News: Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat, an Army Brigadier, and 10 others were killed when an Indian Air Force helicopter carrying them crashed into a heavily wooded area of the Coonoor ghat in the Nilgiris in western Tamil Nadu.
About Chief of Defence Staff:
The Chief of Defence Staff of the Indian Armed Forces (CDS) is the military head and chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee of the Indian Armed Forces.
The CDS is the senior-most and highest-ranking uniformed officer on active duty in the Indian military, and is the principal staff officer and chief military adviser to the Minister of Defence.
The Chief also heads the Department of Military Affairs. The first Chief of Staff was Bipin Rawat who took office on 1 January 2020 and held it until his death on 8 December 2021.
The CDS is a four-star officer selected from among the serving officers of the Indian Armed Forces. While being “first among equals” among the service chiefs, the CDS is a single-point military advisor to the defence minister.
The CDS is assisted by a deputy, the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff.
The CDS heads the Department of Military Affairs under the Ministry of Defence, as its secretary. Apart from heading the DMA, the CDS is the Permanent Chairperson of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (PC-CoSC).
General K. V. Krishna Rao advanced creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff in June 1982. The position was first officially suggested in 1999 following the Kargil War through the recommendations of the Kargil Review Committee.
As the Permanent Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee, CDS will perform the following functions:
It comprises one Additional Secretary and five Joint Secretaries.
Implementing weapons procurement procedures.
Integrating operations of the Army, Air Force and Navy.
Bring about jointness and ensure optimal utilisation of infrastructure in the three Services.
Apart from being the military advisor for the government, the CDS also heads the Department of Military Affairs.
Authority to create theatre commands as and when needed.
Command tri-service agencies, organisations, and commands including those related to cyber and space.
CDS will be a member of Defence Acquisition Council and Defence Planning Committee
Function as the Military Advisor to the Nuclear Command Authority.
Bring about reforms in the functioning of three services aimed at augmenting combat capabilities of the Armed Forces by reducing wasteful expenditure.
Assign inter-services prioritisation to capital acquisition proposals.
Uniform and Insignia:
While the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) wears the appropriately coloured uniform of their parent service, the gold-wreathed tri-service emblem of the Indian Armed Forces (the Naval anchor, crossed Army swords and Air Force eagle, all surmounted by the national emblem of India) is used in place of service insignia and unit emblems.
The wreathed tri-service emblem is also substituted for service cap badges, uniform button and belt badge service insignia, shoulder flashes and the shoulder rank badges of a four-star officer with The four-star gorget patches similar to that used by a service chief.
While the car pennant is that of the officer’s parent service, the tri-service emblem is substituted for the rank stars.
About Hybrid Warfare:
Hybrid warfare is a theory of military strategy, first proposed by Frank Hoffman, which employs political warfare and blends conventional warfare, irregular warfare and cyberwarfare with other influencing methods, such as fake news, diplomacy, lawfare and foreign electoral intervention.
By combining kinetic operations with subversive efforts, the aggressor intends to avoid attribution or retribution.
Hybrid warfare can be used to describe the flexible and complex dynamics of the battlespace requiring a highly adaptable and resilient response.
2. SECTION 124A OF THE INDIAN PENAL CODE
News: Anirban Roy Choudhury, editor and co-owner of a news portal in southern Assam who was slapped with sedition, was released on a personal recognisance bond.
About Section 124A:
Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code lays down the punishment for sedition. The Indian Penal Code was enacted in 1860, under the British Raj.
Section 124A forms part of Chapter VI of the Code which deals with offences against the state.
Chapter VI comprises sections from 121 to 130, wherein section 121A and 124A were introduced in 1870.
The then British government in India feared that Muslim preachers on the Indian subcontinent would wage a war against the government.
Particularly after the successful suppression of Wahabi/Waliullah Movement by the British, the need was felt for such law.
Throughout the Raj, this section was used to suppress activists in favour of national independence, including Lokmanya Tilak and Mahatma Gandhi, both of whom were found guilty and imprisoned.
