Message from UK Chair: An important leading article in The Economist which was published while I was out in India has drawn attention to the need for better education and training among India’s young people. There are innumerable tinpot workshops employing handfuls of people and outdated methods; more than half of Indians in the manufacturing sector work in facilities without electricity. Many of India’s young leave school ill-prepared even for rudimentary jobs. Standards are even slipping. By their fifth year of schooling only half of rural pupils can solve a calculation like 43 minus 24 and barely a quarter can read an English sentence like “What is the time?” Our support for better education could not be more relevant. (www.economist.com/news/leaders/21577372)
This poverty map of the world shows the scale and depth of poverty worldwide. Africa, and even more the Indian subcontinent have the greatest concentration of poverty. By comparison Europe and the Americas shrink in scale. One third of India’s population of 1.1 billion lives below the poverty line. Poverty is not just a financial state: it includes the factors of life expectancy, adult literacy, water quality and underweight children.