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Start-ups will accelerate Entrepreneurship: Rajeev Chandrasekhar

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New Delhi: India’s recent priority on start-ups will accelerate entrepreneurship to create jobs and help in changing the country’s demographic dividend, which may prove to be a competitive advantage in the global economy, Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrasekhar has said.

“This focus on start-ups is important in many different ways – as an alternate to big corporate India’s lack of investments into the economy, as a way of catalysing entrepreneurship to create jobs, and as a way of tapping the demographic dividend of India as a competitive advantage in the global economy,” Chandrasekhar said here on Friday evening at an interactive session on Net neutrality and start-ups.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ‘Start-up India, Stand-up India’ action plan last week.

Chandrasekhar said start-ups in India have had two traditional significant obstacles. The corruption  and second the destructive power of big corporates in India who through their political power and influence, can stop dead a start-up if it attempts to compete with them.

“I have experienced both first hands, and so, can testify to the power of both to disrupt the best start-ups. It is this that makes most start-ups focus on the tech sector because of the minimal influence of government and corporate into that space,” Chandrasekhar said.

“But it’s necessary for our policy makers to address these issues with deeper structural reforms that broadens the start-up India appeal to non-tech sectors,” he added.

He said the open nature of the Internet has spurred innovation and enabled startups to flourish. “The success of Google, Facebook or of several Indian startups, including those founded by the below signatories to this letter, is a result of the open nature of the Internet that permitted innovation without any entry barriers.”

But he slammed the Telco’s, saying telecom firms that control access to the Internet will try and creep and acquire control on parts of the Internet to gain part of that value.

“But in contrast, a start-up needs unfettered access to the Internet, without Telco’s controlling and gatekeeping access to parts of the Internet in an anti-competitive manner.”

“If government policy permitted this, it would in a sense negate all the pluses accruing from the start-up India action plan announced by the government, as start-ups would have to pay the Telco’s an ‘access fee’ or get into some commercial arrangement whereby they pay the Telco to get ‘preferential access’ to their web content over others,” he added.(IANS)

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Jaipur Literature Festival Takes A Questionable Stand On The #MeToo Movement

JLF's fast spreading presence in the international arena, calls for a more substantial stand on its part, as far as #MeToo is concerned.

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The hushed whispers are getting louder. Flickr

After several star speakers of the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival, including C.P. Surendran, Suhel Seth and Chetan Bhagat, among others, have been accused of sexually harassing multiple women, on the sidelines of the popular lit fest, the organisers, in a cautiously worded one-sentence tweet on Thursday, have supported the rising tide of the #MeToo campaign in India — but questions still remain.

“The ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival unequivocally stands by the women who have courageously spoken out for equity and dignity and is committed to supporting and amplifying their voices,” the official handle of the JLF said in a tweet on Thursday.

The statement came two days after a petition was started on www.change.org by writer-editor Rajni George, asking its organisers to support the #MeToo India and stand up “against sexual harassment”.

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Jaipur Literature Festival

“We write today regarding the serious and credible allegations of sexual harassment made recently against a number of men in and around the literary world, as part of the MeToo movement in India.

“We, the undersigned, are dismayed, saddened and angered by these accounts. We admire the work that the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) undertakes. As India’s largest and most recognised literature festival, we believe JLF is ideally placed to take the lead in addressing this urgent issue,” George’s petition said.

JLF’s response in the one-line tweet is general, and does not specifically mention whether any of the allegations that have now surfaced were earlier brought to the notice of the organisers.

It also does not make it clear whether the doors of the festival will remain closed for the accused in its future editions, or not. It further makes no comment whatsoever on several instances that are said to have taken place on the sidelines of the annual event.

#MeToo
Sanjoy K. Roy, with writers Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple as co-directors, has been instrumental in bringing societal issues to the fore.

Notably, many of the accused have featured in prominent sessions at what is described as the “greatest literary show on Earth”, and, in many instances, the festival has been instrumental in increasing their popularity as well as readership.

On its part, JLF, produced by Teamwork Arts, headed by Sanjoy K. Roy, and with writers Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple as co-directors, has been instrumental in bringing societal issues to the fore. In fact, the 2018 edition of the festival in January this year had come to a close with a hard-hitting debate on #MeToo, long before the campaign gained momentum in India.

Also Read: Watch Jaipur Literature Festival Live On Twitter

Many in the literary circles feel the benchmark that JLF has itself set over the course of its journey, its coming of age and gradual but distinct shift from controversies to substance in the recent years, its fast spreading presence in the international arena, calls for a more substantial stand on its part, as far as #MeToo is concerned. (IANS)