Friday, October 29, 2010

Squeeze poor, extract profits By Pandurang Hegde

The microfinance companies in India have finally come under scanner for charging exorbitant rates of interest from poor villagers and using exploitative methods to recover small loans, forcing many poor to commit suicides.
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Monday, October 25, 2010

Smoke or chew, tobacco will kill!

By Ashok B Sharma
21 Oct 2010

The GATS-India report is a wakeup call to the policymakers and the government that its anti-tobacco measures are not enough to contain the menace.

GATS-India survey says 35% adults in India use tobacco in some or other form
Notwithstanding several anti-tobacco measures of the government, about one million persons die due to tobacco-related diseases every year, and this reflects a higher mortality than the combined deaths resulting from other major diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV AIDS and malaria in India.

The recently released first Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) – India 2010 has revealed that Tobacco is the single most common preventable cause of death in the world after road accidents causing nearly five million deaths annually across the globe. More than 80% of these deaths occur in the developing countries. Majority of cancers, cardiovascular and lung diseases resulting from tobacco use also reflect a very high health cost burden.

As a result of stringent tobacco control initiatives by the developed countries, the tobacco industry has shifted its focus to the developing countries. Countries like India are being targeted as potential markets by the global tobacco industry. According to a projection by 2030, seven of every 10 tobacco-attributable deaths are expected to be in the developing countries.

The GATS-India report is a wakeup call to the policymakers and the government that its anti-tobacco measures are not enough to contain the menace. The central government says that the implementation of The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution Act 2003 – COTPA – is the responsibility of the state governments. The law provides for banning smoking in public places, ban on all forms of direct and indirect advertisements, ban on sale of tobacco products to minors and within 100 yards of educational institutions.

The central government had launched the National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP) in 2007-08 in 21 states and 42 districts to field test tobacco control strategies, but the progress of this project is tardy.

India, which has ratified the Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (FCTC) in 2004, has a responsibility to contain the tobacco menace.

The central government is planning to persuade farmers to shift to alternative crops. The Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Ghulam Nabi Azad has said that while livelihood of tobacco growing farmers cannot be endangered, we must work towards moving farmers and farm workers out of the tobacco farming. Alternative employment should also be provided to the workers in the tobacco industry, he said.

Emphasizing the need for inter-sectoral coordination for comprehensive tobacco control strategies, the minister informed about collaboration with agriculture ministry for a project on alternative crops to tobacco and coordination with other stakeholders ministries like human resource development, information and broadcasting, rural development and labour.

GATS-India survey was conducted under the stewardship of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare along with the International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai. Technical assistance was provided by Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and RTI International.

GATS-India provides information on both, tobacco smoking and use of smokeless tobacco along with varied dimensions of tobacco use including use of different tobacco products, frequency of use, age at the time of initiation and the like. Additionally the report throws light on the other aspects of tobacco use like, exposure to second-hand smoke; cessation; the economies of tobacco; exposure to media messages on tobacco use; and knowledge of health impact of tobacco use.

The high prevalence of tobacco use makes India the second largest consumer in the world. India is among the few countries in the world where tobacco is consumed in oral form. GATS-India revealed that more than one-third (35%) of adults in India use tobacco in some form or the other. Among them 21% adults use only smokeless tobacco, 9% only smoke and 5% smoke as well as use smokeless tobacco. Based on these, the estimated number of tobacco users in India is 274.9 million, with 163.7 million users of only smokeless tobacco, 68.9 million only smokers and 42.3 millions users of both smoking and smokeless tobacco.

The prevalence of overall tobacco use among males is 48% and that among females is 20%. Nearly two in five (38%) adults in rural areas and one in four (25%) adults in urban areas use tobacco in some form. Prevalence of smoking among males is 24% whereas the prevalence among females is 3%. The extent of use of smokeless tobacco products among males (33%) is higher than among females (18%).

The prevalence of tobacco use among all the states and Union Territories ranges from the highest of 67% in Mizoram to the lowest of 9% in Goa. Prevalence of tobacco use in Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madya Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Sikkim, Tripura, Assam and West Bengal is higher than the national average. In most of the states and Union Territories the prevalence of both smoking and smokeless tobacco use among males is higher than among females with exceptions in Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram, where prevalence of smokeless tobacco is higher among females than males.

