Opinion

India at a crossroads: Addressing an issue much larger than academic freedom or cultural nationalism

Broader empirical evidence suggests that democracy is more supportive of economic growth, though one hears arguments that authoritarianism pays off through economic growth

Arvind Subramanian Image Reuters

Expect a neutral guidance from Monetary Policy Committee

We expect the accommodative monetary policy stance to remain unchanged not only in the upcoming April policy, but at least till the June policy

We expect the monetary policy statement to reiterate that RBI will buy at least Rs 3 trillion of government bonds in FY22 to provide support to the bond market and to ensure that financial market conditions remain accommodative, in line with the broader accommodative monetary policy stance, but we don’t see RBI providing an OMO calendar in advance.

Gender Gap: To avoid squandering gains made in women’s participation in higher education, India must fix their poor economic participation

Unless the hurdles to women’s participation paid work is addressed, the gains made in terms of their participation in higher education will get squandered.

In terms of economic participation of women, India, along with Iran, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, and Afghanistan, records one of the worst performances. (Representative image)

The C-band satellite and 5G spectrum conundrum

Development with peaceful coexistence or needless confusion yet again?

They cite the example of the Hong Kong regulator (the Office of the Communications Authority) whose studies established this requirement.

And now, gobar-paint: Technology solutions and good marketing are the key

The rapid growth of agritech startups may also help boost value by coming up with other innovations made from traditional farm/village produce.

Based on the price paid for cow dung right now, estimates are a farmer can earn an additional Rs 30,000 per year from each cow.

Covid-19: Fight the war, don’t battle waves

We must not let ourselves get trapped in a see-saw of lockdowns and laxity. Need to ensure testing, tracing and masking/distancing

Symptoms suggestive of Covid-19 (a long list by now) should also be used for early case detection by primary healthcare teams visiting homes and also for promoting awareness to stimulate voluntary isolation and self-referral for testing.

Small savings rates can’t be driven by politics

The commitment to link them to market rates has never be honoured, so it is no surprise that this happened again

rupee

MPC unlikely to change policy rate in April 7 meeting

RBI is expected to follow the February formula in the April meeting: Keep rates unchanged and stance accommodative, while highlighting inflation risks

RBI will move firmly (direction-wise) but gradually (speed-wise) on monetary policy normalisation

Need for a big investment in health workforce

The density of health workforce in India is not even half of the 44.5 health workers per 10,000 persons as recommended by the WHO

These institutions are likely to produce about 22,500 doctors and 2,000 nurses every year.

How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: Net-zero will require a serious effort, now!

Coming from Bill Gates, this book on climate change will keep the topic right at the centre of all the policy-making agenda documents in global forums

The exhortation that the author has to the governments and businesses for investing in green is not just moral.

Vaccine access: Need to carefully examine tools like ‘patent pause’ to ensure access to Covid-19 vaccines for poorer nations

Twelve billion—that’s the number of doses needed in a two-dose regime if 80% of the world’s population is to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

India and South Africa are leading 98 other nations at the WTO in a call for a temporary waiver of IP rights of vaccine developers.

Covid-19 pandemic impact: A tech-tonic shift

The pandemic year has brought to the fore some exponential technological changes that are about to change our lives fundamentally

Consider a few newsy items from the past few months, which have a deeper profound meaning than what we imagine them to be at first sight.

Rational Expectations: Can’t let PLI scheme go bust, nurture it

This includes carrying over FY21’s PLI due to force majeure, allowing Chinese players in & ensuring WTO compatibility

Since such localisation targets are also WTO-incompatible, it is not clear why such schemes are being planned; investors get wary if they feel the schemes can be challenged at WTO.

Covid-19: To avoid lockdown, states must step up RT-PCR testing; Centre must free up vaccine pricing

States need to step up vaccination efforts, especially in high-incidence districts. As per Our World In Data, the seven-day rolling average for daily vaccine doses administered in the country was 1.8

If the spread isn’t brought under control soon, the healthcare capacity in Mumbai, and likely the other areas seeing exponential rise in cases, could run out entirely.

The rising importance of the middle class in India

India would soon have a middle class that is proportionately as large as that of the US today. The government is unlikely to be able to provide the quantity and quality of services that will be demand

Bankruptcy Code: The God that is failing…

To save the IBC, get the lenders to commit to the revival process, strengthen the RP system, and set very well-defined timelines to judges at NCLT

Unsurprisingly, few ministers and officials talk about it these days, but surprisingly there is very little angst about the God that is failing.

Don’t water it down: Without getting prices right, water scarcity can’t be tackled

India’s per capita water availability has fallen from 5,178 cubic meters per day in 1951 to 1,544 in 2011 and is projected to fall to 1,140 by 2050.

Till this is fixed, India’s water crisis will continue to worsen.

Chinese whispers: WHO-China joint probe, as was expected, leaves nobody any wiser about SARS CoV-2’s origins

If the long delay wasn’t reason enough for any such probe to remain inconclusive, the fact that the probe was constantly under the shadow of the Chinese government should have been an indicator of t

Growth Hurdles: Tackling India’s core structural vulnerability

The bulk of the units in agriculture and industry being sub-scale is a major problem. Need to ‘mimic scale’ through clusters/FPOs and ensure access to formal credit

As a comparison, the average net income of large farmers is about Rs 27,000 which translates to nearly 6x the per hectare productivity of a small farmer.

The CBIC is being pummelled

It is hurtling into an abyss ‘where angels fear to tread’

Covid-19: How India fared during lockdown

Ten facts on India’s urban employment during the pandemic and the lockdown

Finally, some surge sectors protected employment—essential services such as grocery, banks, ATMs, gas stations and over-the-counter drugs.

Rational Expectations: Vital to understand costs of ‘net-zero’

Electricity costs will rise as subsidies have to go; lakhs of jobs will go if aggressive moves not made on hydrogen to replace coal/oil.

electricity

Improving governance of non-profit entities

The number of registered societies has increased manifold in the last 20 years, and the estimated total value of output of the 31.7 lakh societies registered in India is Rs 41,292 crore. During the co

Complex Question: Whether social media platforms bear responsibility for the Capitol Hill riots may not be an easy question to answer

The ramifications of political biases of the leadership or censorship wings of a platform also need examining.

But, the role of social media, in allowing him the platform to spread the misinformation, had come under criticism, too. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, as per Bloomberg, has admitted to “some responsibility”.

Using artificial intelligence for forensic probe

We must equip investigators with AI tools for cross-border forensic analysis

artificial intelligence

FDI rules in India: A need for clarity

The norms governing investments in India by entities/citizens of countries with which India shares a land-border need clearer definitions of ‘beneficial ownership’

The notification doesn't mention any country and covers all countries sharing land-border with India, but China is furious as this adversely affects its commercial relations with India.

From plate to plough: Improving Indian agriculture’s water efficiency

Replace water, power and fertiliser subsidies with Direct per acre benefits to help Farmers adopt technology that improves Irrigation productivity

Technologies exist that can produce the same output with almost half the irrigation water in these two crops.
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