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Organized Crime

Organised crime is defined as a set of continuing serious criminal activities for substantial profit. Organised criminals working together for the duration of a particular criminal activity or activities are what we call an organised crime group. Successful organised crime groups often consist of a durable core of key individuals assisted by a cluster of subordinates, specialists, and other more transient members, plus an extended network of disposable associates. Sometimes organised crimes are run by families.The core intention behind committing an organised crime is not to take revenge or harm someone, rather it is a kind of illegal business for earning profits. However, the crime which is committed naturally involves some kind of physical and/or mental injury.It employs illegitimate methods-monopolisation, terrorism, extorition and tax-evasion to drive out or control lawful ownership and leadership, and to extract illegal profits from the public. Organised crime also corrupts public officials to avert governmental interference 8 and is becoming increasingly sophisticated. In India, in addition to its traditional spheres of activities which included extortion, seeking protection money, contract killing, boot-legging, gambling, prostitution and smuggling, now added is drug trafficking, illicit arms trading, money laundering, transporting illegitimate activities based essentially on its readiness to use brute force and violence. By corrupting public officials and thereby monopolising or near monopolising, organised crime aims to secure for itself power. Later, the money and power it begets are used to infiltrate legitimate business and several other related activities.9 The recent experience has shown that it attempts to subvert and corrupt our democratic processes.Characteristics Of Organised CrimeContinuity -  The criminal group operates beyond the life span of individual members and is structured to survive changes in leadership.Structure - The criminal group is highly structured and there is an organised system to accomplish each component of the crime.Membership - The membership in the core criminal group is restricted and based on common traits such as ethnicity, criminal background or common interests. The rules of membership include secrecy, a willingness to commit any act for the group and intent to protect the group. In return for loyalty, the member of a criminal group receives economic benefits, certain prestige, and protection from law enforcement.Violence - Violence and the threat of violence are an integral part of a criminal group in order to carry out the illegal activities. Types Of Organised CrimeDrug Abuse and Drug Trafficking- India is geographically situated between the countries of Golden Triangle (Myanmar, Thailand, Laos) and Golden Crescent (Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan) and is a transit point for narcotic drugs produced in these regions to the West. India also produces a substantial amount of opium. Smuggling- It consists of clandestine operations leading to unrecorded trade. Goods which are illegal in the territory of India or heavily taxed are smuggled to continue their trade or maintain profits.  India has a vast coast line of about 7,500 km and open borders with Nepal and Bhutan are prone to large scale smuggling of contraband substances,  valuable jewels, electronics, certain fabrics, and other consumable items.  Money Laundering and Hawala- This crime is governed by the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002. Many criminals are engaged in this profession where they help people with an illegal income to convert it into a legitimate income.Human trafficking and Prostitution- This involves women trafficking, child trafficking, trading in sex workers, etc. A book titled “Indian Mafia” by S.K. Ghosh has revealed that there are more than twenty-five lakh prostitutes in the country and roughly, three lakh prostitutes get into the profession every year.  The underworld is closely connected with brothels and call girl rackets, making plenty of money through this activity. They supply young girls to brothels in different parts of the country, shuttling them to and from the city to minimise the risk of their being rescued. According to a study conducted by the Indian Health Organisation, there are over 1,000,000 prostitutes in Bombay and an equal number in Calcutta. Delhi and Pune have an estimated 40,000 each. Prostitution in itself is not a crime, but forcefully dragging young girls or running a brothel imposes criminal liability. Contract Killings - The offence of murder is punishable under section 302 IPC by life imprisonment or death sentence. The chance of detection in contract killings is quite low.   Kidnapping for Ransom Illegal Immigration -  Absence of valid documents like passport and visa leads to many people aspiring for jobs in foreign land, like the Gulf Countries, falling into the trap of unscrupulous travel agents and employment agencies.Dacoity and Related Offences - Dacoity is one of the oldest forms of crimes in India and is committed purely for the purpose of looting or extortion. Section 391 of the Penal Code defines dacoity as a robbery committed by five or more persons. It is punishable with imprisonment for life or rigorous imprisonment up to 10 years and five months (section 395).Terrorism & Narco - Terrorism Terrorism is a serious problem which India is facing. Conceptually, terrorism does not fall in the category of organised crime, as the dominant motive behind terrorism is political and/or ideological and not the acquisition of money-power. The Indian experience, however, shows that the criminals are perpetrating all kinds of crimes, such as killings, rapes, kidnappings, gun-running and drug trafficking, under the umbrella of terrorist organisations. The existing criminal networks are being utilised by the terrorist leaders. India faced serious problems in the Punjab in the 1980s, which has since been controlled with the installation of a popular government. The North East still continues to be in turmoil due to the unlawful activities of ULFA and NSCN. The terrorist groups there are partly financing their operations by kidnappings for ransom of tea garden executives and extortion from businessmen. PWG and LTTE, in small pockets of southern India, continue to indulge in continual acts of violence.  