Rajesh Mahapatra

Rajesh Mahapatra was the Chief Content Officer at Hindustan Times. From sports to politics, analytics to economics, he has an interest in everything that makes news. He tweets as @rajeshmahapatra

Articles by Rajesh Mahapatra

The EPW conundrum: For things to stay as they are, things will have to change

The fate of many budding scholars, future thinkers and the efforts to understand our current challenges greatly depend on how the EPW restores its rightful place as Asia’s most significant intellectual voice.

Tracking through the EPW’s intellectual journey over the past five decades is like going straight into the “deep state” of India’s interconnected world of academia, politics, ideologies, journalism and grassroots activism.
Tracking through the EPW’s intellectual journey over the past five decades is like going straight into the “deep state” of India’s interconnected world of academia, politics, ideologies, journalism and grassroots activism.
Updated on Jul 31, 2017 09:03 AM IST

India’s school education system is moth-eaten, it’s time to stem the rot

Those lacking meaningful education are most likely to be left powerless and, therefore, become victims in any society that is based on choice and informed decision-making.

Students attend class in a corridor of their school. Many schools across India have become run-down versions of themselves. (HT File Photo)
Students attend class in a corridor of their school. Many schools across India have become run-down versions of themselves. (HT File Photo)
Updated on Jul 26, 2017 01:28 PM IST

What an IT engineer’s suicide tells us about India’s economic real and political unreal

Just like the underclass and notebandi, a spectrum of domestic investors from the middle to upper classes wants to sustain the irrational belief that the stock market need not have anything to do with the real economy.

Statistics show that jobs in IT, once India’s most dynamic service sector, are drying up.(HT File Photo)
Statistics show that jobs in IT, once India’s most dynamic service sector, are drying up.(HT File Photo)
Updated on Jul 16, 2017 09:42 PM IST

Time to wage a war on rote learning, but it will need courage and perseverance

India is plagued by the problem of the ‘educated unemployable’. According to some studies, only one of four graduates coming out of engineering and professional colleges are suitable for jobs.

Undoing our reliance on rote learning would mean outcomes that will be financially overbearing and politically unpopular.(Representative photo)
Undoing our reliance on rote learning would mean outcomes that will be financially overbearing and politically unpopular.(Representative photo)
Updated on Jul 17, 2017 08:50 AM IST

A bold beginning, but GST is not India’s biggest tax reform yet

A bold beginning has been made with the GST rollout at a midnight mega show in Parliament’s central hall, but its current form and shape remains far from making it a “win-win for all”

President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi launch the Goods and Services Tax (GST) at a special function in Parliament’s central hall, New Delhi.(PTI)
President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi launch the Goods and Services Tax (GST) at a special function in Parliament’s central hall, New Delhi.(PTI)
Updated on Jul 02, 2017 09:45 AM IST

Burden of farming outweighs rewards: Is India staring at another Nandigram moment?

Interventions such as loan waivers or MSP revisions can at best offer temporary succour. At worst, they deflect attention from the real issues behind the crisis that has been in the making for long

The killing of six farmers in a police crackdown in Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh earlier this month has put the spotlight on India’s worsening farm crisis.(Reuters Photo)
The killing of six farmers in a police crackdown in Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh earlier this month has put the spotlight on India’s worsening farm crisis.(Reuters Photo)
Updated on Aug 12, 2017 04:32 PM IST

Three years of Modi govt: Not all is well with India’s power sector

Being a power surplus nation doesn’t mean India produces more power than it needs. It means the country’s capacity to generate power is now more than what is demanded, which is in turn is determined by access to electricity and ability to pay for it.

The thermal power station of Kota. Over the past three years, the capacity to generate power increased 8.6% annually, while demand for power grew just 4.4% every year. During the 10 years of the UPA government, demand for power had grown at annual pace of 6%.(HT File Photo)
The thermal power station of Kota. Over the past three years, the capacity to generate power increased 8.6% annually, while demand for power grew just 4.4% every year. During the 10 years of the UPA government, demand for power had grown at annual pace of 6%.(HT File Photo)
Updated on Jun 12, 2017 08:04 PM IST

Indian economy: Latest GDP estimates show the worst is not over

To say that the worst is over would not only be naïve, but disastrous in its consequences. Make no mistake, the sustained rally in the stock market is not evidence of the fundamentals getting better.

