Why Indian Military doctrine Should include both Sun Tzu & Kautilya?
Synopsis – In a recent address PM has called for indigenization of the national security system including that of doctrines, procedures, and customs. This shift towards indigenization shouldn’t lead to the complete ignorance of foreign strategic thoughts.
- A recent, PM address at the Commanders’ Conference stressed the importance of indigenization of the national security system, not just in sourcing equipment and weapons but also in the military doctrines, procedures, and customs practiced in the armed forces i.e. the Indian armed forces doctrine.
- But, this doesn’t mean that India should reject the ideas of any foreign military strategist. A balanced approach is the need of the hour.
Evolution of Indian armed forces
- Indian armed forces have evolved from the British military. Hence, they have absorbed certain legacies and war-fighting strategies from it.
- Moreover, in modern times Indian armed forces have learned equally from their large-scale interactions with armies of other countries.
- Training academies too have reformed with time. Professional military education (PME) is also upgraded after few years.
What is PME?
PME is the bedrock of military doctrine.
Issue with PME
Challenges and concerns
- Indigenization is good, but there is a concern that while encouraging indigenous strategic thought, inputs from “foreign” writings could be ignored.
- Producing a new indigenous doctrine at this stage would be challenging. Many developments have taken place very recently, such as: –
|Also Read: Ultimate Military Strength Index|
Global best practices
Military strategy doctrines of major developed countries in the world include lessons from diverse foreign resources, irrespective of their nationality.
- UK Joint doctrine: The 2014 UK Joint Doctrine 0-01 starts with a Sun Tzu quote:
- “Thus, it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory is won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and then looks for victory”. This is timeless and not country-specific.
- US Doctrine: Similarly, the US Army ADP1-01 Doctrine Primer commences with a quote of J F C Fuller, the British military historian,
- The central idea of an army is known as its doctrine, which to be sound must be based on the principles of war, and which to be effective must be elastic enough to admit of mutation in accordance with change in circumstances. In its ultimate relationship to the human understanding this central idea or doctrine is nothing else than common sense—that is, action adapted to circumstances.
Thus, India should also not emphasise for a military doctrine that is solely based on indigenous ideas.
Read Also :-Basic structure Doctrine
When it comes to learning, it should not matter whether the source of that learning is national or foreign. Hence, PM’s address definitely didn’t mean a complete rejection of foreign strategic thought. It simply meant to also include the teachings of our own strategic thinkers in India’s military doctrine. It is true that indigenous teachings have not received proper attention in Indian military thoughts, but it would be equally illogical to exclude the teachings of foreign strategists.
- Timeless wisdom, be it from Chinese strategist Sun Tzu or the German thinker Clausewitz, are equally valuable as Kautilya’s Arthshastra or Thiruvalluvar’s Kurals
- Kural: a classic Tamil language text consisting of 1,330 short couplets of seven words each, or kurals.
There needs to be a conscious effort to ensure that the Indian military doctrine is not affected by triumphalism (delighting too much regarding over one’s success or achievements especially in a political context) with regard to history.
Read Also :-Wisdom at Wuhan
Article – The Indian Express
NSA commissions offshore Patrol Vessel “ICGS Sajag”
What is the News?
The National Security Advisor(NSA) has commissioned the Offshore Patrol Vessel(OPV) ICGS Sajag. (ICGS- Indian Coast Guard ship)
About ICGS Sajag:
- Firstly, Goa Shipyard Limited has indigenously designed and built the Indian Coast Guard Ship Vessel “Sajag”.
- Secondly, Purpose: The ship is fitted with advanced technology equipment, weapons and sensors. It is also capable of carrying a twin-engine helicopter and four high-speed boats.
- Thirdly, Significance: The ICGS Sajag is the third in a series of five offshore patrol vessels under Samarth Class.
About Offshore Patrol Vehicles(OPVs):
- Offshore Patrol Vehicles(OPVs) are long-range surface ships. They are capable of operation in maritime zones of India including island territories with helicopter operation capabilities.
About Indian Coast Guard(ICG):
- Firstly, the Indian Coast Guard was formally established through an Act of Parliament in 1978. It operates under the Ministry of Defence.
