Odisha State Board CHSE Odisha Class 12 Political Science Solutions Unit 4 India in World Politics Long Answer Questions.
CHSE Odisha 12th Political Science Unit 4 India in World Politics Long Answer Questions
Long Type Questions With Answers
Identify the basic principles of India’s foreign policy?
Every sovereign country has its foreign policy. India too has one. Foreign policy refers to the sum total of principles, interests and objectives which a country promotes while interacting with other countries. Even though there are certain basic features of a foreign policy it is not a fixed .concept. The thrust of foreign policy keeps on changing according to changing international conditions. India’s foreign policy is shaped by several factors including its history, culture, geography and economy. Our Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, gave a definite shape to the country’s foreign policy.
Preservation of national interest, achievement of world peace, disarmament, independence for Afro-Asian nations have been important objectives of India’s foreign policy. These objectives are sought to be achieved through some principles viz. Panchsheel; no alignment; anti-colonialism, anti-imperialism, anti-racism, and strengthening the UN. It would be befitting to expand these principles.
What is Panchsheel?
Nehru was a believer in world peace. He understood the linkage between peace for development and survival of mankind. He had seen the destruction caused by the two world wars and therefore realized that for the progress of a nation a long spell of peace was needed. In its absence social and economic priorities relating to development tend to get pushed to the background.
The production of nuclear weapons strengthened Nehru’s faith in the peaceful philosophy even more. Hence he gave utmost importance to world peace in his policy planning. India’s desired peaceful and friendly relations with all countries, particularly the big powers and the neighbouring nations; while signing an agreement with China, on April 28, 1954, India advocated adherence to five guiding principles known as Panchsheel for the conduct of bilateral relations. It includes the following:
- Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
- Mutual non-aggression.
- Mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.
- Equality and mutual benefit.
- Peaceful co-existence.
- The Panchsheel agreement enumerates best the principles of peaceful co-existence with neighbours. It is an important component of India’s foreign policy.
Explain the meaning and significance of non-alignment.
Non-alignment has been regarded as the most important feature of India’s foreign policy. Non alignment aimed to maintain national independence in foreign affairs by not joining any military alliance formed by the USA and Soviet Union in the aftermath of the Second World War. Non-alignment was neither neutrality nor non-involvement nor isolationism.
It was a dynamic concept which meant not committing to any military bloc but taking an independent stand on international issues according to the merits of each case. The policy of non-alignment won many supporters in the developing countries as it provided an opportunity to them for protecting their sovereignty as also retaining their freedom of action during the tension ridden cold war period.
India played an important role in forging the non-aligned movement (NAM). The concept of NAM emerged through a gradual process. Nehru took the initiative to convene the Asian Relations Conference in New Delhi in 1947. Later on a Conference, of 29 countries of Asia and Africa was held in Bandung (Indonesia) in 1955.
This was the first gathering of its kind which pledged to work together for colonial liberation, peace, cultural, economic and political cooperation. Bandung to Belgrade in 1961 where the first NAM conference was held was a logical process to project an alternative to cold war bloc politics and assertion of newly independent countries of their independent and sovereign rights.
Analyse the relevance of non-alignment in the post cold war period.
Cold War was intense rivalry between USA and Soviet Union without fighting a direct war to attract allies in Africa, Asia and Latin America. It started soon after the Second World War and continued for forty five years. These two big countries became two opposite poles known as East and West. The world politics revolved around these two poles. Thus the world became bipolar. Among the non-aligned, Nehru had evolved special relationship with President Tito of Yugoslavia and Nasser of Egypt.
These three are regarded as the founding fathers of the Non-Aligned Movement. The non-aligned movement was a group of the newly independent states who refused to accept the dictates of the former colonial masters and decided to act according to their own judgement on issues of international concern. Non-aligned India and the World movement is anti-imperialist in approach. India as the prime architect of non-alignment and as one of the leading members of the non-aligned movement has taken an active part in its growth.
The Non-Aligned Movement is providing all member states, regardless of size and importance, an opportunity to participate in global decision making and world politics. India hosted the Seventh NAM Summit at New Delhi in 1983. India hoped NAM take up the cause of development, disarmament and the Palestine question.
Since NAM was a product of the cold war scenario and the bipolar world, many scholars have questioned the relevance of NAM after the end of cold war and demise of the Soviet Union. However, even in the present scenario NAM has a significant role to play, First, with the disintegration of Soviet Union, the world faces threat from unipolar world. The NAM can act as a check against US dominance.
Secondly the developed (North) and developing (South) world are divided over several economic issues. The NAM remains a very relevant forum for third world countries to engage the developed nations in a productive dialogue. Moreover, the NAM can prove to be powerful instrument for South-South cooperation. Such a thing is essential if the third world countries are to increase their bargaining power vis-a-vis the developed world. India continues to take active part in the non-aligned movement even after the end of cold war. Finally, the developing countries united under the forum of NAM have to fight for the reform of UN and change it according to the requirements of 21st century.
Explain the major concerns in India’s foreign policy in the post cold war period.
The end of cold war in 1989 has brought about significant changes in the international scene and hence new policy problems for the various states in the developing world including India. The new situation is made by greater uncertainty and complexity. For India, disintegration of the Soviet Union has meant uncertainty on several aspects viz.
supply of weapons system, supply of spare parts, diplomatic support on Kashmir and other politico-strategic issues in and outside the United Nations and as a counter weight to US in South Asia. During the last one decade and a half international politics has undergone major changes.
The cold war has ended, the world has become unipolar, a number of states have disintegrated, cold war military blocs have lost their significance, some such blocs have dissolved and new regional economic blocs are shaping up. Globalisation has given rise to new set of problems such as terrorism, money laundering, proliferation of weapons, global warming etc.
These problems are not endemic to any region but affect all the countries to some extent or the other. This has forced many nation states which were hitherto enemies to cooperate with each other to solve problems which are universal in nature. In this changed international scenario it has become imperative for UN to restructure and reform itself if it is to effectively respond to emerging challenges.
Militancy in Kashmir has emerged as the formost challenge to our foreign policy. Pakistan and the Western countries blamed India for violating human rights and denial of rights to self determination. Gradually, India brought: situation under control. Because of the Kashmir dispute, India’s relations with Pakistan sharply deteriorated. India accused Pakistan of fanning trouble through cross border terrorism in Kashmir and other parts of our country.
