HOW TO MAKES YOUR HOME SAFE DURING COVID-19

The government released a new set of guidelines this week to combat COVID-19 transmission, emphasising the importance of masks, distance, hygiene, and well-ventilated spaces. It has been stressed that “ventilation can decrease the risk of transmission” from an infected individual to others.

It was recommended that outdoor air be introduced into workplaces, houses, and wider public spaces, as well as that steps be taken to increase ventilation in these spaces.

It was also recommended that fans, open windows and doors, even partially open windows, be strategically placed to introduce outdoor air and increase indoor air quality. It also said that adding cross ventilation and exhaust fans is helpful in curtailing fans running if the windows and doors are locked, it said.

To generate the optimal air flow for optimum protection from indoor infection, add an exhaust fan or convert a pedestal fan into an exhaust fan by turning it to face outdoors, according to the guidelines.

COVID-19 pandemic and prolonged stay-at-home phenomenon, according to Shalini Chandrashekar, principal designer and co-founder, Taliesyn- Design & Architecture, have revised the value of comfortable dwellings.

Optimizing the use of natural sunlight

By orienting the openings toward the northeast (N-E), an open breezeway can be created within the built volume. Orienting the kitchen in the southeast (S-E) will reward the mundane morning chores with the soothing morning sunshine, and locating the bedroom in the southwest (S-W) can pull in the warmth of the afternoon golden sun, all such conscious considerations can come in handy when designing a well-ventilated home, she advised.

Furthermore, strategically placing the openings while keeping the sun path and wind direction in mind lowers the operational costs of mechanical temperature regulation and indoor lighting, allowing the architecture to take on a more elevated spatial identity, she adds.

Incorporating skylights

In India, people prefer to keep their windows closed to keep insects out and preserve privacy. Openings with screens or jaalis can solve this problem by allowing fresh air in while maintaining protection and privacy.

Windows with buck mesh and sheer curtains inside are positioned disgonally to allow for instant cross-ventilation in the room. Because of the heat strength coming from those directions, large glass walls on the south and west are typically closed.

“It’s best to ensure that the prevailing wind direction of the site/city is taken into account and the fenestrations are placed in accordance with them to maximize the air flow,” Meena Murthy Kakkar, Design Head and Partner, Envisage, says.

Keeping the house dry

For proper ventilation and hygiene, it is important to keep the house dry. To keep the dampness out, create a dedicated wet utility area, which is a semi-covered utility room for washing and drying. Powerful exhausts in the kitchen and toilets, as well as easy-to-open windows, are a must if the position allows it. To keep the kitchen dry, place it in the sunniest part of the house.

Segregating wet and dry areas

If you have a balcony in a shady corner or a house without a balcony, invest in a dryer to prevent a dark and musty odour inside. Separate the dry and wet areas of your bathroom’s bathing enclosures with a partition. This also aids in preventing moisture from entering your quarters. Invest in high-capacity exhaust fans.

Arun K.R., senior architect at Brick&Bolt says, “We usually take care to provide sufficient and proper air circulation by having larger windows. Since morning sunlight is so beneficail, openings to the east help.”

RBI TRANSFERS RS99,122 CRORE SURPLUS TO CENTRAL GOVERNMENT

According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the central government will receive a surplus of Rs 99,122 crore.

The decision was made at the RBI’s Central Board of Directors’ 589th meeting on May 21, 2021.

“With the change in the Reserve Bank’s accounting year to April-March (earlier July-June), the Board discussed the working of the Reserve Bank of India during the transition period of nine months (July 2020-March 2021) and approved the Annual Report and accounts of the Reserve Bank for the transition period. The Board also approved the transfer of Rs 99,122 crore as surplus to the Central Government for the accounting period of nine months ended March 31, 2021 (July 2020-March 2021),” RBI said.

The Reserve Bank of India transferred only 44% of its surplus to the government last year, totaling Rs 57,128 crore. Prior to last year, this was likewise the lowest surplus transfer in the previous seven years.

In 2019, the Reserve Bank of India transferred a surplus of Rs 1,23,414 crore to the government.

Every year, as the manager of government finances, the RBI distributes a dividend to the government from its surplus earnings to assist with the government’s finances. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was established in 1934 and operates under the Reserve Bank of India Act of 1934. The “Allocation of Surplus funds” clause of Chapter 4 of the Act demands that any profits earned by the RBI from its operations be remitted to the Centre.

According to Section 47 of the RBI Act, “after making provision for bad and doubtful debts, depreciation in assets, contributions to staff and superannuation funds 2 [and for all other matters for which provision is to be made by or under this Act or which’ are usually provided for by bankers, the balance of the profits shall be paid to the Central Government.”

IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON AIRLINES

India’s civil aviation sector is in severe difficulty once more, having encountered an air pocket just as it appeared to be ready to take off after a tumultuous year.

Things began to improve, and pre-pandemic levels of business appeared to be on the horizon, but just as the government announced that it would consider allowing airlines to operate at full capacity if passenger numbers exceeded 3.5 lakh per day three times in a month, the number began to decline.

As the second wave of the pandemic raced across the country, notably in key air traffic hubs such as Mumbai, Delhi, and Bengaluru, the passenger count never exceeded 3 lakh in March, and in April, the number began to decline even further, in tandem with escalating COVID-19 cases.

The number of passengers dropped from 2.75 lakh in early April to slightly over 1 lakh by the month’s conclusion. According to ICF’s data analysis, the number of active COVID-19 instances in India increased by 394 percent while traffic decreased by half. Airlines were further harmed because not all flights were cancelled at the same time. Even while traffic was dropping at a considerably quicker rate, the daily flight count fell only 35%, putting further strain on the carriers’ budget.

Who shrunk the most while who held up?

GoAir, which is preparing for an IPO, and AirAsia India, which is controlled by Tata-AirAsia Bhd, were the first to react to the shifting market. From 201 at the beginning of the month, GoAir’s departures dropped by 62% to 77 on April 30. AirAsia’s headcount has dropped from 161 to 55 in the last month.

IndiGo, India’s largest carrier in terms of fleet and domestic market share, shrank by only 28% on April 30, flying 883 flights. According to ICF data, the airlines concluded the month with 31,516 departures, which was more than the entire competition combined, or 52 percent of total domestic departures in the country in April.

Air India, the country’s national carrier, declined the least among major airlines, cutting its operations by only 11%, while Alliance Air, a subsidiary, cut a fourth of its operations by the end of April. Trujet, situated in Hyderabad, has also shrunk by 11%. Trujet and Alliance Air both have a significant presence in RCS-UDAN, and viability gap funding would help to mitigate the effects.

Between the first and last days of April, SpiceJet and Vistara both shrank by 47 percent and 46 percent, respectively.

Where was the impact felt?

While Mumbai-Delhi remained the most popular flight route in April, with 1656 departures, it was also the most impacted, with daily flights dropping from 77 on the first day of the month to only 34 by the end of the month. Flights from Delhi to Bengaluru, Srinagar, Kolkata, and Patna rounded out the top five routes.

As standards for RT-PCR=negative findings were reinstated across states, leisure routes were the hardest hurt. The destinations with the greatest reduction in leisure tourism were Port Blair, Goa, and Srinagar.

With only 50 flights on April 30, Goa saw a 68 percent decline in traffic. On April 1, there were 156 flights to Goa from all throughout the country. A few sectors vanished entirely from the airmap. Flights to Goa from Hubli, Jaipur, Lucknow, Nagpur, Kannur, Amritsar, Pune, and Ahmedabad were all cancelled, with the most significant impact coming from Delhi, where only seven flights were available instead of the usual 40.

Port Blair, which has long maintained a tight inbound visitor policy, reported a 56 percent drop in traffic. Direct flights from Mumbai and Delhi were cancelled, and the most popular route from Chennai saw over half of its flights cancelled.

Tail Note

May has been much more difficult than April. For the first time since August 2020, passenger traffic fell below 1 lakh passengers per day. The number of flights has also gone below 1,000. This represents less than 30% of departures and fewer than 15% of traffic prior to COVID-19. The government of India opened up air traffic with a capacity ceiling of 33%, and a year later, we are back to where we were a year ago!

“With domestic demand decreased to a fourth of pre-pandemic levels, it is difficult for airlines to locate routes that will allow them to satisfy the variable cost of operations,” says Piyush Bansal, Operations Lead and ISTAT Certified Appraiser at ICF. Long-term survival necessitates continued reductions in fixed and semi-fixed costs, which is difficult but not impossible.

With IndiGo’s board of directors approving QIP fundraising and GoAir filing a DRHP, the two airlines have devised a strategy to raise extra capital. While AirAsia India has reduced its service, Vistara is growing! TATA’s assistance for each of these airlines will be determined over time, but it continues to cast doubt on SpiceJet’s ability to exist and recover from the crisis.

SPUTNIK V COVID-19 VACCINE- MANUFACTURING IN KARNATAKA SOON

In the face of a vaccination shortage, Karnataka will house manufacturing plants for Covaxin and Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines.

While Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin manufacturing facility in Malur, Kolar district, is under construction, Shilpa Medicare has signed a three-year definitive agreement with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL) through its wholly-owned subsidiary Shilpa Biologicals Pvt. Ltd. (SBPL), for the production and supply of the Russia-made Sputnik V vaccine from its integrated biologics R&D-cum-manufacturing centre in Dharwad.

By the end of August, the Kolar vaccine manufacturing facility, according to state Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar, will be able to produce four to five crore doses each month.

