[op-ed snap] Sharing the future

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Mains Paper 2: IR | India and its neighborhood- relations.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: What is demographic dividend?

Mains level: It is important to know about the issues related to Nepal, as it is our very important neighbour and partner.


News

Context

  1. The article talks about current situation of Nepal and talks about some regional commons

Achievements of Nepal

  1. Despite modest economic growth, Nepal halved absolute poverty in the past two decades
  2. It dramatically reduced rates of child and maternal mortality
  3. Primary school enrolment, exceeds 97 per cent, and average life expectancy has crossed 70

Future targets of Nepal

  1. Nepal’s target is to get middle-income country tag by 2030, peopled by a vibrant middle-class
  2. To achieve this, Nepal needs to mobilise an unprecedented volume of public revenue and private investment

The Areas where India and Nepal can help each other
(1) Wider Connectivity

  1. Nepal needs to connect with electric railways, expressways and expanded air routes directly connecting more cities in Nepal to more cities in its neighbouring countries

(2) Augmenting Productivity

  1. Nepal’s formidable topography makes material access to world markets costly
  2. However, the availability of clean energy, an affordable workforce make Nepal uniquely tempting to investors

(3) Tapping new economic possibilities

  1. Nepal today faces an enormous trade deficit with India
  2. The share of Nepal’s manufacturing sector has plunged from a peak of 10 per cent of GDP in 1996 to around 5 per cent today

(4) Applying mass social innovation

  1. Nepal must adopt social protection measures to counter the challenges posed by inequality and vulnerability

(5) Protecting the regional commons

  1. South Asia will face a major shortfall in the supply of fresh water over the next decade
  2. Nepal’s big rivers can be a source of fresh water and clean energy that can displace dirty sources of power in the Subcontinent
  3. But Nepal support for this, due to its limited resources

The way forward

  1. Both India and Nepal are dominated by a youthful population with demographic dividends
  2. By 2020, the median age will still just be 29 in India and 25 in Nepal
  3. This young population is yet to be reaped
  4. Cooperation on governing our regional commons is vital for our shared quests of good health and progress
Foreign Policy Watch: India-SAARC Nations
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