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Editorial Discussion and Analysis-11th April

International Relations(GS 2)

India’s role in disordered world (The Hindu , 11th April 2022)

Author: – Arun Maira

What Should India Stand for?

  • Institutions of global governance have failed to unite the world.
  • Summit after summit has produced mostly hot air in trying to resolve the global climate crisis.
  • Vaccines were hoarded by rich countries in the COVID-19 pandemic keeping the poor countries starved.
  • The war in Ukraine in February 2022 has put the final nail in the coffin of the boundary-less global economy.

Undemocratic Global Architecture

  • New institutions for global governance were establishedpost World War 2.
  • United Nations and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), and the WB and IMF to provide finance to build the economies of all countries to eliminate poverty.
  • The victors retained their veto power within the United Nations Security Council to determine when force can be used to keep the world in order.
  • The “might is right “approach of the members of the UNSC retain their right to deny the democratic will of the UNGA when it does not suit them.
  • Armed interventions and sanctions imposed on countries, authorised by the Security Council to restore democracy in other countries, make a mockery of global democracy

Inequalities have Risen

  • The belief that unfettered flows of financeand trade across national borders will lift people out of poverty and make the world flatter in terms of inequality has failed.
  • Even in democratic countries such as the U.S., demands are increasing for more “socialism” and less unbounded capitalism.
  • Decision rights in capitalist enterprises are allocated in proportion to property owned.
  • Whereas, genuine democracies are founded on the principle of equal human rights.
  • Universal adult franchise, wherein all humans have equal votes whether they are billionaires or paupers, is a more recent development in the West.

Social Tensions

  • Capitalist institutions want to be unfettered by democratic regulations to make it easier to do business.
  • The simultaneous imposition of free markets and elections in countries “liberated” from communism or socialism by the U.S. has invariably increased inequalities.
  • This has increased social tensions and sectarian conflicts, which more elections cannot resolve democratically.
  • Too much elections often produce populist socialists such as Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, or capitalist autocrats such as Vladimir Putin in Russia.

Cumulative Causation

  • Those who already have more power, from greater wealth or more education, will use their power to not only improve the rules of the game.
  • But they will also ensure they remain in power.
  • Redistribution of de facto power within a society must often precede the redistribution of assets of wealth and education that are the sources of power.
  • Violent internal revolutions and anticolonial movements are the means of changing power equations, as are armed wars even between rich countries in Europe.
  • India will be chair of the G-20 from December 1, 2022.
  • India must continue to resist the pressure hectored by officials from the U.S. and the U.K. to support their sanctions on Russia.

 

India’s Neighbourhood/ International Relations (GS 2)

Political Upheaval in Pakistan  (Indian Express, 11th April 2022)

Author: – Dagmar Walter

Still Unseen By Policy

  • Greaterinvestment in care services can create an additional 300 million jobs globally, many of which will be for women.
  • In turn this will help increase female labour force participation and advance SDG 8.
  • SDG-8: To ‘promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
  • Care work encompasses direct activities such as feeding a baby or nursing an ill partner, and indirect care activities such as cooking and cleaning.
  • Whether paid or unpaid, direct or indirect, care work is vital for human well-being and economies. 
  • Unpaid care work is linked to labour market inequalities, yet it has yet to receive adequate attention in policy formulation

Importance of Care Work

  • Since March 2020, the demand for care services has skyrocketed.
  • However, the investment in the care economy has not matched the pace.
  • This year, to commemorate International Women’s Day, the ILO brought out its new report titled, ‘Care at work: Investing in care leave and services for a more gender-equal world of work’.
  • The ILO is the only tripartite UN agency, which brings together governments, employers, and workers of 187 member States.
  • ILO sets labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men.

