QUESTION : Briefly explain the Naga crisis, along with initiatives taken by the Govt. of India to resolve the issues.
Topic- THE SEARCH FOR AN END TO THE COMPLEX NAGA CINFLICT
Issue of Naga Insurgency
WHY IN NEWS ?
- Despite having huge strategic significance, India’s north- eastern frontier has largely remained marginal in the coun- try’s popular imagination as well as mainstream politics. The region has witnessed multiple crises.
- The Naga peace process appears to have again hit a roadblock after decades of negotiations. The non-flexibility of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) on the “Naga national flag” and “Naga Yezhabo (constitution) among many more are said to be the primary reasons. But the issue is more complex than the twin conditions, as it affects Nagaland’s neighbours in northeast India.
HISTORY OF NAGA PEACE TALKS :
Naga-Akbar Hydari Agreement (1947):
- It was Signed by the Naga National Convention and the Governor of Assam (Akbar Hydari).
- Agreement: The right of the Nagas to develop themselves according to their freely expressed wishes. The Governor of Assam was given a special responsibility for a period of 10 years to ensure the observance of the agreement.
Sixteen-point Agreement with the Naga People’s Convention (1960) :
- Nagaland formed as a state, under the charge of the Ministry of External Affairs.
- Agreement: Any Act or law passed by the Union Parliament affecting the Religious or Social Practices, Customary Laws etc. will not have any legal force.
- The Naga leaders also expressed the view that other Nagas inhabiting contiguous areas should be enabled to join the new state.
Ceasefire Agreement (1964) :
- Agreement: The Government of India made ceasefire agreement with Naga underground leaders for 1 month from the signing of agreement.
Shillong Agreement (1975):
- It was signed between Nagaland Governor and Naga underground leaders.
- Agreement:The NNC conveyed their decision to accept, without condition, the Constitution of India. The NNC agreed to give up arms. This resulted in split of NNC into NSCN and its sub-groups.
Ceasefire agreement (1997) :
- The Government of India signed a ceasefire agreement with NSCN (IM) in 1997. The key agreement was that there would be no counter-insurgency offensive against the NSCN(I-M), who in turn would not attack Indian forces.
Nagaland Peace Accord (2015) :
- The Indian government signed a framework agreement (Nagaland Peace Accord) with the NSCN(I-M) to end the insurgency.
- Recently, the State government decided to prepare the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland but later due to pressure from various fractions, the decision was put on hold.
THE HURDLE !!
key demands of the Naga groups?
Greater Nagalim (sovereign statehood) i.e redrawing of boundaries to bring all Naga-inhabited areas in the Northeast under one administrative umbrella.
Naga Yezabo (Naga Constitution)
Naga national flag.
The current demands of the NSCN (IM) have toned down from complete sovereignty to greater autonomous region within the Indian constitutional framework with due regard to the uniqueness of Naga history and traditions.
However, negotiations with the NSCN-IM have remained complicated, as Nagas are demanding the integration of their ancestral homelands, which include territories in Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.
o All three states have refused to cede territory to the Nagas.
o Manipur has protested in a petition that any compromise with Manipur’s territorial integrity would not be tolerated.
o The other two States have made it clear that they won’t compromise with their territorial integrity.
Another significant issue is how the weapons in the NSCN-IM camps are going to be managed. As a ‘ceasefire’ group, its cadres are supposed to retain their weapons inside the designated camps for self-defence only, but more often than not, many influential cadres are seen moving with weapons in civilian localities, leading to many problems.
It would be an uphill task for the Centre to ensure that all weapons are surrendered at the time of the final accord.
In the early phase, the Naga insurgents were provided with what has come to be known as ‘safe haven’ in Myanmar.
India’s adversaries (China and Pakistan) also provided them with vital external support at one point in time.
The porous border and rugged terrain make it different for the Security Forces as they cross borders where they are sheltered and fed.
REASONS FOR NOT ACCEPTING NAGA DEMAND OF SEPARATE FLAG AND SEPARATE CONSTITUTION :
- Regressive: Yezhabo is far less liberal than what Indian Constitution presently offers for Naga people. It is regressive and some of its provisions are against modern Constitutional values of liberty, equality & rule of law.
