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
1974: 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 Apartheid
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
SAP(Structural Adjustment Plan) consisted of disinvestment , privatisation , convertibility of currency , reducing tariff & subsidies in agriculture
US- India Engagement
1998 : 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 Deal
Signed in 2008
India agreed for separation of civil & military nuclear programmes
India allowed inspection of civilian programme
US to offer fuel & Technology
Russia & France were the main beneficiary of this deal
Reasons behind Change in Relations now
Strategic Reason : US trying to contain hegemonic China endangering US interests in Asia Pacific region . India can prove important ally
Economic Reason : India’s 1.2 billion population = important market for US products .
Issue 1: Indo – US Trade Issues
Trade between India and US is of $ 142 billion (2018)
But Trade Balance is in India’s favour (Although India is working to reduce gap )
What India is doing to reduce Trade Balance
In order to bridge this gap , India has started to buy
Gas and Crude Oil import
But still major irritant : Trump wants India should open it’s markets for American Products and reduce taxes . India is not ready to do this.
Countering American Adversaries through Trade Sanctions
Aims to counter the aggression by Iran, Russia and North Korea – If any country trade with them, US will impose Sanctions .
Problem for India because
Russia = India import defence products like S-400 , Kamov Helicopters and have joint projects like Brahmos with Russia
Irani oil imports impacted
Generalized System of Preference (GSP) Issue
Started in 1974
Provide opportunities to world’s poorest and developing countries to use trade to climb out of the poverty and grow .
GSP of 94 products from India has been removed
India’s export under GSP was more than $5.6 billion.
Impact on India
India’s Current Account Deficit will increase
MSME sector is going to be impacted the most
2019 : Trump ended GSP given to Indian products
India US Solar Dispute
India launched National Solar Mission in 2011 (present target 100 GW)
Government offered financial support of ₹1 Crore / MW if orders are placed with domestic manufacturers .
US complained WTO in 2013 to be violative of TRIMs=> India lost the case in Dec 2017 and agreed to change rules and procedure
Present Issue : India says they have implemented the order but US continues to disagree
Custom hike on Steel and Aluminium
2018 : announced 25% import duty on steel and 10% on aluminium.
Although India’s imports to US account for just 5% and major exporters are China, Japan etc . Hence, they will not impact much in short term
Dairy Industry Issue
US dairy products are banned in India on religious and cultural grounds.
Reason : These dairy products are derived from cows which consume feed containing internal organs , blood meal or tissues of ruminant origin while the cow in India is considered sacred and herbivore.
In 2015, US proposed to label it’s milk with ‘red dot’ (non-veg products)
Harley Davidson Issue
US has demanded duty cuts on bikes imported to India
Feb 2018 : India reduced duty from 75% to 50% but US wants it to be Zero
Multilateral Trade Issues wrt India-US
India vs US Disputes at Dispute Settlement Mechanism under the WTO
poultry and poultry products from the US
countervailing duties on Indian steel products,
Import of solar cells and modules under National Solar Mission,
US’s Renewable Energy Programmes
US measures concerning non-immigrant visas,
India’s export promotion schemes and,
US tariff hike on steel and aluminium products.
IMF & World Bank
These institutions are completely dominated by US
Voting rights of US are highest
India & China raising voice against this => BRICS developed to challenge US dominated financial system
Issue 2 : Defence cooperation
Barack Obama’s term => US recognised India as “Major Defence Partner(only non- NATO member to get this tag)
August 2018 : India was moved to Strategic Trade Authorisation (STA)-1 list . It will give license-free access to almost 90% of dual-use technology to India .
2016 – India US sign LEMOA
Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA)
This will give American aircraft and warships access to Indian military bases for logistical purposes, including refuelling and repair. In turn, India’s military will enjoy similar access to U.S. bases.
(3 agreements that US considers foundation of her defence cooperations –
Logistics Support (LEMOA) signed in 2016
Communication (COMCASA) – signed in Sept 2018 (below)
Basic Exchange & Cooperation Agreement (BECA) – Yet to be signed)
COMCASA – signed Sept 2018
Communication Compatibility & Security Agreement
If India wants to use US Military Encrypted Communication Systems (that eg comes in US airplanes etc) , they have to sign COMCASA first.
