With state elections gaining heat, the farmer community of India would again, suddenly find themselves in the thick of all attention.This pocket of population that is usually sidelined, would again find themselves at the top of all political manifestos. And why not! When farmers constitute 60 per cent of the entire population, no political party can ignore this huge vote bank. And ironically, in spite of their seasonal electoral importance, the very same people are left in the lurch post the elections. Today, this one sector employs almost 60 per cent of the entire population, yet contributes merely 17 per cent to our national income! Shamelessly, our successive governments have succeeded in keeping a majority of them marginalised, bereft of even basic amenities, which are required for day-to-day sustenance.

The fact is that till date, our agriculture sector has hardly seen any major technological breakthrough. We are still stuck in an era from where we started. A stroll through any of our villages would be enough to visualise the archaic method of agriculture that’s still being practised throughout India - as even today, cattle is mostly used to plough fields, thus reducing the per hectare productivity. Our irrigation facilities still need so much upgradation that even today we are dependent on a good rain for a good produce. A Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO) report reveals that India’s yield of rice in the period 2003-2005 was 3,034 kilograms per hectare. This is nothing when compared to China’s, which produced more than double the yield of India with 6,233 kilograms per hectare, during the same period. The same trend was seen in the productivity of other crops like wheat (India’s production being 2,688 kg/hectare while for China it was 4,155 kg/hectare) and mustard (India’s average productivity was 909 kg/hectares which was a little less than half of China’s 1,778 kg/hectare) too! In 2004, China’s aggregate rice production was 186 million tonnes – way ahead of India’s 124 million tonnes. That’s not all. In 2009, in the international market, the per-hectare crop-produce value per for India was $914, compared to China’s $2780 and Korea’s $3530. In other words, the per hectare value of crops from Korea was around 4 times that of those from India. Similarly, China was 3 times ahead of India on the same parameter.

In 2008, China employed 39.6 per cent of its people in agriculture, a fall from 40.8 per cent in the previous year. On the contrary, in India, agriculture and its allied sector have been responsible for 60 per cent of the country’s employment, even though the sector contributes only 17 per cent to its GDP. It has always been observed that conventionally, over time, nations take a natural course in their path of development – a shift of employment concentration occurs from the agriculture sector to manufacturing and finally to the tertiary sector. In this context, even though India is lagging behind China (China has a lower proportion of its work force employed in agriculture), both are almost in a similar platform. But South Korea is in a different league altogether! It employs only 7.2 per cent of its total workforce in agriculture. This is due to South Korea’s committed adherence to incredible growth and its integration with hi-tech Western economies and scientific methods since 1960s!

In spite of the humongous population involved in agriculture in India, the value addition per farmer has always been an issue of concern. As known to all, our agriculture sector suffers from huge disguised employment and wastage of manpower. A quick analysis of World Bank data (May 2011) would be sufficient to comprehend the sheer waste of manpower. An Indian agricultural worker added $400 to the sector back in 1994 which increased to $500 by the end of 2009 – an increase by just 25 per cent point. In the same period, China increased their per worker contribution to the sector by 85 per cent; currently, a single Chinese agricultural worker adds $550 to the sector. However, it is Korea that has left all these nations behind, even before the race literally started.

Korea, unlike India and China, does not enjoy a burgeoning demographic dividend nor does it enjoy a vast land area. But this is one of those nations which despite all shortcomings have successfully created high labour productivity. Back in 1994, the value added per agricultural worker in Korea was around $7000, which is now on the verge of touching $20,000 – an increase of 185 per cent! And this despite the fact that India has 158 million hectares of arable land (53.11 per cent of total land area) compared to China’s 110 million hectares of arable land (12 per cent of total land area) and Korea’s 1.60 million hectares of arable land (16 per cent of total land), which talks volumes about the productivity and land usage of these nations.

