By Anamitra Roy
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A long_run_and_short_run_concerns : Growth, Productivity, Unemployment and Inflation
By Anamitra Roy
Dear Readers please check the link to the slide show below.
A long_run_and_short_run_concerns : Growth, Productivity, Unemployment and Inflation
By: P. Lahiri
To correctly understand the nature of India-Pakistan conflict one has to look back to the 8th century when a petty Arab warlord and mercenary briefly conquered parts of Sindh and Multan. Thereafter, over thirteen centuries Mohammedan conquests of the Sub-continent through Afghanistan probably left a trail of the bloodiest saga of atrocities in world history,
The Two Nation Theory: The demise of the Islamic political order in the sub-continent in the 17th century upon consolidation of British rule, made its Muslim population remain communally surcharged. Some educated Muslim thinkers, not ideologically homogenous, tried to assume leadership of the community to revive the lost Islamic glory. Some of them sought to push Muslims back into medieval era of rule by Sharia (Islamic canonical law). Others like Sir Sayed Ahmed Khan and Sir Mohammad Iqbal (popularly known as Allama Iqbal) who were modernist reformers, stressed on modern education among the Muslims as a means to regain their political domination over Hindus. Sir Sayed founded the Aligarh Muslim University where the first idea of Pakistan germinated. Allama Iqbal, initially a great exponent of Indian nationalism advocating a strong united India, later narrowed his viewpoint to a communal interpretation of Muslim nationalism so much so that he first articulated the “Two Nation Theory” in his presidential address to Allahabad session of the Muslim League in 1930 sowing the seeds of Muslim separatism. Thus Iqbal became the political ideologue for Pakistan movement though it was one Mr. Rahmat Ali who coined the word ‘Pak-i-stan’, (Pak meaning purity and Stan meaning place) to propose a south-Asian federation for Muslims consisting of Punjab, NWFP, Sindh, Balochistan and Kashmir and raised the slogan “Now or Never” in 1933 to force the issue. Finally, it was left to Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the English educated, scotch drinking, bright lawyer to take the movement forward. Allama Iqbal explained in a letter to Jinnah his vision of a separate Muslim state. In Jinnah the Muslims found an elite face to match Nehru of the Indian National Congress. Iqbal the ideologue died in 1938 but after successfully converting Jinnah the politician from an ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity to a communal Muslim leader. In justifying the two nation theory Jinnah emphasised that Muslims and Hindus were two different nations from every definition. They owned different religious philosophies, literatures and social customs, not ready to either intermarry or inter-dine together. Their civilisations are different deriving their inspiration from different sources of history, epics, heroes and episodes. For Jinnah, the Congress became “Gandhi Hindu Congress.” He accused Congress Ministries formed in different provinces after the elections under the 1935 Government of India Act, of interference with Muslim religious rites, undermining the economy of the Muslims and promoting Hindi at the expense of Urdu. Constructing an impossibility of coexistence of the Hindus and Muslims under a Congress regime, he warned such an eventuality would mean degradation of the dignity of the Muslims. This communal propaganda created a fear complex in Muslim minds about Hindu domination in British India and times thereafter, making them search for a vent for their political frustrations. This was the period when freedom movement under Indian National Congress (INC) was getting momentum. With the British engaged in the Second World War India pushed hard for independence with INC spearheading the Quit India movement and the Indian National Army of Subhas Chandra Bose launching the military campaign from East Asia.
But then, unnoticed by most, the entire sub-continent was pushed by a silent communal hate campaign onto a bed of gunpowder of communal violence making it a recipe for an impending disaster. Hindu-Muslim acrimony reached a flashpoint. On the fateful day of August 16th, 1946 labelled by Muslims as the “Direct Action Day,” a protest rally pre-planned by the Muslim League to exhibit the intensity of Muslim feelings, both to the British and the Congress, was turned into a communal conflagration claiming the lives of 4000 Hindus and Sikhs on the streets of Calcutta city (also known as ‘Great Calcutta Killings’). This was followed by a series of gruesome mass murders, rapes, abductions and forced conversions of Hindus to Muslim, looting and arson of Hindu properties, perpetrated by the Muslim community in October 1946, lasting over a week, in the district of Noakhali in the then Bengal province. The Bengali Hindus forcefully converted into Islam were compelled to write statements that they did so of their own volition. This method of ethnic cleansing resulted in mass migration of Hindus from districts of Muslim majority East Bengal (later christened East Pakistan) to West Bengal, Assam and Tripura. This was when Gandhi’s peace mission failed and Congress Party leadership and the British Viceroy Lord Louis Mountbatten had been compelled to acquiesce to the Partition of India into two dominions India and Pakistan.
