The One-China Policy and Taiwan
Tags: GS 2, India & Foreign Relations
After Honduras severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan, China and Honduras recently signed an agreement to establish diplomatic relations.
- China has never recognised Taiwan as an independent political entity, maintaining that it has always been a province of China in accordance with its “One China” policy.
- Despite the fact that Taiwan’s policy has been a contentious issue between China and Taiwan for decades, Taiwan has engaged in separatist activities in pursuit of independence.
- Only 13 nations currently recognise Taiwan, including the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Tuvalu, Eswatini, Vatican City, Belize, Guatemala, Haiti, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
What is the One China Policy?
- The “One China” policy refers to the notion that mainland China and Taiwan comprise one country.
- It dates back to 1949, when the Communist Party led by Mao Zedong won the Chinese civil war and the nationalist Kuomintang fled to Taiwan and established the government of the Republic of China.
- Both sides claimed to be the legitimate government of China, and for many years the majority of the international community recognised Taiwan as such.
- China asserts that Taiwan is a province of China and thus a part of “One China,” whereas Taiwan maintains its own government and claims to be an independent nation.
Major issues between China and Taiwan:
- Sovereignty: China views Taiwan as a separatist province that must be reunified with the mainland. Taiwan is a sovereign state with its own government, military, and economy.
- Political Differences: Taiwan is a democratic nation, whereas China is a communist one-party state. Political ideology differences have contributed to tensions between the two countries.
- Military Threats: China has not ruled out the use of force to reunify with Taiwan and has conducted military exercises near the Taiwan Strait in the past, which have increased tensions between the two sides.
- Economic Competition: China and Taiwan are both economic superpowers, and their trade and investment activities are highly competitive.
- Diplomatic Recognition: China has utilised its diplomatic influence to isolate Taiwan by persuading other nations to sever ties with Taiwan and recognise China instead.
- Taiwan’s International Status: Taiwan is not recognized as a sovereign state by the United Nations and is unable to join international organizations.
- Cross-Strait Relations: There are also a number of other issues that affect cross-strait relations, including Taiwan’s relationship with the United States, Taiwan’s national identity, and the possibility of a peaceful reunification.
Diplomatic Status of Taiwan
Stand of UN:
- The United Nations (UN) officially recognises the People’s Republic of China as the sole legitimate representative of China, including Taiwan.
- This is based on the “One China” policy, which asserts that there is only one China, of which Taiwan is an integral part.
Stand of USA:
- The United States, for its part, has maintained a “One China” policy since 1972, recognising the People’s Republic of China as the sole legitimate government of China while also maintaining unofficial ties with Taiwan.
- This delicate balancing act has become increasingly difficult in recent years as tensions between China and the US have increased and the US has taken a more confrontational stance towards China on a variety of issues.
Stand of India:
- It officially recognises the One China policy and maintains diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China.
- India has never recognised Taiwan as a sovereign state and has consistently referred to it as “part of China”
- Despite this, India maintains unofficial and non-governmental contacts with Taiwan, including business, cultural, and people-to-people exchanges.
- India also recognises Taiwan’s significance as a vibrant democracy and a significant economic partner.
- The issue of the “One China” policy will likely continue to be a contentious one for the foreseeable future, with both sides firmly entrenched in their respective positions. Nevertheless, there are indications that the situation may be changing, with China becoming more assertive in its claims over Taiwan and the United States adopting a more confrontational stance towards China. Ultimately, the future of Taiwan and its relationship with China will likely be determined by a complex combination of economic, political, and strategic factors, and will remain a major flashpoint in the region for many years.
One World Summit on TB
GS 2 Health
- The Prime Minister recently delivered a speech at the One World TB Summit and announced initiatives to eliminate tuberculosis by 2025.
- The Ministry of Health organises the One World TB Summit to advance the Indian vision of “One Earth, One Health”
- To achieve the goal of eradicating tuberculosis by 2025, the Prime Minister announced the TB-Mukt Panchayat and a shorter TB Preventive Treatment (TPT).
