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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs – 6th July, 2016

  • July 6, 2016
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IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis, IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs July 2016, National, Security, UPSC
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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs – 6th July, 2016

 

NATIONAL/SECURITY

TOPIC: General studies 3:

  • North East Issues – Nagaland Issue
  • Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
  • Challenges to internal security through communication networks
  • Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism.

 

NAGALAND ISSUE: FULL STORY

BACKGROUND:

(Before Independence)

  • The British annexed Assam in 1826, and in 1881, the Naga Hills too became part of British India.
  • The first sign of Naga resistance can be seen in the formation of the Naga Club in 1918, which told the Simon Commission in 1929 “to leave them alone to determine for themselves as in ancient times”.
  • In 1946 came the Naga National Council (NNC), which, under the leadership of Angami Zapu Phizo, declared Nagaland an independent state on August 14, 1947.

(After Independence)

  • The NNC resolved to establish a “sovereign Naga state” and conducted a “referendum” in 1951, in which “99 per cent” supported an “independent” Nagaland.
  • On March 22, 1952, Phizo formed the underground Naga Federal Government (NFG) and the Naga Federal Army (NFA).
  • The Government of India sent in the Army to crush the insurgency and, in 1958, enacted the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.
  • The Naga Hills, a district of Assam, was upgraded to a state in 1963.
  • In 1964, Jai Prakash Narain, then Assam Chief Minister Bimala Prasad Chaliha and Rev. Michael Scott formed a Peace Mission, and got the government and NNC to sign an agreement to suspend operations. But the NNC/NFG/NFA continued to indulge in violence, and after six rounds of talks, the Peace Mission was abandoned in 1967, and a massive counter-insurgency operation launched.
  • On November 11, 1975, the government got a section of NNC leaders to sign the Shillong Accord, under which this section of NNC and NFG agreed to give up arms.
  • However, a group of about 140 members led by Thuingaleng Muivah, who were at that time in China, refused to accept the Shillong Accord, and formed the National Socialist Council of Nagaland in 1980. Muivah also had Isak Chisi Swu and S S Khaplang with him.
  • In 1988, the NSCN split into NSCN (IM) and NSCN (K) after a violent clash. While the NNC began to fade away, and Phizo died in London in 1991, the NSCN (IM) came to be seen as the “mother of all insurgencies” in the region.
  • After NSCN(I-M) and NSCN(K) more factions like NSCN(K-K), NSCN (Reformation), NSCN (Unification), etc. sprang up. The faction, NSCN (K-K), led by Khole Konyak, a Konyak Naga from Mon district and Kitovi Zhimomi, a Sumi Naga of Zunheboto district, merged not long ago into the NSCN(I-M).
  • All these outfits agreed to strengthen reconciliation process to unite Nagas for the purpose of achieving their “historical and political rights.”

WHAT DID THE NSCN (IM) WANT?

  • A “Greater Nagalim” comprising “all contiguous Naga-inhabited areas”, along with Nagaland. That included several districts of Assam, Arunachal and Manipur, as also a large tract of Myanmar.
  • The map of “Greater Nagalim” has about 1,20,000 sq km, while the state of Nagaland consists of 16,527 sq km.
  • The claims have always kept Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh wary of a peace settlement that might affect their territories.
  • The Nagaland Assembly has endorsed the ‘Greater Nagalim’ demand — “Integration of all Naga-inhabited contiguous areas under one administrative umbrella” — as many as five times: in December 1964, August 1970, September 1994, December 2003 and as recently as on July 27, 2015.

 

WHEN DID NSCN (IM) JOIN PEACE TALKS?

  • Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao met Muivah, Swu and other top NSCN (IM) leaders in Paris on June 15, 1995. In November 1995, then MoS (Home) Rajesh Pilot met them in Bangkok.
  • Subsequently, Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda met them in Zurich on February 3, 1997, which was followed by meetings with officers in Geneva and Bangkok.
  • Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee met them in Paris on September 30, 1998.
  • The Government of India signed a ceasefire agreement with NSCN (IM) on July 25, 1997, which came into effect on August 1, 1997. Over 80 rounds of talks between the two sides were held subsequently.
  • The peace process entered a crucial phase with the NSCN (Khaplang) faction formally announcing its unilateral cease-fire decision on April 9, 2000 and indicating that it is willing to hold peace talks with the Centre.

