“We make toilets, we also produce coal.”
This was the tagline that was proposed for Coal India Limited (CIL), the principal coal producer of the country, in an informal discussion. Everyone laughed but for me it was no laughing matter. The tagline was suggested to convey a message but I wondered whether it served any purpose because no one was prepared to think beyond what they were told to do and even if they thought, didn’t have the courage to speak up. Swachh Bharat was indeed an extremely laudable programme (continues to be one) and deserved every possible support but to force the managers of CIL to scout for locations and supervise the building of toilets went much beyond what could be expected of these officers. On the other hand, the country was reeling due to the shortage of coal. CIL was unable to meet the demand of supplying around 800 million tonnes of coal per annum to power plants. The shortage had also led to scams as everyone who required coal was desperate to lay its hand on any coal block by whatever means. Ironically, the country was sitting on 300 billion tonnes of coal reserves and we are expecting those responsible to dig deep for excavating coal to find locations where shallow soak pits could be dug!
When I took over as Secretary, Ministry of Coal, Government of India, the crisis was at its peak. Alleged scams had been unearthed. Supreme Court had cancelled all the 204 coal blocks that had been allocated since the 90s, going much beyond what even the rampaging CAG had recommended. Some of these coal blocks were producing coal. Consequent upon these cancellations, most of them stopped production since the 1st of April, 2014. This meant an estimated reduction of around 90 million tonnes of coal production. More than 20 power plants were critical for want of coal. There was panic in the States on account of poor supply.
A detailed action plan was worked out after identifying the causes of lower coal production. The focus was on land acquisition. Intensive engagements with the States helped as the positive value proposition of the exercise was clearly conveyed to them. Meetings were then held at the State level and with the Collectors / Deputy Commissioners to expedite processes. This yielded the desired results as Coal India went on to acquire more than 5000 hectares of land in the year 2014-15. A similar effort was made to facilitate environment and forest clearances as most of the coal-bearing area lay under forest cover. This also worked out as clearances were obtained for more than 3000 hectares during the year. Coordination with the Railways helped in increasing evacuation of coal. All this led to an increase in production by 34 million tonnes during 2014-15 which was more than the cumulative increase during the previous four years.
Subsequently, during 2015-16, this production increased further by another 44 million tonnes. The crisis had been successfully managed and now no power plant was critical for want of coal. The import of coal came down substantially and Coal India was even toying with the idea of exporting coal to Bangladesh!
As Coal India was preparing itself to enhance excavation of coal to reach record highs during the next financial year, came this much-needed focus on ‘Swachh Bharat’. However, whether the officers of the PSU should have been driven to treat this as a priority instead of focussing on coal production was the point of contention.
Civil servants normally do not contest when the directive is from “above” but I made my reservations known during meetings. I was all for the ‘Swachh Bharat’ movement. I also felt that Coal India Limited should contribute financially as a part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR), but I had serious reservations about the engagement of coal mine managers to go around locating schools and supervising the building of toilets in them. This was neither their job nor their area of expertise. All this forced activity impacted coal production subsequently. I resisted as much as I could till I was the Coal Secretary but I was shifted out of the Coal Ministry once the coal position in the country became comfortable. The process of auction of coal blocks had also become seamless and transparent through use of technology. I got to know later when I had taken over as Secretary, School Education and Literacy that the coal production did not keep pace with the demand and the crisis re-surfaced.
There were many reasons that contributed to the recurrence of the crisis but the shift of focus from coal production to constructing toilets by the managers who should have been engaged in supervising of digging coal instead of supervising the digging of soak-pits was certainly one of the major contributors. The absence of a regular Chairman, Coal India for almost a year and the shuffling of Coal Secretaries didn’t help matters either. Swachh Bharat became a huge success because of the leadership provided by the redoubtable Parmeshwaran Iyer but coal production never grew at the rate at which it had grown during 2014-2016.
Anil Swarup has served as the head of the Project Monitoring Group, which is currently under the Prime Minister’s Office. He has also served as Secretary, Ministry of Coal and Secretary, Ministry of School Education.
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ERADICATION OF ILLITERACY THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA
Illiteracy is one of the biggest challenges in front of our country. Numerous ways are there to overcome this very issue. Here use of social media is being focussed. As social media has access to the largest population worldwide. Besides helping the students, teachers and other professionals it is also benefitting the illiterates. The best thing of social media is its attractive outlook, which encourages and provokes the unaware and ignorant people to undergo educational programmes. Moreover the study groups on Facebook, Whatsapp, telegram, as well as study videos on YouTube, blogs and educational websites are really very helpful for the learners.