This huge productivity coupled with extensive modern techniques of agriculture allowed Korea to maintain an undernutrition level that is a dream for many developed nations – an undernutrition level of zero per cent. Even China successfully decreased their under nutrition prevalence level from 18 per cent (in 1990-92) to 10 per cent by the end of 2007. Nowhere close to world leaders, India had an undernutrition prevalence rate of 20 per cent in 1990-92; this shamelessly increased by 1 per cent by the end 2005-07. Of course, this should not come as surprise, especially in the light of scams that are surfacing every now and then. What else can we expect from successive governments that have successfully made new records in allowing grains to rot in godowns, promoted and facilitated hoardings, sold onions at metaphorically gold-like prices, and above all, created situations where farmers had to commit suicide! What else can you expect when the interest on a loan for a tractor is more than that on a luxury car – or for that matter when a farmer has to pay a higher interest rate on agricultural loan compared to the loan meant for conspicuous consumer durables! This not only creates a dearth of capital at the farmer’s end but also keeps him alien to modern tools and scientific methods – thus lowering both per capita labour productivity and per hectare agricultural output!

What more, even the food supply per capita per day in India has been dismal. Our food supply today is merely 2333 kcal per person per day (an increase by 8 kcal per person per day since 1992) compared to 2947 kcal of China (increased by almost 400 kcal in 1992) and 3104 kcal per person per day of Korea (increased from 3003 kcal per person per day). In simple words, India has failed in a big way to address both the problems of undernutrition and food supply, thus pushing millions towards death.     Read More....

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The recent case of Indian traders being kidnapped in China has opened up a can of worms. Apart from the case revealing weaknesses in the Chinese judiciary (as I had highlighted in an editorial a few weeks back), it has also brought out in the open something that traders from India (and other countries) were facing for a long time but not speaking about openly. The big trade that happens between India and China is through the scores of wholesalers operating out of wholesale markets in India like the Sadar Bazaar in Delhi. These are not the big guys who prefer getting into litigation that easily; they also aren’t amongst those who operate with lawyers and bigger paraphernalia. These are smaller traders, though huge in numbers, who go to Chinese towns like Yiwu in particular and pick one or two containers of goods worth Rs. 30 lakh to a crore once every quarter. And they now fear entering China. The question is why? Can one incident of kidnapping shake up an entire community of traders, especially when China is such a good bargain for them? Or was this not that stray an incident after all?

Consider the case of Manish Rewari. He has been doing business in exactly the same town of China for years now. And swears by the advantages that China gives him in his business as he shows off a fascinating watch that he is wearing while narrating his story! He had first seen the same watch in a wholesale outlet in Karol Bagh (a shoppers’ paradise near Central Delhi). The shopkeeper quoted Rs.22k as the best price for the watch to Manish. Not be outdone like normal customers, this China believer – in his next trip to Yiwu – went around various shops and found out exactly the same watch. And the price for a single piece was Rs.2.5k; and for bulk order of more than a hundred pieces, Rs.1.2k per piece. A watch enthusiast, he picked up only one watch for his consumption.

If that sounded nice, just a trip before this particular trip, Manish’s experience was not as good. He used to work with a Chinese agent then. During his previous trip, he had struck a small deal and purchased goods for Rs.75k through the said agent. The agent took the money, delivered him the goods, but never paid the original seller. The next time, when Manish came and tried to directly deal with the seller, the moment he provided his old receipt with the previous agent’s name to show the price at which he had bought the goods in the previous trip, the seller pounced upon him. His grudge was that he had not received the money for that particular transaction. Manish very courageously tried to defend himself by saying, truthfully, that he had obviously paid up for the same. This he did despite knowing “that they [the Chinese seller] could pick him up and make him disappear”. His reasoning clearly was of no help because soon, there were scores of the seller’s people and henchmen who came from all around and surrounded Manish. Sensing trouble, Manish approached the nearby police, who in their very usual unfriendly manner told him in Chinese that they were there to protect only the interest of the Chinese. That’s when good sense prevailed. Manish knew that he had come for just three days and had a lot of deals to strike. And this would only get messy. And spending a few days in jail like a few others he had heard of was not a great idea. Manish grudgingly agreed to strike a deal with the disgruntled seller, and paid fifty percent of the pending money again as settlement (since it was too small an amount) and fortunately got away.

