want to begin with a little story that was told to me by a leading executive at Aptech. He was exercising in a gym with a lot of younger people.

Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen didn’t make the cut. Neither did Shaji Karun’s Piravi, which bagged 31 international awards.