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Policy & Politics

Decoding Finance Minister’s limited-period ‘Safe Harbour’ Ordinance

States like Maharashtra did allow registration at a market value lower than the RR Rate, the rule being that stamp duty and registration charges must be paid on the higher of the two values—market value or RR rate.

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Covid-19 in 2020 caused much upheaval across sectors including Indian real estate. Though residential property demand was quick to see signs of revival after the lockdown relaxations last year, government intervention at regular intervals became a necessity.

Given the situation prevailing back in November 2020, one intervention to boost housing demand amid the pandemic was to increase the threshold limit on transfer of residential units under section 43CA and 56(2)(x) from 10% to 20% – with conditions:

The residential unit is transferred between 12th November 2020 to 30th June 2021

This should be the first residential property purchase by an individual

The revenue exchange may not exceed INR 2 Cr

This ordinance was once again mentioned in Union Budget 2021-22, but with a clearer definition on what constitutes a ‘residential unit’. It is now defined as ‘an independent housing unit with separate facilities for living, cooking and sanitary requirement, distinctly separated from other residential units within the building, which is directly accessible from an outer door or through an interior door in a shared hallway and not by walking through the living space of another household.’

This definition, which had not been provided in the ordinance earlier, certainly made things clearer. So, what does it mean for homebuyers and developers? To understand the implications, we must first understand the relevant section of the Income Tax Act.

SECTION 43CA OF THE INCOME TAX ACT

Incorporated in 2013, Section 43CA of the IT Act states that developers or any other property sellers can be penalized for selling a property at prices lower than the Ready Reckoner rates, or circle rates or guidance value. If the stamp duty value exceeds 10% of the total revenue exchanged as part of the sale/transfer of the property, the difference must be included while calculating capital gain or business income for the seller, and is viewed as income for the buyer.

States like Maharashtra did allow registration at a market value lower than the RR Rate, the rule being that stamp duty and registration charges must be paid on the higher of the two values – market value or RR rate.

However, a buyer purchasing a property below the RR rate must bear an additional burden because the difference between two rates is taxable in the hands of both the buyer and seller. In other words, if the market value of a property is lower than the RR rate, the difference between the two becomes ‘other income’ for the buyer – and will be taxed.

The FM›s November 2020 provision to increase the difference between circle rates and agreement value from 10% to 20% (under Section 43CA) was an important one as it opened up possibilities for price reductions. A hypothetical alternative would be to lower RR rates, which would reduce the stamp duty burden on property purchase and benefit both homebuyers and developers, since the many premiums they need to pay to the state governments are linked to the RR rates.

HOW DOES THIS IMPACT RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE?

The increase in the differential between circle rates and agreement value under Section 43CA from 10% to 20% resulted in income tax relief to both developers and homebuyers. This limited-period offer (valid up to 30 June 2021) has direct financial benefits over and above existing offers and discounts.

This relief up to 20% to buyers of homes under Section 56(2)(x) of the IT Act has positive connotation, especially in the affordable and mid-range segments, and will help developers to clear unsold stock. As per ANAROCK Research, there are approx. 5.46 lakh unsold units across the top 7 cities priced up to Rs 1.5 crore, with another 49,500 units priced between Rs 1.5 crore to Rs 2.5 crore.

The FM’s November 2020 provision to increase the difference between circle rates and agreement value from 10% to 20% (under Section 43CA) was an important one as it opened up possibilities for price reductions. A hypothetical alternative would be to lower RR rates, which would reduce the stamp duty burden on property purchase and benefit both homebuyers and developers, since the many premiums they need to pay to the state governments are linked to the RR rates.

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Policy & Politics

Attempts at pushing for a ‘green recovery’ with conditionalities will amount to ‘green colonisation’: India

New Delhi opposes attempts from the developed world to prioritise climate change-related issues at the G20 discussions without a consensus within the bloc.

Tarun Nangia

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India, a leader of the developing world, on Friday strongly opposed attempts from developed countries to prioritise climate change-related issues at the G20 discussions without a consensus within the influential bloc comprising 20 major global economies. New Delhi described such attempts pushing for a ‘green recovery’ with stringent conditionalities as one that will amount to a form of ‘green colonisation’ at a time when the developing world was vulnerable on account of the COVID-19 pandemic and was looking at somehow recovering from the aftermath of the global health crisis.

“We do have the Paris agreement (on climate change mitigation) and we need to adhere to that. The great danger of putting it in G20 and that too without a consensus (among G20 members), is actually diluting it. Far from helping the cause, it would instead be a diversion from what was agreed by everybody (in the Paris agreement) and would end up in a parallel track,” said Dr. Sanjeev Sanyal, Principal Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance, India.

He was speaking at a webinar organised by the think-tank RIS on “Priorities for Growth and Stability in Post-COVID World: Role of G20 Framework Working Group.”

Climate change was a serious issue, but should not be confused with the immediate objective of economic revival post the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, Sanyal said, adding, however, that some of the revival package could be directed towards meeting the climate change-related concerns. He said the link between climate change and the pandemic was far from established as pandemics happen from time to time whether or not climate change occurs. He added that the response to the pandemic should be science-based and not one filled with rhetorical flourishes. He said India was adhering to its climate change commitments and was willing to do more, adding that New Delhi was uncomfortable with certain efforts to bring climate change issues to the G20 forum as there was no agreement on the same.

Besides, there was an issue about “who decides what is green”, Sanyal said. The issue was important because once a system of rigid ideas (of what is considered as ‘green’) was established for the rating agencies to be then seen as credit-worthy or not, there would be problems on account of mechanical application of that thinking process as seen in debt restructuring, he said. The pro-cyclicality of the ratings process “causes and worsens the shock from a crisis”, he pointed out. “If you do the same thing here (on climate change issues), a rigid system with ‘green-rating agencies’ becoming the equivalent of credit-rating agencies, there is a danger of all kinds of unintended consequences being built into the system, not to mention the high likelihood that such agencies almost certainly will be emanating out of developed countries,” he said. Unless there was a democratic spread of green rating agencies across the w orld, and a ‘green’ framework agreed by all the countries, there is a genuine danger that the world will end up with a form of ‘green colonisation’, Sanyal said.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. P. Harish, Additional Secretary (Economic Relations), Ministry of External Affairs, India, said India was the only G20 country that has met the Paris climate change agreement commitments. Referring to the move to establish a new goal post outside the Paris framework in the G20 or in some other framework, he said there was a developmental cost to taking on such new commitments outside the Paris framework. There was nothing on the table regarding what all would constitute the USD 100 billion climate finance for developing nations (by 2020 and set a higher annual goal by 2025), and whether every Official Development Assistance would be added to this number, as well as regarding technology transfer commitments, he said. Even if carbon emissions peak at 2050, the net total of emissions of India will be less than that of China, the US and the European Union, he said. “It would not be correct to ignore the historic case load and the developmen tal situation, where India’s per capita GDP is 5% of that of the G7 countries, and a fraction of the overall G20 per capita, and that India’s low per capita energy consumption,” he pointed out. Constraining India’s options at this point through other extra conditionalities will impose a huge financial and developmental cost, Harish said.

Prof. Sachin Chaturvedi, Director General, RIS, chaired the session, while Prof. Kevin Gallagher, Professor of Global Development Policy, Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University, Mr. Federico Bonaglia, Deputy Director, OECD Development Centre, Paris and Dr. Priyadarshi Dash, Associate Professor, RIS, also spoke on the occasion. (ENDS)

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Policy & Politics

How foreign arbitral awards shape ‘Ease of Doing Business’ landscape in India?

