Mains

 

Daily Answer Writing Session - 27_October _2021

Posted by R&D, KingMakers IAS Academy on Oct 30, 2021 3:47:59 PM

 

GS 2: Parliament & State Legislatures

Question 1: What is internal democracy in political parties? Does bringing internal democracy for political parties can be a game changer for a representative democracy? Discuss.

Approach: Introduction- Democratic accountability- Suggestion to achieve internal democracy- Issues with internal democracy- Way Forward-Conclusion

Key:

The case for internal democracy in political parties does not need to be made afresh. It is obvious that institutional intermediaries in a representative democracy must themselves be democratic.

Democratic accountability:

  • Democratic accountability in a political party is qualitatively different from that in a country. A political party is a collaborative platform to capture state power to achieve a certain vision for society.
  • It follows that some ideas and ideals are core to a political party and its members. This commonality does not exist in a country since citizenship is not an elective choice.
  • The role of democracy is not just to create a framework to negotiate conflict but to ensure that the state is representative of the largest section of the electorate through periodic elections.

Suggestion to achieve internal democracy:

  • Through internal elections for leadership positions within the party, internal democracy can be achieved.
  • The elected representatives will not just be grounded themselves but will also hold the leadership accountable for its shortcomings.

Issues with internal democracy:

  • Proponents underestimate the ability of existing repositories of power to subvert internal institutional processes to consolidate power and maintain the status quo.
  • The assumption that the lower levels would be independent and hold the higher levels of leadership to account glosses over the many ways power asserts itself. The likely outcome instead is alignment at all levels to allow for vertical consolidation of factional power.
  • The outcome of internal elections is contingent on the independence and quality of the electorate.
  • Democratic states constrain the pure will of “the people” through constitutional checks and it is reasonable to apply guardrails for ideological platforms.
  • Political parties are repositories of hard power and draw a mix of individuals driven by ideology and personal interest.
  • Over time, this balance has tilted towards the latter leading to irreconcilable internal conflicts of interests, which cannot be resolved through deliberation in open meetings.
  • The consequent bad faith renders such meetings useless with much substantive discussion and decision-making happening in the background.
  • Ultimately, internal institutional processes replicate the balance of power instead of substantially altering it.

Way Forward:

  • Instead of looking at internal party processes, one way to decentralise power is by getting rid of the anti-defection law.
  • There is a need to canvass votes in the legislature, that will create room for negotiation in the party organisation.
  • The electoral process will be independent of the party machinery and internal coalitions will evolve in a more measured manner than in one-time organisational elections. This will impose a similar burden on all political parties and may create space to change the overall political culture

Political power exists both in the formal and informal sphere and any institutional process which tries to run counter to aggregate power is likely to run aground

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/anti-defection-law-political-party-internal-democracy-7585654/

 


GS Paper 2: International Relations

Question 2: Discuss India’s relations with the Central Asian region.

Approach: Introduction- India and Central Asia region - Various challenges for India in Central Asia- Conclusion

Key:

The dramatic developments in Afghanistan have catalysed new geostrategic and geo-economic concerns for the region. The evolving situation has also thrown up renewed challenges for India’s regional and bilateral ties with Central Asia.

India and Central Asia region:

  • After the breakup of the Soviet Union and the formation of the independent republics in Central Asia, India reset its ties with the strategically critical region. India provided financial aid to the region and established diplomatic relations.
  • New Delhi signed the Strategic Partnership Agreements (SPA) with Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to stimulate defence cooperation and deepen trade relations.
  • In 2012, New Delhi’s ‘Connect Central Asia’ policy aimed at furthering India’s political, economic, historical and cultural connections with the region.
  • However, India’s efforts were stonewalled by Pakistan’s lack of willingness to allow India passage through its territory.
  • China took advantage of the situation and unveiled the much-hyped BRI in Kazakhstan.
  • The Central Asian countries have admitted New Delhi into the Ashgabat Agreement allowing India to facilitate trade and commercial interactions with Central Asia and Eurasia
  • In Kyrgyzstan, India extended a credit line of $200 million for the support of development projects and signed an memorandum of understanding (MoU) on High-Impact Community Development Projects (HICDP).
  • In Kazakhstan, India’s EAM attended the 6th Foreign Ministers’ Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA).

