News & Editorial Analysis 28 January 2023
The Hindu News Analysis
1 – India Pakistan Indus Treaty:
GS II Topic International Relations
The 62-year-old Indus Water Treaty (IWT) with Pakistan is being changed, according to an announcement made by India on Friday. It took this action in retaliation for what it called Pakistan’s “intransigence” in trying to settle differences over the Kishenganga and Ratle hydropower projects, both of which are situated in Jammu and Kashmir. India also took issue with Pakistan’s “unilateral” decision to get in touch with the arbitration court situated in The Hague.
The administration wrote to Pakistan demanding amendments to the treaty in accordance with Article XII (3) of the IWT, which deals with the “final terms” of the pact. The first hearing in the Pakistani complaint began on Friday at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands. India made the decision to stay out of the discussion.
Indus Waters Treaty (IWT):
The IWT was signed by both Ayub Khan, the President of Pakistan at the time, and Jawaharlal Nehru, the Prime Minister of India at the time. The World Bank served as a mediator during the nine-year long discussions for the accord (then known as the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development).
Since the partition of India in 1947, the Indus River has been a source of contention between the four countries that it flows through: India, Pakistan, China, and Afghanistan. The river’s origin is in Tibet.
Pakistan’s water supply was briefly cut off by India in 1948, but it was restored after the war. In 1951, Pakistan informed the UN about the incident and charged India with cutting off the water supply to various Pakistani regions.
Based on recommendations from the UN, the World Bank created this agreement in 1954. It was finally signed on September 19, 1960.
The agreement specifies the division of the River Indus and its five tributaries.
India now governs the following three eastern rivers:
Ravi’s Beas and Sutlej
India shall have unrestricted use of all Eastern River waters up until the occurrence of any unfavourable circumstance.
Pakistan now governs the following three western rivers:
Indus, Chenab & Jhelum
To address any potential worries about water sharing, the UN formed the Permanent Indus Commission, which provides a procedure for arbitration to settle issues amicably.
The agreement enables India to use the water from the western rivers for a variety of domestic, non-consumptive needs, including storage, agriculture, and the creation of energy.
In accordance with the agreement, Pakistan receives 80% and India receives 20% of the water from the Indus River System.
When putting into practise any plan for flood protection or flood control, each country (India/Pakistan) will take all reasonable efforts to avoid causing any substantial injury to the other country.
Both India and Pakistan are free to use the rivers’ natural channels to discharge flooding or other excess waters without restriction, and neither country is entitled to pay from the other for any damages brought on by such use.
The Indus Waters Treaty has several problems:
There have been problems with the pact, and both sides have accused one another of breaking its provisions.
The Indian Kishenganga and Ratle hydroelectric power projects that were being constructed in Jammu and Kashmir drew complaints from Pakistan to the World Bank in 2016. After that, India demanded that the plants be evaluated by independent experts, alleging that Pakistan’s complaints were primarily technical in nature and did not warrant the creation of an arbitration tribunal (as Pakistan has taken it to an arbitration court). The World Bank allowed India to proceed with the projects following the conclusion of talks between the two countries regarding the agreement’s details.
The Tulbul project, a navigation lock-cum-control facility at the mouth of the Wular Lake, located on the Jhelum from Anantnag to Srinagar and Baramulla, was halted in 1987 as a result of Pakistan’s protests. The government recently decided to reconsider this suspension without taking Pakistan’s complaints into consideration.
The Rann of Kutch is traversed by Pakistan’s Left Bank Outfall Drain (LBOD) project in Gujarat, India. Before the building started, India was not consulted. India has expressed disapproval because this goes against the IWT. All relevant information must be provided because the lower riparian state is in India. Flooding is a problem that also exists in the state of Gujarat.
Recently, there has been a decreasing trend in the bilateral ties between Pakistan and India. After the attacks in Uri, Prime Minister Modi declared that “blood and water cannot flow in the same direction,” sending a message to Pakistan that his support for terrorism on the other side of the border will force India to reevaluate its tolerant stance toward the IWT. In fact, many experts believe Pakistan will gain more from the agreement than India.
The fact that Nehru, India’s former prime minister, signed the IWT on the country’s behalf has also drawn criticism. The pact was meant to be signed by the nation’s president at the time, who was in that position, and he wasn’t.
India does not use all of the water to which it is entitled, per the rules of the IWT. 2 million acre-feet of unused water from the River Ravi enter Pakistan each year (MAF).
