Showing posts with label REPORTS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label REPORTS. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

SAARC comes out with poverty profile

A poverty profile for eight South Asian nations, including India, was released here today to share of the best practices and experiences towards poverty alleviation in the region.
Inaugurating the two-day SAARC Symposium on the Best Practices in Poverty Alleviation here, Nepal's interim Prime Minister Khil Raj Regmi said "with consistent focus on poverty alleviation the member states have been able to lift a quarter of the population from abject poverty over the past two decades."
On the occasion, Regmi also launched the SAARC Regional Poverty Profile (RPP), 2009-10. The profile is aimed at sharing of the best practices and experiences towards poverty alleviation in the region. The RPP focuses on the food security challenges for the poor and social inclusion in South Asia.
Delivering the welcome remarks Ahmed Saleem, Secretary General of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) recapitulated the initiatives taken by SAARC in reducing poverty in the region.
He made particular references to the directives of the successive SAARC Summits in the area of poverty alleviation.
"The primary purpose of the Symposium was to facilitate the sharing of the best practices in poverty alleviation and to develop strategies to upscale these practices individually or collectively to eradicate poverty from our region," he said highlighting the objectives of the Symposium.
Saumitra Chaudhari, member Planning Commission of India, said that the rural economy has grown in India and the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act is playing a key role as it has ensured generation of employment and increase of wages in the rural sector.
Rural connectivity and access to market play a vital role along with logistic support and other practices such as horticulture and animal husbandry which would help small farmers, Chaudhary pointed out.
In January 2004, the 12th SAARC Summit declared poverty alleviation as the "overarching goal" of SAARC. Since then, the Association has undertaken several measures to free South Asia from poverty. SAARC is currently observing the decade, 2006-2015, as the SAARC Decade of Poverty Alleviation.
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) includes Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.

Monday, October 14, 2013

World Happiness Report 2013

According to the 2013 World Happiness Report by Columbia University’s Earth Institute, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden are the world’s happiest countries. Rwanda, Burundi, the Central African Republic, Benin and Togo—all nations in Sub-Saharan Africa—are the least satisfied with their lives. The United States came in at number 17 and lags behind Canada (6), Australia (10), Israel (11) the United Arab Emirates (14) and Mexico (16).  India has been ranked 94, Bangladesh 104, Pakistan 85 and China is 112 among 156 countries. The 2013 World Happiness Report comes on the back of a growing global movement calling for governments and policy makers to reduce their emphasis on achieving economic growth and focus on policies that can improve people's overall well-being. An idea first proposed in 1972 by Bhutan’s former King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the concept of “happiness economics” has now gained traction in many countries across the world. The UN first encouraged member countries to measure and use the happiness of their people to guide public policies in July 2011.

Raghuram Rajan panel report

The Raghuram Rajan panel report has made a case for ending the ‘special category’ criteria for providing additional assistance to poorer States, as it ranked Goa and Kerala as the economically most advanced States and Odisha and Bihar the least.

The committee, headed by the then chief economic advisor Raghuram Rajan (now RBI Governor) was set up by the government amid demand for “special category” status by Bihar. It has  suggested a new methodology for devolving funds on States based on a ‘multi dimensional index (MDI)’.

The committee has suggested that the 28 States be split into three categories—least developed, less developed and relatively developed—depending upon their MDI scores. As regards the allocation of funds, the report has suggested that each State should get a basic fixed allocation and an additional allocation depending on its development needs and development performance.

According to the committee, these two recommendations, along with the allocation methodology, will effectively subsume what is now “special category” status.

Based on the MDI scores, the 10 least developed Atates are Odisha, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

The seven most developed States are Goa, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Maharashtra, Uttrakhand and Haryana.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Human Development Report-2013

The Human Development Index (HDI) was introduced in the first Human Development Report in 1990 as a composite measurement of development that challenged purely economic assessments of national progress.

This year the HDI report 2013, entitled The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World, emphasizes on the unprecedented growth of developing countries, which is propelling millions out of poverty and reshaping the global system. It covers 187 countries and territories. Data constraints precluded HDI estimates for eight countries: Marshall Islands, Monaco, Nauru, the People's Democratic Republic of Korea, San Marino, Somalia, South Sudan and Tuvalu.

Norway, Australia and the United States lead the rankings of 187 countries and territories in the latest Human Development Index (HDI), while conflict-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo and drought-stricken Niger have the lowest scores in the HDI's measurement of national achievement in health, education and income. Yet according to the report Niger and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, despite their continuing development challenges, are among the countries that made the greatest strides in HDI improvement since 2000.

