20 Solved Questions with Answers
1. How globalization has led to the reduction of employment in the formal sector of the Indian economy? Is increased informalization detrimental to the development of the country? (2016)
Globalization means gradual integration of economics through free movements of goods, services and capital. Globalization increased the efficiency of economy multi-dimensionally but one of the major challenges posed by globalization is the growing tendency towards flexible employment and informalisation. The reasons behind the reduction of employment due to globalisation in formal sector are following.
- Increased automation in industries: Globalization exposed the technology globally which led to replacement of man power with robotics and other technology.
- Shift from labour intensive industries to technology intensive industries: In India only 2% labour is skilled in comparison to 96% skilled labour in South Korea. Due to arrival of technology, unskilled labour was forced out from formal sector due to incapability of handling the new machines and led to informalisation.
- Globalization encourages sub contracting of work to the informal sector because of low wage and lost cost of production in informal section. It increased the participation of contract labour in economy and reduced formal sector’s employment.
- Globalization increased competition among the industries which shifted the employment/industrial units from non-competitive countries to market favoured economics. The shifting of textile industries to the Vietnam, Laos are recent examples of this phenomenon.
Impact of informalisation on the development of the country
- Less revenue generation: Due to high informalisation, tax to GDP ratio remains very low. In case of India it is only 16.6% whereas more than 30% in OECD countries.
- Less coverage of social security schemes: Nearly all government schemes, programmes related to social security benefits are restricted to formal sector. A huge section of population remains out of the ambit of benefits. It ultimately reduces the efficiency of economy.
This shows how informalisation of labour force has proven detrimental to the development.
2. Women empowerment in India needs gender budgeting. What are the requirements and status of gender budgeting in the Indian context? (2016)
Gender budget is concerned with gender sensitive formulation of legislation, programmes and schemes to address gender disparities.
The rationale for gender budgeting arises from recognition of the fact that national budgets impact men and women differently through the pattern of resource allocation. Women, constitute 48% of India’s population, but they lag behind men on many social indicators like health, education, economic opportunities, etc. Hence, they warrant special attention due to their vulnerability and lack of access to resources. The way Government budgets allocate resources, has the potential to transform these gender inequalities. In view of this, Gender Budgeting, as a tool for achieving gender mainstreaming, has been propagated.
Therefore number of schemes, programmes specific to women education, women health and skill training should have more weightage then partial allocation of funds for gender specific issues.
Status of Gender Budget in India
Gender Budget Statement (GBS) was first introduced in India Budget in 2005-2006. It comprises of two parts.
- Part A reflects women specific schemes i.e., those which have 100% allocation for women.
- Part B reflects Pro-women schemes i.e., those where at least 30% of allocation is for women.
- India’s Gender Budgeting efforts stand out globally because they have not only influenced expenditure but also revenue policies (like differential rates in property tax rates).
- Gender Budgeting efforts in India have encompassed knowledge building and network; institutionalize the process, capacity building and chance capability.
- Gender Budgeting Cells (GBC) as an institutional mechanism has been mandated to be set up in all Ministries/Departments. But there are only a few ‘big budget’ women exclusives schemes of Ministry of Women and child Development like the Nirbhaya Fund and Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign.
Even though India has made significant strides in gender budgeting, it still leaves a lot to be achieved for real empowerment of women, towards which government should work earnestly.
3. Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) is necessary for bringing unbanked to the institutional finance fold. Do you agree with this for financial inclusion of the poor section of the Indian society? Give arguments to justify your opinion. (2016)
Financial inclusion means providing financial services such as basic bank accounts , deposit and saving facility at very low cost to poor section of society or to those who are not having access to banking sector so that they can also enjoy basic banking facilities and they can be integrated with formal banking system.
