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13 January 2021: The Hindu Editorial Analysis

1) Reclaiming SAARC from the ashes of 2020.

Despite the despondency, the rationale for its existence is intact, and India can use it as a stage for its global ambitions.

GS-2: International relations:  Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.


CONTEXT:

1.  The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), appears to be all but dead in the water.

2. Reviving the SAARC spirit, potential and tool is necessary to deal with China.

 

About SAARC:

1. India is a founding member of the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) that was set up in 1985 as an organization to build a connected and integrated South Asia with the larger aim of promoting the development and progress of all countries in the region.

2. The regional intergovernmental organization and geopolitical union of states in South Asia. Its member states are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

3. India enjoys excellent bilateral relations with Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka. As per our “Neighbourhood First’ policy

 

SAARC Current Challenges:

1. The shadows over the meets:

a.) Over the past years, India-Pakistan issues have impacted other meetings of SAARC as well, making it easier for member countries. Example,  New Delhi to refuse to attend the SAARC summit in 2016 in Islamabad.

b.) The events of 2020, particularly the novel coronavirus pandemic and China’s aggressions at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) shone a new spotlight and shadows for SAARC meeting.

c.) Engaging with Nepal land clamed over Indian Territory, despite Mr. K.P. Sharma Oli’s decision to change Nepal’s map and Constitution to include Indian territories.

2. Pandemic-caused challenges:

a.) Reviving SAARC is crucial to countering the common challenges brought about by the pandemic.

b.) The pandemic’s impact on South Asian economies, an estimated 22% fall in revenue for migrant labour and expatriates.

c.) An expected loss of about 10.77 million jobs and $52.32 billion in GDP in the tourism sector alone from the impact of COVID-19.

 

Solution:  

1.  Reviving SAARC and collective to set standards for labour from the region,

2.  To promoting a more intra-regional, transnational approach towards tourism, trade and transportation solve the challenge of pandemic.

3. There will be a shift in priorities towards health security, food security, and job security, that will also benefit from an “all-of” South Asia approach.

4. Reviving SAARC to deal with China and Pakistan.

 

China’s Factor in SAARC:

1. SAARC members (minus Bhutan), all of whom are Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) partners of China will be hard placed to help individually.

2. Challenge from China too big , both at India’s borders and in its neighbourhood, a unified South Asian platform remains India’s most potent countermeasure.

3. Only a matter of time before china, it may hold a meeting of all SAARC countries (minus India and Bhutan). for they are all part of the BRI, and even that they will be invited to join RCEP, which India declined.

 

Solution:

1. India stepped up its health and economic diplomacy in the region, in SAARC meetings. It’s may help india to counter china in SAARC.

2. These have been need of bilateral initiatives also, not a combined effort for South Asia. Like Bangladesh.  

 

Objectives of SAARC:

1. To improve the quality of life of the peoples of South Asia

2. To accelerate economic growth and social progress the South Asian region

3. To provide all individuals with the opportunity to live in dignity

4. To strengthen collective self-reliance among the countries of South Asia

5. To promote active collaboration and mutual assistance in the economic, social, cultural, technical and scientific fields

6. To strengthen cooperation with other developing countries

7. To cooperate with similar organizations with similar goals

 

The world  regional trade arrangements’

1. USA lead United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA (North America), the Southern Common Market, or MERCOSUR for its Spanish initials (South America), the European Union (Europe), the African Continental Free Trade Area, or AfCFTA (Africa), the Gulf Cooperation Council, or GCC (Gulf) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP (South East Asia and Australasia including China), India’s only regional trading agreement at present is the South Asian Free Trade Area, or SAFTA (with SAARC countries).

 

Indian contribution towards SAARC:

1. India's initiative of extending its National Knowledge Network (NKN) to the countries of South Asia has been extended to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Bhutan.

2. India launched a South Asian Satellite (SAS) in May 2017 from Sriharikota. and Demonstration terminals of SAS have been installed in Bhutan, Maldives, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

3.  India major contribution in the SAARC framework, India is home to South Asian University (SAU).  It was established through an Inter-Governmental Agreement at the 14th SAARC Summit (April 2008).

