Changing Higher Education to Achieve Social Inclusion

Source: University World News

Higher education can be used for the social and economic mobility of underprivileged sections. This is achieved usually by providing admission to a set of students from these sections in universities and other institutes of higher education through the reservation of a quota of seats.

Canada: “A Place of Stability, of Openness, of Inclusiveness”

Source: Times Higher Education via Academica

Canada’s decision to welcome thousands of Syrian refugees “stands out as an important symbol” of the country’s “openness and eagerness to attract newcomers,” says University of Toronto President Meric Gertler in an interview with Times Higher Education. Gertler highlights a number of significant steps Canada has taken to be open compared to the isolationist tendencies of Brexit and the Donald Trump presidential campaign. These include Canada’s efforts to attract 450,000 international students by 2022, its amendments to its citizenship process for international students, and its increased investment in research and scientific infrastructure. “Canada has certainly emerged as a place of stability, of openness, of inclusiveness,” says Gertler. “I think we’re doing many things right now that will position us as a stark alternative to things that are happening in other countries, including the UK and the US.”

International Students Praise Canada’s Openness & Affordable Fees

Source: The PIE News

Competitive fees and attractive post-study work options are some of Canada’s most magnetic features drawing international students to its shores. Word of mouth recommendations, however, remain powerful influences when students are choosing a study destination.

For the complete post, please visit The PIE News.

Program to Help International Students Engage with Montreal

Source: Journal de Montreal via Academica

Several thousand international students will have newfound access to free cultural activities through a new “passport” program spurred by the city’s universities. The International Student MTL Passport program aims to encourage Montreal’s 28,000 international university students to enjoy the “cultural wealth of the city” by distributing maps and providing the students with free access sites such as the Biodôme, the Botanical Garden, the Insectarium, and the Planetarium. They will also be offered credits to participate in a number of other events at reduced cost. “We want to decompartmentalize the students, get them out of their campuses,” said Nadine Gelly, general manager of the cultural promotion organization La Vitrine, which helped launch the project.

Culturally Competent Advising Requires a Holistic Approach

Source: Inside Higher Education via Academica

“To be better advisers, we need to consider the cultural baggage a student brings to a conversation when discussing their major,” writes June Y Chu for Inside Higher Ed. Chu illuminates the ways that culturally competent advising must grow to better serve a diverse student body. This approach uses a holistic approach that goes beyond telling a student to pursue the subject they love, and takes into account issues such as family conflicts and responsibilities. Chu further adds that “the question for advisers is how our own cultural values influence our advising and potentially devalue the cultural history a student brings into our office.”

Canada & India – Embracing Diversity

Canada & India – Embracing Diversity

By Ms. Roohi Ahmed, President, India Canada Friendship Circle

The India Canada Friendship Circle (ICFC) launched its 2016-2017 lecture series this fall with a presentation by Mr. Chandra Arya, Member of Parliament and Chair of the Canada-India Parliamentary Friendship Group. Mr. Arya spoke about the role of MPs in fostering closer ties between the Parliaments of Canada and other countries as a means of promoting bilateral and multilateral relations. Parliamentary friendship groups do not have budgets or administrative support and are formed on a cross-party basis as well as a member’s interest in a specific country. Parliamentary friendship associations, on the other hand, have formal budgets and administrative support from the Parliament of Canada and are actively engaged with their international counterparts. Mr. Arya and his fellow MPs who have an interest in India hope to elevate the status of the Canada-India Parliamentary Friendship Group to an association, and they also wish to help move forward talks on the Canada-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in order to increase trade between the two countries. Mr. Arya also noted that MPs who happen to have a large concentration of Indo-Canadians in their constituencies had joined the Canada-India Parliamentary Friendship Group to learn more about India.

ICFC members suggested that the Canada-India Parliamentary Friendship Group study the issue of immigration and integration, as some members felt not all Indo-Canadians were socially integrated. Some found it fascinating that we had Hockey Night in Canada in Punjabi, and that Asian television programs seem to have become a favourite pastime while Asian language print media cover local news. While these reflect the hallmarks of Canadian multiculturalism, Mr. Arya felt that this was also an inter-generational issue, pointing out that first-generation migrants in some communities may not be so integrated, but their children are.

