Wednesday, 15 May 2019



No rights of gain unless everybody gains - Plato

The history of humans using cash currency does go back a very long time .From upper Palaeolithic period, the primitive men used exchange of goods and engaged in trade along with barter system. Money measures a method of payment, a standard of value, a store of wealth and unit of account. Over its vast history, money has been central to developing the trade network and for the progress of business world. The Journey of currency travelled from Mesopotamian shekel emerged nearly 5000 years ago to present Crypto and digital currencies.

In ancient civilisations the coins were manufactured from copper and the iron because they were strong materials used to make weapons and the monetary value of currencies was based on the value of the metal from which they were made. Coinage era boost trade in ancient world and it treated as trusted medium of exchange. Later on precious metals such as gold, lead, silver were used for minting coins and standardised forms of coins were first used by Lydians, who become the first culture to make coins. In India coins were minted firstly in 6th century BC by the Mahajanpadas ( republic kingdoms of ancient India) known as puranas but with irregular shapes, standard weight and later many kingdoms includes Mauryas, Turkish sultans of Delhi, Mughal empires followed their own and distinct currency system and minting of coins.

Its interesting fact that shell money was also served as a legal currency until 19th/20th century in different parts of Asia and Africa. In ancient Mayan civilisation cocoa beans and chocolate had evolved to become a currency. In Roman ancient empire a person who owned a salt production site was very wealthy and sometimes salt also used as a currency. In human history polished stones, dried banana leaves rings and jewellery, beaver pelts, cocaine, buckskins, whale’s teeth etc was also used in different parts of the world

Paper money and bank notes was fist used in china during song dynasty, between 960 -1279.The convenience of transactions provided by the issuance of bank notes allowed notes used for exchange to become widespread and commonly accepted business practice. In the 18th century, the bank of Hindustan general bank in Bengal issue paper currency firstly issued in British India

After World War II and the Bretton woods conference most countries adopted “fiat money” whose value was determined according to the USD. In turn, the USD was determined by reference to gold.IN 1971, the US government ended the convertibility of dollar in to gold to help combat the great depression, and today majority of the money worldwide stopped being backed by gold reserves.

In India RBI started in 1935 empowered with bank note production. RBI issued bank notes which carrying the portrait of George VI and after independence, new notes were designed with the image of Lion capital of Ashoka, the national emblem replaced the portrait of George VI.RBI issued Mahatma Gandhi Series in 1996 which replaced all bank notes issued before 1996 and in 2016 Central government demonetised 500 and 1000 rupee notes and introduced new 500,2000,50,100 rupee notes.

The plastic money also plays a vital post in present era and the introduction of debit cards and credit cards acquired popularity and user acceptance at a rapid place. But in future such cards and ATM machines may become totally redundant. APBS ( Aadhaar Payment Bridge system) could be an alternate transaction method as a unique Aadhaar ID linked to their bank accounts and emerge as an alternate platform. Banks can get connect to NPCI (National payment corporation of India) either through NPCI Net or Internet.

The latest revolution in the way we use the money is digital currencies and crypto currencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple, Ethereum etc but still chaos exist the future lies in it. Concern over security breaches and regulatory uncertainty were cited as major reasons for the lack of mainstream enthusiasm in digital coins. Apart from the medium of payment such digital currencies is also an investment instrument, like stocks or precious metals and due to its volatile nature, the value fluctuate in tune with real world events. Such investment may difficult to track the value for auditing and accounting purposes and undisclosed investment in cryptos may cause to increase the money laundering. Web based wallets allow access to bit coins from anywhere and the paper wallets that don’t actually store your bitcoin at all, but give you the ability to set up a private key and address to receive funds for later retrieval.

RBI has repeatedly cautioned users, holders and traders of virtual currencies, including various risks associated with dealing with such virtual currencies. The quote from the union budget 2018-19

“ The government does not consider crypto currencies legal tender or coin and will take all measures to eliminate use of these crypto assets in financing illegitimate activities or as the part of payment system. The government will exposure use of block chain technology proactively for ushering in digital economy”

That there may be reasonable steps to be taken to impose taxes on the profits earned through trading cryptos. It may be difficult to complete ban trade on crypto currecies and such digital currencies in India but reasonable measures can be taken and necessary directions can be issued by RBI and in future it may be required to enact a law for digital currencies.

