Monday, April 29, 2013


 


State of Denial
Rajiv Kumar
The Chairman of the Prime Minister Economic Advisory Committee (PMEAC) Dr. C. Rangarajan, was quoted on 24th April as saying that the current (XII) Five Year Plan could still see an average GDP growth of 8%!. During the interview, given after the release of the latest Economic Review by the PMEAC, Dr. Rangarajan  expounded on a lowering of the incremental capital-output ratio (ICOR) resulting in higher growth in coming years. In simple terms, he expects higher growth by a de-bottlenecking of large projects that will bring down the ICOR.  How one wishes it was as simple as this to get us back to a higher 8-9% growth trajectory.  Similarly, when in July 2011, at a seminar organized by Suman Berry, then head of the IGC, I had pointed out to  the then Chief Economic Advisor, Kaushik Basu, that investment was beginning to slacken dangerously, he simply pooh-poohed the warning. We know what happened thereafter. Investment tanked in India and Kaushik became the Chief Economist of the World Bank! Clearly, there are advantages to being in a state of denial.
In the first year of the Plan, i.e. 2012-13 economic growth will be no more than 5.2%. In the next year (2013-14) it can at best rise to 6% for the following reasons.  Government expenditure will necessarily remain repressed as the finance minister tries to bring fiscal deficit below 4.8% of the GDP as he has targeted in the budget. So any hopes of a pre-electoral splurge to boost aggregate demand, as was done in fiscal 2007-08 can surely be ruled out. The alternative is a hugely damaging credit downgrade that we can ill afford. So government demand will not provide a growth impetus. In fact, over the last quarter one has heard  of increasing instances of non-clearance of large volumes of government dues resulting in a significant negative impact on cash flows and profitability of service providers and contracting companies.
From all accounts private investment demand is unlikely to strengthen as the investment climate continues to remain vitiated in major growth sectors like telecom, autos, steel, power generation, highways, etc. Despite all the talk of reforms since September, we have yet to see any real initiative that   could boost investor spirits or promote investment. Moreover, there is now an apprehension of a major slow down in the real estate or the construction sector, which has provided a strong growth stimulus in the past ten years. So private investment demand, which is the strongest driver of growth, will remain weak this year. This is corroborated by demand for non-food commercial credit remaining weak and a rising level of NPAs in the banking sector.
 There is hardly any reason to believe that private consumption demand will reverse its current weakening trend and start rising. Disposable incomes are unlikely to increase significantly in the absence of large scale government handouts and continued weakness of employment prospects. The on-going decline in auto sales, declining demand for consumer durables and lower spend on consumption items like FMCG products and fast food outlets are clear signs of continued consumer pessimism and the fact that the mood in the country is distinctly downbeat. Finally, despite the recent feeble uptick in export growth, and the fact that a lower base (exports actually declined in 2012-13!) may provide a basis of higher growth in 2013-14, net external demand is unlikely to emerge as a growth driver in the current year. A similar conclusion for a GDP growth of sub 6% in 2013-14 can be reached by looking at the supply side and considering growth prospects in agriculture, industrial and services sector. Talk of 6.7 to 7% growth in the current fiscal is just wishful thinking.
With the first two years of the Plan period achieving 5 and 6% rate of growth, the economy will have to grow at more than 9% annually in the remaining three years of the Twelfth Plan to achieve an overall average of 8% GDP growth. Even for an average 7% rate of growth over the plan period, GDP growth will have to jump to 8% in 2014-15 and be sustained at that level. Given the onset of election season in full measure from October this year, and the prospects of significant political instability, it can only be as brave a man as Dr. Rangarajan who can talk so confidently of the Twelfth Plan coming in with 8% growth rate. Should there not be some accountability for government agencies to ensure that their forecasts and pronouncements have are not completely out of whack from ground realities?
Such facile talk of higher growth rates is dangerous because it induces complacency when none is warranted. There are 1 million (repeat 10 lakh) new entrants to our labour force every month. These youngsters, who represent our much flaunted demographic dividend, need jobs. Without, productive employment, they will add to the hordes of urban lumpen class, which is now visible in all our neighbourhoods and colonies except of course in Luteyns Delhi. They are all aspiring for the good life, which they will seize by means fair or foul. In the absence of jobs, they will earn their livelihood by joining the gangs of touts, petty brokers, smugglers, real estate mafia. The luckier ones will pay hefty sums to get in to the police force or other public sector jobs and then wreck havoc on the civil society as they attempt to recoup the bribe they paid to secure the prized 'sarkari naukri'.  It would be far more socially responsible for the government’s economic managers to not show their state of permanent denial by constantly talking of higher growth being round the corner, they should instead talk of the huge employment challenge facing the country and the dire consequences of these young people remaining unemployed and spilling out on the streets. This fear apparently kept Deng Xiaoping awake at night and led him to initiate the Chinese economic miracle. I wonder what apart from the fear of losing their jobs keeps our economic policy makers awake at night!
_________________________________________________
Author is Senior Fellow, CPR.


