Digitalising india

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India is changing fast with digitisation, and this is just the beginning

The world is all about changing trends, mostly by the younger generation. Who would have thought digitisation would revolutionise the world like it has – especially in arenas as vast and different as banking, office automation to cinema and music. The government need not take recourse to drastic steps like demonetisation. Now, every transaction leaves so many digital footprints that black money can be checked through some smart moves. It is with this in mind, that we decided to write about some trends that have come to define new India. Startups are one such thing. Every day, young innovative Indians are kick-starting a new business fuelled not by cash but by sheer brilliance of their ideas. Our Managing Editor Geeta Singh has succinctly captured the finer contours of the trend including how a number of startups are shutting their shop despite boost from the government in the cover story. Social work, which till recently was looked at more with sympathy than attract money, is also now trending as an enterprise.

Social media is another such trend which has come to define the gen-next. There is hardly anybody who is under-40 and not on social media. And, they are not writing about their personal chores only - sharing personal moments with near and dear ones - but are also expressing opinion on every issue under the sun, from Trump’s presidency to elections in India. Senior Editor Sharad Gupta, has chronicled the rise of social media as a powerful electoral tool and how it was used effectively by the BJP to rise to power at the Centre in 2014 Parliamentary elections. Union budget has been presented and whole world is looking at elections in five states being seen as a reflection of performance of both state as well as Central governments. All the state elections are of much interest. Aam Aadmi Party seems to have stirred the hornet’s nest by taking social media by storm at least in Punjab polls and to some extent in the Goa elections too. Will AAP be able to shrug off the image of an ‘outsider’ created by none less than Prime Minister Modi himself? Manipur was already on the boil due to Congress government’s decision to create new districts in Naga-dominated areas and this might influence the elections. Sensing the ground situation in Punjab, Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar feels AAP is much ahead of others while Rajeev Bhattacharya has written about Manipur – the state facing elections and insurgency together.

But it is Uttar Pradesh which is holding maximum interest, and witnessing an SP-Congress alliance for the first time. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has vanquished all his adversaries within the party, including father Mulayam Singh Yadav and uncle Shivpal Yadav. Rahul and Akhilesh addressing a press conference together or in a road show, make a beautiful picture. Both are young, energetic and full

of ideas. If they can continue the synergy witnessed at their first meeting, they will be able to influence the politics in a big way. But, in case, there are ego clashes between the two – as seen during seat distribution, the alliance would leave both parties scarred for a long time. People are also waiting for Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Dimple Yadav campaigning together.

This is the background of our next big story – end of Mulayam’s era and dawn of his son Akhilesh as a politician in his own right. Veteran journalist Dilip Shukla has seen ups and downs in Mulayam’s life from a very close quarter, while Srawan Shukla has been tracking Akhilesh’s journey ever since he entered into politics in 2000. Both stories, liberally peppered with personal anecdotes from their lives, I am sure, will make very interesting read.

Donald Trump’s ascent as President of United States of America is an event being watched by the world with bated breath. He is living up to his image by taking decisions like banning entry to citizens from seven countries. Veteran journalist Sankar Ray analyses its impact on India and Indians.

Parliamentarian Youth Conclave preparations were all complete. But the impending polls made all the political speakers retract due to the Code of Conduct rules, hence we are postponing it for a while.

Happy Reading.

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