Past governments ensured that India lost the advantage that would have accrued to the country were it to utilise its immense coal reserves to their full potential. Nationalisation of coal and mismanagement resulted in the country having to expend scarce foreign exchange to buy coal from countries such as Australia. Interestingly, those from abroad who were most active in the NGOs advocating that India cut back its domestic coal production came from major coal-extracting countries, including the US, Australia and the UK. The consequence of succumbing to such anti-Atmanirbhar advocacy was, of course, not that India sharply reduced the share of coal in its energy sector, but that the country had to import coal from outside, a practice that continues to this day. Whether it be coal, copper or other such resources abundant in India, by one means or the other, India became dependent on foreign countries for much of its supply. Pharmaceuticals is an example of such excessive dependence, as the Indian pharmaceutical industry has grown steadily more dependent for pharmaceutical intermediates on China. After the disruption in supply chains caused by Covid-19 and geopolitical challenges in 2020, efforts by the Government of India to reduce such a high degree of dependency in a premier sector increased. Nuclear energy is far “greener” than energy that is generated through the use of coal as a feedstock. Given that there is a need to reduce if not eliminate India’s dependence on foreign suppliers for the uranium that its nuclear industry needs, this is another essential feedstock, the domestic supply of which has been sharply reduced by use of the executive as well as the other branches of government to discourage uranium mining within the country. As for coal, until such time as its necessity gets reduced to insignificance, efforts need to be made to increase production within the country rather than remain reliant on foreign coal. In such a context, getting a chipmaking company from the US, South Korea or Taiwan to begin production locally needs to be a priority for Ministers Ashwini Vaishnav and Rajeev Chandrashekhar.
Sunday 26 June 2022
Saturday 25 June 2022
Wednesday 22 June 2022
Monday 20 June 2022
Given the low probability of high-level negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang soon taking place, those in the first circle of power around Supreme Commander Kim, who favour a nuclear test, appear to be prevailing.
Given the low probability of high-level negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang soon taking place, those in the first circle of power around Supreme Commander Kim who favour a nuclear test appear to be prevailing in the ongoing argument over whether the nuclear device newly developed by the DPRK should be tested soon or not. If Kim Jong Un accepts such a view, the test by the DPRK of a thermonuclear device will take place before long. Once that happens, even to the hardline new administration in Seoul, the view on the other side of the 38th parallel is that it would become clear that policies based on going along with US-Japan efforts at regime change in Pyongyang would only lead to “unbearable rise in tensions and a cloud of crisis and uncertainty” that would affect economic prospects in South Korea severely. For those in Washington, Tokyo and perhaps Seoul who are eager to punish the people of North Korea by harsher sanctions for the decisions of their unelected government, it may be pointed out that sanctions have not worked in stopping the nuclear and missile programmes of the DPRK. Neither, halfway across the world, have they succeeded in deterring Russian President Vladimir Putin from taking control of more and more territory in Ukraine, even as the disastrous effects across continents of the escalating Biden-Johnson sanctions on Russia push up global inflation and shortages, and bring Johnson and Biden closer towards a political meltdown.