A SURVEY IN PINK
As a symbol of support for the growing global movement to end violence against women, the Economic Survey for 2017-18 has a pink-coloured cover. Notably, it also points to addressing the deep societal meta-preference in favour of sons, and empowering women with education and reproductive and economic agency as critical challenges for the Indian economy. In the seventh chapter of the Survey’s first volume, it also uses the term #MeToo, referring to the global campaign against sexual violence against women.
Reverting back to the older practice, this year’s Economic Survey has come in two volumes “in response to popular demand”. Last year’s survey came out in just one volume. The detailed review of the year gone by that was covered by the companion volume before 2016-17 had appeared in a mid-year standalone document. For 2017-18’s survey, while volume-1 contains the analytical overview volume-2 provides the more descriptive review of the current fiscal year.
Incorporating data on international exports of states for the first time, the Economic Survey underscores the direct co-relation between export performance of states and how rich they are. The Survey pointed out that five states – Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Telangana – accounted for 70 per cent of India’s exports.
The Economic Survey cited Bollywood actor Sunny Deol’s iconic dialogue ‘tarikh-par-tarikh’ (dates after dates) from the film Damini to highlight the frequent delays in the judicial process. It called for coordinated action between government and the judiciary to address the delays and boost economic activity. The Survey also begins the chapter about climate change and agriculture with a line from the song of Manoj Kumar-starrer Upkaar – Mere desh ki dharti sona ugle ugle heerey moti (My country’s soil where crops grow like gold, diamonds, and pearls).