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General Studies – 1;
Topic:The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.
Struggle for India’s Independence, Bipan Chandra
During the first twenty years of its inception the Congress was completely controlled by the liberal leaders known as the Moderates. Every community of the country was represented in the organization and it was truly a national body. Most of the leaders came from the upper strata of the society and were the product of western education. Some of the notable leaders of the early congress were Dada Bhai Naoroji, Pheroz Shah Mehta, M.G. Ranade, Baddrudin Tyabji, G.K. Gokhale, S.N. Banerjee, W.C. Banerjee, and Subramanyam Iyer.
Role played by Moderates in Indian National Movement:-
- This was the first generation nationalists who faced heavy odds to convince British for reforms. They brought a maturity among public by their speeches and writings due to which the struggle kept on gaining the strength.
- The economic critique done by Dada Bhai Naoroji, M G Ranade, and R C Dutta exposed the true character of colonial rule. The drain theory also exposed the so called white man’s burden and explained that it was actually the burden of wealth carried away by colonial people. Economic critique proved that India being systematically impoverished.
- Moderates exposed the hollowness of British Claim of paternal regime. The realization of true character of British rule resulted in emergence of extremist nationalism. Indians lost the faith in British sense of justice.
- The pressure built by moderates resulted in–
1) Appointment of commission to review Civil Services in 1886
2) Enactment of Indian Council Act 1892
3) Wellby Commission 1895 to suggest measure for better management of resources.
4) In introduction of resolution in British house of Commons to hold Civil Services Examination simultaneously.
Moderates failed to comprehend hat British Rule was essentially colonial. They failed to see role of masses is vital in the success of India’s struggle against British Rule. Moderates were too pacifist to be effective. They relied heavily on constitutional methods of demands and agitations.
Role of Dada Bhai Naoroji:-
Dadabhai Naoroji (4 September 1825 – 30 June 1917), known as the Grand Old Man of India, was a Paris intellectual, educator, cotton trader, and an early Indian political and social leader. He was a Liberal Party member of parliament (MP) in the United Kingdom House of Commons between 1892 and 1895, and the first Asian to be a British MP,nonwithstanding the Anglo-Indian MP David Ochterlony Dyce Sombre who was disfranchised for corruption.
Naoroji is also credited with the founding of the Indian National Congress, along with A.O. Hume and Dinshaw Edulji Wacha. His book Poverty and Un-British Rule in India brought attention to the draining of India’s wealth into Britain. He was also a member of the Second International along with Kautsky and Plekhanov.
Dadabhai Naoroji’s work focused on the drain of wealth from India into England through colonial rule. One of the reasons that the Drain theory is attributed to Naoroji is his decision to estimate the net national profit of India, and by extension, the effect that colonization has on the country. Through his work with economics, Naoroji sought to prove that Britain was draining money out of India.
Sir Pherozeshah Mehta:-
Sir Pherozeshah Mehta, KCIE (4 August 1845 – 5 November 1915) was a Paris Indian political leader, activist, and a leading lawyer of Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay), India, who was knighted by the British Government in India for his service to the law. His political ideology was, as was the case with most of the Indian leaders of his time, moderate. Hence, he was not directly opposed to the British Crown’s sovereignty, but only demanded more autonomy for Indians to self-rule.
He became the Municipal commissioner of Bombay Municipality in 1873 and its President four times – 1884, 1885, 1905 and 1911.
Topic: The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.
Bipan Chandra, Struggle for India’s Independence
Mahatma Gandhi and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad were one of the tallest figures of Indian National Movements. They differed in many ways in their ideologies and methods.
- Political: – Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was a leader with revolutionary tilt. Whereas Mahatma Gandhi was always a staunch supporter of nonviolence. No extreme methods were used by Gandhiji. Satyagraha and mass mobilization were at the helm of Gandhijis style of struggle.
- Philosophical: – Mahatma Gandhi always adopted a perfectionist attitude while Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was realistic in his attitude. There was clear emphasis on Hindu Muslim unity in case of Gandhi’s approach but Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was not very focused for this.
- Educational: – Mahatma Gandhi believed in broad based education. A special emphasis was also on the vocational education. He emphasized the use of mother tongue for the educational preaching. Whereas Maulana Abul Kalam Azad emphasized on western education. He forced the English language to be used as medium of education.