In this direction Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna(PMJDY) was started with a wide vision to provide access to banking facilities to those people who are not having any bank accounts or still unbanked from formal banking sector. The necessity of PMJDY in financial inclusion is because of following reasons:
- According to census report of 2011 out of total population only 58.7 percent population have access to banking services remaining 42%. PMJDY would bring in those who have been left behind by mainstreaming banking services and would reduce the role of money lenders.
- Under this scheme people would get basic bank accounts with insurance facility and an additional facility of overdraft. Thus they would avail benefit offered by banks and facilities provided by government and will be able to develop small savings habits, and which will enhance capital formation, resulting in increased economic development of country.
- Banks are now opening bank accounts with zero balance and providing facilities to poor and unbanked section of society so that they can also get maximum benefits from banking sector.
- Debit card facility is also very helpful to poor people where they can withdraw money at any time and at any place.
- Under PMJDY bank accounts can be opened with a single document (Easy KYC Norms), this will encourage uneducated customers who hesitate to go to banks just because of lengthy documentation process.
The PMJDY is playing its role in great manner by ensuring mass participation of people and providing them low cost financial services and banking facilities, still there is need to impart financial knowledge and awareness among people about benefits of banks and basic banking facilities. But just opening accounts would not fulfil the desired goals of financial inclusion because of idle banks accounts which only increase expenses of banks. Real benefits would go to people when people will use these accounts. Demonetisation helps in a great way in this direction.
4. What are ‘Smart Cities’? Examine their relevance for urban development in India. Will it increase rural-urban differences? Give arguments for ’Smart Villages’ in the light of PURA and RURBAN Mission. (2016)
A ‘smart city’ is an urban region that is highly advanced in terms of overall infrastructure, sustainable real estate, communications and market viability. It is a city where information technology is the principle infrastructure and the basis for providing essential services to residents.
In recent times, the increasing burden on urban settlements raises concern related to sustainable development. To tackle these problems such as high urban poverty level, environmental degradation, inadequate basic services, relevance of Smart Cities has increased which provide smart solutions.
E-Governance and Citizen Services: It will help in making citizen centric service delivery system, which will enhance the efficiency of public authorities.
Smart Waste Management: Waste management is one of the major problems in urban settlement. Smart waste management like separation of solid waste at source level and use of eco-friendly waste disposal techniques, would avoid the problems like urban floods situation.
Smart Health: Tele-medicine would reduce the pressure on medical facilities due to use of ICT in health facilities.
Mobility system: Smart transport is also one of the main features that address the core issue in urban settlement. Many other areas such as, education, communication, electricity, renewable energy would also be addressed by the Smart Cities.
High development in urban cities and less emphasis on development in rural areas has increased the rural-urban difference because of lack of opportunities in rural areas. In such a scenerio ‘Smart villages’ concept of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Rurban Mission would focus on development of rural area from multi-directions. To ensure a standard of development several components have been included in Smart Village concept such as skill development training linked to economic activities, agro-processing, storage and warehousing facilities, digital literacy, sanitation, provision of piped water supply, solid and liquid waste management etc.
5. Justify the need for FDI for the development of the Indian economy. Why there is gap between MoUs signed and actual FDIs? Suggest remedial steps to be taken for increasing actual FDIs in India. (2016)
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) refers to capital inflows from abroad that is invested in or to enhance the production capacity of the economy.
The growth of FDI in India will boost the economic growth of the country. FDI in an economy helps in relaxing the domestic savings constraints. It helps to overcome the foreign exchange barrier thereby increases capital flow and provides risk-sharing capital financing. It furnishes the funds needed for the full utilization of the existing production capacity.
It promotes efficiency and productivity through international competition of superior quality products. It provides access to the superior technology, superior managerial skills and bigger markets.
A remarkable inflow of FDI in various industrial units in India will boost the economic life of our country. It can also ensure a number of employment opportunities by aiding the setting up of industrial units in various corners of India.