Military Support to Pakistan
Earlier, US was supplying military weapons like F-16 jets to Pakistan .
Post Trump and with Pakistan’s increased friendship with China, US is changing posture as well.
US Presence in Indian Ocean
Diego Garcia in Indian Ocean is Military base of US
India don’t like powerful nation on her footsteps .
India want that Indian ocean should be India’s area of Influence
Trilateral Naval Exercise between India, US and Japan (Note : Australia is not part)
India, the United States, Japan and Australia
To secure Indo-Pacific
Boeing C17 Globemaster military transport
C – 130 J Super Hercules
P8-I Poseidon Maritime Patrol
C 130J Super Hercules
June 2017 : India will buy Guardian Drones (naval & unarmed version of Predator UAVs)
M-777 Ultralight Howitzer
US has become 2nd biggest armaments supplier to India
Fight against terror
Main role in listing Jaish-e-Mohammed leader Masood Azhar as an international terrorist by the UN
US helping India to control Pakistani terrorism using FATF
Issue 3: Indian diaspora in USA
3-million-plus strong accounting for about 1% of the total population
Includes a large number of professionals, business entrepreneurs and educationalists with increasing influence in the society.
Satya Nadela : Microsoft Head
Sundar Pichai : Google head
Nikky Hellay : Indian
H1-B Visa Issue
H1- B visa is a nonimmigrant visa given by US to employ skilled workers from other countries for various specialised fields of occupation for a certain period of time.
US issues 85,000 H1-B visas & in that largest people getting H1-B Visa are Indians (70%) followed by China
This is to make Companies to hire US workers and also to give Visas to highly expert workers .
Increase the minimum salary of H1-B visa holder to $1, 30,000 per annum from $60,000.
Prohibit spouses of H-1B visa holders from working in the US.
Give preference to students educated in the US for H-1B visas
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.
This article deals with topic titled ‘Regionalism’.
Note : Note : This is part of our series on Society for UPSC examination. For more articles , click here.
What is Regionalism?
The phenomenon in which people’s political loyalties become more focused on particular region in preference to the nation or other parts of the state of which that region is sub-part is called regionalism
In Indian context, regionalism is rooted in India’s diversity vis-a-vis caste , religion , language , ethnicity etc. When all these factors get geographically concentrated along with the feeling of relative deprivation, it results into Regionalism.
Is Regionalism a threat to National Integration?
The politics of regionalism has two connotations
Positive : This type of Regionalism is not threat to National Integration
Desire for preserving identity based on language, culture, ethnicity
To protect socio-economic interest
For administrative convenience .
Negative : Any demand of regionalism which acts as a threat to nation building efforts is referred as negative form of regionalism . Like Son of Soil policy & demand of secession.
Second form can be seen as threat while first form is not threat per se.
Characteristics of regionalism
Regionalism is conditioned by economic, social, political and cultural disparities.
Regionalism at times is a psychic phenomenon.
Regionalism is built around as an expression of group identity as well as loyalty to the region.
Regionalism supposes the concept of development of one’s own region without taking into consideration the interest of other regions.
Regionalism prohibits people from other regions to be benefited by a particular region.
Types of Regionalism
Demand for Separation : Demand to secede from Indian union and become a sovereign state. Eg : Khalistan , Azad Kashmir , Naga etc
Supra-state regionalism: Group of states are involved. They share common issues & build common identities . Eg Northeastern states for economic development and rivalry between North and South Indian States on language
Inter-state regionalism:Between States . It is issue-specific. Eg : Disputes between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over Kaveri
Intra-state regionalism:Due to lack of equitable sharing of benefits within state. Eg: Coastal region vs western region in Odisha, Jaipur (Amer) vs Jodhpur (Marwar) in Rajasthan
Causes of regionalism in India
Linguistic Reorganisation of States
States divided linguistically => generate sub-national identity
Historical and cultural factors:
History has divided India into two parts – “Aryans” and “Dravidians”.
Different regions have their own local heroes &’people tend to mobilise around them .Eg Shivaji in Maharashtra or Periyer in TN etc
After integration of princely states , people were still loyal to their old territorial units
Economic underdevelopment :Uneven development generates regionalism and separatism. It can manifest in form of demand for Special Category Status or separate state or secession . Eg Bodoland, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Chhatisgarh, Telangana, and so on.
