[Solved] The question of India’s Energy Security constitutes the most important part of India’s economic progress. Analyze India’s energy policy co-operation with West Asian Countries ( UPSC GS-2 Mains 2017)

[Solved]  The question of India’s Energy Security constitutes the most important part of India’s economic progress. Analyze India’s energy policy co-operation with West Asian Countries ( UPSC GS-2 Mains 2017)

Energy security has long been a concern for the India, a global giant in oil consumption. The fuel demands are growing fast in proportion to its rapid economic development.

 • Due to the lack of significant domestic reserves of oil and natural gas, India has looked towards the geopolitically challenging West Asian region to fulfil its requirements throughout much of its independent history.

 • The domestic coal production faced a huge loss during 2013 and it was a serious shock for India’s energy sector as thermal power plants wriggled to find cost-effective opportunities to buy coal from the huge domestic coal sector. As an outcome of this, India was forced to import coal from foreign countries such as Indonesia and South Africa, at cheaper costs than obtainable in national market.

 Relation with West Asia:

 • The West Asia is of vital importance for India’s energy security, providing around 60 percent of India’s oil imports and liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports.

 Securing the supplies of oil and natural gas from the West Asia is closely linked with the foreign policy of India towards the region because, in today’s security environment, energy security and foreign policy are separated by a blurry line.

 • Israel:Importance of India’s relationship with Israel, particularly for military support, technology transfer, agricultural and irrigation development and now renewable energy.

 • Of-late India has been able to forge strategic partnership with UAE and some other countries in gulf, as a part of broader agenda, which also includes energy security and regional peace.

 Concerns:

 • The security scenario in the region, issue of terrorism, China’s increasing influence in the region etc. has always been a concern for India

 • India is presently trying its best to diminish its dependence on West Asia for its energy requirements, mainly due to the political uncertainty in the region especially in countries like Iraq.

 • Long delays in TAPI pipeline.

 Suggestions:

 • India should expand its energy security department within the MEA, presently operated by a single Joint Secretary level officer, and give it equal importance as the defence department gets.

 • Intensification of direct investments in West Asian energy resources, both at the public and private sector levels. Accelerate earlier assurances in energy cooperation with countries such as Iran, and use security and defence accords with these nations to make healthy measures over fortification of these investments.

 • Diversification:

 – Enhance energy cooperation with other Asian countries like China, Japan, South Korea etc. Form a cooperative partnership to ensure continuous energy flow to the region.

 – Develop closer ties with countries like Iceland, Israel etc. to develop India’s renewable energy technology and to backup with an alternate way other than oil and natural gas.

 • Work to sign more defence treaties on bilateral (such as agreements with signed with Qatar and Saudi Arabia etc.) and institutional levels (such as GCC) and make sure to include energy as a strategic asset in this agreement

 Economic Contribution by Indians in SEA

  • In Brunei, apart from running businesses mini-marts and small restaurants, Indians have filled up human resources vacuum – thus making an important contribution to its economy.
  • In Philippines and Indonesia, members of the Indian Community have played a prominent role in the export of textile products – which has powered their economy in the recent past.
  • The Indian community’s contribution to Malaysia’s GDP is about 2% and its share in Malaysia’s international trade is about 3%.
  • In Malaysia and Myanmar, almost all important spheres of life like the civil services, education, professional services, trade and commerce are largely in the hands of the Indian community.
  • Part of Singapore’s IT industry today is being fuelled by Indian expertise. There is also a significant Indian contribution to scientific research including in bio-technology and medicine.

 Role of Indian Diaspora in SEA Society

  • In most of the Southeast Asian countries, the Indian community has integrated itself very well with the local populace. Quite a few Indian settlers have married the natives. Practically in every country, there is good presence of places of worship of almost all Indian religious communities which also celebrate religious and cultural festivals and events with great fervour and enthusiasm. The older generations, in particular make a special endeavour to keep Indian religious traditions and languages alive by holding religious and language classes in temples, mosques and gurudwaras Contribution of Indian diaspora in the region:
  • In Malaysia and Myanmar, almost all important spheres of life like the civil services, education, professional services, trade and commerce are largely in the hands of the Indian community. The Indian community’s contribution to Malaysia’s GDP is about 2% and its share in Malaysia’s international trade is about 3%.
  • In Singapore there is good representation of Indians in the Judiciary, executive and legislative spheres. Part of Singapore’s IT industry today is being fueled by Indian expertise. There is also a significant Indian contribution to scientific research including in bio-technology and medicine.
  • In Philippines and Indonesia, members of the Indian Community have played a prominent role in the export of textile products – which has powered their economy in the recent past. The Sikhs, Tamils and Sindhis engage in various businesses in the region.
  • In Brunei, apart from running businesses mini-marts and small restaurants, Indians have filled up human resources vacuum – thus making an important contribution to its economy.
  • The Indian cinema and Ayurveda also has a great impact on the South East Asia.
  • ASEAN is India’s 4th largest trading partner. With northeast becoming a bridge to the region and India’s push to the Act east policy, the region becomes very important. The Indian diaspora has the unique ability to integrate itself with the local community in a good way while serving as a bridge to India’s heritage and culture. They are making significant contributions to the region and ensures a strong relation between India and the south east Asian countries.

Further  reading..

  • Energy security of the country is life line for the economic security of the country. In our country we mostly consume non renewable energy sources like crude oil and coal.
  • Mostly all our vehicle both passenger and logistics will works on crude oil and its products. In our energy needs almost 80% of crude oil we are importing from other countries, mostly from west Asian countries.
  • In maintaining the relations with those countries energy Cooperation is the vital part. In west Asian countries our relations with Saudi Arabia is normal and consistent, from here we are importing 20- 30% of crude oil.
  • Our relations with Iran is not consistent and is not accordingly with our own interest. During the sanctions time when china able to maintain the consistent relations, we could not do, we reduced the amount of crude oil from Iran.
  • Once sanctions relaxed we started maintaining normal relations. In maintaining relations with Qatar, though sanctions imposed on it by fellow countries India maintaining its relation by not supporting it.
  • When it comes to Oman, kuwait and abudubai our relations and energy policies are normal. India building the Chabahar port at Iran, which will ease the movement of ships from there to India mostly loaded with crude oil.
  • Though there is ethnic conflicts, sunni shia conflict, terrorist group conflicts our energy policies are not influencing by them.
  • But when oil prices came down entire OPEC and non OPEC oil producing countries decided to cut down their production which increases the cost of crude oil, meanwhile USA is supplying shell oil at an affordable prices.

 We have to wait and see how our relations with these countries will change in near future with this effect on one hand and India’s ambitious targets increase the share of renewable energy levels to 40% in total energy mix will shape the future energy policy cooperation with those countries.

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