SECURE SYNOPSIS: 24 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.
General Studies – 1
Topic: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues .
Vision of Subhash Chandra Bose:-
- He wanted different communities in the country to enjoy basic human rights, good health, literacy, decent employment, and live together in peace and harmony.
- His fight was not only for political freedom but also social and economic freedom.
- The creative spirit must set to work the social, religious and commercial life.
- Society must be purged of narrowness and inequality.
- Religion must be freed from bigotry and superstition.
- The Indian business community must grow into a healthy self-conscious and public-spirited body corporate.
- In the domain of culture India wants genuine poets, painters, sculptors, historians, philosophers, economists imbued with the spirit of scientific research and endowed with a real creative talent.
How did he strive to achieve his vision:
- He believed that basic education should be grounded in one’s own national and cultural context, which would then prepare students for higher education in a wider international environment.
- Genuine nationalism must embrace all those who have made India their home.
- Tolerance of differences in terms of ethnicity, caste, gender, religion is the ultimate sign of maturity for a people and a nation.
- How Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians could all unite under one banner and one slogan – Unity, Faith and Sacrifice.
- Along with illiteracy, unemployment and poverty were to him the priority areas
- He stood for necessary attention on pro people economy and planning.
- He wanted large scale industrialization and scientific agriculture aided by the state to serve the problem of poverty and unemployment.
- Hehad been a strong proponent of socialist reconstruction of the nation. He stood for increased national production and equitable social distribution
- He made emphasis on Panchayati Raj Institutions, radical land reforms, cheap credit to the peasant and likewise development of social forestry and cultivation .This shows his determination of creating a modern and a socialist state based on economic regeneration to improve the lot of millions of down trodden masses,
- There was a Rani Jhansi regiment in his army showing gender parity.
He is right:-
- School education in India suffers from serious systemic lacunae.
- Poor education standards mean that many of them will not be employable.
- Cow vigilantes, Discrimination against Muslims and Dalits etc. are rampant in India
- Netaji is an undisputed visionary and his valour ,courage ,patriotism and bravery were exceptional and will be remembered for times to come. Netaji’s vision of equity and justice remain exemplary and profound today.
General Studies – 2
Topic: Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections
2) Discuss the recommendations of the 2003 report of the Justice V.S. Malimath Committee on reforming the criminal justice system. Do you think these recommendations should be implemented by the government as they are? Comment. (250 Words)
- The Malimath panel formed in 2000 had made 158 recommendations in 2003 but these were never implemented. The central government is planning to relook into the recommendations again.
Recommendations of Malimath committee:-
- Borrowing from inquisitorial system
- Here a judicial magistrate supervises the investigation. The committee recommended that courts be bestowed with powers to summon any person whether or not listed as a witness for examination, if it felt necessary.
- Right to silence
- The Committee suggested that the court be given freedom to question the accused to elicit information and draw an adverse inference against the accused in case the latter refuses to answer.
- Rights of the accused:
- Accused should be aware of his/her rights as well as how to enforce them and whom to approach when there is a denial of those rights.
- Presumption of innocence
- The courts follow “proof beyond reasonable doubt” as the basis to convict an accused in criminal cases. A fact is considered as proven “if the court is convinced that it is true”
- Justice to victims:
- The victim should be allowed to participate in cases involving serious crimes and also be given adequate compensation.
- A Victim Compensation Fund can be created under the victim compensation law and the assets confiscated in organised crimes can be made part of the fund.
- Police investigation
- The Committee suggested hiving off the investigation wing from Law and Order.
- To improve the quality of investigations, it suggested a slew of measures, including the appointment of an Addl. SP in each district to maintain crime data, organisation of specialised squads to deal with organised crime
- The Committee suggested police custody be extended to 30 days and an additional time of 90 days be granted for the filing of charge sheet in case of serious crimes.
- Dying declaration
- The committee favoured dying declarations, confessions, and audio/video recorded statements of witnesses be authorised by law. It also sought amendments to the law to allow thumb impression only if the witness is illiterate.
