It’s the second most populated country on Earth, has the seventh biggest economy, has one of the 10 biggest military budgets in the world, and is a nuclear power. However, India is a stranger in political terms.
If I asked you who was the Prime Minister of India, could you tell me? Now, I am aware that many of you will know, especially if you are reading this from India… But, if you don’t, don’t worry, that happens a lot.
It was clear: boost growth, investment, and create millions of jobs. In conclusion, turn India in a superpower capable of competing with China on an economic, military and political level.
Now India is something of an eternal promise. It’s always the country which seems to be the next to take off… but never really seems to take off.
We can see that with a quick look at India and China’s GDP and its development in the last decades…
So, with Modi´s victory, expectations were high again, and India once again has become the talk of the town. Modi himself repeats over and over again that the 21st Century will be India´s century.
But let’s first take a quick look at Modi himself.
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WHO IS NARENDRA MODI?
Vegetarian, single, and a Yoga enthusiast: Modi escapes the traditional politician profile. He comes from a family of limited means and he used to help his father sell tea on a train station when he was a child. This has helped him to earn the sympathy of many poor people in the country, who see him as an example that “rags to riches” in India does sometimes work.
His political ideology has always been very attached to Hinduism, but not always with a moderate approach. In fact, before getting involved with the BJP party, he was part of RSS, an extreme the right-wing political party who had Nathuram Godse as a member, Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin.
For 13 years, between 2001 and 2014, Modi was the regional Prime Minister in the State of Gujarat. Gujarat, with its 65 million inhabitants, has become, under Modi’s leadership, India’s economic driver with an average annual growth of more than 10%.
Alongside these impressive figures, social welfare has also improved. Almost every home has access to plumbing, electricity, and pre-school education. While the General election was taking place, Modi promised to replicate Gujarat´s success through the rest of India.
Furthermore, he promised to do it in 10 years – just two political terms. That is because, for Modi, 2022 is key: the 75th anniversary of India’s independence. The country will also surpass China as the most populated, with more than 1600 million people and, according to Modi, it will become clear that this is India’s Century.
But it will not be easy: India is a country whose population is growing by 28 inhabitants every minute.
INDIA’S BIG TROUBLES
India has several problems, but three stand out as particularly important:
1: India is bureaucrat’s paradise.
In fact, if that were to be the key to prosperity, India would probably be the wealthiest country in the world. Unfortunately, bureaucracy, instead of encouraging business, prevents it to the Doing Business Report of the World Bank, which estimates how easy it is to do business, India occupies the 130th position.
John Kerry’s statement:
India’s bureaucracy could compromise the economic success of the country.
Each step on the way to opening a business requires tons of documents and the taxes are not only high (even though very few pay them) they are absolute hell to work out. For example, there are not only different taxes in each state, but sometimes there are different taxes for each product or for different models of the same product (as happens with vehicles).
It really is a crazy system.
Further, absenteeism among public workers is so high that there have been situations critical enough to close hospitals because workers did not show up.
2: The regulations in the market as so complex that it is almost unable to function.
On the borders between states, trucks full of goods have to stand in endless queues. Not few say it is easier to import that to buy inside the country. The devastating condition of the country’s infrastructure does not help either.
Further, as a consequence of this, it is estimated that half the harvest goes to waste before even arriving at the country’s markets.
3: Corruption is quite common in Indian society.
As an example, 50% of all aid provided by the government to families and the poor end up in hands of corrupt politicians and middlemen.
This is the country that Modi has to deal with.
THE NEW GOVERNMENT’S POLICIES
The revolution some have suggested has not taken place. However, the truth is the new government has achieved some advances.
We could highlight the following:
- In order to reduce bureaucracy, the government has created a committee with the purpose of determining which rules and regulations are obsolete and need to be eliminated. So far they have done away with more than 1700.
- Modi has also eliminated many restrictions on foreign investment, and has passed the first bankruptcy law, and has set up a powerful plan to promote India as a business destination.
- They have started an ambitious plan to achieve better financial inclusion. This plan has a pretty unpronounceable name I’m just going to show on the screen. It has already allowed for 200 million people to have a bank account for the first time. This way, government subsidies won’t have to go through middlemen anymore.
- The government is considering the implementation of a flat rate tax on sales at a national level to end the chaos of the current tax system.
- Modi has further announced an important investment in infrastructure – $130 billion will be spent by 2020 on just a railway network
But his most risky move was announced in November 2016.
INDIA’S CASH CRISIS
In order to fight corruption, the government made 500 and 1000 rupee notes illegal, which represented more than 85% of all the ‘hard cash’ in India, a country where almost all the payments are made in cash.
The goal was to find dirty money and punish its owners when they went to change it for the new design notes. However, the plan has been a total disaster: the government didn’t have enough notes to change for the old ones and the countries ATMs weren’t even working properly because new notes had different sizes.
