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Showing posts from September, 2015

India slips in internet ranking, is worst performer among competing BRICS nations: UNESCO broadband report

By Rajiv Shah Even when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was meeting Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg as part of his effort to gather international support for his high-profile Digital India campaign, a new report, sponsored jointly by UNESCO and International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and released by UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, has found that India has slipped in global ranking for the use of internet, both broadband and internet in general. The report, “State of Broadband 2015: Broadband as Foundation of Sustainable Development”, dated September 2015, ranks India 131st in the fixed broadband subscription category and 155th in the mobile broadband subscription category among 189 nations of the world. The report says that India has 1.2 per 100 capita fixed and 5.5 mobile per 100 capita broadband penetration. A comparison with BRICS nations suggests as India ranks worst both in fixed and mobile broadband. In fixed broadband, Russia ranks 56th with 17.5 per 100 capita, China 67th

Gujarat No 1 in ease of doing business. Really?

By Rajiv Shah Gujarat is, again, No 1— assessed for “ease” of doing business. At least this is what a new report, titled “Assessment of State Implementation of Business Reforms”, is said to have made out by a World Bank report. The moment news broke out, I was amused, and decided to go to the source. I visited the World Bank site, and found a small summary, prompting one to visit the Government of India’s Department of Industrial Policy and Policy (DIPP) site to download it . Initial remarks on the World Bank site were revealing: “This report captures the findings of an assessment of reform implementation by states, led by the DIPP, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, with support of the World Bank Group and KPMG as the knowledge partner, and facilitated by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).” A clear effort of the government of India to “highlight” Gujarat model, this time with the he

Why Gujarat imposed mobile internet curfew during the Patel agitation

By Rajiv Shah It was Wednesday, October 31, 1984. After finalizing the semi-left Link newsweekly, for which I worked then, the office driver boldly drove the Ambassador late at night through Delhi streets, which were already in the grip of anti-Sikh riots, erupted following the assassination of Indira Gandhi. The driver squeezed his way through burning vehicles. At several places we could see houses in flames and heard painful, shrieking voices. It was a ghastly scenario, of the type I had never witnessed, or even imagined, before. I reached home, a middle class South Delhi locality; to my consolation all was quiet, though we had a Sikh neighbour.