Power games at the tri-junction: Army in for the long haul in Dokalam: 

Power games at the tri-junction: Army in for the long haul in Dokalam: 

Indian troops are set to stay at Doklam Context

  • India troops are ready to confront Chinese activity beneath Bhutan’s border line.

Recent developments

  • Chinese commotion beneath Bhutan’s claim line has pushed the area towards crucial ridge-line.
  • This has numerous implications especially widening the area of Chinese control in an otherwise very narrow valley from around 8-9 km (Batang La to the Amo Chu river) to 12-13 km (Gamochen to the river)
  • The commotion leads to easing the logistics of moving large number of troops.
  • Control of the dictating ridgeline would give China a strong position, by some accounts even domination, over Indian posts to the west, and Bhutanese ones to the south and east.

India army to hold their position at Doklam

  • The Army is prepared for the long haul in holding onto its position in the Dokalam area near the Bhutan tri-junction.
  • China increasing rhetoric against India is demanding pulling back of Indian troops.
  • The armed forces deployed in the disputed area have pitched tents, in an indication that they are unlikely to retreat.
  • Any change would not come unless there will be reciprocity from Chinese personnel in ending the face-off at an altitude of around 10,000 feet in the Sikkim section.
  • The supplies are being arranged for the soldiers at the site, signaling that the Army is not going to wither under any pressure from China.
  • At the same time, they sounded confident of finding a diplomatic solution to the dispute, citing resolution of border skirmishes in the past through diplomacy.

India falling short at infrastructure development

  • India is still short of matching the striking infrastructure development in Tibet over the past decade.
  • India still has two-thirds of sanctioned roads on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) un-built.
  • Chinese forces on the other hand are moving through the Chumbi Valley, 90 km from top to bottom getting long, exposed flanks.
  • India has a formidable set of forces arrayed to the west, with mountain divisions in Gangtok (17th), Kalimpong (27th), and Binaguri (20th) further to the south, all of which are part of the Siliguri-based 33 Corps.
  • The 59th division of 17 Corps, India’s first mountain strike corps, raised for the purpose of offensive operations into Tibet, is headquartered in Panagarh and will reportedly be operational this year.

India’s military advantage: IMTRAT

  • India’s privileged relationship with Bhutan allows it to bring to bear large forces from the east.
  • A significant Indian Military Training Team (IMTRAT) is permanently based in western Bhutan, while other units regularly cooperate with the Royal Bhutan Army.
  • India’s willingness to intervene forcefully in a bilateral Bhutan-China dispute is a reflection both of India’s own vital interests in the Chumbi Valley and of its commanding position in Bhutan.

Towards the conclusion

  • There is a reasonable chance that this stand-off will end within weeks, with China quietly halting road construction and Indian troops returning westward to their posts.
  • The risk of escalation appears low.
  • The Indian government is conducting a national security review of Chinese investment in South Asia.
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Law, morality, triple talaq: 

Law, morality, triple talaq

(Triple Talaq-a conflict between law and morality) Context:

  • The issue is not whether triple talaq is an essential practice of Islam, but whether it is an essential practice of the Hanafi school.

The difference:

  • The concept of “sin” draws on blind beliefs based on morality and no court can make something pious if a religious sect considers it sinful.
  • Thus, if a person makes a gift of his entire property in favor of one of his children to the exclusion of others, such a gift is sinful but valid.
  • Even the Prophet’s strong disapproval cannot make an action illegal under the Hanafi school.
  • Though the Prophet has expressed his displeasure on bequeathing property to one child while excluding others as well as on instant triple talaq, both practices remain valid under the Hanafi School.


  • Once there is triple divorce, the Hanafi School regards resumption of the matrimonial relationship between the divorced couple as both sinful and illegal.
  • If illiterate masses, neighborhood and relatives continue to regard such a reunion as sinful and illegitimate, This will indirectly be creating more problems for the couple and their children.
  • There is a divergence of opinion amongst Islamic jurists which means that there are several schools of Islamic law.
  • In India, most Muslims follow the Hanafi school. The controversy over instant triple talaq stems from the fact that this school deems this practice as valid.
  • And moreover, Article 26 of the Constitution guarantees freedom “in matters of religion” to not only “every religious denomination” but also to “to any sect thereof”.
  • Thus, the Hanafi school enjoys constitutional protection.


  • We must educate people and the Board must ensure that all divorces henceforth happen as per the Quranic procedure.
  • The best solution to remove the menace of triple divorce under the Hanafi School is to order the incorporation of an explicit condition in the nikahnama that there shall be no instant triple divorce and the wife too will have a right to divorce.
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Seeds of a million tyrannies: 

Seeds of a million tyrannies

(Seeds of a million tyrannies) Context: The anti-minority violence in India is witnessing a change not principally because of its scale, but because of the processes engendering it. Introduction:

  • Formìggini’s despairing suicide is a useful prism to contemplate the silence of India as it is confronted with the religious right’s apparently inexorable rise.
  • The recent lynching protests will prove, more likely than not, a despairing lament for a dying secular order, rather than the kernel of a new politics.
  • The remarkable feature of the ongoing communal violence in India is how much consent it enjoys: If there is public outrage, it has been remarkably slow to emerge from people’s front doors.
  • The new element is state is abandoning the republican project, and ceding control to local squads independent of central authority. These are the seeds from which a million tyrannies may flower.
  • The new world full of jobs and opportunity they promise, their own followers rapidly come to understand, is a chimera.
  • Like the fascist state in Italy, the Indian state, however, does hold out a road to riches — a system of patronage.

