Sunday, November 2, 2008

Swami's Article

Where McCain scores over Obama

Dated: October 26, 2008

Barack Obama looks certain to beat John McCain and become the next US President. Most Indians will be delighted. An Obama victory will symbolize the vanquishing of racism and the dismal Bush legacy.

Besides, McCain is a military hawk, especially on Iraq. Obama is not exactly a dove, but is far less a military adventurer than McCain, and is preferred by Indians on this score too.

Yet, a look at the voting record and campaign content of the two candidates suggests that McCain might in many ways be better for India than Obama, especially on economic issues.

A nasty global recession has begun. Nouriel Roubini of New York University predicts we will suffer the worst economic downswing since the Great Depression. So, pressures will mount for protectionist measures and beggar-thy-neighbour policies in the US, hurting countries like India. Apart from erecting import barriers and subsidizing dumped exports, US politicians will seek to curb the outsourcing of services to India. Visa curbs will slow the movement of skilled workers and their dollar remittances back to India.

McCain is one of the few American politicians in either party with the courage and conviction to stand up to protectionist populism. By contrast, Obama embodies protectionism.

Look at the accompanying chart (more details are available at It shows that McCain has voted 88% of the time against bills creating trade barriers, and 90% of the time against export subsidies for US producers. Few other senators have such a splendid record.

Obama has served a much shorter time in the Senate, and avoided voting on many key issues. He has voted against trade barriers only 36% of the time. He supported export subsidies on the two occasions on which he voted, a 100% protectionist record in this regard.

In 2007, he voted to reduce visas issued to foreign workers (such as Indian software engineers), and to ban Mexican trucks on US roads. He sometimes voted for free trade—he supported the Oman Free Trade Act and a bill on miscellaneous tariff reductions and trade preference extensions. More often he voted for protectionist measures including 100% scanning of imported containers (which would make imports slower and costlier), and emergency farm spending.

In 2005 he voted to impose sanctions on China for currency manipulation, and against the Central American Free Trade Agreement. He voted for the Byrd amendment, a disgraceful bill (later struck down by the WTO) that gifted anti-dumping duties to US producers who complained, thus making complaining more profitable than competitive production.

Obama says the North American Free Trade agreement is a bad one, and must be renegotiated. He has opposed the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement on the bogus ground that Colombia is not protecting its trade union leaders from the drug mafia. In fact, such assassinations have fallen steadily from 205 in 2001 to just 25 last year. Obama is cynically twisting facts to woo the most protectionist US trade unions. This cannot but worry India, which may also be subjected to bogus slander and trade disadvantages.

By contrast, McCain has consistently voted for open trade, He has opposed federal curbs as well as private curbs on outsourcing to countries like India. He opposed the disgraceful Byrd amendment on anti-dumping duties. He voted against farm subsidies and labour standards for imports (which are not necessarily bad but could become a disguised form of protectionism).

Unlike Obama, McCain voted against imposing trade sanctions on China for supposedly undervaluing its currency to keep exports booming and accumulate large forex reserves. India has followed a similar policy, though with less export success than China. But if indeed India achieves big success in the future, it could be similarly targeted by US legislators, and will need people like McCain to resist.

Obama favours extensive subsidies for US farmers, hitting Third World exporters like India. This has been one of the issues on which the Doha Round of WTO is gridlocked. McCain could open the gridlock, Obama will strengthen it.

Obama also favours subsidies for converting maize to ethanol. The massive diversion of maize from food to ethanol has sent global food and fertilizer prices skyrocketing, hitting countries like India. But McCain has always opposed subsidies for both US agriculture and ethanol. While campaigning, he had the courage to oppose such subsidies even in Iowa, an agricultural state he badly needs to win if he is to become President.

Okay, some readers will say, McCain may be better for India on economic issues, but will be a disaster on foreign policy issues. I’m far from sure. All Iraqi political parties want the US to withdraw most troops within a year and all troops by 2011, so a US withdrawal is certain regardless of who becomes US President. McCain is a hawk on Iran while Obama says he will talk without preconditions. But the difference may not mean much, since Iran refuses to talk before withdrawal of US support for Israel and US troops from the Middle East.

So when Obama wins, don’t cheer too loudly. It will be great to have a black US President. It would be even greater if he followed McCain’s economic policies.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Swami's Article

Who murdered the financial system?

