It requires Courage to commit SUICIDE…


Death is the ultimate truth as it is one of the rarest events which is certain to happen in life. He who are born will surely die as nobody is immortal. There can be many reasons of death like malnutrition, hunger, disease, injury or accidents, death due to natural calamity etc. One of the other reasons for death is suicide. Suicidal death is a serious concern which is rarely discussed and debated. Death is certain but committing suicide is right or wrong? This question is debatable and is subjective in nature. Needless to say, Suicide is a crime and this crime is not punishable unlike others. Suicidal deaths happen across the globe. In this article, I have tried to cover this burning topic of suicidal deaths.

India is a large country both in terms of area and population and the country had faced and is facing many issues. The question arises whether suicide is an issue? Looking at the suicidal death figures, one can get the glimpse of it. The statistics mentioned in this article is based on the Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India (ADSI) 2015 report published by National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India. In fact, suicidal deaths in India is more than 130,000 per year as per the NCRB data. Let’s look at the suicidal deaths from 2011 to 2015 as mentioned in below table:

Table 1: Suicidal deaths in India
Year Suicidal Deaths
2011 135,585
2012 135,445
2013 134,799
2014 131,666
2015 133,623
Source: Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India (ADSI) 2015 published by National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India

As it can be inferred from the five years data, suicidal deaths in India is more than 130,000 per year. In fact, the average suicidal deaths for the above mentioned five years comes out to be 134,223 per year. Further, calculating the average suicide in a day from 2011-2015, it comes out to be 368 (134,223 / 365 = 368). It means 368 people are committing suicide in India on daily basis. Further, 15 people commit suicide per hour (368/24 = 15).

Breaking it further, incidence of suicidal deaths is not distributed equally throughout the country. Some states have large number of suicidal deaths and some have few. In fact, it is largely concentrated in few states. In the year 2015, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal were top 3 three states in suicides as mentioned in below table:

Table 2: Top 10 states in suicidal deaths in the year 2015
State Suicidal Deaths Percentage Share
Maharashtra 16970 12.7%
Tamil Nadu 15777 11.8%
West Bengal 14602 10.9%
Karnataka 10786 8.1%
Madhya Pradesh 10293 7.7%
Telangana 10140 7.6%
Kerala 7692 5.8%
Gujarat 7246 5.4%
Chhattisgarh 7118 5.3%
Andhra Pradesh 6226 4.7%
Source: Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India (ADSI) 2015 published by National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India

Maharashtra accounted for 12.7% of suicidal deaths in India in 2015 followed by Tamil Nadu and West Bengal with 11.8% and 10.9% of suicidal deaths respectively. Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh accounted for 8.1% and 7.7% of suicidal deaths respectively. Combining these top five states, they accounted for 51.2% of suicides reported in the country, in 2015, and rest of India reported 48.8% suicides. It is important to note from the above table that Uttar Pradesh which is the most populated state (17% of country’s population) in the country is not in the top 10 list. In fact, Uttar Pradesh had reported comparatively lower percentage share in terms of suicidal deaths, accounting for only 2.9% of the total suicidal deaths in the country in 2015.

Apart from the top states with suicides, let us have a look at the major cities in India where suicidal deaths are in ample amount which is mentioned in below table:

                                Table 3: Top 10 Major cities with suicidal deaths in the year 2015
City Suicidal Deaths
Chennai 2274
Bengaluru 1855
Delhi 1553
Mumbai 1122
Pune 873
Ahmedabad 869
Hyderabad 728
Surat 663
Indore 528
Nagpur 483
Source: Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India (ADSI) 2015 published by National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India

Chennai heads the top of the list when it comes to suicides in major cities followed by Bengaluru and Delhi. There were 2274 suicides in Chennai in 2015 followed by Bengaluru and Delhi having 1855 and 1553 suicides respectively in 2015. As we know, New Delhi is the capital and Mumbai is the financial capital of India, Chennai can be said as the “Suicidal Capital”, on a lighter note. All the major cities like Chennai, Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai etc have reported more than 1000 suicides in 2015.

The Big Picture

One important characteristic of human being is courage and courage is required many times in life. There are many adventures which people like to do which requires courage. Courage is required in taking tough decisions and tackling unwilling situation. In fact, it is often required to take daring and courageous decisions in life.