India conducted nuclear weapon tests in 1998, followed by Pakistan’s tests. Pakistan resorted to further mischief by secretly sending its soldiers into Kargil in India and the World order to cut off the Kashmir valley from the rest of India. India handled the challenge firmly and effectively. Now engaging Pakistan in a constructive and composite dialogue process remains a challenge to India’s foreign policy, because there is a great deal of push from the United States.
Spread of terrorism to corners beyond Kashmir is a challenge as well as opportunity for our foreign policy nowadays. India is interested in forging anti-terrorism coalition with as many countries as possible. Keeping old friendship and looking for new friendships is another challenge for our foreign policy after the cold war has ended. For example, India is interested in strengthening its relations without damaging its relations with Arab countries.
Similarly,’ India’s foreign policy is tackling new tasks like deepening economic and security cooperation with the United States, while at the same time opposing unilateral actions against Iraq and Yugoslavia. Finally, India is realizing the growing importance of economic aspects of foreign policy. Hence, it is trying to establish a new basis for its relations with neighbouring countries in South Asia, China and the South East Asian counties.
Recognise India’s contribution to UN efforts for peace and disarmament.
The United Nations which came into being on Oct. 24, 1945 has been the most important international organisation since the Second World War. The formal basis for UN activities is the UN charter. The UN has a vital role in world affairs. For more than fifty years UN has helped to manage relations between states and regulate a broad range of international activities.
It has worked to protect the security of people and promote peace and development. One way in which UN has contributed to world peace is by taking up the cause of disarmament India has also contributed immensely to UN’s disarmament efforts. Disarmament is limitation, reduction and possible elimination of dangerous (like nuclear) weapons.
Since independence, India has consistently pursued the objective of global disarmament based on the principles of non-discrimination. Given the destructive capacity of nuclear weapons, India has always believed that a world free of nuclear weapons would enhance global security. Thus India has always advocated that highest priority be given to nuclear disarmament as a first step towards general and complete disarmament.
India has contributed to UN significantly on disarmament in terms of ideas, resolutions, initiatives and bridging differences through action plans. In 1948, India had proposed limiting the use of atomic energy to peaceful purposes and elimination of nuclear weapons from national arsenals. In 1950, India suggested formation of a UN Peace Fund created through peaceful reduction of arms and directing the amount thus released towards development purposes. In 1954, India advocated the cause for a comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty.
India was the first to become party to partial Test Ban Treaty in 1963. Hence India strongly and consistents refused to join the Treaty. In 1964, India took the initiative to place the item ‘non-proliferation of weapons’ on UN agenda. However, the purpose was defeated by the (1968) carried that a large numbering of counties from going nuclear, without firm restrictions on the few nuclear weapon countries activities Nuclear Non¬proliferation Treaty Although our country allged to the oppose to problem.
In 1984, India launched a Six-Nation Five Continent Peace Initiative along with Argentina, Greece, Mexico, Sweden and Tanzania. Four years later (in a joint declaration issued on the occasion of visit of President Gorbachev of Soviet Union the then Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi made a forceful plea for the elimination of nuclear weapons.
The Delhi declaration enumerated ten principles for building a nuclear weapon free world). In 1988, Rajiv Gandhi proposed an Action Plan for ushering in a nuclear weapon free and nonviolent world order. The Action Plan envisaged a binding commitment by all nations to the elimination of nuclear weapons in stages by 2010.
India is also an original signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention, having signed it on Jan. 14, 1993 and was among the first 65 countries to have ratified the treaty. In 1993 India sponsored a resolution on comprehensive test ban along with the US within the overall framework of advancing towards nuclear disarmament. India was distressed when final version of the CTBT was rushed through without consenses. And it failed to address the security reasons of India.
Hence it bravely stood against the steadlity fashion in which some tests use canned while sophisticated nuclear tests were not in a way, India’s conduct of nuclear tests in 1998 could we linked to the unfair framework of CTBT, though many initially misunderstood India’s tests as a negative development for disarmament; India pledged to continue to work for inaugural and non-discriminaly nuclear disarmament.
Explain India’s participation in UN peace keeping and its claim for a permanent seat in the Security Council.
India’s history of participation in UN peacekeeping operations is a long one. India’s contribution has been described as excellent by many political observers. In UN. India’s contribution has been acknowledged by members of the international communities.
Peace keeping stands for prevention, containment and termination of hostilities between or within states through the non offensive activities of multinational forces of soldiers, police and civilian people sent unto the authority of the United Nations with the consent of the countries concerned. Peacekeeping nations changed in its scope and nature according to needs of a conflict situation.
India has taken part in 35 of UN peacekeeping operations in four continents. Its most significant contribution has been to peace and stability in Africa and Asia. Presently India is ranked as the largest troop contributor to UN.
The saga of India’s role in UN peace keeping began with the establishment of the United Nation’s Emergency Force (UNEF) in the Gaza strip and the Sinai in 1956 after Israeli war against Egypt ended.The Congo in Africa benefitted significantly from troop presence. India’s contributed to keep unity and integrity of that history in 1960s.
After the end of cold war, India’s contribution to UN peacekeeping remains significant equaly, if not more, military personal at the request of the United Nations Secretery General to Angola, Cambodia, Somalia, El Salvador and Sierra Leone etc. Many of these countries were victims of chaos caused by civil wars. No government machinery collapsed or was discredited. India sent not just troops, but police, doctors, engineers and administrators.
As you already know, the efficiency of peace maintenance in the world depends on the effectiveness of the Security Council but the Council has suffered in this regard due to its outdated, unchanged membership.
Presently the permanent membership of the Security Council is confined to US, Russia, Great Britain, France and China. However, such composition of the Security Council does not take into account the current global power configuration which has changed since the days when these countries were inducted as permanent members.
Since India has emerged as the fourth fastest growing economy and also because of the leadership it has provided in all international fora, its contribution to UN peacekeeping, its track record in espousing the cause of the third world, India has a strong case for a permanent seat in the Security Council. We are getting support from many friendly countries. A final decision on the matter is likely to take some time, because of its complexity.
India and China are the two great giants of Asia- Explain.
Besides being the most populous countries, they are also two of the most ancient civilisations of the world. Historically, several historians have successfully traced the cultural linkages dating back to 2nd century BC. As a result of the communist revolution in 1949, China became the People’s Republic of China (PRC), under the leadership of Mao Tse Tung.
