Daily Analysis

An in-depth analysis of the best and most relevant editorials of the day from the best dailies known for civil services preparation.

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS, 14th November 2019


Rebasing the GDP of India

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

Image result for Rebasing the GDP of India

Context 


  • Central Statistics Office (CSO) proposes to replace the gross domestic product (GDP) series of 2011-12 base year with a new set of National Accounts using 2017-18 as the base year.
  • The chief statistician at CSO has also said that the replacement will be done as soon as the new consumer expenditure survey and the Annual Survey of Industries (ASI) results become available.

Background 


  • For the past four years, there has been a raging controversy over the current GDP figures on account of questionable methodologies and databases used.
  • The annual economic growth rate has sharply decelerated to about 5% in the latest quarter, from over few years ago.
  • Data also said that the annual GDP growth rates during the last few years may have been overestimated by 0.36 to 2.5 percentage points.

Reasons for distrust


  • In order to understand the dispute related to the methodologies and databases used, one has to go back to early 2015 when the CSO released a new series of GDP with 2011-12 as base-year, replacing the earlier series with the base-year 2004-05.
  • Periodic rebasing of GDP series every seven to 10 years is carried out to account for the changing economic structure and relative prices. 
  • Such rebasing usually led to a marginal rise in the absolute GDP size on account of better capturing of domestic production using improved methods and new databases. 
  • However, the underlying growth rates seldom change, meaning that the rebasing does not alter the underlying pace of economic expansion. 

Need for the change  


  • The absolute GDP size in the new base year 2011-12 contracted by 2.3% (compared to the old series), and the annual GDP growth rate went up sharply from 4.8% in the old series to 6.2% in 2013-14. 
  • Similarly, the manufacturing sector growth rate for 2013-14, swung from (-) 0.7% in the old series to (+) 5.3% in the 2011-12 series. 
  • The methodological changes made in the 2011-12 base-year revision have adversely impacted the quality of SDP estimates on two counts. 
    • First, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs data does not have factory identifiers (that is, the location of production units, but only has the location of the company head office); it has distorted distribution of the SDP estimates across States. 
    • Second, for estimating value-added in the informal or unorganised sector, State-specific labour productivity estimates are unavailable in the 2011-12 series. Hence the method used distorts output estimation. 

Way forward 


  • The proposed change over to a new base-year of 2017-18, is, in principle, a welcome decision.  
  • Doubts will persist so long as the underlying methodological apparatus remains the same; feeding it with up-to-date data is unlikely to improve its quality.
  • Conversely, if a new rebased series is introduced without any changes it will only entrench the existing methodological problems.
  • A chorus of academic and public voices has proposed setting up an independent commission of national and international experts to review the GDP methodology. 
  • The data/results should be realistic and reflective of the ground reality. 
  • Opinion and involvement of experts are needed to make the methodologies and calculations more transparent.

Source: The Hindu.


Global supply chains major user of child labour:UN report

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

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Context 


When we get our latest electronic gadget delivered at our doorstep, we hardly realise it could have been tainted with child labour. Similar with our food produce. Though a few label child labour use, most don’t.

In a globally integrated business, a product goes through multiple stages to be ready for consumption or usage. A recent report on global supply chains points out that they deploy child labour in almost all stages.

Background


  • There were 152 million child labourers in the world. Up to 26 per cent of them were are deployed in global supply chains, the report found. These chains, in fact, resorted to human trafficking to source forced child labour.
  • The report, Ending child labour, forced labour and human trafficking in global supply chains, is the first to examine child labour in global supply chains. It was conducted by the International Labour Organization (ILO), Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef).

Key points 


  • The level of child labour in global supply chains differed region to region. Eastern and south-eastern Asia was found to the worst with 26 per cent of child labour in supply chains. 
  • Latin America and the Caribbean followed with 22 per cent. Elsewhere, the figures were 12 per cent for central and southern Asia and 9 per cent for northern Africa and western Asia.
  • Target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) was to end child labour by 2030.
  • Child labour was more pronounced in domestic production processes than global supply chains, the study suggested. But there was no study. Big corporate houses usually claim to be free of child labour. 
  • Most of the child labour in supply chains is deployed in countries of origin, known as the ‘upstream reaches’ of a chain. This part acounted for 28-43 per cent of the total child labour engaged by the sector.
  • Take agriculture: “97 per cent of the estimated child labour contributing to the export of agricultural goods comes from children working in the agricultural sector itself,” according to the report. 
  • It means that the bulk of child labour was from countries that take up cropping and preliminary processing. 

