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SYNOPSIS [29th JULY,2021] Day 144: IASbaba’s TLP (Phase 1): UPSC Mains Answer Writing (General Studies)
1. India has the disadvantage of being situated in close proximity to what is being described as the epicentre of global terrorism. In the light of this statement, examine the challenges to India’s internal security.
Introduce with what is global epic centre of terrorism and contextualise.In next part write what are the challenges arising out of being close to terror hub and complement them with writing what recent measures have India taken to tackle terrorism.Conclusion can be summary based and reform oriented.
India shares its border with Pakistan ,which is known as global epicentre of terror with Taliban on its side.Further Pakistan is a traditional adversary to India and India have been at receiving end of various intrigues to harm India and its internal security over the years.Therefore building up deterrence against terrorism becomes an imperative for India.
Challenges to our internal security:
- Terrorism: Terrorist attacks on important centres like Delhi, Mumbai, Coimbatore, Bangalore etc.This destabilises the society, induces fear and affects growth of nation.
- Radicalisation: Spreading doctored news and videos to radicalise youth minds.With the increase in social media and internet connectivity it has be become easy to circulate videos which spread hatred in society.Indian society which is multicultural and diverse and have historical fault lines becomes an easy targets of the terrorist organisations for recruitment and radicalisation.For example: The circulation of fake videos at time of Muzzafarpur riots and Videos to celebrate sacrifices of terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir
- Extortion: Terrorism and organised crimes work in a nexus.Thus the mafias and drug peddlers are working in Sync with terrorist organisations like Lashkar e Taiba and Indian Mujahideen to collect funds to support terrorism.
- Organised crime: Human trafficking, Smuggling, illegal migration are used by terrorist organisations.This leads to loss of tax to Indian economy, right to life of citizens is also hampered.
- Kashmir Unrest: India’s integrity and sovereignty is constantly being attacked by the terrorists forces.This have been seen in Jammu and Kashmir region where there have been constant terrorist attacks, radicalisation, and insurgency which is supported by both state and non-state actors.
- Fake Indian Currency: Fake Indian currency corrodes the economic system of the country.It leads to medium to fund terror attacks and also hurts common man as they loose their hard earned money.
- Communal riots: Communal riots are used by terrorist organisations forbtwo purposes first to hurt the integration of the nation and further to radicalise the youth.The riots then lead to animosity between citizen’s and longterm impact of social psyche of the whole nation.For example : Riots in Godhra in 2002, riots in Bengaluru due to violence in Assam.
- Drugs Smuggling: Drug smuggling in India is carried mainly trough borders of Pakistan and Myanmar.The terrorist forces uses this channel to affect the demographic dividend of a nation and further to corrupt the governance system of a country.
- Local militancy: Creating local militant organisation like SIMI, IM and supporting naxalism leads to disruption of peaceful environment.Further it hurts development and diverts necessary resources in security of the nation.
- Refugees: Inflow of refugees leads to conflict with localities and start of violence.
Measures taken by India in counterterrorism
- Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System: It vastly improves the capability of Border Security Force (BSF) in detecting and controlling the cross border crimes like illegal infiltration, smuggling of contraband goods, human trafficking and cross border terrorism, etc.
- Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967: It enables more effective prevention of certain unlawful activities of individuals and associations and for dealing with terrorist activities, and other related matters.
- National Investigation Agency: It is India’s counter-terrorist task force and is empowered to deal with terror related crimes across states without special permission from the states.
- Policy of Zero-Tolerance Against Terrorism: India calls for zero-tolerance against terrorism and focuses on developing a common strategy to curb it.
- Various Counter-Terrorism Operations
- Operation Rakshak: Counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operation in Jammu and Kashmir in 1990.
- Operation Sarp Vinash: Undertaken by Indian army to flush out terrorists in the areas of the Pir Panjal range in Jammu and Kashmir in 2003.
- Operation All Out: Joint offensive launched by Indian security forces to flush out militants and terrorists in Kashmir in 2017.
- India have done surgical strikes to destroy the terrorism apparatus in both Myanmar and Pakistan in recent years.
- India have raised the issues of terrorism at United nation and SCO to firce Pakistan to bring a policy change in its approach on terrorism.
India lives in a neighbourhood which have the infamous recognition of being hub of terrorism.Further the growing stature of Taliban in the region is not good for India’s internal and external security.Therefore India needs to invest more efforts in countering online hate, professionalise police force, diplomatic discussions and persuasions at global and regional level to force Pakistan to give way for peace and prosperity in the region.
2. India, due to its geographical location, faces a multitude of maritime threats and challenges. Elucidate
Introduce with India’s strategic position in the maritime domain.In next part address the challenges which it faces with the help of examples and conclude with what future strategy and current measures is India adopting to address these concerns.
India’s vital geo-strategic location in the Indian Ocean has helped for its growth as an emerging economy.Her prominent peninsular orientation and flanking island chains overlook strategic sea lanes in the Indian Ocean, linking her security and prosperity inextricably to the seas.But due to its strategic position it is facing many threats.
Maritime security challenges
- COVID-19 has highlighted the fragility of the global logistic supply chain, and India too has been affected. India’s exports have been hit by the pandemic-induced scarcity of shipping containers, so much so that the country has now decided to make its own containers.
