1. India and Israel share common interests and face similar challenges. In this context, the recent visit by India’s PM to Israel is a reaf?rmation of the need to explore the full potential of Indo-Israel ties. Elucidate.
India and Israel relationship has gone deeper with Modi visiting it as the first PM, both countries share many similarities and have undergo lot of struggle to reach the position they are in. They have joined hands to further explore their potentials for welfare of their states.
Strong army: Both want to build strong state with hard power i.e. Military power.
Market economy: They want to establish free market economy.
Nationalism: Both place national interest above all.
Cross border terrorism: terrorism from across borders is problem to both.
Border demarcation: Both face boundary issues with their neighbors.
Hostile neighbors: Both have hostile neighbors and are hell bent of destroying their growth.
Defense: Both have huge potential in defense production and R&D.
Agriculture: Food scarcity for their people, so need research for better yields.
Water: Water scarcity is problem for whole world leave alone these two. But they can be pioneers in recycling.
Technology: Both have huge potential in technology, innovation etc.
The present day diplomacy runs on Realpolitik. So both have to cash in on the opportunities, work together to create a better future for their citizens and prevent the hostile neighbors from destroying their growth and development.
2. India’s approach to its ties with Nepal needs recalibration keeping in mind the geostrategic signi?cance of the landlocked nation. Examine
Relationship between India and Nepal has undergone changes in recent past. India is being accused of having Big brother attitude, high handedness among other. Good relation between both countries are very important and there needs a recalibration for the same.
Geostrategic significance of Nepal:
Stability: there stability is important for stability of our border states as we share open borders.
SAARC: HQ is located there and success of many projects needs there support like BBIN etc.
Buffer state: Between India and China.
Export: India’s supplies more than 60% of their oil needs.
Labor: Millions of Nepalese live here and provide labor for many sectors.
Energy security: Huge hydroelectricity potential they possess.
Religion: Majority is Hindu population and has marriage relations with Border States of UP and Bihar.
Ethnicity: Both have common ethnicity and common festivals and rituals.
Open borders: Due to open border Fake currencies, human trafficking, cattle trades smuggling among others take place.
Soldiers: They provide the bravest gorkha soldiers to Indian Army.
Relationship with Nepal is very important to us due to geographical proximity and above mentioned factors. It the relationship goes worse, we will have to face many difficulties. As big brother, we have to give up certain things in order to maintain the cordial relationship.
3. Rivalries and tensions in the Islamic world could throw some challenges to India’s dealings in West Asia. Analyse.
West Asia is of great interest for India given the huge Indian diaspora, the energy supplies provided by the region, huge investments in terms of reverse-SEZs, infrastructure projects etc in the region.
Rivalries and tension in the Islamic world:
Iran nuclear programme and the P5+1 deal has irked Saudi Arabia. The two nations have been at loggerheads and the rivalries seem to increase after the nuclear deal. A cold war between the two is ensuing in the region.
Rise of ISIS in the region and involvement of almost all West Asian nations, some on the side of ISIS and some opposite to it has complicate the situation. The rising terrorism has put many of the oil fields at risk of falling into hands of rouge elements thereby hurting India’s energy security interest in the region directly.
War like conditions in Sudan and Yemen.
Israel-Palestine issue- India is trying to de-hyphenate the two, howver, it is a challenging task.
War torn Syria due to proxy war between US and Russia.
Changing dynamics of the region because of Trump’s changed policy of non-interference in the region.
Challenges for India:
India needs to maintain good ties with both the blocs- Saudi Arabia and Iran. The animosity between the two makes it challenging to maintain the same bonhomie with both of them.
Stability in the region is paramount for India with many infrastructure projects like Chabahar port upcoming in Iran.
Stability is also required for huge Indian population residing in the region.
Trade relations with West Asian nations are hurt because of sanctions. As seen when Iran was facing economic sanction earlier and now with Qatar under sanctions imposed by Saudi Arabia.
Instability in West Asian region can spill over to South Asian nations especially Afghanistan.
The region has become a major ground for learning so called jihad leading to increasing radicalization among youths thereby creating a genuine threat for future generation.
