Friday, 24 June 2016

Europe, Eurozone, European Union, #BrExit is more about British than EU

The world is watching with a great interest to see if Britain will leave the European Union (EU), and topics similar to this have been surfacing every now and then from the time the EU was formed. Here's an attempt to present what's happening for those who may want to understand this complicated stuff in simple words (hopefully).

Approximately 50 countries form a part of Europe
Its the second smallest continent by surface area (2% of earth, 7% of land)
Russia is the largest country in Europe, both by area and population, and Vatican city the smallest
Europe has roughly 11% of world population (~740 million)

European Union
Union of 28 countries primarily in Europe that have decided to have close coordination among themselves. The EU has 7 decision making bodies -  European Parliament (legislature), European Council (impetus & direction), Council of the EU (legislature), European Commission (executive), Court of Justice of the EU (judiciary), European Central Bank (ECB), and Court of Auditors. These institution were established around 1958 when the European Community was being created.
EU has ~7.5% of world population but generates ~24% of the world's GDP (nominal, 2014).
26/28 countries have a very high human development index.
EU won the Nobel peace prize in 2012.
Total area of EU countries is 4.4m sqkm (approximately 32% more than India).
UK is a part of EU

Eurozone or Euro Area
A monetary union of 19 of the 28 European Union (EU) member states that have the Euro (€) as their common currency

Who are these 19 countries that have EUR as their currency?
Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain.

Who are the 9 countries of the EU that do NOT have EUR as their currency?
Bulgaria- Bulgarian lev, Croatia - Croatian kun, Czech Republic - Czech koruna, Denmark - Danish krone, Hungary - Hungarian forint, Poland - Polish złoty, Romania - Fourth Romanian leu, Sweden - Swedish krona, United Kingdom - Pound sterling

Now, UK wants to exit the European Union for several reasons, which are very well discussed by several people across the world. The reasons stated include political reasons, economy related reasons, immigration related reasons, reasons relating to UK's contribution to EU bailout packages that is an additional burden, and so on.

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Friday, 3 June 2016

#2yearsofModiGovt Is Modi really #TransformingIndia? I bet..

A country with over 1.2 billion people spread across all kinds of geography and economics doesn't transform itself in a year or two. For any visible change in India, it will at least take 5-7 years. With this in the background, lets try to see if there is some change really visible in the 2 years of Modi government.

A lot has already been said and written about various initiatives that the government has taken for general welfare of people, promotion of manufacturing industry, enabling entrepreneurship, etc. A simple google search would throw up a list of such measures taken over time to bring a positive change in the country. However, in my personal opinion, it is a herculean task to bring about a change in India. Any ways, even the WSJ now is of the opinion that there is really some change. That should end the whole debate, and so, I do not have to speak anything about economics or finance as the big boss has already spoken at

When I voted for Modi 2 years ago, all I wanted was large scale corruption to end. And it seems like my vote hasn't gone waste. In 2 years, there is a loud statement by corporate that corruption at high level has become non-existent. This is perhaps the biggest change that has happened in our country. We must note here that people fought for 60 years, did all kind of efforts, there was also this recent Anna movement, and then some shows by Kejriwal and the likes on corruption but none could bring about a change. It was all talk. So, I guess the biggest success I point out is the end of corruption at the macro level. Now, at the micro level, we still see instances. Hopefully, these should come down as well.

Modi is one person who has been constantly under fire from all places - media, people, fellow politicians, etc. He is one person who has been under pressure to prove himself each day, despite being such an astounding success. This is perhaps why he is always on his toes, unlike many other politicians who can afford a nap when they want to. In fact, most of those who have the political lineage don't even have to certify themselves in any manner. There was this huge hue and cry over his BA & MA degrees, which was so disgusting. Some people get to any level to wash their dirty linen. Now, the reason to speak all this is that here is a man who can not take anything for granted. He ought to give his best on everything, and the best part of it all is, he loves to.

We have moved on from which minister made how much money is which scam to such pathetic news like intolerance, quotes on country, who met whom and said what, etc. This itself is a big progress. Modi has got the country talking, and the youth and the responsible quarter of the country understand how things are happening, leaving the media with some stale news items. Now, this is not a claim that Modi alone will change this country. Modi, as one man, can do very little. It is this force that he is adding in everyone to bring about a change that things are happening. He is the officer in chief of country, and he's definitely doing some kick ass work for sure.

My most favorite change in the country is the mood/sentiment. Remember the last few years of life and your opinion about the country and its future. How many times have you said or heard, "Iss des ka kuch nahi ho sakta?" How often do you get to hear such a statement these days? Why have people stopped using such a sentence? It is because we all are now aware that "Iss des ka kuch ho raha hai".
Des badal raha hai..

The race will always be run by the people. The challenge is to put a billion people on the run, and keep their spirits high, so that they emerge victorious. And to this extent, the 2 year old government is doing a great job.