The cracks are already visible all across Europe. It was first Greece, then Portugal and Italy, with Spain waiting in the queue. The current situation of Europe reminds me of the situation post World War II – wherein most European economies and societies were in complete anarchy! Since the last five years, European nations have been facing major economic setbacks, which have been triggered by political mismanagement and have impacted their entire social structure to a large extent. Today, fallouts of erstwhile strong economies are leading to a cascading effect and sending tremors across the continent!

Amongst all of them, Italy makes an interesting case because as a nation, it has been ranked among the top 25 most developed nations, has one of the best quality-of-life (features among the top ten in the quality-of-life index) and has a per capita GDP at par with other developed nations of the world. This fourth largest European economy is today struggling with a $2.2 trillion debt which is more than 120 per cent of its GDP. In spite of being one of the major manufacturing hubs of the region and boasting of big labels in the fashion and automobile industry, it has miserably failed to keep a balance between expenditure and income. UniCredit SpA (UCG) and Intesa Sanpaolo SpA (ISP) – two of Italy’s biggest banks – recently collapsed while five other large Italian banks have lost around 30 per cent of their share value since the beginning of 2011. Today, 20 per cent of their GDP is made up by the parallel economy and corruption ails the system. So much so that investors too are now shying away, which is evident from the fact that today Italy ranks lowest among OECD countries in the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ index; for that matter, Italy has seen a fall in all attributes since the last year’s ranking, with a drop of 10 points. The overpaid bureaucracy and corrupt political system have been instrumental in systematically destroying the nation, bit by bit!

The situation in Italy has been worsening with every passing day. More than 500,000 youths (aged less than 30 years) lost jobs between 2009 and 2010, in a nation that once had the lowest unemployment rate (around 8.5 per cent) in the entire Europe. Among this, the worst hit were pregnant women (around 800,000 pregnant women left the job as they were denied medical leaves) and low-cost skilled labourers. This not only led to a drop in family incomes, but also prevented hundreds of parents from sending their children to school. As a result, in the last year, the average school drop-out rate was around 20 per cent! And mind you, in Italy, the first six years of primary education are free.

Italy also fears that in the next few months to come, around one-fourth of the entire population may get trapped in the clutches of poverty. As per official figures released in July 2011, the poverty rate increased by 5 per cent and touched a figure of 29.9 per cent among households of 5 and more members. This is evident from the fact that in order to meet their daily consumption, the household savings rate in Italy has been experiencing a steep decline.

The savings rate that once oscillated between 25 to 34 per cent is now around 8-9 per cent! Needless to state that given the state of the socio-economic condition, societal crime too has increased in the nation. More and more unemployed youth attempted suicide in 2009 and 2011. On an average, 250 additional cases of suicides were reported in Italy every year starting 2009 – and 75 per cent of all cases were attributed to youth who were unemployed or lost their jobs. This is not all; kidnapping, assaults and sexual crime too saw a huge surge – around 25 per cent – since 2009. The cases of drugs abuse, teen pregnancy, drug addiction, alcohol abuse and depression have also seen an unprecedented rise in the last couple of years.

Add to this the problem of demographic replacement. According to a report published by the ISTAT (The Italian National Institute of Statistics) this January, the population growth is into a deep mess. Previously, due to migration, the population growth and the natural dynamic (the gap between birth and death rate) were positive. But then, after a huge protest against immigrants (due to the indigenous population losing jobs) the population growth started to decline. ISTAT reports that since the last four years, the natural dynamic is negative with the death rate surpassing the birth rate by 30,000 units; the average birth rate of women fell down to 1.40 by the end of last year. More and more parents are opting to not produce babies as they fear the high cost of medical and child-care. The government is also incapable of giving incentives for reproduction, as it did earlier, and had to discontinue their “fund for the newly born” scheme.     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’
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....
Planman Technologies
IIPM Contact Info
IIPM History
IIPM Think Tank
IIPM Infrastructure
IIPM Info

