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Kiran Karnik, who describes himself as a "public unintellectual" has, over a four-decade career as an administrator, been acknowledged for his work in the broadcasting and outsourcing spheres -- and his steerage of Nasscom that raised the IT lobby group to new heights. Thus, when he authors a book titled "Decisive Decade -- India-2030: Gazelle or Hippo" (Rupa), it certainly makes you pay heed to the fresh perspective he offers.
"India's image is currently of a large, lumbering elephant. It threatens to become a hippopotamus: an aggressive, loud, slow creature, which is the world's deadliest large land mammal. In our positive scenario, these images will be replaced by that of a gazelle: agile, smart, adaptive, fast (capable of short bursts of extreme speed and sustained periods of moderate speed) friendly, and likable. Indians will cease being aggressive jaguars and touchy porcupines: the 'angry Indian' will be replaced by the friendly, compassionate and wise one," Karnik writes, as he lays down the agenda for the future.
Noting that the 2020s will "set the course for India" just as the 10 years from 1950 "laid out the path for the country in the 20th century through the enunciation of values and the creation of key institutions", the remaining years of the present decade "are when we will go through a reiteration or a re-set of many vital parameters", of which there are nine, the author maintains.
What, then, are these parameters?
1. Democracy and Politics - Ensuring Justice and Freedom
Political parties, Karnik writes, are known to quickly pick up signals sent out by the electorate. Therefore, it is certain that each party will begin to modify its strategy to meet voter expectations. Social harmony in a cohesive society, with full freedom and vibrant democracy, are prerequisites for the country to realize its full potential. In a positive scenario, all political parties will recognize this, and those that do not will be promptly punished at the polls.
"Given this, the decade of the 2020s is likely to see a transition, a movement away from the hate-filled, divisive, communal and intolerant political scenario seen in the latter half of the last decade. It will also witness governments that are less corrupt, more transparent, and accountable than those of the past. New political formations may emerge. Forward-looking and younger people will be leaders and will promote the flowering of creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Economic growth will be more sustainable, equitable, and inclusive than in the last few decades. Decentralization will be a key philosophy and not just states, but municipalities and panchayats will be the major stakeholders, enabling grassroots participation in decision-making.
"This is truly the decisive decade, and will determine the velocity -- both direction and speed -- of India's progress," Karnik writes.
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2. Security - Maintaining Social Harmony and Peaceful Borders
"The main challenges to India's security -- and therefore, the ones that will shape its posture and outlook -- in 2030 will be terrorism (especially from untraceable sources, and including cyber attacks), energy security, and personal security/safety (which includes health and livelihood security). The external challenge needs to be neutralized through clever diplomacy and statesman-like long-term strategic perspective; if not, the biggest and most daunting challenge would be the possibility of a joint China-Pakistan attack," Karnik says.
At the same time, "maybe, somewhere in the mid-20s, India will have the self-assuredness and confidence to propose an agreement between India, China, and Pakistan to freeze the borders of Kashmir and Ladakh in keeping with the reality on the ground", he adds.
3. Health -- Adding Years to Life and Life to Years
One lesson from COVID is the importance of agility and flexibility in decision-making based on specific situations in small geographic areas. There is also a need for a large increase in investments in public health so as to ensure free, universal, high-quality healthcare. "There are those who argue that while this is desirable, India cannot yet afford it and we must await economic growth. Recent research provides a direct counterpoint: it shows that while happiness does vary with the gross domestic product (GDP), the effect of health and life expectancy is larger. A one-year increase in longevity has the same effect on national happiness as a 4.3 percent increase in GDP. Even if the figure is overstated by a large factor, the very fact of a relationship is significant. "So, through this decade, ensuring the health of all Indians must be very high on the agenda, For, a healthy country is a happy country," Karnik says.
