News & Politics
India Today

India Today March 23, 2020

India Today is the leading news magazine and most widely read publication in India. The magazine’s leadership is unquestioned, so much so that India Today is what Indian journalism is judged by, for its integrity and ability to bring unbiased and incisive perspective to arguably the most dynamic, yet perplexing, region in the world. Breaking news and shaping opinion, it is now a household name and the flagship brand of India’s leading multidimensional media group. Additionally, the weekly brings with it a range supplements like Women, Home, Aspire, Spice and Simply which focus on style, health, education, fashion, etc. and Indian cities.

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52 Issues

in this issue

4 min.

Greed is good,” reasoned Gordon Gekko, the reptilian investment banker in the 1987 Hollywood hit, Wall Street. Of late, a few Indian bankers seem to have embraced that flawed logic. A fatal combination of ambition, greed and corruption has led to a series of failures of Indian banks, with disastrous consequences for India’s financial institutions and economy. They include cases of outright fraud, such as Nirav Modi’s collusion with bank officials to allegedly defraud the Punjab National Bank of Rs 14,356 crore, to the collapse of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) and the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank scam, in which the bank lent heavily to a stressed infrastructure firm, HDIL. The most recent entrant into this hall of banking infamy is YES Bank and its promoter Rana Kapoor—the poster-boy…

4 min.
the unfolding tragedy of indian data

There is very little recognition of the extent to which our understanding of the economic and social characteristics of our country depends on sample surveys conducted by various government statistical agencies, particularly the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO). Practically all social indicators, except a very few collected in the Population Census, are obtained from surveys. As far as the economy is concerned, nearly half our GDP comes from the informal sector, including agriculture. Since people in the informal sector do not maintain detailed books of account, surveys are the only way to get the necessary information. So, in the absence of quality surveys, we will have practically no idea about the full economic and social development of our country. Quality surveys depend on two critical elements. First, it should be possible…

2 min.
the week in numbers

₹ 1,300 crore Acting with what now seems like considerable foresight, the body that manages the money of the extraordinarily rich Tirupati temple in Andhra Pradesh withdrew Rs 1,300 crore from YES Bank in October. The body must have noticed the bank’s difficulties in attracting capital and the alarming extent of non-performing assets. The administrators of Odisha’s Puri Jagannath temple were not as quick, leaving Rs 545 crore of the temple’s money marooned in its accounts as the RBI announced a moratorium on withdrawals of over Rs 50,000 until April 3, though reports suggest it will be lifted sooner. 3 Age of the first child in India to have tested positive for coronavirus. Meanwhile the first case from Jammu was reported, as the official number of cases rose to 44 on…

3 min.
champions in the making

On Sunday, March 8, that big night for Indian women’s cricket, victory proved elusive because champions Australia were just too good for the challengers. Harmanpreet Kaur’s India had not lost a single match till that final, but their undefeated run in the ICC Twenty20 World Cup didn’t break the stride of Meg Lanning’s team. This was Australia’s fifth world title in the women’s game. For Indian cricket fans and the team, the loss might have been a crushing disappointment in the immediate aftermath. India’s new find, 16-year-old Shafali Verma, who lit up the tournament with her effervescent batting, couldn’t hold back the tears. That image will linger in public memory. But the true setback for Indian women’s cricket was that a tournament title might have catalysed the movement to back the…

3 min.
amending history

Sixteen Stormy Days is a study of independent India’s first constitutional crisis. The crisis arose out of a series of adverse court judgments in 1950-51 which placed obstacles in the way of the Congress government’s ambitious social agenda, as well its ability to maintain law and order. In May 1951, the government moved to amend the Constitution to undo the effects of these judgments. The Constitution (First Amendment) Act was passed in June, following a bitter battle in Parliament. The Act changed the Constitution in three ways. It weakened protections for free speech; clarified that caste-based quotas in education and government service were constitutionally protected; and amended the right to property to protect zamindari abolition laws from judicial review. These changes were all controversial. It seemed improper to respond to adverse court…

1 min.
why? wayanad

Rahul Gandhi’s decision to contest from Wayanad besides Amethi in the 2019 general election was a great face-saver, as it got him a place in the 17th Lok Sabha. And this time round, he seems determined to make the most of it. In the nine months from June 2019 to March 2020, Rahul Gandhi has asked 32 questions, a personal record of sorts, given that he has been Lok Sabha MP since 2004. In the 15 years from 2004 to 2019, Rahul Gandhi had asked just three questions, all of them in UPA-I (2004-09). What then, is the mystery of Rahul’s newfound questioning voice?…