Laws governing organised crimes in IndiaA. Indian Penal CodeCriminal Conspiracy- Sec. 120-A of the Indian Penal Code makes criminal conspiracy a punishable offence. When two or more persons commit a crime, it ammounts to criminal conspiracy. Section 120-B of the India Penal Code provides for punishment for criminal conspiracy.Additionally, these organised criminals shall also be charged for the specific crime which they have committed. For instance:Contract killings- Section 300 and Section 302 of the IPC which deals with murder. Kidnapping- Section 360, Section 363 and Section 364A of the IPC.Human trafficking- Section 370 and Section 370A of the IPC.Dacoity- Section 395, Section 399 and Section 402 of the IPC. B. Preventive lawsNational Security Act, 1980The National Security Act provides for preventive detention of individuals by the Central Government or the State Government or by the officers designated by this Government. The detention order is issued for one year with a view to preventing a person from acting in any manner prejudicial to the defense of India or to the friendly relations with foreign powers. The expression ‘security of India’ is open to liberal interpretation and this Act is used against anti-national elements and hard core gangsters. Detention is an executive action and the case does not go to the court for trial. Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1988The Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1988, derived from The United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1988 (known as the Vienna Convention) , provides for detention of persons engaged in illicit drug trafficking. The Central Government or the State Government or designated officers of these Government, can pass an order for detaining such a person with a view to preventing him from engaging in illicit traffic in narcotic drugs. The detention can be made for one year but in certain circumstances it is extendable to two years.  C. Miscellaneous lawsApart from these laws, there are various other laws that govern certain specific organised crimes.  Customs Act, 1962  for cases related to smuggling  Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 for cases relating to money laundering. The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956The Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1973The Public Gambling Act, 1867 The State Government has also legislated on subjects like excise, Prohibition and gambling etc.Some states have specific laws governing organised crimes in their jurisdiction, like The Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act 1989, The Uttar Pradesh Gangsters and Anti Social Activities [Prevention] Act. 1986, The Karnatka Control of Organised Crime Act 2000. Problems In Controlling Organised CrimesInadequate Legal StructureIndia does not have a special law to control/suppress organised crime. The existing laws target individuals and not the criminal groups or criminal enterprises. Being a member of a criminal gang is not punishable under the Penal Code, the only exception being the gang of dacoits. Under section 167 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the police are mandated to file the charge sheet within 90 days from the date of arrest, failing which the accused is liable to be freed on bail.Organised crime is intricate in nature and has inter-state and even international ramifications which makes investigation difficult, resulting in acquitals. The bail provisions are quite liberal (sections 437 to 439 CrPC).Section 438 of the CrPC provides for anticipatory bail even in heinous offences. These loopholes are often misused by politically influential and rich people.Difficulties in Obtaining ProofThe absence of laws to provide protection to the witnesses against organised gangs make it difficult to catch the criminals in the upper strata or hierarchy.   Also, people are unwilling to act as witnesses.  Involvement of common people makes crimes undetectable, like in gambling and prostitution, the people in general are willing participants.   Slow Pace of Trials & Low Conviction RateSlow pace of trials in India. The average time of trial may run into years. Low conviction rates. Only about 38% murder and rape cases result in conviction in India. The percentage of conviction in dacoity cases is still lower, even after specific provision in the IPC.  Lack of Resources & TrainingInadequate number of police personnel and associate staff. Lack of for the criminal justice system agencies    Lack of training facilities for the investigation of organised crime. No specialised cells to handle organised crime investigations. Inadequate number of courts and the trial of organised crimes by ordinary courts. Lack of Co-ordinationIndia does not have a national level agency to co-ordinate the efforts of police organisations as well as central enforcement agencies. No agency to collect, collate, analyse, document and function as a central exchange of information relating to international and inter-state gangs operating in India and abroad. Similarly, there is no system of sustained pursuit of selected gangs at the national and State level. Problems in coordination between the Central Government and the State Governments and between one State Government and another State Government due to political differences.  The information that comes into the hands of Central and State investigating agencies is not exchanged timely. Thus, valuable clues are lost. Dual Criminality The crime syndicates do not respect national boundaries. Certain crimes, particularly drug trafficking, are planned in one part of the world and executed in another. Different nations have different legal structures. A certain act may be crime in one country but not in another.   Extradition of criminals from one country to another is possible only when the principle of dual criminality is satisfied. India has faced problems in the extradition of certain fugitive criminals on this count.  Criminal, Political & Bureaucratic NexusExtensive network of criminals with the bureaucrats, government functionaries, politicians, media persons and democratically elected individuals at the local level. Some of these syndicates also have international linkages, including with the foreign intelligence agencies. Gangs enjoy the patronage of local level politicians. Some of them collect large funds from the criminal syndicates for electioneering. Criminals acquire considerable political clout by funding politicians and expanding influence among people due to wide reach.    The political influence of these syndicates has deep penetration into the investigating and prosecuting agencies also. Ways to Combat Organised CrimeStrengthening of Criminal LawsNeed for Speedy TrialRecruitment of sufficient staffImproving Co-ordination and Setting Up Specialised Units to deal with Organised crime.Common Database for Enforcement AgenciesEfficient and state of the art trainingProvision for protection of staff and witnessesEnhancing International CooperationSpeedy Extradition of Fugitive CriminalsPolitical CommitmentPublic Awareness and Education              

Terrorism as a threat to India

