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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 30 OCTOBER 2017


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 30 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.


General Studies – 1;


 

Topic:   Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian subcontinent); 

1) Recently India began shipment of wheat to Afghanistan through the Iranian port of Chabahar. Discuss the geography of this route and its strategic importance for India and Afghanistan. (200 Words)

The Hindu

 

Introduction:

 

India-Iran-Afghanistan signed Trilateral Agreement in 2016 to build Chabahar port in Iran in order to seek an alternative route for trade & transit to & from Afghanistan. Now India has sent its first wheat consignment to Afghanistan through Chabahar port. This is a significant step in the history of strategic relationship of the three Countries.

 

GEOGRAPHY OF ROUTE

  • Seeing the restrictions put by Pakistan on trade & passage of goods through Bagha border & through its territory to reach Afghanistan, it was necessary for India to envisage a new route to land-locked Afghanistan which found way in the Chabahar port’s development. 
  • Chabahar port is in Gulf of Oman & on the strategically & geographically important route for trade & connection between Middle East Asia to South Asia & further reaching to South East Asia.

 

IMPORTANCE OF THIS ROUTE FOR INDIA

  • India is not dependent on mercy of Pakistan to trade with Afghanistan. 
  • This route will help in easy transport of oil from Iran & other Middle Eat Asian countries to India.
  • It will boost trade & commerce between India & Afghanistan
  • It will be helpful for the reconstruction activities & development projects including training of military, police of Afghanistan by India. Stability in Afghan will curb cross-border Terrorism by Pakistan-good for the neighbouring India’s security.
  • It will also be important for building US-India tries stronger as US wants more efforts from India for development works in Afghanistan

 

IMPORTANCE FOR AFGHANISTAN

  • The developmental projects envisaged by India will get speed & strength in Afghanistan – helpful in fight against terrorism
  • Economy of Afghan will get strong, getting more funds to be spent for peace-making efforts
  • Afghanistan will put pressure on Pakistan to crackdown the terror outfits in its territory.

 

Conclusion

 

Though the Chabahar port will be fully built in one year, but wheat shipment has paved the way for the operationalization of the port and in the future it may prove to be a right step towards peace & development in the region.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests  

2) India’s issues in the quadrilateral cooperation among India, Japan, Australia and US is inextricably linked to China’s emergence as a great power and is no longer about the principle, but about purpose and process. Analyse. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

 

 Introduction:

  • Quad dialogue was held at ASEAN summit in Manila. It is joint marintime security grouping in Indo Pacific region by India, USA, Japan and Australia.
  • The Quad was born from the close coordination among the governments of the four countries in the aftermath of the catastrophic tsunami in December 2004 that brought death and destruction to several nations in South and South-East Asia. 
  • The Indian Navy was among the first to deliver relief and succour to the affected despite India’s own southern coast and islands in the Andaman Sea being ravaged by the unprecedented maritime disaster. The naval forces of the US, Japan and Australia came in later.
  • It was this experience which led the Americans to suggest that as four democracies with substantial naval capabilities, our countries should set up a consultative forum for regular exchange of views on regional challenges, in particular dealing with maritime emergencies and security threats such as piracy.
  • But later in 2006, the Americans decided not to take this initiative forward so as not to “provoke” the Chinese and the Russians, whose support they had sought in the UN Security Council on the Iran nuclear issue as well as their cooperation in the six-party talks on the Korean nuclear issue.

 

Significance of Quad

 

Economic benefits

 

  1. Trade with the region
  • It will increase connectivity in the Indo-Pacific region and provide economic opportunity for all stakeholders.
  • India will be able to negotiate with ASEAN, APEC and RCEP trade multilaterals from the position of strength.

    2.Secure trade routes

  • It will provide safety to international maritime trade routes like Malacca strait and increase trade given that 40% of India’s trade pass through this part of ocean waters.