- Secondly, Purpose: It is the maritime law enforcement and search and rescue agency of India. They have jurisdiction over territorial waters including its contiguous zone and exclusive economic zone.
- Thirdly, Origin: The concept of forming the Coast Guard was conceived after the 1971 war. It was when it was assessed that maritime borders are equally vital as land borders.
- Fourthly, Committee: The blueprint for the formation of the Indian Coast Guard was conceived by the Rustamji Committee.
- Fifthly, Significance: Indian Coast Guard has emerged as the fourth largest in the world with almost 160 ships and 62 aircraft.
Source: The Hindu
VIP Security Cover to West Bengal MLAs – Associated Issues
The Ministry of Home Affairs recently extended security cover to all 77 BJP MLAs in the West Bengal assembly. It appears to be a politically motivated and unprecedented move. It should be reconsidered as it is suffering from multiple issues.
- The BJP MLAs were facing a threat of persecution post the West Bengal assembly verdict. The party lost the elections and became the opposition party by winning only 77 seats in 294 member assembly.
- The MHA has ordered a security cover of X- category security to 61 MLAs while the remaining 16 will get or are already enjoying a higher cover.
About Security Cover:
- There are six kinds of central security covers: X, Y, Y plus, Z, Z plus, and SPG.
- The Special Protection Group protects only the Prime Minister while the other type of securities can be provided to anyone based on the Centre’s assessment.
- The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) are the two forces tasked with providing security to VIPs.
How is a security cover provided?
- An MHA committee decides regarding the security cover.
- It comprises officials from the Home Ministry, the Intelligence Bureau, Delhi Police, and senior officials of the Central Armed Police Forces.
- The Intelligence Bureau prepares the list of persons under threat and the degree of threat. Whereas the committee decides on the force to be deployed depending upon the place where the person is located.
- The threat perception of every person is discussed one by one and not collectively for any group.
Issues in the recent decision:
- Firstly, it appears to be a politically motivated decision as threat perception for each person was not discussed.
- Secondly, the degree of threat was not large enough to provide such a big security cover. For instance, such blanket covers were given in the past in the case of the Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir elections. These regions were witnessing militant unrest at that time.
- Thirdly, such actions deteriorate Centre-State relations as law and order is a state subject. Further, the order also questions the integrity of West Bengal police officers of being aligned to a particular political party.
- Fourthly, the forces are already over deployed in the protection of VIPs. In 2019, 66,043 police and CAPF personnel were deployed to protect 19,467 Ministers, MPs, judges, and bureaucrats. Although the sanctioned strength was 43,556 personnel as per the Data on Police Organisations.
- Fifthly, constant deployment impacts the training schedule of CAPF personnel. After the initial eight-week training for VIP protection, the forces have to take a periodic two-week refresher training for improving their skills.
Thus, there is a need to charge a fee for the security personnel deployed to protect legislators and other prominent persons. This would curb the tendency of unnecessarily demanding security personnel around themselves.
Source: The Hindu
“Emergency Financial Powers” to Armed Forces to tackle pandemic
What is the News?
The Union defence ministry has granted emergency financial powers to the country’s armed forces. This is to empower their efforts against the Covid-19 pandemic.
About Emergency Financial Powers to Armed Forces:
- The Emergency Financial Powers will allow armed forces to establish and operate quarantine facilities and hospitals.
- Besides, it will also help them to operate and procure equipment and resources to perform any required urgent tasks.
- The armed forces will be able to perform all these operations without the usual clearances.
Who has these powers?
- Vice Chiefs of the armed forces including the Chief Of Integrated Defence Staff, Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee(CISC) and General Officer Commanding-in-Chiefs(GOC-in-Cs) have these powers. Further, similar equivalents of all three Services have been given full powers.
- Further, Corps Commanders and Area Commanders have been delegated powers up to ₹50 lakh per case
- Also, Division Commanders, Sub Area Commanders and equivalents have been delegated powers up to ₹20 lakh per case.
- These powers have been devolved initially for three months from May 1 to July 31, 2021.
- These are in addition to the emergency powers delegated to the medical officers of the armed forces.