Mr. Arya also agreed with his audience on the importance of finding the right balance between cultural diversity and integration. He highlighted the added value of leveraging Indian diaspora strengths and shared his own personal experience as testimony to the openness of Canadian society towards giving immigrants a chance to become positive, contributing members to the economy and community. He brought to Canada his skills as an engineer and business executive, and in turn learned new ways which he felt enriched his life. For example, Mr. Arya appreciated the culture of “volunteerism” in Canada, which influenced his path to politics. The audience concluded that the Canadian experiment with immigration and multiculturalism is not yet complete and still evolving, and that the Canadian model of socio-economic integration is on the right track relative to the US and Europe.

The next ICFC lecture will be held in collaboration with The College of the Humanities, Carleton University featuring the articulate speaker Dr. Geeti Sen, Cultural Historian, Professor, Author and Art Critic who is travelling to Canada from New Delhi. She will demonstrate through visual images and text how 20th century Indian nationalism was driven as much by politicians as it was by painters, poets and patriots.

More details are available at the following website: http://www.icfc.ws

Fanshawe College Opens English Language Centre

Source: Fanshawe College via Academica

Fanshawe College has officially opened its new English Language Institute, a centre that will gather together the college’s various English as a Second Language initiatives and become home to the college’s new flagship program, English for Academic Purposes. The college reports that this full-time, intensive program will help international and domestic students prepare for further academic study, and will also be recognized by Western University and  its affiliated colleges. “Through the English Language Institute, Fanshawe will continue to offer enhanced English language training and support that empowers International students, newcomers to Canada, and non-English fluent students to succeed in post-secondary studies,” said Gary Lima, Senior Vice-President, Academic Services at Fanshawe.

UAlberta Students Hold Turban-Tying Event in Reaction to Posters

Source: Edmonton Journal via Academica

In response to the recently discovered and removed racist posters on campus, the Sikh Students’ Association and the World Sikh Organization of Canada held a turban-tying event called “Turban, eh?” in the University of Alberta Students’ Union building. The event invited any interested persons to have a turban tied on their heads, and provided the opportunity for participants to ask the volunteers questions. Faculty, staff, and students from UAlberta were joined by politicians and community members for the event. UAlberta President David Turpin commented that he was filled with pride at the event, stating that “it really is an opportunity to stand up and say what it means to be Canadian.”

Canada Student Visa Policy Changes Worry NS Language Schools

Source: CBC via Academica

A recent change to international student visa requirements has caused concern among Nova Scotia’s English language schools, reports CBC. Introduced in July, the new legislative changes require international students in Canada to obtain a second visa before moving from secondary to postsecondary school. “What happened before the changes is students could apply for language training and university training and receive one study permit to cover the whole of the time that they were going to be in Canada,” says Sheila Nunn, president of East Coast School of Languages in Halifax. “This gave them the confidence that they knew that they would go on to the university, they didn’t have to apply for any other paperwork.” Nunn adds that the new regulations might jeopardize pathways programs currently established at NS universities.

International Medical Residents Struggle with Culture Shock

Source: National Post via Academica

Graduates of foreign medical schools often face a significant clash of cultures when they pursue two-year family medicine residencies in Canada, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Alberta and University of Calgary. The report notes that while Canada relies heavily on international medical graduates, many of these graduates may struggle with unfamiliar cultural experiences, such as being taught by female instructors, working with the mentally ill, and having difficulty with the nuances of English. “In some countries, males look after males and females look after females,” said Olga Szafran, associate research director in the University of Alberta’s family-medicine department and the study’s lead author, “but we can’t be selective in the kind of patients that our physicians end up treating.”

College Faculty Adapting Their Teaching for Foreign Students

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education via Academica

As postsecondary institutions become increasingly internationalized, colleges are noticing that their faculty members must also adapt to meet the cultural and pedagogical needs of their new classrooms, writes Karin Fischer for the Chronicle of Higher Education. The article discusses a number of faculty methods for better reaching international students, such as posting lecture slides online, ending lectures early to allow for questions, and providing translations of classroom slides or syllabi. “There are many different ways that students learn, no matter where they are from,” says Association of International Education Administrators Executive Director Darla Deardorff, who adds that “changing our strategies doesn’t mean we are … making our courses any less rigorous.”

