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Indias unemployment rate at 6.1 per cent of the total labour force during 2017-18 is at a 45-year high. But the trend of joblessness is not something new for the Indian economy. It has been a long-standing reality for the country due to its factor driven (labor arbitrage) pattern of growth. Even during the high-growth years between 2004 and 2009 – Indias historical best in terms of growth – only a million jobs were created in the entire five-year period when more than a million jobs were needed each year, as per a study conducted by the Planning Commission.
So, the Indian economy has a structural reason for its lack of a job-creating capacity. The country needs to enhance its competitiveness, that is its productivity levels, to overcome such a limitation. A promising way to achieve such a boost in competitiveness is to work upon the innovative capacity of the economy. Both US and China have become economic superpowers by working along similar lines.
The by-products of the innovation-building efforts by these countries justify the idea of driving competitiveness by itself. The combined market cap of the three-largest IT companies from the US – Apple, Microsoft and Amazon – equal India’s GDP as a whole. In the case of China, the market cap of its largest company, Alibaba, equals 20 percent of India’s GDP.
Such comparisons show why India needs to transform itself from a factor driven to an innovation-led economy. If the country can develop a competitive advantage over other nations through innovation, it becomes difficult to be upstaged by another economy on the world stage. But India’s innovation policies have a series of challenges that it needs to address first.
The first issue that India needs to work upon is the strengthening of its industry-academia linkages. Universities are seen as hubs of research and innovation around the world. There are two specific roles that universities are intended to play – knowledge creation and knowledge transfer. In India, the latter is often overlooked. Even if the process of knowledge creation is fulfilled albeit with issues of quality, the mechanism of knowledge transfer between universities themselves and with industry is quite limited. There are a few issues which arise due to such lack of linkages.
First, as universities work on the same issues in isolation without consulting and collaborating with one another, they fail to create crucial synergy effects that impede the flow of knowledge and ideas. Second, the Indian education system is hardly industry-oriented due to lack of interaction between the two. As a result, the industry has to invest in months of intensive training for freshly hired graduates. This adds to their operational costs and proves inimical to the ease of doing business within the country. The government can possibly address this issue by providing a platform for collaboration between industry and academia that would foster greater knowledge creation and dissemination.
A structural reason for the lack of proper linkages between industry and academia is the creation of a conflict of interest between the two when it comes to collaborating on innovation. Hardly a few universities have an IPR policy. There is, therefore, a lack of clarity on who owns the IP and how information will be shared between the different parties. Thus, such grey areas make the industry hesitant to collaborate with universities.
The second challenge in India’s approach towards innovation arises from its low investment in research and development. India’s R&D expenditure is low not only compared to the mature economies but also compared to emerging economies. India invests 0.67 per cent of GDP in R&D while mature economies like US, Japan etc invest around 3 per cent of their GDP. It is more worrisome that this has consistently fallen in the last decade after reaching a peak of about 0.86 in 2008. The impact of this low investment in research and development is quite evident in the lack of world class R&D infrastructure facilities in India.
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The third challenge lies in the country’s IP regime. The two main aspects of India’s IP Regime that are at the core of conflict between the government and the industry are: Section 3(d) of the Patents (Amendment) Act of 2005 and the propensity to grant compulsory licenses. Most of these issues primarily pertain to the Indian pharmaceutical industry but they are a serious challenge, nonetheless. Section 3(d) is mainly criticised for setting a higher standard for patentability than mandated by TRIPS. The industry is of the view that the additional requirement of enhanced efficacy by India discourages incremental innovation and impacts the foreign investment. The government, however, maintains the stand that it is TRIPS compliant. Compulsory licensing gives rights to the Controller to suspend patent privileges in cases where the best interests of their citizens are at stake or there is a wilful exploitation of patent privileges by the patentee. The industry claims that lack of clarity from the government is keeping many firms out of India. However, the government holds the view that the country has used this privilege just once in the past. In such a case it is important for the Indian government and the industry to chalk out a plan of action that will be beneficial for both the innovators as well as the general public.