This year, however, Manish is not ready to go to China anymore; well, almost. He now works through an Indian agent. The recession hasn’t been great for businesses and he fears that even the Indian agent might not have paid up properly to the Chinese sellers (though Manish has paid his entire pending Rs. 37 lakh for his last imported container). The fear is that the Chinese sellers might again pounce on him. “It’s undoubtedly a fearful situation. The question of safety for the foreign trading community is totally missing despite us being such regulars and buying so much from them. There is no helpline. And they are just not ready to listen to our version. Someone messes up and someone else pays for it. The recent kidnapping has only brought to highlight the fears and trauma people have been going through for a long time despite doing big business there,” he says, elaborating further. He says something more that has been haunting a lot of Indian professionals in Gurgaon of late, due to a new phenomenon I had outlined, again in a previous article of mine, on how Chinese companies are now doing business in India only when they are allowed to get Chinese workers here (in effect, easing out their employment problem through projects in India).

The grudge the people working in Gurgaon have – as they see scores of Chinese people all around them working on various projects – is that not only are we allowing Chinese people to take our jobs, we’re also accepting their behaviour to simply look down upon Indians despite working in India itself (rightly or wrongly, is another question of course). Manish says exactly the same, “We do so much trade in China but they just don’t treat us with enough respect and that is a key reason behind this high handed semi mafia behavior.”     Read More....

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A handful of weeks back, in the ACER PISA test – the OECD's annual global assessment of students' skills (for South and South East Asia) – India came second from the bottom defeating Kyrgyzstan while China topped the list. This acts as the final nail in the coffin of India’s dented education system. In spite of arrays of pan-Indian educational programs, India still has not been able to make education inclusive for all. On the contrary, China since the last four decades has been rolling out ambitious plans to revamp their education system, which is evident from the way they are storming into global rankings.

Chinese education is a very consistent blend of Confucian theories and modern concepts mixed with Chinese national developmental policies. Chinese education, unlike ours, focuses on both socio-cultural and political aspects of the nation. The current Chinese education system extends from the guidelines that Premier Zhou Enlai gave in 1974; guidelines that are popularly known as sì gè xiàn dài huà or the 'Four Modernizations'. And what are these? The education system in China revolves around agriculture, industry, technology and defense – that, as per the Chinese, are pivotal for the country’s development. China today has installed key schools meant for highly academically inclined students. China has adopted a policy of providing nine-year compulsory education to all with a special emphasis on vocational training and higher education. This nine year of compulsory education makes a child conversant with mathematics, science and Chinese literature.

Interestingly, even rural students undergo similar training; and by the end of the ninth year of education, the rural student is at par with his urban counterpart. Contrast this with India, where a high-school student is unable to solve a basic mathematical problem or frame a sentence on his own. Moreover, Indian rural schools are mired with problems of infrastructure and above all suffer largely from the curse of teachers' absenteeism. On an average, more than 30 per cent of teachers are found absent in rural schools. In order to curb this menace, China pays their teachers based on student scores. Thus, a large component of teachers’ salaries depends on their students’ performance. Yet, there’s a balance. The better the school (based on the students' score) more is the fees they charge, thus increasing competition and quality both at the same time. Back in 2007, an article published in BBC stated, “China is now the largest higher education system in the world: it awards more university degrees than the US and India combined... The rate of university expansion has been beyond anything [that] anyone in the West can easily imagine.”