Reverse Culture Shock Common in International Exchanges, but Not Often Discussed

Source: University Affairs via Academica

Writing in University Affairs, Concordia University student Pierre-Alexandre Bolduc recounts how his return to Montreal after two semesters abroad was “as much of an experience and adaptation as going abroad.” Reverse culture shock is a common, but unexpected and under-discussed sensation of “re-culturing” one’s self to a place, according to Concordia Psychology Lecturer Dorothea Bye. She believes that exchange students need to “talk to people who have gone through the same things as they did,” and Concordia International is considering offering resources specifically to returning exchange students. Concordia sends between 350 and 400 students on international exchange every year.

Students and Parents Differ in Their Views on PSE, Jobs

Source: Ipsos via Academica

A recent poll has revealed the differences between parents and students in their perception of why students attend PSE. Students were significantly more likely than their parents to report that one of their motivations in attending PSE was to satisfy their parents. In terms of career, parents were more likely than students to believe that finding a meaningful and fulfilling job would make their children happy. While attending PSE “to maximize the chances of having a career that [they] will be happy with” was the most influential factor for both groups, parents were significantly more likely to cite this reason than students.

Why Indians Study Abroad

Source: Education Times

With a topic inspired by almost 10 years spent working within the Indian community in Australia and living in India, Nonie Tuxen’s thesis explores the growth of the ‘new’ Indian middle class and their desire for overseas education.

On her choice of topic, she says: “During my undergraduate, I worked part-time in an Indian restaurant and got a first-hand experience of Indian students’ dreams and aspirations to study overseas. Also, my parents had come to India for their honeymoon so I was quite interested about the country. I visited India many times over the years and witnessed the change in the country’s upwardly mobile middle class and their fascination for overseas education.”

Tuxen says that countries should understand the value of studying abroad for international students and allow work rights for at least two to three years. “My research indicates that gaining professional exposure in an international setting is a key factor in determining what and where young Indians choose to study.”

To read the full article, visit the Education Times.

More Than Half of International Students Have no Canadian Friends

Source: Times Higher Education via Academica

According to Janine Knight-Grofe from the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), 56% of international students in Canada said they have no Canadian friends. “We are missing out on one of the strategic advantages of international education, one that we as international educators frequently tout,” Knight-Grofe said at last week’s annual conference of NAFSA: Association of International Educators. One-third of international students said they found it difficult to meet Canadian students and half experienced challenges meeting Canadians off campus. The issue is particularly acute for students from the Middle East and North Africa: only 28% of these students had any Canadian friends.

Premier Kathleen Wynne Announces Mission to India

Source: Ontario News Release

Premier Kathleen Wynne will lead a mission to India in early 2016 to foster more opportunities for trade and investment and promote Ontario’s expertise in sustainable development.

A main component of the trip will be a business delegation that will visit New Delhi and Mumbai — India’s governing and economic centres — as well as Hyderabad and Chandigarh. Premier Wynne will meet with government and industry decision-makers to discuss how Ontario’s expertise makes the province an attractive partner as India works toward achieving its sustainable development goals. She will also highlight the province’s position as the North American leader in attracting foreign capital investment. The mission is expected to result in several new agreements that will create jobs and boost the provincial economy. 

As part of the trip, Premier Wynne will also meet with cultural leaders to reinforce Ontario’s commitment to fostering stronger ties with India.

Providing more opportunities for Ontario companies to compete internationally is part of the government’s economic plan. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people’s talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in the province’s history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.

New Prime Minister of India Gives Hope to Hindi Translators

Contributed by: Ravi Kumar (Founder) of Hindi Center

With a new government in place in India, Hindi seems to be bouncing back with a bang. Not only in India but in the world at large. The international business community has read the writing on the wall. If the world wants to do business with India, business community need to communicate with the new prime minister Mr. Narendra Modi in Hindi. Modi is market friendly and has acquired a solid reputation as a tough man and a quick decision maker. It is not surprising that 19th June newspapers have carried a news that the Indian Home ministry has asked government offices to give preference to Hindi. These are the signs of changing times. More is likely to come soon.

