17 January, 2020 24 Min Read
|GS-I||Tipu Sultan||History And Culture|
|GS-II||Mental Health Act, 2017||National and Political Issues|
|India to host SCO meet||International Organisations|
|China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC)||International Relations|
|Capital Punishment||National and Political Issues|
|GS-III||Current Account Deficit (CAD)||Economy|
|Debt Linked Savings Scheme (DLSS)||Economy|
GS-I : History And Culture
Syllabus subtopic: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues
Prelims and Mains focus: about the controversy around Tipu Sultan of Mysore; his administration and religious policies
News: Even though the Karnataka State government is yet to officially announce its decision on whether lessons pertaining to Mysuru king Tipu Sultan should be dropped or retained, it is clear that the lessons will be retained for the 2020-2021 academic year.
The controversy regarding the lessons on Tipu Sultan was raised by Madikeri MLA Appachu Ranjan who had written to the department seeking removal of the lessons terming Tipu a “fanatic”. Subject experts had argued that only “facts” pertaining to him were presented in the class six, seven and 10 textbooks and that he was “not glorified”.
The “removal” of Tipu from textbooks will fundamentally alter the history of early modern India, and make invisible one of the key individuals in the society and politics of South India in the second half of the 18th century, when the East India Company was rapidly expanding Britain’s colonial footprint over the country.
About Tipu Sultan (1750-1799)
Tipu Sultan, the Tiger of Mysore, was the Indian ruler who resisted the East India Company’s conquest of southern India. He had inherited the throne from his father Haidar Ali, who had driven out the previous Hindu dynasty.
He tried to build up an alliance to drive the British – ‘those oppressors of the human race’ – out of India and intrigued with the French in Paris and Mauritius. Tippu was instructed in military tactics by French officers in the employ of his father, Hyder Ali. In 1767 Tippu commanded a corps of cavalry against the Marathas in the Carnatic (Karnataka) region of western India, and he fought against the Marathas on several occasions between 1775 and 1779.
He succeeded his father in December 1782 and in 1784 concluded peace with the British and assumed the title of sultan of Mysore. In 1789, however, he provoked British invasion by attacking their ally, the Raja of Travancore. By the Treaty of Seringapatam (March 1792) he had to cede half his dominions.
He remained restless and allowed his negotiations with Revolutionary France to become known to the British. On that pretext the governor-general, Lord Mornington (later the marquess of Wellesley), launched the fourth Anglo- Mysore War. Seringapatam (now Srirangapatna), Tippu’s capital, was stormed by British-led forces on May 4, 1799, and Tippu died leading his troops in the breach
Conflicts with the British (Anglo-Mysore wars):
The Anglo–Mysore Wars were a series of four wars fought in India over the three decades of the 18th century between the British East India Company and the Kingdom of Mysore
First Anglo-Mysore War (1767-1769)
In 1767, Mysore was a powerful state under Hyder Ali. In 1769, the first Anglo-Mysore war was fought in which Haider Ali defeated the British and Treaty of Madras was signed between them. Haider Ali occupied almost the whole of Carnatic
Second Anglo-Mysore War (1780-1784)
Warren Hastings attacked French port Mahe, which was in Haider Ali’s territory. Haider Ali led a common front with Nizam and Marathas and captured Arcot (Capital of Carnatic State).
In July 1781, Haider Ali was defeated at Porto Novo by Eyre Coote and saved Madras. In December 1782, after the death of Haider Ali, the war was carried on by his son Tipu Sultan.
Tipu Sultan signed Treaty of Mangalore in March 1784 which ended the second Anglo-Mysore war.
Third Anglo-Mysore War (1789-1792)
The third war was fought between Tipu Sultan, and British East Indian Company began in 1789 and ended in Tipu’s defeated in 1792. In this war, Marathas and Nizam aided the British and Cornwallis captured Bangalore. The war ended by signing of Treaty of Seringapatna, between Tipu Sultan and Lord Cornwallis. In this treaty, Tipu ceded half of his territories and two of his son’s as a hostage of war.
Fourth Anglo-Mysore War (1799)
In Fourth War 1799, the British army led by Lord Wellesley attacked and defeated Tipu Sultan in a fierce war. He met a heroic death on 4th May 1799 while defending his capital Seringapatnam.
Tipu’s reform measures and administration:
Tipu was less worried about form and more about the substance of governance. He considered agriculture as the life blood of the nation and took steps for taking over derelict land and protection of the cultivator and his descendants. He had encouraged the farmers to cultivate commercial crops to overcome poverty and unemployment problems. He had several commercial depots in foreign countries such as Pegu, Muscat, Turkey and Istanbul for selling sandalwood.
He introduced sericulture in Mysore on a large scale and maintained records about the cultivation of sericulture. He was primarily responsible for the construction of well laid out roads and communication facilities. He had given loans and subsidies to the farmers and provided the benefit of land revenue exemption. Tipu also promoted animal husbandry, horticulture, sericulture, social forestry and other branches of agriculture.
Tipu wanted to develop the economy of Mysore State in a different way and make his citizens economically self-reliant and politically sovereign republics. He gave importance for the development of economic bonds between South India and the Persian Gulf. In a letter addressed to Chief of the factory at Muscat, Tipu had requested the Imam to send Dingies, a small vessel employed in the trade between Malabar Coast and Persian Gulf in return of rice produced in India.
He wrote letters to Muscat to dispatch expert shipbuilders to the Mysore territory. Maldive Islands continued to be an important naval dockyard during his time. Mangalore, Bhatkal, Coondapur and Tadadi became important naval centres of his times. Tipu also invited experts from Turkey, China, France and Iran and set up industries in Channapatna, Bidnur, Chitradurga, Bangalore and Srirangapatna. He had invited Chinese experts for improving sugar manufacturing in his territory. Pearl fisheries were encouraged by him in the Malabar coast. He sent a mission to France to import skilled workers and arsenals in 1785.
He took measures to bring social reforms like ban on the use of liquor and all intoxicants, the ban on prostitution and the employment of female slaves in domestic service, the abolition of the Nayar practice of polyandry in Malabar and Coorg, the repeal of the custom of human sacrifice in the temple of Kali near Mysore town and restrictions on lavish extravagance for marriages, festivals and charities.
His administration saw a strong and well-organized central government, a well-knit district and provincial administration directly under the control of the centre, well-trained and disciplined civil, military and diplomatic services, uniform set of laws and the direct contact between the subjects and the state by the removal of intermediaries
Tipu’s international diplomacy:
Tipu was greatly disappointed when he realized that local powers in India lacked national consciousness. Tipu tried his best to enlist the cooperation of both the Marathas and the Nizam, but none of them recognized the political sagacity and foresightedness of Tipu.
It was this factor which compelled him to develop friendly relations with foreign powers. He appointed trade agents and diplomatic missions to accomplish this goal of diplomacy. He tried to enlist the support of France, Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan, hoping to form a formidable front against the English by appealing to their religious sentiments.
He had appealed to the French General to send a strong army of 10000 to be under the his authority within India. He was a member of Jacobin club of France. Tipu Sultan had strongly persuaded the French to assist him in the Third Mysore War against the British but they remained neutral because Tipu had initiated a war against the English at the wrong moment.
Tipu made an attempt to cultivate diplomatic relations with the Ottoman Sultan and French King and assured them that they could share the British possessions in South India with him. Turkey did not have either the wish or the capacity to respond to Tipu’s diplomatic initiatives and France incurred severe loss in the war with Britain
Tipu’s religious idealism:
Tippu is being considered by many historians as a great secular ruler and a splendid supporter of Hindu temples. He consulted with astrologers of Ranganatha temple, Sreerangapattana before his every administrative or war attempts. He gifted the astrologers with lots of money.
