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Competition brings out the best in any company and leads to innovation: Narayana Murthy

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Narayana Murthy Infosys (7)_0_0

By NewsGram Staff Writer

“Competition and regulation are the two mechanisms which can ensure that the “Invisible Hand” works to the advantage of the society,” said Infosys founder N.R. Narayana Murthy today during an event.

During the keynote address at the 6th Annual Day Lecture on ‘Creating a Better India – Musings on Economic Governance Ideas for India’ organised by the Competition Commission of India,  Murthy said that competition brings out the best in any company and leads to innovation, new ideas, services and products.

Referring to the role of regulation, Murthy advocated for swift and fearless regulatory decisions. He stressed that trust and confidence in the regulators are important to attract more and more entrepreneurs to start businesses.

Within such system, he indicated five roles which the government has to discharge viz. unanimity of conviction and integrity of belief among all political parties that solution to the problem of poverty is through elimination of friction to businesses and entrepreneurs and by creating more jobs; translating this conviction by speedy action to ensure growth of the economy and creation of better jobs; creating an independent and meritocratic judiciary with up-to-date technology, and knowledge of modern, global judicial practices and judgements; introducing transparent and stable taxation policy; and lastly using tax money wisely and efficiently to make life better for the poor by investing in education, healthcare, nutrition and shelter.

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Bengali Film ‘Dhananjoy’ Sparks a Fresh Debate on the Social Dilemma of Capital Punishment

Arindam Sil's 'Dhananjoy' revolves around the capital punishment of Dhananjoy Chatterjee, a security guard

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Death Penalty
Arindam Sil's Bengali film 'Dhananjoy. Facebook
  • ‘Dhananjoy’ is a Bengali film directed by Arindam Sil
  • The film premiered theatres on August 11, 2017
  • Talking about capital punishments and death penalty, the movie has sparked a new debate on the social issue

August 19, 2017: Arindam Sil’s new direction, titled ‘Dhananjoy’ hit the screens on 11th August. The Bengali film since its release has sparked a fresh debate on the social dilemma of capital punishment.

Capital punishment by no means is a simple debate topic. The United Nations Organization has passed various resolutions urging governments of various nations to abolish the legality of the death penalty, however, these resolutions have been non-binding.

Also Read: Why the society needs capital punishment

There are 56 nations that hold death penalty legal. In fact, 60% of the global population resides in countries where the death penalty is held valid. Some of these nations are India, US, China, Indonesia among more.

Arindam Sil’s ‘Dhananjoy’ revolves around the capital punishment of Dhananjoy Chatterjee, a security guard. The film comes at the time of the 13th anniversary of his hanging.

Dhananjoy Chatterjee was executed by the state on 14th August 2004 for the rape and murder of a young girl, Hetal Parekh, in a residential complex. Aged 39, Dhananjoy was mercilessly punished leaving behind old parents, a wife and a brother.

The Bengali film has run along the lines of the 2016 published book, ‘Adalat-Media-Samaj Ebong Dhananjoyer Fansi’. The book portrays that Dhananjoy may have been wrongly committed the crimes he did not do. It was Hetal’s mother who was the culprit and got away. Dhananjoy was a scapegoat.

Sil shows in the movie that it was unfair for Dhananjoy if the judiciary or police in any way would have caused an unintentional error. Dhanonjoy spent 14 years in the prison, during which he kept claiming that he was innocent. He also kept saying that he was tired of being poor. Dhananjoy had little money, and his poverty was the reason behind him being put as the scapegoat. His lawyers with the little fees had lost interest in the case.

This theory by Sil clearly raised debates regarding the fairness of capital punishment and death penalty. The film Dhananjoy is sure to raise dinner table debates with family after watching the movie.

William Douglas, American Supreme Court Judge, once said: “Capital Punishment was for those without the capital.”

The United Nations conducted a survey in the year 1988. From the responses, they concluded that the fact “death penalty is more of a deterrent than life imprisonment” is absolutely baseless. Furthermore, the statistics extracted from countries who abolished the practice supports the conclusion of the survey.

