Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Educational Attainment in India & Pakistan

As of 2010, there are 380 out of every 1000 Pakistanis age 15 and above who have never had any formal schooling. Of the remaining 620 who enrolled in school, 22 dropped out before finishing primary school, and the remaining 598 completed it. There are 401 out of every 1000 Pakistanis who made it to secondary school. 290 completed secondary school  while 111 dropped out. Only 55 made it to college out of which 39 graduated with a degree.

The preceding assessment is based on an interpretation offered by Indian blogger Siddarth Vij of Barro-Lee data in response to my earlier blog post titled Pakistan Ahead of India in Graduation at All LevelsRobert Barro and Jong-Wha Lee are Harvard University researchers whose data on educational attainment is used by UNDP and the World Bank.  Here's how Vij read Barro-Lee dataset for India:

"327 out of every 1000 Indians above the age of 15 have never had any formal schooling. Of the remaining 673, only 20 dropped out during primary school. Once we got kids into primary school, we managed to make sure that they completed it. In secondary school, however, the situation is markedly different. 465 out of every 1000 Indians made it to secondary school but 394 dropped out without completing. Only 58 made it to college out of which a little more than half graduated with a degree" 

Putting the two together, here's how the two South Asian neighbors compare:

 As of 2010, there are 380 (vs 327 Indians) out of every 1000 Pakistanis age 15 and above who have never had any formal schooling. Of the remaining 620 (vs 673 Indians) who enrolled in school, 22 (vs 20 Indians) dropped out before finishing primary school, and the remaining 598 (vs 653 Indians) completed it. There are 401 (vs 465 Indians) out of every 1000 Pakistanis who made it to secondary school. 290 (vs 69 Indians) completed secondary school  while 111 (vs. 394 Indians) dropped out. Only 55 (vs 58 Indians)  made it to college out of which 39 (vs 31 Indians) graduated with a degree.

While Vij's explanation of Barro-Lee data-set sounds quite plausible, I still stand by my conclusion made in the earlier post that the percentage of population that completed secondary and tertiary education in Pakistan is higher than that in India.

Source: OECD Global Education Digest 2009



Another important point to note in Barro-Lee dataset is that Pakistan has been increasing enrollment of students in schools at a faster rate since 1990 than India. In 1990, there were 66.2% of Pakistanis vs 51.6% of Indians who had no schooling. In 2000, there were 60.2% Pakistanis vs 43% Indians with no schooling. In 2010, Pakistan reduced it to 38% vs India's 32.7%.


Clearly, both India and Pakistan have made significant progress on the education front in the last few decades. However, the Barro-Lee dataset confirms that the two South Asian nations still have a long way to go to catch up with the rapidly developing nations of East Asia as well as the industrialized world.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

India & Pakistan Comparison Update 2011

India and Pakistan Contrasted in 2010

Educational Attainment Dataset By Robert Barro and Jong-Wha Lee

Quality of Higher Education in India and Pakistan

Developing Pakistan's Intellectual Capital

Intellectual Wealth of Nations

Pakistan's Story After 64 Years of Independence

Pakistan Ahead of India on Key Human Development Indices


Friday, May 25, 2012

American Hypocrisy on Dr. Afridi's Sentence

The US Congress and the Obama administration are incensed by the 33-year prison term handed to Dr. Shakil Afridi accused by Pakistan of spying for the CIA. In their usual response, the lawmakers in Washington have voted to cut aid to Pakistan for the umpteenth time and some in Congress are proposing to honor Afridi as a hero for his help in killing Osama bin Laden. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has also chimed in and demanded Afridi's immediate release.


