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30 May 2016 K2_CATEGORY IAS Blog

Introduction: The article talks about the shortage of defense equipments with our combat forces and the of taking quick actions to secure our country.

Topics:General Studies, Paper- III

  • The Indian Air Force has only 33 fighter squadrons while it needs 45, to counter “a two-front collusive threat”.
  • The navy has only 14 submarines, half the number it wants.
  • The army doesn’t have equipment for the new strike corps being raised on the China border.These are the long standing problem of defence ministry of India which needed immediate focuswith short term and long term solutions
  • A lot of effort has been put in by the defence minister, since he took charge in November 2014,but the results on the ground have not lived up to the billing.
  • The new Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) was meant to be a radical departure from the earlier versions, which would promote “Make in India” in the defence sector and make India a major defence exporter in the near future.
  • This meant that India would move away from being one of the world’s biggest defence importers to an indigenous developer and producer of defence platforms.
  • While the reality is that the new DPP is still not out in its entirety. A major chapter on the strategic partnership model is still pending, as are the details on other new models that have been proposed.
  • Both foreign and domestic defence manufacturers are thus awaiting clarity on the business models they need to build for the future.
  • Defense minister has followed up on the Dhirendra Singh Committee report on defence procurement by forming two more expert committees.
  • One of them, headed by Vivek Rae, has been tasked to reform the organisation, system and process of acquisition in the ministry. Its recommendations will be an important step towards fixing the fundamental problems of defence procurement, but will cause a major upheaval in the ministry which needs to be managed smartly.
  • Another committee, headed by Lt General (retd) D.B. Shekatkar, has been tasked with improving the teeth-to-tail ratio of the defence services.
  • This is again a long-pending step which can help the defence ministry by rationalising expenditure.
  • As the finance ministry has focused on reducing the fiscal deficit, the budget for defence acquisition has also come under pressure.
  • By reducing wastage and streamlining the process, defense minister can overcome the challenge of resources and delayed acquisition. But these steps must show quick results. The defence services cannot afford to wait for long.

Question: The fundamental problems of the defense procurement need urgent attention. There is also a need to support Indian component in the defense procurement. In the light of this statement, comment on the problems of this sector and new Defense Procurement Policy of the government

Suggested Approach:

  1. Start with the problem of shortage of weapons and dependence on import of weapons.
  2. Highlight the major features of Defense Procurement Policy.
  3. Highlight the areas which need improvement.

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30 May 2016 K2_CATEGORY IAS Blog
  • India’s population with disabilities has increased by 22.4 per cent between 2001 and 2011. The number of disabled, which was 2.19 crore in 2001, rose in 2011 to 2.68 crore. The growth rate of disabled population is more in urban areas and among urban females
  • Where do we stand now?
    • India seems a long way to go to ensure educational rights of children with special needs. There is no data on inclusion of children with special needs in 06 age group and in higher education. This is one of the major gaps that exists today for planning purpose.
    • At present a conservative estimate shows that around 20 lakhs persons with special needs are studying in primary, secondary and special schools.
    • It is not debatable that we have not been able to reach even 20 per cent of our children/ persons with special needs though we have legislations such as Right to Education since 2005 and compulsory and free education to all children guaranteed in the Indian constitution.
    • We have signed many international declarations and treaties concerning rights of person with disabilities and the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities was signed and ratified by India in 2006.
    • There are multi dimensional reasons for this abysmal condition but India is very much committed to include every child to have access to education without any discrimination.
    • We further need conceptual clarity on inclusive education, which must be reflected in the vision, mission, policies, action plans, legal provisions and resource allocations.
  • NEP: Potential Game Changer:
    • A broader understanding of inclusive education is reflected in NEP2015.
    • Inclusive education in the Indian context must include the diverse needs of SC/ST/Minorities/ Children and young persons with disabilities, children living in extreme poverty and difficult/ challenging conditions.
    • NEP adopts, for the first time in India, an Indian perspective to inclusive education reflecting global concerns and commitments to which India is a participatory/signatory.
  • The key factor that may exclude children/persons with special needs from the mainstream education can be:
    1. Policies that ignore education for all cannot be achieved unless children and youth with disabilities are included in the mainstream education.
    2. The framework for monitoring progress in achieving Education for All ignores children and youth with disabilities.
    3. Failure to identify and remove systemic barriers to inclusive education at planning, administration, monitoring and implementation levels.
    4. Lack of recognition of the factors that affect inclusive education are within the social gaps among SC/ST/Minorities/Gender discrepancies within these groups.
    5. Disability being a state subject and education being a concurrent subject is leading to gaps in educational access in different areas.
    6. There is overlapping role being played by two ministries. Inclusive education is the responsibility of Human Resource Development ministry and special education is the responsibility of ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. This has resulted in contradicting policies.
    7. There is no policy on early childhood inclusion of children with special needs in India.
    8. Not recognizing the fact that inclusive education can serve as an entry point to improve the entire existing education system, which benefits all learners has resulted in inclusive education being viewed as an add on component to the education system.
    9. We need massive awareness in rights and needs of women with disabilities as they are the worst hit in the modern world which is yet to see and respect women for their inherent worth and not based on images we see in the media and fashion industry.
  • The Census and data base on on Disability:
    • The census data on disability covers more than it reveals. The identification of disabilities needs skills especially to identify special needs (intellectual, sensory disabilities of mild and moderate levels) which are not easily visible unless persons are trained in the identification.
    • In India, we need disability data for planning services leading to effective inclusion. This demands innovative approaches as survey methodology cannot provide comprehensive information about the individuals with special needs.
    • India must introduce mandatory registration of person with disabilities at community level/ school level/ ICDS level.The digitized data could also be used to provide smart ID cards replacing existing paper based disability ID cards.
  • The other issues which are seen as a major barrier for inclusion are listed below:
    1. Children with disabilities remain invisible to the education system.
    2. Families are not supportive.
    3. Teachers lack training, leadership, knowledge and support to adapt curriculum.
    4. Poor quality education.
    5. Poor access to knowledge and information forparents, teachers, administrators and policy makers.
    6. No inclusive education infrastructuregovernance, policy, planning, financing, implementation and monitoring.
    7. Lack of public support for inclusion.
    8. Lack of accountability and monitoring mechanisms.
  • On the whole, it could be argued that the political vacuum of leadership and accountability for inclusive education was not adequate. There are huge gaps in educational rights of persons with special needs.
  • NEP 2015: Bridging the Social Gaps:
  • NEP 2015 has adopted bottomup approach, which opens debates/discussions, participation of the community. This is a unique feature of NEP2015 and the participatory approach was essential for the policy makers to understand the concerns of the community and ground realities and reflect these issues adequately in the policy framework.
  • We see conceptual clarity of inclusive education stated very clearly in the framework. For example:
    • In place of seeing inclusive education as a separate strategy for children with special needs, NEP2015 views inclusive education as an integral part of the education system.
    • NEP 2015 understands the need to train the education administration along with teachers at all levels to have a positive attitude towards inclusion of persons with special needs.
  • NEP 2015 has included disability concerns in all components of the education systembe it in education admission, admission policies, teacher training, curriculum development, teaching strategies, learning materials, evaluation system, virtual learning platforms etc.
  • Let us hope and work towards a flexible education system, elearning facilities, proposed Swayam online learning, inclusive teacher training programme, National Skill Development programme, capacity building of all existing teachers and other measures would make education for ALL a reality in India.

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Source: Yojana, May 2016