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Is Affirmative Action Really Affirmative When It Comes To Internal Violence


Author: Gauri Budhiraja
Research Coordinator, GCTC
Areas of interest: Internal Violence, Counter-Terrorism, India, the Middle East Region,
Defense,Strategic Studies and Global Peace
Affirmative action essentially refers to policies and practices that seek to increase the representation and welfare of particular social groups based on their gender, race, sexuality, creed, nationality, and caste (in India) in social spheres in which they are underrepresented. Affirmative action policies have been set up to bridge inequalities, promoting diversity, and amending past wrongs. The reservation system in India is one such striking example of affirmative action policies. It uses a quota system whereby a certain percentage of govt jobs, political positions, and school vacancies are reserved for SCs, STs, OBCs, people belonging to the EWS category, and in some cases, the women as well.
Since independence, India, from time to time, has witnessed various instances of internal violence. The major incidents include the 1969 Gujarat riots, 1984 anti-Sikh riots, the 1989 Bhagalpur riots, 1989 Kashmir violence, Godhra train burning, 2002 Gujarat riots, 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots, 2020 Delhi riots, and the most recent one being the post-poll violence in West Bengal.
A close study of the latest incident reflects that among the 28 Indian states, West Bengal has a considerable share of SCs, STs, and OBCs as a part of its population. When it comes to policies for affirmative action, the state might have exceeded its 50% cap on reservations for welfare, representation, and upliftment of such social groups on papers. Still, the reality paints an  opposite picture. In recent years, the rich Bengali fraternity that comprised an amalgamation of art, literature, social reforms, and politics has been tainted by communal violence. The recent Bengal assembly polls in which TMC emerged victoriously have left in their wake offenses of rape, sexual harassment and assault, targeting scheduled castes and tribes, and plunder of homes and shops.  These are the worst manifestations of post-poll violence ever witnessed by the nation.
Media reports indicate this being an act of violence in electoral vengeance against the individuals who exercised their democratic right to vote in favour of one ideological group over the other. The pivotal question raised here is why do those affected belong to the lowermost rungs in the societal hierarchy?  Despite affirmative action policies, the beneficiaries are the ones that stand to lose the most.
A close examination of the victims of such events presents a picture that strongly supports this communal bias while simultaneously undermining the strong foundation stone of democracy on which the constitution of India is based. Thus, such events are essentially weakening the institutional buffers of both democracy and federalism.
The mass violence of people due to state-supported violence has caused pressing humanitarian issues linked to their survival. They are compelled to live in terrible conditions, in violation of their fundamental rights embodied in the Constitution of India under Article 21.
To prevent further deterioration, the Supreme Court has constituted a special investigation team to probe the issue of no investigation and police inaction and take action against the culprits in the alleged “state-sponsored” violence. The NHRC and NCW are parties to the same, considering the large share of Dalits and women among the victims.
Furthermore, providing long-term relief to the internally displaced persons affected due to the brutality by rehabilitating them in the society, equipping them with livelihood, property and compensating them for the loss of their family members, mental and emotional, should be done. In addition, establishing fast-track courts for quick redressal of problems related to violations of rights of SCs, STs and OBCs can also be considered a positive step in affirming their rights.

Embedded Journalism and Kashmir

Author: Srimoyee Biswas
Research Coordinator, GCTC
Areas of interest: Mainly involved in research and advocacy along the lines of gender, subaltern communities, media framing, and contemporary social issues and movements.
The term embedded journalism which was coined early during the USA’s invasion of Iraq a very dimension to the concept of war was added in the field of journalism. Broadcasting on conflict zones in real-time and going forth to report live events attracted a larger crowd and caught the attention of several viewers across the globe to be involved in the process of reporting. A narrative structure soon followed to be available for the people where the broadcasting structure started to shape opinions and ideas and to the point even perceptions of people on their particular issue. In Kashmir, the influence of media in perpetuating ideas for both sides has been controversial in nature. In a 2019 paper by Ajmal Khan, it points out that several news dailies like The Dawn have coverage of Kashmir conflict which is dominated by war frames, news stories (hard news) were published more compared to other types of news materials, more stories were published on national newspapers.
Covering the issues of Kashmir has always been two-pronged with its approach. Some of the international bodies like the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has stated in a 2018 report citing, “The general trend is toward the deterioration of the working conditions of journalists covering armed conflict/resistance movements in Indian-administered Kashmir. Covering the Kashmir conflict has become more dangerous for journalists – over the years, several Kashmiri journalists have been killed and many arrested,”.
Since the passing of Burhan Wani, the well-known radical officer of the Kashmiri-based assailant group of Hizbul Mujahideen, in a 2016 shootout with the Indian military, outfitted aggressiveness in the contested district has seen another resurgence.
Accordingly, the Indian government has duplicated its enemy of uprising activities. In its first-since forever report on the circumstance in Kashmir gave in 2018, the U.N’s. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights itemized the supposed basic liberties infringement.
As indicated by the 49-page report, Indian security powers have utilized inordinate power prompting numerous regular citizen passings and injuries caused since 2016. The report likewise got down on the limitations on the privilege to the opportunity of articulation and responses against common liberties protectors and writers forced by the Indian government in the involved Kashmir.
On the other hand, the deployment of the intelligentsia has been also critical and important for both governments to ensure that any suspicious activities are monitored. As highlighted by a report published by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Asia Pacific attempted to explain the scenario. The report says the weakness of Kashmiri writers, who live in the Valley, is a lot higher than “parachute” columnists from Delhi or global channels who visit for a couple of days and leave, without any stakes in life in the Valley. The report refers to the inclusion of floods, which crushed Kashmir in 2014, for instance, saying most of the news sources from New Delhi were working from the military airbase in Srinagar. They were inserted and didn’t avoid transparently running an advertising activity for the military. It appears they were revealing for the military, and not for the flood casualties.” “An amazingly slanted picture arose, with the Indian armed force, in any case, involved in extreme basic freedoms infringement, being depicted as ‘heros’ of hapless Kashmiris. Neighborhood media and worldwide distributions, be that as it may, introduced a totally different image of the debacle and its outcome. Al Jazeera, for instance, ran an assessment piece “India transforms Kashmir flood fiasco into PR stunt”, repudiating the New Delhi-based media reports that the military had cleared a huge number of individuals from their lowered homes,” the report says.
One of the main takeaways which have been highlighted by the reporters as a means of reformation is not the bring about censorship and impose it with an iron hand, instead to revert to a more systematic approach of policymaking and by making minimum standards, salaries, and benefits mandatory and deny advertisement revenue to publications that did not comply its regulations.

Are the National Security laws a misconception in India? During pandemic


Author: Jayapriya Natraj
Research Coordinator, GCTC
Areas of interest: Human rights, law, and litigation
The entire world was in solidarity with the health welfare maxim, “Salus Populi suprema lex esto” which means the health welfare and safety of the people shall be the supreme law, written by Marcus Tullius Cicero [1] at the verge of the COVID-19 pandemic. The rapid spread of the deadly virus compelled countries throughout the world to implement strict lockdowns. The right to health, welfare, and safety of the people were at the top of the priority list than any other basic Human Rights recognized by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)[2]. India was among the countries that imposed a lockdown to protect its citizens from increased death rates due to the pandemic. India went a step ahead and imposed rigid punishments on the violators of the lockdown rules through implementing National Security laws. Many State Governments of India have stumbled with the invocation of the national security laws such as the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, and the National Security Act, 1980 upon the citizens themselves. 
What are the National security laws meant for? 
As per layman and the judicial perspectives, the main objective of the national security laws is to prevent the activities considered to be against the Indian Government and to maintain public order. The person alleged to be a suspect under the prescribed laws can be detained in the police custody for investigation as long as ninety days without trial under preventive detention. This strongly emphasizes the primary agenda of the national security laws is to curb activities threatening the sovereignty and public tranquility of the State. Additionally, the detenu may not be provided with the reason for the detention until five days, and obtaining bail is tedious under the national security laws[3] & [4]. Therefore, it is explicitly revealed that such laws are meant to combat terrorism by preventing unlawful provocation of riots and hatred against the Government. But such provisions of the National Security laws are inconsistent with the human rights and fundamental rights under the Constitution of India, 1950 which is a separate debatable topic.
 A well-aware notion that India is the democratic welfare state which is depicted in the form of Fundamental Rights, no one has the authority to violate such rights unless in an exceptional circumstance. As India was undergoing an emergency to turn down the spread of the deadly virus COVID-19, the health and safety of the people were at the utmost point of consideration. However, this cannot be regarded as a valid reason to invoke national security laws on righteous citizens. The vulnerability to violence and disobedience of ordinary people is high due to their mental health crisis caused by unemployment and under-employment, and the restrictions on their social life and freedom of movement during the Pandemic. Increased anxiety levels led them to violate the lockdown rules which cannot be considered terrorism or treason. The maintenance of the tranquility and law and order, during the ongoing crisis, shall be achieved by other Acts such as the Epidemic Disease Act, 1987 and Disaster Management Act, 2005[5] & [6] which has provisions for better enforcement of the lockdown rules than the National Security laws, when the righteous citizens are not terrorists.“A bad law is defined by its inability to do the job it was enacted to and the injustice it doles out to the possibly innocent” is the apt outlook stated by Economic Times[7]. Therefore, in a democratic country like India, the National Security laws are being substantially misconceived and misused, on the genuine citizen, at the purview of the pandemic.

  1. Marcus Tullius Cicero, “De Legibus : Laws: Book III: Chapter III,” Loeb Classical Library, 2007,
  2. United Nations, U. N. (1948). Universal Declaration of Human Rights. United Nations. 
  3. Central Act, A. (1980). Section 3 & 8 of National Security Act, 1980. India Code.§ionId=21642§ionno=8&orderno=9
  4. Central Acts, A. (1967). Section 43D of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. India Code.§ionId=27710§ionno=43D&orderno=54
  5.  ResponsiveWebInc, R. (2020, September 30). Bare Acts Live. Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.
  6., advocate. (2005). Disaster Management Act, 2005: Bare Acts: Law Library. AdvocateKhoj.
  7. editorial, E. T. E. (2021). The process cannot be the punishment. The Economic Times.

Gender in conflict : Changing Status of Women in West Asian Countries


Author: Shambhavi Jaiswal
Research Coordinator, GCTC
Areas of interest: Diplomacy, international relations, geopolitics


Approx 40% of women enrolled to cast a ballot, change is genuine in Arab countries however full lawful deformities appear to be far off. women have a long-fought battle against not having the same rights as their gender counterparts. Arab women have encountered a totally DIffBrent battle yet one that remains in a similar way as the first and second influx of omen’s liberation anyway it brought about an alternate cashback from what Arab omen’s activists have had the option to achieve this may incorporate being undermined in their country and on some UN common event even face the chance of being executed for their perspectives. As per common liberties watch, grown-up ladies must get authorization from a male gatekeeper to travel, wed, or even leave jail. they might be needed to give gatekeepers agree so as to work or access medical services. women routinely face trouble directing a scope of exchanges. on the off chance that there has been one theme that has been intensely spoken about in its unhinged relationships, despite the fact that there are numerous gatherings that effactively work to fore- stall this they have just been fairly fruitful in diminishing the pace of youngster marriage. one factor that appears to push back their endeavors is the reality of contentions, for example, war and radicalism.

