Flanked by green cricket fields where he once played and a university from which he graduated, Arvind Vaghela tries not to notice the stream of students walking past. "I used to be like them, attending lectures and going out on the fields. But now I just hide my face," he said. \nThe reason for his shame is the broom in his hand. Despite a masters degree in economics from Gujarat University in Ahmedabad, the best job Vaghela, 24, could get was one done by generations of his family: roadsweeper. \n"I wanted to work in sales for a bank, but you needed to have your own vehicle. I come from a poor family, so how could I afford that? When my father died I was offered his job and I took it," he said. \nAs a Dalit, or untouchable, Vaghela's story is familiar in this sprawling west Indian city. Nearly 100 of its council sanitation workers have degrees in subjects ranging from computing to law, but cannot get better jobs because they are Dalits. \nTheir experience is part of an increasingly heated debate in India, where the government has announced that it will consider extending public-sector job quotas for people from the lowest castes to the private sector. \nIndustrialists, who insist private-sector jobs and promotions are earned on merit, say that this will make businesses inefficient and uncompetitive. \nRahul Bajaj, who chairs a large motorcycle manufacturer, wrote in the Times of India that public-sector job quotas had reduced the "effectiveness of government" because decisions were not made on the basis of ability. \nThis argument leaves Ahmedabad's roadsweeping graduates unimpressed. Most say that they have had to face discrimination or exploitation in the private sector. \n"I got a job with a firm of accountants and then had to present my qualifications. On one school certificate it mentioned my caste. \n"The next day I was told there had been a mistake -- I was not required any more," said Dalit sweeper Prakash Chauhan, 32, who has a a degree in commerce. \nChauhan stresses he is relatively well paid, at 4,000 rupees (US$87) a month, and his job is secure. \n"This is a job for life. But it was my father's life. Our parents had a dream that education would mean we would not have to do the jobs they did. It did not turn out that way," he said. \nDalits, the lowest caste, have endured centuries of discrimination and violence because of a social order that consigns them and their descendants to jobs nobody else wants and a tradition that all humans are created unequal. \nIn rural India Dalits have been murdered for proposing to marry somebody further up the social ladder, barred from temples, forced into bonded labor and made to carry human waste from the homes of high-caste Hindus. \nIn the cities, where it is easier to change one's name and slip into the crowd, Dalits say economic exclusion is now the biggest issue. \nThe ingrained unfairness of the caste system has brought pressure for reform on human rights grounds against Western firms doing business in India. Unions have written to 300 companies in Europe which outsource work to India to check that their subcontractors do not discriminate on the basis of caste. \n"There are many parallels with the situation in South Africa in the [1960s], when foreign companies needed to be persuaded to address the discrimination in the system of apartheid,' said David Haslam, the London-based chair of the Dalit Solidarity Network. \nChandra Bhan Prasad, a Dalit writer, says businesses should look for inspiration to the US, where firms carry out diversity audits and give contracts to firms from minority groups.
POOR INTERNAL CONTROLS: Insurance Bureau Director-General Shih Chiung-hwa said the company is expected to get back on track while its chairman is suspended The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday fined Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) NT$27.6 million (US$939,415) for a reckless investment that endangered its solvency, and suspended its chairman Eugene Wu (吳東進) for poor supervision. The penalty is the second-highest in a single case after Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽) was fined NT$30 million in September last year and its chairman Du Ying-tzyong (杜英宗) suspended for two years, the commission said. In three rounds of special and regular examinations conducted since last year, the commission found that Shin Kong Life had given too much power to an asset and liability management committee
Tesla Inc is planning to ship vehicles made at its Shanghai Gigafactory to other markets in Asia and Europe, people familiar with the matter said, as the company looks to realize its plan to reduce shipping costs and manufacture vehicles closer to customers. China-built Tesla Model 3s intended for delivery outside China would likely start mass production in the fourth quarter of the year, the people said, asking not to be identified because the details are private. They said the markets targeted include Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, as well as Europe, where customers currently have to wait for a Tesla to
Nano-X Imaging Ltd, a start-up founded by Israeli investor Ran Poliakine, is joining forces with South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix Inc to build a machine that could disrupt a century-old X-ray industry. Valued at about US$2 billion after listing on the NASDAQ last month, Nano-X is seeking to transform a multibillion-dollar industry that has essentially relied on the same technology since Nobel Prize in Physics winner Wilhelm Roentgen discovered X-rays in the late 19th century. Nano-X’s device uses semiconductors instead of metal filaments to generate X-rays. The backing of SK Hynix, the world’s second-largest maker of memory chips, is a boost for
Continental AG, which makes control units for Daimler AG cars, cannot pursue antitrust claims against a group of patent owners, including Qualcomm Inc, which are seeking royalties on telecommunications technology, a federal judge in Texas ruled. Avanci LLC, a licensing pool formed by Qualcomm, Nokia Oyj, Sharp Corp and other owners of patents on technology standards, is not breaching antitrust laws when it negotiates license agreements with automakers rather than the component makers, Barbara Lynn, chief district judge for the Northern District of Texas, said in dismissing the suit in a decision posted on Friday. The licensing group charges US$15 per vehicle