CNN, India Today tie up to provide insights on Indian opinion

MUMBAI: CNN International and India Today has announced the findings of a poll commissioned by the two news organizations. Conducted by AC Nielsen ORG-MARG, the poll ties in with CNN’s special programming initiative, Eye on India, which aims to provide international audiences with a broader and deeper insight into India as a growing power in the world.

In a statement issued, the polls was conducted amongst 1,028 respondents across 10 towns (Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Pune, Patna and Jaipur) of which the survey soughted opinions from females and males aged 18- 60 years, across SEC A and B, through street corner interviews. The findings were categorized into three age segments: 18-30 years, 31-40 years and 41-60 years.

The poll revealed some interesting facts:

On India’s relationship with Pakistan, Kashmir still remains top of mind. Two in every three respondents feel that India and Pakistan cannot have any constructive relations unless the Kashmir issue is resolved. Nearly 60 per cent also feel that India and Pakistan cannot resolve the Kashmir dispute in the next five years or might not be able to resolve it ever. A majority of the respondents have an unfavorable image of Pakistan, even in the younger age groups.

On the United States, opinion seems to be divided. Almost an equal number of respondents have a favourable, neutral or a negative image of USA. Interestingly, nearly 45 per cent of the respondents feel that China is a competitor to India.

Close to 43 per cent of respondents stated that their economic situation has improved in the past five years. This figure is as high as 71 per cent in Chennai, a city witnessing large-scale development. In comparison, only 28 per cent of the respondents in Kolkata shared this opinion. The poll also revealed that the economic situation has improved more for people in SEC A than it has for people in SEC B.

More than half the respondents feel India’s infrastructure can support its global ambitions. The mood seems to be upbeat with 41 per cent respondents feeling that the quality of their life will improve under the leadership of PM Manmohan Singh - A feeling shared by all age groups and both SEC A and SEC B.

More than half the respondents feel that the International business community looks at India as an attractive place for doing business.

The top two things that India needs to do to achieve super-power status, according to the respondents, is to pay more attention to International trade and to build infrastructure.

The survey also revealed that 34 per cent refuse to pay more taxes for improved quality of education for their children; and an equal number said that paying more taxes would not help to improve the quality of education for their children anyways. However, residents of Kolkata, Patna and Jaipur are more willing to bear the burden.

On 18 September, Eye on India’ featured a comprehensive mix of over 20 hours of live and feature programming on India and its various facets. As part of the theme week, CNN also played host to a televised panel discussion from across India and Pakistan called CNN Connects: Dialogue for Peace, hosted by CNN’s Jim Clancy with a studio audience in Mumbai and an expert panel from both India and Pakistan.

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