Millions of Chinese students are now abandoning colleges and are opting for vocational schools. These vocational schools are backed up by Chinese industrialists and known for producing ready-for-job candidates. In 2007, China allocated 14 billion yuan to be spent on vocational schools over the span of four years. Vocational education in China, unlike India, is not just confined to manufacturing but encompasses sectors like information technology, tourism and medicine. Vocational training was introduced in China so that educated people wouldn’t have to face the brunt of unemployment and relevant skill development is achieved so that qualified individuals have guaranteed jobs. The government has also introduced projects like the State Project 211, State Project 895 and State Project 111, where special importance is given to top top 100 higher education institutes to enhance the quality of their graduates. The Chinese ministry of education is also striving to meet global standards by inviting the world’s best researchers to work in these institutions, thus attempting to benchmark internationally. India too stressed on higher education – particularly in the tertiary sector – but faced with strong impediments in terms of funding, India is falling in terms of percentage of overall spending. The private sector too plays an important role in India in assuaging the demand-supply gap.

Back in 2003, China invited foreign universities to set up campuses; India passed a similar bill seven years later. Foreign universities have not only brought in global teaching pedagogies into China but have also elevated the level of education in the country. Consequently, China is doing exceedingly well in global rankings of late! In 2009, the Paris based Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development, representing 34 countries, released its Program for International Student Assessment, where the Shanghai region outperformed everyone else to be the top performer in all academic categories! According to OECD, China’s success is more because of its special emphasis on elite schools (key schools) where one is expected to shine par excellence. In 2003, the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) ranking showed that there were 23 Chinese universities amongst 35 featured in total. The top 3 Chinese universities that entered the top 200 worldwide university ranking included National Taiwan University, Chinese University of Hong Kong and Tsinghua University. There are more on the list of the top 500, including institutes likes Beihang University (formerly known as Beijing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics) and Beijing Normal University, which entered the ranking for the first time.

In comparison, India produced a big blank sheet! Not only does India not figure anywhere in ARWU, but it is also invisible in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and QS World University Rankings. India is way behind China in terms of even the number of universities. There are 545 universities in India compared to 2,236 in China. Even in medical colleges, there are about 630 colleges in China compared to 251 in India. The total enrollment in Indian universities is only 4.7 million compared to 11 million in China. The situation was similar some years back too when, in 2004-05, India churned out 464,743 engineering graduates while China produced 600,000 for the same year.     Read More....

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I have very fond memories of a great patriotic politician of India (very few such men can be found amongst today’s politicians), Vasant Sathe. Apart from his very intelligent, practical and radical views on the tax structure, I remember how he always compared Korea to India to show how a small nation could surge ahead so fast while we kept cheating our countrymen. When I went to Korea recently, I couldn’t but help feel the same; I even wrote about this a few weeks ago in one of my editorials. In the week gone by, I had the opportunity to sit with a gentleman who is a consultant to a company called Electrosteel Steels Limited. He told me the most amazing story of a venture – for setting up a steel plant – by one Mr. Kejriwal near Bokaro on about 1500 acres of land. It is a steel plant being set up with a capacity of 2.2 million tonnes. Hearing the fascinating story (I’ll explain later on why I found it fascinating) of this plant made me remember Mr. Sathe again. Amongst various things, steel was of special interest to him – as should be to any politician with vision, for after the Stone and Bronze Age, it was the Iron Age that was decisive for building the comparative advantage for nations. And it was during the Industrial Revolution when the entire world saw and realised the power and economies that this metal could create. With the invention of steel, everythingchanged further. Today, almost all industries ranging from automobiles to defence use steel and related products extensively. Steel has been one commodity that to a large extent has been pivotal for economic development and social prosperity, and thus has been a key ingredient in the nation’s future plans. Mr. Sathe would always compare the Indian productivity to Korean productivity to explain the rot in the Indian system – and then, of course, he would invariably talk about China too. So today I thought I’ll dig a little deeper into some facts and figures about this key aspect symbolizing a nation’s development.