Nehru regarded India as China’s rival for the leadership of the non-white people of the world. India, on the other hand, tried India and the World its best to come close to China. It was the first non-communist country to recognise communist China in 1949. India fully supported China’s claim for membership in the United Nations. It also acknowledged China’s claim over Formosa (Taiwan).
It refused to be a party to peace treaty with Japan without China. In the Korean crisis too, India refused to brand China as aggressor when China intervened on behalf of North Korea. In fact, India supported China even though the Western bloc especially USA was displeased with it.
Nehru’s China policy received the first jolt in 1950, when China occupied Tibet in 1950. It is important to remember in this context that India had long term interests in Tibet because it was a buffer lying between India and China. India even enjoyed certain special privileges in Tibet. Therefore direct Chinese control over Tibet was likely to endanger these, and India’s security.
India’s suggestions for a peaceful settlement of the Tibet problem were treated as interference by the communist regime. Gradually the Tibetans grew restless under China’s yoke and rose in revolt in 1959. China ruthlessly suppressed the movement and declared Tibet as an integral part of China. The head of Tibet, Dalai Lama took shelter in India while Tibet lost whatever autonomy it still enjoyed.
The granting of political shelter to Dalai Lama by India added to China’s distrust. China appreciated India’s neutral and mediatory role in easing the Korean problem (1950-53). Thus, began a period of friendship between the two countries, with the signing of the Sino-Indian Treaty of friendship in 1954. This treaty put a seal of approval upon Chinese suzerainty over Tibet.
The Preamble of the treaty embodies the famous ‘Panchsheel Principles’ about which you have studied (lesson number 26). This agreement initiated a period of relaxed relationship, marked by the slogan of Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai. It is interesting to note that at the Bandung Conference (1955), Nehru actively brought China into the hold of the Afro-Asian solidarity.
Write about the Boundary Dispute between India and China.
The 1950s were marked by the boundary dispute between India and China, the- flash point of which unfortunately caused a war between the two countries in 1902. China first started to claim large parts of Indian territory in North East Frontier Agency (NEFA, now Arunachal Pradesh) and Ladakh by publishing maps in which these were shown as included in China. China continued extending its borders and also constructed a 110 mile long road -across Aksai China area (Ladakh) of India in 1956-57.
In 1959, China put claim to some 50, appa sq. miles of Indian territory and also denied the validity of McMahon Line. By. this time Tibet had been fully integrated into China; it was in a strong position at the India-China border with Chinese troops posted all along.
While the two countries were m dispute over the McMahon line issue, China launched a massive attack on India in October. 1962, in the NEFA as well as the Ladakh sector. After overrunning large areas of Indian territory, China announced a unilateral ceasefire after occupying huge territory of India-200’s Question miles in the North Eastern sector and 15,000 s Question miles in Ladakh.
A futile attempt to work out a peaceful settlement between the two countries was made by Sri Lanka. The Colombo Proposals failed because China refused to agree on conditions contained in them. For long in the years following the war, China-India relations did not show any improvement. In fact, China went out of the way to make friends with Pakistan, just to isolate and contain India.
Discuss Normalisation of Relations restored between India and Pakistan.
Although the two countries resumed diplomatic relations in 1976 by exchanging ambassadors. The efforts of normalisation of Sino-Indian relations received a boost when then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi paid a successful five day visit to China in 1988. The two countries pledged to settle the border dispute through dialogue.
Several high level visits followed including visit by Ex-Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2003. The two countries agreed to keep the border dispute apart and develop friendly relations in other fields. Until the border dispute is resolved, both countries agreed to maintain peace and tranquillity on the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
One could see a clear shift in the Chinese attitude towards India. The fact that erstwhile USSR had mended fences with China, there were no more apprehensions from the South. Moreover, China’s post-1979 economic transformation demanded big markets for its massive production under economic liberalisation.
President Jiang Zemin’s visit.to India in 1996 witnessed a major consolidation of this progress. This was first ever visit of China’s head of State to India. China’s withdrawal of support to Naga and Mizo rebels; meaningful silence on the status of Sikkim (China considered Sikkim’s status as that of an independent state) and a neutral stand on Kashmir issue could be seen as positive shift in Chinese attitude towards India.
Nevertheless, there was suddenly a brief setback in the mutual ties of the two after the nuclear explosions by India during 1998. These were followed by sharp Chinese reaction and its leading role in getting the resolutions condemning the tests in UN and similar fora, passed. These tests by India were seen as neutralising Chinese prominence in the region.
But the Chinese posture of neutrality during thp Indo-Pak military showdown in Kashmir, Kargil sector in 1999 exhibited China’s inclination to toe a softer and friendly line with India. In fact, Chinese refusal to interfere in the conflict forced Pakistan for cessation of hostilities with India.
However, Ex-Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s 2003 visit to China is a renewed effort in the promotion of close and cordial ties between the two neighbours. The border agreement has recognised the Nathula Pass in Sikkim as a border pass, implying that China no more considers Sikkim- as an independent state.
Another positive breakthrough was the Joint Declaration that underlined the need to explore a framework of a boundary settlement at political level of bilateral relations. This is an acknowledgement that the key issue in resolving the dispute is political.
This is seen as Beijing’s readiness to give up its policy of delaying dialogue. India’s National Security Advisor and Chinese Vice Minister have been appointed for holding the tasks. The developments at the diplomatic and political levels have been supplemented by fresh initiatives at the economic level to strengthen bilateral relations. The border trade between India and China has crossed $ 10 billion quickly.
India Pakistan relationship.
No two countries in the world have so much in common as India and Pakistan. Yet they have perpetually been in a state of undeclared war with varying degree of intensity. Pakistan’s aggression in Kargil (1999) brought the two countries even on the verge of a nuclear confrontation. The legacy of suspicion and mistrust predates the partition of India in 1947. During the freedom struggle the Muslim League, under the leadership of Mohammad Ali Jinnah propounded the two-nation theory, in support of a separate Muslim state.
Jinnah insisted that since Hindus and Muslims, were two communities, two separate states must be constituted for the two communities. The Indian National Congress (INC)’s long rejection of and reluctant acceptance of partition gave room for suspicion in Pakistan that India would try to undo the partition and divide Pakistan.