About Wahabi Movement:
This movement, centred around Patna was an Islamic revivalist movement, whose stress was to condemn any change into the original Islam and return to its true spirit. The movement was led by Syed Ahmed Barelvi.
The movement was active since 1830s but in the wake of 1857 revolt, it turned into armed resistance, a Jihad against the British. Subsequently, the British termed Wahabis as traitors and rebels and carried out extensive military operations against the Wahabis.
The movement was fully suppressed after 1870. British also introduced the term “sedition” in the Indian Penal Code 1870 to outlaw speech that attempted to “excite disaffection towards the government established by law in India”. Thus, this movement marks the beginning of sedition law in India.
3. KEN – BETWA LINK PROJECT
News: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the funding and implementation of the Ken-Betwa river interlinking project at a cost of ₹44,605 crore at the 2020-21 price level.
About Ken – Betwa Link Project:
The Ken-Betwa Link Project (KBLP) is the River interlinking project that aims to transfer surplus water from the Ken river in MP to Betwa in UP to irrigate the drought-prone Bundelkhand region.
The region spread across the districts of two states mainly Jhansi, Banda, Lalitpur and Mahoba districts of UP and Tikamgarh, Panna and Chhatarpur districts of MP.
The project involves building a 77-metre tall and a 2-km wide Dhaudhan dam and a 230-km canal.
Ken-Betwa is one of the 30 river interlinking projects conceived across the country.
The project has been delayed due to political and environmental issues.
About Ken and Betwa Rivers:
Ken and Betwa rivers originate in MP and are the tributaries of Yamuna.
Ken meets with Yamuna in Banda district of UP and with Betwa in Hamirpur district of UP.
Rajghat, Paricha and Matatila dams are over Betwa river.
Ken River passes through Panna tiger reserve.
About National Perspective Plan for interlinking of rivers:
The National River Linking Project (NRLP) formally known as the National Perspective Plan, envisages the transfer of water from water ‘surplus’ basins where there is flooding, to water ‘deficit’ basins where there is drought/scarcity, through inter-basin water transfer projects.
Under the National Perspective Plan (NPP), the National Water Development Agency (NWDA), has identified 30 links (16 under the Peninsular Component and 14 under the Himalayan Component) for the preparation of feasibility reports (FRs).
The NPP for transferring water from water-surplus basins to water-deficit basins was prepared in August 1980.
4. POSHAN ABHIYAAN
News: State Governments and Union Territories utilised only 56% of the total funds released under the Poshan Abhiyan or Nutrition Mission in the past three years, the Government told Parliament.
About Poshan Abhiyaan:
POSHAN Abhiyaan is an overarching umbrella scheme to improve the nutritional outcomes for children, pregnant women and lactating mothers by holistically addressing the multiple determinants of malnutrition and attempts to prioritize the efforts of all stakeholders on a comprehensive package of intervention and services targeted on the first 1000 days of a child’s life.
It seeks to do so through an appropriate governance structure by leveraging and intensifying the implementation of existing programs across multiple Ministries while at the same time trying to rope in the expertise and energies of a whole range of other stakeholders – State Governments, Communities, Think tanks, Philanthropic Foundations and other Civil Society Actors.
It aims to reduce child stunting, underweight and low birth weight by 2 percentage points per annum and anaemia among children (and young females) by 3 percentage points per annum.
It is based on 4 pillars Ensuring access to quality services across the continuum of care to every woman and child; particularly during the first 1000 days of the child’s life.
Ensuring convergence of multiple programs and schemes: ICDS, PMMVY, NHM (with its sub components such as JSY, MCP card, Anaemia Mukt Bharat, RBSK, IDCF, HBNC, HBYC, Take Home Rations), Swachh Bharat Mission, National Drinking water Mission, NRLM etc. Leveraging technology (ICDS-CAS) to empower the frontline worker with near real time information to ensure prompt and preventive action; rather than reactive one.
Jan Andolan: Engaging the community in this Mission to ensure that it transcends the contours of being a mere Government programme into a peoples’ movement inducing large scale behaviour change with the ownership of the efforts being vested in the community rather than government delivery mechanisms.