Delhi’s Salwan Boy’s make it to the Semi Finals of the U-16 Inter-State leg Coca-Cola Cricket Cup

Strong batting line up of MD Kaif, Shivam Chauhan and Prashant Vashist helped Delhi’s Salwan Boys beat Don Bosco Matriculation HSS, TN by 3 wickets and outshine on day 5 of U-16 Inter-State leg Coca-Cola Cricket Cup which was played on Bharat Nagar Ground. 

Don Bosco won the toss and elected to bat. Daryl Serrario palyed a strong innings by scoring 96 not out in 104 balls with 2/6’s and 9/4’s. Alizan Alam and Sahil Sharma managed taking 1 wicket each. 

In reply, Salwan Boys batsmen gave a tough fight to their opponents and chased the target in 42.3 overs only, with 3 wickets to spare.
MD Kaif was adjudged the Man of the match for his overall consistent performance.

New Delhi’s Salwan Boys stand first in the points table, having won all 4 matches. They will now meet Mumbai’s Anjuman I-Islam Allana Eng School in the Semi finals of the U-16 Inter-State leg Coca-Cola Cricket Cup.

In another match, On the 5th day of the U-16 Inter-State leg Coca-Cola Cricket Cup, Man of the Match Gaurav Lodhi from Christian Eminent, MP took 5 wickets in his 8 over’s spell, which helped his team to register an easy 6 wicket win over West Bengal’s Balurghat High School. Balurghat High School was all out for 72 in 27.3 over’s whereas Christian Eminent chased the target in just 16.2 over’s with 6 wickets in hand.

Having won the toss and electing to bat, Mrinmoy Mahato from Balurghat High School scored 13 runs in 19 balls. He was well supported by Hrikesh Roy and Saurab Saha who scored 13 and 11 runs respectively. Eminents’s Gaurav Lodhi who took 5 wickets was well supported by Sanjay Kushwaha who took 2 wickets in his 6 over spell. 

On the other hand, Ankush Singh and Mohammad Faiz from Eminent scored 16 and 14 runs respectively and helped their team chase the target set by Balurghat High Scchool. 

Brief score:

Don Bosco Matriculation HSS, TN: 211 for 6 in 45 overs (Daryl Serrario 96 n.o. (104 b 2X6, 9X4), P Krishna 36 runs (57 b 1X4), Vijay Kumar 22 runs (31 b 3X4); Alizan Alam 1 for 12 in 3 overs, Sahil Sharma 1 for 26 runs in 9 overs, Manish Shehrawat 1 for 30 in 8 overs) lost to Salwan Boys,  Delhi 213 for 7 in 42.3 overs (M.D. Kaif 58 runs (86 b 1X6, 5X4), Shivam Chauhan 40 runs (28 b 1X6, 7X4), Prashant Vashist 51 runs (71 b 3X4); B Surya 2 for 30 in 9 overs, Antom Alvrue 2 for 43 in 9 overs, P Krishna 2 for 47 in 9 overs).

Balurghat High School, West Bengal: 72 All out in 27.3 overs (Mrinmoy Mahato 13 runs (19b 2X4), Hrikesh Roy 13 runs (34b), Saurab Saha 11 runs (32 b 1X4); Gourav Lodhi 5 for 19 in 8 overs, Sanjay Kushwaha 2 for 10 runs in 6 overs) lost to Christian Eminent, MP: 73 for 4 in 16.2 overs (Ankush Singh 16 runs (15 b 3X4), Mohammad Faiz 14 runs (11 b 3X4), Tejraj Chauhan 12 n.o (15 b 2X4); Surojit Roy 2 for 16 in 6 overs). 

Navrachna School Sama, Baroda: 119 All out in 31.1 overs (Harsit Patel 32 runs (34 b 2X6, 2X4), Siddharth Patel 20 runs (28 b 3X4), Vishamber Kahloh 20 runs (48 b 1X4); Karan Sharma 5 for 16 in 7.1 overs, Abhinav Sharma 3 for 27 in 8 overs, Arjun 2 for 32 in 6 overs) lost to DAV Sr.Secondary School, Punjab 124 for 3 15 overs (Karan Sharma 57 n.o. (52 b 3X6, 5X4), Navneet Singh 34 n.o (17 b 3X6, 3X4), Abhishek 21 runs (12 b 1X6, 3X4); Siddharth Patel 2 for 27 in 4 overs, Shlok Desai 1 for 24 in 3 overs). 