When a soldier is fighting with the enemy, he must be fearless and courageous to defend his nation. When a student disqualifies in his exams or job recruitment, he should fight back with proper preparations which requires strong determination. Imagine a situation where nothing is in your support (financial, moral or familiar) and you are determined to pursue your goals going against everyone, taking such kind of decision require immense courage. When farmers bow seeds in rainy season, courage is required. There are many famous personalities across the globe who have proved themselves with their strong determination and courageous decisions.

Having said that, what makes people to commit suicide. What makes them to take such decision? It can be poverty, love affairs, unemployment, hunger, financial problem etc. As per the ADSI report, 27.6% of suicidal deaths in 2015 happened due to family problems. The other causes of suicides are mentioned in below table:

Table 4: Percentage share of Various causes of Suicides during 2015
Causes Percentage Share
Family Problems 27.60%
Illness 15.00%
Causes not known 12.10%
Marriage related issues 4.80%
Love affairs 3.00%
Bankruptcy or indebtedness 3.30%
Drug Abuse/Addiction 2.70%
Unemployment 2.00%
Failure in Examination 2.00%
Other Causes (Poverty, Physical abuse, Professional/Career problem etc) 26.20%
Source: Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India (ADSI) 2015 published by National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India

From the above table, it can be inferred that family problem was the major cause of suicides in 2015. Tamil Nadu recorded the highest number of suicides due to family problems. There were 7377 suicides due to family problems in Tamil Nadu in the year 2015. The second most cause of suicide is illness accounting for 15% of total suicides. Unemployment and failure in exam accounts for 2% separately.

From the statistics discussed above on number of suicides and causes of suicides, suicide is a major concern, but it is rarely discussed and debated. There are many problems one faces in his life but ending own life solves the problem?

Committing suicide requires enormous courage. Every decision in life requires some courage but committing suicide requires the most. Ending one’s own life is not feasible and suicide cannot be the solution of any problem. Think the other way around. If someone has the courage to decide to commit suicide, why can’t that courage should be used to solve the problem? There are some points which I would like to raise…

  • Committing suicide requires courage. Why that courage is not used to solve the problems which compels the person to commit suicide?
  • Ending one’s life and leaving the family members alone is good?
  • Committing suicide is the toughest decision and if someone can take such decision which requires enormous courage, that courage should be used to tackle the situation which compelled the people to commit suicide.
  • The person who commits suicide leaves a forever pain to his near and dear ones. The person who commits suicide gets rid of the problem, but his family suffers for long. A void is created which is impossible to fill.
  • India, where 368 people and 15 people commit suicide on daily basis and hourly basis respectively, why this issue is not raised and what can be the solution to minimize the same?

What is your take on suicide? Is it justifiable to end own life or that courage should be utilized to solve the issue? While reading this article of mine, some of you may think that I am being philosophical by raising such query but frankly speaking, this is a concern which was in my mind for many years and hence thought of putting before you. In fact, I have raised this issue in one of my previous articles titled “Suicide – Right or wrong?”, the same can be read here.

Please share your views. Would be happy to have insights from all of you on this rarely discussed issue.

– Ashish Kumar

Happy Independence Day…



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This 15th August will mark the 72nd Independence Day in India. It is on this day way back in 1947 when India became free from British regime. Independence Day is one of the national festival celebrated across the country apart from Republic Day and Gandhi Jayanti which are observed on 26th January and 2nd October respectively.

Indian freedom struggle consists of sacrifice, martydom, motivation, learning and preserving the culture. There were several who sacrified their lives for the cause of nation. The first war of Independence was fought in 1857 which ignited the zeal to get rid of British regime and make India free from any colonial rule. The 90 years struggle and fight ultimately gave us independence on 15th August, 1947 which also came with massive communal riots across the country due to the bloodshed of partition which divided India into two separate nations; India and Pakistan. Many sons of mother India lost their lives to bring freedom and have our own way of living. This independent India which we see today is because their immense contribution and it is our duty to preserve it and pave the way for its betterment. What we do should do good to us and the nation as well. It should be in the national interest.

On this auspicious day, Prime Minister of India hoists the tricolor at Red Fort, New Delhi and addresses the nation. Since 2014, Mr. Narendra Modi is the Prime Minister and this will be his 6th Independence Day speech. It is also the first Independence Day celebration post scrapping Article 370 which gives special status to the state of Jammu & Kashmir. Remember, recently Article 370 of the Indian Constitution was scrapped by the President’s order and Parliament also passed the bill which got President’s consent to bifurcate Jammu & Kashmir into two Union Territories; Jammu & Kashmir (with Legislature) and Ladakh (without Legislature).

