Slice of life: Where’s the change?

Our attitudes, opinions and world-views are largely shaped by the culture that we grow up in, and are most familiar with. Society conditions us to behave in certain ways, follow specific norms and teaches us what is acceptable and what is not. It is also dependent on the era or time period that we live in. what was considered the norm, and acceptable 500 years ago, may not be acceptable in this day and age. We are an ever-growing, ever-evolving mass of humanity with change being the core of growth.

Ruminations: Event management as governance

In the run-up to the general elections in the summer of 2014 before Narendra Modi became prime minister, Lal Krishna Advani's description of him as a "brilliant events manager" had seemed churlish. Perhaps rightly so, against the backdrop of the veteran Bharatiya Janata Party leader's failure to become prime minister himself. Three years down the line, with Modi's popularity undiminished, it appears that what had appeared to be a graceless remark might not have been so after all.

Put an end to opacity, NSE

A farrago of ugly issues have been raised over the murky NSE algo case. New Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) boss Ajay Tyagi is clear that NSE may need to refile its application for a stock listing. This comes in the wake of Financial Chronicle providing unadulterated and unalterable facts from a forensic report of NSE’s co-location facility (COLO) by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu which showed preferential access by brokers, like OPG Securities, to the exchange trading system ahead of other members.

We are new-age MF institution dedicated to financial inclusion of rural women

Svatandra, the new-age microfinance firm, founded by Ananya Birla — daughter of Kumar Mangalam Birla — has seen 220 per cent annual growth over the last three years, thereby achieving break-even. The firm is also looking at other financial services sectors like SME financing and affordable housing for future growth. In an exclusive interaction with Ashwin J Punnen, Ananya Birla says she believes in egalitarian growth substantiated by profitability. Excerpts:

Spy’s eye: Communalism to terrorism

Something sinister is happening in India and the Modi government would do well to take note of it. Domestic politics here has, since the advent of the BJP rule, deteriorated to a point where the elite and the Ulema guiding the largest minority of India, and backed by many self-proclaimed 'secularists' across the arc of the opposition, have started openly upholding the forces behind cross border terrorism for the sake of electoral gain. They are projecting terrorism not as a Pak-instigated mischief but as the outcome of ‘unfair’ treatment of the Muslim minority here.

MONEYBALL: Cricketers hit pay dirt

During the last few years, Australian all-rounder Brad Hodge has travelled more than the cricketers representing his country. As a free agent, Hodge has been hawking his valuable T20 wares across the globe, criss-crossing continents to play and coach in various leagues. And has made more money than most of his compatriots.

Ruminations: Sustaining the Bihar project

At one time it was said of Sharad Pawar, and to some extent of Mulayam Singh Yadav, that they were two of the most malleable politicians of their time. To keep themselves and their parties relevant, they could change course and fit perfectly into any political alignment. Almost seamlessly. Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party did not make a big splash on its own steam but he personally remains a respected elder statesman in Indian politics whose counsel is sought at different times by politicians of all hues. Yadav was more successful on the ground.

Gizmo geek: Fancy Surfboards for lazy people

It’s been called a surfboard for lazy people. To look at, it is just a ‘puffy’ version of the real thing, but rather than a plank of—albeit carefully-crafted—wood, this one has some serious tech stuff going on under the metaphorical hood. This is Swagtron’s SwagSurf, straight from the stables of the self-proclaimed world’s best makers of hoverboards, scooters and skateboards.

RISKFACTOR: I n f o x i c a t e d ?

What is the first thing you do after you wake up in the morning? I bet it is to check your phone. With that activity, imagine how our mind gets suddenly cluttered with all the emails, tweets, LinkedIn, and Facebook updates of other people. To add to it, if you switch on the news on TV channels, the bombardment of information — mostly unnecessary — is unimaginable.

Sliceoflife: Kindly Adjust

A few months ago, when demonetisation was announced, there were protests, mostly on on social media, pictures shared of long queues and sharply divided arguments on merits and demerits. Within a couple of weeks, the fuss died down and everybody adjusted to the new situation. Thanks to demonetisation, I now pay the guy who irons my clothes, the guy who delivers newspapers as well as my house help through bank transfers and credit cards. Earlier that was never even an option. Today all of them have bank accounts and operate them easily.