SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2017 : UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [29th Sep, 2017]- Day 60

  • October 3, 2017
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IASbaba's Think Learn and Perform 2017, UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP – 2017 : UPSC Mains General Studies Questions [29th Sep, 2017]- Day 60


1. The Xiamen declaration in the recently concluded BRICS summit is a diplomatic win for India and holds immense significance in the backdrop of the Doklam standoff. Comment.


India and China were on verge of arms conflict due to Doklam issue a week earlier, it was resolved diplomatically. At 2nd BRICS meet hosted in China after 2011, Xiamen Declaration was adopted which is a triumph for Indian Diplomacy.



  • Pakistan: It explicitly called out Pakistan based terror organization and expressed concerns on its involvement.
  • JeM: Condemning JeM, China might support naming them as global terror organization in UNSC.
  • Counterterrorism: To increase security apparatus to fight terrorism and increased India-China security architecture.
  • Customs co-operation: agreement was signed to facilitate increased trade.
  • People to people contact: Also increased interaction will reduce future conflicts.
  • Financial market integration: Opening door for local currency market bond.
  • Energy: Increased co-operation in energy field and renewable energy research and development.
  • Agricultural research: platform is proposed to be setup in India.


The declaration is a success in two ways, one it has pushed back the Doklam issue and brought in a very significant declaration which will strengthen the relationship between two and exposed Pakistan and their terrorist activities to the world by explicitly mention the terror organizations and security concerns in the region.

2. The St. Petersburg declaration has reiterated the commitment to build an energy bridge between Russia and India through cooperation in the ?eld of energy. Identify and discuss these areas of cooperation and latest developments thereof.


India and Russia marked their 70th year of diplomatic relations by signing St. Petersburg declaration which has further strengthened their bond. The declaration commits to build Energy Bridge between both countries for cooperation in field of energy.


  1. Energy sector:
  • Natural Gas: To use more of natural gas, this is energy efficient and environment friendly.
  • Nuclear: Scientific and technological cooperation in nuclear field and peaceful use of nuclear energy.
  • Kudankulam: Expansion by constructing Unit 5 and 6.
  • Make in India: Advanced nuclear manufacturing facilities in India.
  • Hydrocarbons: joint explorations in Artic region of Russian federation.
  • Joint development: Of energy project and mutually agreed sectors across the world.
  1. Latest development:
  • Defense: Joint production and development in defense.
  • North south corridor: Effective infra and green corridor.
  • Trade: Free trade between two countries and Eurasian zone.
  • UNSC and NSG: Support for UNSC seat and NSG.


Both countries have reaffirmed their commitment to work together in establishing world peace, clean energy, carbon emission target, strive for environmental protection among others. Also Russia has committed to transform Kudankulam as Largest Energy hub. 

3) A proactive role of the US in the Indian Ocean is conducive for India’s geostrategic interests. Do you agree? Substantiate.


U.S.-India relations have transformed dramatically from a relationship of estrangement and limited engagement into a partnership that fosters cooperation ranging from security to economic and environmental objectives. IOR is one such vital region in all these dimensions.


The Indian Ocean connects the Strait of Hormuz and the Strait of Malacca it is an area strategic to global trade and energy, houses major sea lines of communication (SLOCs) and also home to fish stock and rare earth metals.


Chinese naval projection in the IOR is of particular concern to India,

  • China continues to develop ports in friendly littoral states, following its “String of Pearls” tactic.
  • Modernization of Chinese navy.
  • OBOR strategy of China (Economic diplomacy).
  • China entering into EEZ of India through rare metals mining.
  • Piracy concerns especially at horn of Africa region.
  • Instability in West Asia and Indian diaspora welfare.


Yes, India needs to engage more proactively with the US for,

  • Securing the freedom of passage in the IOR should be a priority for both the U.S. and India, especially in light of China’s growing presence in the region. A well-balanced and active agenda in the IOR should be the focus of Pivot to Asia policy of the USA.
  • Counterbalance China’s growing presence will be a win- win for both the sides.
  • Can partner together for security confluence the recent US–INDIA LEMOA are a step in the right direction as it would allow for sharing of military facilities and would increase intelligence sharing between the two nations.
  • Need to use the expertise of US navy by bilateral exercises to counter piracy threats and secure SLOC’s. Need to use military diplomacy as a tool for deepening strategic partnerships in the Indian Ocean region. These include joint exercises, hydro graphic surveys, equipment transfer, joint training, access to military academies in India among others.
  • A division of responsibility is needed in the IOR to maintain security and safeguard assets in the region. U.S. support of India’s natural leadership in the Indian Ocean. India was look to engage also with Australia to formulate a tri-axis to maintain its maritime interests, security and territorial sovereignty over its EEZ.

