Saturday, April 14, 2012

Analysis of the situation in 2012

Give below is my analysis of the current situation. This is a purely hypothetical article.

My knowledge of Maoist and communist theory is limited. I am not trying to fit my analysis into any particular ideological framework.

Analysis of the situation in 2012

maoist districts india
Maoist affected districts in India based on 2011 data.
Naxal affected Districts ( As of 2005)

As the Home Minister P Chidambaram has stated repeatedly over the last several years, the Government Of India (GOI) has come up with a two-pronged strategy to deal with the Maoist insurgency
"Appropriate police action led by state governments in collaboration with central forces and development works in the affected areas to deal with the Maoist rebellion. He also makes it clear that he is confident this strategy will show results in the medium term." (CNN-IBN, March 14th, 2012).
This two pronged strategy of the Central Government translates into the "Clear, Hold, Develop approach to tackle Naxalism". This doctrine is derived from the Clear, Hold and Build model used by the US Army in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It is not clear what time frame "Medium Term" constitutes but my assumption based on various factors, reveals that this could be in the range of 2-3 years (750-1100 days).

Now this two pronged Carrot and the Stick approach which has been under development over the last few years, has acquired a broad outline, structure and purpose.

1. Operation Green Hunt (OGH) and it's coming successors : Operation Haka, Octopus etc, which will climax with the entry of the Indian Army in direct operations by as early as 2013. (The Stick)

2. Integrated Action Plan (IAP) , Prime Minister's Rural Development Fellowship Scheme (PMRDFS) and other related schemes. (The Carrot)

Let us now analyse the first part of this strategy

1. Operation Green Hunt (OGH).

Greenhunt India

Operation Greenhunt is a new phase in a very old war being fought since millennia , the actors have changed, the stage has changed but the purpose remains the same - Appropriation of Avarna Resources.

Savarna's Vs Avarna's

For centuries the Avarna's in India, have retreated deeper and deeper into the forests under the onslaught of Savarna rule. The Avarna's whose population once spanned the entire length and breadth of the Indian sub-continent, today find themselves encircled in a few forest pockets in central India.

Over centuries the more that the Avarna's acquiesced to Savarna demands , the more sacrifices were demanded from them. Today it has reached a point where the Savarna's are demanding nothing less the total annihilation of the Avarna's, their way of life and transfer of all their lands, rivers, forests into the hands of corporations owned by puppet Savarna individuals and their foreign masters.

As Arundathi Roy has stated in an article
" There’s an MoU on every mountain, river, forest glade. What the media calls the Maoist Corridor—the Dandakaranya—could well be called the MoUist Corridor." Chidambaram’s War - Outlook.
OGH is a product of a Savarna mindset and has been planned by the Bania's and Brahmins who rule over India. The execution of OGH will be done by the Indian Army and security forces comprising of Kshatriya's and Avarna's.
crpf cartoon
Savarna Alliance - The Brahmin CRPF chief and his Bania master.
brahmin politician
Brahmin Strategist : Jairam Ramesh, Minister for Rural Development.
Dr Raman Singh- The Brahmin Chief Minister of the state of Chhattisgarh 
Brij Mohan Agarwal (Fmr Home Minister of Chhattisgarh) - The Bania Mastermind behind Salwa-Judum.
The Genesis of Operation Green Hunt

Depending on the definition, Green Hunt either began in July 2009, September 2009 or November 2009. Speaking off record, senior policemen have confirmed that the intensification of “search and comb” operations in Maoist dominated districts in Central India began as early as July 2009.

In September 2009 the press reported on the progress of “Operation Green Hunt” : a massive 3 day joint operation in which the central CoBRA force and state police battled Naxal forces in Dantewada.
"By November 2009, the press was regularly reporting on the planning and progress of Green Hunt, prompting Home Minister, P. Chidambaram to term the operation a “media invention.” Since then, the security apparatus has scrupulously avoided all mention of Green Hunt." (The Hindu February 6, 2010)
The seeds of operation Green Hunt were sown as early as in 2006 , when India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh first made efforts to project Left Wing Extremism as the greatest threat to India, since then the tape recorder has been playing ad nauseum for good effect and was last heard repeating the message in February, 2012.

The threat and fear of Maoists needs to be raised at regular intervals so that there is no slack in the pace of mobilization or a let down in the guard of the administration.

