History of the Kuki Insurgency in Manipur


Just before the Assembly Elections started in Manipur on February 28, all insurgent groups associated with the Kuki tribes in Manipur said they will vote for the BJP. This comes days after Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that his party will end the Kuki insurgency problem in five years, if it is voted to power for the second time


GS II- Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:
  1. Who are the Kukis? 
  2. What led to the Kuki insurgencies in Manipur? 

Who are the Kukis? 

  • The Kukis are an ethnic group including multiple tribes originally inhabiting the North-Eastern states of India such as Manipur, Mizoram and Assam; parts of Burma (now Myanmar), and Sylhet district and Chittagong hill tracts of Bangladesh.
  • While Kuki is not a term coined by the ethnic group itself, the tribes associated with it came to be generically called Kuki under colonial rule. 
  • In Manipur, the various Kuki tribes, living mainly in the hills, currently make up 30% of the total 28.5 lakh population of the State.
  • While Churachandpur is their main stronghold, they also have a sizable population in Chandel, Kangpokpi, Tengnoupal and Senapati districts. 
  • The rest of the population of Manipur is made up mainly of two other ethnic groups — the Meiteis or non-tribal, Vaishnavite Hindus who live in the valley region of Manipur, and the Naga tribes, historically at loggerheads with the Kukis, also living in the hilly areas of the State. 
  • Of the 60 seats in the Manipur Assembly, 40 are held by Meiteis and the rest 20 seats are held by Kukis and Nagas.

What led to the Kuki insurgencies in Manipur? 

  • The Kuki insurgent groups have been under Suspension of Operation (SoO) since 2005, when they signed an agreement for the same with the Indian Army.
  • Later, in 2008, the groups entered a tripartite agreement with the State government of Manipur and the UPA led Central government under former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, to temporarily suspend their operations and give political dialogue a chance. 
  • Manipur, formerly a princely state including parts of Burma, made the accession into India after Independence, but was only made a full-fledged State in 1972.
  • The resentment over the “forceful” inclusion into India and delay in granting statehood led to the rise of various insurgent movements.
  • The problem was intensified after Manipur was declared a ‘distubed area’ in 1980, under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which gives sweeping powers to the military and has led to excesses. 
Roots of Kuki militancy
  • The roots of Kuki militancy lie in conflicts of ethnic identity.
    • The demand for self-determination solely for groups belonging to their ethnic fabric, meaning the dream to form a Kukiland which includes Kuki inhabited regions of Myanmar, Manipur, Assam and Mizoram.
    • The inter-community conflicts between the Kukis and the Nagas in Manipur. 
  • The Kuki insurgency in Manipur grew in real terms in the 1980s and after the Kuki-Naga conflicts of the 1990s.
  • This is when the Kuki National Organisation (KNO) and its armed wing Kuki National Army (KNA) were formed.
  • The community could not shed internal differences between tribes and take a single line of action.
    • While some militant Kuki outfits demanded Kukiland, including parts which are not in India, some demanded Kukiland within India. 
Present Situation
  • The demand has come to the formulation of an independent district—Kukiland Territorial Council within the purview of the Indian constitution, modelling the Bodoland Territorial Council, which was formed under the sixth schedule of the Constitution, after insurgent groups in Assam signed an agreement with their State government. 
  • The Kuki-Naga conflict was started over securing identity and land as some Kuki inhabited areas coincided with Naga inhabited areas.
  • Wanting to dominate trade and cultural activities in those areas the two communities often engaged in violent standoffs, with villages being torched, civilians killed and so on.
  • Even though clashes have reduced in recent decades, tensions between the two ethnic groups still exist.

Indian and Russian Defence Ties

  • Even as the most immediate impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on India is the evacuation of thousands of Indian students who are stuck there, it is becoming clear there will be long-term implications too.
    • New Delhi has been trying to walk a fine line, negotiating its relationships with the United States and other Western nations on one side, and the historically deep and strategic ties with Russia on the other, even as its stand is becoming incrementally critical to Russia as its forces continue to fight in Ukrainian cities.
    • However, both the sanctions imposed by the United States and other countries on Russia, and how Russia views Delhi’s slowly shifting stand are going to have a long-term impact, most significantly on the decades old defence trade between the two.

