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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 13 JANUARY 2018


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 13 JANUARY 2018


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: Poverty and developmental issues

1) India figures among countries with rapidly increasing income inequality, a problem that urgently needs to be addressed through systemic transformations. Discuss what systemic transformations are required. (250 Words)

Frontline

 

Background:-

  • According to the World Inequality Report 2018,the national income figures in 2014 show that the top 1 per cent earned 21.7%.This is an indication of the skewed earnings profile of working Indian population.
  • Income inequality in India further increased due to failure of labour-intensive manufacturing which could not accommodate people who left farming. Sharp reduction in the top marginal tax rate, and transition to a more pro-business environment had a positive impact on top incomes, in line with rent-seeking behaviour.

 

Systemic transformations needed are :-

  • Sustainable attack on mass poverty should be focused on job creation in the modern sectors of the economy rather than redistribution through fiscal spending.
  • Indian government first needs to set up strong agriculture-friendly policies that benefit both small farmers and landless workers, in order to curb distressed migration from rural areas.
  • Urban growth has to be based on labour-intensive industrialization, so that enough jobs exist for both people who leave rural areas and the millions working in the informal sector.
  • Moderating income inequality:-
    • Moderating income inequality will be essential for closing gaps in education, health and nutrition outcomes.
  • Tackling social exclusion:-
    • Tackling prejudice and social exclusion will require other fundamental interventions: strengthening the agency, voice and political participation of such groups so that they can be empowered to shape their environment, and the decision making processes that matter for their well-being.
  • Inclusive growth can be promoted through three principal routes:
    • By changing the patterns of economic growth such that the incomes of low-income households grow  more than the average
    • Through redistributive measures that contribute to growth while reducing inequality
    • By expanding opportunities for low-income households and disadvantaged groups to access employment and income generation options.
  • Small and Medium Enterprise Promotion:-
    • To help small and medium enterprises adopt new technologies and access new markets, governments can act as facilitators of information on topics such as improved production methods, products and markets, technical support services and vocational training.
    • Governments can also strengthen business links between  small and medium enterprises, large enterprises and government by providing incentives for contracting with small and medium enterprises.
  • Labour market policies
    • In addition to employment creation, there is growing recognition that fostering inclusive growth requires stronger labour market institutions.
  • While action to tackle inequality must be taken at country level, it should be emphasized that decisive progress will be possible only in the presence of conducive international policy frameworks.
  • Community-based programmes and social spending:-
    • Interventions that support participatory, community-based programmes focused on improving outcomes in education, health and nutrition can also have an important impact in closing gaps in well-being. 
    • Study from 150 countries show that overall, investment in public services and social protection can tackle inequality.

 


Topic: Salient features of world’s physical geography. 

2) What do you understand by El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD)? Examine their impact on monsoon rains in India. (250 Words)

Down to Earth

 

ENSO:-

  • ENSO is one of the most important climate phenomena on Earth due to its ability to change the global atmospheric circulation, which in turn, influences temperature and precipitation across the globe. 
  • El Niño Southern Oscillation(ENSO) is the term used to describe the oscillation between the El Niño phase and the La Niña, or opposite, phase.
  • In the eastern Pacific, the northward flowing Humbolt current brings cooler water from the Southern Ocean to the tropics.
  • Furthermore, along the equator, strong east to south easterly Trade winds cause the ocean currents in the eastern Pacific to draw water from the deeper ocean towards the surface, helping to keep the surface cool.
  • However in the far western Pacific there is no cool current, and weaker Trades mean that this “upwelling” effect is reduced. Hence waters in the western equatorial Pacific are able to warm more effectively under the influence of the tropical sun.
  • ENSO events are typically led and sustained by changes in the amount of heat held in the waters below the surface of the tropical Pacific Ocean.
  • ENSO is composed of both El Nino and Southern Oscillation. Thus, the oceanic component called El Niño (or La Niña, depending on its phase) and the atmospheric component, the Southern Oscillation.
  • Though ENSO is a single climate phenomenon, it can three The two opposite phases, “El Niño” and “La Niña,” require certain changes in both the ocean andthe atmosphere because ENSO is a coupled climate phenomenon.  “Neutral” is in the middle of the continuum.
  • Neutral phase:-
    • In the neutral state (neither El Niño nor La Niña) trade winds blow east to west across the surface of the tropical Pacific Ocean, bringing warm moist air and warmer surface waters towards the western Pacific and keeping the central Pacific Ocean relatively cool. The thermocline is deeper in the west than the east.
    • This means that under “normal” conditions the western tropical Pacific is 8 to 10°C warmer than the eastern tropical Pacific. This warmer area of ocean is a source for convection and is associated with cloudiness and rainfall.