In recent years Gutkha consumption has increased manifold
More than 75% of tobacco users, both smokers as well as users of smokeless tobacco are daily users of tobacco. In India, khaini or tobacco-lime mixture (12%) is the most commonly used smokeless tobacco product, followed by gutkha, a mixture of tobacco, lime and areca nut (8%), betel quid with tobacco (6%) and applying tobacco as dentifrice (5%). The prevalence of each of the smokeless tobacco products, except dentifrice, is higher among males than females. Among smoking tobacco products, bidi, leaf-wrapped tobacco sticks (9%) is used most commonly followed by cigarette (6%) and hookah (1%).

Among both males and females, the prevalence of cigarette smoking is higher in urban areas but the prevalence of all other smoking products is higher in rural areas. The prevalence of each of the smokeless tobacco product is higher in rural than in urban areas, however, gutkha is almost equally prevalent in both urban and rural areas.
The high prevalence of tobacco use makes India the second largest consumer in the world. India is among the few countries in the world where tobacco is consumed in oral form.

On an average a daily cigarette smoker in India smokes 6.2 cigarette sticks per day and a daily bidi smoker smokes 11.6 bidi sticks per day. One-fourth of daily cigarette smokers smoke more than 10 cigarettes per day and more than half of the daily bidi smokers smoke more than 10 bidis per day.

The GATS-India shows that 52 % of adults were exposed to second-hand smoke (SHS) at home. In rural areas 58% and in urban areas 39% were exposed to SHS at home. The SHS exposure at home ranged from the highest of 97% in Mizoram to the lowest of 10% in Tamil Nadu. Exposure to SHS in indoor workplaces who usually work indoors or both indoors and outdoors was 30%. The exposure to SHS at workplace was highest (68%) in Jammu and Kashmir and lowest in Chandigarh (15%).

Exposure to SHS at any public places ranged from the highest of 54% in Meghalaya to lowest of 11% in Chandigarh

India has enacted anti-tobacco laws and the state governments are the implementing agencies for most of these laws, however the success of the anti-tobacco drive depends much upon generation of awareness and effective implementation of anti-tobacco measures by both the central and the state governments.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Solar power remains the best bet

By Shankar Sharma
19 Oct 2010

If we consider the ‘life cycle analysis’ of the costs and the impacts of various energy technologies available to us, solar power technology remains the best possible energy source.

India can rely on solar power from the roof top solar PV systems
A recent article on National Solar Mission ( ) on by highlighting certain environmental impacts of solar power has in effect conveyed a negative message to the readers on solar power technology which in reality may do more harm than benefit to the society. There have been few other articles also appearing in the media, which while highlighting the environmental impacts of solar power technology, could have been viewed as more objective if they had compared the overall socio-environmental impacts of other energy source technologies with solar power technology. In this regard, a holistic approach including the life cycle analysis of social and environmental impacts is highly essential.

It goes without saying that any action by the human beings will have some or the other deleterious impacts on the nature/environment. So we have to take a very cautious approach such that the overall impact on the environment is minimum while meeting the essential needs of the society. Towards this end we need to consider the “life cycle analysis” of the costs and the impacts of various energy technologies available to us.

In this regard can we say that energy technologies based on fossil fuels, including nuclear fuels, or hydro dams are better than the solar power? In case of solar power technology almost all of the environmental issues are limited to the manufacturing stage of the solar PV panels; and in other stages of its life cycle the impacts are negligible. With concerted efforts the impact on the society/environment can be minimised even in the manufacturing stage of the solar PV panels. Since all these impacts are in one location (of manufacturing) it is much easier to monitor and control.

Can we say so in the case of conventional power technologies? The impacts on society/ environment throughout the life cycle, starting from mining /dam construction till the obsolete power plant structures are decommissioned, are huge, and almost impossible to be eliminated. In case of nuclear power plants, the burden on the society in the form of spent nuclear fuel will go on for tens of generations whereas the benefit goes to only one generation. Conventional power technologies emit almost all the pollutants associated with solar power technology, and many more such as mercury, radio active elements, Green House Gases etc.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Put renewable energy on CSR menu

By Samir Nazareth
12 Oct 2010

Businesses can make a very positive intervention in the society by adding renewable energy projects to their CSR activities, which will help improve the socio-economic conditions of the marginalised.

