Right from the day of its creation in 1947, Pakistan has been projecting India as a threat. This propaganda of threat from India has been used to unite ethnically, linguistically and culturally diverse Pakistan in name of religion. However, the main reason for threat to unity of Pakistan is bankruptcy of credibile political class in Pakistan. This has led to control of civilian government by military which should have been otherwise. In order to prove legitmacy of their action, military is using few tactis in addition to others such as : creating false perception of military threats from India; promoting Mullah, religious fanatism and intolerances to use against India. In the name of threats from India, earlier all ethnic groups such as Punjabis, Sindhis, Balochs, Pashtuns, Muhajirs etc used to come together in the name of religion. What Bangladeshi's realised over four decades back, now other groups have started realizing the same. Now with wide spread use of ICT and electronic social media network this trick is not going to work in long run as fringe ethnic groups in Pakistan know that it is Punjabi Pakistanis who are masters and others are perceived slaves. So, Indian threat to unite Pakistan will not work for a long.
In order to counter the menace of black money, and counterfeit bills, on 8th November, 2016 at 8.00 PM Prime Minister Modi of India during a nation wide address through television and radio announced that from today midnight all the Rs 1000 and Rs 500 bills will be legally invalid. However, a provision was made to exchange these old bills at banks and post offices on daily basis to meet the daily requirements of public. Daily withdrawal was restricted to Rs 2000/2500 and per day exchange of old banknotes were restricted to Rs 4000/4500 and this system will be continued up to the end of December, 2016. Public utilities like hospital, petrol pumps, court fees, schools fees, airlines and train tickets etc were exempted from this and they were instructed to take old bills up to 24th November.. .
It is mammoth exercise for a big country like India where population is more than 1.2 billions and still a large rural population does not have access to debit/credit cards as well as basic banking services. Total money in circulation was around 16.42 Lakh Crores ( approx US$240 billions). Out of this total money in circulation 86 percent of money was in form of bank notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denominations. It is estimated that 6.5 billion notes of Rs 1000 denomination and 16.5 billion notes of Rs 500 denomination were there in circulation. Changing such a huge quantity of bank notes in such a large country in a period of approximately 50 days is mammoth task and this require a lot of courage and will that could be displayed by only a leader like Modi.
This action will have some good and bad impact in short as well long term in varying degree on Indian economy; however, good impact will be more in long run. In the short run, during the transition period, cash spending will be less, and consumption is likely to go down. This is going to hit economy in short run resulting in reduced GDP. Small shopkeeper and street vendors who do not have electronic payment system will be affected more. In medium term the money supply will shrink when black money will go out of system, and this will help in reducing the inflation. It is likely that some of the black money stashed in personal vaults will shift in banking system increasing the deposits in banks and this will reduce the interest rate. Reduced cost of capital due to reduced interest rate will propel investment of internally accrued fund in economy.
In absence of large black money and fake money, many social evils like drug, illegal arms and human trafficking etc will come under control as black and fake money is largely used in such operations. Moreover, terrorism is also funded and fostered in India mainly by counterfeit notes sent from across border. Not only that, those who have stashed a lot of black money through corruption will also desist from corruption once their huge money stashed illegally gets converted into trash of paper. This great move of PM Modi may be a game changer for Indian economy as well as curbing corruption.
The looming danger of climate change is a global issue that has high potential to impact all the nations adversely across the globe in varying degree based on geographical location, technological and financial capabilities to adapt to the impact of climate change. As climate change is a global issue; therefore, it requires global solution with concerted efforts of all the nations: big and small, develop and developing as per their differential responsibility and capability. Kyoto Protocol under United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was such a historical international negotiation to address climate change issue, but it couldn't succeed due to lack of global political will across all the nations in reducing green house gases (GHG) which is the main cause of global warming and in turn climate change. However, over the years negotiations for climate change mitigation under UNFCCC continued and it has taken many twists and turns before finally taking a shape at COP21 Paris Climate Change Summit in 2015. As COP21 Paris Climate Change negotiation has turned into an agreement, and accordingly it will enter into force from 4th November, 2016. Now it is to be seen that how much credible and pragmatic is Paris Climate Agreement in addressing GHG emission reduction. The credibility and pragmatism of implementation and monitoring mechanism of GHG reduction needs to be analysed. The success of any international negotiation will depend on concerted efforts by all participants, and this is only possible when justice and equity is there in an agreement for all the members. Equity and justice in climate change mitigation would necessarily require pooling and sharing of resources. In light of above, it will further be required to examine the pooling and distribution of global intellectual, technological, financial, labour and other resources in equitable manner at affordable cost so that these resources could be gainfully utilised by all the nations across the globe to reduce GHG in order to mitigate climate change.