As Washington rises to defend Dr. Afridi, no mention is being made of the potential damage his actions have inflicted on Pakistan's most vulnerable children. The CIA-inspired fake vaccination scheme in Abbottabad to collect bin Laden family's DNA samples has reinforced the fears and doubts in the minds of the parents of the children who really need to be vaccinated. It has also raised suspicions against charities such as Save the Children Fund with which Dr. Afridi claimed affiliation. This misguided effort by Afridi and the CIA has put at risk the heath and well-being of millions of young lives in Pakistan and other developing nations where polio and other similar diseases still persist. Here's how a piece by Maryn McKenna published in Wired magazine describes the outrage:  

"I felt, and still feel, that the maneuver — which was belatedly acknowledged by the CIA — was a cynical attempt to hijack the credibility that public health workers have built up over decades with local populations. I especially felt it endangered the status of the fraught polio-eradication campaign, which over the past decade has been challenged in majority-Muslim areas in Africa and South Asia over beliefs that polio vaccination is actually a covert campaign to harm Muslim children — an accusation that seems fantastic, but begins to make sense when you realize some of those areas have perfectly good reasons to distrust vaccination campaigns."

Even without the outrageous scheme by Afridi conducted in collusion with the CIA, the US demands are still hypocritical if one looks at the prison sentences handed out by US courts to Israeli Mossad agent Jonathan Pollard and Pakistani ISI agent Ghulam Nabi Fai in the United States. Both are US citizens.

Some argue that Pakistan should bear the responsibility for CIA's actions because of the country's failure to find bin Laden. While I agree that Pakistan failed badly in capturing bin Laden, there is no evidence to support the assertion that Pakistani government was deliberately hiding bin Laden.

As to the failure to find a most wanted fugitive, one must not forget that it took the FBI 16 years to find crime boss Whitey Bulger. On December 23, 1994, after being tipped off by his former FBI handler about a pending indictment under the RICO Act, Bulger fled Boston and went into hiding. For sixteen years, he remained at large in the United States. For twelve of those years, Bulger was prominently listed on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. On June 22, 2011, Bulger was arrested outside an apartment in Santa Monica, California.

 Shuja Nawaz, a scholar with the Atlantic Council in Washington, put it well when he told Voice of America that Pakistanis "see it as the subversion of a Pakistani citizen and his willing participation in an act that was to support the United States intelligence operations inside Pakistan."

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

US Military Undermining Interests in "AfPak"

Northern Distribution Network

From Pakistan to Afghanistan, U.S. Finds Convoy of Chaos

Is US-Pakistan Military Confrontation Inevitable?

Seeing Bin Laden's Death in Wider Perspective

Who Are the Haqqanis?

Military Mutiny in Pakistan?

Can US Aid Remake Pakistan?

The Obama Surge Strategy

US War Effort in Afghanistan Relies on Pakistan

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Minorities Are Majority in America's Silicon Valley

The U.S. Census Bureau  has recently reported that the United States has reached a historic tipping point -- with Latino, Asian, mixed race and African American births constituting a majority of births for the first time. Minorities made up about 2 million, or 50.4%, of the births in the 12-month period ending July 2011. The latest figure was up from 49.5% reported in the 2010 census.

80386 CPU Design Team
Standing L to R: Riaz Haq, Jan Prak, Gene Hill, Pat Gelsinger, John Crawford
Sitting in Front: Dave Vannier
I  have personally witnessed Silicon Valley's racial mix change dramatically over the last several decades. When I arrived here to join Intel in 1981, there were few non-whites in the Valley. In fact, I was the only nonwhite person in a picture of the six-member award winning Intel 80386 CPU design team which was published by the PC Magazine in 1988.


My experience of the demographic changes in this high-tech valley is not just anecdotal. It's supported by data compiled by the local San Jose Mercury newspaper in 2010. The data shows that 49% of Intel employees are now Asian, a full 7% more than whites. In Silicon Valley, the difference is even more pronounced with Asians accounting for 53.9% of the employees versus 37.6% white workers.


 With Asians accounting for just 15.5% of the high-tech work force nationally, Silicon Valley's high-tech racial mix is also very different from the rest of the country. Silicon valley's employee pool also differs in terms of under-representation of Blacks, Hispanics and women relative the national averages.

 Among Asian-Americans, Pakistani-Americans are the 7th largest community in America, according to a report titled "A Community of Contrasts Asian Americans in the United States: 2011" published by Asian-American Center For Advancing Justice.  Pakistani-American population has doubled from 204,309 in 2000 to 409,163 in 2010, the second largest percentage increase after Bangladeshis' 157% increase in the same period.

