Tuesday, 25 October 2011

The UNDP's India: Urban Poverty Report 2009 - an interesting info

The UNDP's India: Urban Poverty Report 2009 has some interesting pointers, especially important in view of the critical role of urban areas in economic development and the growing concerns about increasing poverty in urban centers, "urbanization of poverty", as people migrate to cities in search of livelihood opportunities. It is also a re-affirmation of the economic value of rural to urban migration, despite the concerns among policy makers about such migration.

It estimates that India will have 41% (or 575 m) of its people living in cities by 2030, up from the present level of 286 million and 28%. Delhi (94%) and Goa (53%), Tamil Nadu (48%) are the most urbanised states while states like Himachal Pradesh (10%), Bihar (13%), Assam (13%) and Orissa (15%) are the least urbanised ones. With cities contributing over 62% of GDP, the importance of urbanization cannot be under-played. An NSSO survey reports that there are over 80 million poor people living in the cities and towns of the country, of which the TCPO estimated that in 2001, 61.80 m lived in slums. In 2001 an estimated 23.7% of the urban population was living in slums.

Urban poverty, unlike rural poverty, imposes considerable negative externalities on the society and economy. As the report points out, the urban poverty poses the problems of housing and shelter, water, sanitation, health, education, social security, and livelihoods along with special needs of vulnerable groups like women, children and aged people. Over-crowded slums, without access to these basic civic amenities and social welfare nets, and with constant uncertainty associated with evictions and loss of livelihoods, imposes conderable drags on the productivity and opportunities available to its residents besides constraining economic growth. It also fuels social evils like drugs and crime. The "lower levels of informal or traidtional support structures in urban locations for most poor households, the excessive monetization in urban areas as opposed to rural areas" magnifies the extent of these problems.

Some of the findings of the report are as follows

1. One of the most interesting findings of the survey is that "poverty levels in small size towns are high, in the middle size towns poverty levels are lower and is the lowest for large towns", thereby lending credence to theories that the metros and mega towns have been the engines of growth in recent years. It finds that the infrastructure facilities, quality of employment, productivity and returns to education are likely to be better in large cities than in small towns. And these in turn help these cities enter a cycle of positive feed-back, where growth feeds more growth.

2. Migrants in cities are economically better off and are placed at higher economic stratum than the natives of cities on poverty indices. Rural migrants into urban areas have been found to have a lower probability of being poor than the local population, therefore making urbanization an important prong in the poverty reduction strategy.

3. Though the urban poor (the report which defines urban poor as anyone living on less than 20 rupees a day) accounted for 25.7% of the country's total urban population in 2004-5 compared with 49.01% in 1973-74, in absolute numbers it grew from 60 million to 81 million during the period. The report also finds that the rate of overall decline in poverty slowed from 0.82 percentage points per year from 1973-74 to 1983-84, to 0.61 percentage points from 1993-94 to 2004-05.

4. Urban casual informal workers have been left behind in grabbing the growing urban employment opportunities as they don’t have adequate education and skills. The self-employed workers face specific problems of access to credit, markets and space and also incur various "hidden costs". The self-employed among the urban workers have shown higher poverty rates than the salaried but much lower than the casual workers.

5. The report also finds that the profile of the unorganized sector, while shrinking, has shifted from "casual employment (which is paid on a regular basis) to self employment (which carries its own uncertainties)". The findings of the report squares up with the concerns raised by people like IMF's Martin Ravallion, who while arguing that urbanization is a generally positive factor in overall poverty reduction, had cautioned that poor are urbanizing faster than the population as a whole, thereby reflecting in a lower pace of poverty reduction in urban areas.

Thanks: gulzar05.blogspot


Monday, 24 October 2011

Warning For Ebayers - Must read 1

eBay is a mammoth marketplace, with millions of goods. Most people just bid, but there are a range of hidden tools you can use to track down and then bag the ultimate bargains. Whether it’s speedy searches for under-priced goods, taking advantage of spelling mistake listings, auto-bidding to cheaply seal a deal or just working out the maximum you should pay, they’re only a free click away.


