FREE MOVEMENT REGIME (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – IR)

News-CRUX-10     22nd January 2024        
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Context: Union home minister Amit Shah has said India is going to fence its border with Myanmar and discontinue the free movement agreement, adding that the border would be “protected like the Bangladesh frontier”.

Free Movement Regime

  • About: The FMR is a mutually agreed arrangement between the two countries that allows tribes living along the border on either side to travel up to 16 km inside the other country without a visa.
  • Implementation: It was implemented in 2018 as part of the Act East policy, at a time when diplomatic relations between India and Myanmar were on the upswing.
  • Geographical Scope: Under the FMR, residents of hill tribes, whether Indian or Myanmar citizens, are allowed to travel within a 16 km radius on both sides of the Indo-Myanmar Border (IMB).
  • Border Crossing Procedure: To cross the border, individuals need to present a border pass issued by the competent authority, valid for one year.
  • Reflecting Deep Bonds: The FMR symbolizes the profound physical, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, and fraternal connections among trans-border villagers.

Indo-Myanmar Border (IMB)

  • Bordered share with: Spanning 1,643 km, the IMB traverses four states: Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Boundaries: Extending from the northern tripoint with China to the southern tripoint with Bangladesh, the IMB is a vital frontier region.
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