The deployment of OGH has also been influenced by the Sri Lankan military's total annihilation of the Tamil Tigers in Eelam War IV which ended in May 2009.

The general chorus in the security establishment at that time was that if the tiny island nation of Sri Lanka could rout the LTTE (A non-state actor which had it's own navy, air force and was building it's own submarines) then what's stopping India a nation of 1.1 Billion with the world's largest standing volunteer army from taking the Maoist bull by the horns ?

Moreover unlike India which has a US$ 1.8 trillion economy to fund and sponsor the war, the Sri Lankan economy and military were in shambles and the Lankan government had to depend on borrowed bullets, planes and foreign military aid from Pakistan, China to defeat the LTTE.

Soon some of these experts were heard tom-tomming the Sri Lanka Model as the solution to India's Maoist problems at various forums. Before the Sri Lanka Model caught the fancy of the Security establishment, the Kashmir Model was explored for some time.

The Kashmir insurgency as we know, started in 1987, after wide spread fraud was reported in the elections to state assembly, the Indian army was later moved in and had to evolve a different doctrine containing grid based deployment to contain the insurgency.

The Origin of the Grid in Jammu and Kashmir
By May 1990 it was clear that Kashmir valley was in the grip of an insurgency of intensity not seen before. It started out in the urban areas and then spread to the countryside. The army which till then was the guardian of the international border (IB) and the line of control (LOC) was called in to assist in Counter Insurgency (CI) ops.

Based on its experience with low intensity conflicts in Nagaland, Sri Lanka and Punjab, the Indian Army was quite wary of trying to replicate strategy and tactics successfully used elsewhere. 
By 1993 the army had got together a doctrine for the low intensity conflict in Kashmir. In Nagaland for example, the army had learnt that physical domination of each and every village was one way to combat insurgency. 
Long experience had taught the army the value of the grid system. In this system the whole terrain was divided into a grid. Each node at any given time would have a platoon worth of ready to move soldiers, the so called quick reaction team which would mutually reinforce other nodes. All would be covered with heavier fire support and have adequate logistics. 
However the grid often looked better on paper than on the ground. The obvious reason for this was the terrain. In the Wanni jungles of Sri Lanka where the grid had been successfully applied, civilians and villages were few and far between, and so attack helicopters and artillery could be used. This enabled heavy firepower to be brought in to support troops in the grid in minutes. 
Now the Kashmir valley is very densely populated and there is fear of collateral damage from using heavy fire support. So troops fighting CI had to do without it. To makeup for that the grid had to be more densely packed. This is where the army saw the need for additional forces such as the Rashtriya Rifles (RR). Wikipedia.
The same Rashtriya Rifles (RR) which enforced the Grid in Jammu and Kashmir is now being deployed in the Naxal-affected areas of the country particularly Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Maharashtra. Rashtriya Rifles to move from Kashmir into Red zone.

In 2009, an attempt was made to induct the Rashtriya Rifles into anti-naxal operations but the Army was reluctant to redeploy them for various reasons. What suffering awaits the Adivasi's at the hands of the RR nobody knows but a look at it's record in Kashmir is quite indicative.

The British Counter-Revolt Model

For three centuries starting from 1778 AD , the East India Company and later the British Raj brutally suppressed hundreds of big and small tribal revolts all over India. For details refer to wikipedia List of revolts by Adivasi's in India.

One of the key strategies used by the British was to recruit and organize Tribal Battalions who would then be unleashed on the revolting communities. These tribal battalions were highly successful and extremely loyal to the British empire.

The Bhil Battalion for instance which was constituted in early 19th century to suppress the revolt by Bhil tribals stayed loyal to the Britishers even during the Revolt of 1857 when Sepoys of the East India Company revolted nation wide.

The current administration seem to have taken a leaf out the British experiences and there is currently large scale recruitment and deployment of tribal personnel on similar lines as a part of Operation Green-hunt. It can be said that Salwa Judum was merely a 21st century manifestation of an 18th century idea.

Both the Indian Army and various state governments intend to recruit Avarna's and engage them in a fratricidal war.

Maharashtra: state to form tribal battalion to fight Naxals - March 2012

To beat Maoists, Centre plans an army of tribals : March 2012

Thus OGH has been planned based on the direct experience in suppressing revolts and lessons learnt in four broad theatres of War.

