SECURE SYNOPSIS: 09 OCTOBER 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: political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society.
“Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”
— John Adams
In these simple words John Adams tried to explain the tyranny of democracy.
The term democracy is used today to denote everything that is wholesome in the social world. Though it is considered the most appropriate for of political system today keeping democracy in its place is not easy. The very idea of collective self-government tempts us into thinking that citizens must be perpetually fixated on the task of ruling themselves.
The tyranny of democracy undermines democracy :-
- The rule by democracy often turns into rule by majority. Hence the imposition of majoritarian views on minority results into tyranny.
- The saturation of civic life by democratic politics crowds out the fundamental bases for community and social cooperation that the democratic ethos needs in order to flourish.
- The election process though placed in utmost good sense has become flawed and tyrannical in recent times. The use of money and muscle power, criminalization of politics shows the ugly face of democracy.
- The basic tenets of democracy are often misused when it comes to blind demands and practices under the garb of democracy. For example the freedom of speech and expression enjoyed by media leads to no regulation of media and it is being exploited in critical situations like live coverage in terror attack as seen in Mumbai attack.
As democracy rests on civic friendship, it is perhaps no surprise that in order to practice better democracy, we need to engage with each other on matters that are not political. Our civic lives must be structured around shared activities and common experiences that do not have politics at their core, arenas of social engagement that are not already structured and plagued by political categories. We must talk with strangers about matters of substance that are not at all political. We must create sites of social involvement in which party affiliation and platform allegiance are simply beside the point. We must ‘tune out’, not from society as such but from society as it is constructed by democratic politics. In short, if we want to do democracy right, we need sometimes to do something else entirely.
Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations.
Introduction :- Nepal has been through political instability, frequent change of government and political equations in the past 11 years. This is causing problems in regional and global instability.
- Political instability is harming Nepal’s struggling economy, which is expected to grow only 1.5 percent this year. Such economic instability leads to unemployment, poverty. This will result into large scale migration of people to India.
- Nepal’s geopolitical location and unfolding global security trends have made its political stability and national security a priority for groups beyond its borders. It is the buffer state between two rival and rising power of India and China.
- The instability even affected Nepal’s preparedness on many fronts like disaster. The earthquake in Nepal caused widespread havoc owing to inability of political and administrative systems to respond in time. This has impacted India as well. India need to provide large scale aid considering the damage caused.
Way forward :-
Nepal has to work on the following four aspects :-
- National security :- Geo-strategically located between two rising powers, Nepal faces an array of traditional and non-traditional security concerns that require a new comprehensive national security architecture.
- Good governance :- Whether in the developed or developing countries is a challenge and needs to be addressed. The services provided by the government to the people must be transparent and visible. Effective and transparent services are the need of the hour.
- Corruption :- rampant corruption in all sections of the government including the security forces is visible and needs to be curbed without delay. Delays will cause irreversible and irrevocable damage to the professionalism, discipline, obedience and values of all the groups as discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments.
- Visionary leadership :- The country needs visionary leaders in the legislature, executive, judiciary, bureaucracy and security forces. The recent appointment of the first woman chief justice is an example.
Despite the promulgation of the constitution, it seems that Nepal is doomed to face further political instability. Unless the major parties come together, there cannot be progress on addressing the key issues facing the country, whether rebuilding after the earthquake, implementing the constitution by holding layers of elections, or simply growing the economy.
Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources
Introduction :- Central universities or union universities in India are established by an Act of Parliament and are under the purview of the Department of Higher Education in the Union Human Resource Development Ministry.
India has many renowned central universities which has their origin even a century ago like Aligarh Muslim University and Banaras Hindu University. They enjoy dedicated funds for their overall development, up gradation, staff, scholarships etc. However it is being overserved by a panel of the UGC that their specific naming like Muslim and Hindu proves to be an obstacle.
- The institutions which enjoys the central government support must be secular in it’s credentials. Their allegiance to a specific religion proves to be detrimental in terms of access by students.
- Universities are the places where the present youth and future of a country is being shaped. Hence it is in utmost interest of country that it’s universities must reflect unity and integrity by refusing to discriminate in terms of caste, creed, race, ethnicity, region etc.
- Reflection of national unity and integrity is possible when their policies are not targeting a particular group of population. Their schemes, policies, scholarships must be for students from all communities if they enjoys dedicated funds from the centre.
