Current Affairs Analysis

6th March 2020 Current Affairs Analysis – IASToppers

Black Redstart; Pragyan Conclave 2020; Centre for Land Warfare Studies; North East Venture Fund; Subsidy to Artisans under Solar Charkha Mission; Solar Charkha Mission; Workshed Scheme for Khadi Artisans; Schemes for Tribal upliftment; PM Van Dhan Yojna; National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation; UN delegation on Palestine arrives in India; Two state solution; DDA to form SPV for Yamuna rejuvenation; Yamuna River; Freedom in the World 2020 report; EC moots linking Aadhaar with voter ID; SEBI SCORES; Ceasefire deal between Turkey and Russia; Idlib
By IASToppers
March 06, 2020

Contents

Polity & Governance

  • Freedom in the World 2020 report
  • EC moots linking Aadhaar with voter ID

Government Schemes & Policies

  • North East Venture Fund
  • Subsidy to Artisans under Solar Charkha Mission
  • Workshed Scheme for Khadi Artisans
  • Schemes for Tribal upliftment

Economy

  • SEBI SCORES

Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management

  • Black Redstart
  • DDA to form SPV for Yamuna rejuvenation

Bilateral & International Relations

  • UN delegation on Palestine arrives in India
  • Ceasefire deal between Turkey and Russia

Defence & Security Issues

  • Pragyan Conclave 2020;

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Polity & Governance

Freedom in the World 2020 report

The recently released Freedom in the World 2020 report has ranked India among least free democracies of the World.

Released by:

  • The report has been released by Freedom House, a U.S.-based watchdog, which has been tracking global political and civil liberties for almost half a century.

Highlights of the Report:

  • India has become one of the world’s least free democracies, according to a global survey.
  • The Freedom in the World 2020 report ranks India at the 83rd position, along with Timor-Leste and Senegal.
  • This is near the bottom of the pile among the countries categorized as “Free”, with only Tunisia receiving a lower score.
  • India’s score fell by four points to 71, the worst decline among the world’s 25 largest democracies this year.

Reasons for low score:

  • The annulment of autonomy and the subsequent shutdown of Kashmir, the National Register of Citizens and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, as well as the crackdown on mass protests have been listed as the main signs of declining freedom in the report.
  • As per the report, the actions have shaken the rule of law in India and threatened the secular and inclusive nature of its political system.
  • The report noted that India has long been seen as a democratic counterweight to China and hence a strategic partner for the United States in the region.
  • The report slammed the internet blackout in Kashmir, terming it the longest shutdown ever imposed by a democracy.
  • It said freedom of expression was under threat in India, with journalists, academics and others facing harassment and intimidation when addressing politically sensitive topics.

Methodology:

  • The report derives its methodology from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.
  • It covers 195 countries, awarding scores based on political rights indicators such as the electoral process, political pluralism and participation and government functioning, as well as civil liberties indicators related to freedom of expression and belief associational and organizational rights, the rule of law and personal autonomy and individual rights.
  • India scored 34 out of 40 points in the political rights category, but only 37 out of 60 in the civil liberties category, for a total score of 71, a drop from last year’s score of 75.
[Ref: The Hindu]

EC moots linking Aadhaar with voter ID

The Law Ministry has informed the Lok Sabha that it has a proposal from the Election Commission (EC) to link the Aadhaar card with the Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC) to prepare an error free electoral roll.

What is the move?

  • A proposal to amend the Representation of People’s Act 1951 to enable linking of the electoral data with the Aadhaar system has been received from the Election Commission.

  • In response to an unstarred question recently, the Law Ministry said ‘the matter is under consideration’.

Rationale:

  • The move is expected to ensure preparation of an error free electoral roll, and to prevent duplication of entries.
  • Government officials asserted that the issue had come up about three weeks ago in a meeting between Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora, Election Commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sunil Chandra and Secretary Legislative Department G. Narayana Raju when they had discussed pending electoral reforms.
  • One of the arguments being made in favour of the move is that it may allow migrant labour and workers to vote even if they are away from their homes at the time of elections.
  • The process of seeding Aadhaar with the voter ID card had started in 2012 during his tenure but was subsequently stalled because of a pending litigation on Aadhaar.
  • The move will help in getting rid of fraudulent voters but will also help easy movement of voters once Aadhaar system and election data is linked.
[Ref: The Hindu]

Government Schemes & Policies

North East Venture Fund

Union Minister Jitendra Singh have recently informed Rajya Sabha that the North East Venture Fund (NEVF) has disbursed over Rs.18 crores to 12 start-ups till date.