1. The Tribal revolts during British Raj.
2. The Counter insurgency in North East.
3. The Counter insurgency in Kashmir.
4. The Eelam Wars (Sri Lanka Model).

OGH and it's successors will use elements from all these four theatre's of war to bleed the naxalite movement in India.

It is imperative that those bearing the brunt of this offensive should study and learn from the experiences of these 4 conflicts in which the victor has always been the State.

Integrated Action Plan
Map showing the first 60 IAP districts. The Ring of Fire in Central India is now spread across 78 districts in 9 states.
The Ring of Fire

Operation green hunt will be focussed on 78 IAP districts spread across 9 states identified by the GOI. These districts form a ring in central India and are the most affected by Maoist Insurgency. OGH aims to clear these areas of Maoists and then launch so called developmental activities.

One key strategy of OGH remains to first break the contiguous ring and then box the Maoists into areas isolating them from their comrades in other districts. This will lead to the fragmentation of the Maoist controlled areas and cause complications to the Maoist leadership in the long run.

Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)

As part of PMGSY, roads have been planned and are being constructed at strategic locations to fragment the ring of fire and provide support to security forces. These all weather roads once built will divide and weaken the hold of Maoist forces in these 78 districts.

OGH aims to inflict heavy losses and increase the body count of Maoists substantially. The Intelligence Bureau will complement the effort by going after top Maoist leaders in urban areas and those leaders who venture out of their jungle bases.

Indian Army Maoist
Indian Army Personnel will engage with the Maoists during the final crunch.
Indian Army's Role

Last year , the Indian Army came out with an assessment saying it needs 65,000 troops to fight Naxals. The Indian Army has already completed the training of at-least 5000 Army Personnel at it's newly acquired training bases in Greater Bastar, Chhattisgarh. These trained personnel will eventually be deployed some years from now in Anti-Maoist operations.

The Indian Army has played an important role in the formulation of OGH. A whole host of capacity building  initiatives are also under way under their direct supervision, most of which has not yet been made public.

This week, the Indian Army chief General V.K. Singh travelled to Chhattisgarh's Bastar region and spent a few hours at Kondagaon area, some 220 km of from capital Raipur, and held discussions with jawans about the coming operations.

Infiltration of IPS

The Indian Army has allowed it's officers to be inducted into the Indian Police Service with the primary intention of putting them in command of OGH. More than 120 IPS officers will be recruited this year from the Indian Army. 

Over the next two years, the stage will be set for a final brutal assault on the Maoist movement during which the Indian Army will play an active and crucial role like it did in "Operation Steeplechase" which broke the back of the Naxalite movement in West Bengal during 1971.

In fact, there is loose talk that the current Anti-Maoist operation is based on the 1971 template.
Indian Air Force

With logistics in mind a seperate Air-Wing for Anti-Maoist operations has been planned and will be given shape this year. Air wing to help in anti-Maoist ops - MHA. This Air Wing could be functional within the next 700 days.

In 2009, a 1,300-m airstrip was constructed in the Counter Terrorism and Jungle Warfare College Campus without DGCA (Director General of Civil Aviation) approval. Indian Express

More such airstrips are being built in the IAP districts as the battle for India's heart intensifies.

Air support played an important role in the defeat of the LTTE in Eelam War IV, it is not yet clear if the Indian Government has acquired the will to carry out aerial bombardment of Maoist dominated districts. But yes they can now fire in so called self defence.

As the late Gen Dwight D. Eisenhower once said
“You will not find it difficult to prove that battles, campaigns, and even wars have
been won or lost primarily because of logistics.”
The government is aware that getting the logistics of troop deployment right and ensuring the supply chain functions will play an important role in the success of this campaign.

Unlike the Maoists who mostly live of the land with support from the local population , the Paramilitary has to ensure a regular supply of food and rations from a hostile population and access to medical facilities in case of injuries.

5 Years of Mobilization

The GOI had realized that the merger of the PWG and MCC in late 2004, would lead to an expansion in Maoist capabilities and operations. Since 2007/08 the GOI began making serious efforts in augmenting the capabilities of the security forces. This is reflected in the report released by the Ministry of Home Affairs in December 2011.

