29 December, 2020 - Daily Current Affairs Analysis & MCQs - The Daily News Simplified from The Hindu
- DNS Quiz
- CDS lauds Odisha Police for tackling LWE challenges -Page 04 - (Internal Security)
- Dealing with India two front Challenge - Page 06 - (Internal Security)
- China defends progress of Pak. Corridor - Page 11 - (International Relations)
- Granting Bail is the rule - Page 07 - (Polity and Governance)
UPSC Current Affairs: CDS lauds Odisha police for tackling LWE challenges | Page 04
UPSC Syllabus: | Mains – GS Paper III- Internal Security
Sub Theme: Ideology of Naxalism | Steps taken by Government to tackle Naxalism |UPSC
- The recent arrest of a member of People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army of CPI (Maoist) near a forest in Coimbatore has raised eyebrows over spread of Maoism in hitherto untouched territories down south.
- Naxalism is a far-left violent movement which aims to overthrow the government of India through people’s war
- According to MHA figures presently it affects more than 82 districts in 11 states. 30 districts are severely affected
The name and the origin
- In 1967 peasant revolt against landlords in Naxalbari village in Darjeeling district of West-Bengal. Police opened fire on them
- Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels – All social relations and state structures in an elitist/capitalist society are exploitative in nature. Only a revolutionary change through active means can end this
- Mao Zedong added that Guerilla warfare, Protracted peoples war can achieve this. Surrounding the cities from the countryside, political transformation through mass involvement
- End-goal is to establish people’s government
- Working against the interest of the people.
- Want to capture political power
- If welfare was their real motive than India’s constitutional-legal framework provides enough space to accommodate all democratic demands – Telangana, Tripura are example of it
- Biggest challenge to internal security of the country – Former PM Manmohan Singh
THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA’S APPROACH
- The Government’s approach is to deal with Left Wing Extremism in a holistic manner, in the areas of security, development, ensuring rights and entitlements of local communities, improvement in governance and public perception management. In dealing with this decades-old problem, it has been felt appropriate, after various high-level deliberations and interactions with the State Governments concerned, that an integrated approach aimed at the relatively more affected areas would deliver results. With this in view, a detailed analysis of the spread and trends in respect of Left Wing Extremist violence has been made and 90 districts in eleven States have been taken up for special attention with regard to planning, implementation and monitoring various interventions. However, 'Police' and 'Public Order' being State subjects, action on maintenance of law and order, lies primarily in the domain of the State Governments. The Central Government closely monitors the situation and supplements and coordinates their efforts in several ways. These include providing the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs); sanction of India Reserve (IR) battalions, setting up of Counter Insurgency and Anti Terrorism (CIAT) schools; modernisation and upgradation of the State Police and their Intelligence apparatus; reimbursement of security related expenditure under the Security-related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme; providing helicopters for anti-LWE operations, assistance in training of State Police through the Ministry of Defence, the Central Police Organisations and the Bureau of Police Research and Development; sharing of Intelligence; facilitating inter-State coordination; assistance in community policing and civic action programmes etc. The underlying philosophy is to enhance the capacity of the State Governments to tackle the Maoist menace in a concerted manner.
- The Union Home Minister, the Home Secretary & the Special Secretary/Additional Secretary and a Review Group chaired by the Cabinet Secretary review the LWE situation on a regular basis. The Progress of the various schemes is regularly monitored by MHA though meeting and Video Conferencing with the Central Ministries/Departments concerned and State Governments.
- The Union Home Minister has convened meetings of Chief Ministers of LWE affected States on February 09, 2015, May 08, 2017 and August 26, 2019.
- The Union Home Minister has visited Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand in the month of May 2018 and reviewed the LWE situation.
- The Minister of States (Home) have visited LWE affected States and reviewed the LWE situation
- Review Group meeting conducted by the Cabinet Secretary on 15/12/2016, 03/08/2017 and on 23/7/2018.
