There are two aspects to the news- knowing the headline and understanding the intricacies of it. We at The Connectere focus on both. While The First Forum edition gives a brief about the headlines, The Weekly Analysis Edition is meant to educate the reader on what do various news mean and what are their intricacies. This initiative is meant to educate the reader on how to understand the important news. In the Eighteenth Edition we are covering the following news:
1. PM pitches ease of doing business to foreign firms
2. How India could revive two birds in one stroke?
3. Impact of Trump’s decision on universities and foreign students
4. Analysing world-equality after the financial crisis on the basis of income
5. The Killing of Vikas Dubey

(Written by Gunika Vij, Shitij Goyal, and Aashika Deb)

Make in India

PM pitches ease of doing business to foreign firms

Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a pitch at the India Global Week virtual conference for a large size global manufacturing, seeking investments in diverse fields such as defence, logistics and space. He also promised the investors structural reforms to make India an easier place to operate and invest in for foreign companies.

As India is one of the most open economies of the world, India is paving an easy way for the foreign companies to invest in Indian ventures and also start new avenues to come and establish their presence in this fast-developing economy. PM believes that very few countries offer the kind of opportunity that India does today.

The long term aim is to make India the centre of the global supply chain. This comes in sequence to the new era of geopolitical tensions between the US and China and hence making their dependence now on the world’s fifth-largest economy i.e India. India has been promising a stable and predictable regulatory regime and offering incentives, particularly in high-tech areas, to get more foreign enterprises to relocate to India from China.

The agricultural reforms that India has made in the last decade provide a very lucrative investment opportunity in storage and logistics. There are also relaxed FDI norms to invest in one of the world’s biggest militaries i.e the Indian defence sector.

In the past also, India has faced successfully every challenge, be it social or economic and the same force continues now. One hand, the government is fighting a strong battle against the coronavirus and there is not only an increased focus on people’s health but the focus is also equally on the health of the economy.

PM also mentioned the Atma Nirbhar campaign and said the call for being self-reliant is not for closing the economy to global perspectives but it’s about becoming self-sustaining and self-generating. The government is looking forward to pursuing policies that promote efficiency, equity and resilience.

How India could revive two birds in one stroke

Airlines have been searching for survival around the world since the COVID epidemic halted flights and the need for adequate air travel. In India, even though airline passengers are allowed to continue certain services, their occupancy levels are reported to be at least halfway through the highways of traffic to about three-quarters of the aircraft connecting hard-to-reach areas in the world. According to OAG, a UK-based tourism data provider, there were 1.3 million seats this week, half the number that was last week. Since post-lockdown revenues fail to take off, now that early passengers arrive home, some flights are looking for unusual ways to attract attention. Earlier this week, Tata-Singapore Airlines merger Vistara started by offering the opportunity to buy an adjoining vacant seat to keep vacant seats in its flights. IndiGo and SpiceJet may start selling empty middle seats at “powerful” discounts to attract those who are worried about flying too closely with strangers.

Onboard distancing should ideally have been mandated by the Indian air traffic controller body. It would be in line with the government’s advice on public safety. As the demand for the remaining domestic market is now evident, however, amendments are likely to be made. This can be done in a way that achieves two objectives in a single shot. Instead of intervening to enforce a reduced traffic law, you should open the seats in the middle of all the domestic planes to fill in the blanks. This will serve as the cause of a safe flight while serving as a cash transfer package for airlines. Most of these managers had been hit by bad weather even before they met with the April and March transfers, which is a stage where they had to deal with fixed costs without revenue as their operation stopped by government order. Like all businesses that are forced to close, they deserve compensation.

There are two good reasons. First, air travel is considered an important support service across the economy. Like telecom, fast communication allows economic growth. For another, it is a market for whose survival and prosperity the government bears extra responsibility. Since the aircraft uses public services – airways, airport infrastructure, etc. New carriers cannot enter quickly to replace those that arise through the breakeven levels. Also, its dependence on state activity is particularly high. This means that the sector deserves special attention. Today, even the departure of a single airline can hurt competition. An oligopoly could take hold. Let aviation not succumb to neglect.

Impact of Trump’s decision on universities and foreign students

Among a myriad of unfortunate events, came a new blow and this time to international students studying in the US. On July 6, 2020, the Trump administration announced that international students at U.S. universities “operating entirely online may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States,” and also active students currently in the US enrolled in such programs must depart the country or transfer to a school with in-person instruction otherwise they may face immigration consequences.

Amid the pandemic, many universities had decided to shift to online classes on grounds of health safety. This decision has sent shockwaves through the universities. What losses are these universities looking at? International students make up around 5.5% of the total US higher education population therefore it is understandable that they not only contribute heavily to universities’ purses but also to the US economy itself.

The STEM fields in universities could see sharp fall in the number of students since a number of foreign students in Math and Computer Science programmes had grown 9.4%, surpassing Business and Management to become the second-largest field of study and now there is uncertainty. International students are big business for US universities. On average, international students pay around 2-3 times the regular tuition at public universities.

A huge factor contributing to the popularity of studying in big universities in the US is the whole experience and exposure to different cultures from around the world. Diversity enriches learning environment in classrooms and contributes to research, particularly in science and engineering. Online classes by the same universities will certainly let the process of education flow as smoothly as possible but the real-time experience of mixing with people from different cultures and braving the world will be lost but it’s not just the international students who will experience this loss.