- Economic:-Where Gandhi stood for welfare for all by his Trusteeship Theory which could be relevant only in a static and stagnant society hence was more of a utopian thought, Azad held socialist views and was agreed to abolish the private property for the nation and to drive the economy of the country by democracy rather by laissez caute way.
- Political Following:-Gandhiji was a disciple of Tilak but his political Guru was always Gokahle. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was a disciple of Sir Sayyed Ahmed Khan but he was also a staunch supporter of Gandhiji.
Though they differed in many ways their common goal was to expel the British Rule from India and they both were guided by it. Their contribution was so immense that both of them became immortal for their deeds and thoughts.
(Above two questions are part of our New Initiative, for Details and Timetable, Click Here)
General Studies – 2
Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests,
It is a strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the African continent over the next 50 years. It builds on, and seeks to accelerate the implementation of past and existing continental initiatives for growth and sustainable development.
The guiding vision for Agenda 2063 is the AU Vision of “An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in international arena”
- To achieve peaceful and secure Africa by enshrining the human rights and democracy.
- To integrate continent and drive towards pan-Africanism.
- Development should be people driven by emphasizing more on women and children.
Priorities decided in Agenda 2063
- Peace and Stability
- Food Security
- Economic Integration
- Africa’s Human Capacity
- Women’s and Youth Empowerment
- Resource Mobilization
- Effective Communication
- Institutional Capacity
What makes Agenda 2063 different from past continental initiatives?
- Bottom-up approach:There was extensive consultations of the African Citizenry. This enhances ownership of both the processes and outcomes of the initiative for having a continental agenda for socio-economic transformation.
- Result Orientation: Goals, targets and strategies have been set in each aspirational area for the national, regional and continental stakeholders/ levels. The targets will form the basis for holding stakeholders accountable for performance.
- Monitoring and Evaluation / Accountability:There is a monitoring and evaluation component to ensure that planned activities, outputs, outcomes are on track for attainment- with the midterm reviews providing the basis for programme re-alignment.
- Policy Coherence / Space:For the first time all continental and regional initiatives have been brought under one umbrella.
- Financing/Partnership:A Resource Mobilization Strategy developed has identified key areas of intervention and their associated funding options.
- Communications Strategy:While past frameworks were known only to bureaucrats, Agenda 2063 is to be driven / owned by the people. A Communications strategy has been developed for implementation.
- Capacity: A Capacity Assessment Study is being undertaken to address the capacity needs of continental and regional institutions; this will later be extended to member states.
Benefits of 2063 to India-
- India has apparently assumed the leadership of the third world counties in international platform like WTO, IMF etc. Thus strong and resilient Africa would give impetus to the leadership role of India.
- The emerging economy like India is looking for diversified markets. A prosperous Africa would directly and indirectly help in India’s bid to build strong economy in sectors like Automobile, Pharmaceutical, IT industry etc.
- Africa is resource rich continent and India is energy starved nation. Thus Africa could contribute in bridging energy deficit.
- Huge Indian Diaspora lives in Africa and also contributing in its development. This diaspora is playing significant role in creating goodwill for India in Africa and sometimes can even act as pressure group in making their policies favorable to India.
- China is aggressively entering into strategic Indian Ocean. India needs friendly relations with African nations to maintain its supremacy in this region.
- Help of East African nations is must for India to curb piracy in Indian Ocean which would safeguard the maritime trade of both India and Africa.
- The well-nourished democracies in African nation would only strengthen the largest democracy of the world.
Benefits for the world-
- Investment in health and education as decided in Agenda 2063 would create a window of Demographic dividend in Africa. Thus Africa may prove exporter of human resource for rest of the world.
- Africa at present is engulfed with civil wars, terrorism and human rights violations. Agenda 2063 intends to reduce these evils significantly and to bring peace and stability in Africa. This would help in creating global peace.
- While developed nation’s economies are stagnating, the growing Africa along with counties like India, China can steady the ship of Global economy.
- Increase in Human Development Index and reducing poverty and malnutrition in Africa is most important for achieving inclusive development on global level.
- Investments in African economy would directly and indirectly create jobs for people across the continents.
- African continent has produced great leaders like Albert Luthuli, Nelson Mandela, and Kofi Annan. Their thoughts and wisdom have inspired the generations of youth across the globe. The more awareness and awakening among people of Africa through initiatives like Agenda 2063 would continue their legacy.
