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[Mission 2023] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 20 April 2023

 

NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same


General Studies – 1


 

Topic: population and associated issues

1. To fully realize the potential of India’s demographic dividend, the government must address the significant gaps in education and skills training. Analyse.  (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Live MintInsights on India

Why the question:

The article discusses a recent report by the Brookings Institution that highlights the significant education and skilling gaps in India and how they are affecting the country’s macroeconomic outlook.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about demographic dividend, impediments to achieving and ways to overcome it.

Directive word: 

Analyse – When asked to analyse, you must examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by defining demographic dividend and its various features.

Body:

First, write about the various impediments to achieving the dividend – demographic dividend may turn into a liability in the absence of enough jobs and the required skilled workforce etc.

Next, suggest ways to overcome the limitations.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

Demographic dividend, as defined by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) means, “the economic growth potential that can result from shifts in a population’s age structure, mainly when the share of the working-age population (15 to 64) is larger than the non-working-age share of the population (14 and younger, and 65 and older).” India has one of the youngest populations in an aging world. By 2020, the median age in India was 28 years. Demographics can change the pace and pattern of economic growth.

The UN report, World Population Prospects 2022, forecasts that the world’s population will touch eight billion this year and rise to 9.8 billion in 2050. What is of immediate interest to India is that its population will surpass China’s by 2023 and continue to surge.

Body

India has long been touted as the next big economic growth story after China. India has one of the youngest populations in an aging world. By 2020, the median age in India will be just 28 years. One of the primary reasons for that has been its young population which constitutes 59% of all Indians. Since 2018, India’s working-age population (people between 15 and 64 years of age) has grown larger than the dependent population. This bulge in the working-age population is going to last till 2055, or 37 years from its beginning. The hope has remained that as the young Indian population enters the working age, it will lead to higher economic growth.

Challenges in India to reap the demographic dividend:

  • Health:
    • Healthcare provisions in India is grossly inadequate and access to healthcare is highly inequitable. Lack of efficient public healthcare and burden of out-of-pocket health expenditures reduces people’s capacity or disables them from investing in the human capital of their children.
    • ineffective functioning (corruption and leakages) of the public distribution system (PDS), growing economic inequalities and lack of nutritional awareness pose challenges in combating malnutrition
  • Education:
    • Basic literacy (the ability to read and write) in the overall population has progressed modestly. However, there is persistent gender differentials, and major differentials by caste and religion.
    • The state of functional literacy and professional skills is poor. Indian graduates have low employability and does not meet changing economic structure or support global competitiveness.
  • Rising Inequality:
    • In India, a large portion of the population is below the poverty line, therefore, they do not have easy access to primary health and education.
    • There is growing inequality across social groups and income groups which translates itself into poor socio-economic mobility.
    • Lack of socioeconomic mobility hinders human capital development and traps a large section of population to be in the vicious circle of poverty.
  • Lack of Skilling:
    • According to the National Sample Survey, out of the 470 million people of working age in India, only 10% receive any kind of training or access to skilled employment opportunities.
    • There’s a huge mismatch between demand and supply when it comes to skilled workforce and employment opportunities, which could place a strain on the economy in the long run
  • Inadequate use of knowledge bases from technology developments:
    • There is a disconnect between India’s rate of technological growth and ability to distribute the gains from it by adequately focusing on skilling and health.
    • The use of technical advancements has been concentrated in few sectors and benefits accrued by a few elitist sections of the society.
  • Jobless growth:
    • India’s high growth rate phase (2004-05 to 2010-11) has created significantly fewer jobs as compared to previous decades of economic growth.
    • Around 47 % of India’s population is still dependent on agriculture which is notorious for underemployment and disguised unemployment.
    • Majority of the workforce is employed by the unorganized sector where workers are underpaid and lack any kind of social security.
  • Falling female labour force participation:
    • According to data from International Labour Organization and World Bank, India’s female labour force participationrates have fallen from 34.8 % in 1990 to 27 % in 2013.
    • Socio-cultural factors and rising family incomes have been identified as the main reasons for this decline.
    • Another appalling concern is that a significant proportion of qualified women drop out of the workforce for reasons ranging from no suitable jobs in the locality—particularly in rural areas—to family responsibilities and marriage.

