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East Asia and Pacific

Low-cost, high-impact technology: the Simputer

Vivek heads to college on his Yamaha motorbike with a frown. Upcoming exams are not his concern - it is a hand-held gadget the traffic police have started using.

Bangalore...is the first city in India to be given the Simputer to fine traffic offenders. Described as "the people's computer" for its affordable price and ease of use, this paperback-sized console can fine traffic violators even for previous offences.

Collecting debts in India

The BBC reports from Orissa:

A bank in India has decided to publicly shame defaulters in order to recover outstanding loans. Employees of the Urban Co-operative Bank in the eastern state of Orissa have begun staging noisy demonstrations outside the home of defaulters. Armed with posters, they kicked off the loan recovery drive outside the homes of two defaulters last week.

Better an incompetent for-profit doctor than a competent government-funded one

The caped crusader, Adamsmithee, points us to an incredible and rather sad piece of research from our World Bank colleagues Jishnu Das and Jeffrey Hammer. Looking at doctors in Delhi, they conclude:


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