Amit Shah’s quota pitch in J&K; Beti Bachao gains; Curbing IPO fixes

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Opinion Watch

Amit Shah’s quota in J&K

The Article 370-led regime in Jammu and Kashmir had created too many contradictions — political powers with a few, exclusion of socially backward communities from state’s affirmative actions, gender inequality and so on.

Union Minister for Home Affairs Amit Shah is a master in exploiting such contradictions, as he announced in Rajouri on Tuesday that Bakarwal, Pahari and Gujjar will get reservation benefits. Indeed, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is bracing up for the Assembly elections in the Union Territory of J&K, which is expected next year.

The Pioneer in its Editorial has sought to make a sense of Shah’s quota announcement in J&K, arguing that it’s from an old playbook, fraught with consequences, while making a mention of the GD Sharma Commission Report, which had called for reservation for such communities.

Noida-based daily claims that getting Muslim votes in J&K would be out of question for the BJP, which explains the outreach to three largely pastoral communities, with mixed religious backgrounds and past of helping the Indian Army, to make a foothold in the Kashmir valley.

The Pioneer suddenly takes an Editorial flight to stress that the economic progress must follow such reservation pitch, as had been the case with the 1991 economic reforms that helped India march on with a boom in the economy till 2008 after late former Prime Minister VP Singh midwifed a new breed of Mandal identity politics in the Hindi belt.

That India still resonates with reservation pitch is indeed a sad commentary and also an affirmation that the economic growth is not translating in income distribution, while weaker sections, particularly those who are not dominant castes, stay socio-economically vulnerable.

Beti Bachao gains  

The early years of the Narendra Modi-led government had seen launch of several social campaigns, including ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’.

There has been noticeable improvement in the sex ratio in the 0-6 age group. The campaign was backed by girl child-centric schemes in states.

The Economic Times has richly lauded India achieving infant mortality rate (IMR) of 28, which is just a kiss away from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of 25 by 2030, while icing on the cake is a sharp reduction in the gender gap, allowing more girl children to live beyond their first birth days.

The business daily noted that eight states have less IMR for girls than boys, five fare equally, and 15 reduced gaps. Chhattisgarh needs to introspect, for IMR for girls of 40 against 35 for the boys.

The Times of India underlined the IMR journey of India from 44 in 2011 to 33 in 2017 and 28 now, while calling out Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Chhattisgarh for over 150 maternal mortality rate (MMR). Institutional delivery has made significant gains in the last one decade.

“The combined government expenditure on health increased from Rs 2.73 lakh crore in 2019-20 to Rs 4.72 lakh crore in 201-22,” stated the daily.

But that’s a half picture, for ToI doesn’t tell that the health expenditure against GDP has shrunk from close to four per cent 15 years ago to just a little over three per cent, while a major portion of expenses may have been accounted for by the Covid-19.

Curbing IPO fixes

Lakhs of retail investors who had invested in the initial public offer of the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) are stuck with massive losses. The LIC is not an exception but norms. There has been a pattern for the institutional and the high net worth individuals to loot the hard-earned money of the small investors through IPO fixing.

The Economic Times in its Editorial has welcome the move of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to step up disclosure norms, including the PE funding details.

Under the watch of the SEBI, the Chinese PE Funds looted the Indian investors in the PayTM IPO, and the list, if one begins naming, could turn into a book of monumental failure of the market regulator.                  

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1 thought on “Amit Shah’s quota pitch in J&K; Beti Bachao gains; Curbing IPO fixes

  1. Good coverage again on J&K upcoming election – political strategy keeping reservation also a tool.
    Happy to read India’s achievement on reduced mortality rate of girl child and improving sex ratio.

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