Meagan's Geoography 400
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Rescooped by Meagan Harpin from Geography Education!

Tea-plucking machines threaten Assam livelihoods

Tea-plucking machines threaten Assam livelihoods | Meagan's Geoography 400 |
Tea plucking machines are threatening the livelihoods of tea pickers in the Indian state of Assam, reports Mark Tully.

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Tea is the backbone of the Assam economy, their tradition is to hand pick the tea leaves making it expensive. In Assam some estates are running into the risk of having to begin to rely on machines to pick their tea. This is because of a shortage of willing workers. Another problem they are facing is that they are being beaten out because their tea is highly priced compared to other estates. This is a big threat to the Assam and something that there economy relies on so heavely.  

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 11, 2014 4:42 AM

This article details how globalization is damaging the high-end tea industry of India. The Assam company, which produces high quality tea, is under pressure to mechanize their 100% human tea production due to competition. Vietnam, Kenya, and even other Indian companies produce significantly cheaper tea due to their willingness and ability to cut costs by using machines and paying their workers less. A cultural stigma toward tea workers is making hiring difficult for Assam, compounding the problems with competitors and forcing a switch to mechanization which will produce an inferior product.

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 1, 2014 2:51 PM

This seems to work well for both the tea growers and the workers. The workers are compensated well and they have a job for life and the tea that is picked is of the highest quality. Unfortunately, most places on the planet go with the cheapest price, not the best quality, so I do not know how much longer this arrangement will be feasible.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 8:51 PM

In my town, we got rid of the old trash receptacle bins and in place we have one huge trash bin and one huge recycling bin. This has cut down the jobs immensely because now a machine just picks up the large bins. This is the same thing thats happening in India. There is now a machine that can do the humans jobs and will most likely take over for the tea picking people. Its unfortunate, but its how the world works.

Rescooped by Meagan Harpin from Geography Education!

The Corner Where Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan Meet

The Corner Where Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan Meet | Meagan's Geoography 400 |
In the dusty triangle where Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan meet, there is more than one war going on.


Geopolitically, there is a fascinating confluence of competing interests at this border.  This is "the scariest little corner of the world." It's a dangerous place that is often beyond the authority of any of state.  It also represents (depending on how you divide the world up) at the intersection of the three major regions in the area: Central Asia, the Middle East and South Asia.      


Tags: Afghanistan, political, borders, MiddleEast, SouthAsia, Central Asia, unit 4 political.

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

This is a dangerous place with no authority. This area is filled with fighting, bombing and constant war. But this area is also an important intersection for three major regions Central Asia, Middle East, and South Asia. 

Cam E's curator insight, March 4, 2014 11:35 AM

A meeting of different worlds at a border. I can't imagine the things one would see or hear living or growing up on a border of conflict such as this. Refugees are a common site, and no authority can dominate the others, making the area effectively lawless.

Edelin Espino's curator insight, December 13, 2014 3:19 PM

This note talk about the place in the desert where three hostile countries confront each other on the infinite war.

Rescooped by Meagan Harpin from Geography Education!

'Sharp drop' in India poverty

'Sharp drop' in India poverty | Meagan's Geoography 400 |
Poverty in India has dropped sharply thanks to increased spending on rural welfare programmes, the country's Planning Commission says.


KV: Government intervention has decrease poverty in rural India. More people are getting out of poverty in rural areas than urban areas. Programs funded by the government to help the poor has significantly changed many lives. People are given education, welfare, and proper sanitation. Once assistance is provided to the poor, the welfare and well being drastically changes for the better. As the Indian government prospers because of new business ventures, some of the increased revenue should be set aside to help many regions that are affected by poverty.


SD: For more resources on population, see this scoopit topic on the environment and society by KV.

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Poverty in rural India has declined drastically, and much faster then in urban India. The decline is due to increased spending on rural welfare programmes, and rural poverty fell by 8% while urban poverty fell by 4.8%. I think this is great that the government is finally taking action and helping their people, instead of just 'sweeping them under the rug' in a way and pretending the issue isnt there.

