Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Asia’s newspaper market By Ian MacKinnon

ACROSS Asia, rising newspaper sales are bucking the trend of dipping circulations in Europe and the US. China is now the world’s largest newspaper market with 107m copies sold every day, while India shifts 99m. Investors are jumping on the bandwagon by acquiring titles or launching new ones.

Mint, for example, is an Indian business daily launched by the Hindustan Times group and the Wall Street Journal. It now has a daily circulation of 120,000 and is on course to break even. Editor Raju Narisetti, formerly of the Wall Street Journal, is optimistic the conditions are ripe to keep the newspaper market buoyant across Asia, and in particular India, for at least another decade, in stark contrast to the gloom besetting “dead tree” media further afield.

“Internet penetration is very, very low in India,” says Narisetti. “It will change, but it’s not happening yet. As a result it will be 10 to 15 years before some of the problems of newspapers in the West are dealing with come to India.” The Indian market’s growth has led to a feeding frenzy for media companies that could end with blood on the carpet. “There’s a ‘gold rush’ of sorts,” says Narisetti. “Some will flame out in disaster and some will be successful.”Indonesia’s market is nowhere near as crowded. But it has some of the same economic and social pluses as India, prompting businessman James Riyandi to bankroll the Jakarta Globe, a new daily newspaper. He believes the paper can exploit the market dramatically better than the Jakarta Post, currently selling 30,000 to 35,000 copies per day.

In Cambodia, where a racing economy hit 9.6 per cent growth last year, Australian investors have bought out Michael Hayes, founder of the English-language Phnom Penh Post, who remains editor-in-chief. The Post, which will compete against the non-profit Cambodia Daily and the recently launched Mekong Times, has a circulation of just 3,000 as a fortnightly.

But even in this backwater, reassuringly, some things still hold true: newspaper barons and their egos. The latest salvo in the long-running feud between Hayes and the Cambodia Daily’s founder, fellow American Bernie Krishner, 76, came when Krishner discovered the Post was attempting to poach journalists.

— The Guardian, London

Ethical issues in advertising By Burhanuddin Hasan

ADVERTISING has been defined as “any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods or services by an identified sponsor”. In other words, advertising is the paid use of the media of mass communication to sell a product, a service or an idea.

As the economic outlook of Asian countries steadily improved, advertising became an indispensable mechanism in accelerating awareness, acceptance and distribution of goods and services. The basic objective of all advertisements is to convey the message to the desired target through some communication carrier. The commercial mass media available to advertisers are newspapers, magazines, radio, television, film, outdoor billboards, etc. Some advertisers produce their own medium such as direct mailing of leaflets and brochures.

With the advent of radio’s commercial service and later television and FM radio channels, advertising companies in Pakistan got a tremendous boost. The messages conveyed through advertising are short and crisp and much more attractive than most of the programmes broadcast by the electronic media, and, therefore, more watchable.

Since advertising has grown into a major source of financial support for TV channels, they are tempted to give as much as one-third of their prime time space to commercials. In fact there are no time limits imposed on advertising in popular programmes and even during news bulletins. The viewers naturally are frustrated with frequent commercial breaks and programmes lose their continuity and charm due to too many interruptions.

Likewise, largely circulated newspapers are giving as much as 50 per cent of their space, particularly on the front and back pages, to advertisements. In their quest for as much advertising revenue as they can muster, they do not even hesitate to print or put on air highly offensive, immoral and indecent ads in clear violation of journalistic ethics which have been wilfully put on the back burner. Viewers round the clock are deluged with the same commercials which are playing an odious role in corrupting the country’s social and moral values and escalating the demand for and prices of consumer goods beyond all reasonable proportions.

The ‘dream merchants’ of advertising are weaving a web of deception and glamour and projecting a mirage of false prosperity and artificially thriving economies in countries like Pakistan, where millions of people are living in abject poverty lacking even the most basic necessities of life. A large number of products advertised are serious health hazards such as junk food, in which children and youth have been made the main targets.

Another very unethical and dangerous form of advertising is the practice of ‘puffery’ which is American slang for the use of “gross hyperbole or subjective claims” in advertisements. In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been empowered by the Supreme Court to stop false and deceptive advertising which through “representation, omission or practice … is likely to mislead the consumer and lure him to buy such products which may be harmful to his health”. The FTC has now been empowered to impose fines or altogether ban deceptive advertising. It has also formulated specific regulations to stop false and misleading advertising of products for children’s markets.

These actions have resulted in a considerable reduction in the incidence of gross distortions and misrepresentations. Similarly advertising of such products as cigarettes and certain brands of drugs and hard liquor which can cause terminal diseases have been banned altogether on the electronic media in the United States and the majority of countries of the world.

Pakistan is probably the only country in South Asia where products which are recognised health hazards are being advertised unchecked through puffery and false and misleading claims. There is no agency, official or otherwise, to check and control such harmful advertising, nor are there any pressure groups in society to provide protection to the unsuspecting consumers.

The Pakistan Advertising Association, incorporated under the Companies Ordinance, carries a clause in its Memorandum of Association calling for “protecting the art and trade of advertising and sales promotion from unethical practices and monopolies of foreign and house agencies”. In the present scenario it seems that this clause is not being implemented and is in fact wilfully ignored by the advertising agencies themselves.

There is need for the print and electronic media in Pakistan to join hands in launching a vigorous education programme to protect the country’s consumers from (a) deceptive claims of producers of goods and services and misleading sales promotion by advertisers; (b) excessive spending under the influence of advertising; and (c) the harmful effects of advertising on children.

The government may also consider setting up a watchdog commission like the American FTC to protect consumers from misleading and harmful advertising.

The writer is former director news of PTV.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Saarc is a rich kaleidoscope of people who disagree with it By Jawed Naqvi

KATHMANDU-BASED Himal magazine brought out a special bumper edition ahead of the Colombo Saarc summit, with 75 writers from the region grappling with the notion of South Asian identity. The magazine carried an exclusive interview with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on his vision for Saarc and left me wondering why not the others. Himal editor Kanak Mani Dixit also piloted a symposium in New Delhi. Some of the comments from the discussions are worth recalling.

A.S. Panneerselvan of Panos narrated this hilarious if symbolic story he said he picked up from a former LTTE activist who now works as an attendant at a petrol pump in London. In the 1980s, according to the story, a bunch of LTTE boys were being trained by Indian intelligence somewhere in Uttar Pradesh. They were given a Tibetan cook who would often smile wryly or even smirk in a corner after serving them otherwise fairly agreeable meals. The cook’s odd behaviour was brought to the notice of the Indian army colonel who was in charge of the training programme who questioned him.

What did the Tibetan cook say? “My forebears came here in 1959 with the hope that India would help us get an independent homeland in Tibet, which didn’t happen. Now I am working as a cook for the LTTE cadres. Given that our stories are not dissimilar, I keep wondering whom they would be cooking the meals for.”

