Thursday, June 6, 2013

India's Share of Poor Jumps as World Poverty Declines

A billion people were lifted from abject poverty between 1980 and 2010. China accounts for nearly three quarters of these, or 680 million people brought out of misery, by reducing its extreme-poverty rate from 84% in 1980 to 10% now, according to a report in The Economist.  The report adds that with "poorer governance in India and Africa, the next two targets, means that China’s experience is unlikely to be swiftly replicated there".


Source: Where Are the Poor and Where Are the Poorest?

As China's share of the world's extreme poor (living below $1.25 per day per person level) has dramatically declined, India's share has significantly increased.  India now contributes 33% (up from 22 % in 1981). While the extreme poor in Sub-Saharan Africa represented only 11 percent of the world’s total in 1981, they now account for 34% of the world’s extreme poor, and China comes next contributing 13 percent (down from 43 percent in 1981), according to the World Bank report titled State of the Poor.

Pakistan's Share of World's Poor Equals its Share of World Population


The share of poverty in  South Asia region excluding India has slightly increased from 7% in 1981 to 9% now, according to the report.

The Economist offers a description of what extreme poverty means in the poor countries and how it compares with poverty in the developed world as follows:  Nobody in the developed world comes remotely close to the poverty level that $1.25 a day represents. America’s poverty line is $63 a day for a family of four. In the richer parts of the emerging world $4 a day is the poverty barrier. But poverty’s scourge is fiercest below $1.25 (the average of the 15 poorest countries’ own poverty lines, measured in 2005 dollars and adjusted for differences in purchasing power): people below that level live lives that are poor, nasty, brutish and short. They lack not just education, health care, proper clothing and shelter—which most people in most of the world take for granted—but even enough food for physical and mental health. Raising people above that level of wretchedness is not a sufficient ambition for a prosperous planet, but it is a necessary one.



How poor is India? An Oxford study found last year that India has more poor than the poor population of all of sub-Saharan Africa. The latest World Bank data shows that India's poverty rate of 27.5%, based on India's current poverty line of $1.03 per person per day, is more than 10 percentage points higher than Pakistan's 17.2%. Assam (urban), Punjab and Himachal Pradesh are the only three Indian states with similar or lower poverty rates than Pakistan's.




Chinese success can at least partially be attributed to its communist party's heavy handed actions to suppress political chaos on the streets and sustain rapid economic growth since 1980s. Tienanmen Square in Beijing was the scene of the communist government crackdown by the units of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) against mass students protests in 1989, an action that was widely condemned by the western world and the United Nations. Since the death of Chairman Mao and passing of the leadership to late Deng Xiaoping in 1980s, the Chinese communist party has pursued liberalizing the nation's economy without political liberalization, in the same way other East Asians did earlier.

The Chinese strategy has allowed the nation to pursue rapid industrialization with accelerated economic growth over the last two decades, while forcefully controlling the chaos on the streets, to lift a record number people out of poverty.

Unlike "autocratic" China, "democratic" India has failed to use a period of high economic growth to lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, falling far short of China’s record in protecting its population from the ravages of chronic hunger, a United Nations officials has said.


Here's a video clip on grinding poverty in resurgent India:



Richest 300 people together have as much wealth as the bottom 3 billion people. On average, people in rich countries have 80 times more wealth than the people in the poor countries. Watch this video on extreme wealth inequality in the world today:



Related Links:

Haq's Musings

World Bank on Poverty Across India

Superpoor India's Superpower Delusions

Are India and Pakistan Failed States?

India Home to World's Largest Number of Poor, Hungry and Illiterate

India Leads the World in Open Defecation

India Tops in Illiteracy and Defense Spending

Indians Poorer than sub-Saharan Africans
India Leads the World in Open Defecation

India Tops in Illiteracy and Defense Spending

Indians Poorer than sub-Saharan Africans

14 comments:

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Economist piece on economic growth and democracy:

REAL income in East Asia grew sevenfold from 1950 to 2005. Democracy has grown within the region too, in countries such as Indonesia, South Korea, Mongolia, and the Philippines. Japan and South Korea, the two Asian economies with the highest income levels and the most sophisticated technologies, are “full democracies” (see chart). India, today one of the world’s most important economies, has been mostly democratic since gaining independence in 1947.

Does economic growth go hand-in-hand with democratic regimes? Not necessarily: correlation does not imply causation. One group of economists found growth induced democracy in East Asia; democracy did not lead to growth. They compared North and South Korea, which were both poor in 1950 and under dictatorial regimes from the end of the Korean War until 1980. From 1980, per capita incomes diverged. The same year South Korea began democratising. But South Korea’s better institutions developed due to dictators’ policy choices, they say.