The new HDI figures show consistent human development improvement in most countries. Fourteen countries recorded impressive HDI gains of more than 2 percent annually since 2000—in order of improvement, they are: Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Angola, Timor-Leste, Myanmar, Tanzania, Liberia, Burundi, Mali, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Niger. Most are low-HDI African countries, with many emerging from long periods of armed conflict. Yet all have made significant recent progress in school attendance, life expectancy and per capita income growth, the data shows.

Most countries in higher HDI brackets also recorded steady HDI gains since 2000, though at lower levels of absolute HDI improvement than the highest achievers in the low-HDI grouping.

Hong Kong, Latvia, Republic of Korea, Singapore and Lithuania showed the greatest 12-year HDI improvement in the Very High Human Development quartile of countries in the HDI; Algeria, Kazakhstan, Iran, Venezuela and Cuba were the top five HDI improvers in the High Human Development countries; and Timor-Leste, Cambodia, Ghana, Lao People's Democratic Republic and Mongolia were the HDI growth leaders in the Medium Human Development grouping.

The overall trend globally is toward continual human development improvement. Indeed, no country for which complete data was available has a lower HDI value now than it had in 2000.

When the HDI is adjusted for internal inequalities in health, education and income, some of the wealthiest nations fall sharply in the rankings: the United States falls from #3 to #16 in the inequality-adjusted HDI, and South Korea descends from #12 to #28. Sweden, by contrast, rises from #7 to #4 when domestic HDI inequalities are taken into account.

The new HDI rankings introduce the concept of the statistical tie for the first time since the HDI was introduced in the first Human Development Report in 1990, for countries with HDI values that are identical to at least three decimal points. Ireland and Sweden, each with an HDI value of 0.916, are both ranked seventh in the new HDI, for example, though the two countries' HDI values diverge when calculated to four or more decimal points.

The 2013 Report's Statistical Annex also includes two experimental indices, the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) and the Gender Inequality Index (GII). 
The GII is designed to measure gender inequalities as revealed by national data on reproductive health, women's empowerment and labour market participation. The Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark top the GII, with the least gender inequality. The regions with the greatest gender inequality as measured by the GII are sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and the Arab States.

The Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) examines factors at the household level that together provide a fuller portrait of poverty than income measurements alone. The MPI is not intended to be used for national rankings, due to significant differences among countries in available household survey data.

In the 104 countries covered by the MPI, about 1.56 billion people are estimated to live in multidimensional poverty. The countries with the highest percentages of ‘MPI poor' are all in Africa: Ethiopia (87%), Liberia (84%), Mozambique (79%) and Sierra Leone (77%). Yet the largest absolute numbers of multidimensionally poor people live in South Asia, including 612 million in India alone.

The Statistical Annex also presents data specifically pertinent to the 2013 Report, including expanding trade ties between developing countries, immigration trends, growing global Internet connectivity and public satisfaction with government services, as well as individual quality of life in different countries.

The Report also reviews key regional development trends, as shown by the HDI and other data: 
• Arab States: The region's average HDI value of 0.652 is fourth out of the six developing country regions analysed in the Report, with Yemen achieving the fastest HDI growth since 2000 (1.66%). The region has the lowest employment-to–population ratio (52.6%), well below the world average of 65.8%.
• East Asia and the Pacific: The region has an average HDI value of 0.683 and registered annual HDI value growth between 2000 and 2012 of 1.31%, with Timor-Leste leading with 2.71%, followed by Myanmar at 2.23%. The East Asia-Pacific region has the highest employment-to–population ratio (74.5%) in the developing world.
• Eastern Europe and Central Asia: The average HDI value of 0.771 is the highest of the six developing-country regions. Multi-dimensional poverty is minimal, but it has the second lowest employment-to-population ratio (58.4%) of the six regions.
• Latin America and the Caribbean: The average HDI value of 0.741 is the second highest of the six regions, surpassed only by Eastern Europe and Central Asia average. Multi-dimensional poverty is relatively low, and overall life satisfaction, as measured by the Gallup World Poll, is 6.5 on a scale from 0 to 10, the highest of any region.
• South Asia: The average HDI value for the region of 0.558 is the second lowest in the world. Between 2000 and 2012, the region registered annual growth of 1.43% in HDI value, which is the highest of the regions. Afghanistan achieved the fastest growth (3.9%), followed by Pakistan (1.7%) and India (1.5%).
• Sub-Saharan Africa: The average HDI value of 0.475 is the lowest of any region, but the pace of improvement is rising. Between 2000 and 2012, the region registered average annual growth of 1.34 percent in HDI value, placing it second only to South Asia, with Sierra Leone (3.4%) and Ethiopia (3.1%) achieving the fastest HDI growth.

