1. FIREWORKS TO LOOSE SPARKLE AS SUPREME COURT BARS USE OF FIVE CHEMICALS
- The Supreme Court has banned fireworks manufacturers from using five substances that stoke air and noise pollution, an order that is likely to mean firecrackers with subdued sound and light effects this Diwali.
- The substances barred are lithium, antimony, mercury, arsenic and lead.
- Lithium is a metal used to impart red colour to fireworks, while antimony is used to create glitter effects.
- Lead oxide provides a special crackling effect which, if inhaled, in high concentration could cause damage to the nervous system.
- A bench of Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta on Monday banned the use of the substances in the manufacture of firecrackers after senior officers of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the Petroleum and Explosive Safety Organisation (PESO) briefed the court about their impact.
- The court also directed CPCB and PESO to lay down standards with regard to the chemical composition of firecrackers.
2.LOW MANUFACTURING GROWTH HOLDS BACK JOB CREATION
- According to NITI Aayog’s report about appraisal of 12th FYP, the Manufacturing sector’s growth rate has remained constant for the past 25 years.
- Whereas countries such as Taiwan and China recorded more than double the rate of expansion in India.
- In Taiwan and South Korea in the 1960s and 1970s and in China in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, manufacturing grew at rates approaching or exceeding 15 per cent.
- It lead to transformation of these economies from primarily agrarian and rural character to modern urban ones in around three decades.
SCENARIO IN INDIA
- The fast-growing sectors in India have been automobile and its parts, two-wheelers, machinery, chemicals, petroleum refining, telecommunications, software and pharmaceuticals,none of these sectors employs low-skilled workers in large numbers.
- As a result, the vast majority of Indian workers remain concentrated in agriculture, unorganised industry or low-paying services.
SUGGESTIONS BY NITI AYOG
- Easing entry barriers and reducing duties on synthetic fibres to make India’s apparel industry competitive in global market.
- Reducing custom duty on gold.
- Increasing investment in skill training expediting creation of integrated mega food parks and lower duties on key inputs of final electronics products.
3. CORE SECTOR GROWTH RATE FALLS TO 0.4% IN JUNE
- The growth of eight core sectors slowed to 0.4 per cent in June due to decrease in output of coal, refinery products, fertiliser and cement.
- The growth rate of eight infrastructure sectors — coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity — was 7 per cent in June last year.
- Slow growth in key sectors would also have implications on the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) as these segments account for about 41 per cent to the total factory output.
- The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is an abstract number or ratio which measures the growth of various sectors in the economy.
- Being an abstract number, it does not show volume of activity and only shows the magnitude which represents the status of production in the industrial sector for a given period of time as compared to a reference period of time.