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Review and Rewind 2020.

The clock ticked 11:50 pm on December 31st, and I was eagerly waiting to welcome the new year and explore 2020.

The year, 2019 gave me all the happiness, love and blessings and now was it’s time to depart. I was eager to find out what changes will the leap year brings to my life. Though North India was freezing the winters of Bangalore is much more pleasant.

Being new to the place, I had no friends and couldn’t decide to celebrate elsewhere and landed up hosting a party for myself at my cosy place. Then I didn’t know that this 2BHK flat will be the place where I will be locked for so many months. All festivals, parties and occasions will be celebrated only here.

With the beginning of the New year, I started job hunting and growing my small business simultaneously. I didn’t know what was striding towards us and I was specific for my job opportunities turning down several positions.

January:

In January, all my Chinese friends and students went for their Chinese new year when I heard that a virus has emanated in the country from Wuhan. My friends from China kept apprised me about the situation and kept on updating me with videos and photos. Many of them approached me asking for masks availability as there masks were out of stock everywhere. The small MSME’s were in the loss and the owners were worried and tensed. I kept on supporting them mentally when students mentioned me as their “Soul teacher”.

Every morning their day started with authorities arriving at door-step for a temperature check. The first case of CoronaVirus was reported on 30th January in Kerala from a person who returned from Wuhan, China. Soon it spread in other parts of the country.

The team of WHO paid a visit to China and after return WHO tweeted that there is no human to human transmission. Despite the fact that the doctors of China mentioned that human transmission is possible. The entire world did trust the global organisation and relied on the statement.

  • Meanwhile, in the United States of Colorado and Nebraska reported mysterious drones in the sky.
  • The movie Parasite won the Oscar in January.
  • The first day of the year started with bushfires in Australia. Basically, the bushfire started from September 19 till March 20.
  • As the year started, on 3rd January, the U.S. drone strike killed General Qassem Soleimani raised tension with Iran.
  • On January 27, an agreement was signed between the government of India, Bodo groups and the Assam government to redraw and rename the BTAD in Assam.

February:

Many applicants put the enrollment on hold as they informed that their banks are closed and they will be in lockdown. I lost all my students who were about to start the new batch. They said that as soon as the virus abolishes will get back to me. By then, the SARS-like virus has already a name and it known as COVID-19.

  • On 11th February, in Delhi, Aam Aadmi Party won the election by securing 62 seats out of 70 at Delhi Legislative Assembly election-2020.
  • The cocktail of NRC+CAA didn’t go well which ultimately resulted in Delhi riots.
  • The cause of the riots was hate speech, confrontations, CAA protests, provocations. The riot resulted in the death of 53 people and 200+ injured.

Details: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_Delhi_riots

Well, we all know that the royal and golden guest Donald Trump arrived in India on 24 February. The event was addressed as “Namaste Trump”.

I celebrated my birthday without my friends but this time it was special. However, I went for dinner on the date. Meanwhile, my blogs were performing well especially the coronavirus blogs of mine and grabbed the eyeballs of many across the world.

India sealed Chinese borders and ban all flights flying too and from China.

March:

Time flies by, I entered the month of Holi, yes the month of March.

In no time, the virus crossed the borders and spread to the USA, Europe and a few more countries.

India initially successfully managed to rein in Coronavirus spread but all went in vain when on 3rd March, 69 years old Italian spread the virus in Rajasthan.

To read in details: https://romieducation.com/2020/03/18/havoc-of-coronavirus-in-india/

Most of the MNC’s declared work from home. WHO declared 2019-nCov as a pandemic.

The government was taking all safety measures like temperature check, closed all mass gathering points, religious places, restaurants, pubs and bars, all educational hubs along with tourist places were closed.

India evacuated its citizens from China, Iran, Maldives and other countries.

By 18th of March, 7447 confirmed cases were reported with 239 deaths. Many celebrities and influencers were busy educating people to wear masks and use hand sanitizers. Social media and channels broadcasted educational videos and ads to make people aware of precautions and preventative measures.