For the complete article, visit HindiCenter.com

Universities Should Make Better Use of Campus Radio

Source: University Affairs via Academica

An article in University Affairs suggests that some Canadian universities may not be taking full advantage of their campus radio stations. Benjamin Miller argues that radio can offer universities strategic and pedagogic benefits, being an especially useful tool for appealing to new immigrants and international students. Many campus stations broadcast content that is in neither French nor English, quickly reaching a diverse audience. Universities can also use their radio stations to develop their campus identity, interacting with their communities and providing a platform to share the work of different departments. Professors, for instance, might broadcast course-related podcasts or develop class projects that incorporate radio as a multimedia element. “Campus radio is a strategic asset for reaching out to thousands of potential students across Canada. It is a wonderful part of university life, and universities can only benefit by using it better,” writes Miller.

CIEC and Stephen Harper Attend the 14th National Diwali Celebration in Toronto

On October 18, 2014, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, along with Husain F. Neemuchwala (CIEC – CEO) & Kalpa Pathak (CIEC – Director of Public Affairs & Member Services) took part in the 14th National Diwali Celebration at the Hindu Sabha Mandir in Brampton, Canada.

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View photos from the 14th National Diwali Celebration on our Google+ page

Governor General to Undertake State Visit to the Republic of India

Source: Consulate General of Canada News Release | February 19, 2014

OTTAWA—At the request of the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, Their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston will conduct a State visit to the Republic of India, from February 22 to March 2, 2014.

“Sharon and I are looking forward to our State visit to India, which will be centred on the themes of innovation, entrepreneurship and education, with a special focus on the contributions of women and girls,” His Excellency said. “This visit is a reflection of the importance Canada attaches to its relationship with India. Both of our countries are committed to strengthening our partnership and co-operation. The Canada-India economic relationship is strong and holds tremendous potential for broader and expanded collaboration. During our time spent in New Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai, we will meet with government officials, representatives from the business and education sectors, and those from non-governmental organizations with the aim of advancing our economic, academic and cultural ties with our Indian counterparts.”

His Excellency will be joined by parliamentarians and an accompanying delegation of Canadians who will enhance business, academic, cultural and people-to-people ties with their Indian counterparts. These exchanges will further develop the wide-ranging and multi-faceted relationship with India, a major economic player and priority market for Canada, and will provide greater impetus to bilateral initiatives in various sectors, particularly in strategies promoting innovation, entrepreneurship and education.

State Visit to India: New Delhi (February 22 to 25)

In the capital city of New Delhi, Their Excellencies will be officially welcomed by the President and Prime Minister of India during a welcoming ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhawan, the Presidential Palace. To underscore the important friendship and co-operation between both countries, and on behalf of the people of Canada, Their Excellencies will present an inuksuk to the people of India.

During this visit, His Excellency will meet with Canadian and Indian business leaders to discuss our nations’ economic relationship at a business meeting with the Chambers of Commerce hosted by the Government of India, and at the Canada-India CEO Forum. The Governor General will also discuss the role of innovation in addressing global health challenges during the Grand Challenges Global Health Innovation Roundtable, organized by Grand Challenges Canada.

Her Excellency will discuss the opportunities and challenges faced by women researchers supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), and also by women entrepreneurs. She will also visit non-governmental organizations (NGOs) providing education to underprivileged children, and free services to children diagnosed with cancer.

State Visit to India – Bangalore (February 26 and 27)

In Bangalore, Their Excellencies will meet with the Governor of Karnataka. They will visit the All India Coordinated Small Millets Improvement Project—created by IDRC and the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) at the University of Agricultural Sciences, in Bangalore—as well as inaugurate the new consulate general, which will oversee Canada’s expanded presence in South India.

His Excellency will discuss the importance of skills development in further building connections between Canadian and Indian institutions during a panel discussion, and participate in a Canada-India discussion on innovation hosted by the Asia-Pacific Foundation of Canada and the National Innovation Council of India.

