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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 28 AUGUST 2017


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 28 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:  Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues 

1) Which events led to killing of Mahatma Gandhiji? Critically examine. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

 Ans –

Gandhiji was assassinated in 1948 by a Hindu extremist, Nathuram Godse, who had revealed the cause of his actions being following events –

  1. Gandhiji’s endorsement of the Rajaji’s formula which had submitted to Jinnah’s demand for partition of India;
  2. Gandhiji’s call for greater financial support for the newly-found state of Pakistan;
  3. Communal flares that engulfed India and the perspective developed by Communal parties highlighting the victimization of their own community alone;
  4. The scars of violencedivided the two religions, Gandhiji’s efforts to fill this void were looked upon with suspicion.
  5. For the ethnic Muslims, Gandhiji was a Hindu leader who opposed the creation of Pakistan on sectarian grounds. Ethnic Hindus looked upon him as an impediment to their plan to revenge the atrocities on Hindus. Godse was a child of this extremist thinking.
  6. Gandhiji’s support for a democratic, secular state instead of a theocratic Hindu state;
  7. Gandhiji’s idea of Harijan upliftment was not very welcome to upper caste right wing groups. Further, Gandhiji asked upper caste groups to do penance for “historical” injustices caused to untouchables. This irked such groups.

All these events led to culmination of religious fanaticism and his killing. However, clearly, the assassin and his groups lacked an understanding of a Gandhian vision –

  1. Gandhiji’s endorsement of Rajaji formula was an option among non-options presented to him by AIML as a condition for their support for India’s independence movement;
  2. While endorsing greater financial support to Pakistan, Gandhiji wanted to minimise any future clash between India and Pakistan in the name of injustice. He wanted a Pakistan that develops parallel to India than depending on India. 
  3. Gandhiji was aware of the problems in a theocratic state – such as majoritarianism, intolerance, partial state machinery etc.
  4. Gandhiji was ideologically critical of violence, leave alone communal, and never took sides.

So, the assassination was done without getting into the reasons of the Gandhian stand. It was a sheer fanaticism to promote majoritarianism and a supremacist ideology founded on arrogance.

 


 

Topic:  Role of women and women’s organization; Social empowerment

2) Do you think quota policy for women in local government is a good step towards political empowerment of women? Critically comment. (200 Words)

Livemint

Ans –

India first introduced nationwide seat quotas for women in government in 1993 with the 73rd and 74th amendments to the Constitution. It provided for one-third of all seats at the level of panchayats and municipalities to be filled by women. This has been seen as an important step towards women empowerment.

The benefits –

  1. Increased political participation of women – 50% population(women) being taken into the mainstream politics & decision making machinery. Study finds that an additional female candidate appears among four constituencies that had one additional reserved local term.
  2. Women-empowerment – Women sensitive and gender neutral policy making.  Women specific issues like sanitation, pregnancy healthcare, ASHA & Anganwadi care etc. are getting due attention deprecating the patriarchal mindset of the conservative sections of society. It instills Self-respect and confidence building in women living under deprived circumstances.

Women Reservation at LSG is largest Affirmative Policy in world. This has translated into women empowerment. This is manifested with splendid Women Political Empowerment Ranking of 9th out 144 nations in ‘Gender Gap Reporting'(however comprehensive ranking is 87/144). States like Bihar has given 50pc reservation and Punjab is heading towards it.

  1. Social movements – With increased political role, women can also now engage in social movements and thus open up an additional front to fight for their rights.
  2. Trickle down effect- with increased political representation, comes increased awareness and an overall desire for better health, educational and skilling efforts for women.

However, the effect of affirmative policies were not seen to be long lasting due to following social factors –

  1. ‘Pradhan-Pati’ system / Mr. Sarpanch phenomenon – It is seen at many places in U.P., M.P., etc. Although a woman candidate fights for the local body election, in reality, it is her husband who is pulling the strings. This limits the role of women to mere proxies for men.
  2. Rotation mechanism – Due to multiplicity of reservations in local elections, a rotation system has been followed to provide reservation for women. This severely limits the chance for representation.
  3. Non-reservation in state and national legislatures  – This limits women’s political aspirations to only local bodies.