Agenda 2063 is the great initiative for sustainable and inclusive development of Africa and too undone the regressive steps taken during colonial past. The moral responsibility lies with the rest of the world to contribute in Africa’s development.
Topic:India and neighbours
4) The clamour for security, accountability and transparency is leading to unfettered increase in the power of states. In the light of recent amendment to the Section 132 of the Income Tax Act and similar measures related to Aadhaar, critically comment how these measures affect citizens and governance. (200 Words)
The good governance follows transparency and accountability on the part of both citizens and state. Recent some legislative changes in India have increased the accountability on the part of citizens but state is bereft of any such responsibilities.
Latest amendment to the section 132 of IT act
Tax authority will not have to disclose to any person or any authority or the Appellate Tribunal why it has “reason to believe” that there is a basis for conducting a search and seizure operation.
Controversial provisions of Aadhar–
- In the interest of national security, a Joint Secretary in the central government may issue a direction for revealing Aadhar details.
- On the order of a court, (i) an individual’s Aadhaar number, (ii) photograph, and (iii) demographic information, may be revealed.
- No court shall take cognizance of any offence except on a complaint made by the UID authority or a person authorized by it.
Impact of such amendments/rules on citizens and government-
Amendments to IT act may result in increase the tax compliance by reducing procedural delay, by preventing tax evasion and leakages. It may also create tax friendly environment through robust policy formation and may arrest creation of black economy. This provision may boost the morale of honest tax officials. More internal checks would increase the accountability and efficiency of tax officials.
Similarly Aadhar act is intended to provide subsidies to rightful owners and thereby reducing the ghost beneficiaries. It would also check the leakages and diversion of state resources.
In democratic and welfare oriented society, government is vested with the authority to take proactive measures for the benefit of citizens. For every such step government is accountable to citizens as it is elected by them. However in a vast country like India where large number of people lacks political understanding and maturity, state or for that matter government tends to move towards imposing welfare measures, sometimes even by violating their basic rights. Without effective accountability safeguard mechanisms such tendencies can turn into authoritarianism.
The above mentioned amendments regarding IT act and Aadhar have serious potential to create repercussions on citizens and governance.
- In case of amendments to IT act bill argues that power is given to remove ambiguity arising out of judicial interpretations. But in case like India where tax officials already enjoy arbitrary power this provision would further increase their discretion. In such case it would honest tax payer who may suffer.
- In case of Aadhar there is still no clear transparent consent architecture, no transparent information architecture (which agency or vendor shares what information with whom), no privacy architecture worth the name, and increasingly, no assurance about what exactly citizen should do if the state violates with their identity. In such conditions instead of a means, Aadhaar would become an end; instead of strengthening safeguards, it would weaken them and the focus of commercial applications would far outpace the need for citizen delivery.
- The fear is that such provisions may convert Aadhaar from a tool of citizen empowerment to a tool of state surveillance and citizen vulnerability.
- The inadequate cyber infrastructure makes database vulnerable to cyber-attacks thereby threatening the right to privacy. Also exceptions provided in the act for accessing data provides huge window for misuse data. Rights to liberty and freedom of expression cannot survive if the right to privacy is compromised.
As state is committed to bringing reforms, it should trample the citizen’s rights in the process. Institutional mechanisms have to be effective to restrict such government otherwise it will open the door to legalized authoritarianism.
Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
5) Do you think uniformity in the form of NEET should be thrust on a country that has wide regional, economic and linguistic disparities? What was the rationale for the Supreme Court to support its introduction? Critically comment. (200 Words)
The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) is an entrance examination in India, for students who wish to study any graduate medical course (MBBS/ (BDS) or postgraduate course (MD / MS) in government or private medical colleges in India.
Problems in imposing uniform exam like NEET in a diverse country like India-
- Every state has its own syllabus and exam pattern till higher secondary level. Putting all students then for single entrance would be unfair for many as NEET syllabus is covered by CBSE and ICSE but not by many others.
- Further Students from rural and under-privileged who cannot afford private coaching would find it difficult to compete with urban students.
- A centralized exam keeps the state government out of the admission process. Also state reservation rules will not apply
- Exam is not conducted in all official languages of India. Hence student studying in languages Malayalam cannot take up exam in his/her mother tongue.
Benefits of uniform exam like NEET-
- Medical council of India is of the opinion that NEET would avoid multiple entrance tests and minimize corruption and irregularities in admissions to medical courses.
- There could be standardize benchmark and uniform quality in the exam pattern and process.
- NEET could bring fair and transparent admission system to curb rampant commercialization of medical education.
- Apart from English and Hindi the examination will be conducted in eight vernacular languages; Gujarati, Marathi, Telugu, Oriya, Bengali, Assamese, Tamil and Kannada.
Rationale of Supreme Court to support NEET-
- Transparency and Accountability: NEET will make this examination more transparent and remove all the frivolous practices.
- Meritocracy- This exam would bring theory of meritocracy above everything and it would put corrupt practice selecting academically weaker students on the basis of financial status.
Although Supreme Court is noble in its intention to introduce NEET on all India basis, but at the time regional diversity of India has to be taken into consideration. Moreover the need of the time is to bring syllabus and pattern of exam of the different boards close to each other so that conducive environment for introducing uniform exam would be prepared.
Topic: issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.
Goods and Services Tax (GST) is an indirect taxation system aimed at realizing the goal of “one nation one tax” and is expected to improve ease of doing business due to simplified taxation. GST (CGST, SGST, and IGST) is considered as biggest tax reform since independence, attempts to simplify indirect tax regime and bring uniform taxation in the country, and act as economic unifier between Centre and States. However, it would have varied impact on the different states at different economic level.
Impact on Per Capita Income (PCI) of all states –
- Fiscal capacity of states-
- Uniform, simplified GST regime will increase the tax base.
- It has a unique feature of ‘Input tax credit’, which will bring unorganized sector under tax-net.
- Improved governance and reduced corruption will further increase revenue collections.
This will in turn promote infrastructure development and GDP growth.
- Boost to the Investments –
- Cheaper capital goods – ‘REVENUE NEUTRAL RATE’ [RNR] report of ‘Aravind Subramaniam committee’ (Dec. 2015) said that investments in the economy will improve with a more seamless and efficient crediting of taxes paid on capital goods. Capital goods prices will become cheaper, as companies will avail tax credits. This could lead to incremental GDP of 0.5 %.
- Business – this will be simplified and business administration will be less expensive, boosting investments.
- Savings – there will be savings on tax, lower production prices, lower retail prices of goods and services, thus increased savings and GDP.
- FDI – predictable, simple and uniform taxation will increase FDI flow to the states.
- Increase in the trade –
- GST regime will make the country ONE MARKET, thus promoting the free movement of goods, services as well as labor.
- This will enhance the consumption and income sources.
Impact on PCI-divergence between states –
- Fiscal capacity of states –
- Due to destination based nature of GST, it can be said that the states with lesser manufacturing hubs, will get more tax revenue due to dominant consumption nature. This may lead to an initial decrease in per capita income of the manufacturing states, as this will hit the tax revenue (or GSDP) of respective states.
- This will lead to higher income generation in the poorer states, which will help in countering the accumulation of both manufacturing hubs and consequent development in certain regions of the country. So currently consumption-oriented states, like Bihar, which do not have many industries for indirect tax collection but consume heavily, will see a huge benefit. So they can spend more on infrastructure and provide good atmosphere for industries.
- On the other hand, this may also lead to decrease in incentive to expand industrial infrastructure in the states, which may hamper the business atmosphere in the nation and further decrease per capita incomes in the erstwhile dominant manufacturing states of the country.
- To counter such an effect, the Government has designed a compensation package to offset the regressive impact of the GST, by proposing a 1% tax over and above the IGST for a limited period for all interstate transactions.
- Removal of fiscal tool to attract investors –
- Through the tax – exemptions, poorer states were in a position to attract investors in pre-GST era. But with uniform GST regime, these states will lose this fiscal tool. Whereas, with better infrastructure and development, richer states will be at advantage.
- Case study – Apple wants to set up a manufacturing plant in India, a very welcome development for investment- and job-starved India. Apple is negotiating for certain tax exemptions and in a pre-GST era, states would have competed with each other to offer these exemptions and throw in other incentives to attract Apple. In a GST regime, the ability of poorer Uttar Pradesh to wean Apple away from richer Karnataka using tax tools is even more diminished. To be sure, there are various other factors of governance, law and order, land and labour costs that will influence Apple’s choice of state. Perhaps states can still circumvent the GST spirit of one market one tax by offering cashbacks in lieu of GST as incentives to companies. Whichever way one expects this to play out, it is indubitably clear that with GST, and Uttar Pradesh is in no better a position to attract Apple vis-à-vis Karnataka than it is without GST. So, GST at best will not have an impact on the current disturbing trend of income divergence of states or at worst will exacerbate it by removing a powerful fiscal tool of states.
