S&T and Geopolitics

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Context:
  • Science and technology acts as a portion of geopolitics where technological developments boost Geo-political domination of the country.
  • This dominion can act as a decisive instrument to pursue a geopolitical outline and build strategic relations in international affairs.
  • It can also be a potential tool in national security and opening new market opportunities
  • Possession of high-class technology fetches greater power and control in International arena.
  • Intermediate powers like Canada and Switzerland are best examples in the international arena because of their S&T capabilities.
 
Israel
  • Being a small country it embraces a great geo-political importance because of its high-tech ecosystem.
  • One of the cause for India’s latest tilt regarding Israel is the latter’s strength in S&T, especially in agriculture.
  • Israel serves the triple purpose of boosting economic growth, ensuring national security, and offering international leverage.
 
U.S.
  • Country has been the world’s superpower for the past 50 years, because of their headship in S&T.
  • The beginning of World War I with the establishment of the Council of National Defense and the National Research Council established the Science and technological leadership.
  • World War II led to the development of the atomic weapon and Foundations of Silicon Valley.
  • The diplomatically important US space program was the seed of cold war.
 
China
  • Chinese innovation policy is a geopolitical apparatus to advance economic and military hegemony.
  • China’s New Industry Policy 2025 aims to make itself an “innovative country”.
  • Chinese moves in clean energy and space have made technology a prime pawn in the international power play.
  • China aims to become a superpower in Artificial Intelligence, leading to a technology race with the US.
  • The Chinese government also invests strategically in the US, particularly in Silicon Valley
 
India
  • India’s fresh works to focus on its domestic defense manufacturing industry, develop a regional satellite for South Asia, an independent GPS, as well as establish 20 world-class universities, are all seen as foot works in the S&T advancement to reach the power.
  • As per the 2015 report by the OECD, the US spent 2.7% of its GDP on research and development in 2013. South Korea and Israel each spent 4% of their GDP while China is targeting 2.5% by 2020.
  • India currently spends only 0.9% of GDP on R&D.
 
Way forward
  • India needs to diagnose the geopolitical reality of S&T.
  • India needs to build the infrastructure to generate new technologies and to invest in human capital, maintain a cadre of top scientists and professionals, and develop industry-lab links.
 
 
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