Urban drainage: Components

Significance

rainwater-harvestingUrban drainage is more about town planning and water management, rather than just a sanitation issue. It involves environmentally sound systems of collecting, reusing and disposing of all forms of unwanted water from the cities. No single formula works for all, but the best global models integrate systems of public health and water management with local hydrology, broadly the process in which an area’s water is depleted and replenished.

Components of Urban drainage

1. Wastewater Recycling

Using dual-membrane & ultraviolet technologies to produce purified water that exceeds WHO standards, Out of the 20 million gallons produced per day, 6% is used for drinking purposes.

2. River Redevelopment

Creating wastewater tunnel. Running under the river, it has an automatic distribution and pumping system that controls the discharge of waster-water, preventing pollution of the River Wien.

3. Biodrainage

Installing bioswale with intermittent check dams is to prevent silt & pollutant runoff from entering the River. As a result suspended soilds including garbage entering the river system are reduced by 50%.

4. Solid Waste Management

Micro planning to streamline SWM collection & disposal. Surat today one of India’s cleanest cities, it has 52 sanitary wards with separate SWM methods for households, industries and slums.

5. Rainwater Harvesting

Using RWH for fire-fighting and as drinking water. The rooftop harvesting collects most rainwater, draining it into a 1,000 m3 underground tank, which is then used for flushing and air conditioning.

Urban Drainage: Case of Chennai floods

What are the causes of impeded urban drainage? Discuss the reasons with emphasis on Chennai floods. Suggest a not on urban drainage management.

At all major metros the natural flow of rainwater was hindered by encroachments on flood plains, constructions on open grounds meant for absorption of excess rainwater, and clogging of drains. Over the years, the rain-holding capacity of the cities was reduced putting a strain on the age-old stormwater drainage system.

Illegal encroachment

A large part of land along Mumbai’s Mithi river, the lifeline for the city’s drainage system, has been encroached upon. Adyar in Chennai faces similar fate.

Post Mumbai floods, a National Institute of Disaster Management study found the city had the lowest ratio of open ground per head of population in any Indian metropolis. In Delhi, according to MCD estimates, builders have illegally covered about 60 per cent drains in residential colonies. As a result, stormwater drains are either filled up with mud or covered with concrete slabs. In most metros drains have simply disappeared from many colonies due to extension of roads.

Lack of coordination

Road engineering and stormwater drainage system should complement each other through coordination between engineering and sanitation departments. Unfortunately, such a coordination does not exist in any Indian city.

Poor maintenance of drains and inadequate desilting before monsoon means that city roads get waterlogged within a few minutes of rain. In Delhi the MCD has consistently failed to meet the deadline to desilt its over 1,200 stormwater drains. And with multiple departments involved in the cleaning process, it is easy to pass the buck. In most cities desilting is still done manually, which is not only slow but also ineffective.

Design defects

The success of any drainage system depends on the efficacy of its design. For the water to run off properly, storm water drains need to have the correct incline. In many cities residential colony drains were not even joined with the main stormwater drains. The gradient of the internal drains is faulty which results in water logging leading to vector-borne diseases.

Urban floods: Case of Chennai floods

Chennai floods were a creation of many cumulative factors that joined together under a fortuitous circumstances No one cause was more or less important

  1. Gradual encroachment of the channel of Adyar river by waste dumping, plastics, sediments and non biodegradable products
  2. Conversion of Coume river into a ballad by sewage dumping consequently converting it into a sewage channel.
  3. Redemption of Pallikamarnyi wetlands for urban and construction expansion destroyed the buffer and prevented infiltration and absorption of surface water, allowed heavy surface runoff.
  4. Illegal construction around the mouth of the rivers and on Pallikamarnyi Wetlands prevented smooth runoff and led to inundation.
  5. Construction has covered the city like mat and prevents infiltration inducing fast runoff that is the course of floods.
  6. The situation was compounded by
  • heavy and incessant rains for over a week with increased frequency and three times more than the normal rainfall
  • The High tide coincided with
  • the impeded drainage of the city flush water, and
  • opening of the gates of the reservoir used for drinking water storage

Three coincidences- high rainfall, impeded drainage, Blocked channels, high tide and opening of gates of the reserve all cumulatively became responsible for Chennai floods.

Preventing Urban Floods

  • Reclaim urban water bodies
  • Clear the natural drainage way.
  • Identify areas of High Flood Level, and do flood plain zoning
  • Put Contingency plan on anvil.

Suggestions for further action

  • Delinking of the sewer and stormwater drainage systems and a complete ban on riverside constructions.
  • Use of machines like high pressure jetting pumps can do complete desilting cost effectively and reduce the human drudgery.
  • The basic framework of drainage needs effective planning, use of appropriate technologies, accountable administration, and community participation and, above all, unequivocal political will. A good beginning could be made by reducing the generation of waste and introducing some basic recycling at the level of residential colonies followed by treatment of industrial waste before discharging it in water bodies.

The Task Ahead

  • Ensure a single authority for construction and maintenance of drains.
  • Construct separate drains for stormwater and sewage flow.
  • Remove illegal encroachments along drains and water bodies.
  • Use jetting pumps and vacuum machines to desilt urban drains.
  • Design drains with proper gradient and width for flow of water.
  • Treat industrial effluents before disposing them into rivers and seas.
  • Make rainwater harvesting mandatory in all the metros.
  • Construct porous pavements for parking lots, driveways and sidewalks.

Cloudburst

cloudburst

A cloudburst is an extreme amount of precipitation, sometimes with hail and thunder, which normally lasts no longer than a few minutes but is capable of creating flood conditions. Colloquially, the term cloudburst may be used to describe any sudden heavy, brief, and usually unforecastable rainfall. Rainfall rate equal to or greater than 100 mm (3.97 inches) per hour is a cloudburst. The associated convective cloud can extend up to a height of 15 km above the ground. During a cloudburst, more than 20 mm of rain may fall in a few minutes.

Cloudbursts have a very specific definition: if rainfall of about 10 cm or above per hour is recorded over a place that is roughly 10 km x 10 km in area, it is classified as a cloudburst event. And by this definition, 5 cm of rainfall in half an hour would also be classified as a cloudburst. That’s an anomaly for Indian conditions.

Where do cloudbursts can occur?

Cloudbursts do happen in plains as well, but there is a greater probability of them occurring in mountainous zones; it has to do with the terrain. Cloudbursts happen when saturated clouds are unable to produce rain because of the upward movement of very warm current of air. Raindrops, instead of dropping down, are carried upwards by the air current. New drops are formed and existing raindrops gain in size. After a point, the raindrops become too heavy for the cloud to hold on to, and they drop down together in a quick flash. It is not essential that cloudbursts occur only when a cloud clashes with a solid body like a mountain. One such cloud burst in the Himalayan region occurred when the monsoon winds were rising along the slope of the Himalayas and were sucked further by the ascending jet streams resulting in a very heavy downpour that caused devastating floods and landslides in June 2013. Cloudbursts can also occur when hot water vapour laden winds mix with the cold winds resulting in sudden condensation. Hilly terrains aid in heated air currents rising vertically upwards in two ways

  1. By allowing water laden winds to rise
  2. By allowing water laden winds to absorb more moisture from Terai
  3. And by allowing the jet stream to easily withdraw the convection aided orographic winds to be attenuated, thereby, increasing the probability of a cloudburst situation. Cloudbursts can happen in deserts due to enhanced convection.

Effect of Cloudbursts

1. Flash floods: Cloudbursts are also responsible for flash floods creation.

2. Accompanying effect of Cloudbursts on terrain

  • Sheetfloods
  • Landslides
  • Mudflows
  • Land caving
  • flash floods, houses and establishments getting swept away and cave-ins lead to the deaths.
  • Blocking path of rivers that may lead to temporary damming and creation of a reservoir and its consequent collapse

The rainfall itself does not result in the death of people, though sometimes, the raindrops are big enough to hurt people in a sustained downpour. It is the consequences of such heavy rain, especially in the hilly terrain, that causes death and destruction.

Frequency of cloudbursts

There is a paucity of past data on cloudbursts; in addition, since only some of them get counted – only those that result in death and destruction – there is a problem of accuracy as well. But what is very clear is that events of extreme precipitation have been on the rise in the last few decades; keeping temperature fluctuations in mind as a trend, that cloudburst events might be on the increase as well.

Forecasting

The difficulty arises out of the fact that they take place over a very small area.

What can be forecasted is the spell of heavy rainfall due to convergence of many meteorological conditions.

Forecasts for a very small area can be done through the use of Doppler radars. Through them, it is possible to forecast the possibility of cloudbursts about six hours in advance, sometimes even 12-14 hours in advance.

Essay pointers – The only meaning of success is leading your life the way you want

This post contains pointers on how to attempt the essay topic given on 13th Nov. A video containing this information is given at the bottom.

Meaning of being successful

  • Stories and Instances.
  • Success and contentment.
  • Success and satisfaction.
  • Success and Potential realization.
  • Success is the fulfillment of willingness.

There cannot be one yardstick for being successful

So – Raju Srivastava is successful, Kapil Sharma is successful, Hardik Patel is successful, Bill Gates is successful.

Thus if someone wants money, power, fame, respect, aura, popularity, relationship, girl, boy, profession. Everything comes under the ambit of success. Thus success is both subjective & objective. Perception & reality. Ability and adaptability. Overcoming weakness, depression. Identity.

Therefore success is person specific.

Culture specific.

Region specific.

Interpretations of being successful

  • A batsman scoring runs for himself or for the team to victory.
  • A teacher becoming popular or reforming students.
  • An actor playing on gimmicks, riding on hype or expressing the character.
  • A civil servant serving people or becoming master.

Glamourisation of interpretation is what is becoming more important.

Pitfalls of being successful in Public eyes

  • living through others eyes
  • Being always artificial.
  • Feeling the loss of originality.

What success is not about?

  1. Joining Civil Services to earn money that is unethical.
  2. Doing business in the guise of social welfare.
  3. Joining army and thinking of becoming popular.
  4. Building large palatial houses and mansions and claiming to be working for slum dwellers

Who lives his life the way they want and who doesn’t.

Poses Several Questions.

  1. Is being powerful successful.
  2. Is being rich successful.
  3. Is being famous successful.
  4. Is being don successful.
  5. Is being an academician successful.
  6. Is being simple success.
  7. Is being flamboyant successful.
  8. Is being extraordinary successful.
  9. Achievement with or without side effects.

Pitfalls of being pseudo successful.

Conclusion

The experience and feeling of successful is very individual.

  • Buddha
  • Amitabh bachchan
  • Tendulkar
  • Sri Modi

Getting Married for money without guilt

Experiment throughout and enjoying it.

Taking a journey to destination and enjoying journey more.

Success is absolute- no tags.

If one feels he/she is successful then it is.

He who laughs the last laughs the loudest.

Essay pointers and video – Fame is vapour, fortune an accident, riches have wings, only character endures

Given below are pointers and a video, discussing students answers and how to address the 20th Nov essay topic.

1. Meaning of character

  • Character is strength.
  • Character is humility.
  • Character is knowledge.
  • Character is wisdom.
  • Character is ability to bouncing back.
  • Character is sustainability.
  • Character is far sightedness.
  • Character is social capital.
  • Character is truthfulness.
  • Character is self esteem.

2. What character is not

  • Character is not arrogance.
  • Character is not ego.
  • Character is not pride.
  • Character is not cleverness its intelligence.
  • Character is not hobbesianism
  • Character is not

3. Meaning of fame

  • Meaning of popularity.
  • Meaning of respect.
  • Meaning of recognition.
  • Meaning of national exposure even for brief.
  • It can take the shape of something becoming viral on you tube.

Why fame is vapour?

Fame  can be obtained from varied sources. It can be 10 minutes on TV, one exposure on page 3. Being awarded. Next time, next day another character/identity will come up the public will forget.

How character can endure it

If a popularity threshold has been reached, character allows it to sustain because character does not make you arrogant, character helps take advantage of it, character makes you sustain it, because it helps you to learn from that, character helps you to draw conclusion out of it.

4. What is fortune?

A sudden spurt of wealth, money, acquisition of wealth either through accidental transfer or because of external circumstances, e.g. Compensation money, Lottery, favoured government policy

Why fortune, can be accident?

External circumstance can favour anyone, anytime, anywhere, coincidences can occur with anyone.

Examples – Coaching boy tops ‘toppers’, Emergence of a subject, Compensation for agricultural land, E commerce boom, Lottery

How character can endure it?

Inability to understand that fortune has been because of coincidences or external circumstances. Character will build on that fortune. A shop with an ability to survive will built on its credential despite an accident of fire. Character helps you undertand that, “everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish with an ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that its stupid”

Character will help one to understand that hard work/honest work  is the only way to success and that circumstances and coincidences will not last long

4. What is meant by Riches?

Accumulated wealth over long period, capital accumulation brand, bank deposit, vast business network., material wealth,

Why riches have wings?

As is said in Hindi Laxmi is chanchal because anyone can become Mallaya. Because anyone can become Sahara. Anyone can become HMV, Amitabh Bachchan.

