This refers to ‘AP rail crashes raises safety alarm’ (November 1). Whether it is due to signal malfunctioning or some other human error, we cannot change the fact that precious lives are lost. Only recently we had the horrific train mishap in Balasore where around 300 people lost their lives and now another crash has happened in Andhra Pradesh.
The turtle-like pace in the implementation of the Automatic Railway Protection system is one of the main reasons for these accidents. And when we learn that we require as much as ₹1-lakh crore for overhauling the safety infrastructure, upgrading the tracks, etc., the government’s priority cannot lie elsewhere.
Invest in irrigation
Ashok Gulati, former Chairman of Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, has correctly stressed on the need to invest in irrigation facilities to tackle climate change. It must be remembered that majority of people in India depend on agriculture for livelihood. But then, one wonders why the sector remains monsoon dependent even after 75 years of Independence. There is no dearth of monetary resources in the country. Considerable amount of money could have be allocated for irrigation year after year and freed the nation from the vagaries of nature long back.
Not happy hours
This refers to ‘Happiness will be a casualty of 70-hour work week’ (November 1). Studies by Lancet and Stanford have found that working beyond 55 hours in a week enhances risks to employee health without raising productivity. For example, risks of stroke and coronary heart disease go up.
Specifically, employees working beyond 55 hours at low-income jobs face higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes while odds of developing depression are more than double for those who work very long hours.
Job happiness is related to productivity and is better achieved by job enrichment and employee-supportive leadership. Even moonlighting tends to affect work-life balance and is resorted to by employees mostly out of compulsion to reduce economic distress.
Recently, the Securities and Exchange Board of India cracked the whip on a few financial influencers and barred them from dealing in the securities market, besides ordering them to pay back crores of rupees for their alleged acts of luring clients through misleading information and influencing them to deal in securities. It is a step in the right direction to rein in unscrupulous financial influencers from taking gullible investors for a ride.
While acknowledging the pivotal role such influencers can play in the dissemination of financial education , SEBI cannot afford to be oblivious to the threat posed by self-styled experts with little knowledge of the intricacies of the stock market. SEBI needs to ensure the flow of accurate financial information to investors while protecting their interests.