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Religious acceptance is a thing of past, can India replenish it?

India needs a transformation in its education system to fulfill this challenge

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Black and white student clasping hands Image: Wikimedia Commons
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The fact can’t be ignored that today India is one of the fastest growing democracies in the world but it has failed to create a working environment where people can “work together and live together”. The manpower planning experts and economists are happy to project India as a young emerging democracy and showcase demographic dividend. But what is left unachieved is the scope to avail these opportunities, generate professionals who are strong, competent as well as ethically powerful. Instead, the young generation is pushed today, to work at places where neither the society nor the system is accepting change. The reason why ancient India underwent globalization was its culture and values and most importantly its belief in the unity of all religions and individuals. Their respect towards diverse languages and Gods. But today, when the intermingling of cultures and religions is gaining momentum, many Western societies are finding it difficult to overcome the turmoil of religious acceptance which drives them towards global insecurity. Thus, escalating the growth of more deadly weapons of devastation.

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The world is fast undergoing an erosion of human and democratic values. And those who are getting majorly affected are, of course, human beings and economies. The only ray of hope that is visible is global education. Well, it isn’t too easy; the process of universal education is also laying down challenges before the policy makers. There is insufficiency in providing education which will help in the manifestation of a human being towards perfection. It makes every Indian proud about how the world expects Indian to take a lead in this process.

In this era of globalization which is marked by materialism, India does need to transform its education system. It calls for India to mold its education system into one which respects cultural diversity and accepts it as a gift of God. We need instauration rather than merely following the western framework. It is often wondered why India did not do so at the time of Independence which was the perfect opportunity.

 “We must know that every race is part of the global man. Every race establishes itself by giving an account of what it is innovating to gift to, or help man, all over the universe. When any race loses the vigour to innovate, it exists as a load, like a paralytic body part of that huge man. Indeed, there is no glory in only existing.”Rabindranath Tagore, Swadesh Swaraj

Perhaps those who mattered the most that time were already impressed by the western models rather than noticing the intellectual achievements of the Indian society much before the others.  They were the Hindus. The past achievements, heritage, and history of India is surely a thing of pride for every Indian irrespective of his cast. It is acknowledged all around the world but unfortunately ignored in India itself that Hindus have the heart to welcome all other faiths , help them construct their religious places and let them follow their  religion at par with others.

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The most important feature of the Hindu civilization was its diversity and the acceptance to move with time. The most sanctified task today for the Hindus is to transform its education system to prepare men and women who are equal, work equal and stand equal.

—by Shubhi Mangla, an intern at Newsgram and a student of Journalism in New Delhi. Twitter @shubhi_mangla

Reference:—http://www.newindianexpress.com/

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Religious acceptance is one of the biggest fears in India. People should understand that differentiating others with respect to religion is not what people with moral values do, instead considering them simply humans like everybody is what a person with great values would do

  • Aparna Gupta

    I believe that this will require lots of efforts but it is not impossible. Religious acceptance is required for peace and harmony.

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Religious acceptance is one of the biggest fears in India. People should understand that differentiating others with respect to religion is not what people with moral values do, instead considering them simply humans like everybody is what a person with great values would do

  • Aparna Gupta

    I believe that this will require lots of efforts but it is not impossible. Religious acceptance is required for peace and harmony.

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How telecom has become driver of economic change in India

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The country's hyper-competitive telecom sector has led the revolution from the front.
The country's hyper-competitive telecom sector has led the revolution from the front. Wikimedia Commons
  • India has done well to stay ahead of the curve in the technological revolution
  • The sectoral change in productivity has been the highest in the telecommunications sector since the reforms of 1991
  • India has managed to provide the cheapest telephony services around the world

For the most part of human history, the change was glacial in pace. It was quite safe to assume that the world at the time of your death would look pretty much similar to the one at the time of your birth. That is no longer the case, and the pace of change seems to be growing exponentially. Futurist Ray Kurzweil put it succinctly when he wrote in 2001: “We won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century – it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today’s rate).” Since the time of his writing, a lot has changed, especially with the advent of the internet.

