Is 2000 INR New Note Usable in Today’s Crunched Economy

new-notee

 

Following the Indian government’s bold step to demonetize the old notes of 500 and 1000 INR, it was expected that the government and concerned authority must have some ready solution to tackle the cash chaos. But even after three weeks of the decision, the situation is still problematic as people still stand in queues and thronging from one ATM to another in search of liquid cash.

Some get succeeded to withdraw money from the machine while some don’t. Amidst the prevailing nationwide cash crunch, the RBI has introduced the new purple colored 2000 INR note on November 10 this year. But people find it extremely difficult to use it for transaction purposes.

Honestly speaking, unless the situation comes to normalcy it’s almost impossible to use the new note at one go. Obviously, the way people are running here and there to withdraw smaller denomination notes like the 100s, 50s, 10s from banks, certainly, there is no taker of Rs. 2000 INR notes now. Even if some of the people accept it they do so with a certain degree of restraint and reluctance.

The basic reason why people don’t want to take such notes of the big denomination is the wide gap in the value of notes of 500 and 2000. The common man might feel it is easier to transact four currency notes of new 500 notes than a single 2000 rupee note in the current chaotic economy. It will surely take time when people will start accepting such notes for their day-to-day transactions.

Why People Don’t Accepting the New 2000 INR Notes

  • The current situation doesn’t let a person withdraw more than Rs. 2000/- per day from ATMs per card. They find it more convenient to withdraw money in 100 rupees notes than a single 2000 rupees note.
  • Grocery and vegetable sellers carry their day to day business with very limited cash. It’s definitely impossible to imagine that a vegetable seller will exchange your Rs. 2000 note for a limited purchase worth Rs. 100 or 200.
  • Many people won’t accept the new 2000 note for the single reason that it will be highly difficult for them to get the same exchanged when they need.
  • The current psyche of the people is to hold as much cash as possible in hand. So they won’t take your Rs. 2000 note until the restriction limit on cash withdrawal is revoked.
  • To meet our daily small transactions such as medicine bills, vegetable and fruit expenses and conveyance by way of rikshaw or bus, what we really need are the smaller notes of 100s, 50s and 10s and not the 2000 INR note.
  • If more and more people get enlightened about the new digital payment systems such as e-wallets, paytm, Bank transfer, chque payment and NEFT, then sooner or later the quantum of cash transactions with denominations of 2000 and 500 will reduce to a large extent.

In order to instill faith of the people in transacting with the new 2000 rupees note, there is an urgent need for the government to enhance the supply of paper currency of smaller denominations such 500/100/50. Meanwhile, also people need to give away their habit of cash holding practice in smaller denominations or preference to hold cash for liquidity purposes.

However, people can still use the new 2000 notes where sizable expenditure is required such as the medical charges for surgery or to buy costly house appliances or IT products. Another way to use such notes is when you pay a big sum of money to your landlord as rent.

Is India’s GDP expected to fall Post Demonetization Scheme?

demos

 

Before proceeding with the discussion on the short term and long term ramification of Prime Minister Modi’s demonitisation move to ban 500 and 1000 INR currency notes, we need to understand that India is still a developing economy with most of the transactions take place through liquid cash.

Not all people in India are included in the banking system. Probably that’s the reason why “Jan Dhan Yojna” initiated by the central government saw a whooping participating of such a huge chunk of people.  The government can definitely take a credit for the same, but it also brings India’s stark reality of development to the fore. Even after 69 years of the nation’s independence, India couldn’t successfully ensure cent percent financial inclusion of all its citizens.

Now coming back to the aftereffect of demonetization, we need to realize that a country’s economy can’t run by whims and fancies. A rationale must be there before taking any serious decisions such as the demonetization. It followed with a nation-wide liquidity chaos and even after two weeks the crisis won’t seem to go away so easily.

If the current state of cash crunch continues for a few weeks more then there’s no doubt that the nation’s economy is set to plummet further in the following months. Indian economy has definitely come to a standstill at this point in time. Common people and SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) are definitely bearing the brunt.

The Decision Was Right but Implementation went wrong!

Nobody doubts the intent of the government but they are questioning the modus operandi of the banks to tackle the current problem. The government’s decision to demonetize 500 and 1000 INR notes was announced on November 8 to curb the rising black money and fake currency menace throughout the country.

