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Bringing Indoor Plumbing to India


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Bringing Indoor Plumbing to India

  1. 1. Running Head: INDOOR PLUMBING IN INDIA 1 Bringing Indoor Plumbing to India Kelsey Nicole Mcclanahan Athens State University April 19th, 2015
  2. 2. 2 Abstract Fifty-four percent of the population in India lacks access to indoor plumbing. The lack of accessibility to indoor plumbing to more than half of the population can lead to bad hygiene, disease, violence, and even death. Bringing indoor plumbing to India is surrounded by many legal issues such as foreign ownership, property rights, and the government. One issue being, the need for the government to regularly evaluate whether restrictive provisions can be loosened while continuing measures against abuse of tax benefits (Mathias, 2003, p. 46-47). Also, there are many tax issues surrounding outsourcing because the tax law is not clear on whether transfer of employees, customer contracts, and receivables would affect the new subsidiaries pleasure on the tax holiday (Mathias, 2003, p.46-47). Labor brings challenges such as wages, availability, and education level. Cultural differences such as gender, language, power, electricity, and their attitude towards cleanliness can make conducting business in India demanding.
  3. 3. 3 Bringing Indoor Plumbing to India The Sulabh International and Shramik Sanitation Organization founded by Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, started sanitation movements in 2015 to solve the problem of the lack of indoor plumbing in India. A civilian of India, Namita Banka, began manufacturing bio-digester toilets for railways and private homes at the price of two-hundred to four-hundred dollars each. (Kass, 2014, p.1). Jason Kass tells Namita Banka’s story of starting out as a saleswoman in a jewelry shop with no indoor plumbing to an entrepreneur in manufacturing bio-digester toilets, “which uses a cocktail of bacteria to convert the waste into methane and carbon dioxide through an anaerobic digestion process” (Kass, 2014). Would it be best to expand this manufacturing business with Namita Banka or The Sulabh International and Shramik Sanitation Organization? Or, would it be better to start a new, different manufacturing company that specializes in indoor plumbing? Bringing indoor plumbing to India faces many challenges. Cultural differences like power and electricity, attitude towards cleanliness, gender, religion, and language may cause controversy. Labor and legal issues may also bring provocations such as wages, availability, education level, property rights, and foreign ownership. Cultural, Labor, and Legal Issues India is located in South Asia with a population of 1,252,139,596 (World Bank Group, 2015). According to the Country Reports India (2015), “There are fourteen official languages in India, the primary language being Hindi which accounts for approximately forty- one percent of the population’s spoken tongue.” (pg.1). The currency of India is the Rupee which is equivalent to 0.016073 United States dollars (X-rates, 2015). The President of India is Pranab Makherjee since July 25th, 2012, the Vice President is Hamid Ansari since August 11th, 2007, and the Prime Minister is Narendra Modi since May 20th, 2014. According to Country Reports
  4. 4. 4 India (2015), “The prime minister has promised to streamline bureaucratic procedures and focus on the much needed improvements in infrastructure” (p.3). According to Country Reports India (2015), India’s government is a Federal Republic called the Republic of India. The lack of vaccination is a serious health problem among rural Indian children (Deininger, Klaus, Jin, Songqing, & Nagarajan, Hari, 2013). Cultural issues such as gender, religion, language, power, electricity, and attitude towards cleanliness can cause difficulty when starting a new business in India. Labor and legal issues such as wages, availability, education level, property rights, and foreign ownership will cause problems in bringing indoor plumbing to India. Gender discrimination Discrimination can be defined as a systematic gap in rewards to factors of production that is due to easily recognizable and economically irrelevant group characteristics such as skin color