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CURRENT AFFAIRS

International Affairs

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Notes

Contents

Foreign Policy- New Trends

Soft Power

Central Asia

West Asia

Mongolia and India Relations

North Korea & India Relations

Indo-Japan Relations

Oceania

USA - Cuba Re-approachment

Indian Ocean

Refugee Crisis

Diplomatic Immunity: Issues related to it

South Korea & India Relations

Defence Diplomacy

Russia - (Decline in Indo-Russia Relations)

Indo - USA Nuclear Deal

CLND Act, 2010 - (Civil Liability for Nuclear Damages)

Pivot To Asia

New Constitution of Nepal

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Notes

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Foreign Policy- New Trends

Notes

A. Bringing Religion into Foreign Policy : Importance and Challenges


1.

One of the distinguishing features of Prime Minister Narendra Modis


diplomacy has been his effort to rebuild the long-neglected Buddhist bridge
to the world.

2.

Recently Modi addressed A Global Hindu-Buddhist Initiative on Conflict


Avoidance and Environment Consciousness in the capital in partnership
with the Tokyo Foundation and the International Buddhist Confederation.

3.

From a seeming personal fad of the PM, Buddhism has begun to acquire
an unprecedented weight in Indias Asian policy. In his address to the
parliament of Mongolia in June this year, Modi went beyond the notion
of promoting Indias soft power to highlight the importance of Buddhism
in dealing with the contemporary political challenges before Asia and the
world.

4.

a.

For one, he insisted that the spiritual values of Buddhism are deeply
connected to the principles of democracy. If we follow the right
path of the master, it will also be natural to walk on the path of
democratic values. The convergence of Buddhism and democracy
provides us a path to build an Asia of peace and cooperation, harmony
and equality.

b.

Modi also argued that Buddhism is a call for each of us, as individuals
and as nations, to assume the universal responsibility to mankind and
our planet. That Modi was not being quirky in injecting religion into
the messy debate on climate change was confirmed by none other
than Pope Francis, who released the encyclical on climate change a
few days later, insisting on our collective moral responsibility to pass
on a clean planet to the next generations.

c.

He is quite in tune with an emerging international trend. Many leading


powers are getting their foreign offices to be more attentive to religious
issues. While many secular states have traditionally seen religion as
a source of international conflict, some are beginning to argue that
it might, under certain conditions, be a force for some good. The
avowedly godless Chinese Communist Party now deploys Buddhism
as a major diplomatic tool to win friends and influence religious
communities across the world. The deeply secular West European
states are acknowledging the resurgence of religion as a major factor
in world politics, especially on their doorstep in the Middle East, and
are finding ways to cope with it. Although the professional US
diplomatic corps has no religious bias, Americas political leaders
have long seen the nation as the chosen one and its foreign policy
as gods work. More recently, Washington has begun to strengthen
the institutional capacity of the United States government to deal
with matters of faith. The US Department of State now has an
Office of Religion and Global Affairs that advises the secretary of
state on policy issues relating to faith and helps the US government
agencies engage religious communities around the world.

In Delhi, there is bound to be some unease at Modis attempt to bring


religion into the conduct of Indian foreign policy.

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5.

a.

After all, independent India has consciously kept its diplomacy apart
from religion all these decades.

b.

Even when India talked of shared culture and deep civilisational


links with its Asian friends, Delhi was quite careful to edit religion
out of it. In being unafraid of bringing faith into foreign policy, Modi
may be treading new ground in India.

While Modi must bring Indian foreign policy in line with this trend, he
must also guard against the real dangers of faith-based diplomacy.
a.

Delhi must recognise that putting religion into statecraft does not
mean privileging one faith over another. If Buddhism has the potential
to reinforce Indias engagement with many East Asian countries, a
similar outreach on Islam might boost Indias ties with the Muslim
world. As the power of Christian groups rises across the world, Delhi
also has a good reason to engage them.

b.

India must also avoid creating any impression that its new interest in
Buddhism is directed against any particular country. Even more
important, Delhi must be acutely conscious of being drawn into
religious quarrels of others or allowing external intervention in its
own multiple contentions on faith.

c.

A purposeful engagement with key religious communities around the


world could certainly lend new effectiveness to Indias international
relations, but only when it is handled with great political care and
diplomatic competence.

B.

Federalization of Foreign Policy

1.

Present scenario Federalization of foreign policy is happening here

2.

a.

From Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaas aggressive lobbying


on Sri Lanka, to the multitude of voices on Bangladesh that have
emerged from Assam and Tripura on Bangladesh, to Punjab and
Jammu andKashmirs engagements with Pakistan states are
demanding a direct say in how foreign policy is made and conducted.

b.

In June 2015, West Bengal CM accompanied PM on his tour to


Bangladesh.This was a decisive turn in Indian diplomacy as for the
first time, perhaps, the leader of a state and one ruled by an
opposition party has been acknowledged to have a place in the
making and execution of foreign policy.

Dangers of it It doesnt take a lot to see the perils that could lie ahead.
a.

CMs have a record of putting chauvinist concerns ahead of strategic


imperatives, something that has increasingly complicated Indias
dealings with Sri Lanka.

b.

Then, the interests of states in dealings with foreign countries might


not always converge, which could render decision-making fraught.

c.

Issues of national security might, conceivably, conflict with state


interests in trade.

d.

And worse, states could blackmail the Centre on foreign policy


decisions, demanding concessions in return for their consent.

Notes

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3.

4.

For all these dangers, though, the federalisation of foreign policy is


inevitable, even desirable.
a.

Though New Delhi cannot afford to give regional leaders a veto over
the conduct of foreign policy, it has to take on board the fact that
many states now have economic and diasporic relationships across
the world.

b.

Foreign missions in New Delhi are devoting growing resources to


cultivating relationships with state-level leaders, recognising that they
not the Centralgovernment are key to making and delivering
deals.

c.

Also the present government is not comfortably placed in Rajya


Sabha, thus it has make ego-assuaging concessions to CMs belonging
to opposition parties.

Notes

Concluding Remark
a.

For Indias foreign policy establishment, learning to listen to regional


leaders will be a new, and sometimes painful, experience. But the
process cannot be deferred.

Soft Power
What is Power and Hard Power?
1.

Power is the ability to achieve ones purposes or goals and at the most
general level, it is the capacity to influence the behaviour of others to get
the outcomes one wants.

2.

There are several ways of influencing the behaviour of others. To achieve


the desired outcomes, one can coerce with threats, induce with payments
this has been the traditional concept of power (hard power) in international
politics. This concept of hard power is often associated with the possession
of certain resources like population, territory, natural resources, economic
strength, military force and political stability.

What is Soft Power?


1.

A new form of powersoft power has become increasingly discussed


in the post-Cold War era.

2.

The idea of soft power was formally coined byJoseph Nye, a Harvard
political scientist in his book, Bound to Lead: The Changing Nature of
American Power. The term was coined in the context of an aggressive
defence strategy pursued by the US. Nye argued, especially as in the case
of Vietnam where the US military was unable to hold its own, leave alone
winning the hearts and minds of people, for employing non-military methods
to further the US cause. (Now USA has started engaging with Vietnam (in
a bid to counter Chinas influence).

3.

According to him, soft poweris theability of acountry to persuade


othersto do what it wants without resorting to force or coercion.

4.

How is it different from hard power?


a.

Hard and soft power can be regarded as two extremities on a


continuum of power.

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5.

6.

b.

They involve different ideas, interactions and institutions for foreign


policy whether in the areas of security, politics or economics.

c.

Ideally, hard power strategies focus on military intervention, coercive


diplomacy, and economic sanctions in order to enforce national
interests resulting in confrontational policies vis--vis neighbouring
countries.

d.

While soft power strategies stress on common political values,


peaceful means for conflict management, and economic co-operation
in order to achieve common solutions.

Source of soft power Soft power, lies in acountrys attractivenessand


comes fromthree resources:
a.

Its culture (in places where it is attractive to others),

b.

Its political values (when it lives up to them at home and abroad),


and

c.

Its foreign policies (when they are seen as legitimate and having
moral authority).

Power is becoming less fungible, less coercive and less concrete today. Cooptive behavioural power and soft power resources are not new. However,
recent trends and changes in political issues have made them more
significant.

Importance of Soft Power & Limitations of Hard Power


1.

Though slower to yield results, soft power is a less expensive means than
military force or economic inducements to get others to do what we want.

2.

Neither possible, nor desirable to achieve the goal of foreign policy using
hard power.

3.

Soft powers importance has increased in the context of globalisation and


the growing disquiet over the use of military power for achieving foreign
policy objectives.

4.

Though soft power cannot produce results as fast as hard power, its effects
are more long-lasting and it is less expensive than hard power.

5.

The importance of soft power is due to its ability to influence others


unintrusively and unconsciously. It is thus an indirect way to get what you
want and hence has been termed the second face of power.

6.

India cannot compete with leaders like USA and China

a.

Not coincidentally, Indias public diplomacy over the last 5 years has
sought to promote its soft power credentials in a battle for influence
with China in Asia and around the world.

b.

A concrete example of this new soft power rivalry is visible in


Africa today. Since India cannot match Chinas massive financial
investments in Africa, it has been concentrating on soft power
resources such as its information technology capabilities and its
affordable university courses to attract African students.

Notes

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c.

7.

At the same time it has promoted its image of the country which
inspired the anti-colonial struggles of the last century and took a
strong principled stand against apartheid to develop future partnerships
in Africa. As a result, by publicising the pluralist nature of its politics
and society, India intends to prove it is a cooperating, stabilising and
exemplary rising power, in contrast to Chinas more aggressive, if not
neo-colonial model.

Notes

Supporting Examples
a.

Reapproachment of USA with Vietnam and Cuba where hard power


failed;

b.

Another example is the Unites States increased funding and emphasis


to public diplomacy post 9/11 and the Iraq War because its unilateral
use of hard power in Iraq and Afghanistan has led to the growth of
anti-Americanism in many parts of the world and decreased its soft
power significantly.

8.

Todays major powers are not as able to use their traditional power resources
to achieve their purposes as in the past. Private actors and small states
have become more powerful on many issues. At least five trends have
contributed to this diffusion of power: economic interdependence,
transnational actors, rise of nationalism in weak states, the spread of
technology and changing political issues.

9.

The importance of soft power in the contemporary world can be seen if


we look at why China pulled out all stops to hold a successful Olympics.
The success of the Beijing Olympics has helped increase Chinas soft
power around the world with the associated benefits.

SOURCES of Indias Soft Power Indias Soft Power Potential


India has always been a country with tremendous soft poweras can be seen
from the fact that unlike the rise of China, its rise is not being viewed with
trepidation and alarm in many countries. The various sources of soft power
Culture

1.

Culture is the most important source of soft power. India


is at a very advantageous position as far as culture is
concerned and has historically enjoyed much soft power.

2.

Alternative to western values a.

Indian culture (based on spiritualism) offers one of


the most dynamic alternatives to Western cultural
values (i.e. materialism).

b.

India's spirituality is much needed in these days of


conflict and strife. India's tolerance for different
religions and cultures is legendary. This is the land
which has preached 'Vasudhaiva Kudumbakam' (the
world is my family) and Loka Samastha Sukhino
Bhavanthu (let there be peace in the whole world)
after all. India's message of secularism which actually
means different religions co-existing in harmony with
each other, rather than the Western concept of

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separation of religion and the State is a valuable lesson


in these days when there is so much strife in the name
of religion.
3.

4.

Long civilizational links a.

India has had a long history of civilizational and cultural


links with countries as far-flung as Iran, Rome and
South East Asia. Its riches and splendour have attracted
traders and travellers for thousands of years.

b.

Countries in Southeast Asia still have remnants of


Indian traditions: the Angor Vat temple in Cambodia,
temples and pagodas in Thailand, Myanmar as well as
the presence of several Sanskrit words in languages
like Bahasha Indonesia prove the influence of Indian
culture on these countries. India, as the land where
the Buddha preached, has positive connotations for
Buddhists all over the world.

c.

Buddhism spread from India to China and other


countries through Buddhist monks and scholars came
to India to study at its universities leading to a healthy
exchange of ideas right from ancient times the
influence of which is apparent throughout Asia even
today.

d.

Islamic preachers from India are believed to have


spread the religious and cultural values of Islam in
Singapore and Malaysia.

Non Violence a.

5.

6.

Indian Diaspora a.

India's diaspora is a huge soft power asset. There are


millions of Indian diaspora spread across countries.

b.

This diaspora (comprising of blue color labor as well


as white collar professional elite to political elites) have
contributed immensely to the countries they have
settled in and command influence and respect in these
countries.

c.

In fact, the Indo-American community in the US has


been found to be the most educated immigrant
community in the US. The recent upturn in Indo-US
relations has a lot to do with the lobbying, influence
and reputation of the Indo-American community.

Yoga a.

Also, as one of the few places in the world where


Jews were welcomed and not persecuted, India enjoys
much soft power in Israel.

One of India's most successful and enduring importsyoga-is practised all over the world both as a form of
exercise and as a stress-buster by millions of people.

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Yoga is already a global phenomenon and is rapidly


becoming part of mainstream culture, particularly in
the West.
7.

Cuisine a.

8.

9.

Notes

Indian cuisine with its subtle use of spices and herbs


grown across the Indian subcontinent is also becoming
popular in the West, particularly in the United
Kingdom (UK) which is home to a large Indian
diaspora. Indian food has also gained popularity in
other Western countries and there are many Indian
restaurants in the larger cities of the US and Canada.

Music and Movies


a.

Elements of popular Indian culture like music and


movies have a wide following in many countries. The
power of music can bridge borders and bring people
closer.

b.

Indian music and movies have a large international


market and have become increasingly popular abroad,
particularly in Asia, Europe, Africa and West Asia.

c.

Even in countries like Russia, Syria and Senegal,


Indian films, particularly Hindi Bollywood, which is
the most important movie industry after Hollywood)
movies, have a following. Indian movies are popular
and watched not only in South Asian countries like
Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Sri
Lanka due to their close proximity with India and due
to certain similar cultural outlooks present in the
movies but also in Europe, Africa and the Middle
East. Wax statues of several actors from the Indian
film industry at Madame Tussaud's in London bear
testimony to the influence of Indian cinema and India's
soft power.

d.

When Indian movies are screened at International Film


Festivals like Cannes, then our soft power is built.

The success of Indian companies like Infosys Technologies


and Wipro Technologies in the Information Technology
(IT) sector; success of other multinational companies like
the Tata Group and Reliance Group; and the worldwide
recognition of the academic excellence of the Indian
Institute of Management (IIMs) and Indian Institute of
Technology (IITs)-the centres of excellence for higher
training, research and development in science, engineering
and technology in India-have contributed to the new image
of India as a country with English educated, enterprising
people. In the US, for example, the stereotypical Indian is
no longer a starving peasant, but a highly professional IT
specialist.

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Political Values 1. Democracy

2.

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a.

India is the world's largest democracy. India has never


had a military dictatorship.

b.

India has had free and fair elections since


independence.

c.

India's democracy has allowed traditionally


marginalized sections of society like Scheduled
Castes, Scheduled Tribes and women to participate in
governance.

d.

In fact, Bhutan's and Nepal's recent shift towards


democracy was encouraged by its neighbor India's
example of a thriving democracy.

e.

Free Media - The presence of a free press in which all


shades of opinion are allowed to be expressed also
contributes to India's soft power.

f.

Civil society - India has a thriving civil society which


has never shied away from trying to solve social ills.

g.

Judiciary -unlike most Asian countries, also has a


fiercely independent judiciary which has often played
an activist role in taking up many issues important to
the public, but neglected by the government.

h.

As the world's largest democracy, with a vibrant free


press, India has important soft power advantages over
the other rising power in the region, China. Because
of India's democratic experience, its rise (unlike China)
has been perceived as complementing rather than
challenging the existing Asian and international orders.

