Few Scientific experiments you shall like to see
It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver.
Severities should be dealt out all at once, so that their suddenness may give less offense; benefits should be conferred gradually, and in that way they will taste better.
War should be the only study of a prince. He should consider peace only as a breathing-time, which gives him leisure to contrive, and furnishes as ability to execute, military plans.
It is not titles that honor men, but men that honor titles.
He who wishes to be obeyed must know how to command.
History is written by the victors.
The ends justifies the means.
“Trees grow stronger over the years, rivers wider. Likewise, with age, human beings gain immeasurable depth and breadth of experience and wisdom. That is why older persons should not only be respected and revered; they should be utilized as the rich resource to society that they are.” –Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.
When one retires one wants to lead a peaceful and hassle-free life but more often than not, because of ignorance, most senior citizens do not avail of the various benefits offered to them and unduly undergo unnecessary harassment. According to the data available with the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in India, the number of senior citizens, which was 70.69 million in 2001, is expected to go up to 173.18 million in 2026. The Ministry of Social Justice classifies anyone above 60 as a senior citizen.
However, the simple definition of senior citizens is interpreted differently by different organizations. An insurance company considers a person who is 55 as a senior citizen. However, the income-tax department defines a senior citizen as someone who is 65. This creates problems for senior citizens dependent on deposit interest or pension income. Though most of them retire when they are 58 or 60, they have to wait for five to seven years before they can enjoy the benefits of higher tax concession. There are, however, various organizations such as the Dignity Foundation that specializes in giving justice to the elders who are currently lobbying for a single age cut off for senior citizens.
Being a senior citizen, the first thing that one needs to address is finances. The following is a chronicle of how being a senior citizen can make an impact on your personal finances.
Income-tax is one area where the benefits provided to senior citizens start at Rs 2.25 lakh (the highest bracket). But the qualifying age for this is 65 years. Here, the government not only allows more money for them, but also makes leeway for bigger deductions. Medical insurance is one such example.
Senior citizen’s policies are more expensive and the government does consider this. As a result, the deductible amount for senior citizen’s insurance policy is Rs 20,000. This is Rs 5,000 higher than what a younger person would pay. As a senior citizen if you fall in the highest tax bracket, this would still amount to a tax saving of Rs 1,500.
The income-tax department has also kept the basic exemption high. For men, there is no tax on the income of Rs 150,000. But senior citizens are exempted from tax if their income is less than Rs 225,000. This translates into savings of Rs 7,500 in taxes.
Even if you compare the exemption limit of women senior citizens with a younger one, the tax benefit works out to Rs 4,500. The basic exemption limit for women is Rs 1, 80,000.
But before you qualify as a senior citizen for the purpose of tax, there are other areas where you can take advantage of much earlier.
This is an area where the elderly get to earn more on their investments. Banks offer a higher rate of interest on fixed deposits to senior citizens. The offering is 0.5-0.75% more than the prevalent interest rates. The minimum age to get a premium on your deposit is 60.
A younger age group person can also enjoy this benefit if he opens a joint account with a senior citizen. But the deposit needs to be in the name of the elder one.
Let’s look at the mathematics behind this offering. If an Eighty-seven-year-old Mrs. M. Bafna says that she avails of the additional interest benefit on Fixed Deposits that range from anywhere between 0.25% to 0.50% over and above the ones offered to all those who do not come under the senior citizens’ category.
Elderly person invests Rs 50,000 for a 3-year-tenure at an interest rate of 9% as a regular rate and 9.5% for senior citizen, on maturity, the person will get Rs 965 more. If a senior citizen opts for quarterly payout of interest, then he earns Rs 750 more.
Government employees (Central as well as State) get some relaxation on retirement if they open a deposit with nationalized banks. Public sector banks give interest at par with senior citizens, if government employees invest the money received from the employer within three months of getting the cheque.
Senior Citizen Savings Scheme:
The annualized interest rate in the Senior Citizens Savings Scheme (SCSS) is 9%. The entry age for this scheme is the same as the one required for Fixed Deposit, that is, 60. But the government has given some leeway for retirees. A person who is retiring and has crossed 55 years of age is allowed to invest in this scheme, if the money is invested within a month of receiving the amount from the employer. The tenure of this deposit is five years.
When it comes to insurance, especially health, it gets difficult for senior citizens to get an adequate cover. Most insurance companies do not provide insurance for a person above 55 years of age. Some companies who provide cover, charge an exorbitant amount.
