History Of US’ Reluctance To Aid India

History Of US Reluctance To Aid India

So finally, US will supply the vaccine ‘raw materials’ to India. However, the process, which included long diplomatic talks as well as request from the Serum Institute CEO, has been a repetition of the past. In that light, let’s look at previous instances of US delaying aid (or actively damaging Indian interests) at crucial points.

Crux of the Matter


The United States has identified sources of specific raw material urgently required for Indian manufacture of the Covishield vaccine that will immediately be made available for India

Jake Sullivan, US National Security Advisor on 25 April

The release of raw materials for Covid vaccine production came days after criticism from India. On 16 April, even Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla had tweeted:

Other Instances Of US ‘Aid’ To India
Let us have a look at few other instances where US has delayed aid to India at some crucial points.

1971: India-Pakistan War

  • US, under President Nixon, openly backed Pakistan.
  • US brought warships to aid Pakistan. They backed only when USSR brought its ships to aid India.

Nuclear Prohibition In 70s

  • 1978: US ratified Nuclear Nonproliferation Act.
  • It required non-signatories to allow IAEA inspection of their nuclear facilities.
  • India refused, after which US stopped aid in developing nuclear facilities of India.

Supercomputers In 80s

  • US denied India import of Cray Supercomputers.
  • Denied due to nuclear embargo – US believed India would use Supercomputers for combat.
  • Slowed India’s progress even though India developed indigenous PARAM 8000 in 1991.

Cryogenic Engine In 90s

  • Cryogenic engines are considered vital for satellite launches.
  • 1991: Soviet and India signed agreement for cryogenics with ‘transfer of technology’ (ToT).
  • US made Soviet remove ToT, which slowed India’s cryogenic development by years.

Kargil War In ’99

  • India asked GPS information of Kargil as Pakistani army settled in.
  • US refused, depriving India of key info which could have reduced the damage borne in the war.

  •  The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), with an operational name of NavIC, is an autonomous regional satellite navigation system that provides accurate real-time positioning and timing services. The system was developed partly because access to foreign government-controlled global navigation satellite systems is not guaranteed in hostile situations. 
  • The United States, Russia, Japan, India, France and China are the only countries that have operational cryogenic rocket engines.

Understanding Uniform Civil Code Of India

Uniform Civil Code (UCC) recently came into limelight after Chief Justice of India S A Bobde talked about it. In response to this, let us know more about UCC and the current status of it in the country.

Uniform Civil Code (UCC) recently came into limelight after Chief Justice of India S A Bobde talked about it. In response to this, let us know more about UCC and the current status of it in the country.

Crux of the Matter

What Is UCC?
The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) comes under Article 44 of the Constitution of India. According to UCC, there should only be one law in India, for matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance and adoption and this should be applicable to all religious communities.

Article 44

  • Part IV of Article 44 states: “The state shall endeavour to secure the citizen a Uniform Civil Code throughout the territory of India”.
  • Article 44 corresponds with the Directive Principles of State Policy
  • While drafting the Constitution, B R Ambedkar wanted to implement UCC but due to lack of awareness amongst people and objection from religious groups, it was made volutary and included this is Article 44.

    Article 37 of the Constitution says that although there should be Uniform Civil Code in the country, its implementation is not mandatory.

Uniform Civil Code In Goa

  • However, Goa is the only Indian state that has a Uniform Civil Code but it is known as the common family law.
  • The code was introduced in the 19th century by the Portuguese as the Portuguese Civil Code.
  • Hence, in Goa, irrespective of the religion, everyone is bound by a common law related to marriage, succession, divorce.

Current Status Of UCC

  • The demand for UCC became a part of BJP’s election manifesto in 1998.
  • Bill to implement it across India was proposed in 2019 and 2020 but was not introduced in the parliament.
  • In March 2021, The Supreme Court asked for a reply from the central government on the need for gender and religion neutral inheritance and succession laws which comes under Unifrom Civil Code.