About North East Venture Fund (NEVF):

  • The North East Venture Fund was formally launched on 9th September, 2017 with joint efforts from Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) and North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd (NEDFi).

Objective:

  • To encourage entrepreneurs and Start-ups and to empower entrepreneurs from the North Eastern Region (NER)

Capital:

  • It is a close ended fund with capital commitment of Rs 100 crore.
  • The investment is ranging between Rs. 25 lakhs and Rs. 10 crores per venture, which is long term in nature with investment horizon of 4-5 years.

Contribution:

  • The NEVF team has vigorously been participating in various events, seminars, conclaves etc. across NER, and interacted with start-ups both on one to one and group basis to promote the fund.
  • The team members have also interacted with various venture funds, incubators in the venture capital eco- system.
  • Over the last three years, out of 212 enquiries/applications received across sectors like Agri-Allied, Healthcare, Biotechnology, Education, Food Processing, Tourism, Logistics, Parking, Aggregation of Services, Entertainment etc., 40 proposals have been taken to the Investment Committee for perusal and 22 proposals have received investment commitment.
  • The NEVF has till date made a disbursement of Rs.18.16 crore to 12 start-ups.
[Ref: PIB]

Subsidy to Artisans under Solar Charkha Mission

In a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha, it was informed that under the Solar Charkha Mission subsidy has been provided to the artisans.

What is the move?

  • The scheme Mission Solar Charkha is enterprise driven scheme and envisages setting up of ‘Solar Charkha Clusters’ which will have 200 to 2042 beneficiaries (Spinners, Weavers, Stitchers and other skilled artisans).
  • Each spinner will be given two charkhas of 10 spindles each.
  • Subsidy of Rs.9.60 crore is provided for procurement of charkha and looms to the Implementing or Promoting Agency for a full-scale Solar Charkha Cluster involving a total investment of about Rs.38.625 crore.

About Solar Charkha Mission:

  • The Solar Charkha Mission is an initiative of Ministry of Micro Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) initiative launched during June 2018.
  • The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) would implement the programme.
  • The solar charkhas are to be operated using solar power which is a renewable energy source.
  • It will help in development of Green Economy as it is an environment friendly programme.
  • It will also generate sustainable employment for the artisans.

Background:

  • Based on the success of the pilot project in Bihar, Government of India has accorded approval to set up 50 such clusters with a budget of Rs. 550 Crore for 2018-19 and 2019-20.
  • The scheme is envisaged to generate direct employment nearly to one lakh persons in the approved Fifty (50) clusters.

Scheme Objectives:

The objectives of the Scheme are as follows:

  • To ensure inclusive growth by generation of employment, especially for women and youth, and sustainable development through solar charkha clusters in rural areas.
  • To boost rural economy and help in arresting migration from rural to urban areas.
  • To leverage low-cost, innovative technologies and processes for sustenance.

Project Interventions:

One cluster of Solar Charkha would involve a maximum subsidy of Rs. 9.599 crore.

The Scheme would cover the following three types of interventions.

1. Capital subsidy for individual and for Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV):

  • 2000 Solar Charkhas at the maximum price of Rs. 45,000/ – per charkha and a subsidy of Rs. 15,750/ – per charkha works out to a cumulative subsidy of Rs.3.15 crore for 1000 spinners;
  • Capital cost of construction of work shed with a minimum space of 20,000 sq. ft. with 100% subsidy at the maximum rate upto Rs.1.20 crore per cluster for the SPV;
  • Capital cost of Solar Grid of 50 KW capacity with 100% subsidy at the maximum rate upto Rs. 0.40 crore per cluster for the SPV;
  • One-time Capital Cost Subsidy for the SPV @35% works out to maximum of Rs.0.75 crore per Cluster for the purchase of twisting machines, dying machines and stitching machines (500 in number) for making the unit self-sustainable and for value addition.

2. Interest subvention for Working Capital:

  • It is proposed to have a ceiling of 8% of interest subvention on working capital irrespective of the interest rates being charged by the Banks/Financial Institutions for a period of six months.
  • Recurring Working Capital cost for a period of six months at the rate of interest subvention of 8% works out to Rs.1.584 crore for one cluster including cost of roving, wages of spinners and weavers.