A one-year increase in longevity has the same effect on national happiness as a 4.3 percent increase in GDP. Pixabay
4. Education -- Building a Knowledge Society
Fourteen "vital steps" are necessary, among them, liberating the education system from the stranglehold of excessive and obsolete regulations, with the NEP-2020 falling short; giving universities and institutions full academic autonomy, including the design of the structure of their own credit; mandating a Higher Education Promotion Commission (HEPC) to ensure complete transparency of universities and ensure healthy competition; recognizing the importance of inter-disciplinarity, existing 'specialized' institutions (in medicine, law, management, technology, architecture, and design) to become full-fledged universities; industries are given incentives (for example, tax benefits), for investing in education and collaborating with academia.
"At a time when education, knowledge, and skills will be the true wealth of nations, India is well-positioned to be amongst the wealthiest. This decade will be the crucial one for making the necessary reforms and ensuring excellence in education. If this is done, by 2030, India should be well on its way to being a knowledge powerhouse," Karnik writes.
5. Economy -- Eradicating Poverty, Reducing Inequality
One scenario for the 2020s would be a more holistic approach to development, where health, education, inequality, and poverty get as much attention as GDP growth rates. The other scenario would be singularly GDP growth but this will almost certainly result in social ferment, especially given the growing awareness and the revolution of rising expectations, both of which are amplified by what is seen through the media. Thus, the growing importance of social and environmental factors "and the more widespread awareness of them is also likely to push a shift of emphasis in the 2020s. A more human-oriented, inclusive, and holistic view of development will be preferred, rather than a mechanistic, purely GDP-focused one. The fact that this also means greater freedom and more vibrant democracy are added advantages," Karnik writes.
Loneliness, neglect, and even ill-treatment of elders are not uncommonPixabay
6. Demography -- More Age-Care Homes, Fewer Anganwadis
While there has been a strong focus on the young -- their energy, dynamism, and innovativeness -- for their potential contribution to economic growth, the elderly have been ignored. Thus, the health and well-being of elders need attention. Loneliness, neglect, and even ill-treatment of elders are not uncommon. Related to this is the need to evolve ways by which elders feel wanted and involved.
"Overall, the demographic transition to an aging population requires re-orientation of thinking, mindset and policy within government as also amongst civil society organizations" as the scenario in 2030 is likely to include a large population of around 1,479 million, yet growing, but at a slower rate than in the past; a large urban population, with a few massive urban agglomerations, but a new trend of reverse migration from urban to rural areas; the world's biggest working-age population, with about 1,025 million in the 15-64 age-group; and a very large number of elders: 195 million above 60 years, of which 23.7 million will be above 80 years.
"Whatever it may be, demographics is a key issue and must figure prominently in the projections and planning for India 2030," Karnik states.
7. Society And Social Dynamics -- Changing the Status Quo
These are areas that, through the 2020s, are likely to be marked by, among others, a part of society that continues to be divided caste, with this becoming an identity that people try to benefit from; political parties that seek to build larger vote banks by emphasizing religious affiliation that cuts across caste, and demonizing the 'other'; increasing crime, fuelled by growing economic inequality, ostentatious displays of wealth and rapidly increasing aspirations; division based on class; gender conflict, especially in rural areas; and greater equality among the young, countering to some extent the class and other divides.
"A roadmap from 2020 to a more ideal 2030s must be formulated, so as to create a more inclusive, compassionate, caring and harmonious society through appropriate policies and actions. If these are initiated now, they might make a difference in the course of the decade and the country can, in 2030, be in a far better place," Karnik writes.
8. Jobs And Livelihoods -- Will a Machine Steal Your Job?
Clearly, fresh thinking and a new strategy are required with regard to jobs through a 10-point plan of action that includes providing universal and free school education, healthcare and social security to all, supplemented by a universal basic income (UBI); redesigning structures and processes to decentralise and ensure efficient delivery of services at points closest to the user; evolve a model of decentralised development; promote local entrepreneurship; create an ecosystem for training, skilling and local livelihood opportunities in rural India, especially related to new technologies; through high quality education and training, position India as global talent source; build new human-mediated user-to-technology (machine) links; promote innovation, design-led manufacturing and efficient global service delivery rather than mass manufacturing; give an impetus to people-intensive services like education, health and tourism; and evolving and promoting human-plus-machine/AI models that fully leverage new technologies, even as they create new jobs.
