DAILY MAINS NEWSLETTER FOR UPSC|05 JULY 2021|RaghukulCS

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DAILY MAINS NEWSLETTER FOR UPSC|05 JULY 2021|RaghukulCS

Daily Mains Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

05 July 2021 - Monday

Index

Mains Value Addition

Mains Analysis

Topic No

Topic Name

Source

1

The problem now with the military synergy plan

The Hindu

2

A Helping Hand

Indian Express

Mains Value Addition

Mixed bag: on Indian merchandise exports

Syllabus–GS 1: History

Analysis: –

  • India’s merchandise exports reached an all-time quarterly high of $95 billion in the three months ended June, providing welcome cheer on the economic front.
  • That the record was notched up during a quarter when the second wave of the pandemic hit its peak, and amid varying degrees of lockdowns, is all the more noteworthy.
  • Exports last month surged 47% from June 2020 to $32.5 billion.
  • Even discounting the fact that the year-earlier period provided an anomalous base as the economy had just begun reopening from a protracted nationwide lockdown, growth in shipments was still a robust 30% when compared with the pre-pandemic June of 2019.
  • Propelling the surge from the 2019 levels were non-rice cereals, which quadrupled; iron ore, which more than doubled; and organic and inorganic chemicals that rose 62%.
  • Engineering goods exports had the biggest jump in dollar terms, adding $2.73 billion in value, or 42% over June 2019, as the rising vaccination coverage and economic recovery in key developed markets including the EU and the U.S. bolstered demand.
  • Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal was enthused enough by the export performance to posit those shipments of goods to overseas markets could touch the $400 billion mark this fiscal, a figure which, if achieved, would represent an annual record.

How Chhattisgarh has stalled a historic judgment

Syllabus – GS 3: Internal Security

Analysis: –

  • Ten years ago, on July 5, 2011, Justices B. Sudershan Reddy and S.S. Nijjar delivered a historic judgment banning Salwa Judum, a vigilante movement started in 2005 and sponsored by the Chhattisgarh and Central government, ostensibly to fight against the Maoists.
  • The judges also ruled that the use of surrendered Maoists and untrained villagers in frontline counter-insurgency operations as Special Police Officers (SPOs) was unconstitutional.
  • It directed that the existing SPOs be redeployed in traffic management or other such safe duties. Other matters, especially prosecution of security forces and others involved in human rights violations, and rehabilitation of villagers who had suffered violence, were left pending, since the State had been asked to submit comprehensive plans for this.
  • Ten years on, nothing has been done to implement the judgment. Instead, the State government has merely renamed the SPOs.
  • They are now known as the District Reserve Guard (DRG). Conversations with DRG members have revealed that most of them are captured or surrendered Maoists and are given automatic weaponry as soon as they join the police force. Some of them get one-three months of training, and some not even that.
  • They commit the most excesses against their former fellow villagers, suffer the most casualties in any operation, and are paid much less than the regular constabulary, all the reasons the judges had outlawed their use.
  • A contempt petition filed in 2012 is still awaiting hearing. Although ‘final hearings’ commenced in December 2018 before another bench of Justice Madan Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta, the judges retired soon thereafter and there has been no hearing since.

Mains Analysis

The problem now with the military synergy plan

Why in News?

The Indian military must note that consultative strategising is a prerequisite before a concrete structure is put in place

Syllabus— GS 2 3 Security

Background: –

  • It is undeniable that the Indian military, like all government departments in India, continues to operate in walls, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi recognised the necessity and gave directives to achieve jointness, entrusting the task to India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).
  • Also there is need to create operational synergy while reducing costs by eliminating duplication and inefficient methods or processes.
  • There are some news about Air force resisting the formation of theatre/functional commands.

 Complexities of Air Force –

  • The IAF’s criticisms have primarily been based on air power being viewed as a complement to the two surface forces, the Indian Army and Indian Navy, and being separated into penny packets, which would severely reduce the effectiveness of air operations in any future conflict or contingency.
  • Such criticisms and dissenting perspectives are better expressed now, before the structure is formalised, than afterwards, when the deployment of air power is discovered to be sub-optimal under the military ethos of “an order is an order.”

 Political Objectives –

  • The failures of the world’s most powerful militaries in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and even our own Indian misadventure in Sri Lanka demonstrate the lack of defined political objectives and military plans.
  • Even after more than seven decades of independence, India still lacks a well-defined national security plan.
  • Only such a strategy may specify the types of situations that the military is expected to deal with, resulting in the development of appropriate military plans, doctrines, and capabilities.
  • That would describe the structures needed to perform synergized operations, as well as the necessary communications and training.
  • Simultaneously, such an intellectual endeavour would reveal duplication, inefficient resources, and procedures.
  • Before freezing the building and attempting to glue the components together or hammer square pegs into round holes, the CDS should have pursued this goal.
  • Such an exercise may possibly identify air power as the leading factor, especially since India’s political goal is unlikely to be the conquest of additional territories in the near future.
  • In the seamless deployment of air power, the proposed air defence command clashes with the domain commands. Because of the lack of such an intellectual exercise, the IAF does not want its limited resources to be squandered fighting frontal defensive fights by a land force commander who has no experience with air power deployment.
  • As illustrated in 1971, the Army fails to recognise that offensive air power is best kept hidden, focusing on keeping the opposing air force held down while allowing own surface troops to manoeuvre and function with impunity.
  • The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force’s (PLAAF) infrastructure is still being built up in Tibet, emphasising the need for an air-land strategy, with air power as the lead element to dissuade or defeat Chinese coercion plans.