Indo Pakistan Conflict:
Root cause: Kashmir dispute is only the symptom and not the root cause of the conflict that exists between India and Pakistan. The root cause is the conflict between religious exclusivism and pluralism. Ever since the advent of Islam in the subcontinent in the 8th century, India has been the victim of this brand of religious exclusivism. The kind of exclusivism that exists in Islamic societies the world over irrespective of whether or not the followers of Islam are in majority or minority has kept the social strife alive. The exclusivism that exists in Islamic societies even today is similar to the one that existed in the European Christian societies of the 16th century, prior to the Protestant Reformation. In the past thirteen centuries that the Muslims have lived in India they have been in many ways thoroughly assimilated into the diversity of India. But the concept of dar-ul-harb has kept the conflict and war still existent. The two nation theory, the type of ethnic cleansing witnessed in Noakhali in 1947 and in Kashmir valley in 1990 are instances of this doctrine of Islam at play. So even if the Kashmir dispute is by any remote possibility settled, there is nothing to believe that India-Pakistan conflict will cease. If only Islam takes a leaf out the West’s experience of Christian Reformation movement, people of both the nations can think of coming out of this discord.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Blog Management & Panel Members..
By: Anamitra Roy
B.Com. (Hons.) [C.U.], Certified Financial Accountant (CMC), DFA (CMC), PGDBF (HSIS India), Certified Financial Accountant (GLOBSYN Skills & NSDC), GPBL (TASMAC & University of Wales), Associate Member – NIPM.
Motivating the sales department staffs remains one of the most difficult and crucial jobs in any business. It is the sales department who will acquire the business and make the organization run by ensuring a smooth flow of money. In the absence of a motivated sales department there will be shortage of business, leading to a shortage of funds. That is bound to hamper the smooth operations in relation to the day to day activities as well as the future long term plans of the organization. So they (the employees in the sales department) will have to be motivated properly. It is very often said in modern day human resource management that motivated people run faster than jets. When you have a bunch of motivated sales staffs, they not only help you to earn business volumes, but it also has to be remembered that motivated people are happy people. Thus, motivated sales staffs are a very important and effective source of advertisement.
Generally speaking, methods of motivation may vary from man to man. But still there are some generalized methods followed by talent development departments around the world. A discussion on some of these methods is as follows:
Recognition is a very important tool for motivation. In the absence of recognition employees become sluggish performers and develop frustration against the management of the organization. During recognition of the contributions of sales staffs in the organization, they are told/ reminded about their importance in the organization. Recognition sort of highlights/ prominent the job role played by sales staffs.
Incentives are a great source of motivation. However, it also has to be mentioned here that there are arguments against motivating sales staffs or for that matter any staff through financial rewards. But there are lots of organizations in favor of it. NIIT, one of the Indian IT training giants has financial reward schemes for the employees of its franchisee departments. In NIIT when an employee successfully opens a franchisee training centre, 17% of the franchisee registration fees is paid to the employee as a financial reward. Psychologists and human resource development experts are mostly against usage of financial rewards as tolls of motivation because that creates severe completion, sometimes unhealthy completion and jealousy among employees which instead of motivating them, may ruin the work environment in the organization.
The staffs from the sales department usually interact most with the prospective as well as the existing consumers and customers. So they know the market demands better than anybody else (read: staffs from other departments in the organization). Hence, while devising new products, their opinion about the market demands will have to be given utmost importance. If the R & D department makes the new products according to the suggestions given to them by the staffs of the sales department then the sales department staffs will have products that have the demand in markets. Thus they will be able to sell these newly launched products in a much easier way. This method of motivating of sales staffs has been developed from an old school of marketing management thinkers. These thinkers think that in order to ensure sales of products one should not try to match the demands with the existing products. Instead products will have to be developed according to the needs of customers and consumers.
Education in India is viewed as God … as a means of attaining the greater heights of life and achieving purity. In this country Goddess Saraswati is worshipped as the Goddess of education. Sales as a career and profession offer one of the most exciting and enriching fields. Sales experience can be one of the greatest educators.
In order to avoid monotony of work, sales staffs can be told about the great experience that they are gathering, about the usefulness of this experience and price of this experience. In order to keep the sales staffs motivated, they may be told about the great education that they are receiving about human characters, markets, economic systems, consumer behavior, psychology etc. when they are interacting with customers, traveling from one place to another and trying to convince the hardest of the customers.
In a sales job there is always a pressure of target that is usually measurable in terms of money. At times such a target can be extremely steep. Chasing such targets can be stressful. It is believed by many counselors that stress is one of the commonest factors that force many people to come out of a sales job. On not achieving the targets the staffs of the sales departments may get frustrated and slowdown in their pace of achieving the targets. This can be avoided by periodical counseling of the sales departmental staffs through trained counselors and stress management experts.
Thus above have been stated some ways by which the staffs of the sales department can be kept motivated. However, in this context it will have to be remembered that these methods may not be equally responsible for motivating the staffs of the sales departments always.
