Wednesday, January 18, 2017

10th anniversary of Sciences Po. Paris Delegation in India

Sciences Po. Paris, the leading French Social Sciences university, celebrated 10 years of its presence in India.


10th anniversary of Sciences Po. Paris Delegation in India
New Delhi, 16 January 2017
Sciences Po. Paris, the leading French Social Sciences university, celebrated 10 years of its presence in India. Ranked 4th for Politics and International Studies in the 2016 QS world rankings, the top institution has developed significant cooperation with India, having inked MoUs with thirteen top universities and colleges, and opened offices in both Delhi and Mumbai.
To mark this anniversary, a reception was hosted at the Residence of France during which Dr Ashwani Kumar, MP (Rajya Sabha) and former Minister of Law and Justice, addressed Sciences Po Alumni and partners in Delhi.
On this occasion, Ms Laurence Souloumiac, Head of Sciences Po. Centre for Asia, and Ms Marie Azuelos, International Affairs Manager, from Paris, along with India Delegates Neha Khanna and Sophie Collet, interacted with members of the press to discuss the international outreach of Sciences Po., its collaborations with Indian institutions and companies, and its vision of social inclusion.
Sciences Po. is ranked 4th for Politics and International Studies in the 2016 QS world rankings, alongside Harvard University, Oxford University and the London School of Economics, and just ahead of the University of Cambridge. 
Its alumni include five French Presidents including François Hollande, 12 French Prime Ministers, 4 heads of the IMF, as well as many CEO and CFOs from the corporate sector. H.E. Shri Mohan Kumar, Ambassador of India to France, and H.E. Ms Chandrika Kumaratunga, former Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, are also Sciences Po. graduates.
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SciencePo, Celebrates 10 yrs in India Consular address India Chapter at French Embassy New Delhi
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French university ranks fourth SciencePo,
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SciencePo university celebrate ten year in India at French embassy in New Delhi former Minister. Mr Ashwini Kumar  delivered lecture on Leadership.His talk on leadership with compassion for the people essential ingredient along with power and authority with Urdu couplers was palatable .He quotes three leaders which he encountered were fulsome with ethics value compassion.He listed former Late PM Chandershekhar, Late former Dy PM Devi Lal and Later Arjuna Singh former HRD Minister with potential tale of his ascend due to their actions. SciencePo is fourth ranked varsity in its faculty on the subject of Political science.Most of politicians and administration are from this reputed institution.With Indian youth getting the taste of such elite institution help in our daily life and political dynamic find drastic inertia with its professional navigation communication and organisational skill to galvanise the society of all classes. With more institution chapter in Paris,France the opportunities for Indian students too surge to get into world best institution to bring best culture for its people. French Ambassador in India and Consular spoke varsity high standard and ambience with multiple cultural crossing with great ideas and rich faculties with global repute and university on going expanded plan.
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World Economic Situation and Prospects 2017

Sagar Media Inc

A top NATO general echoes Trump, calling aspects of alliance ‘obsolete’

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washingtonpost.com – BRUSSELS — A top NATO general said Tuesday that aspects of the alliance were “obsolete,” echoing President-elect Donald Trump’s language and saying that the Western military alliance needs to adapt…

Park aide admits to leaking secrets to Choi

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english.yonhapnews.co.kr – SEOUL, Jan. 18 (Yonhap) — A close aide to President Park Geun-hye admitted Wednesday that he leaked classified information to a woman at the center of a South Korean presidential scandal, but clai…

Samsung CEO Jay Y. Lee faces long day as judge considers bribery arrest warrant

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europe.newsweek.com – The head of South Korea’s giant Samsung Group faces a long day in court Wednesday as a judge decides whether he should be arrested for bribery in a corruption scandal that has engulfed President Pa…

Xi Jinping signals China will champion free trade if Trump builds barriers

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theguardian.com – China’s premier, Xi Jinping, has delivered a strong defence of globalisation, serving notice to Donald Trump that Beijing will seek to usurp America’s traditional role as the champion of free trade…
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Ministry of Railways unveils “Mission 41k”

Hon’ble Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu unveiled Mission 41k during the Roundtable Discussion with External Stakeholders on Energy Initiatives of Indian Railways.
Ministry of Railways has come up with Mission 41k to save Rs. 41000 crore in the next decade in Railways’ energy costs. To implement this comprehensive strategy with the participation of various stakeholders, Hon’ble Minister said that they shall take advantage of regulatory frameworks, look at new technologies. He said that this is an opportunity to relook at everything and determine an ideal baseline. All electrification works done in the last decade would be doubled and this would change the energy mix of Indian Railways. Indian Railways has set a target of 1000 MW of solar power and 200 MW of wind energy.
 
