Picturing life after COVID-19 pandemic subsides, including the consequences of present-day actions on our future.

Three months ago, SARS-CoV-2 was a thought none of us were even familiar with. As individuals, communities and countries – we were battling too many other forces of disruption already, in India itself; widespread protests against Citizenship AA-NRC were being endowed nationwide to save the fabric of democracy. In hindsight, all of that seems like a prologue to what feels now is an apocalypse we only read and saw on cinema screens – as a form of entertainment. Oh, how the tables turn.

Covid-19 has crashed economies, broken healthcare systems, and devastated the lives of the working class. Modern society has been disrupted on a scale most of the living people today have never witnessed. We’re living in historic times – something that will so profoundly shape our future from now that we won’t even have time to process what our ‘normal’ past felt like.

According to The Atlantic, all children who’ll be born into a world forever altered by Covid-19 should henceforth be referred to as Generation C. In a post coronavirus world, which in itself is still a luxury to imagine (there is no cure or vaccine for the virus, as of today); our relationship with the digital world will be tremendously interrelated.

If the current round of social distancing measures work, the pandemic may ebb enough for things to return to a semblance of normalcy. But as the status quo of chaos returns, so could the virus. Stephen Kissler of Harvard said, “We need to be prepared to do multiple periods of social distancing.” There’s a greater threat of recovered survivors of Covid-19 being stigmatized by society, a pattern familiar in history with survivors of Ebola, HIV and SARS. There is also a mental health pandemic running unchecked, one with increasing chances of proving fatal due to dearth of community mobilization in these times – isolation, especially in a toxic environment, is dangerous for those who suffer from mental illnesses.

Over the coming weeks, much will be at stake collectively, and for some of us also individually. Today, uncertainty about what the post-pandemic world will look like is rife, but we do know it will be built upon the words and deeds we choose now”, writes Javier Solana

Feature Image Credits: Joan Wong for The Atlantic

Paridhi Puri

[email protected]

Here’s an analysis of the changes which contrived for the sake of sustenance in the world of radio which lead to an ultimate depletion in it’s content.

With the onset of diversifying broadcast and a promising future, radio alighted in India in the 20th century. The State held more confidence in it than television, which also made headway during the time, because the former was not anticipated to have the potential to corrupt it’s audience and can be easily used as a propaganda tool in the garb of spreading pedagogy.

Radio was very well received because of its feasibility and non requisite of literacy for access. News relayed through it penetrated across demographics- even the remote and backward rural areas. Such hefty popularity was exploited for the likes of people in power.

Chomsky believed that what one can achieve in totaliter system by force can be achieved by propaganda in a democracy. Especially during the Second World War, the West and The Third Reich started radio wars. Joseph Goebbles who was the murderous propaganda manager for Hitler, actively monitored the spread of Nazi white propaganda through radio. After that it was used by the USSR at the outbreak of cold war, then by Communist China and later by Indira Gandhi during the emergency of 1975. Some also label ‘Man Ki Baat’ by Prime Minister Modi- an attempt at propaganda mongering.

With time and technological advancement, the power dynamic of politics shifted to capitalism and propaganda of consumerism started to spread. Advertisements took over, and the purpose of radio changed from information relay to source of entertainment. The golden days were here. Song requests were made and two way communication in real time began. Commercialisation of radio opened new skies. Lover’s spat was reconciled and letters were read in studio rooms.

With time radio kept on adjusting to suit the changing needs of the society to sustain in the market but the competition not only from other FMs started to increase, but the incoming of new media threatened radio altogether. How many of us tuned in to radio to listen to news on Vividh Bharti? Many turn to radio as the last resort in case of network issues when they are not able to access Podcasts and Spotify which have taken over. Perhaps because of this desperate attempt to retain  the listeners, the content of radio has become the slave of the owners and capitalists.

There are more advertisements than songs and even the songs are repetitive and mostly redundant, and fail to suit the likes of today’s urban youth. The Radio Jockeys(RJs) who are quintessential to radio have taken to new media platforms of YouTube and Instagram to promote their content. RJ Naved from radio Mirchi conducted a vox pop sponsored by tinder, and it couldn’t be far from a scripted buffoonery. This RJ is famous for conducting Mirchi Murga which also is cringy, scripted and far from comical content, aimed at garnering laughters. Another RJ Raunac from Red FM, took to YouTube to criticise Jawaharlal Nehru University’s (JNU) fee hike with totally falsified facts and misinformation. He also does voiceover as a ‘bauaa’  who prank calls people. Such obvious scripted content topped with lame jokes have become a normal occurrence for radio content.

The nonsense on radio is engineered with a certain economy which manipulates people into buying not only the nonsense, but also the product put for sale. Radio has once again become a passive medium which uses music while propagating consumerism. From winning wars to selling products radio has had massive transformation in its purpose over the years, but the takers have changed. People in the metro cities may have moved on, but those in the countryside still resort to radio as a means for what urbanites may call ‘cheap aesthetics,’ they call ‘cheap entertainment.’

Feature Image Credits: India Today

Umaima Khanam

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Have the food shelves gone empty? Have the aisles started to witness fights? Why are the consumers in frenzy? Read on to find out the manner in which the massive COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in perpetuating the panic pattern in consumer’s habits.

Tension escalated all over the globe like wildfire as the Coronavirus scare spread and spared no one. People can be seen fighting over toilet papers and canned goods, much similar to the claims of vanishing the virus, the sanitisers itself seem to have vanished from the markets, masks are either not found or if so luckily are sold at high prices. The US, UK, Ireland, and Australia have launched ‘elderly hours’ which are exclusive shopping hours for oldies above 60 years of age to ease the purchase of supplies amidst the upper bracket age factor vulnerability which makes it harder for them to shop.If economics kids wanted real life examples for their demand and supply chapter all they have to do is see around the action- reaction chain over the global pandemic.

