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13 May 2024 : The Hindu Editorial Notes PDF Copy

1. A well-intentioned study and a demographic myth

Topic: GS1 – Indian Society – Population and associated issues.
Context
●  The article discusses the findings of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PM-EAC) report on the status of religious minorities in India, particularly focusing on Muslim population growth.

●  It highlights controversies surrounding the report’s data and its implications for Hindu-Muslim dynamics, advocating for nuanced policy responses to address demographic concerns.

 Introduction:

  • The Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PM-EAC) report concludes that religious minorities in India, including Muslims, are safe and face no discrimination or persecution.
  • However, the report’s timing, use of outdated data, and selective presentation have sparked controversy and revived debates about minority populations in India.
 The Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PM-EAC):
The Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) is a non-constitutional, non-permanent, and independent body providing economic advice to the Indian government, particularly the Prime Minister.

● Established to offer a neutral viewpoint on economic issues, it highlights key economic challenges facing India.

● The council’s history spans several formations since India’s independence.

Revived by Prime Minister Modi in 2017, it is currently chaired by Bibek Debroy.

● Previous chairmen include Chakravarthi Rangarajan and Suresh Tendulkar.

PMEAC analyses economic issues referred by the Prime Minister, addresses macroeconomic concerns, and submits periodic reports.

● It consists of a chairman and eminent economists as members.

● Administrative support is provided by NITI Aayog.

● Reports by PMEAC influence policy formulation and economic outlook perception, making it a crucial advisory body in India’s economic governance.

Controversial Aspects of the Report:

  • The report fails to acknowledge the significant increase in the share of Buddhists in the population.
  • It highlights Hindu-Muslim population dynamics, suggesting concerns about Hindu majority status.
  • The report’s emphasis on Muslim population growth is seen as fueling the Hindutva narrative of Hindus being in danger of becoming a minority.

Historical Context and Rhetoric:

  • Historical references are made in the report to past fears of Hindu population decline, echoing current concerns.
  • The report’s implications are linked to the concept of ‘population jihad’, stirring fears of India becoming an Islamic state.
  • The Finance Minister’s statement on Indian Muslims’ population growth is contextualised within broader political narratives.

Population Data Analysis:

  • Population growth is not the sole indicator of a group’s status; factors like education and economic conditions are crucial.
  • Census data shows a decline in both Hindu and Muslim population growth rates over the years.
  • Muslim fertility rates have declined significantly, nearing replacement levels, indicating stabilisation.

Refuting Population Alarmism:

  • Claims of alarming Muslim population growth, especially in Assam, lack empirical evidence.
  • Legislative attempts to regulate population have been met with opposition, emphasizing voluntary methods over coercion.
  • International norms and human rights considerations discourage coercive population control measures.

Policy Recommendations:

  • Rather than coercive measures, focus should be on socio-cultural factors like education, maternal health, and empowerment.
  • Educational and economic empowerment of Muslim girls is proposed as a more effective means to address population concerns.
  • Criticism of such policies as appeasement should not hinder efforts towards equitable development.

Conclusion:

  • Addressing religious minority concerns requires nuanced policy approaches focusing on empowerment rather than coercion.
  • Education and economic empowerment, particularly of Muslim girls, are important key strategies for addressing population concerns and fostering social inclusion.
 Muslim population data as per Census reports:
The Muslim population in India has shown consistent growth from 1951 to 2011, increasing from 35 million to 172 million.

● In terms of percentage, Muslims constituted 9.8% of the total population in 1951, which rose to 14.23% in 2011.

● This growth rate outpaced the increase in the total population, with Muslims experiencing a 391.43% increase from 1951 to 2011.

● While the Hindu population remained the majority, its share of the total population declined over the years.

Muslims were concentrated in states like undivided Jammu & Kashmir, Lakshadweep, West Bengal, Bihar, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, and others.

● Efforts to address educational disparities among Muslims have been made through initiatives like UDISE+, but more data on enrolment ratios based on age demographics are needed.

●  State-wise distribution in 2011 showed significant Muslim populations in Assam, Bihar, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal, highlighting their importance in educational planning.

PYQ: “Demographic Dividend in India will remain only theoretical unless our manpower becomes more educated, aware, skilled and creative.” What measures have been taken by the government to enhance the capacity of our population to be more productive and employable? (200 words/12.5m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-2 2016)
Practice Question:  Discuss the findings and controversies surrounding the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PM-EAC) report on the status of religious minorities in India, with a specific focus on Muslim population growth. (150 Words /10 marks)

2. Investment lessons from the India-EFTA trade deal

Topic: GS1 – Indian Society – Population and associated issues.
Context
The article discusses the findings of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PM-EAC) report on the status of religious minorities in India, particularly focusing on Muslim population growth.

