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1 June 2024 : Daily Answer Writing

Q1) Discuss the importance of tackling cross-border threats for effective border management. To what extent can the people living in India’s border regions help in enhancing border security?

 

(150 Words/10 Marks)

 

 

ANS

India has 15,106.7 Km of land border and a coastline of 7,516.6 Km including island territories which is physically, ethnically and culturally diverse.

Significance of managing cross-border threats in border management is as follows:

  1. Cross-border flows of drugs and arms fuels insurgency in northeast. Supplies of weapons to Naxals in deep hinterlands of central India is also sourced through cross-border supplies.
  2. It is crucial to prevent use of difficult border terrain as safe havens or escape routes by militants.

E.g., Naga and Kuki militant groups.

  1. It is needed to counter illegal migration which has serious implications on internal security and domestic politics.

E.g., issue of NRC in Assam.

  1. The increased complexities of border management due to use of technology and Fig: India’s territorial and maritime borders new methods such as drones requires effective response.

E.g., drone attack on Jammu air base or use of drones for smuggling arms and explosives.

  1. It is important to safeguard sovereignty of the country from strategic threats.

E.g., Chinese incursions in Galwan valley.

While the state has a major role in securing long frontiers of India, the people living in border regions are also vital for the safety of borders as discussed below:

  1. Locals can be a valuable source of intelligence.

E.g., during Kargil war, intelligence about Pakistani incursions was provided by local shepherds.

  1. It can improve logistical support for armed forces.

E.g., employment of locals for critical infrastructure projects, defence supplies and maintenance.

  1. Development cooperation can help in restricting crime-based economic activities like trafficking of arms, human and narcotics.
  2. Growth of local economy through means like tourism can reduce local support for militancy in border areas.
  3. Development partnership with locals can be a basis for stronger cross-border ties including people-to-people ties and economic linkages.

E.g., Multi-modal transport in Sabroom along India-Bangladesh border.

Comprehensive border management requires a combination of development efforts in border regions and effective check against cross-border threats.

Following steps are needed to improve both the aspects in border management:

  1. Improve neighborhood relations including settlement of border disputes.
  2. Infrastructure improvement in border regions to improve local economy in border regions as well as strengthen defense supply lines.
  3. Regional economic integration can help address problems like illegal migration across borders.

Local Indians in border region are not only an aid to border management, their presence itself is an assertion of Indian sovereignty in remote areas. Countering cross border threats requires integrated role for locals whose development is critical to safeguard India’s borders. Recent initiatives such as Vibrant Villages program to reverse migration from border villages is a welcome initiative

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