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Here are the topics covered for 25 September 2023:Geospatial intelligence, Why the Northeast cannot be treated as a single homogenous territory, Bank Board, New Education Policy, Karam festival, Official Secrets Act
Table of contents:
- Geospatial intelligence
GS 2 :
- Why the Northeast cannot be treated as a single homogenous territory
- Bank Boards
- New Education Policy
Facts for prelims:
- Karam festival
- Official Secrets Act
what is geospatial intelligence?
- Geospatial intelligence is the collection and integration of data from a network of technologies, including satellites, mobile sensors, ground-control stations and aerial images. Geospatial intelligence has offered valuable insights to help governments and organizations protect communities.
- Geospatial intelligence combines data from satellites, sensors, ground stations, and aerial imagery to create real-time maps and simulations.
GEOINT is used for a wide range of purposes
- This aids in pinpointing emerging threats and supports informed decision-making for both government officials and individuals.
- Geospatial intelligence aids in emergency response. The Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre tracks cyclones, providing crucial details for resource allocation, personnel deployment, and issuing warnings for timely evacuations.
- Geospatial intelligence guides search-and-rescue efforts post-disaster. After the 2023 Turkey-Syria earthquake, it swiftly assessed the damage and aided in locating survivors. It also identified access points for aid distribution.
- Furthermore, it’s instrumental in environmental monitoring, helping anticipate and prepare for potential disturbances by tracking temperature, precipitation, snowpack, and polar ice. This safeguards human health and security.
- GPS-generated spatial data powers global supply chains, providing detailed information on ship movements, and enhancing efficiency and reliability.
- Geospatial intelligence is crucial in monitoring environmental indicators like temperature, precipitation, and polar ice to prepare for potential disturbances.
The geospatial intelligence industry is expected to grow from $61 billion in 2020 to over $209 billion in 2030.
Geospatial intelligence plays a pivotal role in ensuring safety, stability, and informed decision-making in a rapidly transforming world.
Why the Northeast cannot be treated as a single homogenous territory
- The States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura are home to numerous ethnic communities who have migrated from ‘all points of the compass’ and their heterogeneity and differing experiences must be highlighted.
- The Northeast region, comprising eight states, hosts a diverse array of ethnic communities with origins from various directions. However, viewing it as a single homogeneous entity oversimplifies its complexity.
- The historical construction influenced British colonial rule and continues in the present Indian state, projecting a shared identity across the region. The Northeast, though often seen as marginal, is as diverse as India itself in language, culture, and ethnicity.
- Considering the region’s social realities requires addressing issues like indigeneity, policy, economy, migration, land rights, insurgency, militarization, state violence, laws such as AFSPA, and reservation.
- Migrant citizens from the Northeast face marginalization and, at times, violence in cities like Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Bengaluru.
- Additionally, discrimination against outsiders is prevalent in northeast India itself.
- The Bezbaruah Committee, established in 2014 to address the concerns of citizens from northeastern states residing across India, proposed outreach through social media. They also synchronized a special helpline (1093) with the emergency number 100.
- When surveyed about their effectiveness, 68.4% of respondents credited the government’s efforts, while only 12.6% expressed scepticism about these measures.
- Education is the key to addressing the challenges faced by individuals from Northeast India.
- Understanding the region’s history, particularly its integral role within India, is crucial for fostering a sense of unity among citizens from diverse regions, ultimately contributing to a stronger nationhood.
- States like Manipur, Nagaland, and Assam have experienced significant bouts of violence stemming from ethnic, land, and identity disputes.
- In the 1990s, a conflict between the Kukis and Nagas, two ethnic communities, resulted in widespread displacement of people from the affected areas.
- The conflict caused displacement among Nagas too. Agriculture, crucial for livelihood, led to a high value of land. The conflict alienated land from both parties, especially the displaced. Afterwards, a shift occurred in occupations: most became manual labourers, and a few focused on handicrafts.
- Displaced women endure health challenges: malnutrition, PTSD, and injuries. Higher risk of communicable diseases due to poverty, crowded living, lack of awareness, and limited healthcare access – issues persist in the present Manipur conflict.
- Despite idealized narratives, the matrilineal systems in Manipur and Khasi society are inherently patriarchal, as power predominantly rests with maternal male members.
The Northeast region of India is a mosaic of diversity, shaped by complex historical, social, and political forces. It is crucial to move beyond simplistic narratives and recognize the multifaceted nature of this region.
- Promoting Inclusivity and Understanding: Efforts should be made to foster inclusivity and promote a deeper understanding of the unique identities within the Northeast. This can be achieved through educational initiatives, cultural exchanges, and awareness campaigns.
- Addressing Social Realities: Policymakers and stakeholders must address pressing issues such as indigeneity, policy formulation, economic development, migration, land rights, and insurgency. It is imperative to ensure that policies are inclusive and responsive to the diverse needs of the region.
