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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs – 25th January, 2017

  • January 25, 2017
  • 3
IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis, IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Jan 2017, International, National, UPSC
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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs – 25th January 2017

Archives

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

TOPIC: General Studies 2

  • India and its neighbourhood- relations.
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

India UAE Relations

Introduction

Over the years India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) have forged a very strong friendship based on cultural, religious and economic ties. The friendship between the two flourished under the rule of H.H. Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan as the Ruler of Abu Dhabi in 1966 and then later with the creation of the UAE Federation in 1971. Both the countries have constantly made efforts to take the relationship to new heights constantly.

The relationship, in contemporary times, is further set for a boost. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited UAE in 2015 and was the first Indian PM in 34 years to visit UAE. The crown prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan will be this chief guest at India’s Republic Day Parade this year and the present government has always used this platform to send important policy signals.

Areas of Cooperation

Trade and Commerce

  • UAE is the third largest trade partner of India next only to China and the USA and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries together are India’s second largest trade partners.
  • India’s energy needs are primarily satisfied through the UAE and other Gulf nations. The GCC is the source of 45% of India’s petroleum and UAE is one of the biggest sources of oil imports into India.
  • UAE’s Sovereign Wealth Fund is the future source of huge investments for India.
  • UAE-India Infrastructure Investment Fund is also expected to see progress this time as a Memorandum of Agreement for the Fund will be signed between the two nations without further delay.

Defence and Strategy

  • India UAE have signed the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement this week which paves the way for joint defence production and more defence procurement deals between the two countries.
  • Due to the importance of Strait of Hormuz and Bab-el-Mandeb, Indian Navy has regularly paid visits to important port locations for ensuring security measures are in place.
  • India and UAE have also carried out naval exercises in this region and Indian warships have been placed for tracking piracy and carrying out anti piracy operations.
  • To promote regional security, cooperation for reconstruction and the peace process in Afghanistan is an important areas for both the countries to be on the same page.

Human Resource and Indian Diaspora

  • India has the highest percentage of diaspora in the Gulf nations including UAE and more than 50% of India’s remittances are received from this region. Therefore, for cordial relations it is very important for UAE to ensure proper living conditions for these workers.
  • India has also launched an eMigrate System to provide for recruitment of Indian workers in UAE and other countries.
  • UAE is highly interested in India’s human resource for sectors such as information technology, construction and transportation. Hence, the two nations are looking to sign labour agreements to ensure employment and good working conditions.

Terrorism

Both UAE and India are located critically in terms of proximity to terrorism affected areas. As a result both have agreed to partner on opposition to terrorism. It is important for the two nations to partner in calling other states to abandon terrorism, destroy all forms of infrastructure that supports terrorism and ensure that terrorists and stakeholders are punished adequately.

With the Islamic State (IS) growing on one side and Pakistan located in close proximity on the other, the Gulf nations including UAE face a dual danger in terms of terrorism. Even though Pakistan has been a close ally of the UAE, there has been a constant inclination towards improving relations with India for regional security.

Conclusion

The constantly evolving geopolitics globally, with China’s rise and emergence of Islamic State, has made it important for India to focus on this partnership. This partnership has a unique 360 degrees relevance. The two countries are important to each other for economic, defence, strategic, people to people ties and energy security. With the falling oil prices, India also provides UAE an alternative opportunity for making investments. UAE has to ensure that it safeguards the interests of the strong Indian diaspora.  These measures will go a long way in sustainability of this unique partnership.

Connecting the dots

  • UAE is not only important for India’s energy security but holds a comprehensive 360 degrees relevance. Highlight he areas of cooperation between the two nations and how will India benefit from this relationship.

 

NATIONAL

TOPIC:

General Studies 1

  • Indian culture

General Studies 2

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Jallikattu and the debate surrounding it (Part 2)

The protests around Jallikattu gained momentum which made the state government to pass an ordinance to allow conduct of Jallikattu, which was banned by the Supreme Court in 2014 along with bullock cart races in Maharashtra and Punjab, Kambala (buffalo race) in Karnataka and Dhirio (bull fight) in Goa.

Let us critically analyse arguments for and against Jallikattu to assist you in developing an opinion on the subject.

Why it should not be banned?

Protect the native breed

  • The native breeds require less water, can withstand higher temperature and have a low metabolic rate. Therefore, they require less food and can sustain on food not required by man.
  • Previously, cattle were used for tilling, pulling carts, and giving milk. Since machines replaced them in some of these activities, and as their milk production was comparatively less than that of hybrid varieties, Jallikattu was the way to prevent their extinction.
  • Native breeds have several advantages than the hybrid varieties. Native breeds can reproduce about 10 times in their life time, whereas hybrid varieties could yield calves only about 3-4 times. Native breeds would graze as a herd and insemination is easier.

