1. What is National Agroforestry Policy? What are its objectives? Discuss.
Agroforestry is defined as a land use system which integrate trees and shrubs on farmlands and rural landscapes to enhance productivity, profitability, diversity and ecosystem sustainability. It is a dynamic, ecologically based, natural resource management system that, through integration of woody perennials on farms and in the agricultural landscape, diversifies and sustains production and builds social institutions.
The basic objectives of the National Agroforestry Policy are to:
Encourage and expand tree plantation in complementarity and integrated manner with crops and livestock to improve productivity, employment,
income and livelihoods of rural households, especially the small holder farmers.
Protect and stabilize ecosystems, and promote resilient cropping and farming systems to minimize the risk during extreme climatic events.
Meet the raw material requirements of wood based industries and reduce import of wood and wood products to save foreign exchange.
Supplement the availability of agroforestry products (AFPs), such as the fuel-wood, fodder, non-timber forest produce and small timber of the rural and tribal populations, thereby reducing the pressure on existing forests.
Complement achieving the target of increasing forest/tree cover to promote ecological stability, especially in the vulnerable regions.
Develop capacity and strengthen research in agroforestry and create a massive people’s movement for achieving these objectives and to minimize pressure on existing forests.
2. Presently, India is a partner in several negotiations pertaining to environment and climate change. Do you see a reasoned and cohesive approach by India? What are India’s guiding principles in these negotiations?
India’s international negotiating position relies heavily on the principles of historical responsibility, as enshrined in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This acknowledges that developed countries are responsible for most historical and current greenhouse emissions, and emphasises that “economic and social development are the first and overriding priorities of the developing country parties”.
So the Indian government is wary of recent discussions within UNFCCC about introducing binding commitments on rapidly industrialising countries (such as Brazil, China and India) to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. India feels this contravenes the very spirit of the UNFCCC. Neither does it seem fair to impose restrictions on India when the country’s rise in per capita carbon emissions by 2030 will still represent less than half the world average of 3.8 tonnes in 2000 (Indian emissions are predicted to rise from 0.9 tonnes per capita in 2000 to 1.6 tonnes per capita in 2030).
the Indian government is already participating in global efforts through a number of programmes. For example, India’s National Auto-fuel Policy mandates cleaner fuels for vehicles. The Energy Conservation Act, passed in 2001, outlines initiatives to improve energy efficiency. Similarly, the Electricity Act of 2003 encourages the use of renewable energy. Recent trends in importing natural gas and encouraging the adoption of clean coal technologies show India is making real efforts.
The government is also keen to launch a National Mission on Biodiesel, using about 11 million hectares of land to produce biodiesel by 2011–2012. And India has one of the largest renewable energy programmes in the world, with about six per cent of grid capacity based on renewables (excluding conventional hydroelectric), in comparison to China where the renewable share is lower than one per cent and the United States where it is about two per cent.
These measures will moderate India’s energy- and emissions-intensive growth in the ‘business-as-usual’ scenario (where the pattern of future development is not all that different to the present). Whether driven by national priorities such as energy security and economics, or local environmental issues, these policies have the added benefit of mitigating climate change, and should arguably be recognised as such on the international stage. But because these are local national measures, rather than a direct response to international regulations, they are not widely known.
India needs to advertise these ongoing efforts, and highlight its commitment to helping address the global challenge of climate change. Indian negotiators should move from a defensive to a proactive position. They should showcase India’s efforts to address a global problem while simultaneously tackling national concerns, such as poverty alleviation and development.
India is not oblivious to its global responsibility, but rather, is being pragmatic about how much can be done in view of the numerous other challenges at home.
(Note: This is not a model answer but a synopsis for your knowledge)
3. Chemical attack in Syria has yet again proved the lethality of chemical disasters. Comment. What are the mitigative and controlling strategies to combat against chemical disasters? Describe.
Mitigative and controlling stretegies:
Warnings: United Nations secretary-general can reiterate public warnings of the consequences of using chemical weapons and, moreover, bolster these with more explicit threats. These can also be complemented with private messaging to leading figures in the regime that underscores the general warnings with more specific threats of punitive action, including likely criminal indictment.
Securing loose weapons: Known representatives of rebel groups operating in Syria can be given instructions about securing, if not disabling, chemical weapons stocks that fall into their possession while also being warned of the consequences should their fighters use them. At the same time, consideration should be given to offering inducements, including financial rewards, to rebel forces for supporting this effort. Governments known to be backing other groups with weapons and financial assistance can also be tapped to transmit the same message. These governments could likewise be warned of potential penalties if their proxies use chemical weapons.
Information warfare: To the extent that government units guarding or capable of using chemical weapons can be identified, these too can be the target of a discrete information warfare campaign. This could include television and radio broadcasts, email messaging (as was apparently used by U.S. forces in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003), and leafleting known storage sites in a collective effort to dissuade military personnel from using chemical weapons. Again, the messaging can be a mixture of positive and negative inducements to elicit cooperation.
Military strikes: Military options to deny or preempt the use of chemical weapons by any actor can be readied for rapid execution on receipt of compelling early warning. These range from the use of air strikes (including drones) and special operations forces to cyberattacks. Rebel groups in the vicinity of an expected attack might conceivably be employed to interdict use. Each of these options has different operational implications in terms of speed of use, potential effectiveness, and placing U.S. service personnel in harm’s way.
