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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

Monthly DNA

22 Nov, 2022

24 Min Read

The world's population surpassed 8 billion: UN

GS-I : Indian Society Population, Urbanization, Globalization

The world's population surpassed 8 billion people: United Nations.

The United Nations Population Fund recently announced that the world's population has surpassed 8 billion people.

More on the news:

  • Reasons for the increase: This unprecedented increase is due to gradual increases in human lifespan as a result of advancements in public health, nutrition, personal hygiene, and medicine.
  • According to the UN, it is also the result of high and persistent levels of fertility in some countries.

Reaching 9 billion:

  • According to the UN, the global population increased from 7 billion to 8 billion in 12 years.
  • It will take about 15 years — until 2037 — to reach 9 billion.
  • It indicates that the global population's overall growth rate is slowing.

Forecasts for the peak:

  • According to the UNFPA, the world population will reach 10.4 billion in the 2080s and remain there until the end of the century.

Growth trends:

  • Slowing growth: According to the United Nations, falling mortality rates initially resulted in "spectacular population growth," but as fewer children were born generation after generation, growth began to slow.
  • According to the United Nations, countries with the highest fertility rates also have the lowest per capita income.
  • International migration: With 281 million people living outside their country of birth in 2020, international migration is now a major driver of growth in many countries.
  • In recent years, all South Asian countries — India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka — have experienced high levels of emigration.
  • The "youth bulge" in India: According to UNFPA, India has its largest ever adolescent and youth population.
  • According to UNFPA projections, India will continue to have one of the world's youngest populations until 2030, and it is currently experiencing a demographic window of opportunity, known as a "youth bulge," that will last until 2025.
  • It was noted that India's fertility rate has reached 2.1 births per woman (replacement-level fertility) and is declining.

India has surpassed China:

  • By 2022, Asia will have more than half of the world's population, with China and India having more than 1.4 billion people each.
  • According to the United Nations Population Fund, while India's population growth is slowing, it is still growing at a rate of 0.7% per year and is on track to overtake China as the world's most populous country in 2023.
  • According to the UN, China's population is no longer growing and "may begin declining as early as 2023."

Challenges:

  • Rapid population growth can exacerbate hunger and poverty.
  • Rapid population growth makes it more difficult to eradicate poverty, combat hunger and malnutrition, and expand access to health and education systems.

India's Challenges and the Future:

  • A population of more than 1.4 billion people will necessitate policymakers' unwavering focus on areas critical to human well-being, such as education, nutrition, healthcare, housing, and employment.

Economy and productivity:

  • The youth must be equipped with skills that are essential in the knowledge economy.
  • For any given per capita income, people's productivity must rise.
  • Policies to increase job opportunities will be required, as will policies to increase labor force participation rates for both men and women.

Climate change:

  • Due to the climate crisis and other ecological imperatives, many activities will leave small footprints.

Democratic difficulties:

  • Most importantly, the challenges will spark debate, discussion, and even dissension, necessitating the inclusion of diverse voices.
  • To move forward, India's democratic traditions and the strength of its institutions will be required.

The population of the elderly:

  • The 65+ category is going to grow quite fast and it faces several challenges. Provisioning of social security is obviously a big challenge. This will stretch the resources of future governments.
  • If the aged stay within the family set-up, the burden on the government could be reduced. “If we go back to our roots and stick around as families, as against the western tendency to go for individualism, then the challenges would be less.

State-wise focus:

  • Much more needs to be done on this, of course, in large parts of the country, including in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, whose TFR is higher than the national average and where gender discrimination has deep social roots.

The choice to women:

  • To actually achieve Population Control, the government should prioritize educating women and giving them the freedom to make and implement their own decisions.
  • The state must ensure that contraceptives are accessible, affordable, and available in a variety of forms that are acceptable to those who use them.

World Population Day.

  • Every year on July 11, World Population Day is observed.
  • Its goal is to highlight overpopulation issues and raise awareness about the effects of overpopulation on the environment and development.
  • This year's World Population Day [July 11, 2022] falls in a watershed year, as we prepare to welcome the planet's eighth billionth inhabitant.
  • World Population Day was established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989.
  • It was inspired by the public interest in Five Billion Day, the approximate date on which the world's population reached five billion people on July 11, 1987.

Read Also: Reforms in United Nations

Source: The Economic Times

Urban Infrastructure Financing in India

GS-I : Indian Society Population, Urbanization, Globalization

Urban Infrastructure Financing in India

  • The World Bank recently released a report titled "Financing India's Urban Infrastructure Needs: Constraints to Commercial Financing and Prospects for Policy Action."
  • The report emphasizes the critical importance of leveraging more private and commercial investments to close emerging financial gaps.