Nuclear a.

The U.S., with its Indo-U.S. nuclear deal, accorded


India special treatment in nuclear cooperation. The
deal provided benefits usually reserved for NonProliferation Treaty (NPT) signatories. Washington
justified cooperation with India by highlighting Delhi's
impeccable non-proliferation record. This stance was
replicated by other states, including the Nuclear
Suppliers Group (NSG) member states who allowed
India's participation in international nuclear commerce
and supported the Indo-U.S. deal. Today, India is the
only known nuclear weapons state that is not part of
the NPT but is still permitted to engage in nuclear
commerce globally.

b.

Despite having tested weapons in 1974 and 1998 and


being a non-signatory to the NPT and Comprehensive
Test Ban Treaty, India has been one of the most vocal
advocates for global disarmament. It has arguably been
the most passionate anti-nuclear campaigner amongst
the world's nine known or suspected nuclear weapons

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states, with one of the world's most notable pleas for


global disarmament made by Prime Minister Rajiv
Gandhi at the U.N. in 1988. Delhi sought to avoid
labels of hypocrisy by positioning itself as the
"reluctant nuclear power."
Foreign
Policies

1.

Joseph Nye says that a country's foreign policy can increase


its soft power if its foreign policy is perceived by other
countries and people to be 'legitimate, non-aversial and having
moral authority'.

2.

India's foreign policy has been based on moral values from


the time of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who remains
a tremendous influence on Indian foreign policy even today.

3.

Moreover, even before independence, leaders of the Indian


National Congress supported the freedom struggles of people
under colonial rule in Asia and Africa. This support, both
political and material, continued even after independence.

4.

India also strongly decried Apartheid and racial


discrimination at international fora.

5.

Its refusal to join either bloc during the Cold War and sending
a medical contingent rather than armed combatants to the
United Nations (UN) force in Korea in 1950 also enhanced
its standing in the world community, particularly the
countries of the Third World.

6.

His is proved by India's getting the chairmanship of the


Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission (NNRC) set up
in 1953 after the Korean War and India's mediatory role in
bringing about the Indo-China Peace Agreement after the
French were defeated by the Vietnamese.

7.

Nehru commanded respect in the newly-independent


countries of the world as leader of the Non Aligned
Movement (NAM). Nehru was determined to "forge a world
order that eschewed, or at least hobbled, the use of force
in international politics".29 India even supported China's
claim for a permanent seat on the United Nations (UN)
Security Council. Thus, till the 1962 Sino-Indian war at
least, India's soft power especially among Third World
countries was tremendous and India was the rallying point
for many of these countries.

8.

Non-aggression - Despite possessing one of the world's


largest armies and its location in a hostile and troubled
neighbourhood, India has not threaten another country; we
have not launched a war. The five wars that it has been
engaged in have been in reaction to aggression from Pakistan
and China.

9.

Unlike the US, it has never sought to perpetuate its


hegemony, either in the neighbourhood or elsewhere in the
world.

Notes

10. India don't interfere in others internal matters.

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11. Instead we help them to restructure e.g. in Sri lanka and


Afghanistan. We see Indian personnel working closely in
the rehab of war-torn countries such as Afghanistan and
Iraq to rebuild or create new infrastructure-often at
considerable personal risk to themselves.
12. As compared to china's economic penetration which is seen
as a threat to the local economy, India's investment is
welcomed and is seen as beneficial
13. After the 1990s, India has tried to play down its 'big brother'
image in South Asia by taking initiatives to resolve disputes
with its neighbours and scrupulously avoiding interference
in the internal affairs of its neighbours. One example of
this is the 'Gujral doctrine' which introduced the principle
of non-reciprocity, emphasising that India not only had a
bigger responsibility, but should give more to the smaller
neighbours than she would receive.
14. With globalization and liberalization of the economy, as
countries became more interdependent, any country could
not afford to antagonise other countries by stressing on its
hard power capabilities.
15. India's participation in UN peacekeeping operations can be
interpreted as an attempt to increase its soft power in
countries around the world.
16. Even the Indian Army has also attempted to use soft power
in militancy-affected states like Jammu & Kashmir to win
the 'hearts and minds' of people in places where there is
insurgency. 'Operation Sadhbhavana' in Jammu and Kashmir
and other operations in which the Indian army has built
infrastructure, refugee camps and given medical aid to people
in militancy-infested regions are good examples for this.
17. The best example of India's successful use of soft power
can be seen in its relations with Afghanistan helping it steal
a march over its traditional rival, Pakistan in the hearts of
the common Afghans. Since the fall of the Taliban, India
has focussed on the reconstruction of Afghanistan through
aid for building infrastructure like dams and roads and
providing scholarships for Afghan students. Indian television
operas and Hindi movies have become the primary source
of entertainment for Afghans, particularly those in cities
and towns.
18. Our neighbors do not see India as a threat in the way that
many of Russia or China's neighbors view those powers.
19. When it came to humanitarian intervention, over the last
25 years India's opposition or support was directly related
to the level of intrastate violence entailed in intervening.
This was true regardless of who was intervening in whom,
for what reason, and whether there were strategic gains in
it for Delhi. This included interventions in Iraq, Libya and
Syria. India's opposition to intervention was compounded
by its pluralistic worldview, with acceptance of all regime
types.

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Notes

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Steps Taken to Realize this Potential


1.

It is only over the past decade or so that India has begun to play its soft
power cards more systematically.

2.

Besides setting up apublic diplomacy division within the Ministry of


External Affairs in 2006 and expanding the Indian Council for Cultural
Relations (ICCR) worldwide, it has roped in theMinistry of Tourism,
which is behind the Incredible India campaign, and the Ministry for
Overseas Indians to showcase its social, political, and cultural assets
abroad,

3.

These government actors are working to leverage Indias soft power by


using it to support larger foreign policy initiatives such as the Look East
Policy (now Act East), the Connect Central Asia policy, and developing
strategic aid and trade partnerships in Africa, he said, adding that in each
of these initiatives, official diplomacy has been buttressed by cultural
exchange and efforts at increasing public knowledge and appreciation of
India in foreign countries.

4.

Opening learning of Sanskrit institutes.

5.

Indias continued soft power in the AsiaPacific can be seen in the proposal
by India to revive the once world famous Nalanda University in partnership
with China, Japan, South Korea and Singapore. This initiative is an example
of the convergence of the soft power agendas of five different countries.

6.

India has Creating a Public Diplomacy Division in Indias Ministry of


External Affairs in 2006. This new institutions main objective has been
to intensify the dialogue on foreign policy issues with all segments of the
society at home and abroad. However, it is a fairly new and small
department and its ability to formulate and implement policies remains
to be seen.

7.

The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) has set up 22 cultural
centres in 19 countries whose activities ranging from film festivals to
book fairs and art exhibitions, aim to present an image of India as a plural
multicultural society.

8.

The Indian government has also encouraged the use of Hindi abroad by
organising an annual and rotating World Hindi Conference and by offering
Hindi classes in its different centres.

9.

India has also begun to emphasise its democratic process. In 2005, India
joined the UN Democracy Fund and contributed $25 million to it, making
it the second biggest donor after the US ($38 million). Indias activities
mainly include electoral assistance and programs to strengthen the rule of
law and to fight corruption.

Notes

10. In Afghanistan, India has deliberately refused to send any military mission
and instead pursued a soft power strategy to gain Afghan goodwill by
delivering $1.3 billion in economic and logistical assistance. Since 2001,
India has concentrated on the reconstruction of Afghanistan through aid
for building infrastructure like dams and roads and providing scholarships
for Afghan students. Ordinary Afghans seem to have appreciated Indias
soft involvement in their country and majority of them have a favourable
image of India.

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11. Also write about steps taken at bilateral level in general especially economic
assistance to each country.
12. India has also progressively tried to include its diaspora into its foreign
policy strategies.
Recent Steps Taken by NDA Government
1.

Religion
a.

Religion especially Buddhism is a key components of Modis mission


in shaping the future of the subcontinent and Asia. On the occasion
of Buddha Purnima, Modi said, Without Buddha, the 21st century
will not be Asias century.

b.

During his travels over the last year, Modi has put shared religious
heritage with neighbours at the centre of his regional engagement,
whether it was
i.

Offering prayers to Lord Pashupatinath in Kathmandu, Nepal;

ii.

Meditating at a Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan; or

iii. Visiting the Sri Maha Bodhi tree in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.
In sri lanka he also met the Mahanayakas. Engaging with
Mahanayakas was important as they wield political influence
over the Buddhists in Sri Lanka.
c.

Religious tourism infra Modi has talked about the possibilities of


restoring historic Buddhist sites in the subcontinent and promoting
tourism by integrating them across borders through modern
transportation facilities.

d.

In march 2015, An Indian government-supported NGO organised a


rare dialogue on vinaya between high-ranking monks of the Theravada
tradition in Sri Lanka and the Nalanda tradition in New Delhi in
march 2015 a dialogue at this level between the two traditions
was last held in the 7th century AD.

e.

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During budget 2015, 100 crore provided for National Mission


on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and SpiritualAugmentation Drive
(PRASAD). It was also announced that Sarnath-Gaya-Varanasi
Buddhist circuit to be developed with world class tourist
amenities to attract tourists from all over the world.

Besides Sri Lanka, Theravada Buddhism is the dominant religion


in Myanmar, Thailand and Laos, while the Nalanda tradition
has a Himalayan perspective, which includes Nepal and Bhutan.
By reaffirming Indias historical leadership of the Buddhist world
and projecting its Buddhist links in the region, Delhi is evidently
trying to counter efforts by China to extend its sphere of
influence.

As governor of Fujian province, President Xi Jinping had actively


played the Buddhist card and Beijing continues to further its agenda
through the world fellowship of Buddhists. Of course, Chinese claims
of promoting Buddhism are ironic because Beijing represses the
religion in the country, violently so in Tibet which India should
highlight.

Notes

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2.

Yoga
a.

OnJune 21, the world will observe International Day of Yoga for the
first time ever. A United Nations resolution to this effect that India
moved in the General Assembly last year was co-sponsored by
anunprecedented 170 countries. It reflected yogas immense
popularity worldwide, underscoring its richness as a soft power
resource.

b.

Yoga is among the themesthat figured during the recent visit of


Indias Prime Minister Narendra Modi to China, Mongolia, and South
Korea.

3.

Nepal earthquake Humanitarian aid extended to the people affected by


the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal (and those impacted by previous
calamities in South Asia).

4.

Social Media
a.

5.

6.

Notes

On his visit to China he leveraged social media to reach out to


ordinary Chinese citizens by debuting on Sina Weibo, Chinas
adaptation of Twitter. In couple of days his account recorded 11
million hits. (Kevin Rudd, former Australian Prime Minister and
British Prime Minister David Cameron are also on it).

Bollywood
a.

On his visit to China he leveraged bollywood to reach out to ordinary


Chinese citizens. Bollywood movie PK was also released in china
which grossed 100 crore there (earlier 3 Idiots was released which
was also very popular).

b.

The Indian and the Chinese film industries are also coming together
in celebration of the Hein Tsangs (Xuan Zangs) China-India connect.
An MoU was signed between Eros group and China Film Group
who will collaborate for the making of the film on him. Already a
movie titled Kung Fu Yoga featuring Hollywood star Jackie Chan
is being made under the joint production.

Steps taken by Modi to pay homage to world war veterans to tell the
world that they stood with them in those difficult days.

Challenges (What Erodes our Soft Power, Neglected Areas)

In practice, Indias soft power remains weak for two primary reasons:
a.

First, Indian diplomacy has neglected soft power as an important


tool of statecraft and has only recently understood the relevance of
cultural diplomacy. Goodwill for India abroad has largely been
generated in an unplanned manner.

b.

Second, soft power cannot really exist without some initial hard
power achievements. A country will only be able to realistically tell
a better story if it has material power to build its soft power on.

Foreign Policy
a.

Myanmar operation and above all chest-thumping. But recent


incidents like chest-thumping after the Myanmar incident can send
a wrong signal. Do it but dont shout.

b.

Supporting terrorism to counter terrorism this gives credence to


Pakistan claim that india is a hypocrite country.

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c.

Big brother attitude to neighbours who are using the chinese card.

d.

Need to give more aid and thus in this aspect were not able compete
with china which is giving aid in billions.

Programs of ghar wapsi and failing to take steps to prevent minorities


persecution send a wrong signal to whole world esecially the Muslim
world.

Human rights violations by instruments of the State like the Police and
the Army reflect badly on a country which has a very liberal Constitution,
thus eroding its soft power. The use of torture to extract confessions and
continued use of the capital punishment (though used very rarely) when
most countries have abolished these practices also affect the countrys soft
power negatively.

Indias dismal ranking in UN Human Development Report for 2009 which


seriously affects Indias soft power bringing back the earlier images of the
1950s of an overpopulated, poor country with underfed people. Economic
reforms have led to high growth rate.

Unresolved disputes with its immediate neighbours also affect Indias soft
power potential. India needs to resolve these disputes reasonably if it
wants to be seen as a global power deserving a seat on the UN Security
Council.

The lack of success in sports and a non-existent sporting culture are also
impediments in the growth of Indias soft power. No other aspect of
culture has the capacity to bring together powerful tool for international
engagement as sports does. For instance, China, having held an extremely
successful Olympics and having topped the medals tally, has gained newfound respect from countries across the world.

Way Forward

Learn from the Beijing Model

a.

As China raced to become one of the leading economies, cultural


diplomacy became an important complement to Beijings go out
strategy.

b.

Over the last decade, Xinhua, once the classic example of a staid
socialist news agency, acquired global reach and influence.

c.

Chinas state-owned CCTV network launched international TV


channels in English, French, Spanish, Arabic and Russian. Beijing
has also set up nearly 500 Confucius Centres to teach Mandarin and
present Chinese culture to international audiences.

d.

But Delhi should learn to stay out of the business of promoting


it. Much like propaganda, which works best when its not seen as
such, soft power strategies are most effective when they are subtle
and indirect.

Soft power can be increased by augmenting funding for cultural activities


in embassies, promoting India aggressively and starting India study centres
all over the world on the lines of British Council, American Information
Resource Centers, Alliance Francoise and the Confucius Institutes started
by China. These institutes increase their respective countries soft power
by projecting a favourable image of their countries to the outside world
through public relations exercises.

16

Notes

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The Indian Foreign Service (IFS) should give more emphasis to public
diplomacy and more initiatives like friendship years with different countries
should be started. More funding should be given for public diplomacy.

India should also hold more cultural festivals abroad showcasing different
aspects of its culture.

The doors of Indian universities should be opened to foreign students


through scholarships and student exchange programmes so that they
understand Indian culture, interests and values by the time they go home
and propagate a favourable image about India.

For this, more funds should be allotted to the Indian Council for Cultural
Relations (ICCR).

Tourists must be welcomed to India so that more people see the beauty
and varied culture of India. Indian tourists abroad also convey the image
of a new, rich and confident India. They must also be advised to be polite
and to respect the traditions of the countries they visit.

There should be more focus on sports infrastructure development in schools


so that the world gets to know India as a sporting nation.

The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas initiative by the Indian government is a


laudable attempt to tap into the economic and political resources of the
Indian diaspora all over the world. But India needs to do more so that the
diaspora feels welcome and wanted by India.

India needs to ensure that the benefits of democracy and economic reforms
reach the needy. This would help bring those fighting the Indian State into
the mainstream. It has certainly taken some steps towards this by
encouraging those fighting against it in Kashmir and the North East to
engage in the political process. This effort seems to be working and must
be encouraged.

