The demographic number that binds cities in Bihar and Kerala

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On nearly every socioeconomic indicator, these two states tend to sit on opposite ends of the spectrum. But there’s one where they sit side by side: their inability to hold on to their young with ample economic opportunities, shows an analysis of Census age data of 505 Indian cities and towns with a population of more than 100,000. At a broader level, this data is illustrative of the concentration of economic opportunities in India to select city clusters, raising questions about migration and livelihoods.

Concentration of economic opportunities

Of the 505 cities and towns with a population above 100,000, in only 30 does the 20-34 age group—the prime and potential of a workforce—make up more than 30% of their population. Maharashtra dominates this list, with 10 cities. Other than Maharashtra, only Gujarat, the Nationa Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi and Tamil Nadu have more than one city in the top 20. Uttar Pradesh, the state with the most such cities and towns (64), has only one in this list; as do the next two states, West Bengal (61) and Madhya Pradesh (44).


Maharashtra on one end, Bihar and Kerala on the other

Several industrial hubs, like Pimpri Chinchwad and Pithampur, feature in the 15 cities with the highest percentage of 20-34 year-olds. Four of the top 15 cities are from Maharashtra. In the bottom 15, Kerala has seven cities and Bihar has four.





Even within states, there is wide variance

Bihar and Kerala are a distinct notch below other states in having a young population in their cities and towns. Although Maharashtra dominates the top, it also shows a wide variance, suggesting uneven development. Two other large states that show wide variance are Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.




Bihar and Kerala

Although Bihar and Kerala are lumped in the bottom, there are nuances. While Bihar is primarily about urban migration caused by a lack of economic opportunities, Kerala’s numbers are also tempered by fertility rates that are lower and life expectancy that is higher than most Indian states.




Urban migration without families

Most cities and towns with the highest percentage of 20-34 yearolds have lopsided sex ratios, which indicate that single men, or men leaving their families behind, are migrating to them for work.




Among populous cities, Kolkata has the smallest percentage of the young

A majority of the 15 most populous cities have a middling to high percentage of 20-34 years in their population. Kolkata, Lucknow and Kanpur come in at the bottom of this list. In terms of sex ratio in this age bracket, most cities show a male skew, other than Hyderabad and Chennai.




Notes: Data is for 2011, before Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated to form Telangana. In order to enable understanding and facilitate indicative comparison, city names have been stripped of their administrative Census definitions like municipal corporations, outgrowths, census towns, etc. So, for example, Bengaluru here represents the Greater Bengaluru metropolitan area, or Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).

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Why is Bengaluru the graduate capital of young India?


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Be it technical disciplines such as engineering and medicine, or non-technical subjects, this Karnataka district has the largest catchment of graduates aged 20-34—a bracketing that captures young students and working professionals—among all districts, shows recently released Census 2011 data on higher education. Even at a city level, Bengaluru compares well against Mumbai and Delhi.

India is not a graduate country—just 12.5% of the 301 million people in 20-34 age bracket have at least a graduation degree or equivalent. It also shows deep disparities—in more than half the districts, this figure is below 10%. In just 8% of districts is this figure above 20% and five of the top 10 districts are in Delhi.





Top districts and cities

In terms of the absolute number of graduates in the 20-34 bracket, Bengaluru leads all districts. But a census district is often not an entire city as we know it. It is for Bengaluru, but not for any of the four main metros. For example, Delhi is divided into 10 districts. In order to show an indicative city picture, we remapped district-level graduate data for the four main metros by ‘urban agglomerations’ (the census equivalent of a city). Even here, Bengaluru compares well against more established economic centres like Delhi and Mumbai.






Engineering and technology

Just three states account for nine of the top 10 districts: Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Maharashtra. The remaining district—Bengaluru—has the maximum number of engineering/technology graduates, more than Delhi and Mumbai put together.







Bengaluru leads all districts in medicine. It even has more graduates than Chennai or Delhi, though not Mumbai. As a discipline, among states, medicine is the most popular choice in Kerala.





Non-technical graduate degree

Delhi and Mumbai are populated with graduates without a technical qualification. They still have opportunities to tap. The same cannot be said of states such as Bihar, where most graduates have non-technical qualifications but inadequate opportunities; and when they do go out, the non-technical qualifications become a disadvantage.