Source: Downtoearth.


Ten zero-waste cities: Bandung’s slow but steady drive to reduce its trash

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

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Context


The attempts by Indonesia’s third-largest city, Bandung, to solve its waste problem using the ‘zero-waste model’ are praiseworthy.The capital of West Java province, Bandung is located 180 kilometres southeast of Jakarta and has a population of over 2.5 million inhabitants.

Background 


  • Since 1987, Bandung had been dumping almost 4,000 cubic metres of mixed waste per day in the Leuwigajah landfill. On February 21, 2005, an avalanche of the accumulated waste at the site buried 71 houses and killed 143 people.
  • In the aftermath of the landfill slide, the Bandung government tried to build an incinerator in the eastern part of Bandung city. This led to a massive and long protest by surrounding communities and non-profits.

Case study 


  • The incident also led the Indonesian government to enact the Waste management Law of 2008 (No.18/2008) with an intention to change its waste management from a collect, transport, dump scheme to a more integrated system that incorporated collection, sorting, recycling, and waste processing.
  • However, soon, it was discovered that implementing the law on the ground was difficult.
  • First, there was no agency solely responsible for waste management. Second, while the law highlighted the need to sort waste, it did not prescribe enforcement strategies. Third, community structures like the kelurahan (sub-district), or village or rukun warga (RW or Community Association) did not have the resources and the authority to require residents to sort/segregate their waste at source. 

Highlights 


  • According to a report by the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives or GAIA, Bandung city currently generates roughly 1,600 tonnes of waste per day.
  • At the sub-district level, the waste collector brings discarded waste from the residents to a transfer station (TPS). From the TPS, the Bandung city government uses trucks to transport collected waste to the TPA.
  • The city spends most of its funds on — $6.8 million — in sending its waste to the Sarimukti landfill.
  • However, not all wastes are captured by this system as waste collectors are not available in all areas, leaving residents with no choice but to dispose their waste in the streets, rivers, or open dumps.
  • Moreover, several waste collectors reportedly burn waste because there are no transfer stations in their communities. In other cases, the absence of a mandatory sorting policy at the kelurahan or RW level encourages residents to simply refuse segregating their waste.

Source: Downtoearth. 


India failed to benefit from free trade agreements with ASEAN: Report

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

Image result for 3rd rcep summit

Context 


  • The report, prepared by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said India’s trade had increased since it entered into FTAs with Asean.
  • India failed to benefit from free trade agreements (FTAs) with the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean), a recent report has stated.
  • In fact, India’s trade deficit had increased ever since the country entered into FTAs with Asean, the report, prepared by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and released on November 11, 2019, said.

Background 


  • The findings are significant as Niti Aayog’s first chairman, Arvind Panagariya had recently remarked that India should not stay out of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
  • Asean compromises 10 countries including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Report findings 


  • India had also signed the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement with various countries of Asean.
  • According to the PHD Chamber report, India’s imports from Asean countries increased sharply in comparison to its exports to them after signing these agreements.
  • India’s exports to Asean countries amounted to $23 billion in 2010, which increased to $36 billion in 2018, with a compound annual growth rate of five per cent. At the same time, India’s imports from these countries increased from $30 billion in 2010 to $57 billion, a growth of eight per cent.
  • On the other hand, India’s imports and exports with Asean countries increased 22 per cent, from 2001 to 2009. Its exports increased from $3 billion to $18 billion while imports increased from $4 billion to $24 billion.

Highlights 


  • SAFTA was signed in 2006 between Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Since its inception, India’s exports to these countries increased from $4 billion to $21 billion.
  • In contrast, India has been at the receiving end of the Asean Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement, which it joined in 2010. India’s total trade deficit with Asean increased from $8 billion in 2009-10 to about $22 billion in 2018-19.
  • The share of Asean in India’s total trade deficit increased from about 7 per cent to 12 per cent during the same period. 
  • The country has also bled in its Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with South Korea, where its deficit increased from $5 billion in 2009-10 to $12 billion 2018-19. 
  • Similar is the story with the India-Japan FTA named CEPA, which became effective from August 1, 2011.
  • Among the 15 RCEP countries, India faces trade deficits with all except Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and the Philippines.
  • China, the biggest fear for India, accounts for 60 per cent of the total deficit, according to a policy paper published by DBS group, a Singapore-based multinational banking and financial corporation.

