Portal

  • Two MPs Received Stipends from Reliance Before They Became Ministers

    Friday, December 19, 2014
    It’s tough being India’s richest man. Mukesh Ambani, worth an estimated $20 billion, must have several hundred thousand people on his payroll, but the names of only two raised eyebrows this week. The news that two senior politicians Ravi Shankar Prasad and Manish Tewari were earlier paid around $100,000 each per year for ‘legal consultancy’ has shocked many even in India, a country inured to the cosy relationship between business and politics.   read more
  • SpiceJet Heads Down Kingfisher’s Flightpath

    Wednesday, December 17, 2014
    The aviation industry is witnessing the slow collapse of SpiceJet as it runs out of money to pay its operating costs. On Wednesday, the airline was refused fuel by oil companies, and all its flights were grounded till 4pm, leading to thousands of passengers being stranding at airports across the country. The government, by trying to force state-owned companies to throw good money after bad at SpiceJet, can only delay the inevitable. The rot goes much deeper.   read more
  • Govt Finally Bans Islamic State, Cracks Down on Sympathizers

    Tuesday, December 16, 2014
    @ShamiWitness, a pro-IS Twitter account, served as a wake up call for the Indian government. Run by a 24-year-old food company executive, Mehdi Masoor Biswas, he had 17,800 followers, including hundreds of foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq. A Channel 4 News investigation revealed recently that this Twitter handle extolling the group's military campaign was run, not from somewhere in the Middle East, but from Bengaluru, 4,000 kilometres away.   read more
  • Supreme Court Rules in Favour of Generic Drugs, Rejects Bayer’s Appeal

    Monday, December 15, 2014
    In a ruling that is being cheered by both activists and Indian pharma companies, the Supreme Court rejected German drugmaker Bayer’s last-ditch attempt to block the sale of a cheap generic version of its cancer drug Nexavar in the country. This decision is likely to encourage more Indian companies to come forward with generic medicines.   read more
  • Illegal Cash Inside India is 3 Times that Stashed in Swiss Accounts

    Sunday, December 14, 2014
    The recent hullabaloo about ‘black’ money stashed by Indians in Swiss bank accounts has certainly helped to focus the government’s efforts on recovering these overseas funds, but the country’s interests may be better served by looking at the cash economy inside India. According to the Special Investigation Team (SIT), Rs. 4,479 crore ($715 million) is held by Indians in secret Swiss bank accounts, but illegal cash inside the country is more than 3 times larger: Rs. 14,958 crore ($2.3 billion).   read more

Top Stories

  • Uber Grounded in Delhi After Rape Allegation

    Monday, December 08, 2014
    Uber has been banned from operating in Delhi after one of its drivers allegedly raped a female passenger on Friday night. Shockingly, the company had employed the driver even though he was arrested in 2011 on allegations of sexual assault. With the company failing to conduct a background check on the driver and the driver seemingly easily circumventing its vaunted GPS tracking system, many in India were left wondering where the layers of security that Uber promised actually were.   read more
  • India has 13 of the 20 Most Polluted Cities in the World

    Friday, December 05, 2014
    Delhi is the world’s most polluted city, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) report. But what should make the government sit up and take notice is that 13 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world are also Indian.   read more
  • Vehicles Over 15 Years Old Banned from Delhi Roads

    Sunday, November 30, 2014
    More than 2.9 million vehicles are expected to go off the capital’s roads following a landmark NGT order banning vehicles older than 15 years. With Delhi being ranked the world’s worst polluted city by the World Health Organization, the NGT had on November 26 barred all such vehicles – private cars, bikes, commercial vehicles, buses and trucks – from plying in the capital.   read more

Controversies

  • Opposition Uses Sadhvi’s Comments to Attack Govt

    Thursday, December 04, 2014
    Derogatory comments by first-time minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti have provided opposition parties with a convenient handle to attack the government in the Rajya Sabha – where the opposition commands a majority – as important legislation hangs in the balance during the current session of parliament.   read more
  • 14 Deaths Later, Blame Game in Chhattisgarh, But Sterilization Camps Continue