"Quality livelihoods for all should be the focus of the country in the 2020s. Well-conceived and effectively implemented plans can help achieve this goal. By 2030, we predict, India will do so, creating a new development model for itself and a path for others to follow," Karnik writes.
9. Technology -- Every Breath You Take; Pervasive Tech
In this area, the agenda for the 2020s for India is clear; invest heavily in R&D on storage (batteries), encourage a phased switchover to electric vehicles, and develop the ecosystem for them, including extensive infrastructure for charging and battery exchange. Simultaneously, there is a need to incentivize cycling and walking. Also, given its size and population, India is badly in need of an efficient and fast long-distance mass transportation system.
"Technology must also help in reducing drudgery, find solutions for mechanized cleaning of drains and sewage pits, and facilitate ease of living. India must marshal its innovation and tech talent so as to be the global leader in such models that leverage technology for inclusive development and improved quality of life.
"The next 10 years can be the 'techade' which focuses on 'closing the gap' (between inequalities of income, knowledge, and opportunity)," Karnik maintains. Is the scenario envisaged for a rosy future "merely a wish, a dream? In many ways, it is. Yet, there is no reason why it cannot be actually realized. Already even today, almost every one of the elements of it is in evidence in one or the other part of India itself. All that needs to be done is to adapt and scale these positive examples," Karnik concludes. (IANS/JC)
Heinz has just rolled out a new product that the condiment company says is the "biggest innovation in sauce since the packet itself." Earlier this month, the world's largest producer of ketchup announced the Packet Roller, a ketchup bottle-shaped gadget that allows users to squeeze the most out of a condiment packet, CNN reported.
"Do not click 'purchase' unless you are prepared to change everything about the way you sauce," the Heinz Packet Roller website says. The roller goes for $5.70. The roller is pocket-sized, can be added to a keychain, and features a packet corner cutter.
Heinz has just rolled out a new product that the condiment company says is the "biggest innovation in sauce since the packet itself | Flickr
This announcement could be part of the fast-tracked, "future-focused culinary and packaging innovations" that Steve Cornell, president of Kraft Heinz's US grocery business unit, hinted at earlier this year amid a shortage of ketchup. A surge in takeout and delivery food orders during the pandemic led to a scarcity of ketchup packets, the report said.
In April, Heinz pledged to increase production of ketchup by 25 per cent to 12 billion packets annually. "Gone are the days of fumbling with ketchup packets, pants ruined by mustard disasters, and minutes taken off your life trying to get to the bottom of that mayo packet. With the patent-pending Heinz Packet Roller, what was once taxing becomes simple -- just snip and roll to squeeze out every drop of your sauce of choice," the website says
Keywords: Heinz, Packet roller, sauce, company, ketchup
Swiss tennis ace Roger Federer, who is recovering from a right-knee surgery he underwent last month, said on Sunday that it was a difficult process to decide whether to undergo a third right-knee surgery after having two last year. But following Wimbledon, where he was "really unhappy" with his performance in reaching the quarterfinals, Federer opted to go through with it.
Federer, who made a late decision to attend this year's Laver Cup in Boston -- a tournament held between teams from Europe and the rest of the world -- said on the sidelines of the event that the recovery and rehabilitation are "going to take me a few more months and then we'll see how things are at some point next year". "The reception I've received, everybody is so upbeat that I'm here. They wish me all the best and they don't even see the crutches. They just want me to be good again and enjoy the weekend," Federer said in an interview for the event with former world No. 1 Jim Courier.
