The Hindu Newspaper Analysis for UPSC
- In a move that helps solar power projects in Rajasthan but may hinder efforts to make the region safe for the endangered Great Indian Bustard, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has proposed that only power lines below 33kV need to go underground and the rest be fitted with bird-diverters.
- It came against the background of an ongoing case involving the threat to the bustard and other birds from power lines. High-tension power lines in Rajasthan and Gujarat from solar plants often lie on the flight path of the birds.
- The matter is of particular concern to the future of the bustard as fewer than 150 of them remain, and existing conservation methods fall short of replenishing their numbers.
Great Indian Bustard (GIB)
- One of the heaviest flying birds endemic to the Indian subcontinent.
- State Bird of Rajasthan
- Untamed, Arid grasslands.
- A Maximum number of GIBs were found in Jaisalmer and the Indian Army-controlled field firing range near Pokhran, Rajasthan.
- Other areas: Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
- As per the studies conducted by Wildlife Institute of India, there are around 150 Great Indian Bustards left across the country which includes about 128 birds in Rajasthan and less than 10 birds each in the States of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
- IUCN Status: Critically Endangered.
- Listed in Wildlife Protection Act’s Schedule 1.
- New Delhi is on a geopolitical high. It hosted the G-20 Foreign Ministers meeting (March 1-2, 2023), the G-20 Finance Ministers meeting (February 22-25) and the Quad Foreign Ministers meeting (March 3), and national capital has been teeming with global leaders and thinkers attending the Ministry of External Affairs-supported Raisina dialogue (March 2-4). A few weeks ago, India also organised the ‘Voice of Global South Summit’ (January 12–13).
- India’s pivotal position at the G-20, the Quad (the United States, India, Australia and Japan), the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and the Global South today has given it a sudden surge in stature and reputation.
- Contemporary Indian foreign policy is a textbook example of treading the fault-lines of world politics and, as External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar writes in his book, The India Way, “advancing national interests by identifying and exploiting opportunities created by global contradictions”.
- Indian chairpersonship of the G-20 and the SCO ends this year, and Beijing will not let New Delhi take over the leadership of the Global South so easily.
- balancing opposites has its limits. If you play all sides, you might not end up making strong strategic partnerships that should come to your aid if and when something major goes wrong such as a future conflict with China. While bridging the divide in world politics is a noble task, indecisiveness might not yield lasting partnerships.
- Amid the G-20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and ahead of the Raisina Dialogue, India quietly held the second conference of intelligence and security chiefs and top officials from around the world, called the Raisina Security Dialogue, on March 1 which saw participation from over 26 countries, confirmed multiple sources.
- Counterterrorism, radicalisation, drugs trafficking discussed at the Raisina Security Dialogue on March 1 which saw participation of officials from 26 countries, including U.K., France and Japan
About Raisina Dialogue:
- It is India’s premier conference on geopolitics and geoeconomics, committed to addressing the most challenging issues facing the global community.
- It is held annually since 2016 in New Delhi.
- The Dialogue is structured as a multi-stakeholder, cross-sectoral discussion involving heads of state, cabinet ministers, and local government officials, who are joined by thought leaders from the private sector, media, and academia.
- It is organized by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) in partnership with the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.
About Observer Research Foundation (ORF):
- Established in 1990, the ORF is an independent, nonpartisan think tank that conducts policy research on good governance, foreign policy, and sustainable economic development for India.
- ORF’s work spans a wide range of topics, including climate, energy, cyber issues and media, economic development, and national security.
- It provides non-partisan, independent, well-researched analyses and inputs to diverse decision-makers in governments, business communities, academia, and to civil society around the world.
- Mandate: It seeks to lead and aid policy thinking towards building a strong and prosperous India in a fair and equitable world.
- Governor R.N. Ravi on Sunday called upon labourers from northern States not to panic or feel insecure while working in Tamil Nadu. He said the people of Tamil Nadu are nice and friendly.
- “Governor urged the north Indian labourers in Tamil Nadu not to panic and feel insecure, as the people of Tamil Nadu are very nice and friendly, and the State government is committed to provide them security,” the Raj Bhavan wrote on Twitter in English, Tamil and Hindi.
- The tweet followed rumours that Hindi-speaking people were being attacked in the State. On Saturday, Chief Minister M.K. Stalin reassured the labourers that they were integral to the State’s development and said those spreading the rumours were acting against national integrity and a strict legal action would be taken against them.
- China’s government on Sunday announced a hike in defence spending by 7.2% to $225 billion in 2023, saying the rise was needed to deal with “complex security challenges”.
- China’s still sizeable Budget remains around three times that of India’s.