The nature of money and wealth changed in each period according to the society needs and life style of persons and its impact on economy and polity. The future may be a world without cash because our world is growing increasingly digital. Technological based companies push the reality of cashless society to the mainstream. Governments all over the world are also taking steps to advance the cashless narrative. Digital currencies can be designed by central banks for user identities and transaction data to be authenticated and adhering due diligence procedures. Due to the increasing trend of e- commerce such currencies are more advisable to facilitate such online and digital services. A global currency may allow to serve mass people, more access and to move faster around the world. The cashless economy would be a financial revolution in modern era.

The future money may be digital, with the concept of creating assets and liabilities but without any real exchange of any material stuffs of any such kind.

The life of money making is one undertaken under compulsion, and wealth is evidently not the good we are seeking: for it is merely useful and for the sake of something else - Aristotle

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Sexual Harassment at Work Place

Sexual Harassment at Workplace
Sexual harassment exists in almost every sector and industry, but it’s astonishing that most companies turn a blind eye or are often ignorant about such an important compliance. The only way to combat it is by increasing awareness and knowledge. Sexual Harassment is one issue that has probably plagued every institution, big or small. Unfortunately, it still remains one of the most unreported offences of all times. Although, campaigns like #MeToo acted as an eye-opener, sexual harassment at the workplace still remains behind the closed doors of glass cabins.

What is Sexual Harassment?

In simple words, sexual harassment at workplace is an act or a pattern of behavior that compromises physical, emotional or financial safety and security of a woman worker. Sexual harassment has been identified as a term which is difficult to define as it involves a range of behaviors. Efforts have been made at both national and international levels to define this term effectively. often, the term is subjected to different interpretations. Some believe that it is better not to mingle with female colleagues so that one does not get embroiled in a sexual harassment complaint. The reality of sexual harassment incidents at the workplace is that there is more to worry about under-reporting, than people misusing the law.

In 1997, in the landmark judgment of Vishaka and others v. State of Rajasthan[1], the Supreme Court of India defined sexual harassment at the workplace, pronounced preventive, prohibitory and redress measures, and gave directives towards a legislative mandate to the guidelines proposed.

Sexual Harassment includes many things:

·         Physical conduct of a sexual nature that includes all unwanted physical contact,
o    ranging from touching,
o    to sexual assault and rape, and
o    includes a strip search by or in the presence of the opposite sex.
·         Verbal forms of sexual harassment that includes;
o    unwelcome insinuations,
o    suggestions and hints,
o    sexual advances,
o    comments with sexual overtones,
o    sex-related jokes or insults,
o    or unwelcome graphic comments about a person's body made in their presence or directed toward them,
o    unwelcome and inappropriate inquiries about a person's sex life, and
o    unwelcome whistling directed at a person or group of persons.

·         Non-verbal forms of sexual harassment including;
o    unwelcome gestures,
o    indecent exposure, and
o    the unwelcome display of sexually explicit pictures and objects.
o    Making or posting sexually demeaning or offensive pictures, cartoons or other materials in the workplace
o    Giving gifts or leaving objects that are sexually suggestive
·         Quid pro quo harassment occurs where an owner, employer, supervisor, member of management or co-employee, undertakes or attempts to influence the process of employment, promotion, training, discipline, dismissal, salary increase or other benefits of an employee or job applicant, in exchange for sexual favors.

What the law says?

The safety of the people shall be the highest law of the land. The judiciary is the pillar for justice as it not only provides redressal mechanisms, but it also punishes the offender. The law on sexual harassment has mushroomed and nurtured after the 1997 landmark decision of the Supreme Court in the Vishaka v State of Rajasthan.

While hearing the matter, the Supreme Court noted the lack of legal recourse against sexual harassment at workplace. The Supreme Court defined what would constitute sexual harassment at workplace and issued guidelines that were to have statutory value until a proper law was enacted by Parliament.
Before the Supreme Court set the law against sexual harassment at workplace in order, such cases were dealt under IPC Section 354 (outraging the modesty of women) and Section 509 (using a word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman).

