Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tracking the growth of India’s middle class

Rapid economic growth has set the stage for fundamental change among the country's consumers. The same energy that has lifted hundreds of millions of Indians out of desperate poverty is creating a massive middle class centered in the cities. A new study by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) suggests that if India continues its recent growth, average household incomes will triple over the next two decades and it will become the world's 5th-largest consumer economy by 2025, up from 12th now. (The full report, The 'Bird of Gold': The Rise of India's Consumer Market, is available free of charge online.) Along the way, spending patterns will shift significantly as discretionary purchases capture a majority of consumer spending. India's potential should make it a high priority for most consumer goods businesses, but to succeed in this complex market they must overcome major challenges.

Private consumption has already played a much larger role in India's growth than it has in that of other developing countries. In 2005 private spending reached about 17 trillion Indian rupees1 ($372 billion), accounting for more than 60 percent of India's GDP, so in this respect the country is closer to developed economies such as Japan and the United States than are China and other fast-growing emerging markets in Asia (Exhibit 1). Our study shows that aggregate consumer spending could more than quadruple in coming years, reaching 70 trillion rupees by 2025. Higher private incomes and, to a lesser extent, population growth will encourage this rise in consumption. Changes in savings behavior will play only a minor role.

With such growth on the horizon, it is unclear which companies will win in most product categories. Opportunities will blossom as millions of first-time buyers step up to cash registers and as the bulk of consumer spending moves from scattered, hard-to-reach rural areas to more concentrated, accessible urban markets. Indian consumer spending will shift substantially from the informal economy, with its individual traders, to the more efficient formal economy of organized businesses. That transition will lower prices and further boost demand.

But neither incumbents nor attackers will have an easy time. Bureaucratic hurdles and well-recognized infrastructure shortcomings will frustrate many strategies. In addition, while aggregate spending will rise tremendously, it will be spread across hundreds of millions of households, many with very modest incomes (by the standards of developed countries) and high sensitivity to price and value. Finally, in many consumer markets both Indian and multinational companies already compete intensely for customers. While the opportunities will be enormous, the challenges will force companies to be more dynamic by adapting their products, services, and business models to the rapidly changing needs and incomes of Indian consumers.

We examined the way India's consumer market will likely develop under a set of reasonable economic assumptions (see sidebar, "About the research"). In particular, our model assumes that real compound annual growth will be 7.3 percent over the next two decades and that economic-reform efforts will continue. If these conditions are met, the life of the average Indian will change vastly by 2025.

A market rising from poverty

India's economic reforms, begun in 1991, have substantially improved the country's well-being, and our analysis shows that further improvements are to come. In 1985 93 percent of the population lived on a household income of less than 90,000 rupees a year, or about a dollar per person per day; by 2005 that proportion had been cut nearly in half, to 54 percent. By our estimate, 431 million fewer Indians live in extreme poverty today than would have if poverty had remained stuck at the 1985 level. We project that if India can achieve 7.3 percent annual growth over the next 20 years, 465 million more people will be spared a life of extreme deprivation (Exhibit 2).


Contrary to popular perceptions, rural India has benefited from this growth: extreme rural poverty has declined from 94 percent in 1985 to 61 percent in 2005, and we project that it will drop to 26 percent by 2025. While the progress has been substantial—even historic—significant challenges remain. First, there are large regional disparities in growth and in the reduction of poverty: India's southern and western states prosper, while the northern and eastern states (with the exceptions of the capital region, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and Punjab) lag behind. Second, while India has been slowly urbanizing over the past two decades, it remains the least urbanized of the emerging Asian economies. Today only 29 percent of Indians live in cities, compared with 40 percent of the Chinese and 48 percent of Indonesians, and we project that the level of urbanization will increase to only 37 percent by 2025.2 Finally, while more Indians are completing secondary and higher education, the educational system remains severely strained and the quality of and opportunities for schooling vary widely.

In rural areas life may become less desperate thanks to continued growth and to government investment in infrastructure and development. But it will likely remain a struggle, particularly for subsistence farmers in the north and east and for others with little education. For India's urbanites, especially educated ones, the future looks promising. Many of these households will make the jump not only out of poverty but also into the new and aspiring middle class.

The birth of a new middle class

The growth that has pulled millions of people out of poverty is also building a huge middle class that will be concentrated in India's urban areas. While urbanization isn't proceeding as quickly as it is in other Asian economies, rapid population growth means that in absolute terms the country's urban population will expand significantly, from 318 million today to 523 million in 2025.

Urban growth will bring several important consequences. First, it will put tremendous pressure on the urban infrastructure, which is already heavily overburdened. (Our projections assume that infrastructure investments will at least keep pace with urban growth and that problems with transportation and utilities won't worsen to the point of hampering growth.) Also, in India—unlike China, where urban growth is spread across a large number of cities—the economy will continue to be dominated by the megacities (Delhi and Mumbai) plus the six next-largest urban agglomerations.3 Nevertheless, a handful of smaller places, such as Chandigarh and Ludhiana, will have per capita incomes rivaling those of the major cities and emerge as attractive markets. The shift in spending power from the countryside to the cities will place the bulk of India's private consumption within easier reach of major companies. Today 57 percent of private spending is spread across rural areas, but by 2025 cities will command 62 percent of the country's spending power.

Along with the shift from rural to urban consumption, India will witness the rapid growth of its middle class—households with disposable incomes from 200,000 to 1,000,000 rupees a year.4 That class now comprises about 50 million people, roughly 5 percent of the population. By 2025 a continuing rise in personal incomes will spur a tenfold increase, enlarging the middle class to about 583 million people, or 41 percent of the population. In 20 years the shape of the income pyramid will have become almost unrecognizable (Exhibit 3).


The Indian middle class has already begun to evolve, and by 2025 it will dominate the cities. By then about three-quarters of India's urbanites will be part of the middle class, compared with just more than one-tenth today. The expansion will come in two phases, with the lower middle class peaking around 2020, just as the growth of the upper middle class accelerates (Exhibit 4). About 400 million Indian city dwellers—a group nearly 100 million people larger than the current population of the United States—will belong to households with a comfortable standard of living. For many companies, the sheer scale of this new urban middle class will ensure that it receives significant attention.

What's more, companies shouldn't underestimate the market presented by the country's most affluent consumers: those earning more than 1,000,000 rupees a year—$21,890 in real 2000 dollar terms, or $117,650 in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP). They will remain a small portion of society: about 2 percent of the population in 2025, up from 0.2 percent today. But in absolute numbers, by 2025 India's wealthiest citizens will total 24 million, more than the current population of Australia. By that year too, India's affluent class will be larger than China's comparable segment, projected at about 19 million people.5 Affluent India's share of national private consumption will increase from 7 percent today to 20 percent in 2025, which helps to explain the recent rush into the Indian market of luxury goods such as Louis Vuitton bags and Jimmy Choo shoes.

These "global" Indians live mostly in the eight largest cities, so they are very accessible to large domestic and multinational companies. Further, they have tastes similar to those of their counterparts in developed countries: brand name goods, vacations abroad, the latest consumer electronics, and high-end cars.

At home with India's middle class
A narrated set of photos from three Indian families that show how tradition and globalization are defining the spending habits of a burgeoning middle class

Changes in consumption

As Indians continue to climb the economic ladder, the composition of their spending will change considerably. In a pattern witnessed in many other developing countries, discretionary expenditures, such as mobile phones and personal-care products, will take up more room in the nation's shopping basket.

This shift from necessities, defined in our analysis as food and clothing,6 is already under way—and taking place at lower income levels than we have seen in other countries (Exhibit 5). We expect that discretionary spending in India will rise from 52 percent of total private spending today to 70 percent in 2025. South Korea went through a similar transformation in the 1980s, when its per capita income levels were about twice those of India now.

Food (including beverages and tobacco) will post the sharpest decline in relative consumption, even as overall spending in the category rises. The fall in the share of food expenditures during our forecast period—to 25 percent, from 42 percent—is linked closely to the growth of the middle class. Despite this relative decline, food will remain the single largest category of expenditure, and we expect that growth in consumption will accelerate to 4.5 percent annually, from 3 percent over the past 20 years.

