केंद्रीय सेवा अधिकारी बोर्ड

( सरकार सहायत्त स्वायत्त संस्थान )

Central services officers board

( Government Aided Autonomous institute )

Articles

ACCESS TO MEDICINES MAKING MARKET FORCES SERVE THE POOR

Nearly 2 billion people have no access to basic medicines, causing a cascade of preventable misery and suffering. Since the landmark agreement on the Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property, WHO and its partners have launched a number of initiatives that are making market forces serve the poor…

AFGHANISTAN: INDIA’S OPTIONS

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s visit to New Delhi came at a crucial time and could well have set in motion the trajectory of how Indo-Afghan relations will pan out in the foreseeable future. That the Indo-Afghan relations have acquired a new salience is partly on account of certain regional and international developments, partly because the Afghan government has realised that expecting any positive contribution from its bete noire – Pakistan – is an exercise in futility, and…

NUCLEAR SECURITY : A GLOBAL RESPONSE TO A GLOBAL THREAT

The threat of nuclear terrorism is real. The possibility of criminals getting hold of nuclear and other radioactive material cannot be ruled out. Much progress has been made in tackling this threat nationally, regionally and globally, but more needs to be done. International cooperation is vital. As the global platform for cooperation in nuclear security, the IAEA helps countries to establish and maintain robust and sustainable national nuclear security regimes…

BRAVO INDIA! THE SURGICAL STRIKES

At the outset, we will like to convey our compliments to the Modi Government for the most befitting and unambiguous message by India to Pakistan that the continuing acts of terrorism perpetrated by the Pakistan deep State through the so called jihadists will not be tolerated any more. Equally credible is the unmatched finis and professionalism shown by the Indian Armed Forces in executing a clinically efficient operation along the Line of Control…

BREAKING THE CASTE CODE IN UTTAR PRADESH

It is election season in Uttar Pradesh. The four major political parties in the fray are seeking to win the people’s affection on the promise of developmental governance. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is promoting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Sab ka saath, sab ka vikas’ formula; the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) is pounding the media with publicity material highlighting the Government’s development record; the Congress has bluntly said the State will see progress only under its regime; and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has linked socio-economic development with the empowerment of the underprivileged classes…

BREAKING THROUGH A STRATEGIC LOG-JAM

At the outset, the Modi Government needs to be complimented for administering a most befitting and unambiguous message to Pakistan that the continuing acts of terrorism perpetrated by its ‘deep state’, through its pet ‘jihadists’, would no more be tolerated in helplessness. That message was finally delivered after a decade of dithering during which political ‘will’ was held hostage to timid fears of ‘escalation’; and that in spite of being served by a highly professional military Institution, when the present Government decided to call the bluff. Indeed, it was most praiseworthy that the entire response was well calibrated domestically, diplomatically and internationally…


CHANGING DYNAMICS IN CENTRAL ASIA AND AFGHANISTAN

In recent months, security situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated and relations between Kabul and Islamabad are tense. Although Afghanistan has signed a peace agreement with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s Hezb-i-Islami, the overall peace process with the Taliban is in disarray. Unrest in Kashmir and terrorist attack in Uri have resulted in a new low in relations between India and Pakistan. Following the death of Islam Karimov, there is a leadership change in Uzbekistan…

CHINA’S AIRCRAFT CARRIER PROGRAM

China’s aircraft carrier program has made significant progress with the country ready to launch its first indigenous aircraft carrier in the near future. China acquired its first aircraft carrier, the decommissioned Soviet ship Varyag, from Ukraine in 1998. The ship was repaired and refitted in Dalian after which it was commissioned into the People’s Liberation Army Nay (PLAN) in 2012 as the Liaoning. The ship has subsequently been operationalized with the J-15aircraft, which have been flying from it in the past four years…

FROM TERRORISM TO TERROR: WORRISOME DEVELOPMENTS FOR THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY

Ever since the territories under the captivity of the terrorist organisation— Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)—began to be recaptured, several analyses have been made predicting the outfit’s doomsday. The rapidly depleting financial sources and the reduction in the size of foreign fighters in the so-called caliphate are other attributing factors for this prognosis. While the ongoing discussions about the trampling of ISIS hold some substance, a complete defeat of its extremist ideology is nowhere in the vicinity…