Moreover, Pakistan was concerned at the possibility of India’s domination in the region and its inability to match India’s power all by itself. Pakistan developed a perception that it is an incomplete state without Kashmir being incorporated into it. On the other hand, India perceives Kashmir’s accession and integration into India as an essential element of its secular and federal democratic structure.
Discuss about the problems of The Kashmir Issue.
At the time of partition Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) was one of those several princely states, the fate of which was left uncertain in 1947. Pakistan desired that Kashmir with Muslim majority population should join Muslim country, Pakistan. But the popular leader of National Congress opposed Pakistan’s ideology.
Maharaja Hari Singh did not take a decision until Pakistan sent armed intruders into the Kashmir valley in October 1947. Seeking Indian help to repulse the Pakistani intruders Maharaja signed the ‘Instrument of Accession’ making Jammu and Kashmir a part of Indian Union.
On this occasion, as true democrat, Prime Minister Nehru assured that after Pakistani aggression was cleared* the future status of the state would be decided on the basis of wishes of the people of Kashmir. Since India did not want an open clash with Pakistan, it referred the matter to the United Nations.
Indian forces saved Srinagar from the invaders, pushed back the Pakistanis from the Kashmir Valley. But the whole of Kashmir could not be recaptured, at it would have meant direct and difficult war between the two new nations. India sought United Nations help in 1948. A ceasefire came to be implemented on January 1, 1949.
It left a large part of Jammu and Kashmir (nearly 2/5 of the State) under Pakistan’s possession, which We call Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK). In 1950s the UN mediators put forward several plans to resolve the dispute, but they failed to bridge the differences between the two countries.
The problem of Kashmir is still pending. Plebiscite was to be conducted only after Pakistan withdrew its forces from the occupied territory, as per the UN*resolution of 1948, which Pakistan refused to comply. Hence India pleaded that the wishes of the people were ascertained in 1954 in the form the direct election to the Constituent Assembly which satisfied the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India. The mediation come to an end.
Pakistan was desperate to capture Kashmir. Thinking that India’s army was weak after defeat in the war with China in 1962, Pakistan tried through a war to take Kashmir in 1965. But Indian forces defeated the Pakistani designs. Moreover, Pakistan suffered another humiliation, when its eastern wing, 1000 miles away from West Pakistan successfully waged independence struggle in 1971.
India played a key role in the war to liberate Bangladesh. The birth of Bangladesh proved to be the final burial of two-nation theory on the basis of which Pakistan put a claim to Kashmir. Pakistan was reduced to one-fourth of the size of India.
This altered the power equation in South Asia in India’s favour. In order to normalise relations India invited Pakistan for an agreement, the result of which was the Shimla Pact of 1972.
This Shimla agreement however bears important significance as the two countries agreed to seek the settlement of all bilateral problems, including Kashmir, mutually without the intervention of any third party. Thus under the Shimla Pact, the Kashmir issue cannot be raised in international or any other forum, although Pakistan has not hesitated to ignore the sprit of the agreement. The agreement also talked about the return of Prisoners of War (POW).
Though Pakistan’s territory in India’s possession was returned, a new cease-fire line (in place of the old cease-fire line of 1948-49) was drawn, which is known as the LoC, Pakistan found ways other than open war to destabilise India by encouraging and assisting terrorism in Punjab, and the State-sponsored militancy in Jammu and Kashmir since the mid 1980s.
Pakistan still continues to encourage terrorist and separatist tendencies in Kashmir, operatirigtnainly from terrorist training camps situated in POK.
The sanctity of the LoC that came to be agreed upon between India and Pakistan under the Shimla Agreement of 1972, was violated by Pakistan in May 1999 as a part of a big plan. This was done when the Pakistani forces infiltrated into India, after crossing the line of control in Kargil, Drass and Batelik sectors of J &K. Indian army once again gave a befitting defeat in a war that continued for about 60 days.
The purpose of Pakistani operation in Kargil was to create a crisis with a threat of nuclear war, which would in turn ensure intervention by the United States in its favour on Kashmir dispute. Neither United States nor China came to Pakistan’s help. In fact, Pakistan had a diplomatic and military defeat.
Discuss about Nuclear Tests and Efforts Towards Improvement of Relations.
Indo-Pakistan relations acquired an entirely new dimension in the context Of nuclear tests by both India and Pakistan in May 1998. The relations between the two neighbours hit a India and the World new low. India has been facing a nuclear threat arising out of China’s clandestine support to build up of the nuclear weapon capability of Pakistan since the mid-seventies.
No doubt, Pakistan’s nuclear policy is targeted against India The extreme bitterness and tension between India and Pakistan in the aftermath of the nuclear tests of May 1998 did bring with it an increasing realisation on both sides that things could not continue in the same manner indefinitely. That, some meeting ground between the two neighbours has to be found.
Thus, foreign secretary level talks started, and a direct bus service between Delhi and Lahore was proposed. Prime Minister Vajpayee’s Bus Diplomacy in 1999 marked a tremendous goodwill between the two countries. The Lahore Declaration signed at the time underlined the need for resolving all outstanding issues, including that of Kashmir, through peaceful meAnswer: While India agreed to bring Kashmir onto the agreed agenda along with other areas of mutual benefits, Pakistan conceded to bilateralism.
The reference to the ‘composite and integrated’ dialogue process implied that the two would not be a hostage to any single issue. Despite the rupture caused by the Kargil war and the terrorist attack against our Parliament (December 2001) the unconditional dialogue has been resumed.
The emphasis in these talks is to promote people to people contacts across LoC, and also improve economic ties between India and Pakistan. Change of government in India has not meant any deviation from our commitment to peaceful and prosperous co-existence with Pakistan.
India Relation with Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka, earlier known as Ceylon (until 1972), is a small island country situated in the Indian Ocean to the south of India. Its total area is 25,332 s Question miles. Of all countries, it has geographical proximity to India. Only 18 miles wide shallow water in the Palk Straits separates Jaffna in northern Sri Lanka from the Southernmost tip of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
Its geostrategic location in the Indian Ocean (at the centre of commercial and strategic sea and air routes) and its closeness to US naval base in Deigo Garcia indicates its importance far beyond its size, population and resources. The history of cultural relations between India and Sri Lanka dates back to the ancient times.