If capital punishment is not abolished, the risk that an innocent could be hanged and killed lurks in the environment. Judiciary systems are not perfect systems.

In India, the judiciary is in worse conditions. With the lack of personnel, pending cases and archaic laws coupled with caste and communal hierarchic setup, capital punishment should be much researched in the country.

– Prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394


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India-based technology company Infosys to create 10,000 jobs in the United States

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FILE - An Infosys employee sports a t-shirt featuring a U.S. flag as he buys coupons for lunch while others wait for their turn at company headquarters in Bangalore, India, April 15, 2016. VOA

India-based technology company Infosys said Tuesday it will create 10,000 jobs in the United States, growing its American footprint at a time when it has become a political target in the U.S.

Infosys has been a big user of H1-B visas in the U.S., a program under which overseas firms, most often technology companies, move foreign workers to the United States after the overseas businesses declare they cannot find enough qualified U.S. workers. Critics of the visa program say the foreign firms have cost U.S. workers their jobs, however, because the foreign companies usually pay the temporary workers less than they would have had to pay American employees to do the same job.

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As part of his “America First” pledge, President Donald Trump recently ordered government agencies to review the visa program. Trump said he wants to bring in the “best and brightest” foreign workers and reform immigration laws as they relate to work and border security. But one suggested reform – that companies paying the highest wages be granted the work visas – would directly affect Infosys.

FILE - Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka speaks during a press conference after announcing the company's quarterly financial results at its headquarters in Bangalore, India, July 15, 2016.
FILE – Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka speaks during a press conference after announcing the company’s quarterly financial results at its headquarters in Bangalore, India, July 15, 2016. VOA

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which manages the visa petitions, says that about 70 percent of the 85,000 H1-B visas issued annually go to Indians, and more than half of them are working for information technology companies like Infosys, which then outsource the workers to American firms.

Infosys has been one of the biggest users of the H1-B visa program, sending more than 15,000 workers to the U.S. in the last two years, although it has trimmed its visa requests for this year. Under the program, foreign-born workers typically can be employed for three years by a sponsor company and apply to stay longer.

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Infosys said it would hire the 10,000 U.S. workers over the next two years, opening four technology centers, with the first in the midwestern state of Indiana, where Vice President Mike Pence was governor before Trump tapped him as his running mate in last year’s national political campaign.

Infosys chief executive Vishal Sikka told Reuters, “The reality is, bringing in local talent and mixing that with the best of global talent in the times we are living in and the times we’re entering, is the right thing to do. It is independent of the regulations and the visas.” (VOA)

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Kerela: First state of India to impose tax on Fast Food

The state government is imposing a 14.5 percent "fat tax" on fast goods sold by branded restaurants such as McDonalds and Pizza Hut

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Kerala imposes tax on Fast Foods. Image Source: e-sandesh.com
  • Vowing to combat rising levels of obesity—Kerala has the second highest levels of obesity in the country—the state government is imposing a 14.5 percent “fat tax” on fast goods sold by branded restaurants such as McDonalds and Pizza Hut
  • Strongly supporting the Kerala initiative, the doctor says, “We used to see diabetes 20 years back, diabetes in 50 or 40 years of age. Now we are seeing diabetes at 15 years of age, 18 years of age”
  • Global brands such as Pizza Hut, KFC and McDonald’s have been ramping up their presence as the Indian fast food market grows exponentially while others such as Johnny Rockets, Burger King, Wendy’s and Barcelos have begun making forays

Customers in India’s southern state of Kerala will have to dig deeper into their pockets each time they want to order a juicy burger, a cheese-laced pizza or other fast food such as doughnuts and tacos.

Vowing to combat rising levels of obesity—Kerala has the second highest levels of obesity in the country—the state government is imposing a 14.5 percent “fat tax” on fast goods sold by branded restaurants such as McDonalds and Pizza Hut.

India’s first ‘fat tax’

Thomas Isaac, Kerala’s finance minister, says he took the cue from a handful of countries that have experimented with similar taxes.

