Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 26 June 2023
- India-USA Build Stable Asian Balance of Power
- Diaspora Outreach and the Value of Statesmanship
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden recently reached agreements that outlined a broad vision for India-US cooperation. These accords represent a significant transformation in the bilateral relationship because they include a variety of topics, including multilateralism, climate change, and technology cooperation.This newly discovered alliance between India and the US sets the path for the development of a strong Asian balance of power, which has significant geopolitical ramifications for Asia.
GS Paper 2 : Bilateral Relations
Examine how China’s most recent policies and actions have influenced the relationship between India and the US. Discuss the significance for regional geopolitics of China’s objections and assertive behaviour in bringing India and the US closer together. (250 Words)
Geopolitics is the study of how people and physical geography on Earth affect politics and international relations.Specifically, territorial seas and land territory in relation to diplomatic history are the focus of geopolitics, which is concerned with political power related to geographic space.
Building a Multipolar Asia with Enough Deterrent Capabilities to Protect the Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity of All Regional States:
Rather than attempting to contain Beijing, this partnership aims to establish a Multipolar Asia, equipped with Enough Deterrent Capabilities to Safeguard the Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity of All Regional States.India’s patient engagement and the US’s efforts to set up barriers against rising tensions show that both countries understand how important it is to keep positive ties with China.
Overcoming Past Disagreements:
- In the past, India and the US struggled to build a successful partnership because of divergent perspectives about Asia’s geopolitical situation.
- Disagreements covered opinions on Communist China, Soviet Russia, Cold War alignments, and US assistance for Pakistan during 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War between India and Pakistan. India’s internal economic priorities hampered attempts to reduce political polarisation through economic involvement.
- Even while there were sporadic opportunities for cooperation, such as after the Chinese attack on India in the 1960s and the creation of the Quadrilateral Forum in 2007, persistent worries in both Delhi and Washington constrained the possibility of more extensive strategic cooperation in Asia.
- However, the two countries’ current defence cooperation reflects a fusion of geopolitical and geoeconomic objectives. In order to strengthen India’s military capabilities and increase its deterrence against China, the US is supporting modernising India’s defence industrial base, including joint manufacturing of the F414 fighter jet engine in India and the delivery of advanced ammed drones.
- This partnership emphasises Indian companies’ engagement in American defence supply chains, which includes both goods and services, and goes beyond the sale of weaponry.
- Role of Xi Jinping’s Policies: Ironically, it is Xi Jinping’s forceful policies that have brought India and the US closer than ever.
- China’s opposition to earlier initiatives like the civil nuclear initiative and India’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group highlights Beijing’s concerns about strategic cooperation between Delhi and Washington. This is in spite of Beijing’s ongoing efforts to keep the two countries apart.
India’s Shift Towards Strategic Partnerships:
- India had to reevaluate its strategy in light of the parallel crises with China in Doklam (2017) and Galwan (2020).
- The US has changed its Asia policy away from a strictly bilateral relationship with Beijing, revitalising historic alliances and forming new coalitions.
- India has sought closer strategic partnerships with the US and its allies in order to increase deterrence against China. A significant variable in Asian geopolitics has been altered by this realignment of policies, which has permitted advanced technology transfer and defence collaboration with India.
- Bilateral commerce has expanded between India and the US as a result of greater links in industries like ICT, engineering, and medicine. Recent developments in India-US relations. With $78 billion in exports and $50 billion in imports from the US in 2023, the US is India’s largest trading partner.
Enhanced Economic Relations:
- With $10 billion in direct investments, the US is India’s largest investment partner. High-tech goods can now be exported to India thanks to the US’s approval of Strategic Trade Authorization-1 (STA-1) designation. Export restrictions on products and technologies with dual uses have also been loosened.
- Counterterrorism cooperation: The US has been a major backer of India’s counterterrorism initiatives. In particular following the death of Osama bin Laden, the US’s economic and strategic support for Pakistan has decreased, aligning it more closely with Indian endeavours in this area.
