2021 – Year in Review


Every new year is full of excitements and new hopes. We all wish for the best in the coming year and same was wished when we landed in the year 2021. The bad experiences of Corona virus in 2020 leading to so many deaths across the globe, we all prayed and hoped that 2021 should be different. Now we are landing in 2022, what we hoped and what happened in 2021 is different because of the deadliest 2nd wave of Corona virus leading to loss of lives of millions across the globe.

PC: Google

If we compare 2020 and 2021, both seems identical to many aspects, particularly to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although, many restrictions were relaxed including nation-wide lockdown, as compared to 2020. When things were coming to normal, sudden surge in Corona cases in the month of March and April 2021, reaching peak in May which witnessed more than 400,000 cases per day in India. Many lost their lives due to the “deadliest virus”. Fear factor, scary moments were common in those months till the cases started to fall. Those who survive are lucky and those who didn’t contract with the virus are also lucky. The importance of life was re-understood and re-written.

PC: Google

As 2021 is witnessing its end, Omicron, the new variant of Corona virus had knocked the door in India and other parts of world. Slowly, the number of cases is increasing. The casualties due to Omicron variant is yet to be established but it is a matter of concern as of now.

 Let us look at some of the important events in 2021:

  • COVID-19 cases crossed 100 million worldwide on 26th January 2021.
  • The Great Resignation witnessed millions of employees resigning from their jobs.
PC: Google
  • United States calling its troops back from Afghanistan after 20 years. This resulted in Taliban returning to power in Afghanistan.
  • In December 2021, Russia becomes the fifth nation to surpass 10 million Covid-19 cases after USA, India, Brazil and The UK
  • In December 2021, USA becomes the first country to surpass 50 million COVID-19 cases.
  • Total deaths due to COVID-19 crossed 5 million in November 2021.
  • Tokyo Olympics 2020 was successfully held between 23rd July to 8th August 2021.
  • India made its highest medal tally in an Olympics with 7 medals. Neeraj Chopra winning Gold medal in Javelin throw.
  • Air India was acquired by Tata Group in October 2021. In this historical deal, Government of India sold its 100% stake to Tata group.
  • Record 100 Crores (1 Billion) vaccination was completed in India in October 2021.
  • India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen Bipin Rawat passed away along with 12 others in a chopper crash in December 2021.
Pic: Gen Bipin Rawat
  • Inauguration of Kashi Vishwanath Corridor (Phase I) in Varanasi in December 2021.
  • Legendary actor Dilip Kumar died at the age of 98 in July 2021.
  • Sunderlal Bahuguna, Indian Environmentalist, well known for Chipko Movement passed away in May 2021.
  • Three farm bills were repealed by the Govt of India in Winter session of parliament.
  • Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award renamed as Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award.

Mainly, 2021 will be remembered for the deadliest COVID-19 virus and the casualties it caused. The year was on the path of 2020. With some changes in the restrictions and offices being opened, travelling allowed, 2021 saw more relaxations in restrictions as compared to 2020.

As 2021 is coming to end, let us hope the coming year should be different from 2020 and 2021. Let us pray that 2022 should end on different note.

PC: Google

As the risk of third wave in India is not yet over, stay safe, take enough precautions and stay happy. Stay healthy…

Ashish Kumar

The Era of Resignation…


Covid-19 pandemic is not yet over completely. Over 5 million deaths reported so far, this pandemic changed the living normal. The consequences of this pandemic are visible since its outbreak which includes death, loss of job, fear to go out of home, salary cuts, economic breakdown etc. Amongst these consequences, one major consequence being observed in 2021 is the “voluntary resignation” in many countries.

There was a Great Depression in 1930s, Great Recession was witnessed in 2007-08 after the fall of Lehman Brothers and now, Covid-19 pandemic has witnessed what is being termed as “The Great Resignation”. The term Great Resignation was likely coined by Anthony Klotz, a professor of management at Mays Business School of Texas A&M University, who predicted this mass exodus in 2021.