Used by some region based parties. Eg : Shiv Sena => protect Maratha interests
Undue Interference in the affairs of state by central government gives birth to regionalism.
Economic Development – Sometimes development of particular community raises regional aspirations of the community . Eg : After GR, Sikh Jatts of Punjab became economically prosperous and they started to demand separate Punjab from other Hindi speaking regions
Disintegration of Congress Party : After Nehru, central leaders started to impose their mandate on regional leaders. As a result, local leaders moved away to form parties like NCP in MH , Trinamool Congress in WB. They encouraged regionalism
Son of the Soil Movement
“Son of the soil” doctrine argues that state specifically belongs to the main linguistic group inhabiting it , who are the sons of the soil or local residents.
Aka Politics of Nativism.
Why son of the soil?
Rising aspirations of the local middle class
Economy’s failure not to create enough employment opportunity. There remains a competition for jobs
Politicians with vested interests try to consolidate their voting base using this. Eg Shiv Sena in Maharashtra
Note : In some areas like Punjab , Haryana , Delhi etc , son of soil theory is not there but in Maharashtra , Karnataka etc it is present.
Not Present in Punjab, West Bengal, Delhi etc
Son of Soil theory is for Middle class jobs and not for menial jobs
It is not issue of political parties . Eg : Akali Dal is jatt dominated party + Communist Party refused to use anti-migrant sentiments in Calcutta because of its ideological commitment
Symbiotic Relationship : Punjabis and Haryanvis want cheap agricultural labour
In Delhi, culture is purely cosmopolitan
There in Maharashtra
Political parties like Shiv Sena, MNS use this as political tool
Competition between migrants and nativists is for middle class jobs
If national party is weak, the native political parties become more assertive
Impact of Regionalism in India
Most important basis for the formation of identity was language. Hence, it has kept communalism and formation of political identity based on religion in check
Regionalism has helped in promoting democracy in India. Regional parties like Shiv Sena, DMK etc fight to capture power via democracy
Agitate to preserve their culture => helped in preserving the diversity of nation
Regionalism at times transforms into secessionism
Son of Soil Policy impacts Fundamental rights of Citizens like right to life or right to carry out any profession
It can cause great damage to private and public property.
Creates sub national feelings in the people . Naga Nationalism or Punjabi Nationalism vs Indian nationalism
Regionalism, also becomes hurdle in the international diplomacy, . Eg : Tamil Parties impact diplomacy with Srilanka & Trinamool Congress with Bangladesh (like in Teesta Water dispute)
Ways to Combat
Making India truly federal in word and spirit
Doing away with regional imbalances
Not imposing single culture on whole nation . Eg imposing Hindi in whole nation will face backlashes from Non-Hindi speaking states .
Three language formula as suggested by Sarkaria Commission to be strictly implemented
People to People contact + making people aware of other cultures using TV & Radio + Ending the prejudices of Cow Belt against North Easterners & South Indians
Federalism to Combat Regionalism/ Why India didn’t face Regionalism to the extent other multi-lingual/diverse countries face
Other countries with ethnic and linguistic diversities are facing many problems like secessionist movements => they werent able to accommodate regional aspirations
Nepal is facing Madhesi Agitation
Pakistan facing Baluchi & Sindhi movements
Sri Lanka experienced Tamil civil war
Eriteria seceded from Ethiopia
Yugoslavia broke due to various sub nationalisms at play
But India inspite of such a huge diversity of cultures is still united . Reason = Federalism and devolution of power which gives sense of meeting regional aspirations by various groups.
Indian federalism provides democratic ways to meet local aspirations of people
Sovereignty is constitutionally shared. States enjoy significant power . People feel that they are governed by their own people . Cooperative and Competitive Federalism is the new watchword in India.
73rd and 74th Amendment
Regions under 5th and 6th Schedule enjoys certain autonomy
Art 370 & 371 has special provisions helpful in addressing concerns of some states.