  • Step 1: Tools to find under-priced goods
  • Step 2: The price ... is it right?
  • Step 3: Bidding tricks to bag a bargain
  • Step 4: Scam busting tips
  • Ebay is not the only site
  • Add Your Tricks/Discuss/Other Articles

You're bidder off on eBay!
Step 1: Tools to hone in on under-priced goods
There’re a whole host of powerful online tools that let you exploit eBay* to the max. These not only let you track down exactly what you want, but help you spot bargains that may have gone un-noticed by other bidders, keeping prices low.
    Spelling mistaykes save you cash
    Many people can't spell (martin's is awful) and consequentially mis-enter their eBay entries. This English teacher's nightmare is a bargain hunter's dream: wrongly spelt products attract fewer bids because many don't see them. A few specialist search sites take advantage of this, trawling eBay for all possible spelling mistake combinations.
    These include the simple typo search Fatfingers, set up a few years ago by a MoneySaver to help others and Goofbay with its powerful search tools including locating no bidders.
  • Local bargains cut delivery costs
    Sellers often specify that bulky, heavy items – TVs, tables, life size Dr Spock figurines – must be picked up in person. As people are loath to travel far, lack of competition keeps prices low. It’s possible to exploit this by going to Localbargainfinder. Simply tell it your postcode, how far prepared you’re to schlep and a maximum price; it then trawls eBay for hidden gems nearby. This trick’s a must if you’re furnishing a house on a budget.
  • No bid items
    Often sellers start auctions at 99p, hoping a bidding war will erupt. Yet many items go unspotted, staying at this super-low price. To take advantage, Lastminute auctions scours for ebay auctions that are due to finish within an hour but are still under £1, meaning there are many bargains to be had.
  • Keep alerted to favourites
    If you want something that’s a) hard to track down, or b) cheaper to buy second hand, set a ‘favourite search’ and eBay will email each time a seller lists the item you’re after. Simply type a product in eBay’s own search bar, such as “Star Wars Lego Millennium Falcon” or “Manchester City Subbuteo players”, and click “save this search”. Be as specific as possible for the most accurate results. Then, when someone clears out the loft and lists the item, an email will pop into your inbox.
  • Buy from eBay USA
    There are bargains to be had on overseas eBay sites, particularly the USA. To include foreign auctions in search results, simply click “worldwide” for location, on the left hand bar. But keep an eye on postage costs, and remember that if you’re buying from outside the EU, you may be stung with customs tax.

Step 2: Check the price is right
Many people assume that if it’s on eBay*, it’s automatically cheap, and some sellers hike up prices to take advantage of this. Yet with a few basic checks, it’s easy to spot if you’re really getting a bargain.
  • Benchmark cheapest prices
    Always benchmark the price before buying. Use shopbots (shopping robots) that whiz to scores of internet retailers to find the cheapest price; MSE's Megashopbot.com tool auto-searches the best of these for each category. After that, you may be eligible for cashback (see Top Cashback Sites).
  • Ask 100,000s of people to help
    This site’s forum is a mine of MoneySaving information, where bargain hunters club together to spot top buys. This mass consumer power means someone almost always know whether you're being ripped off. Pose a question on the Shop but don't drop, and you'll often find a bargain hunting nerd can help.

  • My most pertinent memory of this is when I featured Dell's short-term £10 colour printer sale in my weekly email. Later I discovered that one reader had used the info to buy 70 and made over £2,000 profit from eBaying them at £40 each – four times the Dell price. A quick forum check by the purchasers would've saved them serious cash.
    P.S. Some may say "good on them for making profit", yet this kind of behaviour goes against what this site stands for. Of course, businesses source products and make money – that's fine. Yet to use info from this pro-consumer site, to make other consumers pay way over the odds, just isn't cricket.
  • Check the ‘eBay going rate’
    After researching and finding that eBay’s the cheapest, there’s a quick way glean a product’s market rate. To do this, fill in the search box and check “completed items” on the left hand grey bar. It’ll come up with a list of prices similar auctions have already fetched; try not to pay more than this.
  • Google the info
    Some Del Boy types try and sell web-addresses as ‘exclusive info/tools of great interest'. Yet often they're available free elsewhere. To our great distaste, links to this site are constantly sold to the highest bidder. In the past, people have sold bank charge reclaiming template letters and links to the FlightChecker, as well as other tools from the site.
    Use Google to check exactly what you're bidding for. If it's just ‘information', you'll usually find the same elsewhere for free.
Thanks: moneysavingexpert
How to recover-your-loststolen-iphone
Warning For Ebayers - Must read 2

Hundreds die as strong quake rocks eastern Turkey

BBC reporter David O'Byrne: "There are people trapped under the rubble"
A strong quake has shattered buildings near the Turkish city of Van, killing more than 200 people and trapping an unknown number under rubble.
Casualties are reported to be particularly high in the town of Ercis, close to the Iranian border, where dozens of buildings fell.