Ultimately what is needed to motivate the staffs of the sales department is a harmonious blend of all the motivation methods written above. The degree and the intensity may vary from time to time and from circumstances to circumstances.
By: P. Lahiri
One of the most disconcerting decisions that human resource managers have been facing in deciding who to promote from within an organisation for bestowing higher responsibilities; whether they are serving senior and experienced employees of the organisation or those bright individuals who have proved their worth by their performance. Unarguably therefore, the most difficult part of the promotion policy that can be implemented by any organisation, is to select the criteria for conferring higher responsibilities to an existing employee, namely seniority or ability. There is no clear cut answer to this riddle as there are some seemingly strong arguments on both sides of this conundrum. Viewed simply, an effective promotion policy focuses on advancing employees based on their skills and performance, while shunning favouritism. It is important to determine the minimum criteria for advancement and make employees well aware of the standards they must meet to earn promotions. Skill and performance of employees can only be evaluated over a minimum time span which each employee is required to spend in the organisation. So the promotion policy should make it clear to employees about the definite time every employee need to spend in an organisation before he/ she can be considered for promotion. Having spoken about the importance of skill and performance of an employee and the minimum period over which these attributes are to be evaluated, the focus now shifts to another equally important benchmark for advancement which is on-the-job experience earned. More time spent within the organisation gives an insight to any employee about the nature of job and the best way to perform it. An experienced employee is an asset for any organisation, as much time and resources have already been invested in such individual. Many human resource professionals also believe, seniority adds value to an employee in terms of competence due to greater exposure. Accordingly, it adds relevance to provide the senior people in an organisation with opportunities for career advancement along with rewards or benefits that come with higher age.
Need for a clear promotion policy:
The need to lay down a clear and unambiguous promotion policy is of immense importance. An unclear promotion policy can lead to conflicts and high turnover rates among employees who do not understand why some co-workers received precedence in promotion over them. Additionally, vague promotion procedures may also appear discriminatory. To avoid these ambiguities, the need for employers to adopt a transparent promotion policy and to apply the policy’s standards to all the employees seeking advancement, cannot be overstated.
Seniority vs. Performance as criteria for promotion:
Before proceeding to decide on the desirability of adopting one criterion over the other it is vital to rightly interpret the terms, “Seniority” and “Performance.”
Seniority means the tenure of an employee in an organization. Seniority is something which comes with experience in some kind of work or in a particular position in the company. Such experience may also sometimes mean cumulative experience in various kinds/ levels of jobs in the company. It also signifies loyalty to the company and is measured by the seniority clock that runs from the moment the employee reports to work until the employee quits or is fired.
Performance is a distinction that is measurable. It reflects in the working behaviour of the employee. It is measured in terms of an employee’s involvement in the development of the company. It distinguishes hard work, quantum of work and also the quality of work delivered by an employee who contributes to the company’s growth in the best possible manner.
The proponents of seniority and those of performance as basis for advancement of employees, have very strong arguments in favour of their propositions. Objectively speaking, there are benefits/ advantages and detriments/ disadvantages in both the systems. Following lines enumerate advantages and disadvantages of both the systems:
Advantages of “Seniority” based promotions:
Disadvantages of “Seniority” based promotions:
Advantages of “Merit” based promotions:
Disadvantages of “Merit” based promotions:
Neither seniority nor merit can be accepted as a sole basis for promotion. Based only on seniority, a promotion system will offer less incentive to learn and improve. The employees will only bide their time to wait for their turn to secure promotion. And summarily ignoring seniority in deciding on promotion will not recognise the inherent importance of experience of tenured employees. A well formulated promotion policy should be the one that can be executed properly whenever any vacancy arises. A promotion system based on merit needs to be fully structured to avoid the element of conjecture in it. Various jobs within the organisation should be well defined and rated and employees should be made aware of ratings. A sound promotion policy should be made on the combined basis of merit and seniority. Both seniority and merit should be given due weightage in a robust promotion policy. When ability is substantially equal, seniority should be taken into account. In specialised posts, talent, skill and ability should get precedence over seniority. For other posts a two track promotion system may be formulated whereby in the normal track, some posts may be filled on the basis of seniority only, provided the senior employee meets a minimum benchmark of performance set by the company. On the other hand, in the other track of elevation which can be named a fast track, an employee who has put in a minimum qualifying period of service can be evaluated with a slightly more demanding yardstick of performance to secure promotion. A promotion policy should not be static and needs to be reviewed at definite intervals so that it fulfils the growth of an organisation as well as offers its employees scope for their professional advancement.
By: Gagandeep Tiwana
Assistant Professor Pine Grove College Of Education, Bassi Pathanan, Punjab, India.
The purpose of present study is to look into educational interest patterns of xth class students across gender and locale. For this purpose t-test was applied to find out significance of mean difference in different interest areas namely (agriculture, commerce, fine arts, home science, humanities, science, technology) for male and females, rural and urban groups.