In a way the story symbolises a key issue Saarc leaders focused on in Colombo on Saturday and Sunday. To my mind the gist of Panneerselvan’s narrative suggests that each one of the Saarc member states is culpable in, if not always directly responsible for, giving one another a headache they now call terrorism. Other interesting views were thrown up at the Himal symposium, including one that advocated the self-annihilation of Saarc itself. Pat came a rejoinder: “For any entity to self-annihilate it first has to exist.”

Cynicism apart, the Himal special edition on South Asia threw up a host of perspectives and ideas that have the potential to transform the group’s collective energy into a positive force if all the leaders cared to absorb their import. There is one whole segment about history; demons from the past hovering over the region’s newly-constructed boundaries.

Ghazi Salahuddin’s description of an Indian who came to Karachi to participate in a seminar on civil society is heart-rending. “When it was his turn to speak, he talked about his family and his encounter with Pakistan. And then, suddenly, he started to cry. He cried like a baby. I often think of that touching incident, and wonder how the intelligence officers, who must have been in attendance, reported the incident.”

Navnita Chadha Behera says that by understanding the state from a Westphalian perspective, scholars in South Asia have refused to rethink the rationale of the state, and contend with the possibility that their security dilemmas are linked to the very character of these states in the region.

In his tartly headlined essay “Hate they neighbour, hug they enemy”, I.A. Rehman clarifies nevertheless that it is hardly good advice for any political relationship that has the people at its heart.

“The title to this article is not meant as advice to the people of Southasia,” he says. “It is merely a summing-up of the conduct of their governments and leaders over many decades, which has bought misery to millions upon millions of them. A hundred years ago, nearly the whole of Southasia, except for Nepal to a certain degree, was a British colony, much acclaimed for its quiescence. The privileged among the population were getting richer and happier, while the masses were engaged in a grim struggle to keep the wolf away. To prevent the latter from revolting, the colonial power decided to make the former stronger. This was also deemed necessary in order to charge the Southasians more dearly for the mission to ‘civilise’ them. The method was to offer what were described as measures for the subjects’ transition to self-rule. This process led to a gradual break-up of the traditional harmony among communities inhabiting Southasia, while it was claimed that bondage to the colonial power was the only force keeping them together.”

B.G. Verghese finds that despite and during the course of many vicissitudes and much trauma, conflict and population movements, Southasia retains its core identity as a coherent geopolitical entity and a natural resource region. In his view, its monsoonal climate gives birth to common river systems (now uniformly impacted by climate change), similar cropping patterns and a broadly common administrative and legal system.

Suhas Chakma is less charitable in his assessment. With the exceptions of politics in the Maldives and Al Qaeda-influenced jihad, he says, Southasian conflicts are all about the exclusion of ‘others’, be it on grounds of religion, ethnicity or caste. “Those espousing a Southasian Union, similar to the European Union, often point to the fact that Punjabis live on both sides of the border of two key actors, India and Pakistan. The discourse on Partition is largely about the Punjab. Bengal receives a footnote, because Mohandas K Gandhi visited Noakhali to calm rioters. But just a little further away, the destruction of an entire nation the Chakmas and other Adivasis of the Chittagong Hill Tracts rarely rates even a mention.”Vasuki Nesiah’s essay puts the focus on an issue that Saarc leaders are rarely inclined to discuss. According to the essay, a regional identity cannot be based on emphasising Saarc’s collective history, but rather on the struggle for justice and political possibility.

“There are many Southasias that we need to strain against here. There is the Southasia that was inscribed into the region through the geographies of the British Raj and the technologies of colonial governance. There is the Southasia that has emerged through the production of the post colonial state and its attendant national mythologies embedded in institutions of governance. There is the Southasia that is about notions of security and territorial integrity that are mobilised from Kashmir to the Nepali terrain, from Balochistan to Batticaloa notions of ‘security’ that are invoked by those deploying the sepulchre of statehood and those aspiring to it, those acting in the name of territorial integrity and those acting in the name of self-determination,” says Nesiah in the essay titled: A release from majoritarianism and multiculturalism.

Karachi-based painter A.R. Nagori’s oil canvas “Hanuman rescuing Babri Masjid” perhaps illustrates the religious trap in which Southasia has plunged headlong.

In an essay Counting the people Haris Gazdar takes a potshot at the colonial worldview still embraced by South Asian countries.

“Karachi is in Madras and Lahore is in Bengal; when will they be in Pakistan, and Pakistan in Southasia?” says the author tantalisingly, and explains: “During the late 1840s, the troops of the Bengal Presidency invaded the Sikh empire and conquered Punjab. Earlier in the same decade, a British expeditionary force had fought the Talpur Mirs at Miani, and annexed Sindh to the Bombay Presidency. But colonisation was not merely a matter of military defeat. Punjab and Sindh had seen many defeats and victories in their times. It was the establishment of a political system around the ‘settlement’ of land revenues that marked the real shift…In essence, Sindh and Punjab (and Balochistan and Pashtunkhwa) are still in presidencies of the British Indian empire. This retention of colonial structures has enormous ramifications. The Punjab village might have been a useful unit of land-revenue administration during that time. But it was also the repository of caste-based social hierarchy, which the British formalised.”

Allan Sealy’s short poem on nuclear lunacy in India and Pakistan is aptly titled “inchme pinchme”. It’s part of a narrative poem that starts in Fatehpur Sikri and ends on the Pakistan border.

Sadanand Menon’s first visit to Britain helped him experience the practical application of the principle of divide et impera. “In London, Birmingham, Bradford, one is physically confronted with the colonial dismembering of the Subcontinent into Hindu, Muslim, Punjabi and Bengali, now re-unified on British soil as ‘Southasians’.”

Sanjay Barbora works with Panos South Asia. He worries that Saarc constituents mostly like to view the entire Southasian region with an antiseptic security lens. They would not accept, for example, that the presence of renegades of different ethnic origins in a particular region is also a sign of a distinct kind of cosmopolitanism. There are some five dozen other absorbing essays on the potentially dry subject of Saarc in the special edition. They reflect the reality that Saarc is also a rich kaleidoscope of people who may not always agree with it.

Duplicity along the Durand Line By Irfan Husain

WHILE speaking to the media in the US on his recent visit, Prime Minister Gilani is reported to have said that one reason Pakistan’s fight against extremists was going badly is that our forces lacked “modern equipment”.

But more than weapons and communication equipment, what we really need are equal measures of political will and clarity of purpose. And this infusion of reality and common sense is not likely to be part of the American aid package. Although several visiting western officials have arrived with a blunt message for Pakistan to ‘do more’, they cannot really alter the mindset of our generals, or their hawkish civilian cheerleaders in the media.

The truth is that since the government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was toppled in 1977, it has been the army that has shaped the destiny of Pakistan. In particular, our Afghan and Kashmir/Indian policies have been determined in army GHQ and ISI headquarters. Civilian input has been virtually zero. When Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif tried to make peace with India, their governments were soon sacked by the establishment.

So what are the threat perceptions that are driving the Pakistan military’s agenda, and why are they now at odds with western expectations as well as national aspirations? For many years, India has been seen as the biggest threat to us, and the army’s entire focus and raison d’etre have been to somehow neutralise the danger our giant neighbour is perceived to pose. Thus, hundreds of billions have been poured into building up and maintaining a conventional force we can ill afford. Further billions have flowed into developing a nuclear arsenal and a delivery system.

