IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs – 19th November, 2015
TOPIC: General Studies 2
Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.
Working together to solve global problems
The deadly terrorist attack by the Islamic State in Paris on 13/11, which has claimed at least 129 innocent lives, serves as a grim reminder of the kind of challenges that the world is facing today.
Global response for the Paris attack:
Global leaders gathered soon after the Paris incident in Antalya, Turkey, for the G20 summit.
While the G20 is a forum for enhancing economic cooperation, the Paris attack shifted the attention to issues related to terrorism and security.
Leaders of the G20 were united in condemning the incident and have issued a “strong statement on the fight against terrorism”.
What did the statement carry?
The statement called for preventing and suppressing “terrorist acts through increased international solidarity and cooperation, in full recognition of the UN’s central role…as well as through the full implementation of the relevant international conventions, UN Security Council Resolutions and the UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy”.
Where do countries lag?
As a reactionary measure, the countries gave in a strong statement condemning the terrorist attack.
However, differences often emerge when it’s time for action against the perpetrators of terrorism and those who support such acts.
The G20 statement does not reflect any major change in strategy to collectively deal with terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State.
The case of Russia’s attack on Islamic state in Syria(A case study for non cooperation):
Russia is unilaterally acting against the Islamic State in Syria and now claims that some countries in the G20 are funding the organization.
There are vast differences among global powers on the issue of Syria and how to deal with the Islamic State.
This is the reason why it has been able to gain so much ground.
Also, Russia’s intervention in the region is widely seen as an attempt to help Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, who the western powers want to go; and they have been helping the rebel forces in the region to attain this objective.
Certainly, despite renewed commitment, things are not going to be easy either in Syria or the fight against terrorism in general.
A wider angle:
Such differences among countries are not restricted to matters of security and are equally profound in the area of economics and finance especially wrt trade and investment related aspects.
Need for co ordination:
Essentially, what the world needs is better coordination in dealing with the emerging economic and geopolitical challenges.
The joint communique at the end of the two-day G20 summit, for example, pledged to promote financial stability, clearly communicating policy action to avoid uncertainty, and resist protectionism.
However, the reality is that the individual states are driven by their own policy objectives and are not necessarily worried about the consequences on the rest of the world.
Several large economies today have the lowest possible interest rates and are using quantitative easing to competitively depreciate their currency, creating distortions in other parts of the world.
There is no system in place today to check the excesses of monetary easing by some and its impact on others.
Further, trade restrictions have grown in recent times which can have long-term consequences for the global economy.
From geopolitics to economic growth and financial stability, the challenges and complexities for the world have increased a great deal, and it requires greater coordination among nation states at various levels.
One of the ways to attain this is by strengthening and expanding the role of global institutions such as the UN and the International Monetary Fund so that they are in a position to devise rules which are fair to all and monitor implementation.
The war against terror or maintaining global economic and financial stability is not the responsibility of one country or a small group of countries alone.
In an interconnected and interdependent world, such challenges can only be met with greater international coordination through capable institutions.
Connecting the dots:
What the world needs is better coordination among countries in dealing with the emerging economic and geopolitical challenges. Analyse the importance of above statement in dealing with global problems.
Critically examine the global strategy of dealing terrorism with special emphasis on UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy.
TOPIC: General Studies 2
Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations.
The Know-How’s of the Spectrum Game
The transfer of data from one place to another and the path that it follows is known as Spectrum. Recently, the issue of call drops and poor network connectivity have been in the forefront and now, it has become a part and parcel of our lives. If the public ire was not enough, the government has proceeded with a draft guideline on the troubling issues and the penalties for the same.
The “First come first serve basis” had already been much in debate and with the recent turn of events, the service providers have come out with a counter-reply holding that the limited spectrum allocation is responsible for the poor services.
Government should systematically identify the various processes that can pave way for re-allocation of unused spectrum, to the deserving service providers.
Mergers & Acquisitions :
The present nature of market demands operators to work in tandem with each other and ensure adequate connectivity. Mergers should be seen as a profitable venture with mutually beneficial terms decided upon legally before-hand- to avoid disagreements.
Also, trading and sharing of the existing spectrum that are left under-utilized, using secondary spectrum markets can be used as an alternative. This type of resource re-allocation framework does provide an opportunity to offload the under-utilised spectrum.
It denotes the limits on the amount of spectrum an operator can hold at any given time.
Within each circle, no operator can hold more than 25 per cent of neither total spectrum holdings nor more than 50 per cent of the spectrum in each band.
Last year, the Merger & Acquisitions guidelines also imposed a cap of 50 per cent of market share (both in subscriber base and adjusted gross revenue) for the merged entity in each circle
The entity should also surrender the excess spectrum within one year of the transaction and there shall be no refund for the same. And here, secondary markets can play a good role by ensuring that the firm gets a chance to recover the cost paid for the un-used spectrum
Rationalising the constraints
A proper framework should be put in place for an enhanced environment for the efficient working of the market but at the same time, policymakers and the government should ensure that these guidelines should not assume a hindering nature
Regulations need to be modernised in a way that operators get to choose with whom and how to trade the spectrum. This will ensure optimal utilization and keeps the operator away from becoming a loss-making entity.
When it comes to sharing the spectrum, the present guidelines makes it mandatory for the operators to share within the same circle and with operators having the same band; restricting and causing a blockade of options available to choose from. Thus, the functioning of the secondary market stands hindered.
Sale of spectrum for part of a licensed service area is also not permitted making it possible for some operators to enjoy district-specific advantages but this might also hinder its own progress in other districts; the case of being completely out of sync with the market.
Non-liberalised spectrum for secondary market transactions: The spectrum acquired administratively and not yet liberalised through payment of one-time fee dating back to 2008 can be neither traded nor shared. This takes out about 50 per cent of the assigned spectrum blocks in 800 MHz and 1800 MHz from the secondary market. The current guidelines of paying one-time fee to liberalise spectrum may not be economically attractive for license holders, thus restricting spectrum trading or sharing.
Guidelines should be taken a closer look at and the government should make it a point to undo regulations that may hamper or come in the way of effective utilization and efficiency of services.
Active secondary spectrum markets have the potential to reduce industry costs, promote innovation and pave a way for diffusion of mobile services; thereby it becomes indispensable for a sustainable approach and outlook to be adopted and be provided to the issue of Spectrum allocation in the country.
Further, ‘Good Governance via E-governance’ can be ensured only via two-way sustained benefits to both consumers and operators.
Connecting the dots:
Recently, government has come up with the draft guidelines to take charge of the irregularities wrt to Spectrum allocation in India. Discuss the guidelines and evaluate it’s nature.