India society

Crime, ill-gotten gains and violence are closely linked with electoral politics in India and with 30 per cent of lawmakers in the outgoing parliament facing criminal charges, the issue of ‘money and muscle power’ in the world’s largest democracy has once again emerged as a serious concern in the ongoing general election.

Civil rights groups such as the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) have mounted a robust campaign to educate voters about the background of the candidates and have joined hands with 1,200 non-government organisations across the country to drive home the message. Continue reading »

Indian voters are turning out to cast their ballot in unusually high numbers, as the controversial Narendra Modi goes head to head with Rahul Gandhi, the scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty.

That’s good news for Indian democracy. But why are more people coming out to cast their vote this year? And what does that mean for the results of the 2014 general election? Continue reading »

India’s equity markets continue to rally as voting gets underway, with the benchmark indices closing at new record highs on Wednesday.

Beyondbrics takes a look at the new campaign posters of India 2014 and Modi’s new phone line to the public – a poignant reminder of the limits of online electioneering in a country with limited internet penetration, on the very same day that Facebook crosses 100m users in India. Continue reading »

India ElectionsMuch of the recent ramp up in Indian equities and its currency has tracked polls which increasingly point to a stable government being formed after the elections. Now, there is a chance that markets are getting over excited — as JP Morgan put it, they run the risk of getting ahead of themselves and becoming a victim of their own ever-growing expectations… Continue reading »

Confused by the Indian elections? How many seats and how many votes? So many political figures from so many regions.

This new package from the FT runs through the intricacies of the world’s largest democracy. Continue reading »

Slowly but surely Mumbai’s billboards are being filled with large, stern faces that gaze down ominously at passersby.

One picture of Rahul Gandhi, undeclared candidate for the incumbent Congress party, is emblazoned with the words: “Mein nahi, hum” (Not me, us). Even away from the streets in the confines of your sitting room, turn on the television and you might chance upon an advert by Tata Tea which encourages women to vote, making a symbol out of the black spot that will mark the forefinger of every voter in just a few weeks. Continue reading »

Last week, beyondbrics wrote about the use of social media in campaigning for this year’s Indian elections. Online networks have become an important route to young and urban voters and a useful source of information on the public debate.

But while politics may only just have caught on, India Inc has been using social media to manage communications for some time. Continue reading »

Here comes the MBA

In many countries, people debate the professional merits of an MBA. But in India, people are doing MBAs not just to up their chances in the competitive job market but also to make themselves more eligible in the even-more-gruelling marriage market.

Is that because these qualifications are exclusive and well respected in the country – a sign of economic and social status? Quite the opposite. It is ‘qualification inflation’ that makes the business degree an essential for any would-be bride or groom. Continue reading »

The number of students taking management courses has rocketed in India. But for many students, the real reason for studying for an MBA isn’t to get a job, but to make themselves look more eligible in the marriage market. The FT’s Avantika Chilkoti looks at the link between MBAs and marriage. Continue reading »

This week Indian-born Satya Nadella (pictured) became the third chief executive in the history of the world’s largest software maker, Microsoft.It’s a major win for Nadella. It could be a win for Microsoft.

But apparently, it’s also a win for India.

 Continue reading »

Michael Sandel is the Harvard University political philosophy professor best known for his ideas on justice – but how well do his ideas travel?

On Thursday he spoke at the Asia Society in Mumbai. beyondbrics went along to find out. Continue reading »

The publishing industry in India is worth some Rs100bn ($1.6bn) according to the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. And it is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 30 per cent.

Of the 90,000 new books produced every year in 24 different languages, Hindi publications make up about 26 per cent and English language books 24 per cent. It’s all part of the ‘globalisation’ of literature. Continue reading »

When he speaks, the Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen usually creates a stir and even a giggle – it was no different at Jaipur Literature Festival this year.

Identifying one of the big failures in Indian society, Sen had the entire press terrace looking sheepishly at its feet. He pointed out that the media is in the hands of a privileged elite – and that is a big constraint on the world’s largest democracy. Continue reading »

Massive open online courses, also known as Moocs, are a relatively new phenomenon in education, allowing people to take free classes from some of the world’s most eminent professors on their laptops anywhere in the world.

Excitement over these programmes reached a peak last year with the western media delirious at the idea of accessible, quality education for all. Bu where should Mooc platforms head for their next phase of growth? EMs, of course. Continue reading »

The look in the taxi driver’s eyes when he hears the words “Wankhede Stadium”. The earnest plea of the man delivering the tickets as he leaves you his number – just in case a seat is going empty.

It is impossible to explain just how much Sachin Tendulkar means to India – but the desperation and envy evident in those not going to his 200th, and final, test match tells so much. So there is something terribly sad about the inevitable blocks of empty seats inside a sold-out stadium where lucky people have failed to show up. Yet the noise of the crowd is overwhelming. Continue reading »