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Resilience reaffirmed – OPINION – The Hindu

    • CSO data suggest that the demonetisation effect on GDP is less than feared read about demonetization from here
    • The resilience of India’s economy has been reaffirmed by the latest data, with both the third quarter and full-year growth estimates belying widespread concerns that the November 8 decision to withdraw high-value currency notes would significantly dampen momentum.
    • The Central Statistics Office projected that the GDP to have expanded 7% in the fiscal third quarter, reflecting only a marginal slowdown from the 7.3% registered in the preceding three-month period.
    • Notably, this expansion occurred in the October-December quarter, when about 86% of the currency in circulation in the form of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes was abruptly sucked out of the system
    • Economic Survey termed an “aggregate demand shock” and the Reserve Bank of India referred to as “demand compression associated with adverse wealth effects”.
    • Better-than-expected performance were the agriculture, mining and manufacturing sectors and, interestingly, government expenditure.
    • The overall gross value added (GVA) in the third quarter is estimated to have increased by 6.6%, agricultural GVA in the period is projected to have surged 6% a sharp quickening from the second quarter’s 3.8%
    • Mining and manufacturing GVA bucked the so-called ‘demonetisation drag’ to post 7.5% and 8.3% growth
    • Public administration, defence and other services clocked double-digit GVA growth: at 11.9%, a robust acceleration from the 7.5% in the third quarter of 2015-16.
  • The CSO trimmed its full-year GVA growth estimate to 6.7% from the 7% projected in January.

Withering highs – OPINION – The Hindu

  • The forecast of a hotter summer must nudge us into preparing to mitigate public distress
  • The forecast from the India Meteorological Department of above-normal temperatures over much of India in the summer months is bound to bring back memories of last year’s withering weeks.
  • Global weather in recent times has come under pressure from the El Nino warming that began in 2015 and exerted its influence into the first quarter of 2016
  • A carefully planned school examination schedule could spare students the worst of the torrid season. (Example of early policy action)
  • Urban water distress poses another challenge because big cities in several States have not received adequate rainfall to replenish their reservoirs and are using up groundwater at unsustainable rates.
  • For farmers, another harsh period would add to their difficulties, requiring a sensitive approach to their needs.
  • Temperatures in different parts of the world may have variations due to local weather phenomena, but as the U.S. space agency NASA has pointed out, there has been a record three-year warming trend, with 2016 the hottest
  • The effect of El Nino on the global temperature average is only a small part of the overall rise, indicating that the trend could be correlated with the rise in greenhouse gases.
  • India, a major emitter of GHGs, has classified 2016 as the century’s warmest year, with an increase of 0.91ºC over the long-term average; NASA’s corresponding global figure is 0.99ºC.
  • These are clear signs that the world must shift away from further high-emission pathways in the economy and adopt leapfrogging technologies.
  • It is also a call for policy initiatives to build resilience by improving water harvesting and expanding tree cover, including in cities.
  • For rural India, building surface irrigation facilities such as ponds through the employment guarantee scheme and climate funds would seem a natural choice, while urban water supply augmentation needs more reservoirs to be built