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Economic Indicators and Various Reports On It- GDP, FD, EODB, WIR etc

No green shoots of a revival in sight as yetop-ed snap

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much.

Mains level : Paper 3- Significance of quarterly GDP estimates and revision.


Context

As the third-quarter GDP was marginally higher than the second-quarter figure of 4.5% many concluded that the economic slowdown witnessed during the last six quarters has “bottomed out”. Has it?

What closer examination of data reveal?

  • Estimates revised upwards: A closer reading reveals that the latest data release has revised the estimates of the first two quarters of the current year (2019-2020) upwards to 5.6% and 5.1%, from the earlier figures of 5% and 4.5%, respectively.
  • What the revision mean? The upward revisions have, perhaps unwittingly, changed the interpretation of the current year’s Q3 estimate: the slowdown has continued, not bottomed out; hence, there is no economic revival in sight as of now.

Competing views of the performance

  • The question therefore is why did the current year’s Q1 and Q2 GDP estimates get revised upwards?
    • The answer is this was simply because the corresponding figures for the previous year (2018-2019) got revised downwards.
  • The question over the revision process: Many viewed the revision of last year’s estimates as evidence of lack of credibility of the NSO’s revision process.
  • Questions over the veracity of data: Such doubts are well taken, given the long-standing debate and unresolved disputes on the veracity of GDP figures put out since 2015, when the statistical office released the new series of National Accounts with 2011-2012 as base year.

Why the GDP estimates undergo revisions?

  • Lags in data: As there are lags and unanticipated delays in obtaining the primary data, the GDP estimates undergo several revisions everywhere (except in China).
    • GDP is a statistical construct, prepared using many bits of quantitative information on an economy’s production, consumption and incomes.
  • How frequently is data revised? GDP estimates are revised five times in India over nearly three years.
    • The initial two rounds, the advanced estimates, are prepared mainly using high-frequency proxy indicators followed by three rounds based on data obtained from various sectors.

Quarterly GDP estimates and issues with it

  • Since 1999, quarterly GDP estimates are being prepared, as per the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s data dissemination standards.
  • Subpar quality: Their quality is subpar as the primary data needed quarterly are mostly lacking.
    • Why quality is subpar? Nearly one-half of India’s GDP originates in the unorganised sector (including agriculture), whose output is not easily amenable to direct estimation every quarter, given the informal nature of production and employment.
    • Hence, the estimates are obtained as ratios, proportions and projections of the annual GDP estimates.
  • Quarterly estimates are extrapolations: In general terms, quarterly estimates of GDP are extrapolations of annual series of GDP. The estimates of GVA by industry are compiled by extrapolating value of output or value-added with relevant indicators.

Way forward

  • Little ground to question the present revisions: There were considerable variations at the sectoral estimates after the revision, which probably contained more noise than information. For now, there is little ground to question the revised estimates based on the publicly available information.
  • Slowdown not bottomed out: If we accept the latest data, it is clear, though in an alarming way, that there has been an undeniable decline in the GDP growth rate over seven consecutive quarters, from 7.1% in Q1 of 2018-2019 to 4.7% in Q3 of 2019-2020.
    • Considering that physical indicators of production, such as the official index of infrastructure output, or monthly automotive sales, continue to show an unambiguous deceleration, the economic slowdown has apparently not bottomed-out.
    • More seriously, the quarterly GDP deceleration comes over and above the annual GDP growth slowdown for four years now: from 8.3% in 2016-17 to 5% in 2019-20 (as per the second advance estimate).
  • Limited primary information: India’s quarterly GDP estimates have limited primary information in them. Their revisions are largely extrapolations and projections of the annual figures. Hence, one should be cautious in reading too much into the specific numbers.
Economic Indicators and Various Reports On It- GDP, FD, EODB, WIR etc

Don’t blame it on NSOop-ed snap

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much.

Mains level : Paper 3- Revision and estimates of GDP data.


Context

The latest GDP data witnessed significant revisions that have gone largely unnoticed.

