IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


5th June, 2020


Swiss Cheese Model:


The Swiss cheese model is associated with accident investigation in an organisation or a system. A system consists of multiple domains or layers, each having some shortcomings. These layers are visualised in the model as slices of Swiss cheese, with the holes in them being the imperfections. Normally, weaknesses get nullified, other than when, at some point, the holes in every slice align to let a hazard pass through and cause an accident.

Swiss Cheese Model for nations defence preparedness

-       When applied to a nation’s defence preparedness, the Swiss cheese model, in its simplest form, works the reverse way.

-       The slices represent the major constituents in a nation’s war-making potential, while the holes are pathways through which the domains interact.

-       At the macro level, there are only three slices with holes in each.

-       These must align to ensure that a nation’s defence posture is in tune with its political objectives.

-       Any mismatch may turn out to be detrimental to the nation’s aatma samman (self-respect) when the balloon goes up.

-       In these days of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, a clinical analysis is necessary to obviate any missteps that may prove costly a few years or decades down the line.

Let’s analyse the Indian defence set-up from three slice perspective

In the Indian defence set-up, the three slices are as described below-

1) Policymaking: How changes in technology forced militaries to be joint?

-       With technology progressing exponentially, a single service prosecution of war was no longer tenable.

-       Because the advent of smart munitions, computer processing, networking capabilities and the skyrocketing cost of equipment brought in the concept of parallel warfare.

-       Synergised application of tools of national power became an imperative.

-       Thus, it became essential for militaries to be joint to apply violence in an economical way.

-       Economical in terms of time, casualties, costs incurred, and political gains achieved.

-       The setting up of the DMA and the creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) to achieve synergy are the most fundamental changes.

-       As further modifications and tweaking take place in the way the services prepare to go to war, it is imperative that the transformation be thought through with clinical analysis, without any external, emotional, political or rhetorical pressure.

-       Hostile security environment

-       India’s security managers have to factor in the increasingly belligerent posture of the country’s two adversaries.

-       Terrorist activities have not reduced in Jammu and Kashmir.

-       Ongoing incidents along the northern border with China do not foretell a peaceful future.

-       And the China-Pakistan nexus can only be expected to get stronger and portentous.

-       Such a security environment demands that capability accretion of the three services proceed unhindered.

2) Indigenous R&D and manufacturing is still some years away

-       To elaborate, the Indian Air Force at a minimum requires 300 fighters to bolster its squadron strength.

-       The Army needs guns of all types; and the Navy wants ships, helicopters, etc.

-       The requirements are worth billions of dollars but with COVID-19-induced cuts in defence spending.

-       Enter the well-meaning government diktat for buying indigenous only, but for that, in-house R&D and manufacturing entities have to play ball.

-       Hindustan Aeronautics Limited can, at best, produce just eight Tejas fighters per year presently.

-       The Army has had to import rifles due to the failure of the Defence Research and Development Organisation to produce them.

-       And the Navy has earnest hopes that the hull designs that its internal R&D makes get the vital innards for going to war.

-       So, the Swiss cheese slice representing indigenous R&D and a manufacturing supply chain that ensures quality war-fighting equipment, at the right time and in required quantities, is still some years away.

3) The three services and creation of theatre commands

-       The forthcoming reform of creating theatre commands is the most talked about result of jointness expected from the Swiss cheese slice in which lie the DMA and a restructured MoD. Doing so would be a shake-up of huge proportions as it strikes at the very foundation of the war-fighting structure of the services.

-       The three-year deadline spoken about by the CDS must take into account the not-so-comfortable state of assets of each service which would need to be carved up for each theatre.

-       The Chinese announced their ‘theaterisation’ concept in 2015; it is still work in progress.

-       The U.S. had a bruising debate for decades before the Goldwater-Nichols Act came into force in 1986.

-       New relationships take time to smooth out, and in the arena of defence policymaking, which is where the DMA and MoD lie, the element of time has a value of its own.

-       Any ramming through, just to meet a publicly declared timeline, could result in creating a not-so-optimal war-fighting organisation to our detriment.

-       So, the three services that constitute the third Swiss cheese slice have to contend with the other two slices being in a state of flux for some time to come.


The political, civil and military leadership must have their feet firmly on ground to ensure that the holes in their Swiss cheese continue to stay aligned; impractical timelines and pressures of public pronouncements must not be the drivers in such a fundamental overhaul of our defence apparatus.





Periodic Labour Force Survey



Context:  Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.

What is PLFS?

-       PLFS is India’s first computer-based survey which gives estimates of key employment and unemployment indicators like the labour force participation rate, worker population ratio, proportion unemployed and unemployment rate in rural households annually and on a quarterly basis for the urban households.

-       The PLFS also gives the distribution of educated and unemployed people, which in turn can be used as a basis for skilling of youth to make them more employable by industry.

-       The survey was launched in 2017 and the first annual report was released (July 2017-June 2018), covering both rural and urban areas, in May 2019.

The labour force is defined as people who are working, or seeking work or available for work. Its participation rate is the percentage of the labour force in the population.

The unemployment rate is the percentage of people without work within the labour force.