If the impact of government spending and agriculture is factored out, the growth of gross value added for the rest of the economy turns out to be just 3.8% in the January-March period. The corresponding figure in the same quarter a year ago was 10.7%(AFP)
If the impact of government spending and agriculture is factored out, the growth of gross value added for the rest of the economy turns out to be just 3.8% in the January-March period. The corresponding figure in the same quarter a year ago was 10.7%(AFP)
Updated on Jul 02, 2017 07:03 AM IST

Where are the jobs? Being in denial over unemployment woes won’t help Modi govt

To begin with, it is imperative that the government and the ruling coalition acknowledge the challenge, and not be dismissive about it. Ambiguous expressions such as “promoting self-employment” do not help.

No amount of skill development can work without a solid foundation in basic education. India’s long neglect of the education system is coming back to haunt its economic ambitions.(AFP Photo)
No amount of skill development can work without a solid foundation in basic education. India’s long neglect of the education system is coming back to haunt its economic ambitions.(AFP Photo)
Updated on May 28, 2017 06:55 AM IST

‘This is Modi’s govt’: Three years on, hopes of many still largely rest on the PM

People counting on Prime Minister Narendra Modi do so more on the strength of optimism and belief in his capabilities than what the Modi-led NDA has achieved since it came to power in 2014.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves to the media at a public engagement. The BJP, which has been on a winning spree in elections at both the state and local government levels, has constantly relied on Modi’s popularity to see it through.(PTI File Photo)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves to the media at a public engagement. The BJP, which has been on a winning spree in elections at both the state and local government levels, has constantly relied on Modi’s popularity to see it through.(PTI File Photo)
Updated on May 21, 2017 12:26 PM IST

PM Modi’s maths is weak on logic: IT+IT may not equal a brighter India Tomorrow

A review of surveys and news reports on hiring by Indian companies shows that services continue to generate more new jobs than manufacturing, but hiring activities in both segments have slowed through the past year, dropping sharply after demonetisation

A combination of new technologies, changing business models and a tighter visa regime in the United States has forced IT companies to go for large-scale layoffs. No matter how much we talk about diversifying the global spread of Indian IT workers, the US market remains the biggest determinant of the performance on the Indian IT sector(AP)
A combination of new technologies, changing business models and a tighter visa regime in the United States has forced IT companies to go for large-scale layoffs. No matter how much we talk about diversifying the global spread of Indian IT workers, the US market remains the biggest determinant of the performance on the Indian IT sector(AP)
Updated on Jul 19, 2017 03:42 PM IST

Varanasi cleaner than Bhubaneswar? Swachh Survekshan needs to come clean on city ranking

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat mission has enthused citizens and urban bodies to work towards cleaner cities, but it runs the risk of getting undermined by a flawed ranking of cities on cleanliness scores

Gonda, a town in Uttar Pradesh, was ranked as the dirtiest city as per the survey.(HT Photo)
Gonda, a town in Uttar Pradesh, was ranked as the dirtiest city as per the survey.(HT Photo)
Updated on May 07, 2017 03:40 PM IST

PM Modi’s vision of a ‘new India’ needs substance not NITI Aayog’s ‘goodie bag’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s grand vision of a “new India” needs substance and strategy, not the fantasies that Niti Aayog is trying to sell.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a NITI Aayog function in Nagpur, Maharashtra.(PTI File Photo)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a NITI Aayog function in Nagpur, Maharashtra.(PTI File Photo)
Updated on May 01, 2017 08:58 AM IST

Trump’s H-1B tweaks to Aussie visa: India’s middle class must reinvent itself, again

The great Indian middle class must now reconcile to the fact that ‘globalisation as we know it’ is dead. The global workplace has delivered a blow to the job seeker from India.

Wipro employees walk inside the company’s compound during a break at their headquarters in Bangalore. The Indian middle class, riding the youthful economic energies unleashed by digital technologies, needs a fresh and hopeful script for its growth story.(AP FILE)
Wipro employees walk inside the company’s compound during a break at their headquarters in Bangalore. The Indian middle class, riding the youthful economic energies unleashed by digital technologies, needs a fresh and hopeful script for its growth story.(AP FILE)
Updated on May 08, 2017 07:22 AM IST

Despite PM Modi’s popularity, Odisha still a long shot for the BJP | Opinion

PM Modi’s BJP has managed to ruffle the BJD that has a stable government in Odisha, but its biggest challenge will be to sustain the momentum until the assembly elections two years away.