Why character can endure it?

Character allows to sustain the bad phase, loss of goodwill, honesty allows brand recreation, honesty of effort will bring faith of people back, transparency of action will create social capital and humane nature will strengthen bonding.

5. Why only character endures?

Because truthfulness is a brand

Maintaining transparency is a habit.

Being truthful is a trait

Being humble is a  Character trait that endures because it is attractive. It attracts infects all those people to think that everything can be attained.

Example – Amitabh Bachchan, Rana Pratap

Because with these qualities anyone can bounce back. Time can test them, time can delay their effort not prevent it.

Essay pointers – Justice is not in Law, Justice is all about how we treat each other

Some pointers on addressing this topic for essay –

1. Meaning of Justice—Just/Right/Truth.

2. Classification of Justice – Legal Justice, Non Legal Justice

3. Justice is culture specific, value specific and region specific.

4. Meaning of Justice by law – To streamline desirable conduct, To evolve a uniformity, To treat everyone as same, To ensure governance and administration. Justice by law is legal, logical, Argumentative and can be manipulative

5. Limitations of Justice by law.

  • Externally imposed laws can never be substitute for internal values.
  • Governance has a formal accountable structure so flaw in governance.
  • Accountability flows from law, responsibility does not flow from law.
  • Justice without emotions has many limitations.
  • Legal justice just not foresee circumstances intentions.
  • Legislated laws may not ensure justice and rules can be broken.
  • To be more legally correct, the country requires number of laws and greater the number of laws more corrupt the country is
  • legal justice can be manipulated/subjected to various interpretations.
  • Despite strong laws justice has not been delivered.

6. Does justice reside in law? – It is Yes, and It is No as well

7. Justice is – respect for each other, conduct, character, truth, transparency, language, expression, behavior and actions, matter of feeling, feeling of equality, togetherness, respect.

8. No law can define, determine and set the following

  • Whether the elected representatives act as representatives or act as masters or as servants of society.
  • Whether the prime minister sees himself as a ruler or servants of the public.
  • Whether the doctor treats the people suffering as patient or as clients.
  • Whether the teachers treat students as students of reform or as customers.
  • Whether the students consider themselves as learners or as consumers.
  • Whether the son respects the father or treats him as a support till unemployment.
  • Whether the boy lusts for a girl and wants to use her or loves her.
  • Whether a pharmaceutical company treats people in a manner to evolve a research or as guinea pigs.
  • Whether the policies of the government are for welfare of the people or to win popularity and elections.
  • Whether a husband does sex with his wife or makes love to her.

In any case, if these things are flouted, camouflaged, hidden then the treatment has not been as per justice.

9. Conclusion

  • Human beings are only part logical they are more emotional, more sensitive, more illogical
  • Our treatment for each other necessities justice, move towards justice, ensures justice.
  • No one knows better than oneself whether the treatment that has been meted out confirm, to the standards of honesty, transparency, truthfulness, humanity.
  • If these yardsticks are met there is no way that one can be biased, one sided, feelingless, non transparent, unequal and disrespectful, and that will determine our treatment.
  • When the treatment has been so justice has been done.

Justice is indeed not in law, it’s in the way we treat each other.

Nuclear and Radiological Disasters

Introduction

The phenomenal growth in the applications of radioisotopes and radiation technology has helped in improving the quality of life of the human race. India is also one amongst the seven declared nuclear weapon states, which uses nuclear technology for strategic purposes.

Nuclear plants, in general, adopt a defense- in-depth approach and multiple physical barriers to ensure that radioactivity is contained at all times. However, a finite number of very low probability events are postulated to occur, releasing radioactivity into the environment. Consequently, emergency preparedness and response plans are in place to cope with nuclear or radiological emergency scenarios ranging from minor incidents like a small spillage of radioactive material to a major nuclear accident releasing large-scale radioactivity (like Chernobyl) in the public domain.

Nuclear or radiological emergency disaster scenario

Any radiation incident resulting in, or having a potential to result in, exposure to and/or contamination of the workers or the public, in excess of the respective permissible limits can be termed as a nuclear/ radiological emergency.

These emergencies, which are usually well within the coping capability of the plant/facility authority (along with neighboring administrative agencies, if required) can be broadly classified in the following manner:

  1. An accident-taking place in any nuclear facility of the nuclear fuel cycle.
  2. A ‘criticality’ accident in a nuclear fuel cycle facility where an uncontrolled nuclear chain reaction takes place.
  3. An accident during the transportation of radioactive material.
  4. The malevolent use of radioactive material as Radiological Dispersal Device (RDD) by terrorists..
  5. A large-scale nuclear disaster resulting from a nuclear weapon attack (as had happened at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan),

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) classifies the above emergency scenarios under two broad categories—nuclear and radiological:

  • A nuclear emergency refers to an emergency situation in which there is, or is presumed to be, a hazard due to the release of energy along with radiation from a nuclear chain reaction.
  • All other emergency situations, which have the potential hazard of radiation exposure due to decay of radioisotopes, are classified as radiological emergencies.

Institutional Mechanism

The Government of India has identified Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) as the nodal agency for providing the necessary technical inputs to the national or local authorities for responding to any nuclear or radiological emergency in the public domain.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is the nodal ministry in such emergencies. For this purpose, a Crisis Management Group (CMG) has been functioning since 1987 at DAE.

In the event of any nuclear/radiological emergency in the public domain, CMG is immediately activated and it coordinates with the local authority in the affected area and all the concerning authorities at the centre (NCMC/ NEC/NDMA) to ensure that the necessary technical inputs are available to respond to the nuclear/radiological emergency.

Emergency Preparedness

Based on the radiological conditions and their consequences, emergencies at nuclear facilities are categorised as emergency standby, personnel emergency, plant emergency, on-site emergency and off-site emergency.

For the first three types of emergencies, in the order of severity, which are foreseen as possible, though with very low probability, detailed plant-specific emergency response plans are already in place. In all these situations, the consequences of the accident are expected to be limited to the plant only.

On-site emergency, where the consequences of an accident are not likely to cross the site boundary, a detailed response plan does exist. This emergency does not lead to any radiation release in the public domain.

The last type of emergency scenario (having the highest level of severity in the category of nuclear emergency in the nuclear facilities), even though with a very low possibility of radioactive releases in the public domain, is off-site emergency for which detailed response plans are put in place by the district magistrate/ collector of the area in coordination with the plant authorities.

Each nuclear power station of the present generation has

  • An Exclusion Zone surrounding the power station in which no habitation is permitted and this area is under the administrative control of the plant authority. An area of larger radius outside the Exclusion Zone is declared as.
  • The Sterilised Zone where growth and development is restricted.
  • The Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ) which extends further beyond the Sterilised Zone.

The AERB has also laid down guidelines for the safe use of sources and safe operation of facilities which are to be adopted and followed by all the facilities using radioisotopes/radiation sources. These include safe design of the equipment used, its operation within the permissible range of parameters and availability of a suitably qualified Radiological Safety Officer (RSO) who is responsible for ensuring safe practices.

Emergency Plans to Respond to Transportation Accident

The AERB has laid down guidelines to be adopted for the transport of radioactive materials and emergency response plans for accidents during their transportation.

The consignor of the material is responsible for ensuring that the prescribed safety procedures are followed.

The SOPs also indicate what will be done in the event of any radiation emergency—the precautions to be taken, the agencies to be notified, etc.

Medical Preparedness for Nuclear Emergencies

In each constituent unit of DAE, a few doctors have been dedicated and given the necessary training in the medical management of radiation emergencies.

All nuclear power plants and the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) are equipped with radiation monitoring instruments, have personnel decontamination centres and the necessary stock of antidote medicines and specific de-corporation agents for typical radioisotopes.

Public Awareness

To educate the people about the beneficial aspects of nuclear radiation and to remove their misgivings about it, the authorities of nuclear fuel cycle facilities in general, and that of nuclear power stations in particular, are actively involved in carrying out regular public awareness programmes for people living in the vicinity of these facilities.

Mitigation and Preparation

Goals

  • To reduce radiation-induced health effects by preventing.
  • To limit, to the extent practicable, the occurrence of stochastic effects in the population.

Domain of Action

The response actions within the site boundary of the nuclear facility are the responsibility of the management of the nuclear facility whereas the implementation of the emergency response plans in the public domain (beyond the site boundary) is the responsibility of the concerned district authority.

In the event of an off-site emergency having the potential for trans-boundary effects, necessary action is taken by DAE in accordance with the country’s international obligations.

Capacity building for nuclear and radiological emergencies

Handling Plant Emergency

Nuclear facilities in the country are equipped for the detection, classification, notification and mitigation of any emergency situation. They are capable of the following:

  1. Emergency operating procedures for the assessment of an emergency condition and its mitigation.
  2. Pre-identification of any facility-specific, abnormality.
  3. Facility-specific approved nuclear emergency response plans specifying the jobs.
  4. Alerting the plant personnel by sounding the emergency siren and making an emergency announcement.
  5. Adequate means for communicating a notification to the emergency response organisations.
  6. Identified assembly locations for plant personnel and casual visitors.
  7. Formation of rescue teams and activation of a treatment area and decontamination centre.
  8. Radiation survey around the plant and outside the plant and site boundaries.
  9. Assessment of wind speed, wind direction and the affected sector around the nuclear facility.
  10. Whenever required, the nuclear facility is able to mobilise the services of the ambulance and paramedical staff at its site.
  11. Equipment and materials for handling a nuclear emergency are kept at a designated place of the nuclear facility and ERC.

Handling On-site Emergency

In addition to all the provisions applicable in a plant emergency, the following additional provisions are ensured:

  1. Extensive radiological survey for an assessment of the radiological conditions within the site boundary.
  2. Suitable prophylaxis to be made available at all assembly areas.
  3. Identification of temporary shelters within the facility/site for shifting plant personnel.
  4. Provision of a fleet of vehicles for evacuation of plant personnel.
  5. Provision of fixed and portable contamination monitors to check contaminated personnel/vehicles leaving the site.
  6. The concerned district authorities are alerted to be on standby for emergency operations in the public domain.
  7. Radiological monitoring of the environment in the EPZ (16 km radius around the plant).

Handling Off-site Emergency

In addition to all the provisions applicable in plant emergency and on-site emergency, the following additional provisions are to be ensured for handling a nuclear emergency in the public domain:

  1. Pre-identification of plant conditions.
  2. An assessment of the radiological status at the site boundary and in the public domain.

Specialised Response Teams

Four battalions of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are being specially trained by NDMA with assistance from DAE/DRDO (for detecting and monitoring radiation, for their own protection during response actions, decontamination and triage operation, etc.) to provide specialised response during a nuclear/radiological emergency/disaster.

Role of Civil Defense

Selected civil defence personnel will be trained extensively in the subjects of radiation, radioactivity, radiation protection, use of monitoring instruments, use of protective gear, shielding, decontamination, waste disposal, etc.

Role of Armed Forces

The armed forces will also gear up their nuclear disaster preparedness so that they can be inducted in the event of nuclear disasters.

Periodic Exercises and Mock Drills

It focuses on roles and responsibilities, resource identification, use of equipment, understanding the effects of radiation on human beings, animals and the environment.

The evaluation of an exercise will identify areas of emergency plans and preparedness that may need to be improved or enhanced. It will be the responsibility of the nuclear facility and the district authority to review the evaluation report and ensure implementation of the corrective measures recommended by the evaluators.

Strengthening Infrastructure

Emergency Response Centres (ERCs)

ERCs will be set up at all levels (i.e., state capitals and major cities) with the necessary manpower, instruments and equipment. Depending upon the location and assigned functions, these ERCs will also be maintained in a ready state to quickly respond to any nuclear/ radiological emergency.

Radiation Detection, Monitoring Instruments and Protective Gear

In case of any nuclear/radiological emergency, the first need is the availability of instruments for detecting and monitoring the radiation. An inventory of radiation monitoring instruments and protective gear will be built up by all the SDMAs and DDMAs in consultation with DAE.

Real Time Monitoring Systems

A network of simple environmental monitors, the IERMON has been established by BARC. These monitors work on a 24 x 7 basis

Communication

The specific requirements of a nuclear emergency communication system include:

  1. Civil defence communication (siren/signals) to communicate stay-in and evacuation warnings in the event of an off-site emergency or a large-scale nuclear disaster.
  2. Reliable and diverse communication systems will be ensured for communication among national, state and district headquarters through Emergency Operations Centres (EOCs) as envisaged in the NDCN of NDMA.
  3. All possible communication channels will be explored, including ham radio operators, as per the vulnerability profile of the state/district.
  4. SOPs will be laid down for effective communication during a nuclear emergency/disaster.
  5. Mock drills will be periodically carried out to test the communication links.
  6. A nodal officer (District Information Officer) will be identified for briefing the media.

Transport Network

Identifying and ensuring the availability of access routes and transportation vehicles for evacuation of the affected population are to be ensured as part of the preparedness programme in an all- hazards approach, in consultation with all thestakeholders including DAE.

