Daily News Analysis 29 March 2023

India’s overall exports cross US$ 750 Billion

Relevance in UPSC: 

GS Paper 3: Growth

Important For

Prelims: About India’s Trade Scenario

Mains: Significance of export increment in Indian Economy


Why in News?

During Addressing the ASSOCHAM Annual Session 2023 Commerce and Industry Minister said that India’s overall exports have crossed 750 Billion US dollar. He said, this is an all-time high and the achievement comes in the 75th year of independence, as the country is celebrating the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.


Key Highlights

  • There has been healthy growth in both merchandise and service sectors
  • The domestic market has been growing steadily and over the last 9 years the focus has been on building the foundation blocks which are necessary for an economy to have many years of uninterrupted and sustainable growth.
  • Various initiatives undertaken by the Government for the development of infrastructure like National Infrastructure Pipeline, PM Gati Shakti, Unified Logistics Interface Platform, etc. built upon technology as the backbone of such initiatives.
  • Free Trade Agreements (FTA) signed by India with Australia and UAE have been welcomed by industry across the three countries which help to expand the trade of India.


What Economy Survey mentioned about India’s Trade Scenario?

  • Merchandise exports were US$ 332.8 billion for April-December 2022.
  • India diversified its markets and increased its exports to Brazil, South Africa, and Saudi Arabia.
    • To increase its market size and ensure better penetration, in 2022, CEPA with UAE and ECTA with Australia come into force.
    • India is 7th Largest Service Exporter in the world.
    • India is the largest recipient of remittances in the world receiving US$ 100 bn in 2022. Remittances are the second largest major source of external financing after service export.
    • India’s services exports in FY22 recorded a growth of 23.5 per cent over FY21 and registered a growth of 32.7 per cent in April-September 2022 over the same period of FY22.
      • Software and business services together constitute more than 60 per cent of India’s total services exports and exhibited strong growth during Q2FY23.
    • Services imports rose by 25.1 per cent between FY22 and FY21 to reach US$ 147.0 billion and have registered growth of 36.7 per cent in April-September 2022 over the same period of FY22.
      • The increase in services imports is mainly on account of payments for transport services, travel and other business services.
    • India’s agricultural exports achieved the highest ever export in FY22 reaching US$ 37.8 billion and it continued to perform well in FY23 with exports of US$ 26.8 billion during April- November 2022 backed by an effective agriculture export policy.

    Balance of Payments in Challenging Times

    Current Account Balance

    • India’s current account balance (CAB) recorded a deficit of US$ 36.4 billion (4.4 per cent of GDP) in Q2FY23 in contrast to a deficit of US$ 9.7 billion (1.3 per cent of GDP) during the corresponding period of the previous year.
    • The widening of the current account deficit (CAD) in the second quarter of FY23 was mainly on account of a higher merchandise trade deficit of US$ 83.5 billion and an increase in net investment income outgo.
    • For the period April- September 2022 (H1FY23), India recorded a CAD of 3.3 per cent of GDP on the back of an increase in the merchandise trade deficit, as compared with 0.2 per cent in H1FY22.





  • Current account balance as percentage of GDP: India vs Select Countries




Capital Account Balance


  • Foreign investment, consisting of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and foreign portfolio investment (FPI), is the largest component of the capital account.
  • On a BoP basis, the net capital inflows declined to US$ 29.0 billion in H1FY23 from US$ 65.0 billion19 in H1FY22 primarily driven by the FPI outflow of US$ 14.6 billion in Q1FY23.
  • Net FDI inflows at US$ 20.0 billion in H1FY23 were comparable with US$ 20.3 billion in H1FY22.




  • In terms of FDI inflow, Singapore was the top investing country with a 37.0 per cent share, followed by Mauritius (12.1 per cent), UAE (11.0 per cent), and the USA (10.0 per cent).




  • FPIs recorded a net outflow of US$ 2.5 billion during April-December 2022 as against an outflow of US$ 0.6 billion a year ago.






                          Hike in Prices of Essential Medicine


GS Paper 3: Mobilization of resources

Important For

Prelims: About Pharmaceutical Industry

Mains: Factors on which medicine price depends


Why in News?

Prices of 384 essential drugs and over 1,000 formulations are set to see a hike of over 11%, due to a sharp rise in the Wholesale Price Index (WPI).

Key Highlights

  • Annual hikes in the prices of drugs listed in the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) are based on the WPI.
  • National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority said the annual change in WPI was 12.12% for the calendar year 2022.
  • Every year, the NPPA announces a change in the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) in accordance with the Drugs (Price Control) Order, 2013, or DPCO, 2013.
  • After DPCO 2013 came into force, this is the second year in a row that the WPI is higher than the annual permitted price hike for non­scheduled formulations (10%).

