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GS Paper III -Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

Meeting set to review postal imports

What’s Happening-
The Finance Ministry will convene an inter-ministerial meeting to review a surge in postal imports of consumer goods through ecommerce as well as related security issues following seizures of high-altitude drones, bullion and fake currency in such parcels.

Key Points discussed were:

Boosting security:

  • Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC) has already begun the process of a “holistic review” of norms covering imports and exports through post to address these concerns and help in taking remedial actions.
  • The measures include a move to tighten security by upgrading x-ray machines for non-intrusive scanning of mail parcels,
  • These steps will have an impact on the procedures for clearance of goods imported through post.
  • The meeting will also aim to address inadequacies in data capture as the availability of comprehensive figures on imports by post and courier, facilitated by the e-commerce route, is currently lacking.
  • While some data is being captured by manual mode, it is not as reliable as information compiled through the CBEC’s electronic data interchange system.
  • A recent PayPal-Ipsos report showed that shoppers from India spent about ₹58,370 crore in 2016 while shopping online from international websites (mainly sites of U.S., Chinese and British firms) prolonged delivery time, high customs duties and transactions in foreign currencies, websites offering products that were not available in India, and those promising free delivery and transactions in local currency saw better sales.

Background-
The meeting comes in the wake of the concern expressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi over public grievances received by the PMO on issues relating to the import of goods through the postal network and courier services.

Sources- The Indian Express, The Hindu. Page 11

GS Paper III Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

Unemployment rose by 11%, 12 lakh people without jobs

What’s Happening-
Unemployment Rose sharply in the national capital, with the number of unemployed people going up by over 11 per cent between 2014 and 2015.

Key Points discussed were:

According to the Delhi Economic Survey:

  • 12 lakh people were without jobs in 2015 year.
  • Unemployment has been rising steadily over the years with the figures pegged at 9.13 lakh persons in 2013, 10.97 lakh persons in 2014 and 12.22 lakh persons in 2015.
  • According to the educational distribution of those unemployed in 2015, as many as 1,95,450 people were graduates, 34,033 were post-graduates and 56,576 were diploma holders.

Migration:

  • Rate of migration has been decreasing, with fewer people coming to Delhi every year.
  • While 98,000 migrants came to Delhi in 2015, 88,000 came in 2014 and 62,000 came in 2013. So, while 2014 saw a 39 per cent jump in the number of migrants, 2015 only saw a 11 per cent jump.

Reasons for Migration:

  • Job opportunities are the largest pull for rural to urban migration in Delhi, which — according to the Economic Survey — has been the largest recipient of rural migrants across the country.

Steps taken by the Government:

  1. Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005.
  2. Steps were taken on Disguised Unemployment:
  3. Some of the surplus labour in agriculture has moved to either secondary or the tertiary sector.
  4. National Career Service Scheme:

The GoI has initiated a web portal named National Career Service Portal (www.ncs.gov.in) has been launched by the Ministry of Labour and Employment (India).

Through this portal, job-seekers and employers can avail the facility of a common platform for seeking and updating job information. Not only private vacancies, contractual jobs available in the government sector are also available on the portal.

Background-
Tackling the dearth of jobs has been a poll promise made by both the AAP government and the central government.
The AAP, in its poll manifesto, had promised to create 8 lakh jobs in five years by bridging the “skill gap” through the promotion of vocational education.
Prime Minister  had also launched the Skill India programme to offer vocational training to roughly 40 crore people by 2022.
At his inaugural speech after winning the 2014 general elections, the PM had said jobs need to be created for 1 crore people every year to combat the current rate of unemployment.

Sources- The Indian Express, The Hindu. Page 12

GS Paper II –International Relations

India first in bribery rate, says global NGO

What’s Happening-
India had the highest bribery rate among the 16 Asia-Pacific countries surveyed by Transparency International between July 2015 and January 2017.
Nearly seven in 10 people who had accessed public services in the country during the period paying a bribe.

Key Points discussed were:

Survey Details:

  • Survey conducted among 16 Asia-Pacific nations.
  • As much as 69% of the study group in India said they had paid a bribe, given a gift or done a favour to receive services.
  • Vietnam follows with 65%, Thailand 41% and Pakistan 40%.
  • China reported a much lower 26%.

Japan scores:

  • Japan had the lowest incidence of bribery at 0.2 per cent.
  • South Korea and Australia recorded 3% each, Hong Kong 2% and Taiwan 6%.
  • While 46% to 60% of Indians said they paid bribes for various public services, including in public schools and hospitals and for getting IDs, voter cards and permits and accessing utilities and the police, 31% to 45% said they paid bribes for court services as well.
  • The results from across the region show that it is a key law and order institution — the police — that was thought to suffer most from corruption,” the survey said.
  • While nearly two in five said the police were mostly or entirely corrupt (39%), many people in the region also perceived political decision-makers at both the national and local level to be highly corrupt.
  • officials and local councillors were highly corrupt (from 35 to 37 per cent).
  • Religious leaders were seen as far cleaner, with fewer than one in five saying they were highly corrupt (18 per cent).

Background-
Transparency International (TI) is an  which is based in ,
It was founded in 1993.
Its  purpose is to take action to combat  and  arising from corruption.
It publishes for example the  and the .
Transparency International has the legal status of a German registered voluntary association (Eingetragener Verein) and serves as an .
Its members have grown from a few individuals to more than 100 national chapters which engage in fighting corruption in their home countries.

Sources- The Indian Express, The Hindu. Page 3