UPSC Civils Daily Current Affairs 19th January 2022
IAS coaching center in Hyderabad and Vijayawada
- The Pakistan’s new national security policy
- India-Nepal boundary Issues
- Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge
- Space station:
- Dark Matter
1.The Pakistan’s new national security policy
#GS2-Bilateral and Global Groupings
- Pakistan’s administration acknowledged the need for change in its national security policy statement released last week.
In depth information
What is the significance of this for India?
- India has more invested in a stable Pakistan than anyone else in the world.
- As a result, Delhi must pay close attention to Islamabad’s internal arguments about the necessity of fundamental changes in Pakistan’s national direction.
- However, as Pakistani critics point out, the policy provides little guidance on how to proceed.
- The secret version is likely to have a clear strategy for boosting economic growth, strengthening national cohesiveness, and revitalising the country’s foreign and security policies.
A summary of India’s evolution since the 1990s
- Pakistan’s current difficulties are eerily similar to those that Delhi experienced at the turn of the century.
- Economic challenge: After independence, India’s previous economic paradigm was on the edge of collapsing.
- Political unrest: The age of large domestic political mandates had come to an end, and a weak coalition government had taken its place.
- Challenges in International Relations: India’s biggest friend during the Cold War, the Soviet Union, vanished from the map, and the Russian successor was more interested in integrating with the West.
- At the end of the Cold War, India discovered that its political ties with all other major countries — the United States, Europe, China, and Japan — were undeveloped.
- Meanwhile, Pakistan waged proxy conflicts in India while mobilising international pressure on Delhi over Kashmir.
- India, on the other hand, was on a different path within a decade. Its revamped economy was seeing rapid growth.
- India was heralded as a rising power with the potential to become the world’s third largest economy and a military force to be reckoned with.
- Delhi also reached an agreement with the US to join the global nuclear order on reasonable conditions.
- This entailed a slew of structural economic reforms, a rethinking of foreign policy, and the creation of a new power-sharing culture inside coalitions and between the Centre and the states.
Bangladesh’s economic change
- Bangladesh’s economic change has been equally spectacular.
- Bangladesh has concentrated on economic development, stopped supporting terrorism, and mended ties with its larger neighbour, India, since Sheikh Hasina returned to office in 2009.
- As a result, Bangladesh’s economy will be far ahead of Pakistan’s in 2021 (GDP of $350 billion).
How Pakistan squandered the chance
- Pakistan, on the other hand, took a different path.
- Pakistan was ready to use the concept of cross-border terrorism to wrest Kashmir from India and convert Afghanistan into a protectorate after ousting the Soviet colossus from Afghanistan in the late 1980s.
- Supporting Islamist groups was considered as a low-cost way for Pakistan to achieve its long-term strategic goals in the region.
- These vast geopolitical preoccupations left little room for Pakistan’s much-needed economic modernization.
- Islamabad, which has doggedly pursued parity with Delhi, now discovers that India’s economy is more than ten times larger than Pakistan’s, at $3.1 trillion.
Factors that explain Pakistan’s policy shift
- In the past, Pakistan had a lot of success in pursuing a foreign policy that not only balanced India with the help of the West, but also carved out a big place for itself in the Middle East and the Muslim world in general.
- With the exception of the United Kingdom, Pakistan’s Western equities have continuously deteriorated.
- Middle East ties deteriorated: Meanwhile, it has undermined its traditionally strong ties with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East.
- Relationships with the United States have deteriorated: Although Pakistan’s all-weather ties with China have grown stronger, the ongoing rivalry between Washington and Beijing has put the country in an awkward geopolitical position.
- Pakistan’s support for violent religious extremism is backfiring as well.
- The international system has now imposed heavy financial consequences as a result of a permissive atmosphere for terrorism.
India’s attitude toward Pakistan has shifted.
- In the 1990s and 2000s, Delhi was willing to make compromises on Kashmir, but now it has taken Kashmir off the table and is prepared to deploy military force in response to big terror acts.
- Delhi’s stance toward Islamabad is now a mix of indifference and aggressiveness.
- The West is no longer pressuring India to accommodate Pakistan on Kashmir, as it once was.
- The United States is eager for India’s help in countering China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific.
- All of these changes have forced Pakistan to reconsider its policy. There’s no guarantee that the transformation will be permanent and beneficial. However, if this is the case, Delhi should be ready to respond constructively.
