A risky recovery — on IMF’s global growth predictions
Countries will need to move beyond monetary stimulus to boost their economies
A broad-based recovery (व्यापक आधार पर वसूली) in global growth may be gathering steam, but the price the world will have to pay for it is still unknown. According to the IMF’s January update of the World Economic Outlook, the global economy is all set to clock (समय मिलाना) its best growth rate in seven years in 2018 following a pick-up since mid-2016. The IMF estimated that the global economy could accelerate to 3.9% in both 2018 and 2019, an upward revision of 0.2 percentage point over its previous estimates in October for both years, boosted by a cyclical recovery in global growth and the historic tax cuts in the U.S. India’s economy is projected to grow at 7.4% during the financial year 2019, and at an even faster pace of 7.8% the following year. If the IMF’s predictions come true, India will be the fastest-growing major economy next year as China’s growth is expected to slow from 6.6% this year to 6.4% in 2019. What comes as a further surprise is the upward revision in growth forecasts for many countries in Europe, thanks to stronger demand. The IMF, however, was not oblivious (बेख़बर) to the threats that could severely derail the broad-based economic recovery. In particular, it warned about the “troubling” rise in debt levels across countries, including the U.S., which could pose a huge risk to financial stability and drag down economic growth.
It is no secret that since the 2008 financial crisis the global economy has been propped (सम्भालना) up mainly by the unprecedented (अनोखा) easy money policies adopted by global central banks. In fact, the absence of substantial (वास्तविक) structural reforms to complement central bank stimulus (प्रोत्साहन) measures has been another feature of the present global economic recovery. Such a recovery comes with the inherent (अंतर्निहित) risk of being derailed whenever easy monetary conditions that fuelled it cease to exist. While central banks until now have been careful not to spook (डराना) markets with the prospect of higher interest rates, it is unlikely that they can keep markets calm forever. As the IMF has pointed out, the possible end to the era of abundant liquidity and debt-fuelled economic activity is likely to cause disruption by affecting asset prices. As interest rates reach higher levels, it is likely to also expose the various real economic distortions created by a low interest rate policy, particularly across borders. While it is hard to predict the next downturn (गिरावट), it seems the day of reckoning may not be too far as consumer price inflation begins to push central banks to rethink their dovish (शांतिवादी) stance. The IMF is right to urge countries to make use of the current rosy (सुहाना) conditions to enact useful structural reforms. It is time countries recognise that monetary policy alone won’t solve all growth problems.
1. Clock: Attain or register (a specified time, distance, or speed)
Synonyms: register, record, log
2. Oblivious: not informed about or aware of something
Synonyms: clueless, incognizant, innocent, insensible, nescient, ignorant, unacquainted, unaware, unconscious, uninformed, unknowing, unmindful, unwitting
Antonyms: acquainted, aware, cognizant, conscious, conversant, grounded, informed, knowing, mindful, witting
3. Propped: to provide (someone) with what is useful or necessary to achieve an end
Synonyms: abet, aid, assist, back, backstop, help (up), support
Antonyms: hinder, baffle, foil, frustrate, inconvenience, interfere, oppose, sabotage, thwart, desert, disappoint, fail, let down
4. Unprecedented: not known or experienced before
Synonyms: fresh, novel, original, strange, unaccustomed, unfamiliar, unheard-of, unknown, new
Antonyms: familiar, hackneyed, old, time-honored, tired, warmed-over
5. Substantial: having great meaning or lasting effect
Synonyms: big, consequential, earthshaking, earth-shattering, eventful, historic, major, material, meaningful, momentous, monumental, much, significant, important, tectonic, weighty
Antonyms: inconsequential, inconsiderable, insignificant, little, minor, negligible, slight, small, trifling, trivial, unimportant, anonymous, nameless, obscure, uncelebrated, unknown
6. Stimulus: something that arouses action or activity
Synonyms: boost, encouragement, goad, impetus, incentive, incitation, incitement, instigation, momentum, motivation, provocation, spur, stimulant, impulse, yeast
Antonyms: counterincentive, disincentive
7. Inherent: being a part of the innermost nature of a person or thing
Synonyms: built-in, constitutional, constitutive, essential, hardwired, immanent, inborn, inbred, indigenous, ingrain, ingrained (also engrained), innate, integral, intrinsic, native, natural
Antonyms: adventitious, extraneous, extrinsic, acquired, adscititious
8. Spook: Frighten; unnerve.
Synonyms: appal, horrify, shock, shake, shake up
9. Downturn: A decline in economic, business, or other activity.
Synonyms: setbacks, upsets, reverses, reversals, reversals of fortune, downturns, mishaps, strokes of ill luck, strokes of bad luck, accidents, shocks, vicissitudes, crises, catastrophes, tragedies, calamities, trials, crosses, knocks, burdens, blows, buffets