A recent Wall Street Journal report foretells decisive growth in China and India’s steel industry for 2012. The details are very interesting. India’s position in steel production is meek and lagging, mainly on account of government control, bureaucratic hurdles and red-tapism, coinciding with poor planning, unprofessional functioning, and poor productivity. Not just Asian countries like South Korea, but even countries like Malaysia have productivity standards much better than India’s. A research report titled “Indian Steel Industry: Outlook to 2012” predicts that Indian crude steel production will grow at a CAGR of 10% during 2010-2013. Still, India’s average consumption of finished steel is significantly less than that of its neighbours. Not only is India’s annual steel production capacity, in absolute numbers, far less than what nations like China and South Korea have; but the per capita consumption is also at a rock-bottom figure. A time-series analysis indicates that both India and China started their tryst with steel production approximately during the same time. Just after Independence, India’s and China’s annual steel production were at the same level. However, by the end of 1990, where the per capita steel consumption in China increased by 65 kg and touched a figure of 160 kg, India’s per capita consumption languished at 29 kg (an increase of just 7 kg per capita) by the end of 2003. As per the latest ASSOCHAM report, the per capita consumption of steel in India is only 35.5 kg per capita per year compared to 220 kg in China and 950 kg in South Korea.

The same goes for production too. China’s steel production increased by 105 million tonnes while that of India increased by just 7 million tonnes! As per the World Steel Association, India’s annual production of steel in 2010 was merely 66.8 million tonnes compared to China’s 626.7 million tonnes and Korea’s 58.5 million tonnes. Unlike India, which saw an increase in steel production by a shameful figure of 13.3 million tonnes, the Chinese steel production grew at a whopping 131.8 million tonnes in a span of just four years ending 2010. Putting this number in a different perspective, India’s population in 2010 was 17 per cent of the global population while the corresponding steel production was merely 4.5 per cent of global steel production. The same was not true for China and Korea. China’s contribution to global steel production in 2010 was more than 44 per cent and Korea’s was 4.13 per cent in spite of their population being 20 per cent and less than 1 per cent of the world population respectively.

Steel production capacity and consumption capacity of a nation (especially per capita), as I said earlier, speak volumes about any nation’s fundamentals. Both production and consumption has a direct correlation with infrastructure development. The steel industry, by any measure, forms the very foundation of almost all manufacturing units and acts as a backbone for industrial development. With India growing demographically, and the nation relying heavily on steel imports, it is imperative for our policy makers to increase steel production by leaps. However, our archaic and non-liberal industrial policies did not allow many steel plants to come up. Barring Tata Steel (that produced 23.5 Million tonnes in 2010) and SAIL (13.6 Mt in 2010), there are literally no big names in steel production. On the contrary, China and Korea both allowed an array of steel plants to mushroom in order to meet the growing demand and facilitate their hunger of infrastructural development. South Korea has two large companies namely Hyundai INI Steel and POSCO, which respectively produced 12.9 and 35.4 million tonnes of steel in the previous year; still, China’s more than 10 large steel plants seem to be far ahead in the race. Chinese steel plants like Hebei Iron and Steel (produced 52.9 million tonnes in 2010), Baosteel Group (37.0), Wuhan Iron and Steel (36.6), Jiangsu Shagang (30.1), Shougang (25.8), Shandong Iron and Steel Group (23.2), Ansteel (22.1), Benxi Steel (22.1), Maanshan Iron and Steel Company (15.4) and Valin Steel Group (15.1) are standing as stalwarts in the global steel sector. Going by these numbers, China’s biggest steel plant is twice as big as India’s biggest steel plant.

