Central Armed Police Forces

Central Armed Police Forces

This article deals with the ‘Central Armed Police Forces .’ This is part of our series on ‘Internal Security’, an important pillar of the GS-3 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.


Central Armed Police Force is a set of police forces which includes the Central Industrial Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force,  Border Security Force, Assam Rifles, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, National  Security Guard, Railway Protection  Force (RPF), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the Sashastra  Seema  Bal. The  CAPF works under the administrative control of the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Indian Government.

Central Armed Police Forces

1. Central Industrial Security Force (CISF)

  • CISF was raised in 1969.
  • Its mandate is to 
    1. Provide security to critical infrastructure installations of the country like the Department of Space, Department of Atomic Energy, Airports, Delhi Metro, ports, historical monuments etc.
    1. Protect some private sector units and important government buildings in Delhi.
    2. Provide security to the protected persons classified as Z Plus, Z, X and Y.
  • CISF is also the country’s largest fire protection service provider, providing fire protection cover to 102 Industrial Undertakings.
  • CISF was assigned the specialized task of airport security in 2000 in the wake of the hijacking of Indian Airlines Flight IC-814 to Kandahar.
  • CISF Act has been amended to enable it to provide security on a payment basis to private enterprises. Hence, CISF is also providing security to Infosys and Wipro headquarters.

2. Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)

  • It was raised as CROWN REPRESENTATIVE POLICE FORCE (CRPF) in 1939 and rechristened as Central Reserve Police Force after independence. 
  • It is headquartered in Neemuch, Madhya Pradesh.
  • Its composition and deployment are all India in character.
  • It helps state police in maintaining law and combat insurgency.
  • It is the largest Central Para Military Force.
  • CRPF is the only Central Armed Police Force with 6 Mahila (Ladies) Battalions.


  • Maintain rule of law and public order.
  • Crowd control & riot control.
  • Countering the militancy.
  • Dealing with Left Wing Extremism.
  • Protection of VIPs and vital installations.
  • Rescuing and relief operations during calamity.
  • Participation in UN Peacekeeping Missions.
  • Ensure peaceful conduct of elections.
  • Fighting the enemy in the event of war.

Rapid Action Force

  • It was raised by converting 10 CRPF battalions in 1992.
  • Its mandate is to rush to the place of incidence of the riot in Zero Response Time and carry out operations there in a non-partisan manner.

CoBRA Battalions

  • CoBRA = Commando Battalions for Resolute Action
  • It was raised from 10 battalions of CRPF in 2008.
  • They are trained to counter left-wing extremism.
  • They specialize in jungle warfare, also known as ‘Jungle Warriors’. A CoBRA School for specialized training in Jungle Warfare & Tactics has also started for their training.
  • They are experts in short & intelligence-based quick operations. 
  • They are stationed in LWE-affected states of Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, and Andhra Pradesh, as well as Assam & Meghalaya.

3. Border Security Force (BSF)

  • BSF is the world’s largest Border Security Force
  • It was established in 1965 under Home Ministry to do away with the multiplicity of State Forces guarding the Indo-Pak Border. After the formation of Bangladesh, it was also made responsible for guarding the Indo-Bangladesh border.
  • Border Security Force personnel have also been deployed in United Nations Stabilization Missions. The BSF troops are performing their duties exemplary to ensure the UN mandate.
  • Presently, it has 192 battalions. 


Peacetime Mandate

  • Promote a sense of security among people living in border areas.
  • Prevent trans-border crimes, unauthorized entry or exit and smuggling.

Wartime Mandate

  • Holding ground in less threatened areas
  • Protection of vital installations, particularly airfields
  • Strengthening the main defence line at strong points
  • Assistance in control of refugees
  • Guarding Prisoners of War
  • Maintaining law and order in the enemy territory controlled by the Indian Army. 
  • Prevent infiltration in certain areas.

Note: Punjab Government accused some of the BSF officials of facilitating the entry of drugs from Pakistan to Punjab. In West Bengal, BSF officers have been accused of facilitating cow smuggling across the border to Bangladesh.

4. Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) 

  • ITBP was raised in 1962 in the wake of the Indo-China war. It was initially raised under CRPF Act. Later, ITBPF Act was enacted in 1994 and rules were framed. 
  • ITBP was originally conceptualized as an integrated ‘guerrilla-cum-intelligence-cum-fighting Force’, self-contained in supplies, communication and intelligence collection. It has evolved over time into a conventional border-guarding force.
  • ITBP is a multi-dimensional force. It is a mountain-trained force manned by professionally trained mountaineers. 
  • ITBP is deployed from Karakoram Pass to Jechapla Pass in difficult hilly terrain at forward border posts at altitudes ranging from 9000-18000 feet. 
  • They are called “Himveers“.

Mandate and Tasks

  • Keep vigil on the Indo-China border.
  • Detection & prevention of border violations & promotion of a sense of security among the locals on the Indo-China border
  • Check illegal immigration, trans–border smuggling and crimes.
  • Providing security to sensitive installations, banks and protected persons. Presently, it is providing security to Rashtrapati Bhawan, Rumtek Monastery (Sikkim), Tihar Jail (Delhi), LBSNAA and various sensitive installations in Chandigarh & Jammu. 
  • Restore law and order and peace in an area after disturbance. 
  • ITBP is also deployed in Afghanistan to provide security to the Indian Embassy in Kabul.
  • ITBP is also involved in the movement for the preservation of the Himalayan environment & ecology.

5. Assam Rifles

  • Assam Rifles are known as the ‘friends of hill people’ because Assam Rifles have participated in many developmental activities of the northeast.
  • It was raised in 1835 as Cacher Levy and is the oldest Police Force in India. 
  • It is headquartered in Shillong and works under the operational control of the Army.
  • When formed, it had an armed strength of 750 men, which has been increased to 63,000 personnel.
  • Earlier, it was under the control of the Ministry of External Affairs but was later changed to be under the control of the Ministry of Home Affairs post-1965. 


When formed under the British Raj, its original mandate was to protect the British Tea Estates, along with settlements, from raids of the NE tribes. With passage of time, its mandate has been changed to

  • Maintaining internal security in North-Eastern States.
  • Guarding Indo-Myanmar Border.


  • Control Structure: Assam Rifles has dual control structure, i.e. it is under the operational control of the Indian Army (i.e. Ministry of Defence) and administrative control of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). All the senior officers, including the head of the force, are from Indian Army, while MHA provides the salary and infrastructure.
  • Dual Mandate: Due to the dual mandate of guarding the Indo-Myanmar border and maintaining peace in the North East, Assam Rifle is unable to do both works professionally. Government should first strengthen the security of the border by either giving the Assam Rifles the single mandate of guarding the border or deploying another border guarding force such as the Border Security Force(BSF). In 2017, Parliamentary Committee on Home Affairs, in its report, suggested the transfer of Indo-Myanmar Border Management to Border Guard Forces (BGF)

6. National Security Guard (NSG)

  • It was raised in 1984 as Federal Contingency Deployment Force to fight against terrorism and protect the states against internal disturbances.
  • It operates under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • NSG is a unique amalgamation of selected personnel from the Army, the Central Armed Police Forces & State Police Forces.
  • Because of the colour of the uniform that the personnel wear, they are popularly referred to as Black Cats.
  • NSG (Black Cats) are specially trained for room-to-room interventions, whereas Army is specialized in Open Combat. They will be more effective in fighting terrorists. Their weapons are more sophisticated and ideal for such fights.
  • NSG Commandos are usually deployed to deal with high-risk tasks like Akshardham Temple in Gandhinagar and Hotel Taj and Oberoi in Mumbai.


  • Neutralise highly specialized terrorist attacks like aeroplane hijacks and hostage rescue operations.
  • Provide training to other forces on bomb disposal technology.  
  • NSG provide ‘close protection’ to the VIPs.
  • In Delhi, they are always kept on alert to meet any emergency.


  • It is criticized for the delayed response to the crisis. For example, NSG took 10 hours to respond to the 26/11 crisis.
  • The NSG Headquarters is manned by a mix of personnel from all the forces with different cultural and professional outlooks leading to coordination challenges.
  • The organization is headed by Director General belonging to the IPS with limited practical experience in counter-terror operations.
  • NSG continues to be marred by a shortage of cutting-edge equipment and training aids.

Special Protection Group (SPG)

  • It is a sub-group of the National Security Guard (NSG). 
  • SPG was raised in 1985 with the goal of giving providing proximate security cover to the PM and his immediate family members. Additionally, it provides security cover to the former Prime Ministers and their immediate family members for a period of five years from the day he ceases to hold office. 
  • It was formed on the recommendation of the Birbal Nath Committee. 
  • NSG also provide proximate security to VVIPs and their immediate family.
  • They are drawn from police and NSG commandos.
  • They are trained like US Secret Service.

7. Railway Protection Force (RPF)

  • Railway Protection Force draws power from Railway Protection Force Act and Railways Act.
  • Its mandate is to
    1. Protect railway property, passenger and passenger area.
    2. Remove any obstruction hindering the movement of the railway. 
  • It is different from the Railway Police, a branch of state police & responsible for preventing & investigating crimes on the railway & within railway premises.

8. Sashastra Seema Bal

  • It was formed in 1963 as Special Service Bureau (SSB) to build up the morale & capability of the border population and prevent subversion, infiltration and sabotage across the border.
  • It was renamed from Special Service Bureau to Sashastra Seema Bal (in 2001).
  • Presently, it has the responsibility to guard Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan Border
  • They are also deployed for election duties & internal security duty in Jammu and Kashmir and the naxal-affected areas in Jharkhand, Bihar and Chhattisgarh.

9. National Disaster Response Force (NDRF)

  • Disaster Management Act was passed in 2005, and NDRF was formed under the provisions of the act in the wake of the Gujarat Earthquake & Odisha Super Cyclone. 
  • It was made from 8 battalions, 2 each drawn from ITBP, CRPF, BSF & CISF. Presently, it has 10 battalions.


  • Provide specialized response during disasters.
  • Conduct rehearsals and mock drills
  • Train State Disaster Response Teams
  • Create awareness among people about different disasters

Topic: NDRF getting discriminatory attitude

  • Sacrifices not recognized & awarded: E.g., in the Uttarakhand disaster of 2013, 14 personnel died in the Mi-17 Helicopter crash. 5 from Airforce got Shaurya & Kirti Chakra, while 9 from NDRF got nothing.
  • Lack of Funds: NDRF is the only specialized force of its kind in the world but is deprived of funds, infra & logistical support. The question arises, what is the use of creating this if no fund is to be given? 
  • Less Remuneration: Their remuneration is less than what their counterparts get in CRPF or BSF. Nothing is given in the name of the hazard fund. As a result, nobody is ready to come to this force from the parent organization.
  • No Disability Pension: NDRF personnel are constantly required to train in simulated conditions of hazards & at the time, they end up losing their life, but there is no disability pension.

Other Problems

  • Ambiguity in control and command: Ministry of Home Affairs controls the funds of NDRF while National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), an autonomous body, has administrative control over it. Hence, it has to deal with two bosses.

Issues with CAPF (in general)

  1. Bureaucratization of Armed Forces: Most of the higher posts of the top hierarchy are filled by IPS officers, who, most of the time, fail to take adequate steps for the welfare of the cadre officers. These organizations have a primarily military character; therefore, a civil service like the IPS has no valuable role to play in them.
  2. Absence of a robust in-house grievance redressal mechanism: This has prompted incidents such as a soldier from BSF in 2017 using Social Media to raise his concerns. 
  3. Stepmotherly Treatment by Government: Paramilitary forces allege stepmotherly treatment done by the government compared to the military. They get
    • Lesser pay than military counterparts
    • No martyr status 
    • No One Rank One Pension.
  4. Sahayak/Buddy system:  Under this system, soldiers are forced to do personal chores for seniors.
  5. There is a lack of effective arms and ammunition such as bullet-proof jackets, modern weapons, surveillance equipment, armoured vehicles etc.
  6. CAPF is overburdened by doing the job of both the army and the police. E.g., CAPF personnel guard the borders and also battle terrorists and insurgents.  
  7. Poor working conditions like no housing facilities, poor food and low allowances add to problems. Due to bad working conditions, the number of personnel opting for voluntary retirement schemes in the CAPF rose by 450% in 2016-17, according to the Home Ministry.
  8. They are devoid of justice as Armed Forces Tribunal does not cover them.   

