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"A little blue, a little green.. There is red and all shades you dream"

    Surgical strikes are defined as military attacks which results in damage only to the intended legitimate military target, with no or minimum damage to the surrounding entities. It is generally carried out swiftly. When Pakistani militants attacked the Indian Army brigade headquarters on 18th September, killing 17 army personnel and wounding at least a thirty, India retaliated within 14 days employing surgical attacks and the whole process took only about 4 hours.

    There are many factors that make surgical strikes very effective. The most important feature is that it is directed towards a single target. The degree of damage is thus much less when compared to that of a full blown war. For example the Indian army was able to destroy seven terror launch pads and kill 38 terrorists with the attacks on 29 September, 2016. The Pakistani army casualties were two in number, which is much less than damages that might have been caused in an open firing. Thus without causing much collateral damage India effectively eliminate the real threats. In addition to this, India was also able to check on infiltration on the Indian border by Pakistani militants. Once the target is achieved the defensive draws back to its primary and safe positions, causing minimal damage to the attacking side. This also makes the move more appealing. Also as mentioned earlier, surgical attacks does not mean war, which makes it a better option than a simple armed retaliation.

    But there’s a reason why it is not adopted more often.

    Surgical attacks, being target specific, have to be highly precise. The operations are highly complex and require coordination and control at various levels. The personnel have to be highly trained to carry out the operations effectively and while at it, they also have to ensure minimum collateral damage. The Indian army could position itself for attack only after it had studies the existing terrain of Pakistan occupied Kashmir well. Given that all the above conditions are favorable, then the success of the attack is guaranteed. The attack on 29 September turned out well for India. It was also based on strong reasons.

    The Kashmir valley is highly infested with terrorists. These terrorists are factors that lead to regional and national instability.  Terrorist infiltration in the borders have caused the rise in crime rates within the country. This adds to draining of resources- time man and money- from the nation. The illegal activities carried out by the infiltrators also affect the economy (in the form of black market, printing of fake notes to mention a few). It is imperative that the country acts proactively against this so as to safeguard its integrity. These kinds of surgical attacks are open statements that India is vigilant and any kind of interference on her sovereignty will be harshly met with. Thus such attacks should happen, more so now, due to volatile relationships with her neighbors.

    It must be noted that India is not the only country that has carried out surgical attacks. U. S. military had carried out several such attacks again terrorists in Afghanistan. India had deployed this only when it was provoked, when it was losing men on border due to constant ceasefire violations and has made it clear that it will not use surgical attacks again. But when the situation calls it must be seen to it that proper measures are taken to contain all kinds of trouble. Given the unstable situation in border, India should be prepared for anything, even for a surgical strike.

      There is a reason behind the hastiness of governmental moves. The swift yet imperfect execution might be one of the reasons why the move has failed to gain acceptance.

      The Modi government is known for its shocking and surprising moves.  The demonetization move was the one that rocked nation the most. Though the move was aimed against black economy and terrorism the common man seems to have suffered the most. But the real impact of demonetization is yet to be felt. Though life of a common man was suddenly brought to a halt and the production and manufacturing industry also suffered, it is to be remembered that the move was only temporary. Notes of higher denominations were soon brought into circulation. It is true that the policy had ample shortcomings but these do not make up enough for the benefits that might be reaped through its implementation. So why was it suddenly dropped on us..or was it really sudden..this calls for a thorough inspection:

      •  According to reports, in 2013, only 1% of the population paid their taxes. The rest who escaped, with money stashed at different places, are those who are targeted with this move. The shadow economy, which accounts for 20% of GDP, is weakening the economy and this move hopes to undo the damage. But it is not a policy out of the blue. The Modi government has promised to squeeze out black money and the procedures that followed were mere “walking the talk”
      •             Also, such a surgical move had to be quick and secretive else it would destroy the meaning of the whole process. Had the ministry or anybody outside the ambit of the planning committee come to know of the new notes printing at RBI or the “demonetization strike” would locate means and points to deposit the illegally acquired cash.
      •            The move is also meant to enable digitilization of the economy. The method of implementation has greatly helped the masses understand the need for moving over to digital economy. Had the move being cold and implemented in steps the masses would also develop a tendency to resist.
      •          The economy cannot be cleansed in a single stroke or move. Measures complementing the motive of such a policy have been implemented earlier(opening of 25 crores Jhan Dhan account, eliminating middlemen, options for voluntary disclosure of income, to mention a few) and similar measures would follow soon. It must be perceived as a link in a chain that might have been displaced, yet essential.

