New Livestock Rules: Background and Intent

Background:

In 2014, a PIL was filed in the Supreme Court by animal rights activist Gauri Maulekhi asking the Court to direct the Government of India and various border states of India to take steps to prevent illegal trafficking of cattle to Nepal. Large scale trafficking of cattle to Nepal was taking place for sacrifice as part of the Gadhimai Festival held annually.

The Supreme Court heard the matter over nearly 2 years and passed several orders. The core of the matter, with a nudge from the 2-judge bench, was to be settled through an agreement between the central government and the governments of the states of Bihar, West Bengal, UP, Haryana, Rajasthan, Tripura, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Arunachal Pradesh.

With the Supreme Court’s direction and approval, a Committee was setup under the chairmanship of Sri Banshi Dhar Sharma, DG, Sahastra Seema Bal and a report with steps to address this problem was submitted to the court. The Supreme Court accepted this report fully and directed the central government and state government to take steps towards compliance.

This order was passed on 13/07/2015.

Each state government, in addition to several other steps, had to do the following:

  • Constitute a district SPCA, within 4 weeks
  • Constitute Animal Welfare Boards, within 4 weeks
  • Submit a compliance report to the Court, within 8 weeks

As part of the same committee report, accepted by the Court, the Central Government had to frame rules under Section 38 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, specifically to ensure reduction in cruelty to animals in livestock markets, sale, etc.

On the 4th of July 2016, the Supreme Court passed an order confirming the receipt of compliance reports by all concerned states. The bench noted that the Center had not yet complied with its direction to frame and notify rules.

The GOI responded that it is bound to frame the rules as per the directions of the Court, and would do so soon. The matter was posted for 12/07/2016.

On the 12th of July 2016, the SC disposed of the case under the following directions.

  • The central government, which had informed the court that draft rules were almost ready, should finalize the rules *within three months*.
  • The central government would convene meetings between itself and the various stakeholder states to arrive at a comprehensive future plan to resolve this problem.

Notification of Regulation of Livestock Market Rules:

As per the orders of the Supreme Court, as highlighted above, the Government of India framed the rules for governing livestock markets, placed it for review and feedback, and in the end notified the rules (with finalization based on feedback inputs) on the 23rd of May 2017.

Aim of notification:

Based on the SSB led Committee report submitted to the Supreme Court, and the directions of the Court, the Government of India decided to modify the structure of the sale of livestock. Quoting the official press release itself.

“The livestock markets are intended to become hubs for trade for animal for agriculture through this process and animal for slaughter will have to be bought from the farmers at the farms

To obtain better control over the whole process of cattle trade, the following 2 decisions have been taken.

  1. Livestock markets will now be dedicated for trading of animals for agriculture
  2. Animal purchases for slaughter will have to happen from farmers directly

Some key Q & A:

  • Has purchase of cattle for slaughter been banned by this notification?
    • No.
    • Livestock markets, though, are no longer the place for purchase of cattle for animal slaughter.
  • Have state governments lost their power in framing rules governing cattle sale for slaughter?
    • No. Under section 38 of the PCA, the central government has now *redefined some aspects of the business model* for purchase of animals for agriculture and slaughter. The rules regarding what cattle to purchase, what is not allowed to be purchased for slaughter, where to slaughter, how to slaughter, etc will all be completely decided by the respective state governments.
  • Has legal purchase of cattle been banned?
    • No.
  • Has the process of legal purchase of cattle for slaughter become difficult?
    • IMHO, yes.
  • Many news articles are claiming that the notification was issued by the Government in a surprise move, and in a hurry. Is this true?
    • No. The move by the center was due to the directions of the SC. Further, the deadline for implementing this was October 2016 whereas it became a reality only in May 2017.
  • Could the whole process of coming up with guidelines have been better executed?
    • (Again, just my opinion) YES. At least definitely on the communication and media management side.
  • Were the states kept in dark about the whole process?
    • At least all the states with international borders were fully aware of the developments. West Bengal, which is now protesting the move, was also fully aware.