Reports spoke of thousands of residents running screaming in the streets.
Rescuers worked into the night to find survivors, some with shovels or their bare hands.
Turkey is particularly vulnerable to earthquakes because it sits on major geological fault lines.
Two earthquakes in 1999 with a magnitude of more than 7 killed almost 20,000 people in densely populated parts of the north-west of the country.

'One thousand buildings'

The earthquake struck at 13:41 (10:41 GMT) at a depth of 20km (12.4 miles), with its epicentre 16km north-east of Van in eastern Turkey, the US Geological Survey said.

It was followed by a series of powerful aftershocks, also centred north of Van, including two of magnitude 5.6 soon after the quake and one of 6.0 late on Sunday.
People are helped from the rubble of collapsed buildings in a village near the city of Van, Turkey - 23 October 2011 
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the Van region and Ercis by helicopter.
Up to 80 buildings, including a dormitory, collapsed in the town about 60km north of Van, while 10 fell in Van itself.

Town mayor Zulfikar Arapoglu appealed for help. "We need urgent aid, we need medics," he said.
Ambulances, soldiers and rescue teams rushed to the town, a Reuters photographer reported from Ercis.
Survivors complained of a lack of heavy machinery to remove chunks of cement floors that had pancaked on to each other, the Associated Press reports.

Serious damage and casualties were also reported in the district of Celebibag, near Ercis.

"There are many people under the rubble," said the local mayor, Veysel Keser.
"People are in agony, we can hear their screams for help. We need urgent help."
The head of Turkey's seismology institute said hundreds of people could have been killed.

"We estimate around 1,000 buildings are damaged and our estimate is for hundreds of lives lost - it could be 500 or 1,000," said Mustafa Erdik, general manager of the Kandilli Observatory.
Night search

As evening fell, residents of Van and Ercis lit camp fires, preparing to spend the night outdoors.

Rescuers could be seen working by torchlight, using their hands and shovels.

Temperatures were expected to drop to near freezing overnight. The quake cut electricity and telephone lines and the authorities in some areas have cut gas to avoid the risk of fire.

The BBC's David O'Byrne, in Istanbul, said more search and rescue teams were being sent from other parts of the country.

Hakki Erskoy, from the Turkish Red Crescent, said aid teams from the north and east of Turkey were being sent to the earthquake-hit area.

He said camps were being set up to shelter people and blankets, food and water were being sent along with mobile kitchens.

Military aircraft were being deployed to help with the rescue and relief efforts, Mr Erskoy told BBC World News.

However, Turkey has rejected all offers of foreign assistance, a foreign ministry official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters.

Thanks: BBC news


Sunday, 23 October 2011

Amazing Bridge - Malaysia

Thanks: jokestation.org


Statistics on Poverty, Urbanization and Slums

Urbanization is on the rise. About half of the world’s population lives in cities: 3 billion, compared to 1.5 billion 30 years ago. Two hundred years ago, Peking was the only city in the world with a population of a million. Today, almost 500 cities are that big, and many are much bigger.

urbanization by region
largest cities in the world
growth of african cities
A third of Africa’s 1 billion inhabitants currently live in urban areas. Similar data for the world are here.
Many of the city dwellers, especially in the Third World, live in slum conditions. In fact, almost 1 billion people live in slums. That’s one third of global city dwellers. Of Africa’s 1 billion city dwellers, 70% live in slum conditions.

slum population in urban africa
(source, click image to enlarge)
From a human rights perspective, slums pose a variety of problems: they are an indicator of poverty, and the rights to housing and healthcare (art. 25 of the Universal Declaration) are only the most obvious rights that are less than perfectly protected in slums. We can all imagine how the rights to education, standard of living, privacy, property etc. are violated as well in slum conditions. Bad housing is a cause of bad health (due to the absence of sanitation), of a lack of education (due to a lack of electricity and light), a lack of security (because of the risk of fire and burglary) and it therefore perpetuates poverty.

