Archive for the ‘India’ Category

The Future of Driving in Developing Countries

July 17, 2014 Comments off

The Future of Driving in Developing Countries
Source: RAND Corporation

The level of automobility, defined as travel in personal vehicles, is often seen as a function of income: The higher a country’s per capita income, the greater the amount of driving. However, levels of automobility vary quite substantially between countries even at similar levels of economic development. This suggests that countries follow different mobility paths. The research detailed in this report sought to answer three questions: What are the factors besides economic development that affect automobility? What is their influence on automobility? What will happen to automobility in developing countries if they progress along similar paths as developed countries? To answer these questions, the authors developed a methodology to identify these factors, model their impact on developed countries, and forecast automobility (as defined by per capita vehicle-kilometers traveled [VKT]) in four developing countries. This methodology draws on quantitative analysis of historical automobility development in four country case studies (the United States, Australia, Germany, and Japan) that represent very different levels of per capita automobility, in combination with data derived from an expert-based qualitative approach. The authors used the latter to assess how these experiences may affect the future of automobility in the BRIC countries: Brazil, Russia, India, and China. According to this analysis, automobility levels in the four BRIC countries will fall between those of the United States (which has the highest per capita VKT level of the four case studies) and Japan (which has the lowest). Brazil is forecasted to have the highest per capita VKT and India the lowest.

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Country Analysis Brief: India

July 4, 2014 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief:  India
Source: Energy Information Administration

India was the fourth-largest energy consumer in the world after China, the United States, and Russia in 2011, and its need for energy supply continues to climb as a result of the country’s dynamic economic growth and modernization over the past several years. India’s economy has grown at an average annual rate of approximately 7% since 2000, and it proved relatively resilient following the 2008 global financial crisis.

The latest slowdown in growth of emerging market countries and higher inflation levels, combined with domestic supply and infrastructure constraints, have reduced India’s annual inflation-adjusted gross domestic product (GDP) growth from a high of 10.3% in 2010 to 4.4% in 2013, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). India was the third-largest economy in the world in 2013, as measured on a purchasing power parity basis. Risks to economic growth in India include high debt levels, infrastructure deficiencies, delays in structural reforms, and political polarization between the country’s two largest political parties, the Indian National Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Managing Corruption Risks in India

May 29, 2014 Comments off

Managing Corruption Risks in India
Source: Deloitte

In the past few years, India has emerged as one of the most promising destinations for investments. Its democratic government and large economy in terms of purchase power parity, highly skilled workforce, growing domestic market and sizeable English-speaking population, has resulted in an increasing number of global investors. According to a recent survey conducted by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), India has been ranked as the third most attractive destination for investments by transnational companies. In addition, the United States is one of India’s largest investment and trade partners and both countries are currently negotiating a bilateral investment treaty as part of their effort to strengthen their mutual economic ties and enhance investor confidence.

While India presents increasing investment opportunities, foreign companies in India face some unique challenges. This article focuses mainly on the corruption landscape in India, several associated risks and the need for implementing an effective anti-corruption compliance program in India.

India’s Higher Education System

May 23, 2014 Comments off

India’s Higher Education System
Source: Martin Prosperity Institute

From at least the 5th century CE, India has been home to institutions of higher education. When India achieved independence in 1947, it had 20 universities and 500 colleges. It now boasts one of the largest higher education systems in the world with over 42,000 institutions of higher learning. This paper identifies and discusses five different dimensions across which the higher education system in India can be considered. These dimensions are governance, financing, level of degree awarded, program differentiation, and language. Along with definition and specification of these dimensions, some of the key challenges facing higher education in India are presented. This paper only focuses on the system of ‘higher’ education which is supported and regulated by the two senior levels of government, which are the central or federal government and the state governments. The current challenges include both quantity and quality of education, availability of higher education for traditionally under-represented groups, and moving India from ‘mass’ to ‘universal’ access. A brief summary of the 12th (current; 2012-17) Five-Year Plan for education depicts the Central government’s approach to these issues.

Global Economic Outlook Q2 2014

May 20, 2014 Comments off

Global Economic Outlook Q2 2014
Source: Deloitte

The second quarter edition of the Global Economic Outlook offers timely insights from Deloitte Research economists about the Eurozone, China, the United States, Japan, India, Russia, Brazil, and the United Kingdom. In addition, this issue’s special topic considers the revival in international trade and the resurgence of bilateralism.

