New Year: A time for new beginnings
New Year to me is a time for new beginnings. It means fresh starts, the beginning of something new and being able to change something with yourself. This New Year, I would like to spend more time with my family and devote more time in prayer. I would also like to glorify my God much more than the previous years and give more tithes to the Church. I would also like to help the poor and the needy just like Mother Teresa when she was living on this earth.
MVA is making its presence felt
The long-pending expansion of MVA government took place with the surprise inclusion of Aaditya Thackeray, grandson of Balasaheb Thackeray. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar was sworn in for a record fourth time as the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra in the assembly. The long cherished ambition of Aaditya and Ajit Pawar are fullfilled in the ministry expansion. After considerable delay to make all adjustments now a settlement has been reached among the coalition partners. It is more or less fulfilling personal ambitions rather than working for the welfare of the people. At last, MVA is making its presence felt not for the good work but for picking up plum posts and thus revealing their personal interest and revealing vendetta politics on BJP.
Standardize consumables in car-industry
Too many variants of any car-model confuse customers. There may be just two variants apart from the third with automatic gears, one basic Lx for economy customers and the other Vx with all company-fitted extra accessories and luxuries for affording customers. There is no sense in having too many confusing variants like Lx, Lxi, Vx, Vxi for same model. India being biggest consumer-market amongst nations with free economy, it has certainly power to dictate its consumer-friendly terms for global market-leaders collaborating car-manufacture in India.
Union government should induce standardization of common accessories like tyres and batteries so that same parts may be used in different models of cars produced by various car-manufacturers. It will heavily bring down cost of consumables through their bumper production in extra large numbers in some limited sizes and specifications. It can be achieved by merging some nearing sizes and specifications. Such guidelines though also mentioned in auto-policy of Union government, are never followed in actual practice.
Tinkering with GST rates is poor governance
GST revamp committee has come up with a two-tier GST scheme that would raise rates from 5% to 10 % and 18% to 20% which clearly indicates that the GST estimated targets are not being achieved by the govt. Top economists of the country too have voiced their concern and raising rates doesn’t necessarily mean rise in revenue. The tribe of tax evaders would only rise if rates are increased and government needs to think on practical terms for a permanent solution to raise revenues.
Loopholes in the system needs to be plugged so that evading taxes becomes impossible. Keep rates reasonable and business friendly so that nobody wants to evade taxes. Business opportunities should be improved so that increase in turnover means establishments can survive on lower margins as well. A tax structure needs to be simple, reasonable and stable for longevity as demands for tax cuts rise when government is willing to oblige!
Nothing political in Army Chief’s statement
It refers to unnecessary criticism by opposition parties of statement of Army Chief General Bipin Rawat wherein he has questioned, and rightly so, on usual violence in University-campuses to protest on various issues more recently on Citizenship (Amendment) Act. There is no politics in the statement. Opposition is crying foul only because opposition parties are supporting students (may be provoking also) on the issue.
Statement of Army Chief is also based on practical aspects where at times army has to be called to control situation when it becomes alarming and beyond control of police. Otherwise also Army Chief like all other right-thinking citizens is pained on large scale damage to public property and resources in violent incidents including in university-campuses.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal
FDI of upto 100% in Indian Aviation is a welcome step
The recent announcement to allow FDI off upto 100% in Indian Aviation is welcome. The move comes at a time when two popular airlines Jet Airways and Air India are struggling to get out of its noose of debt owing to lack of interest from potential bidders and tougher regulatory framework otherwise hampering sale process. The FDI move will evince more interest from potential foreign players to invest heavily in aviation infrastructure.
The FDI move also comes at a time when the Aviation industry in India is witnessing challenges amidst competition between Low Cost Carriers and Full Service Carriers. While FDI in Aviation will otherwise throw open door to many players keen to operate in a robust manner in the Indian aviation market. It needs to be seen as to how well and quickly will the Government roll the red carpet to foreign investors to enable them to fly in the Indian skies.
Anger management in schools
The CBSE’s initiative asking all its affiliated schools to make schools ‘anger free zones and requesting all the stakeholders of these institutions to be part of this novel campaign is truly wonderful and will be beneficial in many ways. The CBSE has asked teachers, parents and administration staff to manage their anger and thereby set an example for children and teach them the value of “freedom from anger”. As the board says this would undoubtedly help students become mentally active and emotionally healthy.
The initiative is part of the board’s thrust on “joyful education and holistic fitness”. The board has put forward a list of positive activities to follow to keep anger away. Some of these being breathing exercises, yoga, adhering to good hobbies, habits and other joyful physical exercises. The board has advised the children not to be full time addicts to cell phones. It has also asked its schools to record their experience and announce on social media their endeavour to become an anger-free zone, using the hashtag “#cbsenoanger”.
According to the board’s secretary in the anger-free zone everyone will try to manage his or her anger, whether it is the school educators, parents, school personnel or other stakeholders and the best way to teach children the value of ‘freedom from anger’ is by the adults setting themselves as examples. Emotions like fear, disrespect, humiliation, negative thoughts, tension, frustration are all the by-products of anger. An anger free society will have an air of happiness and joyfulness lingering in the environment we live in.
Overcoming anger helps to build good relationship and thereby results in a society sans unwanted clashes, conflicts and violence. Children being taught to manage anger can help make them grow as responsible and compassionate adults. This good initiative must be emulated by other educational boards.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)