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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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Taxi marketplaces and competitive regulation

With the coming of players such as Uber and Ola into the local transportation markets, we are effectively seeing “competitive regulation” in the sector. App-based taxi matching companies such as Uber, Lyft and Ola have never had it easy with regulators. Uber, for example, is banned in a few states in the USA and in […]

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Farmer suicides: A global phenomenon

Beyond the poverty and inequality debate, farmer suicides is a sensitive matter and needs to be analysed in much more detail. Farmer suicides were back in the limelight after the recent suicide of Gajendra Singh, who was left penniless, after a rainstorm destroyed all his crops. Even though the main issue sidetracked into becoming a […]

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ISIS: the State of Terror

A review of ISIS: the State of Terror by Jessica Stern and JM Berger. Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold, Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world. The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are filled with passionate intensity.  – WB Yeats, […]

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The losing war against ungoverned spaces

We are now living in an era where ungoverned spaces, long the accomplice in jihadist activity, are playing a starring role. One of the biggest counterterrorism concerns for the United States and its allies since the attacks of September 11, 2001, has been managing the dangers posed by ungoverned spaces. While al-Qaeda stars as the […]

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Tactical or strategic: all nuclear weapons are political by nature

Why Pakistan’s claims to “full spectrum” deterrence are meaningless in the subcontinental context. Two disparate triggers in March 2015 turned the world’s attention to Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme, yet again. The first was a Stimson Center essay Pakistan’s Tactical Nuclear Weapons: Operational Myths and Realities by Jeffrey D McCausland which concluded that the induction of […]

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China currency devaluation – matter of when and not if

India is not ready to step in as China’s economic engine stutters and stops. In October 2014, the Takshashila Institution published a discussion document on the China outlook for 2015. Events have followed that pattern that the document anticipated. China’s economy is slowing and the domestic economy is not rebalanced. Net exports constitute an increasingly larger share […]

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Public procurement legislation: Essential for improving public financial management in India

The new government’s initiative to formally legislate Union government’s procurement process should be welcomed. Among the major continuing challenges in public financial management at all levels of government in India, has been obtaining commensurate outputs and societal outcomes from budgetary outlays. One of the major avenues which could contribute to meeting this challenge is a […]

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Riyalpolitik – Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Pakistan

There are compelling reasons for Pakistan to participate in Saudi Arabia’s campaign in Yemen. Yemen is in the throes of yet another iteration of violence and instability. Since 2004, the group Ansar Allah, popularly referred to as the Houthis, has waged an insurgency against the Yemeni government, demanding more autonomy in the northern governorate of […]

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Lessons from the AIIB saga

The AIIB saga is an evolving story and hence the lessons too will keep evolving. The story of how Britain, overruling objections from the United States, announced its intent to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), being promoted by China, ahead of other European nations is so fascinating that it should be made into […]

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