Shri Prabhu also informed that around 15 – 16 Roundtable Conferences with Stakeholders are in the pipeline on various initiatives of Indian Railways. He said that a Round Table discussion is planned on Data Analytics. Indian Railways generates massive amounts of data and has a huge captive audience. Ability to optimally utilize these will generate additional revenue for the Indian Railways.
 
Chairman Railway Board, Shri AK Mital said that a target of moving 45% of the freight traffic can be achieved only when it can move freight in a cost efficient manner. By procuring electricity through open access, the cost of electricity procurement comes down drastically which contributes 25% of the working expenses. He also said that Ministry of Railways has launched Mission Raftaar to increase the average speed of movement by 5 kmph every year. Another important Mission for Indian Railways is the establishment of High Horse Power (HP) Locomotive manufacturing plants at Madhepura and Marhaura.
 
Ministry of Railways want to take electrification to 90% in next few years through our Mission Electrification with an aim to reduce dependence on imported fuel, change energy mix, and rationalize the cost of energy for Railways. As part of this, it has embarked upon electrification of additional 24,000 Rkm, i.e. about 90% of Railway BG routes in next 5 years by taking the present rate of electrification from 2000 Rkm to 4000 Rkm in next 2 years. To achieve this, Ministry of Railways have planned to incorporate EPC Mode of Contracts for Railway Electrification Projects, mechanize the execution through Self Propelled Wiring Trains etc. This will increase the mobility, reduce energy bill to improve viability of Railways and also reduce carbon footprint. Ministry of Railways wish to develop partnership, improve our delivery of electrification projects by having suggestions from industry.
 
The Roundtable Discussion was attended by members and senior officials from the Railway Board and representatives from various Government and Private agencies in the field of energy, International Experts and Industry Associations.

December 2016 WPI inflation stands at 3.39%



The WPI inflation stands at 3.39% in December 2016, 3.15% in November 2016, 3.79% in October 2016, 3.8% in September 2016, 3.85% in August 2016, and 3.72% in July 2016. The increase in WPI inflation in the month of December 2016 is attributed to increase in the prices of cereal (7.49%), wheat (12.82%), mineral s (12.86%), fuel and power (8.65%), etc.

Driven by the increase in the prices of cereal, wheat, mineral s, fuel and power, WPI inflation stands at 3.39% in December 2016 as compared to 3.15% in November 2016. The index for this major group declined by 0.2% to 182.8 (provisional)  from 183.1 (provisional) for the previous month.

 Trend in WPI Inflation                                                                                                                                                             (Y-O-Y)%
 Source: PHD Research Bureau, compiled from the office of the economic advisor to the Govt. of India
     WPI inflation in select commodities
Commodity
WPI Inflation Y-o-Y % growth
October’16
November’16
December’16
1
All Commodities
3.79
3.15
3.39
2
Primary Articles
4.18
1.25
0.27
3
Food Articles
4.79
1.54
-0.70
4
Cereals
8.34
7.32
7.49
5
Vegetables
-10.01
-24.10
-33.11
6
Non-food Articles
2.49
-0.14
0.62
7
Fuel & Power
6.24
7.07
8.65
8
Petrol
3.57
5.54
8.52
9
Manufactured Products
2.94
3.20
3.67
10
Sugar
30.94
31.76
28.04
11
Edible oils
4.46
3.98
4.87
12
Cement & Lime
2.54
0.17
0.11
















        
   
   Source: PHD Research Bureau, compiled from the office of the Economic Advisor to the Govt. of India

Build up inflation rate in the financial year so far was 4.28% as compared to a build up rate of 0.40% in the corresponding period of the previous year.

