Month: July 2014

DJ Showcase: (8 July 2014)

Four charts that explain why we don’t need a separate rail budget

In yet another great example of data journalism where data/charts (and not so beautiful, eye-catching ones at that) have been used arguing a point, shows why we do not need a separate rail budget. The underlying logic builds on the fact that Railways is neither a big expenditure head nor the most dominant force in its area: surface transport.



How Indian states are doing in terms of HDI…in one chart

With Narendra Modi making governance the central election issue in the 2014 General Elections, the debate, after long time, focused on development. While the BJP leader and current prime minister highlighted key economic parameters such as investment, industrial growth, power generation, per capita income etc, his critics pointed out to relatively poor performance in social parameters, measured globally by United Nation Development Program (UNDP)’s human development index (HDI). With two of the world’s most well-known economists, Jagdish Bhagwati and Amrtya Sen joining the debate on what constitutes good governance, the global community took notice.

As it is, truth is rarely black and white. While Modi made some tall claims about economic parameters, most notably by highlighting absolute parameters (which have always been higher for Gujarat, even before Modi) and not the delta during his period, his critics, while pointing to HDI figures did just the reverse. They chose to ignore the fact that Gujarat still was among the upper half of the Median when it came to HDI; it was only when one compares it with its ranking in terms of economic parameters that it looks pale.

The chart here shows absolute HDI 2007-08 (latest available) on the x-axis and growth between 1999-2000 and 2007-08 on the y-axis.

HDI in India

Without considering India’s overall performance in HDI, which remains low, the pure comparison among states, shows some definite trends.  In the chart, the lines show the median values and not the average values.

  1. The overall news is good, with most low HDI states such as Odisha, Bihar, UP, Chhatisgarh and Madhya Pradesh registering good growths. Expectedly, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Harya and Gujarat show a lower growth.
  2. Only one area that clearly falls in Quardrant I: North East.  It is, by definition, the only star, though Karnataka and Tamil Nadu too have good performance.
  3. Kerala, with an HDI that is ahead of Russia, Malaysia, Kuwait and Saudi Arbaia, has a growth slightly lower but it is still a good performance, considering how poorly the other two high HDI states have fared in terms of their growth. Delhi is actually the only entity to show a negative growth while Goa too shows a sluggish growth.
  4. Uttarakhand and Jharkhand, two younger states, clearly outshine everyone else in terms of growth. Uttarakhand is fast moving to Quardrant I.
  5. Rajasthan is the only state that is clearly falling behind. West Bengal too is not catching up with the rest of the Eastern brigade such as Bihar, Odisha, NE, Assam and Jharkhand which are clearly on the growth track now.
  6. Modi’s Gujarat, is clearly below the median growth and falls on the median line of absolute HDI. With a position of 11 among 23 states/UTs (NE is treated as one), it is clearly not a good showing. But it is not absolutely pathetic as many claim.


The Contours of A Mobile World

ITU has released its latest ICT indicators database for June 2014. This is updated with 2013 numbers for most indicators.

According to the data, global mobile subscriptions will be just short of 7 billion mark in 2014, standing at 6.9 billion. The total mobile subscriptions in 2013 stood at 6.6 billion.

That is as many as 93.1 mobiles per every 100 inhabitants. The figure will go up to 95.5 in 2014, according to ITU.

A little analysis reveals interesting insights.

  • Among the ten countries with highest mobile subscriptions base, six are in Asia.
  • Top ten countries account for 58% of the total mobile subscriptions
  • Chinese regions (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao) and the Indian subcontinent (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Maldives) together account for 37% of the world’s mobile subscriptions. 
  • The world has 32 mobile broadband connections for 100 inhabitants. The developed-developing country divide is significant here. In the developed world, the figure stands at 83.7 while in the developing world, it stands at just 21.1.

Here are some important figures regarding mobile telephony.

Growth in global mobile subscriptions continues, with no signs of either slowing down or accelerating.

The mobile densities across countries vary significantly, though. Here is a world map depicting number of mobile subscriptions per 100 inhabitants. Those with dark red have the lowest density and those with dark green have the highest density of mobile subscribers.  Just hover over the country to get the absolute value.

However, two countries are dominant leaders: China and India. With Indonesia almost catching up with the USA, it is a matter of few months before the three largest mobile countries would be in Asia.

Some countries have seen significant growth during the last 12 years, when the world changed to a mobile world. Here is a list of countries which recorded the maximum growth between 2001 to 2013.

And this is how the mobile density of world’s largest emerging economies (BRICS) grew.