IASbhai Daily Editorial Hunt | 10th Oct 2020

Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.– Joshua Marine

Dear Aspirants
IASbhai Editorial Hunt is an initiative to dilute major Editorials of leading Newspapers in India which are most relevant to UPSC preparation –‘THE HINDU, LIVEMINT , INDIAN EXPRESS’ and help millions of readers who find difficulty in answer writing and making notes everyday. Here we choose two editorials on daily basis and analyse them with respect to UPSC MAINS 2020.

EDITORIAL HUNT #181 :“US Elections 2020 : Impact on India | UPSC

US Elections 2020 : Impact on India | UPSC

Rakesh Sood
US Elections 2020 : Impact on India | UPSC

Rakesh Sood is a former diplomat and currently Distinguished Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation


The U.S. election just became more uncertain


Opinion polls could be misleading and the pandemic’s impact difficult to assess; the cyclical shift in politics is unsure

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : India - U.S Relations


Opinion Polls in US elections are misleading sometimes. Critically examine U.S- India relations with respect to trade, economy and environment . -(GS 2)


  • Local Issues
  • The last four years report card
  • Republican vs Democratic party aspirations


The Trump administration’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy, driven by a competitive relationship with China, benefited India in various ways.

  • This includes arragements in bilateral defence cooperation and higher degrees of strategic coordination.
  • The Indian and the US democracies are two of the largest democracies in the world.
  • While the subcontinental system is just about 70 years old, the United States version has been in action for nearly 240 years.


  • The global COVID-19 pandemic had resulted in over 100,000 deaths in the United States alone.

Unemployment had skyrocketed to record levels.

  • The protests triggered by the killing of George Floyd, an African-American man, by Minneapolis police had erupted in over 100 American cities.



Trump’s 2016 election victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton threw up a number of uncertainties for India.

  1. EXTERNAL AFFAIRS : The first was how closed or open the US would be on matters of trade, immigration, investment, and technology.
  2. APPROACH TOWARDS CHINA : The second concerned what approach he would adopt to China: confrontation, competition, cooperation, or confusion.
  3. TERRORISM : The third uncertainty was how he would approach the issue of terrorism, particularly with respect to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  4. INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS : And the fourth was what priority he would give to international institutions, and what that would mean for Indian membership and activity.


  • CLIMATE STAND : Democratic presidency will put one important but dormant area of cooperation- on climate change, green energy, and sustainability — back on the table with India.

A Biden administration, with advocacy from the left wing of the Democratic Party, will also likely be more vocal in its criticism of India for such steps as nullifying Article 370 and CAA.

  • OBSESSIONS : The Trump administration’s obsession with redressing trade deficits, curtailing legal and illegal immigration, and isolating Iran will no longer help India.
  • TRADE WAR : Trump triggered a trade war ; Beyond trade, his administration has taken other aggressive steps towards decoupling the US and Chinese economies, including steps on students and technology.
  • THE WITHDRAWALS : The withdrawal from Trans-Pacific Partnership and defunding of the World Health Organisation have been criticised as counter-productive.
  • IMMIGRATION ISSUES : Despite a good rapport with Trump,  difficulties on immigration should be anticipated in the event of his reelection.
  • TRADITIONAL APPROACHES : While Biden will provide greater clarity and bring stability to US policy, a return to more traditional approaches to certain issues with respect to India is possible.

Consequently, either a Trump or a Biden electoral victory in November will present the Indian government with both opportunities and difficulties.

      IASbhai Windup: 


  • MISLEADING POLLS : Most opinion polls indicate a lead (not landslide) for Mr. Biden but polls can be notoriously misleading; even in 2016, Hillary Clinton led the polls.
  • MODERATE ROLE : For India, the Congressional relationship will remain important given the ability of the US legislature to facilitate or veto important policy.
  • IMPACT : While the US accounts for only 5 per cent of the world population, it generates 20 per cent of the world income, underlining the economic implications of this election.

The US election system is complex and yet captivating. While heated debates and exchange of accusations make it difficult to anticipate the outcome.

       SOURCES:   THE HINDU EDITORIAL HUNT | US Elections 2020 : Impact on India | UPSC



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