gfiles magazine

January 20, 2014

COVER STORY | Diminishing returns from dynasty

politics congress
Diminishing returns from dynasty
The Congress has nobody but itself to blame for attempting to run a national party with the charisma of a single family. That, too, for the most part of its existence. If old, family-held enterprises can topple because they failed to move with the times, why can’t a family-held party?
By K Subramaniam
DIFFERENT States, different players, different playgrounds, different rules and yet the same result! It is time for the Congress leadership to sit back and dispassionately analyse as to what has brought it to this moribund state. Why is the party losing everywhere? Why has it failed to understand the needs and aspirations of the aam aadmi? Why has Rahul Gandhi failed as a leader? Why have Congress poll managers become so staid, stale, inefficient and incompetent in gauging the mood of the electorate? Where will it go from here and who will lead the party now in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls?... Read More

GOVERNANCE | Give what you get

diplomacy controversy
Give what you get
TIndia must insist on a reciprocal level playing field with the US on the question of diplomatic privileges and immunities, without any exception of any kind
By Niranjan Desai
THE Devyani Khobragade incident has created widespread outrage and revulsion in India primarily because of the inhuman and humiliating treatment accorded to her by the arresting authorities. It would not be wrong to say that in terms of the magnitude of the adverse impact it has created in Indo-US relations, this would rank after the decision of the Nixon-Kissinger duo to send the US Seventh Fleet into the Bay of Bengal during the war for the liberation of Bangladesh..... Read More

GOVERNANCE | Haryana: From Green to Grey State?

agenda mg devasahayam
Haryana: From Green to Grey State?
The Haryana Chief Minister has adopted a zamindari style of functioning! While banishing those who obstruct his real estate agenda, he rewards his loyalists with fortunes and coveted postings
SCHOLARS believe that the name ‘Haryana’ came from the words Hari (Sanskrit Harit, ‘green’) and Aranya (forest). At its formation in 1966, Haryana was meant to be so with early-day governments under Chief Ministers Bansi Lal and Devi Lal laying strong foundations for a Green State with their emphasis on agriculture, forestry and irrigation. Having joined the cadre around that time, I have seen and participated in the process in the arid districts of Hissar and Bhiwani adjoining the deserts of Rajasthan.... Read More

GOVERNANCE | Gorakhpur Nuclear Power Plant

n-regime power
Gorakhpur Nuclear Power Plant Inviting Disaster
In an over-populated country like India with limited land and water resources and weak regulatory governance, setting up a nuclear plant in Haryana seems a strange decision
By MG Devasahayam
PRIME Minister Manmohan Singh is scheduled to soon lay the foundation stone of the 2800-MW Gorakhpur Nuclear Power Plant (GNPP) in Fatehabad district of Haryana. According to the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), 1,503 acres of land have been acquired for the project, which will accelerate the pace of ‘development’.... Read More

GOVERNANCE | Strengthening the AERB

n-regime devender singh
Strengthening the AERB
A review of the radiation regulatory regime is a must and it is hoped that the proposed Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority Bill will ensure this
RADIATION and radioactive substances have many beneficial applications, ranging from power generation to uses in medicine, industries and agriculture but the risks that arise are enormous, often transcending national borders. Radiation risk management, therefore, necessitates international co-operation to promote and enhance global safety and mitigate harmful consequences. In order that the radiation regulator acts independently, countries such as Australia, Canada, France, the United States of America and even Pakistan have conferred legal status on their nuclear regulating bodies as stressed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In India, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) was set up in 1983 to carry out regulatory and safety functions as envisaged in the Atomic Energy Act, 1962. Surprisingly, the AERB remains a subordinate authority under the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) though India has ratified the Convention on Nuclear Safety.... Read More

INSIGHT | Shah of good & bad times

nsel scam
Shah of good & bad times
Some people are born with a silver spoon; others achieve heights by their deeds. Born in a mediocre family, Jignesh Shah rose to the very top as the uncrowned czar of the world of finance. But after a quick and phenomenal rise, the bubble burst and his empire came crashing down—all within a span of 10 years. It is too early to say whether he will be remembered for his magical success or equally astonishing collapse.
By Neeraj Mahajan
IF Rahul Gandhi is to be believed, the role of the government is to maintain the rule of law, book the guilty and ensure equality before law. But when a petty criminal is caught stealing a loaf of bread, he is beaten black and blue and locked up in jail before being given a chance to explain, whereas Jignesh Shah is getting preferential treatment. This is one of those rare cases where the government is trying to recover money and intimidate others on behalf of the kingpin.....
Read More

GOVERNANCE | Soft on tax evaders!

taxation tn pandey
Soft on tax evaders!
The `3,000-crore service tax collection through amnesty at the cost of the government’s credibility is not a good bargain
AN amnesty for service tax evaders was announced by the Finance Minister while presenting the Union Budget for the year 2012-13, saying:

“While there are nearly 17,00,000 registered assessees under service tax, only about 7,00,000 file returns. Many have simply stopped filing returns. We cannot go after each of them. I have to motivate them to file returns and pay the tax dues. Hence, I propose to introduce a one-time scheme called ‘Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme’..... Read More

FIRST STIRRINGS | Leaving the past to predict the future

om narain vaid
Leaving the past to predict the future
By Shailaja Chandra
WHEN it comes to unusual retired civil servants, Om Narain Vaid outdoes most. A topper of the 1968 batch of the IAS and with three years of service left (not to speak of countless post-retirement sinecures), he deliberately chose to leave the IAS in 2001 to become a professional astrologer!
One Sunday afternoon I was having lunch with a bunch of old friends when I mentioned that I was searching for stories on unusual civil service retirees. The name of Om Narain Vaid cropped up. My batchmate, BK Chaturvedi, former Cabinet Secretary, recounted..... Read More