Surviving an attack: Unless there is accurate forewarning of intentions and preparations to use chemical weapons, the options to help vulnerable populations either avoid or survive an attack are limited. Some basic survival information could conceivably be transmitted to rebel groups to disseminate among local communities. Warnings might also be broadcast through various channels to specific areas deemed at risk but the potential unintended consequence of this could be to instigate mass panic that makes the situation worse.
Third party interventions: In addition to rebel supporters, there are several critical third parties that can be used to reinforce messaging on chemical weapons by the United States and others. This includes those with long-standing contacts with the Syrian regime (Russia and Iran), and Hezbollah (Iran). Other neighboring countries can be supported to improve their border security against the possible transfer of chemical weapons. And finally, various UN bodies and regional organizations in the Middle East can be encouraged to stress concerns already expressed by the UN secretary-general.
(This is not a model answer, but an article to help students understand the issue better)
4.Should India accept US as a mediator of peace talks with Pakistan? Substantiate your response.
Write a short introduction.
Reasons to involve US in mediation:
US has significant leverage over Pakistan, partly because of the grants and military aid that it has given it, and also due to Pakistan’s usefulness as a frontline state vis a vis Afghanistan. India can use that.
US values India as a high potential market, besides being an important geopolitical ally (As part of its Asia pivot). India can use this to extract concessions from US with respect to Pakistan.
India does expect the United States to enforce international mechanisms & mandates concerning terrorism emanating from Pakistan that continues to be the single biggest threat to peace in Subcontinent region and beyond.
Reasons against the offer to mediate:
is India’s strong position of not being open to any third party intervention in the issue. It has stressed upon it in the past
The Indian government believes that peace talks between India and Pakistan on the issue of Kashmir, the Indus Water Treaty and the Line of Control (LoC) should be held in an environment free of terror and violence.
Moreover, in the war of 1971, the United States sympathized with Pakistan, because of various reasons. Among them two reasons were that: firstly, Pakistan belonged to American-led military Pact, CENTO, and SEATO; secondly, the United States believed that any victory of India will be considered as the expansion of Soviet influence
Involvement of US in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq has had disastrous consequences for those countries, India will not want south Asia to be the next battlefield for the USA.
Involvement of USA in indo-pak issue will not be free from US’s involvement with China in the region. This will create a conflict of interest, as it will no longer be an uninterested mediator.
Write a brief conclusion.
Best answer: abhishekrwt597
Relations between India and Pakistan are marked by lack of cohesion and stability. The never ending issue of Kashmir only adds to the historic animosity between the two.
In such a case, seeking the help o US to mediate peace betwee the two may be helpful as:
1)US, despite recent withdrawal, still has significant leverage over Pakistan, partly because of the grants and miltitary aid that it has given it, and also due to Pakistan’s usefulness as a FRONTLINE STATE vis a vis Afghanistan. India can use that.
2)US values India as a high potential market, beside being an important geopolitical ally(As part of its Asia pivot). india can use this to extract concessions from US wrt Pakistan.
3)Besides US, the only country with influence over Pakistan is China, which is unlikely to help India(Due to border disputes).
4)Inability of the UN to resolve the dispute between the two. Further, US influence among its middle eastern allies will reduce India’s isolationism over Kashmir in the Islamic world, thus reducing Pakistan’s hold here.
However, the risks of such a strategy are:
1)A move away from India’s stand of Treating this as a bilateral dispute.
2)Risks internationalising the kashmir issue(USA the leading global power, greater international coverage, commentary,etc)
3)Will undermine India’s effort at DE-HYPHENATING its relationship with USA from Pakistan.
4)May push Pakistan closer to Soviet Union(already arms slaes, Fridnship 2016 exercise,etc). This may harm India’s strategic interests.
5) China may seek to bolster Pakistan(Risk of doubling up of on India, and traditional fears of a TWO FRONT WAR with both of them).
5. Indian politics badly needs a return to balance and statesmanship. Comment.
Model answer as well as best answer : abhishekrwt597
Indian politics of late has been accused of rapid moral and ethical decline. The same is said to be reflected in the quality of debates and discussions, and the often partisan legislation that successive govt have sought to create.
Evidence of this can be seen in:
1)Decreasing productivity, working hours and scenes of ruckus in the Parliament and state legislature.
2)Increasing partisanship of the Media channels(yellow journalism and paid media).
3)Inflammatory and distortionary statements made by party leaders.
4)Lack of consensus even on key issues of national importance(Eg GST bill delayed a lot).
5)Accusations of adhocism and flip flops in policy making and outlook(Eg foreign policy towards pakistan)
To avoid this requires a return to a politics of balance and statesmanship:
1)Need for political leaders who are visionaries and look beyond partisanship to evolve consensus on key issues(Eg the LBA with bangaldesh).
2) Need to avoid extremities in speeches, statements and reactions(Eg the chest thumping after myanmar cross border army strikes), and not led tactical advantages harm our strategic interests.
3) To engage in constructive engagement of the opposition, and refrain from personalised attacks(Recent resort to demeaning political language).
4)As india’s global role increases, so does the dangers of a disproportionate slide in perception. Hence, there is a need to present a united front on certain issues, and not let domestic compulsions come in the way.(Eg Criticism by the PM of the opposition abroad)
5)India is still not a fully mature democracy. Hence, incitement of the electorate, specially on communal or ethnic lines for political gains needs to be avoided.