4. India also hosts the Interim Unit of SAARC Disaster Management Center (IU) at the Gujarat Institute of Disaster Management (GIDM), Gandhinagar.

5. India created a COVID-19 Emergency Fund with an initial offer of USD 10 million to meet the costs of immediate actions.

6. India has developed a ‘SAARC COVID19 Information Exchange Platform (COINEX)’ platform for use by all SAARC countries.

 

Source: slide share

 

 Way forward:

1. The SAARC seeks to promote the welfare of the peoples of South Asia, strengthen collective self-reliance, promote active collaboration and mutual assistance in various fields, and cooperate with international and regional organizations.

2. All governments in South Asia have responded rapidly to the crisis, but their task is daunting.

3. Governments have imposed social-distancing measures, introduced relief packages to secure access to food and provided for delays in payments on taxes, rent, utilities and debt service,

4. Implement the SAARC Conventions relating to Trafficking in Women & Children and Promotion of Child Welfare and drug, in South Asia is big achievement of SAARC.

 

2) Imposing a compromise

Courts should stay within their domain while ruling on laws.

GS-2: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

GS-3: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System-objectives, functioning,


CONTEXT:

1. The Supreme Court passed an interim order in the ongoing contestation between large sections of the farmers and the Centre over the new farm laws.

2. The apex Court, in its recent verdict on the petitions against the Centre's new farm laws and farmers' protest, has put on hold the three farm laws. It is willing to suspend the laws but not indefinitely.

 

About the Judgment:

1. SC decided to set up a four-member committee to resolve the deadlock between the Centre and farmers.

2. The Centre may have a specific interest and farmers want repeal, the court said.

3. Constitutional validity of 3 farm laws is not suspended it put only stays on implementation of farm laws.

4. The court had indicted the government for not doing wider consultations before the laws were passed. May be, the government did not anticipate the intensity of current protests

 

Question on Judiciary approach:
1. The Court’s approach raises the question whether it should traverse beyond its adjudicative role and pass judicial orders of significant import on the basis of sanguine hope and mediational zeal.

2.  SC Faulting the Centre for its failure to break the deadlock arising out of the weeks-long protest by thousands of farmers in the vicinity of Delhi.

3. It is not clear how the four members on the committee were chosen,

4. How will the Court deal with a possible recommendation that the laws be amended?

5. It would be strange and even questionable if the Court directed Parliament to bring the laws in line with the committee’s views.

6. Why a negotiated settlement is always preferable, it is equally important that judicial power is not seen as being used to dilute the import of the protest or de-legitimise farmer unions that stay away from the proceedings of the panel or interfere with the powers of Parliament to legislate.

 

What are the farmers’ demands?

1. Convene a special Parliament session to repeal the farm laws

2. Make minimum support price (MSP) and state procurement of crops a legal right.

3. Assurances that conventional procurement system will remain

4. Implement Swaminathan Panel Report and peg MSP at least 50% more than weighted average cost of production.

5. Cut diesel prices for agricultural use by 50%

6. Repeal of Commission on Air Quality Management in NCR and the adjoining  Ordinance 2020 and removal of punishment and fine for stubble burning.

7. Release of farmers arrested for burning paddy stubble in Punjab.

8. Abolishing the Electricity Ordinance 2020.

9. Centre should not interfere in state subjects, decentralization in practice

10. Withdrawal of all cases against and release of farmer leaders Protests.

 

Source: consultancy.asia/news

 

Way forward:

1. Subsidy constitutes almost 54 percent of the agriculture value added in OECD as compared to seven per cent in India. Opposition to subsidy is also from within than outside. The population dependency on farm is extremely thin in these countries.

2. As per 2018, agriculture employed more than 50? of the Indian work force and contributed 17–18% to country's GDP. In 2016, agriculture and allied sectors like animal husbandry, forestry and fisheries accounted for 15.4% of the GDP (gross domestic product) with about 41.49% of the workforce in 2020.

3. In the case of an adult unmarried person or a family consisting of a sole surviving member the ceiling limit is five standard acres subject to a maximum of seven and a half acres. A family consisting of two or more but not more than five members can hold ten standard acres and up to a maximum of fifteen acres.

