Editors Column

Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who was largely responsible for building the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as a pan-India political force, is easily the tallest non-Congress stalwart of modern times –- a great leader, statesman and a compassionate human being loved by his friends and adversaries.

As India celebrated its 72nd Independence Day, reports of a rupee slump below the 70-mark vis-à-vis the US dollar hit the wires. Several economists have tried to play down the rupee’s southward journey as being more psychological than one having a substantive impact on the Indian economy.

Since coming to power and delivering his first Independence Day speech from the Red Fort, prime minister Narendra Modi has made the event something to watch out for, either with the delineation of a vision statement or by announcing something important.

Despite all that capital market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has done over the years to increase transparency, the one troubling matter which it has not been able to successfully address is insider trading. Few can deny that insider trading is rampant in India.

The outline of ‘Project Coromandel,’ the ambitious exercise discussed by the BJP national executive committee back in June 2016 at Allahabad is gradually beginning to emerge.

For the first time, the Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO) tasted success in the well-publicised arrest of former managing director of Bhushan Steel, Neeraj Singhal for siphoning off Rs 2,000 crore through a web of 80 companies.

The Congress-led opposition alliance suffered a major, even embarrassing setback after the ruling NDA’s candidate easily won the election for the deputy chairmanship of the Rajya Sabha. Janata Dal (United) member Harivansh Narayan Singh’s election as M Venkaiah Naidu’s deputy is politically significant.

Stressed power assets cannot be accorded differential treatment as banks have a massive exposure of Rs 3 lakh crore in these projects, mostly in the private sector. If one-day default norm is operative in other sectors, how can the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) provide a special dispensation for power generation companies that have messed up with assets over the years?

End to end encryption of messages is sacrosanct for social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram. Neither the origin nor the delivery point can be divulged irrespective of the situation.

The horror of the Muzaffarpur shelter home has jolted the nation but the government in Bihar is yet to be shaken out of its slumber. The entire episode has not only exposed a disturbing and depressing aspect of society but also extreme callousness of the administration.