Abhishek Srivastava is teaching live on Unacademy Plus
DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS FROM HINDU 4th DECEMBER 2017 https://unacade Editorial analysis Crash course on Polity Crash Course on Modern History Crash Course on Ancient History Crash Course on Medieval History . Ncert Class VI History Summary . Delhi Sultanate *Essay writing Abhishek Srivastava
The Brahmaputra conundrum Indian strategists should prepare for a possible river diversion by China China is planning to divert the waters of the Yarlung Tsangpo (the upper stream of India's Brahmaputra) to its water-starved Xinjiang province . It has been a long-standing part of the grand South-North Water Transfer project conceptualised as early as in the 1950s by Mao Zedong Indian and Bangladeshi water experts have, raised alarm bells over the plan for the adverse impacts it would have on downstream areas For India, national security implications also follow as the Yarlung Tsangpo also flows into a disputed border region with China.
. Despite denials from the Chinese authorities, there is strong speculation that plans for a 1000 km-long tunnel are being tested in order to transfer water from the Yarlung Tsangpo in Tibet to Xinjiang. History of water interaction There are four critical points that emerge from the history of interactions over water between China and India 1. As per the current agreement, China has thus far agreed to share hydrological data on the Yarlung Tsangpo/Brahmaputra (YTB) during the monsoon season. This gesture of cooperation aligns well with China's broader political strategy of portraying an image of a 'responsible neighbour' Despite two decades of negotiation, further cooperation on water, however, is in a state of a deadlock. The agreement, at best, is a piecemeal discount offered by China
2. Discussions over the YTB have often been overshadowed by the border dispute. .Sino-Indian history wherein despite tense bilateral relations, cooperation over transboundary rivers has occurred. For instance, despite border incursion by the Chinese army in the Depsang Valley in Ladakh in 2013, China and India went ahead to sign the extension of the 2002 Memorandum of Understanding on data sharing on the Brahmaputra river However, there has been no progress in discussing more pressing issues of who has the right to how much water and the impact of dams and diversions on the upper reaches of the river. . . 3. China's approach to transboundary water sharing is shifting towards multilateral arrangements .In 2015, China signed the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) framework along with five other countries through which the Mekong flows. This China-led multilateral agreement is an alternative to the Asian Development Bank-led Mekong River Commission, which China never signed.
.The LMC aligns with China's Belt and Road Initiative and focuses on land and water connectivity, besides river management. India and Bangladesh already have a stressed relationship over Teesta river sharing, whereas China is cooperating more with Bangladesh on water issues. China charges approximately $125,000 for the data it provides to India, at the same time, it sends similar data to Bangladesh for free. .By way of improving relationship with Bangladesh, China could well be aiming to encircle India to reach a deal on the sharing of YTB that favours China's objective of economic expansionism 5. The Indian approach to the YTB issue is influenced by developmental imperatives and domestic politics. . The Brahmaputra is an important resource for India's own water diversion plans - the national river interlinking project- and is considered a powerhouse to meet India's energy demands in the future India tends to play the lower riparian card to gain sympathy from its domestic political constituencies, especially of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh .
Bangladesh and Pakistan have criticised India for being hypocritical in its approach with China, as India has been seen as an alleged bully, in sharing waters with them . While the concerns regarding Chinese diversion plans may be genuine, India also maintains the 'China threat' to a certain extent to veil its own administrative lapses and justify dam-building activities to its domestic audience. What India needs to do .A decade ago, India started planning multiple hydropower projects on the Brahmaputra as a reactive strategy against Chinese dam-building activities on the upper reaches of the river This strategy is informed by the international law of 'prior appropriation', which states that the first user gets the rights to continue using that quantity of water India will need to be more adept in responding to Brahmaputra river-related issues 1. It needs to clearly envision the desired end goal and strategic outcomes for dealing with impending water conflicts.
2. It needs to de-emphasise China's role for the time being and restrengthen its relationship with Bangladesh . It needs to push the impending Teesta river agreement and restore its image as a responsible upper riparian 3. India needs to mirror its strength and firmness in negotiations with China on water rights, as it did in the case of the Doklam stand-off and in opposing the Belt and Road Initiative, rather than projecting itself as a victim.
A misleading hunger index In its calculations, the Global Hunger Index assigns a disproportionate value to child undernourishment Per capita food production in India has increased by 26% (2004-05 to 2013-14), while it has doubled in the last 50 years . This kind of growth rate in food production is expected to reduce hunger significantly over time. . The Global Hunger Index (GHI) prepared by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), shows India's hunger level in very poor light. A closer look . The 2017 GHl score has India ranked 100 out of the 119 countries listed .While a casual reading would create the impression of India being among the worst performers and underachievers in addressing food and nutrition security
. It should not be taken at face value as it is neither appropriate nor representative of Despite improvements, India still faces a problem of undernourishment and poor The GHI for 2017 is calculated as a weighted average of four standardised indicators hunger prevalent in a country child health. 1. the percentage of population that is undernourished 2. percentage of children under five years who suffer from wasting 3. percentage of children under five who suffer from stunting 4. child mortality. Undernourishment and child mortality-1/3 of the GHI score each - child stunting and child wasting- together make up 1/3 of the score Three of the four indicators, refer only to children below five who constitute only 11.5% of India's population. The GHI assigns 70.5% weightage to children below five who constitute only a minor population share and 29.5% weightage to the population above five, which constitutes 81.5% of the total population.
. Therefore, the term "Hunger Index" is highly biased towards undernutrition of children rather than representing the status of hunger in the overall population. .It would be more appropriate to term the conceptualisation and composition of this composite index as a "Global Hunger and Child Health Index" than as a "Global Hunger Index'. intake but are an outcome of factors related to genetics, the environment, sanitation The IFPRI acknowledges that only 45% of child mortality is due to hunger or .Evidence shows that weight and height of children are not solely determined by food intake. undernutrition Calculations show that if child health indicators are not included in the GHI, India will move to the 77th spot. Calculating hunger . The incidence of hunger is taken as the proportion of the population whose food intake provides less than its minimum energy requirements. The figure of the incidence of hunger depends on energy norms and methodological approach used in its estimation.
Either the ICMR-NIN norm is on the higher side or these people voluntarily chose to eat less than what the ICMR-NIN considers normative. By applying, FAO norm to the same, the proportion of the population with calorific deficit was 37.32% in 2004-05 and 29.55% in 2011-12. FAO's State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report has placed the incidence of undernourishment in India at 20.9% for 2004-06 and 17.5% for 2010-12. The much lower estimate here is because it overestimates the proportion of food crops used as food and underestimates the share going for non-food uses such as feed and industrial use. The FAO norm applied to NSSO data on Household Consumer Expenditure indicates that in 2011-12, about 30% of India was undernourished or suffered from hunger, as per the UN definition of hunger. . To avoid confusion about the status of hunger and undernourishment, India should regularly prepare and publish official estimates of hunger, like that of poverty . It will also help in tackling hunger