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Strategies for transforming the nation through statistics

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Strategies for transforming the nation through statistics

Altaf Hussain Haji

As we know that the United Nations (UN) General Assembly held on September 25, 2015 adopted the document titled “Transforming our World with the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development”. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are (1) End poverty (2) Zero hunger (3) Good health and wellbeing (4) Quality education (5) Gender equality (6) Clean Water and Sanitation (7) Affordable and clean energy (8) Decent work and economic growth (9) Industry, innovation and infrastructure (10) Reduced inequalities (11) Sustainable cities and communities (12) Responsible consumption and production (13) Climate change (14) Life below water (15) Life on land (16) Peace, Justice and Strong institutions and (17) Partnerships for the goals.

India has provided strong endorsement to the SDGs, giving a considerable fillip to agenda 2030. It is widely agreed that India will play a leading role in determining the relative success or failure of the SDGs, as it is the second-most populous country in the world. The sustainable development goals is a real agenda to change the world by achieving targets by 2030.

As one person wrote: “It follows that an acceleration in the rate of change will result in an increasing need for reorganisation or restructuring. The reorganisation is usually feared because it means disturbance of the status quo, a threat to people’s vested interests in their jobs, and an upset to established ways of doing things while restructured is somehow to first step to involve in the change which seems to be implementing by sustainable Development goals.

It must be considered that there is nothing difficult to carry out, nor in doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things.

Subsequent SDG agenda have confirmed the importance of the concern about the change in the world. Today, more and more administrators deal with new government regulations, new products, growth, increased competition, technological developments, and a changing workforce by implementing SGDs. In response, most government setup, Centre as well as state governments find that they must undertake moderate organizational changes. The same has happened in the Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme implementation, government of India recently issued an order to streamline and strengthen with respect to the Indian official statistics system and to bring in more synergy by integrating its administrative function within the ministry setup. The National Statistical Office (NSO) is the result of the change by existing CSO and NSSO.  The name of CSO and NSSO skip for the smooth functioning of the statistical system in India. No doubt this change misunderstanding the public and lack of trust happened among peoples. There is a need for strategies to handle the situation for new renames and fame of the National Statistics Office (NSO).

As we see in the field of collection of data of various socio-economic surveys of NSO that overall population also want to change even they do not understand its implications and perceive that it might with a good cost.

On the other hand, a few organisations can be characterised as having a high level of trust between citizens, employees and managers or administrators that easily for misunderstandings to develop when change is introduced. Unless managers or administrators surface the misunderstandings and clarify them rapidly, they can lead to resistance to easily catch change initiators by surprise. It has found that many managers have quite strong feelings about participation—sometimes positive and sometimes negative. That is, some managers or administrators feel, that there should always be participation during change efforts, while others feel this is virtually always a mistake. Both attitudes can create problems for a manager or administrator which results hampered the new way of working in the setup.

When change initiators believe they do not have all the information they need to design and implement a change, or when they need the wholehearted commitment of others to do so, involving others makes very good sense. Considerable research has demonstrated that, in general, participation leads to commitment, not merely compliance.    In some instances, commitment is needed for the change to be a success. Nevertheless, the participation process does have its drawbacks. Not only can it lead to a poor solution if the process is not carefully managed, but also it can be enormously time-consuming. When the change must be made immediately, it can take simply too long to involve others.

In approaching an organizational or any other change situation, managers explicitly or implicitly make strategic choices regarding the speed of the effort, the amount of preplanning, the involvement of others, and the relative emphasis they will give to different approaches. Successful change efforts seem to be those where these choices are internally consistent and fit some key situational variables.

The strategic options available to managers can be usefully thought of as existing on a continuum. At one end of the continuum, the change strategy calls for very rapid implementation, a clear plan of action, and little involvement of others. This type of strategy mows over any resistance and, at the extreme, would result in a fait accompli. At the other end of the continuum, the strategy would call for a much slower change process, a less clear plan, and involvement on the part of many people other than the change initiators.