In the wake of the Pulwama attacks in 2019, the Indian government said that all water now flowing into Pakistan through the three eastern rivers would be moved to Haryana, Punjab, and Rajasthan for a variety of uses.
To stop this flow and utilise all of its water allotment under the Treaty, India has taken the following actions:
Shahpurkandi Project: This would help Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir produce electricity.
A reservoir will be constructed on the Ujh, a tributary of the River Ravi, as part of the Ujh Multipurpose Project, to retain water for agricultural and power generation.
another connection from Ravi Beas Ujh This has been classified as a National Project by the GOI. To do this, a barrage across the Ravi River must be constructed, and water must then be directed through a tunnel link to the Beas Basin. The goal of this is to prevent additional water from entering Pakistan.
India’s choices include:
Some political philosophers believe that the pact should be revoked since it is biassed and one-sided in Pakistan’s favour.
Although it is more difficult said than done, this has important ramifications.
Unilateral abrogation is prohibited by the provisions of the agreement.
Even if India chooses to leave the agreement, the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 1969 should be adhered to.
As a result, the nation’s reputation overseas can suffer. Two more of India’s neighbours, Bangladesh and Nepal, might have second thoughts regarding agreements of a similar sort with them.
Some foreign policy experts think that India should uphold bilateral agreements if it seeks a permanent seat in the UNSC.
Greater problems relating to terrorist activity could result from abrogating the treaty.
India should build the necessary infrastructure to use the complete supply of water before Pakistani water is stopped.
China is a different perspective. Due of its support for Pakistan, China may restrict the Brahmaputra from flowing into Assam. It also has the capacity to block streams of the Indus River that originate in Chinese territory.
2 – Classic Languages of India:
GS II Topic Constitutional Provisions:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged students to learn languages other than their mother tongue in his talk to them at the sixth edition of the Pariksha Pe Charcha event on Friday. He said that Tamil is the oldest language in the world and is a great treasure and source of pride.
Did you know that, outside of India, Tamil is the oldest language in the entire world? Such a nation ought to feel proud, right? We are immensely proud of this enormous treasure. During the ceremony, Mr. Modi remarked, “Our chest should swell with pride and we must tell the world this. I spoke in Tamil during my address at the UN General Assembly in 2019 to spread this message.
Indian classical languages:
Currently, Tamil (announced in 2004), Sanskrit (2005), Kannada (2008), Telugu (2008), Malayalam (2013), and Odia are the six Indian languages with the title “Classical” (2014).
The Constitution’s Eighth Schedule has a list of all classical languages.
The rules governing classical languages are provided by the Ministry of Culture.
Following certain criteria, a language might be deemed “Classical”:
High antiquity of its earliest writings and history as preserved throughout a time span of 1500–2000 year
A body of prehistoric literature or works that have been cherished by speakers for centuries;
The literary heritage must be unique and uninspired by literature from another speaking group;
There may be a break between classical language and its later forms or offshoots since classical language and literature are unique from modern.
The Human Resource and Development Ministry offers the following benefits to promote languages after they are designated as Classical languages:
two significant annual international prizes for eminent classical Indian language researchers
There is now a Center of Excellence for Classical Language Studies.
A specific number of Professional Chairs for the so-declared Classical Languages are to be created, at least at the Central Universities, by the University Grants Commission.
3 – West Bank:
GS II Topic International Relations
Israel’s defence minister hinted on Friday that the IDF would stop its raids if Palestinian terrorist organisations ceased their rocket firing after Israel’s bloodiest raid in decades raised the risk of a substantial escalation in hostilities.
So far, the limited exchange of fire in Gaza between Israeli troops and terrorists has followed a predictable pattern, allowing both sides to respond without significantly escalating the situation. According to Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, the military was instructed to be prepared for additional strikes in the Gaza Strip “if required,” which also seemed to leave room for the possibility that the violence would decrease.
Nearly 1.5 times the size of Goa, the West Bank is a landlocked area in West Asia. It also encompasses a substantial chunk of the western Dead Sea.
Jordan seized control of it following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, but Israel regained control of it during the 1967 Six-Day War, and it has been Israel’s territory ever since.
The West Bank is home to 130 authorised Israeli settlements and over 26 lakh Palestinians.
Global Position on Settlements in the West Bank
The majority of countries view the West Bank settlements as illegal and on occupied territory.
The UN General Assembly, UN Security Council, and International Court of Justice have all declared that the West Bank settlements are in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
The Fourth Geneva Convention states that an occupying power “shall not deport or transfer elements of its own civilian population into the zone it occupies” (1949).
