Saturday, January 8, 2011

India's Rising Population and Depleting Resources

India is expected to surpass China as the world's most populous nation by 2025. As the Indian population rises rapidly amidst its depleting land and water resources, the widespread hunger problem could grow worse unless serious steps are taken now to remedy the situation.





The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) reported last year that hunger in India has grown over the last three years.



IFPRI said India's hunger index score has worsened over the last three years from 23.7 to 23.9 to 24.1 and its ranking moved from 66 to 65 to 67 on a list of 84 nations....while Pakistan's hunger index score has improved over the same period reported since 2008 from 21.7 (2008) to 21.0 (2009) to 19.1 (2010) and its ranking has risen from 61 to 58 to 52.



In 2011, the situation in India is only getting worse with double-digit food inflation and growing shortages of basics like onions.

With the growing population and worsening water shortages, the prognosis for hunger in India is not good, according to the author of National Geographics cover story in its latest issue on population.

India is ranked 33rd and Pakistan 39th among the most overcrowded nations of the world by Overpopulation Index published by the Optimum Population Trust based in the United Kingdom. The index measures overcrowding based on the size of the population and the resources available to sustain it.

India has a dependency percentage of 51.6 per cent on other nations and an ecological footprint of 0.77. The index calculates that India is overpopulated by 594.32 million people. Pakistan has a dependency percentage of 49.9 per cent on other nations and an ecological footprint of 0.75. The index calculates that Pakistan is overpopulated by 80 million people. Pakistan is less crowded than China (ranked 29), India (ranked 33) and the US (ranked 35), according to the index. Singapore is the most overcrowded and Bukina Faso the least on a list of 77 nations assessed by the Optimum Population Trust.



Here are some excerpts from National Geographics' cover story "7 Billion and Counting":

In 1966, when Ehrlich took that taxi ride, there were around half a billion Indians. There are 1.2 billion now. Delhi’s population has increased even faster, to around 22 million, as people have flooded in from small towns and villages and crowded into sprawling shantytowns. Early last June in the stinking hot city, the summer monsoon had not yet arrived to wash the dust from the innumerable construction sites, which only added to the dust that blows in from the deserts of Rajasthan. On the new divided highways that funnel people into the unplanned city, oxcarts were heading the wrong way in the fast lane. Families of four cruised on motorbikes, the women’s scarves flapping like vivid pennants, toddlers dangling from their arms. Families of a dozen or more sardined themselves into buzzing, bumblebee-colored auto rickshaws designed for two passengers. In the stalled traffic, amputees and wasted little children cried for alms. Delhi today is boomingly different from the city Ehrlich visited, and it is also very much the same.




At Lok Nayak Hospital, on the edge of the chaotic and densely peopled nest of lanes that is Old Delhi, a human tide flows through the entrance gate every morning and crowds inside on the lobby floor. “Who could see this and not be worried about the population of India?” a surgeon named Chandan Bortamuly asked one afternoon as he made his way toward his vasectomy clinic. “Population is our biggest problem.” Removing the padlock from the clinic door, Bortamuly stepped into a small operating room. Inside, two men lay stretched out on examination tables, their testicles poking up through holes in the green sheets. A ceiling fan pushed cool air from two window units around the room.

Bortamuly is on the front lines of a battle that has been going on in India for nearly 60 years. In 1952, just five years after it gained independence from Britain, India became the first country to establish a policy for population control. Since then the government has repeatedly set ambitious goals—and repeatedly missed them by a mile. A national policy adopted in 2000 called for the country to reach the replacement fertility of 2.1 by 2010. That won’t happen for at least another decade. In the UN’s medium projection, India’s population will rise to just over 1.6 billion people by 2050. “What’s inevitable is that India is going to exceed the population of China by 2030,” says A. R. Nanda, former head of the Population Foundation of India, an advocacy group. “Nothing less than a huge catastrophe, nuclear or otherwise, can change that.”

Sterilization is the dominant form of birth control in India today, and the vast majority of the procedures are performed on women. The government is trying to change that; a no-scalpel vasectomy costs far less and is easier on a man than a tubal ligation is on a woman. In the operating theater Bortamuly worked quickly. “They say the needle pricks like an ant bite,” he explained, when the first patient flinched at the local anesthetic. “After that it’s basically painless, bloodless surgery.” Using the pointed tip of a forceps, Bortamuly made a tiny hole in the skin of the scrotum and pulled out an oxbow of white, stringy vas deferens—the sperm conduit from the patient’s right testicle. He tied off both ends of the oxbow with fine black thread, snipped them, and pushed them back under the skin. In less than seven minutes—a nurse timed him—the patient was walking out without so much as a Band-Aid. The government will pay him an incentive fee of 1,100 rupees (around $25), a week’s wages for a laborer.

The Indian government tried once before to push vasectomies, in the 1970s, when anxiety about the population bomb was at its height. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her son Sanjay used state-of-emergency powers to force a dramatic increase in sterilizations. From 1976 to 1977 the number of operations tripled, to more than eight million. Over six million of those were vasectomies. Family planning workers were pressured to meet quotas; in a few states, sterilization became a condition for receiving new housing or other government benefits. In some cases the police simply rounded up poor people and hauled them to sterilization camps.

The excesses gave the whole concept of family planning a bad name. “Successive governments refused to touch the subject,” says Shailaja Chandra, former head of the National Population Stabilisation Fund (NPSF). Yet fertility in India has dropped anyway, though not as fast as in China, where it was nose-diving even before the draconian one-child policy took effect. The national average in India is now 2.6 children per woman, less than half what it was when Ehrlich visited. The southern half of the country and a few states in the northern half are already at replacement fertility or below.

In Kerala, on the southwest coast, investments in health and education helped fertility fall to 1.7. The key, demographers there say, is the female literacy rate: At around 90 percent, it’s easily the highest in India. Girls who go to school start having children later than ones who don’t. They are more open to contraception and more likely to understand their options.


SO FAR THIS APPROACH, held up as a model internationally, has not caught on in the poor states of northern India—in the “Hindi belt” that stretches across the country just south of Delhi. Nearly half of India’s population growth is occurring in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh, where fertility rates still hover between three and four children per woman. More than half the women in the Hindi belt are illiterate, and many marry well before reaching the legal age of 18. They gain social status by bearing children—and usually don’t stop until they have at least one son.

As an alternative to the Kerala model, some point to the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, where sterilization “camps”—temporary operating rooms often set up in schools—were introduced during the ’70s and where sterilization rates have remained high as improved hospitals have replaced the camps. In a single decade beginning in the early 1990s, the fertility rate fell from around three to less than two. Unlike in Kerala, half of all women in Andhra Pradesh remain illiterate.

Amarjit Singh, the current executive director of the NPSF, calculates that if the four biggest states of the Hindi belt had followed the Andhra Pradesh model, they would have avoided 40 million births—and considerable suffering. “Because 40 million were born, 2.5 million children died,” Singh says. He thinks if all India were to adopt high-quality programs to encourage sterilizations, in hospitals rather than camps, it could have 1.4 billion people in 2050 instead of 1.6 billion.

Critics of the Andhra Pradesh model, such as the Population Foundation’s Nanda, say Indians need better health care, particularly in rural areas. They are against numerical targets that pressure government workers to sterilize people or cash incentives that distort a couple’s choice of family size. “It’s a private decision,” Nanda says.

In Indian cities today, many couples are making the same choice as their counterparts in Europe or America. Sonalde Desai, a senior fellow at New Delhi’s National Council of Applied Economic Research, introduced me to five working women in Delhi who were spending most of their salaries on private-school fees and after-school tutors; each had one or two children and was not planning to have more. In a nationwide survey of 41,554 households, Desai’s team identified a small but growing vanguard of urban one-child families. “We were totally blown away at the emphasis parents were placing on their children,” she says. “It suddenly makes you understand—that is why fertility is going down.” Indian children on average are much better educated than their parents.

That’s less true in the countryside. With Desai’s team I went to Palanpur, a village in Uttar Pradesh—a Hindi-belt state with as many people as Brazil. Walking into the village we passed a cell phone tower but also rivulets of raw sewage running along the lanes of small brick houses. Under a mango tree, the keeper of the grove said he saw no reason to educate his three daughters. Under a neem tree in the center of the village, I asked a dozen farmers what would improve their lives most. “If we could get a little money, that would be wonderful,” one joked.

The goal in India should not be reducing fertility or population, Almas Ali of the Population Foundation told me when I spoke to him a few days later. “The goal should be to make the villages livable,” he said. “Whenever we talk of population in India, even today, what comes to our mind is the increasing numbers. And the numbers are looked at with fright. This phobia has penetrated the mind-set so much that all the focus is on reducing the number. The focus on people has been pushed to the background.”

It was a four-hour drive back to Delhi from Palanpur, through the gathering night of a Sunday. We sat in traffic in one market town after another, each one hopping with activity that sometimes engulfed the car. As we came down a viaduct into Moradabad, I saw a man pushing a cart up the steep hill, piled with a load so large it blocked his view. I thought of Ehrlich’s epiphany on his cab ride all those decades ago. People, people, people, people—yes. But also an overwhelming sense of energy, of striving, of aspiration.
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Some parts of it may well be; some parts of it are hellish today. There are now 21 cities with populations larger than ten million, and by 2050 there will be many more. Delhi adds hundreds of thousands of migrants each year, and those people arrive to find that “no plans have been made for water, sewage, or habitation,” says Shailaja Chandra. Dhaka in Bangladesh and Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are 40 times larger today than they were in 1950. Their slums are filled with desperately poor people who have fled worse poverty in the countryside.
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The World Bank has predicted that by 2030 more than a billion people in the developing world will belong to the “global middle class,” up from just 400 million in 2005. That’s a good thing. But it will be a hard thing for the planet if those people are eating meat and driving gasoline-powered cars at the same rate as Americans now do. It’s too late to keep the new middle class of 2030 from being born; it’s not too late to change how they and the rest of us will produce and consume food and energy. “Eating less meat seems more reasonable to me than saying, ‘Have fewer children!’ ” Le Bras says.

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For centuries population pessimists have hurled apocalyptic warnings at the congenital optimists, who believe in their bones that humanity will find ways to cope and even improve its lot. History, on the whole, has so far favored the optimists, but history is no certain guide to the future. Neither is science. It cannot predict the outcome of People v. Planet, because all the facts of the case—how many of us there will be and how we will live—depend on choices we have yet to make and ideas we have yet to have. We may, for example, says Cohen, “see to it that all children are nourished well enough to learn in school and are educated well enough to solve the problems they will face as adults.” That would change the future significantly.

The debate was present at the creation of population alarmism, in the person of Rev. Thomas Malthus himself. Toward the end of the book in which he formulated the iron law by which unchecked population growth leads to famine, he declared that law a good thing: It gets us off our duffs. It leads us to conquer the world. Man, Malthus wrote, and he must have meant woman too, is “inert, sluggish, and averse from labour, unless compelled by necessity.” But necessity, he added, gives hope:

“The exertions that men find it necessary to make, in order to support themselves or families, frequently awaken faculties that might otherwise have lain for ever dormant, and it has been commonly remarked that new and extraordinary situations generally create minds adequate to grapple with the difficulties in which they are involved.”

Seven billion of us soon, nine billion in 2045. Let’s hope that Malthus was right about our ingenuity.