PM Narendra Modi with BJP president Amit Shah at the party's national executive meet in Bhubaneswar. Shah said at the meet that the BJP’s golden era will begin only when it has CMs in every state and holds power from panchayat to Parliament.(PTI)
PM Narendra Modi with BJP president Amit Shah at the party's national executive meet in Bhubaneswar. Shah said at the meet that the BJP’s golden era will begin only when it has CMs in every state and holds power from panchayat to Parliament.(PTI)
Updated on Apr 17, 2017 10:11 PM IST

PM Modi asks BJP leaders to work for poor Muslims, slams Oppn over EVM row

His outreach to backward Muslims follows a move to accord constitutional status to the other backwards class (OBC) commission. The Lok Sabha has passed a related bill, but it got blocked in the Rajya Sabha.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Lingaraj temple in Bhubneshwar, India on Sunday.(Arabinda Mahapatra)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Lingaraj temple in Bhubneshwar, India on Sunday.(Arabinda Mahapatra)
Updated on Jun 01, 2017 11:10 AM IST

Highlights: BJP should have CM in every state, says Amit Shah at national meet

PM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah have set their eyes on unconquered territories, Odisha being one of them, to win the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with party president Amit Shah at BJP's national executive meet in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.(PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with party president Amit Shah at BJP's national executive meet in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.(PTI)
Updated on Apr 15, 2017 10:15 PM IST

Why PM Narendra Modi would love to see a united Opposition in 2019

If an anti-BJP grand alliance takes shape, how far will it go to be the alternative? Leaders of most regional parties stand discredited among voters, for reasons that range from corruption to governance failure. Their coming together will make Prime Minister Narendra Modi look even better.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a NITI Aayog function in Nagpur, Maharashtra.(PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a NITI Aayog function in Nagpur, Maharashtra.(PTI)
Updated on May 19, 2017 10:45 PM IST

All eyes on Yogi Adityanath as BJP national executive meet begins in Bhubaneswar

As the two-day BJP national executive meet starts in Bhubaneswar on Saturday, all eyes are on Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath who has created a buzz in this temple city.

UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath arrives to pay tribute to Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar on his 126 the birth anniversary at Ambedkar Mahasabha in Lucknow, on April 14, 2017.(Ashok Dutta/HT Photo)
UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath arrives to pay tribute to Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar on his 126 the birth anniversary at Ambedkar Mahasabha in Lucknow, on April 14, 2017.(Ashok Dutta/HT Photo)
Updated on May 19, 2017 10:45 PM IST

Mission 2019: Upbeat BJP to discuss strategy in two-day Odisha meet

PM Modi and Amit Shah have set their eyes on BJP’s unconquered territories, Odisha being one of them, to win the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

Narendra Modi (left) and Amit Shah have their eyes set on Odisha.(Reuters File Photo)
Narendra Modi (left) and Amit Shah have their eyes set on Odisha.(Reuters File Photo)
Updated on May 19, 2017 10:45 PM IST

I love IPL because I don’t follow cricket | Opinion

The thing that I admire the most about the IPL format is that it celebrates unity in diversity. I cherish the camaraderie I get to see among players who come from different cultures, races, religions and regions. Such display of camaraderie help me stay with the hope that cricket loving India will always strive to be inclusive, and not intolerant.

Gujarat Lions captain Suresh Raina in Rajkot, April 4, 2017(BCCI)
Gujarat Lions captain Suresh Raina in Rajkot, April 4, 2017(BCCI)
Updated on Apr 09, 2017 08:17 AM IST

Political funding: Voters have the right to know how parties earn, spend

The political class must reckon with the growing distrust and disillusionment among voters over lack of accountability and transparency in the actions of what they perceive as public institutions

The political class must reckon with the growing distrust and disillusionment among voters over lack of accountability and transparency in the actions of what they perceive as public institutions.(PTI)
The political class must reckon with the growing distrust and disillusionment among voters over lack of accountability and transparency in the actions of what they perceive as public institutions.(PTI)
Updated on Apr 14, 2017 09:14 AM IST

Are Indians unhappy, or just angry? Rising inequality corroding the nation’s social cohesion

India is witnessing a profound shift in terms of both its popular discourse and political rhetoric. Today, majoritarian politics seems to have made exclusion its dominant narrative.