    Friday, November 14, 2014
    Sub-standard drugs are being blamed for the deaths of 13 women after sterilisation surgery at a family-planning ‘camp’ in Chhattisgarh last weekend, with owners of the factories that produced them being summoned for questioning. But that has not stopped the state government from holding another such ‘camp’ this week, where another woman died after her operation on Monday – the 14th death so far.   read more
  • Gujarat Govt Gets Cold Feet Over Compulsory Voting Law

    Wednesday, November 12, 2014
    The Gujarat Local Authorities Laws (Amendment) Act has been passed by the state assembly and signed by the governor. But a growing controversy over the act’s provision that make non-voting in local body elections a penal offence has forced the Gujarat administration to rethink the bill.   read more

Where is the Money Going?

  • Saradha Scandal Tightens Around Defiant Mamata

    Saturday, November 22, 2014
    The Trinamool Congress (TMC) is facing mounting pressure over the Saradha chit fund scam, with one more party MP arrested on Friday, bring to three the number of its leaders behind bars. With growing calls for Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to resign, her party claimed that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was being used by the central government to “settle political scores”.   read more
  • Indian Cricket Is Shamed by Corruption and Conflict of Interest

    Monday, November 17, 2014
    Narayanaswami Srinivasan may have got a clean chit from the Supreme Court over match-fixing, but the court pointed out that he did not take action against a player who had violated the code of conduct. With Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, IPL COO Sundar Raman and Raj Kundra (co-owner of Rajasthan Royals) indicted for allegedly cronying up to punters, the court needs to restore the public’s faith in cricket by cleaning the Augean stables that is the BCCI.   read more
  • Reporters Find Cash in Media Kits

    Saturday, November 15, 2014
    In Puri, Odisha, reporters were enraged to allegedly find Rs. 200 ($3.30) each in the media kit envelopes provided to them at a press conference addressed by Pinaki Mishra, the ruling Biju Janata Dal MP. Several journalists lodged a police complaint against Mishra and BJD MLA Maheswar Mohanty, accusing them of attempting to bribe the media.   read more

India and the World

  • Back to the Future: Defence and Energy Warm Indo-Russian Ties

    Thursday, December 11, 2014
    Russian President Vladimir Putin visited India for one day, and was rewarded with a helicopter deal worth $3 billion and large energy deals. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also reassured Putin that Russia would remain India's top defence supplier, even though Delhi's options have widened since the end of the Cold War.   read more
  • Modi to Settle Boundary Issue With Bangladesh

    Monday, December 01, 2014
    During his first visit to Assam as prime minister, Narendra Modi has announced that India will go ahead with the ratification of the previous administration’s land boundary agreement with Bangladesh. In doing so, he has placed national interest above the regional populism favoured by the state unit of his own party.   read more
  • India and Nepal Cooperate in Energy Ahead of SAARC Summit

    Tuesday, November 25, 2014
    India and Nepal have made a significant breakthrough in energy cooperation. Our neighbour has given an Indian company permission to build a 900 megawatt hydropower plant, government officials said on Monday, in a win-win for both sides. The Himalayan state is set to ease its chronic energy shortages by opening up its rivers to Indian companies – this will provide Nepal with free electricity and India with energy for our power-hungry economy,   read more

Appointments and Resignations

  • Does India Need a Yoga Minister?

    Wednesday, December 03, 2014
    When Prime Minister Narendra Modi was sworn in last May, he promised “minimum government, maximum governance”. But his first cabinet reshuffle last month belied this expectation, with his council of ministers expanded by 21 new members to a mammoth 66 ministers. These include one for the newly created ministry of AAYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy). While yoga and traditional medicine could do with government support, does this justify a separate ministry?   read more
  • More UPA Governors Head for the Exits

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014
    Kerala Governor Sheila Dikshit resigned on Tuesday, two days after another UPA-appointee K Shankaranarayanan quit as governor of Maharashtra. This has cleared most of the key governors appointed by the previous UPA administration, allowing the NDA a free hand to appoint its aging leaders to the plum posts. 82-year old Kalyan Singh was appointed as governor of Rajasthan on Monday, along with three others for Maharashtra, Karnataka and Goa.   read more
  • Changes Proposed in Judges’ Appointment System

