10th October 2019 The Hindu Editorials Notes – Mains Sure shot 

No. 1.

GS-2 Mains 

Question – Access India-China relations. Can they go hostile in the changing power dynamics?Explain (250 words)

Context – China’s stand on Kashmir issue.

The Indo-China relationship:

  • Both India and China are among the two most ancient civilisations of the world sharing a border of approximately 3447 kilometres.
  • They share a rich cultural tradition and India-China cultural exchanges date back to many centuries and there is some evidence that conceptual and linguistic exchanges existed in 1500-1000 B.C. between the Shang-Zhou civilization and the ancient Vedic civilization.
  • During the first, second and third centuries A.D. several Buddhist pilgrims and scholars travelled to China on the historic “silk route”. Ancient Indian monk-scholars such as Kumarajiva, Bodhidharma and Dharmakshema contributed to the spread of Buddhism in China. Similarly, Chinese pilgrims also undertook journeys to India, the most famous among them being Fa Xian and Xuan Zang.
  • On 1 April, 1950, India became the first non-socialist bloc country to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China.
  • Both the countries have similar problems including large population, huge rural-urban divide, rising economy and conflict with neighbours.
  • However the relations turned cold post 1962 war which created mistrust between the two countries since then.

Major causes of dispute:

  1. Border dispute – there are two disputes between them, the western border dispute and the eastern border dispute. The western border dispute includes Aksai Chin. Johnson’s line shows Aksai Chin to be under Indian control whereas the McDonald Line places it under Chinese control. Line of Actual Control separates Indian-administered areas of J & K from Aksai Chin. China and India went to war in 1962 over disputed territory of Aksai Chin. India claimed this was a part of Kashmir, while China claimed it was a part of Xinjiang. On the eastern side, China considers the McMahon Line illegal and unacceptable claiming that Tibet had no right to sign the 1914 Convention held in Shimla which delineated the Mc Mahon line. Hence it claims parts of Arunachal Pradesh.
  2. China – Pakistan friendship – Pakistan lies at the heart of China’s geostrategic ambitions i.e. New silk road connecting the energy fields of the Middle East and the markets of Europe to China. China is also the most trusted economic and military partner of China. China opposed India’s admission into permanent seat of UNSC, & insisted for Pakistan. This prevents any kind of mutual trust between India and China.
  3. OBOR that connects Asia, Africa, Middle East and Europe – India believes that this is not just an economic project but China wants to establish its political dominance in the region by this strategy. Also it has projects in the Gilgit-Baltistan region, ignoring India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
  4. CPEC – India fears that CPEC, passing through the Pakistan controlled Kashmir, would serve the purpose of granting legitimacy to Pakistan’s control over the region, and by promoting the construction of the corridor, China intends to meddle in the Kashmir dispute.india also fears that after gaining access to Gwadar port, the Chinese will find it easy to sail into the Indian Ocean.
  5. The Baloch angle – Gwadar is located in Balochistan, & Baloch are against CPEC because they claim that the CPEC’s benefits will not flow to them. Pakistan and China together are building a military infrastructure in Balochistan’s coastal areas. The purpose is to strengthen their military supremacy in the region which will undermine the stability of the region.
  6. South China Sea dispute – China is constructing many islands in the South China Sea. It has also built ports, Runaways and radar facilities on the man made islands. satellite images of the islands, show that China now appears to have installed large antiaircraft guns and weapons systems as well.
  7. Doklam plateau face-off – Indian troops intervened to block the path of Chinese People’s Liberation Army soldiers engaged in building road-works on the Doklam plateau, a strategically vital 269 sq. km. patch of Bhutan’s territory that Beijing laid claim to. This is the first time that India used troops to protect Bhutan’s territorial interests. India foresees that the construction of a new road through the Chumbi valley would further endanger the “Chicken’s Neck” – the narrow Siliguri corridor links the north-east with the rest of India.
  8. String of pearls – China has an undeclared policy of String of Pearls to encircle India, which involves building of ports and naval bases around India’s maritime reaches.
  9. India supports a Tibetan gov. in exile formed by Dalai Lama.
  10. China began the practice of issuing stapled visa to residents of AP and J & K, though it stopped it for J & K but continues for AP.
  11. China has been building dams in Tibet part of Brahmaputra. India has objected to it but there has been no formal treaty over sharing of the Brahmaputra water.
  12. China is also blocking India’s entry to the NSG.

The recent turn of events:

  • Over the past decade, three historical forces have been shaping India-China relations. some of these forces have been pushing both the countries towards competition and some pulling them closer to collaboration and coordination.
  • First is the changing world and the rise of Asia especially since 2008 global economic crisis
  • Second is the decline of the West’s capacity and inclination to responsibly manage international Affairs on one hand and the rise of India, China and some other re-emerging Asian powers on the other. They are playing an important role in building a new world order which is very essential to maintain global stability. This requires close cooperation and coordination.
  • Third is changing South-Asia and China’s 2013 and 2014 policy that it will develop ties with its peripheries including subcontinental states (for example, south asia is a subcontinent of the continent Asia). This was followed by the ambitious Belt and Road initiative and CPEC in April 2015.
  • These three factors increased the complexity of India-China relations.
  • While the first two mostly pushed the tow to coordinate with each other, the third one increased distrust and tensions. They knew that they needed to cooperate with each other to face the changing world order, but they also couldn’t put aside the tensions.
  • This led to both the adopting antagonistic (hostile) policies and strategies towards each other.
  • This tension continued till 2017. Doklam episode in the high Himalayas was the culmination of this deeper festering question – that how the two will deal with each other as they both try to increase their influence in their overlapping periphery (neighbourhood).
  • It was only after the Doklam issue took a very serious turn that leaders from both sides decided to be more sober towards each other.

