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13 May 2024 : Daily Current Affairs

1. Govt. to spend ₹2 cr. per km on roads along China border

(Source – The Hindu, Section – News, Page No. – 4)

Topic: GS2 – International Relations – Bilateral Relations

GS3 – Indian Economy – Infrastructure

Context
● The Indian government’s Vibrant Village Programme (VVP) aims to construct roads along the China border in Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh, with a budget of ₹4,800 crore.

● This initiative seeks to enhance connectivity, deter migration, and gather intelligence from border villages.

 Analysis of the news:

  • The Indian government plans to construct roads along the China border in Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh under the Vibrant Village Programme (VVP).
 Vibrant Village Programme (VVP):
The Vibrant Villages Programme (VVP) is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme approved on February 15, 2023, with a financial outlay of ₹4800 crore for FY 2022-23 to 2025-26.

● It aims at comprehensive development of select villages in 46 blocks across 19 districts bordering the northern regions of Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, and Ladakh.

● Objectives include improving quality of life, stemming outmigration, and creating livelihood opportunities.

Interventions focus on agriculture, horticulture, tourism, skill development, entrepreneurship, cooperative societies, road connectivity, housing, energy, telecom connectivity, and financial inclusion.

● Tourism and culture promotion involve infrastructure augmentation, community-managed home stays, local fairs & festivals, eco-tourism, agro-tourism, wildlife, adventure tourism, and local cuisine promotion.

Conceived as an outcome-oriented programme, it includes indicators at village, household, and individual beneficiary levels.

 

  • Over ₹2 crore is estimated to be spent per kilometre of road, with 113 roads sanctioned in the past five months.
  • The VVP aims to improve connectivity in border areas, with 168 villages lacking road access.
  • Uttarakhand will see 43.96 km of roads built at a cost of ₹119 crore, while Sikkim will have 18.73 km of roads and steel bridges costing ₹96 crore.
  • GPS tracking devices will monitor construction activity, with the program aiming to cover 2,967 villages in 46 border blocks across five states.
  • The VVP’s budget of ₹4,800 crore will primarily fund road construction, with the objective to deter migration and gather intelligence from border villages.
 China’s Infrastructure Development Along The Line Of Actual Control (LAC):
●  China has strategically focused on developing its western border, particularly in the Tibet Autonomous Region and Xinjiang, over the past two decades.

● India, in contrast, has been slow in developing its infrastructure along the border, impacting military operations and logistical support.

The India-China border spans 3488 km, with disputes in Eastern Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh.

● After the 1962 war, India adopted a strategy of denial, deferring infrastructure development along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

China invested heavily in dual-use infrastructure, including roads, billeting facilities, and logistics, ensuring seamless support for military operations.

● China’s infrastructure development in Tibet includes a sophisticated network of highways, railroads, air routes, and hydroelectric projects.

● The Sichuan-Tibet railway, with its three sections, significantly reduces travel time between Chengdu and Lhasa, enhancing mobilisation capabilities.

China has constructed numerous roads, including national highways like G 109, G 219, and G 318, connecting Tibet to Xinjiang and mainland China.

● Rail projects like the Qinghai-Tibet line and planned extensions further strengthen China’s connectivity to Tibet and its border regions.

China’s infrastructure development includes airfields, border villages, hydroelectric projects, telecommunications, and initiatives like the “Xiaokang villages” along the Indian border in Tibet.

● Improved infrastructure provides China with faster mobilisation, logistical support, and operational flexibility along the India-China border, impacting India’s operational preparedness.

Implications for India:

Strategic Concerns: China’s infrastructure development along the India border, including roads, railways, and military facilities, raises strategic concerns for India regarding territorial integrity and national security.

Border Infrastructure Disparity: Disparities in infrastructure development between India and China along the border exacerbate security challenges and asymmetries in military capabilities.

Border Intrusions: Enhanced Chinese infrastructure facilitates quicker troop mobilisation and border intrusions, increasing the risk of conflicts and tensions between the two countries.

Economic Implications: Improved connectivity and trade routes on the Chinese side of the border could affect India’s economic interests and regional connectivity initiatives.

Diplomatic Relations: China’s infrastructure development may strain diplomatic relations between India and China, leading to heightened tensions and competition in the region.