2.India-Nepal boundary Issues
#GS2-India & Foreign Relations
- According to the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu, mutually accepted boundary disputes between India and Nepal may always be handled in the spirit of close and bilateral relations between the two countries.
In depth information
- The Lipulekh pass is a far western point near Kalapani, a border area between Nepal and India, where there is a boundary dispute.
- Kalapani is claimed by both India and Nepal as part of their respective territories.
- India is in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand, and Nepal is in the Dharchula district of Nepal.
- Road with strategic importance: After India opened an 80-kilometer-long strategically important route connecting the Lipulekh pass and Dharchula in Uttarakhand in 2020, bilateral ties were strained under then-Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli.
- Reiterating that Kalapani, Lipulekh, and Limpiyadhura are all Nepali territory, Nepal requested India to withdraw its soldiers from the Kalapani region immediately and to resolve the boundary dispute amicably through high-level conversation based on historical facts and evidence.
- Road building:
- The Nepalese government is certain that road and other structure construction should be halted.
- It goes against a stipulation in the Joint Commission between Nepal and India that states that any issue between the two nations should be addressed through diplomatic channels.
- Revised map:
- After initially protesting the road’s opening, claiming that it crossed through its territory, Nepal released a new map depicting Lipulekh, Kalapani, and Limpiyadhura as its domains.
- The move elicited a strong response from India.
- Nepal’s Parliament has approved a new political map of the country that includes territory that India claims as its own.
Relations between India and Nepal
- Open borders:
- India and Nepal have a unique friendship and cooperation relationship marked by open borders and deep-rooted kinship and cultural contacts.
- Economic Cooperation:
- India is Nepal’s most important development partner. Following the devastating earthquakes in Nepal in April and May 2015, India offered immediate assistance.
- In Nepal, about 150 Indian companies work in manufacturing, services (banking, insurance, dry port, education, and telecom), power, and tourism.
- Trade and Transit:
- Nepal places a high value on its trade and transit partnership with India. Nepal’s major trading partner is India. For third-country trade, India has supplied Nepal with a transit facility. India’s public and corporate sectors have both made investments in Nepal.
- Defence Cooperation: India has aided the Nepalese Army (NA) in its modernisation efforts by providing equipment, training, and disaster management assistance.
- Multilateral and Regional Fora:
- Nepal and India share a common attitude to regional and multilateral institutions, and hence collaborate on most major international problems in the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement, and other international fora.
- Furthermore, both countries have been heavily involved in the regional and sub-regional frameworks of SAARC, BIMSTEC, and BBIN in order to improve collaboration and economic integration by combining the region’s potentials and complementarities.
- Nepali nationals are eligible for a number of scholarships each year.
- Both countries encourage people-to-people exchanges, as well as cultural programmes, conferences, and seminars.
- Three sister-city agreements for Kathmandu-Varanasi, Lumbini-Bodhgaya, and Janakpur-Ayodhya have also been signed by India and Nepal.
- The issue should be handled as soon as possible through dialogue, and no structures should be created at the state level until this is accomplished.
- Intergovernmental procedures and channels that have been established are the most appropriate for communication and discourse.
- Sugauli Treaty of 1816:
- The Sugauli Treaty of 1816 must be used to resolve the border dispute between Nepal and India.
- The Sugauli Treaty, according to Nepal, states that regions west of the Mahakali River are Nepal’s.
- According to the Gujral Doctrine, India must continue to build these ties.
3.Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge
- The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) recently published the names of the ten winning cities in the Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge.
- The Ministry also unveiled Season 2 of the India Cycles4Change and Streets for People Challenges, as well as a book titled “Nurturing Neighborhoods Challenge: Stories from the Field” at the occasion.
- Bengaluru, Hubballi-Dharwad, Indore, Jabalpur, Kakinada, Kochi, Kohima, Rourkela, Vadodara, and Warangal are the winners.
- Finalists were chosen after a thorough review by a jury comprised of MoHUA, BvLF, and independent experts in the domains of urban design, early childhood development, and behavioural change.
- In the first week of November 2020, it was released.
- The Smart Cities Mission, MoHUA, is hosting a three-year effort in conjunction with the Bernard van Leer Foundation and the World Resources Institute (WRI) India.
- The Challenge invites Indian communities to create neighborhood-level improvements that boost the health and well-being of young children and their caregivers using an early childhood lens.