India is witnessing a profound shift in terms of both its popular discourse and political rhetoric. Today, majoritarian politics seems to have made exclusion its dominant narrative(Representational Photo)
India is witnessing a profound shift in terms of both its popular discourse and political rhetoric. Today, majoritarian politics seems to have made exclusion its dominant narrative(Representational Photo)
Updated on Mar 26, 2017 06:34 PM IST

Delhi municipal election: Parties can’t ignore local body governance any more

The Delhi local body elections must not see a repeat of Uttar Pradesh, where real issues took the back seat and ugly spats and personal attacks took centre stage. The real issues that affect the people must be discussed and debated

Political parties never paid much attention because the urban vote didn’t matter much in deciding who gets to rule the country or a state.(Arun Sharma /HT File Photo)
Political parties never paid much attention because the urban vote didn’t matter much in deciding who gets to rule the country or a state.(Arun Sharma /HT File Photo)
Updated on Mar 19, 2017 08:18 AM IST

From achhe din to ‘new India’: Modi knows BJP needs a new narrative for 2019 elections

Modi realises he has yet to come good on his ‘achhe din’ promise and that a new narrative will shift the goalpost. But it remains to be seen if the electorate reposes its faith again in yet another ephemeral promise from the PM.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the BJP headquarters. During his thanks-giving address to party workers on Sunday, a day after the verdict, he made another pledge – building a “new India” by 2022.(Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the BJP headquarters. During his thanks-giving address to party workers on Sunday, a day after the verdict, he made another pledge – building a “new India” by 2022.(Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Mar 15, 2017 12:57 PM IST

If the Indian economy grew 7% in demonetisation quarter, where is the party?

The government could have added an advisory to the estimates, saying these may see revisions in the time to come. It also needs to be candid in acknowledging the impact of demonetisation as reflected in other sets of data. Sadly, that is not how Modi’s administration has chosen to respond, and that is why everyone is saying these numbers are too good to be true.

Demonetisation didn’t devastate the formal sector as much as it did to the informal sector. So, therein lies the first reason for the consumption numbers getting overstated.(AFP Photo)
Demonetisation didn’t devastate the formal sector as much as it did to the informal sector. So, therein lies the first reason for the consumption numbers getting overstated.(AFP Photo)
Updated on Mar 05, 2017 03:37 PM IST

PM Modi’s ‘Harvard’ dig at Amartya Sen: Here’s what the economist said about government in HT interview

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken a dig at economists critical of his demonetisation move, saying “hard work is more powerful than Harvard”. His remarks came close on the heels of Harvard University professor Amartya Sen terming the decision to ban high-denomination notes a “despotic action”. Days before the PM’s remarks made headlines, here’s what the Nobel laureate told HT in an interview.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken a dig at economists critical of his demonetisation move, saying ‘hard work is more powerful than Harvard’.(Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken a dig at economists critical of his demonetisation move, saying ‘hard work is more powerful than Harvard’.(Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
Updated on Mar 02, 2017 08:42 PM IST

Odisha polls: Once a powerhouse, the Congress is now a faceless entity in the state

The first signs of Congress losing ground in Odisha came ironically with its winning the state elections in 1995. Between 2000 and 2014, its vote share in assembly elections has steadily fallen from 35% to 25%, and its local leadership has changed as many as seven times. The Congress, however, has been in a state of denial and delusion, letting degeneration set in

Voters stand in the queue during the last phase of Odisha's panchayat election, Khurda district, February 21.(PTI)
Voters stand in the queue during the last phase of Odisha's panchayat election, Khurda district, February 21.(PTI)
Updated on Feb 26, 2017 01:29 PM IST

Idea of individual liberty has taken the biggest knock in India: Amartya Sen

Economist Amartya Sen has just revised his seminal book on social theory. He talks about the importance of dissent in public life, academic autonomy, electoral reform and other challenges

Nobel Prize winner and economist Amartya Sen.(Photo: Raj K Raj / HT)
Nobel Prize winner and economist Amartya Sen.(Photo: Raj K Raj / HT)
Updated on Feb 27, 2017 12:15 PM IST

In Odisha, Modi is the new hero; Naveen Patnaik has a fight on his hands

With big gains for the BJP in Odisha’s panchayat elections, the voters of the state no longer believe there is no alternative (TINA) to his Biju Janata Dal.

Voters wait in queue to exercise their franchise in the first phase of the Odisha Panchayat Polls in Kandhamal(PTI Photo)
Voters wait in queue to exercise their franchise in the first phase of the Odisha Panchayat Polls in Kandhamal(PTI Photo)
Updated on Feb 26, 2017 08:06 AM IST
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