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India’s first such tax in the scenic, coastal state will only affect a small section of the country’s increasingly affluent middle class, whose appetite for Western-style fast food has grown over the last decade-and-a-half. The measure has attracted national attention as India confronts growing levels of obesity.

Pizza Hut. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Pizza Hut. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Critics question if it will actually deter people from getting their fix of junk food, and skeptics suspect it is probably meant to garner more revenue. Doctors and nutritionists, however, say it is a long overdue first step in that the country urgently needs to address its expanding waistlines.

Addressing obesity

With half of Indians under 25, worries center on young people in particular.

Anoop Misra, who heads the Center for Diabetes, Obesity and Cholesterol at Fortis Hospital in New Delhi, has watched with rising alarm as more and more people in their 20’s and 30’s walk into his clinic.

Strongly supporting the Kerala initiative, the doctor says, “We used to see diabetes 20 years back, diabetes in 50 or 40 years of age. Now we are seeing diabetes at 15 years of age, 18 years of age.” Misra says he hopes the rest of the country will take the cue from the state’s fat tax.

McDonalds. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
McDonalds. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Global brands such as Pizza Hut, KFC and McDonald’s have been ramping up their presence as the Indian fast food market grows exponentially while others such as Johnny Rockets, Burger King, Wendy’s and Barcelos have begun making forays. Fast food chains have not commented on the tax so far.

Money making initiative

The Kerala government has rejected suggestions that the tax aims to shore up its revenue, saying collections from such a tax will be small. Fast food outlets have a relatively small presence in the southern state compared to the north and the west.

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Minister Isaac, who proposed the tax, says he simply sees it as a signal to move back to traditional healthy eating, a practice he says is “going out of fashion.”

Finance minister of Kerala- Thomas Issac. Image Source: www.thehindu.com
Finance minister of Kerala- Thomas Issac. Image Source: www.thehindu.com

While acknowledging the need to target unhealthy food, many in Kerala point to local, deep-fried, highly popular local snacks and foods that are often sold at wayside stalls and restaurants. The owner of a café in Kerala’s Kochi city, Isaac Alexander, says the format does not seem fair as it excludes such food.

“One food that is eaten widely in Kerala is the “paratha.” It is high in fat, high in refined flour; it is cheap,” he said. “It can’t be taxed because it is highly unorganized,” he said.

Raising awareness, not taxing

Doctors and nutritionists agree that the tax needs to target a range of Indian snacks rich in trans fats that are sold throughout the country often on wayside stalls, as well as sugary drinks.

“Is it enough? I don’t think so. We need to go much beyond the burgers and the doughnuts and the French fries,” says Sheela Krishnaswamy, a nutritionist who heads the Indian Dietetic Association in Bangalore. “It needs to be done more scientifically. It needs to be done at what percentage of fat in a food can the fat tax begin.”

A customer in New Delhi who is enjoying burgers with his family does not agree. Vijay Deoli says governments should focus on more urgent priorities like pollution.

“First you have to clear up the air, the water; many things are there,” he said. “This is a small thing.”

Others say the government should focus more on raising awareness about fast food instead of using taxes to influence people’s choices.

Fast Food Tax. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Fast Food Tax. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

“If you go by even developed countries, nowadays teachers or classrooms — they are training people, what should be eaten, and what should not be eaten,” says IT engineer Gaurav Singh.

Denmark, for example, scrapped a fat tax when it found that customers were picking up their quota of high fat goods from other countries.

Health experts agree that raising awareness is critical; but, Dr. Misra feels that education alone is not doing the trick.

“As I see every day, people, they are well aware of what is good and what is bad, they will [still] most of the time veer towards bad eating,” he said.

He compares the fat tax to a seatbelt law imposed some years back to force people to use seatbelts. “Everybody has a seatbelt. Previously nobody was wearing that, because there is a fine. So a certain amount of regulation has to be brought in to change the habits of the people.”

Source: VoaNews

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One response to “Kerela: First state of India to impose tax on Fast Food”

  1. This is a really good initiative not only from the economic point of view but also the healthy point of view

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