DAILY MAINS NEWSLETTER FOR UPSC | 13 APR 2021 | RaghukulCS

Daily Mains Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

13 APRIL 2021

Index

Mains Value Addition

Mains Analysis

Topic No

Topic Name

Source

1

A second chance for Nepal’s young democracy

The Hindu

2

Not on the same page at sea

The Hindu

3

On ‘refugees’ and ‘illegal immigrants’, how India’s stance changes with circumstances

Indian Express

Mains Value Addition

Multinational Military Exercise ShantirOgrosena Culminates in Bangladesh

Syllabus–GS 3: Indian Economy

Analysis: –

  • Exercise SHANTIR OGROSENA-2021, a 10 day long multinational military exercise, which started on 04 April 2021, culminated today i.e.12 April 2021 at Bangabandhu Senanibas (BBS),Bangladesh.Troops from four countries participated in this exercise with observers from USA, UK, Russia, Turkey, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Singapore.
  • The aim of the exercise was to strengthen defence ties and enhance interoperability amongst neighbourhood countries to ensure effective peace keeping operations.
  • The Armies of all participating nations shared their wide experiences and enhanced their situational awareness through robust information exchange platforms.
  • The exercise culminated with a validation phase and closing ceremony organised on the theme of Robust Peace Keeping Operations jointly undertaken by contingents of Indian Army, Royal Bhutanese Army, Sri Lankan Army and Bangladesh Army, preceded by an Army Chiefs Conclave.

India to see 'K-shaped' recovery as inequalities grow

Syllabus– GS 3: Indian Economy

Analysis: –

  • The Indian economy’s recovery is likely to be ‘K-shaped’ instead of a ‘V,’ as rising inequality is poised to hit consumption and growth prospects, according to the country’s former central bank Governor Duvvuri Subbarao.
  • “An important consequence of the pandemic has been the sharpening of inequalities,” he said in an interview Friday.
  • “Growing inequalities are not just a moral issue.
  • They can erode consumption and hurt our long-term growth prospects.”
  • India’s gross domestic product is forecast to grow by as much as 12.5% in the current fiscal year ending March, which will make the economy the world’s fastest growing major one.
  • While that prediction followed a string of fiscal and monetary support, which stoked economic activity after pandemic curbs were eased, a new surge in Covid-19 cases have raised fears of renewed restrictions crippling an economy reliant on domestic consumption.

Mains Analysis

India to see 'K-shaped' recovery as inequalities grow

Syllabus– GS 3: Indian Economy

Analysis: –

  • The Indian economy’s recovery is likely to be ‘K-shaped’ instead of a ‘V,’ as rising inequality is poised to hit consumption and growth prospects, according to the country’s former central bank Governor Duvvuri Subbarao.
  • “An important consequence of the pandemic has been the sharpening of inequalities,” he said in an interview Friday.
  • “Growing inequalities are not just a moral issue.
  • They can erode consumption and hurt our long-term growth prospects.”
  • India’s gross domestic product is forecast to grow by as much as 12.5% in the current fiscal year ending March, which will make the economy the world’s fastest growing major one.
  • While that prediction followed a string of fiscal and monetary support, which stoked economic activity after pandemic curbs were eased, a new surge in Covid-19 cases have raised fears of renewed restrictions crippling an economy reliant on domestic consumption.