Other Organizations contribution during the pandemic:
- Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is arranging big size oxygen cylinders for fulfilling requirements of different hospitals.
- The Navy has sent a 76-member medical contingent from five Naval hospitals to the 900-bed COVID hospital in Ahmedabad. This is to bolster the availability of trained manpower.
- The Cantonment Boards have extended support to civil administration in various parts of the country to fight over the increase in Covid-19 cases.
Source: The Hindu
Indian Army initiates “Ladakh Ignited Minds project”
What is the News?
The Indian Army has launched the Ladakh Ignited Minds Project – A Centre of Excellence and Wellness.
About Ladakh Ignited Minds Project:
- Purpose: The project aims to provide better training and educational facilities to disadvantaged Ladakhi students. Also, the projects aim to give them the opportunity to study in the best educational institutes.
- Implementation: The fire and Fury Corps of the Indian Army will implement the project. They will also have a partnership with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and National Integrity and Educational Development Organization(NIEDO), an NGO.
- Training: In the first batch, 45 students from Leh and Kargil districts will get training for JEE and NEET entrance examinations.
CDS operationalizes the third “Joint Logistics Node”(JLN) in Mumbai
What is the News?
Chief of Defence Staff operationalises the third Joint Logistics Node (JLN) in Mumbai.
About Joint Logistics Node(JLN):
- The JLN has been established with an aim of integrating the military’s logistics. Further, it aims to set up and improving the military’s war-fighting ability.
- This is the third Node to be set up. The two other logistics hub were operationalised in Guwahati and Port Blair in January 2021.
- Purpose: The JLN will provide integrated logistics cover to all three armed forces. Especially for their small arms ammunition, rations, fuel, general stores, civil hired transport, aviation clothing, spares, and also engineering support.
- Advantages: The JLN will also provide advantages like saving manpower, economic utilization of resources apart from financial savings.
- It is a step towards theaterisation of commands. It consists of units from all 3 forces i.e. Navy, Army and Airforce.
- It will be helpful in conducting all future wars by the tri-service in an integrated manner.
- Such commands will come under the operational control of an officer from any of the three services, depending on the function assigned to that command.
Source: The Hindu
Military Direct releases “Ultimate military strength Index”.
What is the News?
A Defence Website Military Direct has released a study titled “Ultimate military strength Index”.
About Ultimate military strength index:
- Firstly, the Ultimate military strength index ranks the strongest military forces in the world.
- Secondly, the index calculated this after taking into consideration various factors. The factors include budgets, average salaries, number of inactive and active military personnel. The index also includes total air, sea, land, and nuclear resources and the weight of equipment.
Key Findings of Ultimate military strength index related to India:
- India has the fourth strongest military force in the world.
- India is the world’s third-biggest military spender. According to the index, India spends almost a budget of USD 71 billion.
Other Key Findings of the Ultimate military strength index:
- Firstly, China has the strongest military force in the world. Despite the enormous military budget, the USA gets a second position. This is followed by Russia, India, and France.
- Secondly, The US is the world’s biggest military spender with a budget of USD 732 billion per year. This is followed by China(USD 261 billion) and India.
- Thirdly, based on the number of air, sea, land resources the Ultimate military strength index predicted a winner in terms of hypothetical conflicts.
- Finally, the report predicts China would win by sea, the USA would win by air, and Russia by land in this hypothetical conflict.
Source: The Hindu
Why India Needs a Future force?
Synopsis: Like the US, India also needs to build a future force for future wars.
War, at its core, is organized violence, waged for political purposes. The real purpose is domination. But the definition of wars changed rapidly. To tackle it, countries need to build a future force. India also needs to build such a future force.
Definition of War in older and modern times
Earlier wars were easy to define. One could know whether a country is at war or at peace. Further, people and security forces knew with whom they are fighting and at which front.
However, war today is practically impossible to define, due to its unpredictability and contactless nature. Military theorist Carl von Clausewitz stated that war is practically limitless in variety(Military, cyber, etc).
So, making the armed forces of a state future-ready is important.
What is future force?
It is a branch force equipped with new manned and unmanned vehicles. This force is linked by a fast and flexible battlefield network for yielding better results in warfare.
