All posts by deepakrajora

Four year celebration of gst

 

India recently celebrated 4 years of completion of GST since its implementation. 1 july has been selected as GST Day by ministry of Finance as GST was enacted on this day 2017. GST (Goods and services tax) is a single indirect tax regime eliminating compounding effects of various taxes at various levels. It was labelled as a game changer by many experts. But the question is how far it has accomplished its goals. 

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

 The Good

The GST has brought the number of taxpayers to almost double the taxpayers before the implementation of GST 

https://www.livemint.com/news/india/gst-reduced-tax-rates-doubled-taxpayer-base-to-1-24-crore-finance-ministry-11598278072466.html

There is a substantially positive change in tax to gross domestic product ratio which signifies a positive impact on Indian economy other than this the process to file taxes and register for GST have been digitised making it convenient for taxpayers. Taxpayers can easily track all their dues and process for GST

The Bad 

Even though the GST has made startup culture easy for some it still has some drawbacks to be tackled. Registering in every state to trade has been tedious and puts a financial burden on the taxpayers. The businesses have to face technical issues in IT platforms of the GST portal that brought some delays in the business. Not separating the micro enterprises from the tax regime has put a burden on small business owners. 

Still India has impressed the world by enacting a history making tax regime in the nation. Steps taken by the government have been appreciated by many nations. The overall success of the GST lies in the schemes made keeping the welfare and interest of the stakeholders in mind. 

Human wildlife conflicts: A complex problem

How would you react to a wild cheetah in your backyard or an elephant in your garden?

The rapidly growing human population and urbanisation has led to Human wildlife conflict (HWC) to its pinnacle. Human wildlife conflict (HWC) arises when animals cause a direct and reiterate threat to the safety or the livelihood of the people, leading to the persecution of that species.

These conflicts have posed a question that can human and wildlife coexist together? 

However, this is not a new storyline – the human and wildlife have coexisted for millennia but the situation is more frequent and aggressive than before. Becoming a global concern for conservation and development to go hands in hand. The need for development requires a lot of natural resources that put the lives and existence of many wildlife species into danger. 

HWC mostly affects large or carnivores from whom the humans feel threatened. Elephants, bears, big cats, primates, sharks, seals and many more. HWC also severely impacts the livelihoods, lives and security of the people from whom we ask to conserve the wildlife. There are many immense challenges around the HWC because the causes of these are very complex and poorly perceived. A single HWC has many socio-cultural, political and economical factors that need to be considered. From research and studies for a long time it has been clear that every HWC problem is different from the next and cannot be solved by the same methods used beforehand. Thus understanding the root cause of the conflict is much needed to mitigate the effect of such incidents. Efforts to address the situations without fully understanding the deep rooted causes and effects often leads to temporary solutions or worse exacerbate the situation in hand. 

HWC are substantially “human-human” conflicts as the heart of the conflict is between the different stakeholders. Sometimes there are several groups assessing different interests and needs. 

Even in some cases the success in species recovery has led to another HWC. For example where carnivores have recovered and expanded a huge population they pose a threat to villagers nearby and their livestocks. 

The reports by UNEP says that it is impossible to completely eradicate the HWCs but a systematic approach can be devised to minimise the effects of these conflicts. The policymakers have to devise policies that can reduce the conflicts and create an ecosystem of coexistence between people and animals. Such steps needed careful studies on prevention, mitigation, response and rehabiltalation with the apt support of the local communities and tribes. 

Why bad memories are Vivid

Do you remember the time when you lost your dog who was the dearest to you or the time when you had an accident. If asked about recalling someone from your past maybe you will recall some tragic or painful memories related to them. Ever wondered why we remember the bad ones more vividly than the good ones even if the latter is more in numbers. 

We often tend to remember the bad memories and it has many psychological, physiological and evolutionary factors involved. 