Villagers can be trained to manage renewable energy projects
(photo courtesy: Panos)
According to the Government, India will need another 100,000 MW of power generation capacity by 2012. However the 2009 Budget document states ‘The growth in electricity generation by power utilities during 2008-09 at 2.7 per cent fell much short of the targeted 9.1 per cent.’

This is something routine as the demand for energy outstrips the efforts taken to meet it. Economic growth and development projects like the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidhyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY), a scheme to provide electricity to rural India, increase the burden on the already impoverished central grid. The Budget document recognises this and writes ‘the energy shortage increased, because the growth in requirement (5.1 per cent) was greater than the availability (3.8 per cent).’
Further, electrification under RGGVY does not imply electrification of the entire village nor does it guarantee regular power supply. Thus villages are unable to reap the benefits of electricity though connected to the grid.
The lack of equitable distribution of electricity is a socio-economic problem. Villages and small towns, being socio-economically weaker, do not receive 24x7 power supply, and this only exacerbates their problems. Even as the government builds more fossil fuel based power plants, supply of electricity to the common man is not guaranteed as the power is meant for industrial growth. This top down approach ignores the socio-economic benefits of ensuring electricity is provided to the ‘Aam Admi’.
The fact that the top-down approach has failed is seen starkly in the areas around thermal power plants which suffer daily power outages. This is a slip between the cup and the lip which needs to be bridged. Decentralised renewable energy is a viable method to do so. However, the incentives given by the government for such schemes have not enthused many to get into the fray.

However, companies like North Delhi Power Limited (NDPL) in Delhi who are engaged in electricity generation and supply are already planning to install solar panels on houses as part of their business strategy. Such a system reduces transmission losses, reduces demand load and provides extra electricity at almost no cost. The Punjab Energy Development Agency is also planning something similar in a township in Mohali in Chandigarh. Such initiatives have scope to be converted into CDM projects.

At present, most CSR activities revolve around education, health care, alternative employment or maintaining gardens. The innovative spirit that guides corporate India should also guide their CSR activities.

Decentralised electricity generation using renewables and its distribution can become the new frontiers for CSR activities. Such projects reduce load on the grid, bridge the growing electricity deficit, provide regular electricity supply and generate local employment.

As part of a CSR initiative a business can set up renewable energy systems in villages that will be maintained by villagers who have undergone training. Installing a mix of solar panels, wind mills and biogas plants can make a village energy self sufficient.

Cities can benefit too; take the case of Nagpur, in Central India. According to municipal data the city has 659 primary schools, 396 secondary schools, 140 higher secondary schools, 385 junior colleges, 12 medical colleges and 15 engineering colleges. Installing solar panels to meet some, if not all, of their power requirements would reduce the load on the central grid. As these institutions don’t operate 24x7 excess electricity could be fed back to the grid.

Though electricity is a basic requirement the government is clearly unable to provide it to all. Companies need to find ways to become socially relevant. Empowering people through decentralised renewable energy is one such way.
By adding renewable energy projects to their CSR activities, businesses will make a very positive intervention that will go a long way in improving the socio-economic lot of disempowered.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Vulnerable wildlife

By Pandurang Hegde
07 Oct 2010

The current policies to protect wildlife have failed to achieve intended goals. Can we think beyond borrowed concepts of Protected Areas and empower local communities to take initiatives for wildlife protection?

Several elephants have been killed by fast running trains this year
The Environment Ministry recently announced the plan to declare elephant as India’s national heritage animal and to establish National Elephant Conservation Authority.
Tragically during the same time seven elephants were crushed to death by speeding goods train in Banarhat forest in West Bengal. This is a clear indicator of the reality, the brazen cruelty of human beings against wildlife. We pride ourselves in the holistic outlook of ancient scriptures, depicting wildlife as incarnation of God. Nevertheless, the way we treat the wildlife is appalling. The train driver could have slowed down to save those elephants, instead he opted to mow thorough the herd, showing least concern for the innocent animals that cannot comprehend the fate of hitting a running train. In another incident, a calf elephant was mowed down by a truck on Ooty road near Bandipur National Park in Karnataka. Except few, majority of the people in this country believe and behave as if only people should have the right of way even at the cost of sacrificing the wildlife.

