Economic growth creates fewer jobs than it used to, says a report released Tuesday by Azim Premji University’s Centre for Sustainable Employment. It says a 10% GDP increase now results in less than 1% increase in employment. In the 1970s-80s, when GDP growth was around 3-4%, employment growth was around 2% per annum, says the report, titled State of Work in India. Since the 1990s, GDP growth has accelerated to 7% but employment growth has slowed to 1% or even less. Now, the ratio of GDP growth to employment growth is less than 0.1. Claiming that between 2013 and 2015, total employment shrank by 7 million, it refers to a contrary finding in a recent study — that the economy generated 13 million new jobs in 2017. The report calls this and “optimistic conclusion” that depends on “selective use of data and unjustified assumptions”.
Tip for Reading List | Finding herself through drawing
Liana Finck, cartoonist at The New Yorker and star on Instagram, has written what could appear to many to be an unusual life story. Passing for Human is a graphic memoir, stories told in drawings, about herself and all those who inhabit her most intimate world. She has clarified that the book is “a work of nonfiction”, although “some names (including mine) have been changed”, and “some facts have been tampered with”.
The book begins with an announcement: “Once upon a time I lost something. Let’s call it ‘my shadow’.” A review in The New York Times sums up its core content and appearance: “It is drawn in a straightforward pen-and-ink style but each simple drawing captures… raw emotion. It’s wonderfully intimate, like reading someone’s diary. And in a way that’s what it is. It tells the story of the artist’s search for her lost shadow.” Finck’s style of drawing reflects her anxieties, says The Guardian — “her humans are spindly scribbles with childlike faces that are sometimes little more than a chin, or two bulging eyes”. But her seemingly uncomplicated squiggles represent complex emotional states, and over the spread of the memoir, lay out all the moments in her life that have made Finck the woman she is now.
In an interview to The Guardian, Finck spoke of her shadow as an actual friend that she had lost: “It walks behind you, knows you better than you know yourself and guides you to what is right for you. My shadow was a burden, it made me weird, shy and awkward. But it also taught me to draw, so it’s not all bad.” The NYT quotes her as saying: “A draw-er doesn’t draw because she loves to draw. She doesn’t draw because she draws well. She draws because once, she lost something. And by drawing, she will find it again.”
This Word Means: ELEPHANT BIRD
What was the giant bird of Madagascar, and why has it come alive this week?
Elephant Birds, members of the extinct family Aepyornithidae, were flightless cousins of the ostrich that roamed Madagascar until they went extinct centuries ago. For long, scientists believed it was the heaviest bird ever — until their understanding was questioned by the discovery in Australia of the Dromornis stirtoni, another flightless giant that disappeared from the Earth 20,000 years ago.
A paper published in Royal Society Open Science Wednesday has returned history’s heavyweight title to the Elephant Bird. After taxonomic reshuffling and examination of collected remains, the researchers have argued that a member of a previously unidentified genus could have weighed more than 770 kg. The researchers examined thousands of Elephant Bird bones; then used data on modern birds and algorithms to determine how large the birds might have grown. Their conclusion: there existed three genera (plural of genus) of Elephant Bird, and four species — Mulleornis modestus, Aepyornis hildebrandti, Aepyornis maximus and Vorombe titan. A. maximus had been considered the heaviest Elephant Bird, until a British scientist in 1894 claimed to have discovered an even larger species, the Aepyornis titan, but others dismissed it as an oversized A. maximus specimen. The new paper declares A. titan as a separate genus — of a much larger Elephant Bird — and names the species and genus Vorombe titan. The new species, The New York Times quoted researcher Dr James P Hansford as saying, is “up to 800 kilos, perhaps twice the body mass of A. maximus”.
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