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Wednesday, March 01, 2006


brad setser

I am a big fan of the Indian model -- far more balanced growth than in china, driven in part by domestic consumption.

but Zakaria's lecture on the benefit of globalization was a bit strong for my taste. Yes, the US has been good at shifting workers out of tradables into non-tradables. But median income growth hasn't too impressive in the US -- median family income is up mostly b/c the median family works more hours. Yes, the US has outsourced the production of a range of goods and services (And outsourced savings too). But it hasn't yet figured out how to pay for all its imports without exporting debt either --

I am not saying turn the clock back, but Zakaria's "bilan" seemed a bit too rosy for a still very unbalanced world. maybe the full article has a few notes of caution about the current account deficit, but judging from Zakaria's glowing take on China for another newsweek cover, I kind of doubt it. It is not a big part of his repetoire (granted, it may be too much of my repetoire). Still I would think a few nods to the fact that the distribution of the gains of globalization in the US looks increasingly uneven would be in order, along with a bit of caustion indicating that growing by exporting may be a bit harder if the US can keep on importing far more than it exports.

In a sense, that is why I like India more than China -- it doesn't just grow on the back of exports, but also on the back of domestic demand. That strikes me as more resilient basis for growth should the world's willing to finance the US ever wane.

Guess I am feeling particularly grumpy tonight. Zakaria is always worth reading, and I often quite like what he writes, but I usually find his take on globalization to be two or three degrees on the too rosy/ too Friedmanesque side for my tastes.


Is it possible for Newsweek to run a coverstory, OTHER than India or China as a great place to invest, move factories (exporting capital,) or move jobs (exporting consumer spending which is 2/3 of the economy and dropping?)

I mean, there are OTHER stories to cover, like how we'll all be working at Wal*Mart soon or selling each other burgers at McDonalds.


Now that India has made it to the cover, I guess we can expect a nosedive there.


Zakaria was born in India, I am not saying he's biased... I'm just wondering how his ethnical background plays in his assessment


China has managed an average annual GDP growth rate of 9.2% for the past 25 years (1/4 of a CENTURY). India has only managed to reach 8.1% for 1/4 of a SINGLE YEAR. All this India hype is dishonest, and simply free-loading on China's achievements.

And to the first commentor, you are wrong. China has a much larger domestic market than India.

harish rao

Dear Sir/Madam,
I am a doctor trained in India currently working in UK, hoping to come back in few years after gaining valuable clinical & research experience.

I have been planning to write this letter for a long time. But the ongoing crisis that Indian doctors are facing in UK prompted me to voice my thoughts. If you have not been reading the newspapers – international medical graduates (IMGs) are gradually being forced out of UK by an unfair visa policy.

My friends tell me that US residency programs have received an unprecedented number of applications this year – can you guess who has sent in the maximum number of applications- (no prize for guessing right) – Indian graduates. Very soon USA and Australia will close doors to our graduates. By then I can envisage a situation seen in Germany now – where doctors are driving taxis. Spain has woken up just in time and has decided to cut numbers in medical colleges.

I feel our medical education needs major reforms. We need someone with vision to develop a system looking at the quality of medical education with particular attention to the number of graduates spilling out of medical school.

Our medical education is totally unregulated. Who decides how many doctors we need to train every year? Does anybody know what is happening to all these doctors? Why should the government train them spending lakhs of rupees on training these people – to move and serve another country? Or open a clinic in some corner and wait for patients?

Why do so many doctors decide to move out of India after their education, go abroad for their training and do not want to come back? You may have your reasons – but most of you will agree with me it is coz the health system in India sucks!

1. The health system is poorly organised (understatement), lack of infrastructure, corruption, political interference, lack of vision, poor leadership, etc. We have a doctor as union health minister but unfortunately – he openly states he quit medicine coz he didn’t like it, hates doctors guts and just loves to play political games.