Sree Valmeeki High School, AP: 133 for 8 in 45v overs (G Sampath Kumar 33 runs (73 b 3X4), S.J Shakeer 15 runs ( 30 b 1X4), M Udaya Bhaskar 14 runs (32 b 2X4); Varun Gaur 4 for 12 in 9 overs, Tara Sheik 1 for 14 in 7 overs, Ankit Singh 1 for 25 in 9 overs) lost to Gowtham Model School, Hyderabad 134 for 7 in 43.1 over(MSR Charan 35 runs (64 b 5X4), Taha Sheik 20 runs (62 b 3X4), Sagar Chaurasia 41 n.o. (56 b 6X4); Arvind Reddy 3 for 30 in 9 overs, C SaiKartik Rao 2 for 18 in 9 Overs, Ajay Rahul 1 for 30 in 9 overs). 

Today Sports
Semi-Final Schedule for tomorrow, Monday 29th April 2013 – 9:00 am onwards

Semi-Final 1 - Salwan Boys, Delhi VS Anjuman I-Islam Allana Eng. School, Mumbai at (Jamia Milia University)
Semi-Final 2 - Christian Eminent, MP VS CAV Inter College, Allahabad, UP at (Bharat Nagar Ground)

PRESS INVITATION

29042013
Invitation
Press Conference by leaders of Street Vendors from across India
To
The Editor/Bureau Chief/ News Editor/ Chief Reporter and Photo Section In charge 
Dear Sir/Madam 
National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) is a national platform of 715 street vendor organizations, trade unions and community based groups across 23 states of India. It has been struggling to get an effective and inclusive central law to protect the livelihood right of street vendors of the country.. .
After sustained struggles of street vendors, the Government of India had introduced the Street Vendors Bill in the Lok Sabha on 6 September, 2012. The Bill had provisions enabling vendors to get access to rights and entitlements, but also had several shortcomings.
In this situation, NASVI is going to organize a National Dialogue with Lawmakers to convert Street Vendors Bill into Act  on 1 May, 2013 in Delhi. 
 On the eve of this national dialogue, street vendor leaders of 15 states are going to join a press conference in Delhi, as per the following programme:
Date: Monday, April 29, 2013
Time:  3 pm
Venue: Press Club of India, New Delhi
 The Press Conference would be addressed by NASVI national coordinator Arbind Singh and  street vendors’/trade union leaders of  Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Orissa.
Kindly assign your correspondent and photographer/camera team to cover this important  press conference.
 Yours sincerely
Ranjit Abhigyan                                                              Sunita Govind
Program Manager                                                          Media Coordinator
NASVI                                                                              9871756969
096509413
A curtain raiser press meet for the 18th European Union Film Festival ‘Celebrating Women’ on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 11:00 am at Gallery Romain Rolland, Alliance Française de Delhi, 72 Lodi Estate, Lodi Road, New Delhi.
The EUFF 2013 will be held from 08 May – 19 May 2013 in New Delhi comprising of a selection of 24 films, narrating many engaging stories, showcasing different shades, and nuances of women, and offering an insight into their remarkable lives.
The curtain raiser interaction will have the presence of Mr. Pavel Svitil, Minister Counsellor – Deputy Head of Delegation of the European Union to India, Mr Jean-Philippe Bottin, Director, Alliance Française de Delhi, Ms Angela Trezza, Director, Istituto Italiano di Cultura (Italian Cultural Centre), Mr. Tibor Kovacs, Director of Hungarian Information and Cultural Centre, Mr Jesús Clavero Rodríguez, Instituto Cervantes.
We request you send us a line in confirmation at the earliest possible
Looking forward to meeting you at the curtain raiser meet; this will be followed by an informal discussion over light European snacks and wine/soft drinks.
Thanking you in anticipation,
no man’s land + archi
invite YOU
to a cultureSPEAK event:
CulturalEmergency NOW!
Conversations around a Book Launch
Life of an Afghan Hammam (Tanvi Maheshwari)
(on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/499839100053583/)
On Friday, 3rd May 2013 
At 7.00 pm
Venue: India Habitat Centre/ Gulmohur Hall
Entry: Open to ALL, passes not required.
storytellers circle moderated by Tanvi Maheshwari.
In the circle:
Sohail Hashmi + Narayani Gupta + Robert Mann + Rohit Jigyasu

