mYgjnLOzeBBEwgoFJPSJwsmJwuE ED - Economy Decoded

## Wednesday, 22 May 2013

### SYRIA-BATTLEFIELD IN THE MAKING ?

80,000 people killed. Diplomacy between Moscow and Washington crumbling. Threat of the crisis spilling over borders. These are the phrases that can be best used to describe the Syrian Crisis plaguing the country with an imminent threat of becoming a conflict not just between two factions of the country but also between countries.

### The Life of 'PI'

π is an irrational number. It which means that it cannot be expressed exactly as a ratio of two integers (22/7 or other fractions are commonly used to approximate π); consequently, its decimal representation never ends and never repeats. The history of pi makes for an intriguing read!

Two verses in the Hebrew Bible describe a ceremonial pool in the Temple of Solomon, where π was about three if the pool is circular. Archimedes of Syracuse approximated the area of a circle by using the Pythagorean Theorem to find the areas of two regular polygons. In India around 600 BC, the Shulba Sutras treat π as (9785/5568)2 ≈ 3.088. Mathematicians began using the Greek letter π in the 1700s. In the Palais de la Découverte (a science museum in Paris) there is a circular room known as the "pi room". On its wall are inscribed 707 digits of π. Many schools in the United States observe Pi Day on 14 March.

What is interesting is why this quest for the value of pi even though ‘pi-ing’ the exact way through it seems impossible? For us-the takers of the estimated pi (and not the seekers), its sheer ubiquity is mind boggling. I was introduced to pi in 6th standard with the introduction of number system and was told that it is an irrational number with the value around 3.14 (approx). It stuck to me like a loyal friend (in disguise) .Life was all happy and comfortable till 10th- a number of our friends turned foes this year, but the pi was the cruelest cut of all: I was asked to PROVE that it is in fact an irrational! Oh, the predicament! We sailed through, thanks to the ‘proof by contradiction’ method, but the bruise never healed. It kept making special appearances here and there, but trust me, whenever and wherever I saw that squiggly sign – a voice deep inside screamed- ‘You! Here! Again! Never heard of minding your own business?! Imagination knows no bounds- and this too was dismissed with the pi in trigonometry, conic sections, rotations, even probability – a labyrinth!

In my initial months with Economics Honors, I was a happy person. Principles, Macro, Micro, and Math made me just happy. But skeletons from my past came to haunt again- a whole page of QUEST FOR PI in M.A.; and the misery repeated- inflation, mathematical expectation, density functions, the profit, normal standard variate! So, I stopped running and pondered and I realized that the problem was not the pi – it was how I was introduced to it. The textbooks contained the summary on calculation of pi; I was never pushed to read it and so I simply did not. The habit of ‘search’ could never develop and I became a passive recipient of education rather than an aware consumer of knowledge.

For any concept in general, keep the spirit of search and analysis alive. This alone is your biggest skill. Archimedes studied 96 different kinds of polygons to reach to this approximate value of pi we know today –the point is not that he finally could come to an approx value, but that he dared and went so far in his quest.

By MAHIMA MALIK

## Tuesday, 21 May 2013

### Elitist Jerks!

When Subramaniam Swami said in a packed Hindu College auditorium that thank God he was from that college and not from the rotten place across the street (an obvious reference to Stephens College); he struck an immediate chord with the audience.
I may not agree with some of Swami’s radical opinions, but I definitely share his disdain for anything even remotely elitist.
This post is not intended to make generalisations but these are the traits which generally separate the elites from the ‘cattle class’:-
1. They will flaunt expensive fab-India kurtis, purchase cosmetics from Body-Shoppe and then call themselves Marxists.