Where so much was going through along with the blogs, I was also busy writing my E-novel Nillie and had its own fanbase from India, Egypt, Iran, China and a few more countries. Besides writing I was also giving interviews parallelly and luckily I got selected in multiple companies but I was more excited to clear the round of an MNC which was about to hire me as their marketing manager. They asked me to create an assignment in the final round and submit by 26th March on which my selection will prevail.

I was working day and night, understanding the company, requirements, as the job role was new for me and being experienced in sales the domain was new for me.

On 22nd March, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation and called for 21 days complete lockdown.

We were asked to stay at home, only essential items were available. With the announcement, I went to stock ration from the nearby stores and found people were busy in panic shopping.

After returning from the market, I woke up the whole night to prepare the presentation and was about to send at the EOD.

Early morning, I received mail from the HR where she mentioned that as Government has announced locking we are keeping our hiring on hold till the economic condition improves. I was devastated and shocked but somehow I already knew that this might happen. With this, all other companies froze the hiring, and I was jobless and hopeless where I decided to give blogging a try and find other opportunities in my business.

By 25th March, the world was gasping with the shortage of ventilators, noted personalities pledged and donated to the funds. Health infrastructure, of many countries, broke down. Countries like Italy, France, and entire Europe and the United States, lost the battle against the virus. While most of the people in the world we’re in lockdown situation in China started to get normal. People returned back to their businesses and public place resumed. But that didn’t bring much happiness, for international suppliers from China as they lost many contracts, no buyers were ready to purchase their products.

WHO follows the bigger power?

The world raised questions and criticised WHO over handling the pandemic and taking a long time to declare openly about the virus.

To read in details, click: https://romieducation.com/2020/03/29/coronavirus-world-in-distress-seeking-answer-from-who-china/

The question was if China found that the virus is humanly transmitted then why didn’t they inform the world beforehand?

By now, the world started speculating, assuming and creating stories about the virus. It was clear by now, that China has emerged as the most powerful country in the UN and has means to silence global institutions.

Detailed analysis: https://romieducation.com/2020/03/30/coronavirus-world-in-distress-seeking-answer-from-who-china-2/

The blog has become too long so allow me to share the remaining part in the next blog.

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मोदी की वृहद कार्रवाइयों ने काम किया है, अब भारत को माइक्रो फोकस की जरूरत है।

टीएमसी द्वारा प्रसारित बैठक के वीडियो को देखने और आर्थिक समय पर लेख पढ़ने के बाद, हम यह मान सकते हैं कि लॉकडाउन दो सप्ताह तक बढ़ सकता है।

सरकार की प्राथमिकता प्रत्येक जीवन को बचाना है”।

नरेंद्र मोदी

लेकिन हमें COVID-19 से लड़ने के लिए सिर्फ लॉकडाउन से ज्यादा हथियारों की जरूरत है।

आइए मोदी की तालाबंदी पर शेखर गुप्ता की राय पढ़ें।

लगभग तीन हफ़्ते पहले जब भारत ने चुनिंदा रूप से परीक्षण करना शुरू किया, तब उन्होंने पाया कि विदेशों से आने वाले कई लोगों को उनके परिवारों के साथ सकारात्मक परीक्षण किया गया था, जिन्होंने भारत को इस तरह की कार्रवाई करने के लिए चिंतित किया।

कोई बड़ा या व्यापक परीक्षण नहीं था, पाकिस्तान की तुलना में अन्य देशों की तुलना में भारत का परीक्षण बहुत कम था, जिसकी आलोचना हुई।

शेखर गुप्ता

यह भारतीय लॉकडाउन दुनिया में सबसे गंभीर है, अर्थशास्त्री ने ऑक्सफोर्ड में एक समूह द्वारा किए गए अध्ययन के आधार पर एक चार्ट बनाया, जिसमें COVID-19 के जवाब में देशों को गंभीरता सूचकांक पर रखा गया था।

