Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 30 January 2018
Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 30 January 2018
President Kovind Delivers maiden speech in parliament
President Kovind talks about ensuring social justice and economic
democracy in his first speech in parliament at a joint sitting of the first
day of Budget session.
Highest priority to agriculture, dignity of women through gas
connection, toilets, maternity benefits.
Increase the standard of living of the farmer and decrease expenditure
incurred by farming.
Govt. was able to contain Fiscal deficit and Inflation in the last 3
He also hailed the 12-digit unique identity number Aadhaar as something
that helped the poor secure their rights by eliminating middlemen.
Talking about the digital initiative, he said 2.70 lakh Common Service
Centres had been set up to provide digital services at low cost, even in
The recent Umang App had made more than 100 public services available on
Talking about employment, he said 10 crore loans under the the Pradhan
Mantri Mudra Yojana had been sanctioned.
More than Rs. 4 lakh crore had been disbursed under the scheme to
Talking about Governance, frequent elections not only impose a huge
burden on human resources but also impede the development process due to the
promulgation of the model code of conduct.
A sustained debate is required on the subject of simultaneous elections
and all political parties need to arrive at a consensus on this issue.
The government’s diplomatic efforts had ensured a “new-found respect for
India” and increasing role in global affairs.
President said terrorist attacks in some parts of Jammu and Kashmir were
“directly related to cross-border infiltration”.
The government has kept open the path of dialogue with those who wish to
shun violence and join the mainstream, while reposing faith in the
President Kovind mentioned housing for all by 2022, connecting all
villages with roads, uninterrupted power supply and LPG connections to the
Called the Goods and Services Tax the biggest tax reform since
He said the government was seeking to achieve the economic integration
of the country.
The government would “recapitalise the public sector banks by infusing
more than Rs. 2 lakh crore of capital into them”, addressing NPAs of PSBs.
He said the government believed in “empowerment and not appeasement” of
Intensive efforts for minorities economic, social and educational
Modi emphasized idea of simultaneous elections
Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged NDA constituents to “at least start a
debate” on the need for “one nation, one election”.
His oft-emphasised idea of simultaneous polls to the Lok Sabha and the
Mr. Modi raised the issue of simultaneous polls.
The NDA passed a resolution hailing the Prime Minister for his speech at
the World Economic Forum in Davos and the presence of heads of 10 ASEAN
countries as chief guests at the Republic Day parade, sources said.
Urged for maximum presence of party MPs in Parliament to support the
government agenda during the budget session.
Absenteeism of a section of MPs during sessions has been a concern for
the party leadership.
In the previous session of Parliament, the OBC Bill granting
Constitutional status to the Backward Classes Commission was held up because
of the absence of many MPs from the Treasury benches.
Mr. Modi spoke about the need for lawmakers to attend meetings of
parliamentary panels, and underlined the importance of the budget session,
which started on Monday, and said key issues would be taken up.
Ensure early passage of Triple Talaq Bill : President and PM
President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi advocated the
early passage of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill,
2017, also known as the triple talaq Bill, during the Budget session of
While Mr. Modi made his remarks before the start of the session, Mr.
Kovind made it a part of his address to both Houses.
The Bill had been cleared by the Lok Sabha in December last, but is
hanging fire in the Rajya Sabha.
A larger Opposition in RS group wants to send it to a Select Committee
for further scrutiny, while the government wants early passage of the Bill.
Opposition members are resisting what they term the “criminalisation of
The Bill proposes a three-year jail term for Muslim men if they
pronounce instant triple talaq.
Mr. Modi said it was the government’s effort as well as the expectation
of the people that there would be no politics on an important issue like
triple talaq and that Muslim women would get their right.
SC squashes a state law, favored reservation in promotion of SC/ST govt.
The Supreme Court on Monday took to task the Karnataka government for
not complying with a judgment.
Asked to revise its seniority list after the apex court, in a judgment
in February 2017, quashed a State law favouring reservation in promotion for
SC/ST government employees.