- Challenges of Wider Acceptance: Yezhabo also proposes Naga leader Muivah as the over-arching figure of Naga politics, development and destiny which will not be acceptable to Naga Citizenry which are spread in adjoining states of Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.
- Sets a Bad Precedent: Acceding to the demand of Separate Flag will set a dangerous precedent whereby other states also demand similar provisions.
- Identity Politics: Acceding to these demands is akin to giving racial and ethnic identity an equal footing with National Identity which will act as catalyst to Identity Politics in rest of India.
- Weakens National Integrity: The overall National Consciousness and National integration process will be weakened.
- Failure of Article 370: Working of Article 370 which had provided for separate Flag and Constitution has shown that such type of measures has not yielded results but has instead widened the gap between regional society and Indian mainstream.
OTHER SIDE’S STORY :
A section of people in Nagaland has criticized the Governor for approaching Nagaland like a “law and order issue” instead of a political one.
They claim that the government would not have signed a framework agreement with NSCN-IM in 2015 if Nagaland was a “law and order issue.”
Misunderstandings surrounding the history and identity of the Naga people have further complicated the negotiations.
The Central Government views Nagaland as a “disturbed area” and has kept the state under a draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).
The act extends wide-ranging powers to the army, including the use of force and arrests without warrants.
STEPS TAKEN BY THE GOVT. OVER LAST 2-3 YEARS TO FAST TRACK THE PROCESS OF FINALISING THE AGREEMENT :
- Talks with I-M has clearly spelt out disarmament, rehabilitation and assimilation of cadres and leaders through induction in paramilitary forces and political structures (expanded legislature in Nagaland)- thus ensuring smooth integration into Indian political system.
- Legislative and administrative autonomy for Naga regions outside Nagaland has been a part of talks with the Naga leadership.
- A breakaway faction of I-M’s arch enemies, NSCN’s Khaplang, joined the peace process with government in 2019.
- Government-led outreach programs to bring on board non-Naga people in Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, and Assam, promising much development as a trade-off for offering Naga people in these states more legislative representation and administrative autonomy.
- The State government that has decided to prepare the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN) but later due to pressure from various fractions, the decision has now been put on hold.
ABOUT NAGAS :
- The Nagas are not a single tribe, but an ethnic community that comprises several tribes who live in the state of Nagaland and its neighbourhood.
- Nagas belong to Indo-Mongoloid Family.
- Nagas claimed sovereignty on the basis of prior sovereign existence and differences, which is today expressed in terms of “uniqueness”.
- There are nineteen major Naga tribes, namely, Aos, Angamis, Changs, Chakesang, Kabuis, Kacharis, Khain-Mangas, Konyaks, Kukis, Lothas (Lothas), Maos, Mikirs, Phoms, Rengmas, Sangtams, Semas, Tankhuls, Yamchumgar and Zeeliang.
WAY FORWARD :
The Centre must negotiate with all the factions and groups of the Insurgents to have a long-lasting peace.
The Government too realised that privileging one insurgent group could eventually distort the contours of the final peace accord and it subsequently enlarged the peace process by roping in seven other Naga insurgent groups under the umbrella of Naga National Political Groups (NNPG).
Nagas are culturally heterogeneous groups of different communities/tribes having a different set of problems from the mainstream population.
In order to achieve the long-lasting solution, their cultural, historical and territorial extent must be taken into consideration.
Another way of dealing with the issue can be maximum decentralisation of powers to the tribal heads and minimum centralisation at the apex level, which should mainly work towards facilitating governance and undertaking large development projects.
For any peace framework to be effective, it should not threaten the present territorial boundaries of the states of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh. As it will not be acceptable to these states.
Greater autonomy for the Naga inhabited areas in these states can be provided which would encompass separate budget allocations for the Naga inhabited areas with regard to their culture and development issues.
A new body should be constituted that would look after the rights of the Nagas in the other north-eastern states besides Nagaland.
