Midday Newsfeed

Some headlines before you head off to lunch:

  • Technology/Connectivity:  
    • Mobile connectivity will be in the hands of millions of new subscribers thanks to BSNL’s $100 million contract to Nortel for supporting GSM network expansion in the southern part of India.  The plan is expected to be completed by the end of 2008.  
    • On a different note, IBM Research Labs in Bangalore have developed specialized algorithms to “help model and manage natural disasters including wildfire, floods, and diseases.”  The program would also enable policy makers to maximize “resource acquisition and deployment decisions.”  
    • Finally, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the creation of “Information Technology Investment Regions,” which are expected to create employment opportunity and economic growth in the target area.  The government plans to take a public-private partnership route for this scheme.
  • Research:  The Brookings Institution recently published a report entitled, “Index of State Weakness in the Developing World” that evaluates “141 developing nations based on their relative performance in four critical areas: economic, political, security, and social welfare.”  The report has found that there is a very strong correlation between poverty and overall weakness of a state.  India was ranked #67 in the report, and categorized as a “state to watch.” (read more after the break)
  • Human Rights:  The Center for Youth and Social Development (CYSD) sponsored a “State Level Tribal Women Leader’s Summit” this past month from the 21st to the 23rd of March in Bhubaneswar, Orissa.  The objective of the summit was to “help explore enabling and disabling factors for transformation of tribal women’s leadership, deepen their understanding on issues affecting tribal society and promote self-esteem, self-confidence and self-help among them.”
  • Economy:  The Economic Times predicts that India will need to invest approximately $500 billion over the course of the next five years in order to sustain 9% annual growth.

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