Topic – India and its neighborhood- relations.
3) As SAARC loses all steam, Delhi needs to reimagine its economic and political geography. Comment.(250 words)
Why this question
Some of the recent events highlight the growing inability of the SAARC to achieve its stated and desired objectives. It is important to examine those events and issues, and discuss the need for a realignment in the strategy on part of India.
Comment- here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.
Key demand of the question.
The question wants us to express our knowledge and understanding of the SAARC and its relevance today. Based on our discussion we have to form an opinion on the need for realignment in India’s strategy towards SAARC and the related member states.
Structure of the answer
Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the SAARC, its members, when it was formed etc.
- Discuss the shortcomings of the SAARC which have hampered its functioning at the required levels. E.g discuss the role of Pakistan and consequent India-Pak rivalry; India being unable to sponsor large development projects; India’s refusal to engage Pakistan unless Islamabad addresses its concerns on cross-border terrorism etc.
- Discuss some of the recent issues which highlight the growing redundancy of SAARC in terms of achieving its stated objectives as well as India’s national interests. E.g Cancelling of the meet last year in Pakistan; A meeting between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan planned recently could not take place; Sri Lanka has begun to describe itself as an Indian Ocean country. Colombo is by no means betraying South Asian regionalism. It is merely rediscovering its geographic centrality in the Indian Ocean and celebrating it. Maldives, too, has so much to gain by leveraging its Indian Ocean location rather than pin its hopes on the dystopian SAARC etc
- Discuss how India’s strategic and economic interests can be better realised.e.g discuss the role and importance of BBIN and BIMSTEC and discuss the need to strengthen those institutions etc.
Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.