- India was also the first nation to develop a functional mathematical model for TB estimation. The mathematical model was presented to the participants of the 36th Stop TB Partnership Board from forty countries.
- According to the WHO, 1,6 million people died of tuberculosis in 2021 (including 187 000 people with HIV). TB is the thirteenth leading cause of death on a global scale and the second leading infectious killer after COVID-19 (above HIV/AIDS).
- Tuberculosis is preventable and curable, and approximately 85 percent of patients can be successfully treated with a 4/6-month drug regimen.
- India accounts for more than a quarter of the world’s total tuberculosis cases.
- According to the India TB report 2023, 24.2 million cases were reported in 2022, a 13% increase over 2021.
- Global Tuberculosis Report 2022
- World Health Organization released its 2022 version of the Global TB report.
- It provides a comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of the tuberculosis epidemic, as well as progress in disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment at the global, regional, and national levels.
- Highlights Of the Report:
- Increase in cases:In 2021, an estimated 10.6 million people will contract tuberculosis (TB), a 4.5 percent increase from 2020, and 1.6 million will die from TB (including 1,87,000 among HIV positive people).
- Country wise assessment:India was one of eight countries accounting for more than two-thirds (68.3%) of the total number of TB patients.
- Indonesia (9.2% of cases), China (7.4%), the Philippines (7%), Pakistan (5.8%), Nigeria (4.4%), Bangladesh (3.6%), and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (2.8%) were the other countries affected.
- The impact of drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB):
- The number of new cases of rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis (RR-TB) will increase by 3% between 2020 and 2021, reaching 4.5 million in 2021.
- This is the first time in many years that an increase in the incidence of tuberculosis and drug-resistant TB has been reported.
- Lack of Diagnosis: Due to ongoing difficulties in providing and gaining access to essential TB services, a significant number of TB patients were not diagnosed and treated. Globally, underreporting is still a major concern.
- Global Issues : Ongoing conflicts across Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East have further exacerbated the situation for vulnerable populations.
- Nearly 82% of global TB deaths among HIV-negative people occurred in the African and South-East Asia regions, with India alone accounting for 36% of such deaths.
- As part of the Ayushman Bharat Digital Health Mission, the government has begun utilising technology by creating digital health IDs for tuberculosis patients in order to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.
- The Ni-kshay Poshan Yojana provides financial assistance to patients via direct benefit transfer.
- National TB Elimination Programme aims to end the TB epidemic in the country by 2025, five years ahead of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
- Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyan: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) initiative to accelerate the nation’s progress towards TB eradication by 2025. It provides additional patient support to enhance TB patients’ treatment outcomes.
- TB Mukt Gram Panchayat Abhiyaan: The objective of the TB Mukt Gram Panchayat campaign is to engage the community in achieving the elimination of tuberculosis. It provides for TB Champions who have been identified and educated about tuberculosis on the Panchayat level.
- Integration of the BCG vaccine into the Indradhanush programme.
- Two vaccines, VPM (Vaccine Projekt Management) 1002 and MIP (Mycobacterium Indicus Pranii), are undergoing clinical trials.
- Tuberculosis Model: India has developed a mathematical model for improved disease estimation. Using Using this model, incidence and mortality estimates for TB in India will be available each year by March, months before the annual WHO estimates. In the future, India can also prepare similar estimates at the state level utilising the model.
- Undernutrition: According to data compiled by various organisations, 16.4% of India’s population is poor, with 4.2% living in extreme poverty, as their deprivation score exceeds 50%. Poverty is associated with undernutrition and unhygienic living conditions.
- Underreporting: One of the major factors of TB prevalence in India is under-reporting of TB cases. This leads to the risk of spreading TB to other healthy individuals.
- Treatment: Inequitable access to quality diagnosis and treatment remains a major issue in combating tuberculosis. Further, the private sector which contributes a major part of TB care is fragmented, made up of diverse types of healthcare providers, and largely unregulated
- Drug resistance to TB: Private sector treatment for tuberculosis is inconsistent, resulting in an increase in drug resistance.
