Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

From The Editor’s Desk

March 4, 2022

At the turn of the first decade of this century, there was much hope and optimism about India’s demographic dividend. With approximately 65% of the population under the age of 35, it held the promise of reaping the riches of having a massive young workforce to power the economy. Instead of capitalising on the benefits of having a young population, the India of 2022 is grappling with a massive unemployment problem. A series of unfortunate events — some due to bizarre policy decisions and some unforeseen — has brought the country to a juncture where the lack of jobs has driven the youth into despair and pessimism.

In our cover story, we dig deep into data to understand how and why we reached where we stand today. The Indian economy was already reeling under the ill effects of demonetisation and a badly conceived Goods and Services Tax regime, when the Covid-19 pandemic ripped the country’s economic fabric. As a result, in December 2021, the employment rate stood close to eight percent with inflation touching seven percent even as the economy has been grappling with post-Covid-19 strain. This doesn’t bode well for the job market in the foreseeable future.

Another area of concern is the environment. The latest forest survey report paints a rosy picture with the overall forest cover increasing by 1,540 sq km. But a closer look at the data reveals a contrasting narrative. There has been very little growth in the Very Dense Forest cover, while the area under Moderate Dense Forest has decreased significantly. This number jugglery in plain sight has made environmentalists see red in the attempted greenwash. Equally troubling is the roadmap that India has charted for transitioning from fossil fuelbased to green energy generation. The plan to set up mega solar power parks runs contrary to the SDG 15 objective.

Amidst this, the emergence of companies like Attero represent hope. The Roorkee-based company has patented more than 30 technologies to power the circular economy, which is the way forward, as the quantity of e-waste increases exponentially with each passing year. In this issue, we also peel the layers off the contentious issue of marital rape, on which Indian lawmakers have been dragging their feet. And we highlight the plight of the handloom weavers of eastern UP, who have been severely impacted by the effects of the lockdowns.

Hope you enjoy this packed issue and do send us your feedback.

Sumi Gupta