Others, including Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson, attribute this type of growth to political decision-making. “Extractive institutions” sometimes develop as elites feel more secure and seek their own ends, they say. “Such growth takes place when elites find it in their interest to allow new technologies and institutional changes necessary for economic growth.”

Paul Collier has controversially argued that authoritarianism can be good for growth. He would also say South Korean growth was successful due to its homogenous society. Its foreign immigrant population only reached 1m in 2007, and the majority are Chinese. In ethnically diverse societies only democracy can work for growth, says Mr Collier, because autocratic leaders with a narrow support base are otherwise tempted to siphon off national income. That explains why diverse India, with three major ethnic groups, four key religions, and 15 official languages, had no choice other than democracy-led growth.

What makes ethnically diverse but autocratic China different, given it has enjoyed rapid growth for the past two decades? China is rather like several small and tightly controlled states spread over one giant landmass, says Mr Collier.

Rapid growth is one thing. In 1980, India and China were both in relative autarky. By 2007, India’s GDP had almost doubled, but China’s increased seven-fold. India’s growth was primarily services led; China’s was industry based. China’s fast growth owed to state policy, Jeffrey Sachs and Messrs Acemoglu and Robinson agree.

Whether autocracy-led growth is sustainable is another. South Korea’s economic freedoms, a consequence of dictators’ decisions, led to demand for political freedoms. China’s Politburo will likely face a similar challenge in future. Democratisation has not yet flourished since economic freedoms are themselves negligible: property rights are lacking.

Asia’s most successful economies are a mix of flawed democracies and hybrid regimes. Most of these are moving towards, rather than away from, democratisation. In a study of 100 economies from 1960 to 1990, Robert Barro found that prosperity tends to inspire democracy. Could China be next, following South Korea’s path? Its new premier last week announced plans to crack down on corruption, describing this as a “self-imposed revolution” aimed at “curbing government power”. If that pledge is not genuine, China’s growth strategy may be doomed to failure in the long term—so, at least, reckon Messrs Acemoglu and Robinson.


http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2013/03/growth-0

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a BR report on "phenomenal" progress on electrification in Pakistan:

Pakistan has made substantial progress in electrification both in absolute terms and relative to the size of its population over the past two decades, World Bank''s report on "Global Tracking Framework" showed. According to the report, 60 percent of Pakistan''s total population had access to electricity in 1990, 80 percent in 2000 while 91 percent population got access to electricity by 2010. By 2010, 88 percent people of rural and 98 percent of the country''s urban population had access to electricity.

In terms of electricity access deficit, Pakistan ranked 16th, reflecting that as many as 15 million Pakistanis were without power. Around 1.2 billion people in this world have no access to electricity, the report maintained.

The report identified a group of 20 countries where access to electricity grew the fastest relative to the size of their overall population. These countries provided new electricity service to at least two percent of their populations annually. Only two countries - the United Arab Emirates and Qatar - kept the pace of electrification above 3.5 percent of their populations annually. Interestingly, Iraq, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Pakistan belong to both groups, showing substantial progress in electrification both in absolute terms and relative to the size of their respective populations.

Of the 20 countries with the largest number of people with access to electricity over the past 20 years, 12 are in Asia. They introduced 1.3 billion people to electricity (of the 1.7 billion electrified globally between 1990 and 2010), 283 million more than their population increase. The most impressive expansion of electrification occurred in India, China, Indonesia, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The advances in these populous countries are of enormous significance for achievement of the global universal access target.

The achievement of universal access to modern energy will depend critically on efforts of 20 high-impact countries. Together, these countries account for more than two thirds of the population currently living without electricity (0.9 billion people) and more than four-fifths of the global population without access to non-solid fuels (2.4 billion people). In terms of electricity, India has by far the largest access deficit; exceeding 300 million people, while for non-solid cooking fuel, India and China each have access deficits exceeding 600 million people.