Notes

Concluding Remark
12. India, at various points in its history, has used both hard power and soft
power. However, a reliance on one or the other exclusively would not help
in achieving foreign policy objectives. Soft power cannot be used in all
situations just as hard power cannot be used in all circumstances. But if
used effectively in conjugation with hard power, it can yield better results
than if only hard power is used. This use of a judicious combination of
soft and hard power has been termed as smart power by some scholars
like Suzanne Nossel. India has a lot of potential for this smart power,
blessed as it is with abundant soft power as well as hard power.

Central Asia
A. SCOs Expansion
1.

Founded originally as Shanghai 5 in 1996 by 5 nations. Then Uzbekistan


was included in 2001 and thereafter it became SCO. In 2015, it was
decided to include India and Pakistan as new members.

2.

Its members are China, Russia, central asian countries except Turkmenistan,
India and Pakistan.

3.

Functions:

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4.

5.

18

a.

Its core aim is security cooperation. i.e. Its a security block. It is


sometimes also tagged as Asias NATO.

b.

Energy and water resources have emerged as focal areas of


cooperation.

c.

Cultural cooperation - E.g. people to people contact, festivals, shows


etc.

Reasons for including new members


a.

Each of the six original members, though, have varying geostrategic


reasons for wanting India on board a sign of how complex the
challenges of shaping the new Asia are.

b.

The four Central Asian states Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan,


and Uzbekistan want a counterweight to the dominance of Russia
and China.

c.

Moscow wants a counterweight to Chinas growing power in its Central


Asian backyard and a new partner to show its adversaries in Europe
and the US that it is not without friends.

d.

For its part, China sees expansion as a step towards giving the
organisation heft especially since its ally, Pakistan, is also joining
up.

e.

The SCO has been cast as the institutional heart of a new Asian
order an emerging counterweight to a world with US and European
power at its core. That billing hasnt been matched by anything the
SCO has actually done since it was founded in 2001, but theres little
doubt that full membership will give New Delhi a real say in shaping
Asias geostrategic powers.

f.

Four of the eight nations which have tested nuclear weapons, an


index of military power, will be part of the new alliance once India
and Pakistan are on board next year; so, too, will three of the worlds
major economies, along with territories that house some of the worlds
largest hydrocarbon reserves.

Importance of SCO membership to India


a.

Indias membership of the SCO is significant. To begin with, it opens


up trade, energy and transit routes between Russia and China that
pass through Central Asia, that were hitherto closed to India.

b.

Irans observer status will ensure the SCO serves as a platform for
India to discuss trade through the Iranian ports of Bandar Abbas and
Chabahar, and link them to the Russian proposal for a North-South
Transport Corridor. This circumvents Indias situation of being
hemmed in owing to lack of access to markets through Pakistan.

c.

While the SCO charter disallows bilateral issues being taken up, the
security grouping provides a platform for India and Pakistan to discuss
them, as it will be when Mr. Modi and Mr. Sharif meet.

d.

With Russia and China taking the lead, the SCO could even prove
a guarantor for projects such as the TAPI (Turkmenistan-AfghanistanPakistan-India) and IPI (Iran-Pakistan-India) pipelines that India has
held off on security concerns.

Notes

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6.

e.

The SCO summit will provide a valuable interface to engage with


Afghanistans neighbours at a time when so much is changing in its
security outlook, between the international troop pullout and talks
with the Taliban.

f.

Finally, the SCO is an important counter-balance to Indias perceived


tilt towards the U.S. and its allies on security issues. In a politically
polarised world, with the U.S. and Europe pitted against Russia and
China and where all the powers are economically interlinked, Indias
best hope to emerge a leader lies in its ability to bridge the two.

Notes

Way Forward
a.

For New Delhi, the challenge will be to ensure the two great powers
already at the table do not undermine its own interests.

b.

In 2005, for example, the SCO called for a timetable for the US to
shut down bases in Central Asia bases that India, however, saw as
important elements in stabilising Afghanistan.

c.

New Delhi, moreover, is seeking an enhanced partnership with East


Asian states like Japan, which view China with suspicion. New Delhi
has now gained entry to the halls where the Great Game is being
played but must beware that it does not gamble more than it can
afford to lose.

B.

PMs Visit to Central Asia

1.

In July 2015, PM Modi visited the 5 Central Asian countries.

2.

Main highlights of the visit


a.

The prime ministers visit had a strong cultural connotation though


the past links with Central Asia have not yet given the desired results.
Importantly, he touched upon the shared Islamic heritage and Sufi
traditions. Modi gifted a reproduction of Khamsa-i-Khusrau to Islam
Karimov. Hopefully, the Uzbek dictator liked the gift. Linguistic links
with the Tajiks were also invoked by Modi. Clearly, the visit entailed
a strong joint socio-cultural rhetoric references to Yoga, Hindi, Sufism,
IT, among others, added substance to Indias soft power.

b.

Nazarbayevs daring decision to sign a major contract for a renewed


long term supply of 5,000 Metric tonnes (MT) of uranium to India
during the next five years is the most significant takeaway of the
Prime Ministers visit. This is in fact proving more promising than
achievements on the hydrocarbons side.

c.

Then Indias ONGC-Videsh Ltd (OVL) has finally made its first
breakthrough when Modi launched the drilling operations for oil
exploration in the Satpayev block on 7 July, 2015.

d.

The Ufa Summit and Modis visit to Turkmenistan may also have
possibly shown the way finally even for the TAPI pipeline to see the
light of day. In Ashgabat, the Prime Minister called the TAPI project
a key pillar and pushed for its realization quickly.

e.

Combating terrorism, cementing defence, economic and energy ties


and enhancing connectivity were recurring themes in the Prime
Ministers discussions with the leaders of these countries. In all, the
21 bilateral agreements signed with the five countries were desirable.

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3.

f.

Inking of a MoU for co-operation between the Indian and Kyrgyz


Election Commissions is significant, though the Kyrgyz have been
looking to Western countries for democratic experience.

g.

The contract with Uzbekistan for the supply of 2,000 metric tonnes
of uranium signed in 2014 is important, but it needs to be seen how
it gets implemented finally.

Significance

4.

20

Of course, there were no big ticket items to turn the spotlight, but the
Prime Ministers own strong presence seems to have created a huge
excitement. Modi has become a factor in Central Asia and this is
important. In fact, it has been decades since any popular Indian leader
visited these countries and they felt nice about it. Such a visit was
long desired; as one friend of this author put it, we needed such a
thing because Indian leaders have always appealed to everyone in
Central Asia.

Challenges
a.

India has already missed the bus and it has a lot of catching up to do.

b.

India faces financial limitations when it comes to competing with


other powers in Central Asia. Indian investment is dismal and the
current engagement policy does not have vitality for spurring economic
interdependence with these countries.

c.

Connectivity : The connectivity issue, i.e., the International North


South Transport Corridor (INSTC), has been discussed since 2000.
Crores have been spent on Bandar Abbas and now on the Chabahar
Port option. But accessing Central Asia via the Indian Ocean is a
flawed approach that has proved unviable and has not worked so far.
During the visit, Modi mooted the idea of bypassing Afghanistan to
link with Central Asia through surface, digital and air connectivity.
Many wonder whether his visit was linked to Indias growing
disenchantment with Afghanistans increasing closeness with Pakistan.

d.

Apart from geography, a lack of understanding and scholarship is


another handicap. India does not have the depth of knowledge on the
regions historical, political, linguistic, and above all the intricate sociotribal structural underpinnings, for instance, the function and
relationship among Kazakhzhus(hordes) that ultimately regulate the
decision making process. As a result, the official and diplomatic
channels often used do not necessarily yield the desired results. This
style of approach over a period of time has led to a distortion in
overall relations the reason why the depth of India-Central Asia ties
have always remained in question.

e.

Central Asians had high expectations from New Delhi from the
beginning, but India lacked sufficient efforts and skill to understand
the importance of Silk Route dynamics as compared to the focused
attention paid by China and others. Chinas trade with the region is
over USD 50 billion compared to Indias paltry USD 1.4 billion.
China is transporting energy from the region.

f.

The flurry of agreements on defence and security are largely symbolic


and they have been there for quite some time though without much

Notes

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significance. Take the case of Ayni airbase in Tajikistan that India


acquired post-Kargil and IC-814 hijacking. India refurbished the base
at a cost of USD 70 million in 2007, yet we do not know whether
it is really using the base. Defence co-operation with Kyrgyzstan has
been going on for a few years but with little benefits to India.
Kyrgyzstan has far closer military ties with China.

5.

g.

Combating terrorism especially the threat posed by the Islamic State


gained prominence, suggesting that it is a threat without borders.
But Central Asia, despite being located in the proximity of the main
source of terrorism, is not a hotbed of terrorism. There are no records
of the Taliban and Al Qaeda having set gained a footing in the region.

h.

Russia is and will remain an important factor for Indias ability to do


business in Central Asia. The countries of the region are still integrated
with Russia. They do not have complete freedom of manoeuvre to
conduct foreign relations without having a concord with Russia. Russia
still favours India as a countervailing measure against Chinas
monopoly on Kazakhstans uranium exports. As long as Indias fuel
imports remain modest and ties with Kazakhstan do not get deeper,
a major hurdle is unlikely. But, given growing Russia-China
convergence, Indias nuclear ties with Kazakhstan will be conditioned
by changes in the geopolitical climate just as geopolitics decisively
undermine the import of hydrocarbons from Central Asia.

i.

Central Asians undeniably consider India to be a reliable, trustworthy


and predictable partner. But at the same time they do not consider
India to be a good performer. Many have argued that New Delhis
indecisiveness always influenced Nazarbayev against energy deals
with India. Even though Kazakhs realize the importance of engaging
India, they also know well that it is only China that can fit the bill
ultimately.

Notes

Way Forward
a.

Hopefully, the SCO can provide India with the opportunity of working
together with Russia and the Central Asian republics. It could help
resolve at least some problems.

b.

India should find other innovative ways such as joining international


energy consortiums for exploration, opting for LNG purchases from
the region, etc. Central Asia could become another Middle East for
Indian engineers, management experts, and skilled and semi-skilled
workers to find employment. They could earn huge amounts of foreign
exchange from the regions energy service sector. Indian companies
could participate in the ancillary and drilling sectors of the oil and gas
industry, which is rapidly growing in the Caspian region.

c.

We can conclude by saying that Prime Minister Modis visit has


provided a momentum which needs to be sustained. For this connect
central Asia policy, 2012 needs to be taken up seriously.

C.

Connect Central Asia Policy, 2012

1.

India has come up with a Connect Central Asia policy, 2012 which was
declared in 2012.

2.

It includes elements such as:

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3.

a.

High level visits,

b.

Comprehensive economic engagement,

c.

Partnership in the development of energy and natural resources, (i.e.


energy),

d.

Strategic partnerships, (i.e. security related aspect),

e.

Development of potential in medical field, education, e-networks,


(i.e. soft power),

f.

Ensuring land connectivity, etc.

The implementation of the policy needs to be speeded up and for this do


the following
a.

Firstly, this will require allocation of definite resources for the


implementation of the policy.

b.

Secondly, there must be an institutional mechanism for


implementation.

West Asia
A. Sectarian Divide (Sunni Shia Conflict)
1.

2.

Meaning of Sunni and Shia


a.

After the death of Prophet Muhammad, there was debate among


the Muslims on who will take over the leadership of the Muslim
nation.

b.

One group believed that new leader should be elected on the basis
of his capability. These are Sunni (This is what was done, and the
Prophet Muhammads close friend and advisor, Abu Bakr, became
the first Caliph of the Islamic nation).

c.

Other group believed that the next leader should be from the prophets
family. These are Shia. They wanted that leadership should have
passed directly to his cousin & son-in-law, Ali.

Now the Shia Sunni sectarian divide in West Asia

Shia Axis : Iran is the Leader of the group; its


allies are Iraq, (Shia majority), Syria (Sunni
majority, Shia ruler), Bahrain (Shia majority,
Sunni ruler), Hezbollah in Lebanon (a sociopolitical-military group), Houthis in Yemen.
Sunni Axis : Except Bahrain The 5 GCC
Countries Are Sunni Dominated i.e. Saudi,
UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman.

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Notes

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3.

So the two axis (esp. Iran and Saudi) and fighting for the dominance in the
region, GCC countries in present scenario are more anti Iran then anti
Israel.

4.

Consequences/ Implications:
a.

Proxy Wars

b.

c.

d.

Notes

Has led to regional stability as Saudi and Iran are involved in


proxy wars in Yemen (Houthis), Syria (Bashar-al-asad) and Iraq
where different groups and factions have been supported by
them. during Arab spring (when Iran tried to overthrow
monarchies in sunni countries.

IS

Has contributed to rise of IS as sunnis in Iraq and Sryia who


were discriminated in Iraq and Syria joined it.

Due to this divide they havent been able to tackle the priority
threat-IS.

Oil

Instability over there can lead to oil supply shocks.

Iran has on many occasions threatened to block strait of


Hormouz which is the main channel of oil supply from Gulf
to the outside world.

A tough balancing act for Indias foreign policy; proximity with one
side raises eyebrows in other camp; our reluctant attitude towards
Iran was due to Saudis pressure.

B. Syrian Civil War


1.

Started In 2011.

2.

Reasons:
a.

It was part of the larger Arab Spring that started in 2011 i.e. protest
against dictatorship and demand of democracy.

Assad family is ruling Syria since 1970. Present president


Basher Al-Assad.

b.

It acquired a Sectarian conflict. Rulers (Assad family) belongs to


minority Alwaites group (an offshoot of shia islam) whereas 75% of
Syrians are Sunni.

c.

This is complicated by :

Other ethnic conflicts like kurds, Christians, etc.

Foreign intervention i.e. Iran and Hezzbollah group being Shia


are supporting the Syrian govt, whereas Saudi and other Sunni
groups supporting the rebels.

Emergence of IS (a sunni group), it originated in Iraq but taking


advantage of chaos entered Syria.

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3.

Present status:
a.

The civil war is still going on.

b.

Humanitarian loss as of March 2015, 2-3 lakh killed, 9 million


displaced and thus migrating to Europe; use of chemical weapons
confined by UN.

c.

Present map of Syria which part is under control of whom.

Red govt (controls around 40% of


territory)
Grey IS
Green rebels
Yellow kurds

4.

Russias involvement in civil war


a.

In September, 2015 Russia got involved in Syrian conflict when it


sent its fighter plains to assist Syrian president Basher Al-Assad.

b.

Why
i.

To protect its ally president Basher Al-Assad.

ii.

To gain strategic influence in West Asia which it has lost to US.

iii. To secure itself against IS.


iv.
c.

At present US and NATO forces dont have a concrete strategy;


failed to tackle it.

Implications
i.

Needs coordination between Russia and NATO otherwise it


can strain relations further.

ii.

It is Russias first major military operation outside its


neighborhood since involvement in Afghanistan in 1980s.

C. Operation Rahat
Overview
1.

24

It was an operation of theIndian Armed Forcesin April 2015 to


evacuateIndiancitizens and other foreign nationals fromYemenduring
the2015 military interventionbySaudi Arabiaand its allies in Yemen.

Notes

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2.

3.

4.

Details of operation:
a.

Saudi had enforced a no-fly zone in Yemeni airspace which made it


difficult to evacuate Indians by air. But India successfully requested
Saudi Arabia to allow foreign nationals to go to Sanaa and Aden.

b.

India then created a base in Djibouti. Air India flew passengers from
Aden and sanaa to Djibouti and from there Air Force C-17 transporters
flew evacuees back home.

c.

Indian Naval Ships (Mumbai, Tarkash and Sumitra) were also deployed
to flew back the Indians.

d.

In this VK Singh (minister of state, external affairs) led from the


front.

Notes

How many evacuated?


a.

Around 4,800 Indian citizens and 2,000 foreign nationals of 48


countries including 12 Americans and 3 Pakistanis.

b.

