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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 26 April 2017

 


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 26 April 2017


NOTE: Please remember that following  ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.

STATIC Syllabus Timetable


General Studies – 1;


Topic: Urbanisation – problems and remedies

1) It is said that the non-invasive development models can change the face of India’s cities. Discuss features and benefits of such non-invasive development models. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction :-

Non-invasive development models are used to develop urban spaces and infrastructure and they envision development which does not invade the environment of the area but rather includes it.

  • ECO-FRIENDLY: The development model is eco-friendly and doesn’t over exploit the available resources.
  • SUSTAINABLE: This type of development model by its very nature is sustainable and long lasting.
  • INCLUSIVE: It provides growth to all sections of the society, bridging the gap between the rich and poor.
  • ENERGY-EFFICIENT: Such plans are energy efficient and save a lot of energy from being wasted.

Benefits of non-invasive developmental model:-

  • Conservation along with utility:-The resources are conserved ,reused ,recycled in a manner which not only can be used but also grow sustainably.
  • Natural methodology:-Methodology like organic farming and establishing green area can be encouraged. Organic farming shall reduce the harmful effects caused by pesticides, insecticides etc. Green areas can act as micro carbon sinks.
  • Health:- Organic food and a favourable atmosphere shall help increasing improved health indicators.
  • Innovation:-The innovation techniques can create a new course which when trained to new group of people shall contain the unemployment in the concerned area.
  • Such models will result in saving a lot of energy, as by using hollow walls, temperatures can be reduced by 10 degrees, leading to saving of energy.
  • They adhere to clean building, growth and development norms both national and international.
  • It also helps reduce pollution and reduces the strain on infrastructure of cities.

Conclusion :-

Non-invasive planning has been done on a pilot basis to extract water from the Yamuna flood plains in Delhi and has been found to be a feasible solution. On the long run it can not only be applied to existing cities expansion but new cities like Amravati can be planned using this model so that conservation and optimum utilization of resources for community benefit becomes the norm across India.


 

Topic:  The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country. 

2) Discuss significance of the Champaran Satyagraha of 1917. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

Introduction :- Champaran, is a district in the state of Bihar. Under Colonial era laws, many tenant farmers were forced to grow some indigo on a portion of their land as a condition of their tenancy. This indigo was used to make a dye. The Germans had invented a cheaper artificial dye so the demand for indigo fell. Some tenants paid more rent in return for being let off having to grow indigo. However, during the First World War the German dye ceased to be available and so indigo became profitable again. Thus many tenants were once again forced to grow it on a portion of their land- as was required by their lease. Naturally, this created much anger and resentment.

Many tenants alleged that Landlords had used strong-arm tactics to exact illegal cesses and to extort them in other ways. This issue had been highlighted by a number of lawyer/politicians and there had also been a Commission of Inquiry. Raj Kumar Shukla, a money lender who also owned some land, persuaded Gandhi to go to Champaran and thus, the Champaran Satyagraha began. Gandhi arrived in Champaran 10 April 1917 with a team of eminent lawyers: Brajkishore PrasadRajendra PrasadAnugrah Narayan Sinha Ramnavmi Prasad, and others including Acharya Kripalani

 

Significance:-

  • Oppression: It ended the long oppression of the peasant by the hands of planters in terms of forced cultivation and poor returns.
  • Assessment:A through assessment of the conditions was presented to the British.
  • Champaran Agrarian Act,1918:Based on the assessment, the legislation was made to protect the interests of the peasants.
  • Gandhi Proved:Gandhi hitherto, had not involved actively in grassroot activity in India, saw him gaining all attention due to success of the Champaran attempt to restore justice.
  • Team developed: It saw Gandhi adding to his team, powerful leaders like Kriplani, and Rajendra Prasad who later were his powerful itinerants.
  • Fact based fight: Gandhi here relied on collecting documentary evidence, from the exploited peasants, which helped him build a case for them, this proved that data based disproval of British policies have greater chance of winning
  • Denying Authority: Gandhi, when he landed in Champaran was asked to leave but he said he would court an arrest than leave, and went on with his task. This is a major initial example of civil disobedience and satyagraha practised first hand.
  • Satyagraha:Convinced people of the power of Satyagraha to counter injustice.
  • Future Struggles:Set the stage for future struggles that ultimately culminated into India’s independence.