- Public prosecution
- It suggested that a new post, Director of Prosecution, be created in every State to facilitate effective coordination between the investigating and prosecuting officers under the guidance of the Advocate General
- Trial procedures
- The Committee felt that all cases in which punishment is three years and below should be tried summarily and punishment that can be awarded in summary trials be increased to three years.
- Witness protection:-
- The Committee batted for a strong witness protection mechanism
- Penalty for false evidence:
- If during the trial, the witness is found to have given a false evidence then he/she is liable to fine up to ₹500 or up to three-month prison or both.
- Vacations for the courts
- The committee recommended reducing the period of vacation by 21 days, keeping in mind the long pendency of cases.
- Arrears Eradication Scheme
- The Committee proposed an ‘Arrears Eradication Scheme’ to tackle cases that are pending for more than two years. Under the scheme, such cases will be settled through Lok Adalats on a priority basis.
- The Committee also suggested constituting a National Judicial Commission and amending Article 124 to make impeachment of judges less difficult.
- Pregnant women and women with child below seven years can be kept under house arrest instead of being lodged in prison, keeping in mind the future life of the child
- Reclassification of offences
- Non-penal penetration and any forcible penetration should also be considered as rape and must be carry a heavier punishment. The trial of rape cases should be done with most expeditiously, within four months, and with a high degree of sensitivity.
- Organised crime and terrorism
- Though crime is a State subject, a central law must be enacted to deal with organised crime, federal crimes, and terrorism.
Yes ,the recommendations need to be implemented:
- It also contains valuable suggestions to revamp the administration of criminal law, covering the entire gamut of the justice system from investigation to sentencing, from matters of policy to the nuances of criminal procedure and the law of evidence.
- The Committee also prescribes a prosecution statement and defence statement. The latter will allow the accused to respond to the charges framed against him or her.
- Audio-visual recordings reduce the space for accused and witnesses to backtrack and also gives judges the benefit of seeing whether the witness/accused is under duress.
No, some of the provisions are controversial:
- Includes controversial recommendations such as making confessions to a senior police officer admissible as evidence, and diluting the standard of proof required for a criminal conviction.
- Confessions to police have repeatedly come under scrutiny because of allegations of custodial torture, instances of custodial deaths, fake encounters and tampering with evidence.
- It moots that it is enough if the court is convinced that something is true. Such a measure would have adverse implications for suspects, and requires considerable deliberation.
- Similarly, diluting the proof beyond reasonable doubt precept will prove to be counterproductive.
What is needed?
- The onus must be on improving
- Investigative skills of police officers
- Improving quality of documentation and separating criminal investigation responsibilities from law and order duties.
- Appointing more judges and police personnel
- Deploying scientific techniques
- Beefing up forensic labs and other infrastructure investments .
General Studies – 3
Topic: Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
3) In recent years, China has made breathtaking strides in science and technology whereas India has lagged behind. Can India catch up with China? What should India do to match China in this regard? Discuss. (250 Words)
- Based on recent US data China has become or is in the verge of becoming a scientific and technical superpower.
What did China do:-
- China is the 2ndlargest spender in R&D after the US, accounting for 21% of the world total which is $2 trillion. It has been going up 18% a year, as compared to 4% in the US. An OECD report says that China could overtake the US in R&D spending by 2020
- China has overtaken the US in terms of total number of science publications. Technical papers have increased dramatically, even if their impact, as judged by citation indices, may not be that high
- China has increased its technical workforce five times since 2000 to 1.65 million. It also has more B.Sc. degrees in science than any other country and the numbers are growing.
- China has begun shifting from being an assembler of high-tech components, to a maker of super computers and aircraft and given the pattern of its investments in R&D and technology development, it is focusing on becoming the world leader in artificial intelligence (AI), quantum communications, quantum computing, biotechnology and electrical vehicles.
- China has also become a more attractive destination for foreign students and is now occupying the third slot after the US and the UK.
- China now has a serious programme to attract its own researchers back to the country. The thousand talents plan targets scientists below the age of 40 who have PhDs from prestigious foreign universities.
