Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Conduct of Qualitative Research


Qualitative research uses unstructured data collection methods, such as observations or documents to find themes and meanings to tell our understanding to the world. Qualitative research tends to try to uncover the reasons for behaviors, attitudes and motivations, instead of just the details of what, where and when. Qualitative research can be done across many disciplines, such as social science, healthcare, education and business.
To do qualitative research, there are six following steps one can follow:
I. Question(s) under study:  A good research question needs to be clear and specific. For any qualitative research, question should explore reasons for why people do things or believe in something.
II. Literature review:  A literature review will also help you to become better informed about the topic you are choosing and help you to determine if there is a need for your question to be answered. A literature review can help you find out what others have found about your question. Doing this may help you to focus your question more specifically.
III.   Choice of a qualitative research methodology:

v Case Study Method – This method of qualitative research is an in-depth study a specific individual or phenomena in its existing context.
v Ethnography – It is research designed to explore cultural phenomena. It is the study of human interaction and communities through direct participation and observation within the community which one wish to study. Ethnography, as the empirical data on human societies and cultures, has become popular in the social sciences in general.  The typical ethnography is a holistic study and so includes a brief history, and an analysis of the terrain, the climate, and the habitat. In all cases it should be reflexive, make a substantial contribution toward the understanding of the social life of humans, have an aesthetic impact on the reader, and express a credible reality. It observes the world (the study) from the point of view of the subject (not the participant ethnographer) and records all observed behavior and describes all symbol-meaning relations using concepts that avoid casual explanations.
v Grounded Theory – The purpose is to develop theory based on the data collected. It looks at specific information and derives theories and reasons for the phenomena.
v Phenomenology – It researches the world through the eyes of another person by discovering how they interpret their experiences.  It is the philosophical study of the structures of experience and consciousness.

IV.  Collect your data: There are several methods of collecting data that you can use to do a qualitative research.
v Focus groups – Structured or unstructured focus groups allows for interaction between more participants and the interviewer about your topic. This form of data collection can be efficient as it involves more than one respondent at a time.
v Interviews – Unstructured interviews with research subjects is a form of data collection in which you allow your respondents to answer freely. The interviewer can probe and explore topics as they come up.
v Surveys – Written questionnaires and open-ended surveys about ideas, perceptions and thoughts is another way in which you can collect data for your qualitative research.
v Participant observation – Participant observation is the immersion of the researcher in the community or situation being studied. This form of data collection tends to be more time consuming, as you need to participate fully in the community in order to know whether your observations are valid.
v Direct observation – Direct observation of a situation or your research subjects can occur through videotape playback or through live observation through a one-way mirror. In direct observation, you are making specific observations of a situation without influencing or participating in any way.
V.  Analyze the data collected: Once you have collected your data, you can begin to analyze it and come up with answers and theories to your research question(s)/queries.
v Statistics – You can analyze your data using statistics. Descriptive statistics simply describe what the data is showing while inferential statistics tries to formulate conclusions beyond the data.
v Pattern Analysis– Identify themes, ideas and patterns in your data.
v Narrative analysis – Narrative analysis focuses on speech and content, such as grammar, word usage, story themes, meanings of situations and the social, cultural and political context of the narrative.
v Content analysis – Content analysis looks at texts or series of texts and looks for themes and meanings by looking at frequencies of words.

VI.  Report Your Research:  When preparing a report on your qualitative research, keep in mind the audience for whom you are writing and make sure that your purpose for the research query is compelling. Explain your research methodology and analysis in detail in the report besides your findings.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Will CSO include GDP contribution of sex workers, beggars and eunuchs as Census 2011 has already counted them in our population distinctly?



GDP of India do not cover illegal activities like those of beggars, sex workers, thieves, black marketers, corrupt means practitioners and so on.  Census 2011 has tried to capture number of beggars, sex workers and eunuchs separately.  May be Central Statistical Office may like to incorporate the contribution of these illegal activities in our GDP.  This is also the requirement of International System of National Accounts.  When they would be increasing our GDP and thus rightly estimating per capita income by taking the above into their accounts is a question at present.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Quote on and about Statistics

Quote on Statistics
Aaron Levenstein once said that, “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.”
It is correct. One can also say that Statistics are like brassieres. What these reveal are liked by many onlookers and they enjoy it as they behold, but what it hides remain unknown to many and one needs a good statistician to unfold the truth behind.
This is supported by the quote from M.J. Moroney i.e. "A statistical analysis, properly conducted, is a delicate dissection of uncertainties, a surgery of suppositions."

Quote about Statistics

Mark Twain once said that, ”Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable.”


Yes, he was very right in his wordings. But, if facts are not known to any one, what is the way out. Statistics can help it. If properly applied, it does yield reasonable approximation with desired level of confidence to the underlying facts. Also it in not at all desirable that this level of confidence should be 100%, as it requires lot of resources to meet such requirement i.e. the full Fact.