- Issues with RNCTP: Weak implementation of Revised National TB control program at state level is another major concern.
- Social Stigma: Patients often hesitate to seek treatment or deny their condition altogether for fear of social discrimination and stigmatisation.
- India must adopt a multi-pronged strategy that emphasises the development of vaccines and the incorporation of technology and community-based initiatives into TB treatment regimens.
· The bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis causes tuberculosis. TB typically affects the lungs (pulmonary TB) in humans, but it can also affect other organs (extra-pulmonary TB).
· Tuberculosis is transmitted from person to person via the air. Cough with sputum and blood, chest pain, weakness, weight loss, fever, and night sweats are typical symptoms.
· Most patients with the disease are adults.
· In 2021, 56.5% of the TB burden was borne by men, 32.5% by adult women, and 11% by children.
· Numerous new cases of tuberculosis are caused by five risk factors: Malnutrition HIV infection Alcohol use disorders Smoking Diabetes.
· TB is preventable and curable, and approximately 85 percent of those who contract the disease can be cured with a 4/6-month drug regimen.
· Treatment has the additional benefit of preventing the spread of infection. While tuberculosis is detected in every region of the globe, thirty nations bear the greatest burden.
· World Tuberculosis (TB) Day is observed on March 24 to raise awareness about the devastating health, social, and economic effects of tuberculosis (TB) and to promote efforts to end the global TB epidemic.
· On this date, Dr. Robert Koch announced the discovery of the TB-causing Mycobacterium tuberculosis, paving the way for its diagnosis and treatment. this disease.
National List of Mandatory Drugs (NLEM)
- In accordance with the Drugs (Price Control) Order, 2013, or DPCO 2013, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority recently announced a change to the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) for the year 2023.
- The Union Health Ministry maintains a National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) that meets the population’s priority health care needs.
- The list is compiled with disease prevalence, efficacy, safety, and cost-effectiveness of the medicines in mind.
- The medicines listed in the NLEM are sold below a price ceiling set by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA).
- The price ceiling is set by the NPPA based on the Annual change in the WPI.
- This year’s increase is due to a 12.12% increase in the WPI.
Drug Pricing Mechanism:
- Drugs sold in India are classified as either scheduled or nonscheduled.
- Drugs included in the NLEM are referred to as scheduled drugs. The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) caps their prices and only adjusts them based on wholesale price index-based inflation.
- The other drugs are known as non-scheduled drugs, and their prices can increase by up to 10 percent annually.
Issues with Drug Pricing Regulation
- Medicines are primarily sold by the unit in India. Cost regulation of a strip is ineffective.
- Access to essential drugs is extremely limited
- The NLEM contains only 348 drugs, leaving out a large number of essential drugs subject to price control.
It does not cover combination medications. When a price-controlled drug is combined with a non-price-controlled drug, the price control is removed.
- No penalties will be levied against companies for failing to comply with NPPA orders.
- Improving access to medications through subsidised medications and raising price awareness will have positive effects on the nation’s health.
A Rise in Provident Fund Interest
GS 3 Indian Economy & Related Issues
- EPFO recently increased the interest rate on the employees’ provident fund for FY23 to 8.15 percent.
- The decision to increase the interest rate is a result of successive rate hikes by the Reserve Bank of India and a larger surplus at EPFO, which have led to an increase in system-wide interest rates.
- The interest rate on employees’ provident fund (EPF) savings remains the highest in the small savings category, and it will benefit more than 60 million EPFO subscribers (EPFO).
Retirement support in India
- For organised workers, Employees’ Provident Funds Scheme 1952 (EPF) and Employees’ Pension Scheme 1995 (EPS) provide the majority of retirement benefits (EPS)
- EPF (Employees’ Provident Funds Scheme) 1952?
- Under the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Act of 1952, EPF is the primary scheme.
