Trouble in the Air

Trouble in the AirThis winter, the air quality in Delhi plummeted so low – with record levels of the tiniest and the deadliest particles that can enter the lungs and other organs – that even the National Capital Territory’s chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, was forced to admit that the metropolis had turned into a “toxic gas chamber”. The city’s…

Economic Outlook 2017: India

Economic Outlook 2017: IndiaIndia will be hoping for stability in 2017 after it was put through the wringer last year, with a number of natural disasters, including widespread floods and earthquakes. In addition, the country suffered a bloody terrorist attack on security forces and a number of fatal train derailments. But perhaps the biggest shock was economic, and…

Rising US Protectionism Puts Indian Industry on Edge

Rising US Protectionism Puts Indian Industry on EdgeThe Indian industry body ASSOCHAM is warning that India's economy will suffer collateral damage in the event of  a trade war with Mexico and China that is expected to be triggered by incoming US President Donald Trump.  “The Trump threat to protect the US interest in an inward-looking manner is for real now," read the…

Tata Insider Takes Over Indian Conglomerate

Tata Insider Takes Over Indian ConglomerateIndia’s Tata group today began rebuilding its seriously damaged image as India’s most respected and stable conglomerate when it announced the appointment of Natarajan Chandrasekaran, 53, who heads the highly successful Tata Consultancy Services, as executive chairman of Tata Sons, the main holding company. Chandrasekaran will take over on Feb. 21 from Ratan Tata, 79,  chairman…

US Tilts to India

US Tilts to IndiaThe growing convergence on military and defense matters between Washington, DC and New Delhi has been one of the highlights of bilateral ties under President Barack Obama and nationalist PM Narendra Modi.  Ever since Modi's right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in 2014, there has been an unwavering focus on bolstering defense ties with…

Asia in 2016: India

Asia in 2016: IndiaLandmark economic reforms introduced in India last year contrasted sharply with rising extremism, suggesting that the rapidly growing country is still battling old demons of religious divisiveness, rigidity and orthodoxy even as the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi adopts a more streamlined financial outlook. Growing intolerance of dissent was highlighted in February 2016 during…

Bitter Battle Starts Over India’s Tata Group

Bitter Battle Starts Over India’s Tata GroupThe Tata group, India’s largest conglomerate, faces an unpredictable new year with a battle developing for control of what has always been regarded as India’s most stable and respected business group. The end game is far from clear at this stage, but what is clear is that serious damage has been done to the Tata…

Modinomics Bites Christies Sale

Modinomics Bites Christies SaleChristie’s high-profile annual art auctions in Mumbai just managed pm Dec. 19 to overcome growing concern about the direction of the Indian economy. They yielded a respectable but unexciting sales total of US$10.79 million that acted as more of a warning than encouragement about future prospects. In an evening auction of South Asian modern and contemporary art,…

India Gets its Guns – 30 years late

India Gets its Guns – 30 years lateThe 30-year gap between India’s last purchase of artillery and its buy last week of 145 M777 ultralight howitzers from the United States has its roots in the trauma of the infamous Bofors scandal of 1986, which rocked the Indian political establishment and resulted in the fall of the government of then Prime Minister Rajiv…

India Eases Defense Blacklist Ban

India Eases Defense Blacklist BanIn a dramatic departure from past defense policy, Indian authorities say they will no longer impose blanket bans on armament companies suspected of corruption or bribery. This easing of blacklisting norms will mark the end of a 10-year blanket ban imposed earlier on erring firms.  The easing of the blacklist policy appears to be a…