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The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 15 February 2020

 

Troubling data

  • Finance Minister in Parliament: spoke about green shoots in the economy.
  • November’s industrial output data: 8% growth
  • December’s industrial output data: 0.3% contraction
  • Core sector: accounting for 40% of the index of industrial production, showed a 1.3% growth in December.
  • The villain seems to be manufacturing, which contracted by 1.2%, with consumer durables and non-  durables in sharp decline.
  • It contains index, production and growth of Eight Core Industries.
  • Eight Core Industries are electricity , steel, refinery products, crude oil, coal, cementnatural gas and fertilizers.
  • The Index of Eight Core Industries is a monthly production index, which is also considered as a  lead indicator of the monthly industrial
  • The Index of Eight Core Industries is compiled based on the monthly production information  received from the Source Agencies.
  • Threat due to the coronavirus outbreak in China.
  • Shutdown of factories in China affects supply chain networks
  1. slim inventories
  • Inflation: January prints showing a rise in both consumer price inflation and wholesale price inflation.
  1. CPI accelerated to 7.59% in January
  2. Wholesale price inflation broke the 3% barrier in Jan
  • Cooking gas prices rising by a huge ₹144 a cylinder
  • Lack of demand.

 

Choice and candidacy

  • Removing the taint of criminality from electoral politics.
  • Progress made so far is because of SC and ECI
  • ALARMING INCREASE” of those with a criminal  background in the last four general elections
  • Parties have been asked to explain candidate choice  and why those with criminal cases pending against  them were preferred over those with no such record.
  • Series of judgments
  • What people wants?
  1. asset disclosure and criminal records of candidates
  2. ‘none of the above’ option
  3. immediate disqualification after conviction
  4. special courts in all States

One Asia, two perspectives

  • 1968: Asian Drama, An Inquiry into the Poverty of  Nations
  • Economies of Asian countries, perhaps mainland Asian  countries excluding Japan, were in dire poverty in the  early part of the 20th century was widely accepted.
  • But in the middle of the century they became independent countries and UN me
  • The poor countries became “underdeveloped” (and rich countries “developed”) and development became the central idea in official and scholarly discourse.
  • The underdeveloped economies were caught in a  “low-level equilibrium trap” — low incomes, low  savings, low investment — and thus a built-in  inability to grow.
  • The remedy, of course, was foreign aid accompanied by labour-intensive technologies.
  • Myrdal refused to fall in line.
  • SOCIAL SYSTEM” attitude towards life and work  and institutions in general.
  • Myrdal made a comparison of “Western values”  and “Asia Values”.
  • In Asia Values, he included survival mindedness; irresponsiveness to  opportunities for betterment; scorn for manual labour; unwillingness to work for others; superstitious beliefs and irrational outlook; submission to authority and exploitation; low aptitude for cooperation.
  • Combine these with what Myrdal considered to be institutions specific to Asia — underdeveloped institutions for enterprise, employment and credit; imperfections in the authority of government agencies; low standards of efficiency and integrity in public administration.
  • Add to these the caste system and the joint or extended family,  and Asia emerges substantially different from western nations.
  • Asian countries, therefore, were caught in a poverty trap, he felt.
  • The World Economy in the Twentieth Century (1989)
  • In 1820: China and India put together accounted  for half the world population and world income.
  • That is, Asia (China and India in particular) was  not always at the bottom of the pit and poverty  was not its characteristic feature.
  • Resurgent Asia: Diversity in Development  (Oxford, 2019)
  • He was one-time Chief Economic Adviser,  Government of India as also Vice-Chancellor, Delhi  University.
  • Nayyar saw that the two Asian giants, China and  India, contributed close to 60% of the global  manufacturing production and an even larger  proportion of manufactured exports until around  1750.
  • However, over the next two centuries, the  Industrial Revolution in Britain brought about a  radical transformation of the situation that  changed the profile completely, except for the  outlier, Japan.
  • During the second half of the 20th century, the situation has changed again as is widely known.
  • It began with the East Asian tigers, South KoreaTaiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. Soon others  joined, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia; then, of  course, China and India.
  • The economic profile of Asia has completely  changed.
  • Asia is a very diverse continent.
  • By 1962, Asia’s share in the world population  diminished to 50%, while its share in global income  fell sharply to 15%.
  • And by 1965-70, Asia was the poorest continent.

