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Urgent need to address threat to employment due to technological advancement: Kant

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New Delhi | Threat to employment due to technological advancement must be adequately addressed in time, else it can have disastrous repercussions on the country’s future generations, warns NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant.

He says that more than half the Indian population lies below 25 years of age and each year an increasing proportion of young adults will be added to the workforce.

“By estimates of the labour ministry, this would amount to an increment of over 10 million people each year. As per the UN data on world population, the working age population – that is, those between the ages of 15 and 64 – will continue to expand until 2050,” he says.

“In case this burgeoning section of the population is not provided with adequate employment opportunities, India would fail to cash in on a rare opportunity of a demographic dividend,” he warns.

According to Kant, if the threat to employment is not immediately addressed, it can have serious repercussions on India’s future generations. “This has a lot to do with India’s nascent demography,” he writes in the epilogue of a book “The Age of Awakening: The story of the Indian Economy since Independence” by Amit Kapoor with Chirag Yadav.

The book tells India’s economic story since the country gained independence. It unfolds a tale of titanic figures, colossal failures, triumphant breakthroughs and great moral shortcomings.

According to Kant, the conjunction of the prospect of loss in employment due to automation and a young demography looking for jobs might be the biggest challenge that India faces today.

“A recent UN report claimed that if industrial robots increasingly undertake manufacturing, developing countries could lose about two-thirds of all jobs. It is imperative that the country makes a break from the past and address the issue before it festers into a crisis of unimaginable proportions,” he writes in the book, published by Penguin Random House India.

Kant argues that India’s current economic situation would have been substantially different had it moved towards freer markets around the time the East Asian economies were beginning to find merits in such an approach.

“But the country failed to keep up with the times until crisis struck,” he says. Noted economist Bibek Debroy has written the foreword to the book.

“Economists and economic policies fashioned by statesmen and politicians, in consultation with economists, don’t lead anywhere. They do lead somewhere, but not necessarily where one wanted to go,” he says.

According to Debroy, the book captures the trajectory of the past, the promise of the present and, to a more limited extent, the promise of the future.

“The book isn’t a typical economist’s book, since it is also about the interplay between politics and economics. Not about what economists call political economy, but politics and economics.”

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Javed Akhtar could have called us: ‘PM Narendra Modi’ producer Sandip Ssingh on credit row

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Apart from Javed Akhtar, another veteran lyricist, Sameer, had said that he was surprised to find his name in the credits. 

 

Mumbai| Producer Sandip Singh, whose latest film “PM Narendra Modi” is embroiled in a controversy after Javed Akhtar expressed shock over getting credit for a song in the biopic, says the noted lyricist could have shared his grievance personally.

The 74-year-old writer’s name was mentioned in the credits of the film’s trailer alongside lyricists Prasoon Joshi, Sameer, Abhendra Kumar Upadhyay, Sardar, Parry G and Lavraj.

“Javed sahab is a senior writer in our country. We have grown up listening to his songs. We have used one of his old songs ‘Ishwar Allah’ from ‘1947: Earth’ and gave him credit. T-series is our music partner.

“I did not get any call from him and so I also did not call him. He spoke about it on Twitter, so even I replied there. But he could have called us,” Singh told PTI.

Apart from Akhtar, another veteran lyricist, Sameer, had said that he was surprised to find his name in the credits.

In his response, Singh said on Saturday that they gave credit to Sameer because they had incorporated his song “Suno gaur se Duniya walon” from the film “Dus”.

The trailer of the Omung Kumar-directed film, featuring Vivek Oberoi in the lead, released on Wednesday.

When asked about the response to the trailer, Singh said, “We can’t always have everyone like our work. We welcome all the criticism and we will learn from it.”

The film, which also features Boman Irani, Manoj Joshi, Zarina Wahab and Prashant Narayanan, releases on April 5.

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Vice Admiral Karanbir Singh becomes the new Navy Chief

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 New Delhi| The Modi government on Saturday appointed Vice-Admiral Karanbir Singh as the next Naval Chief of Staff. He will take over the charge from former Navy Chief Sunil Lamba. Vice Admiral Singh has been serving as the Flag Officer Commanding in Chief of the Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam. According to a news agency, Lamba will retire as the Navy Chief on May 31, 2019.

The Vice-Admiral in his career spanning over 36 years has served as the Fleet Operations Officer of the Western Fleet. He has also been Joint Director Naval Air Staff at the Naval Headquarters, Captain Air and Officer-in-Charge of the Naval Air Station at Mumbai and as a member of the Aircrew Instrument Rating and Categorisation Team (AIRCATS).

 

 

 

 

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In the election month, 4.74 Cr farmers to get second installment of PM Kisan Scheme

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Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the Centre announced the Rs 75,000-crore Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM Kisan) scheme.

 

New Delhi| About 4.74 crore small and marginal farmers registered under the PM-Kisan scheme before the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) for general election came into effect on March 10 will get the second instalment of Rs 2,000 each in their bank accounts, a senior government official said Saturday.

Of these 4.74 crore beneficiaries, 2.74 crore farmers have so far received the first instalment and the rest will be covered by month-end, he said.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has allowed the Union Agriculture Ministry to transfer the first and second tranche of the payment to all those beneficiaries registered under the scheme before March 10, the official added.

Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the Centre announced the Rs 75,000-crore Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM Kisan) scheme under which Rs 6,000 per year would be disbursed in three instalments to around 12 crore farmers who hold cultivable land up to 2 hectares.

In the budget, the NDA government allocated a sum of Rs 20,000 crore, to transfer Rs 2,000 each to farmers in the first instalment by March-end, for the ongoing fiscal under the scheme.

The PM Kisan scheme was formally launched at the national level by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 24 at Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh by transferring the first instalment to 1.01 crore farmers, amounting Rs 2,021 crore.

“We were hoping to have the data of 12 crore farmers from across the country. But the data of 4.74 crore farmers have come before the MCC was enforced,” the official told PTI.

The government has already released the first instalment of Rs 2,000 each to 2.74 crore beneficiaries and the remaining will be covered before this month-end, he said.

With regard to the payment of the second tranche to begin from April 1, the official said the ECI has allowed making the payment to all those beneficiaries registered before the MCC kicked in.

“We can go ahead and make the payment of the first instalment to the rest of the people whose names are on the portal. We can go ahead and make the payment for the second instalment as well,” the official said.

In Uttar Pradesh, the first instalment has been released to around one crore farmers so far and the Centre has received data of additional 66 lakh farmers.

The official further said that Punjab and Haryana are amongst the top beneficiary states as more than 80 per cent of the farmers registered under the PM Kisan scheme have received the first instalment.

While, some states including West Bengal, Delhi and Sikkim have yet not submitted the farmers’ data and therefore no money has been transferred.

The official also mentioned that no fresh data has come from states after the MCC came into effect.

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