It’s understandable in one way if there is an uprise in demand of sanitisers and masks which are related to hygiene to help prevent from the virus, but hoarding of non-durables like milk and vegetables or toilet paper rolls or extra amount of pastas purely directs towards panic buying which is referred to as coping mechanism in times of crisis where people start stocking up supplies in fear of expected shortage in future.

How much of the fear is rational?While consumers have increased demand there has been a rein on global exports. India has limited its exports of drug ingredients of medication like acetaminophen which is a common pain killer used for flu related symptoms, Germany banned the export of protective equipment like masks, gloves and sanitisers used by healthcare professionals. India, Germany, France, Czech Republic, Turkey and Russia have exercised trade restrictions. This has an effect on supply chains of domestic countries as no country is self sufficient in producing all goods and services, thereby appropriating some fear.

One deadly consumption at such times is that of fake news. It helps in escalating unnecessary panic buying and tension which leads to failure of administration to give undivided attention to the pandemic. Some messages which were circulated said- ibuprofen if consumed can prove to be dangerous, In India use of turmeric, Tusli and other herbs alongside cow piss was recommended in WhatsApp universities. False hype or danger accredited to certain goods hamper the health of individuals and the demand of those goods.

It’s advised to exercise extreme caution while coming across any guidelines. Trust only reliable resources, fact check and if unsure and don’t share unverified messages.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Janta Curfew speech mentioned to not worry over supplies. People should not succumb to erratic behaviors of shopping. Crisis of shortage which arose in some countries were the ones where the impact of the virus was at its peak. Countries which are experiencing initial stages are at lower risks of shortages. In his very recent address for a 21 day nationwide lock down, PM Modi has also assured that e-commerce services for delivery of essential goods like food, ration, and medical supplies is functional.Please don’t indulge in panic and spread no panic. Wash your hands, avoid touching your face, sneeze using tissue, if not found at the moment then use your sleeve while forming a V with your arm.

Stay Alert, Don’t Panic!

Feature Image Credits: Hindustan Times

Umaima Khanam

[email protected]

This piece provides a detailed analysis of the current COVID-19 pandemic on the dynamic global economy. 

A hub of all humans across the world performing various operations forms a global economy. Trade all overseas ignoring boundaries has given rise to world trade and commercial connections which collectively builds the world economy or global economy. A widely used saying of the past, a famous phrase, “When America sneezes the whole world catches a cold” it signifies the dominant role of America in global economics since the beginning of the twentieth century. On the other hand, China being a large country with the highest population is the manufacturing house for rest of the world, therefore, the same phrase, (“When China sneezes the whole world catches a cold”) is popularly used to reflect China’s power and authority in global matters. And hence both countries being developed has a prominent role to play in the global race to maintain and flourish the system of global economics. Any fluctuations to their stock market indices and import-export structures send a chill wind across many economies and have a significant impact on global economic activity. In 2018, the United States gauged for 15.2 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) after adjusting for purchasing power parity (PPP). Also considering another tycoon of global economics, China is the world’s second-largest economy and produces 18.69 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) adjusted for purchasing power parity for 2018. China’s exports tremendously grew by 16 per cent per year from 1979 to 2009 which was a good sign of growth for the country and the world.

The global economy is already in its state of synchronised slowdown which particularly means the growth rate is falling to its lowest i.e. 3 per cent in 2019 and downgrading growth as stated by the International Monetary fund. The sparge effects of global crisis 2008 can still be traced out and since then the global economy is at its slowest pace. Around the globe almost 90 per cent of countries to experience the slowest growth in this decade thus this reflects a complex situation for all the nations. Since it is being observed over the past decade that global trade growth is in a halt situation. This horrified fall was rooted in various inter-related macroeconomic factors chiefly inflation, rising interest rates, trade relations, geo-political issues and availability of natural resources. Peeping back to China, a tremendous fall in birth rates, ageing population at hotfoot, screwing Federal Reserve, put brakes on China’s economy. To this, there is an addition of fuel to fire in china, and affecting the world and economy as a  whole. As we already know that a health epidemic is one of the most dangerous threats that a nation could ever face. And this time China is burning with a menacing virus and this is the real threat of COVID-19 epidemic that has originated itself in China. The dark mystery behind its cure is hasn’t solved yet. When we heard a term called viruses we became preventive and protective automatically and even when we have proper medication for the same. But the fear of viruses takes all our research and trusts. Now this time  China is bearing the pain. COVID-19 is the inclusion of one more fatal virus to the family of health toll. Viruses being untreatable are deathly, so it is of great concern if a person is suffering from the common cold because it is not also 100 per cent curable.

How people react to normal viruses causing the common cold, Influenza ?  We all generally describe them as disease-causing pathogenic particles of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) or RNA (Ribonucleic acid). We are not afraid of other diseases because they have medicinal cures and gives us psychological and biological support. Recently a dangerous outbreak of COVID-19 in China has added to the books of medical sciences and research to diagnose and set another side to human life. At this hour the world has to deal with something non-curable.


