DAILY MAINS NEWSLETTER FOR UPSC | 19 MAY 2021|RaghukulCS

Daily Mains Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

19 May 2021

Index

Mains Value Addition

Mains Analysis

Topic No

Topic Name

Source

1

The czar of brinkmanship must seek peace

The Hindu

2

India, Israel, and Palestine

Indian Express

Mains Value Addition

Stemming India’s health worker brain drain

Syllabus– GS 2: Health

Analysis: –

  • India needs systematic changes that could range from increased investment in health infrastructure, ensuring decent pay to health workers and building an overall environment that could prove to be beneficial for them and motivate them to stay in the country.
  • India is currently undertaking one of the largest vaccination programmes in the world.
  • In the first phase, frontline workers were administered doses of the vaccine, followed by senior citizens in the second phase.
  • At the time of the commencement of the programme’s Phase 3, a total of 6.43 crore doses had been administered.
  • Although the export of vaccines was stopped, India went on to face a severe vaccine crunch in April. A month later, the problem has only got worse.
  • At the same time, the reported number of daily cases are a little less than three lakh.
  • The country is grappling with problems ranging from insufficient hospital beds, ICUs and ventilators to shortages in oxygen supply, resulting in a high number of deaths, with more than 4,000 deaths being reported daily.
  • Amidst all this chaos, what has not received sufficient notice is the contribution of health workers, the Covid warriors who have been working tirelessly round the clock for over a year.
  • A further surge in cases across the country could ultimately lead to overburdening these workers. Besides treating Covid patients, they will also have to administer vaccines, now available to the country’s entire adult population.
  • For several decades, India has been a major exporter of healthcare workers to developed nations particularly to the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Europe and other English-speaking countries.

The country is paying for the government’s unscientific attitudes

Syllabus -GS 3: Science and Technology

Analysis: –

  • The WhatsApp message from an old acquaintance was usual for the times we are in — friends enquiring about your family’s and your welfare. I had tested Covid-positive a few days ago and was in isolation, and replied with updates on my health.
  • The person immediately called and after the usual enquiries, urged me to give up all medicines and start using Coronil instead.
  • Coronil, for the uninitiated, is the “wonder” anti-Covid drug, made by Patanjali, the pharma company of yoga guru Baba Ramdev.
  • The fact that the drug had not gone through the standard procedure for the approval of drugs for human consumption, Phased Control Trials for Safety and Efficacy, does not seem to bother millions of the yoga guru’s devotees who have started imbibing it.
  • The lies and half-truths being spread through sections of the media, in fact more effectively through social media portals, seem to have increased its popularity.

Iran to develop Farzad B gas field domestically, dumps India

Syllabus -GS 2: IR

Analysis: –

  • On Monday, India’s permanent representative to the United Nations, T S Tirumurti, made a carefully crafted statement at the UN Security Council “open debate” on the escalating Israel-Palestine violence, striving to maintain balance between India’s historic ties with Palestine and its blossoming relations with Israel.
  • The balancing was evident in the pointed condemnation of the “indiscriminate rocket firings from Gaza” on civilian targets in Israel, but not of the Israeli strikes inside Gaza; the customary omission since 2017 of any reference to East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state; and the hyphenation of “Haram Al Sharif/Temple Mount”, equating claims of both Israel and Palestine.
  • India’s policy on the longest running conflict in the world has gone from being unequivocally pro-Palestine for the first four decades, to a tense balancing act with its three-decade-old friendly ties with Israel. In recent years, India’s position has also been perceived as pro-Israel.

Mains Analysis

The czar of brinkmanship must seek peace

Why in News?

Increased tensions between Ukraine and Russia in the recent standoff has caught the media attention again.