According to the World Bank’s Ease of doing Business Index, Indian Economy is less attractive because of infrastructural bottlenecks such as availability of electricity, dealing with construction permits; registering property; getting credit; protecting minority investors; paying taxes; trading across borders corruption, strict labour laws etc. Other than these reasons, difficult of exit policy, red tapism, bureaucratic inertia, political deadlock play great role in maintaining gap between MoUs signed and actual FDIs in Indian economy.
Land acquisition for industry is contentious in India, particularly when the purchaser is foreign. Concerns about the control of natural resources by foreign companies have stymied efforts to liberalize foreign investment
The world's fourth-largest steelmaker by output POSCO signed a preliminary agreement to build the $5.3 billion facility, with capacity to produce 6 million tons a year. Posco dropped the project because of deteriorating market conditions and delays in securing mining rights.
Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, Ease of doing business, establishment of Special Economic Zone, Labour laws reforms can help in attracting FDIs in Indian economy.
6. Comment on the challenges for inclusive growth which include careless and useless manpower in the Indian context. Suggest measures to be taken for facing these challenges. (2016)
In India employability of labour force is too low in comparison to developed countries that restricts the use of manpower. Only 2% labour force has certified skill in India in comparison to 70% in Britain and 96% in South Korea. It is one of the main reason of the presence of useless manpower in India.
Due to high informalisation of Indian economy, a large section is left behind from the ambit of various social security and welfare schemes that is the reason for the presence of careless (caredless) manpower.
Following measures can be taken up for facing these challenges
Skill training programmes. Skill India programme and Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna would build a strong force of skilled labour force with certified skills according to standards of National Occupational Standards (NSO).
Gender Respective Budget (GRB): GRB would focus on neglected section of the Indian Society in providing education, health care, and skill trainings. Wider implementation of schemes specific to women such as Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana, Janani Suraksha Yojana would empower women.
Primary education quality should be enhanced because due to lack of elementary education, Skill training programmes cannot be used to their full potential. The peculiar top heavy structure of India’s education profile, neglecting basic education and attaching priority to higher education, starkly captures the elitist bias in the implementation of India’s education policy.
These are some measures that would increase the employability and productivity of manpower in India.
7. What is water-use efficiency? Describe the role of micro-irrigation in increasing the water-use efficiency. (2016)
Water-use efficiency refers to the ratio of water used in plant metabolism to water lost by the plant through transpiration. Water use efficiency is also about careful management of water supply sources, use of water serving technologies, reduction of excessive demand and other actions.
In context of Indian agriculture, recognizing the fast declining irrigation water potential and increasing demand for water from different sectors, a number of demand management strategies and programmes have been introduced.
One such method is micro-irrigation that includes drip irrigation and sprinkler irrigation.
Under micro-irrigation, unlike flood method of irrigation, water is supplied at a required interval and quantity using pipe network, emitters and nozzles.
The on-farm irrigation efficiency of properly designed and managed drip irrigation system is estimated to be about 90 percent, while the same is only about 35 to 40 percent for surface method of irrigation.
While increasing the productivity of crops significantly, it also reduces weed problems, soil erosion and cost of cultivation substantially.
The reduction in water consumption in micro irrigation also reduces the energy use that is required to lift water from irrigation wells.
Drip-irrigation technique can replace the hand watering system in hilly areas with minimum water losses and labour.
Government of India has also accorded high priority to water conservation and its management. Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) has been formulated with the vision of extending the coverage of irrigation ‘Har Khet Ko Pani’ and improving water use efficiency ‘More crop per drop’ in focused manner using sprinker & drip method of irrigation.
8. What is allelopathy? Discuss its role in major cropping systems of irrigated agriculture. (2016)
Allelopathy is a biological phenomenon in which plants release chemical poisons to destroy neighbouring plants in their bid for more space and sunlight. The poison released are deadly, they change the very genetic structure of the victim plants preventing its growth and ultimately leading to its death.
