The Hindu Editorial Notes

QUESTION: The current geopolitical scenario calls for deepening India- South Korea ties and strengths bilateral relations. Comment





  • India-South Korea bilateral relations


  • India and South Korea have signed numerous bilateral agreements with the aim of taking their ties to the next level.



  • South Korea is way ahead in terms of technological advancement as it managed to attain a tiger economy status in the 1970s, this transfer of technology can be highly beneficial to India.
  • The U.S has put forth a proposal to include both India and South Korea in the G7 grouping so as to make the group more representative.
  • The rising chinese assertiveness is a cause of concern for both South Korea and India in the Indo Pacific region.
  • The trade between two countries is around $22 billion dollars which can easily be increased to $50 considering the rising demand of Boycott chinese goods in India.
  • India can also help S. Korea in Peace Negotiations with N. Korea as India has an image of a peaceful and neutral country in the world forum.
  • India is a very young country which can support the ageing population of South Korea.
  • Their defence partnership appears to have receded from great all-round promise to the mere sale and purchase of weapon systems.
  • Both India and S. Korea can learn a lot from each other’s culture as currently this is a domain where cooperation is not very strong.
  • Korea still believes India to be a poor 3rd world country
  • Indians on the other hand know more about Chinese and Japanese Cultures but little about the S. Korean cultures.




  • India had contributed to resolving the humanitarian issues arising out of the Korean War (1951-52)
  • Bilateral relations between India and South Korea started in 1962. Diplomatic ties were established in 1973
  • Former Korean Ambassador to India Kim Joong Keun had opined that India-South Korea relations can be divided in to three phase:


  1. 1973-1990- Budding phase- The bilateral relationship was in initial phase
  2. 1991-2009- Phase of economic and commercial cooperation
  3. 2009 onwards- phase of growing strategic partnership


Political relations:


  • India played an important and positive role in Korean affairs after the latter’s independence in 1945. During the Korean War (1950- 53), both warring sides accepted a resolution sponsored by India. A ceasefire was declared on July 27, 1953.
  • In February 2006, former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam visited RoK and his visit led to the launch of a Joint Task Force to conclude a bilateral Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which was operationalized on January 1, 2010.
  • Following this, Korean President Lee paid a visit to India as Chief Guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations on January 26, 2010. That is when bilateral ties between the two countries were raised to the level of strategic partnership.
  • Both the countries signed the Civil Nuclear Energy Cooperation Agreement in 2011 during the then President Pratibha Patil’s state visit to RoK.
  • During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to South Korea in 2015, the bilateral relationship was upgraded to ‘special strategic partnership’.


Commercial relations :


  • Trade and economic relations between India and South Korea gathered momentum after the implementation of CEPA in 2010. Bilateral trade between the two countries in 2011 crossed $20.5 billion, registering a 70 percent growth over a two-year period.
  • Indian exports to South Korea stood at $2.91 billion and imports from there stood at $8.71 billion, as at the end of July 2017. This was 26 percent and 30.1 percent higher year on year, respectively.
  • Some of the major items that India exports to South Korea are mineral fuels, oil distillates (mainly naphtha), cereals, iron and steel.
  • Seoul’s main export items are automobile parts, telecommunication equipment etc.


Cultural relations :

  • India and South Korea established an Ind ian Cultural Centre (ICC) in Seoul in April 2011. Another Culture Centre was established in Busan in December 2013.
  • India extended the visa-on-arrival (VoA) facility for South Korean tourists in April 2014.
  • Exchange of youth delegations between India and RoK has been taking place on an annual basis for several years now.


  • Good air connectivity between the two countries has been established with Air India, Asiana Airlines and Korean Air operating flights


Strategic importance :

  • India has asserted its place as a “stakeholder” in the Korean peace process, while South Korea has for the first time shown an interest in talking about an Indo-Pacific policy.
  • In the short term, a symbolic token towards shared interests will be seen in a joint “capacity-building” programme in Afghanistan.


  • Both India and South Korea are concerned about China’s rise, especially when China becomes assertive.
  • Both are increasingly worried about Chinese electronic presence in India.
  • There are some basic problems which the leaders of India and South Korea would have to tackle. This is also related to the trust between the businesses of India and the businesses of South Korea.
  • the trust level between the business community of the two countries isn’t at the level where it should be.
  • Despite the formal announcement of a strategic partnership a decade ago, Delhi and Seoul have struggled to impart some real content into it.
  • For India, which has begun to adopt the notion of an Indo-Pacific, Korea has not been at top of its regional priorities in Asia.
  • Prosperity brought by globalisation to Asia over the recent decades is under stress.
  • India has also been complaining about a 50 billion USD trade deficit.


  • Like India’s ‘Act East policy’, South Korea has its ‘New Southern Policy’ that focuses on strengthening its economic and strategic relations with South-east Asia, Australia and India.
  • South Korean economy is heavily export dependent and its top two trade partners are China and the US. As the trade war between the two affects Chinese economy, major South Korean exporters (like Samsung and Hyundai) have seen their profits decline.
  • By strengthening ties with India and other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, South Korea is planning to reduce its over-dependence on its two traditional trade allies.
  • South Korea’s reliance on China’s market also arms Beijing with considerable leverage over Seoul, which it has sometimes used to further its political interests. China’s imposition of economic sanctions on South Korea last year in response to the US deployment of its antimissile system forced Seoul to rethink its China strategy. Indirectly endorsing the idea of Indo-Pacific nations and aligning with India and ASEAN countries will also help reduce its China-related risks.


