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The evolution of India's foreign policy, particularly in relation to the Israel-Gaza conflict......

The evolution of India's foreign policy, particularly in relation to the Israel-Gaza conflict. It highlights India's historical stance on the issue and how it has shifted over time.

  • India's foreign policy has evolved over time, guided by its historical experience of western colonialism.

  • India's approach to the world was initially influenced by its anti-colonial stance led by Jawaharlal Nehru.

  • India adopted a stance of "strategic autonomy" and non-alignment during the Cold War, maintaining equidistance between superpowers.

  • India's moralism against imperialism and apartheid often led to anti-westernism, aligning with the USSR on certain matters.

  • In 1947, India voted against the partition of Palestine into Israel and Palestine, as it had experienced a similar partition with the creation of Pakistan.

  • India advocated for a single secular state for both Jews and Arabs in Palestine, similar to its own state. However, it was outvoted on the matter.

  • India initially recognized Israel but kept relations at consular level for over four decades

  • India recognized the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) in 1974 and formally recognized the Palestinian state in 1988

  • Relations with Israel were upgraded to Ambassadorial level in 1992

  • The onset of Pakistan-enabled Islamic militancy against India led to warmer relations with Israel

  • Both countries shared similar enemies in Islamist extremists and faced terrorist attacks

  • Security and intelligence cooperation between India and Israel grew

  • India continued to support the PLO and advocated for a two-state solution

  • India maintains Ambassadors in both Tel Aviv and Ramallah

  • The India-Israel relationship has strengthened in recent years

  • Israel has become a vital source of defense equipment and intelligence cooperation for India

  • Reports allege that Israel has provided surveillance software for use by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government against domestic opponents and critics

  • Prime Ministers Benjamin Netanyahu and Narendra Modi have exhibited personal warmth and have visited each other's countries.

  • Prime Minister Modi expressed solidarity with Israel after the terror attack on October 7

  • India's External Affairs Ministry later voiced support for the resumption of direct negotiations for a sovereign and independent state of Palestine

  • Prime Minister Modi called Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to convey condolences for the loss of innocent lives in Gaza

  • India reiterated its long-standing principled position on the Israel-Palestine issue

  • India abstained from voting for a UN resolution calling for a humanitarian truce due to its failure to condemn the terror attacks of October 7.

  • France, historically an ally of Israel, voted for the resolution while expressing disappointment in its failure to condemn terrorism.

  • India's decision to abstain was seen as more pro-Israeli than France's, despite France's historical alliance with Israel.

  • India eventually joined the majority in voting for a resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the conflict.

  • India's foreign policy has undergone changes under Prime Minister Modi, including a greater affinity towards the United States due to concerns about China's rise and intentions.

  • India has associated itself with the reorientation of the geopolitics of the Middle East following the Abraham Accords.

  • India has joined a quadrilateral dialogue called "I2U2" with Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States.

  • The G-20 summit in New Delhi announced the India-Middle East-Europe-Economic Corridor (IMEC), an economic cooperation initiative.

  • The trade route of IMEC would go from India through Saudi Arabia to the Israeli port of Haifa.

  • India's view of the world is undergoing a fundamental reorientation due to decreasing usefulness of Russia as a partner and China's actions on India's disputed frontier.

The Madras High Court regarding Indian citizenship for individuals who have been waiting for over 40 years. It highlights the challenges faced by refugees from Sri Lanka and the need for the government to take proactive measures to ensure their rights and dignity.

  • The Madras High Court has ruled in favor of a petitioner who has been waiting for over 40 years to obtain Indian citizenship.

  • The court directed the authorities to treat the petitioner and his family as Indian citizens, allowing them to receive relief measures provided by the Tamil Nadu government to repatriates from Sri Lanka.

  • The petitioner, a 69-year-old resident of a refugee camp in Karur, arrived in India in 1990 after being issued an Indian passport in 1982.

  • The government accepted the authenticity of his passport but questioned his identity due to the photograph showing a younger person.

