Editorial Simplified | Backlog

//Editorial Simplified | Backlog

Editorial Simplified | Backlog

Editorial Simplified : Backlog

This is a special post for the Editorials which we think are important in the last few days

Editorial : Dangerous bottled water

CONTEXT:

Food safety authority’s puzzling regulations.

WHAT IS THE NEWS?

FSSAI is displaying inconsistencies on the presence of potentially hazardous potassium bromate in bakery products and drinking water.

WHAT DID FSAI SAY?

It would ban the use of this chemical as an additive in breads and other bakery products.

WHAT IS THE ISSUE?

But, at the same time, it sought to defend its earlier proposition to permit limited amounts of bromate in packaged drinking water. It ignored the fact that bottled drinking water is consumed in substantial quantities and that the presence of even a small amount of this toxin can be potentially highly hazardous.

WHAT IS FSSAI SAYING?

  • Proposal was meant only to seek stakeholders’ feedback and that it might revisit it now.
  • Proposal to allow bromate (up to 10 microgram per litre of drinking water) was based on “ground realities” that this contaminant might, in any case, be found in water in some cases.

 HAS THERE BEEN ANY PREVIOUS STUDIES ON THIS?

  • 1999 ; study by the International Agency for Research on Cancer which had revealed that potassium bromate could be a possible human carcinogen.
  • Some other laboratory studies on animals exposed to this toxin have also concluded that ingestion of this chemical resulted in a significant increase in the incidence of cancer of kidneys, thyroid and other organs.

NOTE:

When ozone is used as a reagent to disinfect water, some amount of bromate tends to develop. But ozone is no longer the only disinfecting agent available now.

WHO STANDARDS ON WATER

  • Toxic contaminants should ideally not be present in it at all.

OTHER AGENCIES ON THE ISSUE

  • The Codex Alimentarius, which has laid down globally accepted food quality standard states: “All treatment of water intended for bottling should be carried out under controlled conditions to avoid any type of contamination, including the formation of toxic products (particularly bromates).”

CONCLUSION

  • This is a proviso that merits attention of all stakeholders, particularly the FSSAI.

Editorial : Signs of recovery

CONTEXT:

Investment numbers are still a worry

WHAT IS THE NEWS?

The provisional estimates of national income for the year 2015-16, and the quarterly estimates of gross domestic product or GDP for the fourth quarter of that year – from January to March – were released on Tuesday by the Central Statistics Office of the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation.

DETAILS OF THE STATISTICS

  • Whole year’s statistic for economic growth is at 7.6 per cent.
  • Estimate for GDP growth at constant 2011-12 prices for the final quarter of 2015-16, is 7.9 per cent.
  • Almost eight per cent growth relays India’s position as the fastest-growing large economy in the world.
  • Real growth in 2014-15 was 7.2 per cent, and in 2015-16 it was 7.6 per cent.

CAVEATS TO BE REMEMBERED

While the headline numbers suggest that India is on a path to recovery, two important caveats remain.

  1. ISSUE:The first is that this release of GDP numbers continues the puzzling anomalies that have long been noted when it comes to India’s manufacturing sector growth.

DETAILS :

  • According to the gross value added (GVA) numbers for 2015-16, manufacturing grew at 9.3 per cent.
  • The private corporate sector grew at 10 per cent, according to the numbers. It continues to be difficult to reconcile these numbers with other indicators.
  • The anomaly is most stark when the index of industrial production or IIP is taken into account. The IIP grew at 2.4 per cent for the whole year of 2015-16 (two per cent for manufacturing), which according to the GDP calculation corresponded to manufacturing growth of 9.3 per cent. But in 2014-15, IIP grew at 2.8 per cent, faster than in 2015-16, but manufacturing growth according to the GVA estimates was only 5.5 per cent.

CONCLUSION: India’s statisticians are yet to set minds at rest about the manufacturing growth puzzle.

  1. ISSUE: The other caveat is about the sustainability of this growth.

DETAILS:

  • Sustained high growth requires high investment. But India is yet to recover the high levels of gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) seen in the boom years of 2003-08.
  • In fact, GFCF grew at only 3.9 per cent in 2015-16, as compared to 4.9 per cent in 2014-15.
  • This means that it is only 31.2 per cent of GDP in 2015-16, down from 32.3 per cent in 2014-15. An investment recovery is still awaited.

CONCLUSION: Indeed, GFCF as per cent of GDP has shrunk for the fourth successive year, even as GDP growth has accelerated in each of the last three years. This is a puzzling trend.

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By | 2016-06-06T09:52:43+00:00 June 6th, 2016|Categories: Blog|Tags: , |0 Comments

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