TOPIC: General Studies 3
- Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
- Security challenges and their management in border areas;
Manipur violence- Assessing the internal security
Manipur has been facing sever hardships in supply of essential items since November 1, 2016 after United Naga Council (UNC) imposed an indefinite economic blockade on the two national highways — NH 2 and NH37 — that serve as lifeline for the state.
The economic blockade
- The state government had announced formation of seven new districts with the reason being administrative convenience. This brings up total districts to 16 from 9.
- UNC which claims to be a common platform for Nagas in Manipur, feels that the move by the majority Meiteis will hurt their interests.
- The UNC has claimed that the creation of new districts, especially making Sadar Hills and Jiribam full-fledged districts in the Naga dominated hill areas, will encroach upon and divide the traditional land holdings of Naga tribes.
- This blockade has not only crippled trade and normal life in the state but also increased the existing divide between the valley and the hill people.
- The blockade has led to scarcity of goods which has led to price rise. The cost of petroleum products have almost tripled.
- In addition, the demonetisation move further worsened the situation. However, the market is devoid of essential items which has made people now indifferent to demonetisation move.
- Cross-border trade with Myanmar at border towns of Moreh in Manipur and Namphalong in Myanmar, legalised since 1995, has also come to a standstill, hit by the double blow of the blockade and demonetisation.
- Adding fuel to the fire, the tensions in the state has further heightened after suspected UNC militants continued their violent attacks on Manipur Police and other state forces.
- Though the leadership of National Socialist Council of Nagaland – Isak-Muivah (NSCN(IM)) claims that a political solution on the lines of Greater Nagalim is on the cards, the situation has worsened so much that Manipur Chief Minister urged the Centre in writing to snap all agreements with the NSCN(IM) and revoke the ceasefire at least in Manipur.
- In the aftermath of economic crisis and insurgency, a group of angry protesters took to streets and torched the vehicles.
- In order to prevent spread of violence, the mobile internet was shut down in Imphal West district.
- Also, a large number of police personnel were deployed at sensitive areas of the state. The central government had placed 15 companies of central forces stationed in Manipur at the disposal of the state government.
Internal security challenges- nothing new
- Manipur has faced cycle of violence and insurgency movements within the states due to land and identity issues. Lack of competent governance institutions, infrastructure and economic growth has failed to bring a long term solution to the Manipur crisis.
- The creation of new districts has been a subject of ethnic strife in Manipur since 1971, when it was first proposed.
- Successive governments have failed to resolve the festering identity-driven tensions sparked by the exercise.
- For instance, Naga and Kuki villages are located side by side in all four hill districts of Manipur (Imphal East, Imphal West, Senapati and Tamenglong).
- The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (Afspa) has been in place since 1958. It has continued to alienate the local population, and act as a deterrence for focused modernizing of state police and counter-insurgency forces.
- The signing of the Naga framework accord between NSCN-IM and NDA government in 2015 has also increased speculation about the territorial disintegration of Manipur.
- Manipur’s northern districts have been long claimed by Nagas as part of the greater Nagalim territory. Disputes over these lands in the 1990s resulted in targeted attacks against Kukis and tensions between Nagas and other tribes.
- The creation of 7 new districts, with at least three districts dividing the Naga-dominated areas in northern Manipur, has given new life to this tension.
Solving the instability
- There should be phased removal of AFSPA wherein central and state government work together for greater peace establishment in Manipur.
- There should be implementation of the Sixth Schedule, which gives autonomy to tribal districts, rather than an inner-line permit which will restrict the entry of people. This will give people greater control over their territories.
- Resolutions involving the various tribes along with possible administrative control over certain regions dominated by the Nagas can ensure better governance in the state.
- It will also help in removing incentives for the rise of smaller insurgent groups and remove the onus for maintaining peace from the state and on to the groups themselves.
- Making Manipur a stakeholder in any foreign policy that involves acting east. An Act East policy that uses the growth and regional impact of a stronger, better-governed Manipur will have far greater impact on India’s commitment to its eastern neighbours.
Strengthening Manipur-Myanmar international border
- Manipur shares 355km of its border with Myanmar. It has historical and cultural contiguity with Myanmar, apart from having a clear navigable, active trading route with Myanmar.
- Manipur remains India’s most economically viable border to the south-east, forms the nucleus of India’s renewed zeal to act east, and therefore requires special focus.
- India’s planned trilateral highway starts from Moreh and is designed to cross Myanmar, extending all the way to Mae Sot in Thailand. Legalizing, securing, and streamlining this existing natural trade route will ensure economic connectivity remains, and benefits the state.
- Manipur, after Mizoram, remains the port of choice for drugs and arms originating from the golden triangle on the Myanmar, Laos, Thailand border. Better security infrastructure, a narcotics agency with more powers, better equipment, a modernized border force, and streamlining of trading posts can also help stop illegal cross border imports.
The Manipur state elections are approaching in 2017. In this backdrop, these issues should be addressed. The entry of a second national-level party into Manipur could end 15 years of single-party rule. This is needed because political competition would improve the efficiency of the government and moderate the distrust of citizens towards the political system.
Tribes of Manipur
- Tribes of Manipur are one of the most distinctive features of the state include at least 29 communities that originated from Tibetan-Burmese tribal group of Mongoloids.
