1.The Mystery of Police Reforms (THE HINDU)
2. A rising power without allies (LiveMint)
3.Building Grass-Roots Student Innovators (Livemint)
1.The Mystery of Police Reforms (THE HINDU)
Synoptic line: It throws light on the long pending police reforms in India and issues associated with it. (GS paper II)
- Policing in India is guided by suspicion and usage of coercion. Police philosophy is based on force rather than a citizen centric service devised to serve masses.
- Problems with policing are derived from historical as well as cultural set up.
Evolution of Policing
- Major milestone to organise police as a force arrived in the aftermath of mutiny of 1857 which shook the very foundation of the administration of law and order in India. The diversity and inadequacy of the police machine to deal with the increasing problems of violence and disorder made the imperial government realize the urgency of a unified and re-organised police system for the entire country.
- Colonial government appointed an All India Police Commission in 1860 to look into the problems of police administration, and to suggest ways and means for an increase in police efficiency and to reduce excessive expenditure involved in maintaining the police force.
- Subsequently, Police Act 1861 was passed which guides the course of policing even today.
- The act of 1861 was legislated to make police a more efficient instrument for the prevention and detection of crime. It constituted a single homogenous force for the performance of all duties which could not be assigned to the military arm. Allegiance of police was made towards colonial government and bureaucracy rather toward citizens.
Why police reforms?
- As evident from day to day experiences, the sections of the police leadership are not contributing enough to the cause of consumer-sensitive policing. They are either selfish or dishonest, or indifferent.
- Many young IPS officers lose their commitment and devotion to service early in their careers, because of fear of ruthless politicians or disloyal subordinates.
- Moreover, citizens being a consumer in state, needs best of services and officers committed to their duty.
Notable milestones to reform police (poorly or not at all materialized):
National Police commission
- The Government of India appointed a National Police Commission in 1977 to reform the police system.
- The NPC submitted eight detailed which contained comprehensive recommendations covering the entire gamut of police working.
- The Commission even drafted a model Police Bill which could be enacted. However, it received no more than a superficial treatment at the hands of the Government of India.
Supreme court seven directives (2007)
- A State Security Commission should be constituted to:
- Ensure that the state government does not exercise unwarranted influence or pressure on the police.
- Lay down broad policy guidelines.
- Evaluate the performance of the state police.
- Ensure that the Director General of Police is appointed through a merit-based, transparent process, and secures a minimum tenure of 2 years.
- Fix minimum tenure.
- Separate the functions of investigation and maintaining law and order.
- Set up a Police Establishment Board to decide and make recommendations on transfers, postings, promotions and other service-related matters of police officers of and below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police.
- Establish a Police Complaints Authority in each state to look into complaints against police officials.
- A National Security Commission needs to be set up at the union level to prepare a panel for selection and placement of chiefs of the Central Police Organizations with a minimum tenure of 2 years.
It also mandated a new Police Act on the basis of a model Act prepared by the Union government and circulated to the States.
Progress on suggested reforms
- The implementation has been depressing as several State governments has devised their own means to dilute if the Supreme Court directives.
- Ruling that the court had stepped in mainly because there was no law on the subject, many States brought in makeshift insufficient legislations to water down the essentials of the Supreme Court direction.
- On the face of it, the new Police Acts appeared to be fully compliant with the judicial prescription. However, they were meant to deceive to the courts, without demonstrating any irreverence or defiance. This is why we still see Directors and Inspectors-Generals (IGs) being handed out a two-year tenure on paper, but given marching orders midway into their tenure on the most untenable and imaginary grounds. Nobody has protested.
- The objectives of the Police Establishment Board, conceived only to depoliticise appointments and transfers, have also not been implemented in spirit and still DGPs have to get informal prior political approval from the Chief Minister/Home Minister.
- Police is a state subject and thus union govt. has very restricted powers to reform each and every state. Hence, police can be included in concurrent list as a uniform policing reform can be made.
- Focus should be given on the quality of recruits and ensuring dedication and honesty in the day-to-day delivery of service to the public, by inculcating public empathy.