Sudhakar claimed he attended a video conference with Bharat Biotech founder Dr Krishna Ella, his daughter Dr Jala Ella, and the rest of the team on May 17 in Bengaluru. Sudhakar said, “Dr Ella has assured me that their facility at Malur in Kolar will be able to produce one crore vaccines by June-end. By July-end it will be two to three crores, and their target by August-end is four crore to five crore vaccine doses.”

Dr. Krishna Ella and the directors of Bharat Biotech have also informed him that vaccination doses will be delivered to Karnataka as soon as possible, according to the minister. Sudhakar stated that he had requested a rollout timeline from them.

Meanwhile, SBPL said in a regulatory filing that it expects to produce 50 million doses of the dual vector Sputnik V in the first 12 months of commercial production.

On May 14, DRL soft-launched the imported COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V. The vaccination is priced at Rs 948 per dosage, plus a 5% GST (retail price of Rs 995.40).

DRL, according to Shilpa Medicare, will help SBPL transfer technologies. SBPL will be in charge of manufacturing, while DRL will be in charge of distributing and promoting the vaccine doses throughout its marketing regions, according to the agreement.

In the near future, Shilpa Medicare stated, the businesses are looking into manufacturing Sputnik Light, a single-dose version of the Sputnik V vaccine.

Inoculations of the new coronavirus vaccines have been administered to nearly 1.13 crore people in Karnataka thus far. Both the first and second doses are included in this figure. However, due to a scarcity of dosages, the immunisation campaign for adults aged 18 to 44 has been halted.

India is experiencing a second wave of COVID-19 infection, and quick mass vaccination is being viewed as a viable approach to stop the pandemic from spreading further.

LTA VOUCHER SCHEME WOULD BE TAXED

The government announced various relief measures for paid taxpayers during the first wave of COVID-19 in 2020. The ability to claim a tax exemption on their Leave Travel Allowance (LTA) balance was one of them.

In most cases, taxpayers can claim a tax benefit on LTA for a vacation they took anywhere in India. Taxpayers, on the other hand, were unable to travel due to the pandemic and occasional lockdowns. They may be required to pay tax on the LTA component of their salaries in such instances. The government announced an LTA cash voucher programme to help salaried taxpayers avoid this dilemma. This scheme has been notified on May 5,2021.

What is the LTA cash voucher scheme?

Those with an LTA component in their wage can save tax on taxes by spending a “determined amount” on particular goods without having to travel under the LTA cash voucher programme, which is in effect for FY 2021-21.

Let’s take a closer look at how this system works. The’sepcified expense’ should have been incurred by the taxpayer or a member of his or her family. It should have been used to buy goods and services having a GST rate of at least 12 percent. Between October 12, 2020 and March 31, 2021, the transaction should have been done. Furthermore, the exemption cannot exceed Rs 36,000 per person or one-third of the’specified expenditure,’ whichever is smaller. Payment for the costs should have been made to a GST-registered firm via electronic methods, with a ‘GST tax invoice’ available.

LTA can usually be claimed as exempt twice in a four-year period, with the current period running from 2018 to 2021. Using the LTA plan would entitle you to one of the four trips in the four-year period. As a result, taxpayers can only use this option once during the four-year period between 2018 and 2021.

How can one claim this exemption?

Employers are required by law to subtract TDS from your wage before paying you. TDS would have been withheld from your salary income for FY 2020-21 by your employer. Because the LTA voucher programme was not announced at the time they were needed to deduct TDS for FY 2020-21, several employers were unable to accept it. If you haven’t been able to take advantage of the LTA plan through your company, you can do so while completing your income tax return. Make sure you complete all of the requirements and properly report the LTA exemption you wish to claim on your income tax return. You should also keep all supporting documents, such as the tax invoice and payment evidence. You will be eligible to claim a refund of TDS deducted on the LTA amount if you utilise this scheme while completing your return (as per the eligibility criterion specified above).

Most employers would have already deducted TDS from your LTA balance and paid it to you as salary in FY 2020-21, or permitted you to carry the LTA balance forward to the next financial year for filing a claim. Also, it will not be qualified for this programme under the new tax framework.

Provided you purchased a cellphone, an air conditioner, or a refrigerator during the designated time, you may be eligible to claim your LTA as exempt if you meet all of the conditions given above, as all of these items are subject to a GST rate of 12% or more.

DR REDDY’S SPUTNIK V VACCINE; TIE-UP WITH APOLLO HOSPITALS

On May 17, Dr. Reddy’s said that 8-9 states have contacted the company about purchasing the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are among the states that have reached out to them, according to the company.

The imported doses of Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine were priced at Rs 948 plus 5% GST, or Rs 995.40 per dose, according to Dr Reddy’s. It stated that the price for both government and private channels will remain the same.

The company plans to partner with hospitals in the metro area that can store vaccines at 18 degrees Celsius.

Last week, Dr Reddy’s received 1.5 lakh Sputnik first dose doses, and the company said it received a second consignment of 60,000 second dose doses over the weekend.

“We have a supply commitment of 36 million doses from RDIF in the next two months,” said M V Ramana, CEO of Branded Formulations at Dr Reddy’s.

Dr. Reddy’s is attempting to obtain further doses from RDIF, according to Raman. RDIF has agreed to supply 250 million Sputnik V first and second doses to the company. Russia will have between 15-20% of the initial supplies.

The vaccine prices will come down once local manufacturers start supplying, which is expected in the next two to three months, according to Dr. Reddy’s.

“They have to absorb the technology from RDIF, have to get approvals from the regulators and then scale up manufacturing,” said Sauri Gudlavalleti- Head of Research and Development. “We are working with the regulator to bring appropriate guidance, on whether the other Indian suppliers with whom RDIF signed supply agreement will have to do clinical trials or not,: Gudlavalleti added.

DCGI has given Hetero, which has a partnership with RDIF, permission to conduct Phase-3 trials of the Sputnik V vaccine.

Gudlavalleti stated that the company plans to approach the Indian drug regulator in the coming weeks to request emergency use authorization for the Sputnik Light single-dose vaccine.

Tie-up with Apollo Hospitals

Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories and Apollo Hospitals declared a collaboration on Monday to conduct a trial launch of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine in India.

Dr. Reddy’s will rely on the Apollo Hospitals network around the country for vaccine storage, transportation, administration, and monitoring.

The Sputnik V vaccine would cost between Rs 1,200 and Rs 1,250 per dose, according to Apollo Hospitals.

According to Dr. Reddy’s, the initial rollout will begin on May 17 in Hyderabad and will be expanded to Visakhapatnam and other metro cities on May 18.

In addition to Apollo, Dr. Reddy’s has a partnership with IHH Healthcare’s Contitental Hospitals.

“WHY DO WE DESERVE THIS?” A 10-YEAR-OLD’S PLEA

Hundreds of netizens have watched a video of a 10-year-old Gaza girl crying in front of a house that has been reduced to ruins and wondering, “Why do we deserve this?” The video depicts the brutality of the Israel-Palestine conflict and how children are among those who suffer the most as a result of the violence.

Nadine Abdel-Taif, the girl, spoke to The Middle East Eye on May 15 about the devastation caused by Israeli air strikes. “I’m always sick. I can’t do anything. I’m only 10… what do you expect me to do? Fix it?? “she inquired, referring to the house that had been reduced to ruins.

“I can’t even deal with this anymore. I just want to be a doctor or anything to help my people. But I can’t. I’m just a kid,” Nadine said, as she broke down.

“All of this when I see, I literally cry everyday,” she said in a shaky voice. “Why do we deserve this? What did we do for this?” Nadine asked, adding that her family says that “they (Israel) just hate us. They just don’t like us because we are Muslims.”

The girl said, pointing to the children who were present around her, “You see all of the kids around me. They’re just kids. Why would you just send a missile to kill them?” she questioned.

Israel’s armed offensive, which has been described as the most extreme since 2014, has destroyed hundreds of homes in Palestine, killed at least 149 people, including 41 children, and injured over 1,000 people.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu justified the attack as an act of self-defense against “terrorism” committed by Gaza-based Hamas militants.

The dispute has now reached the seventh day. Nine Israelis have also died as a result of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad group’s attacks from Gaza. Israel’s offensive, according to Netanyahu, would last “as long as necessary.” “We will make them pay dearly,” he said.

COVID-19 CHANGE THE WAY WE WOULD TRAVEL?

In the face of an unrelenting pandemic that continues to ravage the world, it doesn’t take a fortune teller to predict that urban mobility will change dramatically.

Concerns about hygiene and social distance are at an all-time high, especially in India’s densely populated metropolises. The concept of shared mobility and public transportation has been especially tarnished by the second wave. Uber and Ola, for example, are fighting back, with the former offering 9,000 free online medical consultations to drivers and their families. Uber also announced a decision to vaccinate 1,50,000 of its drivers in the next six months. Even automobile brands like Maruti Suzuki and Tata Motors have extended their warranty and service packages for newly purchased vehicles, ensuring that car ownership does not feel like a burden during lockdowns.

The need for personal transportation is obviously greater than it has ever been. However, economic uncertainty, as it was last year, is providing the same need, especially at the entry level, preventing buyers from securing funds for such a large purchase. Given that social distancing and passenger health will remain associated for the near future, the rise in fuel costs is also acting as a significant deterrent for first-time car buyers, a customer segment that should logically grow in size. So, how do both consumers and automakers break the impasse?

