The Hindu Editorial Summary

Editorial Topic : India, Liberalism and its Crisis of Legitimacy

 GS-3 Mains Exam : Economy

Revision Notes

Question : Examine the global decline of liberalism and its implications for liberal democracies, with a focus on India. How has public perception of liberal values changed in recent years?

  • Context:
  • The editorial argues for a renewed vision of liberalism in India, given the global decline in its popularity.

India’s Tryst with Liberalism (1990s):

    • After the 1991 elections, India embraced liberalism, seen as the pinnacle of human progress.
    • This ideology emphasized democracy, free markets, and rule of law.

Global Decline of Liberalism:

    • Criticism from both left and right has challenged liberalism worldwide.
    • The number of liberal democracies has shrunk to 34 since the Cold War.
    • Public dissatisfaction with liberal values is rising. (e.g., 2023 Pew survey in India)

Attacks on Liberalism in India:

    • Left Critique:
      • Liberalism is seen as elitist, favoring the rich and widening inequality.
      • It prioritizes individualism over collective needs.
      • The left sees a contradiction between liberal democracy and market capitalism.
    • Right Critique:
      • The right emphasizes social values, community, identity, and tradition.
      • They see liberalism as a Western import that clashes with Indian values.
      • Right-wing populism often champions strong leadership over individual freedoms.
  • Liberal Values in Indian Tradition: (Against “western import” critique)
  • Thinkers like Amartya Sen argue core liberal values (liberty, justice, harmony) exist in Indian history.
  • Examples: Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Swami Vivekananda, B.R. Ambedkar

Challenges and Suggestions for Reform:

  • 1. Engage with Tradition and Identity: Indian liberalism needs to reconcile with ideas of tradition and identity.
  • 2. Reform Economic Approach: Move beyond “neoliberalism” for a more inclusive and socially just market system.
  • 3. Political Reform and Representative Institutions: Strengthen democracy and revive representative bodies.
  • 4. Liberal Consensus: Develop a shared understanding of liberalism amidst diverse views and criticisms.

Conclusion:

  • Urgent reform and revival are needed for Indian liberalism.

Additional Information ( Arora IAS Inputs)

Liberalisation, Privatisation, and Globalisation (LPG) Differences in India

 

Feature Liberalisation Privatisation Globalisation
Focus Reducing government control in the economy Transferring ownership of public sector enterprises to private entities Integrating the Indian economy with the world economy
Impact on Indian Economy Increased competition, improved efficiency, and foreign investment Increased efficiency, access to new technologies, and potential for job creation Increased trade, foreign investment, and exposure to international competition
Policy Tools Reduction of tariffs, relaxation of industrial licensing, deregulation of financial markets Sale of government-owned companies, disinvestment, public-private partnerships Trade liberalization, reduction of trade barriers, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) promotion
Examples in India Reduction in import duties, delicensing of industries, deregulation of banking sector Sale of Air India, disinvestment in Coal India, Public Private Partnerships in infrastructure projects Removal of trade quotas, participation in World Trade Organisation (WTO), Free Trade Agreements (FTAs)
Benefits Increased economic growth, improved product quality, access to a wider variety of goods and services Improved efficiency, reduced government burden, potential for innovation Access to new markets, technology transfer, potential for job creation
Challenges Increased income inequality, job losses in certain sectors, vulnerability to external shocks Loss of public control, potential for monopolies, social impact on employees Competition from foreign companies, environmental concerns, exploitation of cheap labor
Government Role Create a conducive regulatory environment for private sector participation Develop a transparent and efficient disinvestment process Negotiate trade agreements, facilitate foreign investment, promote exports
Additional Points LPG reforms have been a key driver of India’s economic growth in recent decades. The pace and extent of reforms have been debated, with concerns about managing the social impact. The government needs to balance economic growth with social welfare and environmental sustainability.

 

 

 

 

 

The Hindu Editorial Summary

Editorial Topic : AMRUT Scheme

 GS-3 Mains Exam : Economy

Revision Notes

Question : Critically analyze the goals and objectives of the AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) scheme. How does it aim to address the challenges of urban growth and infrastructure in India?

  • Urban Growth: India’s urban population is booming – 36% today, projected to be over 50% by 2047.
  • Infrastructure Needs: World Bank estimates a staggering $840 billion needed for basic urban infrastructure in the next 15 years.
  • AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation): Launched in June 2015, with AMRUT 2.0 launched on Oct 1, 2021.
  • Addressing Challenges: Aims to tackle water, mobility, and pollution issues in cities.
  • Centralized Funding: Financial assistance provided by the Central Government, with states and cities mobilizing additional funds.
  • AMRUT Mission Goals:
    • Universal access to assured water supply and sewerage connections.
    • Enhanced city value through green spaces and parks.
    • Reduced pollution via public transport and non-motorized options (walking, cycling).
  • AMRUT 2.0 Focus: Aims for “water secure” cities and functional water taps for every household in all statutory towns.
  • Ambitious Targets: 100% sewage management in the original 500 AMRUT cities.

AMRUT Scheme: The Reality on Ground

  • Health Crisis:
    • 200,000 deaths annually due to poor water, sanitation, hygiene.
    • Disease burden from unsafe water 40 times higher than China in 2016.
  • Water Scarcity:
    • Untreated wastewater increases disease risk.
    • Reservoir levels at 40% capacity.
    • 21 major cities facing groundwater depletion.
    • NITI Aayog report: 40% of India may lack drinking water by 2030.
    • 31% urban households lack piped water.
    • Average urban water supply: 69 litres/day (required: 135 litres).
  • Air Pollution:
    • Quality worsening in AMRUT cities and other major urban areas.
    • National Clean Air Programme launched in 2019 (AMRUT 2.0 focused on water/sewerage).
  • Scheme’s Issues:
    • Flawed foundation: project-oriented vs. holistic approach.
    • Top-down implementation: minimal city government participation.
    • Bureaucratic & private sector driven, neglecting community needs.
    • Ignores local climate, rainfall patterns, existing infrastructure.
    • Real estate focus disrupts natural water systems.

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