or gender (Deininger, Klaus, Jin, Songqing, & Nagarajan, Hari, 2013). Gender discrimination against females is all too familiar in India. Many states in India would rather incur additional expenses on males, for educational purposes, than for females. Gender discrimination can lead to severe growth stunting. Gender discrimination is most prevalent in northern India (Deininger, Klaus, Jin, Songqing, & Nagarajan, Hari, 2013). Women are seen as secondary in status in the household and workplace. This significantly affects women’s health, financial status, political involvement, and education. Women are commonly married young, quickly become mothers, and are then burdened by strict domestic and financial responsibilities (Deininger, Klaus, Jin, Songqing, & Nagarajan, Hari, 2013). They are commonly malnourished since women typically are the last member of a
  5. 5. 5 household to eat and the last to receive medical attention. Only fifty four percent of Indian women are literate as compared to seventy six percent of men (Deininger, Klaus, Jin, Songqing, & Nagarajan, Hari, 2013). Women receive little schooling, and suffer from unfair and biased inheritance and divorce laws. These laws prevent women from accumulating substantial financial assets, making it difficult for women to establish their own security and autonomy. Religion. There are 6 different religions commonly practiced in India: Hinduism, Muslim (Islam), Christian, Sikh, Buddhism, and Jains. Hindu religion is based on the concept that human and animal spirits come back to earth to live many times in different forms. The Hindus believe that a soul moves up and down hierarchy on the basis of behavior (Hasan, 2010). Consistent with Hinduism, a person is born into the higher class because they must have performed moral actions in their past life whereas a person is born into poverty and shame because of misdeeds in their past life (Hasan, 2010). Central to Hinduism are the concepts of reincarnation, the caste system, merging with Brahman, finding morality, and reaching Nirvana; which is the peaceful escape from the cycle of reincarnation (Hasan, 2010). According to Hinduism the paths to salvation include rituals, devotion, realization of reality and self-reflection. If the he or she follows these paths, salvation can be achieved (Hasan, 2010). Islam teaches the importance of both belief and practice and that one is insufficient without the other. The following six beliefs are those that are commonly held by Muslims, as laid out in the Quran and hadith. (Hasan, 2010)
  6. 6. 6 1. Belief in the Oneness of God: Muslims believe that God is the creator of all things, and that God is all-powerful and all-knowing. God has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life (Hasan, 2010). 2. Belief in the Angels of God: Muslims believe in angels, unseen beings who worship God and carry out God's orders throughout the universe (Hasan, 2010). The angel Gabriel brought the divine revelation to the prophets (Hasan, 2010). 3. Belief in the Books of God: Muslims believe that God revealed holy books or scriptures to a number of God's messengers (Hasan, 2010). According to Hasan 2010, these include the Quran (given to Muhammad), the Torah (given to Moses), the Gospel (given to Jesus), the Psalms (given to David), and the Scrolls (given to Abraham) (p. 945). Muslims believe that these earlier scriptures in their original form were divinely revealed, but that only the Quran remains as it was first revealed to the prophet Muhammad (Hasan, 2010). 4. Belief in the Prophets or Messengers of God: Muslims believe that God's guidance has been revealed to humankind through especially appointed messengers, or prophets, throughout history, beginning with the first man, Adam (Hasan, 2010). Twenty-five of these prophets are mentioned by name in the Quran, including Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. Muslims believe that Muhammad is the last in this line of prophets, sent for all humankind with the message of Islam (Hasan, 2010). 5. Belief in the Day of Judgment: Muslims believe that on the Day of Judgment, humans will be judged for their actions from this life (Hasan, 2010). Those who followed God's guidance will be rewarded with paradise and those who rejected God's guidance will be punished with hell (Hasan, 2010).