QUESTION : Government of India should create human capital by empowering youth through skilling and quality education to avert anti-national sentiment and explain how globalisation is impacting youth? Analyse.
Topic- EMPOWER THE YOUTH FIRST
WHY IN NEWS ?
It is argued that if India wants to achieve the goal of self-reliance we have to start with empowering the Youth.
YOUTH EMPOWERMENT ?
Youth empowerment is a process where children and young people are encouraged to take charge of their lives. They do this by addressing their situation and then take action in order to improve their access to resources and transform their consciousness through their beliefs, values, and attitudes. Youth empowerment aims to improve quality of life.
STATUS OF YOUTH IN INDIA :
The 2014 National Youth Policy (NYP) defined youth as persons between 15 and 29 years.
- Major Proportion in Total Population: This segment of the society accounted for 27.5% of the population as per NYP, 2014.
- Government Expenditure on Youth: According to the NYP report, the Central government spends about ₹2,710 per youth on education, skill development, employment, healthcare and food subsidies.
- Investment as percentage of GDP: The total amount of Union government expenditure is pegged at more than ₹90,000 crore. Assuming that States spend an equal amount, the total investment in our youth would be under 1% of the GDP.
- Opportunity Cost of investing in Youth: A World Bank report pegged the projected cost (read: loss) of not investing in children and youth at 4% of the GDP every year. Of this, the costs of unemployment account for 0.6%
- Labour Force Contribution: As of 2017-18, youth participation in India’s labour force was 38.3%.
- High Unemployment: Drawing from the 2018 State of Working India Report, the youth unemployment rate is pegged to be at least 18.3% (3.47 crore youths).
- Unutilized Potential: About 30% of youth fall under the ‘neither in employment nor in education’ category and 33% of India’s skilled youth are unemployed.
- Needs Policy Attention in coming years: Around 50 lakh youth are expected to be entering the workforce annually.
- Less Time to prevent Demographic Disaster: India has just a decade’s time to seize the opportunity and realise this youth demographic dividend, else it will turn into demographic disaster with high unemployment rate & underutilized potential
THE OBJECTIVES AND PRIORITY AREAS UNDER NATIONAL YOUTH POLICY 2014 :
(i) Creating a productive workforce that can make a sustainable contribution to India’s economic development.
The priority areas for this are
- Employment and skill development
(ii) Develop a strong, healthy generation equipped to take on future generations. To be operated through
- Health – healthy lifestyle
(iii) Instil social values and promote community service to build rational ownership – operative tools are
- Promotion of social values
- Community engagements
(iv) Facilitate participation and civic engagements at all centres of governance to be operated through
- participation in politics and governance youth engagement
(v) Support youth at risk and create equitable opportunities for all disadvantaged and marginalized youth. The priority areas being Inclusion and Social Justice.
THE NEED FOR EMPOWERING YOUTH :
- To enable youth to acquire such knowledge, skills and techniques which will help them in their personal and social growth as well as foster in them sensitivity towards problems in the society.
- To promote national integration and international understanding by developing youth leadership and providing a forum for youth from diverse background.
- To promote regional co-operation and exchange between people of various countries.
- To foster initiatives for unfolding the potential of youth through a constant process of self evaluation and self -exploration.
- To promote research in youth work.
GOVERNMENT’S INITIATIVES EMPOWERING INDIA
- SKILL INDIA :
is an initiative of the Government of India which has been launched to empower the youth of the country with skill sets which make them more employable and more productive in their work environment.
- Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan NYKS)
- National Youth Corps (NYC)
- National Programme for Youth & Adolescent Development (NPYAD)
- International Cooperation
- Youth Hostels (YH)
- Assistance to Scouting & Guiding Organisations
- National Discipline Scheme (NDS)
- National Young Leaders Programme (NYLP)
- National Service Scheme (NSS)
- Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development (RGNIYD)
LEARNING FROM MGNREGA:
- The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has been very effective in providing rural livelihood security and social protection.
- Yet only about 4% of youth in the labour force have been impacted by it.
