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1. Maoist Organizations In Towns And Cities

Background

  • 1967: Naxalite movement started by Charu Majumdar, Kanu Sanyal and Jangal Santhal in Naxalbari area of West Bengal.

  • 2004: CPI (Maoist) was formed with the merger of CPI (Marxist-Leninist) People’s War Group (PWG) and the Maoist Communist Centre of India. It professed a violent ideological line to overthrow the democratically elected Parliamentary form of Government in India through a three pronged strategy that include:

  • Using its People’s Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA), Maoists aim to capture territories in the country side and gradually encircle the urban centre.

  • Use of Mass Organizations, also known as ‘Front Organizations’ mainly in urban areas to mobilize certain targeted sections of the urban population, recruit professional revolutionaries, raise funds for insurgency, create urban shelters for underground cadres. o These organizations are generally manned by ideologues that include academicians and activists, mostly operating under the garb of Human Rights NGOs that are organically linked to CPI (Maoist) party structure but maintain separate identities in an attempt to avoid legal liability.

  • Such organizations are also adept at using the legal processes of the Indian State to undermine and emasculate enforcement action by the security forces and also attempt to malign the State institutions through a concerted and systematic propaganda and disinformation campaigns to further their cause. These ideologues have kept the Maoist movement alive and are in many ways more dangerous than the cadres of the PLGA.

  • Operational Structure of CPI (Maoist): The Polit Bureau (PB), the think tank of the Maoist organization keeps in touch with the over-ground frontal organizations (operating in urban areas), operators and sympathizers and formulates long-term policy and strategy.

  • To form a Rainbow Coalition of various insurgent groups: so as to launch a united front attack against the existing state machinery.

  • Banned under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967: CPI (Maoist) party and all its formation and front organizations have been listed as Terrorist organizations under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

1.1. About Urban Naxalism

  • In 2004, a CPI (Maoist) document titled ‘Urban Perspective: Our Work in Urban Areas’ elaborated on Urban naxalism strategy: with a major focus on gaining leadership and expertise from urban areas, it emphasized on mobilizing industrial workers and urban poor, establishing front organizations, building ‘tactical united fronts’ of likeminded organizations including the students, middle class employees, intellectuals, women, dalits and religious minorities and engaging in military tasks such as providing personnel, technologies, material and infrastructure along with infiltration of police.

  • Active front organizations in many Indian cities: Intelligence report reveals that front organizations supporting 'Urban Naxalism' are active in a number of cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Ranchi, Hyderabad, Visakhapatanam, Madurai, Thiruvananthpuram, Nagpur and Pune.

  • Arrest of a person professing the ideology of a Maoist

  • Kerala High Court in 2015 had held that being a Maoist and having a political ideology of the Maoist is no crime unless the police form a reasonable opinion that his activities are unlawful.

  • Only if the individual or organisation abhors and resorts to physical violence, the law agency can prevent or take action against the individual or organisation.

1.2. Significance of Urban presence for Naxals

  • Logistics Support: The utility of having a presence in urban centres and operate there was best illustrated when police seized empty rocket shells and rocket launchers in 2006, in Mahabubnagar district, Andhra Pradesh. This elaborates the network that Maoists had built to manufacture rocket parts and transport them to different parts of the country.

  • Tapping industrial workers: penetrating the working class movement in important industries such as communication, oil and natural gas, coal, transport, power, defence production, etc is envisaged. The detection of Maoist activities in towns such as Surat, in Gujarat, earlier in 2006, and later on several other industrial belts, clearly reaffirms this.

  • Attracting students and youth: The Urban Movement has attracted students towards the Maoist fold in various parts of the country. Security agencies believe that the front organizations have started vigorous movement in the education sector, to rope in students from several reputed colleges for their cause.

  • Urbanisation itself has some faultlines and the Maoists could well exploit these to their advantage: The Maoists enjoy some degree of sympathy and support among the urban intellectuals and middle class, including students and teachers in schools, colleges and universities.

  • Rest and recuperations: On many occasions important top-level leaders of the CPI (Maoist) have been arrested from cities and towns hiding under the garb of civil society.

Way Forward

  • Ministry of Home Affairs suggests that the strategy to tackle Left-Wing Extremist (LWE) challenges must include plans to tackle 'Urban Naxalism'. State must initiate legal action against the Maoist front organizations.

  • A separate budget should be provided to counter the growing Naxal footprint in cities.

  • Initiating legal proceedings against the ideologues including academicians and activists often resulted in negative publicity for enforcement agencies due to effectiveness of the Maoist propaganda machinery. There is a need to address the issue through systematic, protracted and persistent efforts.

2. Defence Offset Fund

What are offsets?

  • Offsets are essentially benefits that a buyer gets from a seller — technology/capability that Indian industry gets from a foreign vendor selling equipment to India.

  • The policy on offsets was first introduced as part of the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2005, and has undergone revisions since then.