Several reasons have led to India’s poor performance. Our judicial courts, being highly overburdened and inadequately skilled to handle commercial disputes, tend to take 3-4 years in offering a resolution. Further, the frequent relaxation of statutory timelines by courts add to the delay, jeopardising the enforcement of the award/decree.

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The recent spate of arbitral awards by international tribunals against the Indian government underlines the sticky points that remain in the way of the “India means Business” mantra at Davos. These awards come at a time when the government is eager to draw foreign investors to India by making relentless efforts on improving ease of doing business. India consistently improved in the Ease of Doing Business Index, from 142nd in 2014 to 63rd in 2019. However, it performed miserably on ‘enforcement of contracts’ at 163 out of total 190 countries. For instance, Mumbai took 1420 days for enforcing a contract reflecting its dire position.

Several reasons led to this poor performance. The judicial courts, being highly overburdened and inadequately skilled to handle commercial disputes, tend to take 3-4 years in offering a resolution. Further, the frequent relaxation of statutory timelines by courts add to the delay jeopardizing the enforcement of the award/decree. Then comes the biggest irritant: the government and PSUs with their precarious record of honouring contracts.

SOVEREIGN AS A ‘FORMIDABLE’ LITIGATOR

The Government being the single biggest litigator in the country has a dubious record of enforcing contracts with steps such as initiating coercive actions against the opposing party while dispute is still sub-judice and introducing ‘retrospective amendments’ in order to offset any adverse judgement against it avoiding enforcement of award.

The international arbitration awards on legacy tax disputes concerning Vodafone Plc. followed by Cairn Energy UK has once again brought the ghost of ‘retrospective taxation’ often termed then as ‘tax terrorism’ by the ruling party to the limelight, which continues to haunt the business community in India for a decade. The government believes it was deliberately denied tax revenue on capital gains from sale of shares between the parties with transactions structured through tax havens and misuse of Bilateral Investment Treaties (BIT), prompting seizure of share assets and sale proceeds by tax authorities in return. However, the government’s stand was rejected by the Apex court in 2012 after which an amendment in the form of ‘retrospective taxation’ w.e.f. 1963 introduced to circumvent the decision of SC. This step adversely affected the business sentiments and FDI inflows. The retrospective tax amendment was termed by government as standard practice followed globally by established economies. The Permanent Court of Arbitration at Hague upheld the award against the Indian government ordering compensation in both Vodafone and Cairn Energy tax disputes, respectively and held the tax amendment to be unjust and void of terms under BIT. The Government has, recently, challenged the awards in both cases. Cairn has already initiated the process of getting the awards registered in various jurisdictions to ensure enforcement against assets owned by Indian Government.

Another such instance of dishonour of contract is the infamous Antrix Corporation – Devas Multimedia deal in 2005 for lease of ISRO’s two communication satellite for 12 years to provide multimedia services to mobile platforms. However, soon the deal turned sour when then Government, already spooked by 2G scam in 2011, ultimately cancelled the deal alleging conflict of interest and corruption accompanied by several investigations launched against the company. The government lost the case when international tribunal held the annulling of contract with Devas to be an “expropriation” with an award of $1.2B payable to Devas. The mighty Government of India responded by having a ‘winding up’ application filed against Devas before NCLT alleging grave irregularities and fraud.

Recently, the Parliament passed the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2021 originally promulgated as an ordinance, which empowers the courts to grant an ‘unconditional stay’ under Section 36 to the enforcement of an arbitral award if the court is of the prima facie view that such award obtained was induced by ‘fraud’ or ‘corruption’ and was made effective retrospectively w.e.f 2015. This effectively creates a situation where an ‘automatic stay’ might be imposed on enforcement of awards at behest of the losing party alleging fraud, thereby, delaying the process which was not possible earlier. The intention behind bringing in such amendment as indicated by the Law Minister then was the foreign arbitral tribunals rulings in Vodafone tax dispute against the exchequer induced by fraud, adversely affecting the sovereign’s right to tax. The government is of the view that the above award was borne out of dispute concerning an offshore transaction intended to defraud the exchequer and is unfair in spirit. Furthermore, the definition of ‘fraud’ itself has not been provided under this amendment and is open to interpretation inviting further court litigation and additional costs defeating the purpose of alternate dispute resolution.

Tackling the problem

Businesses love certainty in regulations, a stable taxation structure and policy making. The government has assured the investors not to raise legacy tax demands if not revocation of retrospective tax amendment. However, promise of a stable policy regime independent of political factors and sovereign bias might be a challenge.

The solution to this problem is an expensive and surely a painful process. Certain steps like setting up of ‘Commercial Courts’ were carried out through Commercial Courts Act, 2015 but recent study suggests poor implementation by States and respective High Courts where even mandated timelines and processes are being ignored.

However, tremendous improvement can be made by ensuring the quality infrastructure with workforce specialized to handle commercial disputes. Access to quality information by setting utilities.

Efforts are also needed to create general awareness among small businesses about contract negotiation and its enforceability and finding new avenues for out of court settlements. Digitization of legal records and processes can ensure transparency and can also go a long way in ensuring enforcement of contracts. Unconditional acceptance of foreign arbitral awards and adherence to international law by all the stakeholders. The real challenge will be setting accountability which has historically been extremely difficult in the country’s judicial system.

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Policy & Politics

The plight of criminologists: To believe or not to believe women

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India, as we know, is a land of diversity and culture which as per the mythological readings, places a high status on women by considering them as a reincarnation of a Goddess. They are also regarded as a savior of customs, traditions and beliefs which can be evidently seen in the case when a mother passes on moral education and learnings to the next generation. But, are we really abiding and upholding the value system imbibed in us by the scriptures that dictate major portions and events of our lives?

This dog-eat-dog world that we live in, is full of obstacles with a continuum of issues disturbing the peace of everyone and/or disrupting social order (Crowell, 2013). At such a point, discussions pertaining to deviance and crime arise. Society is predominantly known for its ever evolving and adapting nature alongside the passage of time. Owing to this dynamic nature, the values and beliefs held also go through a makeshift change from time to time. When people fail to adapt to these changes, the problem arises. Terms like deviance and crime are often considered to be highly subjective and vary from the viewpoint of one society to another.

Deviance can be explained as any behavior or act that departs from social norms. In other words, that which goes against the values, norms or beliefs held by the society in question; while crime, on the other hand, is any action which violates the law of the land (Siegel, 2006). Both, deviance and crime, to a considerable extent serve as a mirror of the society as it exemplifies the thought processes and frameworks in which that society is constructed (Coomber, Donnermeyer, McElrath, & Scott, 2014).

Every crime constitutes a victim as well as a perpetrator. We are often surrounded by instances where a female victim has been subjected to a ruthless male offender; which is also supported by statistical data records. However, it does not negate the fact that females too can commit crimes. It can be factually seen that serious offences like murder are usually committed by men, whereas minor crimes like substance abuse or cheating can be committed by both men and women, alike. The degree, intensity and extent of violence severely differs in men and women (epg pathshala, n.d.). There are various disciplines which have made a conscious effort to understand female criminality, better, namely: criminology, psychology and sociology among others.