Upscale Tech-Savvy Millennials: Saving and Investment Strategies Around the World

May 16, 2014 Comments off

Upscale Tech-Savvy Millennials: Saving and Investment Strategies Around the World
Source: Nielsen

Upscale Millennials represent the future of economic growth and prosperity. These consumers are a subset of the Millennial generation with household incomes over the 75th percentile in their countries—that means households earning $30,000 or more in India and above $70,000 in the U.S.

This young segment of the population is actively saving and investing, and these consumers feel confident in their financial futures. In contrast to the global population, the proportion of upscale Millennials actively saving exceeds future savings intentions in areas reflective of their lifestage like higher education and a first-home purchase. And they’re devoting a larger portion of their monthly income to savings than the general Millennial population. Financial institutions should look to consumer sentiment and savings intentions country by country to develop strategies to educate and connect with upscale Millennials. In an effort to better understand this group and its consumer prowess, Nielsen conducted a study across the U.S., China, India and Brazil to learn about their financial plans and aspirations.

Free registration required to download report.

India’s path from poverty to empowerment

May 5, 2014 Comments off

India’s path from poverty to empowerment
Source: McKinsey & Company

India has made encouraging progress by halving its official poverty rate, from 45 percent of the population in 1994 to 22 percent in 2012. This is an achievement to be celebrated—yet it also gives the nation an opportunity to set higher aspirations. While the official poverty line counts only those living in the most abject conditions, even a cursory scan of India’s human-development indicators suggests more widespread deprivation. Above and beyond the goal of eradicating extreme poverty, India can address these issues and create a new national vision for helping more than half a billion people attain a more economically empowered life.

Asia Pacific Economic Outlook — April 2014

April 29, 2014 Comments off

Asia Pacific Economic Outlook — April 2014
Source: Deloitte

This edition gives a near-term outlook for China, India, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Concerns about the level of debt in China continue, while India’s growth outlook will primarily hinge on the upcoming election’s outcome. Malaysia’s economy faces concerns of high household debt and a potential housing bubble. Investors consider Vietnam’s consumer price index improvement its biggest achievement of 2013.

The Indian Economy at a Crossroads

April 24, 2014 Comments off

The Indian Economy at a Crossroads
Source: Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

Indian economic growth in 2014 is expected to come in at less than 5 percent—the lowest level in over a decade—potentially signaling the end to 20 years of robust economic development often known as the “Indian Economic Miracle.” While the recent global economic downturn has played a part, a major factor in India’s economic slowdown has been the loss of momentum for continued economic and trade liberalizing reforms. In recent years this has been replaced by an economic development approach that has prioritized expanding domestic manufacturing and import substitution rather than across-the-board productivity growth, which has in part contributed to India’s recent embrace of several trade-distorting “innovation mercantilist” policies.

With national elections now underway, this report details the evolution of India’s post-independence economic policies and explains how the liberalizing reforms of the early 1990s spurred two decades of turbocharged growth. It explains how that success is increasingly threatened by innovation mercantilist policies—such as Preferential Market Access (PMA) rules for government procurement of ICT products and compulsory licensing of biopharmaceutical intellectual property—designed to promote selected domestic industries, even at the expense of other Indian industries and Indian consumers. But while such policies may seem beneficial in the short-term, they will ultimately prove counterproductive, by hampering domestic productivity, lessening India’s attractiveness to foreign direct investment (FDI), and potentially leading to retaliatory measures by other nations that would imperil the global trading system.

Indians See Rape as a Major National Problem

April 24, 2014 Comments off

Indians See Rape as a Major National Problem
Source: Pew Global Attitudes Project

One year after the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old student in New Delhi made national headlines, Indians remain concerned about the problem of rape in their country and the inadequacy of the criminal justice system in dealing with the issue.

A national poll conducted by the Pew Research Center between December 7, 2013, and January 12, 2014 shows that nine-in-ten Indians agree that the crime of rape is a “very big problem” in the country. Further, roughly eight-in-ten (82%) say the problem is growing. While four of the men convicted in the infamous Delhi case were given the death penalty, nearly three-in-four Indians (74%) say that the laws in the country are too lax when it comes to punishing cases of rape. About as many (78%) fault the country’s police for not being strict enough in investigating such cases.