    3.Financing for infrastructure 

  • There will be new financial avenues opened to counter China led BRI as well, which will not benefit other developing countries but also India in infrastructure development. India and Japan are bilaterally cooperating in Asia Africa Growth Corridor already.
  • It will also induce institutions like US dominated World Bank and Japan led Asia Development bank for India’s needs.

 

Strategic benefits

 

  1. Counter Chinese hegemony in Indo-Pacific
  • Each country had made it clear in the earliest days in 2000s that the quad would not take on a military dimension and that it would not be directed against any third country. 
  • India had looked upon it as being no different from other regional fora that it was already a part of, such as the India-China-Russia trilateral or the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
  • However, both China and Russia interpreted the proposed “quad” as a camouflage for a military alliance. China in particular criticised it as a potential “Asian NATO”.
  • But now it has assumed again critical role in countering China.

    2.Providing security in the Indo-pacific region

  • As the world has stakes in the Indo-pacific region, particularly India and ASEAN, it is imperative to reinforce international law in ocean waters.
  • As any one country can’t provide security in vast oceans, the regional security fora of such kind is important.

Purpose

 

  1. Countering Chinese hegemony
  • The proposal for quadrilateral cooperation among India, Japan, Australia and the United States is inextricably linked to China’s emergence as a great power

     2.Rebalancing Asia

  • The fear of China’s growing unilateralism drives Asian nations to reduce the regional imbalance by banding together. 
  • But the attractions of doing business with China and the dangers of provoking it limit the impulses for collective action against Beijing.

 

Process

  • In response to the Japanese proposal to revive the quad, New Delhi has signalled a little more flexibility. 

 

  1. Discarding vague non-alignment moralpolitic
  • Previously not participating in the quad was some kind of moralpolitik that was vaguely conflated with the tradition of non-alignment. But now the government is no longer defensive. 

     2.Pursuing national interest in and out

  • It is saying that New Delhi will sit down with anybody in any kind of forum if that serves India’s national interest.
  • As a rising power in its own right, New Delhi argues, India must demonstrate the will to influence geopolitical outcomes in Asia and beyond. 

 

Conclusion

  • There is no doubt that the construction of quad will face many challenges, given the deep divisions in all countries on how best to deal with China. There will be differences on setting priorities and allocating resources. 
  • Yet, India’s incipient engagement with Japan, America and Australia on the quad agenda suggests that the era when a diffident New Delhi hid behind ideological slogans is now behind us. India is now confident enough to embark on complex geopolitical jousting in Asia.

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

3) Discuss the purpose and significance of a new initiative by the United Nations Human Rights Office, titled “Standards of Conduct for Business on tackling discrimination against LGBTI people”. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

Reference

 

Introduction:

  • A new initiative by the United Nations Human Rights Office, titled “Standards of Conduct for Business on tackling discrimination against LGBTI people” launched in Mumbai  with a plethora of business leaders, public figures and activists.

 

Purpose

 

  1. Support to private sector and civil society
  • It is attempting to fill the gap by providing support to companies that wish to stand for the human rights of LGBTI people and civil society that wish to engage with them
  • It resolutely places efforts by the private sector and the wider discussion on business’ responsibility into UN Norms, such as the UN Global Compact and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

     2.Empower workplaces to eliminate discrimination

  • LGBTI inclusion in the workplace is an acute issue in India, but for many companies it is still an abstract concept. There is growing awareness of issues such as homophobia, harassment and discrimination in the workplace but these are usually seen as problems unrelated to the ways that companies operate internally. 
  • The Standards of Conduct remind companies that they should enable workplaces that eliminate the scope of discrimination and create an inclusive environment across the employee universe.

 

Significance

 

  1. Effect changes in society through corporate sector
  • As the torch-bearers of change, the Standards urge corporate India not to stop at ensuring a fair workplace environment. Companies should influence their supply chains or business relations
  • Beyond the marketplace, companies, as part of broader coalitions, should communicate to governments and lawmakers the impact that rights of LGBTI people issues have on their countries’ reputations but also when it comes to economic development and investment.
  • In most part of the world, workers, consumers and investors are increasingly rewarding companies that actively tackle discrimination. Purpose-driven brands that manage to associate themselves with the cause of equality can reap real business benefits, particularly with young affluent market segments. 