3. Capacity building:

  • The scheme envisages courses for the spinners/weavers and others involved in the garmenting unit at a total cost of Rs 0.595 crore per cluster for a period of two years.
[Ref: PIB]

Workshed Scheme for Khadi Artisans

Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) through Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) extends financial assistance to Khadi Institutions for construction of Worksheds to Khadi artisans under “Workshed Scheme for Khadi Artisans”.

Objective:

  • The workshed for Khadi Artisans scheme was introduced in 2008-09.
  • It envisages providing sufficient space and congenial environment to artisans for smooth and fatigue free working leading to enhanced production and increased earning.
  • The scheme is demand driven.
  • The pattern of assistance under the scheme is as follows:
[Ref: PIB]

Schemes for Tribal upliftment

Union Minister for Tribal Affairs has emphasized on the entrepreneurial development of Tribal women all over the country by providing them proper education and by enhancing their skills.

Initiatives by GOI:

List of important initiatives for the overall development of tribal people, especially tribal women by GOI:

1. Eklavya Model Residential Schools:

  • During the current academic year, total number of tribal students enrolled in various Eklavya Model Residential Schools across the country is 73145 and out of which 36435 are girl students studying in different EMRSs.
  • Around half of the total students studying in EMRSs are girls which clearly shows that the literacy rate among tribal girls has dramatically improved, which India was lagging behind earlier.

2. PM Van Dhan Yojna:

  • A recent initiative by Ministry of Tribal Affairs is helping in livelihood generation among tribal women, ensuring maximum benefit through wealth of forest (Van Dhan) i.e. minor forest produce.
  • TRIFED has taken a step forward to promote tribal handicrafts and goods by opening up of new outlets namely, TRIBES INDIA at different locations across the country.
  • Large number of handicraft items in these outlets are produced by tribal women, thus helping tribal women to earn their livelihood and boosting their income.

3. Scheme of Strengthening Education among ST Girls in Low Literacy Districts:

  • The scheme aims to bridge the gap in literacy levels between the general female population and tribal women, in the identified districts or blocks, more particularly in naxal affected areas and in areas inhabited by Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs), by creating the required ambience for education for ST girls.
  •  It is a Central Sector gender specific scheme and the Ministry provides 100% funding.
  • It is being implemented in 54 identified low literacy districts where ST Population is 25% or more and ST female literacy rate is below 35% as per 2001 Census.

4. Scheme of Vocational Training in Tribal Areas:

  • The main aim of the Scheme is to develop the skills of the ST youth for a variety of jobs as well as self-employment and to improve their socio-economic condition by enhancing their income.
  • The scheme covers all the States and Union Territories.
  • It is not an area-specific scheme, the condition being that free vocational training facilities are extended only to tribal youth, 100% grants under the scheme are provided to the States, Union Territories and other Associations implementing the Scheme.

5. Scheme of Girls & Boys Hostels for STs:

  • Under the scheme, Central assistance is given to States/UTs/Universities for construction of new hostel buildings and/or extension of existing hostels.
  • State Governments are eligible for 100% central share for construction of all Girls’ hostel and also for construction of Boys’ hostel in naxal affected areas (identified by Ministry of Home Affairs from time to time).
  • The funding pattern for the other Boys’ Hostel to State Governments is on 50:50 basis.
  • In case of UTs, the Central Government bears the entire cost of construction of both Boys’ and Girls’ hostels.
  • The hostels may be for middle, secondary, college or university level education.

6. Scheme of Ashram Schools in Tribal Sub-Plan Area:

  • The objective of the scheme is to provide residential schools for STs in an environment conducive to learning to increase the literacy rate among the tribal students and to bring them at par with other population of the country.
  • State Governments are eligible for 100% central share for construction of all Girls’ Ashram Schools and also for construction of Boys’ Ashram Schools in naxal affected areas (identified by Ministry of Home Affairs from time to time.

National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation:

  • National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSTFNDC) was set up in 1989 as a Central PSU under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
  • NSTFNDC is the apex institution for financing, facilitating and mobilizing funds from other sources and promoting the economic development activities of the persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes living below double the poverty line.
  • NSTFNDC finances income generation schemes for the target group through the State Channelizing Agencies (SCAs) nominated by respective State/UT Governments.
  • NSTFNDC provides Concessional loan under the scheme ‘Aadivasi Mahila Sashaktikaran Yojna’, under which Scheduled Tribe women can undertake any income generation activity.
  • Loan upto 90 % for the scheme costing upto 1 lakh is provided at a highly concessional rate of interest of 4 % per annum.
[Ref: PIB]

Economy

SEBI SCORES

Markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has launched a mobile application for convenience of investors to lodge grievances in SEBI Complaints Redress System (SCORES).

