List of Contents
- State and Non-state actors in Internal Security
- ‘Smart walls’ for Indian borders
- Issue of radicalisation in India
- The right lessons from Pulwama and Balakot
- Operation Thunder 2020
- FCRA 2010 to 2020: Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act evolution
State and Non-state actors in Internal Security
Internal security of India is one of the foremost duty of the central government. There are many State and non-state actors that present challenges to the internal security of India. In this section, we are going to provide all the updates on the same.
Internal Security updates and news
‘Smart walls’ for Indian borders
Synopsis: Concept of smart walls has been introduced in the US. India should also explore the possibilities of using smart walls to protect borders.
Syllabus – GS- 3 – Internal Security – Border management
US president has stopped the construction of a “border wall” between the U.S. and Mexico. However, a new ‘smart’ wall will be placed on the borders, as an alternative.
The concept of a smart wall is not new. It was proposed under Trump administration to complement the physical barriers on the border.
What is a smart wall?
A ‘smart’ wall would use advanced surveillance technology instead of the physical wall and armed patrols.
It would make use of the following technologies to detect and stop border infiltration:
- For surveillance on the border, it would use radar satellites, computer-equipped border-control vehicles, control sensors, and underground sensors.
- Thermal imaging would be added for detection.
This technology is so precise that it can distinguish between animals, humans, and vehicles. Then, it will send updates to the forces.
Is this technology useful in India?
- India is sharing a border with a difficult neighborhood. It is facing challenges of terrorists and smugglers infiltrating into the country. But due to the rugged topography on the borders, erection of fences or any physical structures have not been successful.
- Smart walls can be useful as their systems can be easily used on rugged topographies. Moreover, these technologies are cost-effective, less harmful to the environment, and require a lesser amount of land.
- Even if it is not feasible to cover all our borders under this technology, it can strengthen over existing border security infrastructure.
Thus, with the increasing tensions on the border of India, exploring such technologies would strengthen India’s security on borders.
Issue of radicalisation in India
News: India and Australia recently decided to step up their cooperation in the area of counter-terrorism including countering radicalisation and violent extremism, combating the financing of terrorism, preventing exploitation of the internet for terrorism and violent extremism.
Radicalisation in India:
- Radicalisation: It is associated with the political interpretation of religion and the defence, by violent means, of a religious identity perceived to be under attack.
- Radicalisation of youth by ISIS: In early 2020 the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) published an India-centric propaganda material called Voice of Hind.
- Left-Wing Extremism (LWE): instances of Internet-facilitated indoctrination, active radicalisation in multiple states and Left-Wing Extremism (LWE) have grown despite the continued government intervention.
- Right-wing extremism: increased incidents of mob lynching, cow vigilantism and the string of assassinations of rationalists such as Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and Gauri Lankesh point towards rising extremism in the right-wing cadres.
Reasons for growing Radicalisation in society:
- Socio-Economic Factors: Socio-economic factors like poverty, social exclusion, marginalisation and discrimination, limited education and employment etc. is a cause of growing radicalisation. o The poor and illiterate provides a fertile ground for radical agencies for recruitment.
- Political Factors: Various political factors including weak and non-participatory political systems lacking good governance and regard for civil society are leading to people turning towards radicalisation. o Apathy of government, authoritarian tendencies lead to shattering of hopes and sense of anger against the government and established regime.
- For example, Naxalism was fuelled by the sense of apathy of local politicians against the local people.
- Social media: Social media provides virtual participation and a platform for like-minded extremist views, accelerating the process of radicalisation. o Internet is used by terrorists as an effective tool for radicalisation and terror financing.
- Terror groups use the internet to advocate the use of violence to further a religious, ideological or political cause.
- For example, modus operandi of ISIS is spreading terror through local proxies and social media messaging.
- Displacement: Often development is accompanied by displacement. People are displaced due to land acquisition but often are not adequately compensated. o This led to the development of feelings of injustice and anger against the state, often leading to tilt towards radicalisation. for example, Naxalism.
- Religious intolerance: Rising religious intolerance, hate crimes, mob lynching are further leading to radicalisation. Feeling hatred and intolerance, against a section of people are turning them towards radicalisation.
- Illegal migration: Porous borders especially towards West Bengal and the North Eastern States have led to an influx of thousands of Bangladeshis migrants which has increased tensions among ethnic communities. e.g., Kokrajhar riots of Assam, Dimapur lynching of a rape accused.
- Feed on vulnerabilities: for example, the threat of radicalisation during peoples protest such as anti CAA, farmers protest.
Consequences of radicalisation:
- Economic costs: A sense of fear reduces economic investment and hinders economic progress of a country. Loss of trade and access to markets have a negative impact on people’s livelihoods. o E.g., youth in Kashmir being radicalised leading to the low economic development of the area.
