Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 10 February 2022
- The French format
- Play by Rulebook
The French Format
The French President Emmanuel Macron is conducting negotiations between Russia and Ukraine holds significance in improving relations between the two and overall security in Eastern Europe.
GS II: Bilateral Groupings & Agreements, Effect of Policies & Politics of Countries on India’s Interests
Dimensions of the Article:
- Normandy Format talks
- Minsk accords
- Russia’s Concerns
- Differences within the western bloc on how to deal with Russia
- Way Forward
Normandy Format talks:
- The talks involve four countries namely Germany, Russia, Ukraine and France is an effort to resolve the long-running conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
- Key Points:
- The talks confirm that both the sides remain committed to the Minsk accords (2014-15).
- Russia promised that it would not escalate the crisis further.
- Significance: These statements offer a path towards calming the Russia-Ukraine tensions.
- It aimed at ending the violence between Ukraine and Russia-backed separatists in the east.
- The accords call for a general amnesty for the rebels,
- constitutional amendments giving the breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine more autonomy and
- the handing over of Ukraine’s borders to its army.
- None of the clauses in the agreement has been implemented.
- Russia has issued sweeping demand which include rolling back NATO from Eastern Europe. This demand by Russia was rejected by the West.
- NATO-Ukraine: The growing cooperation between NATO and Ukraine is the key concern of Russia.
- Russia is also cautious about increasing western presence in the Black Sea.
- The U.S. had earlier offered dialogue on mutually reducing military drills in the eastern flank of Europe
- The current talks that emphasis on dialogue between Russia and Ukraine based on Minsk protocol holds significance.
Differences within the western bloc on how to deal with Russia:
- The United States had earlier threatened to shut down Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the event of a Russian invasion.
- But Germany was less specific in its response.
- Germany has barred Estonia, the NATO member that shares a border with Russia, from supplying arms to Ukraine.
- Hungary’s Prime Minister who held talks with Russia recently has said Russia’s demands were reasonable.
- Turkey’s President who visited Ukraine last week, has also offered to host a peace summit.
- The current initiative of French President, who says the West “must respect Russia”, has already moved ahead.
- Despite Joe Biden’s assertion of unity, these events show that Europe is less interested for conflict with Russia.
- Europe being a continent that has witnessed two disastrous World Wars and a Cold War now adopts pragmatic realism.
- France and Germany has the diplomatic muscle to contain the crisis and calm Russia without making compromises on the continent’s security.
- Reviving the Minsk process is a significant step to begin.
- If the Normandy Format talks could be convened and Russia and Ukraine take steps to revive the agreement, it would be a diplomatic breakthrough.
-Source: The Hindu
Play by Rulebook
The Tamil Nadu government is determined to scrap the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET).
GS II: Centre-State Relations, Role of Governor
Dimensions of the article:
- Bill to scrap the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET):
- Why TN opposes NEET?
- Constitutional Provisions
- Evaluating Governor’s Role
- Way Forward
Bill to scrap the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET):
- The Governor of Tamil Nadu returned the bill that frees the state’s medical colleges from the compulsion of admitting students through NEET for reconsideration.
- However, within a week, the State Legislature called for a special session of the Tamil Nadu assembly has re-adopted the bill.
- This is a significant message that the elected government is try to convey to the governor about its intent.
- The Governor raised several concerns regarding the bill and said it was “against the interests of students, especially (those from) rural and economically poor students of the state”.
Why TN opposes NEET?
- National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET):
- It is an all-India test that was conceived as a solution to the longstanding problems with the medical admission system.
- The Medical Admission system at that time was muddled with multiple entrance examinations which was leading to corruption.
- Reason for Opposition:
- Given the syllabus for NEET, a section of Tamil Nadu’s students fears that they may not perform well.
- The State Government can address the concern by investing in resources and pay more attention to modernising the curriculum.
- Scrapping the NEET was a part of the election manifesto of the DMK, and that the bill enjoys support from the other major parties of the state, including the AIADMK.
- Irrespective of the grounds for the governor’s reservations, he must give his assent as per the provisions in the Constitution.
- Article 200 clearly states that if the bill is sent to the Governor for the second time, he must give his assent, and send it onwards to the President.
- Theconstitutional propriety demands that he must act on the advice of the council of ministers of an elected government.
- The Tamil Nadu Government has expressed displeasure towards the action of Governor regarding the bill.
- It considers the governor’s uncalled-for critique and his “big brother” attitude is not entirely without basis.
Evaluating Governor’s Role:
- Given the long history of governors being used by strong central governments to chip away at the federal compact and the more recent Centre-state tussles over several issues, from the jurisdiction of the BSP to IAS service rules.
- Tamil Nadu Governor’s action over the bill can invite suspicions of overreach.
- It is significant for the Governors to act as a bridge between the state and the Centre.
- Given the uncertainty of the future of NEET bill,
- The NEET bill can lead to confrontation of state government with the Centre. The bill needs the President’s assent for it to become law.
- Irrespective of debates, contestations and the uncertainty of the future of NEET bill, the Tamil Nadu governor must abide by the Constitution and give his assent to the Bill.
-Source: The Indian Express