Humanities can both enrich our lives and enhance our careers

Readers discuss the value of humanities, sustainability, foreign direct investment in India and rain

Nobel laureate Sir VS Naipaul listens to an unseen speaker at a function in Bangalore, 28 February 2004. Naipaul was in the city to deliver the inaugural "Tehelka Lecture Series" at the Crossword bookstore.  The lecture series, which Naipaul inaugurated by reading a passage from his book; " India: A Wounded Civilisation" was aimed to stay engaged with larger issues and concerns would travel round the country.   / AFP PHOTO / INDRANIL MUKHERJEE
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I refer to Sami Mahroum's column on the relevance of humanities to business practitioners, The humanities help us understand our actions and reimagine our reality (January 4). I thoroughly enjoyed it.

As an equities strategist for a multi-family office in UAE, I am obliged to scan global markets in real time and travel to dozens of countries to find investment opportunities. Tolstoy and Dostoevsky help me chitchat with Russians in Moscow. Joseph Conrad, Graham Greene, VS Naipaul and Chinua Achebe help me navigate the financial minefields of Africa.

Psychology helps explain market panics and mood swings. Humanities have both enriched my life and boosted my investment career or, as Mahroum puts it, provided a “deep dive into the human condition.”

Matein Khalid, Dubai

There is room for further economic reform in India

I refer to your article Analysts say Modi's foreign investment reforms don't go far enough (January 11). The Government of India has shown infinite wisdom in easing the norms for Foreign Direct Investment.

Foreign companies will now be permitted to own 49 per cent of the ailing national carrier, Air India. However, slothful management has made it an inefficient white elephant.

The easing of norms pertaining to retail is also fantastic news. Single brand companies will now be permitted to set up retail stores, with 100 per cent ownership.

This will offer the Indian consumer an international shopping experience within India itself.

However, there is still a ceiling on the investment levels of multi-branded retailers. This denies consumers real choices.

Rajendra Aneja, Dubai

Abu Dhabi conference on sustainability is welcome

I refer to your editorial Sustainability will top the agenda next week, with good reason (January 11).

The conference on sustainability, which started today in Abu Dhabi, is very good news.

Global leaders will be presenting business and science ideas that are essential for the sustainability of nations around the world.

Abu Dhabi has hosted numerous events designed to help humanity and this programme too is destined to make a positive impact on the world we live in.

K Ragavan, India

Let it rain this summer

I refer to your article Seeding flights in UAE 'boosting rainfall from clouds by a third (January 11), I hope to see this technology used during the terribly hot summer.

Sammira Mohiadeen, Dubai

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