That growth, however, will appear tepid compared with the rise of other categories. In particular, spending on purchases that improve the economic prospects and quality of life of a person or family—health, education, transport, and communications—will soar and eventually command a greater share of consumption than they do elsewhere. The inadequacy of India's public-health system, for example, means that private health care is a high priority for many Indian families when their incomes grow. This imperative will drive growth in private health care spending by almost 11 percent a year, so that it will account for 13 percent of the purchases of Indian households by 2025, a larger share than current levels in all of the countries we examined7 except the United States.

In another remarkable shift, spending on education will grow by 11 percent over the next 20 years, to 9 percent of household consumption, higher than today's levels in any of our benchmark countries. In rural areas, households emerging from poverty will make educating their children a priority, while higher-income urbanites will be spending more on better-quality education, university degrees, and study-abroad programs. Meanwhile, despite India's fondness for cricket and "Bollywood" movies, recreational products and services will take a smaller slice of household spending there than in other countries.

Transportation, already the largest category of expense after food, will take a bigger portion of household budgets in coming years, exceeding its share in all of our benchmark countries. The highest growth will come from car purchases. Categories such as clothing and household goods are expected to post slower annual growth relative to overall consumption—6.4 percent and 6.9 percent, respectively—and thus to lose share of wallet. Yet even in these categories, growth rates will remain highly attractive as compared with those in other markets around the world.

What it means for businesses

Three-quarters of India's consumer market in 2025 doesn't exist today—about 52.6 trillion rupees a year in future purchases will be up for grabs. Also, India's rapid upward mobility means that many of India's households will be new consumers, enjoying significant discretionary consumption in the organized economy for the first time in their lives. Incumbents and challengers alike face a sea change. India's incumbents, mostly domestic companies, will start with many advantages: existing relationships with customers, an understanding of their needs, and recognized brands.

The incumbents also have established distribution channels—very important in a country of vast geography and limited infrastructure.

But growing incomes and consumption will pressure incumbents from two directions. First, such companies must adjust to the pace and magnitude of change, for as consumers rise through the income brackets, their needs, tastes, aspirations, and brand loyalties will evolve along with their lifestyles. Second, India's growing consumption will attract a raft of challengers, and ongoing economic reform will significantly intensify competition in many markets. New competition will come from multinationals entering the Indian market, from established Indian companies looking for expansion opportunities, and from entrepreneurs. Indeed, if the country's policy makers create the conditions for India's entrepreneurs to succeed, major new companies could be built on the back of consumer growth.

Many incumbents haven't prepared enough for this discontinuity. They will have to develop a deep understanding of how the consumer's needs and aspirations will change as incomes grow and find ways of creating innovative products that meet those changing needs. In addition, they must think about how they should introduce new consumers to their products, whether their brands are appropriate for those consumers, and what prices and cost positions will help them compete most effectively for a share of this new middle-class market. Nor is that all: incumbents will have to keep a wary eye on the actions of their current competitors and on new market entrants. That's a full agenda, and companies that begin preparing today will be in the best position to benefit from the changes.

For attackers, the challenge will be to spot the gaps and opportunities that arise as India's income and class structure change; they might, for example, ask themselves where small markets or limited competition, or both, have served middle-class consumers poorly. Attackers could also turn to other emerging economies to seek lessons on how tastes and needs will likely evolve in India, perhaps looking in particular for categories in which spending shifted from local products and brands to international ones as aspirations rose. Attackers seeking to exploit these changes should consider what new needs will be unique to Indian tastes and the market as the middle class grows.

In India, as in many emerging markets, multinational companies will find themselves squeezed between the desire of the country's consumers for a modern middle-class lifestyle and the realities of their limited budgets. In 2005 the average middle-class family spent just over 300,000 rupees annually—roughly $6,600—a very modest sum in real terms, but in PPP terms equal to around $35,000. As one multinational executive noted, however, "You can't put PPP dollars in the bank, only real dollars." Multinationals must innovate to deliver an aspirational middle-class lifestyle to families on an Indian budget. Companies that can develop new business models, design products with carefully targeted features, and create brands that appeal to India's upwardly mobile people will attract huge numbers of eager consumers.

The future we have described assumes that India will continue on its recent path of strong growth. There are many reasons to believe that this assumption is realistic, most notably the scope for improved productivity in the economy. But India's outlook depends strongly on continued long-term economic reforms that are needed to address serious deficiencies in the country's infrastructure, modernize the financial system, and promote investment in human capital through better education and health care.

India's emergence as the world's fifth-largest consumer economy will bring significant benefits to the country and the world. Growth will pull hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and into the world's middle class. With rising incomes, Indians will have the opportunity to realize comforts and pleasures enjoyed by middle-class families around the world. In addition, rising domestic consumption will create further economic growth and employment as companies work to meet the new consumer demand. For the world's businesses, India represents one of the largest consumer market opportunities of the next two decades. During the first millennium, merchants referred to India's glittering and dynamic market as the "bird of gold." That bird is preparing to take flight again

source :

Comparing urbanization in China and India

China and India are both urbanizing rapidly, but China has embraced and shaped the process, while India is still waking up to its urban realities and opportunities.

China and India are in the vanguard of a wave of urban expansion that is restoring the global prominence that Asia enjoyed before the European and North American industrial revolution. By 2025, nearly 2.5 billion Asians will live in cities, accounting for almost 54 percent of the world's urban population. India and China alone will account for more than 62 percent of Asian urban population growth and 40 percent of global urban population growth from 2005 to 2025.

In 1950, India was a more urban nation than China (17 percent of the population lived in cities, compared with China's 13 percent). But from 1950 to 2005, China urbanized far more rapidly than India, to an urbanization rate of 41 percent, compared with 29 percent in India. New research from the McKinsey Global Institute1 expects this pattern to continue, with China forecast to add 400 million to its urban population, which will account for 64 percent of the total population by 2025, and India to add 215 million to its cities, whose populations will account for 38 percent of the total in 2025.

Never before in history have two of the largest nations (in terms of population) urbanized at the same time, and at such a pace. This process will drive fundamental shifts—in both countries—which will have significant consequences for the world economy and offer exciting new opportunities for investors.

In India, urban per capita GDP is projected to grow at a rate of 6 percent a year from 2005 to 2025, while China will see growth of 7.3 percent. The number of urban households with true discretionary-spending power in India could increase sevenfold, to 89 million households, in 2025. In China, there are 55 million middle-class households today. That number could more than quadruple to nearly 280 million in 2025, to account for more than three-quarters of all China's urban households. For businesses, the significant increase in per capita urban incomes and middle-income households offers the potential of vibrant new markets to serve.

So what markets are likely to benefit the most from these trends? In India, by 2025, the largest markets will be transportation and communications, food, and health care, followed by housing and utilities, recreation, and education. Even India's slower-growing spending categories will represent significant opportunities for businesses because these markets will still be growing rapidly in comparison with their counterparts in other areas of the world. In China's cities, the fastest-growing categories are likely to be transportation and communications, housing and utilities, personal products, health care, and recreation and education.

In addition, in both China and India, urban infrastructure markets will be massive. For example, from 2005 to 2025, India will need to add 700 million to 900 million square meters of floor space a year; in China, the required numbers could be 1,600 million to 1,900 million square meters. During the same period, India will need to add at least 350 to 400 kilometers of metropolitan railways and subways annually, while the corresponding number in China will be closer to 1,000 kilometers.

There is little doubt about the scale of the new markets in China and India unleashed by the pace and scale of their urbanization. But businesses still need to be able to serve these markets in practical terms. The way cities are run—and the productivity that results—is a major factor for companies. Here, China is in much better shape than India. While India has barely paid attention to its urban transformation, China has developed a set of internally consistent practices across every element of the urbanization operating model: funding, governance, planning, sectoral policies, and the shape, or pattern, of urbanization, both across the nation as a whole and within cities themselves.

India has underinvested in its cities; China has invested ahead of demand and given its cities the freedom to raise substantial investment resources by monetizing land assets and retaining a 25 percent share of value-added taxes. While India spends $17 per capita on capital investments in urban infrastructure annually, China spends $116. India has devolved little real power and accountability to its cities, but China's major cities enjoy the same status as provinces and have powerful political appointees as mayors. While India's urban-planning system has failed to address competing demands for space, China has a mature urban-planning regime (emphasizing the systematic development of run-down areas) consistent with long-range plans for land use, housing, and transportation.

The starkest contrast between the two countries is that China has embraced and shaped urbanization, while India is still waking up to its urban reality and the opportunities that its cities offer for economic and social transformation.

