I stopped watching cricket some time ago. After a gap of several years, I watched cricket during the 2003 world cup. The last match I watched was the 2003 World Cup Final between Indian and Australia. Yet, I have several fond memories of watching cricket. For many years, I was looking for the "I Get Knocked Down" video made during either the Wills International Cup 1998 or the World Cup of 1999 (Knowledable people can correct me on this). The video featured Sachin Tendulkar playing some very Tendulkar-like shots. I ran in to one video made during the 2003 World Cup set to the same song, thanks to google video. Enjoy watching vintage Tendulkar to the tune of Chambawamba. Courtsey Sachinclips.
transition to a 7% growth path in recent years is very much an
outgrowth of the emerging consumerism of one of the world’s youngest
populations. The increased vigor of private
consumption provides a powerful leverage to the Indian growth dynamic
that is rarely found in the externally-dependent developing world.
Personally, it is not so clear to me whether the new consumer culture isn't really the Bomb under the World. There isn't a black or white answer to this question. Certainly, tremendous improvements in quality of life are due in India, but focus on consumption is worrisome. As Stephen found out, there is more to India's current development path than just rise of the Indian Consumer.
Dr. (Manmohan) Singh is the real thing when it comes to India’s reforms -- he led the charge in the opening up of the early 1990s.;
Today’s political context is obviously quite different: As a majority
party official he was able to drive the process far more forcefully
back then than is the case today, with a delicate left-leaning
coalition government. Mindful of those
constraints, the key code word in current coalition governance circles
is “inclusive” -- emblematic of a development strategy that is being
refocused to deal with the income-disadvantaged citizens of rural India;
The Prime Minister is very philosophical when it comes to integrating
his reform philosophy within the political imperatives of a broader
base of Indian economic development.
I have heard reform with a human face line from the Prime Minister, but often times the human side shows up in the forms of short sighted populist measures rather than real improvements in infrastructure, education and health that matter most in the longer term.
Of all the trips I make around the world, India is by far the toughest. Poverty is everywhere -- not just in rural India but in the swanky neighborhoods of its vast urban centers of Mumbai, New Delhi, as well as in the pulsating new tech centers of Bangalore and Hyderabad And it is poverty and human tragedy on a scale unlike anything I have ever seen -- including that of rural China; An inclusive India seems utterly determined to meet this daunting challenge head on. As far as I am concerned, there is nothing but upside to such efforts -- it’s just a question of degree. But with that upside comes yet another new source of Indian consumption growth -- absolutely vital for India’s balanced economic growth dynamic. It’s not just the quality of the travel experience. (emphasis added).
I am no so sure whether "inclusive India" is taking the challenge of poverty head on. My personal perception has been that highly educated people with an access to a wide range of opportunities (like me) have been doing extremely well, and responsible for the growth of consumerism, while there are a number of those who still do not have access to the same set of opportunities. It is not a question of whether things have been getting better or worse, but as Roach said it is a matter of degree.
China and India are the two most important experiments in the laboratory of globalization.
An extrapolation of their recent accomplishments poses the most
profound question of all for the rich nations of the developed world:
If India is to services as China is to manufacturing, what does the future hold for us?
(note (05/28): I have revised this post extensively since publishing it first yesterday. For news updates, see Reuters India or PTI.)
I always wonder how critical infrastructure systems can get paralyzed during a catastrophic event. This week, in the case of Mumbai, unprecendented rains caused the city to come to a standstill.
At least 87 people were killed in two days of crippling rains and another 130 were feared buried in landslides, according to authorities and news reports.
Troops were deployed after the sudden rains - measuring up to 94.4 centimeters (37.1 inches) in one day in suburban Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra state - stranded tens of thousands of people.
"Most places in India don't receive this kind of rainfall in a year. This is the highest ever recorded in India's history," R.V. Sharma, director of the meteorological department in Mumbai, told The Associated Press.
I heard some personal stories over the phone. You can read one account from Amit Varma, and another from Sonia Faleiro. In another account, Rashmi Bansal claims that parts of the main city floated, but the suburbs sank because city officials chose to protect ministers and high-profile people living in south Mumbai at the cost of inconveniencing suburban folks. This is a rather unsatisfactory explanation.
