Saturday, May 30, 2015

Sun and Mars in Orion region crossing all heat records.

Sun and Mars in Orion region crossing all heat records. 

Sun has moved into Rohini nakshatra on 25/5/15. Incidentally, Mars is also moved into Rohini nakshatra on 17/5/15. Moon will move 9 nakshatra during the stay of Sun in Rohini, therefore the period is called "nautapa". It is Taurus, the earth sign. The earth is getting more and more heat from the union of Sun and Mars.

Is it beneficial? 

The El Nino, the hot springs in the Pacific Ocean has increased the Sea Surface Temperature and likely to pull the winds from the Indian Ocean, that may take away the strength of our monsoon. Therefore, the heat wave over India these days, can make the air so thin, that the winds from the south west directions flow towards Indian sub continent and may bring the rain. It's a tug of war between El Nino and Heat waves over India. Let us pray for the victory of the heat wave, so that we receive good rains during the monsoon 2015.

Sun will move to Mrigshirsha nakshatra around 9/6/15.

Due to Sun in the region of Orion, we can't see beautiful stars of Orion. As soon as Sun moves to sign Scorpio, one can see Orion from India after 6 months. And the best during Winter months. 

Tolerate the heat for better monsoon.

30 May 2015, Gnr.

Beware of wife, she can curse the husband, even if he is God himself.

Beware of Wife, she can curse the husband, even if he is a God himself.

Pushkar is a holy pilgrimage for Hindus. According to legend, Brahmaji selected this place for Tapa, after fall of lotus over this land. And when the Yagya muhurt came after thousands of years, Sarasvati didn't reach in time due to miscommunication by  Narada, the son of Lord Brahma and devotee of Lord Vishnu. Wife is needed to offer ahuti for the yagya, and the muhurta was going away, therefore Gayatri was married to Brahma to perform the Yagya. But wife is always wife, like a knife. She went away and stayed away up on the hill and angrily cursed Brahmaji, that he will be worshiped in Pushkar only.

The ancient temple with Chaturmukhi (four mouthed) Brahma is attracting thousands of pilgrims. People perform rituals in Pushkar lake. According to the legend, the lake was formed by the tears of Lord Shiva after the death of his wife Sati. 

It has 52 ghats, built by Kings and Shahukars. Now tube wells are the source of water for the lake. Another Buddha Pushkar lake is also dried up. Otherwise, it used to supply water to Ajmer and Jaipur in British days. 

September to March, the place is crowded with foreigners. 70% of the tourists are foreigners in these months. They come here, enjoy the feel, the dance, the food and weather of the area. Pushkar is also famous for "Camel Fair" in November.

Pushkar is very famous for its sweet dish, "maalpua". Made from Rabadi (milk item), the sweetness of maalpua gives you in heavenly taste. After getting tired of moving in the area, a glass of jaljeera, one must sit at the Sun set point at the shore of Pushkar lake, and enjoy meal in lovely open area in front of the restaurant. With watering mouth, one enjoys the dinner with maalpua, followed by mixed vegetables, tandoori roti, daal tadka, bundi rayatu, salad, butter milk, etc makes your day complete. One can enjoy Rajashthani, Punjabi, Chinese, Italian food with joy. 

Chitrakut Dham is a nearby place worth to visit. Gujarati Pathakji, a civil engineer from Ahmedabad, and disciple of Shri Morari Bapu, has developed the area and established a 11 feet whole Shivlinga (union of Shiva and Parvati) with Hanuman (11th Rudra of Shiva) in "Mangal Moorty" posture seating on it is an unique darshana. The temple is named "Chitrakut Dham". One must visit. He came here as pilgrim, but found the "swaroop" while meditating at this place, made the place beautiful. He made the campus green and with recycling of every drop of water, the water table of the area rose up to 135 feet where he and his family lives. It is a path of "lupta Sarasvati river", he explained. 

Do visit Pushkar, a beautiful place near Ajmer. And remember, not to displease the wife, otherwise, even God can't save you from the curse! 

28 May 2015

Ajmer vale Garib Nawaz

Ajmer vale Garib Nawaz

When you enter into the campus of "Garib Nawaz", you feel the peacefulness of the divinity. And as soon as you reach near the dargah (shrine) of the Garib Nawaz, Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti (1142-1236), your heart gets full with infinite peace. Nobody has returned emptied hand from year. Whatever one wishes, he fulfills. 

The Mughal Emperor Jalaluddin Akbar undertook a journey on foot to Ajmer and was blessed with a son, Salim (Jhangir). He donated a "big deg", in which, 4998 kg rice can be cooked in one go. The deg, made by welding of thick iron sheets, is really very huge and is used even today to cook big quantity of rice. 