Shelters

Some places like schools, colleges, community centres, marriage halls, religious places, etc., can be easily converted into shelters in the event of a radiological/nuclear emergency without too much investment.

Geophysical Events: Thunderstorm and Lightning

lightning Florida Keys

Thunderstorms and Lightning

All thunderstorms and lightning are dangerous. Every thunderstorm produces lightning, which could kill people. Cattle are also vulnerable to lightning.

It is the lightning that produces thunder in a thunderstorm. Lightning is unpredictable, which increases the risk to individuals and property.

Persons struck by lightning often report a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms, such as, including memory loss, attention deficits, sleep disorders, numbness, dizziness, stiffness in joints, irritability, fatigue, weakness, muscle spasms, depression, and an inability to sit for long.

Lightning often strikes outside of heavy rain area, and may occur as far as 15 kms. away from any rainfall. “Heat lightning” is actually lightning from a thunderstorm too far away for thunder to be heard, but the storm may be moving in close.

Strong thunderstorms produce hail. Large hails can break window glasses and can injure people and animals. Livestock are particularly vulnerable to hail.

What to do before a Thunderstorm and Lightning

  • In the event of a thunderstorm, outside visit should be restricted. The sound of thunder is indicative of the storm being near, in such a situation, one should seek shelter as quick as possible.
  • The “crouch down” position should be practiced for safety.
  • As the lightening usually strikes the highest point in the area, proximity to tall structures such as trees, towers, fences, telephone lines or powerlines should be avoided.
  • Metal structures such as poles, rods etc. should be maintained distance with, as they attract lightening.
  • When lightning strikes nearby, the electrical charge can travel through the water, therefore one must stay away from water bodies such as lakes, ponds, rivers, canals etc.

Precaution and Mitigation

  • Lightning can damage electric appliances, such as television, fridge, air conditioner, telephone etc. They must therefore be switched off in the event of a thunderstorm.
  • Trees and shrubs should be trimmed and put around the house.
  • Installation of lightning conducting rods, will carry the electrical charge of lightning bolts, safely to the ground.

What to do during a severe thunderstorm and lightning?

  • Natural lightning rods such as tractors, bicycles metals etc. should be avoided. Lightning is attracted to metal, poles and rods.
  • Shutting down the windows & doors will help in protecting the house from damaging winds or flying debris.
  • Electrical equipment and telephones should be avoided. Lightning could follow the wire. Television set is particularly dangerous during this time.
  • Bathtubs, water faucets, and sinks, should be avoided because metal pipes can transmit electricity.

What to do during lightning?

  • Lightning current often enters a victim through the ground rather than by a direct overhead strikes. A crouching position and minimum surface contact will be essential for one to avoid being prey to lightening.

What to do during a thunderstorm and lightning warning?

  • Windows should be covered.
  • Electrical Appliances should be unplugged.
  • Usage of telephone or any electrical appliance should be avoided.
  • Leaving electric lights on, does not increase the chances of a home being struck by lightning.
  • Taking a bath or shower, should be avoided.

What to do if someone is struck by lightning?

  • An emergency call should be made to 100/101 and 102 for Police/fire and medical service.
  • Wounds if any, should be covered with a sterilised cloth to stop bleeding. Rescue breathing should be initiated if the victim is not breathing. Further a trained person should give artificial respiration, if the victim has lost heart beat.
  • If a person is hit by electrical shock, the place on his body where the electricity left should be checked for burn wounds and treated accordingly, if found. Being struck by lightning can also cause nervous system damage, broken bones, and loss of hearing or eyesight. People struck by lightning carry no electrical charge that can shock other people, and they can be handled safely.
  • The victim should be rushed to the hospital for medical assistance without loss of time.
  • The entire relief and compensation amount due to the affected persons and victims should be extended to them.

District Administration should create awareness and educate people through schools / colleges / NCC and other organisation etc. about Do’s and Don’ts.

Air Quality Standards

Question: What are the issues concerning Air Quality Standards? And why are Indian Air Quality standards not considered safe?

1.Air quality is not being monitored in real time

Central Pollution Control Board gets real-time air quality data from only two or three monitoring stations in most cities. This gives a skewed picture of air quality status and compromises policy-making. Most cities depend on manual monitoring stations, which use obsolete technology, and data is released just twice a week.

2.The sources of air pollution are not very well known

A study by IIT Kanpur for Delhi revealed that the contribution of each source of pollution-vehicles, waste burning, construction dust-changes with the seasons, but most cities don’t have this information. Bengaluru’s emissions inventory was conducted in 2010 and Chennai’s by IIT Madras in 2011, while Kanpur, Mumbai and Pune released their reports in 2010. 2008 was when data on pollution sources was last collected in cities

3.Governments fail to enforce

But no city administration seems worried about getting off that list. Delhi, for instance, is still short of 5,000 buses; it hasn’t implemented SC directions on prohibiting waste burning or ensuring construction projects don’t pollute. Data for most cities makes it obvious that air pollution is not high on any government’s priority list. 94 cities don’t meet national air quality standards.

4.Health risks are Ignored

While air pollution is hurting the country’s exchequer, it’s also associated with certain cancers, lower birth weight of babies, premature birth, strokes a respiratory disease. Across the country, air pollution is linked to 6.7 lakh premature deaths

5.People’s participation not forthright

The Deonar landfill fire drew attention to Mumbai’s waste problem, while Delhi’s three landfills are constantly on fire exposing lakhs to carcinogenic emissions. This is a common problem in all cities. If people segregated garbage at home, there would be no burning of waste. People can also choose public transport, or pick electric and CNG vehicles

 

What are the problems with India’s numbers on air quality?

Although the government mandates companies to adhere to specifications defined by the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA), but there are many problems.

Flaws in Monitoring

High volume samples

MEASURE: Particulate matter like PM 2.5 and PM 10

FLAWS: Competition among instrument makers and component suppliers is resulting un undercutting. Given lack of quality control, it is doubtful if these machines measure what they claim to

Wet Chemistry

MEASURE: Gases like So2, etc

FLAWS: Competition resulting in undercutting. some bids below cost of experiment itself

Continuous Monitoring

MEASURE: All pollutants

FLAWS: State pollution control boards and companies tweak calibration to ensure air quality numbers stay within permissible limits

Smart cities have a viability gap

The Prime Minister’s plan for 100 smart cities could be derailed by its proposed funding formula. Can cash-strapped states and municipal bodies raise the desired amount of the project cost what the Union government wants them to?

There may not be a universally accepted definition of a smart city but the Prime Minister’s aspiration is: a city which is two steps ahead of the citizens’ requirements. Given how our existing cities come up short on fulfilling even basic needs, the critics of the mission have been quick to dub this dream of 100 smart cites as just another catchy slogan and one of a piece with other government programmes such as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign.

A careful examination of its proposed funding mechanism, however, suggests that the project could be just that, at least for now. The Smart Cities Mission will be operated as a centrally sponsored scheme; the Centre proposes Rs 48,000 crore for 100 cities over the next five years-or around Rs 100 crore per city per year. With states also required to contribute an equal amount, nearly Rs 1 lakh crore will be available for smart cities. These funds will meet only a part of the project cost: the mission’s future depends on how actively the states and civic bodies own up responsibility as they have to generate at least two times the funds allotted by the Centre.

The biggest challenge comes not from the states but the revenue generating abilities of civic bodies. The mission envisages an overall funding formula of 40:40:20 between the Centre, states and local municipal bodies. However, several civic bodies plead empty coffers that would leave a huge last mile funding deficit for smart cities. “The scenario is worse than the JNNURM (Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission) which had asked local bodies to fund just 10 per cent of a particular project. When they could not fulfil the 10 per cent requirement.

According to the 13th Finance Commission, municipal revenue constituted 0.94 per cent of the GDP in 2007-08. This is well below that of other emerging economies such as Brazil and South Africa, where the corresponding figures are 5 per cent and 6 per cent respectively. Consider this: financing infrastructure and public service delivery in Indian cities and towns is estimated to cost upwards of Rs 40 lakh crore during the two decades (from 2011 to 2031). This amount excludes the cost of land acquisition for development, inflation at any time and cost overruns of projects. In contrast, total revenue of urban local bodies may not exceed Rs 100,000-Rs 150,000 crore per annum. Of this, only a modest percentage would be available for financing infrastructure, after accounting for establishment and administrative expenses.

However, the deficit can be bridged, municipalities have the potential of raising revenues by 110 per cent without any fundamental change in property valuation or the tax rate structure. The challenge before the government is to make IT really happen.

The issue on which rides the future of the Smart Cities Mission-something the Centre is aware of even if Modi dismisses the charge that the project is a fanciful idea-is how strongly the civic bodies work to sustain the mission. The mission statement, therefore, clearly states that the “success of this endeavour will depend upon the robustness of SPV’s revenue model”. It is this uncertainty, if the project were to fail. The questions is Will the states and civic bodies rise up to the challenge?

Even if the centre, states and urban local bodies generate this trageted amount, it’s peanuts compared to the current budgets of the cities

Should India aim for soft power or hard power?

Question: India’s choice should be more on becoming a soft power rather than a hard power. Analyse this statement in the light of relative advantages India enjoys in cultural, spiritual and knowledge spheres and suggest ways of leveraging that advantage.

Answer direction
What is a hard power?
A country that exercises its power, influence, and voercion through the use of military might and economy and clout as a muscle to manipulate itself towards the people can be called as hard power.

What is a soft power?
Soft power is a concept developed by Joseph Nye of Harvard University to describe the ability to attract and co-opt rather than by coercion (hard power), using force or giving money as a means of persuasion. Soft power is the ability to shape the preferences of others through appeal and attraction. A defining feature of soft power is that it is noncoercive; the currency of soft power is culture, political values, and foreign policies. Recently, the term has also been used in changing and influencing social and public opinion through relatively less transparent channels and lobbying through powerful political and non-political organizations.

India becoming a hard power through use of military might, coercion and manipulating public opinion has some inherent limitations

  1. Very high Expenditure
  2. Diplomatic manipulations are understood
  3. Being in centre of conflict generator weans people away and then requires resolution
  4. Soviet experience to be a hard power not very productive
  5. Forced application of country’s influence doesn’t change people and mindset
  6. It  is very difficult to catch up with the developed west in the hard power arena.
  7. Can actually drive people away

Relative advantage of India as soft power
In today’s world, it’s not the size of army that wins; it’s the country that tells a better story. Hard power can actually drive people away, but soft power almost always brings them closer.. The perception of India being a soft state stems from the past continues through the present era and holds immense promise for the future. There are certain inherent limitations, which restrain the chances of India from being a hard power, and it is in the advantage of India to accept the same. With nearly 1/6th population of the world being Indian, the presence of Indian Diaspora all over the world and with a massive working age population, India stands at the brink of being an impending soft power, provided all the stated advantages are leveraged judiciously. The components that make India’s chances of leveraging its soft power include.

The potential offered by Indian culture, ranges from from Mumbai’s film industry to performing arts, from Ayurveda to yoga, from cuisine to cricket, from festivals to lifestyles, from fabric and garments to painting and sculpture, from knowledge to spirituality, and from entrepreneurship skills to software all of which can be leveraged for India’s advantage at the global stage.

How to leverage such an advantage
(a)   Identify key Indian items for cultural export such as yoga now an international craze ,cinema and Ayurveda.

(b)   Open Indian cultural centres in every major capitals like the French capital

(c)    Offer subsidized courses in foreign capitals to teach appreciation of Indian culture

(d)   Use globalization as tool to incorporate and showcase the diversity through organized channels of technology and satellite communications

(e)   Use knowledge, analytical skills based on observational and intuitive learning that is completely Indian in nature to infuse learning, create teachers of world arena with enhanced mentoring skills among the new generation Indian students and diffuse them through the whole world to spread the message that they have inculcated.

Conclusion
It is widely being acknowledged in the world that Indian ethos; values have to be preserved for the overall benefit of mankind. As Dr Arnold Toynbee, British Historian wrote, “It is already becoming clear that a chapter which had a Western beginning will have to have an Indian ending if it is not to end in the self-destruction of the human race. At this supremely dangerous moment in history, the only way of salvation for mankind is the Indian way.”

Here is a video discussing the issue.

Collapse of the Soviet Union

The Collapse of Soviet Union coincided with the collapse of Communism as a concept. What factors were responsible for the collapse of communism in Soviet Union and why it still does not survive in many places in the world?

Soviet Union was a forced federation. While evolving as a political entity, the Russian army assimilated the frontiers as they marched. Ahead.

Later on in the aftermath of their awareness of hinterland location, and being on side of the winning alliance in 2nd World War, they gained prominence. The Soviets maintained their prominence by forced alliances, friendly alliances, strategic alliances (WARSAW pact) and ideological alliance till 1979 when they entered Afghanistan in the guise of maintaining that country.

Although some geographical advantages of theirs turned into a disadvantages for the Soviet Union there were host of factors by 1990 that led to decline of Soviet Union as a political entity as well as an Ideological and economic entity.