Initially, it was believed that situation would become normal within a few days. But the problem still persists and people are clueless even now. Empty ATMs and long queues inside and outside the banks are a daily occurrence now. At least, ATM machines should have been recalibrated beforehand to prevent the current nation-wide cash chaos.

The current crisis will surely leave its negative impact on the overall economy of the nation. The GDP growth of 2017 and 2018 is set to be heavily hit due to the decision. However, in the long term everything will return to normalcy and boost the nation’s economy as well – it will take time.

The Effect of Cash Crunch on India’s GDP Growth

Some economists are of the view that around 2% of the nation’s economy will decelerate in FY 2018. At present, India’s projected GDP growth rate is around 7.3% but after this demonetization, it is expected to stay somewhat around 6 per cent.

According to a report, the ongoing cash crisis has affected around 40% of the nation’s daily transaction. Currently, 86% of the total money in circulation consists of 500 & 1000 INR currency notes. Obviously, when the entire 86% of the money in circulation would cease to remain legal tender – its impact was bound to be severe.

India is basically a cash-based economy with most transactions take place through cash. Especially, in day-to-day businesses like grocery, vegetable and medicines – retailers usually prefer cash than cheque or electronic mode of payment. Cash has continued to remain a preferred mode of a transaction because it’s prompt and conventional.

However, the demonetization move of the government has its own advantages too. Prime Minister Modi has simultaneously tried to solve three persistent problems of Indian economy i.e. a parallel economy backed up by black money, hard-to-recognise counterfeit currency notes of 500 & 1000 INR and also the terror financing. The decision will certainly prevent hoarding of unaccounted cash, tax evasion and investment of black money in realty sectors in future.

 

Business down by 40% – Transportation Afflicted by Demonetisation

currency-946932_960_720

 

Raja Angam (68) has been an auto driver since 1978. “After years of hard-hitting savings I brought an auto in 2010, but because of Ola and Uber I could hardly earn Rs. 500 and now that the government has demonetised Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes, I have to drive for 16 hours to earn as low as Rs. 300,” he told dismally.

The decision of demonetisation in a speech by PM Narendra Modi on 8th November has afflicted Raja Angam and many alike. From auto rickshaws to pick-up vehicles, demonetization has comprehensively taken a toll on the transportation business.

Looking sporadically at a group of women standing at Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc) gate, Angam said, “You see the women standing there? I asked them if they want an auto and they said that their cab is coming.”

Angam explains that people don’t have change to travel by auto and he too can’t help that. “So they are opting for cheaper options like share cabs and auto.” But he is unaware of the fact that cab drivers too are reeling for the same reason.

Shivaji, an Ola cab driver, was depressed by Modi’s decision. “Modi has no children to feed, so it’s easy for him to take such a decision, it is us who have to suffer.”

For Shivaji, business was good as he was conveniently making 2000 rupees per day, “But today, making Rs. 1000 has become a daunting task.” He pointed out, “It’s 3 pm already and I have made only Rs. 300 since 8 am. Young people who used my cab for movies and nightouts have no cash. Every time I stood near IIT, I was flooded with cab requests, but now it takes about an hour before I find a passenger.”

“The problem is that there is no money for rotation and moreover Tamil Nadu hasn’t yet received its new 500 rupee notes.”

He was cynical about the government’s claim of a crackdown on black money. “As long as we have rich politicians, black money is going nowhere,” said the 53 year old with a smirk.

His thoughts were reiterated by Purushotamman, a 41 year old Bolero Maxi truck driver. “Money is already running at the high level, but people like me are suffering even though corruption is happening. Look at what happened in Gujarat,” he said while talking about the government employees arrested by the Gujarat police for accepting Rs. 4 lakh bribe in Rs. 2000 notes.

Purushottamman is still being paid in old notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000. “The contract engineer pays me in old notes and I have to go to the bank to deposit. I went to the bank on Wednesday and stood in line for 6 hours and then the bank said that there was no cash. I was helpless and had to revisit the next day. The day I go to the bank is the day I make no money,” he said showing his Rs. 1000 note.

“Petrol pumps are unwilling to put fuel below 500. So although my truck tank is full, I don’t have money to run the house,” said Purushottamman, a father to a school going girl and two college boys.

