IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis
Raisina Dialogue 2022
Part of: Prelims and GS II – India’s relation with neighbouring countries
The Raisina Dialogue is India’s premier conference on geopolitics and geoeconomics committed to addressing the most challenging issues facing the global community.
- Every year, leaders in politics, business, media, and civil society converge in New Delhi to discuss the state of the world and explore opportunities for cooperation on a wide range of contemporary matters.
- The Dialogue is structured as a multi-stakeholder, cross-sectoral discussion, involving heads of state, cabinet ministers and local government officials, who are joined by thought leaders from the private sector, media and academia.
- Theme: Terranova: Impassioned, Impatient, and Imperilled
- Jointly organised by:The Ministry of External Affairs and the Observer Research Foundation
- Held every year, designed on the lines of the Shangri-La Dialogue of Singapore.
- First held in 2016 and since its inception, has emerged as India’s flagship conference on geoeconomics and geopolitics
- The name Raisina Dialogue comes from Raisina Hill. It is an elevation in New Delhi, the seat of the Government of India and the Presidential Palace of India, Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The Raisina Dialogue 2022 will be modelled along six thematic pillars:
- Rethinking Democracy: Trade, Tech and Ideology
- End of Multilateralism: A Networked Global Order?
- Water Caucuses: Turbulent Tides in the Indo-Pacific
- Communities Inc: First Responders to Health, Development, & Planet
- Achieving Green Transitions: Common Imperative, Diverging Realities
- Samson vs Goliath: The Persistent and Relentless Tech Wars
Key defence projects under ‘Make In India’ scheme
Part of: Prelims and GS II – Government schemes and policies
Context: Pushing for ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India), the Ministry of Defence has signed more than 180 contracts with the Indian industry between June 2014 and December 2019, worth approximately $25.8 billion, under the ‘Make in India’ scheme. The Ministry of Defence has set a target of achieving a turnover of Rs 1.75 lakh crore in aerospace and defence goods and services by 2024, including exports of Rs 35,000 crore.
Under the ‘Make in India’ scheme, Centre has notified three lists of projects —
- Make I (90% government funded, with vendor)
- Make II (prototype development of equipment/system/ platform or their upgrades with no government funding)
- Make III (collaboration with foreign equipment manufacturer for production in India).
- Under this scheme, there are four Army projects — Indian Light Tanks, Terminal End Secrecy Device (TESD), Tactical Communication System (TCS), and Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) — at various stages of progress.
- There are also three Airforce projects — Airborne Electro Optical Pod with Ground Based System, Airborne Stand-Off Jammer, and Communication System with Indian Security Protocols.
- The Make I projects are Centre-funded, relevant to the requirements of the Indian Armed forces, and in collaboration with domestic vendors chosen via tenders.
- These projects deal with manufacturing of prototypes, systems, and subsystems, mainly for import substitution or as innovative solutions.
- They are funded by domestic manufacturers.
- Similar to Make-II projects, Make-III projects deal with production of defence prototypes, systems, and subsystems.
- However, these will not be designed or developed indigenously, but manufactured in India as import substitution.
- In these projects, an Indian vendor can enter into a joint venture with a foreign original equipment manufacturer.
The key projects under this scheme include
- Setting up of defence corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu
- Testing of indigenous defence products like Akash Surface to Air Missile System, Dhanush Artillery Gun system, Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM), Agni-5, BrahMos, Pinaka Mk-I (Enhanced) Rocket System (EPRS) and Pinaka Area Denial Munition (ADM) rocket systems, helicopter-launched Anti-Tank Guided Missile ‘HELINA’.
Why the recent push for Make in India?
- Amid the Russia-Ukraine war, India is awaiting the timely delivery of the S-400 air defence systems under a deal signed in 2018. The deal — worth $5.43 billion — faces looming U.S. sanctions under CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act).
- In addition, several new deals are in the pipeline including 12 Su-30MKI aircraft and 21 MiG-29 fighter jets for the Indian Air Force.