Her Excellency will visit NGOs dedicated to helping children with HIV and to supporting Indian women entrepreneurs.

State Visit to India – Mumbai (February 27 to March 2)

While in Mumbai, Their Excellencies will meet with the Governor of Maharashtra, and pay their respects at a memorial to the 32 victims of the November 2008 terrorist attack on the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. During a visit to Dharavi, one of the largest slums in Asia, Their Excellencies will see, first-hand, examples of India’s deep-seated entrepreneurship and various micro-businesses. They will also discuss the future of audiovisual co-production between Canada and India at Film City, one of the largest shooting locations in India.

In addition, His Excellency will have the opportunity to open the stock market at the Bombay Stock Exchange, and witness the inauguration of BIL-Ryerson DMZ India Ltd., an incubation centre for entrepreneurs supported in partnership with the Bombay Stock Exchange Institute, Ryerson University and Simon Fraser University. He will also address innovators and entrepreneurs at the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay; business leaders at the Indo-Canadian Business Chamber Annual Convention; and the heads of various educational institutions to exchange views on skills development and the future of education in India.

Her Excellency will meet with women leaders from the private and public sectors, civil society and academia on the status of women in India, and visit a strategic philanthropy NGO co-founded and co-managed by an Indo-Canadian. She will also meet with social workers and volunteers who prevent second-generation trafficking among the children of sex workers in Asia’s largest and oldest red-light district.

Visits abroad by a governor general play an important role in Canada’s relations with other countries. They are highly valuable as they help broaden bilateral relations and exchanges among peoples.

Members of the public can follow the Governor General’s State visit to the Republic of India online at www.gg.ca, where speeches, photos and videos will be posted.

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The detailed itinerary and a list of accompanying delegates will be published at a later date.

Media information:

Marie-Ève Létourneau                                               Rideau Hall Press Office 613-998-0287 marie-eve.letourneau@gg.ca

Translating Culture vs. Cultural Translation

Source: Hindi Center

Contact: Ravi Kumar, President – Indian Translators Association, 613-707-1349; info@hindicenter.com

Harish Trivedi, Professor at University of Delhi, highly appreciates the fact that over last two or three decades, translation and translation studies have become a more visible, more prolific and more respectable activity than ever before.

Trivedi further links this discipline with post-colonial studies that emerged as an area of studies just a few years before translation studies and both of them have become interactive to each through a series of books in this direction, eg. Siting Translation: History, Poststructuralism and the Colonial Context (1992) by Tejaswini Niranjana, The Poetics of Imperialism: Translation and Colonization from The Tempest to Tarzan (1997) by Eric Cheyfitz, Translation and Empire: Postcolonial Theories Explained (1997) by Douglas Robinson, and Postcolonial Translation: Theory and Practice (1999), a collection of essays edited by Susan Bassnett and Harish Trivedi etc.

Before new development took place, translation remained confined to two different subjects or discipline: linguistics and comparative literature, and remained restricted to substitution of a text in one language for a text in another. But shortly after, it began to be noticed that literary texts were constituted not primarily of language but in fact of culture, language being in effect a vehicle of culture. 

Trivedi recognizes that interaction of language with culture helped translation studies expand its horizons and revitalize the discipline. This helped liberate it from the completely mechanical tool of analysis available in linguistics. The words which proved intractable are often described as being culture specific. For example, words like kurta, dhoti, roti, loochi, dharma, karma, or maya etc.  began to be treated as specific cultural elements very different from their corresponding western near equivalence shirt, trouser, bread, religion, deeds both past and present, or illusion respectively. Slowly not only some words were taken as culture specific but indeed the whole language became specific to the particular culture it belonged to.

Trivedi refers to Susan Bassnett and Andre Lefevere who added cultural dimension to translation studies through their title, ‘the cultural turn in translation studies’ in their book – Translation History and Culture (1990). Trivedi further explains, it was Susan Bassnett who declared death of comparative literature in wake of gaining popularity of post–colonial literature.

