The HINDU Notes – 07th October 2019 - VISION

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Monday, October 07, 2019

The HINDU Notes – 07th October 2019





πŸ“° NRC: Dhaka says it’s reassured by Narendra Modi’s briefing

NRC: Dhaka says it’s reassured by Narendra Modi’s briefing
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s foreign policy adviser Gowher Rizvi says Dhaka officials won’t comment on what politicians say.

•Dhaka will go by the assurances given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and not the public statements by other Indian leaders on the National Registration for Citizens (NRC) issue, said a senior Bangladesh government official, adding that visiting PM Sheikh Hasina and her delegation felt “reassured” after the conversation with Mr. Modi on Saturday.

•During the restricted talks, Mr. Modi “went into great depth” to explain that the process should not concern Bangladesh at present, said Gowher Rizvi, Ms. Hasina’s Adviser on International Affairs, in an interview to The Hindu.

Long-drawn process

•Mr. Modi had reportedly clarified that the NRC was a long-drawn, multi-phase process which had been mandated by the Supreme Court, and the government was only “carrying out court rulings.”

•Asked how Bangladesh officials reconcile that view with public statements made by leaders including Home Minister Amit Shah, who indicated at a rally in West Bengal last week that the 1.9 million people declared as non-citizens would be deported and that the government planned to make the NRC a national policy, Mr. Rizvi said that Mr. Modi had made no such comments during talks.

•“These are things your Ministers tell the people of India, but we don’t go by what Ministers say. Prime Minister Modi spoke to us directly and didn’t remotely suggest any of what was said [by Mr. Shah]. We will not comment on what Indian politicians say,” Mr. Rizvi said, adding that the final NRC would only be completed after all legal appeals had been concluded in court, and that point was “far from here.”

•Significantly, Mr. Rizvi said that after the process was completed, Bangladesh was prepared to study cases of Bangladeshi-origin migrants “individually”, and take them back if the claims were verified. Ms. Hasina herself raised the fate of the 1.9 million non-nationals in the conversation, said Mr. Rizvi, because of misgivings over media reports on the government’s plans.

•Mr. Modi and Ms. Hasina had met for over an hour on Saturday at Hyderabad House in Delhi, discussing agreements on energy, water, coastal surveillance and a series of measures to improve trade infrastructure.

•According to Mr. Rizvi, she suggested special economic zones where Indian companies could invest, use Bangladeshi land and labour to produce for the Indian market and export it back duty-free. The two sides are also talking about regional Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal road connectivity and a Bhutan-India-Bangladesh regional energy supply arrangement.

•“After the talks between the two leaders, the first since they were both re-elected, relations have been re-energised,” he said.While the Teesta water sharing issue remained unresolved, PM Modi committed to completing the agreement that had been inked as a framework agreement eight years ago at the earliest. “In Bangladesh there is a popular feeling that India hasn’t lived upto its commitment on Teesta,” said Mr. Rizvi. “But there is a limit to how far we can push this issue,” he added, suggesting that it may be time for New Delhi and Bangladesh to appoint special envoys to pursue incomplete bilateral projects and the unutilised Line of Credit offered by India , which was a role Mr. Rizvi had himself played during 2010-2012.

πŸ“° A Bill that undercuts key constitutional values

There is ample evidence that the protection of minorities is not the genuine objective of the Citizenship Amendment Bill

•Last week, while speaking about implementing a National Register of Citizens in West Bengal, Home Minister Amit Shah said, “I want to assure Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist and Christian refugees, you will not be forced to leave India by the Centre.” These words sparked an immediate backlash as Mr. Shah had evidently omitted one religious community, Muslims, from his statement. But his statement was not merely a communal dog-whistle: he was echoing the provisions of the Citizenship Amendment Bill, which the previous National Democratic Alliance government introduced in Parliament before the last election, but was unable to enact because of widespread protests in the North-east Indian States. Mr. Shah made it clear, however, that the new government would re-introduce, and pass, the Bill in the next parliamentary session, or soon thereafter.

