Indian Express Editorial Summary

Editorial Topic : China’s J20 Fighters in Tibet: A Message to India

 GS-3 Mains Exam : Security

Question : Evaluate the importance of bolstering India’s 4.5 generation fighter inventory to counter China’s growing airpower. Why is the fulfillment of the Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft (MRFA) gap crucial for India’s national security?

Chinese Deployment:

  • Satellite images show China’s J20 stealth fighters (counterpart to US F22) stationed at Shigatse airbase in Tibet (altitude: 12,408 ft).
  • This deployment showcases:
    • China’s advanced airpower (J20, J10 fighters).
    • Ability to use high-altitude bases for fighter operations.
    • Growing airpower projection to counter India’s Sukhoi & Rafale deployments.

Message to India:

  • Border dispute is no longer just territorial, but also about air superiority.
  • China might increase air activity near disputed areas and airspace violations to test India’s response.

China’s Border Buildup:

  • China has been building strong border infrastructure, increasing troop presence, and using military force to maintain its territorial claims.
  • Conceding disputed areas as buffer zones could lead to future demands for airspace restrictions.
  • This could strategically limit India’s Air Force (IAF) operations (intelligence gathering, patrolling, troop/supply transport).

India’s Air Force vs. China:

  • IAF’s current fleet: mostly 4th generation fighters (Su30s, MiG29s, M2000).
  • Supplemented by 2 squadrons of 4.5 generation Rafale fighters (asymmetric advantage over China).
  • China actively working to neutralize this advantage.
  • Indian government is aware of IAF’s declining combat airpower but lacks urgency in addressing it.
  • 2 Rafale squadrons are insufficient for India’s vast borders and airspace.

Urgent Need for India:

  • Fulfill the Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft (MRFA) gap to deter China militarily.
  • Bolstering the 4.5 generation fighter inventory is crucial for national security.


  • India’s AMCA fighter jet (5th gen) delayed by a decade.
  • China’s 6th gen development expected by then.
  • Upgraded MiG-29s, Mirage 2000s, Jaguars becoming obsolete before AMCA arrives.
  • IAF’s high-end fighter inventory depleting, widening technological gap with China.
  • Even with faster indigenous production, decline in combat airpower unlikely to be arrested.
  • Tejas variants and AMCA production won’t counter China’s rapid airpower advancement.

Urgent Need:

  • Fulfill the requirement for 114 medium multi-role fighter aircraft (MMRCA) for national security.


  • Partner with France for additional Rafale production in India.
  • Long-term agreement for:
    • Joint upgrades.
    • Technology transfer for future Rafale variants (4.5+ gen).
    • AMCA engine development.


  • Steady Rafale induction from a reliable partner.
  • Platform commonality for IAF.
  • Future upgrades for Rafale platform and weapons.
  • Reduced dependence on Russia and temperamental US defense industry.
  • Fosters indigenous defense production.

China’s Message:

  • Chinese J-20 fighters in Tibet signal their intent to diminish India’s air force advantage.
  • Border disputes remain a strategic concern for India.


  • India needs to firm up its Rafale partnership with France to counter China’s growing airpower.



Indian Express Editorial Summary

Editorial Topic : Indian Banking System

 GS-3 Mains Exam : Economy

Question : Analyze the significance of non-performing assets (NPAs) in the banking sector. How has the reduction of NPAs to a 12-year low impacted the financial health of Indian banks?

Positive Performance for Indian Banks:

  • The Indian banking system is experiencing a welcome period of robust health. This is evident in several key metrics:
    • Asset quality: Non-performing assets (NPAs) have fallen to a 12-year low of 2.8% (March 2024), indicating a significant improvement in loan repayment rates. This decline is observed across both public and private sector banks, contributing to a 16% rise in the Nifty Bank index over the past year.
    • Profitability: Banks are reporting higher profits, indicating a stronger financial position.
    • Capital adequacy: Banks have healthy capital reserves, allowing them to absorb potential future losses.

Understanding NPAs:

  • NPAs are essentially loans that haven’t been repaid for over 90 days. These loans generate no income for the bank and can become a significant financial burden.

Reasons for the NPA Decline:

  • A combination of factors has contributed to the decline in NPAs:
    • Write-offs: Banks have removed some bad loans from their books, reducing their overall NPA burden.
    • Reduced fresh bad loans: There has been a decrease in the number of new loans turning bad (lower slippages). This suggests better loan assessment and risk management practices by banks.

Other Positive Signs:

  • Banks have improved their provision coverage ratio, meaning they have set aside sufficient funds to cover potential loan losses.
  • Net interest income, the difference between interest earned on loans and interest paid on deposits, has increased, indicating better profitability.
  • Stress tests conducted by the RBI show that banks are well-positioned to handle potential economic shocks.

A Cause for Caution:

  • While the overall picture is positive, there are some areas that require close monitoring:
    • Retail loan delinquencies: Despite an improvement in overall retail loan quality, private sector banks are witnessing a rise in delinquencies, particularly for smaller personal loans (below Rs. 50,000).
    • Multiple loan borrowers: A significant portion of borrowers have multiple loans, which increases the risk of defaults if they face financial difficulties.

The Road Ahead:

  • The Indian banking system is currently on a positive trajectory. However, continued vigilance is crucial to address potential risks, particularly in the retail loan segment. The RBI’s awareness of these risks and its focus on continuous supervision are positive steps.


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