Friday, January 25, 2013

42% workers are now ‘middle-class’: ILO report

The middle class is rising in a big way, especially in developing countries. About 42 per cent of workers, or nearly 1.1 billion, are now ‘middle-class’, living with families on over Rs 225 ($4-13) per person per day, says a new ILO report.
By 2017, the developing world could see the addition of 390 million more workers in the middle class, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) report says.
“Over time, this emerging middle-class could give a much needed push to more balanced global growth by boosting consumption, particularly in poorer parts of the developing world,” said Steven Kapsos, one of the authors of the Global Employment Trends 2013.
Employment growth
However, the report raises a red flag for employment growth in 2013-14, even if there is a moderate pick-up in output growth.
It estimates that the number of unemployed worldwide may rise by 5.1 million to more than 202 million in 2013 and by another 3 million in 2014, half-a-million of which will be youth.
“The indecision of policy-makers in several countries has led to uncertainty about future conditions and reinforced corporate tendencies to increase cash holdings or pay dividends rather than expand capacity and hire new workers,” says the report.
GDP growth
The ILO report noted that in India, growth in investment contributed 1.5 percentage points to the overall GDP growth over the past year, down from 1.8 percentage points in 2011, while the contribution from consumption declined to 2.8 per cent versus 3.2 per cent the previous year.
Job creation, labour productivity
For countries such as India, the report called for focus on both employment creation and labour productivity.
It noted that in India, even where jobs were created, a large number of workers remained in agriculture (51.1 per cent), in the urban informal sector or in unprotected jobs (contract) in the formal sector.
The share of workers in manufacturing was just 11 per cent in 2009-10, no higher than a decade earlier.
Like many regions, growth has failed to deliver a significant number of better jobs in the formal economy.
Formal employment
Most notably in India, the share of formal employment has declined from around 9 per cent in 1999-2000 to 7 per cent in 2009-10, in spite of record growth rates, it said quoting a study.
Using a comparable definition for the latest year available, the report said the share of workers in informal employment in the non-agricultural sector stood at 83.6 per cent in India (2009-10), 78.4 per cent in Pakistan (2009-10) and 62.1 per cent in Sri Lanka (2009).
Significantly, the report noted that unemployment rates increased rapidly for high-skilled workers, especially women.
“Indians with a diploma suffer particularly, with unemployment rates reaching 34.5 per cent for women and 18.9 per cent for men during 2009-2010,” it added.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Houses, Household Amenities and Assets of Andhra Pradesh Figures at a Glance


Friday, September 28, 2012

All India Survey on Higher Education Provisional Report

Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Kapil Sibal, released the first Provisional Report of the ambitious All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) at New Delhi on September 28. The report contains countrywide estimates of Gross Enrolment Ratio on the basis of data collected till July 31, 2012, from the Higher Education (HE) Institutions of the country including Universities, Colleges, and Stand-Alone Institutions.

The key idea behind this Survey and the resulting document is to prepare a sound database on the large and diverse system of Higher Education in the country. The Survey compiles and manages statistics directly online from respondent institutions. The Ministry has constituted a Task Force to carry out the Survey. This Task Force has representations from stake-holders including the Ministry, the UGC, the AICTE, various Regulatory Bodies, as well as Departments of Higher Education of the States. Shri Sunil Kumar, Chief Secretary of Chhattisgarh, the then Additional Secretary in the Department of Higher Education is its Chairman. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Vidyanathan Committee

Based on the recommendations of the Vaidyanathan Task Force-II, the Government had approved the Revival Package for Long Term Cooperative Credit Structure (LTCCS) in February, 2009. A Task Force was constituted to examine the impact of the Agricultural Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme (ADWDRS), 2008 and the implementation of the revival package for the Short Term Cooperative Credit Structure (STCCS) in the 25 implementing States on the Revival Package for the LTCCS. The Task Force has submitted its report. The proposal is being finalized in consultation with concerned Ministries.

Khandelwal Committee Report

Government constituted a Committee on Human Resources issues of Public Sector Banks (PSBs) under the Chairmanship of Dr. A.K. Khandelwal, who has submitted its report. The Committee made 105 recommendations on matters related to Manpower and Recruitment Planning, Training, Career Planning, Performance Management, Reward Management, Succession Planning and Leadership Development, Motivation, Professionalisation of HR, Wages, Service Conditions and Welfare, etc. As 49 recommendations required further deliberations, the remaining 56 recommendations were forwarded to PSBs with the request that an HR Plan for each Bank be prepared and got approved by the respective Board of Directors. The representatives of Workmen Union/ Officer Association are on the Board of Directors of the Bank where a decision on various recommendations is taken.

