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DAILY EDITORIAL DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS(21st March)

By March 21, 2022May 25th, 2022Economy, Editorials, Environmental ecology, GS 3

International Relations (GS 2)

UNSC not fulfilling it’s Mandate (Hindustan Times, 21st March 2022)

Credibility at Stake

  • The crisis in Ukraine has exposed the Council as not being “fit for purpose” to address the security challenges of the 21st century
  • The UN’s role in peace and security has, perhaps, never been as weak as it now is.
  • The quest to find diplomatic solutions outside the UN framework on crucial matters will accelerate.
  • In matters of international peace and security, the council is not like a high court, but has turned out to be a petty crime tribunal.
  • And yes, it shall remain a platform for public diplomacy, to be used by its members, as and when needed!

Humanitarian Assistance

  • From the 1990s onwards, the Council expanded its focus on facilitating humanitarian assistance in situations of armed conflict.
  • Conceptually, such efforts are a “band-aid” which the Council has been doing for years in major crises
  • Even during the Syrian Crisis, there was little to show in terms of a diplomatic solution, but much to highlight in terms of humanitarian efforts.
  • While one might say that humanitarian incarnation is intrinsic to the role provided in Article 39 of the UN charter relating to addressing “threat to the peace”.
  • But Addressing a subsidiary pursuit is different from taking over the mantle of a humanitarian council.
  • UNSC has failed to meet the principal goal of maintaining international peace and security.

Conclusion

  • The Council’s DNA is that of a political body.
  •  Humanitarian concerns are never the sole factor for decision making.
  • Geopolitical and economic interests are always in the mix.
  • India needs to consider if yesterday’s failed Security Council transforming into tomorrow’s humanitarian council is the change we want.

 

Mounting Pressure (The Hindu, 21st March 2022)

Mounting Pressure

  • Ministers and officials from different countries are descending on New Delhi this month, as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues for its fourth week.
  • There are summits with the Prime Ministers of Japan and Australia (virtual), and one soon with the Israeli Prime Minister.
  • What the visits by NATO and Quad allies of the U.S. all have in common is their planning at short notice?
  • It is at putting discussions on India’s stand on Ukraine at the top of their talks.
  • Even the visiting Japanese PM made it clear that finding a common position on Ukraine.

Message From West

  • India must shift its position on three counts
    • To do more at the UN, where New Delhi has consistently abstained from resolutions criticising Moscow.
    • To join the sanctions regime.
    • To avoid contracting for more Russian oil, or sending civil or military supplies to the Putin regime until the war ends.
  • These visits point out that tensions between Russia and the West have reached a point of no return.
  • New Delhi is being asked to make a very pointed choice between them

Way Forward

  • The civilian toll in Ukraine is mounting, it is necessary for New Delhi to acknowledge any Russian violation of human rights.
  • While India has expressed concerns over nuclear safety, it must be willing to make this an issue with Moscow.
  • Another area is the threat of chemical and biological warfare.
  • Government must be prepared to vote on the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention and call out any side that violates these.
  • New Delhi must retain its ability to judge and shift its position from “being neutral” and “abstentionist”.

Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), 1972

  • Biological Weapons Convention was negotiated and opened for signing in 1972, finally coming into force by 1975.
  • The convention, to which Russia is also a party, along with 182 other countries.
  • This Convention prohibits the “development, production, acquisition, transfer, stockpiling and use of biological and toxin weapons”.
  • It required signing countries to destroy their stockpiles of biological weapons, to not transfer bioweapon technology to any other country.
  • Biological weapons, are disease-causing organisms such as viruses, bacteria or other toxins.
  • They are produced and released deliberately to infect or cause death to humans

 

Foreign Trade/ Indian Economy (GS 3)

Get these Wrinkles out (The Hindu, 21st March 2022)

Author: – Syed Munir Khasru

Bangladesh- Textile Manufacturing Hub

  • Lower production costs and free trade agreements with western buyers are what favour Bangladesh.
  • Bangladesh falls 3rdin the line as a global exporter.
  • Bangladesh overtook India in exports in the past decade as Indian labour costs resulted in products becoming 20% more expensive
  • India holds a 4% share of the U.S.$ 840 billion global textile and apparel market, and is in 5th position.
  • Bangladesh also concentrates on cotton products, specializing in the low-value and midmarket price segment.
  • However, at present the country faces the challenge of high attrition and skilling which results in higher costs.