The court had on February 9, 2017, found that Karnataka did not face any
“compelling necessity” to favour quota in promotion for SC/ST in government
The apex court had pronounced the judgment in a petition challenging the
validity of the Karnataka Determination of Seniority of the Government
Servants Promoted on the Basis of Reservation (To the Posts in the Civil
Services of the State) Act of 2002.
The law had also provided grant of consequential seniority to SC/ST
government servants promoted under reservation policy.
In its judgment in the B.K. Pavitra case, the Supreme Court held that
the “exercise for determining inadequacy of representation, backwardness,
and overall efficiency is a must before a State decides to provide
reservation with consequential seniority under Article 16 (4A) of the
Constitution for SC/ST persons in government service.
The apex court gave Karnataka three months to revise its seniority list.
However, the State responded by passing the Karnataka Extension of
Consequential Seniority to Government Servants Promoted on the Basis of
Reservation (To posts in the Civil Services of the State) Bill, 2017.
The Bill, passed unanimously in the State Assembly, is now before the
President for his assent.
SL should repeal PTA : HRW
Human Rights Watch criticised the Sri Lankan government for its failure
to repeal the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).
Accused the government of being “all talk and no action”.
Released a report titled ‘Locked Up Without Evidence: Abuses under Sri
Lanka’s Prevention of Terrorism Act’.
Based on interviews with 34 former detainees and relatives — the rights
watchdog said the PTA allowed arrests without warrant for unspecified
Permitted detention for up to 18 months without producing the suspect in
Many of the interviewees reported torture and abuse during their
The PTA, enacted in 1979 when President J.R. Jayawardene was in power,
was mainly aimed at crushing the nascent armed struggle of Tamil youth
outraged by the Sri Lankan state’s discriminatory policies.
Critics have repeatedly questioned the prolonged use of the legislation,
particularly after the civil war ended in 2009.
Amid growing domestic and international pressure to repeal the
legislation, the government helmed by President Maithripala Sirisena and
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe promised to abolish it.
Initiated efforts to draft a new counterterrorism law in 2016.
However, the first draft sparked fear among lawyers and activists who
noted with concern that some provisions were worse than the PTA’s.
Reportedly, at least 11 people have been arrested under the PTA in 2016.
The government is yet to respond to the report, and attempts to reach
officials in the Law and Order Ministry for a comment were unsuccessful.
Worryingly, the latest draft of the counterterrorism legislation,
according to senior human rights lawyer K.S. Ratnavale, is “shrouded in
“It was neither placed as a Bill in Parliament nor presented for any
public consultation or debate.
“The PTA has to be completely repealed and the law replacing must be
progressive, in keeping with international standards. There need to be legal
safeguards for suspects,” he said.
New Govt. in Nepal, Indian keen on reviving ties
In a bid to revive ties with Nepal, External Affairs Minister Sushma
Swaraj will visit Kathmandu from February 1 to 2.
The visit comes weeks after Nepal elected a Leftist coalition, which won
the first historic poll under the new Constitution of the country.
The visit is in keeping with the tradition of regular high-level
political exchanges between India and Nepal,
Reflects the expanding bilateral partnership and the importance that the
two countries attach to further strengthening it across diverse sectors.
The visit by Ms. Swaraj will be the first big diplomatic engagement by
the newly elected rulers of Kathmandu.
Significantly, only last week Prime Minister Narendra Modi had reached
out to the elected Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli wherein both the leaders
had invited each other for a visit.
Ties between Mr. Oli and Mr. Modi had been cold since the former was the
Prime Minister during the months-long economic blockade between 2015-16.
Mr. Oli fought the election through a coalition with former Prime
Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ though he is yet to be formally
“The upcoming visit will provide an opportunity to hold discussions with
political leaders of Nepal on issues of mutual interest, and to advance
age-old, special ties of friendship between India and Nepal,” the release
Read for strong and swift hit back : EU warns Trump
The European Union (EU) said that it stands ready to hit back “swiftly
and appropriately” if U.S. President Donald Trump takes unfair trade
measures against the 28-nation bloc.
