Janmejaya Sinha | Chairman, BCG India
In this piece, Sinha describes the differences between a family run political party and a family run business. He argues that in family run parties, “authority emanates from tradition or custom — a monarchy, clan leader, dominant elite, chosen successor, or family eldest”. These parties survive for as long as the tradition stays strong and the family keeps providing patronage to its supporters. Such parties, he writes, allow the next generation of leaders to emerge only from within the family. If the next generation is not charismatic, such parties lose their prominence.
In family run businesses, however, “the family does not need a mass following, only business acumen, to sustain and grow the business”. Unlike a family run party where the members have to be completely involved, in family run businesses, the next generation can decide on the extent of its involvement. They can be “passive owners, activist investors or active owner-managers”. Lastly, he suggests, that it is easier to prepare the next generation in a family run business even though some challenges exist there as well.
Aruna Roy, Nikhil Dey | Social activists, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan, National Campaign for People’s Right to Information, respectively
The writers make a case against the proposed amendments to India’s RTI Act. They mention that the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019 seeks to “amend Sections 13, 16, and 27 of the RTI Act which carefully links, and thereby equates, the status of the Central Information Commissioners (CICs) with the Election Commissioners and the State Information Commissioners with the Chief Secretary in the States, so that they can function in an independent and effective manner”.
They argue that these amendments will allow the central government to unilaterally decide the tenure, salary and allowances of information commissioners and will compromise their independence. They also question the manner in which the amendments are being pushed through without any consultation with the citizens and without any examination from the Parliamentary standing committee.
C. Raja Mohan | Director, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore
The Indian Express
Mohan discusses the possible issues on the agenda as US President Donald Trump prepares to meet Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan at the White House. He also mentions that during these negotiations, the Army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, and the head of the ISI, Lt General Faiz Hameed, will also be present which is likely to provide more credibility to the negotiations.
He writes that Pakistan is likely to ask Trump for a say in the political future of Afghanistan, US support in asking India to resume talks, restoration of military assistance and a stop to additional terror-related sanctions. In return, Mohan writes, Trump might ask Pakistan to release Shakil Afridi, the doctor who helped locate Osama bin Laden. Trump is also likely to ask Pakistan to make Taliban accept a permanent ceasefire in Afghanistan.
Prashant Reddy T. and Tarika Jain | Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy
The Economic Times
The writers disagree with the conclusions of the Economic Survey that talked about increasing judicial efficiency by increasing the number of judges at the level of the district judiciary. The survey suggested that the backlog can be reduced a “relatively small investment” based on the case clearance rate to arrive at the number of judges needed.
Reddy and Jain point out that this is a flawed methodology as not every case is of similar complexity and the number of judge hours can differ. They add that a more efficient model would be to use the time required by a judge to solve each type of case.
Nitin Pai | Co-founder, director, Takshashila Institution
Pai writes that the most basic way to secure India’s space capabilities is to distribute them across many different satellites and spacecraft. This will ensure that business continuity is unaffected even if an adversary manages to disable one or more of the satellites.
While the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is continuing on a successful path, there is no one at the private-sector end of the business, writes Pai. “India is playing with one hand tied firmly behind its back,” he adds.
Pai argues for the deregulation of the space sector and stresses the need for a conducive environment for the private sector to make India a global space technology hub.
Ashok Gulati | Infosys chair professor for agriculture at ICRIER
The Financial Express
Gulati writes that the Modi government will be able to transform the lives of the poor and farmers in rural areas if it is able to streamline food and fertiliser subsidies into direct cash transfers into bank accounts to beneficiaries using the JAM trinity. It can empower the poor while saving the government Rs 50,000 crore annually.
He questions the efficiency and sustainability of the Food Security Act and points out that the current system of procurement and then selling it back to the farmers is not cost effective. He also adds that there is no economic rationality in the current pricing of urea.