Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New challenges and opportunities
  • Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation India and the Soviet Union signed on August 9, 1971 sprang from a convergence of national interests and shared perceptions of security risks
  • Forty years on security perceptions have changed, creating new challenges and opportunities for India and Russia,
  • 1971 treaty helped India win its third war against Pakistan, safeguard its independence and territorial integrity and neutralise external threats
  • treaty provided for immediate mutual consultations in case either country came under attack.
  • During bangladesh war 1971 Soviet Union responded to US threat by dispatching almost its entire Pacific Fleet to the Indian Ocean, poured arms and ammunitions into India and blocked anti-India moves in the United Nations Security Council.
  • Soviet Union offered India cheap credits and technological assistance in setting up steel, machine-building, power generation, mining and pharmaceutical industries that ensured its economic independence

  • How has the situation changed today?
  • period of drift under President Boris Yeltsin
  • elevated to a “privileged strategic partnership” by President Dmitry Medvedev
  • Debate in India on how relevant the strategic ties with Russia are today
  • Russia-China relations have turned around from hostility to friendship
  • Russia is no longer in confrontation with the U.S. and India is pursuing strategic ties with the U.S.
  • Indo-Russian partnership may help the two countries deal with a rising China
  • Russian-Chinese treaty of peace and friendship signed in 2001.
  • dialogue among Russia, India and China (RIC) can be useful in facilitating more harmonious relations between the two Asian giants.
  • India-China relations will keep improving as India accelerates its economic rise
  • number of impediments that make a strategic alliance between India and the U.S. unlikely,
  • India's traditional non-alignment
  • U.S.-Pakistan strategic tie-up 
  • standoff with Iran.

  • U.S. attempts to use india as a counterbalance to China.
  • Russia's policy in Asia is too much China-centric
  • Russia should reach out more energetically to other Asian countries — Japan, rising Indonesia and Vietnam and, of course, India.
  • two countries cannot rely on state-to-state relations only as in Soviet times
  • necessary to promote business-to-business ties, people-to-people contacts and interaction between civil society groups.
  • bilateral trade hardly reaching $10 billion,
  • Russia's fixation on the West in its quest for resources for economic modernisation

Pub add: Organisation methods mindmap

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Historic opportunity to be part of new future

  • onus of taking India-Bangladesh relations to a higher plane lies on India
  • It was in this spirit India announced a line of credit of $1 billion for upgrading Bangladesh’s infrastructure last year
  • It has also decided to establish “border haats”
  • setting up of the “border haats” marks a big stride forward towards connecting the population of the two countries
  • two governments must take measures to help develop economic activities in the border areas by giving legitimacy to the “border trade”
  • informal trade reflects to a large measure the historical links existing between the populations on both sides of the border, and the advantages of such links, which were interrupted when political boundaries were redrawn, need to be harnessed.
  • Recognition of informal trade will result in greater people-to-people contact.
  • It could bring with it greater sense of ownership among the people in the border areas
  • not only have India’s imports from Bangladesh remained at a relatively low level, these low volumes of imports have also contributed to the large and growing trade imbalance
  • India’s merchandise trade surplus with its neighbour has increased from about $2.7 billion in 2007-08 to over $3.1 billion in 2010-11

Monday, August 29, 2011

Libyan situation poses challenge to asian giants

·         BRICSA opposed the imposition of no fly zone
·         Now they are trying to improve ties with rebel transitional national council as quadafi regime is now allset to end
·         However the rebels have agreed to inviting these countries for the friends of libya conference in paris
·         Foreign asssitance is crucial for TNC to enforce law and order, build institutions , provide basic services etc
·         Though India has limited interests in libya, its companies will be a t a disadvantage in competting for contracts in post revolution libya as they risk negative perception in entire region
·         MENA is curcial coz of its geogrpahy, energy and financial resources
·         India with a mosaic of ethnic and religious groups cohabiting , it can advice libya on how to hold together a nation facing constant threat of sectarian and tribal strife
·         Quahdafi ensured that no instituion developed , TNC now needs to build a more open transparent society
·         India needs to develop a midterm strategy for the region to enable it to capitalise on the political and economic opportunities

