Dr. Ajay Sharma, head of the Department of Gastro Surgery, said if a lump is found in the gallbladder, it should be treated immediately.
India’s monsoon season, a natural phenomenon that defines the fate of its agriculture and economy, has taken centre stage once again. This year, the nation witnessed its lowest monsoon since 2018, triggering concerns about the implications for the $3 trillion Indian economy. This meteorological downside is being blamed on the El Niño weather pattern, which rendered August the driest month in over a century. The monsoon, an elemental lifeline for India, contributes nearly 70 per cent of the nation’s rainfall necessary to nurture crops, replenish reservoirs and aquifers.
Given that almost half of India’s farmlands lack irrigation, the monsoon rains assume an even greater significance for agricultural production. The rainfall deficit carries a domino effect that ultimately affects the common Indian’s dinner plate. Staple foods such as sugar, pulses, rice and vegetables became more expensive, exacerbating overall food inflation. The repercussions could extend further, prompting India, the world’s second-largest producer of rice, wheat and sugar, to impose further restrictions on exports of these commodities. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) reported that the June-to-September monsoon rainfall was just 94 per cent of its long-term average, a figure last witnes- sed in 2018.
The IMD’s initial projection anticipated a 4 per cent rainfall deficit for the season, assuming a limited impact from El Niño. This weather pattern, characterised by the warming of Pacific waters, typically brings drier conditions to the Indian subcontinent. This year, it caused erratic rainfall. The month of June started with a concerning 9 per cent rainfall deficit due to delayed arrival of the monsoon. However, July brought some relief with rainfall surging to 13 per cent above the long-term average.
The twist in the plot came in August when the country experienced its dri- est month on record, suffering a daunting 36 per cent deficit. Fortunately, September offered a glimmer of hope as rainfall rebounded, delivering 13 per cent more rain than the norm. The erratic distribution of monsoon rains has pushed India, the world’s largest rice exporter, to take defensive measures. Limits on rice shipments, a 40 per cent duty on onion exports and duty-free imports of pulses have become neces- sary steps to navigate these turbulent waters. Further, the Centre might even contemplate banning sugar ex- ports to ensure domestic supplies remain stable.
The silver lining in this turbulent monsoon story is IMD’s forecast of normal rainfall between October and December. This prediction offers a glimpse of respite for the agricultural sector and the economy. However, it comes with a caveat above-average temperatures are expected across most of the country during October. The narrative of India’s monsoon is a reminder of the delicate equilibrium that governs the nation’s agri- culture-dependent economy. While erratic rainfall patterns are indeed worrisome, they also emphasise the need for long-term solutions. Investments in irrigation infrastructure, drought-resistant crop varieties and climate-resilient agricultural practices are essential to mitigate the risks posed by increasingly unpredictable monsoons.