"I've seen some incredible tennis, some great matches and it's been wonderful. I'm really happy I made the trip," the winner of 20 majors was quoted as saying by atptour.com. On why he opted for a third surgery, the tennis ace said, "I was just nowhere near where I wanted to be to play at the top, top level. But I tried my best and at the end... too much is too much. Now I've just got to take it step by step," Federer said.
Federer received thunderous ovations inside Boston's TD Garden, where he has often been sitting in the front row watching the action or behind the scenes visiting with the players. | Wikimedia Commons
"I've got to first walk again properly, run properly and then do the sidesteps and all the agility work and then eventually I've got to be back on the tennis court. But it's going to take me a few more months and then we'll see how things are at some point next year. "I've got to take my time. I don't want to rush into anything at this point. This is also for my life. I want to make sure I can do everything I want to do later on. There's no rush with anything, so I'm actually in a really good place. I think the worst is behind me. I took the time and, I don't know, I'm just really in a good place. I'm really happy."
Federer received thunderous ovations inside Boston's TD Garden, where he has often been sitting in the front row watching the action or behind the scenes visiting with the players. The former world No. 1 has played in the first three editions of the Laver Cup. "I think Boston is a great city. The stadium is wonderful, the crowds have been incredible. Both teams are stacked with absolute quality and top players," Federer said. "That's what the idea was behind it: that everybody could come together, have the most incredible weekend, learn from one another and then hopefully that's going to inspire them, motivate them and get them going for the rest of this year, next year." (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Roger Federer, tennish, player, sports, knee, surgery
By Hitesh Rathi
Cleopatra, was regarded as a great beauty, to preserve her skin, she took her daily bath in donkey milk. Besides, Hippocrates, the father of medicine, prescribed donkey milk for various diseases including fever, wounds, etc. To add to these benefits, donkey milk has four times the amount of Vitamin C than cow's milk has. So, it's no secret that donkey milk is a powerhouse of nutrients for both the skin and body.
Used for Anti-Ageing and Healing
The milk contains essential fatty acids that work as powerful anti-ageing and healing properties. These fatty acids blur the wrinkles on the skin and help to regenerate damaged skin. Plus, donkey milk also contains anti-bacterial properties which are effective in healing skin irritation and redness.
The milk contains essential fatty acids that work as powerful anti-ageing and healing properties.| Flickr
Antioxidant and Nutrient-Rich
Known as a "natural elixir of youth", donkey milk is packed with antioxidants and nutrients. It contains vitamin E, amino acids, vitamins A, B1, B6, C, E, Omega 3, and 6. These properties together make it a rich ingredient when it comes to skin treatment. Moreover, vitamin D is another important ingredient for human skin, and the primary source to get it is through UV exposure. At the same time, too much of that leaves an adverse effect on the skin. Here is when donkey milk acts as a great substitute as it naturally contains vitamin D. All in all, if this milk is applied frequently, it brings a glowing effect while making the skin look brighter.
Known as a "natural elixir of youth", donkey milk is packed with antioxidants and nutrients.| Photo by Jernej Graj on Unsplash
Moisturizer and Softener
By now it's a well-known fact that this milk works as a powerful moisturizer for the skin. Besides, if donkey milk is used consistently, it acts as a great cleanser as well as helps in keeping the skin healthy, hydrated, and soft.
If donkey milk is used consistently, it acts as a great cleanser as well as helps in keeping the skin healthy, hydrated, and soft. | Photo by febri sym on Unsplash
Therefore, donkey milk with its healing, nutritional and rejuvenating properties for the skin is rapidly emerging as a key ingredient for skincare. These are also driving several leading players to roll out personal care products such as soap, cream, etc. manufactured using donkey milk. Moreover, the global donkey milk market is expanding rapidly with the market value projected to reach $68,139.0 thousand by 2027, registering a CAGR of 9.4 per cent from 2021 to 2027. And the growing use of donkey milk as an ingredient in cosmetic and personal care products will significantly contribute toward the growth of this market in the years to come. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Skin, donkey milk, skincare, anti-ageing, soft skin, hydrate, antioxidant, healing