PEACE AGAIN WAS AT STAKE IN NAGALAND

  • Unfortunately, on Mar 2015, the NSCN-K headed by its Myanmar-based Chairman, S.S. Khaplang, unilaterally decided to retract from the 14-year ceasefire agreement with the Indian government.
  • However, in April 2012, NSCN-K signed a ceasefire with Yangon (Myanmar)
  • NSCN-K, even though on ceasefire agreement (from last 14 years), continued with its militant activities and setting up camps in 3 zones of Myanmar where it enjoys autonomy conferred by Myanmar Govt.
  • NSCN-K inked friendship with other insurgent groups such as CorComm (Cooperation Committee, which is an umbrella organisation of 6 insurgent groups in Manipur) and with ULFA (United Liberation Front of Asom-Parmesh Barua) and the NDFB (National Democratic Front of Bodoland – Songbijit Faction) and provides them training and camping in 3 zones of Myanmar.
  • (ENPO)Eastern Naga Peoples’ Organisation, civil organisation with representatives from ethnic groups of Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Myanmar – declared that NSCN-K which is Myanmar based group now is more concerned with new territorial alignments along international border and hence they deal with Myanmar Government.

Naga Framework Agreement, 2015

  • On Aug 3, 2015, latest agreement was signed with NSCN (I-M), and other Naga armed groups such as NSCN (Khole-Kitovi) etc. (however, NSCN (K) was excluded)
  • On August 25, at a People’s Consultative Meeting on the accord, Mr. Muivah spoke about the criticality of getting the other Naga armed actors on board.
  • While explaining the idea of a pan-Naga Hoho (a proposed statutory body as part of the framework agreement) that will enjoy independent executive and budgetary powers to look after the welfare of Naga inhabited areas outside Nagaland, Mr. Muivah again called for mutual understanding and dialogue among the Nagas.
  • However, the biggest breakthrough is that the NSCN (I-M), and other Naga armed groups such as NSCN (Khole-Kitovi) have agreed to give up violence and resolve all issues peacefully (thanks to Isak Chishi Swu).

Demise of Isak Chishi Swu

  • The demise of Isak Chishi Swu, Chairman of the Naga rebel outfit, National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah), and President of the outfit’s ‘government’, the Government of the People’s Republic of Nagaland (GPRN), is a great loss to the Nagas, particularly to those in Nagaland.
  • Will Swu’s departure complicate the above discussed matter further? Will the rebel outfit with a new chairman be able to unite different rebel factions and command respect and trust of different Naga civil society groups?

 

The way ahead:

  • As Isak Chishi Swu’s death complicates the Naga question, the Government of India’s approach towards Northeast India would be healthier if it was based on a policy framed for holistic development of the region as a unit as against meek responses to claims or demands of different warring ethnic groups.
  • Looking for solutions to problems on ethnic lines is a sure way to breed problems of greater complexity. A comprehensive plan with flexibility that is prepared on the ground in broad consultation with stakeholders for development of the region is the need of the hour.
  • It is understandable that without significantly developing all the states in the Northeast, realising the vision of the Act East policy from all dimensions remain to be a difficult proposition.
  • There is a need to comprehensively engage India’s Northeast with the strategic community based in New Delhi and to transform the NER as a gateway for trade and commerce with ASEAN countries.
  • Blind pouring of money alone will not integrate the Northeast into the mainstream. The region will remain a boiling pot until the time the Government of India looks seriously, sincerely and with an open mind towards the Northeast to develop it as an integral part of the nation.
  • Therefore, any attempt to find a way out of the present imbroglio would require an impartial stand on the part of the Centre. The Government cannot afford to be seen as favouring one or the other faction. For any meaningful outcome, all factions of the undergrounds even including overgrounds, shall have to be involved, otherwise piecemeal peace/dialogue will not bring a satisfactory political solution.
  • A lasting solution lies in more autonomy to the state, genuine economic development, accelerated infrastructural development, new trade routes, less Central funds and a little bit of pressure on militant groups to accept the peace proposal. Sincerity on the part of political and insurgent leadership alone can bring ‘peace to the land of the exhilarating Nagas’.