- Control of Choke Points : Access to the Indian Ocean is geographically controlled by a number of choke points leading to and from the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, and from the Southern Indian Ocean, which are critical for safeguarding the Indian maritime interests.Examples: Straits of Hormuz, Straits of Bab-el-Mandeb, Gulf of Aden, Malacca Strait.
- Regional Instability : The Indian Ocean littoral has been witness to large areas of political instability in the recent past. Examples: Yemen, Indonesia, Somalia, Iran-Iraq, Sri Lanka and Myanmar
Indian maritime security forces then had to conduct dedicated operations to combat this menace, like the Indian intervention in the Maldives in 1988 to foil a coup d’état.
- Piracy : India has not only escorted numerous merchant ships of all countries but concerted efforts of its maritime security forces has ensured that this piracy has been controlled. Statistics have shown an increase in piracy, off the coast of Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
- Trafficking : The Indian Ocean Region is regrettably home to the world’s most notorious areas of drug production, the Golden Crescent and the Golden Triangle.The trans-national networks established by the drug smugglers also serve as conduits for other destabilising activities like gunrunning and human trafficking.
- Maritime Terrorism :India’s huge coastline, a thriving maritime commercial community along its coast with nearly 200,000 fishing boats and a fishermen population of 4 million make the job of monitoring maritime activity an unenviable task.
The ability of adversarial interests to exploit this vast maritime activity for launching attacks on land is therefore quite high, as was witnessed in the 26/11 terrorist acts.
- Extra Regional Military Presence : It is intended to further strategic interests of various nations.China’s presence in India’s backyard is a constant concern for India.
- Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing : A World Wildlife Fund report on illegal fishing has found that 87 percent of the fish stocks surveyed in the Western and Eastern Indian Ocean were experiencing high levels of IUU fishing.
- Geopolitical shifts: These geopolitical shifts have led to great power contestation at sea, generating various maritime flashpoints in different waters, naval rivalries and build-up and more aggressive naval war fighting doctrines.
- There are rising tensions between China and Japan, China and US, China and ASEAN in South China Sea, tensions in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea and the northern Atlantic.
- Infiltration, Illegal Migration and the Refugee Influx: India’s land boundaries have always been porous to infiltration by terrorists/militants and large scale illegal migration. Example: creek areas of Gujarat have been highly vulnerable.
The simultaneous rise of India and China is an important paradigm shift in the international system. This new paradigm shift will require India to focus on not only land boundaries but also maritime security.India has taken efforts to upgrade its navy by inducting new aircraft carriers, building integrated command centre and inducting new submarines. Further the recent efforts of India of its Naval diplomacy with the Indian Ocean Rim countries and outer world powers & modernising its naval fleet would provide a peaceful solution to the ambitions of India in the Indian Ocean.
3. What is Digital Jihad? Examine its threat perception in India
Define what is digital jihad and add an example to substantiate for introduction.In next part address the different challenges which arise for India due to cyber terrorism.Write a way forward or reform based conclusion at the end.
Digital Jihad refers to struggle or fight against enemy state or actors through digital form like attacking Cyber systems, digital installations, Information and communication technology apparatus from far off location using Cyber space.This has been on rise with the increased penetration of social media and internet.For example:There were recent cyber attacks by Pakistan based terrorist organisations in India.
Threat Perception in India due to cyber terrorism:
- Propagation: Young minds are radicalised, recruited and brainwashed to join Militant organization like ISIS.For example: More than 37 persons from Kerala were recruited by ISIS in its prime days.
- Power grid: Attack on power grid will collapse the energy system of country.The critical infrastructure which includes power has come under attacks over the years.
- Nuclear installations: Controls are mostly computer operated. Attacking them will trigger malfunctioning and explosion.It is a major security threat which every nuclear power nation faces.India has total 23 nuclear power plants and therefore its security becomes critical.
- Defense: Missiles, launchers etc. can be destroyed with malware attacks.Further there have been honey trapping and radicalisation on internet which have caused defections in Indian security apparatus.
- Information technology: ICT are crucial for security agencies attack on them will black out the connection.The Distributed Denial of Services (DDOS) can make various services inaccessible.Further there can be piracy of patents as seen recently in attacks on American vaccine making companies.
- Training: Training in bomb making, attacks preparation can be done in cyber space.This has been seen over Telegram groups in the Easter day attack in Sri Lanka.Therefore there is need of strict monitoring of the online mediums.
- Financial system: Destroying banking and stock market servers to cripple the financial system.Further after 2016 Indian economy has become rapidly digitised and therefore the attack on financial system can cripple the whole economy in short time
- Air traffic-controls: Crippling traffic controllers will lead to catastrophe. This can lead to collusion of aeroplanes.
- Government websites: Spamming government websites, crashing the server.This can lead to misinformation in public about government measures and services at disposal.
Thus all these types of digital acts of terrorism can harm the social, political and economic life of a country and therefore it becomes important to invest in cyber security measures.
- India is the second-fastest digital adapter among 17 of the most-digital economies globally, and rapid digitisation does require forward-looking measures to boost cybersecurity.
- It is important for the corporates or the respective government departments to find the gaps in their organisations and address those gaps and create a layered security system, wherein security threat intelligence sharing is happening between different layers.
- There is a need for an apex body to ensure operational coordination amongst various agencies and ministries.
- Cyber deterrence can be envisaged on the lines of strategic deterrence to dissuade cyberattackers. We need to acquire offensive capabilities for effective deterrence in cyberspace.