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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 22 AUGUST 2017

 


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 22 AUGUST 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.

 


 

Topic:  Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.

1) What were the geopolitical consequences of India’s partition, especially vis a vis China? Discuss. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

While the bloody history of India’s division invites unanimous regret and condemnation, retrospective views are divided. Indian views of partition are diverse with intellectuals from the left and right engaged in what are often zero-sum reflections.

The geopolitical consequences of partition can be analysed in following manner:

  1. In the early decades after Partition, China seemed relatively marginal to South Asian geopolitics. India’s energies were focused on opposing the Anglo-American co-option of Pakistan into the Cold War alliance system and the supply of Western arms to the Pakistan military.
  2. The identity of India was created after the partition that was taken into consideration with varied understanding at various paces of time.
  3. After partition, India took a very specific ideological stance through Panchasheel and peaceful cooperation which was not taken by China in required spirit.
  4. Chinas growing economic resources, military capabilities and political influence have dramatically improved Beijing’s ability to exploit India’s difficulties with its smaller neighbours as well.
  5. In terms of trade and other economic relationship , china has played a dominant role and got the benefit
  6. The china opted for cooperative relations with Pakistan and gave upper hand to Pak relationship over Indian.

In contemporary context India need a very pragmatic foreign policy approach in order to counter the challenges placed by China.

 


Topic:  Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes;

2) “To ensure large-scale job creation, the freedom to create jobs must be on a par with other freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.” Critically comment. (200 Words)

Livemint

 

The constitution of India has provided a list of Freedoms as Fundamental rights that are very essential for very survival of the human being. The time when constitution of India was written , the economic conditions were different from today and thus it do not explicitly mentions the other freedoms which today we feel essential to be the part of constitution of India.

Recent incidence:

During his fourth Independence Day address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi implored the youth to generate employment rather than just seek jobs. He listed out several initiatives of his government to facilitate entrepreneurship. These include access to credit, ease of getting clearances, and skill development. Modi also called for a collective resolve to build a “New India” by 2022. A secure, prosperous and strong nation cannot be built without providing every able-bodied individual an opportunity to create jobs.

Challenges in the field of Employment:

It appears that government initiatives on job creation are having limited impact. According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, 1.5 million jobs were lost during the first four months of 2017. Simultaneously, the number of people declaring themselves unemployed fell by 9.6 million. Seasonal jobs, demonetization, underemployment, reskilling, a reduction in investment, and a shift towards entrepreneurship, are being offered as explanations. If none of these is true, there is a danger of unemployed youth straying towards undesirable activities.

Need to treat the freedom to create jobs on a par with other freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution because:

  • Unreasonable restrictions on practising one’s calling must be dismantled. Personal inclination, and not regulatory provisions, must guide professional choices. These will also help in mainstreaming practices considered unlawful such as betting, Marijuana cultivation etc.
  • A fundamental right to create jobs will aid in unshackling growth in key sectors like agriculture and allied activities, by repeal of restrictive policies and practices.
  • For Eg : Farmers will be able to demand their rightful access to land, capital, technology, markets, inputs, skills, remunerative pricing, and the government will be bound to oblige.
  • The potential of a rural non-farm economy has also remained untapped in creating job creators. Due to lack of opportunities, the rural population is migrating to urban Centres. However, if there is a fundamental right of job creation, then the divergence in delivery and quality of basic education, health and social service between urban and rural residents will be narrowed.
  • A digital economy aimed at curing asymmetry in information, finance and data can help in operationalizing the fundamental right to create jobs. Digital tools transmitted through mobile phones can aid in providing information about technology, markets and price. The existing trinity of Jan Dhan accounts, Aadhaar and mobile can act as a stepping stone for more Quality job creation.

Thus the existing economic conditions demand to give more importance to the Right to create Job. Being of more ease of doing business issue and less of constitutional one, the practical solutions must be found in order to boost the manufacturing sector of economy.

 


Topic:  Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation

3) Critically evaluate performance of Swachh Bharat Mission. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

 

Swachh Bharat Mission is a campaign by the Government of India to clean the streets, roads and infrastructure of the country’s 4,041 statutory cities and towns. It includes ambassadors and activities such as a run, national real-time monitoring and updates from NGOs.

The objectives of Swachh Bharat are to reduce or eliminate open defecation through the construction of individual, cluster and community toilets. The Swachh Bharat mission will also make an initiative of establishing an accountable mechanism of monitoring latrine use. The government is aiming to achieve an Open-Defecation Free (ODF) India by 2 October 2019, the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, by constructing 12 million toilets in rural India, at a projected cost of 1.96 lakh crore.

Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin)

The Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan has been restructured into the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin). The mission aims to make India an open defecation free country in Five Years. It seeks to improve the levels of cleanliness in rural areas through Solid and Liquid Waste Management activities and making Gram Panchayats Open Defecation Free (ODF), clean and sanitised.

Swachh Vidyalaya Abhiyan

The Ministry of Human Resource Development has launched Swachh Vidyalaya Programme under Swachh Bharat Mission with an objective to provide separate toilets for boys and girls in all government schools within one year. The programme aims at ensuring that every school in the country must have a set of essential interventions that relate to both technical and human development aspects of a good Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programme.

Rashtriya Swachhata Kosh

The Swachh Bharat Kosh (SBK) has been set up to facilitate and channelize individual philanthropic contributions and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds to achieve the objective of Clean India (Swachh Bharat) by the year 2019. The Kosh will be used to achieve the objective of improving cleanliness levels in rural and urban areas, including in schools. The allocation from the Kosh will be used to supplement and complement departmental resources for such activities.

Criticism of Swachha Bharat Mission:

  1. Information on state, district and block-wise funds approved under SBM needs to be made easily available for people to know the annual plans and allocations for making their demands. This provision is not getting required importance.
  2. There is need to be work towards changing deep-seated individual and social attitudes that lead to open defecation and other unhygienic practices among different communities. It is when such efforts come together that success stories such as Nadia district from West Bengal becoming the first district in the country to achieve open defecation free status can truly be celebrated.
  3. To enable the creation of organic demand for sanitation among communities, SBM emphasises creating foot soldiers termed as Swacchata Doots. While this frontline work force is much desired, only 8,890 Swachhata Doots have been identified so far against the 76,108 needed in urban areas. The rural scenario looks even worse.
  4. The exponential increase in toilet construction in the last few months of the financial year is a serious cause of concern. A simple on-ground verification of numbers uploaded on the MDWS website in a few areas found that many of the toilets claimed may not actually exist on the ground.
  5. Rural sanitation is vested within the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS), while urban areas fall under the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD). School sanitation is given to the Ministry of Human Resource Development. In reality, however, there is a lack of coordination between the ministries and it is unclear yet on how they will work together to overcome their overlapping sanitation challenges.

Conclusion:

Sanitation needs to be seen as a life cycle issue and hence providing sanitation facilities at work, education and other public spaces is important. This requires investing in the right place at the right time and in the most appropriate manner.

 


 

Topic:  India and its neighborhood- relations.

4) In your opinion, what went wrong in India’s Nepal policy? How can it make corrections? Critically comment. (200 Words)

The Hindu

 

The Hindu

 Ans –

India and Nepal share historical, cultural, geographical ties that are beyond the political borders. However, the relations today are strained because of the following reasons:

  1. The Nepali government alleges India of micromanaging its internal politics as in recent framing of constitution where India demanded rights for Madhesis.
  2. The economic blockade of 2015 by Madhesis when India didn’t help resolve it, left Nepal stranded in need of supplies and reduced the esteem of India as a helping neighbour.
  3. Maoist insurgency ended in Nepal in 2006 on promise of recruiting Maoists in Nepali army. India stood against political affiliation of army and belied hopes made maoists against India.
  4. Even the Madhesis aren’t happy with a notion that India didn’t push enough to secure their rights.
  5. Gorkhas In India are struggling with demands of Gorkhaland not being granted.
  6. The showy attitude of Indian media during Nepal earthquake further embittered the relations.
  7. The damage in relations was increased multifold with Demonetisation and GST implementation hitting Nepal’s economy.
  8. Nepal has been shifting towards China for infrastructure, connectivity through OBOR while India has seeming lost its credibility to help.
  9. The ‘Big brother’ attitude of India didn’t go down well with Nepal, there were instances like our Diplomats singing treaty with their PM, which showed them their wasn’t equality in the relationship. 

Ways to remedy ties between two countries –

With global geopolitics on the boil, and the Hindi-Chini relationship in free fall, it should be in India’s interest to secure its own neighbourhood, and that can only be through letting national politics and governance of the smaller neighbours evolve without interference.

  • At diplomatic level, we should start treating them with equality and engage in dialogues. 
    • At political level, we should address their concerns of non-interference into internal matters etc. And take them in confidence. 
    • At economy’s level, we should engage with them more, this will be mutually beneficial and reduce their Chinese dependence. There is great scope in Hydro-electric and tourism projects. 
    • At cultural level, the old age ‘Roti- Beti’ relationship should be re-established via various programs and tourism sector. 
    • And lastly while helping Nepal we should follow Gujral doctrine, help in generous manner and not for chest thumping. SAARC satellite help is right help in the direction.

