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Showing posts from July 15, 2012

Lessons From Dying Malls In India: A Study

Vishal Krishna & Priyanka Pani According to analysts at Crisil, Third Eyesight, Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) India, and Ernst & Young, 80 percent of India's 255 malls are failing, and half of them are in dire straits. Look at Mumbai, Delhi or any other big city and you will find plenty of malls which are half empty. In Mumbai alone, the list is long - the Centre One Mall in Vashi, is 30 percent vacant, the Kohinoor Mall in Kurla is 70 percent vacant, and the Dreams Mall in Bhandup is 75 percent vacant - to name some of the prominent malls. This is not to say that the mall culture itself is failing - there are many successful malls in Delhi, Mumbai and the other metros. But the issue is that the greater majority of the malls built are either pulling in indifferent business, or, worse, just fading away into oblivion. In some cases, out of desperation, malls are turning empty shop spaces into banquet halls in order to survive.

China goes on holiday

The cult of tourism In 1999 the Chinese were given three seven-day national holidays a year. Since then, the domestic tourism market can reach over 300 million trips during peak periods by Pál Nyíri It is common for students or personal assistants in China to go on holiday several times a year. The growing and diversifying urban middle classes enjoy window shopping in Hong Kong, visiting the casinos of Southeast Asia, backpacking, skiing in Manchuria, and package tours to see China’s “greatest mountains and rivers”. Even in rural areas, a growing number of people can now afford the occasional day trip to a temple or a hot spring resort: many take a holiday at the New Year — some are even prepared to sacrifice the traditional family gathering. Workers do not explicitly demand holidays (the dates and length of leave are usually set by employers), but these days find it easier to say they would like a change of scenery several times a year.

The Foxconn empire

Where your Ipad is made by Jordan Pouille Foxconn has around 20 factories of various sizes in mainland China — in Wuhan, Chengdu, Zhengzhou, Chongqing, Shanghai, Ningbo and Tianjin. From games consoles to 4G smartphones, Foxconn makes 40% of the world’s consumer electronics in China, where it employs over a million workers with an average age of 27, who work 56-60 hours a week and earn up to $500 a month (1). But it also assembles Sony TV sets in Slovakia and is starting up production in India, Malaysia and Brazil. Founder Terry Gou, 61, holds 30% of the company’s shares and is 184th on Forbes magazine’s list of the world’s richest people in 2012. Because Foxconn simply assembles components purchased by its clients and checks the quality of the end product, labour, rather than materials, is its largest cost. Hence the importance of vertical integration, in which the employer takes care of the workers’ needs. But the recent announcement that la

The Arab Revolts and South East Asia: What Impact and What Influence?

The Arab Revolts and South East Asia: What Impact and What Influence? Teresita Cruz-del Rosario et James M. Dorsey Southeast Asia experienced its own political upheavals well before the Arab revolts. Nevertheless, the wave of popular uprisings that shook the Middle-East and North Africa region goes far beyond the region’s boundaries, and Southeast Asia is no exception to the global crisis of confidence towards governments. 2011 was a year of massive demonstration of widespread and deeply felt discontent that was willing and able to assert itself in powerful and often new ways. Although contexts and political cultures differ, the impact of the Arab revolts on Southeast Asia is already palpable. The consequences of the wave of Arab protests on Southeast Asian countries carry their load of opportunities and risks for governments, in political, social and economic terms. But the impact is not one way, and Southeast Asian experiences could represent a source of inspiration.      READ

US to supply 6 more C-130J planes to India The US has accepted India's request for supplying six more C-130J special operations transport aircraft to the IAF and a communication in this regard was given to the Defence Ministry recently. India had sent a Letter of Request (LoR) to the US government in September last year for procuring six additional C-130J aircraft. The US government submitted a Letter of Acceptance on April 10 to the Indian Defence Ministry for clearance. Like the first six aircraft, the additional six were also being acquired through foreign military sales (FMS) route, Lockheed Martin officials said. India had signed a deal worth USD one billion with the US in 2007 for six aircraft which are deployed at the Hindon air base near here. The deal for the additional six aircraft is also expected to be around USD one billion. Commenting on the development, Lockheed Martin's India head Roger Rose said, "The C-130Js, whic

US, Pakistan eye a new cold war

By MK Bhadrakumar The United States' "de-hyphenated" relationship with the two South Asian rivals, Pakistan and India, is taking a curious turn. In a dramatic shift of fortunes, Pakistan is regaining its status as a key ally of the US in regional security. At the same time, Washington is assuring India that it is the "lynchpin" of the US' Asia-Pacific strategy directed against China. In sum, the US has assigned to Pakistan and India their respective roles to play in its grand strategy of "pivot to Asia". The US-Pakistan deal reached three weeks ago to reopen the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's transit routes to Afghanistan was widely regarded as "a thaw without the promise of an impending spring" - to quote former Pakistani foreign secretary Tanvir Ahmed Khan. But even keen observers of the corridors of power in Islamabad could go wrong, as the latest developments suggest.