However, if India fixes its urban operating model, it has the potential to reap a demographic dividend from the increase—of around 250 million expected in the next decade—in the working-age population. This dividend is even larger than that in China, which is aging rapidly. By 2025, nearly 28 percent of its inhabitants will be aged 55 or older, compared with only 16 percent in India, whose demographic profile is much more youthful. If India optimizes the productivity of its cities and maximizes their GDP, the economy could add more than 170 million urban workers to its labor force from 2005 to 2025, compared with 50 million in China over the same period. The stakes are high.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Mrunal's tips for civil service essay

What to write & What not to write in Mains IAS exam?


This is what I learned from my seniors and toppers. There are plenty of articles on internet on how to prepare the essay (=read editorials daily etc.) I'm writing one about how to 'actually' write it inside the exam hall.
In the Essay paper, they give you 4-5 essays and you've to write only one. Time limit -3 hours, Max-marks=200.

In a 2 marker question, UPSC specifically mentions that answer it in 20 words. So with that logic, you're expected to write an essay containing around 2000 words for the 200 marks.

Tip#1: Think for 30-45 minutes before you start the Essay writing

Take this example.
They asked an essay on Gandhi, I start writing it. I write something like

Gandhi was born in Porbandar & then He went to England…africa..come back…freedom struggle..Gandhi-Irwin..2nd round table….partition…etc.

After 1 hour of writing, I realize that I forgot mention about Champaran's Indigo Struggle when Gandhi got actively involved in Indian Freedom struggle for the first time! Now I can't add it. Because there is no space in initial pages. However I can still try to add it in the conclusion like

…in 1947 Gandhi won the fight he started with Champaran…"
But when Examiner doesn't find the mention of Champaran in the initial pages, then he gets an impression you forgot it = less marks. Hence everything has to be written in its place.

That's why you must…..

Think for 30-45 minutes before you start the Essay writing

You've 3 hours to write the essay. Don't immediately start
  • 1st try to recall everything that you can remember / want to say about the essay.
  • Take a pencil and write them all (in very brief) on the end of the answer sheet
  • See if there is any chance of adding some diagram or table in it?
Do you remember any?
  1. any famous quotes?
  2. Current events
  3. People
  4. Historical events
  5. Laws / Administrative polices related to it
*Related to that topic, What are the
  1. Positive
  2. Negative sides
  3. obstacles
  4. Reforms you suggest?

Once you're done adding everything that you can think about, regarding the essay- then give those topics, order of preference.
The order is very important, just like in wedding parties you start with Soup…dal-roti and…Ice cream in the end.
The order should be
  1. Introduction
  2. Background / History related
  3. Main concept / theory / what the subject is about
  4. Current scenario related to it.
  5. Good sides
  6. Negative sides / obstacles
  7. Suggested reforms
  8. Conclusion

everything has to be written in its place. Gandhi's Champaran must come in the beginning not in the end.

Tip#2: SOME DON'Ts: What not to write in essay

1. Autocracy is better than democracy. (know that it's the democracy that's allowing you to criticize it) so you should never justify certain solution to India's problems.
2. Excessive criticism of Govt. / administration (I mean the frontline and The Hindu's stand)
3. Seeing negative sides with out suggesting reforms in it.

Tip#3: Provocative Essays:

Sometimes the essay topics are given in such a way, that you want to agree all the way. E.g.
  1. Panchayati raj is wastage of tax payer's money. (yes it seems so, just like NREGA but when you're writing an Essay you need to maintain some balance)
  2. Poor people are their own enemies.

In such cases - just because he gave you statement doesn't mean you've to sing in his tone throughout the paper.DO NOT forget to show the other side of the mirror.
Its Easier to criticize a non working things than to fix it. (Remember this all time during essay.)
Filmy things or Filmy solutions to real life problems. (Munna Bhai MBBS / Slum Dog Millioner.)

Tip#4: Donot get personal

  • Don't go Naming individual politicians - their achievement / scandals (Kalmadi, Raja,Amar Singh etc.)
  • (except in the foreign policy related essay, where you've to analyse from entire Nehru's Panchsheel era to Vajpayee's Lahore Bus visit and current affairs.) our Foreign policy has changed with every prime minister so their names need to be mentioned.
  • Never write essay talking like "Congress did this and BJP did that." It's the trait of a common man not of a future officer.
  • Give a balanced answer With out getting into hero-worship or mud slinging
  • If criticizing Govenrment in the essay alone was going to make you IAS officer, then every journalist of Aaj Tak would be an IAS officer.
  • An officer's trait is to remain 'anonymous', 'faceless' and neutral- meaning your essay should look like it has been written by a graduate.

Same applies for

1. Religion / culture/ language-literature (in philosophical essays)
2. States (in polity / federalism / Development)

I'm not saying you should transform into a sterile person writing the essay with out having any personal view/ opinion or righteous anger but, you mustn't become too much passionate about certain things.
I'm saying all this because you can never be sure about what will be the political / ideological / religious / regional alignment of the examiner.
This suggestion also applies while dealing with Public Administration (optional subject).

Tip#5: Quotes

1. Don't make mistakes in writing who said what. E.g. you quote Abraham Lincon's sentence and write George Washington said it. nothing will make you look more stupid in the eyes of the examiner than that.

2.Quote Exactly as it was said. Mao said "Power flows from the barrel of a gun" so you should not write it as
"barrel of the gun contains power" or
"muzzle of the gun flows the power"
You must quote the quote verbatim. If you're not sure then don't quote it.

Tip#6: Padding & Deviating from the subject

Even in the worst case, you're supposed to write 1200-1500 words for a 200 marks essay.
Padding means, you don't know the exact answer so you just beat around the bushes and write the garbage stuff to fill up the pages, while this tactic does work in the school and college exams but don't try it in the essay paper.
Don't write too many proverbs / quotes/ (invented) case studies/examples per page. It makes the examiner think that you've no input of your own so you're just filling up the pages.

Donot pick up the subject where your idea or thought content is very low.
  • Ex. you picked up "Do we need nuclear power" - So you start with how thermal power-stations create pollution, there is huge demand and low supply of electricity, nuke power is cheap, and then the dangers such as Japanese Tsunami etc.
  • After 4 pages, your thoughts and ideas are exhausted-you've nothing more to say and assuming that you write 100 words per page, you realise that only 400 words won't get you any marks ! now you can't scratch those pages and write a new essay on new topic, you've wasted enough time on this one.
  • So you decide to continue with this nuke-power essay and start rewriting the same stuff you already stated in different ways and then you'll deviate from the main topic- like nuke power is unsafe as we saw in Japan so we need to switch to renewable energy source like Sun, Wind and Water -> then 4 pages on advantages of renewable energy as if this is an essay on "the benefits of Non-renewable energy" and not on nuke power, you write about the pro-cons of hydro-electricity like dams and displacement of people.
  • Then you realise "omg, displacement of people also applies while making nuke-powerplants like in Maharashtra!" so you come back to the topic -half page written but still you've not filled up enough pages so you start talking about to land-acquisition policy and start writing the pro-cons..another half page on it. Then you think "oh i must talk something about the Indo-US nuke deal" so you go on talking about how we haven't signed the CTBT and yet N.S.G gave us clearance and China-Pakistan couldn't stop it so we are a global power now and we deserve a permanent seat in UNSC! This kind of padding goes on until time is up.
  • You've messed up the whole thing, you totally deviated from the subject. Your essay doesn't have any flow of thoughts or proper rhythm. The seasoned examiners immediatly sniff out this padding and they don't give much marks for it, your expected score for this kind of garbage writing is less than 50/200, means even with decent score in all other papers, your chances of getting interview call is close to zero. You've jeopardised your chances of selection in IAS, you've digged your own grave. That's why
  1. take great care in picking up the subject
  2. first 30-40 minutes for thorough thinking.
  3. stick to the subject
Same applies while dealing with the big 60 marker question in GS and optional papers. (not 30 minutes of thinking but atleast 5-7 minutes!)

Suggested Reading

Essay is not something that can be learned reading one book or reading for 1 month.
It's a continuous and long process takes some diverse reading before you've enough content to write something decent and something big enough to fill 20 pages to fetch 100+ marks.