Women status in West Asian Countries


with about a time of 100 years, since Saudi Arabia got its independence, ladies are as yet treated as a below-average citizen. There is a lot of a bigger number of men than ladies in Saudi Arabia. The number of inhabitants in ladies is 14.33 million. The number of inhabitants in men is 18.76 million. ladies can be constrained by her dad, spouse,  and children. they have been prohibited from DIffBrent rights contrasted with the fun- mentalist rights given to each individual in DIffBrent nations. They were excluded from the most well-known need “right to vote”.In 2015 Saudi Arabia’s ladies were offFred the option to cast a ballot in a political race for the first time, alongside ladies were likewise remaining as a possibility for the city municipal election. this was the memorable draw for the realm. it prompted the appointment of 21 ladies, they make up 1% of 2000 Advil sirs. However, in the municipal city meeting things got appalling, in an understanding,   it was fairly concluded that ladies ought not to be situated with the remainder of the in- divines, henceforth they were isolated. Pushing ahead, there are DIffBrent necessities that ladies in Saudi don’t have. Like each other individual, even ladies are permitted to venture to the far corners of the planet in practically all the nations, however, it isn’t a similar case in Saudi Arabia. ladies don’t have the opportunity to travel or get an dentine- codification, without their male watchman’s endorsement. As in some other nations, ladies
are dependent upon aggressive behavior at home. Be that as it may, it is hard for them to request equity against wrongdoing, on account of guardianship offiaces. For the 70% of the Saudi ladies who are under 30 among the harshest truths is the absence of en- ascertainment, the administration attempted to address the issue in 2016 and it com- posed shows, however, when it declared it needed to open cinema the religious author- cities lashed out and constrained them to withdraw. Human Rights Watch has archived how requiring guardian approval for clinical systems has presented ladies to delayed agony or, in extraordinary cases, to hazardous peril. In the same way as other Muslim greater part nations, Saudi Arabia has put together its law framework with respect to Islamic law. Saudi Arabia has no composed family law, and ladies rights to divorce and child’s custody is almost certain confined to men, in 2014 specialists gave a positive decision, and care of the kid was given to mother after separation, anyway, ladies are just qualified to acquire half of what male beneficiaries acquire. On 26 September 2017, King Coalman gave an announcement perceiving the privilege of Saudi ladies to drive with regards to Sharia, On 24 June 2018, as guaranteed by Saudi specialists, a few ladies got driving licenses and begun driving their cars. Saudi Arabia has expanded work open doors for ladies as of late. The Saudi government doesn’t authorize formal guardianship limitations on ladies wishing to work. Governmental issues aside, the lib- Creation of Saudi ladies is generally being fueled before the finish of the oil time, Saudi vision 2030 arrangement is to expand the ladies workforce from 22% to 30% in 10-12 years. The first run through ladies has been named to have a financial exchange and a noticeable bank.


women make unto 50.6% of Israel’s population. since its establishment, Israel has been working towards gender equality and ensuring developing an atmosphere for women where they have been provided with an equal chance as of man. Israel strongly believes in equal rights and opportunities for men and women. In the 1948 Declaration of Dine- Independence, law and public policy have been implemented for women known as Equal Rights for Women Law. In most of the west Asian countries, women have been de-ice p rived of basic rights and opportunities, but Israeli women stand out as leaders in poi- tics, law, mediation, and conflict resolution. Israel has been a foremost supporter of UN Women since its establishment and has been working together to improve gender equality and combat violence against women and have been providing the right set of circumstances that would enable women to work independently. The purpose behind  the omen’s needs law was to generate awareness of omen’s rights and change the pattern of the business ensuring and encouraging women employees in the workplace. 51% of all Israeli judges are female, In August 2008, there were 291 female judges out of a total of 584 judges, making up 49.8% of the judiciary in Israel and more than 100,000 women work in Israel high tech sector. There has been an enormous increase in the number of frames working in legal professions, the female government directors have risen from 39% to 42% and nearly to increase more in the coming years. Howe er, even after getting equal opportunities, women are far behind men in receiving an equal wage and have still been fighting for “equal pay” irrespective of their gender.
Moving ahead, Israel has witnessed an increasing rise In the education department, In the last decades there was seen an increasing number of Arab students entering high education frameworks, thus the percent of students in higher education has increased. The Authority for the Advancement of the Status of Women gives special effarts and
resources in the advancement of women in policy making, raising awareness of issues related to omen’s health, empowerment, and security from any kind of violence. An- fortunately, Israel has failed to prevent polygamy among the Muslim population in the north (1%-2% of the population) and the Bedouin population in the south (nearly 35%  of the men, approximately 15,000), even after the prohibitions of polygamy from Israeli law. However, to manage the phenomenon, proper education and awareness have  been implemented among women, both in the south and north. Israel joins the world in marking international omen’s day and will continue working to advance gender equal- city around the world.


Qatar is a little promontory situated in the Persian Gulf with about 24.67 % female pop- glace. Following a time of its autonomy, in 1999 Qatar turned into the main Arab nation in the Persian inlet to permit females the right to vote alongside that females were Addie fictionally remaining as a contender for the metropolitan political race. Inside the Gulf, Qatar remains from the outset position among the best countries for ladies’ privileges and 44th situation in the worldwide positioning of sex disparity. Females in Qatar are exceptionally instructed and have the opportunity HindiffBrent aside from when contrast- ed with a portion of its neighboring nations, nonetheless, there is still awkward nature  for ladies in the subject of marriage, separate, youngster care because of male guardianship law. Men reserve the privilege to separate, still, ladies’ separation rights are as yet confined to men. There is no particular law for the security of ladies against abusive behavior at home, in spite of the fact that during the 2000s government ape- racialist have gone out and spoken concerning abusive behavior at home which was re- decently viewed as a taboo. A few things are as yet unreasonable, for example, the ab- absence of security against, increments in polygamy. The work of females in the working environment has been rising, making it 51% of females populaces working at various public associations, still, there is a minority of females at political offiCe. In spite of the fact that the business pace of females has expanded, still females get 69% of what   men acquire. There is as yet a major hole in equivalent compensation regardless of their gender. Nonetheless, inside the inlet, around 6% of females in Qatar maintain their own business, and young females have begun putting resources into DIffBrent new Compaq dies, making Qatar the main bay nation for such a gigantic rate in the region of bus i- Hess. Qatar certainly prioritizes education, with an adult literacy rate of 97%. The coin- try has the highest number of female students as compared to any other country. Nev fatherless, Qatar does not have any omen’s rights organization or omen’s group of- Bering assistance to victims.


The battles of Palestinians is pertinent to numerous individuals on the planet. it is per ti- anent to the individuals who are underestimated and mistreated yet additionally applicably- able to the individuals who need to battle unfairness with solidarity. females in Palestine have still been battling for their privileges and sexual orientation equity which have been contradicted on account of two significant reasons-the Israeli occupations and interior centrifugal control. Palestinians ladies have been battling for centrifugal mistreat- meant as well as for DIffBrent various issues, for example, sexual orientation-based vi-
consciousness, including “honor” killings, destitution, weakness, and precariousness  brought about by the Israeli occupation. Besides, the significant worry here is that Palestinian ladies have been partitioned between – the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, and the diaspora. this wide variety has made it hard for the Palestine ladies to arrange an assembled plan. 20.5 percent of females have been the survivor of early marriage before the age of 18 least 26 percent of men in the center east con- curs that ladies ought to endure abusive behavior at home so as to keep the family to- ether. Discussing the life of female detainees, in excess of 15,000 thousand females have been held in an Israeli prison since 1967. ladies detainees bear GinsuffGrable condign Zions and are denied essential rights, for example, the privilege to instruction and the privilege to security. with the Israeli occupation and pilgrim strategies, Palestine ladies’ privileges and sexual orientation uniformity will keep on the afflaction. The vast majority of the Egos are familiarity financed which will in general energize females in the sup- port of global legislative issues discussion, sadly, they were some way or another con- damned by Palestine specialists. education in Palestine has been impeded in light of the Israeli occupation. in 2003 around 20 percent of the Palestinian understudy pop u- lace was beset because of capture, attack, curfews, killings. Among all, females were influenced the most as they were threatened and embarrassed while passing check- points on their way to school or college. Be that as it may, the proficiency pace of   young ladies has been expanding quickly over the ongoing years which can be viewed as mindfulness for the estimation of instruction. Discussing the work environment, ladies’ have all the rights to enter the work markets as entrepreneurs or employees anyway law doesn’t guarantee any approach rights for ladies in the working envious- meant. Palestine ladies experience lewd behavior by Israeli fighters at the checkpoints. the partition divider and bar implemented on Gaza have kept ladies from coming to medical care habitats in any event, during crisis emergencies, for instance, compelling pregnant ladies to convey at checkpoints or at home. After the Oslo agrees, ladies had planned to be given equivalent open doors at legislative issues and dynamic. none- mirthless, ladies’ association at the civil party stayed not as much as that of men. useful elective estimates must be taken in the field of basic freedoms, schooling, Holbein, business, training, and policy making so as to conquer gender discrimination.


Within the Gulf, UAE holds the first position in gender equality and ranks 49th in the world in the terms of gender equality. UAE is known for its traditional culture and has signed various treaties in support of women against gender discrimination, however  fails to implement it. Women have all the basic rights in UAE as men have. women can vote, drive, own property work, education. special concern is given under omen’s employment rights, law protects women by given certain rights like wage equality and paternity leave. women are protected by law in taking dangerous or heavy jobs which is due to nature compared to men. Law protects women from working at late hours ex- Sept for some jobs like health, tourism. in addition, the law ensures that women and men get equal pay doing the same job. two-thirds of the public sector are held by women and they take around 40 percent of the general workforce. Female genital muti- Nation is completely prohibited in hospitals and health care centers. Though UAE is not  a democratic country so emigrates do not elect the head of the state, however, the gov- determent provided both men and women to vote or stand as a candidate in the Federal National Council (FNC). In 2015, nearly 20 percent of women ran for offiCe and one
among those won. Following this in the year 2019, the government announced that nearly half of the FNC members must be women. UAE is a very literate country and it makes about 95 percent of the literacy rate of both men and women. Among these, 77 percent of Admiration women opt for higher education and 70 percent of university Grady- antes. in 2014, UAE opened its military school for women “Shawl bint Al Warez Military School” where females are given basic training, physical fitness sessions, and leader- ship skills. The UAE now has four women fighter pilots and almost 30 women who have been trained country’s special security forces. however, few ideal authorities, fail to maintain it. Domestic violence and polygamy are legal in UAE because Islam law allows men to treat the women in whichever way they like, and when women seek justice and Admiration law doesn’t look into the matter seriously as it is a personal domestic matter.
There is no such organization that focuses on omen’s rights within the borders. UAE has accepted the UN convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination  against women and takes enough measures to maintain gender equality. in 2004, UAE became an endorser to the united nations convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). following this in 2016 UAE opened a regional offiCe of UN Women in A bu Habit. UAE very actively organizes and participates in con- conferences and gathering discussing omen’s rights and violence against women. UAE firmly believes that men and women hold equal rights in society and are very actively working on the advancement of the same. According to the world’s economic forum global gender gap report 2020, UAE one of the best performing countries and has a latched gender gap of about 65.5%.