References:

  1. Rules on prevention of cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Market) to ensure welfare of Animals & Protect Animals from Cruelty: Environment Ministry
  2. Press release related to the notification – dated 27th May 2017
  3. Supreme Court – Interim orders and final judgement – WP/881/2014
  4. Supreme Court – Interim orders – WP/210/2015
  5. Cattle trafficking: Supreme Court asks Centre to frame rules in 3 months

 

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Divorce Rates – Census 2011

Today noted Bollywood lyricist Javed Akhtar in a tweet claimed that as per Census 2011, the divorce rate amongst Hindus was 0.76% and that of Muslims was only 0.53%

A little search on Google reveals that the All India Muslim Personal Law Board is also making similar claims about divorce rates being lower than Hindus, especially in the context of the Triple Talaq matter being heard in the Supreme Court.

The National Herald website ( 🙂 ) is also doing its bit to peddle this claim further. It says divorce rates amongst Hindus is 0.76% while the same for Muslims is 0.56%

Secular newspapers such as Times Of India and the Hindu have also added their bit to this issue.

Now, let us look at the reality.

Source: Census 2011 – C-3 Marital Status By Religious Community And Sex – 2011

Table 1: Data for Total Population

Marital Status Total Persons Males Females
Total 1210854977 623270258 587584719
Never married 570833969 322870527 247963442
Excluding never married 640021008 300399731 339621277
Divorced 1362316 452743 909573
Divorced + Separated 4897518 1615191 3282327
Divorce ratio 0.002128549 0.001507135 0.002678198
Divorced + Separated ratio 0.007652121 0.005376806 0.009664668
Percentage (Divorced) 0.21 0.15 0.26
Percentage (D + S) 0.76 0.53 0.96

Table 2: Data for Hindus

Marital Status Hindu Total Hindu Males Hindu Females
Total 966257353 498306968 467950385
Never married 444973597 253100795 191872802
Excluding never married 521283756 245206173 276077583
Divorced 962810 344281 618529
Divorced + Separated 3833495 1310576 2522919
Divorce ratio 0.001846998 0.001404047 0.002240417
Divorced + Separated ratio 0.007353951 0.005344792 0.009138442
Percentage (Divorced) 0.18 0.14 0.22
Percentage (D + S) 0.73 0.53 0.91

Table 3: Data for Muslims

Marital Status Muslim Total Muslim Males Muslim Females
Total 172245158 88273945 83971213
Never married 92081730 50970832 41110898
Excluding never married 80163428 37303113 42860315
Divorced 269609 57535 212074
Divorced + Separated 654347 154655 499692
Divorce ratio 0.003363242 0.001542365 0.004948027
Divorced + Separated ratio 0.008162662 0.004145901 0.011658617
Percentage (Divorced) 0.33 0.15 0.49
Percentage (D + S) 0.82 0.41 1.2

Observations:

  • The percentage of divorced amongst Hindus is 0.18 while it is 0.33 for Muslims
  • Percentage of divorced + separated amongst Hindus is 0.73 while it is 0.81 for Muslims
  • The divorced and separated percentages are extremely high for Muslim women, with the latter crossing the 1 percentage mark.

Conclusions:

  • Main stream media, once again, has picked up random numbers and stitched together a narrative.
  • Some of the other numbers quoted in the above referenced articles are all based on random surveys done in a few select districts.
  • The problem of divorce is much more amongst Muslims that Hindus. It is especially so amongst Muslim women.

 

NEP 2016: The Myth of Saffronisation

In April 2016, the TSR Subramanian Committee submitted its report on the New Education Policy (NEP) to the MHRD. Since then, there has been a steady stream of criticism of the report, most of which claim the report to be an attempt at “saffronisation of Indian education”.

Since the submission of the report, the Cabinet minister heading MHRD has been replaced and the new minister has given the report a quiet burial. In fact, in May 2017, the minister announced that the process of setting up a new committee for the NEP is still underway.

