Shankkar Aiyar

The Third Eye

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

Shankkar Aiyar
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

Wavers, waivers and worriers–rich, poor and middle class

There is a deep, dark paradox reflected in the headlines of newspapers in the past few days —the richest and the poorest are in the queue.

18 Jun 2017

Politicians trap India’s farmers between scarcity and surplus

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

11 Jun 2017

Of tearful peacocks, Trumpism and celibacy of reason

It has been an eventful week even by the normal mid-summer silly season standards. 

04 Jun 2017

Modi’s 'sarkar' and 1,000 days of no Opposition

The organising principle of Modi’s Sarkar is, and has been, managing the narrative to establish and sustain order.

28 May 2017

The promise of 100 new cities and messed opportunity 

This Sunday, the Modi Sarkar completes 1,091 days in office, and three years on May 26. This week, the government will be assessed for what it promised and what it has delivered as yet.

21 May 2017

Are jobs being created? Drive big data to derive answers

Are jobs being created in India? The answer varies with the basis—intuition, assumptions, estimations, surveys and forecasts.

14 May 2017

Niti Aayog action agenda: All agenda little action

The Niti Aayog has released, what it calls the three-year Action Agenda. The 208-page document, the Niti Aayog says, “charts an ambitious, transformational yet achievable Action Agenda for the governm

07 May 2017

Why stop at red beacon, review practices to dismantle VIP cult

It is an innocuous clause—Section 70 (f) in the Motor Vehicles Act 1939, and Rule 108 of the MV Act of 1988. It deals with the use of “signalling appliances, lamps and reflectors”. 

23 Apr 2017

Silly season and the stampede of mad hatter notions 

American artist Andy Warhol once remarked that “in the future everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes”. It would seem there is a race on for 15 minutes of fame. This has triggered a stampede of M

16 Apr 2017