UPSC Mains Daily Answer Writing (25-11-2022) - GS 2

UPSC Mains Daily Answer Writing

Questions

Q1. Comment on the utility and effectiveness of soft power for furthering national interest. Can soft power replace hard power in international politics? (150 words)  10 marks

Q2. Discuss the role of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) in building pan-Indian ocean community identity for a more active and outcome-oriented partnership in the region. (150 words)  10 marks


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Model Solutions

Q1. Comment on the utility and effectiveness of soft power for furthering national interest. Can soft power replace hard power in international politics? (150 words) 10 marks

Model Structure
Introduction:

  • Soft power refers to the ability of a nation to influence the behavior of another country without force or coercion. It is based on the attractiveness of culture, values and foreign policy of a nation.

Main Body:
In the age of globalization with wars becoming rare and with international organizations striving for peace, soft power is becoming more useful and effective due the following aspects:

  • Cultural Influences- For example India’s Buddhism Diplomacy is helping us form closer ties with the South-East Asian countries.
  • The Diaspora plays an important role by influencing the relationship between countries by their lobbying and socio-economic influence.
    • E.g., events like Howdy Modi tell us how diaspora shapes India-US relations.
  • Soft power earns good will.
    • For example, India named the Trimurti-Haifa Chowk, and the goodwill was reciprocated by the gift of Israeli technology such as a desalination equipment and agricultural support.
  • Ice-breaker- When Governments aren’t on talking terms, people to people connect (Track-3 diplomacy) help them communicate.
    • E.g., Pakistani artists in India or a friendship sports match.
  • Leadership role- Soft power helps even countries without the strongest armies to earn goodwill for leadership.
    • E.g., India’s Mr. Dalveer Bhandari is seated in the ICJ today due to India’s soft power generated reputation.
  • Overall Peace- Hard power escalates issues while soft power can solve it.
    • The recent dialogue platforms like the Moscow Conference on Afghan Peace and the Taliban peace talks of the USA can have preferred outcome than the past USA’s invasion.

Soft power cannot replace hard power in international politics:

  • Not all national interests can be met with soft-power alone, especially in times of war.
    • This is most recently observed with the Israel-Palestine Conflict.
    • Even India needs armed forces to prevent cross border terrorism.
  • Not all hard-power is bad
    • When military power is used for Peacekeeping or disaster relief, it is humanitarian and welcome. E.g., UNPKF.
  • Not all soft power is good
    • Projection of one’s culture is considered good; but aggressive projection can be interpreted as cultural imperialism.
    • E.g., The Nazi ideology over Jews.

Conclusion:

  • Soft power is thus essential to protect and promote a nation’s interest in the current globalized world. It also helps in areas where hard power may not be effective. or
  • Soft power can act as a force multiplier for the hard power. Soft power is an imperative to achieve the formation of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam and promotion of global peace.

Q2. Discuss the role of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) in building pan-Indian ocean community identity for a more active and outcome-oriented partnership in the region. (150 words) 10 marks

Model Structure
Introduction:

  • Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) is an intergovernmental organization aimed at strengthening regional cooperation and sustainable development within the Indian Ocean region through its 23 Member States and 9 Dialogue Partners. This partnership is important not only for regional development but also for countering China's cheque book diplomacy. or
  • Through IORA, India attempts to leverage its historical relations with littoral states based upon common identity, shared culture and exchange of ideas, for building a pan-Indian ocean community identity for a more active and outcome-oriented partnership.

Main Body:
IORA in building pan-Indian ocean community identity:

  • IORA’s pan-Indian Ocean character can evolve into a holistic maritime system for the Indian Ocean.
    • After the Jakarta Concord’ (2017), IORA has given high priority to maritime security.
    • Focusing on piracy, smuggling, maritime terrorism, illegal fishing, trafficking of human and narcotics.
  • Trade & Investment- Half of the world’s container ships and two thirds of the world’s oil shipments pass through the Indian Ocean.
    • Thus, co-operation in trade and commerce, regional Trade agreements and investment mechanisms can push regional economic development.
  • Sustainable Development- IORA Sustainable Development Program (ISDP)
    • Dedicated to the least developed countries to share best practices in the Blue Economy.
  • Disaster Management- IORA Cluster Group on Disaster Risk Management (DRM)
    • To formulate a ‘Work Plan’ to aid information exchange, establishment of disaster databases and sharing of best practices amongst member countries.

IORA groupings face some challenges like:

  • Managing Rivalry among members and non-members needs Confidence Building Measures so that contentious issues at sea can be de-escalated.
  • The littoral countries of the Indian Ocean region need to develop a strategic thought and create maritime security structures that work in partnerships.
  • IORA brings together some of the world's richest countries - Singapore, and Australia - with some of the poorest, such as Mozambique.
    • This creates uneven benefits from participation in IORA projects and can lead to economic contradictions.

Conclusion:

  • The need to reap the economic dividends of regional partnership compel countries to have a maritime order that safeguards the aspirations of both the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’.
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