    2.Minimise cost due to discrimination

  • World Bank in a 2014 study revealed the massive cost of discrimination against LGBTI people for India. 

 

Conclusion

  • Standards are a reminder to corporate India that to achieve much needed social change on LGBTI issues, the private sector must be a catalyst of change and a leader for change putting human rights first. Increasingly, Indian people expect that companies do not only focus on operational drivers, but also on societal ones.

Topic: Functioning of judiciary

4) Judicial primacy is detrimental to judicial accountability. Comment. (200 Words)

The Hindu

 

Introduction:

 

Indian Constitution provides for the separation of powers between Executive, Legislative & Judiciary. Sometimes these bodies seek to overlap and interfere in each other domains. 

Judiciary is seen as the last resort to solve conflicts and therefore it has been provided with great transparency, power and security. 

Judicial primacy or supremacy in this context becomes detrimental to judicial accountability in the following ways – 

  • Judicial Primacy allows judiciary protected from sharing details and criteria for the appointment of judges.
  • A constitution bench struck down National Judicial Appointments Commission when the present collegium system is marred with loopholes.
  • Judiciary does not allow Executive to be part of appointments to Judges in high judiciary. Perhaps its because of lack of efficiency of Collegium that 7 High courts are without permanent Chief Justice.
  • CJI does not come under RTI & action against the judges can be taken with the permission of the authority.

 

To ensure Judicial accountability:-

  • There is a  need to bring CJI under RTI.
  • To envisage transparent mechanism for the appointment of the Judges on the lines of the recent decision of committee formation system to decide for the Seniority of the Advocates. 
  • Judiciary needs to ensure Open Court System & make judgement audible to bring transparency in the judicial procedure.
  • Curbing political interference in judicial appointments. corruption & undermining talent & experience during promotion need to be done away with.

 

Conclusion

 

The steps like Lok Adalat, e-court, digitalisation of courts, National Crimes and Criminal Records, e-records of court cases and coordination among courts using big data etc can be useful to make a balance between judicial primacy & accountability so that free & fair justice may continue to be pillars of democracy. 

 


Topic: Hunger and poverty

5) Differentiate between hunger, malnutrition and under-nutrition. Recently the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has ranked India at the 100th position among 119 countries in its 2017 Global Hunger Index (GHI) rankings. Comment on India’s ranking in this GHI. (200 Words)

Livemint

 

Introduction:

  • India’s ranking in the International Food Policy Research Institute’s (IFPRI’s) 2017 Global Hunger Index has slipped to 100 among 119 countries in the 2017 Global Hunger Index, down from 97 among the 118 countries in 2016. 
  • Swaminathan Aiyar cites NSSO surveys to argue that hunger declined from 16 per cent of the population in 1983 to an incredible 1.9 per cent in 2004-05 without mentioning the measurement issue. 

 

GHI Calculation

  • The GHI for 2017 is calculated as a weighted average of four standardised indicators, i.e. the 

 

–  percentage of population that is undernourished

percentage of children under five years who suffer from wasting; 

– percentage of children under five who suffer from stunting, and 

child mortality

 

Why it is misleading?

 

  1. Children Hunger Index!
  • Undernourishment and child mortality each make up a third of the GHI score, while child stunting and child wasting make up a sixth of the score, and together make up a third of the score. 
  • Three of the four indicators, refer only to children below five who constitute only 11.5% of India’s population.  
  • Therefore, the term “Hunger Index” is highly biased towards undernutrition of children rather than representing the status of hunger in the overall population

     2.Hunger index reflects other factors than food

  • Evidence shows that weight and height of children are not solely determined by food intake but are an outcome of a complex interaction of factors related to genetics, the environment, sanitation and utilisation of food intake
  • The IFPRI acknowledges that only 45% of child mortality is due to hunger or undernutrition.
  • Per capita food production in India has increased by 26% (2004-05 to 2013-14), while it has doubled in the last 50 years. 
  • India’s under three-year-old child malnutrition rate was double the poverty rate and 20 times the percentage of the hungry in India (percentage of households in which any member had less than two full meals, on any day of the month, that is, even one day without two square meals counts as hungry).