Umbrella Bill

•So, what is the Citizenship Amendment Bill? As its name suggests, it makes an amendment to the Citizenship Act, the umbrella law that sets out the elements of Indian citizenship. The Amendment stipulates that “persons belonging to minority communities, namely, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan... shall not be treated as illegal migrants for the purposes of that Act”. These individuals are made eligible for naturalisation as Indian citizens, and furthermore, the normal precondition for naturalisation — having spent 12 years in the country — is halved to six years. In simple language, therefore, the Citizenship Amendment Bill does two things: it shields a set of individuals from being declared illegal migrants (and, by extension, shields them from detention or deportation); and it creates a fast-track to citizenship for these individuals. The problem, of course, is that it does so on an explicitly communal basis: it categorically excludes Muslims from its ambit. The implications are clear: if the government goes ahead with its plan of implementing a nation-wide National Register of Citizens, then those who find themselves excluded from it will be divided into two categories: (predominantly) Muslims, who will now be deemed illegal migrants, and all others, who would have been deemed illegal migrants, but are now immunised by the Citizenship Amendment Bill, if they can show that their country of origin is Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan.

•The last bit is important, because it shows that non-Muslims who are left out of a hypothetical nation-wide NRC will not immediately receive legal immunity, but will have to jump through further hoops before they are protected. That apart, however, the fact remains that by dividing (alleged) migrants into Muslims (but also, as we shall see below, Jews and atheists) and non-Muslims, the Citizenship Amendment Bill explicitly, and blatantly, seeks to enshrine religious discrimination into law, contrary to our long-standing, secular constitutional ethos.

•Of course, neither the Bill nor the government directly admits that it is targeting Muslims. Both the text of the Bill and its ‘Statement of Objects and Reasons’ refers to “minority communities” from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The logic appears to be that as these three countries are Muslim-majority, they may be subject to persecution on account of their faith, and, therefore, need refuge in a country such as India.

Flawed logic

•If that is the logic of the Bill, however, then it is so evidently flawed that it borders on irrationality. First, as the PRS Legislative Research website points out, if the objective is the protection of minorities, then there is no explanation for why Jews and atheists (to take just two examples) have been left out. Second — and more importantly — there are Muslim religious minorities within these countries who are subjected to grave and serious persecution: the classic example is that of the Ahmadis in Pakistan. And third, there is no explanation for why only these three countries have been singled out. Lately, the Rohingya community in Myanmar, another neighbouring country, has been subjected to prolonged persecution, ethnic cleansing, and potentially genocide. However, the government has been openly hostile towards the Rohingyas and has even argued for their deportation before the Supreme Court.

•It is therefore evident that the protection of minorities is not the genuine objective of the Citizenship Amendment Bill: the gap between that stated objective and the actual text of the Bill is wide enough that a ship can sail through it. But if that is not the objective, then there remains no conceivable justification for the language of the Bill: it is religious discrimination, plain and simple.

Violating the Constitution

•Now, some people have argued that even if this is true, Article 15 of the Constitution — that bars religious discrimination — applies only to citizens. But what these arguments forget is Article 14 of the same Constitution, which guarantees to all persons equality before the law, and the equal protection of law. Discriminatory treatment and especially, discrimination that is arbitrary, and classifications that are unreasonable violate the essence of the equal treatment clause. A state that separates individuals and treats them unequally on palpably arbitrary grounds violates the prescription of Article 14, and the heart and soul of the Indian Constitution: respecting the dignity of all.

•Beyond issues of strict constitutionality, there are other disturbing issues raised by the Citizenship Amendment Bill. The first is how it dramatically seeks to alter the basis of citizenship in India. During the framing of the Indian Constitution, it was agreed that the primary basis for Indian citizenship would be jus soli — or, citizenship by birth (in the territory of India). Over the years this principle has been diluted to an extent, with citizenship by descent replacing jus soli in certain respects. The Bill, however, will be the first time that religion or ethnicity will be made the basis of citizenship. That would do grave damage to the very idea of India as an inclusive and diverse polity, where religion has no bearing on who can become a full member of society.

•Second, the Citizenship Amendment Bill is closely linked to plans for a nationwide National Register of Citizens. The link was explicitly drawn by the Home Minister: that the Citizenship Amendment Bill is required to protect (predominantly) non-Muslims who are excluded from the NRC.