  • The court rejected this argument and recognized the petitioner as an Indian citizen.

  • There are approximately 5,130 applicants in the Indian Origin Tamils (IOT) category seeking citizenship.

  • As of March 2023, Tamil Nadu had around 91,000 refugees, with approximately 58,000 residing in camps.

  • Justice G.R. Swaminathan has been helping refugees in camps by establishing their Indian citizenship and issuing passports.

  • A study by the DMK State government found that around 8,000 refugees are eligible for Indian citizenship.

  • The Union government considers every refugee as an illegal migrant, but it adheres to the principle of non-refoulement and supports voluntary repatriation to Sri Lanka.

  • The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 does not include Sri Lankan refugees.

  • The Union government should identify eligible refugees for citizenship, obtain their consent, and grant permission for higher studies or going abroad if there is no criminal record.

  • Talks with Sri Lanka should be initiated for voluntary repatriation and a structured assistance program.

  • A proactive approach is needed to ensure that refugees can lead a dignified life.

The recent generational shift in the BJP leadership in three states and the implications it has for state politics and the upcoming Lok Sabha election. It also highlights the challenges and priorities that the new government will have to address.

  • Vishnu Deo Sai has been appointed as the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh by the BJP.

  • His appointment was not surprising as he has experience as a Union Minister and party State president.

  • Sai belongs to a tribal community and is trusted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.

  • His appointment is expected to boost the BJP's State politics ahead of the Lok Sabha election.

  • Arun Sao, from the dominant Sahu OBC community, has been appointed as one of the Deputy Chief Ministers.

  • Vijay Sharma, a Brahmin and first-time MLA, has been appointed as the second Deputy Chief Minister.

  • Sharma defeated Mohammad Akbar, a Congress veteran and the only Muslim Minister in the previous government.

  • The BJP has 10 more slots in the Council of Ministers to be filled, considering caste and gender balancing.

  • The new government has several tasks to fulfill, including the construction of 18 lakh homes for the rural poor, giving outstanding bonuses on paddy, and disbursing ₹12,000 every year to all married women.

  • A swift probe into corruption allegations against the previous Bhupesh Baghel regime is necessary.

  • The stalemate over two Reservation Amendment Bills that provide for a 76% quota in jobs and educational institutions needs to be resolved.

  • The new government's implementation of proposed changes under a tribal Chief Minister is likely to boost the BJP's credentials before the Lok Sabha election.

  • The government needs to take a view on the Swami Atmanand English medium schools and colleges.

  • Attention needs to be given to the concerns of urban voters who favored the BJP in the polls.

The strained financial relations between the Union government and the Kerala government, focusing on the erosion of fiscal federalism. It explores the accusations made by the Kerala government regarding unfair cuts in Central transfers, GST compensation, and loan approvals, and the denial of these accusations by the Union Finance Minister.

  • The erosion of fiscal federalism has become a major issue between the BJP-led Union government and the Left-ruled Kerala government.

  • The Left Democratic Front (LDF) has blamed the Modi government for Kerala's financial problems.

  • Kerala Finance Minister K.N. Balagopal has accused the Centre of unfair cuts in Central transfers, revenue deficit grant, GST compensation, and loan approvals.

  • Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman denied any negligence in releasing funds to Kerala and stated that any withholding of funds was due to the State's failure to meet necessary criteria.

  • Sitharaman invited the Kerala government to move the Court on the matter.

  • Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Finance Minister Balagopal criticized Sitharaman's remarks, accusing her of twisting facts and misleading the public.

  • Balagopal claimed that Kerala was deprived of ₹57,400 crore in Central transfers and loan approvals in 2023-24 compared to previous years.

  • Kerala has demanded the quick release of arrears in payments due under various heads from the Centre.

  • The arrears include health grant, Central share in social security pensions, and 7th University Grants Commission pay revision arrears.

  • The Centre claims to have settled all arrears except in cases where the State failed to fulfil criteria or follow the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission.

