Marvel’s Agent Carter: What to expect

S.H.I.E.L.D is coming back

Now, we all know that Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is coming back for a second season, but what we don’t know is that it’s not coming alone. Yes, you heard that right! Joining it will be Marvel One-Shot, which is now being converted into a full-fledged series, Agent Carter.

Last time, during the mid-season break of S.H.I.E.L.D, the series filled that space with reruns and specials. But this time the plan is different. The show will be temporarily substituted by Agent Carter, the spin off from the well-regarded Marvel One-Shot.

Set in the aftermath of WWII, the series is based around Captain America’s onetime love-interest Agent Peggy Carter, played by Hayley Atwell.

While production details are being held to a minimum (it’s rumored that a more detailed reveal will happen at SDCC), as a hypothetical Agent Carter represents the most (theoretically) positive use of Marvel Studio’s “universe”-oriented franchise concept: It’s hard to imagine any modern TV network giving the go-ahead to a period adventure/scifi/spy drama about a female secret agent facing both the fantastical challenges of comic-book villainy and the all-too-real challenges of postwar sexism. “So it’s 24 but starring my grandma? I dunno… we were thinkin’ maybe like a singing contest with a panel of judges? Maybe one of them used to be famous?”) …but the fact that it is “set in the world of The Avengers” changes-up the calculation. And the fact that Peggy Carter and Howard Stark founded S.H.I.E.L.D is just icing on the cake.

On the other hand, the series could also benefit from being (temporally, at least) significantly less tied to the ever-changing events of the Marvel Universe features. One of the major criticisms for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D was that the first half of the series spent a lot of time developing the premises, sometimes even jogging the storyline, pace wise. Though the issue, ultimately, resolved itself when it became clear that it was strategic and was done to hold back on key points and specific plot points until the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Though being set approximately 60-70 years before the (known) events of the present-day Marvel Universe, Agent Carter is much less likely to face that particular issue, there is fact that character portrayal might be difficult. For one of the most important events of the contemporary U.S. history took place at that time: The Women’s Rights and Civil Rights movements. Usually thought to have arisen in the 60s as a backlash against 50s conformity and paranoia – actually have their roots in the immediate postwar late-40s. Something we caught a glimpse in Marvel One Shot. This being said, we hope that the series producers portray Peggy as a character and not a symbol.

And, in the meantime, if we were to catch a glimpse or two of Howard Stark, it would be a added bonus.

And lets not forget the fact that with Agent Carter, Marvel will launch, by default, it’s first female hero-heroine to headline her own franchise in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Sure, there is news of Alias: Jessica Jones to be in pre-production as one of the four Defenders limited-series for Netflix is making rounds and, sometime in the future, Marvel might also announce Black Widow or Ms. Marvel solo features at Comic-Con. But even then, Agent Carter is still going to hit the air first – and also before DC’s yet-unconfirmed Wonder Woman!

So, all in all, it is a pretty big deal.

 

Ankita Sharma

(This post is taken from B Town)

Atheist or Not ?

The originating philosophy of Hinduism is “we all are god’s (Brahm’s) child and we all possess that same divine energy”. Now if we don’t consider this belief at all and look at a very practical example ; Fire always ignites in the upward direction and not downwards because its source (Sun) is situated upwards.

Similarly for water which never flows upwards because of the very same reason i.e. , it originates from the earth. The point in trying to make is, “Every single person or object possesses or inherits the same qualities as its originating source or parent”. Now even if you don’t consider that God (Brahma) as your parent or doesn’t believe in him, you should understand the fact that if we all aren’t originated from a same source then “Why is the ultimate goal of each one of us is happiness and joy ?”

No matter the ways and means are different but what are they for ? What’s the one thing we want in the end, happiness ? An alcoholic drinks because he thinks that’s giving him joy similarly for a person who is studying hard for getting a good job, starting his own family and all of that. For what ?

Satisfaction?

Happiness?