After 9/11 and the rapid collapse of the Taliban, an ISI creation and proxy, military planners in Pakistan watched with growing alarm as India established a substantial presence in our war-ravaged neighbour. With an aid package of $750m, the Indian effort was second only to the Americans. Having alienated Iran through its pro-Sunni, anti-Shia policies in Afghanistan as well as in Pakistan, Islamabad now feared a Kabul-New Delhi axis. In this altered regional scenario, the army’s vision of ‘strategic depth’ in Afghanistan had been replaced with the nightmare of encirclement.

How to prevent this from happening began to override considerations of being a staunch ally in the American ‘war on terror’. But clearly, our generals could not be seen as being openly pro-Taliban, and hence the charade of cracking down on militants. Although some 100,000 troops have been deployed on our porous, largely unmarked border with Afghanistan, the fighting has been largely desultory. And while this shadow-boxing has gone on for the last few years, the Taliban and their local allies have made steady progress.

Clearly, our army is caught in a dilemma: how to prevent the militants from operating within Pakistan, while allowing the Taliban to remain a viable fighting force. Currently, they are regularly disrupting Indian aid efforts within Afghanistan, thereby playing a role in GHQ’s strategy of preventing the advance of our enemy’s interests.

So when Washington demands that Pakistan should ‘do more’, it is actually asking the Pakistani army to act against its perceived interest. Equally obviously, the government cannot say this openly to the Americans who are losing more soldiers to the Taliban, partly because of the sanctuaries they have built up in Pakistan. And although the government issues its stock denials when confronted with evidence of duplicity, nobody really believes that it is not allowing the Taliban a free hand.

On July 28, Canada’s respected Globe and Mail daily led with this headline: “UN envoy backs Karzai against Pakistan”. The story went on to cite the Afghan president accusing Pakistan’s ISI as having had a hand in the suicide bombing of the Indian embassy in Kabul last month. While this charge is not new, what was remarkable was that Chris Alexander, a Canadian diplomat currently serving as a UN deputy special representative to Afghanistan, agreed with Karzai publicly. When asked how Islamabad might react to the accusation that it was waging a proxy war, Alexander replied:

“I’m not sure, but there’s only one way to find out. The project on which we are embarked — with its high stakes, with its serious investment, with its sacrifices — deserves at least that level of courage … Otherwise we are really pretending that Niagara Falls doesn’t flow.”

In an editorial on the subject the next day, the newspaper wrote: “By stating his belief that the ISI is behind some major terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, Chris Alexander … has performed a valuable service. Ever since the founding of Pakistan in 1947, its armed forces have perceived their role in terms of the country’s rivalry with India. In particular, relations with Afghanistan were subordinated to this regional struggle. It was always a narrow point of view …

“The military’s control of [the] ISI must be relinquished, but the current Islamabad government, a shaky coalition, appears powerless to bring about the necessary change…. In the end, Pakistan’s own governance, sovereignty, stability and peace will depend on the government’s taking full, normal control of its own territory — as well as its own intelligence agencies.”

This is only one such comment to appear in the foreign media in the last few days. Indeed, hardly a day goes by without more or less open accusations of latitude being given to militants along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, and along the Line of Control dividing Kashmir. Each charge is met with the same increasingly less credible denials from Islamabad.

The recent fiasco surrounding the government’s attempt to control the ISI underlined the agency’s power, as well as the coalition’s weakness. Soon after assuming office in 1988, Benazir Bhutto set up a committee to review the workings of various intelligence agencies in Pakistan. Air Marshal Zulfiqar Ali Khan headed this body and produced a report containing many sensible recommendations. But the government was too weak, and was toppled too early, to implement any of the proposals. Ms Bhutto’s nominated head of the ISI was routinely bypassed by his subordinates as he had not been appointed by the army chief. Nawaz Sharif’s appointee, Gen Ziauddin, was equally ineffective in controlling the all-powerful agency.

But now, the ISI and the army seem to be on a collision course with the United States. This adversary may prove to be firmer in resolve than the civilians who have tried to curb the establishment so far.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


• A good reporter should know and make good relations with all the famous personalities of his or her defined area.

• A good reporter should be well educated, and have interest in history, geography, politics, sports, and other human activities.

• He should have an ability to write in a style which is easy to understand. Good spellings, grammar, and punctuation are also required.

• The news business is highly unpredictable, and the person who refuses to work nights, weekends, or holidays usually won't get far. That is why reporter should accept to work irregular hours.

• He should have an ability to work under pressure to meet deadlines.

• He should have an ability to ask critical questions to the source.

• Reporters have to have an eye for what is newsworthy, what the hook is in a story. Editors are there to help reporters develop good news judgment, but there are times when reporter will have to make snap decisions on their own and find the proper focus for a story.

• Resourcefulness is the "where there's a will, there's a way" person. When a reporter hits a brick wall when chasing down a story, he or she needs to have the kind of mind that can quickly come up with new avenues to try.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Elite Education

Disadvantages of Elite Education

By William Deresiewicz

It didn’t dawn on me that there might be a few holes in my education until I was about 35. I’d just bought a house, the pipes needed fixing, and the plumber was standing in my kitchen. There he was, a short, beefy guy with a goatee and a Red Sox cap and a thick Boston accent, and I suddenly learned that I didn’t have the slightest idea what to say to someone like him. So alien was his experience to me, so unguessable his values, so mysterious his very language, that I couldn’t succeed in engaging him in a few minutes of small talk before he got down to work. Fourteen years of higher education and a handful of Ivy League dees, and there I was, stiff and stupid, struck dumb by my own dumbness. “Ivy retardation,” a friend of mine calls this. I could carry on conversations with people from other countries, in other languages, but I couldn’t talk to the man who was standing in my own house.

It’s not surprising that it took me so long to discover the extent of my miseducation, because the last thing an elite education will teach you is its own inadequacy. As two dozen years at Yale and Columbia have shown me, elite colleges relentlessly encourage their students to flatter themselves for being there, and for what being there can do for them. The advantages of an elite education are indeed undeniable. You learn to think, at least in certain ways, and you make the contacts needed to launch yourself into a life rich in all of society’s most cherished rewards. To consider that while some opportunities are being created, others are being cancelled and that while some abilities are being developed, others are being crippled is, within this context, not only outrageous, but inconceivable.

I’m not talking about curricula or the culture wars, the closing or opening of the American mind, political correctness, canon formation, or what have you. I’m talking about the whole system in which these skirmishes play out. Not just the Ivy League and its peer institutions, but also the mechanisms that get you there in the first place: the private and affluent public “feeder” schools, the ever-growing parastructure of tutors and test-prep courses and enrichment programs, the whole admissions frenzy and everything that leads up to and away from it. The message, as always, is the medium. Before, after, and around the elite college classroom, a constellation of values is ceaselessly inculcated. As globalization sharpens economic insecurity, we are increasingly committing ourselves—as students, as parents, as a society—to a vast apparatus of educational advantage. With so many resources devoted to the business of elite academics and so many people scrambling for the limited space at the top of the ladder, it is worth asking what exactly it is you get in the end—what it is we all get, because the elite students of today, as their institutions never tire of reminding them, are the leaders of tomorrow.

