Adrian Janes Selected Sources for India
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By Adrian Janes


DocuTicker editors contribute brief articles to FUMSI on conducting research with grey literature - reports from government agencies, think tanks, research institutes and public interest organisations.


In my work as a contributing editor for DocuTicker, I research publicly available reports on a number of global topics. Here are some of my favourite resources for India:

India, like China, is another Asian giant which has shown strong economic growth in recent years, although it continues to have great disparities of wealth. Reflecting this growth, India is a member of the G20, from which site important national financial institutions can be located. Indeed, the development of the G20 is largely explained by the need to accommodate the emerging economies alongside the original G7/G8 countries.

India's National Informatics Centre (NIC) has produced an excellent Directory of Indian Government Websites. This provides links to all of the key ministries, and under the heading Institutions/Organisations it also does the same for major areas of economic and cultural life. In a country where the state sector is very important, the section Public Sector and Joint Venture is particularly worth exploring.

It should not be forgotten that, although India is spoken of as if it were a monolithic entity, it is in fact composed of 35 States and Union Territories. Complimentary to the NIC's national directory is this one which details bodies at this more local level.

The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation and the Ministry of Finance are both plentiful sources of official economic data.

There are various sources which can put this data into context and provide useful background to the country. India Knowledge, from the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania, has a range of articles and podcasts on various economic sectors and issues. These are regularly added to in order to remain topical, e.g. this article on the July 2009 Budget.

Part of the reason India is now classed as an emerging market and a potential economic superpower is because for many people it has long been synonymous with poverty. This assumption is not without foundation. A useful corrective to the euphoric type of commentary is provided by One World's India Guide which gives statistics and links not offered elsewhere all in the one place, and which help to make for a fuller picture.

The research company Millward Brown has concise reports on various emerging economies as part of the ‘Market Focus' section of its site. That on India is typical, being clearly written and attractively presented, with a number of key facts noted and culminating in a list of websites for news and travel purposes. It is not an in-depth report, but is certainly a good starting-point.

A further source, which unites the virtues of concision and topicality, is the India Portal of the Federation of International Trade Associations (FITA). This has a number of sections, but it is the first, the Country Profile, which appears to be most useful and current. Starting with an Introduction that includes some basic statistics and practical pointers (e.g. telephone codes, the current time in India), it moves on to sections on the Business Environment; Economic and Political Overview; Selling and Buying; Operating a Business; Investing; and Travelling.

This is a very clearly-constructed site. Especially good is the use throughout of relevant links to confirm and enlarge upon the information FITA itself offers. For example, Business Environment has a sub-section on National Regulation and International Agreements which notes some of the main legal measures and in addition links to the texts. Since these links are to such sources as India Code (a database of Indian legislation starting from 1836!) and WIPO, this is a convenient way to reach much more information on India than is immediately apparent from the FITA site alone.

Another way of looking at an emerging market is from a specific viewpoint. Industry organisations can be worthwhile sources in this respect. An indigenous example is the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI). Textiles and clothing are an important area of the Indian economy, and here can be found two substantial free reports, ‘Impact of Economic Slowdown on Indian Textile and Clothing Industry', and ‘Vision for the Indian Textile and Clothing Industry 2007-2012'.

Less traditional, but perhaps equally significant, is India's growing involvement in IT.

NASSCOM claims to be "the premier trade body and the chamber of commerce of the

IT-BPO industries in India." A lot of the site's content is restricted to members, but some research reports have free executive summaries. Likewise the Strategic Review 2009 (PDF).

An example from an external standpoint is the Canadian Tourism Commission's

India - 2009 Market Analysis' (PDF). As can often be the case, while detailing factors especially important to a particular industry, writings along these lines bring in information which is of more general application. Thus this report has useful sections on such areas as Demographics, the Economic Outlook, and Media Habits which could help researchers in many other contexts.

To keep up to date with developments, a good source is the Economic Times. This is a lively newspaper which specialises in business news and takes full advantage of the Internet's capabilities by offering it as text or video. At a time when newspapers are increasingly debating whether and how to charge for content, this one appears to have kept everything free and of a good standard.

Portals for India, which can provide a swift way into all the major facets of the country (economic, political, cultural, etc), are found at the Library of Congress and the India Virtual Library.

Related Posts from Docuticker

Caste and Wealth Inequality in India

Country Analysis Brief - India

2009 Patent Focus Report

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Diasporas and Domestic Entrepreneurs: Evidence from the Indian Software Industry

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