So the thing I want to convey here is we all have that same inherent purpose in us, though the means may be different. So from that you should understand that no one can be an atheist

Kushagra Dubey

(This post has been taken from The Speaking Tree)

Maybe

Maybe

Its maybe the moons, Its maybe the stars

Its maybe the love, Its maybe the wars.

Its maybe the charm, Its maybe the scars

Its maybe the quest, Its maybe the reward.

Its certainly the God that outshines after all.

Kushagra Dubey

(This post has been taken from The Speaking Tree)

Top Best Spot For Eateries In Delhi

Restaurant is basically a business which serves you your favorite dishes. Either you want to eat something or peckish that hits just the right spot to try something like delicious local cuisine.

1.Khan chacha’s kebab, Khan Market:- The owner’s name Khan Abdul Jabbar Khan has been ranked as the most expensive restaurant in India. It is famous for food like kebab rolls, mutton seekh kebab , paneer tikka ,mutton tikka rumali roll ,chicken tikka rumali rolls , only from Salim’s kebab it is located at the heart of city .

2.Karim’s, Jama Masjid, New Delhi:- It is famous for its mutton korma, chicken curry, chicken jhangiri, nargisi kofta & brain curry. It serves only non-veg. Dine is available. Its single bite can take you to the heaven. Its a worth going place its one of the side of Delhi which is hidden from many years, if you are searching for the real meat it is the true place.

3.Moti Mahal:- Moti mahal has invented for it some of the popular Indian tandoor dishes such as Butter chicken & dal makhni as well. This restaurant is currently located in Daryaganj area of Old Delhi. These all famous dishes are served with variety of Indian breads like naan.

4.Chori bizarre:- Moti mahal is famous for its invention of some of the best tradition Kashmiri cuisine. The restraunt showcase a decorum which may show the tradition of medieval period of India. Basically people like their lamb based dishes more.

5.Chandini Chowk street food:- Chandini chowk is also called food capital of India, it is famous for its street food. There are hundreds of variety in snacks, specially chaat. The Chandini Chowk street is full halvais, paratthewallah & namkeenwallah. TheParathewali gali adds feather to cap, it is on top of the list of Chandini Chowk’s street. It is the narrow street there which sells paratha & fried Indian breads. It is that much famous, even in the Bombay some of the restaurants tried copying the Delhi’s famous lane. The food is quite old fashioned but it is pure vegetarian these dishes don’t include garlic & onion. Varieties include stuffing of kaju, badam, matar, rabri, khoya, gobhi, parat, mint, chilly, dry fruit, khurchan, banana, karela, lady finger & tomato.
These served with some special chutney such as mint chutney, sweet tamarind, mixed veggie pickle, paneer & potato curry & sauteed mash of pumpkin.
Chaat is the real flavor of Delhi which lies in it. The real chaat is a mixture of small chopped pieces of potato, dahi bhalla, crispy fried bread, tangy salty spices & gram. The mixture is adorn or garnished with homemade sour Indian chilly & imli chutney or saunth, fresh leaves of coriander & yoghurt. Papdi chutney includes kachaalu chutney, saunth & khataa papdi.
They also offer the pao bhaaji & aloo tikki, fruit chaat, rabdi faluda in the flavour of kesar, pista, rose, kewra, banana, mango & pomegranate.

6.Freeze Lounge:- Freeze lounge is designed by the ice box & it is an Indian chain of ice bar. It is reconstructed in every six months. It is famous for its Chinese, continental, Italian, Lebanese, Mexican & north Indian cuisine.

Srishty Kanojia

(This post is taken from Easy Recipe)

Andhra Pradesh is the worst state in India for women

Andhra Pradesh recorded 32,809 cases of crime against women in 2013 followed by 32,546 cases in Uttar Pradesh.

Andhra Pradesh recorded 32,809 cases of crime against women in 2013 followed by 32,546 cases in Uttar Pradesh.

Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh are the worst states in India for women, with 32,809 and 32,546 reported incidents of crime against women, respectively, in 2013, according to the

National Crime Records Bureau. Nagaland, at 67 cases, is the safest state. photo
In 2012 too, Nagaland reported the lowest number of crimes against women, and West Bengal the highest.
Rachel Ratan
(This is taken from HT Mint)

7% growth is not an unrealistic proposition: Subir Gokarn

Subir Gokarn says India’s challenge is to get its domestic drivers back on track right now. Photo: Mint

Subir Gokarn says India’s challenge is to get its domestic drivers back on track right now. Photo: Mint

New Delhi: In a conversation between Mint’s editor R. Sukumar and Subir Gokarn, former deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India, at the BRIDGE BRIEFINGS held at Bridge School of Management last week, Gokarn talked about the factors that could trigger the next spurt in economic growth. Edited excerpts:

Sukumar: Do we have any good things going? We have obviously seen a situation where a new government has come in and there has been a lot of euphoria. Are there any positive signs that you see?
Gokarn: It is a crossroads moment for India. Where we are today resembles where we were in 1991. In 1991, there was a do-or-die compulsion. Though the government did not have a majority and there was a political balancing act that had to be carried out, because the crisis was so visible, it was so vivid, that didn’t matter. Getting a consensus wasn’t too difficult. This time around, getting a consensus might be difficult, but it’s offset by the fact that the government doesn’t have to worry about political compromises because it has a majority.
So, I think that is a very positive sign. The second thing that is quite important is the move towards administrative streamlining. You cannot be endlessly debating issues when somebody has to act. There has got to be closure. And from my experience with the previous government, both from inside and observing it from the outside, we had a very weak closure mechanism; the ability of anyone in the system to veto decisions was unchecked and unchallenged. So, you could actually stall proposals till they became irrelevant.
So, this announcement that there is going to be a 15-day limit on inter-ministerial consultations, I think, is absolutely critical and fundamental in changing that orientation. I hope that it’s enforced with great rigour because I think that is going to change things very dramatically. Also, I think the recognition that some flexibility in the labour arrangement and labour regulations is necessary. It is not going to solve the problem entirely, but it is necessary to get the ball rolling. Without it, all other solutions would have ended up being very marginal.
So, Rajasthan is setting up a very important precedent in two ways: one, it is actually carrying out the reform, or proposing to carry out the reform; two, it is testing the federal arrangement by absolving the central government of going through the hoops of making this reform. And if it does that successfully, then every state will start to see this as an opportunity.And I think it will be a cascading sort of thing.
Sukumar: The interesting thing is the states have become pretty competitive.
Gokarn: They have, and these are states which have created some basic infrastructure, some basic industrial eco-system for the industry. The labour reforms will attract enormous amount of SME (small and medium enterprises) activity into a cluster.
So, I think these are some positive signs we are seeing right off the bat.
Sukumar: I am going to go back to what you said about the 1991 crisis-like situation right now. I think in 1991, everyone sort of just realized that there was a crisis. Even the public, right? Because sending gold out of the country, which was a very, very symbolic sort of thing, especially to a country like India, where people pay so much emphasis on gold. Do you think there is a similar realization of how close we are to the chasm right now?
Gokarn: Well, I don’t think the situation is in that direct sense comparable. I don’t think it is a matter of falling over the precipice the way that we were, two weeks worth of imports and foreign reserves and so on. But people’s benchmarks have changed. In 1991, if you ask people about growth rates and so on, it wouldn’t figure in anybody’s consciousness.
Sukumar: So it wouldn’t look bad.
Gokarn: Yes, it wouldn’t look bad, nobody would say that we are worse off. But, you know, the fact is, a foreign exchange crisis or a food crisis are much more vivid. Today, the benchmark is much more focused on growth particularly because we have sustained a period of close to 9%; whether it was sustainable, or not, is a separate issue.
The psychology is, we did it then, why can’t we do it now? So, for a government, the criteria, the yardstick, has now become ‘you are only as good as your last two years in office’ and that is a very, very powerful stimulus.
So, if this government is learning that lesson, that nobody gives a damn about what happens in the first few years—the UPA’s first five years had 9% growth—then this government is going to be very conscious that if they do not undertake policies that will push the growth rate up over a five-year period, they will be struggling at the end of those five years, to justify their re-election.
