Annalena Baerbock in New Delhi; Kolkata’s Dominique Lapierre; Azim Premji test for India Inc

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Opinion Watch

German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock during her visit to New Delhi held bilateral with her counterpart S Jaishankar, while committing to boost travel of Indian students, researchers, businessmen to Germany, while her country committed a billion Euro to green energy efforts in India. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz would be in India twice next year for bilateral and G20 Summit in September.

The Hindu in its Editorial has sought to weigh German pivot in the global world order with Scholz’s claims of zeitenwende (turning point) on the Russian invasion of Ukraine being the Central narrative, while Indian imports of the Ural oil keep soaring. The G7 price cap on Russian oil is likely to reduce the European dependence on Russian oil, argued The Hindu, while stating that India should work with Germany (two countries are part of G4) for the global unity.

Germany is currently at a crossroad, and its economy is staring at a gloomy prospects, which sent Scholz to Beijing to fete Chinese President Xi Jinping for taking the third term. He and Pakistani Prime Minister Shebaz Sharif showed utmost hurry to be in Xi’s company. Also, Baerbock was watching Pakistani foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto when he was ranting about Jammu and Kashmir, which India officially slammed. Thus, India must stay on its legs and need not search for allies among countries like Germany for fancied idea of working for global unity, which suits only well-cushioned dreamers.   

Kolkata’s Dominique Lapierre

Dominique Lapieere, who called Kolkata ‘The City of Joy’, passed away on Sunday at an age of 91 years. He was a writer with soul, and directed all the royalties earned from The City of Joy for the wellbeing of the slums of Kolkata, beginning with the cheque of $50,000 to Mother Teresa.

The Indian Express in its Editorial shared the conversation of Lapierre with Teresa when he called his cheque a small drop in the ocean of needs. ‘If this drop did not exist, even the ocean would not.’ That set the bod between the two legends. Freddom at Midnight and Five Past Midnight were the other works of Lapierre on India. The Noida-based daily paid deserving tributes to Lapieere for his literary success, generosity of spirit and and adventurer’s pluck.    

Azim Premji test for India Inc

The Economic Times has faulted the Azim Premji Foundation model in boosting the healthcare needs of the most disadvantaged areas in the country, while lauding Melinda Gates Foundation for working with the state governments. Premji model is setting up primary health care in the backward rural areas followed by tertiary hospitals and medical colleges. Gates Foundation works with state governments.

The Covid-19 pandemic had seen the rural areas orphaned of the healthcare services, and Anganwadi workers became the saviours of the people. The ET lauds the PHC model of Delhi, which had served no purpose during the peak of the Covid-19. The state governments are ties to their commitments to freebies, and they barring a few exceptions have almost killed education and health.

To argue that Premji Foundation should give money to the state governments is indeed the most bogus argument one came come across that the ET has sought to push in its Editorial. In fact, India’s most credible and trusted healthcare institutions have been built by India Inc such as Tata Memorial without doing business with state governments. That should remain the path, and India Inc must not waste their money with corrupt state governments.

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