Opinion: Set up a religious affairs commission

With the increasing number of disputes over faith and religion impacting order in society, has not the time arrived for a religious affairs regulatory commission with quasi-judicial powers to manage matters arising out of faith, disputes between faith & religious communities and groups within a community on various issues that emerge from time to time? Religious diversity is indeed a fact of life for Indians. Every Indian has the right to follow his religion, faith, traditions, rituals and beliefs as long as it does not violate others’ rights and privacy or break the law.

PE capital infusion to NBFCs

In India’s mission to achieve economic growth and financial inclusion, NBFCs have been playing a significant role by offering credit to the people in the underserved and unbanked regions. The sectoral outlook of NBFC was quite bullish in the recent past. However, the IL&FS saga has of late changed the optimism-led scenario altogether. The listed NBFCs witnessed a sizeable erosion of market value. Asset-liability mismatch, liquidity crunch and limitations to seek higher short-term borrowing have put up some obstacles on the growth path of the NBFCs.

Opinion: Growth & digital transformation

A fast-growing infrastructure and the introduction of conducive policies by the government and regulators have established digital transformation as an extremely potent tool for enterprises to boost their productivity. In an increasingly digital business landscape, strategic organisational planning and capacity building are imperative, and necessitate having the right digital strategy in place. However, developing a digital approach and reinventing business processes requires capabilities which traditional information technologies are not equipped to deliver.

Policy for banks

About eight months ago, on March 14, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Urjit Patel raised a very pertinent point on banking regulation and ownership structures in India. Speaking at the Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar, Patel stated in unequivocal terms that the “Banking Regulatory Powers in India are NOT Ownership Neutral” in India.

Smart farming tech

This is a smart age where even our phones are often smarter than us. But when it comes to agriculture, time seems to have stopped at an age we have never experienced. It has become the spectacle of age-old practices, rudimentary technologies and distressed farmers who are unsure about the future of both their crops and themselves when we talk of most of the area barring a few developed areas.

Opinion: Right to higher education

Humans are magnificent species, but many times, lack precision. While sloppily using terms alike, they blur concepts. One instance of such confusion is of right and privilege – here, of higher education. Though this debate has been predominantly related with fee structures, now the argument sees more substance. Some economists have described higher education as a private good, leading to an economic return, for which, individuals rightly bear the cost.

Jan Dhan Benefit

The sceptics always talk of the dormant Jan Dhan accounts, not yielding anything either for the account holders or the economy. But the fact of the matter is that these thirty crore Jan Dhan accounts can be the catalyst to put Indian economy on the strong growth path with little innovative thinking.

Emergency in choking cities

With Delhi’s air quality again slipping to severe category, a series of desperate emergency measures such as ban on construction activities and restrictions on traffic have been imposed in the national capital. The Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority (EPCA) is even considering a drastic ban on the use of non-CNG vehicles if air quality continues to deteriorate.

Opinion: Virtual possibilities of future education

In  1990, the box office watermark ‘Matrix’ and its 360° pans, slow-mo bullet trajectories, left audiences gobsmacked, and the iconic visuals lingered in geek memories for years. This film set a benchmark for virtual reality in the entertainment world, and since then technology has taken a dimensional shift from the regular to out-of-the-box. Virtual Reality has been extensively employed in the gaming industry. Its foray into the field of education is relatively new and yet to prove its potential.

For MSMEs, little disruption is good

The latest but rare face-off between the finance ministry and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) over the liquidity situation in the economy post the IL&FS fiasco has brought an important but often relegated issue to the forefront of the policy debate – ensuring adequate, timely and reasonably priced credit to the systemically important micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). As of the time of writing this article, the chances of both sides finding a middle ground by climbing down from their respective stands seems to be not remote.