The Hindu Editorial Notes or Summary for UPSC/IAS ( Arora IAS)
QUESTION : What do you understand by governance and its essential principles examining the people’s participation.
Topic- ENABLING PEOPLE TO GOVERN THEMSELVES
- Governance Institutions and their interconnected issues.
WHY IN NEWS ?
- The author Arun Maira, a former member of the Planning Commission, argues for a more decentralized form of governance model in India.
ISSUES WITH GOVERNANCE SYST AMID COVID-19 PANDEMIC :
- Governance systems at all levels, i.e. global, national, and local, have experienced stress as a fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Architectural flaws have been revealed in their design. Breakdowns in many subsystems had to be managed at the same time in health care, logistics, business, finance, and administration.
- Consequently, the complexity of handling so many subsystems at the same time have overwhelmed governance.
- Also when we devise solutions for one subsystem, it backfired on other subsystems.
- For instance, lockdown was invoked to manage the health crisis but have made it harder to manage economic distress.
- On the other hand, the diversion of resources to focus on the threat to life posed by coronavirus pandemic has ultimately increased vulnerabilities to death from other diseases, and even from malnutrition in many parts of India.
FUNDAMENTAL SHORTCOMINGS IN THESE INSTITUTIONS AT GLOBAL LEVEL :
- Human civilization advances with the evolution of better institutions to manage public affairs.
- For instance institutions of parliamentary democracy and the limited liability business corporation, did not exist 400 years ago.
- Also, Institutions of global governance, such as the United Nations and the World Trade Organization, did not exist even 100 years ago.
- These global institutions were initiated to enable human societies to produce better outcomes for their citizens.
- However, all of these institutions have been put through a severe stress test now by the global health and economic crises. This has revealed a fundamental flaw in their design.
What’s the issue?
- There is a mismatch in the design of governance institutions with the challenges they are required to manage.
- Systems and subsystems are working in isolation and not in coordination.
- Lockdowns to make it easier to manage the health crisis have made it harder to manage economic distress simultaneously.
- Diversion of resources to focus on the threat to life posed by COVID-19 has increased vulnerabilities to death from other diseases, and even from malnutrition in many parts of India.
CHALLENGES TO BE ADDRESSED :
- The global challenges listed in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations are systemic challenges.
- All these systemic problems are interconnected with each other.
- Environmental, economic, and social issues cannot be separated from each other and solved by experts in silos or by agencies focused only on their own problems.
What is Good Governance?
- ‘Governance’ is the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented (or not implemented).
- Governance can be used in several contexts such as corporate governance, international governance, national governance and local governance.
- In the 1992 report entitled “Governance and Development”, the World Bank set out its definition of Good Governance. It defined Good Governance as “the manner in which power is exercised in the management of a country’s economic and social resources for development”.
- It assures that corruption is minimized, the views of minorities are taken into account and that the voices of the most vulnerable in society are heard in decision-making.
- It is also responsive to the present and future needs of society.
8 PRINCIPLES OF GG :
- Participation: People should be able to voice their own opinions through legitimate immediate organizations or representatives. Participation also implies freedom of association and expression.
- Rule of Law: Legal framework should be enforced impartially, especially on human rights laws.
- Consensus Oriented: Consensus oriented decision-making ensures that even if everyone does not achieve what they want to the fullest, a common minimum can be achieved by everyone which will not be detrimental to anyone.
- Equity and Inclusiveness: Good governance assures an equitable society. People should have opportunities to improve or maintain their well-being.
- Effectiveness and Efficiency: Resources of the community should be used effectively for the maximum output.
- Accountability: Governmental institutions, private sectors, and civil society organizations should be held accountable to the public and institutional stakeholders.
- Transparency: Information should be accessible to the public and should be understandable and monitored.
- Responsiveness: Institutions and processes should serve all stakeholders in a reasonable period of time.
ABOUT GOVERNANCE ?
- The World Bank defines governance as: the manner in which power is exercised in the management of a country’s economic and social resources for development. … Governance has been defined as the rules of the political system to solve conflicts between actors and adopt decision (legality)
Governance challenges include:
- Effective representation of diverse population;
- Ageing citizens;
- Integrating transportation networks;
- Preparing for the effects of climate change;
- Everything is faster;
- New disruptive technologies are both driving and enabling change and everything from policy making to service delivery to citizen activism;
- As expectations grow, the relationship between government and citizens is changing;
- Renewing our notions of privacy of openness;
- Control of government data;
- How to incorporate the direct involvement of citizens between elections while responding to the newly empowered activist citizens
WAY AHEAD :
- Learning from the best practices : A hypothesis is that those States and countries in which local governance was stronger have done much better than others.
- Necessity of a proactive role of the government : The government has to support and enable people to govern themselves, to realize the vision of ‘government of the people, for the people, by the people’.
