National and international experts analyse why 2011 could be the turning
point for India
N. R. NARAYANA MURTHY on stemming corruption Soli J. Sorabjee on culture of tolerance R. K. Pachauri on energy security gen V. P. malik (retd) on military strategies Dr Amit Mitra on the economy Fali S. nariman on quick justice mushahid hussain on Pakistan michael Krepon on India’s foreign policy K. Srinath Reddy on better healthcare
Plus Commentaries on National Politics, the Prime Minister, Home, Defence, Foreign Affairs, Education, Agriculture, Law, Technology and the agenda for Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Delhi

Taking the big LEAP
In 2011, as a nation we are once again at critical crossroads. We can either allow ourselves to descend into chaos and anarchy or rise to peace and prosperity
Raj Chengappa, Editor-in-ChiefRaj Chengappa
THE word ‘reckoning’ has many meanings. Some are banal such as the act of counting or calculating; the settlement of an account or bill; a summing up. Other meanings are more ominous: as retribution for one’s action; an avengement or punishment. Dictionaries define the day of reckoning as the time when one’s past mistakes or misdeeds catch up with one or when one is forced to deal with an unpleasant situation which has been avoided until now.

Clean up the system
N. R. Narayana Murthy, Chairman of the Board and Chief Mentor, Infosys TechnologiesPass the Lokpal Bill to investigate charges against politicians, bureaucrats and the judiciary. And SEBI should make norms on corporate governance mandatory
N. R. Narayana Murthy
Chairman of the Board and Chief Mentor, Infosys Technologies
HAT can we achieve in 2011 that will make this country a better place? I will talk about three to four tasks that are well within our achievability. First, we need a Lokpal Bill with the Lokpal having full powers to investigate charges against politicians, judges and bureaucrats.

Towards a new culture of tolerance
Soli J. Sorabjee, Eminent jurist and a former Attorney-General for IndiaThe priority should be to promote tolerance in our multi-religious, multi-cultural nation and strengthen pluralist democracy
Soli J. Sorabjee
Eminent jurist and a former Attorney-General for India
Democracy has various definitions and many features. However, its indispensable features are the right to dissent and prevalence of tolerance. Tolerance entails a positive attitude, which permits and protects not only the expression of thoughts and ideas that are acceptable but also accords an accommodation as hospitable to the thought we hate as that assured to the orthodoxies of the day.

Fali S. Nariman, Distinguished jurist and former MPEnsure quick justice
Fali S. Nariman
Distinguished jurist and former MP
N the past 10 years (2000 to 2010), our established legal system has become unpopular because of too much law, too little justice, too much rhetoric and too little reform. In the coming decade (2011-2020), we need to move on: to do something different, something that we have not done before.

Coalitions are here to stay
The electorate will be watching how sincere the Congress is in dealing with corruption and whether the gap between what it practices and what it preaches is narrowing or not
Kamlendra Kanwar
S we reflect on the year gone by and mull over the tidings for 2011 on the country’s political stage, one thing is clear — that the return of the era of single-party governments at the Centre is nowhere in sight. Indeed, coalitions have become the order of the day both at the Centre and in the states.

the prime minister                                                                                                                                               
Time to redeem himself
Today, as economic reforms are seen to have become synonymous with corruption, Manmohan Singh faces the onerous task of restoring confidence in the system
Anita Katyal
HEN Congress president Sonia Gandhi declined to be Prime Minister in 2004, her decision met with approval of the middle class, which was partial to economist-turned-politician Manmohan Singh, who was picked for the country’s top post.

See the pages as they were printed
See the pages as they were printed

Make the home front secure
Chidambaram needs to deliver on counter-terrorism measures and handle Kashmir and Telangana
Ajay Banerjee
ORE than two years after P. Chidambaram took over as Union Home Minister, the next 12 months will, in many ways, define how India judges UPA’s second term. The Home Ministry will have its hands full tackling a mélange of issues. It will need a balanced and focussed approach, coupled with flexibility, firmness, rationale and transparency.

external affairs                                                                                            
End the policy of ambiguity
Krishna will have to do a tightrope walk in 2011 and take a tough stand on key issues, especially on Iran
Ashok Tuteja
Diplomacy, it is said, is the art of the possible. Assess your national interests and stand up for what you think is right. Indian diplomats, no doubt, performed this task with finesse in the year gone by. But the road ahead is quite bumpy.