Most of India’s steel plants – that too, mind you, could be set up thanks to the then USSR which benevolently came and virtually donated most of the plants to us around fifty odd years back – are labour intensive and over a million people are employed in the Indian steel industry either directly or indirectly. However, this number has no correlation when measured against labour productivity. This huge number does not reap the desired results as the average labour productivity in the Indian steel industry is very low at 144 tonnes per worker per year. The productivity at India’s two biggest steel plants is more horrifying, with SAIL having a labour productivity of 75 tonnes per man per year while Tata Steel with has a labour productivity of 100 tonnes per man per year. This is against POSCO’s (Korea) labour productivity, which stands at a mind boggling 1345 tonnes per man per year. This simply means that a single Korean worker produces 10 times more steel than an Indian worker! No wonder then that Mr. Sathe used to be so much in awe of Korea. In the same light, India’s labour productivity in the steel industry has increased from 11 per cent to 16 per cent (during 2002-2008) while that of China has increased from 12 per cent to 23 per cent. China’s steel industry enjoys low employment cost (labour cost being $1.5 per hour) and equally low operational cost (low cost of energy, equipment and transport). According to studies, cost of incepting a steel plant in China is just 60 per cent the cost of starting a plant in Europe. Steel companies in India have to pay a huge interest on capital apart from managing high costs of electricity and transport. Overall, as per estimates, the cost of capital in India is 14 per cent per year compared to 5-6 per cent in China and 6 per cent in South Korea. The average energy consumption in India is 2 million kilocalories per tonne more than the global standard of 4 million kilocalories per tonne, which is a crying example of how outdated and inefficient our steel plants are!     Read More....

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Indian diplomat collapses inside a Chinese court

In November 2011, Wang Sixin, a law professor in the Communication University of China, opined, “In India, the common law tradition allows judges to begin litigation just based on a news report or a letter from a petitioner, whether [the petitioner is] a lawyer or not. China needs to adopt this practice.” This suggestion of his sounds quite ostensible considering a nation where freedom of speech and expression is highly censored and the judiciary has been used to further this dictatorship of the State. The same was the cruel case in Yiwu city with the Indian diplomat, S Balachandran, who was denied food and medicine despite his repeated requests that he was a diabetes patient; this went on till he actually collapsed and had to be rushed to the hospital. Balachandran was trying to present the case for the release of two Indians who had been kidnapped by Chinese traders because their Yemeni firm had not yet paid some dues. This blatantly ruthless and inhumane attitude displayed by the Chinese judiciary almost in connivance with the Chinese businessmen defines the attitude of the Chinese administration. Till a few years back, if you were a Chinese villager having more than one child, the government tractors would have mowed down your residence – an act that defines the Chinese sense of cruelty, or should I say Chinese torture. Needless to say, the poor villagers never got any support from the judiciary.

The Chinese judiciary has never been independent! In fact, it was in a muddle especially during the Cultural Revolution that curbed its functionality completely between 1966 and 1976. The jurisprudence was revived after 1976 and thence, a new legislation came into being by the end of 1980 under the purview of Organic Law of People’s Courts. Consequently, a new era began, marked by a paradigm shift in the country’s legal system! On the brighter side, the system was made very strong in order to encompass the entire nation under the judiciary system. The number of judges and associate judges, which was at meagre 50,000 in the 1980s was increased to 131,460 in the 1990s, and then again augmented to 258,000 in 2000s – an increase of 416 per cent! This means that the judges-to-population ratio of China is now around 1 to 8,600, which is in close range to the US ratio of 1 to 8,826 – something that we in India are attempting to dream about since the last 64 years!

Despite these impressive figures and massive infrastructure, the Chinese judiciary suffers from numerous problems that affect the very nucleus of the system. It is neither independent, nor are there any standards to determine their independence. The single State party’s influence doesn’t permit the judiciary to be impartial and unbiased, especially since the Communist Party of China keeps perpetually interfering with the court’s proceedings. Clearly, a non-democratic setup never had any space to acknowledge and appreciate the essence of a free and independent judicial system. Further, the funding of the judiciaries is not streamlined uniformly as more developed regions like Beijing, Shanghai or Guangdong have substantially higher disposal of resources than other regions. With better infrastructure, communication and salaries, these regions attract the best judges whereas the remote areas face veritable financial hardships – and lack of quality judges. This has forced many backward regions to augment litigation fees to discourage the parties from filing law suits! As of date, a discriminatory funding ploy by the Chinese government has led to a situation where the jurisprudence of certain areas has been pushed to the limit! In simple words, flow of funds is decided by the State depending upon the freedom the government wants to provide to a particular province. Thus, the remote areas are allocated less funds to ensure a weak judiciary that eventually deters citizens from filing suits and from protesting against atrocities. The residents of such targeted areas are kept entrapped in a situation wherein breaking rules would lead to serious perilous consequences.