The EU’s warning comes less than 24 hours after Mr. Trump expressed his
annoyance with EU trade policy, saying it “may morph into something very
The stand-off contrasts sharply with relations during the administration
of Barack Obama.
Both sides sought to create a massive free trade zone between the EU and
United States that, it was argued, could yield over $100 billion a year for
When Mr. Trump won the presidential election in November 2016, those
hopes evaporated as the new President talked about protecting American jobs.
On-going against multilateral trade deals that he portrayed as
detrimental to his “America First” policies.
Mr. Trump said in a British television interview that “the European
Union has been very, very unfair to the United States, and I think it’ll
turn out to be very much to their detriment”.
Mr. Trump last week approved tariffs on imported solar-energy components
and large washing machines in a bid to help U.S. manufacturers, particularly
against competition from China and South Korea.
The issues also came to the fore during last week’s World Economic Forum
(WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.
In 2016, official figures show, the EU imported €246 billion ($304
billion) in goods from the U.S. while exporting some €362 billion ($448
billion) to the country.
In services, the U.S. deficit is much smaller, of only about €13 billion
The EU and Germany both called for cooperation.
German government spokesman said, “an even stronger, more competitive,
more self-confident EU that takes over even more international
“But that is not directed against anyone, including the United States of
America,” Mr. Seibert told reporters in Berlin.
“We try for solutions, strive for cooperation that is advantageous for
Ready to work with India, opens talks on CPEC : China
China offered to open talks with India to resolve differences on the
China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Opens the door for removing a major irritant in New Delhi-Beijing ties.
Ready to work with the Indian side through dialogue and communication
for a better solution. This best serves the interests of the two countries.
Proposed a new phase of dialogue between India and China, which would
cover all differences including CPEC.
Asked to comment on China’s alleged newly developed military
infrastructure in the Doklam area, as shown in recently published satellite
pictures, Ms. Hua, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson reiterated
Beijing’s stock response that Donglang (Doklam) was China’s sovereign
Beijing had a right to build infrastructure in the area.
The Economic Survey, tabled in Parliament by Finance Minister Arun
The economy is set to grow at 7-7.5% in the next financial year.
Reviving exports and investment even as the negative effects of
demonetisation and the teething troubles of the Goods and Services Tax
Further predicted that GDP growth in the current financial year would
touch 6.75%, higher than the 6.5% estimated by the Central Statistics
Reform measures like the implementation of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy
Code and the recapitalisation plan for public sector banks would go a long
way in addressing the twin balance sheet problem.
Both corporates and banks will revive, which would in turn further boost
As a result of these measures, the dissipating effects of earlier policy
actions, and the export uplift from the global recovery, the economy began
to accelerate in the second half of the year.
This should allow real GDP growth to reach 6.75% for the year as a
whole, rising to 7-7.5% in 2018-19.
Thereby re-instating India as the world’s fastest growing major economy.
However, it did caution about some ongoing trends — such as rising oil
prices and stock market prices — that would require vigilance and preventive
Against emerging macroeconomic concerns, policy vigilance will be
necessary in the coming year, especially if high international oil prices
persist or elevated stock prices correct sharply, provoking a ‘sudden stall’
in capital flows.
The Economic Survey 2017-18, said farmer income losses from climate
change could be between 15% and 18% on an average, rising to anywhere
between 20%-25% in unirrigated areas of the country.
“Applying IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)-predicted
temperatures and projecting India’s recent trends in precipitation, and
assuming no policy responses, give rise to estimates for farm income losses
of 15% to 18% on average, rising to 20%-25% for unirrigated areas.
Adding that at current levels of farm income, that translates into more
than Rs. 3,600 per year for the median farm household.
“[The] Prime Minister’s goal of doubling farmers’ incomes — increasingly
runs up against the contemporary realities of Indian agriculture,
The harsher prospects of its vulnerability to long-term climate change.
India needed to expand irrigation – and do so against a backdrop of
rising water scarcity and depleting groundwater resources.
