India at a Glance: NITI Aayog's Poverty Claims vs. Ground Realities

26-02-2024

India is witnessing a significant decline in poverty levels, with NITI Aayog's chief claiming that less than 5% of the population is now below the poverty line, and extreme destitution has nearly vanished. This assertion is based on the 2022-23 Household Consumption Expenditure Survey (HCES), which also suggests that retail inflation may have been overstated in recent years. The survey's findings indicate potential for a reduction in India's headline inflation, providing more leeway for monetary and fiscal policies to stimulate growth rather than focusing on inflation concerns, especially as the survey shows a decrease in food expenditure across rural and urban areas.

 

In a remarkable act of bravery, an elderly couple from Tamil Nadu's Tenkasi risked their lives to prevent a train from derailing after a truck fell on the tracks near Bhagavathipuram railway station. The couple's quick action in the early hours helped avert a potential disaster.

 

The Indian Railways has decided to reclassify passenger trains as express specials, marking the end of an era. This change means that commuters will now have to pay express fares, which are nearly double the earlier second class ordinary fares.

 

Violence in Haryana has resulted in the death of the Indian National Lok Dal’s state president, Nafe Singh Rathee, and an acquaintance, highlighting the ongoing issues of safety and crime.

 

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin has criticized the Central Government for not providing financial assistance for flood relief, despite the severe impact of two major floods in the region last year.

 

In West Bengal, a Trinamool Congress leader faced the wrath of villagers in Sandeshkhali over allegations of land grab and torture, showcasing the tensions between political leaders and the communities they serve.

 

VinFast Auto from Vietnam is set to enter the Indian market with its range of high-tech electric vehicles, promising affordability and innovation in the automotive sector.

 

Tamil Nadu has been recognized for its biodiversity, ranking 7th in the Great Backyard Bird Count 2024 with observations of over 350 bird species, highlighting the state's rich avian diversity.

 

The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church has sought the intervention of Kerala's Governor in the matter of the Church Bill, emphasizing the importance of adhering to the Supreme Court's ruling from 2017.

 

At the 13th WTO ministerial conference in Abu Dhabi, India, led by Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, will navigate discussions amidst global economic uncertainties, including the impacts of the Red Sea crisis, the Ukraine-Russia war, and the Israel-Hamas conflict.

 

The entertainment industry mourns the loss of V. Mahesh, a renowned film and television serial producer and writer, who passed away in Chennai following an unfortunate accident.

 

Liverpool has secured its 10th English League Cup trophy, with Virgil van Dijk's goal leading the team to victory over Chelsea in a closely contested match.

 

In Pakistan, Maryam Nawaz, a senior leader of the PML-N and daughter of three-time former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, has submitted her nomination papers for the Chief Minister of Punjab, indicating a significant political move in the country's politics.

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