This was a botched operation which left the country moneyless, creating significant damage to its economy. Sales fell in November by more than 30%. Many businesses weren’t able to pay their workers and many business transactions had to be canceled.
Some studies estimate the damage to be at least two points of the country’s GDP. That would mean the banknote switch cost India almost $50 billion. Needless to say, it is the poorest citizens who have suffered the most. The government even tried to justify and disguise the mess under the premise of it being part of a plan to encourage the use of electronic money…
FOREIGN POLICY AGENDA
Now, this is the field where the Prime Minister has really excelled. In his first year alone, he visited 19 countries. Despite the fact that he has only been in power for a short amount of time, he has achieved some notable advances: the Pakistan treaty has improved the India/Pakistan relationship, and a relationship with China has started dealing with some economic and commercial issues.
However, without any doubt, the greatest strength of Modi’s political agenda has been his approach to the US. The chemistry between Obama and Modi has been quite significant and their encounters have been frequent and friendly. They both even published an article together in the Washington Post.
What we need to ask now is: Will Modi reach his goals? They certainly are challenging. It has been made clear to the Prime Minister how tricky it is to put limits on bureaucracy.
Further, Modi has avoided many essential reforms, such as ending India’s labor regulation, which is to blame for the fact that 4 out 5 jobs in India are on the grey market. Modi claims to be an admirer of Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore´s ex-prime minister, but Modi does not seem to have the same determination to transform India’s appalling model.
So, that’s our opinion, but what do you think? Do you think the 21st Century will be India’s century?
If you enjoyed this article, then comment down below and share your thoughts about INDIA and Narendra Modi.
Todays News: Facebook’s Internet Satellite, iPhone users may face Problem
Let’s head towards today’s news headlines.
US provides military help to Ukraine
US Defense Department has announced that they will be providing $200 million worth military assistance to Ukraine. They also added that the aid will include, training, equipment, and advisory help to Ukraine to help them make their defense capable enough.
Soldier’s body found after 50 years
After fifty years of AN-12 aircraft of Indian Air Force being crashed, which carried 102 soldiers on board, in Himachal Pradesh’s Lahaul Valley. And under a mountaineering expedition, the body of one of the soldier was found and it is expected that rest will also be in that region only. This aircraft was flying from Himachal Pradesh to Leg on February 7, 1968.
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Rs. 100 crore needed for ATMs
After Reserve Bank of India announced that they will be circulating new Rs. 100 note, the industry operating ATMs said that investment of Rs. 100 crore is needed for recalibration of 2.4 lakh ATM machines present all over India making them ready to Despenser the new note. Managing Director of Hitachi Payment s Service said that it will require 12 months for this recalibration process.
Wipro to buy Alight’s India Operations
Wipro which is India’s fourth-biggest tech company which is planning to buy US-based company Alight’s India Operations for $117 million (Rs. 804 crores). The alight solution is a US-based company which provides cloud-based financing and HR solution to over 1400 clients. The company has four offices around India in Chennai, Mumbai, Noida, and Gurgaon with around 9,000 employees.
Facebook to build internet satellite
After SpaceX, Facebook is here confirming that they are working on a satellite namely Athena which looks forward to providing broadband internet connection in the rural areas. Previously, Facebook’s internet satellite for Africa was lost when one of the rockets of SpaceX got blasted.
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iPhone users may face problems from telecoms
TRAI has warned Apple to allow the installation of app knowns as Do not Disturb launched by TRAI within a period of six months in order to face the problem of unsolicited commercial communication. TRAI further added that, if they do not allow the app, the users will be not be recognized by the telecom provider and will face problems. The Do Not Disturb app by TRAI is already present on play store.
Let BJP head 2019 elections first says Mamta
After the Narendra Modi’s statement on Congress President Rahul Gandhi that he should now prepare for a no-confidence moment in 2024. On this West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee says that You should first try winning 2019 election and then talk of the no-confidence moment of 2024. She also commented on the win of the no-confidence moment in Parliament and said that this victory was inside the Parliament but outside the case is different.
Our Daily News Series: DAY IN SHORT
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Todays News: WhatsApp on Fake News, $100 Billion sales of Microsost
Wait for today’s big headlines is over. Without any delay… Let’s start.
New Rs. 100 note to be issued
The Reserve Bank of India has announced that they will be soon circulating the new Rs. 100 denomination notes which will be of lavender color. This new notes which will have the motif of Gujarat’s archeological site named ‘Rani ni vav’ on the reverse which will be showing the culture of India. The dimensions for this note will be 66 mm by 142 mm.
Search YouTube videos by hashtags
Google-owned one of the most used video sharing site will now have a feature which will allow users to search using hashtags. This hashtags will be in the description titles and on clicking them, videos related to the hashtags will be shown. This feature is only available in Android and on the web.
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NTPC to take Rs. 1,500 crore loan
NTPC which is one of the largest producers to power in India has signed to take an Rs. 1500 crore loan from HDFC bank for the term of 15 years. It is said that this loan will be used in financing the capital expenditure of the NTPC.
WhatsApp gave the second notice
After a lot of lynching through the rumors and fake news transmitted through WhatsApp, the government has drafted a second notice to WhatsApp asking to provide better solutions to stop the propagation of fake news. As they can even face legal actions in case of mute spectators.
WhatsApp to limit message forwarding
After the government providing second notice on to find a solution for stopping propagation of fake news, WhatsApp is planning to limit the message forwarding to 5 users at a time which can become a good solution. And they are also planning to remove the forward shortcut button which is available against all the media messages.
Rs. 1484 crore spent on Modi’s foreign visits
We all know Modi is traveling many counties from the year 2014, and till now he has traveled to 84 countries and these trips have coated Rs. 1484 crore which includes spending on charter flights, maintenance of the aircraft and hotline service. This figure does not include the hotline service charged of the year 2017-18 and also do not include the charted flight costs of the year 2018-19. Amongst the cost given above, Rs. 1088 crore was spent on the aircraft maintenance only.
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WhatsApp to design course for Indians
After the increase in the incidents related to the fake news propagation through WhatsApp, WhatsApp with the help of a few partners is planning to design a course for Indians which help the users to spot the fake news. And to face this issue, earlier Whatsapp has also given a full page guideline in the newspaper regarding the ways of spotting the fake news.
Microsoft crosses $100 billion sales
It has been a magnificent year for Microsoft as they are able to surpass the milestone of $100 billion sales for the first time in their history of 43 years. Major sales of the Microsoft co sisted of the cloud services which recorded a revenue of $23 billion over the year.
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NASA observes planet being consumed
For the first time in history, NASA is being able to see the parent star consuming it’s planet’s debris from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory of NASA. This parent star is around 450 light years far from earth and has started consuming the debris which is filled by a planet collision.
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Welcome to another Day in Short (todays news) (18 July 18′) article, to read the big headlines of the day.
One plus 6 Lava Red edition comes to India
After the huge success of Oneplus 6, they are back with another special edition in which the new Oneplus 6 will be available in Lava Red color variant having the specs as of the 8GB RAM and 256GB internal memory which will be priced at Rs. 39,999. Sales for this special edition smartphone has already started. Oneplus’s new Bullet wireless earphones are on sale.
Father not allowed to break ambulance window
In Chathhisgarh’s Raipur, a father was not allowed to break the window of an ambulance in order to save his baby from suffocation when the doors malfunctioned. The personnel present over their warned them of the damaging of state property. Service providing institute said that the baby was already dead before the doors of the ambulance malfunctioned.
Ex-CM Akhilesh Yadav helps accident victims
Ex-Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav helped victims of a road accident whose car was overturned in order to save the life of an animal on the Agra-Lucknow Express Highway. He provided his convey vehicle to take the victims to the hospital. After this incident, he tweeted saying to do something to not allow animals to roam on the express highway.
Instagram to come up with a new feature
Instagram, one of the most used photos sharing apps, is testing out a new feature which will the public account holders to remove the followers they do not want with their notice. The spokesperson also added that the user who is being removed will not be notified. Before this, Instagram has also introduced a feature called ‘Mute’ which allowed to hide stories and post for the muted users.
Uber CEO on IPO
Uber CEO, Dara Khosrowashi says, that it is not necessary for Uber to be profitable before they plan to go public later this year. He says they are more focused on bringing the positive flow of cash rather being profitable.
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Artificial Intelligence lab to be set up by Grab
Grab with the help of the National University of Singapore is going to invest $6 million in setting up an artificial intelligence lab which will help in improving efficiency and utilization of vehicles on the platform. They also added that this lab will help in congestion in the Southeast Asian cities.
Dwayne is the highest paid actor
Dwayne Johnson is ranked first in the list of world’s highest paid actor list by Forbes by earning $124 million (Rs. 850 crores) in last 12 months. This earning is the highest in the past 20 years of the Forbes world’s highest paid actor list. For Dwayne, it is just the double of his last year’s earning which was $65 million.
Pilot killed in fighter jet crash
In Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, a MiG-21 aircraft of Indian Air Force got crashed in which one pilot got killed. The jet had taken off from Pathankot, Punjab and got crashed around 1:20 pm in a village which is 70 km from the Dharamshala. In June, there was a similar crash of a jet in Gujarat.
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Elon Musk not to develop AI based weapons
After Google pledging on not to make weapons which are made with built-in AI technology, here is Elon Musk saying that Tesla and SpaceX will not be making any lethal autonomous weapons which can target without human interaction.
$1mn grant for environmental issues by Microsoft
Microsoft has announced that they will be providing $1 million for Earth Innovation Grant in partnership with National Geographic. In this 5 to 15 projects will be selected which will be helping to solve environmental issues and will be funded by Microsoft and will be allowed to use the Microsoft cloud service for their AI based development. The projects selected will mainly focus on agriculture, water, biodiversity conservation.
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