What's New :
Open Session for INTEGRATED PREPARATION for Prelims and Mains. Register Now
Mentorship Sessions(Connect with the faculties and ask all your doubts). Book Now

8th September 2023

43rd Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit


At the 43rd ASEAN Summit held recently in Jakarta, Indonesia, India emphasized a rules-based post-COVID world order, highlighting the importance of a free Indo-Pacific and Global South’s voice.

About ASEAN:
  • The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional grouping that aims to promote economic and security cooperation among its ten members: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  • Establishment: It was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by the founding fathers of ASEAN: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.
  • Aim: The motto of ASEAN is “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”.
  • Secretariat: The ASEAN Secretariat is in Jakarta, Indonesia.
  • ASEAN countries have a total population of 662 million people and a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of $3.2 trillion as of 2022.
  • ASEAN is considered one of the most influential groupings in the region.
  • India including the U.S., China, Japan, and Australia are its dialogue partners.

Key points from the summit:

  • India reaffirmed that ASEAN is the central pillar of India’s Act East Policy and it fully supports ASEAN centrality and its outlook on the Indo-Pacific.
  • India also mentioned the need for a Code of Conduct for the South China Sea should be effective and compliant with the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
  • India emphasized its Look East policy, as mentioned in the recent East Asia Summit held in July.

East Asia Summit is the premier forum in the Asia-Pacific region to deal with issues relating to security and defense. Since its inception in 2005, it has played a significant role in the strategic, geopolitical, and economic evolution of East Asia.

Points of discussion:

  • India proposed a ‘multi-modal connectivity and economic corridor’ linking Southeast Asia (SEA), India, West Asia, and Europe during the Asean-India Summit in Indonesia, as part of a 12-point plan to enhance relations with ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) economies.
  • It also announced the opening of the embassy of India in Timor-Leste has also been announced by India.
    • Timor-Leste is an observer in the ASEAN.
  • India made comprehensive discussions, including in areas such as connectivity, maritime cooperation, digital transformation, trade and the economy, environment, health, and traditional medicine.
  • In the food security minute, millets, and agenda of food security as well as the environment were made to focus.

Significance of ASEAN for India:

  • Trade relations: The European Union (EU) is India’s third largest trading partner, while India-ASEAN bilateral trade stood at 131.5 billion dollars in 2022-23.
  • India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway: Towards its east, India is part of a push to develop a highway connecting the country to Myanmar and Thailand.
    • The 1,400-km highway, first proposed in 2002, is expected to link India to the two SEA nations by land.
  • Potential market: ASEAN constitutes the 3rd largest market in the world. This can help India utilize its export potential.
  • Convergence with Indo-Pacific strategy: ASEAN is a crucial component of India's "Act East" policy and its "Indo-Pacific" strategy, reflecting the convergence of interests in the region.
  • Countering China’s influence: Strengthening relations with ASEAN countries can serve as a counterbalance to China's influence in the region.
    Connectivity with North East: Connectivity initiatives with ASEAN can boost economic development in India's northeastern states by positioning them as a hub for regional trade and commerce.
  • Important for rule-based order: ASEAN plays a central role in promoting a rules-based security architecture in the Indo-Pacific region, which is essential for the region's stability and prosperity.

African Union as a part of G20


With the negotiations among sherpas held recently, the African Union (AU) is set to join the G-20. Now, the 55-member AU will join the European Union as the only two regional bodies in the G-20.

  • India had written a letter to the G20 nations in which he proposed that the African Union be given full, permanent membership of the bloc at the upcoming summit in New Delhi.
  • Countries like Germany, Brazil, and Canada have also expressed their support for African Union membership to the G20.
The G20 this year has also invited nine non-member countries, including Bangladesh, Singapore, Spain, and Nigeria, and international organizations such as the United Nations, World Health Organization, the World Bank, and the IMF on the 9 and 10 September Summit.

