IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs (Prelims + Mains Focus)- 17th April 2018
Sustaining seafood exports to EU
Part of: Mains GS Paper II- Governance, Internal Security
- To ensure continued demand for seafood from the European Union, India will showcase the new measures implemented by it to improve vigilance and testing to assure the bloc that all steps were being taken to ensure that consignments meet the required quality standards. The EU is one of India’s top buyers of shrimps.
- Information on the traceability software for seafood has been implemented and new methods have been put in place to carry out inspections.
- The EU has expressed its dissatisfaction with exports from India by tightening its rules on inspections and black-listing.
- India’s marine food exporters have been arguing that the EU’s decision to increase the sample size from 10 per cent to 50 per cent for testing the seafood consignments from India, while keeping it at 10 per cent for other countries such as Vietnam and Bangladesh was unfair.
The EU accounts for about 18 per cent of marine exports from India with Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain being among the top buyers.
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General Studies 2:
- Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections.
- Issues relating to poverty and hunger.
General Studies 3:
- Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
Planning for internal migration due to climate change
The Syrian and Rohingya crises exemplified the typical conditions under which people are forcibly displaced: war, political persecution, economic instability and repression.
Still, most of the world’s migration is internal, i.e. within the same country. Among the tens of millions displaced in 2015, 21.3 million were refugees, but 40.8 million were internally displaced.
People usually change their homes to improve household income, for marriage or other purposes relating to family.
Climate change and migration:
With climate change, its worsening slow onset effects such as droughts, effects from sea level rise and water shortages, will cause many more to leave their homes and move to safer places.
Such migration may be a choice in the initial stages; for instance, a young member may travel to a city close by during a drought to increase his or her family’s income.
But as the stress becomes more severe, the decision to move may be forced.
An ongoing process-
The gradual rise in sea levels wherein people are compelled to leave their island nations in the Pacific and Indian Oceans and become climate exiles is one such ongoing process that will likely increase out-migration over time.
The “Groundswell: Preparing for Internal Climate Migration” report by the World Bank:
Estimates that in Latin America, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa over 143 million people would be forced to move within borders by 2050 as a result of slow onset climate events alone
In the worst-case scenario, about 40 million of these migrants would be in South Asia, which is the most populous of the regions studied, with a number of climate change effects anticipated.
South Asian (Indian) context:
- South Asia is characterised by rain-fed farmland in large parts of the region. With variability in the monsoons and warmer temperatures, crop failures will lead to migration from the Gangetic plains and from the rice-growing northeast of Bangladesh and the inundated coasts.
- While people normally gravitate to big cities, those along the coast such as Mumbai, Chennai, Chittagong and Dhaka will themselves be vulnerable to storm surges and other effects from sea level rise.
- The poor would be the worst affected by these slow onset events and most of them would migrate out of rural areas to nearby urban settlements, which would be cities and the peri-urban surroundings.
- “Hotspots” of in and out migration would be stressed for natural resources, public services and livelihoods.
In India, there are already signs of unplanned and frontier-led growth in peri-urban areas.
The implications of these internal migrations will be significant for development in the areas and for the lives of these people.
What needs to be done?
- Understanding migration patterns, getting better socioeconomic data on migration and preparing in advance through appropriate planning is critical.
- Reducing GHG emissions is of utmost urgency, although that seems to be taking place at a pace determined by geopolitical as well as local initiatives.
- Integrating internal migration with ongoing development planning is vital.
The peri-urban areas, which are expected to be hot spots, already show problems of water shortage, waste management, nutritional deficiency, limited services such as health and education, and poor infrastructure.
- Ecosystems, part of the natural resources in peri-urban areas, ought to be protected as “special ecological zones”, so that as urban settlements expand, they don’t eat into ecosystem services.
- Skill building, job training and other opportunities for education and jobs for locals and migrants would also have to become a focal point.
- Rights for those who are forced to migrate would be fundamental in these preparations, as studies and experience have shown that ignoring issues of social justice and equity in adaptation can lead to serious governance failure.
Connecting the dots:
- The problem of internal migration is bound to increase with ongoing climate change. The implications of these internal migrations will be significant for development in the areas and for the lives of these people. Discuss. Also suggest measures to face the challenge.
