Letters

Letters to the editor dated January 21, 2021

| Updated on January 21, 2021

Promote innovation

With reference to the the report on India Innovation Index compiled by NITI Aayog (January 21), the effort to compile and publish such an index is laudable.

Four of the southern States are among the top five. Why is it so?

Is it the higher literacy rates or English language skills of the population, or the States’ better economic metrics that support innovation? Alongside, Bihar, a State with a rich culture and heritage, is ranked last of 17 major States.

Innovation is a valuable asset in building a sustainable future. While it helps companies succeed, it can also play a role in social spheres such as power generation and distribution in rural areas, water conservation, sustainable agriculture, education, and public health.

Innovation is the result of conscious effort and must be part of the curriculum from school level.

V Vijaykumar

Pune

Agri-lending and fintechs

With reference to the article ‘Agri-lending apt for fintechs?’ (January 20), it is a fact that the Scheduled Commercial Banks, Co-operative Banks and the Agricultural Co-operative Credit Society have already covered the majority of the rural farmers under Kisan Credit Card Scheme (KCC) as well as under erstwhile Crop Loan Schemes. Thus, crop based or land based lending in rural areas has reached saturation as there is no possibility of increase in supply of land.

Agri-fintechs need to focus on non-farm based activities such as poultry, dairy, fishery, bee-keeping; mini cottage industries such as mat weaving, pottery, stone carving, carpentry and blanket making; finance for improving logistics towards purchase of two wheelers or mini trucks to enable movement of produce to nearby shandis; finance for installation of solar pumps; electric fencing through solar power; construction of large water storage tanks, setting up mechanical repair shops and for agro-food processing units, etc

RV Baskaran

Chennai

Vaccines and India

With reference to the article ‘India is no leader in vaccine research’, a dismal record in research and development is a big hurdle we need to overcome quickly.

The younger generation must be given incentives to get into research.

Coming to Covid vaccines, India was not expected o take the lead in developing one for the world. Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin would go a long way in how the world sees India as a serious candidate in the global pharmaceutical industry. Unfortunately, approving the vaccine for emergency use before clearing phase-3 clinical trials has not done any good for our image. Hopefully both Bharat Biotech and Zydus take serious steps in the coming days to gain the trust of people and peers.

Bal Govind

Noida

Boosting e-commerce

With reference to the article ‘Why is the government so wary of e-comm’ (January 21), though traders may be the traditional supporters of the BJP, now that the party rules the nation at the Centre and in a majority of the states, its policies should be guided solely by national interest.

In January 2020, when Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced that ‘his company would invest $1 billion in India, creating a million jobs’, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal responded sarcastically that the e-comm giant was doing no favour to India.

Against this backdrop, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari’s announcement that the government will soon launch an “Amazon-like” portal for MSMEs, developed in conjunction with SBI’ is to be welcomed. E-commerce can exponentially improve both B2B and B2C business volumes, thereby contributing higher taxes to the exchequer, while reducing prices for the buyers.

It would also improve quality, due to the availability of a return policy in case of sub standard goods. The government should wholeheartedly promote this win-win sector.

V Jayaraman

Chennai

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Published on January 21, 2021
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