The GDP data revision and its criticism

  • Revisions an act of due diligence: In the last few years there has been a lot of noise regarding the data revisions.
    • The need for closer examination: While part of revision requires closer examination, we must be fair to our statistical system as such revisions are, in large part, due diligence and happen globally.
  • Schedule of NSO estimates
    • First estimate: The NSO releases the first estimates of any fiscal year in January.
    • Revises the January’s first estimates in February.
    • And then again in May.
    • Simultaneous revision in February: Simultaneously, it revises the previous year estimates in February, alongside the February data release.
  • Suspicion of statistically protecting the 5% growth: The primary criticism, with the current year’s fiscal data, is that the revisions in February for 2019-20 and the 4th revision in 2018-19 are almost identical, implying that the sanctity of 5 per cent growth was statistically protected.

Examining the criticism purely on the data

  • Precedence of 1st and 2nd quarter revision: There is precedence to the first and second quarter revisions for the current financial year that happen in February.
    • For example, while in the current fiscal, the cumulative downward revision was close to Rs 30,000 crore.
    • In FY19, there was even a greater upward revision of roughly Rs 86,000 crore in February.
  • Is there precedence of such large first-time revisions? Yes, there has been since 2014-15. In 2018-19, the first-time data was revised by a sharp Rs 1.43 lakh crore, while in 2017-18, it was revised by an even larger Rs 1.69 lakh crore.
  • Revision in the same direction: The simultaneous revisions are mostly in the same direction, though different in magnitude, and hence it is unfair to say that the 2018-19 data was revised downwards to protect the 2019-20 numbers.

What was the problem?

  • Uncertainty: The problem has been that the global and domestic uncertainties in 2017-18 and 2018-19 have been so swift that it has been virtually impossible to predict the outcome initially.
    • While in 2017-18, the final estimates were progressively higher.
    • In 2018-19, while the interim estimates were higher, they were drastically scaled-down later as the impact of the NBFC crisis began to unfold.
  • The US example: The US Fed had also missed the possibility of the US economy bouncing back in 2018 on the back of tax cuts when in 2015 it had projected the economy to expand by only 2 per cent, only to change it to 3 per cent in 2018 (almost at par with scale of revisions in India).

Why such unconditional biases arise?

  • Asymmetric loss function: It is common for such unconditional bias to arise due to the fact that the statistical reporting agency produces releases according to an asymmetric loss function.
    • For example, there may be a preference for an optimistic/pessimistic release in the first stage, followed by a more pessimistic/optimistic one in the later stage.
  • Cost factor: Intuitively, one might argue that the cost of a downward readjustment of the preliminary data is higher than the cost of an upward adjustment.
  • This asymmetric loss function is not so relevant at the reporting stage but at the forecasting stage.
  • Interpreting the data revision: A statistical reporting agency like the NSO simply does not have all the data at hand and has to forecast the values of the yet to be collecting data.
    • It is at that moment that the asymmetric loss function comes into play.
    • So, we must be careful about interpreting data revisions by the NSO by attributing ulterior motives as we more often tend to do.

India lagging in the use of data analysis

  • Unlike countries across the world, India is still significantly lagging in its use of data analysis.
    • Methodologies based on thin surveys: Some of the current methodologies of data collection is based mostly on thin surveys.
    • Not supported by the data in public domain: It is also not supported by data available in the public domain that are more comprehensive, less biased and real-time in nature, based on digital footprints.
    • The end result is that we end up publishing survey results that are misleading.

Way forward

  • Development of big data and AI bases ecosystem: We must develop an ecosystem that is high quality, timely and accessible.
    • Big data and artificial intelligence are key elements in such a process.
    • Big data helps acquire real-time information at a granular level and makes data more accessible, scalable and fine-tuned.
  • Use of payment data: The use of payments data can also help track economic activity, as is being done in Italy.
    • Different aggregates of the payment system in Italy, jointly with other indicators, are usually adopted in GDP forecasting and can provide additional information content.

Conclusion

To be fair to both the RBI and the NSO, the volatility of oil prices and structural changes in the economy make the forecasting of inflation and GDP a difficult job indeed. However, we should supplement our existing measurement practices with “big data” to make our statistical system more comprehensive and robust.

Global Geological And Climatic Events

Explained: Cycle 25/ Solar CycleExplained

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Solar Cycle, Sunspots, Solar Dynamo

Mains level : Read the attached story


 

 

The sunspots identified by researchers from IISER Kolkata herald the start of a new solar cycle called Cycle 25.

