Editors Column

First, it was with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Now, it is with Russian President Vladimir Putin that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has held ‘informal, no agenda talks’ that were reportedly substantive in content. The big question is what is expected to be achieved through these purportedly informal sessions with Xi Jinping in Wuhan and President Putin at Sochi.

As reported by this paper, the government is planning to overhaul the process by which civil servants are allocated services.

BS Yeddyurappa’s anti-climactic resignation without facing the trust vote a mere 52-hours after being sworn in as chief minister of Karnataka sends out powerful messages and raises some important questions.

In a nation obsessed with the yellow metal, the sale of 1,000 kg of gold in 10 months through digital payment companies using mobile applications is a huge step forward. Financial technology start-ups like Paytm, Tmw and PhonePe have made waves while catering to over four million customers — individuals and families — in India and selling gold online.

A complete market and institutional mechanism for biofuels will have to be evolved in India, like Europe in the last decade. For India, putting together a comprehensive biofuels policy could be a first step towards reducing the dependence on crude and other fossil fuels imports, supporting the government’s campaign to double farmers’ income by 2022 apart from creating jobs in rural areas.

The BJP got a taste of its own medicine as the Congress-JD(S) cobbled up a quick post-election coalition of sorts to stake claim to form the next government in Karnataka. This is akin to what happened in Manipur, Meghalaya and Goa when the Congress and its allies fell short of numbers, and were caught unawares when the BJP made it past the post after taking on board splinter parties.

Within twenty-four hours of Walmart announcing that it would take majority stake in homegrown e-commerce major, Flipkart, there were reports, which indicated that SoftBank, the largest shareholder in Flipkart, had still not made up its mind on whether it would sell its stake to Walmart.

Nepal and India may be generally compared to Canada and USA in terms of proximity. The comparison ends there. Unlike the drift in relations between the US and Canada, India has always tried to engage Nepal, even though the latter has sometimes felt stifled by India’s presumably Big Brother attitude.

India had not recognised unilateral sanctions imposed by the erstwhile Democratic administration of Barack Obama and it may be no different this time now that President Donald Trump has unilaterally pulled out of a nuclear accord signed with Iran in 2015. India’s position that sanctions that do not have the backing of the United Nations are not to be recognised is not likely change overnight.

As the din of the election campaign in Karnataka ebbed on Thursday evening, celebrations began in unlikely quarters – smart phone makers and tablet manufacturers. Political promises made by the BJP and the Congress party in their manifestos seem to have opened up the prospect of huge business opportunities for smart phone manufacturers.