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8 February 2017 Question Bank


8th FEBRUARY 2017


(3 Questions)

Answer questions in NOT MORE than 200 words each. Content of the answer is more important than its length.

Links are provided for reference. You can also use the Internet fruitfully to further enhance and strengthen your answers.


1.    The Constitution of India mandates reservation for women in local bodies. Why has it turned difficult to be implemented in Nagaland over the years?


Naga women reservation timeline:

  • All-male tribal bodies have been against the 33% reservation for women in urban local bodies (ULBs) in Nagaland right from the time the Nagaland government enacted the Nagaland Municipal (First Amendment) Act in 2006, on the grounds that reservation for women in ULBs would violate Article 371(A) of the Constitution and infringe on Naga culture, traditions and customary laws.
  • Faced with vehement opposition, the Nagaland government did not conduct elections to civic bodies for over 10 years.
  • Spearheaded by the Naga Mothers′ Association (NMA), Naga women filed a writ petition challenging the State government′s refusal to hold municipal elections before the Kohima Bench of the Gauhati High Court on June 26, 2011.
  • In October 2011, a single-judge bench of the court upheld the Naga women′s petition and directed the government to hold elections to municipal councils and town councils on or before January 20, 2012.
  • But before the deadline, the Nagaland government filed an appeal before a Division Bench of the Gauhati High Court, which stayed the previous ruling.
  • One of the arguments put forward by the Nagaland government was the claim that implementing such a law would ′upset the peace′ in Nagaland.
  • On September 22, 2012, the Nagaland State Assembly adopted a resolution rejecting women′s reservation in ULBs on the ground that it infringes on the social and customary practices of the Nagas, which Article 371(A) safeguards.
  • The Joint Action Committee on Women Reservation (JACWR) then moved a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court in September 2012.
  • On April 20, 2016, the Supreme Court upheld the single-judge ruling of the Gauhati High Court of October 2011.
  • So, the Nagaland government enacted the Nagaland Municipal (Third Amendment) Bill 2016, which revoked the September 2012 resolution, paving the way for women′s reservation in ULBs.
  • Early in January, the State government announced that elections to the ULBs would be held on February 1, 2017

Tribal threats

  • The tribal bodies protested loudly as soon as the elections were announced and threatened candidates who intended to file nominations that they would be ex-communicated from their respective tribes.
  • Coming under pressure, some candidates didn′t file nominations and some others withdrew their papers.
  • Those who refused to withdraw from the fray were ex-communicated, ranging from 10 to 30 years.
  • Through all this, the State government remained a silent spectator and failed to assert the rule of law.
  • When the State government refused to call off the elections, the tribal bodies announced a bandh from January 28 to February 1.
  • They enforced the bandh across Nagaland although elections took place in several places on February 1.
  • Meanwhile, on January 31, two persons were killed in Dimapur, the commercial capital of the State. Things soon took an ugly turn, and the Nagaland government declared the elections ′null and void′.
  • Since then, tribal bodies have begun clamouring for more, seeking the resignation of the Chief Minister, no less.
  • Though life is limping back to normal, there is still a bandh on government offices and a restriction on movement of government vehicles.
  • But it must be said that even before the bandh call, the focus had started shifting from women′s reservation to issues of taxes and land ownership contained in the Nagaland Municipal (Third Amendment) Bill 2016.

Unconstitutional demand

  • What is even more alarming, and preposterous, is that the Nagaland government has decided to write to the Centre demanding that Nagaland be exempted from Part IX A of the Constitution, which contains a mandatory provision under Article 243T for 33% women reservation in ULBs.
  • Reservation for women is necessary in patriarchal societies like Naga society, for instance, where there is a historical culture of inequalities even though Nagas don′t practise sati, female foeticide and infanticide, and do not believe in dowry or the caste system. But Naga customs, culture and traditions preclude women from inheriting land and participating in the decision-making process, which is exactly what Article 371(A) protects.


2.    Discuss India Africa relations highlighting the convergence between India′s Africa policy and the Agenda 2063.



About Africa:

  • Africa includes some of the world′s fastest growing economies.
  • African nations are among the world′s largest and most generous hosts of refugees.
  • Africa provides the majority of UN peacekeepers around the world.
  • More than three out of five Africans are under 35 years of age. Making the most of this tremendous asset means more investment in education, training, decent work, and engaging young people in shaping their future.
  • Also, empowering women is essential so that they can play a significant role in sustainable development and sustainable peace.

( India-Kenya Relations:

  • Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, one of India′s most important African partners, visited India as a special guest at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit.
  • The Kenyan president is committed to development, counterterrorism and peace in East Africa.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi′s African safari in July 2016 took him to South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya.
  • Bilateral trade, valued at $4.23 billion in 2014-15, has the potential for rapid growth if Indian companies are willing to be active in a competitive market.
  • Diverse sectors in Kenya, such as energy, pharmaceuticals, textiles, agriculture and financial services, will welcome greater involvement of India Inc.
  • Some major Indian corporates, including the Tatas, Reliance, Essar, Kirloskars and Dr. Reddy′s, are flourishing in Kenya.
  • Kenya, the earliest home to Indian investments, is hungry for more.
  • Mr. Kenyatta, following his ′Look East′ policy, has developed close relations with China but he needs other partners too. )

(India-Kenya Relations is extra info -> cannot be directly part of answer to this question)

India′s Africa policy

  • India′s Africa policy is broadly in line with Agenda 2063, promoted by the African Union.
  • However, some recalibration in New Delhi′s approach may be needed because issues such as UN reform, counterterrorism, climate change and international solar alliance will inevitably take longer to show results.
  • Meanwhile, India must concentrate on actions that strengthen its economic cooperation with select African countries.
  • The third India-Africa Forum Summit was held in New Delhi in 2015 and there was an unprecedented political outreach to Africa through visits by the President, Vice-President and Prime Minister to a dozen countries in 2016.
  • India′s Africa experts have been disappointed with the decision to put off the next summit with Africa to 2020 instead of 2018 as was expected, after a gap of three years.
  • The second India-Africa Forum Summit was held in 2011 in Addis Ababa.