भारत दुनिया में चार्ट में सबसे ऊपर है, जबकि भारत लॉकडाउन की तीव्रता के अनुसार चार्ट में सबसे ऊपर है, दूसरी तरफ भारत चार्ट के निचले भाग पर था जब यह जीडीपी के प्रतिशत के मामले में अर्थव्यवस्था के लिए राजकोषीय प्रोत्साहन के लिए आया था।

इसलिए गंभीरता से, भारत इटली से आगे था, लेकिन राजकोषीय उत्तेजना में, भारत सबसे कम था जिसे आप समझ सकते हैं क्योंकि पूरे समूह में भारत अब तक अन्य सभी देशों में सबसे गरीब था।

वास्तव में, भारत की तुलना में अगले सबसे गरीब देश चीन और मलेशिया प्रति व्यक्ति जीडीपी के पांच गुना हैं।

भारत जैसा कि लॉकडाउन के साथ जारी है या इसे विस्तारित करता है, यह अर्थव्यवस्था या हमारे देश के लिए जोखिम भरा है।  हालांकि ऊपरी या मध्यम वर्ग लॉकडाउन को दूर कर सकते हैं, लेकिन यह गरीब और किसानों को मुश्किलों का सामना करना पड़ेगा क्योंकि अर्थव्यवस्था के इंजन बंद हो गए हैं।  जितने लोग दैनिक मजदूरी पर रहते हैं उनके लिए स्थिति गंभीर है, या तो कोरोनोवायरस भूख उन्हें नहीं मार सकती है।

जैसा कि शेखर गुप्ता का कहना है कि अमेरिका के विपरीत, भारत में पैसा छापने की क्षमता नहीं है जैसा कि डोनाल्ड ट्रम्प कर रहे हैं।

मुझे समझाने दिजिए क्यों:

भारत एक स्वर्ण मानक नीति का पालन करता है, जिसके तहत प्रत्येक रुपया स्वर्ण आरक्षित मूल्य के समान मूल्य द्वारा समर्थित है, इसलिए कागज के टुकड़े को वास्तविक मूल्य देता है।  दूसरी ओर, लगभग सभी वैश्विक व्यापार यूएसडी के साथ-साथ यूएस पर भी होते हैं, एक लचीली अर्थव्यवस्था होने के कारण यह गोल्ड मानकों से दूर चला गया और इसके बजाय यह ‘वैल्यू ड्राइवर’ के रूप में ‘अर्थव्यवस्था पर विश्वास’ बना रहा है।

प्रमुख हथियार या माइक्रो फोकस एक्शन और योजना को खोजने के लिए इस बिंदु पर अब हमें क्या चाहिए।

नियंत्रित करने की प्रमुख संभावनाएं हैं:

लॉकडाउन का विस्तार करें

लॉकडाउन को पूरी तरह से उठाएं

हॉटस्पॉट्स को सील करें और धीरे-धीरे अन्य क्षेत्रों से लॉकडाउन उठाएं।

तीसरा विकल्प एक बेहतर विकल्प हो सकता है क्योंकि कुछ कारखाने या कंपनियां काम करना शुरू कर देंगी, जैसे फार्मा फैक्ट्रियां फिर से कम्यूटेशन का कारण बनेंगी, इसलिए संचार मोड संचालित होने लगेंगे लेकिन फिर वायरस का प्रसार भी तेजी से फैल सकता है।

तो इसमें आपका क्या कहना है, नीचे टिप्पणी करें  देश को, नागरिकों के विचार बताएं।

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A great announcement of 20lac crore for India’s self-reliance. Analysis and defails.

The entire nation is now talking about the package of 20 lac crore our honourable prime minister has announced.

We can see a lot of articulation, calculation, doubts, speculation is there in people’s mind. Everyone is trying to understand how will the finance minister provide and chart a plan for the huge amount that our Prime Minister has announced.

From where we received so much assured amount?