 

Aspects of malnutrition

  • There are three broad aspects of malnutrition that must be kept in mind when devising strategies for dealing with it.

 

  1. Access to food items
  • This depends on household income or the ability to sustain certain levels of consumption. 
  • The rate of poverty (headcount ratio) is the standard indicator.

    2.Information about nutrition

  • Two, household/family knowledge and information about good nutrition. 
  • This includes knowledge about locally available foods that are good from the nutrition perspective. 
  • This can be based on: 

 

  1. Traditional knowledge (old wives’ tales); 
  2. the ability to read coupled with the availability of appropriate reading material on nutrition;
  3. access to media such as newspapers, radio and TV, coupled with propagation of such information on radio 
  4. special programmes like the ICDS that directly educate mothers about child rearing and nutrition.

3.State of health

  • Even if the right kind of food and nutrition is available, a child may not be able to consume and/or absorb it properly due to ill health or sickness. 
  • For instance, a child suffering from diarrhoea much of the time is unlikely to be able to ingest good and healthy food and absorb the nutrition, even if it is freely available and provided to the child by the mother/parents. 
  • Public health measures like clean drinking water, sanitation, sewerage, control of communicable and epidemic diseases and public health education thus play an important role in reducing mortality rates at every age and across gender.

Steps needed to tackle malnutrition

 

  1. Sanitation
  • Sanitation improvement is key, but so too are improving diets, and we know that especially for very young children (6-23 months), diets (meaning actual food intake) are terrible, but only about one in 10 meet diet adequacy (NFHS 4).
  • For every existing town, states must plan and install a modern drainage, sewerage and water supply system with water storage and purification, sewage treatment plants and garbage disposal sites

     2.Amending existing social sector programmes

  • There are avenues available to maximise the nutrition-sensitivity of India’s large-scale Social Protection ProgrammesTPDS, MGNREGA, and MDMS
  • Addressing underlying determinants of fetal and childhood nutritioninvolves strengthening the delivery of the primary mandates of these programmes. 
  • Programmes can incorporate specific nutrition goals and actions such as fortification and commodity basket diversification
  • Under the third approach, programmes can serve as delivery platforms for nutrition-specific interventions such as providing deworming tablets, handwashing training, and micronutrient supplementation to schoolgoing children.
  • Going forward, the inclusion of fortification in the TPDS and MDMS, and the addition of deworming and micronutrients to the MDMS, at scale, could effectively address micronutrient deficiencies, reduce anaemia levels, and possibly even have cognitive benefits among target populations. 

     3.Literacy about nutrition

  • Literacy can help in acquiring knowledge about hygiene, nutrition and sanitation. The government must ensure that every citizen has the education that she is supposed to acquire with the completion of primary education. 
  • But this education must also be made more relevant by providing information on matters that will improve their lives (health, hygiene, nutrition) and equip them to find useful information.

 

Way forward

 

  1. Remeasure hunger by quality surveys
  • One, restart measuring hunger in National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) surveys: International organisations will find that difficult to ignore. As an aside, Nobel laureate Angus Deaton has lamented the declining quality of national household surveys in India observed by well-known Indian scholars such as Minhas.