  7. 7. 7 6. Belief in the Divine Decree: This article of faith addresses the question of God's will (Hasan, 2010). It can be expressed as the belief that everything is governed by divine decree, that is that whatever happens in one's life is predetermined (Hasan, 2010). Also, believers should respond to the good or bad that occurs to them with thankfulness or patience (Hasan, 2010). Roles of women in Islamic religion 1. Marriage: Since men and women are not allowed to date, parents arrange marriages in some Muslim countries (Hasan, 2010). However, the final choice is decided with the potential couple. In Western countries, potential partners usually meet in a family setting or a public place, and frequently choose their partner on their own, although they still pursue the approval of their parents (Hasan, 2010). According to Hasan (2010), “marriage in Islam is a mutual agreement between a man and a woman to live together according to the teachings of Islam as well as to raise their children in their faith” (p. 950). As stated by Islamic law, the man is wholly responsible for taking care of his wife's and children's financial requirements. Although Islam tolerates men to practice polygamy, it is an exception, not the norm, and states that a man must treat his wives equally (Hasan, 2010). Since the Quran says that no man can treat more than one wife equally, many Muslims consider polygamy prohibited (Hasan, 2010). 2. Family Life: The family is considered extremely important in Islam. The Muslim family encompasses the complete group of ancestral relationships, including in-laws (Hasan, 2010). Responsibilities to parents and other relatives are strongly stressed. Extended family frequently live in the same house or neighborhood, and even when they do not, the family is fairly close emotionally (Hasan, 2010).
  8. 8. 8 3. Public Life: Muslim women are allowed to contribute in all activities of life as long as their modesty is not affected (Hasan, 2010). Muslim women have the right to be educated, work outside the home, and contribute to society (Hasan, 2010). Because of the influence of mothers on their children, it comes to be even more important that women be educated (Hasan, 2010). 4. Modesty: Both men and women are expected to disclose themselves in a way that emphasizes modesty. Hijab or covering, for example, is for the purpose that women's sexuality will not become a cause of temptation or arrive into their relations with men (Hasan, 2010). Many Muslim women view hijab as saving them from the male scrutiny (Hasan, 2010). Men are also required to conduct themselves modestly as well as to dress modestly. The dressing of modesty differs for women and men from culture to culture, and according to individual beliefs (Hasan, 2010). 5. Relations between Menand Women: Islam requires that Muslim men and women perceive modesty in their relations. Muslim men and women should communicate as brothers and sisters, and avoid any contact that might lead to sexual or romantic activity prior to marriage (Hasan, 2010). Although this prohibition is often affected by Westernized ideas, Islam requires that both men and women remain pure until marriage (Hasan, 2010). Labor and Education Agriculture is the largest workforce provider in India. It also contributes to a significant amount of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However, because of the importance of agriculture, non-agricultural jobs such as: marketing, advertising, manufacturing, healthcare, steel, engineering, education, finance/insurance, petroleum/energy, and much more, are
  9. 9. 9 continuously falling and failing because of unemployment. The immense challenge for the creation of jobs is the quality of the jobs and the quality of the skills exemplified by job seekers (Mehrotra, 2014). However, the most important force holding India back is lack of education. Between 2009 and 2010, people in the labor force, between the ages of fifteen and fifty-nine, around twenty-nine percent were illiterate (Mehrotra, 2014). That is, about one- hundred and twenty-eight million of the four-hundred and thirty-one million in the labor force are illiterate. Also, around seventy percent of the Indian labor force has had less than a secondary education (classes nine through twelve) (Mehrotra, 2014). Half of India’ population is below the age of twenty-five and nearly two-thirds is below the age of thirty- five (Mehrotra, 2014). The lack of literacy, education, and labor skills creates difficulty in starting and maintaining a business with India. Vocational education training (VET) consists of four segments of skills development and is important to employment in India. The first segment of VET is only offered at the higher secondary education level. Barely two percent of the total work force in India has officially developed VET skills (Mehrotra, 2014). The second segment consists of the Ministry of Labor & the Ministry of Human Resources and Development running industrial training institutions (ITIs) in the public sector, which lets children who have completed eight years of education, enter. The third segment was developed in 2010 when the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) created hundreds of new private providers around the country (Mehrotra, 2014). NSDC promoted, for the first time in India’s VET history, vocational training provisions on a for-profit-based business model (Mehrotra, 2014). The fourth segment is in-firm, provided by medium and large enterprises in-house.
