IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs – 17th November, 2015
TOPIC: General Studies 2
Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
The end of non alignment
India, which clung to non-alignment as its international identity since Independence, slowly deviated from it after the big LPG reforms, 1991.
Recent developments from the government has further highlighted, the movement away from avoidance of military partnerships in the past to making security cooperation an important part of India’s foreign relations.
The developments that signify the end of non alignment:
During the Prime Minister’s visit to London last week, the Prime Minister unveiled an ambitious framework for international security cooperation with Great Britain.
Home Minister, is heading to China to seek cooperation with Beijing on border management and counter-terrorism.
The recent interaction of Indian army chief with the vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, in Delhi for better cooperation between the two countries.
At a gathering of Asian defence ministers in early November, the defence minister raised his concern over the need of mutual understanding among countries to solve territorial disputes especially the one in South China sea.
At the Africa Summit in Delhi at October-end, military and security cooperation figured prominently in India’s bilateral interaction with the continent’s leaders.
What does the move by government indicate?
India no longer wants to be isolated from the western power blocs.
India wants its voice to be heard at the global level.
This move by the government would make India, a regional superpower in Asia and also a global leader for other developing and under developed economies.
This could make India’s dream of a permanent seat in United Nations Security Council (UNSC) come true.
Non Aligned Movement (NAM): The Non-Aligned Movement is a Movement of 115 members representing the interests and priorities of developing countries and against blindly following any power block during the cold war era. The Movement has its origin in the Asia-Africa Conference held in Bandung, Indonesia in 1955.
Five principles of NAM
Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty
Mutual non-interference in domestic affairs
Equality and mutual benefit
Policies and ideology:
The Non-Aligned Movement is unified by its declared commitment to world peace and security.
The Non-Aligned Movement espouses policies and practices of cooperation, especially those that are multilateral and provide mutual benefit to all those involved.
The Non-Aligned Movement has played a major role in various ideological conflicts throughout its existence, including extreme opposition to apartheid governments and support of guerrilla movements in various locations, including Rhodesia and South Africa.
The Non-Aligned Movement has become a voice of support for issues facing developing nations and it still contains ideals that are legitimate within this context.
Role after the cold war (NAM 2.0):
Since the end of the Cold War and the formal end of colonialism, the Non-Aligned Movement has been forced to redefine itself and reinvent its purpose in the current world system.
The movement has emphasised its principles of multilateralism, equality, and mutual non-aggression in attempting to become a stronger voice for the global South, and an instrument that can be utilised to promote the needs of member nations at the international level and strengthen their political leverage when negotiating with developed nations.
NAM now opposes foreign occupation, interference in internal affairs and aggressive unilateral measures and it has also shifted to focus on the socio-economic challenges facing member states, especially the inequalities manifested by globalization and the implications of neo-liberal policies.
The Non-Aligned Movement has identified economic underdevelopment, poverty, and social injustices as growing threats to peace and security.
Connecting the dots:
Critically examine the role played by India in promoting principles of NAM during the cold war period.
Explain the need for NAM 2.0 in present day multi polar world.
Should India stick on to its principle of non alignment in present day world which faces a lot of security threats from both state and non state actors. Analyse
TOPIC: General Studies 2
India and its neighborhood- relations.
Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests; Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
India- Afghanistan: Traditional friends, modern allies
Friendship between the people of India and Afghanistan dates back to centuries (IVC), which has grown deeper in the modern era; characterising friendship, loyalty, and generosity of the Afghan people towards India’s society structure, ethnicity as well as diversity.
Indo-Afghan Friendship Treaty in 1950, had lend a greater impetus to the friendship between the two countries and encouraged Indian aid programmes to have reached large parts of Afghanistan, improving the lives of many Afghans and developing more economic prospects in the region.
Afghanistan’s location at the strategic crossroads between South Asia and Central Asia and South Asia and the Middle East holds much importance and with internal connectivity, facilitating cross-border transit, trade and investment- India has not only addressed the various bottlenecks faced by the impoverished communities across Afghanistan but have also seemed to better the development’s acceptance and existence in the country.
Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA)
Afghanistan’s democratic institutions are at a nascent stage, seeking further institutionalisation for a functioning democracy that contributes to regional peace and prosperity. This agreement envisages close political cooperation with a mechanism for regular consultations and launch of joint initiatives at regional, international and, also work towards Security Cooperation.
Need to provide timely security assistance &fully operationalise the implementing mechanisms to achieve shared objectives, and gradually improve the human security situation, cutting across illegal network that gets youth to pick up guns (poverty & joblessness)
trade and economic cooperation;
capacity development and education;
social, cultural, civil society; and
India’s efforts extend towards fighting International terrorism, Organised crime, Illegal trafficking in narcotics, Money laundering, etc.
Also, much effort need to be made in maintaining supply of war-like stores, ensuring the safety and protection of Indian assets and infrastructure in Afghanistan; and, including intelligence cooperation and sharing with Afghanistan’s government.
With attacks taking over the normal life of the fellow citizens of the world, there is a need to walk the talk by ensuring unity of regional effort in support of Afghanistan’s stabilisation. Only a shared vision and concerted efforts from all the corners can promise us long-term national security interests and stability.
Provide with four MI-25 helicopters to enhance its air capability in the fight against a relentless terror campaign
Assist in the training, equipping and capacity building programmes for Afghan National Security Forces
Reconstruction, Development programmes and Capacity Building (Governance, Education, Health, Technical training) can go a long way in furthering democracy at the grassroots level. Eg: Reconstruction of Habibia School, Kabul
Establishing broad-based engagement with all political groups and supporting Afghan-led broad-based reconciliation efforts
Assisting Afghanistan to train its administrative and judicial staff to improve governance by improving the delivery of justice
Establish and enhance people-to-people contacts
There is a need to increase
Trade with Afghanistan- Indian business investment must increase both in tapping and developing the natural resources (coal, chromite and marble+ Gas) & key areas of investment: Mining, hydrocarbon, Infrastructure, Healthcare & Telecom
Reconstruction and Capacity building programmes on the lines of –
Roads(Zaranj to Delaram),
Dams(Salma Dam, Herat)and
Work on also enhancing India’s energy security (TAPI pipeline)
Replacing narcotics-based agriculture with regular agriculture
Implementation of SAFTA
Promotion of India-China cooperation
Lack of geographical contiguity and limited access have always been accompanied with higher level of impoverishment and thus, capacity building and reaching the hinterland becomes an imperative for any country trying to revive other country from difficult times.
Pakistan’s Apprehensions can play a major foul game if baseless suspicions are not looked into, at the right time. If the objective resolves around putting Afghanistan back on its toes genuinely; it is crucial and a must for both India and Pakistan to discuss their suspicions at official level and clear away each other’s apprehensions, and work together for peace and stability in the region.
India needs to take a long-term view of developments, involvements as well as negotiations between Afghanistan and other countries and weigh its options accordingly. Since Afghanistan has recently come out of turmoil, its policy might be laden with various shifts but India should- with a single-headed approach continue working towards re-building of Afghanistan from its end.
Connecting the Dots:
Discuss the importance that Indo-China cooperation holds in the development of Afghanistan.
Is India’s Afghan policy in crisis? Substantiate
Write short note on: Afghanistan- ‘Graveyard of Empires’
Making the transition to a cashless economy- India has one of the highest cash-to-gross-domestic product ratios