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The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 03 August 2021

Sporting Half | ToI

  • In a historic feat, Rani Rampal and co have entered the Olympic semifinals by beating favourites Australia.
  • “I think this is Chak De! India in reality.”
  • The all-women tally of Rio appears to be repeating, albeit in a bigger number.

  • Discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur fell heartbreakingly short of India’s first athletics Olympic medal, but Mirabai Saikhom Chanu’s weighlifting silver and PV Sindhu’s badminton bronze are in the bank.
  • Lovlina Borgohain has already secured a boxing bronze, and may improve this colour tomorrow.
  • In badminton, where Saina Nehwal won a bronze in 2012 and then Sindhu a silver in 2016, a national spotlight on women’s successful performances has overlapped a retreat of gender gaps in infrastructure and monetisation.
  • But why are women giving more bang for the buck?
  • One explanation getting traction is that Indian society makes it so much harder for a woman to play a sport, those who fight through this swamp have extra steel.
  • Sexism is found worldwide
  • But in India it gets much more prohibitive, like girls being prevented from travelling alone or made to marry at 18
  • Ultimately sports are a reflection of society.
  • Ability needs to meet opportunity.
  • Mary Kom inspired Lovelina who will do the same for tomorrow’s medallists, as will Savita Punia’s wondrous goalkeeping or Vandana Katariya’s hat-trick in cricket.
  • May their success be the mother of many more.

Post-Covid Growth Strategy | ToI

  • Three decades after the 1991 reforms, India’s growth imperative remains every bit as urgent, to help recover lost jobs, ameliorate scarred incomes and sustain elevated public debt incurred from the pandemic.
  • The question is where will that growth come from?
  • There is a reflexive consensus among analysts that consumption and private investment will step up to the plate.
  • Consumption, after all, was the flagbearer of growth for much of the last decade.
  • Why won’t it just pick up from where it left off?
  • To understand why, one needs to analyse India’s growth dynamics this millennium.
  • Recall, growth had been powered by the Siamese twins of exports and investment in the first decade.
  • But by 2012, that story had petered out.
  • Exports began to slow and a combination of investment overcapacity and implementation bottlenecks meant the economy was beset with a “twin balance sheet” problem: corporates left with unsustainable debt and banks laden with high NPAs.
  • Unwittingly, this set the stage for the next era of growth.
  • As banks were licking their wounds from infrastructure and large-corporate NPAs, they turned their attention to the one segment of the economy that had been under-saturated: households.
  • What began was a multi-year retail credit boom, spurring the rapid proliferation of Non-Bank Financial Companies (NBFCs).
  • On their part, households welcomed access to cheaper, institutionalised sources of credit.
  • For a young, aspirational population, this was a means to smooth consumption over lifetimes.
  • But under the radar, household income perceptions began a secular fall from 2012.
  • Disposable income/GDP fell by 2 percentage points over the decade pre-Covid, even as private consumption/GDP rose by 4 percentage points.
  • Essentially, consumption was being financed by households running down savings and running up debt.
  • Debt-fuelled growth works in the good times, but as the economy began to slow from 2017-18, and income perceptions continued to soften, it was a matter of time before households became cautious.
  • Unsurprisingly, retrenchment in consumer goods began in early 2018, and broadened out by 2019.
  • Tighter lending standards after the NBFC shock in late 2018 accentuated these trends but incipient balance sheet pressures had pre-dated the shock.
  • The pandemic has inevitably accentuated household balance sheet pressures, soberly reflected in successive RBI Consumer Confidence Surveys.
  • It’s therefore unsurprising that consumption was the slowest to recover to pre-pandemic levels on the demand side.
  • Instead, the revival last year was led by government capex and exports.
  • If private consumption is unlikely to lead growth, can private investment fill the gap?
  • While SME balance sheets are likely to take a long time to recover, some good news is that large corporates have aggressively deleveraged in recent years.
  • However, the binding constraint on new investment for these firms has shifted from leverage to demand.
  • Private investment is endogenous: It first needs demand to fire and utilisation to rise.
  • Where could that demand come from? In our view, exports and public investment.
  • The global economy is witnessing its strongest growth in 80 years.
  • Near-term concerns about the Delta variant notwithstanding, global growth is expected to remain much above trend for the next 6-8 quarters on reopenings and vaccinations.
  • This bodes well for the external sector given the strong elasticity we find between global growth and India’s exports.
  • Unsurprisingly, manufacturing exports are already 20% above pre-pandemic levels.
  • But one growth driver may not be enough to crowd in private investment and create jobs.
  • Sustained public investment will therefore need to supplement exports.
  • The government has clearly embarked on this strategy with central capex growing 75% in the second half of last year, driving the recovery.
  • Both the Centre and states have budgeted 30% growth in capex for 2021-22, and pulling this off will be key to the revival.
  • Physical and social infrastructure spending can simultaneously create jobs, crowd-in private investment and improve the economy’s competitiveness.
  • All told, exports and public investment will need to create a growth and jobs bridge until private investment and consumption recover.
  • In the near term, stepping up the pace of vaccinations is undoubtedly the most effective stimulus.
  • But boosting growth and jobs in a post-pandemic world must then entail
    1. strong and sustained public investment (financial by asset sales to keep fiscal dynamics anchored)
    2. reforming the financial system and strengthening resolution mechanisms (IBC) to enable creative destruction and finance investment
    3. cultivating an open trade environment conducive to export-led, job-creating growth
  • The Budget made an important statement of intent in several of these areas (public investment, asset sales, privatisation of two public sector banks).
  • Now execution is vital, as is deepening and broadening the reform agenda.
  • That is the best gift we can give ourselves, on the 30th anniversary of the 1991 reforms.