## Monday, 20 May 2013

### Narendra Modi: PM in waiting?

On March 31, when BJP chief Rajnath Singh announced the inclusion of Narendra Modi in BJP parliamentary board and Central Election Committee, many speculated it as the last step in BJP’s effort to present Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate. Narendra modi himself has expressed his desire for the most powerful post of this country.
The kind of development model that Modi has developed in Gujarat is fancied by a majority of young Indians. Lack of a decisive and effective government has further consolidated his position. He’s being considered the next big thing in Indian politics. Whether it is exemplary growth of Gujarat or his image as a smart administrator, things seem to work in Modi’s favour. Odds against UPA government such as rampant corruption and lack of effective leadership stand to benefit Narendra Bhai Modi.

His ambition for India’s top post has become apparent in his recent desire to repay India’s debt. But road to the ‘7, race course road’ may not be a cakewalk for Mr Modi. He still hasn’t steered clear of the taint that 2002 Godhra riots left on his image. His Hindutvawaad alienates most of the non-Hindu voters. His opposition by NDA allies like JD (U) poses another problem.

So as we near the 2014 elections, the question that is increasingly becoming eminent is whether Narendra Modi will become the prime minister of India?

By HARSH AGARWAL from ED's Blogging Battle

## Saturday, 18 May 2013

### Bitcoin- Currency of Future?

After a long hiatus, it feels great to be back however, this time, I'm going to write about a very recently developed and in a manner a very contentious issue that has popped up in the International Fora, in the Economic communities of the world, the concept of Money From Nothing, YES!! From nothing, a form of currency which is now traded at \$88, the Bitcoin or crypto currency, how it has come to be called.

## ED can get you BOTH those million dollar passes.

How to win the lucky draw:

1. Answer the following question in the comments box below of this post, with your name and email. People who can provide phone numbers, pls do.
Who are the three players caught in the recent IPL fixing scandal?
2. 2 lucky winners will get one pass each. One winner will get one pass for 21st May and second winner for 22nd May.
3. Result to be announced on 20th May 7 pm on Facebook, blog and emails will be sent to the winners.

Only Delhi participants allowed.

T&C:

ED can at any time dismiss the contest due to reasons unforeseen.
ED’s decision is final and binding on all participants and those who send threats/unnecessary comments publicly or non-publicly, will be disqualified from the contest and debarred from the page/s.
NO inquiries will be entertained.

Answer in the Comment Box Below.

### Being a CEO is easy? You wish! Read here to know their 2013 nightmares....

The global economy is under stress. Europe is in recession. In the United States, the hope for acceleration in growth remains fairly anemic and the economy is still not creating enough new jobs. The cooling of the once white-hot growth rates of China, India and Brazil means there will not be an emerging market miracle to offset the stagnation and weak growth in the mature economies.
A FICCI-The Conference Board CEO Challenge Survey 2013 drew responses from over 700 CEOs, Presidents and Chairmen across the globe, 60 of them from India.

Four of the five top challenges selected by the global respondents to this year’s survey - Human Capital, Operational Excellence, Innovation and Customer Relationships - show executives determination to ‘control the controllable’ and prime their organizations for the slow-growth slog ahead.

According to the survey, a new challenge category, operational excellence, encompasses strategies for creating a more efficient, cost-effective organization. (It replaces CEO Challenge 2012’s cost optimization category.) Across regions, raising employee engagement and productivity is seen as key to this objective. In Asia — where growth has tempered but is still relatively strong — invest more in key technologies is also a major strategy for CEOs. Perhaps unsurprisingly, US and European CEOs are focused more on reducing baseline costs.

Innovation, last year’s top global challenge, fell to third place. Although Asian CEOs named invest in new technologies as their key approach, six of the top 10 global strategies for innovation draw on human capital, including creating a culture of innovation, develop innovation skills for all employees, and find, engage and incentivize innovative staff. In the US and Asia the high rank given to engage in strategic alliances with customers, suppliers, and/or business partners reflects a longer-term strategy for growth.

Globally, customer relationships rose from 2012’s seventh most-pressing challenge to fourth. CEO’s top-two strategies reveal a mutually supportive two-pronged approach to the challenge: enhance quality of products/services and sharpen understanding of customer/client needs.

