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India: Statistical Yearbook 2014

January 10, 2014 Comments off

India: Statistical Yearbook 2014
Source: Government of India — Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation

The Research and Publication Unit brings out every year a Statistical Year Book (earlier called the Statistical Abstract) containing data/information on diverse subjects running into 45 Chapters on subject areas such as Area and Population, National Income, Agriculture, Information Technology and almost all possible areas that were thought important.

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Russian Military Expenditure: Data, Analysis and Issues

October 9, 2013 Comments off

Russian Military Expenditure: Data, Analysis and Issues (PDF)
Source: FOI, Swedish Defence Research Agency

Julian Cooper is a leading international independent expert on the Russian defence budget and military expenditure. Since the beginning of the 2000s, the Russia project at FOI, RUFS, has profited from his assistance with navigating through the deceptive waters of Russian military spending in our efforts of finding, assessing and interpreting Russian budget figures. The impor tance of the area is linked to that military expenditure is the most general si ngle indicator of the resources provided to the national military and it is an ind icator frequently used in international comparison. In 2012, Russia was the third count ry in the world in volume of military spending. Therefore it is of great concern that research in this area develops and that the methodology used enhances accuracy of figures despite the remaining problems of secrecy and lack of transparency in the Russian budgetary system.

In this report Julian Cooper presents a summary of principal findings and methodology behind his longstanding research on the Russian defence budget and total military expenditure based on the Russian federal budget. Julian Cooper’s work is an inspiration to all who research this area and over the years he has collected a rich knowledge and unique experience of how to produce results with reasonable accuracy. His results are used by individual researchers as well as by organizations. We asked Julian to write the report in order to make the methodology more accessible to us and to others. We find th at the report is a valuable contribution to the research of Russian military spending and we are most honoured that he kindly accepted our invitation to write and publish it with FOI.

India Country Report 2013 — Statistical Appraisal

September 13, 2013 Comments off

India Country Report 2013 — Statistical Appraisal (PDF)
Source: Government of India — Ministry of Statistics and Programme

People across the South Asian Region today have higher expectations from their Governments for providing an enabling environment for better future. This is particularly true in the Indian scenario. Having seen the economy grow at a rate faster than that achieved until a decade back and the resultant across-the-board benefits, it is obvious for a larger section of the population to believe that the country can do even better. While the Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007-12) and the Twelfth Five Year Plan (2012-17) have focused to address these expectations, the SAARC Development Goals have tended to reinforce the need for strong positive action from the national Governments in this region in general and India in particular.

SAARC Development Goals are regionalized from of Millennium Development Goals, with some additional targets and indicators, for the period of five years, 2007-12. The Third SAARC Ministerial Meeting on Poverty Alleviation, held in Kathmandu on 5th April 2013, has extended the terminal year of SDGs from 2012 to 2015 to coincide with the Millennium Development Goals. This report is in pursuance of the decision taken in the Fifth Meeting of SAARC Secretaries on Poverty Alleviation, held in Kathmandu on 4th April 2013.

Following the mid-term statistical appraisal of the SDGs, brought out as “SAARC Development Goals – India Country Report 2010”, the present report gives the statistical appraisal of the achievements made on the SAARC Development Goals in India taking the latest available data into account. However, owing to the fact that not much time has passed since the release of the report on mid-term statistical appraisal and that the results of the next rounds of many large sample surveys in India are not yet available, this report has repeated the results and analysis contained in the report on mid-term statistical appraisal for many goals and indicators. As earlier, in addition to the mutually agreed 67 indicators, some additional indicators have also been included under different goals. Goal-wise complete list of indicators used in this report has been given under “India’s SDGs Framework: Goals and Indicators”. I hope this report will be useful in assessing India’s progress on the attainment of SDGs in the national and collectively in the regional context.

China’s Peaceful Development (White Paper)

September 25, 2011 Comments off

China’s Peaceful Development
Source: Chinese Government

Over the past 5,000 years, people of all ethnic groups in China, with diligence and wisdom, have created a splendid civilization and built a unified multi-ethnic country. The Chinese civilization has a unique feature of being enduring, inclusive and open. The Chinese nation has endeavored to learn from other nations and improved itself through centuries of interactions with the rest of the world, making major contribution to the progress of human civilization.

In the mid-19th century, Western powers forced open China’s door with gunboats. Internal turmoil and foreign aggression gradually turned China into a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society. The country became poor and weak, and the people suffered from wars and chaos. Facing imminent danger of national subjugation, one generation of patriots after another fought hard to find a way to reform and save the nation. The Revolution of 1911 put an end to the system of monarchy which had ruled China for several thousand years, and inspired the Chinese people to struggle for independence and prosperity. However, such efforts and struggle failed to change the nature of China as a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society, or lift the Chinese people out of misery. Living up to the people’s expectation, the CPC led them in carrying out arduous struggle, and finally founded the People’s Republic of China in 1949. This marked the realization of China’s independence and liberation of its people and ushered in a new epoch in China’s history.