The constitution of Iraq states that “Iraqis are equal before the law without discriminant Dion because of sex, ethnicity, nationality, origin, color, religion, sect, belief, opinion or social or economic status;” yet not giving fundamental rights to ladies, henceforth the literacy rate of women when contrasted with that of man is exceptionally low. the con- Constitution gives women the option to run an offiCe and vote, yet just 25 percent of the portion has been saved for women in strategy making bodies, making it hard for ladies to push forward and take an interest. notwithstanding, women being available in the parliament yet neglect to advance omen’s advantage in being a male-ruled society. The constitution gives Iraqi ladies the right to give their nationality to their youngsters  yet the rights can’t be satisfied until and except if the law qualifies it to do as such. As per worldwide populace reference, child marriage has been on ascending since 2003 with 25 percent of young women marrying before the age of 18, 6 percent before the age of 15. Iraqi women have likewise been limited to the move without a male watch- man in dread of badgering from men. Despite the fact that there has been resulting progress in Iraqi law, yet women have not been abundantly profited and still face sex disparity. Female genital mutilation (FGM) is as yet determined, particularly in Kurdistan. As indicated by the UNICEF study 2018, about 37.5 percent of ladies matured 15-49 have gone through genital mutilation. Not long after the monetary and political Amer- agency, there has been a resulting increment in abusive behavior at home against Iraqi women. Family law was passed in Iraq in 1959, which assured the same level of protea- Dion to women as of men, nonetheless, after the Gulf battle in 1990-1, Iraq confronted a colossal financial emergency which achieved the DIffBrent limitation to women with re- aspect to their jobs and garments. DiffBrent strict, political, monetary clashes and many years of war have destroyed Iraq. Among all, women faced the worst kind of human-

Counter Intelligence in the Age of Information warfare

Author: -Manmeet Singh Arora
Designation:-Research Coordinator, GCTC
Qualification:-MBA, MLIB, LLB, MA,International Relations.
Area of Interest:-Intelligence Analysis, Counter Intelligence Studies, Terrorism Studies, Legal Analytics, and Court Administration.
Operational Meaning of Counterintelligence
(CI) is the information gathered and actions are taken to identify and protect against an adversary’s knowledge collection activities or attempts to cause harm through sabotage or other actions. The goal of CI is to ensure information cannot be modified or destroyed by a malicious actor and that only authorized people can access an organization’s information. Its activities can be categorized as being either collective, defensive, or offensive. Collective CI efforts focus on learning who the adversary is, how they collect information, what attack vectors they are targeting, and what tools they are using. Defensive CI efforts focus on securing information and preventing an adversary from stealing or destroying it. Offensive CI activities focus on turning an attack into an opportunity to gain an advantage by using disinformation. Counterintelligence is the study of the organization and behavior of the intelligence services of foreign states and entities, and the application of the resulting knowledge. “Defection is probably as old as Moses, but defectors have often done so not to seek, but to deliver”.
Defector in Counter Intelligence
Defector cases are characterized by their “strategic” dimension in the nature of the intelligence they provide and by their “tactical” dimension in personal handling challenges they present to the host service handling the defector.  The extent to which defection is “successful” has depended on the success of the defection act itself, the capabilities of the defector as a reporter of fact, the importance of those facts, the reliability of the reporter, and the capabilities of the host intelligence service to exploit, validate, and resettle the defector.
Deployment of Manpower as Tactical Advantage
The world of counter-intelligence is one in which truth, lies, and deception converge in perhaps the most sophisticated manner. As a result of this reality, intelligence organizations are forced to take extensive measures to ensure that the right people are employed and that in the event of a breach, the damage is limited. In attempting to weave their way through this intricate maze in a most effective manner, a balance must be struck between security and operational effectiveness. Counter-intelligence can be defined as intelligence gathered about an adversary’s intelligence activities and capabilities to unmask and inhibit adversarial intelligence operations and capabilities. This can involve various types of action to prevent or neutralize hostile intelligence successes against national interests.
Competing of Various definitions of Counter Intelligence
The term “counterintelligence” means information gathered, and activities conducted to protect against espionage, other intelligence activities, sabotage, or assassinations conducted by or on behalf of foreign governments or elements thereof, foreign organizations, or foreign persons or international terrorist activities.
Counterintelligence means information gathered and activities conducted to protect against espionage, other intelligence activities, sabotage or assassinations conducted for or on behalf of foreign powers, organizations or persons, or international terrorist activities, but not including personnel, physical, document, or communications security programs.
Executive Order in US Counterintelligence is the business of identifying and dealing with foreign intelligence threats to the United States. Its core concern is the intelligence services of foreign states and similar organizations of non-state actors, such as transnational terrorist groups.
Counterintelligence has both a defensive mission—protecting the nation’s secrets and assets against foreign intelligence penetration—and an offensive mission—finding out what foreign intelligence organizations are planning to better defeat their aims.–Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive and CI can be defined as the identification and neutralization of the threat posed by foreign intelligence services, and the manipulation of those services for the manipulator’s benefit.–Roy GodsonCounterintelligence is the broad subset of intelligence focused on the intelligence efforts of a competitor.
The core of the mission is about understanding and exploiting a competitor’s reliance on intelligence. an activity conducted by special state agencies against foreign intelligence services and organizations and individuals being used by them. –KGB, as an example
Ground rules and Applicability of Counterintelligence
Analyses of other countries’ intelligence services can be applied in many ways. On the policy side, CI analyses can help fill gaps in analysts’ understanding of the political processes in other countries. For intelligence operations in general, the study of different cultures of intelligence services and is critically important for CI operations as well as for counterespionage investigations. Unfortunately, while a large amount of this information is available, the consumers of counterintelligence information do not understand its utility and view it in such a narrow sense that they fail to take full advantage of the situation.
Request for Information (RFI)/Solicitation: Direct or indirect attempts to collect protected information by directly indirectly asking, requesting, or eliciting protected information, technology, or persons >> Common Methods of Contact for RFI/ Solicitation: • Conferences, conventions, or tradeshows – contacts initiated during an event• Email, mail, telephone, web form• Foreign visits – Activities or contact occurring before Efforts by any individual, regardless of nationality, to obtain illegal or unauthorized access to classified information or to compromise a cleared employee• Contact between cleared employees and known or suspected intelligence officers from any foreign country• Any contact that suggests the employee concerned may be the target of an attempted exploitation by a foreign intelligence entity• Attempts to entice cleared employees into compromising situations that could lead to blackmail, coercion or extortion• Attempts by foreign customers to gain access to hardware and information that exceeds the limitations of the export licenses on file• Attempts to place cleared personnel under obligation through special treatment, favors, gifts, or money.
Mishandling of Classified Information• Removing or sending classified material out of secured areas without proper authorization• Unauthorized copying, printing, faxing, emailing, or transmitting classified material• Transmitting or transporting classified information by unsecured or unauthorized means• Unauthorized storage of classified material, including storage at home• Reading or discussing classified information in an unauthorized area or over a non-secure communication device• Improperly removing or changing classification markings• Attempting to expand access to classified information by volunteering for assignments or duties beyond the normal scope of responsibilities.
Unauthorized email traffic to foreign destinations• Password cracking, keylogging, encryption, steganography, privilege escalation, and account masquerading• Use of DoD account credentials by unauthorized parties• Unexplained storage of encrypted data• Network spillage incidents or information compromise• Unauthorized transmissions of classified or controlled unclassified information• Data exfiltrated to unauthorized domains affecting classified information, systems or cleared individuals• Actual or attempted unauthorized access into U.S. automated information systems• Tampering with or introducing unauthorized elements into information systems• Unexplained user accounts, administrator
Foreign Influence• Undisclosed visits to foreign diplomatic facilities• Trips to foreign countries inconsistent with an individual’s financial ability • Foreign entities targeting employees traveling overseas via airport screening or hotel room incursions• Unreported close and continuing contact with a foreign national, including intimate contacts, shared living quarters, or marriage -Suspicious Contacts• Requests for information that make an individual suspicious, including questionable contacts or interaction-Suspicious Financial Activity• Unexplained expensive purchases not reasonably supported by the individual’s income• Sudden unexplained reversal of a negative financial situation or repayment of large debts including Recording Devices• Unauthorized possession of cameras or recording or communication devices in classified areas• Discovery of suspected surveillance devices in the classified area. Timely and accurate reporting from cleared industry is the primary tool and identifies and mitigate collection efforts targeting information and technology resident in cleared industry. Immediately reporting suspicious activities, behaviors, and contacts to your facility security officer.
The Functions of Counter-Intelligence Protecting secrets
The first responsibility of counter-intelligence is to protect information. Two aspects relating to this function are: First, physical security, which involves keeping classified information away from those who are not authorized to have access to it, and secondly, making sure that the people who are made aware of restricted information protect that information. The most obvious physical security measures involve the keeping of foreign intelligence officers and their agents away from classified information by denying them access or proximity and preventing unauthorized personnel from walking off with such information.142.2. Vetting – The First Line of Defence The protection of acquired knowledge is a vital function of any intelligence organization, yet no amount of extensive security and stringent assessment checks will guarantee that an employee will observe the rules. It would also be logical to assume that if a person has access to any piece of information then it can in all likelihood be compromised. In holding the responsibility of protecting their knowledge, intelligence organizations are faced with two dilemmas in their selection of employees. Firstly, the instruments of psychological and behavioral measurement hold accuracy rates that are below 100%, allowing individuals who may pose a security threat to be cleared for employment. Secondly, attempting to create a profiling system that identifies future betrayers would be an imperfect process leading to the allocation of resources towards the wrongfully suspected rather than those well trained in evading detection. Given the complexity and importance of this problem, it seems somewhat surprising that so few scientifically grounded paradigms exist for the detection and prevention of such espionage methods. (Joint Economic Committee)
Insider Threat
Insiders: Any person with authorized access to any government or contract resource to include personnel, facilities, information, equipment, networks, or systems. This can include employees, former employees, consultants, and anyone with access. Insider Threat: The threat that an insider will use his or her access, wittingly or unwittingly, to do harm to the security of the United States. This threat includes damage to the United States through espionage, terrorism, unauthorized disclosure of national security information, or the loss or degradation of government, company, contract.
Insiders have arguably caused more damage to the security of the United States than foreign intelligence officers and with today’s technological engagement in classified conversations without a need to know• Attempting to enter areas not granted access to• Working hours inconsistent with job assignment or unusual insistence on working in private• Accessing information not needed for the job.
Indicator List
Behavioral Indicators*• Depression• Stress in personal life• Exploitable behavior traits:- Use of alcohol or drugs- Gambling• Financial trouble• Prior disciplinary issues*These behaviors may also be indicative of potential workplace violence.Examples of Reportable Behaviours:-Information Collection• Keeping classified material and accessing classified information without authorization• Obtaining access to sensitive information inconsistent with present duty requirements• Questionable downloads• Unauthorized use of removable media- Information Transmittal• Using an unclassified medium to transmit classified materials• Discussing classified materials on a non-secure telephone or in nonsecure emails or text messages.
The psychological aspects of Counterintelligence
essentially makes the assumption that those who are actively compromising information or liable to betray secrets are likely to differ in a measurable, reliable, and distinct way from those people who are not likely4. Moreover, there exists the assumption that an underlying characteristic, not yet identified, is related to the likelihood of an actor engaging in betrayal. If this characteristic can be identified and measured reliably, those who score below a scientifically established threshold can be denied access to the most critical and sensitive positions of an intelligence organisation5. Until such a system comes to fruition though, intelligence failures in this field will be a likely occurrence. The most common occurrences of betrayal have been linked to money, ideology, coercion, and ego, all of which are extremely problematic to measure scientifically6. Other psychological factors in bringing out betrayal can be disaffection, vindictiveness, and whimsy, all of which is again impossible to accurately measure with today’s scientific and psychological capabilities. The complex nature of such traits also reduces the likelihood of scientific means ever being developed to fully screen out personnel that may in the future betray secrets.
Information Warfare as the means for Counter Intelligence
Information warfare (IW)is an evolving field of growing interest for Défense planners and policymakers. The source of both the interest and the imprecision in this field is the so-called information revolution—led by the ongoing rapid evolution of cyberspace, microcomputers, associated information technologies. The U.S. defense establishment, like U.S. society, is moving rapidly to take advantage of the new opportunities presented by these changes. At the same time, current and potential U.S. adversaries (and allies) are also looking to exploit the evolving global information infrastructure and associated technologies for military purposes.
The exercises highlighted seven defining features of strategic information warfare:

