the hindu
1.2016: The Supreme Court’s report card.

Collectively, the court’s choices this year have shown us that any independence it enjoys hasn’t guided it towards concerted courage in decision-making

The Supreme Court finds itself at a curious juncture. It has spent much of the year lodged in a widely broadcast battle with the Union government over judicial appointments.

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2.Managing risk in banks.

The Reserve Bank of India’s biannual Financial Stability Report has once again flagged the fact that risks to the banking sector remain worryingly “high”. That the risks have stayed “elevated due to continuous deterioration in asset quality, low profitability and liquidity,” in the central bank’s assessment, is cause for concern. Given the central role commercial lenders have in the financial system — serving to harness public savings and direct the flow of crucial credit to the most productive industrial and infrastructure sectors — any systemic risk to the banking industry has the potential to ripple across the entire economy. There has been no perceptible improvement in the health of domestic banks, even six months after the RBI’s previous report had read more

3.Fiscal deficit widens amid lower revenue.

The Centre’s fiscal deficit in FY17 stood at Rs. 4.6 lakh crore as of the end of November 2016, which is 85.8 per cent of the budget estimates for the entire year, with the widening deficit being driven largely by lower-than-expected revenue receipts.  read more

1.India, Singapore amend tax treaty
Capital Gains Tax Can Be Imposed On Investment Routed Via Island Nation
India and Singapore on Friday amended a decade-old double tax avoidance agreement (DTAA) that will allow the tax department to impose capital gains (tax) on investments routed through the island nation and plug a possible misuse of benefits.

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2.Fiscal deficit at 86% of Budget estimates

Fiscal deficit touched the Rs 4.58 lakh crore mark, or 85.8% of the budget estimate (BE) for the whole financial year, at the end of April-November.

The fiscal situation at the end of November was better this financial year compared to the year-ago period as the deficit then stood at 87% of BE. Fiscal deficit, the gap between expenditure and revenue for the entire fiscal, has been pegged at Rs 5.3 lakh crore, or 3.5% of GDP , in 2016-17. As per data released by the Controller General of Accounts, tax revenue came in at Rs 6.2 lakh crore, or 59% of the fullyear BE of Rs 10.5 lakh crore.

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1.The Mother of all elections.

This refrain among Muslims, suggesting that they would go with the party that is most likely to keep the BJP away, is an indicator of the unclear, messy political situation in Uttar Pradesh, which was further muddled by the developments late Friday resulting in the expulsion of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav from the Samajwadi Party. If the end of 2016 witnessed an unprecedented economic move in the form of demonetisation, the beginning of 2017 is set to keep the nation engrossed with electoral politics as Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, goes to the polls in February along with four other states.  read more

2.Reform school education but keep it simple.

Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school. This famous quote, attributed to various people, including Albert Einstein, summarises the state of school education in India. Despite the many changes it has undergone, and many more recommendations implemented over the past many years, school education is anything but perfect.
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