In the past six decades and more since the founding of New China, and particularly since the introduction of the reform and opening-up policies in 1978, the Chinese government has worked hard to explore a path of socialist modernization that conforms to China’s conditions and the trend of the times. Overcoming difficulties and setbacks, the Chinese people have advanced with the times, drawn on both experience and lessons from the development of China itself and other countries, deepened understanding of the laws governing the development of human society, and promoted the self-improvement and growth of the socialist system. Through arduous struggle, the Chinese people have succeeded in finding a path of development conforming to China’s reality, the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Viewed in the broader, global and historical context, the path of peaceful development may be defined as follows: China should develop itself through upholding world peace and contribute to world peace through its own development. It should achieve development with its own efforts and by carrying out reform and innovation; at the same time, it should open itself to the outside and learn from other countries. It should seek mutual benefit and common development with other countries in keeping with the trend of economic globalization, and it should work together with other countries to build a harmonious world of durable peace and common prosperity. This is a path of scientific, independent, open, peaceful, cooperative and common development.

IE — Documents in the New — Report by Commission of Investigation into Catholic Diocese of Cloyne

July 14, 2011 Comments off

Report by Commission of Investigation into Catholic Diocese of Cloyne (PDFs)
Source: The Department of Justice and Equality (IE)
From press release:

Perhaps the most shocking aspect of this report is that it is not dealing with terrible wrongs committed in the distant past; instead it examines how the Diocese of Cloyne dealt with complaints made from 1996, the year in which the Catholic Church put in place detailed procedures for dealing with child sexual abuse. It was because of concerns that these guidelines were not being properly implemented that the Commission was asked to extend its work beyond the Dublin Archdiocese.

The report finds that, contrary to repeated assertions on its part, the Diocese of Cloyne did not implement the procedures set out in the Church protocols for dealing with allegations of child sexual abuse; the greatest failure by the diocese was its failure to report all complaints to the Gardaí; no complaint (except for one complaint in 1996) was reported to the health authorities until 2008; the response of the diocese to complaints and allegations of clerical sexual abuse was inadequate and inappropriate.

The report also contains strong criticisms of some of those in positions of authority in the Church in the diocese.

All of these findings are, of course, deeply disturbing. But they are compounded by the fact that the Commission find that the Vatican’s response to the Church guidelines was entirely unhelpful, giving comfort and support to those who dissented from the guidelines. We want to say as clearly as we can that this approach, when the State was entitled to rely on assurances about the operation of the guidelines, was wholly unacceptable.

We note that the report does point out that improvements have taken place in Cloyne since 2008.

Statistical Year Book India, 2011

May 1, 2011 Comments off

Statistical Year Book India, 2011
Source: Government of India — Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation

With the fast growing economies, the information needs are growing rapidly to facilitate formulation of good development policies and for proper planning, management and monitoring of investment. The information demand also includes providing wider range of information on important and critical issues.

Accordingly, the scope of this publication (44th edition in the series) has been enhanced significantly to add important new data besides including analytical information in the form of write-ups to convey a view obout what is represented by different data. It also contains a fairly significant time series data in respect of most of the data, along with correspondence metadata including source of data and explanatory notes.

Data Preview ‘International Fuel Prices’ 2010/2011

April 20, 2011 Comments off

Data Preview ‘International Fuel Prices’ 2010/2011 (PDF)
Source: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ)

Executive Summary

  • The 2010/11 edition of GIZ “International Fuel Prices” provides an overview of retail prices of gasoline and diesel in more than 170 countries.
  • Recent political turmoil in various countries has been at least partially linked to increasing commodity prices, including transport fuels. The public grievance about increasing prices is inter alia caused by often inappropriate regulatory approaches and limited transparency.
  • In countries with ad-hoc pricing reform efforts need to be built on a long-term (5-10 years) perspective and should start with comprehensive transparency campaigns. Even if subsidies are maintained, these countries need to start introducing regular (monthly) price adjustments. Transparency is the crucial prerequisite for all subsequent steps. The reform timeline must be outlined including information on:
    1. Government plans and the motivation behind them.
    2. the phasing out of subsidies by a given date “201X” and the price increase intervals
    3. the introduction of taxes, if necessary with ear-marking (e.g. for transport projects, social safety nets, etc.)
  • Countries with regular price reviews or other forms of active regulation are encouraged to continue the regular adjustment of prices based on changes of input parameters as well as to improve the transparency and / or to intensify outreach efforts. Temporary suspensions of regular price adjustments have proven difficult to implement as subsequent price increases might be substantial and the costs to the budget are potentially enormous. These countries may consider forgoing windfall tax profits that are collected through taxes based on percentage values (e.g. VAT).
  • Countries with passive or no regulation may consider the application of tools that increase transparency and limit daily fluctuations as well as potential profiteering. This may include the publication of indicative maximum prices, the in-detail presentation of the price break-up as well as full transparency in terms of the costs of input products and margins.
  • Fuel price increases – or the removal of subsidies – can have negative impacts on the poor they may limit the choices for poor and disadvantaged people to take part in public life, to pursue job opportunities and to access medical and education services. This needs to be addressed in a smart and effective manner without compromising the objective of a non-subsidised, energy efficient and low carbon transport system. However, the potential impacts on the poor should not serve as an argument against the removal of subsidies (or for low fuel prices) because most of the benefits of low fuel prices accrue to the rich, i.e. those who lead energy intensive lifestyles.
  • The current survey provides a snapshot based on a crude oil price level of 81 USD per barrel in mid-November 2010. Since then, prices have further increased – the window of opportunity to review pricing approaches in times of falling markets (as in early 2009) has passed. However, as such a window may re-open again decision-makers should start preparing the necessary reform steps since prices are expected to increase further in the next years.
  • The full report “GIZ International Fuel Prices 2010/2011” will provide a detailed account of international fuel pricing policies and options for a low carbon, energy efficient and inclusive transport system. More information is available at http://www.gtz.de/fuelprices and http://www.sutp.org. It will be available in Spring 2011.
  • The GIZ-International Fuel Prices Observatory offers a 2-year international fuel prices survey, detailed information on prices of fossil fuels world-wide (dimensions price level, regulation and transparency) and advisory services on pricing. In addition, the necessary linkages to sustainable mobility and climate change are provided. More on: http://www.gtz.de/fuelprices The GIZ International Fuel Prices Observatory is a long-time effort of GIZ (German International Cooperation) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to provide decision-makers with data on fuel prices on a global scale.