Devotees come here carrying basket of flowers and chaddar (bed sheet) over head to pray the Garib Nawaz. The Khadim (the Pujari) comes and do the rituals on your behalf. Prasad of sakariya and nadachhadi (coloured thread tie over the wrist) given to the devotees like a Hindu rituals. Those have mannat, tie the thread at the door. The VIPs are greeted by tying a small safa or a pink scarf. The chaddars may be recycled.

The bhakti kawali, peace and devotees make the environment of the campus divine. The song "khwaja mere khwaja" in film Jodha Akbar was a tribute to the Garib Nawaz.

Thousands of people come during Ursh Festival in the Razab month of Hijari Samvat. Friday is also very crowded. One has to keep the vehicle 1 km away and then to walk. People advice you to be vigil about purse/wallet as pickpocketers are extra alert in the area. 

With 11 lakh population (city plus agglomeration), Ajmer is a Historical place. Prithviraj Chauhan was King of Ajmer before became King of Delhi. He ruled through twin capitals. British constructed many buildings in the city. The present Circuit House was a residence building of the British Commissioner. It is nicely located on the bank of Aana Sagar lake. Drinking water was the major problem of the city. People used to get water from Buddha Pushkar during British days. Now, the city receives drinking water supply from Vishalpur dam. Still upstream areas have water problems. They receive water for an hour at the interval of 2-3 days. Using booster is  common in the city. There is some talk about getting more water to the city through Chambal linked canal. 

It has 30% Muslim population, living densely. Not only they but their windows meet in that density. 70% of the tourists to the City go to Dargah. Therefore, many workers of unorganized sector found in Hotels, guest houses and streets. Many work as servants in houses. 

If wishing "mannat", do visit Ajmer and tie a thread at the Dargah of the Garib Nawaz. Alternatively, enjoy the city, its lake and the Aravalli hills surround. Sohan Halwa, the sweet of Ajmer is very popular. 

And the take away from Khwaja's teachings:  "To develop river-like generosity, sun-like affection and earth-like hospitality." "To redress the misery of those in distress – to fulfill the needs of the helpless and to feed the hungry."

28 May 2015

Ramgarh Pachvara, a village in Rajasthan

Ramgarh Pachvara, a village in Rajasthan

Jyeshtha dashami, Gayatri Jayanti and Ganga pujan day, pulled us to a friend's village Ramgarh Pachvara, 55 kms away from the pink city Jaipur, tehshil Lalsot, district Dosa in Rajasthan. With a population of around 4000, the village is getting prosperity from the earnings of its youth working in India and abroad. People were living in small cottages made from stone and grass, now have bricked RCC houses. The people living on road sides have converted their front rooms into shops. And as usual, the encroachment style of Indians, they all moved out and make the lane narrow so that two vehicles can't cross each other smoothly. One will find all shops of grocery, cloths, gold smiths, iron smith, mobile, stationary, pan bidi, tea-snacks stalls, etc.

The barbers and doctors are more and found active in the village. The private doctors may be practicing allopathy here without medical degree. A table, a chair, and few medicines are sufficient to start a medical practice in the village. The doctor charge Rs. 25/opd, and prescribes the medicine from medical store. He charges extra if give Injection and medicine from the dispensary.

Are you an MBBS? I asked Dr. Ishwar Harpalani, the private doctor. He replied yes but with little hesitation. Why there is no name and degree written on the display board? I asked another question. All know me well, the children, the young, the old. No need to print the details, he replied. The OPD cases range from 15-80/day. They are less in Summer. On one side an investment of a table and chair was earning livelihood of Rs. 500-2000/day to the doctor; and the other side, little away from the dispensary, the vegetable and fruit venders earning Rs. 50-200/day, worried for sale, were showering water over fruits and vegetables.

There is a Government Ayurved Dispensary in the village. Due to road work, its plinth has gone down below the road. It has no electricity. It opens twice in a day; 9-13 hrs in the morning and 4-6 in the evening. An Ayurvedacharya and his compounder are sitting idle without patients. We receive Rs. 10,000 medicine and Rs. 10,00,000 salary per annum, and no facilities in the dispensary. Things didn't change when I joined and now, when I am retiring next month, he told. People hardly come here for treatment as there are PHC and CHC nearby, he explained. When I asked why don't you contact people and propagate Ayurvrda instead of sitting idle in the dispensary, he kept mum. If the government transfer the ownership of the campus to you after retirement, how will you run it? The question he ducked.

We always talk about productivity of agriculture, manufacturing and other sectors, but hardly review the productivity of individuals working in the public administration. We are tying many white elephants and keep them paying without sufficient workload. The salary is not linked with productivity. Money comes to the public treasury from the payment of taxes earned through the hard work of the people, and that can't be spent on salaries without performance.