Even though many are sad about Modi’s demonetization step, not everyone is skeptical about its impact. “I am being paid in old notes and there is no problem with that because the petrol pumps are exchanging my money. The cash crunch problem is only for a few months and then it will be back to normal,” said Raja, looking at the travelers exiting the Chennai domestic airport, with a hope of getting a customer for his black and white taxi.

Even though Raja’s business has been hit hardly, he is optimistic over the government’s move. “I am hardly making Rs. 2000 now as compared to Rs. 4000. I go to the bank everyday in the morning and get back to work by 12. This takes up a lot of my time, but I feel that this is a good step.”

Demonetisation has diverted passengers from autos and taxis to buses and trains. C. Venugopal, who runs a saree shop in Sowcarpet, used to travel by cab everyday from Velachery, but now does so by MRTS. “Even after the ban, I commuted by cab because I thought it would all be normal in a few days, but it didn’t happen. Then I decided to MRTS to save money because I can’t go to the bank every day.”

Ravi, who gives ticket at the Indira Nagar ticket counter said that demonetisation hasn’t affected the MRTS. “MRTS tickets cost just Rs. 5 or Rs. 10. Currency notes of lower denomination are usually exchanged and therefore the crisis has not directly affected the transport system. However, not many have applied for a season ticket in the past one week. Let alone 500 and 1000, People who comes with 100 rupee notes are a problem for other passengers at the ticket counter,” he said.

On the other hand, MTC buses have seen a significant surge in the number of passengers. Raja Panti (28), a bus conductor pointed out, “Generally we have 600 passengers in an eight hour shift, but now we get more than 700 passengers. Even though today (Sunday) is a holiday, we have had 500 passengers already.” This was at 2.15 in the afternoon today.

Panti said that there is not much of an exchange problem in MTC. “We get only 100s, 50s, 20s and 10s from passengers and even if they are giving Rs. 2ooo notes, we exchange them.”

The story of Ola, an Indian cab service giant, is way different than the negative impact on the traditional transportation system. Especially because the company has used the cash hungry India economy to build up its digital payment solution.

A report carried by the Indian Express on November 9 said that Ola Money, part of taxi aggregator Ola, Wednesday reported over 1500 per cent increase in recharges across 102 cities of its operation in past 15 hours after government withdrew circulation denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes in a major move against black money and graft. The surge in recharges was seen between 8:30 PM till midnight.

Recently the company also launched a new ad campaign that was showcased on all platforms with the tagline, “Nahi rukega India, cashless chalega India.” The tagline translates to ‘India won’t stop, India will ride cashless.”

How far will the likes of Ola will suffocate the likes of Raja Angam, is a wait and watch story. Until the government comes out to protect their livelihoods, the future generation will unfortunately not know what it meant to shout ‘auto’.

Choose to Meditate

sunset-1815992_960_720

 

So what is meditation? Well, it can be a lot of things.

The word meditation has its origin in the Latin word Meditari, which translates to deep thinking and concentration. In short, meditation has everything to do with concentration and focus.

There is no hard way or easy way to meditate. Anybody and everybody can do it. It does not require any set of skills, all you need is to do it. Is that all?

Not exactly!

Meditation, as mentioned before is the art of focusing, which can be really hard for us people who are mostly multitasking. To meditate, one needs to let it go.

Many a times people confuse meditation with postures. Meditation has nothing to do with postures, it has nothing to do with physical abilities. Meditation is all about focusing on what is going on in your head and understand why.

The most amazing part of meditation is that you don’t really need to understand or think about why you are thinking what you are thinking because your mind is already doing that, but you need to be aware of it, be conscious of it.

What are the benefits?

The first thing that one shouldn’t think before meditation is about its benefits. You must throw out all external ideas of what good or bad meditation can do to a person. You must leave it to the process itself. It will guide you to its positives which is not physical in nature, but mental.

It builds and improves your mental health. In simpler terms, people feel move lively and healthy after meditation. Just like doing yoga improves your physical performance, meditation improves the performance of your mind and your brain.

Meditation revives the energy that we often loose for the kind of lifestyle we have. Human mind is always occupied with thoughts of demand and success and getting happy, which in its own times takes a toll on our minds and creates a gap between what our mind in its naked form requires and what we on the other hand need for ‘satisfaction’.