Going through a number of articles and posts on the TSR Subramanian Committee report, it is quite clear that the main “accusation” against it is that it apparently aims to saffronise Indian education. Many *recommendations* made in the report have been highlighted to substantiate the fears about saffronisation. Upon closer scrutiny, though, it becomes quite clear many of the apprehensions are totally unfounded – in fact totally false.

An attempt is made here to list a few of the concerns expressed, and the actual recommendations of the Committee on those topics.

Concern: Not enough stakeholders consulted

Reality: The report itself gives details of the people consulted, the documents referred to and the process followed.

(a) holding regional consultation meetings at Gandhinagar, Gujarat (for western region), at Raipur, Chhattisgarh (for eastern region), Guwahati, Assam (for north-eastern region), and NUEPA, New Delhi (for both northern and southern regions);

(b) Visits to institutions of higher education and school visits in Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Gujarat;

(c) consultations with national level institutions like NUEPA, NCERT, AICTE, UGC, NCTE, IGNOU, NIOS, etc.; and

(d) consultations with more than 300 educationists, Vice-Chancellors, experts, CSO and NGO representatives, and representatives of education providers in the private sector at NUEPA, New Delhi. The details of regional consultations and consultation meetings with institutions and individuals by the Committee are given in Annex IIB, Vol. II

Concern: Alternative school (evening schools) will be provided for children’s from slums and migrant labors background

Reality: The committee notes that prior to the commencement of the RTE Act, many slums and bastis had alternate schools for drop-outs and un-enrolled children. In order to ensure drop-outs have an alternate option, the committee recommends separate norms be introduced for such schools and schools which fully comply with the norms be allowed to continue.

Another recommendation made is with respect to children who repeatedly fail to meet learning standards in spite of repeat attempts. Instead of letting them remain drop-outs, the committee recommends alternate schooling methods be provided to them to ensure they develop a minimal set of competencies at least.

Concern: Reversal of no-detention policy

Reality: The committee recommends retaining no-detention up to Class V

For classes above V, it recommends introduction of detention subject to following 2 conditions

  • Remedial coaching be provided to the concerned student
  • At least two opportunities in terms of tests for the student to clear and move along with the rest of the class.

In other words, make detention as an absolute last measure.

Concern: Imposition of mother tongue

Reality: The committee notes that the previous NEP of 1986/92 actually mandates mother tongue as the first language and also mandates English and Hindi. The committee also notes that the above mandate is violated significantly in many states.

The committee therefore recommends two main things on this front

  • Regional language be the primary language up to Class V
  • Choice of second and third languages at subsequent levels be left to the individual states

Concern: Imposition of Sanskrit

Reality: The committee does not formally make any recommendation on Sanskrit! It however has provided some detailed comments on Sanskrit teaching under the section on “Language Policy”. It notes that many states have already made Sanskrit compulsory from Classes 6-8. It suggests Sanskrit be made an independent subject at a suitable primary stage. At secondary and higher secondary levels, it suggests Sanskrit as an additional and elective subject.

Concern: Intense inclusion of Yoga in curriculum

Reality: The committee recalls that the previous NEP of 1986/92 strongly recommended inclusion of Yoga in the curriculum.

“…Yoga will receive special attention. Efforts will be made to introduce Yoga in all schools”

The exact recommendation of the committee on Yoga is as follows

“Every school, both public and private, should be encouraged to bring Yoga in as part of the schooling process, and facilitate every child to learn the basics of Yoga. Particularly in urban schools, where there is shortage of playground facilities, Yoga can play a significant part in the development of a young student”

It becomes quite clear from the above that the committee recommendation on Yoga is actually much less insistent than the previous two NEP reports! The committee merely recommends Yoga while the previous NEP *directs* schools to include Yoga.

Concern: “Only 10 lakh scholarship for higher education”

Reality: The committee actually recommends a massive increase in the number of beneficiaries who will receive fellowships.