Thursday, August 25, 2011

ESSAY: Education development is crucial for turning population into social capital and making economic development inclusive

In pursuit of my preparation for mains essay, i have written this essay. being my 1st essay i ended up writing only around 900 words. feedbacks are welcome

India has one of the youngest populations in world. Most of the developed countries will soon be facing a problem of sustaining an ageing population characterised by a declining population in working age group and a growing old age population . This impact is already being felt in some countries like france, which has undertaken pension reforms to reduce social security burden on government. On the other hand, India is on the verge of demographic dividend. A large section of population is in working age group. For long, India’s population growth was seen as a ticking time bomb, but now, with a rapid economic growth and a skilled population , it is seen as a key asset
                The demographic dividend that India stands to gain can only be leveraged when its population is educated , skilled and have enough job opportunities . Education hence has a pivotal rôle to play in sustaining India’s growth.
                The prevailing indian education system is a legacy of British education system. The british introduced english in India with an intention of creating a literate middle class who could be employed as  administrative staff. Post independence same system was continued
                The establishment of IITs and IIMs brought about progress in higher education sector. These institutes have produced world eladers who have improved India’s image at global level.
                The liberalisation of economy in 1991 led to unprecedented growth in services sector which was knowledge intensive. Hence education is all the more important today. Universalising education can help bridge social inequalities and facilitate inclusive economic development . hence there is a need to universalise education at all levels i.e. primary, secondary and higher education.
                Several steps are being taken by government to improve access to education. The right to education act was a land mark event in Indian education system. It universalised primary education and had provisions to ensure opportunities were available to people below poverty line. A national skill development mission has been launched tot ackle the prblem of skill deficit in population. The fruits of these policies and schemes can only be enjoyed when inherent defects in education system are rectified.
                Indian education system is faced with numerous maladies. At the primary education level, emphasis on rote learning has lead to loss of creativity. There is an acute shortage of infrastructure. Despite the RTE act, no major progress has been made due to alck of political will to implement the act. Apart form following problems, there is a shortage of teachers
                At secondary education level, students are subjected to intense pressure leading to high drop out rates. There is no emphasis on functionala nd vocational education , As a result poor don’t find any utility in educating their children.
                At higher education level, there is a gradual decline in quality of education. Although there has been rapid growth in number of colleges, quality is found wanting, the fact that majority of engineering graduates are not industry ready reflects the alarming decline in quality of education. There is a large supply demand mismatch resulting in exorbitant fees and sky rocketing cut offs. Research field has been neglected resulting in lack of innovations and new technologies . Education has been transformed into a commercialised commodity leading to alienation of poor from access to higher education
                These problems, if unattended, may turn demgraphic divident into a demographic disaster. Education development is crucial for turing population into social capital and making economic development inclusive.
                Education development requires a political will from our elected leaders. Policies need to be framed to incetivise the poor for educating children. The curriculum must be reformed and focus should be on imparting functional and vocational education. The respect for teaching profession has been on a decline. To reinstill the lost pride, all India cadre of teachers must be setup and salaries of teachers need to be revised in line with prevailing economic conditions. There is a lack of opportunties for semi skilled work force. This has driven away the poor and lower middle class from pursuing higher education. To address the problem, government need to formulate manufacture policy to facilitate growth of manufacturing sector which can help in widening job opportunities for smei skilled work force. Access to education needs to be scaled up by leveragin technological developments like EDUSAT. Regulation over private sector needs to be strengthened to ensure that quality is not traded off for quantity. The literacy rate among women is lower than that of men. No country can make progress with half of population remianign out of development process. There is a need to create an environment that facilitates women to pursue education. Despite having a large number of universities, india’s contribution to global research has been minimal. Research can help in innovation to solve problems faced by india. Steps need to be taken to expand infrastructure for research.
                Education must be the bedrock for India’s growth story. It is only through education that one gets opportunity to pursue varied productive activities. Socio economic development can be hastened by education development . therefore education has a key rôle to play in bringing about inclusive development and int akign india closer towards goal of becoming a developed nation.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

salt satyagraha and civil disobedience movement

this is a gold mine of an article for GS history
please find below edited excerpts from today's Op-ed in hindu