GOODS AND SERVICES TAX NETWORK (GSTN): CAUTION SHOULD BE THE KEY WORD

Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a broad-based, comprehensive, single indirect tax which will be levied concurrently on goods and services across India. It will replace most of the Central and State indirect taxes such as Value added Tax (VAT), Excise Duty. Service Tax, Central Sales Tax, Additional Customs Duty and Special Additional Duty of Customs. GST will be levied at every stage of the production and distribution chains by giving the benefit of Input Tax Credit (ITC) of the tax remitted at previous stages…

HIV: FROM A DEVASTATING EPIDEMIC TO A MANAGEABLE CHRONIC DISEASE

In the decade since the United Nations declared HIV an unprecedented human catastrophe, the AIDS response has underscored the ethical imperative of fair access to medicine. WHO’s standard-setting work helped make prevention and treatment more accessible, safe, effective and efficient, and encouraged integrating HIV services into existing health systems. WHO has prequalified more than 250 products for HIV-related conditions. New targets aim to prevent 1.6 million new infections and 600 000 deaths per year, ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030…

INDIA AND THE UNITED STATES – RECENT DEVELOPMENT

As the Obama administration enters its last months in office, it is normal that it would want to assess the state of relations between the United States and India. Both countries have invested a lot in revitalizing this partnership and the US would naturally examine the “broad arch and trajectory” of this relationship, areas that have seen significant advancement and consolidation over the last two years, and also take stock of those issues where progress has not been as desired…

INDIA’S COUNTER-PROXY WAR STRATEGY: THE NEW RULES OF THE GAME

On the night of September 28, 2016, several teams of the Special Forces of the Indian army crossed the Line of Control (LoC) through gaps in the forward defences of the Pakistan army. The highly-trained commandos walked quietly over several kilometres across some of the most difficult terrain in the Himalayan mountains under the very nose of the Pakistan army. Their targets were terrorist training camps in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK). They struck with deadly effect and, as quietly as they had come in, they exfiltrated back across the LoC…

INDIA’S PAKISTAN POLICY: ON THE RIGHT TRACK

The developments of the last few weeks, culminating in the highly successful surgical strikes conducted by the Indian Army across the LoC in the wee hours of 29 September 2016, constitute a defining moment as they mark a definitive shift in India’s Pakistan policy from one of unconditional engagement to that of imposing costs for the use of terror against us…

ISLAMIC RADICALISATION: THE ZAKIR NAIK WAY

Zakir Naik, a Mumbai based televangelist has been in news recently after one of the Bangladeshi youth involved in July 2, 2016 terrorist attack at the Dhaka Holey Artisan Bakery, admitted to having been influenced by the radical speeches and lectures of Zakir Naik. Soon thereafter, another youth captured in connection with attempted attack at the Eid prayer meeting near Dhaka on July 7, made similar confession. His name also cropped up in connection with radicalisation of Muslim youths in India. Obviously, he came under intense media scrutiny amidst demands for action…

KASHMIR: WHO’LL BUY WHAT PAKISTAN IS SELLING?

For nearly quarter of a century now, that is ever since terrorism enveloped the state of Jammu and Kashmir around 1989-90, India has downplayed the Pakistan’s diplomatic propaganda campaign against it. Except for pro forma rebuttals in the UN to Pakistani provocations and the occasional statement by the MEA spokesperson, India has preferred to not join issue with Pakistan in a sustained sort of manner. The idea was that instead of dignifying them, it would be better to ignore Pakistani rants and treat them with the contempt they deserved…

LEGAL ASPECTS OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT: RELEVANT INTERNATIONAL LEGAL INSTRUMENTS

The responsible use of nuclear technology requires the safe and environmentally sound management of radioactive waste, for which countries need to have stringent technical, administrative and legal measures in place. The legal aspects of radioactive waste management can be found in a wide variety of legally binding and non-binding international instruments. This overview focuses on the most relevant ones, in particular those on nuclear safety, security, safeguards and civil liability for nuclear damage. It also identifies relevant regional instruments concerning environmental matters, in particular, with regard to strategic environmental assessments (SEAs), environmental impact assessments (EIAs), public access to information and participation in decision-making, as well as access to justice…

MAJOR CONSIDERATIONS: THE ISSUE OF WASTE STORAGE AND DISPOSAL

When people talk about the adoption of nuclear technology and use of radioactive material, one of the most contentious issues is its ultimate disposal. The length of time needed for radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel declared as waste to no longer present a potential hazard to human health or the environment varies significantly. This can range from a few months or years for some types of radioactive waste, to millennia for high level waste, and hundreds of thousands of years for spent fuel. As such, governments and citizens have legitimate concerns about safety in the near and long term…