It was not the biggest ever rescue operation : Indiaevacuated 2,280


persons during the 2006 Lebanon War; 15,000 during Libyan crisis
in 2011 and the biggest one was during the Iraq-Kuwait crisis in
1990 when India evacuated 1.7 lakh people.

Comment:
a.

Our efforts were very professional and appreciated all over the world;
it was the first time Western nations asked for and acknowledged
Indias help in evacuating their citizens.

b.

This crisis provided a rare occasion for India and Pakistan to cooperate
(11 Indians were rescued by Pakistan and 3 Pakistanis by India).

c.

Government was issuing advisories since January 2015, but still they
stayed there due to economic reasons (lack of jobs in India).

D. Diaspora and Conflict Region


1.

Middle East (where around 6 million Indians reside) is prone to conflict


and ensuring the security of Indians there is a recurring challenge.

2.

In the recent past, India has done a commendable job in evacuating its
citizens from conflict-hit countries. (1.7 lakh evacuated in Iraq & Kuwait
(1990), 2.300 in lebanon (2006), 15,000 in Libya(2011) and and 6,500 in
yemen(2015)).

3.

But its track record in rescuing its citizens from kidnappers has been a
mixed one. While it managed to bring back some 100 nurses who were
held by Islamic State in Iraq a year ago, the fate of 39 other Indians
abducted by militants in June 2014 from Mosul is still unclear. India
cannot afford to leave such cases unresolved.

4.

So what should be done:


a.

Use past experience to develop permanent institutional capabilities


in this regions to protect Indians abroad.

b.

Review the early warning systems to anticipate a crisis quickly, update


citizens through advisories and ensure their early departure.

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c.

Maintain neutrality with West Asian nations so that Indians caught


in conflict are not harmed.

d.

Cultivate ties with influential actors in the region, to help solve issues
such as kidnappings.

e.

It was seen that many Indians stayed back in Yemen inspite of


advisories being issued way back in January. One reason was job.
But in some situations, the problem is that their employers hold their
passports and wages. For this India together with SAARC nations
should collectively negotiate with Gulf countries for better working
conditions.

E.

Houthis (Yemen)

1.

Who are Houthis

2.

a.

Houthi is a Shia group; belonging to Zaidi school of thought.

b.

The group takes its name fromHussein al-Houthi, wholaunched an


in 2004 in the background of US invasion of Iraq. At present it is
being led byAbdul-Malik al-Houthi.

Aim They are not against the present republican system (Yemen is a
republic with abicamerallegislature), rather its aim is:
a.

Preservation of their religion; ending their persecution (Yemen is a


mix of Shia and Sunni with rulers being sunni who are discriminating
Shias),

b.

Ending western influence, and

c.

End to corruption, government accountability, Job opportunities for


ordinary Yemenis.

3.

To achieve these aims they are fighting since 2004. But the trigger even
was when in 2014 there was disagreement between houthis and president
Hadi over the constitution to be formed. Government wants Yemen to be
a federation but houthis rejected it. They also demanded the removal o
sacking of the corrupt govt. In Sept 2014 they took control over the
capital city Saana and in january 2015 occupied the presidents palace
which it controls. President Hadi has been forced to relocate to Aden
which has been declared as provincial capital.

4.

Implications use all points of sectarian conflict:

26

a.

It can end up like Syria, being in a long civil war.

b.

Provides another battleground for Saudi-Iran to fight. Iran is supporting


the Houthis rebel; Saudi is backing president Hadi. It launched a
military operation against the Houthi rebels under OperationDecisive
Storm followed by operation restoring hope.

c.

Oil although not a major oil supplier but instability here can threaten
oil supplies as Bab el-Mandab strait between Yemen and Djibouti
(along with Strait of Hormuz) is a major choke points for global oil
supplies.

Notes

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d.

Internal security.
i.

Has increased stability and has allowed al-Qaeda to gain a


stronghold; Yemen is the HQ of Al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula
(AQAP).

ii.

Has shifted focus on Iran and Saudi to deal with IS.

Notes

iii. Yemen is a member of the IOR-ARC and its cooperation in


dealing with piracy in the Gulf of Aden has been significant.
e.

With respect to India Indias main concern in Yemen was the safety
of more than 5,000 citizens. It was able to evacuate them
underOperation Rahat.

F.

UAE

1.

Context PM Modi visited UAE in August.

2.

Cooperation:
a.

Economic/energy
i.

Trade UAE is Indias third largest trade partner (after China


and the USA), with bilateral trade standing at over USD 59
billion in 2014-15; have agreed to boost it by 60% in next 5
years during PMs visit.

ii.

Investment : During the visit, UAE promised to invest $75


billion in India via UAE-India Infrastructure Investment Fund.

iii. India needs it for energy security and UAE also needs to diversify
market due to slow-down in Europe and discovery of shale gas
in USA; in recent visit UAE agreed to help India develop
strategic petroleum reserves (which is impt due to fear of
disruptions in production and supply).
b.

Strategic
i.

During visit, the Relations between the two were elevated to a


comprehensive strategic partnership.

ii.

Collaboration on issues like piracy and Terrorism (AQAP HQ


in yemen and IS are a threat to both).

iii. Defense engagement

Under defence cooperation agreement, two sides are


cooperating in training, joint exercises, information sharing
etc, but not in equipments.

In recent join statement, the two sides agreed to cooperate


in joint manufacture of defence equipment in India.

iv.

UAE backs India for UNSC seats.

v.

Its a Gateway to Muslim world (OIC, Arab league) who


have a negative image of India due Kashmir problem, Tensions
with Pakistan, Indias image as a Hindu-majority country,
Communal riots.

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c.

d.
3.

Cultural
i.

UAE agreed to allot land for a hindu temple in Abu Dhabi.

ii.

6 million Indian migrant workers are in overall Gulf


(constituting 35% of our Diaspora); Remittances by them are
major source of forex.

It lies in our immediate neighbourhood, with only the Arabian Sea


separating the two.

Challenges:
a.

Tough Balancing act for India on two religious axis.


i.

Muslim and Jews (Israel) Indias government is tilted towards


Israel.

ii.

Sunni-Shia (Iran) axis after US-Iran nuclear deal, Indias


relation with Iran will improve.

b.

Pakistan continues to portrays India as anti-muslim.

c.

Diplomatic
i.

Excessive non intervention by India. Gulf countries feel that


India has been over-cautious about its involvement in the
political and security affairs of the region.

ii.

Modis visit was 1st visit by an Indian PM in last 30 years; last


was in 1981.

iii. Lack of institutional mechanism.

4.

5.

d.

Investment is below potential due to problems in Indias investment


climate.

e.

Anti-minorities activities by administration; Kashmir issue has the


potential-pakistan has recently again raised the issue at UN.

Way forward :
a.

Launch an Act West Policy on the lines of Act East Policy.

b.

Increase cultural contacts by having cultural exchange, holding interfaith dialogues. Establish India Culture Centersthroughout the region.

Some steps in recent years to boost relations with West Asia:


a.

Under the Riyadh declaration signed in 2010 we declared strategic


partnerships with Saudi Arabia in 2010.

b.

With Oman strategic partnership declared in Oman in 2008.

c.

Agreement on defence and security cooperation with Qatar in 2008.

G. Israel - Palestine
1.

28

In 2015, the relations between the worsened further due to


a.

Palestinians frustration over Israels increasing occupation and Steps


towards statehood at stand-still.

b.

Controversy over Al-aaqsa mosque.

Notes

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c.

Re-election of Benjamin netanhayu to power.

2.

Due to this in October 2015, there was an increasing demand of 3rd


Intifada (Intifada means Palestinian attempt to shake off Israeli power
and gain independence).

3.

Is two state solution possible? Thetwo-state solution calls for two


states for two peoples i.e. an independentState of Palestinealongside
theState of Israel. Chances are bleak due to following reasons
a.

Lack of unity among West Bank (governed by Fatahs) and Gaza


Strip (governed by Hamas).

b.

By way of peace talks with Israel not possible.

c.

Israel especially under Benjamin Netanhyu will in no way are


united on the long-term game plan to annex most of the West
Bank and Jerusalem. An independent Palestine will give a base
the radical Islam to attack Israel.

Also there are no agreements on areas like Boundary (Palestine


wants pre-1967 border; Israel wants 1967 border), water rights,
status of Jerusalem and freedom of access toreligious sites.

By way of UN
i.

Yes, global opinion is tilting towards it due to genuine grievances


of Palestine (increasing illegal settlement, Attacks, human rights
violation and Socio economic conditions).

ii.

d.

Notes

UN granted Palestine a non-member status, in 2012. In


January 2015, International Criminal Court accepted
Palestine as a member, Parliaments of several European
nations voted to ask their governments to recognise the
state of Palestine.

No, because granting permanent membership of UN to Palestine


can be vetoed by US which enjoys a special relation with US.
This can be seen by the fact that no sanctions has been imposed
by UN on it.

By way of Intifada chances are mix


i.

Earlier Intifadas (1987-93 and 2000-5 didnt yielded result).

ii.

Israel will resort to brute force so that will crush their demand
brutally and that can lead to Israels further isolation and will
make the case of Palestine more stronger.

Oslo Accords, 1994


1.

The accords included the first formal mutual recognition between Israel
and the Palestine Liberation Organization, and specified that bilateral
negotiations were the only viable path to Palestinian statehood.

2.

Created the Palestinian Authority as a provisional government.

3.

Laid out a five-year timetable for resolving all areas of conflict between
the Palestinians and the Israelis.

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4.

5.

Divided the West Bank into three sections:


a.

Area A:The major cities where Palestinians were to have full control.

b.

Area B:Where Israel would be in charge of security while Palestinians


handled civilian matters.

c.

Area C:Areas to be under full Israeli control.

Why are they the cornerstone of ties?

Intifada
1.

An Arabic word literally means shake.

2.

It refers to a concerted Palestinian attempt to shake off Israeli power and


gain independence.

3.

In Oct, 2015 there has been an increasing demand for 3rd Intifada (earlier
2 intifadas were 1987-93 and 2000-05).

H. India Israel/Palestine Relations


1.

Indias policy on Palestine has slowly changed over time (from solidarity
to non-alignment to closeness with Israel)

2.

How can we say that/reasons


a.

3.

30

Zionist forces in Israel and hindutva forces in India share similar


views on following:
i.

Both of the forces are extremely nationalistc & conservative in


their prospective and ideology and

ii.

The method of dealing with neighbours and threats, including


terrorism.

b.

This can be seen by our voting. In July 2015, India abstained from
a vote against Israel at the UN Human Rights Council over the gaza
strikes in 2014.

c.

Kashmir issue If India votes for independence of Palestine then


world will ask the Indian government to do the same for Kashmir;
it will make case for Kashmir strong.

d.

India being a major buyer of Israels defence exports.

e.

India also needs Israel in Science and technology especially areas of


Drip irrigation and Agriculture.

f.

Even Israel is getting isolated in world due to its continuous human


rights violation in Palestine.

Challenges for India:


a.

Palestine vis--vis Israel even western countries are going in favour


of Palestine, but with NDA government at centre, India is moving
closer to Israel.

b.

West asia especially Iran vis--vis Israel we need Iran for


hydrocarbons + it is a regional power but Israel and Iran are not on
good terms.

Notes

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4.

Way forward:
a.

Such cooperation had existed during the earlier regimes, but India
had consistently sought to maintain its position on the Palestine
issue, which was in line with that of nearly every country in the
world, considering the brazen ways of Israel with respect to Palestine.

b.

This does not behold well for Indias stature as a nation committed
to a just international order.

Notes

Mongolia and India Relations

India was the first country outside the socialist bloc to establish diplomatic
relations with Mongolia in 1955. Nehru fought for Mongolias status at
the United Nations. But inspite of this relations remained weak.

The demise of Communism (its the 25 the year of its democracy) and
the revival of Buddhism have added a new dimension to Indo-Mongolian
relations. (This point has been mentioned at many places).

In this background, in May 2015, PM Modi visited Ulaanbaatar (during


his 3 nation tour other 2 being china and South Korea) to commemorate
the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

He was Indias first Prime Minister to visit Mongolia.

Importance of Mongolia and India to each other


Consists of only 3 million people; landlocked between Russia and China.
Inspite of this she is important for:
1.

2.

Economic; energy
a.

Has huge reserves of natural uranium and other valuable minerals


for India. During the visit it was decided to cooperate civil nuclear
sector.

b.

Need Mongolia for safeguarding its interest in Russias resource-rich


trans-Siberia and Far East.

c.

A potential destination for Indian investment.

d.

During the visit


i.

India announced on Sunday a $1-billion credit line to Mongolia


for infrastructure development.

ii.

Decided to cooperate in renewable energy.

Strategic/geopolitical importance
a.

China is engaging in peripheral diplomacy by upgrading its ties in


Indian subcontinent; new Delhi should reciprocate. Visit to Seoul and
Ulaanbaatar, the 2 democracies is in right direction.

b.

Mongolia wants a measure of strategic autonomy from its neighbors


Russia and china. Chinas deep economic forays is opposed by the
Mongolian public. In this background Mongolia has diversified its
relations under the third neighbour policy.

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c.

Defense cooperation has grown:


i.

Militaries of the two countries conduct Exercise Nomadic


Elephant regularly.

ii.

National Security Councils are consulting since 2006 on issues


such as cyber security.

iii. Indias Border Security Force (BSF) is helping Mongolias General


Authority of Border Protection (GABP) to manage its vast
border with China.
iv.

3.

During the visit, ties were upgraded to strategic partnership


and Agreed to cooperate in surveillance, air services, cyber
security.

d.

During his visit, PM announced that the 2 shades will work for stability
in the Asia Pacific region (he said this amid Chinas push for increasing
its regional influence).

e.

Strategically, Indian and Mongolian interests in China and Central


Asia coincide.

Spiritual Neighbor:
a.

Buddhism travelled to Mongolia from India and is the dominant


religious faith over the last two millennia.

b.

Thus the two sides are also spiritual neighbor.

c.

Buddhism is a key part of Modis cultural diplomacy and thus travelled


to restore religious ties.

d) Challenges There are Limits to any Indian Powerplay in Mongolia.


1.

Demography Its population is only three million (inspite of being half


of Indias territorial size).

2.

Geography Land locked; its difficult to and costly to transport Mongolias


mineral resources to India. Should work on completing the north-south
corridor.

3.

With just two neighbors Ulaanbaatar has no interest in provoking either


Russia or China by undertaking activities hostile to them.

4.

Its difficult to match Chinas economic presence in Mongolia. In 2000,


Mongolias trade with china was USD 300 million in 2000. Indias trade is
merely USD 25 million.

5.

Has been ignored till now; momentum needs to be sustained.

North Korea & India Relations


1.

Relations between the two in the past have remained cold. No ministerial
contact. Relations confined to food aid to North Korea.

2.

Due to following reasons:

32

a.

Pakistan with whom North Korea has close relations; it also helped
Pakistan in nuclear reactor development.

b.

South-Korea North Korea and South Korea are enemy nations and
we are close to South Korea.

Notes

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c.
3.

4.

Its nuclear program which is opposed globally; US has imposed an


economic blockade.

Notes

But now we are taking steps for improving the relations


a.

Sitaram Yechury, who in July, 2013,led a three-member parliamentary


delegation to Pyongyang.

b.

In April, 2014 North Korea send his Foreign Minister to India.

c.

In Sept, 2105, India sent Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju to
participate in an event marking the North Korean national
Independence Day to North Korean embassy.

Reasons:
a.

North Koreas willingness to expand ties as it is facing isolation.

b.

Indian side reason


i.

Part of peripheral diplomacy.

ii.

North Korea is estimated to have one of the largest global


deposits of minerals and rare earth metals necessary for Indias
IT industry and electronic majors.

iii. Diplomats are not ruling out the possibility that a dramatic
change in bilateral ties like what the U.S. achieved with Iran
and Cuba could possibly also occur in case of North Korea. If
ties improve then there will a rush to North Korea and India
should be an early bid.

