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[Mission 2022] SECURE SYNOPSIS: 18 September 2021

 

NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.

 

Answer the following questions in 150 words:


General Studies – 1


 

1. What were the causes that led to the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971. Explain as to why India got involved in the war to liberate Bangladesh? (150 words)

Introduction

Pakistan was made of West and East Pakistan after August 14,1947. The eastern province gained its independence in March 1971 and Bangladesh was born. Bangladesh’s independence has been considered India’s most successful neighbourhood intervention.

Body:

The causes that led to the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971

  • Economic Prowess of East Pakistan:
    • Most of the foreign exchange was earned by exports from East Pakistan which was poorly defended when the big war of 1965 with India was fought.
  • Disparity of Governance:
    • Punjab and the Punjabi-dominated army ruled Pakistan soon after the birth of Pakistan.
    • The services were also dominated by Punjabis through quotas but East Pakistan dominated in literacy and high education.
    • Top seats in the civil services exams always went to East Pakistan.
  • Military Rule:
    • General Ayub Khan took over Pakistan in 1958, the East Pakistan’s needs and demands were completely suppressed.
    • Until 1962, martial law continued and Ayub purged a number of politicians and civil servants from the government and replaced them with army officers.
  • Distance factor:
    • Pakistan couldn’t tackle the strange phenomenon of being divided by a thousand miles of India.
  • Six-Point Program discarded:
    • The six point program of Mujib-Ur-Rahman in 1966 for economic and political autonomy of East Pakistan was discarded.
  • Imposition of Urdu:
    • Urdu was made the “National Language” of Pakistan. The requests from East Pakistan and option of Arabic were turned down.
  • Genocides and Refugee Problems:
    • There was a systematic ethnic slaughter which qualified as genocide. There was clear ethnic or religious targeting of the Hindu minority among the Bengalis.
    • By July-August 1971, 90% of the refugees were Hindus concentrated in the border districts of West Bengal with large Muslim populations.
    • The Response of West Pakistan to 1970 cyclone which ravaged East Pakistan was minimal and lacked compassion.
  • Immediate Cause:
    • The Awami League, led by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, won a landslide victory in the national elections in 1971 and demanded autonomy for East Pakistan.
    • This victory also gave it the right to form a government, but Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the Chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party refused to let the Sheikh become the Prime Minister of Pakistan. This initiated the war.

India was compelled to intervene in the Bangladesh War of 1971 due to various strategic, domestic, economic and humanitarian factors.

  • Strategic:
    • Having a hostile West Pakistan and East Pakistan on both sides of its borders was a strategic concern for India.
    • This was compounded by the strain in Sino-Indian relations which culminated in the war of 1962.
    • Unprovoked military aggression by Pakistan on the North-West India in 1972 needed to be responded in a stringent manner.
    • Therefore, the intervention in 1971 was necessary to safeguard the long term strategic interests.
  • Domestic:
    • The constant influx of migrants from East Pakistan was creating various problems in the Border States.
    • The resources were limited and there was constant struggle between locals and refugees over the use of these resources.
    • Besides there were various other ethnic and social problems due to this inflow of migrants.
  • Economic:
    • The country was spending huge resources to absorb these refugees.
    • Being a closed economy, India was not in a position to continue spending resources for long and hence a long term solution to the problem was needed.
    • Beside, having a hostile East Pakistan was hindering the development of north-eastern part of the country due to limited connectivity.
  • Humanitarian:
    • Lastly the atrocities committed on the people of East Pakistan forced India to intervene in the conflict on humanitarian ground to prevent a large scale crisis.

Conclusion

India played the great role in emergence of independent Bangladesh and was the first country to recognise Bangladesh as separate state. India’s humanitarian intervention in Bangladesh has shaped South Asia, made it a responsible power in the region. India’s links with Bangladesh are civilisational, cultural, social and economic. The shared colonial legacy, history and socio-cultural bonds demand that the political leadership of the two countries inject momentum into India-Bangladesh relations.

