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Good news on hiring but challenges remain

IT IS hardly surprising that India has emerged as the hottest hiring destination in the world. A global employment outlook survey has found that more hiring managers in India -- among the 71,000 interviewed across 35 countries -- expected to add to their employee strength over the coming quarter than in any other nation in the world.

There are a number of reasons for this.

First and foremost, is the resilience displayed by the economy, which has been the first among major nations ( along with China) to have bounced back to a relatively high growth path. Job additions are a function of expected future growth in any enterprise. When the expectation is poor, hiring slows or stops. The process is reversed when expectations turn positive.

The relatively small shrinkage in growth during the worst phase of the crisis has clearly strengthened corporate India's belief in the economy.

There is also the fact that India Inc was by and large protected from the worst fallout of the financial markets crisis which devastated other developed economies over the last year. Coupled with some strategic stimulus measures from the government, these have ensured that Indian corporates are better placed than their rivals to take advantage of the recovery which is now clearly visible even in the worst- hit economies.

However, challenges peculiar to India remain. The first is the creation of adequate jobs at the entry level for the flood of skilled and unskilled youngsters joining the workforce every year. A youthful population means a youthful workforce, but it also means that more young people with little or no experience, or skills, are looking for jobs. That the State Bank of India attracted an astounding 3.4 million applicants for 11,000 clerical jobs last month, bears witness to the twin challenges of job creation and skills development facing the country.

See law in right spirit

ADVOCATE Prashant Bhushan is right in asserting before the Supreme Court that he did not commit contempt of court by talking about corruption in the judiciary in an interview to a magazine. It would be a tyrannical court that does not care about the freedom of speech and prevents a lawyer of standing from stating his views about an institution of which he has been a part for years. In any case we have had several instances of late which have put the conduct of some members of the judiciary under a cloud. Former chief justices of India have also talked about it.

It's high time that the judiciary stopped using the contempt provision to stifle criticism.

The modern idea behind the contempt law is to prevent obstruction of justice -- Mr Bhushan has outlined its true spirit in the memorable words of Lord Denning. But our judges seem to take it as a shield that grants them impregnability.

The legislature has displayed some forward thinking by amending the Contempt of Courts Act, making truth in public interest a defence against contempt provisions, though the courts have been made the final arbiter in the matter. But even this counts for little given that the Supreme Court has repeatedly declared that it has inherent power on contempt issues and legislation like the Contempt of Courts Act do not govern its functioning.


REGRETTABLY, Sir Richard Branson did not unveil SpaceShipTwo by entering the hangar on an elephant and the opening night party was merely a sound and light show. Knowing Sir Richard, it would not have been such a bad idea to make an entry on possibly the slowest moving " vehicle" to showcase the fastest moving commercial vehicle that will take humans on sub- orbital flights at the edge of space.

Be that as it may, the Burt Rutandesigned SpaceShipTwo is a wonderful exposition of how even the most quirky of ideas that border on science fiction can become reality if innovation is accompanied by the human desire for exploration.

The ticket to space is expensive at $ 200,000 ( Rs 92 lakh), but then if you have that much money, you might as well buy some bragging rights back on earth, and perhaps a tale or two for your grandchildren.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Dec 10, 2009

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