Argument and reality

•However, apart from the now-public knowledge of how flawed the NRC process has been in Assam, there is a key question: why do we need to have a national NRC? Mr. Shah has stated that it is required for national security, and that India cannot “run smoothly under the weight of so many intruders”. However, there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that there is a huge influx of illegal migrants into India: in fact, recent evidence suggests that the rate of migration has been declining. The Assam NRC arose out of a very specific historical experience, and Assam’s own position as a border State; however, for the rest of India, Assam’s own experience shows that an exercise such as this — flawed and riddled with errors as it is — will only lead to misery and exclusion on a national scale, with no reason whatsoever to justify it.

•The coming months, therefore, will present a serious challenge to fundamental constitutional values. A nationwide NRC will replicate the flaws of the Assam NRC on a much larger scale; and for those who find themselves on its wrong side, the discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Bill will protect some — but only some — based on their religion. Both exercises, therefore, need to be urgently challenged, at the level of popular movements, in the domain of Parliament, and of course, before the sentinels charged with guarding our fundamental rights — the courts.

πŸ“° Criticism is not sedition

The threat of sedition leads to unauthorised self-censorship and has a chilling effect on free speech

•The recent order of a Bihar court directing the filing of an FIR against 49 eminent persons who signed an open letter to the Prime Minister expressing concerns over mob lynching is shocking, disappointing, and completely disregards the true meaning of the law. The FIR was lodged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including sedition, public nuisance, hurting religious feelings, and insulting with intent to provoke breach of peace. But many would agree that the writers of the letter were doing precisely what every citizen ought to do in a democracy — raise questions, debate, disagree, and challenge the powers that be on issues that face the nation.

•It is evident that if you take the letter as a whole, leave alone sedition, no criminal offence is made out. Surely, this court decision warrants an urgent and fresh debate on the need to repeal the sedition law, for it has no place in a vibrant democracy.

History of the sedition law

•A century ago, debates around sedition were about how the British abused it to convict and sentence freedom fighters. Today, unfortunately, Indians face the same question, except that instead of a foreign government, the country’s own institutions appear to be misusing the law. This decision strangely coincided with Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary. The soul of Gandhi’s philosophy lay in the right to dissent, which is today being systematically destroyed. Now, anyone, be it university students or civil society activists, who utters even a single critical phrase is instantly targeted, without any introspection on why such criticism was voiced at all.

•Sedition laws were enacted in 17th century England, when lawmakers believed that only good opinions of the government should survive, as bad opinions were detrimental to the government and monarchy. This sentiment (and law) was borrowed and inserted into the IPC in 1870.

•The law was first used to prosecute Bal Gangadhar Tilak in 1897. That case led to Section 124A of the IPC (which deals with sedition) being amended, to add the words “hatred” and “contempt” to “disaffection”, which was defined to include disloyalty and feelings of enmity. In 1908, upon conviction for sedition in another case, and imprisonment, Tilak reportedly said, “The government has converted the entire nation into a prison and we are all prisoners.” Gandhi, too, was later tried for sedition for his articles in Young India, and famously pleaded guilty.

•Twice in the Constituent Assembly, some tried to include sedition as a ground for restricting free speech. But this was vehemently (and successfully) opposed for fear that it would be used to crush political dissent.

•The Supreme Court highlighted these debates in 1950 in its decisions in Brij Bhushan v the State of Delhi and Romesh Thappar v. the State of Madras. These decisions prompted the First Constitution Amendment, where Article 19(2) was rewritten to replace “undermining the security of the State” with “in the interest of public order”.

•However, in Parliament, Jawaharlal Nehru clarified that the related penal provision of Section 124A was “highly objectionable and obnoxious and …[t]he sooner we get rid of it the better.”

•In 1962, the Supreme Court decided on the constitutionality of Section 124A in Kedar Nath Singh v State of Bihar. It upheld the constitutionality of sedition, but limited its application to “acts involving intention or tendency to create disorder, or disturbance of law and order, or incitement to violence”. It distinguished these from “very strong speech” or the use of “vigorous words” strongly critical of the government.

•In 1995, the Supreme Court, in Balwant Singh v State of Punjab, acquitted persons from charges of sedition for shouting slogans such as “Khalistan Zindabaad” and “Raj Karega Khalsa” outside a cinema after Indira Gandhi’s assassination. Instead of looking at the “tendency” of the words to cause public disorder, the Court held that mere sloganeering which evoked no public response did not amount to sedition, for which a more overt act was required; the accused did not intend to “incite people to create disorder” and no “law and order problem” actually occurred.