- Meetings are being conducted regularly by Union Home Secretary with Secretaries of Central Ministries and Chief Secretaries, DsGP of the LWE affected States and DsG of CAPFs.
- Union Home Secretary also visited the LWE affected States to review the LWE situation.
- The Union Home Secretary has visited Chhattisgarh in the month of October, 2019 and reviewed the LWE situation.
IMPORTANT INITIATIVES FOR LWE AFFECTED STATES
- In order to holistically address the LWE problem in an effective manner, Government has formulated National Policy and Action Plan adopting multi-pronged strategy in the areas of security, development, ensuring rights & entitlement of local communities etc.
- Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme:This Scheme has been extended by the Government on 27.09.2017 as a subscheme of the Umbrella Scheme Modernization of Police Forces for a period of 03 years till 2020. Under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme, the central Govt. reimburses to the State Governments of 11 LWE affected States Security Related Expenditure of 90 districts relating to training and operational needs of security forces, ex-gratia payment to the family of civilians/security forces killed/injured in LWE violence, compensation to Left Wing Extremist cadres who surrendered in accordance with the surrender and rehabilitation policy of the concerned State Government, community policing, Security related infrastructure for village defence committees and publicity materials. There is a substantial increase in annual outlay and new items such as compensation for Security force personnel incapacitated during anti LWE operations and compensation for the property damage have been included in this scheme. The SRE Scheme aim at strengthening of the capacity of the LWE affected States to fight the LWE problem. Rs. 367.26 crore have been released in 2019-20.
- Special Central Assistance (SCA) for 30 most LWE affected districts: :This Scheme has been approved by the Government on 27.09.2017 as a sub-scheme of the Umbrella Scheme, ‘Modernization of Police Forces’ for a period of 3 years i.e. from 2017-18 to 2019-20. The main objective of the Scheme is to fill the critical gaps in Public infrastructure and Services, which are of emergent nature. Rs. 2148.24 crore have been released to the Stats during last 3 years.
- Special Infrastructure Scheme, along with Construction of Fortified Police Stations in the LWE affected States: On regular demand of the LWE affected States,the Central Government has approved this Scheme as a sub-scheme of the Umbrellas Scheme, ‘Modernization of Police Forces’ for a period of 3 years i.e. from 2017-18 to 2019-20. The total outlay of the scheme is Rs. 1006.00 crore i.e. Rs. 604 crore as Central Share (60%) and Rs.402 crore as State share (40%). Rs. 102.675 crore have been released in 2019-20.
- Scheme of Fortified Police stations: The Ministry had sanctioned construction of 400 Fortified Police Stations in 10 LWE affected States. Of these 399 of PSs have been completed.
- Assistance to Central Agencies for LWE management Scheme:This Scheme has been approved by the Government on 27.09.2017 as a sub scheme of the Umbrella Scheme Modernization of Police Forces for a period of 03 years i.e. from 2017-18 to 2019-20. Under the Scheme, assistance is provided to Central Agencies (CAPFs/IAF etc) for strengthening of infrastructure and hiring charges for Helicopters..
- Civic Action Programme (CAP): This Scheme has been approved by the Government on 27.09.2017 as a sub scheme of the Umbrella Scheme Modernization of Police Forces for a period of 03 years i.e. from 2017-18 to 2019-20. CAP in LWE affected areas is being implemented since 2010-11 to bridge the gaps between Security Forces and local people through personal interaction and bring the human face of SFs before the local population. The Scheme has been very successful in achieving its goal. Under the Scheme, funds are released to the CAPFs, deployed in LWE affected areas, for conducting various civic activities for the welfare of the local people. Rs.20 crore have been released to CAPFs in the financial year 2019-20..