Conclusion :-

Gandhi’s win in Champaran, made him a hero among the masses and existing leadership, who were already his admirers for his work in south Africa, so this set a stage for him to take batons of movement until its success.

 


General Studies – 2


Topic:  Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

3) Critically examine how the US President Trump’s first hundred days in office have impacted India. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction :-

The arrival of Donald Trump brought a wave of uncertainty with him and like other nations India too was going to get affected by it. Its effect is as follows

  • Xenophobia:There has been a spurt in hate crimes committed against Indians in India due to Trump’s anti-immigrant stand.
  • H1B Visa:The norms for it have been made strict hurting the competitiveness of Indian IT sector.
  • Pivot to Asia:Has been put on backburner. India was the lynchpin for this pivot.
  • China:Anti-China stand especially his vociferous criticism of economic policies pursued by China was harbinger of tilting of scales in India’s favour. Instead of things going in India’s favour, US and China have seemed to iron out their differences as evident from “tremendous progress” made in the recent meeting

However, there are some positive developments as well.

  • Terrorism: His anti-terror stand against IS was reflected in the recent bombing on IS camp.
  • Lisa Curtis:Latest representative to India, Afghanistan, Pakistan is known for anti-Pak stand and it augurs well for the groundswell support that India aims to garner against Pakistan.
  • TPP:which could have been a big blow seemingly has been scrapped.

Conclusion :-Trump’s 100 days have like, as the American maxim goes ” A box full of chocolates”, i.e. you never know what you will get. 100 days is too short a time to evaluate any policy but India should engage proactively with swift Trump administration.


 

Topic:  Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

4) “The IMF could turn irrelevant unless it reforms to keep up with rival global institutions.”  Critically comment. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction :-

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., of “189 countries working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.”

Formed in 1944 at the Bretton Woods Conference primarily by the ideas of Harry Dexter White and John Maynard Keynes, it came into formal existence in 1945 with 29 member countries and the goal of reconstructing the international payment system.

It now plays a central role in the management of balance of payments difficulties and international financial crises. Countries contribute funds to a pool through a quota system from which countries experiencing balance of payments problems can borrow money. As of 2016, the fund had SDR477 billion (about $668 billion).

The present structure and power dynamics in IMF is not reflective of the current economic architecture and it is this systemic issue that castes shadows on its relevance because of 

  • Quotas: The rising clout of developing countries today vis-à-vis. the developed ones is not commensurate with their quotas. Moreover the recent announcement of deferring the next round amendments in quota till 2019 could be dampener.
  • Appointment:The heads have historically been appointed from a coterie of developed nations leading to discrimination of developing countries tries
  • Rise of alternative institutions:Like NDB,AIIB have come up as an alternative to IMF. They look to provide greater credit with more creditor-friendly terms

However, the importance of IMF cant be understated and it can’t be written off because

  • Experience:Given the successful experiences in dealing with BoP problems it has tremendous experience with keeps its relevant.
  • Large Corpus:It has strong base of 150 members and has a large corpus at hand
  • Reform: It very recently increased the quota share of developing countries thereby indicating that it is open to change.

Conclusion :-IMF definitely will have strong competition from emerging institutions in coming days and it needs to be nimble-footed to adapt to current dynamics. However to write it off as irrelevant will be not appropriate.


 

Topic:  Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health

5) Critically comment on healthcare policymaking in India. (200 Words)

Livemint

Introduction:-

India is second most populous country with great diversity and addressing the healthcare needs is quite a challenging activity. However India’s policymakers have done a commendable job which is can be seems as follows

  • Universalization: National health policymaking strives to make healthcare universal in India- Health for all
  • Public expenditure: Aim has been to increase allocation to healthcare reflected in latest target of 2.5% of GDP in National Health Policy 2017
  • Affordability: Price capping through National List of Essential Medicines and establishing Jan Aushadhi Stores
  • Harnessing Private Sector:Aims to utilize their strength in strategic purchasing, training 
  • Active Medical Tourism:Setting the right environment by incentivizing foreign patients
  • International recognition: Directing exports of drugs in disease-stricken regions like Africa.