COVID-19 being a large family of viruses causing common cold to more severe diseases as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). The dark mystery behind its cure is still covered by curtains of the nonidentifiable source. Scientists are rushing to crack but too much devastation has already raised the toll of human life. Till now ant-eating Pangolins are considered to be the prime suspect according to the basis of genetic analyses. Being originated in the Wuhan city of china it can only be traced there. Being zoonotic they are transmitted between animals and people easily. The only way is to take preventive steps. Common signs involve respiratory symptoms, fever load, cold, breathing problems. Influenza an already curable disease which is generally known to us but still we are not afraid of it and also it is not affecting the global economy so drastically unlike coronavirus. Hundreds of thousands of people die of the flu every year, a rate lower than coronavirus. Globally, about 3.4% of reported COVID-19 cases have died as on March 3′ 2020. On the other hand, in comparison to seasonal flu which generally kills far fewer than 1% of those infected as stated by WHO (World Health Organisation). A mortality rate in China as of Feb 4 is 2.1% nationwide, and 5.8% in Wuhan as reported by NPA, China.  But still their lies some important distinctions between coronavirus and influenza because of which economy is suffering so hard. Because there is no vaccine for COVID-19 and it could take many months or years to get one to market. The only thing is that Influenza has likely been around for more than 2,000 years with us thus not drastically affecting economy and humanity contrary Coronavirus a 3 months old virus, yet there is no vaccine. Typically people develop more natural defences to fight against an already existing virus for more than a thousand years. Therefore not that destructive now but seasonal flu also caused variations to economy long way time back.

China death toll is although rising day by day. It has taken a different picture in china and harming their most important resource that is humans. This virus outbreak is not only affecting people but also has a ruinous impact on the whole world since everything is connected to China. Economies are interlinked and thus deeply impacting other nations in terms of the death toll and industrial businesses as well. Though America is taking mist of the hardships in research and finding the cure for this destructive virus. Nations across the world have bound into action to contain the impact of this epidemic. China is the epicentre is barricading its major cities and public places. This vicious circle of the instant spread of the virus is ruing other nations as well and it has already taken a toll of 100,300 infected people. Mainland China has seen more than 3000 deaths. The novel coronavirus is spreading faster, various warnings are given by The World Health Organisation to countries like Iran and Italy. India has also reported with 31 COVID-19 positive cases in this period. Italy is shutting down schools and taking proper preventive measures. America is boarding hard and hasten research efforts to find a cure.  Various measures have been announced by different nations to address this issue.  Despite everything related to this virus will enter our shore on a large scale or not but it is impacting global as well as national economies. As stated by international bodies, World Bank and organization for economic cooperation and development has already marked a sharp slowdown in global economic growth. China’s economy can even contract, which, if happens would be the first time since the revolution of the 1970s. This will surely impact India’s economic situation too. The global supply chain has also been disturbed due to export and import sprung from china affecting millions of small and medium businesses in developing countries. COVID-19 crisis can further slowdown world growth also drastically affects India’s GDP growth by half to one per cent, other things being constant.  This health shock will make the world situation worse. China being the main house of imports and exports crashes the world trade. Financial markets were in improvement condition before novel coronavirus spread to the world but now financial markets and economic forecasters are stating warnings for risks in the US and across the world. China’s economic growth is expected to slow to 4.5 per cent in the first quarter of the 2020 year as reported by the world economic forum. Global oil demand has also hit hard by novel coronavirus says international energy agency. Also, the Islamic countries such as Iran, Israel which has closed its land borders with Egypt and Syria, Kuwait have banned their flights and ordered the airline industry to eliminate every flight for a certain period.  Not surprisingly, Air India is to shut down its flights. And all this has accounted to a total loss of $113 billion of revenue. Massive factory shutdown, offices and workplaces closure has a slowing flow of products from and to China. This is largely affecting companies across the world including Apple and Nissan. As the world struggles with the novel coronavirus, impact on the economy is increasing its peak as the virus presents the biggest danger to the global economy since after a financial crisis. As mentioned earlier there are now more than 95000 confirmed cases globally. In China millions of people are locked down in dozens of cities, disruptive supply chains and travel restrictions have to lead to a great slowdown.

After so much of technologies china is not able to find a cure for this virus, it was transferred from animals to humans. There are a lot of antibiotics injected to animals to slaughter them all this has given rise to novel coronavirus. Not being able to crack the antidote the world is suffering financially, economically and most important rising deaths. There are many countries and companies dependent on the health of china’s economy and thus they are also suffering the same pain. China is the world’s largest oil importer observed a descending global oil demand in a decade. It is expected to fall by 435,000 barrels a year to year in the first quarter of 2020 said by IEA. Second affected industry due to the novel coronavirus is the air travel industry. To restrict the spread of the virus among nations cross nationals flights are cancelled since it is respirational infection. As reported by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) the outbreak could cost airlines $113 billion in lost revenue (predicted figure). Due to this outbreak, lots of airlines got trapped in a very bad situation and taken a toll on their revenue, since earlier also some were only earning marginal profits and due to this health hazard that is also being ruined. The third and the most affected portion of the world economy is disruptive commerce due to divisive virus which had landed world trade to an upsetting situation. The pharmaceutical industry is also bracing for disruption to global production. Largely America is the main place of suffering as pharmaceutical industries got major losses due to this harmful outbreak and have resulted in a  dampening effect over the graph of profits and revenues. Being Americans increasingly dependent on drugs catches a high amount of imports from China. Most drugs are either sourced directly from China or are made from intermediate chemical progenitors, manufactured in China. 80 per cent of medicated drugs of the U.S. are sourced overseas particularly china. And in the past few years, the pharmaceutical industry has immensely geared up on a large scale concluding China as the biggest producer of API’s (Active pharmaceutical ingredients). Not the only U.S many other countries are also dependent on China, including India. India is the largest producer of generic drugs also relies on China for 80 per cent of its API’s supply that is to be used further in drug production. Almost all antibiotics are imported from China to the US even surgical gowns, gloves, masks and products used to stop the spread of coronavirus are also manufactured in China. Since there is massive destruction of the manufacturing sector in China has set back its supply of drugs which is substantially effecting the pharmaceutical industry globally. As reported by FDA (Food Drug Administration) there will be a shortage of API’s globally which is required in the production of various other drugs and can cause higher prices for the medicines people(particularly in the US) need to treat their illnesses due to dismantled manufacturing in China. Indian pharmaceutical sector is drastically impacted and according to the data stated by Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council, the trading cost of paracetamol has increased from Rs 250-300 kg to 400-450 kg. Along with this, another shock which is nondigested by the industries is a shot up of 40-50 per cent increase in prices of vitamins and penicillin. Pharmaceutical industries will face this prospect of disruptions due to the extended shutdown of factories in china. Major drugmakers including Dr Reddy’s, Lupin, Glenmark, Mylan, Zydus healthcare are mostly affected even the stock market Sensex is affected.

