Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism.
Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
General Studies 2
India and its neighbourhood- relations.
National Security: Threats and Challenges
Geo-politics, strategic and technological developments keep adding uncertainties and new dimensions to national security. The lone wolf attacks have become the new normal of security threats. The nature of conflicts and the objectives of war are also changing. We have new combat theatres, such as cyber and space. Collaboration agreements among terror outfits are increasing, with signs of greater sophistication in the means and methods to perpetuate terror. Radicalisation via the Internet has attained a whole new dimension. Propaganda via the Internet today involves far more than mere recruitment imperatives. Nevertheless, a far more dangerous aspect today is the arrival of ‘Internet-enabled’ terrorism.
Security challenges for India:
India has a difficult neighbourhood and a full spectrum of security challenges. We have over 4,900 km (4056+740+110) long unresolved borders with two major neighbours. Both are nuclear armed. Over the years, they have established a strong strategic nexus/alliance against India.
In the last few years, China has extended its claim to the whole of Arunachal Pradesh. Already occupying Aksai Chin and Shaksgam part of Gilgit-Baltistan. The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), if and when it succeeds, will be a regional game-changer. It would affect our relationship not only with Pakistan, but also with Central Asia, and even Afghanistan.
As for Pakistan, the legacy of Partition continues to fuel its unremitting animosity towards India. Kashmir and terrorism are only an expression. An increasingly dysfunctional state like Pakistan, run by generals and increasingly wracked by religious extremism, will not make peace with India.
China has been equipping Pakistan with strategic and conventional military capabilities. With CPEC we will see more Chinese armed forces will enter Pakistan to protect their assets and personnel.
The US will continue to provide support to Pakistan, so long as it remains entangled in Afghanistan.
The developing Russia-Pakistan military bonhomie indicates that India can no longer take Russia for granted.
It is not Pakistan alone. There will be challenges from neighbouring countries where China offers a counterweight. Virtually all our neighbours support China’s OBOR project, and its entry into SAARC. We can expect a greater presence of Chinese Navy in the Indian Ocean.
On the internal security front, much more worrisome today are the new, emerging vulnerabilities.
Growing unemployment, the increasing ethnic, caste, communal divides, the worsening Centre-state relations, and politicisation of every socio-economic issue have ignited more fires lately and caused serious and more frequent law and order situations.
Partisan politics over national security issues — with media exploiting it for TRPs with the multiplier effect of social media — is getting the armed forces into political cross-fire.
Non- traditional security challenges facing India:
The lack of strategic and security awareness of our ruling elite- India lacks a strategic culture.
Partisan politics over national security issues which includes drawing the armed forces into political cross-fire. We lack strategic interest, vision, or security policies. Our political leaders take little interest in long-term strategic and security issues other than rhetorical and emotional sound-bites.
Yet another challenge is our defence management. The requirement to re-organise the Ministry of Defence, its business rules and appointment of a CDS (Chief of defence staff) has been talked of ever since the Kargil war. This has been recommended by the Kargil Review Committee in 1999, the Group of Ministers in 2002, and the Naresh Chandra Committee in 2012.
We need to design and produce a major proportion of the hardware required by our armed forces. We now have an elaborate Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP-2016), with the newly approved strategic partnership model which will enable private players to make big tickets defence systems. We thus need to build our defence industrial base,
We require frequent updating of weapons, equipment, revision of security concepts and doctrines, greater level of jointmanship and synergy, and much faster decision-making.
In recent years, cyber and space domains have added yet another complexity. The entire command and control mechanism of the government is dependent on space satellites and IT facilities. Therefore, any military cyber war infrastructure should work in close coordination with the National Information Board.
It is essential to develop, prioritise and optimally employ inter-services capabilities and promote jointness in the armed forces.
India’s security challenges are less traditional war threats, more diffused and ambiguous. What is worrisome currently is not just the external threats, but India’s weakening from inside: Weakening institutions, poor governance, sharpening political, social and ethnic divides, internal security, and our lack of strategic vision and thinking. Countering national security challenges and decision-making can no longer be dealt with in silos. These challenges require multi-disciplinary vertical and lateral consultations, and much faster decision-making.