The first disadvantage of an elite education, as I learned in my kitchen that day, is that it makes you incapable of talking to people who aren’t like you. Elite schools pride themselves on their diversity, but that diversity is almost entirely a matter of ethnicity and race. With respect to class, these schools are largely—indeed increasingly—homogeneous. Visit any elite campus in our great nation and you can thrill to the heartwarming spectacle of the children of white businesspeople and professionals studying and playing alongside the children of black, Asian, and Latino businesspeople and professionals. At the same time, because these schools tend to cultivate liberal attitudes, they leave their students in the paradoxical position of wanting to advocate on behalf of the working class while being unable to hold a simple conversation with anyone in it. Witness the last two Democratic presidential nominees, Al Gore and John Kerry: one each from Harvard and Yale, both earnest, decent, intelligent men, both utterly incapable of communicating with the larger electorate.

But it isn’t just a matter of class. My education taught me to believe that people who didn’t go to an Ivy League or equivalent school weren’t worth talking to, regardless of their class. I was given the unmistakable message that such people were beneath me. We were “the best and the brightest,” as these places love to say, and everyone else was, well, something else: less good, less bright. I learned to give that little nod of understanding, that slightly sympathetic “Oh,” when people told me they went to a less prestigious college. (If I’d gone to Harvard, I would have learned to say “in Boston” when I was asked where I went to school—the Cambridge version of noblesse oblige.) I never learned that there are smart people who don’t go to elite colleges, often precisely for reasons of class. I never learned that there are smart people who don’t go to college at all.

I also never learned that there are smart people who aren’t “smart.” The existence of multiple forms of intelligence has become a commonplace, but however much elite universities like to sprinkle their incoming classes with a few actors or violinists, they select for and develop one form of intelligence: the analytic. While this is broadly true of all universities, elite schools, precisely because their students (and faculty, and administrators) possess this one form of intelligence to such a high degree, are more apt to ignore the value of others. One naturally prizes what one most possesses and what most makes for one’s advantages. But social intelligence and emotional intelligence and creative ability, to name just three other forms, are not distributed preferentially among the educational elite. The “best” are the brightest only in one narrow sense. One needs to wander away from the educational elite to begin to discover this.

What about people who aren’t bright in any sense? I have a friend who went to an Ivy League college after graduating from a typically mediocre public high school. One of the values of going to such a school, she once said, is that it teaches you to relate to stupid people. Some people are smart in the elite-college way, some are smart in other ways, and some aren’t smart at all. It should be embarrassing not to know how to talk to any of them, if only because talking to people is the only real way of knowing them. Elite institutions are supposed to provide a humanistic education, but the first principle of humanism is Terence’s: “nothing human is alien to me.” The first disadvantage of an elite education is how very much of the human it alienates you from.

The second disadvantage, implicit in what I’ve been saying, is that an elite education inculcates a false sense of self-worth. Getting to an elite college, being at an elite college, and going on from an elite college—all involve numerical rankings: SAT, GPA, GRE. You learn to think of yourself in terms of those numbers. They come to signify not only your fate, but your identity; not only your identity, but your value. It’s been said that what those tests really measure is your ability to take tests, but even if they measure something real, it is only a small slice of the real. The problem begins when students are encouraged to forget this truth, when academic excellence becomes excellence in some absolute sense, when “better at X” becomes simply “better.”

There is nothing wrong with taking pride in one’s intellect or knowledge. There is something wrong with the smugness and self-congratulation that elite schools connive at from the moment the fat envelopes come in the mail. From orientation to graduation, the message is implicit in every tone of voice and tilt of the head, every old-school tradition, every article in the student paper, every speech from the dean. The message is: You have arrived. Welcome to the club. And the corollary is equally clear: You deserve everything your presence here is going to enable you to get. When people say that students at elite schools have a strong sense of entitlement, they mean that those students think they deserve more than other people because their sat scores are higher.

At Yale, and no doubt at other places, the message is reinforced in embarrassingly literal terms. The physical form of the university—its quads and residential colleges, with their Gothic stone façades and wrought-iron portals—is constituted by the locked gate set into the encircling wall. Everyone carries around an ID card that determines which gates they can enter. The gate, in other words, is a kind of governing metaphor—because the social form of the university, as is true of every elite school, is constituted the same way. Elite colleges are walled domains guarded by locked gates, with admission granted only to the elect. The aptitude with which students absorb this lesson is demonstrated by the avidity with which they erect still more gates within those gates, special realms of ever-greater exclusivity—at Yale, the famous secret societies, or as they should probably be called, the open-secret societies, since true secrecy would defeat their purpose. There’s no point in excluding people unless they know they’ve been excluded.

One of the great errors of an elite education, then, is that it teaches you to think that measures of intelligence and academic achievement are measures of value in some moral or metaphysical sense. But they’re not. Graduates of elite schools are not more valuable than stupid people, or talentless people, or even lazy people. Their pain does not hurt more. Their souls do not weigh more. If I were religious, I would say, God does not love them more. The political implications should be clear. As John Ruskin told an older elite, grabbing what you can get isn’t any less wicked when you grab it with the power of your brains than with the power of your fists. “Work must always be,” Ruskin says, “and captains of work must always be....[But] there is a wide difference between being captains...of work, and taking the profits of it.”

The political implications don’t stop there. An elite education not only ushers you into the upper classes; it trains you for the life you will lead once you get there. I didn’t understand this until I began comparing my experience, and even more, my students’ experience, with the experience of a friend of mine who went to Cleveland State. There are due dates and attendance requirements at places like Yale, but no one takes them very seriously. Extensions are available for the asking; threats to deduct credit for missed classes are rarely, if ever, carried out. In other words, students at places like Yale get an endless string of second chances. Not so at places like Cleveland State. My friend once got a D in a class in which she’d been running an A because she was coming off a waitressing shift and had to hand in her term paper an hour late.

That may be an extreme example, but it is unthinkable at an elite school. Just as unthinkably, she had no one to appeal to. Students at places like Cleveland State, unlike those at places like Yale, don’t have a platoon of advisers and tutors and deans to write out excuses for late work, give them extra help when they need it, pick them up when they fall down. They get their education wholesale, from an indifferent bureaucracy; it’s not handed to them in individually wrapped packages by smiling clerks. There are few, if any, opportunities for the kind of contacts I saw my students get routinely—classes with visiting power brokers, dinners with foreign dignitaries. There are also few, if any, of the kind of special funds that, at places like Yale, are available in profusion: travel stipends, research fellowships, performance grants. Each year, my department at Yale awards dozens of cash prizes for everything from freshman essays to senior projects. This year, those awards came to more than $90,000—in just one department.