Indo-Japan Relations
a)

Importance:

1.

Why we need Japan

2.

3.

a.

Highly developed nation. An important source of investment and


technology.

b.

As a part of our Look East Policy.

c.

Area of skill development (80% of labour is skilled).

d.

India can learn from Japan in disaster management especially


Earthquake.

Why Japan needs us


a.

Huge market for Japanese products.

b.

Japan has surplus capital to invest and India needs investment.

Mutual reasons
a.

China
i.

Part of peripheral diplomacy for India.

ii.

Japan needs India to counter China; becoming assertive in East


China Sea too.

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Positives Steps Taken


1.

Regular contacts
a.

2.

Narendra Modi recently visited Japan in August, 2014.

Area of cooperation
a.

Economic
i.

ii.
b.

Investment

Projects fuded by it : Delhi Metro Project, Western


Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC), DMIC (Delhi
Mumbai Industrial corridor).

During Modis visit in 2014, Japan promised to invest


$35 billion in India over the next five years.

It is the largest provider of Official Development


Assistance to India.

India is supplying rare earths to Japan (after China decided to


cut export).

Security front
i.

In 2014 our strategic relations were upgraded to Special Strategic


and Global Partnership.

ii.

Since 2011 holding the defence and foreign affairs dialogue in


the 2+2 Format at secretary level.

iii. Japan and India have held naval exercises in the Indian Ocean.
c.

Both are members of G 4 (group aspiring to be member of UNSC).

d.

Soft power
i.

Buddhism; During WW-2 INA of SC Bose and theJapanese


Imperial Armyfought together in battles against the British
forces.

ii.

Japan is involved in reconstruction of Nalanda.

iii. Modi wants to develop rejuvenating Indian cities on the lines


of Kyoto. A partner city affiliation agreement between
Varanasi (Kashi) and Kyoto was signed in 2014, which will
see cooperation in the fields of heritage conservation, city
modernization and culture.
c)

Challenges

1.

Economic

34

a.

Trade : below potential;(Bilateral trade at $16.29 billion in 2013-14


accounted for just 2.13 per cent of Indias total trade; our trade with South
Korea > Japan)

b.

Investment faces hurdles due to complex regulatory environment;


language barrier.

c.

Japan like South Korea argues that the content of the Indo-Japan
CEPA needs to be upgraded to match with other FTAs which India
has with other countries.

Notes

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d.
2.

Subsequently Japan plus cell was setup in DIPP (department of


industrial policy & promotion).

Notes

Security
a.

Strategic relationships are symbolic, jut confined naval exercises


inspite of Chinas assertiveness.

b.

Reasons
i.

No one wants to provoke China which keeps a close eye on


evolving India-Japan ties.

ii.

Japans pacifist constitution; thats why coulddnt secure the


supply of Japans world class US-2 amphibious aircraft.

3.

Civilian nuclear deal hasnt been negotiated because of Japan being the
only victim of a nuclear attack and after the Fukushima radiation disaster
in 2011 it has become more apprehensive of nuclear power.

4.

People to people contact is less.

Oceania
A. Australia
1.

Positives
a.

b.

c.

d.

Regular contacts:
i.

Bilateral : PM of Australia visited India in September 2014,


Modi visited Australia in Nov, 2014.

ii.

On sidelines of summit : Commonwealth meet, G 20, IORA,


East Asia summit.

Economic:
i.

Trade : Annual trade is worth nearly AU$16 billion in 2014.

ii.

Investment : Indian investment in Australia was AU$10.9 billion


in 2014 (mainly in field of energy), and Australian investment
in India was AU$9.8 billion.

Investment:
i.

India and Australia have also launched the CEO Forum.

ii.

Negotiations for a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation


Agreement (CECA) expected to be concluded by December
2016.

Energy:
i.

Australia is an energy superpower having abundant coal, oil,


natural gas and uranium.

ii.

Adai group is developing the Carmichael coal mine project


which will provide coal to India.

iii. Reliance has entered into a partnership agreement with Uranium


Exploration;

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e.

Nuclear energy In Sept 2014, both sides signed a civil nuclear


agreement with Australia. Australia has about third of worlds
recoverable uranium resources and exports nearly 7,000 tonnes of it
in a year.

f.

Strategic:
i.

Cooperating in Indian ocean;

ii.

During Modis visit India-Australia strategic framework


announced which ensures annual meetings between the leaders,
defense ministers and regular exchanges between the armed
forces related to piracy, terrorism and changing foreign
maritime presence in Indian ocean, cyber-security.

iii. Defence Minister of Australia visited India in September, 2015.

g.

Australia acknowledge that Indias partnership is essential


to sustaining the U.S-led push to maintain the strategic
balance in East Asia vis--vis China.

During Modis visit, Australia had formally requested


for a quadrilateral dialogue with the intent of joining
the India-U.S.-Japan trilateral talks as part of the Asia
dialogue.

In Sept, 2015, navies of two sides conducted their first


Bilateral Maritime Exercise Exercise AUSINDEX.

Also planning to improve our bilateral Air Force


relationship as we use common platforms such as the
Hawk, C-17, C-130 aircraft.

Culture:
i.

The English language is an important link.

ii.

Sporting diplomacy:

In cricket and hockey, the two countries have strong


ties.

Sachin, Laxman, Warne, Gilchrist are popular in the


each other country.MRF Pace Foundation training pace
bowlers in India. Many play in IPL.

iii. 3 Lakh strong diaspora as teachers, doctors engineers.


iv.

2.

Challenges:
a.

Diplomatic: PM Modi was 1st PM in 8 years to visit Australia; long


gap.

b.

Trade:
i.

36

New Colombo Plan announced in 2014 to enhance student


exchange and collaboration between the universities of the two
countries.

Below potential; actual trade languishes at just $15 billion in


2014, against a $40 billion target by 2015.

Notes

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ii.
c.

d.

Bilateral trade between Australia and China is about $160


billion.

Notes

Strategic
i.

Still vague and symbolic.

ii.

Australia is reluctant to join India-Japan-Australia-U.S.


quadrilateral so as not to provoke China.

Attacks against Indians in Australia have recurred.

B. Pacific Island Nations


Context In 2014, India Launched Forum for India Pacific Cooperation (FIPIC)
for engaging with the 14 Pacific Island countries. India hosted its 2nd summit
in Jaipur in August 2015.
1.

2.

3.

Who are they?


a.

The small Pacific island countries belong to three ethnically distinct


subregions: Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia.

b.

Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) is the forum for coordinating the activities
of these 14 nations.

Importance:
a.

The Pacific Ocean is the earths largest ocean covering 46 per cent
of water surface.

b.

It is rich in marine resources and accounts for 71 per cent of the


worlds ocean fishery catch; blue economy.

c.

Huge hyrdocrabon reserves.

d.

Though these countries are relatively small in land area and distant
from India, they are important as many have large Exclusive Economic
Zones (EEZs).

e.

And thats why all major powers like US, Japan, China, Russia,
Australia are competing for influence in the region. Xi Jinping visited
Fiji in 2014.

Indias engagement with them


a.

We have focused only on Indian Ocean and ignored pacific especially


these pacific islands except Fiji with whom we have a long history
of cooperation; it has a large population of Indian origin.

b.

Even pacific nations want to diversify its external relations. At


present PIF is dominated by Australia and New Zealand (they are
not member of it).

c.

NDA government has tried to correct it last year when:


i.

PM visited Fiji (the first by anIndianpremier to the country


in 33 years after Indira Gandhi in 1981).

ii.

Launched Forum for India Pacific Cooperation (FIPIC) for


engaging with the 14 Pacific Island countries. India hosted its
2nd summit in Jaipur in august 2015. The Summit is to be held
regularly every year.

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iii. Steps taken till now under the two summits:

d.
4.

5.

38

Notes

1.

Climate change

a.

Their key priority is threat threats from global warming induced


rise in sea levels, thus cooperate on climate change.

b.

Set up a special USD one million fund for clean energy,

c.

India will set up an Institute for Sustainable Coastal and Ocean


Research in the region.

2.

Pan Pacific Islands e-network to improve digital connectivity,

3.

Extending visa on arrival at Indian airports,

4.

Offered it capability in Space technology to help in coastal and


ocean studies; weather and climate change; and, disaster
management support.

5.

Provided training slots and scholarships for college education

6.

IT labs to be setup in each Pacific Island country to improve


local IT infrastructure, provide tele-medicine and tele-education

7.

Plans to set up a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant for


providing generic drugs

The FIPIC initiative marks a serious effort to expand Indias


engagement in the Pacific region.

Challenges
a.

Regime changes are frequent, thus engage with all stakeholders.

b.

Need to develop close relations with all pacific nations, dont focus
exclusively on Fiji.

c.

Indian diplomatic representation is weak; many of the PIF members


are covered by small non-resident Indian missions which are not able
to make frequent visits. More frequent visits are required

d.

Time and budget overruns are common, so implement them

e.

Maritime boundary disputes among these island nations which needs


to be settled

Specific to Fiji
a.

Fiji has a influential voice in pacific region.

b.

Modi also addressed Fijian


aforeignleaderduring his visit.

c.

37 5 of its peopleare of Indian-origin. Many Indians arrived in Fiji


as indentured labour in the 19th century.

d.

Formal diplomatic relation established in 1970.

e.

India has extended $75 million credit line to Fiji

f.

India played an important role in return of democrac.y in the elections


of 2014.

parliament,

the

first

by

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g.

The Chinese now have a firm foothold in the South Pacific, but with
the kind of soft power it enjoys in the region, India can resist the
expansion of Chinese influence in the South Pacific.

Notes

USA Cuba Reapproachment


1.

Strained Relations:
a.

In 1959 Fidel Castro seized power by disposing off US-Backed


dictator and established a communist state.

b.

In 1960 US broke its diplomatic relations with it; imposes trade


embargo.

c.

in 1961 in Bay of Pigs invasion, U.S.A attempted to depose Fidel


Castro but failed.

d.

In 1962, the Cuban missile crisis took USA and USSR to the brink
of nuclear war.

2.

TheCuban Thawis a warming ofCubaUnited States relationsthat began


in December 2014, ending a 54-year stretch of hostility between the
nations.

3.

Steps taken

4.

a.

In December 17, 2014, U.S. PresidentBarack Obamaand Cuban


PresidentRal Castroannounced the beginning of a process of
normalizing relations betweenCubaand theUnited States. The
normalization agreement was secretly negotiated in preceding months
with the assistance ofPope Francis. Meetings were held in
bothCanadaand theVatican City. Under the agreement it was decided
to lift some U.S. travel restrictions, fewer restrictions onremittances,
U.S. banks access to the Cuban financial system,and the reopening
of theU.S. embassy in Havanaand theCuban embassy in Washington,
which both closed in 1961 after the breakup of diplomatic relations
as a result ofCubas close alliance with the USSR.

b.

On April 14, 2015, the Obama administration announced that Cuba


would be removed from the United StatesState Sponsors of
Terrorismlist. This marked a further departure by the United States
from theCold Warconflict and its strain on CubaUnited States
relations.

c.

On July 20, 2015, the Cuban and U.S. interests sections in


Washington and Havana respectively were upgraded to embassies.

Reasons for reapproachment


a.

For USA, the reasons are more obvious. Americas long-standing


attempt to isolate Cuba both commercially and diplomatically has
been an utter failure. It has failed to dislodge the Castros, hurt the
Cuban people, and stoked anti-Americanism in the rest of Latin
America.

b.

Those who most vociferously back the trade blockade are CubanAmericans of a similar generation to the Castros who have now
become a grumpy minority.

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c.

Polls indicate that the majority of Cuban-Americans younger than 65


not only support Mr Obamas efforts to improve relations, but also
want to end the embargo.That suggests that the presidents outreach
to Cuba may partly be a way of repaying young Hispanic Democrats
who helped bring him to power.

d.

It also improves Americas stature across Latin America. It helps the


Obama administration recuperate influence lost to the late Hugo
Chvez before he died and left Venezuelas socialist economy in a
tailspin, unable to bankroll his so-called Bolivarian Revolution across
parts of the hemisphere.

e.

Cubans have been deeply affected by the US embargo, and while its
lifting is not on the cards at present, President Obama announced a
series of measures that will make a difference to the lives of many
Cubans.The amount of money which can be sent in remittances will
quadruple from $500 (320) to $2,000 per quarter.Telecom providers
will be allowed to improve Cubas infrastructure so that more Cubans
can access the internet. Currently Cuba has one of the lowest internet
penetration in the world and what little there is unaffordable for
many. Travel restrictions to Cuba will be relaxed, making family
visits and cross-border humanitarian projects easier.

Indian Ocean
A. Indian Ocean Diplomacy
Context PMs visit to Indian ocean nations (Sri Lanka, Maldives, Seychelles)
1.

Importance:
a.

b.

Trade
i.

The major routes connecting east and west part of the world
pass through Indian Ocean and India is a mid-destination for
these routes. (rest other pass through Pacific Ocean).

ii.

It carries a particularly heavy traffic ofpetroleumand petroleum


products from the oil fields of thePersian GulfandIndonesia.
Thus our energy security depends upon security of Indian Ocean.

Natural resources
i.

Large reserves of hydrocarbons are being tapped in the offshore


areas ofSaudi Arabia,Iran,India and Western Australia. An
estimated 40% of the worlds offshore oil production comes
from the Indian Ocean.

ii.

Beach sands are rich in heavyminerals.

iii. It is rich in marine life which is exploited for fisheries.


2.

Challenges India facing dealing with Indian Ocean Nations:


a.

40

Indias biggest challenge is not about countering China. Beijing is far


away and India is right in the middle of the Indian Ocean. In the near
term, the tyranny of geography will limit the scope and intensity of
Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean. Chinas Silk Road initiatives,
for example, did not emerge from some clever foreign policy strategy;

Notes

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they are an extension of Beijings domestic initiatives on infrastructure


development.

3.

b.

PMs real problem is in Delhi, afflicted by a condition called


continentalism, which has proved rather difficult to overcome.
Continentalism, marked by an obsession with land frontiers and a
sea blindness, has deep roots in Delhis political history. A number
of factors made independent India even more vulnerable to the
affliction. Partition created new boundaries within the subcontinent
and turned Delhis political energies inward. The emergence of a
strong China to the north and the contestation with it along the
Indo-Tibetan border has long drained most of Indias strategic
attention.

c.

Its continentalist mindset was reinforced by Delhis inward economic


orientation in the 1950s. If Indias economic footprint spread all
across the Indian Ocean under the British Raj, it steadily diminished
thanks to the policies of self-reliance and import substitution in the
first decades after Independence.

d.

To make matters worse, Delhis foreign policy reveled in chasing


quixotic ideas rather than play to its inherited strengths in the littoral.
On the trade and investment front, India chose high-minded rhetoric
at the United Nations on building a new international economic
order rather than strengthen economic ties with the ocean neighbours.

e.

In the realm of security, Delhis focus was on turning the Indian


Ocean into a zone of peace, whatever that meant. While many
littoral countries sought a major Indian security role, Delhi was a
reluctant partner and declared quite cheerily that talk of a power
vacuum was outdated in a post-colonial world.

f.

The problem for Modi is that the change in Delhis Indian Ocean
policy has been too limited and incremental to cope with the maritime
challenges staring at India. Delhi has not been good at tying different,
new policy strands into a coherent strategy for the Indian Ocean.
Worse still, its political leadership has not had the will or energy to
shake the bureaucratic establishment of its continentalist mindset.

Notes

Change in approach:
a.

Delhis approach began to change in the 1990s.

b.

As India embarked on globalisation and trade, economic connectivity


with the Indian Ocean littoral began to come back on Delhis agenda.

c.

India also inched away from the military isolationism of the nonaligned era.

d.