The Village Panchayat office was not opened at 10.30AM. The Sarpanch comes when there is meeting. The Secretary comes but mobile facility made him mobile. As usual SP (Sarpanch Pati) is a common problem in all PRIs in India.

Ganga Poojan, is an important event in once life. We grow, work, earn wealth and then retire. But retirement with grace, "Rinmukti" (debt relieving) from all who were our partners of the journey on earth, is an unique way of retiring. The event starts with a procession with bandbaja for performing Pooja of earthern pots at the shop of pots seller, darshana at the "Matarani" temple, followed by Ganga Poojan Yagya in the presence of relatives and friends. At the end samooh bhoj and giving away shikh (gifts) to all who have created some direct/indirect debt on us during the life. It is an event of taking virakti from Samsaar with celebration.

It was a small but very rich visit to participate in Hindu rituals, and to look at the living conditions and problems of the villagers. We did enjoy the nukkad chat. The villagers, though finding hard to manage own houses, are vigil over the local issues and express opinion as well as pleasure/displeasure over the performance of the State and Central Governments!

Indian villagers are living in hardships but very active in polity.

28 May 2015
Ramgarh Pachvara 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Good Teacher Really Matters

"A Good Teacher Really Matters" 

Education is a primary means to upscale human capital to address issues of growth,  unemployment, poverty, productivity, etc of the Country.

"No child left behind" a lead policy statement by an American President is applicable for all nations.

Each country is trying different models.  South Korea (Tutionisation); Sweden (Vouchers to every child); USA (Charter School); Spain (Voucher Schools); Brazil (basic education linked to development index, implemented by municipalities); India-Pakistan (Private Schools).

India overcome problem of enrolment (now 95%) and some what basic literacy, but mean education, quality of education and employability of youth after education are still major issues to be addressed. Read text by Class/Std, going down in India with ratio of 1/200 v/v world figure 60/200. India rank one of the highest in carrying top 5% and bottom 5% of world population. 

Governments are building/providing infrastructure of school rooms, drinking water, toilets, power supply, computers, text books, scholarships, teachers, MDM, etc but students are moving towards private school questioning quality of education in public schools. English learning is one of the major factors for a preference of private school.

Those afford expenditure, are sending children to private school as well as they pay taxes to run public school where children of poor are studying.

Survey tells that Parents are intensively engaged in education of their children. They discriminate with smartness of a child (son or daughter) and place them in private/public school.  They are in search of quality and employability.

What is missing?

Bonding between Students and Teachers missing.  Barring few teachers, Government schools are working mechanically. 

Small inputs on students quality of education.

26% of teachers (teching hours) are not in scholl due to busyness in other jobs or absenteeism.

Teacher pay is not linked to productivity.  It is difficult to get rid of poor teachers.

"A good teacher for 1 year increases life time income of students by $2,50,000!

Demand has been generated but supply side need re looking.  State Centric solution or Private-Public coexist? Financing of education can be separated from delivery of education. For quality assurance, standardised way to tell parents about good schools with reference to employability, placements and value addition.

What is Educational objective? Enrolment? Quality? Equity? Content/curriculum? Cost?

Children with severe learning disabilities are to be separated? or continue normal schooling? or addressed through integrated learning?

The policy makers and administrators may address all these major issues but provide "good teacher" on priority either through public school or private school as "a good teacher matters more than infrastructure in quality learning of students".

A Good Teacher really matters. India needs its "Guru" culture back on track.

1 Nov 2014, WDC

Health of India, Universal Health Coverage, a big Challenge

Health of India, Universal Health Coverage, a big Challenge

"Universal Health Coverage is when ALL people receive the quality health services they need without suffering financial hardship". - WHO

"Think Big, Think Different".

"The Nation loss 2-3% of GDP if carry undernutrition". Now health in the world is metered by IQ points!

'Stunting' (low height for age) and 'Wasting' (low weight for height) are matters of serious concern. 20% Stunting and 30% Wasting is contributed to by small size at birth. The slow in beginning remains slow for whole of life.

Human brain weight 350 gms at birth grow to 1 kg in 1st year and 200-400 gms for the rest of the life. No significant raise in number of neurons after birth. If proper care taken for first 1000 days from the conceiving stage, better human resource can be build up for growth and general happiness of people.