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News In Numbers – August 10

News In Numbers: August 10



After losing out to Gujarat in two of the last three years, Maharashtra is prepping itself for a return to the top of the list of states in terms of investments drawn in calendar 2015. Government data on memorandums signed in 2015, till June, between states and entrepreneurs for projects that were implemented shows Maharashtra leading Rajasthan and Gujarat. Since then, Maharashtra has beaten Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh for a $5 billion investment by Taiwanese company Foxconn, and also sealed two other significant deals with General Motors for a car factory and with the Anil Ambani group for an aerospace park.



Percentage of people in Bihar in the age bracket of 20-34 years who were graduates, according to Census 2011. Among states and union territories, this is the third-lowest, after Tripura and Assam. Chandigarh was the highest, with 28.3%. On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the BJP, as part of a broadside on his party’s political rivals in the state, lamented the youth of Bihar were forced to leave the state because it did not provide them enough opportunities for higher education. Bihar goes to polls later this year.



The lowest existing expense ratio for exchange traded funds (ETFs) in India currently. ‘Expense ratio’ is the cost of managing a mutual fund scheme, expressed as a percentage of the assets managed by it. Mutual funds are slashing their fees, or expense ratios, in ETFs–which mirror stock indices–to attract investors. Before the recent cut, the lowest expense ratio for equity ETFs in India was 0.07%, whereas the average was 0.6%. Lower expense ratio of equity ETFs is cited as an advantage over actively-managed funds. The total assets under management in ETFs more than tripled from Rs 4,283 crore in May 2012 to Rs 14,008 crore in May 2015.



Print publications are receding in the West, but not in India. Not yet anyway. The number of registered print publications grew to 105,443 in March 2015, an increase of about 12% over the March 2013 figure. Among states, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Delhi, in that order, have the highest number of registered publications. Even as the number of Internet users  increases steadily in India, the print industry still commands about 43% share of all advertising revenue. A recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers has predicted that while the global newspaper industry will continue to decline in established markets, countries such as China and India will be exceptions, accounting for 57.3% of global average daily print circulation in 2019.



The number of yoga asanas the Indian government has shortlisted in order to prevent foreign companies and individuals from obtaining patents or trademarks for ancient yoga techniques. The Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL), a unit under the Ministry of Science and Technology, is responsible for challenging claims at global patent offices. As many as 250 asanas have been video-recorded, with an aim to complete the rest in about six months. In the last five to six years, TKDL has thwarted over 200 attempts to patent Indian products/techniques. A few days ago, a British company’s bid to patent a medicinal composition containing turmeric, pine bark and green tea for hair loss treatment was foiled by India, which argued this was part of India’s traditional knowledge. is a search engine for public data


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News In Numbers – July 27

News In Numbers: July 27



The percentage of people injured in a road accident in India in 2014 who died. As many as 21 states and union territories register a number higher than the all-India average, with the worst being Punjab (52.8%), UP (49.7%) and Bihar (41.5%). On Sunday, addressing the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the government was working on a scheme to provide cashless and automatic medical treatment to victims for the first 50 hours of an accident.



The decline in oil production recorded by state-owned ONGC from its own operations (excluding its joint ventures) in 2014-15, over 2013-14. Its gas production also fell, by 5.4%. With its aging oil and gas fields showing stagnant or declining production for some years now, India’s largest oil and gas producer needs its new fields to start delivering. An unnamed senior official of ONGC was recently quoted as saying that the company would invest $8.8 billion (about Rs 55,000 crore) to operationalise its discoveries in the Krishna-Godavari basin by 2018-19.


Rs 1,600 cr

The amount the government is expected to raise by selling 5% of its shareholding in Power Finance Corporation, the auction for which is being conducted today at a base price of Rs 254 per share. The government has set a target of mopping up Rs 69,500 crore in 2015-16 from the sale of its shares in public sector undertakings. This is more than twice of what it realized in 2014-15 and is about 4% of its overall revenues in 2014-15.



Percentage of engineers in the batch of 2014 of Indian Institute of Management Kolkata. Similar dominance of engineering students in MBA programmes is reported in other IIMs also. In order to address criticism that the multiple-choice question format of the entrance exam to IIMs favoured engineers, and to add diversity to the student profile, the Common Admission Test (CAT) will see descriptive questions being added to the test this year.



Number of women in the list of 20 most marketable sportpersons in the world, according to the London School of Marketing. The two women are tennis players Maria Sharapova (rank 12) and Serena Williams (rank 20). Cricketer MS Dhoni was the only Indian in the list, at number 9. But having retired from test cricket late last year and with the team he leads in the Indian Premier League banned for two years, even this position for Dhoni might be under threat.
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