The main point is how different infrastructure systems including drainage, power, telephones, transportation collapsed in a short amount of time. This type of a failure goes beyond a simple cascading system failure. Not only did individual systems fail, but failure of one system affected other systems and causing them to fail as well. Due to sudden heavy downpour, the City's drainage system was overwhelmed. According to some reports, the city officials decided to lock the gates of the stormwater drainage system because they feared that sea water during the high tide would enter the city (sorry, link is in Marathi). With water flooding different parts of the city, road and train systems shut down (via Indianwriting). In due course, all transportation means of getting in or out of Bombay were effectively been shut, including the airport. Power supply in suburban Bombay had to be shut down for the fears of short circuiting, although it may have been disrupted due to faults in local interconnections at different places. Much of the cell phone networkes were overwhelmed as a large number of customers tried to place calls, causing an outage.
While the main city was sufferring, Reuters and BBC reported that a fire had broken out on one of the offshore oil platforms of Bombay High. It was not clear initially if the torrential rains played a part in this accident, but Reuters reported that an oil rig collided with the platform, and the weather had everything to do with it. There were about 400 people on the platform, of which 271 have been evacuated348 have been safely evacuated, but rescue operations were hampered due to rough weather. This accident effectively takes out 80,000-100,000 barrels per day of oil supply out of the markets for months to come.
UPDATE (08/31): Over the weekend, several bloggers have come together to put together information about last week's massive rains and the current situation in Bombay. This is one example of how blogs are continuing to contribute towards independent reporting and dissemination of information in real time. You might remember the fantastic job SEA-EAT blog has been doing. In the case of Cloudburst Mumbai, much more real time and first hand information is becoming available.
...revolutionizing and setting new standards of performance in the field
of social and political leadership by unleashing the power of India's
greatest leaders of today for the benefit of the Indian leadership of
Former chief election commissioner of India, T. N. Seshan will be the
first dean of MITSOG. At present the school will only grant a masters diploma in government.
Remember that much of India's bureaucracy comes from Indian Administrative Service (IAS) whose recruits train at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration in Mussoorie, Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), Staff Selection Commission (SSC), as well as state public service commissions. So, what kind of a role MITSOG is going to play in developing aspiring civil servants is unclear. MITSOG also wishes, however, to educate graduates who wish to make a career in politics or NGOs. I should say that this is going to be an interesting experience, and I wish MITSOG well.
Earlier in the spring, I had the chance to listen to Prof. Amartya Sen speaking about his new book, The Argumentative Indian. In a forty-five minute long speech and almost an hour long discussion that followed the speech Prof. Sen described what he called the rich tradition of debate in Indian philosophy, religion and culture. Sen argued that this rich tradition is responsible for flourishing pluralism in India, and also why Indians should be cautiously optimistic about the fate of their democracy.
The Argumentative Indian does not release in the US market until this October, but it has already been released in UK.
During my visit to India earlier in June, I tried hard to get my hands on the book, but I did not get a copy anywhere. So, this makes me jealous of Chandrahas Choudhury of The Middle Stage, who got to read this collection of essays.
Chetan Ahya of Morgan Stanley GEF does not think that Rupee will appreciate much in case the Chinese decide to revalue renminbi later this year.
If the Chinese RMB appreciates by 10%, speculative forces could result in the rupee appreciating by 2%. We believe that there is little merit for the rupee to witness any meaningful appreciation considering the current macro fundamentals.
Zainab pointed out this exciting discussion sparked by rediff articles written by Dilip and Yazad. I agree with Yazad that one needs real indicators to discuss the effect of economic reforms in India. The three measures suggested by him are per capita income, Human Development Index, and the Index of Economic Freedom. I don't have any trouble with the first two, but the third one seems quite subjective, and reflects the priorities and perspectives of the Heritage Foundation. Never the less, I would agree that economic conditions are definitely better in India today than they were in 1990. So the question would be whether we can do better going ahead? As Dilip points out, the fact that average income level is Rs. 12000 a year in 1994 Rupees, when so many of us are making so much more, indicates two things: 1. In absolute numbers there are a large number of people still living in poverty (29%) as noted here. 2. Even though poverty rates may have reduced since 1990, large inequality still persists and in fact may have grown since 1990. The second point, though, is less important than the first one in my opinion for the time being. This is a very healthy dialogue, and I look forward to more on this topic in the future.