1) Evaluating India’s options in Afghanistan

GS2: India & its Neighborhood Relations


Recently, the US troops departed from the biggest airbase in Afghanistan after the 20-year-long war, effectively ending their military operations in the country.


  • On 11th September 2001, terrorists attacked America resulted in the killing of 3,000 people.
  • Osama Bin Laden, the head of Islamist terror group al-Qaeda, was identified as the man behind the attacks.
  • The Taliban, radical Islamists who ran Afghanistan back then, protected Bin Laden and refused to hand him over.
  • Eventually after 9/11, the US launched airstrikes against Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom).
  • After the attacks, the NATO coalition troops declared war on Afghanistan thus dislodging the Taliban regime and established a transitional government in Afghanistan.

Reason for US Pull Back:

  • US has already achieved its realistic objectives such as killing Osama bin Laden and disrupting al-Qaeda networks.
  • Besides, defeating the Taliban and Afghan nation-building was considered as the part of neoconservative ideological project which is a evident failure.
  • Preparing itself for the unfolding geopolitical contest with china is of significance in the current scenario.

India and The US pull-out from Afghanistan:

  • India has made huge investments and commitments ever since, which have run over 3 billion. Thus securing investments and strong economic ties is of pivotal importance.
  • To prevent Afghanistan from becoming another safe haven for anti-India terrorist groups is of pivotal importance.
  • Afghanistan becoming a safe haven for anti-India groups would disrupt the current trade routes via Afghanistan thus affecting the trade volume.

India’s options:

  • Thus, to safeguard its interests, India should hold talks with the Taliban to seek security guarantees in return for continued development assistance.
  • However, the Taliban’s strong relation with Pakistan should not be overlooked.
  • While talking to the Taliban to protect its interests, New Delhi should also enhance aid to Afghanistan’s legitimate government and security forces and work with other regional powers for long-term stability in the country.
  • India should also consider increasing its engagement with Iran and accelerating the works of the chabhar project which helps in creating direct access to Afghanistan bypassing Pakistan.
  • Finally, India should talk with China, with the objective of finding a political settlement and lasting stability in Afghanistan.


  • India should take a layered approach.
    • Its immediate goal should be the safety and security of its personnel and investments.
    • The long-­term goal should be finding a political solution to the crisis.
  • India, as one of the countries that would be impacted by the consequences of American withdrawal, has to work with Eurasian powers to protect its interests and stabilize Afghanistan.

2) An emigration Bill that does not go far enough

GS2: Issues related to Public Policies


  • In this article, the author highlights the provisions of the new Emigration Bill 2021 and its lacunae in various aspects.
  • Emigration refers to leaving one’s native country or region and living in another country.

Why was the new bill introduced?

  • Currently, Emigration is governed by the Emigration Act 1983.
  • The Emigration Bill 2021 is an improvement over the 1983 Act in terms of
    • Launching new emigration policy division.
    • Establishing help desks and welfare committees.
    • requiring manpower agencies to conduct pre­-departure briefings for migrants, and
    • Increases accountability of brokers and other intermediaries who are also involved in labour hiring.

What are the problems being faced by the emigrant workers?

  • Large recruitment charges,
  • Contract substitution,
  • Deception and retention of passports,
  • Non­payment or underpayment of wages,
  • Poor living conditions,
  • Discrimination and other forms.

Setbacks in the current bill:

  • Lacks a human rights framework aimed at securing the rights of migrants and their families.
  • Permits the manpower agencies to charge workers’ service fees, and even allows agents to set their limits.
  • As per the International Labour Organization (ILO) convention, it is the employers, not workers who should bear recruitment payments in contrast bill proposes to charge worker’s service fees.
  • It permits government authorities to punish workers by cancelling or suspending their passports and imposing fines for violating any of Bill’s provisions.
  • Bill does not also adequately reflect the gender dimensions of labour migration where they are more likely to be employed in marginalized and informal sectors.


  • The Ministry of External affairs must draft a policy that explicitly recognizes the contributions of Indian workers and the challenges faced by them.
  • The draft should uphold the dignity and human rights of migrants and their families.


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