According to the NCRB data, as many as 2,200 CAPF personnel died in accidents and suicides from 2014-2018. It points towards the fact that something is seriously wrong with CAPF.

Way forward

  • CAPF personnel should get better dispute resolution, communication facilities in field areas, yoga etc.
  • IPS hegemony over the CAPF should be ended. 
  • Some of the demands of the paramilitary forces are legitimate at face value and should be considered e.g. 
    • A Military Service Pay 
    • Timely career promotion
    • Martyr status if they die while fighting.     
  • There is a need for a separate grievance redressal mechanism and a separate tribunal for paramilitary forces on the lines of the Armed Forces Tribunal. 
  • For parity in allowance, “one area, one allowance” should be implemented, i.e., military and CAPF personnel deployed in the same area should get the same allowance. 
  • Government should set up an R&D wing specifically to design weapons and vehicles for CAPF due to the unique challenges faced by them.

Nagaland Issue

Nagaland Issue

This article deals with the ‘Nagaland Issue.’ This is part of our series on ‘Internal Security’, an important pillar of the GS-3 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.


Naga people are a conglomeration of several tribes inhabiting the North Eastern part of India (Nagaland, Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh) and north-western Burma. They belong to Indo-Mongoloid race. As of 2012, the state of Nagaland officially recognizes 17 Naga tribes. 

Prominent Naga tribes include Poumai, Sumi, AngamiAo, Chakhesang, Chang, Khiamniungan, Konyak, Liangmai, Lotha, Pochury, Rongmei, Zee and Mao. The language of the Nagas differs from each tribe and even from one village to another.

Greater Nagalim

Nagalim is the region carved out by integrating all Naga-inhabited contiguous areas under one administrative umbrella. It includes Nagaland along with several districts of Assam, Arunachal, Manipur and a large tract of Myanmar. The map of “Greater Nagalim” has about 1,20,000sq km, while the state of Nagaland consists of 16,527 sq km.

Nagaland Issue

Timeline in Naga Struggle

1826 Britishers annexed Assam.
1881 Naga hill became a part of British India.
1918 The root of the conflict can be traced back to 1918 in the formation of the ‘Naga Club’ by 20 members of the Naga French Labour Corp, who had served in World War I. The wartime knowledge motivated the few who had come in contact with the European battlefield to organize themselves as distinct ethnic political entity.  
1929 The club submitted a memorandum to the Simon Commission in 1929, stating that the people of Naga areas and of mainland India had nothing in common. Therefore, it would benefit both to stay separate and form their own political entity as and when the British left India.    
1946 The club was further reinforced with the formation of the Naga National Council (NNC) under A.Z Phizo, a charismatic leader of the Angami tribe.  
Phizo had been trained by the British, especially Major General Wingate, during World War II on the Burma Front against Japanese forces & he utilized knowledge to impart training in guerrilla warfare to NNC members.    
1947 – Nine-Point Agreement, known as the Akbar Hydari Agreement, was signed between NNC leaders and the Governor of Assam, Sir Akbar Hydari, on June 29 1947. The Agreement gave the Nagas rights over their land and executive and legislative powers but within the ambit of the Indian Constitution. 
Phizo rejected the Agreement. On August 14 1947, the NNC led by Phizo declared independence.   
1952 Naga Federal Government and Naga Federal Army formed, which were involved in violent clashes with the Indian state.   
1950s, 1960s and 1970s The 1950s, 1960s and 1970s were tumultuous in Naga history with the rise of militancy coupled with the state’s military response propelled by acts like the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958, amended in 1972.   
1963 The Union Government made efforts for peace, resulting in the grant of statehood to Nagaland in 1963 and the establishment of a peace mission in 1964.   
1975 The loss of bases in East Pakistan in 1972, with the emergence of a new nation-Bangladesh, as well as the constant pressure from Indian security forces, motivated the NNC under Z. Huire to sign  Shillong Accord, under which Nagas accepted the Indian Constitution.
The Shillong Accord, however, repeated the tragic story of the 9 Point Agreement as it split the Naga rebel movement. The Shillong Accord was the proximate cause for forming the original unified National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN).   
1980 Some radical leaders rejected the accord and formed the Nationalist Social Council of Nagaland (NSCN).
1988 Due to intense differences with existing leadership, Isak Chisi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah formed NSCN (Isak Muivah) or NSCN (IM) on January 31 1988.
It was followed by the further spilt of the S. S. Khaplang-led faction and the formation of the NSCN (Khaplang), named after its leader.    
1990s NSCN(IM) becomes the largest insurgent outfit in Nagaland, demanding Greater Nagalim.   
1997 NSCN(IM) signs ceasefire. This ceasefire has been in place till now.  
2001 NSCN (K) (Khaplang) signs ceasefire.  
2012 A new NSCN (Khole-Kitovi) group was formed as the NSCN (K) breakaway faction and is at war against the Indian state.   
2015 NSCN (K) also breaks ceasefire  
Aug 2015 Naga Peace Accord was signed with NSCN (IM). No details are out yet, but NSCN (IM) ‘s demands include
1. Recognition of unique Naga History
2. Creation of Greater Nagalim consisting of all the Naga inhabiting areas in India
3. Recognition of a separate flag for the Naga areas

According to the statement given by the Governor to Parliamentary Committee on Home Affairs, the Peace Accord has accepted the demand for recognition of unique Naga history. But there is no provision regarding touching the boundaries of Indian states. Instead, a special arrangement will be made for Nagas residing outside the state of Nagaland.

Main Insurgent Groups

1. NSCN (Isak-Muivah) or NSCN (IM)

  • It was formed in 1988 by Isak Chisi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah.
  • It is the most important faction of NSCN. 
  • Aim: To establish a greater Nagaland based on the Maoist ideology of the principle of socialism and equitable economic development for the people.
  • Its major source of funding is drug trafficking and financial support from ISI. Apart from that, they run a parallel government in their area of influence and levy a sort of tax on the businesses. 
  • A ceasefire agreement has been signed between NSCN (IM) and the Government of India since 1997. It was also involved in a peace dialogue with the Indian government, culminating in the Naga Peace Accord of August 2015. 
  • But NSCN (IM), which views itself as the sole representative of the Naga people in peace dialogue, is being increasingly threatened on its home turf by the NSCN (Khole and Kitovi) faction.  
    • While NSCN (Khaplang) is a significant threat to the NSCN (IM) as a rival armed actor, its influence in terms of social legitimacy in Naga-inhabited areas in India has been limited at best since its Chairman Khaplang belongs to Myanmar. 
    • The Khole-Kitovi faction is a real challenge to the NSCN (IM) ‘s sphere of influence, given that both leaders are from Nagaland. 

2. NSCN (Khaplang) or NSCN (K)

  • It is the second most important faction. 
  • It is based in Myanmar and is very active in Indian Naga-inhabited regions.
  • Although a ceasefire was signed between NSCN (K) and the Indian government in 2001, NSCN(K) unilaterally broke the ceasefire in 2015 and carried out an attack on Indian forces, killing 20 soldiers. 
  • They have kept away from talks with the Indian government.

North East Insurgency

North East Insurgency

This article deals with the ‘North East Insurgency .’ This is part of our series on ‘Internal Security’, an important pillar of the GS-3 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.

Introduction to North East

  • North-East India consists of 8 states, namely Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim, situated in the North-East of India. Further, the first seven are known as Seven Sisters.
  • An important aspect of the North-West’s geography is that a narrow passage of about 21–40 km, sandwiched between Bhutan and Bangladesh, called Siliguri or Chicken Neck Corridor, connects the Seven Sisters to central India. It makes the region strategically vulnerable. 
North East India - Strategic Map
  • Demographically, people of this region are mostly tribals of Mongoloid origin, and they speak the language of Tibeto-Burmese origin.
  • At the time of independence, this region consisted of the princely states of Tripura and Manipur. Sikkim was an independent country. The rest of the Northeast was part of the larger province of Assam. States like Nagaland (1963), Manipur (1972), Tripura (1972), Meghalaya (1972), Mizoram (made UT in 1972 and state in 1987) and Arunachal Pradesh (made UT in 1972 and state in 1987) were carved out of Assam. Sikkim was merged into India as Associate State in 1975 via the 35th Constitutional Amendment and full state in 1976 via the 36th Constitutional Amendment.

Reasons for lack of development in North-East

North East Insurgency

1. Centralized Governance 

Indigenous people have little share in political and economic structures at the central level. This centralized approach has deprived the locals of determining the nature and context of the problem, thereby frustrating their aspirations of autonomy.

2. Economy controlled by outsiders

  • Indigenous people have little role to play in the economy of the region. E.g., most of the plantation industry is dominated by the immigrant labour force. 

3. Connectivity issues and lack of infrastructure

  • Due to the partition of India, North East turned into a landlocked region.
  • After the 1962 Indo-China war, Union didn’t build high-grade roads and other infrastructure for fear that it could lead to faster movement of Chinese troops.
  • Due to the hilly terrain, building highways in the North-Eastern region is difficult. Along with that, the entire North-East Region has 2,650 km of railway tracks, and except 180 km, the rest is in Assam. Air connectivity is also low, and 8 states have a total of 9 airports.

4. No Ease of Doing Business

  • North-Eastern States fare poorly on the Ease of Doing Business Index. Starting and doing business in these states is a challenging task. States like Mizoram, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh were ranked 29th, 30th and 31st on the list.

5. Ethnic issues

  • North East has many Tribal Ethnicities, usually rising against each other. 
  • Ethnic discord is marked by some communities being branded “outsiders”. These outsiders include
    • Chakmas in Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh
    • Hill versus valley disturbances in Manipur
    • Bangladeshis and Bengalis in Assam
    • Sikh sanitary workers in Shillong (Meghalaya)
    • Hajongs in Arunachal Pradesh


The imposition of AFSPA in the North-Eastern States and the heavy-handedness of the security forces have led to the feeling of discontentment among the people of the North-East. 

7. Power Deficit

Although there is immense potential for power production in the North East region due to swift-moving rivers, the potential is not tapped. Sikkim is the only state to be a power-surplus state. The rest of the NER states face acute power deficits.

8. Political representation

Many argue that one of the key reasons for not giving the Northeast a high priority is that with only 3.8% of India’s population, it only sends 24 Members of Parliament to the Lok Sabha, out of which Assam alone sends 14. 

Development plays a vital role in ensuring that the security of a state is maintained. However, when development goes haywire, the people go for agitations and, in extreme cases, take up arms against the state.

Recently, the Government of India has placed special emphasis on the development of the Northeast. As a result, North-Eastern states are showing rapid growth rates compared to other states of India. E.g., Meghalaya grew at a rate of 9.7%, and Arunachal Pradesh grew at the rate of 8.9% (even greater than Gujarat’s growth rate of 8.7%).

Reasons for Insurgencies in North East

Pre Independence Reasons

  • Tribes were not brought under strict political control and rigid regulations by the British Indian Administration.
  • British Tribal Policy and Christian education in North-East India are believed to be the genesis of demands for Independence from India. 

