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In India, it's all about location, location, location

Ryan Hahn's picture

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.

Making mobile banking affordable

Sanket Mohapatra's picture

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

Creating creative capitalism

Ryan Hahn's picture

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.

Workforce development as a response to information asymmetry

Ryan Hahn's picture

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.

Beijing closing ceremony opens new era of international multi-polarity

David Dollar's picture

 The Olympics closing ceremony. Photo courtesy of rich115 under a Creative Commons license.
The closing ceremony for the Beijing Olympics was as impressive as the opening.  In between, China put on an amazingly well-organized set of games.  China also won the greatest number of gold medals and came in second behind the USA in total medal count.  This splashy performance definitely caught the attention of people in the West and set off a lot of speculation in the press about what it all means.  Robert Samuelson discusses in a recent column the Beijing Olympics as a metaphor for China overtaking the U.S. as the world's biggest economy.

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.)

Alphabet soup - AED, AAP, PDA

Ryan Hahn's picture

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:


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