Saturday, July 11, 2015

Pakistan's Growing Population: Blessing or Curse?

“So where will the children of the future come from? Increasingly they will come from people who are at odds with the modern world. Such a trend, if sustained, could drive human culture off its current market-driven, individualistic, modernist course, gradually creating an anti-market culture dominated by fundamentalism - a new dark ages.” ― Philip Longman, The Empty Cradle: How Falling Birthrates Threaten World Prosperity & What to Do About It

Fear of Population Bomb:

The above quote captures the true essence of the West's racist fears about what some of them call the "population bomb": East will dominate the West economically and politically for centuries if the growing colored populations of developing Asia and Africa turn the West's former colonies into younger and more dynamic nations with rising education and better living standards.

Much of the developed world has already fallen below the "replacement" fertility rate of 2.1.  Fertility rates impact economic dynamism, cultural stability and political and military power in the long run.

Pakistan Population Growth:

Pakistani women's fertility rates have declined significantly from about 4.56 in 2000 to 2.86 babies per woman in 2014, a drop of 37% in 14 years.  In percentage terms, Pakistan population growth rate has come down from 2.3% in 2000 to 1.6% in 2014, a decline of about 30%. It is being driven drown by the same forces that have worked in the developed world in the last century: increasing urbanization, growing incomes, greater participation in the workforce and rising education.  Pakistan now ranks 65 among 108 countries with TFR of 2.1 (replacement rate) or higher.

Total Fertility Rate Per Pakistani Woman. Source: CIA World FactBook






Pakistan is already the most urbanized country in South Asia and its urbanization is accelerating. Pakistan has also continued to offer much greater upward economic and social mobility to its citizens than neighboring India over the last two decades. Since 1990, Pakistan's middle class had expanded by 36.5% and India's by only 12.8%, according to an ADB report titled "Asia's Emerging Middle Class: Past, Present And Future.

Pakistan Population Growth in Percentage Terms. Source: World Bank


Pakistan has the world’s sixth largest population, seventh largest diaspora and the ninth largest labor force with growing human capital. With rapidly declining fertility and aging populations in the industrialized world, Pakistan's growing talent pool is likely to play a much bigger role to satisfy global demand for workers in the 21st century and contribute to the well-being of Pakistan as well as other parts of the world.



With half the population below 20 years and 60 per cent below 30 years, Pakistan is well-positioned to reap what is often described as "demographic dividend", with its workforce growing at a faster rate than total population. This trend is estimated to accelerate over several decades. Contrary to the oft-repeated talk of doom and gloom, average Pakistanis are now taking education more seriously than ever. Youth literacy is about 70% and growing, and young people are spending more time in schools and colleges to graduate at higher rates than their Indian counterparts in 15+ age group, according to a report on educational achievement by Harvard University researchers Robert Barro and Jong-Wha Lee. Vocational training is also getting increased focus since 2006 under National Vocational Training Commission (NAVTEC) with help from Germany, Japan, South Korea and the Netherlands.



Pakistan's work force is over 60 million strong, according to the Federal Bureau of Statistics. With increasing female participation, the country's labor pool is rising at a rate of 3.5% a year, according to International Labor Organization.

With rising urban middle class, there is substantial and growing demand in Pakistan from students, parents and employers for private quality higher education 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.

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.

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. The best way for them to demonstrate it is to push a pro-youth agenda of education, skills developmenthealth 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.

Growth Forecast 2014-2050. Source: EIU


In the high fertility countries of Africa and Asia family sizes are continuing to decline. And in low fertility countries family sizes will continue to remain below replacement levels. Why? Because the same juggernaut forces are operating: increasing urbanization, smaller and costly housing, expanding higher education and career opportunities for women, high financial costs and time pressures for childrearing and changing attitudes and life styles.

Source: BBC



Countries With Declining Populations:

115 countries, including China (1.55), Hong Kong (1.17),  Taiwan (1.11) and Singapore (0.8) are well below the replacement level of 2.1 TFR.  Their populations will sharply decline in later part of the 21st century.

 United States is currently at 2.01 TFR, slightly below the replacement rate.  "We don't take a stance one way or the other on whether it's good or bad," said Mark Mather, demographer with the Population Reference Bureau. Small year-to-year changes like those experienced by the United States don't make much difference, he noted. But a sharp or sustained drop over a decade or more "will certainly have long-term consequences for society," he told Utah-based Desert News National.

Japan (1.4 TFR) and Russia (1.6 TFR) are experiencing among the sharpest population declines in the world. One manifestation in Japan is the data on diaper sales: Unicharm Corp., a major diaper maker, has seen sales of adult diapers outpace infant diapers since 2013, according to New York Times.

Median Age Map: Africa in teens, Pakistan in 20s, China, South America and US in 30s, Europe, Canada and Japan in 40s.


The Russian population grew from about 100 million in 1950 to almost149 million by the early 1990s. Since then, the Russian population has declined, and official reports put it at around 144 million, according to Yale Global Online.

Reversing Trends:

Countries, most recently China, are finding that it is far more difficult to raise low fertility than it is reduce high fertility. The countries in the European Union are offering a variety of incentives, including birth starter kits to assist new parents in Finland, cheap childcare centers and liberal parental leave in France and a year of paid maternity leave in Germany, according to Desert News. But the fertility rates in these countries remain below replacement levels.

Summary:

Overzealous Pakistani birth control advocates need to understand what countries with sub-replacement fertility rates are now seeing: Low birth rates lead to diminished economic growth. "Fewer kids mean fewer tax-paying workers to support public pension programs. An "older society", noted the late Nobel laureate economist Gary Becker, is "less dynamic, creative and entrepreneurial."

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan's Expected Demographic Dividend

Pakistan's Growing Human Capital

Upwardly Mobile Pakistan

Pakistan Most Urbanized in South Asia

Hindu Population Growth Rate in Pakistan

Do South Asian Slums Offer Hope?

How "Illiterate" Are Pakistan's "Illiterate" Cell Phone Users?

71 comments:

Shams said...

There is an old American saying "Breed like flies, feed on shit".
Your conclusion that Pakistani birth control advocates are over-zealous is fucking beyond any reasonable analysis. Karachi's population is nearly 25 million, which is about the same as the combination of Greece (11m, GDP $250B)), Norway (5m, GDP $350B), Sweden (9m, GDP $464B).

Riaz Haq said...

Shams: "There is an old American saying "Breed like flies, feed on shit"

I hear a strong amplified echo of the same racism that characterizes western rhetoric in Phillip Longman's words about population growth in developing countries.

Ravi Krishna said...

Not everything is to be seen with the jaundiced eye of racism as if Indians and Pakistanis are above racism.
I disagree that 1.2+ billion is a demographic dividend (dd). DD makes sense upto a limit, after that huge population is a liability. I do think many of Pak's problem can be traced back to burgeoning population which shows no signs of abating.

Riaz Haq said...

Krishna: " I disagree that 1.2+ billion is a demographic dividend (dd). "

First, the 1.2+ billion does not represent India's demographic dividend; its share younger population does.

Second, the primary reason Jim O'Neill of Goldman Sachs picked China and India as part of BRIC and then foreign investments followed into both to try and capitalize on the size of the potential consumer markets there.

So both the size and the median age of populations matter for economics.

As to Pakistan, the reason why O'Neill included it in Next-11 grouping and put Pakistan on his global "growth map" is the size of its young demographics and overall population being the 6th largest.

Ravi Krishna said...

Are you saying today's young people of India will disappear from India before they grow old and add to 1.2b+. At the end it all boils down to big population.

While a big population has its benefit of working class population adding to the tax base, at the end, every country, given its size and resources can support population only up-to a certain limit. And as long as India has big population, it will have millions of people living in abject poverty.

Do you think China will ever beat in par capita living standards countries like Qatar, Saudi even though it terms of intellectual capability and economy those arabic countries are no match to china.

Ravi Krishna said...

So Pak and India's young population will buy more smartphones. Great. Oops, there is not enough water in the country for the young people to clean their butt, let alone have a proper bath. Well who cares.

DD is a snake oil.

Just imagine where India and Pak would have been today if India's population was only 500m and Paks 100m. For starters, Pak would have seen lot less turmoil because its young would have good jobs and a family to take care of, instead of becoming Ajmal Kasab or other Pak Taliban foot soldiers.

Riaz Haq said...

Krishna: "Are you saying today's young people of India will disappear from India before they grow old and add to 1.2b+. At the end it all boils down to big population."

The trends indicate they'll have few children than their parents, thereby slowing down population growth.

Krishna: " Great. Oops, there is not enough water in the country for the young people to clean their butt, let alone have a proper bath. Well who cares."

If you educate them well, they'll find a way to produce abundant fresh water for everyone. I suggest you read Matt Riddly and Peter Diamandis to understand how doomsayers have been proved wrong by human ingenuity throughout history.

https://books.google.com/books?id=U9CKBAAAQBAJ&pg=PA273&lpg=PA273&dq=Diamandis+freshwater&source=bl&ots=T1fjkBezJV&sig=CWqdwibd5Pt5MjyJGUJD-VDNY1I&hl=en&sa=X&ei=spiiVaapDYG3oQSHk67IAg&ved=0CEQQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=Diamandis%20freshwater&f=false

Shams said...

You have not clarified howa large population could possibly help a country such as Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

Shams: " You have not clarified howa large population could possibly help a country such as Pakistan."

Large population has already made Pakistan one of the most important countries in the world.

No one can afford to ignore Pakistan. They all recognize it's too big to fail.

It has put Pakistan on Goldman Sachs' Jim O'Neill's growth map and a member of the Next 11 Group of nations.

Pakistan's growing human capital has made it a significant source of services and manpower in the form of the world's 7th largest diaspora.

All of its social and economic indicators have dramatically improved since its birth. Its people are living longer and enjoying higher standards of living with larger incomes than ever before.

Professor Hans Rosling has compiled world's health and wealth indicators that confirm Pakistan's progress.

http://www.riazhaq.com/2011/08/pakistans-story-after-64-years-of.html

Khalid said...

Thanks. I have been saying this for more than two decades. See here:

http://www.albalagh.net/population/Malthus.shtml

Marghoob said...

This may be true for countries where they have a strictly enforced tax collection system and no one escapes it. What percentage of the exponentially growing population of Pakistan pays taxes that go to the National coffers and not the pockets of the collectors?

Riaz Haq said...

Marghoob: " This may be true for countries where they have a strictly enforced tax collection system and no one escapes it. What percentage of the exponentially growing population of Pakistan pays taxes that go to the National coffers and not the pockets of the collectors?"

Pakistan population is not "exponentially growing". In fact, the birth rate is continuously declining. Too much decline could be a big problem as Chinese, Japanese and Europeans are learning.

You can fix the tax problem but you can not reverse tends of fertility and population decline with resultant aging of society once TFR goes below replacement level.

Anonymous said...

if you can simply reduce the total number of everyone, that's an easier approach...

And besides why do you need people alive just for the sake of being alive?

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: " if you can simply reduce the total number of everyone, that's an easier approach...And besides why do you need people alive just for the sake of being alive?"

When you are old, frail and sick, who would take care of your needs if you have a declining population of young people?

Who will put money in the pension plans for retirees to keep them going if you do not have several young workers putting money into it for each retiree?