Trivedi is concerned with the fact that in parallel there has been growth of Culture Studies – from Eurocentric beginning to International stature- which is like translation studies is interdisciplinary in nature, but of them have failed to interact properly. Susan Bassnett did propose a four point agenda: the way in which different culture construct their images of writers and texts, a tracking of the ways in which text become cultural capital across culture boundaries, and an exploration of the politics of translation, especially of what Lawerence Venuti has called, “ethnocentric violence of translation”, and pooling of the resources.

Trivedi is disappointed with the fact that the cultural turn in translation and culture studies have not come to terms together, maybe because of the fact that translation deals at least between two languages whereas culture studies deals only in one language mainly English. Hence it remains an unfulfilled desire.

Trivedi further moves on to yet another discipline called, “Cultural Translation”. This may not be confused with old fashioned sense of translation that involves domestication of text from source to target language. This sort of cultural translation is yet to find its entry in the encyclopedia and anthologies of translation studies, and that this sort of Cultural translation is a dangerous trend that promotes monolingualism, monoculturalism and wants to convert multicultural and diversified world to a monolithic world.

Trivedi sites some examples of this postcolonial and postmodernist discourse and refers to Homi Bhabha who promotes this trend. Trivedi is critical of Bhabha who in his book, “The Location of Culture (1994)” discusses Salman Rushdie’s novel “Satanic Verses” as an example of cultural translation, inspite of the fact that this mentioned book was written originally in English and read in that language only (not in any other translation). Trivedi called it representation of postcolonial diaspora, and what Bhaba is talking is “Transnational as Translational”. Trivedi rejects this concept and suggests for use of another word in place of translation. It is not translation, it is a process of human migrancy.

Trivedi further sites examples of Hanif Kureishi, a writer born in England with one British and one Indian/Pakistani parents. He has nothing to do with immigrant population as he is by birth British, but he writes on new British immigrant’s communities because he is being paid for it. Thus Trivedi rejects Bhabha’s claim that cultural translation is the need of immigrant population, and asserts that such works are hegemonic western demand and necessity.

Trivedi further sites examples of Jhumpa Lahiri, who was born of Bengali parents in London, grew in America to become an American citizen at age of 18. She has written fiction not about Indians in America, but also some stories about Indians still living in India. She has been criticized for having reflected erroneous and defective understanding of India. She admits that her knowledge of India is limited- the same way- all translations are defective, thus her representation of India is her translation of India. She further elaborates that almost all her characters are translators, insofar as they must make sense to the foreign to survive.

Trivedi is very much worried about use of the word translation with cultural translation as it dilutes the discipline of translation studies. Therefore, he calls for use of other words like migrancy, exile or diaspora with culture to describe such phenomenon, but not the “Translation”.

Trivedi is worried over Susan Bassnett’s statement on Edwin Gentzler’s book, “Contemporary Translation Theories” where she says, “… the book is not only a critical survey but effectively also a translation, it transforms a whole range of complex theoretical material into accessible language”. Trivedi puts his concern by saying, “it is the same language English, in which such theoretical complexity and such accessibility both exist”.

Thus we notice that Trivedi ‘s concern on dilution of the word ‘translation’ with monolingual cultural interpretation of migrant population is quite genuine, and that a careful approach is needed to tackle such dilution process that aims to bury multilingualism, multiculturalism and diversity of culture in name of cultural translation.

How long-term unemployment is affecting the job search

Source: The Globe And Mail

What is the only thing worse than unemployment? Long-term unemployment, apparently. If you lose your job, there are a bunch of hardships you are inevitably going to endure until you find a new one. If you do not find a new one in a hurry, you may face the additional hardship of not finding one for an increasingly long period of time. Employers, it seems, view people who have not held a job with an eye that increases in wariness in proportion to their joblessness.

The insights come from an upcoming paper by Swedish economists Stefan Eriksson and Dan-Olof Rooth, which is to be published in the American Economic Review and was quoted in a blog in this week’s Wall Street Journal. The economists used Swedish data on calls returned to job applicants, sorting job seekers by duration of unemployment. What they found was that being unemployed for a short period of time made no difference at all to job seekers’ prospects, but that being unemployed for longer did.