·         El Nino

o   However, during El Niño years, the trade winds weaken and the central and eastern tropical Pacific warms up. This change in ocean temperature sees a shift in cloudiness and rainfall from the western to the central tropical Pacific Ocean.

o   Impact:-

§  Warming of the Pacific results in weakening of these winds. Moisture and the heat content thereby, gets limited and results in reduction and uneven distribution of rainfall across the Indian sub-continent.

§  The most prominent droughts in India since 1871 have been El Nino triggered droughts, including the recent ones in 2002 and 2009.

§  During an El Nino, monsoon never witnesses excess rainfall baring few exceptions.

·         La Niña

o   During a La Niña event, the Walker Circulation intensifies with greater convection over the western Pacific and stronger trade winds.

How does the ENSO affect monsoon?

  • Heavy rain falls along the South American coast, and heavy rainfall also moves from the western to central Pacific, causing drier than normal conditions in Indonesia and nearby areas including India.

IOD:-

  • The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is a coupled ocean­ atmosphere phenomenon in the
    Indian Ocean.
  • It is normally characterized by anomalous cooling of Sea surface temperatures in the south eastern equatorial Indian Ocean and anomalous warming of Sea surface temperatures in the western equatorial Indian Ocean.
  • Associated with these changes the normal convection situated over the eastern
    Indian Ocean warm pool shifts to the west and brings heavy rainfall over the east Africa and severe droughts/forest fires over the Indonesian region.
  • A positive IOD occurs when sea surface temperature is higher than normal in the Arabian Sea and less than normal in the tropical eastern Indian Ocean. The opposite is true in case of a negative IOD.
  • Impact:-
    • The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) also has a strong influence on the Indian summer monsoon.
    • An IOD can either augment or weaken the impact of El Nino on Indian monsoon.
    • While a positive IOD can bring good rains to India despite an El Nino year, negative IOD leads to more monsoon break days.


Topic: Political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society. 

3) How did the 1979 ‘Islamic Revolution’ affect the Iranian polity and society? Examine the nature and causes of recent protests by working class people in Iran. (250 Words)

The Wire

 

Background:-

  • Hundreds of people took to the streets of Iran’s second city Mashhad in December 2017 recently.

 

Islamic revolution impact on polity and society :-

  • After the system of despotic monarchy had been overthrown, the economy and the apparatus of government had collapsed, military and security forces were in disarray.
  • Polity:-
    • The Constitution provides political legitimacy to “God” and the divine law given in the Koran.
    • What began as an authentic and anti-dictatorial popular revolution based on a broad coalition of all anti-Shah forces was soon transformed into an Islamic fundamentalist power-grab.
  • Society:-
    • The Islamic Revolution of 1978-1979 brought a one hundred percent reversal in the trend of secularization which the country was experiencing. In fact, Islam became the official new state ideology of the clerical fundamentalist elites.
    • Such a clear emphasis on Islam as the centre of governance has profound effects on Iran’s societal fabric. The 1979 Islamic Constitution resulted in a shift of the legal system from a secular to religious orientation.
    • Extra and Quasi Judicial Activity
      • From 1979 to 1994 more than one thousand women have been stoned to death in Iran. This is just one example of the extra-or quasi-judicial activity taking place in the legal process.
    • In fact, when the new government achieved power, women were once again subjugated and restricted to the confines of their homes. In every aspect of their lives, women were discriminated against.
    • Marriage:-
      • Men can legally have affairs through the institution of sigheh or temporary marriage.
      • Men can obtain a unilateral divorce from their wife or wives.
      • The marriage age for females has been lowered to nine and in some instances to seven.
    • The reproductive policies of the new regime declared contraception and any from of family planning as being against Islam.
    • Mothers no longer have equal rights in terms of child custody.
    • The religious edicts of the mullahs are enforced by an armed moral police who arbitrarily stop couples in the streets to make sure that no immoral act is taking place

