How to Prepare for Internal Security and Disaster Management for IAS Mains

Out of the four General Studies papers in the UPSC civil services mains examination, the General Studies paper III is sometimes considered the most diverse in terms of the coverage of subjects. It incorporates the subjects of economics, internal security, disaster management, science and technology and agriculture. In this article, you can read about how to prepare for internal security and disaster management for the IAS exam.

The topics internal security and disaster management are diverse and also important for both the prelims and the mains exams. These topics are also highly linked with current affairs. Almost every question asked from them is related to current events. So, apart from standard textbooks, you should rely on newspapers and news analyses as well for these sections.

First of all, let us take a look at the trend analysis of these two topics from the time of the pattern change to 2016:

The following table gives the total marks worth of questions that were asked through the years mentioned.

Subject

Subtopic

2013

2014

2015

2016

Disaster Management

Disaster Management

10

12.5

12.5

25

Security

Development and Extremism

10

0

12.5

12.5

Security

External Actors and Border Management

10

62.5

25

25

Security

Cyber Security and Money Laundering

35

0

25

12.5

Disaster Management for UPSC

  • Topic is very dynamic and gaining prominence because every year, natural disasters such as floods, landslides, earthquakes, etc. occur.
  • The recent cyclone Fani set an example for planned management of natural disasters by which huge human loss could be everted. Lessons can be drawn from it. This is a potential area for questions.
  • Apart from natural disasters, man-made disasters such as fires, chemical spills, groundwater contamination, etc. are also to be studied.
  • Stick to one standard textbook for the static part and refer to a good newspaper for the dynamic content.
  • NDMA publications and NCERT Class XI textbook (Natural Hazards & Disaster Management) are major sources for this section.

For your reference, we are giving the questions that were asked from this topic in the UPSC exam in the last few years.

2013 UPSC question:

  • How important are vulnerability and risk assessment for pre-disaster management. As an administrator,what are key areas that you would focus in a disaster management?

2014 UPSC question:

  • Drought has been recognised as a disaster in view of its party expense, temporal duration, slow onset and lasting effect on various vulnerable sections. With a focus on the September 2010 guidelines from the National disaster management authority, discuss the mechanism for preparedness to deal with the El Nino and La Nina fallouts in India.

2015 UPSC question:

  • The frequency of earthquakes appears to have increased in the Indian subcontinent. However, India’s preparedness for mitigating their impact has significant gaps. Discuss various aspects.

2016 UPSC question:

  • With reference to National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) guidelines, discuss the measures to be adopted to mitigate the impact of the recent incidents of cloudbursts in many places of Uttarakhand.
  • The frequency of urban floods due to high intensity rainfall is increasing over the years. Discussing the reasons for urban floods. highlight the mechanisms for preparedness to reduce the risk during such events.

2017 UPSC question:

  • On December 2004, tsumani brought havoc on 14 countries including India. Discuss the factors responsible for occurrence of Tsunami and its effects on life and economy. In the light of guidelines of NDMA (2010) describe the mechanisms for preparedness to reduce the risk during such events.

2018 UPSC question:

  • Describe various measures taken in India for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) before and after signing ‘Sendai Framework for DRR (2015-2030)’. How is this framework different from ‘Hyogo Framework for Action, 2005?

Internal Security for UPSC

This topic can be subdivided into different subsections. Each of them are discussed briefly below.

Development and spread of extremism

  • This is a very narrow topic but very important as naxal issues are frequently seen in the news.
  • You need to explore the relationship between poverty, lack of development, unemployment and the rise of left-wing terrorism such as naxalism and maoism. The issue’s origins, development, the response of the government and current situation should be studied. Since this is a narrow topic, you can make good notes for them and refer to them as and when needed.
  • Sources:
    • The Hindu newspaper
    • Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) website
    • Challenges to Internal Security of India by Ashok Kumar

A few questions that were asked in the UPSC mains from this topic are given below:

2013

  • Article 244 of Indian Constitution relates to Administration of Scheduled areas and tribal areas. Analyze the impact of non-implementation of the provisions of fifth schedule on the growth of Left Wing Extremism.

2015

  • The persisting drives of the government for development of large industries in backward areas have resulted in isolating the tribal population and the farmers who face multiple displacements with Malkangiri and Naxalbari foci, discuss the corrective strategies needed to win the left wing extremism (LWE) doctrine affected citizens back into the mainstream of social and economic growth.

2017

  • The north-eastern region of India has been infested with insurgency for a very long time. Analyze the major reasons for the survival of armed insurgency in this region.

2018

  • Left Wing Extremism (LWE) is showing a downward trend, but still affects many parts of the country. Briefly explain the Government of India’s approach to counter the challenges posed by LWE.