Friday, April 13, 2012

India, one of the top clean-energy economies

India continued its ascent as a top destination for private clean energy investment, according to a research report released by The Pew Charitable Trusts, a non-profit organisation.
The country’s ‘National Solar Mission,’ with a goal to have 20 GW of solar power installed by 2020, helped drive the seven-fold jump in solar energy investments to $4.2 billion, the report said. India received $4.6 billion and an additional 2.8 GW of capacity was installed over the course of the year. India now has 22.4 gigawatts of installed clean energy generating capacity.
According to the report, India’s clean energy sector continued to flourish in 2011, with private investment increasing 54 per cent to $10.2 billion, placing the country at sixth position among the G-20 nations. This was the second highest growth rate among the G-20 nations.  
“Clean energy investment, excluding research and development, has grown by 600 per cent since 2004 on the basis of effective national policies that create market certainty,” said Ms Phyllis Cuttino, Director of Pew’s Clean Energy Program.
“On a number of measures, India has been one of the top performing clean energy economies in the 21{+s}{+t} century, registering the fifth highest five-year rate of investment growth and eighth highest in installed renewable energy capacity,” the report said. 
Globally, investment grew to a record $263 billion in 2011, a 6.5 per cent increase over the previous year. The US reclaimed the top spot among all G-20 nations and attracted $48 billion.
However, with $45.5 billion in private investments, China continued to be a hub of clean energy activity — leading the world in wind energy investment and deployment as well as wind and solar manufacturing.
Germany received $30.6 billion, ranking third among G-20 nations. The combination of falling prices and growing investments accelerated installation of clean energy generating capacity by a record 83.5 GW in 2011 bringing the total to 565 GW globally. This represents almost 50 per cent more than installed nuclear power capacity.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance is Pew’s research partner.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

State of Education Report

According to the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), 2011, the grim tale of India’s school education has got grimmer, with new evidence surfacing to show that families across rural India have been ignoring the guaranteed Right to Education to seek private paid education.

Though a whopping 96.8 per cent children aged 6 to 14 years (the age group the RTE Act covers) are now enrolled in school, children’s attendance is declining and so is their ability to read simple text and do simple mathematical calculations.

Almost half (48.1 per cent) of India’s rural primary school students are either attending private schools or seeking paid tuition. Across the nation, private school enrolment for children aged 6 to 14 years rose from 18.7 per cent in 2006 to 25.6 per cent in 2011.

The survey, which covered 6.5 lakh children in 16,000 villages of 558 districts, found that one in every four rural children was attending private schools. In Kerala and Manipur, over 60 per cent children go to private schools. The percentage of students going to private schools is 71.1 for Manipur; 39.6 for Punjab, 43.4 for Haryana, 37.7 for Jammu and Kashmir and 29.6 for Himachal.

In UP, 45 per cent students were found to be going to private schools in 2011, as against 22 per cent in 2005. In Tamil Nadu, 35 per cent are attending private schools as against 16 per cent in 2005. And the percentage of students seeking paid tuitions is rising. The figure was 22.5 in 2010 and is 23.3 per cent today.

The ASER report further found levels of reading abilities to have declined in several States. Except in Punjab, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, reading abilities declined pan India, where the percentage of fifth graders able to read Class II text dropped across the nation from 53.7 per cent in 2010 to 48.2 per cent in 2011. Except in Himachal, Standard III children showed decline in ability to read Class I text across India.

In arithmetic, the situation is worse. As for the nation, the percentage of Class III graders who can do two-digit subtractions with borrowing dropped from 36.3 per cent in 2010 to 29.9 per cent in 2011. The decline was seen everywhere except in Andhra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, where the situation improved. The percentage of Class V children who can solve subtraction problems declined from 70.9 in 2010 to 61 this year.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

India ranks 134 in human development index

India ranks a low 134 among 187 countries in terms of the human development index (HDI), which assesses long-term progress in health, education and income indicators, said a UN report released on Wednesday. Although placed in the "medium" category, India's standing is way behind scores of  economically less developed countries, including war-torn Iraq as well as the Philippines.
India's ranking in 2010 was 119 out of 169 countries.
Sri Lanka has been ranked 97, China 101 and the Maldives 109. Bhutan, otherwise respected for its qulity of life, has been placed at 141, behind India.
Pakistan and Bangladesh are ranked 145 and 146 in the list of countries that is headed by Norway and in which the Democratic Republic of Congo is at the very bottom.
The other two countries in South Asia, Nepal and Afghanistan, occupy ranks 157 and 172.
According to the "UN Human Development Report 2011: Sustainability and Inequality", India's HDI is 0.5 compared to 0.3 in 2010.
"The HDI for 2011 would be the same if the 2010 methodology was adopted and the sample size was the same. As many as 18 new countries were included in the survey this time."
India's gender inequality index was 0.6, the highest in South Asia.
The UN report said that India had the world's largest number of multidimensionally poor, more than half of the population, at 612 million.
However, the report appreciated India's progress in improving forest cover and protecting biodiversity.
"India is one of the seven developing countries like Bhutan, China, Costa Rica, Chile, El Salvador and Vietnam which have recently transitioned from deforesting to reforesting," said the report.
India increased its reforestation rate from 0.2% a year between 1990 and 2000 to 0.5% percent a year between 2000 and 2010.

