Indian Express Editorial Topic-1 : An elusive grand bargain

GS-2 Mains 

Short Notes or Revision Notes 

Question : Discuss India’s concerns regarding the US-China relationship and its implications for regional dynamics in the Indo-Pacific.

US-China Relations: A Balancing Act

Biden’s “Responsible Competition” Strategy

  • The US aims to cooperate with China where possible and challenge them where necessary.
  • This approach is seen with skepticism by some analysts, including India.

India’s Concerns

  • India worries engagement with China will come at the expense of US allies.
  • The US, geographically distant from Asia, has reasons to find accommodation with China.

Reasons for Cooperation and Competition

  • Both are leading economies with significant interdependence.
  • Both are major military powers.
  • Economic threats from China and its attempts to push the US out of Asia push for a US response.

Implementation of “Responsible Competition”

  • Agreement on pushing back against China exists, but disagreement on intensity remains.
  • Some Republicans favor a more confrontational approach.
  • Biden maintains a “responsible competition” policy.
  • Examples of US-China engagement:
    • High-level communication between leaders.
    • Xi Jinping’s visit to the US in November 2022.
    • Yellen’s visit to China this week.

US Indo-Pacific Strategy: Countering China Through Alliances

US Focus on Indo-Pacific Despite Ukraine War

  • Biden hosting Japanese PM Kishida for a state visit.
  • Kishida is the third Quad leader to receive this honor under Biden.
  • This highlights the strategic importance of the Indo-Pacific for the US.

Japan as the Linchpin of US Strategy

  • Japan has emerged as a key player in Biden’s Indo-Pacific strategy.
  • Kishida has promised to increase Japan’s defense budget and develop new military capabilities.
  • This marks a shift from Japan’s post-war pacifism.
  • US wants to include Japan in AUKUS (technology partnership with US, UK, Australia) for advanced military technology development (excluding nuclear submarines due to Japan’s anti-nuclear stance).

AUKUS and Expanding Cooperation

  • AUKUS collaboration focuses on hypersonic, underwater, cyber, AI, and quantum computing technologies.
  • Japan’s technological prowess can be valuable in this area.
  • This reflects a shift towards minilateralism beyond bilateral alliances.
  • The US is creating a network of alliances, including the Quad (India, Japan, Australia, US) and the Chip Four (semiconductor producers – Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, US).

Building a Web of Asian Security Networks

  • The US aims to create a network of Asian security networks to deter China.
  • This includes encouraging Japan to expand security assistance to other countries.
  • The US is nudging South Korea to cooperate with India on advanced technology.
  • India is also stepping up its own engagement in East Asia.

US vs. China’s Approach

  • The US strategy focuses on strengthening allies, building partnerships, and promoting cooperation between its Asian partners.
  • China, on the other hand, seeks a “grand bargain” with the US for a Chinese sphere of influence in Asia, leaving its neighbors out.


  • Both the US and China have reasons to cooperate (economic interdependence, military power), but competition and contradictions also exist.
  • The US’s active competition with China provides greater agency for India and other regional players.


Indian Express Editorial Topic-1 : To be a doctor

GS-2 Mains 

Short Notes or Revision Notes 

Question : Discuss the socioeconomic implications of this disparity and propose measures to bridge the gap between demand and availability of medical education opportunities.

Medical Education in India: A Growing Demand and Limited Seats

Surge in Students Going Abroad

  • 18,000 Indian medical students returned from Ukraine due to the war.
  • Many are now pursuing MBBS in Central Asia, Eastern & Southeastern Europe (Serbia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Georgia).
  • This trend highlights shortcomings in the Indian medical education system.

Limited Seats vs. High Aspiration

  • India added 220+ medical colleges and increased MBBS seats by 60% in the last five years.
  • However, there’s a vast gap between available seats (107,950) and aspiring students (2+ million took NEET last year).
  • The ratio of seats to aspirants is roughly 20:1.

Need for More Opportunities

  • A 2019 study shows many students going abroad for medical education come from middle/lower-middle class backgrounds, including rural areas.
  • NEET participation has tripled in 10 years, reflecting growing aspirations for the medical profession.
  • But competition is fierce – only the top 0.25% get into elite colleges.

Affordability Concerns

  • Government institutions are cheaper but offer only half the seats.

Increasing Medical Education Seats in India

Expert Proposals

  • NITI Aayog (2020): Link private colleges with district hospitals to serve underserved areas.
  • Focus on paramedical staff: Enhance skills of paramedics and nurses to address non-specialist needs.
  • Medical pedagogy tweaks: Train more general practitioners, similar to successful European models.

Challenges for Foreign Medical Graduates

  • Rigorous exams required to practice in India.
  • Difficulty in transferring credits from foreign institutions, unlike some European countries.

Need for Reform

  • Government has initiated discussions on educational reform.
  • Similar efforts are needed to address medical education gaps.


  • The Ukraine crisis exposed problems in India’s medical education system.
  • Out-of-the-box thinking is needed to meet the growing demand for medical professionals.


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