- In sustainable wild management: Allelopathic applications such as Straw mulching provide sustainable weed management. It also helps in reducing negative impact of environment on agriculture. Straw mulch can improve the organic matter in the soil and increase its fertility. Allelo chemicals are called ‘Natural herbicides’.
- In reduction of Nitrogen leaching and Environment pollution: Nitrogen leaching is a severe ecological problem due to water pollution. In recent years studies have proven that Nitrification Inhibiting Substance (NIS) produced by plants can reduce the emission of N2O, improve the utilization rate of nitrogen fertilizer and reduce pollution to the environment.
- Plant-animal/insect interactions: Allelo chemicals may variously act as feeding attractants or repellents, have hormonal effects on the insects or provide the insects with a useful defense mechanism against predation.
- Many border plants are used in this manner around fields and gardens to keep undesired animals away.
Studies on allelopathy in crops and weeds have been developed in the past few decades and the use of allelopathic crops in crop rotation, cover crops, green manure, inter cropping etc has become a reality.
9. Discuss the role of land reforms in agricultural development identify the factors that were responsible for the success of land reforms in India. (2016)
India at independence inherited a semi feudal agrarian system. The ownership and control of land was highly concentrated in the hands of a small group of landlords and intermediaries, whose main intention was to extract maximum rent, either in cash or in kind, from tenants. This was one of major hindrance in the development of agriculture. Land reform involves the changing of laws, regulators or customs regarding land ownership, plays a great role. Its main objectives included:
- Weakening the domination of landlords and providing security of tenure to share croppers and land to landless and poor peasants.
- Simulating the growth of productivity and output in agriculture by eliminating feudal and semi-feudal land relations.
- Expanding rural markets by means of a significant redistribution of productive assets, especially land, and by adequate public investment in the agrarian economy.
In the success of land reforms in India, following factor were responsible.
- Political will: Land reforms were more successful in some states such as West Bengal, Kerala because of strong political will of the government. Provisions of land reforms were implemented actively.
- The pro-poor impact of land reforms was enhanced by the emergence of the system of decentralized local government put in place by the Left Front in 1978 (West Bengal) soon after coming to office.
- The role of individuals associated with Indian Independence movement such as Shri Vinoba Bhave.
- Absolution of Zamidari was initiated just after the independence of India by the Union government which streamlined the process of land reforms.
Though the process of land reforms were not as successful as it was intended to because to inactive participation of landlords except some states like West Bengal and Kerala. According to some scholars land reforms also increased the gap between rich and poor.
10. Given the vulnerability of Indian agriculture to vagaries of nature, discuss the need for crop insurance and bring out the salient features of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY). (2016)
Every year, in one part of India or the other food crops are affected by natural calamities (like flood, drought and plant diseases). The farmers have to be assured that they will be compensated for such loss in crops. Otherwise, they cannot be drawn into the campaign to increase productivity of land under their plough.
The need for crop insurance arises for the following reasons
- In our country nature has always been moody. Crop insurance provides protection to farmers against losses caused by crop failure and thereby ensures stability in farm income.
- It also reduces, to some extent, government expenditure incurred on relief measures extended to meet the havoc caused by natural calamities such as droughts and floods, locusts, plant diseases.
- It also strengthens the position of co-operatives and other institutions that finance, agriculture to the extent it enables the farmer members to repay their loans in years of crop failure.
- By protecting the economic interest of the farmers against possible risk or loss, it accelerates adoption of new agricultural practices.
- It may act as anti-inflationary measure, by locking up part of the resources in rural areas.
The government launched a new crop insurance scheme, PM’s Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) with a view to de-risk agriculture from the vagaries of nature. Salient features of PMFBY are following.
- PMFBY targets to cover 50% India’s cropped area in the next three years. There will be a uniform premium of only 2% to be paid by farmers for all Kharif crops and 1.5% for all Rabi crops.
- In case of annual commercial and horticultural crops, the premium to be paid by farmers will be only 5%.
