World’s Largest Census?

OneWorld South Asia just published a great piece by Bappa Majumdar on India’s preparation for one of the world’s biggest ever censuses. This once in ten-year exercise is an important national report card, especially to understand the impact that the growing economy has on the country’s population. The scale of the effort is somewhat mind-blowing:

Millions of volunteers and census officials will visit every household around the country in the next few years to gather information on jobs, education and quality of life.

India’s population is projected to grow to 1.19 billion in 2011 from 1.13 billion in 2008, according to census authorities.

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Mid-Day News Feed: Laloo bhai, Google Docs and more

  • A cabinet committee approves the continuation of the Social and Infrastructure Development Fund beyond 2007-08. Rs. 6000 crore will provided for the fund this year (via The Hindu)
  • Laloo bhai is on the move again, the Indian Railways initiates a $160 million modernization plan. In case you haven’t heard, the Indian Railways success is now Harvard Business School case (via igovernment.in)
  • Google Docs is now available in numerous Indian languages. For the unfamiliar, Google Docs is a online office productivity tool – an alternative to Microsoft Office (via Google Docs Blog)

Govt. of India partners with ICICI Lombard for a unique health insurance plan

Sify.com reports that Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in partnership with ICICI Lombard General Insurance has launched a health insurance scheme for differently-abled individuals living below the poverty line:

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has awarded the mandate to ICICI Lombard General Insurance to provide health insurance to a maximum of 1,00,000 specially-abled persons below poverty line in
ten districts. Central Delhi in Delhi, Chandigarh in Haryana, Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh, Kaimur in Bihar, Agarthala in the North Eastern Region, Raebareily in UP, Erode in Tamil Nadu, Ernakulam in Kerala,
Ahmedabad in Gujarat and Bhageshwar in Uttarakhand.

It’s interesting that the Ministry decided to partner with a private player, instead of a state-run player. However, the partnership does bring out the potential in BOP markets for micro-insurance and as urban markets become competitive, players (private or not) will start heading to rural areas and more niche markets – the above example being the case in point.