CJI Bobde’s Comment On Goa’s Uniform Civil Code
Outgoing Chief Justice of India (CJI), S A Bobde applauding the Uniform Civil Code of Goa said:

“Goa has what Constitution framers envisaged for India- a Uniform Civil Code. And I have had the great privilege of administering justice under that Code. It applies in marriage and succession, governing all Goans irrespective of religious affiliations.”

  • For maintaining law and order and communal harmony, British didn’t interfere with religious customs in the country. So Uniform Civil Code was never implemented. But Goa was a part of Portuguese India, so it has UCC.
  • The Islamic religious laws taken from the Quran and Hadith is called Sharia Law.
  • The Special Marriage Act, 1954, was implemented for anyone who wanted to have their marriage outside the realm of any specific religious personal law. The first such Act was the Act III of 1872, introduced by British jurist Henry Sumner Maine.

Understanding Startups And The Benefits They Get In India

Understanding Startups And The Benefits They Get In India

India reportedly has world’s third largest startup ecosystem. Moreover, it is expected to be a home to 50 unicorns by end of 2021. Doesn’t it sound amazing? Well, if you aspire to become an entrepreneur one day, India is definitely heading towards becoming a great place for startups. Read the story to know how you can be a part of it.

Crux of the Matter

What Are Startups?
Before actually getting into all the methodological work let us understand what makes a startup different from any normal business.
As reported by Forbes “Startups are young companies founded to develop a unique product or service, bring it to market and make it irresistible and irreplaceable for customers.”. Thus, startups are ought to be disruptive.

3 Things Essential To Qualify As A Startup In India

  1. Your firm should be registered in India up to 10 years from its date of incorporation.
  2. Business’s annual turnover shall not exceed ₹ 100 crore for any of the financial years.
  3. The startup entity could be a private company, limited liability partnership or a partnership firm.

Moreover, an Indian Startup should be working towards innovation, development or improvement of existing products and a scalable business model with a high potential of employment generation or wealth creation.

What Is Startup India?
With the Motive of availing a conducive entrepreneurial culture in India, Start Up India was launched in January 2016 by the GOI

Benefits That Startups Get Over Other Businesses
Tax Holiday
Startups get exemption from paying Income Tax for a period of 3 years from the date of incorporation. The only requirement is getting a Inter-Ministerial Board Certificate to avail the benefit

IP Filings Cost Reduction
There has been an 80% reduction in the cost of filing Patents, with startups bearing only statutory fees.

Quick Exits
The liquidation and winding up of a startup shall not exceed more than 90 days of application filing.

Incentives to Invest
Individuals investing their capital gains in ventures set up by government will get tax exemptions from Capital gains. These benefits boost investor confidence in Venture Capitalists and thus make the required money flow available.

Some Startup Stats

  • There were 40,000 active startups in 2020.
  • $63 billion was raised between 2014-2019.
  • Average time taken by Indian Startups to reach Unicorn Stage was 7 years.
  • Bangalore ranked as one of the world’s five fastest growing startup cities.

Read more: A Look at India’s Defence Startups

  • In 1994, Amazon was started as Cadabra Inc. Bezos also considered naming the online store, relentless.com
  • Uber was founded in 2009 by Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick as Ubercab. However, they changed its name to Uber in 2011 after complaints from San Francisco taxicab operators.
  • Started in 1999, India’s first e-commerce website is Fabmart.com.

Report On Covid-19 Origins released, WHO says What?

Report On Covid-19 Origins released, WHO says What?

After rumours of the report being scrapped and demands of a new investigation from scientists globally, the World Health Organisation (WHO) released the much awaited joint report on Covid-19 with China. Let’s see what everyone has to say about that.

Crux of the Matter

What Did The Report Say?
It said that the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes Covid-19 most probably jumped from bats to humans via an intermediary animal. Also, it was “extremely unlikely” that the virus had been leaked from a laboratory.

What Does India Say?
External affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi welcomed WHO’s readiness and said, “We share the need for a comprehensive and expert-led mechanism that would expeditiously investigate the origin of Covid-19 in cooperation with all stakeholders“.

What’s More From The WHO Chief?
WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has added that this report requires further investigation, with additional missions involving specialist experts, which he is ready to deploy.