- This plan aims to accumulate sufficient funds for an individual’s retirement.
- Employer and employee contributions are made to the fund. Every month, they are required to contribute 12% of the employee’s basic salary (Basic + Dearness allowance) to this fund.
- Upon retirement, an individual receives the total contribution (both employee and employer contributions) as a lump sum with interest (currently 8.10% p.a.). Fixed rate of return is earned. Interest earned is exempt from taxation.
- Employees’ Pension Scheme 1995 (EPS) ?
- Employee Pension Scheme (EPS) is a social security scheme that provides pensions to employees in the organised sector after the age of 58. o To be eligible for pension benefits, a person must have at least ten years of service (which need not be continuous).
- Unlike the EPF contribution, the EPS pension contribution is not shared equally between employees and employers.
- Employer and employee contributions to the EPF scheme total 12% of the employee’s basic salary and DA. The employer’s 12% contribution is divided into two parts:
- Contribution to the EPF: 3.67%
- Contribution to EPS: 8.33%
- In addition to the contributions listed above, the Government of India contributes 1.16 percent.
- Employees are ineligible to make contributions to the plan.
Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Kaushalya Yojana captive employment (DDU-GKY)
GS 2 Welfare Schemes for Vulnerable Sections of Population & their PerformanceGS 3Indian Economy & Related Issues
- Under the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Kaushalya Yojana, the Union Minister for Rural Development has initiated “Captive Employment” (DDU-GKY).
What is Captive Employment?
- ‘Captive Employment’ is a first-of-its-kind initiative designed to address the vision of a dynamic and demand-based skilling ecosystem that meets the needs of industry partners and ensures sustainable placements for rural poor youth.
- The initiative is a boost for the DDU-GKY programme, as it guarantees post-training placement for a minimum of six months at a minimum CTC of Rs 10,000/-.
- This programme will be a great boon for the rural poor by supplementing their employment needs and raising their standard of living. Additionally, this programme shall contribute to sustainable development objectives.
- Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) is a placement-linked skilling programme under the auspices of the National Rural Livelihood Mission of the Ministry of Rural Development (NRLM).
- This programme targets disadvantaged rural youth. It was launched on September 25, 2014 and is funded by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways of India.
- The programme is currently being implemented in 27 states and 4 territories with an emphasis on placements for rural poor youth.
- Youth in rural areas between the ages of 15 and 35 are provided with demand-driven skill training. Coverage requirements for socially disadvantaged groups (SC/ST: 50%; Minority: 15%; Women: 33%). Rather than training, Career Progression is emphasised.
Day of Universal Acceptance
GS 2, Government Policies & Interventions
- National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI), a non-profit organisation operating under the auspices of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), successfully organised a two-day event on Universal Acceptance Day (March 27-28) to foster collaborative efforts for an inclusive and multilingual internet in India.
- Celebrated worldwide on March 28. The UASG and ICANN organised the inaugural UA Day.
- This year, India was the leader in promoting and disseminating Universal Acceptance (UA) for digital inclusion.
- The purpose of this inaugural UA Day was to promote an inclusive and multilingual internet.
- The adoption of UA in India can increase the number of broadband users by 500 million, thereby enhancing the digital economy, fostering startup ecosystems, and creating employment opportunities.
- It is likely that the next one billion internet users will come from non-English speaking countries, increasing the significance of a multilingual internet.
- Universal Acceptance refers to the creation of a technical environment that enables computing devices, operating systems, browsers, social media, and e-commerce to accept instructions in a language other than English and to validate domain names and email addresses regardless of script, language, or character length.
Importance of Universal Acceptance
- India is home to more than 18,000 dialects. India has the most internet users but it must be noted that language barriers also make it a base of the largest numbers of non-users who do not speak English.
- India has set a target of becoming a USD 1 trillion digital economy soon and it is important for the country to widen the cover of digital inclusion with UA.