The broader picture:

  • When we place these events in the broader picture of an increasing multipolar world order, uncertainty on future of globalisation, and, the yet long journey towards social and hi-tech rejuvenation of their economies, it led to a similar conclusion by the two leaderships: that they need to lessen regional tension in the national interest of both countries.
  • This conclusion was reached at the “informal summit” in Wuhan in 2018.

Wuhan outcome:

  • Both the countries understood that they cannot adopt antagonistic policies towards each other and needed to cooperate and coordinate with each other.
  • This understanding was based on five pillars – first is the acceptance that there is a simultaneous emergence of India and China as regional powers. So it is inevitable that there will be two major powers in the region with independent foreign policies. Second, so both the countries have to recognise the importance of accepting each other’s sensitivities, concerns and aspirations. Third, both the countries will provide strategic guidance to their respective militaries on how to manage the borders peacefully. Fourth, both sides would strive for greater consultation on all matters of common interest and finally, all these will focus on building a real developmental partnership.
  • The Wuhan approach was criticised by some on the ground that it did not lay a blueprint (roadmap) for resolving the pending issues but let us not forget that it made both sides realise and contain the spiraling competition and mistrust that was growing between them and accept that there is an uncertain international environment that makes both sides give up their antagonistic approach.
  • It was a win-win for both sides – the truce gave China the opportunity to focus on its strategic competition with the US. It relieved India from having to overburden its military, weak economy and under-resourced diplomatic corps from having to focus on two fronts in a region wide rivalry with China.
  • The Wuhan approach was based on realpolitik considerations.
  • As India’s Foreign secretary stated in February 2018, that India has to define its relationship with China will will allow us to maintain our foreign policy objectives and at the same time allow us a policy that is prudent enough so that it does not lead us to conflict on every occasion. The Wuhan approach helped both the side to define it.

The Way Forward:

  • Both India and China should be guided by three strategic goals – an inclusive security architecture in Asia that facilitates a non-violent transition to multipolar world without disrupting economic interdependence, second, a fair rules based international order to better reflect developing economies interests, and, third, to establish geo-political peace and sustainable economic development in the neighbourhood.
  • To sum up, as historian Odd Arne Westad said that, the more U.S. and China beat up each other, the more room there will be for other powers to maneuver (i.e. take advantage of). The same applies in the case of India and China as well. Unrestrained competition only benefits other powers.
  • The turn of events is compelling both India and China to learn to co-exist in a common neighbourhood. And this should be maintained.


No. 2.


GS-2 Mains ( Health)

Question – What is mental health? Why is a matter of grave concern? ( 200 words)

Context – the increasing rate of depression among adolescents.


What is mental health?

  • Mental refers to a person’s psychological and emotional well being.

Mental health in adolescents:

  • By adolescents we mean those in the age group of 10-17 years.
  • Many reports and studies show that mental health of adolescents is fast deteriorating. Mental health disorders are on the rise among 13-17 year olds, with one out of five in school suffering from depression.
  • This is alarming given that they make up 18% of the population and are the future drivers of the nation.


  • According to the National Mental Health Survey, 2016, the prevalence of mental disorders was 7.3% among 13-17 year olds. With many resorting to self-harm, and statistics suggests that suicides among adolescents is higher than any other age group.
  • According to the Global Burden of Disease Study 1990-2016, in India, the suicide rate among 15-29 year olds was highest in Karnataka (30.7), Tripura (30.3), Tamil Nadu (29.8), and Andhra Pradesh (25.0).
  • India’s contribution to global suicide deaths increased from 25.3% in 1990 to 36.6% in 2016.


  • Half of the mental health disorders detected in adulthood starts from 14 years of age and most of the cases are undetected.
  • Usually those who suffer from depression and anxiety in adulthood often begin experiencing them from childhood and it may peak during adolescence and early 20s.
  • There may be several reasons for mental disorders in childhood like absenteeism from school, physical or sexual abuse, peer pressure, bullying and others leading to suicidal behaviour.
  • The prime cause for letting this go unchecked is a poor social environment where a stigma is associated around mental health and the inability to discuss it with parents.
  • At times parents are involved in attaching this stigma to their children and at times they refuse to accept it.
  • This leads to the fact that  even though some children and adolescents can identify feeling sad and distressed, only 8% get treated.
  • There is also evidence that technology can create loneliness, isolation and unrealistic expectations for adolescents.

Steps that can be taken/ Way ahead:

  • Parents should be more accepting and understanding.
  • The children should be given proper classes in school so that they know what bullying and peer pressure is and not fall into its trap.
  • Parents should gently discuss the role of technology to bring adolescents to realisation that limiting screen time and engaging in social activities may help.
  • The government should take progressive policies, based on evidence-based approaches.
  • A 2010 Lancet study highlighted interventions conducted with 10,000 adolescents across 10 European countries, with a key success around ‘Youth Behaviour and Mental Health’ segment. This resulted in adolescents with mental health challenges  receiving psychological support via 45 minutes session, which ensured education in suicidal ideas and behaviour.
  • Projects with similar approach such as SPIRIT (Suicide Prevention and Implementation Research Initiative) in India, aims to reduce suicides among targeted adolescents and implement research-based suicide interventions. They also guide local policy makers with research-based evidence.
  • More such initiatives are required and need to be encouraged.

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