- There is no upper limit on Government subsidy. Even if balance premium is 90%, it will be borne by the Government.
- The new scheme will also seek to address a long-standing demand of farmers and provide farm-level assessment for localized calamities, including hailstorms, unseasonal rains, landslides and inundation.
11. Give an account of the current status and the targets to be achieved pertaining to renewable energy sources in the country. Discuss in brief the importance of National Programme on Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). (2016)
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has revised its target of renewable energy capacity to 1,75,000 MW till 2022, comprising 1,00,000 MW Solar, 60,000 MW Wind, 10,000 MW Biomass and 5,000 MW Small Hydro projects.
Currently the installed capacity of renewable energy in India is 48.85 GW of which the contribution from solar, wind and biopower is 5.8GW, 25 GW and 4.5 GW respectively. The steps taken by government to support and increase the share of renewable energy in India’s power matrix and to achieve the new target are:
- Enactment of a national offshore wind energy policy.
- Govt plans to set up a trading platform for clean energy to help states buy, sell and trade renewable-based power.
- 10-year tax exemption for solar energy projects.
- Govt has outlined new guidelines which allow states to use its unproductive and non-agricultural land for solar parks.
In order to make Energy Efficiency a high priority National Programme on Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) has been initiated. The importance of National Programme on Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) is following.
- It aims to install LED bulbs for domestic and street-lighting in 100 cities across India by March 2016.
- LED bulbs will be distributed in a phased manner.
- LED bulbs have a very long life, almost 50 times more than ordinary bulbs, and 8-10 times that of CFLs, and therefore provide both energy and cost savings in the medium term. It will help in saving of energy around 24 crore units every year.
Science & Technology
12. Discuss India’s achievements in the field of Space Science and Technology. How the application of this technology has helped India in its socio-economic development? (2016)
India embarked on developing space science and technology in an era when it was being criticized for spending money on such expensive technologies when it’s priority should be fighting rampant poverty that prevails.
However, our visionary leaders like Nehru and scientists prevailed over such criticisms and led India onto a path of great technological achievements. It has shown its proverbs in the field through achievements like Mars Orbiter Mission at a cost ten times lower than US’s similar project, Chandrayan mission which made ISRO sixth space organization to send orbiter to moon, developing it’s own navigation system through NAVIC (IRNSS). Thus ending its dependence on GPS. It has also made major strides in launch vehicles by developing Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV), GSLV with indigenous cryogenic stage which made India self reliant in launching 2 ton class communication satellites, record launch of 20 satellites in 2016 etc.
Apart from being a mighty achievement, these achievements have also helped in socio-economic developments of the country. Through metrological data sent by satellites, it has been possible to gauge weather changes, arrival of monsoon and extent of rainfall, monitoring cyclones in advance which has helped farmers and citizens through advanced preparedness in general and in events of disasters. The communication satellites have enabled data connectivity to rural India eventually helped in digital India. NAVIC has made India self reliant thus saving resources, ensuring reliable data for army, farmers, tourists, navigators, fishermen.
Science & Technology
13. Why is nanotechnology one of the key technologies of the 21st century? Describe the salient features of Indian Government’s Mission on Nanoscience and Technology and the scope of its application in the development process of the country (2016)
In the recent years nanotechnology has revolu-tionized scientific research across the globe in a big way. Today, from agriculture to aerospace research, nanotechnology's impact is being felt. Research in nanotechnology spans across an array of fields such as health, environment, agriculture, food and beverages, product development, space technology, power generation, genetics, biotechnology, forensic science, electronics and communications.
At a commercial level the impact of nanotechnology is on three major industries, namely consumer products, electronics and healthcare. Some applications that make nanotechnology one of the key technologies in 21st century are discussed below:
- Nanosilver provides an effective, broad-spectrum antimicrobial coating to the surface of various consumer products. Therefore silver nanotechnology is being used in a wide range of consumer products such as wound dressings, textiles, food storage containers, paints and personal care appliances.
