Monday, 28 November 2016

NEXT STORY Lt General AK Bhatt appointed as new DGMO

NEW DELHI: The government has cleared the appointment of Lt-General A K Bhatt as the next director-general of military operations (DGMO), even though it is yet to announce the names of the next Army and IAF chiefs despite both General Dalbir Singh Suhag and Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha slated to retire on December 31.

Lt-Gen Bhatt, who was commissioned into the Gorkha Rifles, will take over the crucial DGMO appointment from Lt-General Ranbir Singh, who captured the popular imagination after he declared at a hurriedly-called press briefing by the external affairs ministry that Army Special Forces had conducted "surgical strikes" against terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir on September 29.

Lt-Gen Bhatt, who has earlier served in the military operations directorate as a brigadier, is currently posted as the additional director general of the complaints and advisory board at the Army HQ here after he commanded the 21 Division in Assam.


Monday, 21 November 2016

Why Narendra Modi’s demonetisation move is unprecedented

Historically, ‘demonetisations’ or radical recalls/replacements/redenominations of currencies by governments have been in response to hyperinflations. We know of many such cases of outright withdrawal of notes from circulation being resorted to, when normal means to suck up excess liquidity in the system have failed. The underlying purpose has always been to control runaway inflation and the accompanying loss of faith in the domestic currency, both among investors and the larger public.

The best example here is of Germany under the Weimar Republic, which, on November 20, 1923, introduced a new currency — the rentenmark — and declared all old reichsmark notes to be no longer legal tender. This happened as domestic prices, already 14 times their 1913 levels in mid-1921 and 1,475 times towards end-1922, had skyrocketed to 1,422,900,000,000 times by November next year. As the currency lost value by the minute, people rushed to spend their wages the very moment they received them, fuelling further inflation and necessitating more printing of notes to pay 250 billion reichsmarks for a kilo of butter or 15 billion for a short ride on a Berlin streetcar. The only way to deal with this situation was demonetisation: purging the system of all existing notes and launching a new currency backed by solid assets — in this case, land belonging to the state. With credibility restored, inflation fell and the run on the currency, too, ended.