The Hindu Editorial Analysis- 20 February 2024

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The Hindu Editorial Analysis- 20 February 2024

1. Export data for January suggests that the problems with global shipping have not yet reached home.

Topic: GS3 – Indian Economy – Effects of liberalization on the economy 
The news, which explores India’s goods exports, trade deficit, and economic challenges and offers insights into economic dynamics, is critical to UPSC.

– India’s goods trade deficit significantly decreased in January despite a 3.1% increase in goods exports.
– Disruptions in the Red Sea have little effect, but trade uncertainties continue worldwide.

Indian Goods Exports Overview:

  • India’s goods exports saw a modest 3.1% growth in January of 2023–24, which is the fourth month of growth.
  • At about $354 billion, the total value of merchandise exports for the year is 4.9% less than last year.
  • With $36.9 billion in exports, January’s total is 4% less than December’s but still higher than the yearly monthly average.

Red Sea Disruptions and Impact:

  • Global trade corridors have been disrupted by the Houthi rebels in the Red Sea, but January’s trade figures indicate that the impact is not particularly concerning.
  • The growth of engineering goods exports stalled, while the value of gems and jewellery fell slightly by 1.3%.
  • It is noteworthy that the disruptions in the Red Sea have not had a more pronounced effect.

Goods Trade Deficit and Imports:

  • The goods trade deficit decreased from a record high of almost $30 billion three months earlier to a nine-month low of $17.5 billion in January.
  • The weakening of investment and consumption impulses is indicated by the slack in imports of electronics and project goods, which is the cause of import bill compression.

Outlook and Challenges:

  • The Indian government hopes to surpass the $776 billion record export performance in 2022–2023 despite global challenges; however, it will be challenging to surpass the $451 billion goods total from the previous year.
  • If they continue to grow at the predicted 6.3% rate, services exports could bring the total value of exports to almost $760 billion.

Uncertainties and Risks:

  • With Germany and the United States sending conflicting or weak demand signals, the outlook for the upcoming year is unclear.
  • The Houthi disruptions may continue to cause shipping challenges despite Operation Prosperity Guardian, influencing demand and competitiveness by affecting delivery times, driving up shipping rates, and increasing operating costs.

Importance of Export Earnings for Indian Economy:
●     Economic Growth:
○ Export revenue makes up a sizable portion of India’s GDP, supporting stability and economic expansion.
○ The foreign exchange obtained from exports contributes to the reduction of trade deficits.

●     Employment Opportunities:
○ A significant portion of the population is employed by export-oriented industries, which sustain their way of life.
○ Manufacturing and other labor-intensive industries, such as textiles, profit from export demand.

●     Foreign Exchange Reserves:
○ India’s foreign exchange reserves are strengthened by export revenue, which promotes currency stability.
○ Reserves are essential for handling shocks from the outside world and fulfilling commitments made internationally.

●     Technology and Skill Enhancement:
○ Advanced technologies are frequently adopted by export-oriented industries, which fosters innovation and skill development.
○ Indian goods and services become more competitive when they are exposed to international markets.

●     Diversification of Markets:
○ Reduction of reliance on home markets alone offers protection against recessions.
○ Gaining access to a variety of global markets reduces the risks brought on by changes in the local economy.

●    Attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI):
○ Strong export results draw in foreign capital, promoting the growth of the economy as a whole.
○ FDI inflows frequently coincide with industries that make a sizable contribution to export revenue.

●    Global Competitiveness:
○ Engaging in global commerce increases industry competitiveness and pushes for efficiency and quality improvements.
○ It promotes economic resilience by making integration into global value chains easier.

PYQ: Explain the manufacturing sector’s inability to meet its objective of exporting labor-intensive goods rather than capital goods. Make recommendations for exporting goods that are more labor-intensive than capital-intensive. (150 words, 10 seconds) (CSE (M) GS-3, UPSSC 2017)
Practice Question: Analyse how export revenue has shaped India’s economy, paying particular attention to employment, foreign exchange reserves, and international competitiveness. (10 m / 150 words)

2. KFD peaks in Karnataka; vaccination efforts have stagnated

Topic: GS2 – Social Justice – Health
The Kyasanur Forest Disease problems are important for raising public health awareness because they draw attention to obstacles in vaccine manufacturing and the necessity of intervention.

– The article emphasises the difficulties in developing a vaccine for Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD) as a result of private apathy, with Karnataka registering new cases and requesting the ICMR’s support in this regard.

Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD): Overview

  • The health minister of Karnataka points to the low number of cases as the reason why private companies are reluctant to produce the KFD vaccine.
  • Following the statement, the districts of Shivamogga, Uttara Kannada, and Chikkamagaluru have reported two deaths and 103 infections.

Historical Background:

  • KFD began in the Kyasanur Forest in 1956 and was first limited to Shivamogga before expanding to other districts and nearby states.
  • Monkeys are afflicted with “monkey fever,” and their demises predict outbreaks. transferred by tick bites.

Spread and Impact:

  • Since 1972, cases have been reported in a number of Karnataka districts; they reached Chamarajanagara in 2012 and Gadag in 2017.
  • Found in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Goa, and Maharashtra; since 1956, more than 560 people have died there.

Vaccination Efforts:

  • 1.79 lakh people were vaccinated last year with a vaccine created in partnership with the National Institute of Virology and administered until 2019–20.
  • Current research indicates that vaccines are ineffective; there is no specific treatment or vaccine available, only symptomatic care.