A differential planning approach is needed:

  • To engineer an inclusive and sustainable growth for India, the social infrastructure like education, health and social protection are being given utmost priority by the Government
  • The gaps in the expenditure on social infrastructure like health and education should be closed by strengthening the delivery mechanisms of the government initiatives. Protecting and investing in people’s health, education, and skilling is vital for reducing income inequality, and sustained inclusive economic growth.

 

  • India needs to increase its spending on health and education. As recommended by the National Health Policy 2017 and the NEP 2020, India needs to increase its spending on health and education to at least 2.5 % in 6 % of GDP respectively from its current levels. Enhancing policies to maintain and even increase health and longevity will therefore be necessary.
  • The current situation calls for more and better schools, especially in rural areas. It also calls for better transportation links between rural areas and regional urban hubs.
  • India has to invest more in human capital formation at all levels, from primary education to higher education, cutting-edge research and development as well as on vocational training to increase the skill sets of its growing working-age population.
  • The flagship schemes such as Skill IndiaMake in India, and Digital India have to be implemented to achieve convergence between skill training and employment generation.
  • Bridging the gender gaps in education, skill development, employment, earnings and reducing social inequalities prevalent in the society have been the underlying goals of the development strategy to enhance human capabilities.
  • Improved infrastructure, skill development, access to easy finance, reducing barriers to entrepreneurship and forums for mentorship of emerging entrepreneurs in partnership with corporates are some of measures.
  • Decentralized models of development: Social policies for each state must be differentiated to accommodate different rates of population growth. The populations in south and west India are growing at a much slower pace than in the central and eastern states.

Conclusion:

multi-pronged approach is imperative to reap the demographic dividend. There is also a need to engage with the youth and create an enabling environment for entrepreneurship. The demographic dividend offers them a unique opportunity to boost living standards, but they must act now to manage their older populations in the near future by implementing policies that ensure a safe and efficient transition from the first demographic dividend to the second demographic dividend.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

2. Enumerate the major provisions of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 2010. Do you think the recent Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment, 2020 is adversely affecting the work of NGOs? State your opinion. (250 words).

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: The HinduInsights on IndiaInsights on India

Why the question:

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on April 19 conducted searches at the Delhi office of Oxfam India, following the registration of a case against the organisation and its office-bearers, alleging violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the major provisions of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) and the impact of recent amendment on the functioning of NGOs.

Directive word: 

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you must debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You must give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by aims and objectives behind FCRA, 2010.

Body:

In the first part, write about the major features of FCRA, 2010.

Next, write about the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment, 2020 and what it changes it introduced. Mention its impact on the functioning of the NGOs. Cite arguments to show both positive and negative impact of the above.

Conclusion:

Conclude by balanced opinion forward.

Introduction

The “Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act” (FCRA) regulates foreign donations and ensures that such contributions do not adversely affect internal security. First enacted in 1976, it was amended in 2010 in which a slew of new measures was adopted to regulate foreign donations. The FCRA act is implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs. Under the new rules notified by MHA in 2015, NGOs are required to give an undertaking that the acceptance of foreign funds is not likely to prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India or impact friendly relations with any foreign state and does not disrupt communal harmony.

Body

Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 2010 (FCRA)

FCRA 2010 is a consolidating act passed by the Government of India in the year 2010. It seeks to regulate foreign contributions or donations and hospitality (air travel, hotel accommodation etc) to Indian organizations and individuals and to stop such contributions which might damage the national interest. It is an act passed for regulating and prohibiting the acceptance and utilization of foreign contribution or foreign hospitality by companies, associations or individuals for such activities that could prove to be detrimental to the national interest and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

The act aims at keeping a check on foreigners influencing the Indian electoral politics, journalists, public servants etc. for wrong purposes or activities detrimental to the public interest. Those violating the provisions of FCRA can be jailed up to a term of 5 years.

Major provisions of FCRA 2010

  • A provision was made for the cancellation of registrations of NGOs if the Home Ministry believes that the organisation is political and not neutral.
  • The registration certificate granted to the NGOs under the 2010 act came with five-year validity.
  • A provision was inserted stating that the assets of the person who has become defunct needs to be disposed of in a manner stated by the government.
  • A separate account needs to be maintained by the organisations to deposit the Foreign Contributions received and no other funds except for Foreign Contributions shall be deposited in that account.
  • Every bank would be obligated to report to the prescribed authority, the amount of foreign remittances received and other related details such as the source, manner of receipt etc.

Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment, 2020:

  • It seeks to prohibit ‘public servants’ from receiving any foreign funding.
  • It proposes to reduce the use of foreign funds to meet administrative costs by NGOs from the existing 50 per cent to 20 per cent.
  • It seeks to “prohibit any transfer of foreign contribution to any association/person”.
  • It proposes to make Aadhaar cards a mandatory identification document for all office-bearers, directors and other key functionaries of NGOs or associations eligible to receive foreign donations.
  • It seeks to allow for the central government to hold a summary inquiry to direct bodies with FCRA approval to “not utilise the unutilised foreign contribution or receive the remaining portion of foreign contribution”.
  • And to limit the use of foreign funds for administrative purposes. This would impact research and advocacy organisations which use the funding to meet their administrative costs.

Government Guidelines for NGO’s and issues

  • The amendments to the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) enacted last year that among others made it compulsory for NGOs to open a bank account in Delhi has crippled the work of many organisations who are unable to receive foreign funds.
  • The amendments have made the FCRA, 2010 more stringent, with prohibition of transfer of funds from one NGO to another, decrease of administrative expenses through foreign funds from 50 per cent to 20 per cent, making Aadhaar mandatory for registration, and giving the government powers to stop utilisation of foreign funds through a “summary enquiry”.
  • Registered NGOs can receive foreign contribution for five purposes — social, educational, religious, economic and cultural. An FCRA registration is mandatory for NGOs to receive foreign funds. There are 22,591 FCRA registered NGOs.
  • The petitioner argued that it applied to open the account before the March 31 deadline but the administrative delays on the part of the bank and the Ministry severely restricted its activities including providing COVID-19 related relief and paying of urgent salaries of staff and also affected its charitable and educational activities.
  • Any organisation seeking registration under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) must have operated for at least three years and spent “a minimum amount of Rs 15 lakh on its core activities for the benefit of society during the last three financial years”.
  • Any organisation seeking prior permission for receiving a “specific amount from a specific donor for carrying out specific activities or projects” shall “submit a specific commitment letter from the donor indicating the amount of foreign contribution and the purpose for which it is proposed to be given”.
  • The Centre has said that if the value of foreign contribution is over Rs 1 crore, it may be given in instalments “provided that the second and subsequent instalment shall be released after submission of proof of utilisation of 75 per cent of the foreign contribution received in the previous instalment and after field inquiry of the utilisation of foreign contribution.”
  • In the newly notified rules, the Centre has made an insertion in Rule 9 – which deals with obtaining registration or prior permission to receive foreign funds – which makes the process more cumbersome for NGOs.

Conclusion

The legislation will have far-reaching consequences on the fields of education, health, people’s livelihoods, gender justice and indeed democracy in India. There is no denying the fact that there are black sheep in the sector. But sincere adherence to the existing framework could easily weed them out. The new laws will overload the NGOs with new bureaucratic tasks and open the floodgates for arbitrary action by the authorities.