- In the field of artificial intelligence the government and Chinese corporates are moving in a big way.
- Baidu announced its decision of setting up two more AI labs in the US, one focusing on business intelligence and the other on robotics and autonomous driving.
India lagged behind:-
- China has also developed an OS called Kylin. India is yet to make a mark here.
- China is home to global brands in PC, mobile phones and network equipment manufacturing e.g. Lenovo, Xaomi, Oppo, Huawei, ZTE etc. In these fields, visibility of Indian companies is limited to India.
- Though India has a pool of chip designers, chip fabrication is non existent in India.
- China has similar global ambition in Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and drones manufacturing. India has no global visibility in these areas.
- China’s efforts in fast trains, aircraft manufacture, development of aircraft carriers, electric cars, higher end telescope, genomics etc implies that it learns IT and controls systems in these areas etc. India lags China in these technologies and hence in the associated IT and control systems.
- Knowledge-intensive and high-technology industries contribute the most to long-term growth. It is no accident that the U.S. accounts for 33% of global output of knowledge-intensive services, China 10%, but India only 2%. In high-technology manufacturing, India barely exists.
- There is a lack of scientific expertise across all levels in India as educational system failed to harness the enormous latent talent and build a solid foundation of science.
- India performs below its potential on just about every indicator of scientific progress like
- Public and private funding earmarked for research
- The number of prestigious awards won by Indian scientists working in Indian institutions
- The number of patents registered in the names of Indians or the number of articles published in well-known peer-reviewed journals.
India can fight with China as it has its own specialities like:-
- India is playing a significant role in space technology with success like Mangalyaan, Chandrayan etc making world look at Indian technology at awe.
- In particle physics India is associated with CERN.
- India is member of Wassenar, MTCR and Australia group in which china is not part of
- INDIGO(Indian Initiative in Gravitational-wave Observations) is a consortium of Indian gravitational-wave physicists. This is an initiative to set up advanced experimental facilities for a multi-institutional observatory project in gravitational-wave astronomy.
- India is brainchild of international solar alliance
- India’s recent efforts to shore up its domestic defence manufacturing industry, develop a regional satellite for South Asia and a home-grown GPS, as well as establish 20 world-class universities, are all steps in the right direction.
What should India do?
- India needs to invest more in research and development and higher educational institutes need to encourage students to research.
- India currently spends only 0.9% of GDP on R&D.
- Scientific temper needs to be inculcated from childhood itself
- Sstrengthening the links between S&T and industry could potentially bring in the resources necessary to boost Indian science.
- Government should focus on improving science education at the school level:
- More specifically, India needs to build the infrastructure which can generate new technologies. It needs to invest in human capital, maintain a cadre of top scientists and professionals, and develop industry-lab links.
- India needs to understand that high-tech ecosystem serves the triple purpose of boosting economic growth, ensuring national security, and offering international leverage.
Topic: Infrastructure – transport
- The motor vehicle bill 2017 which will repeal motor vehicle act 1988 has been passed in Lok Sabha and is waiting passage in Rajya Sabha
Benefits over the previous act are :
- The Amendment Bill is robust and rectifies several systemic issues
- by providing for a uniform driver licensing system
- protection of children and vulnerable road users
- rationalising penalties
- Introducing technology in the licensing procedure.
- A digitised, uniform and centralised driver licensing system will go a long way in ensuring ease of access, efficiency and transparency in the filtering process.
- Bill also proposes to introduce digitisation in the monitoring and enforcement of traffic laws.
- Kerala has a ‘city surveillance and traffic monitoring system’, and automated traffic enforcement systems to detect traffic light violations as well as speeding. The enactment of the Bill will facilitate the replication and creation of such digitised systems for all other States.
- Safety of children:
- The Bill proposes to mandate the use of protective headgear by every person above the age of four driving, riding or being carried on a two-wheeler.
- In 2016 alone, 7% of road crash deaths were attributed to children below 18 years
- Similarly, the Bill mandates the use of safety belts and child restraints for those under 14 years and introduces a fine of Rs. 1,000 for the driver or guardian for the violation of the same.
