The industry in India consists of many different kinds of branches and is very important for the country’s economy. Industrial production is growing rapidly and the sector employs a quarter of the working population.
In addition to basic industries such as raw materials and energy extraction and coal and steelmaking, India also has an extensive textile and food industry. The country also manufactures advanced technological products such as computers and equipment in the aerospace area.
When India became independent in 1947, few goods were manufactured in the country. Large investments were therefore made to build up their own, mainly heavy, industry gathered in giant companies owned or controlled by the state. The industry grew rapidly during the 1950s and 1960s, but stagnated during the 1970s due to low productivity, poor quality and countless government regulations.
- COUNTRYAAH: List of top trading partners of India. Includes countries that imported most shipments from and exported most goods to the country.
The structure of the industry is being transformed
Economic innovation on the part of the state, especially under Prime Minister Rao’s rule in the 1990s, led to a number of improvements. Deregulations were implemented and tax cuts were introduced. Foreign and Indian private companies and individuals were encouraged to invest. The liberalization of trade and industrial policy has helped to promote production, not least of consumer goods such as cars (including the domestic low-priced car Tata) and mopeds, electronics and white goods.
The structure of the industry has also partly changed. The importance of large state-owned companies has diminished, and smaller companies have instead grown. These often focus on high-tech products, including computers, but also on more traditional products in light industry and on textile manufacturing. The textile industry has declined, but together with the food industry still employs a large number of people and has traditionally been of great importance to the country.
Some renewal is also underway in the major heavy industries such as the steel and cement industry as well as the chemical industry. The extraction of own oil and natural gas means a lot of positive for the industry, not least for the production of the important fertilizers. In addition to the formal industry, there is also a large and thriving informal market for all kinds of goods.
A few private owners
Despite attempts to spread industry across the country, it is still concentrated in the three metropolitan areas of Calcutta (Kolkata), where heavy industry dominates due to its proximity to coal and iron deposits, Madras (Chennai) and Bombay (Mumbai). The latter is India’s most industrialized city, where everything is manufactured from cars and bicycles to pharmaceuticals and chemical products. Mumbai is also the center of the textile, leather and film industries. Bangalore (Bangaluru) has emerged in recent decades as a high-tech center with, among other things, aircraft manufacturing and a fairly advanced space industry. The city is together with Hyderabad the center of India’s IT industry.
Attempts to spread ownership in the private sector have not been successful. The private industry is concentrated on a couple of large financial families, such as the Tata family.
Debts are written off for millions of farmers
The newly elected chief ministers in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh announce that their state governments are writing off loans totaling about $ 8.6 billion for millions of indebted farmers. Debt amortization is an election promise given by the Congress Party candidates during the election campaigns.
“Insider” becomes new head of the central bank
The government appoints Shaktikanta Das, a senior official in the Ministry of Finance, as the new Governor of the Central Bank. Das is close to Modi and was a key figure behind the Prime Minister’s contentious decision to scrap 86 percent of the country’s banknotes with immediate effect (see November 2016). Critics believe Das is too close to the government and that the independence of the central bank is thus threatened. Other assessors tone down the importance of the change of boss.
The governor leaves
India’s central bank governor Urjit Patel resigns because of contradictions with the government. Patel states “personal reasons” for his departure, but analysts believe that the real reason is the government’s repeated attempts to influence the central bank’s interest rate and currency policy. The government wants the bank to lower interest rates and use more of the foreign exchange reserve for new investments. It is very uncommon for an Indian central bank governor to quit before his ordinance expired.
Record young rebel in Kashmir is shot dead
A 14-year-old boy, Mudasir Ahmad Parrey, is shot dead by Indian soldiers outside Srinagar in Kashmir. He is said to be the youngest rebel killed in the Kashmir conflict. Parrey joined a militant resistance group in August 2018 and is killed along with two other group members, including a 17-year-old, after Indian soldiers surrounded the house where the three hid and besieged it for 18 hours.
Hindus require temple building
Hundreds of thousands of people march through New Delhi demanding that a Hindu temple be built at the site in Uttar Pradesh where a 16th century mosque was demolished by a crowd in 1992.