The challenges facing the Indian economy to become innovation-led do not end there. There are further issues which need to be ironed out with time, but these would be a good place to kickstart that journey. Innovation begets competitiveness and competitiveness begets jobs. And the latter is the thorniest issue facing the economy and the new government as of today. (IANS)
By Siddhi Jain
The author who named the book after her twin sons -- Puhor and Niyor -- is a parent who has seen and heard the tales of ridicule and discrimination suffered by many in India and beyond. She says the book is an artistic illustration for kids that details how different families can live and coexist. Whether it's children with two dads or two moms, children with a single dad or single mom, and even multiracial family units, Borthakur's book teaches love, understanding, and compassion towards unconventional families.
Beyond race, gender, color, and ethnicity which have formed the bases for discrimination since the beginning of time, this book aims to bring to light a largely ignored issue. For so long, single parents have been treated like a taboo without any attempt to understand their situations; no one really cares how or why one's marriage ended but just wants to treat single parents as villains simply for choosing happiness and loving their children.
Homosexual parents, a relatively new family system, is another form that has suffered hate and discrimination for many years. Pritisha emphasizes the need to understand that diversity in people and family is what makes the world beautiful and colourful. 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race, and even differences in background
'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race and even differences in background. | Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash
Written for a global audience, the book is targeted at kids between the ages of five and 10, the reason it is embellished with colourful images of families of different types is to appeal to children's sense of sight and drive home the message at the same time. Borthakur believes children are the best place to start because the ages between five and 10 are the most formative, where little ones pick up habits, beliefs and perceptions.
The Guwahati-born author says, "With this book, I'm not trying to take away the job of parents in forming habits, I simply want to do my part as a parent. It is important that we impart the right values in our kids in a bid to build a better, more inclusive and tolerant global society that is fair to everyone." The author's first attempt at a book was an Assamese poetry 'Anubhav', published in 2010.
Set to be published under the label of Author's Channel, the book is like an adventure; a journey into uncharted territories, untouched subjects and matters long ignored. In her words. "The book takes a critical stand in defense of people in society who have had to undergo severe emotional torture for no cause of theirs. It is a terrible conception to think such people any less of a human just for being different," says publisher Aruna Naidu. By September 30, this title, priced at Rs 299, will be available online and in offline bookstores. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Book, children, Guwahati, Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories, moral, story, kids, discrimination, equality
If you feel that clean and well-groomed hands are just an essential prerequisite for women, you might like to think twice. Men should equally pay attention to their hands because our hand houses 1,500 bacteria living on each square centimeter of its skin. You can easily assume what havoc it can create in our body because in India we have the culture of eating with our hands and spaces beneath nails can become breeding heaven for germs. Moreover, clean and maintained hands boost confidence in their daily life activities. Therefore, it's important to keep your hands clean irrespective of your gender by washing or sanitizing at regular intervals. And, to keep them groomed, you don't have to visit a salon.
Rajesh U Pandya, Managing Director, KAI India, gives easy and completely doable tips to follow at home:
* Refrain from harsh soaps: You should be mindful of the soap you are using to wash your hands. Your soap can have a moisturizing element in it like aloe vera or shea butter. Ensure that you're washing your hands with normal water as hot water can make your hand's skin dry and scaly.
You should be mindful of the soap you are using to wash your hands. | Photo by Aurélia Dubois on Unsplash
* Clip your nails regularly: Make use of your personal nail clipper to cut your nails. After cutting your nails at a comfortable length also file them using a nail filer. Never share your nail care clipper as the germs can get transferred to your loved ones. Also, don't forget to use grime remover to remove hidden germs in corners and beneath nails. Also, you may like to file your nails to have a smooth finish.
* Good quality Nail Clipper: Do not use a rusted or chromium coated nail clipper as it might be harmful to skin and might cause dangerous bacterial infections.
* Stop the habit of nail chewing: Sometimes anxiety or extreme boredom can lead to chewing of nails. This habit only makes your nails uneven and ugly. Sometimes, our unclean nail folds give rise to viral, bacterial or fungal infections, which in turn can make us sick if we chew our nails.
Make use of your personal nail clipper to cut your nails. | Pixabay
* Exfoliate your hands: Similar to the way you exfoliate your face; your hands also need it. It helps to keep the dry skin at bay and keep your hands soft. You can buy a scrub or make one at home using brown sugar and olive oil. After scrubbing, you need to massage your hands with moisturizer.
Similar to the way you exfoliate your face; your hands also need it. It helps to keep the dry skin at bay and keep your hands soft. | Wikipedia
* Don't use your nails as tools: Always keep in mind that your nails are like jewels. Never use them to pry things open such as pop cans, removing keys from the ring, opening letters, or scraping off labels. This results in unnecessary breakage of nails, making your hands look dirty.
Never use your nails to pry things open such as pop cans, removing keys from the ring, opening letters or scraping off labels. | Photo by Sammy Williams on Unsplash
* Be aware of nail or cuticle inflammation or redness: If there are any signs of infection, disinfect the skin as soon as possible with an anti-bacterial or anti-fungal ointment.
(Article originally written by N.Lothungbeni Humtsoe) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Nails, groom, hand, exfoliate, chew, nail clipper, bite, cuticle
Bitcoin has become an essential crypto asset in modern portfolios and investment funds. The confidence generated in this cryptocurrency will depend a lot on the diversification that companies make in their balance sheets in Bitcoin and the increase of institutional investors that allocate a percentage of their funds in this crypto. American fund manager Cathie Wood makes some interesting predictions, both in the rise that the Bitcoin price will experience in the next 5 years, suggesting these institutional investors allocate 5% of their funds; this will help leverage the Bitcoin market.
Bitcoin will grow by a tenfold
Bitcoin is projected to grow by 10 times its current value in five years, i.e., it could reach $500,000. Of course, this will require companies to invest in cryptocurrencies. This makes it necessary to increase the weight of Bitcoin on balance sheets through investments. One of the investment gurus who supports this prediction is Catherine Wood. Contrarily, Ray Dalio, despite being clear that relying on cash is not a good strategy, views Bitcoin with suspicion, although he calls for its investment. This behavior is due to the actions of governments against the cryptocurrency market.
If something is undoubted is the vertiginous increase that cryptocurrencies have had in general, they have risen more than 60% so far this year. So, even when some governments are trying to regulate cryptocurrencies, they will fail. This attempt to regulate will end up triggering even more cryptos, especially Bitcoin, which is the oldest and most solid of that market.
Bitcoin, is the oldest and most solid of the market. | Photo by Executium on Unsplash
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The current Bitcoin price means is time to buy:
The current price of bitcoin invites you to buy, and perhaps it would be foolhardy not to. In either case, bitcoin will always represent money. Maybe some external factors generate some misgivings, but if you refuse to invest in cryptocurrencies, you are basically denying the near future, it would be as if you didn't have a cell phone or internet.
In India, more and more people are becoming convinced of the benefits of holding some Bitcoin. This can be clearly seen in the rapid increase in the number of new accounts at crypto exchanges such as WazirX and CoinDCX.
ALSO READ: How can you trade in Bitcoin in India?
Bitcoin, despite its fluctuations, represents an excellent financial strategy. The support users give is significant. The same cannot be said of the FIAT currencies, which have lost value and support, showing how fragile they are, being subjected to a constant devaluation. As long as confidence in cryptos grows, the foundations will continue to be laid to maintain their rise and to be able to continue making transactions. We know this by previous experience, as has happened with Ether, thanks mainly to the growing activity of Defi and NFT, i.e. decentralized finance and non-fungible tokens.
Remember that when you invest in Bitcoin, you can do it by buying or trading. When you want to make these transactions do it in a secure Exchange, study your finances to invest, manage the risk, and learn to manage your portfolio efficiently.