Soviet-style communism failed in the early 1990s after 70 years of struggle. The factors that led to its downfall were an inability to meet consumer demand, lack of proper motivation and labor incentives in the economic system, central-planning problems and mismanagement, inadequate agriculture, and
too much military investment.

1. Inability to meet consumer demand

The basic reason for not meeting consumer demand was poor quality and shortages of Soviet manufactured goods.

After World War II, rapid Soviet growth was possible with more labour, more capital and more land.
However, by the 1980s, these resources were being maximized, so no growth occurred, and in the 1990s
growth was negative.

The military machine and capital goods were all-important, so attempts were made to increase the production of these goods. However, this emphasis had several costly consequences.

  1. First, the percentage of output devoted to consumer products decreased. Store shelves became empty, and the standard of living dwindled.
  2. Second, the World Bank estimated that the manufacturing sectors of the economy were so heavily subsidized and overemphasized by the central economic planning groups that the Soviet Union lagged 12 to 15 years behind the United States and Germany in technological expertise and machinery. Refrigerators, televisions, radios, and automobiles were all extremely poor quality-primitive by German, Japanese, and U.S. standards.

Both these factors had an adverse effect on the citizens. Incentive problems already existed. The labor productivity of the average Soviet worker was only 35% that of his or her American counterpart.

Added to the incentive problems was the inability of the system to supply the goods and services that the
consumers wanted. Consumer expectations always outstripped supply.

Morale was lowered even more when the Soviet citizens quickly discovered-through satellite communications and television broadcasts from Western Europe and Radio-Free Europe-the gross difference in standard of living.

Understandably, the result of all these problems was extreme frustration and deteriorating confidence in the system. This unrest finally led to rebellion and the collapse of Soviet communism in 1991.

2. Lack of incentives and motivation

The Soviet system lacked incentives-the key ingredient of the capitalist system-for workers, for managers, and for competition. In a capitalist system, more work effort, greater creativity, and an improved product mean higher wages and promotions for workers. However, in the Soviet Union, work effort was not necessarily rewarded with higher wages or promotions. For the few workers who did receive promotions, even though their wages were higher, increased purchasing power never materialized because of what is known in economics as the ruble overhang: the accumulation of rubles by a society with no real wealth or purchasing power attached to them. If extra rubles are paid but no consumer goods are available for purchase, the ruble is worthless.

Another problem was that the output and mix of products and prices were determined by Soviet central
planners. In a capitalist system, if a product is in short supply, its price increases. The incentive is to produce more items to make more profit. When production increases, prices are forced back down because of the larger supply. These self-correcting mechanisms were absent in the Soviet system. Without such price changes, Soviet planners had no way to gauge whether their decisions were correct or incorrect. Thus, many products that were in high demand were in short supply and remained so. Other items remained stored in warehouses because of an overabundance and lack of demand. Because the planners determined the output, there were no incentives for managers to increase their supplies.

3. Mismanagement and central planning problems

The Soviet planning system that worked in the 1930s and 1940s, wherein production goals, quotas, prices, and supplies were set individually and separately from one another, could not work in the 1980s and 1990s because of the increased complexity of the international market. In the later years, there were far more industries for which to plan, and many more components and supplies for each item produced. The planners had to ensure that all resource demands were met and that final production targets were achieved. There were severe bottlenecks or chain reactions that were to be passed on to the consumer and to the state, which consumed a large portion of its own products. This resulted in severe resource immobilization.

Coordination is accomplished according to consumer wants, resource availability, and business efficiency and practices. However, duplicating this coordination with state-operated economic planning units run by individuals making arbitrary decisions on allocations, prices, and resources was very difficult.

4. Agricultural failure

Soviet agricultural programs were essentially disappointing. One-fourth the Soviet Union’s annual GNP and 30% of its labor force were engaged in agriculture, yet it became the world’s largest importer of food.

The efficiency of Soviet agricultural worker was very low. There is no question that the Soviet Union possessed a relatively small amount of good agricultural land, but it had enough land to be more productive.

5. Military waste

Throughout history, Russia and the Soviet Union have been repeatedly invaded from the outside. Most recently were invasions by Napoleon in 1805 and Hitler’s army in 1942. Prior to this, a series of other dictators and warring tribes had disrupted the region. Consequently, the Soviet Union became paranoid of its neighbors, especially its most powerful neighbors. In the later stages of the Cold War, fear was focused on the United States. This fear led to the arms escalation of the 1970s and 1980s, with thousands of nuclear warheads stockpiled on each side. The Soviet military expenditure accounted for 15% to 20% of the GNP. Consequently, much money that could have been used for investment, development, and growth was funneled into the military. At the same time, the most talented people were also channeled into the military as administrators and planners, including research scientists and engineers who created plans and devices for defense and attack military systems. This talent could have been best used in other sectors of the economy.

Conclusion

Communism has thrived as a theoretical government ideology in some places in the world but these countries are running on the basis of capitalism and market economies.

Communism has been considered too theoretical too idealistic and too rigid perhaps disregarding human psyche, and unable to understand goals aspirations of the individuals and the milieu under which the human beings forge their identity. So whether it is Venezuela, or Eastern Europe and pockets of Africa, the concept of communism thrives under a narrow limit of goals and niche solutions for want of other alternatives.

World History – European Dominance

What factors accounted for the rather sudden rise of Europe to world dominance? How was this small region was able to transform immensely larger portions of the world and to maintain its commanding position for so long?

The rather sudden rise of Europe to world dominance was able to transform immensely larger portions of the world and even then maintained its commanding position for quite a long long

There have been many interpretations with different factors being responsible

Parts of Europe had already developed capitalist institutions by the end of the Middle Ages, and the colonial age saw a further rapid development of capitalism in the region. Profit became a highly acceptable motive, and the relative freedom of action afforded by the capitalistic system provided opportunities for gaining wealth by taking risks. Energetic entrepreneurs found it possible to mobilize capital into large companies and to exploit both European and overseas labour. Such ventures often involved unscrupulous, illegal, or even barbaric practices, and these led to increasing regulation by governments as time went on. But the sheer energy and ingenuity exhibited by Europeans in pursuit of profits under the system of capitalism is a major explanation for the world dominance that Europe achieved.

By the end of the Middle Ages, the Europeans had reached a level of technology generally superior to that of non-Europeans with whom they came in contact during the early Age of Discovery. In particular, their achievements in shipbuilding, navigation, and the manufacture and handling of artillery gave them decided advantages in seeking out new lands to exploit and establishing themselves there. With the passage of time, European technology contin­ued to develop at an increasing pace, and the technological gap between Europe and most other areas widened.

Europe’s scientific prowess must was one explanation for the region’s rise to world dominance. Technology is partly ap­plied science, and the foundations of modern science were being constructed almost entirely in Europe during the centuries when Euro­pean influence was becoming paramount. Un­til recently, the great names of science have been overwhelmingly the names of Europe­ans; as late as World War II, the development’ of atomic fission in the United States was car­ried out by a team comprised largely of prom­inent refugee European scientists.

The aggressive confidence of Europeans in the superiority of their own lifestyle, culture and civilization is another explanation that has been offered for Euro­pean success. Abundant proof exists that such feelings were very prevalent and were often coupled with a strong sense of a mission to bring European culture to peoples and lands beyond the seas. Europeans often displayed great zeal in propagating their own ideas and institutions among alien peoples.

Forest Fires

Source: India Today

Forest fires are an annual occurrence in Uttarakhand, and Himachal Pradesh. Over 4,500 hectares have been affected in Himachal Pradesh, some 40% more than the 3,185 hectares in Uttarakhand. The latter state has seen 1,470 incidents of fire so far — 803 (affecting 1,413.58 ha) of which were in the Garhwal region, 463 (1,076.21 ha) in Kumaon, and 204 (695.65 ha) in wildlife zones.

Nature of fire

It is very difficult to actually know how the fire started. But at least with the circumstantial evidences it is clear that there was lack of preventive measures and the preparedness was low with a weak action plan.

Wildfires in the Himalayan Region. Source: India Today

 

Forest fires as Natural Event

As a natural event Forest fire in Uttarakhand is a common phenomenon during the summer season. It is so mainly due to the presence of Chir pine trees. These trees heavily shed the highly inflammable dry Chir pine needles which acts like a fuel for combustion.

As a natural event wildfires are sometimes a natural process, and help forests by promoting flowering, branching and seedling establishment. fires that are limited to the surface may help in the natural regeneration of forests. The heating of the soil may result in helpful microbial activity, and hasten decaying processes that are useful for the vegetation.

Forest fires are a natural phenomenon and are bound to happen periodically. Some of the contributing factors are, built up of highly inflammable Chir Pine dead leaves, poor hydrological health, increasing impact of temperature increases, increasing pressure on the forests due to increasing human activity in the vicinity and repeated drought conditions.

Causes of Forest Fires, Manmade Event

Wildfires are an annual occurrence in Uttarakhand, though they have been bigger and more widespread in 2016. The fire season usually begins from mid-February and lasts until mid-June, when the rains arrive. In 2016, the fires started early — the first incident was reported on February 2. In Himachal, the first fire was reported on April 7. Their frequency and intensity increased after April 25, the day the state saw 80 incidents of fire.

Causes of forest fires

More than 95% of wildfires in India were man-made,

  1. People instigate forest fires by burning dry chir leaves.
  2. Villagers burn leaves and grass in order to get better growth of grass the following year.
  3. Forest dwellers burn the needles of the chir pine, which form a slippery carpet on the ground.
  4. In the Terai region, honey collectors start fires to drive away bees.
  5. Utter failure of human institutions at several levels, such as, built up a highly inflammable Chir-pine dead leaves in a forest prone area and diversion of water for unsustainable tourism activities despite the foreseeable danger of forest fire.
  6. The diversion of spring water for human uses gradually decreased the moisture content of the forest floor which in turn makes it more susceptible to catch fire. This unsustainable nature of increasing tourism in the state adds to the adversity.
  7. The residents of Uttarakhand villages migrate on a mass scale in search of better economic opportunities. These villages that would previously check the buildup of highly inflammable Chir pine were absent to perform necessary preventive and remedial functions.

Impact

The fire which was bound to occur in the Chir pine forests also spread the to the undisturbed and remote oak forests which shelters several species of birds and animals, is essential for their survival and breeding and such unpredictable wildfire can even lead to local extinction of species.

Moreover oak forests are very important for the local villages, as their dead leaves are used as compost for terrace farming; it also provides fodder for milk producing cattle which is an important source of animal protein. Its loss could be devastating for the local village economy. This is strongly indicative of failure of human institutions at different levels.

The real losses however, are ecological and social — those of biodiversity, timber, soil moisture and nutrients, etc., besides the environmental impact of heavy smoke rising from the fires.

Management

  1. Replacement of Chir pine trees with others suitable trees to be carried out scientifically.
  2. Selective felling of Chir pine and gradual replacement.
  3. Villagers those are not willing to stay back could be provided with appropriate incentives such as development of lucrative forest based industries.
  4. Effective mass utilization of pine needles with the help of technological and industrial support could create employment opportunities for villagers and simultaneously solve the problem.
  5. Use the traditional method of “beating the fire down” with green branches..
  6. Use of Mi-17s flying sorties to dump water picked from the Bhimtal lake and the Srinagar, Garhwal, reservoir over the affected areas of Kumaon and Garhwal.
  7. Banning people from carrying matchboxes to forests.
  8. Awareness campaigns.
  9. More modern systems of fire monitoring alongside traditional methods like maintaining fire lines, so there is a clearing between two forests to prevent the fire from spreading from one to the other.
  10. Greater interaction between villagers and the Forest Department for bridging information utilization hiatus, and research extension hiatus. In Himachal too, “fire beating” and clearing of “fire lines” is under way.
  1. Adoption of “counter fire” with forest officials starting fires from the opposite end of a forest to check the flames at a defined boundary.

 Government response

The post fire scenario does was met with a typical knee-jerk reaction by the Government and with a little luck by rainfall. The government is also proposed mass cutting of Chir pine forest (a knee-jerk reaction) as it is the so-called “culprit” for the forest fire. While it is imperative to note that, other than the general virtues of a natural forest, Chir pine forests are unique. Chir pine trees are not harmful they instead have a lot of benefits such as Turpentine oil, Rosin, handicraft, aesthetics, curing respiratory problems and they perform vital ecological services as well. Mass deforestation of Chir pine would adversely affect Uttarakhand’s ecology and the glaciers and consequently India.

Conclusion

Though Uttarakhand forest fire was a natural event, it was certainly human factors which made its occurrence more favorable. Post fire management shall play a crucial part in restoring the forest; however, biodiversity once lost cannot be restored. This could be taken as a lesson to focus more on prevention rather than cure.

Importance of local wisdom in combating forest fire

What is Local Wisdom

Local wisdom is a body of knowledge which has evolved with the life experiences of people.

Before the advent of capitalism, growth of nationalism and globalization, there were small communities which used to take care of their natural and cultural heritage. These communities constitute a group of people who share similar hopes and goals who has a sense of unity and maintain a stable identity in the face of rapid societal change.

