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PIB 9th February 2021

Contents

  1. Lalandar “Shatoot” Dam in Afghanistan
  2. National Monsoon Mission (NMM)
  3. Strengthening of Police System

LALANDAR “SHATOOT” DAM IN AFGHANISTAN

Context:

  • A signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Afghanistan took place, for the construction of the Lalandar “Shatoot” Dam in Afghanistan.
  • While signing the agreement, President Ghani thanked India and PM Modi for the “gift of water”.

Relevance:

GS-II: International Relations, GS-I: Geography

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About the Lalandar “Shatoot” Dam
  2. Assistance provided by India to Afghanistan
  3. Afghan-India Friendship Dam
  4. Afghanistan–India relations
  5. India’s Interests in Afghanistan

About the Lalandar “Shatoot” Dam

  • Shahtoot Dam is a proposed dam in the Kabul river basin, one of the five river basins in Afghanistan.
  • This project will provide drinking, irrigation and Environmental water for Kabul province.
  • Shahtoot dam is the second major dam being built by India in Afghanistan, after the Friendship Dam or Salma dam in 2019.
  • Pakistan has in the past opposed plans to build the dam on a tributary of the Kabul river that flows into its Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, saying the project will reduce the flow of water.

Assistance provided by India to Afghanistan

  • Along with the Shahtoot dam, India has pledged to commit $80 million for various projects in the country.
  • Around 150 projects have already been announced by India in the conflict-ridden country.
  • India has also decided to provide Afghanistan with 5,00,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
  • India has completed more than 400 projects in all 34 provinces of Afghanistan, and its pledges totalling $3 billion make it largest donor in the region.
  • In 2019, India shipped 75,000 tonnes of wheat as aid to Afghanistan via Iran’s Chabahar port.
  • In 2015, Indian Prime Minsiter Modi inaugurated the new Afghan Parliament building, built by India in Kabul.
  • Providing 1,000 annual scholarships and laying of power transmission lines in Afghanistan by India has changed the lives of people and strengthened India-Afghanistan friendship.
  • India constructed a 218-km road from Delaram to Zaranj along the Iranian border to provide alternative connectivity for Afghanistan through Iran in 2009.
  • As a part of India’s Development Cooperation with Afghanistan, India has completed more than 400 projects covering all 34 provinces of Afghanistan.

Afghan-India Friendship Dam

  • Afghan-India Friendship Dam (AIFD), formerly Salma Dam, is a hydroelectric and irrigation dam project located on the Hari River in Chishti Sharif District of Herat Province in western Afghanistan.
  • Since this project is funded and constructed by the Government of India as a part of the Indian aid project, the Afghan cabinet renamed the Salma Dam to the Afghan-India Friendship Dam in a gesture of gratitude to strengthen relations between the two countries.
  • The dam was opened in 2016 by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

Afghanistan–India relations

  • Bilateral relations between Afghanistan and India have remained strong and friendly over the decades, tracing back to the Indus Valley Civilisation.
  • Between the 10th century to the mid-18th century, northern India has been invaded by a number of invaders based in what today is Afghanistan. Among them were the Ghaznavids, Ghurids, Khaljis, Suris, Mughals and Durranis.
  • The Republic of India was the only South Asian country to recognize the Soviet-backed Democratic Republic of Afghanistan in the 1980s.
  • India-Afghanistan relations were diminished during the 1990s Afghan civil war and the Taliban government.
  • India aided the overthrow of the Taliban and became the largest regional provider of humanitarian and reconstruction aid to the present-day Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
  • India shares border with Pakistan and there is the Durand Line conflict between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

India’s Interests in Afghanistan

  • Economic and Strategic Interest: Afghanistan is a gateway to the oil and mineral-rich Central Asian republics. Afghanistan’s main advantage is its geography, as anyone who is in power in Afghanistan controls the land routes connecting India with Central Asia (via Afghanistan).
  • Developmental Projects: The massive reconstruction plans for the country to offer a lot of opportunities for Indian companies.
  • Security Interests: India has been the victim of state-sponsored terrorism emanating from Pakistan supported terrorist group operating in the region (e.g., Haqqani network).

-Source: PIB


NATIONAL MONSOON MISSION (NMM)

Context:

  • Important information regarding the Monsoon Mission under which the Ministry of Earth Science has developed the state-of-the-art weather and climate prediction models, which are now in operational use was given in the Rajya Sabha today.
  • India Meteorological Department (IMD) has also carried out an analysis of observed monsoon rainfall variability and changes of 29 States & Union Territory at State and District levels based on the IMD’s observational data of recent 30 years (1989- 2018) during the Southwest monsoon season from June-July-August-September (JJAS).