In the 1960s, less than 20% of agriculture was irrigated, now this
number is in the mid-40s.
The Indo-Gangetic plain, and parts of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh are
But parts of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan,
Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand are still extremely vulnerable to climate change
on account of not being well irrigated.
Fully irrigating Indian agriculture, that too against the backdrop of
water scarcity and limited efficiency in existing irrigation schemes, will
be a defining challenge for the future.
Technologies of drip irrigation, sprinklers and water management —
captured in the “more crop for every drop” campaign — may well hold the key
to future Indian agriculture.
Power subsidy needs to be replaced by direct benefit transfers so that
power use can be fully costed and water conservation furthered.
With growing rural to urban migration by men, there is ‘feminisation’ of
With increasing number of women in multiple roles as cultivators,
entrepreneurs, and labourers.
Pointing out that worldwide, there was empirical evidence that women had
a decisive role in ensuring food security and preserving local
Rural women are responsible for the integrated management and use of
diverse natural resources to meet the daily household needs.
This requires that women farmers should have enhanced access to
resources like land, water, credit, technology and training which warrants
critical analysis in the context of India.
Observed that crucial role of women in agricultural development and
allied fields was a fact long taken for granted.
For sustainable development of agriculture and rural economy, the
contribution of women to agriculture and food production cannot be ignored.
Notably, as per Census 2011, out of total female main workers, 55% were
agricultural labourers and 24% cultivators.
However, only 12.8% of the operational holdings were owned by women,
which reflected the gender disparity in ownership of landholdings in
Women predominant at all levels — production, pre-harvest, post-harvest
processing, packaging, marketing — of the agricultural value chain it is
imperative to adopt gender specific interventions.
An ‘inclusive transformative agricultural policy’ should aim at
gender-specific interventions to raise productivity of small farm holdings,
integrate women as active agents in rural transformation, and engage men and
women in extension services with gender expertise.
India will require investments of about $4.5 trillion by 2040 to develop
infrastructure to improve economic growth and community well-being.
The current trend shows that India can meet around $3.9 trillion
infrastructure investment out of $4.5 trillion.
The cumulative figure for India’s infrastructure investment gap would be
around $526 billion by 2040.
There was massive under-investment in infrastructure sector until the
Due to collapse of public private partnerships, especially in power and
telecom projects; stressed balance sheets of private companies; issues
related to land and forest clearances.
The need of the hour is to fill the infrastructure investment gap with
financing from private investment.
Institutions dedicated to infrastructure financing like National
Infrastructure Investment Bank and also global institutions like Asian
Infrastructure Investment Bank and New Development Bank which are focusing
more on sustainable development projects and infrastructure projects.
There is scope for developing the shipbuilding industry, currently
dominated by South Korea, China and Japan, in India.
This will not only create a strong manufacturing base but also generate
millions of jobs.
On road sector, as on September 2017, out of the 1,263 total ongoing
monitored projects across sectors, there were 482 projects in road transport
and highways with (original) cost of Rs. 3,17,373.9 crore.
Of these, 43 projects face cost overruns and 74 projects time overruns.
Further, the share of Indian Railways in freight movement has been
declining over a period of time primarily due to non-competitive tariff
The telecom sector is going through a “stress period with growing
losses, debt pile, price war, reduced revenue and irrational spectrum costs.
3. Taxation & Litigation
The Goods and Services Tax has resulted in a 50% increase in the number
of indirect taxpayers.
The fledgling tax regime has already revealed new data on key aspects
such as inter-State trade, State-wise exports, and the extent of
formalisation in the economy.
There has been a large increase in voluntary registrations, especially
by small enterprises that buy from large enterprises and want to avail
themselves of input tax credits.
In addition, the Survey showed a significant proportion of tax filers
eligible for the Composition Scheme have instead opted to file their returns
in the regular manner so as to avail of input tax credits.
For this reason, about 1.9 million (24% of total regular filers) of the
registrants sized between the GST threshold of Rs. 20 lakh and the
composition limit… instead decided to file under the regular GST.