    Monday, August 11, 2014
    India is currently the only country in the world where judges appoint judges. This opaque collegium system is set to be modified after recent allegations of corruption by retired Justice Markandey Katju. The Judicial Appointments Commission Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday, with the proposed JAC to include the executive in the appointment of judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts. Yet it's not clear if this will provide a balance between transparency and judicial independence.   read more

Unusual News

  • Attempted Suicide No Longer a Crime

    Wednesday, December 10, 2014
    India has finally dropped attempted suicide from the list of crimes punishable by prison. Section 309 was a law enacted under British colonial rule, under which anyone attempting to kill himself could be jailed for one year. The World Health Organization lists India as one of the countries with the highest suicide rates: 21.1 per 100,000 people in 2012.   read more
  • Questions Raised Over Rohtak ‘Fightback’

    Sunday, December 07, 2014
    The confrontation on a bus in Rohtak on November 28, between two sisters, three men and a belt, continues to reverberate, with doubts being raised whether the women were victims of ‘eve teasing’ or are actually bullies with a penchant for confronting men. Haryana is a largely patriarchal society, and the controversy comes amid growing concern in India about sexual violence against women.   read more
  • Reform 04: Obsolete Laws to be Junked

    Tuesday, October 07, 2014
    ‘Her Majesty’ and ‘East India Company’ are still mentioned in some obsolete laws in India’s statute books, 67 years after independence from British colonial rule. The NDA government has come up with a simple solution: a clean-up of obscure laws that no longer serve any purpose. The Law Ministry is leading the drive, by digging out 287 outdated laws that will be repealed in the next session of parliament in November.   read more

Domestic Policy/Agency of the Day

  • Rashtriya Rifles

    Rashtriya Rifles (RR), the largest counterinsurgency force in the world, stands on the vanguard of anti-guerilla operations in India’s northernmost state, Jammu and Kashmir. With the motto, death or victory, the force comprises 65 battalions di...   more

Domestic Policy Divisions

Go to Department

Meet Your Government

Blog

  • Two MPs Received Stipends from Reliance Before They Became Ministers

    Friday, December 19, 2014
    It’s tough being India’s richest man. Mukesh Ambani, worth an estimated $20 billion, must have several hundred thousand people on his payroll, but the names of only two raised eyebrows this week. The news that two senior politicians Ravi Shankar Prasad and Manish Tewari were earlier paid around $100,000 each per year for ‘legal consultancy’ has shocked many even in India, a country inured to the cosy relationship between business and politics.   read more
  • SpiceJet Heads Down Kingfisher’s Flightpath

    Wednesday, December 17, 2014
    The aviation industry is witnessing the slow collapse of SpiceJet as it runs out of money to pay its operating costs. On Wednesday, the airline was refused fuel by oil companies, and all its flights were grounded till 4pm, leading to thousands of passengers being stranding at airports across the country. The government, by trying to force state-owned companies to throw good money after bad at SpiceJet, can only delay the inevitable. The rot goes much deeper.   read more
  • Govt Finally Bans Islamic State, Cracks Down on Sympathizers

    Tuesday, December 16, 2014
    @ShamiWitness, a pro-IS Twitter account, served as a wake up call for the Indian government. Run by a 24-year-old food company executive, Mehdi Masoor Biswas, he had 17,800 followers, including hundreds of foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq. A Channel 4 News investigation revealed recently that this Twitter handle extolling the group's military campaign was run, not from somewhere in the Middle East, but from Bengaluru, 4,000 kilometres away.   read more
  • Supreme Court Rules in Favour of Generic Drugs, Rejects Bayer’s Appeal

    Monday, December 15, 2014
    In a ruling that is being cheered by both activists and Indian pharma companies, the Supreme Court rejected German drugmaker Bayer’s last-ditch attempt to block the sale of a cheap generic version of its cancer drug Nexavar in the country. This decision is likely to encourage more Indian companies to come forward with generic medicines.   read more
  • Illegal Cash Inside India is 3 Times that Stashed in Swiss Accounts

