Q.1) There is a need for simplification of procedure for disqualification of persons found guilty of corrupt practices under the Representation of peoples Act” Comment (Answer in 150 words)

Section 8 of the Representation of People’s Act, 1951 deals with the provisions of disqualifications of persons found guilty of corrupt practices in election. These provisions include disqualification on the grounds of election offences,  conviction for any offence resulting in the imprisonment for two or more years, failure to give account of election expenses within time, corruption or disloyalty, holding office under Government company, promoting enmity between different groups or offence of bribery and preaching or practising of social crimes like untouchability, dowry, etc.

Why is there a need for simplification?

  • The law does not include provisions for barring individuals who have criminal cases pending against them from contesting elections. 
  • Due to the slow progress of cases in the judiciary, the judgement takes a long time to get settled and a disqualification based on conviction becomes ineffective. 
  • Lower rates of conviction in offences in India. According to a report by Association of Democratic Reforms in 2014, 30% of sitting MPs and MLAs were facing criminal proceedings against them, but of that only 0.5% were convicted in a Court of Law.
  • There have been instances of political influences by the MPs and MLAs over the witness and the whistleblowers, thereby diluting the cases against them. 

Way Forward 

  • Setting up of fast track courts to deal with election offences. 
  • Barring those from contesting elections who have been charged for heinous crimes and corrupt practices. 
  • Giving protection to the whistleblowers and witnesses during the course of investigation. 
  • Setting up an independent agency to investigate electoral offences. 

Q.2) “Recent amendments to the Right to information Act will have profound impact on the autonomy and independence of the Information Commission”. Discuss (Answer in 150 words)


The RTI Act was passed in 2005. Under it, public authorities are required to disclose information about their structure and the way they function.

What is the amendment about-

  • It changes the terms and conditions of service of Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners
  • It states that the central government will provide for the appointment and tenure of the CIC and ICs.
  • Salary, allowances and terms and conditions of service of the CIC and ICs will be decided by the Central government.
  • The CIC and ICs which were hitherto equal to the CEC and ECs will now not be equal.

Need of the Act:

  • Aims to further streamline and strengthen the RTI act, 2005.
  • The mandate of Election Commission and Information Commission are totally different and hence their service conditions need to be rationalized accordingly.
  • Though the CIC was equivalent to the judge of SC but yet its decision could be challenged in High Court. This too was a serious anomaly that was needed to be addressed.

Issues with the amendment

  • Reduces the independence of CIC and ICs.
  • Can lead to partiality towards those in power.
  • Can be a big tool of misuse of power by the central government.
  • An assault on the federal structure of the Indian polity

Way forward

  • Public authorities should disclose maximum information in public interest 
  • Strengthen the act to bring in more transparency and objectivity in the functioning of public authorities.
  • Provide adequate provisions so that the principle of cooperative federalism is strengthened.

Q.3) How far do you think cooperation, competition and confrontation have shaped the nature of federation in India? Cite some recent examples to validate your answer (Answer in 150 words)

Federalism means the independence of the different levels of government of a country and division of powers between them. Cooperation, competition and confrontation are the three ways that strengthen the nature of a federation. Recent examples:


  • The introduction of GST in 2017 was possible only by the cooperation between the Centre and the majority of the states.
  • The functioning of the GST council where states contribute to the national fiscal policy equally, inter -state council where Centre and states act together.
  • The recent pandemic that shackled the country saw the cooperation between the Centre nd the states in managing it for eg. Through the Epidemic Diseases Act, Disaster Management Act, etc.


  • EoDB Rankings given to the states where they compete with one another in enhancing their ease of doing business and encouraging states to introduce corrective measures in areas they lag.
  • SDG India index by the NITI Aayog that ranks the states according to their performance in achieving the SDG goals.
  • Swachh Bharat Rankings given by the Centre to encourage states to meet the goals faster.


  • Few states expressed their discontent towards the CAA and NRC and also the farm laws.
  • Disputes related to the sharing of rivers
  • Extending the powers of NIA to states by the Centre despite some states opposing it and even moving to the SC against it.

