The commercial to stop discrimination against HIV patients in offices should have addressed the misconceptions about AIDS that lead to this discrimination
The National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) has released a semi-finished commercial to stop discrimination against HIV patients in offices. In the TV ad, an executive called Mohit has been sacked due to him being found HIV positive. (Shouldn't the chap consider suing?).
All his colleagues stand up for him, and as a protest, they all submit their resignations to their boss (who is the cad who ordered young Mohit to be kicked out). They cite silly reasons. Someone is not happy with his work chair, another one doesn't like the office cafeteria, a third one finds the tube lights irritating. One bugger even wants to sign up as an extra in Bollywood. When the stunned boss wants to know why everyone is quitting on stupid grounds, one feisty lady exec tells him it's because he terminated Mohit's services on stupid grounds.
Of course, since this is an ad, the meanie, insensitive boss is immediately reformed. Not only does he welcome the HIV positive Mohit back to work, he himself tenders his resignation out of shame. The core message in the advert is this: 'Discriminate against those people who discriminate against those suffering from AIDS.'
Hmm. It's an interesting ad, but I think it's a good job half done. While it will help create awareness about HIV and hopefully encourage those discriminating against the victims of the disease to think again, the commercial actually needs to do more work. Maybe the plan is to deal with it in the sequel, or at least I hope that's the case.
Here's what's missing: Any boss who sacks an employee because she/he has AIDS, does so because of his own lack of understanding of the disease. And not because he's callous or insensitive. He most likely considers AIDS to be infectious through the air and through a slight touch (a la influenza). And that misconception is what frightens the chap into discriminating against employees who are HIV positive. Ergo, the communication has to address this unfounded fear of his, frontally and brutally. Simply telling him not to discriminate isn't going to be enough. The boss needs to be told WHY he mustn't discriminate. In that context, NACO's ad is incomplete.
To give you a parallel, it's like my mom asking me to be positive about the nation's future. (It's a tough ask, trust me!) Vis-a-vis explaining to me why I should be positive. (Er, not to be confused with HIV positive!)
The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament says SEBI acted hastily in awarding the contract to NSDL that led to wasteful expenditure of about Rs12 crore
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament has criticised market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for wasting money on instituting and later abandoning its much-touted 'market participant identification number' (MAPIN) scheme.
The PAC has in a report said that SEBI acted hastily in awarding the contract for MAPIN database to the National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL), which ultimately led to wasteful expenditure of Rs11.54 crore, as MAPIN was eventually suspended.
In July 2009, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) had also deplored SEBI for awarding the database preparation work related to MAPIN to NSDL which resulted in 'unfruitful expenditure' of Rs11.54 crore of investors' money.
SEBI's former chairman CB Bhave was heading NSDL when the market regulator launched MAPIN. He was a big supporter of MAPIN and NSDL would have been a big beneficiary of the identification programme.
Earlier, in June-July 2005, after a six-member committee, appointed to re-examine the use, structure and feasibility of the MAPIN database-bowing to popular opinion-recommended an end to biometric identification for investors. Mr Bhave was one of the members who left the committee before it could draft and submit a report.
MAPIN registered fingerprints along with a photograph. Many retail investors believed that the use of fingerprints and photographs (used worldwide for identification of criminals) would be a punishment for honest investors, as no trickster would be so stupid as to undertake fraudulent transactions on his own ID. The other factor was that actual trading, at the time, did not involve biometrics and there was no way of verifying the fingerprints and photograph of an investor.
Besides, there were other avenues like depository accounts, brokers, permanent account numbers (PAN) and bank account numbers, available to regulators to track an investor and his investments.
In the first round of MAPIN, the stock market regulator issued about 4,00,000 UIDs, mostly to senior officials of various companies, institutions and brokerages, at a charge of Rs300 per ID.
The PAC, working under the chairmanship of Murli Manohar Joshi, submitted its report titled "Unfruitful Expenditure of Investors Money (SEBI)" to Parliament, which specifically mentions that the contract for MAPIN was awarded to NSDL without any competitive bidding.
Noting the concern about the infrastructure and data still lying idle with NSDL, the Parliament committee told SEBI to secure both the infrastructure and data without any further delay and keep it in safe custody so as to avoid its misuse.
The PAC said, SEBI should explore alternate schemes by completing all technicalities, including seeking public opinion through the media. It should be a priority for SEBI, as this can safeguard the interests of investors and provide credibility to the market regulator as well, the PAC added.
Nilesh Shah will be leading the Bank’s initiatives in the investment banking space
Axis Bank said it has appointed Nilesh Shah has as the president, strategic initiatives in its corporate banking division. Mr Shah will be leading the Bank's initiatives in the investment banking space.
Mr Nilesh Shah is a qualified chartered accountant and was awarded a gold medal for topping his batch in 1991. He has more than 20 years of experience in capital markets and market related investments, having managed money across equity, fixed income securities and real estate for local and global investors. Mr Shah is a recognised expert in his field of work and has been the recipient of the inaugural Business Standard Fund Manager of the year (Debt) Award in 2003 and the inaugural ICAI Award in the professional manager (private sector category) in 2008.