Indian Express Editorial Summary

Editorial Topic : What GDP numbers say

 GS-3 Mains Exam : Economy

Revision Notes

Question: Evaluate the impact of government capital expenditure on India’s economic growth in 2023-24. How can the government incentivize private sector investment to achieve a broad-based recovery?

Basic Concept

  • GDP represents the total size of an economy’s output. Imagine it as the final price tag on everything produced in a country within a year.
  • GVA reflects the value created at each step of production within the country. Think of it as the sum of what each industry contributes to the final market value.


Feature GDP (Gross Domestic Product) GVA (Gross Value Added)
Definition The total monetary value of final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. The value added at each stage of production by resident producers.
Focuses on Total market value of final output Value addition within the economy
Components Consumption + Investment + Government Spending + Net Exports Doesn’t include taxes and subsidies
Calculation GVA + Taxes – Subsidies Sum of value added across all sectors
Use International comparisons of economic performance, Economic growth analysis Analyzing sectoral contributions to the economy


Back to the Editorial Analysis

Key Points:

  • India’s GDP growth for 2023-24 is 8.2%, exceeding expectations (7% in 2022-23).
  • Upward revisions in previous quarters boosted overall growth.
  • Sharp divergence between GDP and GVA growth (1% vs 0.3% in 2022-23) due to higher net taxes.

Sectoral Breakdown:

  • Agriculture: Muted growth due to poor monsoon.
  • Manufacturing: Healthy recovery (9.9%) after contraction in 2022-23, supported by lower input prices.
  • Services: Healthy growth (7.6%) but moderation in Q4, especially trade, hotels, transportation, and communication.
  • Construction: Robust growth (9.9%).

Expenditure Side:

  • Not very broad-based growth.
  • Private consumption: Feeble growth (3.8%) – slowest in two decades (excluding pandemic year).
  • Investment: Healthy growth (9%) led by government sector.
    • Central government capex: Up 28% in 2023-24.
    • State capex (19 major states): Up 33% (April-Feb).
    • Private capex recovery signs, but strong broad-based revival yet to be seen.
  • Exports: Muted due to weak global growth (merchandise exports hit hard).


  • Estimated at 7% for 2024.
  • Needs revival in broad-based consumption, especially lower income groups (dampened by high inflation & low wage growth).
  • Signs of improvement in rural demand (two-wheeler sales & FMCG recovery).
  • Factors for sustained rural recovery: good monsoon, moderated food inflation, improved employment (especially informal sector).
  • Mixed signals on employment: improving EPFO enrolment but weak IT sector hiring.


  • Manufacturing capacity utilization well-positioned for revival (at 75%).
  • Strong financials (banks & corporates) support investment.
  • Positive signs: increase in announced projects (CMIE data).
  • Key drivers: policy certainty, confidence in global & domestic stability, and consumption revival.

Global Developments:

  • Positive: improving global growth outlook could boost exports.
  • Negative risks: geopolitical tensions, rising commodity prices, escalating trade tensions, worsening global debt.

New Government’s Focus:

  • Maintain high growth.
  • Achieve fiscal consolidation (reduce budget deficit).

Key Challenges:

  • Reviving broad-based consumption.
  • Continuing infrastructure investment (capex) led recovery.
  • Increasing job creation (urban & rural).

Strategies for Sustained Growth:

  • Policies promoting consumption growth.
  • High government spending on infrastructure to encourage private investment.
  • Focus on lower income groups for long-term stability.

Conclusion :

  • Impressive GDP growth but needs work to be sustainable.
  • New government must ensure benefits reach lower income categories.





Indian Express Editorial Summary

Editorial Topic : India’s Energy Transition

 GS-3 Mains Exam : Economy

Revision Notes

Question : Examine India’s dual approach towards fossil fuels and clean energy in its new energy strategy. How can India balance the need for reducing reliance on imported oil while accelerating the shift towards clean energy?

India is revamping its energy strategy. Policymakers are crafting a new framework to manage the shift towards cleaner energy sources.

The Dual Approach:

  • Fossil Fuel Focus: Reduce reliance on imported oil.
    • Strategies:
      • Diversify import sources.
      • Build oil reserves.
      • Increase domestic exploration.
      • Promote energy efficiency and conservation.
      • Ensure environmental protection.
  • Clean Energy Acceleration: Achieve net-zero emissions by 2070.
    • Short-term goals:
      • Lower carbon emissions per unit of GDP.
      • Generate 500 GW of non-fossil fuel electricity by 2030.


