This article deals with ‘ISRO and Indian Space Program.’ This is part of our series on ‘Science and Technology’ which is important pillar of GS-3 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here
Space Program of
Operated by Indian Space
Research Organization (ISRO)
Chairman=Dr K Sivan (First
Chairman of ISRO was Vikram Sarabhai.)
Head of ISRO also acts as Secretary of Department of Science
Primary body of Space
Research under Department of
Headquartered in Bangalore
Space Research started under Department of Atomic Energy under Homi Bhaba
Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCSR) established & work to establish TERLS (Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Centre) started
Department of Space (independent department) formed => ISRO brought under Department of Space
– First Satellite launched (with Soviet Launch Vehicle)
first satellite launched by Indian LV(SLV3)
of Space Program
Using Space Technology for Socio-Economic benefit of the people
Make India self reliant in space technology
of Space (DoS)
ISRO is the
primary R&D wing of DoS
Other Agencies of DoS
Physical Research Lab (PRL)
Semi Conductor Lab
Atmospheric Research Lab
North Eastern Space Applications Centre
Two (Three) major satellite systems
INSAT / GSAT
Indian National Satellite
For communication purposes
Launched by GSLV (& foreign Space Agencies-Ariane of
Indian Remote Sensing Satellites
For management of the natural resources
Launched by PSLV
Indian Nano Satellites
(New – First launched in Feb 2017)
INS-1A & INS-1B
Equivalent of ISRO of
Private Space Agencies
Jeff Bezos (Amazon)
Challenges to Indian Space Programme
Move from research and development to a commercial level
Need to boost the frequency
This will reduce the cost &
make them cost competitive
develop capabilities to build much larger number of the satellites than
current 3-4 per year
Most of the
space launches are for socio-economic development of country. ISRO need to
move ahead and work for military and
defence needs of country
Achievements of Indian Space Programme
Emerged as one of the 6 most important countries in field of space research
in launching remote sensing and the communication platforms
With GSLV MK III , now is in elite club which can launch heavy
Geo Stationary Communication Satellites
104 Satellites launched in single launch and
created world record
satellites for others too – Earn foreign exchange.
to national security in form of improving the surveillance capability
emerge as Technological power and Knowledge
Side Topic : Cases in news
Nambi Narayanan Case : In 1994, Nambi Narayanan who was working on Cryogenic Engine and was on verge of making it was arrested on charges of selling secrets. CBI later found that charges were false and he was discharged in 1996. Case was fabricated by IB Officials in connivance with CIA because US didn’t want India to develop Cryogenic Engine as it would have challenged monopoly enjoyed by US, Russia and France
Glance at ISRO’s future missions (detail further in chapter)
Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) – DONE
Reusable Satellite Launch Vehicle –
This mission will reduce the cost of delivering satellites into orbit to 1/10th.
Cryogenic Engine – Done in June 2017
GSLV MK III with Cryogenic Stage developed successfully
This technology will help India launch payloads of upto 4 tonnes into the geostationary orbit.
Chandrayaan 2 –
After unprecedented success of Chandrayaan 1, ISRO is already working on Chandryaan 2 which will be launched shortly.
It had Rover and Lander
Launched in July 2019 with partial success
SAARC Satellite – Done in 2017
Aditya Space Satellite—
To study the Corona of Sun
Venus Exploration programme—
To study the atmosphere of Venus ISRO
3-ton ISRO spaceship to carry a 2-member crew to the Low Earth Orbit and safe return to the Earth after duration of few orbits to two days.
Extendable version of spaceship will allow flights upto 7 days & docking capability with space stations
100-acre Space Park in Bangalore
private industry players would be allowed to set up facilities to make subsystems and components for satellites.
This article deals with ‘India Russia Relations.’ This is part of our series on ‘International Relations’ which is important pillar of GS-2 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here
History of India Russia Relations
Russia is key pillar of
India’s foreign policy
1971 : India and Russia signed Treaty of Peace,
Friendship & Cooperation=> It
has clause of collective security (ie if India is
attacked , Soviet Union will come to help & vice versa)
USSR helped to setup many
industries in India
USSR sided India on Kashmir
issue and vetoed all attempts in UN
Clear position with India in
1971 Bangladesh war
Initial hiccups in
the relation (early 90s)
Both India and Russia were
attracted towards the west
Rupees – Rouble Trade suffered
as value of Rouble fell (Russia
asked India to pay in Dollars )
Cryogenic engine denied by Russia (under USA pressure due
Militancy in Chechnya and
Kashmir presented problem to both nations
=> Overall in this period , India and Russia both leaned towards
west in parallel , without any convergence
End of 1990s
Nuclear Tests of 1998 brought
India Russia closer.
World was divided into two
USA , Japan , EU : placed sanctions on India .
Russia : Supported India arguing that India is surrounded by China &
Pakistan & had right to protect using Nuclear Deterrence
Putin Visit in 2010
India and Russia signed “Special and
Privileged Strategic Partnership” (SPSP)
Russia annexed Crimea (
Russian Black Sea Fleet placed there and outlet to Mediterranean Sea )
=> India supported Russia
International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC)
BRICS : Both are part of BRICS
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation
S-400 Triumf Air Defense Systems
Far East Development
Convergence of Interests
Russia needs India as
To bypass Western sanctions
Hedge against forthcoming Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) driven by the US & EU
India is market for Defence
Industry (India largest buyer)
India is major market of Oil
(Russia = Major producer)
India needs Russia as
Energy supply at a
edge defence technology (No country provide it’s new technology.
Russia selling S-400)
Russia = Market for Indian
pharmaceuticals, manufactured goods, dairy products etc.
Russian Veto at UN matters for
India-Russia Economic cooperation
Trade of $11 billion (2012) . India exports $3
billion and imports $8 billion (Target is to increase it to $30 Billion in
Total investment of $8 billion
ONGC Videsh $5 billion investment in Sakhalin I project in Siberia and Imperial Energy ltd (Tomsk)
Russia developed Kudankulam nuclear energy project (1000 MW)
in trade with Russia
clearances and inspections are
complex & time consuming
importer needs to get license to import . Russian businessmen demand
Indian exporter to pay for these charges
specific approvals are required
SPS on Indian
meat , egg, agro & exports
finance issues due to strict norms
in Current Account & Capital Account convertibility
ALROSA : Russia’s Largest Diamond supplying company to sell rough diamonds to Indian Companies directly worth ~ 700 million per year (presently done through Belgium)
Make Outside India : set up industries there to use cheap raw material & trade with countries which have signed agreement with these countries
Connectivity problems need to be improved by operationalising International North South Transport Corridor
COOPERATION IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN ECONOMIC COOPERATION WITH RUSSIA
India is going for massive
weaponisation and Russia is most important ally in this because 2/3 of Indian military hardware comes
– INS Vikramaditya (Gorshkov) Aircraft Carrier – Nuclear Submarine – Akula II class (INS Chakra) Deal – Joint Development of 5 Stealth Frigates
– 32 out of 41 fighter Indian Air Force squadrons are Russian – MIG 21,23,27,29 – Sukhoi 30- MKI – New Deals => Joint Production of Kamov -226 Helicopter – New Deal => Buy 5 S-400 Air Defence Systems
T-72 & T-90 constitute 60% of 4168 battle tanks
BrahMos supersonic missile ( 2.8 Mach speed) is jointly developed by India &
Russia . This marks SHIFT IN DEFENCE RELATION FROM BUYER SELLER
TO JOINT INVOLVEMENT IN R&D AND DEVELOPMENT
Joint Armed exercises – INDRA
Even after increased bonhomie
with US, Modi has already declared that Russia is the primary defence supplier of India
India is trying to diversify her arsenal
because too much dependence on one nation in defence is a strategic liability . MMRCA Deal with France
vouches for that.
