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“Boycott Chinese Goods”: An Emotion Or A Reality?

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Boycott Chinese Goods”: An Emotion Or A Reality?

On the night of June 15, we witnessed the most fierce India-China clash in 58 years in the freezing Union Territory, Ladakh. Outraged, many Indians, decided to “Boycott China”, as a mark of respect to the soldiers killed in action. Following which, India on Tuesday banned 59 Chinese apps including the popular platforms like TikTok, WeChat and others.

Is it possible to boycott all Chinese products?

Yes, it is. However, experts say boycotting China is “better said than done”. This is evident through the strong dependence of the Indian manufacturers and consumers on the Chinese products and capital. In addition to the heavy reliance, the volume of the trade happening between the two countries is remarkably high.

Union Minister, Ramdas Athawale, had gone to the extent of suggesting a ban on Chinese food being served in Indian restaurants. The same is not likely to happen, as Chinese cuisine is famous and loved in India, and in no way going to affect China’s economy. Moreover, it is Indian businesses that are going to bear the wrath of the minister’s advice. There is going to be massive job loss and locks on profiting businesses.

Reasons why “Boycotting China” could be a hurdle:

  1. China is India’s second-largest trade partner, holding around 10.6 per cent of the total Indian trade. (as per the trade in 2019-2020). However, India is China’s twelfth trade partner, holding only 2.1 per cent of China’s total trade;
  2. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) data in 2018, India imports about 15.3 per cent of its products from China and only 5.1 per cent of India’s exports go to China;
  3. India could lose out on the current and potential Chinese investments;
  4. Eight lakhs Indians visit China every year, whereas only 2.5 lakhs Chinese visit India.

Boycotting the Chinese products will definitely harm India’s trade in a huge way. If the Indian Government decides to succumb to the intense public plea and increase the Import Duty on the Chinese goods, then the consumers will get severely affected. However, if India can bring about with other alternatives for these products, boycotting won’t be an issue in the long run.

India’s unique retaliation

  • People in Ahmedabad got rid of Chinese televisions, and traders in New Delhi burnt Chinese goods. Amit Bhandari from Gateway House says, “boycotting Chinese apps might be more effective than boycotting physical products in terms of Value Added, because there are multiple alternatives”. Many tweets also showed various other protests, where people were seeing throwing or dismantling the product or showing placards at department stores.

  • On June 26, a video wherein an Indian soldier is appealing to the Indian viewers to boycott the Chinese goods, and mobile apps is doing rounds on social media. He goes on to add that the Indian Army is trying its level best to protect the nation and as responsible citizens, we must fulfil our duties by boycotting the Chinese items and mobile apps.

https://twitter.com/ItsSarvadamanD/status/1277642806085980160

A few notable Indian alternatives available to the Chinese mobile apps are as follows:-

Chinese Apps Indian Alternative
TikTok ShareChat
UC Browser JioBrowser, Epic web browser
CamScanner Adobe Scan
BeautyPlus and YouCam Perfect Indian Selfie Camera
WPS Office Google Drive
VivaVideo Photo Video Maker
  • The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), a strong union of 70 million local traders, has decided to intensify its nationwide movement against the Chinese goods. As of now, more than 100 products are under various stages of anti-dumping action. Recently, there is a widespread opinion that improving trade and investment relations with other countries such as Taiwan, could be effective steps to remove the economic dependency of India on China;
  • In Kolkata, a group of Zomato employees went on to burn the company’s t-shirts to show their protest against the Chinese investment in the firm.
  • In Bihar, the state government announced the cancellation of a tender that involved Chinese companies, for the construction of a new mega bridge project.

Few notable decisions taken by Government

  1. Suppliers must mention the “country of origin” to boost the sale of local products and eventually push out the Chinese manufacturers.
  2. New sellers on the Indian Government’s online procurement platform will have to register the origin of their products. The products already available on the platform must comply with the new requirement or face the consequence of being removed.
  3. The buyers will be allowed to buy only those products that have at least 50 per cent local content, in the platform as mentioned above.
  4. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative ‘Make in India’ will be promoted by providing utmost preference to those companies whose goods and services comprise of at least 50 per cent local content.

There is no doubt that India is highly dependent on the Chinese for their products. However, as India has taken a major step by boycotting 59 Chinese apps on Tuesday, and the journey ahead to block other goods and services with Chinese-link seems achievable.