  Build up in inflation from March in select food commodities                                                      (%)
 Source: PHD Research Bureau, compiled from the office of the Economic Advisor, Govt. of India
Manufacturing inflation stands at 3.67% (weight 64.97%)
The WPI inflation for manufactured products stands at 3.67% for December 2016 as against 3.2% for the month of November 2016. The index for this major group rose by 0.1% to 158.0 (provisional) from 157.9 (provisional) for the previous month

Trend in WPI inflation in manufactured products                                                                                       (in %)
Source: PHD Research Bureau, compiled from the office of the Economic Advisor

Food inflation at (-)0.70% (Weight 14.34%)
Food inflation for the month of December 2016 stands at -0.70% as against 1.54% in November 2016. The index for ‘Food Articles’ group declined by 2.2% to 270.1%(provisional) from 276.1(provisional) for the previous month due to lower prices of fruits& vegetables (9%), arhar(6%), masur and urad(5% each), moong(4%), gram(2%) and poultry chicken(1%). However, the price of ragi(4%), jowar and wheat(3% each) , bajra(2%) and egg, barley pork, condiments & spices, tea and fish-inland(1%each) moved up.

Non-food articles inflation at 0.62% (weight 4.26%)
Non-food articles inflation for the month of December 2016 stands at 0.62% as against (-) 0.14% in November 2016. The index for ‘Non-Food Articles’  group rose by 1.9 percent to 225.6 (provisional) from 221.4 (provisional) for the previous month due to higher price of flowers (10%), raw rubber (9%), copra (coconut) and groundnut seed (6% each), raw silk (5%), gingelly seed and raw cotton (2% each) and soyabean, sugarcane and safflower (kardi seed) (1% each).  However, the price of raw jute (4%), sunflower (3%), rape & mustard seed (2%) and coir fibre, niger seed, linseed and raw wool (1% each) declined.
Fuel & power inflation stands at 8.65% (weight 14.91%)
Fuel & power inflation for the month of December 2016 stands at 8.65% as against 7.07% in November 2016. The index for this major group rose by by 0.7 percent to 192.1 (provisional) from 190.7  (provisional) for the previous month due to higher price of furnace oil (5%),  kerosene, petrol and LPG (2% each) and high speed diesel (1%).  However, the price of aviation turbine fuel (4%) and bitumen (2%) declined.

Please contact for any query related to this mail to Ms. Surbhi Sharma, Sr. Research Officer at surbhi@phdcci.in with a cc to Dr. S P Sharma, Chief Economist, PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

Demonetization Episode Shows why Reserve Bank of India cannot be Independent

Demonetization Episode Shows why Reserve Bank of India cannot be Independent of National Economic Policy Makers