About the App:

  • The app, ‘SEBI SCORES’, is available on both iOS and Android platforms.
  • “SCORES’ mobile app will make it easier for investors to lodge their grievances with SEBI, as they can now access SCORES at their convenience of a smartphone.
  • It will encourage investors to lodge their complaints on SCORES rather than sending letters to SEBI in physical mode.
  • The app has all the features of SCORES, which is currently available electronically.
  • After mandatory registration on the application, investors will get an acknowledgement through SMS and e-mail for each grievance lodged. Investors can also track the status of their complaint redressal.
  • Besides, connectivity to the toll-free helpline number of SEBI has also been provided on the app.

SCORES:

  • SCORES is a platform for investors to lodge online complaints with SEBI against listed companies, registered intermediaries and market infrastructure institutions.
  • According to SEBI norms, entities against whom complaints are lodged need to file an action taken report with the regulator within 30 days of receipt of complaint.
  • Since its launch in June 2011, SEBI has received about 40,000 complaints every year on an average.

Securities and Exchange Board of India:

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is the regulator for the securities market in India owned by the Government of India.
  • It was established in 1988 and given Statutory Powers on 30 January 1992 through the SEBI Act, 1992.

Members:

The SEBI is managed by its members, which consists of the following:

  • The chairman is nominated by the Union Government of India.
  • Two members, i.e., Officers from the Union Finance Ministry.
  • One member from the Reserve Bank of India.
  • The remaining five members are nominated by the Union Government of India, out of them at least three shall be whole-time members.

Functions and Responsibilities:

  • To protect the interests of investors in securities and to regulate the securities market and for matters connected there with or incidental there to.
  • SEBI has to be responsive to the needs of three groups, which constitute the market:
    • issuers of securities
    • investors
    • market intermediaries
  • SEBI has three functions rolled into one body: quasi-legislative, quasi-judicial and quasi-executive.
  • It drafts regulations in its legislative capacity, it conducts investigation and enforcement action in its executive function and it passes rulings and orders in its judicial capacity.
[Ref: Business standard]

Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management

Black Redstart

Black Redstart is a small robin-sized bird (14-15 cm) breeds across the Himalayan Range.

Distribution:

  • It is a widespread breeder in south and central Europe and Asia and north-west Africa, from Great Britain and Ireland to central China
  • It is resident in the milder parts of its range, but north-eastern birds migrate to winter in southern and western Europe and Asia, including India, and north Africa.
  • It breeds in the high altitude areas of Kashmir, Ladakh, Tibet and the Central Himalayan Range.

Features:

  • This bird frequents the plains of India, from the end of September through March.
  • In India, the bird essentially sticks to areas near wetlands, open cultivation, scrubs and pleasant gardens and orchards.
  • The bird has a black bill (beak) and legs and the eye colour is mostly dark brown, when seen in good light, else appear dark.

IUCN: Least concern

[Ref: The Hindu]

DDA to form SPV for Yamuna rejuvenation

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has recently directed the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to constitute a special purpose vehicle for rejuvenation of the Yamuna within two weeks.

Orders of NGT:

  • DDA has been directed to constitute special purpose vehicle (SPV) for rejuvenation of the Yamuna within two weeks.
  • The Bench also directed the State governments of Delhi, Haryana and U.P. to take expeditious action pertaining to sewage management, industrial pollutants and solid waste that gets discharged into the river.
  • The green panel also directed the Delhi government to set up an Integrated Drain Management Cell, to be headed by the Chief Secretary, for remediation and management of all drains in the city.
  • The NGT also directed the Delhi government to review its “free sewer scheme” in the city while stating that such policies are contrary to the “basic tenets of civic life”.
  • The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) was directed to issue notice to entities that were accountable to pay compensation. In cases of non-compliance, the pollution monitoring body was asked to move the NGT.

Functions:

  • The functions of such entity will include:
  • ecological restoration of the floodplain zones,
  • setting up of biodiversity parks,
  • artificial wetlands,
  • phytoremediation of drains at the river mouth locations,
  • maintaining the vigil land undertaking flow measurement,
  • creating ecological services,
  • removing encroachments and undertaking other activities,
  • including river front development.
  • It may also take steps to attract and educate the citizens and nature enthusiasts for activities, including building environmental temper amongst citizenry, without in any manner causing any damage to the floodplains.

