2023 GS3 Answer

Q. Winning of Hearts and Minds’ in terrorism-affected areas is an essential step in restoring the trust of the population. Discuss the measures adopted by the Government in this respect as part of the conflict resolution in Jammu and Kashmir.

Question from UPSC Mains 2023 GS3 Paper

Model Answer: 

Strategy of ‘Winning Hearts and Minds’ (WHAM)

Strategy of ‘Winning Hearts and Minds’ (WHAM) is a counter-insurgency tactic used by the government to gain the support of the local population in terrorism-affected areas. This strategy is based on the belief that the population will support the government if they believe it is in their best interest. In the context of Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian government has adopted various measures to win the trust of the local population and restore peace in the region.

1. Developmental Initiatives:

The government has taken several steps to ensure the socio-economic development of Jammu and Kashmir. Infrastructure projects such as road construction, electrification, and provision of clean drinking water have been undertaken. The government has also focused on creating employment opportunities for the youth of the region.

2. Education Initiatives:

The government has emphasized on the importance of education in the region. Several new schools and colleges have been established. Scholarships and financial assistance are provided to students to encourage them to pursue higher education.

3. Health Care Initiatives:

The government has invested in improving the healthcare facilities in the region. New hospitals and healthcare centers have been established. Free medical camps and awareness programs are regularly conducted.

4. Security Measures:

The government has taken stringent security measures to ensure the safety of the population. The presence of security forces has been increased in the region. Steps have been taken to curb the activities of terrorist groups.

5. Political Initiatives:

The government has made efforts to ensure the political integration of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of India. The abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A is a step in this direction.

6. Dialogue and Negotiation:

The government has been open to dialogue and negotiation with the stakeholders in the region. Several rounds of talks have been held with the local leaders to address their concerns and grievances.

7. Rehabilitation of Militants:

The government has initiated programs for the rehabilitation of militants. These programs aim at bringing the militants back into the mainstream society.

8. Promotion of Tourism:

The government has been promoting tourism in the region. The tourism industry not only boosts the local economy but also helps in creating a positive image of the region.


Winning the hearts and minds of the people in terrorism-affected areas is a complex task that requires a comprehensive approach. The government’s measures in Jammu and Kashmir are aimed at not only restoring peace in the region but also ensuring the overall development of the region. The success of these measures largely depends on the active participation and support of the local population. It is important for the government to continue its efforts in this direction and address the concerns of the people in a sensitive and timely manner.

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