- Universities must set an example by creating free environment for students in terms of it’s freedom of speech, right to dissent and should promote their political education in order to develop the personalities of students holistically.
National universities in language of Pandit Nehru are one of the temples of modern India. Their reflection of unity and integrity is essential in order to strengthen the secular credentials of India.
Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes;
Introduction :- Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana is a government-run health insurance programme for the Indian poor. The scheme aims to provide health insurance coverage to the unrecognized sector workers belonging to the BPL category and their family members shall be beneficiaries under this scheme. It provides for cashless insurance for hospitalization in public as well as private hospitals. The scheme started enrolling on April 1, 2008 and has been implemented in 25 states of India.
- The number of families that are enrolled in RSBY has gone up from 4 million on 31st March 2009 to 34.16 million on 28th February 2013. Beginning with 12,500 hospitalization cases in the financial year 2008-09, it has increased to 1.75 million such cases in 2011-12.
- There are about 171 million persons living-in-households-with-a-RSBY-Smart Card and 119 million of them are enrolled in the scheme.
- Enrolment of Females in the scheme has increased by 20% from Round 1 to Round 4. Also, for the enrolled females, the average female hospitalization ratio (total female hospitalization cases/total females enrolled) has increased from 4.53% to 6.6% during the same period.
- In just five years, India’s Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY, translated as “National Health Insurance Programme”) has expanded health-care access. RSBY provided social security to the workers in the unorganised sector. A total of 36 million families have been enrolled as of February 2014.
- RSBY enables patients to seek care at any hospital participating in RSBY, even in hospitals outside their district of residence—a critical benefit given that there are an estimated 100 million people in India living and working in a place that is not their official residence. This has created competition among hospital for better healthcare and nearly 5 mn patients have been benefitted.
- The scheme has won plaudits from the World Bank, the UNand the ILO as one of the world’s best health insurance schemes. Germany has shown interest in adopting the smart card based model for revamping its own social security system, the oldest in the world, by replacing its current, expensive, system of voucher based benefits for 2.5 million children.
- As per report from Council for Social Development, it was found that this scheme has not been very effective. Increase in outpatient expenditure, hospitalization and medicines have compelled insurance companies to exclude several diseases out of their policies and thus making it not affordable for BPL families. Report also has found that most of the beneficiaries are from higher classes and not targeted beneficiaries.
- The study found that despite high enrolment in RSBY, catastrophic health expenditures, hospitalisation expenditure and the percentage of total household outgo on out-of-pocket (OOP) expenses have steadily increased, for both in-patients and outpatients, over the last two decades.
- Many States are reserving significant proportion of procedures for government hospitals (especially in Andhra Pradesh & Tamil Nadu) to contain the costs. With RSBY, there is a serious concern of rampant systemic leakage of resources.
- In many cases doctors and hospitals are found perform unnecessary surgical operations to claim the money of insurance.
- Major design flaw in RSBY and other such state health insurance programs is their narrow focus on secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.
Despite falling short of covering the entire BPL population of the country, the excellent work done by the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna cannot be denied. According to recent news reports, the total number of hospitalisation recorded under the RSBY scheme amounted to about 11.8 million (as on 31 March, 2016).
The scheme and its outreach, the benefits imparted to millions of poor people in the country has attracted praises and accolades from international organizations
Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate; Role of NGOs in development
Introduction :- Nuclear disarmament refers to both the act of reducing or eliminating nuclear weapons and to the end state of a nuclear-free world, in which nuclear weapons are completely eliminated.
Nuclear disarmament efforts world wide :-
- In the United Kingdom, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmamentheld an inaugural public meeting at Central Hall, Westminster, on 17 February 1958.
- CND’s declared policies were the unconditional renunciation of the use, production of or dependence upon nuclear weapons by Britain and the bringing about of a general disarmament convention.
- Major nuclear disarmament groupsinclude Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Greenpeace and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. There have been many large anti-nuclear demonstrations and protests. On June 12, 1982, one million people demonstrated in New York City’s Central Park against nuclear weapons and for an end to the cold war arms race. It was the largest anti-nuclear protest and the largest political demonstration in American history.