At the multilateral level, it started to de-emphasise the UN and


focused on regional institutions.

e.

Over the last few years, Delhi has sought to revive the moribund
Indian Ocean Rim Association, set up in the late 1990s to promote
regional cooperation.

f.

Delhi has expanded bilateral and multilateral naval exercises with


many of its neighbours in the Indian Ocean. It launched the Indian

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Ocean Naval Symposium, which brings together the chiefs of the


navies every two years to discuss naval cooperation.
g.

4.

5.

India has also set up a joint mechanism with Sri Lanka and the
Maldives for shared maritime domain awareness. The Indian navy
has also focused on maritime capacity building, especially in the
island states that occupy critical locations in the Indian Ocean.

In March 2015, PM visited the Indian ocean nations of Sri Lanka, Mauritius
and Seychelles in which he:
a.

Invited Seychelles and Mauritius to join the existing maritime security


cooperation arrangement among India, the Maldives and Sri Lanka.

b.

India received in return the use of two islands, one each in the
Seychelles and in Mauritius, for India to build military bases on.

c.

Launched the offshore patrol vessel MCGS Barracudain Mauritius

To realise Indias full strategic potential in the Indian Ocean, Modi will
need to focus on following things.
a.

One is to boost Indias own civilian maritime infrastructure, which


has become terribly creaky and utterly inadequate for a country so
dependent on the seas for its economic life.

b.

Second, India needs to ramp up its capabilities to take up major


maritime projects in other countries. China has stolen a march over
India in this area. Beijings projects in the neighbourhood have given
India a wake-up call, but Delhi does not have the capacity or a policy
framework to bid for and execute major infrastructure projects in the
Indian Ocean littoral.

c.

Third, India needs to lend some vigour to its defence diplomacy in


the region. Although Delhi talks the talk on being a net security
provider, the ministry of defence is not ready to walk the walk. The
MoD is a long way from developing the capabilities, systems and
attitudes to make India a productive security partner for the countries
of the region.

d.

Finally, Delhi is aware of the need for a big idea to frame the
governments plans for a more purposeful maritime engagement in
the Indian Ocean.

IORA (Indian Ocean Rim Association)


1.

Earlier it was called as IOR ARC (Indian Ocean Rim Association for
Regional Cooperation).

2.

It was first established as Indian Ocean Rim Initiative in1995 and formally
launched in 1997.

3.

Secretariat in Mauritius

4.

Main body is the council of ministers which meets every year.

5.

Members 20

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Notes

IORA member states; IORA dialogue partners


6.

Functions
a.

Core aim economic aspect i.e. to remove barriers for increasing


trade in Indian ocean.

b.

In 2011, six priority areas of cooperation were identified for IORARC. These include:
i.

Maritime Safety and Security,

ii.

Trade and Investment Facilitation,

iii. Fisheries Management,


iv.

Disaster Risk Management,

v.

Academic and Science & Technology Cooperation, and

vi. Tourism & Cultural Exchanges.


7.

8.

Importance
a.

Has abundant human resources (comprises some 2 billion population).

b.

Brings diverse nations on a single platform nations of 3 continents;


diverse in size, areas and economic strength and culture (language,
religion).

c.

Here continental sized nations interacts with island nations.

Criticism
a.

No tangible achievements.

b.

Reason
i.

Lack of interest shown by the key members.

ii.

Very small size of its secretariat in Mauritius.

iii. Countries are too diverse to work together effectively.

Refugee Crisis
A. Overview of global refugee crisis
1.

Present scenario

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2.

a.

In the past two years, the world has witnessed a growing refugee
crisis.

b.

In 2013, for the first time since World War II, the number of those
forcibly displaced from their homes exceeded 50 million. Millions
more have since then been displaced as a result of conflict and crises
around the globe.

c.

More than half of Syrias population is displaced. Some four million


women, men and children have fled the country and are refugees,
making this one of the biggest refugee crises in history. The vast
majority - 95% - are living in the countries neighbouring Syria. In
Lebanon - Syrian refugees now account for one in every five people.

d.

While Syria is the worlds biggest refugee crisis, it is by no means the


only one. In Africa people fleeing conflict and persecution in countries
like South Sudan, the Central African Republic (CAR), Nigeria and
Burundi, have added hundreds of thousands to the longstanding refugee
populations from countries such as Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan and the
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). There are more than three
million refugees in sub-Saharan Africa. Kenya is home to Dadaab the worlds largest refugee camp, set up in 1991.

Neglect by international community


a.

The global refugee crisis may be fuelled by conflict and persecution


but it is compounded by the neglect of the international community
in the face of this human suffering. In the aftermath of World War
II, the international community came together to create the United
Nations Refugee Convention to protect people being returned to
countries where they risked persecution and human rights abuses.
The Refugee Convention has been an important mechanism, providing
a framework for the protection of tens of millions of people. The
Refugee Convention also established the principle of responsibility
and burden-sharing - the idea that the international community
must work together to address refugee crises so that no one country,
or a small number of countries, has to cope by themselves.

b.

This fundamental principle is now being ignored, with devastating


consequences: the international refugee protection system is broken.
i.

86% of the worlds refugees are in developing countries. Some


of these countries host hundreds of thousands of people. Turkey,
Lebanon and Pakistan each host more than one million refugees.
There is a clearly disproportionate burden on a small number
of countries;

ii.

Nearly one million refugees need resettlement or other forms


of humanitarian admission whereby the most vulnerable
refugees in a country are offered residency in another county
where they would receive better assistance. Yet, global annual
resettlement commitments are less than a tenth of this number;

iii. Although 145 countries have ratified the Refugee Convention,


there are regions of the world in which very few countries have
ratified the treaty, including most of the Middle East, South
Asia and South East Asia. In these countries refugees generally
enjoy limited rights and in some cases cant even be legally
recognized as refugees;

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iv.

Xenophobic and racist discourse has been normalised in many


countries, with certain media outlets and politicians blaming
refugees and migrants for economic and social problems. Too
many refugees and migrants have faced discrimination and
abuse in host states. The xenophobic attacks that took place in
South Africa in April 2015, for example, left thousands of
refugees and migrants displaced in that country.

v.

Some have resorted to deeply troubling measures, including


denying desperate people entry to their countries and pushing
people back into the conflict.

Notes

1. In April 2015, more than 1,000 people died within


ten days while attempting to cross the Mediterranean.
As of 31 May 2015, the number of people who
drowned making the boat journey from North Africa
stood at 1,865, compared to 425 deaths recorded
during the same period in 2014. The dramatic increase
in the number of lives lost in the Mediterranean in
2015 is partly due to the decision by Italy and the
European Union (EU) to end the Italian navy
operation Mare Nostrum at the end of 2014 and
replace it with a much more limited EU operation.
2. In South East Asia in May 2015, the world witnessed
harrowing scenes as fishing boats crammed with
refugees and migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh
were pushed back to sea by Thailand, Malaysia and
Indonesia. Desperate children, men and women were
left without food, water and medical care for a week,
before the Philippines and later Indonesia and
Malaysia offered to take them in.
3. The Mediterranean and South East Asia crises exposed
governments willingness to ignore legal obligations
and humanitarian imperatives.
vi. In both Europe and South East Asia, people smugglers and
human traffickers have rightly been blamed for sending
thousands to their deaths. Effectively combating the criminals
who prey on desperate people is vital, but it does not absolve
governments of their responsibility to provide refugees with
protection. The global refugee crisis cannot be re-cast as a
trafficking and smuggling issue by governments desperate to
deflect attention from their failures.
vii. Despite the huge influx of refugees, the host countries have
received almost no meaningful international support. The UNs
humanitarian appeal for Syrian refugees was only 23% funded
as of the 3 June, 2015. Calls by the UN for the international
community to resettle refugees from Syria have largely fallen
on deaf ears. The total number of places offered to refugees
from Syria is less than 90,000, only 2.2% of the refugees in the
main host countries.

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3.

The global refugee crisis will not be solved unless the international
community recognizes that it is a global problem and deals with it as such.

4.

Eight pronged strategy by amnesty international


a.

An international summit on the global refugee crisis focused on


increasing international responsibility and burden sharing;

b.

Global ratification of the Refugee Convention;

c.

Develop robust domestic refugee systems: States must have fair domestic
procedures to assess refugee claims and must guarantee fundamental
rights and access to services, such a education and healthcare, to
refugees;

d.

An absolute commitment to saving lives first: States must prioritize saving


people in distress over implementing immigration policies. In situations
where people are in danger of death, including but not limited to
people attempting sea crossings, states should invest in search and
rescue operations and immediately come to the rescue of people in
distress. This imperative should never be trumped by any border
control objectives;

e.

Combat trafficking: States must take effective action to investigate and


prosecute trafficking gangs. States should offer protection and assistance
to victims of trafficking and ensure they have access to refugee status
determination procedures and/or resettlement opportunities;

f.

Fulfill all resettlement needs identified by UNHCR: Nearly one million


resettlement and humanitarian admission places are required for
refugees who need resettlement and this number will increase every
year. Amnesty International estimates that, 300,000 annual
resettlement and humanitarian admission places will be needed every
year over the next four years;

g.

Combat xenophobia: Governments must refrain from engaging in


xenophobia themselves, for example by implying or directly claiming
asylum-seekers and migrants are to blame for economic and social
problems. Governments must also have effective policies to address
xenophobic violence;

h.

Establish a global refugee fund: Such a fund should fulfill all UN


humanitarian appeals for refugee crises. This fund should also provide
meaningful financial support to countries hosting large numbers of
refugees to help them provide services to refugees and their host
communities. This should be additional to existing development aid.

B. International Refugee Protection Regime


1.

UNHCR Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees


a.

UNHCR was established in 1950and succeeded the earlierUnited


Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration.

b.

Task
i.

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The agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international


action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems
worldwide.

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ii.

Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of


refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the
right to seekasylumand find safe refuge in another state, with
the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to
resettle in a third country.

Notes

iii. UNHCRs mandate has gradually been expanded to include


protecting and providing humanitarian assistance to whom it
describes as other persons of concern, includinginternally
displaced persons(IDPs) who would fit the legal definition of
arefugeeunder the 1951 United NationsConvention Relating
to the Status of Refugees

2.

c.

To achieve its mandate, the UNHCR engaged in activities both in


the countries of interest and in countries with donors. For example,
the UNHCR hosts expert roundtables to discuss issues of concern to
the international refugee community.

d.

UNHCR has won two Nobel Peace Prizes (once in 1954 and again
in 1981)

UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees


a.

TheConvention relating to the Status of Refugees, also known as


the1951 Refugee Convention, is a United Nations multilateral
treatythat defines who is arefugee, and sets out the rights of
individuals who are grantedasylumand the responsibilities of nations
that grant asylum.

b.

Article 1 of the Convention, as amended by the 1967 Protocol,


defines a refugee as: A person who owing to a well-founded fear of
being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership
of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country
of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to
avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having
a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual
residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear,
is unwilling to return to it.

c.

Responsibilities of parties to the Refugee Convention:


i.

Cooperation with the UNHCR:Under Article 35 of the


Refugee Convention and Article II of the 1967 Protocol, states
agree to cooperate withUnited Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees(UNHCR) in the exercise of its functions and to
help UNHCR supervise the implementation of the provisions
in the Convention.

ii.

Information on national legislation:Parties to the Convention


agree to inform the United Nations Secretary-General about
the laws and regulations they may adopt to ensure the application
of the Convention.

iii. Exemption from reciprocity:The notion of reciprocity- where,


according to a countrys law, the granting of a right to an alien
is subject to the granting of similar treatment by the aliens
country of nationality- does not apply to refugees. This notion

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does not apply to refugees because refugees do not enjoy the


protection of their home state.
d.

3.

Principle of non-refoulement under this No Contracting State


shall expel or return (refouler) a refugee in any manner whatsoever
to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be
threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership
of a particular social or political opinion.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948


a.

Article 14 of the 1948Universal Declaration of Human Rights


recognizes the right of persons to seek asylum from persecution in
other countries.

C.

Rohingyas

1.

Rohingyas are a Muslim minority in Myanmar (Concentrated in western


Rakhine state).

2.

According to United Nations they are the most persecuted minority in


the world.
a.

Persecution in home country


i.

Rohingya being Muslims are facing religious persecution in


predominantly-Buddhist Myanmar.

ii.

Not recognized by the Myanmargovernmentas an official ethnic


group and are denied citizenship (as they settled in Myanmar
after 1823; the cut-off date for citizenship).

iii. They have limited access to education and medical care.


iv.

They cannot move around or practice their religion freely.

v.

They have faced many violent attacks (including sexual violence)


led by a radical Buddhist monk Wirathu.

vi. Even nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has sidestepped
Rohingya migrant crisis for political pragmatism.

48

b.

Due to this they are freeing their homeland and seeking asylum in
neighboring countries. According to the United Nations, 120,000 of
them have been forced to flee Myanmar in the last three years.

c.

According to UNHCR, in the first quarter of 2015, some 25,000


people (predominantly Rohingyas along-with Bangladeshi nationals)
attempted to cross the Bay of Bengal . This is approximately double
the figure for the same period in 2014.
i.

All this gained global attention in May 2015 when while getting
entry to Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia via Bay of Bengal,
they were denied entry and pushed back to sea (for reasons like
being overburdened, human trafficking, internal security threats
like these people being poor are more prone to engage in criminal
activities, fear of smuggling) and didnt wanted to sour relations
with their neighbor.

ii.

Thousands (including small childrens) were left without food,


water and medical care in overcrowded boats for a week, before

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the Philippines and later Indonesia and Malaysia offered to


take them in. This led to many preventable deaths.
3.

4.

Notes

What should be done


a.

Prevent their persecution at the first place global leaders like USA
(with whom its relations are improving) & China (its neighbors) and
ASEAN should pressurize it to stop their persecution, if it doesnt
stop then ASEAN should consider suspending its membership

b.

Till the meantime neighbors should allow them entry, but since it
will put an additional burden on them so global community should
monetary support these countries in arranging food, shelter and work
for Rohingyas.

India and Rohingyas


a.

Approximately 10,500 Rohingya Muslims have taken shelter in India


(as reported in Parliament in July 2015).

b.

Our response has been muted and havent criticized their persecution.
Reason
i.

In 1990s we suspended our relations with Myanmar when antidemocratic Military Junta came to power. During this period
we lost ground to China and other South-East Asian nations.
Only from last couple of years are relations are on upswing and
the government doesnt want to sour its relations with Myanmar
again due to its internal issues.

ii.

Rising Islamphobia; In last couple of couple years anti-Muslim


rhetoric has normalized.

D. Mediterranean Crisis Migration from MENA (Middle East and North


Africa) to Europe via Mediterranean sea
1.

How many have migrated According to UNHCR, 1.4 lakh people who
crossed the Mediterranean Sea into Europe.

2.

Reasons for migration to Europe:

3.

a.

Poverty in their native country;

b.

Political turmoil and religious persecution in countries like


Libya,Nigeria(Boko Haram), Yemen (Houthis) and most importantly
Syria and Iraq due to rise of IS; and

c.

Their neighboring countries like Turkey and Lebanon are already


saturated with refugees and its difficult for new refugees to find
shelter, health, work.

Woes of the migrants


a.

Not able to reach Europe due to death by drowning in Mediterranean


sea In 2014, ~ 3,500 people died while crossing the Mediterranean
illegally, In 2015, till April 20, 2015, 1,750 peopledied leading to a
genocide in seas. (800 people died in april when a boat capsized
near Lampedusa island).

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Reasons:

Notes

i.

Boats are small and overcrowded.

ii.