4. India is the world's largest producer of pulses, rice, wheat, spices and spice products. Farmer must be protected from arbitration legislation.

 

3) Policing a turbulent democracy.

A balance has to be struck between police autonomy and the need for the political executive to retain control over the force, but this rarely happens.

GS-2: Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries.

GS-2: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

GS-4: Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions;


CONTEXT:

1. A balance has to be struck between police autonomy and political executive in USA and India. 

2. Violation of principal of democracy On January 6, a violent mob loyal to President Donald Trump attacked the iconic Capitol Hill in Washington D.C

3. Delhi is for all purposes a ‘State’ as defined by the Constitution, operational control over the Delhi Police rests with the Union Home Ministry, different from W.DC.

 

1. How prepared were the law and order agencies for the worst-case scenario?

1. Technology: E-government can be defined as the application of Information and Communication technology (ICT)-particularly internet based Information Technology by government agencies.

2. To improve the efficiency , effectiveness, transparency and accountability of government. The technology is the means and efficiency , transparency etc are the consequences.  

3. Arm themselves adequately to meet all probable contingencies.

 

Role, Functions and Duties of the Police in General:

(a) To uphold and enforce the law impartially, and to protect life, liberty, property, human rights, and dignity of the members of the public;

(b) To promote and preserve public order;

(c) To protect internal security, to prevent and control terrorist activities, breaches of communal harmony, militant activities and other situations affecting Internal Security;

(d) To protect public properties including roads, railways, bridges, vital installations and establishments etc. against acts of vandalism, violence or any

kind of attack;

(e) To prevent crimes, and reduce the opportunities for the commission of crime sthrough their own preventive action and measures as well as by aiding and cooperating with other relevant agencies in implementing due measures  for/to  prevention of crimes;

(f) To accurately register all complaints brought to them by a complainant or his representative, in person or received by post, e-mail or other means, and take prompt follow-up action thereon, after duly acknowledging the receipt of the complaint;

(g) To register and investigate all cognizable offences coming to their notice

through such complaints or otherwise, duly supplying a copy of the First

Information Report to the complainant, and where appropriate, to apprehend

offenders, and extend requisite assistance in the prosecution of offenders;

(h) To create and maintain a feeling of security in the community, and as far as

possible prevent conflicts and promote amity;

(i) To provide, as first responders, all possible help to people in situations arising out of natural or man-made disasters, and to provide active assistance to other agencies in relief and rehabilitation measures;

(j) To aid individual, who are in danger of physical harm to their person or

Property, and to provide necessary help and afford relief to people in distress

situations;

(k) To facilitate orderly movement of people and vehicles, and to control and

regulate traffic on roads and highways;

(l) To collect intelligence relating to matters affecting public peace, and all kind of crimes including social offences, communalism, extremism, terrorism and

other matters relating to national security, and disseminate the same to all

concerned agencies, besides acting, as appropriate on it themselves.

(m) To take charge, as a police officer on duty, of all unclaimed property and take action for their safe custody and disposal in accordance with the procedure prescribed.

(n) To train, motivate and ensure welfare of police personne Question rise on law and System Administrator in Policing:

 

Police in India suffers from:

1) The lack of sensitisation of police personnel.

2) Absence of accountability.

3) Politicisation of the police.

4) Awareness .

5) Acceptability

6) Utility and, Adoption

7) Cooperation Coordination and Participation.

 

Stages of Conflict in police :

1. Completeness - the issues in the conflict have disappeared or cease to be important.

2. Acceptability - the outcome is acceptable to all parties, not just to one or to their elites.

3. Self-supporting - there is no necessity for third party sanctions to maintain the agreement.

4. Satisfactory - all parties perceive the outcome as just according to their value system.

5. Uncompromising - no goals have been sacrificed in the form of compromise solutions.

6 .Innovative-  the solution establishes new, positive and legitimate relations between the parties.

7. Unforced - the agreement was arrived at without imposition by an outside force.

 

Conclusion:

1. Police administration dynamic situation and it passes through various stages. These stages move through in a life cycle situation, from its emergence to its resolution. These stages could be Formation, Escalation, Endurance, Improvement, Settlement or Resolution, Reconstruction and Reconciliation.