About INgene blog : First ever Indian Youth trend Insights blog

About INgene : First ever Indian Youth trend Insights blog:
This blog explores the detailed characteristics of Young-India and explains the finer & crucial differences they have with their global peers. The blog also establishes the theory of “adopted differentiation” (Copyright Kaustav SG,2007) and how the Indian & Inglodian youth are using this as a tool to differentiate themselves from the “aam aadmi” (mass population of India) to establish their new found identity.

The term youth refers to persons who are no longer children and not yet adults. Used colloquially, however the term generally refers to a broader, more ambiguous field of reference- from the physically adolescent to those in their late twenties.
Though superficially the youth all over the world exhibits similar [degree of] attitude, [traits of] interests & [deliverance of] opinion but a detailed observation reveals the finer differential characteristics which are crucial and often ignored while targeting this group as a valued consumer base. India is one of the youngest countries in the world with 60% of its population less then 24 years of age and is charted as the most prospective destination for the retail investment in the A. T. Kearney’s Global Retail Opportunity Report, 2007. With the first ever non-socialistic generation’s thriving aspiration & new found money power combined with steadily growing GDP, bubbling IT industry and increasing list of confident young entrepreneurs, the scenario appears very lucrative for the global and local retailers to target the “Youngisthan” (young-India). But, the secret remains in the understanding of the finer AIOs of this generation. The Indian youth segment roughly estimates close to 250million (between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five) and can be broadly divided (socio-psychologically) into three categories: the Bharatiyas, the Indians & the Inglodians (copyright Kaustav SG 2008). The Bharatiyas estimating 67% of the young population lives in the rural (R1, R2 to R4 SEC) areas with least influence of globalization, high traditional values. They are least economically privileged, most family oriented Bollywood influenced generation. The Indians constitute 31.5% (A, B,C, D & E SEC) and have moderate global influence. They are well aware of the global trends but rooted to the Indian family values, customs and ethos. The Inglodians are basically the creamy layers (A1,A SEC) and marginal (1.5% or roughly three million) in number though they are strongly growing (70% growth rate). Inglodians are affluent and consume most of the trendy & luxury items. They are internet savvy & the believers of global-village (a place where there is no difference between east & west, developing & developed countries etc.), highly influenced by the western music, food, fashion & culture yet Indian at heart.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fairness syndrome : Indian socio psychology

As discussed earlier in this blog, the skin color is a symbolic representation of social strata, in India. Not only while selecting the brides but also during the selection of surrogated mothers! According to researchers surrogate mothers still face discrimination over their caste, skin colour and attractiveness despite the fact that the foetus they carry has none of their own genetic material.

The survey by the women's health charity SAMA, carried out in-depth interviews with surrogate mothers, agents who commission them on behalf of couples suffering fertility problems, and gynaecologists.

They found that couples commonly insisted that the woman who carries their child should be beautiful, from their own or similar caste, and have fair skin – similar requirements to those expressed in India's notorious newspaper advertisements for brides and grooms.

"Parents want someone from the same background in terms of caste and religion. When they are asked 'how does it matter?' they don't explain but they are willing to pay extra – up to one lakh rupees (£1,155) more. It's caste or religious prejudice and notional ideas or what is acceptable and unacceptable," said Deepa, programme coordinator at SAMA.

She said that while the surrogate mother merely gestates the foetus and does not contribute any of her own DNA to it, commissioning parents still think of her as a mother who contributes her "body and blood" to nourishing their child. For caste conscious Hindus this could be regarded as 'caste pollution.'

Dr Naina Patel, who runs one of India's most successful fertility clinics in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, said she does receive requests for surrogates to be of specific castes or religions, but once parents understand the surrogate's background will not influence the appearance of their child they usually accept any healthy and stable woman.

The fairness syndrome in India is age old and embedded in the social system via 300 years of colonial rule. The apathy of ‘fair is better’ reflects Indian diasporas of social system.  

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Malala effect : Stand up together for the cause (youth in South East Asia)

After centuries of suppression using animalistic force the Talibans are literally cornered now by a teenager and her passion for education. The Hindu newpaper reported it as below :

When gun-toting men stopped their school wagon in Mingora last Tuesday around 12.45 p.m. asking for Malala Yousafzai, none of the three girls inside spoke. This, despite the terrorists threatening to shoot all of them if they did not identify Malala. Today, stirred by the braveheart, who dared to stand up to the Taliban, and her friends, Shazia and Kainat, who refused to identify her even under threat, girls across Pakistan are saying ‘I am Malala.’ This is happening not just on the social media – which offers a degree of anonymity and security – but also on television and on the streets; some with their faces uncovered. ‘I-am-Malala’ has been trending not just in Pakistan but also in Afghanistan where girls’ education is equally at risk from the very same elements.

On Saturday, the Afghanistan Education Ministry organised a nationwide prayer for her at schools. She is being likened to ‘Malalai of Maiwand,’ the ‘Afghan Joan of Arc’ who rallied the Pashtun army against the British in 1880.


