IASbhai Daily Editorial Hunt | 6th Jan 2021

“Successful entrepreneurs are givers and not takers of positive energy.” –Anonymous

Dear Aspirants
IASbhai Editorial Hunt is an initiative to dilute major Editorials of leading Newspapers in India which are most relevant to UPSC preparation –‘THE HINDU, LIVEMINT , INDIAN EXPRESS’ and help millions of readers who find difficulty in answer writing and making notes everyday. Here we choose two editorials on daily basis and analyse them with respect to UPSC MAINS 2020-21.

EDITORIAL HUNT #301 :“India-UK Relations 2021 | UPSC 

India-UK Relations 2021 | UPSC

Krishnan Srinivasan
India-UK Relations 2021 | UPSC

Krishnan Srinivasan is a former Foreign Secretary

      HEADLINES:

Changing contours of India-U.K. ties

      CENTRAL THEME:

The two countries have a shared past and need to chart a different shared future

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : IR

      MAINS QUESTION:

Since a decade new treaties are superimposed on existing ones even where there is insufficient progress between India and U.K. Critically examine the absence of Prime Minister of Britain in Republic day celebration. -(GS 2)

      LEARNING: 

  • Choosing a Chief Guest
  • Brexit and India
  • Challenges ahead
  • Close Relations

      INTRODUCTION: 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has expressed his inability to attend a truncated version of India’s Republic Day parade this month.

  • Mr. Johnson is a colourful and controversial character, often portrayed in the British media as a clown, but no one can doubt his capacity for manoeuvre and staying power.

      BODY: 

CHOOSING A CHIEF GUEST

  • NOMINATION OF CHEIF GUEST : The nomination of a chief guest for the Republic Day parade is the Prime Minister’s exclusive gift, and he or she is not known to consult others in or outside the Cabinet.
  • PREVIOUS CHEIF GUESTS : U.S. President Barack Obama in 2015, French President Francois Hollande in 2016, the Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates in 2017, the ASEAN leaders in 2018, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2019, Mr. Bolsonaro in 2020, and Mr. Johnson for 2021.
  • WEST PREFERENCE : With 193 countries in the United Nations, the Prime Minister’s choices have mostly been leaders identified with the Western camp.

Besides this, the invitation to Britain was the sixth to that country, more than to any other nation 

  • SHARED FUTURE : India has a shared past with Britain and needs to chart a different shared future, now that Britain has left the European Union (EU).
  • UNSC SEAT : One joint enterprise will be as members of the UN Security Council where Britain has permanent status and India holds a non-permanent seat this year and next.
  • JOINT VENTURES : And this year, Mr. Johnson will be hosting India as an invitee to the G-7, and the UN Climate Change Conference.

Mr. Johnson propelled himself to British national politics through leadership of the Brexit campaign in 2016, and to the prime ministership by leading a revolt against his predecessor Theresa May who had promised a friction-free Brexit.

  • ONGOING TENSIONS : Brexit will never cease to divide Britain and already causes tension between Whitehall and two of the devolved regions, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

A FORTUITOUS INVITE

  • BRITAIN WORKS ON HIGHER RETURNS : Brexit necessitates that every effort be made to seek commercial advantage in Asian countries with high growth rates.
  • EU AGREEMENT : India has been fruitlessly negotiating a trade agreement with the EU since 2007, during which Britain was considered the main deal-breaker.

The EU wanted duty reductions on autos, wines and spirits and wanted India to open financial sectors such as banking and insurance, postal, legal, accountancy, maritime and security and retail
 

  • FREE MOVEMENT : India, as always, sought free movement for service professionals.
  • SERVICE SECTOR BOOM : The same obstacles with post-Brexit Britain will arise, because the export profile of both countries is predominantly services-oriented.

In response to free movement for professionals, Britain will refer to its new points-based system for immigrants

  • EMPHASIS ON VALUE ADDITION : After RCEP , India is cautious about negotiating any new trade agreement, and will place greater stress on aspects related to country of origin and percentage of value addition in exports.
  • WAY AHEAD : Therefore, when the time comes for a discrete agreement with Britain, the two countries may settle for a limited one perhaps covering pharmaceuticals, financial technology, chemicals, defence production, petroleum and food products.

CHALLENGES

  • STAGNANCY IN THE RELATIONS – India-UK relations are stagnant for the past five years due to Britain’s Brexit preoccupation.
  • IMMIGRATION : Other less important issues gained the narrative – Issues such as visas and the fate of fugitive Indian businessmen in the U.K. have been allowed to dominate the narrative.

The MEA had responded sharply to protests at the Indian High Commission in London over the Article 370 move in Jammu and Kashmir, and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 

  • FARMERS PROTEST : Britain’s concerns about the farmers’ protests that sparked responses in New Delhi about interference in India’s internal matters.
  • LESS PROGRESS : Prime Minister visited Britain in 2015 ,It is unlikely that any assessment has been made of the implementation of those accords, contemporary diplomacy, new treaties are superimposed on existing ones even where there is insufficient progress.

      IASbhai Windup: 

CLOSE RELATIONS

  • INDIAN DIASPORA : One and a half million persons of Indian origin reside in Britain, 15 of them are Members of Parliament, three in Cabinet and two holding high office as Finance and Home Ministers.
  • INDIA-U.K. LINKS ARE SUBSTANTIAL : Before COVID-19, there were half a million tourists from India to Britain annually and twice that figure in the reverse direction.
  • EDUCATIONAL MIGRATION : Around 30,000 Indians study in Britain despite restrictive opportunities for post-graduation employment.
  • FOREIGN INVESTMENTS : Britain is among the top investors in India and India is the second-biggest investor and a major job creator in Britain.

India has a credit balance in a total trade of $16 billion, but the level is below India’s trade with Switzerland, Germany or Belgium

  • OPPORTUNITIES AHEAD : With the EU-British trade agreement concluded in the dying hours of 2020, the betting now is that Mr. Johnson will lead his Conservative Party into the next election in 2024 as Prime Minister.
       SOURCES:   THE HINDU EDITORIAL HUNT | India-UK Relations 2021 | UPSC 

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