Defence Preparedness: India may need to bolster its own infrastructure development and defence preparedness along the border to counterbalance China’s advancements and safeguard its territorial interests.

PYQ: ‘China is using its economic relations and positive trade surplus as tools to develop potential military power status in Asia’, In the light of this statement, discuss its impact on India as her neighbour. (150 words/10m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-2 2017)
Practice Question:  Discuss the significance and objectives of the Vibrant Village Programme (VVP) initiated by the Indian government. Evaluate the challenges and potential impacts of this infrastructure development scheme on border security and local communities.(250 Words /15 marks)

2. The poll promise of affordable housing

(Source – The Hindu, Section – Text, Page No. – 10)

Topic: GS1 – Society – Urbanization, their problems and their remedies

GS2 – Governance – Government policies – Issues arising out of their design & implementation.

Context
  • In the backdrop of India’s 2024 elections, the housing crisis looms large, with approximately 1.7 million homeless individuals and a shortage of 18.78 million houses reported in 2012.
  • Government interventions like PMAY-U and PMAY-G aim to address these challenges amid concerns over affordability and implementation.
  • The analysis of the news seeks to address the housing crisis in India from various perspectives.

 Understanding India’s Housing Crisis

  • India grapples with a significant housing crisis, indicated by the 2011 Census reporting approximately 1.7 million homeless individuals and a substantial shortage of housing units.
  • A Government of India report in 2012 estimated a deficit of 18.78 million houses, further exacerbated by a 54% increase in urban housing shortage from 2012 to 2018, reaching 29 million.
  • While there are 11 million vacant housing units, coexisting with the shortage, these properties fail to address the needs of the most vulnerable segments of society.

Challenges in Affordable Housing

  • Affordable housing, defined by the government as properties not exceeding 60 sq.m with a price cap of ₹45 lakh, remains a pressing issue.
  • Despite a surge in housing sales, affordable housing constitutes only a fraction of new housing supply, with mid-segment homes dominating the market.

Factors Contributing to the Crisis

  • One of the main reasons for this housing crisis is lack of low-cost housing due to the high cost of land and construction materials, making it economically unviable without subsidies.
  • Urban congestion and inadequate infrastructure contribute to the proliferation of slums, with over 65 million people residing in slums according to the 2011 Census.

Government Policies and Interventions

  • The Supreme Court recognizes the right to housing as part of the fundamental right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution.
  • Government interventions include the 1985 Indira Awaas Yojana for rural housing, followed by urban-focused programs like the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) in 2005 and subsequent initiatives such as the Rajiv Awas Yojana and Rajiv Rinn Yojna.
  • The BJP government launched the Housing for All schemes (2015-22), comprising the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), with separate wings for urban (PMAY-U) and rural (PMAY-G) housing.

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) – PMAY-U

  • Launched in 2015, PMAY-U aims to provide housing for 1.18 crore families by December 2024.
  • As of March 2024, it has achieved approximately 67% of its target, with concerns raised over the majority of houses not catering to the urban landless poor.
  • The slum rehabilitation scheme within PMAY-U has sanctioned only a fraction of intended homes, highlighting implementation challenges.

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Gramin) – PMAY-G

  • PMAY-G, initiated in 2016, aims to construct 2.95 crore houses in rural areas.
  • By April 2024, around 2.6 crore houses have been completed, with a significant portion owned by women beneficiaries.
 Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana:
Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G):

●  Launch: Restructured from Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY) on April 1, 2016.

●  Aim: To provide pucca houses with basic amenities to rural families by March 2022.

Ministry Involved: Ministry of Rural Development.

Beneficiaries: SCs/STs, freed bonded labourers, widows, disabled persons, minorities, etc.

Selection Process: Through Socio Economic Caste Census 2011, Gram Sabha, and geo-tagging.

Cost Sharing: 60:40 ratio (plain areas), 90:10 (Northeastern and hilly states).

Features: Increased house size to 25 sq.mt, unit assistance raised to Rs. 1.20 lakh-1.30 lakh, convergence with SBM-G, MGNREGS, etc.

Employment Generation: Provided employment to migrant labourers during lockdown.

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Urban (PMAY-Urban):

Launch: June 25, 2015, aims to provide housing for all in urban areas by 2022.

Implemented by: Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

Coverage: Entire urban area, including statutory towns, notified planning areas, etc.

