Indian Express Editorial Summary

Topic 1: Flip Flop Flip: Unpredictable Policies Hurt Farmers

GS-3 Mains  : Economy

Revision Notes

Critically evaluate the need for a new agriculture import-export policy in India, emphasizing the importance of balancing consumer and producer interests. Propose strategies for the government to ensure policy stability and promote sustainable growth in the agricultural sector.


  • Economic growth depends on predictable government policies.
  • Businesses and farmers both need stability for planning and investment.

Recent Policy Flip-Flops

  • May 2022: Government banned wheat exports after earlier discussing increased exports.
  • November 2023: Onion exports restricted with a minimum price of $800 per tonne.
  • December 2023: Onion exports completely banned.
  • April 2024 (pre-election): Onion export ban lifted with a minimum price of $550 per tonne and a 40% duty.

Impact on Investment Climate

  • Frequent policy changes create uncertainty for businesses.
  • This discourages investment and makes it harder to improve the ease of doing business.

Government’s Justification

  • Export curbs aim to control food inflation and protect consumers.
  • This approach ignores the interests of farmers who have limited bargaining power.

Impact on Farmers

  • A small price increase for consumers can significantly impact farmer income.
  • For example, a Rs 5/kg decrease in onion prices translates to a Rs 50,000 loss for a farmer harvesting 10 tonnes.
  • Unlike consumers, farmers cannot easily switch crops based on price fluctuations.

Decline in India’s Agricultural Exports

  • An analysis in the Indian Express newspaper shows that India’s agricultural exports fell to $48.8 billion in 2023-24, down from a record high of $53.2 billion in the previous fiscal year.
  • This decline is largely due to the export bans and restrictions imposed by the government in response to concerns about food inflation and domestic shortfalls.

Need for a New Agriculture Import-Export Policy

  • The country needs a new export-import policy that balances the interests of both consumers and producers, while also considering the short-term and long-term needs of the agricultural sector.
  • Controls, even when necessary, should be temporary and based on clear rules. Tariffs are preferable to outright bans or quantitative restrictions.
  • The government can also create buffer stocks of essential commodities to intervene in the market and curb excessive price volatility.
  • Ultimately, the government needs to recognize that building export markets takes time and effort, while destroying them can be done with a single stroke of the pen.
  • In the long run, hurting producers does more harm to consumers than good.

Conclusion: India needs a policy that balances the interests of both consumers and producers. Controls, if necessary, should be temporary and follow clear rules, taking the form of tariffs instead of outright bans.




Indian Express Editorial Summary

Topic 2: Changing Demographics in Developed Countries

GS-1 Mains  : Society

Revision Notes

Question : Evaluate the significance of addressing fears of uncontrolled Muslim population growth in India based on recent demographic data. Analyze the trends in Total Fertility Rate (TFR) and their implications for future population patterns in India.


  • A recent study by the PM-Economic Advisory Council in India confirms a trend of changing demographics in OECD countries.

The Great Replacement Theory

  • This theory claims a conspiracy by elites to replace white Europeans with non-Europeans.
  • The theory is gaining traction in Europe, with surveys showing significant belief in it.
  • Cities like Amsterdam, Hague, Rotterdam, London, and Brussels have high migrant populations.

The PM-Economic Advisory Council Study

  • The study by Ravi, Jose, and Mishra analyzes religious demographics in OECD countries.
  • It covers 38 OECD countries over a 65-year period (1950-2015).
  • 30 out of 35 OECD countries saw a decline in the majority religious denomination (Roman Catholics).
  • The average decline in the majority population across all 167 studied countries was 22%.
  • The decline was steeper in OECD countries, averaging 29%.

Data from Africa

  • Animism was the dominant religion in 24 African countries in 1950.
  • By 2015, it was no longer the majority religion in any of those countries.

Findings in the Context of India’s Demographics

Countering Propaganda on Minority Status

  • The study finds that India, in line with global trends of declining majorities, has also witnessed a 7.81% decrease in the share of the majority religious denomination.
  • The authors propose that the increase in the minority population could be a “good indicator” to conclude that they are “flourishing” in that country.
  • In the Indian context, a 7.81% rise in the populations of Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, and Buddhists (Parsis and Jains saw a decline) suggests that contrary to propaganda, especially in Western media, minorities enjoy relative comfort in the country.
  • The authors conclude the report by stating that “contrary to the noise in several quarters, careful analysis of the data shows that minorities are not just protected but indeed thriving in India.”

South Asian Neighborhood and Minority Status

  • This is particularly noteworthy given the wider context of the South Asian neighborhood, where the share of the majority religious denomination has increased, and minority populations have shrunk alarmingly across countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and Afghanistan.
  • India’s performance suggests a conducive environment to foster diversity in society.

Misconstrued Study Conclusion

  • Rather than understanding the study’s purpose to negate the propaganda about the status of minorities in India, the debate largely shifted to the growing numbers of minorities and dangers to the majority community.
  • A comprehensive study about the growing minority population in India, “Religious Demography of India,” was published by J K Bajaj, M D Srinivas, and A P Joshi in 2003.
  • Going down to the district level, that near-exhaustive study warned of the unbalanced growth of minority populations in the country.

Addressing Fears of Uncontrolled Muslim Population Growth

  • New data also reveals that population growth rates in India are gradually approaching a healthy growth mark.
  • Total Fertility Rate (TFR) data (number of births a woman gives in her lifetime), a credible indicator to project population growth, shows that in India, against the preferred TFR of 2.19, the national average is hovering around 2.
  • This is a decline from 2.2 in 2015 and 3.4 in 1991.
  • This decline, according to the National Family Health Survey data, is across all religious groups.
  • Between 1991 and 2015, this decline for Hindus was from 3.3 to 2.1, while that of Muslims was from 4.4 to 2.6.
  • Today, the figures for Hindus and Muslims have further declined to 1.9 and 2.4 respectively.


  • If the trend of decline in TFR continues, India is expected to see healthy population patterns in the coming decades. PMEAC’s conclusions, in a way, indicate the same thing: that minorities enjoy all benefits and lead a comfortable life in India, while demographic changes in the whole world remain a concern.


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