March 16

1) Interview of Shyam Saran – importance for personality test

  • From his interview we can draw few points wrt the relation that India is having with US, China and Russia
  • India-US:
    • In Defence:
      • There is bipartisan support on both side with respect to the relations are concern. Brief background on agreements:
      • General Security of military information Agreement (GSOMIA) was signed in 2002 not of great prominence
      • Defence Framework Agreement was signed 2005, where real relation started and US loosened strict controls with allowing excluded categories of technology to India
      • Defence Technology and Trade initiative 2012, here through this Indian companies can collaborate with US partners in defence co-production
      • In 2016 Major Defence Partner status to India, where access to defence technology from US like it has been provided to its close allies (NATO)
      • Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), where both militaries can use each other bases for various purposes
      • In line there are 2 more agreements to be made but we don’t the status of Trump’s foreign policy going to affect on these agreements. They are
        • Communication and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA), where US can supply proprietary encrypted communication equipments and provide for peacetime and wartime communications
        • Basic Exchange and Cooperation agreement (BECA), where US provide Geospatial Information and also share sensitive data for navigation purpose
    • Issues:
      • US is one of the largest trade partner to India, but wrt to IT large share of trade happens with US. Recently due its protectionist measure and tending towards the promotion of locals it is not safe to have such huge share with one country and it is time to diversify the share to various developed countries and developing countries. US is also one of the major source of cutting edge technology to India so relation with it is very important.
      • H1B visas restriction are temporary it is an immigration issue but not the trade related issue. So there is no use of India concerning WTO wrt to it
      • Anti immigration sentiment which is developing in US is leading to attacks on the Citizens of India. For this there is need for ideal solution that is creating employment opportunities to all the strata in India itself
      • Earlier presidents of US are with containment policy and have important role in Global areas but Trump is not in a mood for containment policy. And Global footprint of US is reducing where creating space to other emerging economies. India in this case should utilise it.
    • What India did so far?
      • CEPA (Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement) with Japan and South Korea
      • Free Trade Agreement in Trade, Investment and Services with ASEAN
      • Expansion of Trade and investment relation with Russia in expanding energy fields
  • India – Russia:
    • Russia is a good ally to India from long time. But now the relation is on downward trend not due to India’s negligence but because India becoming as no more important country in commercial field and it is tending towards China and Europe. For this India should deepen its relation with Russia
    • Worrisome:
      • Hardware supplies to Pakistan recently
  • India – China:
    • China should not be seen as same as in relation with America. There is no Zero sum game applicable in foreign relations. The approach should change with changing countries
    • Relation is determined with handling of several bilateral issues:
      • Border issue: China’s recent comment made wrt to border issue at WTO is If India compromise on east border than China will compromise on western front. Guidelines of political parameter:
        • The People living at borders (Tawang) who belongs to India, their interest should be considered by settling the the border issue
      • Trade: India should improve its global competitiveness to compete with China
      • Improving the border security to foil any aggressive move by China on our border

2) Saffron storm in uttar Pradesh:

  • The article explained some observations that have taken place in UP election
    • Nationalisation of local elections: People are now concerned more about the national issues rather than the local. The vibrant govt at nation will develop the country as a whole and which will benefit the local in obvious. So regional parties losing their prominence
    • Marginalisation of minorities: Even the BJP own this elections it has not fulfill its promise that development to all sections. Rather it has not considered the muslim population in these states
    • Social Justice: Reservations in India has only reduced to OBC and Dalits in India where large sections of marginalised people are not getting these benefits and assent of other group are not considered.
    • Propaganda missionary: Here almost all politicians are misleading the people with false news and it is flooded into social media by this people to induce it in people’s mind and it is spreading like wildfire in nowadays elections

3) Gauntlet at Sukma: (Open challenge thrown by naxals in Chhattisgarh)

  • In India 10 states are affected by Left Wing Extremism. In recent a Jawans from CRPF got killed. This proves the extremist element are still dominating
  • Reasons for failure of security force in states:
    • Lack of coordination with local police
    • No development of relation of security forces with local people
    • Poor intelligence to counter insurgency by security forces
    • Multi-Layered political strategy is absent
  • Social welfare Programmes should reach to people of affected areas. Only security forces are visible and absence of civil administration in those areas to wean away the people from naxal activities with welfare measures, so that should be addressed

4) A lost opportunity:

  • Remember: Recent Maternity benefit bill has increased the paid leave to 26 weeks for first two children and further will be given only 12 weeks paid leave. But for adopted mother it is only for 12 weeks
  • Concerns:
    • In most of the countries the cost of the benefit offered is beared by the govt but in India it is by employer. Which will affect the gender diversity in the labour force
    • There is no paternal leave in India, here only women care is highlighted but no the shared responsibility
    • Act applicable to only to organised sector i.e., only to 18lakh women

5) Comparing Budgets: Keep in mind

  • Wrt to defence budgets of different countries i.e., US with $600billion, China with $151billion and India with $50billion
  • India is only 3rd of China’s and China is nowhere near to US
  • China do not consider the Dual use goods into its budget where India include it which underestimated the China’s budget
  • Dual use goods: goods that are used for both civil and defence purpose.
  • India’s Indian Air Force is struggling with shortage of fighters

6) Banks against farm loan waiver in UP:

  • Why?
    • Bank loan waiver kills credit discipline and people get habituated and it will increase NPAs with which banks are already suffering
    • Federal Bank, USA is rising its interest rates which will affect the inflow of investments
    • Import Bill is increasing with increase in Exports growth of oil refinery
  • Points to Remember: Public Asset Reconstruction Agency (PARA) proposed in economic survey to deal with bad assets

7) Centre unveils plan for export infrastructure:

  • ASIDE (Assistance for State for Infrastructure Development related to Exports) is replaced by New policy Trade Infrastructure for export
  • Previously Centre given states a responsibility to develop infrastructure but now centre will directly involve in development
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