Students at places like Cleveland State also don’t get A-’s just for doing the work. There’s been a lot of handwringing lately over grade inflation, and it is a scandal, but the most scandalous thing about it is how uneven it’s been. Forty years ago, the average GPA at both public and private universities was about 2.6, still close to the traditional B-/C+ curve. Since then, it’s gone up everywhere, but not by anything like the same amount. The average gpa at public universities is now about 3.0, a B; at private universities it’s about 3.3, just short of a B+. And at most Ivy League schools, it’s closer to 3.4. But there are always students who don’t do the work, or who are taking a class far outside their field (for fun or to fulfill a requirement), or who aren’t up to standard to begin with (athletes, legacies). At a school like Yale, students who come to class and work hard expect nothing less than an A-. And most of the time, they get it.

In short, the way students are treated in college trains them for the social position they will occupy once they get out. At schools like Cleveland State, they’re being trained for positions somewhere in the middle of the class system, in the depths of one bureaucracy or another. They’re being conditioned for lives with few second chances, no extensions, little support, narrow opportunity—lives of subordination, supervision, and control, lives of deadlines, not guidelines. At places like Yale, of course, it’s the reverse. The elite like to think of themselves as belonging to a meritocracy, but that’s true only up to a point. Getting through the gate is very difficult, but once you’re in, there’s almost nothing you can do to get kicked out. Not the most abject academic failure, not the most heinous act of plagiarism, not even threatening a fellow student with bodily harm—I’ve heard of all three—will get you expelled. The feeling is that, by gosh, it just wouldn’t be fair—in other words, the self-protectiveness of the old-boy network, even if it now includes girls. Elite schools nurture excellence, but they also nurture what a former Yale graduate student I know calls “entitled mediocrity.” A is the mark of excellence; A- is the mark of entitled mediocrity. It’s another one of those metaphors, not so much a grade as a promise. It means, don’t worry, we’ll take care of you. You may not be all that good, but you’re good enough.

Here, too, college reflects the way things work in the adult world (unless it’s the other way around). For the elite, there’s always another extension—a bailout, a pardon, a stint in rehab—always plenty of contacts and special stipends—the country club, the conference, the year-end bonus, the dividend. If Al Gore and John Kerry represent one of the characteristic products of an elite education, George W. Bush represents another. It’s no coincidence that our current president, the apotheosis of entitled mediocrity, went to Yale. Entitled mediocrity is indeed the operating principle of his administration, but as Enron and WorldCom and the other scandals of the dot-com meltdown demonstrated, it’s also the operating principle of corporate America. The fat salaries paid to underperforming CEOs are an adult version of the A-. Anyone who remembers the injured sanctimony with which Kenneth Lay greeted the notion that he should be held accountable for his actions will understand the mentality in question—the belief that once you’re in the club, you’ve got a God-given right to stay in the club. But you don’t need to remember Ken Lay, because the whole dynamic played out again last year in the case of Scooter Libby, another Yale man.

If one of the disadvantages of an elite education is the temptation it offers to mediocrity, another is the temptation it offers to security. When parents explain why they work so hard to give their children the best possible education, they invariably say it is because of the opportunities it opens up. But what of the opportunities it shuts down? An elite education gives you the chance to be rich—which is, after all, what we’re talking about—but it takes away the chance not to be. Yet the opportunity not to be rich is one of the greatest opportunities with which young Americans have been blessed. We live in a society that is itself so wealthy that it can afford to provide a decent living to whole classes of people who in other countries exist (or in earlier times existed) on the brink of poverty or, at least, of indignity. You can live comfortably in the United States as a schoolteacher, or a community organizer, or a civil rights lawyer, or an artist—that is, by any reasonable definition of comfort. You have to live in an ordinary house instead of an apartment in Manhattan or a mansion in L.A.; you have to drive a Honda instead of a BMW or a Hummer; you have to vacation in Florida instead of Barbados or Paris, but what are such losses when set against the opportunity to do work you believe in, work you’re suited for, work you love, every day of your life?

Yet it is precisely that opportunity that an elite education takes away. How can I be a schoolteacher—wouldn’t that be a waste of my expensive education? Wouldn’t I be squandering the opportunities my parents worked so hard to provide? What will my friends think? How will I face my classmates at our 20th reunion, when they’re all rich lawyers or important people in New York? And the question that lies behind all these: Isn’t it beneath me? So a whole universe of possibility closes, and you miss your true calling.

This is not to say that students from elite colleges never pursue a riskier or less lucrative course after graduation, but even when they do, they tend to give up more quickly than others. (Let’s not even talk about the possibility of kids from privileged backgrounds not going to college at all, or delaying matriculation for several years, because however appropriate such choices might sometimes be, our rigid educational mentality places them outside the universe of possibility—the reason so many kids go sleepwalking off to college with no idea what they’re doing there.) This doesn’t seem to make sense, especially since students from elite schools tend to graduate with less debt and are more likely to be able to float by on family money for a while. I wasn’t aware of the phenomenon myself until I heard about it from a couple of graduate students in my department, one from Yale, one from Harvard. They were talking about trying to write poetry, how friends of theirs from college called it quits within a year or two while people they know from less prestigious schools are still at it. Why should this be? Because students from elite schools expect success, and expect it now. They have, by definition, never experienced anything else, and their sense of self has been built around their ability to succeed. The idea of not being successful terrifies them, disorients them, defeats them. They’ve been driven their whole lives by a fear of failure—often, in the first instance, by their parents’ fear of failure. The first time I blew a test, I walked out of the room feeling like I no longer knew who I was. The second time, it was easier; I had started to learn that failure isn’t the end of the world.

But if you’re afraid to fail, you’re afraid to take risks, which begins to explain the final and most damning disadvantage of an elite education: that it is profoundly anti-intellectual. This will seem counterintuitive. Aren’t kids at elite schools the smartest ones around, at least in the narrow academic sense? Don’t they work harder than anyone else—indeed, harder than any previous generation? They are. They do. But being an intellectual is not the same as being smart. Being an intellectual means more than doing your homework.

If so few kids come to college understanding this, it is no wonder. They are products of a system that rarely asked them to think about something bigger than the next assignment. The system forgot to teach them, along the way to the prestige admissions and the lucrative jobs, that the most important achievements can’t be measured by a letter or a number or a name. It forgot that the true purpose of education is to make minds, not careers.

Being an intellectual means, first of all, being passionate about ideas—and not just for the duration of a semester, for the sake of pleasing the teacher, or for getting a good grade. A friend who teaches at the University of Connecticut once complained to me that his students don’t think for themselves. Well, I said, Yale students think for themselves, but only because they know we want them to. I’ve had many wonderful students at Yale and Columbia, bright, thoughtful, creative kids whom it’s been a pleasure to talk with and learn from. But most of them have seemed content to color within the lines that their education had marked out for them. Only a small minority have seen their education as part of a larger intellectual journey, have approached the work of the mind with a pilgrim soul. These few have tended to feel like freaks, not least because they get so little support from the university itself. Places like Yale, as one of them put it to me, are not conducive to searchers.

