Call Us Now

+91 9606900005 / 04

For Enquiry

Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 10 July 2024

  1. Shifting Trend in the Violence in Jammu
  2. India- US Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET) Cooperation


On Monday, five Indian Army personnel were killed when terrorists ambushed an Army convoy in Badnota village, located 124 kilometers from Kathua town in Jammu. This marks the fourth terror incident in the state within 48 hours, and it is part of a recent surge in attacks, particularly in the Jammu region. This trend indicates a shift in terrorism towards the Rajouri-Poonch area.



  • Challenges to Internal Security through Communication Networks
  • Role of Media and Social Networking Sites in Internal Security Challenges
  • Security Challenges and their Management in Border Areas

Mains Question:

Recent incidents showcase terrorist groups increasingly using modern technology to find new ways to sustain the insurgency in Jammu region. Discuss the role of technology in propagating terrorism and suggest a way forward strategy to deal with it. (15 Marks, 250 Words).

Similar Incidents:

  • On June 9, terrorists attacked a bus in Reasi district, killing nine pilgrims and injuring 33, coinciding with the Prime Minister’s swearing-in for a third term.
  • This attack on pilgrims was a new low for a region that had been quiet for over two decades, following a period of intense insurgency in the late 1990s and early 2000s, which was brought under control by Operation Sarp Vinash in 2003, with substantial support from the local Gujjar-Bakerwal community.
  • Recurring ambushes on security forces have resulted in unacceptable casualties for a highly trained and professional force like the Indian Army.
  • This situation demands stricter adherence to standard operating procedures and enhanced operational strategies.
  • While the ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) is largely holding, the increase in terror incidents is concerning, particularly due to the shift in the nature of the violence.
  • The Line of Control (LoC) originated from the 1948 ceasefire line negotiated by the United Nations after the Kashmir War. It was officially named the LoC in 1972, following the Shimla Agreement between India and Pakistan.
  • The LoC extends up to the Siachen Glacier (Point NJ9842), the highest battlefield in the world. It is marked on a map signed by the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) of both armies and holds the international legitimacy of a legal agreement.

Points of Contention:

Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan:

Pakistan is in illegal and forcible occupation of about 78,000 sq. km of Indian territory in Jammu and Kashmir. Furthermore, under the Sino-Pakistan Boundary Agreement of 1963, Pakistan illegally ceded 5,180 sq. km of Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir to China.

Siachen Glacier:

Located in the eastern Karakorams in the Himalayas, just east of the Actual Ground Position Line between India and Pakistan, the entire Siachen Glacier, including all major passes, has been under Indian administration since 1984 through Operation Meghdoot.

Saltoro Ridge:

  • The Saltoro Mountains, a subrange of the Karakoram Heights or Saltoro Ridge, are situated in the heart of the Karakoram on the southwest side of the Siachen Glacier.
  • Claimed by India as part of the Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory and by Pakistan as part of Gilgit-Baltistan, India took military control of the main peaks and passes of the range in 1984, pushing Pakistani forces into the glacial valleys to the west.

Sir Creek:

  • Sir Creek is a 96 km long strip of water in the Rann of Kutch marshlands, disputed between India and Pakistan.
  • Pakistan claims the line follows the eastern shore of the estuary, while India claims it follows the centerline, based on differing interpretations of paragraphs 9 and 10 of the Bombay Government Resolution of 1914, signed between the then Government of Sindh and Rao Maharaj of Kutch.
  • The International Boundary in the Sir Creek area and the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) between India and Pakistan have yet to be demarcated.

Shift in the Nature of Violence:

  • One significant factor is the vacuum created on the ground due to a large number of troops being redeployed to the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh following the 2020 standoff with China. This redeployment has resulted in a gap in local intelligence.
  • Moreover, terrorist groups are increasingly using modern and easily accessible technology to find new ways to sustain the insurgency.
  • Mishandled security operations have further eroded trust between the local population and the state.
  • There has been a noticeable shift from foreign terrorists crossing the LoC to lead attacks, to now pushing local militants to the forefront, giving the insurgency a more home-grown appearance as international pressure mounts on Pakistan.
  • New terror groups have also emerged, claiming responsibility for various attacks, adding to the complexity of the situation.