Post Independence Reasons

  • Ethnic and cultural specificities were ignored during the delineation of state boundaries in the 1950s, giving rise to discontentment and asserting one’s identity.
  • Underdevelopment, lack of connectivity, and inadequate health care and educational facilities created discontentment against the Union.
  • High unemployment rates in North-Eastern states due to a lack of industries force the youth to take up arms. E.g., Tripura has an unemployment rate of 25.2% in urban areas, followed by Nagaland with 23.8%.
  • Hostile neighbours extend moral and material support owing to porous international borders. Pakistan offers support, shelter, arms, etc., to various insurgent groups through ISI. China also plays a role in supporting and training some insurgent groups which have a communist inclination.
  • Ethnic diversity in the Northeast and government policy of integration: The tribes in the Northeast resisted the government of India’s measure to integrate all these tribes and their cultures into single Indian culture.
  • Deep sense of alienation due to the imposition of AFSPA: It has led to human rights violations and excesses by the security forces. 
  • Difficult terrain and weak infrastructure facilitate insurgents involved in a conflict.
  • The geography and terrain of a particular place are critical for the continuation of insurgent movements. Without supportive terrain, insurgent cadres stand little chance against the army.
  • The backlash against the continuous influx of outsiders from Bangladesh and Indians from other states into the Northeast. North-Eastern People consider this to be a threat to their distinct culture and an unbearable strain on their limited resources. 

Insurgent Groups active in North-East

A large number of insurgent groups are active in the Northeast. Their demands vary, ranging from a separate state to an independent homeland to better conditions for the ethnic groups they claim to represent.

1. Assam

  • ULFA (demanding independent sovereign nation-state of Assam) 
  • NDFB (creation of the separate sovereign state of Bodoland)
  • Kamtapur Liberation Organization (KLO)

2. Nagaland

Several factions of NSCN are active. These include

  1. National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak Muivah)
  2. The National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang)
  3. National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khole-Kitovi )
  4. National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Reformation)

3. Mizoram

  • Mizo National Front (MNF)
  • Bru National Liberation Front (Protecting the rights of the Reang community against Mizos by the creation of a separate state)

4. Manipur

  • Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP) (create an independent country and protect Meitei culture)
  • People’s Liberation Army of Kangleipak (PREPAK) (expel outsiders from Manipur)
  • People’s United Liberation Front (protect Muslim interests)
  • Kuki National Army (demanding Zalengam consisting of areas of India & Myanmar)
  • Manipur Peoples’ Liberation Front (MPLF)
  • Revolutionary Peoples’ Front (RPF)

5. Tripura

  • All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF) (to expel outsiders and restore the land to natives)
  • National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) (independence from the Indian Union)

6. Meghalaya

  • Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC)
  • Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA)

Impact of Insurgencies on North East

  • Lack of investment in the region due to lack of security and governance deficit.
  • The economy is severely affected due to the extortion of “taxes” by various factions on local people, businesses, officials etc.
  • Narcotic trade has boomed due to its position in the vicinity of the Golden Triangle.
  • High levels of unemployment in the region as no company is ready to invest in an insurgency-prone region.
  • It allows enemy neighbours (read Pakistan and China) to spur unrest in India by using these insurgent groups as their pawns. 

Strategy to contain Insurgency in the North-East

Government has to adopt a strategy consisting of a mix of development, military power, governance, dialogue and ceasefire to contain insurgency in the Northeast.

1. Development

  • Act East Policy: As many South Asian independent countries surround the North-Eastern States, they could act as India’s gateway to the Southeast Asian market. India can economically integrate its northeast into the south Asian market. In this pursuit, India is already building Kaladan Multimodal Project, IMT highway etc.
  • India is building infrastructure in the Northeast, like bridges & tunnels, at a great pace.   Japan is also interested in funding these projects.
  • The government has started North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme (NESIDS) and Hill Area Development Program to develop infrastructure in the North East. 
  • The government is trying to develop tourism in the North-East.
  • Provide jobs to people in the Northeast, especially in the BPO sector, as North-Easterners are proficient in English. Indian Government is already running North East BPO Promotion Scheme.
  • The government is promoting Organic food in these areas as it could fetch them good prices for their products. 

2. Governance

  • Tribal Areas of the North-East are placed in Schedule 6 of the Indian Constitution.
  • North East Council was established in 1971 for cooperation and sorting the issues between these seven north-eastern states.
  • In many core schemes, the Centre and State share the finances in a ratio of 90:10 (whereas in a normal state ratio is 60:40).
  • Inner Line Permit is required to travel a large part of the area in the North-East.

3. Dialogue

  • The government should dialogue with the insurgents and try to bring them back into the political fold. The aim of the government should be to encourage insurgents to fight through ballots instead of bullets. E.g., the Indian Government is in constant dialogue with NSCN and other Naga groups and is on the verge of signing the accord.

4. Surrender and Rehabilitation

The government is already running a Scheme for Surrender-cum-Rehabilitation of militants in the North-East, intending to wean away the hard-core militants and misguided youth who have taken the path of militancy and later themselves trapped into that net.

The terms of the scheme include

  1. An immediate grant of Rs. 4 lakhs to each surrenderee.
  2. Payment of stipend of Rs. 6000/- per month to each surrenderee for 3 years.
  3. Incentives for weapons/ammunition surrendered by the militants.
  4. Vocational training to the surrenderee for self-employment.

5. Military Power

  • The government should show the state’s might and try to curb the militancy with a heavy hand. In this regard, the government has already imposed AFSPA in the insurgency-hit North-East States.

6. End Racial Discrimination with North-Easterners in the mainland

  • Government should adopt the provisions of the Bezbaruah Committee to achieve this objective.

Side Topic: Bezbaruah Committee Report

  • Bezbaruah Committee was set up in February 2014 in the aftermath of Nido Tania’s death (a North-East student who was murdered in a racial attack in New Delhi). 
  • Mandate: To address the issues raised by people from North East, especially in the metro cities.
  • It suggested the following measures which the government of India could implement to end discrimination faced by the North-Easterners. 
    1. Enact new laws against discrimination and make it a cognizable and non-bailable offence.
    2. Create Fast-track Courts for handling the cases of racially motivated heinous crimes against North East people.
    3. Educate the children about North-East through education.
    4. Sports Ministry should take steps to hold regular national and international events in the North East as such events will create greater harmony and a better understanding of North-East culture.

Inner Line Permit Issue (ILP)

  • The Inner Line Permit regulates the entry of non-domicile citizens into a restricted region for a limited period.
  • British introduced the ILP system via The Bengal Frontier Regulation of 1873 to safeguard their revenue-generating regions in the Northeast against raiding tribal communities from the hills. 
  • The conditions and restrictions vary from state to state. 
  • It can be issued for travel purposes only. Visitors are not allowed to buy property.
  • Today, ILP is seen as a way to protect the demographic, cultural, political and social integrity of the small tribal populations in the hill states and reduce the competition for employment and access to resources between natives and non-natives.
  • Presently, it is applicable in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland and Manipur (added in 2022). Meghalaya is also demanding inclusion into the ILP regime.



This article deals with ‘Naxalism.’ This is part of our series on ‘Internal Security’, an important pillar of the GS-3 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.

What is Naxalism?

  • Naxalists are far-left-wing extremists adhering to the ideology of Mao Tse Tung (bringing revolution through the barrel of the gun) and aiming to overthrow the Indian state.
  • Naxalism derives its name from a village in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal called Naxalbari. 
  • Naxalism is the direct outcome of poverty and inequality in society. Naxalists claim to be fighting for equal division of resources (especially land).
  • During his tenure as PM, PM Manmohan Singh believed that Naxalism was the biggest threat India had ever faced.


Formation of CPI in 1925 In 1925, the Communist Party of India was formed by a group of young patriots drawing their inspiration from the Russian Revolution.
Telengana Movement (1945-51) The first instance of revolutionary communism in India was the agitation of Communists in the Telangana Movement (1946-1951).  
The movement’s objective was to establish its own state and get rid of Zamindars.
Peasants organized and armed themselves to fight against the Razakars (army of Nizam) and the Police.
Eventually, this conflict was ended by the security forces of the newly independent India.
Communist Party of India splits in 1964 – Communist Party of India (Marxist) [which was in favour of democracy] split from the Communist Party of India in 1964, influenced by the Sino-Indian War of 1962 & also by the differences of opinion on revolution 
CPI (M) was led by P. Sundarayya, Jyoti Basu, M.S. Namboodiripad and Harkishan Singh Surjeet.  

Naxalbari Phase

Naxalbari  Incident, 1967 Congress formed the United Front government alongside CPI (Marxist) on 3rd March 1967, in West Bengal. The day when new CM Ajoy Mukherjee was sworn in, an incident happened in the Naxalbari village of Darjeeling district in West Bengal. 
In the incident, tribal youth Bimal Kesan obtained a judicial order permitting him to plough his land. The incident began when Kesan went to his land and was attacked by the landlord (named Iswar Tirkey) and his goons. Bimal Kesan approached Krishak Sabha, whose leader was Kanu Sanyal, who offered to help him get his land. With this support, Tribal people attacked the landlord and started the rebellion.  

The state responded by speeding up the land reforms, setting up distribution committees and tackling the violence with police response.
1969 Another defection happened in CPI(M), and a new party named CPI (Marxist-Leninist) was formed aimed at becoming a truly revolutionary party under Charu Mazumdar (as General Secretary).
They indulged in armed violence in West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Bihar, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh with an agenda to annihilate class enemies.  
1970 – Kanhai Chatterjee formed Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) and launched violent campaigns. 
Naxalites started to spread their ideology in universities and radicalized students. As a result, a group of students stormed the State’s Legislative Assembly. 
In February 1970, the main ideologue, Charu Mazumdar, detailed his plans, later titled as “murder manual“, essentially directions for how the movement could eliminate class enemies (mainly landlords) among the peasantry.  
1970-1972 The government started an operation named “Steeplechase“, in which Military, paramilitary, and state forces participated jointly to end Naxalism. The extremist movement was crushed, and Charu Mazumdar was arrested in 1972. He later died in police custody.
But the movement spread to the southern state of Kerala and the Srikakulam district of Andra Pradesh.

During this phase, the movement struggled to gain the support of the working class, sharecroppers, agricultural labourers, urban middle class, and poor peasants because they did not see it as a fight for their own interests. Additionally, the general populace was not mentally prepared to engage in an “armed conflict.” The movements’ excessive affiliation with China robbed them of a nationalistic image, and this element was mainly responsible for their exclusion from the general populace.

Post Charu Phase: Early 1970s-2000

1975 There is a consensus that the movement ceased most activities when PM Indira Gandhi imposed a state of Emergency on the whole nation in 1975 after her iron hand movement.  
1977 Post Emergency, CPI (ML) was divided into two factions  
1. CPI (Marxist Leninist) Liberation: It was in favour of fighting elections. 
2. People’s War Group (PWG): It favoured armed struggle against the state.  
1982-89 Through a front group named the Indian People’s Front (IPF), CPI (ML) “Liberation” entered electoral politics in 1982.
The first Naxalite MP was elected to the Indian Parliament in 1989 after the IPF gained a seat in the legislative elections.

During this period, counterforces of upper caste landlords also started to come up in places like Bihar. One such organization called ‘Ranvir Sena’ ruthlessly massacred Naxalites and their suspected sympathizers.

The emergence of the CPI (Maoist): 2004-Present

2004 – Communist Party of India (Maoist) came into existence in September 2004 following the merger of the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC), which was strong in the Central Indian States and the People’s War Group (PWG), which was influential in the Andhra region. Presently, it is considered a terrorist organization under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act of 1967. 
Its goal remained the same – agrarian revolution through people’s war for the seizure of power from the state.

Recent Naxal Attacks

The Dantewada-Sukma-Bijapur axis (in Chhattisgarh) has remained the last bastion of Maoists in India.

2010 In a joint operation carried out by 1000 Naxalites, 76 security personnel were killed in Dantewara (Chhattisgarh), which was the worst attack ever.
2013 Naxalites attacked Congress workers in the Dharba Valley of Odisha, killing 30.
2017-18-19 Naxalists frequently killed CRPF personnel in the Sukma district of Bastar Division of Chhattisgarh.
2022 Naxals killed 22 Security personnel in the Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh.