Syllabus–GS 2: IR

Background: –

  • The war in eastern Ukraine, which has been on a low simmer for months, drawing little international attention, has escalated sharply in recent days, according to statements on Tuesday from the Ukrainian and Russian governments.
  • In the deadliest engagement so far this year, four Ukrainian soldiers were killed and another seriously wounded in a battle against Russian-backed separatists in the Donetsk Region of eastern Ukraine, the country’s military said.
  • The soldiers’ deaths, along with a buildup of Russian forces on the border, has seized the attention of senior American officials in Europe and Washington
  • The U.S. military’s European Command raised its watch level from possible crisis to potential imminent crisis — the highest level — in response to the deployment of the additional Russian troops.

Why Ukraine Is So Important to Russia? s

  • Putin’s standoff over Ukraine boosted his popularity rating in Russia to 80%.15 To maintain this popularity, he will continue to hold onto Ukraine despite the cost.
  • Putin knows that NATO won’t protect Ukraine since it is not a member, and that encourages him to continue to attack.
  • Ukraine, which provided the Soviet agricultural output, had been an important contributor to the former Soviet Union’s economy.
  • It also supplied heavy industrial equipment and raw materials to industrial sites throughout the former USSR.

NATO, U.S. response

  • NATO chief said, ‘Russia’s considerable military build-up is unjustified, unexplained, and deeply concerning.’ NATO would continue to provide significant political and practical support to Ukraine.
  • Since Ukraine is not a NATO member how far will NATO go to take concrete actions is doubtful.
  • In June 2020, NATO recognised Ukraine as an Enhanced Opportunities Partner, which aims to maintain and deepen cooperation between countries that have made significant contributions to the NATO-led missions and operations.
  • The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has also used the current tension as an opportunity to push for NATO membership, arguing that ‘this is the only way to end the war in Donbas’.
  • The U.S., under the new administration, has taken a more resolute stance towards this conflict and ready to ready to support Ukraine militarily, if the need arises without provoking Russia.
  • The recent visit of the U.S. Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken, to Kiev indicates the U.S.’s foreign policy priorities. supporting the ‘independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine’.

 Support from Turkey

  • Recent visit of Ukrarian President to Turkey underlined Turkish support i.e. standing by Ukraine amidst the current tensions with Russia.
  • Visit was a diplomatic success for Ukraine as it had obtained the necessary guarantees from Turkey should tensions with Russia escalate.
  • It is worth recalling that Turkey has not acted in synchrony with Russia during several conflicts, e.g., in Syria, Libya, and, most recently, in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Way Forward: –

  • Ukraine’s desire to open its markets to the EU and to collude with U.S. companies to develop its natural gas reserves were perceived by Russia as huge threats to its economy.2930 So, in March 2014, Russia invaded and occupied Crimea.
  • Since then, relations between the United States and Russia have continued to deteriorate with the ongoing Ukraine conflict. Efforts to reach a diplomatic settlement have failed.
  • In April 2016, NATO announced its deployment of battalions to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland to deter further Russian aggression especially in the Baltic region.
  • The Baltic states have become NATO and EU members since 2004. Should Russia invade the Baltics, the United States and NATO would be compelled or bound by Article 5 of the NATO treaty to retaliate.
  • Such could escalate into a war between Russia and the United States and its NATO allies

Question: –

Critically evaluate the need for a platform that will facilitate negotiation, mutual consensus and possible compromises, as well as engagement with mediators. Discuss how the long-term solution will break the vicious cycle of animosity and misunderstanding?

India, Israel, and Palestine

Why in News?

Syllabus– GS2: India & Its Bilateral relations.

Background: –

  • On Monday, India’s permanent representative to the United Nations, T S Tirumurti, made a carefully crafted statement at the UN Security Council “open debate” on the escalating Israel-Palestine violence, striving to maintain balance between India’s historic ties with Palestine and its blossoming relations with Israel.
  • The statement, the first India has made on the issue, appears to implicitly hold Israel responsible for triggering the current cycle of violence by locating its beginnings in East Jerusalem rather than from Gaza.
  • The request that both sides refrain from “attempts to unilaterally change the existing status quo including in East Jerusalem and its neighbourhoods” seems to be a message to Israel about its settler policy.

