A must read- The Be-Happy attitudes

(Book review) The Be-Happy Attitudes by Dr. Robert Schuller

𝑾𝒉𝒚 𝒔𝒆𝒆𝒌 𝒉𝒂𝒑𝒑𝒊𝒏𝒆𝒔𝒔 𝒐𝒖𝒕𝒔𝒊𝒅𝒆, 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝒊𝒕 𝒓𝒆𝒔𝒊𝒅𝒆𝒔 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏!

 Are you attracted towards materialistic things to keep yourself happy?

📖𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐁𝐞-𝐇𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐲 𝐀𝐭𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐮𝐝𝐞𝐬 𝐛𝐲 𝐃𝐫.𝐑𝐨𝐛𝐞𝐫𝐭 𝐒𝐜𝐡𝐮𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐫

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📌𝗔𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗔𝘂𝘁𝗵𝗼𝗿-

Dr.Robert  Schuller was an American Christian televangelist, pastor, motivational speaker, and author. In his five decades of television, Schuller was principally known for the weekly Hour of Power television program.

📌𝗢𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄-

➡️In a society of quick fixes and instant gratification, it seems true happiness is just around the next bend or our ‘If’ step we take. We tend to attach our ‘If’ steps with materialistic things.

➡️The fact actually is the happiness of the world in cumulative will not offer the wholeness that makes one feel contented or satisfied.

➡️Dr.Schuller shares that this cycle of frustation, regret and disappointment can be overcomed by just 8 simple yet powerful “Be-Happy Attitudes”

➡️Don’t’ ever get trapped into saying “why me, why me?”. There are so many others in much greater needs than ourselves and only when we can look outward towards others can we begin to heal and feel the Grace of God.

➡️Instead of searching around for happiness, just reflect on your inner and you’ll know that the basic root value of one’s soul is happiness that lies within.

📌𝗠𝘆 𝘁𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸-

🌼The book Be-Happy Attitudes basically is a self-help genre that revolves around the Christian literature. 8 positive attitudes are listed within the book, which makes us realise that these are actually our core nature of soul.

🌼The book somewhere made me relate with law of attraction. What we feed our sub-concious mind, what we keep repeating knowingly or unknowingly we are caught within that trap! Thus, think positive and  speak positive, and you will see the change around.

🌼Feed yourself with happiness and never make your happiness dependent on the outside world. You just live once, why ponder over things that make you sad?

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🌞 Looking for a light self help read and want a sort of relaxed vibes with positivity around, this one would be a best pick for you.

Written By – Sonali Sharma

Buy the Book – The Be-Happy Attitudes by Dr. Robert Schuller

LabCorp Launches Quantitative Antibody Test to check the Effectiveness of COVID-19 Vaccines in Clinical Trials

hands with latex gloves holding a globe with a face mask
Labcorp Test

COVID-19 antibody tests available in the market are qualitative and detect the presence of antibodies, but do not provide information on the individual’s antibody levels.

So, LabCorp (NYSE: LH), a leading global life sciences company that is focused on advancing health and guiding patient care, today announced a test that provides a quantitative measurement of an individual’s SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies.

LabCorp has performed more than 17 million molecular tests since first making the COVID-19 test available in March and is now able to process 210,000 tests per day, with plans to increase capacity further. The company also has performed 3 million COVID-19 antibody tests with the capacity to perform 300,000 per day.

               LabCorp Offers Two Convenient Ways to Get Tested-        

  1. Go Through LabCorp.com to Request a Test.
  2. COVID-19 IgG antibody testing, also known as serology testing, checks for a type of antibody called immunoglobulin G (IgG).
  3. If you have been exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19, your body typically produces IgG antibodies as part of the immune response to the virus.
  4. It can take at least two weeks after exposure to develop antibodies.
  5. This type of COVID-19 test is for individuals who think they may have had COVID-19 and do not currently have symptoms.
  6. You can get the IgG test through your doctor or healthcare provider.

2.  Go to Your Doctor and Ask How You Can Get an Antibody Test at No Charge                                                           

·       Beginning on August 11, 2020, and for the next 3 months, LabCorp offers a high-affinity antibody test through your doctor at no charge if you are receiving another blood test as part of an exam or treatment. If you don’t have a visit scheduled with your doctor, the LabCorp.com option (see information on left) may be right for you. 

Written by Palak Thakur

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Why Are Prices of Diesel and Petrol not Decreasing, when Crude -Oil prices are falling drastically?

On June 8th, India prepared to lift the lockdown imposed on its citizens due to the Coronavirus.

Around this time, Oil companies controlled by Union Government started hiking both petrol and diesel prices. From June 7th, fuel prices were hiked consecutively for 22 days.