Terrorism is a forceful and unlawful method to achieve a desired goal. It disrupts the social fabric and causes huge loss of life and property. It is the gravest violation of human rights. In the Indian context, terrorism has been inspired by political, ideological and ethnic factors. It is paramount to keep a check on terrorism so that the citizens can peacefully enjoy their social, economic and political rights. The 8th report on terrorism in India published in 2008 defined terrorism as the peacetime equivalent of war crime. The Indian government’s definition of terrorism is same as one widely used by Western nations as well as the United Nations, proposed by Schmid and Jongman in 1988. An act of terror in India includes any intentional  anxiety-inspiring method of repeated  violence that causes death, injury or property damage, induces fear, and is targeted against any group of people identified by their political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or any other nature. The immediate human victims of violence are chosen randomly  turning them into a target of terror, a target of demands, or a target of attention, however,  these direct targets of violence are not the main targets.   Terrorism in India includes:(1) Ethno-nationalist terrorism – focuses on (a) creating a separate State within or outside  India or (b) on emphasising the views/response of one ethnic group against another. Examples: Acts of violent Tamil Nationalist group LTTE  in Sri Lanka; insurgent tribal groups in North East India, Khalistan movement.(2) Religious terrorism –  focuses on religious imperatives, a presumed duty towards religion, targeted against other religious groups. Examples: Mumbai 26/11 terror attack in 2008 from an Islamic group named Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) of Pakistan. (3) Left-wing terrorism –   focuses on economic ideology and considers the existing socio-political structures  to be economically exploitative. A violent revolutionary change inspired by Marxist or Maoist ideologies is deemed necessary. Examples: Maoist violence (4) Narcoterrorism –   focuses on creating illegal narcotics traffic zones. Sometimes, human trafficking is also a part of such terrorism.India continues to face a number of terror attacks from Islamic groups in Kashmir, Sikh separatists in Punjab, and secessionist groups in Assam. The regions with long term terrorist activities have been Jammu and Kashmir, east-central and south-central India (Naxalism) and the North-Eastern States.Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security (1) Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA)In force from 1985 to 1995  (modified in 1987)Introduced in the background of the Punjab insurgency and was applied to the whole of India.This act was intended to halt the Khalistan Movement  It later expanded to encompass other states as well. The Act had a sunset provision for lapsing after two years post-commencement, that is, on 24 May 1987. It was the first anti-terrorism law in India. The Tada was repealed and succeeded by the POTA. (2) Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 (POTA)The Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 was passed with the objective of strengthening anti-terrorism operations in view of several terrorist attacks that were being carried out in India, especially in response to the attack on the Parliament. The Act replaced the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO) of 2001 and the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) (1985–1995), and was supported by the governing National Democratic Alliance. The Act was repealed in 2004 by the United Progressive Alliance coalition. (3) The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act is aimed at prevention of unlawful activities associations in India. Its main objective is to make powers available for dealing with activities directed against the integrity and sovereignty of India. The most recent amendment act- the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2019 (UAPA, 2019) has made it possible for the Union Government to designate individuals as terrorists with due process of law. Historical Background of UAPAThe National Integration Council (1961) appointed a Committee on National Integration and Regionalisation to look into   putting reasonable restrictions in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India. The agenda of the NIC was set upon the grounds of communalism, casteism and regionalism, and not terrorism. On the recommendations of the committee, the Constitution (Sixteenth Amendment) Act, 1963 was enacted to impose reasonable restrictions in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, namely on:Freedom of Speech and ExpressionRight to Assemble peaceably and without armsRight to Form Associations or Unions(These are the provisions of article 19(1), ie. Right to Freedom, of the Constitution of India.) The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Amit Shah, on July 8, 2019, to amend the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. The Act provides special procedures to deal with terrorist activities, among other things.Under the Act, the central government may designate an organisation as a terrorist organisation if it commits or participates in acts of, or promotes  terrorism.  The Bill empowers the government to designate individuals as terrorists.  An investigating officer of NIA  can seize properties that may be connected with terrorism with the prior approval of the Director General of Police. Investigation of cases may be conducted by officers of the rank of Deputy Superintendent or Assistant Commissioner of Police or above.  The  officers of the NIA, of the rank of Inspector or  above can investigate cases.The Act defines terrorist acts as those included in  the Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings (1997),  the Convention against Taking of Hostages (1979) and the International Convention for Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (2005).   The Indian Parliament also passed The National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Act, 2019 to amend the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act of 2008 to give NIA the ability to investigate terrorism cases overseas in order to  improve bilateral law enforcement cooperation.   The Act provides for a national-level agency to investigate and prosecute offences listed in a schedule (scheduled offences) and allows for creation of Special Courts for the trial of scheduled offences. These include offences under Acts such as the Atomic Energy Act, 1962, and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967.   The   NIA can also investigate in cases of human trafficking, offences related to counterfeit currency or bank notes, manufacture or sale of prohibited arms, cyber-terrorism, and  offences under the Explosive Substances Act, 1908.At the central government level, NIA is the lead law enforcement investigative agency and is empowered to investigate offences within India, and also outside India, subject to international treaties and domestic laws of other countries.   Concerns/Criticism of UAPA, 2019The Bill does not contain any provisions to prevent misuse. The power to designate an individual as a terrorist before being proven guilty by trial is in dichotomy with the idea of “innocent until proven guilty”. Moreover,  the burden of proof of innocence is on the accusedCategorization as a 'terrorist' by the executive bears serious consequences, such as social boycott or loss of employment.Some desribed it as a “colourable legislation” which bears the potential for abuse by the executive.Other legal measures and their outcomesIndia’s state governments are responsible for law and order.   