Antonyms: ascent, improvement, increase, rise, betterment
10. Dovish: Advocating peaceful or conciliatory policies, especially in foreign affairs.
Synonyms: peaceful, pacific, pacifist (or pacifistic), peaceable
Antonyms: bloodthirsty, hawkish, martial, warlike
11. Rosy: Promising or suggesting good fortune or happiness; hopeful.
Synonyms: promising, full of promise, optimistic, auspicious, hopeful, full of hope, encouraging, favourable, bright, sunny, golden, cheerful, happy
Reform with caution — on criminal justice system
The Centre must act on the Malimath report on criminal law revamp, but with due care
It is not a bad idea to revisit old committee reports with a view to considering their possible implementation. However, such an exercise must be pursued (पीछा करना) with care and caution. The Centre’s decision to revisit the 2003 report of the Justice V.S. Malimath Committee on reforming the criminal justice system needs to be examined through the prism (वर्णक्रम) of civil rights. It includes controversial recommendations such as making confessions to a senior police officer admissible (स्वीकार करने योग्य) as evidence, and diluting the standard of proof required for a criminal conviction. It also contains valuable suggestions to revamp the administration of criminal law, covering the entire gamut (पहुंच) of the justice system from investigation to sentencing, from matters of policy to the nuances of criminal procedure and the law of evidence. The committee made 158 recommendations, and since then some of these have become law. Its suggestion on permitting videography of statements has been implemented. The definition of rape has been expanded and new offences against women have been added. Its advocacy of substantial witness protection has not been realised, but victim compensation is now part of law. The Centre would do well to ignore the recommendations relating to making confessions to high-ranking officers admissible, and increasing the period of police custody from 15 to 30 days. These provisions were available only in anti-terrorism laws that are now no more in force. There is no need to bring them into general criminal laws.
The Malimath report suggests a standard of proof lower than the current ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ standard. It moots (कानून के छात्रों की मंडली) a ‘clear and convincing’ standard, that is, it is enough if the court is convinced that something is true. Such a measure would have adverse (प्रतिकूल) implications for suspects, and requires considerable deliberation (विचार-विमर्श). There is some understandable disquiet about the state of criminal justice administration in the country and there is a crying need for a wide range of reforms. As the Madhava Menon Committee’s ‘Draft National Policy on Criminal Justice’ (2007) noted, such popular dissatisfaction arises from the low rate of conviction, the apparent role of money and influence in the outcome of cases, delayed and denied justice, lack of protection to witnesses and inadequate attention to crime victims. The widespread perception that there is corruption on the one hand and a deep nexus between crime syndicates and politicians on the other, has added to the erosion of public confidence in the justice delivery system. Despite all these considerations, any move to make substantive (मौलिक) changes in the way criminal justice is administered will have to be done with great circumspection (सावधानता), lest vital constitutional safeguards against abuse of police and judicial powers are violated in the process. In the name of revamping (पुनर्निर्माण करना) the law, investigation and trial should not be altered in a way that undermines the principles on which the justice system was founded.
- Pursue: Continue to investigate or explore (an idea or argument)
Synonyms: conduct, undertake, follow, carry on, devote oneself to, go on with, proceed with, go ahead with, carry on with, keep on with, continue with, continue, take further, prosecute, persist in, stick at, stick with
Antonyms: guide, lead, pilot
- Prism: Used to refer to the clarification or distortion afforded by a particular viewpoint.
- Admissible: Acceptable or valid, especially as evidence in a court of law.
Synonyms: allowable, allowed, permissible, permitted, acceptable, passable, tolerable, satisfactory, justifiable, defensible, supportable, well founded, tenable, sound, sensible, reasonable
Antonyms: banned, barred, forbidden, impermissible, inadmissible, interdicted, prohibited, proscribed, verboten
- Gamut: The complete range or scope of something.
Synonyms: range, spectrum, span, sweep, compass, scope, area, breadth, width, reach, extent, catalogue, scale, sequence, series
Words Related: ambit, amplitude, compass, dimension(s), extent, reach, realm, scope, sweep, width
- Moots: Subject to debate, dispute, or uncertainty.
Synonyms: debatable, open to debate, open to discussion, arguable, questionable, at issue, open to question, open, doubtful, open to doubt, disputable, contestable, controvertible, problematic, problematical, controversial, contentious, vexed, disputed, unresolved, unsettled, up in the air, undecided, yet to be decided, undetermined, unconcluded
Antonyms: accomplished, certain, hands-down, inarguable, incontestable, incontrovertible, indisputable, indubitable, irrefragable, positive, questionless, settled, sure, unanswerable, unarguable, unchallengeable, undebatable, undeniable, unquestionable
- Adverse: Preventing success or development; harmful; unfavourable.
Synonyms: unfavourable, disadvantageous, inauspicious, unpropitious, unfortunate, unlucky, untimely, untoward, harmful, dangerous, injurious, detrimental, hurtful, deleterious, destructive, pernicious, disadvantageous, unfavourable, unfortunate, unhealthy, hostile, unfavourable, antagonistic, unfriendly, ill-disposed, negative, opposing, opposed, contrary, dissenting, inimical, antipathetic, at odds
Antonyms: advantageous, favorable, friendly, positive, supportive, sympathetic, well-disposed, anodyne, benign, harmless, hurtless, innocent, innocuous, inoffensive, safe, affable, agreeable, amiable, amicable, benign, benignant, complying, congenial, cordial, friendly, hospitable
- Deliberation: Long and careful consideration or discussion.
Synonyms: thought, thinking, consideration, reflection, contemplation, cogitation, pondering, weighing up, musing, meditation, rumination, brooding
Words Related: bull session, chat room, forum, meeting, powwow, roundtable, seminar, skull session (also skull practice), symposium, talkathon
- Substantive: Having a firm basis in reality and so important, meaningful, or considerable.
Synonyms: biggish, good, goodly, handsome, healthy, largish, major, respectable, significant, sizable (or sizeable), substantial, considerable, tidy
Antonyms: inconsequential, inconsiderable, insignificant, insubstantial, negligible, nominal
- Circumspection: The quality of being wary and unwilling to take risks; prudence.
Synonyms: caution, carefulness, care, wariness, chariness, guardedness
Antonyms: brashness, carelessness, heedlessness, incaution, incautiousness, recklessness, unwariness
- Revamping: the act, process, or result of making different
Synonyms: alteration, difference, modification, redoing, refashioning, remaking, remodeling, change, review, revise, revision, reworking, variation
Antonyms: fixation, stabilization