Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Statistics and Poverty

Statistics has always been a tool to measure poverty but slowly it is also being used to predict future poverty trends

Statistics form a crucial base for governments monitoring and managing economies, an imperative for efficient resource allocation and decision making in both private and public sectors.Statistics reveal differences and changes in living conditions and are needed to improve the situation of the poor.

Using sophisticated software developing nations can identify their populations’ needs and disseminate the information to appropriate government, public, private and non business organizations.

Check out one of the presentations that will give you a perspective on how statistics helps fights poverty..........................

Why does the Indian economy depend on Monsoons?

Each year, stock market analysts, CEOs, government officials and foreign investors eagerly await word on an indicator pivotal to India's economy: the forecast for the big June-September monsoon season.

Why does monsoons in India matter so much to the Indian economy?

Although India is in the news for high technology and outsourcing, about two-thirds of the country's one billion people depend on farming for a livelihood and agriculture accounts for about one-quarter of the gross domestic product.
  • A good monsoon results in growth in the farm sector which strengthens consumption in the villages while any slowdown means bad news for rural demand.

  • Only about a third of India's crops are grown on irrigated land and the rest rely on the soaking monsoon rains, which also bring relief from the scorching heat.

Rural India, where about 600 million people live, dependent on farm income, is a market with a huge potential - and appetite - for growth.Number of fast moving consumer good companies see a direct correlation between the monsoon and disposable income in the villages.

Do the monsoons matter less now since 1991?

As India embraced free market reforms in 1991, the farm sector was eclipsed by services and manufacturing as production controls and tariff barriers were removed to open the economy to global supply and demand. With vital industries such as software and pharmaceuticals powering India's growth now, investors don't have to worry as much as before whether a bad monsoon will hit village demand for motorcycles, shampoo or refrigerators.

Although monsoons impact to India's GDP is decreasing,it is still a potent force. But in past decades, economic growth fell to almost zero during a particularly bad monsoon; more recently, the growth in economic output has dipped to about 4 percent in years of bad monsoons and risen past 8 percent during particularly good years. Hopefully in the coming decades no one will be talking about the monsoons as India will be past the phase of a monsoon dependant economy.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Politics of Swine Flu

India has a population of approximately 1.3 billion people with the "killer virus" reportedly having claimed 51 lives so far. While each death is disturbing and tragic, a few fatalities, scattered across a country of 1.3bn people, do not amount to a pandemic.

Media has created a mass hysteria because of which the government is allocating precious resources to control the spread of a virus which, in 90% of cases, is cured without any medication at all. Schools, colleges, shopping malls and multiplexes across India's major cities have been shut down. Millions of Indians have marked India's 62nd Independence day by being at home. People have been walking with masks on the streets. Travelers coming from all over to India are being checked at airports for any flu like symptoms.

Malaria and tuberculosis in India kill thousands of people every year. AIDS is a bigger problem in India. But these diseases are more rampant in socially backward areas, a part of India which our media refuses to provide adequate coverage.

Not only India, but other emerging economies like Mexico have reacted similarly to the Swine Flu fears. In April Mexico shut down schools, museums, libraries and state-run theaters across its overcrowded capital Friday in hopes of containing a swine flu outbreak .

As countries around the media get more integrated due to globalization, this may be the norm and we are most likely going to see this kind of stance taken by countries just to prove to the others that they are taking appropriate steps to curb global diseases.I hope that the media also focuses on a country's internal health problems so that respective governments take steps to allocate similar resources.

For more details on Swine Flu in India further details can be obtained at http://www.swinefluindia.com/

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Wines in India

Not many people around the world are aware that India has a fast growing wine industry and lot of new wine drinkers.Most wine made in India is consumed there. And as wine publications, wine clubs, competitions and tasting dinners have taken hold, gradually, Indian wines with notable finesse are becoming available and appreciated.It is estimated that in the next 10 years there will be 300 million upwardly mobile Indians who can afford wine and for whom it will be a lifestyle choice.Today the country's erstwhile whiskey-drinking elite are cultivating a taste for wine.

During British colonization, wine became more and more familiar throughout India. The first vineyard was planted in Surat in 1612 by Britons, while "a number of Indian wines were exhibited and favourably received by visitors to the Great Calcutta Exhibition of 1884.
In the 19th century, with the invention of Indian pale ale, beer began to overtake wine consumption, at the same time brandy, whisky and soda, once widely accessible, were recognized as drinks of choice.

Additionally, around the 1860s, when the Schweppes company began marketing its anti-malaria tonic, gin began to gain currency as the best means for making tonic palatable.
At the beginning of twentieth century, cocktails became a fad worldwide, and even today in India, cocktails, whisky soda, rum and brandy are far, far more widely consumed than wine.

Wine was the chosen drink of the Mughal dynasty and the British helped make it popular,the industry's defining moment came in 2002 when the government eliminated restrictions on wine imports. A flood of foreign labels entered the market, and although taxes remained high, a greater range was made available to the Indian connoisseur.

The Indian White wine and Indian Red Wine

The white wine is called Chhabri and it is made predominately from Chardonnay with Ugni Blanc and Thompson Seedless blended together to round out this quite attractive wine.

The red wine is called Anarkali and it is made from mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with a touch of Bangalore Purple which increases the nose and quite firm palate. You might well think you are drinking wine made from Cabernet Franc.

List of Vineyards and Wineries in India

ND Wines - India http://www.ndwines.com/
Dajeeba - India http://www.dajeebavines.com/
Champagne Indage Limited - India http://www.indagegroup.com
Grover Vineyards - Bangalore, India http://www.grover-vineyards.com/
Coasta & Company - Goa, India http://www.costavin.com/
Sula Wines http://www.sulawines.com/
Bluestar Agro and Winery (India) Private Limited http://www.indiamart.com/blue-star/
Bliss Wines http://www.blisswines.in/

Saturday, May 16, 2009

An Important Milestone in India's Growth Story

I am glad that the UPA government has defeated the NDA and acquired close to a majority simply because it will become easier for the ruling coalition to enact its policies without the hindrances from the Left.Dr Manmohan Singh who will continue as the Prime Minister after all is the architect of Indian reforms and is well respected by much of the business community. The UPA government in its last tenure has taken a number of steps to spread the wealth around and reduce poverty whose results should be seen during the government's current tenure.

We have also said a big "No" to the politics of religion and all parties big and small must learn from this for the future that the Indian population no longer appreciates regionalism and religion based politics. All debates in the future must be on core issues and not over building a temple or a masjid(mosque).

Though this is the right step for India for the long term much of the core issues of poverty, terrorism and lack of education remain. I hope that the government formed at the center after this election will help India grow faster by enacting out the right policies.

But I also know that the UPA itself is rampant with corruption and it will be the job of the UPA leaders to root out the corruption and make the government an efficient institution that truly works for the welfare of the people.

Let hope prevail!