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Newsmakers: Featuring Sudheendra Kulkarni, Angus Deaton, Dilip Chenoy and others.

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Sudheendra Kulkarni Chairman, ORF Mumbai


Intolerant Times

It seems intolerance - both religious and cultural - is gaining ground in India. Its latest casualty is Sudheendra Kulkarni, who heads the think tank Observer Research Foundation (ORF), Mumbai. ORF recently organised the launch of a book written by former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri. Hours before the event, a few Shiv Sena activists attacked Kulkarni and painted his face black. Kulkarni had served as a special aide to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for almost six years. During that period, he was instrumental in driving several initiatives - a new telecom policy, national highway development project and also the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.

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Angus Deaton Nobel Prize winner


In the Spotlight

Since the 2007/08 financial crisis, income inequality has become one of the hottest topics for debate globally. Angus Deaton's work, primarily focusing on poverty and inequality, has recently been recognised by The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, bagging him the prestigious Nobel Prize in Economics. The British-born Princeton University professor's research has practical significance, and his contributions have influenced policymaking in developed and developing countries, including India. He also formulated the Deaton Paradox - it shows that sharp shocks in income don't seem to translate into sharp shocks in consumption. Deaton, 70, holds both American and British citizenships.

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Dilip Chenoy, Former MD/CEO, National Skill Development Corp.


Out of Action

In a fresh twist to the fallout between National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and the Ministry of Skill Development, Dilip Chenoy, the NSDC MD and CEO, has now resigned from his post. The differences between the NSDC leadership and the ministry emerged shortly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the National Skill Development Mission in July. Chenoy, who joined NSDC in 2010, was appointed by the earlier UPA government.

NSDC was formed in 2009 on a public-private partnership model with an aim to skill 150 million people by 2022. Its key programmes, Udaan and STAR, help in developing skills based on the needs of various sectors. But despite its efforts to improve skill sets of the country's youth, NSDC has made limited progress.

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PS Jayakumar MD/CEO, Bank of Baroda


Mr Bankable

The alleged fraud and black money transactions at Bank of Baroda are estimated to be worth over Rs 6,000 crore. The bank has now appointed P.S. Jayakumar as its head. Jayakumar, an avid cyclist, has his work cut out for him. He will have to clean the mess and keep up the growth momentum. Jayakumar has spent his entire career in the private sector, working with Citibank - in India and Singapore - for some 23 years. Known for his deep understanding of the real estate market, he co-founded Bangalore-based Value and Budget Housing Corp (VBHC) with Jerry Rao in 2009. He also co-founded Home First Finance Company for those who do not have access to mortgage loans from banks.

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KP Sharma OIi Prime Minister, Nepal


New Beginnings

The appointment of a new prime minister in Nepal - K.P. Sharma Oli - might turn out to be an important step in addressing the concerns raised by India related to the new constitution of Nepal, which was unveiled last month after almost seven years of negotiations. It could also resolve the impasse over the blockade of a key border trade point between the two nations. The Madhesi people, who are Indian-origin inhabitants of Nepal's Terai region, have opposed the new constitution, saying it has curtailed their rights. The Indian authorities hope that the new PM will act on the eight-point agreement that talks about amending the constitution to address the concerns of the Madhesi people.

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