BJP backs in state elections
It is bad for BJP in several state elections, causing media to speculate that this may be a clue as to the outcome of the general elections in spring 2019. In Rajasthan, the Congress party wins by half a percentage point over the BJP, which ruled the state for five years. The Congress party also wins the government power in Chhattisgarh, where the BJP ruled for 15 years. The BJP is also backing in Madhya Pradesh, where the Hindu Nationalist Party has ruled for the last 15 years. In Mirozam, however, a regional BJP-friendly party defeats the Congress party, and in Telangara, the Congress party loses power to a regional party. But even in Telangara, the Congress party gets more votes than the BJP.
Oil business clear sign with Iran
India is exempt from US sanctions that impede oil deals with Iran. A total of eight countries can continue to buy oil from Iran without risking US punishment. In addition to India there are China, Japan, Turkey, Greece, Italy, South Korea and Taiwan. President Trump justifies the exception that he does not want the world oil price to skyrocket, which would be a risk of cutting off all Iranian production. Nor does the US stop civilian cooperation in the nuclear field. Even the Iranian port city of Chabahar, in which India has invested heavily, is exempt from the sanctions. The idea is that the port there will be an important hub of trade between India and Afghanistan, as it can avoid transport via Pakistan.
Sixteen policemen are given life for massacres
A court sentenced 16 retired police to life imprisonment for carrying out the 1987 Hashimpura Massacre in the city of Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh (for background see Religion).
India buys Russian missile defense
India buys a missile defense system from Russia for $ 5 billion. As a result, the United States threatens the Indian government with sanctions.
The solar energy alliance holds the first meeting
Prime Minister Modi inaugural address at the International Alliance for Solar Energy (Isa) first meeting. He says that in the future the alliance will replace the oil cartel Opec. Joining the meeting is UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Isa was formed at the climate summit in Paris in December 2015 and its headquarters are in India (see also December 2015).
Lesbian couple gets right to be cohabiting partner
A Kerala court is ruling in favor of a lesbian couple wanting to live together. According to one of the two women, the couple moved together in August 2018, but afterwards her partner’s family should have taken the partner to a psychiatric hospital. Earlier in September, the Supreme Court decriminalized homosexual acts that until then had been illegal. However, especially in rural areas, India is still a conservative society where tolerance to LGBTQ people is low.
HD: Law against adultery violates the Constitution
The Supreme Court ruled that a 19th-century law that criminalizes adultery violates India’s constitution. According to the law, it is criminal to have a sexual relationship with a married woman without her husband’s permission. According to the HD judgment, the law treats the man as the superior woman in a marriage and violates the woman’s dignity.
Muslim “quick divorces” become punishable
The Modi government issues a decree that makes so-called “triple talaq” divorces punishable by up to three years in prison. Triple talaq means that a Muslim man can end his marriage simply by saying “talaq” three times (“you are divorced” in Arabic). Muslim women have testified about being abandoned through messages on social media or the internet. In August 2017, the Supreme Court ruled that “triple talaq” divorces violate the Constitution and in December the BJP-dominated lower house voted for a ban. But the bill then stuck in the upper house, prompting the government to issue the decree, which becomes permanent law when the President of India signs it. Since the court’s decision, over 200 “triple talaq” divorces have been registered.
Agreement with the United States on new arms purchases
India and the United States enter into an agreement that allows India to buy more weapons and military equipment from the United States than before, including weapon-mounted drones. The agreement also means that both countries can provide each other with encrypted military intelligence. The agreement should be seen in light of the fact that India has purchased a lot of weapons from Russia in recent years.
Homosexual acts are decriminalized
The Supreme Court (HD) states that homosexual acts are no longer illegal. The decision cancels a previous HD ruling from 2013 that said a 157-year-old law defining homosexual acts as criminal would continue to apply. Now, Indian HD finds that discrimination based on sexual orientation violates fundamental human rights. The HD verdict is a big victory for the country’s LGBTQ movement, while the social stigma against LGBTQ people remains strong in many parts of India, especially in rural areas.