The detailed World Bank report, which outlines challenges shows that India happens to be the most deprived country as far as provision of energy is concerned: as many as 306.2 million of its people are still without this basic utility. The remaining 19 nations lacking access to energy, with the number of deprived people is as follows: Nigeria (82.4 million), Bangladesh (66.4 million), Ethiopia (63.9 million), Congo (55.9 million), Tanzania (38.2 million), Kenya (31.2 million), Sudan (30.9 million), Uganda (28.5 million), Myanmar (24.6 million), Mozambique (19.9 million), Afghanistan (18.5 million), Korea (18 million), Madagascar (17.8 million), the Philippines (15.6 million), Pakistan (15 million), Burkina Faso (14.3 million), Niger (14.1 million), Indonesia (14 million) and Malawi 13.6 million). ...


http://www.brecorder.com/fuel-a-energy/193:pakistan/1196314:pakistans-growth-in-electricity-access-phenomenal-world-bank/

http://www.unep.org/pdf/778890GTF0full0report.pdf

Riaz Haq said...

Here are a few excerpts of a UN report on population released today:

World population projected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050 with most
growth in developing regions, especially Africa – says UN
India expected to become world’s largest country, passing China around 2028,
while Nigeria could surpass the United States by 2050
New York, 13 June—The current world population of 7.2 billion is projected to
increase by almost one billion people within the next twelve years, reaching 8.1
billion in 2025 and 9.6 billion in 2050, according to a new United Nations report,
World Population Prospects: The 2012 Revision, launched today.
Most of the population growth will occur in developing regions, which are projected
to increase from 5.9 billion in 2013 to 8.2 billion in 2050...
--------
At the country level, much of the overall increase between now and 2050 is projected
to take place in high-fertility countries, mainly in Africa, as well as countries with
large populations such as India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines and the United
States.
-----
For example,
the population of India is expected to surpass that of China around 2028, when both
countries will have populations of around 1.45 billion. Thereafter, India’s population
will continue to grow for several decades to around 1.6 billion and then decline
slowly to 1.5 billion in 2100. The population of China, on the other hand, is expected
to start decreasing after 2030, possibly reaching 1.1 billion in 2100.
Nigeria’s population is expected to surpass that of the United States before the middle
of the century. By the end of the century, Nigeria could start to rival China as the
second most populous country in the world. By 2100 there could be several other
countries with populations over 200 million, namely Indonesia, the United Republic
of Tanzania, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Uganda and
Niger.
---
...Europe’s population projected to decline by
14 per cent. Fertility in almost all European countries is now below the level required
for full replacement of the population in the long run (around 2.1 children per woman
on average). Fertility for Europe, as a whole, is projected to increase from 1.5 children
per woman in 2005-2010 to 1.8 in 2045-2050, and to 1.9 by 2095-2100. Despite this
increase, childbearing in low-fertility countries is expected to remain below the
replacement level, leading to a likely contraction of total population size.
Longer lives around the world
Life expectancy is projected to increase in developed and developing countries in
future years, according to the report. ----
---------
At the global level, it is projected to reach 76 years in 2045-2050 and 82 years in
2095-2100. By the end of the century, people in developed countries could live on
average around 89 years, compared to about 81 years in developing regions.
--------
In terms of annual averages, the major net receivers of international migrants during 2010-2050 are
projected to be the United States of America (1,000,000 annually), Canada (205,000), the United
Kingdom (172,500), Australia (150,000), Italy (131,250), the Russian Federation (127,500), France
(106,250) and Spain (102,500). The major countries of net emigration are projected to be
Bangladesh (-331,000 annually), China (-300,000), India (-284,000), Mexico (-210,000), Pakistan
(-170,000), Indonesia (-140,000) and the Philippines (-92,500). Economic and demographic
asymmetries across countries that may persist are likely to remain powerful generators of
international migration within the medium-term future.
...


http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/Documentation/pdf/WPP2012_Press_Release.pdf

http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/Documentation/pdf/WPP2012_%20KEY%20FINDINGS.pdf

Riaz Haq said...

Here's TOI on Indian economic crisis:

NEW DELHI: The Indian economy is in a crisis with growth slowing down, fiscal and current account deficits running high amid persistent inflation, says a study by an economic think tank.

"The Indian economy is in a crisis. While the growth rate has been declining...the issue (of high CAD) gets amplified against the backdrop of slowing economy, high fiscal deficit and persistent inflation," National Council of Applied Economic Research said.

India's current account deficit (CAD) rose to a record 6.7 per cent in the quarter ended December of 2012-13.

Attributing high CAD to GDP ratio slowdown in exports and increase in imports of oil, coal and gold, NCAER said the high CAD requires high foreign investment.

"This might be a risky proposition given the global financial volatility and keeping in view the interests of foreign investors," it said.

The study said that the persistent increase will lead to macroeconomic risk as it raises concerns about economy's ability to honour its external payments obligations. "It also affects the confidence of potential lenders and investors."