Poverty and Crime: Evidence from Rainfall and Trade Shocks in India

April 21, 2014 Comments off

Poverty and Crime: Evidence from Rainfall and Trade Shocks in India
Source: Harvard Business School Working Papers

Does poverty lead to crime? We shed light on this question using two independent and exogenous shocks to household income in rural India: the dramatic reduction in import tariffs in the early 1990s and rainfall variations. We find that trade shocks, previously shown to raise relative poverty, also increased the incidence of violent crimes and property crimes. The relationship between trade shocks and crime is similar to the observed relationship between rainfall shocks and crime. Our results thus identify a causal effect of poverty on crime. They also lend credence to a large literature on the effects of weather shocks on crime and conflict, which has usually assumed that the income channel is the most relevant one.

AU — The G20: a quick guide

March 26, 2014 Comments off

The G20: a quick guide
Source: Parliamentary Library of Australia

This is a quick guide to basic information about the G20, as well as links to useful summary resources. The G20 background section includes the G20’s history, its members, the hosting system and G20 meeting processes, as well as a brief discussion of selected policy areas. Material on Australia and the G20 includes Australia’s involvement in the G20, Australia’s G20 goals for 2014 and speeches and press releases on the G20. A short list of links provides access to more resources on the G20.

Tariffs, Social Status, and Gender in India

March 14, 2014 Comments off

Tariffs, Social Status, and Gender in India (PDF)
Source: Institute for the Study of Labor

This paper shows that trade policy can have significant intergenerational distributional effects across gender and social strata. We compare women and births in rural Indian districts more or less exposed to tariff cuts. For low socioeconomic status women, tariff cuts increase the likelihood of a female birth and these daughters are less likely to die during infancy and childhood. On the contrary, high-status women are less likely to give birth to girls and their daughters have higher mortality rates when more exposed to tariff declines. Consistent with the fertility-sex ratio trade-off in high son preference societies, fertility increases for low-status women and decreases for high-status women. An exploration of the mechanisms suggests that the labor market returns for low-status women (relative to men) and high-status men (relative to women) have increased in response to trade liberalization. Thus, altered expectations about future returns from daughters relative to sons seem to have caused families to change the sex-composition of and health investments in their children.

India’s path from poverty to empowerment

March 10, 2014 Comments off

India’s path from poverty to empowerment
Source: McKinsey & Company

India has made encouraging progress by halving its official poverty rate, from 45 percent of the population in 1994 to 22 percent in 2012. This is an achievement to be celebrated—yet it also gives the nation an opportunity to set higher aspirations. While the official poverty line counts only those living in the most abject conditions, even a cursory scan of India’s human-development indicators suggests more widespread deprivation. Above and beyond the goal of eradicating extreme poverty, India can address these issues and create a new national vision for helping more than half a billion people attain a more economically empowered life.

“Donkey Flights”: Illegal Immigration from the Punjab to the United Kingdom

February 7, 2014 Comments off

“Donkey Flights”: Illegal Immigration from the Punjab to the United Kingdom (PDF)
Source: Migration Policy Institute

The facilitation of illegal immigration is big business in India. One method being used to exploit immigration loopholes, explored in this report, is referred to as “donkey flights”—the practice of Indian migrants obtaining a tourist visa for a Schengen-zone country in order to enter the United Kingdom through the back door via other European countries.

December Issue of International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health Now Available

February 4, 2014 Comments off

December Issue of International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health Now Available
Source: Guttmacher Institute
Articles include:

  • Documenting the Individual- and Household-Level Cost of Unsafe Abortion in Uganda
  • Understanding Couples’ Relationship Quality And Contraceptive Use in Kumasi, Ghana
  • Consumer Perspectives on a Pericoital Contraceptive Pill In India and Uganda
  • The Oportunidades Conditional Cash Transfer Program: Effects on Pregnancy and Contraceptive Use Among Young Rural Women in Mexico
  • Reproduction, Functional Autonomy and Changing Experiences of Intimate Partner Violence Within Marriage in Rural India

How Does India Innovate?

November 24, 2013 Comments off

How Does India Innovate?
Source: Nielsen

Innovation isn’t easy. Globally, at least 90 percent of new product introductions fail in the year they launch. India is often viewed as a hotbed of innovation, but truth be told, the odds of launching a breakthrough success in this market may not be meaningfully better than anywhere else in the world. And the landscape is highly competitive. In looking at more than 14,000 launches in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector in 2011 for India, Nielsen deemed fewer than 40 as true breakthrough innovations.