- Nanotechnology has significantly scaled down the size of transistors and chips used in the production of computers and other electronic goods.
- Nanotechnology has made great strides in the field of medicine. Several nano- sized gadgets and materials are being developed to diagnose and treat diseases like cancer more effectively. Nano-pharmacology helps to produce smart drugs that have negligible side effects.
- Nanoscale thin films on eyeglasses, computer and camera displays, windows, and other surfaces can make them water-repellent, antireflective, self-cleaning, resistant to ultraviolet or infrared light, antifog, antimicrobial, scratch-resistant, or electrically conductive.
- Scientists are coating fabrics with a thin layer of zinc oxide nanoparticles that give better protection from UV radiation.
- Using nanoparticles in the manufacture of solar cells is beneficial as they can reduce manufacturing costs by using a low temperature process.
Environment and Ecology
14. Rehabilitation of human settlements is one of the important environmental impacts which always attracts controversy while planning major projects. Discuss the measures suggested for mitigation of this impact while proposing major developmental projects. (2016)
Rehabilitation and Resettlement is one of the major challenges while planning the major developmental projects. To tackle this, Government has adopted National Rehabilitation and Resettlement policy to minimize displacement.
- Its objectives are to promote as far as possible non-displacing or least-displacing alternatives, to ensure adequate rehabilitation package and expeditious implementation of the rehabilitation process with the active participation of affected families.
- The right to fair compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2015 also addresses the issue such as if private company acquires or purchase more than 50 acres of land in urban areas or 100 acres in rural areas it is required to rehabilitate and resettle affected families. This threshold can be circumvented by a private company by purchasing multiple parcels of land, each under the prescribed limit, through other entities.
- The Singur judgement by the Apex court centered around the inept and illegitimate handling of power of Eminent Domain by the then Government. The Court said that it should not be left unacknowledged that when Eminent Domain is exercised the displaced persons is not provided with anything but cash compensation.
- The Morse and Berger 1992 Report said that of the total displaced in the case of Sardar Sarovar dam project 58% were adivasis. These people did not possess formal title to their land and therefore could not claim compensation anyway.
- Apart from all these measures, education facilities, health facilities should be taken care of displaced families should be resettled in groups that would protect their cultural and traditional rights.
15. The frequency of urban floods due to high intensity rainfall is increasing over the years. Discussing the reasons for urban floods, highlight the mechanisms for preparedness to reduce the risk during such events. (2016)
Flooding and disruption have become the new normal for the monsoon season in urban India. Recent water logging in Gurgaon, urban flood in Mumbai and Srinagar shows the increasing intensity of urban flood disasters in India. These are some of the reasons of urban floods in case of Indian cities.
- A special feature in India is heavy rainfall during monsoons. There are other weather systems also that bring in a lot of rain. Storm surges can also affect coastal cities/ towns.
- The urban heat island effect has resulted in an increase in rainfall over urban areas. Global climate change is resulting in changed weather patterns and increased episodes of high intensity rainfall events occurring in shorter periods of time.
- Stormwater drainage systems in the past were designed for rainfall intensity of 12–20 mm. These capacities get easily overwhelmed whenever rainfall of higher intensity is experienced. Further, the systems very often do not work to the designed capacities because of very poor maintenance.
- Encroachments are also a major problem in many cities and towns. The flow of water has increased in proportion to the urbanization of the watersheds. Ideally, the natural drains should have been widened (similar to road widening for increased traffic) to accommodate the higher flows of stormwater. But on the contrary, there have been large scale encroachments on the natural drains and the river flood plains. Consequently the capacity of the natural drains has decreased, resulting in flooding.
- Improper disposal of solid waste, including domestic, commercial and industrial waste and dumping of construction debris into the drains also contributes significantly to reducing drainage capacities.