What are Sunspots?

  • Sunspots are temporary phenomena on the Sun’s photosphere that appear as spots darker than the surrounding areas. They are relatively cooler spots on the Sun’s surface.
  • They are regions of reduced surface temperature caused by concentrations of magnetic field flux that inhibit convection.
  • Sunspots usually appear in pairs of opposite magnetic polarity with a leader and a follower.

What is Solar Cycle?

  • From our safe distance of about 148 million km, the Sun appears to be sedate and constant. However, huge solar flares and coronal mass ejections spew material from its surface into outer space.
  • They originate from sunspots, an important phenomenon that people have been following for hundreds of years. They originate deep within the Sun and become visible when they pop out.
  • Their number is not constant but shows a minimum and then rises up to a maximum and then falls again in what is called the solar cycle.
  • Every 11 years or so, the Sun’s magnetic field completely flips. This means that the Sun’s north and south poles switch places. Then it takes about another 11 years for the Sun’s north and south poles to flip back again.
  • So far, astronomers have documented 24 such cycles, the last one ended in 2019.

How do they occur?

  • Given the high temperatures in the Sun, matter exists there in the form of plasma, where the electrons are stripped away from the nuclei.
  • The Sun is made of hot ionized plasma whose motions generate magnetic fields in the solar interior by harnessing the energy of the plasma flows.
  • This mechanism is known as the solar dynamo mechanism (or magnetohydrodynamic dynamo mechanism).
  • Simply stated, it is a process by which kinetic energy of plasma motions is converted to magnetic energy, which generates the magnetised sunspots, giving rise to the solar cycle..
  • Because of the nature of the solar dynamo, the part of its magnetic field that gives rise to sunspots reverses direction when it moves from one solar cycle to another.
  • This can be inferred by observing when the relative orientation of the sunspot pairs flips.

Features

  • The solar cycle affects activity on the surface of the Sun, such as sunspots which are caused by the Sun’s magnetic fields. As the magnetic fields change, so does the amount of activity on the Sun’s surface.
  • One way to track the solar cycle is by counting the number of sunspots.
  • The beginning of a solar cycle is a solar minimum, or when the Sun has the least sunspots. Over time, solar activity—and the number of sunspots—increases.
  • The middle of the solar cycle is the solar maximum, or when the Sun has the most sunspots. As the cycle ends, it fades back to the solar minimum and then a new cycle begins.
  • Giant eruptions on the Sun, such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections, also increase during the solar cycle. These eruptions send powerful bursts of energy and material into space.

Impacts of Solar Cycle

  • This activity has effects on Earth. For example, eruptions can cause lights in the sky, called aurora, or impact radio communications. Extreme eruptions can even affect electricity grids on Earth.
  • Solar activity can affect satellite electronics and limit their lifetime.
  • Radiation can be dangerous for astronauts who do work on the outside of the International Space Station.
  • Forecasting of the solar cycle can help scientists protect our radio communications on Earth, and help keep satellites and astronauts safe.

Start of cycle 25

  • Following a weakening trend in activity over the last few cycles, there were predictions that the Sun would go silent into a grand minimum in activity, with the disappearance of cycles.
  • However, a team from IISER Kolkata has shown that there are signs that cycle 25 has just begun.
  • They used the data from the instrument Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager aboard NASA’s space-based Solar Dynamics Observatory for their calculations.

Why is this so important to us on earth?

  • After all the sunspots look small and are hardly even visible to us. Contrary to this, sunspot activity may be correlated with climate on earth.
  • In the period between 1645 and 1715, sun spot activity had come to a halt on the Sun – a phenomenon referred to as the Maunder minimum.
  • This coincided with extremely cold weather globally. So sunspots may have a relevance to climate on earth.
  • Such links are tenuous, but definitely solar activity affects space weather, which can have an impact on space-based satellites, GPS, power grids and so on.
NPA Crisis

What is ‘Yes Bank Crisis’?Priority 1

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Role of RBI coping bank failures

Mains level : Read the attached story


On the advice of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the government imposed a moratorium on Yes Bank with effect from 6 p.m. on March 5 up to April 3. This has created a furore among the account holders of the bank.