Q.4) The judicial systems in India and the UK seem to be converging as well as diverging in recent times. Highlight the key points of convergence and divergence between the two nations in terms of their judicial practices. (Answer in 150 words)

The Indian judiciary and the judiciary of the UK have both convergences and divergences.

Points of convergence:

  • Both the UK and India have independence of judiciary.
  • The judiciary is the highest interpreter of the Constitution in both the countries.
  • In both the countries the judiciary can review the acts by the administration and the executive
  • Both have a mechanism of writ petitions in case of violation of fundamental rights.
  • Both are fundamentally based on the principle of Rule of Law

Points of Divergence:

  • In India there is a system of judicial review by the SC if any law is against the basic structure of the Constitution while in the UK the scope of judicial review is much limited as Courts cannot touch the Acts made by Parliament.
  • Contempt of court in the UK is dealt in accordance with the law and Courts have nothing to do with it, while in India the Court can punish for its contempt.
  • The British legal system is completely based on the Common Law system i.e. it has evolved through judges’ decisions, judgments and orders, while the Indian legal system is a mix of fixed set of laws and regulations and also is continuously evolving.
  • The Special Leave Petition of SC in India under Article 136 has no parallel in the UK.

Q.5) “Once a speaker, Always a speaker’! Do you think the practice should be adopted to impart objectivity to the office of the Speaker of Lok Sabha? What could be its implications for the robust functioning of parliamentary business in India?

  • The above convention is followed in the UK. Here the Speaker is elected at the beginning of the Parliament by and from among the members of the House of Commons. If the Speaker of the outgoing Parliament is still a member of the house, he can be re-elected. The change of party does not affect the position of the Speaker.  
  • Article 93 of Indian Constitution mentions the Office of the Speaker of Lok Sabha, where she is the presiding officer and has the highest authority.
  • Adopting the above practice in India would not impart objectivity to the office because:
    • The speaker of Lok Sabha is by convention a member of the ruling party and it is necessary for her to resign from her party while in the UK it is mandatory.
    • The Speaker in India presides over the house but is not above the Constitution while in the UK it is not so.
    • Making the Speaker an unchallengeable authority can make the Speaker biased towards the members of the ruling party.
    • The Speaker of Lok Sabha is the final authority in deciding disqualification cases and making the office permanent can affect such decisions.
    • Power of casting votes of the Speaker can be misused.
    • Misusing the power to declare any bill as money bill
  • Hence, the office of Speaker in India is broadly an apolitical post with enough security of office and independence. Making the office permanent has its own demerits. What is required is making the existing office stronger and unbiased by introducing reform measures such as transparency of decisions,  extension of tenure to those who are unbiased and effective, etc.

Q.6) In order to enhance the prospects of social development, sound and adequate health care policies are needed particularly in the fields of geriatric and maternal health care. Discuss.

  • Social development is about improving the well being of every individual in the society so that they can reach their full potential.
    • Reducing vulnerability among old people and women, in particular, is the most sought-after exercise in the nation-building process. This is because:
    • Healthy mothers would mean healthy children which in turn means healthy future of the nation
    • Large amount of daily expenditure of common people amounts to the healthcare of the elderly in the family and most of this is out of the pocket expenditure.  
    • Larger number of healthy people will lead to a better society and a well developed healthy society.
    • It would largely improve India’s ranking in global healthcare indicators such as HDI where health is a key component.
    • Healthier societies, especially females, contribute more to the GDP of the country. This would help in realizing the goal of a $5tn economy more quickly
  • Keeping these things in mind Policies such as “Decade of Healthy Ageing(2020-2030) and  National Program for Elderly Healthcare are launched primarily focusing on the Elderly health and Matru Vandana Yojana, Janani Suraksha Yojana Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA), Navjaat Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (NSSK), National Programme for Family planning and LaQshya’ program (Labour Room Quality Improvement Initiative) focusing on maternal and child health  have been launched by the government.