Dated: October 22, 2008

Leftists claim that the global financial crisis was caused by reckless deregulation and greed. Rightists blame half-baked financial regulations and perverse incentives. Actually, the financial sector is deeply regulated, with major roles for both the state and markets. It was not one or the other that failed but the combination.

The best metaphor for the mess comes from Jack and Suzy Welch, who recall Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express.” In this novel, 12 people are suspects in a murder. And 12 turn out to be guilty. What starts as a whodunit concludes as an everybody-dun-it.

In the same spirit, allow me to present the 12 murderers of the US financial system.

  1. 1. The Federal Reserve Board. Alan Greenspan, Fed Governor in 1987-2006, was once hailed as a genius for keeping the US booming, but is now called a serial bubble-maker. He presided over bubbles in housing, credit, and stock markets. He said it was difficult to identify asset bubbles in advance, so anti-bubble policies might be anti-growth. It was better to let bubbles build, and sweep up after they burst. Bernanke, like Greenspan, ignored the US housing bubble till it burst.
  2. US politicians. Envisioning a home for every American, regardless of income, they provided excess implicit and explicit housing subsidies. One law forced banks to lend to sub-prime poor borrowers. Legislators created Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, government-sponsored entities that bought or underwrote 80% of all US mortgages, and enjoyed exemption from normal regulations. Politicians ignored Greenspan’s warning that such a dominant role for two under-regulated giants posed a huge financial risk.
  3. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They resisted regulation, and spent over $ 2 million lobbying legislators against any tightening of rules. As mortgagers of last resort they should have been especially prudent. But they bought stacks of toxic mortgage paper—collateralized debt obligations (CDOs)—seeking short-term profits that ultimately led to bankruptcy.
  4. Financial innovators. Their ideas provided cheap, easy credit, and helped stoke the global economic boom of 2003-08. Securitisation of mortgages provided an avalanche of capital for banks and mortgage companies to lend afresh. Unfortunately the new instruments were so complex that not even bankers realized their full risks. CDOs smuggled BBB mortgages into AAA securities, leaving investors with huge quantities of down-rated paper when the housing bubble burst. Financial innovators created Credit Default Swaps (CDSs), which insured bonds against default. CDS issues swelled to a mind-boggling $ 60 trillion. When markets fell and defaults widened, those holding CDSs faced disaster.
  5. Regulators. All major countries had regulators for banking, insurance and financial/ stock markets. These were asleep at the wheel. No insurance regulator sought to check the runaway growth of the CDS market, or impose normal regulatory checks like capital adequacy. No financial regulator saw or checked the inherent risks in complex derivatives. Leftists today demand more regulations, but these will not thwart the next crisis if regulators stay asleep.
  6. Banks and mortgage lenders. Instead of keeping mortgages on their own books, lenders packaged these into securities and sold them. So, they no longer had incentives to thoroughly check the creditworthiness of borrowers. Lending norms were constantly eased. Ultimately, banks were giving loans to people with no verification of income, jobs or assets. Some banks offered teaser loans—low starting interest rates, which reset at much higher levels in later years—to lure unsuspecting borrowers.
  7. Investment banks. Once, these institutions provided financial services such as underwriting, wealth management, and assistance with IPOs and mergers and acquisition. But more recently they began using borrowed money—with leverage of up to 30 times—to trade on their own account. Deservedly, all five top investment banks have disappeared. Lehman Brothers is bust, Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch have acquired by banks, and Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs have been converted into regular banks.
  8. Rating agencies. Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s were not tough or alert enough to spot the rise in risk as leverage skyrocketed. They allowed BBB mortgages to be laundered into AAA mortgages through CDOs.
  9. The Basle rules for banks. These international negotiated norms provided harmonized regulatory checks on financial excesses across countries. The first set of norms, Basle-I, was widely criticized as too rigid and blunt. So countries agreed on Basle-II, which allowed banks to use credit ratings and models based on historical record to lower the risk-ratings of many securities. This dilution of norms led to excesses everywhere. Iceland’s banks went bust holding loans/securities totaling 10 times its GDP. The dilution of risk-rating in Basle-II helped inflate the financial bubble.
  10. US consumers. Their savings used to be 6% of disposable income some time ago, but more recently has been zero or even negative. They have gone on a huge borrowing spree to spend far more than they earn. This excess is reflected in huge, unsustainable US trade deficits.
  11. Asian and OPEC countries. They undervalued their currencies to stimulate exports and create large trade surpluses with the US. They accumulated trillions in forex reserves, and put these mostly into dollar securities. This depressed US interest rates, and further fuelled borrowing there.
  12. Everybody. Consumers, corporations, banks, politicians, the media--indeed everybody-- was happy when housing prices boomed, stock markets boomed, and credit became cheap and easily available. Bubbles in all these areas grew in full public view. They were highlighted by analysts, but nobody wanted to stop the lovely party. Everybody liked easy money and rising asset prices. This trumped prudence across countries.
So, forget the left-versus-right or regulations-versus-markets debate on the financial crisis. States, institutions, markets and everybody else was guilty. These actors will for some years don sackcloth and ashes, adopt stiffer regulations, and listen to lectures on the virtues of prudence and restraint. But after seven to ten years of the next business upswing, I predict that we will once again have a new generation of bubbles, evading whatever new checks have been put in place. When everybody loves bubbles, they are both irresistible and inevitable.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

