06 January, 2021 - Daily Current Affairs Analysis & MCQs - The Daily News Simplified from The Hindu

  • China's Great Power Ambition- (International Relations)
  • India - UK ties in Post BREXIT era (International relations)
  • World Bank report - (Economy)
  • Natural Gas Grid - reference - (Economy)
  • Anti Conversion laws reference (Polity & Governance)
  • Question for the day (Economy)

Prelims Quiz

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    UPSC Current Affairs: The hurdles in Xi’s great power ambitions - Article | Page - 7

    UPSC Syllabus: Prelims: International Events | Mains – GS Paper II – International Relations

    Sub Theme: Achieving Great Power Status by China | Problems in Chinese Approach | UPSC

    Context: The author highlights that if China wants to become a Great Power or a Global Power it can't just rely on the economic and the Military power. It will have to do more to achieve this ambition. In this regard he highlights the qualities that made US the Global Power and if China wants to achieve that status in the near future, it will have to move beyond its narrow vision of dominating the world through economic and military might. 

    Chinese ambitions

    • Chinese ambition of becoming a global power was clearly visible in its move of launching military assaults against Taiwan, India, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Japan to fortify China’s claims on disputed territories during the COVID Pandemic.
    • President Xi Jinping has many a times stated that he wants to make China Great power.

    What is China doing to achieve Great power status?  

    • China is closely following the US Model to achieve the Great Power status
    • It aims at mastering emerging technologies, modernising the armed forces, and setting up a network of allies.
    • It has worked hard to achieve supremacy in 5G, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and new materials, including forced transfer and stealing of technologies.
    • It has borrowed the US concept of restructuring the armed forces and, particularly, introducing joint theatre commands.
    • It has commenced a rapid military build-up that is unprecedented in peacetime in recent history.
    • It is aimed at rivaling the U.S.’s military capability in a few years.
    • China has the biggest navy in the world.
    • The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was announced in 2013 to seek new markets and allies for political, economic and strategic use.
    • New ports for civilian and military use are being sought at Gwadar (Pakistan), Jask (Iran), Djibouti, Hambantota (Sri Lanka), Sihanoukville (Cambodia) and other places, to project power overseas.

    Issues with the Chinese approach -

    • State domination of the economy with increasing reliance on the public sector, slowing down of market reforms, accumulation of high debt, unproductive expenditures, lack of reforms in education and health, erosion of human freedoms, and increasing isolation of China due to aggressive policies are the biggest roadblocks in its ambition.
    • It does not have the advantage of cheap labour and favourable international environment that it had in the last few decades.
    • Little attention has been paid to improve the quality of education in science, technologies and mathematics, which underpins the West’s success in its advances in technology.
    • The capability of high technology equipment like the fifth-generation fighter aircraft, aircraft carriers and long-range bombers remains inferior in China as the country is unable to procure or indigenise advanced technologies.
    • China is scaling back its BRI projects as many have become financially unviable.
    • Concerned about the growth of corruption and its impact on the control of the party, Mr. Xi has slowed down market reforms, which were the backbone of China’s prosperity in the last three decades.
    • China has very few allies and friends (Except Pakistan and North Korea)
    • China has failed to deliver global public goods.
    • The U.S.’s status as a global leader was based not only on its wealth and military power but also the lure of its governance model, ability to coordinate responses to international crises, and provision of global public goods such as freedom of ideas, quality education, foreign aid, encouragement of free trade, security of international shipping lanes and fight against terrorism.

     

    UPSC Current Affairs: Changing contours of India-UK. Ties – Article | Page 07

    UPSC Syllabus: Prelims: Current Events| Mains – GS Paper II – International Relations

    Sub Theme: Republic Day Guests | India-UK | Post BREXIT Challenges in India - UK relations | UPSC

    Context: The author has highlighted that India's Choice of the republic day guests have been based on India's foreign Policy considerations. So in this regard the recent invitation to Boris Johnson the PM of UK specially in the background of BREXIT brings to light the India - UK relations and its changing course. So in this background the areas in which India - UK need to collaborate amidst such dynamic environment needs to be analyzed.

    Republic day guests

    • S. President Barack Obama - 2015
    • French President Francois Hollande  - 2016
    • The Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates - 2017
    • ASEAN leaders - 2018
    • South African President Cyril Ramaphosa - 2019 
    • Bolsonaro - 2020 
    • Johnson - 2021

    India - UK

    • One and a half million persons of Indian origin reside in Britain, 15 Indian origin are Members of Parliament, three in Cabinet and two holding high office as Finance and Home Ministers.
    • Before COVID-19, there were half a million tourists from India to Britain annually and twice that figure in the reverse direction.
    • Around 30,000 Indians study in Britain despite restrictive opportunities for post-graduation employment.
    • 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 trade deficit in a total trade of $16 billion, but the level is below India’s trade with Switzerland, Germany or Belgium.

    Changing dynamics and the invite to UK's PM

    • The BREXIT and new policies that UK will pursue.
    • UK is a permanent member of UNSC. India has now been elected as the non - permanent member of UNSC.
    • UK will be hosting India as an invitee to the G-7 and the Climate Change negotiations.

    Post BREXIT Challenges in India - UK relations

    • BREXIT requires the UK to improve its relations with the Asian economies who are witnessing high growth rates.
    • India had has been trying to finalise the BTIA - (Broad Based Trade and Investment Agreement) with EU.
    • However, these negotiations were mainly being stalled because of the UK.
    • 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.
    • India, as always, sought free movement for service professionals.
    • 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, while
    • After withdrawing from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, 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.
    • So India and UK might finalise a trade agreement which cover limited items covering pharmaceuticals, financial technology, chemicals, defence production, petroleum and food products.

    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.

     

    UPSC Current Affairs: Global, India output set to expand in FY22: World Bank | Page–6

    UPSC Syllabus: Prelims: Economy | Mains – GS Paper III – Economy

    Sub Theme: Global Economic Prospects Report 2019 | World Bank | Important Reports | UPSC   

    Context: Recently, the World Bank has published the Global Economic Prospects Report 2019. This report documents various risks and challenges to global economic growth.

    Details

    • Although global economic output is recovering from the collapse triggered by COVID-19, it will remain below pre-pandemic trends for a prolonged period.The Global GDP growth rate is expected to be around 4 percent in 2021. It is below the 5% growth rate which was registered prior to COVID-19.
    • The Report has recommended that the Governments must step up investment to lay the foundations for a durable, equitable, and sustainable global economy.

    LIST OF IMPORTANT REPORTS

    Sr. No.

    Reports

    Published By

    1

    World Trade Outlook Report

    World Trade Report

    World Trade Statistical Review

    World Trade Organisation

    2

    World Economic Outlook

    Global Financial Stability Report

    Fiscal Monitor

    External Sector Report

    Global Housing Watch (Global Real House Price Index)

    International Monetary Fund (IMF)

    3

    World Development Report

    Ease of Doing Business Report

    State of Trends of Carbon Pricing

    South Asia Economic Focus

    Migration and Development

    Brief (tracks remittances)

    Global Economic Prospects Report

    World Bank 

    4

    Human Development Report

    UNDP

    5

    The Global Risks Report

    Global Competitiveness Report

    Top 10 Emerging Technologies

    Global gender gap report

    World Economic Forum  

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