However with the growth of globalization, these communities are now heavily influenced by the so called “modern” ideas of the western countries which gave them a sense of backwardness about themselves. The result- abandonment of their valuable heritage- local wisdom.

The rural communities in India which originally led a holistic life which put much emphasis on community building by working as a team, respecting elders and working with the nature have however been undergoing significant changes steadily. These communities are replacing their local wisdom with western ideas of technology, individualism, consumerism, production centric work, etc due to which they have started to identify themselves as backward, rural and poor. This thought proved to be quite costly in Uttarakhand.

The issue of removal of pine needles from the forests could not be addressed due to an indirect issue of mass migration. The villager’s unwillingness to stay in the village could not be ensure due to which there was a lack of man power to carry out essential procedures which could have prevented the fire. The villages are not willing to stay back due to economic concerns.

The communities which were initially self-sufficient in managing their resources, facing natural calamities, community recreation and issues with the gradual weathering away of their heritage are becoming more and more dependent on the Government to solve their day-to-day problems. These communities, which were initially assets to India, are now totally dependent on the Government to solve their problems.

Uttarakhand, which has historically seen NGOs and civil society groups perform strong advocacy role such as, Chipko movement as weathering away. Today such organizations have lost their loyalty to several donor funded projects. Some of them have even accepted project terms according to which they effectively lose their critical and questioning voice.

Also, the National Policy for Forest Fire presently focuses on international technology transfer and international training program. In the present plan the flow of information and technology is mainly from top to bottom, i.e. from the Government and allied agencies to the rural areas. Technology, which is the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, must flow both ways. However, sadly the local wisdom, i.e. the local knowledge gained from living in balance with nature is ignored. Local knowledge can be both abstract and concrete. But its importance lies in the fact that it is derived from the practical experiences of life events. The national policy to tackle forest fire could have been more effective has it been inclusive of the local wisdom.

Uttarakhand which is losing its heritage of state-people partnership and local wisdom must revive it, spread it and replicate it- that is the obvious conclusion.

Questions

  1. Although the forest fires destroy a large area, they are called natural events. What makes them natural events and beneficial. Discuss
  2. Forest fires are as much natural as man made. In this light, discuss its causes.
  3. The disruption of culture and natural livelihood was the main factor responsible for Uttarakhand forest fires. Analyse the statement with its concurrent impact.
  4. The management of forest fires must be by preserving local sentiments and knowledge as well as by conjunctive use of modern techniques.
  5. In view of the nature of the causes of forest fires, the government’s response must focus on forestry management and heritage management rather than on knee jerk reaction.
  6. What do you understand by local wisdom in the light of forest fires and to what extant local wisdom can be helpful in solving the problems of fires in sustainable manner.

The Ethics of Environment is Environmental Ethics

Image Source: FastTrackGov

Introduction

We see things as we perceive them. Our actions indicate how we perceive things. Our behavior with our natural environment clearly depicts our perception, i.e. its objectification. Calling natural phenomenon as natural disaster or environmental problem, as if it is a misfit in our natural world, is today’s tragedy. Earth was formed roughly 4.6 billion years ago while life in its simplest form began about 3.6 billion years ago, out of which human beings began their journey merely about 2 million years ago. The Earth came much before the human beings came in this world, thus the right to reject human beings wrested with the Earth and not on human beings who can have the right to judge any natural phenomena. Thus, calling a natural phenomenon such as a volcanic eruption, an environmental hazard or a problem is no less than a misnomer. It depicts our perceptual distortions as much ethics and values.

Some environmental perceptions

Environment is perceived by us humans in different ways.One of the common perceptions is nature is fragile. Due to some of the agricultural practices which resulted in irreversible environmental changes, environment is now perceived as fragile. However, in reality environment is bound to change, the change is gradual and evolutionary. Only when human interferences speeds up the gradual process of change, the ecosystem becomes vulnerableand hence, nature is perceived as fragile.

Environment is also perceived as benign when it provides services as we desire and also perverse otherwise when people change ecosystem in such a manner, and to such an extent, that the ecosystem is not able to function properly, at least as before.

The reason we have developed such faulty perception is the words we associate with environment. ‘Words’ associated with environment are not only words; they carry an entire array of perceptions, opinions, feelings and attachments.

The use of the word ‘problem’ with environment itself has not been ethical. The word “environmental problem” treats nature as if the mankind has to find a solution to some ailment that affects nature.Natural events are events, phenomena, not a problem. The word environmental problem therefore points to some perceptual distortion.

Another case in point is the use of the word “hazard”. Dubbing an event as “hazard” absolves people of their responsibility to perceive it as a problem, removes respect and “awe” associated with nature, degrades it in the eye of the perceiver and allows people to become even more judgmental. This is nothing but objectification of environment.

Consequence of such perceptions

These perceptual distortions mainly cause the objectification of environment, difficulty in identification of problem, cause us to look at the environment from anthropogenic perspective and develop a judgmental attitude.

Anthropogenic perspective means perception of nature either as benefiting or as harming the mankind.Consequently some phenomena are looked upon as a problem and are presented in a “practical” and selfish viewpoint of environment. Thus environment is often considered to be friendly if it benefited, and hazardous if not.

While judgmental attitude towards nature prevents people from learning from nature and prevents the shaping of learners attitude. Being judgmental means nature can be blamed, assessed, evaluated, looked down upon and corrected of its problems.

Consequently, the use of various types of expressions came in vogue- Uncertain monsoon, Normal monsoon, Flood hazard, Drought hazard, Earthquake hazard, etc.The word “uncertain”, and “normal” is actually very judgmental and insulting to the monsoon, as if monsoons are the culprit and humans have every right to make a judgment about some aspects of natural phenomena as wrong or right.

How nature should be perceived

Image Source: The University of Chicago

Firstly, the reality in contrast to the perceptions people have built  is that nature is the best teacher. Nature is to be seen as a learning form, as a teacher as a mentor and an all powerful and as an inspirer. Nature has been and is an institution, the best institution mankind has ever seen, observed and is capable of providing a lot of insights as well as intuitive learning. Intuition helps in coping with life’s unpredictability, uncertainty and undiscovered aspects of it.

Secondly, environment is not something which can be modified, neither is it something that can be commented upon, nor something that always follows logic. Environment is to be seen as something that provides insights and intuition.

Thirdly, there are no problems in the environment that requires to be solved, there are ailments that require to be corrected, there are no patches that required to be cleaned, and there are no complexities that are to be managed. There are only phenomena to be understood, respected and consequently desired.

It is in this light that Icelandic volcanic activity is to be viewed, earthquake in Nepal is to be viewed, tsunamis are to be appreciated. The Icelandic volcanic eruption has been seen as creating problem for aviation or seen as a pollutant emanating toxic fumes into the environment. Without it, the atmosphere would have lost a major chance of getting it replenished. Without a billion or so earthquakes, there was no way, that the Himalayas could have formed.. The tsunamis that take place clean and replenish the whole of coastal areas….

None has described the volcanic eruption as ‘Majestic’ ‘Heavenly” or ‘Eternal beauty”. A volcanic eruption is the most awesome phenomena of nature; most astonishing, amazing, extraordinary, godly …….. event.Expressions change the way people think and perceive their surroundings.

All the so called “hazards” volcanic, earthquakes, cyclones, tsunamis, flood, droughts have been beneficial to mankind. Without these hazards, there was no way human beings could have lived on this planet. The base for human habitation and its activity has been set by earthquakes, volcanic activity, tsunamis and all those natural phenomena which the modern civilization calls it as ‘hazard’.

Thus precisely, environmental problems are not a problem to be solved or managed.Environment is itself the best manager and can be managed best by adjusting to it, adopting. Nature is always changing- warming and cooling are part of it. Climate has not changed; it’s the people and their perception towards climate that has changed. Change is the only constant in nature. Neither there are any hazards; there are only perceptions and phenomena. Nature is not our facilitator but our heritage that commands us. It is not an object but our mentor. There are no issues, no excesses in Nature there are only marvels.

Any thinking other than that is a “perceptual distortion”. This realistic perception will help Nature to command respect that it deserves to support mankind, educate them and teach them.

Indian Environmental perception

India with a 6000 year of long history had been a very obedient student of nature.Indians accepted, adapted and adjusted themselves in a variety of ways to their environment.Indians have been using of local water harvesting technologies like Ahar, Johad, Pyne, Jing, Thingal. Neither was environment ever an object of description rather it was a ritual, a religion to learn something, to know the summary of living things. Indians have been practicing River worship whichis symbolic in form to worship water. It is evident in the names that have been used to denote them- Ganga as Mata, Yamunaji. Trees in their natural form were glorified. Places were named after trees as a mark of respect for trees; for example-Champaran meant a place for Champa trees, Vaishali was named after Sal, and Sal was used for various types of buildings like Goshala, Pathshala, etc.Names were based on this environmental symbolism rather than on functional entity.Nature was something to be revered, respected and feared.Disaster was perceived as valuable enough to learn from our mistakes, as a tool to wipe out all our mistakes.Cities were sustainable.The cropping pattern was sustainable and so was inland water transportation. The availability and management of the resources were decentralized. Decentralization was the core mantra of adaptation to environment, and to environmental management.

Evidently, these practices and perceptions have gradually been replaced or modified by western philosophy, leaving us only with vestiges of it.

The beginning of loss of environmental ethics

The colonial imprint and the mindset brought about a lot of change in the thinking of the masses.

Colonialism more than anything else, tries to bring about a change in the way colonized people think, it dents their psyche, makes them feel inferior,convinces them to be inferior in terms of their language culture, lifestyle, their identity itself so much so that they become slaves in their mind.

The environmental management followed in India after independence was based on the thinking of the colonizing countries and represented a western European mode of thinking.

The Western European with the spread of Christianity and scarcity of resources due to its geographical location and changes extensively started exploration. There explorations involved search for more resources. These countries had not had enough experience in managing their resources and environment largely on account of low biodiversity, short history of development and insufficient trial and error through which they have gone far.

Western countries thinking about the use of words was the product of thinking of a society not rich in terms of values, education (not information) towards environment, consequently they did not attach much significance to the choice of words and semiotics. The use of the words was careless.

India abandoned its traditional wisdom, local genius, and adapted Nehruvian ideas of resources management whose mind, psyche, lifestyle, thinking, management was heavily, under the British influence. Indians used to describe the nature and natural phenomena sedated by colonial injection heavily influenced by Nehruvian thinking. As a heavily sedated person of colonial injection, Nehru followed everything that was western ignoring and sometimes insulting the availability of local wisdom and genius. Everything was copied and against Indian thinking and whatever India had learnt.

As a first lesson and ‘solution’ to any environment related aspect, and also as the first step to solve the problem if it is, what we require is the change in the perception of the people about their surrounding and their nature, about mother Earth and all the components of environment. People must be prompted to correct their perceptual distortions, or else nature over which no one can win will continue to be viewed wrongly. In essence, in spirit, in form it is nature that knows best.

One of the greatest tragedy of so called modern civilization is to be judgmental towards and look down upon the very environment that created us. Correcting our faulty perceptions and reviving our environmental philosophy and practices shall strengthen the foundations of our heritage. As the best time to start being ethical towards environment was 25 years ago and the second best time is today!

India – Challenges of External Security | Part 4

In the last part of the article series, we focus on the South China sea dispute, the use of Tibetan rivers as a weapon and the security concerns in Siliguri corridor. (Click here for part 1, here for part 2 and here for part 3).

nine-dashed-line-south-china-sea

Controlling South China Sea to choke malacca from pacific side

What is SOUTH CHINA SEA DISPUTE?

As a preemptive measure, China wants a full control over South China Sea. This is the area through which the greatest amount of traffic for India passes. Also the Chinese can think of controlling Malacca Strait from the Pacific side.

China has mastered and manipulated a dispute in South China Sea out of nothing.

China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan all have differing claims on waters and islands.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea through a ‘nine-dash line’, which extends into other countries’ Exclusive Economic Zones (200 nautical miles area for exploitation)15 mm barrels of oil (a sixth of the global supply) transit through the sea daily. Fears of conflict have risen after the 2012 stand-off between China and the Philippines at Scarborough Shoal.

China now building runways, army facilities on reclaimed reefs in the Spratly Islands

Why is South China Sea important?

  1. On a strategic level, it’s about control of the world’s busiest shipping route. China is laying claim to 90 percent of the South China Sea.
  2. About half the world’s commercial shipping passes through the area and most nations are worried if anything goes wrong then it will cripple their economy.
  3. On a geological level, it is about some of the world’s most prospective seabed oil and gas deposits.
  4. On a military level, it’s about China’s avid desire to push the US navy away from its coast. Beijing craves uncontested domain over its maritime approaches.

The US Seventh Fleet has been unchallenged ruler of the Pacific since World War Two. A fast-rising China is now challenging.

  1. And on the level of global governance, it’s about whether there are any rules governing countries, or whether a country can get its way through use of force.