  1. Editorials of english newspapers ( but don't get swayed about by either leftist or capitalist stuff preched by both sides)
  2. Magazines like Frontline, yojana, Kurukshetra. (it gives you the fodder material: statistical data to quote like how many % illiterate and so on but again don't use too much statistical data for padding and most importantly don't 'invent' your own case studies and
  3. Watch English news channel - discussions / debates.
  4. See the old question papers and try to make an outline of each and every Essay asked so far.

Me and my ruined essay

In 2009's mains attempt, I got only 20/200 marks in the Essay. It was about 'are we a soft state?'. I wrote it only from the foriegn policy and law-n-order point of view, without seeing the cultural -historical contexts. It was a monotonous essay without any spark. Moral of the story: First 30-40 minutes, do try to see different angles of the subject and give a thorough thought before you start writing.

-Some veterans are in opinion that you should pick up the essay on technical subject, example space-technology, advances in medical science, how IT has changed lives and so on. Because only a few people attempt them, and due to technical nature, your ideas are unlikely to be in conflict with the examiner so you'll get more marks. But then again you need enough 'content' to write 1500+ words else the padding route=digging your own grave. And there are enough toppers who wrote the non-technical essay and still got in the top-merit list so as usual for every generalisation made about UPSC, you'll find a counter example!

Predicting Essays for 2011 Mains paper

As usual coaching classes try to anticipate which essays will be asked, and UPSC makes sure they are not asked. So be prepared for everything- don't just rely on selected hot-topics like Lokpal and Civil society.

In old times, it was quite predictable, see the papers from 1997 to 2006: almost every year there is an essay on polity-judiciary, one on women empowerment, one on Science-tech, one on democracy and governance. But nowadays UPSC is rapidly breaking the trends.

Lets look @ the 2010 paper. People predicted: there will be some essay on games, due to CWG or Asiad or even on corruption and good Governance given CWG and 2G scams. But there was nothing.
I'm putting the comparative list of essays asked in last two years (2009 and 2010). Make your own judgement and prediction and prepare accordingly.

Vulnerable groups of society (India vs. Bharat Debate)
  1. Should a moratorium be imposed on all fresh mining in tribal areas of the country? (2010) (can be classified as current affairs due to Mines regulation bill)
  2. Are our traditional handicrafts doomed to a slow death? (2009)
  3. From traditional Indian philanthropy to the Gates-Buffet model-a natural progression or a paradigm shift?-2010
  4. The focus of health care is increasingly getting skewed towards the 'haves' of our society-2009
International relations
  1. Preparedness of our society for India's global leadership role. 2010
  2. Are we a soft state? 2009
  3. Good Fences make good neighbors. 2009
One more bad news: in 1997 to 2006 era, UPSC gave 6 subjects and you had to write one essay, in 2009: five options and in 2010 : only 4 options.

Railways to save 3 lakh paper per day

You might have come across during any train trip, the altercation between the Ticket Checking staff and Passenger over printout of the Railway tickets booked through Online Reservation facility.

As per the regulations of Railways until now relating to online reservation made through Internet, a printout of online reservation details which is generated after e-tickets are booked has to be carried by the passenger along with identification documents prescribed.

Failure to carry this printout containing railway reservation details will result in payment of fine to the tune of Rs.50.

Sometimes, Railway Ticket Checker will reject the printout carried by the passenger for flimsy reasons such as the printout is only the message for confirmation of reservation received by the passenger in email and not the one generated by the system after the ticket is booked.
Here is this happy news: This procedure of carrying printout of e-ticket is now not mandatory.

Now, Railway department has issued an instruction in its website ( that there is no necessity to carry printout (paper copy) of e-ticket reservation details. It is enough if we carry our mobile contains a screen-shot (photo) of e-ticket details that is generated in the web page after we book our e-tickets.

This screen-shot can easily be taken using our mobile phone. After booking of tickets online just take a snap of the computer screen which shows the e-ticket details generated by the system (the details which you have to take a paper printout until now) using your mobile phone or any other camera.

This image contained in your mobile phone can be shown to the ticket checker during your journey along with your photo identification documents such as ration card, PAN card, identification card issued by Government etc.

The railway website says this relaxation is given considering that our country can save 3 lakh paper per day as this much quantity of paper of is issued daily for taking printout of e-tickets by passengers every day in India. This is really a welcome change.

The following is the text of this latest change as available in the Railways website

Electronic Reservation Slip (ERS) – The printout in standard specified Performa containing reservation particulars, and instructions for use which can be used by the passenger along with the relevant authorized Identification, as travel authority for performing the journey.

Virtual Reservation Message (VRM) – A screen-shot of the e-ticket displayed through laptops/palm tops/ Mobile phone is referred as Virtual Reservation Message (VRM).

ERS/VRM along with any one of the eight prescribed ID proofs in original and the indication of the passenger(s)' name(s) in the Reservation Chart will authorize the passenger to travel.

VRM combined with valid photo-id in original will be treated as an instrument on par with the ERS.

ERS/VRM along with one of the eight prescribed proofs of identity in original will also authorize the passenger to enter the platform on the day of journey and he/she will not be required to purchase platform ticket. ERS/VRM along with original id proof will be required to be produced on demand of Ticket Checking Staff on the platform.

Civil service mains Basics in eenadu

Saturday, September 24, 2011

ఆశావాదమే విజయసోపానం

ఆశావాదమే విజయసోపానం -  రమణా రెడ్డి ఐ ఆర్ టి ఎస్ ఇంటర్వ్యూ ఈనాడులో

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

GST bigger game changer than FDI

The Future Group founder and chief executive Kishore Biyani on
Wednesday said implementation of the new uniform tax regime -- Goods
and Services Tax (GST) -- is likely to play a bigger role for the
retail industry, than foreign direct investment. "Foreign direct
investment (FDI) will be a game-changer but an even bigger
game-changer will be GST. I see this happening in the next 12-18
months. This will make the ground even," Biyani, who runs the
country's largest organised retail chain under the Big bazaar brand,
told the two-day India Retail Forum which began in Mumbai on

The existing regulations do not allow FDI in multi-brand front-end
retail, while 100 % FDI is allowed in wholesale retail. The government
is now toying with the idea of allowing 51 % FDI in multi-brand
retail, but a final call is yet to be taken.

"GST is a bigger game-changer because everybody will be on a
level-playing field. Today small retailers have bigger advantage as
the tax they pay is different," he said.

Introduction of GST would subsume Central and state taxes like excise,
customs, service tax, sales tax and VAT.

A Constitution amendment Bill had already been introduced in the Lok
Sabha for rolling out GST in the Budget session, but is pending for
parliamentary approval as the finance ministry has so far been unable
to elicit support from the opposition block, especially the Bharatiya
Janata Party.

The BJP-ruled states are opposing the current amount of revenue
compensation that the states would be getting from the Centre post-GST
roll-out. They also have apprehensions about losing fiscal and
financial autonomy under the proposed GST regime.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

types of Bus passes-eenadu

4 million “missing” poor women in developing countries each year

There are close to 4 million "missing" poor women in developing countries each year, says a new World Bank report. India accounts for one million of these women.

Expressing deep concern at excess female mortality or "missing" females, World Development Report 2012: Gender Equality and Development says, "About two-fifths of girls are never born, one-fifth goes missing in infancy and childhood, and the remaining two-fifths do so between the ages 15 and 59."

Gender equality is all about smart economics, as it can have a huge impact on productivity and economic efficiency, says the report, taking note of the gains made in narrowing gender gaps and access to education but growing disparities in certain areas.

Globally, women represent more than 40 per cent of the workforce, 43 per cent of the agricultural workforce, and more than half of the world's university students. "For an economy to be functioning at its potential, women's skills and talent should be engaged in activities that make the best use of those abilities", it says.

It calls for focussed domestic policy action by Governments, especially in the key areas of female mortality, access to economic opportunities and shrinking voice within households and society. Countries such as India need to check the abuse of new technologies for sex-selective abortions such as cheap mobile ultra-sound clinics despite laws against such practices.

Other major focus areas that the report outlines is strengthening land and ownership rights for women, providing child care either "directly by the state or through private sector, possible with public subsidies and regulation," having parental leave policies in place, improvement in infrastructure facilities such as drinking water and electricity to reduce the time spent on domestic chores etc.

Asked about reservation for women in the political sphere as policy tool, Dr Sudhir Shetty, Co-Director of the report, said: "Greater representation does ensure better allocation and is a productive instrument in the initial stages."