Meditation gets you in touch with yourself again, but one should not take it for granted. Meditation is a responsibility of handling your true nature, of being truthful to yourself while you go through and see alive the thoughts that you are mostly unconscious about.

Our reaction to these thoughts must be frank and we should accept them in  their natural form, for only then we can reap the benefits of feeling light headed, energized and happy. Meditation should not be confused with a physical betterment, although it can be helpful there as well. It is a way of communicating with ourself and we must do that truthfully.

Postures?

One can lie down, stand, sit, or be in any position. All you need is to close your eyes in whichever position you feel comfortable and let your thoughts flow. Do not forget to stay conscious of what you are thinking, that’s where the meditation lies, so look at your thoughts, but don’t react to them. Just be conscious of them.

The most important thing to note is spend some time meditating. Spend at least 30 minutes everyday doing it and then only you shall feel the impact.

Another Elderly Man Dies after Standing in Que for Money

bank

 

A 70 year old man from Eastern Uttar Pradesh district of Azamgarh, died of a heart attack after standing in a queue outside a bank in Maharajganj area.

The old man Ishteyak Ahmad, a retired teacher was standing in a queue when he fell unconscious standing in the queue. Although he was immediately taken to the hospital, he could not be saved.

Only a few days back, a 73 year old man Vishwanath Vartak had collapsed due to a heart attack in Mulund, Mumbai while standing in a queue outside SBI branch. Others in the queue admitted Vartak to the hospital, but unfortunately he could not be saved.

People have rushed to exchange 500 and 1000 rupee notes through banks after the government of India initiated a ban on 500 and 1000 rupee notes. People have been asked to exchange their notes until December 2016 after which the currencies will not be taken and circulated.

Modi’s shocking announcement has got ordinary citizens at a fix who are running up and down to tackle the shortage of new currency and dealing with long queues at banks and ATMs.

The notes of 500 and 1000 account for roughly 87% of all notes in circulation across India that runs on cash. As per 2015 Tufts University study, less than 10% Indians had made payments without using cash. The report also said that the value of notes and coins as compare to India’s economic output, or GDP, was about 12%, which is significantly higher than the likes of Brazil and South Africa, where it is under 4%.

Modi government argues that the step to demonetize will have a good impact on Indian economy in the long run and said that the problem faced by the people is temporary.

Manohar Parrikar, Union defense minister said that ‘demonetization ended stone pelting in Kashmir’, to which Congress President Farooq Abdulla responded by saying that it is a misconception that demonetization and board exams would end the unrest in Kashmir Valley. He also said that the “storm” would rise again.

Fall of Bernie Sanders: Awakening of a Generation

pres

 

A guy who made a living on casinos, bankruptcy and firing people on a television, one day claimed that he will get Americans their jobs back by deciding to run for the Presidential election.

He had all the makings of a politician,money, fame and a catch phrase and also a million dollar in merchandize.

On the other hand, another woman was making a headline. She was the matriarch of the most powerful family in America and she had ‘experience’.

From 1986 to 1992, she was a board member of the Wal-Mart, became the first lady of American and eventually Secretary of state. But, there was only one problem, the FBI.

FBI had been after the Clintons for years, but never got them. It was not them or Trumps that she had to worry about, Bernie Sanders. He wasn’t even a member of the Democratic Party and took a long shot at becoming the President.

For 30 years, Bernie’s words had remained the same and it wasn’t his words that inspired people, but his arithmetic. “Walmart heirs own more wealth than the bottom 40% of this country,” he said in one of his public speeches.

The sad fact that remained was that the people did not know or still don’t know how capable he was and the media made sure it remained that way.

In the primaries, Hillary and Bernie were set for the battle. In Iowa, Bernie defied poles by losing to Hillary by less than a percentage point. A week later, he shocked the nation and won New Hampshire. The deep south was Clinton country and Bernie could not resonate with people’s minds. While Trump was capturing peoples fears, Bernie was capturing their hearts. The Millenials started showing up for him. He said things that they never heard from a Democratic Presidential candidate.

He talked about economic instability in America’s middle class, he talked about the gravity of Climate Change and talked about free college.

His history is even more significant to know who really is. He was a civil rights activist and marched with Martin Luther King, but now was forgotten for people like John Lewis.

