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The Hindu Editorial Analysis | PDF Download

Date: 08 May 2019
  • Marketing involves a broad spectrum of activities, whose ultimate goal is sales. B2B and B2C are the two business marketing models where sales are the endresult, but, this doesn’t make the two business models alike. B2B is an acronym for Business to Business, as the name signifies, it is a type of commercial transaction where the purchasing and selling of merchandise are performed between two business houses, such as entity supplying material to another for production, or entity providing services to another.
  • Business to Consumer is another model which is abbreviated as B2C, where the business sells its goods and services to the final consumer. Those companies whose products and services are consumed directly by the end user are known as B2C companies. There are many important differences between B2B and B2C, which you can see in the article below.

Key Differences Between B2B and B2C

  • The points given below clarifies the difference between B2B and B2C:
  1. B2B is a business model where business is done between companies. B2C is another business model, where a company sells goods directly to the final consumer.
  2. In B2B, the customer is business entities while in B2C, the customer is a consumer.
  3. B2B focus on the relationship with the business entities, but B2C’s primary focus is on the product.
  4. In B2B, the buying and selling cycle is very lengthy as compared to B2C.
  5. In B2B the business relationships last for long periods but in B2C, the relationship between buyer and seller lasts for a short duration. 6. In B2B, the decision making is fully planned and logical whereas in B2C the decision making is emotional.
  6. The volume of merchandise sold in B2B is large. Conversely, in B2C small quantities of merchandise are sold.
  7. Brand value is created on the basis of trust and personal relationship of business entities. In contrast to, B2C where advertising and promotion create brand value
  • Fall Armyworm
  • Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) has sounded the alarm after the invasive agricultural pest, Fall Armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda), was discovered in Karnataka.
  • Fall Armyworm is a major maize pest in North America, arrived in Africa in 2016. Since then, it has threatened the continent’s maize crop.
  • The Karnataka finding is the first report of the pest in Asia.
  • Scientists warn the insect could spread throughout Asia to become a major threat to global food security.
  • The discovery is more worrisome because the pest feeds on around 100 different crops, such as vegetables, rice, and sugarcane.

Prisoner of procedure

  • The in-house panel resorted to its power at the cost of fairness to the complainant
  • It was a test of great import that one of India’s great institutions failed. The main question was whether the Supreme Court would live up to the standards of fairness it expects of all authorities while inquiring into a former woman employee’s complaint of sexual harassment and victimisation against the Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi. An ad hoc committee, following an informal procedure, has concluded that the allegations have “no substance”, but the findings will not be made public. The report cannot be reviewed judicially. No one else, not even the complainant, knows what evidence was examined and who else testified apart from herself. All that is known is that she was heard, and questioned, at two sittings. She later withdrew from the inquiry, saying she was denied the help of a lawyer or a representative, that she found the questions from a panel of three sitting Supreme Court judges quite intimidating, and that she was not clear how her testimony was being recorded. There is no doubt that the committee remained impervious to the power imbalance in the situation. Perhaps she ought not to have pulled out from the probe, despite these grievances. The panel’s conclusion would have been even starker had she been present to hear how Justice Gogoi defended himself; and who among the court officials, if any, answered her specific and documented charges about the administrative harassment she was put through following the alleged incident of sexual harassment. The most relevant parts of the complaint were the transfer orders and disciplinary inquiry against her, the role of the court administration in dismissing her, and that of the Delhi Police in arresting her on a complaint of alleged bribery and initiating disciplinary action against her husband and his brother, both police personnel. It is not known if any of these officials were examined.
  • The manner in which the court dealt with the complaint on the administrative side has been less than fair. It is true that the in-house procedure devised in 1999 envisages only a committee of three judges to deal with allegations against serving Supreme Court judges. The fact that a special law to deal with sexual harassment at the workplace is in force since 2013 appears to have made no difference. The court could not bring itself, even in the interest of appearing fair, to adopt a formal procedure or allow the complainant to have legal representation. For all its judicial homilies on fairness, when it comes to dealing with its own the Supreme Court has come across as a prisoner of procedure and displayed an alarming propensity to mix up its institutional reputation with an individual’s interest. “The abuse of greatness is when it disjoins remorse from power,” wrote Shakespeare. The decision by the ‘in-house committee’ is an egregious instance of a hallowed institution abusing its own greatness by letting its power speak, and not the compassion for which it is renowned.
  • Religious tones in NRC & antimuslim Issue
  • The Supreme Court, which is supervising the entire process, has set a hard deadline of July 31 for the final NRC, an uphill task given the sheer scale and complexity of the exercise at hand. Under these circumstances, it is premature to think of the NRC as a success in Assam, and it is unwise to push for its implementation in other States before assessing the fallout in Assam.
  • The Supreme Court, which is supervising the entire process, has set a hard deadline of July 31 for the final NRC, an uphill task given the sheer scale and complexity of the exercise at hand. Under these circumstances, it is premature to think of the NRC as a success in Assam, and it is unwise to push for its implementation in other States before assessing the fallout in Assam.