Several factors contribute towards the development of a country such as foreign trade, political freedom, policies, technology, administration, education, economy, available resources. Along with this, literacy of any country serves as the key for its growth and progress. It becomes evident when one observes the literacy index of developed countries such as Finland, Andorra, Greenland, Vatican, which is very high. But in developing countries like India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan this index is quite low. Specifically, India holds 168th rank in literacy index as per the report of census 2011. As per the data of 2020 the literacy rate of India is 77.7%, which signifies that a lot more is to be done in this direction. Around 287 million Indians are illiterate, which is approx. 22% of total Indian population. Illiteracy is a curse to society as it results in development of demons instead of social humans. It is so because it affects the vision, perspectives and behaviour of the individuals. Illiteracy is the fundamental cause of several evils such as poverty, ignorance, lower-standard of living, unemployment, superstitions and donnish. Thus its eradication becomes the prime focus of every individual. The government of India has taken number of actions for its eradication, but sole efforts on the part of government will not suffice. Rate of illiteracy is still on its peak and this goal cannot be achieved until and unless every individual contributes toward its achievement.
There are several factors which may help to overcome the issue of illiteracy
1. Free and compulsory Education
2. Awareness Programmes
3. Increasing Level of Aspiration
4. Government Policies
5. Constitutional Provisions and
6. Use of Social Media.
This paper highlights the use of social media for eradicating illiteracy. It is an area which may resolve this problem to maximum possible extent as the number of people using social media is rising significantly. According to the digital 2021 global overview report above 53% of total world’s population uses social media.
Social media refers to the web based network that enables interaction over the continuously growing array of various websites. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Telegram, YouTube, Blogs are some of the examples of widely used social media platforms. These media are frequently used by the students, teachers, schools, colleges, Universities, firms, marketing professionals and others for their own purposes. These media are equally good for educational purposes. Here content can be put up in front of thousands of people at low cost. Social media platform ensures better learning as it provides the information in an attractive manner (Nick Sousanis). During Pandemic it is working in the most promising way. It is a known fact that, in coming years the education will be virtual so its use cannot be ignored in eradication of illiteracy.
POSITIVE FACETS OF USING SOCIAL MEDIA
Along with globalization social Media also owns the credit of bringing entire world at one platform. Social media has enhanced our capacity to acquire more and more knowledge. Here are some benefits of getting education using social media-
1. Acquiring and demonstrating Skills- Social media helps learners as well as the educationists in acquiring new skills to survive in this competitive world. It also provides the platform for demonstrating their talent and getting noticed by the others.
2. Acquaintance with the technologies– Social media provides the opportunity to students to develop the technological and creative skills which will certainly help them in their future perspectives and getting settled in their career.
3. Motivate youngsters– Social media is always being cursed by the elders for wasting time and providing sensuous material but as every cloud has a silver lining so the social media has. It stimulates teenagers mind towards positivity as well. Teenagers are highly influenced by the celebrities so when they suggest something to them it approaches to their heart and they started following it unquestionably. Even the thoughts and quotes full of positivity guides them for their future also.
4. Faster Information- Internet is one of the fastest sources of getting information. It helps the students, teachers, researchers and others to get quick access to the most relevant information, latest news and current affairs as well. In short it could be said that by using social media one is learning with the recent developments in the entire globe.
5. Personality Grooming– Some people find it difficult to express themselves openly in front of any audience. Social media provides them a facility to express their viewpoints in writing or sharing it through videos and images. They feel free in communicating to their feeling to new unknown people and thereafter to the known ones. Thus it leads to removal of shyness and also enhances their personality.
Negative impact of social media
Besides having number of positive aspects there are some negative impacts of using social media which can never be overlooked such as-
1. Addiction– Addiction to social media is the biggest drawback that can lead to disturbance in studies, personal lives, attention span, health issues and so many other problems. It inculcates the habit of living in isolation and gradually detaches a person from family, neighbours and society.
2. Privacy– Innocent students easily fall prey to the evilness of the unknown friends on social media. In emotional state of mind they sometime reveal some of the most sensitive and personal issues which can be used by the other people for certain illegal offence.
3. Affects learning– Use of internet is a common practice among students for searching their course materials and completing assignments. In this process to avoid boredom they seek help of social media and waste a lot of valuable time which ultimately affects their academic performance.
ROLE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN ERADICATION OF ILLITERACY
Over a decade or so the mode of communication has been changed drastically. To connect with the students the universities and educational institutions uses social networking sites. In beginning these platforms were used to get connected with friends and family but now they are equally used for business, marketing, learning and professional networking. According to the report of Internet and Mobile Association of India (IMAI), 65% of total Indian population search educational content through internet. Students alone are spending approximately 6-8 hours online for searching through social media.