Source: Downtoearth 


The Western Ghats still home to a rainbow of butterflies

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

Image result for The Western Ghats still home to a rainbow of butterflies

Context 


Three-day survey in Western Ghats finds 191 species of the insect, 12 of which are endemic to the biodiversity-rich region which proves the region is still home to a kaleidoscope of butterflies.  

The survey was done jointly by the Forest and Wildlife Department, Kerala in association with the Ferns Nature Conservation Society (FNCS). 

About the survey 


  • The survey was conducted in all the four forest ranges under Wayanad wildlife sanctuary, including Muthanga, Tholpetty, Kurichyad and Sulthan Bathery, simultaneously.
  • The survey was mainly aimed at assessing the butterfly diversity in the forest areas of the region, which is vulnerable to climatic changes.
  • It was also wanted to assess the availability of nectar plant and larval host plant, essential for the survival of butterflies.

Findings of survey 


  • The first-time sighting of Silver forget me not, Common three ring, and Brown onyx was observed.
  • The sighting of Silver forget me not was reported only from the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary in Idukki district of the State.
  • The diversity of butterflies was very low in the forest areas where alien invasive plants such as Senna spectabilis invade other endemic plants.
  • The diversity was very rich in areas where plants such as Mikania micrantha and Lantana camera remained dominant.
  • Degradation of the riparian forest in many parts of the region was witnessed.
  • The sighting of 191 species of butterflies is evidence of a healthy butterfly habitat in the region, but the degradation of the riparian forest in many parts of the region may adversely affect the butterfly habitat in the near future.
  • As the study on butterflies was also the study on nature and climate change, the survey report would help the Forest Department to prepare a forest management plan in the region in the coming years.

Source: The Hindu.

 

Map of the Day – Biodiversity Hotspots in India


Image result for biodiversity hotspots india map

Quote for the Day


“Facts are facts and will not disappear on account of your likes”. – Jawaharlal Nehru

Mains Answer Writing


  1. India has been a hub for medical treatment globally. However, its cancer care facilities remain inadequate. Analyze the reasons for this and suggest solutions. (250 Words).
  2. GDP fails to measure the holistic development of the society.  Elaborate the statement and suggest solutions to the problem. (250 Words).
  3. BRICS can become the growth engine of the global south. Elucidate. (250 Words).

Test your Knowledge


1.Consider the following statements regarding Western Ghats:

1.It is a 1600 km range that passes through 5 states.

2.It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

3.It is one of the eight "hottest hot-spots" of biological diversity in the world.

Choose the correct answer from the codes given below:

a.1 and 2 only

b.2 and 3 only

c.1 only

d.All of the above 


2.Which of the following statement is correct about Protectionism?

1.It refers to government actions and policies that restrict or restrain international trade for the benefit of a single domestic economy.
2.It always increases cost of import only.
3.It increases the competitiveness of all domestic firms.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 2, 3 and 4 only

b) 1 and 4 only

c) 1only

d) 1, 3 and 4 only 


3.Consider the following statements regarding a sanctuary:

1.The Sanctuary is a part of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve
2.Four ranges namely Sulthan Bathery, Muthanga, Kurichiat and Tholpetty are found in the sanctuary.
3.Scheduled tribes that are found here include Paniyas, Kurumas, Adiyans and Kurichiyas.

Which of the following is the correct answer as per information given below?

a.Mudumalai Wildlife

b.Sanctuary Sathyamangalam

c.Wildlife Sanctuary Cauvery

d.Wildlife Sanctuary 


4.Which of the following countries of South America are landlocked?

a.Bolivia and Paraguay

b.Uruguay and Venezuela

c.Chile and Uruguay

d.Chile and Venezuela 


5.Tiger triumph is the joint exercise on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) between: 

a.India and Bangladesh

b.India and USA

c.India and Nepal

d.India and Mongolia

 

Answers

  1. B 2.C 3.A 4.A 5.B