India can be self-sufficient in Defence Sector -#BlogToPM

Nations ensure their success, strength and sovereignty by the protection it provides to its people and the only sector which assures it is the Defence Sector. This sector is considered to be one of the major arenas of discussion at times of protection and safety. Nations are judged powerful on the basis of their capability to protect their citizens and at the same time increase their dominancy in the world. Defence is one such sector which needs to stand firm throughout whether at times of national emergencies or during the normal course managed by highly dedicated team of officials who can shoulder this important responsibility patiently, so that even a tinge of wind cannot blow away the sector.

India’s defence sector is the major spending sector of Indian economy but yet lacks in the self sufficiency to hold the number one spot. Therefore the sector still remains an evolving one and not an evolved one. No doubt India has got a very strong hold in terms of its defence but due to its improper use of ‘carrot and stick’ policy the great power potential of India lies in tatters. It is often found that the slavish use of ‘carrot’ without any equilibrium with the ‘stick’ at times threatens the country as a whole.

India has been involved in wars with Pakistan and China. While it won the wars in 1965, 1971 and 1999, it faced a defeat in 1962 against China. India has therefore learnt many lessons with these wars which emphasize the need to build a strong defense force. The 21st century defense sector however, is an altogether different. With growing threats of terrorism, cyber attacks and hostility in many parts of the world, defense sector needs to be ahead of these threats. India also shares a vast border with many countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and China. The ever volatile situations in Kashmir and in parts of the North East are also a source of threat to peace and security. Apart from these, India also faces many homegrown terror elements ranging from Naxalites, Maoists and other terror networks like Indian Mujahideen. Many of these groups are also supported by foreign hostile neighbours. All these threats and rising incidences of skirmishes on the border with China(Doklam incident) make it necessary that India be ready to tackle them. Also, as India advances economically, it is equally vulnerable to cyber threats like hacking, denial of service and ransomwares which can slowdown as well potentially lockdown many vital services.

India needs to invest in human capital, research and technology. Apart from DRDO, CSIR and IITs, India needs good research facilities and institutions that can contribute in generating state of the art research. The various public sector undertakings also have been lagging in modernizing both equipment and building sophisticated weapons on their own. Thus India is the largest arms importer, spending annually more than 3.6 billion dollars, more than combined imports of China and Pakistan. Except for missilery like Brahmos and communication systems, the contribution of defense PSUs has not been able to build self reliance in defense production. The answer therefore lies in reform, private sector entry and consequentially, competitiveness. The new defense procurement policy (DPP-2016) is a step in right direction which is aligned with the Make In India objective stressing on indigenization and manufacturing locally. It is said that as a thumb rule, it takes 7 to 10 years from realization to procurement of defence equipments. This has to be brought down by increasing coordination and reducing red tapism as well as promoting local manufacturing. Budget-2018 has talked about Defense manufacturing corridors and recently the government has announced one to be started in Uttar Pradesh. There is a need to develop local manufacturing and maintenance abilities on an urgent basis so that India doesn’t have to rely on either used weaponry or equipment or get outdated equipments. For example, Russia will charge 125 crore for repairing the damaged nuclear submarine INS chakra. Developing local manufacturing can help India save its import bills and spend on welfare projects too.

Governments most appreciated project ‘Make in India’ has come with a new concept of ‘Design in India’ where emphasis has always been laid to give a boost to the country’s defence sector. If we take a closer look on our Prime Minister’s visit to various nations, we find that he has always laid emphasis on strengthening the defence of the country. With the spread of radicalism in Gulf and South Asia, India always aimed at measures to combat radicalism and counter terrorist threats. India signed one of the biggest weapon deals in the defence history with Israel amounting to $2 dollar that includes an advanced defence system of medium-range surface- to-air missile launchers and communication technology also indicates its efforts to suffice itself in the defence sector.

