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The Hindu Editorial

20-September-2023

Daily Current Affairs For UPSC ,The Hindu Editorial Summary

1. The ‘mantras’ that powered success at the G-20 summit

Topic: GS3 – International relations.

Introduction

         The recent G-20 summit in India, marked by the New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration (NDLD), has highlighted the enduring importance of multilateralism and the pursuit of a multipolar world order. Despite initial challenges and diplomatic hurdles, India’s strategic efforts and its commitment to a balanced “middle way” have played a crucial role in achieving consensus and fostering unity among G-20 member nations.

  1. Diplomatic Challenges and Consensus-Building

One of the central challenges during India’s G-20 presidency revolved around the difficulty in reaching a consensus, particularly regarding the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. This hurdle prompted India to employ a robust diplomatic strategy, including bilateral engagements by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with leaders from G-20 countries. These high-level interactions not only garnered support for India’s presidency but also instilled a sense of shared responsibility among member nations.

  1. The Role of Absent Leaders

Notably, the absence of both the Russian and Chinese Presidents at the G-20 summit had a significant impact. While their non-participation was remarkable, it contributed to a less contentious atmosphere, allowing discussions to encompass a wider range of global issues without being overshadowed by geopolitical tensions.

  1. Commitment to Multilateralism and Unity

At the core of India’s diplomatic approach lies a steadfast commitment to multilateralism, multipolarity, and the “middle way.” These principles served as the foundation for shaping the outcomes of the G-20 summit. Western countries, including the G-7 nations and key U.S. allies like Australia and South Korea, demonstrated their commitment to unity by making concessions, particularly in terms of removing direct references to Russia from the operative paragraphs related to the Ukraine conflict.

  1. The Troika-Plus Initiative

The Troika-Plus countries, comprising Indonesia, India, Brazil, and South Africa, emerged as pivotal players in proposing a consensus-based solution to the Ukraine issue. Their collective efforts strengthened the G-20’s credibility and underscored the potential for diverse nations to find common ground in the face of pressing global challenges.

  1. Advocating for a Multipolar World

The G-20 summit brought to the forefront the growing support for a multipolar world order. India, a vocal advocate for multipolarity, sought to balance global power dynamics. In an era where the United States and China have differing visions of global leadership, India’s approach resonated with many, emphasizing the importance of a more balanced distribution of influence on the world stage.

  1. Regional Organizations in Multilateral Fora

The summit also shed light on the increasing relevance of regional organizations in multilateral forums. ASEAN and the Community of Latin American & Caribbean States (CELAC) are actively pursuing G-20 membership, emphasizing the need for inclusive representation and the role of regional blocs in shaping global discussions.

Conclusion

India’s diplomatic success at the G-20 summit underscores the enduring significance of multilateralism and the pursuit of a multipolar world. The commitment to unity, consensus-building, and a balanced approach to global issues bodes well for future international cooperation, even in a world marked by polarization. As UN Secretary-General António Guterres aptly noted, global unity is essential in addressing the world’s challenges and fostering a more harmonious global family. India’s diplomatic triumph at the G-20 exemplifies its dedication to these ideals on the global stage.

2. The Cauvery Water Management Authority should act

Topic: GS3 – Interstate water disputes.

Introduction

The Cauvery river’s catchment areas in Karnataka and Kerala are facing uncertainty due to the pace and output of this year’s southwest monsoon. This situation has once again brought the long-debated distress-sharing formula into focus. Recent submissions by Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, along with the deposition of the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) before the Supreme Court, underline the urgency of establishing an acceptable distress-sharing mechanism.

The Elusive Distress-Sharing Formula

  • The idea of a distress-sharing formula has been discussed since the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) interim order in 1991.
  • A significant effort to establish one was made in 2002-03 due to poor monsoon rains, with Karnataka’s upper-riparian reservoirs experiencing low inflows.
  • However, neither the 2007 final order of the CWDT nor the 2018 Supreme Court judgment provided clear guidelines for distress sharing.

Divergent Stands by States

  • Tamil Nadu proposes a formula based on deficits in inflows to Karnataka’s reservoirs compared to the 30-year average, considering rainfall patterns in different Cauvery catchment areas.
  • Karnataka contends that distress cannot be determined until January’s end and insists on considering both the southwest (June-September) and northeast (October-December) monsoons.
  • Karnataka faces challenges due to its dependence on the southwest monsoon for irrigation and drinking water.

CWMA’s Role and Recent Developments

  • The CWMA considered various factors, including rainfall and inflow shortfalls, during its meeting on August 29.
  • The Authority directed Karnataka to release 5,000 cubic feet per second (cusecs) for 15 days, acknowledging significant shortfalls in Karnataka’s reservoir inflows.
  • Tamil Nadu awaits Supreme Court intervention to secure its water allocation for August and September.

Transparency and Resolution

  • The positions of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu may seem challenging to reconcile, but the Authority, or if necessary, the Union government, should actively seek a formula.
  • The CWMA, with its technical experts and officials, can play a pivotal role in resolving this issue.
  • Transparency in disclosing meeting proceedings on a public website would help dispel misconceptions and contribute to rational decision-making.

Conclusion

The Cauvery dispute has persisted for years due to political considerations and a lack of proactive measures. The CWMA, with its qualified members, must seize the opportunity to find a distress-sharing formula. Transparency and data disclosure can facilitate a resolution to this emotive issue, which has significant implications for both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

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