Sunday September 23, 2018

Modi’s five E’s mantra

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Mysuru: The 103rd Indian Science Congress (ISC) began here today with Prime Minister Narendra Modi giving a new mantra comprising five Es for scientists’ enquiry and engineering.

“The impact of science will be the most when scientists and technologists will keep the principles of what I call Five Es at the centre of their enquiry and engineering,” Modi told a galaxy of distinguished scientists, Nobel laureates and hundreds of students.

The five Es Modi listed are Economy, Environment, Energy, Empathy and Equity.

“Economy is when we find cost effective and efficient solutions, environment when our carbon footprint is the lightest and its impact on ecology is least possible, energy when our prosperity relies less on energy and energy we use keeps sky blue and earth green,” Modi said in his inaugural address of the five-day annual event.

Explaining the other two Es, the prime minister said empathy would be when efforts are in tune with one’s culture, circumstance and social challenges.

“Equity is when science advances inclusive development and improves the welfare of the weakest,” Modi said at the semi-circular amphitheatre in the sprawling Mansagangotri campus of the University of Mysore, about 140 km from the state capital and science and technology hub Bengaluru.

Besides Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala, state Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, union Minister for Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan and renowned scientist CNR Rao, honoured with the country’s highest civilian award Bharat Ratna, were present on the occasion. (IANS)

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The Answer to The Impending Questions On Demonetization Are Here

While it did broaden the country’s tax base, it was a nightmare for the immense, cash-dependent informal economy.

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Indian Currency. Pixabay

Nearly all of the currency removed from circulation in a surprise 2016 attempt to root out illegal hoards of cash came back into the financial system, Resever Bank of India  has announced, indicating the move did little to slow the underground economy.

Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi’s currency decree, which was designed to destroy the value of billions of dollars in untaxed cash stockpiles, caused an economic slowdown and months of financial chaos for tens of millions of people or demonetization.

Modi announced in a November 2016 TV address that all 500-rupee and 1,000-rupee notes, then worth about $7.50 and $15, would be withdrawn immediately from circulation. The banned notes could be deposited into bank accounts but the government also said it would investigate deposits over 250,000 rupees, or about $3,700. The government eventually released new currency notes worth 500 and 2,000 rupees.

 

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An activist of Congress party hold the banned 500 and 1000 rupee notes.

 

In theory, the decree meant corrupt politicians and businesspeople would suddenly find themselves sitting on billions of dollars in worthless currency, known here as “black money.”

“A few people are spreading corruption for their own benefit,” Modi said in the surprise nighttime speech announcement of the order. “There is a time when you realize that you have to bring some change in society, and this is our time.”

But even as the decree caused turmoil for those in India who have always depended on cash — the poor and middle class, and millions of small traders — the rich found ways around the currency switch. In the months after the decree, businesspeople said that even large amounts of banned currency notes could be traded on the black market, though middlemen charged heavy fees.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with mayor, flickr

The reserve bank of India report said in its Wednesday report that 99.3 percent of the $217 billion in notes withdrawn from circulation had come back into the economy. Some officials had originally predicted that number could be as low as 60 percent.

Also Read: Diverse Gathering To Be Addressed This World BioFuel Day: PM Narendra Modi

“Frankly, I think demonetization was a mistake,” said Gurcharan Das, a writer and the former head of Proctor & Gamble in India. He said that while it did broaden the country’s tax base, it was a nightmare for the immense, cash-dependent informal economy.

“You can’t overnight change that in a country which is poor and illiterate. Therefore, for me it’s not only an economic failure but a moral failure as well,” Das said. (VOA)

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