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Showing posts from May, 2017

World Bank: India's GDP drains 2.6% due to fewer females in jobs; most entrepreneurs prefer men as employees

By Rajiv Shah
World Bank report, “India Development Update: Unlocking Women’s Potential” (May 2017), notes that an approximate 10 percentage points decline in female labour force participation rate (LFPR) between 2004-05 and 2011-12 has imposed “constraints on a country’s growth”, and is proving to be a “drag on GDP growth” to the tune of 2.6%.
Pointing out that the “obstacle” means that India’s GDP per annum could “accelerate from 7.4% currently to over 9% the report, prepared by Frederico Gil Sander as the main author, says, “Considering that 42% of India’s science and technology graduates are women”, there is “a significant ‘brain drain’ for modern services sectors”.
The ‘brain drain’ is happening even though Indian women “have highly sought-after skills”, the report claims, quoting a 2014 World Bank Enterprise Survey to note that only 9.4% of firms identified Indian women as having “inadequately educated” as a major constraint, “compared to 15.7% in Bangladesh and 21.7% globally.” Quo…

In Gujarat's Meghraj, 77% girls "missed" school to fetch water, look after siblings: Ahmedabad workshop told

By Rajiv Shah
An Australian government-sponsored pilot project, meant to create technical awareness for sustainable groundwater use among villagers of two semi-arid regions of Gujarat and Rajasthan, has revealed how, despite huge official claims, water scarcity continues to bog the regions, adversely impacting girl child education in a big way.
Called MARVI or Managing Aquifer Recharge and Sustaining Groundwater Use through Village-level Intervention, a study report prepared for implementing the project in a meaningful way in the two rural areas, says that whopping 77% girls “missed” school due to home duties, which included collecting water.
Carried out in Meghraj in Gujarat and Dharta in Rajasthan, the study, said a participant in a two-day national workshop in Ahmedabad on groundwater monitoring and recharge, which began on May 30, was carried out by a group of about dozen scholars led by R Kookana and published in the “International Journal of Inclusive Education” (2016).
Titled “Grou…

AfDB meet: Following Chinese, western "land grab" in Africa, Indian corporates seek economic space in continent

By Rajiv Shah
While there isn’t anything extraordinary for the African Development Bank (AfDB) holding its annual meeting outside the continent, in India, experts believe, through the high profile meet in Gandhinagar, which began on May 22 and ends on May 24, the Government of India is seeking to provide a platform to Indian corporates to invest in African continent, especially in agriculture and mining.
The Gandhinagar gathering is the fourth time the annual meetings hosted by a non-regional member country, after Valencia, Spain, in 2000; Shanghai, China, in 2007; and Lisbon, Portugal, in 2011. In 2018, the AfDB will meet in Busan, Korea.
A senior expert who has been keeping tab on the development, Dr R Sreedhar, director, Environics School of Management Sciences, has told Counterview, the AfDB’s Gandhinagar meet is taking place when several African countries are becoming “wary” of China’s and the western countries' “land grab” in the continent.
According to him, “It is no secret tha…

Narmada Planning Group rejected Modi's pet SAUNI project in 1987, saying there wasn't "enough water"

By Rajiv Shah
The Government of India agency Central Water Commission (CWC) may have denied reports that it has rejected a Gujarat government request for funds for the high-profile Saurashtra Narmada Avtaran Irrigation Yojana (SAUNI) on the ground that there is not enough water to divert Narmada waters to Saurashtra.
However, the fact is, SAUNI’s basic criteria, of sending Narmada’s a whopping 1 million acre feet (MAF) of waters – over and above 9 MAF allocated to Gujarat from Narmada basin by the inter-state Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal Award – to the parched land of the Saurashtra region was rejected three decades ago as unviable.
Initially announced by Narendra Modi as Gujarat chief minister in September 2012, ahead of the state assembly polls in December that year, the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd’s (SSNNL’s) Narmada Planning Group (NPG) first outlined the SAUNI concept in a report titled ‘Planning for Prosperity’ in 1987.
Ironically, Modi re-inaugurated SAUNI's two diffe…

Modi's "fight" against terror has 21% fewer supporters in a year, says urban youth survey by LocalCircles

By Rajiv Shah
There is a whopping 21% decline in just one year among urban Indian youth who believe that the Narendra Modi government has been successful in its fight against terrorism. Top Delhi-based consultant, LocalCircles, headquartered in Santa Clara, US, had found that last year 72% urban citizens felt terrorism had reduced under Modi, but this year it is down to 51%.
LocalCircles report on the survey says, “Terrorism has been a huge issue in India for the last few decades. The current Government has taken some tough stance on terrorism in the last couple of years.” However, when asked if “they felt that acts of terrorism and related activities have reduced in the last 3 years”, 51% citizens agreed, 42% disagreed, 7% chose not to answer.
Though ironical it may seem, a huge majority, of those surveyed, 61% of mainly city youths, felt the Modi government has handled “communalism related issues” quite well, which is just a marginal drop of 2% from last year.  At the same time, the sur…

19% Kerala's Hindu women suffer sexual violence, as against 13% Muslim and 14% Christian: World Bank study

By Rajiv Shah
A recent World Bank report on gender-based violence in Kerala, the state known for its best social indicators across India, has shockingly found that there is a much higher underreporting of incidence of sexual violence among Hindus compared to the state's two other major religious groups – Muslim and Christian.As against the average of 9 per cent underreporting across all religions, the report finds, the underreporting is 10 per cent among Hindu, but 8 per cent each for Muslims and Christians.
In a further breakup, the research team led by George Joseph, a senior economist with the World Bank, says that among Hindu females, the underreporting is to the tune of 13 per cent, as against 10 per cent among Muslim females and 9 per cent among Christian females.
The researchers have calculated incidence of lifetime domestic violence in Kerala by comparing what individuals have to say in direct questioning with what they call the “list direct randomization method.”
An alternat…

Health expenses pushed India's 63 million in debt, one third below poverty: Pharma industry sponsored report

By Rajiv Shah
A top healthcare report prepared by one of the world’s most well-known consultants, KPMG, has regretted that currently 60 per cent hospitals, 75 per cent dispensaries and 80 per cent doctors are “located in urban areas, serving only 28 per cent of the country’s population”.
Sponsored by the Organization of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI) in an effort to showcase how the country’s pharma companies care for “improving” healthcare in India through “non-commercial” interventions, the report admits, “We were unable to meet the health targets under the Millennium Development Goals (MGDs) defined by the UN.”
It believes, this is because of “limited” access to healthcare infrastructure, lack of “trained” human resources and “limited” health financing options, though refusing to spell out what these “financial options” could be.
Short of insisting on going in for funding healthcare through private sector, the report does not seek to intensifying affordable public healthcare…