Focus on a modernised force
Antony will have to plough through controversies and concentrate on equipment upgradation
Dinesh Kumar
India is in the midst of its most ambitious defence modernisation programme. From equipping the Infantry’s foot soldier for 21st century warfare to purchasing a wide range of artillery and inducting high-end weapon technology such as submarines and fighter aircraft for the Navy and Air Force, the list is long, if not endless.

Deliver on the bright ideas
Sibal must get past Parliament pioneering legislation that could transform higher education
Aditi Tandon
S we enter 2011, having notified the ambitious Right to Education (RTE) Act, last year, we must pose ourselves a simple query: why is it that after more than 10 years of another ambitious programme — the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) — every third child in India still drops out of school by class V and every second child junks the system by class VIII?

Use the new opportunities
The year must mark a turning point in the implementation of the National Action Plan on Climate Change to achieve the higher level of energy security and sustainable development
R. K. Pachauri, Director-General, The Energy & Resources InstituteR. K. Pachauri
Director-General, The Energy & Resources Institute
HE year 2010 has been a significant period in India’s evolution as a country of global importance. The fact that the year ended with major world leaders visiting this country clearly shows that we are the focus of attention for the big powers which constitute the five permanent members of the Security Council. Significantly, leaders from all these five nations travelled to India during the year.

Consolidate healthcare, create a cadre
K. Srinath Reddy, President, Public Health Foundation of IndiaThe future challenge is to deal with the disorders of maladapted modernity, along with the diseases of under-development
K. Srinath Reddy
President, Public Health Foundation of India
S India advances into 2011, optimism about accelerated economic growth must be tempered by the realisation that our health indicators are lagging far behind. A country in which 45 per cent of the children under five are undernourished and account for a third of the global deaths due to measles cannot claim to be a rapidly developing nation.

armed forces                                                                                                                                                       
Focus on reform, refurbishment
India’s military strategies and doctrines must be flexible, capable of rapid application in any unforeseen circumstances and ready for the entire spectrum of conflict

Gen V. P. Malik (retd), Former Chief of Army StaffGen V. P. Malik (retd)
Former Chief of Army Staff
N important assumption in military strategy is that "Despite whatever effort there may be to prevent it, there may be a war!" This assumption is neither provocative nor a justification for the existence of the armed forces. History tells us that nations that neglect this historical determinism make themselves vulnerable to military surprise, defeat and ignominy.

Don’t break the momentum
A 9 per cent and more growth in the economy is predicted, if government policies are proactive
Dr Amit Mitra, Secretary-General, FICCIDr Amit Mitra
Secretary-General, FICCI
the year 2010 will be remembered as the year when the Indian economy returned to its pre-crisis growth trajectory. With both consumption and investment demand going strong, it seems that this growth momentum will be maintained in 2011 as well. I am, therefore, confident that our economy would grow by more than 9 per cent in the year 2011. I would, however, add a caveat that for ensuring this performance, the government policies will have to be proactive.

Boost healthcare funding
Azad must push for a massive increase in the public health expenditure, apart from ensuring quality of delivery
Aditi Tandon
Last year was about India’s growth story and how its economy was shining despite the odds. But even in the sheen, something was amiss. That something became clear in November 2010 when the Global Human Development Report showed India that income growths did not guarantee human development, and if nations invested sluggishly in health, they would lose the hard-earned economic gains.

Restore people’s faith
Moily must strive for a threadbare debate on the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill
V. Eshwar Anand
S the judiciary is the last hope of the common man, there is a need to streamline it in 2011 and restore people’s faith in the system. The first priority, of course, is to tackle judicial corruption. The Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, 2010, tabled in the Lok Sabha amid din, should be debated threadbare in the Budget session of Parliament.

Food security is the key
Pawar should implement the National Commission on Farmers’ recommendation on the MSP and invest in grain storage
Vibha Sharma
HE year 2011 will be a defining year in India’s agricultural history, says eminent agriculture scientist M. S. Swaminathan. If the government does not implement commitments made under the National Policy for Farmers laid on the table of Parliament in November 2007, both farmers and farming could be in trouble.

Get ready for the e-revolution
Speed, content, Internet penetration, more languages, better platforms, hi-res screens — Indians want it all
Roopinder Singh
Technology transforms lives and as we look at the year ahead, we see many ways in which it will make inroads into the way we live our day-to-day life. Most Indians own a mobile phone, 70 per cent according to one estimate. Indian mobile phone rates are among the lowest in the world, and thus we expect even more value-added services.