Russia is also trying to
diversify its relations in response to Indian position & is engaging with Pakistan for sale of weapons .
Problems of joint
CAATSA :Countering American Adversaries through Sanctions Act of US which has provisions of Sanctions against American adversaries in case they are doing trade with them. These adversaries include Russia, Iran and North Korea. This is presenting difficulty in payment although US has granted waiver to India to buy S-400 System
Russian security laws prohibit Indians from working in high security projects
Goes back 4 decades
2015 marks the 40th anniversary of launch of India’s first satellite “Aryabhatt” on a Russian ( USSR) launch vehicle ‘Soyuz.’
Various MOUs between ROSCOSMOS and ISRO
Earlier (before NAVIC became operationalised), India was using GLONASS as an alternate to US controlled GPS
energy deficient || Russia = energy
surplus => mutual interest lies in this sector.
Former Soviet Union played a major role in
building India’s energy sector by building
Developing India’s coal
Finding oil in Indian soil
Helping in setting up India’s
energy major ONGC.
India has invested
in the Sakhalin-1 project, controlling 20 percent
stakes in the venture
Purchased Imperial Energy,
London-listed oil major in the Tomsk region.
These are India’s largest investments abroad.
India has been eying energy projects at Timon Pechora basin and Vankor in the East Siberia.
People to People
Programs like ‘Namaste Russia’
Institutes like Jawaharlal Nehru Cultural Centre, both the countries have had good cultural links.
Downturn in relations
India’s growing proximity to United States like joining Quad ||
Russia also realigning it’s relation with China
India has signed logistic agreements like LEMOA, COMCASA etc with US.
India diversifying it’s defence relations with
Israel, USA etc .
Russian share has decreased from 79% (2008) to 62% (2017)
One dimensional trade ie Defence . Both countries were unable
to diversify the trade basket
Russia in 2014 lifted arms
embargo on Pakistan. Russia and Pakistan conducted a military exercise in
Taliban: Russia showing inclination towards Taliban in
Afghanistan while India continues to have concerns about the group.
Steps taken to
Sochi informal summit
S-400 Defence System bought
even defying US diktats and CAATSA
Ka-226 helicopter deal =>
to be made in India under MII Initiative
INDRA upgraded to Tri Services
To address connectivity =>
Development of International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC).
Indian investment in Russian
oil sector like investment in Pechora
Basin + Essar bought shares of Rosneft oil
Is Russia still important post US – India Ties?
Russia is time tested friend who has helped India on number of occasions
earlier. Increasing Russo-Pak Ties are just symbolic gesture by Russia to
tell India that they too can find friends.
Russian Defence partnership is
important because they give Transfer of Technology in cutting edge technology which other countries including US willn’t
offer. In US ,
all the defence system manufacturing is under private companies while in
Russia they are state controlled . Hence, way in which Russia can help by
supplying arms in order to set diplomatic relations on right track cant be
done by US (INS Vikramaditya , Nuclear Subs , Sukhoi etc )
Along with that, joint production deals in high end products like
Kamov Helicopters , Brahmos Missiles etc matters to India if they want to
develop domestic defence industry. US and western powers never agree to
In Civil Nuclear Aspects too, only Russia has
given best deals eg in Kundankulam. Other nations care too much
about financial aspects and just want to increase their profits .
If India wants to book her seat in UNSC , Russian support is very
On various multilateral forums, Russia and India share
space . BRICS & SCO are most important .
Russia has large energy resources and India need Russia to
satisfy her hunger for energy.
mentioned by PM Modi, Russia
still remains our principle Defence Partner . About 70 per cent of our weapons and equipment are of Russian or Soviet origin.
Military Exercise with
Pakistan should not be seen from narrow perspective. In age of Realpolitik, every nation wants to
have maximum manoeuvre space. India conduct military exercises with China too
This concludes article on India-Iran Relations. For reading our whole series on International Relations, Click on following link
This article deals with ‘India-Iran Relations.’ This is part of our series on ‘International Relations’ which is important pillar of GS-2 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here
History of India-Iran Relations
In 1953, Central
Intelligence Agency orchestrated a coup to remove Iran’s elected Prime
Mossadegh and instituted the rule of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi,
– With the creation of Pakistan in 1947, India and Iran lost the geographical contiguity – In Cold War Politics , Shah of Iran allied with U.S whereas India was non-aligned. => Hence, nothing significant during that time
– 1979 = Islamic Revolution happened in Iran – During Iran Iraq War=> India supported Iraq
Afghanistan Problem – During 1990s , Afghanistan came under Taliban rule . – Northern Alliance was fighting against Talibs – Pakistan was supporting Taliban – India & Iran were supporting the Northern Alliance => Hence, India & Iran came closer due to their coinciding interests in Afghanistan
Import of Gas – During this period, India started to import gas & oil from Iran in huge amount . – But after 2004, Iran was placed under Western sanctions => India reduced trade under western pressure
Dynamics of Iran
Leader of Shia World
There is Shia-Sunni divide in whole Islamic world where – Iran = Leader of Shias – Saudi Arabia = Leader of Sunnis
Developing Nuclear Weapon
– Iran wanted to develop Nuclear Weapon for regime’s security . – But Saudis & Israel are US allies and they don’t want this because it will disturb the Balance of Power in Middle East in Iran’s favour
India’s large Shia population has emotional connect with
Lucknow = influenced by Persian culture
Hyderabad’s Qutb Shahi Dynasty was Persian in origin
Key in fight against Al-queda, ISIS, Taliban etc which pose danger to India as well
Key player in stability of Afghanistan where India has created
Securing Sea Lanes of
Communication (SLoC) by combating piracy in the Indian Ocean region.
India aspires to become a net
security provider in the Indian Ocean
region where Iran
is a major stake holder.
Chabahar Port : Key in all connectivity projects of India
Alternate route to Afghanistan from Chabahar
Provide connectivity to Central Asia and Europe, via International North
South Transport Corridor (INSTC)
Important part of Asghabat
Energy Security and India-Iran Relations
Iran has 2nd largest reserves of Natural Gas
ONGC Videsh Ltd has stakes in Farzad-B gasfield in Iran
IPI Pipeline is being built from Iran to
India also wants to setup a joint-venture fertiliser plants in Iran using cheap Natural
Other Points of Cooperation in India-Iran Relations
Indian Wheat and Pharmaceuticals are in great
demand in Iran.
Even during sanctions, wheat and pharmaceuticals were exported to Iran
from India because these two items were out of the ambit of
India and Iran , both have
stakes in Indian Ocean and both can
cooperate for regional security from piracy.