Vulnerability and Preventive Measures:

  • Forest workers, wildlife workers, and hikers are the most vulnerable groups, and cases peak between December and June.
  • Residents were given tick-repellent oil and advised to see a doctor if they experienced any symptoms. hospital care that is required for KFD patients.

Government Initiatives:

  • The Karnataka government consults with Indian Immunologicals Limited and requests support from the ICMR for vaccine manufacturing.
  • It’s unclear when the vaccine will be available, and this season is unlikely.
  • There are continuing efforts to address Karnataka’s KFD surge situation.

Challenges and Outlook:

  • The limitations of using market-driven approaches to address public health are highlighted by private disinterest.
  • As the number of cases increases, the critical need for effective vaccination is highlighted, highlighting the importance of public health interventions.

Vulnerability and Preventive Measures:

  • The problem of Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD) highlights the crucial nexus between private interests and public health.
  • Obstacles in the development of vaccines highlight the need for strong public health programmes and highlight the significance of taking preventative action to safeguard vulnerable populations and combat new diseases.

tackling public health using methods dictated by the market
Advantages of Market-Driven Approaches:

Efficiency: In the healthcare industry, market-driven strategies foster efficiency by promoting competition, innovation, and resource optimisation.
Private Sector Engagement: Involving the private sector can improve service delivery through increasing investments, knowledge, and management effectiveness.
Innovation and Technology: Innovative ideas and the uptake of cutting-edge technologies are frequently stimulated by market-oriented solutions, which enhance patient outcomes.
Financial Sustainability: Revenue-generating market-driven models ensure financial sustainability and lessen reliance on public funding.
Consumer Choice: The introduction of market components increases consumer choice and gives people the ability to make knowledgeable healthcare decisions.


Equity Concerns: Market-driven strategies might make healthcare disparities worse by favouring those with greater financial resources through unequal access and quality.
Regulatory Oversight: It can be difficult to maintain standards, prevent exploitation, and safeguard the public’s health with the right regulations and oversight in place.
– Affordability: Certain populations may find it more expensive to receive healthcare services as a result of market-driven models in some situations.
Fragmentation: A healthcare infrastructure that is dispersed due to a market-oriented system may impede coordination and thorough public health planning.
Access Issues: Market-driven strategies may give more weight to lucrative services than necessary public health services, which could result in coverage gaps.

PYQ: What fundamental idea guides the creation of vaccines? How do immunisations function? Which methods did the Indian vaccine producers use to create the COVID-19 vaccines? (15 minutes, 250 words) (UPSC GS-3 2022 CSE (M))
Practice Question: Talk about the benefits and drawbacks of using market-driven strategies to public health issues. (10 m / 150 words)

3. The service industry is being led by engineering graduates.

Topic: GS2 – Social Justice – Education 
Crucial to UPSC because it tackles the changing labour market, the skills gap, and offers solutions for the services-driven economy of India.

– The paper makes the case for the necessity of a general “service engineering” course while discussing the changing role of engineering graduates in India’s expanding services sector.
– It calls for curriculum adaptation, highlights the transferability of engineering skills, and envisions India as a leader in service innovation.

Growth of Services Sector:

  • With a 53% share, the services sector makes a substantial contribution to India’s Gross Value Added (GVA).
  • The distribution of employment favours the services sector, which created 31% of jobs compared to 25% in industries.

Engineering Graduates in Services:

  • Despite low employability rates of 57%, a growing number of engineering graduates are entering the services industry.
  • Because there aren’t enough opportunities in their primary industry, more than 80% of engineering graduates wind up in non-technical roles.

Transferability of Engineering Skills:

  • Because of their flexibility, problem-solving approach, critical thinking, and organised thinking, engineers are highly valued in non-technical roles.
  • Employers understand how engineering skills can be applied to a variety of dynamic, service-oriented roles.

Need for Generic Services-oriented Courses:

  • There is a disconnect between the skills that employers are looking for and the courses that are currently offered in terms of general services orientation.
  • A new course called “service engineering” is proposed, with the goal of providing students with industry-specific knowledge, soft skills, and technical proficiency.

Curriculum Design for Service Engineering:

  • a comprehensive fusion of industry-specific knowledge, soft skills, and technical expertise.
  • utilising cutting-edge technologies to improve employability, particularly in developing industries, such as AI and IoT.

Transformative Potential:

  • The introduction of “service engineering” has the potential to revolutionise economic growth, service delivery, and employability.
  • graduates with the know-how to work in a variety of industries in white-collar service positions.

Inclusivity and Accessibility:

  • Students from tier 2 and tier 3 cities may be drawn to digital service engineering courses due to their accessibility and affordability.
  • Possibility of encouraging more women to enter the workforce because services provide greater flexibility.

Cost-Effective Digital Learning:

  • By utilising digital platforms, service engineering courses lower infrastructure costs and remove geographical constraints.
  • Democratisation of education promotes diversity and helps professionals with different backgrounds reach their full potential.

India’s Global Leadership in Service Innovation:

  • India can become a global leader in service innovation by investing in the development of a skilled labour force for the services industry.
  • propels prosperity and competitiveness in the future services-based economy.

Practice Question: How can India’s inclusive economic growth be promoted and the skills gap filled by the introduction of a “service engineering” course? (10 m / 150 words)

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