In the US, there are currently 2.8 workers for each Social Security beneficiary. By 2033, there will be 2.1 workers for each beneficiary. And US TFR of 2.01 is just slightly below replacement level of 2.1. Imagine what would happen if it continues to drop to levels of significant lower TFRs of China (1.55), Hong Kong (1.17), Taiwan (1.11) and Singapore (0.8)?

Irfan said...

Good to see you are not gullible enough to fall for this overpopulation nonsense.

More people = more ideas = more development (as long as they are educated)

nayyer ali said...

It's good to see the rapid plunge in TFR, I do think having Pakistan's population peak at 250 million is probably better than 300 million, we will have water and arable land shortages the higher that number goes. At independence there were only 35 million people or so in West Pakistan. The key is making sure that huge mass of young people get the proper healthcare and education to be effective workers, and that overall economic policy is good enough to allow the demographic dividend to actually pay off. The Chinese investment is going to be critical, as is the TAPI pipeline project. There needs to be social peace and stable government to make that happen. Can't have Chinese engineers being kidnapped by Taliban left and right.

Majumdar said...

Prof Riazul Haq sb,

Hopefully, Pakiland will not make the same mistake as its tallel than mountain, deepel than ocean and sweetel than honey fliend has done. There is need to push the TFR back from 2.8 to 4.6 so that Pakiland's population can go up to 1 billion in a couple of generations time.

Regards

Riaz Haq said...

Majumdar: " There is need to push the TFR back from 2.8 to 4.6 so that Pakiland's population can go up to 1 billion in a couple of generations time."

Where did you get that in the post?

What you are jokingly implying is just as overzealous as the push to lower population sharply to a point from which it can not recover, as many industrialized nations are finding out.

The forces of urbanization, education and women's employment are already doing an adequate job. Focus should be on improving education and health care.

Ravi Krishna said...

"Where did you get that in the post?"

Well you have not replied to my earlier question? What , per you, should be the peak population of Pak ? Without that clearly defined, I don't understand the fuss behind talking about TFR.

Riaz Haq said...

RK: " What , per you, should be the peak population of Pak ? Without that clearly defined, I don't understand the fuss behind talking about TFR. "

Any limit one picks for population of Pakistan, or of any other country or the world's, will soon be proved wrong as Thomas Robert Malthus found out. World's population at the time in 1798 was about one billion and Malthus believed the earth couldn't support any more people. He forecast human catastrophe (disease, starvation, war, etc) would continue to limit world population to around a billion. The world population has since grown to about 7 billion now.

Malthusian theory has been fundamentally discredited in the years since the publication of Principle of Population, often citing major advances in agricultural techniques and modern reductions in human fertility. Many modern proponents believe that the basic concept of population growth eventually outstripping resources is still fundamentally valid, and "positive checks" are still likely in humanity's future if there is no action to curb population growth.

I think there are significant post-industrialization factors such as education, urbanization and women's participation in work force, which are acting to limit women's fertility. Forcing additional "positive checks" could cause precipitate decline in TFR that we have seen in western Europe and East Asia.

Anonymous said...

As a sample, I can share my own family's & extended family's birth rate. My grand father had 4 sons and 2 daughters. My father, uncles and aunts each had six children. Now most of my siblings and cousins have two children and a few have three kids. (Punjab, Pakistan)

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: " Now most of my siblings and cousins have two children and a few have three kids. (Punjab, Pakistan)"

Thanks for sharing. I see the same thing. In cities, I think it's already declined to very close to 2 children per family and declining.

Anonymous said...

Another trend which validates your analysis is that housing societies and property developers selling more and more smaller size plots & apartments. Studio and one-bedroom apartments which were unheard of a decade ago, are common now a days. Plot sizes 25'X40' and 25'X50' are common in CDA & Bahria Town.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan gets remittances of $18.4b from diaspora in 2014-15, yearly increase 16.5%

http://tribune.com.pk/story/920286/pakistan-pockets-remittances-amounting-to-18-4b/ …

KARACHI: Overseas Pakistanis sent remittances amounting to $18.4 billion in 2014-15, which translates into a year-on-year increase of 16.5%, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Monday.

Remittances amounted to $15.8 billion in the preceding fiscal year. Pakistanis based in foreign countries sent home $1.8 billion in June, which is 9.5% higher than the remittances received in the preceding month of May.

Country-wise breakdown

Inflows from Saudi Arabia were the largest source of remittances in 2014-15. They amounted to over $5.6 billion in July-June, up 19% from the preceding 12 months.

Remittances received in July-June from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) increased 35.3% to $4.2 billion on a year-on-year basis. Inflows from the UAE registered the largest increase from any major remittance-sending country during 2014-15, SBP data shows.

Remittances from the United States and the United Kingdom remained $2.6 billion and $2.3 billion, respectively, in July-June. The year-on-year increase in remittances from the US and the UK has been 4.8% and 4.9%, respectively.

Remittances from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, excluding Saudi Arabia and the UAE, clocked up at $2.1 billion in July-June, which is 15.6% higher than the remittances received from these countries in the preceding fiscal year. Remittances from Kuwait in 2014-15 equalled $748.1 million while those from Oman, Bahrain and Qatar amounted to $666.8 million, $389 million and $347.5 million, respectively.

This means the overall share of the oil-rich GCC countries in Pakistan is almost 65%. Many analysts fear remittances from these countries may dwindle going forward as their governments begin to scale back infrastructure spending in the wake of a sharp fall in global oil prices.

Oil and Pakistan

Any major fallout of the oil price slump on the remittance inflows will be detrimental for the Pakistani economy. Absent remittances, a perennial balance of payment crisis would be inescapable, as they cover up usually around 90% of the country’s trade deficit.

“The good news is that despite the oil slump, the GCC is still spending on infrastructure … there are no short-term concerns for remittances inflows into Pakistan from this region,” the SBP said in its second quarterly report.

Saying that the GCC governments’ spending plans have not been affected by declining oil prices due to the large sovereign funds, the SBP noted the status quo may not continue “much longer”.

“A continuous depletion of these reserves would eventually start biting into their fiscal spending if oil prices fail to recover. The pace of Pakistan’s remittance growth cannot remain immune to the oil slump indefinitely,” the SBP said.

Remittances received from Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan and ‘other countries’ during June amounted to $110.53 million, up 7.7% from the remittances received from these countries in the same month of 2013-14. The monthly average of remittances during 2014-15 remained $1.5 billion, up from the monthly average of remittances amounting to $1.3 billion received in July-June of 2013-14.

Remittances in the first six months of the current fiscal year increased regardless of the strong wave of political instability that began in August with sit-ins by opposition parties and fizzled out after the attack on Army Public School in December. Overseas Pakistanis sent remittances amounting to $8.98 billion in the first half of 2014-15, showing a year-on-year increase of 15.26%. Remittances had grown 13.7% in 2013-14, which means the year-on-year increase of 16.5% in 2014-15 was notably higher than preceding year.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan's remittances of $18.4 billion nearly made up for the trade deficit of $19.8 billion over 11 months ending in May 2015:

Pakistan's trade deficit widened by 11.73 percent to $19.735 billion for the July 2014 to May 2015 period, compared with a deficit of $17.663 billion for the same period last year, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.

Exports declined to $21.875 billion in the eleven month period from $23.092 billion the previous year. Imports rose to $41.610 billion from $40.755 billion.

The Pakistan financial year begins in July.

On a monthly basis, the trade deficit rose to $1.894 billion in May from $1.795 billion the previous month.

Exports totalled $1.953 billion in May and imports were worth $3.847 billion.

http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/06/16/pakistan-trade-idINL4N0XH4J720150616

Majumdar said...

Prof sb,

Fact is population stabilisation followed by decline is inevitable. The process is already underway in whole of Europe, North Am and Far East, will be followed in phases by rest of the world. Population will still increase till 2100 as impact of longevity offsets lower birth rates but then eventually falls. This need not be a catastrophe as higher productivity will compensate for a smaller (%-ate) workforce and large amounts of work including caring for elderly will be taken over by robots.

Regards

Majumdar said...

Prof sb,

I am curious to know why in an year of falling energy and commodity prices, Pakiland's trade deficit is worsening.

Regards

Anonymous said...

ONE SIMPLE OBSERVATION

No matter what, the population of the World as a whole will rise and rise

China has had a ONE child per COUPLE policy for decades.......................

Dont see a decrease in their population...................

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: " No matter what, the population of the World as a whole will rise and rise"

The rate of global population growth has slowed. And it’s expected to keep slowing. Indeed, according to experts’ best estimates, the total population of Earth will stop growing within the lifespan of people alive today.
Population decline is a very familiar concept in the developed world, where fertility has long since fallen far below the 2.1 live births per woman required to maintain population equilibrium. In Germany, the birthrate has sunk to just 1.36, worse even than its low-fertility neighbors Spain (1.48) and Italy (1.4). The way things are going, Western Europe as a whole will most likely shrink from 460 million to just 350 million by the end of the century. That’s not so bad compared with Russia and China, each of whose populations could fall by half. As you may not be surprised to learn, the Germans have coined a polysyllabic word for this quandary: Schrumpf-Gesellschaft, or “shrinking society.”

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2013/01/world_population_may_actually_start_declining_not_ exploding.html

Riaz Haq said...

Majumdar: " I am curious to know why in an year of falling energy and commodity prices, Pakiland's trade deficit is worsening."


All commodity prices, including rice and cotton, are down, not just oil.

And there's weak demand in Pakistan's export markets.

Pakistan needs to proactively diversify its exports, not just rely on apparel and textiles and footwear and rice etc.

Hopewins said...

^^RH: "Pakistan needs to....not just rely on apparel and textiles and footwear and rice etc."
------------------------------------------

Chadar, Chawal, Chamrhi. I am happy to see that you finally agree with me that we cannot continue like this.

Meanwhile, India is exporting petrochemicals, cars, motorcycles, pharmaceuticals, software. We must catch-up quickly..there is not much time left.

Riaz Haq said...

HPW: " Chadar, Chawal, Chamrhi. "

The bulk of the revenue comes from the 3 Cs but the actual product export mix is broader. It includes petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, machines and cement. Over-reliance on 3Cs is gradually decreasing but not fast enough. Hopefully, the China-Pakistan industrial corridor with its special economc zones (like Haier-Ruba in Lahore) will accelerate export diversification.

http://www.riazhaq.com/2014/12/pak-china-industrial-corridor-to-boost.html

Check this link: https://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/explore/tree_map/hs/export/pak/all/show/2012/


Compare it to India's exports below:


https://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/explore/tree_map/hs/export/ind/all/show/2012/

Anonymous said...

I agree with your basic argument Mr. Haq - population can be a blessing. I'm sure you are familiar with the Simon-Ehrlich wager - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon%E2%80%93Ehrlich_wager


I'm quite surprised that the Chinese have not gotten rid of their one-child policy. I am aware that there exceptions allowed - eg. for people in the countryside and non-Han minorities etc but i would have thought that it is time to get rid of this entirely.

Raj

Riaz Haq said...

