India’s merchandise exports slipped below the $30-billion mark for the first time in eight months in November to $29.88 billion.
Imports outpaced exports, jumping 38% from pre-COVID levels compared with the 16% increase in exports, though they moderated slightly month-on-month to $53.1 billion from $55.4 billion in October.
The trade deficit widened to a fresh record of $23.27 billion, from $19.9 billion in the previous month. This is almost 83% higher than the November 2019 levels. The previous highest monthly trade deficit of $22.6 billion was recorded in September.
Russia has been building up its military forces close to the Ukrainian border.Moscow has amassed more than 92,000 troops around 300 km from the Russian border with the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.
Moscow denies planning an invasion and accuses Ukraine of building up its own forces in the east of the country. This territory is a conflict zone where Ukraine has been battling Russia-backed separatists.
While Ukraine and the West have accused Russia of preparing for an invasion, Russia has, in turn, accused the West of ‘anti-Russia’ hysteria.
The increased use of contraception across the country has been a major factor in preventing unwanted pregnancies, leading to a decrease in India’s Total Fertility Rate (TFR) to below replacement level.
In just five years, from NFHS 4 (2015-16) to NHFS 5 (2019-20), the use of modern contraceptives for family planning has jumped by 8.7 percentage points – from 47.8 per cent to 56.5 percent.
While as many as 30 out of 36 states/UTs have shown an increase in contraception use, the improvement in Uttar Pradesh’s and Bihar’s numbers have been especially encouraging, given their large populations.