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Indian

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31st October 1984 was the most tragic day from both the points of view. One, the most dastardly assasination of the most loved and respected leader of the country of international eminence late Indira Gandhi who ruled India with guts, determination and wisdom for more than one and a half decade and created history of sorts by dividing Pakistan, creating Bangladesh and the second one was the horrendous riots committed thereafter for three, four days killing over four thousand Sikhs in Delhi and thousands in other parts of India in spontaneous retaliation as well as the managed operation, never ever witnessed in the aftermath of the assasination of any leader post independence.

Late Mrs Indira Gandhi was killed by her own two sikh body guards Beant Singh and Satwant Singh in the prime minister’s residence 3 Safdarjung Road, New Delhi sending shock waves like wild fire in Delhi and rest of India. They were later on hanged to death gallows after a long trial. Delhi was literally on fire all around with houses of Sikhs in posh as well as the resettlement colonies of Delhi burning with highly surcharged mobs killing sikhs where ever they were spotted.

The areas of Punjabi Bagh, Rajauri Garden, Safdarjung Enclave, Lajpat Nagar, Jangpura, Jahagir puri, Trilokpuri, Khichripur, Najafgarh, Palam, Suktanpuri, Mangolpuri, Kingway camp, etc were the worst victims of anti Sikh riots with Sikhs and even those wearing turbans n having beard hailing from lowest ebb of the society like petty carpenters and cot weavers were killed in abudance and women shockingly raped as well.

Several members of the sikh community were tortured to death by these hooligans and professional anti social elements in broad day light by throwing them on fire and throwing burnt tyred around their necks. It took four days for these messacres to end. Hundreds of thousands of women became widow, children orphaned and several families having been wiped out. Several parts of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir too witnessed such dastardly anti sikh riots.

The mobs looted shops, showrooms and factories owned the Sikh proprietors. Delhi looked like a towering inferno with black smoke and fire blaze being witnessed all over Delhi with sky becoming literally dark with excessive black fumes and smog. After the tragic death of Indira Gandhi, the then prime minister, the anti sikh riots’ and its provocation was so widespread and terrorising that there was literally no rule of law in Delhi and elsewhere with rioters , looters and professional hooligans in mobs having their fullest say, for three to four days in a sequence and police not to be found at the rescue of the victims.

After the silence and lull, several commission of enquiries were instituted and several of the indicted and convicted politicians have either died or have gone into political oblivion but the victims and the sufferers of these most despicable and horrendous riots have still not been delivered justice even after more than 32 years as claimed by several Sikh organisations fighting a protracted battle in various courts of the country, since then.

SUNIL NEGI

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The Mumbai’s tragic Elphinestone foot over bridge tragedy that killed 23 commuters and grievously injured 35 is still hunting one and all and fortunately the Indian Railways has finally tightened its belt to ensure that such disasters do not recur in the near future. What’s sad about the whole development is – had the authorities concerned heeded to the repeated complaints of the commuters, this awful tragedy would have been avoided and the precious lives of the people could have been saved.

The moot question is why is it that the authorities wake up only after tragedies occur and subsequent outrage and not before things take such a tragic turn. Indian railways is one of the biggest railway network in the world ferrying several crores passengers to and fro  and carrying lacs of tons of material from Kashmir to Kanya kumari on daily basis with Mumbai suburban trains fecilitating 8 million passengers daily thus being the lifeline of 20 million people.

This is not the first tragedy that has occured in the context of Foot over bridge disaster but in September 1992 too in Jogeshwari footover bridge tragedy several lives were lost but unfortunately governments changed but the railways did not learn any concrete lesson. Thankfully, in these days of excessive media blitz and awareness tragedies are unambiguously coming to the fore with more concern and emphasis, compelling the authorities concerned to gear themselves up and become answerable to the people and the fourth estate of the country.

It’s really shocking and anguishing to note that finally after so much of casualties in the recent train accidents compounded with the Elphinestone tragedy the railway authorities have finally woken up with the rail minister allocating a whopping budget of one thousand crores to be expeditiously spend on the remodelling process of the forty railway yards that also include 8 yards of Mumbai including fitting up of close circuit television cameras. The minister has in order to clear the usual bureaucratic hurdles given discretionery powers to all the general managers to spend as much money they can but the defamed railways should be completely rid of accidents and tragedies.

