Published: 16th January 2021
Welcome to reason: How do you put monetary value on India’s students?
Can we ever put a monetary value on our students? On what criteria? Our columnist John B Monteiro asks these important questions. Find out more
I never do anything fun, because I’m a housewife. I hate that
word ‘housewife.’ I prefer to be called ‘domestic goddess’
- Roseanne Barr (b 1952), American actress, comedian, writer and producer
Putting a monetary value on a person is common in the case of accidental deaths. Such values are often calculated on the basis of the current and prospective earnings of the dead persons. What happens to those not formally employed under a letter of employment — as, for instance, housewives? There is good news for them from the Supreme Court of India. But first, the facts:
The Supreme Court on January 5, 2021, said that the value of a woman’s work at home was no less than that of her office-going husband and enhanced the compensation to relatives of a couple who died when a car hit their scooter in April 2014 in Delhi.
A bench of Justices N V Ramana and Surya Kant enhanced the compensation of `11.20 lakh to `33.20 lakh to be paid by the insurance company with 9% annual interest from May 2014.
Justice Ramana referred to a recent report of the National Statistical Office titled ‘Time Use in India-2019’ which suggested that, on average, women spend nearly 299 minutes a day on unpaid domestic services for household members versus 97 minutes by men. Similarly, in a day, women spend 134 minutes on unpaid caregiving services for household members as compared to 76 minutes by men. The total time spent on these activities per day makes the picture in India even clearer — women, on average, spend 16.9% and 2.6% of their day on unpaid domestic services and unpaid caregiving services for household members respectively, while men spend 1.7% and 0.8%, Justice Ramana said.
“The sheer amount of time and effort that is dedicated to household work by individuals, who are more likely to be women than men, is not surprising when one considers the plethora of activities a homemaker undertakes. A homemaker often prepares food for the entire family, manages the procurement of groceries and other household shopping needs, cleans and manages the house and its surroundings and so much more,” he said.
Students dying in accidents (God forbid) is not a novelty. Since the readers of Edex are mainly students, how would they put a monetary value on students of different courses and levels? On what criteria?