The ideal thing for brands, especially entry-level carmakers like Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai, is to offer customers more innovative financing options. But it isn’t just carmakers who must change their ways. Used vehicle portals, taxi aggregators, and electric two-wheeler startups, among others, all have the potential to offer novel solutions. For car companies, this begins with appealing subscription models that have the same advantages as private car ownership without the associated overall costs.

Leasing

Leasing is not a new phenomenon, even in India, where car ownership is seen as a sign of upward mobility. Since most car buyers find the idea of making a down payment too overwhelming in these financially unstable times, leasing allows them to simply rent to a car for a set period of time. Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai, two of India’s top-selling car brands, offer attractive leasing options, especially for entry-level models like the Grand i10 Nios and Santro. Maruti Suzuki has partnered with Orix Auto Infrastructure Services India for a subscription programme that is gaining traction in the Delhi NCR and Bengaluru areas. There’s no down payment, no registration, insurance, or annual maintenance fees; all you have to pay is a monthly sum that’s equal to or less than your EMI costs.

Used Cars

The used car market remains the most disorganised of the bunch, with proper certification and websites providing legitimate price estimates previously serving as roadblocks. According to Statists, the size of the used car market in India in 2020 was greater than the size of the new car market (as reported by Hindustan Times). The market, which has increased by 50% year over year, is expected to continue even after we ride out the second wave and reopen. Greater clarity and better funding options, on the other hand, may help the segment.

Shared Mobility

With cab aggregators like Uber and Ola taking strong steps to alleviate our collective fear of entering a cab, it’s only natural that they build thoroughly sanitized compartments, separating not only the driver and the rider, but also any other co-passengers who might be sharing the journey. When the medical system isn’t overburdened, the aggregator may also display the driver’s vaccine credentials, as well as the outcomes and dates of regularly administered Covid-19 studies. A simple temperature check won’t suffice.

The rise of Electric Scooter

Electric two-wheeler startups have the ideal opportunity to revolutionize urban freight mobility, with the e-commerce industry projected to expand exponentially. Electric scooters and cycles are well positioned to replace the traditional modes of mobility used to make deliveries in geofenced urban confines, where long distances are not a major concern.

According to P&S Intelligence, the new Bharat VI norms have increased the prices of petrol-powered two-wheelers by 7-15 percent, further incentivizing e-commerce brands to adopt more sustainable modes of transportation. Since low-cost scooters are also low-speed, swappable battery options would be favored over charging batteries.

The growth of the electric two-wheeler market would help more than just e-commerce. According to a PRNewswire survey, demand for e-scooters and motorcycles in Tier I, II, and III cities is growing at the fastest rate in Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh. Ather Energy, a local brand, has already started manufacturing scooters in its new 4,000-square-foot factory in Hosur.

Though India’s public transportation infrastructure varies by city, a survey conducted by The Energy and Research Institute (TERI) India found that 35% of respondents are likely to switch modes of transportation after Covid19. Although this is good news for an ailing automotive industry that is expected to rise in the single digits in the future, it could exacerbate traffic and pollution in most Tier I and II cities. Although we don’t know how widely non-motorized modes of transportation would be adopted, it’s critical that cyclists and walkers be considered for short distances, as they could be much more preferable to public transport.

AN INTERVIEW WITH NOVELIST-FILMMAKER TRISHA DAS

Trisha Das, a filmmaker and bestselling author, has just published Misters Kuru: A Return to Mahabharata (HarperCollins India priced Rs 350), her latest work of feminist mythological fiction.

Ms Draupadi Kuru: A Novel is a sequel to her book. After the Pandavas, the racy, sassy roller-coaster ride full of action, adventure, romance, and comedy is set in modern-day Kalyug in Delhi as a kind of continuation of the Mahabharata.

Das has previously written and directed over 40 documentaries in her filmmaking career, winning an Indian National Film Award (2005) and being named the International Artist of the Year at the UGA (2003).

She discusses the significance of reimagining and rewriting myths from a female viewpoint, her early influences from Indian mythology, and the use of humour in mythology.

The Kuru novels are a kind of sequel to the Mahabharat, rather than a retelling. Thousands of years after the conclusion of the original Mahabharata, the storey of Ms Draupadi Kuru picks up in modern times. Draupadi and her companions descend from heaven to Delhi. The Pandava brothers accompany their women to Delhi in The Misters Kuru.

When asked the question “How were you motivated to write a feminist retelling of the Mahabharata in a contemporary setting?” She replied saying, “My motivation was simple- I wanted to give these characters another shot at their lives, at reshaping their destinies. So many of them were forced into living lives they didn’t want to- being stripped of their kingdom, exiles, et cetera. I though it would be fun to see what kind of lives they would choose, given the choice.”

A mythological woman apparently only has power over men if she has a small waist and lotus eyes, or if she is their mother.

It’s a pain. Women are celebrated for their sacrifices or their appearance rather than their accomplishments. Any form of resistance to being punished or attempt at self-determination is severely punished, and women are constantly punished for their menfolk’s dumb decisions. Ask any attractive woman wanting to take a bath in the woods. Consent is practically non-existent.

She said once, “My maternal grandfather started my fascination with mythology as a young child. He was religious, but in an inclusive way, and he told the best stories from both the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. I read various versions and interpretations of the Mahabharata growing up and, as an adult, delved into the Ganguli and Debroy translations, alternate versions like Bheel Mahabharata and mythological fiction. I used to watch the TV series every Sunday on Doordarshan and point out mistakes, which everyone in my house found thoroughly annoying.”

Feminism is a relatively new phenomenon, but female dominance has always existed in some form or another. Even when the official narrative did not endorse it, women have always been strong. They worked in the shadows or exercised influence by dressing up as men, being saints, or a thousand other ways to get around the machine. Feminists are now working to shift the narrative and modify- same result, different approach.

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN

Hollowness: that I understand. I’m starting to believe that there isn’t anything you can do to fix it. The holes in your life are permanent. You have to grow around them, like tree roots around concrete; you mold yourself through the gaps.

-Paula Hawkins, The Girl on the Train

This is for all the girls who have just experienced a breakup. I just want you to understand that it was not your fault, so stop blaming yourself.

Breakups can be a shambles. Breakups can be excruciating. People also use memes to mask their pain and turn it into a source of amusement. They are aware, however, that it will not be easy. The agony you’re experiencing is indescribable, and no one could possibly comprehend it. You’re stuck in a rut, unsure of what to do next. Is it time to move on or not? Was he going to return or not? Is it better if I call or if he calls? Is he going through the same thing I am right now?

All of these questions have the same answer: ‘It doesn’t matter.’

What matters is how you’re keeping things together. Is it fair to be so harsh on yourself? You weren’t solely to blame. Perhaps you should set aside some time for yourself. What if he doesn’t return? So, what’s the point? You’ve got your friends, family, and, most importantly, you’ve got yourself. “But I just want him,” I know you’re wondering right now. You don’t want him, that’s the truth. YOU DON’T WANT HIM, BELIEVE ME. He abandoned you in this mess. He said he wouldn’t, but he did anyway. He deceived you. It’s time for you to do the same. He walked away without looking back, and it’s time for you to do the same. It’s past time for you to forgive yourself.

This is just like the girl on the train. Rachel, who recently experienced a breakup, is unable to accept the harsh reality. She also believes Tom loves her and that he will return. Everyone assumes she’s just a drunk girl who’s lost her job and has a broken heart.

Is anybody a fan of suspense novels? If you answered yes, you should probably read this at least once. It’s not great, but it’s not horrible either. You won’t be able to figure out who the killer is.

Apart from that, there is a lot of lying in this storey. All is deceiving one another. Many secrets are kept locked in the recesses of their minds. Loved ones are kept in the dark about secrets. However, with all of the lying, I began to doubt the confidence. Who could be trusted by whom? Rachel had faith in Tom. Scott had faith in Rachel. Anna had faith in Tom. Megan had faith in Kamal Abdic. Despite this, they all ended up rejecting each other. Okay, well, Rachel trusted herself in the end.

That’s one of the things I loved about this book: she wanted to see the whole picture and trust her intuition over Tom’s words. This is a tale about three women who were once strong but had become vulnerable as a result of their circumstances. Don’t let it happen to you as well. Have faith in yourself. Fight for your own interests. Because you are the best, girl.

RELATOS SALVAJES

Name : Wild Tales/ Relatos Salvajes (2014)
Director Damián Szifron
Cast: Ricardo Darín, Oscar Martínez, Leonardo
Sbaraglia, Érica Rivas
Genre: Anthology, Drama
Language: Spanish (Argentina)
Streaming Platform: Amazon Prime Video

Wild Tales is a collection of six stories set in modern Argentina and linked by a popular theme of vengeance. The film is a character study of seemingly ordinary people, much like you and me, who are forced to the breaking point by extraordinary circumstances. It is the past that haunts them at times, and external stimulation that pricks them on the head at other times that drives them insane. The film does a fantastic job of introducing the protagonists, setting conflict, and, most importantly, eliciting empathy – making you care for the characters and their circumstances, which is a common complaint in an anthology since there is less time to set up the characters and make them relatable. Despite the fact that the segments are set in Argentina, the conflicts that the characters face are similar – they are dealing with socioeconomic, political, and class problems.

The film lives up to its title, with each successive segment becoming more ferocious, culminating in a mayhem with more tonal changes than your average Korean film. What’s the best part? It’s successful! The segments are more about the characters than the storey, demonstrating the heights to which they can rise given human tendencies. While they can be extreme at times, you understand why they are acting the way they are, and you would have acted similarly if you were in their shoes.

