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18 February, 2020

25 Min Read

GS-II :
Ladakh to appoint non –gazetted personnel

Syllabus subtopic: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the Federal Structure, Devolution of Powers and Finances up to Local Levels and challenges therein.

 

Prelims and Mains focus: about the move and its significance; about bifurcation of J&K and its implications

 

News: Union government has empowered the Union Territory of Ladakh to formulate its own rules to appoint “non-gazetted” officials.

 

Why?

Shortage of personnel: the day-to-day work in Ladakh was getting hampered as the process to reallocate government officials had not been completed, and not many officials were willing to move to the Union Territory.

 

Background

  • The erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh by Parliament on August 6, 2019.

 

  • Thereafter, the Union government appointed a panel to find out officials’ preference for posting. The General Administration Department of Jammu and Kashmir issued an order in 2019 seeking options from government officials “for their further allocation” to the two Union Territories. The employees had to fill a form, comprising 18 columns, which sought information on their “place of birth, home district, marital status and caste”.

 

  • To tide over the crisis, the Centre on January 21, 2020 said Ladakh’s Lieutenant-Governor “shall exercise the power to make rules in regard to...the method of recruitment to all Group ‘B’ (non-gazetted) and Group ‘C’ posts under his administrative control”.

 

  • The notification further said the Lieutenant-Governor could decide on:
  1. the qualifications necessary for appointment to such services and posts; and
  2. the conditions of service of persons appointed to such services and posts for the purposes of probation, confirmation, seniority and promotion.

 

Govt. personnel in Ladakh

  • There are about four lakh State government employees and 66 Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and 68 Indian Police Service (IPS) officers in the erstwhile State.

 

  • Under the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, the IAS, the IPS and other central service officers will continue to work in the Union Territories, while new recruits will be allocated the Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre.

 

Measures taken by the Centre

  • In the Union Budget unveiled on February 1, a total of Rs. 30,757 crore was allocated to Jammu and Kashmir and Rs.5,958 crore for Ladakh for the fiscal 2020-21.

 

  • Earlier, based on the 14th Finance Commission grants, a total of Rs.14,559.25 crore was pending to be distributed to the two Union Territories. In December, Rs.2,977.31 crore was transferred to Jammu and Kashmir and Rs.1,275.99 crore to Ladakh.

 

  • This was the first time around 8% Central funds were transferred to Ladakh. Previously, the region received only 2%. The area is underdeveloped and needs greater help from the Centre.

 

  • A new administrative complex was being built in Leh. It would also house the office of the Hill Development Council.

Source: The Hindu

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GS-II :
Delimitation Commission of India

Syllabus subtopic: Statutory, Regulatory and various Quasi-judicial Bodies.

 

Prelims and Mains focus: about the move and its significance; about Delimitation Commission of India: composition and mandate

 

News: About six months after the State of Jammu and Kashmir was split into the Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh, the government moved to start the delimitation of Assembly constituencies in J&K.

 

Background

The Election Commission had held a meeting in August 2019 to discuss the delimitation process and enrolled two officials who had worked on previous delimitation exercises.

 

J&K Reorganisation Act

  • As per the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, which was passed by Parliament on August 5, 2019 and came into effect on October 31, the Union Territory of J&K will have an Assembly, while Ladakh will not.

 

  • The Act further said the number of seats in the Assembly of J&K would be increased from 107 to 114 after delimitation, on the basis of the 2011 Census.

 

  • The Election Commission was ready to provide secretarial assistance to the Delimitation Commission once appointed, as it is required to do.

 

What is meant by delimitation?

  • Delimitation literally means the act or process of fixing limits or boundaries of territorial constituencies in a country or a province having a legislative body.

 

  • The job of delimitation is assigned to a high power body. Such a body is known as Delimitation Commission or a Boundary Commission.

 

About Delimitation Commission of India

  • The Delimitation Commission in India is a high power body whose orders have the force of law and cannot be called in question before any court.