In China, this virus will remain for a longer time particularly until an antidote is discovered. All this is due to seasonal changes there which support a rigorous spread of coronavirus being respirational. China is presently experiencing a raining season which has worsened the existing situation more badly. The worst slap to the economy is when there is a shallow single-day fall for Sensex globally. This landed economists back to great concern over the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. The Sensex lost gigantic 1,941.67 points or 5.17% to close at 35,634.95 ending a day with huge losses. Global stock markets dived deeply as a blow of investors were recorded who were pressured due to the recent spread of coronavirus.    

Besides the impact on commerce, the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) forecasts that Japan could lose $1.29 billion of tourism revenue as there is a huge fall in Chinese travellers, while Thailand could lose $1.15 billion. There is a serious downtrodden effect in oil sector globally, and sinking oil prices have been traced and had a reverse in all the improvements and positive momentum in oil prices over a small period. Continued losses would be suffered by oil industries in two ways firstly due to travel restrictions which ended up in limiting the use of jet fuel and supply chains slowdown. Secondly, passive industrial activities due to fewer workers and stock market reaction to the effect of the coronavirus on the global economy build a forecast of global oil demand over a long period. Since the sentiment of health has affected the global economy in a negative sphere. So estimations about the global oil demand curve can be graphed as oil prices slump. Also, Russia denied OPEC’s proposal for a production cut and subsequent oil price war which has already pushed Brent blend crude down to more than 9 per cent.

Due to the mammoth shutdown of factories in China has caused a steep fall in car sales by 92 per cent within 15 days of an outbreak, as stated by the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA). Various other large companies have suffered a lot because a major amount of automobile parts are produced in China only and its reduced production has badly toll on automobile sector globally. China is the world’s biggest car market, and Wuhan being the epicentre for the same is also known as “motor city” for the world as it serves as a house to auto plants including General Motors, Honda, Nissan, Peugeot Group and Renault. Wuhan solely deems for about 50% of the total production of auto-parts and main factories, assembling for Honda alone. This landed the sector to a very dreadful state. Tesla a Hubei brand which has a new factory set up in Shanghai was also forced to shut down, and Volkswagen too postponed production at all of its Chinese plants. Reducing the overall supply and disturbing the global market for automobiles as the impacts on the auto industry are being felt beyond China’s borders. It badly touched India’s shore. Hyundai, Honda, and various other companies in India are dependent on China for minor to major auto-parts and imports them on a large scale, this shutdown will collapse the market and ruin the increasing path of growth. Also, Hyundai and Kia recently ceased their several assembly lines in Korea and a suspension of auto production by Nissan in Japan. To prevent the spread of the virus which has sharply ruined the automobiles all over the world these decisions were to amended. And due to low production and almost zero supply resulted in the shutdown of operations in other nations as well.

However, the economists were optimistic China’s economy would recover quickly if the virus could be contained.

Feature Image Credits: Akshat Arora for DU Beat.

Rushali Yadav

[email protected]

Evaluating affection in Sally Rooney’s Normal People, the story of our current post-recession movement, and a keenly observed movement in time. 

Normal People is your (and not your typical) young-adult novel, set up in Ireland, as opposed to the favoured land of white coming-of-age stories, America. When I first started reading Normal People online, I thought I downloaded the wrong PDF. The prose did not make a lot of sense at first – it was unlike anything I had ever read, much less in a book written about teens.

In a post-John Green world, where disregarding young adult novels have become the mark of intellectual superiority, the Booker Longlist and the many awards Normal People fetched has reignited an opportunity for us to ponder over stories, like that of Marianne and Connell.

A lifelong Marxist, Rooney is particularly outspoken about issues that stir her social conscience. It is set during the 2000s downturn period in Ireland. The pair weave in and out of each other’s lives across their university years, developing an intense bond that brings to light the traumas and insecurities that make them both who they are. There is no big quest in Normal People. The plot feels incidental, a not-so-elaborate set up to let the Rooney interpersonal-insight machine shine.

Casually sharp interpersonal insights seem to roll offhand through their conversations as well as their consciousnesses, dazzling the readers. Even if we cannot picture them, the characters are creatively attuned to every impulse they experience, the words a loud echo of their emotional and physical reactions that analyse the gestures and comments of everyone they encounter. The adventurous writing of Sally Rooney evaluates the notions of shame, social class, vulnerability, popularity and the intersection of art majors and the dichotomy of a generation too lost in the heat stemming from a past full of deceit.

Meaghan O’Connell writes, “Connell and Marianne’s fates may be partially determined by their social class (“A lot of critics have noticed that my books are basically nineteenth-century novels dressed up in contemporary clothing.” Rooney told Lauren Collins of The New Yorker) and the poor economy, but they are also shaped (if not saved) by each other and their shared dynamic. People can change, for better or worse, Rooney argues in this book, especially young people.

In the end, it’s the very influence that Connell and Marianne have over each other that gives each of their lives too much momentum for the traditional marriage plot. Or maybe this is the marriage plot made current: two star-crossed lovers, trading emails over oceans while one of them gets their MFA. 

Normal People may not be about being young right now, but better than that, it shows what it is to be young and in love at any time. It may not be absolutely contemporary, but it is a future classic.


