The Economic Survey for 2021-22, released on January 31, explains the government's "Agile" approach to its economic response to the coronavirus pandemic. This framework is based on feed-back loops, real-time monitoring of actual outcomes, flexible responses, and safety-net buffers, among others.
If one were to go by the length of the Economic Survey, the government's response may have been more muted in FY22 when compared to FY21, with the document being markedly shorter than its immediate predecessor. This was largely down to the complete removal of an entire volume.
"The two volume format did allow space for bringing in new ideas and themes but, at almost 900 pages, it was also becoming unwieldy," Sanjeev Sanyal, the government's Principal Economic Adviser, wrote in the preface to the Survey.
The Economic Survey for 2020-21 comprised of a 335-page Volume 1, 368-page Volume 2, and a 174-page long statistical appendix. The Economic Survey for 2020-21 is 413 pages long, with a 208-page long statistical appendix.
The two-volume approach did indeed allow the government's economists to float plenty of new ideas into the public domain. In recent years, these ranged from universal basic income to 'Thalinomics' to a stinging critique of global rating agencies and their methods.
According to Sanyal, the second volume was removed as it was felt that "the thematic chapters of Volume 1 were not adequately linked to the sectoral chapters of Volume 2".
It has not been all removal, however. A new chapter titled 'Tracking Development through Satellite Images and Cartography' has been added to show the extent to which physical as well as financial infrastructure has developed in India.
"Night-time luminosity provides an interesting representation of the expansion of electricity supply, the geographical distribution of population and economic activity, urban expansion as well as growth of ribbon developments between urban hubs. Similarly, using geospatial and cartographic techniques, the subsequent maps show the extent of physical as well as financial infrastructure development in India," the aforementioned chapter from the Economic Survey noted.