MY CORNER | Kejriwal shows the way

leadership amitabh thakur
ARVIND Kejriwal’s name today is probably hotter than those of many Bollywood stars and cricketers, the two spheres which have been the most popular among the Indian masses for years. Well, there can be no doubt that politicians too are among the most recognised faces of this nation, but in these years, where ideological and political differences have become so marked that the followers of one political leader hate the rival leader, the popularity of the political leadership has become extremely factionalised. Kejriwal has bucked the trend in this regard.... Read More

SILLY POINT | The Burking of Indian Police

humour mk kaw
The Burking of Indian Police
THE Supreme Court recently came down heavily on the Indian police for its deliberate failure to register First Information Reports or FIRs in respect of crimes reported to them by the citizenry. It pointedly referred to the widespread practice of “burking”, a colloquial expression used in police circles for this popular method of fudging crime statistics.... Read More

SILLY POINT | The Burking of Indian Police

humour mk kaw
The Burking of Indian Police
THE Supreme Court recently came down heavily on the Indian police for its deliberate failure to register First Information Reports or FIRs in respect of crimes reported to them by the citizenry. It pointedly referred to the widespread practice of “burking”, a colloquial expression used in police circles for this popular method of fudging crime statistics.... Read More

STOCK DOCTOR | Don’t wait for the election outcome

dr gs sood
Don’t wait for the election outcome
THE rally appears to have stretched a bit too far and this probably is the time for investors to review their portfolios. Two things that are likely to decide the way markets will behave in the coming six months are the general election in the country and the way tapering by the Fed or for that matter by any other major central bank in the world shape up. Those who are yet to enter the markets will do well to wait for a correction that may be round the corner.... Read More

Perspective | Give love without conditions

relationship sadhguru
Give love without conditions
A recurrent question that comes my way is about relationships. Why are they so difficult? Does unconditional love exist? Or, is it a myth? 
Generally, human beings have made relationships within frameworks that are comfortable and profitable for themselves. People have physical, psychological, emotional, financial or social needs. To fulfill these needs, they enter into various kinds of associations with others...Read More

Bric-a-brac | Hooda keeps the flag flying campaigns in chhattisgarh

polls & trolls
Hooda keeps the flag flying
campaigns in chhattisgarh
HARYANA Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda knows exactly how to keep the Congress party bosses happy. No job or distance is too much. Everybody was surprised in Congress circles when Hooda landed at Raipur for campaigning. After all, Hooda is not a national leader and he does not have a mass following in the country, except in Haryana. However, some rich farmers who received handsome compensation for their land in Haryana, bought land in Chhattisgarh.... Read More

Bric-a-brac | Making the gods happy modi visits kashi

polls & trolls
Making the gods happy
modi visits kashi
NARENDRA Modi has managed to get the BJP’s godfathers to declare him the Prime Minister of India. But he is still not sure that the Almighty will bestow his blessings on him. It was naturally a complicated issue—how to make the gods happy. The task was duly assigned to his brother, Soma Bhai. Kashi Vishwanath is considered the most powerful god in Indian mythology. So Soma Bhai contacted the most prominent astrologers in Varanasi.... Read More

bric-a-brac | Rahul’s elitist adviser mistry angers party workers

polls & trolls
Rahul’s elitist adviser
mistry angers party workers
DIGVIJAY Singh, Mohan Prakash, Madhusudan Mistry and CP Joshi are the top four advisers of Rahul Gandhi. They are now being blamed by party leaders and workers for the recent debacle in the assembly elections. Mistry, in particular, has been accused by Indore-based leader Raghu Parmar of taking money before finalising his ticket for the Indore-5 constituency. Parmar alleged at a press conference that money had exchanged hands in a Gujarat hotel..... Read More

Bric-a-brac | A party for all new entrants line up for aap

polls & trolls
A party for all
new entrants line up for aap
AS politicians of all hues and inclinations queue up to join the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the latter would do well to recall a chapter from history. Today, there are rich and influential politicians of every political colour who are not averse to their supporters (read pawns) joining the AAP. This way, they can keep track of the goings-on inside the rookie party. Sources tell us that even some industrialists are deputing their top corporates to become AAP members.... Read More the way | Petroleum to polls the way
Petroleum to polls
Two former Petroleum Secretaries are set to jump into the electoral fray. RS Pandey, a 1972-batch IAS officer of the Nagaland cadre, and HK Khan, a 1956-batch IAS officer of the Gujarat cadre, are both helping the BJP. Pandey quit as the Centre’s interlocutor for the talks with the NSCN (IM) and joined the BJP as he is likely to contest the Lok Sabha election from Bihar.... Read More the way | Hi-tech makeover the way
Hi-tech makeover
An impressive transformation has been wrought in the headquarters of Narendra Modi's government in Gandhinagar. Modi believes in speed and for that quality tools are essential. So, in one fell swoop, he did away with the single biggest hurdle in the Secretariat. Earlier, all equipment requisition had to be presented to a specific department, following which tenders would be issued and the process would take its due course....Read More the way | Takru’s call the way
Takru’s call
The open economy seems to have opened a Pandora’s box. The nationalised banks have become a breeding den of non-performing assets (NPAs) with Mumbai as the epicentre. However, there is a veil of corporate secrecy which nobody can lift. The NPA route has placed a tool in the hands of bank regional managers, general managers and chairmen.... Read More

... by the way | Hooda’s dilemma the way
Hooda's dilemma
The Haryana bureaucracy has been thrown into a tizzy since the day AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal, now Delhi Chief Minister, offered Ashok Khemka the opportunity to lead the Aam Aadmi Party in Haryana. The IAS officer-turned-whistleblower is facing the wrath of the State government....Read More