Indian Express Editorial Summary : Quality of growth

 GS-3 Mains 

Short Notes or Revision Notes 

Question : Discuss the quality of growth in the Indian economy during 2023-24, highlighting key indicators and nuances.

Positive Indicators

  • GDP growth at 8.4% in Q3 2023-24.
  • PMI Manufacturing at a 16-month high (59.1) in March 2024.
  • Healthy credit ratio (1.92) in H2 2023-24 (indicates strong corporate and banking sectors).

Growth Composition

  • Above 8% GDP growth for the first 3 quarters of 2023-24.
  • Growth led by investment, not consumption.
  • Consumption GDP estimated at 3% (vs pre-pandemic 7%).
  • Cautious consumer spending on FMCG products.
  • Signs of improvement in rural demand:
    • Nielsen report: FMCG volume growth in rural areas at 6.2% (H2 2023).
    • Improvement in two-wheeler sales.


  • Normal monsoon expected to improve overall consumption demand.
  • Continued government focus on capital expenditure (capex).
  • Private investment pickup critical for sustained growth.
  • Manufacturing capacity utilization at 74% (near long-term average) indicates potential for private capex acceleration.
  • CMIE data suggests increased private sector investment intent.

Growth Drivers and Performance

  • Growth led by manufacturing and services sectors, not agriculture (impacted by monsoon).
  • Strong performance in hotels, auto, healthcare, realty, iron & steel, pharma, and jewelry retail.
  • Weak external demand affected chemicals, textiles, and diamonds.
  • Healthy services exports (especially software, business consulting, and travel) offset weak merchandise exports.
  • Current account deficit estimated at a benign 0.6-0.7% of GDP in 2023-24 (around 1% in 2024-25).

External Factors and Inflows

  • Very strong FII inflows ($41 billion in 2023-24) despite moderated FDI.
  • Forex reserves at a comfortable $643 billion.
  • Expected continued strong FII inflows due to Indian bond inclusion in global indices.
  • Need for caution due to the volatile nature of FII flows.

Inflation and Monetary Policy

  • Moderated CPI inflation below RBI’s target upper band (6%).
  • Core inflation below 4% for the past 3 months (disinflation in services).
  • High food inflation remains a concern (vegetables, pulses, spices).
  • Expected CPI inflation to moderate to around 4.8% in 2024-25 (from 5.4% in 2023-24) assuming a normal monsoon.
  • Potential for a shallow RBI rate cut in H2 2024-25 if the US Fed also cuts rates.
  • Rapid rise in retail credit despite higher interest rates.
  • RBI increased risk weightage for unsecured personal loans (moderation in growth).
  • Need for vigilance on potential stress in retail loans.
  • Strong overall bank credit growth with relatively weak deposit growth (liquidity risks and pressured margins).
  • Healthy banks’ asset quality remains a comforting factor.

Overall Assessment and Outlook

  • Indian economy likely to achieve around 7% GDP growth in 2023-24.
  • Structural improvements (digitalization, formalization) suggest higher potential growth.
  • Time for government to focus on quality of growth and mitigate lurking risks.
  • Continued fiscal consolidation and public debt reduction remain crucial.
  • With a strong foundation, India can pursue sustainable and inclusive growth.


Indian Express Editorial Summary : A call to action

GS-2 or GS-3 Mains 

Short Notes or Revision Notes 

Question : Discuss the role of the Supreme Court in addressing climate change issues in India, particularly in upholding environmental rights and advocating for climate mitigation measures.

India’s Vulnerability

  • Growing evidence of climate change’s impact on India:
    • More frequent and intense floods.
    • Changing rainfall patterns.
    • Heatwaves posing health risks.
  • Studies warn of increasing risks to Indians in the coming years (e.g., IPCC report).
  • IPCC report highlights future rise in heatwaves and humid heat stress in South Asia.
  • Political class largely ignores climate change issues.
  • SC’s intervention could be a turning point for wider public engagement.
  • India ranked 7th most vulnerable country to climate change hazards (Global Climate Risk Index 2021).

Supreme Court’s Role

  • Consistent approach to environmental protection through rights lens.
  • C. Mehta v Union of India (1987) established right to pollution-free environment as part of Right to Life.
  • Subsequent verdicts emphasize right to clean air, water, and healthy life.
  • Recent climate change ruling connects human rights with climate mitigation:
    • “Right to life not fully realized without a clean environment.”
    • “Right to health impacted by climate change factors.”

Government’s Response

  • History of neglecting SC rulings on environment-human dignity link.
  • Delhi’s air pollution exemplifies gap between legal pronouncements and policy.
  • Lack of executive action on environmental issues.
  • Reactive approach to environmental problems (only during emergencies).
  • Increasing extreme weather events expose unpreparedness of cities and rural areas.
  • Development plans often insensitive to ecological concerns.

The Way Forward

  • SC ruling underlines need for corrective measures: “States compelled to take effective measures to mitigate climate change.”
  • The verdict should be a call to action for the government.


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