Nature of recent protests:-

  • The recent protests have decentralized the dissent and brought marginal areas into the political and security equation.
  • While the recent protests have been more widespread and most of the gatherings have not gone beyond the thousands.
  • The Kurdish regions were also quiet in 2009, but this time it became a significant centre of the protests.
  • Ethnic dimension is important:-
    • Tabriz was again silent, but some other Azari towns such as Ardabil joined the protests which was not the case before.
  • The recent dissent has been dubbed the ‘uprising of the poor’, who have been hardest hit by the country’s economic woes.
  • Most of the slogans were anti-establishment and hardly any of the factions have benefited from the recent events.
  • More importantly, reformist factional leaders like Muhammad Khatami seem to have very little influence over the angry protesters.
  • Also unlike 2009, the recent unrest has had no leadership and no sense of unified objectives. 
  • Neither the protests nor the subsequent crackdown have had an impact on Iran’s relations with the outside world.
  • The recent protests have not been as bloody as 2009.
  • The current protests seem un-coordinated and mostly attended by lower classes members.
  • These protests represent a return to the agenda of a democratic revolution.

Causes of the recent protests:-

  • They originated from the protest against the budget law (proposed a hike in gas prices )the government presented in early December of 2017
  • Rising prices and growing inequality were the main instigators of the recent protests.
  • The protests have come about as a result of the frustration many of the population have with poor economic conditions..
  • Privatisation, job casualisation and the reform of the monthly cash transfers every Iranian is entitled to motivate popular rage.
  • Population is so frustrated with poor economic conditions.
  • Iran’s economy, heavily focused on the oil industry, has been a mess for a long time which was marked particularly by high levels of inflation, unemployment, and inequality.
  • Prices of basic goods increased by roughly 40 percent in 2017.
  • The hen shortage due to bird flu caused egg prices to spike by 50 or even 100 percent,
  • The socioeconomic roots of the protests, in short, have now linked up with deeper political dissatisfaction with a government that has failed to deliver on its promises to make ordinary Iranians’ lives better.

 

Conclusion:-

  • Iran isn’t on the verge of revolution yet. But things could still escalate an unpredictable way, leading to violent repression, bigger protests, and more serious political instability in the country.

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

4) Critically analyse the significance and relevance of politics and ideals Mahatma Gandhi represented and sacrificed his life for. (250 Words)

The Wire

 

Gandhi politics and ideals:-

  • The main pillars of Gandhi’s philosophy were non-violence, tolerance of others, respect for all religions and a simple life. 
  • If avenging ill-will is considered proper it can be done so only through the agency of the government certainly not through individual interventions.
  • A civilised society should not need the protection of guns to uphold fundamental right But here even guns are failing to protect the fundamental rights of the minorities – not just the Muslims – and of the weaker sections of society.
  • Mahatma Gandhi was one of the first leaders to have spoken out against the general discrimination meted out to the people of lower castes.
  • had wanted to avoid the country’s partition.

