Saturday, November 6, 2010

Is India rich or poor?

UN HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2010: The UNHDR 2010 was released on the 4th of November. Where does India stand? On the Human Development Index, we occupy the 119th spot (out of 169). There has been an improvement of one solitary position (!!) over the last 5 years. We rank below our neighbours, Pakistan and Bangladesh in education (average time spent in school is 4.4 years compared to Pakistan - 4.9) and health (life expectancy 64 versus 67 in Pakistan and Bangladesh). But India has secured the 10th position in the area of improvement of the income index!! In a nation where there are 421 poor people in just eight states, more than the 26 poorest African nations combined - 410 million. We also score 122nd among 138 countries in gender inequality. Generally not a good report card......

2 HINDUSTANS: So how can our income, GDP and economy be going up when there are so many poor people? The mystery man of Indian politics, Rahul Gandhi (or as Lalloo and Sharad Yadav call him - baccha/babua!!), made an interesting observation in an impromptu speech to the AICC meet. 'There are two Hindustans -- one is growing very fast and the other is for the poor (which is in crisis).... We have to connect and unite the two.' He has been doing some interesting things over the last few years, like riding a local train in Mumbai, regularly breaking his security cordon to meet poor people, secretly riding a second-class compartment from Gorakhpur to Maharashtra (with a visit to the unreserved compartment on the way) and meeting students in colleges over the country encouraging them to join politics. It seems he has done some research before making this observation.

WHERE THE MONEY IS GOING: The 2008 Swiss Bank Association report had an interesting finding. The country which has 1/3rd of the global poor also has the maximum amount of money stashed in Swiss bank accounts!! Nearly 2 trillion dollars of it! A large percentage of which must be black...The top 5 stashers are
India ---- $1891 billion
Russia----- $610 billion
China ----- $213 billion
UK ----- $210 billion
Ukraine---- $140 billion
Rest of the world ----$300 billion

AND WHAT'S LEFT GOES TO...: Certainly not the poor!! It seems that a lot of money goes to the world's superpower - Obamaland!! India is now the second fastest growing investor in the United States after the United Arab Emirates!! As for the 42% of Indians below the international poverty line, let's just forget about them for the moment, shall we......


  1. Indian Institute of Technology – Roorkee organized a unique competition for its students as part of their annual cultural festival called “Thomso 10”. As part of the competition, boys holding lipsticks in their mouth applied them on fellow girl students.

  2. Sorry Yogesh. I didn't get the connection. Did some of your comment get deleted. If so, apologies and please repost.