Category Archives: Economics

Sources of Data on Indian Economy

In order to carry out any research on the analysis of Indian economy, one needs to know the proper sources of data. There are several organizations in India, which provide time series and panel data related to Indian economy. One of the major data sources is the Census data. However, one of the major problem with this data source is that it’s published only once in every ten years. Therefore, economic study of India and National sample survey can provide with a more continuous data set related to Indian economy. Majority of the financial data is published by the Reserve Bank of India. Data on pollution and environmental standards are published by Central Pollution Control Board. Data related to petroleum products are published by Ministry of Petroleum. Data related to hygienic condition of Indian states are published by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Data related to income inequality are published by Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. Data related to energy consumption and pricing are published by Ministry of Power. Overall time series data on India are published by the World Bank. To know more about the data sources, kindly browse the pages of

The Economic and Social Benefits of a BPO

The growth of the outsourcing industry in India has contributed immensely to its economic development. There are many people who deride this industry and think that working there is nothing to be proud of. Entering the BPO industry does not require extraordinary educational qualifications. In a country that is obsessed with big degrees, this itself is a cause for many people’s derision. But this industry requires other types of abilities. It requires employees to be good with people, both Indian and foreign and to understand the mindset of customers who are thousands of miles away and have the ability to meet their demands. People working in this industry often have to work long and demanding hours at odd times of the day, which requires a different kind of willpower by itself.

This country admires the chosen few who graduate each year from the IITs and the IIMs and proceed to work on foreign shores for multimillion dollar salaries. However, there is no plan for the millions of simple graduates and post graduates, which colleges in the country churn out every year. Not everybody has the ability to get cent percent in their exams and get lucky enough to enter the portals of a prestigious institution. But they have other skills like talking well and handling customers with ease. There are also many people who come from disadvantaged backgrounds and for them finishing graduation itself is an impressive feat.

Had it not been for the BPO industry, they would have continued to struggle in life for a measly salary in an ordinary local company. But now they earn remarkable pay packages that allow them to build a house, buy a car and put their children in decent educational institutions. They even get a chance to travel abroad, something that they could never have imagined a few years ago. The premises of most outsourcing companies are quite impressive and they also have home pick up and drop. The ancillary services that the BPO industry supports are also quite notable with a vast number of canteen staff, drivers and software technicians needed to keep the offices going. At a very young age, many BPO employees earn the kind of salaries and enjoy the kind of lifestyle that their parents could never have imagined. It also eases pressure on a society that was once hugely concerned with the number of youth who had nothing to do after graduation.

How to Manage Water Resources

The community needs to be actively involved in matters like water management and with the mushrooming of residential societies that often consist of several buildings under one management, such social movements are actually easier than what they used to be. There are times when the monsoon season arrives early and show no sign of ending and there are other times when it comes late and leaves early. The rain gods can simply not be trusted to stick to a regular schedule. There are years when there is plenty of rain and there are other years when the same place faces a drought. The citizens of most cities simply do not know when their dams and lakes will be overflowing with water and when it will be bone dry.

Rainwater harvesting is not a modern concept. It is actually an ancient process where villagers used to catch and store the water and preserve it for future use. There are numerous examples of manmade lakes and huge water tanks being constructed so that the village would not have to face a water shortage. The time has come for modern day cities to think like ancient villages and become self sufficient in natural resources like water.

Private Tutoring in the Towns of India

Many teachers toy with the idea of becoming a tutor and teaching kids after school hours. Sometimes the salary they get from the school is not enough, and they feel that they have to earn more money. There are other teachers that have a passion for teaching and feel that they have untapped potential, which they could use for the benefit of helping students who are weak in their studies. There are also many teachers who are themselves approached by parents who feel that their students are weak in a certain subject and could benefit from a little extra guidance. That is why it is common in small towns as well as big cities to have teachers come over to the house of the student and give him a little extra coaching. At other times a group of students in a locality get together and have a teacher come over and given them extra coaching.

There are many housewives who are well qualified and feel that they are wasting their time and talent sitting idle at home. That is why they decide to take private tutoring classes. This method of coaching is very common in apartment blocks in the big cities. The housewives find it easy to get students through word of mouth and once news spreads that they are good at teaching, they start to get more and more students. Many housewives help students in the lower grades, where the standard of education is not high and teaching the subjects is easy. Learning languages and scoring marks in language based subjects like Hindi, English and other regional languages is something that students find very demanding. That is why in many states where Hindi is taught as a second language, parents hire tutors to help their children with the subject.