Significance and relevance of Gandhi ideals and politics:-

  • Division of hearts has perhaps deepened in both India and Pakistan across the border and within the border as well. People’s hearts have experienced new divisions. Gandhi’s warning has assumed greater relevance today compared to earlier periods.
  • Indian democracy survived and became stronger over the years only because India had Mahatma Gandhi and his message that the answer to violence does not lie in violence; that hatred should not be countered by hatred is applicable to India due to the harmony among different communities.
  • Mahatma Gandhi and his values have become more relevant for today’s society which is under turmoil and suffering from social evils, corruption, terrorism and violence.
  • People have become so impatient with each other that we are trying to solve differences by using violence rather than through peaceful dialogue or logic. People do not respect others views or feelings; it is either “my way or the highway”. 
  • Jobless growth:-
    • A development path in the Gandhian mould would undoubtedly have accorded top priority to eliminating this social scourge.
  • Love jihad and killing of lower caste people for marrying a upper caster girl, honour killings are still reality today in India.
  • Non-violence is certainly not the term to be associated with the present day India, which is suffering from various forms of violence on a daily basis.
  • From Gandhi, the youth can learn to be resolute and focused towards their purpose despite all hardships.
  • Gandhian technique of mobilising people has been successfully employed by many oppressed societies around the world under the leadership of people like Martin Luther King in the United States, Nelson Mandela in South Africa, and now Aung Saan Sun Kyi in Myanmar, which is an eloquent testimony to the continuing relevance of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • In India, economic development has been mostly confined to the urban conglomerates. In the process, the rural India that comprises 700 million people has been given short shrift. Gandhi’s philosophy of inclusive growth is fundamental to the building of a resurgent rural India

Criticism:-

  • A country that suffers from cross-border terrorism and the highest forms of crime on a regular basis, cannot put the security of its citizens at stake by following the doctrine of “non-violence” or “patient dealings” in the long run.
  • Gandhi’s principles may be apt for a personal and spiritual growth of an individual, but they certainly need modification according to the present nuclear age. In fact, the very first step towards non-violence would be to disband the Indian army and to denuclearize India, which is undoubtedly impossible.
  • More than one man leading the nation through his ideals, present-day India is in need of leaders whose visions can match with those of the common man and especially the underprivileged ones leaders that can be benevolent and quick decision makers, who have the ability to transform and evolve at a quicker.
  • The path of ahimsa, which Gandhi considered a difficult but the only straight and clear path, has seemed increasingly impossible and impractical.

 

Conclusion:-

  • Gandhi’s ideals and leadership hold an extremely relevant moral and social mirror to society. Thus, the Gandhian model and the modern economy seem to be getting closer to each other. Gandhi belongs to the humanity for eternity.

 


General Studies – 2


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

5) The Consumer Protection Bill of 2018, which was introduced in Lok Sabha on January 5, 2018, seeks to replace the existing Act of 1986 to address emerging consumer vulnerabilities. Discuss the merits and demerits of this Bill. (250 Words)

Down to Earth

 

 

Consumer protection Bill 2018:-

  • The bill seeks to replace the existing Act of 1986 to address emerging consumer vulnerabilities.

Provisions:-

  • Penalty:-
    • The Bill states that any manufacturer who puts up a false or misleading advertisement, will be punished with imprisonment of up to two years and fine of up to Rs 10 lakh.
    • For every subsequent offence, the offender will be punished with imprisonment that may extend to five years and fine, which may extend to Rs 5 million.
    • Penalty can be imposed on the endorser, who could be a celebrity, but the provision of imprisonment is not applicable to the endorsers.
    • The Bill further states that penalty has to be determined keeping in mind the population, area affected by offence, frequency and duration of offence, vulnerability of the class of persons likely to be adversely affected and the gross revenue generated from the sales.
    • The Bill states that no endorser will be liable to a penalty if he/she has exercised due diligence to verify the claims.
  • Regulatory authority:-
    • The Bill has a clause for the establishment of Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to regulate matters related to violation of consumer rights, unfair trade practices and false or misleading advertisements.
    • In case of any violation of consumer rights or unfair trade practices, the authority can inquire or investigate either suo motu or on receipt of a complaint.
    • Wherever necessary, they would have the power to recall goods that are unsafe or dangerous and reimburse the price to purchasers.
    • The CCPA can discontinue any false or misleading advertisement or give orders to modify it within specific time
  • The Bill includes the clause to have ‘consumer mediation cell’ to maintain record of proceedings, list of cases, and other relevant details.
  • The Bill has a separate section on ‘Product Liability’ with details of processes to be followed for claiming compensation under product liability action, in case the complainant is affected by a defective product.