Loss to dairy industry

  • There is a concern that dairy lobby wants all native breeds to be eradicated so that they can import exotic breeds. This is sure shot way to earn excessively as exotic breeds cannot survive in the harsh sub-tropical conditions of India.
  • If the native breeds are eliminated and foreign breeds are imported, multinational commercial companies will dominate the dairy industry in India keeping at stake livelihoods of millions.
  • If there is ban, there will be increased supply of bulls for the meat trade which may create shortage of milk in the market.

Not upholding Constitutional provisions

  • The practicing and sustaining of distinct Heritage and Cultural traditions are protected under Article 29(1) of Fundamental Rights
  • Also, it forms of part of Art 51A (f) Fundamental Duties- to value and preserve the rich heritage of the composite culture to which Jallikattu also belongs.
  • Art 48 guides the state to endeavour to preserve and improve the breeds and prevent slaughter of cows and calves and other draught and milk cattle. Hence, it was important that union government had to intervene.

One-sided argument

  • It is possible that SC was influenced by documentation done by the Animal Welfare Board of India, a statutory body under the Centre, and animal rights groups like PETA, that served as evidence that the Jallikattu animals were physically and mentally tortured.
  • Here, the other side of the issue was not looked into deeply and hypothetical assumptions were made based on exaggerated claims by animal activists and organisations.

Why it should be banned?

Promotes discrimination

  • It is a ‘sport’ which is practised only by upper castes. No Dalits or lower castes are allowed to participate. It is a male tradition and no women are allowed to participate. Hence it is a tradition which discriminates among humans by promoting patriarchy and casteism in name of ‘Tamil tradition’.

Animals for human entertainment

  • It is a form of torture for animals who have no idea why it is being pounced on or surrounded.
  • It also causes mental stress as well as physical harm to animals which is against Art 21 of Indian Constitution for Right to Live and Right to dignity for animals too.

Scientific means for indigeneity

  • The bulls engaged in Jallikattu are sold for a higher price which is generally an incentive for the person who rears them. The sport plays a marginal role in conservation of the breed. Hence it is medieval to identify a herd bull through method like Jallikattu.
  • There are better methods to identify a herd bull such as identifying desirable heritable qualities in the animal, ensuring pedigree (purebred or cross-breed), reading expected progeny differences, breeding soundness (ability to get cows pregnant), and semen examination.
  • Alternatives such as artificial insemination should also be considered. A herd book or register can be established.

The other debates

Tradition vs. Constitution

  • The constitution of India guarantees right to protect religion but subject to reasonable restrictions arising from issues of morality, health and public order.
  • Torture of animals for human amusement is not acceptable. Hence, the tradition has to be in conformity with the Constitution which calls for right to live as well as duty to protect culture.

State and religious interference

  • A democracy allows peoples’ will to be heard and be supreme but it doesn’t entail to accept culture and traditions which are unbecoming of a society.
  • The judiciary has the right to take notice of and enter into discussions where a right of living thing is concerned. In name of traditions and culture, it is not acceptable to violate constitutional ideals.
  • No doubt, the judiciary should completely be made aware of the facts and enlightened with valid arguments which can make it possible for judiciary to make informed decision and roll out critical orders.
  • Tradition and culture are not immune to change. And hence, the rights arguments cannot be made ignoring the cultural context. The polity and the society need to be made aware of the pros and cons of the age-old traditions which might not be conducive in this age of instant information if they violate humane rights.

Theological to modern society

  • A “theological” argument would be driven by religious beliefs and sentiments.
  • A “rational” man’s argument chooses reason over sentiment. In the age of reason, the demand that people obey laws must be rooted in reason and not sentiment.
  • We need to evaluate our customs and practices as per present values and need.
  • The task of modernisation entails the destabilisation of many institutions and practices. Our founding fathers, Hindus and Muslims alike, in the process of seeking to modernise India, had destabilised and uprooted many traditional practices and institutions. For instance they destabilised and outlawed many discriminatory practices such as hierarchy of castes, sati and untouchability.
  • It doesn’t fulfil the essential religious practice criteria. Moreover even age old traditions like Sati and Devadasi are also condoned on the basis of religion but that doesn’t make them right. We must as a society do what’s just, humane and democratic.

Moving forward

Under the Convention on Biological Diversity and heritage status practices worldwide, it is customary that these ancient traditional practices are left as they are but with rules to organise and regulate them. Thus, instead of blanket ban, an overview of the sport can be undertaken with various protective measures for animals as well as spectators. The livestock keepers conserve the ancient breeds and should be encouraged to so with bringing bulls back into agriculture and educate society about the virtues of native genes in agriculture and animal husbandry. Also, animal rights activists should be more empathetic to cultures and should not be biased in their opinions pertaining to one community or religion in handling the animal rights.

Connecting the dots:

  • In your opinion, should Jallikattu be conducted? Critically analyse.
  • Jallikattu has once again initiated the debate on locking horns between state and culture. Do you agree? Give reasons for your answer.

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