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22 May 2024 : PIB Summary for UPSC

1. Jointness 2.0, that is developing Joint Culture in Armed Forces, is the way forward, says CDS Gen Anil Chauhan

Topic: GS2 – Governance
Context
Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan outlined the importance of jointness and integration for creating Integrated Theatre Commands (ITC), aimed at enhancing military readiness.

● Speaking at a memorial lecture, he emphasised advancing to “Jointness 2.0” for better operational efficiency and incorporating multi-domain operations, including cyberspace and digitization.

 Analysis of the news:

  • Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Anil Chauhan emphasised that jointness and integration are essential for creating Integrated Theatre Commands (ITC), crucial for advanced military preparedness.
 Chief of Defence Staff (CDS):
Background

● Recommended in 2001 by a Group of Ministers (GoM) studying the Kargil Review Committee (1999) report.

● Integrated Defence Staff created in 2002 to serve as the CDS’s Secretariat.

Naresh Chandra Committee (2012) suggested a Permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee.

Officially created in 2019 on the recommendation of a committee led by Lt General DB Shekatkar.

● General Bipin Rawat appointed as the first CDS on December 31, 2019.

Roles and Responsibilities

Foster operational synergy between the Army, Navy, and Air Force.

Head the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) in the Ministry of Defence.

Single-point military adviser to the Defence Minister.

● Prioritise inter-service procurement decisions as Permanent Chairman-Chiefs of Staff Committee.

● Provide directives to the three service chiefs without command authority.

● Advisory role in the Nuclear Command Authority (NCA).

Significance

Enhances synergy between armed forces and the Ministry of Defence.

Accelerates decision-making as Principal Military Adviser (PMA) to the Defence Minister.

● Addresses dysfunction in the Chiefs

  • Speaking at the 22nd Major General Samir Sinha memorial lecture, he explained that ITCs will separate operational functions from administrative ones, enhancing focus on security.
  • He introduced “Jointness 2.0” as the next step in fostering a joint culture among the armed forces, moving beyond the initial phase of inter-service consensus.
  • General Chauhan highlighted that joint culture should respect each service’s uniqueness while integrating their strengths, aiming for the highest common factor rather than the lowest common denominator.
  • He mentioned that ITCs will initiate reforms, including multi-domain operations, integration of space and cyberspace, battlefield digitization, and data-centric operations.
  • The mandate of the CDS includes ensuring jointness across various military functions, with the reorganisation into geography-centric ITCs as a priority.
  • Progress on ITCs had stalled due to a lack of consensus and the death of the first CDS, General Bipin Rawat. With General Chauhan now in position, the process is back on track.
Significance of Integrated Theatre Commands (ITC):
What is Integrated Theatre Commands (ITC)?

● Integrated Theatre Commands (ITC) are unified military structures that combine resources and personnel from the Army, Navy, and Air Force under a single command.

● Their purpose is to streamline operations, enhance jointness, and improve overall military effectiveness by focusing on combined, multi-domain warfare and coordinated defence strategies.

 Significance of Integrated Theatre Commands (ITC):

Enhanced Coordination: Integrated Theatre Commands (ITC) ensure seamless coordination among the Army, Navy, and Air Force, enabling unified and efficient responses to threats.

Operational Synergy: ITCs foster jointness, promoting interoperability and cohesive action among different service branches during operations.

Resource Optimization: Shared resources and unified command structures reduce redundancy, leading to more efficient use of defence resources.

Faster Decision-Making: Streamlined command chains and reduced bureaucratic layers allow for quicker decision-making in critical situations.

Improved Strategy Implementation: Centralised planning and execution enhance the implementation of comprehensive military strategies.

Enhanced Flexibility: ITCs provide the flexibility to reallocate forces and resources swiftly in response to dynamic threat environments.

Effective Joint Operations: ITCs enable more effective planning and execution of joint operations, improving combat effectiveness and mission success.

Promote Modernization: ITCs drive modernization by integrating advanced technologies and capabilities across the services.

Holistic Defence Posture: A unified command structure enhances India’s overall defence posture, ensuring a robust and cohesive defence mechanism.

