From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Not much
Mains level : Paper 2- Challenges ahead of India in 2021 on foreign policy and economic front
The article deals with the challeges India has to deal with in 2021 on the various front like foreign policy and economy.
Major challenge of 2020
- The COVID-19 pandemic, which embraced every segment of Indian society was the most insidious threat.
- Since April, India has confronted an unprecedented situation on the border with China in eastern Ladakh.
- Ever since, the border has remained live; as of now there is no end in sight.
- Chinese behaviour at the border has led to a grave hiatus in India-China relations.
- Internal problems such as Naxalite violence and Jammu and Kashmir endured during much of 2020.
- The economy is in recession. India has slipped further down the scale in the Human Development Index.
- Slippages have occurred in the Global Economic Freedom Index.
How India should deal with the challenges ahead
1) China challenge and foreign policy
- In foreign policy India must not remain content or satisfied with the current stand-off with China in the Ladakh sector.
- The conflict with China is enabling many of its neighbours to play China against India.
- So, India should think of what better options are available to it to resolve that conflict
- To tackle China, India must come up with a whole new paradigm of ideas on which further actions can be formulated.
2) State of the economy
- India must seek to enhance its competitive advantage vis-a-vis other nations.
- India should focus on export-oriented economic strategy instead of looking inward to enlarge its economy.
- India should enhance its export capacity.
- India’s strength lies in its diversity, and its ability to utilise all available opportunities.
- The other pressing challenge in 2021 would be job creation for the youth, who are India’s most abiding asset.
- The government must take urgent steps to set right the disruptions in the labour market caused by the pandemic.
- Creating new jobs in new industries should be a critical requirement.
- Stimulating demand would ensure growth in job opportunities, and this should go hand in hand with this task.
- The importance of such measures must not be underestimated.
3) Restoring confidence in constitutional practices
- The government to restore confidence in constitutional proprieties, practices and principles.
- There is a crisis of confidence which is affecting the body politic.
- The starting point would be effecting an improvement in Centre-State relations, particularly between Centre and States.
- As digital technology advances, concerns that an unduly centralised Central government could use this to further reduce the independent authority of States will again need to be dispelled.
- Effective cooperation between the Centre and the States must be restored as early as possible to instil confidence about India’s democratic future.
Consider the question “What are the challenges ahead for Indian economy in the wake of economic disruption caused by the pandemic? Suggest the way to deal with these challenges.”
As 2020 comes to a close, it might be worthwhile to take a hard look at these issues to ensure that 2021 does not become another wasted year.