Naxal Ideology and Strategy

  • They don’t believe in Parliamentary democracy and talk about building up an army to inflict a decisive defeat on the enemy’s armies. The immediate dream of the party is to accomplish a new democratic revolution in India by overthrowing imperialism, feudalism and bureaucratic capitalism through protracted people’s war to establish people’s democratic dictatorship. 2009 document released by the CPI (Maoist) Politburo extensively speaks about how the Parliamentary System has been compromised in the hands of the “imperialists”. 
  • Naxalites followed the strategy propounded by Mao Tse Tung in his book Yu Chi Chan (Guerrilla warfare). The Naxalites indulge in guerrilla warfare against the Indian Forces. 

The strategy of Naxalists / Maoists

  • Their strategy of expansion is three-fold as propounded by Mao. 
Naxalite cadres begin their work in remote 
hilly, tribal and rural areas to indoctrinate and 
recruit more fighters . 
Armed guerrilla warfare with aim of lowering 
morale of the Indian forces => high-profile 
individuals like police chiefs, political leaders 
are assassinated in low intensity battles. 
Stage 1 
Stage 2 
Conventional war is fought by establishing Stage 3 
regular army to get territorial control. Class 
enemies are annihilated & new order ruled 
by the working class is established. 

Modus Operandi

  • They kill the ‘class enemies’ (landlords) and those who do not subscribe to their ideology in areas under their domination, branding them as ‘police informers.
  • They destroy schools and other infrastructure like roads and telecom networks to cut-off the population in their strongholds from the mainstream milieu.
  • They forcefully recruit the cadre from the local young population and brainwash and indoctrinate them.
  • Maoist/ Naxal Organisations have so-called ‘Front Organizations’, which are the off-shoots of the parent Maoist party and profess a separate existence to escape legal liability. Front organizations (1) carry out propaganda/disinformation for the party, (2) recruit ‘professional revolutionaries’ for the underground movement, (3) raise funds for the insurgency, (4) assist the cadres in legal matters and (5) also provide safe houses and shelters to underground cadres.
  • CPI (Maoist) have close ties with many North-East insurgent groups and have frequently expressed their solidarity with the J&K terrorist groups. Apart from that, CPI (Maoist) also have close links with foreign Maoist organizations in the Philippines, Turkey, Nepal etc.

Urban Naxals

  • Urban Naxals are educated people in academia, media, NGOs and urban civil society in India who are attracted to the violent left ideology and support the violent insurrection against the State.
  • While the Naxalite movement is often associated with remote tribal areas, Urban Naxalism is a phenomenon in cities and urban centres.
  • The term has largely been used as a political tool. The Left Wing Division of the Union Home Ministry, in response to an RTI, has denied the usage of the term for official purposes. 

Incidents of Urban Naxalism

  • In 2004, a CPI (Maoist) document titled ‘Urban Perspective: Our Work in Urban Areas’ elaborated on Urban Naxalism. It emphasized mobilizing industrial workers and urban poor and building ‘tactical united fronts’ of like-minded organizations, including students, middle-class employees, intellectuals etc.
  • Later, in 2013, the arrest of a suspected Naxal militant working as a carpenter in Nagpur shocked police authorities, and authorities came to realize that Naxalite groups were gaining traction in urban areas.
  • In 2017, life Imprisonment was awarded to Delhi University professor G.N. Saibaba (by a local court), arguing that literature seized from the accused proved that he was a member of CPI (Maoist). (But Supreme Court had earlier held in Arup Bhuyan vs State of Assam that ‘A person’s membership with a banned group by itself will not implicate him until he uses violence or incites others to use violence.’)
  • In August 2018, 10 prominent individuals working for the human rights of Adivasis (including Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Gautam Navlakha and Stan Swamy) were arrested for being Urban Naxals and members of CPI (Maoist). (but this action goes against the SC Judgement in the case titled Arup Bhuyan vs the State of Assam).

What do Urban Naxals do?

  • According to the authorities, Urban Naxals, through their active propaganda, try to (1) romanticize Naxal attacks, (2) raise funds, (3)create safe houses for militants, (4) provide legal assistance to arrested cadres and (5) conduct mass agitations against government moves that curb the spread of Naxalism, while their rural comrades keep destabilizing governance in villages.


  • Extortion: According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, they are able to gather at least ₹ 2000 crore annually by extortion. Their main targets include road construction contractors, contractors of forest produce like Tendu leaf etc. 
  • Mining companies also give them protection money. The illegal mining industry in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand is also the source of finance for the Naxalites.
  • Naxalists also indulge in the poppy and opium cultivation trade. 
  • They also indulge in robbery and dacoity to fund themselves.
  • Agencies of foreign enemy nations like the ISI of Pakistan also fund them overtly or covertly.
  • Their supporters and sympathizers also fund them.

Cadre Recruitment

  • Naxalite cadres begin their work in remote hilly, tribal and rural areas, which governments usually ignore. It is easy to indoctrinate these people and recruit them. Naxal cadres live and work among the locals and socialize with them, gradually gaining their trust. Later, they slowly work their way into recruiting them into the Naxal Movement by appealing to their local problems, which are mostly related to their rights of Jal, Jangal and Jamin, social, caste and class issues. 
  • Coerced Naxal Recruitment, i.e. forceful recruitment from each Adivasi family. Sometimes, it leads to conflict between Naxals and Adivasis. In 1992–93, one such conflict in Chhattisgarh ended with the Naxalites killing 70 Adivasis.
  • Recruitment is also targeted at educated and university students affiliated with student organizations. They seek to attract professionals to defend & propagate their agenda among the educated classes. 
  • By giving incentives to recruits: These incentives needn’t be monetary but food ration to family, the position of authority etc.
  • Genuinely exploited tribals by mining companies and other contractors join the Naxalites on their own to settle their scores.

Naxal recruiters also perform a background check on every potential recruit before initiating the training process. Later, Naxalites are trained on the lines of professional armed forces, due to which they have now evolved into an efficient guerrilla force. Like a conventional army, the Naxal army is divided into squads, platoons, companies and battalions with strict discipline, a unidirectional chain of command, rigid hierarchy and leadership.

How is Naxalism the biggest threat??

  • The Maoist movement highlights India’s internal weakness, and this makes India vulnerable to external threats as well. A nation can’t effectively withstand threats coming from outside if it is unstable from the inside. 
  • Former Pakistani Director General of ISI equated India being busy with internal security problems to having two extra divisions in Pakistan Army for free. 
  • It affects India’s economic development as internal order & stability are necessary for the nation’s economic development. MNCs don’t invest in these regions because of the threat of extortion. 
  • To contain Naxalism, India has to spend a huge sum on the Military, and as a result, the social sector suffers.
  • It also affects democracy & the rule of law in disturbed areas.

Reasons for the growth of Naxalism

1. Slow implementation of land reforms in India

  • Land being the state subject, the Union had little to do with land reforms. On the other hand, the states had made only half-hearted land reforms. The speed of the land reforms was very slow, and Zamindars were able to use loopholes in the laws to dodge the transfer of land. It disillusioned the peasants and forced them to take their lands at gunpoint. 
  • Powerful sections of society have encroached on and occupied the government and community lands (even the water bodies). It has forced the oppressed to rise in the form of Naxalists. 

2. Displacement and forced eviction

  • Alienation of the tribals’ forest land due to the tribals’ inability to show ownership documents
  • Large-scale land acquisition and displacement for ‘public purposes’ without appropriate compensation or rehabilitation. E.g., Samantha Tribe from Odisha was evicted from their lands due to dam construction.

3. Economic situation in Red Corridor

  • There is a lack of employment opportunities even though MNCs are using their land & resources.  
  • The conflict between economic process & aboriginal land rights also fuels Naxalite activities. 
  • There is a deprivation of traditional rights in common property resources.

4. Governance Issues

  • There is a lack of basic amenities like health and education.
  • Unsatisfactory working of local government institutions: Earlier, PESA renewed some hope, but State governments have not devolved powers properly. 
  • Justice System in India is expensive and painfully slow. On the other hand, Naxals deliver quick and cheap justice through Jan Adalats. Hence, people look forward to the Naxals for justice instead of the State.
  • Lack of food security due to factors such as corruption in the Public Distribution System (PDS).

5. Social Situation

  • Stratified societies with caste & feudal divisions and significant inequalities in land holdings are the main reason for the growth of Naxalism in Andhra and Telangana.
  • High indigenous tribal populations, which MNCs exploit, are the main reason for their rise in  Odisha & Chhattisgarh.
  • Social indicators such as literacy, employment, etc., of the Naxal-affected areas are the worst among all the states.

6. Method of warfare

  • The Naxalite movement engages in guerrilla warfare. Hence, it is tough to contain them
  • Regions that have remained the showpiece of the Maoist ideology are the forests of Dandakaranya, which lie between the borders of Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. Hence, it is difficult for the Police to coordinate their activities.

7. Problem with our forces

  • There is no unity of command. Forces in each state work in silos.
  • Intelligence is also of poor quality. 
  • State Police has not risen to the situation and left it to Central Forces to deal with the problem of Naxalism.


Earlier, the government was using a narrow perspective by crushing the movement but was not addressing structural problems in society, which led to this situation. But now the government has decided to use a combination of

  1. Development in these areas 
  2. Opportunity for Naxalites to come back to mainstream 
  3. Using the might of the state to crush those who challenge the Authority of the state even after that
  4. Fighting them on the ideological level
  5. Provide good governance
  6. Public perception management

The government fully understands that Naxalites are India’s citizens and should be given a chance to return on the right path. Andhra Pradesh Model, the only state to contain the problem of Naxalism in large pockets, also used the above approach. 

Nepal, which was facing the Naxalism problem of a much larger scale, has successfully contained that problem by integrating Naxalists into society and giving them a lucrative offer to fight via ‘Ballot’ instead of ‘Bullet’. India can also learn from Nepali Experience. 

1. Development

  • Government should devote a larger budget allocation to health, education and social welfare.
  • Government must ensure that statutory minimum wages are given in these areas.

Measures already taken

  • 35 most affected LWE districts have been chosen in Aspirational District Scheme. 
  • Additional Central Assistance to LWE-affected districts covering 88 affected districts to build infrastructure has been running since 2016
  • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana and Roshni Scheme have been successfully running for skill development.
  • Road building under Road Requirement Plan (RRP) is running in 34 LWE-affected districts. 
  • MNREGA is running in Naxal Affected Areas. 
  • Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) will be used to install 175 additional mobile towers in the LWE districts. 

2. Dialogue, Reconciliation and Reintegration 

  • The state should continue to make dialogue with Naxals. 
  • Some reward and opportunity to start new life should be given to those who surrender. The States have brought out surrender policies for those Naxals willing to lay down their arms.
    • The Jharkhand government is providing Rs. 50,000 to surrendered Naxalites along with Rs. 2000 monthly payment, one acre of agricultural land, and free health and education to their children. 
    • Chhattisgarh government offered up to Rs. 3 lakhs for weapon surrender.

3. The union should help the state maintain law and order

Although Police & Public order are state subjects, the problem of Naxalism is of such a huge proportion that State can’t tackle it alone. The central government should help states by 

  • Providing CAPF, Cobra and Reserve Police. 
  • Helping to upgrade and modernize State police.
  • Providing helicopters in anti-Naxal operations.
  • Setting up of a Unified Command in Naxal-affected areas.
  • Reimbursing security-related expenditure under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme.
  • Filling up critical infrastructure gaps under the Special Infrastructure Scheme (SIS).