Now the question arise ‘How will it help in eradicating illiteracy?’ Answer to this question depends upon its ‘usage’. Almost every student above the age of 15 is using social media. But the main thing is that besides talking and socializing one should invest the time in reading different authors, useful literature, scientific inventions, laws and judgements, government policies and many more such worthwhile topics. Here one gets an opportunity to interact with eminent scholars, consult various experienced people, and share personal viewpoints without hesitation.
SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM COMMONLY USED IN EDUCATION SECTOR:
Facebook: Facebook is one of the best platform for sharing thoughts, ideas, opinion and communicate with the people around the globe since 2006. As it is the most commonly used platform not only by the youngsters but also by the aged ones. It is one of the easiest social media platforms to make profile and get connected with people. Here one can find each and every aspect of information including entertainment, business, shopping, social networking as well as learning. Content posted here become available to thousands of people in one go.
Twitter: It is considered as one of the largest social media network which came into existence in 2013. Within such a limited time it has become the most expanded network in the world. It provides latest updates, pertinent news and ensures feedback. Here one gets an opportunity to get connected with the highly ranked officers, bureaucrats, administrators, sportsperson, actors and so on. This media is also helpful for educational purposes as email seems to be quite old fashioned technique to inform. Teachers as well as students can use this platform to share relevant information and links.
Instagram: Instagram was launched in 2010 with a view to share images and videos. It is one of the most widely used social media platform by the youngsters. So the esteemed institutions colleges and universities also started using it for promoting their coursework, infrastructure, campus activities and other programs. This ensures maximum access to the target group.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn was launched in 2002 and thus it is one of the earliest social media platforms, which is widely used by the professionals for promoting their work, achievements and success stories. It is also used by the students to get different opportunities such as internships, training, job offers and so on. It also serves as morale booster for the young aspiring minds.
YouTube: YouTube is a video based social media platform which was developed with a view to provide information through videos. It enables the users to access the desired content. This platform can be used by the teachers, creative professionals, educationists, institutions as well as the students to upload, share and access the content. It may also become a source of income for the people contributing their videos.
Blogs: It is a kind of web page or a website being updated regularly. Different people as well as groups may own their blog sites and get their work (articles, research work or view point regarding any issue) published. Students can access these blogs to get required information. They can also create their own blogs to share their ideas.
This article focuses on the eradication of illiteracy through social media. In today’s scenario there is a shift in the styles of teaching, the teaching fraternity is now opting the virtual mode of teaching and learning to attain best results. As it is known that a huge number of people are using social media just for the sake of entertainment and social networking. The need of hour is to channelize them towards the educational aspects of social media, where they can get educational information in an interesting way. This may lead to arousal of interest thus inspiring them to undergo formal education. The videos available on YouTube are very interesting and easy to understand, they could be the best media for illiterates.
BE CHEERFUL TO PRODUCE ANTIBODIESBE CHEERFUL TO PRODUCE ANTIBODIES
Your body can remain healthy only if you’re mentally calm and composed even under critical conditions. It is imperative for you to keep your mind calm and composed, to keep the whole family and other people cheerful in order to deal with the present crisis. If you create laughter and happiness in life, antibodies will also develop naturally. If the mind is tense, the body cannot become strong. This is the time to relax and be happy
Corona… corona… corona..!
M y head begins to spin hearing this word repeatedly. I’m scared! I see death and I suddenly start cursing the PM, CM and DM. I am not able to get a vaccine… I cannot get medicine… My relative is not getting an oxygen bed… My wife is not getting an ICU bed… My brother is dying… My partner has left me… My business has been destroyed… This government is incompetent… It is hopeless..!
Dear sir, the government is yours, so have faith. And if you don’t, what will happen, you know? It will increase negativity, further adding to the fear and anxiety. It will hamper whatever good is happening around. Yes, every individual right now is trying to keep himself or herself safe. Every one of them is struggling to be out of harm’s way. So stop worrying. The government will do whatever it can, but we will have to do something too. We will have to find the powers that are within us to survive any crisis. We will have to keep our heart and mind composed. We will have to find moments of peace. If the heart and mind will be relaxed, the body will be fit and healthy too.
Scientists say that when you are under stress and mentally disturbed, it directly affects the body mechanism making it weak. From this point of view, the most important thing is that we should seek smaller moments of happiness that can give us a lot of relief. In this way, we can give our body a favourable environment to produce antibodies naturally. I am reminded of the movie Anand. Rajesh Khanna knows that he is about to die but he tells the doctor, Zindagi badi honi chahiye, lambi nahin Babu Moshay! Jab tak zinda hun, mara nahin (life should be great, not long…) The same Rajesh Khanna says in the film Bawarchi, Kisi badi khushi ke intazaar mein hum chhoti chhoti khushiyon ke mauke kho dete hain (We lose smaller moments of happiness in anticipation of perfect happiness). That is to say, why die a little every day for fear of death?