As we know that the government of India is strongly committed to agenda 2030 including the full swing of Sustainable Development Goals. India is already taking significant strides towards the attainment of SDGs, India’s National Development Agenda outlines the measures of the government by taking issues like poverty, sustainable growth, health, nutrition, gender equality and quality education among several others.  Here the statistics play an important role to know the issues. This is another strategy to know the situation. The question is here the issue that arises during the implementation of sustainable development goals. Maybe these issues are linked with sustainable development goals and targets with National statistical indicators but fail to report achievement. There are so many indicators that determine where the goals stand for and what steps or strategies should be taken to achieve targets of the prescribed goals. Further, there are so many indicators that have no statistics which results in the weakness of the targets to implement and will not able to achieve the goals well in the time frame year 2030. The government was already given the responsibility to the Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) in developing the National Indicator Framework (NIF) which will help in monitoring the progress of the SDGs and associated targets. Statistical indicators of National Indicator Frameworks (NIF) will be the backbone of monitoring of SDGs at the national and state level and will scientifically measure the outcomes of the policies to achieve the targets under different SDGs. The National Statistical Office (NSO) of ministry is the nodal agency for planning and facilitating the integrated development of the statistical system in the country, and to lay down norms & standards in the field of official statistics, evolving concepts, definitions, classification and methodologies of data collection, processing, and release of results etc.

The following some brief strategies may be taken into consideration to transferring the world by implementing Sustainable Development goals

  • It should be first and foremost to make available data or statistics to planners and policymakers of every indicator
  • Try to reduce time-lag in the dissemination of data or statistics so that better and timely result will available for better implementation of SDGs
  • Improving the quality of data or statistics so that targets of SDGs will be achieved in the time frame by 2030.
  • Taking-up new data sets in the emerging areas to cover every indicator of SGDs so that those can meet the aspirations of stakeholders
  • The coordination with central and state statistical organizations may improve to maintain the quality of indicator and get better quality data from stakeholders

Further developing appropriate strategies to create awareness about the importance of data as well as to improve “visibility” to enhance the image of both the statistical personnel and the statistical Organizations

A policy on developing new data sets should be evolved. It should include the need for the generation of new data sets, irrespective of whether it will be done by NSO or other Departments of other ministries.

Altaf Hussain Haji, ISS, is Deputy Director General National Statistical Office, Shimla. He can be contacted at altafhh@rediffmail.com

Opinion

The Golden Flames Of Autumn Chinars 

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The Golden Flames Of Autumn Chinars 

 Syed Aamir Sharief Qadri

The Golden Flames Of Autumn Chinars 

When God created this planet he embellished it with myriad colours so that human beings can see, feel and embrace them in different seasons. In addition to cool and warm colours usually, it is the green and white that represent seasons in Kashmir. The changing season brings new colours and in autumn it is orange, yellow, brown and red shades that dominate the scene.

How beautifully Albert Camus described the loveliness of the autumn season in a single line when he said ‘Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower’. Contrary to this thought, many say all beauty ends at the beginning of this season. They believe this season snatches life from green plants and trees to look everything dull.

I don’t know what autumn looks like in other places of the world but in Kashmir, it is dazzling owing to a presence of a good number of chinar trees. The glory of this tree is something unique. In its praise, a famous couplet by Allama Iqbal is very popular.

Jis khaak ke zameer main ho aatish-e-chinar

Mumkin nahi ki sard ho wo khaak-e-arjumand

(The dust that carries in its conscience the fire of chinar, It is impossible for the celestial dust to cool down)

It is quite amazing to see the dance of autumn leaves that appear vibrant while falling from tall trees. Just like some people are happy to get drenched in the rain during monsoons similarly a few like to dance with the falling of leaves in the autumn season. Indra Gandhi the third PM of India often used to come to Kashmir in the autumn season to see the picturesque fall of chinar leaves. 

Platanus orientalis, The plane tree called Chinar in Urdu and Boen in Kashmiri.  The long-lived deciduous tree is said to have originated in the Balkan area of the Mediterranean region. It grows well in temperate latitudes and is widely spread throughout Eurasia. This tree outside Kashmir is revered by Greek and Persian culture. Whether chinar has an indigenous origin or was introduced by foreigners in Kashmir is still debated in the academic circle. Once cultivated this tree flourished in the supportive environment of Kashmir. 

The mystic saints Sheikh Nuruddin (RA) and Lal Ded have mentioned the name of this tree in their sacred works. The chinar tree planted by Sufi saint Syed Qasim Shah Hamdani in 1374 AD at Budgam was believed by MS Wadoo author of the book “The Trees of Our Heritage” to be the oldest in J&K. But the ongoing census and geotagging of chinar trees show some chinar trees to be 1000 years old in central Kashmir.

