Editors Column

Ayushman Bharat, the mega healthcare and insurance scheme and the largest globally, has been launched by prime minister Narendra Modi from Ranchi in Jharkhand. The government and the prime minister himself have invested much in the ambitious scheme.

India has traditionally refused to recognise unilateral sanctions slapped by one country against other without the explicit approval of the United Nations. During UPA-II, Manmohan Singh’s government had rejected the US sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme. This policy continues to be followed by the NDA government of prime minister Narendra Modi.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cracked the whip. Its latest decision to terminate Rana Kapoor as chief executive officer of Yes Bank by January 31, 2019 has caused consternation in the Indian financial world.

With the three-day lecture series, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has made the first move to engage with intellectuals of every hue and all communities on its vision for and of India. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat put forth the Sangh line of thought on a host of issues from Hindutva to caste-based reservations in jobs and education institutions and the minorities.

The Union cabinet has recommended a presidential ordinance – to which the president has given his assent –  to end the regressive practice of triple talaq and make it a criminal offence. Prime minister Narendra Modi was keen on the step even as he called for justice for Muslim women and an end to instant divorce through triple talaq.

The idea of creating big Indian banks with large national and global footprint was first considered by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government over 15 years back. Then finance ministers Yashwant Sinha and later Jaswant Singh were amenable to the mergers and acquisitions in the banking sector to take on global banks.

Unit holders of debt schemes of mutual fund houses, which are holding debt paper of various IL&FS group companies, are at risk of losing their money. The probability of default by the IL&FS group companies is supposed to have increased in the last few days as some of them were not able to meet their repayment schedule to financial institutions.

Going into panic mode will not help the government face challenges on the economic front that are turning out to be some of the stickiest since 2014. Complacency and inaction also cannot be an option for the government that has been saddled with adverse impact of US Fed measures, trade wars and the steep increase in oil prices.

The government’s decision to ban the manufacture, distribution and sale of 328 fixed dose combination (FDC) drugs is welcome. The latest ban includes commonly used painkillers that are outdated and harmful for human use.

Former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan’s explosive note on non-performing assets in the banking sector will have reverberations all over and across all political barriers.