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.

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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

Understanding Insurance Penetration


Two of the most important and mostly used terminologies in insurance industry throughout the globe are insurance penetration and insurance density. In fact, these two are also used to compare the insurance industry of various countries and plays an important parameter for judging the insurance growth in any economy. In this post, I will discuss about Insurance penetration and will try to a make readers understand about the same and will be discussing Insurance density in a separate post.

Insurance Penetration: Technically, Insurance Penetration is the ration of premium underwritten in a particular year to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country and is expressed as a percentage. In other words, insurance penetration is the percentage contribution of the insurance sector to the GDP of the country. Let us understand with an example. Suppose the total premium underwritten in a Financial Year in a country is INR 1,00,00,000 and the GDP of the country of that Financial Year is INR 50,00,00,000. To calculate the insurance penetration, divide the premium underwritten to the GDP which means, (1,00,00,000/50,00,00,000 = 0.02) and expressing this as a percentage will come up to 2% (0.02*100 = 2). This means, the insurance penetration is 2%. Insurance Penetration is widely used and you will encounter this jargon in almost every insurance journals, reports, research papers etc.

As per the latest Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) Annual Report 2017-18, the insurance penetration of India in 2017 was 3.69% which is a slight increase from 3.49% in 2016. Further, the insurance penetration can be segregated in to life insurance and non-life insurance. As per IRDAI Annual Report, the life insurance penetration and non-life insurance penetration of India in 2017-18 were 2.76% and 0.93% respectively.  For 2016-17, life insurance penetration and non-life insurance penetration were 2.72% and 0.72% respectively. This indicates a marginal increase in life insurance and non-life insurance penetration from 2016-17 to 2017-18. Let’s look at the insurance penetration of some of the countries which is given in the following table:

Insurance Penetration of selected countries (in %)
Country Year 2016 Year 2017
Life Non-Life Total Life Non-Life Total
Taiwan 16.65 3.34 19.99 17.89 3.42 21.32
Hong Kong 16.2 1.41 17.6 14.58 3.36 17.94
South Africa 11.52 2.74 14.27 11.02 2.74 13.75
South Korea 7.37 4.72 12.08 6.56 5 11.57
United Kingdom (UK) 7.58 2.58 10.16 7.22 2.36 9.58
France 6.06 3.17 9.23 5.77 3.18 8.95
Japan 7.15 2.37 9.51 6.26 2.34 8.59
Switzerland 4.72 4.12 8.85 4.41 4.12 8.53
Singapore 5.48 1.67 7.15 6.64 1.58 8.23
India 2.72 0.77 3.49 2.76 0.93 3.69
World 3.47 2.81 6.28 3.33 2.8 6.13
Source: Swiss Re, Sigma volumes, 3/2017and 3/2018

A closure look at the insurance penetration reveals that India is way behind the world average insurance penetration.  Taiwan is the country with highest insurance penetration of 21.32 % followed by Hong Kong and South Africa having insurance penetration of 17.94% and 13.75% respectively. Also, the above table reveals that Switzerland is the country where the gap between life and non-life insurance penetration is minimum. In fact, Switzerland has a proper distribution of life and non-life insurance business and both life and non-life insurance has almost equal contribution to the country’s GDP.

Insurance penetration is an indicator of growth of insurance sector for any economy in a particular year. It is widely used as a comparative tool to measure and compare insurance industry among various countries and hence knowing and understanding of insurance penetration is beneficial for all of us. Hope I was able to make you understand this jargon in simple terms. 🙂

Ashish Kumar

The Glory of Indian Republic


26th January is one of the important day in Indian history. It is on this day in 1950, the Indian constitution came into force. This day is celebrated as Republic Day across the country.  It is one of the two most important national festivals along with Independence Day which is being observed on 15th August. Independence Day as the name suggests is the day when India got freedom from British regime and Republic Day is the one which made India to adopt its own constitution.

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Although the history of Indian Constitution goes back. On 26 November 1949, the constitution was adopted by the Constituent Assembly and came into effect on 26 January 1950. Dr B.R Ambedkar was pioneer in drafting the Indian Constitution and was also the Chairman of Constitution Drafting Committee.  Dr Ambedkar was also the first Law Minister of independent India. His contribution is incomparable.

The President of India hoist the national flag at Rajpath, New Delhi. Every year India is hosting head of state or government of another country as a chief guest in Republic Day celebrations. In 2015 , India hosted Barack Obama, the then US President.  Last year it was French President Francois Hollande. This year UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan will be the chief guest.

I wish all of you a very happy Republic Day. Do good to the nation as people only make or break the country. Contribute to the betterment of the nation so that India should reach new heights in every field. Enjoy, be cheerful and be happy. 🙂 Once again, a very happy Republic Day…

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– Ashish Kumar