This leads us to perhaps Wild Tales’ most effective technique: including the viewer in the storytelling. You don’t get 4, but you do get 2+2. The director does not spoon-feed the plot and instead leaves it to the viewer to link the dots, which allows for an enjoyable experience.

There’s nothing quite like the rush you get when you’re able to link the dots and feel intelligent. The film is also very approachable, with plenty to offer both general audiences and film buffs.

A TIMELINE OF INDIA’S MOST PROMINENT AGRARIAN PROTESTS

The four-month-old farmer’s protests in India took a violent turn on January 26, 2021, when farmers stormed the streets of Delhi, demanding the abolition of the three new farm bills. Farmers were greeted with tear gas, water guns, and abuse as they rode their tractors onto the roads. These agrarian demonstrations, on the other hand, are not the first in India’s history. For a large portion of India’s independent existence, farmers have been protesting. The majority of protests arose as a result of promises of economic growth eluding farmers and general disillusionment with a government that is unresponsive to their plight. “Large-scale protests have been taking place against a background of widespread and growing unrest in India’s vast countryside, often rooted in the discontent caused by agricultural stagnation and unemployment,” writes Alf Gunvald Nilsen, professor of sociology at the University of Pretoria. Here is a timeline of some of India’s most significant and large-scale agrarian protests.

1988, BOAT CLUB PROTESTS, DELHI

The protests of 1988, in which Mahendra Singh Tikait, a Jat farmer from Uttar Pradesh and the chief of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), stormed the Boat Club Lawns of Delhi with a charter of demands, are recounted by writer Rakesh Sinha in The Indian Express. This sit-in drew over 5 lakh farmers who demanded a rise in sugarcane prices as well as loan forgiveness. They were within hearing distance of the legislature and made their voices known just before the winter session began. It was one of the most significant farmer demonstrations in the 1980s and 1990s.

Farmers with tractors, hookahs & chaupar — rare photos of protests at  Delhi's Boat Club – ThePrint

2017, MANDSAUR PROTESTS, MADHYA PRADESH

Five farmers were shot dead in Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh, in June 2017, while seeking higher MSPs for the onion crop and grains, as well as loan waivers for farmers who were experiencing firsthand the negative effects of the 2016 demonetization on the rural economy, according to an article in India Today.

Mandsaur News: Read Latest News & Live Updates on Mandsaur, Photos, Videos  at CNBCTV18.com

TAMIL NADU FARMERS PROTESTS, 2017

Farmers from Tamil Nadu staged a dharna in Delhi in 2017, led by P Ayyakannu. They demanded a 40,000-rupee drought relief package from the federal government, as well as an increase in retired farmers’ pensions. When protesting, they performed grotesque acts such as staging suicides and wearing skulls around their necks. They said that these skulls belonged to farmers who committed suicide because they couldn’t cope with their overwhelming debt. Sunaina Kumar, a journalist, dubbed it the “skull protest,” which was at the time the “longest continuous demonstration of nonviolent demonstrations.” Farmers with half of their faces shaved as a form of protest are depicted in iconic photographs from these demonstrations.

Will the Tamil Nadu farmers' protest in Delhi go beyond theatrics to  translate to action?

THE 2018, KISAN LONG MARCH, MUMBAI

In 2018, 50,000 farmers marched 180 kilometres barefoot from Nashik to Mumbai in favour of drought relief, better minimum support prices (MSPs), and crop insurance. This peaceful protest came to an end after the Maharashtra government gave these farmers assurances, which, according to a Scroll paper, have yet to be fulfilled.

Kisan Long March: Over 30,000 farmers reach Mumbai's Azad Maidan; gherao  Maharashtra Assembly

Why do Indian farmers feel compelled to use violent tactics in protests that began peacefully?
Rakesh Tikait, the son of the aforementioned Mahendra Singh Tikait, is leading the latest farmer protests that have ravaged the country for the past six months. This may reflect generations of farmers’ resentment of India’s deep-rooted agrarian crisis and the negative consequences it has had on the agricultural sector and our Indian farmers. “India’s agrarian crisis—a crisis that has resulted in over 3,00,000 suicides among farmers and farmworkers in the last twenty years,” writes Nilsen.

“To say that protesting farmers are misled or confused is to evade critical issues,” writes Sudha Narayanan, Associate Professor at the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research. She emphasises the importance of farmers being included in discussions about the implementation of new agricultural laws, as well as the role they play in Indian democracy through demonstrations, which are an important way to keep a democratically elected government in check.

THE SUFFEREING OF INDIAN FARMERS

Thousands of farmers from Haryana and Punjab have surrounded Delhi for the past four months in defiance of the three ordinances passed by the Indian parliament on September 14, 2020. This protest, which has gathered thousands of farmers in the capital and set up camp on three major sites in the city, is being dubbed the single largest protest in human history. Farmers are expressing their dissatisfaction with the bills, fearing that they will simply empower big companies and leave farmers at their mercy.

Farmers- The Core of Our Economy

India’s agricultural sector has shown resilience in the face of COVID-induced lockdowns, according to the Economic Survey 2020-2021. Agriculture and related activities were the only bright spot in an otherwise dismal GDP efficiency, growing at a rate of 3.4 percent at constant prices in 2020-21. The agriculture sector employs more than half of the country’s workforce. We must comprehend our farmers’ plight and the difficulties they have faced. Be it colonial-induced famines, landowner exploitation, debt burdens, recent locust invasions, crop destruction due to severe weather conditions, or alarmingly high suicide rates. It is our responsibility to listen carefully and understand their concerns as well as the reasons for their dissatisfaction.

The Modifications has been Simplified

The three farm bills proposed are as follows –

The Essential Commodities Act (which is based on a colonial-era law governing the quantity of produce that can be stored or sold) only provides for the control of particular food products in the event of natural disasters or war.

This amendment restricts the ability of the federal government and states to enforce stock and price limits. These restrictions should only be enforced in an emergency. As a result, large companies now have complete leverage over resources such as cereals, pulses, edible oil, onions, and potatoes.

The Farmers’ Produce Exchange and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, also known as the APMC Bypass Bill, addresses the mechanism that now allows farmers to trade their produce both intra-state and inter-state. Previously, they could only carry their produce to the APMC (Agricultural Produce Market Committee) Mandis, no matter how far away they were. This bill also provides for electronic produce trading and e-commerce. It prohibits the state government from charging farmers or electronic trading platforms a market fee for selling produce outside of the designated mandi.

The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, the third bill, allows farmers to participate in “contract farming,” which allows them to enter into a contract with Agri-firms or large buyers for a specific crop at a predetermined price.

What is the aim of Farmer’s Mobilization

The aim of these bills appears to be to benefit and enable farmers to sell at larger markets without being taxed, engage in e-commerce, minimise interactions with middlemen, and incorporate technology into their farming practises. All of this is made possible by the ruling party’s deregulatory reforms, which encourage privatisation. In India, contract farming is not a new phenomenon. Contract farming has already been tried by the governments of Punjab and Gujarat. Their knowledge will aid us in determining the possible consequences of the new legislation in other parts of the world. Let’s take a peek at the state of Punjab. For more than three decades, PepsiCo has been involved in contract farming and has proven to be profitable. Farmers’ incomes increased as a result of the increased jobs. PepsiCo’s arrival ushered in a potato revolt. Small-scale or neglected producers, on the other hand, are said to be dissatisfied. Sunara Singh, a 15-acre farmer, claims that small-scale farmers who try to sell a few kilos of produce (as opposed to the tonnes sold by large-scale farmers) are not even spoken to politely or given gate passes to PepsiCo’s premises, as stated by Basant Kumar in an article for NewsLaundary in October 2020.

Another issue with the proposed laws is that, in the event of a conflict between a large company and a farmer, most small farmers have little resources in terms of time, funding, or legal skills. Farmers are unable to resolve cases ex post facto in either a civil or SDM (Sub-district magistrate) court due to a lack of documentary evidence to support their claims. The farmer will eventually be at the mercy of the corporate buyer. The bill mentions a Minimum Sales Price (MSP) for the crops, but no concrete legislation is in place to enact it. MSP does not have a statutory backup. MSP serves as a benchmark or signal price for all crop trade in the United States.

“The point is that in a country where 86 per cent of farmers have a land of the size of
fewer than two hectares, you can’t expect the farmer to carry his produce to far off
places to sell. What we need is an assured price for the farmers. If the markets are
saying they will provide a higher price to farmers, the question is a higher price to
what? There must be some benchmark.” Says Davindar Sharma, a food and trade policy
analyst at Al Jazeera.

The Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act, also known as the Mandi system, was repealed by the state government of Bihar in 2006. “The financial situation of 94% of farmers in Bihar — who didn’t go to mandis or weren’t covered under minimum support price (MSP) — should have improved in the past 14 years, but their situation has worsened,” says economist DM Diwakar. This goes on to show that removing and selling agricultural produce outside of the APMC’s jurisdiction has an effect on the MSP that farmers are obligated to earn while trading inside the APMC Market Yard.

Educate, Organize, Agitate and Fact-Check!

Freedom of speech is important in a democracy. It must encourage people to express themselves, whether via social media sites, toolkits, or rallies. Tear gas and water cannons were used on protesters, demonstrators were arrested for standing up for their cause or without overt proof of a foreign plot, and the right to private counsel was denied during remand.