 

  • These orders come into force on a date to be specified by the President of India in this behalf. The copies of its orders are laid before the House of the People and the State Legislative Assembly concerned, but no modifications are permissible therein by them.

 

  • In India, such Delimitation Commissions have been constituted 4 times – in 1952 under the Delimitation Commission Act, 1952, in 1963 under Delimitation Commission Act, 1962, in 1973 under Delimitation Act, 1972 and in 2002 under Delimitation Act, 2002.

 

  • According to the Delimitation Commission Act, 2002, the Delimitation Commission appointed by the Centre has to have three members:
  1. a serving or retired judge of the Supreme Court as the chairperson, and
  2. the Chief Election Commissioner or Election Commissioner nominated by the CEC, and
  3. the State Election Commissioner as ex-officio members.

Source: The Hindu

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GS-II :
Supreme Court Collegium System

Syllabus subtopic: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary, Ministries and Departments of the Government.

 

Prelims and Mains focus: about the issue and its implications; about collegiums system: merits and criticisms

 

News: The Supreme Court asked the government why it was “holding backrecommendations for appointments to various High Courts even after reiteration by the Collegium.

 

Background

The Bench was conveying its alarm at the rising number of vacancies in various High Courts. Some of these courts are functioning only with half their sanctioned judicial strength. On an average, they suffer at least 40% vacancies.

 

Government’s view on delay of appointments

  • The collegium delays the appointment process quite as the government. The government’s delay is largely because it thoroughly combs the antecedents of the candidate, leaving no room for error. The process, on an average, takes at least 127 days.

 

  • On the other hand, the judiciary takes 119 days on an average merely to forward the file to the government. Some courts like Allahabad and Andhra take over 45 and 50 months to even report a vacancy. The appointment of Justice P.V. Kunhikrishnan of the Kerala High Court took two years to come through.

 

  • The Collegium system was put to an end through the National Judicial Appointments Commission to make the appointments process transparent and participatory, only to be scrapped by the Supreme Court.

 

What next?

The apex court ordered the Registrar Generals of all the High Courts to submit reports of the pending judicial vacancies and likely ones in the future within four weeks.

 

How did the Collegium system come into being?

  • The Collegium of judges is the Supreme Court’s invention. It does not figure in the Constitution, which says judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts are appointed by the President and speaks of a process of consultation. In effect, it is a system under which judges are appointed by an institution comprising judges.

 

  • After some judges were superseded in the appointment of the Chief Justice of India in the 1970s, and attempts made subsequently to effect a mass transfer of High Court judges across the country, there was a perception that the independence of the judiciary was under threat. This resulted in a series of cases over the years.

 

  • The ‘First Judges Case’ (1981) ruled that the “consultation” with the CJI in the matter of appointments must be full and effective. However, it rejected the idea that the CJI’s opinion, albeit carrying great weight, should have primacy.

 

  • The Second Judges Case (1993) introduced the Collegium system, holding that “consultation” really meant “concurrence”. It added that it was not the CJI’s individual opinion, but an institutional opinion formed in consultation with the two senior-most judges in the Supreme Court.

 

  • On a Presidential Reference for its opinion, the Supreme Court, in the Third Judges Case (1998) expanded the Collegium to a five-member body, comprising the CJI and four of his senior-most colleagues.

 

What is the procedure followed by the Collegium?

  • The President of India appoints the CJI and the other SC judges. As far as the CJI is concerned, the outgoing CJI recommends his successor.

 

  • In practice, it has been strictly by seniority ever since the supersession controversy of the 1970s.

 

  • The Union Law Minister forwards the recommendation to the Prime Minister who, in turn, advises the President.

 

  • For other judges of the top court, the proposal is initiated by the CJI. The CJI consults the rest of the Collegium members, as well as the senior-most judge of the court hailing from the High Court to which the recommended person belongs.

 

  • The consultees must record their opinions in writing and it should form part of the file. The Collegium sends the recommendation to the Law Minister, who forwards it to the Prime Minister to advise the President.