Education is a continuous process in which the teacher guides the progress of each pupil at every stage after ascertaining the rate, direction & extent of previous development. Having accepted the educational principle that maximum growth of each pupil is to be secured according to his individual needs and capacities; Periodic measures of each child’s abilities, previous attainments and speed become necessary. Only when his progress and potential is known and he can be guided in advancing along the road to desired educational objectives. New ideas and new ways of life are sought through education without education the individual would be un-qualified for group life by (Goeting). Concept of education is still in a process of evolution and this process never come to be static. It is rightly said that education deals with ever growing in man in an ever growing society. The function of education is conceived to be the adjustment of man to his environment which contemplates mans adaptation to and the reconstruction of his environment to the end (Nelson). ‘An interest may be defined as a tendency to make consistent choices in a certain direction without external pressure and in the face of alternatives, i.e. it represents a tendency to select certain activities or things in preference to certain others’.
“Interest is that excitement of feeling which gives rise to attention.” This mental excitement may be intellectual or sympathetic and emotional, or merely personal, as an interest in philosophical research, in human suffering in money getting.
It is an expression of likes and dislikes, our attractions and aversions. A phenomenon of acceptance or rejection is involved in the issue of likes and dislikes. An individual chooses the most acceptable alternative out of the many, going after preferred objectives of activities and consequently derives satisfaction, success and happiness out of the activities selected. The identification and assessment of interests in the case of an individual serves a purpose which can be served by no other means.
Kinds of Interest
Interests are natural, acquired, intrinsic or extrinsic.
Natural interests are interests arising from natural tendencies like instincts and emotions.Acquired interests are due to acquired dispositions like sentiments, habits, character, ideals and tastes. Intrinsic interest is the deep-rooted interest. Extrinsic interest is motivated by some external forces.
Interests at a particular time vary. There are immediate interests and permanent interests. There are interests of opposite nature that some time conflict with each other. Even the young pupil may face dilemma of conflicting interests when he is in completing in home-task and is also invited by his playmates to play. A child may have some selected interests, but some children have a number of varied interests and what is needed here is maintaining a proper balance of interests. Immediate interest may be followed but not to the detriment of permanent interests. Therefore, educational guidance should be provided to the child from the very early stage when the child enters school and continues even after a stable choice has been made.
Interest means to make a difference. “It describes why the organisms tend to favour some situation and thus comes to react to them in a very selective manner.’ Interests and attention are very closely related. Interests are one of the key factors among the non-intellectual factors. Therefore the identification and measurement of interests, is very essential for the educational and vocational guidance. The educational interest play very significant role in educational guidance. Educational guidance is the process of helping a student to develop, to accept, to integrate adequate picture of himself and a clear undertaking of his problems and of his role in the world of education (School and college), with satisfaction to himself and benefit to school and society. Therefore ‘educational-guidance’ is needed at all stages of education (from nursery to college).
For the present study the investigator adopted the descriptive method for collection of data because this method was considered to be more suitable for the present problem. A sample of 200 students, both boys (rural 50 and Urban 50) and girls (rural 50 and urban 50) of Xth class was drawn from eight schools, situated in Fatehgarh Sahib District.The tool used were Educational Interest Record (EIR) prepared by Dr. S.P. Kulsherstha (2005) was used to conduct the present study
EIR was first developed in the year 1965 which was thoroughly revised in 1970, 1975 and 1978 by the author. This record has been consistently in use in various research studies, research projects and also proved easy and beneficial for the testing students
This record has been successfully used for more than a decade and found suitable at delta and higher secondary level. Many research workers later found it also very important and useful for college students and young adults out of schools and colleges.
Areas of Educational Interest Record (EIR)
The present record contains 98 educational subjects/activities belonging to seven different educational interest areas. They are-
Thus, each of these educational areas (based on school faculties system) has fourteen subjects on the record, seven on horizontal and seven on vertical side.
In order to accomplish the objective of the present study, Mean, Standard deviation, t-test was used.
Results and Discussion
The results have been discussed under the following headings:
Gender Differences in Different Educational Interest Areas
The means and SD’s of male and female Xth class students in different educational interest areas are given in table 1. The t-values, testing significance of mean differences are also shown in table 1.
TABLE 1 Mean’s and SD’s of Secondary School Students across Gender Groups along with t-value
|Male (N = 100)||Female (N = 100)||t-value|
** p < .01.
The table 1 shows that Xth class males have a mean score of 5.56, 5.88, 4.90, 5.00 and 6.56 in the interest areas of agriculture, commerce, fine arts, home science and technology respectively. The respective mean score’s for Xth class Girl’s students came out to be 3.84, 3.86, 7.68, 8.80 and 4.14.
The t-values testing the significance of mean difference in the interest areas of agriculture, commerce, fine arts, home science and technology came out to be 3.01, 4.39, 4.41, 6.33 and 4.74. All the t-values are significant.
