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Category Archives: Governance Issues

CHINDIA – AS I SEE

The news of Chinese Army PLA moving, 19 kilometers deep, inside the Indian territory is old one. Now the new and important development is that since 1930 Hrs IST they started vacating their positions and till now (i.e., when you may be reading this article) would have nearly vacated.

I was always certain and specially turned more confident of my views on CHINDIA since 2001 onwards.  I saw the fact as if it were the destiny that were conspiring to keeps these two nations on the same side.

Though, I am not going to write much, so I am just attaching three separate comments and analysis I presented in response to two news items published 11 days ago, and one just 03 days ago. I knew that masses will not agree with my view point, but then this has been a history now. On the other side masses have never agreed with any one individuals. My comments/ analysis are serially numbered (in the way they were posted) at news sight:

 1.

Sometimes I doubt that Chinese army really has any bad intentions towards India, as this is something that will prove costly and lasting adventure for PLA. As India despite of lack of very good connectivity to borders via road and rail has the capacity to surprise Chinese Forces by its huge number alone, though cost of transportation may be higher for Indian when compared with that of China. The important aspect and insight that I am getting is, is that Chinese now want to block the infiltration of Uyghers and other trained militants from Pakistan. If this is the case then they should take Indian authorities into confidence and ask for a safe passage to execute its intentions. Any kind of mis-understanding would not alone dent Chinese Might (roughly 2/3 of India) and USA and Pakistan will stand to gain from it. If the issue is something else then I need to analyze further. Consequently one of its allies North Korea too will be slaughtered by South Korean Forces with various kind of aid from USA. Chinese should try to considered the border pact that too place between Indians and then Chinese Emperor in 1840 (approx). Hope Chinese are not deaf and idiots at same time. If they are then they should have an emergency plan (in case their forces engage with India) to take care of democratic revolt that would get a unfettered access and control at Tianmaan Square.

 2.

The militants trained by Pakistan after having turned Frankenstein monster for them, have also attempted to threaten Chinese sovereignty, specially vides on an ancient trade route connecting Ladakh to Yarkand in Xinjiang, China. Now its better for China to seek India’s co-operation in controlling the religion of terrorism and militancy, than thinking itself to be almighty to do what they want. Those 50 malnourished men of PLA are not being made to land in Jails in India for ever ( I do not suggest shooting those 50) due to patience and also due to it being a responsible power. As Chinese army (approx 8.5 in number) is no match for India’s (approx 16 soldiers). Anyway I do not want to talk this language till all the options are not exhausted, as even sacrifice of our one soldiers life is much costlier to their 50 and is no match in value terms. Chinese may be fed up with their population but Indians are not. I suggest them to recall preachings of their scholar who earned knowledge from Nalanda and Takshshila besides preachings of Prince Mahendra and Princess Sanghmitra about Buddhist ways of life.

 3.

Though it would be better for the Government of India starts considering bilateral relations between India and China in present context. If required Salman Khurshid should cancel his proposed visit citing the posture of PLA as reason. Government may further consider about not allowing the Chinese Premier enter into Indian Airspace or Ground Location based on such developments. It would be better to communicate it to Chinese at earliest time. Please do not use force immediately, as tensions between India and China on border issues will give USA Army and Navy a good advantage in case when it comes to tackling by North Korea, creating advantageous position in Yellow Sea, beside providing them with opportunity to promote and protect the heirs of Chinese Emperor (who was forced to flee by PLA in 1948) and provide them with all the support required to take control at least of Taiwan and Hong Kong. This would be in addition to funding of support required to be extended to Democratic Movement in China. China will automatically learn that how international diplomacy is handled.

I would love to hear the comments from audiences…

 

                                                                                                             …………… Always Yours — as Usual — — Saurabh Singh

India and Italy – Taking a New Shape

Italian foreign ministry’s announcement on Monday, March 11, 2013, that the two individuals belonging to its marine corps (Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, who had shot dead two unarmed Indian Fishermen in Cold – Blood perhaps for adventure  and were facing trail in India Court on the Charges of Murder) would not return to India once their leave expires in view of a “formal international controversy” between the two countries. This is a response to a humane and goodwill gesture shown by Indian Court, which permitted them a leave so that they can go to their country to cast their vote. Indian court had at an earlier occasion permitted the duo to visit their home for Christmas Celebration, after availing which they reported back.

Italian Government and its citizen have always been found grossly lacking in integrity and morality. This can be inferred from a  number of instance where Indian authorities were deceived and cheated by them. If one starts from issues, that probably one that could be easily recalled by masses, one can start with role of Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi during Bofors gun contract in 1990  where kickbacks were paid to earn the contract, the same was followed by a recent deal in which Chief Executive and Chairman Giuseppe Orsi of Italian defence group Finmeccanica has been found to have paid kickbacks worth $68 million to secure the contract for the sale of 12 Agusta Westland choppers to India in 2010.  This has been followed by a very serious breach of integrity by act of Government of Italy, where the government of Italy has back tracked from its own guarantee or promise that it made to Indian Supreme Court in present case where its two mariners were being tried for murder committed by them of two unarmed Indian fishermen in coastal waters of India.