Connecting the dots:
Geo-politics, strategic and technological developments have added uncertainties and new dimensions to India’s national security. Discuss major threats and challenges faced by India when it comes to national security.
TOPIC:General Studies 2:
India and its International relations.
Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
India-US trade potential
In the coming decades, Asia will be the growth engine for the world, and India will be one of the fastest growing large economies contributing to that growth. This presents an immense market for U.S. goods and services, and an opportunity for India to benefit from greater trade and investment – leading to employment and growth for both countries. We need to put in place the necessary policy frameworks that give confidence and certainty to the private sector.There is significant scope to develop a cooperative India-US trade relationship that expands bilateral economic ties.
The bilateral deficit
Trade barriers such as tariffs on goods and enforcement of intellectual property rights.
New Delhi is concerned with the inward orientation of the US under Trump.
Advantages India provides to US:
India is reforming and simplifying its policy regime, particularly its inside-the-border trade measures.
India’s tariff regime on average is less restrictive than commonly presumed. Conventional data considerably overestimates India’s applied tariffs. For instance, while the World Trade Organization (WTO) estimate for average applied most-favoured nation (MFN) tariffs for India is above 13%, a forthcoming paper from Brookings India shows that the weighted average MFN tariff for India is less than 4%.
The demand from India’s growing middle class is slated to become the second-largest in the world within 10 years. This increase would create significant opportunity for US trade and employment. An example is the estimated 104,000 US jobs created by a recent order of Boeing aircraft from an Indian private airline. According to McKinsey, a $1.1 trillion capital investment in India’s cities is necessary to meet projected demand for urban services.
Economic negotiations with India are never easy, but given India is poised to surpass the U.S. economy in purchasing power parity terms by 2040, forging greater economic ties and creating a more level playing field for U.S. firms is absolutely in the United States’ economic interest.
To effectively engage in mutually beneficial talks, the US needs to recognize and address India’s concerns about American trade policy.
India should address a number of US concerns by extending the application of good governance principles—including timely and transparent decision-making—being implemented in a bid to improve India’s ranking in the global ease of doing business index.
The US should aim to better the standards and technical barriers it applies to Indian exports in precisely the manner it demands of India’s similar practices.
We need not have a general focus on trade policy, but we need to identify and direct efforts at particular items with high tariffs, or those non-tariff measures that are not yet subject to reform.
To get better access to the growing demand, a larger focus has to be on regulatory coherence and cooperation, standards, policies and cooperation pertaining to emerging technologies such as digital, and conditions affecting investment.
The progress may be aimed at methods that range from soft legal results (guidelines, understandings, agreed mechanisms to support small and medium enterprises in both economies) to hard law (tariff decreases in key products of interest to each nation). This could be facilitated by agreeing on innovative methods that combine flexibilities with discipline and provide relief in times of import surges, a concern reflected in both countries. This would be needed more for results embodying hard law, rather than soft law.
There should be a start of negotiations for a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), realizing that a bilateral arrangement could be less contentious. Providing safeguards to U.S. businesses through a BIT could open up new lines of investment, which would be valuable for workers in the U.S. and India.
Much can be discussed as a part of an innovation agenda, and there is a ready-made platform in the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, which the U.S. and India are co-hosting later this year, to focus on those efforts.
India’s concerns regarding US trade policies will need to be addressed to improve the possibility of mutually beneficial access to India’s markets.
An important element to successful progress on trade is to ensure that each side operates on more comprehensive knowledge and a greater appreciation of prevailing situations and trends. For instance, India is instituting substantial reforms in both non-tariff measures and investment regimes.
India and the US could show significant results in trade areas by establishing a common platform to address specific concerns in areas that require administrative solutions or better information flows between the two. Focusing on possible solutions that are more within reach, while continuing efforts to address the major concerns, is more likely to create better opportunities and more win-win situations for both India and the US. Such an approach is a pragmatic response to the challenges of making significant progress on trade. This approach will reduce the focus on more politically contentious issues, such as India’s demands for improved access to the US market for its workers, or US interests in seeing major decreases in India’s tariffs across the board.
Connecting the dots:
India-Us trade relation holds huge potential. However the key to tap this potential lies in focusing on reaping low hanging fruits rather than trying to address major concerns. Discuss.