In Delhi, the price of petrol was increased by 13%, and the price of diesel was increased by 16%, – during this period alone.

Fuel prices were hiked to such extent that in some states diesel was costlier than petrol since each state in India has different fuel prices (state-specific taxes).

The peculiar thing about this price hike was that even though Crude Oil prices fell drastically from $71 per barrel at the beginning of Financial year 2019-’20, to $39.89 as of June 2020, a price drop of more than 42%.

Falling Crude Oil prices, theoretically speaking, should be beneficial for the public as it should mean a decrease in fuel prices. But in practice, consumers rarely get these benefits.

According to The Scroll, “The Indian crude basket is an index consisting of different crude grades according to which – in theory – retail price of petrol and diesel is supposed to be benchmarked. In practice, however, this benchmarking only works if crude prices are going up.”

A perfect example would be recent fuel price hikes in our nation.

But what was the reason behind this immediate hike?

In April the price of Indian basket of Crude Oil went below $20 per barrel. But since then the price of oil has risen. It averaged around $30 per barrel in May, and on June 28th it stood at $40.83.

So, the price of Crude oil has almost doubled, as lockdown is eased and International demand for Crude has picked pace.

But this is not the sole reason for the hike. The other reason would be taxes.

The excise duty on Petrol and Diesel was hiked by the Union government by a record Rs.10 per litre and Rs.13 per litre respectively, in the month of May.

Meanwhile, 13 states announced an increase in their fuel taxes.

Governments use this pattern of excessive taxation to provide themselves a steady profit.

This absurd system of taxation makes survival difficult for the public. For example, In Delhi, Central excise and State VAT (Value Added Tax) makes up for two-thirds of what a person pays at the petrol pump.

Basically, the entire fall in oil price has been captured by the Union Government without passing the benefits to the consumers. As a result, India has one of the highest tax rates on fuel, as compared to other countries.

But why is the government so keen on taxation of fuel?

This is because of the sharp fall in the revenues collected from GST (Goods and Services Tax) which has been a blow to both the states and the Union Government. Revenues collected from GST are 41% lower in the first quarter of 2020-’21, as compared to the same period of the previous year.

In 2017-’18, the gross tax revenue collected by the government rose from 9.98% of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) to 11.22%. The main reason for this increase was a hike in taxes on petrol and diesel, by the government (primarily excise duty).

The money earned through taxes imposed on fuel stood at ₹46,386 crores in the financial year 2013-’14.

In 2017-’18, this leaped to ₹2,23,922 crore.

Even though the COVID19 forced the government to increase the excise duties on petrol and diesel to some extent, the gross-tax revenue had still fallen to 9.88% of the GDP, in the financial year 2019-’20, owing to the ill-implemented GST and the aftermath of demonetization. Hence, even if India wasn’t hit by COVID19, the government would still have had increased the excise duty on diesel and petrol, though not so drastically.

Earlier in January, Former Finance Secretary, Subhas Chandra Garg, pointed out that India might miss tax collection target for financial year 2019-’20 by nearly Rs. 2.5 lakh crore.

Drawing attention to the “grim” situation of underlying tax revenue situation, he further said, that it is the right time to initiate much-needed reforms in the taxation structure.

                            – Aanandita Singh

Self-reliant Economy: Fact or Fiction?

The month of May saw Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, disclosed an economic package of $266 billion to tackle the ongoing pandemic. “This package will work to bring about a self-reliant India,” said Prime Minister Modi. Self-reliance has been an issue that has dominated Indian thinking since time immemorial. In recent times, this concept has been making its presence felt, particularly in the economic sphere. The Indian economy has made a mark by emerging as the 5th largest economy. Moreover, a report by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) stated that the country’s GDP at Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) would likely overtake that of the United States by 2050. The Indian economy has seen unparalleled developments in the economic arena that has left many wondering if India would soon claim to be a self-reliant economy. In 2019 Prime Minister Modi made an official announcement regarding India’s ability to become a $5 trillion economy by 2024-2025. This vision has been claimed to be something challenging while being achievable by Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharam. If India manages to achieve this feat, in no time can it declare itself as a self-reliant economy?

However, it has been pointed out by several professionals and experts of the field that such a leap is not possible for India at this stage. Scholars seem to think that for the economy to grow into a self-sufficient one, the growth rate needs to be at least 12% per year. “$5 trillion is a good aspirational goal. But please understand that a $5 trillion economy in a matter of 5 to 6 years cannot be achieved unless the economy grows in a sustained way between 8 and 9 per cent. It has to be closer to 9 per cent because today the Indian economy is $2.7 trillion. So, $5 trillion means almost doubling the size of the economy. And that is possible only if the economy grows at 9 per cent per annum in a sustained way for 5 to 6 years,” said former RBI governor, C. Rangarajan. He also opined that for the nation to qualify as one with a developed economy, an approximate of USD 12,000 needs to be the per capita income and this level of growth was pegged to be possible based on a steady rate of 9% per annum.