India has performed well in 6 decades gained 30 years life expectancy since independence and run Polio eradication and other diseases control programme successfully. But under performed in reduction of IMR and MMR compare to Bangladesh, Nepal, Vietnam, Cambodia and other BRIC countries. It is still poor in IMR (42), under 5 mortality (55), immunization (66%) and birth attendance (47%). 3rd world TB cases are in India. Malaria risks here 70%. Large population of Indian girls, mothers and children are malnourished. And 50% problem of malnourishment is not food but other issues of indigestion, ambitious and deficiency of micro nutrients. Diarrhea alone contributes to 25% of undernutrition. "2 packets of ORS generate 2% GDP"

It has spend on building of infrastructure of sub centres, Dispensaries, PHCs, CHCs, referral hospitals but still it is very high in OOP (Out of pocket expenditure). People spend more from pocket (76%), ranked 172 out of 190.

Are our policies on right track?

What are the stake holders doing?

Are all ministers are "Health Minister" taking all decisions keeping human health in the centre?

We always compare ourselves with % of budget or % of GDP spending on "Health" but never estimate the basic minimum requirements to meet with MDGs (on health), and search resources (health tax) and implement it in time bound manner. Our centres made of bricks and cements are dying without medical and health personnel. And those working are bureaucrats (inefficient)!

Government with scarce resources opt for "Health Insurance but the Health Insurance Companies are more interested in giving cover to the healthier people, to earn more premium and spend less on cure. For them "Profit" is the centre.

"Patient is dependent on Provider". Private service providers are inefficient earn more through unnecessary tests, prescriptions and hospitalisation even for small diseases. Sun and open air give more immunity than air conditioned rooms of private hospitals but many die due to incurable hospital infections. And hospital bills, money making machine for the owners of the hospitals.

The most expensive medical equipment, "Doctor's Pen", why not been regulated? Second generation antibiotics are not ready and their overdoses have pushed many to a wall, from where only the graveyards are nearby. Many deaths occur due to "medical error".

Have we prioritised our expenditure on health? Prevention, Primary Care and Hospitalisation may be the order of priority but in practice we eye on insurance programme mainly addressing indoor care.

It is argued that those afford pay themselves, employers pay for employees and government pay for poors but OOP in India is one of the highest in the world. 50% of poor man income goes in health care. Nutritional food and quality of life are foreigners for them.

Due to epidemic deaths and high IMR, MMR our life expectancy was poor before independence. But those survived were healthier than present generation whose pockets are full with medicines.

Indian kitchens were 'preventive health care centres', cooking food as per the need of the season.  The old lady (doshi maa) was a "vaidhya", learned through mother-in-law, carrying knowledge of generations to perform as "gate keeper" and protecting the DNA chain of the family. But modern generation made after junk food, not know even how to feed the babies. They care more for their shape than the babies. And poor people, busy in meeting two ends of survival, can't remember "world parametres and health directions". And O vegetarians, feed more in the belly of your children, they need more energy.

Is 'Health Care' a State responsibility only? Why the couples are not tuned with "health knowledge" of 21st century? "Fittest survive", why more attention is not paid on quality of egg and sperms at the fertilisation stage.

On one side there is shortage of 4 lakh Doctors, 16 lakh nurses and 64 lakh allied staff and other side MCI and NCI made the entire country a slave of their regulations preventing growth of the sector? Short supply but highest norms!. Let people die for want of basic minimum health care need but long live regulations! Liberate medical education and bring children of poors to become doctors and para medics as their fire in belly will deliver more that those who study through public investments and do private practice or flew away abroad. Train girls to use health care equipments by making norms simpler. Give priority to "Health Care, not "Education Degrees".

When whole world is in need of "health and medical manpower" and India has greater potential to supply them to all, why the subject "medical and nursing education", not transferred to the States if failing in regulating MCI and NCI. The countries smaller than many States of India have freedom to decide, but "State Governments" in India are unable to generate medical and health personnel under stiff regulations of MCI and NCI.

Drinking water, a reason for thousands of diseases, left under the corrupt practices of local bodies. Implement regulations strictly.

And Air pollution, cities are rushing to get title of "the most polluted"! Build "Smart Cities with Smart Health".

It is "technology driven world". 850M mobiles in the country.  Can't we think giving primary health care through mobiles? Can't we provide consultancy through mobile for primary health care issues and generic medicines from the nearby medical store from auto generated SMS send to the store?

The experiment of providing "Swasthya Slate", to front line health workers for doing 33 tests in State of Jammu & Kashmir has increase the quality and speed of delivery of medical services. It can be implemented in all States under CSS and CSR.

Control non communicable diseases through taxing to reduce consumption of food and other related items. Take policy decisions of promoting or prohibiting items beneficial/hazardous to human health.

"Narayan Hrudyalaya" experiment of covering 17 lakh farmers with a premium of Rs.5/month, giving a cover of free of cost operation is remarkable. Every mobile linked with a premium of Rs.20/month can take care of operations of whole country if Dr. Devi Shetty's idea implemented. The mobile companies are charging otherwise, let they charge Rs.20/month more. And O Hospitals, buy disposable gowns and drapes in place of linen to control infection during and after surgery. It's cheaper and entrepreneurs promotional.