IMF: Bright future of Indian economy
In a comprehensive report, the IMF gives a clear picture of the Indian economy. The country will remain one of the world’s fastest growing economies, according to the fund. This assessment is primarily due to increasing investments and a strong domestic private consumption. The IMF gives Modi praise for tax policy and for making the government easier to make foreign direct investment in India.
Millions of stateless people in Assam risk deportation
About four million stateless people in Assam have been rejected for their applications to become Indian citizens. This is evident when a draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is published. The NRC lists people who can prove that they came to Assam by May 24, 1971, that is, a day before Bangladesh declared itself independent from Pakistan. At independence, millions of people fled to India, many migrating to Assam. Under a 1985 agreement, all those who cannot prove that they came to Assam before March 24, 1971 should not be defined as Indian citizens. Thus, out of just over 32 million people who applied for citizenship, four million get rejected. There are fears that the authorities intend to deport Bangladeshi migrants. To reduce the risk of riots, the authorities say no one should be expelled immediately. Everyone should be able to appeal the decisions before they receive binding legal status.
The world’s sixth largest economy
India is now the world’s sixth largest economy and thus passes France. India’s GDP for 2017 is $ 2,600 billion, according to the World Bank.
Direct government is introduced in Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir are put under direct control after the state’s chief minister Mehbooba Mufti left office. This means that Jammu and Kashmir are now governed by Governor NN Vohra, appointed by the Central Government of New Delhi. Mufti resigned the day after the BJP chose to leave the state government and crack down on the coalition with Mufti’s party People’s Democratic Party (PDP). The BJP justifies the dismissal as the cooperation has become unsustainable about how to handle the intensifying violence in Jammu and Kashmir. The BJP recommends a stronger grip on the militant resistance groups. The Executive Board shall advise until a new state government is in place or a new election is held.
India breaks the ceasefire in Kashmir
17th of June
India resumes its military efforts against resistance groups in Indian Kashmir following the month-long ceasefire during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Famous journalist in Kashmir is murdered
Shujaat Bukhari, writer and editor of the English-language newspaper Rising Kashmir, is shot dead in Srinagar in Kashmir. One of the editor’s bodyguards is killed at the same time. Bukhari lived under constant threat of death and was monitored by lifeguards around the clock. Indian police say four members of the extremist group Lashkar-e-Taiba are suspected of the murder and ordered from inside Pakistan. Lashkar-e-Taiba denies the charges. No other group takes on the deed.
Sharp criticism of India in UN report on Kashmir
The UN Human Rights Council publishes its first report on violence by India and Pakistan in Kashmir. The report spans the period between January 2016 and April 2018 and addresses particularly sharp criticism of India, including for “chronic impunityfor violence carried out by the security forces ”. The Council criticizes the Armed Forces Special Powers Act of 1990 which states that soldiers in Kashmir cannot be prosecuted without the permission of the central government. According to the report, Indian forces were responsible for 145 cases of extrajudicial killing during the current period while the resistance groups performed 20. The report also states that “a variety of human rights violations” are committed in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, but that they “are of a other caliber or magnitude and of a more structural nature. ” For example, there is a lack of freedom of expression and assembly which makes it difficult to get information about what is happening in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir. Pakistan should “stop using terrorism laws to persecute those who engage in peaceful political and social activities and those who express dissenting views”. The Council’s head, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, now wants it to decide to carry out an independent international investigation into the allegations of human rights crimes committed in Kashmir by both India and Pakistan. The Indian Foreign Ministry dismisses the report as “misleading and tendentious”. The Pakistani government welcomes such an inquiry and stresses that Islamabad has ordered an investigation since 2016.
Again fire fighting in Kashmir
Firing and new clashes along the Kashmir border occur just days after India and Pakistan agreed to stop the fighting. Both Pakistan and India are blaming the counterparty for breaking the 2003 ceasefire agreement once again (see May 2018).