There is an age old adage that “Everything is fair in love and war”. In response to Pakistan sponsored Uri terror attack on 18th September, 2016, reviewing and reconsidering Indus Water Treaty (IWT) by India as one of the soft and bloodless options that make a great sense. Water has always been a weapon of war since ancient times. Many wars have been fought for water and water has been used as weapon in many wars throughout the history. Water is an important resource for meeting basic needs of human survival and other economic activities. Moreover, by controlling flowing water it can be use as weapon. Therefore, in trans-national water system, countries at up-stream always have an strategic advantage in regulating and controlling flow of water. Even the way water is released by country at up-stream can work like ammunition. Even under ambit of treaty, arms of down-stream country can be twisted by regulating water skilfully. Moreover, only one treaty between two countries does not work in isolation, but, both the countries must respect and follow other treaty also. If one country does not follow Shimla Agreement, then why other country should follow IWT. Therefore, reviewing IWT by India make a good sense to mend the ways of Pakistan make use of terrorist against India.
India is second largest country in terms of population and third largest economy in PPP (purchase power parity) terms. However, if we see its performance in games and sports at Olympic level, it is quite dismal. Performance at Rio Olympics in 2016 had been very disappointing with only one Silver and one Bronze medal. So far, India has secured only 9 Gold medals, 7 Silver medals and 12 Bronze medals from 1900 to 2016. Out of these 9 Gold medals, 8 were secured in Hockey. Only Abhinava Bindra secured Gold medal in individual event of shooting. Boxing, Wrestling, Badminton, Tennis and Weightlifting are other areas of games and sports in which India could make some presence in Olympic in recent time.
However, if we look at the performance of China, it was very poor without any medal in 1952 at Helsinki. Then it stopped participating in Olympic due to political and other reasons. However, after its re-entry in Olympic Games since 1984, its performance kept on improving with time and barring 1988 Olympic at Seoul, it always remained under 4 in medal tally in Olympic Games. But, what went wrong with India that it could not do well in games and sports at Olympic even after moderate economic growth of over two decades?
Career in games and sports are very risky inIndia. And unless and until this risk is mitigated through proper policies support, proper talent can’t be tapped for games and sports. There needs to be some institutional mechanism to identify the talent and nurturing them for games and sport. Normally investment required in nurturing and grooming sport persons right from early age is very high which can not be afforded by many sport persons. Even if some of the talented person who can afford the expenditure, then there is a risk that if they do not become successful at national and international level what they will do in their professional life. This predicament creates a barrier for many talented people to make a career in games and sports.
There needs to be an institutional mechanism at district level to identify talented boys and girls below 12 years by organising games and sports at District level annually. Identified talented boys and girls can be trained at the cost of State at District level. These boys and girls after proper training should be made to participate at State level games and sports and those qualified at State level can be trained by similar state level coach. Similar procedure may be implemented for national level also. Government should make arrangements to provide post sports career opportunities for sports persons. There should be age relaxation and reservation quota in recruitment for sports persons that may vary from district level players to international players. Suppose if a International level player is given 15 years of age relaxation and quota in Group A services of government, the national level players may be given 12 years of age relaxation and quota in Group B service and so on. Those who could not be given job can be be given life long living allowances based on their performance at various level. Even corporate should also encourage in providing employment to sports person as their corporate social responsibility. This way talent will come out that will bring laurel at international level events.
India is having premier defence institutes like National Defence Academy (NDA), National Defence College (NDC),College o fDefence Management, and Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) since long to primarily cater the needs of capacity building of defence personnel. However, Considering the changing national and global security scenario and accordingly changing needs of nation against external and internal security threats in the wake of technology intensive security paradigm, trans-national cross border terrorism, and emerging role of defence diplomacy and soft-power in national security, India needs to upgrade its security capacity building infrastructure.
Accordingly, Government of India is planning to establish Indian National Defence University (INDU) through an act of Parliament to promote excellence in the areas of National Security Studies, Defence Technology, Defence Management. This will also promote policy oriented research on all aspects relating to national security, both internal and external. It would also encourage awareness of national security issues by reaching out to scholars and an audience beyond the official machinery. It will also serve as a think tank contributing to policy formulation and debates on security and strategy. INDU will inculcate and promote coordination and interaction not just between the three Armed Services, but also between other agencies of the Government, the Civil Bureaucracy, Para Military Forces, Central Armed Police Forces, Military Technology Developers and Producers, Intelligence Services, Diplomats, Academicians, Strategic Planners, University Students and officers from Friendly Foreign Countries. It would create synergy between the academic community and Govt functionaries. It would make available opportunities for higher studies through distance learning to interested military personnel. It will encourage strategic thinking on defence, and security issues and initiate debate on such issues both nationally and globally. In addition, it will instil a spirit of jointness amongst various elements of the national security system and develop better competence relating to national security issues. It would facilitate to develop network with other national, regional and international institutions or individuals of eminence engaged in the fields of education, research and industry; and would also encourage international and corporate fellowship programmes in the field of strategic studies.
Initially, it is envisaged to set up four new colleges / institutions, namely School of National Security Studies,School o fDefence Technology, School of Defence Management and Centre for Distance and Open Learning at its main campus Gurgaon. The four existing Defence Institutions namely National Defence College (NDC),New Delhi, College of Defence Management (CDM), Secunderabad, Defence Services Staff College (DSSC),Wellingtonand National Defence Academy (NDA), Khadakwasla, Pune are proposed to be brought under the ambit of INDU without diluting their powers or autonomy for award of degrees and diplomas.
