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Pakistan’s tenuous relationship with violent non-state actors in Afghanistan

Understanding this dynamic is critical to a path to peace in Afghanistan. Following the news confirming Mullah Omar’s death, analysts have evaluated that internal rifts in the Taliban would derail the on-going peace negotiations. However, little has been said about Pakistan’s relationship with the Taliban factions or with militias outside the Taliban fold in Afghanistan. […]

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A theory of censorship

A ban must be understood through a framework that takes into account the reason for the ban, the stakeholders involved and its impact on the stakeholders. Censorship and bans are as old as the civilised world. Although the two terms are different, the meaning they convey is often similar. The instances of censorship or bans […]

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What is the defining legacy of the Indian budget 2015-16?

Examining the budget for its revenue and expenditure projections and other announcements. Analysing and Indian budget is a tricky job. At its core, it is a statement of government revenue and expenditure. At another level, it is a statement of economic policies of the government. Governments, over the years, have used the occasion of the […]

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The evolving dynamics of union–state fiscal relations

Focusing on the altered public financial management dynamics of state governments and analysing the opportunities and challenges. There have been many developments recently that will significantly alter the dynamics of the fiscal relations between the Union Government on the one hand and the States and Urban and Local bodies on the other. These developments will […]

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An epitaph for central banking

The world needs to be prepared for the possibility that from 2015 onwards, global growth disappoints and asset markets become increasingly volatile as a prelude to commencing their long overdue decline.  IMF revises global growth down The International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut the global GDP growth forecast for 2015 by 0.3 percent from 3.8 percent […]

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Financing smart cities: key requirements

The “smart cities” project represents an opportunity to experiment with organisational and governance structures of the cities, with a view to enhancing performance-orientation and accountability. Over the past few weeks, the phrase “smart cities” has been in considerable vogue. The Union Government’s budget 2014-15 allocated INR 70.6 billion for “developing 100 smart cities”. It is […]

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The Jan Dhan Yojna: the key considerations in obtaining desired outcomes.

Accountable and transparent organisational structure for implementing PMJDY should be essential for realising the desired societal outcomes. On the occasion of the 68th Independence Day, prime minister Narendra Modi announced an initiative, to be formally launched on August 28,2014, to enable those currently not having access to banking and other financial services to do so […]

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India’s sanitation story

The success of any government policy lies in its functional purpose, which is implementation. As India steps into the 68th year of independence many challenges lie ahead of the country, of which the poor state of sanitation is one that is most glaring. Presently less than 50 percent of households in the country have access to sanitation facilities, only […]

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India’s budget 2014-15

India’s budget 2014-15: Initial steps towards professionalising tax administration. There has been widespread concern that the current organisations and systems of tax administration and compliance require fundamental reform. The economic cost to the society, including costs of compliance by the taxpayers, and distortions in economic decision making due to inconsistency in tax administration procedures, and poor […]

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Hard-wired to extinction

The Federal Reserve is once again ignoring pervasive signs of financial instability that are widely visible.  Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Laureate and famous author of Thinking Fast and Slow turned 80 this March.  The sale and popularity of his book exceeded his expectations. He puts it to chance, as he does to most things in our […]

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