The News Editorial Analysis 8th October 2021

The News Editorial Analysis 8th October 2021

Lakhimpur Kheri violence: SC orders UP govt to file status report; hearing on Friday.

Tell us about arrest of accused in all murder cases, including that of a journalist; provide immediate medical treatment to a deceased’s mother who is in a bad condition: SC to state govt.


The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Uttar Pradesh Government to file a status report in 24 hours on action taken by it, including arrest of accused named in FIRs for murder, with regard to Lakhimpur Kheri violence in which eight persons, including four farmers, were killed on Sunday.A Bench led by CJI NV Ramana—which had on Wednesday taken suo motu cognisance of the matter on the basis of a letter written by two advocates from Uttar Pradesh—said the report should give details about arrest of accused in all murder case, including that of a journalist. Terming the incident as “extremely unfortunate” the Bench—which also included Justice Surya Kant and Justice Hima Kohli—asked the state government to provide immediate medical treatment to the mother of deceased Lovepreet Singh who was in a critical condition.Get her admitted to the nearest government hospital,” the Bench told UP Additional Advocate General Garima Prashad after advocate Amrit Pal Singh Khalsa drew the court’s attention to her medical condition caused due to shock of loss of her son.“We direct the learned Additional Advocate General to look into the matter personally and provide best medical treatment to the mother of the deceased in a reputed Government Medical College/Hospital at UP,” it ordered. Prashad assured the court that the court’s directions will be complied with immediately.

She told the top court that FIRs had already been registered in the matter and an SIT was investigating the matter. The state government has also set up a commission of inquiry headed by Justice Pradeep Kumar Srivastava (retd) of the Allahabad High Court, she added. The Bench asked her to put everything, including information regarding some PILs on the issue pending in the Allahabad High Court, in the report to be filed by the state government and posted it for further hearing on Friday. When Prashad said the incident was “extremely unfortunate”, the Bench said, “We feel the same way.”Earlier, the suo motu case initiated by the Supreme Court on the Lakhimpur Kheri violence could not be taken at the first call as the two lawyers who wrote to the CJI in this regard failed to turn up for hearing. Advocates Shiv Kumar Tripathi and CS Panda from Uttar Pradesh—who had written to the CJI on Tuesday demanding a CBI probe into the incident—however, showed up for the hearing at the second call. Tripathi — who could barely manage to address the Bench due to poor Internet connection — complained of violation of human rights of farmers in UP and said the matter should be investigated properly. During the brief hearing in the first round, CJI Ramana clarified that it was supposed to be a PIL on the basis of the letter written by the two advocates seeking action in the matter. “Doesn’t matter, we’ll hear it nonetheless,” the CJI said during the hearing. Later, the Bench directed the court’s Registry “to convert this Suo Motu Writ Petition (Crl.) into a Public Interest Litigation (Writ Petition Crl.) immediately.”

Four flyovers to come up near Uppal junction.

GHMC is all set to begin construction of a set of flyovers near Uppal junction, as part of the Strategic Road Development Plan (SRDP).

With the aim of easing congestion resulting from convergence of vehicle traffic from all sides, the GHMC is taking up construction of four flyovers near the junction. The structures are necessary also in view of the elevated corridor under construction by the Roads & Buildings department on behalf of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).

The four lane 6.25-kilometre long elevated corridor is being built from Narapally up to Uppal junction. Besides, the NHAI is also taking up another 1.5 kilometre flyover in Amberpet, which will facilitate unhindered flow of traffic arriving at the junction from the Ramanthapur side.

The State government requested the NHAI, to no avail, to extend the elevated corridor over the Uppal junction, in order to avoid large amount of traffic getting dumped at the junction.

“They didn’t agree. Instead, it has been agreed upon that the corridor will be left short of reaching Uppal junction, without construction of the down ramp. From there, GHMC will take up the portion up to Ramanthapur, where the ramp will be descended,” an engineer from GHMC informed.

GHMC’s portion of elevated corridor will come to over a kilometre in length.

This apart, two more flyovers are planned on the Inner Ring Road parallel to the Metro Rail corridor above the junction, with a length of 445 metres. The fourth flyover is planned with a steep curve, from Ramanthapur towards Uppal Stadium road, with a length of 440 metres.Though GHMC is the primary executing agency for all the SRDP components, work at the Uppal junction had been handed over to HMDA initially upon instructions from Minister for Municipal Administration & Urban Development K.T. Rama Rao, as HMDA was the executing agency for constructing a walk way at the junction.

