Citizens' Issues
Pune's tea-vendor CA becomes Maharashtra brand ambassador
Pune (Maharashtra) : A humble tea-vendor from Pune Somnath Giram, who has cleared this year's Chartered Accountancy examination, has been named as the 'brand ambassador' for Maharashtra's "Earn & Learn Scheme".
 
Education Minister Vinod Tawde made the announcement here on Sunday at a function while a prominent Pune realtor, DSK Group's CMD offered Giram a job to audit his company's account books.
 
Hailing from a small village in Karmala in Solapur district, the 28-year-old Giram, born to a marginal farmer, has come a long way after cycling 40 km daily to attend school.
 
Owing to a poor financial background, Giram considered dropping out of school after the State Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) of Class 10 like his elder brother and sister, as he could ill-afford to buy textbooks and notebooks.
 
Undetterred, he took up manual labour jobs in fields and collected money to continue his studies and pay for his fees as well as books and other study material to complete higher secondary in his hometown.
 
Noticing his skills with financial figures, a sympathetic teacher advised him to go to Pune and pursue his B.Com. which he completed in 2009, followed by his M.Com. in 2012.
 
Simultaneously, he started studying for his CA course, but was bogged down by the heavy fees and expensive books, coaching class fees and other expenses.
 
Not losing hope, he set up a small teashop in Pune's Sadashiv Peth's Perugate Square in 2013, which soon grew in popularity and he had a roaring business which helped finance his CA studies.
 
After managing the teashop for nearly 12 hours, he would put in 5-7 more hours for studies, often working late into the night.
 
His efforts and dedication finally paid off and he cleared this year's CA exams with 55 percent marks, coming among the only around eight percent of the total candidates declared successful.
 
"I was inspired by the humble beginnings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and I resolved not to get disheartened by an obstacles in life," Giram told media persons.
 
Though he has not planned to shut down his teashop, he hopes to launch his own CA firm and serve the country in some capacity in future.
 
Impressed by Giram's struggles and success, minister Tawde named him the new brand ambassador for the state-sponsored 'Earn & Learn Scheme' to inspire lakhs of other struggling youths like him.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Taking to Twitter reflects railways' concern for customers: Prabhu
Panaji : The Indian Railways has taken to Twitter for quick resolution of customers' complaints as part of its larger commitment to provide quality service, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Monday.
 
"That (commitment to provide brisk customer service) is evident in the fact that if somebody complains, we try to address the complaint through Twitter," Prabhu said while laying the foundation of a platform at Madgaon railway station in Goa and inaugurating a model room-cum-exhibition centre at the station.
 
He said every railway division has a system for addressing costomers' complaints. 
 
The railway ministry in November last year had tweeted Twitter handles of all general managers and divisional managers of the Indian Railways, urging customers to use the microblogging site to reach the officials directly for quick resolution of their problems.
 
Subsequently, several instances of railway officers responding quickly to problems tweeted to the official handles, including cases of medical emergencies, have been reported.
 
"Indian Railways has many challenges. Despite several adverse market conditions we are trying to provide customer service," the minister said.
 
Providing quick and efficient customer service was a priority for the Indian Railways, he added.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Startup India and a more competitive India
Startups form the basis of a more productive and prosperous nation. The growth of several countries in the past have been driven by a need for creating better solutions for existing problems by entrepreneurs. This, along with secure property rights are major differences between organised and unorganized societies.
 
Innovative enterprise the world over has made nations economically better off and people more prosperous. The most prominent examples that come to mind are those of Germany, Israel and the US. The East Asian miracle was also based on creating local industries that could assemble parts more productively and at a cost advantage as compared to western countries that lead to their export competitiveness. 
 
Japan's major companies like Toshiba, Hitachi, and Toyota were once small enterprises. Even countries like China have greatly benefitted from the policies envisaged in the late 1970s in making people more productive and prosperous as mentioned by Deng Xiaoping in 1984, when he focused on using the forces of production for economic development - thus ending the decades-old conception of how society ought to be organised. 
 
The primary point being driven home in all this is that well-designed policies as such greatly assist in making a productive people more prosperous. In a way, the 3Ps of policies, people and productivity lie at the core of becoming a prosperous nation. 
 
India's earlier economic development model has rarely focused on developing entrepreneurs as a strategic resource for national development. The colonial overhang in the past has meant that India's initial years post independence went deeply mistrusting private entrepreneurs and enterprises in doing social good. However, this has resulted in what many people call a "mixed up" economy rather than a mixed economy. This is where Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech at the Startup India launch mentioned the role of government to stop over-regulating and letting the people themselves resolve the issues they face. 
 
If one comes to think of it, the jobs that India requires over the next decade - with a million people entering the workforce every month - cannot be provided fully by the formal sector multinationals and government's public sector enterprises alone. In a way, this presents a sizeable opportunity for India to capitalise on its demographic dividend. However if India continues with is older policies, it may very well end up curtailing private sector development as well as entrepreneurship. 
 
Now, the government rightly recognises the role of entrepreneurs as job creators and capable of absorbing the surging workforce in the decade ahead. The startup plan which has been unveiled before the people has many positives for unleashing the latent 'Chi' or the creative force of the Indian economy. These include doing away with certifications, simplification for opening up a start-up and helping start-ups protect their intellectual property with procedural help as well as financial assistance.
 
Apart from this, other provisions include creating a fund of funds with a corpus of Rs.10,000 crore (almost $1.5 billion) that has been hailed and scorned at in equal measure due the to public funds being used as venture capital. 
 
Other major announcements deal with the removal of tax for an initial period of three years and further exemption of capital gains tax for incubators investing in startups. Apart from these, the other major announcements deal with setting up of seven research parks and promotion of entrepreneurship in biotechnology. 
 
Taken together, these are bound to help develop a culture of entrepreneurship. However, a significant point is looking at structural issues that hinder entrepreneurship in the Indian context. The government has done well to draw the attention of youth for pursuing their dream of entrepreneurship, but deeper societal issues must also be addressed for optimal outcomes. Over the next 10 years, India's aim should be to make the ecosystem of enabling entrepreneurship more robust and making it a more viable career option for individuals wanting to take the plunge. How this will play out will determine India's ability to leverage its human resources effectively for economic growth and competitiveness.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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