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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

The 76th Independence Day – “One Nation, One Emotion, One Identity”

The annual budget has reached up to Rs. 39.45 lakh crore as against the country’s first budget of Rs 197.39 crore in 1947. The RBI has projected real GDP growth for the financial year 2022-23 at 7.2%. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has predicted the same figure. However, the World Bank has projected economic growth at 7.5%, as rising inflation, supply chain disruptions, and geopolitical tensions taper recovery. 

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By Raju Vernekar

With a host of functions organized in India and abroad, the 76th Independence Day being celebrated with the theme “One Nation, One Emotion, One Identity”, is expected to be a mega affair integrating people.

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“Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” (75 years of Indian Independence), is expected to make the spirit of freedom alive. The campaigns including “Har Ghar Tiranga”, a selfie with the tricolour, and MyGov Quiz for school and college students have already set the ball rolling.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unfurl the national flag and will address the nation from the Ramparts of the Red Fort. The entire nation is expected to rejoice. However, Independence Day will be celebrated in a subdued manner in Bihar due to a surge in Covid-19 surge.

Future prospects

The stock of various issues related to the nation should be taken on the occasion of this national festival to assess our progress. As per the RBI, overall economic activity in India remains strong, with upbeat consumer and business confidence and upticks in several incoming high-frequency indicators. The pick-up in manufacturing and services and strong buffers in the form of adequate international reserves, and a well-capitalized financial system strengthen the conditions for a sustainable high growth trajectory in the medium-term.

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Economy

The annual budget has reached up to Rs. 39.45 lakh crore as against the country’s first budget of Rs 197.39 crore in 1947. The RBI has projected real GDP growth for the financial year 2022-23 at 7.2%. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has predicted the same figure. However, the World Bank has projected economic growth at 7.5%, as rising inflation, supply chain disruptions, and geopolitical tensions taper recovery.

Rupee

The value of Indian rupees was 24.77 against US dollar in 1947. It recently scaled up to Rs 78.60 against the US dollar even as high crude oil prices amid tighter global supplies boosted demands for the American currency. But a devalued currency is expected to aid the domestic producers in boosting their exports, thereby leading to a trade surplus say, experts.

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FDI

According to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), the total Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow into India from January to March 2022 stood at US$ 22.03 billion, while the FDI equity inflow for the same period was US$ 15.59 billion.

The major FDI inflow came from Singapore at US$ 15.87 billion, followed by the US (US$ 10.54 billion), Mauritius (US$ 9.39 billion), and the Netherlands (US$ 4.62 billion).

Karnataka received US$ 22.07 billion, followed by Maharashtra (US$ 15.43 billion), Delhi (US$ 8.18 billion), Gujarat (US$ 2.70 billion), and Haryana (US$ 2.79 billion). Over all India’s FDI inflows increased 20 times from 2000-01 to 2021-22.

Employment

According to the data released by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) India’s job situation showed improvement in July 2022 after a major fall in the employment rate in June. In mid-July, the overall unemployment rate declined to 7.29%, although unemployment rate in urban India remained at 7.66%. In rural areas the unemployment rate recovered up to 7.12%.  The unemployment in West Bengal was 5.2 per cent, with Haryana at the top at 30.6 per cent, the CMIE stated.

Foodgrains

The Govt has projected 328 MT foodgrain output for 2022-23. It comprises the Kharif foodgrain production of 163.15 MT and the rabi foodgrain production of 164.85 MT.

In the current crop season, the Union Agriculture Ministry has predicted a bumper production of 307.33 MT of food grains. The targets for rice, wheat, coarse cereals, pulses, and oilseeds, are 121.10 MT, 110 MT, 51.21 MT, 25 MT, and 38.4 MT respectively.

Population

The present population is around 138 crores (71 crore male, 67 crore female), equivalent to 17.7% of the world population. It was 53 crore at the time of Independence. The India’s population comprise-male-51.96%, female-48.04%. The urban population is 35%, while the rural population is 65 %. The Uttar Pradesh with 20 crores tops the list followed by Maharashtra (12 crores) and Bihar (10 crores). Sikkim is the smallest state with a 6 crore population. As per World Population Prospect -2022, India is projected to surpass China as the world’s most populous country next year. The global population is projected to reach eight billion.

Literacy

According to the National Survey of India, the overall literacy rate is 77.7 percent, meaning nearly one in four Indians remains unable to read or write (compared to about one in eight people worldwide). As per UNESCO, India will achieve total literacy in 2060.

Literacy in urban and rural areas is 87.7% and 73.5% respectively. The male and female literacy is 84.7% and 70.3% respectively. Kerala with a 96.2% literacy rate remains at the top, followed by Mizoram with 91.33%. The states with the lowest literacy rate include Bihar – 61.80%, Arunachal Pradesh – 65.38%, Rajasthan – 66.11%, Jharkhand – 66.41%, and Andhra Pradesh – 67.02%.

Defence

With current Rs 5,25,166 crore Defence budget and efforts towards self-reliance, India is well-equipped with defence equipment. The indigenously made aircraft career Vikrant will be commissioned into the Indian Navy soon. The DRDO has been making strides in military research. Similarly with the recent successful launch of PSLV-C53, the second dedicated commercial mission of NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), the ISRO has proved its mettle in the field of Space research.

Rewind

How the situation changed in the last 75 years:

  • 1947– No of Banks – (major banks around 06), 2022 -(12 public sector banks and 21 private banks).
  • 1947 – No of telephones – (84000), 2022 – (116 crore including cell phones and landlines)
  • 1947 – Tele Communication-(post, telegram, and money orders), 2022 – (e-mail, Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp, Telebanking and G pay)
  • 1947 – Audio Visual Communication – (06 radio stations), 2022 –(850 TV channels, 10 OTT platforms)
  • 1947 – Feature Film Production (178 annually), 2022 – (1800).
  • 1947 – Newspapers-(30), 2022 – (1.17 periodicals including 17573 daily newspapers).
  • 1947 – No of Political parties-(around 06), 2022 -(2858 parties including 8 national, 54 regional, and 2796 unrecognized parties)
  • 1947 – No of States-(12 states and 6 Union Territories), 2022 – (28 states and 8 Union Territories) and
  • 1947 – Strength of armed forces- lakh), 2022 – (14 lakh).

India is expected to become one of the most powerful countries and emerge as a “World Guru”, in the time to come. Let us hope that we become a superpower soon.

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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttps://www.thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
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