- This Bill promises to rationalise the fines. For instance, the penalty for drunk driving has been increased to Rs. 10,000 for the first offence and Rs. 15,000 for the subsequent one.
- The Centre assumes a direct role in the reforms, since it will introduce guidelines that bind State governments in several areas:
- notably in creating a framework for taxicab aggregators
- financing insurance to treat the injured and to compensate families of the dead in hit-and-run cases
- Road design and engineering:-
- The 2017 Bill provides that any contractor or consultant responsible for the design, construction, or maintenance of the safety standards of roads must follow design, construction and maintenance standards specified by the central government.
- Failure to comply with such standards will be punishable with a fine of up to one lakh rupees, and such amount will be credited to the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund.
- The 2017 Bill also specify certain road design characteristics that the Courts should consider when looking at such cases.
- Road safety agencies:-
- The 2017 Bill provides for a National Road Safety Board, to be created by the central government through a notification
- The 2017 Bill specifies a time limit of three months to submit the accident information report.
- Settlement of claims:
- The 2017 Bill passed by Lok Sabha, provides that the insurance company can process claims on receiving information from the claimant also. Further, the insurance company must settle claims within a time limit of 30 days.
- Removal of Second Schedule:
- The 2017 Bill removes the Second Schedule to the Act. This Schedule provides for the manner of calculation of compensation for road accidents resulting in death or injury.
Concerns and points which remained same as the previous act are:-
- Under the 1988 Act, third party insurance is compulsory for all motor vehicles and the liability of the third party insurer is unlimited. The 2017 Bill removes the cap on liability for third party insurance as well.
- States have concerns about their powers being curtailed in the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
- Sub-section(3) introduced to Section 166 states that the claim petition has to be filed within six months of the date of accident. In 1988 act there was a similar provision but provision fixing time limit was deleted as per 1994 amendment. Now, that provision has been brought back.
- Application of compensation: A time limit of six months has been specified for an application of compensation to the Claims Tribunal with regard to road accidents. The Act did not provide for any such time limits
- There is a need for a accountable and professional police force then only the record of traffic fatalities is likely to change.
- State governments must prepare for an early roll-out of administrative reforms prescribed in the amended law, such as
- Issuing learner’s licences online
- Recording address changes through an online application
- Electronic service delivery with set deadlines.
- To eliminate corruption, all applications should be accepted by transport departments online, rather than merely computerising them.
- Protection from harassment for good samaritans who help accident victims is something the amended law provides, and this needs to be in place.
- As a signatory to the Brasilia Declaration on Road Safety, India has committed to reducing, by 2020, the number of road crash fatalities and serious injuries by 50%. This will be possible to achieve with the passage of the Motor Vehicles bill 2017 .
Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
5) India ranks 62 among emerging economies on an Inclusive Development Index, much below China’s 26th position and Pakistan’s 47th. Why do you think India’s rank is not improving in this index? What needs to be done in this regard? Critically examine. (250 Words)
- India was ranked at the 62nd place among emerging economies on an Inclusive Development Index, much below China’s 26th position and Pakistan’s 47th, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Reasons why India is not improving:-
- India has prioritised economic growth over social equity ,This has led to historically high levels of wealth and income inequality and caused governments to miss out on a virtuous circle in which growth is strengthened by being shared more widely and generated without unduly straining the environment or burdening future generations.
- Excessive reliance by economists and policy-makers on GDP as the primary metric of national economic performance is part of the problem,
- Six out of 10 Indians still live on less than $3.20 per day.
- Employment growth has slowed.
- Country’s debt-to-GDP ratio is high, raising some questions about the sustainability of government spending.
- Educational enrolment rates are relatively low across all levels, and quality varies greatly, leading to notable differences in performance among students from different socioeconomic backgrounds.
- While unemployment is not as high as in some other countries, the labour force participation rate is low, the informal economy is large, and many workers are in vulnerable employment situations with little room for social mobility.
- New business creation continues to be held back by corruption, underdeveloped infrastructure, and the large administrative burden involved in starting and running companies
Measures taken :-
- Many measures like RTE, NHRM, Jan Dhan Yojana for financial inclusion, NREGA have been implemented but still inclusive development is still a concern in India.
