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10:00 am

“Every Britisher is a scoundrel. Two Britishers coming together form a nation and three Britishers together are a power to reckon with. Every individual Indian is a philosopher, two Indians coming together form a mob and three Indians together createchaos.”
This is exactly what we experienced during parliamentary monsoon session this month. The Parliament was in utter chaos. The MPs and party leaders were shouting, protesting and sloganeering, having wars of words and were successful in leading to complete wash out of the session. The demand for resignation of three MPs became such a great priority that many important bills which were supposed to be introduced in the parliament and passed in this session just remained on the table without discussions. The Land acquisition bill, Juvenile Justice Bill, Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) bill, the Child Labour (Amendment) bill, mental health care bill, the Goods and Services Bill and many more crucial legislations are awaiting discussions and deliberations. What will happen to these bills? The parliamentarians are least bothered. The delay in passage of these bills involves huge economic and social costs. Why parliamentarians should not be made to pay for all these delays in important decisions?
Every session of parliament costs the taxpayers a huge amount. Each minute of running parliament during session costs the exchequer Rs. 2.5 lakh, each hour costs 1,50,00,000 and each day of eight hours costs 12,00,00,000. We wastedroughly around Rs. 2,16,00,00,000 in 18 days of parliamentary session without discussing or passing a single bill. Can a country like India, where around 30% of people are living below poverty line, afford such wastage of taxpayer’s hard earned money? Why our parliamentarians are not answerable to people when it comes to parliamentary behaviour?
Engaging in politics of agitation is fine when it is an issue of national importance. But parliament session should not be treated as a breeding ground for agitators. It should a place for serious national business. There are ways and means through which you can express your disagreements over issues. It is true that disagreements and discussions are the basis of the democratic set up. But how long we are going to spend our money and energy on discussions and deliberations? It is time action and unless we pass the legislations we cannot act.
It is not only about monetary wastages. It is about the dignity of the institution called Democracy. Whether we like it or not, but we are a democratic nation and we have consciously enacted, adopted, and adapted this form of governance. It is our duty to maintain its dignity and integrity as citizens of India. The world is curious about us as the largest democracy. The world is watching us. It is high time that parliamentarians should behave themselves. This parliamentary session has reiterated the need for reforms in parliamentary behavioral procedures. We no more want a government of the people by the people and for the people but we want a government of the responsible people for the responsible people and by the responsible people."

Dr.GirijaLagad Head,
Centre for Policy Research MITSOG

10:00 am

We, students of MIT SOG, take this opportunity to wish our brothers and sisters of India a very happy Independence day. Let us also pay homage and tribute to the legendary late APJ Abdul Kalam who worked for the betterment of the country. The country has truly lost a stalwart and his absence will be immensely felt this 15th August. This is our 68th Independence Day. When we say 68th Independence Day, it also means that the world’s largest democracy is turning 68 years old today.
Our greatest achievement in these 68 years is that we have preserved and maintained a true parliamentary democracy where every voice and every vote counts. India neither fragmented nor divided on religious lines. There is unity in diversity in its true sense and these are the things the entire world needs to learn from India. I would like to quote the great Swami Vivekananda,“Worship your gods and diety only for 20 years after independence, after that worship only the country. It is more than worshipping idols.”
Dear countrymen, we need more and more Vivekanandas today.In 1863, there was only one but today why can’t we produce125 crore Vivekanandas? Can we not serve our motherland when it needs us? Then is it not our duty to give back what we took from India? We should dedicate every day to Indias development. We should realize that whatever we have achieved in life, it is because of India. We should associate everything that we do in day to day life with development of India. Just like Mahatma Gandhi made the freedom struggle as mass movement, developmental process must also become a mass movement. We also need to inculcate a sense of responsibility among the citizens of India. This is something we have not been able to do in 68 years. Development is not the job only of the government but it is also citizens’ duty. Sense of development must be instilled in everybody’s mind.