Here's a video of Stratfor's analysis of India's demographics challenges:




Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Seven Billion and Counting

NPR Discussion on 7 Billion and Counting

South Asia's Rising Population and Declining Resources

Environmental Degradation at Siachen
Climate Change Worsens Poverty in India

World's Biggest Polluters

Global Warming Impact on Pakistan

Indian Rural Poverty Worsens
Climate Change Impact on Karachi, South Asian Megacities

Water Scarcity in Pakistan
Syeda Hamida of Indian Planning Commission Says India Worse Than Pakistan and Bangladesh

Global Hunger Index Report 2009

Grinding Poverty in Resurgent India
Food, Clothing and Shelter For All

India's Family Health Survey
Hunger and Undernutrition Blog

Pakistan's Total Sanitation Campaign
Is India a Nutritional Weakling?
Asian Gains in World's Top Universities

India's Vulnerability to Climate Change

South Asia Slipping in Human Development
What Does Democracy Deliver in Pakistan

Do South Asian Slums Offer Hope?

53 comments:

varun said...

How about Pakistan's Rising Fundamentalism and Depleting Liberalism???? Ala Salman Taseer. How come you haven't written anything about that???

Anonymous said...

Riaz pakistan has a far higher birth rate than India and a far weaker economy.

It is less populated than India as per pop/land HOWEVER something like 50% of the country is arid and unlivable like Balochistan and NWFP where pop densioties are low as a result.

pop/livable land in PAkistan is much higher than India.

Also India with 10% growth rate is much more likely to address the issues of overcrowding than Pakistan simply because the Indian resources are much more.

Vicks said...

Riaz, as one of your readers, I understand that one of the things you do through your blog is try to punch India black and blue, using indices that show India in a poor light, or using uncharitable(for India) parts of articles from Western publications. But to say that India faces a huge population bomb while not talking about Pakistan's equally dire situation, is really pushing it a bit too far. The population bomb is ticking away not just in India, but equally in the rest of the subcontinent. According to the CIA world factbook, India's population growth rate is 1.376% and the total fertility rate is 2.65. The figures for Pakistan are 1.589% and 3.28, respectively. I suggest you start talking about the bomb in your own backyard too: it looks pretty dangerous from where I'm sitting. The entire subcontinent has a huge problem in that regard, and certainly India should be very worried, but so too, should Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

vicks: "But to say that India faces a huge population bomb while not talking about Pakistan's equally dire situation, is really pushing it a bit too far."

The Overpopulation Index takes it all into account and concludes that India has lower capacity to absorb more population than Pakistan.

Since India is headed toward becoming the world's most populous nation by 2025, the current National Geographics cover story also picks India as the poster child of the problem of population growth in its discussion of the people versus the planet.

Anonymous said...

As a British/Pakistani I get annoyed at how both Indian and Pakistani patriotism encompasses hatred for one another.Both societies have many problems.I am sure that various stats and studies can be called upon to argue that one is worse then the other.
I am a layman.Prehaps more educated people will make my point more eloquently(or expand/criticise for my education).
As a British born Pakistani I have never been blinded by Patriotism.In fact i would argue that those of us who are brought up in an environment that genuinely imbues upon us 2 separate cultural values,can teach alot to those of us who have been raised in a monoculture.
In the India/Pakistan/England context- I often see how the indigenous English get blinded by Patriotism;seeing and understanding this allows me to detach myself from blind patriotism towards Pakistan.
I recall with pride when the Indian cricket team captain S.Ganguly stood his ground and gave a verbal bashing to S.waugh regarding a cricketing controversy.I was proud because Ganguly as an Asian represented me -i contrasted this to the illeducated and submissive Pakistani cricketers,whom also represented me.
I am proud that England largely avoids extreme racial troubles, that lead to violence and death,which afflict Pakistan and India.
I realise I havent mentioned any proud moments regarding Pakistan.Nothing comes immediately to mind.....I am sorry i cant think of anything.This is only specific to my own experiences but Pakistan conjures up - corruption,dis-organisation etc.I have never been to India.India no doubt suffers similar problems.MY MAIN POINT IS- we need to stop comparing the bad situation in Pakistan to another country that may be worse,and,start spending our time dealing with the problem[s] itself.

Riaz Haq said...

India's continued economic growth will be at risk unless quick action is taken to improve the health of its growing population, a report says carried by the BBC:

It says that India is in the early stages of a chronic disease epidemic which affects the health of both rich and poor people.

It calls for a comprehensive national health system to be set up by 2020.

The report consists of a series of studies published by the British medical journal, The Lancet.

"Rapidly improving socio-economic status in India is associated with a reduction of physical activity and increased rates of obesity and diabetes," says the paper on chronic diseases and injuries - led by Vikram Patel from the Sangath Centre in Goa.

It says that Indians are growing wealthier but exercising less and indulging in fatty foods.

They also risk injury by driving more often and faster on the country's notoriously dangerous roads, often under the influence of alcohol.

"The emerging pattern in India is characterised by an initial uptake of harmful health behaviours in the early phase of socio-economic development," Mr Patel's paper says.

He and other authors of the report argue that the problem can only be tackled by better education, because bad habits tend to decline once consumers become aware of risks to their health.

The report states that overall the poor in India are the most vulnerable to diseases - and are further burdened by having to pay for healthcare in a country where health indicators lag behind its impressive economic growth figures.

The study also says it is important that India, with its fast-growing population soon exceeding 1.2 billion, takes steps to prevent illnesses such as heart or respiratory diseases, cancer and diabetes.

It says that this can be funded by gradually increasing public expenditure and implementing new taxes on tobacco, alcohol and unhealthy foods.

Riaz Haq said...

The BBC is reporting that the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has held a cabinet meeting to tackle spiralling food prices.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P Chidambaram and Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar were among those at the talks in Delhi.

The soaring price of vegetables, milk and other eatables in the past month have taken food inflation to 18.32% - the highest in more than a year.

The agriculture minister has said the crisis is likely to continue for now.

Growing concern over food inflation has caused stocks on Indian markets to fall in value in recent days. The BBC's Sanjoy Majumder in Delhi says investors fear the Central Bank could raise interest rates as a short-term measure.

The price of onions, a staple food used in many dishes, has risen dramatically - even prompting India's government to approach long-time rival Pakistan for help.

A kilogram of onions, which usually costs 20 rupees in India, went up to 85 rupees (£1.20; $1.87) last month. It is now about 60-65 rupees a kilogram.

The government has ordered some state-run stores to sell the vegetable at 35 rupees a kilogram from Tuesday.

The price rise has been blamed on unusually heavy rains in the bulk-producing western states of Maharashtra and Gujarat and in southern states, as well as on hoarders and speculators.

Cooking oil and wheat flour have also become costlier in the last month.

Discontent over food inflation has been a major headache for the government.

High prices of essential commodities such as onions have previously sparked unrest and helped bring down the national government in 2004.

Zen, Munich, Germany said...

@Offtopic
@Riaz

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-12167131

Congrats! Another controversy involving Muslims. Throughout the mankind's history, all fought mostly for one thing - access to the female sexual organ. Now as Islam is the only major unreformed faith(ahem, all others have reformed, for your information), this is stirring up anxiety among non Muslims from Kerala to Britain - Muslim sexual predators are abusing innocent non Muslim women :-) and therby deprives non Muslims of sexual access to females.
Even Muslim writers like Yasmin Ali bhai Brown supported Straw, though she also states that there are more white sexual predators than brown or Muslim.
Where would all these end up? On one hand, we have some Muslim criminals who are helping to stereotype their own communities. On the other hand, we have Islamophobia that have gone rampant and mainstream whereby if a rape or shooting is committed by Muslims, it achieves a religious and ethnic dimension whereas if it is from non Muslims, it is seen as a law and order problem.
Germany is also no different in this regard - there was an incident involving one Turkish teenager beating an old white man, it was a Turkish or Muslim violence issue. But then there was a white german teen. shooting and killing 17 people and it was a teenager problem.

Riaz Haq said...

Zen: "Congrats! Another controversy involving Muslims. Throughout the mankind's history, all fought mostly for one thing - access to the female sexual organ."

Clearly, if one is to believe the bigots, including Jack Straw, Muslims can do no right and non-Mulims can do no wrong. These are obvious signs of anti-Muslim hysteria gripping the non-Muslim world led by the West.

Anonymous said...

Sitting with Hindians its like Pakistan is about to be evaporated in thin air and patting each other or by themselves for being the expert sage of million years and vedant shaivite which pakistanis are not will show how deprived they are and there life b/c they are vegie deprived and dont believe in reincarnation .


Just watch pakistani T.V. Duniya Ptv Geo Sama Life is 99% usual .Some people dont bother to know if some Salman was killed b/c it never mattered in there life Thse Gov, Foreign Misters And Pakistani Presidents are focus of Hindians . There are two reasons for this

1. it is common to look whats outside your home doubting that you got worst deal than the neighbour Thats why you read books on pakistan pakistani and rest of India never heard of

2. B/c you coming from less starved family of India having money to come to USA have plenty of free time Instead of going to restaurant and blowing 200$ or malls spending as much or any club with the same value membership Yu choose to sit it out at home with your computer Actually its not bad idea i do the same .You think life stand still b/c some high fi families father is no more .Man on the street are as happy or sad as they were before 4111 as they ever will be.Go read Atish And Meherbanos Oxford English Eulogies and gush with crocodile tears As if those who dont publish in NYT or come onNDTV dont suffer when there father dies and only these people are tragedy prince princess

Anonymous said...

Riaz yes population growth is concern to india but you see from indian census , Indan muslims are breedding a lot faster than hindus , can you be any help and ask them not breed so fast
:)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muslim_population_growth#cite_note-Christ-4

In IndiaMuslims in India have a much higher total fertility rate (TFR) compared to that of other religious communities in the country. Because of higher birthrates and an influx of migrants from neighboring Bangladesh, the percentage of Muslims in India has risen from about 9.9% in 1951 to 13.4% in 2001. The Muslim population growth rate is higher by 9.3% of the total growth compared to that of Hindus.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "In IndiaMuslims in India have a much higher total fertility rate (TFR) compared to that of other religious communities in the country. Because of higher birthrates and an influx of migrants from neighboring Bangladesh.."

This is just your right-wing bigoted Hindu propaganda designed to justify atrocities against Indian Muslim minority.

As Robert Kunzig, the author of the recent National Geographics cover story, pointed out in an interview with NPR, India's TFR varies dramatically across different classes and regions in India.

It does not correlate with religion. Muslims, being worse off than even poor Dalits in "secular India" happen to be mostly poor and concentrated in the North where population is exploding.

Anonymous said...

There cannot be a microscopic inference and i take it even Hinduvadi statistics HOW MUCH RATIO OF MUSLIM VIS A VI WITH MUSLIMS HAVE CHANGED .IT WAS Very Varied in Different areas Bengal Kashmir M.P. Bihar .. How hve you able to come up with significant change to make any difference . it is a Handy tool of RSS VHP hindutva another stick like Pakistan Isi Terrorism Kashmir Conspiracy theories .

And The More children is may be compared to couples like you husband wife working living in High Ruise . Do you take into consider rate of growth of NONMuslims who are in same socioeconomic status . you have to sound red alarm as soon as a abdul comes eventhough he may be living with Ram in the same hut .
Defenitely its not fact but another scare tactics of Islamophobia Hindutva.If Muslim Are More then there would be same increase in NonMuslim poor . So you in other word would like the ratio of Muslims to Come DOWN can be made by muslims as attemt to extinsion of present number and ratio of Muslims.

Zen, Munich, Germany said...

@Riaz

CNN is a typical American channel, still they try to make a point here.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/01/13/obeidallah.loughner.muslims/?hpt=Sbin

As the killer was a white Christian, there is no "anger", rather only "grief" and how great America is etc. etc.
This is ethnic profiling for crime as I mentioned

Riaz Haq said...