Above Average Monsoon and Gold Imports


More than average monsoon this year will bring a bounty to India's rural population and a much needed boost to a struggling economy in form of more increment in GDP of Agriculture sector, but more cash in the hands of farmers brings an unwelcome consequence for the government - more demand for gold as about 60 percent of Indian gold demand comes from rural areas.  Increased demand from the world's biggest gold buyer will buoy global prices for the metal.  In 2010, the last year that rains were heavily above average, gold demand soared 37 percent in the fourth quarter after harvests.
Gold is one of the biggest items in a record current account deficit that has helped push the rupee to an all-time low, and as New Delhi scrambles to stop the decline it has taken measures to curb gold imports and consumption.
The central bank has also moved to curb supplies by insisting 20 percent of all imports be made into jewellery for export. Customs authorities have yet to issue clarifications on how the rule will work and as a result, imports have totally dried up since the central bank announced the rule on July 22.  Imports ground to a halt in late July due to uncertainty over new regulations aimed at reducing the flow, but were likely to pick up again once authorities have clarified how the rules will work. A prolonged stoppage could cause smuggling to rocket as India is dependent on imports for most of its gold.
Gold's lustre has been further burnished by the country's current economic woes, with Indians hoping to hedge against the falling rupee and consumer price inflation of nearly 10 percent. Domestic gold prices hit a record high of 35,074 rupees per 10 grams on August 28 largely as the rupee slid against the dollar.  But international dollar prices for bullion are currently quite a bit below an all-time peak, leaving plenty of room for investors to bet on realizing gains longer-term.
The wedding season, when parents shower gold on their daughters as dowries, will coincide with the harvest, along with a host of festivals like Deepawali etc. where buying gold is considered auspicious.  And the finance ministry concedes gold demand and imports will rise in the lead-up to the wedding season, which peaks in early November this year as there are cultural factors, we can't do much about them.


India's passion for gold pushed imports to an all-time high of 162 tonnes in May and duty is now at a record 10 percent as the government tries to stop the damaging outflow of dollars for bullion.  Gold is India's most expensive non-essential import.  Some of that demand will be covered by recycling if imports are tight, though some is already being met by smuggling. There is nothing available through official channels, (so) supply is happening through unofficial channels.  Whatever the source, demand is likely to outstrip supply and that means domestic prices could rise.  But the consumers (farmers etc.) may not be deterred by price hikes as they take a longer view of their investment as gold's value always rises as per their belief.  It seems that more than average monsoon may wash away quite a bit of gold imports.

India's population will surpass China's population in another ten years



With more than 1.2 billion (1,210,193,422) people as per 2011 census of India, India has grown by 17.64 percent during 2001-11.  China is the only country with a larger population than India, with 1,338,612,968 people as per their national census of 2010. The UNDP had estimated that the China’s population grew at an annual rate of 0.6 per cent during 2006. If one assumes that these growths will continue during next ten years from now, India will take over China in terms of population by 2023 say, in another ten years from now.

Food grain Production in India will not surpass again the 250 million tones peak in the year 2012-13


The Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) estimated food grain production of 250 million tones for 2011-12.  In the past it has never touched this figure at all.  It came true. The highest was last year at the level of over 257 million tones. 
The All India data for the years 1966-67 to 2011-12 for Area, Production and Yield is as below:

All-India  Food Grains


Year
Area
Production
Yield
  1
2
3
4
1966-67
115.30
74.23
644
1967-68
121.42
95.05
783
1968-69
120.43
94.01
781
1969-70
123.57
99.50
805
1970-71
124.32
108.42
872
1971-72
122.62
105.17
858
1972-73
119.28
97.03
813
1973-74
126.54
104.67
827
1974-75
121.08
99.83
824
1975-76
128.18
121.03
944
1976-77
124.36
111.17
894
1977-78
127.52
126.41
991
1978-79
129.01
131.90
1022
1979-80
125.21
109.70
876
1980-81
126.67
129.59
1023
1981-82
129.14
133.30
1032
1982-83
125.10
129.52
1035
1983-84
131.16
152.37
1162
1984-85
126.67
145.54
1149
1985-86
128.02
150.44
1175
1986-87
127.20
143.42
1128
1987-88
119.69
140.35
1173
1988-89
127.67
169.92
1331
1989-90
126.77
171.04
1349
1990-91
127.84
176.39
1380
1991-92
121.87
168.38
1382
1992-93
123.15
179.48
1457
1993-94
122.75
184.26
1501
1994-95
123.86
191.50
1546
1995-96
121.02
180.42
1491
1996-97
123.58
199.44
1614
1997-98
123.85
192.26
1552
1998-99
125.17
203.60
1627
1999-00
123.11
209.80
1704
2000-01
121.05
196.81
1626
2001-02
122.78
212.85
1734
2002-03
113.86
174.77
1535
2003-04
123.45
213.19
1727
2004-05
120.08
198.36
1652
2005-06
121.60
208.60
1715
2006-07
123.71
217.28
1756
2007-08
124.07
230.78
1860
2008-09
122.83
234.47
1909
2009-10
121.33
218.11
1798
2010-11
126.67
244.49
1930
2011-12
125.03
257.44
2059
2012-13 T
125 R
246.88
1975 T

It can be seen that the Sown Area under food-grains remains all most static and is around 123 million Hectares.  Even time trend is around this figure.  Only for the last two years it has exceeded 125 million hectares.  Retention of this figure can be safely taken for the year 2012-13. It is only the yield which has been increasing over many years by now.  If we estimate the yield by linear trend, it comes out to be around 1975 Kgs. Per hectare. Using these two figures, production estimate would be around 247 million tones for the year 2012-13 for All-India.