### ‘JIMMY CHOO ! JIMMY ...WHO?!’

‘I work as a finance lawyer and I am paid well (Rs.70, 000 approx). My colleagues and I work with investment bankers and private equity people who make lacs of rupees, so I feel poor’
I’ve been a proud owner of a Samsung Champ S300 phone for over two years. Well was, to be real. With all the Iphones and BBs and the Ericssons - the gamut of the ‘highly privileged’ devices that command respect – this champ surely shrinks to a chimp! And that is the power of an exogenous force–which productively shapes our perceptions and even actions. Relative poverty is a conception that people are poor when they are much worse off than other people in a society. Per se, conspicuous consumption of products that are a mark of status and class- become more pronounced as the income ladder reaches new heights, as in a developing economy characterised by rising income levels. This manifests into a full grown paradox - a society where the ‘winners are whiners’! Understanding relative poverty helps in explaining consumer ‘mis’ behaviour to a decent extent.

One such is the curious case of demand for counterfeit (fake) products. Ask a label ho -“Jimmy Choo?”, and pat will come the reply-“Jimmy Who?!” Fake products are not fabulous, clearly not fashion and are not even a centimetre close to being classy. Fakes have little or no quality or control standards, one does not know where they are from, and if there is any problem, no one will give a hoot. The range of associated irregularities is indefinite, and so, their demand seems incomprehensible. In his pursuit to fit the bill of the cool and the snazzy, customers overtly buy ‘knock offs’ of big brands. Afterall, imitation is the best form of flattery. Here, not so much. The demonstration effect is at work - if your budget constraint is too constrained to own Prada, Gucci, Hermes, Apple, Rado, Eterna - simply ditch the highroad. Surprisingly, they are willing to part their cash for fakes but not local goods. Counterfeit goods take up approximately 6-10% of world trade - and that is a lot!

The new mantra is -‘Its en vogue to spend money’; the Gandhian doctrines of altruism and simplicity are not coming back and flamboyance is here to stay. Comparison is imbibed in the human psyche and the notion of relative poverty, though not all embracing is understandable. And now we clearly know the ‘economics inspiration’ behind South Korean artist, PSY’s parodical single, ‘GANGNAM STYLE’. It pokes fun at people of Gangnam, Seoul who try to exude a certain supposed “class” .The song is more than just a plump, funny Korean guy dancing a funny step- it unwittingly teaches economics!

BY MAHIMA MALIK from ED's Blogging Battle

## Friday, 17 May 2013

### Fashion: Catch me if you can!

Fashion. The word brings out all the extravagant subjects like glamour, exuberance, lifestyle and parties as soon as we hear it. From the choice of clothes to the perfect hair-do and of course the funky accessories, all these things are known to be the ‘relatives’ of Fashion. But is the meaning of fashion this shallow? Absolutely not!
Fashion is a wider concept. It is a changing trend. A trend that you can’t chase, a style in which something is done and then later followed by everyone. For me, fashion is not just confined to clothes and shoes but thoughts too. You need to have a wider and fresher outlook towards life to be in fashion. Though it should not be mistaken by forgetting or ignoring your values. Fashion, for some people is frivolous while for others is intellectual.

Famous celebs and artists like Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga are worshipped due to their ‘Fashion Sense’.
Note: Get your hair colored or wear a colorful wig, buy an extremely weird eyeglasses and lastly wear clothes made in the shape of an umbrella or strawberry. Bravo! You turn into a fashion goddess and the trend goes on..

True story.