Here are some interesting highlights from a paper "Land-use Changes and Agricultural Growth in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, 1901-2004" by Takashi Kurosaki:

1. In India and Pakistan, the area under forests and under cultivation increased substantially throughout the post-independence period. The annual growth rates were higher in Pakistan than in India: the forest area increased at an annual growth rate of 1.91% and 0.75% in Pakistan, well above the figures of British India before independence. In India, the growth rates were lower than in Pakistan but comparable to rates recorde before independence.

2. During post-independence period, output (Q) in Pakistan grew at 3.5 percent per annum while Output/Area (Q/A) increased at 2.3 percent. Therefore, the major contribution to agri growth after independence came from increase in land productivity.

3. The level of growth was highest in Pakistan, followed by India, with Bangladesh at the bottom.

4. In all three countries, the growth rate of land productivity was not high enough to cancel the negative growth of land availability per capita. But the output per capita growth in Pakistan continues to be higher than in India and Bangladesh.

Riaz Haq said...

Swedish trade mininster says Swdedes want to expand investments in Pakistan, according to news reports:

Swedish Minister for Trade Ms. Ewa Bjorling said on Wednesday that a good number of Swedish companies were already working in Pakistan and more companies were interested to start business ventures.

She said in a meeting here with Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) for the promotion of two-way trade between Pakistan and Sweden.

She said that she had meetings with Prime Minister of Pakistan and other government officials and discussed the possibilities of more cooperation between the countries.

She said that Tetra Pack has presence in Pakistan for the last several years, and it has set up a new plant in Pakistan. She said that Swedish Trade Council is responsible for trade between both the countries and hoped for great business prospects in the fields of common interest.

Fredrik Fexe, Vice President of Export Radet, a Swedish Trade Council said that Pakistan is large consumer market. He identified telecom, energy, environmental technology, water purification, waste management, automobiles, healthcare, and supply of construction equipment for having trading, investments and joint ventures with the Pakistani companies.

Charlotte Kalin, Vice President of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce and Industry informed that three Swedish delegations visited Pakistan last year and current delegation was quite optimistic of good business prospects here.

Mahfooz Elahi, ICCI President, thanked the Trade Minister for bringing a trade delegation for building trade and investment relations with Pakistani companies.

He said that Swedish companies including Panasian, Volvo, Ericson, Sabba, Tatra Pak, Skanska, Wah Nobel, H&M, Ikea and Atlas Packages Limited are operating successfully in Pakistan and said that more Swedish should invest in hydro power projects, dams, tunnels, infrastructure development, food and beverages and dairy and milk products.

Mahfooz Elahi said that perception about good image of Pakistan is needed to be improved to encourage foreign investor to invest in the country.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from an interesting Indiatimes report about delegates getting tired of the talk of India at Davos 2011:

“Amongst the delegates,” wrote stockbroker Paul Fletcher in a blog from Davos, “there is a feeling that if we hear another session on demographics or China versus India we may protest.”

Such a forthright disregard for the so-called ‘India story’ may understandably offend nationalist sentiments and bring on the ‘west versus rest’ polarization that keeps many public intellectuals in business. But the harsh truth is that India has been sold, resold and re-re-sold in so many samosa and Sula evenings that it has lost novelty. The Davos lot is aware and excited by India’s potential — who wouldn’t be at the thought of a 91 million-strong middle class by 2030?

They are also aware but a little less moved by the realization that calculating opportunity costs aren’t among the inherited attributes of the timeless “ancient civilization, new nation” (India’s self-description in the billboards of Davos).

The irritation at the mismatch between words and deeds has begun to show: the latest report by the Reserve Bank of India shows that foreign direct investment in India declined by 36% between April and September 2010 compared to the same period in 2009. This decline coincides with FDI growth of 17% in non-Arab Asia. Whispers from North Block suggest that thanks to a rampaging minister of environment, the story for the next six months may be equally discouraging.

As talk of a “governance deficit” becomes all-pervasive, ‘India inclusive’ —another promotional line in Davos—is increasingly being seen as the eyewash for ‘India elusive’.

It is not as if those quizzed by the Indian media on the 2G licences and uncompetitive interest rates are unaware of the emerging wrinkles on the face of Bharat Mata. It is an open secret that the mood in Indian business circles is distinctly downbeat. They know that the ‘India story’ is meandering.

Riaz Haq said...

Thousands of Indian illegal immigrants are slipping into Texas from Mexico, according to LA Times:

Reporting from Harlingen, Texas — Thousands of immigrants from India have crossed into the United States illegally at the southern tip of Texas in the last year, part of a mysterious and rapidly growing human-smuggling pipeline that is backing up court dockets, filling detention centers and triggering investigations.

The immigrants, mostly young men from poor villages, say they are fleeing religious and political persecution. More than 1,600 Indians have been caught since the influx began here early last year, while an undetermined number, perhaps thousands, are believed to have sneaked through undetected, according to U.S. border authorities.

Hundreds have been released on their own recognizance or after posting bond. They catch buses or go to local Indian-run motels before flying north for the final leg of their months-long journeys.

"It was long … dangerous, very dangerous," said one young man wearing a turban outside the bus station in the Rio Grande Valley town of Harlingen.

The Indian migration in some ways mirrors the journeys of previous waves of immigrants from far-flung places, such as China and Brazil, who have illegally crossed the U.S. border here. But the suddenness and still-undetermined cause of the Indian migration baffles many border authorities and judges.

The trend has caught the attention of anti-terrorism officials because of the pipeline's efficiency in delivering to America's doorstep large numbers of people from a troubled region. Authorities interview the immigrants, most of whom arrive with no documents, to ensure that people from neighboring Pakistan or Middle Eastern countries are not slipping through.

There is no evidence that terrorists are using the smuggling pipeline, FBI and Department of Homeland Security officials said.

The influx shows signs of accelerating: About 650 Indians were arrested in southern Texas in the last three months of 2010 alone. Indians are now the largest group of immigrants other than Latin Americans being caught at the Southwest border.

Riaz Haq said...

Here are a few excerpts from a NY Times story on lagging agriculture in India:

BAMNOD, India — The 50-year-old farmer knew from experience that his onion crop was doomed when torrential rains pounded his fields throughout September, a month when the Indian monsoon normally peters out.
------
Mr. Talele’s misfortune, and that of many other farmers here, is a grim reminder of a persistent fact: India, despite its ambitions as an emerging economic giant, still struggles to feed its 1.1 billion people.

Four decades after the Green Revolution seemed to be solving India’s food problems, nearly half of Indian children age 5 or younger are malnourished. And soaring food prices, a problem around the world, are especially acute in India.
------
Critics say Indian policy makers have failed to follow up on the country’s investments in agricultural technology of the 1960s and ’70s, as they focused on more glamorous, urban industries like information technology, financial services and construction.
----------
Food inflation hits especially hard here because Indians — most of whom live on less than $2 a day — spend a bigger portion of their disposable incomes on food than people in other big, developing economies like China and Brazil.

“This is the worst form of taxation on the poorest of the poor,” said Ashok Gulati, Asia director for the International Food Policy Research Institute.
---------
But experts say the widening gap between agriculture’s anemic supply and the rising demand for food calls for fundamental changes in farming policies.

During the Green Revolution the government invested heavily in rural agriculture, with an emphasis on hybrid seeds, fertilizers and irrigation canals.

----------
And rural India has far too few temperature-controlled warehouses that could help farmers and the nation build up reserves as a hedge against poor growing seasons.

When Mr. Talele’s vegetables are ready for harvest he immediately takes them to wholesale markets, which are controlled by committees of local traders. “Whatever the market decides, that’s the price we get,” he said.

Indian officials acknowledge that the country needs to increase investment in irrigation, encourage competition in wholesale and retail markets, and provide targeted food subsidies to the poor. And they also have to provide more education and jobs to villagers, so fewer people are forced to live off the land.

Experts say India needs to make changes like some of the ones China made, beginning in the late 1970s, when it started investing heavily in agriculture and eased regulations on farming.

-------

Riaz Haq said...

Chandran Nair argues in his book "Consumptionomics" that the Asians need to rethink the whole idea of western-style consumer-driven capitalism to ensure a better, more sustainable future for their massive population.

Here are some excepts from Financial Times review of the book "Consumptionomics: Asia’s Role in Reshaping Capitalism and Saving the Planet":

, -- Life might not be as much fun in his world as it is for the lucky ones who become wealthy under liberal capitalism. “Golf and car racing might be out but badminton and social dancing are more popular,” he suggests in his vision of leisure time in a Nairian society. But the benefits of development would be spread more widely, damage to the earth’s resources would be controlled and people would probably spend less time working.

Nair’s starting point is that the world simply cannot survive the consequences of the growth of highly populous Asian economies to levels of development reached by industrialised countries if that is to be achieved on the same resource-guzzling terms as western development.
-------------
Throughout the book, Nair evinces an angry disdain for western-style capitalism, which he regards as setting the world on a path to destruction by its devotion to the ideology of markets and its voracious appetite for finite resources. He’s none too complimentary either about its media cheerleaders, including this newspaper.

“The biggest lie of all is that consumption-driven capitalism can deliver wealth to all,” he writes. “In Asia it can only deliver short-term wealth to a minority; in the long term, it can only deliver misery to all. This is the intellectual dishonesty at the heart of the model the west has peddled to Asia.”

Nair points to the familiar issue of energy use, saying that if Asia’s population was to use as much energy per person as Europeans do today (relatively modest compared to Americans), then it would use eight to nine times as much energy as the US currently consumes. Perhaps more startling is an estimate he uses for poultry consumption. Americans will eat 9bn birds this year, apparently. If by 2050 Asians ate the same amount per person, they would swallow more than 120bn. That’s a lot of battery chickens.

Nor is Nair impressed by arguments that technology will ultimately solve issues such as energy shortages and climate change, allowing economic growth and consumption to go on expanding. He dismisses the notion that Asia should concentrate on growth and then, when it is rich, clean up afterwards. What he demands is a radical change in the prevailing global economic model and its governance.
-----------
But the shape of a Nairian Asia does emerge. It would be made up of strong nation-state governments willing to take unilateral action on issues such as controlling natural resource exploitation and domestic agriculture and industry. Governments would get bigger and spend more with an emphasis on sustainable infrastructure such as public transport. Carbon, natural resources and financial transactions would be taxed – possibly allowing for a reduction or elimination of payroll taxes. Agriculture would be deindustrialised, with a drive to return to labour-intensive farming to ensure sufficient output and stop mass migration to cities.

What would life be like for the individual? They would be expected to forgo owning a car, would pay high prices for meat and restaurant portions would be restricted. But income differentials would be minimised and access to the benefits of technology widely shared.

He doesn’t say it but Nair is describing a kind of Asian Norway, with the benefits of natural resources controlled and socialised to a high degree, rural communities subsidised to keep people on the land, fisheries protected, a high commitment to energy efficiency and high taxation to support high levels of social welfare.

Riaz Haq said...

Humanity would need five Earths to produce the resources needed if everyone lived as profligately as Americans, according to a report, says Times of India:

As it is, humanity each year uses resources equivalent to nearly one-and-a-half Earths to meet its needs, said the report by Global Footprint Network, an international think tank.

"We are demanding nature's services — using resources and creating CO² emissions — at a rate 44% faster than what nature can regenerate and reabsorb," the document said. "That means it takes the Earth just under 18 months to produce the ecological services humanity needs in one year," it said.

And if humankind continues to use natural resources and produce waste at the current rate, "we will require the resources of two planets to meet our demands by the early 2030s," a gluttonous level of ecological spending that may cause major ecosystem collapse.