Expect political change
Mushahid Hussain, Secretary-General, Pakistan Muslim LeagueIf there is clarity on Pakistan’s foreign policy, the country’s political landscape presents confusion and an unravelling of the government that replaced the Musharraf Order in 2008
Mushahid Hussain
Secretary-General, Pakistan Muslim League
ITH Pakistan entering 2011, a crucial year for the region, the country is exuding confidence and clarity regarding the geopolitical scenario, but there is confusion in domestic politics. This confusion has set the stage for political change, whose contours are not yet clear.

world view                                                                                                                                                           
Watch out for ‘familiar’ surprises
Michael Krepon, Co-founder, The Stimson Centre, Washington DCFor the US, given New Delhi’s policy continuity, relations with India will improve, but a settlement in Afghanistan remains bleak
Michael Krepon
Co-founder, The Stimson Centre, Washington DC
Every New Year has its share of modest surprises, but it takes big shocks to generate significant changes in the national security policy. "Familiar" surprise comes with the territory in India’s neighbourhood – the kind of surprise that is more a matter of timing than of content.

Last chance for Badal
Administrative reforms and fresh initiatives in the education and industrial sectors are what the Badal government needs to deliver if it has to win Punjab again
Jangveer Singh
While a few mega projects, computerisation of land records coupled with administrative reforms seem to be the Punjab Government’s mantra for success in its last year in office, good governance and the ability to conjure up innovative ideas to tackle unemployment as well as increase entrepreneurship are what the people could be expecting from it this year.

Himalayan task for Dhumal
With the huge fiscal gap, the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister will have no option but to give up his populist policies
Rakesh Lohumi
with a financial crisis looming in the state, accelerating the pace of development and consolidating the gains of initiatives taken over the past three years will be a huge challenge for the hill state in the new year. The financial position of the government will worsen progressively as the gap between income and expenditure widens steadily on account of increasing wage-bill and other committed liabilities due to unfavourable recommendations of the 13th Finance Commission, which have come into force from the current fiscal.

Crack the whip, Hooda
The Haryana Chief Minister must show toughness and deliver on several major fronts
Yoginder Gupta
fter having formulated several schemes in various fields for people’s welfare during the last six years, now is the time for the Hooda Government in Haryana to consolidate these schemes and their gains. In 2005, when the Congress Government was formed in the state, Haryana was awfully short of power.

Omar needs to reverse the radicalisation
The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister must ensure good governance and work overtime with the Centre to reduce the deeply entrenched trust deficit
Mohammad Sayeed Malik
the dynamics of Kashmir politics is so tricky that predicting future events is a hazardous job even in the best ‘fair weather’ conditions. Atmospherics in the past year (2010) have been so turbulent — and for so long — that the troubled border state’s political landscape looks too ravaged to hope for an early recovery.

Evolve consensus, Nishank
Besides pragmatic policies, the Uttarakhand Chief Minister should harness the state’s resources, put the brakes on wasteful expenditure and rein in its bureaucrats
S. M. A. Kazmi
the year 2011 being the fifth year in office of the BJP government, with Assembly elections due before February next year, the state government headed by Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank has moved into election mode. The state government has promised 70,000 jobs to the unemployed youth and sops to every section of state government employees despite heavy financial burden. However, the crucial issues related to the overall development of the state that needed immediate attention have been relegated to the background.

Dikshit needs to make Delhi safer for women
Apart from stemming crimes against women, the Chief Minister will have to tackle the traffic chaos
Kumar Rakesh
Delhi has had yet another makeover. Numerous flyovers have been built. The Metro network, which is still expanding, in addition to the low-floor buses, has improved and moderinsed the city’s mass transport system to a great extent. On the flip side, it has more vehicles, especially private cars and SUVs, than its roads can cope with, causing frequent jams across the city every day.

A tasty, testy fare
Cricket will grab attention — as usual. India may be runaway favourites to win the World Cup but England, South Africa and even Sri Lanka can give us a run for our money
Jaideep Ghosh
his year will be definitive in terms of 50-overs cricket. The World Cup comes to the region where the game goes beyond just relevant, into a world of near-insanity. This is also the world, which makes money for the International Cricket Council (ICC). If it could have its way, it’d most probably hold all World Cups in India.

Time for a new sports order
We need to focus on hockey and cleaning up the sports administration
M. S. Unnikrishnan
After a hectic 2010, it will be practice time for the Indian sportspersons, particularly the elite ones in reckoning for an Olympic berth, in 2011. After winning one gold and two bronze medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, India fancy their chances of grabbing more medals in the 2012 London Olympics.