We can say that humans are lovers of tragedy. We forget the happy moments very soon. They do not last for long. On the other hand, tragedy leaves a powerful impact on us. Its appeal feels eternal because our heart is affected by it very much. P.B Shelly, famous romantic era poet also quoted in his poem ‘To a Skylark’ that – “Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thoughts” our best memories are from the negative memories because they have a strong impression on us. Moreover, people always try to find pleasure in tragedy. It attracts us toward it that’s why many of the greatest plays or movies in history have always tragedy involved in them. 

We have witnessed many musicians whose lives were more tragic and they created the best music inspiring from these tragedies. The audience also loved these songs because as I stated before we are lovers of tragedy. 

How memories are stored in our mind

When a memory is created it is stored in the brain in forms of neural connections of brains stimulated by proteins. Everytime we dwell in the memory or tell someone about it the connections become stronger. The memory will live with us forever if we visit it from time to time. Since the beginning people thought long memories are stable but that’s not perfectly true. Every time we revisit the connections get malleable and are subjected to differ. This means that they are not completely stable. Some memories can grow out of proportion. That’s why we see a person having a little incident with a spider in childhood can get an exaggerated phobia in their lifetime. 

Why bad is strong

Researchers have claimed that humans tend to remember the bad memories well. There can be many reasons for that. As a species we have to survive in the world and to do that we have to always evolve and learn from our mistakes. That’s why we remember the details of the bad memories so that it can be stored and used later when the same situation appears again. The lasting impact of negative memories is associated with the danger with it and our attention to the danger. We would be more attentive to a lion hiding in a garden rather than a beautiful flower in the same bushes in which the lion is hiding. We ignore the flower because it’s not dangerous compared to the lion. Also the strong memory of negatives is associated with the young age as this is the time we are in a more learning phase. As we grow old we tend to care less and focus on the positive. 

Whether it is good or bad, people have both. The ups and downs, the happiness and sorrow all are parts and parcels of life. One should always balance one’s focus between both to live the life fullest. 

Mask up India: Best alternative to reduce mass transmission

With business shutting and GDP hitting record low in decades, schools and educational institutes, malls, markets, religious institutions all being closed and normal life almost at a halt. This is definitely the worst crisis India has ever faced. Collapsed medical infrastructure has made the situation even worse.

Observing the international trends such as the two waves in Brazil, one mini wave followed by two serious waves in the UK, three waves in the USA etc, the second wave was surely expected in India as well. Nation’s health advisor has also hinted at a third wave in future with so many virus carriers in the country. 

Vaccines are the best defense against this disease but keeping in the mind population of the

Country and recent vaccine shortage it will take almost 3 years to inoculate the entire population of the country. Until then covid appropriate behaviour is the best alternative to reduce the mass transmission. It includes wearing masks, cleanliness and hygiene, frequent hand wash or using alcohol based sanitizer and maintaining social distance. 

Why mask is the key 

An independent small study in Beijing with families has shown that the efficiency of masks in the same household is 79% in preventing the transmission. Another study last year published in the “American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene” found that nations that mandated wearing masks have a lower mortality rate than the ones who did not. Many more such studies have been  published in the last year showing the world the way to reduce transmission. 

Situation in India

Even after the grim situation caused by the pandemic people in India are still blithe in their approach towards the virus. It is often seen people not following covid protocols, especially wearing a mask. It is generally believed by the authorities that Indians can be persuaded to wear a mask only by a lawful measure with hefty fines or punishments for non compliance. But these protocols cannot work until the public adopts them on their own wil when they see it as being in their best interests. 

How public can be persuaded to wear a mask

 A research team of Yale university doing the research in bangladesh has found that mask usage tripled when they were given away free and also some instruction by religious and community leaders. This leads to three times the usage of masks. Keeping volunteers in public 

Places to remind the people to wear a mask and give away masks to them who did not have any, showed an increase in mask usage from 13% to 40%. Another key factor was the quality of the mask. Masks need to be comfortable without compromising their filtering capacities. India has manufactured sufficient masks and has capacity to manufacture the same in future so supplies should not be an issue. Communication through the community leaders and social workers with the association of government can be the right step ahead. Addition to these creative and imaginative campaigning is needed to sensitise the public about the necessity of the mask and the right way to use it. These solutions may sound elementary but if India has to 

Stop the devastating effect of the third wave it is essential that these are considered and implemented effectively.     

