This is the time of year when Santa Claus is supposed to visit homes with gifts. It may disappoint many, but the belief persists. It’s a story to keep the kids entertained.
A character who I’m sure doesn’t look like Santa Claus – but no one knows who – has visited India throughout the coming year. He was an unwelcome visitor. He brought unwanted gifts. Count them:
Reach new heights
For households: Retail price inflation at 4.91 percent. Of which the inflation of fuels and light vehicles to 13.4 percent. Santa’s suggestion: Find a job that gives you a cost allowance and rent, and the employer pays the electricity and water bills.
For farmers: Freedom to lease land to businesses, freedom to borrow from businesses, freedom to sell products anywhere to businesses, and freedom to become a landless agricultural workforce. It is another story that the farmers turned down the generous offer.
For all producers and consumers: Wholesale price inflation at 14.23 percent. This means that almost all the prices are on the rise. If the price of one thing – goods or services – goes down, count yourself lucky because the prices of five other things would have gone up, which is why wholesale price inflation is the highest in 12 years.
For young men and women: Unemployment rate at 7.48 percent. Including urban unemployment rate at 9.09 percent (CMIE).
For doctoral and doctoral students: Over 10,000 vacant teaching posts at Central Universities, Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIM). Their focus remains teaching and, according to the results, they do a fairly decent teaching job. It’s lucky that they invented a way of teaching without teachers.
The new reservation
For SC, ST and OBC: Over 10,000 vacant teaching posts. Of which 4,126 are “reserved” for SC, ST and OBC. Don’t panic, the reservation continues. The reservation policy has been refined to their benefit: it is no longer the reservation in the positions, it is the reservation in the vacant positions. The government will create more vacancies and reserve these positions for SC, ST and OBC candidates. The reservation policy will be respected in letter and spirit. Applicants may indicate in their curriculum vitae that they currently hold a vacant position.
For the poor: A tail. Please wait your turn (which may never come). Public sector banks (PSBs) are busy helping poor businesses. In 2020-2021, only 13 companies owed Rs 4,86,800 crore to PSBs. The banks settled these contributions for Rs 1.61,820 crore. The PSB were happy to do their part for the welfare of the Indian people (who, of course, are the 13 companies) by absorbing the loss of Rs 2,849,980 crore. PSBs are ready to do more, provided you are a failing business.
For economists and economics students: A recovery in the shape of a “V”. At least that is what the government claims. He did so under the high authority of the chief economic adviser who, moreover, is leaving the government. Dr Krishnmurthy Subramanian brought a large amount of learning from Indian School of Business to Government of India, he will report large amount of unlearning from government of India to Indian School of Business. Interesting way,
IMF Deputy Managing Director-designate Dr Gita Gopinath stopped in Delhi last week and described India’s economic recovery as being “K” shaped. Don’t worry, no one has to choose between the two letters, because there are 24 other letters in the alphabet. Based on experience, one can predict that eternal optimists will choose the letter “I”, and nihilists will be content with the letter “O”. Economic geniuses will argue in favor of the letter “M”.
Witness of freedom
For the free press: A “higher” ranking for India (currently 142 out of 180, up from 140 the previous year) in the World Press Freedom Index. India’s Minister of Information and Broadcasting may be right when he said he did not agree with the conclusions drawn by “Reporters Without Borders” which publishes the Index. He should know a thing or two about freedom of the press. As long as India’s “Reporters With Orders” print or broadcast war cries such as “Goli Maaro” and “Hara Virus”, there is ample evidence that press freedom in India is alive and well. The minister also considered that there was a “lack of a clear definition of press freedom”. Father Christmas suggested that he invite, among others, the following journalists and attempt a definition of press freedom: Rajdeep Sardesai, Barkha Dutt, Karan Thapar, Sagarika Ghose, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, Raghav Bahl, Bobby Ghosh, Punya Prasun Bajpai, Krishna Prasad, Rubin, Prannoy Roy and Sudhir Agarwal.
For everyone : Policies that will ensure undernourishment, child wasting, stunting and infant mortality. They ranked India 101st out of 116 countries in the World Hunger Index. As a welcome by-product, the patriotic couples caused the total fertility rate to fall to 2.0, which is lower than the replacement rate.