The NCAER study said there is a need to boost exports of merchandise and hence lower the deficit on balance of trade.

As per the study, manufacturing in India is still not internationally competitive in several sectors of production.

"Some long-term factors that need attention involve infrastructure, labour laws and governance reforms...moving to goods and services tax ( GST) would add to India's global competitiveness in manufactured goods," NCAER said.

It further said India should play a pro-active role in strengthening its trade integration with other Asian nations.

"India's trade and investment relations with Asia will play a major role in boosting its exports in the Asian century," the study said.

Also, India should strengthen its bilateral agreements and help bring about foreign trade agreements in groupings such as ASEAN+6 nations, it added.

The six countries outside ASEAN are Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/Indian-economy-is-in-a-crisis-Study/articleshow/20614222.cms

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Reuters' blog post on lack of hygiene in India:

My Indian friends and I joke around a lot about me as the typical white American guy visiting India. Cows! Con men! Colors! Most people I’ve met in India have restricted their reactions to my westerner-in-the-east experiences to gentle teasing. When I stuck a picture of a man urinating in public on my Facebook page, calling it one more picture of what you see everywhere you go in India, people weren’t as patient. What was I doing? Insulting the nation? Focusing on the ugly because it’s what all the westerners do when they visit India? Why does India provoke such visceral reactions in visitors?

Public urination, public defecation, dirt, garbage, filth, the poor living on the street — talking about these things, even acknowledging that they’re in front of your face, risks making your hosts unhappy, and possibly angry. It’s the third rail of India, and the voltage can be lethal. That’s why I was surprised when B.S. Raghavan decided to touch it with all 10 fingers.

Raghavan’s column in The Hindu Business Line newspaper begins with this headline: Are Indians by nature unhygienic?

Consider these excerpts:

From time to time, in their unguarded moments, highly placed persons in advanced industrial countries have burst out against Indians for being filthy and dirty in their ways of life. A majority of visitors to India from those countries complain of “Delhi belly” within a few hours of arrival, and some fall seriously ill.

There is no point in getting infuriated or defensive about this. The general lack of cleanliness and hygiene hits the eye wherever one goes in India — hotels, hospitals, households, work places, railway trains, airplanes and, yes, temples. Indians think nothing of spitting whenever they like and wherever they choose, and living in surroundings which they themselves make unliveable by their dirty habits. …

Open defecation has become so rooted in India that even when toilet facilities are provided, the spaces round temple complexes, temple tanks, beaches, parks, pavements, and indeed, any open area are covered with faecal matter. …

Even as Indians, we are forced to recoil with horror at the infinite tolerance of fellow Indians to pile-ups of garbage, overflowing sewage, open drains and generally foul-smelling environs.

There’s plenty more that you can read in that story, but I’ll direct you to the article. I’ll also ask you some questions:

Some people say you shouldn’t point out these problems, and that every country has problems. Do you agree with this statement? Why?
Does anyone disagree with Raghavan’s descriptions of these sights and smells?
Is this even a problem? Or should people get used to it?
Should visitors, especially ones from countries where people are generally wealthier, say nothing, and pretend that they don’t see unpleasant things?
As for me, I can say this: I got used to it, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t notice it. Indians notice it too. Otherwise, people wouldn’t suggest public shaming campaigns against people urinating in public, they wouldn’t threaten fines for doing it, and they wouldn’t respond with relief to plans to finally make sure that toilets on India’s trains don’t open directly onto the tracks. Of course, these are people in India. It’s a family, taking care of business the family way.

As for me, the message usually seems to be: “If you don’t love it, leave it.” It would be nice if there were some other answer. Acknowledging problems, even ones that are almost impossible to solve, makes them easier to confront.


http://blogs.reuters.com/india/2012/11/17/indians-inherently-unhygienic-indian-writer-touches-third-rail/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Economist.com piece on welfare spending in Asia:

True to their tradition of self-reliance, many Asian countries lean heavily towards social insurance, which ties benefits to contributions, rather than social assistance, which ties benefits to circumstances. In South Korea, for example, the mix is about 80% insurance to 20% assistance, according to the index. In Singapore, nine-tenths of the government’s efforts consist of contributions to the country’s Central Provident Fund, a compulsory saving scheme from which Singaporeans can draw for housing, health care and retirement.