Various challenges for India in Central Asia:

  • The Taliban, which has re-established its dominance over Afghanistan, has also highlighted the weaknesses of coalitions such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which was formed in response to threats of terrorism emanating from Afghanistan.
  • As the SCO failed to respond collectively to the Afghan crisis, Central Asian leaders met in August in Turkmenistan to express their concerns over the Afghan situation, and the number of Central Asian terrorist groups within Afghanistan and along their borders.
  • Growing geo-strategic and security concerns regarding the BRI’s China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and violation of India’s sovereignty forced New Delhi to lay down its sluggish strategy.
  • China’s deep inroads in the Central Asian republics in terms of investment is also a concern.
  • Central Asia's geostrategic position as an access point between Europe and Asia is of greater significance in terms of trade.

 

EFFORTS BY INDIA TO CONNECT WITH THE AREA:      

  • Link Strategy for Central Asia: Introduced in 2012, it includes
  • Close political relations by exchanging high-level visits and multilateral commitments
  • Strategic and security cooperation through military preparation, frequent intelligence exchange, coordination of counter-terrorism and near Afghanistan consultations.
  • Long-term Oil and Natural Resources Collaboration.
  • Helping to provide the area with a viable banking infrastructure.
  • Increase the involvement of Indian companies in the building and power sector in Vehicles.
  • Improving INSTC connectivity, air services, people-to - people and cultural exchanges.
  • Shanghai Cooperation Organization: With full SCO membership, the top leaders of India & CARs can have more regular summit level contacts.
  • International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC): India is a founding member of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), a project to link India and Iran to Central Asia by sea route and then via Iran to the Caspian Sea.
  • Creation of the port of Chabahar in Iran: Allowing access to landlocked Afghanistan and energy-rich Central Asia through the ports like Jawaharlal Nehru and Kandla on the west coast of India.
  • Ashgabat Agreement: India has acceded to the Ashgabat Agreement, which facilitates the transport of goods between Central Asia and the Persian Gulf through an international transport and transit corridor.
  • Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI): The planned natural gas pipeline runs through the Herat-Kandahar-Multan-Fazilka (Pak-India Border) from a field in Galkynysh (Turkmenistan). It will not only provide a secure source of natural gas at reasonable prices, but it will also play a strategically important role in the region's peace and stability.
  • Eurasian Economic Union (EEU): India is negotiating a comprehensive economic cooperation agreement with Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan as part of the Eurasian Economic Union. The Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Program is also an important tool for the training and human capital growth of young professionals from these countries.

Way forward:

  • Both regions have struggled to make full use of the resources available in different sectors. The strengthening of relations between India and Central Asia is intended for the mutual benefit of all participating countries.
  • Good ties with India will also provide these countries with an assured market for their resources, raw materials, oil and gas, uranium, minerals, hydropower, etc.
  • The current regional and international political, strategic and economic scenario poses enormous challenges, but also the ability for India and Central Asia to boost their engagement qualitatively.
  • Stronger partnerships between these countries and the world would lead to improved stability and development. The current India-Central Asia Dialogue should be qualitatively enhanced to maintain continuous contact with key stakeholders in the region.

Rising anti-Chinese sentiments within the region and security threats from the Taliban allow India and Central Asia to reimagine their engagement. India should not lose any time to recalibrate its engagement with Central Asia.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/indias-central-asian-outreach/article37154609.ece

 

Topics: UPSC, IAS/IPS/IFS/IRS, Civil Services Examination, UPSC Mains, Mains practice question

Leave Comment