Feature Image Credits: New Yorker

Paridhi Puri

[email protected]


With the financial budget just out, and rounds of economic slowdown, the discussion on Indian banknotes exceeds from the economic valuation to an other wise underrated aspect.

Colour is perhaps the most eclectic metaphor for defining India’s vibrance, a nation of 1.3 billion people possess an unmatched variety that lends itself to the long and hard striving multiculturalism which in turn adds enormous value to the social and economic tenets of India. Among various determinants available to us, the greatest testament to manifest this valuation of diversity is surely the Indian Rupee note that has enshrined itself in the mind scape of every single Indian.

Ever since the advent of liberalisation, the Indian Rupee has acclaimed a new definition and an equally significant presence in every strata of life. The introduction of Credit, Debit Or Value Add on Cards had negligible affect especially in the non metro lands, where payment apps are still searching for their grounds.

The country is facing an unprecedented economic slowdown and BJP Senior Leader and lawmaker Subramanian Swamy has pushed for inscribing an Image of Godess Lakshmi on the bank notes to resuscitate the Indian economy. The comment has reiterated to ponder upon the design and layout of the Indian currency and a discussion on what does each banknote signify.

The Reserve Bank of India is entrusted to design the banknotes after the approval of the Central Government and regulates it’s management on the basis of Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934. At present the Reserve Bank of India issues the ‘New Gandhi Series’ which came into existence after the Demonetisation in 2016. Prior to this, we had the Mahatma Gandhi Series which replaced the Lion Capital Series of notes in 1996.

The Indian notes have undergone big changes from time to time, with the inclusion of Rupee Symbol(?) designed by D Udaya Kumar in 2012 and etc. While the Mahatma Gandhi Series was available in denominations of ?5, ?10, ?20, ?50, ?100, ?500, ?1000, the heaviest two are no more in circulation and were withdrawn immediately after Demonetisation came into effect. While, many of us still miss the Mahatma Gandhi Series, it was soon replaced by the ‘New Mahatma Gandhi Series’ which revamped the cash pattern.

While the earlier version of the Gandhi Series highlighted heritage from every crump of India, the series with intaglio prints, fluorescent number panels, EURion constellations and Mahatma Gandhi on the obverse began with the ?5 edition with a green color and tractor image on the reverse to highlight the agrarian values and Green Revolution, the ?10 set had a blend of Violet and Orange with an image of Rhinoceros, Elephant and Tiger to potray our rich wildlife, the Orange shades of Mount Harriet, from Port Blair became the ?20 note, followed by the ?50 edition in classic violet portraying the Indian Parliament House building on the back, the ?100 note has a unique shade as well with blue and green in centre and brown and purple on the sides, the Himalayas from the North get featured on this edition of currency, next we have the ?500 edition which features the Dandi March on the back in another fresh mixture of orange and yellow, finally we have the ?1000 edition which featured the Indian Economic tenets in an Amber Red with shades of black and brown. While the final two notes of this series are no longer in circulation, rest of the denominations are.

The New Gandhi series which was seen as a byproduct of the Demonetisation experiment seemed to replace the Gandhi Series, with few addendums and omissions in denominations and lots of changes in the layout and design, some important changes include the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan Logo,  centred positioning of Gandhi’s image and Microprinting. Starting with ?10 set, new Gandhi series features the Konark Sun Temple in Chocolate Brown, followed by the ?20 one in greenish yellow capturing scenes from Ellora Caves, the new ?50 cult has a fluorescent blue base with an image of Hampi with Chariot in reverse, the ?100 denomination has a lavender shade featuring heritage site of Rani Ki Vav, the latest addition of ?200 unit has a bright yellow base with an image of Sanchi Stupa in reverse, the ?500 note has a stone grey shade with image from the ramparts of Red Fort, the final and the largest denomination of the Indian currency includes the ?2000 note in a magenta shade featuring the accomplishment of Mangalyaan mission.

While every fraction of the Indian Currency has a different shade and featured image, the overall approach is to highlight the variety of the Indian nation with accommodation of all aspects, it is further endowed with a language panel of seventeen languages for the linguistic diversity we possess, in the languages namely, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu, these are in addition to the English and Hindi used on the banknotes anyways.

Our Indian currency is unique and has greater significance than the economic valuation, this must be preserved as the diversity we endorse in our economic aspects and social praxis of Indian life.

Faizan Salik

[email protected]

Image Credits: Shutterstock

This piece will help you understand the complex and catastrophic nature of civil wars and challenges some of the myths around it.

Civil Wars, whenever I say this word, most of you would have the names of countries like Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan, and organisations like the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Al-Qaeda or Boko Haram. These countries have suffered the loss of heritage, culture with millions of displaced, thousands killed. But if you thought and still think that civil wars are just like any other war then you are in for a surprise.

Whenever two countries or nations fight, they fight for the pride of the respective nationalistic ideas or identities, the example of India and Pakistan is a very relevant one here. India and Pakistan till now, have fought four major wars with each other. But in each one of them, the Pakistani Army and the Indian Army were fighting for the pride of their nation. Similarly, when India and China fought in the 1962 Sino-Indian war, two different ideologies were morale boosters for the two armies. One, which established the Republic of India and the other which established the People’s Republic of China. But when we talk about civil wars, we are looking at a completely different ball game.

In civil wars, people who once were brothers turn against each other. The population just forgets about the heritage of their own country and goes on destroying whatever comes in their way of unending pursuit for power. It is very rightly said that a weapon in the hand of a human, gives them a lot of power. When a person picks up a weapon, they feel superior and feel that they can control everything. But it is after some time, they don’t control the weapon, but the weapon starts controlling them. That is what is happening all around the world right now.