The Indian media has based its attention on the forces that have created instability, losing sight of the true causes of the unrest. Is it fair to ignore or, to put it another way, ridicule the majority of demonstrators who carried out their dissent in accordance with the government’s parameters and routes because a few groups had ulterior motives?

We must educate ourselves from reliable sources and double-check the information we ingest. We appear to equate oppressed people’s rage with their lack of credibility. We must empathise with the agitation and place it in perspective. If we really want to stand in solidarity, we must put an end to the dissemination of misinformation.

THE SOCIAL DILEMMA

Name : The Social Dilemma
Director : Jeff Orlowski
Genre: Documentary-Drama
Language: English
Streaming Platform: Netflix

Consider how many times you’ve been searching online shopping sites or even just having a chat with a friend about the one pair of boots you’ve been eyeing online, just to be bombarded with ads for the same product an hour later – this isn’t a coincidence, and The Social Dilemma examines how this happens and why we, as users, should begin to be suspicious of the content and messages we receive.

Jeff Orlowski’s film The Social Dilemma was released on Netflix in September 2020, right in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic that forever changed the face of social media. The film follows a group of former employees of social media behemoths (Google, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook), all of whom quit their jobs due to ethical issues. The documentary also includes a dramatisation that attempts to depict the inner workings of these corporations and the methods they use to manipulate and direct human behaviour in an imaginative and objective manner. Although there is no doubt that technology has improved our lives by allowing us to access limitless information at the touch of a button and promoting interpersonal contact between people all over the world, the documentary focuses on how businesses use the information they collect about their customers to create strategies to keep their interest and increase profits. The Social Dilemma contains several shocking data about the effect of social media on mental health, which has resulted in skyrocketing depression and suicide rates among young adolescent girls – unsurprisingly, young adolescent girls make up the majority of this demographic. The “digital pacifier effect” is explained by Jonathan Haidt, an American social psychologist: when a consumer turns to the media to alleviate anxiety, dopamine is released in the brain, and this mechanism is cyclical. “There are only two businesses that call their consumers ‘users’: illicit drugs and software,” says a quote from the documentary. Edward Tufte is a writer and academic who is well-known for his contributions to the field of.

You are not alone if you felt unsettled and vulnerable after watching this film. We genuinely believe that we choose the content we consume because of social media’s illusion of power. However, there are some easy measures we can take to actively combat such algorithms and regain control of our behaviour, such as reducing non-urgent app alerts, avoiding clickbait content and suggested videos, and fact-checking information across multiple channels before liking or sharing it.

THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS

Movie : The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Director : Joel and Ethan Coen
Cast : Tim Blake Nelson, Liam Neeson, James Franco, Brendan Gleeson, Zoe
Kazan, Tyne Daly, Harry Melling, and Tom Waits
Genre : Drama, Crime, Comedy, Western anthology

Six interesting, humorous, grim, vile, and mysterious tales set in the post-Civil War West are gripping enough to carry one through the short stories with plenty of mixed emotions about each, with each having a stronger impact than the others. The theme is thoroughly enjoyable for someone who has closely followed and adored the Coen Brothers’ filmography, with their trademark humor, black as tar, and the intrinsically crafted script. Each tale has a distinct plot mood, ranging from sing-alongs to tender romances to harrowing deaths.

The film is wrapped in death, sudden and terrifying, and it’s very lovely. The tales are almost fantastical and similar to folklore, befitting the title of it being a “ballad,” just like the time and place it is set in. The eccentric Buster Scruggs is definitely memorable and entertaining, but the audience must be prepared for the rest, because none of them disappoint, and each tale has a different emotional tone. Each tale varies in length from 10 to 40 minutes, but each one evolves in terms of character and theme just as much as the others.

And it is the director/writer duo’s fun-filled mastery that they do not depart from the storey while also delivering unforgettable characters from each. The Ballad delivers what the Coen Brothers have delivered over the past three decades, masterful storytelling at its finest, from jolly singing to unsettling, and a beautiful ode to the classic westerns while still being a part of them.

THE ALCHEMIST

Book : The Alchemist
Original Title : O Alquimista (Portuguese)
Author : Paulo Coelho
Publisher : HarperCollins Publishers LLC
Genre : Quest, Adventure, Fantasy

The majority of the people we see are members of a community. In a dynamic and traditional world, When we’re together, when we look around, we notice that most people are doing similar things, even though their priorities are different. However, if we come across someone who matches our criteria when searching, someone who dares to be different, someone who pays attention to their surroundings. I believe we have found the most courageous among us.

The Alchemist is a mystical fable about the importance of pursuing one’s dreams. The tale of a young shepherd boy who longs to travel and discover a secret that no one else has ever found is wonderfully told by the poet. He continued on his search for the lost treasure in the pyramids. He learned a lot on his journey, read a lot of books, battled with those who got in his way, survived the mighty desert, and finally realised that a person’s treasure is where his heart is. He discovered that it is our decisions, not destiny, that determine what happens to us.

The path to find the treasure is jam-packed with life lessons. Paulo Coelho’s – The Alchemist – became an international bestseller after being translated into 56 languages and selling over 43 million copies worldwide. This book teaches us that we are the masters of our own destiny and captains of our own dreams. It’s a must-read for anyone who has ever doubted themselves. So, if you just pick up one book during the lockdown, make it this one.

THE EVER EVOLVING SOCIAL MEDIA ENVIRONMENT

People’s information acquisition and processing has changed dramatically as a result of today’s digital revolution. The digital world is now dominated by social media as it has never been before. Customers no longer rely on companies to tell them what to purchase or how to feel about their products or services. Consumers, on the other hand, are more likely to discover useful information on their own or by trusted friends or resources. Most importantly, they want to do so at a time and location that is convenient for them. This shift in consumer culture and behaviour necessitates a significant shift in how companies view social media. Social networking entails far more than just posting information and interacting with it in the hopes of it going viral.

Alternatively, it is a strategic communications approach that aids in the development of personal relationships with clients as well as the achievement of business objectives. Social networking, when used strategically, is the most effective way to practice inbound marketing. Social media has the ability to influence public discussions and expectations, develop brand recognition and loyalty, draw partners and consumers, and establish brand evangelists because of its unique existence as both a public and one-on-one platform. Social media has generated a stir across the globe, and its rapid growth is reshaping our entire world in ways we’ve never seen before.

This means that having a social media presence is now more important than it was previously. Every company should embrace this shift because the world is changing by the minute. What used to work on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook can no longer work. This increases the need for highly qualified and experienced social media administrators who are familiar with the entire business model. As a result, they will develop innovative strategies to meet the high-end demands of companies in the digital age.

SITA- THE WARRIOR OF MITHILA

Book: Sita – The Warrior of Mithila
Author: Amish Tripathi
Publisher: Westend Publishers
Genre: Fantasy, Mythology

We’ve grown up hearing exciting mythological stories, whether from the Mahabharat, the Ramayan, or other sagas, and we’ve only ever seen them from this perspective. The book Sita gives us various perspectives on Sita’s life, who is best known to most of us as Lord Ram’s wife. The book chronicles her life and the battles she faced before marrying Lord Ram. Her abduction is the only important aspect of her life that most people are aware of. This novel, on the other hand, shows Sita in a variety of colours that many people are unaware of. Sita is depicted in the book as being as fierce, strong, and witty as her husband. In a world where we struggle for feminism and equal rights, this book is essential reading.

Sita fights for her own and others’ interests. Sita is more than a princess; she is a warrior who was raised for a greater purpose: to protect our dharma and to unite India under her leadership. The author has arranged it in the most beautiful and wonderful way possible, from the depiction of environments to the characters and plot. This work of fiction incorporates all mythological elements thus giving Sita’s character the highest priority and fully explaining it. This is a good book to read if you’re interested in learning more about Indian myths or female warriors.

THE GRAPES OF WRATH

John Steinbeck won a Pulitzer Prize and a Nobel Prize for his novel The Grapes of Wrath, which was inspired by the Great Depression. The story follows the journey of a poor family of Joads who were pushed out of their homes and land in Oklahoma after the banks confiscated them during the Great Depression, leaving the family homeless. In the expectation of better pay, the family and other poor tenants are persuaded to move to California.

Steinbeck aptly captures the farmers’ disappointment as they learn that the California dream they were sold was nothing more than a mirage. We are given a brief overview of life at these migrant camps through the eyes of Tom Joad, the main protagonist. During the gold rush, families could hardly scrape together enough money to feed themselves, while the wealthy profited from their labour.

Throughout the novel, we see the different challenges that these poor farmers face, from being shot for forming labour unions to family members leaving due to poverty’s hardships. When you read about the inequitable care migrant workers get, the heartbreaking injustice they experience, and the bleak and serious consequences of vulturistic capitalism that poor people face, you know that Steinbeck was able to write a book that is still socio-politically important 75 years later.

The miserable living conditions of farmers, as well as the exploitative existence of landlords, can be seen in modern society. The book appeals to many working-class people because of its authentic depiction of their struggles. When the book was first published, it drew a lot of criticism and was largely banned in California, with accusations that Steinbeck was supporting communist propaganda.

I strongly advise people to add this American classic to their reading lists because it is a beautiful story about humanity, hope, and agitation that is particularly pertinent in these times.

