Mitras Analysis of News : 23-03-2017

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1.Way to get back on Board(The Hindu)

2. A sea Change (Indian Express)

3. The duty to practise tolerance (The Indian express)

4. Superpower dreams: On how India must respond to a low HDI rank (The Hindu)

 

1.Way to get back on Board (The Hindu)

Synoptic line: It throws light on the issue of one belt one road initiative and issues associated with it.(GS paper II)

Overview

  • China is evolving an ambition plan of One Belt One Road (OBOR) under which China envisages to create an “Asian Century” which will be lead by Asian Countries. Moreover, it will also increase the economic foot print of China.
  • The plan is also expected to provide India a direct access to central Asian markets but due to certain caveats the plan is yet to be materialized.

What is OBOR?

  • The “belt and road” would be serviced by a network of roads, high-speed railways, fiber-optical lines, transcontinental submarine optical cable projects, and satellite information passageways.
  • The “belt and road” have two components—the Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) that would be established along the Eurasian land corridor from the Pacific coast to the Baltic Sea, and the 21st century Maritime Silk Road (MSR).
  • China is hopeful that the mega-trade volumes among the Silk Road economies would touch $ 2.5 trillion over the next 10 years.
  • The “belt and road” run through the continents of Asia, Europe and Africa, connecting the vibrant East Asia economic circle at one end and developed European economic circle at the other.
  • The 21st-Century MSR, in turn is designed to go from China’s coast to Europe through the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean in one route, and from China’s coast through the South China Sea to the South Pacific in the other.
  • On land, the initiative will focus on jointly building a new Eurasian Land Bridge and developing China-Mongolia-Russia, China-Central Asia-West Asia and China-Indochina Peninsula economic corridors.

Present status of OBOR

  • Initially India and China were expected to announce their cooperation in the B&R project (then called OBOR or One Belt, One Road), along with plans for the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) economic corridor and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
  • However, certain factors resulted in souring of relation such as:
  1. China’s announcement of the $46-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that runs through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) raised the huge concerns from Indian side as it is a disputed territory and accepting CPEC would give an indirect acknowledgement to Pakistan’s claim on CPEC.
  2. India’s inclination towards USA with the steps such as announcement of a joint vision with U.S. President for South China Sea irked China.

Need of a rethinking                                                                                

  • Present Geopolitical uncertainties along with a period of hostilities between India China calls for renewed cooperation between two countries.
  • Presidential elections in USA will have implication in India and the most obvious ones are cutbacks on immigrant visas, restrictions on outsourcing, and ‘Select USA’ which will make a dent in the ‘Make in India’ programme, both for manufactured goods and defence purchases.
  • If the U.S. decides not to build on its pivot to Asia, in addition to pulling out of free trade negotiations like Trans-Pacific Partnership, or doesn’t bolster its naval strength in the Indo-Pacific, those spaces will be occupied by China.
  • In the same vein, if the U.S. continues to cut troops in Afghanistan, lowers its interest in the reconciliation process, or pulls away from the larger discussions on Afghanistan’s future, then Russia has proved willing to move into those roles. If this is to be the reality of Asia, then India will have to rethink its own rebalance of the past few years towards the U.S.
  • Here, China may play an important role.
  • A rethink is also required in India’s neighborhood policy as today countries are more concerned in connectivity and trade and are willing to join even other initiative such as OBOR at the cost of ongoing initiatives.

Way ahead

  • China may redesign CPEC on an alternate route i.e. to Afghanistan and not PoK, connecting it to the Silk Route envisaged. This would not only build a bigger arc for the B&R route, it would sidestep India’s concerns over sovereignty, and leave the door open for it to join the project on its eastern frontiers via BCIM or to even just be an observer.
  • Moreover, India should strategically engage with China to present its concern in POK sector along with a desire to get connected to create an ASIAN CENTURY.

 

Question: Success of a nation in 21st century is being guided by the connectivity and Economic clout along with hard power of a state. How India should deal with OBOR issue to facilitate both sovereignty issue and economic benefits.