4. Strengthen State Police

  • According to Prakash Singh, State police forces are heavily dependent on the Central government. The mindset seems to be that Maoism is the government of India’s problem and, therefore, the Central forces should bear the brunt. The great lesson we learnt in Punjab was that until the State Police makes a frontal attack on the terrorists/Maoists, the battle will never be won.  
  • Reason: Although Central Forces are well trained and equipped with the latest arms, they don’t know the local terrain, language and society. This is why the role of the State Police becomes crucial in such operations.
  • Earlier, the Greyhounds of Andhra played a vital role in uprooting Naxalism from the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh state.
  • Chhattisgarh has also set up Black Panther Combat Force  (modelled on Greyhounds) to combat Naxalism.
  • Similarly, Jharkhand has constituted ‘Jharkhand Jaguars‘.
  • Union government is running the Construction of Fortified Police Stations Scheme, under which 400 police stations in 10 LWE affected States were to be built. 399 Police Stations have been constructed.
Combating Naxalism

5. Unity in Command

  • Our forces work in silos, and the Naxals exploit this lacuna to dodge the police forces in various states. 
  • Veerappan also used such guerrilla tactics. Finally, the Special Task Force (STF), specially formed with unity of command and consisting of Police from all three states, i.e. Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, neutralized Veerappan.
  • Keeping this in mind, a Unified Command has been set up in the States of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal.
Naxalism for UPSC

6. Use modern tech

  • The state should utilize modern technologies such as drones and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to contain the LWE.

7. Ideological

  • Government has to accept that Naxal Problem is being fought at two levels. 
    • Physical fight with guns & bullets on the ground 
    • Ideological fight. 
  • Mere defeating them on the ground will not end this problem. The government will have to defeat them ideologically too.

8. Stopping access to finances 

  • The government should cut their funding and freeze the accounts of organizations dealing with them.
  • Demonetization was a step in this direction.

9. Governance

  • States should effectively implement provisions of PESA, 1996 in letter and spirit on a priority basis. It would bridge the trust deficit between locals and the state.
  • Government should implement the Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, in LWE-affected states. 

Side Topic: SAMADHAN

In 2017, the Home Minister and CMs of Naxal-affected areas met and made a program to tackle Naxalism named SAMADHAN with the following components

  1. S = Smart leadership
  2. A = Aggressive strategy
  3. M = Motivation and training
  4. A = Actionable intelligence
  5. D = dashboard-based key performance indicators and key result areas
  6. H = harnessing technology
  7. A = action plan for each theatre
  8. N = no access to financing. 

Steps taken by the States

1. Andhra Pradesh Model

Andhra Pradesh is the state which has successfully contained Naxalism. Maoist violence started in the 1980s in Andhra and reached its maximum height in the late 1990s. Andhra government took the following steps to uproot Naxalism from the state t

  1. Grey Hound, an elite commando force to deal with Naxals, was raised in 1989. 
  2. The state gave complete freedom to Police and Grey Hounds to kill or arrest all the leaders.
  3. Police Stations were fortified.
  4. Naxals who were willing to surrender were allowed to do so.
  5. Development schemes like Janma Bhoomi and Joint Forest Management were launched. 
  6. The State Government set up the Department of Remote and Interior Area Development to look into the development of remote areas which were heavily hit by the Naxal violence.

2. Chattisgarh

Chhattisgarh, too has taken steps such as

  • Improved road connectivity by building road infrastructure on a massive scale 
  • The ‘Bultoo’ radio initiative enables the rural public to use their ordinary mobile handsets to record their points and songs in their language. These are then converted to Internet-based radio programs.
  • Chhattisgarh government offered up to Rs. 3 lakhs for weapon surrender.

But it must be noted that the Dantewada-Sukma-Bastar axis (in Chhattisgarh) has remained the last bastion of Maoists in India. Maoists in these regions indulge in frequent attacks on security personnel. From 2018 to 2020, 70% of security personnel’s deaths in Naxalist attacks happened in Chhattisgarh. 

Reasons that Chhattisgarh has not been able to control Naxalism in the state are 

  • Excessive reliance on Salwa Judum, which was declared illegal by the Supreme Court.
  • Rugged terrain makes large areas in the forests inaccessible.
  • Maoists, especially those led by local charismatic leader Hidima, enjoy popularity in this area.

3. Jharkhand

  • Constituted a special force named ‘Jharkhand Jaguar‘ modelled after the Greyhounds of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Launched special operations to weed out Maoists.
  • Tribal youth from the insurgency-affected areas were recruited as Special Police Officers (SPOs).
  • The Jharkhand government is providing Rs. 50,000 to surrendered Naxalites along with Rs. 2000 monthly payment, one acre of agricultural land, and free health and education to their children. 

4. Odisha

  • Odisha has fortified its Police Stations.
  • The state has given special training to police personnel.
  • A special force known as the ‘Special Operations Group’ was raised.
  • Infrastructure like roads was developed at a massive scale.

Present Situation

  • Presently, the spread of the Naxalist movement is as follows
Severely Affected Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, and Bihar
Partially Affected West Bengal, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana
Slightly Affected Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh
  • The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) redrew the red corridor in 2019, and the number of districts affected by Naxal violence has been reduced from 106 to 64. MHA has reduced the ‘worst-affected category’ districts from 36 to 30.
  • Due to steps taken by the government, Left Wing Extremism has been in the fall.
Naxal Attacks in India

Side Topic: Salwa Judum

  • Under Salwa Judum, the state government of Chhattisgarh started using the tribal-private militia to fight against Maoist, which led to extra-judicial killings  
  • In 2011, Supreme Court said it to be illegal. 

Side Topic: Right-Wing Terrorism/Rightist Terrorism

  • Right Wing groups are conservative. These people either want the status quo or want to return to a specific time in the past that they feel should be conserved. Some of these groups also resort to violence as a means to achieve their aim and perpetrate what is known as Right Wing Terrorism.
  • Examples include the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) of the USA, Green jackets of Denmark, ISIS of the Middle-East, Nazis of Germany and Fascism of Italy. Some of the Right Wing Terrorists also carry out terrorist activities on their own, like Christchurch Mosque Shooting in New Zealand. 
  • In India, Right Wing Terrorism is perpetrated by various hard-line religious extremist groups. Violence perpetrated against migrant communities citing the concept of “sons of the soil” also comes under this category.
Right-Wing Terrorism

Linkages between the Development and Spread of Extremism

Linkages between the Development and Spread of Extremism

This article deals with ‘Linkages between the Development and Spread of Extremism.’ This is part of our series on ‘Internal Security’, an important pillar of the GS-3 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.

Linkages between the Development and Spread of Extremism

What is Development?

Development encompasses the needs and means to provide a better life for the masses. It not only refers to economic growth but also human development. Developmental efforts should address the lack of capabilities, resources and opportunities to step out of poverty and deprivation.

It is a multi-dimensional phenomenon & measured on the following dimensions:-

1. Level of economic growth 2. Level of health services
3. Level of education 4. Degree of modernization
5. Status of woman 6. Level of nutrition
7. Quality of housing 8. Distribution of goods & services

What is Extremism?

  • Extremism is an ideology or political act far outside the perceived political centre of society & that claim to violate common moral standards.
  • Though this is a relative term which invites disagreement regarding benchmarks, it is broadly agreed that extremist views are not necessarily illegal and do not automatically lead to violence or harm. Extremism becomes a concern when those views promote violence, a phenomenon known as violent extremism.
  • Examples of Extremism in India
    1. Terrorism
    2. Naxalism
    3. Insurgency in North-East
    4. Mob Violence etc. 

Common indicators in extremism-affected areas

1. Governance deficit

  • There is no primary sustainable employment.
  • There are no basic healthcare and education facilities.
  • There is a lack of law & order and grievance redressal mechanisms.

2. Geographical Indicators

The geography of such a place is characterized by 

  1. Difficult terrain
  2. High forest cover
  3. Inaccessibility
  4. Tribal areas 

3. Social & Economic Indicators

Society and economy are characterized by

  1. High levels of poverty 
  2. Class & caste divisions
  3. Lack of gainful employment for youth 
  4. Very low levels of industrialization

4. Misc. Indicators

  • Drug Trafficking 
  • Religion & conversion issues 

So, what is the relationship between development and extremism?

There is a ’cause and effect relationship’ between development and extremism. But there is a debate on which one is the cause and which is the effect. 

  1. View 1: Underdevelopment leads to Extremism. E.g., Naxalism in Chhattisgarh, MP, Odisha etc.  
  2. View 2: Extremism leads to Underdevelopment. E.g., Entrepreneurs and FDI remains away from extremism-prone areas. 

Some scholars argue that development automatically generates a peace dividend through de-escalating conflict and political violence. Others argue development itself is the peace dividend that can arise after law and order has been established with the force of arm. These people believe that the spread of extremism makes any meaningful development effort useless. 

Role of Social Networking Sites in Internal Security Challenges

Role of Social Networking Sites in Internal Security Challenges

This article deals with the ‘Role of Media in Internal Security Challenges.’ This is part of our series on ‘Internal Security’, an important pillar of the GS-3 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.

Social Media / Social Networking


Social media is different from (ordinary) Media. Social Media allows people to raise voices who otherwise couldn’t speak or wouldn’t be heard. Hence

  • Media= Source of information 
  • Social Media = Source of Information + Platform for Expression

Categories of Social Media

Blogs and Microblogs Twitter
Content and Communities Youtube and Dailymotion
Social Networking Sites Facebook, Instagram etc.
Wikis Wikipedia
Blogs There are blogs of many writers, poets, and celebrities where the entries are written in a personal, conversational style.
Virtual World Games World of Warcraft
Virtual Social World Second Life

But there is no clear demarcation between them.

Role of Social Networking Sites in Internal Security Challenges

Characteristics of social media

1. User-generated Content

  • Citizens are participants, authors and content creators.

2. Conversation

  • Allow the users to start a conversation. E.g., Twitter gives 24*7 opportunities for two-way discussion.

3. Building Relationships

  • Social Media helps build new relationships and find friends based on shared interests, along with helping to maintain older ones.

4. Communication

  • Social Media can send mail, text message or voice message. Social Media has reduced communication barriers among people.

5. Information Sharing

  • Social Media is an information-sharing tool and can be assessed and commented on in real-time.

6. Building the Public Narrative

  • Social Media has become the most crucial instrument in today’s world to build the public narrative. E.g., In Indonesia, Instagram influencers were given 1st Corona vaccine, along with doctors, to dispel the religious fears among citizens that the vaccine is not ‘haram’ given that Pig gelatine was used as a stabilizer in the vaccine.

7. Marketing

  • Many organizations use social media strategies to reach out to customers and peers. Even governments have been using social media to broadcast information about schemes and programs.

But there are some negative characteristics

1. Unregulated Nature

  • Its content cannot be controlled, censored or shut down.  
  • It can harm national security and lead to riots. 
  • The servers of most of the social media channels are located outside India.  

2. Algorithmic filtering / Echo Chambers

  • Algorithms of Social Media sites are designed to create filter bubbles/echo chambers in which users only see viewpoints they agree with, which further hardens their prejudices.

3. Unequal Participation

  • On social media, the fringe groups could appear mainstream and vulnerable populations with lower social media footprint could end up ignored.

4. Fake News

  • It has allowed criminal actors to launch misinformation campaigns and incite violence.

5. Foreign interference

  • Foreign countries and their agencies can use Social Media as an information weapon to influence public sentiment in elections. E.g., Alleged interference by Russians in the 2016 US Presidential elections.

6. Provide a wider audience to the extremists

  • Extremists also use social media to live stream violent acts. E.g., White Supremacists livestreamed the killing of people in Christchurch, New Zealand (in 2020), showing how terrorists are using technology for their end. 

Threats posed by Social Media

1. Use of Social Media by Terrorists

1.1 Spread Propaganda

  • Internet & social media are used to spread ideological instructions & induct recruits by terrorist organizations. E.g., ISIS was able to attract Youth from European Nations and the US via their Social Media propaganda. 

1.2 Financing

Terrorists use social media to gather funds to finance their activities. Methods used by them include

  1. Direct Solicitation: through websites, mass mail etc.
  2. E-commerce: Terrorists use online payment tools to collect funds
  3. Exploitation of Online Payment Tools: Younis Tasauli, a terrorist, was the mastermind of UK Credit Card Fraud. Money collected through fraud was used to fund terrorist activities. 