Probably – Indian authorities and Public too, would have learned till now that any and every kind of interaction with Italy has, irrespective of being business or political has caused a great deal of embarrassment to the country. So why do they repeat it? Italian Government and Citizens (as Government represents them) both lack seriously on the scale of integrity. Such country needs be socially politically and economically outcast by world community. One can understand when Terror Groups back track on their promise, but here this Country is behaving worse than terrorists. Now I comprehend why Roman Empire got lost into oblivion. I expect that Consequences as told prime minister will turn visible both to Indian Citizen as well as International Community. “Our government has insisted that Italian authorities… respect the undertaking they have given to the Supreme Court and return the two accused persons to stand trial in India,” Mr. Singh said in Parliament on Wednesday. “If they do not keep their word, there will be consequences for our relations with Italy,” he added, as lawmakers cheered.

At some points I feel that Indian Constitution by the way of providing Three Pillars for having Check and Balance over each other’s powers was really a very well thought of work, at least till time Indira Gandhi had not succeeded in snatching all the powers of decision making from The President of India or to say before turning the office in just a rubber stamp which needs to be put on legislation to accord them status of being Act. But then it were, the citizens, who permitted her to do this by giving her a majority of more than two – third.

Now as a consequence of legislature being fragment it’s the Judiciary that has got some breather to act in an independent manner. They are luckily not failing in their duty and are showing the courage to let the national and international community learn that it’s the constitution that is supreme in India and promises made by any authority are meant to be kept and not broken, meaning thereby that breach will not be tolerated.

The Supreme Court of India sought to restrain Italy’s ambassador from leaving the country in response to Rome’s declaration that two Italian marines will not return to India to stand trial on murder charges. The pair are accused of shooting and killing two Indian fishermen off the coastal state Kerala last year. They deny they committed murder. Italy and India disagree over where they should stand trial, an issue that has triggered a diplomatic dispute and polarized public opinion in both countries

In January, India’s Supreme Court said the two men, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, will face trial in a special court in Delhi. A month later, the court agreed to an Italian government request to allow the two men to leave India and travel to Italy for four weeks to vote in elections. At the time, Mr. Mancini, the Italian ambassador to New Delhi, guaranteed to the court the marines would come back to India.

In a notice, the court said Italian Ambassador Daniele Mancini is not allowed to leave India without its permission, said India’s attorney general, Goolam E. Vahanvati, in an interview. Some individuals doubt the court’s move to be compatible with the terms of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, an international treaty that grants diplomats immunity from criminal, civil and administrative jurisdiction in the country that hosts them.

But the case here is very different. It is Mr. Daniele Mancini (who somehow happens to be Italian Ambassador to India) who stood in court as Guarantee to the court regarding the marines returning back to India after casting their votes. There court has asked Mr. Daniele Mancini to stay put in country till mariners do not return to stand the trail as he stood the guarantee. Court never wants’ the Italian Ambassador to India stay put. But certainly court is not interested in allowing Mr. Daniele Mancini to use his position of being Italian Ambassador to India to work as camouflage in escaping from his promise by forwarding the Vienna Convention in his defense. In fact there is no need to be worried about Vienna Agreement as Italy has itself by its act of not standing to promise made has violated more than a single international pact. If Indian Government feels like, it has all the freedom to launch a military offensive on Italy, as India needs to make sure that in and around Asian continent, rogue states and elements do not dare to raise their heads. Though I am not recommending a military action on Italy, here I am just talking about the rights of India to deal with a Rouge Government or a Government which fails in keeping its promise

Any way Diplomatic immunity is for crimes punishable with fine like parking, not for crimes punishable with jail terms. So there is no diplomatic immunity for the Italian ambassador in the Italian marine bail application. By subjecting himself to the Indian court jurisdiction Mr. Ambassador loses his stand as ambassador and has a role only as a foreign citizen.

                                                                                                                  ————— Always Yours — As Usual — Saurabh Singh

Source:[Website]

One Percent versus Ninety Nine Percent: A Debate

INDIA DOESN’T NEED FDI IN RETAIL TO GROW — Joseph Stiglitz

Nobel Laureate of 2001 in Economic Joseph Stiglitz (who shared it with two more), presently Professor at University of Columbia, is  credited with starting the “1% versus 99%” debate. The Columbia University professor talks about his latest book, “The Price of Inequality”, in which he argues that economic inequality leads to instability

• The title of the book reflects a view that counters the right-wing argument that inequality may be a bad thing but to do anything about inequality is to kill the goose that lays golden eggs. Inequality is bad for economy, democracy and society. Much of the inequality in the US arises out of rent-seeking —monopoly, exploitive practices by banks and corporate exploitation of public resources. In the Indian context, you will call it corruption but we call it corruption American style, where you give away natural resources below market prices. India is doing it now but America has a long history of doing this.

There is a clear association between inequality and instability. People at the top don’t spend too much, they save a lot but people at the bottom spend everything. So you redistribute income from the bottom to the top and demand goes down. That makes an economy weak. That is what happened in the US. We would have had a weaker economy, but the Feds stepped in by creating a bubble that created more demand to offset the demand that was going down. Of course, creating a bubble was creating instability.

• Stiglitz confessed that both the IMF and the UN commission that I chaired came to the conclusion that inequality was one of the major causes for the crisis. It is not the direct, precipitating cause that bad lending was, but bad lending was a result of deregulation and the interest rates that were itself a result of inequality. If we don’t improve inequality and don’t do something else, it is going to be hard to get back to robust growth and prosperity. We are likely to have another housing bubble.