Use of drones, cyberspace, artificial intelligence are the future of defense sector. Many countries like Isreal, UK, US and even China have been spending heavily in these sectors. India too must catch up and promote collaboration between the forces, the industry and the academia so that not only India has defensive but offensive capabilities as well. Today, wars are not as common as the use of deterrence and India has to develop the balancing act of using it to its advantage. We all have the potential to comply with the advancements in the technology but the only thing that we need to do is to be in sync with the technology. It is not something impossible, the only thing that is required here is proactive management of the current and potential resources and a supportive push from financial regulatory standpoint and we achieve self sufficiency in this sector and emerge globally powerful.

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#BlogToPM – Women Empowerment

The subject of empowerment of women has becoming a burning issue all over the world including India since last few decades. Many agencies of United Nations in their reports have emphasized that gender issue is to be given utmost priority. It is held that women now cannot be asked to wait for any more for equality.

Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai famously quoted “I raise up my voice—not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard we cannot succeed when half of us are held back”, and that sentiment precisely outlines the basis of new age women empowerment. Discrimination against women is rampant all over the world even in this 21st century. Patriarchal societies in most countries are adept at exploitation as well as victimization of women. Even though about 50% of the world’s population consists of women, but unfortunately most of them are denied basic rights education, freedom of speech, voting power and even independent identity. Crimes directed specifically against women are reported from all over the world. There still remain questions about acceptance of women empowerment in the most advanced of countries, while developing nations and nations under political duress are far from achieving the desired status.

Inequalities between men and women and discrimination against women have also been age-old issues all over the world. Thus, women’s quest for equality with man is a universal phenomenon. What exists for men is demanded by women? They have demanded equality with men in matters of education, employment, inheritance, marriage, and politics and recently in the field of religion also to serve as cleric (in Hinduism and Islam). Women want to have for themselves the same strategies of change which men folk have had over the centuries such as equal pay for equal work. Their quest for equality has given birth to the formation of many women’s associations and launching of movements.

If it is to be elucidated beyond the two self-explanatory words, ‘Women Empowerment’ refers to complete emancipation of women from socio-economic shackles of dependency and deprivations. Often made synonymous to gender equality, the term women empowerment encompasses a much larger set of principles that needs whole-hearted attention. The concept of empowerment flows from the word power. Empowerment of women would mean encouraging women to be self-reliant, economically independent, have positive self-esteem, generate confidence to face any difficult situation and incite active participation in various socio-political development endeavours. The growing conscience is to accept women as individuals capable of making rational and educated decisions about them as well as the society, increasing and improving the economic, political and legal strength of the women, to ensure equal-right as men, achieve internationally agreed goals for development and sustainability, and improve the quality of life for their families and communities.

The position and status of women all over the world has risen incredibly in the 20th century. We find that it has been very low in 18th and 19th centuries in India and elsewhere when they were treated like ‘objects’ that can be bought and sold. For a long time women in India remained within the four walls of their household. Their dependence on men folk was total. A long struggle going back over a century has brought women the property rights, voting rights, an equality in civil rights before the law in matters of marriage and employment (in India women had not to struggle for voting rights as we find in other countries).

In addition to the above rights, in India, the customs of purda (veil system), female infanticide, child marriage, sati system (self-immolation by the women with their husbands), dowry system and the state of permanent widowhood were either totally removed or checked to an appreciable extent after independence through legislative measures.

Two Acts have also been enacted to emancipate women in India. These are: Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 and the Compulsory Registration of Marriage Act, 2006. The Domestic Violence Act recognizes that abuse be physical as well as mental. Anything that makes a woman feel inferior and takes away her self-respect is abuse. Compulsory Registration of Marriage Act can be beneficial in preventing the abuse of insti­tution of marriage and hindering social justice especially in relation to women.

It would help the innumerable women in the country who get abandoned by their husbands and have no means of proving their marital status. It would also help check child marriages, bigamy and polygamy, enable women to seek maintenance and custody of their children and widows can claim inheritance rights. The Act is applicable on all women irrespective of caste, creed or religion. It would truly empower Indian women to exercise their rights.
To what extent legislative measures have been able to raise the status of women in India? Are women now feel empowered in the sense that they are being equally treated by men in all spheres of life and are able to express one’s true feminine urges and energies? These are the important questions to be investigated with regard to women’s empowerment in India.