Source:  TheAtlantic Cities


The total fertility rate in the United States is now at 2.06, just enough to maintain the current level of US population. It's possible mainly due to the history of relatively liberal US immigration policy. If US immigration policy is tightened in response to pressures from various labor organizations and the traditional anti-immigration groups, the US fertility rate is likely to dip and hurt the US economy which needs more workers to pay for the retiree benefits of the growing population of senior citizens. Already, many US multinational corporations have added 1.5 million workers to their payrolls in Asia and the Pacific region from 1999 to 2009, and 477,500 workers in Latin America, according to US Commerce Dept data as reported by the Wall Street Journal. If the businesses can not find workers in the United States, they are more likely to continue to accelerate moving jobs elsewhere, depriving the US government the revenue it needs to balance its budget.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistani-American's Game-Changing Vision

US Firms Adding Jobs Overseas 

Pakistan's Demographic Dividend

Pakistanis Study Abroad

Pakistan's Youth Bulge

Pakistani Diaspora World's 7th Largest

Pakistani-American NFL Team Owner

Pakistani-American Entrepreneurs Catch the Wave

Pakistani Graduation Rate Higher Than India's

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pak Students Buck Decline in Australia

While the overall foreign student population in Australia has declined this year, the number of Pakistanis studying in Australia is continuing double-digit growth, according to recent Australian government data on international education. Pakistan has now become the top growth market for Australia's struggling international education industry, even though revenue from its neighbor India fell almost $1 billion in a single year, according to The Australian newspaper. New Australian Bureau of Statistics figures reveal that Australia's fourth-biggest export industry is turning to new markets to counter a $2.2bn loss of revenue last year.



Australia's earnings from the top 12 foreign markets all fell last year, topped by India, which slumped by 37 per cent, but Pakistan bucked the trend, with revenue rising 15 per cent to $253 million.

Australian international education revenue from Pakistan has been rising, more than tripling over the past five years. Earnings from the boom-bust Indian market are down 50% in two years, collapsing from a 2009 peak of $3.1bn.

Although the growth in the total number Pakistanis studying abroad has slowed since the terrorist attacks of Sept 11, 2001 in the United States, the world's sixth most populous nation continues to be among the leading sources of foreign students in America, Europe, Australia and new emerging higher education destinations in Asia.

Source: Economist Magazine

As the number of Pakistani students in the United States has declined from a peak of 8,644 students (ranked 13th) in 2001-02 to 5,222 in 2009-10 (ranked 23rd), English-speaking OECD nations of the United Kingdom and Australia have become the biggest beneficiaries getting increasing market share of the Pakistan education market. Both nations have benefited in spite of the fact that the UK and Australian visa rejection rates for Pakistanis are higher than for students from other nations.




 With rising urban middle class, there is substantial and growing demand in Pakistan from students, parents and employers for private quality higher education, including vocational training,  along with a willingness and capacity to pay relatively high tuition and fees, according to the findings of Austrade, an Australian govt agency promoting trade. Private institutions are seeking affiliations with universities abroad to ensure they offer information and training that is of international standards.


49,000 Pakistani Students Abroad in 2011 Source: OECD 
Trans-national education (TNE) is a growing market in Pakistan and recent data shows evidence of over 40 such programs running successfully in affiliation with British universities at undergraduate and graduate level, according to The British Council. Overall, the UK takes about 65 per cent of the TNE market in Pakistan.

A common concern about Pakistani students is that they might not return to serve their country. I think this is a genuine concern but it is often overblown. Pakistanis with advanced training are helping their country of origin in many ways. Those who are living and working overseas send significant amounts of money home to help Pakistan's economy. Others contribute their know-how by returning home as doctors, engineers, professors and other professionals and technocrats on a permanent basis or by frequent working visits.

