Daily News Analysis 20 July 2023 (The Hindu)


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Here are the topics covered for 20 July 2023: Revisiting the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) – A Call for Change, NATO\’s Vilnius Summit: Evaluating Progress and Preparing for Future Challenges, India\’s Rank on Henley Passport Index 2023: Key Points, Regional Disparity in Nursing Colleges: Health Ministry\’s data reveals.


Table of Contents



  1. Revisiting the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) – A Call for Change
  2. NATO\’s Vilnius Summit: Evaluating Progress and Preparing for Future Challenges


Prelims facts and basics

  1. India\’s Rank on Henley Passport Index 2023: Key Points
  2. Regional Disparity in Nursing Colleges: Health Ministry\’s data reveals

Revisiting the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) – A Call for Change



  1. Recent rise in arbitration and court actions to settle disputes over hydroelectric projects.
  2. Pakistan initiated arbitration at the Permanent Court of Arbitration, which was accepted by the court.

Need for Adaptability:

  1. IWT lacks mechanisms to address changing water availability due to climate change.
  2. Fixed allocation of water assumes constant future water availability, which is no longer valid.

Principles of International Water Courses Law:

  1. Consider adopting equitable and reasonable utilization (ERU) and the no harm rule (NHR).
  2. ERU focuses on optimal use of water, while NHR aims to prevent significant harm to other riparian states.

Reconciling Divergent Approaches:

  1. India prioritizes optimal water use, while Pakistan emphasizes uninterrupted water flow.
  2. ERU and NHR can serve as guiding principles for striking a balance between different water uses.

Inclusion of ERU and NHR in IWT:

  1. Incorporating ERU and NHR in the IWT can bring predictability to water usage.
  2. ERU and NHR are already binding on both countries as customary international law.

World Bank\’s Role:

  1. The World Bank, a party to the IWT, could foster a transnational alliance of epistemic communities.
  2. Epistemic communities can help build convergent state policies and advocate for including ERU and NHR in the IWT.

The Necessity for Revisiting the IWT:

  1. Given the lack of trust between India and Pakistan, revisiting the IWT is essential.
  2. A revised treaty with updated principles will better address current and future water challenges.

About Indus Waters Treaty: Key Points


  1. Signed in 1960 between India and Pakistan to regulate water sharing in the Indus river system.
  2. Facilitated cooperation between two historically unfriendly neighbors.

Partitioning of Rivers:

  1. Proprietary rights granted to India over Eastern rivers (Sutlej, Ravi, Beas).
  2. Proprietary rights granted to Pakistan over Western rivers (Indus, Jhelum, Chenab).

Dispute Resolution:

  1. Detailed procedures and criteria for settling disputes included in the treaty.
  2. Judicial recourse and arbitration used to address conflicts arising from hydroelectric projects.

NATO\’s Vilnius Summit: Evaluating Progress and Preparing for Future Challenges



  1. The Vilnius Summit, held on 11-12 July 2023, came after the Madrid Summit of 2022, where NATO allies agreed on new force models and adopted a Strategic Concept to guide the alliance over the next decade.
  2. The Vilnius Summit aimed to assess NATO\’s progress over the past year and prepare the alliance for potential future conflicts.
  3. While expectations were high regarding a timeline for Ukraine\’s membership, the Summit fell short on this issue. Nevertheless, NATO members reaffirmed their commitment to Ukraine\’s security and resilience. This article outlines the key takeaways from the summit.


Key Takeaways:

  1. Russia\’s Threat: The Summit\’s communique acknowledges Russia as the most significant and direct threat to the security and stability of NATO allies in the Euro-Atlantic area. Notably, concerns about the roles of Belarus and Iran in supporting Russian aggression are highlighted.
  2. Baltic Sea as \”NATO Lake\”: Finland\’s participation in its first NATO Summit and Türkiye\’s agreement to ratify Sweden\’s bid to join NATO signify a strategic shift in the Baltic Sea region, which was once dominated by Moscow.
  3. No Immediate Timeline for Ukraine\’s Membership: The Summit does not offer a specific timeline for Ukraine\’s NATO membership. Instead, NATO leaders reiterate that an invitation will be extended when allies agree and conditions are met.
  4. Increased Commitments to Ukraine: Several NATO member states, including Germany, France, and Norway, pledge additional military and financial support to enhance Ukraine\’s defense capabilities. The G7 also reinforces its commitment to Ukraine\’s long-term security.
  5. Concerns about China: NATO recognizes China as a security threat, with concerns about Beijing\’s opaque strategy, intentions, and military buildup. The alliance also highlights the deepening strategic partnership between Russia and China.
  6. Indo-Pacific Engagement: NATO looks to expand engagement with countries in the Indo-Pacific region, aiming to link the security of the Euro-Atlantic with that of the Indo-Pacific. However, divisions arise over establishing a NATO office in Japan.
  7. Defence Spending: NATO emphasizes the need for increased defence spending beyond the 2 percent of GDP benchmark, citing a more \”contested security order\” as the reason for additional expenditure.