  • For China and India taken together these shares  plunged to 35% and 8%, respectively.
  • The share of China and India in world  manufacturing production collapsed from 47% in  1830 to 5% in 1963.
  • By the second decade of the present century,  things had changed drastically, but also  differentially in the subregions and countries.
  • East Asia was the leader and South Asia was the  laggard with South East Asia in the middle.
  • Taking the Asia-14 together, the author describes  the economic growth of the past 50 years as  “stunning” with China being the star performer.
  • In all instances where growth was impressive, high  levels of investment and savings were the main  drivers which must have come as a bit of a shock  to all who in an earlier period considered the Asian  “poor” countries of being incapable of generating  high savings.
  • The pattern in many countries including China was  rapid investment growth coinciding with  increasing exports.
  • Education too contributed towards raising growth rates.
  • Many countries have been experiencing lower  levels of growth in the 21st century.
  • What is considered as the standard pattern is for  labour force to move from agriculture (A) to  manufacturing and industry (M) and then to  services (S) and this pattern is seen in the case of  South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore.
  • In India and several other countries in South  East, there was an exit from A, not much into M,  but significantly into S.
  • Nayyar also notes that the growth of the Asia  economies has considerably reduced the  percentage of their population considered to be  below the poverty line.
  • But that has been accompanied by sharp increases in  inequalities of income and more so of wealth in  democratic India and even communist China which also  raises questions about the future.
  • There will be problems too. Absolute poverty may be  minimal by 2030, but the poverty-inequality-unemployment  nexus may continue.
  • There are also the challenges of technology and environmental consequences.
  • But these are global issues and will affect other economies  also.
  • “There can be little doubt that, circa 2050,... Asia will  account for more than one-half of world income, and will  be home for more than one-half the people on earth”.

A tale of outbreaks, both in China

  • There are obvious parallels between the epidemics of 2002-2003 and 2019-2020.
  • Both began in winter and featured cover-ups and whistle-blowers.
  • The origins of both were traced to China’s unregulated wet markets and the sale of wildlife.
  • Both resulted in quarantines, empty streets and considerable panic.
  • But there are also differences.
  • SARS was far deadlier, with a mortality rate of about  10%.

  • The mortality rate for the novel coronavirus  (COVID-19) is yet to be established, but appears to  be about 2%.
  • However, it is much more infectious.
  • More than 1,300 people have died from the new  virus, a number that is already greater than SARS’  final death toll of 774.
  • It took eight months for SARS to spread to more  than 8,000 people.
  • The COVID-19 has infected over 63,000 people in  about six weeks.
  • There are also differences in the government’s  handling of the epidemics.
  • Although the SARS virus first began appearing in  November 2002, China’s then Heath Minister,  Zhang Wenkang, gave a televised press conference  as late as April 3, 2003, assuring the world that  Beijing had only a handful of infections.
  • Then suddenly on April 20, it was announced that  the capital in fact had 339 confirmed cases, 10  times more than the 37 infections made public  until then.
  • With regard to the current epidemic, the first  instances of COVID-19 appeared in early  December.
  • By the second week of January, China had genetically sequenced the virus and shared it with WHO.
  • The restrictions on travel to and from China are more punitive, even as there is a resurgence of racist tropes portraying Chinese food habits and other customs as unsafe and unsavour
  • The S. (with some exceptions) and Australia have banned entry to all foreign nationals who  have been to China in recent weeks.
  • Other countries, including India, Malaysia, Russia, Vietnam and Italy, have temporarily stopped  issuing certain classes of visas to travellers from  Hubei Province, where Wuhan is situated, or China
  • And although compared to SARS, this handling has shown improvements, it nonetheless throws  the deficiencies, even fragility, of China’s political  system, into sharp relief.
  • Information was not adequately shared.
  • Worse, those like Li Wenliang (the whistle- blower who subsequently contracted the virus and  died) who tried to voice their concerns were  muzzled by the police.

NEWS

  • Following SC rap, telcos asked to pay AGR dues  immediately
  • European Union calls for swift end to all curbs in  Kashmir
  • Justice Dharmadhikari of Bombay HC resigns
  • Gujarat hostel girls checked for menstruation
  • Puducherry entitled to more funds from Centre, says  report
  • Scientists radio-tag Indian pangolin
  • ‘India’s position on Global Hunger Index alarming’