About the African Union (AU):

  • The African Union (AU) is a continental body consisting of the 55 member states that make up the countries of the African Continent.
  • In 1963, the Organization of African Unity was founded by the independent states of Africa.
  • The organization aimed to promote cooperation between African states.
  • The 1980 Lagos Plan of Action was adopted by the Organization of African Unity. The plan suggested that Africa should minimize reliance upon the West by promoting intra-African trade.
  • In 2002, the Organization of African Unity was succeeded by the African Union, which had as one of its goals to accelerate the "economic integration of the continent”.

G20 Summit 2023:

  • Theme: India's G20 theme is derived from the Sanskrit phrase "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam" which translates to “The World is One Family".
  • Agendas: Under India's presidency, the bloc has centered discussions around more loans to developing nations from multilateral institutions, reforming international debt architecture, regulations on cryptocurrency and the impact of geopolitical uncertainties on food and energy security.

India-Africa Relations:

  • Social Infrastructure: The India-Africa social infrastructure (education, health, skills) cooperation is multidimensional, comprehensive, and involves national, state, and subnational actors working toward augmenting African institutional and individual capacities.
  • Common Geo-Political Interests: India and Africa have common interests on international issues, UN reforms, counter-terrorism, peacekeeping, cybersecurity, and energy security.
  • Economic Cooperation: India’s economic engagement with Africa is substantive.
    • In the last decade and a half, trade between India and Africa has multiplied and diversified–bilateral trade of USD63.3 billion in 2018-19 made India the third-largest trading partner for the continent.
  • Support in Fight Against COVID-19: Under the e-ITEC initiative, India has shared Covid-19 management strategies, and training webinars exclusively to train healthcare professionals from Africa by Indian health experts.
    • India is also sending consignments of essential medicines, including hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and paracetamol, to many African countries in addition to doctors and paramedics.
  • Recent Development:
  • India’s first high-level visit in Africa for 2022 took place and the following developments took place:
  • India announced the Phase-II upgrade of Entrepreneurship Development and Technology Centre (CEDT) in Dakar, built with Indian grant assistance.
  • India also offered a Special ITEC English proficiency course for Senegalese public servants.
  • India announced a Special training program for a batch of 15 Senegalese diplomats at Sushma Swaraj Institute of Foreign Services.

African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA):

  • It was established in 2018.
  • AfCFTA seeks to create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments, and thus pave the way for accelerating the establishment of the Continental Customs Union and the African Customs Union.
  • The AfCFTA preliminary work is on steps such as incremental tariff reduction, elimination of non-tariff barriers, supply chains and dispute settlement.
  • It is expected to boost intra-African trade by about USD35 billion by the end of 2022.
  • The larger market area will likely attract investment for continental infrastructure development.
  • The increased trade will create jobs, enhance Africa’s global competitiveness, improve social welfare and position Africa for greater industrialisation.

Self-Regulatory Organisation for fintechs


Recently, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das urged that fintech firms to create a Self-Regulatory Organisation (SRO) for transparent, fair, and consumer-centric practices.

About Fintech:
  • Fintech" is a term that combines "financial" and "technology".
  • It refers to companies and technologies that leverage digital innovations to provide financial services in a more efficient, accessible, and innovative manner.
  • Fintech encompasses a wide range of services, including digital payments, peer-to-peer lending, robo-advisors, blockchain technology, and more.
  • These technologies are made to go beyond traditional financial systems and offer new solutions to consumers and businesses.

What is an SRO?

  • An SRO is a non-governmental organization that sets and enforces rules and standards relating to the conduct of entities in the industry (members) with the aim of protecting the customer and promoting ethics, equality, and professionalism.
  • SROs typically collaborate with all stakeholders in framing rules and regulations.
  • Working:
    • Their self-regulatory processes are administered through impartial mechanisms such that members operate in a disciplined environment and accept penal actions by the SRO.
    • n SRO is expected to address concerns beyond the narrow self-interests of the industry, such as to protect workers, customers, or other participants in the ecosystem.

What are the functions of an SRO?