    Sunday, December 14, 2014
    The recent hullabaloo about ‘black’ money stashed by Indians in Swiss bank accounts has certainly helped to focus the government’s efforts on recovering these overseas funds, but the country’s interests may be better served by looking at the cash economy inside India. According to the Special Investigation Team (SIT), Rs. 4,479 crore ($715 million) is held by Indians in secret Swiss bank accounts, but illegal cash inside the country is more than 3 times larger: Rs. 14,958 crore ($2.3 billion).   read more

Top Stories

  • Uber Grounded in Delhi After Rape Allegation

    Monday, December 08, 2014
    Uber has been banned from operating in Delhi after one of its drivers allegedly raped a female passenger on Friday night. Shockingly, the company had employed the driver even though he was arrested in 2011 on allegations of sexual assault. With the company failing to conduct a background check on the driver and the driver seemingly easily circumventing its vaunted GPS tracking system, many in India were left wondering where the layers of security that Uber promised actually were.   read more
  • India has 13 of the 20 Most Polluted Cities in the World

    Friday, December 05, 2014
    Delhi is the world’s most polluted city, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) report. But what should make the government sit up and take notice is that 13 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world are also Indian.   read more
  • Vehicles Over 15 Years Old Banned from Delhi Roads

    Sunday, November 30, 2014
    More than 2.9 million vehicles are expected to go off the capital’s roads following a landmark NGT order banning vehicles older than 15 years. With Delhi being ranked the world’s worst polluted city by the World Health Organization, the NGT had on November 26 barred all such vehicles – private cars, bikes, commercial vehicles, buses and trucks – from plying in the capital.   read more

Controversies

  • Opposition Uses Sadhvi’s Comments to Attack Govt

    Thursday, December 04, 2014
    Derogatory comments by first-time minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti have provided opposition parties with a convenient handle to attack the government in the Rajya Sabha – where the opposition commands a majority – as important legislation hangs in the balance during the current session of parliament.   read more
  • 14 Deaths Later, Blame Game in Chhattisgarh, But Sterilization Camps Continue

    Friday, November 14, 2014
    Sub-standard drugs are being blamed for the deaths of 13 women after sterilisation surgery at a family-planning ‘camp’ in Chhattisgarh last weekend, with owners of the factories that produced them being summoned for questioning. But that has not stopped the state government from holding another such ‘camp’ this week, where another woman died after her operation on Monday – the 14th death so far.   read more
  • Gujarat Govt Gets Cold Feet Over Compulsory Voting Law

    Wednesday, November 12, 2014
    The Gujarat Local Authorities Laws (Amendment) Act has been passed by the state assembly and signed by the governor. But a growing controversy over the act’s provision that make non-voting in local body elections a penal offence has forced the Gujarat administration to rethink the bill.   read more

Where is the Money Going?

  • Saradha Scandal Tightens Around Defiant Mamata

    Saturday, November 22, 2014
    The Trinamool Congress (TMC) is facing mounting pressure over the Saradha chit fund scam, with one more party MP arrested on Friday, bring to three the number of its leaders behind bars. With growing calls for Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to resign, her party claimed that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was being used by the central government to “settle political scores”.   read more
  • Indian Cricket Is Shamed by Corruption and Conflict of Interest

    Monday, November 17, 2014
    Narayanaswami Srinivasan may have got a clean chit from the Supreme Court over match-fixing, but the court pointed out that he did not take action against a player who had violated the code of conduct. With Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, IPL COO Sundar Raman and Raj Kundra (co-owner of Rajasthan Royals) indicted for allegedly cronying up to punters, the court needs to restore the public’s faith in cricket by cleaning the Augean stables that is the BCCI.   read more
  • Reporters Find Cash in Media Kits

    Saturday, November 15, 2014
    In Puri, Odisha, reporters were enraged to allegedly find Rs. 200 ($3.30) each in the media kit envelopes provided to them at a press conference addressed by Pinaki Mishra, the ruling Biju Janata Dal MP. Several journalists lodged a police complaint against Mishra and BJD MLA Maheswar Mohanty, accusing them of attempting to bribe the media.   read more

India and the World

  • Back to the Future: Defence and Energy Warm Indo-Russian Ties

    Thursday, December 11, 2014
    Russian President Vladimir Putin visited India for one day, and was rewarded with a helicopter deal worth $3 billion and large energy deals. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also reassured Putin that Russia would remain India's top defence supplier, even though Delhi's options have widened since the end of the Cold War.   read more
  • Modi to Settle Boundary Issue With Bangladesh