Value addition

India’s role in liberation of Bangladesh:

  • Indian government allowed Awami league leaders to form government in exile
  • Gave military training to Mukti Bahini Sena on Indian soil.
  • Provided food, shelter, clothing and medical aid to refugees in spite of tremendous strain on their resources.
  • In December 1971, Indian armed forces directly undertook the operation for liberation of Bangladesh which led to Indo-Pakistan war of 1971.
  • India observed international refugee law and allowed refugees regardless of religion or language. It internationalised their tragedy.

 


General Studies – 2


 

2. An India-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (FTA) can unlock new opportunities in trade and bring together people, ideas, and institutions that share a common history. Examine. (150 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Introduction

India-UK are eyeing for a Free Trade agreement and the formal negotiations would begin on November 1, with an interim ‘early harvest’ agreement to be completed by March 2022. The interim trade pact would involve early tariff or market access concessions on certain key high priority products and services.

Body

India-UK trade ties

  • India has had strong historical ties with the U.K. and currently, it is one of India’s most important trading partners.
  • It is a significant partner of India as an FDI investor after Mauritius and Singapore which ranked second and first respectively.
  • The UK is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and one of the strategic partners of India. Strengthening bonds with the trade would seek UKs support at global issues like standoff with China in the Ladakh sector of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and claim for permanent seat at UNSC.
  • The UK has been pushing India for a bilateral trading arrangement ever since it voted to leave the European Union (EU) in June 2016 and left finally in January 2020.
  • India opted out of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership deal in November 2019. Therefore, there is renewed focus on trade deals with the US, the European Union and the UK, which are key markets for Indian exporters and are keen to diversify their sourcing.

Unlocking new opportunities through India-UK FTA

  • The total trade between India and the UK is currently around $33 billion per year, including $15 billion worth of trade in goods and the rest in services.
  • Leveraging India’s trade surplus: The UK is amongst India’s top ten exporting destinations while India is UK’s sixth-largest non-EU trading partner.
    • The UK is one of the few large economies with which India has a trade surplus
  • Export advantage: India’s major exports to the UK include clothing, pharmaceuticals, refined oil and metal manufactures.
  • Trade complementarity: The UK’s key exports to India comprise metal ores, non-ferrous metals, electrical goods and general industrial machinery. Overall, the trading patterns between the two countries show a high degree of complementarity, with India’s export basket having a high match with UK’s import basket, and vice-versa.
  • FDI inflow: FDI inflows from the UK to India have also grown steadily, with the UK being the sixth largest source of FDI in India since 2000.
  • Untapped potential areas: The two countries would also aim to reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers that are holding up trade potential between the two economies. According to the International Trade Centre (ITC), the Indian products with greatest export potential are jewellery (of precious metals), diamonds and medicaments. The UK products with the highest export potential include turbojets, whiskies, and airplane/helicopter parts.

Conclusion

For India, this is an opportunity to showcase itself as an alternative trading partner to China in a post-covid world. It also helps India demonstrate its commitment towards freer trade without much risk of incurring large trade deficits.

 

3. There cannot be real political equality without some measure of economic equality, because a society with great concentrations of poor people cannot be prosperous. Analyse. (150 words)

Reference: Indian Express

Introduction

Political equality refers to the extent to which citizens have an equal voice over governmental decision. One of the bedrock principles in a democracy is the equal consideration of the preferences and interests of all citizens. This in India is one person one vote.

Economic inequality is the unequal distribution of income and opportunity between individuals or different groups in society. Both these categories are deeply intertwined and inequality of one type affects the inequality in another.

Body

Economic inequality: Overview

  • The 2019 report by Oxfam, titled “Public good or Private Wealth?” showed that India’s top 10% holds 77.4% of the total national wealth, while the top 1% holds 51.53% of the wealth.
  • The bottom 60% population holds only 4.8% of the national wealth.
  • 13.6 crore Indians, who make up the poorest 10% of the country, have continued to remain in debt for the past 15 years.
  • The Gini coefficient of wealth in India in 2017 is at 0.83, which puts India among the countries with highest inequality countries.