Value addition

FCRA 2020 provisions

  • Prohibition to accept foreign contribution:
  • Persons prohibited to accept any foreign contribution include: election candidates, editor or publisher of a newspaper, judges, government servants, members of any legislature, and political parties, among others.
  • Also, public servants(as defined under the Indian Penal Code) and corporations owned or controlled by the governmentwere added to this list.
  • Transfer of foreign contribution:
  • The Bill amends to prohibit the transfer of foreign contribution to any other person. The term ‘person’ under the Act includes an individual, an association, or a registered company.
  • Earlier, foreign contribution could be transferred to any other personafter registration to accept foreign contribution (or has obtained prior permission).
  • Aadhar for registration:
  • The Bill adds that any person seeking prior permission, registration or renewal of registration must provide the Aadhar numberof all its office bearers, directors or key functionaries, as an identification document.
  • In case of a foreigner, they must provide a copy of the passport or the Overseas Citizen of India card for identification. 
  • FCRA account:
  • Foreign contribution must be received only in an account designated by the bank as “FCRA account”in such branch of the State Bank of India, New Delhi.
  • No funds other than the foreign contribution should be received or deposited in this account.
  • The person may open another FCRA account in any scheduled bank of their choice for keeping or utilising the received contribution.
  • Restriction in utilisation of foreign contribution:
  • Government may restrict usage of unutilised foreign contributionfor persons who have been granted prior permission to receive such contribution.
  • This may be done if, based on a summary inquiry, and pending any further inquiry, the government believes that such person has contravened provisions of the Act.
  • Renewal of license:
  • Government may conduct an inquiry before renewing the certificateto ensure that the person making the application:
  • Is not fictitious or benami.
  • Has not been prosecuted or convicted for creating communal tension or indulging in activities aimed at religious conversion.
  • Has not been found guilty of diversion or misutilisation of funds, among others conditions.
  • Reduction in use of foreign contribution for administrative purposes:
  • A person who receives foreign contribution must use it only for the purpose for which the contribution is received.
  • The draft bill states that not more than 20% of the total foreign funds received could be spent on administrative expenses. Presently, the limit is 50%.
  • Surrender of certificate:
  • The Bill adds a provision allowing the central government to permit a person to surrender their registration certificate.
  • The government may do so if, post an inquiry, it is satisfied that such person has not contravened any provisions of the Act, and the management of its foreign contribution (and related assets) has been vested in an authority prescribed by the government.
  • Suspension of registration:
  • Suspension of the registration may be extended up to an additional 180 days. Previously, it was for a period not exceeding 180 days.

 

Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

3. The long-standing friendship between India and Russia has been an essential strategic partnership for both countries. However, the ongoing tension between Russia and Ukraine has raised concerns regarding its impact on the bilateral relations between Russia and India. Critically analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

The editorial discusses the ongoing tension between Russia and Ukraine and its impact on the bilateral relations between Russia and India.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the need to have a change in India-Russia dynamic relations due to recent geopolitical developments.

Directive word: 

Critically analyze – When asked to analyse, you must examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them in a summary. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a balanced judgment on the topic.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context of ‘all weather’ friendship between India and Russia.

Body:

In the first part, Highlight the strength of the relationship – Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership, cold war era friendship, the long history, defence partnership, nuclear power plants etc.

Next, bring out the issues in the relationship by dividing them into geopolitical, geostrategic and at bilateral level – Ukraine Issue, Russia-Pakistan, Russia-China, and USA-India, Changes in Afghanistan and issues emanating from them.

Discuss how should India and Russia navigate the tides moving forward.

Conclusion:

Conclude by commenting on their current nature of evergreen friendship.

Introduction

Russia’s war on Ukraine has decisively shaped international opinion. Indian foreign policy is also going to be affected in a profound manner. While there has always remained a pro-Russian popular sentiment in India, rooted in Moscow’s support during the Cold War era, particularly against the pro-Pakistani diplomatic activism by powerful Western countries in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), a majority of Indians today seem taken aback by Russia’s misadventure against a sovereign country.

Body

Background

On February 23, 2023, on the eve of the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution, calling for an end to the war. The resolution was favoured by 141 members and opposed by seven, while 32 states abstained. Unsurprisingly, India was one among the 32. This is in line with the position India has been taking on the Ukraine crisis from the beginning. India has refused to condemn Russia for the invasion; it has refused to join the West’s sanctions; has stepped up buying Russian fuel at a discounted price, and has consistently abstained from UN votes on the war.

  • India’s position has triggered sharp responses in the West.
  • Before the war, there was much debate among the global strategic commentariat about India’s irreversible shift towards the West.
  • However, after the war began, many wondered why the world’s largest democracy did not condemn Russia.
  • For some others, India was “financing” Vladimir Putin’s war by buying Russian oil.