  10. 10. 10 The Ministry of Labor runs the apprenticeships training scheme (ATS) which provides practical on-the-job training for two categories of youth (Mehrotra, 2014). First, those who have graduated from the ITIs after a two to four year course, as well as students who have received no training from ITI. The ATS has been government-driven and is reliant upon the government bureaucracy to identify enterprises that are eligible and to help determine the number of apprentices they are qualified to accept; because there is a fixed ratio for the number of apprentices to the number of regular workers in the enterprise (Mehrotra, 2014). This kind of inflexibility is counter-productive and a deterrent for the people who offer apprenticeships. The apprenticeships act needs to be drastically re-written if the needs of enterprises are to be made (Mehrotra, 2014). Legality Topics The legal environment and government of India is very strategic and complicated. The government is federal but, the judiciary branch is unified (Brody, R.G., Miller, M.J, Rolleri, M.J., 2004). Also, there is a three tier structure for the courts. First, each administrative district (there are over six-hundred districts) is regulated by a District Court and second, each state is regulated by a High Court. There are twenty-one High Courts in India since some states share the same High Court (World Bank Group, 2015). The characteristics of the High Court’s differ depending on the state. For example, the High Court of the State of Sikkim has only two judges, whereas the High Court for the State of Uttar Pradesh has around one-hundred judges (World Bank Group, 2015). Third, the Supreme Court of India, located in New Delhi, has about twenty- five judges who have varying strengths and divisions of labor.
  11. 11. 11 Foreign Direct Investment Founded in 1991, the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) vastly encourages foreign investment. From 1991 to 2007, the FDI accumulated 54,628 million United States dollars from foreign investment. The top investing countries are Mauritius, USA, Japan, Netherlands, U.K., Germany, Singapore, France, Republic of Korea and Switzerland (World Bank Group, 2015). The top sectors attracting the highest FDI are telecommunications, services (financial and non- financial), transportation industry, fuels, chemicals, food processing, electrical equipment, drugs and pharmaceuticals, cement and gypsum products and metallurgical industries (Brody, R.G., Miller, M.J, Rolleri, M.J., 2004). Gypsum is used to make plaster, paint, chalk, glass, and fertilizer. Metallurgical industries use the technique of working or heating metals to give them certain shapes or properties. The government policy for the FDI states that unless a sector is prohibited (for example, retail trading, atomic energy, and agriculture) or the investment is sought beyond the sectorial cap or limit specified the FDI does not require prior government approval (Brody, R.G., Miller, M.J, Rolleri, M.J., 2004). But, it does require a post facto notice to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). An example of a cap or limit in the telecommunications department the FDI permits up to forty-nine percent and with government permission it can go up to seventy-four percent, but not beyond. Special economic zones. Special Economic Zones (SEZ) are recognized as fast growing areas which can boost manufacturing and create new job opportunities. Under the Special Economic Zones Act of 2005, there are many incentives offered to develop SEZs as well as incentives and facilities made
  12. 12. 12 available to people setting up businesses or units in a SEZ (Brody, R.G., Miller, M.J, Rolleri, M.J., 2004). FDI up to one hundred percent is allowed through the automatic route for all manufacturing activities in SEZs, except for the following: 1. Arms and ammunition, explosives and allied items of defense equipment, defense aircraft and warships 2. Atomic substances 3. Narcotics and psychotropic substances and hazardous chemicals 4. Distillation or brewing of alcoholic drinks 5. Cigarettes/cigars and manufactured tobacco substitutes 6. Sectorial norm as notified by the government shall apply to foreign investment in services. Incorporation Formalities To become a corporation in India a business will register with the Registrar of Companies (ROC) (Brody, R.G., Miller, M.J, Rolleri, M.J., 2004). The ROC is a legal authority formed under the Companies Act and has several offices all over India. For incorporation, the following steps are involved: 1. Selection of the name of the company and getting it approved from the ROC. Upon scrutiny and satisfaction, the ROC issues a name availability letter. 2. After the name is approved, Memorandum and Articles of Association (MoA) are drafted. 3. MoA along with other necessary documents are filed with the ROC. The filing fees depend on the authorized share capital of the Company.