Chinese response

China puts down one cabbage leaf or layer of territorial assertion over another.

First might be ships of the fishing administration, then maritime surveillance vessels, then the Chinese navy. Adding extra layers, such as air defense zones or new bases, is consistent with this way of patiently building a thickening circle of claim by force.

Use of TIBETAN RIVERS as a Weapon

China has started using water as a weapon, a deadly and a lethal weapon.In Tibet China is in control of waters flowing into Indian subcontinent and South East Asia. There, it has Control over Indus and its tributaries as well as Brahmaputra and its tributaries in Tibet.

Chinese strategy is to construct dams over the rivers so that it can regularize the flow of water as per its own will and use it as a weapon to bargain for it to trouble the countries. The other strategies involve creating a natural dam by blasting the river valley of rivers and then demolishing it to flood Indian territories without the danger of being blamed legally or logically.

India has a lot of concern with respect to Tibetan rivers flowing into its territory.

Points of concern:

  1. China’s dam building overdrive is a concern because there are no bilateral or multilateral treaties on the water
  2. China believes dam building on the Brahmaputra helps it assert claim over Arunachal Pradesh
  3. India believes China’s projects in the Tibetan plateau threaten to reduce river flows into India
  4. Dams, canals, irrigation systems can turn water into a political weapon to be wielded in war, or during peace to signal annoyance with a co-riparian state
  5. Denial of hydrological data in critical seasons when the flow in the river very high is an instance
  6. Most Dangerous of all, China contemplating northward re-routing of the Yarlung Zangbo
  7. Diversion of the Brahmaputra is an idea China does not discuss in public, because it implies devastating India’s northeastern plains and Bangladesh, either with floods or reduced water flow

The Dangers to Chicken Neck (Siliguri Corridor)

Image Source: KnowledgeofIndia

The thin “chicken’s neck” is a territory-connecting the seven Indian North-eastern States to West Bengal and the rest of India also called the “Siliguri Corridor”- lies in the Chumbi Valley of Chinese-held Tibetan Autonomous Region that is contiguous to the Indian States of Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.

The Chumbi Valley is flanked on either side by Sikkim on its west and Bhutan on the east. Nepal shares a common border with Sikkim and Chinese and Indian armies are face-to-face along the whole of Arunachal Pradesh.

The geostrategic significance of the place for India is that it is able to monitor the Chinese movements in the Chumbi Valley.

The Siliguri Corridor is an area so constricted that it is amazing that after the debacle at the hands of the Chinese, Indians have not developed their connectivity to desired extent.

Disadvantages for India

China can do to India what India did to Pakistan in 1971 by delinking the former East Pakistan from West Pakistan and helping to create the sovereign independent nation-state of Bangladesh.

Other disadvantages that India faces in its defensive posture vis-a-vis China is that many of the infrastructure projects of roads and bridges, belatedly initiated, have been delayed by the difficulties of the terrain and the inadequacy of heavy lift helicopters to deliver civil engineering material to the building sites.

Given China’s growing belligerence stoked in large part by the renewed Tibetan unrest within the Tibetan Autonomous Region (and that of the Uighur Muslims in Xingjiang province) marked by self-immolations by Buddhist monks and the blame for its bad governance in Tibet at India’s doorstep for being home to the largest Tibetan refugee population. By the very nature of its geography the Siliguri Corridor is indefensible with static obstacles and firepower.
As experience has shown the sustained patrolling by the Indian Army, paramilitary forces and the West Bengal police not to mention the protection forces of the Indian Railways, a broad guage and a meter-guage line pass through it-criminal and anti-national activity is rampant.

Problems with its defence and management

Defending it within an internal security concept will not work against a conventional military force of the type the Chinese can deploy from the north of the Chumbi Valley which is well supplied by a network of roads. 
The fact that Bhutan lies to the east of the northern limits of the Siliguri corridor creates a dicey situation for India. The use of Bhutanese territory for the defence of the corridor will attract Chinese punitive action against Bhutan. 

To ensure Bhutan’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and neutrality, India cannot do anything to jeopardize its very existence.

The emerging Nepal factor is also disturbing for India given that there is talk of not allowing recruitment of Gorkhas for the Indian Army.

Chinese tactics

The Chinese tactics will be to use the top of the funnel that is the Valley, as a “forming up place” for the PLA preparatory for an attack into the Siliguri Corridor.

One indicator of the Chinese intention will be the strength of the battalions that are permanently posted in the funnel of the Chumbi Valley.

Conclusion

There is no country in the world that is as perilously placed in the world as India is with respect to its external and internal security.

India has still not evolved as a nation, the people still do not show enough solidarity for the policies of the govt., they question the govt. even when there are gross security threats, the internal troubles of whatever imaginable proportions are mounting aided by the ‘self first and nation last’ approach of the civilian population. Neither is India socially and psychologically strong or even strong identity-wise that it can protect itself, nor the threats that India is facing externally, that it can leave in peace. The cyber security issue, nuclear threats from two nuclear powered neighbours with ulterior motives closing on in India everyday is not a good portent.

Its high time that its people, bureaucracy, government and defence forces to act in unison at least in the interest of their motherland.

Questions

  1. India’s internal threats are far graver than external threats. Comment.
  2. Enumerate the components of external security challenges, and dwell upon the significance of non strategic components as a threat.
  3. Why geostrategic components of external security must be dependent on the policy measures of government towards strengthening internal security.
  4. What is escalation ladder? What are its security implications for India. Present a brief scenario of security risks that a rising escalation ladder holds in aggravating dangers from its twin neighbors.
  5. What are the implications of CPEC on defence security scenario of India.
  6. India stands to lose Africa and Middle East in the wake of well evolved two pronged encirclement along the northern borders and northern Arabian Sea.
  7. The encirclement policy of China towards India has not only regional ramifications but continental as well. Discuss.
  8. Discuss why and how India’s stand on Blochistan and Gilgit Baltistan can act as a deterrent to CPEC.
  9. Although China cites economic considerations in building CPEC, it has more strategic connotations than economic. Do you agree?
  10. Once evolved the MSR will affect the Indian market and reach in Eurasia. Comment on the scenario that India is likely to face in the wake of MSR development.
  11. Give an account of the problems of littoral states in Indian Ocean and emerging problems in the light of Chinese dominance over islands.
  12. India has squandered the huge advantage it had in Indian Ocean to China. Explain the advantages India had in relation to China and its present position.
  13. China is using the water resources of Tibetan region as a lethal weapon. Examine the options India has to tide over it.
  14. Examine the significance and position of Siliguri corridor for India. How does India’s position on the region is more complicated thanthe Chinese.
  15. The Trans Arunachal Highway and the air bases play a pivotal role in defending NE borders. Explain.

India – Challenges of External Security | Part 3

In the third part of the article series, we analyse the Chinese threat in Indian Ocean region, the string of pearls theory and Chinese initiative of reviving the maritime silk route. (Click here for part 1 and here for part 2).

 Source: Middle East Institute

China’s Threat in Indian Ocean Region

China is rapidly increasing its naval presence in Indian Ocean region although it proposes only new facilities and denies intentions to increase military power in this region; Chinese have signed an agreement to set up a naval facility in the Seychelles for counter-piracy operations. Earlier  China gave two Y-12 surveillance aircraft to the Seychelles for this purpose, under an existing defense support agreement arrived at in 2004 two Chinese frigates visited Seychelles, and its naval hospital ship Peace-Ark in November 2010 treated the sick people of the island. There is little doubt anti-piracy operations in the region especially off the Somalia coast and the Gulf of Aden are required but it has to be an international effort not only to secure China’s shipping  or merchant ships plying under its flag. More over it gives China a strategic reach in this important part of the Indian Ocean. A naval base of China can be a part of power projection and not only Counter-piracy naval operations. Some Chinese naval ships have been deployed  off the Somali coast since 2008 but a naval facility that become a base that is exclusively Chinese means power projection in disguise. Chinese efforts to secure military collaboration and support have been reported with the Maldives and Mauritius also. However, the most significant Chinese move have been to establish facilities at the Gwadar deep sea port in Pakistan, obviously for collaboration between the armed forces of China and Pakistan as China forces can operate  from here to help Pakistan at short notice.

A Chinese strategic policy document issued in the 90s had said that China should employ military diplomacy with the countries of the Indian Ocean region. It was mentioned openly that in small countries the militaries  can be won over with free and low price (friendship price), military equipment supported with some economic assistance, getting bases there from any political dispensation will be then easy. Bases and friendship treaties with Indian Ocean rim countries is new major strategy that endangers India’s security. It aims encirclement of India with a southern ring and China’s advancement in Indian Ocean towards African continent and petroleum-rich areas. This Indian Ocean strategy of China was first reported in 2004 in various military papers to create a China dominated region in the Gulf and Indian Ocean region and linking it to the Asia Pacific region.

Chinese efforts to secure port facilities in Bangladesh remain unsuccessful and in Myanmar, and Sri Lanka it is yet secure any sure bases, but new developments and efforts of establishing a chain of military base establishments in the Indian Ocean is a danger signal for India that cannot be ignored. The main maritime trade route in the in the Indian Ocean region must not be allowed to be dominated by China. China is rapidly developing its naval power to acquire blockading and area denial power in this crucial region.  Chinese navy now include missiles and other weapons for establishing blockades in chosen bottlenecks.

China is beginning to adopt a firm policy to have a number of military bases in Indian Ocean, though asserts its peaceful intentions and its pledge of not sending Chinese soldiers against any foreign country except under UN peace keeping flag but it also asserts its right to go war for securing its strategic interests anywhere China’s military is accordingly is preparing for various kinds of future wars. China now considers that a world war is possible and China must be prepared to win it including any regional level confrontation or  the possibility of short ‘local wars’ or efforts to encircle it.  It is training its armed forces to face any global or regional challenge.

The militarization of the Indian Ocean poses serious challenges to littoral countries. These challenges are:

  • India faces a perilous vulnerability of its littoral and the Exclusive Economic Zone fraught with a wide-spectrum of maritime asymmetric as asymmetric threats of increasing incidence of piracy, maritime terrorism, narcotics and light, small arms smuggling – This has been the dense maritime domain of both of native and alien maritime activity with little governance and regulation;
  • India’s second maritime – littoral challenge and nightmare is the security of India’s littoral and the security of Sea Lanes of Communication (SLOCs) that abounds the Indian peninsula. Shipping in this domain ranges from fishing trawlers to supertankers and super-container ships. The intense shipping and poaching of foreign trawlers in India’s littorals and the EEZ have wrecked the delicate environmental balance of the diversified and rich marine life and resources of the Arabian Sea-Indian Ocean-Bay of Bengal areas.
  • India’s third maritime– littoral challenge and threat is the established nexus between organised crime in the hinterland with terror groups in the proximity of India’s borders and boundaries with Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bangladesh and importantly from Pakistan (the recent Mumbai terror attacks) have a evidently revealed. The crime syndicates have used the external linkages in the sea-smuggling of narcotics, small arms, explosives to be used in the various criminal are the staging points for the long chain of links in the smuggling process.
  • India’s fourth peril in its maritime-littoral corridors is the trafficking of weapons of mass destructions in its components, subassemblies etc. Earlier such merchandise have often been in maritime transit connecting Pakistan from China and North Korea.
  • India’s fifth clear and present danger is the daunting weakness in the Maritime domain awareness due to the vast littoral territory and the dense populations in these areas.

String of Pearls

In an effort to

  1. Encircle India
  2. Control Indian Ocean
  3. Find accessibility to oil resources, and
  4. Explore Africa.

In pursuance of its effect China is encircling India in Indian Ocean by building bases having a foothold in Sittwe, Somalia and Seychelles.

Hambantota is the key for China to breathe around India and to control Indian Ocean.

China is engaged in building the prerequisites of naval access and basing in maritime regions that are outside its waters. China envisages a Three Island Chain maritime network  evident in three concentric rings of its maritime domain of sea-control/denial and thereby ensuring the security of its shipping Sea Lanes of Communication.

Hambantota as China’s “Pearl” in the Indian Ocean is immensely important for several reasons. The geo-strategic location of Hambantota provides for China the most vital access to a natural harbor that could bring in high seas shipping from the South China Sea-Straits of Malacca-Indian Ocean-Arabian Sea shipping traversing the region into immediate berthing access in safe havens right in the Indian Ocean.

Strategic Implications of Hambantota

  1. Hambantota in its topographical profile is yet another deep natural harbor that could be converted into a multi-pier port that could host surfaceHambantota as military port would be the “next Gwadar” that could offer Chiness naval warships the first port call after they surge across the Straits of Malacca.
  2. Hambantota would be the most ideal site for the Chinese to build multi-piers that could co-host civilian container, oil tanker ships and, military warships with major dredging
  3. Hambantota would thus be the “pivotal pearl” in China’s “string of pearls” of an expanding network of Chinese ELINT, SIGINT facilities that are now strung from “Woody island in the Paracels Hainan Sittwe Coco island Chittagong,
  4. Hambantota is located in the epicenter of this string that overlooks the Indian Ocean having the densest traffic of international maritime commerce and the Indian.
  5. Hambantota could offer berthing facilities to a limited forward presence
  6. Chinese nuclear submarine movements in the region and its visits to Hambantota could become a reality and routine when the port becomes fully operational.