Economic: Western Sanctions ,
Huge unemployment and inflation creating unrest
Political : Fundamental
authority rests with Supreme Leader Khamenei, an unelected cleric.
Involvement in Proxy Wars :
Saudi vs Iran Cold
War in Middle East is going on.
Heavy military expenditure in
Syria (supporting Bashar al Assad)
Yemen (supporting Houthis)
Hezbollah in Palestine
while Iran itself facing economic crisis at home.
India’s close relations with US, Israel and Gulf
countries (Saudis and UAE)
Kashmir Issue– Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei
equated the on-going Kashmir conflict with that of Yemen
Important Topic : Chabahar Port
It’s importance can be seen in two aspects
– Alternate Route to Afghanistan – Chabahar to Zaranj to Delaram – It will help to end Afghanistan’s dependence on Pakistan for trade
– Counter China at Gwadar Port : It will help to counter Gwadar port of Pakistan built by China . Chabahar is located 72 kilometres west of Pakistan’s Gwadar port.
– Help in Anti-Piracy Operations
– Increased connectivity with energy rich Central Asia : inline with India’s Connect-Central Asia policy.
– Lynchpin in International North – South Transit Corridor that connects India to Central Asia, Russia and Europe.
Still an Issue
US sanctions – Difficult to fund the project.
Still difficult to reach Afghanistan’s hinterland via this route because of presence of Taliban
Saudi Arabia (large remittances & Indian workers working there) and Israel (strategic importance) will be antagonised because of such mega projects in Iran.
Issue: US out of Iranian nuclear deal
In 2015 an agreement, Joint Comprehensive plan of Action (JCPOA) or Iran nuclear deal, was reached between Iran and the P5+1 group — U.S., U.K., France, Russia, China and Germany — on Tehran’s nuclear programme. The JCPOA was designed to stop Iran from producing its own nuclear weapons, and set up a framework limiting the amount and degree to which Iran was allowed to enrich uranium.
However, in 2018 USA unilaterally announced to decertify the nuclear deal on account of non-compliance by Iran and announced two rounds of economic sanction on it.
Limitations agreed by Iran under JCOPA
Uranium stockpile cant exceed 300 kg
Enrichment of Uranium cant
exceed 3.67% (for
weapons 90% enrichment is required but after 20% enrichment, 90% can be
achieved very quickly)
IAEA Inspectors can inspect facilities
return, Iran gets termination of all economic and diplomatic sanctions imposed
on it by the UN Security Council (UNSC), the European Union (EU) and the US
US has pulled out of the deal and imposed sanctions
No individual or company can
trade with Iran
re-imposed are “extraterritorial” — they apply to not just American individuals
and businesses, but to non-American businesses or individuals as well.
US problems and Reasons for withdrawal
Deal doesn’t has binding restrictions on Iran’s
Many of the restrictions in JCPOA have sunset clauses ie provisions will become
less strict over the years
Deal doesn’t prevent Iran to
prevent sponsorship of terrorism in the region
Implications on India
Iran was India’s third biggest supplier
Oil prices will increase
increasing export bills
Added cost of having to
recalibrate Indian fuel refineries that are used to process Iran’s
came with discounts
on freight, and favourable terms of payment including non dollar payments
Indian projects impacted
port is nominally exempted from U.S. sanctions, but suppliers are reluctant to deliver
Videsh to invest in Farzad B gas field
More than 50% of total remittance received by India last year came from
the gulf region. Disturbance in the region would lead to decline in such
Security of Indian Ocean
Region disturbed => Volatile situation at Strait of Hormuz impacts Indian trade negatively
Gives opportunity to outside
powers to set base in Indian Ocean which impacts Balance of Power .
Giving Space to China : If
India succumb to US pressure while China remains firm , then India will
lose strategic space to China
Increased importance of
Pakistan for US : The US has ordered resumption of military training to
Pakistan, which it had suspended in 2018 after accusing it of not doing
enough to counter terrorist groups, as part of its wider West Asia
This concludes article on India-Iran Relations. For reading our whole series on International Relations, Click on following link
This article deals with ‘India Bangladesh Relations.’ This is part of our series on ‘International Relations’ which is important pillar of GS-2 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here
became Independent in 1971
with military & political
assistance of India
won under leadership of Sheikh Mujibur Rehman (Party= Awami League) . They
were Anti Pakistan (+ China and
USA) and Pro India (+ USSR)
1975 : Mujibur Rehman was assassinated due to military coupe by Zia-ur-Rehman =>this regime was Pro China and US (but Anti-Pakistan) and Anti
India & USSR.
Later, he established Bangladesh
Nationalist Party (BNP)
Hence due to historical reasons
Bengali first ideology
Relations with India
Leader -Sheikh Hasina
Islam first ideology
Leader – Khalida Zia
Importance of Bangladesh for India
Geopolitical Importance of Bangladesh
Outlet for North Eastern
States => land-locked states have
shorter route to
the sea through Bangladesh.
Important for Security of Bay
of Bengal & tackling pirate
Success of Act-East policy
Bangladesh can act as
‘bridge’ to economic and political linkages with South East Asia.
Integral part of India’s ‘Neighbourhood First Policy‘
To contain insurgency in North-East
Bilateral trade: currently $9 billion (+ large unaccounted informal trade) but trade
potential is 4 times
Investment Opportunity for Indian companies
Cooperation in blue economy( deep sea fishing,
hydrocarbons, disaster management etc)
Shared Bangla history => People to People
Rabindranath Tagore is equally famous (‘Amar
Sonar Bangla’ written by him)
Co-partner in various
Most important of which are SAARC & BIMSTEC
Supports India’s bid for
observer status at OIC + Counter Pakistan’s
statement on Kashmir at OIC Forums
To reduce the influence of
‘Neutral’ Bangladesh helps to counter China’s One Belt One
Road (OBOR) strategy .
Issues in India Bangladesh Relations(Gist)
Bangladesh resolved most contentious land
are still some
contentious issues that
needs to be resolved
Teesta Water Treaty – Teesta originates in Sikkim and enters Bangladesh after passing through West Bengal. There is conflict on water sharing between West Bengal and Bangladesh
Ganga Water : Treaty was signed in 1996 but India constructed Farakka Barrage to supply water to Hooghly and in dry season , Bangladesh doesn’t get fair share of water
Illegal Immigration / NRC Issue – According to NRC draft , 40 lakh people living in (only) Assam are Bangladeshis.
Transit Rights – India wants transit rights to better develop its North East but Bangladeshis saw it as infringement of its sovereignty.
Security Concerns – Bangladesh provides safe havens to insurgents active in North East
Tipaimukh Hydro-Electric Power Project on the Barak river
Border Management: Porous border=> smuggling, trafficking in arms, drugs and people.
Rohingya crisis: 11 lakh Rohingyas refugees in Bangladesh=> India providing financial help via ‘Operation Insaniyat’ but Bangladesh expects India to put pressure on Myanmar for repatriation of Rohingyas.
Bangladesh uses China card to supplement its bargaining capacity against India.
Growing Islamic radicalisation => ISIS in Bangladesh => can destabilise Indian Subcontinent
Competition in some sectors like Textile
Conclusion : India should adopt the Gujral doctrine of unilateral support to its smaller neighbours to gain their confidence especially given China’s presence.