GS II- International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:
  1. How strong are Indian and Russian defence ties?
  2. What is the value of weapons India has bought from Russia?
  3. What are the kinds of weapons Russia has given India?

How strong are Indian and Russian defence ties?

  • India was reliant, almost solely on the British, and other Western nations for its arms imports immediately after Independence.
  • But this dependence weaned, and by the 1970s India was importing several weapons systems from the USSR, making it country’s largest defence importer for decades when it came to both basic and sophisticated weapons systems.
  • In fact, it has provided some of the most sensitive and important weapons platforms that India has required from time to time including nuclear submarines, aircraft carriers, tanks, guns, fighter jets, and missiles.
  • According to several people, the defence trade, which remains significant, is one of the important causes why India has not taken a critical stand openly against Russia.
  • The legacy of buying weapons from Russia has made India somewhat dependent on it, and even though India has tried to expand the base of countries from which it buys new military systems, Russian-origin weapons still have the lion’s share.
  • According to one estimate, the share of Russian-origin weapons and platforms across Indian armed forces is as high as 85 per cent.

What is the value of weapons India has bought from Russia?

  • Russia is the second largest arms exporter in the world, following only the United States.
  • In the five-year period between 2016 and 2020 America’s share in the global arms trade was 37 per cent, compared to 20 per cent of Russia’s, as per the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), which tracks the global arms trade and military expenditure.
  • For Russia, India is the largest importer, and for India, Russia the largest exporter when it comes to arms transfer.
  • Between 2000 and 2020, Russia accounted for 66.5 per cent of India’s arms imports.
  • Of the $53.85 billion spent by India during the period on arms imports, $35.82 billion went to Russia.
  • During the same period imports from the US were worth $4.4 billion, and from Israel it was worth US$ 4.1 billion.
  • According to a SIPRI report on international arms transfer trends published in March 2021, between 2016 and 2020 Russia delivered major arms to 45 states. “India remained the main recipient of Russian arms in 2016–20, accounting for 23 per cent of the total, followed by China (18 per cent).
  • Russia’s share in Indian arms imports was down to about 50 per cent between 2016 and 2020, but it still remained the largest single importer.

What are the kinds of weapons Russia has given India?

 At the moment there are two major defence deals between India and Russia that might be jeopardised by the current crisis.

S-400 Triumf air-defence system.
  • S-400 Triumf is one of the world’s most advanced surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems designed by Russia.
  • The system is a large complex of radars, control systems and different types of missiles, with the capability to simultaneously track numerous incoming objects in a radius of a few hundred kilometres.
  • It can employ appropriate missile systems to launch the counter attack and to neutralise the objects with the potential of ensuring a high success rate.
  • It is among the most advanced in the world, and India placed an order for five units for around $5 billion in 2018.
  • The first unit was delivered in December 2021, and has been deployed at an Indian Air Force base in Punjab.
  • The deal has been under the threat of American sanctions, even as the US had not decided on it yet.
  • But the fresh round of sanctions on Russia could sound alarm bells for it.
BrahMos missile
  • The BrahMos is a medium-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarine, ships, aircraft, or land.
  • It is the fastest supersonic cruise missile in the world.
  • BRAHMOS is a joint venture between the Defence Research and Development Organisation of India (DRDO) and the NPOM of Russia.
  • Brahmos is named on the rivers Brahmaputra and Moskva.
  • It is a two-stage (solid propellant engine in the first stage and liquid ramjet in second) air to surface missile with a flight range of around 300 km.
  • However, India’s entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) has extended the range of the BRAHMOS missile to reach 450 km-600km, a shade above its current MTCR capped range of 300 km.
  • Brahmos is a multiplatform i.e., it can be launched from land, air, and sea and multi capability missile with pinpoint accuracy that works in both day and night irrespective of the weather conditions.
  • It operates on the “Fire and Forgets” principle i.e., it does not require further guidance after launch.
  • Brahmos is one of the fastest cruise missiles currently operationally deployed with speed of Mach 2.8, which is 3 times more than the speed of sound.
  • Russia has also been one of main exporters of fighter aircraft to India, including hundreds of Sukhoi and MiG jets.