Practice Question:  Discuss the significance of Integrated Theatre Commands (ITC) in enhancing the operational efficiency and jointness of the Indian Armed Forces. How do ITCs contribute to modern military preparedness and what challenges might arise during their implementation? (250 Words /15 marks)

 

2. India to facilitate the first-ever focused working group discussions on Antarctic tourism at the 46th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) in Kochi

Topic: GS2 – International Relations
Context
India is spearheading discussions on regulating tourism in Antarctica at the 46th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) and 26th Meeting of the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP) in Kochi, Kerala.

● Over 350 participants from nearly 40 nations are attending to address issues related to Antarctica’s governance and environmental protection.

 Analysis of the news:

  • India is set to lead discussions on regulating tourism in Antarctica at the 46th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) and 26th Meeting of the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP) in Kochi, Kerala.
  • The meetings aim to address issues related to the science, policy, governance, management, preservation, and protection of Antarctica, with over 350 participants from nearly 40 nations.
  • India, a Consultative Party to the Antarctic Treaty since 1983, plays a crucial role in governing Antarctica’s scientific exploration and environmental protection.
 Antarctic Treaty:
Signed in 1959: The Antarctic Treaty was signed by 12 countries, establishing Antarctica as a zone of peace and scientific cooperation.

Demilitarization: Prohibits military activity, nuclear testing, and the disposal of radioactive waste in Antarctica.

Scientific Research: Facilitates scientific research and promotes international cooperation in exploration and study of the Antarctic region.

Environmental Protection: Requires environmental impact assessments for activities in Antarctica and protects its fragile ecosystems.

Open to All Countries: Allows any UN member state to become a consultative party to the treaty, participating in decision-making on Antarctic issues.

Longevity: It is one of the most successful international agreements, fostering peace and cooperation in Antarctica for over six decades.

  • Discussions on regulating tourism have been ongoing since 1966, but a dedicated working group for this purpose has been formulated for the first time at the 46th ATCM hosted by India.
  • India has a legal framework to regulate its activities in Antarctica, including tourism, through the Indian Antarctic Act enacted in 2022, aligning with international standards.
  • India’s involvement extends to facilitating discussions for the possible induction of Canada and Belarus as consultative parties to the Antarctic Treaty System, promoting scientific research and international cooperation.
Disproportionate Impact of Climate Change on Antarctic Region:
Climate Change on Antarctic Region:

● During each summer, a substantial volume of meltwater is generated, posing a threat to the stability of ice shelves

The Antarctic Peninsula has experienced a 3°C warming, leading to the retreat of formerly stable ice shelves.

Since the 1950s, approximately 25,000 km2 of ice shelf has been lost.

Reasons for Disproportionate Impact of Climate Change on Antarctic Region:

Rapid Warming: The Antarctic region is experiencing faster warming than the global average due to feedback mechanisms and polar amplification.

Melting Ice: Accelerated melting of polar ice caps and glaciers contributes to sea-level rise, threatening coastal regions worldwide.

Loss of Ice Shelves: Disintegration of ice shelves due to warming temperatures weakens the stability of the Antarctic ice sheet, leading to increased ice flow into the ocean.

Altered Ecosystems: Climate change disrupts Antarctic ecosystems, affecting biodiversity, food chains, and species distribution.

Ocean Acidification: Absorption of atmospheric CO2 by Southern Ocean waters leads to ocean acidification, impacting marine life and ecosystems.

Way Forward:

Mitigation Measures: Implement ambitious global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit global warming to mitigate the impacts on the Antarctic region.

Enhanced Research: Increase funding for scientific research to improve understanding of Antarctic climate dynamics, ice dynamics, and ecosystem responses to climate change.

Conservation Efforts: Strengthen conservation measures to protect Antarctic biodiversity and ecosystems, including marine protected areas and sustainable fisheries management.

International Cooperation: Enhance international cooperation and collaboration on climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies for the Antarctic region.

Policy Advocacy: Advocate for policies and agreements that prioritize climate action and protect the Antarctic environment, such as the Paris Agreement and the Antarctic Treaty System.

Practice Question:  Discuss the significance of climate change in Antarctica and its implications for the Antarctic Treaty System. How can the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings (ATCM) contribute to addressing climate change concerns in the region? (150 Words /10 marks)

 

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