Economic inequality  takes away political equality

  • On an individual level, unequal distribution of wealth and income, however, may adversely affect individuals’ ability to participate in the democratic process as equals.
  • It may result in procedural inequality to the extent that those lacking in wealth and income may not enjoy the same access to political and policy officials as those who possess wealth and income enjoy.
  • With a greater concentration of wealth at the top, elites are in a better position to use their wealth toward the attainment of their political and other ideological objectives.
  • Those at the top of the distribution often enjoy inordinate power and are able to not only limit redistribution, but shape the rules of the game in favor of those with more resources.
  • Various studies have found legislative bodies to be more responsive to affluent constituents than to non-affluent constituents.
  • Inequality, especially in its extreme form of poverty, does in the end deprive us of our capabilities, which is said to be a kind of freedom.
  • To the extent that individuals at the bottom of the income distribution could be said to be poor, poverty deprives individuals of their capabilities.
  • Democracy also requires a measure of trust between people, and growing income inequality is said to threaten trust as various groups, mainly those at the bottom, experience political alienation and perceive the system not to be fair.

Conclusion

As democracy requires that individuals execute their agency, human agency must be protected. But this human agency also presupposes that basic material needs will have been met, which may be less likely given ever widening disparities in wealth and income.

As social capital is the glue that holds society together, if individuals believe that the economic and political system is unfair, the glue does not work and society does not function well.  This is because institutions effectively promote trust. A trusting population tends to be more cooperative, and governments with trusting populations tend to be less corrupt and function with less conflict and greater responsiveness. Hence economic equality is crucial to relaise political equality and inturn to maintain order in the society.

 


General Studies – 3


 

4. Biodiversity loss can have significant direct human health impacts if ecosystem services are no longer adequate to meet social needs. Examine. (150 words)

Reference: Indian Express

Introduction

A report in 2018 estimated that while humans constitute only 0.01% of all living things by mass, we have caused the loss of 83% of all wild animals and half of all plants on earth. By this, we not only deny ourselves the aesthetic pleasure of enjoying nature’s beauty in its splendid array of diverse life forms but also imperil our own health and well-being.

Body

Biodiversity: overview

Biological diversity is the resource upon which families, communities, nations and future generations depend. It is the link between all organisms on earth, binding each into an interdependent ecosystem, in which all species have their role. It is the web of life.

  • India has four biodiversity hotspots and 90% of this area has been lost, according to the Centre for Science and Environment’s (CSE) new report entitled ‘State of India’s Environment in Figures 2021’.
  • As per the data compiled in the report, the Indo-Burma hotspot is the worst affected and has lost 95% of its vegetation area, going from 23.73 lakh sq. km to 1.18 lakh sq. km.
  • Another worrying aspect is that in these four hotspots, 25 species have also become extinct.

Loss of biodiversity: Impact on human health

  • Prone to disaster: Biodiversity builds resilience against natural disasters like floods and storms, besides offering protective barriers against pandemics.
    • Loss of over 35% of the earth’s mangrove forests has made us vulnerable to floods and is resulting in rising sea levels that threaten coastal agriculture.
  • Deforestation and zoonosis: Deforestation, with loss of multiple plant species, is damaging soil integrity and causing landslides precipitated by loose soil.
    • Deforestation also leads to increased spread of zoonotic infections, by removing the protective boundaries between wildlife and human communities.
  • Food security: The availability of biodiversity is often a “safety net” that increases food security and the adaptability of some local communities to external economic and ecological disturbances.
    • Farming practices that maintain and make use of agricultural biodiversity can also improve food security.
  • Ecosystem services: According to IUCN, the World Conservation Union, the monetary value of goods and services provided by ecosystems is estimated to amount to some US$33 trillion per year.
  • Energy security: Wood fuel provides more than half the energy used in developing countries. Shortage of wood fuel occurs in areas with high population density without access to alternative and affordable energy sources.
  • Clean water: The continued loss of forests and the destruction of watersheds reduce the quality and availability of water supplied to household use and agriculture.
  • Health: A balanced diet depends on the availability of a wide variety of foods, which in turn depends on the conservation of biodiversity. Moreover, greater wildlife diversity may decrease the spread of many wildlife pathogens to humans.
  • Global warming: Carbon sequestration refers to the long term removal or capturing of carbon from the atmosphere to control or mitigate global warming, and this is done naturally using biological, physical and chemical processes.
    • A decline in these services means a decline in the capturing of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Conclusion

Biodiversity in natural ecosystems is of the utmost importance. It helps provide the resources and services that we rely on every day. The development and urbanization of humans poses a serious risk for natural biodiversity.

