For Previous TLP (ARCHIVES) – CLICK HERE
SYNOPSIS [28th April,2021] Day 93: IASbaba’s TLP (Phase 1): UPSC Mains Answer Writing (General Studies)
1. How does India’s complex geography in the border regions aggravate the internal security challenges? Discuss.
Candidates are expected to write about internal security challenges and how India’s unique and complex geography in border regions aggravate the internal security challenges.
Border Management is an integral approach towards borders in which along with security enhancement, infrastructure & human development is undertaken. The challenge of coping with long-standing territorial and boundary disputes with China and Pakistan, combined with porous borders along some of the most difficult terrain in the world, has made effective and efficient border management a national priority.
Complex geography in the border region aggravating the internal security challenges-
- Varied terrain, climatic conditions and hostile neighbours make our borders complex and border management an important aspect of our security.
- Managing such an expansive border is a complex task. Challenges related to border security include unsettled maritime boundaries, lack of fully demarcated land borders, and borders based on artificial boundaries. This porosity of borders facilitates various illegal activities such as smuggling, trafficking of humans, drugs and arms and infiltration.
- On Indo Bangladesh border entire stretch consists of plain, riverine, hilly/jungle and with hardly any natural obstacles. The area is heavily populated, and at many stretches the cultivation is carried out till the last inch of the border.
- Density of population in the border areas at some places is approximately 700-800 persons per square km on the Indian side and about 1,000 persons on the Bangladesh side.
- Instead of following natural barriers, it meanders through villages, agricultural lands, and rivers, rendering the border extremely porous with many disputed pockets. Undemarcated stretches, existence of enclaves (chhit-mohols), and adverse possessions had been causing constant friction between the border guarding forces of India and Bangladesh.
- The location of the Indo-Myanmar boundary throws up many challenges for the effective management of the boundary. The rugged terrain makes movement and the overall development of the area difficult. The internal dynamics of the region in terms of the clan loyalties of the tribal people, inter-tribal clashes, insurgency, and trans border ethnic ties also adversely affect the security of the border areas.
- In a place like Galwan Valley first major factor is acclimatisation since the oxygen supply reduces drastically. Next, the load carrying capacity of individuals reduces drastically. Things move very slowly in the mountains and mobilisation of troops consumes time. Thus, time and place need to be kept on top priority when deciding where the troops have to be stationed and how they have to be mobilised.
- Frost, inhabitable conditions and sub-zero temperature are deadlier than bullets at the world’s highest military post-Siachen which is part of a disputed region between India and Pakistan. Several incident where Indian Army personnel died after an avalanche hit their post, brings to fore the rising number of death at the the world’s highest battlefield where not a single death has occurred due to a bullet wound since 2003.
- India Pakistan border need patrolling in riverine areas and water-patrol teams have been deployed at the Chenab River, primary reason is the difficult terrain characterised by lofty mountains, several cross-border streams and dense growth of elephant grass.
- The Indian military Border Security Force (BSF) patrols Sir Creek up to midstream using floating border posts, amphibious vehicles, and foot travel by the Creek Crocodile Commandos. The coastal area of Sir Creek is manned by the Indian Coast Guard, and the larger open sea beyond is patrolled by the Indian Navy.
Defence preparedness should be vigorously pursued to insulate us from unpleasant surprises. The vision should be to establish with utmost urgency, stable, viable and peaceful national boundaries, all around, so that India can proceed, unhindered, with the vital tasks of nation-building and socio-economic development.
2. How has organised crime evolved in recent years? How does organised crime manifest itself? Analyse.
Candidate can define organised crime and with the help of examples and data, outline the recent trends by stating way forward to contain this threat.
Organised crime is defined as “those involved, normally working with others, in continuing serious criminal activities for substantial profit, elsewhere”. Organised criminals that work together for the duration of a particular criminal activity or activities are what we call an organised crime group.
Organized crime has always existed in India in some form or another. It has, however, assumed its virulent form in modern times due to several socio-economic and political factors and advances in science and technology. Even though rural India is not immune from it, it is essentially an urban phenomenon.
Evolution of organised crime –
- Organized crime networks can be as small as within a locality conducting extortion and could become as large as involving transnational crime syndicates and conducting all kinds of activities ranging to drug trafficking, arms smuggling, terrorism, money laundering, etc.
