Modi-Ghani talks to focus on security (GS-2) Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani will visit New Delhi this week to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss bilateral ties as well as the regional security situation, officials in Delhi and Kabul confirmed. Mr. Ghani will land in Delhi on Wednesday, and meet Mr. Modi over lunch. He will also address a "civic reception" organised by the think-tank, India Foundation, before flying out on Wednesday evening. In the run-up to Mr. Ghani's visit, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale travelled to Kabul to chair the meeting of the "Joint Working Group on Political and Security Cooperation between India and Afghanistan" last week. Mr. Ghani is expected to apprise Mr. Modi on the recent moves on reconciliation efforts with the Taliban.As part of the process, U.S. envoy Alice Wells is expected to hold a second round of talks with Taliban representatives in Doha two months after she last met them. India has backed Mr. Ghani on an "Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process"
Chinese intrusions declined by 10% this year, says official (GS-2) There has been a 10% decline in the number of Chinese transgressions this year, a senior government official told The Hindu. The official said the presence of Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) has also reduced by around 3096.The manpower has been substituted with powerful surveillance equipment, he said Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre informed the Rajya Sabha on February 5 that the number of transgressions was 426 in 2017. The official claimed that the transgressions dropped after the 73-day standoff between the Indian Army and the Chinese People's Liberation Army at Doklam on the China-Sikkim-Bhutan tri-junction near Nathu La last year. The transgressions continue to take place due to the difference in perception of the actual boundary. But after Doklam, the diplomatic manoeuvring and dialogue with the counterparts at the border ensured there was no steep increase," he said. According to him, there was enhanced cooperation along the China border and many incidents were not being reported.
On July 20 at 9.53 a.m., Chinese troops transgressed 18.5 km in North Ladakh's Depsang, the report said. The official claimed that there were only 10-12 locations along the China border which saw dispute. "Both sides send long patrols into the disputed areas, particularly in summer months to assert territorial claims. These patrols are undertaken at key disputed locations, mostly in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh," he said. Along the Ladakh border in Jammu and Kashmir, India sticks mostly to a boundary drawn by British civil servant W.H. Johnson in 1865, which showed Aksai Chin as part of Jammu and Kashmir. China disputes this claim and in the 1950s built a road connecting Xinjiang and Tibet which ran through Aksai Chin. In the northeast of India, New Delhi sticks to the McMahon Line, as agreed by British representatives and Tibet at Simla in 1914. China claims that Tibet is not a sovereign nation and the McMahon Line has no legal standing. It stakes claim to the entire Arunachal Pradesh as part of Tibet. The Middle Sector along Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand is almost settled, with both sides not differing much in perception.
Smart fencing will end infiltration: Rajnath Singh (GS-2) Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday inaugurated the first phase of hi-tech"smart fencing, of a l l km stretch on the International Border (IB) in Jammu The Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS) would provide for round-the-clock laser- guided surveillance of the borders, he said at the BSF Headquarters in Jammu's Ploura. Mr. Singh said border security was his top most priority. "The smart fencing project will initially be implemented to cover gaps in the physical fencing. Eventually, this technology will be implemented across the entire border" he said * The smart fencing is a web of surveillance, communication and data storage devices. It will enable surveillance during difficult weather conditions and reduce the need for physical patrolling of the borders. It will rely on thermal imaging, infra-red and laser-based intruder alarms to stop infiltration
A total of 2,026 km border was vulnerable."Digital fencing will make it virtually impossible for terrorists to infiltrate," he said. The Minister stressed the need to upgrade the border infrastructure."More than 600 km of roads have been built in border areas and hundreds of border outposts have been built already." he said. The Home Minister also reviewed the situation along the IB with the top brass of the BSF. Civic body polls Mr. Singh appealed to Political parties to participate in the upcoming civic bodies elections, even as the CPI(M) too joined the National Conference (NC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in boycotting the polls. Both the NC and the PDP have decided to boycott the urban local bodies and panchayat polls, accusing the Centre of mixing the issue of Article 35A, the State subject law that is being heard by the Supreme Court (SC), with the polls and fuelling apprehensions among the people.
CBI writes to Facebook, Cambridge Analytica (GS-2/3) The Central Bureau of Investigation has written to Facebook and the United Kingdom-based Cambridge Analytica and Global Science Research (GSR), seeking information in connection with the probe into alleged data theft of Facebook users in India. "We have contacted the three organisations to gather details that are necessary for verifying the allegations," said an official. About a month ago, on a reference from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the agency had instituted a preliminary enquiry to determine whether GSR and Cambridge Analytica had illegally harvested and misused the data of Indian Facebook users in violation of Indian laws "It is alleged that GSR got the data and supplied it to Cambridge Analytica," a CBI official had said. In April, admitting data pilferage by other agencies, Facebook had said that about 5.62 lakh Indians might have been potentially affected in the Cambridge Analytica scandal
NITI Aayog for clear policy on 'jhum' cultivation (GS-3) A recent NITI Aayog Publication on shifting cultivation which is particularly Practised in the northeastern States, has recommended that the Ministry of Agriculture should take up a"mission on shifting cultivation" to ensure inter-ministerial convergence "Central as well as State government departments of forests and environment, agriculture and allied departments often have divergent approaches towards shifting cultivation. This creates confusion among grass-roots level workers and jhum farmers," said the report titled, "Mission on shifting cultivation: towards a transformational approach".The document that calls for policy coherence, said land for shifting cultivation should be recognised as "agricultural land" where farmers practise agro-forestry for the production of food rather than as forestland. Falling area Locally referred to as jhum cultivation, this practice is considered as an important mainstay of food production for a considerable population in northeast India in States like Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya Tripura and Manipur.
The publication notes that between 2000 and 2010, the land under shifting cultivation dropped by 70 % The report quotes data of the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education published in Statistical Year Book-2014 by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, which points out that from 35,142 sq km in 2000, the area under jhum cultivation dropped to 10,306 sq km in 2010. "The Wastelands Atlas Map shows a reduction in shifting cultivation in north-eastern States from 16,435.18 sq km to 8,771.62 sq km in two years," the report says, calling for better data collection and veracity of these figures. One of the authors of the publication, R.M. Pant, director of the northeast centre of the National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj said the drop in shifting cultivation could be for variety of reasons. Food security "There is an increase of aspirations among the communities practising shifting cultivation While the practice ensures food security it does not provide adequate cash for the families and thus they are shifting to regular agriculture, particularly to horticulture. The MGNREGA has also had an impact on reducing dependency of people on shifting cultivation,." Mr. Pant told The Hindu
The publication also addresses the issue of food and nutritional security of communities involved in jhum cultivation during transition and transformation by broadening the public distribution system (PDS) to ensure widespread access to cereals and other basic food items. "This can be done by enlisting well-established and well-performing SHG cluster federations already established in several of the NE States," the reports states. Mr. Pant said one of the issues jhum cultivation was that people were returning to fallows, land left after shifting cultivation in a shorter span than was earlier practice. "Earlier the cultivators returned to fallows after 10-12 years, now they are returning in three to five years.This has impact on the quality of the soil" he said The publication also suggested that shifting cultivation fallows must be legally perceived and categorised as 'regenerating fallows' and that credit facilities be extended to those who practise shifting cultivation.
Graduate in Economics. Gold medal in Dissertation, Prepared various documents on Demonetisation and GST, Share-trading and many more