1. Constant vigilance-
GS 3- Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security
- The arrest of five terror suspects in Delhi has turned the spotlight on the embers of the long dead and buried Khalistan movement.
- The Delhi police have claimed that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is seeking yet again to link up terror outfits in Kashmir with pro-Khalistan activists; three of the others arrested were from Kashmir.
- While these claims need to be investigated before any conclusion can be made about the presence of a link, the central government should not take the threat lightly.
- The movement aims to create an independent state for Sikh people inside the current North-Western Republic of India.
- The Sikh nationalist movement via armed struggle or political wants to have a state that existed in Punjab from 1709 to 1849.
- The idea for a seperate state was first created in 1940s, it remained idle before it was revived by an NRI seeking a separate homeland for Sikhs.
- The movement had emerged as a major separatist movement in early 1980's. The reason behind the movement was due to the bias of Indian Government against Punjab in the case of Chandigarh and sharing of Ravi-Beas waters.
- Political rivalry existed between Congress Party and the Akali Dal. With the rivalry, Akali Dal was gradually gaining ground as the political representative of the Sikh community.
- Encouraging diverse groups of people within the Akali Dal was done by the Congress leadership to divide the Akalis.
- Congress initially used Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale who led the Khalistan as an extremist movement to counter Akali Dal but later he was inspired by the Khalistan ideology and turned against Indian government.
- The movement was fed on arms
- Under the patronage of Pakistan’s ISI, the movement was fed on arms, who were seeking revenge for creation of Bangladesh.
- Bhindranwale declared himself as the protector and arbiter of Sikh rights and acquired arms and emerged as the extremist voice of Sikhs, over-ruling the moderate voices of leaders.
- There were violent protests and killings of high-profile persons in Indian government so that the demand for separate nation-hood for Punjab would be granted.
Historical Reasons Responsible For The Demand For A Seperate State
- Independence of India post the partition of 1947 was not a joyful event for Sikhs. Partition left Sikhs in a lot of discontentment with regard to their traditional lands being lost to Pakistan.
- A movement was initiated in 1955 under Akali Dal a Sikh dominated political party- Punjabi Suba movement which sought re-organisation of Punjab along linguist lines, seeking division of the state into Punjabi and non-Punjabi speaking areas.
- The movement acquired communal overtones. Sikhs voting for Punjabi as mother-tongue (even if they spoke Hindi) and Hindus voting for Hindi as mother-tongue (even if they spoke Punjabi).
- Akali Dals demand which seeks separate statehood was rejected by the State reorganisation commission after having made its recommendations.
- The movement resulted in trifurcation of Punjab into Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.
- The foundation on which the Khalistan dispute was created were the disputes of Chandigarh and Sharing of waters of Ravi-Beas and Sutlej between the two states, Punjab and Haryana.
Reasons Behind The Intensification Of Khalistani Movement?
- The Indian Government launched Operation Blue star to capture Bhindrawale in Harmandir Sahib Complex. This led to the destruction of the Complex and also many innocent civilians lost their lives triggering anti-India feeling.
- Indira Gandhi, the then PM who oversaw the terror being unleased at the Complex, was seen as an enemy of the Sikhs. Subsequently, her two Sikh guards killed her in 1984.
- Wide-spread riots against the Sikhs across India resulted post her killing. The genocide of Sikhs across India fuelled more anti-India sentiment.
- Punjab went through a phase of wide-spread terrorism from early 1980s to early 1990s.
- Khalistan Liberation Force, Khalistan Commando Force, Babbar Khalsa and umpteen other extremist groups gained prominence and roamed around freely across Punjab.
- Sikhs being a patriotic group started to act against the protracted terrorist struggle and chose to side with the Indian nation, the then
- However, Sikhs being a patriotic group started to act against the protracted terrorist struggle and chose to side with the Indian nation. Punjab Police department succeeded in defeating the movement in 1990s.
- The Khalistan movement has long become moribund(dead) with the neutralisation of the threat and the ending of the Punjab insurgency in the early 1990s.
- The movement has lost support from the Sikh community within India and the Sikh diaspora across the world.
