Derek O'Brien (for Info only, not official)

author

Derek O'Brien

We are collecting authors'profile. As soon as we get, we update it. Please note this is not official profile. The information including photo is collected from web.

| Contact |

| twitter |

| Linkedin |

    Media Object

    Short extract

    ...This year it has allowed the government to obfuscate and hide many deficiencies of Indian Railways. For instance, freight earnings in 2016-17 are lower than in 2015-16. This is the first time freight earnings have fallen since 1978-79. It is a telling statistic about the state of the railways and the overall economy. The finance minister has also masked a shift in the manner in which railway projects are financed. For 70 years, capital expenditure for the railways has been borne by the Union government. Now, Indian Railways has set up 70 projects to be constructed in collaboration with nine state governments. The sustainability of these projects is still to be tested. In the years to come, the railway ministry will wash its hands of these projects and leave them to state governments that may not have the capacity, expertise or means. ...

    TOI on Feb. 16, 2017, 2 a.m.

    Media Object

    Short extract

    ...However, there were sidelights to the session that may have been missed by the media but require to be brought to attention. Some of them had a strong political message, others provided delightful trivia. For a start, it was remarkable that during such an important and politically charged session, some of the stalwart nominated members of the Rajya Sabha were absent. Sachin Tendulkar continued to be missing from the crease - he hardly shows up - and Rekha made her usual guest appearance. Of the new nominees sent in by the BJP government, quite a few have joined the party formally and are found sitting in the BJP benches. At least one of them is active in electoral politics. ...

    NDTV on Dec. 19, 2016, midnight

    Media Object

    Short extract

    ...More and more, their rhetoric, their slogans and their bombastic numbers make no sense.Slithering from one excuse to another - counterfeit currency one day, terrorism the next, black money now, less-cash economy then - the BJP team members have tried hard to justify the implosion of the badly thought-out and poorly executed demonetisation project.Each of their statistical jumlas needs to be called out. So here are 12 straight, verified, non-jumla numbers - numbers you will never hear from BJP spokespersons and the government PR machinery, including at least some journalists and television anchors who now live and work in a plantation industry:1. Fake currency: Only 0.002 per cent of the total currency in circulation is counterfeit. ...

    NDTV on Dec. 12, 2016, midnight

    Media Object

    Short extract

    ...The long queues outside banks from early morning, the empty markets, the despair on the faces of ordinary people, and the shortage of currency notes in the economy are there for all to see.The BJP-led government realises this. It is too intelligent not to do so. Yet, it cannot step back, tweak the scheme, even at this stage, and make amends. It is too egotistical to do so. That is why, in the rush to explain the scheme and somehow paint it as a success, the government and its ministers and spokespersons - some of whom masquerade as journalists and television anchors - are constantly changing goalposts.It started with an attack on terrorism and a national security issue. Soon it became obvious that far from being stopped, terrorism and terrorist funding were continuing apace despite demonetisation. The "surgical strike" of September 29 did not stop terrorism, the "surgical strike" of November 8 did not either. ...

    NDTV on Dec. 5, 2016, midnight

    Media Object

    Short extract

    ...Unless strong and urgent steps are taken to mitigate its impact, it could amount to economic genocide. Going forward, here are five things to consider about its impact on the economy:1) The 50-day jumla: The government has asked the country for 50 days of inconvenience before the proverbial and mythical "achhe din" arrive. One can't be sure if this number is a consequence of incompetence or duplicity. Let's do a reality check.Reliable estimates, including from former Finance Ministry officials, suggest that working at full capacity, the country's currency mints can print close to three billion notes per month. Since 15 trillion notes have been taken out of circulation, at this rate, it will take almost a year for currency supply to return to the pre-November 8 normal.2) The missing rural banks: Printing currency notes is only the first step. Making sure they reach every village and basti is a much larger battle. 80 per cent of Indian villages do not have banks. Most areas do not have round-the-clock power or mobile connectivity for a Point Of Sale device. ...

    NDTV on Nov. 25, 2016, midnight

    Media Object

    Short extract

    ...In the interim, unknown to me, the currency landscape had changed and the Prime Minister had announced the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. This was presented as a measure against black money.The Trinamool Congress has been vocal and active on the black money issue and we are sure that the steps that have been announced - despite the propaganda and publicity blitz - will not serve any purpose in the long run. Here is one of the many Mamata Banerjee tweets on the subject: "I am from the grassroots. I have met people all day, heard their stories and felt their pain. Black money hoarders and the corrupt need to be punished, but why put the burden on commoners and the poor. "When the BJP came to office, it promised to bring back slush funds kept in overseas accounts. At the minimum, it said, every Indian would be richer by Rs 15 lakh and the money that came home would fund infrastructure projects.Little if any of that money has come in. ...

    NDTV on Nov. 10, 2016, midnight

    Media Object

    Short extract

    ...I was in the village of Ram Kishan Grewal, the immensely proud and distraught soldier who committed suicide anguished at the One Rank One Pension (OROP) mess that has been created.I had driven several hours to get to Bumla. The distance from Delhi is only 125 km, but a combination of dense fog and not knowing the roads made my journey longer and consumed most of the night. Yet, I was glad I went. The dignity of Grewal's family - his wife, five sons and two daughters, the collective grief of the village and the local community was very moving.For two hours, I chatted with the family, particularly three of the old soldier's sons. I discovered their father was a local icon. An upright soldier who retired from the army and came back to serve his village and community. He was a much loved and respected sarpanch. He had won medals for India in the army. ...

    NDTV on Nov. 4, 2016, midnight

    Media Object

    Short extract

    ...It was while biting into one of those pieces of popcorn that the penny dropped. I realised my mother hadn't come to a cinema hall in some 25 years.In the past few years, my father and she, both movie buffs, had watched films at home, using DVDs. 50 years ago, even 40 years ago, they would go to the movies every weekend, sometimes more than once a week. The evening out with my mother was part of a routine I had promised her and promised myself ever since my father died three months ago. Inevitably, my mother thought of my father as we left her house that evening. "Your Dad and I used to go for so many films," she remembered, "all those Hollywood releases at Globe, Lighthouse ..."She rattled off names of once-iconic Kolkata movie theatres, now sadly past their prime. In the car she asked me which film we were going to see. ...

    NDTV on Sept. 20, 2016, midnight