The committee notes that currently there are only about 82,000 beneficiaries.

“The UGC currently distributes about Rs.1050 crore annually as higher education tuition/fellowship to about 82,000 beneficiaries covering 35,000 fellowships each year. This represents around 200 scholarship schemes of the MHRD as well as other ministries…..

…..Since there is no overall countrywide reliable database available it can be estimated that there are between 40 and 50 thousand fellowship slots available every year in the country”

To improve this situation, the committee recommends setting up of a “National Higher Education Fund” to support 10 lakh students a year.

“the Committee recommends the establishment of a National Fellowship Fund, primarily designed to support the tuition fees, learning material and living expenses for about 10 lakh students every year. These scholarships should be made available to students belonging to the economically weaker sections, specifically those below the poverty line”

Conclusion:

While the TSR Subramanian Committee report has been junked, and a new Committee formation is supposedly in the works, the exact reasons behind this development is unknown.

There seems to have been a concerted effort to discredit the report and paint it as the work of a “saffron hindutva” group.

Even after 3 years of the NDA-2 Government, there is no sight of any progress on creating a NEP. The MHRD definitely owes an explanation to the public on why the efforts of the first 2 years in creating a NEP has been junked. The exact concerns from “stakeholders” must be made public.

(Note: The committee also recommended imposing RTE on minority educational institutions through suitable legislative changes. It also recommended relaxation of infrastructure norms of existing schools depending on local conditions – a move which would have helped many Hindu schools survive.

It must be made known to the public if these recommendations was also objected to)

References:

 

The Basis for No-detention in RTE?

The RTE Act mandates ‘no-detention’ policy for all students up to Grade 8. This policy is also known as the ‘social promotion’ policy as against ‘grade-retention’ followed otherwise.

A brief description of the two are as follows.

Social Promotion: is the practice of promoting a student (usually a general education student, rather than a special education student) to the next grade after the current school year, regardless of when or whether they didn’t learn the necessary materials.

Grade-retention:  is the process of having a student repeat a grade, because in the previous year, the student experienced developmental delays which made the student fail the grade and/or grade-level class.

There is considerable research material available on the pros and cons of each of these methods. But overall, the tilt is in favor of grade-retention, rather than social promotion.

The main concerns around social promotion are as below.

  • Decreases interest of students in studies
  • Students face further failure as they move up without a good grounding in the basics
  • Teachers find it difficult to handle a group with a sprinkling of under-prepared students, amongst performing ones.
  • Parents get a false sense of progress about their kids.

A few countries, such as Japan, Korea, Sweden and Norway use the social promotion methodology.

However, most countries in the world including USA, UK, Australia, Germany, Singapore and France use grade-retention.

From available public material, it is difficult to deduce the basis using which the makers of RTE deemed it appropriate to introduce social promotion.

  • Experts in the field of education in India have expressed their strong dislike for the no-detention policy.
  • Even the Parliamentary Standing Committee for MHRD, in its report on the 2008 Draft RTE Bill, had expressed serious reservations against the no-detention policy.

OTOH, there seems to have been very little research done, within India, to determine the benefits, if any, of no-detention. In fact, available material points to the opposite.

In the 1980s and 1990s, West Bengal, through its West Bengal Primary Education Act, and other policies, had practised no-detention till Class IV.

In 2002, Sri Poromesh Acharya had published a paper titled ” Education: Panchayat and Decentralisation: Myths and Reality” in the “Economic and Political Weekly” Journal. In that Article, the author gives details of an opinion study performed in 6 Panchayats of West Bengal on key aspects of the state of primary education in WB in the last 2 decades of the previous century.

The opinion poll was conducted amongst 1396 people comprising Parents ( and Guardians), Teachers, Attendance Committee members and Panchayat members. As can be clearly seen, the opinion providers were experts and key stake holders in the area of Education. Two of the questions asked (relevant to this post) were as follows

  • What is the best way of assessing students’ achievement?
  • What is the impact of the no-detention policy?