  • Low cost: Unlike traditional weapon technologies, the development of information-based techniques does not require sizable financial resources or state sponsorship. Information systems expertise and access to important networks may be the only prerequisites.
  • No traditional boundaries: Traditional distinctions—public versus private interests, warlike versus criminal behavior—and geographic boundaries, such as those between nations as historically defined, are complicated by the growing interaction within the information infrastructure.
  • Cognitive evaluation: New information-based techniques may substantially increase the power of deception and of image-manipulation activities, dramatically complicating government efforts to build political support for security-related initiatives.
  • Intelligence challenge: Poorly understood strategic IW vulnerabilities and targets diminish the effectiveness of classical intelligence collection and analysis methods. A new field of analysis focused on strategic IW may have to be developed.
  • StrategicWarning and attack assessment problems: There is currently no adequate tactical warning system for distinguishing between strategic IW attacks and other kinds of cyberspace activities, including espionage or accidents.
  • Coalitions: Reliance on coalitions is likely to increase the vulnerabilities of the security postures of all the partners to strategic IW attacks, giving opponents a disproportionate strategic advantage.

Evolution of Information Warfare
Information warfare (IW) has evolved from cyberspace and (ICT) in pursuit of a competitive advantage over an opponent. Information warfare is the manipulation of information trusted by a target without the target’s awareness so that the target will make decisions against their interest but in the interest of the one conducting information warfare and involves Computer networks creating new avenues for those with malicious intent and vulnerable to actual destruction by physical attacks, such as bombs or arson, these networks are targets of threats of mass disruption. The economy can cripple by strategic information warfare in the form of computer intrusions, scrambling software programs, undetected insiders within computer firewalls, or cyber terrorists.
Information warfare defines a new battlefield
Within the realm of cyberspace, there are two primary weapons: network-centric warfare and which denotes the above Acronym integrated into Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance. Furthermore, cyberspace attacks initiated by one nation against another nation have an underlying goal of gaining information domain and includes disrupting or denying the victimized party’s ability to gather and distribute information and is utilized to hinder networks or websites until they lose their primary functionality. As implied, cyberattacks do not just affect the military party being attacked, but rather the whole population of the victimized nation. Since more aspects of daily life are being integrated into networks in cyberspace, civilian populations can potentially be negatively affected during wartime. For example,
Economic disruption in which a nation chose to attack another nation’s servers in a specific area to disrupt communications, and could potentially lead to economic disruptions as well.
 ICTs have also been implemented into the latest military affairs by deploying new, more autonomous robots that are unmanned drones into the battlefield to carry out duties such as patrolling borders and attacking ground targets.
In the Indian context, it can be said that the use of Counter-Intelligence is a mixed issue of success and failure as many Intelligence organizations in India have failed to capitalize the tool of Counterintelligence in there day to day operations as it can be said that the doctrine and the Tradecraft of Counter Intelligence have many paths to be covered and revolutionize the use of ICT and Artificial Intelligence in creating a new paradigm in which new legislations and Technology will create an environment for foreign collaboration and legal back up for Operations to operate in a foreign country ipso facto implying a requirement to break the local laws and issue such instructions within the ambit of the law.

South China Sea


Author: Deisha Gupta
Research Coordinator, GCTC
Areas of interest: Economics, Politics, Public Administration & International Relations, and Global Peace

The South China Sea, “the arm of western Pacific Ocean in Southeast Asia” encompasses regions of south of China, east & south Vietnam, west of the Philippines and north region of the island Borneo.
Until the first half of the 20th century, there was no evidence for the dispute over the South China Sea as well as on the islands present in that region..
It was only in 1947, when China claimed that a U-shaped line made up of eleven dashes on a map, covering almost all the area of the South China Sea’s area. The striking part of this theory is that two “dashes” claimed by them out of total eleven were removed in the early 1950’s, but still the remaining ‘nine-dash line’ covered almost 90% of the area of the South China Sea stretching over hundreds of kilometres in south and east of its southern Hainan Island. However, despite such claims, other countries in the region chose silence over this topic, as China was the only one to profess such a theory with hardly any truth with valid proofs in it. The matter started gaining unprecedented limelight in the year 1960’s with the discovery of huge reserves of the oil and natural gas in the respective region.
In 1982, Convention on the Law of the Sea by the United States was signed and adopted, stating extended maritime resource assertion in international law with almost six governments declaring their natural rights over the disputed Paracel and Spratly islands in the South China Sea. It was in the year 1994 this came into full effect. Hence, with the pure intentions of balancing the economic and security interests of coastal states with those of seafaring nations. Discussed at the UN forum, the “Law of the Sea Convention”was signed by almost every coastal country in the South China Sea who claimed their right over the region.
Now fastforwarding to the year 2002, it marked all the ASEAN countries and China joining  hands with the aim of keeping the controversy  away but didn’t have a fruitful impact. In the year 2009 Malaysia and Vietnam hit the road to some of their claims by sending a joint submission to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS), but this was countered back by China submitting a map showing “nine-dash” line which further paved a road for no resolution regarding the conflict.
Since then, there has been a constant need for militarisation and checks on the status of the waters at its peak by various nations Brunei, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) , Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam, wanting to secure its extension and influence over its various zones because of
following main reasons-

  1. The remarkablelocation despite being connected by Taiwan Strait with the East China Sea and by Luzon Strait with the Philippine Sea serving as the connection between the two important oceans Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean (Strait of Malacca).
  2. Significant geopolitical  water body according to the UNCTAD- United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, as it carries trillions of trade with one-third of the global shipping passes via this route.

According to the DENR-Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Philippines, this sea alone has one-third of the entire world’s marine biodiversity and a good number of fishes for providing food security to the Southeast Asian nations.

In terms of the Spratlys, more than 60 geographic features are reportedly occupied by claimants, which consist of Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, China and Malaysia. The Paracel Islands are the subject of overlapping claims by China, Vietnam and Taiwan.
Islands in South China Sea
Issues Involved!

It is basically a disagreement over the territory and sovereignty of the ocean areas, and the two island chains which are in whole or in part by a number of countries, namely the Paracels and Spratlys along with dozens of rocky outcrops, atolls, sandbanks and reefs of Scarborough Shoal.
Beijing often invokes the conflict of the nine dash line to justify its legitimate historic rights over most of the South China Sea, which are also claimed by countries like Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines and Brunei. Leveraging the issue to its peak, the nine dash line violates the principle of Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
In 2016 the Arbitration Tribunal favoured the Philippines while rejecting China’s maritime claims stating the assertion is invalid  as it breaches the Convention. However, China chose to ignore the decision ruled over this matter.
In the past few yearsChina has not only stepped up on showing military aggression by increasing its presence in the disputed area but also has created artificial islands for military and economic purposes in the South China Sea, which drew criticism globally.

International law

As per the Law of the Sea Convention, the exclusive economic zone (EEZ), is defined as an area of the sea in which a sovereign state has special rights regarding the exploration and use of marine resources, including energy production from water and wind. Which in simple terms means that all states have the right to exploit the resources of the sea and seabed, measuring 200 nautical miles from its respective land territory. However, if the zones of two or more countries overlap, then states are requested to negotiate with other claimants to avoid any dispute in the near future.
But it seems like China is still not aware of the fact laid down in the law, because it’s sea is undoubtedly the source of many of the current tensions.
China, on the other hand asserts its sovereignty based on highly disputable evidence from ancient times, as well as more recent claims from 1902-’39. Japan occupied the islands during the Second World War and later recognised the claims, Taiwan, in a 1952 peace treaty.
The other claimants to the islands deny the validity of this evidence. Vietnam has equally credible evidence from the period before and during the second World War.
The broader question of China’s larger declaration to the waters within the u-shaped “nine-dash” line, which skirts the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and Vietnam, was first drawn by the Nationalist government of China in 1947.
In this conflict is Taiwan, which has been in disarmament with China over sovereignty issues since 1949 as it is not formally recognised as a state by most countries and is therefore not a signatory to the Law of the Sea Convention, nor legally entitled to claim the territory.
Third, there is a debate in international law about the type of land territory that can generate rights to an exclusive economic zone. The Law of the Sea Convention mandates the land must be able to sustain human habitation. And in 2016, the international tribunal in The Hague found no islands in the Spratly group met this criterion.
What do they claim?
Because of several countries competing in territorial demands and allegations over their rights on the South China Sea, it is now regarded as South-East Asia’s most dangerous point of conflict. Among many countries claiming territorial rights over the South China Sea the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Taiwan are the only ones that claim almost the entire body as their own.
Competing claims include:

  1. Taiwan, China and the Philippines claim overScarborough Shoal.
  2. Malaysia and Singapore claim the area along the Strait of Johor and the Strait of Singapore.
  3. Either all or some of the islands are a concern of dispute among Vietnam, China, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan while there’s a dispute over waters west of the Spratly Islandsamong Vietnam, China and Taiwan.
  4. Indonesia, China, and Taiwan over waters NE of the Natuna Islands
  5. The Paracel Islandsare disputed between China, Taiwan and Vietnam.
  6. Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam over areas in the Gulf of Thailand.