Urban population living in slums
(source, click image to enlarge)
numbers of people living in slums
However, the World Bank, in its latest World Development Report, states that cities in the Third World grow so fast because they create economic opportunities and possibilities. Wages of people in cities are much higher than the wages of their unskilled rural compatriots.
Cities are created by trade and industry. Factories cluster together and create cities because they profit from a concentration of skills and from the infrastructure (housing, transport, ports etc.) that cities offer. Consumers also profit from the presence of different traders and service providers in a relatively small space that is a city. And, finally, businesses that specializes in services for businesses – banks, insurance … – cluster where their customers are. So slums may be a ghastly sight, but we shouldn’t forget that the country side is often in a much worse albeit not so visible predicament.
Of course, slums create enormous problems. Sanitation, water and other living conditions are below the levels necessary to maintain public health. This is caused by the overpopulation of slums combined with insufficient government investments.
The UN estimates that the number of people living in slums passed 1 billion in 2007 and could reach 1.39 billion in 2020, although there are large variations among regions. In Asia and the Pacific, two out of five urban dwellers live in slums, compared with three out of five in Africa.
In percentage terms, sub-Saharan Africa has about 72 percent of city dwellers living in slums. Asia has by far the highest number of city dwellers living in slums – the problem is worst in South Asia, where half of the urban population is composed of slum dwellers. The figure below illustrates the share of slum population in some Asian and Pacific countries. In 2001, Afghanistan had as much as 99 per cent of the urban population living in slums while Nepal and Bangladesh also had high proportions-92 and 85 per cent, respectively, although they have had some success in containing the problem since 1990. (source)
share of slum population in urban areas in selected asian and pacific countries 1990 and 2001
There seems to be some improvement:
urban population living in slums
The proportion of the world’s urban population living in slums has fallen from nearly 40% a decade ago to less than a third today. China and India have together lifted 125m people out of slum conditions in recent years. North Africa’s slum population has shrunk by a fifth. But the absolute number of slum dwellers around the world, estimated to be some 830m, is still rising. (source)
Can You Jailbreak IPhone? You found yourself with this question and been wondering why and how some of the people you know are enjoying some application on their unit that you do not have. The answer is yes, you can.

The question “Can you jailbreak iPhone?” is still ringing in your mind and you are starting to look for answers and the need to know how to do it arises. This is not unusual for many individuals to be quite curious with what their iPhone unit can do. It would be really cool to have those great looking apps in your phone too.

Benefits of Having a Jailbreak IPhone

There are lots of benefits of having a jailbreak iPhone. First of all, if you have encountered problems with your iPhone’s settings, you can just restore everything. Just go to the factory setting of your unit and select the reset tab. Now the cool part, once you jailbreak your unit you will have the Cydia Installer which will allow your unit to install third party applications. You will be able to use personalized ringtones in all your calls and instant messages. Not only that, you will also have MMS and enable flash in your unit.
There are a lot of things you can with your unit once you opt to jailbreak it. With it, you will be able to down YouTube videos and save it in your phone. You can even stream live videos on your iPhone. Having all these features in your iPhone can be an added bonus without spending lots of money on it.

How To Jailbreak Your IPhone

1. You will first need to backup all the important data that you have in your unit. This is quite important because you would not like it if everything is lost.
2. Then you will need to download the latest or current version of iTunes.
3. Once you have the iTunes, you can go to the download section and download iOS 4 and save it on your PC.
4. Then you can start updating your iPhone unit with the help of iTunes. Update your unit to OS 4.0.2
5. Then you can find the software that you are going to use to jailbreak. You will need to download it too.
6. Once you have it, just install the software using its guide. Then you will be able to install Cydia.
7. Once you have the Cydia just continue with your installation. The jailbreak software will complete everything.

A word of caution, just make sure to get your jailbreak software from a reliable source. There are numerous bogus websites that offer fake software that will not work at all. It will just be waste of money. Finding reliable software nowadays is like going through a field of overgrown weeds. It takes time before you can find what you really need. You do not want to waste all your effort and money in something that would not work at all.