What was said by India?

  • Tirumurti in his statement said, “the events of the last several days have resulted in a sharp deterioration of the security situation.
  • The indiscriminate rocket firings from Gaza targeting the civilian population in Israel, which we condemn, and the retaliatory strikes into Gaza, have caused immense suffering and resulted in deaths, including women and children.”

 

  • As per India’s stance, both sides were urged to show restraint to the highest level and were asked to begin negotiations.
  • TS Tirumurti also talked about the city of Jerusalem and its connection with various Indians. He said,” The Old City also houses the Al Zawiyya Al Hindiyya – the Indian Hospice, which is a historic place associated with a great Indian Sufi saint Baba Farid and located inside the Old City. India has restored this Indian Hospice”
  • He also said in the end which changed the entire dynamics, “in conclusion, I reiterate India’s strong support to the just Palestinian cause and its unwavering commitment to the two-state solution.”

What is the Two-State Solution?

  • In the simplest terms, the two-state solution talks about providing two separate territories to people of two nations — Israel and Palestine — having different ethnicities and languages.
  • It talks of establishing an independent Palestinian alongside Israel providing Tel Aviv security and a Jewish demographic while granting Palestinians a state over their heads.
  • The goal has also been the official line of policy for the United States and the United Nations, the two most dominant forces around the conflict.

US policies and failure of Abraham Accords

  • The situation turned from bad to worse during Donald Trump’s presidency in the US. Trump supported Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hardline policies severing the US’s ties with Palestine and moving away from the decade-old more nuanced diplomatic stand on the conflict.
  • The Trump administration brokered Abraham Accords — a joint statement by Israel, the UAE, and the US issued in 2020, and which became a model for Israel inking similar deals with Arab countries.

India’s position on Israel-Palestine dispute

  • India has deepened its ties with Israel in recent decades but it has supported a two-state solution for longer period while calling for an end to the violence.
  • India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador TS Tirumurti during a UN Security Council meeting on “the situation in the Middle East” on Sunday said, “The events of the last several days have resulted in a sharp deterioration of the security situation.”

Way Forward: –

  • Israel had helped India in the 1971 war against Pakistan for the liberation of Bangladesh. It took another two decades for India to recognise Israel and since then the relationship has blossomed at all levels.
  • Israel helped India with defence technology during the Kargil war and by 2013, India had become Israel’s third-largest trading partner in Asia. The proximity between India and Israel did not come at the cost of India’s relationship with Palestine.
  • In 2003, India voted for a UN resolution against the construction of the West Bank wall by Israel. In 2011, it voted in favour of accepting Palestine as a full member of UNESCO and in 2014, India supported a UNHRC resolution to probe Israel’s offensive in Gaza.
  • However with time, the balancing act has become tougher but pragmatism and non-alignment have continued to drive India’s approach as it dealt with Israel and Palestine independently.
  • It was underpinned by PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel in 2017.

 

  • “It’s my singular honour to be the first-ever prime minister of India to undertake this groundbreaking visit to Israel,” PM Modi had said.
  • The Indian prime minister subsequently visited Palestine in 2018.
  • “India hopes for peace and stability in this region,” the Indian prime minister said.
  • In February 2019, India used Israeli made Spice-2000 bombs to strike Pakistani terror launchpads in Balakot. In December 2019, India voted against America’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
  • For India, the capital is the city of Tel Aviv, not Jerusalem which remains contested.
  • The trend is clear – India’s decisions are based on a mature understanding and evaluation of the Israel-Palestine issues and New Delhi is following the same approach now as Israel and Palestine exchange rocket fire.
  • India has refused to pick a side and called for de-escalation and dialogue.

Questions: –

India has adopted a balanced approach on the current Israeli-Palestine conflict that has pushed the volatile region into yet another cycle of violence.Comment.

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