आज जो ये आज है

आज, जो ये आज है 
कल नहीं रह जाएगा। 
बारिश के बादलों सा 
कुछ बरसेगा 
कुछ रह जाएगा॥ 

हर बात 
हर हस्ती 
हर बस्ती 
ख़ाक में मिल जाएगी। 
फितरत आदमी की
कहाँ-कहाँ ले जाएगी।

भाषा, परिभाषा 
और नियमों का क्या? 
कुछ नहीं रह जाएगा
बाकी अगर रहा कहीं तो
मिथक बस कहलाएगा॥ 

ना तुम होगे, ना रहूंगा मैं
प्रेम अमर बस रह जाएगा॥

ये आज जो आज है 
कल अतीत बन जाएगा॥
राजीव उपाध्याय

RBI May not Cut Repo Rates

On 4th of August RBI has its Monetary Policy Review meet where it is expected that RBI will take call on cutting repo rates. But it has become very tricky for RBI to take any decision as some macroeconomic indicators seems to be not favourable mainly issue of inflation and this is against the current strategy of RBI. So RBI may decide not to ignore inflationary pressure. As there is considerably higher food inflation for the month of July than June 2015. But if we look at historical data it is evident that higher food inflation in the month June is not uncommon for India and it has become a new normality since long (at least since 2010). Because of seasonal changes India usually witness rise in vegetable prices in the month of July as compared to month of June. So it might be a cause of concern for RBI and RBI may decide to not decrease interest rates.

There is another angel too. According to the recent Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for July, index has increased to 52.1 indicating growth in manufacturing sector. Also at the same time the price component of the manufacturing PMI has not increased in the month of July as compared to June. Rather it has fallen. So RBI may wait for cutting repo rate as manufacturing activities are picking up and also the profit without any rate cut. In this situation RBI may decide to wait and watch than taking any action.

So these two factors together may be reasons for no repo rate cut by RBI in its monetary policy review meet. But I feel that RBI should take a call on cutting repo rates to increase investment by private sector to boost economic activities further.

Digital India in India

Digital India is a very ambitious umbrella program with comprehensive vision that will be implemented across the country simultaneously. If it is implemented properly and as per envisaged vision, this single government program is capable of transforming the economic, administrative and social setup of this country. It will bring about a complete change in economic structure of India particularly rural India.
The vision of Digital India is centered on three key areas:  
  1. Digital infrastructure as a utility to every citizen. Government would provided high speed internet, universal mobile coverage, mobile banking, and easy access to common service centers to everyone across the nation and would bridge the digital gap between the urban India and rural India. 
  2. Governance and services on demand. There will be integration across departments, services would be provided in real time from online and mobile platform and online citizen entitlements through electronic transaction would be made available to everyone.
  3. Digital empowerment of citizens. To empower citizens, government seeks to achieve the goal of universal digital literacy, universally accessible digital resources, all documents and certificates available online.
To achieve these goals, an investment of around 4-5 lakhs crore of rupees is expected in few years by different government agencies and private sector. According to reports by McKenzie and Deloitte, this investment would add around 60 lakhs crore rupees to GDP by 2025. This offers huge business opportunities to the private sector that would eventually increase employment opportunities by creating around 10 lakhs jobs and disposable income of citizens resulting in higher demands for goods and services. This would eventually result into vicious economic circle.
Even in times of WiMax, 3G and 4G, mobile and internet connectivity in rural India is an issue. Even today there are around 42,300 villages where there is no mobile network and government plans to install required facilities for mobile connectivity in these villages and it is possible to connect each and every village optically as the example Idukki in Kerala is very encouraging as this district has become India’s first district to be linked to the National Optic Fiber Network (NOFN).
Similarly providing training and capital to youths in rural/ semi urban areas to set up internet kiosks in the interiors will promote rural entrepreneurship and will make villages economically self dependent and their dependency on money order economy will go down. Gyandoot has proved the same. It is a project in Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh that connects villages throughout the district through numerous cyber-kiosks run by local entrepreneurs. More such projects in are needed in different districts throughout the country to promote the culture of rural entrepreneurship to make villages economically more viable and self dependent.
The availability of efficient mobile and internet network at affordable cost will open the gates of E-commerce to the rural citizens which would facilitate the online selling of local goods such as herbal products, gardening supplies, traditional art etc while shopping for stuff such as electronics goods, solar energy panels etc. If this becomes reality Indian economy in general and rural economy in particular will be revolutionized.