In an echo of the Pakistan People’s Party pet slogan kitne Bhutto maroge, har ghar se Bhutto niklega (how many Bhuttos will you kill, every house will produce one), the refrain across the country is “how many Malalas will you kill?’’ As daily vigils are being organised to pray for the speedy recovery of Malala and her friends, girls were coming forward; willing to stand up and be counted. Her classmate from the Khushal Public School in Mingora, asserted: “Every girl in Swat is Malala. We will educate ourselves. We will win. They can’t defeat us.’’ If anything, the fate of Malala – who came to represent the ‘voice of the girls of Swat’ because of her blog, written under the pseudonym Gul Makai, in which she advocated girls’ right to education during the Taliban reign of terror over Swat – has made the media a bit circumspect about exposing the girls too much for fear that the terrorists might target them, too. Still, at vigils and demonstrations, children are turning up in considerable numbers; a rare sight in Pakistan where crowds are avoided given the impunity with which terrorists penetrate. Even in Peshawar – where there are indications of various terrorist outfits regrouping and mobilising after a brief lull – girls are coming out in support of Malala; fearing that silence is no longer an option.

Interestingly, The wave of protest is surging in this side of border too. The fresh protests are seen in Bhopal (India) and other places. Victims and survivors of the Bhopal gas tragedy have extended their support to Pakistani teenager Malala Yousufzai who has stood up for women’s education. “We salute the young lady and the brave front she put up against extremist elements. We pray for her well-being and hope she recovers soon,” said Abdul Jabbar, a gas victim and convener of the Sangathan.
(protests in Bhopal, India)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Aged vs Young : population in India

A country which is becoming younger also has a large number of aged people. By 2050, India will be home to one out of every six of the world’s older persons, and only China will have a larger number of elderly people, according to estimates released by the United Nations Population Fund.

Here’s a report published at The Hindu newspaper:

Thirty years ago, there were no “aged economies,” in which consumption by older people surpassed that of youth. In 2010, there were 23 aged economies. By 2040, there will be 89.

Japan is today the only country with more than 30 per cent of its population aged 60 or above. By 2050, there will be 64 countries where older people make up more than 30 per cent of the population.  In simple terms, within a decade there will be one billion older persons worldwide. And by 2050, nearly 80 per cent of the world’s older persons will live in developing countries — with China and India contributing to over one-third that number.  
A report released by the United Nations Population Fund and HelpAge India to mark the International Day of Older Persons — observed on October 1 — suggests that India had 90 million elderly persons in 2011, with the number expected to grow to 173 million by 2026. Of the 90 million seniors, 30 million are living alone, and 90 per cent work for livelihood.
The report says the number of elderly women is more than that of elderly men. Nearly three out of five single older women are very poor, and two out of three rural elderly women are fully dependants. There is also an increasing proportion of elderly at 80-plus ages, and this pattern is more pronounced among women.

The study, undertaken in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Orissa, West Bengal, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh by HelpAge, suggests that one-fifth of the elderly live alone. This proportion has registered a sharp increase in the past two decades and is more evident in the case of elderly women.
The housing data from Census 2011 also point out that the number of households has increased substantially in the last decade, and the number of persons per household has come down substantially. Declining fertility, migration and nuclearisation of families are three possible reasons for such reduction in household size.

Across the States, there is a substantial variation in the type of living arrangement, particularly in the proportion of elderly persons living alone. The percentage of those living alone or with spouse is as high as 45 per cent in Tamil Nadu, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab and Kerala. This indicates that with a demographic transition under way and youth migrating out for economic reasons, there will be a drastic change in the living arrangements of the elderly in rural and urban areas. The large segment of the elderly, those living alone or with spouse only, and the widowed who are illiterate, poor and particularly those from the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe families, low wealth quintiles will definitely require various kinds of support: economic, social and psychological. These, at present, are woefully lacking.
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment put in place the National Policy on Older Persons in 1999 with a view to addressing issues relating to aging in a comprehensive manner. But the programme failed at the implementation level. The Ministry is now formulating a new policy that is expected to address the concerns of the elderly. The idea is to help them live a productive and dignified life. There is a scheme of grant-in-aid of the Integrated Programme for Older Persons, under which financial assistance is provided to voluntary organisations for running and maintaining projects. These include old-age homes, day-care centres and physiotherapy clinics. While the scheme, indeed the concept, is still alien to India, the Ministry is considering the revision of cost norms for these projects, keeping in view the rising cost of living.

The most recent intervention has been the introduction of the National Programme for Health Care for Elderly in 2010, with the basic aim to provide separate and specialised comprehensive health care to senior citizens. The major components of this programme are establishing geriatric departments in eight regional geriatric centres and strengthening health care facilities for the elderly at various levels in 100 districts. Though the scheme is proposed to be expanded during the Twelfth Five Year Plan, the regional geriatric centres are yet to take off because of lack of space in the identified institutions.
The enactment of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, was a legislative milestone. However, its implementation has been poor.

With poor social security arrangements for the elderly, it is not surprising that around 37 million elderly in India are engaged in productive work, according to NSSO data for 2004-05. A majority of these workers are illiterate or have limited levels of education. Half the women elderly workers are from the two poorest consumption quintiles. This indicates that illiteracy and poverty push them to undertake work outside as a survival strategy, or out of compulsion.