9 PM Daily Brief – September 12th, 2020

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  1. India-China conflict
  2. ‘Judiciary’: Encroaching the housing rights of urban poor
  3. Effective foreign policy of India
  4. Chinese strategy towards India

9 PM for Preliminary examination


1.India-China conflict

 Source- The Indian Express, The Indian Express

 Syllabus- GS 2- India and its neighbourhood- relations

 Context- Government need to create a new equilibrium in its future relations with neighbours, including China.

 What are the reasons for current tension between India-China?

  1. Non-demarcated border– The root cause lies in an ill-defined, 3,440 km (2,100 mile) long border that both countries dispute.
  2. Strong infrastructure buildup near border– The two nations are also competing to build infrastructure along the border. India’s construction of a new road to a high- altitude air base is seen as one of the main triggers for border tension.
  3. China’s fear-
  • India’s tilt toward United States amid US-China tensions.
  • China views India’s assertions regarding Gilgit- Baltistan, as an implicit attack on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), China’s flagship programme.
  • Political and economic tension within China due to COVID- 19 pandemic.
  • India being a growing power in Asian region.
  • Potential threat to Chinese cultural hegemony in Tibet, because of the presence of the Dalai Lama in India.

What are the challenges that lie ahead of India?

  1. Severe winter
  • The administrative challenge of maintaining troop accretions at this altitude, during the winter season, will be of serious concern.
  • The armed forces need to ensure a high state of “operational readiness” until the onset of the severe winter.
  1. Political- diplomatic initiative
  • 1st challenge is to ensure that the current standoff is resolved without conflict. But in case of conflict, it must be localized to the Ladakh region.
  • It is important to ensure that the country is not faced with a “two-front conflict” [with China and Pakistan].

What has been Indian response to Chinese dilemma?

  1. Military– India has moved in additional divisions, tanks and artillery across the LAC to match Chinese deployments.
  2. Economic-
  • Citing the emergent nature of threats from mobile applications, the government has banned more than 200 Chinese applications.
  • Recently, the Indian government tightened FDI norms coming from the countries which share land borders with India. Government approval has been made mandatory.
  1. Foreign pressure– India must ensure continued US and international pressure at China’s other pain points like the South China Sea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Tibet.
  2. Isolating china– Need to continue to isolate China on its insidious role in starting the current pandemic.
  3. Reinforcing the alliance– India need to strengthen the Quad and other multilateral regional groupings of like-minded countries.
  4. Reworking on bilateral agreement– The need is to insist with an unequivocal “no war pact” with China and a categorical, time-bound resolution of all border issues.

Way forward

The first priority has to be to restore the status quo ante at the border as it existed in April. India needs a new paradigm of foreign policy which safeguard India’s interests more assertively and where all options can be exercised. Resolving this conundrum will require not routine political guidance but great statesmanship on both sides.

2.‘Judiciary’: Encroaching the housing rights of urban poor

Source- The Hindu

Syllabus- GS 2- Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Context- The Supreme Court of India on August 31 ordered the removal of about 48,000 slum dwellings situated along the railway tracks in Delhi.

What are the directions of the Supreme Court?

A three- judge bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra, relying on an affidavit filed by the railways observed that

  • There is a predominant presence of slums in close vicinity of the 140 km- long railway line in Delhi.
  • While the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had constituted a special task force for the removal of encroachments from railway property — “There seems to be some political intervention against removal of such encroachments”.

Thus the court ordered that:

  • State authorities to remove the jhuggi jhopri clusters in the railway safety zone.
  • Stated that “no court shall grant any stay with respect to removal of the encroachments”.
  • In case any such interim order is granted “that shall not be effective”.
  • These “encroachments”should be removed within three months and “no interference, political or otherwise, should be there”.

What are the Fundamental flaws raised by the Residents?

The Fundamental flaws which are raised by the residents are that the Supreme Court has ignored:

  1. Principles of natural justice and due process of law- Since the Court decided on the removal of jhuggi jhopris without hearing the affected party which are the jhuggi dwellers.
  2. Judicial precedents on the right to shelter-The Court ignored its long- standing jurisprudence on the right to livelihood and shelter upheld in various judgments such as-
  3. Olga Tellis & Ors vs. Bombay Municipal Corporation & Ors. (1985)held that the right to life also includes the “right to livelihood” and that no eviction shall take place without notice and hearing those affected.
  4. Chameli Singh vs. State Of U.P. (1995) the Supreme Court recognised the “right to shelter” as a component of the right to life under Article 21 and freedom of movement under Article 19 (1) (e).
  5. State policies governing evictions- The Court also failed to consider the policies and case laws on slum eviction and rehabilitation in Delhi. Such as-
  6. Sudama Singh & Others vs Government of Delhi & Anr. (2010) The High Court of Delhi held that prior to any eviction, a survey must be conducted and those evicted should have a right to “meaningful engagement” with the relocation plans.

The procedure laid down in this judgment formed the basis for the Delhi Slum and JJ Rehabilitation and Relocation Policy, 2015.

  1. Ajay Maken & Ors.  Vs Union of India & Ors. (2019)

A case concerning the demolition of Shakur Basti on railway land, where the Delhi High Court invoked the idea of the “Right to the City” to uphold the housing rights of slum dwellers. This case led to the framing of a Draft Protocol for the 2015 Policy on how meaningful engagement with residents should be conducted.

Therefore, all this represents a dangerous turn of PIL jurisprudence.

Way Forward

The jhuggi residents need to employ a combination of political and legal strategies to protect their housing rights and ensure that no eviction or rehabilitation is conducted without their prior informed consent.

3.Effective foreign policy of India

Source: The Indian Express

Syllabus: GS-2- International Relations

Context: India’s handling of the stand-off with China in the last few months along the LAC.

