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India’s GDP calculation methodology sparks debate

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

New Delhi: As India adopted a new way of calculating its gross domestic product (GDP) six months ago, the data is in controversy with many people questioning it. There is a debate going on whether or not these numbers be taken on its face value.

Photo credit: tibetanreview.com
Photo credit: tibetanreview.com

However, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley seems to welcome the debate, adding that the government has no role in this matter.

He said at The Economist magazine’s annual conference, “The manner in which the CSO (Central Statistics Office) functions is autonomous and independent of the government… they work at arm’s length from the government, while the models they employ are all internationally compatible.”

India’s new series of GDP figures continue to be wrapped up in controversy, over six months after its release.

Questions pertaining to the new estimates of India’s national income have been raised by several critics. Raghuram Rajan, Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has stated publicly that it is difficult to take the new GDP numbers at face value and that he needs to study them further.

A committee headed by National Statistical Commission Chief, Pronab Sen, has been set up to examine the estimation methodology. He has however been a vocal supporter of the new series. “In the meanwhile, let both the exercise as well as the debate continue, which is always welcome in democracy,” the minister said.

The Indian economy grew by seven percent in the first quarter of this fiscal, showing signs of slowing vis-a-vis the 7.5 percent expansion in the quarter before. But the growth was much higher than 6.7 percent registered in the first quarter of the last fiscal.

The new number seem quite contradictory when compared with other economic indicators such as the revenue growth of listed firms and bank credit growth, the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), as well as real ground level challenges for companies such as weak demand, high debt and low earnings.

with inputs from IANS

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WhatsApp Limits Frequency of Forwarding Messages

WhatsApp limits frequently forwarding messages to 1 chat at a time

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WhatsApp
WhatsApp announced to introduce a new limit on frequently forwarding messages where a WhatsApp user can forward such messages to one chat at a time. Pixabay

In a bid to curb the flow of misinformation in COVID-19 times, Facebook-owned WhatsApp on Tuesday announced to introduce a new limit on frequently forwarding messages where a WhatsApp user can forward such messages to one chat at a time.

This limit kicks in once a message has been previously forwarded five times or more, the company said in a statement.

The chat-app, which has over 400 million users in India last year introduced users to the concept of messages that have been forwarded many times.

These messages are labeled with double arrows to indicate they did not originate from a close contact. In effect, these messages are less personal compared to typical messages sent on the app.

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“We are now introducing a limit so that these messages can only be forwarded to one chat at a time,” the company said in a statement.

WhatsApp
WhatsApp is working with NGOs and governments, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and over 20 national health ministries, to help connect people with accurate information. Pixabay

The company said it bans two million accounts per month for attempting to send bulk or automated messages.

The social media app set global limits on forwarded messages to constrain virality in January last year where it restricted forwarding messaging to five times from an individual or a group.

“We set limits on forwarded messages to constrain virality which led to a 25 per cent decrease in message forwards globally at the time,” informed WhatsApp.

In recent weeks, people have also used WhatsApp to organize public moments of support for frontline health workers.

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“However, we’ve seen a significant increase in the amount of forwarding which users have told us can feel overwhelming and can contribute to the spread of misinformation,” WhatsApp noted, adding that it’s important to slow the spread of these messages down to keep WhatsApp a place for personal conversation.

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The chat-app is working with NGOs and governments, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and over 20 national health ministries, to help connect people with accurate information.
It has also announced the WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Hub. (IANS)