Indian Express Editorial Analysis- 20 February 2024

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Indian Express Editorial Analysis- 20 February 2024

1. A wider viewfinder

Topic: GS2 – International Relations
Understanding India’s participation in international forums such as the Raisina Dialogue and Milan Exercise offers important insights into India’s foreign policy objectives, strategic engagements, and diplomatic initiatives. This topic is pertinent for both Prelims and Mains.

-This week has seen three major events that have significantly increased India’s diplomatic reach: the biennial Multilateral Naval Exercise (Milan), the annual Raisina Dialogue, and a meeting of high-ranking intelligence officials from like-minded nations.
– Every incident highlights India’s increasing involvement in international affairs and demonstrates how its diplomatic tactics are changing.
– Each event will be thoroughly examined in this analysis, with special attention paid to its significance and ramifications in relation to India’s larger diplomatic initiatives.

Raisina Dialogue: Fostering Global Discourse:

  • The Observer Research Foundation and the Ministry of External Affairs host the Raisina Dialogue, which provides a forum for the advancement of international agendas that are focused on India.
  • This gathering of ministers, officials, academics, and policy researchers from around the globe promotes conversation on important global issues.
  • It is important because it helps create transnational networks and shapes narratives, which strengthens India’s position in international affairs.
  • Furthermore, the presence of intelligence officials on its periphery highlights the rise of “intelligence diplomacy” as a significant facet of India’s diplomatic endeavors.

Milan Exercise: Strengthening Naval Diplomacy:

  • Every two years, in the Bay of Bengal, the Milan Exercise provides a vital platform for professional discussions on maritime matters among naval chiefs.
  • It began as a small-scale project in the early 1990s and has grown into a multilateral effort that highlights India’s strategic importance in the Indo-Pacific area.
  • India’s navy contributes to regional maritime security and exhibits its internationalist outlook by actively taking part in such exercises.
  • The Milan Exercise emphasizes India’s dedication to cooperative security initiatives and supports its larger naval diplomacy efforts.

Intelligence Diplomacy: Enhancing National Security:

  • In the face of changing security challenges, the idea of “intelligence diplomacy” becomes crucial to India’s national security strategy.
  • Intelligence cooperation becomes more and more important as global dynamics continue to be shaped by great power rivalry, international terrorism, and transnational criminal networks.
  • India’s participation in networks for exchanging intelligence with like-minded nations highlights its transition from isolationism to forming beneficial alliances.
  • This is in line with India’s strategy of forging alliances both locally and internationally in order to counter modern security threats and update its intelligence services.


  • This week’s events have brought India’s multifaceted diplomatic approach—which includes intelligence cooperation, naval engagement, and discourse diplomacy—to the forefront.
  • India shows its dedication to tackling global issues and expanding its influence on the international scene by actively taking part in international forums, exercises, and intelligence networks.
  • The aforementioned initiatives are indicative of India’s dynamic diplomatic tactics and its proactive endeavors to mold global agendas to conform to its domestic concerns.

About Milan Exercise:
– Initially held in 1995, this multinational naval exercise takes place every two years and has grown to be the largest exercise held in India..
Milan Exercise 2024: 
Location: India’s Visakhapatnam Coast.
Participating Nations: US, South Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan, Australia, France, Bangladesh, and Malaysia.
– Large-force maneuvers, sophisticated air defense operations, anti-submarine warfare, and anti-surface exercises will all be included.

Expansion of the Navy’s Engagements: 
– It will highlight the Navy’s expanding role in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) as a first responder and preferred security partner.
– The Indian Navy’s presence and operational reach have steadily increased through mission-based deployments and other operational engagements..

PYQ: Consider the following in respect of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS): (2017)

1) The Indian Navy chaired the inaugural IONS, which took place in India in 2015.
2) Increased maritime cooperation between the navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region is the goal of the voluntary IONS initiative.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: (b)
Practice Question: India’s foreign policy approach has undergone a paradigm shift, as evidenced by its growing diplomatic engagements, which include the Raisina Dialogue, Milan Exercise, and intelligence diplomacy. Talk about the importance of these initiatives in light of India’s international alliances, regional clout, and strategic goals. (15 m/250 words)


Topic: GS3 – Agriculture – Storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce, Food Security 
In light of India’s horticultural potential and the methods for boosting F&V production, this topic is pertinent for both the Prelims and Mains exams.