Hurdles for Textile Industry

  • Fourth Industrial Revolution has been shifting focus from production machinery to integrating technology in the entire production life cycle.
  • Robotic automation exemplifies production efficiency, especially in areas such as cutting and color accuracy
  • The ADB anticipates the challenges of job losses and disruption, inequality and political instability
  • The 4IR may result in unemployment or poor employment generation, primarily affecting a low skill workforce.
  • While a transition may be easier for large factories, medium and small-scale entities may suffer

Sustainability

  • Bangladesh’s readymade garments initiated ‘green manufacturing’ practices to help conserve energy & water resources.
  • Textile and apparel effluents account for 17%-20% of all water pollution.
  • The Indian government is also committed to promoting sustainability through project sustainable resolution.
  • Sustainable manufacturing energy (renewable sources of energy are used) and circularity are being adopted

The Labour Lead

  • India’s potential lies in its resources, infrastructure, technology, demographic dividend and policy framework.
  • The creation of a Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution is indicative of India’s intent.
  • The U.S. trade war on China owing to human rights violations opens doors for India and Pakistan as they have strong production bases.
  • India’s proposed investments of US$1.4 billion and the establishment of all in-one textile parks are expected to increase employment and ease of trade.

TUFS

  • Ministry of Textiles has been implementing Technology Upgradation Funds Scheme (TUFS) since 1999 to facilitate technology upgradation of textiles industry in the country.
  • The present version of the scheme i.e. Amended TUFS (ATUFS) was launched in January 2016 to adopt innovative new technology in all the sub-sectors of textiles industry except Spinning.
  • This will be done through way of one time Capital Investment Subsidy (CIS) for eligible benchmarked machinery for a period of 7 years from 2015-16 to 2021-22
  • The scheme aims to promote ease of doing business in the country, achieve the vision of generating employment and promoting exports.
  •  This will emphasize on “Make in India’’ with “Zero effect and Zero defect”

 

Biodiversity (GS 3)

Harm in The Name of Good (The Hindu, 21st March 2022)

Author: – Sanjay Gubbi

International Day of Forests

  • UNGA has proclaimed March 21 as the International Day of Forests to celebrate and raise awareness about the importance of forest.
  • Countries are encouraged to organize activities such as tree planting campaigns to help increase the green cover, conserve biodiversity, and fight climate change.
  • GOI through the National Afforestation and Eco-Development Board, launched an ambitious 19,000 crore plan for an afforestation project to rejuvenate 13 major rivers.
  • It is argued that planting trees will help store carbon and reduce pollution.

Complex Ecosystem

  • Forests are complex ecosystems that are built over years due to the interplay of birds, mammals, reptiles, insects, amphibians.
  • These players are part of the rebuilding process, else trees will remain merely as green cover.
  • If wrong areas are selected for plantation, the natural habitat may get altered, which will cause habitat specialist species to become extinct.
  • The Great Indian Bustard, once nominated to be India’s national bird, is now staring at extinction with fewer than 200 individuals.
  • This is because many areas where these large birds thrived have been lost due to tree planting.
  • Ranibennur Wildlife Sanctuary in central Karnataka, which was designated to conserve this species, is an example.

Planting Native Species

  • Native tree species is a very misused terminology in India.
  • Though neem, peepal, banyan, and anjan may be native to India, they are non-native to many parts of the country.
  • Planting any kind of native tree species may probably help in urban settings but not in natural habitats
  • The aim should be to make tree-planting activities friendly to local biodiversity
  • We need to understand the co relation between native vegetation and the biodiversity that play a critical role in forming these forests.
  • If we plant a range of locally found indigenous species, biodiversity will make a comeback.

Great Indian Bustard- Critically Endangered

  • The habitat where it is most often found is arid and semi-arid grasslands, open country with thorn scrub, tall grass interspersed with cultivation.
  • It avoids irrigated areas.
  • The bird is found in Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat states of India.
  • Desert National Park, near Jaisalmer and coastal grasslands of the Abdasa and Mandvi talukas of Kutch District of Gujarat support some populations.
  • The great Indian bustard is omnivorous
  • In cultivated areas, they feed on crops such as exposed groundnut, millets and pods of legumes.
  • These birds are often found associated in the same habitat as blackbuck

Question For Today

  • Does India’s Stature of an aspiring superpower complement well with a her desire to have a permanent membership at the UNSC? (250 words)

OR

  • Reskilling and upskilling of the labour force should also be a priority for the India to climb up in the Textile sector. Comment (250 words)

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