India’s state-level law enforcement agencies play a significant role in detecting, deterring, and preventing acts of terrorism.  These state agencies have varying degrees of capability.  State antiterrorism squads were created after 2008 for rapid first response.The National Security Guard (NSG) retains the mandate for nationwide response as the sole federal contingency force. However, despite rigorous training, NSG’s rapid response capability is challenged relative to India’s geography and the NSG’s independent logistics capacity. Other challenges include budget constraints and dependence on temporary details and volunteers from the armed forces.Indian security agencies are effective in disrupting terror threats despite some gaps in intelligence and information sharing.  In 2016, India and the United States signed an arrangement to exchange terrorism screening information, and India continues to work on implementation.  The Indian Multi-Agency Centre (MAC) collaborates with the United States on exchanging terrorist screening information. Larger Indian states have established their own state-level Multi Agency Centers and provided near-real-time information on terrorism to Indian law enforcement agencies.  The U.S. government engaged with the Indian government to improve border security and information-sharing capabilities.  India is in the process of improving its ability to detect and deter terrorist travel by using watchlists, implementing biographic and biometric screening capabilities at ports of entry, and expanding information sharing.   Indian Counter Terrorism (CT) forces, at the federal and state levels, were active in detecting and disrupting transnational and regional terrorist groups, such as ISIS, its local affiliate ISIS-Bangladesh, and Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).   Indian programs continued to target disaffected sectors of Indian society that were at the highest risk of vulnerability for terrorist radicalization and recruitment. International and Regional Cooperation: India is a member of the FATF and of two FATF-style regional bodies:  the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (EAG) and Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG).   India is also active in leadership roles in the following regional and international fora, where it has promoted multilateral CT cooperation: The Global Counterterrorism Forum (the GCTF) The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum The UN Counterterrorism Centre Advisory Board The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)The Shanghai Cooperation Organization G20 India has agreed to share intelligence on terrorism with Sri Lanka and MaldivesQUAD (the United States, Australia, India, and Japan)What is the Global Terrorism Index?The Global Terrorism Index (GTI) report is produced by the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) using data from Terrorism Tracker and other sources. The GTI scores each country on a scale from 0 to 10; where 0 represents no impact from terrorism and 10 represents the highest measurable impact of terrorism. The key aim of the GTI is to examine the trends in order   to help inform a positive, practical debate about the future of terrorism and formulate the required policy responses. GTI is a composite measure made up of four indicators: incidents, fatalities, injuries and property damage. As per the 2021 GTI report, India  ranked 12th with a score of 7.432.  References  

Internal Security Challenges

“National security is the ability of a state to cater for the protection and defence of its citizenry” (as per the UN). Security is broadly classified into internal and external. Internal security is the security of a country within its border and aims at maintaining law and order, preserving national institutions and values and upholding the sovereignty of the country.While external security is the responsibility of the armed forces, internal security comes in the ambit of police and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) under the aegis of the Ministry of Home Affairs.India’s internal security is affected by internal as well as external threats. The events in our neighbouring countries have a direct impact on our internal security.  Internal Security Challenges Social Diversity as Issues of Security Threat The domestic dynamics of India’s internal security are reflected in its socio-political structure which is highly diverse with a huge variety of its communities and castes, races and ethnic groups, languages and dialects, religious beliefs and customs and traditions, with different manifestations of culture, all operating in a dynamic environment.The integration of all these diversities into a nation is possible through economic development along with nation building through cultural and social interaction, as these linkages are considered durable and stronger rather than political assimilation.However, in later years of independence, since late sixties,  our second generation of political leadership lost sight of federalism and political assimilation became the main thrust. On independence, the Indian state inherited only the physical base consisting of the territory and people, that form a ‘country’. The state and its democratic institutions were to provide the cohesiveness to weld India into a nation state, accepting the ethnic and communal individuality and having a sense of nationalism towards ‘India’. Rather, the communities were compelled to assimilate which engendered among them a friction of insecurity for their traditions and culture. Some aspects of security threats arising out of social diversity are :India has a wide variety of economic and social classes having sharp differences among them in respect of access to resources, education, employment and standard of living.There are minority groups based on a variety of considerations such as religion, language, region, customs and traditions. Even, the so-called majority groups are divided into several sects, castes, clans and linguistic groups.There is a sharp divide between the rich and the poor.Any pressure on the land due to population growth or migration, or factors like unemployment further increases the economic and social pressures that eventually take manifestations of ethno-nationalism.  