• He further opines, that in the presidential debates none of the candidates have mentioned the word ‘inequality’ as American politics is money-intensive and money-driven. Each of the candidates is expected to spend a billion dollars. When you spend so much, you have to go where the money is, and money in America is at the top. Therefore it is not a surprise that in the campaign you don’t hear a lot of discussion about inequality and the 1%. You don’t bite the hand that is feeding you in the middle of an election.

• He say that this debate may last or  may remain a phrase, he is not sure of, but it will be a part of America unless the problem of inequality gets addressed. It is just not that the top 1% get three to four times more that what they got in the 1980s, but the middle class today is worse off. When you have this degree of stagnation in the middle, there will be an expression through the political process.

• Stiglitz feels that GDP is not a real measure (or say per capita income) of development. he says that, I haven’t looked at India exactly, but it has strong implication for every country. In the case of China, if you take into account the environmental degradation and resource depletion, growth is much less than what it seems. You need that debate in India. Your GDP is going up, you have per capita highest number of billionaires but at the same time you have many people in poverty. So the GDP per capita doesn’t capture what is happening. In India, the progress in the middle and at the bottom has been less than what GDP in itself would like you to believe.

• When asked about the current issue in Indian Economy, that is FDI in retail, he puts it this way.  The advocates of FDI have probably put too much emphasis on it. India is in a different position than a small, developing country. You have a large pool of entrepreneurs. They are globally savvy, have access to global technology and they have a lot of wealth. So, if there were large returns to large-scale supermarkets, the domestic industry would have supplied it. Not having access to FDI is not an impediment in India. Wal-Mart is able to procure many goods at lower prices than others because of the huge buying power they have and will use that power to bring Chinese goods to India to displace Indian production. So the worry is not so much about the displacement of the small retail store but displacement further down the supply chain.

When an argument that ‘But big chains may create more jobs’; he told that  some of the profits of companies like Wal-Mart come from free riding on our society. They don’t provide healthcare benefits and assume that the spouses of the workers get healthcare benefits from their other employees or through some other mechanism. They might not be a good employer.

Always Yours — As Usual —- Saurabh Singh

Source: TOI

Probably Character and Integrity of Committee and it’s Members is Reflected in Decisions Made by It

Every one probably learns from the very childhood that actions speak louder than words and man is known by the company he keeps. The decisions, made by a committee, in context of previous sentence, should represent the character and integrity of the members of the committee. The two decisions made by a committee are provided here under, which will clearly let anyone understand that, what the main criterion behind such decision was. The Committee that took this decision is as detailed ahead:

The search-cum-selection committee was headed by HRD Minister Mr. Kapil Sibal and consists of chairpersons of UGC; AICTE; Mr. Shiv Nadar, chairperson of IIT Kharagpur, and Mr. Kris Gopalakrishnan of Infosys as members

(1)Choices of panel headed by Kapil Sibbal for Selecting Directors of IITs have already caused an embarrassment to ministry when the panel selected AK Bhowmick, for heading IIT Patna, as his name was not cleared by vigilance cell due to him being indicted by the CBI in the coal net scam.

(2)This time also, this panel has selected PP Chakrabarti as its first choice for heading the IIT Kharagpur. It’s known to all that CBI had recommended penalty against him in the coal net scam and even the CAG had pointed out gross violations. Probably it will be another embarrassment for HRD Ministry, if his name is not cleared again by vigilance.

Now you can decide on character and integrity of the committee members, as I have nothing to say further.

Always Yours — As Usual – Saurabh Singh

Source: Times of India & Indian Education Review

सियासती खेल

एक अरसे के बाद कांग्रेस पार्टी को सियासती खेल खेलते देखा. पिछली बार तो लगा था की कांग्रेसी नेताओं में सौदा (दिमाग) नहीं है I अमूमन तो कोई भी मजहबी अतिवादी या ऐसी ओर्गानैजेसन के मेम्बरान इतने हलके धमाके नहीं करते की वो जिस साइकिल पर वो बोम्ब रखा था उन्हें भी ख़ास नुक्सान नहीं हुआ I दहशतगर्द इतना तो ख़याल रखते ही हैं की इन धमाकों से अगर इंसान कम भी मरें, तो भी किसी भी हाल में जख्मी होने वालों की संख्या ज्यादा से ज्यादा हो I

मजहबी अतिवादी या ऐसी ओर्गानैजेसन के मेम्बरान बेकार में ही ऐसा जोखिम नहीं उठाते I इसका मतलब है की ये धमाके सियासती तोहफा थे, और मीडिया मैनेजमेंट काबिले तारीफ़ था की इन धमाकों की चर्चा मीडिया में भी ज्यादा न होकर बमुश्किल दो दिनों में ही ख़त्म हो गयी I इसके पहले भी तीन ग्रिडों का फेल होना महज इत्तेफाक नहीं हो सकता, और गर हुआ भी हो तो वह ४ – ६ घंटों में दुरुस्त नहीं किया जा सकता I अबकी कांग्रेसी सरकार ने अरविन्द केजरीवाल और टीम को सियासती दावों से मात दे दी I इतने ज्यादा और इतने सनसनीखेज इवेंट्स में मीडिया इनके इन्कलाब को तरजीह नहीं दे पाई I

