The Financial Times reports today that Tata Motors, the company behind the Rs100,000 (US$2280) Nano mini car, has faced protests over the location of its factory. Some 2,000 state police blocked the road to the factory in West Bengal. Protestors are concerned that farmers have been unfairly displaced from Tata's 1,000-acre site. On the upside for Tata, FT reports that it has received proposals for relocation from at least nine Indian states. I guess the diminutive Nano is in demand.
Adding to my earlier post about card based technologies, m-banking services are far cheaper than brick and mortar banks, but these can be costly compared to a poor person's income. The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) has a head-to-head comparison of how the prices of the top branchless banking service -- GCash, Smart Padala, M-Pesa, Wizzit and MTN -- stack up against the top four banks in Sout
As a first-time blogger on this site, I will focus on bringing experiences and reflections on how communication plays a key role in initiatives related to governance, a role even more fundamental than that played in other kinds of development programs.
A few years ago in London, I was part of a circle that included quite a few Pakistani Brits, all top professionals.
The debate continues over at Creative Capitalism, the blog/book-to-be spurred by Bill Gates's speech at Davos. Meanwhile, Gates gives a hint at just how to create Creative Capitalism - get universities involved. At a forum in Hong Kong, Gates argued that universities need to team up with industry to drive innovation.
A new paper available from the National Bureau of Economic Research called Is The Washington Consensus Dead? attempts to resurrect the Washington Consenus, or at least the bit of it that argued for trade liberalization.
In an earlier post, I discussed the Indian approach to workforce development. A lot of Indian companies spend a lot of money on in-house training for their employees. Although I didn't mention it at the time, one of the things that puzzled me is why companies would invest so much money on in-house training; employees could simply leave after a short tenure, and the company would have lost money on the cost of the training.
|The Olympics closing ceremony. Photo courtesy of rich115 under a Creative Commons license.|
What struck me most during the last week of events and at the closing ceremony is that we really are living in a new, multi-polar era without one single dominant country. I was fortunate to see Guo Jingjing win her springboard diving gold; Russia-USA men’s volleyball semifinal; Argentina-Nigeria soccer gold medal game; Jamaican runners dominate the sprints; Ethiopian and Kenyan runners dominate the long distances; and American runners sweep a couple of middle distance events. And while the Americans and Chinese can be justifiably proud of their medal totals, don’t forget that the member states of the EU won vastly more medals and gold medals than either of those countries. (My informal count as of mid-day Friday was that EU states had won 234 medals including 74 gold.)
Portfolio has an interesting interactive online map with gas prices per gallon in countries around the world (Hat tip: Andrew Sullivan). Gas prices in Turkey are about three times as high as that in the U.S. I wonder which country is closer to the theoretical free market price?
Perhaps in contrast to my post on the digital war on poverty, I just noticed an interesting article on the website of AED - the Academy for Educational Development. They are using a technology called the African Access Point (AAP) in combination with personal digital assistants (PDAs). From the article: