Daily Current Affairs - 01st March 2023

UPSC Daily Current Affairs – Mains [01st March 2023]

GS 2

Punchhi panel work

Source: IE

In News

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) at the Union level has decided to initiate the process of obtaining fresh comments from the states on the matter.

What is Punchhi Commission Report?

  • The Punchhi Commission Report refers to the findings of a commission established in 2007, led by former Chief Justice of India Madan Mohan Punchhi.
  • The Commission submitted a comprehensive seven-volume report to the Centre in 2010, which focused on reviewing and evaluating the current agreements between the Union and States.
  • Despite being deliberated by the Inter-State Council Standing Committee in 2017 and 2018, the report remains unimplemented.
  • The government has now announced its decision to seek the views of the states again on the report.

Major Recommendations by Puncchi Commission

  • On Finance Commission: Efficient inclusion of states in the formulation of final terms of the contract, review of current cesses and surcharges to reduce contribution to gross tax income, and turning Finance Commission Division into a full-fledged department.
  • On Governor: The governor to be from outside the state and not involved in regional politics, nominated after consulting with the Chief Minister, the establishment of a committee for selecting governors, repeal of the Constitution’s Doctrine of Pleasure, guaranteed tenure of governor with a fair chance to object to removal, and impeachment of governor by the state legislature.
  • On Articles 355 and 356: Changes to Articles 355 and 356 of the Constitution to limit misuse of authority by the Centre.
  • On Communal Violence: Communal Violence Bill amendment to allow temporary deployment of forces in the state without the state’s permission.
  • On Concurrent List: Consultation with states through inter-state council before laws are filed on concurrent list issues.
  • On Internal Security: Development of National Integration Council for issues involving internal security.
  • On pocket veto: Clause mandating notice to the state within six months of the President’s decision to use pocket veto power.
  • On Centre’s diplomatic power: Restriction of the union’s ability to negotiate treaties to those involving subjects on the State list.
  • On Selection of Chief Ministers: Principles for selecting the Chief Minister in number-wise priority: broadest support in Legislative Assembly, head of the party with an absolute majority, a coalition of parties established before elections, largest single party with the backing of other parties, and a post-election coalition of parties with members forming a government and others supporting from outside.

While the appointment of governors from outside the state has been implemented as per the commission’s recommendation, there is still a need for further discussion and development of actionable recommendations that are relevant to current requirements.

India’s Role in the New World Order

Syllabus: International Relations

Source: TH

In News

India should adopt a strategy of engaging with multiple parties rather than aligning with multiple parties.


  • Despite international pressure, India has maintained its stance of not condemning Russia and its actions.
  • This was evident when India chose to abstain from voting on a UN General Assembly resolution that condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The international order in global relations

  • In the aftermath of World War II, a bipolar world led by the U.S. and the Soviet Union came into being.
  • After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the U.S. became the center of a unipolar world.
  • Nevertheless, debates have arisen regarding the decline of American unipolarity and the emergence of a new world order, characterized as multipolar.

The emergence of a new world order is evident through various signs such as the rapid ascent of China, the aggressive foreign policy of Russia, which was demonstrated by the invasion of Ukraine, challenging the post-Cold War security equilibrium in Europe. Additionally, the declining ability of the United States to shape geopolitical outcomes is evident, as seen through its recent withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Shift from unipolarity to multipolarity

  • The shift from unipolarity to multipolarity has resulted in a state of uncertainty, leaving the world in flux.
  • This lack of clarity on the direction the world is headed makes policy-making a daunting task for middle powers such as India.
  • Despite the fact that many governments, including India, Russia, and China, have welcomed the move towards multipolarity, the U.S. continues to be the most dominant military power in the world.

Challenges for India in the new global disorder

  • India faces a new set of challenges in the new global disorder, including the great power contest between the U.S. and China in Asia that is unfolding in India’s neighborhood.
  • While the power imbalance between India and China has tempted India to align with the U.S., doing so would abandon India’s strategic autonomy and limit its options, besides provoking China.
  • In addition to border disputes, China has also developed a strategic partnership with Pakistan and is increasing its influence in other South Asian and Indian Ocean countries.
  • As a result, India faces challenges from China’s rise on all fronts, including its maritime influence.

Russia’s Ukraine invasion and India’s complicated situation

The situation created by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has brought complexity for India in the following ways:

  • Despite Russia’s aggressive foreign policy, India has a longstanding defence relationship with Russia.
  • However, as the West imposes severe sanctions against Russia, India is facing increasing pressure to adopt a more critical stance towards Russia’s actions.
  • Moreover, the West’s efforts to isolate Russia in Europe may push Russia closer towards China, which could have implications for India’s foreign policy.

Way ahead

  • India can learn from China’s strategy of breaking away from the Soviet communist fold in the 1970s and building a quasi-alliance with the U.S.
  • This helped China acquire enough economic and military power to challenge the U.S. gradually.
  • Therefore, India needs to focus on transforming itself economically and militarily to bridge the gap with China.
  • India should position itself as a natural stabilizing power in the Indian Ocean Region and South Asia and a source of prosperity.
  • To address its continental security challenges, India needs to collaborate with Eurasian powers such as Russia and Iran, which are at odds with the U.S.

India should pursue a policy of multi-engagement rather than multi-alignment in a multipolar world, by establishing new pillars of the emerging global order through partnerships with middle powers.

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