1.3 Training

  • Terrorist groups are using Social Media sites to instruct on making explosives and carrying out terrorist attacks, along with methods to join the terrorist organization.
  • Al Qaeda even had an online magazine called ‘INSPIRE‘.

1.4 Planning & Execution

  • It involves remote communication between several parties, and social media help terrorist organizations in this regard.
  • End-to-end encrypted messages provided by platforms such as WhatsApp also help these terrorist organizations as these can’t be intercepted by intelligence agencies. 

1.5 Cyber Attack

  • It is the deliberate exploitation of computer networks as a means to launch an attack. Terrorist organizations are frequently carrying out cyber attacks. 
Use of Social Media by Terrorists

2. Use of Social Media in Riots

  • In the past few years, several instances have come to focus where communal clashes are being planned or instigated through fake videos circulating on Social Media. 
    1. Police acknowledged that WhatsApp groups were used to incite Muzaffarnagar riots in the run-up to the 2014 elections. Indian Mujahidin and Hindu fundamentalist groups incited these riots by circulating fake videos.
    2. Facebook and WhatsApp were used in the Delhi riots of 2000.
    3. Gau-rakshaks, Jat agitators, and protestors in Kashmir also took advantage of WhatsApp groups to organize themselves. 

The Government has responded by banning the internet in such instances, making India the global leader in imposing internet blackouts. But that is only a tactical solution which prevents immediate violence.

  • PARLER, a social network site similar to Twitter, was very popular among Trump supporters and was used by them to instigate Capitol building violence following the defeat of Donald Trump. The app was later banned from App Store.
Use of Social Media in Riots

3. Fake News

Fake news is news, stories or hoaxes created to misinform or deliberately deceive readers.

Agenda behind spreading Fake News

  • Influence the view of people 
  • Push a political agenda or cause confusion: Governments of countries such as Venezuela, the Philippines and Turkey were found to employ an army of ‘opinion shapers’ to spread the view of the party in power, drive their agendas and distort online discussions. 
  • It can often be a profitable business for online publishers. 

Fake news can be in the form of

  1. Satire
  2. Propaganda 
  3. Out-of-context information
  4. Conspiracy theories 
  5. Clickbait

Some incidents associated with Fake News

2012 It led to a Mass-Exodus of North Easterners from Bangalore.
2013 Muzaffarpur Riots happened due to the spread of fake news (discussed above)
2016 Russia is alleged to have used fake news to manipulate the US Presidential elections, leading to the win of Donald Trump.
2020 Riots happened in Delhi after Anti-CAA protests due to the spread of fake news on social media.
2021 Capitol Hill violence happened in Washington DC due to the circulation of fake news that US elections were rigged and the real winner of the election was Donald Trump.

Reasons for the spread of Fake News

  • The rapid pace of information dissemination: The pace at which false information can spread, especially on Social Media, is unprecedented.
  • Regulation problems: Social Media is difficult to regulate & censor due to its decentralized nature.
  • Algorithmic filtering: Algorithms are designed in such a way that the content suggested conforms with what a person is watching based on his browsing history. It creates filter bubbles and echo chambers which harden a person’s prejudices.
  • The fake news industry has developed as an organized industry, and companies have come up which provide the service of spreading fake news to anyone willing to pay the fees.

Threats posed by the Fake News

1. Political Threats

  • Political parties try to gain political advantages by polarising the voters.

2. Economic Threats

  • It can lead to loss of life and property, as fake news can lead to riots and lynchings. 
  • Fake news and subsequent breakdown of law and order machinery can also result in the shutting down of markets and disruption in the supply chains. 

3. Societal Threats

  • Fake news disturbs the social fabric of society as it can lead to tension and hostility between the communities.

4. International

  • Other countries use it in psychological warfare.
  • New technologies like Deep Fakes are used by the countries to target other countries. 

5. Loss of faith in Media

  • People have lost their faith in the media, and media houses are now seen as commercial entities 

Ways to contain it

  • Steps by various platforms
    • Twitter: They tag those spreading Fake news as ‘Manipulated Media’.
    • WhatsApp has introduced a feature to tell whether the message is forwarded. The veracity of forwarded messages is low.
    • Facebook: Facebook has introduced features like tagging a page repeatedly flagged by their ‘fact checkers’.
  • Various Indian sites like altnews.in provide fact-checks about various fake news circulating on social as well as mainstream media.
  • Fake news can also be checked using Blockchain technology and Artificial Intelligence. 
  • Using Legal Provisions
    • Sections 153A and 295 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) can be invoked against someone spreading fake news to create religious animosity. 
    • Defamation Suit: A person may pursue a civil or criminal defamation case if they perceive fake news as defamatory.
    • Contempt of Court law can be evoked against those spreading fake news about Judicial proceedings. 
  • Fundamental Duty to develop scientific temper: Citizens of the country are also required to develop a scientific temper, humanism and spirit of inquiry and reform under Article 51A (b) (Fundamental Duties). It can help to contain the spread of fake news. 
  • International Examples / Case Studies
    • WHO has established the Information Network for Epidemics (EPI-WIN) to track and respond to misinformation, myths and rumours regarding the spread of epidemics (like Covid 19).
    • BBC America has started a new initiative called SLOW NEWS to contain the spread of fake news, as the main reason for the circulation of fake news is the speed at which fake news is circulated in the age of social media. 

4. Negative impact of Social Media on Children 

  • Social Media sites like Facebook are difficult to regulate, and they expose children to inappropriate material for their age. 
  • In 2017, a game called Blue Whale on social media led to Children Suicides. 
  • Trolling on social media can lead to depression among children.

5. Use of Social Media by Organised Criminal Groups

  • Criminal organizations use Social Media as support, communication and coordination tools to conduct their illicit activities.
  • These kinds of illicit activities can be either purely information ones (i.e. spreading child pornography with fee, “virtual” identity thefts, phishing, the spread of viruses, Trojans, worms, etc.), or “traditional” ones (i.e. drug smuggling, human trafficking, money-laundering, transfer of documents from industrial espionage).

6. Others

  1. Honey Trapping
  2. Cyberbullying: People can misuse social media platforms to spread rumours and share videos that destroy reputations.
  3. Trolling: Women, leaders from non-ruling parties and people from disadvantaged communities face a disproportionately high number of trolls. 
  4. Jurisdictional challenge: There are complications in the jurisdiction as servers of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. are situated outside India.

Social Media and Police

The Police departments, globally and in India, are using social media in the following ways.  

  1. To gather information.
  2. To create awareness by disseminating information and forewarning citizens.
  3. To maintain a public interface and reduce the communication gap.
  4. To increase citizen participation to identify crime. 
  5. To get feedback from citizens and understand their grievances.
  6. Social Media provide anonymity. Hence, it helps citizens overcome their fear of complaining about law and order issues.

In India, the potential to use social media provides vast potential for policing in India, as millions of Indians are active users of Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and other platforms.

Police and other law agencies use it in many ways. Some examples are

  • All the state police forces have their official Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc., accounts for disseminating information and communicating directly with people. 
  • Social Media Labs Project by Maharashtra Police tracks activity on social media to anticipate and handle sudden flares up.
  • Delhi Traffic Police is using platforms like Facebook and Twitter to ease the handling of traffic-related issues.
  • Intelligence Bureau’s OPERATION CHAKRAVYUH uses Big Data Analysis of Social Media posts and other things to find trails of youth that are getting radicalized. 

Social Media and Politics

Social Media has changed the ways of doing politics in India. Some of the examples to corroborate this fact includes

Social Media and Politics

Benefits of Social Media in Politics

  1. Help the parties to disseminate their campaign, messages and ideas more effectively to the public.
  2. Facilitate two-way communication between the public and political parties.
  3. Cost-effective compared to print and digital media.
  4. Facilitate targeted delivery of the message.
  5. Levels the playing field


  1. Post-truth politics: “Post-truth” describes situations in which appeals to emotion and personal belief have a greater influence on public opinion than objective facts.
  2. Proliferation of fake news: Through social media, unverified information can circulate freely on the internet, increasing instances of fake news. 
  3. Troll the dissenting opinion: Online abuse in the form of trolling, verbal threats etc., of people with dissenting opinions.
  4. Misuse of data: For example, 2018 Cambridge Analytica case where personal data of millions of Facebook profiles was harvested without their consent and reportedly used for targeted messaging. 
  5. Propensity to fuel social instability: Allowing hate speech and extreme speech to thrive in unregulated online spaces, particularly in regional languages, has widened societal fault lines.

Role of Media in Internal Security Challenges

Role of Media in Internal Security Challenges

This article deals with the ‘Role of Media in Internal Security Challenges.’ This is part of our series on ‘Internal Security’, an important pillar of the GS-3 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.

Introduction to Media

  • Media is derived from the word medium (meaning carrier or mode).
  • It denotes an item through which any kind of information, news, entertainment, education, data, promotional messages etc., can be disseminated.

Different types of Media

Media itself can be divided into several categories like

Print media Newspapers, magazines and books
Electronic Media Television, radio, websites etc.
Social Media Facebook, Instagram, Youtube etc.
Role of Media in Internal Security Challenges

Role of Media

The role of media in a country is crucial, and it is said to be the ‘Fourth Pillar of Democracy‘.

  1. It helps citizens to make responsible and objective choices
  2. It promotes government accountability by providing information about its functioning to the common public.
  3. Media is used to educate people through the news and social commentary.
  4. Media plays an instrumental role in bringing change in the attitudes and habits of the masses. For example, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
  5. Media also helps in the project of national integration by providing information about different parts of India. 
  6. Media plays the most critical role in shaping public perception. 

Constitutional and Legal provisions regarding Media

  • Article 19 of the Indian Constitution deals with freedom of speech and expression.
  • Articles 105(2) and 194(2) allow the Indian Press to publish or report the proceedings of the parliament and the state legislatures.
  • The Press Council of India is the regulatory body of the Indian press. Its main functions include
    • Preserve the freedom of the press
    • Maintain & improve the standard of newspapers and news agencies in India. 
    • It can receive complaints of violation of journalistic ethics or professional misconduct by an editor or journalist.
  • News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA): NBSA is an independent watchdog set up by the Indian News Broadcasters Association on its own to consider and adjudicate complaints about broadcasts.
  • Broadcasting Code:  Originally, the code was set up to govern All India Radio (AIR). But all the major media organizations also follow this code voluntarily. The principles include:
    1. Addressing controversial issues impartially and dispassionately
    2. Ensuring the objective reporting of news and unbiased commentary in order to improve culture and education
    3. Raising and maintaining high standards of decency and decorum in all programs
    4. Encouraging religious tolerance, communal harmony, and international understanding
    5. Respecting human rights and dignity

But there are some restrictions on the media as well. These include 

  • Union & State legislatures can put ‘reasonable restrictions’ on free speech under Article 19(2) on 8 grounds i.e.
    • Sovereignty & integrity of the nation 
    • Security of state 
    • Friendly relations with foreign states 
    • Public order 
    • Decency and Morality 
    • Contempt of court
    • Defamation 
    • Incitement to an Offence
  • Defence of India Act, 1962: It was passed in the wake of the Sino-India war of 1962. It empowers the Central Government to issue rules with regard to prohibiting publication which would undermine or threaten the civil defence. 
  • Civil Defence Act, 1968: It enables the government to establish rules prohibiting the production and dissemination of any book, newspaper, or another item that compromises the nation’s and its citizens’ civil defence.

Principles of self-regulation for Media

Media has the power to influence the decisions of others and play an essential role in informing others. Hence, it becomes necessary that media follows certain principles of self-regulation.