Q.7) “Institutional quality is a crucial driver of economic performance”. In this context, suggest reforms in Civil Service for Strengthening Democracy. (Answer in 150 words)

Economic performance of any country primarily depends on the policies formulated by the government. However, the growth performance not only depends on what the policy measures are but also on how those policies are implemented and executed and this is where the role of an efficient civil service or bureaucracy comes in. 

Civil service reforms aim at strengthening the administrative system to perform the core government functions. These ain't raise the quality of services to the citizens that are essential for sustainable economic and social development. 

Reforms needed in the civil service to enhance economic performance in the country are:

  • Rightsizing the bureaucracy so that optimum number of functionaries are available for effective service delivery without any spillage or leakage. 
  • Specialist recruitment- the growing economy has different sets of needs where a high degree of specialisation is required in every field and cannot be appointed in them everytime.
  • Capacity building and human resources development to keep pace with the global development as by the forces of new technologies.
  • Strengthening meritocracy in promotion instead of seniority. 
  • Introduction of modern reforms like e- governance to reduce the pen and paper work and enhance the proficiency of service delivery. 
  • Civil service accountability- strengthening and streamlining reporting mechanisms, action on audit findings, implementation of Citizens Charter, etc.

The recent policy by the government Mission Karmayogi is a great step towards the civil service reforms to enhance the quality of civil services as an institution in the country which in future will help in achieving a higher economic growth.

Q.8)“The emergence of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Digital Revolution) has initiated e-Governance as an integral part of the government”. Discuss (Answer in 150 words)


  1. The First Industrial Revolution- mechanisation of production.
  2. The Second Industrial Revolution- use of electric power for mass production.  
  3. The Third Industrial Revolution- use of electronic and information technology
  4. The Fourth Industrial Revolution- fusion of technologies across physical, digital, and biological spheres.
  • Fourth digital revolution- It focuses on revolution of digital technologies (upgraded version of Third Industrial Revolution)
  • The fourth industrial revolution can enhance e-governance in Indian. E-governance deals with digitization of government services so that people can avail them more conveniently.

Advantages of e-governance initiatives in India:

  1. With large scale demographic constraints, digitization can help mass scale policies like Skill India,Start Up India, Atal Innovation Mission reach a larger number of people.
  2. It will enhance citizen centric administration with greater accountability and transparency.
  3. Will help in evaluation of policies through digital records.

Challenges in e-governance:

  1. Lack of infrastructure. 
  2. Lack of awareness among people.
  3. Lack of internet facilities.
  4. High economic costs.
  5. Issues of security and privacy.
  6. Digital divide.

Government initiatives:

  1. Bharat Net and optical fibre network can boost digital infrastructure in rural areas.
  2. Meghraj- GI Cloud  focuses on this initiative to accelerate the delivery of e-services in the country while optimizing ICT spending of the Government.
  3. e-Kranti is an essential pillar for digitisation with the goal of the vision of “Transforming e-Governance for Transforming Governance”.

Way Forward:

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has launched a Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) in India. The centre would aim to bring together the government and business leaders to pilot emerging technology policies. Government along with other stakeholders should cooperate effectively to use this opportunity to enhance e-governance under the umbrella of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 

Q.9) Critically examine the role of WHO in providing global health security during the COVID-19 Pandemic (Answer in 150 words) 

Role played by the WHO

Helping the countries to prepare and respond to an infection as serious and sudden like covid 19.

  • Providing accurate information and also helping to burst dangerous myths 
  • Ensuring vital supplies reach frontline health workers 
  • Training and mobilising health workers. 
  • Helping the countries in development of a vaccine. 
  • Important role of WHO in finding the roots of the virus in China.
  • Coordination among nations for better information dissemination.
  • Doing research on its genome sequencing.

Why have there been controversies around WHO?

