Low population growth in southern states of India


The data on population of the southern part of India and the total population of India during the 50 years from 1951 is given below

Population in crores (10 million)

State 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001
Andhra Pradesh 3.11 3.68 4.35 5.36 6.65 7.62
Tamilnadu 3.01 3.37 4.12 4.84 5.59 6.24
Karnataka 1.94 2.36 2.93 3.71 4.50 5.29
Kerala 1.35 1.69 2.13 2.54 2.91 3.18
Pondicherry 0.03 0.04 0.05 0.06 0.08 0.10
Total – Southern India 9.44 11.06 13.58 16.51 19.73 22.43
Total – India 36.11 43.92 54.82 68.33 84.62 102.87
Share of Southern India in the total 26.14 25.18 24.77 24.16 23.31 21.80

The above table shows that in 50 years since 1951, the share of the population of southern 4 states and Pondicherry declined by 4.34% from 26.14% to 21.80%. The decline in the share has steadily been increasing since 1961. It will not be surprising if the 2011 census figures show a decline of as much as 2%. If the trend continues, which is likely, in the next 50 years, the population of the southern states could much go below 15% (if there is not large scale migration from northern states to southern states) leading to marginalization of the southern states in Indian politics (though not in the economy).

Newspapers and their disservice to the student community


Several newspapers and magazines are now coaching students for their school examinations by publishing expected questions and their answers. They are assuming that this is a service to the student community. This is not so. The students, who make use of these newspapers for their studies, spend considerable time in reading news. Thus the newspapers are robbing the precious time of the students.

Secondly by reading news, their mind is distracted and they lose concentration in studies.

There are tutorial colleges, teachers giving private tuitions and guide books to coach the students for their school examinations. There is absolutely no need for newspapers and magazines to coach students through their media. These newspapers have ended up doing a great disservice to the student community and consequently to the country as a whole.

Economic Development – India and Vietnam


Vietnam has said that it can meet the import requirements of India amounting to 2- 3 million MT. Vietnam was once an importer of rice. Now it is the second largest exporter in the world in terms of volume while India has become an importer of food grains.

Vietnam was nowhere in the list of major coffee exporters a few years ago, but now it is the second largest exporter in the world, far ahead of India.

India was the largest exporter of processed cashew nuts. Vietnam was exporting only raw cashew nuts. Now, Vietnam has overtaken India and become the largest exporter of cashew nuts in the world.

Similarly Vietnam which was not even a member of the International Pepper Community but now has become the largest exporter of pepper and the Pepper Community had to request Vietnam to become a member. India is no longer dominant as a pepper exporter.

India was far ahead of Vietnam in telephone density a few years ago. Now Vietnam has 105 telephones per 100 people. India’s telephone density is only about 50 per 100 people.

The per capita consumption of electricity in India and Vietnam is more or less same, while a few years ago, Vietnam’s electricity consumption was just about 60% of India’s per capita consumption (around 300 units a year in Vietnam against around 500 units in India).

Vietnam’s per capita GDP now is estimated to be around US$ 1000 per year, more or less the same as that of India while a few years ago, India’s per capita income was about 25% higher. (nominal terms)

Vietnam has received and continues to receive economic and technical assistance from India. It is not the technology but the workers’ productivity which is superior in Vietnam compared to India. India needs to enhance its labour productivity if it is not to fall behind other countries in economic growth.

What is the need for Foreign Institutional Investors(FIIs)


Foreign Institutional Investors have been permitted to operate in the Indian stock market since 1993, after the globalization of Indian economy, in 1991. During October 2009, FIIs purchased shares for about Rs.75,000 crores or about US$ 15 billion. They will sell these shares only when they will make a decent profit of say 10% or so or when they can make better profit elsewhere. Assuming that they are satisfied with 10% profit, the country would lose foreign exchange of US$ 1.5 billion on their purchases during Oct.  For a year, the net foreign exchange outflow  would be about US$ 18 billion. Even if it is only US$10 billion, this is a substantial amount considering that India already has a large foreign trade deficit. India’s exports during 2009-10 may come to about US$ 150 billion and imports to about US$ 240 billion leaving a huge deficit of about US$90billion.

