Weaponization of disintermediation in India

Context: The worst kept secret in India is its broken delivery system. Some blame it on red tape and others on unbridled rentier incomes (read bribes). Whichever way you look at it, the fact is that the system is broken, with satraps operating as intermediaries. Presumably why almost everything about Read More …

Designing financial products for women

Context: Marketers from a growing range of industries have gone to great lengths to create consumer markets that are segmented along gender lines—from soaps to two-wheel vehicles to vacation packages. However, financial services providers (FSPs) remain largely oblivious to the needs of women. Facts & Figures: Across the globe, a Read More …

The anatomy of banking frauds

Context Fraud is a real operational risk for banks. As the latest Financial Stability Report of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) shows, the Indian banking system reported about 6,500 instances of fraud involving over ₹30,000 crore in the last fiscal. Several other cases of large banking frauds were reported Read More …

Amritsar disaster: avoidable tragedy

Context: The ghastly Dasara disaster at Amritsar that has left 59 people dead is a harsh reminder, if any were needed, that government departments have not yet taken official protocols for safety at mass gatherings seriously. In the aftermath of the entirely preventable carnage, in which spectators crowding a railway Read More …

The power of non-alignment

Context: The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and its precursor, the Bandung Afro-Asian conference in 1955, were examples of soft balancing by weaker states towards great powers engaged in intense rivalry and conflict.  It was adopted a soft balancing strategy aimed at challenging the superpower excesses in a normative manner, hoping for preventing the Read More …

Tackling farm distress through technology

Context: Indian agriculture is currently in a precarious state with extended glut and farmer unrest across the country. Farm income has gone down despite high foodgrain and horticulture production in the last two years. This is worrisome. The government is scrambling for solutions. It has come up with alternative schemes Read More …

The challenge of saving the Paris agreement

Context: The recently released United Nations Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change report presents the harsh reality that today, when the average warming is 1°C, the world is already experiencing adverse climate impacts. It also, however, clearly states that limiting global warming to 1.5°C is not impossible, but requires unprecedented transitions Read More …

When a woman is harassed at work

Context: Over the last several days, a number of women in India have called out influential men — actors, standup comics, senior journalists — for alleged sexual harassment. Some of these allegations relate to actions of then colleagues of the women. How does the law define sexual harassment at the Read More …

Forest fires cost India ₹1,100 crore a year: report

Context: With at least one in four people dependent on forests for their livelihood, India is losing at least ₹1,100 crore due to forest fires every year, says a new World Bank report. Strengthening Forest Fire Management in India Report: The report, Strengthening Forest Fire Management in India, jointly prepared by Read More …