On the other hand, the more Trump insulted people, the more he was put on the television. The more press he got, the more votes he got and in no time, he was dominating the Republican primaries.

Bernie couldn’t get on a major network and Hillary couldn’t escape the press for her email scandals. While Hillary’s approval dropped, Bernies soared nationwide.

The first six debates held during prime time football ensuring modest ratings, Bernie felt that the national committee was protecting Hillary. He wanted a chance to spread his message to the masses on mainstream tv, but that wasn’t enough. Bernie supporters claimed that they were prevented from getting to the polls and voting.

The alleged voter oppression in the Democratic primaries was briefly covered by the mainstream media and quickly forgotten. But the friction led to a clash between Bernies supporters and the Clintons’.

Californie was Bernie’s last chance to revive. The night before the California primary, the AP made and announcement. Before anybody could vote, they called the race as their pools showed Hillary winning by a huge margin even though superdelegates couldn’t vote until July. Bernie lost California and pressure mounted on him to end his campaign.

Bernie promised to launch a massive floor fight and come out the winner. His supporters pledged to to storm the Philadelphia streets if he didn’t get the nomination. They thought that the DNC had cheated Bernie. Some believed that it was actively working with the Press to smear him and slow his campaign. Everybody from Barack Obama to Elizabeth Warren supported Hillary. As they  all thought Hillary would get it, the media finally put Bernie on prime time TV but the endorsement never happened.

Finally, in July 12, 2016, Bernie Sanders, the man who once said never to give up on your rage, suddenly felt silent by supporting Hillary Clinton for President.

But once a man is woken up, it’s hard to go back to sleep.

Wikileaks happened to Hillary Clinton!

How Can We Manipulate our Fundamentals

freedom-to-travel-596512_960_720

 

 

One of the things that differentiates human beings from other species is our extraordinary capacity to learn. We are always picking up new things and correcting earlier errors.

But there is one area where it seems so hard to acquire new knowledge and change, emotional life.

Its when we are very small children, between our first day and later in adolescence , that our emotional hard drives are encoded. Its in this period we learn whether we can trust, whether we like ourselves, whether we can be open, where blame belongs, what to do when world hurts us, how much we can tell others what distresses us, what degree of directness can be tolerated and how much excitement can be witnessed and forgiven that is, how big of a mistake we can commit to be forgiven.

Unfortunately for human kind, humungous amount can go wrong in childhood. Just like all the improvements in early infant care that’s taken place in the last century. We are not waiting for any of this to happen, but it’s very easy to pick up unhealthy signs or messages from the surrounding. For e.g. If a small child has been beaten extensively by his father’s belt, the belt remains in his or her mind throughout life as an association of pain and emotional turmoil. This happens way before we really understand what’s going on. Which is why, we may acquire lack of trust and excessive fear of humiliation, a deep shame about our bodies, indirect patterns of communicating, our ability to either be close to someone or measure a distance from them.

We might assume that these failures can be corrected, just like an early errors of quadratic equations. But we later realize, especially when we get older that how complicatedly these failures are encoded in our hard drives.

This can feel absurd and humiliating. There is an understandably impatient view that one should have got over the quagmire sooner, but not so unfortunately. Human nature or an individual nature takes a shape depending on emotional and mental experience of the person. Every act and every thought goes through tremendous scrutiny over time, sometimes consciously and sometimes unconsciously. This makes it hard to change our day to day lives and make it as we would want it.

Even though it’s not that easy, it’s not impossible. The first important thing is to take notice of the complication. You would come to know the depth of that only when you accept the problem in true form, without any prejudices.

What follows is the practice of remaining conscious of the failure and trying to amend it slowly through routine. This routine can be anything depending on your daily life. You can choose to look at the belt and try to manipulate the memory. This is the most simple example which may or may not be a failure, but this is how one needs to start. One by by, through our capacity to learn and correct, we wil be able to nurture new set of ideals that would have got rid of our failures forever, not because of ignorance, but because we chose to deal with it and get over it.

