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The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 15 February 2021

Boosting confidence

  • India’s downward trend in fresh coronavirus infections
  • The daily new cases fell below 10,000 for the third time this month.
  • India’s tally is now 10.9 million cases and fresh reported fatalities were recorded below 100 for the eighth time this month, according to Health Ministry data.
  • Around 2 million doses of vaccine have been administered to health-care workers and some frontline workers.
  • India has also managed to donate vaccines to neighbouring countries.
  • ICMR’s serology survey - only around 21% of the population has been exposed to the virus
  • However, the government’s message to not be complacent and continue to adhere to mask use is in the right scientific spirit, given the uncertainty about virus evolution.
  • Improve public confidence

A disengagement deal better than expected

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh delivered a carefully worded statement in Parliament about the breakthrough which envisages a pullback by both sides in “a phased, coordinated and verified manner”.
  • It also caught off guard those who scoff at the notion of a peaceful resolution of territorial differences in keeping with the longer-term interests of both Asian giants.
  • The intentions of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) were thwarted by India’s robust military response guided by a resolute Indian government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • The bloody incident at Galwan on June 15, 2020, the first involving casualties since 1975.
  • India has consistently highlighted the view that peace is a fundamental prerequisite for the normal conduct of relations.
  • Indian Army had carried out daring manoeuvres to take up advantageous positions along the Kailash range on the southern bank.
  • Having acquired powerful leverage, Indian troops dug in for the long haul and mirrored the PLA’s deployments.
  • The message was unambiguous. India was not going to cave in and stood ready to impose a harsh penalty if China engaged in any act of adventurism.
  • The endurance of the Indian Army through the harsh winter months has been extraordinary.
  • China appears to have realised that a prolonged stand-off, hardly a part of its original calculus and of little avail militarily or politically, was permanently impairing bilateral relations.
  • India’s tough negotiators, both diplomatic and military, have ensured that our troops retain their presence at the permanent Indian post at Finger 3.
  • There is little doubt that cautious diplomatic and military planning and hawk-like vigil will be called for throughout the implementation.
  • The government has reposed full faith in its armed forces and negotiators.
  • The truth is that India’s tough military and diplomatic posture has paid off, resulting in an honourable disengagement.

Opening up the vaccine market

  • Today, India completes nearly four weeks since it began administering the two COVID-19 vaccines — Covishield and Covaxin.
  • During this period, the country has managed to give the first dose of the vaccine to only about eight million people, which is about 0.6% of the population.
  • Seroprevalence surveys suggest that some 400 million people already have antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in India.
  • Assuming true herd immunity is reached when 60% of the population develops antibodies against the virus.
  • For a population of 1.3 billion, that would require over 780 million people to develop antibodies either naturally or through vaccines
  • The rules and elements of a free market, such as competition, choice, and prices, will go a long way in advancing social welfare.
  • Not opening up the market for many options suggests that there may be other considerations at play here, which are beyond the health and welfare of citizens.
  • Economists point out that since vaccines boost health and immunity, creating additional private motivations with a free market makes rational sense in India’s context.
  • We will have to wait and hope that good sense prevails before mutating virus strains minimise our chances of efficient social and policy responses.

Endless war

  • Biden administration’s decision to end U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s Yemen war
  • The U.S. offered support to Saudi Arabia’s campaign against the Houthi rebels in Yemen when Barack Obama was the President.
  • Donald Trump continued that policy, overlooking the disastrous effects of the war that has turned Yemen, one of the poorest Arab countries, into a humanitarian catastrophe.
  • Saudi Arabia ended a nearly four-year-long blockade of Qatar, another American ally, after Mr. Biden was elected President.

  • It has also signalled that it would carry out domestic reforms keeping human rights in focus.
  • But it is yet to make any definite moves to wrap up the Yemen conflict.
  • While these multiple factions continued to fight, more than 10,000 people were killed in attacks and tens of thousands more died of preventable diseases.
  • Yemen also stares at famine.
  • It is a lose-lose war for everyone.
  • Saudi Arabia has failed to oust the Houthis from Sana’a and is now facing frequent rocket and drone attacks by the rebels.

NEWS

  • PM Modi inaugurates first full-fledged international cruise terminal at Cochin Port in Kerala
  • PM hands over indigenously designed and manufactured Arjun Main Battle Tank to the Army
  • All Educational Institutions of higher learning in Uttar Pradesh to start normal operations from today
  • India's vaccine diplomacy garners praise from global media
  • India to resume its 2nd innings at overnight score of 54/1 in Chennai test against England
  • All steel to be allowed to be used for Highway construction, as long as it meets required standards
  • Vice President Venkaiah Naidu pays tributes to Pulwama martyrs
  • PM to lay foundation stone of Maharaja Suheldev Memorial, development work of Chittaura Lake tomorrow
  • Minority Affairs Ministry organising 26th Hunar Haat in New Delhi from Saturday
  • SC dismisses review petition over Shaheen Bagh judgment
  • Japan officially approves Pfizer vaccine
  • Myanmar military amends rules for intensified crackdown, protests continue
  • Spain's Catalonia votes in election overshadowed by pandemic
  • Ambassador of Poland to India Mr Adam Borkowski shares his insights on India-Poland relations