Believing, according to the predictions of astrologers, that he could become the undisputed ruler of the whole of South India, after defeating the British, he performed all the suggested rituals in the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple. It is only for the satisfaction of the Brahmin astrologers who used to study his horoscope that Tippu Sultan had patronised two temples. The wealth of many Hindu temple was confiscated before 1790 itself mainly to make up for the revenue loss in the country.
By his six to eight years of presence in Malabar, the entire costal belt of the region converted to Islam. Some of the largest and wealthiest groups of families of Calicut were converted in mass to Islam. He renamed several places with Islamic tenor. His role in Malabar and Coorg region shows some elements of religious extremism and intolerance.
But after being defeated in the first Anglo-Mysore war he started dealing cordially with the Hindus in his kingdom so as to avoid insurrection and get support in the face of the British power. The credit of re-consecration of Sharada idol made of sandalwood, the main deity at Sharada Peeta, Sringeri of Chikmagalur goes to him and his contributions to the Peeta are well documented.
When the Peeta came under attack from Maratha army when Sachidananda Bharathi was the pontiff, Tipu Sultan was waging a battle at Kannur in Kerala. On learning about the raid from the Marathas, he sent an army to Sringeri to drive away Marathas. The army was stationed at Sringeri to offer protection from further attacks. According to documentations Tipu brought back Sachidananda Bharathi again to Sringeri and offered donations in huge quantities and got consecrated a sandalwood idol of Sharada.
Tipu Sultan was a ruler of the past and we cannot expect him to be Secular and tolerant in the modern sense. His history shows evidence of both statemenship and tolerance to Hindus along with persecution and forced conversions of Hindus. In his defence of Mysore against the British he showed the character of the highest order of Patriots. In his reformative and innovative measures he showed the character of a great administrative genius. There is enough evidence in history to celebrate or condemn Tipu Sultan.
But today there is an active project of communalizing history and there is focus on Politicising historical figures. In this project Tipu Sultan is a controversial figure as he can be interpreted both ways. In the interest of Indian National unity and to foster the genuine feeling of tolerance and brotherhood among communities it is better to look at the Tipu’s tolerant aspect rather than dividing the communities by bringing forth his intolerant measures. There is a need for constructive use of history
Source: The Hindu
GS-II : National and Political Issues
Syllabus subtopic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
Prelims and Mains focus: about the findings of the task force; The mental health act, 2017 and its significance; Mental health scenario in India
Context: More than two years after the Mental Health Act, 2017, was passed, life of the mentally ill in India, especially of women, has not improved.
The joint task force was formed in 2018 by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, and Hans Foundation, a charitable trust. It reviewed and assessed the condition of those who had recovered from their illness, but were still languishing in mental homes for more than a year.
Findings of the joint task force
What did the task force recommend?
About the Mental Health Act, 2017
Syllabus subtopic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India's interests
Prelims and Mains focus: about the SCO meeting to be hosted by India this year; likely impact on Indo-Pak relations on the grouping and role of China
News: Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan will be invited to participate in the Heads of Government Council meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) that will be hosted in India this year, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday. The invite move came hours after the UN Security Council discussed the situation in Kashmir.
India-Pakistan at SCO
Since becoming full-time member of the SCO in 2017, both India and Pakistan have participated in multiple meetings of SCO and the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) despite hostilities and tension in Kashmir. The Heads of Government Council meeting is attended by the Prime Minister-level leaders of the member states that deliberate on the regional body’s economic and other pressing issues. The meeting also firms up SCO’s annual budget.
Source: The Hindu
Syllabus subtopic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India's interests, Indian diaspora.
Prelims and Mains focus: about China’s outreach to Myanmar and its significance; its impact on India; about CPEC; BRI
News: President Xi Jinping’s visit to Myanmar starting Friday promises to turn a region that was once known as the “back door” to China into a “highway” to the Bay of Bengal by launching multiple projects under the so-called China-Myanmar Economic Corridor. The CMEC, in turn, is being presented as a critical element of Beijing’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative.