While the elevated corridor work on the part of NHAI had been progressing at a rapid pace for the last two years, HMDA had not started the work. Concerned over the delay, Mr. Rama Rao reportedly asked GHMC to take over the works from HMDA, after which tenders have been called and works have been handed over. Officials say that the structures may take well over two years for completion.


The News Editorial Analysis 8th October 2021

World Bank retains India’s GDP forecast at 8.3% for current fiscal-Business Journal.

The World Bank on Thursday retailed India’s GDP growth rate for current fiscal at 8.3 per cent while Fitch lowered projection to 8.3 per cent.

“India’s economy, South Asia’s largest, is expected to grow by 8.3 per cent in the fiscal year 2021-22, aided by an increase in public investment and incentives to boost manufacturing,” the Wold Bank said in its update on South Asia, titled ‘Shifting Gears: Digitization and Services-led Development.’ For the next fiscal (FY 2022-23), the projection is 7.5 per cent, while for FY 2023-24, it is 6.5 per cent. The multilateral agency has not made any change in the estimate for current fiscal and next fiscal from its June statement.

PLI boost

The report noted that production-linked incentives scheme to boost manufacturing, and a planned increase in public investment, should support domestic demand. The trajectory of the pandemic will cloud the outlook in the near-term until herd immunity is achieved. For the next fiscal, report highlighted that growth will be helped by recent structural reforms to ease supply-side constraints, and increased infrastructure investment.

However, “the degree of asset-quality deterioration from the pandemic-shock is unclear and may pose downside risks to the outlook,” it said. Further it said that higher inflation and slow recovery in the informal sector pose risk to consumer spending. “Persistently high inflation can also put pressure on the RBI’s accommodative monetary policy stance,” it said.

Talking about fiscal deficit (difference between income and expenditure of the government), the report projects it to shrink as revenues recover and pandemic-related support winds down. Still, “it will remain above 10 percent of GDP in FY22, driven by a rise in capital spending,” it said.

The report talks about improvement in labour market which will have impact on poverty reduction. However, “employment rates are still lingering well below pre-pandemic levels despite improvements after the 2020 lockdown. As earnings of low skill workers remain well below 2019 levels, it might take longer than previously expected for India to achieve the goal of reducing extreme poverty to below 3 percent,” it said.

Fitch outlook

Meanwhile, Fitch Ratings has said it has further lowered India’s GDP forecast for the current fiscal to 8.7 per cent from 10 per cent in June as a result of the severe second virus wave. It had in June cut the growth forecast from 12.8 per cent.

“In our view, however, the impact of the second wave was to delay rather than derail India’s economic recovery, reflected in an upward revision of our FY23 (April 2022-March 2023) GDP forecast to 10 per cent from 8.5 per cent in June,” it said.

High-frequency indicators point to a strong rebound in the second quarter of the current fiscal (April 2021-March 2022), as business activity has again returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Fitch, however, saw a wider fiscal deficit. “We forecast a 7.2 per cent of GDP (excluding disinvestment) central government deficit in FY 22,” it said.

Digital revolution: It talks about a digital revolution in the agriculture sector and designs the blueprint of “digital agriculture”.

Data revolution in Indian agriculture

 – Seeding a data revolution in Indian agriculture

  • GS 3: e-technology in the aid of farmers.

Context: Recently, two significant documents relating to the Indian agriculture sector were released.

  1. ‘India Digital Ecosystem of Agriculture (IDEA)’from the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare (MoA&FW).
  2. ‘Indian Agriculture: Ripe for Disruption’from a private organisation, Bain and Company.

About India Digital Ecosystem of Agriculture (IDEA)

  • Digital revolution:It talks about a digital revolution in the agriculture sector and designs the blueprint of “digital agriculture”.
  • Idea of integration:Improvement of farmers’ livelihood through tight integration of agri-tech innovation and the agriculture industry ecosystem to farming and food systems.
    • It provides for openness of data i.e. open to businesses and farmers.
  • Value-added innovative services:By agri-tech industries and start-ups are an integral part of the IDEA architecture.
  • Farm laws are significant:These will lead to a single national market with a national platform with better connection between producer and consumers.
    • The reforms have been depicted as a game-changerin the agriculture sector.

About ‘Indian Agriculture: Ripe for Disruption’

  • Data-based prediction: It predicts future trajectories of agri-business scenarios in another 20 years while anchoring to the agricultural set-up at present.
    • It predicts a drastic investment opportunitydevelopment by 2025.
    • Agriculture sector (currently $370 billion) is estimated to receive an additional $35 billion investment.
  • Reasons behind the investment: Changes in the regulatory framework, especially:
    • Recent changes in the Farm Acts.
    • Digital disruption.
  • Alternative forms of agriculture: It includes targeting the production of alternative proteins, and food cell-based food/ingredients and initiating ocean farming, etc.
  • A ‘today forward– future back approach’: It enables the creation of value at present time while moving toward future vision.
  • Doubling farmers’ income targets: Benefiting from the huge investments into the agri-ecosystem, this target can be achieved in near future.

