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Turk-Life in India

November 19, 2014 Comments off

Turk-Life in India
Source: Microsoft Research

Previous studies on Amazon Mechanical Turk (AMT), the most well-known marketplace for microtasks, show that the largest population of workers on AMT is U.S. based, while the second largest is based in India. In this paper, we present insights from an ethnographic study conducted in India to introduce some of these workers or ‘Turkers’ – who they are, how they work and what turking means to them. We examine the work they do to maintain their reputations and their work-life balance. In doing this, we illustrate how AMT’s design practically impacts on turk-work. Understanding the ‘lived work’ of crowdwork is a valuable first step for technology design.

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India: the biggest democracy in the world

November 19, 2014 Comments off

India: the biggest democracy in the world
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

With 1 267 million inhabitants, of which 834 million can vote, India is the largest democracy in the world. Despite India’s linguistic and religious diversity, the 2014 general elections have given the newly elected Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, a strong mandate. Since coming into office, Modi has reinforced his focus on the economy and international trade, which may further cement EU-India relations. The EU and India have been strategic partners since 2004. They began negotiations on a free trade area in 2007, although several Indian political parties have concerns over these.

Oil Security Index — Who Is at Risk? (October 2014 Update)

November 18, 2014 Comments off

Oil Security Index — Who Is at Risk? (October 2014 Update)
Source: Securing America’s Future Energy

When launched in October 2013, SAFE’s Oil Security Index was hailed as an essential tool for those seeking greater insight into both what constitutes oil security, and which countries are most oil secure. The Index included then-current and historical data tracing national rankings back to 2000.

In this update, SAFE adds data through Q2 2014 and revises the rankings accordingly. The Index’s seven metrics capture three core aspects of oil security: the structural dependency of countries’ economies on oil, the economic exposure of countries to oil prices and the changes in those prices, and the physical supply security of a country’s domestic and imported oil.

This most recent update features a special focus on Japan, the Index’s most oil-secure country. Japan ranks highly in spite of its minimal domestic oil resources and high import levels, which are offset by several other indicators. Most notably, Japan’s high oil efficiency and its role as an international storage hub work in favor of the county’s long-term oil security.

The latest Index update also shines a light on India, where burgeoning demand has driven oil consumption up 75 percent since 2000. Amidst rising demand for gasoline and increasing incomes, India struggles with a heavy reliance on Middle East imports and low overall efficiency, leaving it suspended at 11 out of 13 in the Index rankings.

Understanding India’s economic geography

November 4, 2014 Comments off

Understanding India’s economic geography
Source: McKinsey & Company

India’s rapid growth in the decade to 2012 saw it emerge as one of Asia’s most promising markets. But the recent slowdown made growth and profitability increasingly elusive, forcing companies to think harder about the way they allocate resources. As growth picks up, and rapid shifts in India’s urban and rural economic landscapes occur, marketers will need to make strategic market choices to maximize returns. Understanding the growth drivers and identifying high-potential markets at a granular level are critical priorities for businesses looking to benefit significantly from this returning tide of growth.

Taking into account their existing footprints, product mixes and extensions, and long-term aspirations, companies could consider three approaches to dissect the Indian market and decipher its heterogeneity: states, clusters, and cities. The research underpinning McKinsey’s latest report—India’s economic geography in 2025: States, clusters, and cities—combines a robust understanding of macroeconomic issues at a national level with microlevel insights on the economic and income potential of states, districts, and cities.1 By building a granular view, based on several different economic scenarios, of where growth and market opportunities will emerge, the report shows that businesses can tailor investment decisions to capture a disproportionate share of the pie in India’s ever-changing economic geography.

Our research focuses on distinct geographic slivers of opportunity at each level of granularity.

India — Infrastructure Statistics Publication 2014

October 13, 2014 Comments off

Infrastructure Statistics Publication 2014
Source: Government of India, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation

India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world today. To sustain this economic growth we must have a matching infrastructure. For better infrastructure investment plans we need to anticipate the future requirement and capacity. Otherwise the infrastructure becomes inadequate in a few years leading to the same gap as before. For effective investment policies we must target where needed and in a holistic manner. Policies made in isolation ignoring interconnected infrastructure may not give desired results leading to investment failures. Government’s commitment to improve and expand infrastructure in the country is reflected in the investment in infrastructure during twelfth plan. The total investment in infrastructure during twelfth plan is projected at Rs. 5574663 crore as compared to Rs. 2424277 crore during eleventh plan (at 2011-12 prices).

For effective infrastructure planning and investment decisions a comprehensive database on infrastructure is needed. To meet this requirement, Central Statistics Office has compiled infrastructure statistics under six major sub sectors of infrastructure viz. Transport, Energy, Communication, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Irrigation and Storage. This is the third issue of the publication providing data that would enable to assess the status of current infrastructure, its adequacy and project the future requirements. This issue of the publication is in two volumes. Volume I includes metadata and key indicators on Infrastructure statistics and volume II gives state profiles for each infrastructure sub sector with time series data for latest five years along with graphical analysis, wherever possible.

Hat tip: IWS Documented News Service

India-U.S. Relations in 14 Charts and Graphics

September 29, 2014 Comments off

India-U.S. Relations in 14 Charts and Graphics
Source: Brookings Institution

As Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits the United States, it’s worth putting the India-U.S. relationship in perspective and considering how far it has come in recent years. Fifteen years ago, there were U.S. sanctions on India. More recently, the Obama administration has said the U.S. relationship with India “will be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century.” These 14 charts and graphics show that the relationship has changed in other ways as well, including the areas of high-level India-U.S. engagement, economic and defense ties, people-to-people connections amongst Indians and Americans and future opportunities to increase bilateral cooperation.

Violence against Women and Girls : Lessons from South Asia

September 23, 2014 Comments off

Violence against Women and Girls : Lessons from South Asia
Source: World Bank

This report documents the dynamics of violence against women in South Asia across the life cycle, from early childhood to old age. It explores the different types of violence that women may face throughout their lives, as well as the associated perpetrators (male and female), risk and protective factors for both victims and perpetrators, and interventions to address violence across all life cycle stages.

The report also analyzes the societal factors that drive the primarily male — but also female — perpetrators to commit violence against women in the region. For each stage and type of violence, the report critically reviews existing research from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, supplemented by original analysis and select literature from outside the region. Policies and programs that address violence against women and girls are analyzed in order to highlight key actors and promising interventions.

Finally, the report identifies critical gaps in research, program evaluations, and interventions in order to provide strategic recommendations for policy makers, civil society, and other stakeholders working to mitigate violence against women in South Asia.

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