Human societies are resistant to change, it seems. Bankers’ unions in India often protest against any kind of change, whether its for the good or bad. I remember the furore in nationalised banks when computers were introduced in the late 90s to maintain accounts. Tellers would spend enormous amounts of time punching the codes on the keyboard, frustrating bank customers to no end. I believe the conspiracy continues to date in nationalised banks.
Another change is in the academic front, as more and more schools turn “international”, adopting IB, IG or Cambridge curricula, they are also moving to online examinations that require little to none writing by students/candidates. The benefits of this are enormous as randomly distributed questions can be programmed for different students thereby foregoing the whole paper-leaking/copying process and examination results can be announced immediately. I foresee protests, over digitzation of school exams, by teachers who would otherwise be paid extra money to validate and assign marks to the answer sheets of each and every student.
In recent times the uproar over a Billionaire being elected as President of the U.S.A is also a case in point. So the man has funny mannerisms, and probably tiny hands too, but in an age when countries are competing against each other on GDP growth numbers and Debt to GDP ratios, having a businessman as President is probably a good idea. They pulled out all stops when they elected a once-bankrupted businessman, who would know how to leverage the system to his benefit.
Protests against President Trump have focused on how un–Presidentially he behaves. Well he’s not a career politician, and so he might need to learn some people-skills while at it. The important thing to note is that he defeated a career politician who seemed to have overwhelming support from more vocal citizens of the U.S., and yet against all odds won the elections because of a need for change. And President Trump is ushering in the change in the face of protests. (The U.S. citizens voted him to power based on his agenda and manifesto. One cannot blame him for doing what he promised to do.)
Closer home, the big debate on whether Indian GDP numbers reflect the real state of the economy is raging on between Harwardians and Hard-workers. Chinese GDP data has been treated with suspicion for many years because of the lack of transparency and methodology to explain the data. Perhaps we are “Making” in India the numbers that ought to raise the country’s ratings. More importantly, why should the ratings deny the Indian economy any legitimate investments? The blip in the Indian economy caused by the Demonetization episode may have long-term impacts whether positive or negative, but in the near-term it will bring to the forefront a parallel economy that was so far hidden in plain-sight. This should motivate investors (as long as they can play along the Nationalism charade).
A recently released report by the US agency National Intelligence Council also seems to suggest that countries will increasingly become protectionist in the years to come. The shrinking of the globalized markets should be seen as an opportunity to fix gaping holes in an economy that make manufacturing unfeasible. Think of it as a reset button of sorts.
Change is imminent!