TALKING ABOUT COVID VACCINATION

As a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic, life as we know it has changed in profound ways. There have been over 140 million incidents and over 3 million deaths worldwide to date. To combat this crisis, scientists from all over the world came together in a once-in-a-lifetime effort. As a result of this global research effort, a number of vaccines have been granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)/Listing (EUL). In the United States, the introduction of three vaccines by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Janssen promises to put an end to what has been a particularly bad year. As of April 14th, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) has granted EUL to four vaccines: Pfizer-BioNTech, SK BIO AstraZeneca, Janssen (J&J), and Serum Institute of India, with several more awaiting investigation, including Moderna (approval decision pending end of April). At least one country has approved a total of 14 vaccines.

OUR TIMELY RESPONSE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC WAS INFLUENCED BY ANIMAL RESEARCH

Animal research is more important than ever before, both in fundamental research, such as understanding immune system control, and applied research, where that expertise is applied to the production of cures and other therapeutic strategies. The timescales from bench to bedside are often long in Animal Research, making it difficult to understand the immediate human value of such science. Consider the fact that in the United States, we were able to manufacture three vaccines with an EUA for COVID-19 in less than a year. How was it possible to pull off such a feat? Such rapid progress was possible because of Animal Research into coronaviruses over the last decade, which included Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), as well as decades of prior research into mRNA vaccines, as we wrote at the start of the pandemic.

Vaccines (like all other medications) are generally tested in animals before going through clinical (human) trials to ensure their safety and effectiveness. However, due to the urgency of the COVID-19 hazard, safety and efficacy testing for some of the 110 candidate vaccines and treatments produced (e.g., Moderna’s mRNA-1273 vaccine) was accelerated, and Phase 1 clinical trials began—where the smallest number of human subjects is usually enrolled. That isn’t to suggest that those candidates’ protection and effectiveness weren’t tested in animal models until going into clinical trials. Instead of testing safety and effectiveness prior to clinical trials, animals were tested concurrently with human trials.

What Role Do Cookies and Privacy Policies Play in Data Breach? (Part-3)

GENERAL DATA PROTECTION REGULATION

According to the General Data Protection Regulation, there will be only one way for all businesses operating in Europe to comply with all data protection regulations starting in May 2018.

Stronger rules on data protection mean,

  • Individuals have more influence over their personal information.
  • A level playing field benefits companies.

The GDPR establishes seven guidelines for the lawful processing of personal data. The collection, arrangement, structuring, storage, modification, consultation, usage, contact, mixture, limitation, erasure, or destruction of personal data are all examples of processing. As a result, the seven values are as follows:

  1. Lawfulness, fairness, and transparency
  2. Purpose limitation
  3. Data minimization
  4. Accuracy
  5. Storage limitation
  6. Integrity and confidentiality(security)
  7. Accountability

Principles are the center of the GDPR; they guide regulations and compliant processing.

Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) suggested a realistic alternative that is similar to this (GDPR). It would only happen if a technical company creates software that does not monitor users by default and offers them the option to “opt-out.” Instead, the consumer could willingly “opt-in” to be monitored in order to receive targeted advertising. As a result, privacy is the default setting. A mishmash of mentioned methods with GDPR directives may also be a viable solution. Even if users “opt in” for surveillance, they should be given the name and contact information for the organisation that is tracking them, as well as the option to “opt out.” A price for the users’ personal data, if they ask for it, may be a design that protects the user’s privacy.

CONCLUSION

Cookies allow others to see your information. When people Google how to take data from cookies, they will learn how to do so. Several videos and websites will assist in the extraction of knowledge. People sometimes disregard privacy policies because they are lengthy. Many applications will take advantage of it because people embrace it without even looking at it. Normal people can protect themselves from hackers by using private servers like FreedomBox. In Europe, there are also rules that assist citizens in gaining control of their data and preventing it from being leaked. We should be protected from these dangers, and we should not allow strangers into our private lives without our permission.

What Role Do Cookies and Privacy Policies Play in Data Breach? (Part-2)

PRIVACY POLICY

Many technologically advanced people, too, simply click-past excruciatingly long and complicated privacy policies because they see no other choice. A price for the users’ personal data, if they ask for it, may be a design in which the user’s privacy is prioritised.

Every app has a lengthy policy known as the privacy policy, which is something we should pay attention to. We support the policy without ever reading it. But, do we really need the location service for a simple gaming app? Even the well-known WPS Office app asks for location permission? Or does an app like Hotstar need microphone permission?

“It uses the microphone on your smartphone to record audio samples (including ambient sounds) and generate encrypted fingerprint files of those audio samples in real-time,” according to Hotstar’s privacy policy. To recognise and recognise your television viewing habits, the fingerprint files are compared to a database of documented fingerprints of television networks and television content.” Even if this were true, the microphone might be used to record private audio clips or gain access to our personal information.

Another question that arises is, “Which operating system is more stable, IOS or ANDROID?” When we examine Apple’s operating system, we will see that it is a closed system. It does not make its source code available to software developers, and Apple device owners are unable to change it. Hackers would have a tough time finding any bugs in IOS-powered devices as a result of this. Android smartphones, on the other hand, have open-source code, allowing owners to tinker with the device’s operating system. For its software, it grants all permissions to the app developers.

WAYS TO BE SAFE

There are a variety of ways that people can protect themselves from such dangers. One such example is ‘FreedomBox.’

FreedomBox is a private server system that allows everyone to host their own internet services, such as a VPN, a personal website, file sharing, secure messengers, a VoIP server, a Meta search engine, and more. It’s made to keep you safe. By putting you in charge of your online operation and records, FreedomBox instils liberty in the internet.

Other simple tips by which we can stay safe from cookies are:

  • Clean or delete cookies: The first and most basic move is to clear your browsing history and uninstall all cookies after each session. Cookies can be deleted and all temporary internet files can be cleared with software like SecureClean.
  • Modifying Browser settings: If you have any knowledge about cookies, you can adjust your browser settings accordingly. Safari and Firefox allow you to have more control over your data.
  • Use Add-Ons: Add-Ons allow us to handle cookies more precisely and choose who we want to share our online data with.
  • Share with moderation: To be secure, don’t use personal information where cookies can be used.
  • Protect: Using some anti-virus programme is the safest way to protect yourself.

What Role Do Cookies and Privacy Policies Play in Data Breach? (Part-1)

In today’s world, where many technological advancements are occurring, there are certain aspects about which we must be cautious. Hackers aren’t just people who steal your information; they can even keep an eye and ear on you. Many businesses, or should we say applications, are engaged in such nefarious practices.

Your sensitive information can be extracted and used in a variety of ways. It is important for everyone to understand how our personal data can be taken from the internet and how we can protect ourselves from it.

INTRODUCTION

“Our website needs cookies to provide you with the best experience,” we’ve all seen this pop up almost every time we use the browser. We’ll presume you’re okay with receiving all cookies if you continue without adjusting your settings.” Otherwise, we are redirected to the previous page if we do not press proceed. These cookies are designed to store a small amount of data unique to a specific client and website, and they can be accessed by either the web server or the client device. Although the cookies do not contain your password, they do contain a hash that is identical to it. When you visit the website, it is compared to a hash stored on the server, which is essentially the same as your password.

COOKIES

There are two types of cookies-

  1. Session cookies- E-commerce sites use session cookies to keep track of what you put in your shopping cart. Those are just temporary, and they disappear as soon as you close your browser.
  2. Persistent cookies- It allow websites to remember details such as log-in credentials or account information. However, there is a risk that any of those cookies could end up in the wrong hands.

Third-party cookies pose a greater risk. For the most part, they’re generated by sites that aren’t the same as the web pages people are actually browsing, so they’re linked to ads on that website. Even if the user does not visit the connection, if there are about ten ads on the tab, it will generate ten cookies. It also allows users to monitor a person’s browsing history on all of their ad-supported sites around the internet.

In 2013, Edward Snowden reported that The New York Times articles explaining “How the NSA was using Google cookies to pinpoint hacking targets” included cookies as well. Dave Winer, a New York-based American software developer, has also expressed his concerns about how Facebook can monitor anyone’s whereabouts on the internet after logging in without their permission.

Cookies make it possible to:

  • Persistent shopping carts and customer log-in
  • Wish lists
  • Suggestions for Products
  • Custom user interface (for example, “Welcome back, Steve”)
  • Keeping track of the customer’s address and payment details.

This information can’t only be used by advertisers to aim targeted advertising at us; it also poses a danger to us if it’s misused by the government. At the time, our own well-being was being compromised by ardent supporters of the government through data that we might not have discovered in any situation. Surveillance becomes much more dangerous as a result of this.

Stay tuned for Part-2!

APOCALYPSE

The world ended 2019 with the news that a mystery respiratory virus had been discovered in the animal market of Wuhan, China. What seemed to be a minor piece of news at the time has now evolved into a global pandemic. There is a force among us that is invisible to the human eye but strong enough to wipe out the lives of millions of people in a short period of time. It is, without a doubt, a challenging situation for the entire planet. For our own sake, it necessitates that we take a few simple yet necessary steps. The question is, have we yet realised how important it is to take these precautions?

Although most of us are binge-watching shows and whining about our messed-up schedules from the safety of our houses, even more are bravely braving the elements. We are lucky to have doctors and nurses who selflessly put themselves in tense hospital conditions every day to ensure that we are not exposed to the confines of an isolation ward again. We should be grateful to the cops who are continuously guiding us back to the safety of our homes when their own lives are on the line. Let us not forget about the manual scavengers who continue to clean up our garbage. We should be proud of scientists all over the world who are devoting every ounce of their expertise and experience to developing a vaccine that works. Humans will have less physical interaction, which will not only relieve the intense stress on their minds, but will also speed up the process of ‘flattening the curve.’ At the same time, seeing reports like “infuriated people pelting stones on the local police,” “COVID positive patient reportedly fled the hospital, refusing to be held in isolation,” and “Public is blatantly breaking rules while being in the fourth step of lockdown” is disheartening. All we have to do is stay inside and only go outside if absolutely necessary.