2.A sea Change (Indian Express)

Synoptic line- it throws light on the proposed changes to Coastal Regulation zone notification 2011.(GS III)

 Overview

  • Government is supposed to bring changes to the Coastal Regulation Zone notification 2011 to allow developmental measures in the coastal areas.
  • However, there are concerns that relaxing the rules might endanger the coastal ecology and particularly the ocean ecology.

What are CRZ

  • Our coastal ecosystems provide protection from natural disasters such as floods and tsunamis to the 250 million people who live in our coastal areas. Coastal waters provide a source of primary livelihood to 7 million households. Our coastline is both a precious natural resource and an important economic asset, and we need a robust progressive framework to regulate our coast.
  • In 1991 the Ministry of Environment and Forests (“MOEF”) issued a notification under Environment Protection Act of 1986, seeking to regulate development activity on India’s coastline. The approach adopted by the first notification was to define the ‘High Tide Line’ (“HTL”) and ‘Coastal Regulation Zone’ (“CRZ”) and thereafter specify the activities permitted and restricted in the vicinity of the CRZ.
  • This regulated zone was further divided into four categories (CRZ I-IV) as per permitted land use.
  1. CRZ-1: these are ecologically sensitive areas these are essential in maintaining ecosystem of the coast. They lie between low and high tide line. Exploration of natural gas and extraction of salt are permitted
  2. CRZ-2: these areas form up to the shore line of the coast. Unauthorised structures are not allowed to construct in this zone.
  3. CRZ-3: rural and urban localities which fall outside the 1 and 2. Only certain activities related to agriculture even some public facilities are allowed in this zone
  4. CRZ-4: this lies in aquatic area up to territorial limits. Fishing and allied activities are permitted in this zone. Solid waste should be let off in this zone.

Recent issue

  • The draft proposes to remove the ban on reclamation of land in coastal areas for commercial or tourism activities even in ecologically-sensitive areas.
  • It has been argued that a strict implementation of the 2011 rules has led to a neglect of development in coastal areas, particularly in Karnataka, Goa and Kerala. The draft tries to open up coastal areas to development activities, but it does so in a manner that invites accusations that it wavers on its fundamental mandate of protecting coastal ecology and securing the livelihoods of people who depend on marine ecosystems.
  • However, the proposed changes do not addresses the ecological concerns of coastal areas.
  • The new rules continue a trend that began in 2015 with a series of amendments to the CRZ 2011. An amendment that year, for example, allowed reclamation of the seabed for constructing roads.

Importance of Coastal landscapes

  • Sand dunes, for example, are natural bulwarks against strong sea winds and high waters. Mangroves, the tiny forests along the coastlines, cushion the impact of tidal waves. Flattening them in order to construct tourism infrastructure compromises the coast’s resilience to natural calamities.

Way ahead

  • India has a long coastline of 7516 km, ranging from Gujarat to West Bengal, and two island archipelagos (Andaman Island and Lakshadweep). Our marine ecosystems are a treasure trove of biodiversity, which we are only beginning to discover and catalogue. Thus, a judicious set of rules are essential. Hence, huge brain storming should be considered before finalizing any regime.

Question: Coastal areas along with providing huge resources also caters as a natural shield against natural disasters. How the proposed changes in CRZ 2011 notification endangers the coastal ecology?

 

3.The duty to practise tolerance (The Indian express)

 Synoptic line: It throws light on the issue that how fundamental rights and duties goes hand on hand and with rising societal coherence need of duty to practice tolerance.(GS paper II)

  • “I learned from my illiterate but wise mother that all rights to be deserved and preserved come from duty well done”- Gandhi Ji
  • “For every right that you cherish you have a duty which you must fulfill.”- Walter Lippmann, the philosopher-journalist
  • “Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible”.-Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948

Overview

  • Intolerance is the act of refusal to accept, appreciate and respect any practices, beliefs, or opinions of the people of another group, religion, cast or custom.
  • With alarming rise of intolerance in society, for the protection of expression of thoughts and ideas, there is needed to mention the duty to practice tolerance.
  • To get offended by someone’s personal thought and legal prosecution against the person is fascist trend which is needed to be curbed swiftly and stringently otherwise it will undermine our democracy.