Objection to Freeship:

  • The bench observed that: Such a policy is certainly contrary to the basic tenets of civic life and the fundamental duties of the authorities in charge to deter pollution of the environment.
  • There may be no objection to freeship if, in spite of freeship, the administration discharges basic obligations to prevent discharge of untreated sewage into water bodies, which is not happening.
  • Stating that resources of the State were “not meant to help a polluter,” the Bench said, Pollution remains unabated, which seriously affects the rights of the citizens to a clean environment.
  • It is better to provide a clean environment and recover the cost of remedying the pollution than declaring free sewage treatment and not treating the sewage.

Key Facts on Yamuna:

  • Yamuna river originates from the great Himalayas, it is one of the longest rivers of the country, emerging from the glacier known as Yamunotri, Uttarakhand that has a height of 6,387m.
  • It covers distance through Uttarakhand to Allahabad, where the Kumbh Mela is held after every 12 years.
  • It is the second largest tributary river of the Ganges (Ganga) and the longest tributary in India.
  • It travels a total length of 1,376 kilometers and has a drainage system of 366,223 square kilometers, 40.2% of the entire Ganges Basin.
[Ref: The Hindu]

Bilateral & International Relations

UN delegation on Palestine arrives in India

UN delegation on Palestine Have arrived in New Delhi to seek India’s political and diplomatic support for a peaceful resolution to the long-standing conflict between Israel and Palestine.

Highlights of the visit:

  • The delegation will include UN ambassadors and representatives of Senegal (Committee Chair); Indonesia and Malaysia (Committee Members); and the State of Palestine (Committee Observer).
  • The delegation of the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP) met External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and senior officials in the ministry, as well as political leaders and think tanks during the 2-day visit.
  • The delegation intends to engage India in looking for ways how it could play a more proactive role in the settling of the question of Palestine.

Objective:

  • The visit will focus to enhance the coordination of the Committee Bureau and India on capacity building projects for Palestine, including within the context of South-South and Triangular Cooperation.
  • The focus of the visit is on enhancing the political and diplomatic support of India for a peaceful solution of the question of Palestine and engaging Indian counterparts on synergies in capacity building for staff and institutions of Palestine.

Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People:

  • The CEIRPP was founded on November 10, 1975 by the United Nations General Assembly in order to formulate a programme to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their right to self-determination, to national independence and sovereignty, and the right of Palestine refugees to return.

Two-state solution:

  • Two-state solution, proposed framework for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by establishing two states for two peoples: Israel for the Jewish people and Palestine for the Palestinian people.
  • In 1993 the Israeli government and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on a plan to implement a two-state solution as part of the Oslo Accords, leading to the establishment of the Palestinian Authority (PA).
  • The two-state solution envisions independent Israeli and Palestinian states coexisting side by side peacefully.
  • The Palestinians see East Jerusalem as their future capital.

India’s stand:

  • India, which shares good relations with both Palestine and Israel, believes in a two-state solution in which both Israel and a future Palestinian state coexist peacefully.
  • Prime Minister Modi had visited Israel in July 2017 to commemorate 25 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries, becoming the first Indian Premier to do so.
  • During his visit to Israel, Modi did not travel to Ramallah. His standalone visit to Israel had led many analysts to question the future of the Indo-Palestine ties.
  • In February 2018, Modi made a historic visit to Palestine and skipped Israel, in a clear message that India is de-hyphenating its ties with Israel and Palestine.
[Ref: Economic Times]

Ceasefire deal between Turkey and Russia

Turkey and Russia agreed a ceasefire deal on Thursday in Syria’s Idlib region to contain a conflict which has displaced nearly a million people in three months.

Rationale of the ceasefire:

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin, and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan, hoped their agreement would lead to a halt of military action in Syria’s last rebel stronghold in the far northwest of the country.
  • It is expected to hold cessation of military activity in the Idlib de-escalation zone.

Role of two countries in Syria:

  • Russia and Turkey back opposing sides in Syria’s nine-year conflict.
  • Russia supports President Bashar al-Assad and Turkey has been backing some rebel groups.
  • They have in recent years reached several ceasefire deals in Idlib which have collapsed.
  • Russian air strikes have propelled an offensive by Assad’s forces in Idlib that sparked what the United Nations says may be the worst humanitarian crisis yet in a war that has driven millions from their homes and killed hundreds of thousands.
  • The Russian military has, however, repeatedly played down any talk of a refugee crisis and accused Turkey of violating international law by pouring enough troops into Idlib to make up a mechanized division.
  • Turkey, which has the second largest army in the transatlantic NATO alliance, has funneled troops and equipment into the region in recent weeks to resist the Syrian government advance and prevent a wave of refugees over its southern border.
  • Russia also raced to reinforce its troops in Syria by sea and air before the Putin-Erdogan talks.