Sohail Hashmi is an academic, activist film maker and writer. He is one of the founders of SAHMAT. Between 1980-91 he worked among unorganised youth and slumdwellers in Delhi. In ’91 he worked with PTI TV, Home TV, BiTV, etc. He conceptualised and scripted a four-part series on the “History of Urdu”, which aired on Discovery. He also made a five-part series for Door Darshan on walks through Shahjahanabad. He is currently setting up a foundation to document the heritage of Delhi, and conducts heritage walks. He also writes a regular column for Terrascape and The Hindu.
Narayani Gupta is a historian whose research and writing has focused on urban history. She retired as Professor of History from Jamia Millia Islamia, where her students had taught her a lot. She has also edited school textbooks. Thirty years ago she was a member of the combative Conservation Society of Delhi and now of the optimistic ‘Friends of the ASI’.
Robert Mann is an Englishman who has made India his home. He previously worked with the UN in Paris, for UNESCO a specialist UN agency, he was responsible for cultural policy, in particular Asia- Pacific region. He grew up in Cambridge, England and obtained a Master in Arts degree – History, Divinity and Philosophy from University of Aberdeen, Scotland and Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong. He is currently working for various companies in India, working to build their global partnership and communication approach focussing on strategy and international alliances.
Rohit Jigyasu is a conservation architect and risk management consultant from India, currently working as UNESCO Chair professor at the Research Center for Disaster Mitigation of Urban Cultural Heritage at Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan and Senior Advisor to the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS). He is member of the Executive Committee of ICOMOS and president of ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Risk Preparedness (ICORP).
 
Life of an Afghan Hammam is Tanvi Maheshwari‘s first book. Maheshwari is an architect who graduated from the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi and has worked with archi. She has been traveling between New Delhi and Kabul documenting the recovery of a the hammam, a cultural space that is humming once again.

arch i
150,Second Floor,
Kailash Hills
New Delhi-110065
Ph: +91-11-41060083
NEW ROAD TO MANDALAY:
The promise and challenges of a new relationship
Friday, May 10; 2013: 5.00 – 6.30 pm
iLead Auditorium, Kolkata
Myanmar’s gradual transition to democracy opens a new chapter of opportunity in Indo-Myanmar relations. With significant changes taking place in Myanmar which impacts its polity, economy, society and foreign affairs, its relations with the external world is also evolving steadily. It would be a truism yet paradoxical to say that the new Myanmar is not truly new. There is a complex transition underway in this nation. While the broad direction is set, the actual pace of change is yet to be gauged. Myanmar rejoining the global mainstream has also become the latest arena for Asia’s contentious geopolitical environment. With the world fast taking note of Myanmar, the window of opportunity is short for India to stamp its own footprint, vis-à-vis existing and emerging competition.
Mr. Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, Foreign Editor, Hindustan Times and Member of National Security Advisory Board, Government of India will lead the discussion.
This session will be moderated by Dr. Kingshuk Chatterjee, Assistant Professor, Department of History, Calcutta University and guest faculty at the Institute of Foreign Policy Studies.
WHEN
Friday, May 10, 2013 5:00 PM  - 6:30 PM
Please be seated by 4.45 pm.
High Tea will be served following the event  
WHEREiLEAD Institute113/C/1, Matheshwartala Road, Topsia, (Ahead of Vishwakarma Building, /Park Regency), Kolkata – 700 046
(To see map and directions, please click here)