Can You Jailbreak IPhone Using The Right Software

Yes, you can! The right software is being highly recommended by other iPhone users. It is easy and even unlocks your phone just by using the same software. You do not have to trouble yourself to waste countless of hours on the net just to look for the right and reliable software. You can download it easily and install it using a detailed guideline that comes with it.

Can you jailbreak iPhone? Yes, indeed, with the right software everything would be a breeze. You can share with your friends your cool apps and ringtones. You can start using your iPhone the way it should be.

Thanks: jailbreakiphone101



Saturday, 22 October 2011

Facts About India’s Child Population

India is rich in its children. With a child population of 44o million and another 26 million being added every year, India is the youngest country in the world. However the economic progress made in the recent past has not filtered into the social sector.

  • In India today, one out of every two children under 3 years of age is malnourished.
  • Half of all Indian children are not in school.
  • India has 420 million kids. That’s more than the US and UK combined.
  • One in four Indian girls are sexually abused before the age of 4.
  • 52% of girls aged 6-10 are out of school.
  • 48% of boys aged 6-10 are out of school.

There are thousands and thousands of children in the slums of Kolkata who have never gone to school, do not have any basic training, no proper shelter and no sanitation.

Thanks: slumstoschool


Friday, 21 October 2011

The astonishing wealth of Muammar Gaddafi!!

The astonishing wealth of Libyan tyrant Muammar Gaddafi and his family has been laid bare as countries around the world begin freezing billions of dollars worth of their assets.

The U.S. alone has seized $30billion (£18.5bn) of their investments, while Canada has frozen $2.4bn (£1.5bn), Austria, $1.7bn (£1bn) and the UK, $1bn ($600m).

These assets appear to be just the tip of the iceberg, as no one is yet certain exactly what the family owns around the world.

But they include an enormous portfolio of properties in the West End theatre and shopping district of London - worth $455m (£280m) as well as $325m (£200m) in shares in Pearson, the owner of the Financial Times and Penguin books.

Assets: Gaddafi's son Saif bought this $15million (£10m) home in one of London's most affluent suburbs in 2009. It boasts a swimming pool, eight bedrooms, a sauna and a suede-lined cinema room

Assets: Gaddafi's son Saif bought this $15million (£10m) home in one of London's most affluent suburbs in 2009. It boasts a swimming pool, eight bedrooms, a sauna and a Jacuzzi

The assets also include a $15million luxury mansion in an affluent suburb of North London.

Nestled among the homes of TV presenters and actors is the eight-bed home with a swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi and suede-lined cinema room.

The house even has an electrically operated rubbish store, which raises and lowers eight bins into the ground before a steel plate folds over to hide them discreetly.

It was bought mortgage-free by Capitana Seas Ltd, a holding company registered in the British Virgin Islands and owned by Gaddafi's most high-profile son, Saif.

Residents in the neighbourhood have been campaigning to oust Saif, a former student of the London School of Economics, who acquired the property in 2009.

Luxurious: The suede-lined cinema room in the property, which was bought mortgage-free in 2009 by a holding company owned by Saif

Luxurious: The suede-lined cinema room in the property, which was bought mortgage-free in 2009 by a holding company owned by Saif

Stylish: The large swimming pool in the London home
Stylish: The large swimming pool in the London home

Modern: The property has a minimalistic feel with neutral furnishings. It also has a state-of-the-art whole of house sound system

Modern: The property has a minimalistic feel with neutral furnishings. It also has a state-of-the-art whole of house sound system

Dr Saul Zadka has been leading the community action, and described how he did not want to 'live next to a mass murderer, even though he became a very acceptable figure among the British high  society and political echelons'.

Dr Zadka told the local newspaper, the Hampstead and Highgate Express: 'We feel disgusted by the massacres that are taking place in Libya.

'I am organising a meeting and petition against him next week because we do not want to have a mass murderer next to us.

'Many of the neighbours feel the same as me but they are scared of retributions. We want to force anyone associated with Gaddafi out of this house.

'But some residents were not even aware that he lived there. People in this sleepy neighbourhood need to wake up to this.'

It is thought that the family's assets in Britain could exceed $10billion, as some are owned by the Libyan Investment Authority, a sovereign wealth fund, rather than the ruling household.