School vouchers are ideal solution for poor

An article on school voucher By Jaithirth Rao | Conservative Corner

The provisioning of education by the public sector at the primary level has broken down

I continue with the theme of niti (laws) and nyaya (just outcomes) as propounded by Amartya Sen. His diagnosis of the problems facing the underprivileged children of India apropos of their education is spot on; his suggested solution is quite simply dead wrong. In his recent lecture in Delhi he has referred to the fact that the provisioning of education by the public sector at the primary level has broken down. This breakdown is particularly prevalent in the schools where the poor, the lower castes and first-generation learners constitute the bulk of the enrolment. While there are honourable exceptions, it is an established fact that the majority of teachers in these state schools are more often absent than present. When they do turn up, they are usually late. Having arrived late, they rarely bother to teach and when they teach, they are not concerned about elementary outcomes, e.g. can the students read or count?
Prof. Sen comes up with the novel and eminently impractical suggestion that “dialogue” with the teachers’ unions will result in a massive behavioural change on their part. He derives great comfort from meetings that he and his NGO have had with the worthy union leaders in the “advanced” state of West Bengal (a state where education at least is in an “advanced” state of decay). Come, come, Prof. Sen…you are an economist of standing. Do you seriously believe that just because these folks are nice to you during your visits to India, they are going to alter their behaviour when there is no economic incentive whatsoever for them to work hard (will they be paid more, promoted earlier or at least given a Padma Shri if they work chance of that) and there is no disincentive for being lazy or absent (their salaries will not be reduced, their promotions will still occur based on seniority, they can never be sacked…this their strong union will ensure)?
I have no experience of the state of affairs in contemporary West Bengal as I have a singular aversion to Stalinism which has been the prevalent ideology in that unfortunate state for three decades now. I am acquainted with schools run by the Brihan Mumbai Nagarpalika (BMC, or Bombay Municipal Corporation, for old time believers in simple English). Some of the teachers are dedicated and conscientious. I even know one teacher in a Gujarati medium section who uses his own slender personal financial resources to help children. But for every one such example, there are twice or thrice as many teachers who for all practical purposes can be categorized as ghost employees. They draw salaries, or someone draws it for them. Beyond that their commitment to their vocation is zilch.
Why not opt for the obvious solution of allowing parents and students to choose on their own which school they will patronize? If the government gave the parents vouchers which could be cashed either in state schools or in private schools, then the poor parents would have the same measure of choice that their affluent fellow-citizens have. I would take a wager that each and every member of Prof. Sen’s family in India has sent their children to private schools. Incidentally, 80% of government schoolteachers themselves send their own children to private schools! How can we argue that it is a just outcome in keeping with the spirit of “nyaya” if we condemn poorer citizens to opt for educational services for their children differently from the way we choose for our children?
The “efficiency” argument is even stronger than the moral one. We now have evidence that in Delhi poorer parents who have been given vouchers have largely chosen private schools for their children. Incidentally, for every voucher there were 400-odd applicants giving an indication of how desperately poor parents want “choice”. The children were chosen by random lottery in order to confront the argument that private schools do well because they select better students. Initial studies appear heartening. We seem headed for better reading/writing/maths outcomes at one-third the cost of state schools. We have a decent mobile phone offering for Indian citizens because there is choice and competition in mobile telephony. The same rules will apply in education. State schools may even improve once it becomes obvious that parents will opt for other choices, as incidentally has happened with telecom firms BSNL and MTNL.
Prof. Sen: you have rightly identified the enormous failure of the Indian state in educating its citizens. Why not go full hog wearing your moral philosopher’s hat and support “choice” for poor Indian parents, a choice that you and I have exercised with our children, which your relatives in India have exercised, which 80% of government school teachers exercise? That would indeed be “nyaya” not the “matsya nyaya” which now in place.
Jaithirth Rao, a former banker and technology entrepreneur, divides his time between Mumbai, Lonavla and Bangalore. Send your views on this column at
To read Jaithirth Rao’s earlier columns, go to

Monday, October 6, 2008

Pains Of A Slowing Miracle Economy!

