02 Jun 2023: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

CNA 02 June 2023:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. How has Dhaka reacted to the U.S. threat on visas?
C. GS 3 Related
ECONOMY
1. Who should own the world’s lithium?
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
ECONOMY
1. India’s manufacturing challenge
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Multi-Vectored Foreign Policy of Central Asia
F. Prelims Facts
G. Tidbits
1. India, Nepal sign pacts on energy, transport
2. India-Russia joint venture on Vande Bharat trains hits hurdle
3. ‘Half of electricity to be from renewable sources by 2027’
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
FIP Magazine

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. Multi-Vectored Foreign Policy of Central Asia

Syllabus: GS-2, Effect of Policies & Politics of Developed & Developing Countries on India’s Interests

Mains: Chinese diplomacy in Central Asia and its implications on other countries

Context: Recent C+C5 summit hosted by China.

Introduction

  • Between May 18 and 19, China hosted the inaugural C+C5 summit in Xi’an, bringing together the leaders of five Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan)
  • The summit resulted in the signing of the Xi’an Declaration and marked the establishment of the China-Central Asia Summit mechanism. 
  • The summit focused on the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road cooperation to be a ‘new starting point’. 
  • The discussions also centred on fostering people-to-people interactions, launching a program called the ‘Cultural Silk Road’ to promote cultural exchanges, and addressing concerns related to regional terrorism and extremism.

Maintaining Balanced Regional Engagements:

  • While the growing Chinese influence in Central Asia raises concerns about Russia’s role in the region, it is essential to acknowledge the efforts of Central Asian countries to maintain balanced regional and international engagements. 
  • In 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin held numerous meetings with Central Asian leaders, highlighting the continued importance of Russia in the region. 
  • The participation of all five Central Asian Presidents in Moscow’s Victory Day parade demonstrates their commitment to maintaining diversified relationships.

Central Asia’s Multi-Vectored Foreign Policy:

  • Central Asian countries have successfully implemented a multi-vectored foreign policy, extending beyond the Russia-China axis. 
  • This approach allows them to assert their sovereignty while strengthening economic and political ties with various centres of power. 
  • Notably, the European Council President’s visit to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan emphasised the EU’s commitment to the region and the desire to enhance interregional cooperation. 
  • Each Central Asian country has unique priorities in their foreign policy strategies, such as regional security, economic concerns, and neutrality.

Lessons for the Broader Post-Soviet Space:

  • The success of Central Asian countries in maintaining a multi-vectored foreign policy presents valuable lessons for other post-Soviet nations, particularly Georgia and Moldova. 
  • While these countries aspire to EU and NATO membership, it is crucial not to compromise workable relations with Russia. 
  • Absolute security cannot be guaranteed solely through prospective membership in Western alliances, given the complexities of unconventional warfare. 
  • Moldova’s recent pro-Western government policy and aspirations for EU membership should be balanced with a pragmatic approach that acknowledges Russia’s geographic presence and the necessity of peaceful coexistence.

Implications for India:

  • Chinese diplomacy in Central Asia has significant implications for India, particularly in terms of geopolitics, regional influence, and economic cooperation. 
  • China’s engagement in Central Asia is driven by its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and its desire to secure energy resources, expand trade routes, and increase its strategic presence in the region. 
  • China’s close ties with countries like Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan enable it to expand its political and military presence, potentially encircling India from the north and this aspect challenges India’s historical influence in the region.
  • As China secures energy resources through pipelines and infrastructure projects in Central Asia, it strengthens its energy security and reduces its dependence on maritime routes. This increased energy cooperation could impact India’s energy interests and access to Central Asian resources.
  • China’s BRI creates new trade routes and economic corridors, enabling China to expand its economic influence. The development of these routes could bypass India and limit its connectivity with Central Asia, affecting India’s trade and economic interests in the region.
  • China’s deepening ties with Pakistan, including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), further strengthen its influence in Central Asia. This nexus allows China to leverage its economic and military cooperation with Pakistan to expand its footprint in the region, potentially posing a security threat to India.

Nut Graf: The China-Central Asia Summit held in Xi’an showcased the region’s commitment to strengthening ties with China while maintaining balanced regional engagements. Central Asian countries’ successful implementation of a multi-vectored foreign policy demonstrates their pragmatic approach to international relations and the benefits of diversified relationships. 

F. Prelims Facts

Nothing here for today!!!

G. Tidbits

1. India, Nepal sign pacts on energy, transport

  • India and Nepal signed a series of agreements on energy and transport, which also included the export of Nepal’s hydropower to Bangladesh via Indian territory and the Transit Agreement which would facilitate Nepal’s population to access India’s inland waterways.
  • The Indian Prime Minister noted that “The border between India and Nepal should not become a barrier” and also said that the two countries should fast-track projects related to the Ramayana circuit.
  • The Prime Minister of India also said that India would take forward the 2022 India-Nepal vision document for cooperation in the power sector that sets an ambitious goal in India-Nepal power trade and transmission. 
  • Other agreements signed during the recent meeting include an MoU between NHPC and VUCL (Vidyut Utpadan Company Ltd.) of Nepal, for the development of the Phukot Karnali Hydroelectric Project and a Project Development Agreement for the Lower Arun Hydroelectric Project between SJVN (India) and Investment Board of Nepal.