Ramgopal Agarwala16 January 2017
In the wake of demonetization, a debate has emerged on independence of Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Several former Governors of RBI are calling for greater independence of RBI citing the case of demonetization as an example of erosion of RBI’s independence. We would suggest an opposite line. Demonetization shows why RBI cannot be fully independent in matters of currency. Suppose RBI decided to demonetize along the lines of what has happened. This would be a case of bunch of unelected officials (babus) to decide on a matter of vital importance for the public without any recourse to the public to punish the decision- makers. In what has happened, the public will have an opportunity to dislodge the decision makers in next election if they so wish which is what democracy is about.
While talking of monetary policy, it is relevant to compare it with defence policy. Issues of defence are, if anything, even more technical that the issues of monetary policy. Yet defence policy is decided by elected civilian authorities with of course full consultation with the defence personnel. In some cases, defence officials may disagree with the decisions of civilian authorities or the other way round. In such cases, the buck stops with the civilian authorities and the technical experts even in such a complex field as defence may either resign or be fired. The same rules should apply to monetary affairs. This of course does not preclude intensive consultations between the civilian authorities and technical experts. If such consultations have been inadequate in the current episode of demonetization, that is the right issue to discuss. Not who the boss is.
Our obsession with independence of central bank is a colonial hangover where we are trying to copy the Anglo-American world, where the case for such independence was developed in very different circumstances. In our case, the more relevant experience is that of East Asia where monetary policy has been seen as part of the overall economic management of the country with the political leaders in charge with full consultation with technical experts. These are the countries that have shown how to move from a low income country to a developed country within a generation or so with reasonable price stability. Our Look East/ Act East policy is relevant in this area as in many others. For the benefit of readers we reproduce below our reflections on independence of the central bank as published in our web page of 16 September , 2015.
Look East for Wisdom on Our Monetary Policy Framework: Monetary Policy is Too Serious a Business to be Left to Monetary Authorities and Inflation is too Big a Job to be Left to Monetary Policy
On monetary policy as in many other areas, we tend to ape the latest in the West without considering the differences of circumstances. On the issues of independence of Reserve Bank of India(RBI), its mandate on controlling inflation, its instrument for controlling inflation, we have been we have been trying to replicate the US/UK strategy and the results have been suboptimal. In this blog we argue that we have more to learn from our neighbors in East Asia in particular China who has achieved an economic transformation similar to what we want.
On the issue of independence of the Reserve Bank of India, we suffer from schizophrenia. The de jure position is clear. As per the Reserve Bank of India Act (1934),
“The Central Government may from time to time give such directions to the Bank as it may, after consultation with the Governor of the Bank, consider necessary in the public interest.”
However, in an attempt to appear following the fashion in the Western world on independence of the central bank, we pretend that de facto RBI is independent. We thus have the spectacle of Minister of Finance pleading in public that the Governor of RBI should take note of declining inflation and lower the interest rate. This is pathetic. Either the Central Government should exercise its legal prerogative and ask the RBI to lower the interest rate or keep quiet and let RBI do its job.
The idea that RBI’s professional independence should not be compromised by politicians seeking easy money is disingenuous. Inflation is a serious issue in elections and a political leader is as much interested in controlling inflation as any bureaucrat. In fact it is the Governor of RBI that suffers no consequences for failing in controlling inflation. Thus giving the Governor independent power of controlling inflation is a case of power without responsibility.
Secondly, following the current fashion, we seem to accept that RBI’s primary mandate is to control inflation. This is too narrow a definition of a central bank’s job. It should include at least three other objectives: maintaining an appropriate stability in external value of the rupee, promoting growth and employment and maintaining financial stability and probity.
Thirdly, it is absurd to think that RBI can be a lead agent for controlling inflation, particularly in Indian conditions where the price index has a high weightage of agricultural products whose prices are dependent on non-monetary factors and of administered prices and wages outside the jurisdiction of RBI. The pathetic performance of RBI’s anti-inflation policy since 2011 is ample enough proof of the limited powers of RBI in controlling inflation.
Fourthly, the imported idea that inflation targeting by RBI will influence inflationary expectations is out of touch with reality. In its latest review of monetary policy, (April 2015) RBI refers to learned articles from US and UK about the power of central bank’s target on inflation in influencing price expectations and the power of price expectations on actual inflation. To quote:
“The experience of inflation targeting countries suggests that a credible monetary policy framework with clarity about the objective function of the central bank helps in anchoring inflation expectations. In the UK for example, just the announcement of instrument independence for the Bank of England in May 1997 led to an immediate fall in inflation expectations by 50 basis points along the entire term structure (Haldane, 2000). In this context, the Monetary Policy Framework Agreement in India should be able to reinforce the disinflationary forces currently at work and anchor inflation expectations around the medium-term inflation target.”
The data on inflationary expectations in India over the last few years published by RBI itself however clearly show that these price expectations are not responsive to RBI inflation targets. Nor does actual inflation show much link with inflationary expectations.
