THE YEAR THAT WENT BY AND THE FORTHCOMING YEARS
Author: Bhargavi Nimje, II year of B.A.,LL.B. from Modern law college,Pune University
Taking an overview of what has happened in India in 2020, a deadly year, is very important. As we have finally said goodbye to the pandemic hit year that was marked by serious incidents like job losses, pay cuts, labour crisis, the way the entire education system changed to online mode, increased fake messages, the effects of lockdown on the economy. Pandemic has also highlighted all those issues which were in existence for a long time. Forthcoming years won’t be easy after such a pandemic hit year. To make 2021 a smooth ride we need to find the solution to the problems. Here are a few challenges from 2020 which we need to solve in forthcoming years.
Fake forwards may seem a simple problem. But this is not the case. We could find instances where fake messages have created the problem. This is something which needs to be tackled in a few months or years. Fake messages on social media and especially on WhatsApp have increased especially during the pandemic. It won’t be wrong to say that COVID-19 has given way to fake news on social media platforms. In India where there are millions of WhatsApp users and some kind of tragedy going regularly. Such fake messages add fuel to the fire. Only a few could identify the fake forwards and others get trapped into it. WhatsApp has introduced a very useful feature, ‘search the web' feature to further spot fake forwarded messages. But this feature is yet to be made available in India. People do need to understand that reading fake messages may provoke them to make wrong decisions.
We can say that one of the important elements of the growth of any nation is education. Amidst pandemic, education was hampered to a large extent. The board exam, entrance exams and primary education were at a halt. Some of the entrance exams shifted to [i]remote proctored tests (RPT), some went online. Students were disturbed, many of them don’t have an internet facility for RPT. This makes us think of some permanent solutions for the future. In the starting months of 2020, when schools and colleges were shut down, the issue was how to cope up with the scenario. To tackle this issue, schools and colleges shifted to online mode. But has everyone availed the facility of online education? The answer is no. Students who can’t afford smartphones, internet facilities were barred from education. In 2020, education getting hampered was considerable to some extent as nobody has imagined such a situation. But it has drawn our attention to the education system. To tackle such a problem we need to come out with some good permanent solutions. For the students who can’t afford online education, we could find an alternate option to make them study without the net, to convey them the idea of self-study, the assignment could be sent to them by postal facilities.
On the other side where students have availed online education. Were all of them successful in getting it? Here too the answer is no. “Boys locker room” incident draws our attention to the diverting mentality of the students and misusing of online facilities.
[ii]Shadow pandemic of violence against women during corona has spread in Asia and pretty much everywhere. Unfortunately, for some women being at home means not being safe. Protection of Women from Domestic Violence, Act 2005was implemented to protect women from domestic violence. Despite the fact women are not safe, they don’t come out as there is a lack of knowledge. The series of COVID-19 lockdowns in India reduced the opportunities of reporting of domestic violence cases. Still, there are various means to prevent domestic violence. Approaching one-stop centres, making women familiar with the helpline number, making them know the details of local services through radio and television. Also, NCW launched a WhatsApp helpline number for emergency response during the lockdown for domestic violence victims.
Labourers were forced to get back to their homes as all the 3 sectors stopped functioning for a few months. India has never witnessed such a scene after independence. As many of them don’t have savings and this led them to drive into poverty. The problem of rent and food added tension. In response, governments took various measures to help them. In upcoming years we look at a situation where such a scenario doesn’t repeat. To solve the labour crisis we could look at the solution like, the government could enable universal access to [iii]social safety nets, including healthcare and pension benefits for all workers.
The entire functioning of a country decides its economy. It was clear that the Indian economy was facing a crisis much before the arrival of the pandemic and the pandemic has worsened the situation. The economists have suggested various methods to overcome the downgraded economy. The government must act fast in developing a coherent economic recovery strategy. It should be ensured that the economy recovers fast or else it is going to hamper other sectors.
Pandemic has brought drastic changes in the way we live. Learning from experience is equally important as experiencing something. Even though pandemic has hampered life. But it has taught family values, using things wisely and many more positive points have been added towards our behaviour. Now it’s the time to make policies in such a way that it wouldn’t be a temporary solution for overcoming pandemic but it would serve as a solution for a long time. We need to remember that, nothing is permanent, change is the only constant.
[i]RPT allows students to take an assessment at a remote location, the system monitors students through video, looking for behaviour that could indicate cheating
[ii]Shadow Pandemic is a public awareness campaign by a UN entity, focusing on the global increase in domestic violence amid the COVID-19 health crisis.
[iii]Something that provides a margin of protection or security