Festive cheer eludes realty sector (Comment: Special to IANS) (14:24)
By Vinod Behl
Much against the expectations of the real estate sector, this year's festive season is turning out to be somewhat disappointing for property developers as aspiring home buyers are extra cautious about investments in the backdrop of the slowing economy and unstable realty sector, hit by the short-term impact of the Real Estate Regulation Act (RERA) and the Goods & Services Tax (GST).

Widespread use of unapproved GM cotton shows official tolerance of illegality (Comment: Special to IANS) (13:28)
By Vivian Fernandes
New Delhi, Oct 18 (IANS) The Andhra governments flip-flop on extensive cultivation of unapproved genetically-modified (GM) herbicide-tolerant (HT) cotton seems to be symptomatic of the complacency which has infected even regulatory bodies and research institutions.

Labour reforms the antidote to India's perpetual job crisis (Column: Active Voice) (11:20)
By Amit Kapoor
The lack of jobs is beginning to haunt the Modi government. The Reserve Bank of India's recent Consumer Confidence Survey shows that public perception is also beginning to take account of the fact that there are no jobs available in the economy. According to the survey, 43.7 percent of responders felt that the employment situation had worsened as compared to 31.9 percent a year ago.

Punjab continues to reject BJP's 'Congress-mukt Bharat' rant (News Analysis) (15:04)
By Jaideep Sarin
Chandigarh, Oct 15 (IANS) If Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah's 'Congress-mukt Bharat' (Congress-free India) campaign has hit a wall in any state, it is definitely Punjab.

Foucault and the quest to discern the relation between knowledge and power (Column: Bookends) (14:04)
By Vikas Datta
Human development owes much to philosophical 'gadflies' who search for the 'truth' about us and our world - not only to discover it but also find if it conforms to what we believe it is. They can end up with surprising, contentious findings like French philosopher Michael Foucault whose quest led to him detecting a new approach to see the individual-society relationship and the prevailing ideas about madness, sex and criminality.

BJP once again turns to Ram to bolster flagging appeal in UP (Column: Political Circus) (14:08)
By Amulya Ganguli IANS Photo Service
The reason why the UP election results in May were a showpiece for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was that they represented, in the party's opinion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's continuing forward march.

By playing Hindutva game for decades, Congress helped BJP rise (Comment: Special to IANS) (13:54)
By Saeed Naqvi
How indistinguishable the Congress ideologically is from the BJP was the theme of the main edit page article written by French scholars Christophe Jaffrelot and Gilles Verniers in the Indian Express on October 5.

Corporate bond market as a driver of economic growth (Comment: Special to IANS) (11:02)
By Taponeel Mukherjee
Current debates around job creation and growth numbers in India suggest a slight slowdown of the economy. Besides the fiscal stimulus and concessions, what the economy really needs for long-term growth is a more liquid and deep corporate bond market.

Seven thousand people have your face, scientists say (11:02)
By Nury Vittachi
A reader said she saw me in her city. "But I've never been there," I said. "I just have a common face."

Unwritten futures: Some fictional characters who deserve more outings (Column: Bookends) (12:00)
By Vikas Datta
"And they happily lived ever after" is usually an ending found -- or desired -- in fairy tales. But further adventures are always possible for the protagonists, with the journey continuing after both achievements or disappointments, as new challenges arise. This seems to explain why some of the most famous literary characters go on for quite long. Do others too?

Pakistan's ties with terror: Can Trump cut the Gordian knot? (12:46)
By C. Uday Bhaskar
Almost 16 years to the day since the US embarked upon its war on terrorism against the Afghan Taliban on October 7, 2001, as reprisal for the enormity of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, it appears that a White House administration is again issuing dire warnings to Rawalpindi (GHQ of the Pakistan Army) while still dangling the familiar "carrot".

India's judiciary stands guardian against authoritarian tendencies (Column: Political Circus) (11:32)
By Amulya Ganguli IANS Photo Service
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat's advice to cow vigilantes not to bother over much about judicial strictures shows a measure of annoyance with the roadblocks which the Hindutva lobby is facing in a secular polity.

An Artist of the Disconnected World: Kazuo Ishiguro and his works (19:22)
By Vikas Datta IANS Photo Service
A living example that literary art has no national landscapes or limitations, Japanese-born British writer Kazuo Ishiguro, the 2017 Nobel Literature laureate, is possibly its first recipient whose range of evocative works is not in his mother tongue and deals with situations and settings from far beyond his old and new homelands and times.

Is the Nobel for discovery of gravitational waves premature? (Comment: Special to IANS) (17:58)
By Abhas Mitra
On October 3, 2017, the Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to three American physicists "for decisive contribution to Laser Interferometry Gravitational Observatory (LIGO) detector and observation of gravitational waves", a sort of extremely faint ripples propagating through the very fabric of space-time resulting from most powerful cosmic catastrophes.

