|Topic: GS2 – International Relations, GS2 – Governance
UPSC relevance: Covers global geopolitical challenges, Sino-Indian relations, and internal dynamics, essential for understanding international affairs and governance issues.
- Increasing Global Risks: The new year brings heightened global risks and uncertainties, indicating a time of great peril.
- Challenges to the International Order: The existing international order faces challenges from both advocates and critics, creating further instability.
- Geostrategic Contradictions: Ongoing conflicts, such as the war in Ukraine, may escalate, posing threats to global stability.
- Impact of Ukraine Conflict on U.S. Election: The outcome of the war in Ukraine could influence the U.S. presidential election, with a potential impact on Biden’s chances.
- Middle East Tensions: Recent events, like Hamas’s assault on Israel, have the potential to escalate tensions in the Middle East, reshaping geopolitics in the region.
- Shifts in West Asia Alliances: The West’s hypocrisy and changing alliances in West Asia may challenge U.S. leadership, affecting the strategic balance.
- Caution for the West in Other Regions: Given the evolving geopolitics, the West, especially in the Indo-Pacific, should act cautiously to maintain the existing strategic balance.
- General Election in Mid-2024: India faces a pivotal year with a general election scheduled, where the ruling party expresses confidence despite potential challenges.
- Sino-Indian Relations: Stalemate persists, with China perceiving India as part of an anti-China alliance, raising concerns about possible adventurist actions.
- Russia-China Axis Impact: Strengthening Russia-China ties could impact India’s relations with Central Asia, requiring careful navigation.
- Neighborhood Dynamics: India faces uncertainties in its immediate neighborhood, with pressure from China affecting ties with Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and the Maldives.
- Diminishing Influence in West Asia: India’s influence in West Asia may be diminishing as countries in the region align more with China and Russia.
- Election Preparations: Internal political dynamics indicate a charged atmosphere as ruling and opposition forces gear up for a competitive electoral battle.
- Social Fragmentation: Factors like caste loyalties, social engineering, and fragmentation are influencing the political landscape.
- Unitary vs. Federal Aspects: There’s a growing bias towards unitary aspects of India’s Constitution, with a trend towards increased centralization of authority.
- Parliamentary Disarray: Parliament is expected to continue in disarray throughout 2024, with limited room for improvement.
- Centre-State Relations: The relationship between the central and state governments needs careful consideration, as the recent Supreme Court judgment on Article 370 may fuel conflicts.
- Need for Political Rethink: Incumbent political parties need to reconsider their approaches, recognizing the importance of improved Central-State relations for a stronger and more cohesive nation.