What restrictions did RBI put?

  • The RBI superseded the private sector lender’s board and appointed as an administrator.
  • Under the moratorium, deposit withdrawals have been capped at ₹50,000.
  • Within 24 hours, the RBI proposed a reconstruction scheme under which SBI could take a maximum 49% stake in the restructured capital of the bank.

Why was it imposed?

  • The RBI cited a steady decline in Yes Bank’s financial position mainly due to the lender’s inability to raise adequate capital to make provisions for potential non-performing assets.
  • This failing resulted in downgrades by credit rating agencies, which in turn made capital raising even more difficult — a vicious cycle that further worsened its financials.
  • This apart there were serious lapses in corporate governance.
  • The bank has also experienced serious governance issues and practices in the recent years which have led to steady decline of the bank.

When did it all start?

  • As on March 31, 2014, the bank’s loan book was ₹55,633 crore and deposits were ₹74,192 crore.
  • Since then the loan book expanded fourfold to ₹2,24,505 crore while deposit growth failed to keep pace and increased less than three times to ₹2,09,497 crore.
  • Asset quality also worsened during the period with gross non-performing assets sharply rising from 0.31% as on March 31, 2014, to 7.39% at the end of September 2019.
  • The exponential growth at Yes Bank during that period also came under the regulator’s scanner.
  • The lender has substantial exposure to several troubled borrowers including the IL&FS.

What will be the likely impact on depositors?

  • While deposit withdrawals have been capped at ₹50,000, there are exceptions under which a higher amount can be withdrawn, with the permission of the RBI.
  • The RBI can allow a customer to withdraw more than ₹50,000 under the following conditions:
  1. in connection with the medical treatment of the depositor or any person actually dependent on the depositor;
  2. towards the cost of higher education of the depositor or any person actually dependent on him for education in India or outside India;
  3. to pay obligatory expenses in connection with marriage or other ceremonies of the depositor or his/her children or of any other person actually dependent upon depositor;
  4. or any other unavoidable emergency.
  • The total withdrawal should, however, not exceed ₹5 lakh or the actual balance in the account, whichever is lower.

What about deposit insurance?

  • In case Yes Bank goes belly up for any reason, depositors will not lose all their money since deposits up to ₹5 lakh are covered under deposit insurance.
  • While the deposit insurance cover was ₹1 lakh till recently, this was increased to ₹5 lakh in the aftermath of the crisis at the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank Limited.
  • Finance Minister has announced the increase in deposit insurance in this year’s Budget.

What do such bank failures imply?

  • While the government and the regulator have asserted that the problem is solely related to this particular bank, the latest developments spotlight the governance risks in India’s banking sector.
  • There is a risk that the already poor operating environment for the banking sector could suffer further impairment if the government’s efforts to tackle problems in the bank fail to provide reassurance to depositors and investors.
Judicial Reforms

Right of an accused to be defendedPriority 1SC Judgements

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Right of an accused to be defended

Mains level : Professional ethics for Lawyers (Paper IV)


 

 

Recently the Karnataka High Court observed that it is unethical and illegal for lawyers to pass resolutions against representing accused in court.  This is not the first time that bar associations have passed such resolutions, despite a Supreme Court ruling that these are “against all norms of the Constitution, the statute and professional ethics”.

What does the Constitution say about the right of an accused to be defended?

  • Article 22(1) gives the fundamental right to every person not to be denied the right to be defended by a legal practitioner of his or her choice.
  • Article 14 provides for equality before the law and equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.
  • Article 39A, part of the DPSP, states that equal opportunity to secure justice must not be denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities, and provides for free legal aid.

What has the Supreme Court said about such resolutions by bar associations?

  • The Supreme Court referred to writer Thomas Paine, who had been tried for treason in England in 1792.
  • Thomas Erskine, Attorney General for the Prince of Wales, was warned of dismissal if he defended Paine, but still took up the brief, saying: “… If the advocate refuses to defend from what he may think of the charge or of the defence, he assumes the character of the Judge…”
  • The Supreme Court cited other historical examples of accused being defended — revolutionaries against British rule; alleged assailants of Mahatma Gandhi and Indira Gandhi; Nazi war criminals at the Nuremberg trials.