Things are not improving in India at all. In fact, things are going from bad to worse. India’s rank in the Human Development Index (HDI) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has fallen from 119 in 2010 to 134 this year.
India’s HDI value for 2011 is 0.547—in the medium human development category—positioning the country at 134 out of 187 countries and territories. Between 1980 and 2011, India’s HDI value increased from 0.344 to 0.547, an increase of 59.0 per cent or average annual increase of about 1.5 per cent.
The rank of India’s HDI for 2010 based on data available in 2011 and methods used in 2011 is 134 out of 187 countries. In the 2010 HDR, India was ranked 119 out of 169 countries. However, the report cautioned, it could be misleading to compare values and rankings with those of previously published reports, because the underlying data and methods have changed, as well as the number of countries included in the HDI.
Norway, Australia and the Netherlands lead the world in the 2011 Human Development Index (HDI), while the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Niger and Burundi are at the bottom of the Human Development Report’s annual rankings of national achievement in health, education and income, released today by UNDP.
The United States, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Germany and Sweden round out the top 10 countries in the 2011 HDI, but when the Index is adjusted for internal inequalities in health, education and income, some of the wealthiest nations drop out of the HDI’s top 20: the United States falls from #4 to #23, the Republic of Korea from #15 to #32, and Israel from #17 to #25.
The 2011 Report—Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All—notes that income distribution has worsened in most of the world, with Latin America remaining the most unequal region in income terms, even though several countries including Brazil and Chile are narrowing internal income gaps. Yet in overall IHDI terms, including life expectancy
The HDI is a summary measure for assessing long-term progress in three basic dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living. As in the 2010 HDR a long and healthy life is measured by life expectancy, access to knowledge is measured by: i) mean years of adult education, which is the average number of years of education received in a life-time by people aged 25 years and older; and ii) expected years of schooling for children of school-entrance age, which is the total number of years of schooling a child of school-entrance age can expect to receive if prevailing patterns of age-specific enrolment rates stay the same throughout the child’s life. Standard of living is measured by Gross National Income (GNI) per capita expressed in constant 2005 PPP$.
Between 1980 and 2011, India’s life expectancy at birth increased by 10.1 years, mean years of schooling increased by 2.5 years and expected years of schooling increased by 3.9 years. India’s GNI per capita increased by about 287.0 per cent between 1980 and 2011.
India’s 2011 HDI of 0.547 is below the average of 0.630 for countries in the medium human development group and below the average of 0.548 for countries in South Asia. From South Asia, countries which are close to India in 2011 HDI rank and population size are Bangladesh and Pakistan which have HDIs ranked 146 and 145 respectively.
India’s HDI for 2011 is 0.547. However, when the value is discounted for inequality, the HDI falls to 0.392, a loss of 28.3 per cent due to inequality in the distribution of the dimension indices. Bangladesh and Pakistan show losses due to inequality of 27.4 per cent and 31.4 per cent respectively. The average loss due to inequality for medium HDI countries is 23.7 per cent and for South Asia it is 28.4 per cent.
India has a Gender Inequality Index (GII) value of 0.617, ranking it 129 out of 146 countries in the 2011 index. In India, 10.7 per cent of parliamentary seats are held by women, and 26.6 per cent of adult women have reached a secondary or higher level of education compared to 50.4 per cent of their male counterparts. For every 100,000 live births, 230 women die from pregnancy related causes; and the adolescent fertility rate is 86.3 births per 1000 live births. Female participation in the labour market is 32.8 per cent compared to 81.1 for men. In comparison, Bangladesh and Pakistan are ranked at 112 and 115 respectively on this index.
The most recent survey data that were publically available for India’s Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) estimation are from 2005. In India, 53.7 per cent of the population suffer multiple deprivations while an additional 16.4 per cent are vulnerable to multiple deprivations. The breadth of deprivation (intensity) in India, which is the average percentage of deprivation experienced by people in multidimensional poverty, is 52.7 per cent. The MPI, which is the share of the population that is multi-dimensionally poor, adjusted by the intensity of the deprivations, is 0.283. Bangladesh and Pakistan have MPIs of 0.292 and 0.264 respectively.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