So, about 54.3% of those eligible for the composition scheme chose
instead to be regular filers.
The distribution of the GST base among the States is closely linked to
the size of their economies, allaying fears of major producing States that
the shift to the new system would undermine their tax collections.
Data on international exports of States (the first in India’s history)
suggests a strong correlation between export performance and States’
standard of living.
India’s internal trade is about 60% of GDP, even greater than estimated
in last year’s Survey and comparing very favourably with other large
Formality defined in terms of social security provision yields an
estimate of formal sector payroll of about 31% of the non-agricultural work
Formality defined in terms of being part of the GST net suggests a
formal sector payroll share of 53%.
Faced with a success rate that is less than 30%, the tax department
would gain from a reduction in appeals pursued at higher levels of the
Together, the claims for indirect and direct tax stuck in litigation by
the quarter ending March, 2017, amounted to nearly Rs. 7.58 lakh crore, over
4.7% of GDP.
The tax department is the largest litigant with almost 85% of direct tax
cases arising out of its appeals.
The Department unambiguously loses 65% of its cases.
The government’s persistence with litigation despite high rates of
failure was increasing the workload of the judiciary and adding to delays
and pendency of cases.
Taking a severe toll on the economy in terms of stalled projects,
mounting legal costs, contested tax revenues, and reduced investment.
While it is difficult to estimate the costs of pendency and delay, found
that more than Rs. 52,000 crore worth of government infrastructure projects
have been stalled by various orders of the courts.
The Ministries of Power, Roads and Railways have been the hardest hit.
As project costs have risen by close to 60% during the stalled period.
The dedicated subject-matter courts could have “profound benefits” as
seen in the apex court’s recent experiment with constituting an exclusive
bench for taxation produced impressive results.
This may be replicated for other subject matters, and emulated by other
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council should comprehensively review
‘embedded taxes’ and expeditiously eliminate the embedded export taxes to
boost India’s manufacturing exports.
Referring to the Rs. 6,000-crore package for the apparel sector
announced in June 2016, the Survey observed that the largest component of
that package was rebates on state levies to offset indirect taxes levied by
the states (the VAT) that were ‘embedded’ in exports.
The Survey found that the package in fact increased exports of
ready-made garments made of man-made fibres.
A policy implication (arising from this example) was that the GST
Council should conduct a comprehensive review of embedded taxes arising from
products left outside the GST (petroleum and electricity) and those that
arose from the GST itself.
For example, Input Tax Credits that get blocked because of “tax
inversion,” whereby taxes further back in the chain are greater than those
up the chain.
This review should lead to an expeditious elimination of these embedded
export taxes, which could provide an important boost to India’s
It suggested the formulation of a National Integrated Logistics Policy
to bring in greater transparency and enhance efficiency in logistics
Improving logistics sector has huge implication on exports and it is
estimated that a 10% decrease in indirect logistics cost can increase 5-8%
The document has also thrown up some interesting findings on India’s
This included data on the international exports of states, the first in
India’s history, showing that five states — Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka,
Tamil Nadu and Telangana — in that order account for 70% of India’s exports.
Similarly, for the first time, the Survey did a firm-level analysis on
exports and found that export concentration by firms was much lower in India
than in the U.S., Germany, Brazil, or Mexico.
This meaning that India had no ‘exports superstars’ and that its export
structure was “egalitarian” in nature.
5. Rural India
The number of people defecating in the open in rural India had reduced
to less than half of what it was in 2014.
Claiming success in rural sanitation due to Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM),
the flagship scheme of the Centre.
As per baseline survey conducted by Ministry of Drinking Water and
Sanitation, the number of persons defecating in open in rural areas, which
was 55-crore in October, 2014, declined to 25-crore in January, 2018, at a
much faster pace compared to the trend observed before 2014.
So far, 296 districts and 3,07,349 villages all over the India have been
declared as Open Defecation Free (ODF).
Eight States and two Union Territories, i.e., Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh,
Kerala, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Arunachal Pradesh, Gujarat,
Daman & Diu and Chandigarh have been declared as ODF completely.