BBC on India's disappearing Parsis:

The Parsis of India are a unique community, but their numbers are declining fast. In an effort to change this, the government is spending $1.5m to encourage them to have more children.
Persis Aspi Kamakhan still cannot believe her luck. She clucks and coos at her baby daughter, Hufriya, as she tries to dress her in a new red outfit.
"She's very mischievous," Kamakhan says proudly. "That thing that I wanted for 11 years of my marriage - finally I got this baby. It's like we were given our very own Kohinoor diamond."
Kamakhan and her husband had spent all their savings on unsuccessful IVF treatment, and had given up hope of having a child. Then she heard about Jiyo Parsi - a government-funded scheme set up to encourage Parsi couples to have bigger families.
Kamakhan got in touch with a gynaecologist associated with the scheme who promised to find out what the problem was and solve it.
"Persis had dealt with a lot of disappointments," says Dr Anita Pandole, recalling their first meeting. "Of course, we counselled her there was no guarantee she would get pregnant. But when she did her first cycle with us, she conceived. First time, first shot."

----------


It's estimated that there are 60,000 Parsis in India - half as many as there were in the 1940s. For every Parsi born, four die. The decline in numbers is blamed on late marriage, no marriage, or mixed marriage with non-Parsis.
So why is the Indian government committing resources to bolstering the Parsi headcount, when the country is struggling to control the size of its population?
"I want them to survive," says the Minister of Minority Affairs, Najma Heptulla. "The Parsis have contributed greatly to India as far as education and industrialisation are concerned. There are many famous names like [industrialists] Tata and Godrej, and they have been distinguished lawyers and politicians too."
Most of India's Parsis live in Mumbai - a city whose statues and buildings pay homage to a glorious past when Parsis were a dominant force as traders and shipbuilders, administrators and wealthy philanthropists.
Some time after the beginning of the 8th Century, a group of Zoroastrians fled religious persecution in Iran, and arrived on India's west coast. They settled in Gujarat - the word Parsi means Persian.
In the 17th Century, they began to migrate to Mumbai, where they built their fire temples, and formed alliances with the British.
The Parsi community is more Westernised than many in India, which is partly why it has shrunk in size. They sometimes delay marriage while they save or wait for a property. And couples began family planning decades ago to ensure they could pay for a good education for their children - which for them is as important for girls as it is for boys. Parsi women are high achievers at work, which often makes them reluctant to marry and start a family at an early age. And being single is socially acceptable - 30% of Parsis never marry.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-33519145

Riaz Haq said...

BBC on India's disappearing Parsis:

The Parsis of India are a unique community, but their numbers are declining fast. In an effort to change this, the government is spending $1.5m to encourage them to have more children.
Persis Aspi Kamakhan still cannot believe her luck. She clucks and coos at her baby daughter, Hufriya, as she tries to dress her in a new red outfit.
"She's very mischievous," Kamakhan says proudly. "That thing that I wanted for 11 years of my marriage - finally I got this baby. It's like we were given our very own Kohinoor diamond."
Kamakhan and her husband had spent all their savings on unsuccessful IVF treatment, and had given up hope of having a child. Then she heard about Jiyo Parsi - a government-funded scheme set up to encourage Parsi couples to have bigger families.
Kamakhan got in touch with a gynaecologist associated with the scheme who promised to find out what the problem was and solve it.
"Persis had dealt with a lot of disappointments," says Dr Anita Pandole, recalling their first meeting. "Of course, we counselled her there was no guarantee she would get pregnant. But when she did her first cycle with us, she conceived. First time, first shot."

----------


It's estimated that there are 60,000 Parsis in India - half as many as there were in the 1940s. For every Parsi born, four die. The decline in numbers is blamed on late marriage, no marriage, or mixed marriage with non-Parsis.
So why is the Indian government committing resources to bolstering the Parsi headcount, when the country is struggling to control the size of its population?
"I want them to survive," says the Minister of Minority Affairs, Najma Heptulla. "The Parsis have contributed greatly to India as far as education and industrialisation are concerned. There are many famous names like [industrialists] Tata and Godrej, and they have been distinguished lawyers and politicians too."
Most of India's Parsis live in Mumbai - a city whose statues and buildings pay homage to a glorious past when Parsis were a dominant force as traders and shipbuilders, administrators and wealthy philanthropists.
Some time after the beginning of the 8th Century, a group of Zoroastrians fled religious persecution in Iran, and arrived on India's west coast. They settled in Gujarat - the word Parsi means Persian.
In the 17th Century, they began to migrate to Mumbai, where they built their fire temples, and formed alliances with the British.
The Parsi community is more Westernised than many in India, which is partly why it has shrunk in size. They sometimes delay marriage while they save or wait for a property. And couples began family planning decades ago to ensure they could pay for a good education for their children - which for them is as important for girls as it is for boys. Parsi women are high achievers at work, which often makes them reluctant to marry and start a family at an early age. And being single is socially acceptable - 30% of Parsis never marry.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-33519145

Syed Qasim Abbas said...

Why can't we Pakistanis build small dams built by Pakistan and paid by Pakistan rupees instead of waiting for China to build Bhasha dam for us with their big foreign exchange holdings.Its not rocket sceince

Riaz Haq said...

SQA: "Why can't we Pakistanis build small dams built by Pakistan and paid by Pakistan rupees"

There are hundreds of small hydro projects already working. More are planed.

http://www.smallhydroworld.org/fileadmin/user_upload/pdf/Asia_Southern/WSHPDR_2013_Pakistan.pdf


These small dams are not a substitute for big dams like Bhasha for water storage.

Abdul said...

you get a demographic dividend when you have more than adequate resources and a healthy savings rate for the economy to flourish. A literate population is also necessary and an environment free from strife and violence.

We cannot expect much if two basic necessities electricity and water are scarce and will get worse if population keeps on growing. It doesnt help that we have to buy oil as well

Riaz Haq said...

Abdul: " you get a demographic dividend when you have more than adequate resources.."

First, let me help you understand what "demographic dividend" really means: "workforce growing at a faster rate than total population".

Second, all the trends in terms of literacy, education, health, longevity, income growth and investment are positive. These trends indicate Pakistan will continue to reap its demographic dividend for many many decades into the future.

Lastly, what differentiate Pakistan from Greece is the following: Unlike Greece, Pakistan's population is young, its workforce is growing as is its economy. This gives Pakistan the opportunity and the hope to solve its many problems. Pakistan's best days are ahead of it.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a NY Times report on Greece's aging population and future prospects:

ATHENS — The Greeks are in a struggle for survival. And the odds are piling up against us. The fight is not only on the economic front, as we try to meet our commitments under an international 240-billion-euro bailout deal that has resulted in greatly reduced incomes, higher costs and taxes, and an overriding sense of insecurity. The danger is even more basic: Deaths are outnumbering births, people are leaving the country, and the population is aging so fast that in a few decades Greece may be unable to produce enough wealth to take care of its people and may cease to be a viable nation state.

“People tend to overlook the importance of the population, even though everything begins with it,” says Michalis Papadakis, professor emeritus of statistics and social security at the University of Piraeus, who has spent his life studying the issue. “Demographic reduction undermines defense capabilities, it cuts down the work force and obstructs business.”


He noted that 2011 was the first year in which the number of Greece’s residents dropped (with deaths exceeding births by 4,671). According to the European Union’s statistical service, in 2012 deaths in Greece outnumbered births by 16,300, while 44,200 more people left the country than moved to it.


Many European Union countries face a similar demographic problem and the Union as a whole is aging fast. But whereas European Union and national officials are looking for ways to deal with an aging population, in Greece the battle for economic survival is so overwhelming that no one has time for the bigger picture. In the urge to cut spending and stop borrowing, the Greeks have not been able to do the things that might have encouraged people to have children.

For instance, other countries — wealthy Germany, for one — are focusing on boosting youth employment, keeping people in the work force beyond today’s retirement age, and finding ways to balance commitments to family and work. But in Greece, even though the retirement age was raised to 67 from 65, efforts to cut down public and private sector employees over the past three years have pushed an estimated 150,000 people into retirement before their time (for a total of some 2.7 million pensioners). Unemployment is at 27.3 percent (1.4 million people), with over 60 percent of those under 24 without jobs. Those who do have work are getting less pay and facing higher taxes — and they don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Even immigrants from Bangladesh and Pakistan, who came seeking a better life, are moving on.

In 2012, the number of employed people in Greece was 3.8 million, while pensioners and the unemployed totaled 4.1 million, out of a population of 11,062,500. Fewer and fewer people are shouldering the burden of keeping the country on its feet. The 25 percent drop in Greece’s gross domestic product since 2008 reflects the reduction in people’s incomes as well as the state’s need to get as much out of them as possible, leaving few with disposable income, and forcing others to draw on their savings to meet their obligations.

----------
The most frightening figure is a Eurostat projection which estimates that, in 2050, 32.1 percent of the Greek population will be over 65, compared with 16.6 percent in 2000. ....

And yet, Greece has two mighty reasons for hope. It has a dynamic and prospering diaspora, mainly in the United States and Australia; and its European Union membership is a pillar of support today but, with its open borders, also a potential source of immigration. If we in Greece can hold the country steady through the crisis, and work toward optimism and opportunity for ourselves, then people will come.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/10/opinion/greeces-dismal-demographics.html?_r=0

Riaz Haq said...

China could be the first country in history to grow old before it grows rich

China’s population is aging fast. According to official data, nearly 15 percent are over the age of 60. Last year, the working-age population fell by almost 2.5 million people. While the country has taken steps to boost its young population, including relaxing the one-child policy last year, many challenges still lie ahead. CCTV’s Grace Brown reported from Beijing.


Chinese women retire as early as 50 and men as early as 55. 58-year-old Ren Gong recently retired, but he isn’t worried about what lies ahead.
“I think we can manage it. I don’t want anything, other than to maintain my quality of life, health insurance, and pension,” he said.
To ease the growing burden of pensions, the government is considering raising retirement age by one month every year, but a time frame has yet to been announced.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, by 2030 one in four Chinese will be over the age of 60, putting an unprecedented pressure on society. Some experts warn that China could be the first country in history to grow old before it grows rich.
“I think it’s a serious problem. Our nation must consider to prepare pensions for so many seniors. I’d like to retire at 60, but I know I can’t. There’s no other way,” a Chinese youth said.
A key cause of China’s aging population was the one-child policy put in place after a baby boom in the 1950’s and 1960’s.
Population expert Professor Zheng Zhenzhen of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said that China will age faster than it will develop, which is a challenge no country has ever faced.
“We have lowered the mortality and fertility [rates] before getting rich. It is ahead of economic development,” Zheng said. “However, I believe China has the ability to cope if we respond in time.”
China relaxed it’s one-child policy in 2014, allowing couples in which one parent was an only child to have two children. But the government only received 1 million applications in 2014 for parents to have additional children — half the number it expected.
Zheng said career pressure is causing would-be parents to hesitate.
“I think nowadays, the environment in the workplace is not so friendly to mothers. There are no facilities for childcare and it’s not so friendly for women to be excused from office hours to take care of their children,” he said. “If we wish to have more children born, then the whole society, companies and the state, need to create a child-friendly environment.”
Yun Na is a working mom and due to have her second child in two months, after applying under the newly-relaxed policy. But she worries about balancing work with being a mother.
“I grew up alone. So I always wanted two children. Two is definitely harder to manage,” she said. “My husband and I both work. I can’t afford to quit my job, so the only way is if I continue going to work and my parents come to care for them.”
As China confronts an ever-graying population, it’s likely further action will be needed to encourage more parents like Yun Na in the future.

Read more: http://www.cctv-america.com/2015/01/30/china-could-be-the-first-country-in-history-to-grow-old-before-it-grows-rich

Hopewins said...