He said markets and institutions, too, needed to ensure that women get equal access to productive inputs, whether they are farmers, entrepreneurs or workers.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Top 40 interesting but unknown facts

1. There are more than 150 million sheep in Australia, and only some 20 million people.

2. Singapore means "Lion city".

3. Argentina's capital Buenos Aires means "Good air".

4. Afghanistan's capital Kabul means "hump backed".

5. Thailand's capital Bangkok means "city of angels".

6. Spain's capital Madrid means "place of abundant water".

7. France's capital Paris means "the working people".

8. Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur means "Muddy River"

9. Korea's capital Seoul means "Capital".

10. China's capital Beijing means "Gate".

11. Japan's capital Tokyo means "Eastern Capital".

12. In France, there's a place called Y.

13. In 2002, there were no billionaires in China. In 2007, there are 106 billionaires.

14. 90% of North Korea's outside phone lines have been shut down since April 2005.

15. Niger (Africa) has the world's highest fertility rate - 7.1 children per mother.

16. Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world combined.

17. Almost half the newspapers in the world are published in the United States and Canada!

18. 203 million dollars is spent on barbed wire each year in the U.S.

19. In 2005, the US government spent on average over $20,000 for each household.

20. Saint Augustine, Florida, is the oldest European settlement in North America.

21. Singapore has only one train station.

22. Organized crime is estimated to account for 10% of the United States' national income.

23. Suicide is the leading cause of death among South Koreans in their 20s and 30s.

24. The United States consumes 25% of all the world's energy.

 25. Iceland has the most Internet users per capita of any country in the world with over 86 percent of people using the Web, compared with only 69 percent of Americans.


26. Somalia, a north-African country, boasts the highest percentage growth of Internet users in the world going from a mere 200 in 2000 to 90,000 in 2007

27. Wyoming was the first state to allow women to vote.

28. Windmills always turn counter-clockwise. Except for the windmills in Ireland!

29. Washington, D.C. has one lawyer for every 19 residents!

30. Until 1796, there was a state in the United States called Franklin. Today it's known as Tennessee!

31. Three Mile Island is only 2 1/2 miles long.

32. There is a town called Paradise and a town called Hell in Michigan!

33. There is a city called Rome on every continent.

34. There are more plastic flamingos in the U.S, than real ones!

35. There are more female than male millionaires in the United States.

36. There are 10 towns named Hollywood in the United States.

37. There are 10 towns named Hollywood in the United States!

38. The Zip Code 12345 is assigned to General Electric in Schenectady, New York.

39. The University of Alaska stretches over 4 time zones.

40. The United States produces more tobacco than it does wheat.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Good Parliamentarians largely remain unsung

Waxing eloquent in a heated television debate or appearing on the national news network is one thing, and being a good Parliamentarian is another. Unfortunately, most people do not even know the names of the best performing members of Parliament (MPs), some of whom don't even get re-elected at times.

This "disconnect between the political and institutional process" has been highlighted by Social Watch, a civil society watchdog. It shortlisted 10 top MPs in the 14{+t}{+h} Lok Sabha, measuring them on four parameters -- attendance, participation in debates, number of questions asked and number of private members' Bills proposed. Over 100 MPs were given points and the top 25 were shortlisted.

Contrary to popular perception, eight of the top 10 MPs were from smaller parties. In fact, the Samajwadi Party (SP) emerged as the best performing one with three of its MPs among the top 10, followed by one each from the CPI, CPI(M), Republican Party, Shiv Sena and Biju Janata Dal.

Both the national parties, Congress and BJP, despite there huge numbers in the House, had one MP each in the top 10.

Incidentally, only four of the top 10 performers in the 14{+t}{+h} Lok Sabha got re-elected to the 15th Lok Sabha. These are Basudeb Acharia of CPI(M), H G Ahir of BJP, Anandrao Adsul of Shiv Sena and Shailendra Kumar of SP.

In a policy dialogue on "People, Parliament and Performance", held here recently, Social Watch said the idea behind the survey was to emphasise that "serious business indeed gets done when peace prevails in the Houses, and sometimes even amidst pandemonium". It said the survey will soon be made an annual exercise and the Rajya Sabha MPs will also be tracked.

Useful telugu websites


Books for Civil Service prelims

General : NCERT text books - 7 to 10 (other than languages)
History- Old NCERTof XI & XII+ Bipinchandra+ culture by spectrum

Geography- NCERT of XI & XII + Goh Cheng Leong

Economics- Prtiyogita Darpan, India year book, economic survey

economics foundation from any institution notes and economic dictionary for terminology - (tables from economic survey - not necessary to concetrate on numericals)
Indian Polity- D.D Basu or Lakshmikanth
Local government in India - 73 rd and 74 amendment acts and analysis from politics (oxford publications)

Science_NCERT of X or ICSE biology book

Environment- ICSE books on Environment

For Paper II the Pearsons manual is very simple and easy to work out+ reading of newspaper for answering questions on reading comprehension. please visit our blog for paper 2

Friday, September 16, 2011

ఏ సమస్యల్లేకుండా సైట్లు తెలుగులో చూడటం ఎలా?


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వివిధ రకాల విహారిణులు!
గోపాల కృష్ణ కోడూరి
టెక్‌సేతు(సిస్టం లో లోగో ఐకాన్ నుంచి గ్రహించబడినవి)

ఇప్పుడు చాలా సైట్లు ఇంగ్లీష్ తో పాటు తెలుగులో కూడా ఉంటున్నాయి. ఐతే అలా తెలుగు లో ఉన్న సైట్లు ఆటోమాటిక్ గా ఏ సమస్యా లేకుండా మీకు తెలుగు లో కనిపించాలంటే ఏం చేయాలో తెలుసా? రెండే స్టెప్పులు! మీరు వాడుతున్న విహారిణి ఏంటో తెలుసుకుని, దాన్నిబట్టి ఈ క్రింద వాటిలో మీకు ఏది వర్తిస్తుందో అదిచేయండి.

ఒకవేళ మీ సమస్యల్లా తెలుగు సైట్లలో పిచ్చి అక్షరాలు రావడమే ఐతే ఇది చూడండి, లేకపోతే ఈ క్రిందున్నది చదవండి.

ఫైరుఫాక్సు వాడుతున్న వారు, ఫైరుఫాక్సు తెరిచి

  1. విండోస్ లో ఐతే Tools > Options కి, లినక్సు లో ఐతే Edit > Preferences కి వెళ్ళండి. అక్కడ content ట్యాబు లో Languages ఉన్న చోట Choose క్లిక్ చేయండి. అక్కడ వచ్చిన లిస్టుకి తెలుగుని కలిపి, ఆ కలిపిన తర్వాత తెలుగు ని ఎంచుకుని, అది ఆ లిస్టులో అన్నికంటే పైకి వచ్చేదాకా "Move up" కొట్టండి. ఇప్పుడు OK కొట్టేయండి. చివరికి ఇదిగో ఈ క్రింద చూపించినట్టు ఉండాలి.
  2. ఆ content ట్యాబు లోనే, "Fonts & Colors" లో "Advanced" ని క్లిక్ చేయండి. అక్కడ Character Encoding అని ఉన్నదాన్ని Unicode (UTF - 8) అన్నదానికి సెట్ చెయ్యండి. ఇప్పుడు OK కొట్టేయండి. ఆ content ట్యాబు ఉన్న విండోని కూడా మూసెయ్యండి. ఇకపై తెలుగులో ఉన్న సైట్లన్నీ మీకు తెలుగులోనే కనబడతాయి.

IE(ఇంటర్నెట్ ఎక్సప్లోరర్) వాడుతున్నవారు, IE తెరిచి

  1. Internet Options తెరిచి, అందులో General ట్యాబు లో క్రింద Languages అని ఒక బటన్ ఉంటుంది. నొక్కి, అక్కడ వచ్చిన లిస్టుకి తెలుగుని కలిపి, ఆ కలిపిన తర్వాత తెలుగు ని ఎంచుకుని, అది ఆ లిస్టులో అన్నికంటే పైకి వచ్చేదాకా "Move up" కొట్టండి. ఇప్పుడు OK కొట్టేయండి. చివరికి ఇదిగో ఈ క్రింద చూపించినట్టు ఉండాలి.
  2. ఈ స్టెప్పు సాధారణంగా అవసరం పడదు. కానీ ఒకవేళ తెలుగు వెబ్ పేజి సరిగ్గా కనబడకపోతే, పాత IE(వెర్షన్ 5,6) లో పైన మెనూలో ఉన్న View లోకి వెళ్ళండి. కొత్త IE(వెర్షన్ 7,8) లో ఐతే మెనూలో ఉన్న Page కి వెళ్ళండి. అక్కడ Character Encoding అని ఉన్నదాన్ని Unicode (UTF - 8) అన్నదానికి సెట్ చెయ్యండి.