"Knowing is not enough, we must apply; Willing is not enough, we must do" -Goetha

"Think Big, Think Different". But Think of the small (<2s) to make India Healthy.

"If we don't create the future, the present extends Itself".

ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः
सर्वे सन्तु निरामयाः ।
सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु
मा कश्चिद्दुःखभाग्भवेत् ।
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥

1: Om, May All become Happy,
2: May All be Free from Illness.
3: May All See what is Auspicious,
4: May no one Suffer.
5: Om Peace, Peace, Peace.

15/11/14, Mussoorie

Urbanisation: Challenges and Opportunities

Urbanisation: Challenges and Opportunities

" India lives in cities/towns". Not correct? More familiar with "India lives in Village"? Time changed. India is on transition phase. 36% of its population live in urban areas and if added with suburbs and floating workforce coming to cities/towns; one can easily estimate that India lives in cities/towns. India is getting urbanised.

For last 10000 years from Mahabharat time, "Village Settlement", "Agro Estate" model India is settling very fast near the trade, business, manufacture and service centres. "Cities are labour markets earning more GDP than rural India". "Cities are engines of Growth".

It has posed challenges beyond the traditional Nagar; "water (nal), drainage(gatter), roads (raste); but bigger challenges of overcrowding, transport, traffic management, housing, health, education, electricity, slums, poverty, pollution, etc. People are vocal and demand services. 

European and American cities were like us 100-150 years ago. It took them 100 years to build present day cities. 

How to make city livable, sustainable and the people "Happy"?

How to balance consumption of land and optimize transportation?

How to allow market to take its own course of development of the city?

To follow "Top Down" FSI regulations that increased land prices and made administration corrupt OR to increase FSI to make more space available for streets to breath better? 

Indian economy move out of licence raj but it continued in city development plans.

Cities grow by classical model, polycentric model, composite model or urban village model. All types of growth picking up. If administrators fail in planning expansion of cities with infrastructure development, the auto expanded cities will cost 6-9 times more to repair it.

Indian States have tried different models but "Gujarat Model" of Development Plan (DP) and Town Plan (TP) is considered easier and faster in implementation with savings of land acquisition cost. Backed by Town Planning Act (1925, further amended in 1976), it has empowered the State to acquire 25% (now 40%) of the plot land without acquisition for infrastructure development and welfare plans. Once TP declared, with a formula of locational advantage valuation, final plots are given to all. State gets land for infrastructure and public places development and owners become rich by enhanced value of their land. The State of Gujarat could built Ahmedabad ring road in 2 years time and with simultaneously housing and commercial projects came up releasing pressure over old Ahmedabad city. It has applied same model in other cities.

On one end State and local bodies resources are shrinking and other end there is a need of Rs.4.9M CR finance to fill up the gap of urban infrastructure. Capacity improvement is pre condition to improve service delivery. Indian local bodies are starving for resources. Again Gujarat Model to follow giving grants from budget to compensate loss of Octroi income (State removed Octroi to promote businesses in the cities/towns). It has taken up infrastructure funding from JNNRUM and other CSS schemes as well as Schemes of the State Government.

However looking at the speed of urbanisation, the Governments have to engineered all models of Central funding, State funding, User Charges, selling FSI, PPP, sharing revenue to local bodies from GST etc.,

2000 towns of India are vibrating for Growth of India with a sizable people living in are in need of improvement of infrastructure (roads, drainage, water and power supply, etc), public places, public transport, housing, health and education facilities.

The Suburbs if developed with integrated transport facilities can reduce load over bigger cities. 24×7 electricity brought eGram and small businesses development in villages that slower down migration speed towards cities in Gujarat.

Streets are real estate, don't allow people to occupy space in parking. Provide better transport instead controlling FSI to avoid congestion in the city.

Let the people and the streets breath better to run faster as "India's Engine of Growth".


Who will feed India?

Who will feed India?

Before 60s and 70s people in underdeveloped countries were living in hunger and mass misery. India was feeding poors with 'Red Wheat' from US under PL480 through the PDS network.

With the initiation of Mexican Government and with his endless hard work to end hunger, 'A Great Man' emerged from this crisis and successfully created wheat varieties that were resistant to troublesome rust diseases. He was Dr. Norman Barlaug, the Father of Green Revolution. Later IRRI in Philippines developed HYVs of Rice. HYVs combined with fertilizers and pesticides created a large output to feed the exploded population in the world.

Hunger ended but it has generated side effects of substantial loss of ground water, fertility loss, pollution of river and adverse impact on human health due to over utilization of fertilizers and pesticides.

