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Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 04 October 2023


  1. Break the Agniveer logjam with Nepal
  2. NGOs must build capacity for a bigger impact

Break the Agniveer Logjam with Nepal


Introduction of the Agnipath scheme without consulting Nepal has resulted in the reduction of Gorkha regiments in the army.


GS2- Government Policies and Interventions

Mains Question:

India unilaterally announced Agnipath scheme without consulting Nepal. What is the present status of implementation of the scheme and its possible repercussions on Nepal. (15 marks, 250 words).

Status of performance of the scheme:

  • There is a misguided enthusiasm surrounding the recruitment of 40,000 Agniveers last year.
  • The first batch reported to units in August, and the second batch followed in October. They hold the title of Agniveer, while the permanent cadre holds the ranks of Sepoys/Rifleman and above.
  • There is considerable attention on them in Service Headquarters, where special cells monitor their progress and evaluate the possibility of re-enlistment for 25 percent after four years.

Scheme’s impact on the Gorkha recruitment:

  • At the current induction rate, by 2030, half of the Army will consist of Agniveers. This raises concerns about the morale of Battalion Commanders leading them.
  • Gorkha commanders will face even greater challenges due to the absence of recruitment of an additional 15,000 Nepali-domiciled Gorkhas.
  • This would mean nearly half of the 42 Gorkha battalions disappearing, with the majority being Agniveer Indian Domiciled Gorkhas.
  • By 2024, the reduction of battalions will commence to maintain minimal operational strength.
  • By 2030, there is a suspicion that the Gorkha Brigade will vanish, losing its identity and cohesion, likely being transformed into Kumaoni and Garhwali battalions.
  • This calculation is based on the assumption that the government is either unable or unwilling to persuade the Government of Nepal to accept Agniveer on current terms.

Nepal’s argument:

  • While many may aspire to become Agniveers in the Indian Army, the 1947 Tripartite Treaty on Recruitment between Britain, India, and Nepal regulates the recruitment process.
  • Nepal contends that this treaty has been violated by the Agnipath scheme.
  • It is noteworthy that India announced Agnipath without consulting Nepal, despite claiming special and unique relations with the neighboring country.


Nepal seems to be moving away from its mercenary tag, discounting financial benefits, and asserting its self-respect and dignity. The financial implications of Agniveer are substantial, with the remittance to Nepal decreasing significantly over a period of 70 years if there is no recruitment under Agniveer. Nepal’s recent stance appears to prioritize national pride and self-respect over economic gains. The silent response from the Army hierarchy and Gorkha veterans, including former Army Chiefs, adds to the complexity of the situation.

NGOs Must Build Capacity for a Bigger Impact


Capacity building is an ongoing process that empowers non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to enhance their fundamental capabilities, thereby empowering their workforce to bring about enduring change.


GS2-Development Processes and the Development Industry — the Role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.

Mains Question:

Explaining the significance of capacity building in NGOs, highlight the issues faced in this regard. What should be done to make NGOs more resilient in their capacities? (15 marks, 250 words).

Capacity Building:

  • Organizational development involves crafting strategies, structures, and processes that contribute to an organization’s effectiveness.
  • An effective organization demonstrates robust financial and technical performance, delivers quality products and services, and achieves high productivity.
  • To attain these effectiveness indicators, an organization must strategically utilize human, financial, and infrastructural resources across specialized departments such as human resources, legal, monitoring and evaluation, and communications.
  • Capacity building is a structured initiative designed to strengthen these organizational capabilities, enhancing efficiency and effectiveness in achieving the organization’s purpose.
  • NGOs operating in the social development sector require these capacities to amplify the impact of their interventions in the communities they serve.

Approaches to NGO Capacity Building:

  • Building capacity for these functions involves investments in training and developing existing employees, establishing specialized departments, and recruiting skilled individuals.
  • NGOs should focus on leveraging their resources to enhance internal capacities.
  • Planning and investing in solutions aligned with the organization’s strategic goals are crucial.
  • Training and development can be facilitated through hiring consultants, investing in courses and workshops, and engaging in cross-learning by networking with other NGOs.

Issues with Capacity Building in NGOs:

  • NGOs often rely on corporate social responsibility grants and philanthropic funding, which are frequently earmarked for program expenses as the direct outcomes for communities result from these programs.
  • On the funders’ side, it is essential to acknowledge that training and workshops have limited impact on NGO capacity building.

Way Forward:

  • Since most capacity-building efforts require financial investments, the fundraising ability of NGOs for non-programmatic aspects is of paramount importance. NGOs can enhance this ability by conducting a self-assessment of their capacities, strengths, and weaknesses.
  • This assessment can inform a roadmap for capacity building, including methods for measuring its impact. Incorporating such assessments in proposals enables funders to recognize the need for non-programmatic funding and understand the significance of capacity building.
  • There should be a dedicated stream of funds, separate from programmatic grants, specifically earmarked for strengthening capacities. Funders should be open to investing in empowering NGOs in terms of skill-building, learning, and other necessary aspects.


Capacity building allows organizations to achieve strategic goals through sound organizational processes, skills, and knowledge. For NGOs, these goals may include community empowerment by improving access to essential services, providing means for income enhancement, and enhancing the representation of underserved groups across sectors. The capabilities of NGOs directly influence their ability to deliver desired outcomes in the communities they serve. Consequently, measuring the impact of NGO capacity-building activities is crucial to ensuring their effectiveness. As a continuous process, capacity building enables NGOs to fortify these essential capabilities, propelling their workforce towards creating a meaningful impact.

December 2023