How are china’s relations with countries across the globe?

  • President Xi Jinping has introduced an aggressive policywith China’s neighbours since 2013. It has involved expanding cultural influence, improving regional security cooperation and socialising in the region to make countries accept China’s view of its core interests.
  • In the South and East China Sea areas, China has unilaterally enforced the Nine-Dash Line maritime boundary, while neighbours like Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia watched helplessly.
  • The UNCLOS tribunal decriedChina’s historical claims based on the Nine-Dash Line. But China simply rejected the verdict.
  • Even the Americans and the Japanese find it difficult to face the aggression of the PLA navy in the South and East China Seas. Their ships are regularly confronted, many times by moving dangerously close, by PLA naval warships.

India and China along the LAC

China’s aggressive military exercises are met with stiff resistance from the Indian side.

  • India’s proportional response to the aggression came at the Doklam tri-junction in North Sikkim in 2017.Indian resistance forced the Chinese to backtrack.
  • The Indian response in the formof “active diplomacy and strong ground posing” has forced China to alter its approach.

How are the Indo-china relations in recent times?

  • India has isolated China at the UN Security Council on two occasions in the last one year when it tried to push through a discussion over Kashmir at the request of Pakistan.
  • China couldn’t secure support from any country except Niger, when it tried to initiate a discussion on Kashmir and Pakistan’s efforts to get some innocent Indians sanctioned by the UNSC as international terrorists too failed due to India’s proactive diplomacy.
  • The US, several European nations like the UK and France came out in Indian support.

What are the new challenges ahead for India?

  • The ECOSOC,an important UN body on social and economic affairs, has Pakistan as the elected president.
  • On Kashmir, Turkey has largely sided with Pakistanin the past and the country is taking over as the Chair of the United Nations this month.
  • Issues such as Islamophobia and Kashmir may return to dominate the international discourse because China is raring to get back at India at all international forums and its efforts of supporting the Turkey-Pakistan-Malaysia leadership to counter the Saudi-led OIC.
  • India should be prepared for this new face-off at the UN because the US will be less interested in these affairs for some time as US elections are around the corner.

Way forward

  • India needs to cultivate countries like Australia, Vietnam and Japan in the Indo-Pacific neighbourhood to tackle this new challenge, although its traditional allies in Europe will help.

4.Chinese strategy towards India

Source: The Hindu

Syllabus: GS-2- International Relations

Context: In the standoff with China, India has two choices : either walk into the trap that has been laid or learns from the 1962 event.

Tensions at Indo-china border

  • The tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) are refusing to die down, despite the military and diplomatic-level talks.
  • It is the most serious situation” along the India-China border “after 1962”.

What led to the war?

  • In 1950s, India accepted Chinese sovereignty over Tibet and signed an agreement with Peking over trade with Tibet.
  • In return it expected that China would respect it’s given boundaries – the McMahon Line in the east and the frontier (based on the 1842 Tibet-Kashmir agreement) in the west.
  • The first setbackto this position was the Longju incident. Within two months, an Indian police patrol team in Kongla Pass in Ladakh came under Chinese attack.
  • India’s proposal:Indian prime minister asked Chinese troops to withdraw from Longju in return for an assurance from India not to reoccupy the area. He also proposed that both sides pull back from the disputed Aksai Chin, where China had already built (unilaterally) a strategic highway.
  • China’s proposal:Chinese were ready to recognize the McMahon Line in the east in return for India’s recognition of Chinese sovereignty over Aksai Chin.
  • India rejected the Chinese offer because it would mean India abandoning its legitimate claims over Aksai Chin.
  • After the collapse of the Nehru-Zhou Enlai [Chou en Lai] talks in 1960 in Delhi, tensions escalated fast and China intensified patrolling along the border.
  • In November 1961, Nehru ordered his Forward Policy as part of which India set up patrol posts along the LAC.
  • India’s move was seen as provocation in Beijing and Mao Zedong ordered the invasion in October 1962.

How is the current border situation different yet similar in some ways?

  • The overall current situation is different but the border conflict looks similar to what it was in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
  • The boundary has still not been enclosed and fixed;
  • China has not recognized the McMahon Line and India has not accepted China’s control over Aksai Chin.
  • Ceasefire which was maintained since 1988 has now been disruptedwith China first moving to block Indian patrolling in the Finger area of Pangong Tso and the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh during the summer.
  • India made a forward move on the southern banks of Pangong Tso last month, similar to the Forward Policy in 1961, taking over the heights of the Kailash Range.
  • When the Forward Policy was ordered, the aim was to secure the vast border and prevent further incursions. Now, despite the experience of 1962, India appears to be taking a calculated risk by making forward movements.

What are china’s strategic policies?

  • “Unity and struggle” policy:Mao had taken up this policy post 1962 war. It meant laying emphasis on unity with India on mutually agreeable matters while continuing the struggle over the border issue.
  • China’s strategic dominance:The strategy which would yield positive outcomes, irrespective of the strategies of the rival player. China saw itself as the most powerful force in Asia as Japan had been devastated by the war.

Understanding China’s moves

China considers that it has arrived on the global stage as a military and economic superpower.

  • The COVID-19 outbreak has injured China’s economy, but it is recovering fast. India, on the other side, is in a prisoner’s problem on how to tackle China.
  • India is a big, rising power, but is going through short-term challenges.
  • India’s economy is weak right now.
  • Its geopolitical standing in the neighborhood is not at its best.
  • India has cautiously moved toward the United States but still, there is no guarantee that it would discourage China or if the U.S. would come to India’s help in the event of a war.
  • China believes that it can play the game of strategic dominance once again.

Way forward

  • If India plays it on China’s terms, there will be war and so India should learn from its past experience of 1962 and cautiously find a way to tackle with china.

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