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List of Contents
Source: The Hindu
Gs2: Role of Civil Services in a Democracy.
Synopsis: Police reforms require urgent attention. There have been many instances of Police-politician nexus. It is not right for democracy.
- The 21st century witnessed many crises. For instance,
- One, the 2007-08 financial crisis affected the growth of many economies and the recovery process has been slow.
- Two, the most recent impact of the Pandemic, it has affected every sphere of Human activity.
- Three, the crisis of Disinformation and fake news became a big menace for society.
- All these circumstances expose the fragility of today’s party-based democracies. Also, it exposed the inability to manage such problems.
- However, finding an optimal combination of authoritarian, populist and democratic trends will not be easy.
- It could give way to the rise of new political oligarchies, and the creation of new elites. They may identify themselves as the defenders of democracy.
- Recent trends within the country suggest the starting of such problems.
What are the recent issues affecting democracy in India?
- First, the concept of the free and fair election itself is under threat. This new reality gives way to authoritarian methods over democratic means. For instance,
- One, in most electioneering campaigns personal remarks dominate political debates, instead of developmental issues or policies.
- Two, the use of Money power and Violence during elections is very much evident.
- Three, the verdict of the election does not reflect the true will of the electorates.
- Two, the most worrying issue is the collapse of systems of governance in many States. For example, the recent case of Maharashtra after the Antilia bomb case.
- The event highlights the issues in the police system.
- Police made no or very little effort to discover the truth and the involvement of assistant police inspector, S. Vaze. It signifies the decline in standards of police mores.
- This incident is a prime example that reflects the problems in the law and order system across the country.
What needs to be done?
Police reforms by establishing a new police commission will not yield results. Because police commissions cannot change the system that compels police to operate by the politicians, bureaucrats, and others in authority.
So, we need to think of other alternatives to address the issue.
- First, nurture courageous police leadership that can stand up for the right policies and punishes officers indulged in wrongdoings.
- Second, create and execute a national public awareness campaign against the kind of excesses that have been allowed to continue. Creating such a movement and sustaining it will not be easy, but if the system is to be saved, there is a need to consider such real alternatives.
Source: The Hindu
Gs3: Conservation, Environmental Pollution, and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment
Synopsis: The principle of Net Zero emission is against Climate Justice. It needs to be reworked considering the national priorities of developing countries like India.
- The Paris Agreement, explicitly recognized that the peak of emissions will take longer for developing countries. It is to be achieved in the context of “sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty”.
- However, this balance enshrined in the Paris Agreement is being upset by enforcing a common ‘Net Zero emission’ targets on all countries.
What are the issues in the Paris treaty?
- First, the Paris Climate Treaty does not consider the equity principle. For example,
- India annual carbon emissions is just 3% compared with 26% for the United States and 13% for China.
- According to the United Nations, the richest 1% of the global population emits more than two times the emissions of the bottom 50%.
- Yet, developing countries like India needs to contribute equally in controlling carbon emission.
- Second, the treaty does not focus on the cause of the problem that is the excessive use of energy for high levels of well-being. For instance,
- It focuses on physical quantities such as, emissions of carbon dioxide, increase in global temperature, impacts on nature. And It suggests finance and technology transfer as solutions to solve the problem.
- But the solutions require an analysis of drivers, trends and patterns of resource use.
- Third, the recommendations ignore the costs for the poor. It states that early capping of energy use will not affect the growth of the poor.
Why adopting Net zero emission targets will be disastrous for India?
For developed countries, peaking of emissions came 20 years after infrastructure saturation levels were reached. However, developing countries cannot adopt Zero emissions because;
- First, the development of infrastructure is vital for developing countries. It will contribute to carbon emissions. For example, China’s emissions increased three times in the period 2000-2015, driven largely by infrastructure.
- Second, the middle class of developing countries requires infrastructure, mobility, buildings, and diet. There will be a need for half the available carbon space for their development.
- Third, India has a young population and much of the future emissions in India will come from infrastructure, buildings and industry. This cannot be altered much if India wants to reach comparable levels of well-being with major economies.
What needs to be done?
India must highlight unique national circumstances with respect to the food, energy and transportation systems that have to change. For example,
- First, India should stress on change in dietary patterns of western countries. Consumption of meat contributes to a third of global emissions. Indians eat just 4 kg a year compared with around 68 kg in the European Union and twice of that in the U.S.
