Summary of Union Budget 2022-23


India’s economic growth in the current year is estimated to be 9.2 per cent, highest among all large economies. The overall, sharp rebound and recovery of the economy from the adverse effects of the pandemic is reflective of our country’s strong resilience. This was stated by Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs while presenting the Union Budget in Parliament.


GS III- Indian Economy

Dimensions of this Article:
  1. Budget at a glance
  2. Productivity Linked Incentive Schemes
  3. PM  GatiShakti
  4. Agriculture and Food Processing
  5. Accelerating growth of MSME
  6. Education
  7. Health
  8. Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for NorthEast, PM-DevINE
  9. Productivity Enhancement and Investment
  10. Transition to Carbon neutral economy
  11. Central Bank Digital Currency
  12. Financing of Investment
  13. Trends in Deficit
  14. Tax Proposals
  15. Electronics
  16. Gems and Jewellery sector
  17. Miscellaneous

Myanmar’s Military Coup


Going up against military’s will, they hold silent strike, clapping protests to mark coup anniversary


GS-II: International Relations (Foreign policies and developments affecting India’s interests), Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:
  1. About Myanmar
  2. The story so far: Situation of chaos in Myanmar
  3. Form of government in Myanmar
  4. Myanmar’s significance at the International stage
  5. Historical perspective of India Myanmar relations
  6. Importance of Myanmar to India
  7. Issues in India-Myanmar ties
  8. India and handling the recent Coup d’état
  9. How other nations reacted to the recent Coup d’état
  10. Back to basics: What Democracy? Is Myanmar under Autocracy?

About Myanmar

Myanmar or Burma (officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar) is a country in Southeast Asia bordered by:

  • Bangladesh and India to its northwest,
  • China to its northeast,
  • Laos and Thailand to its east and southeast,
  • The Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal to its south and southwest.

Its capital city is Naypyidaw, and its largest city is Yangon (Rangoon).

  • Early civilisations in Myanmar included the Tibeto-Burman-speaking Pyu city-states in Upper Burma and the Mon kingdoms in Lower Burma.
  • Following the establishment of the Pagan Kingdom in the 1050s, the Burmese language, culture, and Theravada Buddhism slowly became dominant in the country.
  • The British East India Company seized control of the administration of Myanmar after three Anglo-Burmese Wars in the 19th century, and the country became a British colony.
  • After a brief Japanese occupation, Myanmar was reconquered by the Allies and granted independence in 1948.
  • Unlike most other former British colonies, it did not become a member of the Commonwealth.
  • Following a coup d’état in 1962, it became a military dictatorship under the Burma Socialist Programme Party.

The story so far: Situation of chaos in Myanmar

  • For most of its independent years, the country has been engrossed in rampant ethnic strife and its myriad ethnic groups have been involved in one of the world’s longest-running ongoing civil wars.
  • During this time, the United Nations and several other organisations have reported consistent and systematic human rights violations in the country.
  • In 2011, the military junta was officially dissolved following a 2010 general election, and a nominally civilian government was installed.
  • This, along with the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and political prisoners, had improved the country’s human rights record and foreign relations and has led to the easing of trade and other economic sanctions.
  • There is, however, continuing criticism of the government’s treatment of ethnic minorities, its response to the ethnic insurgency, and religious clashes.
  • In the 2015 election, Aung San Suu Kyi’s party won a majority in both houses – however, the Burmese military remained a powerful force in politics.

