Indian express 29/06/2020

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nderstanding China’s actions in Ladakh

Source: The Indian Express

Syllabus: GS 2-India and its neighbourhood- relations

Context: The motive behind China’s incursion in Ladakh is to push India to settle the boundary issue and cede Aksai Chin to China.

Pattern of China’s experiments of settling borders:

  • The Chinese border negotiation tactics are generally blended “incentives with coercion”.
  • With Kazakhstan: China settled for a third of territories it claimed and Kazakhs admitted that they had gained. Also, Kazakhstan denounced Uyghur separatism and curb anti-China activities.
  • With Kyrgyzstan: Kyrgyzstan ceded 1,20,000 hectares in a dubious exchange for Chinese assistance.
  • With Tajikistan: China claimed some 28,000 sq km and Tajikistan surrendered 1,100 square miles in 2010.
  • China ultimately gained a bit of land, nixed the Uyghur issue and pushed its economic agenda by making Xinjiang a pivotal link to the Eurasian markets.

China’s tactics are fuelling tensions and resentments across Asia. China’s past border tactics offer some examples to Chinese strategy.

Conveying message by China through Ladakh incursions:

Dealing of boundary issues between India-China:

  • India-China agreement in 2005: 
    • They agreed on a new set of guiding principles to settle the vexed boundary dispute through the Special Representative (SR) level talks.
    • China has been seeking a substantive adjustment concession especially on Tawang.
    • India probably prefers having a marginal modification in the current alignment of the boundary.
  • China push for a settlement (March 2013):
    • Motive behind China’s 19-km intrusion in Depsang in April 2013: To press India to show urgency and redouble efforts to settle the boundary issue.
  • Despite 22 rounds of special representative-level talks, a framework agreement still eludes these talks.

China’s recent actions in Ladakh are also related to its growing domestic uncertainties and about future plans in Xinjiang and Tibet that border Ladakh.

Problems for India:

  • China seems to be pushing for a formal settlement along the LAC in Ladakh where they have nothing to lose.
  • It may not involve swapping India’s claims over Aksai Chin for China’s claims over Arunachal Pradesh which is thought to be a pragmatic thing to accept.
  • Chinese may be making a tricky move to let India forego its claim over Aksai Chin and de-linking Ladakh from the overall boundary dispute.
  • Then, India will have to give up not only Aksai Chin but also cede its notional claim over the Skyasgam valley and the Menser Enclave (five villages) near the Mansarovar Lake.
  • China’s “minimal demand” that Tawang is non-negotiable had been aired through Chinese academics.

Way Forward

  • Ceding Aksai Chin would fundamentally alter the status of J&K and Ladakh. By implication, India would have to forget about PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan as well.
  • India should tread carefully unless both sides are willing to make a move for grand bargaining.

2)National Optical Fibre Network:

It was envisaged as an information superhighway through the creation of a robust middle-mile infrastructure for reaching broadband connectivity to Gram Panchayats.

The Ministry of Communications has launched the National Broadband Mission that will facilitate universal and equitable access to broadband services across the country, especially in rural and remote areas.


To facilitate the delivery of e-governance, e-health, e-education, e-banking, Internet and other services to rural India.

To connect all the 2,50,000 Gram panchayats in the country and provide 100 Mbps connectivity to all gram panchayats.

To achieve this, the existing unused fibres (dark fibre) of public sector undertakings (PSUs) (BSNL, Railtel and Power Grid) were utilised and incremental fibre was laid to connect to Gram Panchayats wherever necessary.

Non-discriminatory access to the NOFN was provided to all the service providers like Telecom Service Providers (TSPs), Cable TV operators and content providers to launch various services in rural areas.

The entire project is being funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), which was set up for improving telecom services in rural and remote areas of the country.


The project is a Centre-State collaborative project, with the states contributing free Rights of Way for establishing the Optical Fibre Network.

The three-phase implementation of the BharatNet project is as follows:

First Phase: Provide one lakh gram panchayats with broadband connectivity by laying underground optic fibre cable (OFC) lines by December 2017.

Second Phase: Provide connectivity to all the gram panchayats in the country using an optimal mix of underground fibre, fibre over power lines, radio and satellite media. It is to be completed by March 2019.

Third Phase: From 2019 to 2023, a state-of-the-art, future-proof network, including fibre between districts and blocks, with ring topology to provide redundancy would be created.

The participation of states became important in the second phase which involved laying of OFC over electricity poles. This was a new element of the BharatNet strategy as the mode of connectivity by aerial OFC has several advantages, including lower cost, speedier implementation, easy maintenance and utilization of existing power line infrastructure.

Dark fibre

  • It is an unused optical fibre that has been laid but is not currently being used in fibre-optic communications. Since fibre-optic cable transmits information in the form of light pulses, a ‘dark’ cable refers to one through which light pulses are not being transmitted.
  • Companies lay extra optical fibres in order to avoid cost repetition when more bandwidth is needed.
  • It is also known as unlit fibre.