  • At a time when protectionism is rising in the world, India and South Korea should take advantage of the economic partnership.
  • Bilateral trade between India and South Korea should be boosted. Steps should be taken to upgrade CEPA.
  • India should also enhance the ease of doing business to attract Korean investors in India
  • India and South Korea should enhance engagements in defence sector through more military exercises and in order to enlarge their partnership beyond economic ties.
  • It is important to strengthened India-South Korea relations to maintain stability in the region.
  • Delhi and Seoul should focus on building flexible middle power coalitions in Asia to limit the impact of the current volatility in the relations between US and China.
  • The business community of both countries must leverage opportunities arising from complementarities between the two economies to enhance investment, to promote joint ventures, and to work towards the goal of raising bilateral trade to $50 billion by 2030″.



Note- we have included The Hindu News Today  ,not editorial but most important as far as modern India is concerned.

QUESTION: Explain the role of Home Rule Movement in the freedom struggle and how CS Azad revolutionised this movement?





  • Lokmanya Tilak and Chandra Sekhar Azad


  • On 23rd July, the Vice President of India paid tribute to freedom fighter and educationist Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Chandra Sekhar Azad on their birth anniversaries.

 BAL GANGADHAR TILAK (1856-1920) :

  • Birth: He was born on 23rd July 1856 in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra.
  • Freedom fighter, mathematician and lawyer, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, is also known as Lokmanya Tilak.


  • Founder of the Deccan Education Society (1884) along with his associate Gopal Ganesh Agarkar and others.
  • One of the founders of the Fergusson College (1885) in Pune through the Deccan Education Society.


  • He was a devout Hindu and used Hindu scriptures to rouse people to fight oppression.
  • Stressed on the need for self-rule and believed that without self-rule or swarajya, no progress was possible.
  • Slogan: “Swaraj is my birthright and I shall have it!”
  • A book ‘Indian Unrest’ written by Valentine Chirol, an English journalist, stated Tilak the ‘father of Indian unrest’.
  • Emphasised the importance of a cultural and religious revival to go with the political movements.
  • Popularised the Ganesh Chaturthi festival in the Maharashtra region.
  • Propounded the celebration of Shiv Jayanti on the birth anniversary of the monarch Chhatrapati Shivaji.


  • Propagated swadeshi movements and encouraged people to boycott foreign goods.
  • Indian Home Rule Movement:
  • It was a movement in British India on the lines of Irish Home Rule movement.
  • Started in 1916, it is believed to have set the stage for the independence movement under the leadership of Annie Besant and Bal Gangadhar Tilak for the educated English speaking upper class Indians.
  • All India Home Rule League: Founded by Tilak in April 1916 at Belgaum.
  • It worked in Maharashtra (except Bombay), the Central Provinces, Karnataka and Berar.
  • Lucknow Pact (1916): Between the INC headed by Tilak and All-India Muslim League led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah for hindu-muslim unity in nationalist struggle.
  • Newspapers: Weeklies Kesari (Marathi) and Mahratta (English)
  • Books: Gita Rhasya and Arctic Home of the Vedas.
  • Death: He died on 1st August 1920


  • Birth: Azad was born on 23rd July 1906 in the Alirajpur district of Madhya Pradesh.


  • Hindustan Republican Association: After the suspension of the non-cooperation movement in 1922 by Gandhi, Azad joined Hindustan Republican Association (HRA).
  • HRA was a revolutionary organization of India established in 1924 in East Bengal by Sachindra Nath Sanyal, Narendra Mohan Sen and Pratul Ganguly as an offshoot of Anushilan Samiti.
  • Members: Bhagat Singh, Chandra Shekhar Azad, Sukhdev, Ram Prasad Bismil, Roshan Singh, Ashfaqulla Khan, Rajendra Lahiri.

 Kakori Conspiracy:

  • Most of the fund collection for revolutionary activities was done through robberies of government property. In line with the same, Kakori Train Robbery near Kakori, Lucknow was done in 1925 by HRA.
  • The plan was executed by Chandra Shekhar Azad, Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaqulla Khan, Rajendra Lahiri, and Manmathnath Gupta.
    • Hindustan Socialist Republican Association: was later reorganised as the Hindustan Socialist Republican Army (HSRA).
  • It was established in 1928 at Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi by Chandra Shekhar Azad, Ashfaqulla Khan, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar and Jogesh Chandra Chatterjee.
  • HSRA planned the shooting of J. P. Saunders, a British Policeman at Lahore in 1928 to avenge the killing of Lala Lajpat Rai.
  • Death: He died at Azad Park in Allahabad on 27th February 1931.


  • They broadened the social base o f the National Movement.
  • They was successful in mobilising Swadeshi movement at rural level.
  • Demanding”SWARAJ” as a matter of birth right.
    There were successful in awaring people of India that they were exploitated at every stage.
  • They united people on main agenda of freedom.

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