THE Students Federation of India(SFI), through a press statement released on June 2 has responded to the proposed draft National Education Policy released by the HRD ministry. It has opposed the idea of the imposition of three-language formula from primary level of school education. The SFI does not stand as pro or anti to any language as the multi-linguistic nature of India should always be exercised and celebrated. The SFI has stated that it wants the government to step forward to preserve and care for each and every regional language to celebrate the linguistic diversity of India.
UNDER the pressure of long struggles of working peoples’ organisations for the right to work including the All India Agricultural Workers Union(AIAWU), the UPA-I government which came to power with the Left support, brought in a National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005. This was later renamed as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).
AMONG the series of schemes launched (or repackaged) by the Modi led NDA government, one of the most toxic is the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY). Its purpose is to provide crop insurance to farmers, that is, if the crop fails due to some non-preventable reason like weather calamity etc, then the farmers will be compensated for this loss. The principle is sound – the government should take care of such losses which are very common in India since cultivation is largely dependent on monsoon rains.
HERE is a little known but chilling fact about the rural job guarantee scheme (MGNREGS): between April and mid-December this year, about 1.28 crore people who demanded jobs were turned back. This refusal to give work has been happening every year but it has increased after the Modi government came to power and it has already hit a record high with over three months still left in this financial year.
THE new economic policy initiated by the Narsimha Rao government in 1991 has widened the gap between the rich and the poor manifold. The liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation policies have hit the basic services like health, education hard and made them highly expensive. The successive governments at the centre led by the Congress and the BJP have been boasting about the demographic dividends but both have betrayed the youth of the country by compelling them to work under temporary conditions.
THE latest product manufactured by the union government as a part of its Make in India campaign is the project of manufacturing data on the growth of jobs and enterprises. The trend was started by the prime minister himself in his much publicised interview in the Swarajya magazine. So what were the falsehoods perpetrated by Modi? First, it was said that 41 lakh formal jobs have been created between September 2017 and April 2018.
THE new India, Modi’s India is increasingly looking alien. A bizarre spectacle appears to have hit the country like a tornado. The lynching of people in the name of cow protection by private armies with adequate ideological bluster had dotted a bloody trail across the length and breadth. Armed with the new tools of social media, of photoshopping, fake news, whatsapp forwards lynch mobs can now be actually organised. The obnoxious culture of aggressive trolling has further sharpened the effectiveness of aggressive hate mongering through spread of rumor and hearsay.
THE rhetoric of ‘crusade against corruption’ now stands exposed. Prime Minister Modi’s lieutenant Amit Shah admitted it as much. The Rs 15 lakh bonanza from the black money stashed in foreign bank accounts will never reach. Shah accepted that this was unadulterated jumla. From demonetisation to digitalisation and the GST; these dramatic initiatives were pitched as grand narrative against corruption. But this cleansing operation is empty hoax. All the extinguished currency has safely returned to the financial system. Counterfeits are microscopically small.
THE mandarins of the economic establishment in the capital have gone ballistic. Euphoria is in the air. From the SEBI chairman to the Niti Ayog chief, all were ecstatic. Even Shakti Pada Das, the former ministry of economic affairs secretary who had only last year, vociferously protested against the Moody’s rating methodology, accepted the upgrade by the same agency with a rider; this ought to have been done earlier!
THE quadrilateral alliance between the United States, Japan, Australia and India is once again taking shape. During the recent ASEAN Summit in Manila, on the sidelines, a meeting of officials of the four countries was held. Later, during the course of the Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held meetings separately with the leaders of the four countries.