- Increased inter-state trade –
- If there are restrictions on free movement of labour or capital or goods within a nation, it can potentially thwart convergence trends.
- Different excise taxes have widely been believed to retard inter-state trade, and this, indeed, has been one of the main motivations behind the goods and services tax (GST).
- So, increased inter-state mobility will benefit poorer states.
Thus, one of the consequences, no doubt unintended, of the GST, is a dramatic widening in income inequality among the states. The fact that the average resident of the richest state now has an income four times higher than that of the average resident of the poorest state is a level of interstate income inequality unparalleled among large federal polities in the world, which, as we can see with the US and EU as examples, have showed a tendency towards convergence.
Rising divergence in per capita income levels among major states of the Indian Union is a political economy issue. If the trend toward divergence continues, and poorer states lag further behind richer ones, this is sure to put strain on our federal polity with its centralizing tendencies.
So, proper implementation of GST regime and special attention to the lagging states is necessary.
General Studies – 3
Topic: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate
7) The Indian military has to constantly focus on its size, equipment, and operational structures to remain an agile, efficient, and smart force capable of meeting present-day challenges and undertaking the full spectrum of operations. How can it be done? Discuss. (200 Words)
Since independence, Indian military has remained at the forefront of providing internal security, supporting humanitarian missions in India and abroad, and providing conditions of stability along the borders. With the demands of changing geo-strategic scenario and geo-political situations, the military has to constantly focus on its size, equipment, and operational structures to remain an agile, efficient, and smart force capable of meeting present-day challenges and undertaking full spectrum of operations.
Need of modernization –
The Group of Ministers (GoM) set up in April 2000 to review the national security system to consider the recommendations of the Kargil Review Committee and formulate specific proposals for implementation in its report titled “Reforming the National Security System”, observed that “far-reaching changes in the structures, processes and procedures in the defence management will be required to make the system more efficient, resilient and responsive. This will ensure maximization of our defence capabilities through the optimal utilization of our resources, potential and establishment of synergy among the Armed Forces.”
The following are some of the ways to keep Indian armed forces at their full potential to face new challenges –
Structural changes –
- Size of military –
- In the last one-and-a-half decades, India trimmed its armed forces and improved the teeth-to-tail ratio [a military term that refers to the amount of military personnel (tail) it takes to supply and support each combat soldier (tooth)].
- Shekatkar committee [May, 2015] recommended to maintain size ~12lakhs and increase budgetary support from 1.7% to 2.5-3% of GDP. It said -strengthening of combat potential of armed forces was paramount and hence there was no scope for reducing its strength. However, with the help of technology upgradation, manpower can be reduced in the near future.
- IMPROVE TOOTH-TO-TAIL RATIO (T3R) –Ratio of fighting arms, such as infantry and armored wings, to support services, such as logistics, signals and ordnance
- Restructuring roles –
- Army- Create two sets of forces, a small-sized traditional army for deterrence and waging war and a much larger, lightly equipped internal security force (ISF) for combating low intensity conflicts.
- Navy- While enhancing blue water capability, some focus will have to shift to counter terrorism and militancy at sea, including greater control of coastal waters and our EEZ.
- Air Force- Its role in counter-terrorist and counter-insurgency operations has been confined to air transportation. Future low intensity threats would require the fielding of air power either in the form of restructuring a part of the air force or enhancing army aviation assets.
- Train for certainties and educate for uncertainties –
- Inculcating patriotic feeling in youngsters though sensitizing during school education and conducting awareness camps, professional military trainings to hire capable personnel
- The Shekatkar committee had suggested reorientation of training facilities so as to save defence expenditure. This savings should be utilized by the respective forces for its modernization.
- Intelligence processing and inter force sharing – Should be strengthened to face new challenges.