The argument is that the risk of claims increases with age. To get an adequate cover, the elderly have to run from one company to the other. Few insurers have started policies specially for senior citizens, which starts at the age of 55.
Apart from the various financial institutions that offer senior citizen benefits, the Indian government too provides benefits to senior citizens, which they need to be aware of.
The Ministry for Social Justice and Empowerment, the nodal Ministry responsible for the welfare of senior citizens offers various schemes for their benefit. These schemes encourage non-governmental organizations to construct more old age homes and multi-care centers and mobile medicare units.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways mandates the reservation of two seats for senior citizens in front row of the buses of the State Road Transport Undertakings. Some state governments give fare concessions to senior citizens in the State Road Transport Undertaking buses and have introduced bus models that are convenient to the elderly.
The Ministry of Railways provides 30% fare concession in all Mail/Express (trains) including Rajdhani, Shatabadi, Jan Shatabadi for senior citizens aged 60 years and above. The Indian Railways also have the facility of separate counters for senior citizens for purchase or cancellation of tickets.
Wheelchairs for use of older persons are available at all junctions. Specially designed coaches with provisions of space for wheelchairs, hand rail and specially designed toilets for handicapped persons have also been introduced by the railways.
Under the diktat of the ministry of civil aviation, Indian Airlines provides 50% senior citizen discount on normal Economy Class fare for all domestic flights to Indian senior citizens who have completed the age of 65 years in the case of male senior citizens and 63 years in the case of female senior citizens, subject to certain conditions.
Air India also offers discount to senior citizens above 60 years on flights to the US, UK and Europe. Some private airlines such as Jet Airways also offer 50% discount on basic fare for travel on its domestic flights only to senior citizens who have attained the age of 62 years. Discount is applicable in economy class only.
The Department of Telecommunications also mandates that faults and complaints of senior citizens are given priority by registering them under the senior citizens category with VIP flag, which is a priority category. Further senior citizens are allowed to register a telephone connection under N-OYT Special Category, which is a priority category. Apart from the various ministries, it is mandated that courts in the country accord priority to cases involving older persons and ensure their expeditious disposal.
But times are changing. Unlike yesteryears where it was taken for granted that once an elderly person retires, he or she becomes the responsibility of the closest blood relative of the next generation, today even the elderly prefer not to depend on their children. Having worked all their lives senior citizens express a great desire to keep earning for themselves.
Even children, are not to be blamed because of the rising expenses of just about everything. They do encourage. A 60-year-old senior citizen card holder, R G Bhalla, takes the benefit of the concession provided on railway tickets by the Indian Railway as he is a frequent traveller. This is just one of the options that he avails of from the host of benefits available to senior citizens.
Parents to keep themselves busy not only to earn a living but to keep themselves occupied, and active. Even new age employers are turning to senior citizens as a supplementary source of talent. They expect loyalty, experience, lower cash outflow and lesser attrition rates as special advantages in hiring senior citizens.
Re-employment sites like Anubhuti, Talent 58, Harmony, Dignity Foundation and Heritage are coming up and cater exclusively to the requirements of the elderly. Even regular job portals like Monster, Naukri, Jobsahead and others devote considerable space to the re-employment of retired persons.
Career opportunities abound in insurance, finance, banking security, teaching and related areas. Call centers are also turning their attention towards older people with only one limitation, while youngsters are ready for a fresher’s jobs involving night shifts; older persons accept supervisory roles during day shifts only. But these modes of re-employment are fairly new concepts in India and only time will tell about the success of such ventures.
Though the society is facing the winds of change, senior citizens must be given their due respect for their years of contribution to the society. Forget the various diktats of the government and the likes.
Just stepping aside for an older person when in queue or offering a seat in a train or a bus to a person in his or her golden years, go a long way. Be sure your good deed will earn you the heartiest blessings. Give it a shot and you will not regret iT!
Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success.
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Western universities understandably tend to focus on Western philosophers and thinkers. Check out the works from these masters of Western philosophical thought.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson: Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Emerson was an influential figure in the first recognized American school of philosophical thought. After marrying a wealthy widow, Emerson lived in relative comfort for most of his life, supporting other famous writes such as Henry David Thoreau.
- John Stuart Mill: One of Britain’s most famous political philosophers, Mill was a member of Parliament who endlessly debated the nature of liberty and freedom.