Prominent criminologists namely, Cesare Lombroso and William Ferrero authored, “The Female Offender”, 1895, which gives a deep insight about female criminality, in general. As stated in the book, they suggested that women are more likely to display the characteristics of an occasional criminal (Bhosle, 2009). Lombroso viewed the born female criminal have the criminal qualities of men and the worst ones of women; however, in India, criminality amongst women is attempted to understand as a result of social and economic scarcity as opposed to, certain biological throwbacks (Mili & Cherian, 2015). Freda Adler, in her book, “The Rise of the New Female Criminals”, 1975, attempts to explain the involvement of women in crimes against property by emphasizing on the masculinity behavior of females. The masculinization theory did however, receive criticisms owing to their male-centrism ideology of understanding female criminality (Islam, Banarjee, & Khatun, 2014).

From a psychological perspective, female offenders are known to be devoid of emotional stability and more prone to insecurity, rejection and frustration. Unbearable living conditions, societal pressure, stress, family concerns, financial dependence, social status, etc. may compel women to subdue their inner most feelings and emotions, which may possibly be negatively channelized into unpredictable anger, which in certain cases may result in violence, too (Mili & Cherian, 2015). This can be theoretically backed up by the works of Meda-Chesney Lind in her book, “The Female Offender”, 1986 where she elaborately explains the marginalization theory. This theory states that the victimization or marginality (lower class position; low income; inadequate job; harassment by family) of a woman may provoke her to commit a crime in the modern society (Islam, Banarjee, & Khatun, 2014). Discussing psychological matters in India, is not well looked upon, aggravating the issue further.

Besides, a range of social factors may also influence our understanding of female criminality in India. Some of them being: inequality, poverty, lack of education, gender discrimination, strained relations with spouse or family, denial of basic needs of life or social oppression may also serve as motivating factors (Pattanaik & Mishra, 2001).

The supposed association between poverty and female criminality has been adequately emphasized in certain judicial judgements like: in the case of Shreerangyee v. State of Madras 1972, the accused was a hardworking but unfortunate woman who was deserted by her husband. She had five children and was unable to support them due to lack of adequate earning. Her financial position further worsened when her youngest child was diagnosed with a severe illness and the doctor demanded for money for the treatment. She tried to raise the funds, but in vain. Having exhausted all the legitimate means to earn a living, she, in exasperation, killed all her five children by drowning them and then herself jumped into the well. She was, however, rescued and convicted, under Section 302 IPC for killing her children. The Court in this case also ruled out poverty as an excuse for the murder of innocent children and attempt to suicide (Ghosh, n.d.).

Among the different types of crime committed by women, the one gaining tremendous amount of attention is that of false accusations, i.e. wrongly accusing a person to have committed a crime. If an individual is correctly accused of an offense, it serves them right to face the consequences that follow its path; however the flip side of it lies in cases where a person is falsely accused of a wrongdoing, that results in a huge toll on their reputation, putting them through a severe emotional turmoil and can also negatively impact their personal as well as professional lives.

This could be in the case of dowry, rape, molestation, casting couch, harassment, domestic violence or even cheating. This issue can be considered as an essential one to deal with, by criminologists as such women tend to take undue advantage of the law that strives to protect them, in totality. These nature of events have been noticed in more or less all sectors, be it household, corporate workplace, educational institutions or the media industry. A practical instance in support of the statements mentioned above, is in the form of Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. The section was introduced in the year 1983, with special regard to the increasing cruelty (use of verbal and/or physical abuse) towards married women on the hands of the husband and/or his family members and providing them with the requisite legal protection. However, over the years, with rising cases of this section being misused, the Supreme Court observed that it was being used as weapons rather than a shield by disgruntled wives. (Ray, 2018).

There are a number of cases that have circulated like wild fire featuring women who have falsely accused men on many grounds. One such case being that of Nisha Sharma and Munish Dalal in May, 2003 in Noida. Nisha had accused her to-be-groom and his family of demanding a sum of Rs. 12 lakh as dowry and a car; post which, Munish, his mother and paternal aunt were arrested, on the grounds of dowry harassment. They were unfortunately made to visit the Court for hearings, nearly 320 times and after a 10 year long ordeal, were finally acquitted from the false allegations made by the complainant (Vashishtha, 2012).

Such cases do being along with them a series of problems for the wrongly accused member or members of a family: loss of existing job, difficulty in finding a new one, immense stigma and labels attached, loss of respect within the community, psychological concerns: loss of appetite, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and in extreme cases also end their lives in the aftermath of these baseless accusations. The excessive misuse of the anti-dowry law to threaten the groom and his family, has compelled the Supreme Court to term such conduct as “legal terrorism”.

As of August 23, 2015, Jasleen Kaur, a student of St. Stephen’s College, New Delhi, accused a man, Sarvjeet Singh, for passing lewd comments and molesting her, while she was volunteering to control the traffic at a nearby signal. The former’s post on her Facebook handle, caused a lot of stir resulting in the arrest of Singh. Within no time, Kaur became popular and was praised by both the common masses as well as those in authority, for her courageous stand. Soon, the tables turned and on questioning, an eyewitness validated Sarvjeet’s innocence and testified against Jasleen for misbehaving and abusing the man (Surendran, 2016).

An infamous case that sadly did not reach the masses was that of a 22 year old Aman Baisla, based in Delhi, in October 2020. He committed suicide, as he was threatened with false allegation of rape. He posted a live video on Facebook and Instagram to explain how a girl had taken about 12.5 lakhs and when he asked to return, she threatened him of false rape charges and asked for more money instead. This shocking incident caused outrage among the public, however, no media aired this on any news channels.

As a criminologist, it is significant to consider all prospects and more importantly, acknowledge the contribution of social media in shaping society’s perception about a case. The most recent example being that on March 9, 2021 of the Zomato delivery man, named Kamaraj and a girl, named Hitesha Chandranee, who is a Bengaluru-based content creator and model.

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She resorted to Instagram and posted a video accusing the delivery in-charge of physical assault, insult and criminal intimidation. In a series of investigation, it was concluded she had falsely accused Kamaraj and an FIR was filed against her, under Section 355, 504 and 506 of the IPC (Jagran News Desk, 2021).

The media landscape, be it in the form of print, audio-visual, or even digital for that matter, is in a state of constant flux. Media is often regarded as the fourth pillar of democracy and can play a significant role in creating awareness of the laws and the consequences of filing fake cases against the innocent who is accused. They can considerably help in combating this menace by bringing to light, the cases of people involved in such acts, improve literacy among the masses, in this specific arena and in turn, open space for a stream like investigative journalism, to flourish, as well.

All in all, tackling cases of false accusations is undoubtedly the need of the hour which can be substantiated by the rising number of cases in India. This increasing hazard, which can harm society’s fabric and abuse of law for different purposes, needs to be regulated early. It becomes highly crucial to identify, rectify and moreover, spread awareness about this matter so as to not punish an innocent person. The idea that policy recommendations may be focused on inaccurate data does also present a challenge, since such data could contribute to needless or mistaken criminal justice changes (Rawat Rani & Maharshi, 2020). It is high time that we tackle this issue effectively, because in the course of these false claims, the genuine victims may have a hard time trying to seek justice.