In 2013, substantial changes were made in the way sexual harassment was viewed within the criminal justice system in India. The Criminal Law Amendment Act of 2013, which commenced on April 3, 2013, included Section 354A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 that defined sexual harassment. The India Penal Code, 1860 has also defined the term sexual harassment and related offences and put forth punishments for the same:

· Section 354A- Sexual harassment is: unwelcome physical contact and 
advances, including unwanted and explicit sexual overtures, a demand or request for sexual favors, showing someone sexual images (pornography) without their consent, and making unwelcome sexual remarks

Punishment: Up to three years in prison, and a fine.

· Section 354B- Forcing a woman to undress.

Punishment: From three to seven years in prison, and a fine.

· Section 354C- Watching or capturing images of a woman without her consent (voyeurism). 

Punishment: First conviction – one to three years in prison and a fine. More than conviction–three to seven years in prison and a fine.

· Section 354D- Following a woman and contacting her or trying to contact 

her despite her saying she does not want contact. Monitoring a woman using 

the internet or any other form of electronic communication (stalking).

Punishment: First conviction – up to three years in prison and a fine. More than one conviction–up to five years in prison and a fine.

The same definition is given in the law enacted specifically for Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013.

However societal attitudes towards sexual harassment has impeded any effective implementation of the law.

Why not reporting?

Though sexual harassment at the workplace has assumed serious proportions, women do not report the matter to the concerned authorities in most cases due to fear of reprisal from the harasser, losing one’s livelihood, being stigmatized, or losing professional standing and personal reputation.

How can a company create a safe work environment?

Many practical steps can be taken, as part of an integrated program, to counter harassment:

  •  A clear policy from management

*    Management must develop a clear definition of, and policy on sexual harassment.
*    Concerned people should also help to make the need for such policies known.

  • Awareness of the problem, and of own, and others' rights 

*    Managers and all employees (male and female) must become aware of the problems inherent in harassment, and must know how to handle it.
*    If a clear policy exists and is well promoted, both the person being harassed, and the person considering harassing someone, will know what the individual's rights are – what’s acceptable, and what isn’t; also where the person being harassed can lodge a complaint.

  • Complaints and disciplinary procedure

*    There must be clear guidelines on reporting and disciplinary procedures in cases of harassment, and these must be communicated to all staff members.

*    Appropriate staff members can be selected, appointed and trained as complaints officers with authority to institute disciplinary measures when necessary.

*    In large companies, counselors can be appointed and trained to provide support and to give advice to staff who are sexually harassed or to counsel harassers if required. These may be the same people as the complaints officers, and could possibly also sensitize and train managers and supervisors in the implementation of the policy.

  •  Education

*    Employers should include the issue of sexual harassment in their orientation, training and education programs of employees.

  •  Confidentiality

*    Grievances regarding sexual harassment must be handled in a confidential manner in regards to both parties:

*    Only appropriate parties (appropriate management, the aggrieved and their representatives, the alleged perpetrator and their representatives, witnesses and an interpreter if necessary) may be present in disciplinary inquiries.

*    It must be ensured that either party (or their representative) receives necessary information to enable them to prepare for any proceedings outlined by the company code of conduct.

  •  Other supporting measures

*    Confidence training and development of a healthy self-esteem will help employees to deal with harassers.

*    An effective employment equity program, that ensures well-planned career paths for all - based on merit, while also ensuring that people disadvantaged in the past get a fair deal - will reduce the vulnerability of individuals to harassment by people who abuse their power and authority.

*    A positive corporate culture, in which the rights and dignity of all staff members are respected, and a positive example is set by management, will do much to create a healthy environment in which sexual harassment can’t flourish.

Employees' Rights and Responsibilities

Any employee who believes he or she has been the target of sexual harassment is encouraged to inform the offending person orally or in writing that such conduct is unwelcome and offensive and must stop. Complaint on sexual harassment at the workplace must be made by the aggrieved woman within a period of three months from the date of occurrence of an incident. In case of a series of an incident, within a period of three months from the date of last incident.