In the urgently convened meetings with the top officials of the railway board in the pivotal present of the turnaround officer, the most efficient and the capable chairman Ashwani Lohani the minister Piyush Goyal declared that henceforth the government will bring all footover bridges and platforms within a mandatory safety plans with no budget restrictions .

Goyal added that the railways are now turning the hundred and fifty years convention on its head and therefore from now onwards FOB’s would be deemed mandatory not the passenger amneties as used to be earlier. The track record of both Piyush Goyal and Ashwani Lohani have been outstanding as both of them are not only highly energetic and people friendly but belive in cooperative endeavor and team spirit.

Let’s see how expeditiously do both of them come true to peoples’ expectations. In addition to all this the deceased and those injured should also be handsomely compensated financially including a job in railways to the next of the kin.

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SUNIL NEGI

The Indian Railways seems to be definitely passing through the bad luck phase as train derailments and head on collisions have become sort of an order of the day. During the recent past under the tenure of the previous Railway minister Suresh Prabhu, the spate of train accidents have led to his shifting to another ministry despite his decency to offer resignation as once the former prime minister Lal Bahadur shastri did when he was the Railway minister during prime minister Nehru’s era. While the previous minister of Railways and the chairman railways board had to go in view of the accidents and subsequent deaths of good number of commuters the new minister Piyush Goyal and a turnaround bureaucrat with several degrees in mechanical engineering and a limca book record holder Ashwani Lohani has now taken over as chairman Railway Board pledging to set things rights in the near future.

Lots of hope and expect from both these new incumbants and infact they had been trying their best to resurrect the bad railways. But unfortunately the Elphinestone FOB tragedy that killed 22 precious lives and injured several others have once again put the railways on the bad report card of the country. It really sounds ridiculous and rather shameful that on the one hand we boast so much of reaching the twenty first century and bringing extreme high tech Bullet train technology in the country at the whopping cost of 1.10 lakh crores though through the cheapest loan from Japan which is actually, in any case, not the need of the hour, repeated train accidents and tragedies such as that happened in Mumbai due to the century old squeezed FOB built by the Britishers and never ever thought of repairing or building a new one, continue to happen killing hundreds of commuters for no fault of theirs.

Today, the Indian Railway network is the largest in Asia ferrying crores of passengers from Kashmir to Kanyakumari earning handsomely but if we go into the depth of the inadequacies and problems we’ll be shocked to find the mess everywhere despite the fact that the railway employees draw 3 months Deepawali bonus every year and heavy pay packets as salaries and remunerations. Today, the majority of the railway tracts and lines are in extremely bad shape some even of the British era having not been repaired or changed resulting in derailments and subsequent death and collosal loss to the government’s exchequer. The majority of the railway stations lack basic facilities like fresh and quality drinking water. The kitchens are in pathetic state serving unhealthy food stuff but charging fully.

There is complete lack of basic minimum first aid and other forms of medical facilities in the event of medical emergency. The crime and incidents of thefts and deciet by imposters is a regular feature in metropolitan cities’ railway stations and inside train compartments in particular. The tendering and frieght mafia is quite active and corruption is at its peak. The instances of involvement of the former Railway ministers viz Pawan Kumar Bansal and Lalu Prasad Yadav and their near and dear ones are enough to prove home the point that all is not well in the Indian Railways and corruption do play a pivotal role in this largest organisation of Asia.

The recent spate of train disasters and the one that happened in Mumbai claiming 22 innocent lives for no fault of theirs is a stark reminder for the Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal and his new team of dedicated officers including the most outstanding RB chairman Ashwani Lohani to accept the challenge of turning the railways in mess into the most modern, people friendly and hi tech Indian Railways where accidents and tragedies become the things of the past.

Here is the FB post of Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohni for the readers kind perusal:

Hon’ble minister for railways conducted a detailed mtg at mumbai today with the entire railway brass in attendance. Many crucial decisions related to mumbai suburban were taken on the spot and many decisions related to empowerment and process reforms were also taken. One of the finest confidence building measure that I have ever seen. Gives me tremendous confidence and hope that the railways would turn the tide and that too soon. With staff and officers enthused and tremendous stress on probity in public life why would it not?

