Indian Agrarian Crisis now moved to

Farmer-the most endangered species

India-the land of contradictions

Posted by Ramoo on February 20, 2007

From Alternative Perspective by Madhukar Shukla
NOTE: 1 crore = 10mn; 1 lac = 0.1mn; $1 = about Rs.45
India is world’s 2nd largest exporter of rice, and world’s 5th largest exporter of wheat
Over past 5 years, on average 15,000 farmers have committed suicide every year (i.e., 4-5/day) due to poverty and indebtness. An Indian farmer household has an average debt of Rs 12,585 – 82% farmer households in Andhra Pradesh, 74.5% in Tamil Nadu, 65.4% in Punjab, 61.1% in Karnataka, 54.8% in Maharashtra, etc. live in debt.
India is world’s 2nd largest fruit and vegetables producer, and the largest producer of milk
One third of India’s population goes hungry to bed everyday.
India is world’s largest producer of tea accounting for 30% of global produce, and 25% of spices produced globally.
1/3rd of world’s population without adequate water-supply lives in India.
Agriculture accounts for 14-15% of country’s exports
600mn Indians depend on agriculture for subsistence. 60% of farmers are small/medium farmers with holdings of up to 4 hectare plot. The average farm holding in India is 1.4 hectare, and only 15% farmers have plots larger than 10 hectare. Of the 455mn acre cultivable land, less than 5mn is with rural poor.
India is world’s largest producer of mica, 3rd largest producer of coal lignite, 2nd largest producer of cement.
India has around 400-410mn employable workforce, of which about 377mn are employed. Only 7% of India’s employed work in “organised” sector.
44% of India’s workforce is illiterate, and 23% has education up to primary level. More than 90% rural workforce, and more than 80% of urban workforce has no “marketable” skill (e.g, typing, brick-laying, fishing, driving, basket-making, carpentry, tailoring, etc.).
India is among the 3 countries (US and Japan being the other two), who have built its own indigenous 4th generation super computer.
80% of India’s public health problems are due to water-borne diseases; 1 in 4 persons dying from a water-borne disease is an Indian.
India is among the 6 countries worldwide, who have developed its own space technology (23 satellite in orbit and 14 geo-stationary satellites). It has not only launched its own satellite, but also for countries like Germany, Korea and Belgium. ISRO/Antrix Corp.’s clientele include the European Commission (for agriculture and forestry), Japan (volcanic activity), US (telephone network mapping, rail alignments, Wal-Mart, airlines) and Thailand (information). Its images are distributed by Space Imaging Inc and Euromap.
The official definition of poverty in India is: a monthly income of less than Rs.329(or $7)/month (rural) and Rs.457(or $10)/month (urban); 33.6% (rural) and 28.5% (urban) of Indian population – i.e., around 280mn Indians – lives below poverty line. Of India’s poor, 40% are landless labours, 45% small/marginal farmers, and 7.5% rural artisans.
India has one of the world’s largest technically qualified manpower, comprising of 15mn doctors, engineers and scientists. There are about 30mn graduates, post-graduates and doctorates in India.
India has around 0.6mn primary schools – out of which around 60% have a single teacher (for class I-V), 59% have no drinking water, and 85% have no toilets. As for teaching aids, 26% have no blackboard, 59% have no access to maps and charts, and 77% have no library.
India is world’s largest producer of sponge iron.
India hosts 1/3rd of world’s leprosy patients
India’s real estate investment market is estimated to be $50bn, and is predicted to grow to $180bn by 2020. During last 4 years, the average return on investment has been of around 50%.
India is estimated to have 50mn DIDs (Development-Induced-Displaced “oustees”) – excluding the displaced landless labours, fishermen, and the rural artisans, who are not counted for compensation and rehabilitation.
There are close to 0.8mn HNWIs (“high net worth individuals”) in India, whose net worth is more than $1mn. The number of HNWIs in India is growing twice the global rate, and their cumulative liquid wealth is moe than $200bn.
Between 1951-90, 26mn were DIDs due to development of dams and canals, mining, new industries, etc.; According to Govt of India, in 1995, 75% of them were still “awaiting rehabilitation”. 40% of DIDs are tribal who constitute 8% of India’s population.
Indian pharmaceutical industry ranks 4th in the world in terms of volumes, and 13th in terms of value. Indian Pharma industry has the highest number of plants approved by US FDA outside US. Indian drug companies also topped the drug filing with FDA, accounting for 20% of all drugs coming into US market.
For a country with 3/4th of population in villages, India has 20% hospital beds in villages.
India is world’s largest center for diamond cutting and polishing. 9 out of 10 diamonds sold anywhere in the world pass through India.
In rural India (comprising of 3/4th of population), only 7.3% have a monthly income of more than Rs.775/month; In urban India, only 7.8% earn of more than Rs.1500/month. Only 15% of India’s 190mn households have an family income of more than Rs.2.5 lacs/ annum; only 4% of India’s population earns more than Rs.4 lacs/annum.
Moser Baer is the world’s 3rd largest optical media manufacturer and lowest cost manufacturer of CD-recorders. It supplies to 7 of the world’s top 10 CD-R manufacturers.
About 0.5mn people in India die from TB every year
Bharat Forge is world’s 2nd largest maker of forged vehicle component, and has the world’s largest single-location facilility of 1.2 lkh tonnes/annum. Its client list includes Toyota, Honda, Volvo, Cummins, Daimler Chrysler. Exports account for 3/4 of its earnings.
1.5mn infants die from diarrhoea in India every year – i.e., 1 out of every 4 infants worldwide. 68/1,000 Indian babies die before their first birthday.
Hero Honda is the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles (annual production 1.7mn)
There are about 3crore legal cases pending in Indian courts, and there is a shortage of about 3,000 judges.
Asian Paints has production facilities in 22 countries spread across five continents. Acquisition of Berger International gave it access to 11 countries; it also acquired SCIB Chemical SAE in Egypt. Asian Paints is the market leader in 11 of the 22 countries in which it is present, including India.
About 285-290mn Indians live in urban India. Of these, 21% live in slums, and 60% work in unorganised sector without any social security.
Hindustan Inks has the world’s largest single stream, fully integrated ink plant, of 1 lakh tonnes per annum capacity, at Vapi, Gujarat. It has a manufacturing plant and a 100 per cent subsidiary in the US. It has another 100 per cent subsidiary in Austria.
About 66% of India’s 640,000 villages have a population of less than 1,000 – and without connectivity to the rest of the world; only 2.3% have a population of more than 5,000.
Essel Propack is the world’s largest laminated tube manufacturer. It has a manufacturing presence in 11 countries including China, a global manufacturing share of 25 per cent, and caters to all of P&G’s laminated tube requirements in the US, and 40 per cent of Unilever’s.
For every 100 girls enrolled in rural India, only 40 reach class IV, 9 reach class IX and only 1 reaches class XII.
Ajanta is the world’s largest clocks manufacturer, which exports to more than 60 countries.
India, as the cliché goes, is a land of contrasts!

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