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Indian Express Editorial Analysis

31- January-2024


Topic: GS2 – Governance – Government policies – Interventions for development in various sectors
This topic is relevant for Mains in the context of India’s economic growth trajectory, global partnerships, technological advancements, and the country’s role in addressing socioeconomic challenges.
  • Against a backdrop of geopolitical emergencies, climate change concerns, and global economic uncertainties, India stood out at Davos 2024, showcasing its remarkable growth trajectory.
  • The CII India Business Hub served as a center of activity, drawing attention to upcoming opportunities in the midst of a rapidly changing global landscape.
More about the news: India’s Response to Geopolitical Incidents:
  • As a key player in the integrated global economy, India acknowledges its responsibility to be a reliable partner in both commercial viability and geopolitical strategy.
  • The government’s proactive reform announcements and effective use of technology for governance solutions position India as a country that leverages technology for mass-scale development.
Focus on Artificial Intelligence (AI):
  • Discussions at Davos revolved around Artificial Intelligence (AI), emphasizing how India’s digital leadership can contribute to using AI for the benefit of all while minimizing risks.
  • The conversations highlighted the need for India to take a lead in identifying the strategic use of AI, building upon its success in adapting digital technologies at scale and cost-effectively.
India’s Role in Global Socioeconomic Issues:
  • India actively participated in discussions on global socioeconomic issues, particularly emphasizing the crucial role of Indian women in economic growth.
  • The Women’s Special Lounge highlighted key facts about Indian women’s participation, self-employment, and the solid case for financial institutions to invest in women-owned businesses.
Energy Transition Challenges and Climate Change:
  • The discussions on energy transition were deemed critical, aligning with the World Economic Forum’s 2024 emphasis on climate change.
  • India faces challenges related to energy transition, including availability, affordability, and sustainability.
  • The country’s import dependence on oil is growing, and discussions emphasized the importance of policy strategies, especially in pricing, for a non-disruptive transition.
Equitable Growth and Moody’s Recognition:
  • India’s growth trajectory in 2024 is projected to be among the fastest globally, characterized by equitable growth across regions, gender inclusivity, and social security measures for disadvantaged sections.
  • Moody’s Investors Service recognizes India as a “pocket of resilience” amid global economic uncertainties, attributing this resilience to India’s economic, social, and political stability.
India as a Favored Destination for Global Investments:
  • According to the UNCTAD World Investment Report, India remains a favored destination for global investments.
  • The government’s mission to attain developed status by 2047 aligns with India’s consistently strong GDP growth.
  • The participation of the Indian industry at Davos aims to reinforce India’s position as a trusted global partner and a resilient economy.
India’s Commitment to Global Advancement:
  • With a thriving economy and growing global influence, India’s presence at Davos symbolizes not just national progress but a commitment to collaborative global advancement.
  • The country’s resilience, supportive policies, and reforms contribute to building a more equitable and inclusive world, reflecting India’s dedication to shaping a bright and sustainable future on the global stage.
Practice Question:  Examine India’s prominent role and economic resilience showcased at Davos 2024 against the backdrop of global challenges. (200 words/12.5 m)

2. Stay calm, build on strengths

Topic: GS2 – International Relations This topic is relevant for Mains in the context of geopolitical and economic shifts, implications for global powers, and strategic considerations for India.
  • Expert’s assertion regarding the irreversible decline of China’s share in the global GDP prompts a critical examination of the potential consequences.
  • While some disagree, pointing to China’s enduring strengths, factors such as demographic decline, anti-market interventions, high debt levels, and declining worker productivity contribute to Sharma’s prediction.
More about the news: Immediate Implications for Global Order:
  • China’s diminishing economic influence has immediate implications for the global balance of power, particularly vis-a-vis the United States.
  • Contrary to earlier predictions of China surpassing the US GDP, the latest figures show a widening gap.
  • The growing comprehensive national power of the US in comparison to China challenges the notion of a bipolar G2 world and emphasizes the importance of the US-led Western coalition.
Asia’s Evolving Dynamics:
  • The anticipated decline of China prompts a reevaluation of Asia’s dynamics.
  • While a China-centric Asia seemed inevitable, the faster economic growth in countries like India, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines suggests the emergence of a “multipolar Asia.”
  • China’s muscular approaches to territorial issues have provided space for the US to strengthen alliances and build new partnerships in the region.
India’s Position and Strategic Options:
  • India, while unlikely to overtake the Chinese economy soon, can steadily reduce the economic gap due to China’s slower growth and India’s economic acceleration.
  • Coping with Chinese power requires confidence-building measures, enhancing national capabilities, and strengthening regional coalitions like the Quad.
  • India must avoid complacency and remain vigilant in boundary issues and regional influence competitions.
Uncertain Future for China:
  • Debates persist on whether China’s decline is irreversible or if structural reforms or political changes could alter its trajectory.
  • Some argue that Xi Jinping may lack the flexibility to reverse economic decline, while others suggest the possibility of internal reforms or political accommodations.
  • The complex interplay between domestic and geopolitical factors makes China’s future uncertain.
Reassessing Global Assumptions:
  • India must reconsider assumptions about the global distribution of power.
  • The US is not on the brink of decline, China’s rise has limitations, and the growth of China’s Asian neighbors offers a more balanced regional dynamic.
  • Amidst these shifts, India can thrive by maintaining composure, building on strengths, and avoiding nationalist hubris that has affected China’s fortunes.
  • The evolving global landscape necessitates strategic adaptability and a nuanced understanding of emerging dynamics.
PYQ: China is using its economic relations and positive trade surplus as tools to develop potential military power status in Asia’, In the light of this statement, discuss its impact on India as her neighbor. (150 words/10m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-2 2017)
Practice Question:  Evaluate the evolving global economic and geopolitical landscape, considering the perceived decline in China’s economic dominance and its potential consequences. Discuss the strategic implications for India and its role in shaping a multipolar Asia. (250 words/15 m)

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