-       India’s unemployment rate fell between July 2018 and June 2019 to 5.8% from 6.1% during the same period of 2017-18, even as the labour force participation rate rose to 37.5% from 36.9%.

-       The worker population ratio also increased, to 35.3% as against 34.7% in the 2017-18.

-       Urban unemployment rate reduced to 7.7% in 2018-19 from 7.8% and in rural India to 5% from 5.3%.

-       Female participation rate improved in both urban and rural India during the period under review, going up to 18.6% in 2018-19 from 17.5% the year before.


-       To retain the falling trend in unemployment rate in 2019-20, which has witnessed a long nationwide lockdown between March and June to prevent the spread of Covid-19, resulting in job losses across sectors.

-       According to monthly data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, unemployment rate in India shot up significantly from 7.87% in June 2019 to 23.48% in May 2020.



Science and Tech:


Dark Net


Context: A fresh instance of Indians’ data being leaked on the dark net has come to light, with a massive data packet — nearly 100 gigabytes in size — being put up for sale in the dark web market. The data comprises scanned identity documents of over 1 lakh Indians, including passports, PAN cards, Aadhar cards, voter IDs and driver’s licenses.


What is Dark Net?

The dark net, also known as the "dark web," is a component of the greater "deep web," a network of encrypted Internet content that is not accessible via traditional search engines.


What is Surface Web?

The websites, webpages and information that you find using web search engine like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. only portray that you are exploring just the surface of the web. Search Engines use the crawling process to index the webpages. Thus, the general public access only surface web. Now, let’s go little deeper.

What is Deep Web?

The content that you cannot find using the search engine is termed as deep web. For example- If you search for something specific in the search engine it will give you many links and you will only find the content that you are looking for after clicking those links. Every website has its own search box. Thus the search engine’s search is limited to navigate the website. It won’t give you the links that are deep inside the website even if your search is specific. You have to go through different websites to find the particular link.

In simple terms, there are places in web that cannot be accessed by search engines but can be accessed

What is Dark Web?

The data that are purposefully unrevealed and is not attainable through any standard web browsers is termed as dark web. Dark Web is mostly used for illegal and nefarious activities. if you have an address.


Why Dark Net is preferred?

-       The dark net is most often used for illegal activities such as black markets, illegal file sharing, and the exchanging of illegal goods or services (including stolen financial and private data), and the anonymity of the darknet attracts drug-dealers, hackers, and child pornography peddlers.

-       Dark net markets have been instrumental in the development of cryptocurrencies because transactions completed on dark net markets using cryptocurrency protect both the buyer and seller.

-       The dark net is part of the deep web, but it refers to websites that are specifically used for nefarious reasons. Dark net sites are purposefully hidden from the surface net by additional means. The dark net facilities black markets, activities like illegal file sharing, and the exchanging of illegal goods or services including stolen financial and private data. In order to hide exchanges in this hidden economy, bitcoin is often used as a currency.

-       The anonymity of the dark web attracts drug-dealers, hackers, and child pornography peddlers. Hitmen and other illegal operatives can also advertise their services on the dark net in ways they could not over traditional channels.

-       The dark net is occasionally used for noble reasons by Internet users who need to operate anonymously. Journalists seeking to interview citizens of repressive countries where communications are monitored might use the dark net. The dark net can facilitate whistleblowing and news leaks, act as a tool to allow individuals to circumvent censorship networks, and can be used as a means of protecting political dissidents from reprisal.


96% of the content is available in the entire ocean of web

More facts:

The data was found by Cyble, a global cyber intelligence agency.

Samples of the data indicate that the documents are scanned copies of a wide variety of government-issued identity documents that prima facie seem to be legitimate.

From a third party

-       Cyble researchers have till now not found any indications of this data having leaked from a government system, and believe that it came from a third party.

-       Central and State cyber crime agencies have also taken note of the incident and have initiated their own inquiries.

-       The instance might not even be a leak as such. It might simply be a packet of documents collected over time by elements who need to collect them as part of their day job, who also moonlight as cyber criminals.

-       Any person working as an agent who helps people get official documents needs to collect their identity proof, and would have such a stash with them. The data in question might simply have been sold to the threat actor or hacked from such a person's server,” a cyber crime officer said.



Global Vaccine Summit


Context: Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi recently addressed the virtual Global Vaccine Summit hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in which over 50 ​countries – business leaders, UN agencies, civil society, government ministers, Heads of State and country leaders participated.


-       Overall the summit raised almost £7bn to Gavi, the international vaccine alliance.

-       India pledged 15 Million US Dollars.


What is GAVI?


Created in 2000, Gavi is an international organisation – a global Vaccine Alliance, bringing together public and private sectors with the shared goal of creating equal access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries.


Gavi brings together developing country and donor governments, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry in both industrialised and developing countries, research and technical agencies, civil society, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private philanthropists.



-       GAVI’s strategy supports its mission to save children’s lives and protect people’s health by increasing access to immunisation in poor countries.

-       Its partners provide funding for vaccines and intellectual resources for care advancement.