There seems little doubt today that the 21st century will be the ‘Century of the Seas’ for India and that the seas will remain a key enabler in her global resurgence.


4) The UN is the only universal body we all have, the one organisation to which every country in the world belongs; if it is discredited, the world as a whole will lose an institution that is irreplaceable. Critically comment.


The United Nations is the one universal body we all have, the one organization to which every country in the world belongs; if it is discredited, the world as a whole will lose an institution that is truly irreplaceable.

As the most representative inter-governmental organization of the world today, the United Nations’ role in world affairs is irreplaceable by any other international or regional organizations.

The United Nations has made enormous positive contributions in maintaining international peace and security, promoting cooperation among states and international development.

Human rights abuses usually take place within states, often in civil wars, so the UN has no mandate to intervene directly against them – as it was explicitly set up with a policy of non-interference in internal affairs it is unfair to count this a failure. Nonetheless, it has placed human rights on the international agenda, making billions of people aware of what are considered norms and shaming many regimes into improving their policies.

Other organizations have also been important in bringing greater peace and prosperity to the world, but none have the authority the UN derives from the participation of almost every state in the world. In international crises the Security Council is the forum for discussion, deal-making, arbitration and understanding. The UN has also made huge contributions to global progress through its agencies, particularly those dealing with refugees, the World Health Organization and Unicef. By its efforts smallpox has been eliminated, healthcare improved and education promoted.

Today, people of the world still face the two major issues of peace and development. Only by international cooperation can mankind meet the challenges of the global and regional issues. The United Nations can play a pivotal and positive role in this regard.

Strengthening the role of the United Nations in the new century and promoting the establishment of a just and reasonable international political and economic order goes along with the trend of history and is in the interest of all nations.

In order to strengthen the role of the United Nations, efforts should be made to uphold the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. The authority of the Security Council in maintaining international peace and security must be preserved and role of the United Nations in development area should be strengthened. To strengthen the role of the United Nations, it is essential to ensure to all Member States of the United Nations the right to equal participation in international affairs and the rights and interests of the developing countries should be safeguarded.


5) Despite passing more than a decade of its establishment, the G-20 organisation has not been successful to attain its purpose and objectives. Critically comment with suitable examples.

What is G20?

It came in the aftermath of Asian financial crisis of 1999 and is a forum of governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies.

Its purpose is to study, review, and promote high-level discussion of policy issues pertaining to the promotion of international financial stability

Summit level meeting was initiated after financial crisis of 2008. Therefore since then 3 separate meetings are held head of state(Summit level), finance ministers meet, central bank governors meet.

G20 does not have a Secretariat, does not have any staff working for it, and it is basically a leader led forum.

The recommendations of G20 are advisory in nature.

It is up to the host country to set up the agenda. The common agenda in all these meeting ‘How to have transparent, better, and effective global economic governance and how to promote growth’.

The forum provides an opportunity for bilateral and multilateral meetings.

Which are those 20 Economies/Countries?

19 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States.

European Union which is represented by European Commission and the European Central Bank.

What is the Significance of G20?

Collectively, the G20 economies account for around 85% of the gross world product (GWP), 80% of world trade (or, if excluding EU intra-trade, 75%), and two-thirds of the world population.

It can prove to be a forum for the reforms in the current financial institutions such as IMF, WB.

Other issues related to the economics such as terror financing, post global economic order, money laundering etc. can be discussed from policy perspective.

The platform is no longer only limited to economic issues and other issues such as agriculture, climate change, education, health, water etc. is also discussed.

Not been successful to attain its purpose and objectives?

  1. It is a repeated gathering of leaders, without any possible constructive result. Eg. Issue of lifting trade barriers, subsidy etc.
  2. Countries project their specific grievances. Eg. India projecting Pakistan issue
  3. Varying interests of each country.
  4. Power blocks siding with one another.
  5. No positive outcomes, as consensus is difficult to achieve.

Though there are many concerns regarding contribution through this forum, G20 is able to create its own position in the world politics through following developments:

  1. The leaders achieved a common understanding on concluding work in the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision on a new global regime for bank capital and liquidity.
  2. They extended their pledge to refrain from imposing new protectionist barriers until the end of 2013 and reiterated support for a successful conclusion to the Doha Round.
  3. The countries adhered to principle of common but differentiated responsibilities on development issues to achieve affordability, accessibility and availability for people of developing economies.
  4. This grouping was able to bring both china and India in to one platform to ensure the success on bilateral and global platforms.
  5. able to bring consensus from both developed and developing countries for Paris climate agreement in its discussions prior to the climate summit.

Hence totally negating and outliving G20’s usefulness is not right. Though there are some apprehensions but G20 is able to bring both developed and developing economies to one stage and the commitment of the leaders of these countries shows that this forum is going to be very useful in coming times.


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