EUs failure to take on the humantrafficking gangs that


ferryingpeopleillegally to southern Europe.

iii. Italys Mare Nostrum search-and-rescue program saved almost


1,60,000 lives in a year. But it was discontinued in November,
2014 due to budgetary cuts and complaints from other EU
states that it was encouraging migration to Europe. Instead it
was replaced by EUs Operation Triton on a third of the budget
and lesser number of vessels and surveillance aircrafts.
b.

If reaches then are facing xenophobic attacks.

5)

Refugees in India

1.

How many in India according to UNHCR and Home Ministry, in 2014


India was home to 2 lakh + refugees.

2.

3.

a.

Sri Lanka : 1 lakh

b.

Tibetans : 1.1 lakh

c.

Afghan : 10,340

d.

Myanmar : 4,621

Pushed by political turmoil, religious and political persecution,


overwhelming poverty, and lack of opportunities in their countries, people
from our neighbourhood have been migrating to India illegally for decades.
a.

At the time of partition 7 million people came from Pakistan to


India). They were granted citizenship.

b.

From Tibet in 1960s some 80,000 Tibet led by present Dalai


Lama sought asylum in India to escape persecution.

c.

Hindus from Pakistan and Bangladesh to escape persecution by radical


fundamentalist Islamic groups.

d.

Tamils from Sri Lanka in 80s and 90s during the civil war led by
LTTE.

e.

Rohingyas from Myanmar (~10,000).

Challenges to India by refugees:


a.

Foreign relations

b.

Internal Security Crisis

50

Our foreign relations soured with China in 1950s due to India


giving asylum to Tibetans and was one of the factor for 1962
war; China argues that India is allowing them to cause unrest
in Tibet.

Given the harsh economic conditions in the countries from


where they come, chances of they getting indulged in illegal
activities to earn easy money is also greater.

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c.
4.

5.

7.

The influx of refugees from Sri Lanka had given a fillip to the
smuggling activities along the Tamil Nadu coast.

Also terror operatives could sneak into the country in the guise
of migrants and refugees remains.

Notes

Puts an addition burden on land and our resources of india (already


one of the most dense and 2nd largest population in world)

Problems faced by refugees in India:

As India is a not a signatory to UN Refugee Convention of 1951 so


they enjoy limited rights (in some cases cant even be legally
recognized as refugees).

Problems of poverty, lack of proper health an education services,


problem in accessing services.

Our policy towards refugees:

6.

India has long-standing policy of not turning away refugees who are
looking for safety. We have opened our doors for all be it Afghans,,
Tamils or Tibetans or from Myanmar.

Legal framework for dealing with refugees:


a.

India is not a signatory to the 1951 United Nations Convention on


the Status of Refugees.

b.

There is no national law on Refugee at present. (Security considerations


(presence of extremist groups in some neighboring countries) are often
cited to argue against the desirability of a refugee law)

c.

Only Standard Operating Procedure are issued by Ministry of Home


Affairs to deal with foreign nationals in India, who claim to be
refugees.Under this genuine cases of refugees (those escaping armed
conflict or religious/racial persecution) are granted a Long Term
Visa (LTV) under which he can undertake studies in academic
institution or any employment in the private sector.

Steps taken by NDA government towards hindus and sikh refugees from
Afghanistan-Pakistan and Bangladesh.
a.

There are about two lakh Hindu and Sikh refugees from Pakistan,
Bangladesh and Afghanistan living in India.

b.

In 2014 election manifesto BJP called India as a natural home for


persecuted Hindus (similar to Israelis policy towards jews).

c.

In this step it has done following:

d.

i.

In its 1st year of power, granted citizenship to about 4,300


Hindu and Sikh refugees from Af-Pak region. It is also planning
to grant citizenship to hindu refugees from Bangladesh who
had crossed over into India after 1971.

ii.

Simplified the processing of Long Term Visa (LTV) application;


granted LTV application to 35,000 refugees in its 1st year.

Way forward

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i.

Challenge is to distinguish between illegal migrants who came


to India seeking work opportunities and a better life, and those
who fled Pakistan or Bangladesh fearing persecution.

ii.

Government should make its refugee policy religion-neutral.


Infact it India must remain open to all those seeking refuge, and
not just those fleeing religious persecution.

iii. Although not a signatory to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention


(which talks of no-refoulement), but India cannot escape its
responsibilities under the Article -14 of Universal Declaration
of Human Rights (which states everyone has the right to
seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.)

Diplomatic Immunity
Context In September 2015 when a Saudi diplomat Majed Hassan was
accused of raping two Nepalese women, left India without facing trial last
week.
1.

Diplomatic immunityis a form oflegal immunitythat ensuresdiplomatsare


given safe passage and are considered not susceptible
tolawsuitorprosecutionunder the host countrys laws, although they can
still beexpelled.

2.

Originally, these privileges and immunities were granted on abilateral,adhocbasis, which led to misunderstandings and conflict, pressure on weaker
states, and an inability for other states to judge which party was at fault.
An international agreement known as theVienna Conventionscodified
the rules and agreements, providing standards and privileges to all states.

3.

Why given

4.

5.

a.

Diplomatic immunity as an institution developed to allow for the


maintenance of government relations, including during periods of
difficulties andarmed conflict.

b.

When receiving diplomatswho formally represent the sovereign


the receiving head of state grants certain privileges and immunities
to ensure they may effectively carry out their duties, on the
understanding that these are provided on a reciprocal basis.

Abuse
a.

On some occasions, diplomatic immunity leads to some unfortunate


results; protected diplomats have violated laws (including those that
would be violations at home as well) of the host country.

b.

Violation of the law by diplomats has includedespionage,


smuggling,child custodylaw violations, tax evasion, making terrorist
threats,slavery, preying on children over the Internet for
sex,andmurder: InLondonin 1984, police womanYvonne
Fletcherwas killed on the street by a person shooting from inside
theLibyan embassy. The incident caused a breakdown indiplomatic
relationsuntil Libya admitted general responsibility in 1999.

Arguments for revisiting the diplomatic immunity


a.

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Using its provisions to save diplomats facing charges of heinous

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crimes such as drug trafficking, enslavement, rape and murder of


which there are various instances cannot be justified. In 2014 a
Malaysian diplomat was accuse of assault with intent to rape a 21
year old woman.

6.

b.

Only options before an aggrieved government is to expel the diplomat


and to declare him persona non grata under Vienna Conventions
Article 9 thus a denial of justice to victim.

c.

The Vienna Convention is explicit that without prejudice to their


privileges and immunities, it is the duty of all persons enjoying such
privileges and immunities to respect the laws and regulations of the
receiving State.

Notes

Way forward
a.

It is time for the international community to revisit the Vienna


Convention, which offers a high degree of legal protection to
diplomats.

b.

Till that time States have to work together to ensure the credible
prosecutions of diplomats accused of crimes.

South Korea & India Relations


1.

The two sides share historical ties. Relations between India and South
Korea stretch back to 48 AD, when an Indian princess is said to have
come to Korea from the historical city of Ayodhya in India, and, after
marrying King Kim-Suro, came to be known as Queen Hur Hwang-ok.
It was an Indian, K P S Menon, who was the Chairman of the United
Nations Commission in 1947, tasked with holding elections in Korea. In
addition, it was an Indian-sponsored resolution which led to a ceasefire
being declared between the two warring sides.

2.

However, it is unfortunate that the two countries only established consular


relations in 1962, in spite of the long association between their
people.During the Cold War era, India and South Korea were aloof from
each other as South Korea was a strong ally of the United States, while
India had inched closer to the erstwhile Soviet Union, though still not an
ally.

3.

Post cold war an upswing in relations


a.

Relations have improved by leaps and bounds in the aftermath of the


end of the Cold War. Indias improving relations with the United
States have also contributed to better relations with South Korea in
the post-Cold war era. In addition, the liberalization of the Indian
economy and the launch of Indias Look-East Policy (now renamed
as the Act East Policy) were also major drivers of the improving
ties between the two nations. South Korean companies have made
brisk business in India.

b.

As the Indian economy grows, more and more people are being
elevated to the middle-class, thereby creating a huge market for Korean
companies.

c.

In order to improve people-to-people ties, India has announced a visaon-arrival facility for tourists from South Korea. Buddhism spread to

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Korea from the land of its birth, India, and many Korean tourists
visit places in India like Bodh Gaya, associated with Buddhism.

4.

d.

It was during the then South Korean President Lee Myung-baks


momentous visit to India as the Chief Guest at Indias Republic Day
celebrations in January 2010 that bilateral ties were elevated to a
Strategic Partnership.

e.

The two countries also signed an agreement for civil nuclear energy
cooperation during the visit of the then Indian President Pratibha
Patil to South Korea in July 2011. Increasing nuclear energy output
is crucial for India in order to ensure that its economy continues to
grow. As India has a huge population, it cannot afford big dams as
they would displace millions of people. On the other hand, coal-fired
power plants are hugely damaging to the environment.

f.

A bilateral Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)


was signed between the two sides in August 2009. Trade between
India and South Korea stood at $ 17.57 billion in 2013. Korean
companies have invested nearly $2.93 billion up until September
2013 while Indian investment in South Korea stood at nearly $3
billion.

g.

Supports our candidature to UNSC and membership of the four


multilateral export control regimes - the Nuclear Suppliers Group,
Missile Technology Control Regime, Australia Group and Wassenaar
Arrangement

Modis Recent Trip to South Korea May 2015


a.

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid a visit to South Korea in


the month of May this year. During this visit, the relations were
upgraded to a Special Strategic Partnership under which
i.

Annual summit meetings to be held;

ii.

Annual Joint Commissions led by the their foreign ministers to


be held;

iii. Regular consultations between National Security Council;


iv.

Hold the defence and foreign affairs dialogue in the 2+2


Format. Japan is the other country with which India holds such
a dialogue;

v.

Boost cooperation between their defense education institutions;

vi. Boost cooperation between their shipyards for defence needs


vii. Both sides are to cooperate in the Asia-Pacific Region to ensure
freedom of navigation and security of sea lanes of
communication.

54

b.

It was also agreed to establish annual Summit meetings, in either


country, or on the margins of multilateral events and a joint vice
ministerial-level defense and foreign affairs dialogue in the 2+2
format.

c.

As India is one of the biggest arms importers in the world, there are
ample opportunities for Korean weapons manufacturers to sell their

Notes

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wares to India. During PM Modis visit, it was agreed that South


Koreas Hyundai Heavy Industries would be collaborating with an
Indian public sector company to manufacture warships in India, though
the details are yet to be worked out.
5.

2.

Notes

Challenges
a.

Trade imbalance : It is highly in favor of Korea; our generic and IT


companies are facing hurdles in accessing their market.

b.

Negotiation of CEPA : South Korea like Japan argues that potential


of CEPA is underutilized. Its not at the same level as with other
countries. During Modis visit in 2015, Decided to begin negotiations
to amend the CEPA by June 2016.

c.

Investment is stuck due to procedural delay esp. land acquisition


delay and taxation. ($12 billion investment by the Korean steelmaker
POSCO in Odisha has been stuck since 2005). During Modis visit
in 2015, adedicatedchannel (Korea plus) for Korean investment has
been announced.

d.

Nothing much has moved at the nuclear energy level.

e.

Soft power is underutilized. India should grant Visa on Arrival to


Koreans to facilitate tourism.

Way forward
a.

As part of the Made in India initiative, there are plenty of other


opportunities too for Korean manufacturers to manufacture in India
and then sell to other parts of the world.

b.

There are immense prospects for the India-South Korea bilateral


relationship. In addition, there are many avenues for cooperation
between India and South Korea in multilateral forums like the East
Asia Summit (EAS), the AIIB (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank),
besides in organizations like the G-20. When all is said and done,
relations between the two countries are now set to move to a higher
trajectory.

Defence Diplomacy
Defence Cooperation Between India and USA
1.

Defence relationship has emerged as a major pillar of India-U.S. strategic


partnership with the signing of New Framework for India-U.S. Defense
Relations in 2005 which has been renewed recently.

2.

Ways of cooperation
a.

Defence trade as of December 2014, aggregate worth of defence


acquisition from U.S. Defence has crossed over US$ 10 billion.

b.

Co-production
i.

Defence Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI) has been


established to simplify technology transfer policies and exploring
possibilities of co-production to implement Make in India.

ii.

In September 2015, Pentagon established India Rapid Reaction


Cell (IRRC) to pursue all aspects of the India-U.S. Defence

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Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI). Its a first countryspecific cell.


iii. During the visit of Defence Secretary in June 2015, both India
and the United States have finalized two project agreements for
joint development of Mobile Electric Hybrid Power Sources
and the Next Generation Protective Ensembles.
iv.

3.

4.

56

It was also decided to expedite discussions to take forward


cooperation on jet engines, aircraft carrier design and
construction, and other areas under Make in India.

c.

Joint exercises Indian navy ship participated in Rim of the Pacific


(RIMPAC) exercise in 2014; Malabar in 2015

d.

Personnel exchanges,

e.

Collaboration and cooperation in maritime security and counter-piracy,


and

f.

In June 2015 the 2015 Framework for the US-India defence


relationshipwas signed. It reviews the 2005 agreement and will
guide the bilateral defence and strategic partnership for the next ten
years. The new Framework agreement provides avenues for high
level strategic discussions, continued exchanges between armed forces
of both countries, and strengthening of defence capabilities.The
Framework alsorecognizes the transformative nature of the Defence
Technologyand Trade Initiative (DTTI).

g.

Institutional mechanisms for dialogue like Defence Policy Group


(DPG), Defence Joint Working Group (DJWG), etc.

Reasons
a.

Indias need for upgraded defence equipments due to threat of two


front-war and US need of market.

b.

Due to our common interests like stability, counter-terrorism and


ensuring free flow of commerce and resources through the vital sea
lanes of Indian Ocean.

c.

Probably US desire to counter China via India, for that India has to
be strengthened; a part of pivot to Asia.

Challenges
a.

One of these is Indias longstanding refusal to sign the two agreements


that US law deems necessary for certain aspects of technology
transfer: the Communications Interoperability and Security
Memorandum of Agreement and the Logistics Support Agreement.

b.

Indias defence ministry still remains wedded to its old bureaucratic


mindset.

c.

The Indian defence manufacturing industry both private and public


sector lacks the capacity to absorb and use these technologies.

d.

Technology sharing is still less as India is not a member of four


international export control regimes. Indias membership would
further facilitate technology sharing.

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5.

Implications
a.

Russia is upset; now it is even exploring defence relations with


Pakistan.

b.

China is upset which sees this a US strategy to contain it.

Notes

Russia (Decline in Indo-Russia Relations)


1.

2.

Period of upswing
a.

As strategic relations go, few countries can match the enduring


partnership that India and Russia have shared since the 1960s. For
close to half a century Russia has been New Delhis foremost military
supplier.

b.

In fact, defense trade became theraison dtrefor strategic relations


between the two nations particularly in the post-Cold War era.

Decline in military relations


a.

Yet Russias share of military sales to India is now in steady decline.


In consonance with Indias enhanced geopolitical status and strategic
rapprochement with the U.S., New Delhi has found new partners in
the West. And what was once the defining aspect of the bilateral
relationship with Russia is threatening to become a heavy burden for
both partners.

b.

This shift has been a decade in the making and can be traced back
to the123 Agreementthat India signed with the U.S. What followed
was a reversal of a decades old non-proliferation policy that
culminated in the signing of the Indo-U.S. civil nuclear agreement in
2005. Americas strategic rapprochement with New Delhi marked a
watershed moment in Indias defense engagement with the world.
Sanctions against many Indian defense entities were lifted and high
technology export controls were slowly eased.

c.

Foreign aerospace and defense majors were given expanded access


to Indian markets and within the space of a decade Indo-Israel defense
trade rose to $10 billion, while Indias defense trade with the U.S. has
since topped $9 billion.

d.

All this has had an adverse impact on Indo-Russian defense trade.