China’s outreach to Myanmar is being viewed against the deterioration of Naypyidaw’s relations with the US and the West that have been critical of the country’s handling of the Rohingya problem. China, in contrast, has signalled some empathy and has also sought to mediate, if unsuccessfully, between Myanmar and Bangladesh.
Other infrastructure projects to be discussed
Significance of China’s partnership for Myanmar
How does China-Myanmar partnership impact India?
Source: Indian Express
Prelims and Mains focus: about the findings of the report regarding death penalty and its significance; about Project 39A; about capital punishment and the case for its abolishment
News: The number of death sentences awarded by trial courts in India saw a significant drop from 162 in 2018 to 102 in 2019, according to ‘Death Penalty in India: Annual Statistics Report 2018’, prepared by Project 39A of the National Law University, Delhi. The report is expected to be released on Friday.
Key highlights of the report
About Project 39A by NLU Delhi
Source: Indian Express
GS-III : Economy
Syllabus subtopic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
Prelims and Mains focus: about the current account deficit and its significance; reasons for its contraction; about balance of payments; OPEC
News: Data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) shows India’s current account deficit (CAD) reduced to 0.9% of GDP in the second quarter of 2019-20 from 2% in the first, primarily due to a lower trade deficit.
Is it a reason to cheer?
India’s CAD shrunk in the second quarter as imports contracted, while exports posted a modest growth. Given the current slowdown, lower imports point to weak demand rather than a better trade position.
What makes up current account?
Current account is essentially a record of all trade, net transfers and earning transactions of a country with the rest of the world. Therefore, current account has four essential components.
Current account is said to be in surplus when the value of exports is greater than that of imports; it is in deficit when the value of imports is higher.
Why is it bad if the trade deficit is high?
International trade has become an important political economy issue in advanced economies such as the US and the UK. Developed economies have become concerned with the extent of their CADs and have used trade policies to reduce them. This isn’t new as mercantilism was widely practiced in the 16-18th centuries when countries focused on using state regulations to maximize exports to increase the wealth of a nation. Most countries want to export more goods than they import, implying that a country will get more income than it spends. India, maintains a high current account deficit along with a fiscal deficit.
What’s the reason for a contraction in India’s CAD?
India’s CAD contracted from $19 billion in the second quarter of 2018-19 to $6.3 billion during the corresponding period of 2019-20. The data shows that this contraction is primarily because of a lower trade deficit. Also, net services receipts have increased by 0.9%. So, while imports have shrunk, exports have posted a modest growth, leading to a contraction in CAD.
What about concerns regarding oil prices?
A major component of our import bill is crude. The value of our imports is sensitive to movements in global oil prices, which are contingent on geopolitical factors, besides economic considerations of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), an important player in the global oil market. Oil from Canada, Brazil and the US also plays an important role in determining overall supply and, thus, prices. Despite tensions in West Asia, prices have been subdued and are likely to remain comfortable due to the supply glut.
Is a contraction in CAD not a good thing?
A contraction in CAD may be good during a normal growth year, but it is a cause of concern during a slowdown. The bulk of India’s imports is for self-consumption, so their contraction is a sign of weak demand rather than of a better trade position. Low growth has led to lower imports. Once growth picks up, imports will rise. RBI should look at the value of the rupee and intervene to avoid its appreciation due to a lower CAD and net positive capital flows.
Syllabus subtopic: Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
Prelims and Mains focus: about DLSS and its advantages; AMFI; SEBI
News: The Mutual funds sector has asked the government to allow ‘Debt Linked Savings Scheme’ (DLSS) on the lines of Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS) in order to channelize long-term savings of retail investors and deepen the corporate bond market.
Advantages of DLSS proposed by AMFI
Conditions on DLSS
About Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI)
Asset Management Company (AMC): An asset management company (AMC) is a firm that invests pooled funds from clients, putting the capital to work through different investments including stocks, bonds, real estate, master limited partnerships, and more. Those that offer public mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are also known as investment companies or mutual fund companies.
Note: to read about the difference between the bond market and the equity market click on the link below.
Source: Indian Express