China claims its rights as archipelagic states because of the benefits that countries enjoy having archipelagic status is the waters between islands are considered to be the internal waters, like rivers inside a country while at the same time other countries do not get any right to transit these waters without permission. And in between this whole story the point to be noted is that till now only 22 countries are enjoying  this status and China is  not one of them.
It’s no doubt that China is a continental country, but Beijing claimed the water between the Paracel Islands as internal waters by drawing a straight baseline around the islands. Also, it can be noticed that Beijing has not done this solely for the purpose of acquiring Spratly islands area but also for giving counter replies to the other claimants!
China also affirms  a 12 nautical mile (nm) territorial sea from the Paracel baseline, but not from the individual islands. China’s view of the territorial sea is of having ultimate exclusive rights to make, apply and execute according to its own laws without any kind of foreign interference, comments or judgements. But UNCLOS says that, “all ships, civilian or military, enjoy the right of innocent passage through other states’ territorial seas; the contiguous zone is considered as part of  international waters, and states do not have the right to limit navigation or exercise any control for security purposes
China also asserts their rights to regulate military activity from 200 nm from the end of the territorial sea and also claims it as their exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
Because it has been already established in the International Law that “states do not have any right to limit navigation or exercise any control for security purposes in EEZs, the US insists that freedom of navigation of military vessels is universal.”
Also, Australia is the only one who has this view as well, otherwise no other country concurs on this view. While countries like Argentina, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, the Maldives, Oman and Vietnam concurs with China that warships have no automatic right of innocent passage in their territorial seas, several other countries around twenty or so generally developing countries including India insist that military activities such as close-in surveillance and reconnaissance by a country in another country’s EEZ infringe on coastal states’ security interests and therefore are not protected under freedom of navigation.
Australia, like any other member country, has always shown significant interests in the South China Sea, both geopolitically because of the US’s rule of upholding the “rule-based” order in the region, and economically, in terms of both having freedom of trade and navigation. Everyone is aware of the fact since 1980 that Australia has been conducting airborne surveillance operations of its own, both in the South China Sea and Indian Ocean. These patrolling are conducted by maritime aircraft, P-3 Orion. UnLike US Navy who has conducted surface FONOP operations, Australia carried out regular naval presence patrols, exercises and port calls throughout the region. As a closest ally in the region of Washington’s, it has been felt that Australia may come under growing pressure from the United States to make its presence felt in the South China Sea beyond statements of diplomatic support for freedom of navigation.
Vietnam says that for all past years it has actively ruled over both the Paracels and the Spratlys islands especially since the 17th Century and even has necessary and proper documents to prove it before the 1940s.
Both China and the Philippines claim the Scarborough Shoal which is also known as Huangyan Island in China and is also a little more than 100 miles or about 160km from the Philippines and some around 500 miles from China.

  •       The Philippines considers the reef to be a part of its exclusive economic zone and continental       shelf and protested the Chinese presence.
  •     Currently, Philippine military aircraft and navy are monitoring the situation daily, and China has been warned that there will be an increased military presence to conduct ‘sovereignty patrols’.
  •     If China is successful with its moves, the Philippines may lose another fishing ground, similar to what happened in 2012 when China took control of Scarborough Shoal.

Malaysia and Brunei:
Both Malaysia and Brunei claim to have their right over territory in the South China Sea as  the region falls within their economic exclusion zones, as defined by UNCLOS – the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. While Malaysia claims a small number of islands in the Spratlys, Brunei does not claim anything of the disputed islands.
Taiwan and the Taiwan Strait
Chinese military prioritises its strong presence, exercising sea control and power projection in the waters around Taiwan. Bringing “renegade province” to heel has been sworn by both President Xi Jin-ping and the Chinese leaders.
While on the one hand they want to do it through patience on the other they will be willing to use military force if necessary.
The Taiwanese are keeping a time to time check on China’s activity as it is violating the agreement saying to follow the “one country, two systems” system with Hong Kong, negotiated with the British in 1997. They recognize their future within greater China would include a loss of democracy and human rights.
With Taiwan over 8,000 miles from Hawaii but around 100 miles from the Chinese mainland, the challenges for the U.S. Navy are profound. U.S. support for Taiwan’s security is bipartisan — but the longstanding U.S. policy of “strategic ambiguity,” supporting Taiwan militarily without a formal commitment to defending it, is dangerously fuzzy. It could lead to a miscalculation by the Chinese (or the Taiwanese) and set off a larger conflict.
Japan and the East China Sea
Japan and China have a long and difficult history, including two significant military confrontations in the modern era. The first Sino-Japanese War, which was largely over the control of Korea began in 1894, while the second began in 1937 and lasted until the end of World War II and withthe Japanese killing, wounding, raping and imprisoning millions.
Both China and Japan had laid down claims over a group of islands in the East China Sea known as the Senkaku in Japanese and the Diaoyu in Chinese. These five uninhabited islands located close to Taiwan, are important because they provide a 200-nautical-mile exclusion zone and buttresses competing claims around them.
Having control here will provide either of the countries with the following benefits-

  1.     Providing  fishing rights,
  2.     Access to exploit hydrocarbons, and the
  3.  Scope of deep-seabed mining.

To avail such benefits China has always focussed upon increasing the numbers and capability of air and sea patrols around and over the islands. Warships, long-range patrol aircraft have always shown their frequent appearances, leading to similar steps by the Japanese as well.
The U.S. recognizes the islands as part of Japan, thus a Chinese move to occupy them would activate the U.S.-Japan mutual defence treaty, something successive American presidential administrations have made clear.

The US and the South China Sea

The U.S. has no claim in the South China Sea, instead it demands free navigation of commercial vessels in the South China Sea which according to them is vital for regional and international trade.
Hence, the Philippines and Japan, Australia, and Indonesia conducted joint military patrols. Following which the US with these countries also increased the financial support for enhancing the military capabilities of ASEAN and East Asian countries as well strengthened bilateral defence collaboration.

India and the South China Sea

India from all those past years has remained neutral considering its official position of neither being party to the disputes nor taking sides for many years. But with increasing ties with East Asian countries (Act East Policy) it is clearly reflected in the joint by the Governments of U.S. and India issued in 2014 India indirectly started raising concerns about Chinese illegitimate claims in the South China Sea.
The joint statement issued by both countries “urged the concerned parties to pursue resolution of their territorial and maritime disputes through all peaceful means, following universally recognized principles of international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.”It further “affirmed the importance of safeguarding maritime security and ensuring freedom of navigation throughout the region, especially in the South China Sea.”
India undoubtedly has commercial interest in the South China Sea (SCS) region but just because of its policy of not involving itself in the disputes between sovereign nations it does not do anything.

  • India is obligated to take a principled stand on the issue of freedom of navigation and commercial access enshrined in the UNCLOS only after the aftermath of the Hague Tribunal’s verdict on the South China Sea.
  • India’s interest in the South China Sea is just because of the security of its trade flows and energy interests which is actually more of a concern. Hence when Vietnam offered India seven oil blocks in its territory of the SCS India didn’t let this down and signed energy deals with Brunei too which of course didn’t go down well with China.
  • India continues its oil exploration in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the South China Sea from where ONGC Videsh Limited supplies oil to Vietnam despite China’s protests.
  • India also supports a negotiated settlement of Brunei’s maritime dispute with China and has inked Defence cooperation agreement that would provide an institutional foundation for more collaborative work on maritime security and secure India’s energylanes to Brunei.
  • China controlling the whole of the region will upset the global trade practices and many countries especially developing like India will directly get affected. Any action by China can hamper India’s foreign trade passing through that region. Therefore, India has a stake in ensuring freedom of navigation in the region.


Competing views

While the Law of Sea Convention settled most international laws governing the sea, some things are still left unresolved related to military activities, especially “innocent passage” in territorial seas by warships. Law of the Sea Convention says that, as long as a foreign warship takes a direct route and doesn’t conduct military operations it can pass within the 12 nautical miles of another state. However, the issue is, states disagree on what constitutes innocent passage and hence Maritime powers, just to challenge what Washington calls “attempts by coastal states to unlawfully restrict access to the seas”, like the US, UK and Australia routinely conduct freedom of navigation operations! And by conducting FONOPs within 12 nautical miles of the islands by one of the Maritime Powers, the US, upsets China. Their aim was not to claim any sort of right over islands or resource zones but just to assert its rights for carrying freedom of navigation.
Australia isn’t much interested in following the high-profile freedom of navigation operations like that of  US because it might provoke a negative and dreadful response from China – but that position could change soon!
While on the one hand China opposes this thing plus that naval ships should not “operate” in other countries’ exclusive economic zones for several reasons on the other Beijing, ignores this, i.e. between their this position and its own activities in the sea, where its naval ships regularly operate in the claimed EEZs of other states.

India’s Stand on South China Sea Issue

  1. India and the UK discussed ensuring their freedom of navigation in the waters and resolving further disputes according to UNCLOSin a Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia-Pacific and the Indian Ocean Region. But the moment the Philippines in its favour arbitration award in 2016, India separated itself from the dispute.
  2. Till 2020 New Delhi, India has not conductedany sort of defence cooperation, navigational patrols and naval exercises with either of the claimant states in the South China Sea, except with Vietnam on 26 December 2020, called PASSEX.
  3. Also it might appear that because of the recent development of affairs with Japan and Russia that India wants to raise its strategic presence in the South China Sea but it is not the case at all. Firstly, because India is not a party to the maritime territorial disputesin the region and does not want to interfere.

India wants to preserve its “Wuhan Consensus” with China, in which both nations respect each other’s spheres of influence in their adjacent water bodies.

China’s reaction and naval expansion

  •       When the idea of Quad was just a theory; the Chinese, called it as an Asian version of the   North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
  •       The sole reason behind such a behaviour of China was just that such a grouping would not let China’s intention for naval expansion by focusing on the Indo-Pacific maritime space.


  1. China, overlooking international laws and regulationslike the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, has always shown negligence, denial and a sense of superiority.
  2. China’s behaviour of bullying North Korea’s has attracted US aircraftsin the troubled waters.
  3. Undefined geographic locationof the South China Sea; different approaches used by different countries to manage conflict like that of having self-restraint, mutual trust, and confidence building, and the undefined legal status of the Code of Conduct (COC) add to it.
  4. The different histories of distant, largely uninhabited archipelagosof the sea make the matter more complicated and multifaceted.


  1. The ASEAN members (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) andChina to manage the South China Sea maritime and territorial disputes have engaged in discussions on a potential COC for a very long time and finally have believed to settled for a non-binding Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in 2002. In 2005, the first draft of guidelines to implement the DOC was drawn up, but was not adopted until 2011.
  2. But in 2016 after having consultations, in 2017ASEAN and China adopted a bare-bone framework for the COC.

Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), 2002
Finally, ASEAN members and China agreed to promote a peaceful and harmonious environment in the South China Sea for the enhancement of economic growth, peace, and prosperity in the region.


A positive agenda built around collective action in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, will decidedly re assure the littoral States that the Quad will be a factor for regional benefit and many other things like monitoring shipping for search and rescue or anti-piracy operations in the disputed waters, infrastructure assistance to climatically vulnerable states, connectivity initiatives and similar activities, will help, and will turn out to be a far cry from Chinese allegations that it is some kind of a military alliance.

Way Forward

The South China Sea Dispute has been affecting many territories, therefore the concerned authorities need to come forward to solve the dispute to promote economic growth througheffective diplomacy.

  1. Forming a group like NATO or European Union (EU) or the concept of joint development zones should be adopted with China as a member, in Asia to settle Asian problems like environmental protection, disaster relief and humanitarian perspectiveand counter-piracy control, might help resolve disputes like this.China’s behaviour and power should be checked to ensure that it follows all the intergovernmental and international agreements and conventions as directed and asked and does not overlook it according to its wish.
  2. Claimant countries should focus on finding some middle path which would help all the countries in the long run.
  3. All the claimants, especially China should abide by theUnited Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) rule.
  4. Another possible solution for this could be that all the claimants should choose a neutral country to solve the dispute among them based on the UNCLOS or any other relevant international laws.
  5. Claimant countries can divide the benefits obtained from this in equal share.

Although China has put forward a bilateral negotiation point of view, it has not been accepted by the other countries because they believe that China being China may be having some unsaid advantage in the distribution of the water body.
The bigger picture:

  •       China and the Philippines, along with other Southeast Asian countries, have long been part of disputes over sovereign claims over the region’s islands, reefs and sea-beds.
  •       A third of the world’s maritime trade travels through the South China Sea annually.
  •       The sea-beds here are believed to be reserves of oil and natural gas while being home to fisheries essential for the food security of millions in South Asia.
  •       The majority of the disputes concern the lack of adherence to the international ‘Exclusive Economic Zones’ which stretch up to 200 nautical miles from the coast of any state.
  •       China, especially, has been notorious for disregarding the law on various occasions.

International disputes in line with international laws on the principle of safeguarding maritime security, navigation and overflight rights and freedoms should be settled by peaceful means.  

Virtual Assests- Potential Red Flag for Terrorism financing

Virtual Assets- Potential Red Flags for Illegal Activity

Virtual assets are any digital representation of value which can be traded or invested in a particular environment, it can be used as a means of exchange or store of value among a given group or community. The scope of virtual assets go far beyond crypto currencies, they may or may not be assigned values in fiat currency. Blockchain technology that gained traction in the past decade has created a new world in finance and subsequently money laundering and terrorism finance.

Case studies done between 2017-2020 showed that the majority of crimes committed using virtual assets were money laundering offences. The criminal world has also taken advantage of Virtual Assets, the types of crimes include sale of controlled substances, fraud and tax evasion, human trafficking, illicit pornography, extortion and other crimes. The layers of security and anonymity offered by virtual asset providers makes it an ideal ground for illegal activity.

Some commonly acknowledged guidelines for knowing if a transaction should be red flagged include: a small number of large transactions from an inactive account during a short period of time, in some cases account holders who had incomplete or fraudulent profiles with constantly changing addresses or details. Large transactions preceded by a period of inactivity or by people unfamiliar with VA technology was found to be a sign of ransom cases. Constantly changing unrelated IP addresses were a major indicator of cybercrime. Another common trend was to link the VA assets to various shell corporations and fake businesses, this trend was prevalent in money laundering as well as criminal funding. The AEC Currencies that charge extra to ensure more privacy also known as “private coins” are found to be widely used for purchase of controlled substances including but not limited to firearms. Most commonly used tipoff points are the existence of discrepancies between the customers’ profiles and the IP addresses used or the age of the user is not in the nominal range.

IP addresses or browsers linked to the dark web is a major indicator of illicit activity, as seen in the Alphabay case. AlphaBay was one of the largest criminal darknet markets dismantled by authorities in 2017, it was used by hundreds of thousands of people to buy and sell illegal drugs, stolen and fraudulent identification documents and access devices, counterfeit goods, malware and other computer hacking tools, firearms, and toxic chemicals over a two-year span. The site operated as a hidden service on the TOR network to conceal the locations of its underlying servers as well as the identities of its administrators, moderators, and users. AlphaBay vendors used a number of different types of VAs, and had approximately 200 000 users, 40 000 vendors, 250 000 listings and facilitated more than USD 1 billion in VA transactions between 2015 and 2017.

All the above are subject to change under various circumstances. The problem with tracing virtual assets that are used in money laundering and other illicit financial activity is that the volume of transactions among the various networks that exist is enormous. We currently do not have the technology to trace and identify each potential red flag. The guidelines provide a basic identifying mechanism, and it is up to law enforcement nationally and globally to adapt to the same to catch if not prevent money laundering and terrorism financing.


