Role of India in UN peacekeeping
A protest in the Democratic Republic of Congo resulted in the deaths of two BSF personnel assigned to the UN Peacekeeping Mission. How do UN peacekeepers perform their duties? India’s contribution to UN peacekeeping: how does it differ from other countries?
Five people were killed during a protest in an eastern town near the Ugandan border on Tuesday (July 26), including two BSF personnel who were part of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
There have been 175 Indian peacekeepers killed while serving with the United Nations so far. Among the UN Member States, India has lost the most peacekeepers.
Our deepest condolences go out to the families of the two brave Indian peacekeepers who lost their lives in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They were members of MONUSCO. Those responsible for these outrageous attacks must be held accountable and brought to justice. On Twitter, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar expressed his deepest condolences to the bereaved families.
A number of eminent Force Commanders have also been provided by India for UN Missions, and they continue to do so. Five thousand three hundred and twenty-three personnel from India are deployed in eight out of thirteen active UN peacekeeping missions, of which 166 are police.
In the 1950s, India participated in the UN operation in Korea, where its mediation role in resolving the stalemate over prisoners of war led to the signing of the armistice that ended the Korean War. During the process of interviews and repatriation, the Indian Custodian Force supervised the five-member Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission.
Following this, the UN entrusted the Indian armed forces with peacekeeping missions in the Middle East, Cyprus, and the Congo (since 1971, Zaire).
In addition, India chaired the three international commissions established by the 1954 Geneva Accords on Indochina for supervision and control of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.
Women have been sent to UN peacekeeping missions by India. A women-only contingent from India was deployed to a UN Peacekeeping Mission for the first time in 2007. Besides contributing to the restoration of security in Liberia, these women officers also increased the number of women in the security sector.
Besides providing security, the Indian Formed Police Unit also organized medical camps for Liberians, many of whom lacked access to health care.
Indian Peacekeepers provide medical care to the communities they serve on behalf of the Organization. Furthermore, they provide engineering services and veterinary support.
The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) deployed Indian veterinarians to help cattle herders who were losing their livestock to malnutrition and disease. A significant amount of road repair work has been undertaken by the Indian contingent in South Sudan, as well as vocational training and life-saving medical assistance.
There are 90 Indian nationals, including 18 specialists, at the Hospital by India in Goma, which has been operating since January 2005.
UN Medals of Honour have been awarded to the Indian contingent in the Upper Nile region (the Indian Battalion, the Horizontal Mechanical Engineering Company, the Level II hospital, the Petroleum Platoon, and the Force Signal Unit).
A total of 17 Force Commanders have been provided by India for various missions. In addition to the Force Commanders, India also provided two Military Advisers, one Female Police Adviser, and one Deputy Military Adviser to the Secretary-General.
The Trust Fund for sexual exploitation and abuse was established in 2016 with the contribution of the first country, India.
The international community must grasp the rapid changes that are underway in the nature and role of contemporary peacekeeping operations, according to India. In order for the Security Council’s mandates to be effective, they must reflect ground realities and be aligned with the resources provided.
The participation of troops and police-contributing countries is critical at all stages and in all aspects of mission planning. UNPKOs have been mandated to build peace in post-conflict societies, where financial and human resources should be increased.
Google street view launched in India
While Google Street View has been available in other countries since 2007, it has only just begun to roll out in India. What is it, and why has it not been enabled in India? What benefits will users receive from it? Are there any limitations to it?
As of now, Google Street View is available in ten Indian cities, with about 50 more cities expected to be added by the end of the year. Google Maps has been offering 360-degree interactive panoramas in cities across 100 countries since 2007. Under the National Geospatial Policy, 2021, Google Street View is powered by third-party images in India, unlike in other markets.
A Google Street View is an immersive 360-degree view of a location captured by data collectors walking around a city using special cameras mounted on vehicles or backpacks. The images are then stitched together to create a 360-degree view, which users can swipe through to see a detailed view. You can view it on Android and iOS using the app, or you can view it online.
As of 2011, vehicles were no longer permitted to capture images for Google Street View as a result of Bangalore City Policy. In spite of the fact that local companies like Wonobo and MapMyIndia provided their own versions of immersive visual maps of some Indian cities, Google did not proceed with the product in India after that.
Indian companies can license map data to others under the National Geospatial Policy, 2021. Following this, Google has partnered with Tech Mahindra and Mumbai-based Genesys International to enable Street View in 10 Indian cities. This is the first time Google is using partner data to enable this feature. These partners will collect and own the data in India.
The use of Street View is not allowed for restricted areas such as government properties, military establishments, and defense establishments in India. In a place like Delhi, Street View will not be able to access the cantonment area.
Users can plot routes and view satellite views on Google Maps, but often this does not provide a complete picture of the road conditions. Users can explore local businesses and see how a new destination looks with Street View before actually going there.