 

  • The Chief Justice of High Courts is appointed as per the policy of having Chief Justices from outside the respective States. The Collegium takes the call on the elevation.

 

  • High Court judges are recommended by a Collegium comprising the CJI and two senior-most judges. The proposal, however, is initiated by the Chief Justice of the High Court concerned in consultation with two senior-most colleagues. The recommendation is sent to the Chief Minister, who advises the Governor to send the proposal to the Union Law Minister.

 

Does the Collegium recommend transfers too?

  • Yes, the Collegium also recommends the transfer of Chief Justices and other judges.

 

  • Article 222 of the Constitution provides for the transfer of a judge from one High Court to another.

 

  • When a CJ is transferred, a replacement must also be simultaneously found for the High Court concerned. There can be an acting CJ in a High Court for not more than a month.

 

  • In matters of transfers, the opinion of the CJI “is determinative”, and the consent of the judge concerned is not required. However, the CJI should take into account the views of the CJ of the High Court concerned and the views of one or more SC judges who are in a position to do so. All transfers must be made in the public interest, that is, “for the betterment of the administration of justice”.

 

What is the common criticism made against the Collegium system?

  • Many have faulted the system, not only for its being seen as something unforeseen by the Constitution makers, but also for the way it functions. Opaqueness and a lack of transparency, and the scope for nepotism are cited often.

 

  • Retired SC judge Justice Ruma Pal once said: “The mystique of the process, the small base from which the selections were made and the secrecy and confidentiality ensured that the process may on occasions, make wrong appointments and, worse still, lend itself to nepotism.”

 

  • The attempt made to replace it by a ‘National Judicial Appointments Commission’ was struck down by the court in 2015 on the ground that it posed a threat to the independence of the judiciary. Dissenting judge, Justice J. Chelameswar, termed it “inherently illegal”.

 

  • Even the majority opinions admitted the need for transparency. In an effort to boost transparency, the Collegium’s resolutions are now posted online, but reasons are not given.

 

  • Some do not believe in full disclosure of reasons for transfers, as it may make lawyers in the destination court chary of the transferred judge. Embroilment in public controversies and having relatives practising in the same High Court could be common reasons for transfers.

 

  • In respect of appointments, there has been an acknowledgement that the “zone of consideration” must be expanded to avoid criticism that many appointees hail from families of retired judges. The status of a proposed new memorandum of procedure, to infuse greater accountability, is also unclear.

Source: The Hindu

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GS-II :
SUTRA PIC initiative

Syllabus subtopic: Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors and Issues arising out of their Design and Implementation.

 

Prelims and Mains focus: about the initiative: objective s and significance; about SVAROP inititative; about SEED: objectives and mandate

 

News: The government has unveiled a programme to research on ‘indigenous’ cows.

 

Background

  • The Finance Minister had announced research programmes into indigenous cattle in the 2016-17 as well as in the 2019-20 Union Budget. The stated objective was to develop products as well as improve the genetic quality of indigenous cattle breeds.

 

  • A 2019 article in the Journal of Animal Research said India had 190.9 million cattle and 43 registered native cattle breeds. The exotic / crossbred population has been increased by 20.18% during the period of last census while population of indigenous cattle has been decreased by 8.94% during the same duration.

 

  • The reasons for depletion of native breeds includes
  1. cross-breeding with exotic breeds,
  2. economically less viable,
  3. losing utility,
  4. reduction in herd size and
  5. the large-scale mechanisation of agricultural operation.

 

About the initiative

  • SUTRA PIC or Scientific Utilisation Through Research Augmentation-Prime Products from Indigenous Cows, has five themes:
  1. Uniqueness of Indigenous Cows,
  2. Prime-products from Indigenous Cows for Medicine and Health,
  3. Prime-products from Indigenous Cows for Agricultural Applications,
  4. Prime-products from Indigenous Cows for Food and Nutrition,
  5. Prime-products from indigenous cows-based utility items

 

  • To be funded by multiple scientific ministries, the initiative, SUTRA PIC, is led by Science for Equity, Empowerment and Development (SEED) division of the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

 

  • It has the Department of Biotechnology, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the Ministry for AYUSH (Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, Homoeopathy) among others and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) as partners.