Of course, when the circumstances are terrible, smaller moments of happiness will give you a lot of relief. Just two days back, I made a call to an old friend of mine in Gujarat. At first he responded in the typical native language. Only a close friend can use native language. You cannot speak in such a language with anyone else! After that we both laughed so much, we indulged in such a spell of light banter that the whole heart and mind got refreshed. The mood became cheerful. Today, people are locked at homes, but then you can always call a friend and share some lighter moments!
Let me give you some examples. When you come home stressed and your wife asks you, what happened? You tell her everything and then the wife says, why are you worrying? I am there! That makes you completely stress free. All of a sudden your children hug you, and you forget all the worries of the world. Suddenly, you start singing despite not knowing the lyrics. Even if you do not know the language of dance, you start to throw your legs, and then you are surprised at how much happiness it has filled you with. This is the ambience that makes your mind fit and it is obvious that it also makes your body strong.
And of course, you need to pay attention to your lifestyle. I have come to the conclusion that with the development of science, man will get caught in many complex problems and he will conduct several experiments in order to establish his rule over the world! The preservation of environmental balance will be crucial to ensure sustainability. Life will also lose balance with the imbalance of the environment. Our life, our family, our children and all the creatures and beings of nature will suffer from the waste created by science, the waste that is generated daily, and the destruction of forests, polluted water and toxic air, among many evils of modern industrial society. Just those who have been able to maintain their mental condition stable or who have good physical ability will be able to fight against these problems. Surely pranayaam, spirituality, happiness, friends and home environment are going to play an important role in keeping the mind and body healthy. And what about food? Forget that you will get fresh and poison free vegetables, grains and fruits. The greed of man and the behaviour of man towards man has started ruining mankind. Man himself is adulterating the foodstuff. Spurious medicines are also being manufactured by humans. I want to say that if you are earning money by taking advantage of someone’s helplessness, no matter what your profession is, be sure that if you are not around to enjoy, where will you bring happiness from and what will you do with your money? In fact, today the whole environment has become an enemy of humanity. There is no house that is free from medicines. These medicines are chemicals only! So it is high time you take care of yourself. If despair threatens to take hold of you, just dust it off and remember that there is a silver lining to every dark cloud. We have experienced a period of darkness and our ancestors have also sustained the darkest period. At that time, man was not so advanced in science, yet our ancestors were successful in defeating the darkness. We have a robust support of science today. We will get rid of this darkness too. Here are a few lines that are coming to my mind:
Kyon kose andhere ko, kuch fayda bhi toh nahin!
Chalo dhoondhte hain milkar, suraj ki mutthhi bhar roshni!!
The author is the chairman, Editorial Board of Lokmat Media and former member of Rajya Sabha.
MAKING IT HAPPEN: SUCCESSFUL MANAGEMENT OF COVID FALLOUT
Imparting health services to the tribal population in a District like Nandurbar (Maharashtra) is a stupendous task because of the poverty, illiteracy, remoteness, unwillingness to mix with the mainstream of the society. Mountainous terrain and the lack of proper roads in the inaccessible regions make the problems more severe. Most of the PHCs do not have enough staff, well maintained buildings and staff quarters. The number of medical personnel available are below national average.
The underlying medical conditions like Sickle Cell Anemia and weakening immune system heightens the severity of the infection and increases mortality rate. The spread of COVID-19 among the elders would have put the entire generation at risk.
There is no industry nearby in the vicinity of Nandurbar District that would have been capable of generation and supply of oxygen in the case of urgency. The District Collector, Dr. Rajendra Bharud recognized all these problems and had the foresight to make the district self-reliant not only in terms of oxygen requirement, but also other necessary preparation to fight Covid-19.
Nandurbar did not have a single liquid oxygen plant or tank before the Covid-19 outbreak last year. However, the Doctor turned Collector envisioned the Coronavirus threat of future and effects of weak health infrastructure in the district.
After steady decline in the cases in first wave as well as the assurance from Central Government regarding the vaccination programme, many district administrations dismantled their Covid-19 facilities. However, Nandurbar didn’t do it. As cases were coming down in India, Dr. Bharud kept an eye on events in America and Brazil that were facing a massive surge. He wanted to be prepared in case a similar surge took place in the District. So, District Planning and Development Council (DPDC) allotted Rs. 85 Lakhs from DPDC fund for the installation of Oxygen plant. In September 2020, the District Administration installed the first oxygen plant, which had a capacity to produce 600 liters per minute. Forecasting the surge, the District Administration went ahead to install another plant of similar capacity at District Hospital by using funds from State Disaster Relief Fund and Corporate Social Responsibility.
