The Hindu Editorial Analysis- 29 February 2024

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The Hindu Editorial Analysis- 29 February 2024

1. A glimpse into the Janus-faced economy

Topic: GS3 – Indian Economy
UPSC Significance: Examines claims, welfare programmes, and financial market issues in order to provide a comprehensive picture of the Indian economy’s dualism.

– The article presents a critical analysis of the paradoxical situation of the Indian economy, highlighting persistent dualism along with contradictory growth indicators.
– It highlights the intricate economic environment by exploring government claims, high-frequency indicators, welfare programmes, and financial market worries.


  • The inconsistencies in the Indian economy make it difficult to evaluate its performance.
  • Claims of growth from the government coexist with signs of distress, exposing a dichotomy and posing questions about sustainable development.

Contradictory Indian Economy:

  • Mixed Performance: There is no obvious success or failure in the Indian economy, which makes it difficult for the opposition and government to assess.

Government’s Claims and Highlights:

  • GDP Size and Growth: The government highlights that India is expected to have the third-largest GDP, with growth rates that are higher than those of emerging economies.
  • Poverty Reduction: The most recent reduction in poverty is attributed to inclusive policies, although independent analysis of this claim has been met with scepticism.
  • Stock Market Boom: Supports the “premiumization” narrative by citing rising stock market indices as proof of wealth creation and entrepreneurship.

High-Frequency Indicators and Dual Economy:

  • Premiumization Narrative: A population that is perceived as upwardly mobile is created by indicators such as sales of passenger cars, air traffic, demat accounts, and luxury goods.
  • Existence of a Dual Economy: Despite growth indicators, there is clearly a dual economy, requiring significant welfare initiatives.

Welfare Initiatives and Economic Dualism:

  • Free Food Grain Distribution: The government provides a sizable section of the population with free food grain distribution for a period of five years.
  • Demand for MGNREGS: eligible rural jobs is high even in the face of economic growth, which suggests latent unemployment and dualism.

Rural Incomes and Indebtedness:

  • Real Wage Growth Declines: The yearly growth rate of real wages in rural areas declines, which helps to maintain dualism.
  • Household Debt: Debt levels are higher in rural households, indicating economic difficulties and a sluggish rate of increase in rural incomes.

Concerns about Financial Markets:

  • Explosive Options Trading: There are worries about investor losses as speculative options trading has increased significantly in tandem with the rise in demat accounts.
  • Fears of Speculative Trading: Concerns regarding long-term wealth building strategies arise from retail investors’ short-term focus and options trading losses.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and Future Challenges:

  • $5-Trillion Economy Projection: India hopes to become the third-largest economy by 2029 by surpassing the $5-trillion mark, but claims of economic growth may be hampered by difficulties in meeting SDG targets.
  • SDG Targets by 2030: India’s development will be crucial in determining whether claims of economic growth are genuine as the world gets closer to the SDG deadlines.


  • The paradoxical state of India’s economy calls for a convergence towards resolving dualism and accomplishing sustainable development objectives by 2030. This is known as the Janus-Face of the Economy.
  • In order to achieve sustainable and inclusive development, comprehensive policies addressing contradictory growth indicators, welfare gaps, and financial market challenges are essential, as highlighted by the detailed analysis of India’s dualistic economy.

Practice Question: Examine the dualistic character of the Indian economy, taking into account financial market concerns, welfare initiatives, and contradicting indicators. Talk about the implications for policy. (10 m / 150 words)

2. The financial justification for aiding the youth of India

Topic: GS2 – Social Justice – Vulnerable sections, Education
UPSC Relevance: Assesses early childhood education’s historical undervaluation and highlights its vital role in the overall development of the country.

– The article addresses the historical underfunding of early childhood education in India, emphasising shifting public attitudes, policy measures, and financial commitments.
– It also emphasises how critical it is to conduct research to comprehend the macroeconomic effects of high-quality early childhood care and education and to make investments in this area.


  • Early childhood education (ECE) has historically been marginalised, despite India’s emphasis on population growth.
  • A renewed understanding of ECE’s critical role in national development is indicated by government initiatives and changing public perceptions.

Neglected Early Childhood Education (ECE):

  • Underexplored Domain: Historically, ECE has been disregarded, maybe as a result of its trivialization and connection to conventional roles for women.

Changing Perception and Government Initiatives:

  • Change in Focus: The government’s most recent survey on working women reflects a shift in attitudes, recognising the importance of ECE and caregiving for the growth of the country.
  • India’s historical educational focus: has been on primary education, with a 100% gross enrolment ratio. However, the country faces challenges with learning outcomes and fundamental skills.

Increasing Focus on Early Childhood:

  • Change in Lifecycle Focus: New programmes such as Poshan Bhi Padhai Bhi and NIPUN Bharat suggest a move away from focusing on problems in childhood, especially for kids under six.
  • Budgetary Allocations: In keeping with its commitment to ECCE, the interim Budget 2024 calls for a quicker upgrade of Saksham Anganwadis and Ayushman Bharat services.
  • Overview of the Budget: The budgetary allocation for centrally sponsored programmes, such as Early Childhood Education (ECCE), has tripled, but it is still less than that of education and health missions.