On this eve, I would like to wish all of you a very happy Independence Day. 🙂  Do good to yourself and make our country pride with your work and deeds. Stay united as there are many forces who are trying to disturb the situation post disruption of Article 370. So it’s up to us to keep calm and be patient enough in order to not to get carried away with fake news and rumours. Be united, a humble appeal to all of us. Once again, a very happy Independence day to all of you. Celebrate, enjoy the day and last but not the least, be happy always… 🙂 🙂

– Ashish Kumar

 

Happy Republic Day…


Indian Constitution is one of the finest in the world which came into effect from 26th January 1950. India, being the largest democracy of the world is a sovereign state and it’s Constitution has been praised worldwide.

Popularly known as the Republic Day, 26th January is one of the National festivals apart from Independence Day and Gandhi Jayanti, both of which are celebrated on 15th August and 2nd October respectively. Independence Day marks the celebration of India becoming independent from British regime way back on 15th August, 1947 while Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated as to remember Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi to mark his birth anniversary. He is also known as the Father of Nation.

On the eve of Republic Day, the President of India hoist the national flag and addresses the nation at Rajpath, New Delhi. Also Governor of different states hoist the national flag in the State capital. This day is celebrated proudly across the nation.

So on the eve of the Republic Day, I wish you a very happy Republic Day. Do good to yourself and to our nation as well. Let’s keep up the good spirit with our deeds and work in order to take India to next level. 🙂 Let’s always work to make India better and better so that our National flag i.e The Tricolor should keep flying proudly at the top. Become a contributor in nation building. Happy Republic Day.. Be happy… Stay blessed… 🤗

Ashish Kumar

About IRDAI


The insurance industry in India is regulated by Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), headquartered at Hyderabad. IRDAI was formed by an Act of Parliament in 1999. The IRDA Act, 1999 paved the way for the formation of IRDAI. The history goes back to the recommendations of Malhotra Committee where the need for a regulator for insurance sector was suggested. Being the regulator IRDAI carries various functions like:

  • Protecting policyholder’s interest.
  • Granting of license to insurers, brokers etc.
  • Renew, modify, suspend, and cancel the registration.
  • Promoting efficiency in the conduct of insurance business.
  • Regulating investment funds by insurance companies.
  • Regulating maintenance of margins of solvency etc.

Apart from Hyderabad where it is headquartered, the Authority also has office in New Delhi and Mumbai. The composition of Authority as defined in Section 4 of IRDA Act, 1999 consists of 10 members which comprise of the following:

  • A Chairman
  • Five whole time members
  • 4 part-time members.

All the members are appointed by Government of India.

IRDAI is the regulating all forms of insurance except pension funds and postal insurance. Pension fund is regulated by Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA). Postal insurance include Postal Life Insurance (PLI) and Rural Postal Life Insurance (RPLI).

One of the reform measures initiated by IRDAI for general insurance industry came in 2007 when general insurers were allowed to price the premium accordingly. Prior to that, premium pricing was decided by Tariff Advisory Committee (TAC). Hence this is also known detariffing where general insurers are now allowed to decide the price of the premium. General insurers are allowed to decide the premium price to all forms of insurance except motor third party liability where the premium price is decided by IRDAI.

IRDAI is also the promoter of the following organizations:

  • Institute of Insurance and Risk Management (IIRM), Hyderabad: IIRM Hyderabad was established jointly by IRDAI and Government of Telangana in 2002. The institute provides quality education in insurance, risk management, Financial services, Acturial Science etc. The institute provides 1 year International Post Graduate Diploma (IPGD) and two year full time masters i.e Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM). It is one of the rare institutes in the country providing MBA in insurance and related fields. The insurance course is accredited by Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), London and Insurance Institute of India (III), Mumbai. This is a good platform for those who wish to build their carrier in insurance.
  • Insurance Information Bureau of India (IIB): IIB was promoted by IRDAI in 2009 with the participation of stakeholders from insurance sector, with the objective of supporting the insurance industry with sector-level data to enable data based and scientific decision making including pricing and framing of business strategies.

This was a brief introduction about IRDAI and I hope it will be informative. I will be coming up with various other topics related to insurance from time to time. Stay tuned.

– Ashish Kumar

Insurance industry in India


 

Insurance is a part of financial services apart from banking, capital market, money market etc. Insurance is considered as a protection from events which results into financial loss. The insurance industry in India comprises of life insurance, general insurance, stand alone health insurance and reinsurance. The Indian insurance industry is guided by Insurance Act, 1938 which was amended from time to time, the latest amendment happened in 2015.

