It seems that India will receive deficient rainfall for a second consecutive year. In 2014, by mid-July, many parts of the country were hit by severe droughts, only to be followed by excessive rainfall and unprecedented floods in Kashmir.
For 2015, IMD has forecast that the total rainfall may be 93% of normal and also there is 35% probability of deficient monsoon.
In a country, where farmers are already suffering due to crops damaged by unseasonal rain, a deficient monsoon is plain bad news.
A PTI report says:
Addressing a news conference, Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Earth Science, said the Monsoon would be 93 per cent of the Long Period Average which is below normal.
According to the IMD parameters, below 90 per cent is defined as deficient, 90-96 per cent is considered as below normal, 96-104 per cent as normal and above which is excess.
He, however, did not respond to whether the country is likely to face any "drought-like" condition.
"There is a 35 per cent probability for the monsoon to remain below normal while the probability to have a deficient rainfall is 33 per cent and 28 per cent to be normal. There is only one per cent possibility for the rainfall to be excess.
Professor Swaminathan, the father of India's Green Revolution tweeted:
On the implications of IMD's predictions, Manas Chakravarty writes in the Mint:
Over the years, agriculture has become a smaller part of the economy and its contribution to gross domestic product has fallen. But then, neither investment demand nor exports are doing particularly well at the moment and rural demand is depressed. Another poor monsoon will add to the burden.
Two poor monsoons in a row as well as the recent unseasonal rain will certainly pose a challenge to controlling inflation, while the lack of rural demand will affect consumption growth, pushing back the long-awaited economic recovery.
This inforgraphic from Hindustan Times shows the possible effect of El Nino on Indian monsoon:
A report by Reuters on the effects of El Nino says:
Bangladesh and its South Asian neighbours are expected to see below average rainfall in 2015 due to the impact of an El Nino weather pattern, which can bring on a dry spell in the region, a weather expert said on Wednesday.
In India, a strong El Nino could result in droughts during the monsoon season and hit crops from rice to sugar and cotton in the country which is one of the world's leading producers of these farm commodities.
Under the circumstances, Anil Padmanbhan asked the most pertinent question in his Mint blog: Don’t the weather gods like the NDA?
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Yogendra Yadav succinctly sums up the whole l'affaire Vadra: (a rough summing up - not a full transcription):
Are we dealing with wild allegations? Each allegation made here is backed by a document. Not one of these documents has been claimed to be forged by anyone.
These documents have been checked by independent media like the Hindu etc.
Will the case presented by Prashant Bhushan and Arvind Kejriwal lead to foolproof legal conviction? We do not.
But the questions we are asking are basically three:
1. Is Mr Vadra's dealing a a healthy, normal business practice -- an ethical practice which then every business man in the country should try and emulate?
2. Is the conduct of Haryana government in public interest?
3. Is the conduct of a very, very powerful person in this country connected to the most powerful family - does it meet the minimum norms of political morality?
These are larger questions, not of conviction of an individual. These are questions of propriety and not legality.
Could Mr Vadra not have learnt something from the PM's family whose behaviour has been exemplary because despite all other charges against the PM, not a finger has been raised against any of the PM's close relatives.
The Prime Minister keeps talking about Caesar's wife who should be above suspicion. The same should apply to Mr Vadra
In the Ramayana, the dhobi had just raised a question about Sita. And Lord Ram ensured that she underwent a test by fire. You control the CBI. The people of the country are not asking anything more than the fact that Mr Vadra should undergo an investigation and prove out innocent.
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All that is required is a credible, independent investigation
The Economist's annual collection of predictions for the year ahead is out and it forecasts: Pakistan will be messy but stable (unless there is catastrophic violence—an important assassination or a terrorist attack in India), China will become the world’s second-largest economy but will need to learn to chill, Obama will have a lousy year, Japan will remain in its fiscal black hole, NATO may lose in Afghanistan, the UK would get a regime change, the only thing harder to sell than a newspaper will be a newspaper company, green engineers would be way cooler than MBAs and, on July 11th, the world will watch a proud team win the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. In between, India's factories will overtake its farms:
The monsoon once decided India’s economic fate. Now it only influences it. Agriculture’s share of India’s national output has dropped from 40% 30 years ago to 17% in 2009. Indeed, India’s economy is now on the cusp of an historic transition. In 2010 agriculture will account for a smaller share of GDP than manufacturing: India’s output of widgets will exceed its output of wheat, rice, cotton and the other fruits of the land. The factory will surpass the farm.
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