Given the sensitivity and rising instability in the region, India diplomacy needs to take calculated steps. We can’t risk relation with either nation at the cost of other. A balanced approach must be adopted. International organisations like UN must be encourage to play an imminent role in ensuring stability in the region and seeing that the western nations act responsibly.
4. The Hamburg Action Plan assumes particular significance for India in the wake of ongoing efforts to improve India’s ease of doing business. Comment.
The recent G20 Summit was organized in Hamburg Germany where the grouping has launched Hamburg action plan. This Plan sets out the G20’s strategy for achieving strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth. In the action plan, the G20 members resolved that they would continue to use all policy tools monetary, fiscal and structural both individually and collectively.
SIGNIFICANCE FOR INDIA:
The plan assumes significance for India as it continues to languish at 130th position in the World Bank ease of doing business Index which means that its regulatory environment needs to be more conducive for firms to do business and attract foreign investments.
Economies in all regions are implementing reforms easing the process of doing business. In the ranking, India has made a substantial improvement in some areas such as electricity connection. But it has slipped in other areas, including payment of taxes and enforcing contracts.
On ease of doing business, the Hamburg Action Plan stated that G20 members should maintain standards which promote entry of new market players and their sustenance in the industry by eliminating regressive taxation and scope of red tapism- India’s introduction of GST can be considered both a fiscal and structural reform to simplify taxation procedure.
Similarly Measures to enhance resilience of its economy: In the financial sector, India is popularizing a number of derivative instruments in exchanges or electronic trading platforms.
Encouraging innovation: India is facilitating external commercial borrowings (ECBs) by start-ups to encourage innovation and promote ease of doing business
Promoting inclusive growth: India is introducing labour market reforms to provide security to workers, increase female participation in the workforce and make doing business easier in the country.
The areas where India ranks poorly as per the World Bank ranking include starting a business, dealing with construction permits, registering property, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.
India has implemented a spate of reforms in the recent months in areas like insolvency, taxation and starting a business and expects the rankings to improve substantially.
The G20 applauded the steps taken by India towards reforming the labour sector and promoting ease of doing business in the nation. It conceded that the measures taken by India are in line with the vision of G20 to maintain the momentum on structural reforms and sustainable growth. The remarks of G20 Action Plan in relation to ease of doing business come as a major diplomatic success for India and reiterated its goal to improve the ranking in respect to ease of doing business.
The Hamburg Action Plan report is expected to be directly beneficial to India, in terms of improvement in the ranking, as key financial institutions – World Bank, IMF, ILO and the Financial Stability Board (FSB) – are among the partners to the G20.
5. To assume a role as an outpost country in the US’ strategy to contain China is not in line with India’s interests. Do you agree? Substantiate.
Both India and the USA are concerned about the rise of China. This concern shapes their bilateral relations as both countries cooperate to stem the rise of China. Recently US termed India as “strategic defense” partner, both also signed Logistics Exchange memorandum of Agreement (LEMAO) and there is great push towards better economic cooperation.
US’ strategy to contain China is not in line with India’s interests
ECONOMY- INDIA is still a developing economy with lot of unemployment and poverty while china’s economy is 13 trillion $ and India’s is at 4 trillion$.
MILITARY- China’s military spending is way above at 145 billion$ than India’s 50 billion$ India cannot catch-up with china in near future.
GEOGRAPHY- India has long unsettled border with china any disruptions along the line of actual control could lead to further tensed relationship.
Pakistan factor-India warming up to US can lead to increase in China support to Pakistan.
RIVER DANGER-Brahmaputra river system originates in China; Also Tibet is source to many river systems flowing into India.
Fortunately, India is very keen to maintain it’s independence in this regard. Nevertheless the countries can cooperate in the following domains:
Both countries can form an alliance of countries opposing Chinese dominance in Indian Ocean or the South China Sea. They can also try to build opposition to the Belt and Road Initiative.
They can devise a strategy to counter China – Pakistan nexus.
Thus India and USA have similar, though not same interests when it comes to rising dominance of China. They should cooperate in this regard but India should be assertive of the independence of its foreign policy.