Global Footprint Network calculated the ecological footprint — the amount of land and sea needed to produce the resources a population consumes and absorb its CO² emissions — of more than 100 countries and of the entire globe.
Back in 1961, the entire planet used just over slightly more than half of Earth's biocapacity. Today, 80% of countries use more biocapacity than is available within their borders.

The average American has an ecological footprint of 23 acres, or the equivalent of 17 US football fields. At the other end of the scale are impoverished countries like Malawi, Nepal or Bangladesh, where the footprints are 1.25 acres — often not enough to provide for basic food and shelter.

Riaz Haq said...

The fundamental problems in South Asia are very different from problems in the West.

Solution to South Asian problems can not be found by aping the West...and original thinking is required to find such solutions.

Take individual liberties and rights for example.

The biggest beneficiaries of such rights are those few who have the power to enforce such rights for themselves through the use of the courts and the state apparatus, usually at the expense of the society at large. This situation leads to growing inequalities, and greater poverty for the majority.

Similarly, the western style capitalist economy encourages unrestrained growth in consumption...something that Asian nations with their massive populations and rapidly depleting natural resources can simply not afford.

No amount of cheap widget manufacturing, computer code writing and low-cost BPO services can solve these problems.

There is an estimate that it would take five times the resources of the planet earth for the rest the world to live as Americans do today.

What we need is to acknowledge that the developing world can not achieve the same standards of living as the OECD nations have without catastrophic destruction of the planet.

So what is the alternative? How do the Asians and the Africans achieve reasonable standards of living without destroying the planet? What political and economic system is needed to ensure equitable sharing of rapidly depleting resources of the earth?

These are the kinds of questions that need to be explored and answered by Asian intellectuals now.

Mayraj said...

I think we can agree on that.
But, thinking outside the box is what is missing in South Asia.
Not only that they only seem capable of following well trod paths.
Just look at their hanging on to old local govt systems left by colonial power as an example, which itself has moved on (even though it lags other nations who have moved ahead of it).

Riaz Haq said...

Rising crop prices in the US are helping economic recovery in the farm belt and lifting the value of farmland in the Midwest, according to the Wall Street Journal:

Farmland values in much of the Midwest are climbing at their fastest rates since the 2008 boom, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City said Tuesday.

Fueled by rising crop prices, the value of irrigated and nonirrigated cropland across the region known as the 10th District jumped 14.8% and 12.9%, respectively, in the fourth quarter, compared with a year earlier.

The bank's quarterly survey of the region, which covers western Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Colorado and northern New Mexico, found that farmland prices rose for the fifth consecutive quarter since a drop in the third quarter of 2009, when the livestock sector was contracting amid the recession.

The Federal Reserve's regional banks closely track farm real-estate prices because they are a key indicator of the health of U.S. farming, which uses about half of the nation's land. Land is farming's largest asset and source of collateral, which means any increase in value lifts farmers' borrowing power.

The Federal Reserve Banks in Chicago and Minneapolis have yet to issue their quarterly surveys, but their reports are also expected to show that the farm belt is continuing to rebound from the recession more quickly than the general economy, which has been hobbled by high unemployment rates and weak home values.

Farmland prices in the 10th District are generating their biggest gains since the third quarter of 2008, when prices of irrigated farmland jumped 23.4% and prices of nonirrigated farmland rose 21.2%.

Still, it's not clear how long farmland prices can continue to climb so sharply. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has already said it's watching for whether an asset bubble is building. One red flag in Tuesday's report is that cash rental rates for cropland across the 10th District rose only about 6% in the fourth quarter, far too little to justify such a big increase in land prices.

As a result, some farm bankers across the region are beginning to tighten their standards on real estate loans.

"Bankers in the survey were starting to raise questions about the sustainability of farmland values" and "paying closer attention to their loan-to-value ratios," said Brian Briggeman, an economist at the Omaha branch of the Kansas City Fed.

Farmland prices are heavily influenced by crop prices, which were climbing until the financial crisis and recession popped the commodity-price bubble in late 2008. Led by wheat, U.S. crop prices resumed their upward climb in June 2010 amid harvest problems in places such as Russia, and then the U.S. corn belt, as demand was recovering in the world's emerging economies.

The prices of corn and wheat grown in the Midwest are about double what they were a year ago, while cotton prices are up 155%. Soybean prices have climbed 50%. Those high commodity prices are giving farmers more money to spend on land, as well as attracting the interest of outside investors looking for an inflation hedge at a time when the cost of borrowing money for buying real estate is low.

The U.S. Agriculture Department said Monday that it expects net farm income, a widely followed barometer of the U.S. agriculture sector's profitability, to climb 19.8% this year to $94.7 billion, which would be the second-highest inflation-adjusted figure for net farm income in 35 years.

Anonymous said...

I dont care about problems of pakistan,how its falling apart and its own population crisis which is growing faster than ours but since we having lower area density,need to rethink our strategy on population control.

Damn,we dont need more than 1.2 billion people.we cant even employ 100 million people in all sectors we have rest 1100million people are wasted laying eggs and practice agriculture like wasted labors.

Its time congress govt stop appeasing muslims,poor hindus whose only entertainment is to lay as many kids as they want and make the country scum of infection.

Don't they understand that we have less resources.I personally donate 500 dollars every year to a NGO and make it sure that it goes to couple of deserving family who promise not to have more than 1 children for atleast 5 year. our indian government is corrupt ,interested in vote bank politics.it is corrupt,and it is good for boasting .There is no ground reality.India has not been able to emulate a decent hardware electronics industry.Government can lobby rich corporates and cause 50 billion dollar losses but it cant pay 1 billion dollar incentive to some fab manifacturing companies who only have the potential to employ the massive population we possess.

These people cant fit in service industry and electonics ,automobiles, and massive industrialization are the only ways to give them food.


I would certainly appeal to young indians who are better off to contribute in population control for welfare of our society.

And We all really need to clean this mess political system which is 100% corrupt.its time for young indians to take part in politics and kick the buffoons out from politics.

Riaz Haq said...

Here are some excepts from a recent Wall Street Journal story titled "In India, Doubts Gather Over Rising Giant's Course":

These days, India often is held up as an example of how a democracy in Asia can mirror the spectacular growth of authoritarian China. In the year ending March 31, India's economy is expected to expand by about 8.5%.

Other important gauges of national well-being paint a more troubling picture. "What has globalization and industrialization done for India?" asks Mr. Venkatesan, Microsoft's former India chairman. "About 400 million people have seen benefits, and 800 million haven't."
-----
Calorie consumption by the bottom 50% of the population has been declining since 1987, according to the 2009-10 economic survey conducted by India's Ministry of Finance, even as those at the top of society struggle with rising obesity. Mainly because of malnutrition, around 46% of children younger than 3 years old are too small for their age, according to UNICEF.

Infrastructure in cities and the countryside remains woefully inadequate: In recent years, China has added, on average, more than 10 times as much power as India to its electricity grid each year.

Data from McKinsey & Co. show that the number of households in the highest-earning income bracket, making more than $34,000 a year, has risen to 2.5 million, from 1 million in 2005. But the ranks of those at the bottom, making less than $3,000 a year, also have grown, to 111 million, from 101 million in 2005.
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India's modernization was expected to prompt a mass movement of workers from farms to factory floors—a critical component in the transformation of China, South Korea and other Asian nations. But manufacturing as a share of India's economy stood at 16% in 2009, the same as in 1991, according to the World Bank.

Services have increased dramatically as a proportion of gross domestic product, rising to 55% in 2009, from 45% in 1991, according to the World Bank, becoming the chief engine of India's economic strength. But many of the fastest-growing areas, such as finance and technology, employ relatively few and rely heavily on skilled employees. The entire software and technology-services sector, including call centers and outsourcing, directly employs just 2.5 million workers, a tiny fraction of the overall work force.
--------
Agriculture's share of the economy, meanwhile, has declined to about 17% in 2009, from 30% in 1991. But the number of people working in agriculture hasn't dropped commensurately, according to Arvind Panagariya, a professor of Indian political economy at Columbia University in New York. "The dependence on agriculture remains incredibly high when you compare India's high-growth phase with others," he says. "The potential of the country is to grow at 11% to 12%, and it's growing only at 8% to 9%."

Frustration over the economic miracle's limited trickle-down is fueling political movements around the country. Most base their appeal, in part, on the idea that the poor are being ill-served in the new India.


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703313304576131792120382006.html?KEYWORDS=india

Riaz Haq said...

Here are some excerpts from a BBC report on India Census 2011:

India's population has grown by 181 million people over the past decade to 1.21bn, according to the 2011 census.

More people now live in India than in the United States, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan and Bangladesh combined.

India is on course to overtake China as the world's most populous nation by 2030, but its growth rate is falling, figures show. China has 1.3bn people.

The census also reveals a continuing preference for boys - India's sex ratio is at its worst since independence.

Female foeticide remains common in India, although sex-selective abortion based on ultrasound scans is illegal. Sons are still seen by many as wage-earners for the future.

Statistics show fewer girls than boys are being born or surviving. The gender imbalance has widened every decade since independence in 1947.

According to the 2011 census, 914 girls were born for every 1,000 boys under the age of six, compared with 927 for every 1,000 boys in the 2001 census.

"This is a matter of grave concern," Census Commissioner C Chandramauli told a press conference in the capital, Delhi.

Government officials said they would review all their policies towards this issue, which they admitted were failing.

Indians now make up 17% of the world's population. Uttar Pradesh remains its most populous state, with 199 million people.

The statistics show India's massive population growing at a significant rate - 181 million is roughly equivalent to the entire population of Brazil.

But the rate of that growth is slower than at any time since 1947. The 2011 census charts a population increase of 17.6%, compared with one of 21.5% over the previous decade.

The BBC's Mark Dummett in Delhi says the slowing growth rate suggests that efforts to promote birth control and female education are working.

In the field of education there was good news, with the census showing the literacy rate going up to 74% from about 65% in the last count.

India launched the 2011 census last year. The exercise costs in the region of 22bn rupees ($490m; £300m).

Some 2.7 million officials visited households in about 7,000 towns and 600,000 villages, classifying the population according to gender, religion, education and occupation.

The exercise, conducted every 10 years, faces big challenges, not least India's vast area and diversity of cultures.

Census officials also have to contend with high levels of illiteracy and millions of homeless people - as well as insurgencies by Maoists and other rebels which have left large parts of the country unsafe.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Soutik Biswas of the BBC on India Census 2011:

The good news is that at 17.64%, the rate of growth between 2001-2011 represents the sharpest decline over a decade since Independence. The growth rate was at its lowest between 1941-1951 when it was 13.3%: that was a time of famine, religious killings, and the transfer of populations in the run-up to partition. The growth rate was more than 24% between 1961 and 1981. So a 17.64% growth rate points to a slowing down that will cheer those who are concerned about how India will bear the burden of its massive population.

The bad news for those with such concerns is that India still has more than a billion people, and this number is rising. Indian politicians and policy planners speak eloquently about how this population will fetch demographic dividends, and ensure India's growth story.

But such optimism can be unfounded if the state is found wanting in the way that it is. It is very easy, warn social scientists, for this demographic dividend to turn into a deficit with millions of uneducated, unskilled and unemployed young people on the streets, angry and a threat to peace and social stability. "There is nothing to brag about our population growing and crossing China. Do we know how we are going to skill all these people?" That is the question of India's top demographer, Ashish Bose.

