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9th February 2024 (11 Topics)

9th February 2024

QUIZ - 9th February 2024

5 Questions

5 Minutes



The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) opted to maintain the repo rate at 6.5 percent, alongside a continued focus on disinflationary policy.

Monetary Policy Decision:

  • Unchanged Interest Rates: The Monetary Policy Committee opted to maintain the repo rate at 6.5 per cent, aligning with expectations.
  • Focus on Disinflationary Policy: The Committee emphasized the need for continued active disinflationary policy to align inflation with the target of 4 per cent on a durable basis.
  • Divergent Views: While the decision to keep interest rates unchanged was largely supported by the committee, MPC member Jayanth Varma dissented, advocating for a reduction in the repo rate and a shift in policy stance to neutral.

Inflation Outlook and Uncertainties:

  • Current Inflation Trends: Retail inflation in December saw a slight uptick to 5.69 per cent, mainly driven by rising food prices, while core inflation dipped to 3.8 per cent.
  • Future Projections: The RBI anticipates inflation to trend lower to 5 per cent in the fourth quarter and further moderate to 4.5 per cent for the next financial year (2024-25), contingent upon factors such as a normal monsoon.
  • Uncertain Outlook: Geopolitical tensions, adverse weather events, and potential supply chain disruptions pose uncertainties that could influence inflation trajectory, warranting vigilance from policymakers.

Economic Growth Expectations and Policy Implications:

  • Optimistic Growth Outlook: Despite inflation concerns, the RBI Governor remains optimistic about economic momentum, foreseeing industrial activity gaining steam, resilient services sector, and robust rural and urban consumption.
  • Forecasted Growth Rate: The central bank expects the Indian economy to grow at 7 per cent in the fiscal year 2024-25, propelled by sustained government spending and investment activity.
  • Policy Divergence: While the majority of the MPC supports the current policy stance, dissenting views highlight the potential for policy adjustments in response to evolving inflation dynamics and economic conditions.
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Uttarakhand Assembly adopted a Uniform Civil Code (UCC), aiming to standardize laws related to marriage, divorce, and succession across all communities. The given brief critiques certain provisions of the UCC, particularly concerning live-in relationships, registration, and associated penalties, highlighting concerns about individual rights and privacy.

Problematic Provisions:

  • Intrusive Registration Requirement: The UCC introduces controversial elements like formalizing live-in relationships through mandatory registration, leading to intrusive inquiries and unnecessary deprivation of liberty.
  • Violation of Individual Rights: While it offers benefits like legitimizing children from such relationships and ensuring maintenance, the imposition of registration and verification infringes upon individual rights and personal autonomy.
  • Social Hostility and Legal Enforcement: This unwanted incursion into citizens’ personal lives, coupled with the threat of a three-month prison term for non-registration, violates fundamental rights and fosters social hostility.

Historical Perspectives:

  • Debates during Constitution Making: The debate around UCC dates back to the Constitution-making process, with varied opinions on its potential impact on minority rights and women's equality.
  • Varied Recommendations of Law Commissions: While B.R. Ambedkar advocated for voluntary adoption initially, past Law Commissions have differed in their recommendations, with the current commission revisiting the concept and seeking public input.
  • Revival of UCC Discussion: These historical debates underscore the complexity of implementing a UCC, balancing the need for legal uniformity with the preservation of diverse cultural and social practices.

Progressive Aspects and Polarizing Discourse:

  • Inclusion of Progressive Measures: Despite criticisms, the UCC incorporates progressive measures such as eliminating regressive practices like iddat, talaq, and nikah halala.
  • Heightened Political Debate: However, it also triggers polarizing debates, particularly in the lead-up to elections, highlighting the need to prioritize justice and individual rights over mere uniformity.
  • Emphasis on Justice and Equality: The concept of justice should not be lost in the search for uniformity, which should be no more than an incidental consequence of equality, emphasizing the importance of a balanced approach to UCC implementation.
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The announcement in the interim Budget of a “high-powered committee to extensively consider the challenges arising from rapid population growth and demographic changes” is ground-breaking”.

Challenges and Strategies for Population Management:

  • Multifaceted Mandate: Given its multifaceted mandate-to make “recommendations on how to address these challenges in line with the goal of ‘Viksit Bharat’”, there will be a formulation of policies and strategies to manage population growth.
  • Interdisciplinary Approach: This will include addressing issues such as family planning, maternal and child health, education, employment, and socio-economic development. To do so, this population committee must adopt an interdisciplinary approach.
  • Effective research: Through rigorous research, data analysis, and a monitoring of demographic trends, the committee should identify emerging issues and evaluate the effectiveness of existing interventions. The population committee should also facilitate international collaboration and the exchange of best practices in population management.

Past, Present, and Future Demographic Trends:

  • Shift: India's demographic landscape has undergone significant shifts, with declining fertility rates and an increasing working-age population.
  • Decreasing dependency ratio: Projections indicate India's population reaching 1.46 billion by 2030, with a demographic dividend characterized by a decreasing dependency ratio.
  • Impact on future landscape: Opportunities and challenges presented by demographic changes will significantly impact India's future economic and demographic landscape.

Health, Education, Employment Challenges and Evidence-based Decision Making:

  • Key-challenge: Ensuring access to quality health care and education remains a key challenge in India's demographic landscape.
  • Investment: Investments in health infrastructure, primary health care, nutrition programs, and education are crucial to address demographic challenges.
  • Evidence-based policymaking: Enhancing data collection methodologies, technology adoption, and collaboration with stakeholders are essential for evidence-based policymaking.

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