How to Proceed:
The Oslo Accords of the 1990s stated that the status of the settlements would be decided through negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. But the negotiation process has all but disappeared for some time. The world must work together to find a peaceful solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.
4 – Cheetah Project:
GS III Topic Environmental Conservation
India and South Africa have finally signed the long-awaited agreement to translocate 12 cheetahs to India, according to the Environment Ministry on Friday.
The cheetahs will be moved to India by the end of February and reintroduced to the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh, where eight of these cats were imported from Namibia in September of last year under a similar deal.
The fastest land animal on the planet is the cheetah, or Acinonyx Jubatus. The cheetah was the only large animal completely eradicated from India, mostly due to overhunting and habitat loss.
Sanskrit roots give the word “cheetah” its meaning of “variegated,” “adorned,” or “painted.”
They are documented in Strabo’s classical Greek reports of India, which date from about 200 years before the Common Era.
During the Mughal era, cheetahs were frequently used for hunting. One thousand of Emperor Akbar’s animals were cheetahs.
Cheetahs have long lived in Central India, particularly in the Gwalior region. Several states, notably Gwalior and Jaipur, used to hunt cheetahs.
The last spotted cheetah to roam the country died in the Sal forests of Chhattisgarh’s Koriya district in 1948, and the authorities declared the wild cat extinct in 1952.
Maharaja Ramanuj Pratap Singh, the head of a small princely kingdom in present-day Chhattisgarh, slaughtered the final three cheetahs in India.
The first plan of action for reintroducing the cheetah is: The first substantial measures were taken during negotiations with Iran in the 1970s and later under Shah Muhammad Reza Pahlavi. Iranian cheetahs were Asian, same like the vanished animals in India.
The plan was to exchange Asian lions for Asian cheetahs.
2009: An second futile attempt was made to obtain Iranian cheetahs in 2009. Any form of cheetah cloning was prohibited in Iran.
2012: The reintroduction initiative has to be put on hold, according to the Supreme Court.
2020: Four probable locations—Madhav National Park, Gandhi Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kuno-Palpur, and Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary—were visited by South African specialists.
Project Cheetah, the world’s first major wild carnivore translocation programme, is in charge of bringing cheetahs to India.
India has made the decision to pursue a coexistence-based strategy. Even more remarkable is the fact that cheetahs are being reintroduced for the first time in an outdoor protected area (PA).
The Coexistence Approach’s purpose is to:
Social scientists prefer the Coexistence approach over other strategies.
Fencing has shown to be an effective tactic in restricting cheetahs’ desire to wander far, allowing for population growth in South Africa and Malawi.
The main protected region of the KNP poses little anthropogenic risks.
Because Kuno NP is neither gated nor contained, it will be more difficult to overcome the cohabitation issues there.
Reintroductions of cheetahs into unfenced systems have not been effective.
Two human-caused threats to cheetah existence are snaring them for bush meat and revenge killings in retaliation to livestock theft.
They would thus be vulnerable to deaths involving humans, such as snaring and farmer reprisal kills.
As a method of fortress conservation, cheetahs have been periodically reintroduced into numerous African countries.
However, because fencing shields people from animal-human conflicts caused on by cheetahs killing cattle, all of these reintroductions took place in enclosed PAs.
Kuno National Park:
As a haven for animals, Kuno National Park in MP was established as a national park in 1981.
2018 saw its recognition as a national park.
It is a part of Khathiar-dry Gir’s deciduous woodlands.
The KunoPalpur Wildlife Sanctuary in India will soon serve as a second home for Asiatic lions.
The significance of bringing back the cheetah:
In the past, the habitat for cheetahs in India stretched from Jammu to Tamil Nadu and was very large. Any ecosystem, such as dry woods, grasslands, scrub forests, etc., could include them.
According to experts, organisms will naturally renew as long as there is enough food and protection. A “prey base” that can house the population has already been established at the Kuno-Palpur sanctuary.
Cheetahs will help restore the open forest and grassland ecosystems of India.
Because it is a representative species of grasslands, the cheetah helps to ensure the survival of other grassland animals that are essential to the food chain of predators.
By protecting biodiversity and enhancing ecosystem services like water security, carbon sequestration, and soil moisture conservation, this will benefit society as a whole.
The opportunities for local residents to make a living will also be improved through ecodevelopment and tourist efforts.
