NEW DELHI: 2023 promises to be an eventful year. India will assume the G20 presidency, its economy is likely to outpace any other nation, and assembly elections in several states have the potential to change the political map.
Here’s what we can expect going into 2023:
Here’s what we can expect going into 2023:
- 9 (possibly 10) assembly elections
At least 9 key assembly elections are due in 2023.
Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana as well as northeast states of Tripura, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Mizoram are all going to the polls.
The Centre might also consider announcing elections in
Jammu and Kashmir— the first one since Article 370was abrogated and the special status of the region was scrapped in 2019.
Elections to so many states have the potential to radically change the political map in the run up to the 2024 general elections.
- G20 leaders’ summit
India assumed the G20 presidency from Indonesia in December.
India’s G20 presidency comes at a difficult time when the global economic outlook for the next year remains bleak in part due to a renewed Covid outbreak and ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
Over the course of 2023, over 200 meetings will be held across India in which representatives of various countries will discuss issues and crises facing the world.
The presidency will culminate in a G20 world leaders’ summit in New Delhi in December 2023. It will be a singular opportunity for India to truly arrive on the world stage.
- Cricket World Cup 2023
The 13th edition of the
ICC Cricket World Cupwill be hosted by India from October-November 2023.
It will be the first time the competition has been held entirely in India. Three previous editions were partially hosted by India in 1987, 1996, and 2011.
England are the defending champions, having won the previous edition in 2019.
- Will we see the end of Ukraine war?
Russia’s blitzkrieg into Ukraine never really took off and has now hit a wall. Both sides seem to have hunkered down for the winter but experts believe that Russia may be planning another massive strike soon to turn the tide on the battlefield and limit political backlash at home.
As Europe and other western nations continue to put pressure on the Kremlin to stop its “special military operation”, it remains to be seen how an increasingly cornered Russian President Vladimir Putin will retaliate. Russian gas exports to Europe have already hit an all-time low even as record winter temperatures are being recorded across the continent.
While Putin has accused western nations of derailing any attempts as negotiations, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said peace talks will only begin if Russia gives back all the territory it annexed in 2014, including Crimea — a demand that Russia will never agree to.
- The US may fall into
Analysts, economists, and other experts largely expect the US economy to tip into a recession late next year. How severe that recession will be is anyone’s guess.
After the Federal Reserve just conducted four consecutive 0.75 percentage-point interest rate hikes, investors are finding themselves in uncharted waters, especially as the Fed also unwinds its massive balance sheet.
US policymakers have also downgraded their outlook for economic growth in 2023 from the 1.2% they had forecast in September to a puny 0.5% – as near to a recession forecast as they are likely to make.
- India to be fastest growing economy
Despite the global economic doom and gloom, India’s economy is expected to grow at around 7% — the fastest in the world.
“India has been doing fairly well in 2022 and is expected to continue growing fairly robustly in 2023,” the IMF’s chief economist, Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas said.
Inflation in India was above the RBI’s target, Gourinchas said, adding that the fiscal and monetary policy should “probably be on the tightening side”.
The IMF has projected 6.9% consumer price inflation this year and 5.1% next year. The IMF expects inflation in India to return to the inflation tolerance band in the fiscal year 2023-24.
For the world as a whole, growth is expected to slow down from 6% in 2021 to 3.2% in 2022 and 2.7% in 2023.
- Will Pakistan see army rule or general election?
General elections are scheduled to be held in Pakistan no later than October 2023.
Ousted prime minister Imran Khan has been trying to put pressure on the Shehbaz Sharif government to hold early elections.
Khan has come out guns blazing against the army and accused it of interfering with politics — a fact well known but rarely spoken about out loud. In a first, the army and spy agency ISI have also publicly condemned Khan for levelling baseless allegations of ‘foreign hand’ behind his ouster.
More significantly, the political uncertainty that has been unleashed is having an adverse impact on the economy, already teetering on the brink of insolvency. More political turmoil will exact an even heavier price on its economy.
If the situation does not improve soon, the army may feel the need to step in and take control again.
- Could Taiwan become the next Ukraine?
Beijing has been flexing its military muscles to assert more control in the Indo-Pacific region, bringing it into direct confrontation with at least a dozen countries, including Taiwan and Japan.
The continued military support being provided to Taiwan by the US has rankled feathers in China, and US Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to the island brought things to a head.
With President Xi Jinping securing an unprecedented third term, China may continue on its aggressive path and ultimately decide to invade Taiwan.
India too has had border troubles with China with personnel from both sides clashing along the LAC.
India has bolstered its military along the borders. It remains to be seen whether China takes the hint and backs off or pursues its attempt to challenge India’s sovereignty.
- Will Covid become endemic?
In the start of 2022, the World Health Organization had predicted that the Covid-19 outbreak would become endemic by 2023.
Unfortunately, the prediction is unlikely to come true as BF.7 — an extremely infectious variant of the
coronavirus— is causing a surge in cases across the globe.
After unprecedented protests in China against strict lockdown norms, Beijing abruptly lifted all curbs.
Cases have started rising in China and according to many experts the country is facing the world’s worst Covid outbreak, which may affect India and other countries as well.
- Climate change
Extreme weather events have become commonplace. Record shattering temperatures and abnormal weather events have caused tens of thousands of deaths around the world.
United Nations’ COP27 climate summit in Egypt, nearly 200 countries agreed to set up a fund to help poor, vulnerable countries cope with climate disasters they had little hand in causing.
Scientists across the world have been urging governments to move to net zero, reduce emissions and control
global warming, as climate-induced extreme events are set to become more dangerous, intense, and frequent.