Opinion Watch: White collar surge; Bell the police; Inflation cools off

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In ‘Editorial analysis’, The Raisina Hills critically reviews comments of India’s top five English newspapers – The Indian Express (IE), The Hindu (TH), The Times of India (ToI), The Economic Times (ET) and Deccan Herald (DH).


The Covid-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented disruption. In the space of workforce, the low-skilled workers were at the receiving ends of the world racing for automation and technology adoptions, making white collar jobs becoming costlier.

ET has sought to capture the shifting trend in the employability by looking into the data of remittances sent by the Indians working in other countries.

ET, while noting that India remains the largest supplier of the workforce in the world, mentioned that the US has displaced the UAE as the top source for the remittances. This in itself signals the rise in the income of the white collar against the blue collar jobs.

The daily noted that the share of the remittances from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has dipped from 50 per cent to 30 per cent between 2016-17 and 2020-21.

Also, Maharashtra and Delhi now account for more remittances than the southern states. This again substantiates the suggestion that the white collar jobs are more in demand than the blue collar works.

ET also reminds that the remittances are at par with the foreign direct investment in the country.

The significance of remittances, the money sent back home by the people working overseas, could be understood also from the fact that its crashing in Sri Lanka is one among the few reasons for the financial collapse of the island nation.

However, it may be a little too early to pin down the blame on the Covid-19 since the data set has been taken from 2016-17 to 2020-21, since the oil economies have been on the downtrend for the past few years, while the knowledge-based economy is gaining strength, as represented by the US.

ET, meanwhile, rightly calls for easing the ways the money is sent back home, which is principally in the territory of the private banks, to bring down the cost. But most importantly the Indian workers should also be given more incentives for being at par with the FDI so that they are encouraged to deploy the remittances into asset building activities and also sharing and transfer of their skills.

The police reform remains India’s elusive dream, and that leaves people at the mercy of the whims and fancies of the police personnel.

The acquittal of 121 personnel, all tribal, in Chhattisgarh, who spent five years in jails for their alleged parts in the 2017 Burkapal encounter in which 25 CRPF personnel were killed, is a reminder, noted ToI of the shoddy investigations done by the state police.

The grounds on which the 121 personnel were acquitted make the state police look in poor light – witnesses denying having seen the accused or the crime scenes, failure to establish that the accused were with the firearms and so on.

A robust prosecution department, headed by a lawyer, would have timely called out the poor work of the investigation. But the prosecution department in place of a lawyer was headed by an IPS officer, stated ToI, which reveals that the state government despite having been at the receiving ends of the Maoist violence remains casual in its police administration.

The daily rightly calls out for compensations to the acquitted 121 tribal men, who lost their productive years just because the police personnel were in a hurry to show some works to the bosses.

This leads to the Edit of TH which has commented on the raging debate over a comprehensive legislation for bails, while referring to the remarks of the Chief Justice of India NV Ramanna about the need for early bails for those who have been arrested without sufficient causes.

The daily wonders if there will be an end to the practice of ‘show me the man, and I will show you the law’.

While both the dailies haven’t taken their arguments to the logical conclusions, there remains the fact that the political class is the sole culprit for the lack of reforms in the police and judiciary.

IE on the positive side has noted that the inflation may just have peaked, as seen in the cooling of the commodity prices, which may provide cushion to the Reserve Bank of India ahead of the MPC meeting shortly.

The RBI has already hiked the rates by 90 basis points, and remains only 25 basis points short of the pre-Covid level, noted the daily. Any further aggressive posturing on the part of the RBI will definitely stunt the growth, which India is in dire needs currently.

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