Towards self-sufficiency

Prime Minister Modi in an address on May 12, 2020, stated “…21st century belongs to India…this vision strengthens…our resolve of self-reliant India…the meaning of self-reliance has changed…India does not advocate self-centric arrangements…India’s progress is…integral to that of the world….imperative for us to move forward with bold reforms to create a self-reliant India…to handle tough competition in the global supply chain…the economic package will increase the efficiency of all sectors… we need to play a big role in the global supply chain.” The message how India will “integrate not isolate” from this point forward was made clear as day by the Finance Minister on May 13, 2020. These aspirational words by the Prime Minister and then reiterated by the Finance Minister has led many to wonder if this the time when the Indian economy will take the big leap.

“When India speaks of becoming self-reliant, it doesn’t advocate self-centeredness but self-reliance that would bring happiness, cooperation, and peace to the whole world,” Mr Modi said in his speech regarding Aatmanirbhar Abhiyan. The Prime Minister claimed that there are five pillars to becoming self-reliant. “Infrastructure should become the identity of India; System should be based on the 21st-century technology-driven arrangements; Vibrant Demography is our source of energy for a self-reliant India; and Demand, whereby the strength of our demand and supply chain should be utilized to full capacity,” said the PM Modi. Prime Minister talked about how it is important to strengthen all the stakeholders as this would directly help fulfil their demand and enhance their capacity. He opined that it is the only way forward to ensure a self-reliant India. Prime Minister Modi “The definition of self-reliance has changed in the globalized world; it is different from being self-centred. Self-reliance contributes to the progress of the whole world.” While citing and example regarding the ongoing crisis, Modi explained how this crisis posed as an opportunity in front of the nation. Manufacturing of PPE and N-95 masks has shot through the roof to 2 lakh pieces daily.

The new economic package declared by the government which is a combination of the previous packages along with a new one totals to Rs 20 Lakh Crore which is equivalent to almost 10% of India’s GDP. It was made clear by the Prime Minister that the said package will give a push to sectors that will include land, labour, liquidity, and laws, among other areas. Also, it will accommodate the needs of various sectors including the cottage industry, MSME, labourers, middle class, and heavy industries. Set of bold reforms is the need of the hour to make India self-reliant claimed the Prime Minister. The changes will promote business, attract investment, and further strengthen the “Make in India” mission. According to the Prime Minister, tough situations India might face in the global platform along with the need to expand efficiency were kept in mind while preparing the economic package. Speaking about the impact of the pandemic, the Prime Minister stated “The crisis has taught us the importance of local manufacturing, market, and supply chains. All our demands during the crisis were met locally Now, it is time to be vocal about local products and help them become global.”

How can it be achieved?                  

The crisis that has dawned on the world has destroyed several economies. Major economic players of the world have been hit hard. Experienced people have been claiming that the ongoing worldwide lockdown would usher in sharp economic decline with certain companies being hit the worst. For India to take advantage of this situation, it is a necessity to incentivize its companies to help them cope up from the hard blow. The Economic Times has brought to light how this is an “opportunity in the making.” Several propositions have been given by The Economic Times regarding the strengthening of the economy. They are:

  1. The nation should prioritize investments in the sectors concerning local SMEs and MSMEs so that the nation does not have to rely on investments made by the MNCs.
  2. The electronics industry should be the centre of attention. SOPs should be offered to Indian manufacturers that would help them to “set up and scale-up facilities.”
  3. To compete on a global scale, innovation needs to be ramped up. The great demographic dividend can be used to “innovate and build an IPR regime.”
  4. Another area of focus should be the Defense Electronics and Telecom industry. The government needs to develop “policies to encourage Indian private sector companies” to invest in this particular sector as this one sector is dominated by PSUs and Foreign companies. Along with this, the government needs to restructure the defence manufacturing PSUs as they are scattered all over the nation. The Economic Times suggests that these labs should be paired up with SMEs and MSMEs.
  5. As the crisis might delay the rollout of the 5G networks worldwide, India should try to come up with an indigenous 5G telecom gear. The nation can use the USOF and TDB funds to invest in building solutions for 5G and rural broadband.

    A strategy should be developed by the Government along with a 5-year action plan which would be formulated based on advice by the companies working in the sector instead of the consultants.
  6. The nation’s focus needs to be towards IPR and platforms that generate and store data as data is considered as the “new oil.” It should be consumed and monetized to ramp up the economy. “India’s contribution to the global telecom supply chain is minuscule while being the 2nd largest telecom market in the world. The focus should shift towards the supply side from the demand side. India imports electronics worth 400B$ and this needs to change” stated The Economic Times.