     2.Revise calorie norms

  • Two, revise Indian calorie norms (downwards?) in view of widespread mechanisation and urge world bodies to follow suit.
  • FAO’s norms are already substantially lower than Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute of Nutrition (ICMRNIN) norms. Indian norms of 2,400 kcal per-person per-day for rural and 2,100 kcal per-person per-day for urban areas imply a much higher incidence of undernourishment

 


Topic: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions

6) The autonomy and jurisdiction of high courts is under relentless attack from Parliament, and even the Supreme Court. Comment. (200 Words)

The Hindu

 

 

Introduction:

  • For the framers of our Constitution, high courts, occupied a central position. They were conceived as a forum for adjudicating disputes under the Constitution, Central and State statutes before they moved to the Supreme Court; their jurisdiction was more extensive than the Supreme Court’s. 
  • In contrast to the American model of a bifurcated federal and state judiciary, our high courts resolve all disputes.
  • In the initial years, several constitutional issues came to the Supreme Court after high courts grappled with those issues. The First Amendment to the Constitution was triggered by a Patna High Court ruling declaring a land reform law as unconstitutional.
  • Increasingly, the jurisdiction of our 24 High Courts has been subject to relentless attack from Parliament, and, unfortunately, even the Supreme Court.

 

Parliament mandated tribunals affect High Courts

  • Parliament has inflicted damage on high courts with rampant tribunalisation
  • Tribunals have replaced high courts for disputes under the Companies Act, Competition Act, SEBI Act, Electricity Act, Consumer Protection Act among others. Any person aggrieved by an order of an appellate tribunal can directly appeal to the Supreme Court, side-stepping the high court. 

 

  1. Tribunals lack independence from the executive as High Courts do
  • These tribunals do not enjoy the same constitutional protection as high courts. The appointment process and service conditions of high court judges are not under the control of the executive. The enormous institutional investment to protect the independence of high courts is dispensed with when it comes to tribunals. Many tribunals still owe allegiance to their parent ministries.

     2.Tribunals expensive and not accessible as High Courts

  • Tribunals are also not as accessible as high courts. For example, there are just four benches of the Green Tribunal for the whole country. 
  • This makes justice expensive and difficult to access. 

     3.Tribunal procedure make Supreme Court an appellate court than envisaged deliberative body

  • Conferring a direct right of appeal to the Supreme Court from tribunals has changed the Supreme Court from being a constitutional court to a mere appellate court.
  • A backlog of over 58,000 cases in the Supreme Court precludes it from being a deliberative court reflecting over critical questions of law. It can affect the quality of the court’s jurisprudence. If high courts were to exercise appellate jurisdiction over orders of tribunals, they would act as filters, enabling the Supreme Court to confine itself to those substantial questions where there is divergence among high courts.

    4.Supreme Court lose expertise from High Court due to tribunals

  • Third, high courts are the training grounds for future Supreme Court judges. When high court judges deal with several cases under a particular area of law, they carry with them the benefit of their experience and insights to the Supreme Court. 
  • When high courts are side-stepped in favour of tribunals, Supreme Court judges hearing appeals from tribunals would have to deal with the finer nuances of disputes under specialised areas of law for the very first time. 
  • The rationale advanced for avoiding high courts is the colossal backlog. The way ahead lies in the creation of specialised divisions in high courts for tax, company law and environmental disputes.
  • Further, when retired high court judges invariably preside over every tribunal, the justification of expert adjudication by tribunals disappears.

 

Supreme Court Writ petitions undermine High Courts

  • The jurisdiction of high courts is also undermined by the Supreme Court when it directly entertains various writ petitions. 
  • When the Supreme Court exercises original jurisdiction, it deprives the citizen and the state of the right to challenge potentially erroneous orders. 
  • A classic instance is the Supreme Court’s ruling in the 2G case. To overcome this ruling, the President had to invoke the advisory jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. The ordinary citizen enjoys no such privilege.
  • This difficulty becomes even more acute when the Supreme Court takes on a legislative role by framing guidelines in the larger public interest. Neither the individual nor the state has an effective remedy to challenge these norms.