- Selected communities will get technical help and capacity-building as part of the Challenge, with the goal of improving public spaces, mobility, neighbourhood planning, early childhood care, and data management.
- Its goal is to address the lack of early childhood services in government buildings, bus stops, and transport hubs.
- The Challenge has re-emphasized the necessity of interventions at the neighbourhood level.
- It is in line with the Smart Cities Mission’s concept of promoting inclusive, people-centered development in compact, local regions with the goal of scaling city-wide solutions that improve citizens’ quality of life.
- It enables Indian cities to develop neighborhood-level reforms that boost the health and well-being of young children and their caregivers using an early childhood lens.
- The pioneering cohort of 25 cities has implemented over 70 pilot initiatives in neighbourhoods across India under the Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge pilot stage, i.e. stage 1.
- These projects included the creation of public spaces in slums, age-appropriate play areas, improved outdoor waiting spaces around primary health centres and anganwadis, caregiver amenities such as public toilets and nursing cabins, improved streets and junctions, and reclaiming underutilised and residual spaces to create parks and gardens.
- Over 1 lakh children aged 0 to 5 years old and over 1 million people benefited from these programmes.
#GS3-Awareness in space.
- As China prepares to become the sole country with an exclusive and likely the only space station by 2024 or no later than 2030, India is planning to follow suit in a few years.
- Jitendra Singh, the Union Minister for Space, recently revealed in Parliament that India would launch its first space station by 2030.
In depth information
- Despite the fact that the ISS is slated to be retired in 2024, NASA and international partners have stated that the ISS’s operational life could be prolonged until 2030.
Concerning China’s Space Station:
- The new Tiangong multi-module station will be active for at least ten years.
- The space station will be located in low-Earth orbit, between 340 to 450 kilometres above the Earth’s surface.
The importance of the space station is as follows:
- The low-earth orbit space station would serve as the country’s eye in the sky, providing astronauts with a round-the-clock bird’s-eye perspective of the rest of the world.
- It will help China achieve its goal of becoming a significant space power by 2030.
- China’s space station will have a robotic arm, which the US has expressed alarm over because of its potential military implications.
- This technology “may be utilised in a future system for grabbing other satellites,” according to the concern.
Space Station of India:
- The Indian space station will be much smaller than the International Space Station (mass of 20 tonnes) and will be utilised for microgravity research (not for space tourism).
- The space station’s preliminary design calls for astronauts to spend up to 20 days in space, and the project will be a continuation of the Gaganyaan mission.
- It will orbit the Earth at a height of roughly 400 kilometres.
- ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) is developing a space docking experiment (Spadex), a critical technology for making the space station operational.
Additional space stations include:
- The International Space Station is the only space station currently in orbit (ISS). The United States, Russia, Europe, Japan, and Canada all support the ISS.
- China has already launched two space stations into orbit, the Tiangong-1 and Tiangong-2 test stations.
- Space stations are critical for gathering useful scientific data, particularly in biological investigations.
- Provide platforms for more and longer scientific studies than are currently available on other spacecraft.
- Each crew member spends weeks or months on the station, but seldom more than a year.
- The consequences of long-term space flight on the human body are studied using space stations.
#GS3-Science & Technology
- In barred galaxies, the motion of some stars can reveal the structure of dark matter.
In depth information
- Dark matter is a hypothesised kind of matter that is thought to make up about 85% of all matter in the cosmos. It serves as the framework for galaxies to develop, evolve, and combine.
- Various astrophysical data, such as gravitational effects, which conventional theories of gravity cannot explain unless more matter is present than can be seen, point to the existence of dark matter.
- As a result, the majority of scientists believe that dark matter is prevalent in the universe and has had a significant impact on its structure and evolution.
- Because dark matter does not appear to interact with the electromagnetic field, it does not absorb, reflect, or emit electromagnetic radiation (like light) and is thus difficult to detect.
- The primary evidence for dark matter comes from calculations that suggest that without a huge amount of unseen mass, many galaxies would fly apart, would not have formed, or would not move as they do now.
- Out-of-plane bending events of the bar explain the shape of dark matter halos in barred galaxies, according to scientists examining how the geometry of dark matter halo impacts the velocity of stars in stellar bars.
- Buckling is a rare violent bar thickening mechanism that occurs when the bar bends out of plane in barred galaxies.
UPSC Civils Daily Current Affairs 19th January 2022
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