Farmers in India made the Country self sufficient in food. India mostly a wheat importer became exporter of wheat.

Per capita water availability in India is 4200 ltr (equal to Germany) but India missing water management. The farmers exploited the ground water resources badly. Free electricity and Government buying at MSP made Punjab farmers weak to compete in open market. Its water table is going down 33 cm every year. It's a water scarcity State exploiting water from 800-1000 feet with free power to grow high water consuming crop of rice (1kg=3000 ltr water) and sugarcane (1kg=2000ltr) and FCI supply the same to eastern India where these crops can be grown with better water resources. 5% of sugarcane crop takes away 70% water of the State in Maharastra.

Average farms size going down as 80% of farmers holding 2 hac. Labour became costly and mechanization capital cost not matching with farm size. Investments in farm machineries and pump sets gone up.

Per capita consumption of cereals going down due to more consumptions of fruits and vegetables.

Input subsidies going up. 5 states and 15% of farmers are MSP beneficiaries. Investment-subsidy ratio is 20:80. If the subsidies of Rs. 2,35,256 Cr (Food Security: 1,15,000 Cr; Fertilizers: 72000 Cr;  Agriculture: 31000 Cr; etc,) converted into investments, that will increase Agriculture growth rate to 6-7%. A choice between political return v/s economic return.

2004-5-6 were worst year for food grain production due to scarcity of rains. International prices erupted. Govt banned  export and increased MSP by 20% each year from 2007-8 to 11-12. Mean time, food grain production went up to 43 MT against the estimated 23 MT. National demand of food grain was 31.9MT. At last, loss of grains forced the govt to open export but the decision was late by 2 years.  

Lastly, under food security act, the government aimed to distribute 61.2 MT of cereal procured from farmers at MSP to  820M people through 4,80,000 FPSs. The estimated cost to the exchequer in 13-14 was Rs. 124700 Cr,  Rs. 140200 Cr in 13-14 and Rs. 157700 Cr in 15-16.

Suggested Strategy:

1) Rice cultivation to move from Punjab Haryana to Bihar and W.Bengal (Eastern India Initiatives).

2) Limit urbanisation and industrialisation to protect fertile belts (ganga, etc) of India. 

3) Need for agriculture regulations. Restrict cropping of rice and sugarcane (high water intake) in water scarcity areas. Promote crops as per the suitability to the area.

4) No free electricity permitted for irrigation. All farmers should be treated equal across the country.

5) Government should move out of procurement and MSP. PDS beneficiaries may be given cash coupons to buy cereals etc, from open market.

6) Fertilizers subsidy to be discontinued so that over utilisation of fertilizers can be restricted. Let the price of product decided by the market so that farmers put serious efforts on improving productivity. 
7) As agriculture utilizes 80% of the water of India, drip irrigation and other water saving techniques to be promoted.

8) 20% growth recorded in Punjab and MP in last three years, making Indian agriculture more competitive compare to manufacture. Scientific promotion will do wonder.

9) Now it is time for BT. BT is nokcking door for Second Green Revolution. BT cotton has changed agriculture growth statistics of Gujarat. People are eating Cotton Seed oil made out of BT cotton seeds. To deal with malnutrition and micro nutrients deficiency, the doors are to be opened for BT. (BT Brinjal awaiting).

10) Promote exports but not at the cost of water (i. e. Rice).

11) Agriculture is mostly done by agriculture labourers.  Give them training of scientific farming. Equipped them with better equipments.

12) Agriculture is facing scarcity of labourer in some areas due to urbanisation and other employment opportunities.  Therefore, there is need to address farm mechanisation at economic rate through banks funding. 

13) Improve quality of seeds and make it available to farmers.

14) Guide farmers through mobile.

15) Increase storage capacity to reduce losses of grains.

16) Add value and life to perishable crops yield.

17) Promote animal husbandry and other allied activities to make agricultural sustainable as large number of farmers are small and marginal.

18) Review Food Security Act.

"Grow more but food must be first". 


Quality of Education and Employability of youths are big challenges in India

Quality of Education and Employability of youths are big challenges in India

With 13 lakh schools, 750 degree granting institutions / universities, 35500 affiliated colleges and 315 M students (equal to population of US), India operates the biggest education system in the world.  Literacy rate has gone up to 74% (2011 census). RTE puts the onus on the government to provide quality education with all facilities, but there are big differences in quality of education across the States in India. By 2022, India will add about 25% global workforce, with close to 93% in the informal/unorganised sector.