We all know that girls are now doing better at school than boys. The annual results of Secondary and Higher Secondary Board examinations reveal this fact. More women are getting degrees than men, and are filling most new jobs in every field. There was a time when women’s education was not a priority even among the elite. Since the last quarter of the 20th century and more so after the opening up of die economy, post-1991, a growing number of women have been entering into the economic field, seeking paid work (remunerative jobs) outside the family.

Women are playing bigger and bigger role in economic field: as workers, consumers, entrepreneurs, managers and investors. According to a report of The Economist, ‘Women and the World Economy’, in 1950, only one-third of American women of working age had a paid job. Today, two-thirds do, and women make up almost half of American’s workforce. In fact, almost everywhere, including India, more women are employed, though their share is still very low. Manufacturing work, traditionally a male preserve, has declined, while jobs in services have expanded, reducing the demand for manual labour and putting the sexes on equal footing.

We can now see women in almost every field: architecture, lawyers, financial services, engineering, medical and IT jobs. They have also entered service occupations such as a nurse, a beautician, a sales worker, a waitress, etc. They are increasingly and gradually seen marching into domains which were previously reserved for males (police, driver’s army, pilots, chartered accoun­tants, commandos). In spite of their increasing number in every field, women still remain perhaps the world’s most underutilized resources. Many are still excluded from paid work and many do not make best use of their skills.
The rapid pace of economic development has increased the demand for educated female labour force almost in all fields. Women are earning as much as their husbands do, their employment nonetheless adds substantially to family and gives family an economic advantage over the family with only one breadwinner. This new phenomenon has also given economic power in the hands of women for which they were earlier totally dependent on males. Economically independent women feel more confident about their personal lives.

Hence, they are taking more personal decisions, for instance, about their further education, marriage, etc. More and more women want freedom of work and control their own reproduction, freedom of mobility and freedom to define one’s own style of life. It is contended that freedom leads to greater openness, generosity and tolerance.

This new pattern of working wives and mothers has affected the status of women in many ways. Women’s monetary independence leads them to the way to empowerment. Sociologist Robert Blood (1965) observes, ‘Employment emancipates women from domination by their husbands and secondarily, raises their daughters from inferiority to their brothers’ (Blood and Wolfe, 1965). In brief, economic independence of women is changing their overall equations, perspective and outlook.

Economic independence of women has also affected the gender relation­ships. New forms of gender relationships (live-in relationships are challenging the long-rooted conception of marriages as a permanent arrangement between families and communities.

In traditional marriages the relationships were hierarchical and authoritarian. The modem conjugal relationships are based on freedom and desire rather than convention. People’s attitudes about marriage are also changing. Educated women now feel that there is more to life than marriage. They can get most of the things they want (income, status, identity) without marriage, while they find it harder to find a suitable accomplished mate. This is why their marriage is delayed.

With increasing literacy among women in India, their entry into many types of work, formerly the preserve of men, women can now look upon the bearing and raising of their children not as a life’s work in itself but as an episode. It women have started taking men’s work, it could be said that men have taken over women’s.

Young fathers could be seen wash up and making beds, caring of the young and doing many other domestic works. The division of labour between sexes has changed somewhat. They do similar work and share both household activities and tastes. Women wear trousers, jeans, suits and put on ties.
The facts about working wives suggest a basic change in Indian family. The traditional (nuclear) household, in which the husband works and the wife remains at home to care for the children, though still a dominant pattern, is changing gradually but steadily.

A new pattern is emerging in which both partners work outside the home but do not share equally in housework and child care as we see in Western families. In India, the paternalistic attitude of the male has not undergone much change. In spite of such drawbacks and hurdles that still prevail, Indian women (especially educated) are no longer hesitant or apologetic about claiming a share and visibility within the family, at work, in public places, and in the public discourse.

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National Identity and Patriotism in times of globalization #BlogToPM

Globalisation is a modern concept that emerged in the last decade. It facilitated interconnectedness between different nations for the sake of capital investment, technology transfer, marketing of finished products and a host of other things. With the advent of cellular phones, social media and ultra-fast internet this interconnectedness trickled down to the level of personal relations between different nationalities. Despite of strained finances, elevated ticket prices and pressing inflation due to clashes in the middle-east regions, high fan turnout in support of home countries is being observed. Although we cannot justify that as an act of nationalism, yet it motivates the players and proves that national identity and patriotism are alive and growing in these times of globalisation.