Coaching classes have sprung up all over India. It is possible to find coaching centres for all levels of the education system from first class to Master’s level coaching. Most parents send their children for extra coaching when they are preparing for their 10th class and 12th class board exams. There are coaching classes for B.Com and M.Com as well. Some small towns in North Indian states like Rajasthan and Bihar have become famous for the number of chartered accountants they produce or the fact that several of the students that come out of their coaching classes manage to crack the civil services examination. These results continue to spur the mushrooming of more and more coaching classes.

For High Economic Development, Good Education is Vital

For a country to develop economically, it is essential that they produce good engineers to handle massive construction projects, visionary leaders to take the country into the future, financial wizards to develop creative economic policies, knowledgeable thinkers who would dream the ideas of tomorrow and tough soldiers to guard the country’s frontiers. These are produced by having an education system that lays an emphasis on challenging the intellect of its citizens and encouraging the best and the brightest among them to come forward. Countries who wish to finish first in the global community of nations give a lot of importance to the quality of their educational institutions.

Some of the brightest minds in the United States have come from the hallowed grounds of Ivy League universities. The United Kingdom has benefited immensely from the teachers at Oxford and Cambridge educating the elite of their society. The cream of the Indian education system finds their way into the IITs and IIMs. Not only do these educational institutes train the best minds in the country, they also attract the best students of other nations. Many of the scions of India’s leading business houses have been educated in American business schools. During the final days of the Second World War, the United States and the Soviet Union rushed to recruit German scientists who had made significant breakthroughs in various fields.

First world countries place a lot of importance on their school education as well, making sure that their students are well trained in all the different fields like science, commerce and the humanities. The pressure that Japanese and Indian society puts on its schools students to get high marks is widely documented. In India, the South Indian states have higher literacy rates as compared to the North and they have also managed to enjoy better economic development. One of the qualities about education is that it trains people to find work anywhere. Kerala has a nearly hundred percent literacy rate, but its rate of industrial development has been comparatively poor. But their education allows the Malayalees to go to Indian cities like Mumbai and Delhi, Middle Eastern cities like Dubai, Bahrain and Muscat, and North American cities like New York to find employment. Higher education also reduces population growth rates and emancipates women. That is why in order for a society to develop, the quality of education must be very high, so that its citizens can take the country into the future.

How should scholars deal with peer pressure

Everybody has to deal with pressure at some point or the other in their lives. In school and college teenagers face the pressure of looking cool and excelling at studies. At the office there is a pressure on the employees to attend parties, to get in the good books of the boss and meet company targets. Scholars and academicians face peer pressure as well. They face the pressure of writing research reports and getting them published in academic journals. Sometimes when a group of scholars are working on a project together they face the strain of having to agree with their colleagues on a certain point even when they have a different opinion. Many scholars also face the pressure of having to be part of scientific institutions and academic societies. So how does a scholar deal with all these pressures and live his life with freedom?

It is important for scholars to have interests outside of their academic circle. They should cultivate other interests besides just focusing on academics alone. They can take up a sport, learn painting or go on an adventure trip to an exotic location. These activities can help scholars realise that there is a life beyond their scholarly pursuits. When they are facing pressure at the work place or at the educational institution it would be good for them to just get away from it all and gain a healthy perspective on life.

It is essential to cultivate relationships outside the academic circle. Most scholars tend not to socialise. They bury themselves in their books and research and consequently face loneliness. And if they face any problems in their academic societies they find that they do not have a support mechanism to lean on. That is why it is vital to build relationships with people from other walks of life so that they can get a balanced view of the world.

Many scholars often forget why they entered the field in the first place. It was their love of academics that brought them there. They should not lose the passion that they have for their chosen field. They should also remember that each individual is unique. They should set their own goals and try and achieve them rather than getting influenced by what others expect them to do. Such an attitude can allow scholars to deal with peer pressure and lead a balanced life.

Guidance that scholars get from mentors

Mentors are present in every field, be it the academia or the professional field. The role of a mentor is similar to that of an advisor. In the field of education, particularly in universities, mentors play an important role – they guide scholars and researchers and help them to reach the peak of success. A mentor is someone with years of experience in a field of study. This is why scholars take the advice of mentors. Apart from enlightening scholars on a particular field, mentors also point out their strengths and weaknesses. This way, scholars will be aware of the areas for improvement as well as their strong points.