 

  • Researchers from academic organisations as well as “capable voluntary organisations (NGOs) active in India with proven record of accomplishment in executing S&T-based R&D projects,” were invited to apply for funding.

 

 

Objectives of the programme:

  • to perform scientific research on complete characterisation of milk and milk products derived from Indian indigenous cows;

 

  • scientific research on nutritional and therapeutic properties of curd and ghee prepared from indigenous breeds of cows by traditional methods;

 

  • development of standards for traditionally processed dairy products of Indian-origin cow.

 

Indigenous cow breeds: Gir, Red Sindhi, Sahiwal, Deoni, Rathi

 

About SVAROP initiative

  • In 2017, SEED constituted a National Steering Committee (NSC) for ‘Scientific Validation and Research on Panchgavya (SVAROP)’.

 

  • Panchagavya is an Ayurvedic panacea and is a mixture of five (pancha) products of the cow (gavya) — milk, curd, ghee, dung and urine. Its proponents believe it can cure, or treat a wide range of ailments.

 

 

About SEED

  • Science for Equity, Empowerment and Development (SEED) Division has been set up under the Department of Science and Technology, established with the broad objectives of providing opportunities to motivated scientists and field level workers to take up action oriented and location specific projects aiming towards socio-economic upliftment of poor and disadvantaged sections of the society through appropriate technological interventions especially in the rural areas.

 

  • Under this Division efforts have been made to associate concerned National Labs or other specialist S&T institutions with each major program so as to build-in expert input, utilize national S&T infrastructure and link it up with grassroots S&T interventions/initiatives.

 

Objectives & Mandate 

  • To support S&T based NGOs/S & T institutions/Colleges/Universities throughout the country to take up innovative grant in aid projects at the grassroots level with various schemes targeted for different section of the society to address location and occupation specific problems.
  • Catalyze and support research, development and adaptation of relevant and appropriate technologies for empowering and improving quality of life of Artisans, Landless labour, Women, SC/ST and other disadvantaged sections, particularly in rural areas.
  • Preserve and upgrade skills of traditional artisans as “natural carriers” of S&T knowledge/ capabilities and enable their transition to S&T – based production organizations.
  • Need-based, location specific and appropriate S&T intervention for economically viable, ecologically sustainable and socially acceptable development
  • “Bottom-up” rather than top-down programme planning with full community involvement.
  • Evolve and demonstrate replicable models of S&T – based development for benefit of disadvantaged sections; and
  • Catalyze linkages with Developmental Agencies/ Departments and Financial Institutions so as to promote integration of these models with wider developmental processes.

Source: The Hindu

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GS-II :
Women Army officers eligible for permanent commission

Syllabus subtopic:

  • Issues Relating to Development and Management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
  • Various Security Forces and Agencies and their Mandate.

 

Prelims and Mains focus: about the SC judgement and its significance

 

News: The Supreme Court dismissed the Union government’s submissions that women are physiologically weaker than men as a “sex stereotype” and declared that Short Service Commission (SSC) women officers are eligible for permanent commission and command posts in the Army irrespective of their years of service.

 

Background

The verdict came on a nearly 10-year-old appeal filed by the government against a March 12, 2010 decision of the Delhi High Court to grant SSC women officers permanent commission.

 

 

About the SC order

  • The order castigated the government for submitting a note containing written submissions portraying women as physiologically unfit for answering the “call beyond duty” of the Army.

 

  • The note had shown women officers in a poor light, saying isolation and hardships would eat into their resolve and that they would have to heed to the call of pregnancy, childbirth and family. The note had mentioned that women ran the risk of capture by enemy and taken prisoner of war.

 

  • The SC bench countered that 30% of women officers were deputed in conflict zones and the note screamed of the age-old patriarchal notion that domestic obligations rested only with women.