This post briefly gives an overview of insurance sector in India particularly discussing about the regulator, life insurance, general insurance, stand alone health insurance and reinsurance. The life insurance comprises of around 79% of the market, the rest 21% is occupied by general insurance. Of the general insurance, motor insurance has the highest market share of 44% followed by health insurance having market share of 29%, as per IRDAI Annual Report 2015-16. It is worth to mention that the insurance industry in India has showed a significant growth after it got opened for private sector in the year 2000. Since then, the industry is growing rapidly. In 2015, the reinsurance sector was allowed for foreign players which were solely dominated by General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC Re).  A small discussion about regulator, life insurance, stand alone health insurance and reinsurance is mentioned below.

Regulator:  Indian insurance industry is regulated by Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) which was formed by an Act of Parliament in 1999. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) Act was passed in 1999 leading to the formation of IRDAI. IRDAI is headquartered in Hyderabad and has offices in New Delhi and Mumbai. The regulator is responsible for carrying various activities like granting license to insurance companies, framing regulations which the insurers need to follow, protecting policyholder’s interest etc. Breach of IRDAI regulations can have serious implications resulting from penalty to cancellation of license of the insurance company.

Life Insurance: At present, there are 24 life insurers in India, of which, Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) is wholly owned by the Government of India. LIC was formed in September 1956 by an Act of Parliament known as LIC Act, 1956.  Some of the private life insurers include ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, HDFC Standard Life Insurance, SBI Life Insurance etc.

General Insurance: Non-life or general insurance comprises of all kinds of insurance except life. It has various segments comprising of motor insurance, health insurance, fire insurance, marine insurance, engineering insurance, aviation insurance, satellite insurance etc. There are 33 non-life insurers operating in India consisting of public and private insurers. The public insurers include the following:

  • The New India Assurance Co Ltd. (NIACL), headquartered at Mumbai.
  • National Insurance Co Ltd. (NICL), headquartered at Kolkata.
  • Oriental Insurance Co Ltd (OIICL), headquartered at New Delhi.
  • United India Insurance Co Ltd (UIICL), headquartered at Chennai.
  • Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (ECGC)
  • Agriculture Insurance Company of India (AIC)

ECGC and AIC are known as specialized insurers. Apart from above mentioned public sector companies, some of the private non-life insurers include ICICI Lombard, HDFC Ergo General Insurance, SBI General Insurance, IFFCO Tokio General Insurance, Tata AIG General Insurance etc.

Standalone Health Insurance: These are those companies which are solely carrying their business on health insurance. There are six stand alone health insurers like Apollo Munich Health Insurance, Star and Allied Health Insurance, Max Bupa Health Insurance, Cigna TTK Health Insurance, Religare Health Insurance and Aditya Birla Health Insurance. One of the ways to recognize the stand alone health insurers is that the stand alone health insurers will have the word “health insurance” in the name of the company as in the above mentioned six stand alone health insurers.

Reinsurance: General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC Re) is owned by the Government of India and is the national reinsurer which is headquartered at Mumbai. The reinsurance industry in India is now opened for foreign players to open their branch offices in after the Insurance Act, 1938 was amended in 2015. At present there are 9 foreign reinsurers who have opened their branch offices in India. They are mentioned below:

  • Swiss Re
  • Munich Re
  • Llyod’s India
  • Reinsurance Group f America (RGA)
  • Hannover Re
  • SCOR
  • XL Insurance Company
  • Axa France Vie
  • General Reinsurance AG

It is important to note that apart from GIC Re and the above mentioned foreign reinsurers, ITI Re is the first private Indian reinsurance company which got licensed by IRDAI. Hence the Indian reinsurers include GIC Re and ITI Re.

 

Apart from the above players, the insurance industry also comprises of various intermediaries and distribution channels like agents, brokers, Insurance Marketing Firms (IMF), Web Aggregators etc. which I will discuss in separate post.

One thing to be noted is that the insurers in India can take part in either life insurance or general insurance business and not both. This means that a life insurer cannot start their business of motor insurance, fire insurance etc and vice versa. Health insurance is the only insurance product which can be offered by both non-life and life insurers. Non-life insurers can sell separate health insurance policy while life insurers offer health insurance in the form of riders. Riders are the extra benefits which are covered by paying some extra premium. Example of riders include Accidental Death Benefit (ADB) rider, critical illness rider etc. Life  insurers cannot offer separate health insurance products.

– Ashish Kumar