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17 September, 2019

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GS-II :
The reality check

GS-II: The reality check

Context

The satisfaction about the abrogation of Art 370 in the rest of India stems from years of frustration at the failure of our efforts to establish durable peace in Kashmir and the perception that its special status was a mistake.

What the future holds

Three principal arguments have figured in our national discourse:

  • It has altered the terms of our engagement with Pakistan
  • Better central control over a sensitive region
  • Ushering in an era of peace and development in J&K, whose progress was hampered by its special status

Lessons from the past

Pakistan’s questioning of J&K’s accession to India will not stop as the issue didn’t start with Art 370.

We took the issue of Pakistan aggression in J&K to the UN, but the power politics of the day turned it into one of the futures of the territory.

In the Simla Agreement, we agreed to hold bilateral negotiations for “a final settlement of Jammu and Kashmir”. We have not renounced this agreement.

Since the late Eighties, when widespread terror and violence broke out in Kashmir, we have talked to Pakistan on this issue for various reasons:

  • International pressure
  • To manage the relationship and reduce violence
  • The expectation that Pakistan could be moved in a positive direction through dialogue
  • The role of international pressure has diminished considerably. J&K’s special status figured nowhere in these considerations.

PoK

On the return of PoK, we reiterated in every round of dialogue with Pakistan the finality of J&K’s accession.

The remaining issue for discussion is the vacation of its parts under Pakistan’s illegal occupation.

It is thought that our government’s move was aimed at forcing Pakistan’s hand to settle for the existing territorial status quo.

But it is negated by the chorus for the recovery of PoK being our next step.

Its recovery militarily will pit us against China, besides Pakistan, because of its deep interest in the so-called Gilgit-Baltistan, with its entry to the CPEC.

Security

The central government will have direct control over law and order in the Union Territory of J&K.

J&K’s statehood and special status were never serious impediments to operations by security forces against internal turmoil or their deployment for the defence of our external boundaries.

The instrumentality of the Governor’s/President’s rule was available, when necessary.

Problems with the move on 370:

A key asset in a sensitive region is the loyalty of the local populace. The scrapping of the special status will not make much difference to the life of people in the Valley.

The abrupt move, break-up, and downgrading of the state will feed into the already prevailing sense of alienation and religious radicalisation, which Pakistan has been exploiting.

Peace as a prerequisite for the settlement of citizens from the rest of India in J&K and investment by them, faces serious challenges in the Valley and any turmoil there will not leave the Jammu region untouched.

Influencing public opinion requires a massive effort to engage with the people, which has been missing in the last few years.

Mainstream parties are marginalised and actively discredited by the government.

Pakistan’s security establishment finds Kashmir as a means to for its institutional interest of keeping a stranglehold on the country’s polity and has using terrorism to keep the Valley on the boil. These considerations had nothing to do with J&K’s special status and will not disappear with its withdrawal.

Pakistan has opportunistically sought to exploit the Indian move to bring international focus on Kashmir.

Way ahead

Addressing it requires a different set of measures.

Devote our energies to building not only immediate but durable peace in the Valley.

This requires engagement with the people.

Source: Indian Express

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GS-II :
Nirvik Scheme

GS-III: Nirvik Scheme

News

To enhance the loan availability of exporters, and the MSME sector the Export Guarantee Corporation of India (ECGC) has launched a new scheme called ‘Nirvik’. To revive the export sector, Commerce Ministry also launched the common digital platform for the issuance of certificates of origin.

Nirvik Scheme

  • If there is any loss, then ECGC provided credit guarantee of up to 60% loss approximately.
  • Now under new scheme Nirvik consumers and exporters will covered up to 90% and if there is any loss then in that case ECGC will refund 90% to the banks including principal and interest.
  • Both pre and post shipment credit will also be covered under the new scheme.
  • Banks will get up to 50 % within 30 days of complain lodge.
  • Enhanced cover will ensure that Foreign and Rupee export credit interest rates will be below 4% and 8% respectively for exporters.
  • The scheme envisages simplified procedure for settlement of claim and for provisional payment up to 50% within 30 days on production of proof of end-use of the advances in default by the Insured Bank.

