Undefined Borders Have Set India Back Economically

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    Syllabus: GS 3/Internal Security

    • National Security Adviser Ajit Doval said that the undefined borders in the west and north have adversely affected the country
    • India currently has more than 15000 km of land borders and more than 7500 km of maritime borders. 
    • It shares borders with seven countries including Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Myanmar. 
    • India’s border management comprises border region development, communication, and coordination with the neighbouring states and programs to enhance the national interests of India.
    • Undefined borders in the west and north have adversely affected the country and its weight on internal security in terms of terrorism, radicalism, drug trafficking is a liability for the nation.
    • Border security also has a bearing on socio-economic security of the country such as the coming of radicalisation.
    • The borders need security to regulate trade, travel, and illegal cross-border movements. 
    • India has the most difficult task of managing its multi-nature borders that run through plains, hills, mountains, snow-covered peaks, deserts, riverine territories, jungles and marshes. 
    • India shares an undefined border with China in the north, while a large area has been occupied by Pakistan in the west.
    • Lack of effective consultation between the central and State governments on the issue.
    • The slow investment in technology for border
    • Development in India has resulted in weak border management for the Armed forces.
    • The development of border infrastructure has contributed to boosting trade and economic growth in border regions, particularly with Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh.
    •  Improved road and rail connectivity facilitates smoother movement of goods and people across borders, thereby promoting cross-border trade and economic exchanges. 
    • The construction of integrated checkposts and trade facilitation centers has streamlined customs clearance procedures and reduced trade barriers, further facilitating trade and commerce along India’s borders.
    • The Border Area Development Programme [BADP] was started in the year 1986-87 for balanced development of border areas of States bordering Pakistan, namely, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Gujarat and Rajasthan and subsequently it was extended to all the land borders.
    • Government has approved Vibrant Villages Programme (VVP) as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme on 15th February,2023  for  comprehensive development of the select villages in border in the States of  Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand and UT of Ladakh.
    • Government has decided to construct a fence along the entire 1643-kilometer-long Indo-Myanmar border. 
    • In the next 10 years India will be a $10 trillion economy and will become self-reliant in military power.
    • There is the need for technological advancements in border management.
      • Use of technology like satellite imagery, UAVs could be used to monitor the border area development in real time. 
    • Infrastructure development should be specific to theatres and roads, mobile towers should be built but every theatre has got its unique challenge.
      • Tactical intelligence is the most important
    • Paramilitary organizations  need to consider the idea of “seamless interoperability” and creating “joint command structures” in different theatres of operation, similar to the armed forces
    • There is a serious need to reorganize, re-equip and re-task these border guarding forces to optimize their capabilities. 
    Mains Practice Question 
    [Q] In the context of India’s strategic geopolitical environment, how can the nation’s border management policies be restructured to effectively address the evolving security threats?