Read more – India- Nepal Relations

2. India-Russia joint venture on Vande Bharat trains hits hurdle

  • The joint venture between Indian public sector undertaking (PSU) Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd. (RVNL) and the Russian transportation company Transmashholding (TMH) to manufacture 120 Vande Bharat Express train sets has run into problems.
    • The project involved the manufacturing of 120 Vande Bharat train sets by TMH and RVNL with each set costing close to ₹120 crores.
    • The overall joint venture was valued at about ₹30,000 crores.
  • The issue of imposition of sanctions on Russia, on account of the Russia-Ukraine war, by various countries that are spare parts suppliers for Vande Bharat trains has become a key hurdle.
  • Various spare parts of the ‘Make in India’ Vande Bharat train sets are imported from Western European and American manufacturers.
  • However, various international suppliers and bankers have expressed displeasure in dealing with Russia in recent times.

Learn more – India-Russia Relations

3. ‘Half of electricity to be from renewable sources by 2027’

  • According to the National Electricity Plan (NEP) prepared by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), India is expected to have half its installed electricity sourced from renewable sources by early 2026-27.
    • India has to achieve this target by 2030.
  • As per the estimate, the percentage of non-fossil-based capacity is expected to increase to 57.4% by the end of 2026-27 and might further increase to 68.4% by the end of 2031-32 from around 42.5% in April 2023.
  • Experts however note that installed capacity does not perfectly translate into generated power as different sources of energy have varying efficiencies, and not all sources of power are available at all times.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. How many of the following statements are true regarding the Indo-Pacific Economic 
Framework? (Level – Difficult)
  1. It was launched by India’s Prime Minister in 2015.
  2. It has 4 defined pillars of cooperation.
  3. As of now, it has 14 members.

Options:

  1. None
  2. Only 1 statement
  3. Only 2 statements
  4. All 3 statements
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is not correct, India, along with the other nations led by the United States, inaugurated the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) on 23rd May 2022 in Tokyo.
  • Statement 2 is correct, The four main pillars of the IPEF include trade, supply chain resiliency, clean energy and decarbonisation, and taxes and anti-corruption measures.
  • Statement 3 is correct, IPEF has 14 partner countries namely Australia, Brunei, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam & the US.
Q2. How many of the following statements are true regarding Western Disturbances? 
(Level – Moderate)
  1. They are an example of Extra-Tropical Cyclones.
  2. They affect India only between November-March.
  3. They can acquire moisture from as far as the Atlantic Ocean.

Options:

  1. Only 1 statement
  2. Only 2 statements
  3. Only 3 statements
  4. None
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct, Western Disturbances are extratropical storms that originate in the Mediterranean region.
  • Statement 2 is not correct, Usually, India receives four to six intense Western Disturbances between November to March.
    • However, western disturbances start declining after winter and during the summer months of April and May, they move across northern India. 
  • Statement 3 is correct, Western Disturbances can acquire moisture from the Atlantic Ocean and other parts of Europe.
Q3. How many of the following statements are true regarding the Western Ghats? 
(Level – Easy)
  1. They traverse through 6 states of India.
  2. They are a Biodiversity Hotspot.
  3. They are an important water divide in India.

Options:

  1. None
  2. Only 1 statement
  3. Only 2 statements
  4. All 3 statements
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct, The Western Ghats are a mountain range running parallel along the western coast of India starting from Gujarat and ending in Tamil Nadu covering the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala.
  • Statement 2 is correct, There are major four biodiversity hotspots in India, which include the Himalayas, the Indo-Burma Region, the Western Ghats and Sundaland.
  • Statement 3 is correct, The Western Ghats are major water divides of peninsular India as they act as the highest boundary line of many peninsular and Konkan rivers. 
    • It divides the basins of the east-flowing peninsular rivers from those of the Konkan and Malabar rivers which are west-flowing rivers.
Q4. The Mekedatu Drinking Water project is related to which of the following 
rivers? (Level – Easy)
  1. Kaveri
  2. Godavari
  3. Vaigai
  4. Pranhita
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • The Mekedatu Project is proposed at the confluence of River Kaveri with its tributary Arkavathi
  • The project aims to ensure adequate drinking water supply to Bengaluru. 
Q5. Which one of the following is not the most likely measure the Government/RBI takes 
to stop the slide of Indian rupee? (Level – Moderate) [PYQ 2019]
  1. Curbing imports of nonessential goods and promoting exports
  2. Encouraging Indian borrowers to issue rupee-denominated Masala Bonds
  3. Easing conditions relating to external commercial borrowing
  4. Following an expansionary monetary policy
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • An expansionary monetary policy results in increased money supply in the economy resulting in a stronger dollar. 
  • Such a policy might lead to a fall in the value of the Indian Rupee and thus the Government/RBI does not undertake such a measure to stop the slide of the Indian rupee.

CNA 02 June 2023:- Download PDF Here

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