Out of the total population of Sri Lanka, about 64 percent believe in Buddhism and about 15 percent believe in Hinduism. Sri Lanka became a British colony in early 19th century. It was granted independence on February 4,1948. India-Sri Lanka relations have generally been cordial, though there have been occasions of tense relations due to the ethnic conflict between Tamils and the Sinhalese.
Despite ethnic problems, India has never sought to impose its will on Sri Lanka and has always based its foreign policy towards this southern neighbour on mutual understanding and friendship.
An important area of common interest between the two neighbours is the foreign policy of non-alignment. Sri Lanka has generally stood neutral in Sino-Indian disputes. In fact, it made efforts to mediate between India and China after the war of 1962. Sri Lanka also showed understanding when India become nuclear. Recently in 2005, India extended valuable help to Sri Lanka after Tsunami devastated the coastal areas of that country.
Write about the Problem of Indian Tamils.
Jaffna province of Sri Lanka has large concentration of Tamil population. The problem became serious when Tamilians began demanding a national homeland or “Eelam” in northern Sri Lanka. It is important to understand that there are essentially two categories of Tamilians in Sri Lanka: The Ceylon Tamils whose forefathers had migrated to Sri Lanka centuries ago.
They are estimated to be one million. The second category is of Indian Tamils whose forefathers were taken by the Britishers as plantation workers in the 19th century. They are another one million, many of them without citizenship. The problem of their status dominated early India-Sri Lanka relations. The conflict with Ceylon Tamils came later. The Sinhalese fear Tamil domination, which is the principal reason behind the ethnic conflict.
The difference between the two communities was exploited by British rulers in order to check the growing Sinhalese nationalism. The Tamils were allowed to enter the administration structure and thus gradually took control of the trade and profession. Scarce economic resources and opportunities plus the majority pressure from its own people forced the Government of Sri Lanka to pass series of steps to reducing the importance of Tamils- Indian and the Ceylonese.
The representation of Tamilians in public service in 1948 was 30 percent, but by 1975 it had fallen to mere 5 percent. The Sinhalese were encouraged to settle down in Tamil dominated areas in large numbers. The citizenship law of 1948 and 1949 had deprived about 10 lakh Indian Tamils of political rights. The Tamil youth who had lost faith in non-violence organised themselves into Liberation Tigers. The aim of these ‘Tigers’ is a sovereign Tamil State of Eelam.
The issue of Tamilians, and the policy pursued by government cast a dark shadow on Indo-Sri Lanka relations. India from time to time complained against the discriminatory policy of the Ceylon government. The agreement of 1964 sought to solve the problem of stateless persons (Indian Tamils) in Sri Lanka.
About 3 lakhs of these people were to be granted Sri Lankan citizenship and about 5 lakh 25 thousand persons were to be given citizenship of India. These people were given 15 years time to shift to India in instalments.
Later in 1974, the fate of the rest 1 lakh 50 thousand stateless persons was decided. It was agreed between the two countries that half of them were to be given citizenship of Sri Lanka and rest would become Indian nationals. Thus, the issue of stateless persons was sorted out peacefully between the two countries.
A territorial dispute arose between India and Sri Lanka over the ownership of one mile India and the World long and only 300 yard wide small island known as Kacchativu, in 1968. In 1974 under the agreement signed between the two countries, India accepted Sri Lankan ownership of the island.
Short Notes on Tamil Separatism.
The ethnic problem between Tamils and Sinhalese had a long history. It assumed serious proportions in 1983. As the gulf between the communities developed, militancy, separatist organisations became active. Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) demanded separate homeland for Tamils in 1988 – Tamil Eelam. A reign of terror was unleashed against the agitating Tamils in 1983. During 1983 – 86, about 2 lakh Tamils were rendered homeless. The worst racial riots in the history of the country made thousands of Tamils refugees in India.
India offered to help resolve the crisis but it was interpreted as “Indian intervention in Sri Lanka” on behalf of the Tamils. When the situation became grim, India and Sri Lanka signed an agreement in 1987. India offered military assistance under the Accord. Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) was sent to Sri Lanka to help restore normalcy in the country.
The deployment of IPKF was also an extension of India’s policy of reminding Sri Lanka and outside powers that if their involvement inside the region were to have an anti-Indian orientation, New Delhi would not remain a mute spectator.
Though the accord of 1987 was a triumph of Indian diplomacy, it proved to be costly for India. India lost about 1200 soldiers and it costed Rs. 2 crore a day on IPKF in the height of its involvement. The worst part was that the Tamils turned against IPKF and a fighting broke out between the two. Rajiv Gandhi, the architect of India-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987 was assassinated in 1991 at the behest of LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran.
Short notes on Areas of Mutual Cooperation.
Systematic efforts at strengthening economic ties have been taken by India and Sri Lanka since the 1990s, especially after the withdrawal of Indian troops. In 1998, the two countries set up an Indo Sri Lankan Foundation for increasing bilateral exchanges in various fields. They have agreed on a free trade area to facilitate trade, which has gone up greatly.
India encouraged Sri Lanka to invite the peace process between the Tamils and the Sinhalese. In 1998 Sri Lanka invited Norway to work out a peaceful solution to the ethnic problem. India stands for unity of Sri Lanka The greatest milestone of this process was the cease-fire agreement of2002 between LTTE and Sri Lanka and the revival of the dialogue between the two.
From India’s long term point of view, Norway recognised India’s legitimate interests in Sri Lanka and stated that it has no desire to come in the way of any Indian initiative to end the conflict in the region.
Trace the origins of the United Nations (UN).
The first half of the twentieth century witnessed two World Wars that caused death to 80million people. Each of those wars strengthened the determination of world leaders and people to set up institutions for peaceful world. Even before the complete defeat of the enemy countries (viz. Germany, Japan, and Italy)in the Second World War, the allied powers led by the USA, former Soviet Union and the UK started planning an organization in place of the League of Nations.
The US president, Roosevelt’ and the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill signed the Atlantic Charter in August 1941 indicating their desire for a post-war peace institution.
Then, a series of conferences followed at Moscow, Teheran, Dumbarton Oaks and Yalta to discuss various ideas and proposals. Finally, the United States hosted the San Francisco Conference in early 1945 to finalise and sign the Charter of the new organisation, the ‘United Nations’.
The United Nations was established on 24th October 1945. Since then, we celebrate 24th October as UN Day. The Charter is the Constitution of the United Nations. It lists the purposes of the organization,the principles guiding the conduct of both the United Nations and its member countries, the principal organs along with their composition and powers.
Purposes and Principles of the organisation of UN.
The Charter indicates, at the very beginning, four broad objectives of the United Nations. They are:
- to maintain international peace and security through collective measures for
suppression of aggression and through peaceful settlement of disputes;
- to develop friendly relations among countries based on full respect for the principle of equality and self-determination;
- to achieve international cooperation in the economic, social, cultural or humanitarian fields, and
- to encourage respect for “human rights and fundamental freedoms.
In pursuit of the above objectives, both the United Nations and its member states are required to adhere to a set of important guiding principles. The foremost among them is the principle of equality among countries whether big or small, strong or weak. The United Nations will not interfere in the domestic matters of the member countries.
The member states of the United Nations are expected to resolve their disputes with other states in a peaceful manner without endangering international peace and security. Further, the member states should refrain from threats or use of force against another member. It is the duty of the members to assist the United Nations in the enforcement of peace.
As we have already noted, the maintenance of international peace and security is a very important purpose of the UN. Other purposes are complementary to the purpose of peace. In discussing the role of the UN, we should bear in mind one basic aspect of the world body. It is a political body serving its member governments in the context of global politics. Neither the preferences of governments, nor the trends in international politics are static; they change from time to time.
Hence, in the exercise of its powers, the UN cannot be rigid, mechanical or uniform. The role of the UN is marked, therefore, by flexibility and pragmatism. Generally, the UN preferred not to take a harsh view or condemn the aggressor country whenever it received complaints on a breach of peace. Instead, it directed its efforts to stop the fighting immediately and to seek withdrawal of troops to pre-war locations.
The composition and function of General Assembly.
Among the principal organs, the General Assembly is the central body. The principles of sovereign equality and universality are embodied in its composition. All members of the United Nations (presently! 91) are members of the General Assembly. Irrespective of size or strength, every member has one vote in the Assembly.
A vote cast by the United States, for example, is equivalent to the vote of Bhutan or Cuba. The Assembly discusses problems brought to it, makes recommendations on peace and security questions, admits new members, and adopts UN budget. On important matters, it adopts resolutions with the support of two-third majority. Procedural decisions require only a simple majority. The Assembly meets in regular session every year. It has convened 59 such sessions so far.
The Assembly also meets, when need arises, in special sessions and emergency special sessions. The General Assembly is some times called as the world parliament. It can discuss any matter. It discusses matters which include peace and security questions, environmental protection, economic development, problems of colonial administration, disarmament, refugees, population explosion, use of global commons like outer space and deep seaboard.
It can only make recommendations. As part of this function, the Assembly has adopted a number of important declarations containing principles of international cooperation in political, economic, social and other matters. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), the Declaration on Decolonisation (1960), Declaration on New International Economic Order (1974), Declaration on Rights of the Child (1989), Declaration on International Terrorism (1994) are only a few examples.
They are common goals desirable for governments to implement in their national policies and programmes. The Declarations are not binding on countries. Yet, they carry great moral and political weight. Therefore, governments find it difficult to ignore them.
The Assembly has also adopted several laws like the covenant on civil, political, economic rights of individuals, the laws of exploitation of seas, laws prohibiting or controlling chemical and biological weapons, and so on. These laws are not like the laws of our Parliament which are automatically binding on all of us whereas these international laws and convention sare legally binding only on those states that agree to comply with them.
The Assembly elects members of various organiser: It appoints the Secretary General. It supervises the work of the Economic and Social Council, the Security Council, the Trusteeship Council and other bodies. The Assembly has the power to approve the budget of the United Nations and to apportion the amount among all the member countries.
The composition and function of Security Council.
The Security Council is the most powerful decision-making body of the United Nations. It has the main responsibility to maintain international peace and security. The Council is a contrast from the General Assembly, in respect of both its composition and the decision-making procedure. Unlike the Assembly, the membership of the Council is limited to 15 countries only, out of which five are permanent members. These five countries are China, France, Russia, the UK and the USA.
The remaining ten members- called non-permanent members are elected by the General Assembly for a term of two years. They represent different geographical regions of the world like Asia, Africa, Latin America, Western and Eastern Europe. It was initially hoped that its small size could make it easy for the Council to take decisions on procedural matters by nine affirmative votes (simple majority).
On substantive questions, the nine affirmative votes should include concurring vote of the permanent members. In other words, the Council cannot take decisions of major significance if any one of the five permanent members casts a negative vote. This special privilege of the permanent members is popularly known as the veto power. To abstain from voting in the Security Council is not veto.
The veto provision has faced criticism from the very beginning. The veto power dilutes the principle of sovereign equality of member countries. The power and functions of the Security Council are limited to the task of maintenance of international peace and security. In case, a dispute arises between two or more countries the Council can make appropriate recommendations in the interest of peaceful settlement of the dispute.
Nevertheless, these recommendations are not binding on the unwilling states. For example, on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, the Security Council resolutions are not legally binding on either India or Pakistan unless both countries willingly accept them. The Council can use extraordinary power to deal with wars or threats of war between countries.
In such an event, the Council can determine who the aggressor is and can call for necessary steps to restore peace. These steps may include, at the discretion of the Council, economic sanctions like freezing of assets abroad, banning of exports and imports, or military action by land, sea or air.
Notably, whenever the Security Council takes such steps, they are binding not only on the states directly involved in the war but also on all members of the United Nations. Once, the Security Council takes a decision, it is the duty of the member countries to carry out decisions. Obviously, the Council can take such important decisions only with the agreement among the permanent members. In the recent years, after the end of the cold war, the Council has frequently used its binding powers to deal with various problems of international peace and security.
The role of the Security Council in discharging its functions depends on the specific circumstances of each case and the existence of broad agreement among the five permanent members. It is important to note that the Security Council has imposed varying sets of economic and diplomatic sanctions against 25 countries so far. These sanctions included cutting off diplomatic relations, stopping of oil imports and exports, banning weapons supplies, freezing of assets abroad, etc.
Haiti, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, South Africa were among the targets of these sanctions. Since no armed forces are placed under the UN to fight an aggressor even after five decades of the Charter’s commitment to it, it has requested member countries to contribute towards such a force to take military action for restoring peace.
The Economic and Social Council.
The Economic and Social Council works to promote international cooperation in economic and social fields. It comprises 54 members all of whom are elected for a term of three years by the General Assembly, giving representation to various geographical regions. Decisions are taken by a simple majority of members present and voting. It considers international economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems. The Council has set up commissions to study and advise on the status of women, population, human rights, etc.
It has the power to coordinate the activities of various specialized agencies like the International Labour Organisation, the World Health Organisation etc. (which are discussed in a separate lesson in this book). Another important function of the Council is to bring Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to take part in its deliberations.
The powers of the Council are quite modest as compared to its responsibilities. By means of study, discussion and coordination, the Council is expected to promote full employment, higher standards of living and solution of international economic and social problems.
The Trusteeship Council.
The Trusteeship Council was created to supervise the working of the international trusteeship system. All the 11 territories, originally placed under the trusteeship system have become free. Now that there is no trust territory to be administered, the Trusteeship Council has ceased to play an active role in the UN system and does not hold meetings. The Charter has to be amended to dissolve this organ.
The International Court of Justice.
The International Court of Justice, known as the World Court, located at The Hague (The Netherlands), is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. The Court consists of 15 judges; who are elected jointly by the General Assembly and the Security Council for a term of nine years. Let us not confuse this court with national court like the Supreme Court of India. Only member nations, not private individuals, can bring cases before the Court. And the judgements are not binding. So far the Court has handled 72 cases.
The Secretariat General comprises the international staff posted at the UN headquarters, New York and other locations throughout the world. They are expected to be impartial and independent in the discharge of their responsibilities, the United Nations and not any particular member country.
The Chief of the Secretariat is the Secretary General who is appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council for a term of five years. Since the inception of the Organization, six persons have served as the Secretary-General.
They are; Trygve Lie of Norway, Dag Hammarskjold of Sweden (1953 – 61), U Thant of Myanmar (1961 – 71), Kurt Waldheim of Austria (1972 – 96) and Javier Perez De Cuellar of Peru (1982 – 91) Boutros Boutros-Ghali of Egypt (1992 – 96) Kofi Annan from Ghana. Presently, Ban Kimoon of South Korea is occupying this prestigious office.
Fight against Colonialism and Racism.
As we know India was a British colony for nearly 200 years before Independence in 1947 India was not alone to come under colonial rule. Most parts of Africa and Asia. were not free in 1945 when the United Nations was set up. For UN, ending colonial rule became essential for achieving world peace and progress. Freeing millions of people from foreign colonial rule is a historic achievement of the UN.
The UNs anti-colonial territories covered two categories of dependent population. They were the trust territories for which UN was directly responsible. Then there were several territories administered by western colonial powers like Britain, France, etc.
‘Trust’ territories were placed under the responsibility of the UN until the people of the territories concerned would be able to determine freely their future status. Cameroon, Nauru, New Guinea, the Pacific Islands, Rwanda-Urundi, Somaliland, Tanganyika, Togoland were among them. By 1994 all trust territories became free with the help provided by the UN.
Seven have become independent and four chose to merge with the neighbouring countries. The UN interest in the liberation for subject people extended beyond trust territories.
Its built up this campaign against colonialism was the adoption of the Declaration of Decolonisation by the General Assembly in 1960, demanding immediate independence of all colonial territories and populations. Since that time, 60 territories have become free under the sustained pressure built in the UN.
Namtria, Eritrea, East Timor are among the recent examples of successful fight against colonialism. There are now only very few like western Sahara waiting to exercise their free choice. There is some confusion that the fight against colonialism blesses the right of some disgruntled people to separate from their newly formed independent state. Right to- ‘self-determination’ applies to people under foreign colonial rule only.
The UN opposition to racism in South Africa known as apartheid-is also remarkable. The organizations interest in the matter dates back to early 1946. South African white minority regime did not pay heed to the gentle pleas by the UN. Later pressure was built to force white South African government to end its policy of discrimination against the Black population.
South African teams were passed to participate in international sports events. The Security Council joined the effort later by banning arms sales. South Africa felt the heat and agreed to end its policy in 1993. The widely respected black leader, Nelson Mandela was released after 27 years of imprisonment. The apartheid laws were revoked.
Internationally supervised free elections were held, leading to the installation of a government under President Mandela in 1994. Soon afterwards, the UN revoked all previous punishments and restored to the new South Africa its rightful place in the world body.
Promotion of Human Rights.
Promotion of human rights culture through worldwide human rights standards has been another major contribution of the United Nations. Nearly 80 declarations and conventions touching upon various facets of human rights have been adopted by the UN in the past five decades. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was the first among the UN declarations.
The day of its adoption-10 December 1948 is observed every year as the Human Rights day. The Declaration contains a broad range of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights that all people are entitled to, without any discrimination. Admittedly, the Universal
Declaration, as any declaration, is not binding on governments.
However, it gave inspiration to the drafting of two legally binding covenants, one on economic, social and cultural rights and the other on civil and political rights. Both these covenants became applicable to the signatory states from 1976 onwards. These two covenants, together with the universal declaration, are known as ‘the International Bill of Rights.
The covenant on economic, social and cultural rights highlights the right to work in just condition, the right to adequate standard of living and the right to social protection. The Covenant on civil and political rights emphasizes freedom of movement, equality before the law, freedom of religion, freedom of participation in elections, and protection of minority rights.
A specially constituted committee monitors the compliance of the signatory states to this covenant on HR. A remarkable feature is the UN is empowered under the civil and political rights covenant to receive and redress complaints from individuals against the behavior of their own respective governments.
The UN has adopted other declarations and covenants with the aim of stopping the practice of torture and racial discrimination or protecting vulnerable section like children, women and migrant workers
The activities of the UN include the convening of periodical conferences on human rights. Recently, in 1993 the UN organized at Vienna an international conference on Human rights. Acting upon the recommendations of the conference, the General Assembly appointed in 1994 the UN high commissioner for HR whose task is to promote more scrupulous respect for human rights throughout the world.
Need for Re-Structureing the United Nation.
Although the United Nations has done a responsible job there are some obstacles which limit its performance. For example, a few organs of the United Nations have not changed, though the changes in the world around require it. Let us look at the Security Council as an example. Unlike the General Assembly; the permanent membership of the Security CounciLis limited to 15 countries only.