 

Conclusion –

The ‘letter’ part of the Act is achieved but ‘Spirit’ part is still missing. The intent of the policy is good, but it seems to lack proper implementation. The quota policy for women in local government increases candidacy for, but not representation in, state and national political offices. Estimate magnitudes imply these quotas were responsible for a majority of the increase in female candidates in state legislature and parliamentary elections since the policy went into effect, although female representation in higher offices remains low and does not appear to be changed by the policy. 

With increased efforts towards women education, we should look forward to political, social as well as economical participation of women in the mainstream society. Specific policy initiatives are necessary to increase women representation at higher levels.

 

 

 


Topic: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure,

3) In your opinion, what do violent reactions by the public aftermath of a court pronouncing Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh guilty of rape indicate about India’s political system and the authority of the state? Critically comment. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

The Hindu

The violence in the Haryana is the unfortunate demonstration of failure of state to control the law and order issue. This case is not just about failure of government but also about the blind faith the people has in the religious personalities. This incidence is equally damaging to the social and moral fabric of society as a whole. This has resulted into application of action 144 in some areas by government.

Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) of 1973 empowers an executive magistrate to prohibit an assembly of more than four people in an area. According to sections 141-149 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the maximum punishment for engaging in rioting is rigorous imprisonment for 3 years and/or fine. Every member of an unlawful assembly can be held responsible for a crime committed by the group. Obstructing an officer trying to disperse an unlawful assembly may attract further punishment.

The reasons of the violence and analysis:

The people with blind faith came to the streets in order to protest the arrest of Ram Rahim in murder and rape case. The large number of people on the street created the issue of law and order for Haryana state government.

The huge crowd resulted into violent activities as it was not organised or led by any organisation as such.

Apart from followers of Ram Rahim there was the involvement of local politically active groups who used this condition of chaos for their own benefits. This kind of immoral involvement of political components clearly shows the immature political setups.

The failure of intelligence agencies to gather information on time about such possibility has resulted into death of many people and damage to the public property.

This incidence also highlights the sorry state of media coverage, whose way of reporting has further drawn the people out of their houses for violent acts.

The inefficiency of state police department to tackle such kind of violence has once again make police reforms very important.

This situation also shows that, there is particular strata of society, which fall prey to irrational, blind faith. The resultant personality cults are one of the threats to the democracy.

This incidence must be taken as learning that, state needs to be strong in terms of its offensive as well as defensive capabilities. The law and order must be given priority which should avoid collapse of state machinery in the time of emergency.


 

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

4) “Public health is not about running state run hospitals, it is what the state does to protect health by mitigating the social and environmental determinants of diseases.” Analyse. (200 Words)

Livemint

The practice of public health has been dynamic in India, and has witnessed many hurdles in its attempt to affect the lives of the people of this country. Since independence, major public health problems like malaria, tuberculosis, leprosy, high maternal and child mortality and lately, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have been addressed through a concerted action of the government. Social development coupled with scientific advances and health care has led to a decrease in the mortality rates and birth rates.

Challenges in Public health in India:

Health systems are grappling with the effects of existing communicable and non-communicable diseases and also with the increasing burden of emerging and re-emerging diseases (drug-resistant TB, malaria, SARS, avian flu and the current H1N1 pandemic).

Inadequate financial resources for the health sector and inefficient utilization result in inequalities in health. As issues such as Trade-Related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights continue to be debated in international forums, the health systems will face new pressures.

The causes of health inequalities lie in the social, economic and political mechanisms that lead to social stratification according to income, education, occupation, gender and race or ethnicity.

Lack of adequate progress on these underlying social determinants of health has been acknowledged as a glaring failure of public health.

Difference in health care and public health:

Disease-care includes the different types of biomedical interventions that are carried out to restore health after an individual falls ill. Therefore, disease-care is popularly called “healthcare”. Healthcare is labour-intensive, given by one worker to one client at a time. Clinics and hospitals are visible infrastructure and sought after as a felt need in times of distress.

Public health is what the state does to prevent diseases and to protect health. Public health, is invisible infrastructure, working in society to mitigate social determinants of diseases and in the environment to mitigate environmental determinants of diseases.