Other initiatives:

  • The two leaders also agreed to establish a secure corridor near the M4 highway, which runs east to west through Idlib, and hold joint patrols along the road from March 15.
  • The corridor would stretch 6 km to the north and 6 km to the south of the M4 – effectively advancing Russia’s presence further north into Idlib.
  • The fighting, which has raised the prospect of a direct clash between Russia and Turkey, has killed 60 Turkish troops in the region since last month, including the death of a Turkish soldier reported by a regional governor on Thursday.

Position of Turkey:

  • Two witnesses also reported seeing more Turkish military reinforcements deploying into Idlib, and Russia’s RIA news agency said rebels had resumed shelling the strategic town of Saraqeb in Idlib where Russian military police are based.
  • The Turkish defence ministry said it had destroyed four tanks, five rocket launchers and a dozen military vehicles in artillery and air strikes in the last 24 hours.
  • Turkey hosts some 3.6 million Syrian refugees and says it cannot handle more.
  • Seeking to extract more funding and support from Europe over Idlib, Turkey said that it would no longer abide by a 2016 deal in which it stopped migrants crossing into the European Union in return for billions of euros in aid.

Idlib:

  • Idlib is a city in northwestern Syria, 59 kilometers southwest of Aleppo.
  • The city was taken over by Syrian rebel militias at the beginning of the Syrian Civil War in 2011.
  • During the uprising since 2011, Idlib was the focus of protests and fighting in the early phase of the Syrian war. As the uprising descended into armed conflict, Idlib became the focus of a rebel campaign.
[Ref: The Hindu]

Defence & Security Issues

Pragyan Conclave 2020:

Pragyan Conclave 2020 is a two-day Indian Army International Seminar being organised by Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS), commenced on 04 Mar 2020 at Manekshaw Centre, New Delhi.

Theme:

  • The event brings together a cross-domain national and international expert to deliberate on the complex subject of ‘Changing Characteristics of Land Warfare and its Impact on the Military’.

Highlights of the event:

  • This event was attended by Raksha Rajya Mantri (RRM), Chief of the Army Staff, Vice Chief of the Army Staff, along with other dignitaries from the Ministry of Defence, three Services, Central Armed Police Forces and leading Think Tanks & Academic Institutions of the country.
  • The seminar provided a platform for deliberations on emerging ideas, perspectives and narratives that define the ‘New Age Warfare’ which is increasingly witnessing a change in its character as well as battlespace with the usage of new ‘means’ to pursue the ‘ends’.
  • The need for comprehensive transformation of the Armed Forces by taking a wider view of the changing security dynamics was emphasized.
  • The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) as a significant step forward in this direction.

Areas of discussion:

The subject experts deliberated on two key themes over two sessions.

  • The first session delved on “Evolving Warfare: An Insight into the Changing Realm”, wherein the speakers reflected on the emerging trends in fighting future warfare and its implications on the military in terms of prospects and possibilities.
  • While the second session focused on the theme “The Technological Revolution – A Seminal Challenge”, wherein the deliberations highlighted on the optics of Information Warfare in multi domain operations, cyber and space warfare and implications of AI and Robotics under new domains of battlespace in fighting 21st century warfare.
  • The second day of the Seminar will delve on the themes- ‘Transformation in the Battle Spaces’ and ‘Hybrid/Sub-Conventional Warfare’.

Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS):

  • The Centre for Land Warfare Studies is an autonomous think tank on strategic studies and land warfare.
  • The mandate of CLAWS covers national security issues, conventional military operations and sub-conventional warfare.
  • CLAWS is registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and is a membership-based organisation.
  • It is governed by a Board of Governors and an Executive Council.
  • CLAWS disseminate the products of its research to its members, members of the armed forces, decision makers, members of the strategic community and interested civilians.
  • It also seeks to contribute to developing a pro-active strategic culture for India.
  • The objective of the organization is to convey policy recommendations based on interactions, consensus and research projects to policymakers and experts.
[Ref: India Education Diary]

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