- Mitigating Marginalization and Violence: Concrete steps should be taken to mitigate the marginalization and violence faced by individuals from the Northeast, both within the region and in other parts of the country. This includes implementing effective mechanisms for reporting and redressal.
- Enhancing Healthcare and Social Services: Providing accessible and quality healthcare and social services is essential for addressing the health challenges faced by displaced populations and marginalized communities. This includes efforts to combat malnutrition, trauma, and communicable diseases.
- Empowering Women: Efforts should be made to empower women in the Northeast by dismantling patriarchal structures and ensuring that matrilineal systems truly grant women agency and decision-making power.
- Strengthening Historical Education: A comprehensive understanding of the history of the Northeast, including its integral role within India, should be integrated into educational curricula. This will help foster a sense of unity and shared identity among citizens from diverse regions.
New Education Policy
- The Parliament Standing Committee on Education tabled a report during the special session of Parliament on the “Implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP), 2020 in Higher Education.”
- The report assessed NEP implementation in higher education.
- The panel consulted State governments, Union Ministries, institutions, and stakeholders.
- 70% of 1,043 universities under the State Act.
- 94% of students in State/private institutions.
- Only 6% in Central higher education institutions.
- Rigid separation of disciplines in higher education.
- Limited access to higher education in socio-economically disadvantaged areas.
- An insufficient number of higher education institutes (HEIs) teaching in local languages.
- Shortage of qualified faculty members.
- Lack of institutional autonomy.
- Inadequate emphasis on research.
- Ineffectiveness of the regulatory system.
- Low standards of undergraduate education.
- Aim for at least one multidisciplinary HEI in every district by 2030.
- Allocate suitable funds for the education of Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Groups (SEDGs).
- Set clear targets for higher Gross Enrolment Ratio for SEDGs.
- Enhance gender balance in admissions to Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).
- Provide increased financial assistance and scholarships to SEDGs in both public and private HEIs.
- Make admission processes and curricula more inclusive.
- Enhance the employability potential of higher education programs.
- Develop more degree courses taught in regional languages and bilingually.
- Implement specific infrastructural steps to support physically challenged students.
- Enforce all no-discrimination and anti-harassment rules strictly.
The panel commended the prompt implementation of NEP in Jammu and Kashmir, noting it as one of the first regions in the country to adopt NEP across all its higher educational institutions. This implementation led to a notable shift in teaching methods, providing lifelong learning opportunities to students.
- Recently RBI Governor asked bank boards to democratise discussion and prevent excessive dominance by a few members.
Suggestion by the Governor:
- The quality of board discussions should be free and frank because the idea of cooperation is based on the idea of democracy.
- The underlying principle of the functioning of the cooperative bank is democracy. The discussions on the board should be democratic and transparent.
- Everybody should get a chance to speak and there should not be an overdominance or excessive dominance by one or two members of the board or by the chairman or the vice chairman or a group of directors
- The board members of cooperative banks should have adequate expertise. The board should not be static and there should be new inductions, new minds and younger persons coming into the board.
Financial Services Institutions Bureau
- FSIB, established in 2022, by the Central Government, recommends appointments of whole-time directors and non-executive chairpersons for financial services institutions.
- It also provides advice on personnel management in these institutions.
- The Bureau’s Secretariat is currently staffed with a Secretary and four officers.
The functions of the Bureau are:
- Recommend whole-time directors and non-executive chairpersons for PSBs, FIs, and PSIs.
- Advise the Government on appointments, transfers, extensions, and terminations of these directors.
- Provide guidance on desired management structures at the Board level.
- Propose performance appraisal systems for WTDs and NECs.
- Establish a databank for performance-related data.
- Formulate and enforce a code of conduct and ethics for WTDs.
- Advise on training and development programs for management personnel in PSBs, FIs, and PSIs.
Fact for prelims
- It is a harvest festival celebrated in Jharkhand, West Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Assam, and Odisha.
- It is dedicated to worshipping Karam-Devta, the god of power, youth and youthfulness.
- It is celebrated for good harvest and health.
- The Karam festival is celebrated by diverse groups of people including Munda, Ho, Oraon, Bagal, Baiga, Binjhwari, Bhumij, Kharia, Kudmi, Karmali, Lohra, Korwa etc.
- Devotees keep a day-long fast and worship the branches of Karam and Sal.
Official Secrets Act
- Official Secrets Act of 1923 was introduced in the British Colonial era.
- This act came into existence mainly for two aspect.
- Disclosure of Secret information from the government
- Spying or espionage
- If guilty a person may get up to 14 years imprisonment, a fine or both.
- Also, a person receiving the information can be punished under the OSA.
- It was mainly enacted to suppress the voices of newspapers opposing British policies.
- The Official Secrets Act is considered controversial, as it has been criticized for potentially limiting freedom of expression and inhibiting the work of investigative journalists.