If nothing is done to reduce these changes, there will be disastrous consequences. There are many things we can do in politics, science, and even in our daily lives to help fix these issues. As humans we need to understand the risks associated with our consuming lifestyles and work hard to fix what is already damaged and prevent future harm.

Value Addition

Goods and Services provided by ecosystems include:

  • Provision of food, fuel and fibre
  • Provision of shelter and building materials
  • Purification of air and water
  • Detoxification and decomposition of wastes
  • Stabilization and moderation of the Earth’s climate
  • Moderation of floods, droughts, temperature extremes and the forces of wind
  • Generation and renewal of soil fertility, including nutrient cycling
  • Pollination of plants, including many crops
  • Control of pests and diseases
  • Maintenance of genetic resources as key inputs to crop varieties and livestock breeds, medicines, and other products
  • Cultural and aesthetic benefits
  • Ability to adapt to change

 

5. Artificial Intelligence (AI) in cybersecurity can provide robust protection and generate rapid responses to cyberthreats. Discuss the advantages of integrating A.I in cybersecurity. (150 words)

Reference: Live Mint

Introduction

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the branch of computer science concerned with developing machines that can complete tasks that typically require human intelligence. The cyberattack surface in modern enterprise environments is massive, and it’s continuing to grow rapidly. AI systems have immense potential in cybersecurity. It can be trained to generate alerts for threats, identify new types of malware and protect sensitive data for organisations.

Body

Advantages of integrating Artificial Intelligence in cybersecurity

  • Continuous learning
    • AI uses machine learning and deep learning to learn a business network’s behaviour over time.
    • By recognizing patterns on the network and clustering them, AI proceeds to detect any deviations or security incidents from the norm before responding to them.
    • Potential threats with similar traits to those recorded get blocked early enough.
    • The fact that AI keeps learning makes it difficult for hackers to beat its intelligence.
  • Identifies Unknown Threats
    • Unknown threats can cause massive damage to a network. Worse still is the impact they can have before you detect, identify, and prevent them.
    • As attackers try new tactics from sophisticated social engineering to malware attacks, it is necessary to use modern solutions to prevent them.
    • AI has proven to be one of the best technologies in mapping and stopping unknown threats from ravaging a company.
  • Handle a Lot of Data
    • AI’s automated nature allows it to skim through massive chunks of data and traffic.
    • Technology that uses AI, such as a residential proxy, can help you to transfer data.
    • It can also detect and identify any threats hidden in the sea of chaotic traffic.
  • Better Vulnerability Management
    • AI helps you assess systems quicker than cybersecurity personnel, thereby increasing your problem solving ability manifold.
    • It identifies weak points in computer systems and business networks and helps businesses focus on important security tasks.
    • That makes it possible to manage vulnerability and secure business systems in time.
  • Reduces Duplicative Processes
    • AI, while mimicking the best of human qualities and leaving out the shortcomings, takes care of duplicative cybersecurity processes that could bore your cybersecurity personnel.
    • It helps check for basic security threats and prevent them on a regular basis.
    • It also analyses your network in depth to see if there are security holes that could be damaging to your network.
  • Accelerates Detection and Response Times
    • The best way to detect and respond to threats in time is by integrating AI with cybersecurity.
    • AI scans your entire system and checks for any possible threats.
  • Securing Authentication
    • AI secures authentication anytime a user wants to log into their account.
    • AI uses various tools such as facial recognition, CAPTCHA, and fingerprint scanners amongst others for identification.
    • The information collected by these features can help to detect if a log-in attempt is genuine or not.

Conclusion

The increasing rate of cyber-attacks has posed a great challenge in the recent times. AI gives the much-needed analysis and threat identification that can be used by security professionals to minimize breach risk and enhance security posture. AI can help discover and prioritize risks, direct incident response, and identify malware attacks before they come into the picture. So, even with the potential downsides, AI will serve to drive cybersecurity forward and help organizations create a more robust security posture.