What About China?
Tedros has been long accused to have a soft spot for China. Now he has urged China to be more forthcoming with data from September 2019, months before the first detected COVID-19 case in Wuhan – December 8, 2019.

In response, China called for WHO to probe whether Covid-19 first emerged in other countries, including from a U.S. military lab. China called for WHO to probe whether Covid-19 first emerged in other countries, including from a U.S. military lab.

Global response to report
The US, Japan, Canada, South Korea, Australia, Israel and 8 European countries issued a joint statement voicing concerns that the investigation “was significantly delayed and lacked access to complete, original data and samples”.

Heard About Zoonotic Diseases?
The illnesses that can spread between animals and people are called zoonoses or zoonotic diseases. Animals are thus capable of hosting microbes harmful to humans. Mostly, the first infected human transmits infectious agent to at least one other human, and the vicious cycle of spreading infection begins.

Why Does This Happen?
Animals who are able to thrive in human-occupied areas are small like rats and mobile like bats. They have the capacity to reproduce quickly in large numbers. This rapid reproduction causes the phenomenon of “quantity over quality” which can come at the expense of an animal’s immune system. This in turn makes them more prone to zoonotic diseases.

  • Through religious scripture, different civilizations as early as 500 years B.C.E had dietary laws that prohibit or allow the consumption of certain animals. Christian and Hebrew religions have reflected these traditions in the Book of Leviticus, while Islamic religions spread the laws throughout the Quran, referring to these rules as Haram and Halal.

How Is Airtel Africa Floating Airtel’s Boat?

How Is Airtel Africa Floating Airtel's Boat?

India’s second largest mobile network operator – Bharti Airtel is much more than what it seems in India. Do you know that more than 25% of its revenue comes from operations of Airtel Africa and its Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) is ~25% more than that of India. Well, if this data sparked any curiosity, a lot more is yet to unfold in this story. And by the way, the lesser known Airtel Africa’s operations are a sigh of relief for the company in the disrupting telecom market of India. How? Let’s find out.

Crux of the Matter

The Wide Range Of Airtel
In addition to its presence in India, Airtel’s operations are heavily concentrated in Africa as well. Below is the detail for the same.

About Airtel Africa

  • Headquartered: London, UK
  • Region of Operations: Majorly in East, Central and West Africa.
  • Most Profitable Unit: Airtel Nigeria (contributes to about 50% of Airtel Africa’s EBITDA).
  • Services Availed: Mobile Voice | Mobile Data | Airtel Money.

Journey So Far

  • 2010: Started its African operations by acquiring Zain Telecom which was spread across 36 million subscribers and 15 nations.
  • Acquired Telecom Seychelles Ltd.
  • 2012: Launched operations in Rwanda.
  • 2013: Expanded footprint in Uganda and Congo via Warid Telecom Uganda and Warid Congo SA respectively.
  • 2015: Gained market share in Kenya by acquiring yuMobile – Former subsidiary of Essar Telecommunications, Kenya.
  • 2017: Entered into a JV with Millicom International Cellular for the Ghana market.
  • 2018: Acquired Tigo Rwanda – subsidiary of Millicom.

Here’s a quick infographic that gives us a macro picture of Airtel Africa’s operations.

Let us look at some quick statistics on Airtel’s India and Africa’s operations.

Author’s Note

  • The BCG matrix in the previous slide shows that Airtel Africa is acting as a cushion for Airtel India so as to stop the latter from losing its market share.
  • More than 25% of Bharti Airtel’s revenue comes from its African operations.
  • Airtel Africa’s Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) is 25-30% more than that of India’s.
  • As Financial Express once famously put, As Bharti Airtel bleeds in India, Africa sends band-aid with love.”
  • Airtel Africa indeed seems a witty silent player strongly holding Bharti Airtel’s fort.

Read about the history of Airtel here.

  • In November 2016, Airtel Payments Bank became India’s first Payments Bank. It is a joint venture between Bharti Airtel and Kotak Mahindra Bank.
  • Sunil Bharti Mittal is the founder of Airtel, India’s second largest telecom operator. In 2016, he became the chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce.
  • Sunil Mittal’s son, Kavin Mittal founded the now-defunct Hike Messenger.