- Presence of impervious cover near trees and on road pavements also reduces water runoff.
To reduce these risk following measure can be taken:
- Pre-Monsoon Desilting of drainage system.
- Solid waste disposal and its proper management has significant effect on drainage performance and reduces the chances of choking of drainage system.
- Protection and conservation of wetlands near urban habitats increase the water holding capacities and they also act as natural barriers against any surge in water level.
- Rain water harvesting reduces the load of excess rain water of rain and help in mitigating urban floods.
16. With reference to National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) guidelines, discuss the measures to be adopted to mitigate the impact of recent incidents of cloudbursts in many places of Uttarakhand. (2016)
Cloudburst is a short-term extreme precipitation of 10 cm or above rainfall in an hour which occurs over a small area.
When saturated clouds are unable to produce rain because of the upward movement of warm current of air leading to excessive condensation, raindrops are carried upwards by the air current instead of dropping as rainfall. After a point raindrops become too heavy to be carried upwards and drop together in a quick flash. This phenomenon is known as cloudbursts.
Rainfall does not directly cause death but the consequences of the cloudbursts in the form of rainfall triggers landslides, flash floods, houses and establishment getting swept and cave in lead to death and damage. Restoring settlements near mountain foothills is difficult due to flashfloods that might happen from cloudburst.
Ways to minimise the loss of life and property
Detecting cloud bursts is a difficult task as it covers small areas so precaution will go a long way in lessening the damage.
- Stopping haphazard construction in hilly areas.
- Preventing encroachments of riverbeds.
- Afforestation programmes specially on hill slopes to prevent landslides.
- Alert-relay system (Early warning system) should be put in place so that people can evacuate on time.
The damaged ground must be replanted as soon as possible since erosion caused by loss of ground soil cover can lead to flash flooding and additional landslides in the near future.
Space Application Centre (SAC) of ISRO has developed a model for heavy rainfall/cloud burst alert to prevent the damage caused by a cloudburst. It is currently working on pilot basis but once its effectiveness is proven, it will go a long way in saving lives.
17. The terms ‘Hot Pursuit’ and ‘Surgical Strikes’ are often used in connection with armed action against terrorist attacks. Discuss the strategic impact of such actions. (2016)
With the Indian forces carrying out “surgical strikes” across the Line of Control, India seems to have abandoned the self-proclaimed policy of “strategic restraint” adopted in the face of earlier provocations by terrorists believed to be backed by Pakistan. This may not be the first time India has undertaken quick cross-LoC operations, but it has never before chosen to share information so publicly.
Strategic impact of this action can be following.
- This surgical strike indicates that India’s technical capabilities (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance — C4ISR) have improved a great deal.
- The terms “surgical strike” and “pre-emptive strike” used by India were intended to make it clear to the enemy that there will be repercussions and crossing the border does not guarantee immunity
- The strikes proved to be an important element for maintaining the morale of the people of India and the armed forces.
- The strike reinforced the credibility of the government and displayed its resolve, even as justified restraint and maturity was on display. This act would also counter India’s image of being a soft state.
- Russia has also backed India, saying Pakistan should take effective steps in order to stop activities of terrorist groups in its territory. India seems to have played its cards well by seeking international and regional isolation of Pakistan before striking infiltrator targets across the LOC.
There are also several negative impacts of these types of acts as it may escalate the conflict especially in case of Pakistan, Security forces can be trapped in enemy territory. It could be a cause of international censure for violating other country’s border.
18. ‘Terrorism is emerging as a competitive industry over the last few decades.” Analyse the above statement. (2016)
In recent years, with the emergence of new terrorist organizations like ISIS, Boko Haram etc. terrorism has become a competitive industry. Like mafia organizations, where one-upmanship is often based on who has the most guns, money or local power, terrorist groups too have a pecking order.
