The Week That Was:

From: Vartaa Editorial Team on Aug 21, 2016

Independence Day Speech

PM Modi's Independence Day speech was a topic of vigorous debate last week, particularly his reference to Balochistan. PM Modi had vowed to take up Balochistan issue at the international stage for which he was thanked by Baloch groups and many Kashmiris on social media. The PM, in his speech, expressed gratitude for the good wishes on one hand and also accused Pakistan of glorifying terrorists. This drew sharp reactions from the Pakistan side with opposition leader Bilawal Bhutto and Foreign office spokesman for Pakistan Nafees Zakaria hitting back at PM's remarks.

Urjit Patel new RBI Chief

On August 20, 2016 Urjit Patel was named the Governor of RBI and the successor of Raghuram Rajan. With a Bachelors in Economics from Oxford University, doctorate from Yale, a brief stint at the IMF and recently the Deputy Governor of the RBI, Urjit Patel boasts of a strong academic and professional background. The government seeks to set its image right after Rajan's exit as Mr Patel is believed to continue Mr Rajan's monetary policy. Now as the speculations and analysis of Mr Urjit Patel and his style of functioning starts, there is work to be done for the newly appointed chief.

Olympics roundup

Olympics are almost over and the medal tally for India remains at 2. After Sakshi Malik bringing home bronze in 58kg Women's wrestling, it was an indefatigable P.V Sindhu who won the Silver in Women singles Badminton at Rio. Both athletes were awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award 2016 along with gymnast Dipa Karmakar and ace shooter Jitu Rai. As the Games come to an end, the dissapointment over India's abysmal performance has taken over. Here are some interesting stats on India's olympic record.

Opinions you must read:

  • Flipkart is losing ground to Amazon and top officials in Flipkart recently recognized the fact in a company townhall, Firstpost takes a look at the story.
  • The Hindu interviews Amnesty India's Aakar Patel over sedition charges against Amnesty India.
  • Former SBI president D.N Ghosh recounts instances of RBI's issues with autonomy and accountability.

Chart of the Week

Olympics are over and the blame games have begun over India's poor performance. We at Vartaa decided to take a look at the financial accounts of Indian Olympic Assosiation(IOA) and its US equivalent United State Olympics Committee(USOC). Both these institutions have similar responsibilities that is to send athletes to Olympics, raise the funds arrange for training etc. We took a look at the scale of operations of bota. The metric we chose to look at was the yearly income of the two.

Both the institutions rely on various grants, aids, investments as sources of income. The chart illustrates the composition of income over the years for these two. As anyone would imagine the USOC has a lot more revenue than IOA. In fact, the USOC is big enough that it has a strategic patnership with IOC over profit sharing too. It is interesting however to see how different these institutions are in terms of operation. IOA relies heavily on Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MOYAS) and the International Olympic Committe (IOC) funds to gather revenue. On the other hand USOC relies heavily on Marks Rights Income. Various companies get into agreements with IOC and USOC for the rights to use Olympic marks and terminology, which is the Marks Rights Income. Another major source of income is public and private contributions. USOC has reaped benefits of investing its income over time. A useful means which the IOA shows no sign of utilizing despite a decent surplus year over year.

The IOC had suspended the IOA in early 2013 over financial irregularities and corruption (Remember Kalmadi scandal?). So we see a sizable dip in revenue figures for 2014. A clear lesson we can take from the USOC here is more reforms in IOA so it can build better utilize public private partnerships. The option of public donations is something that can help the IOA and eventually the athletes.