But a number of countries are also experimenting with cash transfers. In 2009 Thailand’s Chek Chuay Chaat scheme handed out 2,000 baht ($65) to registered workers earning less than 15,000 baht a month, to help them weather the global financial crisis. And in South Asia, social insurance is far less dominant. That may reflect the limited reach and credibility of South Asian states, which find it difficult to collect and track contributions, especially if people doubt the state’s capacity to provide promised benefits. Many governments find it easier just to hand out cheap grain, or to pay the poor to dig ditches or lay roads. India is a case in point.

Prosperous Japan is the only country that protects its people both well and widely, according to the index. In Singapore, now richer than Japan, social protection is spread broadly but thinly, the index shows. The same is true of most of South-East Asia’s poorer countries, where the welfare state is still embryonic. Malaysia, however, has achieved depth (spending 27% of per-person GDP on each beneficiary) without breadth (its efforts reached only 14% of potential beneficiaries for the year the index was calculated). Pakistan, where social-protection spending helps the non-poor more than the poor, has also prized depth over breadth. India, on the other hand, has achieved neither.


http://www.economist.com/news/asia/21580531-asias-emerging-welfare-states-spread-themselves-thinly-widefare

Riaz Haq said...

Here's NY Times on India's growing troubles:

...a summer of difficulties has dented India’s confidence, and a growing chorus of critics is starting to ask whether India’s rise may take years, and perhaps decades, longer than many had hoped.

“There is a growing sense of desperation out there, particularly among the young,” said Ramachandra Guha, one of India’s leading historians.

Three events last week crystallized those new worries. On Wednesday, one of India’s most advanced submarines, the Sindhurakshak, exploded and sank at its berth in Mumbai, almost certainly killing 18 of the 21 sailors on its night watch.

On Friday, a top Indian general announced that India had killed 28 people in recent weeks in and around the Line of Control in Kashmir as part of the worst fighting between India and Pakistan since a 2003 cease-fire.

Also Friday, the Sensex, the Indian stock index, plunged nearly 4 percent, while the value of the rupee continued to fall, reaching just under 62 rupees per dollar, a record low.

Each event was unrelated to the others, but together they paint a picture of a country that is rapidly losing its swagger. India’s growing economic worries are perhaps its most challenging.

“India is now the sick man of Asia,” said Rajiv Biswas, Asia-Pacific chief economist at the financial information provider IHS Global Insight. “They are in a crisis.”

---.

The Indian government recently loosened restrictions on direct foreign investment, expecting a number of major retailers like Walmart and other companies to come rushing in. The companies have instead stayed away, worried not only by the government’s constant policy changes but also by the widespread and endemic corruption in Indian society.

The government has followed with a series of increasingly desperate policy announcements in recent weeks in hopes of turning things around, including an increase in import duties on gold and silver and attempts to defend the currency without raising interest rates too high.

Then Wednesday night, the government announced measures to restrict the amounts that individuals and local companies could invest overseas without seeking approval. It was an astonishing move in a country where a growing number of companies have global operations and ambitions.
---------
The submarine explosion revealed once again the vast strategic challenges that the Indian military faces and how far behind China it has fallen. India still relies on Russia for more than 60 percent of its defense equipment needs, and its army, air force and navy have vital Russian equipment that is often decades old and of increasingly poor quality.

The Sindhurakshak is one of 10 Russian-made Kilo-class submarines that India has as part of its front-line maritime defenses, but only six of India’s submarines are operational at any given time — far fewer than are needed to protect the nation’s vast coastline.

Indeed, India has fewer than 100 ships, compared with China’s 260. India is the world’s largest weapons importer, but with its economy under stress and foreign currency reserves increasingly precious, that level of purchases will be increasingly hard to sustain.

The country’s efforts to build its own weapons have largely been disastrous, and a growing number of corruption scandals have tainted its foreign purchases, including a recent deal to buy helicopters from Italy.

Unable to build or buy, India is becoming dangerously short of vital defense equipment, analysts say.

Meanwhile, the country’s bitter rivalry with Pakistan continues. Many analysts say that India is unlikely to achieve prominence on the world stage until it reaches some sort of resolution with Pakistan of disputes that have lasted for decades over Kashmir and other issues.


http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/19/business/global/a-summer-of-troubles-saps-indias-confidence.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here are excerpts of a BBC story on India's ambitious Mars Mission:

After India's successful unmanned Chandrayaan mission to the Moon in 2008 that brought back the first clinching evidence of the presence of water there, the Mars mission, according to K Radhakrishnan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), is a "natural progression".
----------
India sees the Mars mission as an opportunity to beat its regional rival China in reaching the planet, especially after a Russian mission carrying the first Chinese satellite to Mars failed in November 2011. Japan also failed in a similar effort in 1998.