Gist : Things given by India
Main role in their
Army joint exercises
Land Boundry issue and Water
boundry issue solved => India lost some land and EEZ but accepted for
sake of friendship
SAARC satellite => Free access to transponder
Rooppur nuclear power plant is
being made by India and Russia in Bangladesh
Visa regime in India has been liberalized
for Bangladeshi tourists and
Border Haats on
Bangladesh-Meghalaya & Bangladesh – Tripura border
130 km India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline Project for Transportation of Oil.
Exporting 660 MW electricity daily, will add 500 MW more.
Issue : Teesta Water Dispute
Note: 54 rivers pass from India to Bangladesh => Being lower riparian state, Bangladesh is affected by dam built on them
Teesta originates in Sikkim
& after passing through West Bengal, it enters Bangladesh
Importance=> Very important for
irrigation on both sides.
India built three Projects on Teesta like Gajoldoba Barrage (in Jalpaigudi) to divert water to other areas => Indian regions started to prosper but Bangladeshis are raising voice against this
Radical Islamic Parties like Jamat-i-Islami using it to consolidate people against Sheikh Hasina (Indian ally)
2011 : Teesta Accord Drafted – India & Bangladesh to get 50:50% respectively.
But West Bengal Government acting as impediment
to sign this Accord .
Importance of Teesta Accord for India
PM Hasina is an important ally of India.
Adopted zero tolerance policy
against Anti-Indian terror outfits.
Help in containing influence
of China – in Bay of Bengal region. (BNP favours China)
Signing deal will consolidate her position in Bangladeshi Polity
Not signing such deal give oxygen to radical elements . Jamait
e Islami is becoming powerful by
portraying Sheikh Hasina as puppet of India
trust on India will increase if there are more water sharing agreements
Issue : China Factor in Bangladesh
part of OBOR project & also attended
the OBOR Summits
China increasing Defence
Partnership with Bangladesh=> recently Bangladesh procured two submarines from Beijing
China using Bangladesh as outlet for Kunming Province (Chittagong Port
part of BCIM project
China is financing 25 energy projects in Bangladesh including Bangladesh’s 2nd Nuclear power plant.
Bangabandhu-1 – First communication
satellite of Bangladesh to be launched with Chinese help.
diplomacy – Training of personnel, including Chinese language teachers
But points in Indian favour
freedom struggle, Communist China helped Pakistan and opposed the
creation of Bangladesh
China also casted a veto in the Security Council to
block new Bangladesh’s entry into the United Nations.
Issue of China building dams on Brahmaputra
Issue :North East Factor in Bangladesh relations
Kolkata via Bangladesh
shorten the distances
Overcome strategic vulnerability of Chicken Neck by providing
to industries in North Eats via Bangladeshi
ports . Chittagong and
Ashuganj ports are just 70 and 40 km
business haats (trading centres)
Meghalaya – Bangladesh border
Illegal Bangladeshi Migrant Issue + NRC
North Eastern Insurgents take
shelter in Bangladesh
Bangladeshis view India’s use
of their land for transit as impingement
of their sovereignty
Potentials & prospects :-
East ,Bangladesh & Myanmar should create a tourist circuit
electricity deficient country. Hydropower potential of north
eastern states and
Bhutan can be
harnessed to satisfy
need of Bangladesh .
developing its ports
to connect them
with our north
and SAARC have
opened up avenues
for multilateral exchange
of Goods and Services
Cooperation on dealing with climate change => West Bengal and Bangladesh are low lying areas => large scale submergence due to Ocean Level
Rise leading to migration crisis
This article deals with ‘India-Pakistan Relations.’ This is part of our series on ‘International Relations’ which is important pillar of GS-2 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here
Pakistan was part of India before 1947 Pakistan was formed on the basis of Two Nation Theory
– Post independence => Issue of Accession of Kashmir => Pakistani Army under guise of Tribals attacked Kashmir => Resulted in creation of Pakistani Occupied Kashmir (PoK) & J&K – Since then J&K remained the core issue between India & Pakistan
Most of the terrorist attacks that occur in India have their origin in Pakistan
India is victim of terrorism number of times – 2001 : attack on Parliament – 2008 : Mumbai attacks – 2016 : Pathankot Airbase Attack – 2016 : Uri attack on Military base – 2019 : Pulwama Attack These have impacted India’s relations with Pakistan
– Till 1998 , both states had Nuclear Weapons – Pakistan is making Tactical Weapons Pakistani Nuclear Button in hands of Pakistani Army => Any incident can result in Nuclear war
Issue 1 : Indus Water Treaty
Indus Water treaty
Signed in 1960
Brokered by World Bank
water in following manner
1.Sutlej 2.Ravi 3.Beas
1. Chenab 2. Jhelum 3. Indus
water belongs to India exclusively.
water belongs to Pakistan.
can make limited use and build run of the river hydro Projects but can’t divert waters
It is said to be the most successful water treaty in the world as it has survived various India-Pakistan wars
Should India (unilaterally) Review Indus Water Treaty
Why in news
Pakistan stoping India to make projects like Kishanganga HEP taking India to International Court of Arbitration on minor grounds
Pakistan sponsoring attacks on India => Blood and Water cant flow together
Yes , India should review
In 1960 , India gave most
genuine deal to lower riparian
state with hope that Pakistan will ensure peace => Pakistan didn’t keep
its end of bargain
Kashmir has been suffering because they cant utilise
three rivers ie Indus , Jhelum and Chenab. Even Kashmir Assembly has
passed Resolution to revoke the Indus Treaty twice
Given the climate change and melting of the glaciers , review of treaty is must .
Other points to keep in mind
It can worsen India’s terror problems => Pakistan use Indian control over water to recruit
terrorists & justify fight for
Kashmir to have control on Indus .
India is lower riparian state in case of many
rivers like Satluj, Brahmaputra etc. China can stop water & India
will not have moral high ground to oppose it
Indus Water Treaty was signed
under guarantee of World Bank. => India needs funds
from World Bank
It will help
Pakistan to Internationalise Kashmir Issue
Legally, abrogating the treaty isn’t workable. There is no clause regarding one party
unilaterally denouncing the treaty. Treaty can be modified only when both the countries
ratify the modifications.
Issue 2 : Kashmir Issue
This is issue of three contesting nationalisms ie Indian,
Pakistani & Kashmir. (Kashmiri people too want to make independent sovereign state of
After Independence (&
division) , Tribals attacked
Kashmir and were able to control some part now known as Pakistani Occupied Kashmir
(PoK). At the same time, ruler of Kashmir signed Instrument of Accession
with India .
JL Nehru under the influence
of Mountbatten took the issue of J&K to UN for dispute resolution . It
was decided in UN that two states would maintain the status quo ie
Pakistani infiltrators which came to Kashmir would withdraw & then
plebiscite would take place . But
for this , they should have withdrawn from PoK . Since they never
withdrew, the issue of plebiscite which at that moment was agreed by India
too doesn’t arise now
Later it became part of Cold
war politics . This issue was
regularly supported by US because Pakistan was part of capitalist block
& India stalled all such move with help of veto power of Russia.
