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Prez polls politics

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is slowly but surely moving towards the majority mark for the presidential elections when the process for polls gets under way in July after Pranab Mukherjee demits office as President of India. The alliance, led by the BJP, got a shot in the arm last week when YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy announced his support for the alliance nominee who is yet to be chosen.

Virulent virus

India is among the countries that have been hit by a malicious software that locks up data on personal computers and asks the victims to pay ransom in order to unlock the data. We know more about the damage done elsewhere than here, if any. The attack on computers in India was a footnote in newsflashes that highlighted what went wrong in the UK, Spain, Russia, the Ukraine and Taiwan.

Eternal vigil needed

A ‘Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community’ presented before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in US Congress by Daniel Coats, Trump’s Director of National Intelligence, and other top intelligence officials has warned that Indo-Pak ties might deteriorate further in 2017, especially in the event of another high-profile terrorist attack in India that New Delhi attributes to originating in or receiving assistance from Pakistan. The US Intelligence community’s

Macron's challenges

The election of Emmanuel Macron as President of France is an emphatic victory for centrism and for European integration and consequently a resounding defeat for Marine Le Pen, the far-right nationalist who had threatened to pull out of the European Union. Macron’s win has also smashed the dominance of France’s mainstream parties. It is indeed a major relief to European allies who feared another populist upheaval following Britain’s vote to

Trouble for Lalu

Nemesis seems to be catching up with Rashtriya Janata Dal chief and former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav. Convicted in one fodder scam case in 2013 but roaming free on bail and indulging in all kinds of chicanery, he is in fresh trouble with the Supreme Court ordering that he be tried in four other fodder scam cases. Setting aside the Jharkhand High Court order which said that since

Conundrum in Court

The six-month imprisonment announced by a seven-judge bench of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice of India J S Khehar for contempt of court of a ‘grievous nature’ against Calcutta High Court judge C S Karnan is unprecedented but was necessary to demonstrate that nobody is above law in the country. Justice Karnan crossed all limits of propriety and mocked at the highest court in the country in a manner

Kejriwal's time up

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is sinking deeper and deeper into trouble. After being mauled in the Delhi municipal elections close on the heels of its failure to make a mark in the Punjab Assembly elections and its virtual decimation in the Goa Assembly polls, its supremo, Arvind Kejriwal faces the charge of receiving Rs 2 crore in cash from one of his Cabinet colleagues Satyendra Jain at his residence

Tread cautiously

Indian IT companies have built their fortunes on outsourcing, but now their business model is under pressure because of a rising tide of nationalistic politics in several countries, particularly the US. The issue has escalated ever since President Donald Trump took over. He hit out at outsourcing during electioneering, and recently, norms regarding the grant of H-1B visas were tightened, making it more difficult for Indian IT workers to work

Expected penalty

True to expectation, a three-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Dipak Mishra has upheld the death penalty for four persons convicted by the Delhi High Court in the 2012 Delhi gang rape case. The gruesome crime had caused nationwide outrage with thousands of youth taking to the streets in disgust and horror. A fifth convict, Ram Singh, had committed suicide in the jail in 2013 and a sixth, who

Visa vicissitudes

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s unsuccessful telephonic conversation with his Australian counterpart Michael Turnbull to cajole him to review the scrapping of the 457 visa regime which allowed businesses facing skills shortage to employ temporary labour from overseas has focussed attention on how difficult it is becoming for Indians to take up employment abroad. That Turnbull virtually ruled out a rollback of the new measure has raised deep concerns because Australia

Reformist move

It is heartening that changes in the real estate law to benefit the consumers which were first mooted nine years ago have finally come into force from 1 May 2017. The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2016 was passed by Parliament in March last year but it is a sad commentary on the States that only 13 States and Union territories have ratified it, reflecting perhaps the reluctance of