IASbhai THE DAILY EDITORIAL HUNT: 29th NOVEMBER
EDITORIAL 9 : “Not as you say, but as you do”
SOURCES: THE HINDU
Not as you say, but as you do
India-SriLanka relationships in past have played hide and seek in South east Asian ground. Comment -(GS 2)
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2:IR
- Neighbourhood first policy
- India-SriLanka relations
- What next ?
The genesis of the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka can be traced back to 1948, when Sri Lanka became independent. It is a subject in which India takes a keen interest, for, its reverberations are felt in Tamil Nadu. A quarter of Sri Lanka’s population are Tamils and many of them retain some link with Tamil Nadu. When violence broke out in Sri Lanka in the 1980es, many Tamils fled to India. Since then, Tamil Nadu has played host to tens of thousands of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees. In the 1980es, India made a sincere effort to assist in finding a peaceful solution to the ethnic issue, but succeeded only partially. India will support any effort in finding a negotiated peaceful solution that addresses the legitimate grievances of the Tamil population and provides for implementation of what has been agreed upon already and incorporated in the Constitution.
Neighbourhood First’ policy
- ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, Government is committed to developing friendly and mutually beneficial relations with all its neighbours.
- India is an active development partner and is involved in several projects in these countries. India’s policy of ‘Neighbourhood First’ focuses on creating mutually beneficial, people-oriented, regional frameworks for stability and prosperity.
- Our engagement with these countries is based on a consultative, non-reciprocal and outcome-oriented approach, which focuses on delivering benefits like greater connectivity, improved infrastructure, stronger development cooperation in various sectors area, security and broader people-to-people contacts.
Putting the past behind
One area that is likely to help that process and hold New Delhi-Colombo ties in good stead is the rapid improvement in intelligence sharing between the two countries,
especially since the Easter Sunday terror attacks; something Mr. Gotabaya made a campaign issue as well. It is important to remember, however, that despite the early outreach to Mr. Oli in Nepal, relations between the two governments never fully recovered from their rough patch during the Nepal trade blockade of 2015, and therefore, the history of ties remains an important factor.
Strengthening Pillars :
- Another pillar of bilateral ties in the region rests on development projects and economic relations.
- On this, the task before both New Delhi and Colombo should be easier, as they only need to complete projects that have already been announced in the last few years to show a breakthrough.
- India has already evinced interest in building infrastructure in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, including upgrading the Jaffna-Colombo rail track and other railway lines
- Providing electricity transmission lines for power imports from India
- Rebuilding the Kankesanthurai port.
- Lagging investments: Not just in Sri Lanka, but also across the subcontinent, India has lagged behind in investment figures.
- FDI stats :According to the report, while India’s Foreign Direct Investment in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal was more than that by China in 2014-2015, the order was reversed by 2017-2018.
- Pro China Shift : In Sri Lanka, while Mr. Gotabaya has suggested that the lease that gave Beijing control of Hambantota port will be renegotiated, there is little indication that any other loan or project will be reversed.
- Completion of these should become a priority, including India’s plan to develop Trincomalee port and oil tank farms, and LNG terminals near Colombo.
- Finally, India’s plans to counter Chinese investment will be tested by the pace of the joint India-Japan agreement to develop the East Container Terminal at Colombo harbour, and other projects like the offer to operate the Mattala Airport.
EDITORIAL 10 : “India’s food basket must be enlarged”
SOURCES: THE HINDU
C. Thomson Jacob|N. Anil Kumar
India’s food basket must be enlarged
Global hunger index roars to serious policy implementation lags.Analyse -(GS 3)
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Food Security
India is ranked 102 in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) out of 117 qualified countries.
Hunger is defined by caloric deprivation; protein hunger; hidden hunger by deficiency of micronutrients. Nearly 47 million or four out of 10 children in India do not meet their potential because of chronic undernutrition or stunting. This leads to diminished learning capacity, increased chronic diseases, low birth-weight infants from malnourished parents.