In Shimla Agreement,1972 , it was decided that India & Pakistan would resolve this issue
bilaterally & any third
power wouldn’t be involved.
After big wars , Pakistan came to conclusion that they
cant snatch J&K forcefully from India. Hence, they started proxy war against india &
weaponised & trained militants . This movement became
very powerful in 1990s
In 1990s & 2000s , people
were also alienated from government because of alleged frauds in
Issue 3 : Terrorism
Pre 1990 – Pakistan not ready to speak on anything except Kashmir
Post 1990 – India not ready to have dialogue on anything except Terrorism
Almost all Terror attacks in India originate from Pakistan
2001 : Parliament Attack
2008 : Attack in Mumbai
2016 : Pathankot Airbase Attack
2016 : Uri Attack
2019 : 44 CRPF Men killed in IED attack in Pulwama
Terrorist groups which attack India are active in Pakistan & terrorists are trained on Pakistani soil eg Jaish e Mohammad , Hizb ul Muzahidin etc
Why Pakistan is
using Terrorism as tool
Realisation that Pakistan cant defeat India in conventional war.
Using Nuclear Bluff since world will not let two nuclear powered nations to go on war.
ISI and Pakistan Army’s approach of ‘Bleeding India by Thousand Cuts’
What should be
Isolate Pakistan at international front
Use Financial Action Task
Force (FATF) to blacklist Pakistan
(Pakistan is already in Greylist) => Pakistan’s economy will suffer as
no investment will come
Mossad Way : carry out covert operations inside Pakistan to
kill high-value human targets
Pressurising China to stop giving
unconditional support given to Pakistan
Issue 4 : Siachin Glacier
Siachen glacier :
Largest source of freshwater in Indian sub continent
Source of Nubra river : that feeds mighty Indus
Siachen is near Karakoram pass , forming almost a
triangle with India , China & Pakistani Occupied Kashmir
Line of Control (LOC) in
J&K is as per Shimla Agreement of 1972 but boundary line was specified only till NJ-9842 from where Siachen starts . Both
countries claim Siachin belongs to it.
Matter was Non-Controversial
till 1980s when India found out that Pakistan army was attempting to
capture Siachen . Indian army launched Operation Meghdoot and Indian troops captured it
Now India controls the
Should Siachen be
– India lost around thousand army personnel due to weather related casualties and Rs 7,500 crore was spent on military operations in the last 4 years
– At Siachen glacier, temperatures dip to as low as – 45° C, is world’s highest & toughest battle field.
– Due to global warming, glaciers are becoming very unstable . As a result frequency of Avalanches has increased
– Demilitarization would increase trust and confidence between India and Pakistan.
Siachen is strategically important to India for number of reasons. – Saltoro ridge at Siachen overlooks entire region and provides advantage of height – Control of area prevents Pakistani and Chinese troops from linking up. – Pakistan control over Siachin will make Leh and Kargil vulnerable
Way Forward : India can demilitarise the Siachin Glacier provided
that present situation is recorded and Pakistam assures to maintain status quo
Issue 5 : Sir Creek
Sir Creek is 96 km strip of water that is disputed between India & Pakistan dividing Rann region of Gujarat & Sindh province of Pakistan
lies in the interpretation
of the maritime line
between Pakistan & India
Pakistan lays claim to the
entire creek as perSind Government Resolution of 1914 signed between then
Government of Sindh and Rao Maharaj of Kutch
sticks to its position that the boundary lies mid-channel as depicted in
another map drawn in 1925
India supports its stance by
citing theThalweg doctrine in International law.
involves losing a vast amount of Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) rich
with gas and mineral deposits
Problems arising due to unresolved dispute
Maritime boundry isn’t properly
demarcated => creates confusion for fishermen => their
boats cross boundaries & end up
being arrested by the other side.
Creates security problem
Terrorists are frequently using
this route to enter India
Even 2008 Mumbai Attackers used this route
Cartels (drugs & illegal weapons etc) transact their business in the disputed
waters, so that they are beyond the reach of both Indian and Pakistani
Way forward for resolution
non-delineated area ie Sir Creek and its approaches-as a zone of
disengagement or a jointly administered maritime park.
– Ambedkar studied in Columbia University from 1912-16 . – Roosevelt (US President during World War II) supported Indian independence
– PL-480 started by USA to address food shortage of India after independence – IIT Kanpur established with US help – Green Revolution : Norman Borlaug & Ford Foundation played important role
Cold War Period
– Pakistan was member of US led groups like SEATO. India was non-aligned and ideologically closer to USSR During 1971 war, US dispatched aircraft carrier USS Enterprise to Indian Ocean to help Pakistan in East Pakistan
India experimented Nuclear Explosion – Pokharan 1. This was not
supported by USA
1978 : Nuclear Non
Proliferation Treaty signed & India was not accepted by nuclear
states . India resented NPT & CTBT terming it Nuclear
End of Cold War
Cold war ended with
collapse of USSR & unipolar
world emerged with US being the sole super-power
US stopped Russia many
times to supply needed technology like Cryogenic engine in 1990s
Balance of Payment crisis
due to Persian Gulf war => one lakh workers repatriated and high
price of oil on global spot market prior to war . IMF loan that India got came with
condition of SAP
Plan) consisted of disinvestment
, privatisation , convertibility of currency , reducing tariff &
subsidies in agriculture
US- India Engagement
Nuclear Test (Pokharan 2) was conducted=> US imposed Sanctions on India .
Nuclear issue again became major source of tension 2000:
Clinton’s visit to India &
beginning of new era followed
by Jaswant – Talbot Dialogue
This process culminated in Civil
Nuclear Deal finally signed in 2008 Bush – Manmohan Civil Nuclear
Signed in 2008
agreed for separation of civil & military nuclear programmes
India allowed inspection of civilian programme
US to offer fuel &
Russia & France were
the main beneficiary of this deal
This article deals with ‘India-Sri Lanka Relations.’ This is part of our series on ‘International Relations’ which is important pillar of GS-2 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here
Issues with Sri Lanka
LTTE + Tamil Issue
China influence vs Indian Interests
Issue 1: Tamil Issue
India – Sri Lanka relation has generally been cordial , although there have been some tensions mainly caused because of ethnic conflict between people of Indian Origin – mainly Tamils- living in Sri Lanka & Sinhalese (majority constituting 70% of Lankan population)
What Tamils were doing there
There are two types of Tamils in Sri Lanka
Whose forefathers had gone to Sri Lanka centuries ago
Their population is estimated to be 1million
Concentrated in Jaffna and northern & eastern coast
Whose forefathers were taken by Britishers as plantation workers
Population ~ 1 million
Concentrated in districts of Colombo, Kandy & Trincomalee in traditional tea garden areas
Reason for Sinhalese Anti Tamil feeling
Reason for this is colonial. Tamils were in minority but Britishers favoured Tamils over Sinhalese in all opportunities
When Britishers went back
Sinhalese majority started to capture every property and post fromTamils
Sinhalese Only Act was passed & Tamil lost official language status .
Even took right to vote from them
After that, state backed pogrom of Tamils started in which Tamils were massacred & their houses burnt
Various agreements were signed like
Nehru – Kotelawala Agreement, 1953
Shastri – Sirimavo Agreement, 1964
Indira – Sirimavo Agreement, 1974
These Agreements were to decide the fate of Tamils and give Indian citizenship to some Tamils . But Sri Lanka never implemented them in letter and spirit
1983 : Ethnic Explosion happened and large number of Tamils were massacred .