^^RH: "China could be the first country in history to grow old before it grows rich"
-----------------------

Nope. That title has already been claimed by Cuba.

Hopewins said...

Abdul: " you get a demographic dividend when you have more than adequate resources.."

^^RH: "First, let me help you understand what "demographic dividend" really means: "workforce growing at a faster rate than total population".

Second, all the trends in terms of literacy, education, health, longevity, income growth and investment are positive."
---------------------

"Workforce growing at a faster rate than total population" is only the demographic "ascent" part. To convert it into an actual "dividend", we need to leverage to the reduced age-dependency ratio to boost our domestic savings rate. This allows capital deepening to occur and sets the stage for fast growth-- this is the full meaning of demographic "dividend".

Let us look at our domestic savings rate to see if has been going up...
http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&ctype=l&met_y=ny_gds_totl_zs#!ctype=l&strail=false&bcs=d&nselm=h&met_y=ny_gds_totl_zs&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&rdim=region&idim=country:PAK:IND:BGD&ifdim=region&hl=en_US&dl=en_US&ind=false

Nope. Our domestic savings rate has not been going up. In fact, it has been going DOWN. Therefore, there will be no demographic "dividend" due to lack of capital deepening.

MOST the trends in terms of literacy, education, health, longevity, income growth and investment may well be positive as you say, but the trend in the domestic savings rate is NEGATIVE. Therefore, there will be no demographic "dividend" due to lack of macroeconomic stability.

In this regard, note what is happening at the IMF Intensive Care Unit (ICU):
http://www.imf.org/external/np/fin/tad/extrans1.aspx?memberKey1=760&endDate=2015-07-24&finposition_flag=YES

As a result of the GFC of 2008, we needed a 5 billion$ blood transfusion from IMF. In 2013, we went BACK for another 3 billion$ blood transfusion. After all this macroeconomic instability, are you now suggesting that this sickly patient who is constant winding up in the ICU is even capable of running the growth marathon that is necessary to harness the demographic dividend?

Have you really thought this through?

Riaz Haq said...

HW: "Have you really thought this through?"

Younger and more dynamic population with better education can cure all these ills over time to build a more vibrant economy and society. I see it happening now.

Riaz Haq said...

There are over 3 million students enrolled in grades 13 through 16 in Pakistan's 1,086 degree colleges and 161 universities, according to Pakistan Higher Education Commission report for 2013-14. The 3 million enrollment is 15% of the 20 million Pakistanis in the eligible age group of 18-24 years. In addition, there are over 255,000 Pakistanis enrolled in vocational training schools, according to Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA).


Pakistani universities have been producing over half a million graduates every year since 2010, according to HEC data. The number of university graduates in Pakistan increased from 380,773 in 2005-6 to 493,993 in 2008-09. This figure is growing with rising enrollment and contributing to Pakistan's growing human capital.

http://www.riazhaq.com/2015/07/pakistans-rising-college-enrollment-and.html

Riaz Haq said...

In 2014, 37 per cent Pakistanis hoped for a better economic future. In 2015, it increased to 47pc, registering a 10pc improvement, according to the latest Pew survey.

Other nations on this list include Nigeria, Argentina, India and Spain.

In 2014, 64pc people in India saw their future as bright, which increased to 74pc in 2015.

The survey by the Washington-based Pew Research Centre, however, shows that most Pakistanis (51pc) are unhappy with the current economic situation while 47pc say it is good. Others declined to comment.

Forty-eight pc see economic situation in Pakistan improving over the next 12 months, 23pc say it will remain the same and 13pc say it will worsen.

Fifty-one pc Pakistanis believe that when today’s children grow up, they will be financially better off than their parent but 22pc say they will be worse off.

The report also includes a World Bank economic categorisation, which places Pakistan in the lower middle group with a gross domestic product of $241 billion, GDP per capita based on purchasing power parity at $4,886, and average GDP growth of 4.4pc between 2005 and 2014.

The survey of 40 nations finds that publics in fewer than half of those countries have a positive view of their nation’s economy.

But there are signs of growing public faith in economic recoveries in some of the world’s largest economies.

Roughly four-in-ten Americans, Europeans and Japanese say economic conditions are good in their countries. Such sentiment is up 30 percentage points in Japan from a low point in 2012; up 23 points from the 2009 low in the United States; and up 23 points from the 2013 low for the median of five European Union nations surveyed.

Overall, people in emerging economies and developing countries are more likely than those in advanced economies to believe that economic conditions will improve over the next 12 months.

The IMF expects global growth in 2015 will be marginally slower than that in 2014. Only in developing nations does a majority (58pc) expect conditions to get better.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1196015

http://www.pewglobal.org/2015/07/23/global-publics-economic-conditions-are-bad/

Riaz Haq said...

CNN on Hans Rosling's "Ignorance Project":

The world is spinning so fast that it can be hard to keep track of everything that is going on. Yet despite the fact that we can feel like we are being increasingly overloaded with information, it's not clear that we're doing a very good job of making sense of all that data we're receiving.

Don't believe me? Well, try answering these three questions on major global trends:

1) What percent of 1-year-olds in the world are vaccinated against measles? Is it 20, 50 or 80%?

2) Young adult men today have, on average, eight years of schooling, globally. How many years of school do you think the world's women of the same age have attended? Is it 3 years, 5 years or 7 years?

3) How has the proportion of people living in extreme poverty around the world changed over the past 25 years? Has it doubled, stayed about the same, or been halved?

So, here are the answers: Around 83 percent of the world's 1-year-olds are vaccinated against measles; 25-year-old women have, on average, been to school almost as long as males the same age, having attended for about seven years; and extreme poverty has been more than halved since 1990.

Did you get those right? You probably didn't. And you're very far from alone. In fact, when the Gapminder Foundation partnered with polling firms around the world to ask members of the public in Europe and the United States these and similar questions, what we found was a depressing lack of awareness about some of the most basic facts about our world. In fact, less than a fifth of Americans, Swedes, Germans and Britons answered these three questions correctly.

One of the biggest misconceptions about the world we live in is about global population growth. The number of children in the world has actually stopped increasing, because 80 percent of us live in societies where the two-child family is the norm. And how many people would have guessed that women in Brazil, Iran and Vietnam today have fewer babies, on average, than women in the United States?

In a way, this lack of knowledge shouldn't come as much of a surprise because there is something that actively skews our thought process: Preconceived ideas.

We all have them. Even those of us who think we keep abreast of what is going on in the world have personal biases because we have been taught a mountain of facts that are now outdated, whether we learned them in school or at work. And then there is our news media, which is built upon conflict and a black-and-white model of explanation (hence our susceptibility to negative headlines).

All this means that if you went to the zoo with the questions posed earlier written down on piece of cardboard, placed a banana beside each of the three alternatives and let some chimps have a go at picking the answers, they could be expected to get one in three questions correct, beating most humans in the process.

Does our ignorance of strong positive trends, which makes us believe that the world is a sicker, worse place than it is, really matter?

Yes, because as a result we are more likely to make the wrong decisions. Indeed, a world view based on outdated facts can have severe consequences -- from not investing where we will get the best returns, to allocating aid where it might have little impact.

With this in mind, the director of Gapminder, Ola Rosling, has launched The Ignorance Project in an effort to identify where our collective knowledge is weakest, and therefore where we might be likely to make the biggest mistakes. We will be formulating 250 questions on major aspects of global development and the state of the world and, over five years, will gradually identify the 25 least known but important global facts through surveys across 130 countries.

With luck, by highlighting just how little we know about the world, we will be able to encourage fact-based teaching of the world in our schools.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/07/opinions/rosling-global-knowledge/

Riaz Haq said...

A new UN study of global population trends predicts that India will overtake China to become the world's most populous nation by 2022.
The report also says that Nigeria will replace the US as the world's third most populous country by around 2050.
Africa is expected to account for more than half of the world's population growth over the next 35 years.
The current world population of 7.3 billion will reach 9.7 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100, it predicts.
The new projection has India overtaking China's population six years earlier than previously predicted.
The reports says half of the world's population growth between 2015 and 2050 is expected to be concentrated in nine countries: India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, the United States, Indonesia and Uganda.
The populations of 28 African countries are projected to more than double, and by 2100, 10 African countries are projected to have increased by at least a factor of five.
"The concentration of population growth in the poorest countries presents its own set of challenges, making it more difficult to eradicate poverty and inequality, to combat hunger and malnutrition," said John Wilmoth, Director of the UN's Population Division.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-33720723

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan, the Next #software Hub? 1500 registered #informationtechnology companies, 10,000 IT grads every year. http://nyti.ms/1P0Yfdu

Pakistan’s I.T. sector is carving a niche for itself as a favored place to go for freelance I.T. programmers, software coders and app designers. There are now 1,500 registered I.T. companies in Pakistan, and 10,000 I.T. grads enter the market every year. Energetic members of the middle class educated in Pakistan’s top universities, they have honed their skills at the many hackathons, start-up fairs and expos, digital summits and entrepreneurial events at campuses, software houses and I.T. associations across the country.

Next comes showcasing their skills to a global market in order to grow businesses. So Pakistani freelance programmers flock to global freelance hiring sites such as Upwork, or fiverr.com, where digital employers in the United States, Australia or Britain bid to hire programmers for small software and app projects. On these platforms, hiring someone from Pakistan becomes as easy as hiring someone from Ireland or India, because traditional concerns about security, corruption and invasive bureaucracy in Pakistan do not apply.

The formula is working: the Pakistani programmers market ranks as the No. 3 country for supplying — freelance programmers — behind only the United States and India, and up from No. 5 just two years ago. It ranks in the upper 10 to 25 percent on Upwork’s listing of growth rates for top-earning countries, alongside India, Canada and Ukraine. Pakistan’s freelance programmers already account for $850 million of the country’s software exports; that number could go up to $1 billion in the next several months, says Umar Saif, who heads the Punjab I.T. Board and previously taught and did research work at M.I.T.

The optimism one hears in Karachi and Lahore even withstood a scandal last May, when news broke that Axact, one of Pakistan’s largest I.T. companies, was operating as a fake degree mill. Members of the tight-knit I.T. community reacted at first with fears for Pakistan’s chances to become a major player on the world’s I.T. stage. Perhaps those fears acted as a spur to the authorities, who arrested Axact’s chief within weeks after the scheme was laid bare.

In any event, three days after investigators raided Axact’s offices, Naseeb Networks International, a Lahore-based company that runs the online job marketplace Rozee.pk, announced that it had won a third round of investments, worth $6.5 million, from the European investment firms Vostok Nafta and Piton Capital, bringing the company’s total venture capital funding to $8.5 million. It was the latest in a series of large venture capital investments in Pakistan over the last year and a half.

---------

It’s now also faster and easier for foreign companies to acquire the apps these programmers create, in contrast with negotiating traditional service contracts, and Mr. Saif anticipates that such start-ups will themselves become targets for acquisition by overseas companies.

According to him, venture capital is the one missing ingredient in an enabling environment that the government, universities and software associations are building. Per Brilioth, the managing director of Vostok Nafta Investment, agrees. “The macro indicators and demographics are very strong,” he said, “and the country doesn't seem to get a lot of investor attention, so valuations are reasonable."