These developments present new challenges that require a multilayered strategy beyond merely increasing troop levels. Quick and decisive action at the highest levels of government, involving all stakeholders, is crucial to address this evolving threat effectively.


Despite the seemingly successful talks in June between the Indian National Security Adviser and his U.S. counterpart to advance the bilateral Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET), structural challenges persist in its implementation. Currently, the defense component of the iCET focuses on manufacturing General Electric GE F-414INS6 afterburning turbofan engines in India for the Tejas Mk-II light combat aircraft and assembling 31 armed MQ-9 Reaper/Predator-B UAVs for all three services, a project valued at approximately $3 billion.


GS2- Bilateral Groupings and Agreements

Mains Question:

What are the factors impending the progress of the India- US Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET) initiative? What can be done to ensure a speedy and effective implementation of Icet? (10 Marks, 150 Words).

Existing Obstacles:

  • Local industry officials and military analysts point out that these obstacles primarily involve the autonomy of U.S. defense companies in transferring technology.
  • These technologies have been developed at significant cost under Washington’s direction, with many companies fiercely protecting their intellectual property rights.
  • Additionally, the U.S.’s stringent export control laws, managed by its defense industrial complex, are reluctant to share military technologies through joint ventures, even when such collaborations align with Washington’s broader strategic interests.


  • Official sources indicated that negotiations concluded with GE agreeing to transfer around 80% of the technology to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for the production of F-414 engines. However, critical knowledge regarding the forging metallurgy discs for the turbines was not included.
  • Technology transfer from General Atomics Aeronautical Systems to assemble the MQ-9s is reportedly around 10-15%, and includes the establishment of a domestic maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) facility for the UAVs.
  • Additionally, negotiations are ongoing under iCET to directly acquire, license-build, and co-develop the General Dynamics Land Systems Stryker Infantry Combat Vehicle for the Indian Army. However, inherent limitations persist in all these ventures.
  • Military analyst Abhijit Singh noted that the U.S. government does not act on behalf of its defense companies, which own the IPRs for their products.
  • U.S. defense vendors are accountable to their shareholders, whose motivations are largely commercially driven, potentially affecting the extent of technology they are willing to transfer.
  • These commercial considerations, along with bureaucratic hurdles, previously led to the failure of the 2012 Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) between India and the U.S.
  • The iCET, launched in June 2023 with a more ambitious scope, emerged from the shortcomings of the DTTI.
  • The iCET is supported by a range of organizations, including INDUS-X (India-U.S. Defense Acceleration Ecosystem), Joint IMPACT (INDUS-X Mutual Promotion Advanced Collaborative Technologies) 1.0, IMPACT 2.0, and ADDD (Advanced Domains Defense Dialogue).

Exercising ‘Jugaad’:

  • Meanwhile, some domestic defense industry officials suggested that one strategy to ensure the success of iCET and related projects involves the U.S. allowing the Indian military to apply the innovative practice of ‘jugaad’ to its U.S. platforms, such as attack and heavy-lift helicopters, heavy transport aircraft, and naval surveillance aircraft.
  • This resourceful approach has historically provided India’s military with flexibility, enabling imported platforms to remain serviceable in extreme climates and varied terrains.
  • Over decades of trial and error, the services have elevated ‘jugaad’ to sophisticated levels, ensuring that foreign weapon systems performed beyond their stated potential.
  • For example, ‘jugaad’ allowed the fleet of Chetaks and Cheetahs (primarily French-origin Alouette III and SA-315B Lama helicopters) to operate at heights over 14,000 feet in the Siachen glacier region, a capability never anticipated by their original manufacturers.
  • However, the complex set of ‘enabling’ protocols that India had negotiated with the U.S. before acquiring these assets essentially ruled out the possibility of using ‘jugaad.’
  • Additionally, most of these acquisitions, made through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route, were under the stricter ‘Golden Sentry’ end-use monitoring program, which completely disallows ‘jugaad.’
  • The iCET also seems to align with the U.S.’s broader policy, as highlighted in a recent Senate Foreign Relations Committee report.


There is a concern that the iCET could fall victim to “Augustine’s Laws,”. One of these laws states that the more time both sides spend discussing their actions, the less time they have to actually perform those actions. This could lead to a scenario where they end up spending more and more time talking about less and less, ultimately spending all their time talking about nothing.

July 2024