Bryan Tan's curator insight, February 2, 2013 10:54 AM

After reading this article, I am convinced that the gorverment in India know and want to do something about their currebt situation of being one of the poorest state in the world. Poepla are treated better given benefits, edeucation,welfare of the citizens and hygiene are all being taken care of by the gorverment. The gorvement starts improving their ties with other countries in the world helping it to gain more advantage. This helps to decrease the rate of poverty in India.

luisvivas64@hotmail.'s comment, February 3, 2013 10:19 AM
La pobreza es el càncer de la sociedad humana, ojalà sea posible reducirla, aunque soy escèptico, el dinero es muy sabroso y los pocos que lo tienen no lo sueltan, de allì las revoluciones, guerras ect.
Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 11, 2015 11:26 AM

This is yet another sign that India is developing into a great world power. The government has sought to curb the rates of rural poverty by instituting social welfare programs.  The programs are designed to provide those living in the rural areas of the nation, with education and proper sanitation. These programs appear to be succeeding, as a sharp drop has occurred in rural poverty. The governments recognition of the poverty issue is a major step towards tackling the major inequities in Indian society. Largely a legacy of the caste system, Indian society is still terribly divided along socio-economic lines. In order for Indian to achieve the status of a developed nation, the government must take action to bridge this inequities. An new  society based on equality may be on the horizon in India.

Rescooped by Meagan Harpin from Geography Education!

Dhaka: fastest growing megacity in the world

A five-part, multimedia series on the coming dystopia that is urbanization.


This is a great introduction to the explosion of the slums within megacities.  This video as a part of the article is especially useful.   Click on the title to read the accompanying article.

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

The city of Dhaka has experienced a massivie boom in population. Both the rich and the poor are flowing into this city causing many problems that all complain the government is ignoring instead of fixing. The city is very inefficient, with traffic so bad that it is costing the city millions of dollars. There are frequent water shortages resulting in protests in the streets. There is much infrastructure throughout the city as well. But it is also represents a sense of hope to the people that are coming in and moving into the slums, that with the better jobs and money they will be able to get they can better provide for themselves or their family.

Brett Sinica's curator insight, November 19, 2013 2:21 PM

I recently did a project on the topic of megacities in the past, present, and future and how the natural risks they posed.  In past decades there was Tokyo, New York City, or even Mexico City.  I also covered present cities such as Shangai and Los Angeles to name a few.  The city that basically topped the growth charts in my statistics was Dhaka.  The city literally is growing like a chia pet, but with no direct plan or proper use of land.  According to future calculations, the city of Dhaka can reach roughly 23 million by 2025, that's about 600,000 new people coming in every year up until that point.  This video is just an example of how poorly planned this megacity is, and what the future holds for all of the people living there.  It's simply chaos.  There are already squatter settlements and unorganized living conditions for the current residents, picturing the population to grow even more is outrageous!

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 6, 2014 11:23 PM

Dhaka is the fastest growing city in the world, as rich and poor people move to the city everyday. So many poor people are moving here due to the fact there is no other place worth living in Bangladesh. The city is facing many problems, such as lack of traffic signals, minimal clean drinking water for residents and horrible housing for many people. However, some feel the city’s slums offer the best chance for an improved life.   

Sarah Cannon's curator insight, December 14, 2015 10:48 AM

There is a lot of poverty and pollution in Dhaka. The demands for energy and water are high in Dhaka as well. I personally don't see how these people and migrants can live in such a polluted and dirty place and the reason why I can't imagine living in such a place is because I never have. I'm lucky enough to not experience poverty and I greatly appreciate  my life and home. Hopefully things improve in Dhaka and places like Dhaka. Hopefully there will be less pollution and poverty in the future any where in the world.

Rescooped by Meagan Harpin from Geography Education!

Pakistan: Flood impact to worsen unless aid increases

Pakistan: Flood impact to worsen unless aid increases | Meagan's Geoography 400 |
Pakistan’s monsoon floods have devastated millions of lives, but one month on, the international response remains sluggish, raising fears of a worsening humanitarian situation.


With the strong concentration of the population living in floodplains, the seasonal monsoons will always be a major struggle for South Asia.

Via CGIAR Climate, Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Pakistans monsoon floods have devastated millions and international response remains slow. They are not coming forward to provide funds and about 850,000 people live in shelters because of the flooding. Three million acres of crops were destroyed, a third cattle lost and half a million homes lost. Because so much of the population lives in the flood plains the monsoons are a constant struggle for South Asia. 

Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, October 21, 2013 12:53 PM

The flood impact in Pakistan has already been a devastating one, and it is only going to continue as time passes.  The flood has not been a center story for media coverage which has made the problem even worse.  Many people do not know that Pakistan is battling a flood, so aid has not increased.  Pakistanis are still recovering from a 2010 flood, which makes the current situation even more difficult.  Why is the international response so small?

Rescooped by Meagan Harpin from Geography Education!