- Media Plan:This Scheme has been approved by the Government on 27.09.2017 as a sub scheme of the Umbrella Scheme Modernization of Police Forces for a period of 03 years i.e. from 2017-18 to 2019-20. The Maoists have been misguiding and luring the innocent tribals/ local population in LWE affected areas by their So-called poorfriendly revolution through petty incentives or by following their coercive strategy. Their false propaganda is targeted against the security forces and the democratic setup. Therefore, the Government is implementing this Scheme in LWE affected areas.Under the scheme activities like Tribal Youth Exchange programmes organised by NYKS, radio jingles, documentaries, pamphlets etc. are being conducted. Rs.7.46 crore have been released in the financial year 2019-20..
- Road Requirement Plan-I (RRP-I) for LWE affected areas:This Scheme is being implemented by Ministry of Road Transport & Highways for improving road connectivity in 34 LWE affected districts of 8 States i.e. Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh.This scheme envisaged construction of 5,422 km roads lengths in LWE affected States, of which 4,946 km roads have been completed.
- Road Connectivity Project for LWE affected areas (RRP-II):The Government approved this scheme on 28.12.2016 for further improving road connectivity in 44 districts of 9 LWE affected States. This Scheme envisages 5412 km roads and 126 bridges at an estimated cost of Rs. 11,725 Crores. Ministry of Rural Development is the nodal Ministry for this project. The roads included under the scheme have been identified by the Ministry of Home Affairs in consultation with the State Governments and the security agencies. 2473 km roads have been constructed so far.
- LWE Mobile Tower Project:To improve mobile connectivity in the LWE areas, the Government on 20.08.2014 approved installation of mobile towers in LWE affected States and 2335 mobile towers have been installed in Phase-I. Phase-II of the project has been approved by the Government of India, under which 4072 mobile towers, involving an expenditure of Rs. 7330 crore, has been approved by the Government of India.
- Aspirational District:The Ministry of Home Affairs has been tasked with the monitoring of Aspirational districts programme in 35 LWE affected districts.
- It is the belief of the Government of India that through a holistic approach focussing on development and security-related interventions, the LWE problem can be successfully tackled. However, it is clear that the Left Wing Extremists do not want root causes like underdevelopment to be addressed in a meaningful manner since they resort to targeting school buildings, roads, railways, bridges, health infrastructure, communication facilities etc in a major way. They wish to keep the population in their areas of influence marginalized to perpetuate their outdated and failed ideology. Consequently, the process of development has been set back by decades in many parts of the country under Left Wing Extremists influence. This needs to be recognised by the civil society and the media to build pressure on the Left Wing Extremists to eschew violence, join the mainstream and recognise the fact that the socio-economic and political dynamics and aspirations of 21st Century India are far removed from the Maoist world-view. Further, an ideology based on violence and annihilation is doomed to fail in a democracy which offers legitimate forums of grievance redressal.
UPSC Current Affairs:Dealing with India’s two-front challenge | Page 06
UPSC Syllabus: GS Mains Paper III– International Relations
Sub Theme: Contrasting Opinions about Two-Front War|UPSC
Dealing with India’s two-front challenge
Two contrasting opinions two-front war:
India’s military is firmly of the view that a collusive China-Pakistan military threat is a real possibility, and we must develop capabilities to counter this challenge.
The political class in general and the mainstay of the country’s strategic community felt, until recently, that a two-front threat was being over-hyped by the military to press for additional resources and funds. They argued that historically, China has never intervened militarily in any India-Pakistan conflict and that the economic, diplomatic, and political ties between India and China rule out any armed conflict between the two countries.
As a result, Indian strategic thinking was overwhelmingly focused on Pakistan and the security considerations emanating from there. However, Whenever India has forgotten that it has two antagonists and let its guard down, it has paid dearly for it. Conversely, whenever India has accounted for the prospect of a possible threat from both quarters, it has done well. The two obvious examples are the 1962 and 1971 wars.