References:

Bhosle, S. (2009). Female Crime in India and Theoretical Perspectives of Crime. Kalpaz Publications. Retrieved March 2021, from https://www.google.co.in/books/edition/Female_Crime_in_India_and_Theoretical_Pe/v22H2izsiHUC?hl=en&gbpv=0

Coomber, R., Donnermeyer, J. F., McElrath, K., & Scott, J. (2014). Key Concepts in Crime and Society. SAGE Publications. Retrieved March 2021, from https://www.google.co.in/books/edition/Key_Concepts_in_Crime_and_Society/6JXgBQAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=key+concepts+in+crime+and+society&printsec=frontcover

Crowell, E. L. (2013, March). Sociological Theories of Deviance: Definitions and Theoretical Perspectives. Retrieved March 2021, from www.study.com: https://study.com/academy/lesson/sociological-theories-of-deviance-definitions-and-theoretical-perspectives.html

epg pathshala. (n.d.). Gender related crime. Retrieved March 2021, from www.epgp.inflibnet.ac.in: https://epgp.inflibnet.ac.in/Home/ViewSubject?catid=1608

Ghosh, P. (n.d.). Essay on ‘Criticism of Konger’s Theory’. Retrieved March 2021, from www.shareyouressays.com: https://www.shareyouressays.com/essays/essay-on-criticism-of-kongers-theory-1816-words/121488

Jagran News Desk. (2021, March). Zomato delivery boy Kamaraj files case against Hitesha Chandranee for false accusation. Retrieved March 2021, from www.english.jagran.com: https://english.jagran.com/india/zomato-delivery-boy-kamaraj-files-case-against-bengaluru-woman-hitesha-chandranee-for-false-accusation-10024516#:~:text=The%20alleged%20incident%20happened%20on,punching%20her%20on%20the%20nose.

Mili, P., & Cherian, N. S. (2015). Female Criminality in India: Prevalence, Causes and Preventive Measures. International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences, 12. Retrieved March 2021, from https://www.sascv.org/ijcjs/pdfs/milietalijcjs2015vol10issue1.pdf

Pattanaik, J. K., & Mishra, N. N. (2001, September). Social Change and Female Criminality in India. Retrieved March 2021, from www.researchgate.net: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/258185546_Social_change_and_female_criminality_in_India

Rawat Rani, A., & Maharshi, D. A. (2020). A Study on Rising Amount of Fake Rape Cases in India. PalArch’s Journal of Archaeology of Egypt/ Egyptology. Retrieved March 2021, from https://www.archives.palarch.nl/index.php/jae/article/download/5923/5893

Siegel, L. J. (2006). Criminology- Theories, Patterns and Typologies (Ninth ed.). Thomson Wadsworth. Retrieved from https://books.google.co.in/books?id=umgEFec4U4YC&pg=PR1&dq=criminology+by+larry+j+siegel+ninth+edition&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjNjcX-hLTpAhXVxzgGHY4tCPMQ6AEIMDAB#v=onepage&q=criminology%20by%20larry%20j%20siegel%20ninth%20edition&f=false

Islam, M. J., Banarjee, S., & Khatun, N. (2014). Theories of Female Criminality: A Criminological Analysis. International Journal of Criminology and Sociological Theory. Retrieved March 2021, from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/334113027_Theories_of_Female_Criminality_A_criminological_analysis

Ray, K. A. (2018, October). Section 498A Of IPC: A Weapon Or A Shield? – Supreme Court Of India. Retrieved April 2021, from www.mondaq.com: https://www.mondaq.com/india/crime/743068/section-498a-of-ipc-a-weapon-or-a-shield-supreme-court-of-india

Surendran, V. (2016, November). Remember Jasleen Kaur case? Accused Sarvjeet Singh talks about how false complaints ruin men’s lives in India. Retrieved April 2021, from www.indiatoday.in: https://www.indiatoday.in/fyi/story/jasleen-kaur-sarvjeet-singh-kundan-srivastava-false-accusation-354200-2016-11-27

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Policy & Politics

Indian universities are inflicting harm and tormenting India’s bright future in the name of ‘due process’

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Colleges and educational institutions have been reopening in numerous parts of the state after the disruption of the novel coronavirus as a pandemic throughout the world. The educational institutions have been closed since March 2021 to ensure security and well-being of the students. Most of the students have been excited and exhilarated about the opportunity to be back at the campus after almost 1 year. Colleges and educational institutions have also been preparing SOPs that would be mandatory and a pre – requisite for every student to maintain to prevent the disruption of Novel Corona Virus in the campus.

Colleges and Educational Institutions ensure learning to the youth in the greatest amount and using the maximum exposure. However, it is to take into consideration that the students of a university or state educational institution are first the subjects of the state and the respectful citizens of the country. Irrespective of teaching and making the future better of students, most of the educational institutions fail to ignore that they need to be provided with basic rights and necessities as the prospective subjects of the state and not because they enjoy any special rights or have any other liabilities, unless expressly mentioned, by the university or state educational institutions.

This manuscript not only throws light upon the wrongs that are inflicted upon students in the name of “due process of the institution” but also talks about prospective rights that the student has and can claim as the respectable citizen of this nation. It is pertinent to note that it is high time now that the “due process” of educational institutions needs to be changed in order to be respected, and be in consonance with today’s everchanging rights.

UNFOLDING THE HARMS INFLICTED UPON STUDENTS

Students are firstly the subjects of the state, them being a part of any financial institution is secondary. Therefore, they are worthy and should be granted all the constitutional safeguards and are also in the dominion to file for a law suit against any atrocity inflicted upon them.

The On – Set of Novel Corona Virus has resulted in mass disruption of offline classes and a paradigm shift from offline – to – online. One of such harms inflicted to the students post COVID – era is not opening of their educational institutions, therefore, in furtherance of same, the students of Aligarh Muslim University conducted a protest to demand the reopening of college because it had been closed since the outbreak of protests of CAA – NRC.2 However, as our Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said in one of his speeches, “The population of India should adapt and live with the virus”, It is high time now that the educational institutions have been closed halting the learning of the future youth of the nation.

Students of Sikkim Government College have been protesting against the poor infrastructure being provided to them in by their public educational institutions.3 Meanwhile, on the other hand, students from Lady Shri Ram College have been protesting against the university’s hostel updated policies.4 Earlier, in 2019, it was observed that a majority of students protested against JNU for implementing hostel policies that implement strict curfews and in – times of hostels, and also dressing restrictions.

It is pertinent to note that it was observed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court5 that deemed educational institutions are covered within the ambit of “State” mentioned under Article 12 of the Indian Constitution.6 Therefore, students as respectable citizens of this nation are entitled to file a Writ Petition under Article 32,7 and Article 226 to claim what is rightfully theirs.8

CONSTITUTIONAL SAFEGUARDS

Article 12

In the applications of the provisions of Fundamental Rights for Indian Citizens, the term ‘State’ has been used in a wide concept. To provide clarity to the term, Article 12 of the Indian Constitution defines it. The term ‘State’ has been used in a wider context to include all such agencies, actions of whose can challenged in the Supreme Court if they violate the any of the sacred fundamental rights. In Dr. Janet Jeyapaul v SRM University9, the question was whether a writ petition was maintainable against the SRM University, which is a “deemed University” within the meaning of S. 3 of the UGC Act10 (the petitioner had filed a writ petition complaining of unfair termination of services).

The Supreme Court held that the petition was maintainable under Article 22611 of the Constitution, since SRM University had been established for and was engaged in – performing a “public function”.