 Address the structural gaps –

  • Finally, theatre or any lower structure requires an institutionalised higher defence organisation, which has been sadly lacking since the demise of the Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) in the 1950s, resulting in little regular dialogue between the political and military leadership, except in times of crisis, resulting in knee-jerk reactions.
  • As a result, a scholar-warrior remarked, “It’s odd that the Cabinet has an Accommodation Committee but no Defense Committee.”

 Way Forward

  • Instead of pushing down such institutions without enough study and discussion with all stakeholders, we should first develop acceptable military plans against a nuclear backdrop in tandem with the political goals.
  • Following that, with war-gaming, combined planning and training for all foreseen contingencies would automatically identify the requisite structures with appropriate command, control, and communications.

Question: –

In the current proposal, it appears that the CDS, as the permanent chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (CoSC), would also have operational control over the theatre/functional commands, a move that is unlikely to be popular with the politico-bureaucratic leadership and has prompted further discussion. Comment.

A Helping Hand

Why in News?

Soumya Kanti Ghosh, Sachchidanand Shukla write: While the government went all out last year to shield the rural economy and households by way of free food, free gas, front-loading PM-Kisan payments, increasing MGNREGA allocation, moratoriums etc, it seems to have changed tack in the current fiscal.

Syllabus—GS3: Resource Mobilization & Budgetary allocations.

Background: –

  • Rural India has been devastated by the vicious second COVID wave.
  • Infection spread like wildfire & more than 30k COVID deaths are reported in the rural districts during this period.
  • This loss of lives coupled with the loss of livelihood can make rural spending more cautious.
  • This lead to a subdued outlook of rural economic activity.

Impact on rural India: –

  • However, as COVID cases continue to subside, in the past few weeks rural India has been displaying signs of a Fast-in Fast-out phenomenon.
  • The CMIE rural sentiment index is up 2% in June from the trough in May, even as the urban index is down nearly 3%.
  • Similarly, average daily registrations of the Agri equipment are up 237% in June as compared to May.
  • Rural India was struck in the fears for trepidation for May, now seems to be more optimistic as compared to urban India.

Sustainability of the above trends in long run:

  • As per IMD, this year’s monsoon to be normal & June has registered a cumulative surplus of 10% of the Long Period Average though with the uneven spatial distribution of rainfall.
  • Rainfall must be well distributed spatially as well as temporally if the gains are to accrue to the rural economy.
  • Another key factor is trade, Any sustained deterioration can have a dampening effect on rural demand.
  • Since the 2021 start, the WPI food has averaged 2.3%, while WPI non-food has averaged a high of 7.4%.
  • Similarly, the CPI core rural is 6.4% but with a staggering 8.2% in May. Meanwhile, Urban non-food core inflation is 5.5%.
  • This showcases that, any signs of a nascent rural recovery have to be supported by government intervention through aggressive supply-side & compassionate measures.

Govt measures:

  • Till recently govt resisted cutting taxes on edible oils however the taxes on petrol still not reduced.
  • However, it needs to take a more compassionate view as the govt finance outlook is much better owing to efforts to plug the tax loopholes.
  • The major concern is regarding the sharp jump in food items of mass consumption that have been produced in abundant quality like Cereals & Pulses.
  • The simple supply side responses could solve much of the problem in the case of Pulses.
  • Pulses have always been a bugbear in terms of their impact on inflation.
  • Govt to overcome the stock-piling issue, Govt has to nudge the NAFED to sell/release at least 15% of the stock in 10 days, because NAFED stockpiled 20% of the rabi pulses.
  • govt can use SUPPLYCO, a Kerala model that could be effectively remodeled for NAFED to transfer maximum benefits to consumers & farmers in the entire crop-to-cash cycle.
  • Similar to last year’s govt support to rural economy from free food, front-loading PM-Kisan payments to Increasing MGNREGA allocation, govt has to carry forward even for this entire year.

Way Forward

  • A closer look in to May numbers showcases that entirely attributing inflation to inadequate supply-side responses & spillover from global commodity cycle prices is not correct, because the underlying reason for rural inflation is also a reflection of rural household distress with prices of important items & having hitherto a disproportionately small weightage.
  • Though the current jump is temporary but it is high time for govt to coordinate & drive rural spending & activities that could make a huge difference to the pace of the rural economy recovery.

Question: –

Discuss the impact of pandemic on COVID-19 on economy of rural India. Enlist the challenges and solutions ahead.

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