What do you say friends?

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In today’s world, the competition level in jobs, careers and professionalism are soaring high. With high competition and increasing population, especially in the Indian context, the young generation is frustrated and baffled as they are not able to find appropriate jobs and are also not able to develop their innate talents. Apart from this, many dedicated youngsters are not even able to fulfill their ambitions.
Well! Thinking upon these issues faced by every youth, herein, I wish to highlight upon the Indian Education System which unknowingly tend to serve as a root cause of all the problems. It is unfortunate yet important to acknowledge the problems associated with the education system in our nation.
It is a noteworthy fact that India was home to numerous educational institutions especially in Nalanda and Takshashila. It is momentous to note 2700 years ago, Takshashila University was home to more than 10,000 students across the world. Apart from this, the knowledge was imparted through Gurukul Ashrams all over India wherein not only healthy interactive sessions were held between Gurus (Teachers) and their Shishyas (Students) but the practical teachings were also promoted. Thus, our Indian Education System used to stand out from other teaching techniques.
However, it is quite unfortunate to note that in today’s world of technological advancements, the Indian Educational System does not promote any kind of practical teachings. The kids, right from the very beginning are asked to mug up the things and usually their curiosity and creativity get vanished because of their hefty schedules. Later on, these kids develop a kind of robotic mindset wherein they are programmed to pursue medicine, engineering or governmental jobs in the later stages. Ultimately, their curiosity, creativity and originality tend to die out in their future. The engineers and doctors of our nation have lots of theoretical knowledge but their practical knowledge is delimited which they tend to learn as they practice but not while they study unlike the other countries.
Apart from this, neither the curriculum as well as books of our Indian educational system are revised nor updated as a result of which they at times lack authentic information with missing facts and figures. It is surprising to note that the NCERT books based upon CBSE pattern has more than thousand errors collectively. In his way, we tend to impart unauthentic and doubtful knowledge to the youngsters which can lead to problems in the later stages.
The students these days have lack of awareness about their subjects and career opportunities available to them as a result of which their options are limited. This is major drawback of the educational techniques followed at schools. The students are engrossed in their books and are not able to develop their innate talents.
Well! I just want to bring out the fact that the word ‘Education’ is derived from the word ‘educere’ whose literal meaning is to develop the innate talent of the person. Thus, while providing the education to our loved ones, we must work for not destroying the innate, original talent of the person. Once the person develops the innate talent practically, person can not only attain desired success but will also have a bright future ahead.
This is a small effort to make the readers realize the importance of authentic and appropriate kind of education in life which does not come from books or scoring the highest in the exams but which is associated with the development of the real curiosity and inner talent of the person.
Stay tuned for more articles like this. Like and share in the case this article could leave an imprint in your mind.

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With launch of Goods and Services Tax (GST), the Indian sports industry feels the heat from a heavier tax burden in the near future. Tickets for sports events such as the Indian Premier League (IPL) will include a tax charge of 28% approx., which will boost their prices. The impact of GST will be clearly visible with the rise in the prices of sports goods and equipments as well price hikes of tickets for premier sports events.

Sports goods set to be costly

The manufacturers in the industry had been paying a 2% excise duty on goods, after the charge was imposed in 2011. Now, under GST, these goods will be taxed under the 12-28% slab, a steep rise from the previous charge. While most of the manufacturers had called for sporting equipment to be placed under the 5% slab, debating the industry still falls under cottage industry category; the GST Council decided to set with a much higher rate.

The council doesn’t consider a number of products such as sports helmets, sports kit bags, training bags, boxing headgear, etc., as sports goods. These have been placed under categories from 12-28% slabs. While the sports gloves will be charged at 12%, the athletics, gymnastics and table tennis equipment will be taxed at 28%. Essential fitness items such as sports shoes, skipping ropes, etc, will also feel the heat of GST reform, as the category has been placed in the 28% slab.

“To make high quality equipment, we need support from the government. The current move might have a negative impact on the growth of the industry. There are more than 1000 registered units and another 1500 cottage units in villages,” Rakesh Mahajan, chairman of All India Sports Goods Manufacturers’ Federation.