The results were as given below.

Assessing students achievement:

Respondents Old Examination System Present Continuous Evaluation Total
Guardians 765 179 944
Teachers 249 53 302
AC members 65 25 90

As can be seen, 81% of the respondents felt the old examination system was the better instrument to measure students.

(For the above question, the opinion of panchayat members weren’t taken)

Impact of no-detention policy:

Respondents Helps student retention

Decreases interest of students in studies

Increases interest None Don’t Know Total
Guardians 61 751 106 14 12 944
Teachers 28 221 38 15 0 302
AC members 14 60 12 4 0 90
Panchayat members 7 46 5 2 0 60

Here, we see over 77% of respondents opining that no-detention policy actually reduces the interest of students in studies. We must remember, once again, that the respondents to this survey were not random people but key stakeholders in students’ education. And the opinion expressed is based on the experience of several years (no-detention was introduced based on the ‘Prof. Himanshu Bimal Majumdar Committee’ report given in 1978).

Whether the criterion is practice followed in various countries, or the opinion of educational experts, or the feedback from stakeholders on the ground – all point to no-detention being an undesirable instrument in primary education.

It would be interesting to actually know the research, and consequent data, that was relied upon, in arriving at such an important policy decision while framing the RTE Act.

Tribunals: Road to Increased Litigation?

One of the concerns with setting up of Tribunals for specific areas is that they will lead to increased litigation. This is because there is a natural expectation that dedicated bodies will deliver faster justice and hence litigants may be encouraged to approach the tribunals more often.

In the report prepared by the Rajya Sabha Standing Committee for Ministry of Human Resources Development on the 2010 Educational Tribunal Bill, this same concern was expressed.

“The Committee is also apprehensive that due to the complex structure of the tribunals, a greater level of litigation may be encouraged…”

While various tribunals do exist in India today, it is quite difficult to obtain data on the volume of litigation they handle to arrive at a definite conclusion about this apprehension.

However, in the specific case of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), a fair amount of data is available in the public domain that can help us arrive at some conclusions.

Over the past 3 years, in the Lok Sabha, questions about the total cases filed in NGT and their disposal rates have been asked multiple times.

  • Unstarred question no 906, dated 16/07/2014
  • Unstarred question no 646, dated 26/11/2014
  • Unstarred question no 1205 dated 03/03/2015
  • Unstarred question no 6132 dated 11/04/2017

Based on the numbers provided in the above cited documents, we can gather some data on the total number of cases with the NGT at various times, and also the total cases disposed during the same time periods. Using this, we can calculate the rate of incoming cases during various years. A table capturing this data is given below.

Year Total aggregate of cases from 07/2011 Aggregate of disposed cases from 07/2011 Months (preceding) used for delta calculation Rate of incoming cases/month
2011 168 163
2012 716 601
2013 3832 2186 12 259
31/03/2014 4741 2678 3 303
26/11/2014 6613 4047 8 234
31/01/2015 7768 5167 2 578
31/01/2017 23626 19066 24 660

In the table, the rate of incoming cases has been purposely left out for the initial 2, formative, years of NGT.

As we can see from above, during 2013 and 2014, the rate of incoming cases was roughly 250 per month. However in the past 3 years, it is showing a steep climb reaching up to 660 per month in the last 2 years.

Points to ponder

  • The increase in litigation could well be because the regular courts could have gotten more particular in transferring cases to NGT.
  • However, one cannot rule out the possibility of litigation going up, encouraged by increased awareness of the existence of NGT.
  • It is also interesting to note the spurt in litigation coinciding with the formation of the Modi Government 🙂

Rajasthan: RTE Schools Data

The Rajasthan Elementary Education Department has a good website where quite some data is available with regard to RTE. It maintains a separate Private School Portal where this data is made available.