  • It has been accused of being partial towards few countries. 
  • Recent withdrawal of USA from the WHO funding 
  • It was accused of acting too slow during the H1N1 influenza epidemic in 2009.
  • US halting appointment of judges to the dispute resolution Appellate Body

Role of India

India has been elected Chair of the WHO’s decision-making Executive Board at its 73rd World Health Assembly in 2020. This presents an opportunity for India to develop new international norms that will strengthen the institution.

Q.10) “Indian diaspora has a decisive role to play in the politics and economy of America and European Countries”. Comment with examples. (Answer in 150 words)

India has the highest diaspora in the world with 17.5 mn people of Indian origin around the world- UN

Role played by the Indian diaspora

  • Electoral Power- A significant population in these countries is Indian and this can change the political dynamics of the country.
  • Political power- A lot of key positions in the government of these countries are acquired by people of Indian origin Eg -Vice President of US, Defence Minister of Canada, UK Parliamentarians, etc.
  • Diplomacy- a large emigrant group helps furthering the nation's diplomacy through people to people contact. The Indo-US Civil Nuclear Deal is a case in point, as ethnic Indians in the United States successfully lobbied for clenching of the deal.
  • Economic Power- a lot of well educated Indians have settled in these countries and are contributing to the growth of their economy. Eg- Sundar Pichai
  • Soft Power- Influence of Indian cuisine, yoga, Indian culture, movies, ISKON festival, etc 

Way Forward 

  • Government should support in building the strength of the Indian Diaspora 
  • Take steps to actively engage with them through initiatives like “Pravasi Bharatiya Divas” and try to influence them to work in the interests of India 

Q.11) Indian Constitution exhibits centralizing tendencies to maintain unity and integrity of the nation. Elucidate in the perspective of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897; The Disaster Management Act, 2005 and recently passed Farm Acts.

The Indian Constitution provides for division of powers among the Centre and the states. However, there are certain provisions that exhibit the centralizing tendencies. Hence, sometimes ours has been called a quasi -federal constitution with unitary bias.

The centralizing features are:

  • Office of the Governor: the governor for every state is appointed by the Centre.
  • Emergency provisions- under these conditions the legislative and the executive power of the Centre extend towards the states. The resource allocation can also be modified by the President.
  • Residuary powers- the matters which are neither a part of central list nor state list or concurrent list are in the hands of the Centre.
  • All India Services- the officers in the All India Services are appointed by the Centre but they serve in the states.
  • Amendment of the Constitution- the power to initiate such an amendment lies only with the Centre.

These provisions help in maintaining the unity and integrity of the nation. For ex.- the states in India do not have the right to secede from the Union, this helps in keeping Indian structure intact. Similar case can be seen in recent times with the passage of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897; The Disaster Management Act, 2005 where the Centre used its residuary powers to effectively manage and control the crisis caused in the country due to COVID19 pandemic. Another similar case is of the passage of farm laws, where Centre used its power to make laws on subjects in the concurrent list to bring a uniformity across farm sectors and help alleviate the deprivation of farmers.

Q.12) Judicial legislation is antithetical to the doctrine of separation of powers as envisaged in the Indian Constitution. In this context justify the filing of a large number of public interest petitions praying for issuing guidelines to executive authorities.

The doctrine of separation of powers envisages specific powers given to the legislature, executive and the judiciary. It implies minimal interference by one organ in the functioning of another organ. 

However, recently judicial legislation has emerged as a process in which the judiciary does the duty of the legislature and formulates laws, rules and regulations. For eg.- the Visakha guidelines which the SC formulated for the safety of women at workplaces etc. Judicial legislation is mostly in the form of judicial activism but sometimes leads to judicial overreach. Eg – ban on liquor shops within 500m of any national or state highway, etc.

A major reason for the increasing judicial legislation is the increasing number of PILs in the Courts asing te Courts to guide the executive and legislative authorities to act in a certain manner. Eg – recently there was a PIL in SC to bring back the Kohinoor diamond to India which was later rejected by the Supreme Court. 

