March 30, 2020
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Business in bitesizes

Hype, spin and politics of punditry

The media avalanche around  top-level changes in the Reserve Bank doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon. Watch out for the blinding photo-op on September 4, when Raghuram Rajan yields way to Urjit Patel. It wasn’t always like this, of course. Till liberalisation, very few outside the RBI would have known who the governor was, even though he signed rupee notes. But now, media management is a crucial part of the game. Recently, a US-based economist met with Rajan after his decision to leave the governorship. Rajan pointed at two piles of newspaper clippings on his desk­—the larger pile was overflowing with positive reports, the smaller one with critical pieces. That’s what they call image management.

BJP’s green thumb

On the face of it, a return to nature and indigenisation in agriculture is the leitmotif of the BJP government. Consider the push towards organic farming by agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh, or environment minister Anil Madhav Dave recently narrating his ­successful experiment with growing a healthy crop of moong dal on his farm near Narmada. But there’s a contradiction­—both Union ministers have also been declaring their commitment to promoting technology to ­improve agricultural yield. Asked about his stance on the controversial, genetically modified (GM) crops, Dave shied from giving a straight answer, dismissing it as an insignificant issue. Now, really?

Fall and fall of Singh Bros

The fallout of the case against former Ranbaxy promoters, Malvinder and Shivinder Singh, for falsifying drug-testing data before the sale of the pharma giant to Daiichi Sankyo in 2008, continues. The Singh brothers challenged the Rs 3,500-crore penalty imp­osed by a Singapore tribunal, saying it cannot be enforced in India. No decision will be taken on freezing RHC Holdings until November 28, when the Delhi High Court will hear the case. Meanwhile, India Inc is silent. Malvinder Singh continues to be on the board of ICRIER, a top think-tank.


Want a crispy, fried tan?

Now, we have seen it all. KFC, in a latest outreach to customers, is giving away tubes of sunscreen that also make you smell like extra crispy fried chicken.

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