Future Forces will radically use technologies such as nanotechnology powered armours etc.
Future force at US
In 2014, the US announced a Third Offset Strategy. This strategy consists of a certain important vision towards the future force. This includes steps such as,
- Developing cutting-edge technology in defence such as robotics, big data analytics etc. These technologies are aimed towards providing autonomous learning systems, collaborative decision-making between humans and machines, network-enabled autonomous weapons etc.
- Exploration of new concepts for utilizing such technology.
- Retaining the best human resources to achieve peace globally.
Why India need a Future force?
India at present recognize the war of older times and neglect the modern war. There are many anonymous threats bypassing Indian frontiers without challenging national sovereignty. For that India needs to build a future force.
Suggestions to build Future force in India:
India also has to build a future force. To achieve that India needs to take important steps. Such as,
- Master force-on-force concept: In India, the Chief of the Defence Staff is preparing the future force. He admits that ‘force on force’ concepts are difficult, but it is prerequisite for the future force.What is the force-on-force concept?
Force-on-force refers to the scenario-based training in which the participants work against live role-playing opponents. For example, If a battalion is going for force-on-force training, then the battalion is divided into 2 teams. One will operate as a protecting team. The other will operate as a terrorist team.
This training is most realistic to the actual scenario.
- India needs to master the ‘hybridised effect’ of warfare. It means the influence of mixing up security forces for getting better results in warfare. At present India is adopting the hybridised effect. This is evident by the establishment of the Chief of the Defence Staff.
- India needs a confluence of all the technology and the government needs to drive new strategies and tactics.
- India needs to break the civilian-military silos. This means building a more positive relationship between civilians and the military.
By fulfilling these steps, India can build a better future force.
Source: The Hindu
Absence of Regular Chiefs in Central Security Forces
Synopsis: Many Security Forces are functioning without regular chiefs. This will impact their efficiency. So the government has to take the necessary steps to strengthen security forces.
At present in India, Many Security Forces are without regular heads. They play a pivotal role in maintaining the internal security of India. However, they are not given the due importance that not only affects the performance of Security Forces but also affects national security.
Few examples of Security Forces without regular Director-General:
- The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)
- With 3.5 lakh personnel, It is the largest Central force in the country.
- But the CRPF is now headed by a temporary officer after its regular chief took superannuation.
- The Border Security Force(BSF)
- It is the second-largest force in the country after the CRPF.
- The BSF tackles Pakistan Army and militants along the borders.
- Apart from that, it even combats militants in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast.
- But the Director-General of BSF is also burdened with an additional charge for Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).
- The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)
- The CBI has been without a head since February 3 after its head retired.
- The additional Director is currently in charge of CBI until the regular appointment of its head.
- The regular CBI Director will be appointed through the high-power selection committee(HPC). The HPC consist of the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of the Opposition.
- An NGO Common Cause has also filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court seeking the appointment of CBI Director.
- The National Security Guard(NSG)
- It is an elite force comprising personnel from the Army and the Central Armed Police Forces
- It comes into action during crisis times such as the Mumbai attacks of 2008.
- Further, It is also entrusted with the responsibility of providing security to certain high-risk personalities.
- But the NSG is without a regular Director-General for nearly six months.
- The Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D)
- It is the only research and training organisation for the police forces in the country
- But the BPR&D also at present headed by an officer with an additional charge.
Impact of having vacancies in Security Forces:
- Officers holding provisional charges shy away from taking any major policy decisions.
- Apart from that, Many regular chiefs do not get sufficient time for outcomes. When appointed they only have just a few months or a year of service. So, the head of these organizations cannot provide desired outcomes within short tenures.
These issues have an adverse impact on the efficiency of these Security Forces.
- The government should consider announcing the next chief of organisations at least three months in advance. Further, the government also consider appointing a chief with a minimum tenure of two years or till superannuation, whichever is later.
- The government can form a panel of officers cleared by the Union Public Service Commission. The government should appoint panel members for future vacancies in top posts. This will speed up the decisions and enhance the efficiency of the Security Forces.
The government not only focus on posting the right kind of officers with adequate skill but also have to post them within a time limit. This will improve the efficiency of the Security Forces.