In case of interest areas of humanities and science the t-values testing the significance of mean difference between male’s and female turned out to be 0.90 and 0.70 respectively and are not significant even at .05 level. Hence the hypothesis “there is no difference in educational interest of secondary school male and female students” is rejected. It may be concluded that:
Rural and Urban differences in educational interest AREAS:
The means and SD’s of rural and urban students in different educational areas along with t-values are given in table 2.
TABLE 2 Mean’s and SD’s of Secondary School Students across Urban and Rural Groups along with t-value
|Urban (N = 100)||Rural (N = 100)||t-value|
** p <** p < .01.
The table 2 shows that Xth class urban students have a mean score of 6.30, 6.32, 5.70, and 6.04 in the interest areas of agriculture, commerce, science, and technology respectively.
The respective mean score’s for Xth class rural students came out to be 3.10, 3.42, 3.88 and 4.66. The t-value’s testing the significance of mean difference in interest areas of agriculture, commerce, science, and technology came out to be 5.63, 6.30, 3.37 and 2.65. All the t-values are significant.
In case of interest areas of fine arts, home science and humanities, the t-values testing the significance of mean difference between urban and rural students turned out to be 0.87, 0.65 and 0.53 respectively and these are not significant even at .05 level. Hence the hypothesis “there is no significant difference in educational interest of rural and urban senior secondary students is rejected”. It may be concluded that Xth class urban students have significantly higher level of educational interest in agriculture, commerce, science and technology as compared to Xth class students of rural groups.
The findings are in contrary to the findings of Saraswat (1988) that male and females, rural-urban students, science art students significantly differed in their academic achievement, occupational aspiration and achievement–motivation.
Gender Difference in Educational Interest of Rural and Urban students
The means and SDs of male and female students in urban group in different educational areas along with t-values are given in table 3.
Mean’s and SD’s of Urban and Rural students in Gender Differences in Different Educational Areas along with t-values
* p < .05 ** p <.01
The table 3 show’s that in urban and rural students, urban students (male and female) male students have a mean score of 7.24, 5.48, 4.92, 7.04 and 7.24 in the interest areas of commerce, fine arts, home science, humanities and technology respectively.The respective mean scores for Xth class female students came out to be 5.40, 7.68, 8.48, 6.08 and 4.84.
The t-values testing the significance of mean difference in the interest areas of commerce, fine arts, home science, humanities and technology came out to be 4.72, 2.36, 4.68, 2.34 and 5.58. As may be seen from table 3 that, (i) Male students of urban group have significantly higher level of educational interest in commerce, humanities and technology as compared to Female students of urban group; and (ii) female students of urban group have significantly higher level of educational interest in fine arts and home science as compared to male students of Urban Group.
In case of interest areas of agriculture and science, the t-values testing the significance of mean difference between male and female students of urban group students turned out to be 1.64 and 1.94 respectively and these are not significant even at .05 level.
The table 3 shows that in urban and rural students, rural students (male and female) male students have a mean score of 4.32, 4.52, 4.32, 5.08 and 5.88 in the interest areas of agriculture, commerce, fine arts, home science and technology respectively. The respective mean scores for female students came out to be 1.88, 2.32, 7.68, 9.12 and 3.44.
The t-values testing the significance of mean difference in the interest areas of agriculture, commerce, fine arts, home science and technology came out to be 4.44, 4.24, 9.08, 8.78 and 6.10. It may be observed that: (i) Male students of rural group have significantly higher level of educational interest in agriculture, commerce and technology as compared to female students of rural groups; and (ii) female students of rural group have significantly higher level of educational interest in fine arts and home science as compared to male students of rural group.
In case of interest areas of humanities and science the t-values testing the significance of mean difference between male and female students of rural group students turned out to 0.33 and 0.42 respectively and this are not significant even at 0.5 level.
Hence the hypothesis “there is no significant difference in educational interest of male and female students belonging to rural and urban groups” is rejected. It may be concluded that:
The similar trend is observed in the study of Gautam (1988) that (1) A significant correlation was noted in the preference orders of urban and rural students of class VIII in both educational and vocational interest areas, which means that their interest preferences were similar (ii) significant differences in most of the interest areas were found between the scores of rural and urban males. While in case of female’s significant differences could be noticed only in few interest areas.
Modern education requires that each student must be given the opportunity to advance as fast as he could or as slowly as he must. it is also mentioned earlier that to produce on aware citizenry, the process of imparting educational interest needs attention at all levels but at school level it needs much more emphasis because students of today are the citizens of tomorrow and hence would be playing a critical role in the development of the nation. Proper guidance should be given to the child, so that they can choose Educational subjects according to their abilities, interest, capacities, potentials etc.