Belt and Road 2.0

  • With the second Belt and Road Forum, a paradox is now apparent at the heart of the initiative
  • Six years after it was unveiled, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) assumes another avatar. In its initial form, it was all things to all people, a catch-all for China’s international engagement. But in fact it had multiple, layered objectives. The first concerned domestic economics: exporting surplus industrial capacity and cash reserves overseas to keep China’s economy humming, its industrial output flowing, and its employment levels high. The second concerned domestic politics: a signature foreign initiative to associate with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The third concerned security: stabilising Western provinces and the Eurasian hinterland. And the fourth concerned strategy: leveraging China’s new-found economic heft for political objectives in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Indian and Pacific Oceans, and creating new standards and institutions in a bid to challenge U.S. leadership.
  • But Beijing may have moved too soon and too quickly. As the second Belt and Road Forum (BRF) concludes, a paradox has become apparent at the heart of its ambitious initiative. On the one hand, there has been a strong backlash. The economic viability of Chinese projects is now viewed with considerable scrutiny. In capitals around the world, the port of Hambantota in Sri Lanka is being described as a warning sign. The BRI’s sustainability is called further into question as Chinese debt, especially that held by state-owned enterprises, mounts. Additionally, security concerns have begun to predominate as far afield as in the European Union, the South Pacific and Canada. The role of China’s state in its business dealings is being deliberated openly. China’s military base at Djibouti has injected an overtly military element to its external engagement. And political pushback to Beijing is also discernible, whether in Zambia, the Maldives or Brazil.
  • Yet, despite these obvious deficiencies, the allure of the BRI remains strong. Many countries still see China as an attractive alternative to slow-moving democratic bureaucracies and tedious lending institutions. There are also political motivations at play: a minor agreement on the BRI is a useful tool for Italy’s Eurosceptic government to send a strong political message to the EU. Beijing has also become more flexible, the tone of this year’s BRF less triumphalist. Chinese overseas financial flows have slowed since 2017, and the focus has shifted away from massive infrastructure projects to realms such as digital technology.
  • Given these contrasting trends, the future of the BRI is more uncertain than ever. For India, which boycotted the BRF for the second time on grounds of both sovereignty (the ChinaPakistan Economic Corridor traverses Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) and unsustainability (particularly in the Indian Ocean), it means continuing to monitor China’s international engagement closely.

On the political fringes

  • The exclusion of migrants from the electoral process reveals the caste- and class-driven nature of mainstream politics
  • While political commentators have been busy analyzing voter preferences in the general election 2019, one segment, namely migrants, continues to be overlooked.
  • The Election Commission of India (EC), on February 21, clarified that NRI voters cannot cast votes online, and that an NRI who holds an Indian passport can vote in his/her hometown after registering as an overseas voter. But the roughly 60 million people moving across the country as migrant workers find it difficult to cast their votes because their voting rights are mostly at the place from where they migrate. The scale of lost votes due to migration is large. It may not be an exaggeration to say that there seems to be a general agreement to let the votes of domestic migrants go missing in the electoral process. Migrants remain a political issue despite their poverty, vulnerability and insecurity. Yet, we know very little about the way migrants engage with politics, especially in elections. How do migrants ensure that they remain politically relevant in the villages they leave behind? What roles do caste and identity play in their voting preferences?
  • At the receiving end
  • Despite it being a significant contribution to the growth and development of cities, migration is perceived as a problematic phenomenon. Poor migrants often find themselves at the receiving end of ‘nativist’ politics. They are projected as a ‘problem’ for the local population around issues of employment and unemployment, use of place and space, identity and political affiliation. The physical threat and verbal abuse that migrants experience can be gauged in the numerous statements of leaders of various political parties. References to migrants often include terms and phrases such as ‘infiltrators’, of those who ‘need to possess a permit for work’ and ‘lacking in values, culture and decency’. Such allusions are in contradiction to the provisions in the Indian Constitution that allow freedom of movement by ensuring the right to reside and settle in any part of India. The process of ‘othering’ of migrants produces heightened anxieties, and this ‘manufactured anxiety’ is deployed for political gains.
  • In the city
  • Mostly working in the unorganized sector and drawing meagre wages, migrants often find it difficult to visit their home States to cast their vote. In cities, they find it challenging to make their presence felt during elections. For example, a group of NGOs (Aajeevika Bureau and its partners) found that as one moves from panchayat to Vidhan Sabha to the Lok Sabha elections, the participation rate comes down by 10.5% at each step. Unlike the family and kinship association in a panchayat election, caste and community affiliations are the driving force in Assembly and Lok Sabha elections. While candidates or their affiliates mostly meet the travel expenditure for upper caste and other backward caste migrants, Dalit migrants are motivated to travel at their own expense and participate aggressively with the clarity of caste identity and political affiliation.
  • In a city, migrants rely on support from relatives, friends and fellow migrants for accommodation, employment and to negotiate wages. Through these interactions, migrants build social networks and political connections. Region, religion, village and the caste identity of migrants play a crucial role in these processes. These elements of ‘identity’ contribute to the mobilisation of migrants in the city to tackle hostility as well as participation in politics. For example, migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar form various social organisations, such as the Uttar Bhartiya Mahasangh, the Uttar Bhartiya Mahapanchayat and the Jaiswar Vikas Sangh, to deal with migrant issues. Of these, the Jaiswar Vikas Sangh is exclusively initiated by Dalit migrants and confined mainly to the issues of Dalit migrants in Mumbai.
  • Key issues
  • Contrary to received wisdom, migrants seldom bother about civic problems such as water and sanitation. Rather, their primary concern revolves around macroissues such as employment, inflation and poverty. Dalit migrants are troubled by caste-based discrimination, exclusion, atrocities and reservation, which in turn determine their political choices. They often say, “we shall align with those who speak for us”, which conveys their preference. Many of them are candid about their support for the Bahujan Samaj Party. One has often heard the line, “Yadavs stay with the Samajwadi Party and the Rajput aligns with the BJP; as we are exploited we cannot go with them and hence our place is with the BSP”.
  • The manifested political articulation of migrants often makes mainstream political parties uncomfortable, which then label them outsiders as obstacles for development and let their votes drop in the electoral process. The exclusion of migrants from the electoral process, in a way, reveals the caste- and class-driven nature of mainstream politics.