Autonomous unit consisting of areas where Tamils are concentrated would be constituted
Tamil, Sinhalese & English would be official languages of Sri Lanka
Deployment of Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) to end hostilities between Lankan army & Tamil militants
Agreement was vehemently opposed by both Tamil & Sinhalese extremists
XIII Amendment: Direct outcome of Accord of 1987
Divide entire Sri Lanka into provinces and Federal System to be adopted
Remove Sinhalese Only Language Act and give equal status to Tamil as well
Land should be provincial subject
Police should be under state /province
What was rationale
Federalism to give some power to Tamils
Division of states have been done but rest of provisions arent implemented
Later Supreme Court of Sri Lanka declared this Accord to be unconstitutional saying that Land and Police being Union subject is fundamental feature of Sri Lankan Constitution .
Indian Peace Keeping Force posting in Sri Lanka was utter failure
Crores of ₹ were spend on troops trying to restore order
Hundreds of troops killed in clashes with Tamils
Even ethnic conflict wasn’t brought under control
Operations of IPKF changed ethnic violence into civil war , which Sri Lanka was forced to continue even when Indian forces left in 1990
Led to large number of political killings of both Indian and Sri Lanka top leaders
1991: Death of Rajiv Gandhi
1993: Death of Premdasa who got IPKF removed
2009: End of LTTE
Side Topic – Sri Lanka vs LTTE: Timeline of Events
LTTE started Civil War between Tamil Insurgents and Sinhali Sri Lankan Army
1976 – 2009
Civil War continued
Large scale violence and human rights violations observed
LTTE-Sri Lanka Civil war ends.
More than 1 lakh died in the civil war
What are the immediate and longer-term grievances of the Tamils of the north and east in Sri Lanka? How are these grievances met by the Sri Lankan governments?
Formation of government in Tamil province (which since long was under Military Rule) was with TNA (Tamil National Alliance) coming to power
Replacement of the military governor by a civilian
Rehabilitation process of civil war ravaged province
However some issues that are still in the hanging include:-
Excessive military presence in Jaffna
Passing XIII amendment => Transfer Policing and Land to State List
Justice for human right violation and genocide is yet to happen.
Issue 2: Fishermen Issue
Fishing happening in this region since Sangam period without any issue
Indian fishermen venture into Sri Lankan waters => Fired upon by Lankan Navy or caught
Unscientific Fishing by Indian Fishermen :
Indian fishermen use grill & synthetic nets => Bad for overall ecology || Lankan Fishermen use ordinary nets
Indian fishermen use Trawlers (and not boats) and venture into Lankan waters. These trawlers are the main cause behind overexploitation
Tamil Fishermen still argue that they have sovereign right over Katchathevu Island and go near the island to catch fish. In process, Sri Lankan Navy arrest them .
Trawlers are not fitted with GPS
Argument by scholars => Sri Lankan government wants to aggravate this issue because biggest sympathisers of Sri-Lankan Tamils are Indian Tamils .
Tamil Nadu fishermen are not allowed to venture into coastal waters of Andhra . If Indian fishermen normally observe such territorial limitations , there is no reason why they should not do so with north Lanka
Palk Bay Authority => Fishermen of both side should have dialogue and arrive at solution =>initiative from below
Solving Trawler Issue as Trawlers & Synthetic nets are the main culprit
Government could offer a voluntary buy-back scheme for trawlers + offer a rehabilitation package
Equip Indian boats with GPS
Generate other jobs to end overdependence on Fishing
End Word : Palk Strait has always been a bridge between India and SL since times immemorial leading to exchange of ideas and knowledge . Let it be a bridge and not a barrier between Indian and Sri Lanka
Issue 3 : China Angle in India-Sri Lanka Relations
Sri Lanka is important part of Maritime Silk Road (MSR) and most important pearl in so called Pearl of String Theory
$ 4 billion Chinese investments have happened in Sri Lanka
Port : Hambantota Port developed => wasn’t able to service debt => given on lease for 99 years
China following Debt Trap Diplomacy.
Changing Balance of Power in Indian Ocean=> Impacts India’s position as Net Security Provider in the Indian Ocean Region.
Chinese don’t allow to develop auxiliary industry => cement, steel , labour etc imported from China => no jobs created
Projects turning out to be White Elephants (Hambantota given on 99 year lease)
What India is doing to counter this
India to develop Trincomalee as Petroleum Hub and build infrastructure around it.
India is developing Kankesuthai and Trincomalee as port.
Most important : development of the Eastern Terminal at Colombo port along with Japan
2018 : India to lease and manage the Mattala airport in Hambantota. (emptiest airport of world)
$ 300 million Line of Credit to upgrade SL Railways
Indo – Sri Lanka Nuclear Cooperation Agreement Signed (first such deal signed by SL with any country)
Post LTTE aid of ₹ 5 billion in 2009
India can never match Chinese in terms of Economic Muscle . India should also focus on People to People Contact and also use Buddhism and Buddhist Tourism Circuit to gain goodwill in Sri Lanka.
Issues with Indian Projects in SL
Delay in their completion and implementation.
Many of these projects, like Mattala airport, are not seen as profitable for India.
Indian ventures are seen as reactive to the increasing Chinese influence in the country.
Over-concentration of Indian development funding to Tamil areas
Issue 4: Areas of cooperation
Trade & investment
FTA signed (in 1998) & CEPA on the cards
India = 2nd largest FDI in Srilanka
Ramayana trail in Sri Lanka and
Buddhist circuit in India (Sinhalese = Buddhist).
Rabindranth Tagore Auditorium in Rahana University. Tagore had influenced Sri Lanka’s national anthem – “Sri Lanka Matha” (we salute mother Sri Lanka).
Members of Same Multilateral Forums
Both are members of
South Asian Economic Union
This article dealt with India-Sri Lanka relations. For entire series on International Relations, click on following link
This article deals with ‘Indo-China Relations.’ This is part of our series on ‘International Relations’ which is important pillar of GS-2 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here
Brief History of Indo-China Relations
Indo-China Relations date back to ancient times.
Buddhism traveled from India to China.
Chinese travelers like Fa Hien, Xuanzang etc traveled India
Both were part of Silk Road Trade + Chinese inventions like paper making, sugar making etc came to India
Initial Years in Indo-China relations
Both became independent at same time
India was Non Aligned || China under Mao was Communist
Nehru wanted good relations with China => Due to this reason, when Chinese Army entered Tibet and took it over, India recognised Tibet as part of China and gave up Indian rights over Tibet in 1954 (like Right to station army , control over post & telegraph etc)
India was disappointed at China’s Tibet policy. But, for the sake of friendship and as confidence building measure, they signed Panchsheel
Five principles of Panchsheel were also incorporated in the agreement of 1954
Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity & sovereignty;
Mutual non‐interference in each other’s internal affairs;
Equality and mutual benefit;
Prelude to war
Lhasa Uprising in 1959 & Dalai Lama came to take refuge in India => China took impression that India is trying to support the uprising
Global Situation – Khrushchev came to power in USSR . He was reformist unlike Stalin . Khruschev was not liked by Mao & China started to fear both USA & Russia
War of 1962
Reasons of War
Case of Tibet : Chinese felt that uprising in Tibet was supported by India
China was ambitious country & both India & China wanted to be leaders of Afro-Asian world
Undefined borders between China & India. China refused to accept Macmohan Line & India refused to accept Aksai Chin is part of China .