A matter of professional ethics

  • The Supreme Court ruled that such resolutions are wholly illegal, against all traditions of the bar and against professional ethics.
  • Every person however wicked, criminal, perverted or repulsive he may be regarded by society has a right to be defended in a court of law and correspondingly and it is the duty of the lawyer to defend him.
  • It said such resolutions were against all norms of the Constitution, the statute and professional ethics, called these a disgrace to the legal community, and declared them null and void.

How are the professional ethics of lawyers defined?

  • The Bar Council of India has Rules on Professional Standards, part of the Standards of Professional Conduct and Etiquette to be followed by lawyers under the Advocates Act.
  • An advocate is bound to accept any brief in the courts or tribunals, at a fee consistent with his standing at the Bar and the nature of the case.
  • The Rules provide for a lawyer refusing to accept a particular brief in “special circumstances”.
  • Last year, The Uttarakhand HC clarified that these special circumstances refer to an individual advocate who may choose not to appear in a particular case, but who cannot be prohibited from defending an accused by any threat of removal of his membership of the bar association.
Electoral Reforms In India

Election Commission of India unveils roadmap for revampPriority 1

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not Much

Mains level : Need for electoral reforms


The Election Commission of India (ECI) is considering a series of new reforms proposed by working groups it set up in 2019. Some of them are:

  • New voting methods,
  • Capping the campaign expenditure of political parties,
  • Online registration of new voters at 17 years and
  • Ending social media campaigning 48 hours before polling among the recommendations

Various suggested reforms

Voters registration

  • Among the recommendations being considered is replacing all the forms for various voter services, including registration of new voter and change of address, with one single form.
  • Multiple numbers of forms create confusion and affect the efficiency in the process. It is now proposed to have a unified and simplified form for all services to voters.
  • Another recommendation was to start online registration facilities at the school or college-level for all prospective voters at 17 years of age so they can be enrolled in the electoral roll as soon as they become eligible at 18.
  • The ECI also recommended four cut-off dates in a year to enroll as a voter. Currently, January 1 is the qualifying date so those who turn 18 after that date are not eligible to vote the whole year.
  • The ECI has proposed January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1 as the qualifying dates, while the Law Ministry has suggested two dates — January 1 and July 1.

Electronic voter cards

  • The ECI also proposed to give out electronic versions of the voter ID card — EPIC — for convenience of voters.
  • Though not specifying the method, one of the recommendations was to look at the “possibility and feasibility of different voting methods”.
  • The IIT-Madras was working on a prototype for an Aadhaar-linked remote voting system for the ECI.
  • The Commission has already implemented one-way online transfer of postal ballots for service and implemented the same for the whole country in 2019.
  • It has been seen that approximately 30% of electors are not able to participate in elections for various reasons.
  • Some of them, as assessed in a report on facilities of domestic migrants may poll to the category of migrants who continue to remain voters at their previous locations.

Expenditure and campaigning

  • For political parties, the recommendations included online nomination of candidates and a cap on the spending allowed by parties.
  • Currently, individual candidates are allowed a limited expenditure on campaigning.
  • Another recommendation was to impose a “silence period of 48 hours” before polling on social media and print media.
  • Campaigning on electronic media in the last 48 hours before polling is prohibited currently.
Wildlife Conservation Efforts

Species in news: Red PandaPrelims OnlySpecies in News

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : SAWEN, TRAFFIC, Red Panda

Mains level : Not Much


 

 

According to a report by the TRAFFIC report, there has been a considerable reduction in the poaching of Red Panda (ailurus fulgens). The report also recommended trans-boundary law enforcement co-operation through the use of multi-government platforms like SAWEN (South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network).

Red Panda

IUCN Red List Status: Endangered

  • The red panda (Ailurus fulgens) is a mammal native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China.
  • Its wild population is estimated at fewer than 10,000 mature individuals and continues to decline due to habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching, and inbreeding depression.
  • Despite its name, it is not closely related to the giant panda
  • The animal has been hunted for meat and fur, besides illegal capture for the pet trade.
  • An estimated 14,500 animals are left in the wild across Nepal, Bhutan, India, China and Myanmar.
  • About 5,000-6,000 red pandas are estimated to be present in four Indian states – Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim and West Bengal.
  • The diminishing habitat is a major threat to the species which is a very selective feeder and survives on selected species of bamboos.