Thus the ethno-communal strifes in our country are a result of uneven economic development, unequal opportunities backed by social historical structures, and unfulfilled aspirations of people, which creates a sense of deprivation, mutual distrust and frustration. If there is just and equitable distribution of economic and developmental benefits people feel satisfied, and in its absence, affected groups assert themselves against the governments and the elites. In such a state of confrontation, the articulation of group interests results into political mobilisation of the ethnic communities.The language divide is another permanent barrier that debars the unification of people towards a larger common goal. Linguistic chauvinism makes members belonging to one state consider members from other states as outsiders. They would not like them to seek employment in their state. In the absence of an all-India language or a lingua franca as a unifying force, the formation of linguistic states has taken the country towards narrow sectionalism, provincialism and parochialism, endangering national integration.The divisive politics that uses emotional sensitivities of communities and words like ‘majority’ and ‘minority’ as bait, target solely the vote banks of communities. Also at times, the clash of supposed interests between ethnic groups tends to take the form of communalism. The net result of all such manoeuvre for vote catching results into a set back to consolidation of the Indian society which is discernible and much more prominent after 75 years of independence.The electoral politics has resulted in the dilution of democratic processes and the institutions of governance. Politics have lost their ideological and moral moorings.  The exploitation of diversities for malicious political interests has resulted in breakdown of the cohesiveness of the society, created insecurity of cultural identity, encouraged religious revivalism in its fundamentalist form, heightened ethnicity and widened the gap between the sub national groups and Indian nationalism.     Mutual disharmony among both horizontal and vertical classes in a society, arising out of regional pride can very well establish the sense of ethnic or regional nationalism. However, the distaste and repugnance for others’ existence and needs   can never foster a consciousness of unity and a feeling of common nationalism - the Indianness.  SOURCES :India’s internal security compulsions , Gen.V K Nayar - Vision 2025, NIT Aayog    

PM GatiShakti

Vision To achieve Aatmanirbharta and a US $ 5 trillion economy by 2025, there was a need to create multimodal and last mile connectivity infrastructure across the country. This would ensure a modal mix of transportation, reduced logistics cost, increased export competitiveness and a virtuous cycle of higher investments, growth and employment generation in the economy. However, achieving an efficient and seamless multimodal transportation network is no easy task. It requires independent government departments to work in close coordination and across all layers of project planning and implementation. The lack of such coordination can duplicate efforts made, isolate any progress achieved and create wasteful expenditures which greatly affect the pace of development. Therefore, a need was felt to institutionalise holistic planning, integration of existing progress by different ministries, and synchronised project implementation for achieving this vision. Launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister on October 13, 2021, PM GatiShakti adopts a ‘whole of the government approach’ and ‘cooperative federalism’ to transform India’s infrastructural landscape.Aim & Objective Through integrated planning and synchronised project implementation across all concerned Ministries and State Governments, PM GatiShakti’s objective is to improve multimodal connectivity, logistics efficiency and address critical infrastructure gaps for seamless movement of people, goods and services in the country. The aims of PM GatiShakti are:  Establish synergies among different ministries during the planning stage itself. Align timelines of various projects through efficient planning, Promote standardisation of the designs for efficient project approval Enable standardised procedures by all the agencies to reduce project delays  PM Gati Shakti is based on six pillars:Comprehensiveness: It will include all the existing and planned initiatives of various Ministries and Departments with one centralized portal. Each and every Department will now have visibility of each other's activities providing critical data while planning & execution of projects in a comprehensive manner.Prioritization: Through this, different Departments will be able to prioritize their projects through cross-sectoral interactions.Optimization: The National Master Plan will assist different ministries in planning for projects after identification of critical gaps. For the transportation of the goods from one place to another, the plan will help in selecting the most optimum route in terms of time and cost.Synchronization: Individual Ministries and Departments often work in silos. There is lack of coordination in planning and implementation of the project resulting in delays. PM Gati Shakti will help in synchronizing the activities of each department, as well as of different layers of governance, in a holistic manner by ensuring coordination of work between them.Analytical: The plan will provide the entire data at one place with GIS based spatial planning and analytical tools having 200+ layers, enabling better visibility to the executing agency.Dynamic: All Ministries and Departments will now be able to visualize, review and monitor the progress of cross-sectoral projects, through the GIS platform, as the satellite imagery will give on-ground progress periodically and progress of the projects will be updated on a regular basis on the portal. It will help in identifying the vital interventions for enhancing and updating the master plan. A Whole of the Government ApproachPM GatiShakti fosters a whole of the government approach by bringing together 27 Central Government Ministries under a single institutional framework. An Empowered Group of Secretaries (EGoS) under the Chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary has been constituted to oversee the implementation of PM GatiShakti.It is the apex body with 23 infrastructure and user ministries of the Government of India. An integrated multimodal Network Planning Group (NPG) has beenoperationalised with representation from 8 various infrastructure Ministries involving heads of their Network Planning Division. NPG examines projects and puts them up to EGoS for approval. Logistics Division, DPIIT is the Secretariat of the NPG and Technical Support Unit with a group of domain/subject matter experts which support the evaluation process. Involving every concerned Central Ministries/Departments within a single institutional structure, 81 High Impact Projects, 54 NPG Projects, and 197 CriticalInfrastructure Gaps have been identified and evaluated by the institutional mechanism under PM GatiShakti. Furthermore, last mile infrastructure connectivity projects for sectors such as agriculture, food, steel and coal have also been examined in the last one year. Promoting Cooperative Federalism in Infrastructure DevelopmentUnder PM GatiShakti, integrated development of infrastructure in the country by the Government with all the State Governments is in consonance with the federal spirit. States and UTs have also replicated a similar institutional structure for integrated planning and synchronised project implementation through the PM GatiShakti mechanism. 