खैर अछ्छा है की अरविन्द केजरीवाल, मनीष सिसोदिया, और किरण बेदी को समझ में आ गया होगा की, सियासत क्लर्क की नौकरी (जिससे उन्हों ने इस्तीफा दिया है) जितनी आसान नहीं है; वर्ना हर क्लर्क, क्लर्क बनने के बजाय मंत्री या बादशाह बनता I ये विचार मैंने किसी सियासती या मजहबी ओर्गानैजेसन के खिलाफ या सपोर्ट में नहीं, बल्कि सियासती चालों की समीक्षा के मायने से लिखे है

Always Yours — as Usual — Saurabh Singh

RETIREMENT AGE DE-LINKED FROM SIXTH PAY COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION GIVEN BY UGC

In yet another move to keep states happy about their autonomous status, the Center on Thursday is likely to clear the proposal of allowing them to decide on fixing the retirement age (maximum 65 years) of lecturers in colleges and universities run by state governments. Earlier, the UPA was insistent that states should enhance the lecturers’ retirement to 65 years to enable them to get 80% of the arrears burden of state governments. The arrears — at least Rs 9,000 crore —went up since the Center had asked the states in 2008 to follow the Sixth Pay Commission scales that centrally- funded institutes introduced in the same year, with retrospective effect from January 1, 2006. The Center had said it would bear 80% of the increased arrears for the first four-year period — between April 1, 2006, and March 31, 2010 — if states followed its order. Now, the government plans to foot this sum only in the form of reimbursements in “two-three” installments. This is likely to benefit around four lakh teachers across the country. The ministry cleared this proposal after a committee of secretaries, headed by cabinet secretary, supported the state governments’ demand. Sources said that there could be political reasons for states to push the need for greater autonomy as far as fixing the retirement age is concerned. “Some states might want to fix 60 or 62 years for retirement so that fresh batch of qualified people can apply for jobs, and this will also increase the scope of promotion for many lecturers,” said a senior government official. The sixth pay package for teachers, based on which the scales of centrally-funded institutes were revised, has a provision that requires increasing the retirement age to 65 years. At present, the retirement age of teachers varies across states – from 58 to 60 years.

————————–Always Yours —-  As Usual —– Saurabh Singh

 

 

 

……..and Markets Came Tumbling Down ……..an attempt to explore the Cause..

……..and  Markets Came Tumbling After

Perhaps, both Dr. Manmohan Singh as Leader of Ruling Party in Power and Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, as Finance Minister went up there, this budget session, to specially put the Indian GDP in higher growth trajectory. Probably all went in vein. All accepted; but then what could be the reason at the route of it? Is anyone interested and involved in finding out the route cause or all are merely trying to make the smart, logical and rational guesses.

Many experts have been found blaming it on the variety of issues, and the sum of these issues is much larger number than all the experts giving their opinion put together. It signals an impression that now a doctoral thesis should be presented on ways of identifying that the individual, who is well dressed and has somehow made it to a position of power and claiming to be expert of domain, is really an expert or a garbage vomiting biological machine.

Pictorial Representation Market Crash

Market Crash of Two Different Centuries     1930 — &–2008

The reasons forwarded by expert for any wanted or unwanted oscillation in the national economy has as much probability of being found in few phrases mentioned below, as much is for any oscillation happening in mood of markets, in next day trading session.

An Attempt:

1. Probably this is an outcome of policy paralysis at the level of Government…

2. It is due to fear being felt by FIIs due to the possible provisions of GAAR on P- Notes…..

3. This is being reflected as the Rupee is getting weaker……

4. It is due stubbornness being shown by RBI Governor by not easing interest rate…

5. It is an outcome of inflationary pressure…..

6. Because European markets opened on lower side…

7. Euro zone crisis is having its impact felt… as all the economies are networked these days….

8. Prices of Crude Oil are moving northwards due to possible stance of USA on Iran’s nuclear issue..

9. The monsoon has cracked a joke on us….

10. The quarter -1 , 2, 3, 4 data for industrial output were not promising….

11. There is a growth being noticed in unemployment rate in USA….

12. Forecast of Chinese economy has taken the fizz out of the market….

13. All this is due to the nation’s money lying in the tax heavens abroad….

14. The growing fiscal deficit is responsible for it….

15. It is the burden of subsidy that is killing the government…..

16. Investors’ are fearful of risky assets and they going for Cash or preferring cash..

17. The Greece crisis has taken its toll….

18. The Spaniards are going uncontrolled……

19. It is due to the Vodafone issue..Where FM wants to put a tax with Retrospective effect..

20. Rupee falters on rupee outflow fear…..

21. Now markets are waiting for first signal of Mr. Hollande, the new President of France.….

…..

 

 

,,,,

 

                                                                                                                   

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…..

N. The grocery seller was saying that Fed is in for an interest rate hike…..

N+1. I heard my taxi driver telling to someone that it is being stage managed by the government…

N+2. There is a foul smell of some foreign hands behind it…….

This is not the end of the list, and therefore just an illustrative one has been put up. Please feel free to add your suggestions. The names will be sent to Nobel Committee which supposed to announce the Current Years’ Nobel Prize Winner in Economics by conducting a free and fair lucky draw from it…..

