Indian Express Editorial  Topic-1 : Calling China’s Bluff

GS-2 Mains

Short Notes or Revision Notes 


Question : Analyze China’s strategy of renaming places in Arunachal Pradesh and its implications for Indo-China relations.

China’s Provocations in Arunachal Pradesh

  • Since 2017, China has been renaming places in Arunachal Pradesh, an Indian territory, calling it “Zangnan.”
  • This is an ongoing tactic:
    • 6 places renamed in 2017
    • 15 added in 2021
    • 11 more in 2023
    • 30 new places in 2024 (including residential areas, mountains, rivers, etc.)
  • India rejects these attempts, calling them “senseless.”
  • China’s claims seem historically dubious:
    • They use a fictionalized historical figure (Zheng He) to justify territorial claims.
    • Similar claims made about ancestral graves in Arunachal Pradesh lack evidence.


India’s Response to China’s Aggression

Shifting Strategy

  • Traditionally, India avoided military commitments beyond its borders.
  • This changed with Foreign Minister Jaishankar’s visit to the Philippines in March 2024.

New Approach in the Philippines

  • Jaishankar pledged India’s support to the Philippines in their South China Sea dispute with China.
  • This signifies a significant shift from India’s previous non-committal stance.
  • It indicates India’s willingness to confront China’s expansionism.

India’s Message

  • India is a responsible nation that upholds the international legal order.
  • China should respect international law, including the 2016 Hague ruling on the South China Sea.


China’s Reaction to India’s Stance

  • Predictable Response
    • China’s state media, Global Times, criticized Jaishankar’s visit to the Philippines.
    • They accused India of trying to form an anti-China alliance and provoke conflict in the South China Sea.
  • Futile Threats
    • China threatened to damage bilateral relations if India gets involved in the South China Sea dispute.
    • India maintains it is a responsible nation acting within the international legal order.
  • India’s Message
    • During his US visit, China’s President Xi Jinping emphasized peace, stability, and credibility in (guānxì – relations) with the US.
    • India expects the same principles from China, including adherence to the rules-based international order.
    • This was the core message Jaishankar conveyed in the Philippines.



Waiting for Summer’s Impact on Inflation

GS-3 Mains

Short Notes or Revision Notes 

Question : Discuss the recent economic trends in India, highlighting the factors contributing to strong GDP growth while addressing concerns such as inflation and agricultural performance.

Strong Economic Growth

  • India’s GDP growth is estimated at over 8% for the first three quarters of 2023-24.
  • High-frequency data suggests continued momentum in Q4.
  • Strong performance in construction, manufacturing, and financial services.
  • Agricultural growth remains weak at 0.7%.
  • Investment drives GDP growth, with private consumption lagging.

RBI Maintains Status Quo

  • The RBI held rates steady on April 5th as expected.
  • Inflation remains above target despite strong growth.
  • RBI expects GDP growth of 7% in 2024-25.

Inflation Concerns

  • Food inflation remains a key worry, averaging 7.4% in the first 11 months of 2023-24.
  • Vegetable price volatility is a major concern (30.2% inflation in February).
  • Core inflation (excluding food and fuel) is low at 3.4%.

Waiting for Summer Monsoon

  • A normal monsoon and stable oil prices are expected to help cool food prices.
  • El Niño’s impact is predicted to fade in the second half of 2024.
  • La Niña conditions (associated with good rains) could bring relief.

CRISIL’s Expectations

  • GDP growth to moderate to 6.8% in 2024-25.
  • Lower fiscal deficit and tighter regulations may affect demand.


  • The Indian economy is performing well, but inflation remains a concern.
  • Summer monsoon and global oil prices will be crucial factors in controlling inflation.

Food Inflation Worries RBI

Persistent Food Price Issues

  • Vegetable price volatility is a major concern for the RBI.
  • Unlike usual fluctuations, vegetable inflation has remained high for an extended period.
  • Foodgrain inflation, though softening, is still high at 9.8% (February 2024).

Impact of Food Inflation

  • High food prices disproportionately affect lower-income groups.
  • This is because food constitutes a larger portion of their spending.
  • Weak consumption, especially in rural areas, is partly attributed to high food inflation.
  • While government programs offer some relief, overall price reduction is necessary.

Looking Ahead

  • Expectations of a normal monsoon and a healthy agricultural season are positive for rural consumption.
  • Stable global oil prices are anticipated (around $80-$85 per barrel).
  • However, recent surges due to geopolitical tensions raise some concerns.

Global Trends in Interest Rates

  • Central Banks Hesitant to Cut Rates Yet
    • The Federal Reserve and European Central Bank are waiting for inflation to cool further before easing rates.
    • High core inflation, even with softening trends, is a concern.
    • S&P Global expects inflation to stay above the Fed’s 2% target in 2024 due to persistent service price increases.
  • Emerging Markets May Follow Suit
    • Unlike the US, India sets rates based on domestic factors.
    • However, global trends can influence emerging markets.
    • S&P Global expects rate cuts in Latin American emerging markets to continue.
    • Central banks in some Asian economies might start easing rates in the second half of 2024.
  • India’s Outlook
    • India’s rate cuts depend on its domestic situation.
    • A good monsoon, stable weather, and controlled oil prices are crucial.
    • These factors could allow India to potentially cut rates by the end of summer.


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