 

Conclusion

 

In contrast, there are several institutional benefits when a case travels from high court to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is wiser by a well-considered high court ruling. Notably, the U.S. Supreme Court takes up cases where there is a divergence of opinion among the Circuit Courts of Appeal.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic:  Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment. 

7) Recapitalisation will help banks maintain their capital adequacy ratio. Banks’ capacity to lend will increase, but that does not mean lending will increase. Comment. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

 

What is capital adequacy?

 

  • Regulation requires that banks hold assets only in proportion to the capital they have. ‘Capital’ is a combination of equity, equity-like instruments and bonds. 
  • For a given balance sheet, there is a certain minimum of capital that banks must hold. This is called ‘capital adequacy’. 

 

Significance of capital adequacy

  • The higher the capital is above the regulatory minimum, the greater the freedom banks have to make loans. The closer bank capital is to the minimum, the less inclined banks are to lend. If capital falls below the regulatory minimum, banks cannot lend or face restrictions on lending.
  • When loans go bad and turn into non-performing assets (NPAs), banks have to make provisions for potential losses. This tends to erode bank capital and put the brakes on loan growth. That is precisely the situation PSBs have been facing since 2012-13.

 

Recapitalisation plans 

  • The government’s move to recapitalise banks changes the picture. 
  • Of the 2.11 trillion package, 1.35 trillion will be towards issue of recapitalisation bonds. PSBs will subscribe to these bonds. The government will plough back the funds into banks as equity. Another 180 billion will be provided as budgetary support. The remaining 580 billion will be raised from the market.  
  • Once PSBs have enough capital and are in a mood to lend, they can liquidate excess holding of government securities and use the cash to make more loans.

 

Issues

 

  1. Increased stressed assets
  • Stressed advances’ (which represent non-performing loans as well as restructured loans) have risen from a little over 10% in 2012-13 to 15% in 2016-17. This has caused capital adequacy at PSBs to fall. 
  • Average capital at PSBs has fallen from over 13% in 2011-12 to 12.2% in 2016-17. The minimum capital required is 10.5%. 

     2.Reduced credit flow

  • Inadequate capital at PSBs has taken its toll on the flow of credit. Growth in credit has fallen below double digits over the last three years. 
  • Between 2009-10 and 2014-15, annual credit growth was in the range of 15-20%. In the ‘India Shining’ period of 2004-09, credit growth had been over 20%.

    3.Fiscal problem due to recapitalisation bonds

  • The proposed recapitalisation bonds are likely to add to the fiscal deficit unless the government resorts to other fudges such as getting the Life Insurance Corporation of India or a separate holding company to issue the bonds

 

Way forward

  • Though corporates have excessive debt and are in no position to finance any investment. This may be true of large corporates, it is not true of enterprises in general. 
  • The demand for investment finance may have decelerated but demand for working capital remains strong
  • If anything, the introduction of GST has increased small business demand for working capital. Low growth in credit is confined to PSBs. Private banks have seen loan growth of 15% this year.

Topic: Infrastructure

8) The telecom and internet revolution in India has ushered in good connectivity and infrastructure, but quality of service is poor compared to international standards. Discuss the issue and suggest reforms. (200 Words)

Livemint

 

Introduction:

  • India is pushing ambitious Digital India programme to usher in a digitally empowered society, but quality of service (QoS) of the vital telecom and internet infrastructure that powers digitization has not received much attention. 
  • Before we embark on deploying 5G technologies and networks, as is being advocated by the telecom regulator, it is time to step back and assess the associated QoS issues.

 

Increasing data usage

  • While India relies predominantly on wireless data services, the burgeoning demand for more data and better services is indeed becoming a challenge. Total data payload in the Indian telecom network grew 60% over last year to reach 165 petabytes. 
  • Despite the high indices on consumption, India is ranked 89 among 100 countries on average mobile internet connection speed at 4.9 megabits per second (mbps), much behind other Asia-Pacific countries 
  • Network outages, frequent call and packet drops, and congested networks unable to allocate capacity result in increased download times and poor coverage.