Why leave the West for India?

Why leave the West for India? | Meagan's Geoography 400 |
Rising numbers of people of Indian origin born in the West are moving to the country their parents left decades ago in search of opportunity and a cultural connection, reports the BBC's Rajini Vaidyanathan.


Since 2005, the Indian government has been encouraging people of Indian descent and former Indian nationals to return to India.  For many Indians living in the UK, there are more and better economic opportunities for them within India.   Migrants have many reasons for moving (including cultural factors), but the primary pull factor is most certainly India's ascendant importance in the global economy and rising IT industries. 


Tags: India, South Asia, migration, immigration, Europe, colonialism, unit 2 population. 

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

There is a rising number of Indian origin born in the west that are moving back to India. One reason would be India's economy is growing faster then the US and England's. India has many more opportunities for new wealth and it is attracting the young entrepreneurs as well. Another reason they are moving back is for cultural connection that they are not recieving where they are now. Many have said that they are looked at as different and not accepted and that is why they want to go back to India, so that they feel that acceptance. 

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, November 1, 2014 9:37 PM

As the article says, India is encouraging more people of Indian descent to return to India because of the opportunities that have become increasingly available within the country due to its  westernization . Aside from the corruption and poverty that are in India, the country has not seen any signs of these opportunities stopping.

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, November 10, 2014 4:42 PM

With the rise in globalization and the IT industry, it is obvious that there is opportunity for success.  Many traveled to the US for economic opportunity, however many companies and IT departments are being outsourced to India, thus taking jobs away from the US.  

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 11, 2015 11:16 AM

This phenomenon is a direct result of the rise of the Indian economy. Before the IT industry began to set up shop in India, returning to India was economically unfeasible. The development of the Indian economy has made India an attractive place to migrate to. If you are in the IT industry, there is more opportunity for you in India, than there is in the west. Culture is obviously another major pull for Indian immigrants. Throughout history populations have always sought to return to their native land. Especially first generation immigrants, who often never fully assimilate into the culture of their new nation.

Rescooped by Meagan Harpin from Geography Education!

McDonald's Goes Vegetarian — In India

McDonald's Goes Vegetarian — In India | Meagan's Geoography 400 |
McDonald's plans to open the first in a series of all-vegetarian restaurants in India next year. But rest assured, in most locations around the world, meat will stay on the menu.


Many of the most successful global companies or brands use highly regional variations that are attuned to local cultural norms and customs.  The McAloo Tikki burger— which uses a spicy, fried potato-based patty — is the Indian McDonald's top seller.


Questions to ponder: What are the forces that lead towards an accelaration of human connectivity around the globe?  What are the postive impacts of this increased connectivity?  What are some negative impacts?  Are these impacts the same in all places?  Explain. 


Tags: Globalization, food, culture, unit 3 culture and SouthAsia.

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

In India 20-42% of the population doesnt eat meat, because of this McDonalds will be opening a vegetarian only resturant right near the Golden Temple which is a pilgrimage site sacred to Sikhs. This will be a prime location because the temple doesnt allow meat so this is a solution. It is amazing to see how big buisness like McDonalds will completely change in order to be able to thrive and succed in another country.

Lena Minassian's curator insight, April 9, 2015 9:52 PM

When you typically think of a McDonald's, vegetarian is not what comes to mind. India plans on opening it's first vegetarian McDonald's since the majority of the population just simply does not even eat meat. There are already 271 of this restaurant in India already but they are looking for a new growth. Many Hindu's and Muslims don't eat pork, or cows because it is sacred to them. More chicken and vegetables will be served at this new restaurant and the older restaurants menus are 50% vegetarian. This is interesting to see because you do not think of fast food places being healthy at all. I think this is a great idea having different option for individuals who don't eat certain things. This is definitely going to be an attraction for not just people living in India but for tourists as well. It'll be a fun story to tell to say that you went to an all vegetarian McDonald's!

Jacob Conklin's curator insight, May 6, 2015 3:50 PM

It is often said that food is one of the best identifiers of a culture. What better way to define America than McDonalds, right? However, fueled by globalization, McDonalds has moved to several different countries around the world, including India. For religious reasons, the traditional American menu wouldn't fit well in the Indian diet, as most hindu people wouldn't jump at the chance to eat a quarter pound of greasy cow. Globalization and a desire for economic profit has fueled a change in the McDonalds menu in India as well as other countries. In order to succeed in the global market, a comp any must be willing to change to appeal to a more diverse client base. 