The Human Development Index (HDI) in the country rose by 21 per cent, says a report while cautioning that health, nutrition and sanitation remained key challenges for India.
India Human Development Report, 2011, prepared by the government's Institute of Applied Manpower Research, placed Kerala on top of the index for achieving highest literacy rate, quality health services and consumption expenditure of people. Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and Goa were placed at second, third and fourth positions respectively. 
The report was released on October 21 by Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia in the presence of Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh. It said, as on today, two-thirds of the households in the country reside in pucca (cemented) houses and three-fourth of families have access to electricity for domestic use. According to the report, India's HDI has registered an impressive gains in the last decade as the index increased by 21 per cent to 0.467 in 2007-08, from 0.387 in 1999-2000.

However, it noted that Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Assam are those states which continue to lag behind in HDI and remain below the national average of 0.467. At the same time, the quantum of improvement in HDI in some of the poor states was higher than the national average, the report said, citing the cases of Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Assam. The overall improvement in the index was largely attributed to the 28.5 per cent increase in education index across the country.

It ranges from 0.92 for Kerala to 0.41 in the case of Bihar. The improvement in the education index was the "greatest" in states like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh to name a few, the report said. The analysis also indicates that improvement in the health index, as compared to education, has been lower. It ranges from 0.82 in Kerala to 0.41 in Assam. It observed that despite the Right to Education Act, school education faces challenges of quality and employability. The report also said that despite improvements, health, nutrition and sanitation challenges are most serious.

Stating that open defecation was posing a serious threat to health and nutritional status, the report said even though half of the population had access to sanitation in 2008-09, there was still wide inter-state variation. It said 75% households in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and Uttarakhand do not have toilet facilities. The report revealed even in Nirmal Gram Puraskar winning villages, toilets are often being used for storing, bathing and washing purposes. On the issue of right to food and nutrition, the Human Index Report revealed that calorie consumption has been declining and the intake of calories by poor are way below the recommended norm.

The report said Gujarat fares the worst in terms of overall hunger and nutrition among the industrial high per capita income states. The report also noted that "India is the worst performer in terms of low birth weight, underweight and wasting among children in BRIC and SAARC countries”. Reacting to the findings, Ramesh said increased focus should be laid on health and nutrition during the 12th Plan period even as he lauded the growth in the education sector. "On nutrition, I am puzzled as to why high rate of malnutrition continue to persist even in pockets of high economic growth," he said referring to findings of Gujarat. The minister said total expenditure on sanitation has been only one-tenth of the resources allocated for the water sector.

Ramesh attributed the positive growth in education to Central "interventions" like Sarva Sikshya Abhiyan and RTE. The report said between 2002-03 and 2008-09, there has been an improvement in condition of people's housing with 66% population residing in pucca housing. In rural areas, share of household in pucca houses has increased from 36% to 55%. It said a greater proportion of Muslims than the SCs and STs live in pucca houses due to their urban concentration. The report revealed that three-fourths of all households had access to electricity, with 75% households having access to electricity for domestic use. Insofar as tele-density was concerned, the report said it increased at an "impressive pace" over time from 22% in 2008 to 66% till December 2010, largely led by growth in urban tele-density.

It said good governance and social mobilisation by state governments was reflected by the fact that SCs and OBCs in Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala were better off than even the upper castes in Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh in terms of various health outcome indicators. The report also highlighted the fact that 60% of the poor were concentrated in states like Bihar, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. It said though incidence of poverty declined over the years across states, the above said states performed much worse than others in terms of poverty reduction. Further, asset ownership both in urban and rural areas continued to be highly unequal and concentrated among top five per cent of households. 

The report, by the Institute of Applied Manpower Research, an autonomous body under the Planning Commission, suggests a lowering of poverty rates, provided poverty is seen through national accounts or gross domestic product, rather than the consumption data, which is normally used to calculate poverty.

The report, released by Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Friday, said India recorded 21 per cent growth in the human development indicators (HDI) of health, education and income. HDI is a composite index, comprising three indicators—consumption expenditure (a proxy for income), education and health. The report estimates HDI at the beginning of the decade and 2007-08, and the top five ranks during both the years are accounted for by Kerala, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Goa and Punjab. States that fared better on health and education were also the states with higher HDI, and thus, higher per capita income.