·         The term ‘satyagraha' (satya is truth, and agraha is firmness) was coined by Gandhiji to designate his struggle of ‘passive resistance.' He initiated it in South Africa during his agitations from 1894 onwards against the oppressive British regime there.
·         As president of the Congress in 1924, Gandhiji transformed the party into a fighting organisation, and launched several satyagraha agitations to involve people in constructive programmes.
·         The Calcutta Session of the party (in December 1928) gave an ultimatum to the British government that unless Dominion status was given to India by December 31, 1929, the Congress would launch a Civil Disobedience Movement. When no favourable response was received, at midnight on December 31, 1929, the Indian National Congress issued the Declaration of Independence, or Purna Swaraj. The party's Working Committee gave Gandhiji the responsibility to launch the first act of civil disobedience.
·        Salt satyagraha
·         Gandhiji chose to begin with a satyagraha against the Salt Tax imposed by the British. The Salt Act of 1882 gave the British the monopoly on the manufacture of, and collection of tax on, salt. Several leaders including Jawaharlal Nehru, the Congress president at that time, had felt that there were more important issues to be taken up as a part of the demand for full independence. But Gandhiji felt that the salt tax was a richly symbolic choice since salt was something that was used by nearly everyone in India. He believed that the protest would dramatise the demand for Purna Swaraj in a way that would be meaningful to even the least Indian.
·         On March 2, 1930, Gandhji wrote to Lord Irwin, the Viceroy, offering to stop the march if 11 demands were met, including a reduction in land revenue assessments, an end to the enormous exploitation of the people, and the misuse of public funds by the British.
·         On the morning of April 12, Gandhiji raised a lump of salt in his hand and declared: “With this, I am shaking the foundation of the British Empire.” He then boiled it in sea water, producing salt illegally. Gandhiji's satyagraha became a mass satyagraha throughout India.
·         Then, the government resorted to repressive laws. Jawaharlal Nehru was arrested
·          C. Rajagopalachari was arrested, to be sentenced to six months' rigorous imprisonment after he and his satyagrahis entered the Coromandel coast at Vedaranyam.
·         While these leaders were being arrested, Gandhiji was going to other places near Dandi to defy the salt law. The climax of the campaign came when Gandhiji was arrested
·         Gandhiji's arrest and internment led to hartals and strikes across in India, and there were sympathetic demonstrations all over the world.
·         Later a second batch of satyagrahis led by Abbas Tyabji was arrested.
·         the satyagrahis observed absolute non-violence and discipline.
·         Reports on Gandhiji's campaign during the Dandi March appeared each day in 1,350 newspapers across the world. Time magazine declared him Man of the Year,
·         The Press Ordinance promulgated by the Irwin regime caused 67 Indian newspapers and 55 printing presses to be shut down. Over 80,000 Indians were jailed without trial under the Salt Law.
·         The civil disobedience movement continued until early 1931.
·         The rest is part of the political history of India — from the Gandhi-Irwin Pact leading to the Second Round Table Conference, to the Quit India Movement, and the emergence of independent India.
·         The Salt Satyagraha challenged the very existence of the British regime in India.
·         Sir Charles Innes, who was a provincial Governor, wrote thus about the events of 1930 struggle: “England can hold India only by consent. We cannot rule it by sword.
·       It is true that the 1930 Salt Satyagraha was not successful with respect to many of its aims and demands. However, it was a historic turning point: thereafter every political move on the part of the Congress was to assert Purna Swaraj as the basic demand.