  • Fossil Fuels: Ministry of Petroleum takes the lead.
  • Coal: Ministry of Coal plays a significant role due to coal’s dominance.
  • Clean Energy: Multiple ministries involved, reflecting its complexity:
    • Primary: Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and Ministry of Power.
    • Additional: Heavy Industries, Mines & Minerals, IT & Information Broadcasting, and Environment.


Fragmented Decision Making:

  • Independent Ministries, Limited Collaboration: Different energy ministries (Petroleum, Coal, Renewables) operate in silos with minimal coordination. This creates a tangled web of policies and hinders discussions on a holistic energy strategy.
  • Missing Central Forum: The absence of a central platform for integrated policy discussions makes it difficult to address cross-cutting issues and develop a unified vision for the energy sector.

Impact on Sustainability Goals:

  • Siloed Decision Making, Holistic View Missing: Fragmented decision-making creates blind spots. Each ministry focuses on its own goals without considering the broader energy ecosystem. This makes it difficult to optimize the energy value chain and achieve long-term sustainability goals.
  • International Forces Add Complexity: The global energy landscape is constantly evolving. Geopolitical tensions and emerging technologies add another layer of complexity to India’s green transition journey.

Geopolitical Competition: 

The emerging “New Cold War” throws up new challenges for India’s clean energy ambitions:

  • Supply Chain Resilience: China currently dominates the market for green technology materials and manufacturing. This raises concerns about supply chain security and potential manipulation by a competitor.
  • Domestic Investment for National Security: To safeguard national security, India needs to invest heavily in domestic green technology development. Reliance on foreign suppliers creates vulnerabilities and exposes India to potential disruptions.

Government’s Response: 

The government has taken some steps to address these concerns:

  • Import Duties on Chinese Products: Imposing import duties aims to make Chinese green technology less attractive and encourage domestic alternatives.
  • PLI Scheme for Domestic Manufacturing: The Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme offers financial incentives to boost domestic manufacturing capacity for critical green technologies.

The Need for a Unified Approach

To overcome these challenges, India needs to move towards a more unified energy policy:

  • Strategic Framework Like US Chips Act: Develop a comprehensive strategic framework similar to the US Chips and Science Act. This act aims to strengthen domestic semiconductor manufacturing and research. India can create a similar framework for green technologies.
  • “Energy Strategy” Document for Policy Convergence: Create a central document outlining a comprehensive “Energy Strategy” that integrates goals across different energy ministries. This document should ensure fossil fuel and clean energy policies complement each other, leading to a cohesive and sustainable energy future for India.

Proposed “Energy Strategy” document:

  • Optimizing Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs):
    • Address the overlapping roles and responsibilities between hydrocarbon PSEs (like ONGC, OIL, etc.) and other energy companies (like NTPC, NHPC, etc.)
    • Aim to streamline operations, avoid duplication of efforts, and optimize the utilization of resources across these PSEs
  • Securing Critical Materials:
    • Respond to warnings from the International Energy Agency (IEA) about potential supply shortages of critical materials like copper, lithium, nickel, and cobalt
    • Develop a clear long-term strategy to secure and meet India’s future needs for these critical materials, which are essential for clean energy technologies
  • Balancing Clean Energy Competitiveness:
    • Analyze the impact of the “China factor” on two key aspects:
      1. Competitiveness of clean energy technologies against fossil fuels in terms of costs
      2. India’s access to affordable green technologies, where China is a major supplier
    • Consider the potential consequences of any anti-dumping measures imposed by the US and EU on Chinese electric vehicles (EVs)
    • Balance national security concerns with economic implications of such measures
  • Attracting Private Investment:
    • Address the risk aversion prevalent in corporate boardrooms, which is hindering private investments in green energy projects
    • Identify strategies to incentivize greater private capital participation, such as:
      1. Targeted incentives (tax breaks, subsidies, etc.) for specific sectors or clean energy activities
      2. Increased public investment to “crowd in” or attract private capital investment
    • Detail these options and provide a roadmap within the energy strategy document
  • India’s Energy Sector:
    • Fossil fuels will continue to dominate India’s energy sector for several decades more
    • However, the overriding priority is to reduce the share of fossil fuels in the energy mix
    • The next government’s challenge is to accelerate the clean energy transition while:
      1. Navigating the polarized international geopolitical context
      2. Adapting to the rapidly evolving and exponential technological innovations in the energy sector


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