Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 28 June 2023
- Tamil Nadu Model: Quality and Inclusive Education
- Geopolitics Rules International Relations
Tamil Nadu Model: Quality and Inclusive Education
Tamil Nadu’s Reliable Results:
- Dominance in NIRF Rankings: Tamil Nadu constantly tops the list of the top 100 colleges in India according to the NIRF rankings. With the exception of 2022, when Delhi shared the lead, its performance has remained remarkable over time.
- Share of Top Colleges: With 35 institutions, Tamil Nadu holds the greatest share of the top 100 NIRF-ranked colleges in 2023. Kerala and West Bengal both contribute 14 and 8 colleges, closely trailing Delhi’s 32 institutions. 89% of the top colleges are located in these four states as a whole.
Geographical Distribution and Social Inclusion:
- Dispersed Excellence: Although Chennai continues to be a major centre with nine top-ranked colleges, other cities with an equivalent number of colleges as Chennai, such as Coimbatore and Tiruchirappalli, frequently outperform it. Additionally, a decentralised approach to education is indicated by the fact that 12 colleges are dispersed across 11 different places.
- Serving Diverse Regions: Both urban and rural communities profit from the presence of top-tier colleges in various districts. For students from low-income families, these colleges offer exceptional education and opportunity. Reservation regulations are effectively implemented in Tamil Nadu, which further improves access for disadvantaged populations.
Implications and Lessons for Other States:
- Quality Education and Social Inclusion Can Be Achieved Simultaneously and Consistently, as Tamil Nadu’s Success Shows. Other states should use this paradigm as motivation to evaluate their own performance and take the necessary steps to close any gaps that may be present.
- Lessons for Southern States: To improve their own success in higher education, Southern States like Kerala, which have comparable comprehensive social welfare structures, should learn from Tamil Nadu’s experience.
The Indian Dream of Quality Education for All
- The pandemic highlighted the shortcomings of India’s educational system, highlighting its emphasis on memorization and disregard for creative and mental health. Disadvantaged communities continue to have poor educational levels, and quality education is still unevenly distributed among regions.
- Even if the government has carried out programmes like the National Education Policy, there are still obstacles that require addressing.
Knowledge of Quality Education
Learners, teachers, learning environments, curriculum, pedagogy, learning outcomes, assessment, and student assistance are just a few of the components that make up high-quality education. It encourages ethical behaviour, social responsibility, problem-solving abilities, creativity, scientific temper, communication, teamwork, and digital literacy. In order to improve education, it is essential to prioritise marginalised populations, bridge regional and rural-urban differences, and practise equity and inclusion.
Value of High-Quality Education
Better economic prospects, improved health and wellbeing, utilising the demographic dividend, resolving regional inequities, addressing social challenges, adjusting to technology changes, and realising fundamental rights all depend heavily on quality education. It is crucial to close the gaps and overcome the difficulties in the current educational system if we are to attain these results.
Governmental Programmes to Improve Education
Among the government’s initiatives to provide high-quality education include the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act of 2009, the National Education Policy 2020, Samagra Siksha Abhiyan, Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan, Performance Grading Index, NISHTHA, NIPUN Bharat, and PM eVidya. These programmes emphasise learner-centric strategies, holistic instruction, teacher preparation, basic literacy and numeracy skills, digital access, and multi-mode learning.
The Current Educational System Has Gaps
Inadequacies in the educational system include rote learning, a concentration on tests at the expense of other subjects, a lack of support for innovation, difficulties experienced by impoverished groups, disregard of people with disabilities, a pervasive coaching culture, and a dearth of vernacular content. The provision of high-quality education is further hampered by financial limitations, teacher quality, the digital divide, and adult illiteracy.
Corrective Actions for Quality Education
- The government should implement a fair and strong educational system that lessens reliance on tests, encourages hybrid teaching approaches, and prioritises activity-based learning in order to address these issues.
- Holistic factors including peer interaction, curiosity, and innovation should be taken into account while developing assessment methodologies. For execution, it is essential to allot sufficient budgetary funds and aim for a 6% GDP expenditure on education.
- Prioritising high-quality education will strengthen India’s educational foundation and establish it as a worldwide leader, especially for marginalised communities.
- India can close the gaps in its educational system and guarantee high-quality instruction for everyone through comprehensive reforms that are in line with the “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas” (Together with everyone, Development for All) goal.
Tamil Nadu’s successful history in higher education shows that excellence and inclusivity can coexist. The state’s continued success ought to inspire other areas to reflect and put in place practical solutions to close gaps in their educational systems. India can guarantee a brighter future for its kids and promote fair development throughout the country by placing a priority on both quality and inclusivity.
Geopolitics Rules International Relations
The visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the United States highlights the importance of geopolitics and national security in international relations over economics and democracy. It investigates the evolving US narrative on China, the growing strategic alliance between India and the US, and the potential repercussions for regional security while discussing the relevance of these issues to Indo-US ties. It also discusses the significance of India’s democratic system and how it influences alliances and attitudes.
GS Papers 2: international relations
Talk about the role that geopolitics plays in determining how international relations are shaped, concentrating on India’s strategic location and security issues. (150 words)
Geopolitics is the study of how geography, both physical and human, affects politics and global relations. Specifically, territorial seas and land territory in relation to diplomatic history are the focus of geopolitics, which is concerned with political power related to geographic space.