  • The recognized SRO will serve as a two-way communication channel between its members and the RBI.
  • It will work towards establishing minimum benchmarks, and standards and help instill professional and healthy market behavior among its members.
  • SROs will impart training to the staff of its members and others and will conduct awareness programs.
  • It will establish a uniform grievance redressal and dispute management framework across its members.

RBI's Expectations from Fintech Players:

  • Industry Best Practices and Compliance: Fintech firms are urged to develop and adopt industry best practices, aligning with local laws. This includes establishing robust privacy and data protection norms.
  • Avoiding Mis-Selling and Ensuring Ethical Business Practices: Fintech entities should set standards to prevent mis-selling and uphold ethical conduct in their operations.
  • Transparency in Pricing: It is expected that fintech companies maintain transparency in pricing, ensuring that customers have a clear understanding of the costs involved in their services.

How SRO can solve the purpose?

  • SROs could play a pivotal role in the fintech industry by promoting responsible practices and maintaining ethical standards.
  • There have been many instances where a few fintech players were involved in unethical practices such as charging exorbitant higher interest rates and harassment of borrowers for recovering loans.
  • It will help to address issues like market integrity, conduct, data privacy, cybersecurity, and risk management.
  • SROs can help build trust among consumers, investors, and regulators.

How can an entity become an SRO?

  • Those entities who are interested in being recognized as SROs will have to apply to the RBI.
  • Once the regulator finds an entity suitable, it will issue a letter of recognition.

Why fintech industry is important?

  • Financial Inclusion: Through digital platforms and mobile apps, fintech companies have made it easier for people to access banking, payments, lending, and investment services.
  • Innovation and Disruption: Fintech companies are known for their innovative approaches to financial services. They leverage technology to create new products, services, and business models.
  • Efficiency and Cost Reduction: Fintech companies often use automation, artificial intelligence, and blockchain technology to streamline operations.
  • Improved Customer Experience: Fintech companies place a strong emphasis on user experience and design.
  • Innovative Payment Solutions: They revolutionized the way we make payments. This includes the development of digital wallets, peer-to-peer payment platforms, and cryptocurrency.
  • Access to Capital for Small Businesses: Fintech platforms, such as peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding, have provided alternative sources of funding for small businesses and startups.
  • Data-Driven Insights and Personalization: Fintech companies often leverage big data and advanced analytics to provide customers with personalized financial advice and insights.

RBI’s role in fintech administration:

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) plays a crucial role in the administration and regulation of the fintech sector in India.
  • Regulatory Oversight: RBI is the central regulatory authority for the financial sector in India. It formulates policies and regulations that govern various aspects of fintech operations, including payment systems, digital banking, cryptocurrencies, and other innovative financial technologies.
  • Licensing and Authorization: RBI is responsible for granting licenses and authorizations to fintech companies, especially those involved in critical financial activities like payment processing, lending, and other regulated services. This ensures that only qualified and compliant entities operate in the financial sector.
  • Setting Standards and Guidelines: RBI establishes industry standards and guidelines to ensure the safety, security, and efficiency of fintech operations. This includes rules for data protection, cybersecurity, anti-money laundering (AML), and customer protection.
  • Monitoring and Supervision: RBI monitors the activities of fintech firms to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. This involves conducting audits, inspections, and assessments to verify adherence to prescribed norms.
  • Consumer Protection: RBI takes measures to protect the interests of consumers in fintech transactions. This includes setting rules for fair practices, dispute resolution, and grievance redressal mechanisms.
  • Fostering Innovation: While regulating the sector, RBI also encourages innovation in fintech. It provides a conducive environment for experimentation and adoption of new technologies that can benefit the financial industry and consumers.
  • Risk Management: RBI assesses and addresses the potential risks associated with fintech activities. This involves identifying and mitigating risks related to cybersecurity, fraud, market stability, and systemic risks.

