- Conflict Between the US and China Over Taiwan
- The increasing threat of Antimicrobial puzzle
With China frequently engaging in aggressive actions towards Taiwan over the past year, such as deploying its air force and navy in the surrounding areas, there is a common question about whether India would take action in the Strait of Malacca or the Andaman Sea in the event of a conflict between the United States and China over Taiwan.
GS2- International Relations-India and its Neighborhood- Relations.
Analyse the efficacy of a naval blockade by India in the Strait of Malacca or the Andaman Sea in the event of a conflict between the United States and China over Taiwan. (15 marks, 250 words)
- Any potential action in these regions would involve either imposing a naval blockade on commercial shipping or engaging in military operations against Chinese naval vessels.
- It’s essential to recognize that all countries have the right to freedom of navigation on the high seas, making a naval blockade against commercial shipping an impractical option.
- Historical examples, like the First and Second World Wars, show that naval blockades and sanctions can escalate into full-scale conflicts. In the ongoing tensions between Iran and the U.S. in the Strait of Hormuz, attempts to disrupt commercial shipping have led to military confrontations.
Limited Options of India:
- India faces various constraints when considering its options in the Strait of Malacca. Firstly, “distant blockades” that occur far from a nation’s territory can be legally challenged under international law.
- Secondly, the trade passing through the Strait of Malacca is not limited to China; it also plays a crucial role in the economies of Japan, South Korea, and India.
- Thirdly, the Strait’s length, approximately 500 miles, traverses the sovereignty of other nations like Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore, all of which would be negatively affected by a naval blockade. These countries are unlikely to support such a blockade.
- Additionally, identifying commercial shipping, its sovereignty, flag, registration, insurance, and cargo ownership is a complex task, often involving multinational elements and transshipment at ports in Southeast Asia.
- Furthermore, even if the Strait of Malacca were blocked, large carriers transporting goods to China can use alternative routes, such as the Sunda or Lombok Straits.
- China also possesses strategic petroleum reserves, further mitigating the impact of any disruption.
- A naval blockade or unilateral action against Chinese naval vessels would effectively be considered a declaration of war, potentially leading to a broader conflict beyond maritime engagements. China’s position in the United Nations Security Council and its regional influence would be used to oppose such efforts.
- The key question in the context of the Strait of Malacca is whether India’s strategic partners, particularly the U.S., would support the interdiction of Chinese vessels in a bilateral conflict between India and China, unless the U.S. itself were directly involved in a kinetic conflict with China. Even in such a scenario, there is no guarantee of support from other regional stakeholders, especially Southeast Asian nations.
- In the event of a U.S.-China conflict over Taiwan affecting the Indian Ocean region, India’s primary role may be limited to defending its territorial interests and the security of sea lanes for itself and its strategic partners.
India’s primary focus would likely remain on its continental borders with China, as it has traditionally faced military threats from China in this context. The growing U.S.-India partnership in various domains is expected to strengthen in the coming years, with the U.S. viewing India as a stabilizing force in the region. A strong India, both economically and militarily, can contribute to multipolarity in the Indo-Pacific region.
The increasing threat of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is a silent menace in our rapidly advancing world of medicine. As the effectiveness of antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs diminishes, we face a serious challenge to our health and well-being. It’s essential to recognize the seriousness of this issue and take collective action.
- GS2- Health
- GS3- Science and Technology
Antimicrobial Resistance offers significant challenges for India and the world. Highlighting the various causes of antimicrobial Resistance, suggest a way forward strategy needed to deal with it. (15 marks, 250 words).
Causes of AMR:
- Antimicrobial Resistance, or AMR, occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites evolve to resist the drugs designed to combat them. The misuse and overuse of antibiotics in both humans and animals, inadequate infection prevention, and the absence of clean water and sanitation all contribute to the alarming rise of AMR.
- India, with a significant burden of infectious diseases, ranks second in global antibiotic consumption, showing a 47% increase from 2010 to 2020. The improper use and overuse of antibiotics play a crucial role in driving the emergence of AMR.
- The easy availability of antibiotics without a prescription and self-medication by patients contribute to this worrisome trend. Antibiotics differ from other drugs as their misuse affects not only individual health but also significantly contributes to the global threat of AMR, impacting public health and society as a whole.
- The overuse of antibiotics in animal husbandry, aquaculture, and agriculture exacerbates the problem.
- Active involvement of patients and the public is essential for responsible antibiotic use, promoting awareness, preventive measures, and efficient healthcare practices.
- Coordinated efforts across humans, animals, and the environment are necessary.
- Public support for responsible farming, advocacy for policies, proper food handling, sustainable practices, and awareness can help reduce antimicrobial usage.
- Public awareness plays a crucial role in this fight. Informed individuals, communities, and healthcare providers can make informed choices, promoting responsible antibiotic use.
- Campaigns like the DSPRUD school initiatives, supported by WHO, the Delhi Government, and ECHO India, have been instrumental in this effort. These campaigns educate and empower communities and cultivate a generation that understands the significance of responsible antimicrobial use.
- This is a collective responsibility, involving communities, healthcare professionals, policymakers, and individuals. Proper antibiotic use, adherence to healthcare guidance, and advocating for responsible practices in agriculture and pharmaceutical industries are essential steps.
The Urgency to Act:
- As we move into a post-antibiotic era, there is reason for concern. AMR does not discriminate and transcends borders. It affects people of all ages in any country.
- With the ongoing increase in AMR, the number of effective antibiotics is diminishing.
- Without urgent attention to AMR, we may face a post-antibiotic era where even minor infections that were treatable with antibiotics become life-threatening, resulting in prolonged illness, higher healthcare costs, and increased risks of spreading diseases.
Looking forward, in a world where antibiotic misuse threatens global health security, the World Health Organisations’s World AMR Awareness Week (WAAW) with the theme ‘Empowering Communities, Promoting Responsible Use offers a unique opportunity for individuals, healthcare professionals, policymakers, and communities to unite in preserving the efficacy of antimicrobial drugs. By embracing the theme of community empowerment and responsible use, there is a need to work together to ensure the continued effectiveness of antimicrobials, creating a healthier and safer world for future generations.