Source: The Hindu
Indian Navy’s combat-readiness exercise “Tropex-21”
What is the News?
TROPEX 21 is currently underway in Indian Ocean Region(IOR). It is the Indian Navy’s largest biennial Theatre Level Operational Readiness Exercise.
- It is an inter-service military exercise. It involves the participation of the Indian Army, Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard.
- To test the combat readiness of the Navy in a multi-dimensional scenario of the current geo-strategic environment.
- To validate the Navy’s capabilities like offensive-defense capabilities, safeguarding the maritime domain, and promote stability and peace in the Indian Ocean Region.
- Conducted by: The exercise is being overseen by Naval Headquarters. Other participants include Eastern, Western and Southern Naval Command of the Indian Navy and Andaman and Nicobar Command (the only Tri-Service theatre command of the Indian Armed Forces located at Port Blair).
- Location: The exercise is being conducted in the Indian Ocean Region(IOR) and its adjunct waters.
- Theme of the exercise: ‘Combat Ready, Credible and Cohesive force.
- Phases under the exercise: Exercise TROPEX is being progressed over distinct phases that will also test the Navy’s transition from peacetime to hostilities.
Source: The Hindu
“INS Viraat” – SC ordered a status quo on dismantling
What is the News?
The Supreme Court has ordered status quo on the dismantling of the Navy’s aircraft carrier, INS Viraat. The Navy decommissioned INS Viraat from service in 2017.
What is the issue?
- “The decision to dismantle INS Viraat was taken after holding due consultation with the Indian Navy,” said the Government in the Parliament in 2019.
- However, a firm (Envitech Marine Consultants Pvt. Ltd) has filed a petition in the Supreme Court. The firm seeks to convert INS Viraat into a maritime museum and a multi-functional adventure centre.
- So, the apex court has issued notice to the Centre and others. In that notice, the court sought their responses on a plea filed by the firm. Apart from that, the court ordered status quo on the dismantling of the INS Viraat.
- INS Viraat is a Centaur class aircraft carrier. It had served in the British Navy as HMS Hermes for 25 years (from 1959 to 1984). After refurbishment, it was commissioned into the Indian Navy in 1987.
- Motto: Its motto was (in Sanskrit) – “Jalamev Yasya Balmev Tasya” (One who controls the sea is all-powerful).
- It played an important role in Operation Jupiter in 1989 during the Sri Lankan Peacekeeping operation. In the operation, the ship sent Indian peacekeeping forces to Sri Lanka
- The ship also performed blockading Pakistani ports, primarily the Karachi port as part of 1999’s Operation Vijay
- It was also deployed in Operation Parakram during 2001-02 following the terror attack on the Indian Parliament.
- The ship is nicknamed as the “Grand Old Lady“
- The ship has also participated in various international joint exercises. Like Malabar (with US Navy), Varuna (with French Navy), Naseem-Al-Bahr (with Oman Navy) and has been an integral element of annual Theater Level Operational Exercise (TROPEX).
- It is the longest-serving warship in the world. The ship also holds a Guinness Book of World Records for the same.
- Decommissioned in: The aircraft was decommissioned in March 2017.
- INS Viraat is the second aircraft carrier to be dismantled in India. In 2014, INS Vikrant was dismantled in Mumbai.
Source: The Hindu
Global Firepower Index 2021
Why in News?
Global Firepower has published the Global Firepower Index (GFP) /Military Strength Ranking 2021.
- Global Firepower Index: It ranks each nation’s potential war-making capability across land, sea and air with conventional weapons.
- Factors: The index is calculated using fifty individual factors such as geography, logistical capability, manpower, land forces, airpower, natural resources, naval forces and financials.
- The United States military was ranked the most powerful armed force in the world closely followed by Russia and China.
- India was ranked fourth in the Index with 542 combat aircraft, 17 submarines, 4,730 tanks, and 37 attack helicopters.
- Pakistan was ranked the tenth most powerful country in the Index. It has surpassed Israel, Indonesia, Iran, and Canada in terms of military power.
Source: The Hindu
Joint Military Exercise Kavach
Why in News?