What are the Report's Highlights?

Required Investment:

  • If India is to effectively meet the needs of its rapidly growing urban population, it will need to invest USD 840 billion in urban infrastructure over the next 15 years.
  • People Living in Cities: By 2036, 600 million people in India will be living in cities, accounting for 40% of the population.
  • This is likely to put additional strain on India's already overburdened urban infrastructure and services, with increased demand for clean drinking water, dependable power supply, and efficient and safe road transportation, among other things.

Current Funding mechanism:

  • Currently, the Central and State governments fund more than 75% of city infrastructure, with Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) funding the remaining 15% with their own surplus revenues.
  • Only 5% of Indian cities' infrastructure needs are currently being funded through private sources.

Slow Implementation of the Centre's Iconic Urban Missions:

  • Due to constraints on implementation capacity at the city level, states and Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) have also been slow in implementing several of the Centre's flagship Urban Missions, such as the Smart Cities Mission (SCM) and the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY).
  • Over the last six fiscal years, ULBs in India have only completed about one-fifth of the total cost or outlay of approved projects under SCM and (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT).

Urban Infrastructure PPP Transactions:

  • PPP transactions for urban infrastructure in India have declined significantly in the last decade, both in terms of monetary value and transaction volume—124 PPP projects worth USD5.5 billion have been awarded in the urban sector since 2000.
  • However, PPP project awards have declined significantly following a "brief but significant spike" between 2007 and 2012, when the majority of these projects were awarded.
  • Only one-third of all PPP investments awarded since 2000 have occurred in the last decade, with 55 projects totaling USD17 billion.

What are the recommendations?

  • It is recommended that city agencies expand their capacity to deliver large-scale infrastructure projects.
  • Over the last three fiscal years, the ten largest ULBs were only able to spend two-thirds of their total capital budget.
  • The report suggests a series of structural reforms in the medium term, including those in taxation policy and the fiscal transfer system.
  • It may enable cities to access more private financing.
  • It suggested formula-based and unconditional transfers of funds to cities, as well as gradually increasing the mandates of city agencies.

What is Urbanisation?

  • The population shift from rural to urban areas, the corresponding decrease in the proportion of people living in rural areas, and the ways in which societies adapt to this change are all referred to as urbanization.

Urbanization Causes:

  • Natural Population Growth: This occurs when the number of births exceeds the number of deaths.
  • Rural-to-urban migration is influenced by both pull factors (that draw people to cities) and push factors (that drive people away from the rural areas).
  • The main draw factors are job opportunities, educational institutions, and the urban lifestyle.
  • The main push factors are poor living conditions, a lack of educational and economic opportunities, and inadequate health-care facilities.

Globalization and Urbanization:

  • Northern America (with 83% of its population living in urban areas as of 2022), Latin America and the Caribbean (81%), Europe (75%), and Oceania (67%), are the most urbanised regions.
  • Asia's urbanisation rate is currently around 52%.

Source: The Hindu

Global Health and Climate Change

GS-III : Biodiversity & Environment Climate Change

Global Health and Climate Change

Reliance on fossil fuels, according to the Lancet report on Health and Climate Change: Health at the Mercy of Fossil Fuels, raises the risk of disease, food insecurity, and other heat-related illnesses.

What are the Report's Findings?

  • Impact on Health: Climate change has an impact on the social and environmental determinants of health, such as clean air, safe drinking water, enough food, and safe shelter.
  • Heatwave Exposure: Rapidly rising temperatures exposed people, particularly vulnerable populations (adults over 65 and children under one) to 3.7 billion more heatwave days in 2021 than in 1986-2005.
  • Infectious Diseases: Climate change is having an impact on the spread of infectious diseases, increasing the risk of emerging diseases and co-epidemics.
  • For example, it shows that coastal waters are becoming more conducive to the spread of Vibrio pathogens.
  • The number of months suitable for malaria transmission has increased in the Americas and Africa's highlands.
  • Climate change, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), is expected to cause approximately 2,50,000 additional deaths per year between 2030 and 2050 due to malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea, and heat stress.