Examples of foreign-educated Pakistanis who are directly contributing to the nation  include a Fulbright computer science scholar who has returned home to help fight terror, a plastic surgeon helping victims of acid attacks, a heart surgeon setting up a hospital in a remote Pakistani village, successful business executives, scientists, university professors and deans, current central bank governor, current finance minister and thousands of others.

It is extremely important for Pakistan's public policy makers and the nation's private sector to fully appreciate the expected demographic dividend as a great opportunity to turn the nation's fortunes for the better. The best way for them to demonstrate it is to push a pro-youth agenda of education, skills development, health and fitness to take full advantage of this tremendous opportunity. Failure to do so would be a missed opportunity that could be extremely costly for Pakistan and the rest of the world.
 
 Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan's Expected Demographic Dividend

Pakistani Graduation Rate Higher Than India's

India and Pakistan Contrasted in 2011

Educational Attainment Dataset By Robert Barro and Jong-Wha Lee

Quality of Higher Education in India and Pakistan

Developing Pakistan's Intellectual Capital

Intellectual Wealth of Nations

Pakistan's Story After 64 Years of Independence

Pakistan Ahead of India on Key Human Development Indices

Scholarships at Foreign Universities

Institute of International Education--Open Doors

UK's Higher Education Statistics Agency Report

Austrade on Education in Pakistan

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pakistanis Rank Above Neighbors on Gallup Wellbeing Index 2012

Gallup 2012 Wellbeing survey reports that 20% of Pakistanis say they are "thriving", down from 32% last year. However, the report shows that more of them are still better off than their neighbors in Bangladesh (16% thriving) and India (11% thriving). The number of those "thriving" increased in Bangladesh by 3% and declined in India by 6%.

 The fact that the number of Pakistanis who consider themselves thriving is down from 1 in 3 last year to 1 in 5 now is understandable because of  many serious and worsening crises Pakistan  is facing today. The real question is who are these 20%? And why do they say they are thriving?

Here are some of the possible reasons:

1. Rising consumption of durables (cars, motorcycles, tractors, Appliances) and non-durables (FMCGs or fast-moving consumer goods) as well as increasing cement sales are indicative of the underlying strength of the economy.

2. Pakistan's undocumented economy is continuing to thrive as seen in packed shopping malls and restaurants.

3. There are double digit increases in cash remittances flowing in to Pakistan from the world's seventh largest diaspora, rising 21.45 percent to $9.73 billion in the first nine months of the 2011/12 fiscal year.

4. Karachi stock index is booming, hitting new 4-year highs. Share prices are driven by healthy profits and foreign buying, making KSE-100 the third fastest growing index in the world.  

5. Even the preliminary official estimates are indicating that Pakistan's nominal per capita income has increased by 9% to $1,372 in 2011-12 from $1,258 in 2010-11.

6. Preliminary estimates are showing that poverty rate in Pakistan has declined from 17.2 per cent in 2008 to slightly over 12 per cent in 2011.

The Gallup survey confirms that only 28% of Pakistanis have confidence in their national government. In my view, it stems from the obvious failure of the state in delivering basic services such as rule-of-law, security and electricity to the people .  The best way to improve the wellbeing of the people is to improve governance, reduce corruption and persuade people to pay taxes to give the state more resources.

 Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Economic Survey of Pakistan 2011-12

US Technical Analyst Bullish on Pakistan

Pakistan on Goldman Sachs' Growth Map

Pakistan's 64 Years of Independence

Goldman Sachs & Franklin-Templeton Bullish on Pakistan

Emerging Market Expert Investing in Pakistan

Pakistan's Demographic Dividend

Genomics & Biotech Advances in Pakistan

The Growth Map by Jim O'Neill

Pakistan Rolls Out 50Mbps Broadband Service

More Pakistan Students Studying Abroad

Inquiry Based Learning in Pakistan

Mobile Internet in South Asia

Online Courses at Top International Universities

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

US Technical Analyst Bullish on Pakistan

Elliot Wave theorist Mark Galasiewski is forecasting continuation of multi-year bull market in Pakistan. This forecasts marks an unusual agreement of  a technical analyst with fundamental research done by  Jim O'Neill of Goldman Sachs who recently  reiterated Pakistan's place on its growth map

 The Elliott Wave Theory, formulated in 1939 by Ralph Nelson Elliot,  is the basis of technical analysis that some traders use to analyze financial market cycles and forecast market trends by identifying extremes in investor psychology, highs and lows in prices, and other collective factors.