- India must increase finance and credit to the 58 million tiny, non-farm units. A 1 per cent increase in credit to them will increase employment by roughly 10 million and output by about 0.4 per cent of GDP. As only 10 per cent of that product is exported, there will be no problem in absorbing that in the domestic economy.
- Social indicators need focus-health care needs to be revamped with more investment and especially quality healthcare in rural areas.
- Gender gap needs to be reduced by imbibing gender sensitive values from childhood.
- Structural reforms like land reform, land acquisition, flexible labour laws ,faster clearance of projects ,well-designed community development programme that aimed at the all-round development of the village etc are needed.
- Expanding the scope of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) can also effectively increase domestic demand.
- A more progressive tax system would help raise capital for expenditure on infrastructure, healthcare, basic services, and education.
Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
- India’s has low share of tax revenues as a proportion of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the Indian economy.
- The data on tax revenues does suggest that India’s tax-GDP ratio is indeed lower when compared to other major economies (those with GDP above $100 billion as of 2017).
- Structural factors such as low per capita income keeps tax collections low. Low average incomes and a high poverty rate result in a very small portion of the labour force being eligible to pay personal income taxes
- A large proportion of economic activity is generated by small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Although these enterprises have enjoyed strong profitability growth over the past decade, the government has not captured their earnings in tax revenues due to a variety of exemptions and compliance issues.
- A lack of policy initiatives has also kept the tax take low. This includes certain tax exemptions on agriculture related activity and until the mid-nineties, on most services as well.
- The tax collections are always sensitive to growth trends. The corporate taxes are hit by recession, decreasing domestic demand etc.
- Tax compliance in India is extremely low.
- India has relatively large informal/unorganized sector, and tax evasion is more rampant in informal sector compare to organized sector.
- India has one of highest number of disputes between tax administration and taxpayers, with lowest proportion of recovery of tax arrears.
- Loop-holes in double tax avoidance treaties:
- Provisions for tax exemptions from short term capital gains are often misused by companies to re-route their investments from such countries (called round tripping of funds). Similarly issues related to tax-evasion, double non-taxation and transfer pricing need to be fixed.
- Flourishing informal market ecosystem:informal sectors like paying guest accommodations, Kirana stores, Stationary shops, etc. evade taxation.
No ,its not:
- India’s tax-GDP ratio does not appear low when compared to other developing countries or emerging markets.
- When India is compared with other economies at a similar stage of development as India, India’s tax-GDP ratio appears quite respectable,
- India’s tax collections are slightly above average, given the average income of the country.
- India’s tax-to-GDP ratio appears respectable among developing countries which are also democracies, adjusting for income
- The most potent solution for raising India’s tax-GDP ratio is to raise economic growth and average incomes.
- Raising the taxes, lowering the tax exemption slabs, imposition of new taxes or cesses or surcharges, boosting the demand etc.
- The combination of reduced cash intensity, a focused strategy of tax administration (without spooking companies and individuals with the spectre of “tax terrorism”) and GST holds the promise of giving the much needed long-term boost to India’s tax base.
- Widening tax base:GST will widen the tax base and generate additional revenues.
- GAAR (General Anti-avoidance rules) provisions may be useful in dealing with tax evasions where tax benefits exceed certain limit.
- Efficient targeting of subsidies and phasing out of tax exemptions:
- Subsidies to the well off need to be scaled back, similarly tax exemptions to be reviewed and phased out, reasonable taxation of the better off regardless of where they get their income from like industry, services, real estate or agriculture.
- Fast tracking of tax disputes, reducing discretion of taxman and creating a predictable dispute resolution mechanism.
Topic: Achievements of Indians in science & technology;
- It was launched in 2008 and aims to attract people to the study of science at an early age and pursuing career in research and help to build the required critical human resource pool for strengthening and expanding the S & T and R & D base in the country.
- It provides an “assured opportunity for research” through two types of 1,000 fellowships every year.