However, there have been shortcomings as well 

  • Fundamental Right:Has failed to make health an fundamental right, at best striving for progressive assurance based approach.
  • Finance:Public expenditure target of 2.5% is low vis a vis standard benchmark of about OECD. Also no clear roadmap of achieving the target of 2.5% from the current dismal 1.15%
  • Corruption:The widespread corruption plaguing MCI has not been dealt timely and sternly.
  • Insurance penetration: Abysmally low with about 70% out of pocket expenditure.

Conclusion:- India’s policymaking while laudable for its achievements needs to address lacunae in the existing system to achieve our health SDG goals

 


General Studies – 3


Topic:  Issues relating to intellectual property rights

6) What do you understand by test data exclusivity? It is said that granting data exclusivity for clinical trials would undermine access to medicines. Discuss why. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction :- Test data exclusivity refers to protection of clinical trial data required to be submitted to a regulatory agency to prove safety and efficacy of a new drug, and prevention of generic drug manufacturers from relying on this data in their own applications. It provides a form of market exclusivity outside that provided by patent rights.

Pharmaceutical companies argue that since test data is so expensive to produce, it is an unfair advantage to let other companies rely on that data without cost. Critics charge that it can act as a restriction to producing a generic copy; that although it would not raise prices of drugs, it would prevent prices from falling due to generic competition; and make it more costly for the poor to gain access to life-saving drugs (e.g. anti-HIV & anti-malarial medications.) Developed countries with innovative pharmaceutical industries (including the United States) have sought data exclusivity provisions in Free Trade Agreements with their trading partners, e.g. DR-CAFTA which includes such a provision.

 This possess a threat to access to medicine because

  • Absolute Protection: is given to the original company and bars others from using it for approving the bio-equivalents:
  • Stymies Innovation:which could have been possible due to access to data
  • Smothers Competition:By restricting the access to data
  • Exorbitant Prices:Given the seeming monopoly, data exclusivity would result in high prices thereby jeopardizing the health sector of the country.

However, there are certain advantages too associated with data exclusivity

  • Ease of Doing business:Improves as provides protection to the asset of the company-the data.
  • Fosters Innovation:Incentivizes innovation 
  • Helps recover cost:The companies will be able to recover the cost incurred in gathering the data.
  • Inefficacious medicine:It would restrict the growth of medicine that may not produce the required efficacy that may have been passed by the regulators
  • Improves regulation:The quality of regulation, given the importance of medicine, needs to be extremely high and data exclusivity will boost it.

Conclusion:-Fostering innovation is desirable but when it comes at the cost of larger public interest, it calls for reconsideration. We need the right balance of exclusivity and accessibility to realize our SDG goals as well as Health for All


 

Topic:  Linkages between development and spread of extremism. 

7) In the light of the failure of the Indian state to effectively address the security challenge the Maoists continue to pose, critically discuss various strategies adopted by Indian government to fight left wing extremism and the reasons why strength of Maoists is still strong. (200 Words)

The Hindu

The Indian Express

Introduction :-

A Naxal or Naxalite is a member of the Communist Party of India (Maoist). The term Naxal derives from the name of the village Naxalbari in West Bengal, where the movement had its origin. Naxalites are considered far-left radical communists, supportive of Maoist political sentiment and ideology. Their origin can be traced to the split in 1967 of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), leading to the formation of the Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist). Initially the movement had its centre in West Bengal. In later years, it spread into less developed areas of rural southern and eastern India, such as ChhattisgarhOdishaAndhra Pradesh and Telangana through the activities of underground groups like the Communist Party of India (Maoist).

 

The core ideology of Maoist is to usurp the existent parliamentary democracy in India by communism through violent means by establishing “red corridors”.