Skill India : The need for demographic dividend advantage.

“The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.”

— Robert Greene

Success of any venture in the modern world is dependent on capital and infrastructure, rules and regulations, and most significantly on technological know-how or Skills. India has been a developing nation for a long time now because it has always faced issues in imparting skills to its labour force. 

India is the second most populous country in the world after China but why does it still lag behind some of the major nations in terms of economy? The work force in India is humongous and it even has the advantage of Demographic dividend to their main competitor China. India’s median age  is 28 in 2020 against the 37 in China and the US, 45 in Europe and 49 in Japan. India has 62.5% of its population between the ages 19 to 55. Still according to the UNDP Human development report – 2020 only 21.1 % of the workforce is skilled in the period of 2010-2019. 

So where is the impediment to growth of the nation’s economy? We can safely say that the approach to impart professional skills has some hindrances that need to be mend. India has taken many steps in the skill sector in the last few years. But the result is still dismal due to lack of wholesome approach towards the skill india. 

Obstacles 

This year’s budget has allocated 3000 crore to the national apprenticeship training scheme but has restricted it to only engineering and not to other streams which needs to be addressed. 

The authorities are overburdened with the responsibility to impart skills to the public beyond their capacities.

The policies have been discontinued and irregular thus making it far from possible to skill India at the required rate. 

According to a 2019 study by NSDC almost 70 million people in the working age 15-59 years are estimated to enter the labour force by the end of 2022. The current policies are not sufficient to skill these sheer numbers. 

Way Ahead

People in India have always focused on academic results and always been dependent on theoretical knowledge instead of practical skills. But a change in this approach has come in the form of the new education policy 2020 that has emphasised on skills and practical knowledge with theoretical knowledge. Matching the skills requirement in the industry that are dynamic in modern world with the training programs are also needed so that the skills acquired by the youth are not obsolete in near future. Spending on education and training needs to be hiked. 

It has been estblished that the skilling the youth has given fruitful results for a nation. Japan was such first nation to recognize it and made the most of it. Today Japan is a colossal name in terms of economy in the world. India can also make the most of it. The dream of Atmanirbhar Bharat can be secured by taking the advantage of the demographic dividend which in turn can be truly utilised by skilling India. 

~ By: Deepak Rajora

GST DAY ON FOUR YEAR COMPLETION

India recently celebrated 4 years of completion of GST since its implementation. 1 july has been selected as GST Day by ministry of Finance as GST was enacted on this day 2017. GST (Goods and services tax) is a single indirect tax regime eliminating compounding effects of various taxes at various levels. It was labelled as a game changer by many experts. But the question is how far it has accomplished its goals. 

 The Good

The GST has brought the number of taxpayers to almost double the taxpayers before the implementation of GST 

https://www.livemint.com/news/india/gst-reduced-tax-rates-doubled-taxpayer-base-to-1-24-crore-finance-ministry-11598278072466.html

There is a substantially positive change in tax to gross domestic product ratio which signifies a positive impact on Indian economy other than this the process to file taxes and register for GST have been digitised making it convenient for taxpayers. Taxpayers can easily track all their dues and process for GST

The Bad 

Even though the GST has made startup culture easy for some it still has some drawbacks to be tackled. Registering in every state to trade has been tedious and puts a financial burden on the taxpayers. The businesses have to face technical issues in IT platforms of the GST portal that brought some delays in the business. Not separating the micro enterprises from the tax regime has put a burden on small business owners. 

Still India has impressed the world by enacting a history making tax regime in the nation. Steps taken by the government have been appreciated by many nations. The overall success of the GST lies in the schemes made keeping the welfare and interest of the stakeholders in mind.