Following which, many Indian apps were brought into the notice of the people that were already prevailing in the market. This step also paves ways to not only for Indian techies but also for people in other fields to brainstorm and think for more alternatives.

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All You Need To Know About National Institute Of Food Technology Entrepreneurship And Management Bill 2021

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National Institute Of Food Technology Entrepreneurship And Management Bill 2021

On July 26, 2021, Lok Sabha passed a bill under the ministry of Food Processing Industry. The bill is titled as National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management Bill, 2021. The main motive of this bill is to address issues with the Food Processing Industry, Entrepreneurship and one Institution for National Importance. With the passing of this bill, the Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT) and National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM) is now merged as Institutions of National Importance, and it aims at providing various research and advancement in learning about the Food Industry and its associated branches. The bill was first introduced in the house in February 2019 but was pending due to protest by the opposition.

Significance of Institutions of National Importance (INI)

With the passing of this bill, the institutions enjoy greater autonomy through which they can carry out various courses, research attracting skilled faculties and students from all over the country and overseas. Good standards in education will be adopted to improve the present and future of education in this branch and sector, overcoming the technological gap in the country. This law aims to improve and introduce new changes in food, bio-nanotechnology, cold chain technology etc. The desired efforts will be taken in terms of human resources and infrastructure developments, labs for research etc. Liberty to open centres anywhere in India is also granted to INI and include courses regarding food technology certification and improving the workforce of the country.

Some other important features of this act are the Institution has been authorized with the Board of Government, Senate and other acting Authorities. The Council of Board will include 16 members from different branches from the same field. The Head will be Chairperson, who will be a skilled person from the Food Industry, the Director, Dean and Registrar. Members appointed from Centre and State Governments, Members from FSSAI and Council of Agriculture Research, as mentioned in the bill. The 16 members of the board will carry out work of taking administrative decisions, creating annual budgets and paths for institution progress as an organization, establishing departments, their appointment terms of services, faculties etc. The Board of Council also holds power to grant Honorary Degrees and Diplomas. The Senate shall be the principal academic body of the Institute, consisting of the people such as Director as the Chairperson; Registrar; Full-time skilled level Professor; and Three academically skilled Individuals nominated by the board from the field.

The Union Minister of Food Processing Industry, Mr Pashupati Kumar Paras, expressed his gratitude to PM Modi for this landmark step in this industry from his Twitter handle, indicating new opportunities in Food Technology Industries. Therefore, this Act looks promising on paper with new opportunities and in Educational Development. Amidst the Pegasus Spyware and repeal of the farm laws, this looks positive from the Modi Government.

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Fake News: Accountability Of News Organisations

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Fake News II News Aur Chai

Fake news is false news stories or hoaxes, which are deliberately released to misinform and to create chaos in society or among readers. Fake news is one of the main reasons behind the disruption of peace in society and it becomes more dangerous in volatile places. Fake news is generally shared with propaganda to mislead the audience by hiding or twisting the truth. However fake news isn’t new to the web, it recently became an enormous problem in today’s digital world. Fake news mostly comes from sites that are bogus or have sensationalized stories.

Most of the users do not check the facts before sharing the information on their social media, which can be a reason for widespread fake news. So, it is important to differentiate between fake news and authentic news to maintain harmony in society and to avoid false news and its repercussions.

Fake News Stories

  • On 2nd April, a team of doctors, health workers, and revenue officials were attacked by the family members of a 65-year-old man who died of COVID-19 in Indore, Madhya Pradesh because of the fake video which claimed that healthy Muslims were being injected with the virus, reiterating the risks and physical manifestations of misinformation.
  • On March 22, 2020, Mr. Modi’s new term ‘Janta curfew’ has sparked a buzz on the Internet. Social media users started interpreting PM Modi’s concept of ‘Janta curfew’ in their own ways. Social media was flooded with a certain ‘scientific explanation’ behind the curfew as to how it will break the chain of transmissions of the deadly coronavirus infection. The claim was found out to be misleading. PM Modi, while announcing the curfew, didn’t mention this particular ‘scientific’ logic behind it.
  • Rumours were circulated on WhatsApp groups about a kidnapping gang operating in India’s western state of Maharashtra in 2018. The rumors eventually cause a mob lynching, that killed five migrant workers because they were suspected of being kidnappers.
  • On November 13, 2016, when the government of India has demonetized Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes and planned to replace them with new Rs 500 and Rs 2000 notes, rumors were spreading about Rs 2000 notes. Rumors claimed the new higher denomination currency comes with a Nano-GPS chip which acts as a reflector, giving precise location coordinates of the currency to permit every note to be tracked. However, the RBI officials had dismissed these as false and said the new Rs 2000 note does not have a Nano-GPS chip as is being claimed on social media, WhatsApp.
  • In the pandemic situation, where vaccination has become crucial, in a series of viral videos it was seen that people are claiming that magnet was attracted to the arms of alleged COVID-19 vaccinated recipients. This kind of fake news can create misconceptions about vaccines and people may not take their jab of vaccines. The Centre has declined the claims that Covid-19 vaccines can make people ‘magnetic’. It has also dismissed theories about microchips in coronavirus vaccines.

