CLICK, CASTE AND CRICKET
“If the government doesn’t do anything, so much will happen. We have done a lot for 70 years. Where have we reached? Please tell us what not to do. If we decide not to do anything, they (entrepreneurs) will take us places.” massive applauds by young, and enthusiastic entrepreneurs reverberated inside the Vigyan Bhawan as Prime Minister verbalized the feelings of entrepreneurs in above words.
The occasion was of ‘startup India’ meet in the capital, the excitement was overwhelming with audience hanging on to every word Mr. Modi uttered. But what’s stopping these entrepreneurs before? And what had made them rejoice now? An easy explanation would be, these entrepreneurs were tied with several ropes before, then came a time when theses ropes turned loose and now finally some of these ropes are vanished but not all.
The ropes of ‘license raj’, ‘inspector raj’ and ‘stringent tax and production laws’ in the congress government before 1990s held the entrepreneurs tightly. In those days first you need to get your company registered by citing from where you will get the resources and generate capital, the benefits it is going to offer to society, you need make sure that your company doesn’t become a monopoly. This whole process of registration consumes hell lot of time with your file moving from one official to other and then from one ministry to other. Most businessman quote that they got their license 2 years later and by this time most of them turned hopeless and lost the enthusiasm and the project for some of them turned unfeasible as monetary conditions changed drastically.
Then, came a time when these ropes were loosed, this happened under congress government which was in the center under the leadership of P.V. Narasimha Rao. The government relaxed various registration and tax laws which reduced the time frame for registration and helped many businesses to flourish. Two brilliant economist of that time must be credited for these reforms, one is Dr. Manmohan singh the then finance minister and other was Montek singh Ahluwalia the then commerce secretary.
This is 2016 where most of these ropes got vanished and the entrepreneurs are held free but not totally. Let’s discuss the boosting factors.
- 10,000cr fund for innovation-driven enterprise.
- 3 year exemption from tax on profits.
- 500cr per year credit guarantee mechanism
- Exemption from capital gains tax
- Self certification fund for innovation-driven enterprise.
- Approvals within a day through mobile app in the making.
- Exemptions to investments made by incubators above the fair market value
- 4% funding support for setting up incubators.
- 90 days open window to close business in case of failure.
Now, the Ropes that are still an obstacle.
- Indian tax code does not have a definition for digital goods, so those selling digital goods and services have to pay service tax and excise.
- The issue of allowing convertible notes, which allow a startup to raise funds from an investor on the condition that the debt will be converted into equity at a later stage, has remained unresolved (outdated FEMA regulations).
- Some issues are pending with RBI related to foreign capital.
- Concerns regarding raising fund from abroad have not been addressed.
The most successful start-ups in India are running their business online, take flipkart, payTM, snap deal, Zomato etc. just few clicks and you get served. The challenge is for the new ones or the ones, who are struggling, but I am very much optimistic that with following reforms and handling of all remaining obstacles will finally make the entrepreneurs free from all the ropes and will soon have a start-up ready just with a click.
The caste discrimination in India’s most renowned universities (JNU, DU, IITs etc) has always been a ponderable subject but has always been neglected and this time under the scanner is university of Hyderabad.
The tragic suicide of “Rohith Vemula” a research scholar who was soon going to turn 27 this year sparked off a wide students protest at UoH and elsewhere, including those at the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the home of HRD minister Smriti Irani. Was it a ‘Dalit vs Non Dalit’ issue? This question needs immediate answer, but the fact must be considered that he took admission at general seat in UoH despite having a scheduled caste certificate.
Earlier suicides by Dalit scholars at UoH have failed to sound an alarm. In 2008, Senthil Kumar, a Dalit scholar killed himself after the UoH did not provide the doctoral student with a supervisor. A committee that probed his death brought out serious discrimination against Dalit students. In 2013, M. Venkatesh committed suicide after his plea for a guide went unheard by the university. A committee formed after his death found ‘glaring instances of insensitivity and lack of diligence’ towards students from marginalized sections.
But this case is too peculiar, strife between Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) and ABVP, over a post about the hanging of Yakub Memon, led to the suspension of Rohith and others for a semester. Now why the university has not suspended ABVP supporters, are they not involved in the tussle?
The university is sure to blame whose ignorance of the matter lead to many suicides had this issue been addressed earlier, many lives would have been saved and solution must have reached to the problem of discrimination on the basis of caste.
The Australia tour of India had caught many eyes from all-round the world, although we were not able to win ODI series but with a 3-0 clean sweep at T20 series we settled the scores with the Ausies. Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli batted outstanding in both formats, Manish Pandey’s maiden century lead India to victory in 5th ODI and what a comeback for Yuvraj Singh, when he was batting on 2 runs for 8 balls he was standing on the fine line between getting cursed for losing the match and crusading the match to victory, with his back to back six and four he jumped to the victory side which every cricket fan must have noticed.
But what we missed noticing is the bold recommendation that betting on cricket must be legalized. Currently, betting in horse racing and lottery tickets are legal in India. So, betting on sports can also be legalized. It is time for lawmakers to mull over setting up a National level gambling regulatory authority along the lines of the UK Gambling Commission, at least for the most celebrated game in India that is cricket.