The government would like to say that the dip in population growth has to do with pushing a successful contraception programme in the country. But social scientists say that with rising urbanisation, it is no surprise that population growth is on the decline. Increasing urbanisation leads to nuclear families in small homes paying high rents in increasingly expensive cities. Having more children does not help matters.

The biggest shock in this census is the decline in the child gender ratio at 914 girls (up to six years) for every 1000 boys. This is the lowest since Independence and it looks like a precipitous drop from a high of 976 girls in the 1961 census.

Social scientists and demographers believe that the decline in the number of girls all over the country - in 27 states and union territories - points to deeply entrenched social attitudes towards women, despite economic liberalisation and increasing work opportunities.

They link sex determination tests and female foeticide - banned in India, but still quite widespread due to lax enforcement - to the rising costs of dowry, a practice which even the burgeoning middle classes have been unable to get rid of. "Marriages have become costlier, dowries have been pricier, so there is a lot of social resistance to having girl children in the family," says Mr Bose.

Pavan said...

Interesting. The highest number of births are taking place in the
lowest quintile of the population primarily because infant mortality
is very high. In other words we are adding more to the poor.
Interestingly, the overall sex ratio has increased from 933 to 940 per
thousand malesinspite of the fact that lesser girls are being born. I
had studied this earlier. This is on account of the large number of
adult males dying early on account of substance abuse (1.2 million),
road accidents (over 100,000), insurgencies, cardio-vascular disease
etc. Pavan

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Newsweek piece by Nial Ferguson titled "Men Without Women":

In 1927, Ernest Hemingway published a collection of short stories titled Men Without Women. Today, less than a century later, it sums up the predicament of a rising proportion of mankind.

According to the United Nations, there are far more men than women on the planet. The gender gap is especially pronounced in Asia, where there are 100 million more guys than girls. This may come as a surprise to people in the Western world, where women outnumber men because—other things being equal—the mortality rate for women is lower than for men in all age groups. Nobel Prize–winning economist Amartya Sen calls it the mystery of Asia’s “missing women.”

The mystery is partly explicable in terms of economics. In many Asian societies, girls are less well looked after than boys because they are economically undervalued. The kind of domestic work they typically do is seen as less important than paid work done by men. And, of course, early marriage and minimal birth control together expose them to the risks of multiple pregnancies.

When Sen first added up the missing women—women who would exist today if it were not for selective abortion, infanticide, and economic discrimination—he put the number at 100 million. It is surely higher now. For, even as living standards in Asian countries have soared, the gender gap has widened. That’s because a cultural preference for sons over daughters leads to selective abortion of female fetuses, a practice made possible by ultrasound scanning, and engaged in despite legal prohibitions. The American feminist Mary Anne Warren called it “gendercide.” Notoriously common in northwestern India, it’s also rampant in the world’s most populous country: China.

------

The question left open by economists is what the consequences will be of such a large surplus of young men. History offers a disquieting answer. According to the German scholar Gunnar Heinsohn, European imperial expansion after 1500 was the result of a male “youth bulge.” Japan’s imperial expansion after 1914 was the result of a similar youth bulge, Heinsohn argues. During the Cold War, it was youth-bulge countries—Algeria, El Salvador, and Lebanon—that saw the worst civil wars and revolutions. Heinsohn has also linked the recent rise of Islamist extremism in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan to an Islamic youth bulge. Political scientists Valerie Hudson and Andrea den Boer warn that China and India could be the next countries to overdose on testosterone.

That has scary implications. Remember, most of Hemingway’s stories in Men Without Women are about violence. They feature gangsters, bullfighters, and wounded soldiers. The most famous story is called simply “The Killers.”

It may be that the coming generation of Asian men without women will find harmless outlets for their inevitable frustrations, like team sports or videogames. But I doubt it. Either this bachelor generation will be a source of domestic instability, whether Brazilian-style crime or Arab-style revolution—or, as happened in Europe, they and their testosterone will be exported. There’s already enough shrill nationalism in Asia as it is. Don’t be surprised if, in the next generation, it takes the form of macho militarism and even imperialism. Lock up your daughters.

Anand Jodhani said...

Mr Haq

India bashing seems to be your favorite activity. You seem to be spending substantial time marking articles which show India in poor light.

Do you know any references which start with the line "As per one estimate/article...." are selective references and are only used by people who want argue for the heck of it.

You would be much better off worrying about your countries finances, economic upliftment and literacy rates than engage in this kind of intellectual masturbation to appease your sense of nationalism.

But you belong the baby boomer generation Pakistani who is more worried about how badly India is doing than how much Pakistan is improving.

List the 10 most important attributes which you think define and signify development(social, cultural, economic whatever) of a country and lets compare Pakistan with India. I can bet you've already started thinking of parameters where Pakistan is better to present here, instead of thinking judiciously about the most important 10.

Still, try to be unbiased and present the 10 parameters and we will try and collect data about these to compare. Also try and pick quantitative attributes lest you draw this post into a meaningless jamboree of words which you are sure to push to a stale-mate given your professional credentials.

Await your reply, Sir

Riaz Haq said...

Here are some excepts from BBC's Soutik Biswas on anti-nuke protests at Jaitapur in India:

...By all accounts, the violence was allegedly instigated by a right-wing regional party which is struggling to regain lost political ground in the Konkan coastal area where Jaitapur is located. The upshot of such cynical politics: one 'protestor' dead when police fired on irate villagers, at least 20 wounded, a hospital damaged and passenger buses gutted by the mob.
---------
This is tragic because there are much more significant and vexing issues at stake in Jaitapur. After the disastrous tsunami-induced meltdown in Fukushima, Japan, should India reconsider its push towards nuclear energy? (With the landmark nuclear deal with the US under its belt, India can now import reactors and nuclear fuel.) Will acquiring large tracts of land for nuclear power stations again set the government on a collision course with sections of the unwilling - and sometimes uninformed - farmers?
-------
Critics like Praful Bidwai believe that India's nuclear energy drive will sound the death knell of precious ecosystems - six 1,650 megawatt reactors will be built at Jaitapur on the west coast, it is planned, in what would turn out to be the world's largest 'nuclear park'. They say the government has forcibly acquired farmland using a colonial law to build the plant. Mr Bidwai, who visited Jaitapur, writes that the nuclear plant will be situated on fertile farmland, not barren wastelands as the government would have people believe. Then there is the threat the plant poses to thriving fisheries. Officials say no local will be displaced from his land, although more than 2,000 people have had to sell parts of their land. So are the protests about better compensation for land, and guarantees about safety?

Most scientists I spoke to dismiss a lot of what the campaigners say, insisting that nuclear power is really the only option India is left with to meet its growing energy needs. An astonishing 400 million Indians continue to live in the dark, without electricity. "You have to choose the lesser evil - more carbon dioxide or the threat of radiation," one told me. Smoke-belching thermal power plants use the atmosphere as a "sewer" and impact climate change. Solar and wind energy cannot meet India's energy demands, they say. Ergo, nuclear power, they say, is the only sensible and clean option. That is why India is planning to set up some 30 reactors over as many years and get a quarter of its electricity from nuclear energy by 2050.

Scientists agree the government has to tread carefully in building consensus at the grassroots and while acquiring farmland to set up the nuclear plants - there is no room for forcible acquisition of land at unremunerative prices.

Then there is this shrill debate over the safety of the plant. Critics point out that the French-built reactor meant for Jaitapur has still not been approved by nuclear regulators worldwide. They say that the site is seismically hazardous - the area was apparently hit by 95 earthquakes between 1985 and 2005 - and since it will be built on the coast will be prone to tsunamis.

Scientists dismiss these arguments as naive and ill-informed. India, they say, will not buy these third generation reactors until international and local regulators clear them. India's nuclear regulators say that Jaitapur is in a "significantly low seismic zone" compared with Japan and Fukushima. Also, the reactors will be built on a cliff 82ft (25m) above the mean sea level. With its 20 reactors, India, scientists insist, has a good safety record. (There was a turbine room fire at a plant in 1993, and a sodium leak in another in 2000). "There have been no serious incidents. There has been no radiation leak. Our record is clean," one official said....

Anand Jodhani said...

I cetainly beleive that Nuclear Power is essential for energy security in India.

Uranium deposits are going to outlast Oil by a 100 years. With no coal deposits, Japan developed its industry with nuclear power in the mid-seventies.

India, a developing economy, is power hungry too. Between coal and nuclear, I strongly beleive nuclear is less harmful.
Long term we will need a more sustainable energy source like wind. But the economics dont work out just now. Maybe in the coming three decades we can target 30-40% renewable energy. But just now we have little choice but to take the risk of a nuclear radiation.

And opponents to nuclear power generation, kindly first suggest an alternative power generation method which is also feasible. Remember cost of Solar power generation is more than USD 0.3 /KWHr and wind is USD 0.18 / KWHr. Plus both need extensive planning, large capital spending and land. So were does it lead us.
And energy we must have.

Riaz Haq said...

The latest UN population projection is for the world population of close to 7 billion to reach 10.1 billion in the next ninety years and 9.3 billion by the middle of this century.

By 2065, India's population will peak at 1.7 billion (from 1.224 in 2010), and Pakistan's at 285 million (from 173 million in 2010) in the same year, and then start declining.

China will peak at 1.395 billion by 2025, and then it will decline.

Countries as varied as China, Brazil, the Russian Federation, Japan, Viet Nam, Germany, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Thailand and France, in order of population size, account for 75 per cent of the population living in low-fertility countries. Three-quarters of the population living in the intermediate-fertility countries is located in India, the United States of America, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Mexico and Egypt, in order of population size; and Pakistan, Nigeria, the Philippines, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the United Republic of Tanzania, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ghana, Yemen, Mozambique and Madagascar, in order of population size, account for 75 per cent of the population of high-fertility countries.

http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/Other-Information/Press_Release_WPP2010.pdf

Anand Jodhani said...

You can clearly see in your above post that India's population will rise by 38% while Pakistan's by 65%.

You think Pakistan's economy is capable of absorbing such a huge workforce? Or are we going to see more LeTs and JeMs springing up for the lack of viable employment.

Riaz Haq said...

AJ: "You think Pakistan's economy is capable of absorbing such a huge workforce? "

Yes, Pakistan has far more potential than India based on the fact that it's only half the population density and plenty more natural resources than India...as obvious from the overpopulation index ranking.

IFPRI said as recently as last year that India's hunger index score has worsened over the last three years from 23.7 to 23.9 to 24.1 and its ranking moved from 66 to 65 to 67 on a list of 84 nations....while Pakistan's hunger index score has improved over the same period reported since 2008 from 21.7 (2008) to 21.0 (2009) to 19.1 (2010) and its ranking has risen from 61 to 58 to 52.

Clearly, India already has a huge problem feeding its people as seen from the world hunger index, and the problem is only going to get worse with rapidly rising population of India making it the most populous country in the world by 2025.

The only thing that can save India from growing starvation is Green Revolution 2 which is not on the horizon, given that the best and the brightest in India are choosing to become code coolies for the West.

Riaz Haq said...

Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) by US Dept of Agriculture (USDA) is for 2000 calories per day with 55% cabs, 30% fat and 15% protein.

According to chartsbin.com, South Asians have the following calorie intake and composition:

India Pakistan

2300 Cal 2250 Cal

71% Carbs 63% Carbs

10% Protein 10% Protein

19% Fat 27% Fat

Riaz Haq said...

Oxfam is warning that food prices will more than double by 2030, according to BBC:

The prices of staple foods will more than double in 20 years unless world leaders take action to reform the global food system, Oxfam has warned.

By 2030, the average cost of key crops will increase by between 120% and 180%, the charity forecasts.

