TMS Ep271: Free foodgrain, engineering workforce, crypto, abortion law

The Central government has extended its free foodgrain scheme for another three months, till December. Started in April 2020, when the country first came in the grip of Covid-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana helped crores tide over the crisis. Some had lost their jobs, others were not earning enough to feed the family. Now, over two years later, when the pandemic has waned and the has opened, do we still need this scheme? And will this additional outlay increase the fiscal pressure?

The country's two most backward states — UP and Bihar — which get the maximum quota of the food grain scheme, also send out a large number of engineering graduates to IITs and other colleges. The contrast tells a lot about their education system. Other parts of the country are no better. Hundreds of engineering colleges churn out over 15 lakh techies every year. But, just over 2 lakh land jobs. We find out more about these colleges and looks at why employability of engineers is so low.

A recent report said that are paying more to engineers than the big techs. But the global slowdown is forcing the startups to do a reality check. It is also forcing banks to act tough. The US Federal Reserve's aggressive monetary tightening policy has spelt more trouble for the crypto markets too. While analysts in June had anticipated mild recovery in the second half of FY23, the crypto investors continue to bleed. What is the road ahead for the crypto markets, as global central banks affirm to higher interest rates?

After the markets, let us step into the corridors of the Supreme Court. On Thursday, it ruled that all women, irrespective of their marital status, are entitled to legal abortion as permitted under Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) rules. The verdict has addressed some grey areas in legal abortion in India vis-à-vis unmarried women. This episode of the podcast tells more about it.

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