    Monday, December 01, 2014
    During his first visit to Assam as prime minister, Narendra Modi has announced that India will go ahead with the ratification of the previous administration’s land boundary agreement with Bangladesh. In doing so, he has placed national interest above the regional populism favoured by the state unit of his own party.   read more
  • India and Nepal Cooperate in Energy Ahead of SAARC Summit

    Tuesday, November 25, 2014
    India and Nepal have made a significant breakthrough in energy cooperation. Our neighbour has given an Indian company permission to build a 900 megawatt hydropower plant, government officials said on Monday, in a win-win for both sides. The Himalayan state is set to ease its chronic energy shortages by opening up its rivers to Indian companies – this will provide Nepal with free electricity and India with energy for our power-hungry economy,   read more

Appointments and Resignations

  • Does India Need a Yoga Minister?

    Wednesday, December 03, 2014
    When Prime Minister Narendra Modi was sworn in last May, he promised “minimum government, maximum governance”. But his first cabinet reshuffle last month belied this expectation, with his council of ministers expanded by 21 new members to a mammoth 66 ministers. These include one for the newly created ministry of AAYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy). While yoga and traditional medicine could do with government support, does this justify a separate ministry?   read more
  • More UPA Governors Head for the Exits

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014
    Kerala Governor Sheila Dikshit resigned on Tuesday, two days after another UPA-appointee K Shankaranarayanan quit as governor of Maharashtra. This has cleared most of the key governors appointed by the previous UPA administration, allowing the NDA a free hand to appoint its aging leaders to the plum posts. 82-year old Kalyan Singh was appointed as governor of Rajasthan on Monday, along with three others for Maharashtra, Karnataka and Goa.   read more
  • Changes Proposed in Judges’ Appointment System

    Monday, August 11, 2014
    India is currently the only country in the world where judges appoint judges. This opaque collegium system is set to be modified after recent allegations of corruption by retired Justice Markandey Katju. The Judicial Appointments Commission Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday, with the proposed JAC to include the executive in the appointment of judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts. Yet it's not clear if this will provide a balance between transparency and judicial independence.   read more

Unusual News

  • Attempted Suicide No Longer a Crime

    Wednesday, December 10, 2014
    India has finally dropped attempted suicide from the list of crimes punishable by prison. Section 309 was a law enacted under British colonial rule, under which anyone attempting to kill himself could be jailed for one year. The World Health Organization lists India as one of the countries with the highest suicide rates: 21.1 per 100,000 people in 2012.   read more
  • Questions Raised Over Rohtak ‘Fightback’

    Sunday, December 07, 2014
    The confrontation on a bus in Rohtak on November 28, between two sisters, three men and a belt, continues to reverberate, with doubts being raised whether the women were victims of ‘eve teasing’ or are actually bullies with a penchant for confronting men. Haryana is a largely patriarchal society, and the controversy comes amid growing concern in India about sexual violence against women.   read more
  • Reform 04: Obsolete Laws to be Junked

    Tuesday, October 07, 2014
    ‘Her Majesty’ and ‘East India Company’ are still mentioned in some obsolete laws in India’s statute books, 67 years after independence from British colonial rule. The NDA government has come up with a simple solution: a clean-up of obscure laws that no longer serve any purpose. The Law Ministry is leading the drive, by digging out 287 outdated laws that will be repealed in the next session of parliament in November.   read more

Domestic Policy/Agency of the Day

  • Department of Jammu and Kashmir Affairs

    Created by India’s Ministry of Home Affairs in 1994, the Department of Jammu and Kashmir Affairs is tasked with maintaining J&K’s special status, reviewing the state’s security situation and evaluating economic packages established to ameliorat...   more

Domestic Policy Divisions

Go to Department

Meet Your Government

  • Ramesh, Jairam 2

    Jairam Ramesh has served as India's Minister of Rural Development since July 12, 2011. Ramesh ran the newly created Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation from its founding in July 2011 until October 28, 2011.  Ramesh lost that portfolio in ...   more

Blog