Controlling Northern Arabian sea

The ambit of regional stability has been ‘outsourced’ to Beijing. As for Pakistan, China’s involvement lets it gain a legitimate, not default, position in the morphing geo-strategy of the region as well as a backer that commands global respect and Islamabad’s trust.

And yes, that’s also where Pakistan gets to push India out of its neck of the woods: the northern Arabian Sea and Afghanistan. That’s why the Chinese subs are coming to town. That’s why warship construction deals are being announced by Chinese, not Pakistani media. That’s why Beijing just scuttled India’s plans for sanctioning Pakistan for abetting militants at the UN. And that’s why restaurants in Islamabad have started carrying menus in Mandarin.

Reviving the Maritime Silk Route (MSR)

The idea of the MSR was outlined during Li Keqiang’s speech at the 16th ASEAN-China summit in Brunei, and Xi Jinping’s speech in the Indonesian Parliament in October 2013.

The thrust on reviving the ancient maritime route is the first global strategy for enhancing trade and fostering peace, proposed by the new Chinese leaders. The MSR inherits the ancient metaphor of friendly philosophy from the old Silk Route to build the new one. It emphasises on improving connectivity with Southeast Asia, South Asia, West Asia and even Africa, by building a network of port cities along the Silk Route, linking the economic hinterland in China. More importantly, it aspires to improve China’s geo-strategic position in the world.

The main emphasis was placed on stronger economic cooperation, closer cooperation on joint infrastructure projects, the enhancement of security cooperation, and strengthening “maritime economy, environment technical and scientific cooperation.”

China is taking decisive steps to improve its overall geopolitical position by developing extensive transport networks, building roads, railways, ports, and energy corridors through such initiatives.

The MSR will also be helpful in promoting certain strategic objectives — for example, in supporting friends and clients, neutralising similar activities by other naval powers, or merely by showcasing one’s maritime power.

Naval forces are more resilient, and they have greater visibility. Thus, the proposed MSR has clear strategic objectives.

Old Silk Route

  • Distance: Over 4,000 miles, stretching from China to the Mediterranean Sea
  • The route linked ancient lands of China, India, Persia, Arabia, Bactria and Rome
  • Combining extant, ancient trade routes, its golden age was from 2nd century BC till the 13th century
  • Got its name from trade in Chinese silk, though cotton and spices from India and precious stones and other items from Persia, Arabia and Europe were also sold

New Silk Route

Nearly 20 countries-China,  Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Sri lanka, and kenya-over three continents-are part of proposed project. The number may go up.

Silk Strategy

  • China’s proposed Silk Route would uplink connectivity within China to the region and beyond and also give a boost to Chinese industry and investment if different parts of the world
  • Build and develop ports and naval bases to ensure the important sea lanes carrying oil, gas and other minerals as well as Chinese goods from the mainland remain unhindered and without trouble
  • By developing infrastructure in different countries, present the soft power of China and raise stakes of others to minimize confrontation with Beijing
  • Lastly, it would allow China to develop a parallel trading network-a huge overland and maritime of Asia and running into Europe- that would challenge the ones by a US-led West

Why Indian Islands need stronger military force – levels?

  • Keep hawk-eye on the heavily-militarised Indian Ocean Region (IOR)
  • Ensure maritime & coastal security as well as communication connectivity with mainland
  • Counter China’s strategic moves in the entire IOR
  • Protect country’s EEZ (A&N Islands, for instance, have 5.95 lakh sq km of EEZ around them)
  • Deter piracy, poaching, drug trafficking & gun-running
  • Guard sea lanes of communication (A&N Islands, for instance, straddle shipping routes converging towards Malacca Strait).

In the next part of the article series, we will focus on the South China sea dispute, the use of Tibetan rivers as a weapon and the security concerns in Siliguri corridor (Click here for part 4).

India – Challenges of External Security | Part 2

In the second part of the article series, we analyse the China-Pakistan factor as a threat to India’s external security. (Click here for part 1)

andrew-small-cover-cropped

Image Source: The Wire

Encirclement from every possible side

India is contained geopolitically by the longstanding axis between China and Pakistan, involving, among other things, covert nuclear, missile and intelligence cooperation.With serious strains emerging in Beijing’s relationship with North Korea, Pakistan is now clearly China’s only real ally almost 24th Province of China.

Paradoxically, China and Pakistan have little in common, yet boast one of the closest relationships in international diplomacy.Their axis has been built on a shared objective to tie India down, as former state department official Daniel Markey says in his 2013 book.Weapon transfers, loans and infrastructure projects allow China to use Pakistan as a cost-effective counterweight to India. Pakistan, for example, developed nuclear weapons with Chinese aid and US indulgence.Indeed, the more Pakistan has become a jihadist snake pit, the greater has been China’s leeway to increase its strategic penetration of that country.

For India, the implications of the growing nexus are particularly stark because China and Pakistan are hostile, non-status-quo powers bent upon seizing additional Indian territory.Significantly, as China’s strategic intervention in PoK has grown, it has started needling India on J&K, one-fifth of which is under Chinese occupation.It has employed innovative ways to question India’s sovereignty over J&K and stepped up incursions into Ladakh. China is clearly signalling that J&K is where the China-Pakistan nexus can squeeze India. Its military pressure on Arunachal Pradesh appears aimed at distracting from its other designs.PoK serves as the artery of the China-Pakistan nexus. Much of the Chinese funding will be for power projects, including the $1.4-billion Karot Dam, located on the so-called Azad Kashmir’s border with Pakistani Punjab.This dam is the first project to be financed by China’s new $40-billion Silk Road Fund.

As if to highlight that China treats Pakistan as its newest colony,

China thinks in the long term. Pakistan is now becoming China’s launch-pad for playing a bigger role in the Indian Ocean and West Asia.It will also serve as the lynchpin of China’s India-containment strategy. China’s land corridor to the Arabian Sea will extend India’s encirclement by the PLA from the J&K land borders to the Indian Ocean sea lanes.Insurrection-torn Baluchistan, however, stands out as the Achilles heel of China’s corridor initiative.

China already has the capability of launching a swift border offensive against India in conformity with its principle to ‘win local wars (China’s latest Defence White Paper).  China is also enhancing its extended range force projection capabilities by establishing overseas naval bases in the Indian Ocean. China’s rapidly growing military modernisation programme has changed the balance of power in South Asia. China with its asymmetric and fourth-generation warfare and joint operations capabilities and enhanced strategic reach can pose a serious challenge to India both in a border war and the Indian Ocean region.

Chinese maintains strength of five to six divisions on the borders against Indian forces. It is estimated that China can deploy only about 20 divisions in a war because of constraints posed by the Himalayan ranges. However, it has created infrastructure to maintain large reserve forces in Tibet that can be deployed both for defensive and offensive tasks at short notice. China may able to deploy over 32 divisions in an offensive operation supported by an array of Chinese missile forces thus posing a formidable threat to India.

India’s air power is sufficient to hold its own against the Chinese air power in a limited war but its capability in a prolonged unlimited war will be limited.

In an all out war scenario India will face simultaneous multiple threats from China and Pakistan that may range from conventional, asymmetric and sub-conventional level war with threats of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), moreover India will face additional threats from terrorism, cyber and electronic and information warfare.

Indian armed forces will have to protect its island territories and sea lanes from Persian Gulf to Malacca Strait in a war against China.

China-Pakistan Networking across the Northern Front

China is developing a network of highways and has moved troops to the Gilgit- Baltistan region in northern areas and has improved military infrastructure in the eastern sector, increasing the possibility of a two front war.

China is sending ambiguous signals; Army’s proposed revised defence strategy would be a step in the right direction. China’s occasional papers on a border war with India must be fully analysed as they could be an indication of the Chinese concept of waging a war that it can win. China has been enhancing its offensive capabilities all along our northern borders by deploying new weapons systems in collaboration with Pakistan that is calculated to change the military balance in a border war.  China is accelerating military modernisation drive that will greatly add to its strength.

China has a huge geographic handicap: no access to southern world oceans.

So Chinese shipments from Europe, Middle East, Africa have to travel all the way around India, Malacca and ASEAN. China has serious problems with most countries in that region due to its aggressive military posture. Pakistan is very important forChinese economy. If China could get a route through Pakistan to access the Arabian Sea that will give multiple advantages.The strategy to deal with it has led to evolution of CPEC. A corridor of highways and railways will run from Kashgar in China to Gwadar in Pakistan (Baluchistan) on the Arabian sea near Iran border. And ALL the infrastructure and associated work for CPEC will be constructed for Pakistan by China, free or cost or for negligible loans.

What is CPEC?

It is Four to Six-laneExpressway from north to south Pakistan, with four different routes. All main railway lines being upgraded to 160 kph double. A six to eight lane super expressway from Karachi to Gwadar and Hyderabad has innumerable coal, thermal, solar and hydro power plants all across Pakistan. The highway will include a international airport, Hospitals, schools, colleges, tech institutes, even a Metro line in Lahore.

On the Karakoram highway, this is where it matters most for India. It connects China and Pakistan, through India through Jammu and Kashmir, which legally acceded to India in 1947 October. Gilgit Baltistan area of Jammu and Kashmir state, which legally belongs to India, but illegally occupied by Pakistan. China also occupies illegally the eastern and northern part of Jammu and Kashmir- Shaksgam valley (gifted by Pakistan in 1960s) and Aksai China (occupied by China in 1950s when it annexed Tibet).

The highway passes through Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. Pakistan and China are connected through Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK for short).

Pakistan calls this Gilgit-Baltistan area of Jammu and Kashmir, as Northern Territories sometimes.

Gwadar is just 400 km away from Muscat and 500 from the Strait of Hormuz through which all Gulf oil passes. Apart from that it provides,proximity to Africa: China virtually owns much of Africa today having Billions in investment. Apart from that China buys natural resources from Pakistan.

Pakistan is also a large market: China will flood Pakistan and Gulf with its cheap products and make a windfall there too. It will have proximity to new friend Sri Lanka. If USA/UK control Malacca strait – Singapore or India in Indian Ocean decide to choke it, China will have no problem as it has CPEC.

But, all of CPEC and China’s ambitions bearing fruit depends on the Karakoram highway. That depends on PoK continued to be occupied by Pakistan.

The CPEC is China’s hope at lifting its sagging economy and securing its strategic position in the region. Its future depends on Karakoram- Hindukush- Pamir region, which since ancient times been strategically sensitive which was called The Silk Road. China wants control the new Silk Road. If India were to take PoK it would squeeze the Karakoram Highway and shut it, so there will be no more CPEC or Silk Road. That is the whole game. The CPEC and Highways are primary military conduits rather than civilian.

Ultimately.. Pakistan’s ultimate aim is to establish an Islamic caliphate. Apart from this China helps them through CPEC.

Opening the Xinjiang Door

China wants to open up its landlocked Xinjiang region and link it to Central and West Asia through the CPEC, a plan that also incorporates infrastructure and energy projects

Karakoram Highway

China has begun widening and upgrading of the highway, currently operational for only five months a year, and mooted an $11-billion plan to construct parallel highway with tunnels covering large sections to enable all-year access, providing economic and military benefits.

Kashgargwadar Railway and Pipeline

Feasibility study under way for the most complicated part of project, cost estimated at $35 billion over 20 years. China has also proposed a parallel pipeline to Gwadar for oil imports from West Asia to reach Xinjiang, but security and feasibility doubts remain.

Kashgar

Construction of free trade zone started in 2010. But the zone has struggled to attract investment amid frequent violence-bomb attacks in 2011 that killed 40 people in Kashgar and Hotan were blamed by the local government on Pakistan-based Uighur terroristas.

Gwadar

China Overseas Port Holding Company is expanding a deep-sea port that will give access to Arabian Sea. The company plans to build a 900-hectare free trade zone, but it has been hit by troubles over land acquisition.

Chashma

China has constructed two 300 MW nuclear reactors. Work is under way for two more reactors, each of 340 MW capacity, despite non-proliferation fears.

Karachi

Beijing has agreed on a deal to construct two newly-developed Chinese 1100 MW nuclear reactors.

China-Pak Economic Corridor

  • Launched in April 2015, it is a signature project of Xi Jinping’s pet ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative
  • Corridor will be a 2,400 km network of roads, rail and pipelines from Xinjiang to Gwadar port on Atabian Sea
  • China is already expanding karakoram Highway, which runs through PoK, as the first part of the initiative
  • Pakistan expects $46 billion worth of investment in infrastructure and energy projects along the corridor
  • India objects to this as the corridor runs through the Gilgit-Baltistan region, which it sees as a part of J&K

In the next part of the article series, we will analyse the Chinese threat in Indian Ocean region, the string of pearls theory and Chinese initiative of reviving the maritime silk route. (Click here for part 3)

India – Challenges of External Security | Part 1

In this article series, we analyse the various external security threats being faced by India. In the first part, we focus on challenges posed by India’s neighbourhood.