Merits:-

  • Provide time-bound redressal of their grievances.
  • It  will allow Central government to regulate e-commerce and direct selling among other important measures. 

 

  • It is a welcome step towards tackling misleading endorsements
  • Provides for simplification of consumer disputes adjudication process for faster disposal of grievances through filing of complaints by a consumer from his place of residence, e-filing and video conferencing for hearing.
  • The CCPA will act in a manner similar to enforcement agencies in other jurisdictions such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the US. This will be a landmark step in upgrading the implementation mechanism to global standards
  • This is the first time that powers to take action for damage caused by a product have been introduced in a consumer protection framework.

 

Demerits:-

  • It has penalty provisions for the endorsers and on the other it is giving them a route to get away because the clause of due diligence will act in their defence
  • It lags behind in tackling misleading advertisements endorsed by any celebrity
  • This step will act as a deterrent for manufacturers since the liability quotient has increased

Measures needed:-

  • Lessons to be learnt:-
    • Several countries like Canada, Estonia have devised advertisement regulations for unhealthy foods targeted at children
    • Countries such as the UK, Ireland and Belgium have specifically banned celebrity endorsement of unhealthy foods. The impact of such restrictions has been reported to be significant. 

 


General Studies – 3


Topic:  Agriculture

6) Government reports say 2004-14 had the highest agriculture growth that has fast slipped back to near-zero growth despite normal monsoons and bumper yields. Critically examine the reasons for agriculture distress in recent years and urgent measures needed to salvage the crisis. (250 Words)

Down to Earth

 

Background:-

  • Agricultural distress seems to have reached a tipping point, with scenes of dejected farmers throwing agricultural produce such as vegetables and milk on the roads becoming a routine feature in .

Agricultural distress in recent years:-

  • Economic issues:-
    • Price issues:
      • The non-availability of remunerative prices to farmers on agricultural produce.
    • Capacity issues:-
      • A farmer is now without any base capital to invest, and nor has he the capacity to take the risk of going back to agriculture. This has added to the crisis that manifests in extreme resentments.
    • Import and export issues:-
      • Agricultural import has reported constant growth.
        • According to Dalwai committee the government’s move to import foodgrains to curb inflation has majorly distorted the market against the domestic farmers.
      • India’s export of agricultural produces has dipped.
    • The limited availability and high cost of high-yielding seed varieties also hampers agricultural productivity. Given such constraints, farmers have limited scope for crop diversification, choosing to focus primarily on staple crops such as wheat and rice
    • The increasing market orientation and reforms in the input sector have resulted in a substantial rise in input costs.
    • Income from the cultivation of even horticultural crops is uncertain due to the heavy investment involved and the high volatility in market prices.
    • The promotion of traditional farming at this juncture of agricultural development will take the sector to where it was decades ago. Most existing modern crop varieties will not respond to these practices in the medium term. Consequently, yield and income will decline.
    • Further, facilities to produce adequate organic inputs have not been developed either.
    • Last three years are also known for restrictions on livestock trade.
      • livestock is the best insurance against agrarian distress as the sector is the source of sustained income and generates income more frequently than the crop sector but across north India, due to the restrictions and raids from cow protection groups, livestock trade and prices have crashed and agrarian crisis deepened.
    • Land issues:-
      • Small Landholding:-
        • With average landholding size decreasing from 2.3 ha in 1971 to 1.16 ha in 2011, and average input prices rising, cultivation costs have also increased.
        • Cultivation on such small area is not economically feasible. Such small farmers have become vulnerable.
      • In many cases, the farmers are not even the owners of the land, which makes profitable cultivation impossible because significant portion of the earnings go towards the payment of lease for the land
    • Governance and political issues:-
      • Due to the failure of not only elected governments to find a lasting solution but also local institutions such as community or social networks which are supposedly weakening because of increasing individualisation.
      • On most occasions the marketing season of bumper crops gets over by the time a bureaucratic decision on procurement is taken. Ultimately, the farmers are left at the mercy of unscrupulous traders to sell at whatever price they offer.
    • Geographic reasons:-
      • Availability of water, soil suitability and pest management:-
        • All these factors create a narrow window of economic benefit for the marginal farmer. 
      • Since 2015, India has witnessed two major droughts, some 600 incidents of crop losses due to unseasonal rains and other related incidents.

