There are four major risks in the ongoing pandemic: the spread of infection, police and armed forces being stretched thin, opportunistic actions by insurgents, criminals, and other States, and finally, collapse of State capacity in India’s extended neighbourhood. These challenges are likely to persist over the 36 months until the pandemic subsides. To tackle these challenges, we propose that:
- India greatly expand its capacity for testing and contact tracing, both to maintain effectiveness of police forces and allow critical activities to continue.
- State police be routinely supplemented by CAPFs and pre-positioned in sensitive areas to prevent outbreaks of violence.
- The armed forces prepare for a period of heightened cross-LoC activity and transgressions across the LAC.
- The government should draw up plans to deal with mass migrations both internally and from other states. It must also prepare capabilities to evacuate millions of Indians from West Asia.