Long "to do" list for PM Modi as clock ticks on reform

Long "to do" list for PM Modi as clock ticks on reform

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a long list of pro-growth measures to implement over the next four months, but time may have already run out to breathe enough life into the economy to meet the tough 2014/15 fiscal deficit target without cuts.  Full Article 

RBI cautious on response to gold import surge 7:51pm IST

MUMBAI - The Reserve Bank of India, grabbling with a surge in gold imports last month, could support some restrictions for trading houses but two senior policymakers involved in the bank's decision-making said officials were also wary of overreacting.

Girls travel to school in a cycle rickshaw during morning in the old quarters of Delhi, October 17, 2014. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood/Files

Fears grow about "Modi-fication" of education

Indians were flying aeroplanes and may even have been using cosmic weapons 5,000 years ago, according to Y. Sudershan Rao, the chairman of Indian Council of Historical Research. The BJP appointed Rao to the academic post soon after winning the general election, fuelling concerns of a push to teach the superiority of Hindu values and mythology at the cost of academic rigour  Full Article 

An employee counts Yuan banknotes at a branch of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in Huaibei, Anhui August 3, 2010. REUTERS/Stringer/Files

China surprises with interest rate cut

China cut interest rates unexpectedly on Friday, stepping up a campaign to prop up growth in the world's second-largest economy as it heads towards its slowest growth in nearly a quarter century.  Full Article 

An electrician installs power cables outside the Indian Parliament building in New Delhi December 10, 2013. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee/Files
Sectoral Reform

India to invest $4 billion to tackle power theft

India will spend 253 billion rupees to tackle rampant theft of electricity by rolling out metering in cities and upgrading old distribution networks, the power ministry has said. Under the scheme, the government will roll out meters on distribution transformers, feeders and consumers in urban areas, the power ministry said in a statement, following cabinet approval of the project.  Full Article 

Actress Uma Thurman (R), wearing Bulgari jewellery worth 30 million yen ($295,470), poses for pictures with Bulgari Chief Executive Officer Jean-Christophe Babin during the Bulgari 130th anniversary party in Tokyo May 29, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino/Files

Bulgari: shouldn’t have left India so we’re back

Bulgari should never have left India three years ago, so it’s coming back, the chief executive of the Italian luxury jewellery and accessories company said in an interview on Thursday. Jean-Christophe Babin was in New Delhi to attend the opening of the company’s flagship store in India.  Full Article 

A labourer works on the scaffoldings of a flyover under construction in Lahore January 31, 2014. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza/Files

China commits $45.6 bln for Pakistan corridor

The Chinese government and banks will finance Chinese companies to build $45.6 billion worth of energy and infrastructure projects in Pakistan over the next six years, according to new details of the deal seen by Reuters on Friday. The Chinese companies will be able to operate the projects as profit-making entities, according to the deal signed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.  Full Article 

An illustration picture shows the logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone next to the picture of an official German taxi sign in Frankfurt, September 15, 2014.  REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/Files

Singapore to regulate taxi-booking app Uber

Singapore said it plans to regulate fast-growing third-party taxi booking services like Uber and GrabTaxi for the first time, capping fees and requiring them to dispatch only licensed cabs and drivers. Uber's booking services in Singapore include high-end UberExec and cheaper UberX cars.  Full Article 

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Diplomacy

How to get India’s exports back on track

How to get India’s exports back on track

The contraction of exports by 5 percent in October will pull down industrial growth and bloat current account deficit. The fall in exports may not be due to a chance fluctuation but a warning of things to come. There are strong reasons to suggest India’s export woes are due to worldwide trends which need to be understood so that the country can benefit from them.  Full Article 

Tribal fighters take part in a military training to prepare for fighting against Islamic State militants, at the Ain al-Assad military base in Anbar province November 15, 2014.  REUTERS/Stringer

Seven unlikely events in the fight against Islamic State, and their likely outcomes

When assessing events on the ground — particularly in dynamic situations like Iraq and Syria — it is devilishly difficult to determine if and when a game-changing event will occur. We’ve identified five black swans — high-impact but low-probability events that could alter the course of the conflict.   Commentary 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (2nd R) attends a reception with members of German carnival societies at the Chancellery in Berlin February 18, 2014. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/Files

And the world’s favorite country is … Germany?

Germany, it appears, is the most respected country in the world. According to the Nation Brands Index, Germany deposed the hitherto reigning champion, the Unites States. I’m amazed the U.S. was number one up until now. Anti-Americanism is rampant and I would have guessed that Switzerland or Sweden or some other rich but harmless country would top the list instead.  Commentary 

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