 

  • The court found the remarks in the note not only constitutionally invalid but discriminatory, affecting the dignity of women officers.

 

  • The court dismissed the government's stand that only women officers with less than 14 years of service ought to be considered for permanent commission, and those with over 20 years service should be pensioned immediately. Applying the judgment retrospectively, the court declared that all serving women officers would be eligible for permanent commission.

 

  • The Supreme Court ordered the government to implement its judgment in three months.

 

Command posts for women

  • SSC for women is available only in ‘Combat Support Arms’ and ‘Services’ wings of the Army.

 

  • The exclusion of women from combat operations was not examined by the court as it was not the contested in the appeal.

 

  • The court held that a blanket ban of women SSC officers from command posts cannot be sustained by law. An absolute prohibition of women SSC officers to obtain anything but staff appointments does not fulfil the purpose of granting permanent commissions as a means of career advancement in the Army.

 

  • The court held that since command appointments were not automatic for men officers, so would it be for women. It was left to the Army to take a call on a case to case basis.

Source: The Hindu

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GS-III :
Google’s Station programme

Syllabus subtopic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, Robotics, Nano-technology, Bio-technology and issues relating to Intellectual Property Rights.

 

Prelims and Mains focus: about the programme and reasons for its shutdown; about internet penetration in India

 

News: After five years of providing free internet access to people in developing countries, Google plans to shut down its Station program.

 

What was the Station programme?

  • The initiative saw the search giant offer free public WiFi at 400 railway stations in India and more than 5,000 other places around the world, including in Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, Thailand and Vietnam.

 

  • The programme was kick-started in India in 2015 as a partnership between Google, Indian Railways and RailTel to bring fast, free public WiFi to over 400 of the busiest railway stations by mid-2020. However, the company crossed that number by June 2018, following which more locations were added across the country in partnership with telecommunication companies, ISPs and local authorities.

 

Why is it shutting down the programme?

  • Google believes that better data plans and improving mobile connectivity have made it “simpler and cheaper” for users to get online.

 

  • However, users in India will be able to continue using the existing facilities at the over 400 stations via RailTel, Google’s partner in India for the programme. The technology giant said that through the year 2020, it would be working with its partners to transition existing sites so that they could remain useful resources for the community.

 

  • The challenge of varying technical requirements and infrastructure among Google’s partners across countries has also made it difficult for Station to scale and be sustainable, especially for its partners.

 

  • Despite the shutdown, it seems Station had been widely successful. In 2018, Google said Station had 8 million monthly active users in India, with people who were using the service consuming an average of 350MB per session at the time.

 

Initiatives by other companies

Besides Google, several other tech companies have tried to narrow the digital divide in developing countries, with some finding more success than others. For example, Facebook's Free Basics initiative was banned in India in 2016 over net neutrality concerns.

 

 

Internet consumption in India

  • India, specifically now has among the cheapest mobile data per GB in the world, with mobile data prices having reduced by 95% in the last 5 years, as per Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in 2019. Today, Indian users consume close to 10 GB of data, each month, on average.

 

  • According to a TRAI report, globally there is one WiFi hotspot for every 150 people, and in India, 8 million additional hotspots needed to be installed to achieve the same ratio, creating new market opportunities for infrastructure providers and internet service providers. Currently, India is said to have only 52,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across the country.

 

  • Besides the Indian government’s continuous impetus for internet penetration through the Digital India programme, private sector initiatives such as Vodafone’s SuperWi-fi coupled with the entry of Reliance Jio 4G services have drastically brought down the cost of internet subscription. This has been instrumental to the growth of internet users in India.

Source: The Hindu

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GS-III :
State of India’s Birds 2020 (SoIB) report

Syllabus subtopic: Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment.

 

Prelims and Mains focus: about the report: key findings and recommendations

 

News: The State of India’s Birds 2020 (SoIB), a new scientific report was jointly released by 10 organisations that included ATREE, BNHS, Foundation for Ecological Security, NCF, National Biodiversity Authority of India, National Centre for Biological Sciences, SACON (Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History), Wetlands International, WII and WWF.