  1. Accuracy and Objectivity in reporting: Accuracy is at the heart of reporting & errors must be corrected promptly.
  2. Ensuring Neutrality and Impartiality: Media platforms should give equality to all affected parties. They should ensure that allegations are not portrayed as facts and that charges are not portrayed as an act of guilt.
  3. Media should take care that they do not indulge in sensationalizing news to gain more TRP.
  4. There should be a wall between managerial/ownership activities and editorial jurisdiction.
  5. The media shouldn’t glorify crime and violence. Media platforms should not glamorize it, whatever their intention may be, as it influences the young generation negatively. 
  6. The media shouldn’t depict a woman or juvenile victim or witness of rape, aggression or trauma without concealing their identity. Media shouldn’t show nudity or porn in any form and shouldn’t intrude on private life unless a larger public interest is involved.
  7. Don’t endanger national security: Media platforms should use maps and terminology mandated by the law. Media shouldn’t broadcast content that encourages secessionist groups and furthers their interests.
  8. Media platforms should refrain from advocating or encouraging superstition or occultism.
  9. Media must not intrude on individuals’ private lives or personal affairs unless there is an established larger and identifiable public interest. 
  10. Sting operation should be the LAST RESORT: Media platforms cannot use sex or narcotics to carry a sting. Along with that, the sting should be in the larger public interest. Additionally, footage should be shown in full without alteration in the footage. 

Self-regulation is the best form of regulation, especially in the case of media. Hence media should try to stick to the above principles so that its freedom remains ensured.

How does media threaten national threat?

  • Breaking News Phenomenon: In India, far too many channels compete for viewership. With the phenomenon of ‘Breaking News’, news channels start to run any news without checking the veracity of facts. It frequently culminates into social tensions, communal riots and regional tensions between various ethnic groups. E.g., Mass exodus of North-Easterners from Bangalore.
  • Sensationalization of national security-related issues: During the hijacking of flight IC 814 to Kandahar, Indian media accurately reported the movement of army personnel and influenced the decision of political leadership, which led to poor negotiations and the eventual release of terrorists. 
  • Reporting on the sub-judice matter: Matters pending in the court are freely reported and discussed in the media. A parallel trial by the media can potentially vitiate the atmosphere around which a citizen is supposed to get justice. In certain high-profile cases, the media almost declares someone guilty or innocent, thereby putting the judiciary under tremendous pressure. For example, the media trial on the Sushant Rajput suicide case (2020), Jessica Lal case(2010) and Priyadarshini Mattoo case (2006)
  • By telecasting live coverage of Anti-terror operations, media can provide information on the deployment of security forces to the terrorists. For example: during the 26/11 Mumbai attack, the media telecasted live the operations carried out by the security forces. Terrorists also got access to the information resulting in significant casualties. Later, the government added a new clause to the 1994 Cable Television Network Rules’ Program Code. This provision limits media coverage of counterterrorism operations to periodic briefings by an authorized officer and forbids live coverage of such operations.
  • Media can flare communal riots by irresponsibly reporting on sensitive issues such as caste and communal conflict. E.g., The Muzaffarpur riots of 2013 or the Delhi riots of 2020. 
  • Fundamentalists can also use media to spread hate speech and radicalize the population. For example,
    • Zakir Naik’s Peace TV was spreading hate speeches against different religions and sects other than the Sunni sect of Islam. It has played an important role in radicalizing youth in Bangladesh.  Zakir Naik and his TV is already banned in the UK, Canada and Malaysia. India, too banned his NGO & TV in 2016.
    • Channels like Sudarshan news spread hate against the Muslim community. SC had to intervene to impose a pre-telecast ban on its “UPSC Jihad” program.
  • Indian media’s analysis of national security issues by groups of former diplomats, generals and self-proclaimed patriots (like Shifuju) distorts national security perspectives.

To prevent terrorists from using the media to achieve their goals, the media must exercise caution. Years ago, terrorism specialist Brian Jenkins said, “Terrorism is theatre.” Media also likes theatre. How many videos produced by the Islamic State may then be aired on TV without furthering their cause? There is no conclusive response. Their videos accomplish a dual aim by horrifying and motivating different groups of people.

Case Study: Media (Radio) during the Tutsi Genocide (Rwanda)

  • In early 1990, anti-Tutsi articles and cartoons started to appear in the Kangura newspaper. 
  • In June 1993, the RTLMC (Radio Station) started broadcasting in Rwanda. The radio station used rowdy language spoken by street thugs. It was specially designed to appeal to the unemployed.
  • “Slavery” was a term repeated throughout the transcripts, with guests on the radio station recalling the state of Hutu slavery during colonization. Drawing on such a vocabulary, the radio broadcasts characterized the Rwandan genocide as a slave rebellion.  
  • During the Riot, RTLMC was broadcasting such sentences again and again. 
    • “The graves are not yet full.” – This means killing more Tutsis.
    •  “go to work” – Meaning get your machete and kill Tutsis.

If the radio was a powerful medium then, where you only needed a transistor & few batteries, we have smartphones & WhatsApp today. The plethora of hate messages we get on WhatsApp mirror the phenomenon of the RTLMC, a concerted attempt to fabricate a newer version of history.

Side Note: Background to the Tutsi Genocide

Anti Tutsi Genocide (Rwanda)
Tutsi Genocide

Way Forward

  • Press Council of India should be empowered to penalize newspapers, news agencies, editors, etc., for the violation of its guidelines.
  • News Broadcasters Association (NBA) which represents private television news broadcasters, should be given statutory status on the lines of the Press Council of India.
  • Media should not indulge in ‘Media Trials’ as it meddles with a trial in accordance with the law.



This article deals with ‘Cloning – UPSC.’ This is part of our series on ‘Science and Technology’, an important pillar of the GS-3 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.

What is Clone?

  • A clone is either an organism or a cell produced asexually from an ancestor.
  • A cloned cell is genetically & physically identical to its ancestor.
  • British biologist JBD Haldane in 1963, theorized for the first time that it would be possible to produce genetic duplicates from all living organisms if a living cell from any part of the organism is available. 

Dolly Sheep Cloning Experiment

  • In 1997, Ian Wilmut and his team at Scotland’s Roslin Institute successfully cloned a sheep from the mammary glands of an adult female.
  • In the process, Scientists chose three sheep: Molly, Polly and Holly
Polly (Black face) They removed genetic material from her egg cell. Hence, the egg was acting as an empty vessel.
Molly (White face) Genetic material was extracted out of Molly’s cells and planted in Polly’s empty egg cell, creating an embryo. 
Holly The embryo was planted in Holly’s womb. Thus, Holly became a surrogate mother.


White-faced sheep named Dolly was born from the womb of Holly. But Dolly was a clone of Molly as its DNA was exactly the same as that of Molly. 


Type of Cloning

1. Molecular Cloning

  • It is the process of making multiple molecules.
  • It is widely used in biological experiments & practical applications ranging from genetic fingerprinting to large-scale protein production.

2. Animal Cloning

  • Discussed above

3. Human Cloning

Human cloning is further of two types

3.1 Reproductive Cloning

  • It involves delivering a baby by transferring the nucleus of an adult human cell to an enucleated human egg cell & allowing the manipulated egg cell to grow normally in the uterus of a surrogate mother.

3.2 Therapeutic Cloning

  • It involves using stem cells from the cloned human embryo to produce human organs & replacement tissues for medical purposes.
  • The organ thus produced contains the DNA of a sick person. Hence chances of organ rejection, in this case, are almost none. Along with that, the patient does not require to take immunosuppressant drugs for the remaining life, which is currently required during transplants.
  • Apart from that, it can help to understand the cause of genetic diseases and the process of cancer formation.

Positive effects of Cloning

  • Cloning can help as a backup system for human beings as vital organs like the heart, liver, kidneys etc., can be cloned.
  • It can help to produce plants and cells with favorable traits to be produced at a mass scale. 
  • It also aids in stem cell research.
  • Animal cloning has an application in saving endangered species. E.g., Chinese scientists successfully cloned Wild Arctic Fox, an endangered species native to Canada’s Queen Elizabeth Island, in an effort to save it from getting extinct.

Ethical Issues

  • Reproductive cloning can undermine respect for human life.
  • It may destroy social institutions like family, marriage etc.
  • It may lead to the loss of genetic diversity among humans.
  • Nations can raise cloned armies to fight against their enemies.
  • Clones may be used for slavery, which may constitute the sub-human race. 
  • Religious bodies also object to human cloning as interference in godly affairs.

Current Law

India Human cloning for reproductive purposes is banned.
UK In 2001, the UK became the first country to legalise Therapeutic Cloning.
United Nations UNGA has adopted a non-binding UN declaration on human cloning, calling for a ban on all forms of human cloning contrary to human dignity in March 2005.
USA Currently, there is no federal law to ban cloning completely. But 12 states have banned reproductive cloning & 3 states prohibit the use of public funds for this purpose.

Issue of Drug Trafficking

Issue of Drug Trafficking

This article deals with the ‘Issue of Drug Trafficking .’ This is part of our series on ‘Internal Security’, which is an important pillar of the GS-3 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.


  • Drug Trafficking is an important topic. Hence, we will do this topic in detail. 
  • As per Home Ministry, there are 40 lakh drug addicts in India.
Issue of Drug Trafficking

How is India used as Transit for Drug Trafficking?

Golden Crescent and Golden Triangle

1. India-Pakistan Border

  • Golden Crescent, the largest producer of opium & cannabis in the world, is situated on the feet of the Indo-Pakistan Border. 
  • Porous borders, disturbance in the areas, closing traditional Balkan route via Iran during the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988), the outbreak of the Sikh militancy in the mid-1980s and the Kashmir militancy in the late 1980s, support from Pakistan etc., are the major reasons behind drug trafficking across India-Pakistan border.

2. India-Nepal & India-Bhutan Border

  • Two-way smuggling is happening in this region as  
    • Heroin and Marijuana / Ganja come to India from Nepal and Bhutan. 
    • Low-cost Codeine-based pharma preparation from India is exported to Nepal & Bhutan.  
  • Well-developed road infrastructure and porous borders facilitate this business.

3. India-Myanmar Border

  • India – Myanmar border is situated on the foot of the Golden Triangle. 
  • The growing demand for drugs in the North-East and insurgency and porous nature of the Indo-Myanmar border facilitate this.

4. Sea Routes

  • Both the east & west coasts of India are used for the drug trade.
  • During the 1990s, the civil war started in Sri Lanka. Hence drugs from the Af-Pak region came to India & exited through Sri Lanka.
  • Tuticorin & Kochi emerged as the top drug trafficking ports in India.

5. Air Routes

  • Both major & minor airports are used in this pursuit. These include Delhi, Mumbai, Amritsar, Hyderabad and Bangalore airports.
  • Drugs are trafficked from these airports to Lagos & Addis Ababa for African drug cartels. 

6. Domestic Production

  • Additionally, India produces a considerable quantity of opium, part of which finds a place in the illicit market. 
  • E.g., In Rajasthan, farmers can produce opium for medicinal purposes after getting a license. But a considerable part of opium thus produced is smuggled into the illegal market.

Side Note: Golden Crescent and Golden Triangle

  • The golden crescent refers to the mountainous area of Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.  
  • Golden triangle is the region of Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand, south of the Chinese border.

Opium has been grown in these regions for hundreds of years, and they are the two major sources of narcotic drugs worldwide.

Why is India vulnerable to drugs? 

  • India is situated in the vicinity of Golden Triangle and Golden Crescent, and it acts as a transit point for drugs from Golden Triangle and Crescent. Furthermore, cannabis (ganja) also grows in many parts of the country and marijuana is cultivated in hilly regions of India (like Mallana in Himachal Pradesh).  
  • Indian Parliament has passed the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substance (NDPS) Act of 1985, providing minimum punishment of 10 years. But its implementation by the states has been tardy.  
  • India’s border with Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar is porous. Along with that, there are issues with border guarding infrastructure. The drug traffickers exploit these loopholes for the illegal trade of drugs into India. 
  • Drug Trafficking is also used to fund terrorist activities by insurgents in the North East.
  • Some religious sects also promote the drug, as many Hindu deities are associated with drugs such as marijuana.
  • Unemployment among the youth takes them on the path of drug abuse.
  • The rise of virtual currencies like Bitcoin has also increased funding avenues for smugglers and drug traffickers.
  • The breakage of the joint family system and traditional societal milieu and the emergence of an individualistic lifestyle have been other reasons for people falling into the drug trap.
  • Role of mediaGlorification of drug abuse in media, such as in web series and movies.

