India’s economic minders, from the prime minister downwards, have all expressed the hope that the country will be able to get back to eight per cent-plus economic growth. The entire gamut ofeconomic policies is being constantly examined to find out what mistakes have led to the slowdown that is pointing to five per cent growth in 2012-13 – a throwback to the pre-reform 1980s. But there is a case for arguing that moderately good growth of, say, six or seven per cent should be realistically targeted since higher growth may not be sustainable. So discussions on growth should not just focus on absolute numbers but also address issues of durability and quality.
First, why should high growth not be an end in itself? After all, 8.5 per cent average growth can double incomes in as many years – surely desirable in a poor country like India. But the reality is that high growth for any length of time is no longer in India’s hands. Both the high growth in the 2003-08 period and the slowdown thereafter have coincided with a global boom and bust. With foreign trade now accounting for over 40 per cent of GDP and the crucial psychological (through portfolio investment and stock market mood) and real role played by foreign inflows, there is no way the Indian economy can be out of step with the global whole. So, for the Indian economy to grow fast, pray that the rest of the world does so by its own standards. >> Read More
-Fujifilm Corp. and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) have developed a resin sheet that generates electricity, utilizing the temperature difference between human body and the air.
The power-generating sheet developed by Fujifilm and AIST could be used to provide additional power for portable devices.
The sheet uses the thermoelectric effect, which generates a voltages due to the temperature difference between the surface of an object and its reverse side. The sheet is 0.4mm thick and soft. In a normal environment, the temperature of the air is lower than that of the human body or the surface of clothes. That temperature difference can be used to generate a steady flow of electricity.
It can be used as an additional power source for portable devices by attaching it to a human body or clothes. Heat emitted from TVs, steam in a bathroom, curtains in sunlight or a car’s body can also be used to generate electricity.>> Read More
Reserve Bank governor D Subbarao today warned against “casino banking” that has over- financialised the real economy, and called for inclusive growth to quell the growing disenchantment of the public.
“A growth process that increases inequity lacks durability, and indeed even legitimacy, eventually threatening the economic and social stability. Evidence in support of this is overwhelming–the `Occupy Movement’ of the past year being just the latest manifestation of the discontent associated with inequitable growth,” Subbarao said at a seminar.
Inaugurating two-day international conference on ‘Leveraging cooperative advantage’, organised by the RBI-run College of Agricultural Banking as a part of International Year of Cooperatives of the UN in Pune, Subbarao said, “The recent financial crisis has taught us some very important lessons.
“The general disenchantment with ‘casino banking’ in certain developed economies underscored the dangers of over-financialisation of the real economy,” Subbarao said.
Casino banking is the practice whereby a commercial bank engages in unduly speculative or risky financial activities with the aim of achieving high profits. >> Read More
A bicycle made almost entirely of cardboard has the potential to change transportation habits from the world’s most congested cities to the poorest reaches of Africa, its Israeli inventor says.
Izhar Gafni, 50, is an expert in designing automated mass-production lines. He is an amateur cycling enthusiast who for years toyed with an idea of making a bicycle from cardboard.
He told Reuters during a recent demonstration that after much trial and error, his latest prototype has now proven itself and mass production will begin in a few months.
“I was always fascinated by applying unconventional technologies to materials and I did this on several occasions. But this was the culmination of a few things that came together. I worked for four years to cancel out the corrugated cardboard’s weak structural points,” Gafni said.>> Read More