Geopolitics Prevails Over All Other Factors:
The importance of security in international affairs is underscored by Thomas Hobbes’ claim that order and security are necessary for human survival.
In order to guarantee their populations’ freedom, growth, and justice, nations prioritise security.
How US-China Relations Have Changed
- Border skirmishes between China and India have elevated India in American calculations to a strategic position.
- Under Xi Jinping’s leadership, the presumption that economic engagement with China will result in political liberalisation has been called into question, causing the US to reevaluate its strategy.
- Security overlaps: India and the US have reinforced their strategic alliance as a result of their shared security concerns towards China.
- The US has given India access to cutting-edge defence technologies despite the lack of a formal alliance, demonstrating their close cooperation.
Measures and Implications: Reshaping Alliances:
- The US, India, Japan, Australia, and Australia have reactivated the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad), an alliance that aims to address security concerns brought on by China’s assertiveness.
- Taiwan Factor: Fears that China may try to annex Taiwan militarily have raised tensions worldwide; the US is preparing for this eventuality; and India has benefited from worries about the Sino-Indian border in the changing geopolitical landscape.
- Investments are driven by strategic calculations and considerations of US security interests.
- India’s expanding market size and potential long-term stability make it an appealing prospect for American corporations, particularly amid escalating US-China tensions.
- Throughout history, US foreign policy has frequently given geopolitics precedence over democracy. Collaborations with autocratic governments like Pakistan’s and Saudi Arabia’s serve as examples of this strategy.
- India’s electoral democracy sets it apart from autocratic countries like China and Russia.
Four nations that are dedicated to promoting an open, secure, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region that is inclusive and resilient make up the Quad.
Objectives of QUAD
To secure a rules-based global order, freedom of navigation, and a liberal trading system, the group’s main goals are maritime security, combating the Covid-19 crisis, particularly with regard to vaccine diplomacy, addressing the risks of climate change, creating an ecosystem for investment in the region, and boosting technological innovation. Consistently, it is seen as a strategic grouping to reduce Chinese influence.
Quad’s significance for India: Defeating China and influencing the Indo-Pacific
- Security Support: As a member of the Quad, India may enlist assistance from other countries to stave off Chinese aggression on its frontiers, strengthening its defence capabilities through cooperation.
- Strategic Exploration: By utilising the naval cooperation of the Quad, India may conduct strategic explorations and patrols in the Indo-Pacific area, bolstering its presence and defending its interests.
- Shared Vision: The Indo-Pacific area will be free, open, inclusive, and free from coercion, according to the Quad. Given China’s hostile behaviour in the area, this is essential for India.
- Preserving Dominance: The Quad gives India a platform to strengthen security through alliances in the Indian Ocean Region, allowing India to assert its position as a net security provider.
- Rule-built Order: India favours a multipolar world built on rules, and the Quad can help India realise its goal of becoming a regional superpower by working together and upholding common principles.
- Supply Chain Disruptions: The pandemic’s effects on global supply chains have made it clear that there is a need to lessen reliance on China. India may build alternative supply chain hubs by utilising its manufacturing expertise and cooperating with the Quad.
China’s View on the Quadrilateral
- China has continuously opposed the Quad and charged it with fomenting strife among regional countries, according to its perception of the Quad. Beijing views the Quad as part of an encirclement plan.
- The Quad is perceived as anti-China because neither China nor military security are mentioned in any of its joint statements. According to experts, the Quad seeks to promote collaboration while addressing China’s economic and technological influence.
Challenges to the Quad Grouping include:
- Lack of Structure: Unlike typical multilateral organisations, the Quad focuses on extending current agreements and common principles rather than having a clear structure, secretariat, or permanent decision-making body.
- Addressing China’s Concerns: Given China’s economic sway over the Quad members, notably Australia, it can be difficult to remain united and allay China’s worries without jeopardising other countries’ interests.
- Uneven Cooperation: The Quad members’ varying financial resources, levels of strategic awareness, and military prowess in the Indian Ocean could lead to uneven cooperation.
- Coherent Actions: The credibility of the Quad could be impacted by its shared commitment to fighting terrorism and the US’s willingness to devote resources after its exit from Afghanistan.
- Strategic Cooperation: Smaller efforts should be taken to strengthen military cooperation between the Quad countries so that, in the event that it is necessary, a credible united response can be made without inciting a strong response from China.
- Leveraging Geography: To sustain a beneficial multipolar system and thwart China’s two-ocean plan, each Quad member can strengthen maritime capabilities in their individual geographic areas of interest.
- Improving Joint Capabilities: To successfully counterbalance China, the Quad should concentrate on enhancing interoperability, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities, shared logistics, and capability development.
- India places a great deal of importance on the Quad in order to oppose China’s ascent, maintain regional peace, and further its strategic objectives. India can actively shape the Indo-Pacific region and strengthen its position as a major player in a multipolar world by taking advantage of the Quad’s cooperation.
Geopolitics continues to be the fundamental factor influencing alliances and collaborations in international relations. The strategic importance of India and its security issues have improved relations with the US. Additionally, India is a significant actor in world events thanks to its electoral democracy.