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  1. Terrorism finance has been termed as the lifeblood of terrorism. What are the steps taken by India to curb terror financing? What are the challenges in combating terror financing?
Answer: Challenges in combating terror finance:
  1. Unlike the US and Europe, where the threat is essentially external and from non-state actors, India faces a cross section of challenges including state sponsorship of terrorism and its financing from Pakistan, domestic insurgencies localised in specific regions of the country, and finally terrorist groups like the Indian Mujahideen (IM) as pan-India operatives.
  2. Northeastern states and areas affected by Maoists are essentially funded through the process of privatisation of terrorism finance.
  3. The initiative of the central government to establish the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) in India has remained mired in controversies.
  4. The undercover initiative of Cobrapost led to the unearthing of series of incidents of financial impropriety witnessed in public domain. This saw a large number of banks and insurance providers willing to launder money for customers.
  5. Terrorism finance related activities possess a deep rooted linkage with crime and politics.
  6. India faces its most potent terrorism finance threat from across its borders.
Steps taken by India:
  1. Curbing terror finance is one of the stated goals of demonetisation.
  2. Raids conducted by Security Agencies, to choke the funding patterns of various terrorists outfits.
  3. Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)
  4. India has become a full-fledged member of Financial Action Task Force (FATF)
  5. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued a number of circulars, which provide guidelines and standards to be met by banks, which includes the master circular of Know Your Customer/Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Finance of Terrorism Obligations.
 
  1. Is Aadhaar posing a national security threat? What are the perceived threats attached with Aadhaar? What steps are taken or could have taken to counter these strategic threats.
Answer: Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique identification number issued by the Indian government to every individual resident of India. Perceived threats:
  1. Aadhaar is a centralised database and therefore susceptible to cyber attacks.
  2. Aadhaar authentication data is of strategic value to a foreign adversary.
  3. A DDoS attack on Aadhaar servers can prevent legitimate devices or applications from authenticating transactions.
  4. A “man in the middle” attack by an actor posing as the Aadhaar authenticator, could confuse the e-filing portal to divulge information.
  5. That the data could be used by state to plan a mass surveillance program on its citizens.
  6. Any breach may provide valuable information to criminals. This might lead to either illegal tracking of individuals or identification without consent.
  7. Such records may also aid in providing data on the precise location, time and context of the services availed by that individual.
  8. Sensitive financial information of individuals and companies may also be exposed through breaches of the UID database or internal collusion.
Steps taken:
  1. Aadhaar Act and the provisions against data access by unauthorised persons.
  2. Virtual Aadhaar Ids
  3. Strengthening norms to further secure biometric ID
  4. UIDAI released a new feature which lets users lock/unlock their biometrics in Aadhaar.
  5. It has also released a video to help customers who are seeking ways to enhance protection of Aadhaar card data.
  6. UIDAI has come up with a new option for users who do not intend to use their biometrics for a prolonged period since there is an option now to authenticate services using Aadhaar VID.
Steps to combat the threats:
  1. Decentralising data storage systems.
  2. Strengthening cyber security infrastructure in the country.
  3. Awareness generation from the stage of registering individuals with Aadhaar.
  4. Data localisation measures in place.
  5. Strong data protection regime should be implemented soon.
 
  1. What are the root causes of Naga insurgency? Do you think Naga accord would help to resolve the conflict?
Answer: Causes of Naga insurgency:
  1. The British annexed Assam in 1826, and in 1881, the Naga Hills too became part of British India.
  2. Demand for a “Greater Nagalim” comprising “all contiguous Naga-inhabited areas”, along with Nagaland.
Nagaland peace accord is the accord signed in 2015 by the Government of India and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) to end the insurgency. Though the details of the accord are yet to come in public domain, broad provisions are:
  1. The framework agreement is based on the "unique" history of Nagas and recognising the universal principle that in a democracy sovereignty lies with the people.
  2. National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) has given up its demand for ‘Greater Nagaland’ and vowed allegiance to the constitution of India.
  3. Government of India has also made clear that existing boundaries of states will not be altered.
Analysis:
  1. It will restore peace and pave the way for prosperity in the North East.
  2. It will advance a life of dignity, opportunity and equity for the Naga people, based on the uniqueness of the Naga people and their culture and traditions.
  3. But it is not received well by other North Eastern states like Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh as it did not involve them in negotiations and involves ceding some of the districts from these states.
 
  1. Why the Civil Society interventions in India for development need to be increased? Discuss whether the Civil Societies can be described as "development alternatives".
Answer: Civil society can be understood as the "third sector" of society, distinct from government and business, and including the family and the private sphere. Why the interventions need to be increased:
  1. It is more aware of the ground realities than the government which operates from headquarters.
  2. It involves people in decision making, thus deepening democracy.
  3. It paves way for greater accountability of government run schemes and programmes.
  4. It is also recommended for economy and efficiency in implementation of schemes as the facts are close to what is needed at ground.
  5. Empowerment is a key benefit of a strong civil society.
  6. Civil society delivers things that state, market, and family cannot deliver.
Development alternatives  Civil society can’t be termed as an alternative. It is complementary in nature to the existing mechanisms. Reasons are:
  1. Lack of independent financial prowess of the groups.
  2. Lack of an overarching vision due to fragmented and isolated working of various groups.
  3. Persistence of conflicting ideas and ideologies.
  4. Very difficult to establish accountability of civil society groups.