public administration sector Current Affairs - 2020

April 21: Civil Services Day

Every year, India celebrates Civil Service Day on April 21. The main aim of celebrating the day is to motivate the efforts and works of civil servants.

Awards

On the Civil Service Day, India rewards various officers with Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Public Administration. The awards work as an inspiration to the civil servants.

The awards are presented in three categories. The category 1 that includes hill states and North Eastern States. The Category 2 includes 7 Union Territories. The Category 3 includes the rest of 18 states.

Why April 21?

Every year April 21 is celebrated as Civil Services Day. It was on this day in 1947, Shri Sardar Vallabhai Patel addressed the first batch probationers of Administrative Services. However, the day was celebrated for the first time in 2006.

Significance

According to Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Civil Servants are the backbone of Indian economy. They work tirelessly towards smooth functioning of public administration. Their responsibilities are towards executing the policies of the ruling party and not with the party itself.

Revision of GDP Estimates

The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has released the First Revised Estimates of National Income, Consumption Expenditure, Saving and Capital Formation, 2017-18. The highlights of the revised estimates are:

  • The forecast for GDP growth for 2017-18 was increased to 7.2% from the earlier estimate of 6.7%.
  • The actual growth rate in 2016-17 has been increased to 8.2% from the 7.1% estimated earlier.

The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation clarifies that the revision of the estimates for 2015-16 and 2016-17 are on the account of the availability of the latest data on agricultural production, industrial production, government expenditure (replacing the Revised Estimates with Actual for 2016-17) and also more comprehensive data available from various source agencies like the MCA and the NABARD and State/Union Territory Directorates of Economics and Statistics.

Criticisms against the Revision

The Economists criticise the revision because of the following reasons:

  • The numbers do not match up to the ground realities.
  • The data corresponding to the demonetisation year of 2016-17 shows strong growth in sectors that were widely agreed to have been badly hit by the exercise.
  • The main factor for the revision was the increase in private final consumption expenditure which was increased by 1 percentage point. This was inconsistent with the idea of people having less cash to make purchases.
  • The other main driver of the upward revision was the construction sector which was revised upwards by 4.7 percentage points. The earlier analyses had indicated that construction which has a large informal sector component was adversely affected similar to other informal sectors due to demonetisation.
  • Other drivers for the upward revision in 2017-18, mining and quarrying sector and the public administration sector had data that is compiled by the government itself. Hence they should not have undergone such a vast revision. .

With 2019 being a election year, critics also cry foul play on part of the government to project a happy picture before the general elections.