Shankkar Aiyar

Author of Accidental India: A History of the Nation's Passage through Crisis and Change

Shankkar Aiyar
Air Pollution: Gasping for Good Governance

The discourse on air pollution is enveloped by dense smog. The narrative is riveted by breathless confusion, and conflation —of seasonal, spatial and systemic issues. 

19 Nov 2017

Yesterday Once More: Urbanites, you are on your own!

Shankkar aiyAr Author of Aadhaar:  A Biometric History of India’s 12 Digit Revolution, and 
Accidental India

12 Nov 2017

#100 Ease of Biz: Cause for Applause, Much to be Modest About

Shankkar aiyAr Author of Aadhaar:  A Biometric History of India’s 12 Digit  Revolution, and 
Accidental India

05 Nov 2017

The Tyranny of ‘do Everything Else’ and Wait for a Crisis

You can count on Americans to do the right thing—after they’ve tried everything. This quip, widely attributed to Winston Churchill, could well be applicable for policy makers in India.

29 Oct 2017

Will deaths awaken the sarkars out of systemic stupor?

Friedrich Nietzsche said famously, “there are no facts, only interpretations”.

22 Oct 2017

Hunger index: china moves from 47 to 29, india slides 94 to 100

What does it say about politicians and political parties of a democracy when an ‘authoritarian regime’ does better on tackling hunger!

15 Oct 2017

GST, Khakhra economics, babel of politics and context blindness

If it had been possible to build the Tower of Babel without climbing it, it would have been permitted
Franz Kafka

08 Oct 2017

Waiting for Godot? What are states doing to drive growth?

Shankkar aiyAr Author of Aadhaar: A  Biometric History of India’s 12 Digit Revolution, and Accidental India

01 Oct 2017

Slowdown and the perils of #hashtag economics

In the 1840s, Claude Frédéric Bastiat, thinker and economist, wrote a seminal essay, Petition of the Candle-makers.

24 Sep 2017

Seductive economics: The theory that 2017 is like 2002

As theories go, this one is seductive alright and quite a few in the corridors of power and policy are smitten.

17 Sep 2017

The task of job creation and the test for task forces

Talk about quintessential Indian entrepreneurship.  Go on e-retailer Amazon’s site and search for cow dung cakes.

10 Sep 2017

How to kill cities: A primer on unsmart policies

The rationalisation of what is essentially systemic neglect, leans on the alibi that the city can cope with only X amount of rain.

03 Sep 2017

Davids need right to reclaim footprint from data goliaths

Shankkar aiyAr Author of Aadhaar:  A Biometric History of India’s 12 Digit  Revolution, and Accidental India

27 Aug 2017

Sikka’s Tata to Infosys and the perils of succession

Not long ago, two corporate entities were cited by funds and investors at conferences and in scholarly essays, held up as illustrative examples of standards of corporate governance.

20 Aug 2017

The politics of pledges and musings on Independence day 

This August 15 India celebrates 70 years of Independence, a young nation nestled in an ancient civilisation yet wrestling with old problems in the new millennium. 

13 Aug 2017

Greenspan warning, yaksha question and manic markets 

In the 1990s, soon after the Harshad Mehta scam, an elderly Marwari businessman introduced me to a truism about markets: “If everyone is making money, someone is printing it free.” 

06 Aug 2017

Domination in 18 states and NaMo's opportunity for reforms

The Modi Sarkar exhibited its political prowess and its grasp of realpolitik again this week.

30 Jul 2017

Public sector banks, mergernomics  and tilting at windmills

“Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them.” Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

23 Jul 2017

NPAs, non-performing actions and systemic risks to public monies 

Indians have in excess of 105 trillion rupees, or `106.50 lakh crore to be precise, parked in the banks. Of this, nearly `7 of `10 is with the public sector banks (PSBs).

09 Jul 2017

One nation, one tax, many puzzles and absent Congress

Political necessities, George Bernard Shaw once said, sometimes turn out to be political mistakes.

02 Jul 2017

Do it already! Liberate Air India maharaja from the Sarkar

Shankkar aiyAr Author of Accidental  India: A History of the Nation’s Passage through Crisis and Change

25 Jun 2017