- ‘Nutrition garden’: guidelines encouraging eco-club students to identify fruits and vegetables best suited to topography, soil and climate.
- These gardens can give students lifelong social, numerical and presentation skills, care for living organisms and team work, besides being used in the noon-meal scheme.
- Students also learn to cultivate fruits and vegetables in their homes and this could address micronutrient deficiencies.
- Definition: relating to diversity of crops and varieties — is crucial in food security, nutrition, health and essential in agricultural landscapes.
- Accepting Variety :Out of 2,50,000 globally identified plant species, about 7,000 have historically been used in human diets.
- Limited Intake: Today, only 30 crops form the basis of the world’s agriculture and just three species of maize, rice and wheat supply more than half the world’s daily calories.
- Nutrition sensitive farming: Agrobiodiversity helps nutrition-sensitive farming and bio-fortified foods. For instance, moringa (drumstick) has micro nutrients and sweet potato is rich in Vitamin A. There are varieties of pearl millet and sorghum rich in iron and zinc.
Genetic engineering :
- Diversity : Genetic diversity of crops, livestock and their wild relatives, are fundamental to improve crop varieties and livestock breeds.
- Genetic Pool: We would not have thousands of crop varieties and animal breeds without the rich genetic pool. India is a centre of origin of rice, brinjal, citrus, banana, cucumber species.
- Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems :Across the world, 37 sites are designated as Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS), of which three are Indian — Kashmir (saffron), Koraput (traditional agriculture) and Kuttanad (below sea-level farming).
- Resources:In India, over 811 cultivated plants and 902 of their wild relatives have been documented. Our promising genetic resources include rice from Tamil Nadu (Konamani), Assam (Agni bora) and Kerala (Pokkali), Bhalia Wheat and mushroom (Guchhi) from Himachal Pradesh and rich farm animal native breeds — cattle (42), buffaloes (15), goat (34), sheep (43) and chicken (19).
- UN SDG :The UN Sustainable Development Goal 2 advocates for Zero Hunger and the Aichi Biodiversity Target focuses on countries conserving genetic diversity of plants, farm livestock and wild relatives.
- Emphasis: It emphasises that countries develop strategies and action plans to halt biodiversity loss and reduce direct pressure on biodiversity.
Pressure on Biodiversity:
- Centre for Biodiversity Policy and Law (CEBPOL):The Centre for Biodiversity Policy and Law (CEBPOL), a policy advocacy unit of the National Biodiversity Authority, came out with recommendations to increase India’s agrobiodiversity in 2019.
- These include a comprehensive policy on ‘ecological agriculture’ to enhance native pest and pollinator population providing ecosystem services for the agricultural landscape. It suggested promotion of the bio-village concept of the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) for ecologically sensitive farming; conserving crop wild relatives of cereals, millets, oilseeds, fibres, forages, fruits and nuts, vegetables, spices etc. for crop genetic diversity healthier food; providing incentives for farmers cultivating native landrace varieties and those conserving indigenous breeds of livestock and poultry varieties.
Loss of crop genetic resources is mainly a result of adopting new crop varieties without conserving traditional varieties. Similarly, there are concerns on high output breeds for production of meat, milk and egg. The consumption pattern and culinary diversity must be enlarged to increase India’s food basket.
- Encouraging community seed banks in each agro-climatic zone so that regional biotic properties are saved and used by new generation farmers;
- Preparing an agrobiodiversity index,
- Documenting traditional practices through People’s Biodiversity Registers,
- Identifying Biodiversity Heritage Sites under provisions of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002;
- Strengthening Biodiversity Management Committees to conserve agrobiodiversity and traditional knowledge.
- Developing a national level invasive alien species policy is required to identify pathways,
- Mapping, monitoring, managing, controlling and eradicating the invasive species and prioritising problematic species based on risk assessment studies.
To conserve indigenous crop, livestock and poultry breeds, it is recommended to mainstream biodiversity into agricultural policies, schemes, programmes and projects to achieve India’s food and nutrition security and minimise genetic erosion.