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Image Source: TheHindu

What is External Security?

External Security refers to any threat that a country, a nation, a State or a nation-State perceives to its identity, its economy and its components, its stability, its borders and its population and in particular the feel of the people, their mental and physical health as well as to its social, technological and industrial infrastructure.  The threat can be perceived which has not been negated and real whose solution doesn’t seem to be materializing.

A country is almost always in a state of threat to its external security, and it is perennially in a process of negating these threats through diplomacy, alliances, geostrategies, etc.

India’s External Security Challenges:

The threat that India faces externally comprises of soft threats that affects

  1. the mindset of the people, such as a colonial mindset, and being unaware of the loss of its own identity
  2. the health of the people both mental and physical
  3. the threats to country’s economy like its gradual sabotage, by eating into market and also with the help of currency counterfeits, etc.
  4. the susceptibility of the country towards cyber attacks, cyber warfare warfare information manipulation and electronic warfare.

At the same time, India really faces some challenges on its external front some of it on its borders both land borders and maritime borders, its territories and through some military actions and its plan. These challenges include

  1. Existence and Opening of a two war front, if India safeguards itself against any nefarious designs of Pakistan to thwart and to crush country destabilizing threats of terrorism emanating from that region.
  2. The nuclear Threat emanating from both of its neighbors
  3. China Pakistan Networking
  4. Threats to Arunachal Pradesh and Siliguri corridor, and
  5. Maritime threats

India in reality faces all these threats, and there is no country in the world that actually faces threats of such dimension and such diversity with little to protect itself either from getting supported by the citizens of India and its psyche and or structure of its economy or even its defense preparedness.

India is the only country in the world that faces two nuclear arms loaded countries, one going insanely jealous and other lusting for its territory and people.

While all the threats are real and they exist, the emphasis of this chapter is mostly on the geostrategic perspective.

Multiple Challenges

In considering India’s external security the country’s policy makers have to bear in mind the economic backwardness and political instabilities of its smaller neighbors, the continued inimical relations that Pakistan has maintained with India. It has used terrorism as an instrument of foreign policy and as a force equalizer. India has to contend with the intentions of a powerful China that would seek to be the paramount power in Asia. External security would demand assessment of conventional military threats but in addition, terrorism, energy security, environmental degradation, demographic changes and access to natural resources including water and markets are the new factors. The nature of threats that emanate from the weakness of the smaller countries and those from the intentions of the bigger countries, China and Pakistan, are different and need different responses.

Cross-border threats

Most external threats emanate from an unsettled boundary dispute with China that has been forced on India and ongoing cross-border jihadi terrorism in J&K sponsored terrorism, supported by ISI and Pakistan-based Islamist fundamentalist organizations like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad who, in turn, are inextricably linked with international jihadi groups like Taliban and Al Qaida.

Threat from Bangladesh assumes serious dimensions since it became a base for northeast insurgent groups like ULFA and Naga factions. Of late, it has also been serving as a conduit for ISI sponsored infiltration of terrorists along India and Bangladesh’s porous border.

To cap it, nuclear threats from neighboring states and from jihadi groups have the potential of using nuclear weapons in the foreseeable future, significant being China-Pakistan nuclear nexus.

The Smaller Neighbours

A billion Indians, with enough problems of their own, thus live in a troubled part of a troubled planet. They live in an era of exploding expectations with limited resources and in economies of shortages across the entire South Asian region. The region continues to remain economically backward and politically unstable. Pakistan and Bangladesh, two of India’s most populous neighbours, are rapidly slipping into religious obscurantism. India will continue to face demanding challenges from its neighbours.

These are Nepal’s continuing domestic turmoil as it struggles to introduce democracy in the midst of a violent campaign led by the radical left wing ‘Maoists”; Bangladesh’s recession into a thinly veiled military regime after its troubled experience with democracy and slide into Talibanisation; and, Sri Lanka’s unending fratricidal war arising from the inability of the Sinhala majority to reconcile to the demands of an increasingly violent Tamil minority. Myanmar, with whom India has a long land frontier, has largely been an aloof and distant neighbour although there are signs of a thaw in the midst of fears that China may have become the relevant power in that country. A little further away but strategically relevant to India in the context of Pakistan and access to Central Asia, is Afghanistan which continues to slide into unending chaos.

The largest Muslim concentration in the world, about 450 to 460 million live in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Of these, about one third is in India. This makes them the largest number of Muslims living in a democratic set up for the longest time, any where in the world today. The rest have been under an increasing influence of dictatorships and Islamic radicalism at a time when state policies have weakened liberal societies while an anti-American sentiment has grown sharply. The challenge here for India is to keep its own Muslims immune from external influences where attempts are undoubtedly being made not only to suborn them but also simultaneously, to provoke a Hindu backlash.

India cannot help its size or strength and has to live with the title of a regional hegemon or even a bully at times accused of arrogance and intrusiveness when trying to help or being haughty and indifferent when trying to stay away. India baiting thus is common in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal. It is perhaps natural that some of them seek comfort wit the distant power against the local power. Some of the neighbours do not wish to share in the prospects of mutual prosperity that India might offer but are willing to share poverty. These countries seek their own security by isolating themselves from India defying the logic of geography.

Consequently, countries of the sub-continent are unable to maximise economic complementarities and opportunities to the extent that they hardly trade with each other. Transit routes are denied, common rail and road links are virtually non-existent. It is this lack of common economic and security perceptions among the neighbours which have hamstrung multi-lateral organisations like SAARC, unlike the EU or the ASEAN, which function as a common platform for diverse interests they represent. The other problem is that India is being globally recognised as a rising economic power but the region is slow to recognise and take advantage of this evolving new situation.

For India, the nightmare is a failed state in its neighbourhood and the influx of refugees with their socio-economic impact as India, despite its economic size, does not have the capacity to bolster the sagging systems in all these countries for all times. The choice is whether or not to become a totally dysfunctional state is the individual choice of the state yet how this is handled will be a major challenge for India in the future. Bangladesh, for instance, surrounded on three sides by India and crucial to India’s economic development, has the choice to become the birthplace for the next Islamic revolution or a reasonably modern economic state. Closer economic and trade tie-ups with India would generate employment and reasonable prosperity within the country. India could become an important stake holder in Bangladesh’s prosperity but is hampered by that country’s domestic political compulsions which seek sustenance in anti-India rhetoric. The same principles apply to Nepal where its political future still seems uncertain as the mainstream traditional political parties battle it out for space with the radical Maoists who seek a complete overhaul of the system. Sri Lanka seeks better political and economic ties with India but is constantly being pulled down by its own ethnic problems and the occasional urge to balance India with China. Bhutan has successfully amalgamated its economic system with India and has benefited from this. Myanmar has been difficult to prise it open for Indian interests but objects to any suggestion that it allows China a freer hand than other countries.

In the next part of the article series, we will analyse the China-Pakistan factor as a threat to India’s external security. (Click here for part 2)

कोल्ड स्टार्ट सिद्धांत

अर्थ

कोल्ड स्टार्ट एक सैन्य सिद्धांत है जिसे भारतीय सेना ने पाकिस्तान के खिलाफ संभावित युद्ध को ध्यान में रखकर विकसित किया है। कोल्ड स्टार्ट सिद्धान्त के अनुसार आदेश मिलने के 48 घंटों के भीतर हमला शुरू किया जा सकता है। इतने कम समय में हमला करने से भारतीय सेना पाकिस्तानी सेना को आश्चर्यचकित कर देगी।

इस पद्धति में भारतीय सेना के विभिन्न हिस्सों को आक्रमण के लिए एकीकृत करने पर जोर दिया गया है। इस तरह का अभियान पंजाब और राजस्थान के सीमावर्ती इलाकों में होगा। कोल्ड स्टार्ट सिद्धान्त का एक उद्देश्य युद्ध की स्थिति पाकिस्तान को परमाणु हमले से रोकना है, क्योंकि उसे जरा भी समय नहीं देना है।

source: indiatimes

उद्देश्य

इस योजना का मूल उद्देश्य तीव्रगति से हमले पर जोर दिया गया है। इसके बख्तरबंद वाहन और तोपखाना पाकिस्तान के इलाके में इसके अन्तर्गत कम से कम समय में प्रवेश कराया जा सकता है।

कोल्ड स्टार्ट सिद्धान्त को पाकिस्तान के खिलाफ भारतीय सेनाओं को कुछ हफ्तों के स्थान पर केवल कुछ दिनों में ही तैनात करने के लिए बनाया गया था। इसका परीक्षण भी अभी युद्ध में किया जाना शेष है। इसका उद्देश्य है कि तत्काल लामबंदी और त्वरित हमले से पाकिस्तान आश्चर्यचकित रह जाएगा। इससे पाकिस्तानी प्रतिक्रिया के पहले ही भारत अपने उद्देश्यों को हासिल कर सकेगा। अंतर्राष्ट्रीय समुदाय द्वारा युद्ध रोकने की पहल से पूर्व ही भारत अपने उद्देश्यों को पूर्ण कर चुका होगा।

पृष्ठभूमि

सेना लम्बे समय से एक सैन्य सिद्धान्त पर कार्य कर रही थी जो कि काफी पुराना पड़ चुका था। संसद भवन पर आतंकवादी हमले के बाद पाकिस्तान के खिलाफ सेनाओं की तैनाती के ऑपरेशन पराक्रम के दौरान इस सिद्धान्त की कई कमजोरियां प्रकाश में आईं। इनको दूर करने के कई प्रयास किए गए।

इसके बाद सेना ने एक व्यापक आधुनिकीकरण कार्यक्रम शुरू किया। परन्तु सेना की आक्रमणात्मक क्षमता में अत्यधिक वृद्धि करने वाले नए हथियारों को हासिल करने में विलंब हुआ। यहां तक कि भविष्य में एक युद्ध में महत्त्वपूर्ण भूमिका निभाने वाली या दुश्मन सेना के पीछे से जाकर हमला करने वाली भारत की विशेष सेनाओं को भी अत्याधुनिक हथियारों से पूर्णतः सुसज्जित करना अभी भी बाकी है।

समस्याएं

पाकिस्तान को असुरक्षित स्थिति में दबोचने और परमाणु हथियारों की छाया में युद्ध से कई समस्याएं हैं। इस सिद्धांत के सफलतापूर्वक क्रियान्वयन में भी कई किंतु-परंतु हैं। पाकिस्तान की प्रतिक्रिया का अंदाजा पहले से नहीं लगाया जा सकता और पाकिस्तान क्षेत्रों पर कब्जा बहुत कम समय के लिए हो सकता है क्योंकि उसे अधीन नहीं बनाया जा सकता। कुछ पाकिस्तानी प्रतिक्रियाओं में उनकी प्रतिरोधक रणनीति का महत्त्वपूर्ण संकेत मिलता है।

पाकिस्तान के शीर्ष सैन्य कमांडरों का कहना है कि भारत की कोल्ड स्टार्ट की रणनीति पाकिस्तानी सैन्य क्षमता के गलत आकलन और गलत धारणा पर आधारित है। भारत के नए सैन्य सिद्धान्त से खतरनाक रोमांचवाद पैदा होगा जिसके परिणाम गैर इरादतन और अनियंत्रित होंगे। सीमित युद्ध इस उपमहाद्वीप को खतरनाक स्थिति में पहुंचा देगा।

भारतीय रणनीति जिसका उद्देश्य आश्चर्य और गति के साथ एक परंपरागत हमला करना है, इस तथ्य की अनदेखी करता है कि पाकिस्तान के पास परमाणु हथियार हैं। इन हथियारों को तेज गति से हमले में भी नष्ट नहीं किया जा सकता है। पाकिस्तान पूर्वानुमानित हमले की स्थिति में मिसाइलों की संख्या में वृद्धि कर सकता है।

वास्तव में कोल्ड स्टार्ट सिद्धान्त केवल पश्चिमी मोर्चे पर पाकिस्तान के खिलाफ युद्ध में ही अपनाया जा सकता है।

सीमितता

पाकिस्तान से युद्ध सिर्फ भारत की समस्या नहीं। चीन एक दूसरा मोर्चा भी खोल देगा।

दो मोर्चों पर युद्ध एक अलग तरह का खेल होगा। दो मोर्चों पर युद्ध की रणनीति अभी सिद्धान्त रूप में आनी बाकी है। इस बात के संकेत हैं कि एक संभावित दो मोर्चों पर युद्ध की रणनीति के सिद्धान्त पर गहन चिंतन चल रहा है। चीन और पाकिस्तान के बढ़ते सहयोग को देखते हुए यह संभव है कि भारत को दो मोर्चों पर युद्ध का सामना करना पड़े। भारत सिर्फ पाकिस्तान को ध्यान में रखकर कोल्ड स्टार्ट सिद्धांत लागू नहीं कर सकता।

कोल्ड स्टार्ट के प्रति पड़ोसी देशों की नीति और भारतीय रणनीति