Karan Patil

10:00 am

It is funny how we all try to stereotype ourselves and put ourselves inside a box and say we are 'this'! How many of us would want to get out this box and say 'This is who I am, and I dare to be so!'. So what about all those people inside this box? They too become a part of this stereotypical society. That is the point! The societies we live in are stereotypes and they accept applications from strict stereotypes. Imagine then what would happen when a 'girl' gets 'raped' in such stereotypical societies. The reactions can only be this!!!
Jinone galti ki.. sharabi they. Agar us kanya ne saraswati mantra liya hota, guru diksha li hoti.. toh boy friend ke saath picture dekh kar jis kisi bus mein ghusti nahin. Agar ghus bhi gayi.. toh 6 sharabi the.. Bhagwan ka naam leti aur ek ka haath pakadti "Tere ko toh mai bhaiyya maanti hoon”… Do ko bolti “Bhaiya! Main abla hoon. Tum mere bhai ho. Dharam ke bhai ho. Bhagwan ka naam lekar haath pakadti, pair pakadti.. itna durachar nahi hota. Galti ek taraf se nahi hoti. 
- Asaram Bapu, 'Spiritual leader', on the 2012 Delhi Gang rape case To my understanding, consumption of fast food contributes to such incidents (rapes). Chowmein leads to hormonal imbalance evoking an urge to indulge in such acts… You also know the impact of chowmein, which is a spicy food, on our body. Hence, our elders also advised to consume light and nutritious food. 
- Jitender Chhatar, Thua khap panchayat 'leader' made this statement in light of lowering the marriageable age from 18 to 16 for girls so as to prevent rapes Ban mobile, end rape. Vinay Bihari, Bihar 'Minister' in an interview for a daily newspaper. 
I don't feel any hesitation in saying that 90 per cent of the girls want to have sex intentionally but they don't know that they would be gang raped further as they find some lusty and pervasive people in the way ahead. Harayanvi Congress 'leader' Dharambir Goyat. 
Did Nirbhaya really have go to watch a movie at 11 in the night with her friend? Take the Shakti Mills gang rape case. Why did the victim go to such an isolated spot at 6 pm? Asha Mirje, Member, Maharashtra State 'Women's Commission' 
Rape victims come from this society, whether they want to brand themselves as stereotypical or not, is a matter for them to decide, not us! But the minimum we can do is to at least stop judging and making life difficult for them. Coming back to the original point of discussion, just like the rape victims who come from this society, the rapists too come from this society. A reflection of the latter argument can be seen in the clear and unhesitating voice of Mukesh Singh, one of the accused in the 2012 Delhi Gang rape case. No brownie points for guessing where you heard his voice. The answer is simple 'India's Daughter' documentary directed by Leslee Udwin. Famously known as the 'BBC documentary'. 16th December 2012 marks a historic day in India. Jyoti Singh an Indian woman was brutally gang-raped by six men, one happening to be a juvenile. This day had two important outcomes. While one marked the culmination and dawn of a new beginning for women who broke the long-held silence of violence, the second pointed out the grave dangers of living in a patriarchal, perverted, pessimistic and irresponsible society. 'Nirbhaya' (Fearless) as the rape victim was fondly called became a faceless face for every 'victimized' woman who might belong to any family, society or country and not alone to an Indian family, Indian society or India.
Rape, murder, or violence all of these are global issues, if BBC picks up this strand and makes a documentary titled India's Daughter depicting the harsh realities that exist in INDIA then it funnily becomes a matter of International 'politics'. One country trying to tarnish the image of the other! One country trying to push its 'super power' image over a 'rising power'! 
This one issue brings forth several questions onto the table for discussion. As part of this discussion, the issue of this ban being a case for international politics and as a restriction of media freedom would be discussed. To begin with, titling the documentary as India's Daughter is both right and wrong but at different levels. It is right because she is India's daughter. It is wrong because she is not alone India's Daughter. Secondly, it reinforces those who believe in the 'whites mentality' of them being the saviors of mankind. 
This mere titling has an important role to play because India now feels victimized. This titling as they believe would then lead to a series of assumptions, namely: Women in India live in total unsafe conditions. They are more prone to get raped than any 'other' country's woman. Indian men can't be trusted. They are only driven by one instinct. Attitude of Indian society towards its women is demeaning and dangerous. 
And as if to prove their point right a case of a German professor denying an Indian male student for internship citing the 'rape problem in India' as the reason pops up. Whatever allegations the BJP then put up against BBC i.e. BBC's alleged attempt to deface 'India' and not the issue appears true. 