Features: Basic amenities like toilet, water supply, electricity, and kitchen, women empowerment through house ownership.

Verticals: In-situ Rehabilitation, Credit Linked Subsidy, Affordable Housing in Partnership, Beneficiary-led individual house construction/enhancement.

State Housing Schemes

  • States have also introduced housing schemes to address local housing challenges, such as the Andhra Pradesh government’s Navaratnalu-Pedalandariki Illu.
  • As of October 2023, the state had completed the construction of 7.43 lakh houses out of a targeted 21.76 lakh, with a focus on empowering women beneficiaries.

Empowering Women in Housing

  • Efforts to empower women beneficiaries in housing schemes align with the increasing focus on women as an important voting bloc.

Conclusion

  • India’s housing crisis persists despite government interventions, with challenges ranging from affordability to implementation.
  • Sustained efforts at both central and state levels are necessary to address the multifaceted issues of housing accessibility, affordability, and quality, while empowering marginalised communities, especially women, remains crucial for meaningful progress.
Practice Question:  What are the key challenges hindering the effective implementation of government housing schemes in India, and how can policymakers address them to alleviate the country’s housing crisis? Discuss with reference to initiatives like PMAY-U and PMAY-G. (150 Words /10 marks)

 

3. NH construction slows as funds go scarce, hybrid annuity model falters

(Source – The Hindu, Section – Business, Page No. – 13)

Topic: GS3 – Indian Economy – Investment models
Context
●  The news discusses the anticipated slowdown in national highway construction pace from 34 km/day in FY24 to 31 km/day in FY25.

The reasons for this slowdown are attributed to increased competition among mid-level developers post-March 2020 and challenges in executing hybrid annuity model (HAM) projects.

●  Regulatory clarity and project finance concerns further compound the situation.

 Analysis of the news:

  • National highway construction pace is expected to slow from 34 km/day in FY24 to 31 km/day in FY25, with a projected 7-10% year-on-year decline in execution.
  • Influx of mid-level developers post-March 2020 led to increased competition and lower bids, exacerbating execution risks due to funding hurdles and delays.
  • Hybrid annuity model (HAM) projects face challenges, with nearly one-third delayed by 4-6 months, and some awaiting an ‘appointed date’ for over a year.
 Various Investment Models:
  • Hybrid annuity model (HAM):  The Hybrid Annuity Model (HAM) is a public-private partnership model used in infrastructure projects, particularly in highways and roads. Under HAM, the government bears a portion of the project cost, while the private sector invests the remainder and receives payments in the form of annuities over the project’s concession period.
  • Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT): Private partner designs, builds, operates, and transfers the facility to the public sector after a contracted period. Private partner finances the project, collects revenue from users. Used for national highway projects.
  • Build-Own-Operate (BOO): Private party owns the facility, and the public sector purchases goods and services produced by it based on agreed terms.
  • Build-Operate-Lease-Transfer (BOLT): Government grants concession to private entity to build, own, lease facility to public sector, then transfer ownership after lease period.
  • Build-Operate-Transfer (BOOT): Variant of BOT where project is transferred to government or private operator after the agreed period.
  • Lease-Develop-Operate (LDO): Government or public sector entity retains ownership, leases facility to private promoter, typically used for airport development.
  • Design-Build-Finance-Operate (DBFO): Private party responsible for design, construction, finance, and operation of project during concession period.
  • Regulatory clarity and project finance concerns add to woes, with RBI’s draft guidelines on project financing posing challenges for infrastructure projects.
  • CareEdge Ratings estimates an 8-10% increase in equity requirements for HAM-based road projects due to mandatory tail-period and provisioning requirements.
Issues with Hybrid annuity model (HAM):
  • Delayed Project Completion: One of the primary issues with the Hybrid Annuity Model (HAM) is the frequent delays in project completion, leading to cost overruns and financial losses.
  • Financial Stress on Developers: HAM requires developers to bear a portion of the project cost, which can strain their finances, especially if there are delays in receiving annuity payments from the government.
  • Land Acquisition Challenges: Land acquisition remains a major hurdle for infrastructure projects under HAM, causing delays and increasing project costs.
  • Disputes and Litigations: Disputes between developers and government authorities over various project aspects, such as land acquisition, environmental clearances, and regulatory approvals, often lead to litigations, further delaying the project.
  •  Limited Private Sector Participation: Despite efforts to encourage private sector participation, the complexity and risks associated with HAM projects have deterred many developers from bidding, resulting in limited competition and higher project costs.
PYQ: Explain the meaning of investment in an economy in terms of capital formation. Discuss the factors to be considered while designing a concession agreement between a public entity and a private entity. (UPSC CSE (M) GS-3 2020)
Practice Question:  What are the key factors contributing to the projected slowdown in national highway construction pace in India, and how can policymakers address the challenges posed by increased competition among mid-level developers, delays in hybrid annuity model (HAM) projects, and regulatory uncertainties? (150 Words /10 marks)