Key passages from "The Art of Being Free"

Here are some key passages from  The Art of Being Free: Freedom I do not believe freedom or justice are august concepts to be immortalized in awe-inspiring statutes. Freedom and justice belong on the streets and in the gutters, because that is where real people live as they rush from home to work, from work to pick up their children. I want a theory and reality of freedom that is based upon and within the average working person. Since childhood, one of my favorite quotations has been a passage from Louisa May Alcott's novel  Little Women . The character Jo reads aloud from a short story she has written: "And the good fairy said, &#8216I won't leave you money or pretty dresses, but I will leave you the spirit to seek your fortune from your own efforts.'" If La Boetie is right: If freedom is a natural human urge, then nature herself argues the logic of not cooperating with tyranny. There is something within both man and beast that resists the tension o

Select Passages from The Art of Being Free

“Fanaticism and self-righteousness are rooted in self-hatred, self-doubt, and insecurity,” wrote the longshoreman philosopher, Eric Hoffer in 1951. In The True Believer, the book he’s most renowned for having written, Hoffer asserts that "a passionate obsession with the outside world - or the private lives of others - is an attempt to compensate for a lack of meaning in one’s own life." Hoffer was seeking to explain why people follow lunatics like Adolph Hitler... but his words explain why people follow the obvious falsehoods in today’s political climate, too. Hoffer died in 1983 having spent much of his life observing the working class from among its ranks. We founded the Laissez Faire Club so the ideas of great writers like Eric Hoffer don’t go missing in the ash heap of history; that the passion for living as free people doesn’t succumb to the will of the political class. It’s a struggle every generation faces... ours is no different. Today’s offering from the club is

All time No.1 Item song & dance

India joins the West on Syrian crisis

Russia and China have vetoed the resolution on Syria sponsored by the United States, France, Germany and Portugal at the United Nations Security Council. This is not surprising, as Moscow and Beijing have been consistent in their opposition to any form of UNSC mandate being deliberately misused or misinterpreted by the Western powers to justify an eventual military intervention in Syria — as had happened over Libya an year ago.  The Russian and Chinese stance has strongly projected that the Syrian crisis can be resolved only by the people of that country and the role of the international community should be confined to facilitating a national dialogue between and amongst the Syrian groups and the government. The latest Russian and Chinese veto has been prompted by the western draft resolution invoking Chapter 7 of the UN Charter which allows the Council to authorize actions ranging from economic and  diplomatic sanctions to military intervention. Evidently, the resolution, if passe

US House votes to cut USD 650mn in military aid to Pak

PTI | Jul 20, 2012, 10.14AM IST WASHINGTON: In a latest jab at Pakistan by the US, the House of Representatives has unanimously voted to cut American military aidto Islamabad by USD 650 million asRepublicans sought to tamp down demands for deeper reductions. The amendment to cut the aid, which was proposed by Republican Congressman Ted Poe, passed on the floor in a voice vote. Poe had demanded a USD 1.3 billion cut, but settled for the 650 million cut. It will now go to Senate for approval. "Pakistan is the 'Benedict Arnold' to America in the war on terror. They are disloyal, deceptive and a danger to the United States," said Poe, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. "This so-called ally continues to take billions in US aid, while funding the militants who attack us. And we've kept the money flowing. It's time we

Market-Rigging and Price-Fixing

The Daily Reckoning  Presents   Eric Fry "Markets are so rigged by policymakers that I have no meaningful insights to offer." That's what Nomura International's Investment Strategist, Bob Janjuah, griped five months ago. Since then, policymakers have stepped up their market-rigging, while new revelations of  past  market-rigging have also come to light. It's starting to feel like the financial markets are all rigging and no ship. "I am simply stunned that our policymakers seem so one-dimensional, so short-termist, and so utterly bereft of courage or ideas," Janjuah remarked last February. "It now seems obvious that in response to the financial crisis that has been with us for five years and counting, we are being told to double up on these same policy decisions [that have failed]. The crisis was caused by central bankers mispricing the cost of capital, which forced a misallocation of capital, driven by debt/leverage, which was ultimately


