International Relations (GS 2)
NATO Blunders, QUAD Lessons (Indian Express, 18th March 2022)
Author: – Raja Menon
- 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.
- 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