It is not that civil wars did not take place in the 20th century, before 1956 to be exact. But at that point of time weapons were not the primary source of revolution. Fast forward to 1980s and the early 2000s, the power of weapons has driven people from trying to get justice from the government to a point that these so-called revolutionaries have become reckless. They just forget about the very reason they started all of this, justice and equality.

The Afghanistan Civil War has been going on and on since 1978, the Yemeni Civil War started after the Arab spring in around 2014, Syrian Civil War started in 2011 and the Libyan Civil War started in 2011 and they all are still going on with no seeming end. These wars and many others have still not ended, even though solutions were worked out on more than one occasion. These solutions have mostly failed because the people who have now rifles in their hands think that dialogue and talking over the table is far less effective than taking out the solution with a rifle. Discussions, deliberations and debates hold no substance whatsoever in front of bullets and bombs as these revolutionaries think that a bullet is an answer for everything. The question is, how do these terrorists get weapons and who actually fuels these wars?

If you look at major civil wars around the world, you’ll see one constant thing, there is always an involvement of foreign powers, the Saudi Arabians are interfering in Syria and Yemen or be it the Iranians interfering in Libya, Syria and Yemen or the US involved in the civil wars of Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen; they all have a personal motive.

The Middle East is still torn in the civil war because the international powers are still hungry for oil and power. Like the United States led forces helped the people of Libya to get rid of their 50-year-old dictatorship but did not help the nation to rebuild itself and now Libya is facing another bloody battle. Afghanistan is still suffering as the United States was very quick and swift when it had to neutralize Al Qaeda and its leader Osama Bin Laden but not very swift when redevelopment was to be done. Recently, the President of the United States of America, Mr Donald Trump very famously said that the United States is not in these civil war-torn countries to rebuild those nations. They are there only to wipe out terrorism. But maybe Mr Trump forgot that it was the US which supplied these terrorists with weapons and money in the first place during the 1980s.

We need to look upon the fact that it was the courtesy of these foreign powers including United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia and even China that huge amounts of weapons, training and money were given to these terrorist organisations. And no account was kept to monitor the use of these resources, whether they were being used to fight wars or to kill innocents.

There was a project called the ‘Ring Road’ project in Afghanistan that the United States started. The project aimed to rebuild the economy of Afghanistan, which was destroyed by the battle between the Mujahideen and the Soviet Union. As well as the war between the forces of Al Qaeda, Taliban and the United States and other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) powers. But after some time, the project was nearly halted around 2003, as all of the funds were re-allocated from Afghanistan to Iraq for the Gulf War, which was another war for the never-ending hunger of global powers for money and oil.

To this date, it is still disputed as to why did the United States invade Iraq. Because nuclear weapons in Iraq were not found but what was to be found was lots of oil. The Afghanistan Ring Road, now is controlled by the Taliban as international powers who actually dug up this hole have left the nation.

The international community, whenever it enters a nation, claims that they are doing so for the betterment and for the freedom of people. But as of now, there is neither any development nor any freedom. The people are willing to even leave their own countries and their very own houses. Even though this mess was created by these so-called ‘global powers’ but these nations themselves now look away.

All of us get to know about these wars and their magnitude from the media but is the coverage enough? Let’s take the example of sexual offences against women, it is estimated that every day 10 women are raped or harassed in India. Often people seem to ignore these rapes and once in a while, we come across a case which really results in a series of posts on social media. But again, after some months, we forget about these issues. We move on with our lives and that is exactly what happens and what is happening with civil wars. We hear about Syria, the millions of people trying to get into other countries, the millions of people forced to be refugees. Think about the people being killed and about the children who lost their families. But yet again, after a fair amount of time, we forget about all of this and move on with our life just as these wars continue to devastate millions.

An interesting fact is that after World War II, the world has not seen any major wars between two big economies or between the top 27 economies to be exact. But what we have seen repeatedly is the use of ‘proxy’ wars by these major economies as a show of strength. A proxy war is where no nation is directly involved but is supporting opposite sides via supplying men and machinery. Nations like the USA, Russia, UK, Germany, China, etc. have used internal conflicts like Syria and Yemen as playgrounds, which not only sounds unethical but in reality, is. An interesting fact is that the terror group ISIS or the Islamic State makes most of its revenue by selling crude oil. This oil was produced in the numerous oil refineries that they had captured in Iraq and Syria.

The question, is that who actually bought this oil? If you go back in history, you will very easily find that many western powers and eastern powers need oil for their economies and even have waged wars for it. Thus, it is being alleged that countries like Russia, China, North Korea and even Western Nations buy this oil. So, the question remains, how corrupted is this system and how deep is this hypocrisy that runs through it?

You would have often seen videos of Islamic State, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, etc. so-called fighters riding on these huge tow trucks and moving on in massive caravans. A research was done and it was found that around 90% of the transportation used by the terrorist organisations like ISIS are made by Toyota. While Toyota mostly says that they are not selling any vehicles to the terrorist organisations but that they purchase it from the second-hand markets.

Take the example of cluster bombs that are being dropped by the Syrian Army on the nation’s civilian population repeatedly. It was found that the materials which were used to make these cluster bombs were made in Turkey. Take up the case of the Saudi Arabians, who are relentlessly bombing civilian targets like hospitals, schools and even funerals in Yemen. The bombs and the fighter jets used to target these civilians are being supplied to the Saudis by the US. Besides this, the Saudi Arabians get battle damage replacement on these weapons by the United States, where the battle is the Yemeni Civil war.

We can see that a nation like China can exert its influence on other countries around the globe as it has money and a good economy. The bitter truth is that every single bomb which has been supplied to Syria or Yemen or every single raw material supplied to these civil war-torn countries, give huge amounts of money to the economies of the world powers and it is because of this money that we are able to grow at a rapid pace.