So, I think the benchmarks have changed, the indicators have changed, and that is very positive.
Sukumar: So, in the first term of the UPA, the economy grew at over 9% thanks to which their entire 10-year average looked pretty good. What went right for India in that period?
Gokarn: A number of factors. Firstly, there was a huge global tailwind, the average rate of growth in the global economy in that five-year period was twice what it has been in the subsequent five-year period. So, that was a powerful force.
India was globalizing, was integrating much better. A lot of the indicators that have deteriorated now were actually very strong then. We had a very good fiscal position, improving consistently over that period, because of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, because of the much-improved tax administration, because of the introduction of service tax which was a very important balancing factor in terms of the fiscal burden or tax burden, rupee and the balance of payments looking extremely positive… Three out of those five years, we had a current account surplus, because of the contribution of the IT sector.
The rupee was appreciating because we had a lot of capital flows. And investment picked up because public and private investment complemented each other. The key trigger was the highway programme. There is no better demonstration of network externalities than a highway system. So, every highway stretch that was built generated opportunities that other private investors were taking advantage of.
So, I think highway is a very powerful stimulus. Inflation was low because oil prices were moderate. And then, we had the one-off benefits: huge dividends from telecom. The expansion of the telecom network was phenomenal and unprecedented, and all of us saw a huge impact on our productivity as a result of mobility. And if you want to recapture these forces, I think the macro is recaptureable.
The structural problem needs very coordinated efforts, the food infrastructure and employment. And then, there is the one-off technology shock that can come from anywhere. I don’t know where it’s going to come from, but it could come from somewhere.
Sukumar: But the global environment doesn’t look particularly good.
Gokarn: I think firstly, compared to two or three years ago, it is certainly less threatening, except for the recent developments in Iraq. That’s an unknown and I have no way of predicting how that is going to play out. It has not impacted oil prices—a little bit of uptick, but not very significant.
I think the reason for that is that everybody who is in conflict is very conscious of the significance of oil. Iraq is the second largest oil producer, oil exporter, and nobody wants to lose that, but these things have a way of spiralling, so we don’t quite know how it’s going to play out.
So, that’s a risk that’s looming. But, otherwise, the US had a contraction in the first quarter, but it has been on a relatively steady recovery path. Europe has stabilized and the risks that it posed three years ago are no longer visible. Japan is trying to stimulate, and China is stabilizing.
So, I don’t think the global environment is that great a threat right now, though it may not be as hospitable, as motivating as it was before the crisis. Our challenge is to get our domestic drivers back on track right now.
Sukumar: Do you think we should be worried about the monsoon?
Gokarn: I think we should. I have studied the monsoon extensively in my various capacities, and essentially the rainfall pattern in each month is not correlated. So, if we have a bad June, it doesn’t mean we are going to have a bad July. The key months will be July and August.
So, if we don’t see any resumption by middle of July, a lot of the sowing will not take place. This has significant inflationary implications. We still have a couple of weeks to go before we can take a call on whether it is bad or good. The June weakness is 45% below normal and it is a problem because the ground water gets depleted and the reservoirs get depleted. That will have some spillovers.
Sukumar: What this also means is that the government’s priorities sort of change?
Gokarn: Firefighting is obviously going to take precedence. You will tend to shift focus from structural issues to the immediate and that always comes at a cost.
Sukumar: You have seen this government now at work for about 30 days. There has been this clear establishment of at least some sort of decision-making protocol, which was entirely absent when the UPA was there. So what’s your sense? Do you think the current government will go out and do some of the tough things, given that it has come in with a lot of expectations from people, especially in terms of jobs? How soon before we start seeing the results? Because, while they may improve sentiments, a lot of things will take time to kick in.
Gokarn: Well, I think you have a menu of choices here. There are some things that will pay off quite quickly. I think, for example, a budget which sends a clear signal on tax reforms and on some subsidy capping, larger commitments to capex. Obviously, the outcome will play out over time, but it’s the commitment that is important.