Relevance:

GS-III: Environment and Ecology, GS-I: Geography

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. National Monsoon Mission (NMM)
  2. Major achievements of NMM during the last three years
  3. Atmosphere & Climate Research-Modelling Observing Systems & Services (ACROSS)
  4. Highlights of IMD’s report on monsoon rainfall variability based on data of recent 30 years (1989- 2018)
  5. “Assessment of Climate Change over the Indian Region” report

National Monsoon Mission (NMM)

  • Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Government of India launched the ‘National Monsoon Mission’ (NMM) in 2012 with a vision to develop a state-of-the-art dynamical prediction system for monsoon rainfall on different time scales.
  • NMM builds a working partnership between the academic and research and development (R&D) organisations, both national and international.
  • Its augmentation with the High-performance computing (HPC) facilities has helped the country in achieving a paradigm shift in weather and climate modelling for operational weather forecasts.

Participating Institutions:

  1. Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune
  2. National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecast, Noida
  3. India Meteorological Department, New Delhi
  • The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) will coordinate and lead the effort for improving the forecasts on seasonal and intra seasonal scale.
  • National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) will lead and coordinate the efforts for improving the forecasts in the medium range scale up to week two forecasts.

Major achievements of NMM during the last three years

  • Setting up of an advanced prediction system for Seasonal prediction.
  • Extended range prediction and Very high-resolution Short-range prediction.
  • Commissioning of a Global Ensemble Forecast System (GEFS) for short and medium range prediction at 12km.
  • The operationalization of Monsoon Mission dynamical model (MMCFS) to prepare operational seasonal forecast of monsoon rainfall and temperatures during the hot and cold weather seasons over India.
  • Use of MMCFS and extended range prediction system for preparing regional seasonal forecast outlook for south Asia under WMO recognized Regional Climate Center and South Asia Seasonal Climate Outlook Forum (SASCOF)activities.
  • The Cyclone track and intensity prediction has shown a steady improvement.

Atmosphere & Climate Research-Modelling Observing Systems & Services (ACROSS)

  • Ministry of Earth Science (MoES) has taken several initiatives to formulate specific schemes like weather and climate modelling, monsoon-research, climate change science & climate services and more.
  • These schemes involve multi-institutes wherein each unit has a designated role for accomplishing the aforesaid tasks and all these schemes with specific objectives and budget are implemented in an integrated manner and are put together under the umbrella scheme “ACROSS”.

Objectives of ACROSS

  • It aims to provide a reliable weather and climate forecast for betterment of society.
  • It will aim at improving skill of weather and climate forecast through sustained observations, intensive research & development.
  • It will enhance effective dissemination and communication strategies to ensure its timely reach to the end-user of all services like Agro-meteorological services, Aviation services, Environmental monitoring services, climate services, tourism and more
  • It will integrate with number of agencies like the Krishi Vigyana Kendras of Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Universities and local municipalities for seamless and last mile connectivity in dissemination of information related to climate and weather.

Highlights of IMD’s report on monsoon rainfall variability based on data of recent 30 years (1989- 2018)

  • Five states viz., Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Meghalaya and Nagaland have shown significant decreasing trends in southwest monsoon rainfall during the recent 30 years period (1989-2018).
  • The annual rainfall over these five states along with the states of Arunachal Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh also show significant decreasing trends.
  • Other states do not show any significant changes in southwest monsoon rainfall during the same period.
  • Considering district-wise rainfall, there are many districts in the country, which show significant changes in southwest monsoon and annual rainfall during the recent 30 years period (1989-2018).
  • With regard to the frequency of heavy rainfall days, significant increasing trend is observed over Saurashtra & Kutch, South-eastern parts of Rajasthan, Northern parts of Tamil Nadu, Northern parts of Andhra Pradesh and adjoining areas of Southwest Odisha, many parts of Chhattisgarh, Southwest Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Manipur & Mizoram, Konkan & Goa and Uttarakhand.

“Assessment of Climate Change over the Indian Region” report

  • The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Government of India has recently published a Climate Change report entitled “Assessment of Climate Change over the Indian Region” which covers all the aspects of regional climate change including the climatic extremes across India.
  • Based on the available climate records, the report documents that the surface air temperature over India has risen by about 0.7 °C during 1901–2018 which is accompanied with an increase in atmospheric moisture content.
  • The sea surface temperatures in the tropical Indian Ocean have also increased by about 1 °C during 1951–2015.
  • Clear signatures of human-induced changes in climate have emerged over the Indian region on account of anthropogenic greenhouse gases and aerosol forcing, and changes in land use and land cover which have contributed to an increase in the climatic extremes.
  • The complex interactions between the Earth system components amidst the warming environment and regional anthropogenic influences have therefore led to a rise in frequency of localized heavy rainfall events, drought and flood occurrences, and increase in the intensity of tropical cyclones etc., in the last few decades.