Impact of Drug Abuse

  • Impact on Individual: Drug Abusers suffers from diseases, such as HIV, and the development of mental illnesses, suicides etc.
  • Impact on the Family: Families of drug abusers suffer from domestic violence, which adversely affects the mental and physical well-being of women and children. 
  • Socio-Political Impact: It threatens social stability as the crime rate increases rapidly. Drug abusers indulge in robbery and other crimes to buy drugs. 
  • Threat to the demographic dividend of India: It takes a significant toll on valuable human lives and causes loss of productive years of person. 
  • Threat to National Security: Various terrorist groups are involved in the business of drug trafficking to fund their activities.

Steps taken by the government

  • Parliament has already passed Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS Act), with a minimum punishment of 10 years. The central government can add or omit any drug from the list of psychotropic substances. For instance, in 2015, the central government classified mephedrone – also called meth or meow meow – as a psychotropic substance in the Act after its popularity grew among the youth.
  • Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has been constituted under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS Act) to control the menace of the drug in the country.
  • India has strengthened its border security infrastructure and Coast Guard to stop the entry of drugs from neighbouring countries.
  • India has signed and ratified International Conventions, namely.
    • UN Convention on Narcotic Drugs
    • UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances 
  • India has entered into arrangements like bilateral Agreements and Memorandum of Understanding with Nepal, Thailand and Myanmar on Drug Trafficking.
  • According to Article 47 of the Indian Constitution, the state is duty-bound to prevent the consumption of intoxicating drinks and drugs. 

Way forward

  • Cutting off the drug supply lines by law enforcement agencies should be the priority. 
  • Government should strictly enforce the provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. 
  • Government and society should focus on creating mass awareness programs using the educational system, media, and religious figures. 
  • Sports facilities and other facilities which keep youth engaged in constructive work, like NCC, NSS, and youth parliaments, should be promoted. 
  • Many drugs in India have religious sanctions because they are associated with Hindu deities, so religious organizations must be roped in. 
  • The number of rehab centres and healthcare professionals for addicts is very few. These facilities should be increased. 
  • Big corporate houses should provide counselling facilities for their employees as employment-related stress is emerging as a major factor leading to drug addiction.

Concept of Climate Change

Concept of Climate Change

This article deals with ‘Concept of Climate Change  – UPSC.’ This is part of our series on ‘Environment’, an important pillar of the GS-3 syllabus. For more articles on Science and technology, you can click here.

What is Climate?

  • Climate is often described as average weather 
  • The classical period is 30 years. 

What is climate change?

  • Climate change is the periodic modification of the usual weather of the place. This change could be in the form of a change in the average temperature or precipitation pattern.
  • The rate of climate change is dependent on causal factors, which may be gradual or drastic, regional or global.

The causes of Climate change can be broadly divided into natural and anthropogenic causes as follows

Natural Factors 1. Changing physiology of the Earth
2. Volcanism
3. Changing Carbon Sink
Anthropogenic Factors 1. Green House Gas emissions
2. Atmospheric aerosols
3. Changing land-use pattern

What is Global Warming?

  • Global Warming is the increase in the average temperature of Earth’s atmosphere leading to changes in global climate patterns. 
  • The primary reason behind global Warming is the addition of an excessive amount of Green House Gases by humans since the inception of the Industrial Revolution.

Green House Effect

Earth receives the Sun’s insulation in the form of short waves, and it heats the surface. After being heated, the Earth starts to radiate backwards in the form of long waves. The Earth’s atmospheric gases (particularly Green House Gases) are transparent to shortwave radiation but absorb longwave radiation, thus indirectly heating Earth’s atmosphere.

But the Green House Effect is a natural process that warms the Earth’s surface. It helps maintain the Earth’s temperature around 33 degrees warmer than it would be in its absence and makes life possible on the Earth.

Gases which show the Green House Effect

Concept of Climate Change

1. Water Vapour

  • Water Vapour is the most abundant GHG, but it doesn’t play an essential role in climate change as it spends a very short time in the Earth’s atmosphere. 
  • The water vapour varies rapidly with the season, altitude and region.

2. Carbon Dioxide

  • Carbon Dioxide is the most crucial GHG in climate change as it is produced naturally and through anthropogenic activities. 
  • Natural sources of CO2 include animal respiration and volcanic eruptions. On the other hand, anthropogenic causes include burning fossil fuels and deforestation. 

3. Methane

  • The primary sources of Methane are the decomposition of organic matter and the digestion process of ruminants (like cows, goats etc.). 
  • But Green House potential of Methane is far more than that of Carbon Dioxide. Hence, even a lesser amount of Methane can cause much more damage. 

4. Nitrous Oxide

  • Nitrous oxide is a very powerful Green House Gas that is produced during the manufacturing and use of nitrogenous fertilizers. 

5. Chloro Floro Carbons (CFCs)

  • CFCs are manmade chemicals used in refrigerants and air conditioners, having considerable GHG potential and posing a great danger to Earth’s Ozone Layer.

Factors affecting the Climate Change

Climate change resulting from the change in energy entering and leaving the planet’s system can be caused by natural and anthropogenic factors.

Factors affecting the Climate Change

Natural Causes

Natural causes include continental drift, volcanoes, ocean currents, the Earth’s tilt, and comets and meteorites.

1. Continental Drift and Plate Tectonics

  • Due to plate tectonics, continents keep on changing their position. 
  • This drift impacts the climate because it changes the position and features of landmasses, such as a change in the flow of ocean currents and winds, which affects the climate.

2. Milanković Cycle / Variations in the Earth’s Orbit

The phenomenon was discovered by Serbian scientist Milanković in the 1900s, according to which the motion and tilt of the Earth change due to the gravitational pull between Sun and Moon. This results in what is known as Milanković cycles having a significant impact on climate and causing glacial and interglacial periods.

3. Volcanic Activity

  • Volcanic eruptions result in an outburst of Green House Gases (especially Sulphur dioxide) and ash, impacting climatic patterns. 
  • For example, massive volcanic eruptions 56 million years ago raised the global temperature by 8° C, and it took around 50,000 years to stabilize the climate.

4. Ocean Currents

On longer time scales, thermohaline circulation plays a crucial role in redistributing heat by extremely slow and deep transportation of the ocean water and redistributing the heat globally.

Anthropogenic (Human Caused) Factors

1. Green House Gases

  • Natural Green House Effect helps make Earth a habitable place by maintaining the average temperature on Earth at around 14°C instead of -19°C without the Green House Effect.
  • But human activities can increase the concentration of Green House gases leading to global Warming. 

2. Excessive Deforestation

  • Excessive Deforestation has been carried out worldwide as a source of wood and to convert forest land to agricultural land. Dense forests help absorb carbon dioxide and reduce the Green House Effect.


Forcings mean the initial drivers of climate change, such as insolation, Green House Gases, aerosols, smoke, dust etc.


Feedback Effect

Feedbacks are the processes that can amplify or reduce the effects of forcings.

In other words, due to the warming of the Earth, numerous changes occur in Earth’s atmosphere, which can impact the temperature. These factors are called Feedback impacts. Some of these changes can increase the temperature, while others can cool down the atmospheric temperature.

1. Feedback from Water Vapour

  • Water vapour is one of the most crucial feedback effects. A slight warming of the Earth due to more sunlight or an increased greenhouse effect will increase the quantity of water vapour in the atmosphere. As water vapour is also a greenhouse gas, the extra water vapour will increase the greenhouse effect even more. Thus water vapour has an amplifying effect on global warming. 

2. Feedback from Snow and Ice-Cover

  • The feedback effects from ice and snow-covered surfaces are similar. When the climate is cold, there is a lot of ice and snow on Earth, and the shiny surface reflects back sunlight to make it colder. But warmer climate results in lesser snow which leads to less reflection of solar radiation to outer space and increased warming. 

3. Feedback from Clouds

  • All clouds both cool the Earth by reflecting sunlight into space and warm it up by absorbing heat from the surface.  
  • The feedback effect depends upon the type of cloud.
    • Thin Cirrus Clouds (which appear high up in the atmosphere) generally have a warming effect. 
    • On the other hand, low Cumulus and Stratus clouds have a cooling effect. 
Feedback Effect

Carbon Footprint

  • Carbon footprint measures the total GHG emissions (under Kyoto Protocol) caused directly & indirectly by a person, organization, event or product.
  • GHGs under Kyoto Protocol are 
    1. Carbon Dioxide 
    2. Methane
    3. Nitrous Oxide
    4. Hydro Fluro Carbon
    5. Per Fluro Carbon
    6. Sulphur Hexaoxide 
  • Carbon Footprint is expressed as tons of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e). tCO2e is calculated by multiplying the emissions of each of 6 GHGs by their 100-year Global warming potential.

How can I reduce my carbon footprint?

How can I reduce my carbon footprint?

Global Warming Potential

Global Warming Potential for a gas is the measure of the total energy that a gas absorbs over a particular period, usually 100 years, compared to Carbon Dioxide. 

Gas GWP Lifetime years
CO2 1 50-200
CH4 21 12
Nitrous oxide 310 120
HFCs 140-12000 1-270
PFCs 6500-9200 800-50,000
SF6 23,900 3200

Side Topic: Carbon Bombs

Carbon Bombs
  • It is “an oil or gas project that will result in at least a billion tons of CO2 emissions over its lifetime.”
  • As of the end of 2022, there are 195 carbon bomb projects worldwide. These include projects such as 
    1. Carmichael Coal Project, owned by the Adani Group
    2. Gevra Coal Mines in Chhattisgarh, owned by Coal India
    3. Rajmahal Coal Mines in eastern Jharkhand 

Ecological Footprint & Debt

Ecological Footprint

Ecological Footprint
  • It is the measure of human demand on the Earth’s ecosystem. The ecological footprint represents the impact that an entity (nation/town/individual) made on Earth that year by consuming Earth’s resources.  
  • Global Hectare is the average productive land and water an individual requires to produce all the resources it consumes. In 2007, it was 2.7 Hectares /Person.

Water Footprint

It is the volume of freshwater used to produce goods and services by an individual or community.

It is of the following types

Blue WFP Blue Water Footprint is the volume of freshwater evaporated from global blue water resources, such as rivers, ponds, lakes, wells, etc.,  for producing goods and services used by an individual or community.
Green WFP Green Water Footprint is the volume of freshwater evaporated from global green water resources such as moist lands, wetlands, farms, soil etc.,  for producing goods and services used by an individual or community.
Grey WFP Grey Water Footprint is the volume of fresh water polluted for producing goods and services used by an individual or community.

Ecological Debt

Ecological Debt can be defined as the amount by which the consumption of resources from within an ecosystem exceeds the ecosystem’s regenerative capacity.

Ecological Debt

Ecological Debt Day/Earth Overshoot Day

  • Ecological Debt Day or Earth Overshoot Day refers to the calendar date when the total resources consumed by humanity will exceed the capacity for Earth to generate those resources that year. 
  • It is not a fixed date but keeps on changing each year. WWF and Global Footprint Network decide it.
28 JULY 
i.e. total resources consumed by 
humanity in 2022 exceeded the 
Earth's capacity to generate 
resources that year. 

Side Topic: Earth Day

  • It is celebrated on 22 April (every year) to increase awareness of environmental safety among ordinary people. 
  • UNESCO organizes it.
  • The theme of 2022: Invest in our Planet