Promoting public health:

  • To meet the formidable challenges described earlier, there is an urgent call for revitalizing primary health care based on the principles outlined at Alma-Ata in 1978: Universal access and coverage, equity, community participation in defining and implementing health agendas and intersectoral approaches to health.
  • Public health must be managed by professionals trained in public health and empowered to work for the health security of all people—urban and rural, poor and rich.
  • Public health is concerned with disease prevention and control at the population level, through organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private communities and individuals.
  • The role of government is crucial for addressing these challenges and achieving health equity. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) plays a key role in guiding India’s public health system.
  • Contribution to health of a population derives from systems outside the formal health care system, and this potential of intersectoral contributions to the health of communities is increasingly recognized worldwide. Thus, the role of government in influencing population health is not limited within the health sector but also by various sectors outside the health systems.
  • Effective addressing of public health challenges necessitates new forms of cooperation with private sectors (public-private partnership), civil societies, national health leaders, health workers, communities, other relevant sectors and international health agencies (WHO, UNICEF, Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, World Bank).
  • Important issues that the health systems must confront are lack of financial and material resources, health workforce issues and the stewardship challenge of implementing pro-equity health policies in a pluralistic environment.
  • Health profiles published by the government should be used to help communities prioritize their health problems and to inform local decision making. Public health laboratories have a good capacity to support the government’s diagnostic and research activities on health risks and threats, but are not being utilized efficiently.
  • There is a need for strengthening research infrastructure in the departments of community medicine in various institutes and to foster their partnerships with state health services.

Conclusions

“The health of people is the foundation upon which all their happiness and all their powers as a state depend”

– Benjamin Disraeli, British Prime Minister.

In this changing world, with unique challenges that threaten the health and well-being of the population, it is imperative that the government and community collectively rise to the occasion and face these challenges simultaneously, inclusively and sustainably. Social determinants of health and economic issues must be dealt with a consensus on ethical principles – universalism, justice, dignity, security and human rights. This approach will be of valuable service to humanity in realizing the dream of Right to Health.

 


Topic:  Agriculture

5) Critically comment on the measures taken by the  government towards doubling farmers’ income? Also examine the recommendations of the Committee on Doubling Farmers’ Income. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

 

Introduction :- Doubling farmers income by 2022 is an ambitious project by government. several specific steps like from soil health cards given to 9 crore farmers to enhanced crop insurance scheme, from completion of 99 projects under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana by 2019 to encouraging FDI in food-processing and handholding farmers, from supply of inputs to marketing of produce have been taken.

On April 13, 2016, the government set up a committee under Ashok Dalwai, then additional secretary in ministry of agriculture, to prepare a report on DFI.

  • The report works on three areas: productivity gains, reduction in cost of cultivation, and remunerative prices. The strategic framework has four concerns: sustainable agri-production, monetisation of farmers’ produce, re-strengthening extension services, and recognising agriculture as an enterprise.
  • The report also uses an econometric model to work out how much investment is needed in agriculture, irrigation, rural roads, rural energy and rural development to attain 10.41% annual growth in real incomes for DFI by 2022-23 over base of 2015-16.
  • we have a laundry-list of hundreds of recommendations, ranging from implementation of APLM Act to e-NAM to negotiable warehouse system to price deficiency payments to re-organising KVKs, and so on and so forth, and,finally, setting up a secretariat for DFI
  • But the report is totally silent on how, and from where, these resources will be generated. In a climate of loan waivers, subsidies, and welfare programmes that dominate the budget (as the accompanying graphic shows), the likely reality is that investments are going to shrink further.
  • Even if one makes the heroic assumption that so much investment will be somehow made, the question that still needs answering is how much agri-production will increase as a result of this, and where that increased production will be absorbed.

The upshot of this example is that India needs to focus on incentives for farmers, and much else will follow. Unfortunately, our policy is biased in favour of consumers and that inadvertently makes it anti-farmer. If the government can reform that by using income policy to protect the poor, and free up prices for farmers, allow private trade to stock and operate freely and have unhindered exports, India can raise farmers’ incomes significantly, if not double by 2022.

Agriculture is described as the backbone of Indian economy, mainly because of three reasons. One, agriculture constitutes largest share of country’s national income though the share has declined from 55 percent in early 1950s to about 25 percent by the turn of the Century. Two, more than half of India’s workforce is employed in its agriculture sector. Three, growth of other sectors and overall economy depends on performance of agriculture to a considerable extent. Besides, agriculture is a source of livelihood and food security for large majority of vast population of India.