 

Urgent measures needed :-

 

  • Greater subsidies could be extended for the purchase of agricultural equipment, fertilizers and pesticides, while the medical insurance coverage could be expanded through the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna.
  • The scope of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act could be increased.
  • Allowing marginal farmers to be paid for tilling their own fields could reduce their input costs. Such measures could also increase their net income.
  • There is a need a national conversation on rural distress. 
  • Farmer education programme and prevention of exploitation of farmers by middle men and vested interest.
  • The services of non governmental organisations should be utilised effectively by the government to take the message to the farmers and establish healthy communication channel with them.
  • Government of India may also consider providing hotline to the farmers with Prime Minister’s office ,so that quick initiatives can be made to de-stress the farmers in quick time at the time of any crisis faced by them, that will go a long way in preventing the farmers suicides.
  • The government should promote the plan called “ulavar santhai” (Farmers Market), where the farmers can directly sell their products at reasonable price to the consumers.
  • Multiple crops
    • Cultivation of multi crops such as coconut, turmeric, pine apple, banana, apple, papaya, ginger will yield profitable results to the farmers.
  • Special agricultural zone
    • Just like industrial zone, there is an urgent need to establish special agricultural zones, where only farming and agriculture related activity should be allowed.
  • Need to modernise agriculture
    • By introducing farm techniques which guarantee a definite success, more number of youth participation in the agricultural field is possible. This can be attained only by implementing new technologies.
    • Research efforts should continue, to produce crops with higher yield potential and better resistance to pests.
    • Technological advancement in agriculture should be passed down to the small farmers.
  • Index based insurance has the advantages that it is transparent and all the insurers within the defined geographical area are treated equally. It has low operational and transactional costs, while also ensuring quick payouts.
  • Better water management:-
    • Improved modern methods of rain water harvesting should be developed.
    • Water management can be made more effective through inter state co operation on water resources, where surplus water from perennial rivers can be diverted to the needy areas.
  • Need for national weather risk management system/disease alert system
    • Water Watch Cooperative, a Netherlands based organization, has developed a disease alert system that sends an alarm to farmers, if probability of a pest/disease would be detected.
    • Similarly, system that detect the amount of water to be provided to a field based on the field water content, biomass and rainfall probability, would aid in optimization of water provision to the crop and ensure efficient crop management.

Topic:  Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices

7) Critically examine why is a urgent need for asset creation and reorientation of the present agricultural credit policy for greater inclusiveness. (250 Words)

EPW

 

Background:-

  • Credit is an important mediating input for agriculture to improve productivity. Strengthening formal credit is one of the important tools in the target set by the Government of India in 2016 to double farmers’ incomes by 2022. 

Measures taken :-

  • Government has launched various farm credit programmes over the years such as the Kisan Credit Card scheme in 1998, the Agricultural Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme in 2008, the Interest Subvention Scheme in 2010-11, and the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana in 2014.
  • It is encouraging to see a robust increase in institutional credit from ₹8 lakh crore in 2014-15 to ₹10 lakh crore in 2017-18. Of this, ₹15 lakh crore is meant for capital investment, while the remaining is for crop loans.
  • Actual credit flow has considerably exceeded the target. The result is that the share of institutional credit to agricultural gross domestic product has increased from 10% in 1999-2000 to nearly 41% in 2015-16.