- Providing a multilingual internet user interface is crucial for bridging the current digital divide. Through Universal Acceptance, we can connect with non-internet users and promote digital inclusion across the country and the world.
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
- It manages the upkeep of namespaces and numerical spaces that enable the secure and stable operation of the internet.
- ICANN is responsible for the technical upkeep of IP Address pools and Domain Name Servers (DNS). The incorporation of ICANN in California occurred on September 30, 1998.
- An internationally diverse Board of Directors governs ICANN and oversees the policy development process. President of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) oversees an international staff from three continents that ensures ICANN’s operational commitment to the Internet community.
SEBI is preparing to oversee index providers.
GS 3, Indian Economy & Related Issues
- The Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is responsible for regulating the practises of market index providers, as the government is concerned about the safety of passive investors’ savings parked in funds linked to indices that have added or retained several Adani group stocks.
What are market index providers?
- Index providers are companies that design and calculate indexes.
Need for regulation
- SEBI had emphasised the need for greater oversight of currently unregulated index providers such as NSE Indices (a subsidiary of the National Stock Exchange) and the Asia Index Pvt. Ltd. (a BSE joint venture with Dow Jones), citing their increasing dominance as a result of the “proliferation” of index funds.
- In December, a draught regulatory framework for index providers was proposed by the market regulator, raising concerns about potential conflicts of interest in their governance.
- These firms may “exercise discretion through changes in methodology resulting in exclusion or inclusion of a stock in the index or change in the weights of the constituent stocks,” and their decisions may have an effect on the volumes, liquidity, and prices of such stocks, as well as the returns investors receive from index funds.
Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI)
- SEBI was established on April 12, 1992 in accordance with the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act of 1992.
- Prior to the establishment of SEBI, the regulatory authority was the Controller of Capital Issues, which derived its authority from the Capital Issues (Control) Act of 1947.
- In April of 1988, the Government of India established SEBI as the regulator of India’s capital markets.
- Initially, SEBI was a non-statutory body with no statutory authority.
- The SEBI Act of 1992 granted it autonomy and statutory authority.
- To protect the interests of investors in securities, promote the growth of the securities market, and regulate it. The Government of India owns this regulator of the Indian securities and commodity markets.
- Powers & Functions:
- It is a quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial body with the authority to draught regulations, conduct investigations, render decisions, and impose penalties.
- To safeguard the financial market interests of Indian investors.
To serve as a platform for portfolio managers, bankers, stockbrokers, investment advisers, merchant bankers, registrars, and other individuals.
Liquid Piezoelectric Effect
- Scientists have reported for the first time evidence of the piezoelectric effect in liquids.
- The effect was observed at room temperature in pure 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethyl-sulfonyl)imide and 1-hexyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide, both of which are ionic liquids (liquids made of ions instead of molecules).
- The piezoelectric effect has only been predicted to occur in solids because the body being compressed must have an organised structure, such as the pyramids of quartz. Liquids lack such structure; rather, they assume the form of their container. The new discovery challenges the theory that describes this effect and paves the way for applications in electronic and mechanical systems that were previously unanticipated.
What is the piezoelectric effect?
- In the piezoelectric effect, a body develops an electric current when it is squeezed. The In 1880, the piezoelectric effect was discovered in quartz.
- Quartz is the most widely recognised piezoelectric crystal. Quartz is silicon dioxide (SiO2). Each oxygen atom is shared by two pyramids. The quartz crystal consists of silicon and oxygen atoms at the four vertices of a three-sided pyramid. These pyramids are repeated to create the crystal. This function is served by it in analogue wristwatches and clocks. These crystals are also utilised in cigarette lighters, electric guitars, TV remote controls, audio transducers, and other devices where it is advantageous to convert mechanical stress to a current.
- When mechanical stress is applied, such as when the crystal is compressed, the position of the charge is pushed away from the crystal’s centre, resulting in a low voltage. This is where the effect originates.
New applications of this discovery
- This effect allows liquids to be used as lenses with dynamic focusing capabilities.