క్రోమ్ వాడుతున్నవారైతే, క్రోమ్ తెరిచి

  1. కుడిచేతి వైపున్న రెంచి మార్కు మీద నొక్కి, Options ఎంచుకోండి. అందులో, Minor Tweaks కి వెళ్లి, Fonts & Languages ని నొక్కండి. ఆ వచ్చిన విండోలో, Font and encoding ట్యాబు లో, Encoding ని Unicode (UTF-8) కి మార్చండి. ఇప్పుడు Language ట్యాబుకి వెళ్లి, అక్కడ ఉన్న లిస్టు కి తెలుగు ని కలిపి, అది ఆ లిస్టులో అన్నికంటే పైకి వచ్చేదాకా "Move up" కొట్టండి. ఇప్పుడు OK కొట్టేయోచు, కానీ మీరు క్రోమ్ మొత్తాన్ని తెలుగులోనే వాడాలనుకుంటే, అక్కడే ఉన్న google chrome language ని తెలుగు కి మార్చండి. ఇలా మార్చినప్పుడు ఒక్కసారి క్రోమ్ ని మూసేసి మల్లి తెరవమంతుంది, చేసెయ్యండి. ఇకపై మీరు తెలుగు సైట్లన్నీ తెలుగులో చదువుకోవచ్చు, కోరుకునుంటే క్రోమ్ మొత్తాన్ని తెలుగులో వాడుకోవచ్చు!
  2. రెండో స్టెప్పు లేదులెండి :)

ఒపేరా వాడుతున్నవారైతే, ఒపేరా తెరిచి

  1. Tools > Preferences కి వెళ్లి, General ట్యాబు లో, Language దగ్గర, Details అని ఒక బటన్ ఉంటుంది. అది నొక్కితే ఒక విండో వస్తుంది. అక్కడ "Encoding to assume..." అన్నదాన్ని utf-8 కి మార్చండి. అక్కడే, Preferred languages for web pages లో ఉన్న లిస్టుకి తెలుగుని కలిపి, అది ఆ లిస్టులో అన్నికంటే పైకి వచ్చేదాకా "Move up" కొట్టండి. ఇప్పుడు OK కొట్టేయండి. ఆ general ట్యాబు ఉన్న విండో లో కూడా OK కొట్టేయండి.
  2. దీనికి రెండో స్టెప్పు అవసరం లేదు :)

ఎందుకు? ఏమిటీ? ఎలా? - తెలుగులో

"కలలు కనండి – వాటిని సాకారం చేస్కోండి" అని కలాంగారు మర్చిపోకుండా ఎక్కడికెళ్ళినా చెప్తుంటారు, మనం కలలు కనడం వరకు చెప్పక పోయినా చేసేయొచ్చు, ఆ తర్వాతదే కాస్త ఆలోచించి సాధించుకోవాలి. కానీ, దురదృష్టవశాత్తు అలాంటి పరిణామం ఏమీ కనబడటంలేదు. ఆయన కన్న 2020 కల కలలాగానే మిగిలిపోయే అవకాశలే మెండుగా కనిపిస్తున్నాయి.

ఉదాహరణకి, మన రాష్ట్రంలో 2003 కల్లా 81% మంది తెలుగు మాధ్యమం విద్యార్థులున్నారు. 2006 కి అది 78% గా ఉంది. ఇలాగే లెక్క గడితే 2020-2030 లలో ఈ సంఖ్య మహా అంటే 50% కి పడుతుంది. ఆ ఇంగ్లీషు మీడియం చదివేవాళ్ళలో కూడా ఎంత శాతం మంది సరైన ఇంగ్లీషు మాట్లాడగలరో, అర్థంచేసుకోగలరో అందరికీ తెలిసిందే! విషయాన్ని మాతృభాషలో చదివినదానికి, ఇంగ్లీషులో చదివినదానికి అవగాహన పరంగా చాలా తేడా ఉంటుంది. మాతృభాషలో చదివినదాన్ని మన మెదడు మరింత లోతుగా పరిశీలిస్తుంది, మీకు మీ మాతృభాష తెలిసుంటే. ఎలా అంటారా? ఒక చిన్న ఉదాహరణ చూద్దాం.

మన నిత్య జీవితంలో నోటికి బాగా నలిగిన పదాలు రెండు తీస్కుందాం - Hardware(హార్డ్వేర్), Software(సాఫ్ట్వేర్). ఇవి ఇంగ్లీషువారికి(మాతృభాష ఇంగ్లీషుగా ఉన్నవారు), తెలుగువారికి విడివిడిగా ఏ విధంగా అర్థం అవుతున్నాయో చూద్దాం. ఇంగ్లీషులో Soft అనే పదం మృదుత్వం అనే కాక, రూపంలేనిది అనే అర్థాన్ని కూడా సూచిస్తుంది. ఇది ఇంగ్లీషు మాతృభాషగా ఉన్నవారు తేలికగా గ్రహిస్తారు. ఇదెలా సాధ్యం అంటే, మన తెలుగులో "చెప్పు" అనే పదానికి రకరకాల అర్థాలున్నట్టే! కాని, అలాంటి అన్వయం ఇక్కడ మనంవాడే ఇంగ్లీషు భాషలో లేదు, ఉన్నా చాలా కొద్దిమందికే అది తెలుస్తుంది. అలాగే Hard అనే పదం కూడాను. అలా తెలియడం వల్ల ఆ పదాన్ని గురించిన ఎన్నో విషయాలు వెంటనే అవగాహనకొస్తాయి. Hardware అంటే బౌతిక రూపం గల ఒక పదార్థమని, Software అంటే రూపంలేని పదార్థమని. పద మూలాలు, వాటి నిగూడ, నిషిప్త అర్థాలు తెలిసుంటే ఇలాంటి విషయాలు వెంటనే స్ఫురణకొస్తాయి. మనకీ విషయాలు అస్సలు బొత్తిగా తెలియడం లేదు. పిల్లలకి ఐదారేళ్ళు రాగానే, వృత్తికి ఉపయోగపడుతుందని, వాళ్ళని ఇంగ్లీషు మాధ్యమంలో తోసేయ్యడం వల్ల వారికి మాతృభాషలో అందాల్సిన ఇలాంటి ముఖ్యమైన పదజాలం అందడంలేదు. దానివల్ల ఇటు మాతృభాషకి దూరమవుతున్నారు, అటు ఇంగ్లీషు పూర్తిగా నేర్చుకోలేకపోతున్నారు. దీని వల్ల వాళ్ళ ఆలోచనా శక్తి దారుణంగా కుంటుబడిపోతుంది! మనిషి ఆలోచనా శక్తికి భాష తోడవకపోతే ఆ ఆలోచన ఎందుకూ కొరగాదు. ఒక ఆలోచన వెనుక మన మెదడులో ఎన్నో చర్యలు చోటుచేసుకుంటాయి. అందులో ఒక ముఖ్యమైన ఘట్టం – ఆలోచనని వ్యక్తపరచడం, దానికో రూపాన్ని తీసుకురాగలగడం. ఇలా చేయలేకపోతే మెదడులో ఎన్ని ఆలోచనలు మెదిలినా ఉపయోగం ఉండదు, వాటికి సంయమనం కుదరదు. అందుకే, మనం రోజూ మాట్లాడే పదాల్లో ఈ భావ వ్యక్తీకరణ బలం ఉండేలా చూసుకోవడం చాలా ముఖ్యమైన విషయం. మనం నిత్యం తెలుగు భాష దారాళంగా వాడుతుంటాం కాబట్టి, ఇంగ్లీషులో ఉన్న ఈ పదాల్ని, వాటి వెనుకున్న భావాల్ని, అర్థాన్ని బట్టి, మన భాషలో వాటిని సృష్టించి - నేర్చుకుని - వాడుకోవడం ద్వారా మనం ఆ భావ వ్యక్తీకరణ బలాన్ని పొందుతాం. "కొత్తగా పదాలు చేర్చడం ఎందుకు, ఇంగ్లీషు పదాలు మన భాషలో ఇమిడిపోయాయి కదా?" అని కొంతమంది ఉద్దేశ్యం. కాని అలా వచ్చిన పదాలు నేను పైన చెప్పిన బలాన్ని వాటితో తేవట్లేదు. ఇంగ్లీషులో అలాంటి కొత్త పదాల్ని అవసరమైనప్పుడు సృష్టిస్తారు. అందుకే ఆ భాష నిత్య యౌవ్వనంతో వెలుగుతోంది. అలాగే మనం కూడా మన భాషాబలాన్ని, తద్వారా మన ఆలోచనా శక్తిని కాపాడుకోవడం చాలా అవసరం. వాటిని తెలుగులో తెలుసుకున్నట్టైతే పద మూలాలు మనకి తెలిసుంటాయి కాబట్టి, అవగాహన చాలా సులువుగా ఉంటుంది. మాతృభాషలో చదవమంటోంది, ఏదో రాష్టాన్ని, భాషని ఉద్దరించి మిమ్మల్ని ఆహూతి కమ్మనడానికి కాదండి. దాని వల్ల మనకు కలిగే ఉపయోగలలాంటివి. ఇలాంటివి ఇంకా చాలా కారణాలే ఉన్నాయి. అసలు 30 కోట్ల జనంలో ఒక బిల్‌గేట్స్ పుడితే 114 కోట్ల మన భారతీయుల్లో ఒక్కడూ కనబడడే? మన ఈ (నిస్తేజ) పరిస్థితికి అది ఒక కోణం. ఇక ఇంకో కోణం చూద్దాం.