- Increased Diaspora: Through knowledge-based employment and remittances, the Indian diaspora in the US has experienced tremendous expansion, aiding in the economic prosperity of both nations. The wealthy Asian Indian diaspora has a significant impact on politics and the economy.
Strategic and Defence Relations:
- The General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA), the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), and the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) are three significant defence agreements that India and the US have signed. These agreements make it easier to share intelligence, assist logistics, communicate securely, and swap technology.
- Despite the encouraging advances, India-US ties continue to face obstacles. Economic connections have been strained by trade issues, particularly high tariffs and protectionist practises.
- Concerns over intellectual property rights have been expressed, and the US has criticised India’s policy in this regard. India still has concerns about US backing for Pakistan, despite its reduction.
- Tensions have arisen because of differences in relations with Russia, particularly because India purchased the S-400 missile defence system. Additionally, India’s strategic interests are impacted by US sanctions against Iran, notably with reference to oil imports.
- For both countries to concentrate on resolving trade disagreements, addressing concerns about intellectual property rights, and promoting stronger collaboration in areas of shared interest like defence and counterterrorism.
- Regular discussions and forums, such as the US-India Trade Policy Forum, can aid in resolving problems with bilateral trade and investment.
- The collaboration will be strengthened by embracing new technology and advocating for aggressive legislation regarding data protection and equitable taxes.
- The collaboration and agreements reached between US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi signal a fundamental shift in India-US ties.
- The geopolitics of the region will be greatly impacted by their combined efforts to create a stable Asian system of power relations. While fostering positive ties with China, this partnership in flux aims to create a multipolar Asia.
- Beyond defence sales, the US and India’s cooperation places a focus on long-term cooperation and mutual advantages. Overall, the newly formed US-India security alliance has enormous potential to influence the design of the Asian architectural future and bring stability and balance to the region.
The Chief Minister M.K. Stalin’s speech in Japan and Singapore in May 2023 emphasised the state of Tamil Nadu’s commitment to safeguarding and assisting the Tamil diaspora.
GS Paper 2: Indian Diaspora
Explain the idea of statesmanship and its importance in addressing problems with the Indian diaspora with a focus on fostering collaboration between the federal government and state governments. (150 words)
An overview of the Tamil diaspora
- Tamil diaspora makes up a sizeable component of the Indian diaspora globally. Many nations, including Australia, Canada, the United States, and European nations, as well as Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, and South Africa, have a sizable Tamil population.
- The diaspora has three identities: Tamil, Indian, and that of the nation in where they were raised. The hopes and challenges experienced by the Tamil diaspora are shaped by migratory patterns, educational attainment, professional accomplishments, economic power, and dynamics of majority-minority populations in host countries.
- The Tamil diaspora has made notable contributions to a number of sectors, including politics, economics, literature, the arts, sports, and science.
Impact of Host Country Policies:
- Jawaharlal Nehru faced obstacles in his efforts to preserve the unity and safety of Indians overseas.
- The first law passed in Ceylon following independence had an impact on the Indian Tamils who the British had sent there to work on the tea plantations.
- Citizenship should be granted to people who regarded Ceylon as their home, according to Nehru. Tamils from India lost their right to vote as a result of Ceylon’s defence of its sovereign right to enact citizenship laws.
- Similar to how Burmese Indian Tamils were treated, they were expelled and subjected to harsh measures afterward. India’s actions occasionally jeopardised the interests of the Indian diaspora in its bilateral dealings with its neighbours.
- A significant example is the Sirimavo-Shastri Pact of 1964, which divided the Indian Tamil minority between India and Sri Lanka over objections from powerful figures in the Madras Presidency.
The Importance of Preserving the Tamil Language:
It is important to note Chief Minister Stalin’s emphasis on preserving and advancing the Tamil language. However, it is worrying that the Tamil community has lost connection with the Tamil language, a crucial component of Tamil culture, in many nations.
Collaboration between State and Central Governments:
- While diaspora policies are solely the purview of the federal government, state governments have some influence over them through mobilising the people.Between the national government, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and state governments, like the DMK administration in Tamil Nadu, it is critical to promote unity and friendliness. Cooperation is crucial rather than using aggressive tactics.
