Daily Prelims Newsletter for upsc 19 May 2022

Daily Prelims Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

19 May 2022-Thrusday

Table Of Contents

Table of Contents

The Chief of Defence Staff's Role

Why in the news?

The government is rethinking the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) position as well as the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) in order to streamline the establishment.

The CDS is a four-star General/Officer who serves as the Defence Minister’s Principal Military Advisor on all tri-services (Army, Navy, and Indian Air Force) concerns.

What is the Chief of Defence Staff’s Role?

  • The CDS serves as the permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, which includes three service chiefs.
  • His primary responsibility will be to promote greater operational synergy among the Indian military’s three service components while keeping inter-service frictions to a minimal.
  • He also leads the Ministry of Defence’s newly formed Department of Military Affairs (DMA).
  • The CDS will serve as the Defence Minister’s single point of contact for military advice on all three services, and service chiefs will be required to limit their advice to topics relevant to their respective forces.
  • As Permanent Chairman-Chiefs of Staff Committee, CDS has the power to prioritise inter-service procurement decisions as the head of DMA.
  • The CDS also has the power to provide directions to the three chiefs.
  • He does not, however, have command authority over any of the forces.
  • CDS is first among equals; he holds the position of Secretary inside the DoD (Department of Defence), and his duties are limited to the revenue budget.
  • He will also serve as an adviser to the Nuclear Command Authority (NCA).

What is the Importance of CDS?

  • Synergy between the military and the government: The role of the CDS is not just to develop tri-service cooperation, but also to foster improved interaction between the Ministry of Defense administration and the Armed services.
  • There have been three Service Headquarters (SHQ) designated as “Attached Offices” of the Department of Defense since 1947. (DoD).
  • As a result, most communication between SHQ and DoD takes place through the medium of files.
  • The appointment of CDS as Principal Military Adviser (PMA) to the Defense Minister has sped up the decision-making process.
  • Cooperation in operations: The Chiefs of Staff Committee-COSC (predecessor of CDS) has been dysfunctional since its chairmanship is held on a part-time rotational basis by one of the three chiefs.
  • Historically, the chairman COSC lacked the authority, expertise, and motivation to address substantive tri-service concerns.
  • With the CDS being recognised as “permanent chairman of COSC,” he will be able to dedicate his whole focus to tri-service organisation administration.
  • Theatre Command Operationalization: The establishment of DMA will aid in the operationalization of joint/theatre command.
  • Although the Andaman and Nicobar Command established an effective pattern for joint operations, the lack of political direction and disinterest on the part of the COSC has resulted in the joint command’s inactivity.
  • Staff with the knowledge and experience to deploy land, sea, and aviation troops would be required by theatre commands. Given the potential for disruption, each of these precautions would be best implemented by the CDS.
  • The Strategic Forces Command will be administered by the CDS as a key functionary in the nuclear command chain.
  • This measure will significantly boost the credibility of India’s nuclear deterrent.
  • The CDS would also start a review of India’s nuclear doctrine as soon as possible.
  • In an era of shrinking defence resources, a critical function of CDS will be “prioritising” individual service capital acquisition requests.
  • The CDS must guarantee that the “defence rupee” is spent wisely, on warfare capabilities deemed critical for national military might, rather than appealing to service requests.

Why Should CDS Be Reconsidered?

It has been observed that the appointment of a CDS is insufficient, and there are various difficulties about roles and responsibilities, as well as questions of equivalence, among others.

There is also a duality in the tasks and responsibilities associated with the CDS’s several hats, as well as overlap in responsibilities between the DMA and the DoD.

The ambitious timetables set for the construction of Theatre Commands, as well as the number of commands and their intended format, are also being reconsidered.

What progress has been made on Theatre commands?

The first CDS was tasked with reorganising the Indian armed forces into integrated theatre commands, which would be the largest military reorganisation in 75 years and profoundly transform the way the three services function together.

The Vice Chiefs of three Services conducted extensive studies on the theatre commands — land-based Western and Eastern theatre commands, maritime theatre command, and an integrated air defence command — and concluded that the Army’s Northern Command would be excluded for the time being and integrated later.

However, disagreements about specific parts of the Air continue to exist.

The Way Forward

  • There is a need for a CDS with operational authority who will have theatre commanders report to him following appropriate legislative amendments, while Service Chiefs will oversee the raise, train, and sustain functions of respective Services.
  • The establishment of the CDS would not be a panacea; consequently, India must implement comprehensive reforms to strengthen its armed forces in order to tackle the security concerns of the twenty-first century.