  • The governments are also arguing over the branding of centrally aided schemes.

  • The Kerala government executes the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) in coordination with its own LIFE Mission, and the Centre's share is often meagre in schemes.

  • The Minister for Local Self-Government has written a letter protesting against affixing branding logos on houses built using public money, as it compromises the dignity and self-respect of the beneficiaries.

  • Kerala is facing fiscal woes and struggling to meet its commitments to social security pensioners and farmers.

  • The LDF government accuses the Centre of financially choking Kerala for political gain.

  • The UDF has criticized the State government's extravagance.

  • The pay revision for government employees announced in 2021 has added an additional commitment of ₹24,000 crore.

  • Kerala needs to control expenditure and capitalize on the positive trends in own revenue.

  • It needs to present its case convincingly before the 16th Finance Commission to recapture the lost fiscal space.

Climate change is a pressing issue that affects various aspects of our lives, including our health. This article discusses how climate change-induced factors such as extreme weather events and rising sea levels can lead to increased health vulnerability in certain districts of India. It highlights the importance of adaptation and mitigation efforts, as well as the need for localized strategies.

  • More than half of India's population in 344 districts face high or very high health vulnerability due to climate change

  • Effects of climate change include prolonged summers, heavy and unpredictable rains, floods and droughts, rising sea levels, and melting glaciers

  • People exposed to these effects fall ill more often, face future health risks, lose livelihoods, fall into poverty, and are forced to migrate

  • Vulnerability is determined by the dynamics between exposure, sensitivity, and people's ability to adapt or fight

  • Factors such as green cover, living conditions, education, work security, social safety nets, and resilient health systems can help mitigate the consequences of climate change

  • People living on the margins, with insecure livelihoods and healthcare costs, are more vulnerable to climate change

  • The nature of exposure to climate change is diverse and localized, with different regions and districts having different levels of exposure and vulnerabilities

  • Adaptation and mitigation efforts and strategies must be localized to address the specific vulnerabilities of different regions and districts.

  • A recent study analyzed vulnerability to climate change in all 640 districts of India.

  • 298 districts were found to have high or very high levels of exposure to climate change.

  • These districts are home to 52% of India's population.

  • 184 districts have very high and high sensitivity to climate change, affecting almost 30% of India's population.

  • 153 districts have moderate and low adaptive capacities.

  • Increasing public expenditure on health could help reduce vulnerability to climate change.

  • Poorly developed primary healthcare is a major factor contributing to high vulnerability in some districts.

  • Robust primary healthcare has been effective in addressing preventable causes of mortality and morbidity in states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

  • Primary healthcare systems can also help address the burden of non-communicable and communicable diseases exacerbated by climate change.

  • Addressing inequalities in the distribution of social determinants of health can reduce health vulnerability

  • Providing sustainable livelihood opportunities, improving working conditions, providing social safety nets, and improving education and employability can contribute to reducing sensitivity and enhancing ACs

  • Tractable policy action requires a robust and dynamic data system

  • Current health system data architecture is weak and incomplete

  • Institutions with access to data do not often collaborate or share data publicly

  • Limited trust in the data generated within the system

  • Limited compliance from the private sector and lack of appreciation for evidence-based policymaking

  • Institutions of local self-governance need to be engaged with the climate and health agenda

  • The health system should be made more accountable to the people.

  • 38 districts in India have very high vulnerability, 306 districts have high vulnerability, 278 districts have moderate vulnerability, and 18 districts have low vulnerability.

  • The 344 districts with very high and high vulnerability make up 56% of India's population.

  • Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, and Arunachal Pradesh are the states with districts in the top 10% vulnerability range.

  • Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan have the highest number of districts in the top 10% vulnerability range, with 37 and 15 districts respectively.

  • Madhya Pradesh has 3 districts, while Jharkhand and Haryana have 2 each. Punjab, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Arunachal Pradesh have one district each in this category.

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