The complaint must be made in writing and submitted to the Internal Complaint Committee and be sent either by post or given in person. The Internal Complaint Committee also has the powers to extend the time-limit for reporting by not more than three months, if it is satisfied that the circumstances were such which prevented the employee from filing a complaint within the three-month period.

If the employee does not wish to communicate directly with the offending person, or if such communication has been ineffective, the employee has multiple avenues for reporting allegations of sexual harassment and/or pursuing resolution, complaint can be filed by:

·        Her relative or friend.
·        Her co-worker.
·        An officer of the National Commission for Women or State Women’s Commission.
·        Any person who has knowledge of the incident, with the written consent of the aggrieved woman.

If an aggrieved woman is unable to make a written complaint by herself on account of her mental incapacity, a complaint can be filed by:

·        Her relative or friend.
·        A special educator.
·        A qualified psychiatrist or psychologist.
·        The guardian or authority under whose care she is receiving treatment or care.
      Any person who has knowledge of the incident jointly with her relative or friend or a special education or qualified psychiatrist or psychologist or guardian or authority under whose care she is receiving treatment or care.

·        Finally, if an aggrieved woman is unable to make a written complaint by herself on account of her mental incapacity or physical incapacity or death, a complaint can be filed by her legal heir.

Employer Rights and Responsibilities

·        Provide a safe working environment at the workplace which shall include safety from the persons coming into contact at the workplace;

·        Display at any conspicuous place in the workplace, the penal consequences of sexual harassment; and the order constituting, the Internal Committee under sub-section (1) of section 4 of the Act providing that every employer of a workplace shall, by an order in writing, constitute a Committee to be known as the “Internal Complaints Committee”: Provided that where the offices or administrative units of the workplace are located at different places or divisional or sub-divisional level, the Internal Committee shall be constituted at all administrative units or offices;

·        Organize workshops and awareness programmes at regular intervals for sensitising the employees with the provisions of the Act and orientation programmes for the members of the Internal Committee in the manner as may be prescribed;

·        Provide necessary facilities to the Internal Committee or the Local Committee, as the case may be, for dealing with the complaint and conducting an enquiry;

·        Assist in securing the attendance of respondent and witnesses before the Internal Committee or the Local Committee, as the case may be;

·        Make available such information to the Internal Committee or the Local Committee, as the case may be, as it may require having regard to the complaint made.

·        Provide assistance to the woman if she so chooses to file a complaint in relation to the offence under the Indian Penal Code or any other law for the time being in force;

·        Cause to initiate action, under the Indian Penal Code, 1860 or any other law for the time being in force, against the perpetrator, or if the aggrieved woman so desires, where the perpetrator is not an employee, in the workplace at which the incident of sexual harassment took place;

·        Treat sexual harassment as a misconduct under the service rules and initiate action for such misconduct;

·        Monitor the timely submission of reports by the Internal Committee.

Impact on Organization

·        Financial impact: The biggest challenge that any sexual harassment case brings for a company is undoubtedly the financial repercussions. This happens because of absenteeism, low productivity, and staff turnover as a result of sexual harassment.  It’s not just non-compliance penalty, but also settlement costs at a later point in time. 

·        Distortion of public image: Continuous media lynching at even the mere speculation of a sexual harassment case can tarnish a company’s reputation. With the upsurge of social media and never-ending media debates, the trouble has increased manifold. It is undeniable that any company primarily runs on its goodwill. With this loss of reputation, a company may find it tough to crawl out of the pit.

·        Effect on work production: A recent study reveals that if an employee has faced sexual harassment at the workplace, their output will certainly be affected. This is a no-brainer, but this phenomenon is not restricted to the victim alone. Sexual harassment at any workplace also creates a lot of insecurity, disloyalty, and disharmony among other employees as well. This leads to a situation of lesser work production and acts as a huge impediment to the company’s progress.

So, what can you do if you’re experiencing sexual harassment at work? 

·        Be clear and firm. If the person harassing you is told when it happens the first time that you don’t approve and don’t find it funny, they might back off. Be polite, but firm, and don’t giggle. This might be interpreted as a tacit type of consent.