- Many nuclear disarmament and nuclear non proliferation treaties have been signed globally. Like Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, Non-Proliferation Treaty, Seabed Arms Control Treaty, Outer Space Treaty, Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency
However these efforts have not been able to completely eliminate the threat of nuclear weapons and warfare from the world. Nine countries together possess around 15,000 nuclear weapons. The United States and Russia maintain roughly 1,800 of their nuclear weapons on high-alert status – ready to be launched within minutes of a warning.
Way forward/ steps required :-
- The nuclear-weapon States possessing the largest nuclear arsenals bear special responsibility for nuclear disarmament. They should continue to reduce drastically their respective nuclear arsenals on the principle of irreversibility.
- All the nuclear-weapon States should renounce the nuclear deterrence policy based on the first use of nuclear weapons, undertake unconditionally not to be the first to use nuclear weapons and conclude an international legal instrument to such effect.
- All the nuclear-weapon States should commit themselves unconditionally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States or nuclear-weapon-free zones, and a relevant international legal instrument should be concluded.
- The nuclear-weapon States concerned should undertake to withdraw all the nuclear weapons deployed outside their territories.
- All the nuclear-weapon States should support the efforts to establish nuclear-weapon-free zones, respect the status of those zones and assume the relevant obligations.
- The nuclear-weapon States and the non-nuclear-weapon States concerned should forego the “nuclear umbrella” policy and the practice of “nuclear sharing”.
- The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) should be observed in full and in good faith. Those countries which have not yet acceded to the NPT should do so without delay and without conditions, so as to make the treaty truly universal.
- The states which have not yet signed and ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) should do so as soon as possible, so as to promote the early entry into force of the CTBT according to the treaty provisions.
- A universal and verifiable fissile material cut-off treaty (FMCT) should be negotiated and concluded.
- On the basis of the above-mentioned efforts, a convention on the complete prohibition of nuclear weapons should be negotiated and concluded.
Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
Introduction :- We are in the midst of the most transformative age in human history where technological leaps could make possible a world of limitless food, water, and energy. The inevitable widespread adoption of next generation technologies indicates a future of mass unemployment, and concentration of wealth in the hands of a few enterprises capable of providing minuscule job openings.
Hence reforming and redefining economic models to get them in sync with the technology- is an absolute necessity to ensure better efficiency and productivity :-
- Today’s primary challenge is the optimal allocation of copiously produced resources among an increasing population with dwindling wage-earning opportunities.
- Taking cue from these trends, several progressive political outfits across Europe have started demanding legislation favouring reduced working hours with no cuts in pay, three-day weekends, and the introduction of a universal basic income.
- Even if new models built around the reduction, sharing, and diffusion of work and the provision of a supplementary income can sustain employment levels and living standards in wealthy nations with a steady, declining, or ageing population, with most of them plugged into the formal economy, it will be impractical in countries like India.
- India has massive basic infrastructural capacity requirements. Focussed government planning and spending, along with the creation of an environment that would encourage private investments into these potentially large-scale projects, could create immediate openings for millions in sectors like construction, India’s second largest employer, providing jobs for over 44 million.
- If leveraged to create essential and permanent assets, employment-guaranteeing schemes like MGNREGA would also effectively absorb a large slice of job seekers.
- Redefining the existing economic planning, employment and resource-allocation models, to get them in sync with this technology-accelerated age, is the need of the hour.
Topic: Environmental pollution; Conservation
7) Environmental concerns by the public and state institutions should be weighed in proportion with the universal right to dissent. Comment in the light of the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) ban on protests at Jantar Mantar Road. (200 Words)
Introduction :- The National Green Tribunal (NGT) ban on protests at Jantar Mantar Road has justifiably raised apprehensions and concerns about the shrinking spaces for democratic dissent in the country’s capital.
Ban on basis of three criteria :-
- Jantar Mantar is not an authorised site for protests
- Jantar Mantar Road is marked as a residential area in the Delhi Master Plan and hence cannot be allowed to be used for other purpose
- the protestors and agitators cause pollution, particularly noise pollution, because of unregulated use of loudspeakers and amplifiers, public address systems, drums
However though the above stated reasons are just environmental concerns by the public and state institutions should be weighed in proportion with the universal right to dissent.
- Issues of littering, sanitation, and even of cow protection groups bringing cows and carts to the area have been mentioned in the NGT order as justification for the ban However, what the NGT has clearly overlooked in its zeal to sanitise the area is that master plans and zoning laws are open-ended documents.
