Recently, GoI unveiled a new version of Defence Acquisition Procedure
Interesting concepts – LEASING - which will provide an opportunity to lower military hardware costs
DAP will in future not build in offsets in a contract with a supplier, when the contract is directly between governments or limited to a single vendor.
CAG - India’s offset policy didn’t produce desired results.
Dassault Aviation - had not yet fulfilled its offset obligation to transfer technology which would help DRDO develop the Kaveri engine.
Kaveri engine has been under development for 30 years, highlighting the technological challenge confronting indigenous defence development.
Our biggest challenges are qualityandlacks cutting edge technology
Offsets are a way to compress the development time for domestic industry.
2018-19 - Government to government procurement - Rs 45,706 crore
Offset is a critical tool for realising AtmanirbharBharat’sgoals.
A people’s force | IndExp
Police played a very important role during LOCKDOWN
Despite limited resources and a risk to life, India’s police agencies have risen to the challenge.
Traditional police functions were replacedbynew ones.
The police had to make sure that the lockdown was effective.
As the situation evolved, many new responsibilities were added.
The National Policy on Disaster Management (NPDM) 2009 describes the police as the “first and key responders” in a disaster.
When the lockdown — amongst the most stringent in the world — began, the police neither had any standard operating procedure (SOP) nor guidelines.
They have gone beyond the call of duty — supplying vegetables and groceries to people in containment zones and arranging food and transport for migrant labour on the move.
They have protected healthcare workers and ensured the seamless movement of transport and logistics for essential commodities.
Many dont have personal protection equipment (PPE)
In Bihar, for instance, there were 12,909 quarantine centres in which 22 lakh people had registered and over 6 lakh had taken shelter as of May 28.
The pandemic has taught several valuable lessons.
Building the ground-level capacity of the police — and sister agencies like fire safety authorities — is critical to their functioning as the first responder.
Policing during the pandemic has underscored the need for soft skills — for example, dealing with people through effective communication and coordination.
Police training should include a component on medical emergencies.
The police need to prepareSOPs for public health crises.
It’s time to integrate community policing into the police’s organisational ethos.
Training academies should devote more time to this subject.
Community policing will be much needed in the coming months, when conflicts at family or village level and petty crimes are likely to come up as social aftershocks of COVID-19.
Involving an alert community in the task will help the force.
Open the door | IndExp
A new government policy that proposes to rank Indian institutes of science on the proportion of the women they employ must be heartily welcomed.
Department of Science and Technology signals a larger realisation that equality and gender parity cannot come without institutions actively seeking to create the conditions for it.
The odds have been stacked against the Indian woman scientist for a long while now.
In2005, a government task force found that while the number of women entering university to study science has gone up by 30 per cent from the 1950s, they drop off just as they are about to enter teaching or pursue doctoral research.
Scientific institutions — like many other institutions — have not given much thought to re-designing their systems to accommodate talented women.
The IITs, especially, are striking offenders, with a dismal record in employing women at the faculty level, though other institutions do not fare much better.
One way out is to adopt a policy redesign that puts the needs of women at the centre of the institutional agenda, and work around it, rather than force them to square their lives around the institute’s demands.
Scientific institutions must recognise that not everyone flourishes on the “level-playing field” — and then find ways to correct this bias.
The new policy is a right, and overdue, first step.
Weighing the costs
India - 6 million cases - 100,000 deaths
Viral infections, particularly of the influenza variety, are also common at this time of the year and there may be new unknowns in the risks that lie ahead.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, on multiple occasions has said that an India-made vaccine was likely to be available in “early 2021”.
The government already has an expert committee on vaccine distribution.
Once found, their job is to decide A-Z about the vaccine.
Storage and supply of vaccines are also problems as daunting as making one and pose complex challenges in India.
The GAVI Covax alliance has emerged as the largest coordinator of vaccine development as well as distribution of a probable vaccine.
Based on a combination of payments by 78 high-income countries and donations, the GAVI Covax aims to ensure that between 15-20% of every country’s population, or at least their most vulnerable, are able to be inoculated first.
In principle, these are laudableaims and underline principles of equity.
A paucity of testing facilities and equipment in March led to stringent restrictions on who could be tested.
Though the tests were ‘free’, they were first available only in government facilities and this contributed to a significant pool of untested carriers and a rapid spread of the virus that was only marginally blunted by the lockdown.
It is to be anticipated that vaccine delivery will be a protracted process and it will be a long time before the average citizen has access to it.
Managing the global commons
This year is defined by a pandemic, record-breakingforest fires, floods and droughts in various places, and the rapid melting of Arctic ice.
The disruption of our environment is one of the main factors causing these events.
To cope with these events, we need to increase our efforts in managing our interactions with the environment on a global scale.
When we want to manage shared resources, we need to balance both private and public interests.
Each individual farmer may benefit from turning on the pump to irrigate his/her land, but on a larger scale, it contributes to declining groundwater levels and electricityblackouts.
In 1968, biologist Garrett Hardin popularised the notion of the tragedy of the commons, which implies that communities cannot manage their shared resources and require governmental interventions to regulate resource use or privatise the resource.
In1990, political scientist Elinor Ostrom published her landmark book on governing the commons that demonstrated that communities can govern on their own their shared resources, often better than imposed, well-intended solutions from outside.
Ostrom was recognised in 2009 for her work by the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.
Global commons refer to shared resources that cannot be managed within national jurisdictions.
The spread of zoonotic diseases like COVID-19; greenhouse gas emissions; biodiversity reduction; overfishing; and the accumulation of plastic waste are some of the problems within the scope of global commons.
Although we have a good idea of what kind of governance might be successful at the local community level, these insights do not directly address the challenges we face on a global scale.
Some argue that top-down governance with binding agreements is the only effective solution for problems of a global scale.
Multilateral negotiations on climate change and other global commons over decades have had limited success.
Others have emphasised a more decentralised multi-level or polycentric approach that builds on the observed successes of local solutions.
We need to have coordinated activities at different scales.
For example, local irrigation communities could monitor the state of infrastructure and water use and adapt their watering scheme or cropping patterns to changes in water availability.
Community members may have more knowledge about the local ecological and social context, but they could also lack expertise, may be ruled by powerful factions within the community, or may not perceive sufficient incentives to sustain the local commons.
Empirical research also demonstrates that well-intended solutions imposed on community members are typically short-lived.
To manage our global commons, we need to facilitate and accommodate the self-governance of local commons, but provide safeguards at different levels to avoid exploitation and manage risks.
If we facilitate rural and urban communities to self-govern their shared resources, there will be risks involved for which cities and nations need to accept responsibilities.
Governing the global commons is the defining challenge for current and future generations.
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