-Source: PIB


STRENGTHENING OF POLICE SYSTEM

Context:

The States have formulated 3-to-5-year Action Plans named State Security Plans to modernise and strengthen the Police System.

Each year, Central share is conveyed to State Governments and after adding State share, State Governments formulate State Action Plans (SAPs) by including items as per requirements and strategic priorities including combating cybercrimes and these SAPs are considered by High Powered Committee (HPC) in the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Relevance:

GS-II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Insights into India’s Police Force
  2. Why do we need Police Reforms in India?
  3. Before Independence:
  4. After Independence:
  5. Directions of the Supreme Court in Prakash Singh vs Union of India

Insights into India’s Police Force

  • While state police forces are responsible for maintaining law and order and investigating crimes, central forces assist them with intelligence and internal security challenges (e.g., insurgencies).
  • Expenditure on police accounts for about 3% of the central and state government budgets.

Overburdened police force

  • State police forces had 24% vacancies (about 5.5 lakh vacancies) in 2016.
  • The sanctioned police strength was 181 police per lakh persons in 2016 while the United Nations recommended standard is 222 police per lakh persons.
  • 86% of the state police comprises of constabulary, and since constables are typically promoted once during their service, and normally retire as head constables – this weakens their incentive to perform well.
  • Crime per lakh population has increased by more than 25% over 2005 to 2015. However, convictions have been low.
  • CAG audits have found shortages in weaponry with state police forces.
  • Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) noted more than 30% deficiency in stock of required vehicles.
  • In India, the political executive (i.e., ministers) has the power of superintendence and control over the police forces to ensure their accountability. However, the Second Administrative Reforms Commission has noted that this power has been misused, and ministers have used police forces for personal and political reasons.  Hence, experts have recommended that the scope of the political executive’s power must be limited under law.

Why do we need Police Reforms in India?

  • The basic working principle of policing is still colonial in India which is a repressive force. An independent country needs a democratic police system that is service oriented that instils faith among its citizen.
  • Politicization of Police system due to the interference of political leaders and party workers has lead to loss of its autonomy and degraded its respect among citizen.
  • The poor quality of investigation which leads to a lower conviction
  • The advancement in technology which has opened new dimensions of crime which cannot be tackled by the current system
  • To prevent the highhandedness of police in the form of extra-judicial killings. Recently NHRC noted that 206 cases of encounters occurred in the last 12 months
  • To improve the Police to Population ratio
  • To improve people’s trust in policing system
  • To improve rotten criminal justice system

Both pre- and post-independence, a number of committees and commissions have been appointed to give recommendation for Police reform.

Before Independence:

  • First Police Commission was set up in 1860, the recommendations of this Commission resulted in the enactment of the Police Act of 1861-a law that still governs police.
  • Second Police Commission came out with a detailed report covering various aspects relating to the organization of police force, adequacy of training, strength, pay, investigating offences, etc. as we as review of implementation of the Police Act of 1861

After Independence:

  • Gore Committee on Police Training in 1971
  • National Police Commission which, between 1977-1981, submitted 8 reports suggesting wide ranging reforms in the existing police set-up and also a Model Police Act.
  • Ribeiro Committee to review action taken to implement the recommendations of the NPC.
  • Padmanabhaiah Committee to examine the requirements of policing in the new millennium.
  • Malimath Committee on reforms of Criminal Justice Systemin India was set up in 2003.

Directions of the Supreme Court in Prakash Singh vs Union of India

  • Constitute a State Security Commission in every state that will lay down policy for police functioning, evaluate police performance, and ensure that state governments do not exercise unwarranted influence on the police.
  • Constitute a Police Establishment Board in every state that will decide postings, transfers and promotions for officers below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police, and make recommendations to the state government for officers of higher ranks.
  • Constitute Police Complaints Authorities at the state and district levels to inquire into allegations of serious misconduct and abuse of power by police personnel.
  • Provide a minimum tenure of at least two years for the DGP and other key police officers (e.g., officers in charge of a police station and district) within the state forces, and the Chiefs of the central forces to protect them against arbitrary transfers and postings.
  • Ensure that the DGP of state police is appointed from amongst three senior-most officers who have been empaneled for the promotion by the Union Public Service Commission on the basis of length of service, good record and experience.
  • Separate the investigating police from the law-and-order police to ensure speedier investigation, better expertise and improved rapport with the people.
  • Constitute a National Security Commission to shortlist the candidates for appointment as Chiefs of the central armed police forces.

-Source: PIB

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