- There were few isolated and sporadic incidents that have occurred in the last decade but attempts to revive the movement from fringe groups have failed.
- There is also no truth in the allegation that there are pro-Khalistani sections as part of the large-scale protests led by farmers in Punjab.
- The irrelevance of the Khalistan movement notwithstanding, agencies such as the ISI have not stopped trying to foment such violence, either directly by funding fringe sections or by linking them with terror groups in Kashmir. Security agencies must therefore remain vigilant.
Threat To India
- Even if the Khalistan movement has been interred, the threat of terror in Kashmir remains well and truly active.
- Terror incidents and fatalities since the revoking of special status and statehood for Jammu & Kashmir in the last year have remained high.
- Data from the terrorism monitoring portal, satp.org, show that there were 382 incidents related to terrorism and 302 fatalities in 2020 so far in J&K compared to 369 and 283 in 2019, respectively.
- While many of these incidents have occurred due to acts of terror emanating from within the Union Territory, infiltration of terrorists from Pakistan continues apace as well, which is also correlated with the increased ceasefire violations at both the Line of Control and the International Border.
- The lull in terror activities and the relative peace in the Valley from 2011 to 2015 are now a thing of the past and renewed violence besides disaffection have become a new normal, even if they have not reached the high levels of the 1990s and the early 2000s.
- The persisting disaffection in the Valley can only be addressed by a new political process that seeks to review the unilateral changes made to the region’s status and restores its full statehood.
- The Khalistan movement is non-existent, but security agencies must watch fringe sections.
- Indian Government should be vigilant and therefore should work towards national integration. Care should be taken so that no group remains aloof from the developmental programmes.
- One of the biggest reasons for the youths turning to violence is lack of employment. Government should work towards creating jobs and engaging youths for the betterment of the country and thus reaping the advantage of demographic dividend.
- Indian government should engage with the relevant stakeholders before framing any policies. Keeping the stakeholders away from the policy process will cast a shadow over peace and tranquility in the region. With the recent Agricultural laws passed, the government should have held discussions with the stakeholders before coming to any conclusion.
- Every section of the society should be included in the developmental process, lest, the affected group will be forced to engage in violent activities as happened with the Naxalites.
- The pillars of the democracy should be used effectively to further the goal of an inclusive India where every section, irrespective of caste, religion etc., is included in the development process.
2. The rise of the AI economy-
GS 3 – Information Technology
Three areas need attention if India is aiming to become the AI powerhouse of the world – Talent development, policies around data usage, governance and security, level of digitization.
New Avenues Due To The Pandemic
- The pandemic has taught us many lessons and opened our minds to new ways of doing things, including understanding the potential of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).
- AI/ML models and algorithms have supplemented the work of healthcare professionals, medical researchers, public health authorities and local administrations in monitoring and predicting trends.
- Lockdowns have led to a boom in Internet consumption. According to the Department of Telecommunications, Internet consumption in India rose by 13% after the lockdown was announced.
- Higher consumption has generated goldmines of user data that online businesses can harness.
- COVID-19 has created an AI moment that India can ill afford to miss.
What Is AI?
- Artificial intelligence or AI refers to the ability of computers to work/function like the human mind.
- It is primarily used to rationalize, solve problems, reason, learn etc.
- It is used in multiple sectors like the healthcare industry financial sector, trading, etc.
- Artificial Intelligence is used to perform surgical procedures, gaming, etc. AI is also used to enhance banking system by detecting a probable fraud by monitoring unusual transactions.
- AI is used to carry complex tasks at the blink of an eye.
Benefits of AI
- NITI Aayog assesses that adopting AI would bolster gross value added (GVA) for the economy by 2035 by 15%.
- AI can help in increasing the accessibility to quality healthcare.
- In agriculture, AI can contribute towards enhancing farmers’ productivity through weather forecasting, reducing wastage and thus income growth.
- Modern education can benefit from AI through the usage of smart classrooms or e-learning.
- Infrastructure for the urban population can be built using AI.
- AI is also helpful in tackling terrorism, developing safer modes of transportation, etc.