India has done well to stay ahead of the curve in the technological revolution. The country’s hyper-competitive telecom sector has led the revolution from the front. In fact, according to Reserve Bank of India data, the sectoral change in productivity has been the highest in the telecommunications sector since the reforms of 1991, growing by over 10 percent. On the other hand, no other sector has had a productivity growth of above five percent during the same period. It is no wonder that it has also been one of the fastest-growing sectors of the Indian economy, growing at over seven percent in the last decade itself.

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Such an unprecedented pace of growth has been brought about the precise levels of change that Kurzweil was so enthusiastic about. Today’s smartphones have the power of computers that took an entire room in the 1990s, and the telecom sector has had to keep up with a provision of commensurate internet speeds and services. Meanwhile, India has managed to provide the cheapest telephony services around the world, which has hit rock bottom after the entry of Reliance Jio. This has ensured access to those even at the bottom of the pyramid.

A rise in internet penetration has distinct positive effects on economic growth of a country.
A rise in internet penetration has distinct positive effects on economic growth of a country. Wikimedia Commons

Even though consumers have come to be accustomed to fast-paced changes within the telecom sector, the entry of Jio altered the face of the industry like never before by changing the very basis of competition. Data became the focal point of competition for an industry that derived over 75 percent of its revenue from voice. It was quite obvious that there would be immediate economic effects due to it. Now that we’re nearing a year of Jio’s paid operations, during which time it has even become profitable, we saw it fit to quantify its socio-economic impact on the country. Three broad takeaways need to be highlighted.

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First, the most evident effect has been the rise in affordability of calling and data services. Voice services have become practically costless while data prices have dropped from an average of Rs 152 per GB to lower than Rs 10 per GB. Such a drastic reduction in data prices has not only brought the internet within the reach of a larger proportion of the Indian population but has also allowed newer segments of society to use and experience it for the first time. Since the monthly saving of an average internet user came out to be Rs 142 per month (taking a conservative estimate that the consumer is still using 1 GB of data each month) and there are about 350 million mobile internet users in the country (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India data), the yearly financial savings for the entire country comes out to be Rs 60,000 crore.

To put things in perspective, this amount is more than four times the entire GDP of Bhutan. Therefore, mere savings by the consumer on data has been at astonishing proportions.

Today's smartphones have the power of computers that took an entire room in the 1990s, and the telecom sector has had to keep up with a provision of commensurate internet speeds and services. Wikimedia Commons
Today’s smartphones have the power of computers that took an entire room in the 1990s, and the telecom sector has had to keep up with a provision of commensurate internet speeds and services. Wikimedia Commons

Now, this data has been used for services that have brought to life a thriving app economy within the country. So, the second level of impact has been in the redressal of a variety of consumer needs — ranging from education, health and entertainment to banking. For instance, students in remote areas can now access online courseware and small businesses can access newer markets. Information asymmetry has been considerably reduced.

Third, a rise in internet penetration has distinct positive effects on economic growth of a country. These effects arise not merely from the creation of an internet economy, but also due to the synergy effects it generates. Information becomes more accessible and communication a lot easier. Businesses find it easier to operate and access consumers. Labour working in cities has to make less frequent trips home and becomes more productive as a result. Education and health services become available in inaccessible locations. Multiple avenues open up for knowledge and skill enhancement.

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An econometric analysis for the Indian economy showed that the 15 percent increase in internet penetration due to Jio and the spill-over effects it creates will raise the per capita levels of the country’s GDP by 5.85 percent, provided all else remains constant.

Thus, India’s telecom sector will continue to drive the economy forward, at least in the short run, and hopefully catapult India into 20,000 years of progress within this century, as Kurzweil postulated. The best approach for the state would be to ensure the environment of unfettered competition within the industry. Maybe other sectors of the economy ought to take a leaf out of the telecom growth story. The Indian banking sector comes to mind. However, that is a topic for another day. (IANS)

(Amit Kapoor is Chair, Institute for Competitiveness, India. He can be contacted at Amit. Kapoor@competitiveness.in and tweets @kautiliya. Chirag Yadav, a senior researcher at the institute, has contributed to the article.)