- Social benefit upgradation –Increase in hardship allowance and packages, concept of peace posting, higher insurance amount realization, effective OROP implementation to attract more youths
- Sufficient ammunition availability –
- Not enough ammunition to last even 20 days, and is not expected to have full ammunition by 2019 owing to less budgetary support
- Increase indigenous production –
- Inadequate production rates or import of various equipment like artillery guns, bullet proof jackets, ballistic helmets, Radars, silica gel suits (Implementation of Shekatkar Committee needed) for effective border security.
- Army Design Bureau – To indigenize procurements and reduce import dependence.
- Modernization of military –
- Infantry – F-INSAS programme for modernization
- Navy and air force – digital battlefields, High tech equipments, etc.
- Effective Cyber Infra wing –To counter data leaks like Scorpene submarine issue, hacking of websites, interception of communication logs, etc.
- Technological Innovation- The Defense Ministry’s research arm DRDO must harness the Indian Technical Prowess in defense research by collaborating with Premier Institutes of Technology across India similar to the lines of DARPA (Defense Advanced Project Agency) done in USA by Pentagon.
Organizational and Operational structure
The organizational structure of the army is generally on traditional lines, heavily influenced as it has been by the erstwhile colonial British military.
Our higher defence structure is perhaps the weakest part of the defence forces of India. The defence forces are not part of the government of India, but are an attached “office”. This arrangement effectively keeps them outside the policy formulation loop. The highest policy formulation body in the country is the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS). It gets its inputs from a variety of sources, viz. the National Security Council (NSC), the Cabinet Secretariat, different ministries, intelligence agencies and so on. The inputs from the services are channeled through the ministry of defence; neither the service chiefs nor the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee are members of the CCS.
Intellectual or organizational change that supports modernization should precede the material change.
- Management of the MoD –
- Single-point advice to Govt. – Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) or Permanent Chairman Chiefs (PC-COSC) is needed to handle current security environment and facilitate integrated theatre commands (Australia model)
- Civil-military balance in decision making –
- Higher political leadership requires briefing on the military implications of decisions and policies.
- A National Security Council (NSC) was created in 1999.The NSC has a secretariat. NSA and Dy NSA – appointments have been held by retired diplomats, but the military is represented only by a handful of junior officers.
- The Defence Secretary should function as the Principal Defence Adviser to the Defence Minister in a manner similar to the role to be performed by the CDS/PC-COSC as the Principal Military Adviser, with both enjoying an equal status in terms of their working relationship. [GoM report]
- IDS [Integrated Defence Staff] –
- The CDS would require support from a restructured Integrated Defence Staff (IDS), empowered through appropriate amendments in the Allocation and Transaction of Business Rules and other regulations to reflect new responsibilities. Failing this, the current lack of authority of an IDS, in spite of institutionalizing of the post, will remain.
- Jointmanship –
- Modern War cannot be fought with the army, the navy and the air force conducting operations independently. War is a joint endeavor. The reasons for its complex nature include high technology, the nature of modern war, new threats and challenges and the reality of nuclear weapons in the arsenal of our potential adversaries. Consequently, a joint force, which acts in an integrated manner, is an imperative.
- CDS –appointment is a good step towards it. But, to be successful, it should be backed by IDS with proper authority.
- Good governance –
- Decrease corruption –Creation of independent command directly reporting to Defence Ministry for grievance redressal – prevention of ration leakages, HR violations, superior collusion and removal/suspension/transfer of uncompetitive officers
- Increased Transparency –Selection through ‘Service Boards’ constituted by 3 respective chiefs would improve transparency and also civil govt. can be involved in the process for their recommendation (improving civil-military relations) and focus more on merit, and also facilitate ‘holistic military assessment and estimates’.
- Decrease inter-forces disparity –Funding allocation between infantry, armoury, artillery and logistic capabilities; and discontinue partial treatments meted out to few regiments (Gorkha, Rajputana) and decreasing gender biasedness by allowing combat role to Women.
- Disaster-management –Give army a formal role and exploit its pan-India presence to decrease response time.
Today, the defence forces of India are at the crossroads of a revolutionary change, marked by nuclearization of the subcontinent, asymmetric threats like the on-going proxy war in Kashmir, our rapidly increasing interests within the region, military aspects of globalization and rapid technological changes. In this new milieu, the defence forces must not only retain a combat edge in conventional operations, but also handle sub-conventional challenges effectively.
The bureaucracy, both civil and military, and the political leadership should support to revamp and restructure our defence systems before we are actually faced with the challenges. The need today is for a synergistic and visionary approach.