Globally, the judiciary system – a true pillar of the economy – is kept independent of political interference and has absolute power with independent staffs that hail from no political party – be it the ruling party or the opposition or any third party. Contrary to this philosophy, China’s judiciary is not separated from its political process. There is no separation of power between the government and the judiciary! The National People’s Congress (NPC) reigns supreme there and has every right to undermine and destabilize the independence of judiciary. The judicial appointments (judges and jury members) are under the ambit of NPC and so is the supervision of it. Thus it is this ruling party that literally decides the person who would chair the court – or shall I say, would decide the fate of the aggrieved party. Putting things into a better perspective, one needs to have a political party affiliation to be a judge in China. As a quid pro quo, it is essential for the judges and the jury to follow the decree of party leadership and perform a variety of functions! The court also acts as a civil law magistrate and has to find evidence for any criminal prosecution that is being handled! A judge’s role is more like an intermediary’s, who explains the policies brought about by the government (or at least the legal side of such policies)! Therefore, performing the role of a judge – as it is being performed in most countries – is only a miniscule part of a judge’s assigned functions and not the prime duty. Alarmingly, a judge in China might not ever have given any verdict but might have performed other roles stated above! He might be merely a little better than a party worker, yet he is called a ‘judge’. In this way China has bloated the figure of its total size of judges – but in reality it is just a farce.

Most interestingly, the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) has to submit a periodic report of its functioning to NPC for approval and review. Thus, today, NPC is seen poking its nose in almost all judicial affairs and individual cases and manipulating the court’s decision. Local governments have the power to literally advice the court on cases related to the government and also forces the courts to bluntly dismiss any appeal that can be harmful during proceedings. Local courts rarely favour the public and most of the times, drag the cases for indefinite time period. The appointment of judges is also influenced by local governments which make it impossible for the courts to be impartial especially in remote areas where the government can’t reach frequently. The lower courts approach the higher courts for directly getting involved in judgments. This snatches away the opportunity of the litigant to appeal before the higher courts, which may have already given an uninformed verdict without giving the claimant a chance to present the case before the higher courts! In essence, these courts have puppets setup by the local government.     Read More....

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The saga of shame of the Indian Commonwealth Games continues as more and more shameful skeletons tumble out of the cupboard. And it only makes my heart cringe. More so because I believe that sports is literally one of the key routes to a healthy nation. From child health to adult health – both physical and mental – sports has a great role to play, especially in today’s day and time where children are getting addicted to videogames and to the internet. To me, personally, the Commonwealth Games event – good or bad – was in reality a great opportunity for India to develop the Indian sports scene. Instead, we found it a great opportunity to plunder more and more money. And that’s what forces me to take a look at how the Chinese used the Olympics as a great leap forward and how they have over years made sports a way of life.

Compared to the Indian games, the 2008 Beijing Olympics actually spoke volumes about China’s commitment to sports. Not only did China refurbish the entire host city to welcome the game and honour the sport at large, but it also set a new record in its medals’ tally. But what was most noteworthy was the leap that China has taken in sports over the years. This unprecedented transition in Chinese sports gets largely visible when one compares the first ever entry of the Chinese to Olympics, vis-à-vis the way they stole the show at the 2008 Olympics. In 1932, during the Los Angeles Olympics, the Chinese representation was just a lone athlete who represented 450 million Chinese and came back home empty handed. Their tryst with the first gold medal happened 52 years later, again in the same venue; and from there on, there was no turning back. And finally, in 2008, a nation which was considered an underdog in many events previously, shocked the world by topping the medals’ tally with 51 gold medals (a jump from 32 gold medals in 2004 Athens Olympics and 28 gold medals in 2000 Sydney Olympics); they were followed by the US which had just 36 gold medals! But then, this jump in the medal tally didn’t happen overnight.