A large scale Joint Military exercise – Exercise Kavach will be conducted in the coming week.
- Exercise Kavach: It is a Joint Military exercise involving assets of the Indian Army, Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, and Indian Coast Guard.
- Conducted under: The exercise will be conducted under the aegis of the Andaman and Nicobar Command, the only Joint Forces Command of the country.
- To fine-tune joint war-fighting capabilities and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for enhancing operational synergy.
- To execute multi-domain, high-intensity offensive and defensive maneuvers in the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal.
- The exercise involves synergized application of maritime surveillance assets, coordinated air and maritime strikes, air defense, submarine and landing operations.
Second Edition of Coastal Defence Exercise Sea Vigil Begins
News: The second edition of the biennial pan-India coastal defence exercise ‘Sea Vigil-21’ has started.
- Exercise Sea Vigil: The inaugural edition of the exercise was conducted in January 2019. The exercise is being undertaken along the entire 7516 km coastline and Exclusive Economic Zone of India.
- Coordinated by: It is coordinated by the Indian Navy and involves all the 13 coastal states and Union Territories along with other maritime stakeholders. It will also include fishing and coastal communities.
- Objective: To provide a realistic assessment of our strengths and weaknesses and thus will help in further strengthening maritime and national security.
- Significance: The exercise is a build-up towards the major Theatre-level exercise TROPEX [Theatre-level Readiness Operational Exercise] which the Indian Navy conducts every two years. SEA VIGIL and TROPEX together will cover the entire spectrum of maritime security challenges including the transition from peace to conflict.
BPRD releases data on police Organisations
Source: The Indian Express
News: Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) has released data on police organisations.
- The data shows different aspects of policing in the country like woman police, police expenditure, constabulary ratio, transport facilities, communication facilities, representation of various castes and police training centres.
- Police Population Ratio: According to report, Population Per Police Person is 511.81, that is one policeman for every 511.81 persons and 3.9 policemen for each VIP. Bihar had the worst ratio with one policeman for 867.57 persons.
- VIP Protection: As many as 66,043 policemen were deployed to protect 19,467 Ministers, Members of Parliament, judges, bureaucrats and other personalities in 2019 compared to 63,061 policemen for similar duty in 2018.
- The highest number of persons who received police protection in 2019 were in West Bengal — 3,142 followed by Punjab (2,594), Bihar (2,347), Haryana (1,355) and Jharkhand (1,351).
- The Backward Classes, Dalits and Tribals constitute almost 67% of India’s population but their representation in police forces in the country is only at 51%.
- Scheduled Tribes form 8.6% of the population and have 12% representation in the police forces, placing them at a comparatively better position.
- Dalits represent 14% of all positions in police forces across the country. According to Census 2011, Dalits make up 16.6% of India’s population.
- Other Backward Classes(OBCs) fare the worst on the representation front as, despite their 41% share in the population, they constitute only 25% of the police forces.
- Women continue to be represented poorly.It is reflected in the women population per woman police ratio which stands at 3,026 nationally
- However, their situation has improved considerably over the past five years. Since 2014, when the actual strength of women in police forces stood at around 1.11 lakh, their representation has almost doubled to 2.15 lakh.
- BPR&D: It was established in 1970 with the objective of modernisation of police forces. It functions under the aegis of Union Home Ministry
- BPR&D replaced Police Research and Advisory Council formed in 1966.
- Purpose: It is a nodal national police organisation to study, research and develop on subjects and issues related to policing.
- In 2008, the Government further decided to create the National Police Mission (NPM) under the administrative control of BPR&D
- Headquarters: New Delhi.
How Enforcement Directorate (ED) became so powerful?
News: Enforcement Directorate (ED) has been in news for the attachment of several properties of Dr. Farooq Abdullah, for his alleged involvement in money laundering.
About Enforcement Directorate (ED)
Directorate of Enforcement is a Multi-Disciplinary Organization mandated with the task of enforcing the provisions of two special fiscal laws – Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA).
The origin of this Directorate goes back to 1st May 1956, when an ‘Enforcement Unit’ was formed, in the Department of Economic Affairs, for handling Exchange Control Laws violations under Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947.
How powers of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) evolved?