In the case of Sukhdev Singh v. Bhagat Ram, it was held that if any university has been formulated and wields within the purview of the UGC Act, then that particular university is classified as “other authorities” within the ambit of Article 12 of the Indian Constitution.12

RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND EXPRESSIONS

The importance of freedom of speech and expression together from the point of view of liberty of an individual and democratic form of government was laid down by Supreme Court in the case of Shreya Singhal v. Union of India13 in 2012. The Supreme Court held that freedom of speech and expression is of paramount importance under a democratic constitution which anticipates changes in the composition of legislature and government and thus must be preserved. This landmark judgement eliminated and repealed Section 66 (A) of Information Technology Act 200014 which imposed restrictions on the online speech of citizens. Though it took 5 years for the final verdict to come but it broadened a platform for citizens. However, overlooking the prospective of netizens and focusing on the students as the future of this nation, this case also failed to recognize their rights exclusively.

RIGHT TO INFORMATION

Supreme Court held that Right to Information is a facet of freedom of speech and expression mentioned in Article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution of India15 but this right is subject to reasonable restrictions in the interest of security of the State. This was held in the case of CBSE and Another v Aditya Bandopadhayay and Others16, where the right of students seeking answer sheets and verification of marks was violated by asking them a hefty fee of around Rs 1000 for answer sheets and verification of marks. After the order was passed the amount was reduced to Rs 10 as application fee and Rs 2 for copies and for students below poverty line no fee was charged but then too the students above poverty line had to pay the amount for seeing their own answer sheets.

CONCLUSION & RECOMMENDATIONS: REVAMPING THE NEED FOR SPECIAL LAWS TO PROTECT STUDENTS

Universities have been inflicting harms and tormenting the bright future of this country since immemorial times in the name of “due process”. However, while looking at the innumerable rules and procedures laid down for satisfying the whims and fancies of the educational institutions, a need for establishing a special law protecting the tormented and afflicted rights of the students is the need of the hour.

Even though a Writ Petition can be filed within Article 3217 and 22618 to the Supreme Court and High Court respectively, there is no express law in India that governs and recognizes the rights of the students and absence of such will always create an injustice to the students because their voices and opinions have been and are always suppressed by the college authorities.

The only act regulating universities and institutions is the UGC Act which states a set of guidelines which the institutions need to follow for co-ordination and maintaining standards but does this act prevents the unjustifiable behavior or the tiresome and annoying restrictions that they put on their students which are different for every institution and discriminate the students from different institutions. A proper act or rule still remains missing for safeguarding the students’ interest and preventing the same.

It is never too late to safeguard the rights of the citizens of the country and students being a major part of the country needs a protective cover so that the fear which the universities and institutions have incorporated in students in the name of due process can stop and the students know that they have a law protecting them from the harmful and tortious behavior.

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Policy & Politics

PLI SCHEMES: PRODUCTION IS EXPECTED TO BE OVER $500 BILLION IN 5 YEARS

Nine PLI schemes have been approved by the Cabinet so far.

Tarun Nangia

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In the Union Budget 2021-22, presented on 1 February 2020, the Finance Minister announced an outlay of Rs 1.97 lakh crore for the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) Schemes for 13 key sectors, to create national manufacturing champions and generate employment opportunities for the country’s youth. This means that minimum production in India as a result of PLI Schemes is expected to be over $ 500 billion in five years.

PLI Schemes are a cornerstone of the Government’s push for achieving an Aatmanirbhar Bharat. The objective is to make domestic manufacturing globally competitive and to create global Champions in manufacturing. The strategy behind scheme is to offer companies incentives on incremental sales from products manufactured in India, over the base year. They have been specifically designed to boost domestic manufacturing in sunrise and strategic sectors, curb cheaper imports and reduce import bills, improve cost competitiveness of domestically manufactured goods, and enhance domestic capacity and exports.

The first three PLI Schemes were approved earlier in March, 2020 and these were followed by another 10 New PLI Schemes in November, 2020. Of these, the previous three Schemes have been notified, and six of the ten New Schemes have also been approved by the Cabinet as below:

i. Electronic/Technology Products – MeitY (notified on 3 March 2021)

ii. Pharmaceuticals drugs – D/o Pharmaceuticals (notified on 3 March 2021)

iii. Telecom & Networking Products – D/o Telecommunications (notified on 24 Feb 2021)

iv. Food Products – Ministry of Food Processing Industries

v. White Goods (ACs & LED) – DPIIT

vi. High Efficiency Solar PV Modules – MNRE

Another four Schemes are in process of obtaining Cabinet approval as below:

i. Automobiles & Auto Components – D/o Heavy Industry

ii. Advance Chemistry Cell (ACC) Battery – D/o Heavy Industry

iii. Textile Products: MMF segment and technical textiles – M/o Textiles

iv. Specialty Steel – M/o Steel

It is to be noted that of the previously notified 3 PLI Schemes, the update on their implementation is as below:

• MeitY: Mobile Manufacturing and Specified Electronic Components –

16 applications worth Rs. 35,541 crore under this scheme have been approved.

• D/o Pharmaceuticals : Critical Key Starting materials/Drug Intermediaries and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients – 47 applications with committed investment of Rs. 5,400 crore have finally been approved.

• D/o Pharmaceuticals: Manufacturing of Medical Devices – 14 applications are approved with committed investment of Rs. 873.93 crore

I. Status of Previously Notified PLI Schemes (3) is given below:

A. MeitY – Mobile Manufacturing and Specified Electronic Components

i. Major achievements in PLI being implemented: The scheme extends an incentive of 4% to 6% on incremental sales for a period of five years subsequent to the base year. The scheme was notified on 01.04.2020; last date for application was 31.07.2020 and the scheme commenced on 01.08.2020. The scheme has received a very encouraging response.16 applicationswere approved under the first round of the scheme (5 companies under Global Champions Category, 5 companies under Domestic Champions Category and 6 companies under the Electronic Components category) with an incentive outlay of Rs 36,440 crore. As per the Quarterly Review Reports for the quarter ending December 2020, in the first 5 months of scheme operation and despite challenging times, the applicant companies have produced goods worth Rs 35,000 crore and invested Rs 1,300 crore under the scheme. Additional employment generation during this period stands at around 22,000 jobs.

After the success of the First Round of PLI Scheme, the Second Round of PLI Scheme has been launched on 11.03.2021, which focuses on building a vibrant and robust electronic component manufacturing ecosystem. The last date for application was 31.03.2021. Under the Second Round, incentive of 5% to 3% shall be extended on incremental sales (over base year, i.e., 2019-20) of goods manufactured in India and covered under the target segment, to eligible companies, for a period of four years. Applications received under the Second Round of PLI Scheme for Large Scale Electronics Manufacturing are in the process of appraisal.

ii. Response of major industry leaders for products: The approved companies under the PLI Scheme for Large Scale Electronics Manufacturing include Samsung, Foxconn Hon Hai, Rising Star, Wistron and Pegatron. Out of these, 3 companies namely Foxconn Hon Hai, Wistron and Pegatron are contract manufacturers for Apple iPhones. Apple (37%) and Samsung (22%) together account for nearly 60% of global sales revenue of mobile phones and this scheme is expected to increase their manufacturing base manifold in the country. Indian companies including Lava, Bhagwati (Micromax), Padget Electronics, UTL Neolyncs and Optiemus Electronics were approved under the scheme. These companies are expected to expand their manufacturing operations in a significant manner and grow into national champion companies in mobile phone production.

iii. What kind of value addition will be brought in by the PLI- new types of industries, encouragement to MSMEs/ancillarisation, etc: The PLI Scheme for Large Scale Electronics Manufacturing also focuses on building a vibrant and robust electronic components manufacturing ecosystem. This step will further strengthen product manufacturing in India for multiple sectors such as IT Hardware, LED Products, Automotive, Medical Devices, Solar Cells, Energy Storage, etc. for which other PLI Schemes are going to be implemented.

iv. Expected outcomes in terms of increase in investment, production, exports and employment: Over the next five years, the Scheme is expected to lead to a total production of about INR 10.5 lakh crore. More than 60% of production is expected to be exported. The scheme is also expected to bring in additional investment of INR 11,000 crore. Value addition is expected to go up from 20-25% presently to 35-40% by 2025. The scheme will generate approximately 2 lakh direct employment opportunities in next 5 years along with creation of additional indirect employment of nearly 3 times the direct employment.