Despite having declared number of protected areas as National Parks and Sanctuaries, the threats to wildlife have increased rather than giving them any protection. The protected areas have increased manifold from 67 in 1970s to 491 in 2000, a rise of 700 percent over three decades. Enactment of the Wild Life Protection Act in 1972 was another step to provide legal protection to the wild animals in our country. But have these policies helped to give protection to the animals?

Having set up protected areas, the government has framed rules and laws to conserve them from outside threats of poaching as well as making it difficult to divert these areas for other purposes. However, in actual practice, the management of these areas by forest department has led to destruction of the protected areas. In Ranibennur Wild Life Sanctuary in Karnataka, specially carved out in deccan plains to conserve the Black bucks, the area is planted with eucalyptus mono culture. This monoculture hinders the growth of natural grass, creating shortage of fodder for black bucks. The planting of grassy patches in higher regions of Western Ghats with acacia auriculifomis has created fodder shortage for Gaur.

In addition to these anti ecological management practices, the state and central governments have given permission to build hydel dams inside the wild life sanctuaries. This is in clear violation of the existing Wild Life Act. Obviously, the pressure of power lobby is very strong to resist and the temptation is to sacrifice the existing reserves that are meant to be a refugee for wild life. The building of infrastructure projects like roads and rail lines across the protected areas is one of the major threats for smooth movement of wildlife in the country. These infrastructure projects lead to fragmentation of the habitats of wildlife, hindering the migratory paths of animals like elephants.

The selfish human being is so obsessed that he does not want to give space to animals to move during the night time. The ban of traffic in some parts of wild life areas in Karnataka has had positive impact on the movement of wild life. But the transport and tourist lobby is very keen that this ban is lifted in order to allow free movement of people and goods at the cost of sacrificing the wild animals that get killed due to heavy movement of vehicles. Blessed with greater ability to think, the human beings have a role and responsibility to allow wild life to survive and move in the forests. Instead of abiding by this responsibility, most of us seem to absolve ourselves and show our brute strength of superiority to destroy the wild animals. The mowing down of elephants by the running train is the clear manifestation of this brute violence.
In the midst of this gloomy situation, we have unique examples of communities showing rare courage and compassion to conserve wildlife. The Bishnoi sect in Rajasthan and Haryana has shown that it is possible to live in harmony with wild life as well as continue farming activities. We can still see chinkaras roaming in their agricultural fields. Their commitment to protect the wild animals is legendary, as they have stood their grounds against powerful bollywood actors like Salman Khan and Saif Ali Khan for their involvement in the poaching case. Similarly, the villagers in Kokre Bellur in Karnataka have shown that they can conserve the rare birds through community initiatives.

Ignoring the traditions of community conserved wild life initiatives spread over different landscapes in the country, the Government of India adopted the elite model of Protected Areas, a borrowed concept from United States. Under this initiative, the divide between “wild nature” and human beings was forced upon the people living around the National Parks and Wild life sanctuaries. These protected areas are the tourist spots for the elite to watch wild life. The increased conflicts between these protected areas and communities living around this region are a clear indicator of the failure of the ongoing wild life conservation policy in India.

The existing policies to address the issue of decreasing wildlife as well as the increasing threats to their survival have miserably failed. The tiger and elephant projects have not been able to provide the basic security for their survival. We need to review these failed initiatives and formulate a practical wildlife policy that can meet the conservation goals as well as protect their existing habitat.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Who will save Goa?

By Hartman de Souza
03 Oct 2010

Wild rush to mine Goa has almost ruined the once beautiful coastal state. Alarmed by the widespread destruction, citizen groups have come together to bring some sense to the government’s development planning, but politicians continue to give a hoot to their concerns for nature.

Goa has seen unparalleled exploitation of natural resources

While the Expert Panel appointed by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to look into the status of the Western Ghats had its day-long meeting at a conference hall in the National Institute of Oceanography, Goa on September 27, there is every likelihood that the strong attack launched by citizens' groups and others against the mining industry will be diluted if not waylaid.