Constitutional Provisions

  • Among the key factors of the ongoing political stalemate in Nepal are certain rigid constitutional provisions that have made it possible for Mr. Oli to take cover behind a shield and continue, as getting into election phase or looking for the possibility of a caretaker coalition government is a very difficult proposition.
  • Instead of incorporating the provision of a no-confidence motion in its true spirit as a multi-party democracy, Nepal gets an unusual clause (Article 100(4)) in its new Constitution that allows a no-confidence motion only two years after the formation of the government — and even this can happen only when one-fourth of the total number of existing members of the House of Representatives may table a motion of no-confidence in writing that the House has no confidence in the Prime Minister.
  • Article 100(5) is even more perplexing which necessitates the motion of no-confidence shall also indicate the name of a member proposed for the Prime Minister.
  • Overcoming such arduous challenges is surely very tough for the three leading parties seen in the race to bring the Oli government down.
  • Even to exercise the choice of a no-confidence motion, two parties of these three have to be on the same front for getting the magical number of 68 Parliamentarians.
  • However, Mr. Oli has astutely managed to outwit his political opponents both within his party and the Opposition by playing on their differences.
  • Demands of opposition parties were limited only to Mr. Oli’s resignation and were not oriented toward the building of an alternate front, which gave a much-needed respite to Mr. Oli.
  • After the Supreme Court of Nepal reinstated Parliament in February this year, it came out with the next historic verdict on March 7 in which the top court had scrapped the legal status of the ruling Nepal Communist Party.

Way Forward: –

  • The political muddle apart, this is no time for elections, especially with a second wave of COVID-19 infections.
  • Nepal also stares at a lack of sufficient numbers of vaccines which have left the population vulnerable.
  • Also, good governance cannot be ensured by a government that is caught up in survivalist compulsions.
  • The best way forward would be in giving democracy a good chance. For now, this can be made possible by the political parties alone.
  • They have to aspire to ensure peace, progress, and stability; the easiest option would be to work towards a consensus government with all the major parties joining hands and running it collectively.

Question: –

Critically evaluate the impact of Nepal’s political crisis on India.

Not on the same page at sea

Why in News: –

 India’s strategic community was agitated last week when the USS John Paul Jones carried out a freedom of navigation operation (FONOP) 130 nautical miles west of the Lakshadweep Islands.

Syllabus: – GS 2: International Relation

India’s Sovereignty and Asia as a whole:

  • Needless to say, U.S. FONOPs in Indian EEZs have been relatively low-key, serving mainly to check a box on the U.S. Navy’s record of activity in Asia.
  • Since 2016, the U.S. Navy has carried out three forays through Indian EEZs keeping well outside Indian territorial waters.
  • In contrast, U.S. warships challenged excessive Chinese claims thrice in 2016, four times in 2017, six in 2018, eight in 2019, and nine in 2020.
  • Most patrols are said to have come within 12 nautical miles of the territorial sea limit around China’s islands.

 

USA interpretations

  • In the aftermath of the incident, the U.S. Pentagon defended the military operation off India’s waters terming it “consistent with international law”.
  • For the U.S. Navy, FONOPs are a way of showing that the maritime claims of certain states are incompatible with international law.
  • India’s requirement of prior consent for the passage of foreign warships through Indian EEZs, U.S. officials believe, is a violation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
  • Articles 56 and 58, Part V of the Law of the Sea, they point out; entitle U.S. warships to high-seas freedoms in the 200-nautical mile EEZs of another coastal state.

Indian Interpretation:

  • India interprets the maritime convention differently.
  • Indian experts note that the UNCLOS does not explicitly permit the passage of military vessels in another state’s EEZ.
  • When it ratified the convention in 1995, New Delhi stated, “India understands that the provisions of the Convention do not authorize other States to carry out in the exclusive economic zone and on the continental shelf military exercises or maneuvers, in particular those involving the use of weapons or explosives without the consent of the coastal State.”
  • This position is consistent with India’s domestic law — the Territorial Waters, Continental Shelf, Exclusive Economic Zone and Other Maritime Zones of India Act of 1976 — and remains unchanged.

India’s Concern

  • Despite disagreements over navigational freedoms, however, India and the U.S. have refrained from a public airing of differences.
  • Indian observers have come to accept U.S. FONOPs as an instrument in Washington’s military and diplomatic toolkit that gives the U.S. Navy leverage in the contest with China in the South China Sea. U.S. officials, too, have learnt to take Indian posturing in their stride.
  • Washington knows New Delhi’s real concern is the possibility of greater Chinese naval presence in Indian waters, in particular the threat of People’s Liberation Army Navy submarines near Indian islands.
  • Delhi’s pronouncements on foreign military activity in Indian EEZs, they know, don’t need to be taken literally.