4. Kerala Temple Boards Ban Oleander Flowers in Offerings After Tragic Incident

(Source: Indian Express; Section: Explained; Page: 10)

Topic: GS3 – Environment
Context:
  • In a tragic incident in Kerala, a 24-year-old nurse, Surya Surendran, lost her life after accidentally chewing oleander leaves outside her home in Pallipad, Alappuzha.
  • This incident prompted two Kerala government-controlled temple boards, responsible for managing thousands of temples in the state, to ban the use of oleander flowers in temple offerings.
  • This decision reflects the gravity of the situation and the need for precautionary measures to prevent similar incidents in the future.
Analysis of News:

Understanding Oleander: Medicinal Uses and Toxicity:

  • Oleander, scientifically known as Nerium oleander, is a shrub or small tree commonly found in tropical, subtropical, and temperate regions.
  • It is known for its drought tolerance and ornamental value, with flowers in various colors such as red, pink, and white.
  • In Kerala, it is locally known as arali and kanaveeram and is often grown along highways and beaches for landscaping purposes.

Traditional Uses in Ayurveda:

  • Despite its toxicity, oleander finds mention in Ayurvedic texts for its medicinal properties.
  • The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India (API) describes the use of oleander oil in treating skin diseases.
  • Classical Ayurvedic texts prescribe the use of oleander leaves for conditions like leprosy, skin diseases, infected wounds, and itching.
  • While oleander is recognized for its therapeutic potential in Ayurveda, its toxicity is also well-documented.

Toxicity and Risks Associated with Oleander:

  • Oleander toxicity is primarily attributed to cardiac glycosides present in all parts of the plant, such as oleandrin and digitoxigenin.
  • These compounds exert pharmacological effects on cardiac muscle, leading to stronger and faster heart contractions.
  • However, the narrow therapeutic window of cardiac glycosides increases the risk of overdose and toxicity.
  • Symptoms of oleander poisoning include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, rashes, confusion, dizziness, irregular heartbeats, and, in severe cases, death.

Precautionary Measures and Public Awareness:

  • The tragic death of Surya Surendran underscores the importance of public awareness regarding the toxicity of oleander.
  • While oleander has historical medicinal uses, caution must be exercised due to its potential risks.
  • Temple boards’ decision to ban oleander flowers in offerings reflects a proactive approach to prevent accidental poisonings.
  • Educating the public about the dangers of oleander consumption and promoting safer alternatives can help mitigate future incidents and ensure public safety.
PYQ: [2018] Why is a plant called Prosopis Juliflora often mentioned in the news?

(a) Its extract is widely used in cosmetics

(b) It tends to reduce the biodiversity in the area in which it grow

(c) Its extract is used in the synthesis of pesticides

(d) None of the above

Practice Question:  Explain the recent ban on oleander flowers in temple offerings in Kerala and its significance. Discuss the potential risks associated with oleander consumption and the measures needed to prevent similar incidents. (250 words/15 m)

 

5. Armed Forces Ready for Overhaul: Establishment of Integrated Theatre Commands and Key Appointments Underway

(Source: Indian Express; Section: Cover Page; Page: 01)

Topic: GS2 – Governance – Government policies – Interventions for development in various sectors

GS3 – Internal Security

 

Context:
  • The Armed Forces of India are poised to undergo a significant restructuring with the establishment of integrated theatre commands.
  • This move is aimed at enhancing coordination, efficiency, and jointness among the Army, Navy, and Air Force.
  • As part of this restructuring, the appointment of a Vice Chief of Defence Staff (VCDS) and a Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (DCDS) is being considered.
Analysis of News:

Appointment of Vice Chief of Defence Staff (VCDS):

  • The VCDS, expected to hold the rank of General or equivalent, will likely oversee strategic planning, capability development, and procurement-related matters.
  • This high-ranking officer will play a crucial role in charting the future course of the Armed Forces by aligning their capabilities with national security objectives.