On some of these other issues like food procurement, we have already seen an increase in the procurement price of rice. It’s very modest, it’s like 1.6% compared to aggregate of about close to 90% over the last five years. But it doesn’t suggest that there is a rethink on the whole incentive system.
So, we need to wait and watch as to how that’s going to play out. It will be more difficult if the monsoon is bad. Farmers’ livelihood security becomes more of a concern than the fiscal problems. So, that is something to wait and watch.
But on the other issues, when I look back at 1998 or 1999 to 2000, the highway and the telecom, to me, were the trigger—the two things that I think what really pushed that growth spurt. And everything else followed in a virtuous circle. So, we need something to do that here. Where is it going to come from? It will come from public investments, it’s going to come from all these backlogs of all the clearances.
Sukumar: If they do at least some of these things that we have been talking about, do you think we could see a 7% growth say in two-three years from now?
Gokarn: I think so. I think in a three-year horizon, a 7% growth is not an unreasonable expectation, provided that all of these cylinders start to fire. A growth rate of 8.5-9% was achieved in a very favourable global environment, which is not there.
So, I think we have to shave some of that expectation off. We are going to be dealing with energy prices that are in relative terms significantly higher than they were in that high growth phase. So, we will have to take that into account. So, there are some headwinds which will constrain that acceleration, but with enough things being done, 7% growth is not an unrealistic proposition.
Sukumar: Where will the jobs come from? Because the services boom which was there through the 2000s is sort of slowing a bit.
Gokarn: I have been very pessimistic about emulating a kind of China or East Asia strategy of manufacturing-led employment. Primarily because the nature of manufacturing has changed dramatically over the past 20 years. This blue-collar workforce… mass production kind of model… is completely in danger of being obsolete.
Now, one way to look at it is, it is still in play as long as the cost structure remains competitive—if your wages are correct and your mass manufacturing labour-intensive operations are still commercially viable or competitive. Then one channel of growth is going to come from migration from China because of its losing competitiveness in many activities.
But even in soft manufacturing, it has become very much more automated now. You keep seeing headlines in newspapers where software engineers are being replaced by algorithms. So, we have to be very realistic about the sustainability of an employment process. We should be focusing on what sort of activity is going to absorb the most number of people, what sort of skill sets does this imply, what sort of geographic pattern does it imply. Where should these things be located—can you move millions of people from the eastern part of the country to the west or the south?
I think those are the deeper set of questions that this strategy has to address. But I think it’s going to be extremely challenging. I think the job challenge perhaps, in my view, is the most challenging.
Sukumar: Are you long on India or are you short on India?
Gokarn: I think that the virtual certainty that we typically do right things when sort of faced with a crisis—this has been a recurrent pattern. It is not something that is confined to 1991. Right through the mid-60s, the Green Revolution, for example, was a great example, of when pushed to the wall how the system was able to get its act together. It, of course, literally sowed the seeds of future crisis, but that is true of any solution.
So, I don’t doubt that even if we get all our things together now, five or 10 years later, we will be having the same debate. And the reason is that we are moving from one set of constraints to another set of constraints. So, every time you have a good run, you hit the next set that much quicker, you don’t have a reaction time, and because you haven’t had the capacity to think about what those constraints are. I used to have this complaint.
I was on the board of a public sector bank and also Reserve Bank of India and when I looked at HR policies, I got the impression that they were always training somebody for the job that they are just about to be transferred out of. And that is a guarantee of obsolescence because you are never putting a person who has trained for that job into that job. And I think that is a kind of anticipation, or forward looking dynamic, that is very important both at the organizational and national level. And I don’t think we have ever had it. We are always actually training ourselves for the job that we are about to exit. So, that is the danger, that is the negative. So, I will balance out these two things. The ability to act very appropriately and quickly in a crisis, but then the ability to also sink into a self-obsolescing kind of a mode when things are going well. That is the trend. So, long or short, I think, depends on horizon. If you give me a five-year horizon once a set of reforms have been put in place, I’d say very long. If you will say how we will jump over the next hurdle, then I will get a little nervous.
Rachel Ratan
(This was taken from HT Mint)