Rising Heat index in Iran


As per a recent report, Iran’s coastal region has recorded a scorching heat index of 70 degrees Celsius (°C) in the coastal part of the country, a metric at which survival of life is not impossible. Also, the region recorded a heat index of 66.7 °C.

What is a Heat Index?

  • Heat index, also known as apparent temperature, is a measure of how the temperature feels to humans.
  • Relative humidity is an important factor that determines heat index, along with air temperature.
In 2024, India is scheduled to launch its own heat index to quantify the impact of heat on its population and generate impact-based heatwave alerts for
  • Dr. Robert Steadman's Formula: In 1979, Dr. Robert Steadman, a professor at Colorado State University, developed a complex formula to calculate heat index.

This formula considers factors like temperature, humidity, wind speed, and barometric pressure to determine the apparent temperaturespecific locations.

How Heat index is measured?

  • or what humans perceive as the temperature.
  •  Considerations for a "Typical Adult": Dr. Steadman's study was based on a "typical adult human of either sex, with a height of 1.7 metres and a weight of 67 kg."
  • This standardization allows for a consistent calculation of heat index applicable to a broad range of individuals.
  • Inclusion of Dew Point: Dew point is a critical factor in heat index calculations.
  • It represents the temperature at which air can no longer hold all its moisture, causing condensation.
  • Dr. Steadman used a specific dew point value of 14°C in his calculations.
  • This factor is crucial in assessing the sultriness or discomfort associated with a particular temperature-humidity combination.
  • Alternative Indices: While Dr. Steadman's formula is widely recognized, some countries, like Canada, have developed their own indices.
  • Canada uses Humidex, which considers temperature and dew point, but has its own specific formula for calculation.
  • This emphasizes the importance of tailoring heat index calculations to local climate conditions.

Why a specific heat index is important?

  • Moisture Capacity and Apparent Temperature: Hot air has a greater capacity to hold moisture than cold air. When the temperature rises, the air's ability to hold moisture also increases.
  • This affects the apparent temperature or heat index, making humid air feel even hotter to humans.
  • This is why the heat index is a more useful metric than just the temperature alone.
  • Effects of High Humidity on the Body: High humidity during heatwaves can lead to heat stress.
  • In these conditions, the body struggles to dissipate excess heat.
  • Impact of Humidity: Conversely, in low humidity conditions, sweat can evaporate more efficiently, making the apparent temperature feel closer to the actual air temperature.
  • Dangerous Heat Index Values: A heat index value of 67°C or above is extremely dangerous for both humans and animals with direct and prolonged exposure. At this level, heat-related illnesses become a serious risk.

About the Location:

  • Persian Gulf is an arm of the Arabian Sea; between south-western Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.
  • Bordering Countries: Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman (Musandam exclave) and Iran.
  • Connected to the Gulf of Oman in the east by the Strait of Hormuz.
  • The Strait of Hormuz is situated between Qeshm Island and the Iranian coast in the north and the Musandam Peninsula of the Arabian Peninsula in the south.

Heatwaves leading to ozone pollution


As per the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Report, Climate change intensifies heatwaves, elevating wildfire risk and aggravating ozone pollution.

Highlights of the Report:

  • According to the report, Heatwaves and wildfires are closely linked and the Smoke from wildfires contains a lot of chemicals that affect not only air quality and health, but also damage plants, ecosystems, and crops — and leads to more carbon emissions and more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
  • Short-lived reactive gases such as nitrogen oxides and biogenic volatile organic compounds lead to the production of ozone and particulate matter (PM).
  • Concerns:
  • The increase in ozone levels impacted agriculture globally, with ozone-induced crop losses averaging 4.4 percent–12.4 percent for staples.
  • Losses for wheat and soybean were as high as 15 per cent-30 percent in key agricultural areas of India and China.