Food Safety:

  • Climate change has an impact on all aspects of food security.
  • Higher temperatures directly threaten crop yields by shortening the growing season for many cereal crops.
  • Extreme weather events disrupt supply chains, jeopardising food availability, accessibility, stability, and utilisation.
  • During the Covid-19 pandemic, the prevalence of malnutrition increased, and up to 161 million more people will go hungry in 2020 than in 2019.
  • Russia's invasion of Ukraine has exacerbated the situation.
  • Fossil Fuel: The Russia-Ukraine conflict has prompted many countries to seek alternative fuels to Russian oil and gas, and some are still relying on traditional thermal energy.
  • Even if only for a short time, renewed interest in coal could reverse gains in air quality and hasten climate change, which threatens human survival.

What are the recommendations?

Response Focused on Health:

  • A health-centered response to the concurrent climate, energy, and cost-of-living crises offers the opportunity to deliver a healthy,
  • Improvements in air quality will aid in the prevention of deaths caused by exposure to ambient PM2.5 derived from fossil fuels, and the emphasis on low-carbon travel and urbanisation will encourage physical activity, which will benefit both physical and mental health.
  • Transition to a More Balanced and Plant-Based Diet:An expedited transition to more plant-based diets would help reduce emissions from red meat and milk production, as well as prevent diet-related deaths, while also significantly lowering the risk of zoonotic diseases.
  • This type of health-focused shift would reduce the burden of communicable and noncommunicable diseases, as well as the strain on health-care providers, resulting in more robust health-care systems.
  • Global Collaboration: Global coordination, funding, transparency, and cooperation between governments, communities, civil society, businesses, and public health leaders is required to reduce or prevent the vulnerabilities that the world is otherwise exposed to.

Source: The Hindu

Arvind Virmani: Full-time Member of NITI Aayog

GS-II : Governance NITI Aayog

Arvind Virmani: Full-time Member of NITI Aayog

  • Dr. Arvind Virmani, a senior economist, was recently appointed as a full-time member of the NITI Aayog by the government.
  • Dr V K Saraswat, Professor Ramesh Chand, and Dr V K Paul are the current members.

About the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog)

  • It was established in 2015 to replace the Planning Commission.
  • It is an Executive Body (acts as a think tank and advisory body) with the goal of continuously fostering the spirit of cooperative and competitive federalism through structured support initiatives.

NITI Aayog's membership is as follows:

  • Chairperson: India's Prime Minister
  • The Governing Council is made up of the Chief Ministers of all Indian states and the Lieutenant Governors of Union Territories.
  • The governing council of the NITI Aayog is the premier body tasked with developing a shared vision of national priorities and strategies with the participation of the states and union territories.
  • It provides a forum for inter-sectoral, inter-departmental, and federal issues to be discussed.
  • Regional Councils will be established to address specific issues and possibilities that affect more than one state.
  • These will be formed for a set period of time and summoned by the Prime Minister.
  • These will be presided over by the NITI Aayog's Chairperson or his nominee.
  • Guests of honour: The Prime Minister will appoint eminent experts and specialists with relevant domain knowledge.

Full-time organisational structure:

  • Vice-Chairperson: Prime Minister as Chairperson (appointed by the Prime Minister)

Members:

  • Full-time
  • Part-time members on a rotational basis: Maximum of 2 members from foremost universities, leading research organizations, and other innovative organizations in an ex-officio capacity.

Ex Officio members:

  • Maximum of 4 members of the Council of Ministers which is to be nominated by the Prime Minister.

Chief Executive Officer:

  • The CEO will be appointed by the Prime Minister for a fixed tenure. He will be in the rank of Secretary to the Government of India.

Key Initiatives and Recent Achievements:

  • Aspirational Districts Scheme.
  • 3 Documents: 3-year action agenda, 7-year medium-term strategy paper and 15-year vision document.
  • Monitoring and Analysing Food and Agricultural Policies (MAFAP) programme in India
  • Promoted Zero Budget Natural Farming.
  • Promoting ‘Bhartiya Prakritik Krishi Paddhati’ programme under Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY).
  • Village Storage Scheme

Achievements of Arvind Virmani:

  • He served as the Chief Economic Advisor in the Ministry of Finance during the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government from 2007-09.
  • He was a member of the Reserve Bank of India’s Technical Advisory Committee on Monetary Policy from February 2013 to August 2016.
  • He has also served at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Washington DC.

He has written several books:

  • The Sudoku of India’s Growth.
  • From Unipolar To Tri polar World: Multi-polar Transition Paradox.
  • Propelling India from Socialist Stagnation to Global Power.
  • Accelerating Growth and Poverty Reduction – A Policy Framework for India’s Development.

Read Also: Report On Amazon Rainforest

Source: The Indian Express

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