Background:

The PM shared his dream of doubling farmers’ income (DFI) at a kisan rally on February 28, 2016. Then, the finance minister’s budget speech mentioned it on February 29, 2016 .The government aims to double the real income, as spelled out in recent reports of the Committee on Doubling Farmers’ Income (CDFI).On April 13, 2016, the government set up a committee under Ashok Dalwai, to prepare a report on DFI.

What report says?

The report works on three areas: productivity gains, reduction in cost of cultivation, and remunerative prices.

The strategic framework has four concerns: sustainable agri-production, monetisation of farmers’ produce, re-strengthening extension services, and recognising agriculture as an enterprise.

The report also uses an econometric model to work out how much investment is needed in agriculture, irrigation, rural roads, rural energy and rural development to attain 10.41% annual growth in real incomes for DFI by 2022-23 over base of 2015-16.Additional investment needed to realise this works out to a whopping Rs 6,40,000 crore, at 2011-12 prices. And this does not include investments in agri-logistics, cold chains, etc.

Eighty percent of this investment has to come from the government. The investments in, and for agriculture, need to rise by 22% per annum in real terms if the dream of DFI is to be realised.

Recommendations by this report are:

  1. Implementation of eNAM
  2. Negotiable ware house system
  3. Reorganising KVKs

Analysis of recommendations in this report:

The report is silent on how these huge resources will be generated in order to satisfy the financial demands.

Along with this, the question exists that how much agri-production will increase as a result of mentioned measures, and where that increased production will be absorbed.

Steps taken by government to double the Farmers income are:

The government has launched Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana in order to address the critical importance of soil and water for improving agricultural production.

NFSM aims to increase the production of rice, wheat, pulses and Coarse Cereals through area expansion and productivity enhancement; restoring soil fertility and productivity; creating employment opportunities; and enhancing farm level economy.

National Crop Insurance Scheme (NCIP) aims to provide insurance coverage and financial support to the farmers in the event of crops failure as a result of natural calamities, pests and diseases as also to encourage farmers to adopt progressive farming practices, high value inputs and higher technology in agriculture.

PM Krishi Sinchayi Yojana aims to provide quality means of irrigation to the farmers. It also includes encouraging them to use sprinkle irrigation for “One drop more crop”.

Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) aims to incentivize the States to increase investment in Agriculture and allied sectors to achieved 4% growth in agriculture sector.

All these efforts taken by government are noteworthy. Still a long way to go in order to realise the dream of doubling farmer’s income.

 

 


 

 

 

Topic: Agriculture

6) “The panacea for rural distress can only be agricultural reforms that will raise farm productivity and incomes.” Discuss. (200 Words)

Livemint

Introduction :- Starting in the 1990s, agriculture in India — particularly in rural India — has declined at a devastating rate. This has had a calamitous impact on the livelihoods associated with agriculture. Symptoms of this agrarian distress, unprecedented in post-Independent India, is a high rate of suicides amongst farmers. The crisis is characterised by low institutionalised credit to small farmers.

Between 1995 and 2014 2,96,438 farmers have committed suicide in India. On average, 3,685 farmers in the state took their lives every year between 2004-13.

According to P. Sainath, a leading Indian journalist who reports on the rural India and its unprecedented economic crisis, for the first time as per 2011 Census of India urban India added more to its population than rural India. This implies that millions of people earlier engaged in agriculture are roaming around the India in “footloose migration” search for daily wages. This points to the destruction of livelihoods in the predominantly agrarian rural India.[3] Another evidence for a major agrarian crisis in India is the very high rate in which people are leaving occupations associated with farming.