Tiger and leopard coexistence: There may be competition within the guilds of the big cats in Kuno.
Cheetahs will face competition from more ferocious predators like tigers and leopards.
It’s possible that they will be forced out of the park and into locations where they might run across people.
Kuno-Palpur National Park’s geographical problems: a wide variety of vegetation
The majority of Kuno-Palpur National Park’s protected area is composed of dry deciduous woods.
It was first questioned whether African cheetahs, who are more acclimated to their continent’s savannahs, would be able to adapt to Kuno.
Indian cheetahs were mostly reliant on blackbucks and chinkaras, with sporadic encounters with chital and nilgai.
These species are thought to have only partially disappeared from Kuno.
For the Asiatic lion project, 24 communities from Kuno have been relocated and restored.
However, this effort might now be put off due to the reintroduction of cheetahs.
In order to deal with this potential risk of livestock losses, India should have a functioning compensation scheme.
The cheetahs are all equipped with radio collars, and these collars will be tracked via satellite. Each cheetah will have a professional monitoring team stationed behind it, keeping an eye on its surroundings all day.
expanding the base of prey The Kuno National Park has imported 238 chitals, or spotted deer (Axis axis), from the state’s Pench and Narsinghgarh Wildlife Sanctuaries, and plans to import an additional 300 deer to boost the prey base inside the 500-hectare park.
Gradual coexistence: According to the Centre’s action plan, cheetah and leopard populations will eventually be able to coexist.
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The Hindu Editorial Analysis
A Betrayal Of The Very Idea Of Mahatma
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, who was killed on January 30, 1948, by a Hindu zealot who thought the Mahatma had been too tolerant of Muslims. The momentous event takes place while the prevailing ideological currents contest Gandhi’s legacy and the mere idea of Gandhi.
Days of the Mahatma’s passing:
Gandhiji has come under fire for being indecisive, for going too far to appease Muslim interests, and for his pacifism, which the jingoistic Hindutva movement views as unmanly. This criticism comes at a time when the reputation of his historical foes, whose offspring currently control the government of the nation, is at an all-time high.
The Mahatma was murdered for openly supporting Islam; in actuality, he had just broken his fast to pressure his own supporters, the ministers of the newly formed Indian government, to grant Pakistan a larger portion of united India’s riches than they had anticipated.
Gandhiji also expressed his desire to spend his final years in Pakistan rather than the country he had failed to keep united, which made the Pakistani leadership gag at the very idea.
Gandhiji was an idealist, an oddball, and a steadfast individual who marched to no one else’s tune but was able to persuade everyone else to do the same.
Addressing a contradiction as soon as possible:
The central government’s position, which is influenced by Hindutva, which despises Mahatma Gandhi, reflects the conflict. Gandhi’s message of tolerance and pluralism was flatly rejected by the Sangh Parivar as an effort to appease minorities, and his nonviolence, or ahimsa, was seen as a show of weakness unbecoming of macho Hindus.
Hindutva scholar V.D. Savarkar claimed that Gandhiji’s “perverse doctrine of non-violence and truth” will “undermine the authority of the country.” Prime Minister Modi has embraced Gandhiji notwithstanding his tendencies toward Hindutva. He has lauded the Mahatma and even used his glasses to represent the Swachh Bharat campaign, linking it to a call to revive Gandhiji’s idea of service through the ongoing “Swachhata Hi Seva” campaign.
However, several political personalities have been pushing in recent years for Nathuram Godse sculptures to be erected in place of Gandhiji’s all around the country. There is a clear contradiction between the public government’s admiration of Gandhiji and the clandestine ideological opposition to this hero that is privately promoted by members and supporters of the current ruling regime.
The mission statement of Mahatma:
The two primary theorists of the Hindu Mahasabha and its more militarised offshoot in the post-Independence era, the RSS, Veer Savarkar and M.S. Golwalkar, significantly diverged from Gandhiji, an openly practising Hindu.
Gandhiji personified the central tenet of Advaita Vedanta, which supported a universally accepting religion. According to Gandhiji, Hinduism is a faith that respects and accepts all other religions.
traditional Hindu school Advaita Vedanta, a path of spiritual discipline and experience, is the oldest extant lineage of Vedanta. According to the Advaita philosophy, only Brahman is ultimately real and the transitory phenomenal world is only its fictitious incarnation.
All-religions-are-welcome tolerance and nonviolence:
The ahimsa and satya ideas deeply inspired Gandhiji, and when he used them in the nationalist cause, he gave them both tremendous meaning.
