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Number theory: on lowering UPA-era GDP growth rate

The larger lessons from the GDP back series must not be clouded by a political slugfest
Backcasting, or reworking(नए सिरे) past national accounts statistics based(आधारित) on the latest base year, is a regular exercise that governments carry out(अंजाम देना/पूरा करना). Mainly done to enable precise comparison(तुलना) and analysis(जांच/विश्लेषण), it is a difficult exercise prone(इच्छुक/प्रवृत्त) to contestation(प्रतियोगिता) as it involves(शामिल) the inclusion(समावेश/अन्तर्भाव) of newer data sources, exclusion(बहिष्कार/निषेध) of outdated ones and making some subjectiveassumptions(मान्यताओं/धारणाएं) in the process. Throw in the political element(अंग/मूल तत्व), and GDP backcasting can become a controversial(विवादास्पद) exercise, as it has now become in the case of the release of back series data from 2005-06 to 2011-12, the new base year. The data computed(गणना करना/हिसाब करना) by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) and released by the Niti Aayog show that India never really grew(वृद्धि /बढ़ना)in double-digits in 2010-11, nor was it the high-growth economy in the five years preceding(पूर्ववर्ती) this as earlier thought to be. It so happens that this period covers the two terms(शर्तें) of the Congress-led United Progressive(प्रगतिशील/उन्नतिशील) Alliance government, and the new data have predictably(जाहिर) set off a political storm( तूफान/धावा). The Congress may feel aggrieved(पीड़ित/असंतुष्ट) as its biggest achievement, of taking India on the high GDP growth path, has come under question. During(दौरान/की अवधि में) earlier instances of backcasting of GDP data, the political environment was not as deeply polarized(ध्रुवीकृतफूट डालना ) as it is now, and so the exercise remained(बने रहे/टिकना) more academic.

The danger in the political slugfest now is that the many valuable(मूल्यवान ) insights(अंतर्दृष्टि) that can be gleaned from the data will be lost sight(दृष्टि/नजर) of. The biggest of these is that India never really decoupled from the global economy during the years of the financial crisis(संकट) (2008-10), unlike what was earlier believed. The new back series data show a much lower growth rate. This is an important learning for policymakers, going forward. Any criticism(आलोचना/समीक्षा) of the data has to take into account the fact that it has been generated by a thoroughly professional organisation, the CSO, and the methods have been scrutinised(छानबीन/देखना) by experts, including past chief statisticians, and the Advisory Committee on National Accounts Statistics. Certainly(निश्चित रूप से,), the release of the back series by the Niti Aayog goes against convention(सभा/सम्मेलन) and is bad in optics(प्रकाशिकी ). But this should not be reason to contest its integrity(अखंडता/सत्यनिष्ठा). The method of computation reflects the latest United Nations System of National Accounts; it also captures changes in the economy since 2004-05. Data sources have also been updated. Experts had testified to the robustness(मजबूती/दृढ़ता) of the method when it was introduced(प्रस्तावित) in 2015, even while underlining that the availability(उपलब्धता) of reliable(विश्वसनीय ) data wascrucial(महत्वपूर्ण/निर्णायक) to arrive at the correct overall picture. Thereis little doubt that India needs to invest more in data collection and integration and do informal sector surveys more frequently(बारंबार/अक्सर). Robust, updated data are, in fact, insurance against politicians hijacking(अपहरण/लूट) what is essentially(अनिवार्य ) an economic exercise.

Important Vocabulary

1.Reworking(नए सिरे)
Synonyms: adapt, alter, edit, modify , redraw

2. Analysis(जांच/विश्लेषण),
Synonyms: inquiry, investigation, reasoning, scrutiny, search
Antonyms: connection, juncture, unification, unity, whole

3. Inclusion(समावेश/अन्तर्भाव)
Synonyms: admittance, formation, incorporation, involvement, composition
Antonyms: exclusion, subtraction

4. Computed(गणना करना/हिसाब करना)
Synonyms: figure out, gauge, cipher, count, enumerate
Antonyms: estimate, guess, subtract, conjecture, guesstimate

5. Preceding(पूर्ववर्ती)
Synonyms: introductory, previous, prior, foregoing, forward
Antonyms: later, back, inferior, last, unimportant

6. Aggrieved(पीड़ित/असंतुष्ट)
Synonyms: disturbed, grieving, oppressed, persecuted, wronged
Antonyms: comforted, happy

7. Polaris ed(ध्रुवीकृतफूट डालना
Synonyms: contradictory, contrary, contrasted, converse, counter

8. Element(अंग/मूल तत्व),
Synonyms: aspect, bit, component, detail, factor
Antonyms: whole, foreign land

9. Controversial(विवादास्पद)
Synonyms: contentious, disputed, dubious, questionable, arguable
Antonyms: certain, definite, sure, agreeable, incontrovertible

10.Sight(दृष्टि/नजर)
Synonyms: appearance, eye, perception, view, vision
Antonyms: reality, beauty, blindness

11. Criticism(आलोचना/समीक्षा)
Synonyms: assessment, comment, critique, judgment, opinion
Antonyms: heedlessness, neglect, approval, compliment, estimation

12. Reliable(विश्वसनीय
Synonyms: decent, decisive, dependable, good, honest
Antonyms: bad, broken, corrupt, dishonest, evil

13. Frequently(बारंबार/अक्सर).
Synonyms: again and again, generally, intermittently, many times, often
Antonyms: rarely, seldom, infrequently, not much, uncommonly

14. Essentially(अनिवार्य )
Synonyms: actually, approximately, necessarily, originally, permanently
Antonyms: doubtfully, apparently, on the surface, superficially

15. Robustness(मजबूती/दृढ़ता)
Synonyms: clout, courage, durability, energy, firmness
Antonyms: cowardice, idleness, inactivity, infirmity, instability

16. Hijacking(अपहरण/लूट)
Synonyms: carjack, commandeer, kidnap, steal, shanghai

 

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