•This same lens must be used to examine the present letter. The law and its application clearly distinguishes between strong criticism of the government and incitement of violence. Even if the letter is considered hateful, or contemptuous and disdainful of the government, if it did not incite violence, it is not seditious. Unfortunately, Indian courts have, especially recently, repeatedly failed to appreciate this distinction.

•The broad scope of Section 124A means that the state can use it to chase those who challenge its power, and the mere pressing of sedition charges ends up acting as a deterrent against any voice of dissent or criticism.

Challenging the law

•Even the threat of sedition leads to a sort of unauthorised self-censorship, for it produces a chilling effect on free speech. This misuse must be stopped by removing the power source itself. The law must go, as has happened in the U.K. already. No government will give up this power easily, and logically, one would turn to the courts for help. Unfortunately, although I have been part of it, the judiciary seems less and less of a protector of our rights, having let us down on civil liberties often lately. Arguably, it is time for the people, for civil society, to challenge the law directly. There needs to be a concentrated movement from the ground up. What form such a direct challenge should take cannot be said, but we must protect our right to dissent as fiercely as we protect our right to live. If we fail to do so, our existence as a proudly democratic nation is at risk.

πŸ“° RERA Act applicable to plots sold under industrial project: tribunal





Property consultants, legal experts welcome the ruling

•The Tamil Nadu Real Estate Appellate Tribunal (TNREAT) has upheld a ruling by the Tamil Nadu Real Estate Regulatory Authority (TNRERA) that projects such as SEZ and estates involving sale of industrial plots to investors come under the purview of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) Act.

•The verdict comes in the case of GMR Krishnagiri SIR Ltd, which is establishing a special economic zone in Hosur, Krishagiri district.

•According to official sources, RERA does not exempt sale of industrial plots from the definition of the Act. Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have adopted this definition. Such industrial projects, which came after the implementation of the Act, should be registered.

•GMR had entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation Ltd (TIDCO) to develop the project as a joint venture with an infrastructure development company under the public-private partnership model.

•It sought an opinion from the TNRERA on the applicability of RERA for the project.

•It got a response that the project should be registered with the TNRERA.

•Against this, the company moved the TNREAT, which noted that TIDCO entered into an MoU by way of facilitating the company to do a real estate business for the purpose of selling industrial plots.

•“The entire act and legislative history clearly mentioned the sale of plots, apartments etc. Therefore, the very purpose of the enactment is only for regulation of sale of plots and apartments and not for any other purpose. Hence, TNRERA has rightly pointed out that the Act has not differentiated plots into housing plots, commercial plots or industrial plots,” it noted.

•Sanjay Chugh, city head-Chennai, ANAROCK Property Consultants, pointed out that there was ambiguity whether industrial projects were included or not.

•“The ruling only signifies that the State RERA considers all immovable properties under its purview. This is definitely good from the perspective that there will be all-round transparency and efficiency in the State’s real estate sector, and the scope of the RERA is not just limited to commercial or residential buildings. This leaves little room for any misadventure in the industry as a whole, and an overall fair play,” he said.

•“The decision appears to be rendered in the context of specific issues raised therein. The tribunal has held that plots would cover residential commercial as well as industrial plots. This will have far-reaching implications for real estate projects, which would involve sale of industrial plots,” advocate K. Vaitheeswaran said.

πŸ“° India starts sharing maritime data

India starts sharing maritime data
Information Fusion Centre — Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) was set up last year

•The Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) set up last year has started functioning as an information sharing hub of maritime data and “cuing incident responses” to maritime security situations through a collaborative approach, Navy sources said.

•At the just concluded Goa Maritime Conclave (GMC), National Security Adviser Ajit Doval had offered countries in the IOR use of the facility to track movement of vessels on the high seas.

•“The centre is actively interacting with the maritime community and has already built linkages with 18 countries and 15 multinational/maritime security centres,” one official said.

Major centres

•The major centres with which regular exchange of maritime security information is being undertaken include Virtual Regional Maritime Traffic Centre (VRMTC), Maritime Security Centre - Horn of Africa(MSCHOA), Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery (ReCAAP), Information Fusion Centre-Singapore (IFC-SG), and International Maritime Bureau - Piracy Reporting Centre (IMB PRC).

•“The centre is administering a website to undertake collation and dissemination of information on a daily basis and also hosts the Monthly Maritime Security Update (MMSU) highlighting analysis on incidents, warnings and advisories in IOR,” the official added.