Appointment of Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (DCDS):

  • The DCDS, anticipated to hold the rank of Lieutenant General or equivalent, will be entrusted with responsibilities related to operations, intelligence, and asset allocation between theatres.
  • This key position will facilitate seamless coordination and synergy among the various theatre commands.

Organisational Structure of Theatre Commands:

  • The plan entails the creation of theatre command headquarters across different regions of the country.
  • The western theatre command is likely to be headquartered in Jaipur, the northern theatre command in Lucknow, and the maritime theatre command in Coimbatore.
  • These headquarters will serve as operational hubs for coordinating military activities within their respective theatres.

Transformation of Existing Commands:

  • Existing service commands will undergo transformation into theatre command headquarters.
  • This restructuring aims to streamline command structures and optimize operational effectiveness.
  • Additionally, the Andaman and Nicobar Command may be integrated into the maritime theatre command to enhance maritime security capabilities.

Manpower and Resource Allocation:

  • No additional manpower is expected to be enlisted for the creation of theatre commands.
  • Instead, internal reallocations within the Armed Forces will be undertaken to meet operational requirements.
  • This approach underscores the focus on efficiency and resource optimization in the restructuring process.

Challenges and Timeline:

  • The establishment of integrated theatre commands is a complex and time-consuming process, as acknowledged by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
  • It requires consensus-building and careful deliberation to ensure its success. While smaller steps towards jointness have been taken in the past, the creation of theatre commands represents a significant leap towards enhancing joint capabilities and interoperability among the Armed Forces.

Conclusion:

  • The transition towards integrated theatre commands marks a pivotal moment in India’s defence establishment.
  • By fostering greater coordination and synergy among the Army, Navy, and Air Force, these commands are poised to enhance India’s military preparedness and effectiveness in addressing contemporary security challenges.
  • As the restructuring unfolds, careful planning and execution will be essential to realize the full potential of this transformative initiative.
What is Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)?
Background:

  • Its creation was recommended in 2001 by a Group of Ministers (GoM) that was tasked with studying the Kargil Review Committee (1999) report.
  • After the GoM recommendations, in preparation for the post of CDS, the government created the Integrated Defence Staff in 2002, which was to eventually serve as the CDS’s Secretariat.
  • In 2012, the Naresh Chandra Committee recommended the appointment of a Permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee as a midway to eliminate apprehensions over the CDS.
  • Finally, the post of CDS was created in 2019 on the recommendations of a committee of defence experts headed by Lt General DB Shekatkar.
  • General Bipin Rawat was the first CDS in the country and was appointed on December 31, 2019.

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • His core function will be to foster greater operational synergy between the three service branches of the Indian military and keep inter-service frictions to a minimum.
  • He also heads the newly created Department of Military Affairs (DMA) in the Ministry of Defence.
  • The CDS will be the single-point military adviser to the Defence Minister on matters involving all three services and the service chiefs will be obliged to confine their counsel to issues pertaining to their respective services.
  • As the head of DMA, CDS is vested with the authority in prioritising inter-service procurement decisions as Permanent Chairman-Chiefs of Staff Committee.
  • The CDS is also vested with the authority to provide directives to the three chiefs. However, he does not enjoy any command authority over any of the forces.
  • CDS is first among equals, he enjoys the rank of Secretary within the DoD (Department of Defence) and his powers will be confined to only the revenue budget.
  • He will also perform an advisory role in the Nuclear Command Authority (NCA).