But all said and done this doesn't make it a reason for the government to ban the documentary. Had the government chosen to have acted in a more 'mature' manner by airing the documentary in India, the government would have had a face to put up in front of the people and it would have shown the government's sincere and honest attempts and ambitions to deal with the problem. Had it given precedence to the issue of rape than what they have given to the BBC channel then the government would have not been in hot water. In turn by banning the documentary the government seems to have mocked its own self that is to say that Indian government deals with rapes by bans. This is reinforced in an article found 'co-incidentally' on the 'BBC website'. 
So, either way all the countries would now be joking that Indian government saves its face by either running away from the situation or by banning. Won't this be suggestive of the fact that India is defacing itself in the arena of international politics? I would personally wish media to retain its freedom and though difficult it should get into the practice of self-regulation (because there is something called ethics!) and if they can't our government can (it can ban whenever it finds anything 'offensive', or for that matter any 'attempt' made on the part of media to 'deface' the government in the international arena)! 
Rape is beyond the violation of a woman physically. Rape is just the beginning of a process of torment for the woman and if her family is ready to 'accept' her as she 'is' then for them as well. We constantly keep coming back to the issue of 'sexuality' and 'virginity' of a woman. If men are raped as it does happen would the issue of virginity be associated for them? Yes, rape is not alone about physical violation. It is also about the mental violation. Every time a guy passes a lewd remark while a girl is walking or when she is waiting as the sky darkens up and she can't find trace of any auto and there are a bunch of guys standing drunk just few feet away from her. The fear that rises in her heart and its rapid registration in her brain, that too is mental rape. When we still haven't discussed about physical rape where then will we fit in the other strand of rape? 
As a final note, I am glad that this documentary was made. It was needed. It was needed for the society to know that rapists don't deserve mercy and unlike some baba said 'they are boys and committed a mistake' that attitude needs to go! 
As I had stated initially I laud those who have the guts to say I am what I am! and those who dare to face those who don't call them by their names but rather choose to title them as 'rape victims'. One such Nirbhaya was Suzette Jordan. She died. If you ask about justice being delivered I again do not have an answer. God knows how many Nirbhayas exist to whom justice wasn't delivered and are still waiting. And the government who has been so vehemently questioning BBC's motives need to look into the fact that not always is a channel's supposedly 'true hidden motives' a reflection of the people of that country. There are some who may think this way too: 
Why aren't we talking about this and making a big noise about to try to highlight and stop it here in the UK? Because rape and domestic violence is still a taboo subject that most of us would rather pretend didn't exist. We also can't ignore the fact that by and large our country is run by men so there is not much of an appetite to whip up a debate about it. Women on the other hand often don't want to talk about it because of the stigma the subject carries. They fear being labelled trouble causers, or reviled as man haters or even damaging their career or status. 
Suzanne Virdee, BBC News presenter Yes it is true, I say again that the title of the documentary shouldn't have been so, and an answer to this has been given by an Indian Businessman who made another documentary titled 'United Kingdom's daughters'. But the answer to this titling needs to stop till here and there need not be any further discussion on why this ban rather the focus should now come to the issue. That was the entire point why this documentary was made, it was made to facilitate more discussion and dialogue. 
It is high time that the government took up the issue of sexual harassment of women seriously. It is high time that the curtained women were provoked. It is high time that we woke up to answer the conspiracies of our own silences. Media autocracy/ freedom, international politics though important issues are secondary to the problem of rape and the factors leading to it, and the time has finally come for us to look through the issue of rape and find solutions to it. If employment is a solution then provide it! If bettering the conditions in slums a solution then do it! If censoring or banning adult-content films or videos on YouTube or the shops that sell such DVDs a solution then it should be done! Whatever are the possible solutions lets discuss on that, let's just TALK! 

