Q.1) Ease of doing business is critical to attracting foreign investment, generating employment, and promoting growth. In this context, discuss the recent initiatives taken by government to improve ease of doing business in the country.
India’s ease of doing business rank jumps 23 places to 77 in World Bank’s Doing Business 2019 survey.
India has improved its rank in 6 out of 10 indicators and has moved closer to international best practices.
- In paying taxes, GST is the biggest taxation reform. The number of returns and forms that were required to be filled has come down drastically, from 495 in the pre-GST regime to just 12 now.
- Starting a business was made easier through consolidation of multiple application forms and introduction of a goods and services tax (GST). For starting a Business, time reduced from 30 to 16 days in Delhi and 29.5 to 17 days in Mumbai. Its rank improved from 156 to 137.
- Getting electricity was made faster and cheaper.
- Strengthening access to credit. In access to credit, rank improved from 29 to 22.
- In grant of construction permits, India’s rank improved from 181 in 2017 to 52 in 2018. This is done by reducing time for processing permit applications, streamlining procedures, and improving transparency among other measures. The single-window clearance system in Delhi and online building permit approval system in Mumbai streamlined and centralized construction permitting process
- In ‘Trading across Borders’, India’s rank improved by 66 positions moving from 146 in 2017 to 80 in 2018. Efforts include upgrades in port infrastructure, electronic sealing of containers, upgrading of port infrastructure and allowing electronic submission of supporting documents with digital signatures under National Trade Facilitation Action Plan 2017-2020.
Q.2) ISRO can be considered as a flagbearer of India’s low cost Make in India Program. How can the excellence achieved in the arena of space be spread over sectors of economy?
ISRO & Make In India:
- Launch of 104 satellites in a single mission
- ISRO’s technologies and applications have always proved useful during natural calamities
- IRNSS provides two services named Standard Positioning System (SPS) and Restricted Service (RS). Both services are aimed at reducing the dependence on the United States-based GPS
- Mars Orbiter Mission
- The space-based tools are being used by Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), National Mission for Clean Ganga, Digital India and Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY)
- ISRO is in the process of transferring the technology of cheaper version of space batteries developed by it to the automobile industry for e-vehicles
In other sectors of economy:
- Encourage domestic research and development
- Autonomy to many PSUs is needed, particularly in defence
- A definite integration of the socio economic development plan of the nation with the technological plan of the industry
Q.3) Despite historic and cultural ties, India – Myanmar economic and political relations have been far from satisfactory. Critically examine in the context of recently changing political dynamics in Myanmar.
India and Myanmar share a long boundary and also cultural and historical ties.
Challenges in the bilateral relationship:
- The Rohingya issue is unresolved leading to refugees to India
- Myanmar’s proximity to China
- Tensions created by armed gangs along the border; Free Movement Regime poses a challenge to internal security
- India is unable to complete its promised connectivity projects like the Kaladan transport corridor and IMT highway