About South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN)

  • SAWEN is a Regional network is comprised of eight countries in South Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
  • It aims at working as a strong regional intergovernmental body for combating wildlife crime by attempting common goals and approaches for combating illegal trade in the region.
  • The South Asia region is very vulnerable to illegal traffic and wildlife crimes due to the presence of precious biodiversity and large markets as well as traffic routes for wildlife products in the south East Asian region.
  • The collaboration in harmonizing as well as enforcing the wildlife protection in the region is considered very important for effective conservation of such precious biodiversity.
  • India adopted the Statute of the SAWEN and became its formal member in 2016.

Back2Basics

TRAFFIC

  • The TRAFFIC, the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network, is a leading non-governmental organisation working on wildlife trade in the context of both biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.
  • It is a joint program of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the IUCN.
  • It aims to ensure that trade in wild plants and animals is not a threat to the conservation of nature.
  • The TRAFFIC is governed by the TRAFFIC Committee, a steering group composed of members of TRAFFIC’s partner organizations, WWF and IUCN.
  • TRAFFIC also works in close co-operation with the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
History- Important places, persons in news

Who were the Marakkars?Prelims Only

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Marakkars

Mains level : Various conquests during colonial expansion


The big-budget Malayalam film Marakkar: The Lion of the Arabian Sea is set to be released. It is a war film depicting the heroics of the Marakkar clan, whose leaders were naval chieftains of the Zamorin of Calicut during the 16th and 17th centuries.

Who were the Marakkars?

  • By some accounts, they were of Arab origin and had migrated from Tunisia to Panthalayani near Koyilandy in present-day Kozhikode, and later moved to the region around present-day Kottakkal and Thikkodi near Payyoli.
  • By other accounts, the Marakkars were descendants of affluent businessman from the Cochin kingdom who migrated later to Calicut.
  • Historians say the name ‘Marakkar’ could have originated from maram or marakkalam, meaning ship, as these families lived along the coast and used ships.
  • Alternatively, it could have originated from the Arabic word markaba, meaning those who migrated via ships.
  • The Marakkars were mostly Muslims, but in some parts, they have been found to be Hindus as well.

What was the war against the Portuguese about?

  • The Zamorin, Samoothiri in Malayalam, was the title given to rulers of the Calicut kingdom on the Malabar coast.
  • Faced with invading Portuguese ships, the Zamorin reached out to the Marakkars to defend the coast. The Marakkars fought against Portuguese invaders for nearly a century.
  • They were led in succession by four Marakkars, chief admirals who were appointed by the Zamorin with the title of Kunjali.
  • Related by bloodline, they were Kuttyali Marakkar (Kunjali Marakkar I, appointed in 1507), Kutty Pokker (Kunjali Marakkar II), Pathu Marakkar (Kunjali Marakkar III) and Muhammad Ali Marakkar (Kunjali Marakkar IV, appointed in 1595).
  • Their strategy was similar to guerrilla warfare. The Portuguese had massive ships which could not make easy manoeuvres in the sea.
  • The Marakkars used small ships which could easily surround the Portuguese ships, enabling the fighters to attack at will.

Who is depicted the ‘Lion of the Arabian Sea’?

  • Kunjali Marakkar IV earned his reputation with his fierce onslaught on Portuguese ships, the favours he gave those who fought against the Portuguese, and his efforts to strengthen the fort at Kottakkal.
  • When he took charge in 1595, relations between the Zamorin and the Marakkars were deteriorating.
  • The Zamorin was feeling threatened by Kunjali Marakkar IV’s popularity, and by reports (said to be spread by the Portuguese) that he was planning to create a Muslim empire.
  • In 1597, the Zamorin signed a peace treaty with the Portuguese and attacked Kottakkal fort. For months, the Marakkars resisted the attack by the Zamorin’s Nair soldiers and the Portuguese fleet.
  • Eventually, as Portugal sent more forces and the Zamorin mounted his effort, Marakkar surrendered to the Zamorin on the assurance that their lives would be spared. But the Portuguese violated the terms, arrested him, took him to Goa and beheaded him.