The Vilnius Summit represents a crucial moment for NATO as it grapples with evolving geopolitical challenges, seeks to strengthen its defence capabilities, and reaffirms its commitment to collective security. Despite the absence of a concrete timeline for Ukraine\’s NATO membership, the alliance\’s focus on bolstering resilience and cooperation serves to enhance regional stability and security.

India\’s Rank on Henley Passport Index 2023: Key Points



  1. The Henley Passport Index is a ranking of all the world\’s passports, prepared by Henley & Partners, a global citizenship and residence advisory firm.
  2. It measures the number of countries that allow visa-free access to passport holders from different nations.
  3. India\’s rank on the index has shown fluctuations over the years.

India Climbs to 80th Rank:

  1. India\’s rank on the Henley Passport Index 2023 improved to 80th place from 87th in the previous year.
  2. Number of Visa-Free Countries Remains Unchanged: Despite the climb in rank, the number of countries granting visa-free access to Indian passport holders remained the same.

Top-Ranking Countries:

  1. Singapore claimed the top spot as the most powerful passport in the world, with access to 192 travel destinations without a visa.
  2. Japan, which held the top position for five years, dropped to the third place.

Other Top-Ranking Countries:

  1. Germany, Italy, and Spain share the second position.
  2. The U.K. climbed two places to occupy the fourth spot, while the U.S. dropped two places to the eighth position.

Henley Openness Index:

  1. India was ranked 94th out of 97 countries on the Henley Openness Index, which measures how many nations allow visa-free access to a particular country.
  2. India allows visa-free access to only four countries.

Least Open Countries:

  1. Afghanistan, North Korea, Papua New Guinea, and Turkmenistan were at the bottom of the Henley Openness Index, as they do not permit visa-free access for any passport holders.

Most Open Countries:

  1. The top 20 \”most open\” countries are mostly small island nations or African states, with Cambodia being the exception.
  2. Twelve countries offer visa-free or visa-on-arrival entry to all 198 passports worldwide.

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Countries:

  1. GCC countries, particularly the UAE and Oman, have shown significant increases in openness, with more countries offering visa-free access to their passport holders.

Regional Disparity in Nursing Colleges: Health Ministry\’s data reveals



  1. The Health Ministry\’s data reveals significant regional disparities in the availability of nursing colleges across India, impacting the nurse-to-population ratio and healthcare services in various districts.
  2. While some states have a concentration of nursing institutions, many districts lack access to nursing education and training.
  3. To address this imbalance, the Health Ministry has initiated measures to promote equitable healthcare education and workforce distribution.

Regional Disparity in Nursing Colleges:

  1. Health Ministry data indicates that 40% of districts in India lack nursing colleges, leading to uneven access to healthcare education and services.

Concentration of Nursing Institutions:

  1. About 42% of nursing colleges are clustered in five southern states (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana), while three western states (Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Maharashtra) house 17% of nursing institutions.

Nurse-to-Population Ratio:

  1. Despite having close to 35 lakh nurses, India\’s nurse-to-population ratio stands at 2.06 nurses per 1,000 residents, falling short of the global benchmark of 3 nurses per 1,000.

Government\’s Response:

  1. The Health Ministry acknowledges the need to correct regional disparity and enhance healthcare education and services.
  2. To address this issue, the Ministry has introduced a scheme to establish 157 new nursing colleges co-located with medical colleges by April 2025.

Financial Support:

  1. The government\’s scheme offers financial support of ₹10 crore per college to expedite the establishment of these new nursing colleges, encouraging equitable distribution of healthcare education resources.

Short-Term Training for Nurses:

  1. Additionally, the Health Ministry has conducted short-term training courses for nurses under the Development of Nursing Services scheme.
  2. However, it expresses concern about some states\’ poor uptake of this training initiative.

Regional Skew in Nursing Workforce

  1. The majority (64%) of the nursing workforce is trained in just eight states, underscoring the need for expanding nursing education and opportunities in other regions.

WHO\’s Global Perspective:

  1. The World Health Organization (WHO) also highlights global nursing shortages, emphasizing the essential role of nurses in health promotion, disease prevention, and primary healthcare delivery.

The Health Ministry\’s efforts to establish new nursing colleges and provide training opportunities aim to bridge the regional disparity in nursing education and healthcare services. By promoting an equitable distribution of healthcare resources, India can strengthen its healthcare workforce and improve overall healthcare delivery across the nation.

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