  13. 13. 13 4. After scrutinizing the documents, the ROC issues a Certificate of Incorporation. A company can usually be incorporated within fifteen to twenty days. The formalities differ depending on if the company is private or public. For a private company, they can start their business from the date of Certificate of Incorporation (Brody, R.G., Miller, M.J, Rolleri, M.J., 2004). Public companies are required to file certain additional documents and obtain a Certificate of Commencement of Business (Brody, R.G., Miller, M.J, Rolleri, M.J., 2004). Conclusion Bringing indoor plumbing to India faces many challenges. Cultural differences like power and electricity, attitude towards cleanliness, gender, religion, and language may cause controversy. Labor and legal issues may also bring provocations such as wages, availability, education level, property rights, and foreign ownership. The paper focused on cultural differences such as gender discrimination and religion; as well as labor and legal issues such as education, government, property rights, and foreign ownership. Gender discrimination, religion, education, and India’s government affect bringing a business into India tremendously. Although there are many challenges for bringing indoor plumbing to India, there is also an enormous need. Fifty-four percent of the population in India lacks access to indoor plumbing. The Sulabh International and Shramik Sanitation Organization founded by Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, started sanitation movements in 2015 to solve the problem of the lack of indoor plumbing in India. Also, the newly appointed Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, promised to streamline bureaucratic procedures and focus on the much needed improvements in infrastructure. Bringing indoor plumbing to India would change the lives of many people. The lack of accessibility to indoor
  14. 14. 14 plumbing to more than half of the population can lead to bad hygiene, disease, violence, and even death.
  15. 15. 15 References Bijapurkar, Rama, Shukla, Rajesh (2015). Bridging the income gap. Business Today. 23 (26), 164-168. Brody, R.G., Miller, M.J, Rolleri, M.J. (2004). Outsourcing income tax returns to India: legal, ethical, and professional issues. CPA Journal. 74 (12), 12-14. Chowdhury, S.R. (2014). Skill mismatches in India labor market: Policy priorities & challenges ahead. Indian Journal of Industrial Relations. 49 (3), 422-438. Country Reports (2015). India. D., Klaus, J., Songqing, & N., Hari (2013). Wage Discrimination in India’s Informal Labor Markets: Exploring the Impact of Caste and Gender. Review of Development Economies. 17 (1), 130-147. Hasan, Zoha (2010). Gender, Religion, and Democratic Politics in India. Third World Quarterly. 31 (6), 939-954. Kass, Jason (2014). Opinion Asia: Toilets can save lives. The Wall Street Journal Online. Kumar, Aishwarj (2013). A Marginalized Voice in the History of Hindu. Modern Asian Studies. 47 (5), 1706-1746. Mathias, Stephen (2003). Joint outsourcing ventures: Who gets what? 7 (10), 46-47. Mehrotra, Santosh (2014). Quantity & quality: policies to meet the twin challenges of employability in Indian labor market. Indian Journal of Industrial Relations. 49 (3), 367- 377.
  16. 16. 16 Saha, Amitava (2013). An assessment of gender discrimination in household expenditure on education in India. Oxford Development Studies. 41 (2) 220-238. doi: 10.1080/13600818.2013.786694 S., Anupama, J., Tooraj (2012). Diversity in unity: an empirical analysis of electricity deregulation in Indian states. Energy Journal. 33 (1), 83-130. doi: 10.5547/ISSN0195- 6574-EJ World Bank Group (2015). Doing Business in India. X-Rates (2015). Indian Rupee Rates Table. http://www.x-
  17. 17. 17 Appendix Table 1 Key economic indicators 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Real GDP (% change) 6.6 5.1 6.9 7.4 7.9 Nominal GDP (US$ billions) 1,892.8 1,869.4 1,936.6 2,073.3 2,243.9 Nominal GDP Per Capita (US$) 1,550 1,512 1,546 1,636 1,750 Consumer Price Index (% change) 9.6 9.7 10.1 7.2 5.0 Exchange Rate (US$) 53.27 54.78 61.90 63.33 63.56 (Country Reports, 2015).
  18. 18. 18 (High Commission of India, 2015)
  19. 19. 19