Lakshadweep: A smart choice

  • The choice of Lakshadweep for the FONOP doesn’t seem incidental.
  • S. planners are likely to have known that a U.S. naval foray close to the ‘strategic’ Andaman and Nicobar Islands would be controversial.
  • Besides necessitating a response from New Delhi, it could have exposed a wrinkle in the relationship that both sides have so far been discreet about:
  • The disagreement over interpretation of the UNCLOS. U.S. planners are likely to have calculated that a naval operation in the waters off Lakshadweep would be unremarkable.
  • With maritime boundaries around the Lakshadweep more settled than the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (where straight baselines on the Western edge of the islands have in the past raised uncomfortable questions), Indian officials could even afford to ignore the operation.
  • The idea, ostensibly, was to signal to China that the U.S. Navy is committed to uphold the rules-based order in the waters of opponents and partners alike.

Bridging the divide

  • There are lessons for both India and the U.S. from l’affaire Lakshadweep.
  • The U.S. must recognize that FONOPs have implications for New Delhi that go beyond the infringement of Indian jurisdiction in the near seas.
  • Such operations normalize military activism close to India’s island territories that remain vulnerable to incursions by foreign warships.
  • The U.S. Navy’s emphasis on navigational freedoms in the EEZs encourages other regional navies to violate India’s domestic regulations in the waters surrounding the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • But New Delhi, too, must rethink its stand on freedom of navigation in the EEZs.
  • It isn’t enough for Indian officials and commentators to say U.S. FONOPs are an act of impropriety.
  • The reality is that India’s domestic regulation is worryingly out of sync with international law.

Way Forward

  • India’s declaration of straight baselines delineating zones around the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (on the Western edge), in particular, is a discrepancy that cannot be explained as a minor departure from the provisions of the UNCLOS.
  • The U.S. Navy sail through the waters off Lakshadweep highlights a gap in the Indian and American perception of navigational freedoms, complicating an already complex domain of international maritime law.
  • Yet it is not the betrayal of a friend that many have sought to portray the FONOP to be.

Question: –

The US Navy carried out a freedom of navigation operation in the Indian waters near Lakshadweep Islands is a challenge India’s “excessive” maritime claims. Discuss.

On ‘refugees’ and ‘illegal immigrants’, how India’s stance changes with circumstances

Syllabus– GS 3: Indian Economy

Analysis: –

  • Last week, the Supreme Court appeared to accept the Centre’s contention that the Rohingya people in India are illegal immigrants when it refused to order the release of 300 members of the community, most of whom are in a detention camp in Jammu, and others in Delhi.
  • It said they should be deported according to procedures under the Foreigners Act, 1946.

Illegal immigrant vs refugee

  • Under the 1951 UN Convention on the Status of Refugees and the subsequent 1967 Protocol, the word refugee pertains to any person who is outside their country of origin and unable or unwilling to return owing to well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion. Stateless persons may also be refugees in this sense, where country of origin (citizenship) is understood as ‘country of former habitual residence’. ( Oxford Handbook of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies).
  • The UN has said the flight of the Rohingya following the Myanmar military crackdown in Rakhine state in 2017 had created the world’s biggest refugee crisis. Cox’s Bazaar in Bangladesh is the biggest refugee camp in the world today.
  • Myanmar maintains that the Rohingya, who are predominantly Muslim, are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

India’s Stand: –

  • During a visit to Bangladesh last month, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed appreciation at the generosity of Bangladesh in sheltering and providing humanitarian assistance to the 1.1 million forcibly displaced persons from the Rakhine State of Myanmar”, according to a joint statement.
  • Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked India to play a strong role in the “repatriation” of the Rohingya to Myanmar.
  • Modi told her India wants a “return of the refugees in a sustainable manner”, according to a PTI report.
  • But when it comes to dealing with some 40,000 Rohingya who fled to India, the government’s response has been ambiguous.
  • The government had allowed the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to carry out verification and provide some of them with identity cards.
  • Some 14,000 Rohingya have been identified as refugees in this way.
  • In the Supreme Court however, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta referred to them as illegal immigrants. Combined with public and political rhetoric about terrorism and communal slurs, there is a demand that they be “deported” immediately.