When the second wave hit Maharashtra, Nandurbar reported as many as 1160 cases in a span of 24 hours on 7th April 2021. The District Administration installed another plant at Shahada block in few days. At present, with the proactive effort, the total oxygen capacity in the district is 1,800 liters per minute. By adding two more plants at Navapur and Taloda with combined capacity of 1200 liters per minute, the total capacity of Oxygen generation will reach 3000 liter per minute by 20th May 2021.
Availability of funds is always a crucial component in setting up a robust healthcare structure, which includes ambulances, ventilators, beds, oxygen plants, vaccines, medicines, staff, a website, and control rooms in every block. Dr Bharud used a combination of resources, including District Planning and Development Council (DPDC) funds, State disaster relief funds, Local Bodies’ Cess and CSR to meet expenses.
Apart from erection of Oxygen Generation plants, many steps were taken by the administration to fight the pandemic. Nandurbar had to depend upon the GMC Dhule for get its swab samples tested in initial days of Covid-19 pandemic. The administration installed its own RTPCR lab with capacity of testing 2000 samples per day. Keeping in mind the second wave of Covid-19, the testing capacity was augmented with addition of second RTPCR machine of same capacity.
Schools and community halls were converted into COVID-19 centers. The administration set up 7000 beds just for isolation and 1300 beds for active treatment.
During the first wave, the district had faced a massive crunch in terms of frontline doctors. Since there are no medical colleges in the region, finding experts was a challenge. So, all local doctors were roped in and were trained to perform vital procedures of Covid-19 treatment such as intubation and monitoring oxygen levels.
The health department has to bear the burden of data management, inventory management etc. at DHC, DCHC & CCC. Hence, the teachers, staff from ITI instructors etc. have been made available for the purpose.
Considering the future demand, 27 ambulances have been arranged from CSR; 4 ambulances have been hired with the help of Nandurbar and Shahada municipal councils while 16 ambulances have been purchased from Local Cess Funds. In addition to this, two dedicated hearse vans have been made available to Municipal Council for disposal of dead body.
One of the early steps taken by the administration was creating a website and control room to help control the panic and systematically guide the citizens. This would also ensure that people were not running from pillar to post in search of beds. The website www.ndbcovidinfo.com is created and being updated real time to let the people know about bed availability, Covid-19 Test reports, ambulance status and nearest vaccination booth status etc. Due to user-friendly design of website, the complaints of citizens regarding non-availability of information have been drastically reduced.
Control rooms (24 X 7) had been established in all six talukas in the district under the supervision of Incident Commanders as well as at District Headquarter under Additional Collector. FDA officer was also made available with the control room for mitigating any shortage of medicines as well as oxygen. District Administration has provided 4 separate helpline numbers. Separate logbook is being maintained for calls received and action taken on it.
Railways has turned 21 coaches into isolation wards at the request of the State Government in Nandurbar. There are 16 beds in every coach. The isolation coaches have been covered with layered gunnies and water drip system to lower the temperature, making it suitable for the use of COVID-19 patients.
The ongoing small but effective practice of appointing nurses was started last year in Nandurbar. One nurse is appointed for 15-20 patients. These nurses have to monitor the requirement of oxygen every 2-4 hours, round the clock. They have the discretion to increase or decrease the flow depending on the patient’s need.
The district presently has 52 government and 4 private vaccination centers. Out of the 3 lakh individuals aged above 45, one lakh have already received the first dose. This is despite the lack of awareness around vaccination. Effort has been made to reach out to the target group Instead of calling people over for vaccination as a part of ‘Camp Approach’. This way, people didn’t have to travel in hilly terrains. Teachers and sarpanches were deployed to spread the word about the seriousness of the situation.
On account of improved health infrastructure, people from neighboring districts and states (including Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat), have been admitting themselves in Nandurbar. Even with this added caseload, the district has managed not only to control the positivity rate, but also slash it by 30%. The single day spike is reduced from 1200 to 300 i.e. by 75% by various active interventions at local levels.
Dr Rajendra Bharud and his committed team of officers, doctors and para-medics have demonstrated that even an unprecedented crisis, like COVID can be managed with foresight, meticulous planning and execution. They have made-it-happen. It is indeed a lesson for others.
Anil Swarup has served as the head of the Project Monitoring Group, which is currently under the Prime Minister’s Offic. He has also served as Secretary, Ministry of Coal and Secretary, Ministry of School Education.
