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11th June – Editorials/Opinions Analyses

Contents

  1. An unravelling of the Group of Seven
  2. Needed, a transfusion for public health care
  3. The strategic road to DBO explained

AN UNRAVELLING OF THE GROUP OF SEVEN

Focus: GS-II International Relations

Why in news?

  • The next G7 summit, tentatively scheduled in Washington DC in June 2020, has been postponed by the host, U.S.
  • The U.S. President also declared that the G7 “is a very outdated group of countries” and no longer properly represented “what’s going on in the world”. He suggested expansion to G10 or G11 with the inclusion of India, South Korea, Australia and possibly Russia.

Logic of expansion

  • U.S. President wanted to include other countries, including the “Five Eyes” countries (an intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States).
  • India has attended several G7 summits earlier too, as a special invitee for its outreach sessions.

Expansion in the past: The G7 became the G8, with the Russian Federation joining the club in 1998.

This ended with Russia’s expulsion following the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

India’s growth Estimates in the future.

  • “The world in 2050″report by 2050, India will be one among the 6 best performing countries
  • India’ s GDP is expected to increase to 17 trillion $ by 2030 and 42 trillion $ by 2050 in PPP terms.

The Neccessity of Expanding G7 now:

  1. Countering Chinese dominance
    • Proposal to expand the G7 grouping comes at the time of COVID 10 outbreak.
    • USA is badly hit by the deadly virus infection and China is being blamed.
    • USA is capitalizing on this issue to counter Chinese dominance in global world order.
    • The U.S. also stressed and said that expanded group should talk about the future of China.
    • A Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs official immediately reacted, labelling it as “seeking a clique targeting China”.
  2. Reduced influence of G7 globally
    • G7 emerged as a restricted club of rich democracies in early 1970’s
    • G7 countries accounted for close to 2/3rds of the global GDP when constituted
    • But today, they account for less than a third of global GDP on PPP terms
    • The economic downturn in 2009 lead to emergence of G20 which dominated G7.
    • The 7 largest emerging economies including India, Brazil, China, Mexico, Indonesia, Russia and Turkey account for over a third of global GDP on PPP terms.
  3. Turmoil in West Asia and failure of Europe to act
    • Three of the G7 countries, France, Germany, and the U.K., were among the top 10 countries contributing volunteers to the ISIS.
    • West Asia is in a greater state of turmoil than at any point of time since the fall of the Ottoman Empire.
    • This turmoil has led to a migrants crisis.
    • Migrant crisis persuaded many countries in Europe to renege on their western liberal values, making the Mediterranean Sea a death trap for people fleeing against fear of persecution and threat to their lives.

Current situation calling for a new institution

  • In the current distressing time of the Pandemic Nations need dexterity and resilience to cope with the current flux, as also a revival of multilateralism.
  • Existing international institutions have proven themselves unequal to these tasks. A new mechanism might help in attenuating them.
  • A new international mechanism will have value only if it focuses on key global issues.

India’s Inclusion and Expansion: A way forward

  • So, Economically and Strategically its crucial to open the doors of G7 so that it becomes more democratic and inclusive.
  • More inclusive and democratic institution can better regulate the international law and prevent retreat from liberal values

India’s Interests

  • India would be vitally interested in three: international trade, climate change, and the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Global public health and the revival of growth and trade in a sustainable way would pose a huge challenge.
  • Second order priorities for India would be cross-cutting issues such as counter-terrorism and counter-proliferation. An immediate concern is to ensure effective implementation of the 1975 Biological Weapons Convention.
  • On regional issues, establishing a modus vivendi with Iran would be important to ensure that it does not acquire nuclear weapons and is able to contribute to peace and stability in Afghanistan, the Gulf and West Asia.

Group of Seven (G7)

The Group of Seven (G7) is an international intergovernmental economic organization consisting of the seven largest developed economies (International Monetary Fund IMF- advanced economies) in the world.

G-7 Countries are:

  1. Canada,
  2. France,
  3. Germany,
  4. Italy,
  5. Japan,
  6. The United Kingdom and
  7. The United States.

The European Union is sometimes considered an eighth member of the G-7, since it holds all the rights and responsibilities of full members except to chair or host the meeting.