India & UN convention

  • India has welcomed refugees in the past, and on date, nearly 300,000 people here are categorised as refugees.
  • But India is not a signatory to the 1951 UN Convention or the 1967 Protocol. Nor does India have a refugee policy or a refugee law of its own.
  • This has allowed India to keep its options open on the question of refugees. The government can declare any set of refugees as illegal immigrants — as has happened with Rohingya despite the UNHCR verification — and decide to deal with them as trespassers under the Foreigners Act or the Indian Passport Act.
  • The closest India has come to a refugee policy in recent years is the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019, which discriminates between refugees on the basis of religion in offering them Indian citizenship.

Myanmar coup

  • Since the Myanmar Army seized power on February 1, there has been an influx of people into Mizoram. Many of them are democracy activists belonging to the Chin ethic group, or policemen who said they disobeyed orders to shoot at protesters.
  • They fear the Myanmar Army will kill them if they go back.
  • In refugee terms, there is no real difference between Rohingya and these new arrivals.
  • Both have fled the Myanmar Army, although in different circumstances. The only difference is that Myanmar accepts one lot as citizens while it rejects Rohingya, who are stateless.
  • So far, New Delhi’s confusion about this situation in the Northeast has been evident.
  • It directed security forces to stop more people from crossing over, a decision opposed by the Mizoram government.
  • The Chief Minister has expressed solidarity with those arriving from Myanmar and held a meeting with members of the “democratic government in exile”, blindsiding Delhi again.
  • In Manipur, a government order asking people not to provide food or shelter to anyone from Myanmar had to be hastily withdrawn after it was widely criticised.

Deportation, non-refoulement

  • While the Supreme Court has ordered “deportation” of Rohingya “following all procedures” under the Foreigners Act, this is much more complex than it sounds.
  • This is evident from the failed attempt by the Assam government to send back a 14-year-old Rohingya girl, separated from her parents in a Bangladesh refugee camp.
  • The girl was detained while entering Assam at Silchar two years ago. She has no family left in Myanmar, but last week, Assam officials took her to the Moreh border at Manipur to be deported. Myanmar did not accept her.
  • The bottom line to legal deportation — as opposed to just pushing people back over the border — is that the other country must accept the deportee as its national.

Concerns: –

  • Over the last four years, all efforts by Bangladesh to persuade Myanmar to take back the Rohingya at Cox’s Bazaar have been unsuccessful. India managed to send back a handful with much difficulty.
  • But in terming Rohingya in India as “illegal” and pledging to send them back to Myanmar, India is going against the principle of “non-refoulement”, to which it is bound as a signatory to other international treaties such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
  • Non-refoulement means no refugee shall be returned in any manner to any country where he or she would be at risk of persecution.
  • India made the case at the UN as recently as 2018 that this principle must be guarded against dilution, and also argued against raising the bar for granting of refugee status, saying this leaves out a lot of people “pushing them into greater vulnerability”.

Way Forward: –

  • How India deals with refugees from different countries differently is also evident in the case of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, many of them in camps in Tamil Nadu.
  • The state government provides them an allowance and allows them to seek jobs, and their children to attend school.
  • After the end of the Sri Lanka civil war in 2009, India has encouraged return through the method of voluntary repatriation — they decide for themselves in consultation with an agency like the UNHCR, if the situation back home is safe. This method adheres to the principle of non-refoulement.
  • UNHCR says it is its priority “to create an enabling environment for voluntary repatriationand to mobilize support for returnees.”
  • Which means it requires the “full commitment of the country of origin to help reintegrate its own people”.

Question: –

Myanmar is right now far from the point where Rohingya or pro-democracy activists would want to voluntarily return home.Explain.

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