Despite robust numbers in absolute terms, Russias share of Indias
defense pie will continue to fall, at least in the short term. In recent
years, the Kremlin has lost out to other emerging export hubs for
big-ticket Indian defense contracts. These include, amongst others,
the36 MMRCA contract worth $7 billion to France; 10 C-17
Globemaster-III strategic airlift aircraftworth $4.1 to the U.S.
and eight P-8I maritime patrol aircraft worth $2.1, again to the
U.S.

e.

At present, Russias defense industry is sustaining its considerable


ties with India on the strength of the execution of contracts already
in place. Barring the upcoming $11 billion contract for thejoint
design and development of the Fifth Generation Fighter
Aircraft(FGFA) program with Russia, there are no specific plans
to purchase new Russian arms.

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3.

Pakistan-Russia military relations

4.

a.

Already there is trouble brewing on the horizon; all signs point to


Russia downgrading its military-technical relationship with India from
that of an exclusive partner to a preferred partner. Such pragmatism
should come as no surprise given that India has diversified its own
military import portfolio and no longer considers Russia as its exclusive
trading partner.Russian military export overtures towards
Pakistanare now perceptible. In a noteworthy development, Russia
recently decided to supply Mi-35Hindattack helicopters to Pakistan.

b.

Prior to this, Moscow had refrained from supplying lethal military


equipment to Pakistan on account of New Delhis strained relationship
with Islamabad the legacy of this Indo-Russian military exclusivity
can be traced all the way back to the Indo-Soviet Treaty of Friendship,
Cooperation and Peace of 1971.

c.

This shift is significant, and is driven by Moscows compulsive


need to sell weapons. One of the most important issues following
the dissolution of the Soviet Union was the distribution of its external
state debt. However, Russia did not inherit an equally robust economy.

Sino-Russia military relations

5.

a.

The recent upsurge in Sino-Russian military cooperation has also not


gone unnoticed in India.

b.

By selling the advanced Su-35 fighter aircraft to China, Russia is


potentially creating a conflict of interest for itself. With every sale
of military equipment to China, Russian military hardware becomes
less appealing in the Indian market; this is particularly true for the
aerospace sector, where a major portion of the Indian Air Force fleet
is made up of Russian imports.

c.

Some argue that the configuration of equipment supplied to India


surpasses that which is supplied to China.

Going forward, a period of dissonance is to be expected, before India and


Russia can adjust to therealpoliticof the present.

Indo USA Nuclear Deal


Critical Evaluation
1.

2.

Under the 123 Agreement concluded between India and US in 2005. It


was agreed that:
a.

US will facilitate Indias access to global nuclear commerce,

b.

In return India will aim for non-proliferation and will harmonize its
civilian nuclear programme with the norms of the nuclear nonproliferation regime.

Rationale behind the deal


a.

Nuclear non-proliferation

58

Bush administrationjustified a nuclear pact with India arguing


that it is important in helping to advance the non-proliferation
frameworkby formally recognizing Indias strong non-

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proliferation record even though it has not signed theNPT. It


would also bring India closer as an important partner in the non
proliferation regime.
b.

Economic considerations

c.

4.

US also thought that it might benefit from access to Indian


nuclear technology. In the words of their administration - While
much of the worlds approach to India has been to limit its
access to nuclear technology, it may well be that today we
limit ourselves by not having access to Indias nuclear technology
developments.Because Indias nuclear program was developed
mostly indigenously, the country used unique techniques that
other countries can learn from.

Strategic

3.

Financially, the U.S. expected that such a deal could spur Indias
economic growth and bring in $150 billion in the next decade
for nuclear power plants, of which the U.S. wants a share.

Nuclear technology

d.

Notes

The United States also sees India as a viable counter-weight to


the growing influence of China.

At present the deal is facing various hurdles, and as sceptics note, has not
resulted in a single commercial nuclear transaction between India and the
US. The hurdles are:
a.

Debate on nuclear liability under the Civil Liability forNuclear


DamageAct (CLNDA) of 2010 what should be the liability and
under whom. India wants to revise it to meet the international
conventions;

b.

Delhis concerns about administrative arrangements for monitoring


the sensitive parts of Indias civilian nuclear cycle; and

c.

Facilitating Indias early membership of global non-proliferation


regimes such as the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

Still the deal has significance because


a.

b.

Nuclear
i.

This ended Indias nuclear apartheid following its nuclear tests


in 1974 and 1998.

ii.

Increased the flow of uranium from other countries India has


signed dual supply agreements with various countries having
huge reserves like Australia, Kazakhstan and more recently a
$ 350 million worth deal with Canadas largest uranium producer,
Cameco Corp.

Indo-US relations
i.

It gave momentum to indo-US relations. US is now Indias


largest trade partner; a major supplier of defence equipment to
India.

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5.

c.

In April 2015, Canada signed an agreement. It was recognition of


Indias ability to act as a responsible regional and global power.

d.

With the NSG waiver, India became the only non-NPT state that can
maintain its military and civilian nuclear program even while accessing
global nuclear trade, thus giving it near-parity with nuclear-weapon
states.

e.

Further, the NSG wavier has opened the possibility of Indias entry
as a full member in the NSG as well as other export control subregimes like the Wassenar Arrangement, Australia Group and Missile
Technology Control Regime (MTCR). This will imply Indias
metamorphosis from a recipient state to a supplier.

Conclusion Full potential hasnt been realised, but still has yielded many
results, now both sides should work together to implement it fully.

CLND Act, 2010 (Civil Liability for Nuclear


Damages)
1.

Liability limit
a.

Till $ 300 million SDR Liability is capped at $ 300 million SDRs


(Rs. 2,610 crore)
i.

NPCIL (operator) will pay upto Rs. 1,500 crore;


1. For this an insurance pool will be created of equivalent
amount. It will be funded by the government and
government owned insurance companies in a 50:50 ratio.

ii.
b.

Above $ 300 million SDR


i.

2.

Union government will pay the balance 1,110 crore.

Any damages above this will come from an international fund,


once India ratifies the International Convention on
Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Liability (CSC).

Who will pay (be liable) supplier or operator


a.

Operator is liable, not supplier (section-4)


i.

As we saw above that NPCIL (operator) will pay up to 1,500


core, till 2,610 crore government and thereafter an international
fund. Supplier or manufacturer are nowhere involved.

b.

But, yes the supplier can be made to pay money. (right to recourse
against supplier u/s-17)

c.

But the issue is who will sue it.


i.

Only operator can sue them. (and that too only if it is mentioned
in contract between NPCIL and supplier under section 6a.
thus there is no mandatory right to recourse)

ii.

Victims cannot sue them (cannot file class-action suits)


1. According to Section 46, victims and even operators
cannot bring claims for compensation for nuclear

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damage under statutes other than the CLND Act; i.e.


they cannot go to foreign courts also.
3.

Time limit
a.

4.

Notes

Clause 18 of the Nuclear Liability Bill limits the time to make a


claim within 10 years. This is considered to be too short as there
may be long term damage due to the nuclear accident.

Criticism
a.

Liability limit
i.

b.

c.

This amount is only a small fraction of what victims need (in


Fushikama disaster damage was to the tune of $ 200 billion).
It is very low compared to other countries.

Who is liable
i.

Supplier not held accountablegovernment

ii.

Liability to be paid by NPCIL (government owned money) and


government in short tax payers will pay the money.

Victims cannot sue them. Victims rights are not being upheld.

Pivot To Asia
1.

Over the last two decades, Washington has remained stuck in Afghanistan
and Iraq, thus paving way for China to advance its political influence
within the Asia-Pacific. Pivot to Asia, or more specifically US
rebalancing, demonstrates the realization of American strategic thinking
towards the threat which Beijing poses to Washington not only
diplomatically but also economically.

2.

Objectives
a.

Counter China : The central intention is balancing and countering


Chinas rise in the Asia-Pacific region while the other objectives
revolve around it.

b.

Asian Century:The significance of Asia Pacific lies in the geopolitical


interests of the key powers of the global politics. The years following
the financial predicament of 2009 have witnessed some crucial political
and strategic changes since the region has become the centre of
attraction driving the global politics.

c.

Constructing a Sense of Justification:Since Washington is currently


preoccupied in War-on-Terror, it requires a good reason to pull out its
resources from the other regions to Asia-Pacific. The recent
phenomenal boom of China has provided US that justification where
it feels itself bound to balance and to defend the land from any
aggression.

d.

Strengthening Alliances:Another objective places the strengthening


and reinforcing the strategic alliances as the foremost goal of the US.
The idea is to reassure the Asian partners its presence whenever they
feel threatened especially by China.

e.

Peaceful Resolution of Regional Disputes:The non-violent resolution


of Asian disputes is in the American core interests. The US is very

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much concerned regarding the solution of China-Taiwan tension and


Korean Peninsula. It is keen to imply diplomatic efforts to ensure
regional security. Another objective involves the denuclearization and
non-proliferation of North-Korea in order to guarantee peace and
protection.

3.

4.

62

f.

Incorporating Rising Powers:Another objective involves the


integration of emerging China into contemporary global order. Keeping
into consideration Chinas economic and military boost, it is vital for
the US to make Beijing act as a mature and responsible regional
stakeholder.

g.

Multilateral Commitment and Tackling Non-Traditional


Dangers:The strategic alliances are the building-blocks for
collaboration against security threats faced by the region whether it
be extremism, dangers from climate change, infectious diseases, nuclear
proliferation or natural calamities. Such an alliance provides a basis
for trust-building and cooperation to tackle Chinese rise.

Steps under it: Politically speaking, three elements of US rebalancing


strategy have been figured out that includes defence, financial and diplomatic
aspects
a.

Security Aspect:The recent adjustments in the US defensive posture


reveal the importance of the element of security for the only global
hegemon. Washington is aggressively shifting its extensive military
potentials from other targets to one platform that encompasses the
entire Asia-Pacific region thus, reshuffling its defensive arrangements
to ensure a much broader presence of the US armed forces to counter
any possible belligerence. This incorporates the highly sophisticated
military dispersion in Philippines and Australia and also to other
regional allies, thereby guaranteeing an enhanced coercive
amalgamation within the region.

b.

Financial Aspect:The rebalancing strategy also involves an intention


to enhance trade and economic schemes amongst the US and its
partners in-order to foster a trustworthy environment. For this purpose,
an idea of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a free-trade accord, has
been put forward that currently contains US and eleven other players
but excludes China. Moreover, the financial aid to Asia-Pacific allies
has also been doubled.

c.

Diplomatic Aspect:The pivot has witnessed heightened diplomatic


and military engagement of US high-profile officials in Asia-Pacific.
The agenda involves reinforcing the strategic partnerships, engaging
multilateral organizations, controlling US-China hostility and
promoting trust-building cooperation amongst the two global giants.

Chinas reaction to it
a.

Russia and China have become closer; Russia in August 2015 released
a new naval doctrine that singles out China as its core partner in the
Pacific.

b.

China has launched various projects like one belt one road initiative;
AIIB.

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5.

India
Has been a tough balancing game for India,

b.

On one hand it is becoming a part of Asia pivot (2 visits in 2 years,


increasing defence relations and recent conclusion of Malabar
exercise);

c.
6.

Notes

a.

i.

Chinas increasing presence in Indian ocean and thus we need


US.

ii.

Complimentarity exists between US Asias pivot and Indias


Act East Policy.

But to counter the tilt, India has also sought membership of SCO.

Conclusion
a.

Keeping in consideration the current political scenario within AsiaPacific, it is high time to resolve the tensions in SCS region since the
focus of the core powers remains in the very region and even a small
skirmish could usher the world towards a global war.

b.

The peaceful future of China and America lies in the clarification of


mutual misunderstandings, however, the analysts have observed their
future relationship in two entirely different perspectives:

c.

i.

One is extremely pessimistic, focusing on realism where there


would be a serious power struggle and a zero-sum battle amongst
China and US.

ii.

The second view incorporates optimism, focusing on Liberal


stance where its advocates believe that cooperation amongst
the two giants would ultimately become inevitable.

Since the two would, diplomatically and economically, rely on each


other, therefore, conflicts would be de-escalated and wars could be
eschewed. Hence, only time will tell what lies ahead but one thing
remains evident that Asia-Pacific would decide the fate of the world.

New Constitution of Nepal


1.

The Constitution of Nepal 2072 has been passed recently by the


Constituent Assembly. The new constitution will formally take the country
towards a federal structure from the existing unitary structure that remained
rooted in the country for 240 years. The new statute has proposed to
federate the country into seven federal units, which will be one of the
significant changes to take place on the basis of the new constitution.

2.

The preamble of the constitution also mentions peoples competitive multiparty democratic system, civic freedom, fundamental rights, human rights,
period election, voting rights, full press freedom, independent, fair and
competent judiciary, building of a prosperous nation with the commitment
to socialism based on rule of law, and democratic norms and values, and
durable peace, good governance, development through the federal
democratic republic.

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3.

4.

Highlights of Nepal constitution 2072 Features:


a.

Nepal is a federal state which means there will be no unitary structure.


For now, leaders have proposed seven federal states.

b.

Nepal is anequitable state and the Nepalese society will be governed


according to the principle of proportional inclusion and participation
which is a significant step towardseconomic equality and social justice.

c.

Nepal is a competitive multi-party democratic system.

d.

Full rights have been given to people including Civic freedom,


fundamental rights, human rights and voting rights.

e.

Full press freedom and independent, fair and competent judiciary is


guaranteed.

f.

Nepal is a secular state. Everybody has right to adopt the religion


they want.

g.

Executive rights of the country are vested on the Council of Ministers.

h.

President is the ceremonial head-of-the-state.

i.

New Constitution of Nepal 2072 2015 ensures a bi-cameral federal


parliament.

j.

There is an end of Monarchy in Nepal. President is the head of state


while prime minister that is appointed by constitution assembly holds
executive power.

Reasons for the protests against the new Constitution:

The Madheshis and Tharus who constitute 70 per cent of the Terai population
revolted against the new Constitution.
The major reasons are:
a)

The new Constitution has a provision for a 165-member Parliament, but


the constituencies have been demarcated in such a way that the people of
the hill and mountain region would get 100 seats, despite the fact that
their share in Nepals total population is less than 50 per cent. On the
other hand, the Terai region constituting over half of the countrys
population has been allocated only 65 seats.

b)

Only eight districts in the Terai region, from Saptari in the East to Parsa
in the West, have been given the status of a province (State 2, see Map
below); the remaining 14 districts are to be joined with the hill districts,
with the sole purpose of converting the local people into a minority. The
Madheshis and Tharus were sidelined in the entire constitution making
process due to prevailing distrust towards them among the mainstream
political parties.

c)

The new constitution of Nepal defines Nepal as a secular country, despite


widespread protests for it to be declared a Hindu state. Many Nepalis,
particularly the Madhesis, have been angered by a clause in the new
constitution which talks of religious and cultural freedom, with the
protection of religion and culture practiced since ancient times.

d)

The new constitution has made proselytising illegal, reflecting fears of


growing numbers of low-caste and other marginalized groups converting to
Christianity.

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e)

The constitution discriminates against women in terms of granting


citizenship. The constitution says men can pass on their Nepali citizenship
to their children. But women married to foreign nationals cant pass on
their Nepali nationality and their children can only become Nepalese by
naturalization. Any foreign woman married to a Nepali national will also
get naturalized citizenship. The constitutions provisions on citizenship by
naturalization have been criticized by gender rights activists as
discriminatory. The people in the countrys south, called Terai, who share
a close cultural relationship with people from India, are also protesting
against some of these citizenship provisions because the constitution says
the naturalized citizens cant take up high political and security offices.

5.

A forward looking Constitution must take adequate care to accommodate


rather than leave out the genuine aspirations of a substantial cross-section
of people. If such aspirations remain unmet, as the persisting movement
by the people of the Terai region would indicate, the ongoing crisis may
deepen causing trouble for one and all in Nepal.

Notes

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