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 10, 2015 6:51 AM

McDonald's going vegetarian, would be a unimaginable concept in the United States. The United States like most western nations, is addicted to meat. The United States prefers hamburgers over salads. Our culture has been raised on that addiction. India is a far more vegetarian society. Twenty to forty two percent of the population of India classifies themselves as vegetarians. While not a majority, they are a sizeable minority within India. McDonalds is adapting its menu to fit with the culture of its consumers. For the Indian business model, this move makes sense. McDonalds presence in India speaks to increased global connectivity. The forces of globalization have brought the world closer together. There are few isolated areas of the world left to ponder. We are now living in an age of connectivity. Almost every major business is now located across the glove. The positive impacts of this trend are that we as westerners are exposed to diverse cultures and influences. The negative impacts are there are few unexplored regions of the world still remaining. The frontiers have all but disappeared.

Rescooped by Meagan Harpin from Geography Education!

History of the India-Pakistan Border

History of the India-Pakistan Border | Meagan's Geoography 400 |
The weird, violent history of the Indo-Pakistani border.


Geography rarely makes sense without the added lens of history.  This fantastic article chonicles the history of the geopolitical conflict between India and Pakistan, centering on the disputed Kashmir region.  This border is tied into colonial, cultural, political and religious layers of identity.  As one of the great unresolved issues of the colonial era, this standoff may loom large as India becomes increasingly significant on the global scale.     

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

This article chonicles the history of the conflict between India and Pakistan, focusing on the disputed Kashmir region. The violence over the border is spurred by religion and political issues. But with India increasingly becoming bigger in a global scale what does that mean for this conflict with Pakistani? 

Al Picozzi's curator insight, November 12, 2013 7:41 PM

Colonialism rears its ugly head again, this time not in Africa but in India/Pakistan..but with the same result.  Borders drawn arbitrarily did not work in Africa, nor did it work in India.  It just casues the people there to try and work out and fix problems that the former colonial rulers casued.  They tried here to do it so that there was a land for the Muslim population to have a nation on the subcontinent and not subject to Hindu majority rule.  However Britain never looked at what would happen with a area that had a Hindu leader with a Muslim population.  He wanted to be independant, but the Muslim population wanted to go to Pakistan, so he went to India for help...sound is..much like the Northern Ireland/UK/Republic of Ireland debate..there is no easy answer and it looks like we have to try to fix colonialism's problems again.

Rescooped by Meagan Harpin from Geography Education!

How did Pakistan get it's name?

How did Pakistan get it's name? | Meagan's Geoography 400 |

"The name of the country Pakistan has a fascinating history - it is essentially an acronym!  Prior to 1947, the country now known as Pakistan was a British colony. In 1947 the United Kingdom granted independence to the region under a new name, Pakistan. The name had been developed by a group of students at Cambridge University who issued a pamphlet in 1933 called Now or Never."


In a country with such great ethnic divisions, a common religion is a powerful nationalizing force.  As the capital city of Islamabad's toponym powerfully states (the house or abode of Islam), religion remains an important element of national identity for Pakistanis.   

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

In 1947 the United Kingdom granted independence to this region and named it Pakistan. The name was created by a group of students at Cambrige University and used the names of their homelands. Punjab, Afghania  Kashmir, Iran ,Sindh, Tukharistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan is an acronym! 

Jason Schneider's curator insight, March 28, 2015 3:15 PM

Pakistan is simply abbreviated from it's nations or nations that border Pakistan. P stands for Punjab, A stands for Afghania, K stands for Kashmir, I stands for Iran, S stands for Singh, T stands for Tukharistan, A stands for Afghanistan. However, there is no "N." Instead we classified the last letter as Balochistan but because "stan" is the Persian pronunciation for "country." Pakistan decided to abbreviate "N" as a silent so they can successfully abbreviate "Pakistan" instead of "Pakista."

Matthew Richmond's curator insight, November 9, 2015 3:03 PM

Re-scooped from Professor Dixon, primarily for how ridiculous it is. Most of us figured there was some decent reason (like the neighboring 'Stan's) for why  and how Pakistan got its name. Nope, there really wasn't any good reason to name it Pakistan, it is an acronym. One that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 6:47 PM
Until reading this, I thought this was another country that had a "stan" name just like the rest. I never knew that Pakistan received it's makeshift name my a bunch Cambridge University students. It is composed of lands taken from homelands: Punjab, Afghania,, Kashmir, Iran , Sindh, Tukharistan, Afghanistan, and balochistaN.