- Cities have an organic life of their own; it is restrictive and even absurd to insist that they be bound and confined by the imperfections of masterplans conceived long ago.
- The Jantar Mantar area became the preferred site for those protesting against government policy and injustice when authorities banned them from the Boat Club lawns citing security reasons.
- Jantar Mantar turned out to be a hospitable site for dissent since it is easily accessible to citizens while being close to Parliament, unlike the Ramlila Maidan, an open ground in a chaotic and congested locality of the city.
Jantar Mantar turned out to be a hospitable site for dissent since it is easily accessible to citizens while being close to Parliament, unlike the Ramlila Maidan, an open ground in a chaotic and congested locality of the city.
Topic: Ethics in human actions;
Introduction :- Nuclear warfare (sometimes atomic warfare or thermonuclear warfare) is a military conflict or political strategy in which nuclear weaponry is used to inflict damage on the enemy. Nuclear weapons are weapons of mass destruction; in contrast to conventional warfare, nuclear warfare can produce destruction in a much shorter time-frame and can have a long-lasting radiological warfare dimension.
The application of nuclear technology, both as a source of energy and as an instrument of war, has been controversial.
Ethical issues involved :-
- Use of nuclear science :- Even before the first nuclear weapons had been developed, scientists involved with the Manhattan Projectwere divided over the use of the weapon. The question of whether nations should have nuclear weapons, or test them, has been continually and nearly universally controversial. For ex use of nuclear power to made Japan surrender in world war 2.
- Misuse and overproduction under name of deterrence :- Deterrence is a psychological phenomenon. It involves convincing an aggressor not to attack by threatening it with harmful retaliation. However the nuclear weapons are being misused by world powers. Ex North Korean aggressions.
- Nuclear policy of world is discriminatory :- Nuclear weapons are held by a handful of states which insist that these weapons provide unique security benefits, and yet reserve uniquely to themselves the right.
- Nuclear war results in mass destruction :- The use of nuclear weapons doesn’t discriminate between targets and civilians and wipe out entire area mercilessly.
- Environmental destruction is a very devastating outcome of nuclear warfare. The use of nuclear weapons destruct the water bodies, land and plant system of areas beyond restoration and rehabilitation.
Nuclear warfare has been a rarest phenomenon in world history. It was only used in single case of Japan Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing. In other all cases it is just a deterrence but that doesn’t eliminate the threats it can possess to the humanity and planet earth. Hence efforts at all levels of community, government, organisations should be made to reduce and ultimately eliminate the nuclear weapons production. International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons has won Noble Peace Prize amidst scaling tensions of a nuclear war warfare is a right sign in this direction.
Topic: Corporate governance
Introduction :- Corporate governance is the mechanisms, processes and relations by which corporations are controlled and directed. Governance structures and principles identify the distribution of rights and responsibilities among different participants in the corporation (such as the board of directors, managers, shareholders, creditors, auditors, regulators, and other stakeholders) and includes the rules and procedures for making decisions in corporate affairs.
The Uday Kotak committee has recommended sweeping changes that will make corporate affairs more transparent as well as improve the standard of corporate governance in listed companies.
Committees in the past, such as those led by Kumar Mangalam Birla and N.R. Narayana Murthy, contributed to the process. The Kotak committee has extensively examined the current state and has made recommendations that will help improve governance and enhance investor confidence.
Merits in Uday Kotak committee recommendations :-
- Minimum number of board of directors:- The Committee has proposed that now board of directors shall comprise not less than six directors.
- Minimum number of board meetings:- These board shall meet at least 4-5 times a year, with a maximum time gap of one hundred and twenty days between any two meetings and at least once a year.
- Minimum compensation and remuneration:- Top 500 listed entities by market capitalization shall pay compensation to each independent director as Rs 5 lakh per annum, whether through sitting fees or profit linked commissions.
- Credit ratings: Updated list of all credit ratings obtained by the listed entity must be made available at one place, which would be very helpful for investors and other stakeholders.
Currently, India accounts nearly 3% of world GDP and 2.5% of global stock market capitalisation – with 5,000 listed companies and more than 50 companies in the global Fortune list. Uday Kotak committee recommendations holds importance in growing concerns for corporate governance. The recommendations of the Kotak committee will enhance transparency and effectiveness in the way boards of listed companies function.