- India and U.S to make important announcement on Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA)
2. The COMCASA will facilitate exchange of secure communications between the two militaries and allow the sale of encrypted communication systems to India.
3. Both the countries said, it is difficult to say if agreement on COMCASA would be signed during 2+2 dialogue.
4. Initially India had concern that it will allow U.S to access secure communication channels however India accepted it.
5. U.S has designated India as a Major Defence Partner.
6. U.S has said, in order to access cutting edge technology India have to first sign foundational agreement with U.S.
7. Indian military has also raised the concern that COMCASA will allow U.S to penetrate into India most secure strategic communication grid.
8. According to India, it is working on terms and condition and could take time as it took in 2016 for Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Understanding.
9. Other major announcement could be made on
- Under U.S Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) an announcement could be made on Defence Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx)to allow cross posting of officials.
- For this purpose, India already have created Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) to work on joint development projects
- US sale of MH-60 Romeo maritime helicopters and armed drones.
- A joint tri-service Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) exercise.
- Discussion on issue of India defence cooperation with Russia under Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act,
10. India already has cleared the deal with Russia to purchase S-400 long range air defence system.
- M.K. Narayana, a former Indian NSA has analyzed India’s approach towards New Pakistan.
2. Newly elected government in Pakistan has promised to bring about improvement in India and Pakistan relationship.
3. However according to Author, India need to be little careful before taking concrete steps because:
- India and Pakistan has witnessed several false starts whenever the new government was formed in Pakistan
- Concern over newly elected Prime Minister who lack political experience.
- Promised made by new Government could be a delusion as newly appointed political leaders in past tried same stunt to improve relationship with India but failed.
- Leaders in the past such as Nawaz Sharif, Benazir Bhutto has paid heavy price whenever they tried to bring democratic interest.
- Failure of Political Party to withstand interest of Pakistan Military (Deep State) which controls every aspect of Political activity.
- Pakistan Foreign Minister commitment do not seems to be promising.
- Deepen interest of Pakistani Military in controlling state affairs may undermine political willingness to improve the relationship.
- Newly appointed Prime Minister seems to be a prisoner of Deep State.
4. India need to assess the situation carefully before jump to any conclusion.
5. Author has discussed some dimensions what India needs to assess.
- Acknowledgement of threat to new Pakistani Government from outside (terrorist) and Inside (Military).
- Clarity over short and medium term goals before taking long term initiatives.
- Framework which will bring positive outcome.
- To check with whom Pakistan make the first approach in terms of relationship. It seem under the influence of Deep State it may choose China, U.S and West over India.
6. What India should do
- Step back and provide scope for people to people connect initiative.
- Coordinate strategies among different agencies and government for peace and prosperity.
- Enhance involvement of Like-Minded people in both countries who are interested in peaceful relation.
- India should also take steps to encourage the rest of the world to defend democracy in Pakistan.
7. However major challenge is to tackle the groups who do not wish for healthy and peaceful relation between both countries.
8. India should strive for collective action among civil society across the world to create suitable climate of peace and better relation.
- Indian Vice President calling for Code for Politicians.
2. Recently, a book named “Moving on, Moving Forward: A Year in Office” written by Indian Vice President has been released.
3. He has emphasized to have Code of Conduct for Politicians in upper and lower house of the parliament.
4. He has said any discrimination against caste, religion gender is against the spirit of Nationalism.
5. Focus was on maintaining the discipline, but India PM said in our society it is been taken as an act of Autocrat.
6. Indian VP also raises his concern over frequent disruption in function of Rajya Sabha.
7. He demanded for implementation of Anti-Defection law within 3 months.
- U.S Military to cancel $300 Million aid to Pakistan.
2. U.S has blamed Pakistan for not supporting U.S strategy in cracking down militancy operation in South Asia.
3. U.S wanted Pakistan to target all terrorist group indiscriminately. But instead it seems, ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) of Pakistan funding and providing arms to Taliban on Ideological basis.
4. Pakistan has also been accused of impeding India’s influence in Afghanistan.
5. U.S has already provided financial aid to Pakistan of more than $33 Billion in last 15 years. But in return has got bare minimum help from Pakistan.
6. U.S has blamed Pakistan for providing safe heaven to terrorist.
- Feroze Varun Gandhi, an MP has talked about the challenges associated with management of Natural Disaster in India.