In March 2021, Microsoft published a research work, The 2021 Work Trend Index. The research work predicted around 41% of the workforce are considering leaving their employer in 2021.

As per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 3 million American quit their jobs in June 2021, 4 million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021. Resignations peaked in April and have remained abnormally high for the last several months. August 2021 statistics is similar. Record 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs in August 2021. This massive resignation statistics substantiates the term “The Great Resignation”.

Tech firms, hotels, restaurants and healthcare sectors witnessed the maximum resignation as these sectors require more in-person interactions.

The statistics is of USA, but European countries are also witnessing resignations on large scale. Germany witnessed the highest resignation in Europe, accounting for 6% of workers leaving their jobs this year. This was followed by UK with 4% and the Netherlands wit 2.7% of workers leaving their jobs. One-third of the companies in Germany are short of skilled workers. Amongst the member countries of OECD, 20 million workers have not returned to work post pandemic.

Many garment workers in Vietnam left their job. Such kind of mass voluntary resignation and that too on such scale is rarely observed. We have often heard of termination of employment at mass level but this time it is “The Great Resignation”.

Resignation

Indian Scenario

The “Great Resignation” witnessed by few countries, what impact it can have on India? Does India sooner or later witness such kind of resignation? The Indian IT sector, hotels, restaurants, health care employs a lot of working population and if this happens in India, these sectors will suffer the most.

Few experts state India had started witnessing the Resignation era and if not, the resignation era will be coming sooner or later. Although, the attrition rate in Indian Tech sector is increased to 21%, it is a matter of concern if India is moving ahead toward “The Great Resignation”?

Causes of Resignation

Decoding the causes of this “Great Resignation”, employees have started giving more importance to their life and family than their work. Some of the causes of resignation includes:

  • Fear Factor: Covid-19 pandemic had instigated a sense of fear among the employees. Many lost their colleagues and family members due to the pandemic. Those who were not able to give time to their family due to their jobs, they are considering spending more time with their family and take care of them.
  • Salary cuts and more work: Many companies cut down the salary of their employees, ranging from 10% to over 50%, while no relaxation in the work performed. This means employees were working on less pay and work more, leading to no proper rejuvenation. Many times, they were forced to work on holiday without extra compensation. Companies used this as a tool to make their business as they were not terminating the employees but started taking much more work with salary deduction. This became a demotivating factor to continue to work.
  • Work-Life Balance: “Work-Life Balance” is a term generally observed in books but not in reality. Most of the employee work more than their scheduled working hours. Many times, employees are forced to work after the working hours as they get some “urgent work” post their working hour is over. Late sitting has become a common phenomenon in most of the companies and in India, late sitting is natural. This leads to untimely day to routine which may results in health complications.
  • Giving importance to hobbies: Hobbies are generally kept aside by a normal employee. The pandemic taught many to utilize their hobbies and monetize it for their living. Many focussed on their hobbies and left their job.
  • Start up and Entrepreneur: Many considered to open their own firms from and become an entrepreneur. Many decided to become a full-time freelancer.
  •  Giving importance to life rather than job: “Life is more important than job”, this has been realized by the employees who were “workaholic” in the past. The pandemic taught them to focus on their life, family and their children. Remember, when an employee used to meet their friends or relatives on weekends only, when an employee had to beg for leave for attending a marriage function etc. Employee realized that all these are important in life to live a happy life.
  • Flexible work:  Employee need flexible working environment and hours. They are looking for such a job which can take care of this need.
  • Remote work vs Base Location: Many employees changed their location and settled with their family. They want to stay with their family and organizations are not allowing employees to work from the location of their choice. This has resulted in many resignations as well. Companies want employee to stay at the base location irrespective whether their work require their presence or not. Work from home became a new normal but work from remote location has not yet. As per the work profile, if it does not require employees to go to office, then also they are forced. This creates a sense of dissatisfaction and employees are reluctant to accept the same resulting into resignation.
  • Empathy: Empathy is rarely observed in corporate world. This is one of the main reasons of resignation at this level. Employees are willing to work but in return they want their company to understand their point of view too which is rare.