- Condition-specific problem solving : Solutions must fit the specific conditions of each country, and of each locality.
- Inclusive decision making : There must be active contributors of knowledge for, and active participants in, the creation of the solutions.
- Governance by the people :must not only be for the people. It must be by the people too. For example -Gandhiji and his economic
- Changing Role of the public officials : The officials need to realize that there needs to be a change of their role as ‘deliverers of good government’ to ‘enablers of governance’.
QUESTION : Significance of the Chahbahar port for India and its implications of the development.
Topic- IRAN DROPS INDIA FROM CHAHBAHAR RAIL PROJECT
- Chahbahar Rail Project
WHY IN NEWS ?
- The Iranian government has decided to proceed with the construction of Chabahar Rail Project on its own, citing delays from the Indian side in funding and starting the project.
- In 2016, India signed a deal with Iran entailing $8 billion investment in Chabahar port and industries in Chabahar Special Economic Zone.
- The port is being developed as a transit route to Afghanistan and Central Asia.
- India has already built a 240-km road connecting Afghanistan with Iran.
- Trilateral project: The project was meant to be part of India’s commitment to the trilateral agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan to build an alternate trade route to Afghanistan and Central Asia
- It was to construct the Chabahar-Zahedan railway as “part of transit and transportation corridor in trilateral agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan”.
- Indian Railways Construction Ltd (IRCON) had promised to provide all services, superstructure work, and financing for the project (around $1.6 billion).
Fear of US sanctions and no beginning of the actual work
- The U.S. government in fact had provided a sanctions waiver for the Chabahar port and the rail line to Zahedan.
- However, it has been difficult to find equipment suppliers and partners due to worries they could be targeted by the U.S.
- On the other hand, India has already “zeroed out” its oil imports from Iran due to U.S. sanctions.
Growing nexus between Iran and China
Strategic Partnership :
- Iran and China are close to finalizing a 25-year Strategic Partnership which will include Chinese involvement in Chabahar’s duty-free zone, an oil refinery nearby, and possibly a larger role in Chabahar port as well.
Extending the cooperation:
- It is being said that the cooperation will extend from investments in infrastructure, manufacturing, and upgrading energy and transport facilities, to refurbishing ports, refineries and other installations.
- It will also commit Iranian oil and gas supplies to China during that period.
Tie-up between the Pakistani port at Gwadar and Chabahar :
- Iran had also proposed a tie-up between the Chinese-run Pakistani port at Gwadar and Chabahar last year.
- It has offered interests to China in the Bandar-e-Jask port 350km away from Chabahar, as well as in the Chabahar duty-free zone.
Implications on India:
- The Iran-China deal impinges on India’s “strategic ties” with Iran and the use of Chabahar port.
- Bandar-e-Jask port lies to the west of Chabahar & right before the Straits of Hormuz. China would thus extend its control along the Pakistan-Iran coast
CHAHBAHAR PORT :
- Chabahar port is located on the Gulf of Oman and is only 72 km away from the Gwadar port in Pakistan which has been developed by China.
- The port serves as the only oceanic port of Iran and consists of two separate ports named Shahid Beheshti and Shahid Kalantari.
REASONS OF THIS OMISSION :
- Despite several site visits by IRCON engineers and preparations by Iranian railways, India never began the work, worrying that it could attract sanctions by the USA.
- India has already zeroed out its oil imports from Iran due to USA sanctions.
- The USA had provided a sanctions waiver for the Chabahar port and the rail line but it was difficult to find equipment suppliers and partners due to worries of being targeted by the USA.
- Another reason could be the ‘Comprehensive Plan for Cooperation between Iran and China’ which is a 25-year and USD 400 billion strategic partnership deal.
- Both nations are close to finalising the deal, which will include Chinese involvement in Chabahar’s duty-free zone, an oil refinery nearby and possibly a larger role in Chabahar port as well.
- The cooperation will extend from investments in infrastructure, manufacturing and upgrading energy and transport facilities,to refurbishing ports, refineries and other installations and will commit Iranian oil and gas supplies to China during that period.
- Iran proposed a tie-up between the Chinese-run Pakistani port at Gwadar and Chabahar in 2019 and offered interests to China in the Bandar-e-Jask port 350 km away from Chabahar, as well as in the Chabahar duty-free zone.
WAY FORWARD :
- The Iran-China deal impinges on India’s strategic ties with Iran and the use of Chabahar port. Bandar-e-Jask lies to the west of Chabahar and right before the Strait of Hormuz which would allow China to extend its control along the Pakistan-Iran coast.
- Each of these possibilities should be watched closely by India and it should strengthen its relations with the concerned countries.
- As an emerging power, India cannot remain confined to South Asia and a peaceful extended neighbourhood (Iran-Afghanistan) is not only good for trade and energy security but also plays a vital role in India’s aspirations of becoming a superpower.