Swami's new article. Great stuff to read.

I am not usually a pessimist. But I predict that India will suffer a lot of pain in the next 18 months, as the economy slows down along with the current global slowdown.

The US, Europe and Japan are sinking into recession together. Forget claims that India has decoupled from the US and can keep growing fast regardless. India and most developing countries are indeed much less dependent on the US economy than in the past. So, Indian growth will be dented rather than smashed. GDP growth will slide from 9 % last year to 7% this financial year, and to maybe 6% next year.

Now, 7% is a miracle growth rate by historical standards. You might think that declining from super-miraculous to merely miraculous growth cannot be particularly painful. You would be dead wrong. The direction of change matters more than the absolute level. Rising from 5% to 7% is blissful, but falling from 9% to 7% is painful. And a subsequent tumble to 6% will be more painful still.

To appreciate why the direction of change matters so much, recall the 1990s. India went bust in 1991, reformed by globalising, and reaped the reward of fast growth. GDP growth averaged 7.5% in the three-year period 1994-97. India’s growing integration with the world economy enabled it to share in the global economic boom of those years. Foreign institutional investors flooded into all emerging markets, including India, sending stock market prices spiraling.

Indian optimists thought that miraculous growth was here to stay. But along came the Asian financial crisis in 1997, and the Indian economy slumped along with the global economy. Indian GDP growth averaged just 5.5% in the next five years.

Now, 5.5 % may not sound too bad, just a modest deceleration from the 7.5% of the preceding boom. Indeed, India’s 5.5% at the time was one of the fastest growth rates in the world. Yet the change in direction, from acceleration to deceleration, caused enormous pain.

Industrial growth crashed in 1997-98, and barely limped forward for years. Many industries had borrowed massively during the mid-1990s boom to invest in world-class new plants, for which there was suddenly no demand. Huge projects were abandoned unfinished, with companies defaulting on mega-loans. These financial defaults brought the lending institutions also to the verge of bankruptcy, from which they were saved mainly by creative accounting and a friendly RBI. Medium and small companies crashed along with their larger brethren. Employment went into a tailspin. Stock markets crashed and companies stopped repaying fixed deposits, so household investors suffered trauma.

The budgets of the central and state governments assumed steady growth of revenue year after year. But the 1997 slowdown hit tax collections. Meanwhile, a bumper Pay Commission award hugely inflated the wage bills of central and state governments. So, governments, corporations, employees and households investors were all sucked downward into a whirlpool of distress. The only saving grace was the IT boom, sparked by the global YK2 scare. But that turned out to be a bubble, and it burst in 2001.

Difficult though these years were, they did not witness economic collapse. India did not revert to the old Hindu rate of growth of 3.5% witnessed in the three decades after independence. GDP growth in 1997-02 averaged a solid 5.5%. But the direction of change was downward, not upward, and that was enough to cause widespread distress.

I fear we are about to see a repetition of that process. As in the 1990s, a booming world economy first lifted Indian growth (and stock markets) to new heights for several years, giving rise to the illusion of permanency. As in the 1990s, the subsequent global slump is going to cause an Indian slump too. As in the 1990s, the fiscal problems of the government are going to be exacerbated by a Pay Commission award.

However, we are much better prepared for this downturn than in the 1990s. Our foreign exchange reserves are almost $ 300 billion, cushioning our balance of payments. Corporations have not gone on a borrowing spree paying 20% interest, as they did in the 1990s—they have large cash reserves, modest debt-equity ratios, and interest rates are much lower today. The banking system is in relatively good shape today. The latest Pay Commission award this time is less onerous than the 1997 one. Our savings rate has crossed 30%, and can keep financing a healthy rate of investment. Infrastructural sectors like telecom, power, roads, and ports will be only minimally affected by a recession.

