Hospitality Industry in India: Adhering to the principle of Atithi Devo Bhava
GS Paper III
Context: As time passes, the service industry, including travel and tourism, is developing as a significant development engine for the Indian economy. People are travelling in large numbers again, airports are congested, hotels are fully booked, and travellers want to discover, connect, and feel alive via the thrilling experience of travel. Despite various challenges and a poor infrastructure, the hotel business has done quite well.
What is mean by Hospitality?
- The polite and generous treatment of guests or strangers is referred to as hospitality.
- It entails making guests feel welcome, at ease, and cared for during their stay or visit.
- The purpose of hospitality is to provide a favourable experience for the guest while also ensuring that they have all they need to feel at ease and enjoy their stay.
Hospitality Industry in India:
- The hospitality business in India is expanding and contributes considerably to the country’s economy.
- Due to its diversified culture, old civilization, art and architecture, spiritual knowledge centre, and paradise of natural beauty, India is home to a variety of prominent tourist attractions.
- The hotel business in India has grown significantly in recent years, spurred by an increase in domestic and international travel, as well as the construction of new infrastructure such as airports and highways.
- Hospitality companies have consistently increased supply across all segments, including budget, business, and luxury hotels, homestays, villas, and so on, by developing new circuits and offerings that tap into Incredible India’s diverse and myriad potential.
What role does the hospitality industry play in the economy?
- Tourism is seen as a key economic driver. It has a knock-on effect on related businesses such as hotels.
- The spillover of tourism profits into other businesses not only improves economic conditions but also raises the living standards of the local populace.
- This is especially noticeable in Goa, a renowned beach resort. According to the IBEF Report 2022, the industry contributes more than 16% of GDP and 35% of direct employment inside the state, and its domino impact on indirect job creation is unparalleled. According to the RBI, Goa now tops the country in per capita NSDP (Net State Domestic Product).
- According to trends, each hotel room directly and indirectly produces five to seven jobs, having a major influence on other high-employability industries such as real estate and infrastructure.
- According to the most recent World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) estimate, the industry is predicted to generate almost 126 million new jobs globally over the next decade, with the Indian subcontinent accounting for at least 20% of these. However, government assistance will be critical in doing this.
- With Indian enterprises reporting positive profitability this fiscal year, the industry is set to develop three times faster than before the epidemic to reach $250 billion by 2030 and $1 trillion by 2047.
- The travel and tourism sector is continually developing to meet the expectations of rapidly changing consumers. As a capital-intensive industry, the hotel industry must consistently invest to keep the ball running.
- A solid starting point will be the Centre granting infrastructure status to the sector, which will promote the business by combining necessary incentives such as regulatory relief, lower lending rates, tax breaks, and contributing to a cycle of attracting new investments.
- Furthermore, improving industrial standing at the state and union territory levels, as well as expanding infrastructure, will have a much-needed positive influence. States such as Maharashtra, Karnataka, Assam, Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan have led the way, and others should follow.
India’s economic narrative continues to be quite positive. Travel and tourism provide potential development and are at an important turning point as a result of high consumer demand. We can surely design an even more successful future for the sector by collaborative action between industry stakeholders and government, one that will have a good influence on the economy and society at large.
Source: The Hindu
Context: Much has been made about why we have such a bafflingly large number of cases pending or unresolved in the legal system. Cases pending in courts have caused anguish for plaintiffs, attorneys, and judges alike. In its 230th report in 2018, the Law Commission of India stated that the government is the most litigious party in the system.
Ratio: Number of Judges serving the population
- As the administration recently reminded the Rajya Sabha, India has a dreadfully low number of judges serving a very huge population. To be more specific, India has roughly 21 judges for every million inhabitants.
- In comparison, China has roughly 159 judges for every million inhabitants.
What is cause of concern for the government?
- It is a source of concern for the government since a difficult dispute resolution system has a negative influence on governance and degrades peace and order in any country.
- For a long time, our government has been consumed by the responsibilities of the judicial system, and it is painfully conscious of its own role in adding to the number of cases that reach the courts and stay unresolved.
Efforts taken by the Government to reduce its litigation:
- The government is aware of its role in contributing to litigation merely by being the most active litigant in the courts.
- On June 13, 2017, the Government of India’s Department of Justice issued an Action Plan to Reduce Government Litigation. The action plan was developed in response to the fact that the government is involved in 46% of all ongoing cases in the judicial system.
- They launched the appropriately called LIMBS initiative in 2015, with the goal of connecting 55 ministries and their departments for litigation management. Aptly titled, because it tries to unite our state’s different limbs of government. According to LIMBS, there are 6,20,000 lawsuits involving the government pending before the judicial system as of January 3.
- The status report to the NLP, 2010, was created because it recognises that the government and its different agencies are the primary litigants in the country’s courts and tribunals. As a result, it sought to turn the government into an efficient and accountable litigator.
