Editors Column

The $40 billion Indian e-commerce market is going through a big churn with big-ticket mergers and acquisitions in the offing. US-based Walmart scooping up home-grown Flipkart run by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal will change the face of the e-commerce business in India.

India’s technological prowess in a variety of fields somehow does not reflect in the ability to predict weather-related disturbances. Space imaging technologies and satellite-based weather forecasting has been done in India for ages. The weatherman has often been the subject of mirthful drawing room banter across the world for being usually wrong with his cloudy or sunny day predictions.

Farmers have always been pawns in the dirty political bickering during elections and it is not proving to be any different as Karnataka gears up for assembly polls on May 12. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi trading charges on farmers’ issues is a grim reminder of politics overtaking serious issues.

India’s battle against pollution seems to be a losing one. Otherwise, how does one explain that 14 out of world’s 15 most polluted cities are in India? It is a matter of shame that India has landed in such a big mess and stands with its reputation sullied when it nurses an unbridled ambition to be counted among the leaders of the world.

Keeping the industrial and farm workers happy in an election year would be top of the mind for every political party. Given the high-octane state legislative assembly elections scheduled in half a dozen states followed by Lok Sabha polls, the ruling NDA will have to go all out and woo the working class. Industrial workers have never been happy with this government.

The Modi government is celebrating the achievement of its goal of complete village electrification – after electricity was supplied to Leisang village in Manipur last Saturday. According to government figures, about 597,464 villages now have access to electricity.

The personal equations between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese leader Xi Jinping will be put to the test against the backdrop of the latest meeting between the two in Wuhan. The leaders have met seven times now over the resolution of prickly issues, principally the border question.

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA)-led by the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to complete four years in office shortly. In the next 12 months, the alliance will seek a second term in office. The big question is did the NDA come good on the promise of creating ten million jobs, as it said it would in its manifesto for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Bharti Airtel’s fourth quarter losses from Indian operations – the first time ever – could be a temporary blip in the company’s scheme of things but it does beg the question whether the multi-billion dollar telecom services behemoth is under business stress and whether it will continue to bleed and lose to competition.

Engaging with US President Donald Trump on investment, trade and services relations has turned out to be a big nightmare for even his close partners. India is no exception to the mad rush with which Trump seems to have gone about implementing his poll promises and agenda to bring ‘American jobs back home’ and ‘Be American – Buy American’.

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