The Indian Economy Blog

Archive for April, 2007

Ancient Cities, Modern Slums

Monday, April 30th, 2007

Isn’t it astonishing that 2,600 years ago, when most of the world was living in tiny little human settlements, the Indus Valley civilization had well-planned cities of Harappa and Mohenjodaro? “Some of these cities appear to have been built based on a well-developed plan. The streets of major cities such as Mohenjo-daro and Harappa were [...]

The Indian Education System — Part 1

Monday, April 30th, 2007

The fractal nature of the generalization that education matters holds across time and space. Irrespective of the granularity of analysis, education aids development through the intermediate step of economic growth. At the finest level of detail, an educated individual anywhere in the world is more productive than an uneducated one. At the broadest level of [...]

Don’t Make It Affordable

Friday, April 27th, 2007

The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), in a recent move, has slashed the fares of the super luxury air-conditioned Volvo buses. The minimum fare, which had been raised to Rs. 12, has now been moved back to Rs. 10. It has been mentioned that the reduction in fares is in order to make high quality [...]

Helping Indian Farmers

Thursday, April 26th, 2007

Aaditya Mattoo, Deepak Mishra and Ashish Narain, in the Times of India, on the problem and solution for Indian agriculture: So, here’s the paradox: the hard-working Indian farmer — one of the world’s low-cost producers — is unable to compete globally. What is hobbling the Indian giant? A recent World Bank study finds that the [...]

TV over Toilets

Thursday, April 26th, 2007

Televisions don’t need sewers Preeti Aroon, over at FP Passport, asks why the slum-dwellers of Dharavi prefer TVs to toilets. I’ve visited Mumbai many times myself, and I’ve always wondered about the TV antennas poking through thatched-roofed shacks. How can “these people” buy TVs when their kids are malnourished and wading through sewage-infested water? I [...]

Global Competitiveness

Monday, April 23rd, 2007

Came across this interesting report on a study done by a Harvard institute run by Michael Porter (Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness) which ranks the business competitiveness of nations. The US comes out on top, but of interest is that India is 37 places ahead of China. India comes in at 27, while China has been [...]

News Digest (Apr 15-20)

Monday, April 23rd, 2007

Some interesting news of the past week. Exports reach $125 billion, doubling from $63.84 three years ago. Citigroup is investing $400 million in the Indian property estate sector. An UN report forecasts the economy to grow at 9% in 2007. The gross telecom sector base has touched 189.2 million. India could become the world’s second largest [...]

Would A Cap-And-Trade Mechanism Work In India?

Monday, April 23rd, 2007

In the posts on a case for a carbon tax we saw a deliberate exclusion of existing power plants from the ambit of a “cleanup”. This made sense for a few reasons. Primarily since the plants are already up and running, it would be economically and politically more difficult to get them to cleanup. Since [...]

Indian IT Industry

Saturday, April 21st, 2007

There has been a lot of discussion on how the IT industry should do more for India. There are some out of touch views and some sane views. It is nothing short of a miracle that we are talking about an industry today, which was almost not an industry. The IT industry would not have [...]

Surely, FT Can Find Better Columnists On India

Friday, April 20th, 2007

Anyone who writes about there being “two Indias” is necessarily wrong. Anyone who describes India’s jettisoning of the licence raj in 1991 using words like “neo-liberal” is necessarily confused. And anyone who writes about Indian agriculture quoting P Sainath and no one else is necessarily unbalanced. Rajinder Sahota, writing in the Financial Times (they actually [...]

The Culture of Risk

Thursday, April 19th, 2007

Everyone knows the economic statistics and platitudes about India’s recent rise: “From Hindu rate of growth to 9%”; “Chindia rising”; “From emerging to surging”; etc. All of us abroad who are witnessing this miracle, and some of those in India who are living it have tried to figure out what are the underlying causes of [...]

Notes On The Road

Friday, April 13th, 2007

So here I am, back in India after a couple of years, doing research for a project in the relatively rich rural district of West Godavari in Andhra Pradesh. Some biased observations based on the few data points here. Train prices are increasingly affordable and hence demand outstrips supply. For the first time, I was [...]

Are There Any Good Textbooks On The Indian Economy?

Monday, April 9th, 2007

Greg Mankiw has a lively discussion on his blog about the best non-textbook book on economics. Some great recommendations, there. This got me thinking about my college education in India, in the 1980s. The economics textbooks we used then (Dutt & Sundaram, KK Dewett and such like) were so terrible that just thinking of them [...]

BW Profile of the Mittals

Monday, April 9th, 2007

One more filter post for you. Over at Businessweek, Stanley Reed has an interesting cover story/profile of L.N.Mittal and Aditya Mittal. Anyone who keeps up with Indian business knows everything there is to know about Mittal Sr, but this story has some interesting insights about Aditya Mittal, especially his skills as an aggressive deal-maker.

In the Lounge with Bill Emmott

Sunday, April 8th, 2007

Niranjan Rajadhyaksha of Mint (and a good friend of IEB) meets Bill Emmott, the former editor of the Economist for a drink. An interesting conversation evolves on the rise of Asia, journalism, and the reasons for the success of the Economist. For those of you who haven’t picked up Mint yet, I would strongly recommend [...]

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