Legalizing Euthanasia in India

graphics-882726_960_720

 

Major debate kicked off on legalizing euthanasia in India when Pinki Virani, a Mumbai based journalist, Pinki Virani filed a plea to the Supreme Court of India on January 24, 2011, after 37 years of vegetative state of rape victim Aruna Shanbaug. Although, Aruna had to die from pneumonia, she gave India the gift of passive euthanasia (withdrawal of medical treatment). So, thanks to her and Pinki Virani, who fought the battle for Aruna and in-turn for India.

The biggest question that one must ask here is, whether it should be a right given to an individual to die.

Here are some major reasons that are in the public domain which claim euthanasia to be wrong…

  1. Right to Kill – Euthenasia or Passive Euthanasia gives direct and indirect power to the doctor to kill a patient, which raises questions about its moral justification
  2. Palliative Medicine – Palliative medicines, say medicine practitioners, alleviates most of the unpleasant symptoms of terminal illness, which thus makes euthanasia unnecessary and thus hope for the betterment of the patient. Like professor Steve Field, former Chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners says that “assisted suicide is not the answer to the ills of our health system.”
  3. Misuse by Family: A family can misuse this right as they can persuade vulnerable people, mostly elders, to request for euthanasia so they can inherit the wealth
  4. Discouraging cure – Necessity is the mother of invention and that’s exactly how the medical research works. Finding a cure for ill person is more robust and euthanasia is definitely not so collaborative of this fact
  5. Confidence of Medicine – euthanasia leads to distrust in medicine by people as direct killing is scary as well as disheartening for people. The Hippocratic oath talks about not giving any deadly medicine to a patient under any circumstances.
  6. Controversial Requests – There are many countries like Holland and Belgium where people are requesting euthanasia, not for they are terminally ill, but because they feel abandoned or that they feel like a burden on their families. This is direct exploitation of elderly people.

For those in favor of Euthanasia, here are some arguments presented by them….

  1. Just how the Hippocratic oath makes sense above, it also makes sense when it says that, one would not keep a patient artificially alive, when death is preferable
  2. The uncertainties of life and unbearable pain and burden that it follows on a terminally ill patient like Aruna, makes it more evident that euthanasia should be a choice of the person or someone who can choose the right to exercise this on behalf of the patient, like a family member
  3. The fact that euthanasia encourages illegitimate pressure on the vulnerable elders, one has to consider that in 1998, Oregon in USA, became the first state to put in affect euthanasia, 10 years later, passive euthanasia stood at 341 lives. So, a fact and impact check here…
  4. Another opposing opinion on the debating point of euthanasia leading to murder of happy poor people due to pressure, statistics from euthanasia legal country Netherlands show that deaths from euthanasia in the country is 1.7 percent of all the accounted deaths.

Overall, if one has the choice of life, one should also have the choice to die. A close friend once responded to euthanasia by saying, “one should be free to kill himself/ herself as nobody asked us before giving us this life. We have been pushed into it without being given a choice.” Although philosophical, but it does make some sense, but then, sense is too objective, so to speak.

Why India Lags Behind in Ease of Doing Business

bus

 

According to the World Bank, it would take you 14 procedures and a month in Mumbai to start a new company. The World Bank’s latest report on ease of doing business has ranked India at 130 out of 190 countries, a jump of only one spot from the previous year. This, despite numerous efforts taken by the Modi government to improve upcoming businesses through schemes and projects like Make in India, MUDRA, etc.

After the reports came out, on Wednesday, PM Modi asked secretaries at the Centre and Chief secretaries in the state to analyse the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report and suggest areas of improvement.

He demanded a report from all the concerned departments within a month and also asked the cabinet secretary to review the same.

The situation raises a serious question on Modi, who is seen as a leader with politico-economic image with the capacity to fasten development. Why is then India still laggin behind?

The PM in Washington DC during his bilateral visit to America claimed, “We have taken major steps to increase the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ and have already begun climbing steeply in the global rankings.”

 

Still, due to even-larger improvements in other economies, India’s ranking in several areas fell this year. On the ease of starting a business, it slipped to 155th from 151st. On dealing with construction permits, it stumbled to 185th from 184th. On paying taxes, it held steady at 172nd.

The World Bank report’s authors acknowledge that the ranking doesn’t reflect all the progress India has made recently in improving the business environment.

India has taken up upgradation in infrastructure, raised its foreign investment limits and has also uplifted digitized approvals and registrations. On the other hand, a sales tax revamp has been laid this summer, but hasn’t been implemented yet.