Human cloning: If it becomes possible someday, then will it be a violation of human rights?
“Our lives depend on recognizing that human cloning
like all forms of playing God is a moral life promoting endeavor” — (Alex Epstein)
The scientific and the technological advancements through which we all have undergone has made our lives both shocking and fascinating. Its emergence has created various new reproductive technologies. One of the creations is Human Cloning, which is slightly a new term. Our article certainly aims to find out that if Human Cloning is possible then whether it will infringe basic rights, in layman’s language we call them Human Rights. Before going depth in the discussion, let’s first talk about the meaning of the term “Human Cloning.”
WHAT IS HUMAN CLONING?
Britannica Encyclopedia defines the word “Cloning” as “the process of generating a genetically identical copy of a cell or an organism.”
If this cloning is used for the purpose of creating a human it is termed as Human Cloning. J.B.S. Haldane was the first to introduce the idea of human cloning.
Human Cloning is the biological term which is used to produce a genetically identical copy known as clone of an existing, or previously existing, human being or growing cloned tissue from that individual. Sometimes “Human Cloning” also called “Artificial Human Cloning”
WILL HUMAN CLONING VIOLATE HUMAN RIGHTS?
Human cloning is one of the means of reproductive and the most plausible moral right or human right which is at stake is reproductive freedom or procreative liberty. Reproductive freedom not only includes the right to choose not to reproduce by the means of contraception or abortion, but also includes the right to reproduce. The right to reproduce further includes the right to choose the various artificial reproductive methods and the techniques by which one’s want to produce, such as in- vitro fertilization, artificial insemination, gamete intra fallopian transfer etc. Human cloning is a new means of reproduction; indeed, its critics see it as more a means of manufacturing humans rather than seeing as a means of reproduction. Human cloning is a different means of reproduction than sexual reproduction but ultimately it is a means that can serve individuals interest in reproducing.
Sometimes human cloning could be the only means for individuals to procreate but in other cases different means of procreating would also be possible. When individuals have alternative means of procreating, human cloning could be chosen because it replicates a particular individual’s genome. The right to reproductive freedom cover at least some choice about the kind of children one will have, for example, genetic testing if an embryo or fetus for genetic disease or abnormality and so forth. The more a reproductive choice is not simply means the determination of oneself and one’s own life but the determination of the nature of another, for example as in the case of human cloning, the moral weight the interests of that other person, that is, the cloned child, should have decisions that determine its nature, but not unlimited, there may be discretion in shaping their child for example, through education and other child rearing decisions. Even if not the part of reproductive freedom then also, the right to raise one’s children as one sees fit, within in limit and mostly determined by the interests of the children. This right includes not just preventing certain diseases that harm to children but also selecting and shaping desirable features and traits in one’s children. There are many ways and the human cloning is the one way to exercise this right. Therefore there is good reason to accept that a right to reproductive freedom includes both a right to select the means of reproduction as well as a right to determine what kind of children to have, by use of human cloning.
Another different moral right which might be at stake while talking about human cloning is the right to freedom of scientific inquiry and research in the acquisition of knowledge. Leaving aside the ethical concern for a moment, here it should be noted that since human cloning is a new phenomenon emerging out, research on human cloning might provide valuable scientific medical knowledge beyond simply knowledge which can be very useful in order to understand how to carry out human cloning. Now coming to the ethical and moral aspect, I think prohibiting and stopping scientific research and inquiry is a serious matter and it will violate the right to free expression.
Another question arises that is there a moral or human right to a unique identity, and if so then whether it would violated by human cloning? For human cloning to violate a right of unique identity, the relevant sense of identity would have to be genetic identity that is a right to a unique unrepeated genome. This would be violated by human cloning, but is there any such right? It might be thought that there could not be such a right, because it would be violated in all cases of identical twins, yet no one claims that the human rights are violated. Even if there is such a right, then also sharing a genome with another individual as a result of human cloning would not violate it. Because, the idea of the uniqueness of each person historically predates the development of modern genetics and the knowledge that expect in the case of homozygous twins, each individual has a unique genome.
Human cloning has received little attention and seriousness nowadays because it’s moral and ethical aspect is in question. Although considering the above mentioned facts, In my opinion it is reasonable to say to that human cloning at this time may give great benefits and help to meet great human needs. There are many benefits of human cloning, for instance, it would enable couples in which one party risks transmitting a serious hereditary disease to an offspring, enable individuals to clone someone who had special meaning to them, such as child who had died, enable to get the duplication of individuals of great talent and so forth. No doubt like every other thing, it also have many cons. Government should make the laws so that no one can use this technique in a wrong way or for the wrong purpose. Therefore, I conclude on the basis of number of above mentioned reasons that human cloning would not violate the human rights. Like every other technology and techniques it should be used wisely in order to avail the benefits otherwise it will destroy.