- Manipur is largely inhabited by 4 types of tribes along with other tribes. These include the Meities and Pangals who inhabit the lower regions of the valley; while the hilly regions of Manipur are mainly populated by the Naga tribes and Kuki tribes.
- Tribes of Manipur along with these include some more groups like the Tangkhul tribe which resides in the Indo-Myanmar border occupying Ukhrul District of Manipur.
- The Meities, who constitute 56% of the state’s population of almost thirty lakh, occupy only ten% of the geographical area particularly the valley region.
- The Nagas, with a population of approximately seven lakh, reside in the hilly areas of the State and are deeply suspicious of the Meities.
- The Kukis who are sandwiched between the Nagas and the Meities constitute 7.5% of the population and are demanding a separate Kuki State.
Manipur violence- Assessing the internal security
Connecting the dots:
- The biggest threat to India is from its internal states than external states. Do you agree? Examine.
- North east India has long been out of limelight which has resulted into non-recognisance of its concerns. In the backdrop of same, discuss the current problems in Manipur and how to address them.
INDUSTRY AND ECONOMY
General Studies 1
- Factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India)
General Studies 3
- Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
- Changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth
Challenges and Scope of Unorganised Manufacturing Sector
Scope of the Small Scale Units
The debate on the small units versus large units in industry and agriculture has been going on amongst the industrial academicians since quite a while. Small scale units are said to better in terms of performance indicators and labour absorption. At times it is emphasised that small units are the engines of pro-poor growth.
However, one major obstacle the small units face is the access to several kinds of resources, particularly credit and marketing facilities. Due to this they are not able to get benefits of economies of scale and larger units end up having an edge in the market.
Unorganised manufacturing sector, both household and non-household units, accounts for a large majority of total manufacturing employment in India. Enhancing the technological capabilities of these units and integrating them into national and regional value chains is important to ensure their economic viability. This economic viability will ensure decent wages to the workers and ensure pro-poor growth.
Organised Sector versus Unorganized Sector
- In terms of technical efficiency and total factor productivity, there is little evidence in favour of positive links between the organised and the unorganised sector units perceived in terms of inter-sectoral efficiency differences and associations between them.
- The units within the unorganised sector seem to reveal similar characteristics in terms of performance indicators, while organised sector units are much better performers.
- It is observed that the unorganised sector units are not able to benefit significantly in the process of rapid economic growth. The demand side factor or agglomeration-specific factor does not impact on the performance of unorganised sector enterprises in a favourable way.
- Organised sector units respond positively to a rise in income in the region where they are located, which could be due to difference in terms of quality of the products manufactured by the organised and unorganised sectors. A rise in income leads to a shift in demand for products away from the unorganised to the organised sector.
- The process of ancillarisation is expected to benefit unorganised sector by creating greater opportunities through inter-sectoral linkages but the increasing role of labour intermediaries and payment of wages on piece rate basis is not facilitating a positive spill over.
- Even the level of infrastructure also does not exert a positive impact on the performance of the unorganised sector, while the efficiency of the organised sector improves with a rise in the availability of infrastructure.
Unorganised sector enterprises exist to provide means of survival only, which is especially true for household units.
Steps for the Unorganised Sector
- Policies should be framed in a manner which lead to product quality improvement within the unorganised sector and hence give an impetus to the demand for the products.
- Infrastructure access needs to be enhanced for these units especially for those numerous units operating from remote rural areas.
- Special facilities have to be provided to these units in terms of credit and market access.
- Not only accessibility of infrastructure has to be increased but even the affordability has to be increased. Facilities such as electricity need to be priced in a manner which is affordable for the units in the unorganised sector.
Advantages of Urban Location
Surveys and studies in the past have indicated that those smaller units located in the urban areas have an edge over their rural counterparts.
- Higher technical efficiency has been observed for small industrial units in urban areas than their counterparts in rural areas.
- The government policy initiatives for promoting urbanisation in India, particularly the ‘Smart Cities’ programme, are expected to help make unorganised manufacturing more economically viable.
- Growth of investment in small unorganised sector units is expected once the small towns (census towns) which do not have urban local bodies are officially given the status of urban areas.
- Sub-contracting activities enhance the technical efficiency of unorganised manufacturing units. It is noticed that incidence of sub-contracting is relatively greater in urban areas. Hence, more urbanisation will lead to more sub contracting and hence higher technical efficiency.
In the light of above challenges and the potential of the small scale units belonging to the industrial sector, various measures which can assist these units in growth and efficiency are as follows:
- Affordable and easy credit
- Access to markets through emporiums, trade fairs and other forms of consortiums
- Congenial and growth oriented labour laws making these units fruitful employment centres
- Tax benefits, exemptions and holidays to the unorganised sector to reduce their cost of operations and also promote infrastructural development.
- Subsidised provision of electricity, land and other forms of essential infrastructure.
- Create inter sectoral linkages so that the units feed from each other’s growth and growth of larger units as well through ancillarisation.
Connecting the dots
- How can small industrial units in the unorganised sector act as engines of pro poor growth? Discuss the challenges faced by such units and provide strategy for their growth supported by examples of government policy initiatives.
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