- The Mumbai underworld, formerly known as the Bombay underworld, refers to the organised crime network in the city of Mumbai (formerly Bombay), in the state of Maharashtra in India. Mumbai is the largest city of India and its financial capital. Over a period of time, the Mumbai underworld has been dominated by several different groups and mobsters.
- Banditry is criminal activity involving robbery by groups of armed bandits. The East India Company established the Thuggee and Dacoity Department in 1830, and the Thuggee and Dacoity Suppression Acts, 1836–1848 were enacted in British India under East India Company rule. Areas with ravines or forests, such as Chambal and Chilapata Forests, were once known for dacoits.
- Several local Indian, Russian, Israeli and Nigerian mafia groups are heavily involved in the organised drug trade in Goa, India’s smallest state. Sources reveal that there are also individual players who are British, French, Italian, Portuguese and from other European countries. Some have been visiting the state for over two decades and have their fixed international and local clientele.
- Punjabi mafia refers to the organised criminal gangs in the state of Punjab in India. There has been a spurt in the formation and activities of such criminal gangs in Punjab over the last decade even though some gangs, associated with those based in Uttar Pradesh, have been operational in the state since the end of militancy in Punjab. Post militancy, they took to contract killings. The real estate and industrial sector boom of the early 2000s saw several criminals surfacing with the primary objective of controlling unions.
Recent trends in organised crime –
- India is a major transit point for heroin from the Golden Triangle and Golden Crescent en route to Europe. India is also the world’s largest legal grower of opium; experts estimate that 5–10% of the legal opium is converted into illegal heroin, and 8–10% is consumed in high quantities as concentrated liquid.
- The pharmaceutical industry is also responsible for much illegal production of mandrax, much of which is smuggled into South Africa. Diamond smuggling via South Africa is also a major criminal activity, and diamonds are sometimes used to disguise shipments of heroin.
- In the cinema of India, particularly Bollywood, crime films and gangster films inspired by organised crime in India have been produced since 1940. Indian cinema has several genres of such crime films.
- Terrorism is a serious problem which India is facing. Conceptually, terrorism does not fall in the category of organized crime, as the dominant motive behind terrorism is political and/or ideological and not the acquisition of money-power. However, the Indian experience, shows that there is very little difference between criminals and terrorists. There is evidence to suggest that, be it terrorists of J&K, insurgents of the North East or for that matter the Left wing extremists, all are using the methods and tactics of organized crime to raise funds for their organizations.
- The terrorist groups share relations with organized crime at several levels which includes conducting operations for the sole purpose of raising money, seeking assistance from the organized crime networks.
- To summarize, Union of organized crime and terrorism is major menace for international safety and peace. These crimes are growing at rapid rate. It can be concluded from reviewing major facts of these crimes that Organized crime is a rising as international phenomenon and, as it intersects with terrorism, an increasingly dangerous force.
Just as terrorists pool their abilities and resources to achieve synergistic outcomes. Its abolition can be possible only if collaboration is attained at global scale and counter-terrorism programs along with development schemes. To eliminate organised crimes, local level policing needs to be strengthened along with intelligence capacities. Organised crimes are a potential threat to internal security and needs to be dealt with iron fist.
3. Discuss the security challenges posed by insurgent groups. What has been the strategy of the government to tackle them? Examine.
Since the question is asking you to discuss (you have to use your skill at reasoning, backed up by deliberately selected evidence to make a case for and against an argument) the security challenges posed by insurgent groups. After that you have to examine (strategy of the government to tackle them) strategy of the government to tackle them.
The Northeast and the Maoist insurgencies have posed major security threats to the Indian state since the 1950s and late 1960s. As per the reports, the 80% reduction in insurgency-related incidents and rise in the number of insurgents giving up arms by over 1600% from 2019 is improvement and a great achievement for the government and security forces because of which, the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, has been removed completely from Meghalaya and Tripura and its application has been reduced in Arunachal Pradesh.
THE SECURITY CHALLENGES POSED BY INSURGENT GROUPS –
- That the Indian insurgents can cross the international border and hide in the neighbouring country is not new.
- Since the inception of insurgency in the Northeast in the 1950s, the Naga, Mizo, Meitei, and Assamese insurgents have been crossing over into Myanmar to set up bases, especially in the Chin state and Sagaing Region, where they rest, recoup, train, plan and launch future offensives, and take shelter when pursued by the Indian security forces.