However PILs can also help in bringing serious matters such as bonded labour, non payment of minimum wages to labour, sexual harassment at workplaces, atrocities against backward sections of the society, issues related o environment, etc. to the notice of the Courts and hence compel the legislature and executive to act on them

Q.13) The strength and sustenance of local institutions in India has shifted from their formative phase of ‘functions, functionaries and funds’ to the contemporary stage of’ functionality’. Highlight the critical challenges faced by local institutions in terms of their functionality in recent times.

The 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts gave constitutional status to the local institutions i.e. the panchayats in the rural areas and urban local bodies in urban areas.

Critical challenges faced by them in the recent times are:

  1. Encroachment in functioning- various parallel bodies have emerged like water development bodies, special purpose vehicles, etc. and there is an overlap of functioning.
  2. Not enough autonomy- local institutions lack autonomy resulting in inefficient decision making.
  3. Funding- local institutions are excessively dependent on the government for funding and lack their own revenue generating mechanisms.
  4. Bureaucracy- in some states they are under the subordination of bureaucracy and are excessively controlled by them.
  5. Poor infrastructure: lack of proper physical infrastructure, digital infrastructure. Low level of penetration of e- governance.
  6. Human resource- not enough members in the local institutions and the ones who are there are not efficient.

Way forward

  • Granting more autonomy to local institutions
  • Providing capacity building training to personnel.
  • Recruiting efficient personnel with necessary qualifications. This can be done by appointing them through state public service commissions.
  • Creation of ways in which local institutions can be self-sufficient in their funding.
  • Timely devolution of funds.

Q.14) Rajya Sabha has been transformed from’ useless Stepney tire’ to the most useful supportive organ in the past few decades. Highlight the factors as well as areas in which this transformation could be visible.

The role of Rajya Sabha has significantly increased in the recent decades due to- increase in formation of coalition governments, requirement of informed opinion on certain important issues, PM i.e. the head of the Government being a part of the RS, etc.

Importance of Rajya Sabha

  1. It is required to maintain the federal equilibrium of the Indian polity. It protects the interests of the states against undue interference of the Centre.
  2. It prevents hasty legislation and acts as a check and balance method.
  3. It is the permanent house that keeps functioning even when the Lower house is dissolved.
  4. It acts as a deliberative body where high quality debates on important issues take place.

Areas where the change is visible:

  1. Rajya Sabha has initiated some very important legislations like Bonded Labour System Bill, MRTP Act, Gram Nyayalayas Bill, RTI act, etc.
  2. It has acted as a revising chamber. Eg.- the Rajya Sabha intervention in Dowry Prohibition bill led to a joint sitting.
  3. Making the governments agree to important amendments in important legislations like the Food security Act and Lokpal Act.
  4. Represents the interests of states- eg.- the GST bill was tough to be passed due to states’ opposing it.

Q.15) Which steps are required for constitutionalisation of a commission? Do you think imparting constitutionality to the national commission for women would ensure greater gender justice and empowerment in India? Give reasons.

Steps in constitutionalisation of a Commission are:

  1. A bill is introduced under Article 368 to amend the Constitution.
  2. Bill has to be passed by both the houses by special majority.
  3. Bill is given assent by the President.

Positive Impact

  • NCW will have the power of civil courts
  • The reports by it will be mandatorily discussed in the Parliament
  • It will be able to interact freely with the media
  • More autonomy and independence in its functioning.
  • Ensure gender justice and empowerment of women.


  • Constitutional bodies such as NCST are merely recommending bodies 
  • They perform an advisory role only. 
  • Their recommendations have been pending for a long time.
  • Lack independence in appointments as they are dominantly made by the executive.

Q.16) “Incidence and intensity of poverty are most important in determining poverty based on income alone”. In this context analyse the latest United Nations Multi Poverty Index report.

The Global Multi Poverty Index is released by the UN Development Programme (UNDP). It covers 107 developing countries.

Indicators used by it are:

  1. Health
  2. Education
  3. Living standards

MPI = incidence x average intensity

India is 62nd among 107 countries with an MPI score of 0.123.