Addressing Citizenship Issues:
- The Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), which excludes Sri Lanka because of racial tensions that have led many Tamils there to flee persecution, might have added the phrase “persecuted minorities,” raising questions about this omission.
- New Delhi supports the refugees’ return to Sri Lanka and views them as illegal immigrants. These refugees, however, are interested in obtaining Indian citizenship and meet the residency requirements specified in the Indian Citizenship Act.29,500 Indian Tamil refugees who are stateless highlight the need for a peaceful resolution. Refugees from Sri Lanka who are Tamil are even willing to give up their citizenship in return for Indian citizenship.
Diaspora’s Impact on a Country’s Development
- The Indian diaspora is the world’s biggest abroad population, with about 18 million people of Indian descent and 13 million non-resident Indians.
- Indian diaspora’s demographics and geographic spread offer a fantastic opportunity to advance the nation’s soft power and cultural diplomacy abroad.
- India has the largest emigrant population in the world, followed by Mexico, Russia, and China, according to the International Organisation for Migration’s World Migration Report.
- International Representation: Diasporas act as a source of national pride and represent their nation on a worldwide scale, enhancing its influence and reputation abroad.
- Economic Contribution: Emigrants make large financial, real estate, service, and technology investments in their native nations. These investments support local economic expansion, employment creation, and general economic progress.
- Remittances: The Indian diaspora, in particular, is extremely important when it comes to remittances, which have a significant influence on socio-economic growth, the eradication of poverty, and consumption trends in rural regions.
- Technology Transfer: Through investments and partnerships, diasporas living in technologically advanced nations help transfer technology and innovation to their home countries, advancing and progressing technology.
- Diplomacy: Vast emigrant populations are advantageous for diplomacy since they encourage inter-personal interactions and strengthen international ties. The Indo-US Civil Nuclear Deal is one instance that shows how diasporas may successfully advocate for their country’s interests.
- Cultural Promotion: Diasporas aid in the dissemination of the native cultures and customs of their home countries, which encourages the export of local foods and goods. This thus opens up potential for investment to meet local preferences and tastes in the host countries.
- Political Influence: Diasporas have a considerable impact on the politics and policies of the nations they live in, representing the interests of their home countries and promoting goodwill among nations.
- Bilateral Relations: As diasporas take on significant roles in high-ranking positions in their host countries, like in the UK and the USA, they help to enhance economic relations and promote deeper bilateral ties.
- The exclusion of less wealthy groups, job losses due to low oil prices, ongoing discriminatory practises, inconsistent support, retention of dual citizenship, abuse of remittances, brain drain in research and development, and policies favouring foreign labour are just a few of the difficulties brought on by the diaspora.
- In order to meet the demands of the Indian diaspora, the government has put in place a number of initiatives. Among them are the creation of a separate Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, the holding of Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas to recognise their contributions, the implementation of welfare programmes like Pravasi Bhartiya Bima Yojana, the Know India Programme for youth from diaspora, the Overseas Citizenship of India Scheme offering certain benefits, the “Tracing the Roots” initiative, the Swarnapravas Yojana for skill development, and the signing of These steps are intended to offer all-around assistance and promote deeper ties with the Indian diaspora.
Broadening participation in diaspora conventions, streamlining immigration laws, facilitating foreign investment, addressing the needs of blue-collar workers, fostering inclusive diplomacy, emphasising tourism among second-generation PIOs, defending the rights of Indian women who are married to NRIs/PIOs, utilising diaspora professionals for economic development, and luring NRI/PIO investments through infrastructure bonds are all necessary steps in the right direction. India needs to make the most of its extensive diaspora’s financial and intellectual resources.
State governments must work with the federal government and prioritise statesmanship over political opportunism in order to preserve the interests of the Indian diaspora. The national and state governments must work together, have a sense of unity, and be cordial. This calls for addressing the difficulties the diaspora faces, safeguarding their cultural heritage, and resolving citizenship problems.