1. On the pointlessness of official poverty statistics in India. This op-ed is excellent. Officially, India’s poverty rate has been cut from 45% to 28% over the past ten years. However those rates are based on a spending cutoff of 11.8 rupees per day in villages and Rs. 17.9/day in cities. Those are insanely low cut-offs. (For foreign readers who want a sense of rupee purchasing power: a domestic Indian beer often costs Rs. 120.) If the per day spending cut-off is raised to 20 rupees per day, the Indian poverty rate would be a staggering 70%.
2. Cow smuggling between Hindu majority India and Muslim majority Bangladesh. Key quote: “Estimates suggest 1.5 million cows, valued at up to $500 million, are smuggled annually, providing more than half the beef consumed in Bangladesh.”
3. India now has more cellphones than toilets. And the sanitation problem is worse than the numbers indicate, because the toilets that have been built are often not maintained.
4. The New York Times on the IPL scandal. Yesterday afternoon, Indian time, this was the main story on nytimes.com.