- Besides cross border movement of insurgents, rampant gun running and drug trafficking are other significant security challenges emanating across the India-Myanmar border.
- The Indian insurgent groups have been procuring arms from the black markets of Southeast Asia as well as from Myanmar based rebel group such as the United Wa State Army (UWSA).
- These weapons are often brought in as headloads by the insurgents as well as the local villagers because these headloads are seldom checked by the border guarding forces.
- The narcotics are trafficked into India through the states of Mizoram, Manipur, and Nagaland from Bhamo, Lashio and Mandalay. For example: Proximity to Myanmar in the ‘Golden Triangle’ makes the India-Myanmar border vulnerable to trafficking of heroin and amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) produced in Myanmar.
- While the bigger insurgent groups are not directly involved in drug trafficking to generate funds, they do so indirectly by demanding protection money from drug mafia for allowing safe passage to the drug consignments through their area.
THE STRATEGY OF THE GOVERNMENT TO TACKLE THEM –
- The Indian government’s counterinsurgency campaign in Kashmir is effective largely due to the government’s use of a massive military response.
- The military has defeated the insurgents’ attempts to transition to guerrilla warfare and has forced the insurgency to use terrorism as its main means to gain support among the Kashmiris and the international world,
- The relentless operations by the security forces and proactive government policies have laid the foundation for tackling insurgency issues.
- Favourable external environment with Myanmar and Bangladesh has struck at the roots of the insurgent organizations in north east as well.
The internal security problems should not be treated as merely law and order problems. They have to be dealt with comprehensively in all their dimensions and at all levels — political, economic and social. They are all interlinked. At times, the required measures will conflict with each other. Going too far in one direction could be counter-productive. The security requirements have to be met, but that does not mean giving the security agencies a free hand. Striking the right balance is the key to success in meeting these challenges effectively. We need a comprehensive security policy that will be implemented effectively at all levels.
4. Discuss the recent efforts undertaken by the government to address the security Challenges in border regions?
Question is very straight forwarded in its approach students are expected to discuss about the recent efforts taken by the government to address the security challenges in the border regions also it is important to mention the programs in this direction as well.
The border security scenario in India is marked by many threats, with different sectors of the border posing different challenges and complexities. The threats to India are arguably increasing, with principal threats coming from Pakistan, Bangladesh and China, and noteworthy threats from Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan. The Pakistan border sees cross-border terrorism and movement of armed militants and smuggling of goods and narcotics, while along the Bangladesh border, illegal immigration and smuggling have been the main concern. The China border sees fairly regular armed intrusions, and has recently been in the news due to the Doklam crisis that raised suspicions that China may have some concealed their goals in the border region.
Efforts to address the security challenges in the border regions –
- The pace of border security projects in India has accelerated over the past two years. A prime example of this has been the implementation of a Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS) pilot project along two 5.5 km and 5.3 km stretches of the International Boundary (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). Theoretically, CIBMS a robust system that works by integrating human resources, weapons, and high-tech surveillance equipment. Following Pathankot terrorist attack, MHA sanctioned implementation Comprehensive Management System (CIBMS) to establish an integrated security system at borders providing all round security even in adverse climatic conditions.
- Border Security Forces (BSF) obtained hi-tech systems such as Hand Held Thermal Imagery (HHTI) systems, Long Range Reconnaissance Observation Systems (LORROS), and Battle Field Surveillance Radars (BFSR) that greatly enhanced the detection ability of BSF personnel.
- Creating infrastructure: India is also constructing some critical bridges to cut down time for troop movement such as Dhola – Sadiya Bridge.
- India has joined hands with Japan to aggressively develop infrastructure projects in North east to contain China.
- To expedite border road construction, Ministry of Defence has decided to delegate administrative and financial powers to the Border Roads Organisation (BRO).
- A crime-free stretch has been established between the BSF border posts at Gunarmath and Kalyani and the BGB (Border Guards Bangladesh) border posts at Putkhali and Daulatpur.
- Coordinated Border Management Plan (CBMP) – aims to synergize the efforts of both the Border Guarding Forces for checking cross border illegal activities and crimes as well as for maintenance of peace and tranquillity along the India-Bangladesh border.
- 13 new Integrated Check Posts (ICPs) to encourage India’s engagement with SAARC countries along with Thailand and Myanmar. ICP is able to interdict such elements while facilitating legitimate trade and commerce.