GS2: International Events
Kuril Islands Dispute: Russia & Japan
Context: The Russian invasion of Ukraine seems to have brought to the forefront some other disputes that Russia has with the West’s allies.
- On April 22, Japan’s Diplomatic Bluebook for 2022 described the Kuril Islands (which Japan calls the Northern Territories and Russia as the South Kurils) as being under Russia’s “illegal occupation”.
- This is the first time in about two decades that Japan has used this phrase to describe the dispute over the Kuril Islands. Japan had been using softer language since 2003, saying that the dispute over the islands was the greatest concern in Russia-Japan bilateral ties.
What are the Kuril Islands/ Northern Territories?
- These are a set of four islands situated between the Sea of Okhotsk and the Pacific Ocean near the north of Japan.
- Both Moscow and Tokyo claim sovereignty over them though the islands have been under Russian control since the end of World War II.
- The Soviet Union had seized the islands at the end of World War II and by 1949 had expelled its Japanese residents.
- Tokyo claims that the disputed islands have been part of Japan since the early 19th century.
What lies behind the dispute?
- According to Tokyo, Japan’s sovereignty over the islands is confirmed by several treaties like
- Shimoda Treaty of 1855
- 1875 Treaty for the exchange of Sakhalin for the Kuril Islands (Treaty of St. Petersburg)
- Portsmouth Treaty of 1905 was signed after the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-05 which Japan had won.
- Russia, on the other hand, claims the Yalta Agreement (1945) and the Potsdam Declaration (1945) as proof of its sovereignty and argues that the San Francisco Treaty of 1951 is legal evidence that Japan had acknowledged Russian sovereignty over the islands.
- Under Article 2 of the San Francisco treaty, Japan had “renounced all right, title and claim to the Kuril Islands.”
- However, Japan argues that the San Francisco Treaty cannot be used here as the Soviet Union never signed the peace treaty. Japan also refuses to concede that the four disputed islands were in fact part of the Kuril chain.
- In fact, Japan and Russia are technically still at war because they have not signed a peace treaty after World War II.
- In 1956, during Japanese Prime Minister Ichiro Hatoyama’s visit to the Soviet Union, it was suggested that two of the four islands would be returned to Japan once a peace treaty was signed.
- However, persisting differences prevented the signing of a peace treaty though the two countries signed the Japan-Soviet Joint Declaration, which restored diplomatic relations between the two nations.
- The Soviet Union later hardened its position, even refusing to recognise that a territorial dispute existed with Japan.
- It was only in 1991 during Mikhail Gorbachev’s visit to Japan that the USSR recognised that the islands were the subject of a territorial dispute.
Have there been attempts at resolution?
- Since 1991, there have been many attempts to resolve the dispute and sign a peace treaty. The most recent attempt was under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe when joint economic development of the disputed islands was explored.
- In fact, both countries had agreed to have bilateral negotiations based on the 1956 Japan-Soviet Joint Declaration.
- Russia was even willing to give back two islands, the Shikotan Island and the Habomai islets, to Japan after the conclusion of a peace treaty as per the 1956 declaration.
- Japan’s attempt to improve ties with Russia was driven by its need to diversify energy sources and Russia by its need to diversify its basket of buyers and bring in foreign investments.
- But nationalist sentiments on both sides prevented the resolution of the dispute.
- Soon after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Japan made its unhappiness with Russia clear with its Foreign Minister saying that Russia had “occupied” the southern part of the Kuril Islands, thereby violating international law.
- Japan has been among the most steadfast of Western allies in denouncing Russian aggression and punishing it with sanctions.
- The recent statements will further damage relations between the two countries. Japan has probably been spurred by its fears of a Russia-China alliance as Japan itself has territorial disputes and an uneasy history with China.
- Secondly, Japan might have felt that this is a good opportunity to further isolate Russia and paint it as a “habitual offender” of international law.