How Google Pixel 2 can threaten Apple, Samsung in premium segment (Tech Trend) (13:40)
By Nishant Arora IANS Photo Service
New Delhi, Oct 5 (IANS) Google's India-born CEO Sundar Pichai is a big fan of artificial intelligence (AI). No doubt these are early days for AI, but for him it is the most promising New-Age technology -- one that can potentially change the way enterprises work and grow.

India, emerging economies can attract billions of dollars for solar, wind power (Comment: Special to IANS) (12:58)
By Tim Buckley
As world energy markets transform at an unprecedented rate, India is at the forefront of the shift towards profitable renewables given that the countrys solar belt has the potential of 749 GW for power generation. As shown by a new IEEFA (Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis) analysis, accelerating this trend will allow India avoid the costly mistakes made by slow-moving, late-learning European utilities, which have wasted billions on stranded coal and other thermal power assets.

Advanced global action without finding a smoking gun (Comment: Special to IANS) (12:06)
By Rajendra Shende
Mandated by the UN, the coalition forces invaded Iraq in 2003 to destroy its "chemicial weapons of mass destruction" without finding a smoking gun. That's the negative. There's also been a positive.

India improving on competitiveness index, but large ailments remain (Column: Active Voice) (11:04)
By Amit Kapoor
In a respite to the Modi government, which has been facing the heat over dismal economic numbers, the World Economic Forum (WEF) study on global competitiveness for 2017 commended the improving quality of institutions in India, especially in terms of improved efficiency of public spending in the last few years. This was despite the fact that India slipped a place to rank 40 out of a total 137 countries in the Global Competitiveness Index 2017-18.

Gandhi -- a never-ending inspiration in the world of literature (Literary Musings) (Oct 2 is Gandhi Jayanti) (With Images) (12:02)
By Saket Suman
Creativity and inspiration are the two defining factors for most writers and their craft. But while creativity is largely the process of generating original ideas, inspiration is random. Sometimes it comes from the simplest of things. Like the life of Mahatma Gandhi. Poetry, prose or drama; fiction or nonfiction -- Gandhi is everywhere.

A long-forgotten Sanskrit classic with a wide world-view (Column: Bookends) (With Images) (11:34)
By Vikas Datta
Amidst the glittering pantheon of classical Sanskrit literature we know -- or some of us claim to know to put forth their idea of a golden age India "free of any foreign influence" -- there are several lesser-known works which give lie to this claim. This one, for example, by a 16th century writer otherwise famous for his sex manual, but adept at adapting outside traditions too.

Tom Alter: A greater performer than Bollywood's dependable 'firang' (Tribute) (With Images) (17:14)
By Vikas Datta
He was the most different American India has seen. Born in independent India to a family with roots in the subcontinent from roughly around when the Mahatma returned from overseas, Tom Alter was drawn to Bollywood after seeing Rajesh Khanna in "Aradhana" and moved from play 'firangs' onscreen and on stage to also portray a wide gamut of Indian historical and cultural icons.

India's stressed cities: Challenges for new urban development minister (Comment) (13:10)
By Tarun Basu
In June 1990 when, as a member of a media delegation, I had travelled with then Prime Minister V.P. Singh to Kuala Lumpur for a multilateral summit, everyone in the Indian delegation was quite impressed with the modern, vibrant look of Malaysia's capital -- its clean wide roads and sidewalks, its impressive city centre, the rapid growth of skyscrapers and a perceptive good quality of civic life.

Merkel And Corbyn: There's room for decency in public life (Comment: Special to IANS) (11:34)
By Saeed Naqvi IANS Photo Service
Two developments in Europe this week have brought cheer. First, Angela Merkel has held on to her job (even though only by the skin of her teeth). Secondly, the very citadel of Western capitalism, The Economist, has editorially welcomed Jeremy Corbyn, a socialist in the Michael Foot mould, as Britain's next Prime Minister, whenever elections take place. There is a stamp size photograph of Corbyn standing at 10 Downing Street, without a necktie, of course.

2014 victory now seems so distant for the BJP and Modi (Column: Political Circus) (11:02)
By Amulya Ganguli IANS Photo Service
It has taken more than three years for Narendra Modi to realise that a presidential style of governance is not suitable for a country of India's size and complexity.

'Daughters of the East' need support of India, China (Comment) (11:08)
By Subir Bhaumik
Sheikh Hasina and Aung San Suu Kyi have much in common. They are daughters of great fathers who spearheaded the freedom struggles of their countries (and both lost their fathers early). Both fought bitter, protracted struggles against brutal military juntas to restore democracy in their countries. Both now run their countries but live under threat of conspiracies to unseat them, trying to control their powerful militaries and rising religious fundamentalist forces, often backed by men in uniform.

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