At the outset it must be said that the possibility of this bleak outcome must be set against the major gain of this day, which was that Goa-based scientists, architects, writers, scholars and several citizens' groups formed a consortium of common interest that is sure to torment several Goan politicians who depend on mining to fill their coffers. This is not as far fetched as it may sound.

Many of these politicians have made billions through legal and illegal mining operations in Goa but in the process have killed innumerable forests, springs and aquifers of the state. Not to be left behind, the remaining netas have also bought huge tracts of agricultural land and forests, and now wait for the environmental clearances to come through. The story doesn't end here.

When some Goan economists claim that mining is the backbone of the economy, in reality they mean that either politicians and influential officials have turned mining barons or running companies that lease out mining machinery, or own a fleet of barges; or that every Goan official from Road Transport Officer to Police Inspector's level probably owns a few trucks to haul out the ore.

But to come back to the MoEF's Expert Panel that heard what Goans not dependent on mining had to say:
In a 100-minute presentation that drew the expected frowns from those in the industry, they set before the Expert Panel, perhaps for the first time in Goa, the most comprehensive and damning of cases against mining in Goa.

At least one of the panel members, Dr. V.S. Vijayan, a distinguished agricultural scientist, maintained that there should be a total moratorium on mining activities. He echoed Goan claims that a detailed social audit of the mining industry be the need of the day, and certainly not the Chief Minister's much flaunted 'new' Mineral Policy that was conceived to ensure the mining in Goa continues unabated. Lest it be forgotten citizens' groups have long been clamouring that regulations be honestly enforced, and that the extensive damage of earlier mining operations be repaired before any new activities are even contemplated.

Will this be the case? That is a moot point.
Professor Madhav Gadgil, an eminent scientist with the reputation to back him, while chairing the proceedings of the Expert panel admirably, appeared less than willing to disclose either his cards or his heart. He began the morning with a rather long-winded regurgitation of his past achievements in negotiating the terrain between the environment and that magical word, 'development'. However, considering his own admission that the Konkan Railway Corporation totally disregarded the changes he had painstakingly suggested, we may not have the most potent advocate for our magnificent Ghats.

While the morning session provided fact and figure by way of enlarged Google-generated maps, an exhibition of photographs of mining-devastated areas, elaborately marshalled writing, impassioned argument, and a dossier of all this in each panel members hands, the afternoon alas, was given to spin-doctoring.

In a power-point presentation redolent of fake public meetings in the mining areas, the industry's young representative, blissfully ignored figures and statistics given in the government's own Draft Regional Plan, and trotted out reasons that are both painful and false. According to them:
75 per cent of the state population is employed in the mining industry; major tax paying industry giving 25% of Goa's GDP; environmental measures will be taken care of by the new Mineral Policy; social programmes by way of bus stops and clinics and water tankers; planting five to six million trees every year.

Their solutions to the problem of mining in Goa are ridiculously simple and predictably enough, backed by the politicians. That illegal mining be curbed by government, that wider bypass roads be cut through forest lands for higher capacity carrying trucks with air-conditioned cabins. Right now ore from Karantaka coming into Goa has made life around the Anmod Ghat and below a living hell of trucks. The mining industry wants a railway in! As if on cue, a senior member of the industry reminded one and all that if the mining would stop, as it did in Kudremukh, it would fan a Naxalite movement!

In the discussion that followed, Professor Gadgil, before he left for a meeting with the Chief Minister, took pains to tell those concerned with the effects of mining to tone down their rhetoric and give suggestions that could improve the mining industry. While those in the industry opened their notebooks and duly took pen in hand, one trusts that both they and Professor Gadgil got an understanding of the only suggestion that was really made, namely, that a moratorium against mining be enforced and earlier leases cleared under false circumstances, be revoked.

Professor Gadgil perhaps, is not to know that nearly every single one of the Environment Impact Assessment studies mandatory for clearance have been fabricated by one Hyderabad-based laboratory with an office in Goa now; or how independent scientists who have scrutinised these have laughed at the pathetic job made of even fudging data, of 'Siberian salamanders' given home in Goa, or even, 'rivers of Gujarat' for that matter. Professor Gadgil is certainly not to know that the bulk of new clearances in the virgin foothills of Quepem and Sanguem were given by the MoEF panel headed by the infamous Dr. Majumdar, a scientist on the board of at least two mining and mining-related companies, who was then forced to resign. It is because of this obvious conflict of interest if not chicanery, that environmentalists, their lawyers and civil society ask that those earlier leases cleared, be revoked.