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By: Dr. Deepali Singla
Principal Pine grove College Of Education, Bassi Pathanan
When we compare the vast amount of similarities between the Buddha and Mahavira and Buddhism and Jainism, it is possible that the differences were even less in early Buddhism. A more drastic change may have occurred when Buddhism placed less emphasis on ahimsa as can be seen in Buddhist writings that tend to justify and allow meat eating, for example. It is possible that the early Buddhists were more insistent on vegetarianism as additionally evidenced by King Ashoka who wanted to gradually phase out the killing of animals for food. King Ashoka ruled and lived before the Pali Canon was put to writing. There are marked differences in the definitions of kamma and nibbana (karma and nirvana) and the Buddha was practicing asceticism prior to enlightenment. In light of these facts it is possible that both Mahavira and Buddha were practicing some form of Jainism/Shramana/asceticism and the Buddha got it right (and was the actual new enlightened one to teach the masses, not Mahavira) in regard to nibbana and kamma but both were insistent on ahimsa and many other teachings.
Buddhism is centered upon the life and teachings of Gautama Buddha, whereas Jainism is centered on the life and teachings of Mahavira. Buddhism is a polytheistic religion and it’s main goal is to gain enlightenment. Jainism is also a polytheistic religion and it’s goals are based on non-violence and liberation the soul. Mahāvīra and Buddha were contemporaries, there are no mentions of the two teachers meeting, but there are mentions of Mahavira’s disciples questioning Buddha in various Suttas. The Buddhists have always maintained that by the time Buddha and Mahavira were alive, Jainism was already an entrenched faith and culture in the region. Buddhist scriptures record philosophical dialogues between the wandering seeker Siddarttha Gotama (Buddha) and Udaka Ramaputta, and the first of several teachers that young Siddattha Gotama studied with before his enlightenment.
Buddhist scriptures attest that some of the first Buddhists were in fact Jains (Nirgranthas as they were then called, meaning “the unbonded ones”) who “converted”, but were encouraged by Buddha to maintain their Jain identity and practices such as giving alms to Jain monks and nuns. Buddhists recorded that Mahavira preached the “fourfold restraint” of the Nirgrantha tradition, a clear reference to the teachings of Mahavira’s predecessor Lord Parshva (877-777 BCE), traditionally the 23rd Tirthankara of Jainism; who propounded the four vows of Ahinsa (Ahimsa), Satya (truth), Aparigraha (non-possessiveness), and Asteya (non-stealing), which may have been the template for the Five Precepts of Buddhism. Additionally, the Buddhist Anguttara Nikaya scripture quotes the independent philosopher Purana Kashyapa (the sixth century BCE founder of a now extinct order) as listing the Nirgranthas as one of the six major classifications of humanity.
Similarities and differences
The common terms in Buddhism and Jainism:
The terms that are used with different meanings:
Vegetarianism is required for both monks and laity in Jainism. In Buddhism, the monks in China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam are vegetarian; however strict vegetarianism is not required. By monastic tradition, a monk should eat whatever is placed in his bowl when begging food. The exceptions to not eat given meat were if the monk knew an animal was killed especially for him or he heard the animal being killed. See: Threefold rule
But for lay people it is not so clear and many lay Buddhists have chosen vegetarianism to better practice the Dhamma and keep the precepts. In general, the precept against killing living beings in Buddhism centers around intent, whereas, the Jains take it further and avoid all possible killing. Some Jains wear masks around the mouth, thinking it will prevent the killing of microorganisms. They also refrain from eating animal products and root vegetables, thereby not even killing the plant, as they trim the greens off the root plant. Seen in this way, the Buddhists who practice vegetarianism (animal products, such as eggs, honey, dairy, root vegetables acceptable to eat) are not that extreme, when compared to the Jain diet.
A further look at the similarities
Much has been made of the similarities between Buddha and Jesus in their lives and teachings, although there are some marked differences. The similarities between Buddhism and Jainism and Buddha and Mahavira are much more pronounced.
No creator god
No creation myth
24 prior teachers
Height of 6 feet
Enlightenment under a tree
Rejection of caste
First Precept of Ahimsa
The other shore
The Buddha is of course famous for his Middle Way, breaking away from the ascetics by bathing and taking some food prior to enlightenment. But how much of a break-away from asceticism was it? By today’s standards the practice of the Buddha would most certainly be still considered asceticism. As he sat for enlightenment the Buddha remarked:
“Though my skin, my nerves and my bones shall waste away and my life blood go dry, I will not leave this seat until I have attained the highest wisdom, called supreme enlightenment, that leads to everlasting happiness.” (Majjhima Nikaya 70)
Such was the Buddha’s persistence and determination to attain enlightenment. The Buddha took food for nourishment and strength from Sujata and then according to some traditions or legends sat in meditation for several days before attaining enlightenment. Although not in the Suttas, in the Commentaries there is the report that the Buddha ate this meal and did not eat for 49 days (J.i.68f.; DhA.i.71), which would be considered asceticism at least by today’s standards if not by the ascetic standard of ancient India. Even if it was a large meal, this 49 days is still a considerable amount of time to fast between the meal and enlightenment.