Nevertheless, pain will be widespread and sometimes deep. Income and job opportunities will slacken, sometimes dramatically. Many companies will suffer shrinkage or bankruptcy, especially small ones. Boom sectors like transport, restaurants, trade, real estate and exports will go into reverse gear. Credit will tighten, for consumers as well as companies. Corporate profits will slump. The revenues of central and state governments will fall, curbing their ability to alleviate distress. The stock markets will fall further, and the Sensex may fall below 10,000. Tighten your seat belts: we are running into rough weather.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The End of the Beginning !

Swami's Article

The End of the Beginning

Dated: September 24, 2008

The US government and Congress are creating a $ 700 b. rescue package to resolve the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Will it stabilize the US and world economies?

For an answer, remember Winston Churchill’s words in 1942. “This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

The financial crunch that began in mid-2007 has worsened so dramatically that all politicians have agreed to a government rescue. In that sense, we have reached the end of the beginning of the current drama.

But two major chapters are yet to unfold. The first relates to problems that will hamstring, and maybe doom, the rescue. The second relates to the global recession that has probably started, and will hit countries like India far harder than mere Wall Street turmoil.

Right-wing analysts sneer that the US has created the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund. This is skewed badly towards the financial sector alone. But just wait: opportunities for diversification are at hand, since the Big Three auto giants also seek rescues. And, as the recession bites, further opportunities will arise to rescue giants in retail and technology!

Politicians are uninterested in criticism that the rescue will encourage a repetition of profligacy and excessive risk-taking in the future. Right now, they want to appear as saviours, not disciplinarians.

Many legislators resent being asked to sign a blank cheque for $ 700 b, and want to attach all sorts of conditions. But populist pressure will probably ensure rapid legislation with minimal conditions.

Yet that will not end the saga. A thousand thorny political issues will follow. Who will decide which securities are toxic and worthy of rescue? The Treasury alone? Should one authority have so much power and discretion?

Will the Treasury buy only mortgage securities? Or also derivatives such as credit default swaps? What about credit card defaults, which loom ahead? Or corporate bond defaults?

How many companies will be allowed to go bust before the Treasury saves others by declaring a new set of instruments to be toxic? What checks and balances are needed on enormous discretionary power over $ 700 billion, that can make or break fortunes, and can be manipulated by old-boy networks and lobbyists?

At what price will the government buy toxic securities? Merrill Lynch sold some mortgage-backed securities at just 22 cents in the dollar. Will Treasury offer more to others? If so why? In setting prices, the scope for fraud, collusion and suspicion is huge. Will vulture funds, which have already bought distressed securities for a song, be allowed to resell these at higher “rescue prices” to the Treasury?

Which fund managers will be appointed to manage the huge assets taken over? Why, they will be drawn from the very financial class that has just disgraced itself! The potential conflicts of interest are vast.

Maybe all these issues will be overcome. But a significant risk remains that the rescue will be hamstrung by allegations of fraud and collusion.

Much greater is the risk that the financial crisis will keep worsening. Professor Nouri-el Roubini was the first to predict massive carnage. He now estimates bad loans at $ 2 trillion, large enough to overwhelm the rescue package. Roubini correctly predicted the fall of the shadow financial sector---lightly-regulated financial entities that avoided the tight supervision imposed on banks, such as off-balance sheet SIVs (special investment vehicles), leveraged investment banks, and leveraged hedge funds. He now predicts that the carnage will spread to hedge funds, for whom the rescue package makes no provision.

Meanwhile risk is set to multiply in derivatives. Most at risk are credit default swaps (CDSs), which insure against bond and loan default. The size of the CDS market is $ 62 trillion, four times the GDP of the US! After netting out offsetting transactions, the balance CDS risk is around a trillion dollars.

The future of the CDS market depends on the real economy. A major recession is now unavoidable, and this will mean more corporate and banking defaults. Some experts think at least 4,000 US banks will go bust. Recessions typically lead to a 10% default on corporate bonds. The default rate last year was only 1.8%. So a surge in defaults in coming, and CDS markets are trembling.

Despite a credit crunch starting with the bursting of the US housing bubble 13 months ago, the US and world economy have remained remarkably resilient so far. GDP growth in the US was 3.3% in the last quarter on an annualized basis. The Indian and Chinese economies have slowed, but only modestly.

What explains this resilience? Well, US monetary and fiscal policies have flooded the country—and the world—with dollars to try and stave off recession. The Fed has given financial markets unprecedented access to liquidity, and cut interest rates to just 2%. US Congress has legislated $ 140 billion in cheques mailed to consumers, just to increase purchasing power. The trade deficit remains high, and is paid for by issuing dollars to the world. This Niagara of dollars has kept purchasing power (and GDP) rising despite the credit crunch.