 

 

 

Answer the following questions in 250 words:


General Studies – 1


 

6. what were the causes behind the formation of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)? What role did India play in its conception? Evaluate the successes and limitations of NAM in achieving of its stated objectives. (250 words)

Reference: Chapter- 4 – NCERT XII – Politics in India since Independence

Introduction

The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) was created and founded during the collapse of the colonial system and the independence struggles of the peoples of Africa, Asia, Latin America and other regions of the world and at the height of the Cold War. The Non-Aligned Movement was formed as an organization of States that did not seek to formally align themselves with either the United States or the Soviet Union, but sought to remain independent or neutral. The Movement has its origin in the Asia-Africa Conference held in Bandung, Indonesia in 1955. “Ten Principles of Bandung”, were proclaimed at that Conference were guiding principles of NAM.

Body

India’s role in conception of NAM

  • India’s role in the formation and sustenance of the NAM has been immense.
  • Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister was not only one of the founding fathers of the Movement but, he was also the driving force behind the principles NAM came to stand for.
  • In fact, ‘Non-Alignment’ itself was a phrase coined by India’s Ambassador to the United Nations, V.K Menon.
  • Nehru’s efforts towards NAM were shaped by his country’s experience as a newly independent nation free from colonialism, both of which contributed significantly to many other newly independent states joining India in the movement.
  • India and Nehru were the driving force behind NAM, and voiced the concerns of newly-independent nation states that were actively being coerced and persuaded by the two Cold War powers to choose between two, different political and social orders.
  • Instead, India and NAM proposed the principle of nonalignment and a country’s freedom to choose its fate while also highlighting the fact that multilateralism, non-violence and international cooperation was at the heart of resolving international disputes.
  • India propagated her passion for peace and cooperation rather than war or confrontation using NAM as a medium.

Successes of NAM

  • NAM helped speed up the attainment of freedom in states that were under colonial bondage.
  • NAM assisted its members in safeguarding their national security and territorial integrity.
  • NAM created a conducive environment for peace, justice, equality and international cooperation by contributing to the relaxation of international tension by keeping clear of the two military blocs, USA and USSR.
  • NAM provided an international forum where members’ voices could be heard.
  • The movement acted against the arms race of the superpowers during the time of the Cold War.
  • It has supported the cause of international peace, justice and freedom. It has opposed all forms of injustice, including the Suez Crisis of 1956, the aggressive policies of Israel and the unilateral American attack on Iraq.
  • NAM has advocated the creation of a New International Economic Order (NIEO) based on greater economic cooperation and justice. In fact, the first UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) held in 1964 was largely a result of the efforts of the Non-Aligned countries.
  • NAM has made the developed countries realise that the continued deprivation of the third world would negatively affect the global economy and their own prosperity.
  • The movement has succeeded to create a strong front on the International level, representing countries of the third world in the International organizations on top of which the United Nations.

Limitations of NAM

  • World has  again  moved  towards  bi-polarity,  one  led  by  US  and  other  by  China-Russia.  The  war  torn Syria is  prime  example  of  this,  where  both  US  and  Russia  is asserting power.
  • The escalating tension in Indo-pacific region due to China’s assertion and  US acting as a counterweight to check the Chinese expansionist policy.
  • Issue of global climate change.
  • Changing US   policies,   protectionism,   prevalent   terrorism   and   nuclearization   of Middle East.
  • The other challenges facing the NAM include the necessity of protecting the principles of International law, eliminating weapons of mass destruction , combating terrorism, defending human rights.
  • NAM is also facing challenge in working toward making the United Nations more effective in meeting the needs of all its member states in order to preserve International Peace , Security and Stability, as well as realizing justice in the international economic system.
  • On the other hand, the long-standing goals of the Movement remain to be realized.

Conclusion

The Non-Aligned Movement, faced with the goals yet to be reached and the many new challenges that are arising, is called upon to maintain a prominent and leading role in the current International relations in defence of the interests and priorities of its member states and for achievement of peace and security for mankind.

