Archive for July 5th, 2018

History revisiting: Kazakhstan gearing upto play a major role in New Silk Route just as it played in the Old Route

July 5, 2018

Interesting bit of news on how history is being played again with the One Silk One Road project New Silk Route) .  Kazakhstan which played a key role in the Old route is again getting ready to play a key role in the New route.

It has set up a financial hub which is financed by EBRD:


100th birth anniversary of M N Srinivas: Revisiting his legacy

July 5, 2018

The Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) in Bengaluru organised an international seminar to celebrate 100th birthday of Prof MN Srinivas and discuss his legacy.

Joseph Tharamangalam ad Jos Chathukulam review the seminar proceedings:

The sociological imagination is a powerful tool in capturing and understanding social reality. M N  Srinivas made a major contribution to establish sociology in newly independent India. The Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) in Bengaluru organised an international seminar on the legacy of Srinivas to commemorate the occasion of his 100th birth anniversary. The ISEC was co-founded by V K R V Rao and Srinivas in 1972. The conference emphasised the need to move beyond his legacy and to re-imagine the sociological imagination for the 21st century and beyond.

As a pioneering architect of Indian Sociology and Anthropology, Srinivas was the founder of three prominent Sociology departments in Baroda, Delhi and Bengaluru, teacher and patron of more than a generation of sociologists and anthropologists and the creator of such widely used concepts as “Sankritisation”, “Dominant Caste” and “Vote Banks”. The conference focused on Srinivas’s favorite themes of Mobility and Change. It brought together eminent scholars from India and abroad, several of them Srinivas’s former colleagues and students.

“Re-visiting” a scholar like Srinivas, now already a legend (even a “fiction” according to the valedictorian Shiv Visvanathan), requires placing him and his legacy in today’s context, and asking critical questions about the relevance and significance of his legacy.  The conference participants, who included admirers, critics, and some in the middle, rose to the occasion, openly and vigorously discussing the “many Srinivases” and their legacies. 

Thank god there is EPW as we know of these anniversaries of giants of Indian social science. They are so easily forgotten here…

200th anniversary of Denmark Central Bank

July 5, 2018

The central banks of Nordic countries are celebrating their mega anniversaries. Sweden celebrated 350 years recently and now it is turn of Denmark to celebrate 200 years.

Dane central bank governor spoke on the 200th anniversary saying “history of the central bank is history of Denmark”. They also released a booklet with wonderful pictures on the event. There is also a more detailed history of the central bank as well along with useful data in excel.

Nice stuff. Thanks for sharing..

Is Tweeting in Indian Languages Helping Politicians Widen Their Reach?

July 5, 2018
Joyojeet Pal and Liz Bozarth in this EPW piece:

The use of Hindi and regional languages on social media, in the native script of the languages, is growing. This trend is likely to expand the centrality of online spaces in political discussions in the coming elections by broadening the social media consumption base beyond tech savvy elites. Additionally, the migration of certain politicians to communicating solely using regional languages is an important sign of how political communication is evolving. This has consequences for information veracity, opinion diversity, and the role of professional news media. We are moving even closer to an era in which politicians across the political spectrum can actively switch to communicating with their constituents directly through social media,  bypassing traditional print news altogether. This has important implications for the watchdogs’ ability to force politicians to respond to important issues. It also has consequences for the development and enablement of an informed citizenry, particularly as more people move to getting their news solely or primarily online.

Finally, the increasing use of Hindi and regional languages online has moved towards breaking notions of social media as a form of elite outreach. In addition to the dominant use of regional languages by some politicians, the selective use of language for affective purposes such as insults, sarcasm, or humour, brings to fore the role of street-style sloganeering and rough and tumble politics as it plays out on social media. If the evidence is to be believed, politicians are actively embracing this style, and finding its resonance among followers.


Comparing private and government currency circulation in Sweden, US and Canada…

July 5, 2018

Superb paper by Ben Fung, Scott Hendry, Warren E. Weber (Bank of Canada).

It looks at this history of currency circulation in Sweden and compares it with Canada and US. Just to put things in perspective, in Sweden government currency preceded private currency. Whereas in Canada and US, private notes came before government. They also try and figure what do these experiences mean for digital currencies:

This paper examines the experience of Sweden with government notes and private bank notes to determine how well the Swedish experience corresponds to that of Canada and the United States. Sweden is important to study because it has had government notes in circulation for more than 350 years, and it had government notes before private bank notes. Several differences between the experience of Sweden and that of Canada and the U.S. emerge. (i) Swedish bank notes were safe; in some cases, those of Canada and the U.S. were not. (ii) At certain times, Swedish government notes were not safe; government notes in Canada and the U.S. always were. (iii) Swedish private bank notes were a uniform currency without government intervention. Uniformity required government intervention in Canada and the U.S. (iv) Private notes and government notes coexisted in all three countries until governments took actions to drive private bank notes out of circulation. Using the experience of the three countries, the paper concludes that fiduciary digital currencies will likewise not be perfectly safe without government intervention. Further, the introduction of government digital currency will not drive out existing private digital currencies nor will it preclude private digital currencies from entering the market. Government intervention likely will be required for private and government digital currencies to be a uniform currency.

How much one learns from these papers…

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