MALARIA : RETREAT OF A CENTURIES OLD SCOURGE

Energized in 2007 by a call for malaria eradication, the world united around a new agenda to control and eliminate this ancient scourge. WHO-driven policies led to massive coverage with free or subsidized insecticide-treated nets. As malaria ceased to be the main cause of fever in African children, WHO recommended treatment only after diagnostic confirmation. Malaria deaths dropped 62% from 2000 to 2015, and WHO set an ambitious global technical strategy for malaria through 2030, drawing on the advice of more than 400 experts from 70 countries…

MODELLING OF DEFENCE PREPAREDNESS

Every nation, big or small, has to address its need for defence in a world that is full of conflicts and uncertainties. India with its growing economy and poised to become one of the top five powerful nations of the globe, therefore, has to have a robust defence framework. The budget announces every year a significant chunk of the nation’s revenue for sourcing of defence systems. Our armed forces make corresponding plans to utilize these funds to continually support as well as modernize the defence framework in the country…

NEPALESE PM PUSHPA KAMAL DAHAL’S VISIT TO INDIA- AN ANALYSIS

The Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, accompanied by his wife Sita Dahal, arrived at New Delhi on September 15, 2016 on a four day official visit. This was Prime Minister Dahal’s first overseas visit since taking over last month (August 2016), replacing the controversial CPN- UML leader K P Sharma Oli whose 9-month rule (Oct. 2015 to July 2016), was marked by a sense of open confrontation with New Delhi at a level never witnessed in recent times…

NUCLEAR POWER, ENERGY ECONOMICS AND ENERFY SECURITY

Economic development requires reliable, affordable electricity that is provided in sufficient quantities to satisfy the minimum energy requirements at a local, regional or national level. As simple as this recipe for economic development appears, technological, infrastructural, financial and developmental considerations must be analysed and balanced to produce a national energy strategy. Complicating that task is the historic fact that energy at the desired price and in the desired quantities can be neither taken for granted nor guaranteed. Energy economics and energy security determine the options available to nations working to establish a sustainable energy strategy for the future…

NUCLEAR SECURITY : FUTURE AHEAD

Nuclear technology plays a much bigger role in our daily lives than most people realise. From the microchips and battery in your smartphone, to the tyres on your car and the electrical cables in the walls and floors of your home – items such as these are routinely treated with radiation. Radiation technology helps to prevent food from spoiling and can reveal otherwise invisible cracks in the wings of aircraft. Everyone is aware of the key role that nuclear technology plays in the diagnosis and treatment of major diseases…

NUCLEAR SECURITY : FROM CRADLE TO GRAVE.

The Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) finally entered into force, almost eleven years after its adoption. The world will be a more secure place as a result of the commitments that States party to the Amendment have made. The Amendment establishes legally binding commitments for countries to protect nuclear facilities as well as nuclear material in domestic use, storage and transport. Under the Amendment, countries are required to establish appropriate physical protection regimes for nuclear material. They also take on new obligations to share information on sabotage, including on credible threats of sabotage…

OFFSHOOTS OF NEW FINANCIAL GOVERNANCE

There has of late been speculation that the Modi Government could usher in substantial changes in the country’s fiscal governance through three methods: First, by revising the financial year from the present April-March cycle to January- December; second, by scrapping the Railway Budget; and third, by abolishing the classification of expenditure as Plan and non- Plan. At a recent interaction in New Delhi, NITI Aayog (National Institute for Transforming India) member and economist Bibek Debroy said these measures could potentially be introduced over the next three years, individually if not together…

THE POWER OF VACCINES : STILL NOT FULLY UTILIZED

Vaccines prevented at least 10 million deaths between 2010 and 2015, and many millions more lives were protected from illness. The global push to end polio has reached its final stages, with just 3 remaining countries still working to eradicate this debilitating disease. The ambitious Global Vaccine Action Plan to reach everyone with vaccines by 2020 started strong but is falling behind. WHO challenges all health leaders to make immunization one of the biggest success stories of modern medicine…