                                                                                                                     Always Yours— As Usual —– Saurabh Singh

Has the Track been cleared …….for Policy Decisions, A Must for Economic Growth & Development

The counting of ballots and consequent declaration of results of Assembly General Elections 2012 held in five states of India on March 06, 2012 completed an important event in the process of Governance. Simultaneously, it also emphasized the importance of concept of Federalism for modern day democracy. On the other side of these developments, an increasing demand world over could be seen, India included, to incorporate or bring about a transformational change in the context to the ‘Governance’ issue.

It seems to be an apt time for revisiting to ensure that ‘Democracy’ as a system of governance adheres to its core attributes and the ‘Institutions’ erected to ensure its real spirit are capable of not alone performing the task, but also of representing the diversity, culture and socioeconomic issues and facets of the people, who have adopted such a system of governance.

It’s being expected by all concerned, that with culmination of Assembly General Elections 2012 of five states, functioning of Union Government would turn more efficient. Union government may now get free from the clutches of ‘Policy – Paralysis’ or ‘Stymied Decision Making Process’, which seemed to have become integral process of decision making by Union Government in Financial Year 2011 – 2012.    

Numerous issues of urgent importance, which were supposed to have been approved or rejected, are still there in cupboards of ministries, either awaiting their turn for being tabled in parliament, or are there in roll back mode awaiting the creation of elusive ‘consensus’. The post Assembly General Elections 2012 picture may not be pleasant to ruling coalition as Union Government, but it has certainly succeeded in putting an end to chaos, confusion or dilemmas born out of various presumptions and  self-fulfilling interests of a number of political parties.

The words, such as ‘Urgent’, ’Important’, ’Immediate’, ’Today ’and ‘Top Priority’ etc. have turned meaningless when seen in context of number of issues to be tabled, discussed and cleared or rejected by both the houses of Parliament, and also in the context of quantum of delay that has already occurred. Some issues out of them may be put, for purpose of illustration, as ‘FDI in Retail Sector’, ‘Direct Tax Reforms’, ‘Entry of Foreign Equity in Indian Airlines Industry’, ‘Issue of 4G Spectrum’, ‘Issue of Telangana’, ‘Creation of NCTC’, ‘Proposal on RPF’, ‘Issue of Inflation in Food Items’, ‘Deregulation of Prices of Petroleum Products’, ‘Land Leasing Bill or even Land Reforms Bills’, ‘Transforming Education in to Business’ and many more of the similar type.

The comments on issues are knowingly being avoided, as every single issue is important and also a subject matter to be covered in numerous articles, debates and deliberations. Certainly the same will be done, but the purpose here was to highlight the important issues pending approval of the parliament and also the evolution of Indian Political System and Governance as on date.

 

Always Yours —– As Usual —— Saurabh Singh

Economic Growth- But No New Jobs:Later Half of First Decade of 21st Century India

Have 20 years of economic liberalization been kind to the poor? In particular, how have India’s Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes fared since the country opened up to the forces of economic reforms? Already politically empowered, have they also been economically empowered by liberalization?

Already politically empowered, have India’s Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes also been economically empowered?

An important new study by economists Viktoria Hnatkovska, Amartya Lahiri and Sourabh B. Paul examines the economic performance of SC/STs by analyzing a large mass of data from five successive rounds of the National Sample Survey from 1983 to 2005.

The study is among the first to examine the behavior of wages, consumption, education and occupation choice for SC/STs compared with the rest of the population, exploiting the large and rich NSS data.

The study’s three principal findings are striking. First, it finds significant convergence in educational attainment and occupational choice over the period of the study. In 1983, non-SC/STs had, on average, 3.62 years of schooling, against 1.41 for SC/STs, a discrepancy of 157%. By 2005, non-SC/STs had 5.6 years of schooling on average, while for SC/STs it was 3.2 years, so the percentage gap had closed to 74%. Non-SC/STs still dominate white collar employment, which tends to be higher paying than blue collar and agricultural work, but the gap has narrowed from almost three times as many non-SC/STs in 1983 to about 1.5 times as many in 2005.

Second, the report finds a “statistically significant” movement towards convergence in wages between SC/STs and everyone else. A statistically significant finding is one in which we can have confidence that the results are genuine and not an artifact of measurement. In particular, the authors find that the “wage premium” – a ratio between the wages of non-SC/STs relative to SC/STs— has steadily declined from 36% in 1983 to 21% in 2005. To put things in perspective, the corresponding wage premium for white males over black males in the U.S. has stayed constant around 30% for the last several decades.

Third, the authors find that convergence in wage levels has been caused in large measure by educational attainment of SC/STs slowly catching up with the rest, although a gap remains.

But what explains these trends? Are wages converging principally because the education gap is closing (perhaps through caste-based reservation), or are other factors such as a lessening of discrimination against SC/STs responsible?

The authors show analytically that the majority of the wage gap can be explained by demographic characteristics, such as age, experience and whether people live in a rural or urban area. But the single most important determinant of the wage gap is the gap in educational attainment, the most important demographic difference. The implication is that the narrowing wage gap is indeed a result of the narrowing education gap.