Since foreign students are the biggest source of revenue for these universities, in case they pull out of the US ecosystem, then more than 50% of the US colleges will not be able to sustain themselves financially. Furthermore, such hostile policies could further dissuade prospective foreign students from applying to the US; this will lead to US universities losing talent and other countries like Canada, Germany, UK, France etc may gain.

In order to keep these students from getting deported universities would have to start at least some in-person classes, which is essentially making the foreign students choose between health and deportation. Some students hail from countries, where there are either not the required resources or their talents are not appreciated; going back would mean, for them, a waste of all the money spent on quality education. The policy also forces some students to leave who are here and safe, even if the country they are going to has a Covid-19 outbreak or closed borders. These universities offer support here for students who have nowhere to go.

This decision along with the ban on H1-B visas makes it seem like the Trump administration is doing everything it can to stop all immigration to the US. However, Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology sued the Trump administration on Wednesday over the policy, requesting a temporary restraining order to pause its implementation. Harvard has said it will offer classes only online this fall, while MIT plans a hybrid. Several other universities had joined the suit by late Wednesday.

Analysing world-equality after the financial crisis on the basis of income

In the 20 years before the financial crisis, global income growth largely benefitted two groups: the middle classes of emerging markets, such as China, and the ultra-rich around the world. Meanwhile, the middle and lower classes of Western Europe and North America saw their incomes stagnate.

The dramatic rise in earnings of the top 1%, seen in these 20 years, has since been blamed for the return of populism and protectionism and resulted in calls for radical policies such as sweeping wealth taxes.

During the 2008-2013 period, global income inequality actually declined – while the middle classes of the developing world continued to close the gap with the West, the ultra-rich across the globe saw a significant slowdown in income growth. The world’s Gini coefficient, a measure of inequality, fell from 66.4 to 61.6 in just five years since the Great Recession, taking into account differences in purchasing power across countries.

Asia’s economies powered ahead as Europe and the US stagnated, narrowing the gap between the Asian and Western middle classes. This trend was already visible in the world before the financial crisis. Yet left-leaning politicians and academics in Europe and the US preferred to see that the very rich had done much better than the Western middle classes.

Between 2008 and 2013, if we consider the global purchasing power differences, the top 1% of earners saw an increase in income per capita of about 6%, those around the top 90th percentile saw gains of about 15% and those around the middle saw gains of about 60%.

It is possible that while global inequality fell, individual countries became more unequal. However, the overall Gini coefficient remained broadly stable between 2008 and 2013 in around 60% of the countries while the remaining 40% were split between those that saw a decrease in inequality and those that saw it rise.

In India, the years after the Great Recession favored the super-rich, conversely, in the US most of the population saw their incomes rise by 5% but the top earners saw a reduction of about 5%. The paper that this data comes from does not look at wealth inequality, and one can still argue that although inequality overall has declined, it remains far too high and requires radical solutions.

The Killing of Vikas Dubey

Just the other day a gangster or a rather ’60 pending cases against him’ gangster, that entered into a gunfight with the UP Police killing 8 of their men, was caught in Madhya Pradesh’s Mahakal Mandir by the police with the help of a local vendor who recognized him. This was the good part of the news, the part you read about in the paper, and feel safe and glad about the fact that the police and law enforcement authorities are doing a good job. Now, coming to the rather shocking part, where the criminal after having been caught by the police dies, no he did not kill himself nor was he sentenced yet, he tried to run away in a police car and the car tripped and he died in this fatal accident.

The story being circulated seems a little clichéd, does it not? Cinematic rather. After reading or rather listening to the press belabor for what seemed like the entire day, there was a deluge of questions that beset me. Criminals and other people who disobey the law should be punished and the innocent public must be brought to justice. The point, however, is that this person has committed some major felonies, has 60 cases pending against him, but the police was never that insisted on finding him or bringing him to justice, it was only when he killed those police officers that they pulled their socks up and went around practically through 2 states to get hold of this guy. He had killed people before but the police did not follow this guy to catch him, do the lives of innocent citizens who do not hold a position in the government or the enforcement authorities or are not politically important not matter?

The police say that he tried to run away, how is it to run away from the police after being caught? A similar thing happened during the Hyderabad rape case. And even if it makes the public happy it is not the right thing to do, the right thing to do is for the court and judicial system to decide the kind of punishment the man deserves for the crimes he committed, which is fair and square. It is important people like him get caught and are put through the judicial process, it is important to know the kind of political backing they receive and whether or not our leaders or other influential people might be involved in supporting such criminals.

When the police take the law into their own hands and go a step further from just enforcing the law, it is the beginning of a police state, where the police control and supervise the citizen’s rights and lives. Any demand of probity and accountability in police and military is often contested on the supposed ground that it emerges from support for criminals, terrorists, or enemies of the state by influential political and public figures. There is no question that crimes such as those Dubey was involved in must be met with exemplary punishment. The process of establishing guilt and executing punishment is not an incidental part of justice, but its integral soul. A fair and transparent trial cannot be dispensed with in order to satisfy cries for vengeance. Social sanction of instant justice by state agents might have leached into institutions that are mandated to enforce the rule of law. Goading the police on to deliver instant justice, or even tolerating such behavior, creates an atmosphere of impunity that could lead to the murder of innocent people as happened with the custodial deaths in Tamil Nadu. Support for such killings by the police will not make a society more just. Mob justice is no justice at all. When law enforcers short-circuit the due process, the damage to state institutions is severe and long-lasting.

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