Whether one dwells on whether this destructive industry will be caught out or not, the scene perforce shifts to whether the Expert Panel, given their eminence and standing, are inclined to see the trees and water before the state and the central governments see the low grade ore beneath just waiting to be sent to China.

Too many intellectuals in Goa are now disturbed with the regularity that some scientists and environmentalists in Goa have shifted their allegiance to the mining industry, taking on board the myth that mining is the backbone of the Goan economy, and then, rationalizing this outrage in casuistry that would make even a Middle Ages monk blush with shame.
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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Military ties for industrial interests

By S. G. Vombatkere
01 Oct 2010

A careful examination of deepening strategic ties between India and U.S.A. has become necessary, particularly when direct military-to-military dealings are proposed sidelining democratic functioning.

It is necessary in today's world of intimately linked national economies to strengthen and deepen economic and cultural ties between all nations in the interest of peace. This would also be a positive move to effectively combat the scourge of terrorism synergistically. But if economic ties are predicated on ‘fighting terror’ by the use of police and military force and trade in military hardware and software, it would imply that the military-industrial complex (MIC) has an increasing role in economic ties, presaging ill for the whole world and particularly for those countries that join in strengthening such ties. This is especially as USA has made the first-ever step in formally corporatizing armed conflict and confirming the legendary power of USA's MIC by converting ‘combat operations’ by regular U.S. troops in Iraq to ‘stability operations’ by US-paid contractors such as Halliburton in the guise of military disengagement.

Military-to-military relations
A day before the Ninth Anniversary of the horrendous 9/11 attack-cum-tragedy in USA, leading Indian daily The Hindu reported two events indicating deepening strategic ties between India and USA [1, 2]. The on-going defence engagement of ‘military cooperation and inter-operability’ [3] and defence equipment procurement was proposed by US Admiral Willard during his visit to New Delhi, to be expanded to a ‘much richer dialogue’ including the Logistics Support Agreement (LSA) and Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA), to go ‘beyond bilateral exercises and sale of military hardware’. It is acknowledged that the top-most US military commanders have a US foreign policy role in addition to their military role [4]; thus these two Agreements, designed ‘in order to slice away bureaucratic procedures for the armed forces to work with each other’ need to be considered seriously in the public domain.

Speaking of the Indian military, Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi notes that "Our political leadership is highly uncomfortable in dealing with the military directly and prefers to let the bureaucracy do so." [5]. Thus effectively, the military's contact with the elected Executive is through the bureaucracy, giving bureaucrats a large degree of control that the military resents even while it unhesitatingly accepts civilian control. It is easy to blame the bureaucracy for this, but the historic and on-going failure of the political leadership in maintaining contact directly with the Defence Chiefs, cannot be wished away. (Creation of a Chief of Defence Staff post would overcome the problem, but this has been successfully stalled by the bureaucracy for years notwithstanding the cost to national security).

Willard's suggestion to ‘slice away bureaucratic procedures’ in military-to-military contacts seeks to further weaken the existing weak link between India's military and its political leadership by taking the bureaucracy out of the loop. This is interference in India's internal affairs and government functioning, and dangerous for India's security. Thus, even in the present scheme of skewed civilian-military relations within India, it must be ensured that the bureaucracy is not ‘sliced away’ from direct India-US military-to-military interactions; the elected Executive must urgently get its act together in the interest of national security.

Logistic support
The LSA clearly envisages providing logistic bases for the US military. This needs careful thinking-through; it could be the thin end of a wedge commencing with providing facilities for docking or landing, victualling and re-fuelling for US military ships and aircraft, later expandable to ammunitioning that includes stockpiling US weapons protected by US military personnel stationed on Indian territory. The serious problem with this is, a US weapon stockpile is an attractive target for militants and terrorists, and a successful attack can well become reason for USA to multiply its military presence on Indian soil, even without this provision built into the LSA.