The powers of the Enforcement Directorate has been separated concerning the PMLA (2002) and FEMA (1999);
FERA (The Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947) phase:
- The scope of power of ED remained limited since its existence from 1957 till 1973 when FERA (Foreign Exchange Regulations Act) was amended.
- FERA Empowered ED with the power to arrest for FERA violations. It allowed even Enforcement Officer to enter any business premises without a warrant and arrest anyone.
- Even an Assistant EO was empowered to search any vehicle or person without a warrant.
- But even then, the ED’s domain was largely limited to the corporate world.
The Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) phase
- Post-liberalisation FERA was repealed in January 2000, as it was seen as a coercive and obsolete law.
- FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act) replaced the FERA Under FEMA forex violations were amounted to civil offenses, compoundable after payment of a fine.
- ED lost its power to arrest people or take them into custody.
The Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) Phase
- After the 9/11 attacks, the attention of the world turned to terror financing. After establishment of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), India was under pressure to deal with the issues of terror financing.
- Thus, Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) came into force in 2005. It re-empowered ED with the powers of criminal prosecution.
- Madhu Koda case became the first in the history of the agency to end in conviction.
- With the amendments in 2009 and 2013, the scope of PMLA was widened. It provided more teeth to the ED.
- It has become the only Act in India, under which a statement recorded before an investigating officer is admissible in a court as evidence.
- In 2017, SC struck down a provision under which an arrested accused could be granted bail only if the court was satisfied that the accused was not guilty.
- Between 2005 and 2017, before this ruling, only 2 to 3 persons could secure the bail, out of 120 persons accused by the ED.
What are the provisions related to the attachment of properties?
- It is one of the most coercive and talked about provisions of the PMLA, which empowers ED to attach properties of the accused.
- Under PMLA, on the direction of the ED Director, money generated out of criminal activity (proceeds of crime) can be attached. If the wealth (money) is not available, ED can attach property equivalent to that value.
- The attachment provides for the property to remain out of bounds for the accused until the trial is complete.
- However, if the property is already in use (running businesses or residential houses), attachment doesn’t lead to immediate sealing of property, until the case reaches its logical conclusion.
- For Example, in 2018, the ED attached the Holiday Inn Hotel at Delhi’s IGI airport in connection with the Air India case. But the hotel continues to host guests as usual.
- Also in 2018, the ED had attached 50% of former Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s bungalow in New Delhi’s Jor Bagh. Which of being still enjoyed by Chidambaram and his family.
Difference between CBI and Enforcement Directorate:
|Central Bureau of Intelligence(CBI)||Enforcement Directorate(ED)|
|(CBI) examines the corruption and high profile cases related to white-collar crimes or crime which is required by the Central or State to CBI to look into||Enforcement Directorate or ED is committed to preventing money laundering offenses.|
|CBI operates under the Ministry of Personnel Public Grievances and Pension||ED is a part of the Ministry of Finance|
The CBI can register a complaint on its own or by request of the Courts.
|Enforcement directorate cannot register a case on its own, it is required by the agencies such as CBI or state police to register an offense based on which the ED Case Information Report is filed by Enforcement Directorate.|
Challenges and issues surrounding Enforcement Directorate:
- Firstly, Critics say that the government has been using the foreign funding law as a tool to silence its critics and Non-government groups that have raised concerns about the social costs of India’s rapid economic development.
- For Ex: critics point out the recent ED raid on Amnesty India.
- Secondly, Conviction of cases: Under PMLA, the agency has conducted over 1,700 raids from March 2011 to January 2020 in connection with 1,569 specific investigations. In the same period though, the ED has managed to secure convictions in only a paltry 9 cases, most of which are relatively-speaking low profile cases.
- Thirdly, ED has insufficient manpower: Anonymous ED sources have through various stories complained about insufficient manpower, the difficulty in establishing evidence of a proper money trail, and poor litigation strategies. For Example, since the PMLA enacted investigation is pending in over 1,000 cases.
- Fourthly, regarding the Question of Independence and misuse: Critics of ED are calling it a tool of political intimidation because of ED’s administrative control of Ministry. For Example, the Panchkula land case created widespread criticisms over the Enforcement Directorate
- Fifthly, ED Lacks Jurisdiction if the convict is out of India. ED’s power to investigate or arrest the convicts at present is limited within the territory of India.