Complex issues facing India while balancing Moscow and the West

  • ‘China’ problem:There are understandable reasons for India’s (subtle) pro-Russia position.
    • An aggressive Russia is a problem for the U.S. and the West, not for India.
    • North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) expansion is Russia’s problem, not India’s.
    • India’s problem is China, and it needs both the U.S./the West and Russiato deal with the “China problem”
  • Geopolitics rather than emotions: There is today asobering recognition in New Delhi about the weakening of the U.S.-led global order and the rise of China as a counter-pole, geographically located right next to India.
    • withdrawal from the region and its decline as the principal system shaper has complicated India’s place in regional geopolitics.
    • Neighbouring China as the rising superpower and Russia as its strategic ally challenging the U.S.-led global orderat a time when China has time and again acted on its aggressive intentions vis-à-vis India, and when India is closest to the U.S. than ever before in its history, throws up a unique and unprecedented challenge for India.
  • Beyond all weather friendship:For India, Russian ties are important. It must be recalled that Ukraine was against India during 1998 nuclear tests and had spoken against India with issue of Kashmir.
    • India’s Russia tilt should be seen not just as a product of its time-tested friendship with Moscow but also as ageopolitical necessity.
    • If in the future there is Chinese aggression or Pakistan tries adventurism on India, India will need all hands on the deck. Russia being the most important.
  • Russia’s support to solve continental problems: There is an emerging dualism in contemporary Indian strategic Weltanschauung:the predicament of a continental space that is reeling under immense pressure from China, Pakistan and Taliban-led Afghanistan adding to its strategic claustrophobia; and, the emergence of a maritime sphere which presents an opportunity to break out of the same.
  • Defence supplies: New Delhi needs Moscow’s assistance to manage its continental difficultiesthrough defence supplies, helping it ‘return’ to central Asia, working together at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) or exploring opportunities for collaboration in Afghanistan.
    • Russia, to put it rather bluntly, is perhaps India’s only partner of consequence in the entire Asian continental stretch.
    • Therefore, having Russia on its side is crucial for India, more than ever.
    • Moscow may or may not be able to moderate Chinese antagonism towards New Delhi, but an India-Russia strategic partnership may be able totemper New Delhi’s growing isolation in a rather friendless region.

 

Way forward for India

  • India’s past record has been maintaining balance between the West and Russia. On January 31, India abstained on a procedural vote on whether to discuss the issue of Ukraine.
  • New Delhi had then articulated its position on “legitimate security interests” that echoed with a nuanced tilt towards the Russian position, and had abstained along with Kenya and Gabon.
  • Despite abstention, India has reiterated and has called for cessation of violence in no ambiguous terms.
  • India has also quoted the international charter on sovereignty, highlighting that all nations must respect the same, intended towards Russia.
  • For India, Russian ties are important. It must be recalled that Ukraine was against India during 1998 nuclear tests and had spoken against India with issue of Kashmir.
  • Hence strategic autonomy is the way forward as India has been doing.

Conclusion

India’s position also shows the unmistakable indication that when it comes to geopolitics, New Delhi will choose interests over principles. And yet, a careful reading of India’s statements and positions taken over the past few days also demonstrates a certain amount of discomfort in having to choose interests over principles.

However, New Delhi’s response to the recent crisis, especially its “explanation of vote” at the UNSC indicates a careful recourse to the principle of strategic autonomy: India will make caveated statements and will not be pressured by either party. In that sense, India’s indirect support to the Russian position is not a product of Russian pressure but the result of a desire to safeguard its own interests.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Security challenges and their management in border areas – linkages of organized crime with terrorism.

4. The growth of organized crime is facilitated by various factors, ultimately contributing to the broader domain of terrorism. Examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference:  unafei.or.jp

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 3 and mentioned as part of Mission-2023 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about cross-border links between terrorists, and factors facilitating organized crime and responses to it.

Directive word: 

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must investigate the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context.

Body:

First, write about the factors that facilitate the growth of organised crime – poverty, political instability, weak governance, corruption, and social inequality etc.

Next, write about how organised crime can contribute to terrorism – organized crime groups can provide support to terrorist organizations, engage in terrorist activities themselves, and share similar characteristics with terrorism, such as the use of violence and intimidation etc

Next, write about the steps that are needed to tackle the above.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

Organised crimes are done with the motive of monetary gains by illegal means. Organised crimes are transnational in nature. Their presence is a great threat for the country’s security. Interpol has defined organised crime as “Any group having a corporate structure whose primary objective is to obtain money through illegal activities, often surviving on fear and corruption”. Organised crime (OC) is highly sophisticated, diversified, and widespread activity that annually drains billions of dollars from the global economy by unlawful conduct and illegal use of force, fraud, and corruption.