IIPM: Selection Process
IIPM: Research and Publications
IIPM MBA Institute India

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
United States’ finely tuned images of ‘land of opportunity’, ‘land of the free’ and ‘home of the brave’ – all have in recent time received a major jolt with protestors pouring in from all over the country in thousands. It is probably the biggest protest since anti-Vietnam-war demonstrations in the 70s! Finally their police are finding it tough to control their own people. This time they are failing to smoke them out, because the enemy lies in every other house. I wrote about the coming end of capitalism – the way we know it – in 2008 itself as an aftermath of the latest recession that has hit the world due to its blind belief in free market profiteering and was surprised why (despite people around the world, from countries in the Middle East to a laid back country like India, showing a tendency to come out on the streets to press for their rights) people in the western world were delaying coming out in the streets to press for what was their right – the right to stable and dignified living. But finally the streets in the western world are slowly starting to look like streets of Egypt, with thousands out on the streets, protesting against the shameless profiteering of the Wall Street – the symbol of capitalism at its greediest best. It is a movement of the working class – which forms overwhelming majority of the American population – being deprived, ignored and cheated by the greedy corporations, which forms the top one per cent of the population. The growing protests that have spread its tentacles all across the nation indicate a serious problem in the financial districts of the American cities. The conservatism that has put unchecked and deep crony capitalism to almost heavenly pedestal is the root cause for such economic injustice, which has literally forced thousands to come out on the streets to protest. No wonder, the gradual transition of American capitalism to crony capitalism is a result of inherent shortcomings that the financial system and capitalism on the whole has been experiencing since decades.

For the last 30 years, the United States is suffering from erosion of jobs and corporate big shots renouncing the values and spirit that once made America as great as it is perceived today because of short term profits – a classic case of uncontrolled deregulation practised in this crony capitalist system. This system has made a class of minuscule super rich even richer, driven by the Wall Street, but has marginalised the vast majority who faced the albatross of dead end jobs, lay-offs, lack of future and other destruction of the very tenets of any functional democracy!

One of the reasons that led to this out-cry is irresponsible lending by the banks and very high consumer debt. It has eroded the purchasing power of the common man. Lack of consumer demand is halting new investments and preventing new job creation. Obama’s steps to steer the economy to safer ground – mortgage refinancing, healthcare overhaul, student’s loan minimisation programmes – have not seen any breakthrough so far. The reasons are Republican’s opposition and consequent blocking of government’s intervention in the economy.

The Gini coefficient (that measures the income divide in a country) of the US is at par with that of undeveloped countries of Africa like Uganda. In 2010, the top 20 per cent of all Americans owned 49.4 per cent of the nation’s income. The top one per cent of all Americans owned 40 per cent of the total wealth of the US and 24 per cent of all income – most importantly an increase by 31 per cent in the last four decades. Moreover, in these four decades the income of wealthy Americans have increased by 300 per cent while that of middle class has increased by merely 20 per cent and that of lower strata by merely five per cent – thus increasing the Gini coefficient from 39.7 in 1967 to 46.0 in 2005. A report by IMF titled ‘Leveraging Inequality’ published back in December 2010 concluded that ‘long periods of unequal incomes spur borrowing from the rich, increasing the risk of major economic crises’ in the way it did during the Great Depression of 1929 and the Great Recession of 2007. This income gap kept many poor Americans away from schools and proper medical facilities, eventually affecting their productivity and income per se. The executives at the Wall Street enjoyed hefty pay packages and impressive compensation while others had to struggle for a decent salary. Studies show that in 2004 the top 25 highest paid hedge fund managers on Wall Street collectively earned more than the combined income of all of the CEOs from the top 500 large-cap American companies. The employment rate still lingers around 9.1 per cent with 4.5 million people still unemployed, which is at a historically high!

More than 6,000 protestors gathered on October 15, 2011 at Times Square and around 100 were arrested after the protest went violent. The protests have just been gathering steam. Chicago police also arrested more than 150 protestors. Similar phenomena was seen in London too and the police had to debar people from entering Paternoster Square (London Stock Exchange). The protests have crossed the domestic borders and reached almost all the continents of the world. Recently protestors were found displaying their anger outside Reserve Bank of Australia. Similarly, protest rallies have graduated into violent riots in Rome and other European nations and more than 100 protestors were arrested. People also got violent in Japan, Hong Kong and Korea.      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’
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....
Planman Technologies
IIPM Contact Info
IIPM History
IIPM Think Tank
IIPM Infrastructure
IIPM Info