- Even now in majority of states, police SHO is appointed with the approval from local MLA. This type of political interference should be curtailed immediately and police should be made more independent.
2. A rising power without allies (LiveMint)
Synoptic line: It throws light on the depleting China-North Korea relations and loosing of significant allies by China. (GS paper and II)
- China has been undergoing through a genre of geopolitical crisis whereby China is loosing the cooperation with its neighboring countries and most significantly North Korea which has acted as all weather friend of China.
- Moreover, other South Asian countries are also not happy with China which can cost China and India can further leverage its position as being a responsible cordial power.
China- North Korea relations
- China is only prominent country with which North Korea shares cordial ties. Even, China is considered to be a nation which can tame the North Korea and can bring it on negotiation table to halt its nuclear arsenal.
- China’s support for North Korea dates back to the Korean War (1950-1953), when its troops flooded the Korean Peninsula to aid its northern ally.
- Since the war, China has lent political and economic backing to North Korea’s leaders
- It has helped sustain Kim Jong-un’s regime, and has historically opposed harsh international sanctions on North Korea.
- China is North Korea’s most important ally, biggest trading partner, and main source of food, arms, and energy. China is currently North Korea’s only economic backer of any importance.
- Due to North Korea’s increasing isolation, its dependence on China continues to grow, as indicated by the significant trade imbalance between the two countries. Some experts see the trade deficit as an indirect Chinese subsidy, given that North Korea cannot finance its trade deficit through borrowing.
Why China supports North Korea
- China regards stability on the Korean peninsula as its primary interest. Its support for North Korea ensures a friendly nation on its north-eastern border and provides a buffer between China and the democratic South, which is home to around 29,000 U.S. troops and marines.
- Moreover, China supports North Korea(NK) in order to keep in stabilized as any failure in NK may bring exodus of thousands of refugees in China which may not be desirable for China.
- China is loosing control on NK as well as its other allies. The deterioration in Beijing’s ties with North Korea, which is rich in mineral reserves may have huge costs in future.
- Moreover, China’s hold is also weakening over Myanmar, another country rich in natural resources.
- In such a situation, China is left with only one possible ally i.e. Pakistan. Although Pakistan is a useful tool for Beijing to contain India but it is a doubtful ally for China in a larger context.
Reasons of deteriorating Ties:
- Strains in the relationship began to surface when NK tested a nuclear weapon in 2006 and Beijing supported UN Security Council Resolution which imposed sanctions on NK. With this resolution and others, Beijing signalled a shift in tone from diplomacy to punishment.
- Following North Korea’s third nuclear test in February 2013, China summoned the North Korean ambassador, implemented new trade sanctions, reduced energy supplies to North Korea, and called for denuclearization talks.
- In 2013, NK also executed China’s most valued friend in the North Korean power hierarchy—Jang Song Thaek, a general who was Kim Jong Un’s uncle. This has also irked China against NK.
- NK’s fourth nuclear test as well as a ballistic missile launch in early 2016 have further complicated its relationship with Beijing.
- Further, recent poisoning of North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un’s estranged half-brother, Kim Jong Nam, in Malaysia represents a major setback for China. Beijing valued Kim Jong Nam as a key asset against the dictator, including as his possible replacement.
- China, also took a strong action against North Korea by imposing suspension of coal imports from NK.
- China’s declining relationship with NK coupled with China’s unilateralism in the region can isolate China geostrategically. Hence, India should opt to act as a responsible nation in contrast to China.
- Moreover, China also faced defeat in South China Sea verdict which further eroded China’s legitimacy. In this situation trio of Japan-USA-INDIA can lead to give China a tough competition can contain Pakistan effectively.
3.Building Grass-Roots Student Innovators (Livemint)
Synoptic line: it throws light on how a thinking platform can nurture creativity and “out of box” thinking. (GSII)
- Educational curriculum in India is dominated by rote learning and theoretical cramming, as a result open ended thinking and practical problem solving is ignored.
- Today’s Children are tomorrow’s workers and has to drive the technological revolution coupled with artificial intelligence, data analytics and sophisticated robotics.