Humanitarian Response to Maharashtra Drought Disaster: Marathwada Case Study

Humanitarian Response to Maharashtra Drought Disaster: Marathwada Case Study

The ramification of climate change has led to an upsurge in humanitarian aid in the fashion of providing basic sustenance like food, shelter and medical care. The aftermath is chaotically weighted against the impoverished poverty-stricken masses with the infinitesimal collateral assets to overcome climate shocks and stresses. Humanitarian relief can help to focus on the repercussions of climate-related crunches, but a massive escalation in international efforts is needed to alleviate and acclimate to global warming, curtail the liability of disasters and restrain the suffering. Paltry levels of precipitation over the years coupled with insufficient and irregular rain gave rise to precipitated drought conditions in western parts of India. It is the most distressed and has recorded moderate to severe drought conditions in most of its districts.
When societies are affected by drought, FAO caters for support to help them quickly get back on their feet and start producing food. In the aftermath of drought, cash transfer mechanisms are provided to the neediest and underprivileged people, while refurbishing vital irrigation framework, water reservoirs and feeder roads which will boost food production in the longer term. In the most drought-prone areas, people are provided with cattle to rebuild their herds and ensure they can keep producing milk as a source of income. Farmers are encouraged and provided with quality seeds and farming inputs as well as given new ideas about investing in drought-resistant techniques which can be adapted, in time for the next rains. Millets and other drought-resistant crops are also advised to be grown in regular intervals to avoid the scarcity of food shortage and famine.
More than fifteen per cent of the citizenry accounting largely for hundred and thirty million netizens, across seventy thousand villages and two hundred and thirty urban hamlets are affected due to drought. Women and children being the most susceptible segment of the drought-affected population. In the severely distressed areas, roughly sixty million people – including nine million children, one and half million pregnant women and lactating women –  comprise the high-risk group. The obligatory duty of walking long distances to obtain water often falls on women and juvenile girls. The livelihood of the rural population has also been affected as cattle have died from starvation and agricultural production has been threatened. As a result, seasonal migration was amplified, with whole communities going to nearby cities. of families found shelter, food, water, and some work in the government’s relief camps in the most affected districts.
The paucity of water has provoked the poor and marginalized sections with thousands of liter available water. With the emergence of drought, the level of salinity and fluoride has increased in all areas. The water tables have dropped below normal and are significantly very low. Handpumps operations have broken down in several places due to poor maintenance and excessive usage. Excessive pumping of groundwater to cope with drought impacts have led to groundwater depletion, which not only poses a serious threat but is also, an important concern of Maharashtra State.
In the Marathwada region, water scarcity is not rare in summer – although its severity is exceptional at times leading the Governments at central and state levels to be prepared and to develop and come up with contingency plans. One of the large-scale governmental strategies is to authorize relief camps where families were provided with work, shelters, food, and health care. Care and protection for women and children were a priority in these camps. They are provided with health care, nutrition and education.
With the onset of the monsoon, some of the relief camps start terminating and operations get ceased for a time being, the  Government, continues to seek support from international agencies, with its efforts to help the most affected population in the mid and long-term. Indeed, with the emergency phase being called off, after the onset of the monsoon, it is of utmost importance to intensify the root causes of the crunch and bring resolutions for the long run. Drought-prone states of Maharashtra need to develop strategies and policies and mobilize adequate resources to prevent future severe droughts.
In the lexicon of great needs, it has been imperative for United Nations to carefully design its assistance. While UNICEF, UNDP, UN Women along WHO released immediate assistance through its state offices, it was decided to focus on long-term assistance to help mitigate such situations in the future.
United Nation’s acknowledgement for drought mitigation in the affected areas is a methodology based on a swift investigation conducted through field visits and via series of dialogues with Government counterparts. The predominant objective is to equip immediate relief to women and children in the water distressed localities and to curb health issues, including epidemic outbreaks like famine, diarrhoea, malnutrition and dehydration. Instant relief operations are carried out by nodal agencies like UNICEF which significantly contributes to addressing major concerns such as availability of drinking water, primary health care for women and children nutrition and health.
United Nations-supported schemes for the availability of drinking water supplement efforts through tanker supply, revitalization of handpumps, power pumps and installation of new handpumps. WHO also expediated precautionary and remedial health care system through procurement of essential drugs, vitamin supplements, iron tablets, Oral Rehydration Salt packages, disinfection of drinking water and on-site sanitation facilities.
The mid-term frame of reference to bolster the availability of drinking water in rural areas: the classical long-established response to the drought-related dearth of water has been to devise new sources, further capitalization of existing sources or bring water to improvised areas by tankers and trains. This technique of methodology has not been altered in the last several decades, although such mediations have failed to provide lasting solutions.
Sources of Drinking water can be maintained by administering substantial environmental protection and management of the water sources at regular monitoring, with the help of community participation. This can be enacted by rain-water harvesting at catchment areas through the systematic erection of check dams and other recharge methods of architectures. This also equips an alternate source of employment to the natives, as pastoral activities have ceased due to crop failure and fiasco in the loss of cattle. UNICEF campaigns strongly about the construction, maintenance and management of these structures should be upheld at the community level via the locally elected bodies like panchayat. At the household level, rainwater rooftop harvesting will be promoted as an option to ensure household water security.
In consultation with the State Governments and nodal governing agencies, the United Nations is determined strongly to aim attention at its efforts in the mid-and long-term results to devote to drought prevention. Indeed, empiricism at the grass-root status depicts that planning at the micro-level, involvement of the localities and community-based solutions, will allow interior villages and hamlets to prevent the detrimental fallout of water scarcity. Along with the Government and civil society, UNICEF works constantly to support these causes and to develop a stable and safe environment and policies. At the end of May 2000, UNICEF led a joint UN mission to identify long-term initiatives.
For a sustainable long run, UNDP, are engaged in functioning side by side with the state governments to expedite and promote the evolution of adequate and competent policies and programmes for drought-prone areas. It comprises facilitating the decentralization and fragmentation for better management of water sources at the individual and community level. The ultimate challenge is to maintain the higher interests and greater good for all by the decision-makers in issues on water, after the onset of monsoon and termination of drought. In Maharashtra, at the request and initiative of the state government, UNDP along with various UN nodal agencies continues to support the development of a white paper on water management.
To be legitimate, impartial, principled and fair, the government has been proactive in dealing with matters related to the drought situation, but a lot more can be achieved with the advancement of science and technology. To date, the focal drought preparedness proposal and procedure consist of just donating money in the name of ministerial funds or alternative packages to the affected people. Also, the cattle shades, school programs, women empowerment schemes and initiatives are mostly undertaken by CSR or stakeholders other than the government. They do provide water by tankers or by using train water supply, but serious examination should be about the feasibility of such measures prevailing in modern times. We can utilize and call for action new water harvesting technologies to save water during the monsoons. For instance, cash crops that require lots of precipitation intake should be cultivated depending upon the availability of water. Also, the usage of green or natural pesticides and the practice of local HYV seeds should be given utmost preference over western technologies. Also providing insurance will be a great help to the farmers apart from setting up local agricultural banks which will provide loans to farmers.
For projects on large-scale water harvesting, they can rely on NREGA schemes, which will give them an interim livelihood and sustainability in the future.  The alignment of NREGA with agricultural programmes and allied sectors will lead to enhanced yields. The scope of works under NREGA is under expansion to include lands of small marginal farmers, it is now possible to significantly enhance the irrigation potential in rain-fed areas and drought-proof small-holder agriculture, leading to sustainable and higher yields.
The main aspiration of the NREGA proposal is to implement complementing recruitment chances with the auxiliary objective of eco-restoration & renewal of the natural resource base for viable rural livelihood. This will aid in transparency and accountability to permeate rural governing bodies, leading to the calcification of grassroots level democracy. The following water-based projects are listed under the domain of the NREGA scheme for drought preparedness.
• Water harvesting
• Desalting of tanks
• Micro and minor irrigation works
• Renovation of traditional water
• Provision of irrigation facilities bodies
• Flood control and protection works.
Directions and guidelines given in the program are aligned to SFDRR priorities. The AIDMI team is devoted to achieving activities mentioned in the proposal in AIDMI’s ongoing projects and activities. The NDMP provides a framework and guidelines to the governmental agencies for all stages and aspects of the disaster management cycle. The NDMP is a “dynamic report” in the sense that it will be improved regularly keeping up with the ongoing global best practices and knowledge base in disaster management in lieu to the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the guidance given in the National Policy on Disaster Management, 2009 (NPDM), and the established national practices with the country.
Poverty and risk to disasters are inextricably linked and mutually reinforcing. The poor section of the society is worst affected in case of disaster. The situation further aggravates due to the compulsion of the poor to exploit environmental resources for their survival, increasing the risk and exposure of the society to disasters, in particular those triggered by flood, drought and landslides. Poverty also compels the poor to migrate and live at physically more vulnerable locations, often on unsafe land and in unsafe shelters. These inhabitations of the poor at such locations are either because there is no other land available at a reasonable cost or it is close to the employment opportunities. The inhabitants of the poor people on marginal land are prone to all types of disasters. The type of construction of these houses further deteriorates the condition. These dwellings made up of low-cost material without giving much consideration to technical aspect are easy targets of various hazards.
Drought is a recurrent phenomenon in Maharashtra State. Recently Maharashtra State has experienced a drought of moderate severity which commenced in 2011 and continued, expanded and further deteriorated into 2012. This drought, along with the other droughts that have occurred previously, threatened the agrarian economy of the Maharashtra State and caused considerable social and economic impacts on farming communities. Farmers were aware of the drought and also well perceived the various socio-economic and environmental impacts of drought in the Upper Bhima catchment. Failure of agriculture subsequently resulted in a lack of employment for unskilled labourers, which further exacerbated their livelihood situation and ultimately weakened the financial situation of farmers. Poor farmers affected by drought could not afford to participate in the celebration of festivals and showed a common tendency of postponement of wedding ceremonies due to drought. Less-educated farmers reported that drought-driven water scarcity has caused conflicts in society. It is also found that farmers from frequent and severe drought-affected areas considered drought as the main cause of suicidal tendencies due to lower incomes and high indebtedness. Environmental impacts of drought were perceived to be high to very high.
To mitigate the drought impacts farmers used various drought preparedness and adaptation measures. With the anticipated drought, farmers stored crop harvest (grains), stored crop residues for livestock, saved money, migrated for employment, sold livestock for income generation (and also because they were unable to provide food and water for the livestock), and sought an alternative source of income through employment under NREGA, labour for local construction work, sand mining etc. Although farmers were familiar with autonomous adaptation options in agriculture, less preference was given to their adoption. It is found that low education, small landholdings size and low incomes were major constraints in the adoption of these adaptation strategies discussed earlier.
Recurring drought is a major challenge in the Drought Prone Area of Maharashtra State in India. Agriculture (e.g., rainfed cropping and livestock) is the primordial income activity of over 64% of the state’s population. The objective of this case study is to grasp and comprehend the rural farming community’s perception of drought impacts on their socio-economic activities and environment, their adaptation at the household level and opinions on government drought mitigation measures.
Special attention should be given to while designing and formulating policies for increasing community resilience to future drought events. Also, the extent of irrigation was found to not affect the farmer’s perception of drought impacts and adoption of adaptation strategies, mainly due to a prolonged drought with moderate to severe intensity over the whole catchment. Emphasis should be given to water harvesting techniques to increase the extent of irrigation coverage. Besides household-level adaptation measures, administrative strategies played a very crucial role in adapting to drought. As a response to serious drought events in the state, the government has undertaken various relief measures. It was observed that the mitigation measures provided relief to affected households to some extent, but the level of satisfaction was still low amongst beneficiaries due to ineffective planning and management.
Responses to drought in Maharashtra. States are generally receptive under the conclusion of crisis management and poorly implemented strategies due to lack of coordination. Hence, the state calls for a change from a cognizant crisis management strategy to a more proactive game plan. This is persistent with the findings from other countries as examples through which lessons can be learnt for a greater cause and existing strategies ought to be considered for implementation in India. The case study is based on both secondary and primary data collected via a survey of 223 farming households. The results show that a decrease in the yield of cereals, horticultural crops, livestock production and loss of employment, all associated with decreased income of farmers, were the most immediate economic impacts of drought.
The NDMP assimilates substantively the technique enunciated in the Sendai Framework and help the country to meet the goals set in the framework. Equivalent water-based projects can also be used in climate change adaptation through community involvement and as means of conscious choice of livelihood. Conservation technologies should be stress-tolerant whereas providing climate-resilient varieties of seeds, drip irrigation, zero-tillage methods of agriculture, raised-bed planting, laser-levelling, Systems of Rice Intensification (SRI), can build flexible capacities to adapt with increasing water exploitation and shortage, providing “more crop per drop”. Similarly, strengthening land development practices such as land levelling, conservation bench terracing, contour and graded bunding, and pasture development prevent soil erosion and loss of organic matter. Reclamation of wastelands and degraded lands together with afforestation, horticulture plantation and agroforestry has the potential to sequester carbon both above and below ground, thereby contributing to carbon mitigation. Also, other projects such as land development, horticulture and road network development can be used for climate change adaptation in a drought situation
Conclusion :
Based on the findings for this study, the following recommendations are provided to improve farmers’ resilience and to enable farmers and governments to better
combat future droughts:

  • Promotion of various micro (farm) as well as macro (National) level adaptation strategies amongst farmers with the help of government officials to cope with drought.
  • Developing, introducing and implementing water harvesting practices at the community level and in situ water harvesting practices such as conservative agriculture should be introduced through community participation


  • During drought, about 75% of farmers use flood irrigation practice to irrigate their crops.


  • To save wastage of water, traditional flood irrigation practices should be changed to water-saving irrigation practices such as sprinkler or drip irrigation
  • The introduction of crops that consume less water and drought-resistant varieties of crops should be explored as a way of increasing resilience against drought and reducing crop failure in dry spells
  • Television, radio and newspapers should be used as a tool to disseminate weather information to the larger community about the current and predicted state  of the drought and also drought adaptation practices
  • Although there are government drought relief measures, community-based effective planning, implementation and management should be done to overcome the failure of the relief measures.