PRIMARY HEALTH CARE TO UNIVERSAL COVERAGE

The 1978 Declaration of Alma-Ata set out primary health care as the way to achieve health for all by the year 2000. It launched a revolutionary movement that did great good but eventually faltered, partly because it was so profoundly misunderstood. It was a radical attack on the medical establishment. It was a standoff between proponents of basic versus specialized care. It was hopelessly utopian; a selective approach, based on just a few inexpensive interventions that brought rapid results, had a better chance of success. With its reliance on community health workers, it looked cheap: third- rate care for the Third World. For some countries, a declaration associated with a Soviet city raised suspicions that the call was a veiled attempt to push governments towards socialized medicine…

Raging Fires Over Right To Water

A fortnight ago, violence erupted in Bangalore and Chennai. Lives were lost and public property worth millions of rupees was destroyed by arsonists. The trigger was a Supreme Court ruling of September 5, which ordered Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of water per day for the following 10 days to Tamil Nadu. This was later modified to 12,000 cusecs a day, but the damage had already been done. Thankfully, the madness has now abated. However, the dispute over sharing the river water between the two States simmers. An amicable resolution is nowhere in sight and the apex court’s final verdict is awaited…

REGULATING RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT, A NATION OBLIGATION

National and local governments design and enforce rules concerning the safe transport, treatment, storage, disposal, and classification of radioactive waste. These rules are intended to protect people and the environment, and to provide a legal and regulatory framework within which radioactive waste management can be planned and safely carried out. Radioactive waste regulations also cover “who” is responsible for “what” at each stage of the waste management process, and define the optimal decision making process over the different stages in the lifetime of the waste facility, including development, operation, and closure or decommissioning…

Surgical Strikes and More

The surgical strikes by the Indian army on the launch pads along the Line of Control (LoC) in J&K for infiltrating terrorists into India is a long- awaited step with major implications for the future. For 55 years India has not crossed the LoC in J&K to retaliate against Pakistan’s direct aggression and acts of war through proxies. Especially after Pakistan became nuclear and its involvement in terrorism in J&K and across India assumed grave proportions, we have desisted from cross-LoC operations for fear of escalation and concern about the nuclear environment in which we are operating…

Time to hit and hurt the Pakistan army!

For every act of terrorism on Indian territory for which there is credible evidence pointing to the Pakistan army and the ISI’s involvement, carefully calibrated military strikes must be launched against the Pakistan army,’ says Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal (retd). The Pakistan-sponsored fidayeen attack on an army camp in Uri on September 18, that resulted in the martyrdom of 17 soldiers, is the worst since 2002. Though all four fidayeen were killed, that is cold comfort for an army at the receiving end…

Towards ending tuberculosis: What Gets Measured Gets Done

The fight against tuberculosis faced two challenges in 2007: co-infection with HIV and the emergence of drug resistant strains made the disease more deadly. WHO and its partners have pursued a culture of measurement and innovation, leading to more effective and affordable diagnostic tests, firm policies for their appropriate use, and several new treatments in the pipeline. In May 2014, WHO launched an ambitious strategy to end TB by 2035, and is elevating the TB fight from the technical to the highest political levels. During the first five decades of its history, WHO gave TB control widely varying degrees of priority, first swinging up, then down, then dramatically up again in line with the evolving epidemiology of this disease. In 1948, the newly established agency singled out malaria, TB and sexually transmitted diseases, especially syphilis, as epidemics requiring urgent international attention…

Update on India Vietnam Relationship

Vietnam lies in the Asia Pacific region which is a dear friend of India. Vietnam and India have China as a neighbour which results in commonality of strategic thinking due to complexities in dealing with the Chinese nationalistic aspirations. The United States (US) on account of the significant rise in China’s military power is rebalancing its forces in the region. It is pertinent to note that most of US imports come from this region and with regard to exports the area is the second largest destination for the US. The region has US bases in Japan and Republic of Korea as also friendly port facilities for US War Ships in Singapore, Thailand and Philippines. Agreements with Australia have seen the stationing of US Marines at the port of Darwin…

Water Matters: Regulation for use of nuclear technology

The world faces acute water shortages. The current African drought is just the latest tragic example. One billion people have no access to adequate drinking water. Five million — mainly children — die each year due to water– borne diseases. Those numbers are expected to rise. For over half a century, the IAEA has been doing everything it can to help, deploying its unique expertise in using nuclear techniques to understand and manage water. In more than 90 countries, our experts work with national counterparts to find, manage and conserve freshwater supplies and protect our oceans…