Form of government in Myanmar

  • In 1948, Burma achieved independence from Britain, and became a democracy based on the parliamentary system. A bicameral parliament was formed, consisting of a Chamber of Deputies and a Chamber of Nationalities.
  • The military succeeded in its coup d’état of 1962 and established a nominally socialist military government that sought to follow the “Burmese Way to Socialism”.
  • Myanmar’s army-drafted constitution was overwhelmingly approved in 2008, and the Multi-party elections in 2010 ended 5 decades of military rule in Myanmar.
  • The 2015 elections in Myanmar were the first openly contested elections held in Myanmar since 1990 – and this resulted in a resounding victory of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy raising hope for a successful political transition from a closely held military rule to a free democratic system.
  • Now, Myanmar operates de jure as a unitary assembly-independent republic under its 2008 constitution.
  • The president is the head of state and de jure head of government, and oversees the Cabinet of Myanmar.
  • The Commander-in-Chief of the Myanmar Defense Forces has the right to appoint 25% of the members in all legislative assembly which means that legislations cannot obtain super-majority without support from the Military. This prevents the democratically elected members from amending the 2008 Constitution of Myanmar.
  • Burma’s judicial system is limited. British-era laws and legal systems remain much intact, but there is no guarantee of a fair public trial.
  • In Burma, the judiciary is NOT independent of the executive branch.

Myanmar’s significance at the International stage

  • Myanmar is a member of the East Asia Summit, Non-Aligned Movement, ASEAN, and BIMSTEC, but it is not a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.
  • It is a country rich in jade and gems, oil, natural gas, and other mineral resources.
  • Myanmar is also endowed with renewable energy; it has the highest solar power potential compared to other countries of the Great Mekong Subregion.

Historical perspective of India Myanmar relations

  • India-Myanmar relations are rooted in shared historical, ethnic, cultural and religious ties. As the land of Lord Buddha, India is a country of pilgrimage for the people of Myanmar. India and Myanmar relations have stood the test of time.
  • The geographical proximity of the two countries has helped develop and sustain cordial relations and facilitated people-to-people contact. India and Myanmar share a long land border of over 1600 km and a maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal.

Importance of Myanmar to India

  • Myanmar is at the heart of Indian government’s Act East policy with the India-Myanmar-Thailand Asian Trilateral Highway, the Kaladan multimodal project, a road-river-port cargo transport project, and BIMSTEC.
  • India is also working closely with the security forces of Myanmar to target the insurgents operating in the country’s northeast.
  • Myanmar is expected to act as the bridge between India and ASEAN, has risen in much significance in the context of India’s Act East Policy, and good neighbourhood policy.
  • Better relations with Myanmar have become crucial for India with China gradually gaining confidence of countries in the region. Further India’s completion of the projects with Myanmar would also prove India to be a responsible regional player, thus improving its reliability.
  • In terms of security and strategic partnership, several deep-sea ports of Myanmar, including Yangon and Dawei, can be crucial for India like Chabahar port in the west.
  • Myanmar is on India’s energy security radar on account of its “abundant oil and natural gas” reserves. Oil and gas companies ONGC Videsh and GAIL are aggressively scouting for more exploratory blocks in Myanmar.
  • Myanmar like the other CLMV countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) — represents a rapidly growing economy with rising consumption, strategic location and access, rich natural resources (oil, gas, teak, copper and gemstones), biodiversity and an industrious workforce with low wages. And it offers significant opportunities for trade in goods and services, investment and project exports.

Issues in India-Myanmar ties

  1. The Rohingya crisis: India does not directly engage with the issue of Myanmar’s treatment of its Rohingya Muslim minority. But India condemned the recent terrorist attacks in northern Rakhine State in a measure of support to Myanmar. Further both sides agreed that there will be no glorification of terrorists as martyrs.
  2. China factor: As China’s profile continues to rise in India’s vicinity, New Delhi would like to enhance India’s presence by developing infrastructure and connectivity projects in the country. India has found it difficult to counter Chinese influence in Myanmar.
  3. Project Delays: India is losing friends because of widespread discontent over continuing delay in completion of flagship projects — Kaladan and the India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway. Conceived over a decade back, they are scheduled to be completed by 2019.