- Employment generation due to heavy dependence of people on digitized systems to solve problems and increase efficiency.
- Indian can employ AI to support the ‘Make in India’ programme to become a major manufacturing hub.
What is Machine Learning?
- Machine learning is an application of artificial intelligence (AI).
- It is used to allow the machine/system to learn and improve from past experiences/ activities without the need to upgrade or reprogramming.
- The purpose of machine learning is the development of computer systems to utilise data without external aid.
India’s Rising Eminence in AI
- We have made significant progress in AI capability-building in the past few years through government initiatives and private sector investments.
- NITI Aayog’s national strategy for AI envisages ‘AI for all’ for inclusive growth, and identifies healthcare, agriculture, education, smart cities and infrastructure, and smart mobility and transportation as focus areas for AI-led solutions for social impact.
- The Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra governments, among others, have announced policies and strategies for AI adoption.
- Technology companies have established AI centres of excellence to create solutions for global clients.
- India has a thriving AI start-up ecosystem with cutting-edge solutions being developed in areas such as cancer screening, smart farming and conversational AI for the use of enterprises.
- Our talent pool in AI/ML is fast growing, with over 5,00,000 people working on these technologies at present.
- India is thus poised to become the AI powerhouse of the world. And with that, there is a potential of the rise of an AI economy in the country.
- Data and AI services are expected to help boost India’s economic growth in a big way. Nasscom believes that data and AI will contribute $450 billion-$500 billion to India’s GDP by 2025, which is around 10% of the government’s aspiration of a $5 trillion economy.
- The thrust will come from three key segments: consumer goods and retail, agriculture, and banking and insurance.
Scope of AI
- As more opportunities are created, we can expect a net positive effect on employment generation.
- The growing AI economy is estimated to create over 20 million technical roles alone.
- AI can create not just niche solutions to specific problems that banks and other service providers are deploying, such as speeding up loan application processing or improving customer service; it can also provide solutions for better governance and social impact. For example, during the lockdown, the Telangana police used AI-enabled automated number plate recognition software to catch violations.
- The pandemic has thus provided technology companies in the country a great opportunity to test their own capabilities to create solutions for fast evolving, real-world situations.
- We are now better prepared for an AI-led future in which we not just solve business problems but also find answers to complex social issues.
Top Priorities For India
- The first is talent development. No meaningful conversation on AI preparedness can take place unless we are able to meet the rising demand with the right talent.
- In 2019, we nearly doubled our AI workforce to 72,000 from 40,000 the year before. However, the demand continues to outpace the supply.
- The second area is policies around data usage, governance and security. Without data, there cannot be AI.
- Third, though the use of digital technologies has gone up, the level of digitisation continues to be low. This poses a big challenge for organisations in finding the right amount of training data to run AI/ML algorithms, which in turn affects the accuracy of the results. Then there is the problem of availability of clean datasets.
- The demand for manpower continues to outpace the supply. That means our efforts to develop talent must pick up speed.
- We need a robust legal framework that governs data and serves as the base for the ethical use of AI.
- Organisations need to invest in data management frameworks that will clean their data before they are analysed, thus vastly improving the outcomes of AI models.
The future for AI looks promising but to convert the potential into reality, India will need better strategies around talent development, stronger policies for data usage and governance, and more investments in creating a technology infrastructure that can truly leverage AI.
3. In Standford ranking, hope for Indian science-
GS 2- Issues related to the development and management of social services relating to education.
Recently, the world ranking of scientists is issued by the Standford University, U.S. this report shows there are definite signs of Indian scientists regaining lost ground.
- Scientists at Stanford University have created a database of 1,59,683 (top 2%) scientists of the world.
- This database is based on standard indicators such as:
(a) information on citations,
(c) co-authorship and
(d) a composite indicator.
- Citation index is given by resource databases such as Scopus and Web of Science. this index is based on the number of research papers published, the number of times the author has been cited.
- h-index, which is a measure of the impact of an author’s work and other people’s research.
Assessment of The Report
- An appraisal of the report includes disciplines of science, technology, medicine and allied areas.
