Myths about High Petrol and Diesel Prices

There have been a lot of explanations going around on WhatsApp, trying to justify the high petrol and diesel prices in India. Hence, I had to write this piece, although, my original plan was something else. So, without wasting any time, let’s get into it.

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India’s Youth Unemployment Data Shows Exponential Growth

Unemployment has become a major problem in India. And in the past decade, it has seen a sharp increase. This is something that all of us can see around us. A few weeks back, around 35,000 posts for Indian Railways attracted 1.25 crore applications. This alone shows the desperation among youth for employment.

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Gandhi, and Group Polarisation

Kangana Ranaut’s statement has once again created a controversy. In an interview, she said that India got its real independence in 2014. “…what we got [in 1947] was not Independence but alms.”
Statements like these by a national awardee are a disgrace to our society. And it also teaches us a couple of things. But first, let’s talk about some statistics.

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What Can We Expect Out Of India’s Economy?

he recently published figure of India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) shows that it increased by 20.1% in the first quarter of year 2021-22. While the percentage figure looks splendid, it was because of the base-effect. The percentage rise in the GDP was as compared to the GDP of First quarter of year 2020-21. This was the time when India implemented a stringent lockdown because of the covid outbreak, which resulted in a massive 23.9% of contraction in India’s GDP. So the real way of looking at this number is that India’s GDP during this period is lower that what it was in April-June 2018.

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Fighting Hate Speech and The Grey Area

On 8th August 2021, at a rally in Jantar Mantar, inflammatory slogans calling for violence against Muslims were raised. Two days later, Bhartiya Janta Party leader Ashwini Upadhyay and five others were arrested. According to a report in Scroll, they have been charged with promoting religious enmity and breaking the Covid-19 protocol. But more than […]

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Of WhatsApp, Group Polarization, and Fake News

Last year, during the time of Delhi election, a message claiming that Arvind Kejriwal was accused of rape and was arrested in 1987 came in my family WhatsApp group. Well, it took me a single google search (nearly about 5 seconds) to find out that it was fake. Even when it was so easy to find out the truth, the fact is that someone shared it in our group and someone else in our group must have forwarded it to some other group. And that is how the instant messaging service has become one of the largest propagators of fake news. But how does it happen? What is the reason people believe in fake news?

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Why The Pegasus Project is a Much Bigger Issue than It Seems

Recently, Amnesty International, a human rights organization came up with a database of 50,000 phone numbers which were either infected or were potential targets of a spyware called Pegasus. NSO Group, an Israeli company, has made this spyware. It sells it only to governments and official agencies for security purposes, which is why this issue has become a lot more controversial. Various governments including India’s have been suspected to keep an eye on its citizens, especially the dissenters, using this dangerous weapon.

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We Don’t Need a Population Control Bill

One of the most heated topics of last week was THE UTTAR PRADESH POPULATION (CONTROL, STABILIZATION AND WELFARE) BILL, 2021. I think, it has become a tradition from the last few years to draft at least one controversial bill every year. And this is the latest entry to that list. There are many myths about the population in india which needs to be busted. Also, as we will see later, this bill has nothing to do with the real issues as is claimed, but is purely a political gimmick. So let’s start.

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Society is The Court of Ethics and Morals

Central Vista Redevelopment project has been surrounded by controversies ever since it was announced. Going with such a large project when the average economic growth of the country declined for the fourth consecutive year in FY 2019-20, that is, the pre-pandemic year, seemed irresponsible. As we entered the pandemic, we not only saw one of the biggest economic contractions in the post-independence history, but also the Indian healthcare system collapsing miserably. The floating dead bodies on the banks of river Ganga are an open testimony to that. Personally, I know dozens of people who have lost their lives in this pandemic. But, even this didn’t prevent the current dispensation from continuing the massive project, or as the critics call it “Modi Mahal”.

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The Stock Market Bubble

To conclude, the stock market is absolutely disconnected from India’s economy and even the RBI including its Governor has said this many times now. But, the fact is RBI has also played a major role in it whether or not they admit. And if you are looking for higher returns, sorry but it is not quite possible in today’s time.

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The Power of Emotions

Emotions are something which differentiates humans from other organisms. It is a necessary part of human behavior and also helps us to interact with others’ needs in mind rather than our own, which is the basis of society. But, sometimes it gets the better of us and overpowers rationality. We stop thinking, and go with the flow of emotions. Tim Harford, one of my favourite economists, recalls an interesting story from the past in his book ‘How to Make the World Add Up’, to explain it. So the story goes something like this:

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