Child Care

  • India fares better than its peers in offering 26 weeks of maternity leave, against the ILO’s standard mandate of 14 weeks that exists in 120 countries
  • However, this coverage extends to only a tiny proportion of women workers in formal employment in India, where 89% of employed women are in informal employment.
  • Access to quality and affordable care services such as childcare, elderly care and care for people with disabilities is a challenge which workers with family responsibilities face globally.
  • Though childcare and anganwadis workers undertake important work, and childcare is recognised as professional work in advanced countries.
  • They lack recognition as workers and do not have requisite access to workers’ rights and entitlements in India

 

Look at the Care Sector as Public Good

  • India spends less than 1% of its GDP on the care economy; increasing this percentage would unfurl a plethora of benefits for workers and the overall economy
  • According to the Government’s 2019 estimates, 26 lakh of the 39 lakh domestic workers in India are female. 
  • The ILO proposes a 5R framework for decent care work centered around achieving gender equality.
  • Recognition, Reduction, and Redistribution of unpaid care work.
  • Promotes Rewarding care workers with more and decent work.
  • Enables their Representation in social dialogue and collective bargaining
  • Need of the hour is more significant investment in and commitment to supporting the care economy, which cares for the society at large.

 

Indian Society (GS 1)

Supporting the Care Economy (The Hindu, 11th April 2022)

Context

  • The nation of more than 220 million people lies between Afghanistan to the west, China to the northeast and India to the east, making it of vital strategic importance.
  • Since coming to power in 2018, Imran Khan’s rhetoric has become more anti-American and he expressed a desire to move closer to China and, recently, Russia.
  • US and Asian foreign policy experts said that Pakistan’s powerful military has traditionally controlled foreign and Defence policy, thereby limiting the impact of political instability.

Ties with Afghanistan

  • Ties between Pakistan’s military intelligence agency and the Islamist militant Taliban have loosened in recent years.
  • Now the Taliban are back in power in Afghanistan, and facing an economic and humanitarian crisis due to a lack of money and international isolation.
  • Qatar is arguably their most important foreign partner.
  • Tensions have risen between the Taliban and Pakistan’s military, which has lost several soldiers in attacks close to their mutual border.
  • Pakistan wants the Taliban to do more to crack down on extremist groups and worries they will spread violence into Pakistan.

Ties With China

  • $60-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which binds the neighbours together was actually conceptualized and launched under Pakistan’s two established political parties. (PPP & PML)
  • Shahbaz Shariff struck deals with China directly as leader of the eastern province of Punjab.
  • His reputation for getting major infrastructure projects off the ground while avoiding political grandstanding could in fact be music to Beijing’s ears.

Ties with India

  • The nuclear-armed neighbours have fought three wars since independence in 1947, two of them over the disputed territory of Kashmir.
  • It is Pakistan’s military that controls policy in the sensitive area, and tensions along the de facto border there are at their lowest level since 2021, thanks to a ceasefire.
  • It is expected that Pakistani military could put pressure on the new government in Islamabad to build on the successful ceasefire in Kashmir.
  • Pakistan’s powerful army chief General Qamar JavedBajwasaid recently that his country was ready to move forward on Kashmir if India agrees.

 

Ties with United States of India

  • Pakistan’s political crisis is unlikely to be a priority for President Joe Biden, who is grappling with the war in Ukraine.
  • Since it’s the military that calls the shots on the policies that the US really cares about, i.e.Afghanistan, India and nuclear weapons.
  • Internal Pakistani political developments are largely irrelevant for the US.
  • Imran  Khan’s visit to Moscow had been a “disaster” in terms of US relations, and that a new government in Islamabad could at least help mend ties “to some degree.

UPSC PYQ (2017)

In the context of solving pollution problems, what is/are the advantage/ advantages of bioremediation technique?

  1. It is a technique for cleaning up pollution by enhancing the same biodegradation process that occurs in nature.
  2. Any contaminant with heavy metals such as cadmium and lead can be readily and completely treated by bioremediation using microorganisms
  3. Genetic engineering can be used to create microorganisms specifically designed for bioremediation.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  1. 1 only 
  2. 2 and 3 only 
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Question Framed From Editorials

  • Care work should be viewed as a collective responsibility and public good. Do you agree? Substantiate with arguments (250 words)

OR

  • To prevent violence, it is essential that global governance becomes genuinely democratic. Elaborate (250 words)

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