- In 1962, India’s Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Defence Minister V.K. Krishna Menon had both believed that the threat to India’s security came principally from Pakistan. In 1971, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi took account of a possible Chinese move in support of Pakistan. India, therefore, took out an insurance policy in the form of the Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation between the Government of India and the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
There has been an obsession concerning the threat from Pakistan, together with a degree of complacency vis-à-vis China, in part because the recent stand-offs in Depsang, Chumar, and Doklam were defused. The interactions between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping at Wuhan (April 2018) and Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu (October 2019) further blind-sided those involved in foreign and security policy planning in New Delhi.
The changed opinion
The Chinese intrusions in Ladakh in May this year, the violence that resulted from clashes between the Indian Army and the People’s Liberation Army, and the deadlock in negotiations have now made the Chinese military threat more apparent and real. The direct result of this, then, is the arrival of a worrisome two-front situation for New Delhi.
Even if the current India-China crisis on the border is resolved peacefully, China’s military challenge will occupy greater attention of Indian military planners in the months and years to come. This comes at a time when the situation along the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan has been steadily deteriorating. Between 2017 and 2019, there has been a four-fold increase in ceasefire violations. Some media reports had indicated that Pakistan had moved 20,000 troops into Gilgit-Baltistan, matching the Chinese deployments in Eastern Ladakh.
Threat emanating from China-Pakistan military links
- China has always looked at Pakistan as a counter to India’s influence in South Asia.
- Over the years, the ties between the two countries have strengthened and there is a great deal of alignment in their strategic thinking.
- Military cooperation is growing, with China accounting for 73% of the total arms imports of Pakistan between 2015-2019.
- Recently the two country concluded Shaheen IX, Pakistan-China joint air force exercise.
It would, therefore, be prudent for India to be ready for a two-front threat. In preparing for this, the Indian military needs to realistically analyse how this threat could manifest itself and the type of capabilities that should be built up to counter it.
TWO FRONT WAR PREPARATION
A two-front conflict presents the Indian military with two dilemmas — of resources and strategy.
- Ashley J. Tellis (senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace specializing in international security, defense, and Asian strategic issues.), in his 2016 article, “Troubles, They Come in Battalions: The Manifold Travails of the IAF” estimates that about 60 combat squadrons are needed to deal with a serious two-front threat. This is double the number of squadrons currently with the Indian Air Force (IAF). Obviously, it is neither practical nor feasible to build a level of capability that enables independent war fighting on both fronts.
- A major decision will be the quantum of resources to be allocated for the primary front. If a majority of the assets of the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force are sent towards the northern border, it will require the military to rethink its strategy for the western border. This is the second dilemma. Even though Pakistan may only be pursuing a hybrid war, should the Indian military remain entirely defensive? If it does so, it may encourage Pakistan to continue with its actions in J&K with a level of impunity and even raise the level of its involvement on the western front. Adopting a more offensive strategy against Pakistan could draw limited resources into a wider conflict.
It is impossible to define with any certainty the contours of a two-front conflict and how it would actually play out. However, what is certain is that the threat cannot be ignored and therefore we need to develop both the doctrine and the capability to deal with this contingency.
We need to work on the following:
- Developing a doctrine with close interaction with the political leadership. Any doctrine that is prepared without a political aim and guidance will not stand the test when it is actually to be executed.
- Capability building also requires a serious debate, particularly in view of the fact that the country’s economic situation will not permit any significant increase in the defence Budget for the foreseeable future. There is too much focus on major platforms such as aircraft, ships, and tanks, and not enough on future technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, cyber, electronic warfare, etc. The right balance will have to be struck based on a detailed assessment of China and Pakistan’s war-fighting strategies.
- Diplomacy has a crucial role to play in meeting the two-front challenge.
- To begin with, New Delhi would do well to improve relations with its neighbours so as not to be caught in an unfriendly neighbourhood given how Beijing and Islamabad will attempt to contain and constrain India in the region.
- The government’s current engagement of the key powers in West Asia, including Iran, should be further strengthened in order to ensure energy security, increase maritime cooperation and enhance goodwill in the extended neighbourhood.