      Thus demonetization move has its reasons and so does GST. GST was not the brainchild of the current government. It was presented in 2006-2007Union Budget. The government has been unsuccessfully trying to implement it, until now. A lot of discussions have been undertaken yet the step wasn’t welcomed by the traders. It was accused of being a rash and quick move. But that is overstating it. Here’s how:

      •             Inefficient and complex tax systems in the country have been constantly haunting the consumers. It is supposed to provide immediate relief to the consumer from the burden of loads of taxes he pays, not knowing what and not knowing why.
      •             In fact, GST is also a means of the government to improve and cleanse the economy. Through electronic systems data entered can be constantly monitored/ accessed by government. It is also indicative of the upcoming digital era.

      The government has itself accepted that the GST regime would not be flawless. It had agreed to discuss and solve any problems that may arise after implementation. Nevertheless the economy has been greatly affected.

      From the present condition it can be deduced that the government is constantly trying to conquer growth with an economic structure that is not healthy enough to make giant leaps. These leaps look harmful and are posing huge problems to the economy. Should these leaps be avoided? Should its pace be slowed?  Maybe when taking those leaps the economy might get lean on its own, maybe not.. who knows?!    

        Karnataka: The Start-up Haven

        “India is blessed to be a nation of youngsters”

        These words of Prime Minister Narendra Modi marked a new era in Indian economy, the Stratup-Era. The words mark the strength and drive of the Startup India Mission, started in 16th January 2016,a phenomenon which transformed the youngsters from  job seekers to  job creators.

        Having said that, the complete picture isn’t much of a “mind”-candy. India is heavily investing on her youth. But even after one year, the response to this scheme has been lukewarm. Though the government is promoting the start-up culture, many companies in different states find themselves failing. It is here where the state of Karnataka stands out from the rest.

        Karnataka is an active respondent to the government start-up scheme. The government launched the Idea2POC program in 2015, the first state to implement the multi-sector start up policy, announcing grants worth 3.18 crores to start-ups. Through this program the ideas developed by start-ups were entitled to 50 lakhs without the government claiming ownership of the company. This move not only is the proof of the Government’s commitment to the society but also indicative of the strength of the commitment. Besides the strong support there are other factors that might make the state unique in this respective.

        1)      Access to credit

        Idea2POC is one such measure that enhances access to credit. Other than this the state also encourages participation of the private sector(especially well known incubators and accelerators) that would help the company easy access to labs, machines, networks and even provides ground support on legal, accounting, patents related issues.

        Another interesting aspect is “fund of funds” scheme which pools venture funds to invest in start-up companies. Financial support in terms of concessions and exclusions are also provided. The best example would be reimbursement of service tax, matching grants etc.

        Besides providing direct funds, the infrastructure of the state also enables young entrepreneurs to raise funds through workshops and training programs.

        2)      Access to technology

        The government has taken robust measures to ensure that the start-ups are built on stable technological foundations. The government has assisted in establishing Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) in institutions of higher learning. These would provide world class R&D services and enhanced technology, all made easily accessible.

        The government also provides new opportunities through exposure visits and workshops. A separate corpus fund has been created for this. These measures are surely providing the quantum the companies need to break off from the traditional business and management systems.

        3)      Access to Human Capital

        Investment in human capital is necessary for any institution or movement to succeed. Karnataka is also found to be immensely rich in this respect. The number of colleges per lakh population in Karnataka has been found greater than in other states. These colleges are also endowed with proper and adequate infrastructure, such as Technology Incubation and Development of Entrepreneurs (TIDE) schemes. The government has also adopted New Age Incubation Network (NAIN) schemes that would create incubators and incorporate them into a network for sharing idea and resources. (This. A massive push.)

         

        4)      Connectivity

        As expressed before the NAIN is also one of the measures that would enhance connectivity. The State also provides ground for various challenges and competition. This provides new paths and means for entrepreneurs to get together, share, discuss and develop on new ideas.  Common instrumentation facilities (like Industrial Management and Training Institutes) set up by the state also provides for sharing and assists in the mutual growth of economy and the companies. The industry exposure program NAIN would also serve as a means for entrepreneurs to get in contact with the industrial force.

         

        These factors have helped the start-up community in Karnataka and thus give them an advantage over peers from other states. The state has already started to make leaps in the Start-up marathon. The policy measures adopted definitely makes it an ideal environment for new opportunities to bloom and flourish. It also sets an example and exemplary model for the other states to follow. Karnataka stands a testimony to our Prime Ministers words “We have a million problems but at the same time we have over a billion minds”.

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