We want an honest, simplified budget: Panelists

(From left) Assistant professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University Himanshu and BJP leader Seshadri Chari at the Mint pre-budget event.

(From left) Assistant professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University Himanshu and BJP leader Seshadri Chari at the Mint pre-budget event.

New Delhi: In a discussion moderated by Mint editor R. Sukumar at Mint’s pre-budget event on 30 June, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Seshadri Chari; director National Institute of Public Finance and Policy Rathin Roy; assistant professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University Himanshu, and associate professor at National Institute of Urban Affairs Debolina Kundu talk about what the government can do in this budget to revive growth and generate jobs. Edited excepts:

Sukumar: The macro context in which this budget is being presented could not be worse. Can you give us some perspective as to how bad it is and your outlook?
Roy: Things are seriously bad, but we have been in far worse crises before. This is not 1991, this is not 1980, this is not 1969.
In India, 5% growth is now disappointing because our aspirations are much higher.
So we need to worry about growth. I think there are three problems with growth.
We have a fiscal deficit which needs to be brought down, but the trouble with fiscal deficit is not its volume, unless you are worried about the rating agencies—it is the fact that the Central government today borrows to consume.

That means that the government has stopped investing in hard infrastructure. It spends too little on human development and education and health as compared to others, but what we spend we spend badly. The investment hasn’t brought about the results in terms of a better educated and healthier workforce, better sanitation, better outcomes.

But the good news is that the states don’t. Indian states, with three exceptions—Punjab, Kerala and West Bengal—don’t borrow to consume. They run surpluses on the current account.
Inflation is high, but the causes can be eminently tackled if the government and the Reserve Bank of India work together. I think it’s a good sign that the new government and the Reserve Bank are also addressing the causes underlying inflation.

Sukumar: What do you think, given the ideology of your party, this government will do?
Chari: The situation is very bad. You know, to arrive at a proper frame of situation you will have to see the situation from say 2004-2005 to what we have come to.
Along with our economy, we have a parallel subsidy economy which is practically shooting at all the parameters of the original economy.
Food inflation, fuel inflation and no capital formation. No capital-based industry in the last 10 years except automobile and that, too, in only two states: Tamil Nadu and Gujarat.
If you see the sectoral growth also, it’s very poor.

You can imagine the task that has been cut out for us. To add to that, this is an interim budget, this is going to run for six to eight months. Post six-eight months, say 2015, what is the kind of debt that we have to address?
The foreign debt, the private equity fund that has gone out of this country in these last 10 years… no big-ticket investment had come from outside and no big-ticket investment has been done by the industries in this country inside… it has all gone out. So, it is a huge task with a number of problems heading out from various directions.
This budget will have to face three very important tasks: the first is controlling inflation, second is providing employment and the third is industrial growth. And if we come to sectors, you’ll have to keep in mind three important sectors: agriculture, infrastructure, industry.
There is very little elbow space for the finance minister and within the given elbow space if he is able to manoeuvre and go ahead and make a way forward for the next budget.
Please do not expect too much of correction from this budget: this budget cannot correct the anomalies of the last 10 years.
For 8-9% growth we have to have a systemic progression of budgets beginning from this year to almost five-six years. So, this is going to be a beginning. All that we can expect is that this should be a good beginning.
Sukumar: What do you think will be the focus and emphasis of this budget?
Kundu: There will be a focus on provision of basic services for the urban poor, like pakka housing, dwelling unit, water supply, sanitation and electricity to each person living in urban areas.
There is also some talk going on about provision of urban amenities in the rural areas. So, if that happens, then a lot could be achieved, not only in terms of provision of basic services, but also in terms of employment generation.
Because if we look at towns and cities, we do not find there has been a high rate of growth in the last three decades; the rate of urbanization has come down.
Since 1981, there has been a sharp decline from 3.8% to a present 2.76% of rate of urban growth. And we have about 2,532 new census towns being added, which are actually under the rural governments.
So, in order to boost our economy, it’s not important to provide basic services for the existing towns, but some statutory form of governance needs to be brought to these rural centres.