According to the report, India lifted 271 million people out of poverty between 2006 and 2016, (reduced from 0.283 in 2005-06 to 0.123 in 2015-16) recording the fastest reductions in the multidimensional poverty index values during the period with strong improvements in areas such as assets, cooking fuel, sanitation and nutrition.

Significance of the report:

  • Helps in identifying the most vulnerable and the poorest among the poor.
  • Reveals spatial and regional variations
  • Can help governments and NGOs in targeted policy making and measures

Q.17) “Microfinance as an anti-poverty vaccine is aimed at asset creation and income security of the rural poor in India”. Evaluate the role of Self-Help Groups in achieving twin objectives along with empowering women in rural India.

Microfinance is the practice of providing the poor with credit, savings and insurance facilities to set up or to expand Income Generating Activities relating to agriculture and its allied activities and non-farm sector, and thereby reducing poverty.

The World Bank estimates that more than 500 million people have directly or indirectly benefited from microfinance-related operations.

SHGs are groups of women in rural areas that come together, pool in money and use it for a common purpose beneficial to all. These groups can act as microfinance institutions and help alleviate the conditions of the rural poor because:

  • People will have faith in and among themselves
  • Rates of interest can be fixed by considering the state of the individual getting finance.
  • Repayment of loans would be easier.
  • They help to build Social Capital among the poor, especially women.
  • Skill development– Skill development program undertaken by SHGs improves employability of members involved.
  • Rural poverty – SHGs are a way to lift people from below the poverty line and generate assets for them. Positive correlation between SHGs and poverty can be inferred from the fact that southern states with high numbers of SHGs (71%) have an average poverty rate at 9% as against the nation's average of 21%. Eg.- kudumbashree in Kerala.

The SHG-Bank Linkage Programme (SBLP) was launched by NABARD in 1992. It envisaged a combination of the formal financial sector and informal sector. With this, the formal financial institutions in India have entered into microfinance in a massive way.

Way forward

  • Policies by the government to strengthen SHGs
  • Persuade women to form more SHGs.
  • Provide monitoring and training support by self-help group federations.
  • Economic empowerment of the SHGs.

Q.18) National Education Policy 2020 is in conformity with the Sustainable Development Goals-4 (2030). It intended to restructure and re-orient the education system in India. Critically examine the statement. (Answer in 250 words)

  • “A quality education is the foundation of sustainable development, and therefore of the Sustainable Development Goals. As a policy intervention, education is a force multiplier which enables self-reliance, boosts economic growth by enhancing skills, and improves people’s lives by opening up opportunities for better livelihoods”- UN

Key Challenges in Education Sector- Accessibility, Affordability and Quality

Key features (Primary and Secondary education):

  1. The policy aims for 100% Gross Enrollment Ratio by 2030
  2. Focus on early childhood education- need to integrate it with RTE
  3. Vernacular language as a  medium of instruction till 5th grade(wherever possible)
  4. Teaching coding to kids(6th class and above)
  5. Exposure to vocational education to at least 50% of learners by 2025

Key features (higher education):

  1. The policy aims for 100% Gross Enrollment Ratio by 2035
  2. New regulatory authority (HECI) to look into fund allocation, setting standards,accreditation and regulation
  3.  4 year undergraduate program with multiple entry and exit options(flexibility)
  4. Allowing foreign universities in India

SDG targets for education:

  1. By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and Goal-4 effective learning outcomes.
  2. By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education.
  3. By 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university.
  4. By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship.