Fashion, in sense gives us the “glossy goggle” to perceive the world through. It is not just limited to gorgeous people, opulent clothes or stylish shoes. There is more to it. There is the hidden blood, sweat and tears of countless people who work hard to bring all things to justice and to sustain the glitzy illusion.
Fashion, from a different perspective is also considered as a career of humiliation. For most Indian families, wearing short or trendy clothes is a total disguise. Dadis and Nanis yell at the television cursing and blaming the “Kalyug” .
The pretty divas are referred as vulgar and adulterous judging on the clothes they wear. “We never had this kind of exposure in our days”. Wait. What? Didn’t the women wear sarees without the blouse in their times! Wasn’t that exposure? Never mind, fashion is often debated than discussed. Therefore it has been a tough and challenging job for the fashion industry to develop its root in a country like India.

Fashion is undefined. Fashion is limitless. Fashion is being comfortable about yourself. ONE CANNOT CHASE FASHION!

By HARSHITA MEHTA from ED's Blogging Battle

## Thursday, 16 May 2013

### Better India is on US!

“What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.”
― Kurt Vonnegut

These words by the American writer Kurt Vonnegut clearly define the devoirs of the youth of a nation. The younger generations, since times immemorial, have contributed immensely and unfathomably towards nation building, towards a robust democracy, towards a state of social cohesion, constructive opulence and political stability. Be it the Indian War of Independence, the American Civil War or the Cuban Revolution, the youth have always been on the forefront. “Older men declare war but it is the youth that must fight and die.” Rightly it has been said by Herbert Hoover. Youth can make or mar the society. Talking in the Indian context, youth accounts for about 34 per cent of the total population. They have the zeal to initiate revolutions, to break the rust and to set things right. But are youth really active when one talks of the present scenario of the Indian political system? The average age of parliamentarians in the Lok Sabha is 55 years and as a matter of fact, it is 60 years in the most powerful nation of the world, the United States. Does this fact by any means translate into the fact that youth in politics does not always equal better politics or better administration?

Let us look at another point worth consideration. The current crop of young politicians is the sons, rarely daughters, of well-established politicians. So does this mean that the Indian youth has no part to play in the political or administrative system of the country? The answer is an unambiguous no. There is nothing more welcome than a young politician, a young policy maker, a youthful legislative power. But the more important point is that it not the elixir, the catholicon. The bigger power lies in choosing the right candidate and perhaps it will be more useful if the youth come out in full force but in a more constructive, democratic and constitutional way, i.e., choosing the right candidate. We must remember that a blot of ink on a ballet paper is more powerful than a blot of wax wasted on a naked floor.

By LIPIKA BHATTACHARYA from ED's Blogging Battle

### The Next Big Thing In The Nerdvana

Big Bang Theory. Season 6. Episode 14. Howard Wolowitz and the adorable Rajesh Koothrapali purchases a 3-D printer to make exact action-figure replicas of themselves. Raj poses like a super-hero. Howard scans the image, prints it out. And boom, we have a miniature version of Raj.

Though these printers have been around for a while now, it was the first time the technologically-challenged author heard of it (As it turns out it was not a 'Bazinga' ^_-). After a quick google search, she realised how excitingly revolutionary the thing was. Howard summed it up in the show,"Do you realise by owning a 3D printer we are reclaiming the manufacturing process and taking jobs back from the sweatshops of China?"

## Wednesday, 15 May 2013

### The Kamasutra behind AAAmsutra.

For those who are here because of the heading and the tempting pic, ED says ... LOL! But now that you're already here, what's the harm in giving it a try.

MANGO....mouth waters by just hearing the name. But have you ever wondered from where these mangoes bring that sweet mouth watering smell? (what were you wishing, that we talk of Kamasutra and Katrina? :p)

The taste and smell of a mango changes when it ripens. When a mango ripens a hard, sour, green mango turns into a fragrant, colourful and tasty fruit all due to the chemical and physical changes.

A raw mango- begins to ripen when it receives a signal in the form of ethylene gas produced inside the fruit. This starts the production of enzymes, which then cause all sorts of chemical reactions.