“We have no reason to think that human cloning will not work- it works in primates- but it may take many, many attempts.”— (Wolf Reik)
PIYUSH GOYAL ADDRESSES CLOSING SESSION OF INDIA-EU BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE
Goyal says that India and the EU are committed to work towards a balanced, ambitious, comprehensive and mutually beneficial trade agreement and an investment protection agreement parallelly; India provides a multitude of investment and manufacturing opportunities.
Minister of Railways, Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs and Food & Public Distribution, Piyush Goyal today addressed the CII: EU-India Business Roundtable Closing Session. This closing session of India-EU Business Roundtable coincided with the 16th India-EU Summit. During the meeting, the leaders expressed their desire to further strengthen the India-EU Strategic Partnership based on a shared commitment to democracy, fundamental freedoms, rule of law and multilateralism. They exchanged views on three key thematic areas: i) foreign policy and security; ii) COVID-19, climate and environment; and iii) trade, connectivity and technology. They discussed forging closer cooperation on combating the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recovery, tackling climate change, and reforming multilateral institutions. India appreciated the prompt assistance provided by the EU and its member states to combat its second COVID wave.
Goyal, in his address, expressed happiness at the landmark announcement made by leaders of India and EU today on the resumptions of negotiations for bilateral Free Trade and Investment Agreements. He said that India and the European Union are committed to work towards a balanced, ambitious, comprehensive and mutually beneficial trade agreement and a separate investment protection agreement on a parallel track, and together we shall strive for early conclusion of both the agreements simultaneously. “Both these agreements are going to lift our economic relationship to another level with enhanced bilateral flow of trade, investments, job creation, technology transfers and innovations. These will be separate agreements and negotiated in a parallel track. We are also committed to concluding them together at an early date.”
Goyal said that India received its highest ever Foreign Direct Investment in its history, despite COVID-19, even while investments worldwide fell down. Dwelling upon the reasons, he said that investments are protected in India. “We have a very strong judiciary and respect for rule of law, transparency in all decision making, political stability, IPR protection. There is no compulsion for any company to do technology transfer in India. We are actively working towards improvement in our ease of doing business rankings, in our competitiveness, de-bureaucratising systems and making procedures simpler, opening up newer sectors for more FDI, strengthening regulatory practices.”
The Minister said that as the world moves to realign from the over-concentrated and risky supply chain, he would like to reassure all business friends that they can trust India to provide a multitude of Investment and manufacturing opportunities. He said that our manpower skills and talent have contributed to businesses around the world. “Therefore, India can become a natural manufacturing base to make the products from European innovation, competitive in the world. With the large Indian market of more than 1 billion people aspiring for a better quality of life and using economies of scale to expand the footprint of European goods in the world, this is a win-win partnership.”
On the concept of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, Goyal said that it does not mean being protectionist and closing our doors to the world. On the contrary, India wishes to open its doors wider and warmly welcomes businesses from across the world to bring world class technologies to India, state-of-the-art products and services into India & investments in manufacturing, services & infrastructure, he added. He expressed the hope that our track record should give confidence to European friends that India will be their natural & most reliable ally in the years to come. Shri Goyal said that European businesses are well known for their innovative work and scientific discovery. He said that with cost of production in Europe being high and manufacturing cost in India being reasonable, European businesses can get competitive edge by producing in India.
The Minister said that we are currently ramping up our vaccine production so that we can expand our vaccination coverage speedily. He said that the support extended by the EU during this crisis is highly appreciated.
Goyal invited the business community of EU and India to use this opportunity and actively take part in the joint efforts to bolster and develop our trade ties, economic ties, people to people ties and cultural relationships.
The Unique Indian Market: Doing Business in India
The complex and challenging diversity of India has confused many – Indians as well as foreigners have tried and are still trying to understand the market for taking right decisions. But often they have failed. Some learnt their lessons and survived whereas others quit. But no one could sum up common problems or common prospects with sure shot definition of the Indian market and its attributes like most global peers (by definition of a country). Now, here is a book which has tied all aspects about the country together in one thread and very brilliantly put them in mere 200 odd pages. This quick read summarizes the History, Geography, Democratic Politics and Economics of modern Free India along with undivided India/ colonial India(before independence), without compromising on data and the key facts.