2. Coastal plain of Kerala between Western Ghats and Arabian Sea is vulnerable to several natural hazard.
3. Landslide, Flooding, Coastal Erosion being the most common incidents.
4. Author has presented detailed analysis on Factors, Challenges and Measures India need to adopt to deal with Natural Disaster.
5. Factors leading to vulnerability of India:
- 70 % of area is prone to Tsunami and cyclones and 12 % prone to flood.
- 60 % of its area are prone to earthquake.
- Multi story buildings in the urban India is more prone to risk.
- Instead of reinforced cement and concrete houses are made up of burnt/un-burnt bricks.
- Lack of Civil Engineers who are specialized in Earthquake Engineering.
6. Challenges leading to collapse of Disaster management in India:
- No specialized team to deal with Disaster though it was proposed in 2003 for Kerala.
- Team had personal from Industrial Security Forces and Indo-Tibetan Border Police.
- Lack of Doppler Radars which are required for early alerts of cloudburst and heavy rain.
- Fail to comply with guidelines on construction in flood prone regions.
- Only few states have plan for large dams in India.
- Inflow forecast covers only 30 reservoirs and barrages out of 4,800.
- No upgradation in Observatory network.
- Shortage of trained manpower, training, infrastructure and equipment with national Disaster Response Force.
- Disaster plan is more focused to urban areas than rural.
- Exclusion of people living in unauthorized area (agricultural labors are also included)
- They are more prone to disaster as they are excluded from rural credit market.
- Prevalent corruption in the revenue officials department.
- Finally only 10 % of fund under Calamity Relief Fund can be allocated to unlisted disaster.
7. What India Need to do:
- Constitute specialized agency to deal with disaster.
- Revise the norms for disaster relief. (E.g. compensation amount paid to build an infrastructure is not uniform and it varies from state to state.)
- If amount paid is not adequate it may lead to incomplete recovery.
- Need of Planned urbanization like Japan.
- To have a strong disaster management plan which can focus on immediate contingency.
- To bring long-term rehabilitation strategy.
- NDRF must fill vacancy.
8. Finally, focus need to be re-orient from managing disaster to improving resilience.
- India economy grew at 8.2 % in Apr-June, but risk remains.
2. India economy grew at 8.2 %, fastest pace in 9 quarters.
3. Growth was seen due to strong performance in manufacturing sector.
4. Some Industry wise growth data.
- Manufacturing grew at 13.5 % after shrinking 1.8 % in the first quarter in last year.
- Construction and Agriculture grew at 8.7 % and 5.3 % respectively in 1st quarter of 2018.
5. Indian Economy had grown just 5.6 % in Q1 of 2017-18 owing effect of GST and Demonetization.
6. However 8 % of growth can be attributed to
- Resolution on GST transition problems.
- Budgetary support to rural economy.
- Effect of lower base rate.
- Government spending made significant contribution.
7. However Indian Finance Minister has raised the concern over the quality of growth due to
- Compromised on Fiscal and Current account deficit leading to inflation.
- GST collection have dipped about Rs.94,000 Crore.
- Rupees depreciation
- High Oil price trends.
- Expanding current account deficit may lead to future inflation in latter half of this year.
- Declined in growth of service sector from last year.
8. RBI has already tighten the monetary policy twice by increasing interest rate.
9. In near future, scope for growth is limited as RBI has adopted hard money policy by increasing the interest rate. Easy money policy helps the economy to grow.
10. Though India is fastest growing economy it needs to grow even faster for job creation.
- United Nation to bring regulations on High Seas.
2. High Seas and international marine zone cover about 46 % of the planet and lack adequate environmental protection.
3. The main goal is to protect marine biodiversity and pillaging (Marine Violence).
4. All states enjoy freedom of navigation, scientific research and fishing on High Seas
5. In 1982, United Nation adopted the Convention on the Law of Sea (UNCLOS) and left High Seas.
6. The convention took into effect in 1994 without U.S participation.
7. Since then exploitation of open sea has increased significantly due to Fishing, Expanded Shipping Routes and Mineral Extraction.
8. The new regulation will focus on creating protected areas on the high seas, more sharing of maritime resources and technology, and research on environmental impacts.
9. Whale hunting nation such as Japan, Iceland and Norway need to be cautious.
10. Negotiation on High Seas could prove to be a turning point.