3 Year Report on Major tasks accomplished by Ministry of Home Affairs

Extract from the Report

Left Wing Extremism : LWE

29.The following interventions have been made to contain the growth of Naxalite movement in the country:
  • CPI (Maoist) included in the Schedule to UA(P)A and declared terrorist organisation.
  • 5 Polit bureau members and 7 other Central Committee members of CPI (Maoist) in custody.
  • Number of CAPF battalions deployed in LWE affected States increased from 37 in 2008 to 73 in Nov 2011.  In addition, 10 cobra battalions also deployed. ( Comment : If each battalion consists of 1000 armed personal then it translates into 83,000 pairs of feet on the ground, out of which 10,000 are CoBRA personnel trained in Jungle warfare. The above statistic does not include other anti-maoist groups like Salwa Judum activists and SPO's who could collectively number in the 15,000 range. This figure is much lower than the estimated 350,000 Indian Army troops stationed in Jammu and Kashmir, along with 200,000 paramilitary forces. Meanwhile the Maoist Army's (PLGA) strength is conservatively estimated at 9,000-10,000 armed fighters, with access to about 6,500 firearms.)
  • Capacity building of State police forces in 9 LWE affected States through enhanced allotment in 2011-12 under Security Related Expenditure Scheme (SRE) (Rs.598 cr) and Scheme for Special Infrastructure (SIS) (Rs.362 cr).
  • Focused development of 60 Tribal and backward LWE affected districts in 9 LWE affected States through Integrated Action Plan (IAP).  63,416 projects sanctioned, of which 26,593  completed, incurring an expenditure of Rs.1,391 cr till Nov 2011.
  • Monitoring of flagship and other development schemes in LWE affected districts by the Planning Commission.
  • A road requirement plan (RRP-1) for 5565 km in LWE affected areas at a cost of Rs.7,300 cr approved by CCEA in Feb 2009.
  • Construction/strengthening of 400 fortified police stations at a cost of Rs.2 Cr per police station approved on 20 June 2010.
  • Talking the walk is easy but walking the talk is an altogether different affair. The devil as we know lies in the details and in the case of OGH it lies in the execution of plans prepared by Delhi.
Ground Realities : Cup half empty or half full ?

While all the above initiatives look good on paper, the ground realities we find convey a different picture as Ajay Sahni writes in the Eurasia Review :
  • Despite many claims of the cumulative ‘improvement’ in the capacities of central and State Security Forces (SFs), the state’s vulnerabilities remain largely unaddressed.
  • At least some claims of such ‘improvement’ are, in any event, largely falsified or fabricated – including the Union Ministry of Home Affairs’ (UMHA) November 30, 2011, claim that the police-population ratio had been raised to 176 per 100,000, from an National Crime Records Bureau figure of 133 per 100,000 as on December 31, 2010. Others, such as UMHA’s claims of “significant measures taken to strengthen the Indian Police Service” (IPS) remain something of a smokescreen, since existing deficits in the Service will take decades to fill, even with dramatically accelerated intakes.
  • UMHA also claims that “Number of CAPF (Central Armed Police Force) battalions deployed in LWE (Left Wing Extremist) affected States increased from 37 in 2008 to 73 in November 2011, glossing over the fact that this has roughly been the level of deployment since the disastrous ‘massive and coordinated operations’ were launched by the Centre in end-2009. That these Forces have, along with State Police Special Forces, largely been frozen in a passive defensive posture since the Chintalnad massacre of April 2010, and that offensive operations against the Maoist have now become more and more the exception among demoralized SF contingents, remains unsaid.
  • On the other hand, the anecdotal evidence of state vulnerabilities and disarray is mounting. In one devastating disclosure, the UMHA conceded that as many as 46,000 officers and personnel took voluntary retirement from the CAPF between 2007 and September 2011, while another 5,220 officers and personnel resigned from service over the same period. 461 suicides and 64 instances of fratricides were also recorded. Worse, UMHA noted that the rate of increase of cases of resignation in the CRPF and Border Security Force (BSF) was “alarming”, at more than 70 per cent in 2011, over 2010.
  • In the wake of the March 27 incident in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra Home Minister R.R. Patil complained that Police officers were ‘unwilling’ to work in the Maoist afflicted Gadchiroli and Chandrapur Districts, citing the recent example of four Police Sub-inspectors, who resigned from the Force after completing training, when they were posted to Gadchiroli.
  • Patil had nothing but a litany of complaints to offer after the Gadchiroli incident, blaming the Centre for a failure to give advance information of Maoist attacks. Unsurprisingly, Maharashtra saw an increase in Maoist related fatalities to 69 in 2011, over the 2010 figure of 40, even as the all-India fatalities almost halved (from 1180 to 602).
  • The other principal Maoist affected States, Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Bihar suffer from equal and endemic deficiencies in their security structures, as well as from both ambivalence and infirmity in their political leaderships.
The murder/suicide of Rahul Sharma also shows that there are deep structural anomalies in the apparatus directing OGH. If the Superintendent of Police needs to commit suicide to get his point across, then one is left wondering what is the morale and motivation of his minions down the order?