Information regarding the following are available

  1. Total number of registered (private) schools
  2. Total number of schools admitting RTE students
  3. Total number of RTE students enrolled
  4. Total number of schools qualifying for RTE reimbursement
  5. Total number of RTE category children for whom reimbursements have been made
  6. Total amount reimbursed

The information is available from 2013-14 onwards.

Also, the information is available under two categories – “Ele” and “Sec”. I am assuming Ele is for Lower Primary schools and Sec is for Upper Primary Schools (which also have Lower Primary).

The tables below cover only points 1, 2 and 3 from above. The goal is to look at some school related parameters and their trends.

Number of registered private schools

Year Elementary Schools Secondary Schools
2013-14 17047 10414
2014-15 17473 11726
2015-16 18712 12010
2016-17 20307 13324

As you can see, the total number of schools has been consistently growing.

Number of private schools admitting RTE category students

Year Elementary Schools Secondary Schools
2013-14 14869 8811
2014-15 15525 10143
2015-16 16076 10008
2016-17 15214 9623

Percentage of total schools admitting RTE students

Year Elementary Schools Secondary Schools
2013-14 87.22 84.60
2014-15 88.85 86.50
2015-16 85.91 83.33
2016-17 74.91 72.22

Both in terms of actual number and the percentage of total schools, the schools admitting RTE category children has started to come down. The fall is quite steep in 2016-17 compared to 2015-16.

Number of verified RTE students

Year Elementary Schools Secondary Schools
2013-14 139740 64018
2014-15 216884 167854
2015-16 285756 220973
2016-17 284308 235202

The total number of RTE students being enrolled is showing an upward trend (except for a minor dip in 2016-17 in Elementary schools). This shows that in the schools that admit RTE category children, the percentage of children being admitted is probably better enforced. Therefore, even though the total schools admitting RTE children has come down, the actual number of students has gone up.

Of course, it would be interesting to know the reasons behind the dip in the total number of schools that are admitting RTE students since 2015-16. And once we have numbers for 2017-18 and later, it would be possible to verify if the trend remains southwards.

Reference: Govt of Rajasthan Elementary School Education Private Schools Portal.

Note: If you go through the link and compare the various years, you will notice a massive dip in the number of schools that have qualified for RTE reimbursement in 2016-17. I am leaving that data, and any possible cause-attribution, out of the scope of this post.

Note2: The screenshots of the tables from the portal are available here for reference.

A Tale of Two Dosa Joints

Year 2020:

In the quite little town of Hindupura, there were two famous restaurants that were frequented by most of the residents in order to satiate their palate.

The first restaurant, known as ‘Dosa Darshini’, was well known for serving the best masala dosas in the region.

The second restaurant, known as ‘Cafe-de-dosa’, served a few variety of dosas including cheese dosas, paneer dosas and stuffed dosas.

Both the joints had their share of loyal customers and were doing good business. There were rumours that those who went to Cafe-de-dosa used to get addicted to cheese dosas, and were giving up masala dosas, but nothing had been established.

The town of Hindupura, one day, got a new mayor called Raja Mohan, who had come to power promising he will eliminate hunger from the town. As soon as he came to power, he introduced a new, and rather bizarre,  ‘Right To Eat’ policy, which was aimed at ensuring that every resident of the town got an opportunity to eat Dosas in the town’s restaurants.

As soon as the policy was announced, the officials of the food control department got working and visited the two restaurants in town and served them a deadline to implement all the regulations of the policy.

In reaction, both the restaurant owners went to the mayor and explained their difficulties in adhering to the policy. Cafe-de-dosa owners explained that they have been in the food industry since 200 years and have been serving customers in various parts of the country, not just the town, for a long time. They said the main purpose of their business is actually charity. Dosa Darshini owners too tried convincing the mayor that they were honest businessmen who wanted to serve customers with good food and experience.

After lengthy hearings, the mayor agreed only with the submissions of Cafe-de-dosa and exempted them from the policy. In other words, the Right To Eat policy became applicable only for Dosa Darshini.