Agreement on ceasefire in Kashmir
India and Pakistan agree to stop the firing line which separates the Pakistani and Indian areas of the disputed Kashmir. The parties promise to return to the ceasefire agreement concluded in 2003. In the past year, violence along the border has escalated, resulting in the deaths of tens of people, mainly on the Pakistani side, while tens of thousands have been forced to leave their homes in the Indian-controlled border area.
At least eleven protesters are shot to death by police
At least eleven people are killed when police and security forces in the port city of Tuticorin in the southern state of Tamil Nadu shoot at protesters demanding that a copper smelter be shut down for environmental reasons. Thousands of people take part in street ravages that follow the shooting deaths.
Modi and Xi promise relaxation
Prime Minister Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping promise after an informal meeting in the Chinese city of Wuhan that tensions at the borders between both countries will be reduced. For example, strategic guidelines have now been drawn up for the two countries’ military forces. In June 2017, the situation in Doklam in the Himalayas approached a state of war as China initiated a road construction in the area, which both China and India’s close ally Bhutan are claiming. India sent troops to Doklam to stop road construction. The troops were withdrawn in August of that year and the situation calmed down. In 1962, India and China fought a war over another area, Arunachal Pradesh. China won and temporarily occupied parts of the disputed territory. However, the conflict is unsolved: India considers Arunachal Pradesh as an Indian state,
Dozens of Naxalites are killed by commandos
About 40 Maoist guerrillas (Naxalites) are killed by commanding forces in the state of Maharashtra in western India over the course of two days, police say. Many of those killed are women. Weapons and ammunition are seized in the Naxalite strongholds. The Maoist uprising in India began as early as the 1960s, inspired by Chinese leader Mao Zedong, and has since demanded thousands of lives in almost daily acts of violence (see further Naxali uprising).
The death penalty is imposed for the rape of children
The government introduces the death penalty for rape of children under the age of twelve and tightens the prison sentence for sexual abuse of girls under 16. The government also decides that trials in which children are victims should be concluded no later than two months after an arrest has been made. The legislative changes are made through decrees and are valid for six months or until Parliament votes to permanent them. The changes are made in the light of a series of notable sexual crimes, including group rape and murder of an eight-year-old Muslim girl by a gang of Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir. The violent sex crimes have triggered mass demonstrations around India.
BJP politicians are exempt from previous convictions for massacres
Maya Kodnani, former BJP politician in Gujarat with close ties to Prime Minister Modi, gets his 28-year prison sentence suspended by an appeal court. She was sentenced in 2012 for reviving the religious violence between Hindus and Muslims which in 2002 demanded over 1,000 human lives (the majority of Muslims) in Gujarat, including a massacre of 97 Muslims in a suburb of Ahmedabad. Kodnani gets her judgment asserted that her guilt cannot be set apart from all reasonable doubt. She was minister of Modi’s state government in Gujarat between 2007 and 2009.
Mass protests against brutal rape
A brutal rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu as well as a suspected rape of a 17-year-old by a BJP politician in Uttar Pradesh leads to people around India going into the biggest demonstrations in the country since the group rape and murder of a female student in Delhi 2012. The protesters are accusing the ruling BJP of trying to protect the local politician who is suspected of teenage rape and also of trying to protect those accused of child rape. The BJP politician is arrested and detained, but it did not happen until the teenager set fire to himself outside the governor’s residence. One day later, the girl’s father, who had been in custody, died from injuries he must have suffered through abuse. Later, a woman is also arrested on suspicion of guarding the door to the room where the rape is alleged to have occurred. According to her parents, she applied for a job with the BJP politician. Teenage rape should have occurred about a year ago. The case of the Muslim eight-year-old girl occurred in January in the Hindu-dominated Jammu in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The girl was kidnapped, drugged and raped repeatedly for five days, including inside a Hindu temple, before being strangled and beaten to death with a stone. Eight Hindu men have been arrested for the murder, including four police officers. The BJP has claimed that the allegations are politically motivated and come from the Congress Party. Modi promises justice to the victims while the Minister for Women’s Rights advocates the death penalty for child rape.