Those factors — and the rapidity with which Pakistan’s 200 million people are embracing the Internet on sub-$50 Chinese 3G smartphones — are markers on which Pakistan’s entrepreneurial leaders pin their hopes for the future. They see problems like Axact as bumps in the road as Pakistan builds a haven for I.T. development.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/11/opinion/bina-shah-pakistan-the-next-software-hub.html?_r=0

Riaz Haq said...

NPR on the development of the birth control pill:

The Great Bluff That Led To A 'Magical' Pill And A Sexual Revolution

She (Margaret Sanger) went to work in the slums of New York City where women were having eight, nine, 10 children with no idea how to stop it, other than having abortions, which were often poorly performed and very dangerous. So she saw this stuff very up close. ...


But by the time you get to Sanger and she's a young woman working in New York City, it's very hard for women to get any kind of education even about birth control, much less birth control products. She has this plan to improve education for women. But her dream, and it's really just a dream, is that there should be some kind of magical pill — something that would allow women to turn on and off their reproductive systems.


Eig tells the history in his new book The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution.

The four people who created this revolution were: Margaret Sanger, who believed that women could not enjoy sex or freedom until they could control when and whether they got pregnant; scientist Gregory Pincus, who was fired from Harvard for experimenting with in-vitro fertilization and bragging about it to the mainstream press; John Rock, who was a Catholic OB-GYN and worked with Pincus to conduct tests of the pill on women; and Katharine McCormick, who funded much of the research.

In the '50s, selling contraception was still officially illegal in many states.

But Sanger and McCormick, a feminist who had been active in the suffrage movement, wanted women to enjoy sex — without fear of getting pregnant.

After McCormick's husband died, McCormick got in touch with Sanger.

According to Eig, McCormick said, "What's the most important thing we could possibly work on?"

"Sanger said, 'The best thing we could possibly do is work on this pill, this miracle tablet ... something that would give women the right to control their bodies for the first time.' And McCormick said, 'I'm in: Whatever you need.' "

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2014/10/07/354103536/the-great-bluff-that-lead-to-a-magical-pill-and-a-sexual-revolution

Riaz Haq said...

Fertility and Fate of Nations. #Modi, #BJP benefit from high birth rates in North #India The American Conservative

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/fertility-and-the-fate-of-nations/ …

India offers a startling example of this change, and its explosive political consequences. Half of that country’s component states now have sub-replacement fertility rates comparable to Denmark, or even lower. Meanwhile, some very populous states (like vast Uttar Pradesh or Bihar) retain the old Third World model. That stark schism is the essential basis for any understanding of modern Indian politics. As we might have predicted, the high fertility states are firmly and traditionally religious, and provide the base for reactionary and even fascist Hindu supremacist movements. Those currents are quite alien to the “European” low fertility states, located chiefly in the south, which tend to be secular-minded, progressive, and tolerant. Balancing those different regions would pose a nightmarish choice for any government, but the current Hindu nationalist BJP regime aligns decisively with the high fertility regions that provide its electoral bastions. The lesson is grim, but obvious: when you have to choose between two such distinct demographic regions, it is overwhelmingly tempting to turn to the one with all the voters, and all the young party militants. Invest in growth!

---------

High-fertility eastern Turkey is of course much more religious than the secular west, and this is where we find the Qur’an Belt that so regularly supports Islamic and even fundamentalist causes. It simply makes electoral sense for the government to respond to the interests of that populous growing area, and to drift ever more steadily in Islamist directions.

But there is a complicating fact. Those fast-breeding eastern regions are also home to what the Turkish government euphemistically calls the “Mountain Turks,” but which everyone else on the planet calls “Kurds.” Turkey’s Kurdish minority, usually estimated at around 15-20 percent of the population, is expanding very rapidly—to the point that, within a generation or two, it will actually be a majority within the Turkish state. This nightmare prospect is front and center in the mind of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who a couple of years ago issued an apocalyptic warning of a national Kurdish majority no later than 2038. That date is a little implausibly soon, but the principle stands.

In the face of seemingly imminent demographic catastrophe, what can Turkey do? One solution is for the government to plead with citizens to start breeding again—even those western secularists—and to get the national fertility rate closer to 3 than 2. But since that outcome is highly unlikely, the government must resort to short term solutions, and to extol religious, Islamic identities over ethnicity. Ideally, a return to Islam might even provide an incentive for families to reassert traditional values, and to have more children. Alongside that policy, the government has an absolute need to suppress stirrings of Kurdish nationhood or separatism on Turkish soil.

From a demographic perspective, the Turkish government is going to find any manifestations of Kurdish identity terrifying, far more than even the hardest-edged Islamism. ISIS is an irritant; the Kurds pose an existential demographic threat.

And in large measure, that explains why Turkish jets are targeting the Kurdish PKK militias, rather than ISIS.

Riaz Haq said...

#China to End One-Child Policy, Allowing Families Two Children http://nyti.ms/1kVju7L

Driven by fears that an aging population could jeopardize China’s economic ascent, the Communist Party leadership ended its decades-old “one child” policy on Thursday, announcing that all married couples would be allowed to have two children



The decision was a dramatic step away from a core Communist Party position that Deng Xiaoping, the Chinese leader who imposed the policy in the late 1970s, once said was needed to ensure that “the fruits of economic growth are not devoured by population growth.”

For China’s leaders, the controls were a triumphant demonstration of the party’s capacity to reshape even the most intimate dimensions of citizens’ lives. But they bred intense resentment over the brutal intrusions involved, including forced abortions and crippling fines, especially in the countryside.


Parents gathered at a “marriage market” at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing to seek spouses for their children. Xie Zuoshi, an economics professor, supports more flexible marital arrangements to address the surplus of bachelors.Sinosphere Blog: A Chinese Economist Responds to Critics of His Proposal to Let Men Share a WifeOCT. 27, 2015

The Chinese limit of one child for most families, which was enacted to slow population growth, has led to criticism.China to Ease
The efforts to limit family size also led to a skewed sex ratio of males to females, because traditional rural families favor boys over girls, sometimes even resorting to infanticide to ensure they have a son.

Thursday’s announcement was the highlight of a party meeting at which President Xi Jinping sought to display his control over a flagging economy after a jittery summer of tepid indicators, deepening skepticism about official data and a tumultuous slide in the stock market.

Yet while the decision surprised many experts and ordinary Chinese, some said it was unlikely to ignite either a baby boom or an economic one.

“Anything demographic, we always have to think in terms of decades in terms of long-term impact,” said Tao Wang, the chief China economist at UBS.

“It’s not about stimulating growth or consumption of baby powder next quarter or next year,” she said. “Will the birthrate go up? Yes. Will it somehow increase significantly? We don’t know.”

China eased some restrictions in the one-child policy in 2013, allowing couples to have two children if one of the spouses was an only child. But many eligible couples declined to have a second child, citing the expense and pressures of raising children in a highly competitive society.

The initial public reaction to the party leaders’ decision was restrained, and many citizens in Beijing who were asked whether they would grasp the chance to have two children expressed reluctance or outright indifference. Some, however, were pleased.

“Really, can you show me the news on your phone?” said Sun Bing, 34, the owner of a small technology store in Beijing, who had his 2-year-old son by his side.

“This is a good thing, and I’m very supportive,” he said. “I want to have a second kid in two years. But, of course, it’s not cheap to raise children.”

------------


Liang Zhongtang, a retired demographer who has advised Chinese officials on population policy since the 1980s and has long argued that they should relax the one-child policy, said the change had come too late to make a big difference in the country’s population trajectory. He said he had pushed for such a change since the 1980s.

“It’s not just a problem of whether you permit ordinary people to have one or two kids. It’s about returning their reproductive rights to them,” Mr. Liang said in a telephone interview from Shanghai. “In over 200 countries and regions around the world, which of them nowadays controls people’s reproduction like this?”

Michael Forsythe contributed reporting from Hong Kong. Owen Guo, Vanessa Piao and Kiki Zhao contributed research.

Riaz Haq said...

How plunging birth rates spell disaster for economic growth? #China #Europe #US http://on.wsj.com/1MqBH5Z via @WSJ
By RUCHIR SHARMA
Sept. 23, 2015 6:27 p.m. ET

News reports suggest that the world is overflowing with people. Politicians in the U.S. and Europe talk about migrants—whether from Latin America or the Middle East—as a threat: They’ll steal jobs, depress wages and upend local ways of life. The backlash plays on deep-seated fears about a “population bomb.” The latest United Nations forecasts suggest that the global population will rise to 9.7 billion over the next 35 years, an increase of 2.4 billion. Where will they live, and what will they eat?

This narrative is sorely out of date. For much of the post-World War II era the world’s population grew at an average annual rate of almost 2%. But growth started to plummet in 1990 and is now running at about 1%—the lowest level in the postwar era—according to U.N. data.

This collapse is seriously undermining potential economic growth—roughly calculated as the rate of growth in the working-age population added to the rate of growth in productivity, or output per worker—and goes a long way toward explaining the sluggish recovery from the crisis of 2008.

Global GDP growth has been trending lower this decade and now stands at just under 2.5% a year, a full percentage point below its long-term precrisis average of 3.5%. It is no coincidence that since 2005 the growth in the working-age population, ages 15 to 64, has slowed from about 1.8% to 1%.

Thanks to rising prosperity and increased urbanization, women around the world are having fewer children. Since 1960 the average number of births per woman has fallen to 2.5 from nearly 5. Yet the global fertility rate continues to slip toward 2.1—the figure required to keep the population from shrinking.

In 83 countries, which contain almost half the world’s population, the typical woman has fewer than two children, including the U.S., China, Russia, Brazil, South Korea and every major country in Europe.

Falling fertility rates typically affect the economy after a lag of 15 years, as babies grow into working-age adults. But oddly, anti-immigrant sentiment has erupted precisely as the economic fallout of the birthrate implosion has become clearly visible. This year, for the first time in the postwar era, China’s working-age population is expected to decline—and it is likely to continue falling in coming years. The emerging world is going to have many fewer people to export than the anti-immigrant populists in the developed world imagine.

The negative economic effect of falling birthrates is magnified by another trend: Since 1960 the average lifespan world-wide has climbed to 69 from 50. The overall global population is still rising, slowly, but a greater share of it is people over 50. As previous generations retire they will impose a larger burden, in health care and pensions, on working-age sons and daughters.

The aging squeeze will be felt much more sharply in the emerging world where life expectancy has risen, and fertility rates have fallen, faster. In India the fertility rate has plunged from more than 6 in 1960 to 2.5. Though India is still on track to become the world’s most populous country in 2022, the annual growth in its working-age population will fall from an average of 2.2% last decade to 1.1% next decade.

Many countries see the threat posed by an imbalance between workers and retirees. Some have offered women “baby bonuses” to have more children, but with spotty results so far. Others have focused on boosting the size of the active labor force by bringing mothers or elderly people back to work. Most European countries are raising their “retirement age”—a 20th-century concept—to prevent energetic 50-somethings from quitting work.

---

Only the countries that adapt early to the population implosion will thrive in the baby-bust era. Meanwhile, the controversies over immigrants “stealing jobs” are likely to fade in the coming years, and give way to a new war for talent.

Riaz Haq said...

Here (in Stuttgart, Germany), migration has long been an engine of growth, and integration the bedrock of civic pride. The problems Stuttgart faces are ones that prosperous cities around the globe now share, American ones included: a dearth of affordable housing and the kind of apartments that suit the evolving demographics of the people who occupy them.

A screenshot from the website of Norbert Baksa, a Hungarian photographer, showing a model playing a migrant taking a selfie.Open Source: Hungarian Fashion Photographer Defends ‘Migrant Chic’ SpreadOCT. 7, 2015
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey on Monday in Brussels, where he said that the key to resolving the migration crisis was for Europe to do more to contain the war in Syria.Turkish Leader Says E.U. Should Do More About SyriaOCT. 5, 2015
A security officer near a fence on Saturday in Coquelles, France, that was damaged as migrants tried to enter the Channel Tunnel.Migrants Evade Security to Enter Tunnel in France OCT. 3, 2015
Open Source: Young Refugee Who Fled Syria in Wheelchair Thanks ‘Days of Our Lives’ Stars Who Reunited for HerOCT. 1, 2015
A family of migrants from Macedonia at a processing center on a former American military base in Bamberg, Germany.Defining Refugees Versus Migrants in GermanySEPT. 29, 2015
“Boomtowns are integration cities,” said Gari Pavkovic, the son of a Croatian guest worker who arrived here decades ago. Mr. Pavkovic now manages immigration for the city government.

He ticked off numbers. Forty percent of Stuttgart’s 600,000 residents (or 60 percent of people under the age of 18) come from abroad, twice the national average. After World War II, foreign laborers rebuilt local industry: first Italians, then Greeks, Spaniards, Yugoslavians, Turks. And they’re still coming. Some 20,000 newcomers arrive annually, not counting the current wave of Syrians and others. Immigrants account for one of every three start-ups.

The other day, Levent Gunes, who works for the city planning office, provided a tour of a disused tank engine factory, an industrial relic being converted into an arts complex. The man who bought it was born in Turkey and owns a bakery across the street, Mr. Gunes said, next to a big Turkish supermarket and mosque.

“The percentage of entrepreneurs in Stuttgart with migrant backgrounds is the highest in Germany,” Mr. Gunes, who teaches at Stuttgart University and is the son of Turkish migrants himself, elaborated over börek and yogurt at the bakery.

“We’re talking I.T. people, engineers, architects, artists,” he said. “You only see the greengrocer and the butcher at street level, not all the doctors and lawyers upstairs.”

Stuttgart’s big move was to avoid pushing migrants into poor, isolated suburbs as in Rome or Paris, he emphasized.

“The layout of the city has reinforced integration,” he said.

One can see what he means by what’s not here. Stuttgart doesn’t have ethnic enclaves. After World War II, Mercedes and Bosch erected hostels for guest workers. But by the 1970s, when Manfred Rommel became mayor, political and business leaders adopted a different tack, integrating migrants into existing communities in the city center. Stuttgart embraced a melting pot urbanism.

Wilfried Porth, a member of the Daimler board and director of the company’s labor relations, recalls Stuttgart as a dour place years ago.


http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/07/world/europe/stuttgart-embraces-migrants-and-the-challenge-of-housing-them.html

Riaz Haq said...

India will be the world’s most populous country, Nigeria will be third and Indonesia fifth, according to the U.N. China will slip from first to second-most populous place on the planet.

Most, though, will still be poor. Indeed, low-income countries will make up 14% of the world’s population in 2050, compared with 9% now. These are, therefore, the countries that are likeliest to provide immigrants.

Next year, the world’s advanced economies will reach a critical milestone. For the first time since 1950, their combined working-age population will decline, according to United Nations projections, and by 2050 it will shrink 5%. The ranks of workers will also fall in key emerging markets, such as China and Russia. At the same time the share of these countries’ population over 65 will skyrocket.

By 2050, the world’s population will have grown 32%, but the working-age population (15 to 64 years old) will expand just 26%.

Among advanced countries, the working-age population will shrink 26% in South Korea, 28% in Japan, and 23% in both Germany and Italy, according to the U.N. For middle-income countries it will rise 23%, led by India at 33%. But Brazil’s will edge up just 3% while Russia’s and China’s will contract 21%.

http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2015/11/24/what-indias-growing-population-means-for-the-world-economy-as-the-number-of-people-in-china-shrinks/


Note: Pakistan will remain the world's 6th most populous nation with 310 million people in 2050.

Riaz Haq said...

Ever since the global financial crisis, economists have groped for reasons to explain why growth in the U.S. and abroad has repeatedly disappointed, citing everything from fiscal austerity to the euro meltdown. They are now coming to realize that one of the stiffest headwinds is also one of the hardest to overcome: demographics.
Next year, the world’s advanced economies will reach a critical milestone. For the first time since 1950, their combined working-age population will decline, according to United Nations projections, and by 2050 it will shrink 5%. The ranks of workers will also fall in key emerging markets, such as China and Russia. At the same time the share of these countries’ population over 65 will skyrocket.
Previous generations fretted about the world having too many people. Today’s problem is too few.
This reflects two long-established trends: lengthening lifespans and declining fertility. Yet many of the economic consequences are only now apparent. Simply put, companies are running out of workers, customers or both. In either case, economic growth suffers. As a population ages, what people buy also changes, shifting more demand toward services such as health care and away from durable goods such as cars.
Demographic forces are assumed to be slow-moving and predictable. By historical standards, though, these aren’t, says Amlan Roy, a demographics expert at Credit Suisse. They are “dramatic and unprecedented,” he says, noting it took 80 years for the U.S. median age to rise seven years, to 30, by 1980, and just 34 more to climb another eight, to 38.
There is no simple answer for how business and government should cope with these changes, since each country is aging at different rates, for different reasons and with different degrees of preparedness.
Automation can boost workers’ productivity and support the burgeoning ranks of the elderly. Assumptions about aging also need to change. The typical 65-year-old today is roughly as healthy as a 58-year-old was four decades ago and can thus work longer.
Older, richer countries can boost their immigrant intake from low-income economies primarily in Africa and Asia, which will make up a growing share of the world’s working-age population—if they can overcome political opposition.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-demographics-rule-the-global-economy-1448203724

Riaz Haq said...

Experts have underlined the importance of promoting creative and innovative entrepreneurship for harnessing the potential of over 65% young population of the country with an aim to make them job creators rather than job-seekers.

They expressed these views at the two-day ‘Annual Entrepreneurship Conference: Learn, Create and Lead’, organised by the Entrepreneurship Development Institute at the Convention Centre of Pakistan.

“Pakistan has more than 65% of youth population that is below 25 years of age; there is an urgent need for innovative use of modern technology and resources to harness this potential for constructive purposes,” said Higher Education Commission Chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmed.

He said there were 100 public-sector and 73 private-sector universities in the country and some of them have already introduced entrepreneurship courses in their curricula, but there is still a need for more in many other universities.

“HEC is planning to establish centres for entrepreneurship in universities to facilitate the youth; we also encourage universities to pursue applied research for innovative entrepreneurship,” Ahmed said and underlined the need for establishing maximum technology parks in universities for providing one-window opportunity to the youth to develop their entrepreneurship skills at the academic level.

“We have already established one such park in the National University of Science and Technology with the support of China.” National Commission for Human Development Director General Orya Maqbool Jan said, “Entrepreneurship is not a concept of the modern world; it was founded by Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) centuries ago, who was the greatest innovative entrepreneur.”

He introduced justice, principle and ethics-based entrepreneurship, while the modern corporate culture compromises on these three points, Jan said.

Ace Consultant CEO Faez H Syel suggested that policy-makers and authorities should make traditional sectors like plumbing, farming, automobile and small mechanical works the focus of modern entrepreneurship training so that a large chunk of the population could benefit from it.

Neya Tel CEO Siraj Tahir said, “You cannot make a business a success without taking initiative. There is no need for higher education to be a good and creative entrepreneur or to have huge monetary resources. You only need ideas and commitment to accomplish them.”

http://tribune.com.pk/story/1000377/learn-create-lead-experts-lay-stress-on-innovative-entrepreneurship/

Riaz Haq said...

Pew Research: #Islam fastest growing religion in the world. #India to have largest #Muslim population (300m) by 2050 http://pewrsr.ch/1TwSbvI

There were 1.6 billion Muslims in the world as of 2010 – roughly 23% of the global population – according to a Pew Research Center estimate. But while Islam is currently the world’s second-largest religion (after Christianity), it is the fastest-growing major religion. Indeed, if current demographic trends continue, the number of Muslims is expected to exceed the number of Christians by the end of this century.

Although many countries in the Middle East-North Africa region, where the religion originated in the seventh century, are heavily Muslim, the region is home to only about 20% of the world’s Muslims. A majority of the Muslims globally (62%) live in the Asia-Pacific region, including large populations in Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran and Turkey.

Indonesia is currently the country with the world’s single largest Muslim population, but Pew Research Center projects that India will have that distinction by the year 2050 (while remaining a majority Hindu country), with more than 300 million Muslims.

The Muslim population in Europe also is growing; we project 10% of all Europeans will be Muslims by 2050.

How many Muslims are there in the United States?

According to our best estimate, Muslims make up just less than 1% of the U.S. adult population. Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study (conducted in English and Spanish) found that 0.9% of U.S. adults identify as Muslims. A 2011 survey of Muslim Americans, which was conducted in English as well as Arabic, Farsi and Urdu, estimated that there were 1.8 million Muslim adults (and 2.75 million Muslims of all ages) in the country. That survey also found that a majority of U.S. Muslims (63%) are immigrants.

Riaz Haq said...

#India's 15.6m diaspora is world's largest: UN. #Pakistan's diaspora 6th at 5.9m #Bangladesh's 7.2m 5th largest

https://shar.es/16Ske3

United Nations, January 14
India’s diaspora population is the largest in the world with 16 million people from India living outside their country in 2015, according to a latest UN survey on international migrant trends.
The survey conducted by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) said the number of international migrants — persons living in a country other than where they were born — reached 244 million in 2015 for the world as a whole, a 41 per cent increase compared to 2000.
The 2015 Revision, nearly two thirds of international migrants live in Europe (76 million) or Asia (75 million), according to the Trends in International Migrant Stock.
“The rise in the number of international migrants reflects the increasing importance of international migration, which has become an integral part of our economies and societies,” said Wu Hongbo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.
“Well-managed migration brings important benefits to countries of origin and destination, as well as to migrants and their families,” Hongbo added. India has the largest diaspora in the world, followed by Mexico and Russia. In 2015, 16 million people from India were living outside of their country, a growth from 6.7 million in 1990, the survey stated. Mexico’s diaspora population stood at 12 million. Other countries with large diasporas included Russia, China, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Ukraine.
Of the 20 countries with the largest number of international migrants living abroad, 11 were in Asia, six in Europe, and one each in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and Northern America, the survey said. This figure includes almost 20 million refugees.
The survey further said in 2015, two thirds of all international migrants were living in only 20 countries, starting with the US, which hosted 19 per cent of all migrants at 46.6 million, followed by Germany, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, and the UAE. — PTI

Riaz Haq said...

In #Pakistan, cultivating young #entrepreneurs by specialized vocational training | Pakistan | UNICEF https://shar.es/16POwy via @sharethis

A vocational training programme supported by Barclays and UNICEF gives a young motorcycle mechanic in Pakistan just the start he needed.

OKARA, Punjab Province, Pakistan, January 2015 – “I have my own motorcycle repair shop and am earning enough for my family to have a decent life,” says Mohammad Tanvir, 19. “Circumstances forced me to give up education after middle school. I started working in a motorcycle repair shop just to learn some skills. I did not get paid for my work since I was a novice and the owner of the shop was teaching me.”