China has beaten India in space in almost every aspect so far: it has rockets that can lift four times more weight than India's, and in 2003, successfully launched its first human space flight which India has not yet embarked on. China launched its maiden mission to Moon in 2007, ahead of India.

So if India's mission succeeds, it will have something to feel proud about.
-----------
Though India says its Mars mission is the cheapest inter-planetary mission ever to have been undertaken in half a century of space exploration, some are questioning its scientific purpose.

"This is a highly suboptimal mission with limited scientific objectives," says D Raghunandan of Delhi Science Forum, a think tank.

Others like economist-activist Jean Dreze have said the mission "seems to be part of the Indian elite's delusional quest for superpower status".

Refuting such talk, a top government official says: "We have heard these arguments since the 1960s, about India being a poor country not needing or affording a space programme.

"If we can't dare to dream big it would leave us as hewers of wood and drawers of water! India is today too big to be just living on the fringes of high technology."


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-24547892

Riaz Haq said...

Here's The Economist Magazine on India's Mars Mission:

ON NOVEMBER 5th or at some point in the following weeks India’s space organisation, ISRO, will launch a rocket carrying a small, unmanned spacecraft, the Mangalyaan (“Mars vehicle”). By the end of the month, the orbiter is set to stretch its solar wings and begin a nine-month trip to Mars. Officially, it will look for signs of methane on Earth’s neighbour. In fact the main concern is rivalry closer to home: to show that India’s space plans are not entirely outclassed by China’s. A successful mission would swell national pride. But as the Mangalyaan begins its journey, many might wonder how a country that cannot feed all of its people can find the money for a Mars mission. How can poor countries afford space programmes?

India is not the only emerging economy with space ambitions. Nigeria already has a handful of satellites floating around the Earth (though these were launched by others). Depending how you define a space programme, even minnows like Sri Lanka, Bolivia and Belarus have plans of some sort to get space activity under way. By one count, including co-operative efforts between countries but not fully private ones, there are currently over 70 space programmes, though only a dozen of these have any sort of launch capability. China’s programme is advanced: last year it put a woman in space, and in December it will launch its first (uncrewed) lunar mission.

From a distance, India's extra-terrestrial ambitions might seem like a waste of money. The country still has immense numbers of poor people: two-fifths of its children remain stunted from malnutrition and half the population lack proper toilets. Its Mars mission may be cheap by American (or Chinese) standards, at just $74m, but India’s overall space programme costs roughly $1 billion a year. That is more than spare change, even for a near $2-trillion economy. Meanwhile, spending on public health, at about 1.2% of GDP, is dismally low. What if the 16,000 scientists and engineers now working on space development were deployed instead to fix rotten sanitation? And why should donors bother to help tackle poverty where governments have enough spare resources to think about space? For some countries, at least, decent answers exist to such questions. Trips to the Moon and Mars may well be mostly about showing off. But most space programmes are designed to get satellites into Earth’s orbit for the sake of better communications, mapping, weather observation or military capacity at home. These bring direct benefits to ordinary people. Take one recent example: a fierce cyclone that hit India’s east coast last month killed few, whereas a similar-strength one in the same spot, in 1999, killed over 10,000. One reason for the improvement was that Indian weather satellites helped to make possible far more accurate predictions of where and when the storm would hit. Otherwise, improved data on monsoon rains, or generally shifting weather patterns, can help even the poorest farmers have a better idea of when to plant crops.

Donors may not be mollified (Britain, for example, is winding down its aid to India). But any aid programme has to be justified in the face of other waste, which can be far costlier than space programmes. A bigger problem in India, for example, is that pitifully few people pay tax, partly because so few have formal jobs. As an emerging middle-income country, India should easily have the means to pay for proper public health, as well as the odd jaunt into space. The pity of it all: it does neither as well as it could.


http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2013/11/economist-explains-0

Riaz Haq said...

As India launches its space mission to Mars, malnutrition rates in India are higher than in sub Saharan Africa. http://www.unicef.org/india/children_2356.htm

Riaz Haq said...