He added the phrase “Ishwara Allah Tero naam” to his well-known bhajan “Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram,” synthesising several cultural belief systems. This custom originated from his Vedantic belief that all humans are one and have the same soul, or atman, and should be treated similarly.
His acts did not endear him to many Hindus. In his essay titled “Gandhi’s Hinduism and Savarkar’s Hindutva,” social scientist Rudolf C. Heredia situates his two protagonists within the ongoing debate over the heterogeneity versus homogeneity of the Hindu faith, noting that while Gandhi’s response is inclusive and moral, Savarkar politicises Hinduism as a majoritarian creed.
However, according to Heredia, Gandhiji’s personal definition of religion “transcended religiosity, Hindu as well as that of any other tradition.” It is ultimately a spiritual quest for moksha, yet being grounded in the reality of service to the weakest and most vulnerable in the world.
In contrast to Savarkar, who believed in uniformity, Gandhiji was a synthesiser like no other, taking care to include Indians of other religions in his wide and agglomerative vision of religion. He was influenced by Advaita Vedanta as well as the “Anekantavada” Jain philosophy, which maintains that no single vision can encompass the entirety of reality because truth and reality are perceived differently by many people from their varied points of view. As a result, he once declared, “I am a Hindu, a Muslim, a Christian, a Parsi, and a Jew.”
According to Shashi Tharoor, Hinduism and Hindutva are two very different and conflicting ideologies with very different ramifications for nationalism and the status of the Hindu faith. Admiring Gandhiji’s ideals and the way he presented them is easier than trying to live by them. However, they stood for a principle that is consistently violated by those who distort Hinduism in order to promote a narrow, prejudiced intolerance.
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The Indian Express Editorial Analysis
A growing number of people think that there won’t be a global recession and that some of the biggest economies in the world, like the US and the Eurozone, might have a soft landing.
What Is a Recession?
Recessions are defined as severe, widespread, and sustained declines in economic activity. A conventional rule of thumb is that two consecutive quarters of negative gross domestic product (GDP) growth indicate a recession, even though more intricate calculations are frequently used.
Recessions are defined as significant, broad, and protracted declines in economic activity. Economists determine the length of a recession by measuring it from the high point of the prior expansion to the low point of the downturn. Even while recessions may only last a few months, it may take years for the economy to recover and return to its pre-recession high.
An inverted yield curve accurately predicted each of the last 10 recessions, though some of them never materialised.
Current state of the world:
The world economy had a terrible year the year before. Global researchers forecast that some significant economies will undergo a recession in 2023 by the end of 2022.
By the time the most significant CEOs, decision-makers, and economists assembled for the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos earlier this month, the mood had started to change.
People are increasingly of the opinion that there won’t be a global recession and that some of the world’s greatest economies, such as the US and the Eurozone, may undergo a gentle landing.
During the same conference, IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva offered an explanation for this anomaly. The forecast for global economic development is better than we thought it would be two months ago, but “better” doesn’t always follow from “less dire.” She then listed four other contributing factors. First, inflation is steadily declining and has gone below its historical high. Second, the growth prospects for China, the second-largest economy in the world, have improved. Due to its Zero Covid policy, China’s growth rate fell below the global average growth rate in 2022 for the first time in forty years. However, it is projected that China’s economy would recover and help global growth as it becomes more open to commerce. Third, it was widely believed that as central banks raised interest rates, the jobless rate would rise in industrialised countries. but not to the extent that economists and policymakers had anticipated. In reality, the industrialised countries continue to have record-low unemployment rates. The fourth and most important component is the ongoing consumer demand. Georgieva claimed that strong labour markets, or low unemployment rates, had maintained strong consumer demand in countries like the US.
There won’t be a global recession, right?
Georgieva cited three key factors that could jeopardise the newly emerging confidence.
First, whether inflation will continue to decline is questionable. For instance, while China’s prospective recovery is seen as a positive development, it may also portend increased gas and crude oil prices, which would raise overall inflation. The cost of energy is still very high. Two: Despite the fact that labour markets have held up well thus far, it is likely that, if central banks continue to raise rates, rising interest rates will start to bite and lead to higher unemployment. Dealing with the cost of living crisis is one thing in wealthy countries with historically low unemployment; nevertheless, if widespread job losses take place, consumption would fall swiftly and, with it, economic progress. Last but not least, because it has not yet been addressed, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine poses a risk to investors everywhere.
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