However there is a need for revamp of agricultural credit policy and focus on asset creation:-

  • Reserve Bank of India reveals that out of total advances to agriculture, the share of indirect finance has increased substantially over time, while that of direct finance to farmers has declined
  • The outreach of formal credit agencies in agriculture is still limited in India. Higher dependence on money lenders for credit by the smaller farm-size class results in higher exploitation since they charge higher interest rate.
  • The flow of agriculture credit has not been inclusive as the share of marginal and small farmers in agricultural credit disbursed has declined, and there has been a non-inclusive stance of commercial banks in disbursing credit towards marginal farmers.
  • While commercial banks do not discriminate against lower caste farmers in lending, cooperative banks do, as they are prone to interest group capture at the local level .
  • Access to formal institutional credit also tends to enhance farmers’ risk-bearing ability and may induce them to take up risky ventures and investments that could yield higher incomes. 
  • A major proportion of farmers remain outside the ambit of a policy of a subsidised rate of interest, and of loan waiver schemes announced by respective State governments.
  • Farm waivers only act as a temporary relief from debt but largely fails to contribute to farmers’ welfare in the long run

 

What needs to be done ?

  • For asset creation ,Union and State Governments should create a favourable environment
    • By investing adequately in connecting all villages by roads, with a progressive transport and communication network
    • Strengthening research and extension services
    • Establishing state-of-the-art agricultural meteorology in all regions
    • Developing flood and drought codes and irrigation facilities
    • Creating food processing, storage and marketing infrastructure
    • Not vitiating repayment climate.
  • Each bank should focus on farmer-friendly lending procedures, systems and methods; human resources development and training, and concentrate on financial literacy and credit counselling of farmers.
  • It is important to revisit the credit policy with a focus on the outreach of banks and financial inclusion.
  • Sincere efforts to protect farmers from incessant natural disasters and price volatility through crop insurance and better marketing systems is necessary.
  • Accelerating investments in agriculture research and technology, irrigation and rural energy, with a concerted focus in the less developed eastern and rain-fed States for faster increase in crop productivity and rural poverty reduction.
  • Public and private investments are required to grow at an annual rate of 14.8% and 10.9% in the next seven years.

 


General Studies – 4


Topic:  Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems

 

Public cynicism:-

  • An attitude of scornful or jaded negativity, especially a general distrust of the integrity or professed motives of others for example the public cynicism which got aroused by governmental scandals.
  • This is palpable in the growing protests and the appearance of non-sectarian mass movements in different parts of the country. Farmer protests have broken out in several States; Dalits are a disenchanted lot and have taken to active protests, from Una to Saharanpur and  ongoing student protests in universities 

Effect:- 

Positives:-

  • Administration becomes efficient.
  • Transparency and accountability increases.
    • Due to the efforts of civil society RTI came into existence this made administration even more transparent.
  • Freedom of expression and its concomitant, the concept of dissent, are essential for democracy. It is a concept that contains within it the democratic right to object, oppose, protest and even resist. 

 

Negatives:-

  • The absence of any real and active involvement of the masses has significantly diluted public discourse over the years, undermining the quality of our much-vaunted democratic institutions.
  • Sometimes public cynicism leads to impractical demands:-
    • In the ongoing rape riots, too, the public has been condemned for its unrealistic demands for vigilante justice. 
    • The protesters today are making absurd demands to invoke the death penalty or eliminate due process.
  • Administration becomes more inefficient as it has dead ears towards the protests.
  • To rectify their mistakes the administration just takes initiatives to just reduce people’s cries but not for good governance. For example after fire accidents in India all the authorities have similar approach.
  • Even when administration is ready to make amends people do not favour it .For instance getting a fire certificate for the residential buildings people themselves are not interested.
  • Any good effort by the administration is looked with distrust.
  • It makes people not respect laws and rules seriously and emboldens public to act however they like.

 

Therefore there is a need for protests in the country which question the administration but the symbiotic relationship enhanced with trust between the public and administration should not be lost.

 

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