China started preparing its athletes for this event even before they started their infrastructural development (unlike our preparation, where during the CWG, neither was the infrastructure ready, nor did the sportsmen have space and facilities for training). As soon as the nation won the bid for hosting the 2008 Olympics, the government announced its most ambitious sports plan called “Winning pride at the Olympics”, which defined the number of gold medals China could possibly win in different events – after analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of their athletes. The government laid down clear cut policies and strategies to target sports and the number of gold medals that China needed to win in every sports event! The country also launched Project 119 and Plan for Olympics Glory – something that is very unique and equally strategic. The project defined how China could win 119 gold medals (a figure that was later increased to 122) based on their performance in the 2000 Olympics (as the bid for 2008 was won by China in 2001). The flow of funds was never a constraint. During the Olympics, the sports budget was increased to $700 million (an increase by $300 million) along with building specialized sports infrastructure at the Qingdao City costing $30 million. Interestingly, all women sports events received huge funding and got special attention (this is rare even in the West). No wonder, China won 46 gold medals in the ladies’ events (including team and doubles) in the 2008 Olympics!      Read More....

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The strength of the Chinese population can be gauged by the very fact that today around 19.3 per cent of world population is Chinese.

But then, such a figure based on the law of averages hides more than what it reveals. The figure that talks volumes about the Chinese sphere of influence, at least with respect to human capital, is that of 50 million plus overseas Chinese who are settled in various parts of the world and playing their bit in accelerating the fast-paced Chinese economy. Today, overseas Chinese not only pump money into the Chinese economy but also facilitate Chinese ambitions of global cultural and political colonisation. Overseas Chinese have made themselves inimitable in almost all spheres of influences – from heading many hard power areas by chairing vital positions in global forums, military and political institutions of many nations to being the face of various soft power areas of influence. One may not be well versed with the Chinese powers-that-be, but at the same time, very few would be not well versed with the likes of Jackie Chan!

The emigration of Chinese dates back to the Ming dynasty, but the real wave of Chinese diaspora started in 1840s when thousands of Chinese left China and made their way to the United States, especially after the discovery of gold in California. Initially, uneducated and unemployed Chinese labourers left their homes and moved to the US (for mining and railroad jobs); but then, during the late nineteenth century, the scenario changed. Instead of labourers, those were skilled and educated Chinese who moved out to avoid the ill effects of poverty and famine – which were haunting China in the late nineteenth century. However, this time the destination was not confined to the US or the West; many Asian nations suddenly made it to the destination list of Chinese. Among all the nations, Southeast Asia and Australia (apart from US) attracted the most Chinese. With more and more Chinese moving out of China, most of the big cities across the world saw a huge inflow of Chinese.

Gradually, these people moved and settled down in a more organised manner and formed strong communities across the globe. So much so that most of the renowned cities (in almost all nations) have a China located somewhere – which today we call ‘Chinatown.’     Read More....

For More IIPM Info, Visit below mentioned IIPM articles.

IIPM B-School Detail
IIPM makes business education truly global
IIPM’s Management Consulting Arm - Planman Consulting
Arindam Chaudhuri (IIPM Dean) – ‘Every human being is a diamond’
Arindam Chaudhuri – Everything is not in our hands
Planman Technologies – IT Solutions at your finger tips
Planman Consulting
Arindam Chaudhuri's Portfolio - he is at his candid best by Society Magazine
IIPM ranked No 1 B-School in India
domain-b.com : IIPM ranked ahead of IIMs
IIPM: Management Education India
Prof. Rajita Chaudhuri's Website

IIPM Proves Its Mettle Once Again....
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