Without a feeling of patriotism, we will not dedicate ourselves for our country which will kill our competitive spirit and survival instinct. Darwin said “survival of the fittest”. Today it is not about muscle power but about intellect, dedication, hard work and motivation. One of the main problems in India is inability to retain our best brains. Though they are groomed in our country using public money and best resources, they move to foreign nations in search of greener pastures. This brain drain is somewhat due to lack of patriotism.

Another trend that is being seen is that billionaires accepting citizenship of countries that charge less taxes. Though they are increasing their family coffers, they are betraying their country. When they shift business focus to some other country, they take jobs, technology and investment from their home country. This adversely affects employment and financial health of the country concerned. This is one of the adverse effects of globalisation.

Diversity is one of the essential components of our existence. If all the nations come under one umbrella, it will be difficult to understand and satisfy all. There will be a feeling of betrayal and unequal treatment. There are problems within nations that are causing clashes between sects, religions and regions. It is distressing and frightening just to imagine the magnitude of these clashes if the entire seven million people of the world are under one government. So, national identity and patriotism which are the progenies of nation need to exist.

Defence is not a high paying job. Despite of the risks involved people go to the borders to serve their country due to love for country. They sacrifice their lives by virtue of their patriotism and bravery. When the British established their supremacy over a major portion of the world, it was not only due to supreme armaments and organised army but also due to lack of dedication, patriotism, fighting spirit among our regional leaders. They were reluctant to shed their comfortable and luxurious life in favour of battle and self-respect. Some of the rulers betrayed their counterparts and helped the British. This resulted in years of torture, inequality and fierce freedom struggle. The only way to avoid such a predicament is to guard our national identity.

Social media as the agency of globalisation has virtually encompassed all walks of our life. It has penetrated into national and international security establishments and threatened their stability. It has negative consequences on economic spheres and geo-political military security environment. The terrorist organisations use it as a method of spreading their clandestine propaganda, hacking into government agencies and harming nations. They usually include gullible, unpatriotic and greedy individuals in their mission. So, patriotism is important in the face of globalisation to protect our country’s integrity.

Globalisation is changing our way of living like feeding habits, dressing style, social conduct etc. Our food, culture and dresses have evolved over centuries keeping in mind our home grown culture, climate and body’s needs. Though we need to modify ourselves according to shifting times and job requirements, we also need to keep in touch with our roots as it is an important recipe for success. We can retain our individuality only by virtue of national identity and patriotism. This makes national identity and patriotism important in these times of globalisation.

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#BlogToPM – The problem of Open defecation in India & solutions

India initiated Swachh Bharat on 2nd October 2014, as its flagship mission with the target date of 2nd October 2019 – 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. This program has making India defecation free by 2019, treatment of municipal solid waste, elimination of manual scavenging, and converting pour toilets to flush toilets.

Nothing in this world is impossible; it needs continuous and approach towards our aim. An open defecation free India is not a far-fetched dream, it can become reality if we pledge for so. The people of this Nation should feel it as their duty to keep our nation clean and the government should assist them in doing their duty. The nation which vouches for gender equality should provide all its women the right to answer their natural nature’s call in dignified way. Since ours is a huge country of varying culture and geography, the mission to have an open defecation free India in short time period of 2 years will be ineffective without aid of Technology.

Due to the practice of open defecation we are even losing our revered rivers which ultimately question our disease free, long and healthy life. There are so many challenges to achieve this goal but it can be easily achieved if we make the agenda of open defecation free India by 2019 a mass movement.

There was time when our whole Nation was trying to get rid of cruel British government, at that time Gandhiji said, “Sanitation is more important than political freedom”. The crux of his statement can get understood, according to which, what would we do of that freedom where we are not civilized enough to have proper sanitation facility, what would we do of that freedom where we will not remain healthy due to our improper sanitation activity, what would we do of that freedom where we cannot even protect the dignity of our women during their nature’s call. Then it is better first to have proper sanitation habit and facility, only after that we would be able to understand and use our freedom in a right way. Today even after 70 years of Independence only around 39% of our population have access to safe sanitation facilities, we are still unable to tap the full potential of our freedom.