It should be noted that we get enough references about the presence of chinar trees in the valley during the sultanate period of Kashmir. But we also know that the Mughals promoted chinar on a large scale. They planted a majestic chinar tree in the gardens of Kashmir and gave it the status of a royal tree which remained intact to this day. 

The world-famous Mughal gardens are known for their majestic chinar trees. The three well-known gardens Nishat, Shalimar and Naseem Bagh in the heartland of Kashmir are full of grand chinars. Over 1200 chinar trees were planted alone in Naseem Bagh by the Mughals. Outside the city, Mughals planted chinars in the gardens of Verinag, Achwal, Dara Shikoh Bagh, and Padshahi Bagh in the Anantnag district. 

It would be quite interesting to call Srinagar the city of chinars. Besides Mughal gardens where chinars are planted in large numbers, one can see them everywhere in the city, on the banks of Jhelum, along the residency road and in the middle of Dal Lake. 

The entire region of Kashmir is dotted by shady chinar trees be it cities or hillsides. The kings mostly planted these trees in important locations. It was the common people especially Sufi saints who took it to the villages of rural Kashmir. 

A perfect example of beauty, this heritage tree is known for its gigantic size. Chinar is perhaps the only tree in the valley that can live for centuries. That is why the saying “Boen chi Gawah” which means chinar witness everything is very famous. This tree is a witness to history and holds a special place in the culture of this land. Under the shadows of this tree, many dynasties flourished. 

The beautiful design of chinar leaf is well acclaimed in the Kashmiri handicraft and wood industries. Every part of the chinar tree is valuable. The timber is used for making furniture, the bark is used as medicine, and from twigs and roots fabric die is made. Its leaves are used to fuel the fire pot locally known as Kangri. But above all the majestic chinar is known for its aesthetic beauty. The experience of walking on the red carpet lying under the chinar trees is pretty special. The sounds produced by the crunching of leaves under one’s feet are touching. With the onset of autumn, people throng to the valley in great numbers to feel the life-giving warmth of chinar trees. 

Boen-e-Shuhul, The cool shades of this tree are quite popular. In summer, people often take shelter under its strong and spreading boughs. Many people wish to be buried under the shades of this tree. Perhaps Sheikh Abdullah the author of Aatish-e-Chinar would have wished the same. Luckily he was buried in the premises of the historic Nasem Bagh on the shores of Dal lake in Srinagar.  

Despite being a state tree, protected by the legislation, the number of chinar trees continues to decrease. In the 1970s as per the official count, there were 42000 Chinar trees in Kashmir and that number has been reduced to a mere 5000 now. 

For some years now the government seems serious enough to promote heritage tourism by distributing saplings to increase the population of chinars in J&K. We should also plant chinar trees in abundance on chinar day which is celebrated on March 15 every year.

 To mark India’s 75th year of independence this year in mid august the govt announced to establish at Srinagar the largest chinar park in the valley by the name of Chinar-Zaar. The autumn of Kashmir can be made even more beautiful if the government take initiative to establish new chinar gardens in every part of J&K. 

A poet and writer, the author has done his MA in History from the University of Kashmir and MPhil from Punjabi University, Patiala. Presently, he is a freelance columnist. You can contact him at aamirsharief45@gmail.com

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Health

Lack of physical activity, stress affect well-being of children

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Lack of physical activities affect well-being of children

Need to impart healthy and active lifestyle among youngsters

Dr Taizeena Khan

Lack of physical activities affect well-being of children

Dr Taizeena Khan

World Health Organisation (WHO) defines health as complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. At an early stage children not only need love and care, but also a proper road map for a healthy lifestyle. This road map should be devised by keeping in mind all the parameters of health and wellness. It should not only focus on the physical and mental health of our children but also on the social aspects of it. To achieve this goal we need to enhance the skills of parents. The health and wellness plan from the birth of a child will decide the future of our coming generations.

In recent years of my clinical practice as a physiotherapist, I have noticed more youngsters coming to me with musculoskeletal disorders. This abrupt rise of my younger generation patients, their lack of physical activity, unnecessary stress and lack of social set-up that could provide them with a platform to practice a healthy lifestyle at an early stage urged me to choose this topic today.