Not only this. The Indian foreign trade community faces uncertainties in exchange rates. When FIIs are net purchasers, the rupee appreciates and the exporters stand to lose, though the importers stand to gain. When FIIs are net sellers, the rupee depreciates and the importers have to pay more in rupee terms, for no fault of theirs.

In return for the disadvantages in allowing free capital movement from and to other countries, the country has not been able to secure free movement of professionals (of course professionals do move to other countries but  not as freely as the capital from other countries). India is mainly a manpower/professional exporting country and not a capital exporting country. It is time to have a review of the need to allow the FIIs to operate and place more restrictions on the volume of their transactions.

World Hunger


The countries included in the list compiled by World Food Programme, of countries facing massive food deficit and consequent malnutrition or starvation are:

All these countries are or were engaged in civil war or civil war like situation. The second striking point is that  these countries, except Nepal, Zimbabwe, Haiti and Central African Republic, have high population growth rates of over 2% per year against the world average of about 1.2%. Population growth rates would have been higher in Nepal and Haiti also if there is no emigration of people from these countries to other countries. Most of  the food deficit countries in Africa have high incidence of HIV. Conversely, high rate of HIV may also be one of the reasons for food deficit.

If the hungry people in the food deficit countries are to be saved, the international community should come forward with adequate supplies of food (supplies from foreign countries could only be a temporary relief.) However, there should be a  condition that the warring groups agree to end the civil war and that the people would be educated to adopt family planning methods i.e. methods to reduce births. They should also change their social values so as to minimise the incidence of HIV.

If  the warring groups do not agree to end the civil war, UN should debate whether it would be desirable or possible to establish international civil, police and military presence to effectively suppress civil war, bring in lower growth rate of population and higher life expectancy  by reducing HIV. The international community should also ensure that the people are provided work in the irrigation and agricultural sector so that food grain production increases leading to elimination of hunger.

Simple ways for faster economic development


Some of the measures which can be taken with very little investment for faster economic development in India are:

  1. Increasing the working hours  of all industrial, commercial, government and other employees from around 40 hours to 48 hours a week. This will result 20% increase in production in manufacturing sector, increase in value of services etc.
  2. Increasing the retirement age from around 58/60 years to 65 years. This will enable each person to increase his contribution to  GDP by over 15%.
  3. Providing opportunities to those already retired to work either from home or from factories/offices
  4. Introduction of more machinery in agricultural and plantation sectors which, suffers acute labour shortage. Tractors were introduced a few decades ago. Large scale introduction of harvesters, planters, weeders etc should be undertaken.
  5. Encouragement for handloom sector should be given up. Power loom sector should be encouraged in view of labour shortage in spinning, weaving, knitting and ready made garments sectors.

Utilizing the entire available manpower


If a country is to progress, the first thing to do is to utilize all the available resources and manpower. Most of the developing and poor countries are economically backward, mainly because their manpower and resources are not properly and entirely utilized.

No able bodied person should remain without work even for short periods. One should work at least for 8 hours a day and six days in a week.

Of late, there is excess emphasis on not employing children in any work at all at any time. The first priority for the children is to study. But it does not mean that they should not do any work. If they  do not get used to work as children, many of them may become a burden on their families, society and the country when they are grown up. A child may go to school from 9.00 hours to 16.00 hours. On return from school, the child may do home work for about one hour, play for about one hour and help the mother or father or other elders for about two hours. In fact, if they work with elders for abut 2 hours; they do not need to play for physical fitness.

Production of goods and services will go up. In early 1950s, Rajaji, the Chief Minister of Tamilnadu, brought a scheme by which the children study for half a day and work for half a day. This was however, given up due to some opposition.

Similarly the senior citizens, i.e those above 55/60 years of age, need not sit idle. They should be provided with opportunities to do appropriate work as long as they can – it can be even till 80 years. There is no harm if an aged person does some work. The GDP of the country will grow with more people working.

Unproductive work like that of watchmen, security staff etc should be kept to the minimum. For this purpose, crimes like thefts, violence, teasing, terrorism should be dealt with severely, so as to curb such activities. Further, people should be made to shun all vices and acquire virtues.

Internal or external war should by all means be avoided. Poverty in some of the poor countries is due to the war.