It took a pandemic to make us understand the value of protecting our own and others’ welfare. Nature has hit us in the face by infecting us with this virus, a really clever way of saying, “You can’t survive without me.” But I can’t do it without you.’ Nature is giggling hysterically at us because we disregarded its cries.

Who knew a fictional character could reliably predict the future when Tony Stark said, “I’m sorry, the Earth is closed today.” It is in our hands to determine whether or not the Earth will stay closed in the future.

HOW TO STUDY AMIDST PANDEMIC

“Victory comes from finding
opportunities in problems.”

Do you prefer to study at home? We millennials have an inherent ability to sneakily use social media during classes, whether in the classroom or online. During our lectures, we know how to eat, sleep, and chat, and that tradition will continue online as well.

But, by the end of the day, don’t we get to do anything useful? It may be navigating congested roads in the rain, maintaining positive social relationships, or engaging in practical learning. During this online process, we will miss out on all of that. So, in such a situation, how does one become productive? It all comes down to self-control, in my opinion. Nobody is pressuring us to read, study, or do something productive; there is no pressure, and we have complete control of how we spend our time.

Which is better: online or in a classroom? Since it is much more receptive and engrossing, the solution is a classroom environment. Learning online, on the other hand, has its advantages. With more spare time on our side, we become more productive time managers. Having said that, I am aware that most of us fall victim to the vicious cycle of procrastination, and to combat this, I have begun to use the Pomodoro technique, which appears to be successful. It divides work into 25-minute chunks, with a 5-minute leisure break in between and a 20-minute reward break after 2 hours or so. It assists me in maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Nobody knows how our educational environment can shift in the coming months, so we must make the most of the time we have and learn some useful skills while we’re at it.

LET’S ALL WALK ALONE YET TOGETHER!

In the valley noted for its echoes, silence talks. Our northern kin has been living in the shadows of the military and a political power struggle that will end in bloodshed regardless of who wins. Kashmiris have become inmates in their own homes, with the majestic peaks serving as a jail. Who are they pleading with? How can they get their message across?

While the mainland watches the programme, they protest, fight, and plead for their rights and freedom. They were alone, as were the Jews, the Blacks, and that one child in the diner with his parents on their phones, despite a population of 1.25 crore.

Like the Black Death in Europe, stories of social alienation abound in our history textbooks. Even so, we can feel its claws tightening around our necks now more than ever. We have a lot of connections. We have the whole planet at our fingertips. Calls and texts have relieved the sweet doves of their duties, allowing us to converse with strangers as well as friends.

In our pockets, we bear a piece of our loved ones. We are surrounded by more than 7 billion people and 8.7 million other animals. And yet, as we sit on our sofa, pizza in one hand and phone in the other, the knowledge slowly sinks in that we are both very lonely, like a slow poison.

In the United States alone, over 60 million people reported feeling lonely (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2018). Globally, youth are becoming increasingly withdrawn and absent-minded, preferring to curl up in a comfortable corner rather than face the harsh realities of life. The Loneliness Epidemic is one of many aspects that have characterised this period. People are becoming more agitated, despondent, inactive, and withdrawn. We rest isolated, unaffected, and unmoved in the midst of the whirlwind of likes and followers.

If the Loneliness Epidemic is not handled, we will be hollowed out. It drives people insane and turns them into savages. It encourages them to engage in drug abuse. As they sit trying to fit bits of garbage into the gaping hole inside, one loses all sense of reason. Loneliness is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, or a black pit, swallowing all life and leaving nothing but death and decay behind. It’s a shame the internet doesn’t bind people’s souls.

Wuhan was put on lockdown when the Coronavirus struck, with all residents being rounded up and placed in isolation or quarantine. China constructed a wall around itself when the Mongols threatened, and an alienation zone when the Chernobyl disaster occurred. Our reaction to the possibility of a global war was to create memes. We conveniently chuckled and japed instead of recognising the ramifications of such a brutal global phenomenon, refusing to be scared into a frenzy. When wars arrive at our doorstep, we slam the door in their faces. But what about the conflict that exists inside you? It is futile to demand caution from those who have never known peace.

Ironically, Mahatma Gandhi, Anne Frank, Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela, William Shakespeare, Vincent Van Gogh, and Albert Einstein all came from this species. Guess what, visionaries, poets, freedom fighters, scientists, painters, and one teen girl who turned the world upside down? They began on their own. They began in seclusion. They were triumphant in the internal war that was raging. The world was awestruck, inspired, and speechless as a result of their valiant struggle. They were given meaning by a little trust in themselves and a greater love for others. We are, in reality, lonely. We’ve always been that way. And we’ve been battling it for a long time. Sure, it’s a sorry state of affairs for our species. But we’re fighting back, and we’re stronger than ever. We’re in this together. Despite stumbling and fumbling, we persist.

INDIA’S CRIPPLING TROPICAL FORESTS EPITOMIZE CARBON SINKS

By the year 2050, the world’s tropical forest supply may be severely depleted. Scientists expect that by 2050, sea levels will have risen to the point where most major cities will be flooded. In the last two decades, neglecting our biodiversity has resulted in four disease outbreaks. Can the human race afford another global epidemic that makes it impossible to breathe?

Carbon sinks are natural processes that absorb and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere; the oceans and forests are the two largest carbon sinks on the planet. Oceans are the world’s main carbon sinks. Plants and soil are the two carbon sinks found in forests. Plants absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere for photosynthesis, and some carbon dioxide is released by the soil as plants die and decompose. In the event of a forest fire, forests will change from carbon sink to carbon source. If forests remain intact, with no leakages such as erosion and deforestation, this trade-off between sink and source can be balanced. Forests’ ability to function as a carbon sink or source is dependent on the balance of photosynthesis and respiration. If you believe it or not, forest soil has sequestered a significant amount of carbon.

When a tree dies and the microbes finish the decomposition process, some of the accumulated carbon is released back into the atmosphere. This method does not result in the complete loss of carbon. A sizable portion of it has remained in the soil. A large area of forest is an excellent example of a carbon sink. “Basically half of the carbon dioxide emissions are consumed by the Earth’s land and ocean,” says Paul Fraser of the Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization.

The titan Amazon basin, which predominantly serves as the largest carbon sink of all of the forests, and benefits us by generating over 20% of the total oxygen production for the earth, is an example of the world’s largest tropical forest, holding up to 40 thousand plant species, 2.5 million insect species, and a myriad variety of wildlife. The Amazon is used to demonstrate how tropical forests can function as a carbon sink. “We have already lost 20% of the Amazon in 2019, and scientists worry that if we lose yet another 5%, the Amazon will hit its tipping point,” says Mike Barrett, WWF Director of Science and Conservation.

India is ranked 9th among the world’s megadiverse countries, with nearly 40,000 plant species and 90,000 animal species living through diverse geographical environments in all four directions. The Northeast (NE), once one of India’s greenest areas, has been slowly losing forest cover for the past 20 years.

According to data mapped by the Global Forest Watch, a repository for global forest data, the rate has doubled. According to a report published by the Deccan Herald in 2018, over 70 percent of the forest cover in the Northeastern states was lost due to deforestation between 2001 and 2018. Infrastructure is essential for the economy, but not at the expense of our aid recipients. The Northeast has been facing a significant threat to its forests for the past two decades as a result of deforestation for coal mining, cement manufacturing, and illegal logging. Deforestation has already wreaked havoc on the Garo Hills of Meghalaya and the Karbi Anglong Hills of Assam. As a result of the Etalin Hydroelectricity Project, the Dibang valley in Arunachal Pradesh is on the verge of losing 2.7 lakh trees. The Northeast is already feeling the heat of forest depletion, with some states experiencing the highest temperature increase in the last two decades. In Karnataka, a similar incident occurred when the long-delayed Hubballi-Ankola railway line was finally approved. This 164-kilometer railway line would cut through the Kali Tiger Reserve and the Bedti Conservation Reserve, destroying more than 80% of the forest cover in the Western Ghats, one of India’s most ecologically sensitive areas. There are fears that the Bannerghatta National Park, which is located in the ESZ (eco-sensitive zone), Bangalore’s only remaining lung space, would lose about 100 square kilometres. The loss of trees would increase carbon emissions, and these forests are home to more than 250 species of plants, birds, animals, and insects that are listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and protected by the Wildlife Protection Act of 197.

Mining and various agricultural and commercial growth projects in India generate at least 1,000 million tonnes of carbon. With the pace at which trees are being cut down, India will experience many stages of ecological cancer. India’s average reported temperature has already increased. Even Antarctica experienced the hottest temperature increase in 141 years, not to mention the July 2019 Heat Wave. According to the World Bank, nearly 1.3 million sq/km of land cover was destroyed between 1990 and 2016, an area greater than South Africa. What are the warning signs if these aren’t them? Tropical woods, unlike the Notre Dame Cathedral, cannot be rebuilt.

As a result, I implore everyone to take responsibility for raising consciousness about these issues and not allowing them to go unnoticed. Begin to shoulder some of the world’s responsibilities. It has been far too long since we have felt a sense of awe for the natural world. In this sense, President John F. Kennedy said, “If not us, who?” When, if not now, would it be?”

