Indian Express Editorial Summary

Topic-1 : Myanmar Crisis:

GS-2 : IR

Revision Notes

Question : Evaluate the role of the Border Guard Force (BGF) in exacerbating the instability in Myanmar and its implications for regional security. Suggest measures to mitigate the influence of non-state actors like the BGF on Myanmar’s internal dynamics.

Myanmar’s Fragile State:

  • Myanmar’s army retook Myawaddy from anti-government forces, highlighting ongoing instability.
  • Ethnic conflicts and the 2021 coup have weakened the state’s control over its territory.

Border Guard Force (BGF):

  • This powerful, militia-like group benefits from the conflict, operating criminal networks in the region.
  • Their rise reflects the breakdown of state authority in Myanmar.

External Players:

  • Collapsing state authority attracts interventions from China, the US, and other regional powers.
  • This creates a complex geopolitical situation on India’s eastern border.

India’s Lack of Response:

  • Despite the crisis’ impact on India’s security, the government hasn’t effectively engaged with different actors in Myanmar.

Needed Change:

  • India needs a new Myanmar policy that:
    • Rethinks its past bias favoring the military junta.
    • Engages with the National Unity Government (NUG) and ethnic armed groups.
    • Opens communication channels with local forces controlling Myanmar’s border regions.
    • Moves beyond a purely defensive approach like border fencing.

External Intervention:

  • As the threat posed by the collapsing Myanmarese state engulfs the region, external powers are increasingly intervening.
  • While the regional forum ASEAN has been unable to address the challenges, major powers are stepping in.
  • China, under the guise of stabilizing its border with Myanmar, has deeply inserted itself into the nation’s internal affairs.
  • The US supports Myanmar’s pro-democracy movement and has provided nearly $500 million in assistance under the Burma Act of 2021, including some non-lethal military support.

India’s Strategic Silence:

  • Despite the significant impact on India’s internal and external security, there has been minimal discussion in Delhi regarding how to tackle the Myanmar crisis.
  • It’s time for the Indian government to reconsider its previous policy bias favoring Myanmar’s military, which is no longer capable of securing India’s interests.
  • Delhi must now initiate dialogue with Myanmar’s National Unity Government, comprising the democratic opposition and ethnic armed groups.
  • While engaging with the military is crucial, New Delhi should also open communication channels with local forces controlling regions along the 1,600-kilometer land border with Myanmar.


  • The Myanmar crisis has brought major power play to India’s neighborhood. India needs a clear Myanmar policy. Simply playing defense by fencing the border with Myanmar is wholly inadequate in addressing the challenge on India’s eastern frontier.




Indian Express Editorial Summary

Topic-2 : India Employment Report 2024

GS-3 : Economy

Revision Notes

Question : Discuss the findings and implications of the India Employment Report 2024, highlighting both positive and negative aspects of the country’s employment landscape.


  • Official Data: The report relies primarily on official data from:
    • Employment and Unemployment Surveys (EUS)
    • Periodic Labour Force Surveys (PLFS) conducted by NSSO
  • Comparability: Despite changes in PLFS sample design, estimates are comparable to EUS due to high precision in all-India and state-level data.
  • Analysis Period: The report analyzes data from four years: 2000, 2012, 2019, and 2022, covering the past 22 years, including the Covid period.


Highlights of the India Employment Report 2024: Positive Aspects

  1. Improvement in Employment Conditions:
    • The report shows an improvement in employment quality across all states, as measured by a robust Employment Condition Index.
    • This is further supported by the rise in the share of non-farm employment (and decline in agricultural employment) between 2000 and 2019, which is a typical trend in developing economies and indicates a structural transformation of the Indian economy.
    • This trend was accompanied by a steady increase in regular employment and a decrease in unorganized sector employment, which only halted during the Covid period.
  2. Rise in Female Workforce Participation Rate (FWPR):
    • The significant increase in the FWPR from 24.5% in 2019 to 37.0% in 2023 is noteworthy, even though most of this participation is concentrated in the agricultural sector and consists of own-account and unpaid family work.
  3. Growth in Real Wages:
    • The labor market displayed strong recovery despite the global slowdown caused by Covid.
    • Compared to regular worker wages, the wages of casual workers even increased during 2019-22.
    • Notably, the increase was more significant for lower-income groups.
    • This, along with several social safety measures, likely played a crucial role in reducing extreme poverty and deprivation.
    • It’s also worth mentioning that while farm jobs saw a massive increase during the pandemic (almost 9% per year), non-farm jobs also grew by more than 2.6%, exceeding the growth rate achieved between 2012 and 2019.
  4. Decline in Unemployment and Underemployment:
    • Unemployment and underemployment rates increased until 2018 but declined thereafter.
    • The overall unemployment rate has significantly decreased from 6% in 2018 to 3.2% in 2023.
    • This trend holds true for the youth unemployment rate as well, which dropped from 17.8% to 10% during this period.


Highlights of the India Employment Report 2024: Negative Aspects

  1. Stagnant Growth in Labor-Intensive Manufacturing:
    • The employment pattern remains heavily skewed towards agriculture, employing around 46.6% of workers (compared to 42.4% in 2019).
    • This necessitates active steps to accelerate the creation of non-farm employment opportunities.
    • The increasing capital and skill-intensive nature of production processes leads to labor market distortions, where despite rising educational attainment, unskilled and semi-skilled workers remain abundant.
    • This highlights the need for a stronger focus on labor-intensive manufacturing.
  2. Low Female Workforce Participation Compared to Global Standards:
    • Women’s participation in the workforce remains low, and they are primarily engaged in less remunerative jobs in agriculture, unpaid family work, and as own-account workers.
    • To address this, there is a need to create more non-farm employment opportunities, particularly in rural areas, through investments in transportation, connectivity, and childcare access.
  3. Paradox of Rising Unemployment Among Educated Youth:
    • With a significant increase in educational attainment, the unemployment problem in India is increasingly concentrated among educated youth, who account for nearly two-thirds of total unemployment.
    • This trend has persisted for several decades.
    • The unemployment rate rises with higher education levels, reaching 28% among graduates and above (with a higher proportion among women). While this has declined from 35.4% in 2018, the report identifies skill and qualification mismatches, especially at higher education levels.
    • Improving the quality of education and imparting relevant skills in collaboration with the private sector remains a key priority for the coming years.
    • Paradoxically, the proportion of youth not in employment, education, or training (NEET) is quite high at around 28% in 2022, with females accounting for about five times the number of males. This group requires greater policy focus.
  4. Prevalence of Informal and Low-Productivity Jobs:
    • Despite improvements in employment conditions over time, jobs largely remain informal and have low productivity.
    • Over 90% of employment is informal, and 83% are in the informal sector (which was close to 90% in 2000).
    • Robust wage growth, particularly for casual and lower-strata regular workers, strengthening social protection, active policies for formalization, and boosting labor productivity are crucial steps to improve the overall quality of employment.

Recommendations for Improving India’s Job Scenario:

  • Promote employment-intensive growth:
    • Focus on labor-based manufacturing and job-generating services and agriculture.
  • Improve job quality:
    • Enhance overall working conditions and productivity.
  • Address labor market inequalities:
    • Boost women’s employment and tackle the NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) population.
  • Strengthen skill training:
    • Bridge the gap between job demands and available skills through effective training programs with private sector involvement.
  • Reliable data collection:
    • Develop systems to capture the complexities of the changing labor market due to technological advancements.

Conclusion: India’s demographic advantage can be leveraged for at least another decade, alongside robust economic growth, to create a positive employment scenario.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *