Genetically Modified Food – The Time has Come Jan25

Genetically Modified...

“My conclusion is very clear: the GM debate is over. It is finished. We no longer need to discuss whether or not it is safe – over a decade and a half with three trillion GM meals eaten there has never been a single substantiated case of harm. You are more likely to get hit by an asteroid...

Indian School Education – The Barriers to Private Enterprise Jan25

Indian School Educat...

“Uncertainty has gripped 2,235 unrecognized private schools in the city as they might shut down by the end of this academic session. As per MPD 2021 (Master Plan Delhi 2021), recognition will be granted only to those schools that have 8,000 sq mt of land per 5,000 people.” – Times of...

RBI – Can do Better Dec28

RBI – Can do B...

My review of RBI’s policy over the last few months centers around 3 crucial factors – stability, inflation and growth. In its mid-quarter policy review in December 2012, RBI stressed upon the impact of the European Sovereign Debt Crisis and the ‘fiscal cliff’ in the United States while...

The Indian Tempest Sep19

The Indian Tempest

This is Manmohan Singh's second opportunity to cement his place as an economic legend in the annals of Indian history. Can he hold his nerve?

Salary for Housewives – The Wrong Incentives Sep13

Salary for Housewive...

The Women and Child development ministry is considering a proposal to make it mandatory for men to share a certain percentage of their income with wives if they stay at home and do the household chores. This has generated substantial debate from all quarters centering around difficulty in...

Obama vs Romney – Faceoff Sep09

Obama vs Romney – Faceoff

The first black President runs for re-election against a poster boy of American capitalism – a rich, white, Republican male, appropriately the Governor of snobbish Massachusetts. Harvard once again acts as a connecting link between the Presidential hopefuls. While I have been a staunch supporter of Obama for the past 4 years, my recent study on liberal economics has led me to believe that Romney’s policies bear merit too. Here’s a 360 degree comparison: Economy The philosophy of the liberal free market capitalists differs greatly from that of legendary economist JM Keynes. When Obama found the economy stuttering in 2008...

Why Complete Education is a Luxury Jun04

Why Complete Education is a Luxury

A typical Indian child learns a diverse range of subjects in his schooling life. Millions of students have cribbed while mugging up their texts, “How will this (cell structure, complex mathematics, chemical properties of Argon, Shakespearean poetry) ever help me in real life?”. Its time we took this complaint seriously. I argue that a complete education that includes all of these subjects in detail, is in fact, a luxury. It is a luxury because it demands 12 years of a child’s life and does not make him employable. Instead it simply renders him ready for college. Between 3-6 years later, and a full 15-18 years after the...

How to Feed the Poor – The Story of a 10 kg Bundle of Rice May20

How to Feed the Poor – The Story of a 10 kg ...

This article focuses on how to fix the Public Distribution System using technology. Note: Nothing that I have written below is impossible using current technology, if it is presently impossible, it is only because of present governance. To plug leakages in the system, we start at the top of the supply chain – the Food Corporation of India warehouses. From here on, we track the progress of a 10 kg bundle of rice (bar-code number – RL10805236 ) to its final destination – Mr. Sunil Kumar Yadav (a day labourer in Baddi, Himachal Pradesh). There are innumerable flaws with the PDS but I focus on 2 key flaws: Getting aid to the...

The Marginal Utility of Media May18

The Marginal Utility of Media

The concept of marginal utility is a very powerful one. As a student of economics, the aim is to attain maximum efficiency in the economy. The primary condition for general equilibrium is that the marginal utility of all consumers, producers and the product mix must be equal. In this article I focus on how the media can become more effective by using Marginal Utility in their everyday functioning. Primarily, I will be focussing on print media. Each story published in a newspaper creates utility for the society in general. According to me, newspapers should design content in a manner that maximises marginal utility for society. I explain this...

The Price of Self Respect Apr20

The Price of Self Re...

Every morning and afternoon, on my way to and from the metro station to my college, I observe an old man sitting patiently with a weighing scale. For the princely sum of Rs 2, you can judge the effectiveness of your present exercise routine and generously deduct upwards of a kilo accounting...

Economics in Real Life – Marginal Utility of Money Apr19

Economics in Real Life – Marginal Utility of...

Economics is a powerful subject. It has fascinated students for decades now. Yet the real beauty of economics is visible when we apply its concepts to our daily life. Among the applications of economics, today I refer specially to the marginal utility of money. Theoretically the marginal utility of money is defined as the change in total utility of a person with a change in one unit of money. Essentially it means, ‘How has your life changed by having or not having Rs 100 in hand’. Any economy attains its maximum efficiency, or equilibrium when the marginal utility of money for each individual is the same. This basically means...

The European Sovereign Debt Crisis Jan22

The European Sovereign Debt Crisis

My analysis of the European Debt crisis revolves around the following points: (1) There is an essential difference between solvent but illiquid nations and insolvent nations. (2) This is a crisis of creditor confidence. To regain creditor confidence, you need to listen to what the creditor is saying. (3) The European Debt Crisis is a crisis at whose heart lies a risk of contagion from hopeless economies such Greece to major global economies such as Italy and Spain. Were it not for the credit market fear of contagion, the crisis would be much smaller and localised in scale. How do we mitigate this risk? Read on.

Greece vs Italy – The Sovereign Debt Crisis Jul17

Greece vs Italy R...

The European Sovereign Debt Crisis has centered around 5 nations – Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain giving this grouping of economies an unfortunate but somewhat deserving acronym – PIIGS. Greece and Italy are the two economies from this group that have attracted the  largest...