It is being estimated that with proper sanitation facility, an Indian family would be able to save around ₹50,000 per year which would have spent on disease caused by open defecation. It is not just only we humans are affected by our own habit; it is sometime our nature too pay for this habit of ours. Ganga which is known for its life giving water is now at the stage where it is struggling for its own life. The Ganga River passes through 66 districts across 5 states is being heavily affected by E-Coli bacteria due to habit of people defecating in Gangatic plains. Now the life giving water of river Ganga has turned into life-threatening which itself brings misfortune for us.

The reasons for defecating in open space are not just one but many, the flush toilets consume more water than is consumed in a small steel mug. People defecate in open citing the filling of tank, which would be prevented if they defecate in open. Also, men often dominate in defecating in open, as this also prevents the dignity of women, and also prevents filling of tank.

The solution to eliminating the open defecation lies in a step wise process which includes making of toilets. Although, there are many toilets being built in three years, yet proper attention should be given to the toilets based on gender and proper toilets for women and girls in schools with water supply. Containment process which means defecating in open should be stopped by imposing penalties if possible and spreading awareness among people, as the ongoing campaign ‘Darwaza Bandh’. This will help in bringing behavioural change in people. Transportation of the sewage from one part to another should also be focused. Here sealed pipes should be used for transporting waste to reduce land pollution. Treatment of the waste is an important step. This includes the involvement of municipalities in waste disposal.

Things are changing fast since when safe sanitation become mass agenda under Swachh Bharat Mission which aims at making open defecation free India by 2019 for which various steps has been already taken. According to study at present 69% of our population have access to safe sanitation which was 39% till 2014. 4484 villages through which Ganga river passes have been declared open defecation free. Peoples are being promoted for opting save sanitation methods through financial support, catchy slogans, catchy advertisement and the most important in order to bring the behavioural change the habit related to safe sanitation are linked with pride and prestige, for example – toilet is being called as “Izzat ghar” which persuade the rigid section of society to change their habit for safe sanitation. Around 4.8 crore toilet have been built under Swachh Bharat mission and there is proper mechanism to tackle slip back in this mission.

India is in the right path to achieve the open defecation free status. Now a days, this mission has been seen as social mission than as government scheme. There are some concerns regarding speed of implementation. If the above stated concerns are addressed through the effective action, India will definitely become Open defecation free country by 2019 or soon.

 This post is a part of #BlogToPM, on Blogadda

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30 Minutes Timer To Just Write – Silence- my best friend

My God it harms a lot!!

Akin to smashing repetitively beside a barbed wall there were hurts and pains no matter which way I turned.

Sheltered in a deep dark prison which I shaped out of these conditions, I was lost and awfully stuck. Would that be expressed? Devoid of danger of burial, how could I? Stretched out on a treatment sofa or safe in a confessional stall, clarify how I could be resigned to whatever this was?

Do not recall all that, because whatever I am now is kaput. And not broken, with a hairline or split – this is compressed. Irreversible and not fatal. So living meant living with it. Being myself without fading or altering, as I believed change meant to answer questions – why, how, what and wherefore of the ladder leading to the darkness.

And that brings things to a full circle because it’s apparent that elucidation was out of the inquiry.

So silence became my best friend. A healing blanket I could choke in to cover. While I couldn’t repair, I could try to overlook. Or at least make believe. Silence isn’t a lie, when reality is like a knife; it’s the pinnacle of gamble.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

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WOW: Shhh! Don’t Tell Anyone

“Shhh! Don’t tell anyone” I hated birthdays.

I always threw a tantrum when I knew I was supposed to blow the candles on my cake. Or grab a bite of it only after the guests were served and I had to stay in my limits.

Why do I need to do it? Can’t we just skip the candles and eat the cake right away?

But I loved the gifts. The wrappers never made it alive out of my hands.

 ‘This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

‘I am taking My Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter’ 

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