Poverty, along with limited access to both quality education and employment opportunities, is often a major factor hindering young men and women from fulfilling their potential. Through learning demand-driven skills and getting guidance on employment or entrepreneurship opportunities, young people can have the opportunity to brighten their futures. This is precisely the objective of Building Young Futures, a project implemented by UNICEF Pakistan, with funds from Barclays UK.

While working in the shop, Mohammad heard about a course on motorbike mechanics for young people, offered at the Vocational Training Institute (VTI) in Okara. “I thought, Why not do it the proper way and be a certified motorbike mechanic from a reputable organization? I joined the course and am enjoying the benefits now.”

After completing a 14-month training course at the VTI Okara in 2013, Mohammad had enough confidence as a mechanic to start his own business, rather than work for someone else. On the basis of his certificate from the Institute and pledging the land of his modest family home, he secured a bank loan of PKR 80,000 (about US$760).

Hard work and confidence

With capital in hand, Mohammad rented a shop in one of the bazars in Okara and bought all the tools he needed. His hard work and confidence paid dividends, and in a little over 18 months, he managed to establish his shop as a reliable and professional repair point for all types of motorbikes.

“I earn between 20,000 and 25,000 rupees [$190 to $240] per month from my shop,” Mohammad says. “Sometimes I buy a motorcycle that needs major repairs and sell it at a good price after overhauling it. This helps me make additional money, which I invest in purchasing another bike or covering an unexpected family expense.”

In 2012 in selected districts of Punjab province, UNICEF initiated the second phase of the Building Young Futures project. Its goal is to improve income-generating opportunities for socially excluded and vulnerable adolescents by enabling them to access training in life skills, financial literacy and enterprise management. To support the implementation of the project, UNICEF partnered with the Punjab Vocational Training Council (PVTC) and the Department of Youth Affairs, Sports, Archaeology and Tourism.

At the VTI Okara, Mohammad was trained by Zahid Iqbal. For many years, Zahid worked at the Atlas Honda Motorcycle factory in Lahore, but with a passion for teaching, he switched jobs and joined VTI Okara.

“I always wanted to teach and transfer my knowledge about motorbikes to the younger generation,” Zahid says. “It gives me a great deal of satisfaction to help young people progress in life. Some of them become entrepreneurs; some move abroad. But whenever they return, they come to see me and pay a lot of respect. It is a wonderful feeling to see my students do well in life.”

Prosperity and encouragement

Around 850 students are enrolled in the VTI Okara at one time, receiving vocational training in two shifts. Nearly 40 per cent are girls and young women, who often take up embroidery, cutting and stitching, dress-making or beautician courses.

Riaz Haq said...

Via @nprbooks: How #China's One-Child Policy Led To Forced Abortions, 30 Million Bachelors. http://n.pr/1m87hwk

"Right now China has a dependency ratio of about 5 working adults to support one retiree. That's a very healthy ratio. In about 20 years that's going to jump to about 1.6 working adults to support one retiree."
...Not so good.

Last October, China ended its 35-year-old policy of restricting most urban families to one child. Commonly referred to as the "one-child" policy, the restrictions were actually a collection of rules that governed how many children married couples could have.

"The basic idea was to encourage everybody, by coercion if necessary, to keep to ... one child," journalist Mei Fong tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

Fong explores the wide-ranging impact of what she calls the world's "most radical experiment" in her new book, One Child. She says that among the policy's unintended consequences is an acute gender imbalance.

"When you create a system where you would shrink the size of a family and people would have to choose, then people would ... choose sons," Fong says. "Now China has 30 million more men than women, 30 million bachelors who cannot find brides. ... They call them guang guan, 'broken branches,' that's the name in Chinese. They are the biological dead ends of their family."

Fong says the policy also led to forced abortions and the confiscation of children by the authorities. Looking ahead, China is also facing a shortage of workers who can support its aging population.

"Right now China has a dependency ratio of about five working adults to support one retiree. That's pretty good, that's a very healthy ratio. In about 20 years that's going to jump to about 1.6 working adults to support one retiree," Fong says. "The one-child policy drastically reshaped the composition of China's people. So now they have a population that's basically too old and too male and, down the line, maybe too few."

Riaz Haq said...

#Microsoft launches http://Rozgar.Work , #Employability & #Entrepreneurship Platform for #Pakistan. #skillsgap

http://www.winbeta.org/news/microsoft-launches-rozgar-work-employability-entrepreneurship-platform-pakistan

Microsoft has launched the first of its kind Employability and Entrepreneurship Platform, Rozgar.Work, in Pakistan, in collaboration with World Vision-Pakistan (via ProPakistani). The platform offers job-seekers with end-to-end career guidance, up skilling, job-matching and mentorship to address the ever growing issue of unemployment and underemployment. The new platform is powered by Microsoft Windows Azure Cloud, SQL, and SharePoint 2013.

The event was attended by Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal as the chief guest, as well as Microsoft and World Vision executives.

Microsoft Pakistan’s General Manager Nadeem Malik said,

At Microsoft we believe in sharing our success with the communities, wherever we operate. Rozgar.Work is a robust platform which can enable revolutionary enrichments in the society, by empowering the youth, to find effective solutions for the various challenges faced by the society.

Entrepreneurship and skill-development are the solution to many of Pakistan’s economic issues. Microsoft is committed to create fresh opportunities for the youth, to play a key role in nation-building. We appreciate the valuable support from WVI-Pakistan to make this program successful.

Program Development Manager at WVI -Pakistan Rizwan ul Haq said,

We are really excited to be a part of this pioneering initiative with Microsoft. World Vision is an international humanitarian organization that works for poverty alleviation,

Social Development, Disaster-Relief, Education, Healthcare and Justice for the deprived segments. We would like to thank the leading enterprises like TIE, PASHA, that have joined today’s event to show their support for this initiative.

Career counselling is a big task, and if you don’t do your proper research, you may end up in a field which is not fit for you in the long run. With Rozgar.Work, job seekers can get in touch with people who are well informed about the careers and can help new graduates make the right choice. Additionally, the platform also boasts an Online & Mobile Job-Matching & Search-functionality allowing job seekers to search for the best possible job opportunities available.

The platform also has online courses to learn from, as well as online and offline training options for different skills, and to earn a diploma.

Riaz Haq said...

#US #Demographics Milestone: #Millennials (born 1980 to 2000) Outnumber Baby #Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964)

http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2016/04/26/millennials-outnumber-baby-boomers/

Millennials have now officially surpassed the aging baby boomer population in America according to a report published by the US Census Bureau.

Acoording to the report, the 18 to 35-year-olds living in the United States currently top the seniors by 500,000. That gap is expected to widen as baby boomers between the ages of 51 and 69 tend to deal with more health issues as they approach their 70s and 80s.

The Pew Research Center who analyzed the report projects millennials will peak at just over 81 million in 2036, beating the baby boomer’s peak population of 78.8 million in 1999.

Gen Xers, born between 1965 and 1980 are also on track to outnumber baby boomers but not until 2028.

In the future it may not be as easy for younger generations to outnumber older ones because the numbers show that all people in general are living longer. A prime example are the centenarians, those 100 or older. In 2015 there were nearly half a million of them living throughout the world which was four times as many in 1990 according to estimates from the United Nations. They project 3.7 million centenarians will be alive in 2050.

With new medicines and therapies being developed it’s only a matter of time before the world reaches its next billion.

Riaz Haq said...

The 'Avon ladies' of #Pakistan selling contraception door to door. #BirthControl #Pills

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2016/jun/01/the-avon-ladies-of-pakistan-selling-contraception-door-to-door


From 8am to 4pm, 25-year-old Samina Khaskheli travels door-to-door in rural Pakistan handing out free samples of condoms, birth control pills, and intrauterine devices.

“I was told ‘This is sinful’,” Samina says about the initial opposition to her selling birth control. She took the job warily. Her off-the-map village, Allah Bachayo Khaskheli, is home to roughly 1,500 people in the country’s south-eastern Sindh province. The flatlands are covered by livestock, and economic desperation leaves women toiling alongside men as farmhands, livestock breeders and cotton pickers.

Samina is a worker for the Marginalised Area Reproductive Health Viable Initiative – Marvi – once a popular emblem of female independence in Sindhi folklore. Today, Marvi refers to a network of literate or semi-literate village women aged 18 to 40 who travel door-to-door selling contraceptives. “In our village, there was no information about family planning. Many women died during childbirth,” says Samina about what inspired her to join.

Trained by the Karachi-based Health and Nutrition Development Society (Hands), roughly 1,600 Marvis are dispersed throughout Pakistan’s remotest villages, where government healthcare facilities are scant or nonexistent. In the Sanghar district where Samina’s village is located, at least 400 Marvis fill a gap left by a lack of government funded lady health workers (LHWs).


Pakistan’s contraceptive prevalence rate is low – out of a population of more than 190 million, only 35% of women aged 15-49 use contraception. Nevertheless, demand is high in rural areas, where women give birth to an average of 4.2 children, compared to 3.2 children in cities. “In villages, electricity is not there and health facilities are not there, but the need for contraceptives certainly is,” says Dr Talat Abro, the deputy secretary of reproductive health service for Sindh’s population welfare department.

Marvi workers receive a six-day initial training by Hands and have their sessions in the field supervised by LHWs. Marvis emerge from the underserved populations they work with, so understand how family planning is best presented to the women they target.

“I wish I had learned about birth control 15 years ago,” says Azima Khaskheli, a 45-year-old livestock breeder in Allah Bachayo Khaskheli village, her black bangles clinking together as goats bleat nearby.

---------

“We are not trying to limit the number of children – a woman or a family has a right to choose as many number of children as they want, but they must keep in mind the pregnancy period is important for a woman’s health,” says Anjum Fatima, the general manager for health at Hands.

Opposition to birth control in Pakistan often takes on a religious hue, so Marvis are trained to sensitise local religious leaders on the health benefits of family planning. The Marvi programme relies on community mobilisers – ranging from religious leaders to influential landlords – to communicate the benefits of contraceptives. In 2014, approximately 40 Islamic religious leaders approved birth spacing for women in Pakistan. Samina adds that she enjoys the support of the village’s maulvis, or religious authorities, who endorse her door-to-door campaign, and never issue anti-contraceptive messaging over the mosque’s loudspeakers.


“Before the culture was rigid, but now they’ve gradually accepted family planning,” says Samina, the Marvi worker, motioning to the group huddled around her. “I am proud I can teach women about both the Qur’an and birth control.”

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan, #China discuss increased collaboration in #vocational #training & #education #CPEC

http://tribune.com.pk/story/1126642/meeting-pakistan-china-discuss-collaboration-vocational-education/

Pakistan and China have agreed to increase collaboration in the field of vocational education and teacher training programmes.

The agreement came during a meeting between a delegation from China’s Tianjin University of Technology and Education (TUTE) and National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) Executive Director Zulfiqar Ahmad Cheema here on Monday.

Cheema briefed the delegation about the working of NAVTTC and its recent initiatives such as establishment of job placement centres for its graduates.

He said the under-construction China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would open new vistas of prosperity and development and would create employment opportunities in Pakistan.

Cheema said the two countries should enhance their collaboration to reboot the TVET system in Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan dominate World Youth #Scrabble Championship in #France https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/146048-Pakistan-dominate-World-Youth-Scrabble-Championship …

Pakistani players were off to a rollicking start at the 11th World Youth Scrabble Championship which began at Lille, France, on Saturday.