36 States and UTs have been using their EGoS, NPG and TSU for project examination, planning, and synchronised implementation.Special Assistance to States for Capital Expenditure The Government of India has also issued the “Scheme for Special Assistance to States for Capital Expenditure” on 6th April, 2022. The scheme provides guidelines for financial assistance to the State Governments of 1 lakh crores in the form of 50-year interest free loan for capital investments including Rs 5000 crores earmarked for PM GatiShakti projects.Promoting Ease of Logistics Across StatesLogistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) is an indigenous data driven index which focuses on providing a common platform for a consultative and collaborative framework for Central and State Governments to work in a coordinated manner in the logistic sector for achieving ease of logistics. LEADS is an annual study that has a three-fold objective-1. Categorise States and Union Territories in the logistics ecosystem,2. Facilitate feedback from stakeholders involved in the logistics value chain;3. Recommend action points based on the issues and challenges faced by the logistics playersLEADS has brought in an increased awareness amongst States and UTs for holistic development of logistics ecosystems. It has facilitated continuous communication between State and Central Governments for improvement of the Logistics ecosystem. The LEADS survey report assists PM GatiShakti to perform a network mapping of logistics infrastructure, services and regulatory environment. This enables State Governments to identify and fill the gaps and achieve data driven multimodal connectivity.Zonal Conferences and Training WorkshopsTo sensitise States and UTs over the principles and approach of PM GatiShakti, 6 zonal conferences were organised across the country.Catalysing Infrastructure Planning With TechnologyThe PM GatiShakti NMP is a technology backed infrastructure development platform with GIS based data layers of infrastructure, geographic features and demography, and various decision support systems. Developed by BISAG-N, the platform enables integrated planning, synchronised implementation, and project monitoring. The platform aims at enhancing industrial productivity and helping the country achieve its green logistics and clean energy goals by enormously boosting the multi-modal connectivity across highways, railways, ports, airports, logistics infrastructure, mass urban transportation and inland waterways. The NMP also has customised decision making and planning tools for functionalities of adding project/data; measure proximity; identification of Go/No Go Area; obtaining NOC from different departments, etcUsing National Master Plan for Integrated DevelopmentThe integrated data by various Ministries and State Governments such as pharmaceutical clusters, defence corridors, electronic parks, industrial corridors, fishing clusters, and agricultural zones help plan various multimodal and last mile connectivity projects that will make Indian business more competitive and thus boost Indian economic growth, attract foreign investments and enhance the country’s global competitiveness. 36 States/UTs and 27 Central Government Ministries/Departments are using the NMP platform and the insitutional mechanisms of PM GatiShakti for transforming their economic and socialinfrastructure.Improved Planning of Greenfield ProjectsUsing the PM GatiShakti NMP , the Ministry of Railways, Transport and Highway (MoRTH) has been able to bring significant impact on National Highway Project planning in the country. The availability of various data layers including economic nodes and ecologically sensitive zones have helped optimise key infrastructure projects such as 20% Forest Area Interference optimization in thePune – Bengaluru EXP and improved connectivity of the Indo Nepal – Border – Haldia with 30 Economic nodes.Data-driven and Prioritised Capacity Augmentation of InfrastructureUsing the PM GatiShakti NMP, the Ministry of Railways has been able to plan a total 126 railway projects in a year. The decision-making tools available on the PM GatiShakti NMP have expedited many projects which had previously stalled. For instance, the Taranga hill -Ambaji – Abu Road Broad Gauge New Railway line had stalled due to lack of khasra wise data and need for field survey to assess intersections. The availability of layers upto khasra level and functions for clearance and cost estimation on NMP Platform had expedited the project planning to just 7 days. The Ministry is also developing a dynamic dashboard that will monitor the progress of Railway projects undertaken in the NMP Platform to achieve timely completion  Analysis and Bridging of Critical Infrastructure GapsThrough the extensive usage of the NMP Platform the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways was able to plan key port connectivity projects that would provide modal mix and reduce cost of transportation to the hinterlands of the country. For instance, the International & Domestic Cruise Terminal, RoPax, Ferry and other allied facilities at the Mormugao Port made it very important to ease hinterland connectivity. Similarly, Visakhapatnam Port Authority used NMP portal for planning the flyover from seahorse junction to Visakhapatnam port dock for ease of entry and egress.Uses in Social SectorThrough the usage of NMP platform, the State of Gujarat was able to identify land for the construction of new anganwadis in the district of Surendranagar.Through the usage of gap identification tools on the NMP for the purposes of the state, district boundaries, road networks, river and water bodies in the region can be identified. The tools helped in identification of suitable land for the construction of the Anganwadi in the Khelri village.Ensuring Timely Completion of ProjectsTo resolve bottlenecks and ensure timely completion of projects, the PM GatiShakti NMP has been integrated with the Project Monitoring Group (PMG) that has expedited any arising resolution of issues and regulatory bottlenecks in projects in the country. In the last one year, more than 1500 resolved related 300+ infrastructure projects under the PM GatiShakti in Central or State Level  Sensitising Various Decision MakersTo maximise the ongoing efforts in integrated and synchronised infrastructure development, PM GatiShakti focuses on the capacity building of many policy and decision makers across all layers of the governance. PM GatiShakti on IGoT To sensitise various civil servants on the uses of PM GatiShakti NMP, a course on PM GatiShakti has been launched on the IGoT Platform of Department of Personnel Training. The course has 4 modules of which the first has been uploaded on the IGoT Portal while the rest are in advanced stages of development.  

