Topic– Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
3) RCEP negotiations hold significant importance for India, as opting out of RCEP may push india on the margins of Asia. Critically analyze.(250 words)
Why this question
The article discusses the importance of RCEP for India both from an economic as well as strategic point of view. The decision to join RCEP and the terms of those agreement hold immense significance for India and its economy in the near future. RCEP thus needs to be prepared in great detail.
Key demand of the question
The question expects us to critically analyze the hypothesis that not joining RCEP will push India to the margins of Asia. We need to interpret “margins” from an economic, geopolitical and geoeconomic perspective. In critical analysis we need to provide arguments as to why India should or should not join RCEP. Finally, we need to provide a fair and balanced opinion and discuss way forward.
Critically analyze – When asked to analyze, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, all you need to do is look at the good and bad of something and give a fair judgement.
Structure of the answer
Introduction – Explain the background of the question. Briefly explain what RCEP is and the stage at which the negotiations are.
- Briefly explain what the question means when it says opting out of RCEP would push India on the margins of Asia. Here you might interpret that it might push India to economic and geopolitical margins of Asia
- Discuss the economic impact. Highlight the pros and cons of RCEP for India. In the pros side, you could mention the access to markets of developing countries , easier standards for IT and pharma exports etc. In the negative side you can talk about the lack of competitiveness of Indian economy which puts it at a risk, the threat of even higher trade deficit with china etc
- Also discuss the geoeconomic perspective. What it means for India to stay out of all the major mega regional FTAs
- Discuss the geopolitical perspective such as the impact it would have on India’s Act East policy, strategy for indo pacific etc
Conclusion – Give a fair and balanced view, based on the arguments made above on what should India’s strategy with respect to RCEP be and the way forward.