Modi revokes decisions about fake news
A decision by the Ministry of Information that journalists who spread so-called fake news can get their accreditations from the Ministry withdrawn, is revoked by the government after strong reactions from the country’s media and other critics.
Dalits in mass protest against HD rash
Tens of thousands of Dalits (formerly called the casteless) participate in mass demonstrations around India in protest of a ruling in the Supreme Court which the protesters consider to weaken the law (usually called the SC / ST Act) designed to protect socially vulnerable groups such as low castes and tribal people. Nine protesters are killed in protests held in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkand, Bihar and Delhi. Many railways and highways are blocked off and vehicles are set on fire. In Punjab, schools, banks and offices are closed. In its ruling, the Supreme Court says, among other things, that the law has been used incorrectly, since between 15 and 16 percent of the reports tested against the law have proven to be false. In many cases, it has instead been about personal conflicts and revenge actions. The Court therefore stops the automatic arrests that the SC / ST Act prescribes to be made by a notified person. The court also abolishes the requirement that a police investigation must be initiated within seven days of a notification. An arrest must instead be approved by a police officer. The number of Dalits in India is estimated at around 200 million (read more in the throwing system).
Two journalists are murdered
Two journalists are killed in two different incidents within a day. In one of the attacks, a reporter in the Hindi-language newspaper Dainik Bhaskar is run over by a former village leader in Bihar. The man is later arrested by the police. In the second, a TV journalist is mowed down by a truck in Madhya Pradesh. The latter case is suspected to have links to the so-called sand mafia, which the reporter reviewed. He had found links between a police officer and a company that extracted sand in an illegal and environmentally damaging way and then sold the sand to the construction industry. In 2016, two journalists were murdered who examined the illegal sand trade in Uttar Pardesh.
Eleven are sentenced to death for murdering meat traders
Eleven men sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of a Muslim meat trader in the state of Jharkhand in June 2017. One of the sentenced worked for the ruling Hindu nationalist BJP. The men suspected that the merchant was carrying beef. Slaughtering cows is prohibited in several states, including Jharkhand, because cows are sacred to Hindus. However, it appears that cows are killed and that both cows and beef are smuggled inland. In recent years, a number of acts of violence have been targeted at people suspected of handling cows and beef. Particularly vulnerable groups are Muslims and Dalits. Prime Minister Modi has condemned murders and other acts of violence motivated by cows being protected.
Indians kidnapped by IS are dead
India confirms that the 39 Indian construction workers kidnapped by the Islamic State (IS) in the Iraqi city of Mosul in 2014 are dead. Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj says 38 workers’ DNA matches bodies found in a mass grave, while 39th worker matches 70 percent. Earlier, the Indian government has claimed that the workers are alive. In July 2014, 46 Indian nurses who had been held captive at IS in Iraq were released for over a week.
Party jumps off the ruling alliance
The regional party TDP (Telugu Desam Party), which governs the state of Andhra Pradesh in southern India, leaves cooperation within the federal government alliance NDA. TDP’s two ministers in the federal government have also resigned. Modi and his BJP government have, despite being dismissed, the majority’s support in Parliament, but TDP has been important for the BJP which does not have such strong electoral support in southern India. However, the BJP rules in 21 of India’s 29 states. TDP’s resignation comes after the Modi government refused to grant Andhra Pradesh a special status called a “special category” which would have meant increased federal support for the state and its new capital, Amaravati. Andhra Pradesh was split in 2014 when the state of Telangana broke out. The old capital of Hyderabad then became the capital of Telangana.
Farmer march ends
the 13th of March
The mass demonstration breaks down after representatives of the peasants meet with state ministers, who promise to resolve the problem within six months that peasants from tribal peoples may not own land. The ministers also promise that all farmers should be able to apply to have their loans written off.
Farmers march towards Mumbai
the 12th of March
Tens of thousands of farmers are beaming in Mumbai after marching for almost six miles from the Nashik district of Maharashtra for six days. The march is a protest against the state government, with demands for higher compensation for agricultural products and for a promise of debt amortization to be realized by the state authorities. The protesters also demand that tribal people be allowed to own land. In addition to men, women, the elderly and children are included in the train. The march is organized by a national peasant organization with ties to the Communist Party of India (the Marxis). In India, the state governments set the price level of agricultural products and buy up the harvest so that farmers are guaranteed an income. There are also special loans for the purchase of, for example, seeds, fertilizers and implements.