There are many universities in the world which have mentor programmes. In such programmes, a student or a scholar is assigned to a mentor and the mentor keeps in touch with the student on a regular basis. The mentor ensures that the scholar is not facing any problem with his/her studies. And the mentor provides coaching for the student in areas that he/she is weak. Apart from enhancing the knowledge of a student, a mentor also enlightens him/her on job opportunities within the university and beyond. Generally, scholars look for teaching and research positions in universities and mentors help them by providing relevant contact details.

Some scholars are keen on pursuing further studies and in this case, mentors contact professors whom they know to help students with their admission process. Networking plays an important role in advancing one’s career and by having a wide circle of friends and colleagues, one has a higher chance of realising his dreams. Mentors usually take scholars to networking sessions to increase their social circle. This will help them in establishing contacts for future references.

Mentors guide scholars in every way and help them to achieve their goals. In every field, people seek the help of experienced professionals, and in the field of academia, an experienced professional is called a mentor. A mentor is both a friend and an advisor. There is a famous saying that “Smart people learn from their mistakes. But the real sharp ones learn from the mistakes of others.” So, by learning from the mistakes made by mentors in the past, scholars make wiser choices for their future. This is what a mentor-student relationship is all about. By sharing their wisdom, mentors help scholars become successful individuals and better leaders.

The Role of A Teacher in A Student’s Life

“Those who educate children well are more to be honored than parents, for these only gave life, those the art of living well.” Aristotle

The quality of the personality of a person affects the well being of his own, as well as, that of his family, organisation and state. The development of a successful personality becomes the responsibility of an individual and last but the least of the teachers. A teacher is very indispensible in the building years in a student’s life; thereby affecting the overall development of a child. The teacher must be of highest possible quality and also dedicated to the growth and development of the student.

A lot of research has been conducted on the role of education in improving the choice and quality of lives, improving social and economic productivity, and initiating the process of empowerment.
Traditionally, school education acquired immense importance in the post-Independence period and with the consequent expansion of the system, the role of the school teacher also underwent a significant transformation.

Whether it’s the movie “Black” that shows how a teacher helped a physically challenged child to not only develop into a young lady, but finally also find her purpose in life. Or the subtle “Taare Zameen Par” that so correctly shows how one encouraging teacher can be the difference between a talented young boy finding himself or not. Even the more recently released “Stanley Ka Dabba” teaches how children can flourish or wither, depending on how their teachers respond to them and their ideas. Take for instance to “Professor Duggal”, in “Do Dooni Char” who was an ordinary middle class mathematics professor, but yet set an example of integrity and honesty, such that his students thought him as an idol long after passing out of his class.

The role of a teacher in the early years is that of a guide who shows them new paths. A guide who keeps them safe by walking beside them thereby also helps them to explore the world around them. A teacher becomes like a partner in a child’s learning experience, and is a person who encourages them to find their own answers and discover people, environment, situations that they come across. Teachers help student explore special interests or talents, which can have a great impact on their future development.

Children often look to their teachers as role models, and the qualities that a teacher demonstrates through their own behavior can affect a child later in life. Even the way a teacher communicates and expresses him/her can be a big influence on a child’s behavior. This is also a stage, when teachers can be firm with their students, by setting boundaries for them; on what is acceptable behavior and what should not be done. Children in their school environment with the help of teachers learn values such as obedience, punctuality, culture, perseverance and morality.
The student teacher relationship is that of nurturance, trust, guidance, and encouragement, and as a child grows into a young adult, a teacher also becomes a friend and confidant for the student. In order to have quality teachers, management of the school needs to pay special attention to their selection, development, and approach towards teaching the teacher act as role model of an ideal personality. He should bear good moral conduct. Teachers bring enthusiasm and varied teaching and assessment approaches to the classroom, addressing individual students’ needs and ensuring sound learning opportunities for every student.

“Teachers can be a living example to their students. Not that teachers should look for students to idealize them. One who is worth idealising does not care whether others idealize them or not. Everyone needs to see that you not only teach human values but you live them. It is unavoidable sometimes you will be idealized — it is better for children to have a role model, or goal, because then the worshipful quality in them can dawn.”  ― Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

― Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Planning and Policies

The resolve to eradicate poverty has been a major plank of our national objectives and economic policies, and planning has been frequently thought of as a deliberate measure to achieve that objective. Earlier our economic system generated, perpetuated and aggravated poverty through its normal operations. Planning and economic policies in general have professedly aimed to counter the natural tendencies of the system.

