CAO Daily Editorial analysis for UPSC IAS 14-November, 2017

Current Affairs Only Daily Editorial Analysis for Competitive Exams


14 November, 2017

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Eastern promise {International Relation}

(The Hindu)


In news

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Philippines to attend the ASEAN-India summit, the East Asia Summit and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership summit has put India centre-stage in the Asian region now referred to as “Indo-Pacific”.

Meeting of the India-U.S.-Japan-Australia quadrilateral, a grouping first mooted in 2006 by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Outcome

  • It ended with statements on cooperation for a “free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region”, a direct signal that it will counter China’s actions in the South China Sea if necessary.
  • Meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump saw a similar emphasis on cooperating in the Indo-Pacific.
  • The ‘Quad’ doesn’t just pertain to maritime surveillance, it also aims at enhancing connectivity in accordance with “the rule of law” and “prudent financing” in the Indo-Pacific together.
  • The 10 ASEAN countries account for about 11% of India’s global trade. For the past few years India has joined the ASEAN “plus six”, including China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, to discuss the RCEP free trade agreement.

ASEAN Summit

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by the Founding Fathers of ASEAN, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

Brunei Darussalam then joined on 7 January 1984, Viet Nam on 28 July 1995, Lao PDR and Myanmar on 23 July 1997, and Cambodia on 30 April 1999, making up what is today the ten Member States of ASEAN.

AIMS AND PURPOSES

As set out in the ASEAN Declaration, the aims and purposes of ASEAN are

  • To accelerate the economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region through joint endeavours in the spirit of equality and partnership in order to strengthen the foundation for a prosperous and peaceful community of Southeast Asian Nations;
  • To promote regional peace and stability through abiding respect for justice and the rule of law in the relationship among countries of the region and adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter;
  • To promote active collaboration and mutual assistance on matters of common interest in the economic, social, cultural, technical, scientific and administrative fields;
  • To provide assistance to each other in the form of training and research facilities in the educational, professional, technical and administrative spheres;
  • To collaborate more effectively for the greater utilisation of their agriculture and industries, the expansion of their trade, including the study of the problems of international commodity trade, the improvement of their transportation and communications facilities and the raising of the living standards of their peoples;
  • To promote Southeast Asian studies; and
  • To maintain close and beneficial cooperation with existing international and regional organisations with similar aims and purposes, and explore all avenues for even closer cooperation among themselves.

The forgotten people {International Relation}

(The Hindu)


Context

This article talks about condition of Sri-Lankan refugees in India

The focus of the media has been on the Rohingya refugees in India. But the plight of Sri Lankan refugees, who have been here for nearly 35 years, appears to have gone out of the public consciousness.

Sri Lankan Tamil refugees

After the emergence of war-like situation between Shri Lankan government and the LTTE, the arrival of Eelam Tamil refugees to India has increased. From January 12, 2006 to July 7, 2006, 4343 people belonging to 1363 families have landed in the coasts along Rameshwaram. According to the data provided by the Tamil Nadu government, as on 31.1.2005, 52,332 refugees belonging to 14,031 families live here in 103 camps.

More than 100,000 Sri Lankan refugees continue to live in Tamil Nadu 30 years after the outbreak of civil war caused them to flee across the Palk Strait.

Today they live on in the knowledge that their sheltering camps can never be home,

Refugee’s concern

The refugees suffer from social and psychological problems as reports of suicides, school dropouts and child marriage show. Many middle-aged refugees worry about their children’s future, given the fact that 40% of camp refugees are below 18 years.

Condition of the camps

  • All the refugees who land in Rameswaram area are brought to the Mandapam camp. This is said to be a transit camp.
  •  The accommodation provided to the refugees is not worth living in.
  • No camp has proper toilet facilities. Even in the few toilets that are provided water facilities are not there. Men and women have to go to the nearby forests to relieve themselves. Since such a practice is non-existent in Shri Lankan culture, women suffer the greatly.
  • In all camps, electricity facility is provided only through single-bulb system. Only in some camps, separate meters have been allowed. For the single bulb, electricity is provided from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. For the kitchens and verandahs, which they have constructed themselves, there is no electricity facility.
  • Many camps have no medical facilities. In some camps, voluntary organizations provide medicines through trained people.

Recommendations for improving the situation

  • All people in the camps should be registered and be issued cards. The children born in the camp should be accorded Indian citizenship if the parents desire so, or else, they should also be registered as refugees.
  • Those who are registered as refugees for more than 10 years and those who are married to Indian citizens should be accorded Indian citizenship if they desire so.
  • Dresses should be issued twice in a year instead of once and vessels should be issued once in a year instead of once in two years.
  • The level of quantity of sugar and kerosene should be raised. Each family should be given 10 litres of kerosene every month. All essential commodities being issued to BPL families should be issued in similar quantity to Eelam refugees as well.
  • The government should offer assistance to the girls of the age of marriage and should also extend medical facilities to the pregnant women.
  • The government should offer assistance and encourage them to engage in small business activities while the banks should offer loan facilities.
  • The government should take appropriate action to liberate the people in camps from the harassment of money-lenders.

At present, for both India and Sri Lanka, the repatriation of refugees does not seem to be a priority. 


What ails India’s household economy? {Indian Economy}

(LiveMint)


Context

  • Households are consuming more out of their disposable income and saving less, a trend which, in turn, has impacted household capex
  •  The household sector is the largest segment of the Indian economy. In 2015-16, it accounted for 43.6% of gross value added (GVA) in the economy
  •  The health of the household sector, therefore, is the key to the health of the economy.
  • In recent years, the share of the household sector in GVA has been falling—from 45.8% of GVA in 2013-14 to 43.6% in 2015-16.

Reason behind declining GVA

  •  Households are saving less—savings as a percentage of gross household disposable income fell from 29.4% in 2011-12 to 24.4% by 2015-16.
  • Lower subsidies to households could be a reason for lower savings.
  • Households are also utilizing less of their savings for capital formation. In fact, capital formation as a percentage of household gross savings has come down from 67.3% in 2011-12 to 57% in 2015-16.

Way forward

The disruptions to economic activity seen in 2016-17 and in the current fiscal year are widely believed to have affected the informal sector the hardest. The shift of household savings from physical to financial assets continues.

 


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