 

ECONOMICS

TOPIC: General studies 2

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

General studies 3

  • Transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers

 

Dynamics of National Agricultural Market

National Agricultural Market (NAM) is designed to serve as a ‘pan-India electronic trading portal which networks the existing APMC mandis to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities’.

Highlights:

  • Pilot phase: includes 21 markets in eight States and 11 commodities
  • Integrate 585 mandis by 2018 (8 per cent of the nearly 7,500 regulated markets) while covering a small fraction of the vast range of agricultural commodities marketed and traded, both inside and outside mandis across the country
  • Promote transparent operation
  • Play a key role in doubling Indian farmers’ incomes by 2022
  • To participate on e-NAM, states have to modify their respective APMC acts to allow a single state-wide trading licence or move towards a regime based on registration rather than licensing.

Point of Focus

Encourage States: More states need to be encouraged to participate and the compliance can be ensured via Digital initiative and the idea of last-mile delivery via better infrastructure.

Large mandis should lead the way: will create a demand-side pull and attract more farmers to the e-NAM

Create validation: Success needs to be brought about early for its spill-over effects to take place. Increasingly, the government should aim for better management of perishables.

Licensing reform: It is a very significant shift, away from the current system of local mandi-specific licensing and therefore, it requires dealing away with restrictions and rents on licenses to new buyers that often limited the pool of buyers in primary markets, especially for parties located outside the State and its entrenched networks.

Standardisation of System: Along the provision of quality assessors to certify the produce, there has to be an institutional attempt for quality standardisation

  • Need much more competitive, integrated and well-appointed local markets, where both local traders and extra-local online buyers can bid on the produce brought by farmers to their mandis
  • Need to standardise the logistics (transportation and shipment charges) aspect as well
  • Ease of movement needs to be secured against the maze of permits, the condition of the road network, the inability of the railways to transport commodities at a scale—transportation accounts for 14 per cent of the supply chain costs
  • The lack of specialised agricultural produce transportation vehicles needs to be done away with the help of the ‘Make In India’ programme
  • More investment in invested in basic facilities like warehouses, cold storages and inventory management systems—proper price discovery and national trading needs to be backed up by massive investment in storage sites and facilities
  • Private players need to be encouraged to spend on research and development on “mobile cold storages”
  • Encouraging large farmers, APMCs or transport operators to buy fit-for-purpose vehicles—geographical boundaries to be diluted
  • There is also a need to address the marketing challenges of many producers still restricted to transacting, under very unfavourable conditions, outside market yards. This can be emphasised upon as an opportunity for both a more comprehensive and contextual approach to market reform—including support to new and promising institutional forms such as producer companies, especially among small and marginal farmers working in rain-fed regions.

The opening up of the food-processing sector for foreign direct investment (FDI) should be complemented with the above steps.

Do away with the opaqueness of operations

  • There needs to be incorporated an element of transparency w.r.t. clearing (matching buyers and sellers and assigning trades) and settlement (exchange of the traded commodity and money between buyers and sellers).
  • The government needs to spend time and resources in educating potential participants in the market, making features and associated fall-backs of e-NAM

Financial Inclusion: The government should find a way to extend the financial inclusion programmes for agricultural credit to bring the bottom of the pyramid population into the financial net

Connecting the Dots

  1. Is there a need for the Centre to enact a Right to Trade law to create a true national market for agricultural produce? Discuss.

 

Refer:

E-platform for trading farm produce to make agriculture remunerative

The need for unifying agricultural markets

 

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