Cybersecurity, social media and internal security challenges, money-laundering

  • This is a very relevant topic for the times. Many terrorists claim to have been influenced by social media sites and social media preachers for their terrorist acts.
  • With easy accessibility and a wide reach, social media is proving to be a challenge in tackling crimes of all nature.
  • Mob violence is also fuelled by social media messages that take no time to go viral.

A few UPSC questions are given for reference.

2013

  • Money laundering poses a serious threat to country’s economic sovereignty. What is its significance for India and what steps are required to be taken to control this menace?
  • What is digital signature? What does its authentication mean? Give various salient built in features of a digital signature.
  • What are social networking site and what security implications do these sites present?
  • Cyber warfare is considered by some defense analysts to be a larger threat than even Al Qaeda or terrorism. What do you understand by Cyber warfare? Outline the cyber threats which India is vulnerable to and bring out the state of the country’s preparedness to deal with the same.

2015

  • Religious indoctrination via digital media has resulted in Indian youth joining the ISIS. What is ISIS and its mission? How can ISIS be dangerous for the internal security of our country?
  • Considering the threats cyberspace poses for the country, India needs a “Digital Armed Force” to prevent crimes. Critically evaluate the National Cyber Security Policy, 2013 outlining the challenges perceived in its effective implementation.
  • Discuss the advantage and security implications of cloud hosting of server vis-a-vis in-house machine-based hosting for government businesses.

2016

  • Use of Internet and social media by non-state actors for subversive activities is a major concern. How have these have misused in the recent past? Suggest effective guidelines to curb the above threat.

2017

  • Discuss the potential threats of Cyber attack and the security framework to prevent it.

2018

  • India’s proximity to two of the world’s biggest illicit opium-growing states has enhanced her internal security concerns. Explain the linkages between drug trafficking and other illicit activities such as gunrunning, money laundering and human trafficking. What counter-measures should be taken to prevent the same?
  • Data security has assumed significant importance in the digitized world due to rising cyber crimes. The Justice B. N. Srikrishna Committee Report addresses issues related to data security. What, in your view, are the strengths and weakness sof the Report relating to protection of personal data in cyber space?

Terrorism

  • Very important topic and dynamic too.
  • The newspapers are the most important sources for material. IDSA website is also a good source.
  • Management of border areas, linkages between organised crime such as drug trafficking, kidnapping, human trafficking and their links with terrorism are to be studied.

UPSC questions on this topic from the past year papers are given below.

2013

  • How far are India’s internal security challenges linked with border management, particularly in view of the long porous borders with most countries of South Asia and Myanmar?

2014

  • China and Pakistan have entered into an agreement for development of an economic corridor. What thread does it dispose for India’s security? Critically examine.
  • In 2012, the longitudinal marking of the high-risk areas for piracy was moved from 65° East to 78° east in the Arabian Sea by International Maritime organisation. What impact does this have on India’s maritime security concerns?
  • How illegal transborder migration does pose a threat to India’s security? Discuss the strategies to curb this, bring out the factors which give impetus to such migration.
  • The diverse nature of India as a multireligious and multi-ethnic society is not immune to the impact of radicalism which has been in her neighbourhood. Discuss along with the strategies to be adopted to counter this environment.
  • International civil aviation laws provide all countries complete and exclusive sovereignty over the airspace above the territory. What do you understand by airspace? What are the implications of these laws on the space above this airspace? Discuss the challenges which this poses and suggests ways to contain the threat.

2016

  • Border management is a complex task due to difficult terrain and hostile relations with some countries. Elucidate the challenges and strategies for effective border management.
  • The terms ‘Hot Pursuit’ and ‘Surgical Strikes’ are often used in connection with armed action against terrorist attacks. Discuss the strategic impact of such actions.
  • “Terrorism is emerging as a competitive industry over the last few decades.” Analyse the above statement.

2018

  • The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is viewed as a cardinal subset of China’s larger ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative. Give a brief description of CPEC and enumerate the reasons why India has distanced itself from the same.

Security Forces and their Mandate

  • External and internal security forces such as the military forces (army, navy, air force), CAPF, IPS, intelligence agencies such as IB, RAW, etc.
  • You can refer to the official websites of these agencies for authentic information. Check out this link which gives precise information on them for a quick reference.

Various Internal Security Forces In India and their Mandate

The following question was asked in the UPSC 2015 mains exam GS III paper:

  • Human rights activists constantly highlight the view that the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) is a draconian act leading to cases of human rights abuses by the security forces. What sections of AFSPA are opposed by the activists? Critically evaluate the requirement with reference to the view held by the Apex Court.

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