Nirmala Sitaraman Tweet 

“The country has embarked on a fast-paced reform path, and the Doing Business 2017 report acknowledges a number of substantial improvements,” the bank said in its report. It also said that a record 137 countries have adopted various key reforms that have helped small and medium sized businesses to start and operate feasibly.

India improved in its ranking for getting electricity by moving to 26th spot from 70th last year, but the country fell several ranks in parameters of tax payment, border trade and contract enforcement.

Right To Education – Possible Victim of Minority Institutions?

education

Last time minority institutions in India made headlines was when Allahabad High Court in 2005 ruled out that AMU was not a minority institution and thus getting into a controversy worldwide. After the issue caught limelight when Centre disowned the claim of AMU and JMI being minority institutions for they are funded by the Centre and do not fulfill the criteria of a minority institutions under the guidelines laid down under NCMEI (National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions) Act, which affiliates these institutions.

Now, the debate is no more restricted to few elite institutions, rather the entire system of Minority Institutions is being put into question. There has been a huge surge in minority institutions throughout the country and especially in the states of Kerala, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, which itself has seen 236 per cent jump in less than a decade. How far is that justifiable is a question we all must ask ourselves and most importantly, when a significant number of these registered minority institutes have been certified after the implementation of Right to Children to Free and Compulsory Education i.e. RTE in 2009. Along with the minority certification comes several perks of running such an institute and one of such perks is the exemption under Article 15(5) from implementing the RTE which reserves 25 per cent seats for economically backward students. Moreover, hiring of teachers and employees in the institution do not need to follow the basic guidelines as bestowed by the constitution under Article 30.

In 2009, before the implementation of RTE, overall 848 minority certifications were issued but in the subsequent years, the numbers rose significantly, 1122 in 2010, 1656 in 2011 and 1966 in 2012. By today around 11384 minority certifications have been provided to institutes throughout the country. Simply put, 11384 educational institutions are free to function as they wish and are being funded as well.

11-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court of India in the, T.M.A. Pai, 1 Foundation v. State of Karnataka,1 stated:

Article 30 is a special right conferred on the religious and linguistic minorities because of their numerical handicap and to instill in them a sense of security and confidence, even though the minorities cannot be per se regarded as weaker sections or underprivileged segments of the society.

The very simple question that arises here is about the rights of the students who fail to get admissions in these institutions even after securing better scores against the students of the minority. How can that be justified as a sense of security, confidence and equality when one is being treated unfair over the other based on his caste, class, religion or language?

Another Supreme Court ruling in the case of T.M.A. Pai,2, the court observed that:

A minority institution does not cease to be so the moment grant-in-aid is received by the institution. An aided minority educational institution, therefore, would be entitled to have the right of admission of students belonging to the minority group and at the same time, would be required to admit reasonable extent of non-minority students…

So basically, a huge amount of money is being spent on these 11384 institutions in the country by aiding them by the taxpayers money who happen to be the majority, when at the same time the scenario of the Indian education system has failed to provide quality education to the children due to lack of qualified teachers and infrastructure. Again, how does one justify such disparity in education? What happens to the students who are not minority, where would they go when quality education in India is limited to a reserved society or for those who can afford it, be it basic education or higher education. Won’t that discourage the students?  

Here’s what the Article 30(1) and Article 29(1) of the Indian Constitution says about minority institutions

In Article 30

(1) All minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice
(1A) In making any law providing for the compulsory acquisition of any property of an educational institution established and administered by a minority, referred to in clause ( 1 ), the State shall ensure that the amount fixed by or determined under such law for the acquisition of such property is such as would not restrict or abrogate the right guaranteed under that clause

 

In Article 29 (1)


(1)
  Any section of the citizens residing in the territory of India or any part thereof having a distinct language, script or culture of its own shall have the right to conserve the same

It is clear from the above articles that the idea of minority institutions is to preserve the culture, literature and art of the minority in the country, but how far is it relevant for these institutions to grow at such a rapid scale and what are the procedures to validate that they are doing their jobs rightly? To put it plainly, it’s hard to point out how many of these institutes are positively using their rights for the betterment of the society. How would anyone know if their certification and exemption from RTE is justifiable over the victimized education system in our country?