Pay more for IPL tickets, events by NSFs in 18% slab

Tickets for the events organized by National Sports Federations (NSFs) and of course BCCI-organized cricket matches will be taxed at 18%. Tickets for Indian Premier League (IPL) as well as Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), will even go higher as they will be taxed at 28% under the new GST regime.Tickets priced below Rs.250 will be exempt from GST.

 

(A compiled report)

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Goods and Services Tax (GST) is ON, replacing almost 20 state and federal taxes. Now, it is going to change the fate of all businesses and lives of every Indian in many ways and some of them in a disruptive way.

1) A transparent tax reform

For the first time, through the form of a single GST rate consumers will have the knowledge of the actual amount of taxes they are paying for goods and services.  The GST rate will be split between central and state governments. Earlier, an invoice included the state-level value added tax (VAT) and in certain cases, the service tax levied by the central government, which excluded taxes on raw materials and services used by various intermediaries.  These taxes were added to the final price of the goods purchased but were not mentioned in the invoice. The efficiency of GST is expected to minimize the tax burden and encourage the transparency.

2) Transition in tax burden

The effort is for keeping the GST rates as close as possible to the existing tax burden on goods and services and to make the transition revenue neutral. Therefore, the effective tax on individual products or goods is expected to move up or down. Tax on services like telecom is expected to go up. However, actual changes will depend on the pricing strategies adopted by the businesses.

3) Unorganized sector at a turning point

Small enterprises with annual sales less than Rs 20 lakh are exempt from the rigors of registering for GST and filing returns. But this exemption poses a risk of larger enterprises turning away from the unorganized sector for sourcing materials and services to larger suppliers that are within the GST system so that taxes paid by their suppliers are available as credit. Small enterprises have to voluntarily sign up for GST to not lose their customers. Larger procurers looking forward to keep ties with the unorganized sector, however, have the choice of paying taxes on their behalf under a system called ‘reverse charge’. Small businesses being a part of the GST system is expected to enhance tax compliance not only of indirect taxes, but also of income tax.

4) Impact on Small and medium enterprises (SMEs)

The tax burden for SMEs is set to go up. With the threshold for GST registration for businesses being much lower at Rs20 lakh annual sales, SMEs will come under GST and have to pay taxes at the federal level too—the central GST. This is expected to double the tax rate for them, although the actual increase in tax burden may not be equally high because of the tax credits passed on to them from their material and service suppliers. GST is devised to broaden the taxpayer base with a vision of minimizing the overall tax rate.

5) No more tax breaks

There is no more excise duty exemption for setting up production units in the north east or hill states. Enterprises will have to make investment decisions based on scale of economy rather than tax arbitrage. This indicates that enterprises will have to set up new production units closer to their market rather than expanding existing facilities in places to leverage on region specific exemption. Units that have already come up with excise exemption for a specified period will have to pay tax first and claim refunds for the remaining period. Mostly the drug makers, automobile producers and cement companies will be affected more as they prefer to set units in hill states earlier.

6) Revamping supply chain

GST will also affect the businesses in terms of its location of warehouses and movement of goods from state to state. As GST is applicable on transfer of stock within a group company’s warehouses in different states, it is expected that businesses may try to optimize their supply chain.

7) Keeping on Right Side of Law

Businesses and traders have to work hard on their pricing strategy during the transition period to avoid getting caught for not passing on any reduction in effective tax burden to the consumer. An anti-profiteering body being set up will keep an eye on how businesses restructure the tax inclusive price charged from consumers.

8) Training vendors, workforce

People in the entire business ecosystem of a company need to be trained. Companies have to not only update their business, accounting and tax payment software, but also train their personnel. Training vendors and business partners is also important as the invoices they file are relevant for the taxes to be paid by a business.

9) Return filing

While suppliers have to upload details of transactions and invoices, the tax return of buyers of goods and services will be auto-generated based on suppliers’ data, minimizing human discretion. Buyers can either accept auto-generated return or modify it.

10) Alcohol and fuel

Alcohol and five fuels including crude oil, petrol, diesel, jet fuel and natural gas are expected to see an increase in tax burden as they continue to remain in the existing tax system, while the GST paid on all equipment and services used in their production become an added cost.

 

 

(A compiled report)