 


General Studies – 2


 

7. The local bodies in India must aspire to move towards smart and inclusive governance while promoting transparency and efficiency. Discuss the steps that needed to be taken in this regard. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Introduction

The 73rd and 74th Amendments to the Constitution constituted a new chapter in the process of democratic decentralisation in the country. It has been 25 years since the establishment of these lakhs of self-governing village panchayats and gram sabhas to manage local development.

The amendment paved way for mandatory creation of rural and urban local bodies (ULBs): Article 243 B envisages a three-tier system of Panchayats in all the States/UTs, except those with populations not exceeding 20 lakhs which can have 2-tier. Similarly, 243Q provides for the creation of municipalities in urban areas. However, the working of these institutions has not been as envisaged and there is a need for rethinking and reviving them to ensure good governance.

Body

Local bodies reinvigoration towards smart and inclusive governance

  • Urban Local bodies:
    • Metropolitan governance systems are needed in million-plus cities. There is a strong case for having a two-tier governance structure where all local functions are transferred to the ward committees and citywide services, such as transportation, water supply, sewerage, etc., are vested with the city council or regional authorities.
    • Each city needs to be recognized as a distinct unit of the economy. In larger cities, City Economic Councils can serve as a clearinghouse.
  • Central Government has started the Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyaan. The campaign is undertaken under the name of “Sabka Sath, Sabka Gaon, Sabka Vikas”.
    • It aims to draw up Gram Panchayat Development Plans (GPDPs) in the country and place them on a website where anyone can see the status of the various government’s flagship schemes.
    • Gram Panchayats have been mandated for the preparation of GPDP for economic development and social justice utilizing the resources available to them.
    • Government of India formulated E-Panchayat Mission Mode Project for e-enablement of all the Panchayats, to make their functioning more efficient and transparent.
  • Social Audit: The power of social audit was proven by Jan Sunwai in Rajasthan. Transparent, third-party Social Audit can enable people to hold the representatives accountable.
  • Citizen Participation
    • Ward committees and area sabhas should be activated with a technology- enabled ‘Open Cities Framework’ and the use of digital tools for feedback and reporting.
    • In case of Gram Sabhas, their functions and roles must be clearly defined as in the PESA Act, to enable to function effectively.
  • Role of IT: Citizen services, grievance redressal and local taxes such as property tax etc must be made available online. This can help in ease of doing governance.
  • Encouraging public-private partnership: Successful PPP programs should be formulated at both state and city levels to fund city development. Role of the state should be to create an enabling environment with an aim to expand and deepen private sector investments in infrastructure.

Conclusion

The objective of local bodies, be it in rural or urban areas is to ensure that suitable levels of infrastructure and services are available to the citizens. In many parts of India, the quality of life  is miserable and the citizens lead a difficult life. To overcome this problem, a series of reforms need to be initiated by the Indian government to strengthen local-level governance.

Value Addition

  • The 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments provided for the rural and urban local bodies respectively.
  • Local government is a state subject in List II of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India.
  • They are vested with a long list of functions delegated to them by the state governments.
  • These functions broadly relate to public health, welfare, regulatory functions, public safety, public infrastructure works, and development activities.

There are several types of Urban Local Bodies in India such as Municipal Corporation, Municipality, Notified Area Committee, Town Area Committee, Special Purpose Agency, Township, Port Trust, Cantonment Board, etc.

 

 

8. The geopolitical changes in Afghanistan place the ‘new great game’ in a precarious position and India must act quickly to secure its interests. Discuss. (250 words)

Reference: orfonline.org

Introduction

The return of the Taliban will make Afghanistan a pivot for geopolitical realignment. India’s ties with the major powers will also be readjusted to manage terrorism emanating from the Af-Pak area.

Body

Background: India’s adversities post-Taliban takeover

  • Pakistan’s ISI chief is conferring with intelligence representatives of China, Iran and Russia, alleging that India was sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan with the cooperation of Afghanistan’s previous governments.
  • China has decided to embrace the Taliban. Its interest has three strategic dimensions—terrorism, mercantile exploitation of minerals and extending the BRI for regional hegemony.
  • It has announced an aid package of $31 million. At a time when Afghanistan has become an economic basket case, China’s leverage with the Taliban is considerable and Pakistan will use its leverage with the Taliban to provide concessions to Beijing.
  • The jubilation in militant quarters and Pakistan on the Taliban’s takeover has raised concerns about renewed international terrorist attacks.