Research and Evidence for Investment:

  • Micro to Macro Connection: To highlight the possible advantages of robust ECCE, research is needed to link micro-level achievements—like enhanced motor and cognitive skills—with macroeconomic ramifications.
  • Longitudinal Studies: To ascertain the opportunity cost of inadequate funding for the early childhood sector, India needs to conduct methodical and rigorous research akin to that of international studies.
  • Global Examples: American studies point to a 13% yearly return on investment for early childhood education, highlighting the necessity of longitudinal studies focused on India.

Investment in Early Childhood for Future Development:

  • The long-term vision: highlights the impact and projects that children born in 2024 will reach adulthood in 2047, the year of India’s 100th anniversary of independence.
  • Human Development Investment: Stressing the importance of investing in ECE, the author draws comparisons with developed countries and argues that India’s progress depends on it.
  • Holistic Development: Promotes the idea that child development, economic progress, and women’s empowerment are all interrelated and that early childhood education is essential to India’s future.


  • Early childhood education spending is shown to be crucial for India’s future because it promotes holistic development and bridges societal divides.
  • The change in emphasis highlights how crucial it is to achieving sustained social and economic advancement.

Early Childhood Education (ECE) in India

– Lack of Quality: Poor infrastructure, inexperienced teachers, and an emphasis on memorization at the expense of holistic development plague many early childhood education centres.
– Unequal Access: Many children, especially those from marginalised communities, still cannot access early childhood education (ECE).
– Broken System: The quality and standards of early childhood education in India are uneven because the programme is dispersed among several providers (private pre-schools, anganwadis).
– Low Investment: Efforts to improve quality are hampered by the government’s limited funding for ECE.

Way Forward

– Integrated Approach: Create a national framework for ECE policies that integrates different providers and puts an emphasis on quality standards.
– Teacher Training: To improve the abilities of ECE educators, make investments in extensive teacher training programmes.
– Put Play-Based Learning First: Use play-based, child-centered curricula that support the development of creativity, cognitive abilities, and social and emotional skills.
– Boost Public Investment: Provide more funds to raise teacher pay, upgrade ECE facilities, and broaden outreach to underserved communities.
– Community Involvement: To foster an environment that is conducive to early learning, promote parental and community involvement in ECE programmes.

PYQ: Without raising awareness of the value of education, the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, is still insufficient in promoting an incentive-based system for kids’ education. (UPSC CSE (M) GS-2 2022) Analyse (15 m/250 words)
Practice Question: Examine how early childhood education has historically been neglected in India and talk about its growing importance for comprehensive national development. (10 m / 150 words)

3. India’s battle against uncommon illnesses

Topic: GS2 – Social Justice – Health
UPSC Relevance: Highlights the need for funding increases and policy changes as it examines the important but underappreciated problem of rare diseases in India.

– The neglected crisis of rare diseases in India is discussed in the article, with emphasis on the difficulties in diagnosis, treatment, and budget allocation as well as ineffective fund utilisation.

Rare Diseases in India: Neglected Crisis

  • High Incidence: With over 450 recognised rare diseases that impact 8–10 crore Indians, mostly children, India carries one-third of the world’s burden for rare diseases.
  • Lack of Awareness and Diagnosis: Patients with rare diseases often wait seven years for a diagnosis due to a combination of low awareness and resource constraints.
  • Inadequate Policy Framework: Despite best efforts, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s rare disease policy is not well defined, which makes it difficult to determine patient eligibility, cost-sharing, and disease coverage.

Challenges in Treatment and Funding:

  • Limited Treatability: In India, fewer than half of the rare diseases that have been identified can be treated. Approximately 20 diseases have approved treatments, most of which are available through a small number of Centres of Excellence (CoEs).
  • Financial Restraints: With only 93 crore allotted to rare diseases in the budget for 2023–2024, it will be difficult to raise enough money to treat chronic rare diseases that need lifelong care.
  • Insufficient Funding Usage: It is clear that a significant portion of funds are not being used, which causes differences between CoEs and even encourages them to turn to crowdsourcing in order to pay for patient care.

Suggested Measures and Way Forward:

  • Standard Definition and Budgetary Increase: Requests that the Central government create a standard definition for rare diseases, increase budgetary allotments, and set aside money expressly for treatment and medication development.
  • Expansion of CoEs and Better Fund Utilisation: Advocates for the establishment of satellite centres and social assistance programmes by state governments, as well as for more CoEs, better coordination, and responsible fund utilisation.
  • Public-Private Partnerships: Suggested using CSR initiatives, partnering to solve funding gaps, and enlisting the help of both public and private companies for funding.
  • Addressing Drug Prices and Availability: proponents of tackling the problem of excessive drug costs and availability by excising goods and services tax (GST) on essential medications, encouraging home producers, and investigating alternatives like repurposed medications and bulk imports.

What are rare diseases?
– Small numbers of people are afflicted by rare diseases, which are generally defined as fewer than 200,000 in the US and 50,000 in Europe.
– More than 30 million people in the US alone are afflicted by more than 7,000 rare diseases that have been identified.
– Changes in genes are the cause of 72% of rare diseases, which are classified as genetic disorders.
– Rare diseases can have a wide range of symptoms that differ significantly between diseases and even between people who have the same condition.
– Because rare diseases are uncommon and have a wide range of symptoms, diagnosing them can be difficult.
– For many rare diseases, treatment options are either nonexistent or very restricted.

Practice Question: Examine the obstacles to treating rare diseases in India, talking about the lack of funding, policy gaps, and future directions. (10 m / 150 words)

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