- While an urban youth employment programme will be a new intervention, we believe that rural youth employment should be instituted alongside MGNREGA.
- The Youth Development Index (YDI) in India serves as an advisory and monitory tool for youth development.
WAY FORWARD :
- Government should launch Indian Youth Guarantee (IYG) programme at the earliest.
- It is similar to the European Union Youth Guarantee (EU-YG) but tuned to India’s context.
- EU-YG emerged in 2010 at a time when youth unemployment rates were soaring above 20%.
- EU-Youth Guarantee is a commitment by all its Member States to ensure that all young people under the age of 25 years, within a period of four months of becoming unemployed or leaving formal education, receive a good quality offer of
o continued education
- An IYG initiative, with statutory backing, can function as a facilitatory framework for ensuring gainful and productive engagement of youth.
- Youth Component Plan :
- Such a plan earmarks a specific percentage of funds under a separate head on the lines of the Special Component Plan for the Scheduled Castes and the Tribal Sub-Plan
- Objective of Youth Component Plan is to channelise flow of outlays and benefits proportional to the percentage of youth population based on sub-regional requirements.
- Existing youth schemes and skilling infrastructure need to be dovetailed and streamlined while leveraging industry to enable an in situ empowerment of youth.
QUESTION : What should be the role of the World Health Organization and the United Nations to prevent the spread of such deadly diseases like Covid-19?
Topic- TEST BY CHOICE
Rising Coronavirus Cases In India
WHY IN NEWS ?
Recently, India crossed four million novel coronavirus cases. The ICMR’s latest advisory provides for testing on demand to “ensure higher levels of testing”.
- Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) is gaining grounds and has led to a spike in the number of tests being conducted, as it is quick and cheap.
- ICMR has allowed testing on-demand for Covid-19 even as it has allowed states to adapt to the recommendation as per their requirements.
o ICMR is just an advisory body and states were free to make changes as per their needs.
- The new strategy lists situations where molecular testing such as reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) should be preferred over the cheaper and faster but less accurate RAT.
- Benefits of test on demand: Since many of those infected have mild or no symptoms, tests on demand might be particularly helpful in detecting cases that might otherwise have been missed.
- Less testing: Though the number of tests done each day has been over one million for the past week, the test positivity rate nationally is still high at 7.7%, indicating that testing has to be ramped up.
- False negative results: RAT can give a high number of false negatives. There is no repeat testing of negative cases. Only a small percentage of people with symptoms but negative results are being validated with a RT-PCR, many of the infected are not being diagnosed.
- Low testing capacity: The ICMR recent advisory is theoretically making India’s 1.3 billion people eligible for a test, even when there is no capacity to undertake this.
- States might be forced to use their discretionary power to deny tests for people not exhibiting symptoms or in low-risk categories, or selectively charge for testing to pay for procurement of testing kits and to avoid more pressure on the testing infrastructure.
- Antigen testing: There is also the possibility of an over-reliance on antigen testing to cope with the growing demand for testing.
- States are not validating the negative results from rapid antigen tests with RT-PCR. Non-directed tests on demand might help more in increasing the number of tests done each day and hence in reducing the test positivity rate than in early detection and containment.
WHAT IS CORONAVIRUS ?
Coronaviruses are a group of related RNA viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans and birds, they cause respiratory tract infections that can range from mild to lethal. Mild illnesses in humans include some cases of the common cold (which is also caused by other viruses, predominantly rhinoviruses), while more lethal varieties can cause SARS, MERS, and COVID-19. In cows and pigs they cause diarrhea, while in mice they cause hepatitis and encephalomyelitis. There are as yet no vaccines or antiviral drugs to prevent or treat human coronavirus infections.
WAY FORWARD :
- The focus must remain on diagnosing the most probable cases listed out by the ICMR — those with symptoms or at high risk.
- Test on demand strategy should be restricted to clusters, hotspots, and containment zones, besides dense urban areas with anticipated high transmission in the unlock phase.
- Balance between RAT and RT-PCR test: All states must ramp up testing by not only increasing the number of rapid antigen tests, but also backing it by RT-PCR tests.