UPSC 2017 Mains: Editorials Question for Answer Writing Practice – July 05

Today’s important editorials and articles from The Hindu, The Indian Express, LiveMint and other major newspapers for UPSC Mains exam preparation. Also find below some probable questions on the editorials for answer writing practice.

1. Modi in Israel: A civilizational bond comes of age

2. Why are India-Israel ties so special?

Write a note on India Israel Relations and what impact will the ongoing visit of India’s PM have on it?.
Some keywords from the editorials for answer writing

India-Israel relations

  • Israel was created in 1948
  • India had formally recognised Israel in September 1950
  • in 1992 India finally established diplomatic relations with Israel

During the last 25 years, 

  • military, economic and modest cultural relations have blossomed
  • In recent years, bilateral ties have extended to areas such as education, science and technology and homeland security.
  • Both countries have friendly political ties
  • cultural and academic links between India and Israel are poor and under-funded

Trade and economic Relations

  • The bilateral trade is wear down around $4.5 billion from $5.19 billion in 2011, $200 million in 1992 (comprising primarily trade in diamonds) 
  • The diamonds constitutes close to 50% of bilateral trade between both countries.
  • In recent times trade has diversified into several sectors such as
    • agriculture,
    • pharmaceuticals,
    • IT and telecom and
    • homeland security
  • Major exports from India to Israel include
    • precious stones and metals,
    • textiles and textile articles,
    • chemical products,
    • plants and vegetable products, and
    • mineral products.
  • Major imports by India from Israel include
    • precious stones and metals,
    • chemicals (mainly potash) and mineral products,
    • base metals and machinery and
    • transport equipment

Modi’s visit to Israel is a turning point indeed.

During the course of Modi’s visit,

  • focus of discussions will be the economic relations
  • For the long-term stability of the relationship, cultural links have to be strengthened
    • Many Indians aren’t familiar with Judaism and do not quite know where and what Israel is.
    • On the Israeli side, many youngsters now visit India after military service—but they see the country as a strange, exotic place that’s not expensive and where they can relax for a bit. Hopefully, now they will also learn that India is a growing strategic heavyweight that has much to offer.
  • Another important factor in bilateral ties will be the Indian diaspora.
    • members of the Indian diaspora have had limited success and, so far, no major impact on the India-Israel relationship.
    • But this could be changing now, not least due to India’s repeated invitation to its Jewish diaspora to play an active role in strengthening India-Israel ties.

What do Israelis expect from India in the future?

  • to increase economic and trade relations as fast as possible.
  • They want India’s big industrial conglomerates, which have a presence in every continent, to invest in Israel.
  • Israelis would like India to take an even-handed approach towards its friend in international fora and perhaps stand up for Israel:
  • Instead of abstaining, India could consider voting against anti-Israel resolutions at the UN;
  • it could convince its non-Muslim neighbours to stop automatically supporting every anti-Israel UN resolution;
  • India could also tell the ayatollahs in Iran that weekly threats to “wipe Israel off the map” are unacceptable.

Well-informed Israelis know that all this will not happen anytime soon. But when the time comes, India could play a calming role in the Middle East—for as its power advances, its voice will be heard more.

 

2. GST: A unified India for business

By removing the tax barriers across states, the goods and services tax (GST) has created a single common market across the nation-discuss.

 

3. India’s quest for armed drones

The complex security challenges of India warrant usage of drones-comment.