Body

Various factors facilitating organized crime

  • Increasing demands of illegal goods in global market like trade of Human organs, endangered wild life, drugs etc.
  • Geographical terrain and opens borders.
  • Globalisation had brought new opportunity and market for these groups.
  • Unholy nexus between politicians, bureaucrats and criminals
  • Criminalisation of politics.
  • Technology also helped them to operate safely hence reducing their risk.
  • Return compared to the risk factor is very high.
  • India’s proximity with drug producing regions like Golden Crescentin the West and Golden Triangle in the East.
  • The globalisation of the economy has definitely helped the crime syndicates carry out their illegal activities across the borders with great ease. This has been further facilitated by the phenomenon of ‘digital money’. Such organisations, very conveniently find safe havens outside the country.
  • India does not have any specific law to deal with organised crime. It depends on various provisions of IPC and other laws which are scattered.
  • As organised criminal groups are structured in a hierarchical manner, it becomes difficult to identify these leaders. Also, such groups keep changing their leadership to avoid law enforcement agencies.
  • According to the Constitution, police is a state subject. But many states are not in a position to invest resources to deal with organised crime.
  • India does not have any central agency to coordinate with state agencies, for combating organised crime.
  • Some of the crimes are planned in outside the country. Tough terrain in India’s neighbourhood provides safe havens to these organised criminals.
  • There are 3 crore pending cases in Indian judiciary. The delayed justice and poor investigation by police also gives opportunity to these organised criminals to exploit the system.

Linkages Between Organised Crime and Terrorism

  • Terrorist groups need arms and money to fight against security forces. The organised criminals and terrorist groups become client of each other. Organised criminals groups smuggle arms, drugs, cattle, humans to generate money for terrorist groups.
  • Terrorist groups always try to destabilise the country and bring down the morale of security forces. When the terrorist groups are unable to confront with the security forces directly, they turn towards organised criminals. Thus organised criminals indirectly help these terrorist groups.
  • Organised criminal groups generally establish strong communication network. These organised groups act as eyes and ears of the terrorist groups.
  • Terrorist organizations in India, especially in the northeast, mobilize funds by becoming couriers of illegal drugs and arms and at times even human beings from one point to another within the country.
  • Terrorists are always in need of money. As they fail to mobilise large amount of money, they take help of organised criminals to exchange counterfeit currency with arms.

Way forward

  • Synchronisation and coherence among domestic lawsof neighbouring countries to deter drug traffickers and also for translational exchange of criminals.
  • Developing Common strategiesto tackle with emerging threat of drug trafficking through maritime route.
  • Further strengthening and upgradation of intelligence network, upgradation of surveillance equipment and future requirements such as the setting up of training academy and drug labs.
  • the Narcotics Actmay be amended to plug the procedural loopholes and to calibrate punishments by grouping the offences.
  • Demand reduction:The strategies should also include demand reduction along with supply reduction. Supply reduction would include enforcement activities while demand reduction would involve rehabilitation and de-addiction measures.
  • Other measures:Investigative skills need to be honed and trials expedited; Inter-agency exchange of information amongst the countries by the quickest possible means coupled with expeditious extradition proceedings.

Conclusion

Efforts to counter the linkages between organized crime and terrorism involve targeting the financial networks that support these groups, as well as working to prevent the recruitment of new members and disrupting the supply chains that enable their operations.  This requires international cooperation and coordination among law enforcement agencies, intelligence services, and governments around the world.

 

Topic: Security challenges and their management in border areas – linkages of organized crime with terrorism.

5. Discuss the security challenges faced by India in the Indian Ocean region and outline a strategy to effectively deal with them. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 3 and mentioned as part of Mission-2023 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the challenges in coastal security and strategy to deal with it.

Directive word: 

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you must debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You must give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context.

Body:

First, write about the challenges in Indian Ocean region – security threats, including piracy, maritime terrorism, and geopolitical rivalries etc.