Out of that, P-5 (China, France, Russia, UK and USA) are permanent. They were given permanent status in 1945 due to some historical arid political reasons. The remaining ten members are non-permanent members elected by the General Assembly for a term of two years. This arrangement is six decades old, when most of Africa and Asian countries were not part of the United Nations. Now with membership of the world body rising by four times, the council’s composion needs to be suitably changed.
There is a strong case to add a few countries like India as permanent members. The member of non-permanent members should also be increased so that different countries can get a feeling that the Council works for their future. The Third World countries are of the opinion that United Nations is an agent of Western countries especially the United States. To correct this image, the number of Permanent members has to be increased.
Japan, India, Germany, Brazil and Nigeria are the claimant for it. Japan and Germany are no longer enemy states and because of their economic strength and contribution to the UN budget are considered as the most eligible for permanent membersnip of the Security Council. India’s contribution in several UN Peacekeeping forces and its active role in peace making processes facilitates its obvious claim to be a permanent member of the Council.
India has been a founder member of the United Nations. Besides India is the second largest populous country and is the largest democracy in the world.
Explain the working of the United Nations Development programme (UNDP).
The United Nations structure for planning, coordinating, administering and implementing its economic and social programmes is vast and decentralized. At the apex of the structure are the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The General Assembly provides general direction and supervision for economic and social activities.
ECOSOC concentrates solely on this work and has operated with the assistance of functional commissions. These are the Statistical Commission, Human Rights Commission, the Commission on the Status of Women, the Commission for Social Development, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.
There are also regional economic commissions, which focus on the problems salient to their geographical areas. Five such commissions have been established: the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE); the Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESC AP), the Economic Commission for Latin America, the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the Economic Commission for Western Asja.
A number of other bodies exist in the economic and. social field which are not as directly subject to ECOSOC direction or control but which are closely related to ECOSOC activities.
These agencies include :
(1) the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
(2) The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)
(3) The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCR)
(4) The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
(5) The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
(6) World Food Programme
(7) The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
There are Specialized Agencies of the United Nations. Though these agencies are part of the UN system, they function independently of United Nations organs and are generally described as autonomous organizations. Each has its own headquarters, constitution, staff and budget. Each was created in the same manner as the United Nations by an international conference. Membership of these specialized agencies and membership of the United Nations is not identical.
These agencies are universal in membership. States which are not UN members can be admitted as the members of the specialized agencies (see box) Each specialized Agency is an inter-government agency and is established by international treaty or by an agreement between the agency and the United Nations.
This agreement is negotiated between the agency and ECOSOC subject to approval by the General Assembly. There are about 15 specialized agencies, which operate in affiliation with the United Nations, we shall identify and describe the activities of following UN development agencies, such as UNDP, UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), the United National Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the World Bank.
Describe the role of UNICEF in promoting the welfare of children.
Created in 1946, UNICEF concentrates exclusively on the task of improving the lot of disadvantaged children. UNICEF has undertaken projects on health, education, malaria eradication, nutrition, rural development, family and child welfare and emergency aid to promote child welfare. In recognition of its social and humanitarian efforts, UNICEF was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1965.
It focuses on India in a very big way. UNICEF has made an important contribution to a better environment for children in India and identified the problem of excess flouride in groundwater resources. Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh are the most severely affected states.
WHO’s aims are: (i) preventing the spread of disease, (ii) curing disease and (iii) preventing the outbreak of disease. The means adopted to prevent the spread of disease include Conventions providing international standards for public health.
WHO’s has been a clearing house for scientific knowledge and a exchange of information for curing disease. WHO’s activity in the area of preventing the outbreak of disease is to facilitate the exchange of findings and promotion of research.
It has encouraged research with cheap preventatives, especially vaccines for tuberculosis and DDT for malaria. The campaign against malaria has been one of WHO’s biggest all-out programme.
Since heterosexual transmission of the human immune deficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS is becoming the predominant mode of spread of HIV in most countries of the world, WHO is engaged in research for vaccine to cure AIDS for which it needs necessary financial support from rich member countries to meet the challenge of this deadly disease.
A very important WHO programme is Polio Eradication Immunization. Polio is the first disease of the 21 st century to be eradicated. Another important campaign of UN health agency, WHO is against the use of tobacco especially in developing countries.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) concentrates on rural development. This Rome based agency works for alleviation of poverty and hunger by promoting agriculture development, improved nutrition and easy access of food. The international Labour Organization (ILO) helps nations in enhancing the living and working standards of industrial workers.
UN Industrial Development Organization strives for industrial development of developing countries in the era of globalization. With the end of the Second World War, came the conviction that wars begin in the minds of men and the ignorance fosters suspicions and hatreds on which wars breed. It was felt that international collaboration could bring knowledge and greater understanding among people.
Describe the functions of the World Bank as the main UN financial agency for Development.
Some of the programmes of the various UN agencies discussed in the previous section entail substantial financial contributions to the purpose of development. For example, an annual budget of approximately 670 million dollars for UNDP is devoted exclusively to aiding the development process. Capital is a primary component for development. The most important financial agencies of the United Nation are the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) or World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
These are also called the Bretton Words institutions as these agencies came into being in December 1945 at the Bretton Woods Conference held in New Hampshire, USA. IMF provides temporary funds to aid governments in correcting balance of payment deficits. The World Bank group is the largest multilateral source of funds for development projects for infrastructure development. About 300 billion dollars worth of aid has been given so far for development projects.
However, the World Bank and the IMF are under severe criticism. They are dominated by rich countries. They are also not accountable to the United Nations. Their composition is not democratic. Voting in these institutions is not based on the principle of one nation one vote as in the General Assembly. There is weighted voting i.e. a member country’s number of votes are as per the amount of financial contribution or shares in these bodies.
World Bank’s loan falls into two broad categories. Investment loans are long-term loans aimed to create the physical and social infrastructure necessary for poverty reduction and sustainable development. World Bank loans helped developing countries to construct basic education schools. Other projects include poverty reduction, rural development, water and sanitation, natural resource management and health. Investment loans have accounted for 75 to 80 percent of all World Bank lending.
Adjustment loans have become an important component of World Bank lending and are short-term loans to promote the market structures as well as political institutional reform. During the last 20 years, adjustment loans have accounted for between 20 and 25 percent of all World Bank lending.
Other important sources of multilateral financing for development include regional banks, such as the Inter- American Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank, have been major sources of development financing for hundred of projects within their respective regions.