Action plan to secure India’s interest in the aftermath of Taliban takeover

  • Engagement with Taliban: For India, the principal dilemma has been whether to engage the Taliban or not, as it consistently supported the elected government in Kabul. Having closed her Embassy and Consulates, India has no representative in Kabul.
    • Recently an attempt was made in Qatar, in official capacity to engage.
  • Soft Power: This does not preclude India supplying humanitarian aid to the Afghan people, who have a very high regard for India.
    • This goodwill has to be nurtured.
    • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has called for unimpeded access and equitable distribution of humanitarian aid.
  • Role of Quad: Geopolitically, the Quad is likely to gain greater salience. India’s growing ties with the US and conscious ramping up defence hardware procurement from America and France, shows the urgency.
    • Quad will play a major role in securing India’s interest through USA’s support in Afghanistan, especially in areas of counter terrorism.
  • Russia-India axis: It must be acknowledged that both India and Russia have attempted to retain fundamental elements of their bilateral ties that have stood the test of time, even as they disagree on the Quad.
    • One aspect that underlines Russian commitment to bilateral ties is the supply of military hardware at the height of China-India tensions in Ladakh against Beijing’s wishes.
    • As Russia leverages the China-Pakistan axis, New Delhi and Moscow have a window to coordinate positions on Afghanistan.

Conclusion

Fighting terrorism, including preventing attempts by terrorist organisations to use Afghan territory as terrorist sanctuary and to carry out attacks against other countries, as well as drug trade have received the highest priority for India. India must ally with like-minded nations to ensure that Afghan soil will not be used against India’s interest, especially in matters of security.

 


General Studies – 3


 

9. Achieving higher quality and creating consumer demand are the two major concerns of organic farming in India. Comment on the potential of organic farming in the north eastern India. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Introduction

Organic farming is a system of production that relies on animal manures, organic wastes, crop rotations, legumes and aspects of biological pest control. It avoids (or legumes excludes) the use of synthetically produced fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators and livestock additives. It is the ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and biological activity of the soil.

Body

Organic farming concerns: Quality and Demand concerns

  • Low Yields: In many cases the farmers experience some loss in yields on discarding synthetic inputs on conversion of their farming method from conventional to organic.
  • Price and Demand: The final prices of organic produce are always higher than conventional products and the customers always opt for cheaper products.
    • It hugely impacts the organic produce market in India.
  • Quality issues due to certification concerns: There were no policy or framework for selling organic food products in India.
    • As a result, anyone could sell anything, under the label of ‘organic’.
    • This created trust issues among the customers.
    • To solve this FSSAI has come up with the Jaivik Bharat framework, a globally recognised third-party certification process which is controlled by APEDA.
  • No subsidies for organic inputs: Seeds and inputs are the main ingredients of agriculture. Both are highly regulated and governed by government policies. While the government provides subsidies for chemical fertilisers and pesticides, there is no such provision for organic inputs.

Potential of organic farming in the north eastern India

  • India’s North-East, comprising eight States, is largely unspoilt by modern agricultural practices, which involve heavy use of agro-chemicals and chemical fertilisers.
    • For this precise reason, the region is a natural choice for promoting organic farming in the country.
    • Sikkim, the first organic State in India, has already shown the way for the other States in the region.
  • Nearly 90,500 hectares of land in the NE region is already under organic cultivation. Even though Sikkim accounts for more than three-fourths of this, other States such as Meghalaya and Assam have shown tremendous progress in embracing organic farming.
  • As per the available statistics, another 77,600 hectares is the process of switching over to organic cultivation. The conversion process normally takes three years.
  • Moreover, organic matter in the soil in the NE region is significantly high as compared to other parts of the country.
  • North Eastern Region (NER) is home to some niche crops like Assam lemon, Joha rice, medicinal rice and passion fruits which has high market demands.
  • NER accounts for 45per cent of total pineapple production in India.
  • Sikkim is the largest producer of large cardamom (54per cent share) in the world.
  • NER is the fourth largest producer of oranges in India. One of the best quality ginger (low fiber content) produced in the North Eastern Region.
  • Extent of chemical consumption in farming is far less than the national average.
  • 18 lakh ha of land in NER can be classified as “Organic by Default”.

