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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs [Prelims + Mains Focus] – 28th April 2018

  • IASbaba
  • April 28, 2018
  • 2
IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis
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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs (Prelims + Mains Focus)- 28th April 2018

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(PRELIMS+MAINS FOCUS)


Khadi: A silent, transformational force in an aspirational India

Part of: Mains GS Paper II, III- Government interventions, Inclusive growth

Key pointers:

  • The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has chalked out ambitious plans to double the sales of khadi to Rs. 5,000 crore in the next two financial years.
  • KVIC has planned to open khadi outlets to promote the products in global markets.
  • KVIC has also signed an MoU with NIFT for better design development and training at different khadi institutions.
  • In an aspirational India, khadi has emerged a silent, transformational force. It is also a major job creator in Bharat, that is rural India.
  • The low-profile, handspun cloth has seen its demand grow among the common people and the corporate world, suddenly witnessing a 34 per cent sales growth.
  • The average growth of production in the khadi sector was only 6.24 per cent in the decade 2004-14, which has risen to 26.43 per cent in 2015-17.
    It is the only sector in the Indian economy to register a double-digit growth in the last three years.

Article link: Click here


INTERNATIONAL

TOPIC:General Studies 2:

  • India and its neighbourhood- relations.
  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests

India-China hostility- Undermining their own interests

Background:

Competition-cooperation-discord is an often-evoked term typology that reflects the contradictory nature of the India-China relationship.
Last year witnessed all these facets play out:

  • India’s critique of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
  • India’s entry into the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
  • The dramatic crisis in Doklam on the northern frontiers.
  • The acceleration of multilateral cooperation in the BRICS format and attempts to foster economic engagement.

Build-up of negativity:

The main reason has been a systematic build-up of negative images of how each side viewed the other’s foreign policies along with a collapse in geopolitical trust.

  • For India, China’s attempt to raise its economic and political profile in the subcontinent was seen as an encroachment on, and an affront to, Indian authority in the neighbourhood.
  • For China, India’s pursuit of deeper military engagement with the former’s main strategic rivals — the U.S. and Japan — was viewed as a serious challenge to its future security.

Convinced that only an assertive policy would work, both Delhi and Beijing over the past two years began exploiting leverages and pressure points to keep the other side off balance.
India tilted closer to the U.S., China towards Pakistan, and on a scale not witnessed even during the Cold War years.

India-China hostility undermines the interests of both:

  • An adversarial relationship with China brings no advantages and amplifies security problems that India can neither solve on its own nor address with the assistance of external powers who have shown little inclination to deflect Chinese influence in the subcontinent and its littoral.
  • India-China friction enhances Pakistan’s ability to shape Beijing’s South Asia hand even though the latter itself would prefer a more balanced regional posture and a constructive equation with New Delhi.
  • A contentious India-China relationship also reduces India’s bargaining leverage vis-à-vis the U.S. and Japan.
    Despite their differences with Beijing, both the U.S. and Japan truly value their interdependence with China.
    Sino-American cooperation on the Korean nuclear question and efforts to transform North East Asian geopolitics is just one example.
    Japan, with a $300 billion trading relationship with China, too wants to ensure it remains engaged with the world’s second largest economy.
  • The promise of economic cooperation with China can only translate into meaningful outcomes if there is overall geopolitical stability.
    Very few economic actors will enter the fray if bilateral ties remain uncertain and turbulent.

Conclusion:

Since 2014, India’s discourse on China’s rise has swung back and forth from paranoia and deep suspicion to calmer assessments of its implications for Asia and the world economy.
There is now a mutual recognition in both India and China that a posture of hostility has undermined their interests. The two governments need to take steps accordingly.

Connecting the dots:

  • Hostility between India and China has undermined interests of both. Comment.

INTERNATIONAL

TOPIC:General Studies 2:

  • India and its neighbourhood- relations.
  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests

Defeating terrorism in Afghanistan

In news:

The Taliban has announced its new “spring offensive” and violence in Afghanistan had escalated dangerously this year.
According to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, the number of casualties in the first three months of 2018 was already 2,258.

Uncertainty of policy:

  • Last year, the U.S. announced a new ‘South Asia policy’ for Afghanistan, which was officially welcomed by both New Delhi and Kabul and hailed as a game-changer for the region. Eight months later, the policy itself seems uncertain.
  • The U.S. administration has taken some steps on Pakistani funding of terrorism across the Durand Line but it has clearly not yielded calm on the ground.

Worrisome developments:

  • In a recent attack the ISIS group, a majority of the victims were Shias, highlighting the sectarian turn in the conflict.
  • The statement from the Taliban rejecting Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s offer of talks “without preconditions” and calling for the targeting of American forces in Afghanistan as part of a “spring offensive” signals the security challenge.
  • According to the U.S., Afghan forces control just a little over half the territory today, down from nearly three-fourths in 2015.

It seems that the U.S. policies guiding Afghanistan, and Kabul’s efforts to protect its people, aren’t making any headway.
It is necessary for both to take a more hard-headed, realistic view of the road ahead.

What needs to be done?

There is a need to stop the ‘Great Game’ for influence in Afghanistan.

  • Growing U.S.-Russia tensions are creating space for proxies for both on Afghan soil, and the attacks by al-Qaeda and IS-related terror groups have their roots in the larger war between Iran and the Arab world.
  • Tensions between India and Pakistan cast a shadow over Afghanistan, with India’s development assistance under attack.
  • Driven by the desire to secure itself from Islamist groups, China is trying to build a rival military base in Afghanistan.

Conclusion:

Efforts have not been made for bilateral and multilateral peace talks in recent months, but each one has amounted to too piecemeal an effort.
Defeating terrorism in Afghanistan needs every stakeholder to put aside differences and acknowledge that the current situation is a danger to all.

Connecting the dots:

  • In order to defeat terrorism in Afghanistan there is a need to stop the ongoing ‘Great Game’ for influence in the country. Discuss.

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