Image 2

Image Credits: Aniket Singh Chauhan

(The countries marked in Green are the ones where civil wars are taking place. While the ones in red are indirect or international participants. The ones with a black square on them signify that they are involved in more than one civil war)

If we try to talk about the solutions, the first question that pops up is whether the exporting of weapons should be stopped? Or should we stop exerting power? But is stopping these activities, the answer to global civil wars? If we stop everything then firstly our economies will suffer, millions of people will get unemployed and those are the right ingredients for starting a decades-long civil war.

The example of the alcohol and tobacco industry can help us understand this issue better. According to several studies, if these products are banned and production is stopped, even though there may arise short term problems but such actions, in the long run, can increase productivity. But the short-term consequences themselves would be disastrous. Houses are destroyed, lives get ruined and people are even sold in some parts of India to get the money for buying such products. Firstly, our economy will be hit because a lot of people will be laid off their jobs and secondly, people will think of it as an attack on their personal liberties. Similarly, in the weapons industry shrinking of orders will result in job cuts and unemployment which will cause unemployment levels to go haywire.

But then what is the solution to stop Civil Wars? No global power in the world, at any point, would stop their intelligence network and thereby shrink their influence. Because, the more the governments around the world are affected by the actions of a single nation, the more powerful that nation is. Examples of our very close neighbour of Sri Lanka or Rwanda can be taken up here. The civil wars in these countries ended with an unprecedented genocide by one faction on the other, with no regard for human rights at all. But both of these Nations today are peaceful, and people have food in their bellies, money in the hands and a house to sleep. So, the question which now arises is, is it essential to completely disregard the Human Rights during a civil war to let its people live peacefully after the war? According to me, this is absolutely not the answer. And that is what makes civil war so much more complex than a war between two major powers.

As two major powers can sit on a table, discuss and deliberate the peace treaties but the factions in a civil war, who only know the language of a rifle cannot understand the language of negotiating. That is why civil wars are a huge mess which gets even more cluttered the moment international forces interferes.

Hypocrisy in civil wars extends to unforeseeable levels. Afghanistan right now is being ruled by the Taliban Government which the United States was fighting at one point of time. And currently is actually ready to negotiate the very leaders of Taliban who have killed children, women, minorities and even US soldiers for not abiding by their rules.

Every great nation on the face of this Earth, at one point, faced or was part of a humanitarian crisis. Be it the United States which killed millions of Native Americans and destroyed their culture; or be it Russia/USSR which starved and executed millions in their Gulag Camps; or be it China which caused the death of more than 25 million Chinese because of manmade disasters like the Great Chinese disasters, a disaster caused by the Great Leap Forward programme started by its so-called founding father Mao Zedong; or be colonial powers like England, France, Denmark, Belgium and Germany who accumulated their power and influence from around the world by stripping each and every person in their colonies of wealth, culture, heritage, language and even their life.

It is estimated that imperial powers killed more than half a million people in their colonies. For perspective, this is equivalent to the added populations of Indonesia and Brazil.  Even India saw a genocide on its Western as well as the Eastern borders, wherein nearly 2 million people died. But today, India is one of the top 10 largest economies in the world. Therefore, after seeing these examples, the question which arises is- Is the utter disregard to Human Rights a precursor to the establishment of a Great Nation? The answer to this question can be summarised in just one line.

“In times of war, the law falls silent”

-Marcus Tullius Cicero

But maybe it is our responsibility as human beings to not let the law become blind during the times of conflict. It’s often believed that it is actually the instruments of warlike weapons and armies that can bring peace or what is also known as military deterrence. But if we can develop such complex military weapons, then humankind can also develop means of peace and justice that will never fall silent, no matter how horrifying the future civil wars and genocides are.

Featured Image Credits: The Free Press Journal


Aniket Singh Chauhan

[email protected]

DU Beat ventured into the lanes of Delhi, to explore the niches and corners of our city, and dig out the beauty in dying jobs.

1. Gajra Weavers

Gajra is a flower garland adorned with a traditional attire. While the enchanting fragrance of gajra, made from flowers like chameli, mogra, and bela, is ever lasting the people who weave these for us are now disappearing. Artificial gajras have now become a preferred choice being a cheaper substitute and due to its shelf life. The livelihoods of many depend on selling these gajras, especially in South India, but they now they face struggles to survive.


2. Handloom Weavers

In the rapid race of capitalism, where companies compete against each another, and corporate slaves exhaust themselves, our handloom weavers are overtaken by industries producing cheap, fast cloth in multiple designs. Handloom weavers invest greater time and efforts to create each clothing with their ancestral art but now struggle to make ends meet.


3. Nazar Battu or Lemon Chilli Hanging

Superstitions towards a black cat crossing one’s path, cutting nails after sunset and eating meat on certain days persist in India. One such superstition is that a nazar battu or a lemon and chilli hanging can ward off the evil eye. Several people have made a livelihood from selling these hangings but now they face a reduced market. The tedious task of replacing it every few days has pushed people towards buying artificial substitutes from markets.


3. Cobblers

Cobblers earn enough only to have a day’s meal. On speaking to a few, they displayed fear and apprehension for their survival on rainy days. The work of cobblers, who used to be in demand, is now scarce. Fewer people turn to getting their shoes repaired and prefer discarding them as they begin to tear.


4. Street Food Sellers

Indian street food is not just lip smacking and delicious but also famous all over the world for its wide variety. Due to concerns over hygiene, rise of food chains like Bikanerwala and Haldiram, culture of online ordering and home delivery street food sellers no longer enjoy the same popularity as they did before. Their job and snacks have become exotic touristic spots found in the small streets of Chandni Chowk and Old Delhi.