In recent years children as young as 12-18 years old have been coming to me with musculoskeletal disorders. While consulting/counselling these youngsters I have come to the conclusion that there is not only a lack of physical activities but also a lot of avoidable stress leading to the unhealthy choice of lifestyle in this age group these days.

To a large extent, I believe that technology has also played a great role in this. No doubt that technology has become an integral component of our daily lives. Technology has, to a great extent, made our lives easier but at the same time, it has done that at the cost of our physical, mental and our social lives. This all begins when we as a parent make a choice of offering a smartphone to our 6-month-old so that we can feed him. Children are easily attracted to new toys and a smartphone with so many features is no doubt the best form of toy for them. It has a cartoon that speaks to them anytime they hit the button. The best fictional stories they could ever watch and everything they could get their hands on. Meanwhile, we don’t realize the cost of bringing this technology to them at this early stage of their life. We happily make our child technology-dependent too early for our own convenience, as it is not only saving us time in this fast-moving world, but we also think that we are making our child happy.

Physical inactivity in children is becoming a growing problem day by day and has been considered an epidemic according to research.

WHO reports that about 70% of boys and up to 88% of girls under the age of 10 don’t get the physical activity they need for their age.

Think back to the times when we were growing up as kids. How did we spend our time in school as well as at home? There were no computers, no smartphones, and almost no technology. There was a good balance between our books, TV time and playing games. We were encouraged to go out and play. We had more real friends than social media friends whom we could talk and discuss our stress with. We also used to spend a lot of time on our vacation with our extended family members, especially with our grandparents. We used to listen to their stories, the folk stories, their real-life experiences etc. I remember going on for long walks with my grandfather and on the way bothering him with lots of inquisitive questions about the trees, the birds, or whatever we saw on our way. This helped me appreciate nature, love animals and observe things keenly.

But times have changed. Children today are hardly seen playing after school or having a good social life. Pressure from parents to perform better in academics, more and more access to technology and lack of physical activity is leading to overall physical, mental and social problems in their lives.

This sedentary lifestyle arising due to various problems discussed above is the leading cause of childhood obesity, hypertension, cardiac problems juvenile diabetes, anxiety, aggression, depression and other behavioural changes and musculoskeletal disorders in children. Delayed growth and development in infants and toddlers are also seen due to changing patterns of raising our children and more and more technology taking over our burdens. In recent years, more infants and toddlers are facing delayed speech and learning disabilities.

Investing time and effort in early childhood development starting from infancy is pertinent to stop this epidemic and give our children the best life. Plan a proper balanced healthy lifestyle program for your child’s health and wellness.

Here are some tips to lay a foundation for the health and well-being of our children whose benefits last a lifetime.

·  Do not introduce technology to your children at a very early age.

·  Instead introduce games which stimulate their brains, e.g. educational and learning toys such as building blocks, numbers, shapes, colours etc.

·  Spend more and more time with them while they are still in their infancy. Read a storybook for them, this encourages them to read and write.

·   Feed them while they are observing nature and not offering them a smartphone, this helps them enjoy their food and develop their taste buds better.

·   Encourage them to feed themselves as soon as you think they are ready for it.

·   Encourage them to do small independent activities e.g. feeding themselves, combing, brushing, tying shoe laces, etc. This will not only help them stay physically fit but also independent.

·   Introducing a healthy balanced diet plan and avoiding junk food is imperative.

·   Regularize the feeding and sleeping time.

·   Encourage going to bed early and do not give them access to technology at bedtime.

·   Limit the technology, TV and video game time, e.g. you can allow technology time which includes any form of technology only 1-2 hours a day.

·   Encourage them to spend more time playing games with friends, and extended family members, especially grandparents.

·   You can also select a day to play with your kids e.g. weekends, this will help you bond with your kids and also help you and your kids stay physically fit.

·  Encourage them to spend more time playing outdoors.

·  Encourage them to spend time with grandparents, let them listen to their real-life experiences and learn from them, and encourage physical activity as much as possible.

·  Bond with your kids. Listen to them with open mind and heart. Do not put pressure on them to achieve academic or any other goals in life, instead encourage them to do well in life by giving them all the support they need.

·  Last but not least be a practical example for your own kids. Practice a healthy lifestyle and they will follow you.