Report on the State of Inequality in India

Why in the news?

The Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister has released the ‘State of Inequality in India’ Report (EAC-PM).

What is the Purpose of the Report?

  • The report combines data on inequality in the health, education, household characteristics, and labour market sectors.
  • Inequities in these sectors increase the population’s vulnerability and precipitate a downward spiral into multidimensional poverty.
  • The research broadens the narrative on inequality by providing a complete analysis that affects the ecology of diverse deprivation in the country, which has a direct impact on the population’s well-being and overall growth.
  • The report is divided into two sections: Economic Facets and Socio-Economic Manifestations, which examine five important categories that determine the nature and experience of inequality.
  • Five Crucial Areas: Income distribution, labour market dynamics, health, education, and household characteristics are examples of these.
  • The study is based on data from several rounds of the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), the National Family and Health Survey (NFHS), and the United Information System for Education Plus.
  • Each chapter explains the existing state of affairs, areas of concern, triumphs and failures in terms of infrastructure capacity, and, lastly, the impact on inequality.

What are the report’s main points?

  • Wealth Concentration: In the wealthiest quintile (20 percent), urban areas have a 44.4 percent wealth concentration, compared to a paltry 7.1 percent concentration in rural areas.
  • Unemployment Rate: The unemployment rate in India is 4.8 percent (2019-20), with a worker population ratio of 46.8 percent.
  • Self-employed employees (45.78 percent) had the biggest percentage of employment in 2019-20, followed by regular salaried workers (33.5 percent) and casual workers (20.71 percent ).
  • The proportion of self-employed workers is similarly largest among the lowest income brackets.
Health Infrastructure:

There has been a significant progress in strengthening infrastructural capacity in the domain of health infrastructure, with a specific focus on rural areas.

  • In 2005, there were 1,72,608 total health centres in India; by 2020, there would be 1,85,505.
  • Between 2005 and 2020, states and union territories including as Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Chandigarh considerably increased the number of health centres (including Sub-Centres, Primary Health Centres, and Community Health Centres).
Household Conditions:

By 2019-20, 95 percent of schools would have functioning bathroom facilities on campus (95.9% functional boy’s toilets and 96.9% functional girl’s toilets).

States and Union Territories such as Goa, Tamil Nadu, Chandigarh, Delhi, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep, and Puducherry have attained universal (100 percent) coverage of functional power connections.

According to the National Family Health Survey-5 (2019-21), 97% of families have access to power, 70% have better access to sanitation, and 96% have access to safe drinking water.

Education: The Gross Enrollment Ratio at the elementary, upper primary, secondary, and higher secondary levels increased between 2018-19 and 2019-20.


According to the statistics of NFHS-4 (2015-16) and NFHS-5 (2019-21), 58.6 percent of women obtained prenatal check-ups in the first trimester in 2015-16, rising to 70 percent by 2019-21.

Within two days following delivery, 78 percent of women received postnatal care from a doctor or auxiliary nurse, and 79.1 percent of infants received postnatal care.

However, nutritional deficiency in terms of overweight, underweight, and anaemia prevalence (particularly in children, teenage females, and pregnant women) remain major concerns that require immediate attention.

Furthermore, insufficient health coverage, which leads to high out-of-pocket expenses, has a direct impact on poverty instances.

What additional Related Reports are there?

  • 2022 World Inequality Report
  • Multidimensional Poverty Index in India Inequality Report 2021 (MPI)

What are the Report’s Recommendations?

  • Creating income slabs with class information
  • Creating a Universal Basic Income
  • Increasing the funding for social security systems and creating jobs, particularly among those with higher levels of education.
  • There is an urgent need to develop reform initiatives, as well as a road map for social progress and shared prosperity.

Recent Developments in India-Nepal

Why in the news?

  • Recently, the Indian Prime Minister visited Lumbini, Nepal, the birthplace of Buddha, and lay the foundation stone for a Buddhist Vihara being built with Indian assistance.
  • The Prime Minister attended the 2566th Buddha Jayanti celebrations and addressed a crowd of Buddhist experts and monks from Nepal and India.
  • The Prime Minister commended Nepal for retaining its traditional culture and civilization. The India-Nepal relationship is as strong and as old as the Himalayas.

What are the Visit’s Highlights?

International Buddhist Cultural and Heritage Centre:

He presided over the’shilanyas’ ceremony that marked the start of building on the India International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage in the Lumbini Monastic Zone.