Buddhist teachings list 13 ascetic practices conducive for jhanas as well as other teachings praising certain ascetic practices.
“I do not say householder, that all asceticism should be practiced; nor do I say of all asceticism that it should not be practiced” (Anguttara Nikaya 10.94).
“The person who wears a robe made of rags, who is lean, with veins showing all over the body, and who meditates alone in the forest him do I call a holy man” (Dhammapada 395).
In Jainism plants are considered to have life force and spirit. In later Buddhist teachings a clear line was drawn where the Buddhist cosmology included humans, animals, devas and other celestial beings, but not plants. However, there is some indication that this may have been a later development and that the early Buddhists regarded plants as somewhat a borderline case between sentient and insentient. The Buddhist Vinaya prohibits monks and nuns from doing any kind of violence against plants (Pac.10, 11). According to both Jainism and Buddhism, plants are one-facultied (kaayindriya, jiivitindriya); a form of rudimentary life. There is scientific research that is showing some possible evidence of neurobiology and possible sentience in plants.
Which came first?
Jainism is clearly older than Buddhism if we just go by the archeological and historical records. Both religions claim that their founders, Mahavira and Buddha rediscovered the teachings after they had died out from a previous era. The Buddhist scriptures clearly refer to Jainism as if it is an already entrenched religion. And there is reference made to a previous Jain teacher born at least a couple of centuries before Buddha. Both religions maintained an oral tradition and did not have their teachings put to writing for hundreds of years. The Buddhist Tipitaka was put to writing around 100 BCE. However, the Jain sutras did not get put to writing until the 6th century CE (Mahesh Jain, 2004) which is about 600 years after the Buddhist scriptures. The scriptures also have numerous parallels, including some of the same stories and same formats. There is even a numerical section of the Jain sutras similar to the numerical lists found in the Buddhist Anguttara Nikaya. Considering this, it can be argued that the Jain writers copied some material or at least the format off the Buddhist scriptures.
In the Buddhist scriptures there are references to the Buddha or one of his disciples meeting and debating with Jains. In virtually every instance the Buddha or one of his disciples wins the debate and the Jain converts to Buddhism. A less than favorable light is also portrayed to the founder of Jainism, Mahavira. When we compare the vast amount of similarities between the Buddha and Mahavira and Buddhism and Jainism, it is possible that the differences were even less in early Buddhism. A more drastic change may have occurred when Buddhism placed less emphasis on ahimsa as can be seen in Buddhist writings that tend to justify and allow meat eating, for example. It is possible that the early Buddhists were more insistent on vegetarianism as additionally evidenced by King Ashoka who wanted to gradually phase out the killing of animals for food. King Ashoka ruled and lived before the Pali Canon was put to writing. There are marked differences in the definitions of kamma and nibbana (karma and nirvana) and the Buddha was practicing asceticism prior to enlightenment. In light of these facts it is possible that both Mahavira and Buddha were practicing some form of Jainism/Shramana/asceticism and the Buddha got it right (and was the actual new enlightened one to teach the masses, not Mahavira) in regard to nibbana and kamma but both were insistent on ahimsa and many other teachings.
By: Prapanna Lahiri
The concept: When a person opens an account with a bank he/ she is entitled to a reasonable degree of assurance from the banker that information regarding the account remains a matter of knowledge only between the banker and the account holder. This is one of the conditions of the relationship between the banker and the customer whereby the customer’s dealings and financial affairs are held confidential by the banker. This duty and obligation of a banker to maintain complete secrecy continue even after the relationship ceases upon closure of the account. This confidentiality, however, does not prohibit sharing of credit information among lending institutions. Certain other national and international laws such as anti-terrorist and anti drug-trade legislations along with tax treaties between nations make it obligatory for banks to divulge specific information in the interest of prevention of tax evasion and money laundering.
History of banking secrecy in Switzerland: No discussion about secrecy of banking information is complete without a mention of the reputation of Swiss bankers for the practice of total banking secrecy for hundreds of years. At the end of Renaissance, Banking in Switzerland began flourishing. Profits of Swiss banking houses started growing quickly in the backdrop of stability and secrecy offered to the wealthy who looked to safeguard their assets in an otherwise unstable continent. Thus finance became one of the recognisable aspects of Swiss identity along with its world renowned chocolates, watches and professed political neutrality. The origin of the concept of secrecy of Swiss banks can be traced back to the 18th century, when a group called ‘The Great Council of Geneva’ passed a law in 1713, preventing banks from sharing information about their clients. This law lured wealthy individuals, aristocrats and royalties to stash their cash in Swiss banking vaults. Some historians suggest that this culture of total secrecy was prompted by the French royalty seeking to park the royal funds with Swiss financial institutions without the knowledge of the public and its rivals. Louis XIV was one of the first kings who used loans from these institutions to help finance wars and build the Palace of Versailles. The modern Swiss banking system started in 1934 during the depression era when France and Germany, trying to prevent capital flight, pressed Switzerland to divulge depositor information. Switzerland, in trying to maintain sovereignty, passed a law making disclosure of account information a crime. Later in 1984, 73% of Swiss citizens voted to retain bank secrecy.