- INSPIRE fellowship for PhD students
- INSPIRE Faculty Scheme for post docs through contractual and tenure-track positions for five years.
- Inspired Research (INSPIRE) was approved by Government of India for implementation through Department of Science & Technology to promote science and attract talents for pursuing career in research.
- The program has three components
- Scheme for early Attraction of Talent (SEATS) for Science
- Scholarship for Higher Education (SHE)
- Assured Opportunity for Research Careers (AORC) covering an age-group of 10-32 years of students.
- Each INSPIRE Faculty Awardee receives an amount of Rs. 80,000 per month with an annual increment of 3.3% along with Rs. 7 lakh per year as Research Grant for 5 years.
- Data released by the department show that 65% of initial INSPIRE fellows have found permanent positions.
- Globally, 5% to 10% of the doctoral researchers get permanent positions
- The scheme on the whole has been well designed with the good objective of supporting talented youth in science
- The term “assured opportunity”has led to expectations by the fellows that they would eventually be absorbed by the institute or department.
- But about 35% of the initial batches of INSPIRE faculty fellows now find themselves with neither a job in hand nor any encouraging prospects.
- Problems with delayed research grant disbursal and salary payments
- Negative attitude of host institutes:-
- There could be a miscommunication between “INSPIRE Fellows who seem to be expecting a permanent faculty position” and institutes “offering only a fixed period postdoc position
- Many complaints by fellows-Host institutions are not considering these fellows as assets even after they perform well, which is an utter violation of the undertaking they endorsed during the fellows joining.
- Their developed research facilities will either be used by other permanent faculties or will be wasted.
- In some cases, a university may be willing to absorb an INSPIRE faculty fellow permanently but a ban by the University Grants Commission on hiring new faculty instituted in 2015 comes in the way.
- Failure of reverse brain drain:-
- One of INSPIRE’s aims is to retain young scientific talent or get them back to India if they travelled abroad for studies but this has not happened because :-
- There is a mismatch between the interests and expectations of the returning scientists and the institutes
- There is a huge misfit between the researchers who are returning and the way institutions respond to and handle their applications and research interests.
- Also the funding is not what it was promised in the beginning. The government released the salary and research funds so late every year, that it became impossible to spend the money before the close of the financial year.
- Universities frequently had opaque hiring procedures and “corruption” was rife at several State universities.
- Moreover, many leading institutions including the IITs didn’t recruit entry-level professors over 35, further queering the pitch for a new INSPIRE faculty member.
- Since the DST is a central government body that has the opportunity to work with other departments, it can further help INSPIRE faculty fellows get a job with their host institutions.
- There are large faculty shortages in several IITs, with no new staff being hired. So these fellows should be given a chance.
General Studies – 4
Topic: Ethics in human actions
- Mahatma Gandhi once stated “Practice what you preach”. Gandhi wasn’t able to tell the woman’s son to give up sugar a week ago because then he dint give it up sugar himself. After he did it himself, he was able to tell the boy with more conviction and power. His message had a ‘backbone’ to it. So the closer you are to mirroring whatever the message is that your communicating, the more powerful the message will come across.
- Ethics is difficult to practice because:
- Upholding high moral principles is not easy
- Strength of Character is tested
- Avoiding Temptations diverting towards an easy solution
- Stick to Integrity ,Self-control. Discipline etc.
- Practicing ethics is being able to solve the ethical dilemmas, acting in a emotional intelligent way ,facing adversities for larger interest etc.
- Practice shows the suffering undergone by the person itself so they have experience. However preaching is just saying what you know without actually experiencing it.
- In a society ,everyone knows corruption is bad and affects society as a whole but when it comes to their own situation people defend being corrupt saying it is part of the society.
- Similarly , untouchability is a crime .people speak one should respect anyone irrespective of ascriptive criteria however when their own child wants to marry a scheduled caste person, relatives and parents oppose.
- In the digital world there are thousands of blogs out there that teach personal development, yet only a select few that actually give sound advice. The reason behind that is that it’s simple to read information and rewrite it but putting oneself in one’s shoes is difficult.