- Development of border areas has been a matter of concern for the country. The Border Area Development Programme (BADP) was initiated in western region, which at that point of time was the most volatile border, during the Seventh Five Year Plan period forpromotion of wellbeing and a sense of security among the border population. The development of border areas is now viewed as a part of the comprehensive approach to the Border Management, which focuses on socio-economic development of the people and promotion of wellbeing and a security environment in the border areas.
- Our navy has interdicted Chinese maritime research and survey vessels that entered our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and Continental Shelf (CS) without our prior consent in 2018 and 2019. India has legislation that requires foreign marine scientific vessels to seek licence prior to undertaking activities. This will need coordination between our national security agencies, the navy, and the government departments responsible for the marine environment and disaster management, but also collaboration with like-minded countries who share our concerns. Such cooperation includes, inter alia, deepening of real-time information exchange, co-development and deployment of UDA monitoring devices and joint processing of acoustic signatures, and closer coordination in the patrolling of sea lanes to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.
India has a land border of over 15,000 kms, which it shares with seven countries (Pakistan, China, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Bhutan, and Afghanistan). In the Indian case, borders are quite complex and almost every type of extreme geography is present at different borders viz. deserts, fertile lands, swampy marshes or tropical evergreen jungles. There is cross border smuggling, the problem of drugs, cattle, humans, artefacts, fake Indian currency note (FICN), etc. The stability of country brings the full utilization of Human resource potential of the country and brings the economic development and peace and prosperity in the country so, border management is a key issue for whole round development of country. In order to ensure that strict vigil and infrastructure development is needed in the border areas.
5. What role do intelligence agencies play in securing the country? Illustrate.
A simple and straightforward question where in the candidate needs to show role of intelligence agencies in security of the country.
Gathering intelligence and information by means of espionage has been a key element to the survival of nations ever since their existence. However, there has been a major change in the way intelligence agencies work ever since the evolution of technology and the unthinkable amount of advances in the way people live their everyday lives.
- The role of intelligence agencies has changed dramatically; Intelligence agencies are not mere data collection and analysis units anymore, they are full-fledged covert armies, called upon to take action when no one else can.
- The Cold War saw the further evolution of intelligence agencies, introduction of “larger foreign policy focus”. The U.S.A saw the U.S.S.R as keeping her administration from a more “comprehensive foreign policy”.
- Intelligence acts as the escutcheon of a nation. However the success of intelligence agencies in protecting the nation is never reported in the media for obvious reasons. It is only their defeats, mistakes and controversies that are reported.
- Striking the balance between allowing intelligence agencies to carry out activities to promote their citizens security and the limitations to these activities is vital. Hence, the role of intelligence in modern warfare is still somewhat obscure.
Further, the role of intelligence agencies in securing the country can be seen from following points –
- Collection: as a function of intelligence, appears straightforward, and its necessity is not seriously challenged. Through various means, intelligence agencies collect information about foreign persons, places, events, and activities that is needed by the Government but cannot be obtained through publicly available sources or diplomatic contacts.
- Analysis: The analytical function raises similar practical issues. In theory, intelligence analysts take information provided by perhaps all three collection disciplines, combine it with information from publicly available sources, and produce “all source” analysis for the customer. Because the analysis contains information obtained by intelligence sources, it is typically classified.
- Covert Action: are used to influence political, military, or economic conditions or situations abroad, where it is intended that the role of the Government will not be apparent or acknowledged publicly. These might consist of technical and logistical assistance to other governments to deal with problems within their countries, or actions undertaken to disrupt illicit activities that threaten government’s interests, e.g. terrorism or narcotics trafficking.
- Counterintelligence: The counterintelligence function involves protecting the country, as well as intelligence agencies, from the activities of foreign intelligence services. The RAW is responsible for coordinating India’s counterintelligence activities abroad.
- Further, intelligence also involves support to country’s Diplomacy, support to Monitoring of Treaties and Other Agreements, support to Military Operations, Economic Intelligence, etc.
The paradigm shift in the nature of the security challenges facing the country lends urgency to the need for strengthening country’s intelligence apparatus. There is a need for comprehensive, not ad hoc and piecemeal, changes where the focus should be on removing the deficiencies within the system, improving coordination between intelligence agencies and ensuring better accountability and oversight.