In Primary Education ASER 2013, major findings are: 
1. Enrolment (6-14) is 96.7%
2. 29% pupils going to private school, enrolment increasing.  
3. 40% students of Std III can read Std I level text and can do two digit subtraction. 
4. Only 41% Students of Std V can read Std II level text and 20.8% can do division. (ASER 2013). 
5. Girls attendance is higher than boys
6. Not big difference in quality of education between public and private schools. 
7. Physical infrastructure has been improved but learning level is dropping. 

What is the way forward to improve primary education?

Roll out "Pratham model" of 5 phases (each 10 days) teaching to weak students through volunteers so that their reading, writing, calculating (reasoning) and leaning skill improve.

The students in Higher Education are in different streams: Arts (37%), Science (19%), Commerce & Management (18%), Engineering & Technology (16%), Medicine (4%), Education (4%), Law (2%), Others (1%). Generates more engineers (1.5 M) than Doctors (35000) per annum. Large number of Arts graduates are unemployable. College Infrastructures have been developed and teaching staff provided but majority of youths are seen outside the class in most of the college campus.

There are academic gaps in higher education in terms of inflexible curriculum, exam centric teachings, outdated techniques, unprepared teachers and disinterested youths.  The regulatory mechanism is rigid with limited autonomy and no focus on accreditation.

Technology has changed the world.  Students want to study any time, any where, any thing.  900M phones and smart phones changed information transmission mode. Teachers role become of a guide or mentor. Learners have developed collaborative skills with instinctive use of technology. Internet, social media etc playing bigger role in connecting people with knowledge.

What is the way forward to improve HE?

Remodel apprenticeship act and ensure on job skill training to the youths. Improve collaboration between institute to institute within India and globally. Foster entrepreneurship, as entrepreneurs creat jobs. Increase use of technology. Establish Global India University. Accreditation of all institutions. Private sector to drive 50% students. Academic institutions to be given more autonomy. Government funding to be moved from institutions to students so that students get choice of institute. Make Indian university global and Research Excellence for Global recognition.

What is way forward for 70% dropped after 8-10 and unemployable graduates?

70% of the students enrolled, drop after 8th or 10th standard. They enter into market as workforce and learn on job and working uncertified. They and unemployable graduates need vocational training so that they can learn key skills that will improve their employability quotient.

Need for employers involvement in the education space and the youth also shall explore alternative career routes and support their dreams.

12 M new workforce entering in the market every year and training capacity is only 3.1 M. Indian Apprenticeship Act has 3 lakh apprentices while Germany, Japan and China have 3M, 10M and 20M respectively.  Need for a change in apprenticeship act to widen its horizon. There is need for vocational universities as well involvement of private sector in imparting skill training. Labour market information for skill anticipation to be made available to youth. Mobiles to be use for skill guidance. 48% salary confiscation for low wage employees need modifications. 

And the Society to respect the dignity of labour.

"I call myself a labourer because I take pride in calling myself a spinner, weaver, farmer and scavenger" -Mahatma Gandhi

"All types of jobs are respected equally, and no occupation is considered superior" -Mahatma Gandhi.


Financial Inclusion in India

Financial Inclusion in India

For sustainable inclusive growth, India is eying on financial inclusions and livelihoods promotions.

PMJDY is one of the bigger steps joining people of India with banking services through mass accounts opening to make delivery of financial services at affordable costs to sections of disadvantaged and low-income segments of society. It is yet to link with biometric, but it has opened a way for direct cash transfers to plug holes/leakages in subsidy driven programmes.

Indian people are living in saving culture. They care for their future and future of their children. Therefore eat less and save more. They don't know how brain develops in first two years of birth?; how their children are stunted?; how women's chicks go deep after 2-3 years of marriage? Many not been able to feed their family properly, carrying debts, and been able to spend on health and education need of the family. PMJDY has opened a silver line for them in dark clouds of poverty.

But will they be included beyond opening accounts? If accounts are not going to become active, will banks willing to hold them? Per capita income may have gone up in India but large mass do not earn even Rs. 5000/month.

Time will tell, that it will finance them or their savings will go in funding capital market as the size of banks are not big enough to fund large projects.

The experience of bank funding in State Sponsored schemes is not satisfactory. Banks either under finance or reject large number of applications. Priority Sector advance mostly go to SMEs and weaker section advances always trail behind the target.

Agriculture loans are many times book adjustment adding cost on State (5%) and keep farmers and banks happy as loans (12% interest minus subsidy) mostly converted into deposits (9%). Banks carry book entries and gain 3% and farmers gain 2%. The major objective of investing money for agriculture inputs missing in many cases.

On one side approach of Nationalised banks is liberal in funding corporate giants for highly mechanised projects (generate less employment). And the outcome may be to run distilleries and print "red calendars" so that their children lives in clubs and change cars frequently and they live 11 digit costing house to fly from the roof top. Cooperative banks pull money from people and lend to self, friends, relatives and go bankrupt. And other side, the informal sector, the backbone of the country tired visiting branch managers for small finance. For them "credit to go slow".

