Tuesday November 13, 2018
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India’s dream of outdoing China: just a dream?

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By Sol Palha

India has had many aspirations to overtake China, but this is more of a pipedream than reality. India’s corruption makes China’s corruption seem non-existent. Add in the traffic jams, and filth one has to deal with in parts of Mumbai and Delhi, and the allure of investing in India loses its appeal rather rapidly.

This is the reason India continues to suffer such a massive amount of brain drain. Smart Indians understand that their best option is to seek greener pastures. Modi’s government had the strongest mandate of any government, yet like all his predecessors he seems to be all talk and little to no action; he has failed to implement any noteworthy changes.

The first thing he should have done was to streamline the investment process, by making it easy for foreigners to invest. With foreign investment comes a plethora of jobs; instead he continues to chant the same old song of change while marching to the drumbeat of no change. This century belongs to China, and the world recognizes this. No one flinches when Indian markets are tanking but if Chinese markets tank or there is some bad news coming out of China the world’s financial markets react and in most cases the reaction is usually very strong. From a mass psychology perspective, this tells us that the financial markets recognize China as the defacto leader and India if it’s lucky might manage to hold onto some position in the top 5. India will not take out China in the near future, but that does not mean one should not invest in Indian companies. There are still some Indian companies that are worth investing in; we would wait for strong pullbacks before committing money into any of these stocks.

We are going to list a few of Jim Rogers’s recent quotes as he seems to concur

You can’t just invest on hope. Even If reforms started coming, it may not be enough to make the markets go higher, because markets have already factored it in. If the reforms are substantial, the markets may go higher. No indication of that.

If Modi made the currency convertible, if he made the markets open to outsiders, then I would have to be back in India again. So far Modi has been doing worthwhile things like addressing some social issues — I am all for that, and that is great for a lot of people — but India needs more.

You have saved your farmers by making it illegal for foreigners to own more than five hectares — how on earth can an Indian farmer compete with an Australian farmer with 50,000 hectares? In history, India has been one of the great agricultural nations of the world — you have the land, the people, weather — God gave you everything. And then, he also gave you Delhi to mess it all up.

Conclusion

While the Indian economy has grown nicely over the years, we think the tiger will have a hard time dethroning the Golden Dragon. India’s has a GDP of roughly $2.1 trillion, and that sadly is a long way off from China’s current GDP of $11.3 trillion.

At this stage, it’s not even a close race. In fact, the odds are higher that China will displace the US as the top dog than India overtaking China. While there are some great companies in India, from a long-term perspective, China makes for a better investment as the market is extremely oversold; great companies are selling for a fraction of their former prices. For example, CHH, HNP and BABA are some companies worth taking a closer look at.

“Be ready when opportunity comes. Luck is the time when preparation and opportunity meet.” ~ Roy D Chapin Jr.

(The article was first published in safehaven.com)

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Twitter Takes Multiple Steps To Curb Misinformation Before Elections in India

More than 80 per cent of the Twitter accounts linked to spread of disinformation

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Twitter, tweets, India
The Twitter logo appears on a phone post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.. VOA

Twitter is taking “multi-variable” steps, including the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, to curb the spread of misleading information on its platform ahead of 2019 general election in India, Co-Founder and CEO Jack Dorsey said here on Monday.

Addressing a Town Hall-style meeting at the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi (IIT-D), Dorsey said fake news is a way too big category.

“The real problem is not misinformation per se as jokes can also be categorised as misinfomation. But misinformation that is spread with the intent to mislead people is a real problem,” stressed the Twitter CEO who is in India on a week-long maiden visit.

Dorsey, who got a rousing reception at IIT-D with the students wildly cheering the young entrepreneur, likened solving the problem of misleading information to that of addressing a security issue, or building a lock.

Twitter, India
Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on foreign influence operations and their use of social media on Capitol Hill. VOA

“No one can build a perfect lock, but we need to stay ahead of our attackers. AI could probably help,” Dorsey told the audience.

Earlier in the day, the Twitter CEO met Congress President Rahul Gandhi and discussed various steps the social network was taking to curb the spread of fake news and boost healthy conversation on its platform.

Dorsey also met Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama over the weekend. He was also expected to meet Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in the wake of the growing criticism over Twitter’s role in the spread of misinformation and fake news as India faces Assembly polls in five states in November-December ahead of next year’s general elections.

Twitter, India
Twitter on a smartphone device. Pixabay

Twitter, along with other social media platforms, including Facebook, came under intense scrutiny of policymakers in the US for their failure to stop the spread of misinformation by Russia-linked accounts on their platforms during the 2016 Presidential election.

The micro-blogging site since then has stepped up its efforts to curb the spread of divisive messages and fake news on its platform.

To further protect the integrity of elections, Twitter recently announced that it would now delete fake accounts engaged in a variety of emergent, malicious behaviour.

India, elections
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he addresses the gathering during the ‘Global Mobility Summit’ in New Delhi, India, VOA

As part of the new rules, accounts that deliberately mimic or are intended to replace accounts that were previously suspended for violating rules may be identified as fake accounts, Twitter said recently.

Also Read: Twitter Giving Its Users More Freedom to Report Fake, Suspicious Accounts

However, according to a Knight Foundation study released in October, more than 80 per cent of the Twitter accounts linked to spread of disinformation during the 2016 US election are still active. (IANS)