QUESTION : Border management is a complex task due to difficult terrain and hostile relations with some countries. Elucidate the challenges and strategies for effective border management.
Topic- DORMANT BUT WAITING TO STRIKE
- Terror Threat To India And It’s Neighbourhood
WHY IN NEWS ?
- During the pandemic, open terror attacks have been reducing, presumably because terror outfits lack resources. However with their past resilience, they continue to pose threats to modern society, especially to India and its neighbourhood.
TERRORISM-STILL A THREAT FOR INDIA AND THE WORLD :
- Once the pandemic eases, we may see a resurgence of terror.
- The aggravation of poverty in developing nations due to COVID-19 could offer a fertile ground for recruitment and intensified religious indoctrination, which are dangerous to peace.
- Al-Qaeda is still strong: In the past few years, it is true that the al-Qaeda has lost many of its leaders in encounters with U.S. agencies.
- The al-Qaeda has a robust cadre from which a strong and young leader could still emerge to lead it in order to intimidate the civilised world.
- Global reach backed by global ambitions: They are present not only in West Asia but also in Africa. The other outfits JeM, LeT, etc. are confined to the Afghanistan-Pakistan area.
DOHA ACCORD :
- Withdrawal of troops: The US will draw down its troops in 135 days and the NATO or coalition troop numbers will also be brought down. And all troops will be out within 14 months (all would include non-diplomatic civilian personnel).
- What Taliban Commit?: The main counter-terrorism commitment by the Taliban is that Taliban will not allow any of its members, other individuals or groups, including al-Qaeda, to use the soil of Afghanistan to threaten the security of the United States and its allies.
- Removal of sanctions: UN sanctions on Taliban leaders to be removed by three months and US sanctions by August.
- Prisoner Swap Clause :According to the agreements, 5,000 Taliban prisoners will be released by March 2020, the first day of intra-Afghan negotiations, and the remainder in another three months. A possible trouble spot because the US-Taliban agreement and the joint declaration differ.
- On ceasefire: The agreement states ceasefire will be simply an item on the agenda when intra-Afghan talks start, and indicates actual ceasefire will come with the completion of an Afghan political agreement.
IMPLICATIONS OF DOHA ACCORD FOR INDIA :
- The Doha Accord signed this year between the Taliban and the U.S., which has brought about an improved relationship between the two.
- The U.S. has agreed to a near-total withdrawal of its troops in return for the Taliban’s promise to preserve peace in Afghanistan.
- The Taliban and the al-Qaeda need each other in many areas.
- Both are friendly towards Pakistan and could pose a problem or two to India in the near future.
- Many recent raids by the National Investigation Agency point to an al-Qaeda network in India.
- Once the situation gets better, the al-Qaeda, in cahoots with other aggressive Islamic outfits in and around Pakistan, is bound to escalate the offensive against India.
- This is one factor that makes the al-Qaeda and other terror outfits still relevant to India’s security calculus.
WHAT IS CROSS-BORDER TERRORISM ?
- The term ‘cross-border’ implies a movement or an activity across a border between the two countries.
- Cross-Border Terrorism is a form in which soil of one country is used to create terror in bordering countries.
- As a grey zone conflict, it is an undeclared war and considered to be highest form of strategy to bleed a nation for prolonged period by small efforts
FACTORS FAVOURING CROSS-BORDER TERRORISM :
- Porous borders: These indicate borders which are not highly protected. India’s borders with most of her neighbours cannot be physically sealed or wired due to difficult terrain, and other factors. Terror groups take advantage of such porous borders and infiltrate into another country.
- Support from non-state actors: India’s troubled relationship with Pakistan fuels the latter’s support for secessionist groups, which are provided financial support, weapons and training by the establishment in Pakistan.
- Internal support: Many times, terrorists find support from the local population due to varying reasons like ideological or ethnic affinity, fear, monetary lure, etc.
- Corrupt officials: Unfortunately, many officials in the establishment of a country can abet terrorists and allow their illegal entry for terrorist activities purely for financial benefits.
TERRORISM IN INDIA :
India subdivides terrorism in four major groups:
- Ethno-nationalist terrorism – This form of terror focuses either (a) on creating a separate State within India or independent of India or in a neighboring country, or (b) on emphasising the views/response of one ethnic group against another. Violent Tamil Nationalist groups from India to address the condition of Tamils in Sri Lanka, as well as insurgent tribal groups in North East India are examples of ethno-nationalist terrorist activities.
- Religious terrorism – This form of terror focuses on religious imperatives, a presumed duty or in solidarity for a specific religious group, against one or more religious groups. Mumbai 26/11 terror attack in 2008 from an Islamic group in Pakistan is an example of religious terrorism in India.
- Left-wing terrorism – This form of terror focuses on economic ideology, where all the existing socio-political structures are seen to be economically exploitative in character and a revolutionary change through violent means is essential. The ideology of Marx, Engel, Mao, Lenin and others are considered as the only valid economic path. Maoist violence in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh are examples of left wing terrorism in India.