Other factors why India hasn’t faced Regionalism
Linguistic reorganization of states
Unlike our neighbours, India recognized early that language is the reason behind regionalism & opted for linguistic reorganization of the states in 1956.And by 1966 all major language speakers have states of their own. This led to regionalism problem getting subdued in India.
Economically most backward regions are politically most powerful.
India has a peculiar situation unlike other countries => UP is one of the most backward state in India but they decide who will make Government at Union => cant complain of Political Apathy & Discrimination
Out of 14 Prime Minister, 9 are from UP.
Economic interdependence between different regions
Wave of globalization => India is becoming homogenous => Regionalism subsumed by Globalisation
This article deals with topic titled ‘Secularism’.
Note : Note : This is part of our series on Society for UPSC examination. For more articles , click here.
Secularism is defined as the principle of separation of state from religious institutions and religious dignitories.
But nature and extent of separation may take different forms depending upon different values it intends to promote.
Religion is private affair of person and state passively respects all religions
Arm length distance is maintained between state and religion.
Laicite / Militant Secularism
In France, due to long battle against religious influence on laws and government, Laicite was introduced.
There is total separation between religion and state (ie religious activities and symbols are banned in public sphere).
French secularism has come under criticism that rather than promoting diversity, freedom of thought and multi-culturism , it is interfering with the basic right to religious self expression
The Indian idea and practice of secularism although was inspired by western ideas yet it is rooted in India’s unique socio-historic circumstances like religious diversity and support for all religions .
Based on this , features of Indian secularism are as follows
Wall of separation between state and religion is porous ie state can intervene in religion to promote progressive voices within every religion . Eg : Abolition of untouchability.
However, religion is strictly prohibited to interfere in state matters hence disallowing mobilisation of electoral support on religious line
Provisions regarding Secularism in India
Articles 25 to 28 => freedom of religion to all.
Articles 14, 16, 44 (Uniform Civil Code) and 51A, by implication prohibit the establishment of a theocratic state.
In the Kesavananda Bharati case the Supreme Court (SC) had declared secularism as a part of the basic structure of the Constitution.
Doctrine of Essential Practices by SC
Section 123(3) of Representation of Peoples Act 1951 prohibits political parties to ask for votes on religious lines
Rev Stanislaus vs State of MP held that forcible conversions is not included in right to propagate religion
Challenges to Secularism
Frequent recourse to revivalist events such as Ghar Wapsi etc. breeds fear amongst the minorities
Incidents of lynching
Communal Riots and Targeted Violence
Religious hate speech, falsification of history and dissemination of wrong information
This article deals with topic titled ‘Communalism.’
Note : This is part of our series on Society for UPSC examination. For more articles , click here.
Definition of Communalism
Allegiance to ones own ethnic/religious group rather than to wider society
Stages of Communalism
Communalism is manifested at three levels
When people belonging to same community believe that they have same secular interest
When people belonging to different communities believe that they have different secular interests
When people believe that they not only have different interests but mutually antagonistc and hostile interests (one community can prosper only at the cost of other community)
Communalism is an ideological tool often used by upper class to mobilise people to achieve their own political goals
6 types of Communalism
Often there is perception in the society that communalism is threat to National Security . But , it is not a threat to national security prima facie. It depends upon type of communalism which is present
When large religious community tries to bring into it’s fold small communities
Eg : Hindu organisation projecting Tribals as Hindus
When religious community makes effort for welfare of the members of that community
Eg : Christian organisations doing welfare work for Christians
When the religious community forbid their members from participating in political affairs
Eg : Bahi Community
When members of the religious communities are made to believe that their interests are mutually antagonist to interests of other religious communities
Eg : Hindu-Muslim community
When based on religious identities , people demand a separate state within the federal framework
Eg : Punjabi Suba
When based on religious identities , people demand secession
Eg : Khalistan
Last three are threat to national integration but first three arent . Hence, we cant say communalism is always threat to national integration.
Characteristics of Communalism
Communalism is an ideological concept.
It is total commitment to a set of beliefs & unwillingness to accept other beliefs
It mostly rests on prejudices.
It close the self and is highly emotional
It causes rivalry and violence among masses.
It is used by the higher class people and elites as an instrument for division and exploitation.
It strikes at the roots of secularism and national integration.