విజన్‌ 2020!
ఈనాటి భారతదేశం వైపు ప్రపంచంమంతా చూస్తోంది!
రేపు మనమే ప్రపంచానికి రారాజూలం!

ఇవి వినటానికి బ్రహ్మాండంగా ఉన్నాయి, చెవుల్లో తేనె పోసినట్టు! వార్తాపత్రికల్లో రోజూ ఎవరో ఒక నాయకుడు ఏదో ఒక సభలో ఇవన్నీ ఏకరువు పెడుతూనే ఉన్నట్టు చదువుతుంటాం. అసలు నిజంగా ఇది జరిగేదేనా? నాకూ ఇలా అనుమానుమొచ్చి కారణాలు వెతకడం ప్రారంభించాను - "మనకు ఇప్పటివరకూ లేనిదీ, ఇప్పుడు అమాంతంగా వచ్చేదీ ఏంటబ్బా?" అని. ఎంతైనా కలాం గారి లాంటివారు కూడా దీన్ని ప్రచారం చేస్తున్నారంటే ఏదో కారణం ఉండే ఉండాలి కదా మరి అనిపించింది! ఉంది, దొరికింది కూడానూ..!!

ఈ క్రిందున్న పటాన్ని కాస్త జాగ్రత్తగా గమనించండి.

1960-1980 : అవి అమెరికాను ఆర్థికంగా, సామాజికంగా పెనుమార్పులకు గురిచేసిన రోజులు. విద్యపరంగా, రాజకీయాల పరంగా, ముఖ్యంగా ఆర్థిక స్థితిగతుల మార్పుల పరంగా[3] వాళ్ళ అభివృద్దిని స్పష్టంగా తెలియజెప్పిన రోజులవి. ఒకసారి ఆ పైనున్న పటం చూస్తే, అక్కడ చూపించిన నిష్పత్తి,సంపాదించే వయసులో ఉన్నవారి సంఖ్యని మిగతావారితో పోల్చేది.(అంటే working age : non-working age). దీని ప్రభావం వల్ల ఆ సమయంలో వారు సాధించుకున్న సాంకేతిక నైపుణ్యత వారికి ఎన్నో విజయాలు తెచ్చిపెట్టింది. ఉదాహరణకు కొన్ని పెద్ద పెద్ద దిగ్గజాల ఉనికి ఆ సమయంలో ఎంతో బలపడింది. IBM వంటి కంపెనీలు ఆ కోవకి చెందినవే.

1975-2000 : ఈ సమయంలో వచ్చిన పరికాలన్నిటిపై "Made in China", "Made in Japan", "Made in Korea" కాకుండా ఏదన్నా కనిపిస్తే అది మన దృష్టిలోపం అనుకోవల్సిందే! ఇప్పటికీ ఈ పరిస్థితి కాస్త అటు-ఇటుగా అలాగే ఉందని చెప్పొచ్చు. దానికి ఈ పటంతో సంబంధం ఏంటో నేను విడమరిచి చెప్పక్కర్లేకుండానే తేటతెల్లమౌతోంది.

అలాగే యూరప్ కూడానూ!

కానీ… పరిస్థితి మారుతోంది. దక్షిణాసియా శిబిరాల్లో ఆశలు మొగ్గలు తొడుగుతున్నాయ్! అవి వికసించి గుబాళించే సమయం రానే వచ్చింది. అందులో భారతదేశం చెప్పుకోదగ్గ కృషితో అంతర్జాతీయంగా తనకంటూ ఒక స్థానాన్ని భద్రపరుచుకుంది. ఐతే… మన అభివృద్ది పదంలో ఒక అగాధం కనీ-కనబడకుండా బయపెడుతోంది, పెను ముప్పుకి దారి తీసే అవకాశం ఉంది. ఆ పటంలో ఉన్న నిష్పత్తి వనరుగా గాక, బరువుగా పరిణమించే పరిస్థితి పొంచి ఉంది. అదేంటో చూద్దాం.

సంపాదించే వయసొచ్చినంత మాత్రాన సంపాదించడం జరిగిపోతే, మనం చింతిచాల్సినదేమీ లేదు. కానీ, వాళ్ళని సంపాదనమార్గంలో పెట్టకుండానే ఆ ఫలాన్ని ఆశిస్తే మిగిలేది నిరాశే! ఇంతకు ముందు చెప్పినట్టుగా, మన రాష్ట్రంలో 2003 లో 81% మంది తెలుగుమీడియం విద్యార్థులున్నారు. 2006 లో అది 78% గా ఉంది. ఇదే లెక్కలో తీస్కుంటే 2020-30 కి ఈ సంఖ్య 50% కి దిగదు. ఆ ఇంగ్లీషు మీడియంలో చదివేవాళ్ళలో కూడా సగానికి సగం పైగా, ఆ ఇంగ్లీషు మాధ్యమం నామమాత్రపు మాధ్యమమే, జరిగేవి మాతృభాషలోనే జరుగుతుంటాయి. కాబట్టి ఎలాంటి పరిస్థితి తీస్కున్నా, మాతృభాషలో చదివే విద్యార్థులే అధికంగా కనిపిస్తున్నారు. బయటి పరిస్థితి చూస్తే అంతా టెక్నాలజీ మయం. ఆ టెక్నాలజీ ఆధారిత ఉద్యోగాలు, నేర్చుకోవడానికి కావల్సిన వనరులూ, ఈ రెండూ ఇంగ్లీషు మయం! ఇటు చూస్తే వీళ్ళందరూ ఆ సంపాదించే వయసు వారే! తగిన సహాయం లేక ఒకవేళ వీళ్ళందరూ నిరుద్యోగ యువతగా పరిణమిస్తే? పరిస్థితి ఇలా ఉంటుంది…

ఇలాంటి దయనీయ స్థితిలో ఆ 50% పైనుండే వాళ్ళందరి పరిస్థితి ఊహించడానికే కష్టంగా ఉంది. వాళ్ళదాకా ఎందుకు? ఇంగ్లీషు మీడియంలో చదివేవారిలోనే ఎంతవరకు ఆ టెక్నాలజీకి సంబందించిన వాటిని ఇంగ్లీషులో చదివి అర్థం చేస్కోగలుగుతున్నారో చూస్తే విషయం ఎలాంటివారికైనా విశదమవుతుంది. ఇలాంటి పరిస్థితులు మనకు ముందే అభివృద్ది పదంలో అడుగులేసిన దేశాల్లో లేవా? ఉన్నాయ్.. వాళ్ళు దాన్ని సమర్థంగా ఎదుర్కొని నిలబడ్డారు కూడా. ఉదాహరణకి జర్మనీ, జపాన్‌, చైనా లాంటి దేశాల్లో ప్రభుత్వం, కొన్ని స్వచ్చంద సంస్థలు, టెక్నాలజీని వారి-వారి మాతృభాషకి చేరువ చేసే కృషితో అనుకున్నది సాధించారు. ప్రజల్ని, "వేరే భాషలో మీ కష్టాలు మీరు పడండి" అని గాలికొదిలేసే బదులు మనం అలాంటి దేశాల నుండి నేర్చుకున్న పాఠాలతో ముందున్న ముఖ్యమైన కార్యాన్ని సాధించలేమా?

