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DAILY EDITORIAL DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS(18th March)

International Relations (GS 2)

NATO Blunders, QUAD Lessons (Indian Express, 18th March 2022)

Author: – Raja Menon

Downgrading NATO

  • What should have brought Putin to the notice of the West were his first two achievements
  • Stabilization and increase in oil production and export that hugely increased the Russian GDP.
  • Secondly, his successful suppression of the Chechnya revolt.
  • These were clearly the achievements of a man with a vision for Russia.
  • Unfortunately, it was ignored in the West, and particularly in Europe, which was busy with civilizing and militarily downgrading NATO.
  • The West, therefore, failed to connect Putin’s invasion of Georgia with his continuing vision to fight the regime change in Ukraine in 2015

Cardinal Error Made By NATO

  • The West actually made overtures to Volodymyr Zelenskyy to cosy up to a toothless NATO.
  • The most ridiculous political performance of the first day of the Russian invasion will remain the ineffectual address by Stoltenberg, the civilian secretary-general of NATO.
  • There is no doubt that Russia will eventually withdraw from some conquered territory.
  • However NATO is paying for the error of civilianizing of NATO when confronted with Putin’s vision of a greater Russia

Lessons For QUAD

  • War in the Indo-Pacific will be a maritime war fought in accordance with maritime strategy and space assets.
  • The Indo-Pacific is not continental Europe
  • To call the Quad a “diplomatic grouping” is a catastrophic error
  • Why is the Quad appeasing Beijing?
  •  In actual fact, the Quad, is all about maritime domain awareness, underwater domain awareness, and information sharing.
  • All of these are purely naval activities, which need continuous communication, a command organisation and a secretariat.
  • Neither of which we have because Quad is a diplomatic grouping!!

What Binds QUAD nations?

  • What binds these nations is their determination to dominate the Indo-Pacific and use maritime power to enforce the rules of governance.
  • Each member of the Quad has a different enmity with China.
  • India sees it as an obstructionist, aggressive, land grabbing competitor.
  • US sees it as an ideological and hegemonistic competitor.
  • Japan and Australia are ideological allies of the US.

QUAD going the path of NATO

  • Confusing Beijing by calling it a diplomatic grouping will certainly lead to a misunderstanding of the Quad nations’ resolve.
  •  Putin and Xi Jinping have both bulldozed their constitutions to lengthen their tenures to implement their vision.
  • Putin for Russia and Xi for the world.
  • Quad meetings should be headed by naval officers, with diplomatic support.
  • This will avoid the irrelevant communiqués like the one in February 2022 that spoke of dealing with Covid, climate change and natural disasters.

 

Land Reforms/ Indian Economy (GS 3)

A Ripple Effect Reform (Indian Express, 18th March 2022)

Author: – Ajay Tirkey

Digitization of Land Records

  • The computerisation and digitization of land records, undertaken in the recent past, has enabled the e-procurement of wheat and paddy in the states through the minimum support price scheme
  • It is extremely convenient now for the mandi administration to make an assessment of the food crop sown and the food grain produced by individual farmers.
  • Most states now use computerized land records for e-procurement.
  • The ease of living of the farming community has thus been positively impacted.

Push For Land Reforms

  • The budget speech included land governance initiatives.
  • It is apparent that the initiatives are technological at their core.
  • It is the most pragmatic way of implementing central schemes in the states.
  • Technology cuts across geographical, regional and state policy barriers 

Unique Land Parcel Identification Number (ULPIN)

  • In plain language, this is an Aadhaar-like identification for a land parcel or plot.
  • Each land parcel or plot is assigned a unique identification number.
  • Like Aadhaar, the agencies and services can use the land database from anywhere in the country to authenticate a farmer or the beneficiary’s identity.
  • For the farmer and the individual land holder, it would facilitate and enable access to information relating to his entitlements

National Generic Document Registry System (NGDRS) 

  • One Nation One Registration Software System — is undoubtedly a major initiative for urban property registration.
  • It is a software application platform that facilitates online registration of immovable properties and documents as compared to the manual registration process used earlier.
  • The entire process, right from applying for registration to paying the stamp duty and furnishing encumbrance certificates, is online.
  • Since the processes are online, there is a higher degree of transparency in the transaction of these properties.
  • NGDRS, therefore, is a major convenience for buyers and sellers of immovable property.

Transliterating the land records

  • The objective is to break the linguistic barriers in land records.
  • Presently, land records are largely in regional languages.
  • These linguistic barriers need to be overcome in order to open up the national economy.
  • A prospective property buyer from Maharashtra should conveniently get access to land records of Tamil Nadu in his language.