It highlights controversies surrounding the report’s data and its implications for Hindu-Muslim dynamics, advocating for nuanced policy responses to address demographic concerns.

 Introduction:

  • The Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PM-EAC) report concludes that religious minorities in India, including Muslims, are safe and face no discrimination or persecution.
  • However, the report’s timing, use of outdated data, and selective presentation have sparked controversy and revived debates about minority populations in India.
 The Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PM-EAC):
The Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) is a non-constitutional, non-permanent, and independent body providing economic advice to the Indian government, particularly the Prime Minister.

● Established to offer a neutral viewpoint on economic issues, it highlights key economic challenges facing India.

● The council’s history spans several formations since India’s independence.

Revived by Prime Minister Modi in 2017, it is currently chaired by Bibek Debroy.

● Previous chairmen include Chakravarthi Rangarajan and Suresh Tendulkar.

PMEAC analyses economic issues referred by the Prime Minister, addresses macroeconomic concerns, and submits periodic reports.

● It consists of a chairman and eminent economists as members.

● Administrative support is provided by NITI Aayog.

● Reports by PMEAC influence policy formulation and economic outlook perception, making it a crucial advisory body in India’s economic governance.

Controversial Aspects of the Report:

  • The report fails to acknowledge the significant increase in the share of Buddhists in the population.
  • It highlights Hindu-Muslim population dynamics, suggesting concerns about Hindu majority status.
  • The report’s emphasis on Muslim population growth is seen as fueling the Hindutva narrative of Hindus being in danger of becoming a minority.

Historical Context and Rhetoric:

  • Historical references are made in the report to past fears of Hindu population decline, echoing current concerns.
  • The report’s implications are linked to the concept of ‘population jihad’, stirring fears of India becoming an Islamic state.
  • The Finance Minister’s statement on Indian Muslims’ population growth is contextualised within broader political narratives.

Population Data Analysis:

  • Population growth is not the sole indicator of a group’s status; factors like education and economic conditions are crucial.
  • Census data shows a decline in both Hindu and Muslim population growth rates over the years.
  • Muslim fertility rates have declined significantly, nearing replacement levels, indicating stabilisation.

Refuting Population Alarmism:

  • Claims of alarming Muslim population growth, especially in Assam, lack empirical evidence.
  • Legislative attempts to regulate population have been met with opposition, emphasizing voluntary methods over coercion.
  • International norms and human rights considerations discourage coercive population control measures.

Policy Recommendations:

  • Rather than coercive measures, focus should be on socio-cultural factors like education, maternal health, and empowerment.
  • Educational and economic empowerment of Muslim girls is proposed as a more effective means to address population concerns.
  • Criticism of such policies as appeasement should not hinder efforts towards equitable development.

Conclusion:

  • Addressing religious minority concerns requires nuanced policy approaches focusing on empowerment rather than coercion.
  • Education and economic empowerment, particularly of Muslim girls, are important key strategies for addressing population concerns and fostering social inclusion.
 Muslim population data as per Census reports:
The Muslim population in India has shown consistent growth from 1951 to 2011, increasing from 35 million to 172 million.

● In terms of percentage, Muslims constituted 9.8% of the total population in 1951, which rose to 14.23% in 2011.

● This growth rate outpaced the increase in the total population, with Muslims experiencing a 391.43% increase from 1951 to 2011.

● While the Hindu population remained the majority, its share of the total population declined over the years.

Muslims were concentrated in states like undivided Jammu & Kashmir, Lakshadweep, West Bengal, Bihar, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, and others.

● Efforts to address educational disparities among Muslims have been made through initiatives like UDISE+, but more data on enrolment ratios based on age demographics are needed.

State-wise distribution in 2011 showed significant Muslim populations in Assam, Bihar, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal, highlighting their importance in educational planning.

PYQ: “Demographic Dividend in India will remain only theoretical unless our manpower becomes more educated, aware, skilled and creative.” What measures have been taken by the government to enhance the capacity of our population to be more productive and employable? (200 words/12.5m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-2 2016)
Practice Question:  Discuss the findings and controversies surrounding the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PM-EAC) report on the status of religious minorities in India, with a specific focus on Muslim population growth. (150 Words /10 marks)

 

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