Modi’s ‘borderline’ claims

Indian and Chinese forces are facing off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), and the Modi government is fighting with a vengeance to control the political narrative. In his 19 June remarks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted that it was his government’s border infrastructure improvements that had strengthened India’s ability to deal with China’s …

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Rank exaggeration

A look at India's rapid rise in the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Index, first published as an oped in the Hindustan Times: It’s clear that the Modi government can’t get enough of comparative rankings and indicators. And this is understandable: despite a solid reform push and favourable (if controversial) official statistics, many feel that …

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Arvind Panagariya spins an infrastructure tale

There's something about serving in the Modi government that converts seemingly sensible people into inept spinmeisters. Consider the respected Columbia University economist and NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya. In an 8 May 2016 Business Standard op-ed titled The turnaround in infrastructure, he reeled off the Modi government's many accomplishments in this arena. Following which he warned …

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What are you smoking Mr Gadkari (and can I have some)?

Of all the topics covered in this blog, India's highway construction programme attracts the most yawns from friends and family (and the least interest in social media). But apart from its intrinsic importance and the resonance that highway construction programmes have long had in discourses of modernity -- think the New Deal and Hitler's autobahns -- it …

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Road construction has slowed, not accelerated, under Narendra Modi

In a 9 December press release, Crisil Research found that highway projects awarded in the fiscal year 2013-14 are showing "a sharp pick-up in execution amid a pro-active government and faster approvals by implementing agencies". https://twitter.com/CRISILLimited/status/542536758353620992 While this may be true of those 16 projects, it has yet to translate into an acceleration in the road …

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