Vienna: Saif Gaddafi lived in a luxury villa on the outskirts of Vienna and housed his white pet tiger in the city's zoo. The central bank has frozen $1.7bn of Libyan assets

Vienna: Saif Gaddafi lived in a luxury villa on the outskirts of Vienna and housed his white pet tiger in the city's zoo. The central bank has frozen $1.7bn

Floundering tyrant: Gaddafi, pictured last night as he made a series of bizarre statements, has had billions of pounds worth of his assets frozen along with his daughter and four sons

Floundering tyrant: Gaddafi, pictured last night as he made a series of bizarre statements, has had billions of pounds worth of his assets frozen along with his daughter and four sons

Wealthy: Saif al-Islam Gaddafi addresses a press conference in the Libyan capital Tripoli yesterday. His assets in Austria have been frozen as well as those in Britain

Wealthy: Saif al-Islam Gaddafi addresses a press conference in the Libyan capital Tripoli yesterday. His assets around the world have been frozen

A source close to the British Chancellor George Osborne - who personally ordered the seizure of Gaddafi's London assets - insisted all of the assets associated with Gaddafi would be frozen.

He said: 'The freeze is not limited to assets held in the name of designated persons. 
'It extends to any funds or economic resources owned or controlled by persons acting on their behalf.'

British Prime Minister David Cameron said: 'We are now putting serious pressure on this regime.

'The travel ban and the asset freeze are the measures we are taking against the regime to show just how isolated they are.'

As well as his London home, Saif Gaddafi also has considerable investments in Austria, where he lived in a luxury villa on the outskirts of Vienna and housed his white pet tiger in the city's zoo.

He studied in the capital and was a close friend of the late Austrian far-right politician Joerg Haider, accompanying him to the high-profile Opera Ball in 2006.

The country's central bank said around $1.7bn (£1bn) in Libyan assets were deposited in Austrian institutions.

It announced today that it would be freezing these funds, but declined to give a figure for the total amount of Libyan assets in Austria, which are thought to include extensive property and company stakes.

Crisis: Thousands of refugees try to flee Libya over the Tunisian border today. The Gaddafi family's assets have been frozen in a bid to force the tyrant out of power

Crisis: Thousands of refugees try to flee Libya over the Tunisian border today. The Gaddafi family's assets have been frozen in a bid to force the tyrant out of power

In all, six of the Gaddafi family have had their assets frozen - including Saif's brothers Hannibal, Khamis and Mutassim, and his sister Aisha.

Switzerland was one of the first countries to freeze the assets, making the announcement a week ago.
A spokesman for the Swiss Foreign Ministry said on February 24: 'To pre-empt any misuse of state funds, the cabinet today decided to block all assets in Switzerland belonging to Moammar Gaddafi and his entourage with immediate effect.

'The sale of the property of these persons - in particular real estate - or disposing of it in any way is forbidden as of now.'
The freezing order is valid for three years, the ministry added.
As well as freezing the Gaddafi family's assets, Britain has signed an order prohibiting the export of uncirculated Libyan banknotes without a licence.

LIBYA-PROTESTS/REFUGEES - Map of Libya detailing numbers of refugees crossing into Egypt and Tunisia and colour-coded flashes showing control of Libyan towns. RNGS. (SIN05)

Treasury has set up a unit to trace the rest of the assets and has sent a note to all UK banks and financial institutions asking them to carry out due diligence to identify any of the family's assets that they hold.

The European Union yesterday agreed to freeze all of Gaddafi's assets as part of a sanctions agreement, which also includes a travel ban and an arms embargo.

Germany said it was proposing a 60-day freeze on all financial payments to Libya in a bid to stop funds from reaching Gaddafi.

Guido Westerwelle, the German finance minister, said: 'We are working to ensure that all financial flows are cut off.'

Canada also announced yesterday that it was freezing Gaddafi's assets and halting all financial transactions between Ottawa and the government in Tripoli, Libya's capital.

'Far from protecting the Libyan people against peril, he (Gaddafi) is the root cause of the dangers they face,' Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said.

'It is clear that the only acceptable course of action for him is to halt the bloodshed and to immediately vacate his position and authority.'

Thanks: Dailymail