Criticism & Challenges

  • Data misuse:Ethics of creating a Unique Farmer ID based on one’s Aadhaar  number and also the potential for data misuse.
  • Not enough deliberation:Beyond the news coverage about the prospects of achieving the goal of Doubling Farmers Income; the Bain report has not been widely discussed, at least in the public domain.
  • No landless farmers in new database
  • Digital illiteracy among farmers: Both reports heavily relied upon digital disruption to improve farmers’ livelihoods, without discussing how much farmers will be prepared to benefit from these newly emerging business environments.
    • Fact is that a majority of small and marginal farmers are not technology-savvy.
  • No consideration to on-going farmers protest:Reports ignore the protest of farmers against the reforms without considering it as a barrier or risk factor resulting in a repealing of these new farm laws.
  • Two reports look forward to benefiting from the recent agriculture legislature changes without perceiving the capacity-building requiredat a farmer’s end.


Capacity building of the farmers in India:  Until the educated young farmers replace the existing under-educated small and medium farmers.

  • It can be done through a mixed approach:
    • Building the capacities of individual farmers.
    • Coping with the new situation by establishing support systems, through FPOs and other farmers associations.

Way forward

Therefore, knowing the fact that a data revolution is inevitable in the agriculture sector, given its socio-political complexities, we cannot just count on technology fixes and agri-business investments for improving farmers’ livelihoods. There need to be immense efforts to improve the capacities of the farmers in India and every stakeholder must contribute towards this.

Disaster resilience as an inherent part of community culture.

 Panchayati Raj, Disaster and disaster management.

Context: Recently, the People’s Plan Campaign and Vibrant Gram Sabha Dashboard were rolled out which aspire to strengthen the Panchayati Raj system by making gram sabhas more vibrant.

Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) in India

  • The Panchayati Raj was first adopted by Nagaurin Rajasthan on October 2, 1959.
  • PRIs wereconstitutionalized through the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992.
  • Since then, it has expanded vastly.
    • Currently in India, 2, 60,512 Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) are represented by about 31 lakh elected members.
  • In this system of local self-governance, people in the villages participate in the decision-making process.
    • Therefore, it is the backbone of democracy.

Role/significance of PRIs during pandemic/crisis

  • Failing of traditional top-down disaster response system:  When the traditional top-down disaster response system was compromised during the pandemic, it was PRIs that played a remarkable role.
  • Provided essential leadership at the local level:They helped reduce risks, responded swiftly and thus helped people recover quickly.
  • Performed both regulatory and welfare functions: During the nationwide lockdown, PRIs:
    • Set up containment zones
    • Arranged transport
    • Identified buildings for quarantining people
    • Provisioned food for the incoming migrants.
  • Role played by gram Sabhas:Gram Sabhas act as a sounding board for diverse ideas and opinions.
    • They provide a platform to build consensusand make resolutions in the community’s interest.
    • During the pandemic, gram sabhas resolved to adhere to COVID norms.
  • Bridged the trust gap between the community and the officials:By regular engagement with frontline workers like ASHA workers and Anganwadi workers through committees.
  • Community-based surveillance systems: During the pandemic, PRIs organised community-based surveillance systems involving village elders, the youth and self-help groups (SHGs)to keep a strict vigil in quarantine centres and monitor symptoms in households.
  • Role in mobilising citizens for COVID-19 vaccination.

Initiatives to be taken to building capacity of PRIs

  • Including disaster management in Panchayat Raj Acts:
    • It will ensure citizen-centric mappingand planning of resources.
    • Various insurance productscustomised to local needs will build financial resilience of the community.
  • Regular location-specific training programmes:
    • These will act as platforms for sharing best practices.
    • These will strengthen individual and institutional capacities.
  • Community-based disaster management plans
    • These plans would provide a strategy for resource utilisationand maintenance during a disaster.
    • These plans should tap the traditional wisdom of local communitieswhich will complement modern practices.
    • Establishment of community disaster fundsin all gram panchayats and encouraging financial contributions from the community.



The disaster like COVID-19 is an unusual crisis as it is long-drawn and affects people everywhere. Therefore, in order to tackle such crisis effectively, it is imperative to make disaster resilience an inherent part of the community culture now more than ever.


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