Sukumar: What kind of investments will result in jobs?
Himanshu: In the last two decades, there has been a focused approach on creating infrastructure in urban areas, but most of it has gone to the bigger towns, the metropolitan areas in that sense. After 2005, the rural areas have benefited a lot based on whatever kind of transfers you call it or whatever entitlement-based subsidies.
The one sector which has missed out is the middle team which is basically, as you call it, the rurban, the small towns.
Most of the employment-intensive manufacturing industries are coming in those places, but those are the ones which have been completely overlooked.
I mean look at what’s happened to the structure of employment. The challenge is not just that you have to create the employment for the people that are coming into the workforce, which is roughly 10-12 million, but also for the people that are moving out of agriculture. Because of the heavy spending in the rural areas, they have benefited a lot not only in terms of monetary income growth but poverty has also declined.
People have moved out of poverty in a big way. Wages have gone up the fastest ever if you take a long-term period of six-seven years in real terms, and this has fuelled some kind of expectations, aspirations, so you have to provide employment to the people that are coming out of the rural areas, exiting agriculture.
The problem here is that people moving from agriculture went into construction sector and construction sector was going through a boom and therefore people were getting into it. But that has come to an end now. Construction cannot absorb any more employment.
It has to come from small and medium enterprises. It has to be given credit support.
These are the ones who can create jobs, in manufacturing and these are the ones which can create what the government has been talking about in that sense of the next level of manufacturing.
Sukumar: What are the three things that you would like to see the government do in this budget?
Himanshu: I would like the government, for at least in the longer four-five year period, to focus more on taking care of the small and medium enterprises between the small villages to the big towns. There has to be hand-holding of the manufacturing sector, particularly the small and medium enterprises.
Inflation is something that also has to be the focus of this government.
My third point is that rural areas still continue to be an important driver whether in terms of inflation or the people who are moving out of agriculture, or in terms of your biggest sector which is consuming your aspirations. They have to be taken care of, whether in terms of providing support in agriculture or in terms of employment creation or in various other ways that you can think of.
Chari: My three ideas are one, we need a simplified tax structure at all levels. There are a number of reports available within the government and all you have to do is, take some of the good points out of all these suggestions that have been made over a period of say, 20-25 years. Two, increase investment in agriculture, research and development and agro products. Instead of giving tax concessions to farmers, it is better to make investment in agro business. That will solve some of the problems that we are facing as of today. Three, make a huge investment and provide enough for education, human resource development, especially the skill development part of it. These three things this budget should tackle.
Kundu: What I would look for in this budget is, there should be some allocation for small towns, small and medium towns and for the rural areas. Till now, it has been very large city-centric.
The smart city concept which is coming up is a good thing, but then we need to see how we create them and take it forward because of a lot of investment.
We have a large demographic dividend coming up because our young population is increasing and one-third of the unemployed are graduates. So skill development and some sort of employment, maybe self employment should be a focus area.
In terms of disparities between urban and rural areas, I think rural areas are much worse off, so there should be some employment generation scheme in rural areas as well.

Roy: Smaller government, more governance. How will the budget reflect it? We want two things: we want an honest budget and we want a simplified budget. Let us simplify the tax system.
There is an instrument in the budget which has been ignored systematically over the last 10 years: the medium-term expenditure framework. It is an opportunity for this government to say what it intends to do in the next three years.
I need to see commitments in reducing Central government expenditure. I believe that the Central government should not be meddling in the business of healthcare and education. Give that responsibility to the states, acknowledge that the Central government will be smaller, let the states get a better devolution—they manage the office better, anyway.
Finally, in terms of the fiscal deficit, provide a plan over the next three years on how you are going to reduce the fiscal deficit by reducing the revenue deficit. When you look at the statement of revenues forgone, there is a staggering number of concessions and allowances that are there.
So, I think together with a streamlined tax administration and structure, people are willing to accept fewer concessions and fewer exemptions. There is real money there and the finance minister can make a beginning to that very very commendable journey in this budget.