Conclusion

  • Budget speech has underscored the significant role land resource management.
  • Governance is expected to play in the resurgence of the national economy in the years to come.
  • It has strengthened the belief that the use of technology for land governance is pragmatic.
  • Reformative land governance initiatives will positively impact and benefit the citizen as well as various other sectors of the economy.

 

Act East/International Relations (GS 2)

India & Japan- Special Partnership (Indian Express, 19th March 2022)

Celebrating 70Th Anniversary of Bilateral Relations

  • Linked by universal values such as freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law
  • These have been shared through a long history of exchange, Japan and India are “Special Strategic and Global Partners”.
  • Japan is looking forward for realisation of a “new form of capitalism” that will revive the economy through a virtuous cycle of growth and distribution
  • India is certainly the best partner to have when seeking to realise a “new form of capitalism”

Japan Looks upto India

  • India’s contribution in response to the global health crisis as a major manufacturing base.
  • Leadership in decarbonisation efforts.
  • Including through the International Solar Alliance.
  • Engagement in advanced digital society initiatives such as Aadhaar.
  • The promotion of economic security initiatives such as Supply Chain Resilience.

Free & Open Indo Pacific

  • Upholding the core principles of the international order is indispensable from the perspective of diplomacy and security in the Indo-Pacific.
  • It is well understood by the QUAD leaders that any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo by force, must not be tolerated in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Both Japan and India are committed to taking bold measures to tackle challenges from Climate Change, Vaccines to Cyber Security Measures.

Special Strategic and Global Partnership

  • Japan-India relations have evolved into an inclusive and multi-layered relationship based on cultural bonds and firm friendship.
  • People-to-people exchanges between our two countries are also being advanced.
  • Cooperation has also taken great strides in the area of security.
  • This includes joint exercises between the Japan Self-Defense Forces and the Indian Armed Forces.
  • Metro system built with the support of Japanese official development assistance (ODA) is in operation.
  • A high-speed rail will make its debut in the future.
  • Japan has contributed over INR 81,000 crore in ODA loans through JICA. (Japan International Cooperation Agency)
  • This will establish metro rail systems in Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, and Ahmedabad.

 

Citizenship/ Role of Civil Society (GS 2)

Enter The Passive Subject (The Hindu, 19th March 2022)

Author: – Rajeev Bhargava

Context

  • A decade ago, democracy was thriving.
  • People with scant interest in politics increasingly felt a pressing need to become more vocal in the public domain.
  • The Congress-led coalition government was compelled by activists to grant everyone the Right to Information and Education and to launch MNREGA
  • The dastardly rape and murder of Nirbhaya turned thousands of young women and men into political activists.
  • Young men and women left lucrative jobs to join the movement for a new political future for India.

Yesterday’s Activist- Today’s Andolanjeevi!

  • The active citizen is now viewed as a villain.
  • Those who only the other day personified active citizenship, today, in power, appear to shut the door on it.
  • Rightly or wrongly, some are ready to forego even their rights as passive citizens, prepared to accept or tolerate political subjection.

Contrast between Active Citizen & Passive Citizen

  • An active citizen is able to (a) vote (b) publicly discuss the common good and use legally available means to influence public policy and (c) run for public office.
  • This is in sharp contrast to passive citizens who rarely act in the public domain.
  • They are either unable or unwilling to vote.
  • They either cannot or could not be bothered to take a stand on public issues.
  • They are mostly content with receiving things from the state — precisely why they are passive

The Loyal Subject

  • Passive subjects live by the grace of the ruler and get protection and other benefits by being loyal to him.
  • Citizens never equate the state with current rulers.
  • No democratic ruler can call the state his own.
  • However, political subjects identify the state with the ruler.
  • Unlike a democratic body of equal citizens, the relationship between the subject and the ruler then is unabashedly hierarchical.
  • There seems to be an emergence of the new political category of laabharthi as the rebirth of the political subject.
  • The laabharthi is a passive recipient of meagre resources, a beneficiary of the ruler’s generosity.

Citizen Subject

  • There exists an extremely large group of people who are neither rulers nor passive subjects
  • They are a mix of passive citizens and active subjects.
  • But what matters most to them is a private life of consumption for which they are not dependent on the state.
  • Since they make few demands on the state, active citizenship is of little value to them.
  • Yet, they depend on this very ruler/state to protect them from external aggressors and perceived internal enemies.
  • Interestingly, just when the passive subject was beginning to be seen as a relic of the past, it has made a stunning comeback.

 

Question for Today

  • Technology become an Enabler in land reforms. Comment. (150 Words)

OR

  • Discuss some recent initiatives by the Government that are oriented towards Land Reforms. (150 words)

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