- Social costs: Using resources for conflict-related purposes means that public expenditures on social services decrease. This impact spending on social causes like education, health etc.
- Impact on children: Children face particular vulnerabilities as a result of armed violence such as orphanhood, psychological damage. They also face a threat of recruitment as young soldiers.
- These factors often lead to a disruption to education, and thereby the reduction of a child’s capacity to recover from poverty.
- Impact on women: Women are affected in many ways in the event of violence. Sexual violence, recruitment as combatants and an expanded economic/household role, which is often transferred onto young girls. for example, Yazidi women suffered under ISIS.
Steps to tackle radicalisation:
- Strengthening Institutions: Educational and political institutions should be strengthened at ground level so that people of the state feel empowered.
- Also, intelligence agencies, law enforcement agencies and Judicial Courts need to act in unison on this matter.
- A consistent counter radical strategy is required to tackle radicalism.
- Employment: Enough number of job opportunities should be provided to people to decrease their chances of joining any radical organization.
- De-radicalisation: It is necessary to de-radicalise people. There is a need to ensure that people who have been de-radicalised feeling safe and secure in the country.
- Social development: The cornerstone for radicalisation is poverty, deprivation and isolation and standard education opportunities.
- These need to be addressed by the government and policies to be formulated for inclusive participation and facilitation of all means for their development.
- Regulation of internet: There is a need to draw guidelines to regulate the internet. o This must be done without damaging the privacy of an individual.
- An effort is needed to place an effective mechanism to trace the activity of radical groups.
- Regulation of social media: Social media to be regulated to draw a legalized guide lines to regulate without contradicting the privacy of an individual.
- Schemes: Initiatives like UDAAN and NAI MANZIL must be inclusive in nature and drag youth from all sections.
- Nehru Yuva Kendras to be given impetus in such areas to involve youth in all capacity, cultural and sports activities so there are less chances for them to get influenced from such ideological goals.
- Community model: The success of Kerala and Maharashtra programmes of deradicalization indicates how community-based programmes may work in vulnerable states.
- The disaffected youth with no real job prospects and limited futures are vulnerable.
Tackling Radicalisation requires policymakers and practitioners to appreciate the unique nature of radical ideologies, many of them seeking the wholesale destruction of civic order as opposed to its reform or even restructuring. The war on terror is to be countered more in the human mind and requires different skills and tactics. There are links between extremism, social exclusion and radicalisation. Sociological interventions to prevent or counter-extremist behaviours are needed.
The right lessons from Pulwama and Balakot
Context: Recently, Pakistan’s Opposition MP, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, alleged that the PTI government released the captured Indian fighter pilot, Abhinandan Varthaman due to fear of an imminent missile strike from India.
- On 14 February 2019, the suicide car bomb blast in Pulwama led to the death of 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel.
- Avenging this, the Indian Air Force (IAF) targeted a seminary at Balakot in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan what is known as Balakot strike.
- The Pakistan Air Force attempted its counter attack the next day morning in Jammu and Kashmir, and in the ensuing aerial combat, Wg. Cdr. Abhinandan was captured by the Pakistan military.
- Later, Wg. Cdr. Abhinandan was released by Pakistan as a peace gesture.
What are the lessons from Pulwama and Balakot?
- Even, after the National Investigation Agency filed a 13,800-page charge sheet in August certain Questions have not been answered satisfactorily.
- The responsibility for the intelligence failure, violation of standard operating procedures by security forces and the possible involvement of disgraced Jammu and Kashmir police officer, Davinder Singh, remain unexamined.
- The performance of the IAF has been seen with scepticism in most western capitals. For example, the IAF claims to have shot down a Pakistan Air Force F-16 fighter jet was not accepted.
- There were many questions damaging the professional image of IAF such as whether IAF were able to strike the designated targets, asking for providing proof of the destruction caused by IAF etc.
- For, all the questions and scepticism raised, the IAF didn’t have a convincing answer.
- Also, the fact remains that the IAF has lost a fighter aircraft and the pilot ended in Pakistani custody. That day, the IAF also shot down its own helicopter in friendly fire, close to Srinagar.
- The IAF has behaved in a partisan manner by preventing any media reportage of the incident before the Lok Sabha elections were over.
- In a healthy democracy, apolitical armed forces are supposed to follow the elected government’s lawful orders but do not work to further the partisan aims of the ruling party.
- This would set a wrong precedent for the armed forces and its senior leadership unless corrected.
