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Majority of employees for unethical behaviour: Survey

Mumbai, June 14 

Indian employees are increasingly justifying unethical behaviour at workplace with a majority believing the management would ignore it to accomplish revenue targets, an Ernst & Young survey said on Wednesday.

"Inconsistency and ambiguity in encouraging high ethical standards and insufficient understanding of compliance programmes have increasingly led employees to justify unethical behaviour at the workplace," said EY's Asia-Pacific (APAC) Fraud Survey.

The survey highlighted that ethical leadership has emerged worrisome in India and China alike, with 57 per cent stating that senior management tends to overlook dubious actions of employees to attain corporate targets.

As many as 58 per cent of Indian respondents said they are willing to work for firms involved in a major bribery or fraud case, while 60 per cent said organisations are reporting financial performance better than what is.

"The prevalence of fraud and corrupt practices and gaps in demonstrating principled leadership by senior management can become a hindrance in organisations' quest to build compliant workplaces and retain talent. 

"Businesses in emerging economies such as India will need to rethink their approach toward corporate governance, take action against individual misconduct and reinforce commitment to make compliance programmes more visible, resilient and technologically-led," said Arpinder Singh, Partner and National Leader, Fraud Investigation and Dispute Services, EY India.

Justifying fraud, corruption and unethical behaviour, 78 per cent of respondents said bribery and corrupt practices occur widely while 31 per cent said they would offer cash payments to win or retain business.

Read more: Majority of employees for unethical behaviour: Survey

As India ages, over 61% of elderly will have no income security by 2050

New Delhi, June 14 

India's 860 million-strong working population (15-64 years), the world's largest, is beginning to age. Over the next 33 years, by 2050, 32.4 million Indians, or 20 per cent of the population, will be above 60 years of age. If pension continues to cover only 35 per cent of senior citizens as it does today, 20 million, or 61.7 per cent of India's elderly population, will be without any income security by 2050.

The Centre pays Rs 200 per month under the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS) to every Indian over the age of 60 and living under the poverty line (the ability to spend Rs 33 per day in urban and Rs 27 per day in rural areas as per the Tendulkar committee on poverty line). The states are encouraged to add to this sum and are free to expand the coverage. Currently, states pay anything between Rs 200 and Rs 2,000 as public pensions. Should public pensions be universal or targeted? What should be the minimum offered by a public, non-contributory pension? From which age should it be granted? To find answers to these questions through opinions of older people, a study was conducted in Gujarat and Rajasthan by the Centre for Equity Studies (CES), New Delhi, in August-November 2016. The study, yet unpublished, collected opinions and experiences of 1,505 people above the age of 55 years across 14 locations. The states were chosen because they represent two ends of the spectrum in the universalisation debate: Gujarat, 10th richest state in per capita GDP ranking, offers a targeted pension of Rs 400 only to the poor at the time the study was conducted (since then the amount has been revised to Rs 500), and Rajasthan, 23rd in the per capita GDP list, extends Rs 500 to (nearly) all senior citizens. The study found a wide and conclusive gap between pension policy and public opinion. Opinion across both states was unanimous that public pension should be extended to all elderly and should be initiated earlier than at age 60 years. The popular view was that Rs 2,000 was an adequate pension sum, which is four to six times higher than their present entitlement.

Gujarat pursues a narrowly targeted scheme whereby only the poorest senior citizens are entitled to public pensions. Rajasthan has near-universalised pension entitlements whereby women above 55 and men above 58 receive pensions as long as they are not entitled to pensions from any other source or are not taxpayers. Arguments against universalisation suggest that the cost of universalisation is generally lowering the entitlement for those who need it the most. 

Read more: As India ages, over 61% of elderly will have no income security by 2050

Gandhiji’s Salt Satyagraha example of people’s participation in quest for freedom : LS Speaker

New Delhi, Jun 13 

Crediting Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, with evoking a sense of popular participation, feeling of oneness and unity for the nation, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan today said the Salt Satyagraha was a classic example of people’s participation in the quest for freedom. Speaking at an event where Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu presented 100 Volumes of Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi to her for the Parliament Library, Ms Mahajan said, 'Gandhiji’s simple message to the common people during the national movement evoked a sense of popular participation, feeling of oneness and unity for the nation. The Salt Satyagraha was a classic example of people’s participation in the quest for freedom. His philosophy also influenced the global community with regard to service to the nation.' The Lok Sabha Speaker said that the collections would be kept in Parliament for members so as to enable them to peruse the heritage collection. She appreciated the efforts of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and complimented the I&B Minister for his efforts in taking forward this initiative and development agenda of the Government.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Naidu said that the writings of Mahatma Gandhi played an instrumental role in weaving the freedom movement together with the morals of truth and non-violence. Citing a quote by Mahatma Gandhi that “Let our lives be open books for all to study,” he said that collected works of Mahatma Gandhi gave an invaluable opportunity to study from the life teachings of Father of our Nation.

Read more: Gandhiji’s Salt Satyagraha example of people’s participation in quest for freedom : LS Speaker

Deadlock continues over GST, Oppn says govt presented no roadmap at APM

NIN NEWS SERVICE

Srinagar, Jun 14

Contrary to the claim by the government that consensus have been reached on Goods and Service Tax (GST) at All Party Meeting (APM), the entire opposition alleged that the coalition PDP-BJP government presented no roadmap about the implementation of the tax regime and cautioned that it would be a compromise on the financial and political autonomy of the state.Meanwhile, deadlock has now cast a shadow on special session of J&K Assembly that is scheduled from June 17 to discuss the GST implementation. The Jammu and Kashmir government last night claimed that broader consensus emerged during the All Party Meeting convened on bringing the state under the ambit of GST regime.  However, the entire opposition alleged that the government came to the APM without any roadmap and preparations.

Read more: Deadlock continues over GST, Oppn says govt presented no roadmap at APM

EU releases remaining 25 mn euros of its grant for primary, secondary education in India

New Delhi, June 13

The European Delegation to India today released final tranche of 25 million euros of its 80 million euro grant for universal primary education and secondary education programmes of the government. This brings to a conclusion the EU's sector support to school education in India, to which it has contributed over 520 mn euroes. (currently valued at Rs. 3700 cr.) in grant funding. EU grants have contributed to setting up new schools, improving existing ones, bridging gender and social gaps, providing toilets especially for girls, training teachers, and enrolling nearly all children in the primary school years. India has more than 1.5 million schools in the public and private sectors, with over 227 million children enrolled. Around 1.29 million or 84.7% are in the rural areas. The reduction of dropout rates and the improvement of education outcomes as measured by various surveys are the main challenge for school policy makers and public authorities, going forward. At an event held in Delhi to mark the occasion, Ambassador of the European Union to India Tomasz Kozlowski recalled that the EU was the Indian Government's first development partner in education through its participation in the 155 districts initially selected under District Primary Education Programme in 1994.

Read more: EU releases remaining 25 mn euros of its grant for primary, secondary education in India

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Editorial

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