- Second, India should stress on cutting down the Transport emissions. Because transport emissions account for a quarter of global emissions. For example, transport emissions have surpassed emissions from generation of electricity in the US
- Third, India should stress on finding alternatives for coal use. Need to shift focus on renewable energy and hydrogen as a fuel for electrification.
What changes should be brought to the Paris treaty?
- First, the Paris Agreement should have changes in line with the sustainable development of countries with per capita emissions below the global average
- Second, the verifiable measure should be well-being within ecological limits.
- Third, international cooperation to facilitate sharing technology of electric vehicles and hydrogen as a fuel.
Source: The Hindu
Syllabus: India and Neighbourhood relations
Synopsis: India and Pakistan have to improve their engagement further if they want to improve bilateral ties.
India and Pakistan have improved their engagement in recent times. For example,
- India and Pakistan issued a joint statement to strictly observe all the agreements on a ceasefire along the LoC and other sectors
- Permanent Indus Commission meeting on the Indus Water treaty,
- Resuming trade with India. Under this, Pakistan allows the import of sugar and cotton from India. However, later retracted from this stand.
- Issuing of sporting visas and other measures like official speech on regional rapprochement, etc.
The U-turn of Pakistan:
Despite the development, the External Affairs Ministers of both sides did not meet and greet each other at the Heart of Asia conference held last week. Further, Last week reversed few earlier developments as well. Such as,
- Pakistan’s foreign minister was the one who led the charge of Cabinet Ministers. He and his colleagues opposed the move of Pakistan’s Economic Coordination Committee to reopen imports of Indian cotton and sugar.
- He was of the opinion that the move would violate Pakistan’s commitments to Kashmir.
- Further, the Pakistan Army General also stressed the need for Geo-economics.
- Following these developments, the Pakistan cabinet rejected the import proposal of Cotton last week.
- Apart from that, the Pakistan cabinet also announced that they will not normalize India Pakistan ties until the revocation of steps of August 2019. (on Jammu and Kashmir and Article 370).
The U-turn in India Pakistan relations is not a new one. India did not comment on the unworkable demand on Article 370.
Pakistan has to explore options for more ties with India. This can be achieved by steps such as,
- Restoration of High Commissioners in each other’s capitals.
- Opening up of cross border LoC trade that was suspended for security reasons in 2019
- Valuable commitments from Pakistan on issues such as cross-border terrorism, etc.
Both India and Pakistan have to capitalise on the nascent re-engagement. But the only solution is to improve their engagement further.
Source: The Hindu
Syllabus: India and its neighbourhood- relations
Synopsis: Myanmar’s military is unwilling to give power to the democratically elected government. It is time for the regional countries to put pressure to end the military rule in Myanmar.
Myanmar celebrated its Armed Forces Day on March 27. But violence broke out during the celebration. It led to the killing of more than 100 protesters. After the military coup in February, this once again brought back the demand for Rule of Law in Myanmar.
India and Myanmar:
India maintains a cordial relationship with Myanmar. An Indian representative was sent to attend the Armed forces Day. Along with India, 7 other countries sent representatives to attend the Armed forces’ day celebrations in Naypyidaw. This includes China, Pakistan, Russia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand.
When the military conducted parades, the police and soldiers in other parts of Myanmar used lethal force against unarmed people. This resulted in the killing of more than 100 unarmed protesters.
India condemned the “use of violence”. Further, India also asked Myanmar for the “restoration of democracy”.
Difference between past and present protests:
The history of Independent Myanmar is a swing between democratic and military rule. Earlier the military rule relied on swift actions to curb protesters in 1988 and 2007.
According to independent agencies, the military has so far killed more than 570 civilians, including 46 children, since the coup. But the protests are increasing day by day and not reducing like the past ones. This is due to the following reasons,
- The military rule at present followed after a decade of partial democracy. The people enjoyed their freedoms under the elected government for a decade. So, people are opposing military rule at present.
- The challenge with the banking system. Apart from street protests, the banks in Myanmar are also on the brink of collapse. Most of the bank staff are on strike against military rule. This resulted in a shortage of cash and inflation of essential goods.
- The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was also intensified by the protests of the Industrial Workers.
- Support of armed insurgent groups for protesters. The insurgent groups oppose the military as they are they take strict measures to control the insurgents. So, the insurgent groups provide support to the protesters.
Suggestions to bring back normalcy:
India and China initially remained silent on the Coup. However, now their stand is changing as unstable Myanmar is not in the interest of any country.
So far, the military Generals are unwilling to give up power. The only way is the involvement of India, China, and other countries in ASEAN to put pressure on the military to restore democracy in Myanmar.