Places like Yale are simply not set up to help students ask the big questions. I don’t think there ever was a golden age of intellectualism in the American university, but in the 19th century students might at least have had a chance to hear such questions raised in chapel or in the literary societies and debating clubs that flourished on campus. Throughout much of the 20th century, with the growth of the humanistic ideal in American colleges, students might have encountered the big questions in the classrooms of professors possessed of a strong sense of pedagogic mission. Teachers like that still exist in this country, but the increasingly dire exigencies of academic professionalization have made them all but extinct at elite universities. Professors at top research institutions are valued exclusively for the quality of their scholarly work; time spent on teaching is time lost. If students want a conversion experience, they’re better off at a liberal arts college.

When elite universities boast that they teach their students how to think, they mean that they teach them the analytic and rhetorical skills necessary for success in law or medicine or science or business. But a humanistic education is supposed to mean something more than that, as universities still dimly feel. So when students get to college, they hear a couple of speeches telling them to ask the big questions, and when they graduate, they hear a couple more speeches telling them to ask the big questions. And in between, they spend four years taking courses that train them to ask the little questions—specialized courses, taught by specialized professors, aimed at specialized students. Although the notion of breadth is implicit in the very idea of a liberal arts education, the admissions process increasingly selects for kids who have already begun to think of themselves in specialized terms—the junior journalist, the budding astronomer, the language prodigy. We are slouching, even at elite schools, toward a glorified form of vocational training.

Indeed, that seems to be exactly what those schools want. There’s a reason elite schools speak of training leaders, not thinkers—holders of power, not its critics. An independent mind is independent of all allegiances, and elite schools, which get a large percentage of their budget from alumni giving, are strongly invested in fostering institutional loyalty. As another friend, a third-generation Yalie, says, the purpose of Yale College is to manufacture Yale alumni. Of course, for the system to work, those alumni need money. At Yale, the long-term drift of students away from majors in the humanities and basic sciences toward more practical ones like computer science and economics has been abetted by administrative indifference. The college career office has little to say to students not interested in law, medicine, or business, and elite universities are not going to do anything to discourage the large percentage of their graduates who take their degrees to Wall Street. In fact, they’re showing them the way. The liberal arts university is becoming the corporate university, its center of gravity shifting to technical fields where scholarly expertise can be parlayed into lucrative business opportunities.

It’s no wonder that the few students who are passionate about ideas find themselves feeling isolated and confused. I was talking with one of them last year about his interest in the German Romantic idea of bildung, the upbuilding of the soul. But, he said—he was a senior at the time—it’s hard to build your soul when everyone around you is trying to sell theirs.

Yet there is a dimension of the intellectual life that lies above the passion for ideas, though so thoroughly has our culture been sanitized of it that it is hardly surprising if it was beyond the reach of even my most alert students. Since the idea of the intellectual emerged in the 18th century, it has had, at its core, a commitment to social transformation. Being an intellectual means thinking your way toward a vision of the good society and then trying to realize that vision by speaking truth to power. It means going into spiritual exile. It means foreswearing your allegiance, in lonely freedom, to God, to country, and to Yale. It takes more than just intellect; it takes imagination and courage. “I am not afraid to make a mistake,” Stephen Dedalus says, “even a great mistake, a lifelong mistake, and perhaps as long as eternity, too.”

Being an intellectual begins with thinking your way outside of your assumptions and the system that enforces them. But students who get into elite schools are precisely the ones who have best learned to work within the system, so it’s almost impossible for them to see outside it, to see that it’s even there. Long before they got to college, they turned themselves into world-class hoop-jumpers and teacher-pleasers, getting A’s in every class no matter how boring they found the teacher or how pointless the subject, racking up eight or 10 extracurricular activities no matter what else they wanted to do with their time. Paradoxically, the situation may be better at second-tier schools and, in particular, again, at liberal arts colleges than at the most prestigious universities. Some students end up at second-tier schools because they’re exactly like students at Harvard or Yale, only less gifted or driven. But others end up there because they have a more independent spirit. They didn’t get straight A’s because they couldn’t be bothered to give everything in every class. They concentrated on the ones that meant the most to them or on a single strong extracurricular passion or on projects that had nothing to do with school or even with looking good on a college application. Maybe they just sat in their room, reading a lot and writing in their journal. These are the kinds of kids who are likely, once they get to college, to be more interested in the human spirit than in school spirit, and to think about leaving college bearing questions, not resumés.

I’ve been struck, during my time at Yale, by how similar everyone looks. You hardly see any hippies or punks or art-school types, and at a college that was known in the ’80s as the Gay Ivy, few out lesbians and no gender queers. The geeks don’t look all that geeky; the fashionable kids go in for understated elegance. Thirty-two flavors, all of them vanilla. The most elite schools have become places of a narrow and suffocating normalcy. Everyone feels pressure to maintain the kind of appearance—and affect—that go with achievement. (Dress for success, medicate for success.) I know from long experience as an adviser that not every Yale student is appropriate and well-adjusted, which is exactly why it worries me that so many of them act that way. The tyranny of the normal must be very heavy in their lives. One consequence is that those who can’t get with the program (and they tend to be students from poorer backgrounds) often polarize in the opposite direction, flying off into extremes of disaffection and self-destruction. But another consequence has to do with the large majority who can get with the program.

I taught a class several years ago on the literature of friendship. One day we were discussing Virginia Woolf’s novel The Waves, which follows a group of friends from childhood to middle age. In high school, one of them falls in love with another boy. He thinks, “To whom can I expose the urgency of my own passion?...There is nobody—here among these grey arches, and moaning pigeons, and cheerful games and tradition and emulation, all so skilfully organised to prevent feeling alone.” A pretty good description of an elite college campus, including the part about never being allowed to feel alone. What did my students think of this, I wanted to know? What does it mean to go to school at a place where you’re never alone? Well, one of them said, I do feel uncomfortable sitting in my room by myself. Even when I have to write a paper, I do it at a friend’s. That same day, as it happened, another student gave a presentation on Emerson’s essay on friendship. Emerson says, he reported, that one of the purposes of friendship is to equip you for solitude. As I was asking my students what they thought that meant, one of them interrupted to say, wait a second, why do you need solitude in the first place? What can you do by yourself that you can’t do with a friend?

So there they were: one young person who had lost the capacity for solitude and another who couldn’t see the point of it. There’s been much talk of late about the loss of privacy, but equally calamitous is its corollary, the loss of solitude. It used to be that you couldn’t always get together with your friends even when you wanted to. Now that students are in constant electronic contact, they never have trouble finding each other. But it’s not as if their compulsive sociability is enabling them to develop deep friendships. “To whom can I expose the urgency of my own passion?”: my student was in her friend’s room writing a paper, not having a heart-to-heart. She probably didn’t have the time; indeed, other students told me they found their peers too busy for intimacy.

What happens when busyness and sociability leave no room for solitude? The ability to engage in introspection, I put it to my students that day, is the essential precondition for living an intellectual life, and the essential precondition for introspection is solitude. They took this in for a second, and then one of them said, with a dawning sense of self-awareness, “So are you saying that we’re all just, like, really excellent sheep?” Well, I don’t know. But I do know that the life of the mind is lived one mind at a time: one solitary, skeptical, resistant mind at a time. The best place to cultivate it is not within an educational system whose real purpose is to reproduce the class system.

