Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) – Why India Opted Out?

Reading Time: 5 mins First Published: Feb 8, 2019 Updates* India’s participation in the mega-trade agreement, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) has long been debated and sentiments around the subject are quite divided and divergent. Critics warned that India must exercise caution before signing RCEP which goes far beyond trade liberalisation to impose a common set of rules on …

[Updated] Zero Budget Natural Farming – The Key to Sustainable AgriculturePREMIUM 

Reading Time: 5 mins While addressing the United Nations conference on desertification (COP-14), Indian PM told the global community that India is focusing on Zero-Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF). ZBNF was also mentioned in budget 2019 for doubling farmer’s income by 2022.

But scientists from the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences argued that there is no need for the government to promote ZBNF unless there is proper scientific validation.

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PM Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) – How did it Contribute to Rural Development?PREMIUM 

Reading Time: 6 mins The Union Budget allotted over Rs.80,000 crore for the up-gradation of 1.25 lakh km roads under the phase III of the PMGSY. This government initiative has greatly enhanced India’s rural population’s standard of living and is one of the significant steps towards inclusive economic growth. Not only is this scheme intending to promote inclusive growth but is also taking into account the need for sustainability of the environment by making use of green technology while constructing the road. Under the first two phases of PMGSY, a total of 1.25 lakh km of rural roads have been built across various villages in the country. The government has set a target to construct 7, 000 km of roads under this initiative during 2019-20. This scheme as a whole, until now, has brought in a significant improvement in ease of living for India’s very large rural population.

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[Updated] Delhi Air Pollution – Causes, Effects, SolutionsPREMIUM 

Reading Time: 8 mins Recently, the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority – EPCA had declared a public health emergency in the Delhi-NCR region as the pollution levels crossed the threshold of the “severe-plus” category. The air pollution is said to reach “Severe plus” or emergency levels when PM2.5 levels cross 300 µg/m3 or PM10 levels crosses 500µg/m3. As per the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), these levels, which are about 5-times the standard, need to persist for 48 hours or more before the emergency level can be declared. This is worrisome because, according to the plan, during severe or emergency levels of air pollution, those suffering from heart diseases, asthma and other respiratory diseases may suffer the most and has a direct impact on morality. According to WHO, air pollution kills 7 million people worldwide. And the health effects of air pollution are serious – about one-third of the deaths from stroke, lung cancer, and heart disease are caused by the same. It is having an equivalent effect to that of smoking tobacco.

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Road Safety in India & Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019

Reading Time: 7 mins India is a victim of numerous road accidents annually. Road safety is a necessary measure that needs to be taken for the safety of all road users. It is the all-encompassing methods and measures used to prevent road users from being killed or injured. The typical road users include pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, vehicle passengers and passengers of on-road public transport. India’s road safety is the worst in the record. About 149,000 people lost their lives on Indian roads in 2018 alone. India accounts for about 2% of motor vehicles globally. Yet, it is the home for more than 11% of the world’s road traffic deaths. According to a UN study, India loses 3% of its GDP to road accidents by removing prime age adults from the workforce. The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 was enacted this year to address the hazard of deaths and injuries due to road accidents. According to Union Transport Minister, it could come down by half if the provisions of this Act are implemented stringently.

Digital India Programme – How successful is it?PREMIUM 

Reading Time: 7 mins In recent years, India has charted a unique path to digitization, the impact of which is inclusive, empowering and transformative. It is amongst the top two countries globally, only after China on many dimensions of digital adoption. By 2022, India’s digital economy may cross $1 trillion. This was the focus of India Digital Summit 2019 that was held in New Delhi. Since its launch, it has transformed India significantly. However, it is facing numerous challenges in the current times and the government needs to take steps to make it successful for the inclusiveness and empowerment of all Indian citizens.

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5 Years of Make in India – Outcomes, Challenges & Prospects

Reading Time: 6 mins India is largely an agrarian economy. More than 50% of its population is dependent on the agricultural sector for its livelihood and survival, though the returns are very low. The service sector, on the other hand, employs very few of the Indian labour force and its return nearly 60% of the Indian GDP. This is highly unfavourable for the Indian economy. To change this current trend, it is necessary to enhance the manufacturing sector. This can greatly boost India’s economic growth and solve the current unemployment crisis. The Make in India is a major step towards this direction.