Is all its litigation is initiated by the government?
- To be fair to the government, it does not start all of its cases.
- For example, the government is the driving force behind inter-departmental litigation (litigation between government wings) and regular service appeals.
- Citizens, on the other hand, invoke writ jurisdiction of the courts and file criminal appeals. These are also cases concerning the government that are being heard at various high courts and the Supreme Court.
- So, while the government has some control over some of the lawsuits in which it is involved, it is not the catalyst in some types of cases in which it is involved.
- In its 2018 report on Government Lawsuit, the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy gives excellent insights into where the government may and cannot manage the litigation to which it is a party.
- For example, the government’s 2010 National Litigation Policy (NLP) recognises that service concerns should not typically be appealed and that only instances involving constitutional interpretation should be taken all the way to the Supreme Court. The government should carry out the change proposed by its own policymakers.
- There are several compelling arguments to limit government-involved litigation. One of the primary reasons is to reduce the strain on the courts. As Vidhi (2018) points out, the costs of pursuing lawsuit deplete public finances. In addition, a legal fight between a person and the state is a war of unequals.
To solve the overcrowded court system, the largest litigant must use the system more efficiently and prudently. This would be a fantastic first step in addressing the issue of pendency. Appointing more judges would also be a significant step toward facilitating greater conflict settlement.
Source: The Hindu
RBI to issue first-ever Sovereign Green Bonds
Context: On January 25 and February 9, the RBI would issue Sovereign Green Bonds (SGrBs) in two tranches of 8,000 crore each.
What exactly are Sovereign Green Bonds?
- A bond is a debt-raising tool.
- Since 2007, a market for bonds that are particularly labelled or recognised as “green” has formed.
- This marking distinguishes a green bond from a standard bond by indicating a promise to utilise money collected solely to finance or refinance “green” projects, assets, or business operations.
- Sovereign green bonds are issued when the sovereign or government guarantees the repayment of principle and payment of interest on the bonds (SGrB).
How are the projects for green bonds selected?
- A project is labelled “green” based on four essential factors. Encourage energy efficiency in resource utilisation is one of them.
- lowering carbon emissions and greenhouse gas emissions
- Promoting climate resilience and improving natural ecosystems and biodiversity, particularly in light of SDG (Sustainable Development Goals).
When will the first sovereign green bond be issued?
- The Finance Minister declared in her Budget statement earlier this year that sovereign green bonds will be issued to raise funds for green projects.
- The earnings will be used to fund public-sector programmes that reduce the economy’s carbon footprint.
- These green bonds would have 5-year and 10-year maturities.
How are they different from conventional government bonds?
- Government bonds (G-Secs) are often divided into two types: Treasury Bills and dated or long-term securities.
- These bonds have coupon rates and may be traded on the stock exchange.
- One type of dated security is SGrB. It will have a maturity date and an interest rate.
- The funds obtained by SGrB are included in the overall government borrowing.
Who are the most probable purchasers of these bonds?
- SGrB is intended to attract both domestic and foreign investment.
- However, one theory is that international investors may be apprehensive owing to currency risk.
Source: The Hindu
Indian Women Peacekeeping Forces
Context:As part of the Indian Battalion in the United Nations Interim Security Force, India sent a battalion of women peacekeepers in Abyei, near the border between Sudan and South Sudan.
It is made up of two female Army officers: a Major from the Corps of Signals and a Captain from the Corps of Engineers.
- There are 25 women soldiers in the contingent from the Corps of Military Police (CMP) and the Assam Rifles.
- In 2021, the CMP will be the Army’s sole recruiting arm for female troops.
- This is India’s largest single unit of female peacekeepers in a UN Mission.
UN mandate: The UN recommended that member states deploy female engagement teams (FET) alongside infantry battalion groups in UN Missions to cope with circumstances involving women and children who are the most vulnerable in a conflict.
The FETs’ responsibilities include conducting joint patrols, interacting with local women and girls, assisting during humanitarian situations, acquiring information, and managing perceptions.
India’s Commitment: The UN wants at least 19% of all Army openings to be filled by women. The Indian Army, on the other hand, had dispatched 21% female officers.
Importance of Women Peacekeeping Units:
- In 2007, India sent the first all-female unit of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to Liberia as part of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).
- It served as a model for the African country, which today has 17% women in the Liberian security forces, up from fewer than 1% in 2007.
Indian women tradition in Peacekeeping:
- Dr. Kiran Bedi, the UN’s first Police Adviser, Major Suman Gawani, and Shakti Devi have all made significant contributions to UN Peacekeeping.
- Women officers have served in many conflict-torn nations as members of UN Missions in difficult missions, medical responsibilities, and as military observers.