•The IFC-IOR was inaugurated in December 2018 within the premises of the Navy’s Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) in Gurugram.The IMAC is the single point centre linking all the coastal radar chains to generate a seamless real-time picture of the nearly 7,500-km coastline.

New joiners

•Several Indian Ocean littoral states have joined the coastal radar chain network. These include Maldives, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and Seychelles. Bangladesh is set to join the network and talks are on with Thailand as well.

•All countries which have signed white shipping information exchange agreements with India are IFC partners. The centre will host liaison officers from partner countries. Infrastructure to house them is currently being set up, officials said. Several countries had evinced interest in posting liaison officers. “We have already designated an officer to be at the IFC. Once it is formalised the officer will function from the embassy before moving to the centre,” a diplomatic source of an IOR country said.

•Presently, the exchange of information is being undertaken by virtual means, using telephone calls, faxes, emails and video conferencing over Internet.

•Addressing the GMC hosted last week by the Navy and attended by 10 Indian Ocean littoral states, Mr. Doval stated that India aspires to be a “major contributor” to maritime safety in the region with active cooperation of all and “we would like our neighbours to draw upon it, consider it as their own facility” he stated and added that rather than “duplicating it” we can augment it further by their cooperation. His comments on avoiding duplication are important in the context of reports that Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are considering setting up similar fusion centres.

πŸ“° India’s Vishnu Nandan among 300 researchers to join largest ever Arctic expedition

The 32-year-old polar researcher from Kerala will be the only Indian aboard the multidisciplinary drifting observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) expedition,

•For four months from November, Vishnu Nandan will not see sunlight.

•He will be aboard the German research vessel Polarstern, anchored on a large sheet of sea ice in the Central Arctic, drifting along with it during the pitch-black Polar winter.

•A native of Kerala’s capital Thiruvananthapuram, the 32-year-old polar researcher will be the only Indian among 300 scientists from across the world aboard the multidisciplinary drifting observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) expedition, which will help the researchers better understand the impact of climate change and aid in improved weather projections.

•Spearheaded by the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany, MOSAiC, the largest ever Arctic expedition in history, will be the first to conduct a study of this scale at the North Pole for an entire year. Previous studies have been of shorter periods as the thicker sea ice sheets prevent access in winter. This research vessel has thus locked itself into a large sea ice sheet, before the winter, and will drift along with it. A suitable sea ice sheet (floe) was identified two days ago.

•Dr. Nandan, a remote sensing scientist, will travel in a Russian icebreaker ship from the Norwegian port of Tromso in November to join the Polarstern on its second leg.

•“The aim of the expedition will be to parameterise the atmospheric, geophysical, oceanographic and all other possible variables in the Arctic, and use it to more accurately forecast the changes in our weather systems. My role as a radar remote sensing specialist is to deploy radar sensors on the sea ice surface and accurately measure the ice thickness and its variations,” Dr. Nandan said over phone from Canada, where he is currently working as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Manitoba.

•Since his journey is during the Polar winter, he will not see sunlight until his return in March.

•“Usually, our expeditions are for shorter periods, and we have research stations nearby for support. Here, we will be right in the middle of nowhere, in freezing cold temperatures and in complete darkness. Our biological clocks will go haywire. Communication to the outside world, and our loved ones, will also be limited,” says Dr. Nandan.

•A graduate from the SCT Engineering College, Thiruvananthapuram, he quit his IT job to take up MSc in Earth Observation Sciences at ITC, in Enshcede, The Netherlands, which he completed with a gold medal.

•His work became noticed when as part of the Cryosphere Climate Research Group at the University of Calgary, he was the lead author of ground breaking studies, which found that satellite measurements of seasonal sea ice that formed over the Arctic every year were likely to be incorrect by a substantial degree, as the presence of salts on snow overlying sea ice had led scientists to overestimate the thickness of the Arctic sea ice.

•“This year, we have the second lowest sea ice extent in the past 50 years, accentuated by anthropogenic activities. With lesser ice cover, more of the Arctic Ocean is exposed to sunlight for longer periods, causing increase of temperatures across the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. As the ocean gets warmer, it influences global weather patterns, causing changes in monsoon patterns and triggering more destructive cyclones. The data we will be gathering in this expedition related to these will be of immense use to the upcoming generation of young scientists,” says Dr. Nandan.