Job is important and those who survived the Covid-19 virus, they will value life more than anything including job. The Great Resignation is also called as “The Worker’s Revolution”. Whether this Great Resignation will continue, or end is a question itself.

Ashish Kumar

References:

  1. https://hbr.org/2021/09/who-is-driving-the-great-resignation
  2. https://www.forbes.com/sites/lucianapaulise/2021/07/21/the-great-resignation-microsoft-predicts-41-attrition/?sh=537534342d4d
  3. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/worklab/work-trend-index/hybrid-work

Corona over or back?


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The outbreak of Corona virus in late 2019 and early 2020 shocked the entire world. In the early 2020, most of the countries witnessed nation-wide lock down to curb the spread of Corona virus. 2020 was a year to forget due to this COVID-19 pandemic. 2020 also witnessed a new normal in day-to-day living including work from home. When everything seems to come to normal in 2021, a sudden spike in Corona virus cases has made the situation to worry. This raises an important question i.e Is Corona back? 2021 will also be like 2020?

Since the outbreak of Corona virus, the total no of cases stands at 132,001,2019 and total no of deaths accounts for 2,867,746. USA, Brazil and India continue to be at top three in terms of no of cases. In terms of deaths, USA, Brazil and Mexico tops the list.

Top 5 countries in terms of No of cases and deaths 

Country Total No of casesCountryTotal no of deaths
USA 31,420,331 USA 568,777
Brazil 12,984,956 Brazil 331,530
India 12,589,067 Mexico 204,147
France 4,822,470 India 165,132
Russia 4,589,540 UK 126,836
Source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

The no of active cases indicates the risk of Corona. Let us look at the no of active cases in selected countries to understand the further risk. The more the no of active cases, more is the chance of increase in deaths.

S.NoCountriesActive Cases
1USA6,904,851
2France4,426,168
3Brazil1,295,905
4Slovakia100,006
5Belgium819,602
6India741,799
7Italy569,035
8Poland 384,150
9Ukraine369,162
10UK330,910
Source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

Looking at the no of active cases in selected countries, USA, France and Brazil tops the list with over 1 million active cases. In fact, the no of active cases in USA is inching towards 7 million. However, the no of active cases in India is still below 1 million but may cross 1 million mark in few days if the no cases continue to increase. This is the point to worry.

There was a time when the daily no of cases were approx 10000 in first and second week of February 2021, in India. Since March 2021, there is a sudden spike in no of cases on daily basis, crossing 100,000 mark on 4th April 2021. Yes, India reported record 103,793 cases on 4th April. Apart from spike in no of cases reported daily, there is a sudden rise in no of active cases in India. The no active cases in India crossed 1 million mark in September 2020 and slowed down further to 138,579 on 15th February 2021. Post 15th February 2021, the no active cases started to increase. Let us look at the no active cases in India on selected dates.

DateNo of Active Cases in India
15th February 2021138,579
20th february 2021147,214
25th February 2021157,418
1st March 2021169,786
5th March 2021181,997
15th March 2021225,072
20th March 2021310,801
25th March 2021422,596
31st March 2021585,215
1st April 2021615,798
4th April 2021742,830
Source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/india/

The above data reveals the constant increase in no of active cases in India. When people thought Corona is now over, Corona 2.O came resulting in rapid increase in no of cases and active cases in India. Hence, it is too early to infer that the risk of COVID-19 is over. It still persists. Many people lost their lives, many lost their jobs due to this pandemic. It is still not clear when it will end, and life will be as used to be. Many famous personalities suffered and lost their lives due to this pandemic.

Hence, it is important to take enough precautions and not to indulge in any “adventure” at this moment when there is a sudden surge in no of cases and deaths in India. One should maintain social distancing norms and avoid public gathering or else, the situation can be worst or beyond control.