B.RAMAN According to reports from Pakistan, ChaudhuryHabib-ur-Rehman, who constitutes the one-man  Anti-Terrorism Special Court trying seven members of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) for conspiring to carry out the 26/11 terrorist strikes in Mumbai, has accepted the objections of the LET conspirators to the admissibility of the report submitted by a Pakistani commission that had visited Mumbai in March to record the statements of some Indian witnesses. 2.The lawyers of the LET conspirators had objected to the admissibility of the commission's report on the ground that the Government of India did not allow the Pakistani lawyers assisting the commission to cross-examine the Indian witnesses. 3.The Judge has accepted the contention of the LET lawyers and declared the report of the commission as inadmissible in the pending case.However, he has kept open the possibility of admitting in evidence the report of any new commission that might be sent to Mumbai by the Pakistan Government if it

BALOCHISTAN: The UN and the missing

From the Newspaper | I.A Rehman | 16 hours ago July 19, 2012 THE report that a team of the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances will visit Pakistan in September must have raised hopes in many a heart in Balochistan. Will this initiative give the efforts to resolve the issue of disappearances a decisive boost? One hopes nothing will be done to thwart the UN mission. Any cancellation or postponement of the plan will further tarnish Pakistan’s image abroad. The working group had requested Islamabad to invite its mission on Sept 29, 2010. It was not wise to delay acceptance of this request for 20 months. Even otherwise, Pakistan’s record with this working group has not been good. In its latest report the group stated it had transmitted 143 cases of involuntary disappearance to the government since its inception and 107 of them were pending as of March 2012. Between November 2010 and November 2011, the cases referred to Islamabad under an urgent-act

Mobility update on India's soldier modernisation programme

Contributor:  Richard de Silva Posted:  07/13/2012  12:00:00 AM EDT  |  0      Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on linkedin Share on email Share on favorites Share on print More Sharing Services  Tags:   India  This is the thrid part of Defence IQ's report on India's Futuristic Soldier As a System (F-INSAS) programme. This article focuses on mobility. One of the chief aims of F-INSAS is of course to lighten the load for the soldier in battle, which will subsequently enhance survival rates and operational effectiveness. Developers are working on retaining ballistic protection through a tactical vest that includes cover to the legs, groin, neck and collar, but does not chafe in hot and uncomfortable conditions nor impede the soldier's movement. Developers have been under pressure to reconcile a lighter load with the 'soldier as a system' concept, including the need to weave cabling and battery packs into clothing. Specifically, India's intention of

Type of attacks on our culture.

भारतभञ्जनम् - ग्रन्थसारः भारतदेशस्य विदलनार्थं विश्वस्तरे बह्व्यः शक्तयः प्रयतमानाः इत्यस्मिन् विषये 'Breaking India'  इत्ययं ग्रन्थः २०११ वत्सरे प्रकाशितः। 'भारतीयसंस्कृतेः भञ्जनेन  देशस्य भञ्जनं शक्यम्' इत्येतं सूत्रम् अवलंब्य उद्यमन्ति एताः शक्तयः। तत्र संस्कृतपण्डितैः ज्ञातव्यानि विषयानि बहूनि सन्तीत्यतः ग्रन्थस्य परिचयः क्रियते। ग्रन्थलेखकयोः महतः परिशोधस्य फलम् अयं ग्रन्थः। लेखकयोः एकः राजीव मल्होत्रा नाम अमेरिकावासी, अन्यः अरविन्दन् नीलकन्दन् नाम चेन्नै निवासी। भारते समाजसंयोजकशक्तयः कथम् शक्तिहीनाः सञ्जाताः, वियोजकशक्तयः बलिष्ठाः सञ्जाताः इत्येवम् अस्य ग्रन्थस्य विषयः। विघटनशक्तीनाम् परिशीलनमेव अस्य ग्रन्थस्य उद्देशः इत्यतः संयोजकशक्तीनां विश्लेषणं न कृतम्। विघटनशक्तिषु काश्चन आन्तरिकशक्तयः, काश्चन बाह्यशक्तयः। प्रजासु मिथः भेदभावोत्पादनम्, तदनु जनानाम् जातिरूपेण विभजनम् (racial division), पश्चाच्च शनैः शनैः अन्तःकलहोत्पादनेन देशस्य विभजनम् इत्ययं विघटनशक्तीनाम् व्यूहः अत्र बहुभिः उदाहरणैः निरूपितः। प्रथमं तावत् अयम् प्रश्नः विचारितः। भारतस्य विदलने को वा उत्सु