IIPM: Selection Process
IIPM: Research and Publications
IIPM MBA Institute India

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
At least the apex court felt the need to slam the administration over clubbing housewives and women engaged in domestic work along with the categories containing prostitutes, beggars and prisoners within the Census; the court stated that such categorisation of women is totally irrational and insensitive. I kept wondering that in an era where even the slightest of gender discrimination is a highly inflammable and potent fuel for the media, activists and the civil society alike, how was it that such a slap on the face of the housewife (the Census categorization) had gone unnoticed – or should I say deliberately overlooked? Is it that in our progressive society today, the housewife has lost her identity or is it that her definition has been reduced to the manner in which she gets portrayed in TRP hungry daily soaps? Is it that she is being taken too much for granted?

According to the Census, the logic behind clubbing housewives along with beggars and prostitutes stems from the fact that none of them directly contributes to the economy. In simple terms, it means that all three categories of people are unproductive. I do not wish to comment much on begging and prostitution, but should mention that both professions are an outcome of the productive people around! Clearly, this kind of categorization of housewives is not just discriminatory but is outrageously illogical. In fact, if one goes about calculating the contributions that are being made by a housewife then it would put a lot of the so called productive people to shame. To start with, a report by the ‘Evangelical Social Action Forum and Health Brigade’ estimates that the economic value added by Indian housewives would be nothing less than $600 billion annually – that is equal to a staggering Rs 28,20,000 crore. In simple terms, it means that on an average an Indian housewife adds Rs 78,000 per year to the economy – which again I feel is an understatement given the fact that the millions of housewives support their respective families in innumerable ways. To an extent that without their support, most of the so called productive lot would become unproductive.

A survey, which was featured almost four years back, and which quite strangely was ignored by most of the leading media houses, proves that if we were to add the contributions made by housewives to their respective households – to the National Income – then Indian GDP would go up by a staggering four folds! Notwithstanding all that, if one were to still state that the contributions of a housewife are intangible and cannot be added to the GDP, it should not mean that their contributions are reduced to a naught! How can one rule out the facts that even today, as per an NSSO survey, more than 50 per cent of rural women and 20 per cent of urban women are engaged in activities like collection of fuel wood, fetching of water after walking for kilometers, and providing a silent latent hand in small household businesses – acts that go completely unpaid. Beside these, a large number of women across the country look after livestock, poultry, domestic hygiene, cooking, of course children too, and so on and so forth. Going by the assumption that these housewives work for around 10 hours per day (which again is a conservative estimate, as most of them are found working for more than 12 hours a day), if these women were paid for their daily work, even simply at par with wages set by the government under the Minimum Wages Act, a single women ends up adding a minimum of Rs 2,500-3,500 per month per family. And unlike prisoners, beggars and prostitutes, almost all of the work done by housewives is economic in nature as in most of the developed countries, the work that housewives do are generally carried out through paid contracts.     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....
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
Recently, in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), China toppled Japan to secure the second position globally, after US. In fact, China was very close to achieving this feat the last year itself, but fell short at the last moment. As per reports, if China keeps growing at its current pace, then by 2025, it should topple the US to become the largest economy of the world. Who could have imagined that an economy, which was languishing till about three decades back, has put itself in such formidable position? What is even more amazing is the fact that at a point in time when the world economy is still recovering from the global recession, China kept on growing. The growth has been such that in 2005, it first overtook Britain and France; then in 2007, it surpassed Germany to secure the position of the third largest economy of the world. It is not that the growth did not bring in iniquitous distribution of wealth; but then, at the same time, China has managed to pull out a staggering 600 million people out of poverty – a record which no other country has achieved so far.