 

India’s recent initiatives like the MOU on the Motor Vehicles Agreement and the “Pashupathinath Express” bus service between Kathmandu and Delhi, extending a line of Credit for development of Hydropower and irrigation, India’s help in the earthquake of 2015, presenting Nepal army with the Dhruv helicopter are all commendable. It is however the time to do more.


 

Topic:  Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability 

5) Critically comment on the important issues plaguing press in India.  (200 Words)

The Hindu

Ans –

Press is the fourth pillar of democracy, but in the largest democracy of the world it is facing serious challenges.

The various issues which have plagued the press in India are:

  • Freedom of press – intimidation from the state like in the case of NDTV shutdown for reporting during Pathankot attack, weak whistle-blower protection act, defamation suits, etc. have restricted the freedom of press.
  • Corruption – Paid news, advertorials and fake news.
  • Credibility issue – Biased reporting by reporters, editors have dented the image of news channels and newspapers.
  • Corporate and political lobbying and ownership.
  • Flooding of news channels, race for TRPs to get advertising revenues – more sensationalization of news than fact reporting. Example – reporting of Nepal-earthquake.
  • Weak regulation- only a self-regulating body like PCI (press council of India) has little power or legislative backup to regulate the press.
  • Advent of social media- competition for instant and quick news and reporting without first checking the facts. For example: Reporting of GPS nano-chips in new 500 and 2000 notes.

Conclusion –

While the press in India has played a critical role to raise the voices of common citizens against the injustice, in the recent times the absence of weak regulation, lack of self control, degradation of ethical and professional values is making the press nothing but a tool used by political and corporate bodies for their self interest.

In the wake of these issues any reform should come from within the media especially from senior editors and journalists, making the working of press more transparent. The legislative backup for PCI to give it more teeth for regulation is also required.

 

 

 


Topic: Role of civil services in a democracy

6) What are the three new fundamental changes that you would like to bring in India’s civil services?  Discuss. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction :- The Civil Services refer to the civil services, the permanent executive branch of the Republic of India. The civil service system is the backbone of the administrative machinery of the country.

In the parliamentary democracy of India, the ultimate responsibility for running the administration rests with the elected representatives of the people which are the ministers. But a handful of ministers cannot be expected to deal personally with the manifold problems of modern administration. Thus the ministers lay down the policy and it is for the civil servants to carry out this policy.

However there is urgent need for civil services reforms in India. It is impossible to run a 21st century economy with a 19th century bureaucracy using 18th century rules. The “New India” that is under way also needs independence from bad bureaucracy.

 

The civil services need to bring about three fundamental changes, some of which are already under way under the new dispensation.

First, specific clauses under All India Services and Central Services Conduct Rules have been invoked to sack officers on grounds of incompetence and/or corruption. The rules always existed in the rule book but this government has had the courage to use it in public interest and more will follow soon. The black sheep should be identified and sent home, with public opprobrium.

 

Second, lateral entry into the higher civil services should be welcomed but with some caveats.

  • Espousing lateral entry as a manna for all failures of governance will only set it up to fail, for history is replete with examples of some of the most accomplished private sector professionals failing inside government.
  • Few remarkable examples can be Hasmukh Adhia who delivered the Goods and Services Tax, Parameswaran Iyer who manages sanitation, Aruna Sundararajan who gave us Digital India, Sanjay Mitra who delivered highways, S. Jaishankar who places India on the global map, Anil Swarup who led coal auctions, Rita Teaotia who led GEM (government e-marketplace) and preferential procurement for “Make in India” products, each along with their respective team of civil servants from various services, and the entire leadership of Prime Minister’s Office who oversee and catalyse all the above, did not come into government through lateral entry.
  • Conversely, lateral entry has also produced a pilot who was designated Cabinet Secretary in a State who then ran amok, and thoughtful economists who were disasters as leaders inside government.

 

The third big step should be to infuse more and more technology into every touch point where a citizen interacts with the government.

  • Today with the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), global technology leaders such as IPsoft use virtual assistants to deliver citizens services in the U.K. and U.S. In the context of government service delivery, cognitive intelligence can deliver it with greater superiority, accuracy, consistency and at lower cost than humans can.
  • The time is ripe for introducing AI in government services such as passports, licences, building permits, certificates, etc. where it can communicate in natural language with citizens and ensure process compliance.

At 70, India needs independence from bad bureaucracy and inane processes and meaningless forms — not necessarily from “good” bureaucracy, which in every country, system and time has been the harbinger of positive change.

