First in 150 years: India skips Census; Higher education in mother tongue; No cheers from income tax filers

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Opinion Watch

India hasn’t missed any decadal Census since 1872. India missed the 2021 Census, and the government has further postponed it, while 2022 is also flying fast.

The government has said that it would extrapolate the 2011 Census for the official purposes. That has to be the weirdest thing to happen at a time when personal data of the people can be purchased for a few bucks anywhere.

When more than half of the annual Budget of India is spent on one or the other form of subsidies, the government to bank on 2011 Census has to be most baffling.

Deccan Herald has run a timely Edit on India missing the Census bus, hinting that the government’s Covid-19 alibi is too weak, while the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party may be fearful of the demands of a section of the Opposition for the Caste Census and also the possibilities of the true picture of the fatalities in the pandemic getting captured.

“Such a policy makes the country an opaque entity, as most authoritarian countries are. Democracies do not withhold or shy away from data and information about themselves,” stated DH sharply.


Higher education in mother tongue

The Central government only a few weeks ago held an extraordinary brainstorming at Varanasi over the New Education Policy 2020 in the presence of the vice chancellors and educationists.

The Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance government is now seeking to press the accelerator on implementation of the NEP 2020. The concern is apparent since the Opposition-ruled States has shown no interest, and Education is in the Concurrent List of the Constitution, which makes NEP 2020 only recommendatory in nature.

The Hindu in its Edit has called the remarks of the Union Minister for Home Affairs Amit Shah that engineering, law and medicine be taught in Indian languages a well-intentioned one.

The Chennai-headquartered daily, however, has listed not so encouraging outcomes of the bid to teach engineering in Tamil in Tamil Nadu, while there has been similar lessons from efforts to impart higher education in Gujarati or even Hindi.

The daily argued that there shouldn’t be any harm in accepting English as the mode of the higher education.

In fact, Delhi government is running a Spoken English course.

But it may also be reasoned that no serious efforts have been made to popularize imparting high education lessons in mother tongues unlike the experiences of China, Japan and Germany, which are global engineering powerhouse.

If manufacturing has to succeed a quantum jump in skilled engineers and technicians would be required to seize the emerging opportunities from the evolving global supply chain situations.

No cheers from income tax filers  

The Times of India in its Edit has stated that only about 6.7 million income tax returns were filed by the July 31 deadline, which is just about 10 per cent of the total base of the Pan card holders in the country.

The daily further listed that while there were only 20 per cent of the income tax return filers with over Rs 5 lakh income in 2015-16, it has grown to 24 per cent in five years. Further, 0.2 per cent of the 9.17 lakh firms in the country account for 69 per cent of the corporate tax.

The daily advocated greater use of the artificial intelligence and a legal architecture oriented towards widening of the tax base.

True to its nature, ToI presents a half picture, and conveniently ignores that since the advent of the GST the incidents of double taxations in the country has grown by leaps and bounds, while the Centre and States have been funding their vote-catching populist schemes by excessive taxation in the country.

The dailies have written Edits on Delhi’s liquor policy, outbreak of monkeypox, which we have covered in our past episodes.


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