Free registration required to download full report.

Backgrounder — Governance in India: Corruption

November 13, 2013 Comments off

Backgrounder — Governance in India: Corruption
Source: Council on Foreign Relations

With a booming economy throughout the 2000s, India was touted as one of the most promising major emerging markets. But that breakneck growth sputtered to a decade low in 2012, with many observers pointing to the corrosive effect of endemic corruption—including a spate of scandals under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh—as a culprit. Perhaps more than India’s weak currency and rising inflation, the graft problem has undermined institutions and thwarted efforts to reduce poverty and catalyze sustainable growth in the world’s largest democracy. Public revelations of corruption, including major scandals in the telecommunications and coal industry, have galvanized a rising middle class with increased demands for better governance. The tide has spurred new political movements, and forced Prime Minister Singh’s Congress Party to address transparency and marshal reforms. As the country enters a busy political season, culminating in the 2014 general elections, corruption is expected be a cornerstone issue—and one with big implications for India’s development.

Explaining the rural-urban gap in infant mortality in India

September 27, 2013 Comments off

Explaining the rural-urban gap in infant mortality in India
Source: Demographic Research

Prior studies suggest that infant mortality in rural areas of India is substantially higher than in urban areas. However, little is known about the determinants explaining such excess of rural mortality.

This study systematically assesses the role of socioeconomic and maternal and child health (MCH) care-related programme factors in explaining the rural-urban gap in infant mortality during the past two decades.

Long-term changes in rural and urban infant mortality were assessed using Sample Registration System (SRS) data. Binary logistic regression was used to analyse the association between socioeconomic and MCH care-related programme factors and infant mortality using data from the three rounds of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS). Fairlie’s decomposition technique was applied to understand the relative contribution of different co-variates to the rural-urban gap in infant mortality.

Relative inequality between rural and urban India has increased over time. The rural-urban gap in infant mortality can be largely explained by the distributions of the co-variates in rural and urban area. The largest part of the rural disadvantage in infant mortality is attributable to the underlying disadvantage in household wealth and maternal education, whereas breastfeeding and knowledge of Oral Rehydration Solution has contributed to narrowing the gap. The share of women using modern contraceptive methods and the percentage of fully vaccinated children in the community have also contributed to widening the rural-urban gap in infant mortality.

In addition to strengthening MCH programmes in rural areas, substantial efforts must also be made to improve household wealth and female education levels.

India can Build Competitive and Sustainable Cities, Says new World Bank Report

September 26, 2013 Comments off

India can Build Competitive and Sustainable Cities, Says new World Bank Report
Source: World Bank

Rural areas adjacent to India’s major metropolitan cities are witnessing faster economic growth and higher employment generation than the mega-cities themselves, says a new World Bank report. Examining the phenomenon of rapid “suburbanization” that India is undergoing, the report offers options to city planners and policymakers to ensure that the movement of economic activity away from city cores does not affect their potential to emerge as powerhouses of growth.

The report, India’s Urbanization Beyond Municipal Boundaries, analyses the patterns of India’s urbanization derived from geo-referencing and linking the population and economic census, to examine whether or not “suburbanization” is enhancing productivity by tapping agglomeration economies. Existing data suggests that the seven largest metropolitan cities in the country did not increase their overall shares in national employment between 1993 and 2006. While the largest metropolitan centers (Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Ahmedabad) saw a 16% loss in manufacturing jobs between 1998 and 2005, job growth in suburban and secondary towns and villages, (close to the metropolitan areas), was 12% and 45% respectively.

The report looks at this striking feature of India’s spatial transformation at a time when 90 million people joined its urban ranks in the last decade, and its cities are projected to be home to another 250 million people by 2030.

Such “suburbanization”, beyond the municipal boundaries of metropolitan cities, is leading to stagnation in the heart of metropolitan centers where land management policies are limiting the extent and intensity at which land can be used by industry, commerce and housing, the report says. The economic push away from city cores is also imposing a burden on businesses and people. Transport costs for freight are among the highest nationally between the metropolitan core and its periphery. In addition, infrastructure access and quality — for water, electricity, and sanitation — is much worse at the urban periphery compared with at the core. These challenges hurt productivity, mobility, and livability in the major cities.


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