The entire nation was asking for financial support from the government and the government was silent. Was it preparing to arrange such a huge amount and a proper plan?

What will be the effect of the amount provided to different sectors? Will it change the lifestyle of us Indians?

How the amount will make us self-reliant?

Let’s try to find out all the answers but before I proceed I will mention that I am not an economist, I have read and heard about the same and gathered some information and simply compiling them with my additional opinion just to share with you.

Let’s first understand what the package is all about and which sectors it will cover.

The package and planning was already in the minds of government, the government was waiting for the right time. It actually wanted this plan to have a proper direction and wanted to give the objective and outcome desired a proper name and hence the delay.

I am saying this because a few days ago, I listened to one interview with Nitin Gadkari where he said that the government is planning to provide support and help to the SME’s and MSME’s.

The exact details of the economic package announced by the government are not yet known but we can speculate that the amount must be from the government’s borrowings, funds and printing of currency notes in nearby future.

The package will cover:

  • Land, labour, liquidity and laws
  • The package will support business and where self-reliance actually comes, if you have listened to his speech, he said:

The locals have helped us during the pandemic. Now it’s time to be vocal for the local.

Narendra Modi
  • The package will support India’s cottage industries, home industries, micro small and medium enterprises.

This is utter truth that in this lockdown few factors constantly kept working; our local grocery shops, local vegetable shops and the online apps. The nearby pharmacy store was open to providing us with medicines. The farmers kept working day and night to feed the country. Before Covid India did not make even a single PPE kits, and today we are self reliant. He said:

The package is for the country’s labour, farmers who have worked in every circumstances, for the countrymen and the middle class who pays taxes honestly and for the industries.

Narendra Modi

Now the campaign name comes ” ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ this is actually going to play an important part. As discussed earlier in my blog of labour law where the UP government changed the crisis into a good crisis. Similarly, India can also take this opportunity and try to be self sufficient. India is a capable manufacturer yet we purchase so many products from other neighbouring countries now it’s the time where we come self-reliant.

The decision of the RBI and the package is total of approx 10% of india’s GDP.

The reforms include a supply chain system for agriculture, rational tax system, simple and clear laws, capable human resources and strong financial system.

The package will cover the migrants both in the organised and unorganised sector.

Going In-depth :

The package includes all the pre-proposed and previously announced measures to save the economy in lockdown.

The relief package announced by India is huge, it stands in top 5 of the financial package announced by the United States which is 13% of its GDP and Japan 21% of its GDP and other nations.

The 20 lac package includes the 1.7 lac crore of food grains provided to poor and cash to the elderly and women already announced in March.

It includes the Reserve Bank’s liquidity measures and interest rate cuts with some of them already rolled out.

That’s why in the beginning I said the decision was not made overnight, the government was working on it step by step, analyse all the advantages, disadvantages and situation before bringing this campaign.

As per the Economic Times, an additional 12 lac crore will be pumped into the economy.

Opportunities:

  • Giving full tax exemption will give new investment opportunities to the sectors like medical devices, electronics, telecom equipment and capital goods.
  • There can be easy access to land and labour reforms, to attract companies invest in India and set up their manufacturing plants and industries. Let’s see how the government will provide lands.
  • If actually, this happens, if giant industries take interest in setting up a business in India as we can provide both blue & white collared manpower, there will be growth in business and employment opportunities hence India can actually turn the table.

According to him, a self-reliant India stands on five pillars which will bring in quantum jump.

What is Quantum jump?

Quantum jump is basically a proverb that means a sudden, noticeable and significant advance.

The other factors will be infrastructure, technology-driven system, vibrant demography and demand.

Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman will meet the prime minister on Thursday to finalise the economic package.