The study also finds that caste-based reservation had a “negligible” effect on the wage gap. Because of its potential policy significance, this finding must be interpreted with caution. The finding is that reservation by itself cannot account statistically for much of the narrowing wage gap.  But that, of course, doesn’t mean that reservation isn’t important. One cannot rule out that reservation indirectly has led to a narrowing of the wage gap, working through the effect of allowing SCs/STs to catch up in terms of education and occupation choice.

There is corroborating evidence on the importance of reservation. For instance, the Indian Express reported recently that SC representation in upper-tier government jobs has increased almost eightfold, from 1.64% to 12.5% in the last 45 years. ST representation has grown almost 20 times. These figures reflect, in part, reservations of 15% and 7.5% for SCs and STs, respectively.

What lies behind these optimistic results? Leaving aside the debate about how big or small a role caste-based reservation has played, there are other market-based explanations that have played an important role, which the study highlights.

The most natural explanation, which is close to the heart of every free market economist, is that 20 years of economic liberalization have reduced the importance of caste and accentuated a move towards “market meritocracy,” where wages and incomes better reflect differences in education and other characteristics, not caste.

This reflects an idea proposed by the Nobel economist Gary Becker a half-century ago, that discrimination in any form becomes costlier when the market becomes more important, and so we will see less of it.

This is a plausible explanation but isn’t the only possibility. The study also flags the increased importance of community-based social networks bringing together SC/STs. Closer integration may lead to what economists call “network externalities,” so that every member of a group benefits more from interacting with their peers than if they were on their own.

The bottom line is that there’s convergence between SC/STs and everyone else, but convergence doesn’t mean they’ve completely caught up. Nor does it mean that caste-based reservation has not or will not continue to play a role.

 

Always Yours — As Usual — Saurabh Singh

Source: http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2011/11/28/economics-journal-are-indias-poorest-catching-up/tab/print/

 

 

A Man Who Bestowed Upon You the Power to Hold Globe on Your Palm

A Man Who Bestowed Upon You the Power to Hold Globe on Your Palm

“Three apples have changed the world. One seduced Eve, second awakened Newton, the third one was in the hands of Jobs.”

Much before embarking on the path of giving the world iconic products like Mac computers, iPod music players, iPhone mobile phones and iPad tablet PCs, this cult figure of the world of technology came to India in early 70s in search of enlightenment or ‘nirvana’ and went back unsatisfied.

He found India far poorer than he had imagined at that time and, ironically, years later in mid-2000s, when he thought of setting up a facility for Apple’s Mac computers, India appeared to be much less cost-effective to do business.

But, it was his unsatisfactory India visit of early 70s that could have been one of the major reasons for Jobs’ focus on the world of technology and eventually the setting up of the company called Apple.

His biography, titled ‘The Little Kingdom — The Private Story of Apple Computer’ quotes Jobs as saying that “It was one of the first times that I started to realise that maybe Thomas Edison did a lot more to improve the world than Karl Marx and Neem Kairolie Baba put together.”

Photograph of Steve Jobs

Neem Karori Baba was the guru that Jobs, then 18, visited in India along with his college friend Dan Kottke. The American duo had come to India after they dropped out of college and Kottke eventually joined Jobs as the first employee of Apple.

“The hot, uncomfortable summer made Jobs question many of the illusions he had nursed about India. He found India far poorer than he had imagined and was struck by the incongruity between the country’s condition and its airs of holiness,” author Michael Moritz wrote in Jobs’ biography.

The book quoted Jobs as saying: “We weren’t going to find a place where we could go for a month to be enlightened” and said that by the time he returned to California “he was thinner, thanks to a bout of dysentery, had closely cropped hair, and was dressed in an Indian attire…”

Years later in 2006, there were talks about Apple mulling over a 3,000-strong workforce centre in Bangalore to support its Mac and other products and it was said that the company even hired an initial team of 30 people. But, the plans did not fructify and reports said that the company did not find India as cost-effective as it had thought it to be.

Ironically, Jobs died on a day when Indian government unveiled its own answer to iPad, with a price tag much lower than that of the iconic brand, in the form of Aakash, the world’s cheapest tablet PC.

Apple on Wednesday announced the death of its visionary co-founder Steve Jobs.

“We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today,” the company’s board of directors said in a statement.

Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.”

The Silicon Valley icon who gave the world the iPod and the iPhone resigned as CEO of the world’s largest technology corporation in August, handing the reins to current chief executive Tim Cook.

Jobs had battled cancer in 2004 and underwent a liver transplant in 2009 after taking a leave of absence for unspecified health problems. He took another leave of absence in January, his third since his health problems began, before resigning as CEO six weeks ago. Jobs became Apple’s chairman and handed the CEO job over to his hand-picked successor, Tim Cook.

The news Apple fans and shareholders had been dreading came the day after Apple unveiled its latest version of the iPhone, just one in a procession of devices that shaped technology and society while Jobs was running the company.

Jobs started Apple with a high school friend in a Silicon Valley garage in 1976, was forced out a decade later and returned in 1997 to rescue the company. During his second stint, it grew into the most valuable technology company in the world with a market value of $351 billion. Only Exxon Mobil, which makes it money extracting and refining oil instead of ideas, is worth more.