Half of that increase will be caused by climate change, Oxfam predicts, in its report Growing a Better Future.

It calls on world leaders to improve regulation of food markets and invest in a global climate fund.

"The food system must be overhauled if we are to overcome the increasingly pressing challenges of climate change, spiralling food prices and the scarcity of land, water and energy," said Barbara Stocking, Oxfam's chief executive.
Women and children

In its report, Oxfam highlights four "food insecurity hotspots", areas which are already struggling to feed their citizens.

* in Guatemala, 865,000 people are at risk of food insecurity, due to a lack of state investment in smallholder farmers, who are highly dependent on imported food, the charity says.
* in India, people spend more than twice the proportion of their income on food than UK residents - paying the equivalent of £10 for a litre of milk and £6 for a kilo of rice.
* in Azerbaijan, wheat production fell 33% last year due to poor weather, forcing the country to import grains from Russia and Kazakhstan. Food prices were 20% higher in December 2010 than the same month in 2009.
* in East Africa, eight million people currently face chronic food shortages due to drought, with women and children among the hardest hit.

The World Bank has also warned that rising food prices are pushing millions of people into extreme poverty.

In April, it said food prices were 36% above levels of a year ago, driven by problems in the Middle East and North Africa.

Oxfam wants nations to agree new rules to govern food markets, to ensure the poor do not go hungry.

It said world leaders must:

* increase transparency in commodities markets and regulate futures markets
* scale up food reserves
* end policies promoting biofuels
* invest in smallholder farmers, especially women

"We are sleepwalking towards an avoidable age of crisis," said Ms Stocking.

"One in seven people on the planet go hungry every day despite the fact that the world is capable of feeding everyone."

Among the many factors driving rising food prices in the coming decades, Oxfam predicts that climate change will have the most serious impact.

Ahead of the UN climate summit in South Africa in December, it calls on world leaders to launch a global climate fund, "so that people can protect themselves from the impacts of climate change and are better equipped to grow the food they need".

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Tom Friedman of NY Times on sustainable earth:

(Paul) Gilding cites the work of the Global Footprint Network, an alliance of scientists, which calculates how many “planet Earths” we need to sustain our current growth rates. G.F.N. measures how much land and water area we need to produce the resources we consume and absorb our waste, using prevailing technology. On the whole, says G.F.N., we are currently growing at a rate that is using up the Earth’s resources far faster than they can be sustainably replenished, so we are eating into the future. Right now, global growth is using about 1.5 Earths. “Having only one planet makes this a rather significant problem,” says Gilding.

This is not science fiction. This is what happens when our system of growth and the system of nature hit the wall at once. While in Yemen last year, I saw a tanker truck delivering water in the capital, Sana. Why? Because Sana could be the first big city in the world to run out of water, within a decade. That is what happens when one generation in one country lives at 150 percent of sustainable capacity.

“If you cut down more trees than you grow, you run out of trees,” writes Gilding. “If you put additional nitrogen into a water system, you change the type and quantity of life that water can support. If you thicken the Earth’s CO2 blanket, the Earth gets warmer. If you do all these and many more things at once, you change the way the whole system of planet Earth behaves, with social, economic, and life support impacts. This is not speculation; this is high school science.”

It is also current affairs. “In China’s thousands of years of civilization, the conflict between humankind and nature has never been as serious as it is today,” China’s environment minister, Zhou Shengxian, said recently. “The depletion, deterioration and exhaustion of resources and the worsening ecological environment have become bottlenecks and grave impediments to the nation’s economic and social development.” What China’s minister is telling us, says Gilding, is that “the Earth is full. We are now using so many resources and putting out so much waste into the Earth that we have reached some kind of limit, given current technologies. The economy is going to have to get smaller in terms of physical impact.”
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But Gilding is actually an eco-optimist. As the impact of the imminent Great Disruption hits us, he says, “our response will be proportionally dramatic, mobilizing as we do in war. We will change at a scale and speed we can barely imagine today, completely transforming our economy, including our energy and transport industries, in just a few short decades.”

We will realize, he predicts, that the consumer-driven growth model is broken and we have to move to a more happiness-driven growth model, based on people working less and owning less. “How many people,” Gilding asks, “lie on their death bed and say, ‘I wish I had worked harder or built more shareholder value,’ and how many say, ‘I wish I had gone to more ballgames, read more books to my kids, taken more walks?’ To do that, you need a growth model based on giving people more time to enjoy life, but with less stuff.”

Sounds utopian? Gilding insists he is a realist.

“We are heading for a crisis-driven choice,” he says. “We either allow collapse to overtake us or develop a new sustainable economic model. We will choose the latter. We may be slow, but we’re not stupid.”

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Prof Anatol Lieven, the author of Pakistan-A Hard Country, explaining water crisis in an interview with Harper's magazine:

In many other parts of the world, alternate floods and droughts are not incompatible. The answer relates to both the extremes of the local climate (which climate change is likely to make much worse), and local society’s ability to harness or limit the effects of such natural phenomena. In the case of Pakistan, however, the biggest long-term threat seems likely to be drought. The World Bank in 2004 produced a study of the prospects for Pakistan’s water resources in the coming decades that is profoundly worrying, especially given a population which (unless the birthrate can be brought down much more steeply than hitherto) may well reach 335 million by the middle of this century. In principle, Pakistan can cope with it, because if infrastructure and water use are improved, there will be enough water to go around. But this will require profound changes in Pakistan’s state and society, and to put it mildly it is not clear if the country is capable of such positive change. And by the way, the World Bank’s frightening predictions hold true even without factoring in the unknown impacts of climate change.

KRISHNA MURTY said...

WORLD POPULATION DAY

On 11 Th July every year world’s celebrates World population day. On the world’s population day, here are amazing free and effortless ways to build your heaven with single child family’s 70 benefits, as well as reduce the burden of world’s population.

Hunger, scarcity of water, unsolved illiteracy, ever increasing violence, regional disputes, unhappiness, competition, pollution ….. for these unlimited problems the route cause is ever-increasing world population. Controlling population is not only the responsibility of the concerned individual governments, but also the prime strength rather than member’s strength.

Here are amazing, unlimited awareness tips for the newlyweds to build their undreamt heaven and absolutely free on earth with smallest family i.e. single child family adoption.

BENEFIT’S TO THE CHILD: You can bring up the single child in the best way as per your dreams. It will prevent the child going on in wrong ways, because of families’ total concentration. If something happens to one of the young parents, the surviving parent can bring up the child with least burden. In the eventuality of the death of both the parents any relative can take care of the lonely child. There will be no necessity of seats reservation in colleges, jobs reservation for various categories as everybody gets enough opportunities due to less population. No unemployment problem. If the single child cannot get a good job, then he can pursue his parents’/in-laws’ profession. The eligible single child will be of high demand for marriage alliances with choicest offers. Child mortality rate drastically comes down, because of optimum care & caution. Parents neglecting non-performing child, will not arise.

BENEFITS TO THE FAMILY: Your family will never face hunger. Your generations will not suffer illiteracy. In the alarming scarcity of water situation you will have the least water problem. Family can enjoy maximum privacy, silence as well as maximum leisure. The entire family members enjoy smooth and happy life the satisfaction of their dreams. Parents can become free early from their family responsibilities. Tension will be absolutely nil in the family, therefore the family members will have peaceful and long life. Single child family is the sweetest family, as there will be less family disputes. It will reduce stress, strain, worries, and botherations in many ways. Single child family enjoys special status in the society. In case of any eventuality, remarriage of the surviving parent is easily possible. Even if, something happens to both the parent, surviving single child responsibility can be taken by any relative. Dowry related problems like disputes, harassment, deaths; couple separation will be enormously reduced.

BENEFITS TO THE SOCIETY: Because of the population control, pollution reduces and you can breathe fresh air and live long. Drastically reduces the birth of disabled children. It will result in physically, emotionally and mentally stronger society, as the single child concept will encourage breast –feeding of babies. As the human values grow up the crime rate comes down. Alarmingly lowering of female birth ratio will come back to normal. Because of literacy, intellectual, creative, scientific society takes shape. Philanthropic activities will increase. Many social problems like child labour, child marriage, begging etc will be eliminated. It will route out hunger/poverty/humiliation/stigma related to mass family suicides. Poverty/hunger related forced prostitution/sex trade will reduce.

CAUTION: SINGLE CHILD FAMILY BUILDS ALL-ROUND PROSPEROUS HEAVEN FREE. BOON TO ALL, PARTICULARLY FOR THE POOR. TWO CHILDREN FAMILY JUST MAINTAINS STATUSCO.MORE THAN TWO CHILDREN FAMILY VOLUNTARILY TROUBLES INVITED FAMILY. SEE THAT UNWANTED CHILD FIRST OF ALL NOT CONCEIVED INSTEAD OF GOING FOR ABORTION LATER.

For full details of 70 benefits see the Awareness Mission website: www.srimission.org

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Express Tribune report on Pakistan's Census 2011 currently underway:

The Statistics Division has requested some 0.2 million Pakistan Army officials to assist in providing security to the staff conducting the census and to help in collecting data, in case they are required.

“Army personnel will only respond to distress calls of enumerators in case they face resistance in sensitive areas of the state,” Secretary Statistic Division, Asif Bajwa, said on Thursday. Addressing a press conference, Bajwa said, “The Pakistan Army, Rangers, Frontier Constabulary, Levies and other paramilitary forces have offered to support the survey teams.” He however ruled out any resistance from miscreants in volatile areas of the country especially in Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the tribal belt. The census will cost Rs5 billion. After the 1998 census, Pakistan’s population was estimated to be 132 million while according to recent data the population has risen above 175 million. Apart from Pakistan, 73 countries have started the process.

Bajwa said that the first phase of the census, which is now underway, includes house listing. In this phase three forms will be distributed among the population and summary sheets of house materials will be compiled by 19th April. The main operation will begin on October 6 during which form 2A – a questionnaire related to demographic and social characteristics, literacy, geographical area, economic characteristics and fertility – will be circulated. The division has stated that no details will be made public till the completion of whole process.

“For the process, 146,270 enumerators – 90 per cent of which are teachers – have been appointed,” Bajwa said adding, “The final census report will be released in December.”

The staff conducting the census will be supervised by 3,626 district officers and tehsildars. Some 22,408 circle supervisors will also collect details of houses to conduct a detailed survey of urban and rural areas, Bajwa said.

He said that teams will conduct surveys in 25 divisions, 139 districts, 424 census districts, 533 tehsils, 62 towns, 1,470 urban union councils, 50,612 villages, 6,055 rural union councils, 62 towns of city districts, 174 municipal committees, 286 town committees and 43 cantonments.

Data will also be conducted in 14 tehsils of volatile Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa which include Chitral, Dir, Malakand and Kohistan. House listing in various villages of Fata and Gilgit-Baltistan will also be undertaken. Bajwa said that the flood affected population will also be included. “We will go into every tent of the IDPs to ensure their count,” he said.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/145470/census-2011-army-to-respond-to-distress-calls-of-census-takers/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from a Yaleglobal paper on water shortages hindering progress in India and China:

India and China account for one third of the world’s population; each consumes more freshwater than other nations. Per inhabitant per year, though, India uses less than half what’s used in the US, China uses less than one third. This YaleGlobal series examines India and China’s water use, their expectations for rising demand and recognition that shortages will disrupt economic progress. The Planning Commission of India repeatedly warns that water will become a more serious issue than land or energy for India in years to come, points out Rohini Nilekani, in the second article of the series. India’s transition from an economy based on agriculture to a mixed one, with water use controlled by states rather than the federal constitution, already leads to conflicts. She urges planning for a low-water economy: Good governance and regulatory frameworks can prevent pollution and waste, while encouraging efficiency, reliable and fair allocation, and wise consumer choices. – YaleGlobal
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BANGALORE: By July this year, the monsoon has established itself vigorously over much of the subcontinent. The anxieties of the long, intense summer months, when nations hold their collective breath in anticipation of the cooling, life-giving rain, have receded. But the region’s1.6 billion people know that next summer, the worres will return.

