In cities at least, India's nightmarish second wave of Covid-19 finally seems to be ebbing. Delhi has brought its test positivity rate below 2% for the first time in two months.
As anyone who has tried to invest in India can tell you, India's states are as distinct from each other as European countries.
If you are lucky enough to be healthy in Covid-haunted Delhi, life feels strangely disconnected. Offline, there's an undeclared lockdown. The normally noisy city is silent except for the sound of birds.
It has been a year since the pandemic hit India and, for me, the oddest thing is how healthy I've been. Like most but not all of the people I see on the streets, I have been masked up these past 12 months. I've washed my hands religiously and avoided crowds. As a result, for the first time in my life, I haven't caught a cold all year.
India's economy has suffered more than most from the pandemic and so have its people. The country has lost more than a year's worth of growth and perhaps a decade's progress in its efforts to reduce poverty. The economic contraction - the first in India since the 1970s - has put pressure on its government like so many others to respond.
India's agitating farmers show no signs of fading away. Angry cultivators have been camped on the doorstep of Delhi for weeks through north India's bitingly cold winter. They have shown a talent for staying in the headlines as well, with attention-grabbing stunts such as staging a tractor convoy to rival India's official Republic Day parade.
The Indian state faces one of the world's most formidable challenges: rolling out a Covid-19 vaccination program for 1.3 billion people. To succeed, many things have to go right in a country that usually gets a lot wrong. The government would be wise to enlist the country's private sector in this gargantuan effort - and soon.
The third rail of Indian politics has always been agriculture. While the economy has been partly liberalized since opening up to the world in 1991, the process has largely bypassed the three-fifths of Indians who depend for their livelihoods, directly or indirectly, on farming.
After almost a decade of "negotiating with blood, sweat and tears," as Malaysia's trade minister put it, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership was signed this weekend at the conclusion of an Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit. Fifteen countries - all of ASEAN, alongside Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and China - will be part of this gi...
In recent weeks, India's government has shown unusual amounts of energy in pushing through long-awaited economic reforms. The last session of Parliament - cut short when several MPs tested positive for Covid-19 - was exceptionally productive. Two labor-law amendments were passed, as was a package of measures addressing the agriculturalsector.
India's Covid-19 cases continue to climb, even as the economy tanks. China is pressing forward on the two countries' disputed Himalayan border, where dozens of Indian soldiers have been killed. Tax revenues have plummeted, state governments are unhappy and 21 million of India's rare salaried jobs vanished in the last few months. And yet Prime Minister Narendra Modi - ...
America's elections provide a narrow window of opportunity for its trading partners. Across the world, negotiators will have seen a man from Maine given a prime spot at the Republican National Convention: Lobsterman Jason Joyce spokeabout how President Donald Trump had "brokered a deal to end European Union tariffs of 8% on Maine live lobsters and up to 20% on Maine l...
India is now the epicentre of the global coronavirus pandemic. It ranks just behind the U.S. and Brazil in confirmed cases and is growing faster than either. The total rose 20% in just the last week, despite the fact that India is testing less than most of its peers.
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently announced a stimulus package for India, he said it was worth Rs. 20 trillion - $265 billion, equivalent to about 10% of the country's GDP. This seemed to fit in with the amounts being spent by some rich OECD economies to deal with the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. Equity markets exulted.
Modi's message on Tuesday evening was even starker than most expected. From midnight, this country of 1.3 billion will shut down: "For 21 days, forget what going out means."