- New Delhi must also ensure that its relationship with Moscow is not sacrificed in favour of India-United States relations given that Russia could play a key role in defusing the severity of a regional gang up against India.
- Even as the Quad, or the quadrilateral security dialogue (India, Australia, Japan and the U.S) and the Indo-Pacific seem to form the mainstay of India’s new grand strategy, there is only so much that a maritime strategy can help ease the Sino-Pakistan pressure in the continental sphere.
- Outreach to Kashmir
- From a long-view perspective political outreach to Kashmir aimed at pacifying the aggrieved citizens there would go a long way towards that end.
- This could also lead to a potential rapprochement with Pakistan provided, of course, Rawalpindi can be persuaded to put an end to terrorist infiltration into Kashmir.
It is important to remember that China, a rising and aggressive, superpower next door, is the bigger strategic threat for India, with Pakistan being a second-order accessory to Beijing’s ‘contain India strategy’. New Delhi would, therefore, do well to do what it can politically to reduce the effect of a collusive Sino-Pakistan containment strategy aimed at India.
IMPORTANT AREAS OF CONFLICT
Conflict region between India and China:
Depsang plain – from here the Chinese have a line of sight extending to Siachen glacier. Both India and Pakistan claim sovereignty over the entire Siachen region. Depsang Plains and Siachen Glacier are just 88.6 km apart.
- Hot spring region
Finger 5-8 in the Pangong Tso region
UPSC Current Affairs:China defends progress of Pak Corridor| Page 11
UPSC Syllabus: GS Mains Paper II – International Relations
Sub Theme: Concerns with China’s Belt and Road Initiative
Belt Road Initiative
- Since BRI was launched, in 2013, China has sunk hundreds of billions of dollars into ports, railways, and energy projects across Asia, Africa, and Europe.
- The goal is to not only expand infrastructure, including in many developing countries, but also win over local populations and governments by funnelling investment, jobs, and economic growth in their direction.
- The path forward has been bumpy, though.
- Questions regarding the commercial value of certain projects and concerns over the initiative being a backdoor for more sinister geopolitical ambitions have undercut Beijing’s official rhetoric of “win-win” cooperation and illustrated theuncertainty surrounding its plans.
- Questions over the implementation of BRI are among several facing the country regarding the limits of its power—from protests in Hong Kong to the escalating trade war with the United States.
Issues in implementation -
- The $62 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has beenscaled back amid Pakistan’s increasing debt problems, while a major port deal in Myanmar was slimmed down from roughly $7 billion to $1.3 billion.
- A port in Sri Lanka garneredglobal headlines after the government couldn’t repay its loans and granted a state-owned Chinese company a 99-year lease on the port as a form of debt relief.
- Elsewhere, projects have been tarnished by corruption: The new Malaysian governmentrenegotiated a major rail project at a significantly reduced cost and canceled $3 billion worth of plans to build new pipelines following a graft scandal.
- The Maldives isseeking debt forgiveness following corruption allegations connected to Belt and Road projects green-lit by its previous government.
- These scandals come as a slowing Chinese economy could lead to a more cautious approach to investment in the future.
- Beijing is still fine-tuning BRI and trying to learn from a spree of large-scale projects in countries with poor governance and weak rule of law.
- The implementation of some projects was too hasty, without sufficient consideration of their long-term economic benefits.
- On many occasions the projects rely too much on the support of governments and policies.
- Another extreme is sometimes the implementing agencies put too much emphasis on the benefits of the BRI for China itself, especially only calculating the narrow interests of businesses without considering the concerns of local governments, communities, and companies.
- Furthermore, some countries are positive about the BRI but not willing to make their own contributions.
- They take for granted that China should pay for most of the cost since it is very enthusiastic in promoting the BRI and must benefit enormously from it.
- Lastly, there is no lack of suspicion, resistance, and even public criticism in the international community toward the BRI, including those countries along the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) and some regional powers.