About Ozone:

  • Ozone (composed of three atoms of oxygen) occurs both in the Earth's upper atmosphere (stratosphere) and at ground level (troposphere). It can be good or bad, depending on where it is found:
  • Good Ozone: Ozone occurs naturally in the Earth's upper atmosphere (Stratosphere) where it forms a protective layer that shields us from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays.Ozone-depleting gases like chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), HCFCs, and halons, destroy this protective shield and cause a hole in the ozone.
  • India had adopted the Kigali Amendment (aims to phase down hydrofluorocarbons).
  • Bad Ozone: In the Earth's lower atmosphere (troposphere) near ground level, ozone is formed when pollutants emitted by cars, power plants, industrial boilers, refineries, chemical plants, and other sources react chemically in the presence of sunlight.
  • Surface level Ozone is a harmful air pollutant.

Impacts of Ozone Pollution

  • Surface level Ozone causes damage to crops and forests.
  • Irritation can occur in the respiratory system giving rise to coughs and an uncomfortable sensation in the chest.
  • Ozone worsens bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, etc. and increases the risk and susceptibility to pulmonary inflammation like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
  • It may reduce lung function and make breathing difficult.

Short News Article

History (GS-I)

Shiva’s Nataraja form

The magnificent Nataraja sculpture that has been installed at Bharat Mandapam, the venue of the G20 Leaders' Summit, portrays its iconic consideration under the Great Cholas.

About the Nataraja form of Shiva:

  • The Cholas were great patrons of Art and culture.
  • The Cholas were devout Shaivites, building elaborate Shiva temples (like the one in Thanjavur) across their territories.
  • Shiva was first portrayed in sculpture as Nataraja in the fifth century AD, a form that evolved under the Cholas.
  • Shiva has evolved from the Vedic deity Rudra.
  • In many ways, he is the most complex god of the Puranic pantheon.

Statue characteristics:

  • Nataraja is encompassed by flaming aureole or halo, interpreted as “the circle of the world which he [Nataraja] both fills and oversteps.”
  • The Lord’s long dreadlocks flare out due to the energy of his dance, and he strikes a rhythmic pose with his four arms.
  • In his upper right hand, He holds a damru (a hand drum), whose sounds “draw all creatures into his rhythmic motion”, and in his upper left arm, he holds agni (fire), which he can wield to destroy the universe.
  • The crafting process adopted was the traditional ‘lost-wax’ casting method which is indigenous to the Chola era.
The 27-foot-tall 'Nataraja' statue made of 'Ashtadhatu' is installed at the Bharat Mandapam for G20 summit.

Polity and Governance (GS-II)

Central Empowered Committee

The Central Empowered Committee (CEC) will now report to the Environment Ministry, with the ministry nominating members and evaluating recommendations.


  • The Central Empowered Committee (CEC) is a statutory body in India that was established by the Supreme Court in 2002.
  •  Its primary purpose is to address cases of non-compliance with the court's orders related to environmental conservation and forest protection.
  • The CEC plays a crucial role in providing recommendations and expert opinions on matters concerning environmental issues, particularly those related to forests, wildlife, and biodiversity.
  • It conducts field visits, evaluates reports, and submits its findings to the Supreme Court for consideration.
  • The committee aims to ensure that environmental regulations and conservation efforts are effectively implemented across the country.

Environment (GS-III)

Swachh Vayu Sarvekshan 2023

The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has announced awards under the Swachh Vayu Sarvekshan 2023 (clean air survey) in Bhopal for year 2023.y:

About the survey:

  • It was the second year of the Swachh Vayu Survekshan, carried out by the ministry based on self-assessments submitted by 130 identified cities under the National Clean Air Programmes.
  • The awards are announced in three categories of cities — million plus cities, cities with a population between three and ten lakh and cities of under three lakh population — based on the 2011 population census.
  • For million plus population:
    • Indore in Madhya Pradesh has achieved the top rank in the million-plus population cities.
    • Agra in Uttar Pradesh secured the second rank, followed by Thane in Maharashtra on the third spot.
  • In the second category (Between 3 to 10 lakh population):
    • Amravati of Maharashtra has secured the first rank, followed by Moradabad (Uttar Pradesh) and Guntur (Andhra Pradesh).
  • In third category (under Three lakh population):
    • Two Himachal Pradesh towns — Parwanoo and Kala Amb — have bagged the first two positions
    • Angul in Odisha secured the third place.
  • Parameters defined: The cities were assessed on eight major points, including control of biomass and municipal solid waste burning, road dust, dust from construction and demolition waste, vehicular emissions, industrial emissions, public awareness, and improvement in PM10 concentration.