As per the first rule of the new policy, Dosa Darshini had to compulsorily keep 30% of its tables reserved for the Government. The government made a list of all people in neighborhood of Dosa Darshini who were desirous of eating Dosas and sent them there.

The restaurant had to declare to the local administration, the exact amount of batter prepared every day. Out of this, 30% of the batter had to be kept aside to prepare dosas for the customers sent by the Government. The tables reserved for such customers could not be used to serve any other customers.

After a few days, Dosa Darshini realized that the 30% reserved tables would hardly get filled during the entire day. This was because many reserved customers went to Cafe-de-dosa for having cheese dosas. Further, many customers would be traveling, some others would be sick,  and a few simply did not want to have dosas on a given day. The reasons were many – but the net effect was that the reserved tables would mostly remain unoccupied. At the end of the day, the restaurant invariably ended up disposing off the batter that remained unused.

The mayor had promised, under the policy, that he would pay Rs 2 for every dosa consumed by the reserved customers. The restaurant owners’ plea that the total cost of the dosa came up to Rs 10 went unheard. To complicate the matter further, the mayor hardly ever reimbursed the promised amount.

After a month or two, the food control department officials visited Dosa Darshini and ordered them to comply with another requirement of the policy. Dosa Darshini had 4 waiters to attend to their customers. Each waiter would take care of 4 tables. The new policy mandated that the restaurant needed to have a waiter for every 2 tables.

The restaurant management complied and hired 4 additional waiters. The cost of running the restaurant went up significantly due to this, but they had no options.

In the following month, the mayor announced a new addition to the policy. All cooks working in restaurants had to possess a master’s degree in Culinary Sciences. Again, the officials visited Dosa Darshini and threatened to close it down unless the new requirements were adhered to.

Dosa Darshini had to let go of their 2 cooks and hire 2 new ones, who charged 4 times more than the previous cooks. Meanwhile, the old cooks walked into Cafe-de-dosa and found jobs waiting for them, given their vast experience, and the fact that no masters qualification was required to work there.

The additions to the policy did not end there. In a few weeks, the policy mandated all restaurants to have tables which were at least 6 feet wide and had at least 6 chairs per table. The policy also mandated that the restaurant must be in a premise that is at least 4000 sq.ft in size.

Dosa Darshini was found wanting under both requirements. Their tables were just 5 ft wide and were running out of a building 2500 sq.ft in size. Due to the threat of closure, the owners moved the restaurant to the outskirts of the town where they could afford a bigger sized building. They also invested heavily in purchasing new tables and chairs.

The shift in the premise caused even more problems for the already battered Dosa joint. The customers for whom 30% seats were always kept reserved found the new location very difficult to reach. They simply stopped going there and went to Cafe-de-dosa instead. However, due to the nature of the rule, Dosa Darshini still could not serve other customers out of the reserved tables.

The waiters and cooks found the new location too far, and demanded additional salary and bonus. They threatened to leave and join Cafe-de-dosa otherwise. The management hiked their pays just to ensure they stayed back.

In the face of severe losses due to these policies, Dosa Darshini decided that the only way to survive was to hike the price of their famous masala dosas. They announced a hike of 25% in the prices. This instantly caused resentment amongst even the non-reserved category customers.

Many of them went to the mayor and complained about the increase. Few others stopped visiting the joint and went to Cafe-de-dosa instead.

Elections were approaching and the mayor was very keen on getting re-elected. He announced a second new restaurant food price control policy. Under this new policy, which was again applicable only to Dosa Darshini, no dosa could be priced more than Rs 10.

The management of Dosa Darshini, by this time, were totally reeling under the effects of the older policy. This new policy dealt a death blow to them. They made one final appeal to the mayor to roll-back the price-control policy.

The mayor did not relent.

Dosa Darshini, after running successfully in Hindupura for over 75 years, closed down.

Year 2025:

Cafe-de-dosa had opened 4 more branches in Hindupura and was doing roaring business. Even the children of the owners of Dosa Darshini went to Cafe-de-dosa for their snacks.