India and handling the recent Coup d’état

  • India’s reaction is likely to be starkly different to India’s strong public criticism of the Junta’s actions in 1989-90.
  • One important reason for the change is that India’s security relationship with the Myanmar military has become extremely close, and it would be difficult to “burn bridges” with them given their assistance in securing the North East frontiers from insurgent groups.
  • Another reason for the change is Ms. Suu Kyi herself, whose image as a democracy icon and Nobel peace laureate has been damaged by her time in office, where she failed to push back the military, and even defended the army’s pogrom against Rohingyas in Rakhine State in 2015.
  • Officials also say a harsh reaction from India, on the lines of that from the United States which has threatened action against those responsible for the “coup” unless they revoke the military’s takeover, would only benefit China.
  • Apart from strategic concerns, India has cultivated several infrastructure and development projects with Myanmar, which it sees as the “gateway to the East” and ASEAN countries.
  • India still hopes to help resolve the issue of Rohingya refugees that fled to Bangladesh, while some still live in India, and will want to continue to engage the Myanmar government on that.
  • The choice between India’s democratic ideals, that it has expressed in Nepal and Maldives recently, and ‘Realpolitik’ (realpolitik is a system of politics or principles based on practical rather than moral or ideological considerations), to keep its hold in Myanmar and avoid ceding space to China, will be the challenge ahead.

How other nations reacted to the recent Coup d’état

  • The United Nations led condemnation of Myanmar’s military calling for the release of elected leaders, including Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
  • The U.S., Britain, Australia and the EU condemned the military’s coup and detentions and its declaration of a state of emergency.
  • China’s response, however, was more muted, saying that China hopes that all sides in Myanmar can appropriately handle their differences under the Constitution

Back to basics: What Democracy? Is Myanmar under Autocracy?

A Democracy is a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.

In simple words, A democracy means rule by the people.

The two current types of democracy are:

  1. Direct democracy: The people directly deliberate and decide on legislation.
  2. Indirect / Representative democracy: The people elect representatives to deliberate and decide on legislation (such as in parliamentary or presidential democracy.)
The opposite of Democracy is Autocracy.
  • Autocracy is a system of government in which supreme power over a state is concentrated in the hands of one person (commonly referred to as a dictator), whose decisions are subject to neither external legal restraints nor regularized mechanisms of popular control (except perhaps for the implicit threat of coup d’état or other forms of rebellion).
  • Both totalitarian and military dictatorship are often identified with, but need not be, an autocracy.
  • Totalitarianism is a system where the state strives to control every aspect of life and civil society.
  • It can be headed by a supreme leader, making it autocratic, but it can also have a collective leadership such as a commune, military junta, or a single political party as in the case of a one-party state.
What is military Junta?

Military junta is a government led by a committee of military leaders. The term is now used to refer to an authoritarian form of government characterized by oligarchic military dictatorship, as distinguished from other categories of authoritarian rule, specifically strongman (autocratic military dictatorships); machine (oligarchic party dictatorships); and bossism (autocratic party dictatorships).

Currently, it can be said that Myanmar is essentially ruled by a Military junta.

-Source: The Hindu

India and UK Launch Free Trade Agreement Negotiations

Focus: GS II- International Relations

Why in News?

The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles launched the Free Trade Agreement negotiations with the United Kingdom.

  • The FTA is expected to facilitate the target of doubling bilateral trade between India and United Kingdom by 2030, set by the Prime Ministers of both the nations, in May 2021.

What are Free Trade Agreements (FTAs)?

Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are the arrangements between two or more trading alliances that primarily agree to lessen or dispose of customs tariff and non-tariff barriers on substantial trade between them.

Key features of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are as follows:

  • The member nations of FTAs explicitly identify the duties and tariffs that are to be imposed on member countries when it comes to imports and exports.
  • FTAs typically cover trades in  (a) merchandise — such as agricultural or industrial products (b) services — such as banking, construction, trading and so forth (c) intellectual property rights (IPRs) (d) investment (e) government procurement (f) competition policy and so on.
  • FTAs additionally, for the most part, provide criterion called the ‘Rules of Origin (RoO)’, required for the determination of product’s country of origin for the imposition of the preferential tariff on International trade.   Note: Rules of Origin (RoO) are enforced with the issuance of a Certificate of Origin (CoO) by authorized agencies of the trading partner.
  • FTAs act as an exception to the Most Favoured Nation principle adopted by WTO (World Trade Organization).
Benefits of India-UK FTA:
  • The FTA negotiations with the UK is expected to increase our exports in Leather, Textile, Jewellery and processed Agri products.
  • It also expected to register a quantum jump in the export of Marine Products through the recognition of 56 marine units of India.
  • The Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) on Pharma could provide additional market access.
  • There is also great potential for increasing exports in service sectors like IT/ITES, Nursing, education, healthcare, including AYUSH and audio-visual services.
  • Observing that UK was a major trade partner of India with substantial bilateral volume of trade in goods and services, the cooperation extended across areas like tourism, tech, startups, education, climate change, etc.
  • The two nations were looking forward to a mutually beneficial trade deal with balanced concessions and market access package in a wide range of sectors.
  • It will also contribute in integrating value chains and help augment our mutual efforts to strengthen the resilience of supply chains.
Areas of cooperation between India and UK:
  • Institutionalised dialogues: India and UK have a number of bilateral dialogue mechanisms in place, covering a wide spectrum of areas including political, trade, education, science & technology, defence etc.
  • Trade: UK is among India’s major trading partners and during the year 2014-15, UK ranked 18th in the list of India’s top 25 trading partners. India’s main exports to the UK are garments and textiles, machinery and instruments, petroleum products, footwear and leather.
  • Services: As per UK’s Office for National Statistics, India-UK bilateral trade in services in the year 2014 amounted to approx. £2.5 billion.
  • Investment: UK is the 3rd largest inward investor in India, after Mauritius, and Singapore with a cumulative equity investment of US $22.56 billion.
  • Economic Dialogue: Bilateral mechanisms like India-UK Economic & Financial Dialogue (EFD) and India-UK Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) form the basis of institutional engagements between the two countries.
  • Education: Education is an important plank of the India-UK bilateral relationship. Over the last 10 years, the relationship has grown substantially with the introduction of bilateral mechanisms such as the India-UK Education Forum UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI).
  • Indian Students: UK has traditionally been a favourite destination for international students. At present, there are approximately 20,000 Indian students pursuing Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses in the UK.
  • Cultural Linkages: Cultural linkages between India and UK are deep and extensive, arising out of shared history between the two countries. There has been a gradual mainstreaming of Indian culture and absorption of Indian cuisine, cinema, languages, religion, philosophy, performing arts, etc.
  • Indian Diaspora: The India Diaspora in UK is one of the largest ethnic minority communities in the country, with the 2011 census recording approximately 1.5 million people of Indian origin in the UK equating to almost 1.8 percent of the population and contributing 6% of the country’s GDP.
  • Geopolitical Significance – The Indian Ocean is identified as a vital arena for closer defence and security cooperation between the two countries. Further, India needs UK’s support on international fora for its aim to have a permanent seat in UNSC and full membership of NSG.
Issues in India-UK relations
  • The UK does not have a government-to-government framework for arms sales to India, relying instead on commercial-led transactions.
  • UK is an active participant in Belt and Road Initiative of China for which India raised sovereignty issues.
  • Colonial hangover in public is affecting the policy makers of India to take decisions for close relations with UK.
  • Brexit raises major issues for Indian business: o Political uncertainty and oscillating business policy along with fluctuating market share and prospect. o Restructuring to set up EU subsidiaries of Indian companies.
Way forward
  • Two sides should reinvigorate the crucial bilateral relationship, with Britain supporting India’s greater international role, and its global aspirations for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council and membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
  • Britain looks at Commonwealth (group of 53 states, with majority part of the former British Empire) as a sort of post-Brexit lifeboat. Britain and India could work the Commonwealth in concert and to mutual benefit.
  • UK and India can engage with the Indian ambitions for urbanization, digitization and skill development. There is scope for collaboration in areas of education, science, and creative industries etc.
  • For India, post-Brexit cover a range of highly desirable scenarios such more employment opportunities in Britain for skilled Indian workers. Also, India can conclude an FTA directly with UK as India-EU FTA talks are stalled over the years.
  • Enhancing Cooperation: Strategic Partnership to a “Comprehensive” Strategic Partnership, which will envision closer military ties, cooperation in Indo-Pacific strategies, counter-terrorism and fighting climate change.


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