Ethylene is a small hydrocarbon gas. It is naturally occurring and exists as a gas at biological temperatures. Some fruits produce ethylene as ripening begins. Ethylene is responsible for the changes in texture, softening, colour, smell and other processes involved in ripening.

Mango will stay green for a long time until the ethylene concentration in the air around them becomes high enough. When that happens, then they begin ripening and they begin releasing more ethylene, which makes them ripen faster and release more ethylene.

Production of ethylene turns on some genes that give signal to produce other enzymes. These enzymes are responsible for the conversion of starch into simple sugar, degradation of chlorophyll and change in the skin colour.

Normally a fruit contains the materials like cellulose, proteins, starch, vitamins, certain acids, fructose or sugar. Fruits of sweet taste and smell have more fructose in them whereas the fruits of sour taste and smell have more acids in them.

The sweet strong smell comes from the breaking down of large organic molecules into smaller volatile substances that spread through the air easily.
So higher the ethylene gas concentration in and around the fruit higher the chemical breakdown of starch and other components leading to higher concentration of fructose and aromatic compounds leading to strong smell.

And this was not an APRIL FOOLs article!

By: Akshay Ratnawat

## Tuesday, 14 May 2013

### Fashion Party of the year! PUNK-ed up at the Met Gala.

The Met Gala, an annual ball, which formally kicks off the Metropolitan Museum of Art's yearly Costume Institute exhibit, always, brings in a bevy of style stars, from models to designers to Hollywood's A-list. The red carpet evening where celebrities arrive dressed to impress is described as the fashion industry’s “Night of Nights”. Each year the event has a theme and the evening includes a cocktail hour and a formal dinner. The evening Rivals the West Coast's Vanity Fair Oscar Party, which is said to have more "star power", but less fashion panache. The Oscars parties have more Hollywood people and press representatives. This year, on May 6, with the theme "Punk: Chaos to Couture", we saw the attendees dressed to the nines in plenty of studding, black leather and a few mohawks. There were plenty of A-listers who approached the event with great enthusiasm making daring sartorial selections. Some guests lived up to expectations while others fizzled with their own interpretations but let’s see who did the unconventional theme justice?
Beyonce, who was named an honorary chair of the event, wore a custom-made flame-print Givenchy dress that had a noticeable punk tinge.
Madonna fashionably late as always showed up pants-less, wearing fishnet stockings, layers of chains and crucifixes, and a Givenchy jacket. "Punk is about not caring what anybody thinks," she told the crowd before striking a pose.
Sarah Jessica Parker was another one to take the dress code seriously, topping her Giles Deacon gown with a Philip Treacy mohawk.
But as Met ball chair Riccardo Tisci put it- “punk is not so much about the look, it's about the personality."
Kim Kardashian's floral baby bump is somehow upstaged by her glove-sleeves. The reality TV starlet, accompanied by baby daddy rapper Kanye West, hit the red carpet also in a bold Givenchy dress.
Nicole Richie and Anne Hathaway debuted dramatic hairstyles at the event. Richie went silver and even painted her mane while Hathaway dyed her pixie cut bleach blond.
Katie Holmes wore an ultra-feminine and not at all punk, white Calvin Klein Collection dress that did leave everyone swooning nevertheless.
Katy Perry rules all. "I'm Joan of Arc, the original punk," the singer joked. She wore a jewel-encrusted Dolce & Gabbana gown with a crown.

"Punk is not putting it on. Punk is angry. Punk is not pretending. Punk is real. Punk is doing your own thing, sticking the finger to the man," - Kristen McMenamy
See a few of many others on the red carpet looks and tell me which ones are your favorites in the comments section!

BY SRUTI JINDAL, our Fashion & Music writer

### Downward trend in Inflation. Will it last?

The WPI numbers released today confirmed the downward trajectory in inflation. The WPI index growth was reported at 4.89% in April 2013, vis-à-vis 5.96% in March 2013 and 7.5% growth in April 2012. "The continuous softening in prices is indeed a positive signal and would certainly give some breathing space to the Central Bank in handling the twin objectives of growth and inflation, said Ms Naina Lal Kidwai, President, FICCI".