The NPAs and loss generated by corporates are eye opening. Are we ready to share those figures and open public debate so that they can come under public audit. After all banks money is people's money.

Dairy Development in Gujarat did lead white revolution in the country, generated livelihoods, and contributed in GDP but many children lost their milk share as people keep less at home for consumption.  Malnutrition due to dairy a question need examination.  Similarly if poor people put their small earnings in banks to keep the account on, what will happen to the minimum expenditure they need to incur in maintaining micro nutrients in the bodies of the family. People tend to eat potatoes, onions, dal, rice, roti but will avoid fruits and vegetables to save money. Food is the only voluntary cut available with them to save money.

Increase bank branches, go for credit-payment separation, involve NBFCs, involve cooperatives, add more BCs, run kiosk banking, add more agencies already exist in market in different formats, and increase financial transactions in billions but make the life of common man easy to pay, deposit and borrow from financial institutions of the country. "Win Win".

Capital freedom must be balanced with mass welfare.  Not to reach to a situation where rich funds elections and won votes of poor to continue their growth that lead economic disparities between rich and poor.


Livelihoods Promotion a Challenge in India

Livelihoods Promotion a Challenge in India 

India is eying to bring down unemployment (2-3%) and poverty (<10%) to single digit. 

It is 3rd largest economy of the world in PPP term. But it contribute in large share of poors in world population. 90% of world poor (<$25/day) live in China, India and Sub Sahara Africa. India has 40M unemployed and 100 M underemployed.

India though implemented livelihoods promotions programme but baring success stories of kudumbshri, etc, mostly the SHGs or Sakhi Mandals become 'bachat mandals'. The micro finance of their members eased little bit but poor financing from banks and absence of economic activities made them ineffective. Other linked programmes on health, education, drinking water, roads, sanitation, etc, are mainly investments on infrastructure. 

With a population of 1.25B, it has 520M workforce, that is growing @2.4%/annum, adding 12M every year. During reform period of 1992-2012, India grew by 2.2%, lower than the growth in workforce. However last 5 years it grew by 3.4% generated 90 lakh livelihood/annum.

If youth study for longer than earlier, the gap between new workforce and livelihoods can be further minimised. With rise in income, women are withdrawing from workforce but still to bridge gap of 50 lakh/annum.
The village settlement model is in a change mode of urbanisation. 80% of the youth migrate or work in cities. Many villages are turning old age home. "Young India", with median age 26Y, 28% of its population falls in 15-29 age group. Unemployment of youth is a family problem now may become social problem if median age of unemployed reach to 31Y.

Unemployment percentage in India is 9% but over 40% are BPL (43% in rural and 23% in urban); 4 cr unemployed and 10 cr underemployed, working poor, earning less.

On one side unemployment percentage are high and other side agriculture and SME sectors complaint about shortage of workforce. Industries are not thrilled with new workforce. India's "Demographic Dividend" youth are unemployable after skill up gradation training. Younger generation is not keen to go to farms, eying mostly comfortable jobs.

How to promote livelihoods and increase income of underemployed?

The answer is "enhance marginal productivity by skill up gradation and additional capital to buy equipments. An investment of Rs. 50,000/head required from State budget for skilling up and equipment support to make each youth employable.

Whatever people doing at present, do it better. Skilling 60% people for 7% jobs will not work. The way RTO book entry protected finance of Banks and boomed automobile industry, the bank finance to youth linked with recovery from wages through legislation. No one should be hired without certification. Buildings workers and other workforce need skill enhancement. "Neno Training" model of giving training 1 hr in morning and 1 hr in evening with wage protection can be thought of. MMS and SMS applications can guide them at work. They learn and work. On job training through mobile will be revolutionary.

Labour Policy to address modifications in Labour Laws to make easy exit of inefficient labourers to make the production unit viable. So that investments in manufacturing and other sectors go up.

Though India created irrigation capacity of 60M hec, post independence, the highest in human history, but most of the irrigation projects are running far  below the capacity. With incremental improvement, India can increase agriculture production by 30MT/year. 5 year sensible work under Watershed development programme has potential to rejuvenate water resources.

Farmers now seen on bikes and live more time away from farms, if given water for irrigation and modern equipments for farming, there won't be a need to support them with subsidies and MSP. (MSP made many farmers care free, not changing crop, not improving productivity, govt as buyer making them inefficient, not ready to face market challenges).

13/11/14, Mussoorie

NB: Employment doesn't mean only jobs; jobs plus self employment; a ventilation for politicians to defend in elections !!! 
Powered by Blogger.