The Modern Age Of Activism

With the advancement of technology and the passage of time, the field of “Social Media” and its influence has expanded and flourished. What began as a place for people to express themselves, share their experiences, and meet new people from all over the world has evolved into an increasingly important forum for addressing socially and politically relevant issues that affect the lives of people all over the world. The claws of social media are so powerful that it is now thought that, because of its inherent strength, it has helped bring the world closer to us, right at our fingertips. Contrary to common opinion, and in light of current events, we must increasingly doubt the influence of social media.

The growth of social media has been measured not only in terms of the number of users worldwide, but also in terms of the number of channels and features available. It has also become a forum through which millions of people can access and obtain information about social and political issues and movements as a result of its development. As a result, the form of contemporary political movements and demonstrations has been formed. The #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo movements are archetypal examples of how modern-day protests are organized on social media, demonstrating the amount of political participation and interest that can be generated on the platform. Given that thousands of people post their social and political views every day, such a knowledge overload creates a great deal of uncertainty, which in turn influences the perceptions of millions of people who read these posts. Hence, a query arises, ‘Can you blindly accept any news that is shared on social media? ‘Because what we think of as facts or news could just be a piece of someone else’s opinion on a given topic.’

The terms “momentarily” and “fad” can be used interchangeably to describe modern-day social media movements. While it is simple to raise awareness about a significant social issue, both of these movements follow the ‘bell curve.’ When the ‘Black Lives Matter’ (BLM) campaign erupted on social media, for example, it caused an instant uproar and drew everyone’s attention. People were not only vocal about their views on racism, but they were also supportive of the campaign. But, after #BlackoutTuesday, what happened? People resumed posting memes and other standard material. Within a few days, the movement that had gotten so much coverage overnight had faded from users’ feeds. When Black Lives Matter became popular, people began using it as a motif for photoshoots, makeup inspiration, and creating ‘Tiktoks.’ The movement’s objective was totally changed, and it was relegated to being a “feature of the month.” When these factors are considered, the feasibility and viability of using social media to raise political and social problems is called into question. Although it empowers millions of citizens and highlights sensitive issues, we now see that it often disempowers people and reduces the sensitivity of the issues it represents.

When it comes to demographics, ‘Millennials’ and ‘Generation-Z’ are the most active users of social media. It has become a hotspot for them to express themselves without filters. The only issue with this culture’s promotion is that it has started to incite a lot of hatred among people. Previously, we had incidents where social media saved the lives of people who needed saving, and now we have incidents where it takes the lives of people due to the amount of hatred it can generate in a split second. While there is no mention of a second chance on social media, there are plenty of unsolicited opinions. Let’s take the case of someone who hasn’t been exposed to bigotry and has an uninformed view about it. On a social media website, the person posts something about his personal opinion. After receiving criticism from others, the same person chooses to reflect and reconsider his position. The individual recognizes their lack of sensitivity and re-posts. People on social media will call it hypocrisy outright, and there would be no space for a normalized response to a shift of perception that may occur as a result of new facts and realizations. This same scenario plays out on different social media sites on a daily basis, and it can have a significant impact on an individual’s mental health.

While social media has many advantages, such as bringing the world closer together in multiple ways, we cannot overlook the differences it has generated among communities and people. The term “socializing” has taken on a new meaning in today’s world, and the days of people meeting up and interacting are long gone. Social media has rapidly transformed activism into ‘slacktivism,’ and this fact makes us doubt its viability as a forum for discussing social or political movements, because, while we may think we are making a difference, we are ultimately supporting the ‘clickbait’ mentality, in which anything is viewed as a passing fad.

Spot Light Or An Illusion?

Most of you have experienced awkward moments, whether it was giving incorrect answers in class or cracking a lame joke in front of your friends. You can also recall your faux pas and believe that those around you do as well. Is this, however, the case?

People are egocentrically biased when deciding how obvious their faux pas is to others, according to researchers. They have a tendency to exaggerate the number of people who may have heard their blunder. However, no one talks about or remembers their faux pas as much as they do. The “Spotlight Effect” is the name given to this phenomenon. Thomas Gilovich, Victoria Medvec, and Kenneth Savitsky invented the word “Spotlight Effect” in 1999 and published it in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. The Spotlight Effect is described as an overestimation of how often other people notice and remember your appearance and actions. It’s a cognitive bias that makes you feel like everyone is looking at you, particularly if you’ve made a mistake. For example, if you have a cold, you might believe that everyone around you is listening and counting every time you cough. But, in fact, the vast majority of them are completely unaware, and those who do hear you are likely unconcerned.

One of the most common reasons why people avoid going to social activities alone is that they are unable to do what they want without being socially uncomfortable or awkward.

How can I get rid of the Spotlight Effect?

Distract yourself with these activities: Get out of your own mind and take a look around. You’ll notice that everybody is engrossed in their own worlds, and no one is paying attention to you as much as you think they are. Put yourself in the shoes of others: Try to see yourself from the eyes of someone who have a different viewpoint than you. It will assist you in moving from an egocentric to a neutral point of view.

When you’re anxious in your mind, for example, you may believe that your thoughts and feelings are clear to others and that they can tell you’re nervous, which isn’t always the case. No one can tell how you’re feeling just by looking at you. So when you make a faux pas and believe that someone can see right through you, it’s just a trick of the light.

Examine the reasons for your embarrassment: Tell yourself, “So what?” if you’re nervous at a social gathering and keep imagining the worst-case scenarios. After you’ve answered that, ask yourself, “So what?” and keep answering until you no longer care what others think of you. For instance, if you’re at a party and you feel like everyone is staring at you because of your outfit, ask yourself ” “What if they don’t like the clothes I’m wearing?” They would pass judgement on me. “What if they pass judgement on me?” There will be rumors about me. “So what if they whisper about me?” and so on, until you are no longer bothered by other people’s views.

Furthermore, other people’s negative views should not be used against you because it reveals more about them than it does about you. So, instead of doing what others want you to do, keep doing what you want. Change your focus away from yourself: Shift the concentration away from yourself and toward the objects and people around you, as well as the agenda for that social event or meeting.

During social events, it is normal to feel the Spotlight Effect. It is not, however, worth putting off what you want to do because of what others can think.

So, whatever you do, make sure you do it!

INEQUITY UNMASKED

The Indian education system is based on elitism, with educational accessibility serving as a major dividing line between various socioeconomic groups of a culture. The hierarchical organization of society based on caste or ‘varna’ – the caste system (‘varna vyavastha’) ascribed a rank to the person that marked virtually every aspect of Hindu social life – was one way in which this inequality manifested itself in ancient society. The caste status of a person dictated their privileges (or lack thereof). Many social, religious, and economic advantages were conferred on the upper-caste ‘brahmins,’ including education, while the lower castes were denied entry. The government of the post-colonial Indian state attempted to resolve and abolish such disparities by enacting the Right to Education Act, which required all children under the age of 14 to attend school, as well as the Reservation Policy. In today’s coronavirus-shaped world, inequality is once again exposed: access to the internet and mobile devices, rather than one’s social status, has become the deciding factor.

The repercussions for the general population were immediate and serious when the Indian government declared a full lockdown on the 24th of March 2020 in the hopes of controlling a COVID-19 outbreak. The lockdown, in addition to triggering its own set of issues, revealed the education system’s existing flaws and deteriorating structure. This population did not include families living in poverty who could barely afford regular meals, let alone technological devices, emphasizing the ever-widening divide between the wealthy and the poor.

Online learning has had a positive effect on the education sector; it has sparked a desire for Open and Distance Learning (ODL), as the curriculum promotes self-learning and customization of the syllabus to the students’ needs. However, since the latter is only reaped by a small percentage of the population, the negative consequences greatly outweigh the positive.

Another effect of the curfew on Indian education has been a dramatic rise in the number of students dropping out. For most poor families, the economic fallout from the lockdown resulted in unemployment and a decline in earning power. Children were forced to drop out of school as a result, forcing them into the job market.

The Mid-Day Meal (MDM) programme, which aimed to provide food for students in government schools, was also lost as a result of the lockdown and subsequent school closure.

Ramesh Nishank, the Union Minister of Human Resource Development, announced an increased allocation of funds of Rs. 1700 crores to ensure the provision of MDMs to students even during the lockdown. During the lockout, however, it was discovered that 40% of the qualifying children did not receive MDMs. On the 1st of February 2021, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman introduced the Union Budget 2021, which outlined the allocation of funds to various sectors. The budgetary allocation for the government’s flagship education programme, Samagra Shiksha Abhyaan, has been reduced from Rs. 38,751 crores to Rs. 31,050 crores for the coming fiscal year. If the government fails to place a high priority on public education, the detrimental consequences will last for generations and decades. Unemployment would eventually rise, affecting almost every part of society and the economy.

Thanks to the lockdown, schooling took on a new structure overnight, requiring students and teachers to navigate a novel system of adjusting to an online education forum. Humans are social animals that rely on face-to-face communication for successful communication, and the educational field is no exception. In the absence of this face-to-face learning, ground-level proficiency is broken, especially for students studying fundamental concepts and skills that they will need during their lives at the elementary level. Furthermore, students’ practical effectiveness in the field of STEM, where conceptual comprehension and practical applications are at the center of learning, has decreased.

The curfew has forever changed the face of Indian education. The advantages of the blended learning system are only available to those in the upper echelons of society, making the rest unprotected. The issue of quality education accessibility has always existed in the Indian system; it is only now that it has been exacerbated in the face of the pandemic and revealed for all to see.