What is Economics

What is Economics?Difference between Economics and EconomyBranches of Economics (Macro and Micro Economics)Econometrics (the third dimension to Economics) What is Economics?“Economics is the study of all activities of human beings that involves money in some way or the other.”This, probably, could be the simplest possible definition. All activities of man related to money are termed as ‘Economic Activities’. Hence, Economics studies the economic activities of man.  Let us understand Economic Activities with some examples.buying or selling anythingpaying rentbooking online ticketsoffering alms to beggarsmonetary charity (including religious places), etc.All the above activities have the involvement of money in some way or the other. Thus, all such monetary activities belong to the category of economic activities of man. Under economics we describe, analyse and study these economic activities of man and try to draw some pattern with them and their outcomes. This helps us drawing some definitions and models in economics which in return help us predict the possible outcome of any economic activity and also assist us to plan better and manage, produce, consume and distribute resources efficiently.    Thus, if we have to define Economics, we can, now, say,  “Economics is a branch of social science that deals in the production, distribution, exchange and consumption of goods and services and also describes and analyses how choices are made by individuals, families, societies, business entities, and governments to allocate scarce resources.”It aims at solving the primary issue of scarcity of resources when the human wants are unlimited and there are alternative uses of the resources. Thus, the ultimate aim of studying economics can be understood with the following phrases: to describe and analyse how choices are madeto plan, manage, distribute and exchange the scarce resources(how) people consume goods and servicesto predict the possible outcome of any economic activityIf economics helps us predict better, why do even the Nobel Laureates in Economy fail to predict correctly many a time? Whoa! Well caught! But the answer is quite simple. Every man on earth is different and behave (make choices) differently because of multiple reasons and factors. We just can’t predict the next move or step even of a single man let alone a group of people. And economic activity of man is no exception to it. Thus, economic activities of human beings can’t be actually predicted to perfection.  Let us try to make it a little simpler. Suppose, to a beggar you gave ten rupees. Can you tell me, with that ten rupee note, what he will do? You may expect him of buying something for himself to eat or to wear, etc. Right?  But what if he clubs the ten rupees (given by you) with some more (already saved) and buys a descent smart phone for himself or his wife (to make Tik Tok videos – just kidding)?  Or he may use it to pay his debts or some Hafta (tax) to some local goons. Or he could use it for his medicines. Couldn’t there be such possibilities? Yes, there could be. There could be end number of such possibilities.  Similarly, suppose, a government of a country raised the salaries of employees thinking that they would spend more in the market and as a result the market would witness some rapid growth in demand of goods and services in the country. Such government step might work. But what if the public behave otherwise and instead of spending in the market, most of them saved it in their banks or otherwise for their rainy days. Couldn’t this be probable? Yes, it could be. Thus, any economic prediction to the fullest degree of certitude is impossible. Does it imply that studying economics is worthless then? No. For Economics’ sake, no. The span of economics is not confined only to the prediction of economic behaviour of man. It is much more than mere prediction. Economics does help us understanding the economic behaviour of man, though, not to the fullest degree but, of course, to a greater degree. The applicability of economic principles helps man, business houses and governments to achieve their goals and targets. We can maximize our profits or decrease losses. It also helps us in efficient planning and management of our scarce resources. Economics helps a nation to solve its major problems related to management, production and distribution of its resources like:What and how much to produce?When and for whom to produce?What and how to distribute?Which planning is to be made for economic growth? etc.The list of benefits of studying economics is long. Thus, mere prediction related shortcomings cannot undermine the relevance of economics in the present world. Because of its utmost utility in day-to-day life (and in our examinations too. Ha ha. Just kidding), it stands apart from any other discipline. Difference between Economics and Economy Economics is a discipline that deals in the theoretical part of economic activities (of man) such as definitions, concepts, models, theories, formulas, etc. And such theories, concepts and models are the outcome of both the processes i.e., science and art.  Thus, economics as a discipline is both, the science and art of decision making to utilize the scare resources in the best possible way. Economics studies the structure, working, issues, remedies, etc. of an economic system. It includes the analysis of the different types of the economic systems, economic decisions and its implementation by various economic units, such as individual, family, institutions, government, etc. Economics is more of a theoretical aspect of economic activities and as a discipline, it is taught in schools, colleges, universities, etc. to understand the nuances of man’s economic behaviour. But when its theories and concepts are applied in day-to-day life concerning production, distribution, consumption, and exchange of goods and services, and supply of money by either an individual, a family, a society, a business entity, a state or a nation, it is termed ‘Economy’. It is, thus, the practical aspect of economics where its theories, concepts, models, etc. are put into practice.  “Economics in action is Economy.” To make it simpler, let us take an example.  Capitalism is a theoretical concept of economics in which a (political) government has no control over the production, distribution and pricing of goods and services, in brief, over the market. And when any country follows the same concept either in toto or with little modification or twist, we call it a capitalist economy NOT capitalist economics. It is because capitalism is not mere a theory now, it is literally being practiced by the government. Hence, economics is in action. Thus, we call it an Economy not Economics. Some examples of capitalist economies are USA, England, Australia, Japan, etc. In the same way you can call a country a socialist economy or a mixed economy, etc. based on their economic practice. (We shall read about capitalism, socialism, etc. a little later.) Calling any country “Economics” prefixed by their country name (like Indian Economics, US Economics, etc.) shall be grossly erroneous.  However, it is absolutely correct to say Indian Economy, US Economy, Asian Economy, Global economy, etc. because it gives us a comprehensive outlook of the nation or the region of their economic behaviour.  Thus, an economy, in a wider perspective, basically represents a region, a particular area or a country within which their economic behaviour is taken as a whole. Every nation of the world follows economic principles in their own way to manage their scarce resources. Though, all nations follow economic principles but not in the same way, as all of them have different set of needs, demands, priorities, challenges, etc. Thus, different application of economic principles in different proportion and degree for different economic behaviour. Hence, they are all unique and different economies in their own way. So, we call them Indian Economy, US Economy, Asian Economy, European Economy, etc. The practice of economics can be at any level, be it at individual level, family level, community level, any business entity level or any specific geographic or country level. Thus, even an individual can say, ‘my economy, your economy, his economy, etc.’ Now face this yorker. Does Economics follow Economy or Economy follow Economics? You may wonder what kind of question it is, but it is true and does make sense. It means whether economic activity of man (economy) is done (or performed) according to the definitions, principles or concepts of economy (economics) or these principles and concepts (economics) are derived as per the human action.  The answer is very simple and obvious. Man acts first and over the period of time based on the experiences of such actions, theories and principles are derived. Thus, normally Economics follows Economy. Thus, it is often said that Economics is the study of Economy.  But in the recent past the frequency of economy following economics has seen an updraft. For example, US government followed the path of capitalism only after its theorisation in the 18th-century (1776) by Scottish political economist Adam Smith in his book “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations”.  Similarly Socialist economies were created only after the conceptualization of it by Karl Marks, Engels and others. Now a days it’s been a trend where governments, business entities and even individuals follow the economics in their day-to-day life in order to optimize their output. Thus, it has been pretty clear now that in the present context both Economics and Economy are reciprocal to each other. They both follow each other in some way or the other. But at large, Economics is the outcome of economy. BASIS FOR COMPARISONECONOMICSECONOMYWhat it is Economics is a discipline in which we study how to utilize our scarce resources for the maximum output and satisfaction.Economy is not a discipline rather it is the applied part of economics in a country, region, geographical area, business entity, family or an individual. How it worksIt deals merely in theories, principles, formulas, models, concepts, etc. It focuses on the way economic agents behave and interact.These theories, principles and concepts are literally applied in day-to-day life. It focuses on how these theories, models, etc. are applied and in which way a country’s economic affairs are conducted and organized.Concerned withthe research, development and analysis of economic activities of human beingsthe specific geographic region, state, country, business house, etc. in which such research and analysis are performed.Focuses onDescription and analysisExecutionBranches of Economics (Macro and Micro Economics) Today, there are two major branches of economics – Macroeconomics and Microeconomics. But this dichotomy in economics had not always been this way. Before the Great (Economic) Depression of 1930s economics was just economics – the study of how human societies organize the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services1 (IMF Research Department). Myriads of economic theories also developed considerably after the advent of Scottish economist and philosopher Adam Smith (the Father of Economics) and his book “the Wealth of Nations” in 1776, but economics was still undivided.  It was, in actual, the Great Depression that forced economists to believe that the study of individual markets would adequately explain the behaviour of aggregate economy once the masterpiece of John Maynard Keynes “The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money” was published in 1936. And from then onwards the approach to studying economics acquired two realms: Macro Economics and Micro Economics. That is the reason why John Maynard Keynes is also acknowledged as the Father of Macroeconomics.  Chris Rodrigo, a Visiting Scholar in the IMF’s Research Department, states that economics is split between analysis of how the overall economy works and how single markets function.  Let us have a look to this table to have a better understanding of these two branches of economics. Macro EconomicsMicro Economics Macroeconomics presents a big-picture and is mainly concerned with the overall working of the economy. It gives us a comprehensive understanding of any economy.Microeconomics on the other hand presents a little-picture and is concerned with the behaviour and actions of individual economic agents or a single market, industry or sector. Broad issues of the economy are studied, such as GDP, inflation, economic growth, National Income, unemployment, trade balance, poverty, the standard of living, etc.It may take a single person, a household or a business entity to analyse the way they respond to changes in price. It considers taxes, regulations, and government legislation. It examines economy-wide phenomena and studies how a government’s policies impact the economy as a whole. It examines sector specific phenomena and studies how prices are determined. Overall and Comprehensive (The object of analysis is the entire market in totality.)Individual and selective (The object of analysis is a single market.) It can be taken as a Universal set.It can be taken as a Subset. Top-down approach (Since the government’s decision and policies affects the entire market. For example – Any change in the key rates of monetary policy affects the entire market meaning the effect of the changes trickle down from top to bottom.)Bottom-up approach (Any government’s policy is affected as a result of some changes or demand in a specific sector(s). For example – to boost some sector government provides tax benefit, subsidies, etc. Government also applies variable GST rates on different goods and services, etc. observing the potentiality of the sector.) Thus, individual sectors impact government decisions. Bottom-up approach. To keep it simple, macroeconomics is analogous to a general physician in medical science that deals with the entire human body as a whole. Whereas microeconomics is like a cardiologist (heart specialist) or an orthopaedic doctor (bone & muscle specialist) who is a specialist doctor and is concerned not with the entire body but with a particular part(s) of the body. Our heart, eyes or lungs are not detached from our body though their studies are different. They coexist and complement each other. If any part of the body is not healthy or fully functional, it affects the entire body to varying degrees in some way or the other and similarly, when the entire body is tired, it also affects the other parts of the body. Likewise, both macro and micro economics, though, are the two different branches of economics, but they are also not separated rather interdependent and reciprocal. Coexistence and complementarity are the two basic tenets on which macro and micro economics are based. “Microeconomics is based on models of consumers or firms (which economists call agents) that make decisions about what to buy, sell, or produce—with the assumption that those decisions result in perfect market clearing (demand equals supply) and other ideal conditions. Macroeconomics, on the other hand, began from observed divergences from what would have been anticipated results under the classical tradition.”  Analysis of buying and selling led to the consumer demand theory whereas the production analysis led to the production theory (theory of firm). After analysing the behaviour of consumers and firms at this micro level, new ancillary topics also developed like market competition, economic welfare, general equilibrium, etc. By and large, most of the economic analysis is microeconomic in nature and has applicability in trade, industrial organizations, public finance, labour economics, welfare economics, etc. Microeconomic analysis offers insights into taking business decisions or formulating public policies.-IMF Research DepartmentAre Micro and Macro Economics the only two branches of Economics? No, not precisely. Have a look below. Econometrics (The third dimension to economics) Besides macroeconomics and microeconomics, econometrics is the fast evolving third approach of studying economics. For better analysis of economic behaviour, policy making and better applicability of theories, economics has to be quantifiable. Thus, econometrics uses economic theory, mathematics, and statistical inference to quantify economic phenomena. Simply put, it provides facts and data to economic decision making and policy formulation. Without econometrics it would be literally difficult to minutely analyse micro or macroeconomic behaviour.