Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
3. Reviving SAARC is crucial to countering the common challenges brought about by the pandemic and India can use it as a stage for its global ambitions. Discuss. (250 words)
Reference: The Hindu
Why the question:
Thirty-six years after it first began, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), appears to be all but dead in the water. But despite the despondency, the rationale for its existence is intact.
Key Demand of the question:
To write about the role of SAARC in addressing the covid-19 related common challenges in South Asia and using it as platform for India’s global ambitions.
Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.
Structure of the answer:
Begin by writing about the formation of SAARC and how over the years the organization has stopped being an effective because of Indo-Pak bilateral tensions.
In the first part, write about the reasons for as to why the SAARC has been practically defunct.
In the next part, address as to how SAARC can be helpful in countering the common challenges posed by COvid-19 and the disruptions caused by it south Asia. Unique South Asia’s experience of the pandemic, counter future pandemics, developing cold storage chains, The pandemic’s impact on South Asian economies, promoting a more intra-regional approach towards tourism, health security, food security, and job security.
In the next part, mention how India can leverage SAARC for its global ambitions. A growing distaste for ‘globalisation’ of trade, travel and migration, preference for nativism, self-dependence and localising supply chains, dealing with the challenge from China etc. India’s proposal to launch a COVID-19 Emergency Fund was given positive reception etc.
Conclude by stressing on the importance of SAARC and need to revive it.