The centre will be a world-class institution, allowing pilgrims and tourists from all over the world to experience the essence of Buddhism’s spiritual qualities.

The facility is intended to serve scholars and Buddhist pilgrims from around the world who visit Lumbini.

Hydropower Projects:

 The two leaders signed five agreements, one of which was between Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) Ltd and the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) for the construction and implementation of the 490.2 megawatt Arun-4 hydropower project.

Nepal has also encouraged Indian firms to invest in the West Seti hydropower project.

Establishing a Satellite Campus:

 India has proposed to establish a satellite campus of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Rupandehi and has supplied draught memorandums of understanding for signature between Indian and Nepali universities.

Project Pancheshwar Multipurpose:

Nepal considered pending projects such as the Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project, an essential component of the Mahakali Treaty agreed between Nepal and India in 1996, and the West Seti Hydropower Project, a reservoir-type project with a capacity of 1,200 megawatts.

How have India’s relations with Nepal fared?

  • The India-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1950 serves as the foundation of India-Nepal special ties.
  • Nepal is an important neighbour of India and holds special relevance in its foreign policy due to centuries of geographic, historical, cultural, and economic relations.
  • In terms of Hinduism and Buddhism, India and Nepal are comparable, with Buddha’s birthplace Lumbini located in modern-day Nepal.
  • Recent years have seen various ‘lows’ in India-Nepal ties. The two countries’ relationship deteriorated in 2015, with India being blamed for intervening in the Constitution-drafting process and then for a “unofficial blockade” that fueled popular hatred against India.
  • Nepal joined China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2017, with the goal of building motorways, airports, and other infrastructure in the country. BRI was rejected by India, and Nepal’s move was interpreted as a tilt toward China.
  • Nepal issued a new political map in 2019 claiming Kalapani, Limpiyadhura, and Lipulekh in Uttarakhand, as well as Susta (West Champaran district, Bihar) as part of its boundaries.

What are the Irritating Factors in India-Nepal Relations?

  • Territorial Conflicts:
  • The Kalapani boundary dispute is a major source of friction in Indo-Nepal relations. The British established these boundaries in 1816, and India inherited the territory over which the British had exercised territorial sovereignty in 1947.
  • While 98 percent of the India-Nepal border has been delineated, two regions, Susta and Kalapani, remain undefined.
  • Nepal issued a new political map in 2019 claiming Kalapani, Limpiyadhura, and Lipulekh in Uttarakhand, as well as Susta (West Champaran district, Bihar) as part of its boundaries.
Issues with the Peace and Friendship Treaty:

The Nepali authorities wanted the 1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship in 1949 in order to maintain the particular links they had with British India and to give them with an open border and the right to work in India.

However, it is now regarded as a symptom of an unequal relationship and an Indian imposition.

The idea of amending and upgrading it has been mentioned in Joint Statements since the mid-1990s, but only sporadically and infrequently.

The Demonetisation Irritatant:

In November 2016, India withdrawn Rs 15.44 trillion in high-value currency notes (Rs 1,000 and Rs 500). Today, almost Rs 15.3 trillion in new currency has been returned.

Nonetheless, many Nepali people who were legally entitled to Rs 25,000 in Indian currency (due to the Nepali rupee’s peg to the Indian rupee) were left high and dry.

The Nepal Rashtra Bank (Nepal’s central bank) owns Rs 7 crore, and public holdings are estimated to be around Rs 500 crore.

The unwillingness of India to accept demonetised bills at the Nepal Rastra Bank, as well as the uncertain fate of the report submitted by the Eminent Persons Group (EPG), have not benefited India’s image in Nepal.

The Way Forward
  • Today, it is critical to avoid territorial nationalist rhetoric and instead establish the framework for peaceful discourse in which both sides demonstrate sensitivity as they investigate what is achievable. For the neighbourhood first policy to take root, India must be a sympathetic and generous partner.
  • India should be more proactive in its interactions with Nepal, including people-to-people, bureaucratic, and political interactions.
  • The electricity trade deal must be structured in such a way that India can gain Nepal’s trust. Despite the fact that additional renewable energy projects (solar) are being developed in India, hydropower is the only source capable of meeting peak demand.
  • The Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) signed between India and Nepal requires additional attention from Nepal.
  • The private sector in Nepal, particularly cartels masquerading as trade associations, is battling foreign investment tooth and nail.
  • It is critical that Nepal sends out the word that it welcomes Indian investment.
Share on print
Print PDF

Share With Your Friends

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp

Leave a Reply