3)Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis (1893-1972)

  • He is considered the father of modern statistics in India, founded the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), shaped the Planning Commission (which was replaced by the NITI Aayog on 1st January 2015) and pioneered methodologies for large-scale surveys.
    • He introduced innovative techniques for conducting large-scale sample surveys, calculated acreages and crop yields, using the method of random sampling.
    • He also devised a statistical method called ‘Fractile Graphical Analysis’, used to compare socio-economic conditions of varied groups.
  • Timeline:
    • 1930: Proposed the Mahalanobis Distance for the first time, which is a measure of comparison between two data sets.
      • The formula is used to find the distance between a point and a distribution, based on measurements in multiple dimensions. It is widely used in the field of cluster analysis and classification.
    • 1932: Founded the ISI in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) which was declared as an institute of national importance in 1959.
    • 1933: Launched ‘Sankhya: The Indian Journal of Statistics’.
    • 1950: Established the National Sample Survey and set up the Central Statistical Organisation to coordinate statistical activities.
    • 1955: Became a member of the Planning Commission and continued in that capacity till 1967.
      • He was instrumental in formulating India’s second five-year-plan (1956-1961), which laid the blueprint for industrialisation and development in India.
    • 1968: Honoured with the Padma Vibhushan.
      • He was also conferred a large number of awards by international organisations.

4)Kole Wetlands

  • Kole Wetlands is a wetland lying in Thrissur District in Kerala.
  • It gives 40% of Kerala’s rice requirement and acts as a natural drainage system.
  • It is a part of Vembanad-Kole wetlands, a Ramsar site and has been colonised by invasive species.
  • The Society for Odonate Studies (Kerala) has been conducting Odonate surveys at the Kole wetlands since 2018, and 37 species of dragonflies and damselflies have been reported from the wetlands so far.


V Narasimha Rao

Why in News

Recently, the Telangana Chief Minister launched the year-long celebrations to commemorate the birth centenary of former prime minister P V Narasimha Rao.

  • The centenary celebrations will highlight the 360-degree personality of P V Narasima Rao.

Key Points

  • PV Narasimha Rao was born on 28th June 1921 in erstwhile Nizam’s Hyderabad state.
  • He was a freedom fighter, academician, and literary figure. He was also the 9th Prime Minister of India from 1991 to 1996.
  • He published ‘SahasraPhan’, a Hindi translation of the famous Telugu Novel ‘Veyi Padagalu’.
  • Economic Reforms: He sought to dismantle the restrictions imposed under the license raj, reduce red tape and make Indian industries more competitive. 
    • He is known for bringing the policy of economic liberalisation in India.
      • The economic liberalisation in India is referred to the liberalisation of the country’s economic policies.
      • It was initiated in 1991 with the goal of making the economy more market- and service-oriented, and expanding the role of private and foreign investment.
  • Foreign Policy: In terms of foreign policy, he established diplomatic relations with Israel.
    • The Look East Policy of India was also initiated during his tenure.
    • He is also known for reversing decades of unfriendly relations between India and the United States by bringing them together.
  • Constitutional Reforms: The 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments Act empowering local bodies were enacted during his tenure.

Source: IE

6)HAM Radio

Why in News

Recently HAM (amateur) radio operators have volunteered to help a special task force that has been constituted in Bengaluru to ensure that citizens placed under home quarantine follow the protocol for it.

Key Points

  • Amateur radio, also called ham radio, is a noncommercial two-way radio communications. They use many frequency bands across the radio spectrum.
  • HAM radio is a real-time communication network. This is much like wireless communication which is quick and transparent.
  • Amateur Radio operators set up and operate organized communication networks locally for governmental and emergency officials, as well as non-commercial communication for private citizens affected by the disaster.
  • Amateur Radio operators are most likely to be active after disasters that damage regular lines of communications due to power outages and destruction of telephone, cellular and other infrastructure-dependent systems.

Indian Scenario

  • According to the Indian Wireless Telegraphs (Amateur Service) Amendment Rules, 1984, ‘Amateur service’ means a service of self training intercommunications and technical investigation carried on by Amateurs that is, by persons duly authorized under these rules interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest. 
  • It is a non-commercial radio communication service. 
  • Amateur radio operators are commonly known as hams. The term “Ham radio” is used to describe the hobby of Amateur radio and not the equipment.
    • Similarly the term “Ham” is used to describe a radio amateur enthusiast and not the equipment.
  • Any citizen of India who is above 12 years of age can become a ham by qualifying in the Amateurs Station Operators’ examination (ASO) and obtaining a valid Amateur wireless telegraph station license.

Radio Waves

  • Radio waves have the longest wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • These were discovered by Heinrich Hertz in the late 1880s.
  • These are produced by the accelerated motion of charges in conducting wires. They are used in radio and television communication systems.
  • They are generally in the frequency range from 500 kHz to about 1000 MHz.
  • The AM (Amplitude Modulated) band is from 530 kHz to 1710 kHz. The FM (Frequency Modulated) radio band extends from 88 MHz to 108 MHz.
  • Higher frequencies up to 54 MHz are used for short wave bands. TV waves range from 54 MHz to 890 MHz.
  • Cellular phones use radio waves to transmit voice communication in the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) band.
  • Radio-wave communications signals travel through the air in a straight line, reflect off of clouds or layers of the ionosphere, or are relayed by satellites in space.

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