Need of Accountability

False information on social media can cause huge problems. It is often done to influence political processes. Need for Accountability increases in such situations because the false information provided by certain news organizations can create a ruckus in society. Before publishing the news, it is necessary to check the facts.

If the news organizations, shared misinformation unintentionally they must remove the content right away and they should apologize to the readers. If fake news is spread with propaganda to create chaos in society, then the news organization should be punished under the law. The information must be checked before sharing it with other people.

 

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Curious Case Of Pegasus: Explained

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Pegasus II News Aur Chai

Pegasus is a spyware that can hack the victims’ mobile phones and read their SMS messages and emails. The Pegasus spyware is owned by an Israeli software company named NSO Group. According to the various reports, this company has targeted more than 50,000 phone numbers at the Global level, of which 300 are in India for surveillance.

The news broke out after the 17 media partners investigated. This investigation brought into the picture information about a leaked database of mobile telephone numbers of Indian Ministers, Opposition leaders, journalists, the legal community, business people, government officials, scientists, activists and many influential personalities of the nation.

Pegasus Spyware and India

According to the report by the agency, the Israeli company which sells Pegasus around the world says that its clients are confined to ‘vetted governments”, believed to number 36. The NSO Group also says that ‘the target list in India is not ours, never was.’ Their refusal of the leaked database has created a loophole in understanding this case.

This whole case has violated the integrity of democratic institutions. According to the report by the agencies, after the mobile phones of the opposition leader Rahul Gandhi and various other leaders were hacked under the Pegasus spyware surveillance. Multiple tweets were made against the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) government in India. This whole case has become one of the major threats in the political arena and the Indian Democracy.

Though at the start, it was used for national security purposes. The explosive expansion of surveillance technology vendors has become a vast human rights and a global security issue. If such surveillance technologies increase, it might cause a lot of problems to countries around the globe. Hence, as a precaution, all these countries need to work on regulating this technology.

According to the reports by the agency, one of the targeted phones by the Pegasus spyware was of the former election commissioner of India, Ashok Lavasa. Various such people and such opposition leaders were somehow against the BJP government having their phones hacked with the NSO-owned spyware. All these instances and the names in the leaked list have pointed figures towards the Modi Government.

The Modi government’s stand on this case was put forward in Lok Sabha by two serving ministers, Ashwini Vaishnaw and Prahlad Singh Patel. These two leaders were also featured in the leaked database. The recent Information Technology Minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw defended the BJP government in the parliament by saying, “the expose was an attempt to malign Indian democracy and its well-established institutions.” She even said, ‘any form of illegal surveillance is not possible with the checks and balances in our laws and robust institutions.’

This case has adjourned the parliament proceedings due to the protests inside and outside the house of parliament by the opposition party.

Pegasus Spyware and World.

 In the statement given to the agency, Access Now, an organisation defending the digital rights of global users, said it was outraged that products sold by NSO were allegedly “used to hack and invade the private communications” of thousands of people across the globe.

At a global level, France’s Emmanuel Macron was targeted in the Pegasus spyware case. As the phone of French President Emmanuel Macron was hacked, the investigation was carried out and later on was published which was directed by the Paris-based non-profit journalism group Forbidden.  After this case came in front of the whole world, the Pegasus spyware surveillance came into the picture.

If this continues for some more time, it will ruin India’s Democratic values at a global level. As well as this might become a huge technological threat between the different nations around the globe.

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