 

About the report

  • The SoIB was produced using a base of 867 species (among 1,333 birds ever recorded in India), and analysed with the help of data uploaded by birdwatchers to the online platform, eBird. Adequate data on how birds fared over a period of over 25 years (long-term trend) are available only for 261 species. Current annual trends are calculated over a five-year period.

 

  • The report is built on a large-scale collaborative effort between thousands of citizen birders and a consortium of researchers across multiple institutions.

 

Key findings of the report

  • Over a fifth of India’s bird diversity, ranging from the Short-toed Snake Eagle to the Sirkeer Malkoha, has suffered strong long-term declines over a 25-year period, while more recent annual trends point to a drastic 80% loss among several common birds.

 

  • The report raises the alarm that several spectacular birds, many of them endemic to the sub-continent, face a growing threat from loss of habitat due to human activity, widespread presence of toxins including pesticides, hunting and trapping for the pet trade.

 

  • Diminishing population sizes of many birds because of one factor brings them closer to extinction because of the accelerated effects of others. For every bird species that was found to be increasing in numbers over the long term, 11 have suffered losses, some catastrophically.

 

  • Of 101 species categorised as being of High Conservation Concern — 59 based on range and abundance and the rest included from high-risk birds on the IUCN Red List — endemics such as the Rufous-fronted Prinia, Nilgiri Thrush, Nilgiri Pipit and Indian vulture were confirmed as suffering current decline, and all except 13 had a restricted or highly restricted range, indicating greater vulnerability to man-made threats.

 

  • Among widely known species, the common sparrow, long seen as declining in urban spaces, has a stable population overall, although the data from major cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai confirm the view that they have become rare in cities and urban areas. Among the possible reasons for this is a decrease in insect populations as well as nesting places, but there is no conclusive evidence in the scientific literature on radiation from mobile phone towers playing a part.

 

  • Peafowl (peacock), on the other hand, are rising in numbers, expanding their range into places such as Kerala, which is drying overall, and areas in the Thar desert where canals and irrigation have been introduced. Stricter protection for peacocks under law also could be at work.

 

  • One of India’s major conservation concerns, the Great Indian Bustard (GIB), is being brought back from the brink. Having lost about 90% of its population and range over a five-decade period, a viable population of GIB at Jaisalmer in Rajasthan is the focus of programmes run by the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Birdlife International and other agencies, to eliminate the threat of fatal collisions with power lines.

 

  • Raptors: Looking at the health of avifauna based on scientific groupings such as raptors (birds of prey), habitat, diet, migratory status and endemicity (exclusively found in an area), the analysis concludes that raptors overall are in decline, with ‘open country’ species such as the Pallid and Montagu Harriers, White-bellied Sea Eagle and Red-necked Falcon suffering the most. The severe long-term decline of vultures, recorded and analysed for years now, is underscored by the report.

 

  • Migratory shorebirds, along with gulls and terns, seem to have declined the most among waterbirds, the report states, consistent with population trends among Arctic-breeding shorebirds based on independent assessments. Within India, the losses suffered by resident waterbirds, particularly in the past five years, calls for detailed investigation.

 

  • From a dietary viewpoint, meat-eater populations have fallen by half, and birds that depend on insects exclusively have also suffered over the long term. But there has been some stabilisation for omnivores, seed and fruit eaters in recent years. Habitat impacts have decimated ‘specialist’ birds, which need specific environmental conditions to survive, particularly those dependent on forests. This is followed by declines in numbers of grassland, scrubland and wetland species, the researchers said, calling for urgent investigation into the causes.

 

Suggestions given in the report

  • Forward-looking actions suggested by the report include an update to the Red List of endangered species published by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) using the SoIB, collaborative research by scientists and citizens aided by policy with special emphasis on removing gaps in data, and urgent emphasis on habitats of species of high concern, notably grasslands, scrublands, wetlands and the Western Ghats.