 

Quality of Service

  • According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the regulatory goal of a telecom service must be to ensure: 
  • (i) the delivery of acceptable service for telecommunications users; and 
  • (ii) that consumers are aware of the variations in performance from various service providers, thereby allowing them to make an educated choice regarding their preference.
  • To ensure quality data services, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had published QoS regulations for wireless data services in 2012, stating the minimum quality benchmarks for every service provider to adhere to and report. 
  • However, Trai itself has admitted that these measurements and report mechanism have not been beneficial to consumers. 

 

Issues with measuring quality

 

  1. Evolving standards
  • QoS measurement of data services and narrowing down of bottlenecks is very different compared to that for voice, due to the inherent “store and forward” characteristics of the internet. 
  • Though there are standardized measurements such as Mean Opinion Score (MOS) for internet telephony calls, measurements and metrics for other applications such as video and chat sessions, media streaming and games are still evolving.

    2.Quality of Experience based on varying factors

  • However, in the case of data services, gauging Quality of Experience may be quite complex as it is subjective and based on factors of usage such as time of day, type of application, type of subscribers (heavy or light data user), type of subscriber contracts (with varying guaranteed speeds and data limits), location and mobility, to name a few. 

 

Way forward

 

  1. TRAI’s MySpeed app
  • Owing to consumers persistently complaining about poor QoS/QoE and to enhance transparency, Trai developed and deployed its MySpeed mobile app and associated portal for crowdsourcing connection speeds and other parameters. 
  • It crowdsources a wealth of data on QoS parameters such as downlink/uplink speeds, network delay and packet loss, which may be analysed to provide concrete recommendations to the regulator on the bottlenecks and associated corrective measures. 
  • However, a robust information disclosure mechanism is much needed, which may aid consumers in knowing the accurate QoS on offer for their broadband services and based on it, enabling informed decision -making. 

     2.Building labels to depict service quality

  • “Consumer broadband labels” like labels on packaged food products and energy ratings on electric appliances are a way. If published by the service providers, these labels disclose speed, reliability, service limits and conditions, pricing and other information for the offered broadband services to consumers in a standard and easily understandable format. 
  • Now that mobile broadband has become the spine of the “digital economy”, it is the right time for us to start an initiative such as this to promote the required transparency and accountability in broadband-service provisioning in the country.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

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

 

Introduction:

 

Aquinas was a Christian Priest. He gave his famous theory of ‘Natural Laws’. 

Being a catholic priest, he keeps God at the centre of his whole philosophy.

 

Body

  • Natural laws derive their authority from the God himself. They are so intrinsic to human nature, that they remain the same throughout the ages. For eg: Aquinas argues that greed is a sin against God. Hence it is a voilation of Natural Law.
  • Aquinas’ Natural laws are based on certain principles, that Good is to be done and evil has to be avoided.
  • Natural law is a philosophy that certain rights or values are inherent by virtue of human nature and universally cognizable through human reason.
  • Aquinas argue that everything in the universe behaves according to its nature, and that we as men have to do the same.
  • The important take away is that every single human person has natural law and that means that all human being can appeal to each other in the name of natural law
  • Hence, Aquinas brings morality into the law and prevents state from making any arbitary law which might cause exploitation.

 

Criticism

 

  1. Weaker state
  • This theory gives arbitrary power to the Church. This makes Church stronger than the state.

     2.Law culture and religion specific and thus lack universality

  • Basing ethics and laws completely based on religion may give rise to ‘Religious Fundamentalism’ like Jihad, Cow Vigilantism, etc.

     3.Majoritarianism

  • Those who are  not adherents to the Church may feel threatened under such a regime.

 

Conclusion

  • Despite the discrepancies, Aquinas’ theory of Natural Laws also gave rise to the concept of Natural Rights. 
  • These rights are so intrinsic to human life that even the state cannot take them away. This idea is extensively used in Fundamental Rights of our Constitution.