 

Rachel Ratan

(This was taken from HT Mint)

TURNING 25

25 is a wonder age for everyone. People consider it as a turning point in their life. There is a lot of pressure on the person to be settled, whether to be in a perfect job or planning about the future! Once you turn 25, you are considered to be mature and consider significant decisions in your lifetime.

25 matters because you are counted to be mature and more serious about your life and the move that you prepare to complete your dreams. As per legal terms, a person is considered to be an adult at the age of 18. But we recognize that even if we conceive a person of 18 years old to be an adult, the mindset is still of a teenager. The experience to handle the situation and to deal with the real problems is something that you learn with time. From getting into the college to start kneading for a firm, all these sorts of significant bits of life are experienced by the person in between the years of 18-25. Before 25 you can try almost everything that you want to do, because you are free…without any responsibility and get funds from parents. But once you get through your college you step into the real world where you have to face the challenge to discover yourself. And by 25, everyone, including your own self will look that you will see your rage and desires to get settled life. These are the things that make 25 is a mattering age.

IS THIS A MILESTONE AGE?

Yes, we can consider it is a milestone age. Because, as said above, we all expect that it should be the age where we all know what we actually want from life. Where we want to be, what we want to achieve, and most importantly, start taking the responsibility of our respective families. Once we cross this age, we try to make some important decision of life like having a perfect package for living or looking for a life partner or buying the house or own a car. High expectations will never come to an end.

Few things that we must experience before turning 25 are:

  • Travel around.
  • Find your true passion.
  • Get a job.
  • Fall in love.
  • Have failures to learn from.

In short, enjoy your life as much as you can, because it gets complicated with each passing day.

 

!!THE TIME IS HERE… SEIZE IT… LIVE IT!!

 

Kumari Anisha

They went to school….. And never came back

As 2014 neared its ending, it left the world with memories which aren’t worth remembering. 16th December 2014, will be marked as the ‘Black Day’ in the history of humankind.
9 members of the Tehrik-i-taliban Pakistan directed the deadliest terrorist attack at Army Public School in the city of Peshawar, killing hundreds of children and staff members while a large number of students were wounded.
Students were gunned down and teachers were burned alive. Some played dead, some hid behind the benches, while the others glutted their ties into their mouths to repress their screams, each one of them knowing that they’ll be shot gradually.
The children watched the outrageous blackout of their friends being shot terribly. Were these children at their school to experience something as heinous as that?
There’s no justification for this act of horror and cowardice. It was horrendous to attack small children while they were learning.

The slaughter of the innocent, angelic children repelled a country which was already zonked by the interminable terrorist attacks.
The Pakistani Taliban extremists attacked the children of the army families hoping that the government would ease the military offense against them but to their surprise, the attack came to bring along the opposite effect. Pakistan promised to take up a campaign that will ground zero the militants. They vowed to take account of each and every drop of their children’s blood and to raise a crest of brutality in response to the operation executed on their children. So, was this attack really needed? Did it bring any change or benefited anyone? Rather it raised the anguish and the longing of reprisal.

By the advent of dusk, funeral rituals of those small children were already held. The children who went to school in their uniforms in the morning, were in coffins by then.The place of wisdom in Pakistan, ripened into the home of panic and terror in seconds. The smallest caskets were the heaviest.
No words can describe the union of despair and agitation felt by people around the world by this cold blooded enormity.
Terrorism is the new religion. These fights will advance, there are no doubts about it. And, an increased number of innocent people will be killed in future as well because all I can see is an expanded count of cowards willing to worship this new sect.
Humanity died with those 141.

Arachika Kapoor