The current competitive market in terrorism means that groups are trying to distinguish each other through the practice of more memorable violence (like the Charlie Hebdo attacks or the Peshawar attacks in December 2014). They need to do so because this is the only way in which they can be heard, become popular enough to attract recruits and distinguish themselves from other similar groups. In order to do so the terrorist groups are trying to out-do each other in the intensity and scope of violence and bloodshed they can cause so that more people can identify with them and join them. For example- while some years back, Al-Qaeda was the most dreaded terrorist group of the world, this position has now been overtaken by ISIS. One of the reasons for this can be because ISIS encourages lone-wolf attacks which are easier for its followers to carry out without actually travelling to join the group to fight in combat.
Various terrorist organizations are also in competition with each other to get control of various natural resources such as oil reserves in Middle East countries, cultivation of Opium, arms dealing etc.
Competition over establishing their ideologies all around the world has also instigated terrorist organization for example multiple groups are fighting with each other in Syria. So in recent time terrorism has become a competitive industry that has spread its influence all over the world.
19. Border management is a complex task due to difficult terrain and hostile relations with some countries. Elucidate the challenges and strategies for effective border management. (2016)
India has a very large and complex border covering around 15106.7km, which it shares with Bangladesh, China, Pakistan, Nepal, Myanmar, Bhutan as well as small portion with Afghanistan. Challenges in the effective border management particular to some neighbours are:
- Varied Terrain: India-China Border as comprising of difficult Himalayan terrain that is reason for difficulty in border management.
- Climatic Condition: Due to Himalayan polar condition, it is tough to guard border due to adverse climatic conditions. Ex: China, Pakistan
- Bitter relations with some of the neighbouring countries. Ex: Pakistan
- Porous nature of border with some countries that provides safe route to human traffickers, illegal arms dealers, drug smugglers etc. Ex: Myanmar
Owing to such peculiarities, having infrastructure and technology does not alone suffice for effective border management. Following strategies can be adopted for effective border management.
- Co-ordination among various agencies such as customs, immigration, armed forces, border security and intelligence agencies is required that will strengthen the border guarding and management.
- Smart border management to identify and implement controls which aim to improve border security by enabling effective communication and coordination.
- Use of Drone, Night vision cameras, sensors to check the illegal migration, terrorist movement can help in effective border management.
- Border fencing along the border such as with Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal can help in better border management.
- Coordination among neighbouring countries would also strengthen the measures taken for border management.
20. Use of internet and social media by non-state actors for subversive activities is a major security concern. How have these been misused in the recent past? Suggest effective guidelines to curb the above threat. (2016)
The use of internet and social media has become a powerful tool in the hand of non-state actors such as terrorist organizations.
Use of Internet, by terrorist organization such as ISIS in recruiting youth all around the world has become a reality. Cyber warfare is gaining importance due to increasing density of internet. The Stuxnet virus affected half of the world targeting Iran nuclear facilities.
Cyber espionage is also a great threat that exposes the vulnerability of any organization, or country. The recent theft of data of lakhs of ATMs cards in India is recent example of misuse of internet by non-state actors.
Social media is also been used by the like-minded individuals as a tool for radicalization. Muzaffarnagar riots in Uttar Pradesh got intensified because of misuse of social media by non-state actors.
In these circumstances effective strategies should be adopted to curb the threat posed by internet and social media. Following are some of the guidelines that can be very useful.
- India recently appointed first Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). It will help India in developing the vision and policy to fight cyber crime and manage cyber security more effectively.
- Creation of National Cyber Security Agency (NCSA) would improve India’s resilience and defense system.
- Monitoring of content on internet by intelligence agencies such as Intelligence Bureau, RAW can prevent any attempt to radicalize youths.
- National Cyber Security Policy 2013 aims at protection of information infrastructure in cyber space, reduce vulnerabilities. A National and sectoral 24×7 mechanism has been envisaged to deal with cyber threats through National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC)
- Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) has been designated to act as Nodal agency for coordination of crisis management efforts.