-Ashish Kumar

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2020 – A Year in Review


Most of us hope that a new year will bring some change in life with new hopes and aspirations. Happiness and enjoyment should flourish in life without any obstacles. Although, hassle-free life can be an ideal situation which can be imagined. Different objectives and motives keep coming along with setting new goals. As the time goes on, there are only memories left. Be it good or bad, every year has some important events which we would like to remember or forget. There are some good moments which one likes to cherish forever and there are some memories which one would like to eradicate from their mind. This is what life is all about.

PC: Google

Every year is a new journey in everyone’s life, and it is very rare that there can be a year which everyone would like to forget. When 2020 started, no one have ever though that this year would become so challenging and disastrous. The rise of Corona in starting months of 2020 made everything to halt. The harsh memories of Corona pandemic, no ray of hope, deaths on large scale, lock down, disruptions etc. are some of the things which took place in 2020 which is very difficult to erase from the mind. It is one of the rare years in recent times which entire world would like to forget.  

No doubt, 2020 will be remembered for COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences. In a positive hope for the coming 2021, let’s briefly recall 2020.  

Corona Virus – Cases and deaths

PC: Google

At the start of 2020, the world was attacked by Corona virus resulting in lock down and isolation. International and domestic flights were shut down. Entire world experienced a surge in number of cases drastically. As of now, the number of cases of Corona virus globally stands at 81,199,285 and it unknown how far it will go. USA, India, Brazil, Russia and France are the top 5 countries which reported the greatest number of cases. USA and India had already crossed 10 million cases and USA is inching towards 20 million.  The number of deaths stands globally at 1,773,333. More than 1.7 million people lost their life due to this pandemic. USA, Brazil, India, Mexico and UK are top five nations having greatest number of deaths. Looking at the above figures, it cannot be a personification to call “2020: A survival year”.

India was not untouched with this pandemic. The number of cases in India had crossed 10 million mark and it stands at 10,208,725 and number of deaths stands at 147,940. One of the positive sides is that the recovery rate in India is over 90% and number of active cases are reducing on daily basis. Also, the number of new cases and deaths are going down but needless to mention, the risk of Corona still persist.

Famous personality passed away

Many notable personalities said “Good bye” from their life in 2020 due to Corona virus like Pranab Mukherjee, S P Balasubramanyam, Chetan Chauhan, Rahat Indori etc.

PC: Google

Also, Nishikant Kamat, Sushant Singh Rajput, Saroj Khan, Rishi Kapoor, Irrfan Khan, Jagdeep, Pandit Jasraj etc passed away this year. May their soul rest in peace.

Economic situation

PC: Google

Due to imposition of lock down and restrictions in travel, the economy suffered a serious setback. Almost every industry suffered loss due to this pandemic situation. The country saw many daily wages workers and labourers returning their native place as there was no source of income for them. They walked for 1000/1500/2000 kms from various locations to reach their native place.  Many committed suicides as earnings was stopped and no available resource to feed their stomach. As there were no business, so no revenue which resulted in termination and in loss of job as well.

Stock market also collapsed drastically in March this year due to imposition of lock down. Many Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) sold their shares resulting in massive outflow of money and ultimately collapsing of Indian stock market. This was recovered in unlocking phase and the market saw a new heights wherein NIFTY crossing 13,700 mark.

PC: Google

The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) figures drastically contracting down to 23.9% in first quarter for the Financial Year 2020-21 due to COVID 19 situation. The second quarter showed a good recovery wherein the country’s GDP was contracted to 7.3 % as compared to 23.9% in first quarter. Negative GDP growth for consecutive two quarters indicates recession. Countries like USA and Japan declared official recession due to consecutive negative GDP growth because of COVID-19.

Work From Home (WFH)

Popularly known as WFH, Work From Home has become a new normal, at least for service sector. Many companies who used to reject plea for work from home had now adopted this mechanism and it is expected to be continued in future as well. Some companies are looking forward to adopting permanent WFH depending on the work profile and requirement.  