By:Prem Sagar, Meerut
Date: Friday, 11 January 2013, 2:20 pm
Open your eyes about great India:

900 million people earn only 20 rupees per day in India. Out of which 500 million people earns only 10 rupees per day. Out of which 250 million makes only 5 rupees per day. Out of which 50 million people makes nothing. We have created the most heinous society in the history of human race. We 1 million Indians carry the toilet of other Indians every day. This is the greatest economical terrorism in the history of human race. We have 5 lakh villages without water. 34 families control 50% India – the greatest feudal system ever. Our mataas and mothers in the villages do their toilet on the road side. We are topping in AIDS, Blood Pressure, Stress Level and many other ills and deceases. We have the largest ghetto in Bombay. And yet, we have all the time to attack Muslims. We have killed and massacred over 10 million Hindu female babies in the last decade alone by forced abortions. Every day, hundreds of Hindu women are being raped by other Hindus. Every day! When Muslims lost power in India, the literacy rate was 96%. When British lost India, the literacy rate was reduced to 12% and they left 160 million Indian poor and destitute. Today, that poor and destitute climbed to 900 million. Today, Hindus have created the greatest feudal System in the history of mankind. 34 Hindu families control 50% India. Out of 1200 million people, only 35 million Indians are full time employees. The rest is hopping one place to another. Out of which 1.5 million are employed in military, few lakhs in Banking, Railway and government.

If anybody wanted to substantiate the above, please watch RAJIVE DIXIT SPEECH IN HYDERABAD 2010. Just cut and paste the capital letters on YouTube and enjoy the speech by this Pakka Hindu. Hindus are incapable to function as a society. When Muslims entered India, the country was divided into 200 mini kingdoms. They always use to fight with each other. They demolish each other Bhagwans and deities statutes. It was a regular practice. Muslims provided stability. Bollywood today is the hub and powerhouse of prostitution. The producers and directors regularly rape the upcoming start up heroines. The branded heroines regularly sell their bodies for lakhs per night to rich people inside and outside India. India is becoming a superpower is nothing but hoax and false.

Today, every city of India is filthy, dirty - they live like haiwaans and animals.

http://www.ourbeacon.com/cgi-bin/bbs60x/webbbs_config.pl/md/read/id/314123119185216

Anonymous said...

By:Prem Sagar, Meerut
Date: Friday, 11 January 2013, 2:20 pm
Open your eyes about great India:

900 million people earn only 20 rupees per day in India. Out of which 500 million people earns only 10 rupees per day. Out of which 250 million makes only 5 rupees per day. Out of which 50 million people makes nothing. We have created the most heinous society in the history of human race. We 1 million Indians carry the toilet of other Indians every day. This is the greatest economical terrorism in the history of human race. We have 5 lakh villages without water. 34 families control 50% India – the greatest feudal system ever. Our mataas and mothers in the villages do their toilet on the road side. We are topping in AIDS, Blood Pressure, Stress Level and many other ills and deceases. We have the largest ghetto in Bombay. And yet, we have all the time to attack Muslims. We have killed and massacred over 10 million Hindu female babies in the last decade alone by forced abortions. Every day, hundreds of Hindu women are being raped by other Hindus. Every day! When Muslims lost power in India, the literacy rate was 96%. When British lost India, the literacy rate was reduced to 12% and they left 160 million Indian poor and destitute. Today, that poor and destitute climbed to 900 million. Today, Hindus have created the greatest feudal System in the history of mankind. 34 Hindu families control 50% India. Out of 1200 million people, only 35 million Indians are full time employees. The rest is hopping one place to another. Out of which 1.5 million are employed in military, few lakhs in Banking, Railway and government.

If anybody wanted to substantiate the above, please watch RAJIVE DIXIT SPEECH IN HYDERABAD 2010. Just cut and paste the capital letters on YouTube and enjoy the speech by this Pakka Hindu. Hindus are incapable to function as a society. When Muslims entered India, the country was divided into 200 mini kingdoms. They always use to fight with each other. They demolish each other Bhagwans and deities statutes. It was a regular practice. Muslims provided stability. Bollywood today is the hub and powerhouse of prostitution. The producers and directors regularly rape the upcoming start up heroines. The branded heroines regularly sell their bodies for lakhs per night to rich people inside and outside India. India is becoming a superpower is nothing but hoax and false.

Today, every city of India is filthy, dirty - they live like haiwaans and animals.

http://www.ourbeacon.com/cgi-bin/bbs60x/webbbs_config.pl/md/read/id/314123119185216

Riaz Haq said...

TOI on UNESCO EFA report:

India has by far the largest population of illiterate adults — 287 million or 37 per cent of the global total, said a report released on Wednesday.

The "EFA Global Monitoring Report, 2013-14: Teaching and Learning: Achieving quality for All", commissioned by the Unesco, said 10 countries (including India) account for 557 million or 72 per cent of the global population of illiterate adults.