-       They contribute to strengthening the capacity of the health system to deliver immunisation and other health services in a sustainable manner.


Mutual Logistics Support Agreement


Context: India and Australia have signed a historic agreement, called ‘Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA)’, to allow access to military bases for logistics support.

This was agreed upon at the first-ever virtual bilateral summit between India Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison.



-       The agreement will facilitate reciprocal access to military logistics facilities, allow more complex joint military exercise and improve interoperability between the security forces of the two nations.

-       It allows reciprocal access to military facilities in terms of logistics support which generally include food, water, petroleum (fuel), spare parts and other components.

-       The agreement will be useful during joint military exercises, peacekeeping operations, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief operations, scheduled deployments of military platforms, and any other exigent situations that may arise.


The MLSA assumes greater importance in light of India and Australia’s limited naval capabilities. A scarcity of resources puts severe limitations on a country’s ability to project power in the distant waters, leaving its far-off assets at the mercy of other actors. Therefore, countries avoid dispersion of their resources and concentrate on their near waters. In the case of India and Australia, such a limitation does not match their ambitions in the region.







Disqualification of 7 Nagaland MLAs


Context: Gauhati High Court has directed Nagaland Assembly Speaker Sharingain Longkumer to conclude the disqualification proceedings against seven lawmakers of the Opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF) and pass appropriate orders within six weeks from June 2.

The issue:

On April 24, 2019, the NPF filed disqualification petitions against its seven suspended MLAs for “wilfully” defying its collective decision to support the Congress candidate in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

NPF claimed the seven MLAs had willfully given up their party membership, thereby attracting provisions under the 10th Schedule (anti-defection law) of the Constitution.

These MLAs, however, said as the NPF’s decision to support the Congress candidate was “against the principle of regionalism”, they said they had backed the other candidate. The NPF had not contested the polls.


Anti-defection law


-       The Tenth Schedule was inserted in the Constitution in 1985 by the 52nd Amendment Act.

-       It lays down the process by which legislators may be disqualified on grounds of defection by the Presiding Officer of a legislature based on a petition by any other member of the House.

-       The decision on question as to disqualification on ground of defection is referred to the Chairman or the Speaker of such House, and his decision is final.

-       The law applies to both Parliament and state assemblies.



-       If a member of a house belonging to a political party:

-       Voluntarily gives up the membership of his political party, or

-       Votes, or does not vote in the legislature, contrary to the directions of his political party. However, if the member has taken prior permission, or is condoned by the party within 15 days from such voting or abstention, the member shall not be disqualified.

-       If an independent candidate joins a political party after the election.

-       If a nominated member joins a party six months after he becomes a member of the legislature.

Exceptions under the law:


Legislators may change their party without the risk of disqualification in certain circumstances.


The law allows a party to merge with or into another party provided that at least two-thirds of its legislators are in favour of the merger.

In such a scenario, neither the members who decide to merge, nor the ones who stay with the original party will face disqualification.

Decision of the Presiding Officer is subject to judicial review:


The law initially stated that the decision of the Presiding Officer is not subject to judicial review. This condition was struck down by the Supreme Court in 1992, thereby allowing appeals against the Presiding Officer’s decision in the High Court and Supreme Court. However, it held that there may not be any judicial intervention until the Presiding Officer gives his order.



TULIP – Urban Learning Internship Program


Context:  An online portal for `The Urban Learning Internship Program (TULIP)’ - A program for providing internship opportunities to fresh graduates in all Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and Smart Cities across the country.


Need for and Significance of the program:

-       Such a program will help reap the benefits of India’s demographic dividend as it is poised to have the largest working-age population in the world in the coming years.

-       India has a substantial pool of technical graduates for whom exposure to real world project implementation and planning is essential for professional development.

-       General education may not reflect the depth of productive knowledge present in society. Instead of approaching education as ‘doing by learning,’ our societies need to reimagine education as ‘learning by doing.’

Salient Features:

-       TULIP is a program for providing fresh graduates experiential learning opportunities in the urban sector.

-       It would help enhance the value-to-market of India’s graduates and help create a potential talent pool in diverse fields like urban planning, transport engineering, environment, municipal finance etc.

-       It will lead to infusion of fresh ideas and energy with engagement of youth in co-creation of solutions for solving India’s urban challenges.

-       This launch is also an important stepping stone for fulfilment of MHRD and AICTE’s goal of 1 crore successful internships by the year 2025.

The Urban Learning Internship Program” would help fulfil twin goals of providing interns with hands-on learning experience as well as infusing fresh energy and ideas in the functioning of India’s ULBs and Smart Cities.


World Environment Day

-       World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated on 5 June every year, and is the United Nations' principal vehicle for encouraging awareness and action for the protection of our environment.

-       First held in 1974, it has been a flagship campaign for raising awareness on emerging from environmental issues to marine pollution, human overpopulation, and global warming, to sustainable consumption and wildlife crime.

-       World Environment Day has grown to become a global platform for public outreach, with participation from over 143 countries annually.

-       Each year, WED has provided a new theme that major corporations, NGOs, communities, governments and all celebrities worldwide adopt to advocate environmental causes