Other events apart from Corona

Well, 2020 will be mainly remembered for Corona virus and its impact, some of the events apart from Corona and its consequences which needs mentions includes:

  • Arvind Kejriwal re-elected as Chief Minister of Delhi in February 2020.
  • Nitish Kumar was re-elected as Chief Minister of Bihar as Bihar witnessed Assembly election in COVID era and in fact it was the first state where Assembly election was held during COVID era.
  • India-China border issue reached its peak in mid of this year wherein India and China both suffered casualties in Galwan valley. The Line of Actual Control (LAC) issue is not yet resolved and talks is still going on between both the nation.
  • Jammu & Kashmir witnessed implementation of third level of government for the first time wherein District Development Committee (DDC) elections were held. After abolition of Article 370 last year and bifurcation of state of Jammu & Kashmir into Union Territory of Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir, Jammu & Kashmir witnessed first election.
  • Bhumi Pujan for the construction of Ram Mandir (temple) in the city of Ayodhya. This was post the Supreme Court verdict.
  • Political crisis in state of Madhya Pradesh saw Kamal Nath resigning from the post of Chief Minister and Shiv Raj Singh Chouhan took oath as Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, in March 2020.
  • Amphan cyclone hit the coastal areas of eastern India in the month of May and Nisarga cyclone hitting the western India in June.
  • National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 brought in and approved by Union Cabinet.
  • On August 7, Air India Express Flight 1344Crashed after overrunning the Runway at Calicut International Airport, Kerala. At least 19 people killed, including two pilots and 17 Passengers.

As 2020 is coming to end in few days, we all were hoping that the coming year may give some relaxation form what we experienced in 2020. But, the recent discovery of new strain of Corona in UK had again made the entire world in shock. No doubt, this was a startling news which 2020 gave before passing by.

Let’s pray from the almighty that the coming year should bring life as usual. As the risk the current pandemic is not yet over, let’s take enough precaution and avoid unnecessary adventure. Stay safe, stay healthy…

 – Ashish Kumar

COVID 19 Deaths so far…


Corona virus has made life to stand still. Although unlock phase has started in many parts of the country and the world with relaxation in restrictions. This virus has changed the way of living and it is unlikely to get back to normal life soon. As per the recent report published by Mckinsey, it is very unlikely to end before end of 2021, with herd immunity, perhaps being the solution. One can download the said report below:

mckinsey-Full Article

Looking at the serious impact on normal life due to COVID, it had changed a lot. Work from home has become a normal way to continue your job. Companies are coming up with new and innovative ways to increase the efficiency and productivity while concerning the employee safety as well. Needless to mention, the total no of cases had crossed 33 million worldwide and total no of deaths had crossed 1 million. United States, India and Brazil tops the list in terms of no cases whereas United States, Brazil and India tops the list in terms of no deaths. The total no of deaths in India is inching towards 100,000.

One study reveals that India can reduce no of deaths to much extent if people wears face mask and take other precautions. This study is conducted by United States-based Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. Let’s look at the estimated no of deaths in India by December 1, 2020 in three scenarios: Worst case, Most Likely and Best Case.

Worst Case Scenario

    • Lockdown restrictions continue to ease up and mask usage remains at current levels.
    • No of deaths in India by December 1, 2020: 4,92,380

Most Likely Scenario

    • Mask usage remains at current levels; six-week, state-level lockdowns are re-imposed if daily death rate exceeds 8 per million population in that state
    • No of deaths in India by December 1, 2020: 4,45,265

Best Case Scenario

    • Face mask usage rapidly increases to 95% starting now; six-week, state-level lockdowns are re-imposed if daily death rate exceeds 8 per million population in that state.
    • No of deaths in India by December 1, 2020: 2,91,145

Looking at the estimated deaths figures as pointed out by the study, it is important to think on the precautions that people are taking currently. There are many who are taking the things lightly or better to say, “they have taken it for granted”. One can easily find people without masks and assembling them on the streets, increasing the risk of spread. As per the IHME study, even in best case, approx. 3 lakhs people may die due to COVID by 1st December 2020 and 5 lakhs deaths in worst case scenario. This is an estimation and the correctness of this cannot be judged at this moment. But, given the present condition, the numbers are quite alarming and startling.