China has been known by many names throughout history, but the most traditional name China used to refer to itself is – ‘Zhonggou’ meaning the Middle Kingdom or the Central Kingdom. The name implies the belief that, from a cultural and historical point of view, China is the ‘centre’ of the world. China was divided into several independent states thousands of years ago but united by an emperor. As China became more united, the middle kingdom referred to the actual middleness of these states.  With time the term is used for the entire country as a whole rather than a small area where the emperor used to live.
Today, China is retaking this historical position and is a significant player in the international order. It is pushing and asserting its leadership on this historical ground. To understand the nature and mindset of contemporary China, we need to look back into her history full of culture and prosperity, and the subsequent humiliation by Western powers.
Ancient China was well ahead of its time, and this is an understatement. The Chinese had already built powerful bellows around 2500 years ago when the Western people did not even understand the processes involved in melting scrap metal, which could lift the temperature of furnaces high enough to allow multi-ton iron projects to be started. During the reign of the Tang Dynasty, gunpowder was invented in 850 AD; it then spread across the rest of Eurasia, after which it soon came into contact with the Europeans and the Middle East. Gunpowder’s invention in China is still heralded as one of the Four Greatest Inventions of all time since this accidental invention has now become the staple means of security for nations worldwide. The other three of the four greatest inventions are the compass (206 BC), paper making (105 AD), and movable type printing (960 AD). Another invention that has made humanity’s survival more organized was the invention of the mechanical clock during the reign of the Song Dynasty which, albeit famous, did not go down history as renowned as the other four prominent Chinese Dynasties: Shang, Zhou, Qin, and Han.
Ancient China had a system of independent states for over five hundred years, between around 770 and 221 BC. After a relatively peaceful and philosophical Spring and Autumn period, several states were at war to gain control over China. The warring states period ended with Qin’s conquest, the emperor from which the name China arrives. Qin emerged victorious and was able to unify all other states under one china, so this conquest is described as the process of unification. Since then several dynasties ruled China, remaining unified as an empire.
The idea of the Mandate of Heaven was used by Han emperors to create a powerful, centralized monarchy. The Chinese during the era of the Han dynasty had also introduced the concept of civil service or at least a prototype of the exams which would judge applicants based on their command over history, literature, and philosophy. They also built the silk road to protect their Empire from nomads of inner Asia, whom they considered as barbarians or uncivilized.
Mongol Empire invaded China in 1279 but was defeated by the Mings, who were again able to unify China. During their period China embarked on maritime expeditions to India, Indonesia, Arabia, and Africa. Trade with the Europeans was done in exchange for silver.
The succeeding dynasty and the last dynasty was the Qing Dynasty which was founded in 1644. They expanded the Chinese Empire by conquering Xinjiang, Tibet, Taiwan, and Mongolia. But this was the time when western countries were also strengthening.
However, this was the period when western imperialism was expanding and gaining control. Qing Dynasty clashed with western powers which ultimately led to its downfall and also the end of the dynasty rule in China.
The Qing Dynasty came into power in the 17th century. Britain was fascinated with Chinese tea and other products and decided to expand trade ties with China to purchase these products. The Chinese, however, refused the bid, claiming that their Empire owns everything and that there is no need to import the products of the outside barbarians in return for their goods. However, via the city of Canton (Guangzhou), a small amount of trade with foreign countries was still carried out, and the Canton system acted as a way of managing and regulating trade with the West. Britain was dissatisfied with the scheme and wanted the restricted exchange to scale up. Opium from India was one thing that the British decided to offer, and China could not refuse it. China soon became addicted. The East India Company was exclusively responsible for the trade of opium. The Qing emperor soon realized the serious consequences, and he decided to send Commissioner Lin Zeu to Canton to stop the trade of opium. This inevitably led to a conflict known as the First Opium War and the beginning of the century of humiliation between Britain and China.
With its modern ships and technology, Britain was able to defeat China. The defeat of the Qing Dynasty came as a massive blow. The Nanking Treaty was concluded by both countries in the aftermath of the war, under which Hong Kong acceded to Britain. By providing additional privileges to extend its trade and settlement ports in China, the treaty strongly favored Britain. China was unhappy with the unequal arrangements, and the Second Opium War (1956-1960) between the two nations soon broke out, but more Western powers, including France, Russia, and the USA, supported Britain this time. Trade rights were also sought from China by the other forces involved.
Japan also fought with the Qing Dynasty in 1894 over the dominance of Korea. China was once again defeated because Japan invaded and seized control of Taiwan. Internally, the people of China, were not satisfied with the status quo and anti-foreign feelings contributed to a youth uprising, known as the Boxer rebellion. the rebellion was also suppressed by the armies of many foreign countries. All these factors led to the Qing dynasty’s eventual collapse in 1911. This ended the long history of the rule of the dynasty in China.
The Republic of China was founded after the fall of the Qing Dynasty under the leadership of the Nationalist People’s Party, also known as the Kuomintang(KMT), led by Chang Kai Shek. China was forced into World War II soon after its establishment and lost the Shantung Peninsula to Japan. Young people were upset, and communist ideologies were gaining prominence. Among those attracted was Mao Zedong, who later led the KMT against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The two parties claimed to be the real Chinese government, which kicked off a civil war in China.
Fast forward to the Sino Japanese War II when Japan invaded Manchuria in 1933, both the parties fought together against Japan. Also were supported by the Allied Powers who condemned this action of Japan. Consequently, Japan invaded Pearl Harbour in 1941 and ultimately the USA retaliated by dropping atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ending the Second World War. But the civil war in China continued. CCP emerged victoriously and the Nationalists had to retreat to Taiwan. And the Republic of China- mainland China became the People’s Republic of China, China that we know today.
In 1949, Mao Zedong founded the People’s Republic of China. Mao believed that only if it discarded its past could China be free and powerful. He blamed its weakness on Chinese society and tried to introduce a new spirit of Chinese nationalism with it. Under Mao, Chinese policies had a vision and purpose to expand influence by improving the domestic economy and military so that it could be stronger to strike back against the great powers that have victimized China in the past century. The drastic measures resulted in anarchy but kept  China was independent and unified as well.
The CPC still respected Mao after he died, but the majority of the party did not consider his choices to be right. While they understood that a man like Mao needed to unite China under the rule of one government, they were unable to turn China into a world power. His successor, Deng Xiaoping, then brought extreme changes by opening up the Chinese economy, which changed China drastically. . Chinese economy began to grow at double-digit rates. . He advocated the ‘hiding and binding’ strategy, which implies that China should maintain a low-key role and continue to expand its development. This approach helped China to develop when big powers, including the United States, developed trade ties with China.
When President Xi Jinping came into power, things took a turn. He is known for his assertion and authority, unlike the previous strategy of hiding and biding. He vowed to restore China, to its ancient prominence and glory, which is expressed in his actions.
China became a central player in the international arena under Xi Jinping. With national pride, Xi seeks to set legitimacy. Under Xi, China is engaged in aggressive actions in the seas of South and East China, reversing the U.S. security alliance in the Asia Pacific, and has launched the Belt and Silk Road Project to be the core of the world as a way to return its ancient dominance.  The rise which was peaceful two decades ago is now aggressive, and the world is trying to confront this new global power.    By supporting the Chinese dream, Xi has made it clear that China will be stronger and prosperous in the future, and he will make this happen in his way!
History teaches us a lot and should not be ignored. Ancient China was the oldest civilization in the world, and perhaps the most advanced. The main inventions were made long before they reached the west, but they were used by the west to conquer the east and the rest of the world. It can be inferred that China was incapacitated by the West like other colonies, but China has not forgotten its ancient origins, unlike others. There seems to be no reason for Chinese geopolitical aggression today when the world has changed and is in a different setting. What appears, though, is that history repeats itself, and it all comes down to the nature of man and the nature of his thought. Today the world is cultivating anti-China sentiments, but one thing looks certain, how much slower the process gets, China will continue on its path of gaining its ancient supremacy.

French code of Nativity

Revisiting the French devised Code de l’indigénat and it’s aftermath

Written by Ritankar Mallick

Is withdrawal of troops an ongoing sudden nationalist trend or a hasty measure for the appeasement of the domestic populace? As Western powers prepare to leave their grounds in Asian and African regions, whom will these changes benefit? Quite a few questions hover around as the globe has begun to slowly fuel it’s engines either to start off or preparing to start off in the post-pandemic situation, as the current international events shape the upcoming global timeline.
Previously the occupational therapy that the colonial powers used to provide to the colonies were labeled as “civilizing the uncivilized ” or “making them westernized” and if not that exactly, then something almost similar. As the United States prepare to leave Afghani ground by September 11 of this year completely, marking  the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. French President has been vocal about reducing the number of troops from the Military Operation Barkhane which operated in Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad and Niger.
President Macron has expressed to be committed in the Sahel region but he voiced that a “profound transformation” is on it’s way and the military operations won’t be the same anymore. With this recent move, we try to trace back to a period of time in African history to revisit the regime de I’indigenat of French colonization in Africa.
The French ruled Algeria as the colonial power for nearly 135 years. This code of nativity (Code de l’indigénat) has been an integral part of their colonial policy from the beginning. They went on to impose similar laws in the other parts of Africa as they increased their occupied territory across the continent. The French invasion ceased the Algerian slave trade and piracy but it instead summoned aggression against the resistance towards colonization resulting in bloodshed and inviting more.
The French devised a way where it relied upon its subjects to maintain their colonialism in the lands of their subjects. The policy was demographically divided into three categories which were called communes. The communes with a significant amount of French people elected their administrative bodies and were the self governing parts of the colons (colonies). The native Muslim communes elected some but had a grand chieftain who was selected to head the elected council. The communes with more uninhabitable or uninhabited places were under the military’s jurisdiction. This began after the implementation of the Royal decree of 1845 in Algeria.
But as a de facto ruler tightens it’s grip and becomes a colonial power, a small group of natives, those who exercise certain influence over the settlers come in handy for the occupiers. The small group of French speaking indigenous influential elites formed during this time mainly consisting of the Berbers, mostly Kabyles. As a consequence the French government favoured the Kabyles. Almost about 80% of the indigenous schools were constructed for the Kabyles. Similarly the French government favoured them in the local positions and vice versa.
The Code of the Indigénat categorized the citizenship of it’s population and subjects into two: the French citizens (with metropolitan descent) and French subjects, namely black Africans, Malagasy, Algerians, West Indians, Melanesians, etc. The code of the Senatus Consulte deprived them of most of their freedom and political rights; among the people, they only retain their own religious or customary descent identity.
A method of promotion was laid for the assimilation of the African people or the “civilizing” people. In July 14th 1865, the king Napoleon III in the first clause of the Senatus Consulte of full citizenship allowance request made it clear that though a Muslim or a Jew indigenous is French, even after that if he or she wants to enjoy the rights of a French citizen he or she will have to admit it, to be subjected to the political and civil laws of France. It established specific penalties for the indigenous and organised lawful dispossession of their own lands. But this wasn’t where it ended, as these establishments went through further improvements (1874, 1876, 1877, and 1881) as more offenses went on getting specified and enlisted since then. Since 1860s several changes were made in the upcoming years. The laws on exercising of public movement and assembly turned more restrictive in nature for the indigenous people. Punishment for the natives included, fines or penalty of a demotion other than the prevailing sequestration.
The attempt towards naturalization that the French government tried to carry out was very depressing. In 1865 the first clause of the Senatus Consulte highlighted the requirement of naturalization that was expected to happen for a healthy assimilation to take place. This initiative didn’t turn out well as in a country of millions they received less than 200 naturalization requests from the Muslims and nearly 160 requests from the Jews and other groups. This reaction wasn’t satisfactory at all for the French government back then.
The French administered the whole of Mediterranean region of Algeria as an integral part and departement of the nation since 1848 till the independence. When the French entered, only 1.5 million Algerians lived and when they gained independence it was more than seven times of it.
Between 1825-1847, fifty thousand French people emigrated to Algeria. These settlers benefitted from the French government’s confiscation of communal lands from the tribal peoples and the application of modern agricultural techniques that increased the amount of arable land. Many Europeans settled in Oran and Algiers, and by the early 20th century they formed a majority of the population in both cities.
The improvements of the code eventually went on widening the difference between the thought processes invested, separately for the indigenous and the French settlers from Europe. The true harsh identity of the code of the nativity was becoming visible as in 1881 some specific offenses were codified, which were to be distinguished from the crimes or acts committed in violation of the French law.
Since 1887, different powers started implementing a similar kind of native code in their respective colonies. The implementation of the native Algerian code acted as an inspiration behind the implementation of something similar or more strict for several other colonies like New Caledonia.
During the late 19th and the early 20th century; the European share was almost a fifth of the population. The French government aimed at making Algeria an assimilated part of France, and this included substantial educational investments especially after 1900. The indigenous cultural and religious resistance heavily opposed this tendency but in contrast to the other colonies of Central Asia and caucuses, kept it’s individual skills and human capital intensive agriculture alive.
Gradually, dissatisfaction among the Muslim population, which lacked political and economical status in the colonial system gave rise to demands for greater political autonomy and eventually independence from France.
In the code’s basic understanding it used to treat natives with forceful labour laws and banned the free movement of an individual and etc. The reason explaining the theory of colonialism in colonial literature as an objective of the European settlers in any part of the world has been, an attempt to civilize the inhabitants of the colonies. Similarly the French government also attempted, but the primary understanding of the code was perceived incorrectly as it should have helped the growth of institutionalism within the natives, instead it helped the settlers and the grounds for more injustice and inequality brewed.

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