Here are some excepts of a recent interview of Elliot Theorist Mark Galasiewski on what he calls the "Indian Ocean Renaissance":

".... there are various ways to make long-term investment decisions. For example, Warren Buffett has shown that picking individual stocks can provide good returns over time. But it's a very labor-intensive and time-consuming process, to research companies thoroughly enough to have the kind of conviction that he does. And his “buy and hold” strategy means that he suffers significant drawdowns in his portfolio at times -- like during the 2007-2009 crash.

Elliott wave analysis gives you the opportunity to make long-term bets with a similar conviction -- but with a fraction of the elbow grease. Instead of pouring over hundreds of quarterly reports and legal documents, you look for Elliott wave patterns in the charts of market indexes. Those patterns reflect investors' collective bias, bullish or bearish. (I won't go into details of why this is so; our Club EWI has tons of free reports explaining the mechanics of the Elliott Wave Principle.)

So, knowing what part of the Elliott wave pattern your market is in, you know how the pattern should progress from there, ideally. And that gives you a probabilistic forecast for the trend. It doesn't work 100% of the time (what does), but our subscribers remember more than one successful forecast we've made using Elliott waves.

For example, on March 23, 2009 -- at the time when almost no one felt bullish -- we issued a special report to our subscribers forecasting a multi-year bull market in Indian stocks. Two weeks later, we identified three more markets in the region -- Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia -- that we believed were also likely to enjoy an "Indian Ocean Renaissance."

India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia have all since generated some of the best returns among global stock markets. Without knowledge of the Elliott Wave Principle, it would have been difficult to forecast the boom -- especially given the dismal news events at the time. Do you remember the headlines in early 2009?

The world was engulfed by the global financial crisis, and most people believed the worst was still ahead. The currencies of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia had collapsed. Pakistan and India were on the brink of conflict over the Mumbai terrorist attacks of late 2008. A civil war was still raging in Sri Lanka. Who would turn bullish on stock under those "fundamental" conditions? We did, and only because Elliott wave patterns in the price charts of those four markets told us to "buy."

And by the way, the terrible conditions in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka mostly reversed along with the market rally over the next year."

"The Wave Principle is how the market works. Financial markets are non-rational and counter-intuitive. Investing according to conventional assumptions eventually leads to financial ruin, since the market too often does the opposite of what most people expect.

Even thinking contrarily is insufficient, because sometimes it’s necessary to run with the herd. But Elliott wave analysis helps you to determine which psychological stance is most appropriate at any given time. Often, the news at the time would be suggesting you do the opposite". 


These latest analyses remind me of what Reuters' Mark Bendeich  wrote on June 10, 2008:

"A little more than six years ago, immediately after the Sept. 11 attacks on U.S. cities, few sane investment advisers would have recommended Pakistani stocks. They should have. Their clients could have made a fortune. Since 2001, the nuclear-armed South Asian country, blamed for spawning generations of Islamic militants and threatening global security, has been making millionaires like newly minted coins. As Western governments have fretted about Pakistan's nuclear weapons falling into the hands of militants, the Karachi Stock Exchange's main share index has risen more than 10-fold."

 Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan on Goldman Sachs' Growth Map

Pakistan's 64 Years of Independence

Goldman Sachs & Franklin-Templeton Bullish on Pakistan

Emerging Market Expert Investing in Pakistan

Pakistan's Demographic Dividend

Genomics & Biotech Advances in Pakistan

The Growth Map by Jim O'Neill

Pakistan Rolls Out 50Mbps Broadband Service

More Pakistan Students Studying Abroad

Inquiry Based Learning in Pakistan

Mobile Internet in South Asia

Online Courses at Top International Universities