The Sahyadris in the...

We met at Victoria Terminus, (I shall persist in using the British name, they built it after all) Ankit, Praveen and I. We were to catch the 7:10 p.m. Vidharba Express from platform 18. The train actually turned out to be rather royal despite the name having connotations of farmer suicides. We...

IMF Top Post – Why Christine Lagarde is the Best Choice and why India must support her Jun12

IMF Top Post –...

IMF’s Director – India must support Christine Lagarde After Dominique Strauss Kahn’s ignominious exit from the top post at IMF, analysts and policy makers across the globe have debated and speculated on the successor to the top post. Christine Lagarde, the French Finance Minister has...

The Origin of the Greek Sovereign Debt Crisis May12

The Origin of the Gr...

Manan Vyas explains in lay-man’s language the factors that led Greece to accumulate a government debt burden that surpasses the GDP of more than 170 nations ($467 billion) while deconstructing the political, economic, regulatory and enforcement failures of the government of Greece and...

The Western Intervention in Libya – Analysis Apr28

The Western Intervention in Libya – Analysis

The military intervention by the Western nations in Libya has raised several important questions. Here I seek to give my opinion on the issues being raised. The Jasmine revolution originating in the nation of Tunisia was followed with great interest by the international community. It was the first of the Arab countries to rise against decades of suppression and deprivation of fundamental democratic rights. The protests were peaceful and successful and acted as an inspiration to the most populous of the Arab nations – Egypt. International interest increased exponentially. Events in Egypt were liable to affect not only the Arabic and...

Memoirs of an Himala...

After the thoroughly exhausting marathon Ankit and I collapsed on the bed and had a rather largish nap. We still had 3 days of free time before we caught a train from Kathgodam to Delhi and we were not about to spend 3 days in a small trekking village. We considered various hill stations in...

Memoirs of an Himalayan Expedition: Part 4 –...

After arguably one of the worst nights of our lives we looked forward to getting out of our tent in the morning. We had barely slept the entire night, the -15* Celsius had ensured that we spent most of our time twisting and turning in the vain hope of acquiring a position that would protect us against the brutal cold. Outside the snow was thick and white, very white. The sun had decided to sleep late too ensuring that the morning temperatures also remained near the zero degrees mark. As Ankit and I entered the hut we found that even they had suffered and realised that such temperatures affected everyone even though they were mountain people...

Memoirs of an Himala...

The day dawned, bright and sunny. The tent was a mess, the shoes contributed dirt and Ankit contributed messiness. Today however we did not have to carry our rucksacks, we were to return back to camp in the evening. This was the day every trekker looks forward to, a culmination of days of...

Memoirs of an Himala...

This trek was unique in the sense that there would be just the 3 of us. Ankit, Dineshji and I. While traditional trekking expeditions include a total of 50 or more people including the staff (cooks, guides, mule handlers etc.) this time there would be just the 3 of us. Traditionally we had...

Memoirs of an Himala...

It started on the 5th of April, 2011. Ankit (brother) and I set out for a long awaited trek in the Himalayas, my 5th such expedition but unique in the sense that this time there were only the 2 of us, not an entire troupe. We had vowed to keep it thread-bare simple as is the spirit of a rugged...

America’s Asian Foreign Policy – Strategic Analysis in the Context of China’s Growth Aug29

America’s Asian Foreign Policy – Strat...

The American Background – Foreign Policy Focus on the Middle East The Bush administration initiated Operation Enduring Freedom on the 7th of October 2001. The stated objective: “Find Osama bin Laden and other high-ranking Al-Qaeda members to be put on trial, to destroy the organization of Al-Qaeda, and to remove the Taliban regime which supported and gave safe harbour to it.” Amidst the rubbles of the 9/11 terror attack the invasion of Afghanistan received substantial support from the American people. However as the war stretched on and Osama Bin Laden remained at large and the Al-Qaeda infrastructure just fragmented, not...

Inflation and Fuel Subsidy – An Analytical Prediction Jun24

Inflation and Fuel S...

Inflation-Manan Vyas Food Inflation continues the North ward spiral with latest figures revealing inflation to be at 17.56% RBI seeks to coordinate the fledging growth with monetary and fiscal policy. As food inflation rises at alarming rates the RBI walks a tightrope between tightening credit...

Obama – A Reborn Opportunity Jun22

Obama – A Rebo...

The Global Financial Crisis  exposed the excesses of Wall  Street giants as murky details of risky transactions running into billions of dollars came to light. Investment banks  had precarious over- leveraged positions and the  collapse of the mortgage  bubble brought the banks into...

Black Money in Swiss Banks – Analysis Jun21

Black Money in Swiss...

On March 31 2009 L.K. Advani the then leader of opposition and prospective Prime Ministerial candidate    raised the issue of Indian black stashed in Swiss Banks and numerous other tax havens. He quoted the  massive figure of $1.4 trillion (more than India’s nominal GDP) as the amount...

The Global Financial Crisis Jun04

The Global Financial Crisis

The Global Financial Crisis: The American Origin The Subprime Crisis and the Liquidity Crunch Introduction: The true extent of globalisation could be accurately expressed by the current financial crisis whereby contagion in the United States of America spread across the globe affecting all globalised economies.   The linkage with the Asian Financial Crisis illustrates how globalisation has crossed not only national boundaries but even the time dimension and explores how past financial events have a bearing on the current scenario.  The new banking ideology is studied and the factors which made the banking system vulnerable and unstable...