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9 PM for Main examination
- How India-Nepal relations deteriorated?
- Revamping India’s Healthcare Infrastructure
9 PM for Preliminary examination
1.How India-Nepal relations deteriorated?
Source: The Hindu
Syllabus: GS 2- India and its neighbourhood- relations.
Context: India and Nepal relations deteriorated with the immediate provocation of the long-standing territorial issue surrounding Kalapani.
Kalapani: It is a patch of land near the India-Nepal border, close to the Lipulekh Pass on the India-China border. It is one of the approved points for border trade and the route for the Kailash-Mansarovar yatra in Tibet.
Source: Outlook India
Issue of Kalapani:
- India inherited the boundary:
- Treaty of Sugauli in 1816: Boundary was established between Nepal and the East India Company. Kali river constituted the boundary and the territory to its east was Nepal.
- Dispute: It relates to the origin of Kali. There is a confluence of different streams coming from north-east from Kalapani and north-west from Limpiyadhura in Dharchula Tehsil of the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand.
- Change:The early British survey maps identified the north-west stream, Kuti Yangti, from Limpiyadhura as the origin. After 1857, it changed the alignment to Lipu Gad and in 1879 to Pankha Gad. It defines the origin as just below Kalapani. Nepal accepted the change and India inherited this boundary in 1947.
|The Maoist Revolution in China in 1949||It was followed by the takeover of Tibet which created deep doubts in Nepal and India was ‘invited’ to set up 18 border posts along the Nepal-Tibet border.|
|1953||India and China identified Lipulekh Pass for both pilgrims and border trade|
|1961||China-Nepal Boundary Treaty that defines the zero point in the west, just north of Tinkar Pass.|
|By 1969||India withdrawn its border posts from Nepali territory. The base camp for Lipulekh remained at Kalapani. In their respective maps, both countries showed Kalapani as the origin of Kali river and as part of their territory.|
|After 1979||ITBP has manned the Lipulekh Pass.|
- The 1996 Treaty of Mahakali:
- It envisaged Pancheshwar multipurpose hydel project and the issue of the origin of Kali river was first raised in 1997.
- The matter was referred to the Joint Technical Level Boundary Committee that had been set up in 1981 to re-identify and replace the old and damaged boundary pillars along the India-Nepal border.
- The Committee clarified 98% of the boundary, leaving behind the unresolved issues of Kalapani and Susta when it was dissolved in 2008.
- It was subsequently agreed that the matter would be discussed at the Foreign Secretary level.
- Change in the status of Jammu and Kashmir as two Union Territories: The Survey of India issued a new political map (eighth edition) on November 2, 2019. Nepal registered a protest though the map in no way had changed the boundary between India and Nepal.
- Ninth edition was issued:The delineation remained identical but the name Kali river had been deleted. It led to stronger protests with Nepal invoking Foreign Secretary-level talks to resolve issues.
The complexity underlying India-Nepal issues:
- Weakening of Mr. Oli’s domestic political situation:
- Under the Nepali Constitution, a new PM enjoys a guaranteed two-year period during which a no-confidence motion is not permitted which ended in february resulting in resentment against Mr. Oli’s governance.
- Inept handling of the COVID-19 pandemic: It added to the growing disenchantment.
- Party politics: Within the Nepal Communist Party (NCP), there was a move to impose a ‘one man, one post’ rule that would force Mr. Oli choose between being NCP co-chair or PM.
- Political Lifeline: Indian Defence Minister virtually inaugurated the 80-km road and provided Mr. Oli with a political lifeline.
- Nationalism card: He donned the nationalist mantle vowing to restore Nepali territory and marked a new low in anti-Indian rhetoric by talking about “the Indian virus being more lethal than the Chinese or the Italian virus”.
- New Map of Nepal: It is based on the older British survey reflecting Kali river originating from Limpiyadhura in the north-west of Garbyang was adopted by parliament and notified. The new alignment adds 335 sq km to Nepali territory that has never been reflected in a Nepali map for nearly 170 years.
India’s approach should focus on:
- “Neighbourhood first” policy:
- The relationship took a backseat in 2015 when India first got blamed for interfering in the Constitution-drafting in Nepal and then for an “unofficial blockade” that generated widespread resentment against the country.