Is it achievable?

In a talk about the PM’s address regarding Make in India and Aatmanirbhar Bharat, Mahindra and Mahindra MD Pawan Goenka stated “There are many factors. Some of it related to the industry itself, some of it relates to policies and some it related to the constraints that we have both internal as well as external and our competitiveness.” The lockdown has acted as a catalyst that renewed interest of the Government regarding manufacturing in India. “Furniture has an extremely high potential for export and currently India has very little furniture export. Leather and footwear also have tremendous export potential. Yet, we are still importing footwear,” said Mr Pawan Goenka. To ramp up the GDP of the nation about the share of manufacture, the MD opined, “clearly, the manufacturing growth in India has been less than what the country deserves. It is not something where you can flip the switch and the growth will happen. Several factors are responsible and the competitiveness of the industry is one of the major factors.” He clearly stated that the cost of the finished product needs to be in line with ‘competitiveness’ of the prices in the markets we are looking to take control of and this is applicable not only for China but also for other nations. The nation must look at the different finished prices of goods available on the market. “India has great potential to take manufacturing value addition to $1 trillion by 2025. Even though we have had a setback because of COVID- 19, I believe we can still do it,” said Goenka.

A prima facie overview of the economic scene of India would somehow support these “throwaway” claims, but after taking a good look at other variables one can be expected to arrive easily at the conclusion that such a jump is not at all plausible. Economists claimed that the devastating effects of the pandemic will be felt by all and manifest in the form of a decreased GDP in the year 2021. The dependency of the Indian economy on the consumption of private sector, investments by MNCs, and trade carried on by external factors will be immensely affected. The sector that takes up nearly 30% of the Indian market consists of the MSMEs. They might not be able to sustain themselves as a result of non-ending nationwide lockdown. Several ‘at risk’ business organizations might fall apart like a house of cards due to the disastrous economic situation left by the crisis after it disappears. Even if the economic growth follows a steady growth rate of 7.5% per year, $5 trillion economy by the nation can be achieved not by 2024-2025 but might be delayed by 2 years at least. The rate has, however, been based on a 4.5% inflation rate. The prevailing situation impedes any such measure that might help the economic situation and aid in the further realization of the dream of a self-reliant economy. However, the various variables one would take into account while coming to the answer regarding self- sufficiency of the economy should be understood to not be something ‘rock solid’ as the opportunities provided if used correctly might give shape to this dream.

                                                                                                                   Sagarika Mukhopadhyay

The other side of the Pandemic “A different View”

As I write this piece down, the COVID19 virus further strengthens its grip on the world. I describe this crisis as ‘unfortunate yet not completely unfound’. One might further extend his/her interpretations to fathom new vulnerabilities that world is now susceptible to. Inadequate medical facilities, even in the nations of vast economic stretch such as US and Europe, is surely one of the many unfortunate realities that this predicament has unveiled. However, there is even greater revelation, to my bewilderment, that the pandemic has exposed us to i.e. it takes something as fatal as the COVID19 to make us realise that real elements of a meaningful life are the family, friends, and a compatible relation with the Mother Nature. The values, some might argue, were never fading away in first place.

However, what I believe is that our sense of crude materialism has turned us blind to the threats this attitude entails. Man’s hunger for perishable commodities has jeopardized his relationships with his blood, body and the nature beyond comprehension. The ancient days were perhaps more sound on this front. The Harappans and the Egyptians were epitome of these elements which now face endangerment. The Harappans worshipped Mother Goddess to demonstrate their reverence for nature and family. However, this ‘golden age’ history soon descended into extinction. Gradually, as the history of the world proceeded, there was an excessive corruption of the minds with the idea of materialism and the consequences of it manifested itself to the maximum in the industrial revolution in Britain. This event marked the inception of an era which granted the humans with leverage to destroy nature, pervert the ideas of family and spiritualism. As of now, Families have turned nuclear, nature transformed into a means for our selfish ends and spiritualism and religion holds Inferior status to capitalism The glaring paradox of our times is that we pursue handsome paying jobs in an assumption that the money thus earned would grant us Happiness. Yet as we venture that path we exceedingly distance ourselves from the very Happiness which formed the core of this pursuance in first place.

We, perhaps, have miscomprehended the very idea of what Happiness entails. Swami Vivekananda once said ‘ External nature is only internal nature writ large’. It is about time that we begin understanding what real emancipation and Happiness constitutes. This constitution must be driven by the inner soul of the person not by some external factor. The sooner we realise this, the better.

Saurabh Mishra