At the other end of the spectrum were northern and eastern states—Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Assam, which have an HDI below the national average. HDI ranged from 0.79 in Kerala to 0.39 in Chhattisgarh.
The report compares HDI growth to the global human development report rankings. It says over the eight-year period, HDI rose 21 per cent, compared with a rise of 18 per cent in India's HDI over 2000-2010, as reported by global HDR-2010. In comparison, China recorded a rise of only 17 per cent, the report said.

According to the report, the leap in development was mainly on account of the 28 per cent jump in education index alone, compared to a decade ago, when the first such report was released. It ranged from 0.92 in Kerala to 0.41 in Bihar. The rise has been the highest in educationally-backward states.
The improvement in the health index stands at a mere 13 per cent between 2000 and 2008. The states with the most serious health concerns—Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa and Assam—showed the most improvement.

The report also cites a fall in the overall fertility rate as the greatest achievement in health, while open defecation continued to be the biggest threat. Malnutrition, hunger and anaemia rates, besides infant mortality, remain grim, as reported in the National Family Health Survey.
The report also indicated economic prosperity was no guarantee of better social indicators. Gujarat, with a high per capita income, ranks below some poor states in terms of hunger, the report said. Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh also fare poorly in terms of hunger, Punjab fared the best. Gujarat had a hunger index of 24.70 per cent, just above Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh.

"This clearly suggests economic prosperity alone cannot reduce hunger. Hence, there is a need for specific target-oriented policies to improve the hunger and malnutrition situation," the report said.
In Gujarat, the percentage of severely underweight children was also higher than the national average. Only six other states, including Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand, which have low per capita income than Gujarat, saw the percentage of severely underweight children more than that of Gujarat, the report showed.

Friday, October 21, 2011

World Bank Report ranked India 132 on Business-friendly Reforms

A new report from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank titled- Doing Business 2012: Doing Business in a More Transparent World was released on 20 October 2011.

Doing Business 2012: Doing Business in a More Transparent World assessed regulations affecting domestic firms in 183 economies and ranked the economies in 10 areas of business regulation, such as starting a business, resolving insolvency, and trading across borders.  Singapore topped the rankings on ease of doing business for the sixth straight year. Hong Kong SAR, China, held onto the second spot.

In the report, the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation mentioned that between June 2010 and May 2011, there were 245 business regulatory reforms worldwide, which was 13 per cent more reforms than in the previous year.

China, India, and the Russian Federation were among the 30 economies that improved the most over time. Singapore led on the overall ease of doing business, followed by Hong Kong, New Zealand, the U.S. and Denmark. The Republic of Korea was the new entrant to the top ten list that ranked countries according to their business environment.

India ranked low overall in the Doing Business assessment, with its rank improving marginally from 139 to 132 between the 2011 and 2012 reports. When India dismantled a strict licensing regime controlling business entry and production the benefits were greater in states that had more flexible labour regulations. The report noted that the progressive elimination of the licence raj led to a 6 per cent increase in new firm registrations in India, and resulted in highly productive firms entering the market larger increases in real output than less productive firms.

The report claimed that at a time when persistent unemployment and the need for job creation are in the headlines, governments around the world continue sought ways to improve the regulatory climate for domestic business. Small and medium businesses that benefit most from these improvements are the key engines for job creation in many parts of the world.

The report noted that Indonesia's ranking on regulatory environments for local entrepreneurs dropped three levels from 123 to 126. In spite of the fall, Indonesia is still ranked better than India (132) and the Philippines (136th).

Singapore and Hong Kong SAR, China, provide the friendliest regulatory environments for local entrepreneurs. Indonesia is left far behind other Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand (17), Malaysia (18) and Brunei Darussalam (86). Indonesia is even behind Vietnam (98) and Papua New Guinea (101).

Monday, October 10, 2011

World Payments Report 2011

Growth in global payments volumes during 2009 and 2010 is proving the continued resiliency of payments to the effects of the global financial crisis. This growth was sustained by strong performance of the emerging and more mature markets in the Asia-Pacific region according to findings from the World Payments Report 2011, released today by Capgemini, The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Efma.
Overall non-cash payments volumes grew by five percent in 2009 to 260 billion, continuing the growth trend from 2008 of nine percent, albeit at a slower pace. The growth rate was lowest but still positive in North America and Europe (less than two and five percent respectively), compared to over ten percent in emerging markets and the Asia-Pacific region.

The World Payments Report 2011 examines the latest developments in the global payments landscape, including trends in payments volumes and instrument usage (such as cards and cheques), key payments-related regulatory initiatives and the strategic considerations and options for banks as a result.

Globally, cards remain the preferred non-cash payment instrument,with global transaction volumes up almost 10 percent and a market share of more than 40 percent in most markets. However mobile payments are growing even faster than predicted in our last report reflecting strong user adoption.