In the light of these deplorable experiences on monetary management, there is clearly a need for a new code of conduct and the draft Indian Finance Code (IFC) is a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, the present draft does not pay enough attention to the lessons to be learnt from our own experience or to those of our neighbors such as South Korea, Japan and China who have shown an impressive record on achieving rapid growth with price stability. During the post-war period, 1945-1990 when Japan achieved remarkable growth with reasonable price stability, monetary policy was not in a silo but was fully integrated with macro-management policy of the Government working through the Ministry of Finance. South Korea which achieved rapid growth during 1962-2000 had an initial period of high inflation until 1980 but an impressive record on price stability with high growth during the subsequent period. For most of this period, the monetary policy worked closely in coordination with fiscal policy and price/wage policy with co-ordination provided by the Economic Planning Board. Even more impressive is the performance of China in achieving sustained high growth with moderate inflation. It will be worth our while to study how China handled the issue of monetary policy and what lessons we can learn from that.
China’s Law on Monetary Management
China’s current law on monetary management was enacted in 1995. It so happens that I was in Beijing at that time as chief of economic unit of the World Bank’s Resident Mission in China. The World Bank was not officially engaged in conversation with the Government of the issue of monetary management law. But informally, I was often engaged in such conversation. The western advisers were mostly pushing for independence of the central bank (People’s Bank of China) but I was happy to note that the Chinese position was basically that monetary policy is too serious a business to be left to monetary authorities.
The law as it came out is worth studying closely by the Indian authorities particularly in view of the impressive performance of the Chinese authorities in reconciling price stability with high growth in the period that followed.Some of provisions of the Chinese law are worth quoting.
“The People’s Bank of China shall, under the leadership of the State Council, formulate and implement monetary policies, guard against and eliminate financial risks, and maintain financial stability.”
Article 3. “The aim of monetary policies shall be to maintain the stability of the value of the currency and thereby promote economic growth.”
Article 5. “The People’s Bank of China shall report its decisions to the State Council for approval concerning the annual money supply, interest rate, foreign exchange rates and other important matters specified by the State Council before they are implemented.”
Article 7. “The People’s Bank of China shall, under the leadership of the State Council, implement monetary policies, perform its functions and carry out its business operations independently according to law and be free from intervention by local governments, government departments at various levels, public organizations or individuals.”
It is interesting to note that PBOC is clearly placed under the State Council as an instrument for national economic management.
Draft IFC and Questions Raised in the Light of East Asian Experience:
1.IFC states: “The objectives of the Reserve Bank under this Part are to formulate and implement monetary policy.”
Can RBI “formulate” monetary policy independently of “fiscal policy” and other supply side policies managed by the Government? Shouldn’t there be a place in the government that will formulate the overall macro-policies in all their dimensions?
2.IFC states: “The objective of monetary policy is to achieve price stability while striking a balance with the objective of the Central Government to achieve growth”.
Aren’t there other objectives such as financial stability which are parts of objectives of monetary policy? What about external value of Rupee and financial stability of the economy? Will RBI be the sole judge of whether a right balance is being struck between price stability and growth? Isn’t price stability also the objective of the Government?
3.IFC states: “price stability” means meeting the inflation target.
1.“inflation” means the year-on-year change expressed in percentage terms in the monthly Consumer Price Index”
2.“Policy Rate” means a rate at which banks borrow from the Reserve Bank and which is approved by the Monetary Policy Committee as the Policy Rate”
3.“Inflation target for each financial year will be determined in terms of the Consumer Price Index by the Central Government in consultation with the Reserve Bank every three years.”
4.“The Reserve Bank must constitute a Monetary Policy Committee to determine. by majority vote the Policy Rate required to achieve the inflation target.”
Is Consumer Price index the only indicator of inflation? What about producer price or asset price? Is policy rate the only instrument for achieving inflation target? Other issues such as money supply, fiscal policy, administered prices are also important. Who will integrate these aspects? As mentioned in the title of this blog, monetary policy can have serious consequences for investment, exports, growth, employment and stability of the economy and it cannot be left to unelected officials. Equally, inflation rate particularly in Indian context is not just a monetary phenomenon. It is very much influenced by fiscal policy, administered prices of food and fuel and public service wages. Monetary policy cannot by itself control inflation and monetary authorities cannot be held responsible for breaching the inflation targets.
Concluding Remarks
East Asian experience shows clearly that an independent central bank is not necessary to achieve price stability with rapid growth. In the cases of Japan, South Korea and China, there was no separate silo for monetary policy. Monetary policy, fiscal policy and other issues of macro-economic management were considered as a package in a central agency which could be Ministry of Finance, or Planning Board or Cabinet.
In the current Indian conditions, it is advisable to learn from East Asian experience and take RBI out of its silo of conservative monetary policy and make it a part of overall development policy-making body in the Government. If India is to provide decent employment to its rapidly growing labor force and meet other development priorities such as providing housing, education, health and social security for all in the next ten years, it will need to achieve double digit GDP growth. Given the deflationary atmosphere in the world economy, India can achieve such acceleration in growth mainly through internal demand stimulus and without much inflationary pressures as was done by China in the eighties. However, that would be possible only if there is a central agency co-coordinating different dimensions of macro-management rather than working in separate silos for monetary, fiscal and supply side-policies.
Dr.Ramgopal Agarwala is Chairman, Pahle India Foundation

Round table on Technology Modernization for Safer and Smarter cities

16 Jan at 3:39 PM

Dear Sagar Media Inc, According to reports women were molested

Trending petition
Dear Sagar Media Inc,
According to reports women were molested by a mob on New Year’s Eve in Bengaluru.  
Divya writes, “What happened to women in Bangalore on New Year’s Eve was absolute horror… Comments of politicians like Mr. Abu Azmi and Mr. G. Parameshwara who [blame women]…is a grotesque reminder of the acceptance of rape culture in this country.”
Divya wants both politicians to apologise for their comments. Sign her petition.

Mass Sexual Assault in Bangalore: We want an unconditional apology

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