- India need to build the trust deficit and show that Nepali nationalism and anti-Indianism are not the two sides of the same coin.
- China card providing Nepal the leverage to practice their version of non-alignment:
- With the abolition of the monarchy, China has shifted attention from keeping tabs on the Tibetan refugee community to the political parties and to institutions like the Army and Armed Police Force.
- India need to counter China’s more assertive foreign policy.
- Ignoring the changing political narrative in Nepal for far too long:
- India remained content that its interests were safeguarded by quiet diplomacy even when Nepali leaders publicly adopted anti-Indian postures.
- For too long, India has invoked a “special relationship”, based on shared culture, language and religion, to anchor its ties with Nepal.
The urgent need today is to lay the groundwork for a quiet dialogue where both sides need to display sensitivity as they explore the terms of a reset of the “special relationship”.
Source – Indian Express
Syllabus – GS 2 – Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
Context – Covid-19 creates opportunities to deepen India’s engagement with Africa
- Significance of Africa for India and World
- India versus China – The growing competition in African Continent
|Partnership||India Africa Forum Summit||Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (COCAC)|
|Trade||$ 62 Billion in 2018||$ 208 Billion in 2019|
|Development Assistance||Rs 855 crore in 2018||$ 60 Billion + $ 1 Billion (One Belt one road)|
|Conditionality of assistance||None – India follows consultative model which considers African needs||Many – Supporting Africa to buy loyalty and pursue Chinese Chequebook diplomacy|
- India- Africa robust ties are built on following pillars:
- Opportunities created by COVID -19 for enhancing partnership
- Fund Creation– A new fund for Africa can be created by India and adapt its grant-in-aid assistance to reflect the current priorities.
- Engaging with other nations– Under Quad-Plus, the four diamond democracies of US, India, Japan and Australia can engage with African nations who have shared interest in Indian ocean security and development.
- Tele-education – The movement of African students to India for higher education has been disrupted by COVID, India may expand the e-VidyaBharti (tele education) project to establish an India-Africa Virtual University.
- Containing and mapping Covid – The Aarogya Setu App and the E-Gram Swaraj App for rural areas for mapping COVID-19 are technological achievements that could be shared with Africa.
- Collaboration In anti-locust operation – This includes sharing best practices and India providing data to affected nation using advanced technology like remote sensing.
Way Forward – India needs to enhance its relationship with African nations with philosophy of compassion, harmony and dignity to help the rising continent achieve its potential in 21st century.
3.Revamping India’s Healthcare Infrastructure
Source: Indian Express
Context: The COVID-19 pandemic has presented India with an opportunity to overhaul its healthcare infrastructure
Brief Overview of Healthcare sector in India
Government spending on public health: About 1% of its gross domestic product (GDP), compared to 3 per cent in China and 8.3 percent in the United States.
Contribution of Private Sector:
- The private sector provides approximately 70% of the healthcare services in India.
- Private sector’s share in hospitals and hospital beds is estimated at 74% and 40%, respectively.
- The bed density in India is 0.7 per 1,000 population, far below the global average of 2.6 and WHO benchmark of 3.5.
- India has a doctor-to-population ratio of 1:1,445. World health Organization recommends a ratio of 1:1000
- A study based on National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) data showed the distribution of health workers is uneven between urban and rural areas. Rural areas with nearly 71% of India’s population have only 36% of health workers.
- There is uneven distribution of health workers in private and public health sector with more than 80% of doctors and 70% of nurses and midwives being employed in the private sector.
What should the government do?
|Achieving 1:1,000 doctor population ratio by 2020||Government needs to increase its spending on the health sector and build new medical institutions. Institutions can be built on semi-private or public-private partnership|
|Revamping Health Infrastructure||Allow FDI in health sector|
|strengthen biomedical research and health technology||· Encouraging start-ups by giving them tax cuts.|
· Leverage the potential of private sector in this front
Conclusion: The Covid-19 pandemic has heighted the importance of a strong healthcare system. India needs to strengthen its healthcare and the private sector has a major role to play in healthcare delivery.
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