         A) Nankhataiwala

Nankhatai is a short bread biscuit, packets of which we all receive from our grandparents during the summer vacations. The name of this nankhataiwala is Lal and he turns to this occupation to sustain himself during winters.


          B) Kachauriwala

Breakfast kachauriwalas used to be extremely popular a few decades ago but now no longer remain a go-to option for youngsters or adults.


          C) Feriwala

A feriwala selling aam papad, anaar dana, murabba, saunf (fennel) and other treats and spices from his stall.


Photostory Image Credits: Deewanshi Vats for DU Beat

Reportage by : Shivani Dadhwal for DU Beat

With the advent of plastic money, e-banking, Paytm, cryptocurrency, and other digitised methods of payment, can India become a cashless economy?

With the rise of Digital India Campaign, and the growth of e-commerce in the country, it looks like the future of the Indian currency is moving forward in the digital sphere. However, this is not as easy as it may seem. With problems such as the country having an internet penetration rate of just 27%, as compared to the global average of 67%, only 60% of the country having bank accounts, and with 98% of the economic transactions by volume being done through cash, it is evident that the journey ahead is long and difficult.

Adding on to all this, India is a developing country with a very high poverty rate, as a student from the University of Delhi (DU) points out, “I don’t know what our Government is trying to achieve by Digital India when half the people in this country can’t even afford the internet. There are people suffering all over the country but nothing has been done about that”.

Along with this, cryptocurrency has been virtually banned by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), as stated in a circular, prohibiting banks, and financial institutions from rendering all services related to cryptocurrency in 2018. This, in turn, has also led to criticism from many who argue that the RBI has no right to pass this legislation on cryptocurrency, as it is not within the ambit of the Banking Regulation Act, through which the RBI draws most of its power.

In the face of all these statistics and opinions, why is the digitisation of currency even in the conversation? The positives of greater digitisation include paper trails which would make it harder to hide income, and would make finding black money easier, which was also one of the failed objectives of the infamous demonetisation done by the Modi administration. It would save the Government money, with the RBI currently spending INR 2,700 crores in the fiscal year 2018 on just currency issuance and management, it would be easier to conduct international payments, and the entire problem of fake currency would essentially disappear.

One of the arguments put forward against digitisation in India is that India is a majorly agrarian country, with most people depending on rural cooperative banks, most of which might not have an internet connection and the Government would not have the funds to provide it. However, this statement at its base can be proven wrong. According to the Indian Brand Equity Foundation, there are around 94,384 rural banks in India, as of the fiscal year 2017. Assuming all these banks do not have internet service, calculations of the initial cost can be made. Internet service would cost around INR one lakh for the initial licensing and legal admin fees, along with INR three to four lakhs to set up the infrastructure covering one square kilometre of the area around the tower. This leads us to a total cost of INR five lakhs on the highest end of the spectrum. Now, making the assumption that all rural collective banks do not have internet access, multiplying the number of rural banks with the initial cost would amount to around INR 4,719 crores or around USD 655 million. To put this into perspective, the Statue of Unity cost around INR 3,000 crores, and therefore, it is evident that funding this is not out of the reach of the Indian Government.

In this age of globalisation and technological revolution, the world economy and, more importantly for us, the Indian Economy is constantly changing and evolving. While digitisation of currency might be a part of this evolution further down the line, there is a still a long way for this country to go in order to make that possible, with work required in every sphere to even think about fully implementing it.


Feature Image Credits: 

Prabhanu Kumar Das

[email protected]

As the recently released government data shows the GDP growth rate hitting a six-year low, we examine what it is and how it affects the lives of students. 

When the National Statistical Office released its official data showing the growth rate of the GDP in the first quarter of the financial year was only 5%, it was perhaps a wake-up call for a lot of us. But the truth is that the economy has been dwindling for a while now. The current GDP growth rate has hit a six-year low and its effects reach far and wide.

There is a slowdown in consumer demand, a decline in manufacturing, and rising global trade tension creating a vicious cycle in the Indian market.

Private consumption, which contributes nearly 55-60 percent to India’s GDP has been slowing down. This is due to demonetization as consumers now prefer to hoard cash or keep it in the bank instead of spending it. Demonetization has also led to small and medium businesses to withhold investment since they too operate on cash, which they are currently facing a dearth of.

The most important factor here, perhaps, is that there is also a global economic slowdown that is happening and given the fact that India is primarily an exporter, there has been a slump. Thus, it can be said that the ongoing global crisis also has contributed to this slowdown.

And while the economic slowdown seems like a topic far away from our carefree lives as students, its indirect effects have started to seep in.

This slow rate of growth is a huge setback for the country as the country requires an accelerated growth. to employ millions entering the job market every year. Thus, what the slowdown means for professionals and fresh graduates is that they would be finding it harder to land jobs as well as see their salaries rise on yearly basis.

Businesses face the brunt of the slowdown but small start-ups are the ones affected the most. Students often intern with the small start-ups during their free months to boost their experience and gain some extra cash however the opportunity seems unpromising as small companies might choose not to hire in favour of dedicating their funds to keeping their business afloat. Bhavya Pandey, an Economics Honours student from Daulat Ram College also discerns the same and agrees.

Additionally, as the priorities shift to fixing the economy and earning a livelihood, education takes a backseat. Funds to education reduce to get allocated to sectors which give immediate outcome, affecting students, especially those from a lower economic stratum, directly or indirectly. “The economic failure has caused unemployment to rise and hence may affect the stability of the families of students’ belonging to the lower economic strata of the society. Further, students may also miss many opportunities because of lack of funds.” Says Abhinandan Kaul, a student at St Stephen’s.

What is evident is that the economic problems are here to stay for now. How deep its effects run, though, is not something we would get to know precisely anytime soon.

Feature Image Credits: The Economic Times

Satviki Sanjay

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