According to information made available here, 10-year-old debutant Imaad Ali was surprisingly the early leader winning his first two matches by huge margins to climb to the No 1 spot.

Imaad lost his No 1 spot to the former world youth champion Jack Durand but another pre-teen Pakistani Hasham Hadi snatched the No 1 spot two matches later.

At the end of day one, 11-year-old Hasham was at second spot with seven wins out of eight with a spread of 644, his only defeat coming at the hands of compatriot Daniyal Sanaullah.

Daniyal was at third spot with seven wins and a spread of 602.

Sorawit Chucharoen of Thailand is the only unbeaten player so far.

Abbas Ali of Pakistan was at ninth position.

Pakistan was the only team with six players in the top 16 at the end of day one.

Nine-year-old Saim Usmani won four of his eight matches to top the under-10 age category.

Pakistan is currently No 1, followed by Sri Lanka and Thailand. Pakistan’s Abdullah Abbasi won six of his eight matches and was 13th. The championship ends on Monday (today).

Riaz Haq said...

Rana Faroohar's review Ruchir Sharma's Rise & Fall of Nations:


The first rule is that “people matter,” meaning more precisely that demographics matter. Economic growth is basically demographics plus productivity, and given that both have been falling for a while now, as the gains of the last tech boom have been tapped out and the new one isn’t showing up in the data yet, we’re more dependent on demographics to drive growth than ever before. Unfortunately, in most parts of the world, the birth rate is falling. Countries that can come up with ways to welcome immigrants without causing too much political backlash will have a leg up, as will those that figure out ways to employ more older workers and women. That will be easier in nations that elect political reformers (as Argentina recently did) rather than populists (by this logic, Latin America may be at a turning point since its already passed through the dark life cycle stage of populism that many parts of Europe and even the US are in now).

Of course, the populists have risen because inequality has grown. Sharma counts billionaires as a mark of that, but he says there are “good billionaires” (the Steve Jobs and Larry Pages of the world) that can actually point to higher productivity and prosperity in a country, versus bad billionaires (from extractive- or land-based industries like minerals, real estate, oil etc). Too many of those point to corruption and slower growth (on the Bad Billionaire metric, Russia is, not surprisingly, flashing red).

Other things to watch: Countries’ own investments (public and private) into their economies (when investment rises growth is much more likely to accelerate). Inflation following debt binges can be a growth killer too, as is a run up in debt itself. Sharma has been one of the prescient seers of the Chinese debt crisis. He pointed out early on that it now takes $4 of debt to create a dollar of growth in China following the 2008 financial crisis, whereas it was a one to one ratio before. He was right, China’s debt crisis has since led to market volatility and much slower growth.

By Sharma’s own admission, “there are precious few nations that would qualify as rising stars by the standards of the before crisis era. In 2007…the number of economies growing faster than 7% reached a postwar peak at more than sixty.” Today, there are only nine economies growing that fast. Slower growth has hit every region of the world, and this new math will require a mindset shift for investors.

But there are some (relatively) bright spots. Sharma is more bullish on the U.S., particularly relative to the rest of the world, than many American voters are, noting that the shale oil revolution and dominance of Silicon Valley are positive signs for the future. South Asia, home to recent economic laggards, may also be set to rise, mostly because of Sharma’s life cycle theory of boom and bust and boom. Germany is a bright spot in Europe, as are a number of Eastern European nations. And yes, as the author wisely reminds us, a lot can change in 100 years.

http://time.com/4362772/ruchir-sharma-rise-of-nations/

Riaz Haq said...

Ruchir Sharma, author of Rise and Fall of Nations, says the most important predictor of future growth is demographics.

Countries with a young and growing labor force have a much better chance of future economic growth and stability than anything else.

Pakistan is doing very well on this measure.

Pakistan's work force is over 60 million strong, according to the Federal Bureau of Statistics. With increasing female participation, the country's labor pool is rising at a rate of 3.5% a year, according to International Labor Organization.

http://www.riazhaq.com/2015/07/pakistans-growing-population-blessing.html

Sharma addresses the question of Pakistan's low savings rate by saying "it's a chicken-or-egg issue: it's not at all clear which comes first, strong growth or high savings"

https://books.google.com/books?id=CBqZCgAAQBAJ&pg=PT148&lpg=PT148&dq=ruchir+sharma+rise+and+fall+of+nations+savings+rate&source=bl&ots=RFo0J0gSOU&sig=Gid5HW-C7yW91rKcAACDtrKsXEw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwicy_GSxLXPAhVS2GMKHQv7AkAQ6AEIQDAF#v=onepage&q=savings%20rate&f=false

Riaz Haq said...

US-funded scholars vow to transform education in Pakistan

http://nation.com.pk/islamabad/20-Oct-2016/us-funded-scholars-vow-to-transform-education-in-pakistan

Twenty-four PhD scholars who received their degrees in the United States with US government’s assistance shared their experiences here at an event yesterday.


Upon graduation, the scholars returned to Pakistan to serve as faculty members at Pakistani universities.
In total, the US government through the US Agency for International Development funded 35 scholars to receive their PhD degrees in education, a US embassy statement said.

Two scholars reflected on their experiences during the event.
In their remarks, the scholars discussed the gap between traditional Pakistani teaching practices and internationally standardized teaching methodologies promoted in their PhD programs.

Both scholars expressed their commitment to using their training to improve the quality of education instruction and curriculum development in Pakistan.
They discussed the value of the “multiplier effect model” where academic leaders unleashed the genius of their students and colleagues.

The event was attended by USAID Pakistan Mission Director John Groarke and representatives from Higher Education Commission.
Groarke encouraged the graduates to think about their futures as educators.

“You have experienced firsthand some of the best teaching and educational resources the world has to offer,” he said.
“I encourage you to use your experiences as a launching pad to create meaningful change that will serve future generations.


The PhD scholarship program is one of several USAID initiatives that strengthen the quality of education and research in Pakistan.
Through the Training for Pakistan project, the USAID has committed $33.
9 million to provide training to Pakistani professionals across sectors, including education.
The program also serves other sectors, including economic growth, agriculture, health, energy, and governance.

Meanwhile yesterday, the USAID and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations hosted a joint event to commemorate the successful completion of a $32 million, USAID-funded Balochistan Agriculture Project that was implemented by the FAO.

The project encompassed agricultural development activities in eight districts of Balochistan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan.

Speaking at the closeout ceremony in Islamabad, the USAID Pakistan Mission Director John Groarke said, “USAID is very proud of the successful partnership we had in Balochistan with the government, with the local people and with FAO.
We are pleased with the tremendous progress the project made in improving livelihoods of the people in the project areas.


Through this project, the USAID established 826 community organizations, improving incomes for 16,000 households.
The project helped communities and individual farmers increase the production, sale, and revenues from crops and livestock.

The farmers learned about new approaches for farming, better breeds of livestock, better seeds, and more efficient water management techniques.
The project helped establish and train community organizations, farmers’ marketing collectives and mutual marketing organizations in grading, packaging, and helped them find better paying markets.

The project also increased the participation of women in income-earning activities, supported improvement in provincial agricultural policies and the legal and regulatory framework for market-led and community-driven investments.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan to start #University of #Technology & Skills Development with #Japan's help in 2017 http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2016/11/24/city/islamabad/pak-japan-collaboration-university-of-technology-and-skills-development-to-start-functioning-by-2017/ … via @epakistantoday

The first National University of Technology and Skills Development to be established at a cost of Rs 700 million would start functioning by next year.

“The draft law for the establishment of the university would soon be tabled after approval,” Construction Technology Training Institute’s (CTTI) Director, Jamil Ahmed told participants of “Japan Official Development Assistance (ODA) press tour, organised by Embassy of Japan in collaboration with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on Thursday.

He said the draft law was pending with ministry of science and technology after approval from the ministry of law.

Jamil Ahmed informed that the syllabus of the university has already been approved by the Higher Education Commission (HEC). He said, five degree courses in five disciplines would be taught to the students.

He said that CTTI is strictly following the quota, and 45 percent seats are reserved for Punjab, 20 percent for Sindh, 15 percent for KP, 10 percent for Baluchistan and 10 percent for AJK, FANA and FATA. However he said that people from Baluchistan and Sindh are not coming according to their quota, while Punjab and KP is utilizing their 100 percent quota.

Giving the briefing regarding CTTI established with financial assistance of JICA, he said, more than 28,000 students from across the country had been imparted training of different short and long-terms courses since 1986.

He informed that 265 students from 28 countries had also completed their training from this institute.

The Director said a large number of the students of this institute were working with domestic and international companies after completing their training.

Jamil Ahmed said, spreading over 53.36 acres, the institute offers diplomas in mechanical, civil, automobile and diesel, quantity surveyor to the students of all provinces.

So far, 1,910 students are being imparted training on the equipment provided by the Japanese government.

He said the institute has 86 different types of machinery including dozers, graders, wheel loaders, excavators, truck crane etc which were donated by Japan.

He said, three hostels accommodate around 600 students on nominal charges while a new hostel for 200 students is under construction, however, there is no female stundent in CTTI.

Rebate in fee is offered to the students of backward areas, he added.

He informed that Japan has assisted in expansion and enhancement of this centre in 1995 and 2006, which is worth US$ 50 million.

“It has also extended technical cooperation under which it has assisted with the modification of curriculum and textbook and with provision of latest equipment in order to match modern technology and requirement of the industrial sector,” he added.

He said CTTI has played a leading role among these kinds of institutes by training people, by producing useful engineers, and also by providing third country training program through inviting students from Asian and African countries.

Later, the participants of the tour were taken to different class rooms to meet with the teachers and students.

Riaz Haq said...

Excerpts of ADB Asia Economic Integration Report (AEIR) 2016 report:


In Asia and the Pacific, many economies could expand
their role as the source or host economy for migrant
workers. Labor supply is still growing in developing
economies—such as Cambodia, Indonesia, the Lao
People’s Democratic Republic, Mongolia, Myanmar, India,
Pakistan, and the Philippines—and they could export
labor across the region. In contrast, developed but aging
economies such as Hong Kong, China; the Republic of
Korea; Japan; and Singapore are unable to meet labor
demand with their dwindling workforce. Hence, these
economies would benefit from immigrant labor. Kang
and Magoncia (2016) further discuss the potential for
migration to reallocate labor from surplus to deficit
economies and offer a glimpse of how the demographic
shift will frame Asia’s future population structure,
particularly the future working age population. Among the
issues explored is the magnitude of labor force surpluses
and deficits within different economies in Asia

------


World populations are aging—with the speed and extent of the
demographic shift varying across developed and developing
economies. Asia and the Pacific is at the heart of this demographic
shift with the world’s largest share of people aged 60 or over—
estimated to reach 62% by 2050. With the high and growing
share of economically inactive retirees and declining fertility
rates, labor supply will suffer, ultimately undermining the region’s
economic output.
How will the demographic shift frame Asia’s future population
structure, particularly working-age population? Using population
accounting methodology, Kang and Magoncia (2016) show how
effective certain policies could address the challenges associated
with the demographic change of population aging. One of the
policies explored is the increase in regional migration to augment
labor force deficits in aging economies in the region.


https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/publication/214136/aeir-2016.pdf