The initial chapters in the book focus on an overall status of Indian market – a brief history, success, and failures of foreign companies in India. This is followed by describing the diversity across all possible parameters viz. ethnic, linguistic, regional, religious, cultural, food habits, lifestyle etc. The next few chapters brilliantly summarize the history of foreign attacks and rulers from Gupta Dynasty in 4th Century to the British rule till 1947 (middle of 20th Century) along with foreign business in India since 1292AD. All the East India Companies of different countries for different goods in different Indian territories, debate on acknowledgement of “India” and failure of an American East India Company (yet a successful ice-export to America by ship in 1883) is covered here.
Stating credible and authentic sources, the author boasts of the 35% contribution made by India to the world GDP before the foreign attacks and compares it to the ‘less than 1%’ a decade before the start of the 21st Century. The book compares the golden history with current concerns and struggles for the SMEs in the country providing valid reasons for the change over centuries and suggestions for making a mark again. It talks about how the country directly jumped from being an agrarian economy to the service one, grossly skipping the important manufacturing lessons. The seeds sown by the invaders that made India a supplier of raw materials and importer of finished goods, are still reaping their bitter fruits which has made Indians totally dependent on other countries or their MNCs/companies in India for the manufacturing part. Every eye is now on the results of ‘Make-In-India’ and ‘Atma-Nirbhar-Bharat’. How India makes up for the losses it faced for centuries and gets back its prosperity, which it lost to the greed of others, and self-created mistakes!
The next few chapters provide the reader an exhaustive overview of governance and administration system in India with around 1000 political parties at country level, and the love-hate relationship between the union and state governments, and its implications on businesses. Following these are topics on classification of the country based on wealth inequality, religion, reservations, working, education, native status, region, languages, surnames etc.
An exceptional set of chapters on Social Capital of India and Indian Education System follow next. The author highlights how successful SME with international trade existed even in ancient history. Pluralism based rich heritage was present without existence of slaves or concept of castes. Qualities and actions were given more importance in ancient India, not the family of birth – all these were changed by the British for their selfish motives and ‘divide and rule’ policies; castes were assigned at birth and first caste-based census was reported in 1987. Castes were brought by the Portuguese and the British. Jati
(based on knowledge) or Varna (community) is not same as Caste. Caste and Reservations based systems were the main cause for lack of development , disharmony, and social problems like untouchability. The Indian Education System today faces issue of ample knowledge but lacks in skills and trainings, because it has shifted from the Gurukul system and well-developed universities to current faulty Pro-Degree one. This was surely another downgrade by foreign invaders who wanted India to remain a raw-material exporter. Practice based education system was converted to theory based, same education system for all, high tenure in education system of 10+2+3/4 years. The upcoming New Education Policy gets a ray of hope to cater to these drawbacks and revive the ancient Indian entrepreneurial system with new nomenclature.
India’s orientation towards service sector and the problems of agriculture and industries is covered in detail in the following chapters. How ‘thriving SMEs were uprooted and License-Quota-Permit-Raj was imposed’ is discussed. Even after 75 years of independence and multiple changes in industrial policy, manufacturing industry is still not even close to the ancient SMEs. Due to the strong Government control, even now around 2,000 different approvals and permissions are required to start and run a manufacturing business, which need to regularly undergo lot of inspections and regulations.
Business culture, business systems and impact of family system on business is well defined and exhaustively discussed by Dr. Jain. India vs. Bharat debate and India’s Diaspora with Indians who have settled abroad are a decent read. The author does not forget to cover the regular and massive festivals and celebrations and their role in business.Interestingly chapters that follow next highlight on media –(advertising and PR), Jugaad Technology, existence of parallel systems and paradoxes seen in the country which create a base for how things are not as they appear.
The last few chapters talk in detail about India being in transition, the taxation & legal system in India and strategies and tips for a successful India entry. Throughout the book, the author continues to assess the performance and what lacks in the SMEs ,he provides apt suggestions to cater to the later.
A well-researched, well-structured, and well-expressed book of 30 chapters, “The Unique Indian Market: Doing Business in India” is a masterpiece for existing and prospective entrepreneurs and for everyone who intends to understand the country (in fact, the Sub-continent – considering the diversity as the author Dr. Prateek Jain puts it). Dr. Jain has used a varied range of writing flavors – seriousness of facts, jokes with good sense of humor, using anecdotes or simple essaying – keeping the essence intact and effective. Each chapter is complete in itself, yet well connected with the other.
In a nutshell, after the detailed and fact-based analysis, the author convinces the reader how 2020s is the best time to do business in India. Success is guaranteed if the uniqueness of the market is accepted and appreciated, and case specific related action taken. Though targeted with a business in India focus, this book is a must-read book for a traveler, a student or a homemaker!
Hemant G. Golechha is PhD Research Scholar, Dr. Vishwanath Karad’s MIT World Peace University.
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