Synopsis: As 2020 is coming to an end, we should ponder upon the issues the country faced this year and ensure that 2021 does not become another wasted year.
What are the issues India faced in the Vital notes year 2020?
- Pandemic: The COVID-19 pandemic had an impact on every segment of Indian society and infected approximately more than a crore of its citizens (1.5 lakh fatalities).
- Border stand-off: India is facing an unexpected border stand-off situation with China in eastern Ladakh. The tensions even led to martyrdom of Indian soldiers. This has had a serious impact on India-China relations.
- Internal Security issues: The bitterness caused by the altered status of J&K and the custody of political leaders and the Naxalite violence have resulted in serious internal problems.
- States: There lies a grave concern for violence in the upcoming elections of West Bengal.
- Economy: The economy is in recession. India has fallen down the scale in the Human Development Index and in the Global Economic Freedom Index.
- New bills on social issues, for instance:
- A law against forced conversion by marriage will intensify an already divisive society.
- The farmers’ agitation is another instance where official inflexibility has led to a situation in which the Supreme Court had to intervene.
What should India do in the upcoming year?
Series of electoral successes for the ruling party; the personal popularity of the Prime Minister; and the absence of any strong competitor on the national stage gives the current government an opportunity to bring solid changes.
- Firstly, India should come up with a new model of ideas for foreign policy which can be implemented. This would enable India to be viewed as the only nation in Asia that can stand-up to the China challenge.
- Secondly, the idea that says India should look inward rather than outwards to enlarge its economy needs to be rejected, and India should enhance its export capacity.
- Thirdly, the government should take crucial steps to resolve the troubles in the labour market caused by the pandemic and other contributory factors.
- Creating new jobs in new industries should be a critical requirement.
- Stimulating demand would ensure growth in job opportunities.
- Effective cooperation between the Centre and the States must be restored to impart confidence about India’s democratic future.