2. The main problem is the sheer number of people graduating from our medical schools. The last time I looked at this – in the early 90s there were 105 medical schools in India. I am sure it would have doubled by now. This growth is cancerous and grossly unregulated.

In karnataka alone there are about 20 (I have lost count to be honest). The situation is so ridiculous; every caste/tribe/community want their own medical college. WHY?

By a rough estimate 15-20% of doctors in UK are from Karnataka alone. I don’t see this fact as a matter of pride. Just recently a well-known cardiac surgeon based in Bangalore made a comment that India needs lot more doctors than we are training at the moment. From where did he get his numbers? Such ill informed comments can only mislead our already inefficient health system to take drastic steps. If he wants to please politicians there are many other ways of doing it.

Does anybody know how many people are graduating from our medical school each year? How many of these manage to get postgraduate training? Do the number of UG seats and PG seats match?

The number of doctors trying to leave the country reflects a spill over situation. We just seem to churn out docs on a conveyor belt and unleash them on to outside world.

The current legal quandary we are facing in the UK is mainly of the pathetic condition back home. The poor clinical skills of some of the IMGs facing disciplinary actions- is partly because of the non-existent training they get in ‘mickey mouse’ medical schools.

How many of our PHCs have doctors? Why do doctors refuse to go and serve there rather than working for a paltry 3000-4000 Rs in a private hospital? I can go on listing the reasons – but what surprised me is that doctors who hail from these villages refuse to go back to their hometown and serve their people but would rather settle in a big city, increasing the urban-rural ‘gap’.

What is the solution to this ‘number’ problem? Should we demand that our govt or IMA perform a census and publish figures? Force the govt to cut down intake in medical schools? Close some of the medical colleges? Merge some of the medical colleges with poor infrastructure and abysmally low patient numbers (needed for training)?

What we need is a ‘voice’ to express our opinion and force the govt to take notice. It is time junior doctors to come out and voice their opinions. Likewise senior doctors should stop burying their heads in the sand as if the problem does not exist.

We have to do this now- simply because it is affecting us and nobody else will do it for us.



I agree with Harish. I am also a doc, who is currently working abroad. Harish has analysed the situation well and his sentiments are shared by many. The medical education system is indeed unfair to meritorious students.
But I wish to add here that 'somebody' does know how many students graduate each year and how many do their specialisation. The goverment/Universities do have a record. Only that it is as flawed as any other beauracratic system in India.
What concerns me the most, as does Harish, is the proliferation of 'sub-standard' Medical schools. I am proud to have passed out from one of the best medical schools in India, but at the same time, I wish to comment that even this university based medical school in Mumbai, has poor infrastructure compared to International standards. Even the worst school in Europe or US (I have been and have worked in the finest centres in both) is better compared to the medical schools in India. So, the goverment should concentrate on improving and funding these, rather than giving permission to open up medical schools all over the place.
Some of these medical schools are so sub-standard, that the students who pass out form here dont even know basic resuscication and management.
Especially now, when the whole world is looking at India, I hope India wont embarass itself in this sector


Its easy to talk about what India should do by living thousands of miles away and working shamelessly towards changing the color of your passport.
Self respect is all that a man can possess.
Jay Hind!

-an Indian

Fair Value

India GDP (2000 to 2040)
Population 15% to 18%
Land 2% to 5%
Food Production 8% to 15%
Electricity 4% to 10%
Tech 4% to 15% (Cell Phones, Computers, etc)
Roads 5% to 15% (Roads, Waterways, Railroads)
Culture 10% to 25% (Movies, Resturants, Events)
Forex 1% to 10% (Euro, Dollar, Yuan, Taka)
Debt -1% to -15% (External, Trade Deficit)
Anticipated GDP 10% of world economy (6% to 14%)


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The number of doctors trying to leave the country reflects a spill over situation. We just seem to churn out docs on a conveyor belt and unleash them on to outside world.






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