Power play | Pioneer

  • In what India claims is a violation of its natural right over Pakistan-occupied Gilgit-Baltistan, the Imran Khan Government gives shape to a law to award the region the status of a ‘provisional’ province.
  • This is an attempt by Islamabad to legitimise its illegal occupation by applying the provisions of Pakistani law and the election commission to the region.

  • India has lodged a strong protest over the decision, asserting once again that Gilgit-Baltistan, along with the entire Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, is an integral part of India by virtue of its legal accession.
  • The region, or the provisional province which it may soon be, is of immense strategic importance to India, Pakistan and China.
  • It is Pakistan’s only territorial frontier with China.
  • It meets China’s Xinjiang autonomous region at that point.
  • The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passes through it.
  • Its neighbours also give Gilgit-Baltistan a vantage location: Afghanistan is to its west, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to its south, and Jammu and Kashmir to the east.

  • Till a decade ago, it was a nameless region — merely called Northern Areas — and administered from Islamabad, unlike Pakistan-occupied Kashmir with its own Constitution and Assembly.
  • That changed with the Gilgit-Baltistan (Empowerment and Self-Governance) Order of 2009 that introduced the legislative Assembly in the region in place of the Northern Areas Legislative Council.
  • The reason why Pakistan never annexed the region is because it did not want to weaken its international case for a plebiscite in Kashmir by annexing Gilgit-Baltistan or, for that matter, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
  • It hopes that if ever a plebiscite is held, the votes in Gilgit-Baltistan would become vital to influencing the result.
  • India has begun to assert afresh its right over the region since Prime Minister Narendra Modi referred to it in his Independence Day speech in 2016.
  • Previously, Indian Parliament passed a resolution in 1994 re-affirming its right over the region.
  • In 2017, the British Parliament also asserted that Gilgit-Baltistan, under Pakistan’s control, belongs to India.
  • Even as Pakistan makes the region a province, it cannot deny that it ceded control over the region to China and the Chinese Army.
  • The latest development poses a challenge to India’s claim to the whole of Jammu and Kashmir and brings closer home the threat of China’s presence in Gilgit.
  • Pakistan has made its move and the ball is in India’s court now.

NEWS

  • PM Modi to interact virtually with beneficiaries of PMGKAY in Gujarat today
  • PM to chair UN Security Council Open Debate on Maintenance of international peace & security on August 9
  • Country's COVID vaccination coverage surpasses 47 crore 78 lakh mark
  • Bhubaneswar becomes first city in country to achieve 100% vaccination against covid-19
  • Assam lifts Covid curfew & withdraws total containment zones across state
  • CBSE releases exam schedule for Class 12 candidates to improve their scores
  • Digital payment system e-RUPI launched to strengthen Direct Benefit Transfer in country
  • Culture Ministry launches unique programme to celebrate Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav on Independence Day
  • Railways registers highest ever incremental freight loading in July
  • Death toll from China’s Henan floods jumps to 302, up from 99 last week
  • Afghan forces battle to defend major cities from Taliban offensive
  • 5.9 magnitude quake strikes off Indonesia’s Papua
  • Will not recognize Taliban if they gain power in Afghanistan by force: EU envoy
  • Factories to open from Sunday, lockdown continues in Bangladesh
  • Tokyo Olympics: Indian Women’s Hockey team scripts history by reaching Olympic semifinals for the first time

Q.) Which country launched the world’s first Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) last year?

  1. USA
  2. China
  3. Bahamas
  4. Switizerland

Q.)The Prime Minister of which country made a public apology on behalf of the goverment to its Pacific community for the infamous “dawn raids” carried out by officers in the 1970s, to arrest and deport individuals who had overstayed their work visas?

  1. Australia
  2. New Zealand
  3. Singapore
  4. Malaysia