RSVPThursday, May 9, 2013 by 5:00 PM
Please respond by clicking one of the buttons below 
Mr. Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, Foreign Editor, Hindustan Times and Member of National Security Advisory Board of Government of India.
Pramit Pal Chaudhuri is the Foreign Editor of the Hindustan Times and a senior associate at the Rhodium Group. He is presently serving as a member of the Indian government’s National Security Advisory Board and as a delegate for a number of track-two strategic and economic dialogues. These include the CII-Aspen Strategy Group India-US strategic dialogue, the Aspen Institute of India-China Reform School dialogue and the trilateral India-US-Japan dialogue. Pramit’s affiliations outside of India include being a member of the New York-based Asia Society’s Global Council, the Aspen Institute of Italy, the Institute of International Strategic Studies in London and the Mont Pelerin Society. In 2007-08 he was the Bernard Schwarz Fellow at the Asia Society in New York and a Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow at the University of Maryland College Park in 1994-95. Pramit has also been a media fellow at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, South Asia Fellow at the Henry Stimson Centre, and Visiting Fellow at his alma mater Cornell University.
Dr. Kingshuk Chatterjee, Assistant Professor, Department of History, Calcutta University and guest faculty at the Institute of Foreign Policy Studies.
Dr Kingshuk Chatterjee is an Assistant Professor in the department of history. His doctoral work was on the intellectual origins of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, at the Calcutta University. He currently offers optional courses on the history of Germany and that of the Modern Middle East at the department. He also shares the compulsory courses on the Making of the Modern West and International Relations since 1945, in the department of History. Dr Chatterjee is the Deputy Director, Centre for Pakistan and West Asian Studies and is guest faculty at the Institute of Foreign Policy Studies, Calcutta University. He began his career as a lecturer in the department of History, Scottish Church College, Calcutta (2000-06). He then became a fellow at the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Calcutta. During 2006-07, he served at the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, as a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence. There he offered a course each on the Rise of India and its Global Role, and one on the International Relations of the Middle East
NEW ROAD TO MANDALAY:
The promise and challenges of a new relationship

Friday, May 10; 2013: 5.00 – 6.30 pm
iLead Auditorium, Kolkata

 
Myanmar’s gradual transition to democracy opens a new chapter of opportunity in Indo-Myanmar relations. With significant changes taking place in Myanmar which impacts its polity, economy, society and foreign affairs, its relations with the external world is also evolving steadily. It would be a truism yet paradoxical to say that the new Myanmar is not truly new. There is a complex transition underway in this nation. While the broad direction is set, the actual pace of change is yet to be gauged. Myanmar rejoining the global mainstream has also become the latest arena for Asia’s contentious geopolitical environment. With the world fast taking note of Myanmar, the window of opportunity is short for India to stamp its own footprint, vis-à-vis existing and emerging competition.
Mr. Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, Foreign Editor, Hindustan Times and Member of National Security Advisory Board, Government of India will lead the discussion.
This session will be moderated by Dr. Kingshuk Chatterjee, Assistant Professor, Department of History, Calcutta University and guest faculty at the Institute of Foreign Policy Studies.

   
WHEN
Friday, May 10, 2013 5:00 PM  - 6:30 PM

 
Please be seated by 4.45 pm.

High Tea will be served following the event 
 

WHERE
iLEAD Institute113/C/1, Matheshwartala Road, Topsia, (Ahead of Vishwakarma Building, /Park Regency), Kolkata – 700 046
(To see map and directions, please click here)
   

RSVP
Thursday, May 9, 2013 by 5:00 PM 
Please respond by clicking one of the buttons below  
 
 
Mr. Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, Foreign Editor, Hindustan Times and Member of National Security Advisory Board of Government of India.
Pramit Pal Chaudhuri is the Foreign Editor of the Hindustan Times and a senior associate at the Rhodium Group. He is presently serving as a member of the Indian government’s National Security Advisory Board and as a delegate for a number of track-two strategic and economic dialogues. These include the CII-Aspen Strategy Group India-US strategic dialogue, the Aspen Institute of India-China Reform School dialogue and the trilateral India-US-Japan dialogue. Pramit’s affiliations outside of India include being a member of the New York-based Asia Society’s Global Council, the Aspen Institute of Italy, the Institute of International Strategic Studies in London and the Mont Pelerin Society. In 2007-08 he was the Bernard Schwarz Fellow at the Asia Society in New York and a Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow at the University of Maryland College Park in 1994-95. Pramit has also been a media fellow at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, South Asia Fellow at the Henry Stimson Centre, and Visiting Fellow at his alma mater Cornell University.

 
Dr. Kingshuk Chatterjee, Assistant Professor, Department of History, Calcutta University and guest faculty at the Institute of Foreign Policy Studies.
Dr Kingshuk Chatterjee is an Assistant Professor in the department of history. His doctoral work was on the intellectual origins of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, at the Calcutta University. He currently offers optional courses on the history of Germany and that of the Modern Middle East at the department. He also shares the compulsory courses on the Making of the Modern West and International Relations since 1945, in the department of History. Dr Chatterjee is the Deputy Director, Centre for Pakistan and West Asian Studies and is guest faculty at the Institute of Foreign Policy Studies, Calcutta University. He began his career as a lecturer in the department of History, Scottish Church College, Calcutta (2000-06). He then became a fellow at the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Calcutta. During 2006-07, he served at the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, as a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence. There he offered a course each on the Rise of India and its Global Role, and one on the International Relations of the Middle East

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