Also when IPS officers over-looking Anti-Maoist operations regularly succumb to heart attacks (i.e O P Rathore, B.S. Maravi ) it hardly evokes confidence in the ability of the police force.

The fog of war has only started rolling and will only get thicker from now on. A lot of the media reports on the offensive has been released to create disinformation, confusion and contain half-truths. No media report linked in this article can be taken at face value as most of us are aware that  the first casualty of any war is the Truth, OGH is no different.

Thus the dis-separate parts of the security machinery that has come together to constitute OGH is yet to reach a level where they pose a serious threat to the Maoist's and there continues to exist severe deficiencies, anomalies and incongruencies in the state mobilization.

However, the broad general trend among the security forces seems to be an increase in co-operation, capacity building, training and co-ordination but they are still far from finding their mojo.

Integrated Action Plan
Updated IAP map containing 78 districts where PMRDFS will be implemented. 

2. IAP , PMRDFS and other Schemes

We now move the second part of the two pronged strategy , the so called development activities under the Integrated IAP, PMRDFS and related schemes. ( The Carrots)

War of Attrition

The war between the Maoists and the Indian state is a War of Attrition. While OGH will try to inflict heavy casulties on the PLGA and People's Militia's, IAP and PMRDF will seek to prevent fresh recruitment to the Maoist fold by providing incentives, alternate sources of livelihood to the local population. It will also try to alienate the support base of Maoists by providing civic amenities and financial benefits.

This is the only purpose of the IAP and PMRDF, prevent fresh blood from joining the Maoist fold and keep their attention diverted towards other illusions. If the IAP is implemented as planned it will affect the ability of the Maoists for fresh recruitment in the coming years in these districts.

IAP as a Money Circulation Scheme
IAP could serve as a money circulation scheme , where in money will be first transferred from the GOI's bank accounts in Delhi to bank accounts in IAP districts after which some dust will be raised to serve as a smokescreen of development, expenditure etc after which the the bulk of the money will be siphoned back to Delhi from where it will take flight to foreign bank accounts.

Jairam Ramesh has asked the Prime Minister for an additional allocation of Rs 35,000 Crore for the IAP districts over the next three years. Lots of money to be made ! !

This plan has been in operation for the last 2 years but the results are sketchy and mixed.A revamp has been planned this year.

The number of IAP districts now stands at 78, after more districts were added this year. The expansion of the IAP to districts that have only a marginal presence of Maoists shows that it is also being used as a pre-emptive measure.

An overview of the IAP is given below :