Source: The Hindu

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GS-III : Miscellaneous
Steps taken by the office of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)

Syllabus subtopic: Various Security Forces and Agencies and their Mandate.

 

Prelims and Mains focus: about Chief of Defence Staff: mandate and significance; about other initiatives in the Indian defence sector

 

News: The office of Chief of Defence Staff is working on a tentative timeline that will see the establishment of an air defence command by end of the year, a peninsula command by 2021-end, and the first of the theatre commands by the end of 2022.

 

1. Air Defence Command

It is the first joint command to be created and will be headed by the Indian Air Force (IAF). A study on the air defence command, being headed by the Vice Chief of the IAF, has already been initiated and a report is expected by April 10.

 

2. Peninsula Command

  • The peninsula command, headed by the Navy, will be created by merging the eastern and western commands by treating the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) as one entity.

 

  • A study on the peninsula command will be ordered March 31, with the report expected in three to four months, and it “will take shape by the end of next year”.

 

3. Joint Commands

  • Within these commands, which will be joint commands, “not all the assets of the Navy will go to the air defence command and not all assets of the Air Force will go to the peninsula command”.

 

  • The Andaman and Nicobar Command, the first tri-services command already in place, will not be tampered with, and will continue to report to the Integrated Defence Staff. While the archipelago has “surveillance” threat, “for the peninsula, the defence of territory” is the main threat.

 

4. Theatre Command

  • By the end of the year, studies for theatre commands will be initiated. The first theatre command will be rolled out by the end of 2022.

 

  • There could be two commands, for the eastern and the western borders, or up to five commands, with a single command looking after the entire Jammu and Kashmir border, while the rest of the western border could be handled by another command.

 

5. Joint Training Command

Apart from these, the idea of a joint training command is also under consideration. There is a need for a doctrine command so that all services have the same doctrine and training of personnel will also happen as per the doctrine.

 

6. Synergy in Acquisition of equipment

  • While the Department of Military Affairs, headed by the CDS as Secretary, has exclusive rights on revenue acquisitions, capital acquisitions is with the Defence Secretary but prioritisation is with the office of CDS.

 

  • The procurement of 114 fighter jets for the IAF will happen in a staggered manner and submarines could also be bought in similar manner.

 

  • The second aircraft carrier for the Navy will come in 2021 and the need for a third carrier can be assessed after looking at the indigenously-built second carrier’s performance.

Source: Indian Express

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15 February,2020
Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) dues of telecos

Syllabus subtopic: Effects of Liberalization on the Economy, Changes in Industrial Policy and their Effects on Industrial Growth.   Prelims and Mains focus: about the SC judgement and its implication; about AGR dispute   News: The Supreme Court pulled up mobile service operator

New Textiles Policy 2020

Syllabus subtopic: Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors and Issues arising out of their Design and Implementation.   Prelims and Mains focus: about the new textile policy: key focus areas and challenges ahead   News: The Central Government is

Military Balance Report, 2020

Syllabus subtopic: Important International Institutions, agencies and fora - their Structure, Mandate.   Prelims and Mains focus: about the key findings of report and challenges ahead   News: The 2020 edition of the Military Balance Report was released by the International Inst

Indian pangolin

Syllabus subtopic: Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment.   Prelims and Mains focus: about Indian Pangolin: features, threat and conservation efforts.   News: Scientists have, for the first time, radio-tagged the Indian pangolin,

National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP)

Syllabus subtopic: Functions and Responsibilities of the Union and the States, Issues and Challenges Pertaining to the Federal Structure, Devolution of Powers and Finances up to Local Levels and Challenges Therein.   Prelims and Mains focus: about the highlights of the assessment report;

Virtual Classroom and Studio Scheme of Maharashtra

Syllabus subtopic: Welfare Schemes for Vulnerable Sections of the population by the Centre and States and the Performance of these Schemes   Prelims and Mains focus: about the objective and the key features of the scheme; E-Balbharti project   News: Maharashtra’s Educatio


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