India-Japan Cooperation in Africa:

  • The sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development Summit was held in August 2016 in Nairobi. This was the first TICAD summit held in Africa.
  • Japan and India are committed, especially after Mr. Modi′s visit to Tokyo, to enhance long-term collaboration in Africa.
  • By participating jointly in key infrastructure development projects in Kenya and the surrounding region, Indian and Japanese companies can offer an innovative model.

The way ahead:

  • As U.S. president-elect Donald Trump prepares to enter the White House, there are apprehension is that Africa may be sidelined in the first two years of the new administration.
  • This makes it imperative for India to take a keener interest in Africa if it is serious about playing a global role.

East African Community (EAC)

The East African Community (EAC), comprising Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan, has emerged as one of the most successful of Africa′s Regional Economic Communities.

Having established a customs union, it is building a single market and wants to set up a monetary union.

The bulk of foreign investment here comes from China.

An expert on EAC affairs says that despite its complex challenges, “the EAC has fared admirably well”.

The Indian government and India Inc. need to devise a trade and industrial cooperation strategy to upgrade existing links with the EAC.

But India has to tread with caution as the traditional rivalry between Kenya, the regional economic powerhouse, and Tanzania, the largest member-state, has been renewed.

To Tanzania′s chagrin, President Kenyatta has established closer ties with Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi under the umbrella of “the coalition of the willing”.

However, India enjoys friendly and cooperative relations with all EAC members and is in a position to enhance its engagement with the region.




3.    India needs a Chief of Defence Staff to provide single-point military advice to the government. Discuss.


Need for Chief of Defence Staff (CDS):

  • Though modernisation of the military is regularly discussed, intellectual and organisational change, which should support it, is not highlighted.
  • Under the present structure, military advice received by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is fragmented and from multiple points.
  • The justification for appointing a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) has primarily been to provide single-point military advice to the government.
  • At the moment, each of the service chiefs provides military advice to the civil-political executive, all independent of one another.
  • What is absent are the benefits of holistic military assessment and estimates, appraisal of multiple options, cogent single-point advice based on optimised pay-offs and preparation of the military from the ownership perspective by the MoD instead of by the Services.
  • Higher political leadership requires briefing on the military implications of decisions and policies.
  • The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and his control structures through a strategic vision are expected to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the planning process and ensure the required jointness is achieved in execution through theatre commands against a nuclear backdrop.
  • Such a structure is expected to provide a politico-military decision-making authority with a sophisticated crisis management procedure.
  • This would systemically enable implementation of a proactive doctrine against Pakistan, and help cope with China′s conventional and asymmetric capabilities.
  • More effectively, its scope will allow benefits for dealing with hybrid threats and periodic transgressions extending to limited localised operations more effectively.
  • These remain the cardinal justifications to appoint a Permanent Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (PC-COSC) or the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).
  • Group of Ministers (GoM) which was set up in 2000 (post-Kargil) to review India′s defence management had recommended that the Defence Secretary would function as the Principal Defence Adviser to the Defence Minister in a manner similar to the role to be performed by the CDS/PC-COSC as the Principal Military Adviser, with both enjoying an equal status in terms of their working relationship.

Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC)

  • Chiefs of Staff are the authority for advising the Defence Minister and normally through him the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs on all military matters which require ministerial consideration.
  • The COSC is composed of:

(a)    Chief of the Army Staff (COAS);

(b)   Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS);

(c)    Chief of the Air Staff (CAS); and

(d)   Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (non-voting member).

(e)    The Scientific Adviser to the Minister of Defence is invited to attend whenever needed.

  • The senior most member of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) is appointed its Chairman.
  • The Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) is the principal arm and Secretariat to the Chiefs of Staff Committee.

Integrated Defence Staff (IDS)

  • To ensure a high degree of synergy between the Armed forces, the Government has set up the Integrated Defence Staff, headed by the Chief of Integrated Staff as the Chairman.
  • It was created in 2001 based on the recommendations of the Group of Ministers (GoM) which was set up in 2000 (post-Kargil) to review India′s defence management.
  • It acts as the point organisation for integration of policy, doctrine, war fighting and procurement by employing best management practices.
  • The current Chief of Integrated Defence Staff is Lt General Satish Dua who took over on 31 October 2016.
  • The CDS/PC-COSC would require support from a restructured Integrated Defence Staff (IDS), empowered through appropriate amendments in the Allocation and Transaction of Business Rules and other regulations to reflect new responsibilities.
  • Similarly, a human resources policy of reward and reprimand will need to be recalibrated to support new realities.
  • Failing this, the current lack of authority of an IDS, in spite of institutionalising of the post, will remain.
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