Cultivating Apple’s countercultural sensibility and a minimalist design ethic, Jobs rolled out one sensational product after another, even in the face of the late-2000s recession and his own failing health.

He helped change computers from a geeky hobbyist’s obsession to a necessity of modern life at work and home, and in the process he upended not just personal technology but the cellphone and music industries. For transformation of American industry, he ranks among his computer-age contemporary, Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates and other creative geniuses such as Walt Disney that left an indelible imprint on the world. Jobs died as Walt Disney Co.’s largest shareholder, a by-product of his decision to sell computer animation studio Pixar in 2006.

Perhaps most influentially, Jobs in 2001 launched the iPod, which offered “1,000 songs in your pocket.” Over the next 10 years, its white earphones and thumb-dial control seemed to become more ubiquitous than the wristwatch.

In 2007 came the touch-screen iPhone, joined a year later by Apple’s App Store, where developers could sell iPhone “apps” which made the phone a device not just for making calls but also for managing money, editing photos, playing games and social networking. And in 2010 Jobs introduced the iPad, a tablet-sized, all-touch computer, that took off even though market analysts said no one really needed one.

Steven Paul Jobs was born Feb. 24, 1955, to Joanne Simpson, then an unmarried graduate student, and Abdulfattah Jandali, a student from Syria. Simpson gave Jobs up for adoption, though she married Jandali and a few years later had a second child with him, Mona Simpson, who became a novelist.

Steven Paul Jobs was adopted by Clara and Paul Jobs of Los Altos, Calif., a working-class couple who nurtured his early interest in electronics. He saw his first computer terminal at NASA’s Ames Research Center when he was around 11 and landed a summer job at Hewlett-Packard before he had finished high school.

Jobs enrolled in Reed College in Portland, Ore., in 1972 but dropped out after a semester.

“All of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it,” he said at a Stanford University commencement address in 2005. “I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out.”

When he returned to California in 1974, Jobs worked for video game maker Atari and attended meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club with Steve Wozniak, a high school friend who was a few years older.

Wozniak’s homemade computer drew attention from other enthusiasts, but Jobs saw its potential far beyond the geeky hobbyists of the time. The pair started Apple in Jobs’ parents’ garage in 1976. Their first creation was the Apple I – essentially, the guts of a computer without a case, keyboard or monitor.

The Apple II, which hit the market in 1977, was their first machine for the masses. It became so popular that Jobs was worth $100 million by age 25. Time magazine put him on its cover for the first time in 1982.

During a 1979 visit to the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, Jobs again spotted mass potential in a niche invention: a computer that allowed people to access files and control programs with the click of a mouse not typed commands. He returned to Apple and ordered the team to copy what he had seen.

It foreshadowed a propensity to take other people’s concepts, improve on them and spin them into wildly successful products. Under Jobs, Apple didn’t invent computers, digital music players or smartphones – it reinvented them for people who didn’t want to learn computer programming or negotiate the technical hassles of keeping their gadgets working.

“We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas,” Jobs said in an interview for the 1996 PBS series “Triumph of the Nerds.”

The engineers responded with two computers. The pricier one, called Lisa, launched to a cool reception in 1983. A less-expensive model called the Macintosh, named for an employee’s favorite apple, exploded onto the scene in 1984.

The Mac was heralded by an epic Super Bowl commercial that referenced George Orwell’s “1984” and captured Apple’s iconoclastic style.

 

In the ad, expressionless drones marched through dark halls to an auditorium where a Big Brother-like figure lectures on a big screen. A woman in a bright track uniform burst into the hall and launched a hammer into the screen, which exploded, stunning the drones, as a narrator announced the arrival of the Mac.”

There were early stumbles at Apple. Jobs clashed with colleagues and even the CEO he had hired away from Pepsi, John Sculley. And after an initial spike, Mac sales slowed, in part because few programs had been written for the new graphical user interface.

Meanwhile, Microsoft copied the Mac approach and introduced Windows, outmaneuvering Apple by licensing its software to slews of computer makers while Apple insisted on making its own machines.

Software developers wrote programs first for Windows because it had millions more computers. A Mac version didn’t come for months, if at all.

With Apple’s stock price sinking, conflicts between Jobs and Sculley mounted. Sculley won over the board in 1985 and pushed Jobs out of his day-to-day role leading the Macintosh team. Jobs resigned his post as chairman of the board and left Apple within months.

“What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating,” Jobs said in his Stanford speech. “I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”

He got into two other companies: Next, a computer maker, and Pixar, a computer-animation studio that he bought from George Lucas for $10 million.

Pixar, ultimately the more successful venture, seemed at first a bottomless money pit. Then came “Toy Story,” the first computer-animated full-length feature. Jobs used its success to negotiate a sweeter deal with Disney for Pixar’s next two films. In 2006, Jobs sold Pixar to The Walt Disney Co. for $7.4 billion in stock, making him Disney’s largest individual shareholder and securing a seat on the board.

With Next, Jobs was said to be obsessive about the tiniest details of the cube-shaped computer, insisting on design perfection even for the machine’s guts. He never managed to spark much demand for the machine, which cost a pricey $6,500 to $10,000.

Ultimately, he shifted the focus to software – a move that paid off later when Apple bought Next for its operating system technology, the basis for the software still used in Mac computers.