Actually, it made a difference for workers who were applying for jobs that did not require a college degree, who saw their returned calls decline by 20 per cent. Workers who were applying for jobs that did need more education did not see the same decline in response, although it is difficult to know why. The old rule of thumb is that for every $10,000 you earn, it takes a month to find a new job so perhaps those seeking more educated, higher-wage employees realize they are interviewing people in a more selective, slower job market. Perhaps, too, there is a realization that higher wage workers may have left their last positions with a hefty goodbye package and hence may not be in as much of a hurry as those with more modest skills.

At any rate, the study says little about who actually got hired, just who got in the door. As well, although the Swedish economists believe their research has implications for the U.S. as well as Sweden, it is not hard to believe that the latter is a kinder gentler place than the former, which has gone through a brutal recession. Even in (relatively) kinder and gentler Canada, it seems likely that those with a long period of unemployment on their resume are going to get a harder look than those who are fresh from previous employment, whatever their level of education.

The good news, if there is any good news in the context of unemployment, is that over this business cycle, long-term unemployment has been a considerably less severe problem in Canada than it is in the United States. According to Statistics Canada, as of June, 2013 (the last month for which Canadian data is available), the average duration of unemployment in Canada was 18.3 weeks. In contrast, the average duration of unemployment in the U.S. was 35.6 weeks. In the Canadian case, the figure has not changed too much from before the recession. In June, 2008, the average duration of unemployment in Canada was 13.9 weeks, suggesting a lengthening of about 50 per cent. In the U.S., the length of unemployment has effectively doubled. As of June, approximately 19.9 per cent of the unemployed in Canada were without work for 27 weeks or more, while in the U.S., the figure was 36.7 per cent.

The duration of unemployment is a key indicator to watch. There has been much ado about the improvement in the U.S. labour market, and it is certainly true that the unemployment rate has dipped sharply. As of July, the U.S. unemployment rate was 7.4 per cent, compared to 10 per cent at its peak in October, 2009. Still, over that same period, the duration of unemployment has increased by about 9 weeks, and is coming down very slowly (by about 4 weeks over the past two years). Until this indicator shows an improvement, it will be hard to say that the malaise in the U.S. labour market has lifted, and with it much of the concerns about the global economy that are keeping everybody’s interest rates, including Canada’s, on hold.

India on the brink of its own financial crisis

India on the brink of its own financial crisis

Source: The Guardian

In a reprise of the 1997-98 Asian crisis, India’s stock market is plunging, bond yields are nudging 10% and capital is flooding out of the country.

India’s financial woes are rapidly approaching the critical stage. The rupee has depreciated by 44% in the past two years and hit a record low against the US dollar on Monday. The stock market is plunging, bond yields are nudging 10% and capital is flooding out of the country.

In a sense, this is a classic case of deja vu, a revisiting of the Asian crisis of 1997-98 that acted as an unheeded warning sign of what was in store for the global economy a decade later. An emerging economy exhibiting strong growth attracts the attention of foreign investors. Inward investment comes in together with hot money flows that circumvent capital controls. Capital inflows push up the exchange rate, making imports cheaper and exports dearer. The trade deficit balloons, growth slows, deep-seated structural flaws become more prominent and the hot money leaves.

The trigger for the run on the rupee has been the news from Washington that the Federal Reserve is considering scaling back – “tapering” – its bond-buying stimulus programme from next month. This has consequences for all emerging market economies: firstly, there is the fear that a reduced stimulus will mean weaker growth in the US, with a knock-on impact on exports from the developing world. Secondly, high-yielding currencies such as the rupee have benefited from a search for yield on the part of global investors. If policy is going to be tightened in the US, then the dollar becomes more attractive and the rupee less so.

But while the Indonesian rupee and the South African rand are also feeling the heat, it is India – with its large trade and budget deficits – that looks like the accident most likely to happen. On past form, emerging market crises go through three stages: in stage one, policymakers do nothing in the hope that the problem goes away. In stage two, they cobble together some panic measures, normally involving half-baked capital controls and selling of dollars in an attempt to underpin their currencies. In stage three, they either come up with a workable plan themselves or call in the IMF. India is on the cusp of stage three.