For Mao , Nehru was bourgeois leader
Impact on Sino – Indian Relations
Freeze in Sino-Indian relations till 1988 . There was permanent hostility
Emergence of alliance between China & Pakistan .
Pushed India to the side of USSR
Massive militarisation & nuclearisation in india
Confrontation in 1986-87
Sumdorung Chu in eastern sector where both armies came in near conflict impacting Indo-China Relations
Rajiv Gandhi Visit in 1988
A new beginning :
Joint communiqué stressed on need to restore friendly relations & work towards a mutually acceptable solution to border dispute.
Another landmark visit
Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s visit brought about marked improvement in the post 1998 n-test freeze in relations.
President Xi Jinping Visits India
Modi’s visit to China
President Xi Jinping Visit to India in BRICS Summit (Goa)
Doklam Issue started
Wuhan Summit : Informal Summit between Modi and Xi Jinping
Modi visit to China to participate in SCO Summit
Issue 1: Territorial Disputes
There are three sectors where boundaries are disputed by India & China
Aksai Chin in J&K : Held by China & demanded by India
Shaksgam Valley : Given by Pakistan to China (from PoK)
Himachal & Uttaranchal Border
Disputed McMahon line .
They demand almost whole of Arunachal Pradesh .
Questions Indian sovereignty over Sikkim
Since boundaries are not clearly demarcated . Hence, lot of incursions take place and impacts Indo-China Relations.
Aksai Chin Issue
Territorial dispute over Aksai Chin can be traced back to the failure of the British Empire to clearly demarcate a legal border between its Indian colony and China.
As two borders between India and China were proposed during the time of the British Raj –
Johnson Line : shows Aksai Chin under Indian control
McDonald Line. places it under Chinese control.
Claims Johnson line is correct
Hence, Aksai Chin is part of J&K
Claims McDonald Line is correct
Hence, Aksai Chin is part of Xinjiang
During war of 1962 , China took control over Aksai Chin.
Note : Main reason for annexing Aksai Chin was to built a road connecting Xinjiang Region and Tibet to strengthen hold over Tibet . Only way to built a motorable road was to pass through Aksai Chin.
Tibet’s political system was based on Buddhist faith. Dalai Lama was also the political chief of country.
Tibet’s political connections with China varied from time to time.
1914 Shimla Agreement :
Inner Tibet under China
Outer Tibet under Dalai Lama
Also demarcated a line between Tibet & North East India known as Macmahon Line
India was given certain rights in Tibet eg free entry in Tibet, right to station troops & maintain communication etc
Issue : China disputed this line as imperial line drawn by Britishers .
Post World War 2 , China refused to accept this line .
Nehru wanted good relations with China => Due to this reason, when Chinese Army entered Tibet and took it over, India recognised Tibet as part of China and gave up Indian rights over Tibet in 1954 (like Right to station army , control over post & telegraph etc)
1959 : Lhasa Uprising => Dalai Lama took refuge in India => relations worsened leading to War of 1962
China’s military build-up and infrastructure development in Tibet
Plans to divert or dam rivers (eg : Zangmu, Dagu etc) that rise in Tibet and flow into India
China’s ‘Gold Rush’: China’s has started mineral mining to extract precious metals, rare earths etc
Geo-engineering Experiments: Recently there are reports of China’s geoengineering experiments to “trigger natural disasters such as floods, droughts and tornadoes to weaken” an enemy in the event of a war.
Issue 2 : India China Economic Issues
China has become India’s largest trading partner with their bilateral trade volume increasing from less than $3 Billion to nearly 84 Billion $. But India has huge trade deficit with China of 51Billion $ which contributes to 25% trade deficit of India with world
Why is India Important to China?
India is extremely important for Chinese growth because it provides China with
Access to a billion plus market for its products
Avenue for investment of surplus Chinese capital.
The depression in the western market
Huge trade deficit of $ 51 Billion
Currency Manipulator => China is keeping Yuan undervalued
Indian Farm sector , agro-processing industry and Pharmaceutical Sector face Non-Tariff barriers from China
Dumping cheap Chinese products => It is adversely effecting Indian MSME.
Excessive Chinese Mobiles => can be used for surveillance
Large Chinese investment in Power Sector (Chinese getting blueprint of Power Grids)
Excessive dependence (upto 80%) on China for Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) (National Security Advisor and NITI Aayog suggestion => Implement Katoch Committee)
5G security issue
How to address
(Foreign Trade Policy 2015) Concentrate on things like buddhist tourism & entertainment sector
Effectively implement Make in India
Increase trade competitiveness of Indian goods
Use Anti Dumping Duties
Promote Chinese investment in Indian manufacturing , SEZ ,NIMZ etc so that Chinese Companies make products in India only
Implement Katoch Committee report (to address API issue)
Issue 3 : String of Pearls and Indo-China Relations
String of Pearls
Theory given by Pentagon
Theory says that China is trying to increase its naval presence in Indian Ocean & counter India by surrounding it . It is developing string of ports around India for this purpose . These pearls include
First oversea military base
Impact on India
Can be used for imposing Embargo on India in case of war (90% Indian Trade pass through Indian Ocean)
Disturb balance of Power heavily in favour of China
Entry of extra territorial power in Indian Ocean
Steps taken by India
Developing Kakesuthai & Triconmale port
Andaman & Nicobar Islands
Can act as iron choke to string of pearls
Most of Chinese oil & trade flows through Malacca => Andaman & Nicobar islands overlook Malacca Strait
Established air naval station in Andaman & Nicobar called Baaz
After opening up of nation, India has stepped up its engagement with Myanmar
Trying to counter it with soft diplomacy
India is developing Chabahar port in Iran
Apart from that, India is trying to contain China too through following ways
Making alliances with Vietnam ( Vietnam too had issues with China in South China sea )
Mongolia is also strategic partner of India now
Making strategic ties with Japan
Malabar practice with US & Japan
Military Modernisation : Agni, Sukhoi, Nuclear submarines , Aircraft Carrier-Vikramaditya are not meant for Pakistan but to fight against powerful nation like China
India building Roads in North Eastern border
Issue 4 : One Belt One Road (OBOR) INITIATIVE
OBOR consists of two (now – three) elements.
Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB)
Eurasian land corridor from Pacific coast to Baltic Sea.
In 2008 => decrease in demand abroad => changed economy to Internal Consumption Led Economy => Now issue of overcapacity in infra sector => want to address this by exporting infra projects
Rising labour costs => Shifting production to underdeveloped western regions
Decreasing dependence on Malacca Strait (80% of Chinese energy and exports pass through it) and addressing the Malacca Dilemma
Using Vast Forex Reserves
China has forex reserves exceeding $ 3 Trillion => put large surplus reserves in building railways, highways, industrial parks along the Silk Road Economic Belt
Diversifying Trade Routes
Excessive dependence on a single route is a strategic vulnerability.