Water is ultimately a finite resource. With all finite resources, there is a continuous need for sustainable and equitable management, by capping demand, improving efficiencies in supply and developing substitutes. This exercise is complicated by the sociocultural beliefs, values and affinities around this precious resource.

Currently, Indian politics is dominated by controversies over natural-resource management, particularly land acquisition. Although economic liberalization is more than two decades old, there’s little clarity or consensus on the governance and regulatory frameworks for the inevitable land transfers needed for the transition from a primarily domestic and agricultural economy to a mixed and globalized one.


http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/water-challenges-asia-powers-part-ii

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Razib Khan of Brown Pundits on Washington Post's piece about "demographic dividend" in India:

"Amid population boom, India hopes for ‘demographic dividend’ but fears disaster. The article is OK, but I feel as usual it doesn’t do a good enough job highlighting the huge variation in fertility across India the nation-state. Tamil Nadu has the fertility of Northern Europe while Uttar Pradesh is like West Africa. Unfortunately the “demographic dividend” is going be driven by the most backward and unproductive regions of the nation on a per unit basis…."

http://www.brownpundits.com/2011/10/15/indias-demographic-dividend-and-despair/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/amid-population-boom-india-hopes-for-demographic-dividend-but-fears-disaster/2011/10/12/gIQA9I4nmL_story.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Miami Herald story on world's 7 billionth child this month:

The United Nations says the world's seven billionth baby will be born on Oct. 31.

No-one knows what circumstances the baby will be born into, but India's Uttar Pradesh -- a sugarcane-producing state with a population that combines that of Britain, France and Germany, in a country expected to overtake China as the world's most populous by 2030 -- provides a snapshot of the challenges it could face.

Pinky Pawar, 25, is due to give birth in Uttar Pradesh at the end of the month and is hoping her firstborn will not join the estimated 3 billion people living on less than $2 a day, with little hope of an education or a job.

"I want my child to be successful in life, so I must do my best to make this possible," she said, her hands over her swollen belly as she sat outside her mud and brick home in Sunhaida village.

In Sunhaida, poverty, illiteracy and social prejudice mark a life dominated by the struggle for survival that mirrors millions of others across the world.

RESOURCE CRUNCH

With the number of people on earth more than doubling over the last half-century, resources are under more strain than ever before.

First among the short-term worries is how to provide basic necessities for the additional 2-3 billion people expected to be added in the next 50 years.

Water usage is set to increase by 50 percent between 2007 and 2025 in developing nations and 18 percent in developed ones, with much of the increased use in the poorest countries as rising rural populations move to towns and cities.

"The problem is that 97.5 percent of it (water) is salty and ... of the 2.5 percent that's fresh, two-thirds of that is frozen," says Rob Renner, executive director of the Colorado-based Water Research Foundation.

"So there's not a lot of fresh water to deal with in the world."

Nutritious food is in short supply in many parts of the globe. The World Bank says 925 million people are hungry today, partly due to rising food prices since 1995, a succession of economic crises and the lack of access to modern farming techniques and products for poor farmers.

To feed the two billion more mouths predicted by 2050, food production will have to increase by 70 percent, the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organisation says.
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The world is also seeing a demographic anomaly: a declining population in some richer countries has led to an imbalance between the working population and retirees who need expensive social safety nets.

The global fertility rate -- the number of children born per couple -- is around 2.5, but in richer countries this number has already nosedived.

And while exact predictions vary, most suggest the global population will peak at around 9 billion around 2070 and then start to fall, perhaps very fast.

"We thought that overpopulation was going to force humanity to expand outward to the stars," says Jack Goldstone, professor of social science and a leading demographics expert at Washington's George Mason University.

"That doesn't look like the problem at all. And the policy framework isn't set up at all to handle these longer-term issues."


http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/25/population-baby-idUSL5E7LO2I120111025

Mayraj said...

"Literacy, as defined in Census operations, is the ability to read and write with understanding in any language. A person who can merely read but cannot write is not classified as literate. Any formal education or minimum educational standard is not necessary to be considered literate. Adopting these definitions, the literacy level of the country as a whole was only 29.45 per cent with male literacy at 39.45 per cent and female literacy at 18.69 per cent. "

http://lawmin.nic.in/ncrwc/finalreport/v2b1-5.htm

Riaz Haq said...

It is official: India has the world's most toxic air, according a news report in The Hindu:

In a study by Yale and Columbia Universities, India holds the very last rank among 132 nations in terms of air quality with regard to its effect on human health.

India scored a miniscule 3.73 out of a possible 100 points in the analysis, lagging far behind the next worst performer, Bangladesh, which scored 13.66. In fact, the entire South Asian region fares badly, with Nepal, Pakistan and China taking up the remaining spots in the bottom five of the rankings.

These rankings are part of a wider study to index the nations of the world in terms of their overall environmental performance. The Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and Columbia's Center for International Earth Science Information Network have brought out the Environment Performance Index rankings every two years since 2006.

In the overall rankings — which takes 22 policy indicators into account — India fared minimally better, but still stuck in the last ten ranks along with environmental laggards such as Iraq, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. At the other end of the scale, the European nations of Switzerland, Latvia and Norway captured the top slots in the index.

India's performance over the last two years was relatively good in sectors such as forests, fisheries, biodiversity and climate change. However, in the case of water — both in terms of the ecosystem effects to water resources and the human health effects of water quality — the Indian performance is very poor.

The Index report was presented at the World Economic Forum currently taking place in Davos, where it's being pitched as a means to identify the leaders and the laggards on energy and environmental challenges prior to the iconic Rio+20 summit on sustainable development to be held in Brazil this June.


http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/article2837739.ece

http://epi.yale.edu/epi2012/rankings

Riaz Haq said...

Here are excerpts of David Brooks Op Ed in NY Times:

Usually, high religious observance and low income go along with high birthrates. But, according to the United States Census Bureau, Iran now has a similar birth rate to New England — which is the least fertile region in the U.S.

The speed of the change is breathtaking. A woman in Oman today has 5.6 fewer babies than a woman in Oman 30 years ago. Morocco, Syria and Saudi Arabia have seen fertility-rate declines of nearly 60 percent, and in Iran it’s more than 70 percent. These are among the fastest declines in recorded history.

The Iranian regime is aware of how the rapidly aging population and the lack of young people entering the work force could lead to long-term decline. But there’s not much they have been able to do about it. Maybe Iranians are pessimistic about the future. Maybe Iranian parents just want smaller families.
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If you look around the world, you see many other nations facing demographic headwinds. If the 20th century was the century of the population explosion, the 21st century, as Eberstadt notes, is looking like the century of the fertility implosion.

Already, nearly half the world’s population lives in countries with birthrates below the replacement level. According to the Census Bureau, the total increase in global manpower between 2010 and 2030 will be just half the increase we experienced in the two decades that just ended. At the same time, according to work by the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis, the growth in educational attainment around the world is slowing.

This leads to what the writer Philip Longman has called the gray tsunami — a situation in which huge shares of the population are over 60 and small shares are under 30.
-------------
Rapidly aging Japan has one of the worst demographic profiles, and most European profiles are famously grim. In China, long-term economic growth could face serious demographic restraints. The number of Chinese senior citizens is soaring by 3.7 percent year after year. By 2030, as Eberstadt notes, there will be many more older workers (ages 50-64) than younger workers (15-29). In 2010, there were almost twice as many younger ones. In a culture where there is low social trust outside the family, a generation of only children is giving birth to another generation of only children, which is bound to lead to deep social change.

Even the countries with healthier demographics are facing problems. India, for example, will continue to produce plenty of young workers. By 2030, according to the Vienna Institute of Demography, India will have 100 million relatively educated young men, compared with fewer than 75 million in China.

But India faces a regional challenge. Population growth is high in the northern parts of the country, where people tend to be poorer and less educated. Meanwhile, fertility rates in the southern parts of the country, where people are richer and better educated, are already below replacement levels.

The U.S. has long had higher birthrates than Japan and most European nations. The U.S. population is increasing at every age level, thanks in part to immigration. America is aging, but not as fast as other countries.

But even that is looking fragile. The 2010 census suggested that U.S. population growth is decelerating faster than many expected.....


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/13/opinion/brooks-the-fertility-implosion.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=david%20brooks&st=cse

Riaz Haq said...

Here are excerpts of a Business Recorder report on migration and remittances in Asia:

Pakistan has been placed among six top remittance-receiving states of the world in the year 2011 while the South Asian region is expected to receive $ 97 billion in the current calendar year, 2012.

An Asian development Bank (ADB) report titled, "Addressing Climate Change and Migration in Asia and the Pacific" says that according to the World Bank's forecasts, remittance flows to East Asia and the Pacific will reach $109 billion in 2012 (up from $85 million in 2008), while South Asia is forecast to receive $97 billion (up from $72 billion in 2008). In 2011, six of the top eight remittance-receiving nations of the world were in Asia: India ($58 billion), PRC ($57 billion), Philippines ($23 billion), Pakistan ($12 billion), Bangladesh ($12 billion) and Vietnam ($9 billion)

The ADB report says that by 2050 it is anticipated that 1.4 billion Indians will be living in areas experiencing negative climate change impacts. Moreover, there will be more than 250 million people living in hot spots at multiple risk of climate change in both Bangladesh and Pakistan. While most people will adapt in situ, the potential for redistribution of population through migration is substantial.

According to the report, environmental factors are already increasingly important migration drivers in many countries of Asia and the Pacific, including Bangladesh, the PRC, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, and Viet Nam. Floods, cyclones, and desertification have led in recent years to significant population movements, mostly from rural to urban areas.
--------------
In July 2010, Pakistan was affected by heavy monsoon rains, which led to massive flooding in the IndusRiver basin. The flood led to the displacement of more than 10 million people, with about 20 percent of the country under water. About 2,000 people perished in the disaster. The provision of international aid relief was widely considered as insufficient, and the floods took a very heavy toll on the country and its population, with millions of farmers housed in refugee camps, and crops and cattle destroyed.

The report reveals that the climate-related disruptions of human populations and consequent migrations can be expected over the coming decades. Climatic changes in Pakistan and Bangladesh would likely exacerbate present environmental conditions that

give rise to land degradation, shortfalls in food production, rural poverty and urban unrest In association with an intensification of the monsoon, river and local flooding will be increased in many areas, the Himalaya, northern Pakistan, northern India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Landslide risk will increase in association with flood risk in steep terrain, particularly in the Himalaya.

According to the ADB report, the widespread salinization, land degradation, water stress, and desertification are expected to affect many parts of Central and West Asia. Increased cyclonic activity is expected to affect southern Pakistan. The mega city of Karachi in Pakistan is at high risk from sea-level rise, prolonged cyclonic activity, and greater salt-water intrusion.


http://www.brecorder.com/top-news/1-front-top-news/49590-pakistan-among-six-top-remittance-receiving-states-.html

http://beta.adb.org/sites/default/files/pub/2012/addressing-climate-change-migration.pdf

Riaz Haq said...

