TABLE OF CONTENTS
A. GS 1 Related B. GS 2 Related INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 1. India’s foreign policy & election’s globally C. GS 3 Related INTERNAL SECURITY 1. INS Imphal & Expansion of Warships ECONOMY 1. Challenges in Textile sector D. GS 4 Related E. Editorials F. Prelims Facts 1. Census postponed again 2. Babbar Khalsa International 3. Indian Tamils in Sri Lanka 4. PM Ujjwala Yojana G. Tidbits H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
C. GS 3 Related
Syllabus: Security challenges and their management in border areas:
Prelims: INS Imphal
Mains: INS Imphal & Expansion of Warships
Context: The commissioning of INS Imphal, the third P-15B ‘Visakhapatnam’ class stealth guided missile destroyer, marks a significant milestone for the Indian Navy. Named after a city in the Northeast, Imphal showcases India’s commitment to ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in defense and reinforces the nation’s growing maritime prowess.
- With the Navy’s focus on expanding its fleet to meet regional commitments, Imphal’s swift construction and trials exemplify the pursuit of self-reliance in defense.
Issues at Hand:
- Record-Breaking Construction: INS Imphal’s construction stands out as the fastest for any indigenous destroyer, with a keel laid on May 19, 2017, and delivery to the Navy on October 20, within a record six-month timeframe. This achievement is crucial amid the Navy’s efforts to enhance its capital warship fleet in response to growing engagements in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
- Strategic Significance: As part of the P-15B class, INS Imphal contributes to the Navy’s aim of becoming a 170-180 ship force by 2028. The ship’s commissioning aligns with India’s broader maritime strategy, emphasizing control of the sea in the Indo-Pacific region.
- Indigenisation and Collaborations: INS Imphal boasts a high level of indigenisation, with about 75% of its components sourced locally. Collaborations with organizations like Brahmos Aerospace, Larsen & Toubro (L&T), Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), and others demonstrate a conglomeration of diverse strengths contributing to the ship’s capabilities.
- Geopolitical Context: The commissioning comes at a time when the Indian Navy is navigating increased Chinese naval presence in the IOR. The enhanced stealth features of the P-15B class, including reduced radar cross-section, enhance India’s maritime capabilities and deterrence.
Significance of the Commissioning:
- Naval Modernization: INS Imphal is part of the Navy’s modernization drive, showcasing advanced technologies, including BrahMos cruise missiles, torpedo tube launchers, and medium-range missiles. The ship’s capabilities align with contemporary naval warfare requirements.
- Aatmanirbhar Bharat: The ship’s rapid construction and significant indigenisation contribute to the vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ in the defense sector. It reflects a shift toward self-sufficiency and reduced dependency on foreign sources for critical defense equipment.
- Strategic Alignment: INS Imphal’s commissioning reinforces India’s strategic commitment to controlling the sea, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region. Its deployment adds to the Navy’s deterrence capabilities and strengthens maritime security.
Solutions and Future Steps:
- Continued Indigenisation: The Navy should continue prioritizing indigenisation efforts, fostering collaborations with domestic entities, and supporting research and development in defense technologies.
- Enhanced Maritime Surveillance: With a focus on the Indian Ocean Region, the Navy should invest in advanced maritime surveillance capabilities, leveraging technologies to monitor and secure vital sea lanes.
- Strategic Alliances: Strengthening diplomatic and naval collaborations with like-minded nations in the Indo-Pacific will enhance collective maritime security efforts and contribute to regional stability.
Nut Graf: The commissioning of INS Imphal underscores India’s commitment to a modern and self-reliant naval force. As the Navy continues to navigate complex geopolitical challenges in the Indian Ocean Region, the P-15B class destroyers, with their advanced features, play a crucial role in enhancing India’s maritime capabilities.
Syllabus: Growth, Development and Employment
Mains: Challenges in Textile sector
Context: India’s textile sector, primarily comprising small businesses, faces substantial challenges in adhering to new environmental, social, and governance (ESG) norms, including the European Union’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM).
- Despite concerns, there is a realization that embracing sustainability could propel the sector to new heights.
- The sector’s current sustainable practices, such as renewable energy adoption and recycling initiatives, serve as a foundation but meeting evolving global ESG demands remains a pressing issue.
Issues at Hand:
- ESG and CBAM Impact: The EU’s CBAM and broader ESG goals pose challenges for India’s textile sector, especially Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), in terms of compliance and additional costs. Individual European countries introducing their codes further complicates the scenario.
- Diverse Compliance Challenges: Compliance with ESG norms, particularly supply chain sustainability, proves challenging for the sector. MSMEs, constituting a significant portion of garment exporters, find it financially burdensome to meet various mandates, impacting margins.
- Market Significance: India’s textile sector, a vital contributor to the country’s exports, faces pressure due to its significant market share in the European Union. Exporting 16% of cotton textiles, 40% of synthetic fabric, and 28% of total apparel to European countries, aligning with ESG norms becomes imperative.
- Complex ESG Parameters: Challenges vary across different ESG parameters, such as discrepancies in labor issues and ‘living wages’ across textile-producing states. The use of recycled fibers faces quality challenges, impacting product pricing and market acceptance.
Significance of the Challenges:
- Global Market Access: Adhering to ESG norms is crucial for maintaining access to the European market, with major global brands insisting on sustainability. Failure to comply may result in a loss of orders and market share.
- Sustainable Practices Showcase: The sector’s existing sustainable practices, including renewable energy usage and recycling initiatives, showcase India’s commitment to environmental responsibility. Leveraging these practices can strengthen its position as a global supplier.
- Need for Paradigm Shift: The challenges present an opportunity for a paradigm shift in sourcing, production, pricing, and supply processes. Embracing sustainability not only aligns with global expectations but can enhance the sector’s competitiveness.
Solutions and Future Steps:
- Investment in Sustainability: Exporters must invest in sustainability to leverage potential benefits from India’s free-trade agreement with the EU. Documentation of existing sustainable practices and inclusive social initiatives becomes essential for showcasing achievements.
- Industry Collaboration: Industry associations and organizations should collaborate to help exporters implement systems, document measures, and obtain certifications for compliance with ESG norms. Collective efforts can streamline the process for MSMEs.
- Government Support: The Ministry of Textiles’ formation of an ESG task force and potential supportive interventions indicate government recognition. Advocacy for supportive measures, financial assistance, and streamlined certification processes will aid the sector.
Nut Graf: India’s textile sector confronts formidable challenges in meeting global ESG norms and CBAM requirements. However, these challenges also present an opportunity for transformation and global leadership in sustainable practices.