India’s Pharmaceutical Market

  • India’s domestic pharmaceutical market is estimated at US$ 41 billion in 2021 and is likely to grow to US$ 65 billion by 2024 and is further expected to reach US$ 130 billion by 2035.
    • India is ranked 3rd worldwide in the production of pharma products by volume and 14th by value.
  • There has been a strong growth in pharmaceutical exports




  • Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows into the Pharma Industry have risen four times, from US $180 million in FY19 to US $699 million in FY22.





  • Three PLI Schemes to boost Manufacturing Capacity in the Pharmaceutical Sector : { Key Starting Materials (KSMs)/Drug Intermediates (DIs) and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) (PLI 1.0) }



National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority of India

  • The NPPA was established by the Government of India in 1997 as an affiliate office of the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) of the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers to act as an independent regulatory body for the pricing of medicines and ensure availability and access to medicines at affordable prices.
  • Under the Medicines (Price Control) Ordinance (DPCO) 1995-2013, which sets/amends the prices of APIs and controlled preparations and enforces the price and availability of medicines in the country.
  • Active pharmaceutical ingredients are the chemical molecules in a medicine that give the product its purported therapeutic effect.


How does the Medicine pricing mechanism work? 

  • All drugs under NLEM are price regulated.
  • The NLEM lists drugs used to treat fever, infections, heart disease, high blood pressure, anemia, and more. Including paracetamol, azithromycin and other commonly used drugs.
  • They appear in Appendix 1 of the DPCO.
  • The Standing Committee on Affordable Medicines and Health Products (SCAMHP) will advise the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), the drug price regulator, on the checklist. The NPPA then sets drug prices according to this schedule.
  • Under the Medicines Price Control Order 2013, the government allowed an increase in medicines listed on the basis of the WPI (Wholesale Price Index) which accounted for around 15% of the medicine market, while the remaining 85% was automatically increased by 10%. peryear.
  • The annual price variations of the registered drugs are monitored and rarely exceed 5%.
  • Under the Medicines and Cosmetics Act 1940, medicines are classified by list and arrangements are made for their storage, presentation, sale, dispensing, leveling, prescription, etc.
  • The pharmaceutical lobby is now demanding at least a 10% increase in scheduled drug prices, not through WPI.




Belur Math


GS Paper 1: Socio Religious Movement

Important For

Prelims: About Belur Math

Mains: Significance of Belur Math


Why in News?

President Droupadi Murmu Tuesday visited the famed Belur Math, global headquarters of the Ramakrishna mission, founded by Swami Vivekananda in the late 19th century.

About Belur Math

  • Belur Math is the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, founded by Swami Vivekananda, the chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.
  • It is located on the west bank of Hooghly River, Belur, West Bengal, India.
  • The temple is the heart of the Ramakrishna movement.
  • It is notable for its architecture that fuses HinduIslamicBuddhist, and Christianart and motifs as a symbol of unity of all religions.
  • In 2003, Belur Math railway station was also inaugurated which is dedicated to Belur Math Temple.

The Ramakrishna Movement

  • Brahmo Samaj appealed to the intellectual classes of Bengal.
  • The masses were drawn to Ramakrishna Paramhamsa, who preached a form of bhakti and yoga.
  • Believed to have attained the highest spiritual experience available to Hindus
  • Ramakrishna had many spiritual and paranormal experiences since his childhood.
  • Later became priest at the Dakshineshwar Kali Temple.




Objectives of the Ramkrishna movement:

  • To bring together a band of monks dedicated to a life of renunciation and spirituality.
  • To send out teachers and workers from among these monks, who would preach the message of Vedanta, as seen in Ramakrishna’s life.
  • Philanthropic and charitable work – all human beings were manifestations of God, irrespective of caste/colour.


  • Ramkrishna Math was founded by Paramhamsa himself.
  • Its core was formed of his young monastic disciples (fulfilled the first objective).
  • Ramakrishna’s favourite disciple – Swami Vivekananda, took charge of the remaining objectives, after his death

Ramakrishna Mission

  • Established at Belur, Bengal in 1897. By Swami Vivekananda (Narendranath Dutt).
  • Named after his guru – Ramakrishna Paramhansa.
  • It is a social service and charitable society.
  • The objectives of the Mission are providing humanitarian relief and social work through the establishment of schools, colleges, hospitals and orphanages.

Views & philosophy –

  • Krishna, Hari, Ram, Allah are all names of the same God.
  • DID NOT REJECT image worship but laid stress on the worship of essential spirit and not the image.
  • Selfless devotion to god – Bhakti movement.


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