రానున్న 15 ఏళ్ళలో భారతదేశంలో ఇప్పుడు 17% గా ఉన్న మధ్యతరగతి జనాభా 54% నికి పెరుగుతుంది. ఎంతోమందికి ల్యాప్‌టాప్‌లు, కంప్యూటర్‌లు కొనే స్తోమత కలుగుతుంది. బ్రాడ్‌బ్యాండ్‌, 3G వంటి టెక్నాలజీలు వారిని ఇంటర్నెట్‌కి మరింత చేరువ చేస్తాయి. మొత్తంమీద వినియోగదారులు పెరుగుతున్నారు. ఇటువంటప్పుడు వారికి ఇవన్నీ నేర్చుకుని వాడుకోవడానికి తగిన సహాయం కావాలి కదా? ఇంగ్లీషొక్కటే అడ్డుగా వీటన్నిటికీ దూరమైతే, ఎన్నో భాషలతో అలరారిన మన దేశాన్ని, టెక్నాలజీ విషయంలో అవిటి దేశంగా చూసుకుని భాదపడిమాత్రం ప్రయోజనమేముంది? అందుకే… ఇప్పటివరకు అయినదేదో అయింది! ఇకనైనా మన పనులు మనం చక్కబెట్టుకుందాం. మన తెలుగువాళ్ళలోనే చాలా మంది టెక్నాలజీ గురించి వాళ్ళకి తెలిసిన విషయాల్ని వారి వారి బ్లాగుల్లో/సైట్లలో రాస్తున్నాం, కానీ ఇంగ్లీషులో! అవన్నీ ఇంగ్లీషు మాధ్యమంలో ఎప్పటినుంచో ఉన్నాయి. మనం కూడా రాసి కొత్తగా ఉద్దరించేదేమీ లేదు! అదే ఆ రాసేది తెలుగులో రాస్తే, ఆ రోజు మొదలు, వచ్చే 20-30 ఏళ్ళలో కొన్ని కోట్ల మంది తెలుగు ప్రజలు వాటిని వినియోగించే వీలు కలిగించిన వారవుతారు. మీరు ఇప్పటికే ఈ పని చేస్తూ ఉన్నట్టైతే మీకు నా జోహార్లు, మీరు చేసే ఈ పని ఎన్నో ఏళ్ళు ఎంతోమందికి ఉపయోగపడుతుంది.

RBI releases Handbook of Statistics on the Indian Economy 2010-11

The Reserve Bank of India today released the thirteenth volume of its annual statistical publication titled Handbook of Statistics on the Indian Economy (HBS) 2010-11. One of the major initiatives of the Reserve Bank; this publication is aimed at improving data dissemination to public. Through this publication, the Reserve Bank has been providing time series data on various economic and financial indicators for the Indian economy.

The current volume contains 242 statistical tables covering national income aggregates, output, prices, money, banking, financial markets, public finances, foreign trade and balance of payments and select socio-economic indicators.

Electronic form of the Handbook can also be accessed through (URL "Data Base on Indian Economy (DBIE): Reserve Bank's Data Warehouse." The data series in the DBIE are continuously updated without waiting for the release of the annual print version.

Asian Development Bank Report

This year and in 2012 as key trading partners reduce orders amid worries about the global economy, a report said.

The Asian Development Bank study said the region's economies would expand 7.5 per cent this year, down from its 7.8 per cent forecast in April, while 2012 would see 7.5 per cent growth, down from 7.7 per cent.

Slower demand in the US and Europe "continues to cast a cloud over the region," said the Manila-based bank, adding that export growth in leading economies, including trade powerhouse China, had slowed "substantially."

"At the same time, strong domestic consumption and expanding intra-regional trade are helping to underpin still solid growth levels (in developing Asia)," said Changyong Rhee, the bank's chief economist.

"Since the onset of the global recovery, the growth in exports to (China) from several Asian economies has been stronger than their exports to the rest of the world."

The share of regional trade among Asia's largest economies increased to 47 per cent in the first half of 2011, up from 42 per cent in 2007, the report said.

The bank also warned that rising prices "remain a threat to many economies" with developing Asia's inflation rate expected to average 5.8 per cent this year, up from 5.3 per cent forecast in April, it added.

Regional inflation should then cool to 4.6 per cent in 2012 as commodity prices fall " but central banks will still need to keep a close watch and may need to take remedial action," the ADB said.

Concerns about hot money flooding the region have eased as capital flows slowed in recent months, but there was a risk of an upsurge when advanced economies bounce back and debt markets settle, the report said.

"Capital has so far been flowing into the region at a manageable pace, but global economic uncertainty means policy makers should be prepared for greater volatility in capital flows," the report said.

The bank also warned that policymakers would have to focus on the region's demographic landscape with young populations "growing older very rapidly, which will put many economies under pressure" in the coming decades.

The bank's report looked at 44 jurisdictions stretching from the former Soviet states of Central Asia to some Pacific islands, but excluded developed countries such as Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

East Asia -- including Hong Kong, China, South Korea, and Taiwan -- remains the key economic driver for developing Asia, the report said, with growth forecast at 8.1 per cent this year.

That would fall to 8.0 per cent in 2012 as China's economic engine slows, it added.

Inflation-hit South Asia will see its economies expand 7.2 per cent this year -- with inflation forecast to hit 9.1 per cent -- while the region's India-led growth would hit 7.7 per cent in 2012, it said

One in six Americans living below poverty line

One in six Americans are now living below poverty line, the Census Bureau said in a report, reflecting the adverse impact of economic crisis on common man.

"The nation's official poverty rate in 2010 was 15.1 per cent, up from 14.3 per cent in 2009 - the third consecutive annual increase in the poverty rate," Census Bureau said in its report.

"There were 46.2 million people in poverty in 2010, up from 43.6 million in 2009 - the fourth consecutive annual increase and the largest number in the 52 years for which poverty estimates have been published," it said.

These findings are contained in the report 'Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010.'

The government defines the poverty line as income of USD 22,314 (about Rs 10 lakh) a year for a family of four and USD 11,139 (about Rs 5 lakh) for individual.

Census Bureau said, the number of people without health insurance coverage rose from 49.0 million in 2009 to 49.9 million in 2010, while the percentage without coverage - 16.3 per cent was not statistically different from the rate in 2009.

Since 2007, the year before the most recent recession, real median household income has declined 6.4 per cent and is 7.1 per cent below the median household income peak that occurred prior to the 2001 recession in 1999.

The percentages are not statistically different from each another, the Census Bureau said.

The poverty rate increased for children younger than 18 (from 20.7 per cent in 2009 to 22.0 per cent in 2010) and people 18 to 64 (from 12.9 per cent in 2009 to 13.7 per cent in 2010), while it was not statistically different for people 65 and older (9.0 per cent), it said.

Similar to the patterns observed for the poverty rate in 2010, the number of people in poverty increased for children younger than 18 (15.5 million in 2009 to 16.4 million in 2010) and people 18 to 64 (24.7 million in 2009 to 26.3 million in 2010) and was not statistically different for people 65 and older (3.5 million), the Census Bureau said.

Among race groups, real median income declined for white and black households between 2009 and 2010, while changes for Asian and Hispanic-origin households were not statistically different.

Real median income for each race and Hispanic-origin group has not yet recovered to the pre-2001 recession all-time highs, the report said.

The Census Bureau said there has been considerable impact of the economic crisis on the people in Washington.

Median household income declined the first full year following the December 2007 to June 2009 recession, as well as in the first full year following three other recessions (March 2001 to November 2001, January 1980 to July 1980 and December 1969 to November 1970).

However, household income increased the first full year following the November 1973 to March 1975 recession, and the changes following the July 1990 to March 1991 and July 1981 to November 1982 recessions were not statistically significant, it said.

The poverty rate and the number of people in poverty increased in the first calendar year following the end of the last three recessions.

For the recessions that ended in 1961 and 1975, the poverty rate decreased in the next full calendar year, it said.