Development of Under-developed areas
China’s economic development and progress has been mostly concentrated in its eastern coastal provinces. OBOR Will provide outlet to its underdeveloped southern and western provinces, to markets and coasts. Development of regions like Xingxian will help in containing Uighur militancy as well.
Should India Join Or Not ?
OBOR hasspecific risks and opportunities
View 1: India should Join
India should join this initiative because of innumerable benefits
Road to Central Asia
enhance India’s connectivity with Central Asia through China
Connectivity to Russia and Eurasia
Connectivity to North East
North Eastern Connectivity to South East and China (BCIM)
Push to tourism in North East
Chinese experts say that India’s participation in the Silk Road project will ease the trade deficit.
Better economic relations improves political relocations and mutual trust.
It will help in balancing Pakistan and China relations
India may also face some difficult choices in the road ahead, because as a co-founder of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and as a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation it will be asked to support many of the projects under the B&RI.
Revival of ‘continentalism’ & old ties
With OBOR & other initiatives, China is making new world economic order. Not being part of it may isolate India from New Economic Order.
View 2: India shouldn’t join
Sovereignty Issues: CPEC (part of OBOR) passes through POK .
It is ‘opaque’ in nature => may be nothing but an economic disguise for the ‘string of pearls’ .
It is detrimental to India’s geopolitical interests in the Indian Ocean Region . It challenges India’s stature of ‘security provider’ in the region .
OBOR promotes Chinese neo-colonialism => Loans are used as debt trap . Eg :
Seen in Hambantota (SL)
Malaysia halted projects
Myanmar also wants the port built by China to scale down
Even in Pakistan , voices are raised against CPEC (termed it as next East India Company)
A stronger China is a strategic risk for India given the fact India has 4078 km of disputed border with China and China claims a large portion of Indian territory (nearly 80,000 sq km).
Relations with USA may get hampered.
Indian Answer to OBOR
India recently proposed the ‘Cotton Route’ to strengthen economic ties between countries in the Indian Ocean rim.
It has also launched Project Mausam and Spice Route apparently in response to China’s Belt and Road initiative.
‘Mausam’ – re-establishment of India’s ancient maritime routes in Indian Ocean.
Spice Route – revival of old links between 31 countries in Asia and Europe with India especially Kerala .
India & Japan come up with Asia Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC) to counter China’s OBOR.
India is developing large number of standalone projects
Chabahar Port project and the International North South Transportation Corridor
Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement (BBIN MVA)
=> Later these can be joined under one OBOR like project => China too used this strategy
Issue 5 : China – Pakistan Axis + CPEC
China & Pakistan describe their friendship as being ‘higher than mountains, deeper than oceans, sweeter than honey’.
Areas of Cooperation between China and Pakistan
NSG Membership: China opposed India’s admission into Nuclear Suppliers Group demanding India’s parity with Pakistan
Infrastructure investment: via China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)
Terrorism: China has been shielding JeM chief, Massod Azhar from being listed as a ‘Global Terrorist’ by UN.
Military cooperation: China’s military cooperation with Pakistan especially after CPEC involves
Bolstering the Pakistani navy => planned acquisition of eight submarines
Feb 2019 : China could sell an aircraft carrier to Pakistan
CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor)
3200 km route consisting of highways, railways and pipelines that will connect Gwadar port to Xinjiang in China.
Importance of CPEC for Pakistan
CPEC investment = $50 Billion
Over 7 lakh direct jobs in Pakistan.
Investment in Power Sector => country is desperately short of power.
Relieve USA pressure
Sovereignty Issues : CPEC passes through the disputed Pakistan Occupied Kashmir
Security Implications in IOR : Chinese access to Gwadar port=> impacts Indian position as net security provider in Indian Ocean
Energy Security of India : Gwadar Port overseas Hormuz Strait and China can blockade Indian oil supplies in case of conflict .
Heavy Infra building in PoK will help in faster mobilisation of Pakistani troops in case of any future war
Potential Benefits which can accrue from CPEC to India
One of the arm of CPEC can be expanded to Indian states of Punjab and J&K without any major infrastructure costs .
India can get overland access to Afghanistan and Central Asia
Issue 6: South China Sea Issue and Indo-China Relations
China’s Aggressive claims in the South China Sea
China claims vast regions of South China Sea , through Nine Dash line theory while
Other nations like Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia etc lay claim on them based on UNCLOS . Eg :
Paracel Island (China vs Vietnam)
Paratas Island etc
Interest of China
Resources , oil being the most important (this region is oil rich region ). (Other = Fisheries)
Controlling South China Sea through which half of the world shipments pass
Proving her hegemony in the area & ousting US influence from neighbourhood
India has taken a neutral stand that countries involved should negotiate and resolve it peacefully
India has also emphasized on freedom of navigation for all countries in South China Sea.
Importance of South China Sea and its littoral states for India
Around 55 % of India’s trade with Asia pacific passes through South China Sea
With presence in South China Sea ,India can put pressure on China to counterbalance China in South Asia & Indian Ocean Region (IOR)
To secure the energy supplies (we ship oil from Sakhalin to Mangalore through this region).
India’s ONGC Videsh Ltd has invested in areas which China is claiming to be disputed (Oil Block 127&128 of Vietnam)
Vietnam is India’s strategic partner.
Issue 7: River Issues in Indo-China Relations
North South Water Diversion Plan
Problem with China = although her southern parts have water , Northern parts have acute water shortage. Ideas are given since long to use Tibetan water resources to meet thirst of north =>this leads to North South Water Diversion plan
Project worth $33 billion
China is constructing mega dam at Great Bend to divert water of Tsangpo
Dams on Brahmaputra
Plan is to built Four Dams – Dagu, Jeixu, Zangmu & Jiacha . China has assured that these are run of river projects and will not divert water .
These dams are part of North South Water Diversion Plan.
Problems which India can face
India and China don’t have any river water sharing agreement
Impact of the projects on the sediment flow : The sediments offer immense ecosystem services for the downstream economies of India’s N-E states, and Bangladesh.
Apprehension of China using water in events of conflict to create flooding downstreams .
Any significant diversion of water could impact hydroelectric projects downstream specially Lower Siang and Upper Siang Project in Arunachal Pradesh
Chinese record on shared waters is not good => virtually stopped Irtysh river from going into Kazakhstan
Way forward : Sign Treaty on the Model of Indus Water Treaty with China
Recent developments to Normalise situation Indo-China Relations
India and China are on the verge of transforming their relationship. In pursuit, they have signed several agreements.
Some of them are :
Post Trumpism : India and China are collaborating on
defending the WTO
promoting a multipolar world
June 2018 : China reduced tariffs on more than 8,500 goods. It has increased tariffs on US Soyabean by 25% providing Indian exporters to enter Chinese market
Wuhan Spirit : peaceful, stable and balanced relations between India and China will be a positive factor for stability amidst current global uncertainties
BRICS & AIIB : Both are members of BRICS grouping & AIIB
SCO : India got full membership of Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
Climate Change : Both are part of Paris Agreement . Most important parties post US withdrawal
People to People Contact : people-to-people exchanges are thriving.