πŸ“° A road to economic revival runs through agriculture

The current growth slowdown is an ideal time to implement doable agricultural reforms

•One of the world’s fastest growing economies, India, is now facing sluggish growth, with the Reserve Bank of India sharply cutting GDP growth forecast to 6.1% for 2019-20, which is lowest in last six years; there has been a sharp decline in the performance of key sectors.

•While some economists feel this slow pace is also a stage to bounce back and is cyclical, others (policy pundits) see this as a gross failure of economic reforms and even a colonial legacy, which only time will tell. Whatever the reason for the slowdown, the opportunity to speed up must accommodate a diverse body of opinion and options for sustainable and inclusive growth.

•The conventional approach of fiscal and monetary stimulus options to address the relics of a slow pace would only give immediate relief and not an enduring solution. Hence key policy measures as they exist now must reach out to emancipate that which is dragging growth while stimulating key sectors.

Effect on primary sectors

•The ripples of the slowdown are gradually moving to the primary sectors which is already reeling under an unprecedented confluence of pressure. Real agricultural and allied gross value added (GVA) grew by 2.9% during 2011-12 to 2017-18, while in the National Agricultural Policy (2000), it should have been around 4%, to attain an overall economic growth of 8%. A highly skewed and unprecedented monsoon, erratic rainfall, and extreme natural events are creating havoc as far as farms and farmers are concerned which in turn are likely to disrupt supply chains, fuel inflation and have a negative impact on consumption, all of which can further dampen the prospects of revival of the economy.

•In addition, the current growth rate in the farm sector is less than adequate to take on developmental challenges originating from the Sustainable Development Goals, mainly zero hunger, no poverty, life on land, and gender equality. Hence any key reforms packages in improving the economy should also take cognisance of the crisis in the agricultural sector.

•The key to addressing the slowdown lies in a selective group of reforms in the key sectors.

•As always the push must start with the primary sector. First, there is a great need to accept the role of agriculture in invigorating crucial economic segments. The sector is a potential enabler and employer for more than 50% of the population; it also has the potential to revive “animal spirits” by ensuring farm viability: increasing the ratio of farm to non-farm income to 70:30 by 2022-23 from the present 60:40. According to the agriculture census 2015-16, the real income of farmers doubled in almost 20 years from 1993-94 to 2015-16. As the target to double farmers’ income by 2022 is nearing, there must be fast-lane options and swift actions to ensure curated reforms on land, market, price, and ameliorate supply side constraints. As reiterated in the past, the Agricultural Developmental Council (ADC) in line with the GST Council is a dire need to make agricultural reforms more expressive and representative. For better income distribution, there is also a need to revisit regional crop planning and the agro-climatic zone model at the highest possible level so as to make agriculture the engine of sustainable economic growth in India 2.0 by 2022.

•Second there is a strong case to believe that deindustrialisation 2.0 and creative destruction is under way from the decreasing growth rate, and that slowly fading reform to stimulate the traditional sectors is adding to unemployment and job loss. There is immense need to promote occupations which are less influenced by the slowdown such as farming, handloom, handicrafts and others.

Investment and jobs

•Third in the Economic Survey 2018-19, the working age population will continue to rise through 2041. Therefore, there is urgent need to increase the job-to-investment ratio which is currently very low. Some estimates say that ₹1 crore investment in India can create only four formal jobs. What has been less noticed and assessed in any survey is that inter-State migration has a huge impact on personal consumption expenditure. Giving a policy nudge to in-situ employment creation is a must for a stable income and spending. Also, there must be efforts to have an accurate picture of unemployment data in order to have policy that is closer to facts. Fourth, there is a need to reconsider the few distorting reforms that are often stated to revive the short-term chaos in the long run. Finally, the sweet spot created by low oil prices in the past is slowly taking its turn to hit the economy to further cut down aggregate demand.

•The occasional dip in growth due to various reasons will slow the pace to achieving a $5-trillion economy by 2024. This is the right time to execute a slew of doable agricultural reforms as the role of agriculture in reversing the slowdown is immense in the light of its nearly 20% contribution to a $5-trillion economy. Therefore, a blend of efforts from a range of sectors, agriculture and allied sectors is warranted to enable overall growth.




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