B. D/o Pharmaceuticals – Critical Key Starting Materials (KSMs)/ Drug Intermediates And Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs)

i. Major achievements in PLI being implemented: With an objective to attain self-reliance and reduce import dependence in these critical Bulk Drugs – Key Starting Materials/ Drug Intermediates and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients in the country, the Department of Pharmaceuticals had launched a Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for promotion of their domestic manufacturing by setting up greenfield plants with minimum domestic value addition in four different Target Segments (In Two Fermentation based  – at least  90% and in the Two Chemical Synthesis based – at least 70% ) totaling 41 products with a total outlay of Rs. 6,940 cr. for the period 2020-21 to 2029-30.

ii. Response of Industry Leaders: In the PLI Scheme for Bulk Drugs, the major successful players/ participants include M/s. Aurbindo Pharma Group, M/s. Hetero Group, M/s. Karnataka Antibiotics and Pharmaceuticals Limited, M/s. Kinvan Pvt. Ltd, M/s. Natural Biogenex Private Limited, etc. These include global players with strong presence in advanced markets.

iii. Expected outcomes in terms of increase in investment, production, exports and employment: In total 215 applications have been received for the 36 products spread across the 4 Target Segments for the PLI schemes for Bulk Drugs from all over the country. Out of these, 47 applications have been approved by the Government, with a total Committed Investment of Rs. 5,366.35; Maximum Incentive proposed for disbursement: Rs. 6,000 crore and Expected Employment Generation of about 12140.

C. D/o Pharmaceuticals – Manufacturing Of Medical Devices

i. Major achievements in PLI being implemented: With an objective to boost domestic manufacturing, attract large investment in Medical Device Sector, the Department of Pharmaceuticals had launched a Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for Promotion of Domestic Manufacturing of Medical Devices to ensure a level playing field for the domestic manufacturers of medical devices with a total financial outlay of Rs.3,420 cr. for the period 2020-21 to 2027-28.

ii. Response of Industry Leaders: In the PLI Scheme for Medical Devices, the major successful players/ participants include M/s. Siemens Healthcare Private Limited, M/s. Wipro GE healthcare Private Limited, M/s BPL Medical Technologies Private limited, M/s Nipro India Corporation Private Limited, M/s. Sahajanand Medical Technologies Private Limited, M/s. Integris Health Private Limited, M/s. Poly Medicure Limited, etc.

iii. Expected outcomes in terms of increase in investment, production, exports and employment: In total 28 applications have been received spread across the 4 Target Segments for the PLI schemes for Medical Devices from all over the country. Out of these, 14 applications have been approved by the Government, with a total Committed Investment of Rs.873.93 crore; Maximum Incentive proposed for disbursement: Rs.1,694 crore and Expected Employment Generation of about 4212.

II. Status of recently approved PLI Schemes (6) is given below:

A. DPIIT – White Goods (ACs & LED)

i. Major achievements in PLI being implemented: The PLI Scheme for White Goods shall extend an incentive of 4% to 6% on incremental sales of goods manufactured in India for a period of five years to companies engaged in manufacturing of Air Conditioners and LED Lights. PLI Scheme is designed to create complete component ecosystem in India and make India an integral part of the global supply chains. The scheme will be instrumental in making manufacturing in India globally competitive by removing sectoral disabilities, creating economies of scale and ensuring efficiencies. The scheme is expected to attract global investments, generate large scale employment opportunities and enhance exports substantially. It will also lead to investments in innovation and research and development and upgradation of technology. The Scheme is expected to be instrumental in achieving growth rates that are much higher than existing ones for AC and LED industries, develop complete component eco-systems in India and create global champions manufacturing in India. A number of global and domestic companies, including a number of MSMEs are likely to benefit from the Scheme.

ii. Response of the major Industry leaders for products under PLI: The Scheme has been prepared in consultation with relevant stakeholders such as manufacturers of Air Conditioners and LED Lights Manufacturers and related Industry Associations and they are looking forward to the scheme being launched.

iii. How to undertake global reach: Promotion of the scheme overseas specifically targeted at identified global majors in relevant fields by Project Development Cell (PDC) of DPIIT, in coordination with Invest India. This would also include disseminating mailers to the Embassies of India in home countries of identified global majors in ACs and LED Lights industry. This would be followed by Workshops/ Webinars by CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM, RAMA, CEAMA and ELCOMA for raising awareness about the scheme.

iv. Value addition bought in by the PLI: As per the Industry, the Value addition for AC Industry will increase from current level of 20-25% to 75% and for LED Lights Industry from 40% to 70-75%; This would also result in starting manufacturing of components or sub-assemblies which are not manufactured in India presently

v. Outcome of the Scheme: It is estimated that over the period of five years, the PLI Scheme will lead to: – incremental investment of Rs. 7,920 crore; incremental Production worth Rs. 1,68,000 crore; exports worth Rs 64,400 crore ; earn direct and indirect revenues of Rs 49,300 crore and ; create additional four lakh direct and indirect employment opportunities.

B.MNRE – High Efficiency Solar PV Modules

i. Major achievements in PLI being implemented by Department/Ministry: Presently, solar capacity addition in the country depends largely upon imported solar PV cells and modules as the domestic manufacturing industry has limited operational capacities of solar PV cells and modules. Major achievement of this PLI Scheme for High Efficiency Solar PV Modules is the likely reduction of import dependence in a strategic sector like electricity.

ii. Response of major industry leaders for products under PLI: Industry stakeholders, consulted at the preparation stage of this Scheme, have shown overwhelming response, and are willing to set-up large, vertically integrated manufacturing capacities which will help to achieve economies of scale, thereby becoming globally competitive.

iii. How to undertake global reach: In order to undertake global reach of this Scheme, MNRE will again interact with global industry leaders, write to various solar manufacturer’s associations, as well as requesting the various Indian embassies abroad to inform the potential investors in their respective countries.

iv. What kind of value addition will be brought in by the PLI – new types of industries, encouragement to MSMEs/ancillarisation etc.: Manufacturers will be incentivized for higher efficiencies of solar PV modules and also for sourcing their material from the domestic market. Thus, the PLI Scheme will help not only in setting up of domestic manufacturing capacities in upstream stages of solar PV manufacturing, like poly silicon and wafers which are presently absent in the country, but is likely to augment the entire solar PV manufacturing ecosystem, including boost toancillary units and MSMEs.

v. Expected outcomes in terms of increase in investment, production, exports and employment: The outcomes/ benefits expected from the scheme are – Additional 10,000 MW capacity of integrated solar PV manufacturing plants.; Direct investment of around 17,200 crore in setting up solar PV manufacturing projects; Direct employment of about 30,000 and Indirect employment of about 1,20,000 persons; Import substitution of around 17,500 crore every year; Demand of 17,500 crore over 5 years for ‘Balance of Materials’ such as, Solar Glass, EVA, Backsheet, Junction Box, Ribbon etc. will lead to development of new types of industries where MSMEs will play a major role; Provide impetus to Research & Development to achieve higher efficiency in solar PV modules.

