Archive for the ‘india’ tag
I’d not realized it, but Samanth Subramanian points out that the latest presidential election — which brought Narendra Modi to power — there may mark the decline of English being the most important and prominent language in India:
Most recently, though, India’s major newspapers have been expanding in a different direction. In 2012, Bennett Coleman, the publisher of The Times of India, the world’s largest English daily, started a Bengali newspaper and poured fresh resources into its older Hindi and Marathi papers. Last October, the publisher of The Hindu, a 135-year-old English paper, launched a Tamil edition. Another leading English daily, The Hindustan Times, has enlarged the staff and budgets of its Hindi sibling Hindustan. And this past winter, a few months before the election, The Times of India launched NavGujarat Samay, a Gujarati paper for Modi’s home turf.
An Indian entrepreneur, shocked by the rags women were using to cope with their menstrual flow, set out to solve the problem. The result is quite an inspiring story. Here’s an awkwardly funny excerpt showing his impressive dedication:
He managed to convince 20 students to try out his pads - but it still didn’t quite work out. On the day he came to collect their feedback sheets he caught three of the girls industriously filling them all in. These results obviously could not be relied on. It was then that he decided to test the products on himself. “I became the man who wore a sanitary pad,” he says.
He created a “uterus” from a football bladder by punching a couple of holes in it, and filling it with goat’s blood. A former classmate, a butcher, would ring his bicycle bell outside the house whenever he was going to kill a goat. Muruganantham would collect the blood and mix in an additive he got from another friend at a blood bank to prevent it clotting too quickly - but it didn’t stop the smell.
The inspiring part:
“Anyone with an MBA would immediately accumulate the maximum money. But I did not want to. Why? Because from childhood I know no human being died because of poverty - everything happens because of ignorance.”
He believes that big business is parasitic, like a mosquito, whereas he prefers the lighter touch, like that of a butterfly. “A butterfly can suck honey from the flower without damaging it,” he says.
I worry about the cliche of calling a writer on his home-country “poetic”, but I can’t think of a better way to explain why I enjoyed this essay from Pico Iyer about his visit to Hyberbad, India’s growing technology hub:
The beauty of India, I thought, lies in how little it ever changes, deep down; it clings to the ways of a thousand years ago, and to the multifarious customs it has adopted in the centuries since, with an intimacy that many a neighbor might envy. No one in search of the old in India ever comes away disappointed.
This is cool:
India’s public karaoke-for-literacy experiment is the only one of its kind in the world. Technically known as same-language subtitling, or SLS, it manages to reach 200 million viewers across 10 states every week. In the last nine years, functional literacy in areas with SLS access has more than doubled. And the subtitles have acted as a catalyst to quadruple the rate at which completely illiterate adults become proficient readers.
Specifically: Why does India have so few Olympic medals? Tyler Cowen and others speculate. I do believe that cricket remains my favorite explanation.
To fight their public urination problem, officials in Musiri, Tamil Nadu, India are paying people to use the restroom.
Dozens of people are queuing up to use toilets in Musiri, a remote town in Tamil Nadu state, where authorities are succeeding in keeping street corners clean with the new scheme.
The urine was also being collected and tested for its efficacy as a crop fertiliser, an official of Tamil Nadu’s agricultural university said.
The poor of Musiri, are earning upto a dollar a month and very happy to keep the street corners clean.
I suppose this was only a matter of time. Quoth Slashdot:
Students studying computing in the UK and US are outsourcing their university coursework to graduates in India and Romania. Work is being contracted out for as little as £5 on contract coding websites usually used by businesses. Students are outsourcing everything from simple coursework to full blown final year dissertations. It’s causing a major headache for lecturers who say it is almost impossible to detect.”
The irony, of course, is that if they actually get jobs in the sector, this will be how they actually work anyway.
The Financial Times recently ran an interesting story profiling seven “average” people from the country of 1.1 billion.
A generation ago, the “Indian dream” would almost certainly have involved a ticket to Vancouver, London or New York. That is less true today. Daru, like so many of her peers, thinks she can best build her future here. “India now has enough opportunities for my generation,” she says. “I have friends who have gone to the US and to the UK to earn some money, but then they come back. I see a lot of youngsters thinking of coming back to their friends and family.”
Thought-provoking piece Mark Gimien about the irrelevance of the much-touted Gini coefficient in capturing the inequalities of everyday life. His conclusion:
When economists talk about inequality, they are talking about something that can easily be captured in an equation about national income. When noneconomists talk about inequality, however, they have in mind not their neighbor’s wallet, which they can’t see, but their own, which they can. They are thinking of what they can and cannot afford, and also of the most visible extremes of wealth and poverty around them. That’s why India’s Gini index may be lower than our own, and yet it will be the rare person who will say that India is more equal in any sense that matters. When we talk about inequality, it’s not about resentment of the next door neighbors’ pool. It’s about gut issues: whether we feel poor, whether we feel that those around us are poor. That’s why it’s worth thinking about in the first place. Unfortunately, the usual way that economists talk about and measure inequality tells us next to nothing about it.
Just a small chart to scare the pants off of those who recently found out that the “BRIC” countries are serious about growing. And that the United States is, well, not growing as fast as them. More embarrassingly, because the recession the US is also forecast to grow slower than Japan or the Euro area.