- Narcoterrorism – This form of terror focuses on creating illegal narcotics traffic zones. Drug violence in northwest India is an example of narco-terrorism in India.
WAY FORWARD :
- There is a need to reassess our policies on number of issues pertaining to the management of India’s international borders such as intelligence apparatus, internal security and border management.
- Technical solutions are necessary to augment and complement the traditional methods of border guarding.
- They not only enhance the surveillance and detection capabilities of the border guarding forces but also improve the impact of the border guarding personnel against infiltration and trans-border crimes.
- India should move in the direction of specialisation of military to fight cross-border terrorism.
- Military should also look at alternative means to strike at the terror camps across the LoC and LAC through mechanisms like Precision Engagement Capability.
- A judicious mix of properly trained manpower and affordable and tested technology is likely to yield better results.
- We should keep a close eye on the al-Qaeda and the Islamic State because there is evidence that their recruitment remains undiminished by the problems posed by the pandemic.
QUESTION : While India has made some progress in its fight against AIDS, it still has to take several appropriate steps to eliminate completely from India like polio . Discuss
Topic- MANY GAINS IN FIGHTING HIV
- HIV Infections Among Children And Deaths In India
WHY IN NEWS ?
- There are fewer new HIV infections among children and AIDSrelated deaths in India.
MORE INFORMATION :
- The 2019 HIV estimates note that there has been a 66.1% reduction in new HIV infections among children and a 65.3% reduction in AIDS-related deaths in India over a nine-year period. This indicates India’s progress in reducing the HIV impact on children through the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
- Also, the number of pregnant women living with HIV has reduced and treatment coverage has also expanded.
REASONS FOR HIV IN INDIA :
- Unsafe sex and low condom use
- Migration and mobility
- Injecting drug use with contaminated injecting equipment
- They an HIV prevalence of 9.9%.
- Gay men and other men who have sex with men
- Low status of women
- This increase their vulnerability to protect themselves and negotiate safer sex
- Widespread stigma
- Stigma towards people living with HIV is widespread. The most affected groups are often marginalized, have little or no access to legal protection of their basic human rights.
- Inability to reduce stigma and discrimination. The UNAIDS report points out that certain colonial laws legitimize stigma and give license to the harassment of groups at the highest risk of HIV.
- Inability to integrate HIV/AIDS into the mainstream of public health activities
- Inadequate focus on vulnerability factors, especially poverty, illiteracy and empowerment of women
- Inadequate geographic and population coverage in terms of targeted interventions
- Inadequate attention paid to the issues around antiretroviral treatment
- Changes in the pattern of migration and improving use of Information and Communication Technology has raised the risk
STEPS TAKEN :
- Project Sunrise: It aims for prevention of AIDS specially among people injecting drugs in the 8 North-Eastern states
- National strategic plan (2017-24) and Mission SAMPARK
- India made HIV testing for all pregnant women free and HIV treatment is offered the same way nationwide without cost to pregnant mothers living with HIV through the national ‘treat all’ policy.
- Now, for two years, UNICEF has worked with the World Health Organization and NACO to identify high burden districts (in terms of density of pregnant women living with HIV) as the last mile towards disease elimination.
- Since 2002, the EMTCT of HIV programmes or prevention of parent-to-child transmission of HIV are launched in India.
- A series of policy, programmatic and implementation strategies were rolled out so that all pregnant women can access free HIV testing along with other services at antenatal clinics, and free treatment regimens for life to prevent HIV transmission from mothers to babies.
- This has been made possible in government health centres and grass-root level workers through village health and nutrition days and other grass-roots events under the National Health Mission.
- Approach being promoted by UNICEF in focusing attention and resources in high burden districts is supported by the HIV strategic information division of NACO and UNAIDS.
National Aids Control Program :
- The National AIDS Control Organization, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched the first phase of National AIDS Control Programme in 1992.
MAIN TARGETS UNDER 90-90-90 STRATEGY :
- By 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status.
- By 2020, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy.
- By 2020, 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression
WAY FORWARD :
- Region and state wise plans must be evolved to tackle the spread of new infections.
- New policies for AIDS infected children must be integrated with Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Anganwadi infrastructure and ASHA workers must be given special training.
- Drug users must be shown compassion by the law enforcement agencies and the Police must coordinate with the medical community to ensure that unsafe use of needles by drug addicts is checked.
- Due to the stigma faced by sex workers they are not able to get access to health counsellors, medical clinics, etc. There must be a comprehensive policy to tackle this.
- National Aids Control Programme (NACP) Phase IV aims to reduce new infections by 50 per cent and also provide comprehensive care, support and treatment to all persons living with HIV/AIDS.
- 2016 United Nations Political Declaration on Ending AIDS sets world on the Fast-Track to end the epidemic by 2030. India must ensure achieving its targets through sustained focused campaign with renewed vigour.