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The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 09 January 2020

A multilateral alternative, by Asia

  •  After a gap of 200 years, Asian economies are again larger than the rest of the world’s combined.
  •  Asia is providing the multilateral alternative to a world divided by values, and no longer by ideology.
  •  India and China are working to resolve their border dispute.
  • Asian Century: 1988 meeting between Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping and former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

  • It responds to the re-emergence ofthe 2 countries, leveraging size and technological competence to shape a new order that reflects their civilisational values which are distinct from those of the West.
  •  Western construct: balance of power
  • Asia: live in peace
  • After attaining 15% of global wealth china announced
  • 2013: multilateral Belt and road initiative (BRI)
  • 2014: Asian Infrastructure investment bank

  •  2015: emerging India established the International Solar Alliance

  • United States has recognised the‘Asian Century’
  •  Indo-Pacific
  • Withdrawal from climate change after shifting the burden onto developing countries
  • Forced inclusion of intellectual property rights

  • The contours of the new order should notbe seen through a western prism.
  •  Every big state has bilateral relations with all three, and they take part in limited sectoral cooperation on a regional basis.
  • As the world leader in digital transactions china is developing block chain-based financial infrastructure in BRI countries and exploring an international blockchain currency for digital settlements without relying on the dollar, thus reducing U.S. leverage.
  • U.S., China and India will retain their civilisational models into the future.
  • Security: the U.S.’s efforts to maintain hegemony
  • Economic: China’s emphasis on connectivity, markets and growth
  • Equitable sustainable development: India-led framework of digital infrastructure designed as a public good.

From the brink of war

  • Tehran launched ballistic missile attacks at American troops in 2 military bases in Iraq.
  • The attacks were both an actof retaliation and a show of its capability.
  • Article 51 of the UN Charter: which allows member-states to take military actions in self-defence if they come under attack.
  • Mr. Trump, in his response later on Wednesday, has signaled that he was backing away from further conflicts with Iran.
  • Iran has a host of militias under its command across the region.
  •  The international community should now push for a diplomatic settlement of the crisis.
  • Long term peace: revive the nuclear deal

 Reality check

  • Advance estimates
  • The National Statistical Office (NSO) has estimated that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will expand by 5%
  • The latest growth assumption appears grounded more on optimism than on real hard data.
  • First half’s expansion: 4.8%
  • The NSO’s projection assumes that consumers would go out and spend an additional ₹4.77 lakh crore, or almost 12% more, in the second half, than what they had spent in the preceding six months.
  • Manufacturing: 2% expansion for thefull 12 months.
  • A shortfall in government’s revenue receipts
  • Iran-USA: clouds of conflict

It is high time the National Defence University takes off

  •  Generals, Admirals and Air Marshals must move away from their comfort zone of “being in charge” on the battlefield, and smoothly make the transition to being “combat enablers and policy advisers”
  • More immediate challenges rest in the sub-conventional and limited war domains.
  • High levels of proficiency and autonomous leadership qualities at the unit, battalion, squadron and brigade levels, with the senior leadership playing primarily a facilitating role.
  •  Mr. Friedman suggested that “the military's existing educational institutions should remove training from their curriculum”.
  • international relations, strategic theory, geopolitics and conflict analysis and resolution
  •  Senior leaders, he suggested, need to retrain themselves to move away from rigid chains of command, and learn to “respectfully disagree, balance multiple viewpoints and opinions, and present complex arguments” to diverse audiences.
  • Traditional military skills, systematic problem solving and structured thinking have to be supplemented with creatively modified academic and intellectual skills at every level.
  • While the creation of world-class infrastructure is important, unless we have the right faculty, and idea/content developers, the NDU [National Defence University] stands no chance of matching up to similar institutions on the global arena.
  • The bottom line is that the desired outcomes and the quality of human resources must dictate the trajectory of how the NDU comes up.

 The Indian Constitution’s unitary tilt

  •  Soon after the protests erupted, several State governments occupied by Opposition parties or partners of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) declared that they would not implement the law.
  •  Legislative Assembly of Kerala went to the extent of passing a resolution, stating that the law “contradicts the basic values and principles of the Constitution”. CAA NRC
  • Article 256 of the Constitution obligates the State government to ensure the implementation of the laws made by Parliament.
  •  The refusal to enforce the law even after the Cantre issues directions would empower the President to impose President’s Rule in those States under Articles 356 and 365.
  •  The Supreme Court of India has also confirmed thisreading of the law in S.R. Bommai v. Union of India — arguably the most significant case on Indian federalism.
  • West Bengal: In its final judgment, the Calcutta High Court could bar the State government from campaigning against a parliamentary law.
  • Parliament, the avowed “temple of democracy”, has been reduced to a site for procedural formalities.
  • Lok Sabha appears to be an extension of the executive, rather than a mechanism for its accountability.
  • The absence of the Leader of opposition in Lok Sabha for six years in a row (a consequence of an archaic and arguably unlawful practice requiring a party to secure at least 10% of total seats to occupy the position of Leader of Opposition).
  • A ‘Centrist bias’ of the Indian constitution further augments the powers of the brute national majority.
  • Over the last couple of years alone, we have seen repeated examples of huge vote swings between national and State elections, separated by only a few months, in the same constituencies.
  • These have offered convincing evidence that Indian voters are not only nuanced in their voting choices but can also reconcile their seemingly contradictory votes in national and State elections.
  • In other words, federalism is not a mere legal division of powers; the democracy and voters, too, are becoming federal.
  •  This popular embrace of electoral federalism may be one of the most significant achievements of Indian democracy.
  •  Hence, thanks to electoral federalism, the “losers” of national politics can still win State elections and form legitimately elected governments.
  • We should not be surprised if the constitution, a product of its time, falls behind the demands of democratic politics.
  • Ironically, the very Constitution thatcould ensure the fulfillment of the protesters’ demands is empowered to hamper federal politics.

The age of agitations 

  •  2019: “the year of the street protester ”
  •  Hong Kong: Extradition Bill that would have allowed the city’s residents to be prosecuted in mainland China.
  •  Chile: from metro fares to inequality
  • Spain: conviction of Catalan activists for sedition.
  • Lebanon, Egypt and Iraq also saw mass protests on issues related to corruption and overall mistrust in government.
  • Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the national register of Citizens
  • Also, they have been mostly non-violent and used novel agitational techniques. The state’s response to these protests has ranged from acceptance of certain demands to brutal violence.
  •  The Indian state has used various strategies: shutting down the Internet; imposing Section 144 across cities; denying permission; detaining protesters; and ruthlessly using police power.

 Betrayals from outside and within

  • The fight against the Islamic State (IS)was won with the help of 3 major forces on the ground.
  • Kurds
  • Shia militia
  •  Ordinary Muslims (Sunni and Shia)
  • Very few high officials of autocratic nations are lovely human beings.
  •  A country decided to openly murder a high official of another country with which it was not formally at war.
  • This runs contrary to all international laws.
  • Why isn’t this issue being taken up in the otherwise so law-abiding free ‘West’?
  • What is being discussed is the ‘near war’ between Iran and the U.S.
  •  The main ‘asymmetrical’ warfare being waged today is by the U.S. — with its economic sanctions against every real or perceived threat, from China to Iran.
  • Be a human being first, be an Indian or American or French citizen first, keep your religion to yourself.
  •  At the core of the crisis in the so called Muslim world is not the U.S. or any other external factor.


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