Source: https://www.financialexpress.com/economy/economic-relief-package-narendra-modi-coronavirus-rs-20-lakh-crore-2020-relief-package-sme-farmer-labour-cottage-industries/1956642/lite/

https://www.google.com/amp/s/m.economictimes.com/news/economy/finance/latest-stimulus-package-among-largest-in-the-world/amp_articleshow/75701976.cms

https://www.google.com/amp/s/m.economictimes.com/news/economy/policy/nirmala-sitharaman-to-meet-pm-narendra-modi-for-stimulus-2-0/amp_articleshow/75168078.cms

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Labour laws & states: Corona virus turned out as Good crisis.

State governments have passed an ordinance to attract manufacturers and private investments in their states by removing hurdles as labour laws.

UP government plays a masterstroke, indeed he knows how to turn a good crisis in his favour.

What is good crisis?

Every economic crisis comes with an opportunity the one who understands and quickly acts turns the bane into a boon. The Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh government are the first to understand and grab the opportunity.

The Uttar Pradesh government has approved an ordinance exempting businesses from the purview of almost all labour laws for the next three years in a bid to provide a fillip to investments affected by the novel coronavirus in the state.

People from states of Bihar, UP, Rajasthan, West-Bengal,Jharkhand etc. on a daily basis migrate to bigger cities in search of employment.

This pandemic has clearly shown the huge population of labourers residing in other states. So when the states like UP and Bihar has the labour force why not bringing in industries to their own land?

Think once if IT companies and other white-collar industries have their offices in Bihar, UP, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh would you ever travel to states leaving behind your friends and family?

Similarly, these states have so fewer jobs whether white or blue collared jobs that the labours are left with no options. These states since a long time have become labour exporting machinery.

The new labour reforms will ease and help to do business in these states. The reform is aimed to stimulate and promote industrial activities.

Do you remember, when we were children, we use to write that

India is an agricultural country. 63% of Indians are farmers.

In this 20-25 years, the situation has changed now we are not anymore dependent on the farming industry. If you see the farming industry only contributes 15% of India’s GDP.

As this pandemic has forced people to sit down at their homes leaving them jobless and income loss now we have to create jobs. Again, we cannot go back to the days when there were 7 people in a family with only one earning member.

If I take an example, Bihar used to have industries earlier, not in huge scale but examples like Rohtas industries. Even now India has 50 industrial areas which include IT, electronics, textile, leather, agriculture as its priority but even the number is very less.

Kanpur again a city which was an industrial hub once has turned out to be a in shambles.

Now with the new labour reform, the obsolete glory can return again. The table can turn and it’s not just mandatory and beneficial for labours even white collared job opportunities will open. So when the source of income and employment opportunities will increase it will bring more opportunities in the education industry, business sector and many more.

India can see this as a chance to start many factories rather than depending on other countries. I will take an example of China here, as I regularly discuss with some Chinese friends and students, they tell me how their country helps them to open a business hence you will find every 3rd person of China is either a trader, supplier or manufacturer. The government supports the hard workers and if our country starts to produce products on their own it can give a huge competition to China.

India’s archaic labour law is the key reason why we are not a successful exporter.

Many countries give freedom to employers to hire and lay-off workers based on demands and dynamics.

Developed countries protect their workers through their policies.

On the other hand, India does the opposite, they protect jobs, not employees. Thus in India, we will find many employees working in off-roll and contractual basis jobs but then India has one of the best labour laws. But what is the point of having such labour laws when we can’t take advantage out of it.

In India, entrepreneurs must have a licence for starting a business and another license for shutting down. So any factory who have more than 99 employees you have to go to the labour department to take permission.

So many such investors and entrepreneurs moved to white-collar industries or service industries but then the geographic location and nature of scope become limited because business is always risky.

Many renowned Indian companies have registered multiple sisters concerning companies just to safeguard themselves and saving themselves from giving gratuity and provident funds.

Such stringent laws made for welfare of labour have actually proved to be counter-productive to the labours themselves. Employers deliberately choose not to scale to skip those laws and when you so not scale, you cannot compete with likes of China anymore. This phenomenon has been rightly described as “dwarfism” by the incumbent Chief Economic advisor of India Mr Krishnamurthy Subramanian.