- Also, neither the surgical strike of 2016 nor the Balakot air strike have infused deterrence in the Kashmiri hinterland or on the LoC, as evident from the senior Indian Army officers regularly claiming that Pakistan has hundreds of militants ready to be pushed across the Line of Control (LoC) at launchpads.
- In recent years, the institutions like Parliament, the judiciary and the media has earned a lot of attention, while the scholars have been shy of making enquiries about the conduct of the armed forces, an institution even more critical to the health of Indian democracy.
Operation Thunder 2020
News: India Customs intercepted an 18-tonne shipment of red sandalwood destined for the United Arab Emirates, during “Operation Thunder 2020”.
- Operation Thunder: It is coordinated by the INTERPOL and the World Customs Organization(WCO) involving law enforcement agencies in 103 countries against environmental crime.
- World Customs Organization (WCO): It is an independent intergovernmental body established in 1952 to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of Customs administrations. Headquarters: Brussels, Belgium.
- International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL): It is an intergovernmental organization established in 1923 with the aim to facilitate worldwide police cooperation and crime control in around 194 countries.Headquarters: Lyon, France.
FCRA 2010 to 2020: Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act evolution
In News: Recently, Foreign Contribution Regulation (Amendment) Bill 2020 was introduced in the Lok Sabha. The Bill amends the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010.
What is FCRA?
- Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act: It is an act of Parliament enacted in 1976 and amended in 2010 to regulate foreign donations and to ensure that such contributions do not adversely affect internal security.
- Coverage: It is applicable to all associations, groups and NGOs which intend to receive foreign donations.
- Who cannot receive foreign donations?
- Members of the legislature and political parties, government officials, judges and media persons are prohibited from receiving any foreign contribution.
- However, in 2017 the FCRA was amended through the Finance Bill to allow political parties to receive funds from the Indian subsidiary of a foreign company or a foreign company in which an Indian holds 50% or more shares.
- Registration: It is mandatory for all such NGOs to register themselves under the FCRA. The registration is initially valid for five years and it can be renewed subsequently if they comply with all norms.
- Purpose of Foreign contribution: Registered associations can receive foreign contributions for social, educational, religious, economic and cultural purposes. Filing of annual returns on the lines of Income Tax is compulsory.
- Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) New Rules:
- In 2015, the MHA notified new rules which required NGOs to give an undertaking that the acceptance of foreign funds is not likely to prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India or impact friendly relations with any foreign state and does not disrupt communal harmony.
- It also said all such NGOs would have to operate accounts in either nationalised or private banks which have core banking facilities to allow security agencies access on a real time basis.
Key provisions of Foreign Contribution Regulation (Amendment) Bill 2020:
- Prohibition to accept foreign contribution:
- Include certain public servants in the prohibited category for accepting foreign contribution: These include: election candidates, editor or publisher of a newspaper, judges, government servants, members of any legislature, and political parties.
- The Bill adds public servants to this list. Public servant includes any person who is in service or pay of the government, or remunerated by the government for the performance of any public duty.
- Transfer of foreign contribution: Under the Act, foreign contribution cannot be transferred to any other person unless such person is also registered to accept foreign contribution.
- FCRA account: The Bill states that foreign contribution must be received only in an account designated by the bank as FCRA account in such branches of the State Bank of India, New Delhi. No funds other than the foreign contribution should be received or deposited in this account.
- Definition of persons: The FCRA 2010 allows transfer of foreign contributions to persons registered to accept foreign contributions. The term ‘person’ under the Bill includes an individual, an association, or a registered company.
- Regulation: The Act states that a person may accept foreign contribution if they have obtained a certificate of registration from central government or obtained prior permission from the government to accept foreign contribution. The bill makes Aadhaar mandatory for registration.
- Restriction in utilisation of foreign contribution: The Bill gives government powers to stop utilisation of foreign funds by an organisation through a “summary enquiry”.
- Reduction in use of foreign contribution for administrative purposes: The bill decreases administrative expenses through foreign funds by an organisation to 20% from 50% earlier.
- Surrender of certificate: The Bill allows the central government to permit a person to surrender their registration certificate.
Need for such amendments:
- To monitor Misuse of funds: In Parliament, the government alleged that foreign money was being used for religious conversions. For instance, in 2017, the government barred American Christian charity, Compassion International.
- To prevent loss to the GDP: An official report quantifying the GDP losses allegedly caused by environmental NGOs was prepared during NPA period, indicating a foreign conspiracy against India.
- To enhance transparency and accountability: The annual inflow of foreign contribution has almost doubled between the years 2010 and 2019, but many recipients of foreign contribution have not utilised the same for the purpose for which they were registered or granted prior permission under the said Act.
- To regulate NGO’s: Many persons were not adhering to statutory compliances such as submission of annual returns and maintenance of proper accounts.