General Studies 3:
- Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
General Studies 2:
- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Reaching the 5T mark: Transforming Agriculture, Manufacturing and Services
Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke of India becoming a “Five Trillion Dollar” economy.
How soon we can reach the 5T mark? What growth rate is required? What changes we need to introduce?
Current size of the economy:
There are two measures of GDP — at constant prices (2011-12) and current prices. Currently, India’s GVA is $1.8 trillion, GDP at constant price $2 trillion, and GDP at current price $1.8 trillion.
World Bank says India’s GDP is expected to grow at 7.3 per cent in 2018-19. The RBI’s figure is 7.4 per cent.
The GDP at current prices will reach 5T in 2027 at this growth rate. So if we sustain the base growth rate of 7.4 per cent, we will become a 5T economy within ten years.
However, an ambitious agenda of change can push growth rates upwards. But achieving such high growth will require exceptional structural changes in all sectors of the economy.
How to reach 5T?
To reach 5T, we need to shift our perspective from policy to projects.
Select sectoral initiatives can be converted into 100 projects.
Each to be led by a competent leader with proven skills.
The regular bureaucracy would facilitate the job of the project leader, who will be free to choose her team.
Transforming Agriculture: By setting up a thousand world-class farms across the country
Most farmers do not have the capacity or means to benefit from the existing schemes.
A new model can be tried- where farmers learn to be productive by working in association with a professional firm which takes care of farming, marketing, and exports.
The implementation will cover less than one per cent of the arable land and cost no money to the government.
- To implement, the government will need to identify 1,000 agriculture development regions (ADRs) each with a minimum area of 200 sq. km. State governments will take this land on a 10-year lease from the willing farmers. In return, the State governments will assess a farmer’s 10-year income and agree to pay double the amount in annual instalments. Farmers will remain the landowners.
- Next, the States will invite corporate farming ventures (CFVs) to work on each of the ADRs for 10 years. In return, CFVs will pay the money that the States promised to pay the farmers.
- The CFVs will apply modern techniques and investments to produce and market high-quality products. Farmers may work on the land and imbibe the right practices. Soon, the best practices will spread to adjoining areas.
The model will turn millions of farmers into smart and prosperous entrepreneurs. ADRs will contribute substantially to production and exports.
Challenge- Trade war-like situation emerging between the US and China, and MNCs looking for alternative manufacturing locations.
India has to focus on setting manufacturing ecosystem for the skill and labour intensive product groups like machinery. This skill and labour-intensive products group can absorb part of surplus people from the agriculture or informal sector.
Successful operations would require sector-specific policies and inviting an anchor firm for each major product group. Flexible labour laws are an essential precondition for large-scale manufacturing.
Over 70 per cent of India’s exports come from the manufacturing sector. New manufacturing operations will allow India to become part of a few global value chains and help in raising exports to a trillion dollar mark.
Services contribute to 56.5 per cent of GDP but create only 30 per cent of jobs. So far, IT sector has been the star, exporting over 80 per cent of its $150 billion turnover.
As over 50 per cent of IT revenues come from the US, the future looks challenging with Trump at the helm.
- As over 40 per cent of the IT jobs India does will disappear due to automation, the sector needs to develop expertise in IOT, AI, and their applications.
- Travel and tourism, health, and professional services can be the other star service sectors.
- Better delivery of infrastructure, education and essential services would also create a large number of jobs and growth.
- The travel and tourism sector created 40 million jobs and contributed a significant 10 per cent to GDP. Considering the variety of experiences India offers, the sector can grow manifold with project-driven investments in budget hotels, medical tourism, tourist safety, and top 100 attractions.
- India as a global healthcare jobs provider can be another big story. Global healthcare and wellness is a $8 trillion industry, which would require over 100 million health workers in the next 15 years.
- The construction sector’s potential is largely untapped. It has slowed in the past two years but remains big with over 8 per cent share in GDP.
It is the largest job-generating sector after Agriculture. The sector lacks transparency, and millions of buyers stand cheated in the hands of builders every year. Ensuring transparency and ease will revive the sector attracting FDI and create millions of new jobs.
Connecting the dots:
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi, recently, spoke of India becoming a “Five Trillion Dollar” economy. Suggest what changes we need to introduce to achieve the goal at the earliest.
- Transforming agriculture, manufacturing and services sectors in a project mode can help India reach the goal of 5 trillion economy soon. Analyze.
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