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The Hindu Editorial

25-October-2023

1. An India-Canada bonding that is in danger of snapping.

Topic: GS2 – international relations

Context:

  • In recent times the conflicts between India – Canada have increased and uncertainty exists in the current state of diplomatic relations between Canada and India.

Diverse Indian Emigrant Groups:

  • India is a significant source of immigrants to Canada, comprising various groups, including naturalized citizens, permanent residents, and temporary visitors.
  • The Indian diaspora in Canada encompasses a wide range of professions and backgrounds.

Statistics on Indian-Origin Population in Canada:

  • The 2021 Census of Canada reports over 1.86 million people of Indian origin, representing 5% of Canada’s population.
  • Over 40% of study permits issued in 2022 were granted to Indian international students.

Impact of Diplomatic Row on Emigrants:

  • The ongoing diplomatic row between Canada and India has led to a reduction in consular and visa services.
  • This situation affects the mobility, status, and future prospects of Indian emigrants in Canada.

Global Compact on Migration:

  • Canada and India are signatories to the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration.
  • Objective 19 of the compact aims to empower migrants and diasporas for sustainable development in both origin and destination countries.

Interconnectedness of Remittances and Investments:

  • Remittances from migrant workers in Gulf countries are crucial for India’s economy.
  • Indian diaspora members in Canada are a source of investments in both countries.

Bilateral Trade and Tourism:

  • Canada and India have substantial bilateral trade and tourism relationships.
  • The diaspora plays a role in trade, tourism, and investment between the two countries.

Impact on People Ties:

  • The diplomatic tensions threaten to undermine the objectives of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration and the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Trust, time, and loyalty between the two countries and their diaspora communities are at risk due to the uncertainty.

Call for Restoring Willingness:

  • Restoring willingness is crucial for resolving the diplomatic tensions between India and Canada.
  • Rebuilding trust, time, and loyalty to their migrants and diaspora is vital for fostering positive diplomatic relations and achieving the compact’s goals.

Question:  Critically Examine the Impact of Ongoing Canada-India Diplomatic Tensions on the Indian Diaspora and Bilateral Relations, and Suggest Possible Solutions.

2. The government should desist from politicising the bureaucracy

Topic: GS2 – governance

Context:

  • The Indian government has initiated a nationwide roadshow titled “Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra” to showcase its achievements.
  • Officers at various levels, including Joint Secretaries, Directors, and Deputy Secretaries, will lead the roadshow as “Rath Prabharis” (chariots in-charge).
  • Opposition parties, including Congress, have criticized the government for politicizing the bureaucracy and the military.

Impacts of politicising the bureaucracy:

  • Erosion of Institutional Neutrality: Politicizing the bureaucracy compromises its impartiality and neutrality, undermining the principle that government institutions should serve the nation, not a particular party or ideology.
  • Loss of Credibility: A politically biased bureaucracy can lead to a loss of public trust and credibility in government institutions, affecting their ability to effectively serve the public.
  • Partisan Decision-Making: Politicization can influence decision-making, with policies and actions driven by political considerations rather than what is in the best interest of the nation.
  • Undermining Civil Service Ethics: Encouraging bureaucrats to engage in partisan politics contradicts the traditional civil service ethos of serving the government of the day without political bias.
  • Weakening Checks and Balances: The separation of powers and checks and balances essential for a healthy democracy are compromised when the bureaucracy is used as a political tool.
  • Long-Term Damage: Politicization can have lasting effects, eroding the foundations of a democratic system and hindering the ability to maintain institutional integrity in the future.

Way forward:

  • Reinforce Institutional Neutrality: Uphold the principles of non-partisanship and impartiality in government institutions, ensuring that they serve the nation’s interests rather than a particular political party.
  • Strengthen Oversight Mechanisms: Enhance checks and balances to prevent undue political influence on the bureaucracy, ensuring accountability and transparency in government actions.
  • Political Will: Encourage political leaders to prioritize national interests over party interests, respecting the separation of powers and the roles of different branches of government.
  • Bureaucratic Ethics: Reinforce and promote the ethical standards and values within the bureaucracy, emphasizing their commitment to serving the public impartially.
  • Legal Safeguards: Enact or reinforce legal safeguards that protect the non-partisan nature of the bureaucracy and ensure that officials who engage in partisan activities face consequences.
  • Dialogue and Collaboration: Encourage dialogue and collaboration among political parties, civil society, and government officials to foster a commitment to good governance and institutional integrity.
  • International Best Practices: Learn from international best practices in maintaining non-partisan institutions and adapt them to the national context.

Question: Discuss the implications of politicizing the bureaucracy on the functioning of government institutions and democracy in India. Suggest measures to ensure non-partisanship and impartiality in the civil service.

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