There is a gap between what the plans profess to achieve and what they, in fact, achieve, the gap between promises and performance. A plan is usually developed in an arithmetic mould and hence consists of sets of numbers, of growth rates, sector targets, investment allocation, capital output ratios and the like. A plan is not merely a diagnostic study or an expression of hope; it must be primarily an instrument of action. The arithmetic of plans-the quantification of objectives and resource requirements-has too often been equated with the whole of planning. Planning must deal with the larger social and institutional conditions, it is more so when planning is viewed as an instrument of social transformation.

If a plan is an instrument of action, it must be approached and studied primarily from the perspective of implementation and only secondarily from the point of view of the exercises involved in plan formulation. A plan must be defined as a set of policies to be implemented and looked at the entire process from the point of view implementation.

The implementation of plan rests ultimately with the primary units of a system. Others may decide, order or induce, but the job is done by primary units. The primary units perform substantive functions, whereas other units perform functions of coordination. Planning in a complex economy implies that there are other than primary units in the system. These other units can be referred to as policy-makers. Hence, the planning process involves two sets of units or agents. These agents must also have means of communication between them. The communication between the agents must consist of passing on information, but it also must have measures whereby the agents can influence each other. The communication network may be referred to as the Information and Control Mechanism.

In terms of the execution of the plan the implementing units are certainly more important than policy making units. However, in terms of the operation of the system, those who make policies stand on higher levels as they send down orders to the implementing units.

The planning process is essentially a two-way traffic. This is the only way to make sure that a plan is sufficiently earthed. In the absence of links with the primary units the planning process degenerates into isolated exercises.

The policy-making unit is not so close to practical problems and if there are many primary units whose reports are to be comprehended, and if decisions are to be made coordinating the activities of all the units and for the entire system, then the reports have to be edited and analysed. The language of the policy-making unit, therefore, will be largely in analysed categories, aggregated and value terms, for instance. The language of the policy-making unit is understood by the primary units and vice versa. This is important for communication. The language of the policy-making unit will have to be decoded substantially in the process of the dialogue between the two. Ideally, a plan is formulated and implemented through such a continuous dialogue. A plan which is meant for implementation must take into account the views of the implementing units while it is being formulated.

Dynamics of Development and Village Economy

The systematic understanding of poverty calls for an examination of how poverty emerged in the past, what perpetuates it, and how it continues to emerge today? These questions are related to the structure of the system, its working, and the interaction between the two. The system produces not only poverty; it produces growth as well. It pushes some towards and below the poverty line; it pulls others into prosperity and affluence. It makes it impossible for the many to have their limited needs satisfied; it caters to the growing wants of the few. This is the dynamics of development which explains both poverty and growth, and it is this process that needs to be analysed and understood. It is through the interaction of the want-based and the need-based economies that the process is to be approached.

The outstanding feature of any economy is the self-subsisting and self-perpetuating character of its typical unit, the village. Earlier Villages functioned as little worlds of their own. The only outside authority they acknowledged was that of some local prince ling who in turn might be subordinate to distant overlord. The chief sign of submission to that authority was the payment each year of a share of village crops.

Within the villages, social and economic relationships were governed by customary patterns and conventions of great antiquity. The cattle were tended and soil was tilled by peasants. The village itself consumed most of the food stuffs and other raw materials it produced. Its needs for handicrafts were satisfied by the families of craftsmen associated with the village. This made the village economically independent of the outside world except for a few necessities. The share of the village crops which went to the local magnate and moved from him in a diminishing stream upward to the highest political overlord sustained the structure of government and provided subsistence for the urban population.

While the village economy itself was self-subsisting, there was a high level of interdependence among the primary units i.e. the households. Some households concentrated on farming, producing enough for their needs and some surplus which was shared among a vast array of functionaries who performed services which were considered to be necessary.

A share of the village crops went to the local magnate and moved from him in a diminishing stream upward o the highest political overlord. From the economic point of view this fact is significant. In the first place, it shows that the village economy was more than self-sustaining. It yielded a net surplus which was appropriated by those who had no functional relationship with the working of the economy, save that of appropriating its surplus. These groups may be referred to as rentiers.

Between the claims on the producer – within the village economy itself and between the members of the village economy and the almost endless chain of rentiers – were customarily determined, there was a considerable amount of inequality within the system. But it was qualitatively different from the inequality that is to be seen around today. In the first place, the inequality was not dependent on the ownership of property, as it is now, but was based on a system of social sanction that governed the distribution of the produce. Secondly, because the level of production itself was low and the manner of utilization of the surplus was also of a special kind, the inequality was not augmented through the production process.