C.MoFPI – Food Products

i. Major achievements in PLI being implemented by Department/Ministry: Production Linked Incentive Scheme for Food Processing Industry was approved by the Cabinet on 31.3.2021 for implementation during 2021-22 to 2026-27 with an outlay of Rs 10,900 crore. The scheme is essentially meant for Indian companies and subsidiaries of MNCs operating in India with minimum sales of food products manufactured in India. The scheme will encourage investment in four food segments viz. Ready to Cook/ Ready to Eat (RTC/RTE) including millet based foods, Processed Fruits & Vegetables, Marine Products, Mozzarella Cheese. The objective of the scheme is to support creation of global food manufacturing champions; support Indian brands of value-added food products in the international markets; increase employment opportunities for off-farm jobs and ensuring remunerative prices of farm produce and higher income to farmers.

ii. Response of major industry leaders for products under PLI: The scheme has been well received by the Industry including Nestle, ITC, Britannia, Keventer Agro, and Amul.

iii. How to undertake global reach: Companies would be reached out through Indian Missions abroad. Industry Associations would be supporting to organise Webinar to attract potential investors to avail opportunities under PLIS.

iv. What kind of value addition will be brought in by the PLI – new types of industries, encouragement to MSMEs/ancillarisation etc.: As the incentive is based on sales, subject to minimum investment, higher value addition is inbuilt in the scheme. Further, product specific incentive is extended for value added Marine products viz. Canned, Battered & breaded, Pickles, Sausages etc. Role of contract Manufacturing has been recognized under the scheme and the scheme provides for Investment criteria to be met by the food majors and their contract manufacturers jointly. These products are extended 10% incentives for all the six years of scheme duration. Small and medium enterprises (SME), in the four segments will also be supported for manufacture innovative and organic products. This segment has been earmarked an outlay of Rs. 250 crore. The scheme envisages for holistic development of the sector.

v. Expected outcomes in terms of increase in investment, production, exports and employment: The outcomes/ benefits expected from the scheme are – Expansion of food processing capacity: Rs 33,494 crore; Exports: Rs 27,816 crore; Generation of employment: 2.5 lakh persons.

D. D/o TELECOM – Telecom & Networking Products (Notified)

➢ i. Major achievements in PLI being implemented by DoT: Department of Telecommunications has notified the PLI Scheme for Telecom and Networking products on 24th February 2021 with financial outlay of Rs. 12,195 Crores, over five years for Telecom and Networking Products. PLI Scheme in Telecom and Networking Products will make India a global hub of manufacturing telecom equipment including Core Transmission Equipment, 4G/5GNext Generation Radio Access Network and Wireless Equipment, Access & Customer Premises Equipment (CPE), Internet of Things (IoT) Access Devices, Other Wireless Equipment and Enterprise equipment like Switches, Routers etc.

The investor will be incentivized for incremental sales up to 20 times the committed investment enabling them to reach global scales and utilize their unused capacity and ramp up production. The core component of this Scheme is to offset the huge import of telecom equipment worth more than Rs. 50 thousand crores and reinforce it with “Made in India” products both for domestic markets and exports. The target is to Make India a preferred global manufacturing destination for telecom products and making India a net exporter of telecom and networking products.

➢ ii. Response of major industry leaders for products: Most of the world telecom industry leaders are keen to expand or set up manufacturing base in India and are positive with the kind of incentives proposed in the Scheme. The companies like Ericsson Sweden and Nokia Finland are keen to expand their existing operation in India for global supply chain. Global telecom companies like Samsung South Korea, Cisco USA, Ciena USA, and Engineering Manufacturing Services (EMS) companies like Jabil USA, Foxconn Taiwan, Sanmina USA& Flex USA have shown interest to set up manufacturing in India for Telecom & Networking Products for domestic as well as export markets. Indian manufacturers like VVDN Technologies Gurugram, Dixon Noida, HFCL, Coral Telecom& Sterlite have also shown interest in the Scheme.

➢ iii. How to undertake global reach: An extensive outreach program with the support of Invest India team for the Scheme is being planned, covering – One to one meeting with potential investors; Participation in global outreach events organized by industry associations; Webinars with Consultants & Embassy officials, Law firms/ banks/ / research organisations/ industry associations; Creation of collaterals/flyers for the scheme in different languages; Microsite for the scheme on Invest India website.; Separate interactive website for Applications as well as selected vendors for the entire Scheme interface; Support translation of scheme into multiple languages.

➢ iv. What kind of value addition will be brought in by the PLI- new types of industries, encouragement to MSMEs/ancillarisation etc.: The Scheme is investment linked which will enable the vendors to invest in backward integration thereby increasing the value addition in country. Global vendors will bring in their component suppliers and develop ancillaries. The scheme has a special category for MSME recognising the fact that MSMEs play an important role in the telecom manufacturing eco system. For MSMEs, one percent (1%) higher incentive is proposed in initial 3 years. Minimum Investment threshold for MSME has been kept at Rs. 10 crore.

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Policy & Politics

Overseas Internet frauds in hotel industry: A threat that shouldn’t be ignored

These bogus agencies or people would like to get your money or your identity and after being successful maybe you can’t see or contact them later. Irrespective of their modus operandi, these agencies have the same motto to promise the candidate, get your confidential data and to get their hands on your cash.

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Nowadays Internet frauds and scams have become one of the most key threats to everyone, where these frauds target and steal away victims’ important documents, money, important informations and passwords. These scammers show no mercy to their targets and scam them in a very professional way without letting the victim know that they are getting scammed or giving away all their important information to someone else.

This scammers are masterminds in there own unique way, they will always find new ways and techniques to scam people.

We all know how this Covid-19 pandemic has affected the world with people getting terminated from jobs, fresh graduates seeking to start their careers all at the same time are in a blind hunt for jobs where they are ready to accept any jobs as per their criteria without validating or giving a second thought on it.

Here’s where the aster minds take this pandemic as an opportunity for them and started their own way of scamming this job seekers through “Recruitment Process Fraudulent”. This online job scams are offering jobs for every field but are most likely to be happening through Fake Hospitality & Tourism jobs sector like hotels, restaurants, resorts, etc.

They are using

• Big brand names,

• Providing attractive salary,

• Imposeters of Visa Officers providing their fake contact details,

• Providing you bonus offers,

Thereafter they will ask for the visa fees and promise you that the cost will be refunded after the cost reports are submitted through mail. And that’s where you will get scammed if you fall into the trap and pay the visa fees. I will explain more about how it works.