 

The author is a physiotherapist. She has done BPT from Bangalore, PGDMS from London, MBA from USA, MIAP. Besides, she has fellowships in Geriatric Rehabilitation, Pediatric Rehabilitation and is a certified women’s health exercise expert. She can be reached at drtaizeenkhanphysio@gmail.com 

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MSME

MSMEs: Backbone of Indian economy

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MSMEs: Backbone of Indian economy

Mohmad Iqbal Marazi

MSMEs: Backbone of Indian economy

                Iqbal Marazi

MSME sector has emerged as a highly vibrant and dynamic sector of the Indian economy over the last five decades. It contributes significantly to the economic and social development of the country. But, the sector was among the most affected sections during the COVID19 pandemic.

It has been reported that lockdown induced the closing of thousands of MSMEs in the country, despite the government of India’s Rs 20 lakh crore covid response package. According to a recent report by Small Industries Development Bank Of India(SIDBI), two-thirds of MSME’s in India were shut for a period of three months or more in FY2021 and over half of all MSMEs saw a decline of 25 percent in revenue.

WHAT ARE MSMEs

MSMEs are micro, small and medium enterprises categorised on the basis of investment in plant and machinery and the annual turnover in accordance with the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED) Act, 2006. MSMEs in India have evolved considerably since independence. From being referred to merely as the small-scale industries (SSI) sector in 1960s and 70s, the MSME sector has progressed in scale and in the scope of business activities over the years. MSME consists of both traditional and modern small industries in India. Small industries are divided into eight subgroups: Handlooms, Handicrafts, Sericulture, Khadi And Village Industries, Small Scale Industries and Power looms.

 WHY ARE MSMEs SIGNIFICANT FOR INDIA’s DEVELOPMENT

MSMEs: Backbone of Indian economy

1) Acting as engines of entrepreneurship: The indigenous skills and grassroots innovations can be channelled into MSME business ideas as they require very limited capital investment, are low risk and are not bureaucratically tedious.

2) Completing the economic supply chain: MSMEs are complimentary to large Industries as ancillary units and form an integral part of the value chain by filling the localised gaps.

3) Equitably distributing the opportunities of development: MSME units provide source of income, in wide range of non- agricultural activities and provide employment opportunities in rural areas, especially for the non-traditional artisans and weaker sections of the society.

4) Encouraging inclusive growth via employment generation: MSME are the second largest employers of human resources, after agriculture. They are, therefore considered to be more labour-intensive and less capital-intensive. They provide gainful employment to marginalised sections.

5) Growing role in technology-intensive and rapidly emerging sectors: Indian MSME’s are not limited to small business only but are rapidly increasing their presence, like Financial Technology, Defence, Manufacturing and Space among others.

6) Aiding achievement of sustainable development goals: MSMEs produce products using locally available resources, both material and labour. These products and processes help in achievement of SDGs both directly and indirectly. Some of SDGs are as:

SDG1 (End Poverty) Alleviating poverty through micro franchising

SDG3 (Good health and wellbeing)

SDG6 (Sanitation for all)

SDG7 (Energy for all)

SDG10 (Reduced Inequalities)

SDG14 (Life below water)

India’s MSME sector contributes almost 30% of the GDP. Almost half of the exports come from micro, small and medium enterprises. In India around 20% of micro, small and medium enterprises are micro enterprises. More than half of micro, small and medium enterprises are owned by general category entrepreneurs.

RECENT INITIATIVES TAKEN BY GOVERNMENT OF INDIA FOR MSMEs:

1) Improvement in overall performance and quality. Raising and Accelerating MSME Performance (RAMP) is a world bank assisted central sector scheme. The revamped Zero Defect Zero Effect (ZED) Certification scheme.

2)Access to Finance, Collateral free loan 59-minute loan portal.

3) Access to markets, mandating PSEs to compulsorily procure 25% of their total purchases from MSME’s, International Cooperation Scheme, Marketing Assistance Scheme.

4) Technology Upgradation, Setting up 15 new and upgrading 18 existing tool rooms.

5) Ease of doing business, randomised inspection through a computerized random allotment, reduced environment clearance and certification burden.

The author is a PG student of economics at HNB Garhwal Central University Uttrakhand. He can be reached at iqbalmarazi999@gmail.com

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