Conclusion

For successful organic farming the resources available should be effectively used and a holistic approach should be adopted. Green manuring, mulching, crop rotation, use of biological pesticides, indigenous knowledge should be used together in a proper balance for maintaining productivity and increasing farmer’s income.

Value Addition

  • The Agriculture Ministry launched a scheme called Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region (MOVCDNER) which aimed at developing certified organic production in a value chain mode to link growers to consumers in other parts of the country and overseas.
  • The idea behind the ₹400 crore, three-year mission was to develop a holistic organic farming ecosystem starting from inputs, seeds, certification and creation of facilities, aggregation, processing and marketing.
  • According to official data, MOVCDNER has helped bring an area of 45,920 hectares under organic cultivation as against the targeted 50,000 hectares, mobilised 48,950 farmers, created 97 farmer-producer companies and 2,469 farmer interest groups.

 

10. Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialogue (CAFMD) aims to advance inclusive and resilient economic development but there is much more potential in Indo-U.S bilateral relations for both to emerge as global leaders in the climate action and clean energy sectors. Analyse. (250 words)

Reference: Live Mint

Introduction

India and the United States of America (USA) launched the “Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialogue (CAFMD)”. The CAFMD is one of the two tracks of the India-U.S. Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 partnership launched at the Leaders’ Summit on Climate in April 2021, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joseph Biden.

Body

Objectives of CAFMD

CAFMD would have three pillars

  • Climate Action Pillar: This would have joint proposals looking at ways in emissions could be reduced in the next decade.
  • Setting out a Roadmap: To achieving the 450GW in transportation, buildings and industry.
  • Finance Pillar: This would involve collaborating on attracting finance to deploy 450 GW of renewable energy and demonstrate at scale clean energy technologies.

Potential of Indo-US relations to emerge as global leaders in climate action and clean energy sectors

  • Expanding clean energy programs, such as the prior Partnership to Advance Clean Energy, focused on energy efficiency and solar and wind energy, and potentially adding electric vehicles, battery storage and renewable grid-integration that align with India’s priorities.
  • Developing new areas for cooperation, such as climate resilience, climate-resilient infrastructure, sustainable finance, air quality, electric mobility, among others.
  • Strengthening global partnerships, including greater ambition under the Paris Agreement, ratification of Montreal Protocol’s Kigali Amendment to phase down dangerous hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), advancement of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), expanded USAID cooperation on energy, accelerating Mission Innovation, among others.
  • Ramping up climate finance, investments and trade with India and emerging markets to support clean energy through the International Development Finance Corporation (IDFC), S. Export-Import bank and other international platforms, such as the Green Climate Fund.
  • Fostering subnational climate action at the state- and city-levels with meaningful funding to create opportunities for cross-country learning, capacity building and implementation on the ground.

Conclusion

Through this collaboration, the United States and India aim to demonstrate how the world can align swift climate action with inclusive and resilient economic development, taking into account national circumstances and sustainable development priorities.

Value addition:

Background

  • The dialogue will strengthen India-US bilateral cooperation on climate and environment.
  • It will also help to demonstrate how the world can align swift climate action with inclusive and resilient economic development, taking into account national circumstances and sustainable development priorities.
  • The US will collaborate with India to work towards installing 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030.
  • Currently, India’s installed power capacity is projected to be 476 GW by 2021-22 and is expected to rise to at least 817 GW by 2030.

Recent India-US collaborations in Climate Action

  • The United States and India are launching the “U.S.-India Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership.”
  • Led by President Biden and Prime Minister Modi, the Partnership will represent one of the core venues for U.S.-India collaboration and focus on driving urgent progress in this critical decade for climate action.
  • Both the United States and India have set ambitious 2030 targets for climate action and clean energy.
  • In its new nationally determined contribution, the United States has set an economy-wide target of reducing its net greenhouse gas emissions by 50–52 percent below 2005 levels in 2030.

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