- Social and community development: Indian teams in the Congo and South Sudan have also done outstanding work at the grassroots level in mainstreaming women and children into Community and Social Development programmes.
- Women officers also learned to interface with the community and NGOs in French and local Swahili, and they participated in a variety of fast impact initiatives, such as aiding the operation of vocational training facilities throughout the nation and establishing electricity connections.
- Better Reach: Women police are better able to reach the people, particularly women and children who are disproportionately affected by conflicts and victims of sexual abuse in crisis zones.
- Police and other paramilitary contingents in the UN play a complementary role in circumstances such as riots and stone pelting. Under UN resolutions 6 and 7, their role is to support and empower the local populace as well as the local army.
- Gender Parity: The move is in keeping with the UN’s Gender Parity initiative, and it will serve as a model for the deployment of similar engagement teams in other UN Missions in the near future.
UN Security Council resolution 1325 (UNSCR1325):
- The UN has advocated for an increase of the role and participation of women in its operations, including uniformed women peacekeepers, in subsequent resolutions to UNSCR1325, as well as the Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) Declaration of Shared Commitments.
- In this framework, increasing women’s engagement in peacekeeping and in society is at the heart of UN operations.
Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) Initiative:
- It considers the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda to be critical to improving the performance of peacekeeping operations by: supporting women’s full participation in peace processes and making peacekeeping more gender-responsive by increasing the number of civilian and uniformed women in peacekeeping at all levels and in key positions.
- A4P has been signed by 152 Member States, including Bangladesh, Canada, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, who have stepped out to expressly promote implementation of A4P’s WPS pledge.
This reflects India’s long-standing tradition of active engagement in UN peacekeeping missions and the promotion of Nari Shakti.
Source: Indian Express
First Advance Estimates by NSO
Context:According to the National Statistical Office’s (NSO) preliminary projections of national revenue, India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is predicted to expand by 7% in fiscal year 2022-23.
- This is the first official government projection for economic growth ahead of the 2023-24 Union Budget.
- The first advance estimates are produced early in January to assist officers in the Union Finance Ministry and other ministries in framing the general features of the budget for the following fiscal year.
- The second advance estimate of GDP is then issued at the end of February.
Slower GDP growth:
- This is less than the 8.7 percent GDP growth expected for 2021-22, but slightly better than the 6.8 percent growth forecast by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for the current fiscal year (FY).
- GVA is expected to rise at a rate of less than 7% – 6.7 percent in FY23, compared to 8.1 percent in the previous fiscal year.
- The GDP forecast of 7% includes a 0.2 percent decline in private final consumption spending over the second half of the current fiscal year, showing weak demand and the impact of decreasing exports.
Declining Growth of Nominal GDP:
- The nominal GDP of India, which includes inflation, is expected to expand by 15.4 percent in 2022-23, down from 19.5 percent in 2021-22.
Performance of Different Sectors:
- GDP growth will be helped by improved agricultural and service sector performance and faster growth.
- Agriculture is expected to increase at 3.5 percent in FY23, up from 3 percent the previous year.
- The manufacturing sector is expected to rise by 1.6 percent this fiscal year, compared to 9.9 percent the previous year.
- Electricity generation is expected to increase by 9%, compared to 7.5 percent last year, while the construction industry is expected to increase by 9.1%, compared to 11.5 percent previous fiscal year.
- The services industry, particularly hotels and financial services, is likely to revive strongly. Trade, hotels, and transportation services are expected to rise by 13.7 percent in 2022-23, up from 11.1 percent in the previous fiscal year.
- On the demand side, private final consumer spending, gross fixed capital formation, and exports are predicted to expand somewhat.
- Government final consumption spending may increase by a low single digit percentage.
- The growth forecasts for trade, hotels, transportation, and communication services appear to be extremely optimistic.
- Growth predictions for public administration and other services are on the low side, and they are likely to be revised in the future.
The First Advance Estimates (FAE) of GDP:
- It debuted in 2016-17 and is usually released around the end of the first week of January.
- They are the “initial” official estimates of how the economy will grow in that fiscal year.
- They are sometimes known as “advance” estimates since they are released well before the end of the fiscal year (April to March).
- The FAE is released shortly after the conclusion of the third quarter (October, November, and December); however, it does not include the formal Q3 GDP statistics, which is released at the end of February as part of the Second Advance Estimates (SAE).
- The FAE is calculated by extrapolating from the existing data.
- The Advance Estimates are compiled using the Benchmark-Indicator technique, which means that “the estimates provided for the prior year (2020-21 in this example) are extrapolated using pertinent indicators indicating the performance of sectors.”
- The initial advance estimates are made public early in order to assist officers in the Union Finance Ministry and other ministries in framing the basic features of the upcoming Union Budget.
- It is critical to understand what has occurred to nominal GDP, both in absolute terms and in terms of growth rate. The nominal GDP is the starting point for all budget calculations.