- Immanuel Kant: Kant’s work on the limitations and structure of reason shaped and influenced philosophical thought throughout the twentieth century. His “Critique of Pure Reason” remains a classic of philosophy and is taught in universities around the world.
- Soren Kierkegaard: This Danish philosopher is one of the leading thinkers responsible for existentialism.
- Niccolo Machiavelli: A must for aspiring politicians and wannabe despots, Machiavelli’s “The Prince” is the original guide to ruling an empire or corporate boardroom.
Eastern philosophies have proven influential on figures throughout history from Marco Polo to the Beatles. The sage wisdom offered by these Eastern thinkers still resonates with audiences separate by culture and time.
- Confucius: A Chinese thinker and social philosopher, Confucius emphasized personal and institutional morality as well as justice and proper social relationships.
- Avicenna: This Persian mathematician is perhaps one of the most widely known Muslim philosophers. His works discuss topics ranging from medical ethics to metaphysics.
- Laozi: The philosophy espoused by this ancient Chinese philosopher eventually became the Taoist religion. Laozi has often influenced and served as inspiration for anti-authoritarian movements.
- Siddhartha Gautama: Siddhartha was a price who gave away all his possessions to find a deeper meaning from life. After extensive fasting and meditation he achieved enlightenment becoming known as the Buddha. The teachings of this humble price have changed the course of history and philosophical thought.
- D.T. Suzuki: One of the few modern members on this list, Suzuki is largely responsible for introducing Western audiences to Eastern religions such as Zen Buddhism.
Polls show few people trust politicians. History tells a different story as great statesmen inspire courage and selfless action. These politicians are some of history’s great thinkers, speakers and individuals.
- Winston Churchill: In his nation’s darkest hour, Winston Churchill served as a beacon of inspiration and support. Churchill’s writings and speeches are true testaments to the power of words.
- Thomas Jefferson: Despite many hypocrisies from his actual life, Jefferson’s writings are beautiful tributes to the power of freedom.
- Ataturk: The powerful, infamous Turkish leader responsible for ushering his nation into a modern era, Ataturk is a highly regarded figure from Muslim and Turkish history.
- Mao Zedong: The leader of the Communist revolution in China, Chairman Mao’s impact on history is on increasing with time.
- Nelson Mandela: After surviving 27 years as a political prisoner, Mandela became South Africa’s first black president beginning the healing process from decades of apartheid.
Writers and Artists
The creative representation of life presented by artists can be more truthful than anything presented by real life. These master writers and artists use characters, brilliant technique and artistic vision to boldly explore timeless questions. Students pursuing an Communication as their major may find these resources valuable insight for their studies.
- Mark Twain: A genuinely clever wit, Mark Twain is best known for penning the classic, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” Go beyond Twain’s best known works to discover a thinker centuries ahead of his Victorian time.
- George Orwell: Modern audiences are often frightened by the remarkable foresight Orwell demonstrates in his writing. Indispensable phrases such as “big brother” and “doublespeak” were created by Orwell and are perfectly suited to modern society.
- Gabriel Garcia Marquez: This Colombian writer focuses on themes of third world poverty and fantasy. His work is often based in history with elements of the fantastic brilliantly incorporated in the story telling.
- Albert Camus: This French author brilliantly executed complicated existential philosophies into compelling narratives.
- Khalil Gibran: This Lebanese philosopher, writer and painter was educated in the US before returning to his native land. Gibran’s 1923 book, “The Prophet” was extremely influential on 1960s counterculture.
- Kurt Vonnegut: Zany, sharp and always funny, Vonnegut was one of the truly great science fiction writers of the 20th century. Even better, his works are extremely accessible and easy to read despite being a little whacky.
- Gunter Grass: A German writer who won the 1999 Noble prize for literature, Grass writes literature exploring complex moral issues.
- Marcel Proust: A brilliant French novelist, Proust’s most famous work contains over 2,000 characters over some 3,000 pages. No one could blame you for skimming the volume but the words from this genius are worth enduring.
- Issac Asimov: One of the reasons for the popularity of science fiction during the 20th century, Asimov is best known for writing the “I, Robot” series.
- Arthur Rimbaud: Rimbaud was a French philosopher that influenced the Beat Generation of American writers such as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. Something of a prodigy, Rimbaud produced his best known works in his late teens before giving up writing all together at 21.