Integrated Action Plan to Develop Tribal and backward Districts in LWE Areas

At the time of presentation of the budget for the year 2010-11, the Government had announced its decision to introduce a special scheme to address the development of 33 Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected districts.   It was inter-alia, stated that the Planning Commission would prepare an Integrated Action Plan (IAP) for the affected areas and that adequate funds would be made available to support the action plan. 
The 33 districts (later expanded to 34) referred to in the Finance Minister’s announcement were a sub-set of the 83 LWE affected districts identified by the Ministry of Home Affairs for coverage under its Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme.  This sub-set consisted of those districts where more than 20% of the Police Stations experienced some incidents of naxal violence.  Subsequently, West Medinipur district of West Bengal was added to the list due to the situation prevailing there, taking the total to 35 districts. 
Implementation of IAP 
IAP was formulated as an additional central assistance scheme on 100% grant basis in November 2010.  To begin with, the Integrated Action Plan (IAP) for 60 tribal and backward districts was to  be implemented with a block grant of Rs.25 crore and Rs.30 crore per district during 2010-11 and 2011-12 respectively for which the funds were to be placed at the disposal of the Committee headed by the District Collector and consisting of the Superintendent of Police of the district and the District Forest Officer. 
The district level committee will have flexibility to spend the amount for development schemes according to need, as assessed by it.  The Committee would draw up a Plan consisting of concrete proposals for public infrastructure and services such as School Buildings, Anganwadi Centres, Primary Health Centres, Drinking Water Supply, Village Roads, Electric Lights in public places such as PHCs and Schools etc. The concerned Development Commissioner/ equivalent officer in charge of development in the State shall be responsible for scrutiny of expenditure and monitoring of IAP. 
The Planning Commission will undertake macro level monitoring of the scheme and implementation of the scheme will be reviewed and suitable decisions taken on the modalities for implementation of the scheme as a part of the 12th Five Year Plan. 
The salient features of the guidelines are: 
(i)The district level committee should draw up a plan consisting of concrete proposals for public infrastructure and services such as school buildings, Anganwadi centres, Drinking Water supply, Village Roads, electric lights in public places such as PHCs and schools etc. The schemes so selected should show results in the short term. 
(ii)A suitable form of consultation is to be ensured with the local Members of Parliament on the schemes to be taken up the under the IAP. 
(iii)The expenditure on the projects should be over and above the expenditure being incurred for the regular State/Central/Centrally Sponsored Schemes.   The district level committee should ensure that there is no duplication of expenditure on the same project. 
(iv)The State Government will release the funds directly into the bank account opened for this purpose by the District Collector or District Magistrate. The State Government will ensure that funds are transferred to this bank account within 15 days of the release of the funds to the Consolidated Fund of the State Government failing which the State Government should transfer to the district penal interest at RBI rate. 
Achievements Under IAP 
The implementation of the scheme commenced in the year 2010-11 and Rs.25 crore per district i.e. total Rs.1500 crore for the year 2010-11 was released in December, 2010.  The districts immediately finalized the works to be taken up, completed the tender processes wherever required and the works on the ground commenced immediately in all the 60 districts.  
Currently, the implementation of IAP in the districts is in full swing. The total funds released so far for the year 2011-12 is Rs.1090 crore and the total funds released so far since the commencement of the Scheme is Rs.2590 crore.  Against the total amount of Rs.2590 crores released so far to the 9 States, the expenditure as on 27.12.2011 is Rs.1468.83 crore i.e. 56.71% of the funds released. 
Under the IAP, so far 62327 projects for an amount of Rs. 3230.02 crore have been taken up in the 9 States.  These include construction of School Buildings/School Furniture, Anganwadi Centres, Drinking Water facilities, Rural roads, Panchyat Bhawan/Community Halls, Godowns/PDS shops, livelihood activities, skill development/trainings, minor irrigation works, electric lighting, health centres/facilities, Ashram Schools, construction of toilets, construction of multi-purpose chabutra, construction of passenger waiting hall, special coaching classes for students, construction of ANM centres, development of play grounds etc. 44.42% of projects taken up so far have been completed i.e., 27687  projects have been completed so far.   State-wise details of physical progress as on 27.12.2011 vis-à-vis projects sanctioned are: Andhra Pradesh- 702 (1140), Bihar - 2367 (12889), Chhattisgarh - 6115 (14718), Jharkhand- 5621 (11769), Madhya Pradesh - 1446 (5352), Maharashtra - 2667 (4398), Orissa - 6829 (15087), Uttar Pradesh - 1337 (1548) and West Bengal - 603 (1272). 
Parameters to Qualify under IAP         
While formulating the scheme, the Planning Commission considered that the scheme should not be limited only to the severely LWE affected districts.  It was proposed by them that the scheme should cover other tribal and backward districts also and the following criteria was adopted to identify districts for inclusion in the scheme: 
(a) Whether the district is included in the list of 83 SRE districts identified by the Ministry of Home Affairs;
(b) Whether the tribal population exceeds 25%;
(c) Whether the forest area exceeds 30%;
(d) Whether the poverty ratio in the district exceeds 50%; and
(e) Whether the district is covered under the Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF). 
Districts meeting four of the above-mentioned five criteria and forming a contiguous block were selected for coverage under the proposed scheme.  Thus, with this criteria, a total of 60 districts were selected for coverage under the scheme. 
The Development Commissioner of the State/equivalent officer incharge of development in the State is responsible for scrutiny of expenditure and monitoring of the IAP in the State.  In order to facilitate the monitoring, the States are required to send district-wise monthly progress reports in the prescribed format and also upload the information on the Management Information System(MIS) along with photographs of the works.
Regular monitoring of the IAP is being carried out by the Member-Secretary, Planning Commission through video conferences with the District Collectors/District Magistrates and Development Commissioner of the States concerned.  So far 14 such video conferences/meetings have been held including the Video Conference meetings held by the Union Home Minister, Union Minister of Rural Development and MoS (Independent charge) for Environment and Forests. In addition, the Review Group headed by the Cabinet Secretary also reviewed the progress of implementation of IAP with the Chief Secretaries of 9 States through video conference meeting. 
Provisions for change in IAP 
The Ministry of Home Affairs has also constituted an Empowered Group of Officers with Member-Secretary, Planning Commission as its Chairperson.   The Empowered Group, inter-alia, has overriding powers to modify existing norms/guidelines on implementation of various development programmes and flagship schemes in consultation with the Ministries/Departments concerned. 
States’ Response to IAP 
The implementation of IAP has been successful and the scheme has had a very good response.  A number of requests had been received from the Chief Ministers, Members of Parliament and State Governments for inclusion of more districts under the IAP.  On the basis of requests received from the State Govts., the Govt. of India has decided on 07.12.2011 to include additional 18 LWE affected districts under IAP from the financial year 2011-12 onwards and to provide block grant of Rs.30 crore to each of these districts during the current financial year. 
Conclusion: The Government’s approach is to deal with Left Wing Extremism activities in a holistic manner, in the areas of security, development, rights of local communities, administration and public perception.  In dealing with this decades old problem, it has been felt appropriate, after various high-level deliberations and interactions with the State Governments concerned that an integrated approach aimed at the relatively more affected areas would deliver results. 
With this in view, a detailed analysis of the spread and trends in respect of LWE violence has been made and 83 affected districts in nine States have been taken up for special attention on planning, implementation and monitoring of security situation and development schemes.
Source : GOI