Many privacy and other issues have been raised regarding Street View over the years. Many of them result from people’s faces and other identifiable aspects, such as car number plates and house numbers, being captured by cameras and misused. This kind of view has also raised security concerns, especially for sensitive locations. In addition to India, Google has had issues with local authorities in countries like Austria, Australia, and Germany, though it has mostly recovered.
Safety Records of Spice Jet
SpiceJet has been ordered by India’s aviation safety regulator to curtail its schedule by 50% for the next eight weeks.
SpiceJet has been ordered to curtail its schedule by 50% for the next eight weeks in order to maintain its “efforts for safe and reliable air transport service” by India’s aviation safety regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). As a result of a spate of safety-related incidents over the last few months, the low-cost carrier has been brought into the spotlight by regulators. The regulatory missive won’t affect SpiceJet’s operations, the airline said in a statement.
SpiceJet was to operate 4,192 departures every week based on the approved Summer Schedule for 2022, which is effective until October 29. In recent months, SpiceJet hasn’t been operating at its full capacity, as per the industry experts.
According to a statement issued Thursday morning, all flights departed on schedule during the day, and some services were canceled due to the lean travel season.
As a result of yesterday’s order, there has been no impact on our schedule. Due to the current lean travel season, SpiceJet, like other airlines, had already rescheduled its flight operations.
SpiceJet has been taking measures to arrest the trend of incidents, but the airline needs to sustain efforts to maintain a safe and reliable air transportation service, according to the DGCA’s Wednesday order.
Due to the rising number of air safety incidents witnessed by SpiceJet, the DGCA issued a show-cause notice to the low-cost airline on July 6. In its notice, the aviation safety regulator noted that incidents since April 1 this year have been reviewed, and “poor internal safety oversight” and “inadequate maintenance actions” have led to a decline in safety margins.
In the notice, the regulator also highlighted SpiceJet’s poor financial situation, along with its potential impact on flight safety.
Three SpiceJet aircraft suffered safety-related incidents a day before the DGCA issued its show-cause notice, including a freighter aircraft returning to Kolkata after its weather radar failed after takeoff. A malfunctioning fuel indicator forced the airline’s Delhi-Dubai flight to divert to Karachi, while its Kandla-Mumbai flight made a priority landing in Maharashtra’s capital city after a windshield crack developed mid-flight.
In the past, the airline had suffered a series of incidents, including smoke in the cabin, fuselage door warnings, and cabin depressurization.
However, the regulator conducted 53 spot checks on 48 SpiceJet aircraft between July 9 and July 13 but found no major violations.
Have a look at India’s representations of the Commonwealth Games
In the Indian contingent, almost every state and union territory is represented, with Haryana having the highest representation with 39 athletes. Delhi and Maharashtra each have 14 seats, followed by Punjab (26), Tamil Nadu (17), and Haryana (26).
The Commonwealth Games (CWG) begin on Thursday in Birmingham with 215 athletes representing India across 15 disciplines. Nearly every state and union territory is represented, with Haryana having the highest representation with 39 athletes – similar to last year’s Tokyo Olympics.
Athletes from Haryana have competed in events such as boxing, track and field, wrestling, and cycling over the years. The state is well represented by men and women in the current contingent. The Sports Authority of India (SAI) has compiled a list of 39 athletes from Haryana, 19 of whom are women.
The women’s hockey team, which narrowly missed out on an Olympic medal last year, has played a major role in that. Eight of the 18 women in the squad are from Haryana. Several boxers and wrestlers from the state are also strong contenders for medals, including Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, and Jasmine Lamboriya.
Several sports are likely to bring India medals, each of which enjoys popularity in a different part of the country. Delhi and Haryana are heavily represented in contact sports such as judo, wrestling, and boxing. There is a strong presence of racquet sports in the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Kerala, where India has had some recent success in badminton, squash, and table tennis.
The country’s wrestling contingent is expected to bring home many medals, and all 12 wrestlers come from Haryana or Delhi, according to the SAI. As well as six of the 12 boxers from India, six are from Haryana. While P V Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth hail from Telangana, at least seven squash players and five table tennis players hail from Tamil Nadu.
Assam has just the 15th highest population in India and a fraction of the resources of Haryana and Tamil Nadu. Despite this, the state is sending as many as seven athletes to Birmingham. The Lawn Bowls contingent has three athletes, and the other four are all considered medal contenders.
59-kg weightlifter Popy Hazarika and boxer Lovlina Borgohain are among the big favorites, while Shiva Thapa could be a dark horse in boxing. While Hima Das may not have many big international results under her belt, she holds the 400m national record and is a leading track star in India.
A little over 4 lakh people live in Andaman & Nicobar Islands, which has done remarkably well in cycling, including India’s best performance at the Asian Track Championships in New Delhi last month. As the first Indian cyclist to reach the top 10 of the world rankings, Esow Alben might be a medal contender for the Union Territory. In order to finish on the podium, he will have to punch several notches above his weight.
edited and proofread by nikita sharma