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Thursday, December 09, 2010

Interesting readings

One of the big impediments to India's integration into the world economy is xenophobic visa rules. There is some progress in the pipeline: visa on arrival has been working from Jan 2010 onwards for visitors from Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Singapore. A nice touch here is that India did not get stuck on issues of reciprocity; this is unilateral liberalisation.

Watch this talk by Steve Coll.

Mature treatments of the Niira Radia wiretaps : Sail Tripathi in the Mint, Pratap Bhanu Mehta in the Indian Express.

Anil Padmanabhan in Mint on the question of corruption, and Sevanti Ninan on the media response to the tapes.

In search of America's liberty and India's dharma by Gurcharan Das in the Times of India.

A rumination by Vikram Doctor, on the need to shift focus in Bombay from the West to the East.

Sam Geall on the problems of Chinese science. Some of these problems are found in India also.

With corruption scandals galore, what India needs most is competent and clean government. SEBI continues to soldier on: see the recent order on bond issues by Sahara. Or if you don't have appetite for the full text, here is a precis by V. Umakanth. Everyone interested in Indian finance should read a few orders of Bhave's SEBI every year: they give you fresh insights into how the interplay between law and regulation works.

Tamal Bandyopadhyay in Mint with his sense about the extent of corruption in Indian banking.

How do foreign capital flows behave around elections, on voxEU by Emmanuel Frot and Javier Santiso.

Currency warriors should consider India by Sebastian Mallaby in the Financial Times.

A. K. Bhattacharya writes in the Business Standard about fresh thinking on Indian Railways from an unexpected source.

Huang Yiping on voxEU has a story from China which is similar to what we often see in India: the use of microeconomic tools to go after macroeconomic problems.

In the footsteps of Gandhi, Mandela and Havel, by Ma Jian, on Project Syndicate. Unveiling hidden China by Christian Caryl in the New York Review of Books.

Good-bye to Dubai by Joshua Hammer in the New York Review of Books.

Robert Messenger looks back at Dien Bien Phu.

Richard Boudreaux in the Wall Street Journal about Russia's Parliament accepting Stalin's responsibility for the Katyn massacre.

Kenneth Rogoff on the Euro.

A tale from the frontiers of public administration. The Australian government has announced a competition to forecast the behaviour of traffic on Sydney's M4 freeway. This illustrates three themes. The first is that of better living through science: the attempt at using statistical analysis to shape public administration. The second is the unique value of public domain databases. The third is the importance of harnessing brainpower out there in innovative ways: through openness of data and through the competition.

Trailhead by E. O. Wilson. As I read it, I was astonished at the way in which knowledge gleaned from hundreds of research papers has been stitched into a compelling story.

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