 

Additional information :-

https://www.cgg.gov.in/workingpapers/CivilServicesReform.pdf


 

Topic: Energy

7) Is the draft national energy policy of NITI Aayog actionable? Critically examine. (200 Words)

Livemint

Introduction :- NITI Aayog’s Draft National Energy Policy (DNEP), which was finally unveiled in June for public comments, has some ambitious objectives, such as universal access to electricity on a 24/7 basis and clean cooking fuel for all, and some excellent recommendations to promote renewables and tackle energy poverty.

The salient features of DNEP are as follows:-

(i) Focus on energy independence through rationalization of costs, subsidy & boost to renewable sector
(ii) The aim to produce 75 GW energy from the renewable sector till 2022.
(iii) Emphasis on transition from the coal to clean energy for domestic use. 
(iv) Focus on the infrastructure development i.e. the projects like TAPI to development the gas pipelines.

 

Criticism –

  • Inheriting a top-down energy policy legacy focused extensively on supply planning and targets, the NEP misses out much of the dynamics in the individual demand sectors.
  • Hence, it also misses the ways in which they can be harnessed to create frameworks that leave almost everyone better off, whilst also providing mechanisms to meet the NEP objectives set out in its preamble.
  • Issues of the supply side, including energy security, access, affordability and sustainability are covered well in the NEP, with numerous fresh perspectives. But, importantly, lack of supply isn’t the future bottleneck—doing it cleanly, securely, and inclusively are the real needs.
  • DNEP has failed to consider the possibility of significantly reducing the role of fossil fuels.
  • Instead of peak oil supply, a concept that had traction until a few years ago, we now face the possibility of peak oil demand. There is no agreement on when it will happen, but it is more than likely it may be around 2040. The DNEP has no mention of peak oil demand and its implications for India.
  • The DNEP discusses electric vehicles only in passing. It does not discuss the possibility of India halting the production of vehicles with internal combustion engines and transiting to EVs. Such a shift over time would reduce oil demand considerably. The DNEP should have developed at least one scenario to assess the impact of such a dramatic transformation of the auto sector on oil refining, oil demand, the power sector and energy security.
  • The four key objectives driving the DNEP are: banish energy poverty by providing energy at an affordable price; improve energy security and independence; greater sustainability; and economic growth. No attempt has been made in the report to optimise decision-making while selecting different sources of energy based on multiple criteria like the four mentioned here.

 

A realistic energy policy cannot be purely top-down or “national” but must also incorporate multiple smaller policies, e.g., one meant to stimulate domestic oil and gas production, which the ambitious scenario represents. Such coordination is the need of the hour and NITI Aayog is in a great position to play that role. Part II of the NEP could focus on such strategizing, prioritizing and road-mapping of India’s energy policy priorities.

 

 


Topic:  Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.

8) Define following with suitable examples:

a) Metaphysics

b) Intuition

c) Evolutionary ethics

d) Rationality

e) Social conscience

f) Synderesis

Introduction :-

  1. a) Metaphysics :- Metaphysicsis the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature of existence, beingand the world. Arguably, metaphysics is the foundation of philosophy: Aristotle calls it “first philosophy” (or sometimes just “wisdom”), and says it is the subject that deals with “first causes and the principles of things”.
  2. b) Intuition :- Intuitionis the ability to acquire knowledge without proof, evidence, or conscious reasoning, or without understanding how the knowledge was acquired. For example, intuition inspires scientists to design experiments and collect data that they think will lead to the discovery of truth; all science begins with a “hunch.” 
  3. c) Evolutionary ethics :- Evolutionary ethicsis a field of inquiry that explores how evolutionarytheory might bear on our understanding of ethics or morality. … Normative (or prescriptive)evolutionary ethics, by contrast, seeks not to explain moral behavior, but to justify or debunk certain normative ethical theories or claims.
  4. d) Rationality :- Rationalityis the quality or state of being reasonable, based on facts or reason. Rationalityimplies the conformity of one’s beliefs with one’s reasons to believe, or of one’s actions with one’s reasons for action. Rejecting the derogatory practices of society like sati, black magic is rational way of thinking.
  5. e) Social conscience :- A social conscienceis “a sense of responsibility or concern for the problems and injustices of society”. Thinking for the downtrodden and weaker sections of society and working for their welfare is the social consciousness which everybody must posses.
  6. f) Synderesis :- “Synderesis” is a technical term from scholastic philosophy, signifying the innate principle in the moral consciousness of every person which directs the agent to good and restrains him from evil.