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India’s Credentials For  UNSC Permanent Seat

China will do anything to frustrate India’s bid for a permanent seat in the expanded UN Security Council. Currently it is engaged in deflating the fresh wave of optimism in India owing to the prospects of reform of the Security Council that could include more permanent members. The Security Council has had five permanent members with veto powers since its inception – Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the UN, and discussions and debates on the nature of UN Security Council reform are taking place at various levels. Among the leading countries pressing for the reform are Germany, Japan, India and Brazil. An article in the state-run Chinese daily ‘The Global Times’ ridicules India’s alliance with Japan, Germany and Brazil to press for a permanent seat in the expanded UN Security Council as its “biggest mistake.” The daily made fun of India for losing even the non-permanent member seat to Japan for 2016-17. The point is this year Japan got the non-permanent member seat which the Security Council grants to a country in Asia every year. It is silly to call India a loser as it has served seven annual terms as a non-permanent member of the Security Council. India served its last term as a non-permanent member in 2011-12.

The thing to note is China and Pakistan had always been the strongest opponents to India’s bid for permanent seat on the Security Council. They do not mind a non-permanent member seat for India. Both China and Pakistan supported India for the non-permanent seat in 2011-12. In official posturing, China supports India’s bid for a permanent seat, but that’s about all. Behind the scene, it makes every effort in league with Pakistan to stop that from happening.

India has been fighting for the expansion and reform of the Security Council for decades. A great boost to its campaign came from the US endorsement of India as a permanent member. US President Barack Obama has made statements endorsing India not once but on multiple occasions. In his address to Indian Parliament during his first visit to the country five years ago, Obama said categorically: “In the years ahead, I look forward to a reformed United Nations Security Council that includes India as a permanent member.” However, over the next five years, some contrary reports came. US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said the US was “open in principle” to a “modest” expansion of both permanent and non-permanent members but added the condition that “any consideration of an expansion of permanent members must take into account the ability and willingness of countries to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security and to the other purposes of the United Nations.”  Wikileaks released cables quoting former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton ridiculing countries like India as “self-appointed frontrunners” for a permanent membership of the Security Council. The on-record and off-record hinted at duplicity of US leadership on the issue. However, US assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia Nisha Biswal and White House spokesperson have reaffirmed that the US is committed to India’s inclusion as a permanent member of the powerful wing of the world body.

But US support alone would not get India a permanent seat. It is not the only country vying for a permanent seat. It has to present the strongest credentials of all to win it. These credentials include being the second largest in terms of population, the largest democracy, one of the world’s largest economies, a responsible nuclear power, non-belligerence and important contributor to the UN Peacekeeping Force.

Reform Goa’s Education

Goa needs to reform its school and higher education in order to establish a dynamic synergy with the modernizing, diversifying and expanding economy. This has been emphasized once again by deputy director of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay Arvind Kudchadker in an interview with this newspaper. Goa has a great potential of becoming an educational hub, like Pune. Some commendable endeavours have already been made in this direction, but greater initiatives need to be taken. While more and more quality institutions need to be set up in the state, as Kudchadker says, the school and higher education in the old and new institutions already established in the state should also be re-oriented to suit quality standards and society’s needs. Technical education should be vigorously and qualitatively promoted. The state government has expressed commitment to promote IT and ITeS industries. These industries will need quality human resources which should be available from the local institutions. The fundamentals of students should be strengthened from the school level. Education should make students capable of facing the challenges of the world, including the challenges of the career they want to pursue.

 

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