AGRICULTURAL REFORMS AS PANACEA :-

  • Agricultural reforms, such as in irrigation and warehousing infrastructure, can help increase farm productivity and therefore incomes.
  • They will not just help fund consumption expenditure, but will leave extra funds in the hands of rural India, which can then be used to service the higher real debt bill.
  • There is a need that State-specific problems and innovations be allowed and flexibility and new approach should be rewarded. For example the cost norm for Manipur, Tripura and Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh cannot be the same. Also, the crop insurance scheme is almost a total failure.
  • One of the biggest reform for the sake of food security and farmers livelihood should take place in adopting a holistic and integrated approach in ensuring convergence in the management of animal husbandry, fisheries, agro-forestry, minor forest produce and agro-minor forest-based micro and medium enterprise specially in the rain-fed areas. A national scheme on convergence mode between these departments, a file prepared by this author while he was in the National Rainfed Area Authority, is gathering dust since 2010. There is need for immediate steps to create brooder houses in each block for the marginal farmers and landless agricultural workers and tenet farmers to augment their income and to increase the production of eggs and protein.
  • Indian cows produce A2 milk which is genetically and health wise better but the hybridisation of Indian cows with European and Australian Jerseys and Holstein Friesian deliveres A1 milk. The Government must review its policy and revive the indigenous milk producing cow breeds like Shahiwal, Gir, Red Sindhi, Tharpakar, Rathi, Kankrej, Ongole and Hariana to name a few by taking up breed improvement programmes. A network of dairies should be set up for stepping up milk production. Today the Indian breeds in Brazil are giving 70 liter a day. When it can be done by Brazil why can’t India do this?
  • Further, fisheries has not been accorded the desired level of investment to meet the deficiency of protein in the country. Private sector players should be invited to set up cold storages and silos to prevent damage of food grains and vegetables and fruits.
  • One of the key sector to boost the off-farm income is to promote productivity and marketing of the minor forest produce. More than 17 lakh hectare of the forest land has been vested under the Forest Rights Act 2006 among the tribal people and this land is available for proper investment for enhancing livelihood of the tribal farmers.
  • There should be a separate Budget for agriculture considering the situation of farming sector in the country and its potential. The BJP Government had laid emphasis on agricultural reforms but all of this should not just be lost in the euphoria of tall talks. Solid actions with genuine attempts to help the farmers who are the food gods of this country is the need of the hour.
  • The second broader point to be made is that farm loan waivers may do more harm than good. They spoil the credit culture, making formal finance more nervous about serving rural India. They also erode macro-economic stability.
  • In particular, a rapid rise in farm loan waiver expenses could bind India’s states in a vicious cycle, increasing their interest bill or lowering the quality of their spending, or both.

Rural distress is a recurring theme in India. Every few years, farm loan waivers or a good monsoon provide some short-lived respite. Clearly, the benefits from neither are sustainable. The panacea for rural distress can only be reforms that will help raise farm productivity and incomes.


 

TopicContributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.

7) Delineate ethics of Mahatma Gandhiji. (150 Words)

Reference

Introduction :- Mahatma Gandhi lit the imagination of the entire world. The waste of human ability energy and money on armament will continue unabated, and diversion of world resources to development will remain a pipe dream, so long as human does not learn the great lesson which Gandhi preached so convincingly in our own times that non-violence is the law of our species. Today Gandhian values have special significance for national integration.

  • Communal harmony has become essential for national integration and hence Gandhi gave it the highest priority. By communal harmony Gandhiji did not mean merely paying lip service to it. He meant it to be an unbreakable bond of unity.
  • In the religious context Gandhi emphasized that communal harmony has to be based on equal respect for all religions.
  • Everyone, Gandhi said, must have the same regard for other faiths as one had for one’s own. Such respect would not only remove religious rifts but lead to a realization of the fact that religion was a stabilizing force, not a disturbing element.
  • Gandhi’s basic axiom was that religion since the scriptures of all religions point only in one direction of goodwill, openness and understanding among humans.
  • He regarded education as the light of life and the very source from which was created an awareness of oneness.
  • Gandhi believed that the universality of ethics can best be realized through the universalisation of education, and that such universalisation was the spring board for national integration.
  • He taught us the dignity of labour as a levelling social factor that contributed to a national outlook in keeping with the vision of new India.
  • He always believed that a nation built on the ethical foundation of non-violence would be able to withstand attacks on its-integrity from within and without.
  • He said that we must work for economic equality and social justice, which would remove the ills caused by distress and bitterness.
  • The belief in the presence of an all-pervading spirit in the universe led Gandhi to a strict formulation of the ethics of nonviolence (ahimsa). But he gave this age-old ethical principle a wealth of meaning so that ahimsa for him became at once a potent means of collective struggle against social and economic injustice, the basis of a decentralized economy and decentralized power structure, and the guiding principle of one’s individual life in relation both to nature and to other persons