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25 January 2017 Question Bank

 

25th JANUARY 2017

QUESTION BANK

(1 Question)

Answer questions in NOT MORE than 200 words each. Content of the answer is more important than its length.

Links are provided for reference. You can also use the Internet fruitfully to further enhance and strengthen your answers.

GS II: BILATERAL - INDIA - UAE

1.      Increasing interest of India in the Gulf region, especially the UAE is for strategic reasons. Elucidate.

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/Bridging-the-Gulf/article17089302.ece

Strategic:

  • In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the UAE, the first by an Indian Prime Minister in 34 years.
  • India’s ties with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are set to get a major boost with the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan, visiting New Delhi as the chief guest at the Republic Day parade.
  • A contingent of 179 UAE soldiers will lead the Republic Day parade. 
  • A Comprehensive Strategic Partnership agreement between India and the UAE was also concluded recently.
  • India’s trade and energy security is inextricably linked to the security of the Straits of Hormuz and Bab-el-Mandeb. With this in mind, the Indian Navy regularly visits Gulf ports, and trains with states in the region.
  • It has undertaken a series of naval exercises with a number of Gulf States in recent years, thereby helping in expanding India’s reach in the region.
  • Indian warships have also been deployed in the Gulf of Aden to carry out anti-piracy patrols.
  • They also hope to work closely in Afghanistan, where five UAE diplomats were killed in January 2017 in a terror attack and where regional alignments are in flux.

Trade and investment:

  • Currently, India and the UAE have a $350 billion bilateral trade, which they plan to increase three times in the near future.
  • After China and the U.S., the UAE is India’s largest trading partner.
  • The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the largest sovereign wealth funds, is seeking to identify investment opportunities in the Indian infrastructure sector. The $75 billion UAE-India Infrastructure Investment Fund, to support investment in India’s infrastructure sector over a decade, has not seen much progress and the two sides are hoping to put it on a fast track.
  • The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is India’s second-largest trading partner, the largest single origin of imports into the country, and the second largest destination for exports from India.
  • The GCC countries supply 45 per cent of India’s petroleum, with the UAE being the sixth largest source of imports of crude oil.
  • The region remains a major destination for Indian investment.
  • India hopes that major GCC states such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Oman will participate in its planned infrastructure expansion.

On terrorism:

  • The joint statement issued by Mr. Modi and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan denounced and opposed terrorism in “all forms and manifestations, wherever committed and by whomever, calling on all states to reject and abandon the use of terrorism against other countries, dismantle terrorism infrastructures where they exist, and bring perpetrators of terrorism to justice.”
  • The target was clearly Pakistan.
  • The UAE, one of the countries closest to Pakistan, endorsing India’s concerns on terrorism underscores the challenges facing the Gulf kingdoms at a time when the Islamic State is rising and sectarian divide in the region is widening.

Expatriate labour

  • In addition, Indians are the largest expatriate community in the GCC states, numbering around 7 million. There are an estimated 2.6 million Indians in the UAE alone.
  • Indian expatriate labour constitutes around 30 per cent of the total population of the UAE, and Indians have a significant presence in Bahrain, Oman, and Qatar.
  • India receives around 52 per cent of its remittances from its Gulf expatriates, which have contributed significantly to India’s economic resurgence, even as there have been growing concerns about the living and working conditions in the host countries.
  • The Gulf states are interested in human resources from India in order to develop sectors as varied as information technology, construction, transportation and services.
  • India is pursuing manpower and labour agreements with Gulf states to help Indian workers in the region.
  • It has also launched the eMigrate system for recruitment of Indian workers across the 17 Emigration Check Required countries.

Conclusion:

  • India is well positioned to emerge as a credible security and economic partner of the UAE and the larger Gulf region at a time when the West is looking inwards and China’s rise is getting hobbled by its aggressive rhetoric on territorial issues. India-UAE ties are an exemplar for the changing Indian approach towards the wider region.

 


 

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