- In this scenario Government is initiating several initiatives such as Atal innovation Mission and Atal Tinkering labs to promote viable and more practical thinking.
ATAL INNOVATION MISSION (AIM)
- Atal innovation mission is step towards the promotion of innovative business ideas by young talent of the country.
- Its objective is to serve as a platform for promotion of world-class Innovation Hubs, Grand Challenges, Start-up businesses and other self-employment activities, particularly in technology driven areas.
- The main mission of AIMs is to provide complete support to the start-ups by providing the facility of incubation centres. Under this mission financial help will be given to establish new incubation centres and improve and enhance the existing incubation centres.
Three major schemes under Atal Innovation Mission:
- Establishing Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATLs) in schools- Young children will get a chance to work with tools and equipment to understand the concepts of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
- Establishing New Atal Incubation Centers- 100 new incubation centers will be established in subject specific areas such as manufacturing, transport, energy, health, education, agriculture, water and sanitation, etc.
- Scaling-Up Established Incubation Centers
Atal Tinkering labs(ATL)
- ATLs are the beginning of an experiment to provide a failure-friendly space to school students to identify physical problems, experiment with possible solutions, and potentially come up with viable solutions.
- Present world is driven by an amalgamation of emerging technologies like data volumes, computational power, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, design, advanced robotics and cyber-physical systems.
- The ATL programme, relies on the premise that innovators are not born, they can be created from the ground up, by following a systemic approach of design thinking, which is about defining the problem you want to solve, ideating, brainstorming, creating prototypes, testing solutions and re-vectoring based on user feedback.
- Students in ATLs will be trained to use rapid prototyping, engineering equipment and encouraged to identify the local problems of their community and come up with solutions.
- ATLs will also engage students from the community, thereby spreading the mission of innovation to a larger population, with adequate safety measures in place. The goal is to create ATLs as open-ended innovation workspaces where students can go beyond the school curriculum and pre-defined science experiments.
- With the countries now entering the fourth generation of industrial revolution, more popularly called the generation of Industry 4.0., where the physical world meets digital worlds, it will be a step in the long journey for India to metamorphose from a developing nation to a developed nation, and to contribute heavily to the fourth industrial revolution.
- In the spirit of learning from experiments, AIM looks forward to learning from our pilot and including the lessons to design the next phase of the programme, to take it to every district in India. ATL is a first step in the long journey for India to metamorphose from a developing nation to a developed nation, and to contribute heavily to the fourth industrial revolution.
BRICS PLUS- A CONCERN FOR INDIA
- China’s foreign minister Wang Yi has come up with the idea of extending the remit of the BRICS bloc by inviting other developing countries under a new banner -`BRICS Plus’.
- On the face, China is contending that it is just exploring modalities for BRICS-plus, to hold outreach dialogues with other major developing countries.
- Ostensibly, China wants to increase South-South cooperation on array of topics, hence this expansion is being carried on.
- The Chinese foreign minister said China’s goal is to strengthen the BRICS partnership. It planned to introduce a system of stand-alone meeting of foreign ministers, hold sports and cultural events among BRICS countries.
· Commonwealth is a free association of (52 states)sovereign states comprising the United Kingdom and a number of its former dependencies who have chosen to maintain ties of friendship and practical cooperation.
· Commonwealth differs from other international bodies. It has no formal constitution or bylaws. The members have no legal or formal obligation to one another; they are held together by shared traditions, institutions, and experiences as well as by economic self-interest.
· Commonwealth day is celebrated on March 13 and theme for 2017 Commonwealth stands to be “Peace building”
Implications for India
- However, according to analysts, China is trying to expand its influence by inviting its allies, and the move might result in the dilution of role played by India and other countries in BRICS.
- Post expansion, India may be the worst affected among BRICS partners as the organization would lose its focus and coherence on development issues and become more like a political platform for China.
- China may invite pro-Beijing countries like Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Mexico to join, the platform.
- China may even try to turn BRICS into a China centric organization along the lines of Shanghai Cooperation Organization.