The world that produced John Kerry and George Bush is indeed giving us our next generation of leaders. The kid who’s loading up on AP courses junior year or editing three campus publications while double-majoring, the kid whom everyone wants at their college or law school but no one wants in their classroom, the kid who doesn’t have a minute to breathe, let alone think, will soon be running a corporation or an institution or a government. She will have many achievements but little experience, great success but no vision. The disadvantage of an elite education is that it’s given us the elite we have, and the elite we’re going to have.


William Deresiewicz taught English at Yale University from 1998 to 2008.


Agar sahi parhne me na aye tu is pe hii click karen

Tuesday, July 1, 2008



There are so many causes of under development, some of those discuss here. Causes of under development are not same in all under developing nation states, somewhere corruption is the major cause, somewhere lack in resources are the major cause, and somewhere wrong policies are the major cause of under development. But the most common cause of under development is the dependency upon developed countries, and terrorism.


A developed country is one which provides a high standard of living to its people as a result of the per capita income and Gross Natural Product (GNP). European countries which have already developed all their resources and have reached a high level of development can now generate their own capital as they do not have any financial restrictions and can thus enjoyed a high standard of living, a high capital income and a high productivity. In contrast, under developed nations are said to be court up in a vicious circle of poverty. In such countries, as Asia, Africa and Latin America where financial problems and Economic stagnancy exist, people lived below the poverty line. According to Professor Ragnar Nurkse, ‘Economic development has much to do with human endowments social attitudes, political conditions and historical accidents,’ implying that underdevelopment is a man-made problem, for which man-made solution need to be found. One of the common features of developing countries is a rapid rate of population increase. This rate has been rising still more in recent years as a result of advances in medical sciences; mortality rate has been reduced cause by epidemics. [1]


According to dependence theories, the cause of underdevelopment is the dependence on industrialized countries while internal factors of developing countries are considered irrelevant or seen as symptoms and consequences of dependence. The development of industrialized countries and the underdevelopment of developing countries are parts of one historical process. Developing countries are dependent countries. The economic and political interests of industrialized countries determine their development or underdevelopment. The goals are superimposed. Underdevelopment is not backwardness but intentional downward development [2]


Since the end of World War II, we have been experiencing a worldwide struggle for the improvement of living conditions in the so-called developing countries. At the beginning, there was little query as to the causes of underdevelopment; the newly independent countries as well as United Nations bodies and industrialized countries tried to promote development by applying measures like the introduction of know-how through the assignment of experts, the expansion of education, the development of infrastructure, etc., i.e., they followed the example of the industrialized countries. In the course of time it became obvious that this was more or less a treatment of symptoms instead of causes, and the gap gradually widened between the developed and less developed countries of this world. During the early period of development efforts there was little discussion on the historical causes and the real nature of underdevelopment. Theoretical considerations at this time of "cold war" explained the situation of underdevelopment and the path for development from the viewpoint of western or socialist metropoles. Only in more recent times has the viewpoint of developing countries gained momentum in development theory. This has

great practical implications: development theory offers the justification for policies. The answer to the question "What is development?" determines which strategies, policies, projects, what type of industry, or what organization of agriculture should be considered to be in line with development goals or detrimental to these. Different positions in development policy are based on differences in underlying development theories. [3]


Corruption defined as 'the abuse of public power for personal ends' has always existed. During recent decades, however, it has grown both in terms of geographic extent and intensity. Since the mid 1970s, it has infiltrated virtually every country in the world. It was hoped that the easing of political and economic restrictions that characterized the 1990s after the end of the Cold War would have gone some way to reducing this phenomenon. Through increased openness resulting from political pluralism and the freedom of the press, the process of democratization should, under normal circumstances, mobilize efforts to overcome corruption. However, emergent democracies are still fragile and seem to find the task of tackling established self-interests a formidable one [4]

In broad terms, political corruption is when government officials use their governmental powers for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, like repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Illegal acts by private persons or corporations not directly involved with the government is not considered political corruption either. Illegal acts by officeholders constitute political corruption only if the acts are directly related to their official duties.

All forms of government are susceptible to political corruption. Forms of corruption vary, but include bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, patronage, graft, and embezzlement. While corruption may facilitate criminal enterprise such as drug trafficking, money laundering, and trafficking, it is not restricted to these organized crime activities. In some nations corruption is so common that it is expected when ordinary businesses or citizens interact with government officials. The end-point of political corruption is a kleptocracy, literally "rule by thieves".
What constitutes illegal corruption differs depending on the country or jurisdiction. Certain political funding practices that are legal in one place may be illegal in another. In some countries, government officials have broad or not well defined powers, and the line between what is legal and illegal can be difficult to draw.


Political injustice involves the violation of individual liberties, including the denial of voting rights or due process, infringements on rights to freedom of speech or religion, and inadequate protection from cruel and unusual punishment. Such injustice often stems from unfair procedures, and involves political systems in which some but not others are allowed to have voice and representation in the processes and decisions that affect them. This sort of procedural injustice can contribute to serious social problems as well as political ones. If voting or litigation procedures, for example, are perceived to be unjust, any outcome they produce is liable to be unstable and produce conflict. In addition, any procedures that are carried out in a biased manner are likely to contribute to problems of religious, ethnic, gender, or race discrimination. When the procedure in question has to do with employment or wages, such issues can lead to serious economic and social problems. [5]


Economic injustice involves the state's failure to provide individuals with basic necessities of life, such as access to adequate food and housing, and its maintenance of huge discrepancies in wealth. In the most extreme cases of misdistribution, some individuals suffer from poverty while the elite of that society live in relative luxury. Such injustice can stem from unfair hiring procedures, lack of available jobs and education, and insufficient health care. All of these conditions may lead individuals to believe that they have not received a "fair share" of the benefits and resources available in that society. [6]


Large populations of the 420 million people living in Latin America and Caribbean have begun the third millennium living under conditions of poverty. Near 40% of households are poor and 16% extremely poor (cepal 1999). Poverty is even more widespread and deep in rural areas where 32% of population live and work. Near 55% of rural households are poor and about 33% extremely poor. This is a sad record for Latin America and Caribbean most of its countries constituted themselves as nation states after 1810, under the liberal ideals of equality, liberty and fraternity.

Furthermore, all those countries under took massive economic development programs after world war II many of them financed by World Bank, the IADB, USAID, UNDP, and many other international agencies and donors.

In Latin America & Caribbean, like in other third world areas, poverty reduction never was a major policy goal in itself until the beginning of the 1970’s. The assumption was the economic development per see will reduce poverty, and economic growth was the development measurement.


Terrorism is another cause of underdevelopment, where terrorism exists the process of development stopped. Foreign investments, trade, and exchange of goods & services which are the keys for underdeveloped states are stopped because of terrorists activities.