Electronic Certificates of Origin (CoO)

  • This platform will be a single access point for all exporters, for all Free Trade Agreements (FTAs)/ Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) and for all agencies concerned.
  • As we know, for exports to countries with which India has free trade agreements (FTA), exporters have to show a certificate that the consignment originated in India.
  • With the launch of this platform, these certificates can be obtained online and all the issuing authorities will be on the same portal.
  • Certificate of Origin will be issued electronically which can be in paperless format if agreed to by the partner countries.
  • Authorities of partner countries will be able to verify the authenticity of certificates from the website.

Source: THE HINDU

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GS-III :
Cleaning Air

GS-III: Clearing the air

News

The odd-even scheme will make a comeback in Delhi four years after it was first implemented.

Fighting pollution

  • Delhi Chief Minister announced that the road rationing scheme will be a part of a seven-point programme to combat pollution.
  • The scheme will be implemented when Delhi’s air is at its worst
  • post-festival pollution combines with
  • smog from stubble burning in Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh
  • particulate matter from tailpipes of vehicles
  • In the last three years, the government resorted to knee-jerk reactions which did very little to improve the city’s air quality.

Odd-Even scheme

  • The road rationing scheme allows vehicles to ply on alternate days, depending on odd and even number plates.
  • It was introduced in 2016 as a desperate measure after the Delhi High Court asked the state government to submit a time-bound plan.
  • A fight between the Delhi government and NGT came in the way of its implementation in 2017.
  • The NGT said that any relaxation would come in the way of improving the city’s air quality.
  • But the government wanted exemptions for two-wheelers.
  • The government argued that Delhi’s public transport wasn’t equipped to handle the fallout of extending road-rationing to two-wheelers.

Way ahead

The government has nearly two months to iron out glitches and sort out differences that could come in the way of smooth implementation of the plan.

It needs to ensure that the city’s public transport system is able to meet the needs of commuters on days when their vehicles will be off the roads.

The odd-even scheme is not a magic bullet to clean up Delhi’s bad air. But the scheme is a part of a bouquet of pollution-control measures.

Source: Indian Express

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GS-III :
How attack on Saudi oil facility could impact Indian and world economics.

GS-III: How attack on Saudi oil facility could impact Indian and world economics.

News

The Houthis a rebel shia group of Yemen that is backed by iran,bombed the Abqaiq plant as well as the Kurais oil field in Saudi Arabia.

Extent of Supply Shock:

According to IEA an autonomous Paris based organisation with 30 member countries of the OECD as its member and second half of the current calendar year would have seen a decline 0.8mbd because of already stagnating supplies. The latest disruption of an additional 6 mbd is substantial.

Extent of the price stock:

To the extent that the world ha enough inventories to tide over the immediate shortfall and assuming that this attack is not the start of a long streak of international hostilities between US led bloc and an Iran led bloc the price shock could be relatively limited.

However prices will keenly reflect not just the immediate disruption but also the likely disruptions should the US initiate some kind of military response.

Impact of India:

India imports 80% of the oil it consumes which means there are multiple ways in which there multiple ways in which the country will be impacted by this disruptions. India is already trying to make up for the loss of supply from Iran after US imposed sanctions . After Iraq, Saudi Arbia is India’s second largest supplier of crude oil it accounts almost 17% of the country import. Although Saudi Arabia has assured that there will be no loss supply if the process of restoration takes more time than anticipated ,India would have to look for alternatives.

Way Forward:

As such rising oil prices will worsen the Indian government fiscal balance. Moreover crude oil prices would also lead to higher domestic oil prices which in turn will further depress the demand of all things especially of those that use oil as the primary input.to the extent that the current crisis is contained the damage would be limited but an escalation.

Source: Indian Express

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