 

Practice Question:  What are integrated theatre commands in the context of the Indian Armed Forces? Discuss the significance of establishing integrated theatre commands and their potential impact on enhancing India’s defence capabilities. (250 words/15 m)

 

6. China Overtakes US as India’s Largest Trading Partner, Trade Dynamics Under Scrutiny

(Source: Indian Express; Section: Economy; Page: 11)

Topic: GS2 – International Relations – Bilateral Relations

GS3 – Indian Economy

 

Context:
  • China has emerged as India’s largest trading partner, overtaking the United States in fiscal year 2024, with bilateral trade reaching $118.4 billion.
  • This shift marks a significant change from the previous two years when the US held the top position.
  • Notably, India’s imports from China crossed $100 billion, indicating the depth of their economic engagement.
Analysis of News:

Trade Statistics Analysis:

  • Between fiscal years 2019 and 2024, India’s exports to China experienced a slight decline, while imports surged significantly by 44.7%.
  • Conversely, trade with the US witnessed a positive trajectory, with exports growing by 47.9% and imports by 14.7%.
  • Consequently, India’s trade surplus with the US expanded considerably during this period.

Concerns Over Dependence on China:

  • India’s trade relations with China have come under scrutiny due to its reliance on critical Chinese products, including telecom equipment, smartphone parts, and advanced technology components.
  • The heavy dependence on Chinese imports in sectors such as telecom, laptops, and electric vehicles (EVs) poses challenges for India’s strategic autonomy and economic resilience.

Mitigation Measures:

  • To reduce dependency on China, India has implemented various measures, including production-linked incentive schemes (PLI), anti-dumping duties, and quality control orders.
  • These initiatives aim to promote domestic manufacturing and diversify the supply chain away from China, especially in key sectors like telecom and EVs.

Rising Trade Deficit:

  • Despite efforts to curb imports from China, the trade deficit has widened, reaching $85.09 billion in fiscal year 2024.
  • This widening gap between exports and imports underscores the persistent challenge of addressing the imbalance in India-China trade relations.

Emerging Trends with Russia and Saudi Arabia:

  • Russia has witnessed a dramatic increase in trade with India, with exports growing by 78.3% and imports soaring by 952% over the past five years.
  • On the other hand, Saudi Arabia has also seen significant growth in exports, albeit at a slower pace compared to Russia.

Conclusion:

  • The shifting trade dynamics between India, China, and the US reflect evolving geopolitical and economic realities.
  • While India seeks to diversify its trade partnerships and reduce dependency on China, the challenges of addressing the trade deficit and promoting domestic manufacturing remain paramount.
  • Effective policy measures and strategic initiatives will be crucial in navigating these complex dynamics and ensuring India’s economic resilience in the global arena.
India – China Trade Relationship
  • Since beginning of the last decade, bilateral trade between the two countries recorded exponential growth.
  • From 2015 to 2022, India-China bilateral trade grew by 90.14%, an average yearly growth of 12.87%.
  • In 2022, the overall trade with China increased by 8.47% year on year to reach $ 136.26 billion, crossing the $ 100 billion mark for a second time in a row.

Trade Deficit:

  • The trade deficit came at $101.28 billion, in China’s favour, as India’s imports from China witnessed an increase by 118.77% to reach $118.77 billion.
  • Meanwhile, India’s exports to China decreased by 37.59% year on year to reach $17.49 billion.

Reasons for India’s Trade Deficit w.r.t. China:

The growth of trade deficit with China could be attributed to two factors:

  • Narrow basket of commodities, mostly primary, that we export to China and
  • Market access impediments for most of our agricultural products and the sectors where we are competitive in, such as pharmaceuticals, IT, etc.
  • Our predominant exports have consisted of iron ore, cotton, copper, aluminium and diamonds/ natural gems.
  • Over time, these raw material-based commodities have been over-shadowed by Chinese exports of machinery, power-related equipment, telecom equipment, organic chemicals, and fertilizers.

Bilateral Investments:

  • According to the Ministry of Commerce of China, Chinese investments to India in the year of 2021 was $63.18 million.
  • On the other hand, Indian investment into China for the year 2021 was $6.32 million.

 

PYQ: Which of the following best describes the term ‘import cover’, sometimes seen in the news? (2016)

(a) It is the ratio of value of imports to the Gross Domestic Product of a country.

(b) It is the total value of imports of a country in a year.

(c) It is the ratio between the value of exports and that of imports between two countries.

(d) It is the number of months of imports that could be paid for by a country’s international reserves.

Ans: (d)

Practice Question:  What factors have contributed to China becoming India’s largest trading partner, surpassing the United States, and what steps has India taken to reduce its dependence on Chinese imports? (250 words/15 m)

 

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