Here's TED blog on Peter Diamandis, the author of "Abundance":

Diamandis starts off his talk with some fast-cut clips of “crisis! Death! Disaster!” he’s collected from the last six months. The news media, he says, preferentially presents us with negative stories, because that’s what we pay attention to. And there’s a reason for that: since nothing is more important than survival, the first stop for all this awful information is the amygdala, the human early warning detection system that looks out for things that might harm us. In other words, we’re hard-wired to pay attention to the negative, dark side.

“So it’s no wonder that we’re pessimistic. it’s no wonder that people think the world is getting worse.” But Diamandis didn’t co-found Singularity University on a mere whim. From here, he swings into his more usual, optimistic mode: “We have the potential in the next three decades to create a world of abundance [the theme of Diamandis' recent book.] I’m not saying we don’t have our set of problems; we surely do,” he says. “As humans we’re far better at seeing the problems way in advance. Ultimately, we knock them down.”

Diamandis runs through some stats from the last century to show how things have improved for humankind. And he outlines some of the extraordinary advances made, particularly within the technological realm. After all: ”The rate at which technology is getting faster is itself getting faster.” And based on the likes of Moore’s Law ride some incredibly powerful technologies, not least robotics, 3D printing, artificial intelligence and nanomaterials.

Now, some stories:

Energy

Napoleon III once invited the King of Siam to dinner. Napoleon’s troops ate with silver utensils; Napoleon ate with gold utensils; the King of Siam used aluminum utensils–precisely because at that time, aluminum was the most valuable metal on the planet. It was only with electrolysis that the metal became cheap. Similar moves are happening in energy in our current times; solar energy, for instance, is now 50% of the cost of diesel in India.

Water

We talk about water wars. And yet we fight over 0.5% of the water on the planet. Diamandis talks of Dean Kamen’s Slingshot device, which can generate 100 liters clean water from any source. Coca Cola is apparently going to test this in the field soon–with a view to deploying it globally. Given how much water that company consumes, this is a big deal. Or, as Diamandis puts it, “this is the kind of innovation empowered by this technology that exists today.”

Health

Diamandis talks of the recently-announced Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize, challenging teams to incorporate medical diagnostic tools into a mobile device. “Imagine this device in the middle of the developing world,” he says, starrily. What of the potential of someone swabbing an unrecognized disease, calling it into the CDC and preventing a pandemic? Heady stuff.

Population

“The biggest protection against the population explosion is making the world educated and healthy,” says Diamandis, detailing that 5 billion people will be connected online by 2020. “What will these people want and desire?” And why wouldn’t that cause an economic injection rather than an economic shutdown? Why won’t they be healthier through the use of the Tricorder, better educated because of the likes of Khan Academy or using 3d printing to be more productive than ever before?


http://blog.ted.com/2012/02/28/creating-a-world-of-abundance-peter-diamandis-at-ted2012/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Dambisa Moyo's interview on China's relationship with Africa:



A: There’s nothing wrong about China going around the world making resource deals to support its growing population. What it’s doing makes a lot of sense. Yes, my concern is that other countries will not catch on until it is too late. In a zero-sum world, what will happen if China wins the race for resources? Other countries seem to be asleep while China is making a concerted effort. Some 24 ongoing wars and violent conflicts have their origins in commodities, and this trend is poised to continue. China is befriending what I call “the Axis of the Unloved”—countries and regions such as Africa, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina and parts of Eastern Europe that have been basically ignored by the Western economies. China is the leading trading partner and foreign investor in many of these countries—a very different approach to the West’s largely aid-based model.

Q: The Chinese economic edge in this is that its state capitalism offers advantages that the Western laissez-faire model does not.

A: Favoured Chinese companies have a zero or near-zero cost of capital. State-owned banks provide highly concessional credit lines, in the form of government grants or low-interest loans. Favoured companies also benefit from tax breaks and the preferential allocation of key contracts. Like the US$12-billion credit line extended to Wuhan Iron and Steel, a major steel producer, by the state-owned China Development Bank, for ļ¬nancing “overseas resource base construction.” And of course it helps to have a war chest of over US$3 trillion, while Western economies are struggling with cash constraints.

Q: The Chinese political edge is that it’s famously untroubled by governance issues in the countries it deals with.

A: Well frankly, in practice there is little to distinguish between the commodity counterparts of Western nations and those of China. U.S. and European countries are just as happy as China to strike deals with countries with less than pristine reputations—whether it’s Saudi Arabia, Venezuela or Russia. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but in this narrow sense, it’s unfair to constantly point fingers at China.

Q: So you think that criticism of China on both scores—cheating, so to speak, economically and being too comfortable with dictators politically—is often unfair and wrong?

A: Cheating is one thing, meddling in the markets is a whole other thing. Virtually all governments meddle in the commodities markets. Western governments are particularly egregious in this respect. The United States paid US$6 billion in commodity subsidies in 2010. OECD countries spend a total of US$226 billion on agricultural subsidies yearly. And in the EU, the Common Agricultural Policy sees some 40 billion euros spent on direct farm subsidies. So if meddling in the market is “cheating,” China has a lot of company. And the West has never had much of a problem dealing with despots and dictators if there is a benefit to be gained.
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A: I think the reasons are quite clear. China pursues strictly business, symbiotic relationships, trading access to commodities for infrastructure, employment and other economic benefits. Take employment. The construction of the Imboulou Dam in [the Republic of the] Congo in 2010 employed 2,000 locals (compared to 400 Chinese). Survey results indicate that Africans much prefer to deal with the Chinese than with Westerners. In Ivory Coast, Mali, and Kenya, more than 90 per cent of respondents see China’s economic growth as “a good thing.” In Tanzania, 78 per cent agree, but only 36 per cent feel the same way about American influence. The difference is stark. Across the developing world, people want jobs, infrastructure and investment and the Chinese engagement does exactly that. ....


http://www2.macleans.ca/2012/06/04/dambisa-moyo-on-resource-scarcity-and-chinas-race-for-deals

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Pravda Op Ed on Indians "inundating" Russia:

India dreams to get rid of tens and maybe even millions of its own citizens and deliver them to Russia. This idea was voiced yet again by Indian officials during the recent Moscow-Delhi video conference. The conference was organized by RIA Novosti and was dedicated to to the state of affairs in the BRICS organization (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

A question was raised during the conference about a possible immigration of a considerable part of the Indian population to Russia. Alexander Apokin, an expert with the Center for Macroeconomic Analysis particularly stated the following: "If some people in India will find money and labor resources to work in Russia, it will be a promising development of events. Hundreds of millions of people will be able to find work."

Tatiana Shaumyan, the director of the Center of Indian Research of the Institute of Oriental Studies, said that such methods are already being practiced towards the Chinese in the Far East of Russia. "The Chinese use that. They bring capital and people and they work here," she said.
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"The persistent desire of the Indian side to get rid of hundreds of millions of people is very easy to understand. First and foremost, it goes about the population of the plains of Indus and Ganges rivers, which makes up 700,000 million. Most of those people live in horrific anti-sanitary conditions. You have to see it with your own eyes to realize that. Those who have not been to those areas can watch "The Slumdog Millionaire" to get the picture. In the movie, they build skyscrapers over the slums. In real life, though, the slums do not go anywhere, and Russia runs the risk of bringing all of that over.

"The situation has become even more serious due to the climate change. It became much hotter in India than before. Forty percent of Himalayan glaciers have disappeared. Droughts occur more frequently than before too. The Indians have nowhere to go. They face a serious threat of national famine, so they are trying to put the cart before the horse. They will continue to put pressure on Russia at this point. Why Russia you may wonder? Because Russia is virtually the only country in the world where there is a lot of uninhabited land that is good to live on.
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"The Indian government will try to get rid of the dangerous burden. There are many fundamentalists among Indian Muslims. It is simply enough to take a look at them to understand that. For example, practically all women over 12 years of age wear niqabs - the clothes that completely cover their face, body and even their fingers. The level of the inter-religious violence in the country is very high. All of that may come to Russia if Indians begin to migrate here.

"Taking into consideration the speed of the growth of the Indian population, one may say that they will inhabit everything in Russia very quickly. It is incredibly silly to believe that those people will be able to develop the Russian agriculture. Some apparently believe that the Russians can't do it. I'd say to this that they have very good harvests in Orenburg, in Kuban and on Don.

"Let's take, for example, other countries that lie on the altitudes similar to those of Russia. They are Canada, USA's Alaska and Scandinavia, for instance. The combined square of those countries is comparable to Russia's territory, with approximately the same amount of arable lands. However, there are only 60 million people living in those counties. It seems OK for them, they are happy about it, and their GDP is twice is large as that of Russia. Russia needs to learn the lessons that Britain has recently been given instead."


http://english.pravda.ru/russia/politics/12-08-2011/118734-russia_india-0/

Riaz Haq said...

Here are a few excerpts of a UN report on population released today:

World population projected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050 with most
growth in developing regions, especially Africa – says UN
India expected to become world’s largest country, passing China around 2028,
while Nigeria could surpass the United States by 2050
New York, 13 June—The current world population of 7.2 billion is projected to
increase by almost one billion people within the next twelve years, reaching 8.1
billion in 2025 and 9.6 billion in 2050, according to a new United Nations report,
World Population Prospects: The 2012 Revision, launched today.
Most of the population growth will occur in developing regions, which are projected
to increase from 5.9 billion in 2013 to 8.2 billion in 2050...
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At the country level, much of the overall increase between now and 2050 is projected
to take place in high-fertility countries, mainly in Africa, as well as countries with
large populations such as India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines and the United
States.
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For example,
the population of India is expected to surpass that of China around 2028, when both
countries will have populations of around 1.45 billion. Thereafter, India’s population
will continue to grow for several decades to around 1.6 billion and then decline
slowly to 1.5 billion in 2100. The population of China, on the other hand, is expected
to start decreasing after 2030, possibly reaching 1.1 billion in 2100.
Nigeria’s population is expected to surpass that of the United States before the middle
of the century. By the end of the century, Nigeria could start to rival China as the
second most populous country in the world. By 2100 there could be several other
countries with populations over 200 million, namely Indonesia, the United Republic
of Tanzania, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Uganda and
Niger.
---
...Europe’s population projected to decline by
14 per cent. Fertility in almost all European countries is now below the level required
for full replacement of the population in the long run (around 2.1 children per woman
on average). Fertility for Europe, as a whole, is projected to increase from 1.5 children
per woman in 2005-2010 to 1.8 in 2045-2050, and to 1.9 by 2095-2100. Despite this
increase, childbearing in low-fertility countries is expected to remain below the
replacement level, leading to a likely contraction of total population size.
Longer lives around the world
Life expectancy is projected to increase in developed and developing countries in
future years, according to the report. ----
---------
At the global level, it is projected to reach 76 years in 2045-2050 and 82 years in
2095-2100. By the end of the century, people in developed countries could live on
average around 89 years, compared to about 81 years in developing regions.
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In terms of annual averages, the major net receivers of international migrants during 2010-2050 are
projected to be the United States of America (1,000,000 annually), Canada (205,000), the United
Kingdom (172,500), Australia (150,000), Italy (131,250), the Russian Federation (127,500), France
(106,250) and Spain (102,500). The major countries of net emigration are projected to be
Bangladesh (-331,000 annually), China (-300,000), India (-284,000), Mexico (-210,000), Pakistan
(-170,000), Indonesia (-140,000) and the Philippines (-92,500). Economic and demographic
asymmetries across countries that may persist are likely to remain powerful generators of
international migration within the medium-term future.
...


http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/Documentation/pdf/WPP2012_Press_Release.pdf

http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/Documentation/pdf/WPP2012_%20KEY%20FINDINGS.pdf