But a major recession is now unavoidable. Japan and some European countries suffered negative growth in the last quarter, and the US may already be in recession this quarter. Emerging markets are all slowing down.

The credit crunch means that fresh financing of both consumers and industry is going to slow down, in the US and globally. Risk aversion in financial markets means that emerging economy companies will find face problems in rolling over $ 111 billion of debt falling due over the next year. Several companies that had banked on cheap loans and high IPO prices now find doors closed. The problem may persist through 2009-10.

So, the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression has a long way to go yet. And the journey may be long and painful.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Coming to US & Canada!

Dear all,

How are you and how is the life going?

I am soooo sorry as I haven't been in touch for long and not written to you. I was busy with my work and there wasn't much interesting to share too.

I am in Delhi and working for an NGO called "Centre for Civil Society". The life is going all right but not really very interesting. I am missing my college days and life in my home town.

It is not only with me but my other friends also. We screwed up our life striving dreaming for a good job and professional life as a good job means lot for us. And now when we some what the same want we really wanted there is not much satisfaction. I hope we will get to do something which is interesting and gives us satisfaction too.

By the way I am writing this mail to all of you for a specific purpose. I guess a few of you already know this. I am coming to attend a program in US for two weeks and Canada for three days. I didn't write you all as I was waiting for my visa and I have my Visa now. I am yet to buy my ticket and I am making my plan.

According to the schedule of my program I am supposed to reach Washington on 16th July. They will take me to Lake Ontario and I have to attend a program for three days 17, 18 and 19. And then they will take me to Alexandria to attend the program from 20th to 1st of August.

But, I also want to meet my friends and host family in Guelf. If I go as par their program I will have hardly any time to meet others and I can't enter Canada again as I have only single entry visa for Canada. And one more factor money if I stay there for extra days it might be very expensive for me.

I had chat with my friend Christina, a girl from Hamilton. She is eager to host me at her place and can take me to Guelf also. So now I am planning to fly directly to Toronto and reach there by 10th July, Saturday. I can stay with Christina and look for possibility to meet with you all and spend some time if possible. We will figure it out and join the program directly at Lake Niagara on 17th and go along with the program schedule. Let's see. I will keep you guys posted. Let me know if you guys are around during those days then we can catch up.

Looking forward to meeting you all,

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The vanishing wild life and environment conservation!

According to a major report published by World Wild Life Fund on last Friday, the world’s wild life population has reduced by around a quarter since 1970. Marine species have been particularly hard hit as the human population booms. The number of fish, bird and animals, all has gone down according to the report. The decline in species in fresh water, marine, and land has gone down to 29, 28, and 25 percent.

The conservation charity warned that a failure to halt biodiversity loss would have negative impacts for humans. In next 30 years the climate change is expected to become the biggest threat to the species according to the report.

And I am wondering “Are we moving ahead or marching for the downfall?”
I am scratching my head about the possible solution for this. However, I also wonder that there is a reaction of all the actions that we take to meet our daily requirements.

However, It would be very interesting to know what are the remedial measures for this and what the wise people think about this.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Jeevika: South Asia Documentary Festival

Jeevika: South Asia Documentary Festival
Jeevika: South Asia Documentary Festival, which began in 2003, aims at capturing the livelihood challenges faced by the rural and urban poor and bringing it to the attention of current and future policy makers. Over the years, Jeevika has been successful in advocating for the cause of numerous entry-level entrepreneurs - rickshaw pullers, street vendors, prostitutes, child labour, farmers and forest-dwellers. The premier event of the festival to be held at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi will be the awards ceremony from 28 - 31 August 2008, which will culminate four days of screening for the top films. The last date for the submitting the entry is July 15, 2008.In addition as part of the festival tour, the award-winning films will travel and be screened in premier schools and colleges in over 20 states in India and other organisations working on livelihood issues as well as in our South Asian neighbours.Over the years, Jeevika has become an increasingly popular and news-worthy event as well as an important catalyst for positive social change. The Film-makers whose films have been showcased in the past include Rakesh Sharma (of the Final Solution fame), Sanjay Barnela (Turf Wars) and Shohini Ghost (Tales of the Night Fairies).Contact for further details: Manoj Mathew
Program Manager, Centre for Civil Society (CCS)
Phone: 91.11.2653.7456 (10am-6pm IST)
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