There are several components of Government of India’s response to Naxalism. These include deployment of paramilitary forces and dedicated anti-Naxal forces, Modernization of Police forces, Investment in security related expenditures, Investment in local infrastructure, various development programmes etc. Some of them are discussed below:

  • Operation Steeplechase

Operation Steeplechase was launched in early 1970s during the first phase of Naxal Movement. In the wake of emergency and 1971 war, Indira Gandhi mobilized the Indian Army against the Naxalites in West Bengal. It was a joint Army-CRPF-Police operation. In this operation, the strategy was to surround Naxal stronghold with an outer cordon of the Army, an inner cordon of the CRPF, and local police operating inside. The operation ended up with death of hundred of Naxalites and imprisonment of thousands of them. It disrupted the network of the naxalite cadres and stalled the movement. Charu Mazumdar was imprisoned and soon he died in custody. The operation steeplechase marked the end of Naxalite movement, but only that particular phase and ultimately proved to be a cosmetic surgery only. The movement did not end and resurfaced because government had not removed the causes of the insurgency.

  • Unified Command

In 2010, the Government established a Unified Command for inter-state coordination (in intelligence gathering, information sharing and police responses) between Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal. {Please note that Unified Commands also exist in Assam and Jammu & Kashmir}

  • Operation Green Hunt

The Ministry of Home Affairs had established 10 Battalions of COBRA (COmmando Battalion for Resolute Action) in 2009 as specially trained units in Guerrilla warfare. Since 2009, there is an operation going on in Naxalite affected areas including the Bastar region under the lead of COBRA. The media (not government) calls it Operation Green Hunt. Apart from CRPF, the Government has deployed  Naga Battalions of the Nagaland’s Indian Reserve Battalions (IRB) in this operation and has also taken help of Israeli operatives.

  • Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme

Under this scheme funds are provided to states for meeting the recurring expenditure relating to insurance, training and operational needs of the security forces, rehabilitation of Left Wing Extremist cadres (who surrender in accordance with the surrender and rehabilitation policy of the State Government concerned), community policing, security related infrastructure for village defence committees and publicity material.

  • Special Infrastructure Scheme (SIS)

This scheme tries to cater to the critical infrastructure gaps for better mobility for the police and security forces by upgrading existing roads and rail tracks in inaccessible areas, providing secure camping grounds and helipads at strategic locations in remote and interior areas, measures to enhance security in respect of police stations / outposts located in vulnerable areas etc.

  • Central Scheme for assistance to civilian victims/family of victims of Terrorist, Communal and Naxal violence This scheme is to assist families of victims of Terrorist, Communal and Naxal violence. An amount of Rs. 3 lakh is given to the affected family under the scheme.
  • Integrated Action Plan Integrated Action Plan (IAP) was started by UPA Government in 78 Selected Tribal and Backward Districts for accelerated development. The aim of this initiative is to provide public infrastructure and services. Road Requirement Plan for LWE areas The objective is to improve road connectivity in 34 extremely LWE affected districts in 8 States viz. Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh.
  • Scheme of Fortified Police Stations

Some 400 police stations in 9 LWE affected States at a unit cost Rs. 2 crores were sanctioned under this scheme Civic Action Programme Under this scheme financial grants are sanctioned to CAPFs to undertake civic action in the affected states. Objective is to build bridges between the local population and the security forces.

  • Surrender Policies by State Governments

Naxal-affected states have also announced surrender policies whereby they offer cash assistance, land and other benefits in lieu of surrender. However, there is no effective intelligence mechanism to identify Naxal cadres. Often, tribal youths surrender as Naxal cadres; many of them even join the Naxal movement to reap these benefits.

Why Moist still strong ?

There are three major reasons for their growth and persistence :-

1) National situation

In the medieval period India was a feudal society under severe caste oppression. After colonization by the British, its native industries were destroyed and its socio-economic development was stalled. This, compared with the multiple famines and other disasters created by the British Empire led to several revolts.

After independence, India still remained under the indirect dominance of the western imperialist nations. The caste system continued to oppress people and classwise wealth concentrated more and more in the hands of businessmen and landlords, with most of the common people continuing to live under dire poverty. Wherever there is oppression, resistance grows. Again there were revolts in several parts of India, including the North East, Telangana etc which were brutally suppressed through the use of armed forces. These practical experiences of the Indian workers and peasantry in making revolts, set a fertile ground for the Naxalites to utilize.

