Saturday, May 28, 2011

McKinsey report: One-third of the global population connects to the internet everyday

The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) and McKinsey’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications practice's report - ‘Internet matters: The Net’s sweeping impact on growth, jobs, and prosperity’  has come up with interesting  India related findings. This reinforces the importance of the medium to boost commerce, exchange, conversations and progressive political and social values. The report stated that, in India, Internet contributed five per cent to the growth of gross domestic product (GDP) in the last five years, two percentage points higher than the average three per cent for BRIC economies. Significantly, it also stated that,
"India and China are strengthening their position in the global internet ecosystem rapidly with growth rates of more than 20 per cent..."
Talking about the growth of Internet, the report states,
"Since the 1990s, internet has grown leaps and bounds with about two billion users worldwide now. This number is growing by 200 million each year. This means, almost a third of the global population connects to the internet every day and almost $8 trillion a year is spent through e-commerce... 
 ...India leads the growth component of the McKinsey Internet Supply Leadership Index. For example, Bangalore registered 50 patents to 200 in fours years, compared to Singapore which took six years to cross this threshold"
The report has established a clear linkage between internet and growth and has recommended that policymakers push for increased internet access and usage. Crucial to achieving this is a strong public-private partnership. We would definitely see more and more people getting online now, even in India, and this is a medium that would eventually become dominant for business, politics and human interactions. Hence it is important for public diplomacy practitioners to accept the medium as pervasive and strong on influence, and, in a world dominated by corporate media, sometimes it can be more credible and an effective platform for an alternate point of view.  

Suggestions/Critiques welcome.

-- Madhur

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Arab Spring and minorities

In one of my previous posts - Revolutions and emotions in the Middle East - I had written how it may be too early to write off Islam as a political force in the Middle East after the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt. Taking the discussion forward I would like to bring to my readers' notice a recent opinion piece by Rene Guitton in Hindustan Times.

In the piece - 'A major change' - Rene writes that,
"New regimes will be judged by how they treat their ethnic and religious minorities. It is by the space allowed for these various minorities to live and flourish in their societies that we will judge the true nature of the Arab Spring"
Rene argues that so far the uprisings in the Arab world has not "led to xenophobia, anti-western demonstrations or a breakthrough for Islamists"  however the true nature of these revolutions are yet to be unraveled. In the article he also draws attention to the attack on a Coptic Church in Alexandria in 2010. There are numerous minorities in the Middle East - Christians, Jews, Hindus and a significant number of people from different Muslim sects in South Asia. Political transitions sometimes are hard on minorities and it would be the true test of the Arab uprisings.

Suggestions/Critiques welcome.

-- Madhur
Newer Posts Older Posts Home