Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Demonetization’s Impact on Students - Losin Lorin, B.Com 6th Semester (Accounting & Finance Honours)



In radical move on 8th November 2016 Prime Minster Narendra Modi announced the withdrawal of high value banknotes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 from public use and ever since, demonetization has created a stir all over India. Varied opinions have been voiced on this issue, shocking amounts of money have been recovered, and even as the nation tries to move on with normal life it is apparent that different regions and sections of society have found it challenging to cope with this change. On 22nd November, Suresh, a B.Sc. student at Panchnehi Memorial College in Uttar Pradesh committed suicide after he was unable to withdraw enough cash to pay his examination fees. He had stood in bank queues for days trying in vain to get the money. How has demonetization affected students in Nagaland? This week’s article analyzes just that.

Demonetization’s Impact on Students 

Demonetization has, in some ways, affected everyone in India and has changed consumers’ spending habits. I decided to ask some of my friends to find out their views on demonetization of old currency notes. Many are happy with the steps the government has taken to expose black money. And many believe the government has finally taken a step to stop corruption in India. Some opined that it may not expose all the black money in circulation, but at least a little will be exposed giving initial steps to create a corruption free country. It was interesting to hear differing views on interacting with students of Nagaland from different backgrounds and mindsets.

So it appears that the biggest problem students are faced with is the process of exchanging old notes at the bank. Exchanging the old bank notes can be very frustrating given the amount of time wasted waiting in queues and sometimes even banks run out of the new notes . The government policy to limit the amount of money one can withdraw also causes  much inconvenience for the students and their family, since most are unable to meet the needs of the family with  the limited amount of money. Even to pay the fees, students now have to visit the banks at least two to three times, sometimes even more, within as many days just to pay their tuition installments.

Some of my friends also think that the demonetization of money will not create any difference in Nagaland. According to some, since people, i.e. local tribal people, don’t pay income tax in Nagaland, it will not affect the people drastically and that corruption cannot be stopped. The only difficulty is that the standards of living will change because in Nagaland credit cards are not commonly used. And even if one decides to use debit or credit cards there aren’t enough facilities to accommodate the use of cashless business transactions. Thus, it only perpetuates the difficulties of not having enough cash supplemented with the problems related with the exchanging of old bank notes.

A junior from my college told me, “I went to the bank on 2nd of December in the morning at 10 am and had to wait for 4 hours in the queue to get the money!”
Another friend of mine said “I had to wait for 2 hours in line to get the money. While standing in queue some people were even trying to cut the queue to get inside quicker and that created a commotion and it took longer!”

Some also mentioned that it may be cruel for the public now as it is very difficult to find change for the large denomination, such as 2000 rupees note, and even to exchange the old note is also a big public inconvenience, but at the end of the day, they maintained, it is for a better future. Many are happy because black money will be exposed and in that way corruption will be stopped to an extent.

Everyone has different ideas regarding the demonetization of money; therefore, according to me, I believe that this first step taken by the government is the beginning of a new era, a beginning that will bring concrete changes. And hopefully, such steps will instill values of honesty and trust in our society. Money is not a bad thing, but the greediness is. The greed for money brings about evil in the world. People are bought with huge sums of money for political or social reasons.

Honesty is now a rarity, especially in Nagaland. Seldom do we trust one another. Today, our society is lacking in trust  since most of us fail to keep our words and are unable to be truthful and honest because of social obligations, for reputations, and so on. Thus, I hope demonetization of money will create a positive change in India.

Yes, people don’t pay income tax in Nagaland. But things should not be taken for granted. We should know what is right and have good values. Finally, the government has taken a step to stop the most pervasive problem, ie, corruption, and I hope this step will create a positive impact in India and in Nagaland, specifically. The problems of exchanging notes from the banks continue to be a big concern; thus, I think if the government has made proper plans prior to the implementation of its new policy, the government needs to be aware of the situation and make sound decisions to meet the demands of the public. For me, this might help the government in earning the support of its citizens. Some people even say that this step was taken by the government to promote clean elections, as politics, in India, is connected with money.

Positives and negatives will always exist in policy matters of the government. The step we need to take is to quickly adapt to the situation such as using credit cards, upgrading facilities that support the use of cards and other digital means, for instance, paytm. These steps are not only easy to use but they’re also convenient. For now, it may be too early to predict the outcome of the decision made by the government, but let’s hope that over time, there will be a positive change.


Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thought will delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. The views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC Accredited UGC recognized Commerce and Arts College. The editors are Dr. Hewasa Lorin, Anjan Behera, Dr. Salikyu Sangtam, Nivibo Yiki, and Kvulo Lorin. For feedback or comments please email: dot@tetsocollege.org.

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