MD Writes...

IPE Global has been scaling newer heights as the "partner of choice" for an increasing number of development agencies as well as governments.
Over the last 12 years, IPE has 'walked the talk' in making public sector reforms a ground reality. We have continually balanced the policy and practice aspects and fired them with our commitment and passion. This, I believe, has been the secret of our success.
I am happy to see the formalized version of INSPIRE, our in house news and research effort. I must commend the editorial team and hope that this becomes a talking point for all at IPE as well as our partners.
The name INSPIRE not only represents the spirit of our people - it includes 'I', 'P' & 'E', our organisational identity as well.
May INSPIRE inspire us all!
- Ashwajit Singh

Editorial

Dear All
We are pleased to place in your hands ... er.. mailbox, the first issue of INSPIRE - the development news and research roundup of IPE Global.
In these fast changing times, we need to keep a constant eye on the development environment and happenings in our global village. We understand that pressing time needs and information overload sometimes restricts our ability to appreciate relevant news and views. INSPIRE hopes to change this!
Do write in to us - Stay Inspired. Stay Ahead!!
- Abdul Rahim &
Preethi Thomas

Union Budget and Economic Survey, 2011

Union Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee presented the Union Budget in Parliament on 28th February 2011 which although directed towards infrastructure and social sector, also had several misses. 
Presented in light of the Economic Survey 2010-11 and the upcoming state elections, the budget has had varying feedback but overall seemed to have made an admirable balance between investment, growth and reforms.
The session ended on March 25th making it the shortest budget session in two decades, establishing once more that in a democracy, the ballot is often more important than the wallet!
Economic Survey 2010-11:
Overview of Indian Macro economy
Review of Public Finance
Review of Human Development, Equity and Environment
Union Budget 2011:
Union Budget Highlights
Finance Bill, 2011
Union Budget speech, 2011
Courtesy: indiabudget.nic.in

1 Lakh Crore Unused Aid: CAG

The CAG of India has found that more than Rs. 1 lakh crore of development aid remained unspent in March 2010 and caused commitment charges of 86 crores to the Indian Government.
Read the complete CAG Report for 2009-10 here.
Courtesy: cag.gov.in

Census: First Results In

Key findings from the provisional tables released by RGI on 31 March 2011 show that India is now a country of 1.21 billion but with the lowest child sex ratio since Independence. 
Find Census 2011 Tables here.
Courtesy: censusindia.gov.in

THE IPE DEBATE: FOOD OR CASH?
The Union Budget, 2011 proposed a radical shift in subsidies by suggesting cash transfers instead of food and other subsidized products. This has led to a raging debate on the merits and demerits of both. We present two below:

Cash transfers are a right step By: Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar, TOI
What do you think? Mail your opinion within 100 words to inspire@ipeglobal.com. The best piece will be published in the next issue of INSPIRE.

Global Food Prices Spiralling

The ever increasing food prices are turning out to be one of the major concerns globally. The World Bank’s Food Price Index increased by 15% between Oct 2010 to January 2011.
Courtesy: World Bank

Is UID the Panacea?

 In this EPW research paper (February ’11) Reetika Khera examines the expected benefits from UID in NREGS & PDS and concludes that they may be much lower than claimed. Download Paper.

The Future of UKAID

 Andrew Mitchell, International Development Secretary (DFID, UK) announced the key outcomes of two aid reviews and set out a global change agenda for UKAID. Read Press Release or Download Summary Report of Reviews.

Skyscrapers to 'Farmscrapers' 

Climate Change, reducing size of arable land and availability of freshwater have forced us to explore options of vertical farms or what may be called Farmscrapers
Courtesy :d-sector-org

Land Acquisition Challenges

This World Bank Working Paper (March 2011) identifies the issues and challenges in acquiring land for large scale farming and agriculture in various parts of the world.
Download Paper

Estimating Public Spend Impact

This World Bank Working Paper (January ’11) proposes a novel method of isolating fluctuations in public spending and estimating multiplier of Government spending. Download Paper.

Devastation in Japan

The recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan have again brought forth the environmental concerns in development. View pictures, read the World Bank’s view of its global impact and finally, ten things we can learn from Japan.

Sweat the Small Stuff

An unconventional take on solving problems by ad-man Rory Sutherland at the TED Conference 2010 Watch Video (16.45  minutes)
Courtesy: www.ted.com

Assessing the Health of NRHM!

In this EPW paper (January ’11) Zakir Husain critically evaluates the performance of NRHM and concludes that despite some successes, its delivery has fallen far short of its targets.
Download Paper.

Common Review Mission

The National Health Systems Resource Centre (NHSRC) has released the NRHM CRM report for 14 states of India on 26 Feb '11. Download Main Report or State Reports.

No smoking in China!

China, the world’s largest tobacco producer and home to a third of all smokers, has issued a national ban on public smoking from May 1st.  Although India already has a similar ban since 2008, it faces several implementation challenges.

How Google Searches

An interesting video on how Google searches a trillion pages in less than a second. Watch Video (3.15 minutes)
Courtesy :Google