Cooperation with France is strengthened
11th of March
French President Emmanuel Macron visits India for three days. During the visit, the two countries enter into a comprehensive security agreement for areas around the Indian Ocean in order to counterbalance China’s growing influence in the region. The agreement means that India and France will open their naval bases in the region for each other’s naval battleships. The two countries also sign an agreement on French technical support for the construction of a nuclear power plant in Jaitapur, Maharashtra. Macron also promises increased aid for India’s ambitious investment in solar power.
Six dead in violence in Kashmir
4th of March
Six people are killed, four of whom may be civilians, when soldiers and an opponent shoot at each other at a military post in the southern part of Indian-controlled Kashmir. Thousands of people in Indian-controlled Kashmir are protesting the shooting deaths, even though the police imposed a curfew. The police shoot tear gas at the crowd. No information is available on the dead or injured in the protest actions. The six killed are the suspected assailant as well as people whom the police regard as a helper to him.
Proposed stricter punishment for human trafficking
The government wants to tighten the maximum penalty for human trafficking from seven to ten years in prison and improve the rehabilitation of the victims. To date, the victims (usually poor women and children) have often ended up in jail following police strikes against brothels, factories or organized begging. Among other things, the bill proposes that special courts should handle these cases in order to shorten the legal processes, and that a fund should be established that can provide support to the victims in the form of education, medical care and legal aid. Human trafficking in India increased by 20 percent in 2016 compared to the previous year, according to statistics from Indian authorities, which also states that around 14,000 children were subjected to rape or sexual harassment in 2015.
People are fleeing fire fighting in Kashmir
Hundreds of residents in Baramulla district in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir are forced to flee their homes from escalating firefighting between India and Pakistan over the control line.
The Sikh issue interferes with Canadian visits
Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau’s visit to India gets attention when it takes a whole week before he and his family get to meet Prime Minister Modi or any other high-ranking government representative. It also stirs up the anger of many Indians when it is discovered that Jaspal Atwal, a former Sikh extremist sentenced to 20 years in prison by a Canadian court for an attempted murder of a Canadian Indian Prime Minister in 1986, was on the invitation list for an official dinner with Trudeau in Mumbai. Atwal, later removed from the list of Canada, has previously been a member of a separatist group banned in both India and Canada. Several Sikhs are part of Trudeau’s delegation during the India trip. In India, there is a widespread belief that the Trude government is too friendly towards Sikh separatists. The Indian Foreign Ministry is investigating how the Sikh, who has a Canadian passport, was able to obtain a visa to India. About half a million Sikhs live in Canada. Jaspal Atwal later apologizes for the incident and renounces extremism and Sikh separatism.
Rural investment in the new budget
Finance Minister Jaitley presents the government’s annual budget. It contains a number of initiatives that some appraisers perceive as pork for the parliamentary elections in 2019. In addition to an ambitious new healthcare program aimed at poor households (see February 2018), subsidies to agriculture are increased by the state buying up more crops at a minimum price. Tens of thousands of local marketplaces will be renovated and money will be spent on new rural road construction as well as basic education.
Cheaper care for the poor
The government presents a new government-funded program that will cover health care costs for approximately 100 million poor families of up to $ 7,825 (just over SEK 61,000) per family. Thousands of health clinics will also be built where poor people can get medicines and medical exams for free.
Opposition leaders are jailed for corruption
Opposition politician Lalu Prasad Yadav, leader of the party Rashtriya Janata Dal, is sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for participating in a major corruption march. Yadav has previously been Railway Minister and Chief Minister in the state of Bihar, where he is popular for his fight for better living conditions for low-key people. As of December 2017, the Court ruled that Yadav is liable for embezzlement of the equivalent of nearly $ 140,000 of state funds in connection with a major corruption scandal involving dozens of politicians and civil servants.