Challenges for India’s Growth:
- The decline in India’s GDP is concerning since it began long before the COVID-19 outbreak.
- It started in 2016, and for the next four years, the growth rate was lower than the preceding year.
- This four-year downward spiral has never occurred in India since the country’s independence in 1947.
- Inequality in India has increased substantially in recent years.
- The majority of India’s growth is concentrated at the top, with a few businesses reaping a disproportionate amount of earnings.
- A sizable portion of the population is experiencing negative growth.
- Monetary policy, fiscal policy, social and political issues all influence the investment rate.
- It is debatable if trust is a major motivator for investing. As a society’s degree of trust declines, so does investment.
- With the increase of political polarisation and the divide-and-rule approach, social trust is expected to erode, lowering the investment rate.
- The dropping investment rate is having a negative influence on GDP, as well as job creation and the high unemployment rate.
- Furthermore, the erosion of confidence is delaying investment and negatively harming job development.
- India must move its policy emphasis away from a few wealthy enterprises and toward wider parts of the population, such as small businesses, farmers, and regular labourers.
- Fiscal policy measures are required to shift income from the super-rich to these divisions.
- The restoration of private business sector capex is critical for the Indian economy’s long-term development and recovery.
- For inclusive progress, India must cultivate a culture of inclusion and trust.
Source: Indian Express
Facts For Prelims
K.P. Fabian’s freshly released book, ‘The Arab Spring That Was and Wasn’t,’ was recently featured in the headlines.
Concerning the Arab Spring:
- By early 2011, a wave of uprisings, revolts, riots, and disturbances had swept throughout Arabic-speaking countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
- Mohammed Bouazizi, a Tunisian street seller, burned himself on fire in the city of Sidi Bouzid in December 2010 to protest the police’s harsh seizure of his vegetable business for failing to get a permission.
- His sacrifice sparked the Arab Spring revolution in Tunisia.
- Pro-democracy demonstrations in Tunis finally compelled autocratic ruler Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who had reigned for more than 23 years, to quit and escape to Saudi Arabia.
- The Tunisian regime shift prompted people in other countries to protest authoritarian rulers in their own countries.
- As people began to express their dissatisfaction with unemployment, corruption, discrimination, authoritarianism, and poverty, the street protests sparked a wave of revolts across the Middle East.
Impact of Arab Spring:
- Many long-standing autocrats were deposed as a result of the Arab Spring.
- The Arab Spring’s aftermath is being played out in Yemen as a proxy conflict between Saudi Arabia and the UAE, both US proxies, and Iran.
- Millions of people have been uprooted, and a Saudi-led embargo has resulted in widespread famine and misery.
- Despite the fact that the 2011 protest movements were unique in their interwoven battle for democracy across the region, the drive to remove corruption and enhance citizens’ quality of life did not end with the Arab Spring.
A new dwarf boa species from Ecuador
In the Ecuadoran Amazon, scientists found a new species of dwarf boa and named it after an Indigenous campaigner.
Dwarf Boa Facts:
- The snake, which belonged to the Tropidophiidae family, was discovered in the cloud forest of northern Ecuador and measured up to 20 cm in length.
- Tropidophis cacuangoae may be distinguished from other reptiles of the same genus by its outward characteristics and bone structure.
- The scientists discovered two confirmed examples of the species.
- It is predominantly light brown in colour with deeper brown or black markings, comparable to a boa constrictor.
- The species lives in the Amazon tropical rainforest biome’s eastern tropical piedmont and lower evergreen montane forests, and the researchers believe it is an Ecuadorian endemic.
- The species is unique in that it has a “vestigial pelvis,” which is common in primitive snakes.
- This might indicate that snakes evolved from lizards that lost limbs over millions of years.
- The Origins of Names: The snake was named after Dolores Cacuango, an early 20th-century pioneer in Ecuador’s battle for indigenous and agricultural rights.
Sagol Kangjei: Ancient Polo of Manipur
The modern-day Polo game, Sagol Kangjei, is thought to have originated in Manipur.
- Polo is thought to have evolved from Sagol Kangjei, a Manipur-specific sport.
- Players in this game ride horses, notably Manipur Ponies, which have been mentioned in records dating back to the 14th century.
Manipur Pony Breed Preservation
- The Manipur Pony is one of India’s five recognised horse breeds, and it holds significant cultural value for Manipuri society.
- For millennia, the pony has been essential to Manipuri society for its socio-cultural connection.
- Its ancestors are unknown, with one account claiming Tibetan ponies as ancestors and another claiming a hybrid between a Mongolian wild horse and an Arabian.
- The number of Manipur Ponies was 1,898 in the 17th Quinquennial Livestock Census in 2003, but it declined to 1,101 in the 19th Quinquennial Livestock Census in 2012.