Mains Q & A 28 January 2023
Q1. To develop the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India has recently launched a proactive approach. Analyze the Andaman and Nicobar Islands’ strategic and economic significance to India. (250 words)
Paper & Topic: GS I World’s Physical Geography
One of the most beautiful island chains in the Indian Ocean is the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which are located on the eastern side of the Indian mainland. These Islands are located in the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal. Southeast Asia is incredibly near to these islands. Ten Degree Channel divides these islands into the Andaman Islands and the Nicobar Islands. These islands’ combined land area measures roughly 8073 km2. Nicobar Group only comprises 24 islands, compared to the Andaman Group’s 325 (6170 km2) (1765km2).
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which are in the Bay of Bengal, will become more strategically significant as the Indo-Pacific region’s geopolitical prominence grows.
The natural resources on these islands are abundant.
The main industry here for making money is fishing.
Rice, red oilseeds, rubber, palm, and cashew are the principal agricultural products.
Small-scale handicrafts enterprises are the main driver of the local population’s economy.
In particular, over the past few decades, tourism has grown to be the main sector in this area.
Flora and fauna abound on the lushly verdant islands.
Each year, thousands of tourists from India and other countries visited these islands.
Information provided by the Government of India indicates that 23 ports have been authorised for usage by the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Port Blair is the largest and busiest port.
The A&N Islands are strategically advantageous for India because they are larger than several island nations combined.
The Malacca Strait and the Six Degree and Ten Degree Channels in the Andaman Sea are crucial sea lanes of communication (SLOCs) for the movement of international trade, especially energy traffic, between Asia, Africa, and the Pacific.
The A&N Islands serve as an important strategic hub for the Indo-Pacific region since they are located at the confluence of the Indian Ocean, South China Sea, and Pacific Ocean.
Indian maritime might could be projected into the Indo-Pacific and even further into the south-west Pacific using the Andaman and Nicobar group of islands as a base.
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands might be home to India’s Third Fleet, and Car Nicobar, the chain’s most northern island, might serve as a strategic game-changer that rivals the ports of Singapore or Colombo.
In order to watch Chinese submarines in the Indian Ocean, India, Japan, and the United States could possibly put sonar surveillance equipment in the islands. Australia could decide to participate in such a plan.
An essential indicator of India’s strategic posture in the Eastern Indian Ocean is the Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC). Chinese businesses have been building vital maritime and energy infrastructure in Bay states as the Bay of Bengal has been a crucial area of interest for China in recent years. The Indian Navy has increased the pace of naval operations in the Bay of Bengal in an effort to highlight its dominance in the region.
The Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC), which goes beyond active surveillance and submarine hunting, is a significant indicator of India’s strategic position in the Eastern Indian Ocean.
In order to improve India’s regional involvement with the Bay of Bengal littorals, the A&N Islands have been crucial. In order to develop islands, the GOI established the Island Development Agency (IDA) in 2017.
Q2. For a stable economy with optimal development while generating demand, authorities must delicately balance the inflation rate so that it is neither too high nor too low. Analyse. (250 words)
Paper & Topic: GS III Indian Economy
The term “inflation” describes the rise in the cost of everyday and essential goods and services. A basket of goods and services is used to calculate inflation by averaging the changes in price over time.
According to the most recent data on inflation, which includes projections for industrial output as well as retail and wholesale pricing indices, it would be wise to exercise caution when assessing the prognosis for the economy.
The advantages of inflation:
ensures that the interest rates are controlled by the central bank.
encourages investment that is not monetary.
Adverse effects of inflation:
Causes money and other financial items to lose real value over time.
Causes uncertainty about the future, which could discourage saving and investment.
Higher inflation rates may not result in stronger growth or more jobs being created.
The purchasing power parity would decline with higher inflation.
May result in poor quality items if buyers begin stockpiling because they believe prices will rise in the future.
Need for low and stable inflation:
Increases the population’s wellbeing.
Encourages the productive use of resources.
Minimises uncertainty A more variable sort of inflation has been seen to affect economies with high inflation.
Prevents arbitrary income and wealth transfer, which disproportionately affects the poorest parts of society. As a result, wage employees and retirees have less safeguards in place to guard against the inflationary erosion of their income.
Can boost investment by fostering stability, confidence, and security.
Government announcements of reforms like GST would be made possible by low inflation and a sustained economic rate.
Would promote positive growth and the creation of jobs.
For the sake of the economy, policy actions should be either restrictive or expansionary depending on the inflation rates.
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