Evolution of Communalism in India
The genesis of communalism in India can be traced back to the British rule
With the emergence of secular education, new educated middle class emerged . But the aspirations of the middle class were not getting satisfied in the absence of adequate economic opportunities. Communal Politics emerged to get largest pie .
Socio-economic classes coincided with religious distinctions. Eg :
Hindu Zamindars vs Muslim peasants in Bengal, Kerala etc
Divide and Rule Policy of Britishers : To counter the growing national movement
However, the overthrow of colonial state was only the necessary condition to fight the menace of communalism but not sufficient condition . There were other forces at play too. Even in post-independence period , Government failed to control communalism.
Causes of Communalism
Failing of Minorities to integrate in Mainstream
Muslims failed to intermix in the national mainstream and insist to sustain separate identity.
Vote Bank Politics
Various religion base parties use Communalism to consolidate their vote banks
Communal way of History writing
British historian like James Mill described ancient period as the Hindu period and medieval period as the Muslim period
If certain religious community is economically weak => feeling of relative deprivation => rise of communalism
Absence of Uniform Code
In absence of Uniform civil code, there is perception that all communities have divergent and contradictory interests.
Hindu groups consider that the Muslims are crusaders , fundamentalists and unpatriotic.
On the other hand, the Muslims believe that they are treated as inferior group in India .
Politics of Appeasement
Political parties try to appease communities for votes. Eg : Shah Bano Case . This promote Communalism
Provocation of Enemy Countries
Eg : Pakistan foster Communal feelings especially in Kashmiri Muslim Youth
Problems in State Machinery to fight Communalism
National human rights commission (NHRC) fights for communal violence related causes . But it’s recommendations are advisory in nature
Various commissions have given suggestions to solve the issue of communal violence. Prominent among them are SACHAR COMMITTEE and RANGANATH MISHRA COMMISSION.
Sachar committee (2010) : set up Equal opportunity commission (EOC)
Ranganath Misra Commission : recommended reservation for minorities
No Special Act dealing with Communal Violence and targetted violence. It was also held in Sajjan Kumar vs State (2018)
Role of police in communal riots is highly controversial. This is further aggravated by large scale concentration of dominant caste in police .
Impact of Communalism
Organisation of Political parties on Communal Basis
Voting on Communal Basis
Large scale riots near elections to polarize votes
Created wide rift among the people
Hampers unity of nation and creates various sub-national feelings
Curbing of Progressive voices . Eg Voices for abolition of Triple Talaq is being opposed
Vandalisation of public property like burning of buses, trains etc
Badly impacts the investors confidence
Ways to eradicate Communalism:
Balanced and job intensive economic development
Equal Opportunities commission should be formed .
Going towards Uniform civil code
Zero Tolerance toward riots .
Avoid communalisation of politics.
Promote Indian ideology of Vasudeva Kutumbakam ie whole world is a family ie universal brotherhood.
This article deals with topic titled ‘Safety of Women at Workplace.’
Note – This article is part of our series on Society for UPSC examination. For more articles, click here.
According to NSSO Data, Women’s workforce participation has decreased to 21% ( one of the lowest in the world ) .
Initiatives taken so far
Vishakha Guidelines by Supreme Court in 1997
Protection of Woman from Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act based on Vishaka Judgement
She Box Portal to enable woman employees to file harassment complaints at workplace
Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, 2012
It defines sexual harassment as laid down by SC in Vishaka case.
It puts the legal responsibility on the employer to provide a safe & conducive environment for the woman worker.
Formation of Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) or, in case of unorganised sector , formation of 5 member Local Complaint Committee under the supervision of District Collector.
Those who donot comply with the Act’s provisions will be fined up to Rs 50,000.
2015 study : 36% of Indian companies have not constituted ICC
Non inclusion of the armed forces and all paramilitary forces within its purview.
If a complaint is found to be “malicious” , she is liable for punishment. This will discourage victims
Limited time period of 90 days to file complaint
Provide security to only women and not men
Punishment for misconduct is as per the service rules of the employer ( if it exists), else as per the rules of the act. The Act is, however, silent on the situation where employers’ service rule contains less stringent punishment provisions.
#MeToo Campaign : Large number of women came forward to share their old experience of harassment at workplace by men in power