Suhanjali Santha.

10:00 am

G.I.P.E. ECONOMICS CONCLAVE 2015 Conclave 2015, in its second edition, was bigger and better. The two day event encompassed discussions and debate in context to the Indian economy. The experts wide spectrum of experience dealing with real time issues. 
At a time when India is moving towards a fresher ideology and asserting it's strategic and economic position in the world, our economic policies are being increasingly scrutinized and analyzed. We are on the 'Road to Renaissance' which we hope can be achieved through the various changes that are being constituted every day by our present dispensation and the ones before. The Economics Conclave 2015 called on policymakers and academicians for a discussion around the current policies and environment. 
Speakers like Mr. Anant Sardeshmukh, Prof. Nagesh Kumar, Dr. Sachin Kumar Sharma, Dr. Gangadhar Darbha, Prof. Anil Gupta, and many more had put forward their views!

Day 1 : March 13

Inaugral Session

Dr. Rajiv Kumar

  • Need for Intellectual Renaissance
  • Environmental Constraints - a serious problem
  • Three deficits impacting Indian Economy
    • Educational Deficit
    • Governance Deficit
    • Infrastructure Deficit

Plenary Session I

Make in India: The challenges before Indian manufacturing

Dr. Aanand Sardeshmukh

  • Make in India for whom?
  • Economic Fundamentals impacting Indian manufacturing/ economy
    • Rising inflation
    • Rising Interest rates
    • Depreciating Currency
    • Reducing Capital Investments
    • Widening Cad
    • Widening Fiscal Deficit
  • Manufacturing challenges in India
  • Where has manufacturing gone wrong?
    • Acute skill shortage
    • Lack of collective action by industry for demanding/ enforcing governmental accountability
    • No attempt of self regulation by industry against corrupt practices.
    • Lack of effectiveness
    • Decentralized industry prevents achieving economies of scale and becoming globally competitive
    • Labor deployment rigidity
    • Militant and competitive trade unionism. This is mainly because of the political interference.
  • Infrastructure deficit
    • 8% peak power deficit in India. Because prime manufacturing takes place during the day. Their competitiveness is
    • Indian industry across the board bears a significantly higher price for infrastructure services and utilities than their global competition.
  • Poor infrastructures
    • Bad road conditions
    • Creation of more railways, roads, ports and power generating capacity across India.
  • India's potential?

Plenary Session II

Foreign Direct Investment - Have we done enough?

Prof. Nagesh Kumar

  • In the light of these determinants India’s advantages lie in the following aspects:
    • Very large and fast-growing economies
    • Economy driven by domestic consumption and investment
    • Poor of talented manpower
    • Global hub for services sector
    • Vibrant pool of entrepreneurship
    • Favorable demographics
    • Projected to have the largest middle class and become largest centre of consumption by 2050.
  • Effect on growth
  • Effect on domestic investment
  • Role of host govt. Policy
  • How can FDI help in regional devt.?

Plenary Session III

WTO and food security: recent issues and challenges

Dr. Sachin Kumar Sharma

  • History of wto and food security
  • India’s position on food security
  • Allowing developing countries to continue to provide price support to their farmers will be a big confidence in multilateral trade, given that the focus of the ongoing doha round of negotiations is supposed to be on 'development'
  • Food security as a livelihood issue
  • Rising burden of subsidies

Day 2 : March 14 plenary session VI panel discussion on union budget

2015 : THE HARBINGER OF RENAISSANCE PROF. ABHAY PETHE DR. AJIT RANADE 2015 : The Harbinger of renaissance Prof. Abhay Pethe Dr. Ajit Ranade

Prof. Rajas Parchure

  • Macroeconomic concerns of india
    • Growth
    • Governance
    • Education
    • Employment
    • Labor
    • Land
  • Parameters to view the Budget
  • Parameters to view the Budget
    • Does it maintain fiscal deficit
    • How it deals with the external pressure
    • Timing of budget and level of difficulty
    • What the budget does for growth
  • Constitutional provisions of the budget
  • Monetization of Receivables or Working Capital in the budget
  • Monetization of Gold in the budget
  • Problems of Bad Loans
  • Rising Inflation and the budget
  • Growth undifferentiated and undirected


Whatever we have learnt/ discussed or talked about economics at SOG seems to have seen the light of the day at this conclave. Irrespective of the fact that certain discussions were technical the fact that we understood most it is evident of two important facts. First, economics is an inevitable part of our daily life more than we know it. Second, that SOG has finally succeeded in incorporating what is called as ‘economic thinking’ into all those who understood economics lectures. Importantly, at the conclave during the budget, we got to learn different perspectives on the same budget and also focus on those things of the budget that we missed earlier like the Gold monetization issue and the economics behind the devolution of 42% of resources to the state. The obvious links between politics, ideologies and economics have been very well visible during the debate on the Union-budget. Moving away from the subject side these discussions brought out interesting learning’s for those inquisitive about debating and how to thoroughly engage the audience on a content-based topic.

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