Prime Minister's Rural Development Fellowship Scheme (PMRDFS)

The Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh who is the force behind the scheme made it clear as to what PMRDFS is about when he spoke to the Hindu this month:
The aim of the unique scheme is simple. “If the Maoists attract youth through their ideology, then the government has to counter that in a similar way." The Hindu
The PMRDFS seems to be loosely based on the US based Peace Corps and Presidential Management Fellows Scheme.

The first batch of 156 candidates were selected this year from a pool of 8,000 applicants. The youth selected will spend the next two years assisting district collectors in implementing welfare programmes across the 78 most-affected Maoist districts (Ring of Fire).

The Ministry of Rural Development in collaboration with the Tata Institute of Social Science will implement this program and the candidates have just begun their training in April 2012.

The Ministry is set to spend Rs 60 crore on the scheme, with stipends amounting to Rs. 53 crore and the training cost Rs 6.5 crore.The Fellows will be paid Rs 50,000 in the initial two months of training to be organised by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, and then Rs 75,000 for the rest of the fellowship period.

Profiles of PMRDFS Candidates selected

profile fellowship
Source : Economic Times
Candidates by post-graduate Educational Background

Candidates by number of years of work experience. 
More details of the candidates are expected to be updated on the website here and a brochure of PMRDF can be downloaded here.

A blog is also in the offering : job profile of PMRDF's as given on the website is as follows
PMRDFs will basically function as development facilitators, assisting the Collector and his/her colleagues by actively pursuing a district programming approach that follows three key strategies given below:
  • Strengthen the district resource base for programming by finding ways of resourcing all the planned activities and rational budgeting.
  • Establish or strengthen systems by exploring alternative ways of delivering services to reach the most deprived communities.
  • Trigger processes which would support the changes that have been envisioned in this approach (e.g. village planning).

What impact the PMRDFS will have and how will the Maoists deal with this incursion, has to been seen ? My only advice would be "Fragile - Handle with care".

Other Schemes 
Along with IAP and PMRDF's, there are various other schemes like Job Schemes etc which have been rolled out and many more which are components of the IAP and currently in stealth mode.

Tackling Naxal issue: Govt plans Rs. 1000-cr body with help of India Inc

Conclusion : 

The Government of India's strategy is broadly in line with that of LIC strategy developed by US  Imperialism.