Modern day Swiss bankers reject the popular belief that corrupt politicians worldwide hide vast sums of money, drug lords launder ill gotten gains or filthy rich American citizens stash money to avoid paying taxes. They argue that it is no easy job to open Swiss bank accounts as the banks would verify depositors’ identities and not accept any business that they think was illegal. They say a sizable number of applications are turned down every year suspecting possible fraud.
Tax Havens and secrecy about financial transactions: Switzerland is not the only country where the financial services industry practises this kind of financial secrecy that facilitates shady financial transactions. These countries have been known as the secret offshore tax havens. A tax haven offers foreign individuals and businesses a minimal tax liability in a politically and economically stable environment with near complete immunity from sharing of financial information with foreign tax authorities. This is a win-win for the host country as well as the companies and individuals maintaining accounts there. Tax haven countries benefit by attracting capital to their banks and financial institutions, thus forming the foundation of a thriving financial sector in these countries. Individuals and corporations parking substantial quantum of funds benefit through tax savings resulting from low tax rates ranging from zero to single digits as against relatively high tax rates in their countries of citizenship or domicile. Thus, these tax havens make it easiest to hide money and avoid paying taxes. Large US corporations including Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Cisco and Oracle maintain billions of dollars in bank accounts in tax havens with low single digit tax rates.
Popular belief is that tax havens are mostly little known tiny and small countries such as Bahrain, Lebanon, Hong Kong, Bahamas, Panama, Luxembourg, Mauritius and few others spread across various continents. However, the irony is that some of the world’s most important providers of financial secrecy harbouring looted assets from around the globe are not just small, palm-fringed islands but some of the world’s biggest and wealthiest countries like USA, Germany and Japan besides Switzerland. This is indeed serious since a tiny country with a small number of shady financial transactions is hardly as much of an overall problem as is a large country with millions of secret foreign transactions per day.
The nature of secrecy of Bank Accounts: As outlined in the introduction above, banks are mandated to maintain confidentiality about information relating to bank accounts. The confidentiality is not just confined to account transactions – it extends to all information that the bank holds about the customer. However, it is to be understood that the banker’s duty and obligation of confidentiality is not absolute. This obligation of confidentiality is qualified in so far as some circumstances make it incumbent upon the banker to make necessary disclosure of details about a customer’s account with the bank. Historically, the 1924 English case of Tournier Vs National Provincial and Union Bank of England laid down four broad principles whereby a bank can legally disclose information about a customer’s account and its transactions. These principles which hold good to this day are:
Liability: If the bank discloses information about a customer’s account in breach of principles described above the bank, normally, is to be held liable for having acted wrongfully. The banker, then, becomes liable to compensate the customer.
The Indian Context: It is well-known that banking is governed as much by laws as it is by practices or usages. Accordingly in India, banking customs as well as statutes stipulate and follow standardised, recognised obligation of secrecy. Relevant sections of banking related acts like the SBI Act, 1955, Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings) Act, 1980, Credit Information Companies Act, 2005 and the Public Financial Institutions Act, 1983 mention obligations as to fidelity and secrecy relating to the affairs of constituents of banks except in circumstances in which it can divulge information —
The Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 imposes privacy obligations on those who manage online payment and settlement systems such as RTGS/NEFT etc. The Act enjoins upon the “system provider” not to disclose the existence or contents of any document or any part information given to it by a system participant with similar exceptions mentioned above.
Banks are also governed by the provisions of Information Technology Act, 2000 as amended in 2008. Some amended provisions urge banks to adopt reasonable security practices with respect to their databases. Customers of banks can, under the IT Act, claim compensatory relief for losses arising out of data leakages as well as unauthorised disclosure of information by the banks for gain.
As discussed above Banking is one of the most risky sectors as far as privacy is concerned due to the highly sensitive and personal nature of information which is often exchanged, recorded and retained. Commensurate with the secrecy obligation of banks, their constituents must also trust banks with their personal identifying information, their financial records, their credit history and also allow the bank access to their accounts for a two way confidential relationship.
In today’s globalised context in pursuit of measures to check flight of black money to tax havens, India had forcefully articulated its views at the sixth session of the Conference of the State Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption in St. Petersburg, urging all state parties to ensure cooperation in dissemination of information to the requesting country without any impediment of bank secrecy laws.