India Insight

Bangalore: Teething troubles on path to globalisation

It has been a rather uneasy transition for Bangalore from “pensioner’s paradise” or “garden city” to the information technology capital of India.

Longtime residents often complain of immigrants from other parts of the country ruining their paradise. Such complaints have been common in Mumbai, which has witnessed waves of immigration since the 1950s, but Bangalore old-timers tend to blame the city’s problems on the “IT fellows”.

It’s fair to say the city’s infrastructure hasn’t kept pace with the growing population. Traffic jams, as everywhere in the world, are incredibly annoying and travelling in Bangalore makes one wonder what exactly inspired Thomas Friedman to sing praises of this city in “The World is Flat”.

The much-maligned metro rail project is blamed for turning the city into an ugly mess. Gone are many of the broad tree-lined avenues and pretty neighbourhoods that gave the city a small town feel.

But isn’t the very existence of a metro system going to help people avoid the traffic in the future? Residents of Bangkok used to complain about the construction work on the sky rail and the elevated roads. Now, the toll roads and the sky rail are the pride and joy of Thailand’s capital.

Preparing for the Delhi Half-Marathon

Running a 21-kilometre race is no joke, especially if you’re not an athlete by any stretch of imagination.

Thousands of websites offer advice on how to train, what to do and what not to. I’ve personally found most of them useless, considering that they don’t seem to understand the matrix of training in India, let alone Bangalore.

A big impediment to training, of course, is a full time job but preparing for a race in this metropolis known as “The Garden City” is an obstacle in itself.

Do India and U.S. have more in common than they think?

First impressions count. That’s true no less with airports, the gateway to a globalised world for any country.

Which is why the United States and India may have more in common than they like to think.

A passenger carries luggage as an airhostess waits outside a terminal at an airport in New Delhi March 12, 2008. REUTERS/Adnan AbidiI have been one of those thousands that have spent three hours in Delhi International Airport making it from check-in though to the boarding gate. Which is why I read with interest the recent spat between deputy planning chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and civil aviation minister Praful Patel over who is responsible for the chaos.

from FaithWorld:

India’s Hindu caste quotas edge towards private companies

The issue of redressing the imbalance of Hinduism's ancient caste system by creating job and college entry quotas for lower caste and other disadvantaged groups in India seems to be gaining headway in an election year. Now it may be the turn for private industry.

Medical students attend protest in Kolkata, 26 Sept 2006/Parth SanyalParties across India's political spectrum appear to be seeing caste-based reservations, as the quotas are known, as potential vote winners. It is a sign again that caste consciousness will become ever more important in what in theory is a secular Indian state.

Now multinationals enjoying the fruits of an Indian economic boom may find they are not immune. Much to the horror of many industrialists worried about their international competitiveness.