Nowadays, people are becoming smarter and so are scammers. Sometimes, it’s very hard to find whether the job is a legitimate or a fake one. Hoping to find better opportunities some people end up losing their hard earned money and become a victim of “Identity Theft”. Where the scammers can do anything with your identity, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. We will go through every step to determine a job scam.

For most scammers, online job portals are a popular haunt to find prey. Here’s how they proceed:

1. Applicant profiles accessed from job recruitment sites.

2. Mass mailers sent to potential candidates.

3. Fraudsters pose as job consultants, set up fake websites, temporary ‘offices’.

4. Candidates are asked to deposit registration fees via wallet or bank transfers.

5. Online or telephonic interviews are conducted(May not apply in all the process)

6. Fake appointment letters are offered.

You’ve submitted your CV on a Job Portal and very soon an employer comes up saying, he/she is interested in your profile and wants to offer you a position. But where is the catch? They haven’t invited you to an interview and I have seen a company(fake employer) email saying that first, you have to fill and send the recruitment process documents and then you will get an offer letter, thereafter you will have to connect with the visa officer again and you have to pay for the visa. How does the employer know that you’ll clear all these stages? I just wonder. They will promise to refund the money back but to be honest, it never happens, once you are parted with your money then it’s gone. If you have to pay any amount to anyone before you get the job or after an interview then there is a red flag, beware it’s probably a scam. No employer wanted to get money from their perspective candidates and no legit job will ask you to pay money. Give some time in doing a search for the Job portal and find if it is legit or a fake.

Fake job rackets have become a booming industry, thanks to shrinking jobs in private as well as public sector and hordes of students passing out of low-quality professional colleges. According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, India’s unemployment rate in April 2019 shot up to 7.6%, the highest since October 2016, it increased more upto 9.6% in December 2020. Combined with easy accessibility of the Internet, this has come as a boon for job scammers, who are offering non-existent jobs to desperate youth. “Students fresh out of college, from one of the thousands of engineering colleges in small towns, are easily trapped. Their parents have invested on them and now want the kids to earn big money, especially through foreign jobs. If you take the example of India and the Philippines, 10 recent graduates 4 of them wanted to go overseas for their career. And most of the scams happen in getting an overseas job.

First, you always wanted to go abroad, second, a good salary, incentives and bonuses, third work-life balance and they are giving you the same, to dream (Yes I’m right, a dream). But, if you carefully read all of the mail’s and offer letter you will start finding it unrealistic, with tons of grammatical errors, promises, and more promises and if the job offer is too promising then it’s probably a scam. Little wonder then that embassies, companies and job portals have started putting up advisories on their websites to warn the applicants. Groups such as Tata Consultancy Services, Shell and Monster.com have also put up warnings on their sites. If you are also looking for jobs, here’s how to avoid being duped by scammers.

PHISHING & MAILING

This is probably the easiest way for racketeers to find victims en masse . “By posing as freelance job consultants, they scour multiple job portals like Monster, Naukri, TimesJobs and Shine to get access to their databases,”. They then send mass mailers and, even if they dupe 5% of job-seekers, they make a lot of money. The mails typically ask for a security deposit, interview fee or other charges, a prerequisite for scheduling an interview. While some fraudsters disappear as soon as they get the money, others go so far as to conduct a quick online or telephonic interview before allotting a fake appointment letter.

Email Scams( Jobs being Offered with Unprofessional Email)

“Hi, Adam we have found your CV on XYZ.com and we are glad to offer you a position in our company as a …” Wow, without applying for a job, even without giving an interview, you have been offered a position. What else do you want? The person who has sent you an email may be is from your dream company. But, stop!!!! Have you tried to read that email address? Is it a Gmail or a Yahoo or any of the free email account? Do you know every business organization has its personal email address with the same domain name as the company has? If you don’t know about a domain name, let me just give you a short example.

If the company name is Hilton and if you google about Hilton, then you can find the hotel website which is Hilton.com (this is domain name) and the people who are from the hotel they will have an email address associated with the domain name.

FACEBOOK JOB SCAM

Being one of the best social networking platforms, Facebook has too many scammers who are ripping innocent and desperate job seekers. I am not going to talk about Angel Priya (Even Zuckerberg was amazed that why didn’t he met any Angel Priya on his visit to India). There are hundreds of thousands of groups and pages about career, claiming local and international career opportunities. But they are just a waste of time.

LINKEDIN SCAMS

If you’re a regular LinkedIn user then you might have seen posts like ‘Hiring open positions’ creating a Hotel Professionals WhatsApp on the phone number or email address with no official domain. For someone, it might not be a scam, but for me, it’s a scam. How can you imagine that a group of random contact is going to help you? I am not saying this because I don’t want to build networks, Yes I definitely wanted that but, I have experienced being in those traps, So I would never recommend being in such a time waster thing. On doing some research on this fraud scams I found out some more information on some really big scams where targeted victims were students and freshly Graduates.

Hiring scams:- Ghaziabad scam – In June 2018, three men were arrested from Kavi Nagar in Ghaziabad for cheating hundreds of job seekers over two years. Amount: Rs 3.5 crore Hyderabad scam:- In June 2018, three men were held in Hyderabad for extracting Rs 2 lakh each from 60 unemployed youth in three months, Amount: Rs 1.2 crore. I hope this will give you an idea how much scam they have done with needy people. Avoid being scammed, Here is the checklist you should follow to check proof your job selection process. Go to authentic, official websites: Most companies advertise new job positions on their official websites. So, instead of replying to dubious mails, go to the career page of the company and apply directly on the site. In case of online job portals, make sure you are routing your resumes via the original sites, not responding to a link provided in a mail.

Post CVs with specific job positions: While posting your resume on job portals, make sure that the CV is written for the specific post you want. Also, any mail you get in response should offer you the particular post you have applied for. Vague, generic designations are an indication of a fake offer. Never pay for securing a job: No employer seeks any fee from a job-seeker at any stage of the hiring process. So beware of companies or individuals, who are seeking fees or charges for security deposit, registration or document verification. This can be through bank instruments or cash in an individual’s name, or through a bank transfer. Look for flaws in mail/letter: A good exercise to ward off scammers who approach you through mails is to scan the letter minutely . Beware if the mail is from a free e-mail address, not the company e-mail. Also check for the format of the letter, spelling mistakes, poor syntax or wrong spacing. Another indicator is the name and sign of the person sending you the mail, as well as the company address and contact details.

Validate mail by calling firms: If you have any doubts about the offer or appointment letter, call up the company on its registered landline number. Check if the person who has mailed you exists, and if the firm has a vacancy for the post or job you have applied for. Conduct proper research about the company before applying for the job. Be cautious about jobs that seem too good to be true: If you are being offered a 70-80% increment, or a remuneration that is not in line with the market trends, or with your rank and experience, it is most definitely a fake job. Another indicator is that you are being handed an offer letter without a formal interview. Ensure that you are called for a personal, face-to-face interview, preferably at the registered company address.

Whatever the way will be, these bogus agencies or people would like to get your money or your identity and after being successful maybe you can’t see or contact them later. Irrespective of their modus operandi, these agencies have the same motto to promise the candidate, get your confidential data and to get their hands on your cash. But does this mean you cannot find a genuine job or an internship.

Obviously, You Can!

Fake job rackets have become a booming industry, thanks to shrinking jobs in the private as well as public sector and hordes of students passing out of low-quality professional colleges. According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, India’s unemployment rate in April 2019 shot up to 7.6%, the highest since October 2016.

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