ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Debashis ChakrabortySubscribe to Debashis Chakraborty

Not Our Cup of Tea Anymore?

Owing to both internal (skewed production and export basket) and external (rising imports, growing competition) challenges, India’s share in global tea exports is gradually declining. In this context, brand building and stricter compliance with global norms by the Indian players are necessary.

‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’

Over the last two decades, India’s participation in global value chains and international production networks have improved, but the domestic value added embodied in gross exports has exhibited a fluctuating trend. In 2020, India launched the “Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan,” where enhancement of the DVA content of exports can be considered as an underlying objective. The impact of various factors of production and other drivers on India’s DVA content in select manufacturing exports have been identified in this paper with help of trade in value added data for 2000–18. The empirical results indicate that the focus on export and FDI promotion policies by itself will not lead to either self-reliance or address employment worries in India. A coordinated effort towards labour skill augmentation along with technology transfer will be instrumental in this regard.

Is India Ready for Tariff Reforms?

Recent trade models with fi rm heterogeneity predict that trade liberalisation reduces the number of fi rms and the fi rms’ markups, while it increases the average size of fi rms. The present study attempts to test these predictions in the context of trade reforms in India with the Annual Survey of Industries data over two decades (1987–88 to 2017–18) by using a difference-in-difference approach and comments on the recent policy framework in that light.

India’s Withdrawal from RCEP

One major driver behind India’s decision to embrace the “eastern” regional trade agreements during 2010–11 and graduate from the “Look East Policy” (1991) to the “Act East Policy” (2014) has been the urge to integrate the domestic manufacturing sector with “Factory Asia.” The article analyses India’s trade pattern through an endogenous structural break analysis with monthly data for 10 major sectors, involving the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, China, Japan, and South Korea separately. The analysis concludes that the recent stream of events in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic offers India an opportunity to consolidate the domestic manufacturing sector.

 

COVID-19 and IPR Waiver

The Government of India is seeking an intellectual property rights waiver under Sections 1 (copyright and related rights), 4 (industrial designs), 5 (patents), and 7 (protection of undisclosed information) of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. Seeking an IPR waiver is based on the presumption that it will allow more firms to manufacture vaccines and medicines, thereby enhancing their availability at a cheaper price. However, IPR waivers for COVID-19 vaccines and medicines are unlikely to make any difference. A more effective approach is to use compulsory licences, and reduce tariffs and non-tariff measures.

 

Environmental Regulations and Indian Leather Industry

The Tamil Nadu leather industry has complied satisfactorily with the required environmental and pollution control standards. However, challenges in the future will require the government and industry bodies to be more proactive in helping the smaller firms all over the country keep up with rising competition from China.

Atrocities on Dalits

A shortcoming of the country's approach towards the welfare of dalits is that action on atrocities are mostly seen as a law and order issue, divorcing them from the larger strategy for social justice. Atrocities do represent a significant hindrance to socio-economic mobility of the community. Policy-makers should take into account that ending violence on dalits is a basic requirement for success of redistributive policies, rather than assuming that these policies by themselves would result in an end to violence/discrimination.

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