A macro investigation into the evidence for circular economy initiatives in India: national policy, key indicators and future implications
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 11:19 authored by Simran Talwar
The idea that a circular economy (CE) signifies an inevitable transition to a sustainable future, where the often divergent goals of economic growth and ecological conservation harmoniously function in tandem, is gaining prominence in both academia and industry. This study reviews the present policy structure, significant indicators and future outlook of CE underpinnings within the Indian context. India’s burgeoning economy and rapidly expanding manufacturing pursuits have placed enormous burden on its resource security and already substantial dependence on coal as a source of energy. The nation’s thrust on renewables envisages optimistic prospects of attaining the targeted GDP growth while decoupling the impact on domestic material and energy sources. In the midst of immense international scrutiny and quantified targets for reduction of emissions and energy intensity, this study offers an extensive review of India’s accomplishments in decoupling resource use from economic growth and related policy framework. Evidence of CE implementation is established through the case of a steel manufacturer. While CE presents a national socio-economic growth strategy for China, India is yet to develop a comprehensive CE plan. The results of the review suggest substantial gaps in current action vis-à-vis targeted long-term ecological goals. This initial examination has facilitated a deeper understanding of the present and future drivers of circular economic action in India, and how these compare with the still-evolving worldwide CE agenda. Caution is critical in assessing the application of alternative economic models to the developing world, since their economic-environmental-social foundations and goals differ from those of the developed world. Future research into field-level data collection and assessment will build upon the present findings and enable a more complete evaluation of India’s path to CE accomplishment.