Need for tolerance-

  • The best antidote to intolerance is the practice of tolerance. We must develop the capacity for tolerance by fostering an environment of tolerance, a culture of tolerance. Stereotypes and prejudices must be eschewed.
  • India from genesis is known for its multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-dimensional society, to maintain its genesis tolerance must be preserved. Tolerance is an integral quality to the people of different groups related to one another in a respectful and understanding manner. It helps the people of different groups to resolve their differences.

Measures needed to inculcate tolerance-

  • The most important role is played by press and media. With country moving towards digitalisation social media plays an important role in shaping our views. It should preach the message that no group or body has the monopoly of truth and morality and we must respect the point of view of the “other minded”. The press must unequivocally condemn instances of intolerance, without fear of consequences.
  • Our education system needs to inculcate the virtue of tolerance in students at all levels.
  • Politics surely has an indispensable role to play. If politics promotes intolerance, then it increase exponentially and eventually it will lead to chaos and break-down constitutional machinery. So political institution should preach the idea of tolerance in society.

Way ahead

  • In its celebrated judgment in S. Rangarajan vs. P. Jagjivan Ram, our Supreme Court emphasized that, “freedom of expression which is legitimate and constitutionally protected, cannot be held to ransom by an intolerant group of people. We must practice tolerance to the views of others. Intolerance is as much dangerous to democracy as to the person himself.
  • We should practice tolerance and ensure that intolerance with its inevitable corollary of violence, does not subvert our democratic values and disfigure our way of life
  • To strengthen and enrich our pluralist democracy, there is need for a salutary change in our society to ensure peace and harmony.

Question: Religious tolerance is a hallmark of secular and progressive society. Comment

 

4.Superpower dreams: On how India must respond to a low HDI rank (The Hindu)

Synoptic line: it throws light on the issue that with low performance in HDI ranking India needs to respond it with fittest way possible.  (GS III) 

Overview

  • According to Human Development Report (HDR) 2016-India slipped down one place from 130 to 131 among the 188 countries ranked in terms of human development. Among SAARC’s nations, it’s third behind Srilanka, Maldives. India’s rank of 131 puts it in the “medium human development” bracket, which also includes nations like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Pakistan, Kenya, Myanmar and Nepal.
  • The world’s top three countries in HDI are Norway, Australia and Switzerland.

What is HDI?

  • The Human Development Index or HDI is a measure for assessing progress in three basic dimensions of human development- a long and healthy life, access to knowledge, and access to a decent standard of living.
  • HDI is being released by United Nation Development Programme (UNDP).

Findings of the report-

  • It lauded measures like the National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme taken in India to generate employment.
  • According to report there has been progress in raising awareness about issues affecting women’s empowerment, such as public safety, acid attacks, discrimination in inheritance rights and lack of equal employment opportunity.
  • The percentage of women in the workforce is the lowest in India among the BRICS countries, and the national record on the population that lives in severe multidimensional poverty is also the worst in the bloc.
  • The report noted that increasing clean energy investments in India by 1.5 per cent of GDP a year for 20 years will generate a net increase of about 10 million jobs annually in the country, after factoring in job losses from retrenchments in the fossil fuel industries.

Way ahead

  • A central focus on social indicators is necessary for India to break free from its position as an underachiever. The rise in revenues from all sources should go towards making public education of high standards accessible to all and delivering on the promised higher budgetary outlay for health care.
  • With the growing realization that development is a multidimensional achievement, the gains of economic reforms must help build capabilities and improve the health of all sections. This effort will further help us to improve India’s picture in world’s front.
  • There is need to craft policies for sustaining and improving the quality of life to handle major emerging challenges such as urbanization, the housing deficit, access to power, water, education and health care. 

Question- India is fastest emerging economy in the world. With India’s stable fiscal position there are prospect for developments in every area but recent HDI ranking released by UNDP as shown slipping position of India. What are the factors responsible for low HDI ranking? Also mention government measures need to overcome India’s picture in the world.

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