Konark Sun Temple


Konark, which occupies a prominent place in India’s tourism map due to the Sun Temple, is going to be the first model town in Odisha to shift from grid dependency to green energy.


Focus: GSI – Architecture

Dimensions of the Article:
  1. About Konark Temple
  2. Achieving Net Zero

About Konark Temple

  • Konark was built by King Narasimhadeva I of the Ganga Dynasty (1238-1264AD) in the 13th century and is located in Eastern Odisha near the sacred city of Puri.
  • The temple is designed in the shape of a colossal chariot. It is dedicated to the sun God.
  • There are two rows of 12 wheels on each side of the Konark sun temple.
  • The seven horses are said to symbolize the seven days of the week.
  • The temple was used as a navigational point by European sailors. They referred to it as the ‘Black Pagoda’ due to its dark colour and its magnetic power that drew ships into the shore and caused shipwrecks.
  • It is the culmination of Odisha temple architecture.
  • It was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1984.

Achieving Net Zero

Odisha plans to make the coastal temple town a 100 per cent solar town and also place it among India’s first few zero emission cities or towns

  • Konark’s transition to renewable energy is part of an ambitious plan by the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
  • The Rs 25-crore programme aims to ensure all energy needs of Konark Temple and Konark town are met by solar power.
  • Another project is the Sun Temple at Modhera in Gujarat.
  • The work in Konark is being carried out with the active collaboration of the state government.
  • The OREDA (Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency), a nodal agency of the Government of Odisha, which is executing the project, plans to transform Konark into a zero emission city by December 2022.
  • Most of the targeted installation of 300 kilowatt (KW) solar panels in and around Konark has been completed. This includes:
    • 50 solar-powered streetlights
    • 40 drinking water ATMs
    • 20 battery-operated Vehicles with charging points
    • A 50 KW solar power plant installed near the temple for illumination

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)


Recently, Madhabi Puri Buch, former whole-time member of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), has been appointed as its new chairperson — the first woman to head the market regulator. She will hold the position for three years.


GS III- Indian Economy

Dimensions of the Article:
  1. About Securities and Exchange Board of India
  2. Functions of SEBI
  3. Powers of SEBI

About Securities and Exchange Board of India

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is the regulator of the securities and commodity market in India owned by the Government of India.
  • SEBI was established in 1988 and given Statutory Powers on 30 January 1992 through the SEBI Act, 1992.

The SEBI is managed by its members, which consists of the following:

  • The chairman is nominated by the Union Government of India.
  • Two members, i.e., Officers from the Union Finance Ministry.
  • One member from the Reserve Bank of India.
  • The remaining five members are nominated by the Union Government of India, out of them at least three shall be whole-time members.

SEBI has to be responsive to the needs of three groups, which constitute the market:

  • issuers of securities
  • investors
  • market intermediaries

Functions of SEBI

SEBI has three functions rolled into one body: quasi-legislative, quasi-judicial and quasi-executive.

  • It drafts regulations in its legislative capacity.
  • It conducts investigation and enforcement action in its executive function.
  • It passes rulings and orders in its judicial capacity.
  • Though this makes it very powerful, there is an appeal process to create accountability.
  • There is a Securities Appellate Tribunal which is a three-member tribunal.
  • A second appeal lies directly to the Supreme Court.

Powers of SEBI

  • To approve by−laws of Securities exchanges.
  • To require the Securities exchange to amend their by−laws.
  • Inspect the books of accounts and call for periodical returns from recognised Securities exchanges.
  • Inspect the books of accounts of financial intermediaries.
  • Compel certain companies to list their shares in one or more Securities exchanges.
  • Registration of Brokers and sub-brokers


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