Needless to say, the total no of tests conducted in India so far is around 7.31 crores (1 Crore = 10 million) and tests per million is around 53,000. The total population of India stands around 138 crores, meaning less than 10% of the country’s population have been tested so far. It is obvious that we may see increase in number of new cases. Apart from all the negatives, it is also important to mention that people recovered from Corona so far in India is more than 5 million. But this doesn’t mean that Indians should stop taking enough precautions.

Many famous personalities including Amitabh Bachchan, Amit Shah, Manish Sisodiya, Shiv Raj Singh Chauhan etc tested positive for Corona virus but luckily recovered and few lost their lives. No doubt, India has a good recovery rate compared with other countries, but some of the famous personalities lost their lives. Let’s have a quick look on some of the famous Indian personalities who lost their lives from Corona Virus.

Pranab Mukherjee PC: Google

Pranab Mukherjee: Pranab Mukherjee, the former President (2012-17) lost the long battle from Corona and breath his last on 31st August 2020. He was a legendary and stalwart politician from Congress party. He was and is praised by his opponents for his humble and polite behaviour and loved by every Indians. He was popularly called “Pranab Da” and was conferred with Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award of India. Apart from being a politician, he was a writer as well and has written many books which includes Beyond Survival: Emerging Dimensions of Indian Economy, Challenges Before the Nation: Saga of Struggle and Sacrifice, Thoughts and Reflections etc.

 

Suresh Angadi PC: Google

Suresh Angadi: He was a member of Lok Sabha since 2004 from Belagavi constituency and had never lost an election. He was serving as a Minister of State for Railways in the present Narendra Modi government. He was a popular face from Karnataka. He died on 23rd September 2020 due to COVID.

S P Balasubrahmanyam PC: Google

S. P Balasubrahmanyam: Noted playback singer S.P. Balasubrahmanyam lost the battle from COVID at the age of 74 and breath his last on 25th September 2020. He sung many songs in many languages including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, to name a few. He was a well known singer and a household name in India for his famous songs.

Chetan Chauhan PC: Google

Chetan Chauhan: Cricketer turned politician; Chetan Chauhan was serving as a minister in Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath’s government. He was a famous international cricketer during 1969-81. He was elected to Lok Sabha twice in 1991 and 1998 respectively and UP Vidhan Sabha in 2017. Chetan Chauhan was the first Test cricketer to finish his Test career with over 2000 runs but without a century. He was tested positive for COVID on 12th July 2020 and breath his last on 16th August 2020. He was 73.

Raghuvansh Prasad Singh PC: Google

Raghuvansh Prasad Singh: Popularly known as “Raghuvansh Babu”, he was a well known politician from Bihar and also served as a Union Minister under Manmohan Singh government. He was long associated with RJD (Rashtriya Janata Dal). He lost his life due to COVID on 13th September 2020.

 

Rahat Indori PC: Google

Rahat Indori: Noted Lyricist and poet Rahat Indori died due to COVID on 11th August 2020. He was a well-known Shayar, ghazal writer and wrote many songs in Hindi movies as well. Some of the notable movies include Munnabhai MBBS, Hamesha, Kareeb, Mission Kashmir etc.

 

 

Hari Vasudevan PC: Google

Hari Vasudevan: Hari Vasudevan was a famous historian and writer who died on 10th May 2020 due to COVID, at the age of 68. He was a noted historian for his work on history of Russia and Europe and India-Russia relations. He completed his PhD studies from University of Cambridge.

 

 

As more than 1 million worldwide deaths and approx 0.1 million deaths in India, one should take enough safety and precautions.  Let’s stay safe, take enough precaution to combat spread of Corona as “Life is precious”

– Ashish Kumar