·        Say “No” Clearly. Tell the person that his/her behavior offends you. Firmly refuse all invitations. If the harassment doesn’t end promptly, ask the harasser to stop and put it in writing. Keep a copy of this written communication.

·        Write Down What Happened. As soon as you experience sexual harassment, start writing it down. Write down dates, places, times, and possible witnesses to what happened. If possible, ask your co-workers to write down what they saw or heard, especially if the same thing is happening to them. Remember that others may (and probably will) read this written record at some point. It is a good idea to keep the record at home or in some other safe place. Do not keep the record at work.

·        Tell others. Don’t keep quiet; this will only make you more vulnerable. Harassers like isolating their victims – physically and socially. If you tell others what’s going on you might also find out that you’re not the only one experiencing such situations. If more than one person lays a complaint, it significantly strengthens the case against the harasser. 

·        Don't doubt yourself. Harassers often try and pass something off as a joke, however, if it’s continuously at your expense, or attacks your sense of dignity, you’re being harassed. Don’t allow harassers to make you doubt your observation, how their actions make you feel or that you’re overreacting.

·        Safety in numbers. Make sure that you’re not alone with this person behind closed doors. Take a colleague with you if you feel threatened, and insist that doors be left open if you have to be in a meeting. Make sure that somebody knows where you are at all times.

·        Report The Harassment. If it is possible for you to do so, tell your supervisor, your human resources department or some other department or person within your organization who has the power to stop the harassment. If you can, it is best to put your complaint in writing.

·        Start A Paper Trail. When you report the sexual harassment to your employer, do it in writing. Describe the problem and how you want it fixed. This creates a written record of when you complained and what happened in response to it. Keep copies of everything you send and receive from your employer.

·        Find Out About Your Employer’s Grievance And Complaint ProceduresMany employers have policies and procedures written down that deal with how to make and respond to sexual harassment complaints. To find out your employer’s policies, look for or ask to see a copy of your employee manual, any written personnel policies, and/or speak to someone in the human resources department, if one exists. You may be able to use these procedures to stop the harassment and resolve the problem. At the very least, following your employer’s complaint procedures (if any exist) will show that you did what you could to make the employer aware of the harassment.

·        Involve Your Union. If you belong to a union, you may want to file a formal grievance through the union and try to get a shop steward or other union official to help you work through the grievance process. Get a copy of your collective bargaining agreement to see if it discusses the problems you are experiencing. Keep in mind that if you use your union’s grievance procedure, you must still file a complaint (or “charge”) of discrimination with a government agency before filing a lawsuit in court.

·        Be Aware of Deadlines! Do not delay in reporting the problem to your employer, if it is possible to do so. If you start to feel that your employer’s process for dealing with the sexual harassment may not help you, be aware that doing nothing could mean losing your rights! This is very important! There are legal deadlines for filing a formal complaint or charge of discrimination with government agencies, and you cannot bring a lawsuit against your employer unless you have first filed a complaint with the court or the agency that enforces your state’s employment discrimination laws.

Some Myth and Facts about Sexual Harassment


Only certain types of people harass others
People of all types and in all kinds of occupation have been founded to be harassers. They can be people in power, co-workers and even subordinates.
Sexual Harassment is ‘natural’ male behavior. Man is the hunter and women the prey.
Men are not born knowing how to sexually harass others. It’s learned within the context of a sexist and patriarchal environment that perpetuates control over women sexuality, fertility and labor.
Women don’t rape
Women can also be sexual aggressors
Men who rape are ‘psychos’
Men who rape are mostly ordinary, everyday guys.
Harassment will stop if a person just ignores it
Harassers often believe that if a person ignores inappropriate / harassing behavior, that’s proof that the behavior is welcome. Many times, the behavior escalates and turn ugly

Every employer should recognize the right of every employee and volunteer to be able to attend work and to perform their duties without being subjected to any form of sexual harassment. It is the obligation and responsibility of every employee and volunteer to ensure that the workplace is free from sexual harassment.

Green wind solutions will help your company to frame a sexual Harassment policy and guidelines for your company intends to provide protection against sexual harassment of women at workplace and the prevention and redressal of complaints of sexual harassment and matters related to it. Wind Solutions