Location in News

Idukki dam

  • Idukki Dam is in the Indian state of Kerala, specifically in the district of Idukki.
  • It is situated in the Periyar River and serves the purpose of generating hydroelectric power.
  • Constructed between 1969 and 1973, Idukki Dam stands as one of the tallest arch dams in Asia.
  • It was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, in 1976.
  • The dam and its associated reservoir have significant ecological importance.
  • It has led to the creation of a unique ecosystem in the area, with several species of flora and fauna thriving in the region.
    The forests surrounding the reservoir are part of the Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary, which is known for its rich biodiversity.


Disappearing languages, vanishing voices


The increasing prevalence of English as a language globally has led to the extinction of regional and native languages. Any loss of language is not only a loss of linguistic diversity but also a loss in terms of the associated cultural variations, opinions, views, and knowledge.

Importance of Language Diversity

  • Unifying Force of English: English has historically connected diverse linguistic communities in India since British rule, but poses challenges in remote areas.
  • The Quest for a Universal Language: Consideration arises on why a common global language is not adopted for simpler and stronger global communication.
  • Biblical Tale of Tower of Babel: The narrative illustrates the power of a shared language. Language serves as a vital tool for transferring information and emotions.

Threat to Linguistic Diversity

  • Projected Language Extinction: A mathematical model predicts that 40% of languages (with less than 35,000 speakers) may vanish within a century, shrinking diversity.
  • Dominance of Major Languages: Half of the world's population primarily speaks just 10 languages. This trend endangers linguistic diversity worldwide.
  • Impact of Migration: Migration prompts shifts towards dominant languages, eroding mother tongues over generations. Hindi vs. English dynamics in India reflect this phenomenon.

Preserving Endangered Languages

  • UNESCO's Alarming Report: UNESCO identifies 42 endangered languages in India, predominantly spoken by tribal groups with less than 10,000 speakers.
  • Language Diversity as Cultural Richness: Analogous to biodiversity, linguistic diversity is vital for preserving unique cultures, knowledge, and identities.
  • Urgent Global Strategies Needed: Initiatives must be pursued to document, protect, and revitalize endangered languages. Other institutions should follow suit to curb language disappearance.

You must be logged in to get greater insights.


Finding Seoul in the Indo-Pacific


The recent trilateral meeting by South Korea-Japan-U.S. at Camp David gives New Delhi and Seoul a unique opportunity to enhance their strategic partnership.

New Beginnings in India-South Korea Relations

  • Significance of the Camp David Summit: The Camp David Summit in August marked a turning point in relations between the U.S., Japan, and South Korea.
  • ROK's New Indo-Pacific Strategy: South Korea's shift towards a new strategic approach in the Indo-Pacific, aligning with American views on China, is notable.
  • President Yoon Suk Yeol's Vision for South Korea: President Yoon Suk Yeol aims to position South Korea as a "global pivotal state," demonstrating renewed foreign policy vigor.

Republic of Korea (ROK)-India Partnership in Indo-Pacific

  • South Korea & India in the Indo-Pacific: South Korea's proximity to China and its U.S. alliance makes it a valuable partner for India in the Indo-Pacific.
  • Common Concerns & Apprehensions about China: Both nations share concerns over China's unilateral actions in reshaping Asian security dynamics.
  • Evolving Dynamics: The ROK's role becomes pivotal with India's growing closeness to the U.S. and deepened apprehensions about China.