- Lastly, the Funding is inadequate: The powers and the responsibilities of ED requires adequate financing but the previous budgetary allocations are inadequate with respect to the functions of the ED.
Solutions to improve the performance of ED:
- Firstly, increasing the funding of the ED: Increasing the Budgetary allocation of ED will help them to improve the conduct of investigation and consequently the conviction rate.
- Secondly, increasing the Man power: By increasing the man power ED can become more efficient and reduce the pendency of cases. Thereby increasing the credibility of ED as a whole
- Thirdly, considering the autonomous status of ED: This will curb the question over Independence and improve the ED’s image as a reputed agency against economic offenses in our country.
Strengthening the Enforcement Directorate is the need of the hour that will not only strengthen the Indian Economy but also prevent India from various kinds of economic offenses happening in the country.
Operation Trident, Operation Desert Chase and Operation Bandar
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News: Every year, India celebrates December 4 as Navy Day to commemorate Operation Trident.
- Operation Trident: It was an offensive operation launched by the Indian Navy on Pakistan’s port city of Karachi during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.Operation Trident saw the first use of anti-ship missiles in combat in the region.
- Operation Desert Chase: It was the name of the Anti-espionage operation started by Military Intelligence(MI) in early 2019.It successfully culminated in 2020 with the arrest of two civil defence employees that they had been passing on sensitive information to Pakistan’s spy agency ISI.
- Operation Bandar: It was the code-name given by Indian Air Force(IAF) to the air strikes conducted by its Mirage-2000 fighters against the major Jaish-e-Mohammed training facility at Balakot in Pakistan in response to the Pulwama terror attack.
Crucial expertise of CAPFs
Context: The diverse experience of security forces has helped greatly in combating COVID-19.
Discuss the role of CAPFs during the pandemic?
- Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) carry out the task of overcoming the disaster, by not only carrying out rescue and relief operations, but also by moderating the pains and problems arising out of the disaster.
- CAPFs comprise the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force, Central Industrial Security Force, Sashastra Seema Bal, Assam Rifles and the ITBP.
- Role played by the CAPFs:
- Setting up Quarantine centres: Even before covid-19, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) had already set up its 600-bed quarantine centre in Chawla on the outskirts of New Delhi.
- Quarantine assistance: Out of the 324 Indian passengers in the first batch that arrived in New Delhi from China’s Wuhan, 103 were quarantined at the ITBP Centre.
- Coordinated response: The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had roped in specialists from the Safdarjung Hospital to coordinate with ITBP officials.
- Similarly, The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had directed the CAPFs to establish 5,400-bedded quarantine centres with 75 isolation wards, spread over 37 centres across the country.
- Testing and Training: Immigration officials entrusted with conducting COVID-19 tests of the passengers arriving in New Delhi were trained by the NDRF.
- The NDRF has trained over 30,000 personnel in disaster management across the country.
- Role of Disaster Response Forces: The NDRF has been carrying out rescue and relief operations, and is also training the State Disaster Response Forces personnel in all States.
- Relief work: A sum of ₹10 crores was sanctioned for the CRPF by the MHA to carry out relief work for those displaced in the aftermath of the lockdown.
- Expertise and SOPs: The expertise acquired by ITBP personnel and the Standard Operating Procedure prepared by the ITBP came handy for the States and other police forces in establishing their own quarantine centres and COVID-19 hospitals.
- For instance, a 10,000-bed quarantine centre was established in Chhatarpur in New Delhi by the ITBP, where over 10,000 patients have been treated till now, according to ITBP spokesperson.
What steps can be taken?
- There is a need to expand the strength of trained personnel. Personnel can be deployed at quarantines centres after short term courses.
- A proposal mooted by NITI Aayog last year, to conduct a bridge course for dentists to solidify them eligible for the MBBS degree, could be revived, and such doctors could be on stand-by to help in such emergency crises.
It is these CAPF personnel who give an impression of existence of government administration even in the remotest corners of the country. Their versatile experience can be utilised to the nation’s advantage.