"India's literacy rate rose from 48 per cent in 1991 to 63 per cent in 2006, (the latest year for which data was available), but population growth cancelled the gains. So there was no change in the number of illiterate adults," the report said.

Stressing the importance of "quality education", Unesco's New Delhi director Shigeru Aoyagi said India was facing a challenge of quality education.

"Though we have more than 99 per cent children in schools because of the Right to Education Act, the quality of education being imparted is a big challenge that should be addressed," he said.

"The most crucial agents of quality education and learning are teachers and students. Teachers are the most important element that can improve the quality of education," he said.

The report said that without attracting and adequately training enough teachers, the learning crisis will "last for several generations and hit the disadvantaged the hardest".

The report also said that a global learning crisis was costing governments $129 billion a year, and that 10 per cent of global spending on primary education was being lost on poor quality education that was failing to ensure that children learn.

"It leaves one in four young people in poor countries unable to read a single sentence, affecting one-third of young women in South and West Asia," it said.

The countries include Bhutan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.

At the report launch, Delhi education minister Manish Sisodia said it was essential to change the content in our textbooks, so that the "future generation is more aware" about the various issues prevalent in society.

"The country will not change with IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management) and IAS. It will only change from the classrooms," Sisodia said.

"There is no other option but to spend quality money on education, and make it a priority," he added.

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2014-01-29/india/46781019_1_quality-education-global-monitoring-report-learning-crisis

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan's new higher #poverty line of Rs. 3,030.32 pm per adult to classify 59m as poor: Planning Commission

http://www.dawn.com/news/1261693/govts-new-poverty-line-to-classify-up-to-59m-as-poor-planning-commission-report

Pakistan has performed exceptionally well in reducing monetary poverty over the past 15 years, down from nearly 35pc of the population in 2001-02 to under 10pc in 2013-14.

--------


As the country’s population is estimated to be around 200 million, the new poverty line set by the government will allow 6.8 to 7.6 million households or 53 to 59 million people to be classified as poor, according to a Planning Commission document.

This demonstrates the government’s commitment to reaching low-income households through its policies and interventions, and to improving the lives of all of Pakistan’s people, the document says.

Read: New poverty line makes a third of Pakistanis poor

The commission says that by resetting the poverty threshold the government is reaffirming its commitment to a sustainable and inclusive development path which is aligned with its policy priorities.

According to poverty rates based on the 2013-14 re-estimation, the new poverty line is Rs3,030.32 per adult equivalent per month, and 29.5 per cent of the population will be considered poor.

Based on the most recent Household Income and Expenditure Survey, conducted in 2013-14, Pakistan’s poverty line was equal to Rs2,259.4 per adult equivalent per month. This number translates into Rs2,502.32 per person per month.

The commission mentioned its commitments on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a robust social protection programme, and the creation of more and better jobs for the poor.

According to the commission, most developing countries revisit their poverty threshold when poverty rates get as low as those seen in Pakistan today.

In light of this, the government has made a decision to raise the bar on which it will consider the poor in Pakistan today.

Pakistan has performed exceptionally well in reducing monetary poverty over the past 15 years, down from nearly 35pc of the population in 2001-02 to under 10pc in 2013-14.

The last time a poverty line was set in Pakistan was in 2001-02. The line used the food energy intake method, with a reference group that included the bottom three quintiles of the distribution of expenditure as the reference group.

It also used a caloric threshold of 2,350 calories per adult equivalent per day — higher than the FAO standard used in much of the region.

In Pakistan, the reduction in poverty led to an increase in dietary diversity for everyone. For the poorest, the share of expenses devoted to milk and milk products, chicken, eggs and fish, as well as vegetables and fruits increased.

In contrast the share of cereals, which provide the cheapest calories, declined steadily between 2001-02 and 2013-14.

Since foods like chicken, eggs, vegetables, fruits and milk and milk products are more expensive than cereals and pulses, and have lower caloric content, this shift in consumption increased the amount that people spend per calorie over time.

The commission’s document says that many secondary and tertiary cities have sprung up in the rural periphery and, with them, the informal economy has burgeoned. This needs to be better captured in national data, including the GDP, and is likely an important source of the reduction in poverty.

An important indicator is the lack of change in the share of the employed in the rural economy combined with the reduction in male participation in agricultural work.

These issues need to be carefully examined in order to understand both the key determinants of the decline in poverty thus far and the prospects for a continued robust decline in poverty.