Suddenly, within just six weeks, the pandemic is upon us.
As somebody who spent more than a decade in Delhi, the current atmosphere of violence in India’s capital city deeply saddens me. But I am not surprised. Maybe because I come from a part of India—its troubled Northeast periphery—where such violence was a part of life.
Three years ago, the Indian economy clocked a quarterly growth rate of over 9 percent. Now, growth has slowed to nearly half that rate, printing at 4.7 percent for the latest quarter (October-December 2019). Most estimates place growth for the current fiscal year, ending March 2020, at 5 percent, and for next year, 2020-21, at 6 percent. This is an astonishing slowdown for a country that, until recently, enjoyed bragging rights as the fastest growing large economy in the world.
All countries struggle to deliver affordable, high-quality health care to their citizens. If a resource-constrained nation like India has to achieve the twin goals of affordable and quality health care for all, it will require drastic re-engineering of the health care delivery model. India faces two main realities: a large population and low per capita GDP, leaving little room for the substantial investments necessary to build health care infrastructure. An acute shortage of doctors outside major metropolitan areas further compounds the problem.
As we embark upon a new decade, India celebrates the tenth anniversary of its Right to Education Act (RTE), which went into effect in April 2010. While the RTE has been censured for its limited focus on governance and learning outcomes, its achievement in improving access to schooling over the past ten years is undeniable. The RTE has also served as a rallying point for a wide range of stakeholders to intervene in the sector.
Last year at the IISS Shangri-La dialogue, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi outlined India’s conceptualization of the Indo-Pacific as a geographic continuum stretching from the east coast of Africa to the shores of America. India didn’t adopt Indo-Pacific at the behest of the US; its scholarly origins date back to the works of Kalidas Nag who employed the concept in his writings (India and the Pacific world) in the 1940s. Subsequently, scholars such as C. Raja Mohan and Capt.
When Prime Minster Narendra Modi came back to power, he had many things going for him: a renewed mandate, an absolute majority in parliament, a prostrate opposition, and a level of personal popularity with the electorate that dwarfed any other leader.
But, at the same time, his new government was confronting three major challenges. The first was a tepid economy whose weaknesses were threatening all other goals. The second was a more uncertain international environment, stemming from an unpredictable and polarized United States and a resurgent China.