– India has enormous potential to become the world’s primary supplier of fruits and vegetables (F&V), offering advantages for both export and domestic use.
– By 2030, there will likely be a significant increase in the demand for F&V due to the country’s shift towards a diet focused on nutrition, which will lead to a rise in horticulture production.

Disruption and Potential in Agri-Inputs:

  • The rise in horticulture production represents a change in agricultural methods and opens up opportunities for the agri-inputs industry, especially for fertilizers, seeds, and agrochemicals.
  • Agrochemicals offer significant achievable potential in the short term, but seeds have the greatest potential for long-term disruption.
  • India is well-positioned to tackle significant obstacles in horticultural value chains, thanks to its progress in digital technology and emphasis on sustainable and bio-based solutions.

Empowering Smallholder Farmers:

  • Unlike traditional subsistence farming, horticulture farming offers a consistent revenue stream all year round in addition to the promise of higher incomes.
  • Nonetheless, horticulture’s sustainability for smallholder farmers depends on addressing the two requirements of increased productivity and improved price realization.
  • Prominent agri-tech startups have embraced an integrated value-chain strategy, guaranteeing farmers stable prices through value-added, export-focused enterprises and offering advisory and agri-input supply to boost yield.

Innovation in Seeds and Integrated Farming:

  • Advancements in agronomy and genetics, along with other innovations in seeds, have the potential to enable farmers to produce more with less input.
  • The geographical reach and availability window for cultivation can be expanded with superior quality seeds.
  • Additionally, a promising strategy for climate-resilient agriculture is the 1.0-hectare integrated farming model, which is being tested in a number of districts.
  • With the help of this model, smallholder farmers can adopt horticulture with less risk by incorporating various interventions like diversified cropping, solar-powered farming equipment, and water conservation techniques.

Tailored Approach and Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships:

  • In order to succeed in the food and agriculture sector, India’s various agroclimatic zones require a customized approach to agri-inputs.
  • Alongside technological advancements, affordability and accessibility of these inputs are critical.
  • It is essential to forge stronger multi-stakeholder partnerships between farmers, the government, consumers, business, academia, and research in order to achieve demand-backed production, strong credit, effective risk management, and market connections.
  • As India works to establish itself as a global center for food and agriculture (F&V), real income and livelihood growth for smallholder farmers will be fueled by cooperation and shared commitment.

What is Horticulture?
– Horticulture is the branch of agriculture that deals with intensively grown plants that are used by people for food, medicine, and aesthetic purposes.
– To put it another way, it’s the production, marketing, and growing of visually appealing or exotic fruits, vegetables, herbs, and plants.
– The Latin words hortus, which means garden, and cultūra, which means cultivation, are where the word horticulture originates.
– The fathers of Indian and American horticulture are recognized as M.H. Marigowda and L.H. Bailey, respectively.

Features of Horticulture in India:
– The horticulture sector has become one of the primary drivers of development because it pays more than the agriculture sector, which primarily produces food grains.
– This sector provides employment opportunities in the primary, secondary, and tertiary sectors.
– Horticultural fruits and vegetables are more resistant to weather than other crops, and they also increase the income of small and marginal farmers.
– Because it uses very little water and lowers the risk of crop failure, smaller farms may choose to implement this.
– Many crops are planted at once to maximise production and fertilizer consumption.
– Thanks to this industry, the general public can now enjoy a varied and well-balanced diet for a healthy lifestyle.
– The Indian Council of Agricultural Research’s Division of Horticulture has become a significant driver of economic development in a number of the states in the country.

PYQ: Examine how the National Horticulture Mission (NHM) has helped horticulture farms increase their output, profitability, and level of productivity. To what extent has it been successful in raising farmers’ incomes? (15 minutes, 250 words) (CSE (M) GS-3, UPSSC 2018)
Practice Question:  Talk about how India can become a global leader in the production of fruits and vegetables (F&V) by 2030, with an emphasis on the opportunities and difficulties that come with realizing this potential. (15 m/250 words)

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