2) International situation

Class struggles have advanced internationally in the last century. In Russia and China, the exploited classes captured power concretely for the first time in the history of mankind. Though the USSR later collapsed and China became capitalist, their strategies and tactics were compiled into the ideology of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, and stood as a lesson for the oppressed people of the whole world. Thus, class-conscious workers all over the world now know that no matter how strong the state machinery is, there are classical ways to exhaust it and finish it off militarily.

Furthermore, the international networks of solidarity among the oppressed people have grown much stronger, due to both political and technological developments worldwide. So now if Israel drops a bomb on Palestine, there will be protests ranging from South Asia to Latin America. Similarly, it is no more possible for the Indian government to isolate and obliterate a rebellion, and even the Naxalites have other communists and progressives from several countries, including some from Europe and the Americas, upholding and propagandizing for them.

3) Efficient political line

Among all the parties that want the society to change and better itself, the Naxalites have the most efficient political line. They know that the country is a democracy only in name, with power being practically concentrated in the hands of a very small ruling class. So their solution is not to change the system from within, but to overthrow it as a whole, and establish a socialist society.

Naxalites also have an efficient way to implement their plan. They are waging guerrilla war against the government. This means that when smaller forces are sent against them, they concentrate their own forces and make surprise attacks. If bigger forces are sent against them they simply avoid fights. This results in the bigger forces being bogged down in a small space and being hated by the people due to their demands of resources from the locals. Also, there cannot be a full fledged army operation against the Naxalites, because since the Naxalites recruit mostly from workers and peasants, common soldiers are most likely to refuse to fight their own countrymen coming from their own class. Thus the Naxalite strategy works wherever there is oppression, leaving the government no choice but to either fight a losing war or to meet all their demands.

Other reasons are:-

  • Close coordination between state and central force has yet not been achieved
  • Intelligence failure- 300 Maoist guerrillas attacked CRPF Jawans in Sukma which was not preceded by any warning from intelligence agencies
  • Lacking capacity of State policeIn Chattisgarh, about 10,000 vacancies in different ranks in the state police exist with 23 sanctioned police stations still not set up
  • Lacking technology- The paramilitary forces and the State police forces were supposed to acquire the capability for using small/micro UAVs that can be launched from the battalion/district headquarters and remotely operated vehicles to defuse IEDs. However, the deaths from IEDs still continue
  • Leadership issues- Vacancies in Paramilitary forces at leadership level or an Indian Police Service officer heading such forces have seen to affect the morale of soldiers
  • Development: Naxalism is more developmental problem rather than law and order problem. So it will persist unless root cause is not addressed.

 


Topic:  Conservation

8) The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) recently ordered that there would be no tribal rights under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (FRA) in critical tiger habitats. Critically discuss arising out of this order. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction:- The recent order by NTCA to take away tribal rights in critical tiger habitats is a cause of concern because of the following issues:

  • Deprivation: This turns back the clock on the hard-earned FRA
  • Basis: There is lack of concrete basis that rights given to tribal has affected conservation negatively. On the contrary, the tribal have assisted in conservation efforts.
  • Lack of proper relief and rehabilitation provided by government to displaced tribals.
  • The forest is the home of several tribal populations. There will be Inability of tribals to adjust to outside life and violation of the legislatively guaranteed right to homestead and minor forest produce under FRA.
  • MoEF directive: It goes against the directive of MoEF which categorically states that conservation efforts should not circumscribe the tribal rights.

However there are some benefits which are

  • It completely eradicates the possibility of human interference thereby giving full throttle to conservation efforts
  • The order is meant for critical tiger habitats and thus doesn’t cover a mammoth area
  • This is a targeted effort at only those areas where the tiger habitats are critical thus ensuring to boost conservation by greater level with minimum efforts.

Way forward:
The intention of NTCA is laudable but rather than stripping the tribals of their rights, it should have aimed to synergize their efforts with the help of expertise of tribal and rigorous conservation drive through efficient policing.