Going by media reports, it doesn’t seem that many experts are appreciative of the Chinese growth. In fact even now, most in the developed world still cannot fathom the fact that China can be a serious contender in the new economic order. Much of this is owing to the fact that irrespective of its number 2 position, China still remains a developing country, as its current per capita is still 10 times lesser of that of Japan. But then, what most miss out on is the fact that China is in no hurry to prove itself. China has moved step by step in terms of consolidating its position. They have never bothered about the criticisms that they faced on humanitarian issues, or the kind of global cynicism that they faced by keeping their currency purposefully undervalued. Their objective has been very clear – which gets reflected in the manner in which they have planned every step. From the very beginning, China has been extremely scientific and systematic in its approach. And more than that, the growth has come out of great sacrifice collectively made by the Chinese citizens. China has systematically moved people into manufacturing and today China manufactures almost half of the global produce. Thus today, a Walmart retains the topmost position in the Fortune list by selling goods that are being made in China. And all this has not come in a day. It has been an outcome of years of planning. China today boasts of an investment which is a mind numbing 40% of GDP! Even at its peak, the US managed around 18%. Even countries like ours are managing 18%. Additionally, the Chinese investment mobilization has been far more prudent than any other country’s efforts. They have systematically invested in infrastructure, which not only created jobs, but also helped in creating a world class environment for trade. But then, their biggest credit has been in terms of the investments that they made in education. As per reports in 1998, around 3 million students were undertaking Chinese higher education; this increased to around 8 million in a matter of just 4 years. And investments have just not been in higher education – starting from English training, to vocational training to the investments that they made in science and technology. Such has been the outcome that their investments in education alone add up to almost 6% to their growth; and this would be sustained over a period of time. Today, China produces patents, the number of which is only second to the US! Not just this, they received severe criticism from all quarters when they pro-actively went ahead with their engagement with Iran. They did so not just with Iran to but with Sudan as well, for they knew that energy security is key to their dominance in global trade.     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


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
In the first week of January 2010, most newspapers carried a stunning report. And the report was based on data from the Central Statistical Organisation, which revealed that Bihar has clocked the second highest growth rate in the country, only second to Gujarat, between the period 2004/05 and 2008/09. Although in the same period, most of the backward states have shown a reasonably decent growth rate, but none could match up to Bihar. And what is even more remarkable is the manner in which the state has turned around. It was only in 2003/04 that it had shown a (de)growth of a negative 5.15%. Five years hence, the state has an aggregated growth of 11.03%, beating all conventions.

Initially, analysts were skeptical about the data, but once it was reported that the data had been released by CSO – a central government agency – all doubts were put to rest. What is more interesting is the fact that most of the growth has taken under Nitish Kumar’s regime – which also proves that howsoever poor a state might be, finally it all depends on an able leader whether a transformation can occur. And all credit should go to Nitish Kumar for his intent and a proper follow-through with governance. It is not just Bihar – the same can be said with respect to Uttarakhand, Orissa, Jharkhand and Chattisgarh, as these states have clocked growth rates of 9.31%, 8.74%, 8.45% and 7.35% respectively for the same period, beating the conventional growth rates that had been seen over the years. What is even more intriguing and creditworthy is that of these states, four states – namely Bihar, Uttarakhand, Orissa and Jharkhand – have beaten the national growth rate of 8.45% during the same period!

But then, without taking away any credit from these states, there are a few issues that should also be taken into perspective for a more balanced evaluation. Though on the face of it, Bihar has stood second nationally, and next to Gujarat, but the fact is that the state has a long way to go to even get close to Gujarat in real terms. As we all know, growth rates are always relative. And in absolute terms, the growth of these states is nowhere close to that of Gujarat or a Maharashtra. States like Bihar, Jharkhand were growing on a very low base of historically languishing state GDP, whereas states like Gujarat and Maharashtra are already on a much larger base. Therefore, if states like Bihar, Orissa et al have to catch up and earn any kind of parity with other progressive states, then they have to grow even faster than the latter. Other than this, a high growth rate also does not guarantee that the growth is uniform – encompassing all sections across the state. A case in point has been Madhu Koda’s government. We all know the level of corruption that states like Jharkhand have been subjected to in the past few years. Indications now also are very clear that the so called growth rates have actually not touched upon the masses in these states – and this is not good news at all. As this means that the income disparity has grown not only at the national level, but to a large extent at the states’ level too. Along with all this, we also know that these newly praised states are also the states which are subjected to the maximum number of Naxal atrocities, which is also an indicator that though apparently the states have scored well on growth, the masses still remain disconnected. I’ve written about this a number of times earlier and would like to reiterate here that Naxalism has a deep connect with poverty. Over the years, Naxalites have prospered only in those states where poverty has been deep-rooted; and that’s why we don’t hear about the Naxal menace in Gujarat, even though we hear about the same in Maharashtra (because there are poor pockets in Maharashtra where Naxals thrive).     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


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------