Also the IIP data released last week came with a silver lining signaling hope of a revival in growth. The IIP index recorded a growth of 2.5% in March 2013, as against 0.6% growth in February 2013 and (-) 2.8% growth in March 2012. "The current up tick in industrial production numbers combined with decline in inflation numbers augurs well for the economy. However, it still cannot be concluded that growth is back on sustained basis. We will have to strive harder to keep up this momentum, added Ms Kidwai".

"Ms Kidwai further added that the softening inflation numbers should give more space to the Central Bank for considering further cuts. This is particularly important given the fact that the lending rates have not really come down despite a 125 bps cut in repo rate between April 2012 and May 2013"

Looking at the segment wise data, food prices indicated a further decline. The food articles index reported an increase of 6.08% in April 2013, vis-à-vis 8.73% growth last month. This was led by a discernible fall in prices of fruits and vegetables. Though cereal prices also witnessed a decline they still continue to remain in the double digit terrain.

Fuel and Power inflation was at 8.84% in April 2013, the corresponding figure in March 2013 was 10.18% and in April 2012 was 12.10%. Likewise the manufacturing inflation remained well within the comfort zone, further dropping to 3.41% in April 2013, vis-à-vis 4.07% in March 2013 and 5.27 in April 2012. This is an extremely encouraging trend.

### Friendship exists? I think so...

As a person grows up, a person faces a plethora of different conditions. One can either end up playing an international game of musical chairs, country hopping every year or even every month while growing up, or can also be a person who stays in the same school from year one to graduation. In both cases, a person undergoes a variety of changes in their surroundings as the people they interact with come and go throughout the process of intellectual, mental and physical growth. These people all play their own small role in the development of a person and everybody has an impact, whether good or bad, on all the people they encounter.

However, such an impact is intensified when a person first comes upon the bond that is friendship. Starting from a simple introduction or a bump into a passer-by, friendship is a rose that can blossom like a weed from any place and at any time. Such a minor bond soon develops in our ever expanding universe as we move forward through time. Some friendships turn out to be like weeds that just popped up to leach off of a person and to have short-term selfish benefit. Some friendships turn out to be symbiotic, where both the people in the friendship are forced to give and take from each other at all times.
However, true friendship happens when the occasional rose springs up. Both the people in this friendship see each other as birds of the same flock and get attached to each other, with each person always being present for their fellow friend and no account system ever being kept between the two. In such a friendship, both the people act as immaculate beams of support for each other, with each person looking after, advising, helping and even pushing their fellow friends on their path to success. Most relations often happen to be random intersections. However, in a true relation of friendship, not only do the two people cross each others' paths like figure-skaters, but also interact with each other, read each other, plan for and with each other, and act in a form of unity that can only be diminished by nature and the entire world, but which can never be truly broken. Such a bond of friendship endures through all circumstances and is the ultimate bound of true reveal.

A bond of friendship is the only bond that a person can independently choose.
As a country hopper, it feels good to know that I've made friends over the course of my small life, that I've been able to learn so much from them and help my own friends on their way to success throughout the few years I've lived. A bond of true friendship is the only bond that cannot be broken and it is the only bond a person can rely on. It is also a bond that makes us live life, for our friends often bring out the inner animal that exists within us. It helps us to show our true colors to the world in a context where nobody judges you and where you and your friends can live in the illusion that you've always wanted.

I would like to conclude by saying that such a bond helps us get through each day, knowing we can confide in someone and that when we die, there will always be a friend at our bedside, trying to hold us back in the world, and looking forward to the point where two friends can embark on a new journey after having had an impact on the world in their own little ways over the course of a true bond of friendship.

By Pranav Jain from ED's Blogging Battle