Terrorism is a controversial term with no internationally agreed single definition. There are however several International conventions on terrorism with somewhat different definitions. In one modern sense, it is violence against civilians to achieve political or ideological objectives by creating fear. Most common definitions of terrorism include only those acts which are intended to create fear (terror), are perpetrated for an ideological goal (as opposed to a lone attack), and deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants. Some definitions also include acts of unlawful violence and war.
Terrorism is also a form of unconventional warfare and psychological warfare. The word is politically and emotionally charged, and this greatly compounds the difficulty of providing a precise definition. One 1988 study by the US Army found that over 100 definitions of the word "terrorism" have been used. A person who practices terrorism is a terrorist.
Terrorism has been used by a broad array of political organizations in furthering their objectives; both right-wing and left-wing political parties, nationalistic, and religious groups, revolutionaries and ruling governments.

The presence of non-state actors in widespread armed conflict has created controversy regarding the application of the laws of war. [7]


Overpopulation in underdeveloped countries has previously been cited as the cause of economic poverty; however, underdevelopment may result from imperialism and exploitation of the Third World nations. Limiting population is not the solution for underdeveloped countries since the North American population increased from 26-167 million people from 1850-1950 at which time economic growth was significantly stimulated. Instead, it is the capitalist countries that own the means and resources to develop countries that choose to exploit underdeveloped countries by exporting more than 7 billion dollars more than they send to those countries. In addition, much of the land that could be used for agricultural purposes is owned by wealthy industrialists so that the majority of food supplies are provided by 2% of the farms. Moreover, underdeveloped countries export items such as fishmeal to capitalist countries for them to use as catfood rather than feeding their own malnourished people. It seems that developed and industrialized countries undergo a decrease in population; therefore, underdeveloped countries should not be initiating birth control programs with the hope of developing economically. [8]

The main issues of world population - overpopulation, underdevelopment and poverty, are discussed in light of the World Population Conference held in Bucharest in 1974. Some of the necessary ingredients for a realistic population policy in a developed country such as Britain are reviewed. At the core of the Bucharest meeting was the United Nations Plan of Action for World Population, which emphasized the health aspects of overpopulation, the urbanization problems of Third World countries, the interrelation of population and underdevelopment, the importance of women's rights, and

the responsibilities of nations to the world as a whole. There was strong disagreement about the content of the Plan, with many Third World nations refusing to regard overpopulation as a major problem. Figures on world population growth indicate that by the year 2000 we should expect 6500 million people, with the Third World bearing the brunt of population pressures. A notable feature of the population in Third World countries is the excess of youths which cause a considerable drain on resources because of their dependency. There is also a threat of food shortages on a global scale. Excessive urbanization is also a feature of Third World countries. Unemployment and underemployment are rampant. Family planning, however, has yet to be a success in Third World nations. The traditional domination of family planning by physicians has prevented wide acceptance. Too much has been asked of family planning methods among people who are living in extreme poverty, where human dignity is minimal, where women are unemancipated and when children represent their only stake in this world. The United Kingdom faces many problems which are exacerbated by its population density. However, population is absent as a political issue in Great Britain. A population policy for Britain must include freer access to contraceptives, abortion and sterilization. The education of the young is also paramount to an effective population program. A population policy must concern itself with women's rights. In addition, the people of Britain must be made aware of their role in helping underdeveloped nations attain economic growth so that they, too, may reduce their populations. [9]


The U.S. population grew to around 250 million in 1991. But over 10%- 25+ million- cannot read or write at all. Another 45 million are functionally illiterate. That's around 28% that are out to lunch. 44% of the American adults do not read a book in a year. A publishing industry study showed that from April 1990 to March 1991, 6 out of 10 households did not buy a single book. It's no wonder the country is falling further and further behind in skills and competency. The Japanese statement that many of the U.S. workers are

lazy and illiterate may be reasonably accurate. While the aspect of being lazy is subjective, a illiterate person working hard probably isn't worth that much anyway. [10]

When illiterate, one cannot read or write at all. In contrast, one who is functionally illiterate has a basic grasp of literacy (reading and writing text in his or her native language), but with a variable degree of grammatical correctness, and style. In short, when confronted with printed materials, functionally illiterate adults cannot function effectively in modern society, and cannot adequately perform fundamental tasks such as filling out an employment application; understanding a legally-binding contract; following written instructions; reading a newspaper article; reading traffic signs; consulting a dictionary; or understanding a bus schedule.
Those who are functionally illiterate may be subject to social intimidation, health risks, stress, low income, and other pitfalls associated with their inability.
The correlation between crime and functional illiteracy is well-known to criminologists and sociologists throughout the world. In the early 2000s, it was estimated that 60% of adults in federal and state prisons in the United States were functionally or marginally illiterate, and 85% of juvenile offenders had problems associated with reading, writing, and basic mathematics. [11]


For years, American workers have grown increasingly angry over the exodus of U.S. jobs to fast-industrializing India. Think auto parts manufacturing, call centers, computer help desks, or software programming jobs. So it's not without a bit of irony that we note this week that employers on the Indian subcontinent many of whom have built their business models on offering

lower-cost labor to Western companies are now experiencing labor shortages that are pushing their own wages up.
It seems that all the foreign demand for India's bargain-priced manufacturing and high-tech labor -- plus a boom in construction and consumer services jobs sparked by India's heady internal growth -- has left skilled workers at a premium across the subcontinent. Wages for some semi-skilled textile factory workers have jumped 10% this year, while supervisors' salaries have risen by 20%. And overall Indian salaries will rise 12.3% this year, Mercer Human Resource Consulting figures, more than double the nation's inflation rate.

While many U.S. workers might view this as a fitting comeuppance for Indian industry, that would be wrong for several reasons. The developed nations look increasingly to the Third World to provide them with ever-cheaper items to maintain high living standards. Call that the Wal-Mart (WMT ) effect. But too-rapid wage inflation in developing countries puts that symbiotic relationship at risk. Likewise, rising wages could fuel general inflation in India, slowing its economic growth and making Indian companies less able to buy high-value goods and services sold by First World companies. That eventually hurts Western workers as well.

The real problem for India isn't a lack of workers. In a nation where the population has tipped 1 billion, there's no shortage of warm bodies. Instead, India's ability to train new workers can't keep pace with its rapidly expanding economy's demand for manpower. For example, India's world-class elite universities boast fewer than 100,000 graduates each year. But its high schools graduate about 14 million students annually -- so nearly all go on to lesser universities or trade schools providing training beneath global standards.

The lesson here is that education, training, and development of intellectual infrastructure are every bit as important as low wages for today's global trading powers. (China recognized this early on; Mexico didn't.) Interestingly, that same message also offers hope for the more mature economies (and expensive workforces) of the U.S. and Europe. Continued

investment in human capital may be their best hope to remain truly competitive in a world full of faster-growing, low-wage competitors. As India's current predicament shows, wages matter but skilled workers matter more. [12]


The reason behind the underdevelopment of underdeveloped states is the lack of determination, if people and the Government work together for the better future of their nation they can do, but problem is this who to start and where to start because the system is very weak. I believe developed states not guide properly to underdeveloped nations, developed nations take them as their competitor. Yes, underdeveloped states can be developed with the help of proper utilization of wealth, resources, and labor. The main focus of underdeveloped states should be on the education of their people, because educated people and skilled people can play the fruitful role in the development of nation.