More than 90% of the individuals, who had access to toilets, were using
them in 2016 and 2017.
The surveys conducted by National Sample Survey Office (NSSO, 2016) and
Quality Council of India (QCI, 2017) on usage of toilets by the individuals
who have access to toilets reported more than 90% of individuals using
toilets in 2016 and 2017.
According to UNICEF, the lack of sanitation is responsible for the
deaths of over 100,000 children in India annually and for stunting of 48 %
A pilot study, conducted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in
selected open-defecation free (ODF) and non-ODF districts, showed that
households in ODF districts had “significantly better health indicators”.
The Survey also says that there are economic benefits in becoming
According to the World Bank estimates, the lack of sanitation facilities
costs India over 6-% of GDP.
In a report ‘The Financial and Economic Impact of SBM in India (2017)’
UNICEF estimated that a household in an ODF village in rural India saves Rs.
50,000 ($800) every year.
6. Renewable energy
The government needs to revisit subsidies and incentives for renewables
because its tariff is approaching grid parity and some discoms are insisting
for renegotiation of already inked PPAs.
Suggested setting up a payment guarantee fund or a foreign exchange fund
for renewable developers to reduce risks along with affordable financing.
As per experts, the tariff’s free fall last year would result in a
situation where renewables would be cheaper than coal-based thermal power
and thus would affect thermal plants to create another lot of bad loans or
The discovery of very low (renewable) tariffs through the auctioning
process, though a welcome news, possibly contributed to some demands for
renegotiation of the already signed PPAs.
Some discoms have hinted at possibility of renegotiating the PPAs signed
by them at tariffs higher than those in the recent bids.
Mentioned a CRISIL (2017) remark that renegotiating the tariffs could
result in risk for investments worth Rs. 48,000 crore.
Following the demonetisation, Indian households are moving away from
savings in cash to financial assets.
The pattern of household savings was significantly different in 2016-17
as compared with the previous five years.
The overall financial savings of the households increased more than 20%
in 2016-17, which was significantly higher than the growth witnessed in any
of the preceding five years.
There was a decline in savings in the form of currency by more than 250%
(of about Rs. 5 lakh crore).
This decline primarily owed to the withdrawal of high denomination
currency notes in November 2016 and partial remonetisation by end March
The savings of households were channeled into financial assets like bank
deposits, life insurance funds and shares and debentures.
The growth of savings in mutual funds registered a phenomenal increase
of more than 400% over and above the growth of 126% witnessed in 2015-16.
Thus within a span of 2 years, savings in the form of mutual funds
registered more than 11-fold increase.
That this happened in a period when the BSE Sensex increased by an
average of just about 1.5% per annum needs to be analysed in more detail.
The story on overall savings and investment rate in the economy was not
The investment rate as a share of GDP in the economy declined by nearly
5.6 percentage points between 2011-12 and 2015-16.
The savings rate declined by two and half percentage points between
2011-12 and 2013-14 and has remained range bound thereafter.
The government needs to address issues such as rent control and unclear
More important than focussing on building more homes under its scheme to
provide ‘Housing for All’ by 2022.
More holistic approach that takes into account rentals and vacancy
In turn, this needs policymakers to pay more attention to contract
enforcement, property rights and spatial distribution of housing supply
The policies on housing needed to recognise that India has an
increasingly fluid population.
A successful housing policy should enable the ability to move to,
between and within cities as job opportunities arise.
It should also deliver vertical mobility, so that an aspirational
population can climb the socio-economic ladder.
It highlighted that two important areas that need to be looked at are
the rental segment and vacancy rates.
Rental housing is important for both horizontal and vertical mobility as
it allowed people to access suitable housing without actually having to buy
However, the share of rental housing has actually been declining in
Indian cities since independence from 54% in 1961 to 28% in 2011.
As a proportion, renting accommodation is more prevalent in urban areas
than in rural.
According to the 2011 Census, the share of households living in rented
houses was only 5% in rural areas, but 31% in urban areas
9. Science & Technology
This is the first time the annual survey of the economy earmarked a
dedicated chapter on the state of science and technology in India.