Next, write about the strategy that is needed to counter the above – cooperation with other countries, enhancing maritime capabilities, and diplomatic initiatives etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

The Indian Ocean region (IOR) accounts for more than two-thirds of the world’s oil shipmentsOne-third of bulk cargo and more than half of container traffic pass through it. The safety of these sea routes is not only directly connected to our economic interests, but it also establishes India as a net security provider in the IOR.

With challenges such as piracy, aggressive China’s String of Pearls, terror threats like Mumbai attack and disasters, there is growing need for a stable IOR with India at its helm. Towards this end, India has been actively participating in IOR in various aspects.

Body

Growing instability and security issues in IOR

  • The Indian Ocean is an area of conflict. Some conflicts are internal and remain localised, but other local and regional conflicts are of global significance and are prone to foreign political and military interference.
    • Some notable conflict areas are Israel and Palestine, Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
  • Though the causes of these conflicts vary, many can be associated with weak or failed states, significant levels of poverty, poorly developed institutions, the absence of democracy, corruption, competition for scarce resources, interference by foreign powers, the global war on terror and what can be termed ‘turbulence’ in the Islamic world.
  • The region is home to continually evolving strategic developments including the competing rises of China and India, potential nuclear confrontation between India and Pakistan, the US interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, Islamist terrorism, growing incidence of piracy in and around the Horn of Africa, and management of diminishing fishery resources.
    • Almost all the world’s major powers have deployed substantial military forces in the Indian Ocean region.
  • The US 5th Fleet is headquartered in Bahrain, and uses the island of Diego Garcia as a major air naval base and logistics hub for its Indian Ocean operations.
    • France maintains a significant presence in the north and southwest Indian Ocean quadrants, with naval bases in Djibouti, Reunion, and Abu Dhabi.

India’s response in IOR and multiple initiatives

  • Security and Growth for All (SAGAR) Policy: India’s SAGAR policy is an integrated regional framework, unveiled by Indian Prime Minister during a visit to Mauritius in March 2015. The pillars of SAGAR are:
  • The primary responsibility for peace, stability and prosperity in the IOR would be on those “who live in this region”.
  • Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA): The aim of IOR-ARC is to open the region based on four major components: trade liberalisation, trade and investment facilitation, economic and technical cooperation, and trade and investment dialogue.
    • It does not address defence and security cooperation directly as the aim of ‘open and free trade’ implies maritime security.
  • The ‘Indian Ocean Naval Symposium’ (IONS): IONS is a voluntary initiative that seeks to increase maritime co-operation among navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region.
    • The objectives of the IONS are to expand it to the next level of cooperation, create allied maritime agencies, establish a high degree of interoperability, share information to overcome common trans-national maritime threats and natural disasters, and maintain good order at sea.
    • The group has 35 members.
  • Indian Ocean Commission (COI): The COI (Commission de l’océan indien in French) is an intergovernmental organisation created in 1984 with the Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, France and the Seychelles as members.
    • Engaging with countries beyond our shores with the aim of building greater trust and promoting respect for maritime rules, norms and peaceful resolution of disputes is one of the goals.
  • India is working on a range of projects to improve maritime logistics in Sri Lanka, Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles.

Conclusion

Indian occupies a central and strategic location in the Indian Ocean area. Its national and economic interests are inseparably linked up with Indian Ocean. Hence to keep the Indian Ocean as a zone of Peace free from superpower rivalry and increasing cooperation among littoral countries in the region has always been India’s foreign Policy’s goal for example Look East policy, Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation, BIMSTEC and Ganga-Mekong Cooperation etc.

Value addition

About IOR region

  • The region has 51 coastal and landlocked states, namely 26 Indian Ocean Rim (IOR) states, five Red Sea states, four Persian Gulf states, Saudi Arabia, France, Britain and 13 landlocked states.
  • Four critically important access waterways are the Suez Canal (Egypt), Bab el Mandeb (Djibouti-Yemen), Strait of Hormuz (Iran, Oman), and Strait of Malacca (Indonesia-Malaysia).
  • The region contains 1/3 of the world’s population, 25% of its landmass, 40% of the world’s oil and gas reserves.
  • A major concern of India in the Indian Ocean is energy. India is almost 70 per cent dependent on oil import, major part of which comes from gulf region.
  • The sea lanes in the Indian Ocean are considered among the most strategically important in the world. More than 80 % of the world’s seaborne trade in oil transits through Indian Ocean choke points, with 40 % passing through the Strait of Hormuz, 35 % through the Strait of Malacca and 8 % through the Bab el Mandab Strait.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions;

6. By identifying their most important values and ranking them in order of importance, individuals can make decisions that reflect their personal values and aspirations. Elaborate. (150 Words)

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4 and part of ‘Abstract Thursdays’ in Mission-2023. Secure.