Focusing Areas of Collaboration

  • Enhancing Political and Diplomatic Relations: Political and diplomatic ties could be strengthened through annual summits, 2+2 dialogues, and reciprocal visits by leaders.
  • iCET and Multilateral Cooperation: Exploring initiatives like the South Korea-Japan-India-U.S. initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) is a promising avenue.
  • Strengthening Defense and Technological Collaboration: Defense collaboration, especially under India's 'Make in India' program, and potential collaboration on Korean-built nuclear reactors hold substantial potential.
You must be logged in to get greater insights.


Restoring order


In the recent meeting of ASEAN countries, it is indeed commendable that ASEAN took a strong stand against the oppressive actions of the Myanmar junta.

ASEAN's Strong Stand on Myanmar Crisis

  • ASEAN's firm stance on Myanmar: ASEAN, a group of 10 Southeast Asian nations, has taken a bold step by criticizing Myanmar's junta for violence and failure to implement the Five-Point Consensus.
  • The Five-Point Consensus: The Consensus aimed to address the turmoil caused by the military coup in Myanmar, which ousted the democratically elected government.
  • ASEAN's Decisive Actions: In its latest statement, ASEAN strongly condemns ongoing violence and calls on the armed forces to cease attacks on civilians. Myanmar's chairmanship for 2026 is revoked.

Escalating Pressure on Myanmar's Junta

  • National Unity Government and Ethnic Support: Myanmar's military, facing opposition from democratic forces and civil war, now confronts a National Unity Government (NUG) supported by ethnic separatist groups.
  • UN Report- Allegations of War Crimes Against Myanmar's Military: The military's actions have been criticized as war crimes, including mass executions and sexual violence, according to a UN report.
  • Humanitarian Crisis Unfolds: Over two years of conflict have displaced two million people and left 18 million in need of humanitarian aid. The military's tactics have drawn global condemnation.

ASEAN's Isolation of Myanmar Military

  • Myanmar's Increasing Isolation: While the impact of ASEAN's tough stance remains uncertain, it signifies Myanmar's growing isolation.
  • ASEAN's Role: ASEAN should use its influence over Myanmar to urge the junta to end violence and engage in dialogue.
  • Critical Path Forward: The ultimate solution to Myanmar's crises lies in the restoration of a legitimate, responsible, and responsive government.
You must be logged in to get greater insights.


How to curb irresponsibility


There is a need to envision better ways for Parliament to write a fiscal responsibility law for lawmakers.

Challenge of Fiscal Responsibility Law

  • Political Overspending: Ruling parties tend to overspend to secure future electoral victories, leading to fiscal issues down the line.
  • Deferred Taxation: The practice of excessive spending today ultimately translates into increased taxes for citizens in the future.
  • Global Models: Countries like Germany and the U.S. implement fiscal mechanisms (e.g., debt brake, debt ceiling) to restrict borrowing and effectively manage debt levels.

Flaws in India's Fiscal Responsibility Law

  • FRBM Act's Introduction: Instituted in 2003, the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act aimed to rein in excessive deficits.
  • Amendments Weakening Targets: Frequent legislative changes, facilitated through Finance Acts, erode the original fiscal targets set by the FRBM Act.
  • Constitutional Barriers: The classification of the Finance Bill as a money bill grants the executive government the authority to modify FRL provisions, circumventing parliamentary scrutiny and debate.

Parliamentary Constraints and Solutions

  • Anti-Defection Law's Limitations: MPs cannot vote against party wishes. Voting down the Finance Bill, vital for fiscal control, is a nuclear option.
  • The Flawed Concept of Money Bill: Considered the ultimate escape clause, regardless of fiscal rule's design, hindering fiscal responsibility.
  • Need for Fiscal Institution Building: Instead of an FRL as Parliamentary law, focus should be on robust fiscal institutions to ensure responsibility.
You must be logged in to get greater insights.


QUIZ - 8th September 2023
GS Classes 2024 GS Classes 2024 GS Classes 2024 UPSC Study Material

Verifying, please be patient.

Enquire Now