Stressing that India needed to work hard to improve its output.
India currently spends far below its economic capacity on research.
India spent only 0.5% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on research
and development in 2015.
In comparison, China and the U.S. spent 1% and 2.5%, when their per
capita GDP were similar to that of India.
Currently China’s GDP is five times and the U.S.’ about eight times that
At this rate, India would barely reach 1% of GDP by the time it
[becomes] as rich as the USA.
Need to increase the R&D, and perhaps need to do this much more in
It’s also very important to have a scientific temper of debate and
openness without religious obscurantism.
In the last two decades, India had improved its output of scientific
publications and was currently sixth in the world.
However, in quality, India was still woefully short.
For instance, in 2001, China had 174 high quality scientific
publications and India 103.
By 2011, China had soared ahead at 980 and India was still only at 153.
To fix this, India needed to unveil programmes in “mission mode.
The Survey also proposed missions in mathematics as well as genomics.
The latter involved emulating projects in Finland and the U.K. and
creating a detailed gene map of a sample of Indians.
This can be used as reference to better understand disease patterns. The
government also ought to be reaching out more to scientists based abroad.
There were more than 100,000 people with PhDs, who were born in India
but now live and work outside (more than 91,000 in the U.S. alone).
With the strength of India’s economy and growing anti-immigrant
atmosphere in some Western countries, India has an opportunity to attract
back more scientists.
There has been an increase in the number of Indian scientists returning
to work in India during the last five years, but the numbers are still
The current episode of investment slowdown is ongoing, and one that is
Therefore investment revival needs to be prioritised urgently to arrest
more lasting impact on growth.
The policy conclusion is urgent prioritisation of investment revival to
arrest more lasting growth impacts.
The government plans for resolution of bad debts and recapitalistion of
public sector banks.
To help India regain 8-10% growth, the measures, that need to be taken
soon, should include easing further the cost of doing business and creating
a clear and stable tax and regulatory environment.
The focus of investment-incentivising policies has to be on the big and
small alike. The ‘animal spirits’ need to be conjured back.
Raised concerns over slowdown in savings saying that too was ongoing.
However, investment slowdown was more detrimental to growth than savings
The question is - Should policies that boost investment (substantial
infrastructure push, reforms to facilitate the ease of doing business or the
‘Make in India’ programme) be given greater priority over those that boost
CEA on Monetary stance and Stock Market
Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian acknowledged that the
country’s monetary authorities to adopt a policy stance.
This will let them tamp down promptly on re-emerging inflationary
Change in stance, warranting a reappraisal of the central bank’s policy
The Indian economy, for about a period of 18 months, could have
benefited from lower interest rates.
Now clearly the cycle has turned, inflationary pressures have
So it is not just the fact inflation is picking up but also the fact if
growth happens the output gaps will also start narrowing.
From both those perspectives the stance of the monetary policy naturally
has to change.
As Keynes famously said, as facts change, I change my opinion. So there
is a change in the underlying facts.
The economic survey flagged the risks from rising oil prices.
Consumer price index based inflation, the central bank’s primary
yardstick for monetary policy formulation, accelerated to a 17-month high of
5.21% in December, driven by surging food prices.
The reading for retail inflation was just below the Reserve Bank of
India’s (RBI’s) upper tolerance limit of 6%.
The monetary policy committee of the RBI has held its key policy rate,
the repo rate, unchanged at 6% at its last two meetings while retaining a
The panel is set to meet next to review policy on February 7.
The rise in stock market indices have to be monitored closely and
investors need to exercise caution.
The statement comes in the backdrop of the Indian equity markets
touching new peaks on an almost daily basis.
We have seen around the world that when asset prices go up very much,
they always tend to come back so we have to be watchful.
The BSE Sensex gained 232.81 points to close at a new high of 36,283.25.
It had gained more than 2,000 points in the last one month.
The broader Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed at a
record 11,130.40, gaining 60.75 points or 0.55%.