Govt awaits annual GDP data to decide on stimulus exit

Strong industrial growth numbers do indicate that the government may start thinking of withdrawing stimulus measures, says chief statistician Pronab Sen

Economic growth numbers for the current fiscal, to be released by May, will provide the actual picture to the government to decide if stimulus packages could be rolled back, chief statistician Pronab Sen said on Wednesday, reports PTI.

However, strong industrial growth numbers do indicate that the government may start thinking of withdrawing these measures, Mr Sen told reporters.

Industry growth has started picking up in recent months fuelling suggestions from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and other analysts for a partial rollback of stimulus measures taken to ward off the impact of the global economic slowdown last year.

Mr Sen, a secretary in the ministry of statistics and programme implementation, said that industrial growth figures give the supply-side picture and do not indicate whether demand is actually there to take that supply, or if inventories are only building up.

The gross domestic product (GDP) data provides demand-side figures also, Mr Sen said, adding that it was up to finance minister Pranab Mukherjee to take a call in the upcoming budget on stimulus measures, depending on industrial growth numbers or economic growth figures.

"It is up to the finance minister to either play safe (in the budget) and wait for actual economic figures to come out or play a gamble and take a decision depending on industrial growth numbers," Mr Sen said.

Industrial growth for November stood at 11.7% against just 2.5% a year back. For the first eight months, industrial production grew by 7.6% against 4.1% a year ago.
 

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India Inc on hiring spree; 71% companies recruiting

As much as 71% of Indian companies surveyed said that they were currently hiring, compared to around half in September, says a survey by Antal

India Inc's hiring activity has increased considerably since September last year and the current recruitment level is one of the highest globally, says a survey by international recruitment firm Antal, reports PTI.

The quarterly global survey asked more than 6,000 companies in 30 countries whether they were hiring at managerial and professional levels and if they planned to do so in the coming quarter as well.

As much as 71% of Indian companies surveyed said that they were currently hiring compared to around half in September, the survey revealed. Nigeria (79%) is the only country to have a higher rate of hiring than India's.

"Confidence is back at its peak in the Indian job markets, it’s happy days again for job-seekers," Antal International managing partner Joseph Devasia said.

Further, the survey stated that Indian companies plan on increasing their hiring activity even more, with 78% expecting to hire managerial staff over the next three months.

"Combined with a very low rate of letting people go (16% and set to drop by a further 3%) the results indicate a strong employment market which is improving all the time," the Antal report noted about India.

Meanwhile, according to the 5th IDC-Dataquest T-School 2009 survey, the worldwide economic slowdown has led to a fall in the placement of engineering graduates in India with only a handful of technology schools having reported 100% placement.

There has been an average decline of 11% in the placement of engineering graduates from 111 technology schools in 2009 compared to the previous year, except for 16 of them which recorded 100% absorption, the survey said

"The number of companies visiting T-school campuses as well as the number of jobs offered to engineering graduates declined in 2009 due to the economic slowdown," it said.

Of the 54 companies that visited T-school campuses, more than half were from information technology and the Business Process Outsourcing sector. "Only 16 of the top 111 technology schools in the country reported 100% placement in the year 2009," the survey by IDC, a global market intelligence provider, said.

As only 16 of the top 111 T-schools reported 100% placement, the survey said, "It indicates that more engineering graduates opted for higher studies in 2009 instead of opting for a job."

Many engineering graduates of the prestigious IITs opted for higher studies instead of jobs as only IIT-Kanpur reported 100% placements.

The T-schools which reported 100% placements are Amity School of Engineering and Technology, Noida; Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani; College of Engineering and Technology, Bhubaneswar; Dhirubhai Ambani Institute Of Information Communication Technology, Gandhinagar and IIT Kanpur.
The Institute Of Technology of the Benaras Hindu University, Institute of Technology of the Nirma University, Bhubaneswar; Jadavpur University in Kolkata; National Institute of Technology at Durgapur and Netaji Subhash Institute of Technology in New Delhi also figured in the list of T-schools with 100% placement, the survey said.

The other institutes with 100% placement are NIT, Calicut; NIT, Kurukshetra; NIT, Surathkal; Orissa Engineering College, Bhubaneswar; R V College of Engineering, Bengaluru and University College Of Engineering of Osmania University, Hyderabad, the survey said.
 

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The Internet is nominated for Nobel Peace Prize 2010

Premier endorsers of the Internet for a Nobel Peace Prize nomination include 2003 Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi and a famous Italian surgeon, known for his contributions to breast cancer treatments, Umberto Veronesi

It's official. The Internet, which has virtually revolutionised the world, has been nominated for the '2010 Nobel Peace Prize', reports PTI.

The Internet was proposed by the Italian edition of the popular 'Wired' magazine for promoting "dialogue, debate and consensus through communication" as well as democracy, according to media reports.

Premier endorsers of the Internet for a Nobel Peace Prize nomination include 2003 Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi and a famous Italian surgeon, known for his contributions to breast cancer treatments, Umberto Veronesi.

'Wired Italy' has also launched a dedicated campaign, 'Internet for Peace', which will carry on till September 2010, featuring different stories and experiences of those who with the Web have tried to do something concrete to promote peace and harmony in the world.

"We have to look at the Internet as a huge community where men and women from all over the world and with very different religious views can communicate and sympathise, spreading a new culture centred on collaboration and sharing of knowledge that breaks all barriers,” it said.

"For this reason, the Internet can be considered the first weapon of mass construction, which we can deploy to destroy hate and conflict and propagate peace and democracy. What happened in Iran after the latest election and the role the Web played in spreading information that would otherwise have been censored, are only the newest examples of how the Internet can become a weapon of global hope," Riccardo Luna, editor of 'Wired Italy', said at the launch.
 

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