The effect of downward economy creates a chain reaction. Take example of a fashion brand. No retail sale means no payments to small scale designers, job losses of direct employees of the brand. Tailors not required, logistics not required. Showroom cut down. The people indirectly employed by the direct employees of the brand like laundry, maids, security guards, restaurants, shopping mall, franchise owners, e-commerce company, payment processing company and their employees sees a loss in income too and hence the economy falls to recession.

The time is ripe to change the outlook of these labour laws. As the Labour market update 2016, 82% of the Indian workforce is employed in unorganised sectors.

https://www.geographyandyou.com/the-unorganised-workforce-of-india/

With such humungous amount of workforce in unorganised sector, there is a huge potential to kick start the economic fate of India with right policies creating many organized sector and plethora of white and blue collared jobs. There is a reason special economic zone (SEZ’s) are a huge success and time has come to reap the benefits at large scale by proper implementation at large scale level.

If India has to compete in Global manufacturing it will also have to change it land laws accordingly. While Modi gov. has done a commendable job in bringing India in forefront of Ease of doing business index, it has a long way to go, along with that it has to attract private investment which is holding back because of such labour laws.

Nobody will invest a huge amount to start a business only to be at the mercy a government inspector and labour unions.

Time has come, to cash on this crisis..!!

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My Facebook group for debates and discussion.

Join my page group created for discussion and debates on topics. You can share your views, opinions, thoughts there. An open platform for debates and discussions.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/295771311415957/?ref=share

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The Migrant Conundrum |Poverty & Lockdown.

Over the past few weeks the most pressing matter the government is trying to handle is the migrant crisis that has arisen out of this lockdown. It seems that the government advisory mechanism was caught off guarded over repercussions of this lockdown from the migrant perspective.

To the flocking of thousands of migrants at Delhi-Ghaziabad border, to the staging protest in Surat, Andhra border or at Bandra in Mumbai. People have been protesting to arrange the government for their return to their natives. While the government has been suggesting staying put wherever they are, respective state government have been arranging return of their citizens.

A quick survey of migrant’s shelters reveals the horror. The Delhi police survey report states to Indian Express (April 28), that fans are not working, no power backup, sanitization of toilets rarely done, most migrants want to leave as their families cannot survive, rude behavior of civil staff, pathetic quality of food, no hand wash and sanitizer, foul smells in toilet, water supply in toilets only between 7 to 11am, one soap for bathing and no detergent to was clothes, mosquito bites and so on. If these are the conditions of voluntary camps, don’t even imagine the conditions of quarantine camps where one have no option but to stay.

This lockdown has left the marginal section who barely are lifted out of poverty at the helm of going back to poverty. With no job, no food and no means to send remittances to their family, it is natural that one gets frustrated. The grim pictures of migrants cycling or walking back on foot along with small children thousands of kms paints the reality of this lockdown. Remember, the lives exist out of gated society as well. The truth is government is yet to figure out the assistance of this section, and assistance if received have benefited only few.

Once, these people go back and settle, the MSME’s will be the hardest hit, which are dependent on these workforces. Once stopped, it is no easy job to restart a business. Indian railways have set off across country to bring back home the stranded migrants and estimates that 500 such trains will be needed across 15 days to get the job done. The state of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have to huddle together as coordination with states are the major pain pointed out by the Railways. Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal are also in the line.

Once this exercise is over, the next challenge of the government is to kick start the economy and feed its jobless citizens, in a country where malnutrition is entrenched, especially among children, there is a danger of hunger becoming widespread too. We all have anecdotal evidence that families are going hungry and some are starving too. While you can have food given to you by government, one just cannot give up his dignity and have no job but just food to eat even if given free by the government. A human need is much more than just-food.

Where we read disturbing news of people committing suicide because he wasn’t able to feed his family during lockdown.

On the other hand, jewellers are forced to sell vegetables so that they can survive from the lockdown crisis.

A food for thought!!.