- Finally, Tokyo might have been prompted to take this position as it feels that the invasion of Ukraine proves that getting back the Kuril Islands is a lost cause.
- Japan’s policy shift on the Kuril Islands will only embitter bilateral relations with Russia while advancing the possibility of its two neighbours, China and Russia, coming together against it.
Connecting the dots:
- GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
- GS-2: Fundamental Rights
Laws on Tapping Phone
Context: Sanjay Raut, Maharashtra political leader has accused the Centre of protecting IPS officer Rashmi Shukla, who is under probe by Maharashtra Police for tapping the phones of political leaders in 2019.
How are phones tapped in India?
- In the era of fixed-line phones, mechanical exchanges would link circuits together to route the audio signal from the call.
- When exchanges went digital, tapping was done through a computer.
- Today, when most conversations happen through mobile phones, authorities make a request to the service provider, which is bound by law to record the conversations on the given number and provide these in real time through a connected computer
Who all can tap phones in India?
- In the states, police have the powers to tap phones.
- At the Centre, 10 agencies are authorised to do so:
- Intelligence Bureau (IB)
- Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)
- Enforcement Directorate (ED)
- Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB)
- Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT)
- Directorate of Revenue Intelligence
- National Investigation Agency (NIA)
- Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW)
- Directorate of Signal Intelligence
- Delhi Police Commissioner.
- Tapping by any other agency would be considered illegal.
What are the laws that govern tapping phones in India?
- Phone tapping in India is governed by The Indian Telegraph Act, 1885.
- Phone tapping can be done by the Centre or States if they are satisfied it is necessary in the interest of
- Public safety
- Sovereignty and integrity of India
- Security of the State
- Friendly relations with foreign States
- Public order
- Preventing incitement to the commission of an offence
- An exception has been given for the press.
- Situation of phone tapping: On the occurrence of any public emergency, or in the interest of the public safety
- The competent authority (Union Home Secretary or State Home Secretary) must record reasons for tapping in writing.
- In unavoidable circumstances, such an order may be issued by an officer, not below the rank of a Joint Secretary to the Government of India, who has been authorised by the Union Home Secretary, or the State Home Secretary.
- Rule 419A of the Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Rules, 2007 talks about the authorising orders that has to be conveyed to the service provider in writing.
What are the checks to prevent misuse?
- Last Resort: Interception must be ordered only if there is no other way of getting the information.
- Cap on Duration: The directions for interception remain in force, unless revoked, for a period not exceeding 60 days. They may be renewed, but not beyond a total of 180 days.
- Review Committee– Any order issued by the competent authority has to contain reasons, and a copy is to be forwarded to a review committee within seven working days.
- When the Review Committee is of the opinion that the directions are not in accordance with the provisions, it may set aside the directions and orders for destruction of the copies of the intercepted messages (within 6 months).
- Accountability: Directions for interception are to specify the name and designation of the officer or the authority to whom the intercepted call is to be disclosed,
- Unauthorised interception– In case of unauthorised interception, the service provider may be fined or even lose its licence.
Connecting the dots:
(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)
Model questions: (You can now post your answers in the comment section)
Q.1) Consider the following statements
- Phone tapping in India is governed by the Indian Telegraph Act 1885.
- Telephone tapping would infringe Article 21 of the Constitution unless it is permitted under the procedure established by law.
Select the correct code:
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
Q.2) Consider the following statements
- mRNA directs the cell to produce copies of the spike protein.
- mRNA vaccine is an improvement on the traditional RNA platform.
Select the correct code:
- 1 Only
- 2 Only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
Q.3) Kuril Islands separates
- Pacific Ocean and Sea of Okhotsk
- Sea of Japan and Pacific Ocean
- East Siberian Sea and Chukchi Sea
- Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea
ANSWERS FOR 26th APRIL 2022 – TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)
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On energy secure South Asia:
On India, Europe and Russian complication:
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