- Scientists from government institutions have shown supremacy in the disciplines of science and technology.
- Scientists from private institutions also find more place in the disciplines of medicine and allied areas.
- There is an equal distribution of scientists working in institutions in urban and rural areas.
- If we considered the index, in certain disciplines, a large number of scientists have secured a place in the list, whereas in some disciplines, only one scientist could be included.
Performance of India
- In the index, from India, 1,494 Indians have made it to the list of top 2% scientists in the world. As well as Over 100 scientists from Tamil Nadu among the top 2% in the world.
- From the entire list of disciplines, more than four-fifths of the scientists are from government-supported institutions.
- These institutions include institutions of national importance, central universities, State universities, and government-funded research institutions.
- If we consider the institutions of national importance, several scientists from:
(a) the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru,
(b) the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, and
(c) the Indian Institutes of Technology and the National Institutes of Technology.
- The University of Delhi and the University of Hyderabad also in the index.
- In the disciplines of science and technology, the share of scientists from the institutions of national importance, is very high.
Why Institutions of National Importance are Ahead?
- The outcome of freedom, flexibility and facilitation to the faculty in these institutions to research any related topic is very high.
- As well as, the practices of peer review, motivation to participate in international seminars, and incentivisation packages offered in these institutions are sure to have had a positive impact in this connection.
Scientists From Rural and Remote Area Ahead
- If we consider the index, several scientists from private colleges and other institutions even from the remote areas have managed to find a place in the list.
- This situation is noted in several conventional and modern disciplines.
- It is showing the reach and the extent of the performance of these scientists beyond the centres of excellence.
- This performance of remote area scientists highlights the professional excellence and equitable sharing of excellence in the rural and urban settings.
Scientists From Private Institutions
- Scientists working in non-governmental organisations, and private institutions have also made in the list. They are here in the index, consisting of science, technology and medicine.
- Scientists from private institutions are in the disciplines such as general and internal medicine, anatomy, ophthalmology and optometry, nutrition and dietetics, etc.
- This performance points to the need for reorienting and taking a relook at the investment in research and development by government medical institutions.
- The Medical Council of India, the Pharmacy Council of India and other regulatory institutions would need to review their support mechanisms for enhanced research and development.
Disciplines Wise Data
- In disciplines such as applied physics, artificial intelligence and image processing, mechanical engineering and transportation, organic chemistry and polymers, there are more than 50 but less than 100 scientists in the index.
- It is a matter of great pride for the country that so many Indian scientists from these disciplines have received international acclaim.
- But there are only a few scientists in disciplines such as anesthesiology.
- While applied mathematics, emergency and critical care, genetics and heredity and geology have made the grade.
What is Anesthesiology?
- It is the medical speciality related to the total perioperative care of patients before, during and after surgery.
- This encompasses anaesthesia, intensive care medicine, critical emergency medicine, and pain medicine.
- The physician specialised in this field of medicine is called an anesthesiologist, anaesthesiologist or anaesthetist, depending on the country.
Works By Government
- In the National Education Policy, the Government of India has proposed the setting up of a National Research Foundation, or NRF.
- India invests less than 1% of its GDP in the area of research and innovation.
- Aim of the foundation is to boosting research and innovation in all higher education institutions in the country.
- According to proposal, the NRF will have four major divisions such as sciences, technology, social sciences, and arts and humanities.
- As well as additional divisions such as agriculture, environment, etc. could be added by the governing board of the NRF.
(a) This institute will pave the way for a self-reliant India while advocating:
(b) merit-based but equitable peer-reviewed research funding,
(c) an incentivisation of research,
(d) also to usher in a new culture of research and development in the country.
- So the announcement of the NEP and the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan may enable the country to redraw the contours of research beyond the conventional disciplines.
- The report by Stanford University motivates Indian scientists to reach international standards.
- It is grading of scientists could provide much-needed motivation in the backdrop of the National Research Foundation plan.
- Ancient India has made contributions to several complex and scientific achievements.
- If we consider report, by Stanford University, on the world ranking of scientists it paints a positive picture and shows there are definite signs of Indian scientists regaining lost ground.