By 1996, when Apple bought Next, Apple was in dire financial straits. It had lost more than $800 million in a year, dragged its heels in licensing Mac software for other computers and surrendered most of its market share to PCs that ran Windows.

Larry Ellison, Jobs’ close friend and fellow Silicon Valley billionaire and the leader of Oracle Corp., publicly contemplated buying Apple in early 1997 and ousting its leadership. The idea fizzled, but Jobs stepped in as interim chief later that year.

He slashed unprofitable projects, narrowed the company’s focus and presided over a new marketing push to set the Mac apart from Windows, starting with a campaign encouraging computer user to “Think different.”

“In the early days, he was in charge of every detail. The only way you could say it is, he was kind of a control freak,” he said. In his second stint, “he clearly was much more mellow and more mature.”

In the decade that followed, Jobs kept Apple profitable while pushing out an impressive roster of new products.

Apple’s popularity exploded in the 2000s. The iPod, smaller and sleeker with each generation, introduced many lifelong Windows users to their first Apple gadget.

ITunes, in 20XX, gave people a convenient way to buy music legally online, song by song. For the music industry, it was a mixed blessing. The industry got a way to reach Internet-savvy people who, in the age of Napster, were growing accustomed to downloading music free. But online sales also hastened the demise of CDs and established Apple as a gatekeeper, resulting in battles between Jobs and music executives over pricing and other issues.

Jobs’ command over gadget lovers and pop culture swelled to the point that, on the eve of the iPhone’s launch in 2007, faithful followers slept on sidewalks outside posh Apple stores for the chance to buy one. Three years later, at the iPad’s debut, the lines snaked around blocks and out through parking lots, even though people had the option to order one in advance.

The decade was not without its glitches. Apple was swept up in a Securities and Exchange Commission inquiry into stock-options backdating in the mid-2000s, a practice that artificially boosted the value of options grants. But Jobs and Apple emerged unscathed after two former executives took the fall and eventually settled with the SEC.

Jobs’ personal ethos – a natural food lover who embraced Buddhism and New Age philosophy – was closely linked to the public persona he shaped for Apple. Apple itself became a statement against the commoditization of technology – a cynical view, to be sure, from a company whose computers can cost three or more times as much as those of its rivals.

For technology lovers, buying Apple products meant gaining entrance to an exclusive club. At the top was a complicated and contradictory figure who was endlessly fascinating – even to his detractors, of which Jobs had many. Jobs was a hero to techno-geeks and a villain to partners he bullied and to workers whose projects he unceremoniously killed or claimed as his own.

Unauthorized biographer Alan Deutschman described him as “deeply moody and maddeningly erratic.” In his personal life, Jobs denied for two years that he was the father of Lisa, the baby born to his longtime girlfriend Chrisann Brennan in 1978.

Few seemed immune to Jobs’ charisma and will. He could adeptly convince those in his presence of just about anything – even if they disagreed again when he left the room and his magic wore off.

“He always has an aura around his persona,” said Bajarin, who met Jobs several times while covering the company for more than 20 years as a Creative Strategies analyst. “When you talk to him, you know you’re really talking to a brilliant mind.”

But Bajarin also remembers Jobs lashing out with profanity at an employee who interrupted their meeting. Jobs, the perfectionist, demanded greatness from everyone at Apple.

Jobs valued his privacy, but some details of his romantic and family life have been uncovered. In the early 1980s, Jobs dated the folk singer Joan Baez, according to Deutschman.

In 1989, Jobs spoke at Stanford’s graduate business school and met his wife, Laurene Powell, who was then a student. When she became pregnant, Jobs at first refused to marry her. It was a near-repeat of what had happened more than a decade earlier with then-girlfriend Brennan, Deutschman said, but eventually Jobs relented.

Jobs started looking for his biological family in his teens, according to an interview he gave to The New York Times in 1997. He found his biological sister when he was 27. They became friends, and through her Jobs met his biological mother. Few details of their relationships have been made public.

But the extent of Apple secrecy didn’t become clear until Jobs revealed in 2004 that he had been diagnosed with – and “cured” of – a rare form of operable pancreatic cancer called an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor. The company had sat on the news of his diagnosis for nine months while Jobs tried trumping the disease with a special diet, Fortune magazine reported in 2008.

In the years after his cancer was revealed, rumors about Jobs’ health would spark runs on Apple stock as investors worried the company, with no clear succession plan, would fall apart without him. Apple did little to ease those concerns. It kept the state of Jobs’ health a secret for as long as it could, then disclosed vague details when, in early 2009, it became clear he was again ill.

Jobs took a half-year medical leave of absence starting in January 2009, during which he had a liver transplant. Apple did not disclose the procedure at the time; two months later, The Wall Street Journal reported the fact and a doctor at the transplant hospital confirmed it.

In January 2011, Jobs announced another medical leave, his third, with no set duration. He returned to the spotlight briefly in March to personally unveil a second-generation iPad .

In 2005, following the bout with cancer, Jobs delivered Stanford University’s commencement speech.

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life,” he said. “Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”

 

 

 

Always Yours —- As Usual  —- Saurabh Singh

Send your comments at  managementteacher@gmail.com

Note: It includes information from numerous sources, and I thankfully acknowledge them as it would have, really been tough to complete this comprehensive information, without their contributions.

 

 

 

 

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