Multidisciplinary approach- in conformity with Sustainable Development Goals

  1. A strong focus on reforming curriculum of higher education through shift towards making educational institution more multidisciplinary
  2. Would allow education to be made more holistic to meet development needs of 21st century
  3. Strong focus on improving teacher quality
  4. Gender inclusion fund to provide equitable quality education to girls and transgenders
  5. Dedicated unit to improve digital infrastructure
  6. Scholarship for socially and economically weaker sections

Way forward:

  1. Better coordination between centre and states requires
  2. Fund allocation to 6% of the GDP should be as mentioned in the policy needs effective implementation
  3. Depth scrutiny for allowing foreign universities

Q.19) Quadrilateral Security Dialogue is transforming itself into a trade block from the military alliance, in present times. Discuss (Answer in 250 words)

History of Quad- Japan promulgated the idea to counter China’s ambition in the South China Sea. China and Russia termed it as “Asian NATO”

  • Main idea- “free, open and prosperous” Indo-Pacific region.
  • Interests of each countries for QUAD:
  1. USA-strategic rivals and contain China in East Asia
  2. Japan-Territorial transgressions by China in East China Sea (Senkaku Islands)
  3. Australia- Chinese naval expansionism in Indo-Pacific region
  4. India-Territorial dispute with China in Himalayan region. Hence India trying to open a second military front against China and also counter China’s “String of Pearls ” strategy.

Present times:

  1. Is a military cooperation on maritime domain. Due to China’s increasing  growth as an economic superpower, all the members are shifting to a common tradeblock.
  2. Australia has suffered economic bullying by China through tariff impositions.
  3. India has the largest trade deficit with China. Recently refused to join RCEP.
  4. The US and China are engaged in a trade war.
  5. Japan has its largest exports to China. China surpassed Japan as Asia’s largest economy.
  6. Hence all the 4 members aligning to counter their economic dependence on China. For eg, Comprehensive Economic partnership between India and Japan.
  7. India having a trade deficit with most countries, a trade block with Quad members will benefit India most.(economic bandwagoning)

India Emerging as a Net Security Provider

  1. There is a growing great power interest in the maritime sphere, especially with the arrival of the concept of ‘Indo-Pacific’. For instance, many european countries have recently released their Indo-Pacific strategies.
  2. With India, located right at the centre of the Indo-Pacific geopolitical imagination can realise the vision of a ‘broader Asia’ that can extend its influence away from geographical boundaries.
  3. Moreover, India can build around collective action in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, monitoring shipping for search and rescue or anti-piracy operations, infrastructure assistance to climatically vulnerable states, connectivity initiatives and similar activities.
  4. Further, India with Quad countries can check imperialist policies of China in Indian ocean region and ensure Security and growth for all in the region.

Way Forward:

  1. Trade or military grouping but the goal is the same- countering China’s ambition to become “global numero uno”.
  2. With China shifting to a consumption based economy and signing BRI and investments treaties with other countries, upgrading the Quad to a trade and economic partnership block will help the members to diminish China's dominance.

Q.20) What is the significance of Indo-US deals over Indo-Russian defense deals? Discuss with reference to stability in Indo-Pacific region (Answer in 250 words)

India has been diversifying its defence purchases over different countries. Russia is the largest defense supplier to India but over the years, US, France, Israel have emerged as leading defence partners for India.

The significance of Indo US defense deals are: 

  • Political significance- it helps in establishing stronger ties with a country as strong as the US and building better relations.
  • Strategic Significance- India and US both have been cooperating on a number of issues such as Indo Pacific, terrorism, money laundering, etc and defense deals add a boost to this
  • Sanctions under CAATSA- continuing defence deals with Russia over and above the US put India at the risk of sanctions under CAATSA.
  • Strengthening of QUAD- India and US are a part of QUAD and defence deals with US will help in achieving the objectives of QUAD sooner.
  • Diversity- deals with different countries will lead to diversification in defence equipment and better technology

Indo US defense deals have emerged as an important aspect in the stability of the Indo Pacific region. US and India are working together to minimize the influence of China in this region and enhance the role of India, which is very important for the internal and external security and territorial integrity of India. Key initiatives under this include QUAD, Trans Pacific Partnership, etc. 

In such a situation completely depending on Russia can put India at the threat of sanctions in the US as have been imposed on Turkey by the US for the purchase of S400 missiles. India has been in talks with Russia for a similar purchase. 

However, Russia has been an all-weather friend of India, hence, what is required is to strike a balance between India and the US and also convince the US for a waiver under CAATSA.