Weekend reads

  1. Like the mythological cow Kamadhenu, this year’s Union budget seems to to miraculously promise everything. It turned out to be more an election manifesto than a budget, argues Pratap Bhanu Mehta in Indian Express. 
  2.   The real issue with the approach of a targeted cash transfer scheme is that it limits the state’s role to only providing cash income to the poor. This kind of Robin Hood approach seeks to absolve the state of its responsibility to provide basic services such as health, writes academic Himanshu in The Hindu. 
  3. The indictment of former ICICI CEO Chanda Kochhar in a case of fraud is not enough. The role of the ICICI Board, which cannnot claim ignorance on the operating details, must also be critically reviewed, says Prabal Basu Roy in Hindustan Times.
  4. The prime minister farmer income scheme announced in the Union budget should have included tenants and farm workers. Instead, it turned out to be a poor cousin of Telangana’s Rythu Bandhu scheme, writes Sukhpal Singh in BusinessLine. 
  5. Mathematics suggest that a ninth planet millions of miles beyond Pluto exists, stamping its gravity signatures on the way objects move in the solar system. But what will it take to find this mystery planet? Shannon Stirone in Longreads reports on the search for elusive object. 
  6.  Several assessments highlight “robust” signs of revival and resilience shown by the Indian economy since the second half of 2017-’18. Citing the near-term data, these not only undermine the demand-side instability that the economy has been experiencing over the past few years, but also underestimate the role of domestic demand as India’s primary engine of growth, argues Isha Gupta in Economic and Political Weekly. 
  7. In Buzzfeed News, Nishita Jha reports on a Pakistani woman who took on the menace of revenge porn. 
  8.   Forget leisure suits and disco balls. The decade’s economic tumult changed who Americans were as a people. Michael Tomasky writes in the New York Times on the real legacy of the 1970s boom.   
  9. In Fountain Ink, Alia Allana reports on the flood of Korean cosmetic products in the global market and the cultural driving force behind this trend. 
  10. By placing Priyanka Gandhi in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress is trying to regain a lost bastion, writes Badri Narayan in Indian Express.