During the years 2001-2011, India’s total population increased by about 18% to 1.21 billion. However, child population in the age group 0-6 years declined by about 3% (5 million) to 159 million during this period. All major states including UP, Maharashtra,West Bengal, MP , Rajasthan, Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Gujarat registered decline in child population. Bihar and Andhra Pradesh are exceptions. This decline in child population indicates that there will be lower population growth during 2011-2021. Some of the states like Kerala and Tamilnadu may register negative natural growth though with migration from other states, overall population in 2021 may not be lower than in 2011. Longevity will go up. The decadal growth is likely to be around 10%. The nursery, primary and middle schools in the country, may not get enough students and some of these schools may have to be closed in rural areas where the decline in child population is more pronounced because of migration to urban areas.The focus of the government should shift from universal education to quality education-from opening new schools to upgrading the standard of education. There will be need to devote attention on old people.
The exports of Vietnam increased from US$ 15 billion 2001 to $132 billion in 2013 i.e. by about 9 times during the 12 years and to $150 billion in 2014 i.e. by 10 times in 13 years. On the other hand exports from India increased from $44 billion in 2001-2002 to $ 313 billion in 2013-14 i.e only by about 7 times. While in 2001, India’s exports were about 3 times that of Vietnam, in 2013, it is only about 2.5 times.
As regards imports, Vietnam’s imports increased from $16.2 billion in 2001 to $131 billion in 2013 i.e by about 7 times and in 2014 to $148 billion i.e. by about 9 times in 13 years. Imports have grown at a lower rate than those of exports. But imports into India increased from $51 billion in 2001-02 to $450 billion in 2013-14 i.e by about 9 times.Imports have grown at a higher rate than exports.
While trade balance in Vietnam became surplus of $0.9 in 2013 from deficit of $1.2 billion in 2001, In India trade balance grew from a deficit of $7.6 billion in2001-02 to trade deficit of $137 billion in 2013-14.
The above figures show that on the foreign trade front, India’s performance is poor compared to that of Vietnam.
For the third consecutive year, certain parts of the country had below normal rainfall. But in certain parts, the rainfall was more than normal. Not only this. Sometimes there is heavy rainfall in one place, but in a place just half a kilometer away from this place, there is no sign of rainfall at all. Sometimes there are clouds in the sky everyday but the rain does not fall. These entire phenomenon should be studied and research should be undertaken to increase rainfall. There is a procedure of cloud seeding with salt by aircrafts to condense water in the clouds and induce rainfall. This procedure should be undertaken wherever and whenever there is need. Each district should have a few aircrafts for cloud seeding.
But cloud seeding is not sufficient. Sometimes, there may not be clouds at all. Now research should be undertaken on how the clouds are formed and on how cloud formation can be made artificially. Three- fourths of the area of the earth is oceans and there is continuous evaporation. With the earth getting warmer-if this is true- there should be more evaporation and more clouds and consequently more rainfall. Now there should be research on dispersing the clouds to the places where there are no clouds. India should perhaps take the initiative to set up an international research institute on rainfall, first to understand how the rainfall takes place and then to study the ways and means of increasing the rainfall.
It is important to create demand for goods and services before the products are made in India and services sector is established. How do we create demand? By putting money into the hands of as many people as possible. If we take various sectors of the economy, agriculture sector is the one where more than 50% (nearly 65%) of the people are engaged. If those in the agricultural sector are to have surplus money to purchase additionally produced goods and services, the prices for the agricultural products should be increased for farmers and the wages of agricultural labourers should be increased. This will mean:
- When prices of onions, tomatoes, rice, wheat etc go up, there should be no agitations against the price rise
- There should be no ban on exports of these items
- There should be no permission for imports of these items
- There should appropriate storage facilities to store surplus production and there is no distress selling
- Farmers should be employed full time i.e. at least for 8 hours a day. This will require farmers to take up allied work like dairy farming, poultry farming, goat and sheep rearing, honey making, rope making etc. or intensive farming like multiple crops, good irrigation, etc.
People not engaged in agricultural sector will suffer with increased prices. To remove their sufferings their wages should also be increased. Their wages otherwise also will go up with large scale demand from farmers and farm workers for the manufactured goods leading to higher profits for factories which in turn will lead to higher wages.
A country’s constitution and the laws should be based on the culture, traditions, beliefs etc. In a country where animal sacrifice is a custom during festivals, the laws of the country should not ban animal sacrifice. In the society in which jallikattu (subduing bulls) is a tradition, no laws and regulations should ban this. Values of other countries or what is considered good or bad by intellectuals, social activists etc. should not be imposed on the common people. Breaking cocunuts on the heads of the people, walking on the fire etc. during festivals are traditions of the people of Tamilnadu. Some people may consider these as dangerous but the solution is to station ambulances with first aid facilities at the sites and not banning the same. Some tribal societies have special customs and traditions which to other people may be bad.. But there should be no interference with this.