Conclusion: The victims are of no great consequence unless one happens to be among them, and most are not.

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Prelims Related News

Prelims Related News

Curcumin nanoparticles found to shorten TB treatment time

Context Basic ingredient of turmeric is five times more ‘bio-available’ in mice than in the regular one.


  • Curcumin, the basic ingredient of turmeric, when administered in a nanoparticle formulation has several favourable properties in the treatment of tuberculosis in mice.
  • Nanoparticle curcumin are five times more bio-available (which is the proportion of drug that enters circulation after introduction into the body) in mice, than regular curcumin, and was able to drastically reduce liver toxicity induced by TB drug isoniazid.
  • Treatment of TB with isoniazid along with 200 nanometre curcumin nanoparticles led to “dramatically reduced” risk of disease reactivation and re-infection.


  • Because of the increased bioavailability of curcumin, the duration of treatment to achieve complete eradication of the bacteria is reduced significantly.
  • The treatment time required for complete eradication of bacteria was reduced by 50% in the case of mice.

Use of Curcumin

  • Patients stop taking anti-TB drugs for a few days due to liver toxicity. Since the addition of curcumin reduces liver toxicity, there can be better treatment adherence and lesser risk of drug resistance emerging.
  • Like diabetes drug metformin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that limit inflammation, curcumin is a host-directed therapy, where the body’s immune system is manipulated, rather than targeting the cause of the disease directly. Besides reducing inflammation, curcumin nanoparticles were found to enhance the immune system.
  • Curcumin blocks the Kv1.3 potassium channel and prevents apoptosis, or cell death, of T cells that come up with an immune response.
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Easier access to H1N1 medicines raises fears of drug resistance

Easier access to H1N1 medicines raises fears of drug resistance (The Hindu)

Context Misuse may lead to situations of anti-viral medications turning ineffective. Issue and Concerns

  • There are concerns regarding a build-up of resistance to antiviral drugs used to treat swine flu surfacing, after two such drugs Oseltamivir and Zanamivir were taken off the restrictive Schedule X of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules.
  • Now under Schedule H1, the drugs can be stocked by all chemists.
  • Central health authorities have also advised doctors to prescribe the drugs based on strong symptoms, without opting for the swab test.
  • Medical experts say these decisions could lead to misuse and eventually, severe drug resistance.

More details

  • Oseltamivir and Zanamivir are antiviral drugs that block the actions of influenza virus types A and B in the body. While Oseltamivir is available as tablets, Zanamivir comes in powder form.
  • We are already witnessing antibiotic resistance and related hazards. Resistance built up only because antibiotics were easily available and even sold over the counter. Now, we seem to be going the same way with antiviral drugs.

Conclusion Bacteria mutate much faster than viruses. So, resistance should not be a cause of concern when there is a spurt in H1N1 cases.

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Debt funds as an Investment Option (IGST).

Debt funds as an Investment Option (IGST).

Context: The Centre has through a notification and a circular eased the paper work required to export goods without the exporter having paid the Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST).

Introduction: According to the GST Rules, traders who wanted to export without paying IGST had to provide a bond or letter of undertaking (LUT) promising to pay the tax. This requirement did not clarify who exactly needed to provide a bond and who was eligible to provide a LUT. It is also involved complexity to do with the recipient of these documents. The Centre has allowed the bond or LUT to be submitted manually and not electronically on the GST portal. The notification and circular by the Government, both dated July 7, said that the IGST needs to be paid only for exports after July 1, 2017, and detail the eligibility of exporters to provide the necessary documents.

What is IGST?

  • IGST means Integrated Goods and Services Tax, one of the three categories under Goods and Services Tax (CGST, IGST, and SGST), with a concept of one tax one nation.
  • The notification and circular by the Government, both dated on July 7, said that the IGST needs to be paid only for exports after July 1, 2017.
  • IGST is a part of Goods and Service Tax(GST).
  • IGST falls under Integrated Goods and Services Tax Act 2016.
  • IGST is charged when movement of goods and services from one state to another.
  • The revenue out of IGST is shared by state government and central government as per the rates fixed by the authorities.

As per GST Laws:

  • Under the GST regime, an Integrated GST(IGST) would be levied and collected by the Centre on inter-state supply of goods and services.
  • Under Article 269A of the Constitution, the GST on supplies in the course of inter-state trade or commerce shall be levied and collected by the Government and such tax shall be appointed between the Union and the States in the manner as may be provided by Parliament by law on the recommendations of the Goods and Services Tax Council.
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