-Source: The Hindu


NEEDED, A TRANSFUSION FOR PUBLIC HEALTH CARE

Focus: GS-II Social Justice

A mirror to public care, Private hand

We have more hospital beds in the private sector than in the public sector.

The reason for this abundance of private health care is obviously the lack of adequate public health care.

Why is this the situation?

This situation of private hospitals being a majority has developed due to two main reasons:

  1. Since Independence, India has focused attention on provision of primary care at the peripheral level, preventive measures, immunisation, maternity and paediatric care as well as dealing with common infections such as tuberculosis. However, not enough hospital beds and specialised facilities were provided by the public sector during this time.
  2. Another reason for the dominance of private medicine in India is the lack of adequate investment in public health. The Indian government spends an abysmally low 1.3% of GDP on public health care, which is woefully inadequate.

Private healthcare issues

  • Private medicine in India is highly ununiform.
  • It is estimated that there are more than one million unqualified medical practitioners, mostly in the rural areas.
  • At the other end of the spectrum are state-of-the-art corporate hospitals, that are well equipped and well-staffed and which provide excellent service at high cost set up in metro cities.
  • The United States, despite spending more than 15% of its enormous GDP on health care in the form of largely insurance-based private medicine, has poorer health-care indices than Europe, where government-funded universal health care is available, though the per capita health-care expenditure in Europe is substantially less than in the U.S.

Wealth and Healthcare

  • The wide range of quality in medical services in India reflects the wide range of income and wealth in India.
  • It is estimated that the wealth of the top 1% in India is four times the combined wealth of the bottom 70%.
  • The wealthy demand, pay for, and often get, world-class health care.
  • The middle class, seeing what is possible, is beginning to demand similar care at affordable cost.
  • The poorer 70% are left to the vagaries and mercy of an unpredictable public health-care system and low-cost charlatans.

What needs to be done?

  • The public health-care system desperately needs higher government spending.
  • Training of doctors and health-care workers also need to be the responsibility of the government mainly.
  • Private hospitals and institutions will need to be regulated.
  • Costing and auditing of care and procedures need to be done by independent bodies. This will not only ensure appropriate care at the right cost but also prevent unreasonable demands of suspicious patients and family.

-Source: The Hindu


THE STRATEGIC ROAD TO DBO EXPLAINED

Focus: GS-II International Relations

Introduction

The construction of the 255-km long Darbuk-Shyokh-Daulat Beg Oldie (DSDBO) all-weather road is possibly the most consequential trigger that caused the recent India China Standoff.

Strategic Importance of the DBO, DSDBO

  • Its strategic importance is that it connects Leh to DBO, virtually at the base of the Karakoram Pass that separates China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region from Ladakh.
  • DBO is the northernmost corner of Indian territory in Ladakh, in the area better known in Army parlance as Sub-Sector North.
  • The DSDBO highway provides the Indian military access to the section of theTibet-Xinjaing highway that passes through Aksai Chin. The road runs almost parallel to the LAC at Aksai Chin
  • DBO has the world’s highest airstrip.

The Critical position of that region

  • To the west of DBO is the region where China abuts Pakistan in the Gilgit-Baltistan area, once a part of the erstwhile Kashmir principality.
  • This is also the critical region where China is currently constructing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK), to which India has objected.
  • As well, this is the region where Pakistan ceded over 5,000 sq km of PoK to China in 1963 under a Sino-Pakistan Boundary Agreement, contested by India.

New Constructions

For most of the year bar a few summer months, Sassar La — or pass — is snow-bound and inaccessible. The BRO is currently building a “glaciated road” between Sasoma (north of Leh, near the Nubra river) to the Sasser Pass, but it could take several years to complete.

Current Situation

  • A military outpost was created in DBO in reaction to China’s occupation of Aksai Chin, and is at present manned by a combination of the Army’s Ladakh Scouts and the paramilitary Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).
  • The Chinese build-up along the Galwan River valley region overlooks, and hence poses a direct threat to the DSDBO road.
  • The token mutual de-escalation of the two armies, ahead of a series of bilateral consultations between senior military and other officials, is expected to be completed over an extended period.

-Source: Indian Express

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