In this installment of Missing Pieces, Charles Landow highlights news and analysis on India, Georgia, foreign assistance, and Asia’s economic growth. Enjoy!
- Uncertain India: India, long seen as a vibrant democracy headed for prosperity, has lately become known for sagging growth and political paralysis. An Economist special report surveys the scene. Though global weakness has harmed India’s economy, it says, “the greatest pains are self-inflicted.” Troubles include a large deficit, an unfriendly investment climate, high inflation, and inadequate infrastructure. Both elected politicians and bureaucrats stymie needed reforms and efficiencies. Literacy has risen from 52 to 74 percent since 1991, and “some 97 percent of school-age children enroll.” India also has the world’s largest number of higher education institutions (26,500). However, the quality of instruction ranges from “variable” to “often wretched,” producing a shortage of skilled professionals. Meanwhile, government welfare spending to combat poverty is up, but many view it as inefficient and prone to corruption. Still, the report foresees a brighter future for India—“eventually.” Read more »