Key Demand of the question: To write about taking decision and overcoming conflicts by having a hierarchy of values.

Directive word: 

Elaborate – Give a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the context. You must be defining key terms wherever appropriate and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by giving context regarding conflicts in decision making.

Body:

First, write about the ways conflicts impact decision making and its outcome – delays, improper decision making, dereliction of duty etc.

Next, write about how having a set of hierarchy of virtues can help in resolving conflicts.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

There are many putative virtues, and they often appear to conflict: courage against prudence, love against fidelity. honesty against kindness, loyalty against common decency. Such conflicts raise questions about the coherence of the list of traits called virtues. And even when those traits coincide rather than conflict, as when both love and prudence recommend marriage. coherence is a problem because the question of motive is almost always significant.

Body

Hierarchy of values is an illusion

Isiah Berlin came up with the concept of Value Pluralism. Hierarchy of values is impossible. The conflict and ethical dilemma always occurs because the virtues are incompatible with each other sometimes. That does not mean one can rank these virtues and use this hierarchy to solve the problems. For example, liberty is not just distinct from equality, justice or compassion but is in some ways in unavoidable conflict with them. You can’t have everything: ‘freedom for the wolves has often meant death for the sheep’, he writes. In addition, Berlin argues that irreducible diversity and confrontation between moral ends is ubiquitous rather than exceptional within our own lives and in our social interactions. And, finally, we are told that the idea that there exists some absolute and universal moral yardstick that permits us to rank human values and ideals and resolve moral disagreement is an illusion.

Conclusion

Some societies may give higher priority to equality while some in West may give significance of liberty. Decisions involving moral turpitude requires careful circumstantial evidence before taking any decision. Value systems of people differs in different societies and must be taken into cognizance. There cannot be a Universal hierarchy of virtues. In fact, some may think in utilitarian terms, and some may think of individual justice. There is no one size fits all approach here.

 

Topic: dimensions of ethics;

7. Environmental integrity is essential for ensuring the well-being of both humans and the natural environment. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4 and part of ‘Abstract Thursdays’ in Mission-2023. Secure.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about environmental integrity, its features and its importance.

Directive word: 

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you must debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You must give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by defining ‘environmental integrity’.

Body:

In the first part, write about the various features of environmental integrity and its dimensions.

Next, write about the importance of environmental integrity and cite examples to substantiate your points.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

Environmental integrity is a condition where the natural processes of a place occur with the strength and frequency expected in the region. Places with environmental integrity experience normal patterns of rainfall, fires, and other processes and contain ecosystems that house the living and non-living species native to the area.

“Environmental integrity” is often used in legal and philosophical writing to refer to an undisturbed state of natural conditions. These are circumstances in which plant, animal, and human life can continue freely. Living beings can receive all of the resources essential to their growth and reproduction, such as water, food, and shelter.

Body

The concept of environmental integrity in philosophy was developed in the early twentieth century by a philosopher and ecologist named Aldo Leopold. His seminal “land ethic” philosophy looked at the holistic relationship between living beings, with homo sapiens as mere members of the land community.

Food webs, nutrient cycling, natural disturbances, and other natural processes have to be present to allow animal and plant species to thrive, reproduce, and populate the area naturally. Any human activity that disturbs the development of a healthy natural system negatively impacts the notion of environmental integrity.

This very intersection between human activity and environmental integrity is an area of continued contention. Humans have exploited the natural environment, particularly in the past few centuries, for their survival at the cost of other plant and animal lives. We’ve turned forests into farms and wetlands into housing projects with almost no regard for the health of the environment.

Conclusion

Establishing a balance between the well-being of humans and other living beings in the environment is the key objective of environmental integrity. As some writers have argued, it’s morally important for the environment to remain intact for all living beings, including humans. Only then can the environment have positive instrumental value for all of its inhabitants.


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