Full text: China’s National Defense in 2010

April 12, 2011 Comments off

Full text: China’s National Defense in 2010
Source: China State Council, Information Office
From Preface:

In the first decade of the 21st century, the international community forged ahead in a new phase of opening up and cooperation, and at the same time faced crises and changes. Sharing opportunities for development and dealing with challenges with joint efforts have become the consensus of all countries in the world. Pulling together in the time of trouble, seeking mutual benefit and engaging in win-win cooperation are the only ways for humankind to achieve common development and prosperity.

China has now stood at a new historical point, and its future and destiny has never been more closely connected with those of the international community. In the face of shared opportunities and common challenges, China maintains its commitment to the new security concepts of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination. By connecting the fundamental interests of the Chinese people with the common interests of other peoples around the globe, connecting China’s development with that of the world, and connecting China’s security with world peace, China strives to build, through its peaceful development, a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity.

Looking into the second decade of the 21st century, China will continue to take advantage of this important period of strategic opportunities for national development, apply the Scientific Outlook on Development in depth, persevere on the path of peaceful development, pursue an independent foreign policy of peace and a national defense policy that is defensive in nature, map out both economic development and national defense in a unified manner and, in the process of building a society that is moderately affluent on a general basis, realize the unified goal of building a prosperous country and a strong military.

Disability in India – A Statistical Profile

April 11, 2011 Comments off

Disability in India – A Statistical Profile
Source: Government of India — Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation

In most parts of the World people with disabilities are subject to multiple deprivations with limited access to basic services, including education, employment, rehabilitation facilities etc. Widespread social stigma plays a major role in hindering their normal social and economic life. However in the last three decades since the International Year of Disability in 1981, there has been a “paradigm shift” in attitudes and approaches to persons with disabilities. Worldwide the movement takes a new height from viewing persons with disabilities as “objects” of charity, medical treatment and social protection to treating them as “subjects” with rights, capable of claiming those rights and making decisions for their lives based on their free and informed consent as active members of society.

The Asia Pacific Region followed up the UN initiative with two consecutive disability specific regional decade initiatives since 1993 with approximately two-thirds of world’s 600 million disabled people living in this region. It led to the formulation of Biwako Millenium Framework for action towards an inclusive, barrier free and rights-based society for persons with disabilities and its supplement, the Biwako Plus Five for further efforts in this regard. In accordance with this convention, Governments are expected to enhance their national capacities in data collection and analysis of disability statistics besides other policy initiatives.

The Washington Group on Disability Statistics was formed by United Nations Statistics Division in 2001 to allow the representatives from national statistical agencies of various countries to come together and address selected problems in statistical methods in compiling Disability Statistics.

However, there has been a major difference between the developed and the developing countries in understanding the disability types and formulation of their measures. In economically developed countries these have been conceived in keeping with the greater scope of using measuring devices during disability surveys/ censuses or in the administrative records of the medical facility centres. On the other hand such advanced procedures are not feasible in developing countries for getting accurate measure of various disability related parameters. For this very reason, India, like most of the developing countries, could not adopt the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health framework for identification and measurement of disability types. In these countries disability statistics is essentially based on the informants’ response to the simple, easily comprehensible disability questionnaire and thus can capture only the most severe cases. This is reflected in the wide divergence in the estimates of prevalence of disability of the developed and the developing countries. In India the official statistics collected through both Population Censuses and the nationwide sample surveys put an estimate of around 2% prevalence of disability as against nearly 20% in countries like Australia and New Zealand in the Asia Pacific region.

This publication has contextualized the analysis of existing official data on disability with reference to the policy framework and the embedded principles of social justice followed in the country at present.

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