  • The main objective of the Defence Offset Policy is “to leverage capital acquisitions to develop Indian defence industry by fostering development of internationally competitive enterprises, augmenting capacity for research, design and development related to defence products and services, and encouraging development of synergistic sectors like civil aerospace and internal security”.

2.1. About EDF (Electronics Development Fund)

  • It is a “Fund of Funds” contributing 15 per cent of the value of professionally managed “Daughter Funds”, required to raise the remaining 85 per cent from the market.

  • The funds choose and fund start-ups for developing technologies in electronics, Nano-electronics and information technology.

  • The MeitY nominated Canara Bank Venture Capital to select the Daughter Funds. These must be private- or government-run funds following SEBI rules.

2.2. About DOF

  • It will be set up to fund promising defence start-ups

  • It will be modelled on the successful Electronics Development Fund (EDF).

  • In this fund, the 30 per cent contribution would come from a foreign vendor in discharge of an offset obligation and rest would be raised from market.

  • Contributions to the DOF will be eligible for a multiplier of three, which means that by contributing $100 million, a vendor would extinguish offset liabilities worth $300 million.

  • To create the DOF corpus, the defence ministry is amending the defence offsets guidelines that are set out in the Defence Procurement Procedure of 2016.

  • The proposed offset guidelines allow foreign arms vendors to discharge offsets — which amount to at least 30 per cent of the actual value of all contracts above Rs 20 billion.

  • This fund can then be invested in following areas:

  • Indian defence related infrastructure

  • Sharing specified critical technologies

  • Equity investment in defence manufacturing companies

  • Investment in Sebi-regulated fund dedicated for development of start-ups and MSMEs of defence, aerospace and internal security-related enterprises in the country.

3. Bru Deal

3.1. About BRU tribe

  • It is also known as Riang and it is spread across the northeastern states of Tripura, Assam, Manipur, and Mizoram..

  • It is categorized as primitive tribal group.

  • They are the second largest tribe of Tripura after the Tripuri tribe.

  • The dance performed by Bru tribals after harvesting of shifting cultivation is ‘Mai-nouhma’ dance.

3.2. More on news

  • Bru tribe migrated from Mizoram to Tripura in 1997 due to ethnic violence in their home state.

  • In July 2018, a “four- corner agreement” was signed with provisions such as a one-time financial assistance of Rs 4 lakh as fixed deposit in the name of the head of family only after 3 years of uninterrupted stay in Mizoram, a house building assistance of Rs 1.5 lakh in three instalments and free ration for two years and a monthly assistance of Rs 5,000 for each family.

  • However, due to protest regarding these provisions certain revisions have been done based on the new demands such as: o Relaxation in the period of stay for cash assistance of Rs 4 lakh to two or even 1.5 years.

  • Allowing withdrawal of 90% of this 4 lakh as bank loan immediately after their return.

  • Rs 1.5 lakh house assistance in a single instalment or two.

  • Other measures include Eklavya residential schools, land for Jhum cultivation, permanent residential and ST certificates, and a special development project.

  • Their demand of cluster village was however rejected.

4. EXERCISE SCO PEACE MISSION 2018

4.1.  About SCO

  • It is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation created in 2001.

  • Its members include India, Pakistan Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyztan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

  • It was preceded by the Shanghai Five mechanism which did not include Uzbekistan, Pakistan and India.

  • Its main goals include:

  • Strengthening mutual trust and neighbourliness among the member states;

  • Promoting their effective cooperation in politics, trade, the economy, research, technology and culture etc.;

  • Making joint efforts to maintain and ensure peace, security and stability in the region;

  • Moving towards the establishment of a democratic, fair and rational new international political and economic order.

4.2. About the peace mission

  • Exercise Peace Mission 2018, the joint military exercise of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is conducted biennially for SCO member states.

  • It provides an opportunity to the armed forces of SCO nations to train in counter terrorism operations in urban scenario in a multinational and joint environment.

  • This is the first time India is participating in this peace mission post joining SCO.

  • The exercise provided an opportunity for the armies of India and Pakistan to operate together outside the United Nations umbrella, under which they had operated in the past.

5. Maitree Exercise 2018

More on News

  • It is a platoon level exercise which comprises of infantry component.

  • The exercise seek to enhance the skills in joint counter insurgency and counter terrorist operations in rural and urban scenario under UN mandate and seek to increase interoperability between both forces for joint operation.

6. BARAK-8 MISSILE

6.1. About Barak 8 missile

  • Barak 8 (the Hebrew word for Lightning), jointly developed by India and Israel, is a long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM).

  • It is designed to defend against any type of airborne threat including aircraft, helicopters, anti-ship missiles, and UAVs as well as cruise missiles and combat jets.

  • Its main features include: o Capability to take down an incoming missile as close as 500 meters away;

  • Maximum speed – Mach 2

  • Operational range - 70 Km (which has been increased to 100 Km)

  • Two-way data link, Active Radar Seeker Missile with 360-degree coverage and flexible command and control system enabling Simultaneous Engagements on multiple targets in all weather conditions

August Internal Security Threats

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