Mobile payments will represent 15% of all cards transactions by 2013, and will overcome cards volumes within 10 years if growth continues at the same rate. The report found the use of e-payments and m-payments is expanding, accounting for an estimated 22.5 billion transactions worldwide in 2010. E-payments are expected to grow globally from 17.9 to 30.3 billion transactions between 2010 and 2013 according to the report, and m-payments from 4.6 to 15.3 billion transactions over the same period. At present, the proportion of these transactions handled outside bank payments systems remains relatively small, but is growing rapidly. The use of cheques continues to lessen, accounting for just 16 percent of all non-cash global transactions in 2009, down from 22 percent in 2005, and remains in demand in key markets.

"Payments volumes showed resilience during the global financial crisis with volumes growing in all regions, said Scott Barton, CEO, Global Transaction Services, RBS. "Banks face challenges from the rapidly changing payments landscape including the need to respond to new regulatory initiatives and we can expect to see changes to business strategies and models as a result. However, these changes will also present new opportunities."

Key regulatory and industry initiatives are combining to gradually transform complexities in the payments landscape

Through analysis of a wide range of global and regional regulatory and industry initiatives, ranging from Basel III to the Digital Agenda for Europe, from the Dodd-Frank Act to the work of the National Payments Corporation of India, the report identifies five key industry transformation trends which together are reshaping, or soon will, aspects of the payments market and the positioning of the players who operate within it:

· Systemic-risk reduction and control: In the wake of the financial crisis, regulators are seeking to reduce systemic risk by asking for stricter requirements on capital and liquidity

· Standardisation initiatives aimed at improving efficiency, streamlining processes and reducing costs continue: Some payments instruments and aspects of the value chain are commoditised in the process, making it more difficult for banks to differentiate themselves

· A drive for higher levels of transparency: Several initiatives are concentrating on making service fees to clients more transparent, with potential implications for current business models, such as cards

· Convergence: Developments in technology and evolving user and regulatory requirements are contributing to a gradual blurring of the lines between traditional payments activities supplied by infrastructure providers, potentially increasing competition between Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) and Automated Clearing Houses (ACHs) for certain types of low-value payments.

· Innovation: This remains a critical success factor within the payments industry, allowing players to harness emerging technologies and trends, such as mobile devices and contactless payments, to deliver state-of-the-art solutions to meet evolving user needs.

"Regulatory pressure has increased since the economic crisis and, together with the drive toward standardization and commoditization, is fuelling a fundamental transformation in the payments landscape," said Jean Lassignardie, Global Head of Sales and Marketing, Capgemini Financial Services. "Banks and financial institutions faced with this combination of challenges may wish to look at the examples of the energy and telecoms industries which have responded to similar external pressures by enhancing the level of specialization amongst key players to differentiate their propositions."

Evolving standardisation in the payments landscape: Deriving value from payments

As the trend towards further standardisation in the payments market continues, it is driving increased commoditisation of many aspects of the value chain. Banks and other Payment Services Providers (PSPs) face a heightened challenge to distinguish their propositions and may increasingly need to specialize to demonstrate their ongoing value to their customers. Innovation in this area remains vital for banks/PSPs, allowing qthem to differentiate their propositions and prove their value.

In the mid to long term, the traditional fully-integrated payments model (from supply to delivery) may no longer be optimal for most PSPs. We could see the emergence of two specialist roles: Wholesale Payments Provider (WPP) and Retail Payment Services Provider (RPSP), with very few players in the market able to support the investments needed to play both roles. Evolving into a WPP, RPSP, or both requires important strategic decisions to be made, and will drive banks to understand the role(s) they wish to play in such a future and prepare for this potentially radical shift.

"The evolution of the payments sector is accelerating," said Patrick Desmar├Ęs, Secretary General, Efma. "As banks and PSPs consider this reality, they will need to find ways to thrive in the payments market in the nearer-term while positioning themselves to mitigate the risks and capitalize on the opportunities created by the industry's transformation in the longer-term."

"India is currently ranked as the 11th largest non-cash payments market. One of the prominent trends pertaining to the Indian market which the report highlights is how the long-time reliance on checks in the Business to Business (B2B) sphere has kept check usage high, but it is declining (to 65% of all transactions in 2009 from 93% in 2001) while during the same tenure, the market share of cards has increased from 6% to 19%. The Interbank Mobile Payment Scheme launched by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) in 2011 is an important milestone for further developing the usage of secure, inexpensive and efficient electronic payments, m-payments experiencing two digit growth globally as the report reveals", said Christophe Vergne, Leader of the Cards and Payments Center of Excellence, Financial Services Global Business Unit, Capgemini.