Print Friendly, PDF & Email

UPSC EDITORIAL ANALYSIS : Reading the tea leaves for 2024

 

Source: The Hindu

 

  • Prelims: Current events of international importance, referendum, UNGA, ICJ etc
  • Mains GS Paper II: Important international institutions, agencies and their functions etc, Significance of Russia for India, International organizations, India-Russia relations.etc

ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Year 2023 witnessed a continuation of the poly crisis:
    • COVID-19 pandemic
    • Global economic slowdown
    • Russia-Ukraine war
    • Sharpening climate challenges
    • Escalating debt burden for developing countries
    • Israel-Hamas conflict.

 

INSIGHTS ON THE ISSUE

Context

Kinetic conflicts:

  • Ukraine
  • Gaza

Israel’s goals:

  • Release of Israeli hostages
  • Destruction of Hamas
  • Effective deterrence by ensuring that Gaza no longer posed a threat to Israel.

Challenges:

  • The two-state solution has little chance of taking off due to an unbridgeable gap between the two sides
    • The enormous anger and anguish created by the recent hostilities.
  • Russian Foreign Minister: Without a political horizon, Israelis and Palestinians will continue living from escalation to escalation,

Impact of war:

  • Growing regionalisation of the conflict through attacks on merchant ships by the Yemen-based Houthi militia
    • probably with Iranian support, complicated the situation.
  • Violence at sea and the rise in prices of goods traded between Europe and Asia.

Russia-Ukraine war:

  • The future of the Russia-Ukraine war is more difficult to decipher
  • The conflict is not only between two nations but also two conflicting systems
    • The western security system represented by NATO and Russia.
  • War fatigue has set in.
  • The United States is finding it difficult to keep pouring money into a war that Ukraine has little hope of winning.
    • The decline in material and financial assistance will erode Ukraine’s ability to continue the war.
  • Ian Bremmer(president of Eurasia Group): Ukraine can prevent further Russian advances through 2024, much less recover lost ground.”

Impact on Russia:

  • It has shown a remarkable tenacity to withstand the combined opposition of the West
  • Biting economic sanctions
  • Near-universal condemnation by the United Nations
  • Internal upheaval.

Possible flash points of new war:

  • Taiwan
  • North Korea
  • The South China Sea
    • especially the sharpening feud between China and the Philippines
  • India-China border.

India’s gains in 2023:

●      The management of relations with the major powers has been marked with self-confidence and maturity.

●      U.S.-India relations witnessed important strides.

○      Political convergence

○      Enhancing defense cooperation

○      Expanding contours of the U.S.-India initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET).

●      Cooperation with the European Union (EU) and bilateral relations with its key member-states are certain to advance positively.

○      The French President’s visit as the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations

○      It will further deepen collaboration with a vital strategic partner.

●      Focus on special relations forged with Japan and Australia and further consolidation of the Quad.

●      Russia:The tangible outcomes of the External Affairs Minister’s recent visit to Russia indicate that this ‘time-tested’ relationship remains stable and resilient, strong and steady.

○      A Modi-Putin summit is a near certainty in 2024.

●      Handling of the G-20 presidency, culminating in the adoption of the New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration with “100% consensus”.

○      Success in implementing the summit decisions is now largely dependent on the next two presidencies, Brazil and South Africa.

 

Way Forward

  • South Asia, once India’s backyard, is now a space where the Chinese footprint continues to expand, as shown by recent developments in the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bhutan.
  • China’s ‘intrusion’ is fuelled by its economic largesse and strategic vision that aims to keep India tied down to its neighborhood.
    • An effective counter-strategy needs to be devised.
  • Indian diplomacy will grapple with both old and novel issues
    • climate change
    • negotiations for various free trade agreements
    • promote India’s expertise in digital technology
    • readiness to accord a place of priority to Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the nation’s economic development.
  • Multilateral groupings such as G-20, BRICS, the SCO, the Indian Ocean Rim Association, and the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation, and the need to push United Nations Security Council reform will demand serious attention.
  • The Ministry of External Affairs will have to project to the world the forthcoming parliamentary elections as a major milestone in the development of the world’s largest functioning democracy.

QUESTION FOR PRACTICE

What is the significance of Indo-US deals over Indo-Russian defense deals? Discuss with reference to stability in the Indo-Pacific region (UPSC 2020) (200 WORDS, 10 MARKS)