Low Intensity Conflict (LIC)

1. Conducting military, social, economic, political and psychological wars in co-ordination
2. Winning the hearts and minds of the people.
3. Using intelligence as a strategic weapon.
4. Special Forces.

To know more about the shape of things to come, kindly read the booklet below :

Low Intensity Conflict - The Cruelest counter-revolutionary war of the Imperialists

A Booklet authored by Mupalla Laxman Rao alias Com Ganapthy, GS of CPI(Maoist)

Anticipation is the Key to Victory

The key to winning any battle is knowing what your opponent is going to do before he does. This comes from experience and pattern recognition.When you can anticipate, you can place yourself in the ideal position to bury your opponents before they have the time to adjust.

The current rate of mobilization suggests that the Maoist's have 2-3 years before the current government's strategy could lead to a tipping point after which the Maoists could face serious reversals and heavy assaults on their strongholds unless they can match the build-up (which seems unlikely considering the resources at their disposal and heavy losses incurred at the top.). Preliminary incursions have already begun in their liberated zones.

The government has a greater capacity and staying power than the Maoists and can take greater losses and incur a higher expenditure over a sustained period. India has an unemployment rate of 7-10%. Which means there are an estimated 70-100 million idle minds and hands in this country at any point of time. It is very easy for the GOI to train some of these and put guns in their hands, unlike the Maoists who have to operate, recruit and train under severe constraints.

The Avarna's under the leadership of the Maoists will then have to face the question of whether they will  make their stand militarily or whether they can counter the offensive through non-military means ?

naxalite rockets
A police constable holds a Maoist manufactured rocket launcher seized last month : The Maoist are gearing up for the State offensive by fabricating Area Weapons such as these. But will it be enough to stop the forces from advancing ? 
OGH, IAP, PMRDFS and other schemes exist today because the Indian state has acquired the will to implement these schemes. The character of the Indian State is that of a Puppet, the strings of the puppet lie in the hands of the Savarna alliance, the puppet merely acquires the character of the puppeteers.

All that is needed is that the Maoist's control a few strings of the puppet and it should be enough to throw a spanner in the puppet-works and de-stabilize it.

How could this be done ? .... Is another post for another day....

References and related documents:

Development Challenges in Extremist Affected Areas : Planning Commision

MHA-Report-2010-2011.pdf (16 MB)

MHA-Report-2011-2012.pdf (8 MB)

Privatisation unlimited-- Rivers for sale in Chhattisgarh

Backward Region Grant Fund Guidelines

Bureau of Police Research : Social,Economic and Political Dynamics in Extremist Affected Areas

Anti-Caste posts on Operation Green Hunt


PMRDF Brochure

Armed Conflicts in South Asia

Dantewada : Smita Gupta

Integrated Action Plan to Develop Tribal and backward Districts in LWE Areas

Jharkhand to study 'Kashmir Model' to curb naxalism

Operation Steeplechase - Indian Army's 1971 operation against Naxalites

Rashtriya Rifles to move from J&K into Red zone

India: Enduring Strength Of Maoists – Analysis

International conspiracy behind Maoist activities in India: Chhattisgarh CM

How Maoists went from snatching weapons to making them

'Killing Maoist leaders will not solve the issue'

Finally, Army moves into Maoist territory

General V.K. Singh visits Maoist heartland

120 army, paramilitary men to join IPS by next year

More army soldiers reach Bastar for training

Army’s presence in Chhattisgarh may improve life for the locals

First phase of Operation Green Hunt begins

Operation Green Hunt

3 Year Report on Major task Accomplished by Ministry of Home Affairs Released

Green Hunt: the anatomy of an operation

Fresh development plan for naxal-affected districts

Poverty, lack of development lead to Naxalism: Chidambaram

India's Maoists and the Dreamscape of 'Solutions' : Ajai Sahni

Expedite block-based approach to deal with Naxalism, Jairam tells Ahluwalia

The Man Who Went Behind Enemy Lines

Shape, Clear, Hold, and Build: "The Uncertain Lessons of the Afghan & Iraq Wars"

Chasing shadows in Abujmard

Can 'Operation Octopus' lead to annihilation of naxals?

Mr Chidambaram’s War

Caste Situation in India (Marxist Perspective)

Caste Atrocities in India

Communalism Watch


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