Setting up this institute will definitely upgrade the capacity and capability of various organs of security systems of the nation involved in analysing the threat perception, developing and planning strategy to counter perceived threat, analysing identifying various technologies for acquisition to equip armed forces with arms equipment and plateform to engage adversaries in war including addressing the political, economic and psychological aspects of war suitably.
Access to seaport and sea route is essential for economic development as it provides economic and efficient means of transportation of goods and services in economically intertwined world. Many land locked countries such as Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan etc in South and Central Asia suffer in accessing market efficiently for exporting their commodities or other products due to lack of access to ports and sea route. Some of the countries of this region such as Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan have sea ports, but have limited or no access to major sea/ocean routes connecting to major countries across the globe. Many big cities across the world has developed nearby seaports connected to major seaports across the globe that provides opportunities for national, regional or global trade and commerce.
Chabahar seaport in Iran in Gulf of Oman being jointly developed by India and Iran is a landmark initiative that will not only benefit Afghanistan, India and Iran, but it will also benefit other countries in Central Asia. Though China and Pakistan can also benefit from this port, but they have made their own arrangement through Gwadar seaport. Chabahar Seaport has potential to connect to Russia and European countries through rail link. Afghanistan has abundant mineral resources like copper, coal, gold and natural gas etc; Kazakhstan has rich mineral resources like chromium, copper, lead and zinc, uranium and petroleum; Kyrgyzstan has vast resources of gold, coal, petroleum, mercury and zinc etc; Tajikistan has mercury, zinc, copper, gold, silver, oil and gas; Turkmenistan has petroleum and natural gas; and similarly Uzbekistan is rich in uranium, copper and gold. Extraction and export of these resources can boost the economy of these Central Asian countries and access to Chabahar seaport will facilitate these countries to access global market.Iranhas abundant petroleum, zinc and coal to export.India can export finished engineering goods, food grains, refined petroleum products, bauxite, iron ore and import petroleum and other minerals from this region. Increased Trade among countries in South Asia and Central Asia, and Russia will boost the economy of these two regions and will bring prosperity to this region. Chabahar seaport will also counter the monopoly of Gwadar seaport developed by China in Pakistan which could be used for other strategic purpose in lieu of extending transportation services to other countries in Central Asia.
India is a large and populous country of youths. About 54 percent of its population is below 25 years of age. On one hand young people of this country are facing the problem of suitable employment, on other hand enterprises are facing problem to get suitable workforce requiring certain skills of adequate level. Therefore, the major challenge beforeIndiahaving so many youth is to develop skills in them and gainfully employ them in economic activities so that rapid economic development ofIndiacould take place. Young population is big asset of a country as their hard labour contributes immensely towards growth of economy of the country. However, if the youths of the country are not properly skilled, they become unemployed or underemployed, and in turn become a liability to society and nation. Unemployed youths also become source of many social problems including crimes. Therefore, it is an imperative that more employment is created by developing skills in the youths. A skill in workforce makes labour more productive and goods and services produced become more competitive. This becomes even more important when global economy is intertwined and goods and services flow across the globe in a competitive business environment. Therefore, developing and honing skills becomes even more important in order to compete in global market as it improves efficiency of production of goods and services by reducing the cost and delivery time, and improving the quality of goods and services produced making it globally competitive.
In India, about 45 percent of children drop out of school between age group of 15 to 18 years of age. With the conventional kind of school education available inIndia, it is very difficult for these drops out children to get a suitable employment except as unskilled labour. Moreover, the present school education does not develop any skill with which these school drops out could start any enterprise on their own. Considering the reality of drop out students and need for equipping them with some vocational skills so that they could be gainfully employed in economic activities, the present education system needs to be tuned to meet the requirements of creating employment by developing skills.
The school education should be made compulsory and fully state funded up to eighth standard. From sixth to eighth standard, there should be one compulsory vocational subject for all the students such as painting, book binding, carpentry, plumbing, masonry etc. These courses should be same from sixth to eighth standard, so that a student can develop adequate skills in three years in the chosen vocational subject. Here more focus to be given on practical classes and less on theory classes. Moreover, vocational courses offered in a particular region must be aligned with the employment potential and opportunity in that region. For example, North Eastern States may start vocational course on furniture and other products made of bamboo, similarly course on sericulture and silk fabric weaving may be started in Southern Indian States besides other vocational courses. Similarly, at ninth and tenth standard similar vocational courses may be made compulsory. This may be the upgraded version of same vocational courses taught during sixth to eighth standard or may be some new vocational courses that requires some extra academic knowledge and maturity. This will reduce the burden of setting up new institutions for skill development such as ITIs (Industrial Training Institutes) and Polytechnics.
In such cases even if, a student drops out of school after eighth standard of education, he will have some skills to take employment or start a small business of his own. Industry will also get sufficiently skilled worker. Many people who do not join a vocational course like ITI (Industrial Training Institutes) due to stigma attached to it that it provides with category of job and in later years of life get frustrated due to unemployment and underemployment will also get trained in vocational course and develop their skill to get an employment.