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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 04 DECEMBER 2018


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 04 DECEMBER 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.

1) Although Germany had very disadvantages it became the most industrialised state by the end of 19th century. Examine. (250 words)

Reference

Directive word

Examine- here we have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any.  

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to delve deeper into the Germany of the 19th century, describe the challenges it faced and bring out the reasons as to how it was able to overcome those challenges and become the most industrialised state by the end of 19th century.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  19th century Germany. E.g Germany had the natural resources required to start an industrial revolution. Large coal reserves located in the areas of Saar, Ruhr, Upper Silesia, and Saxony. Iron deposited sited in the areas of Erzgebirge, Harz Mountains, and Upper Silesia.

Body-

  1. Discuss the disadvantages suffered by Germany at that time, which hampered Industrialisation. E.g Germany had challenges after the Napoleonic War ended in 1815. Only the major ports of Bremen and Hamburg had clear and secure access to the North Sea. But even so, it did not had any clear access to the vibrant trade routes in the Atlantic; many medievalist economic institution remained in place, hampering the growth of agriculture and industries. Feudalism returned and continued; Moreover, guild controlled much of the industries and because with their licensure policies, the establishing of factories became difficult and limited; Germany before 1871 was made of numerous German States with Prussia being biggest. And so trade was difficult and circulation of raw materials to factories was also hard etc.
  2. Discuss how despite those disadvantages, Germany became the leading industrial power by the end of 19th century. E.g Among the German states, Prussia emerged as the most economically powerful country in 1815. Prussia controlled major manufacturing towns, coalfields, and trade routes. The Prussian government showed great enthusiasm towards economic progress, which became vital to its status as a great power. In 1818, Prussia moved immediately to counter the problems arising from the post-Napoleonic era; The Zollverein grew from the Prussian Tariff of 1818 to a full pledge customs union that became a catalyst for German unification. The Tariff of 1818 became the basis of Prussia and signed commercial treaties with neighboring German states in order to form of customs union etc.

Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.

Background:-

  • Germany emerged as the most industrialized country by the end of the 19th century. Germany surpassed the home of the industrial revolution i.e.., Great Britain. 

Disadvantages Germany faced :-

  • Germany had challenges after the Napoleonic War ended in 1815. Only the major ports of Bremen and Hamburg had clear and secure access to the North Sea, but even so, it lacked access to the buzzing trade routes in the Atlantic
  • Many medievalist economic institution also remained in place hampering the growth of agriculture and industries. Feudalism returned and continued with the serfdom of many and their obligation to provide a share of their harvest and labor to their landlords.
  • Guilds control:-
    • Moreover, guilds controlled much of the industries and because with their licensure policies, establishing factories proved to be difficult and limited.
  • Trade competition:-
    • In trade perspective, local German textile industry faced competition when the allies lifted the Continental System that blocked the entry of cheap British textile.
  • Economic:-
    • A depression followed in 1817 exacerbated a drop in agricultural production driving food prices up.
  • The most significant challenge towards Germany’s industrial revolution was its political set up:-
  • Germany before 1871 was made of numerous German States with Prussia being biggest. As a result of fragmentation, trade was difficult and transporting of raw materials to factories was also challenging. 

How did Germany become one of the industrialised counties by the end of 19 th century :-

  • Natural resources:-
    • Germany had the natural resources required to start an industrial revolution. Large coal reserves located in the areas of Saar, Ruhr, Upper Silesia, and Saxony. Iron deposits sited in the areas of Erzgebirge, Harz Mountains, and Upper Silesia.
  • With the unification of Germany that she truly became an industrial powerhouse:-
    • Heavy industry grew and developed after the German Unification. Steel production rose. Weapons manufacturing and ship building followed the steel boom. 
  • Role of Prussia:-
    • Prussia emerged as the most economically powerful country in 1815. It controlled major manufacturing towns, coalfields, and trade routes.
    • The Prussian government showed great enthusiasm towards economic progress, which became vital to its status as a great power. 
    • It imposed a new tariff system. Many hailed the Prussian Tariff of 1818 as a progressive policy and a great incentive for industrial growth.
  • Other German states became active as well. Many of the German States supported industries and promoted a self-reliant economy. They provided incentives and subsidies.
  • The Zollverein, however, proved to be the greatest factor for the economic development of many German States:-
    • By 1834, Prussia formally created the Zollverein. It provided new opportunities for industries by opening a wider market and new sources of raw materials. Without the Zollverein an industrialized and unified Germany would not had been possible.
  • Financial institutions and cartels furthered industrial growth:-
    • Banks provided capital and investments to new companies. They also helped new companies to sell shares to earn capital.
    • Cartels on the other hand provided protection and stability.
  • Industrial development:-
    • Growth of the textile industry led to the rise of textile centers like Aache (famous for its thread), Krefeld (famous for its silk), Saxony, and also Silesia.
    • The iron industry also followed .the introduction of the puddling method of making iron by Friedrich Harkort and Dietrich Piepenstock resulted also in the increase in iron production. 
    • Foreign investment accelerated development of the Ruhr Area
    • Steam engines contributed to the industrial development of Germany. Steam engine powered textile mills. It also pumped out water in iron mines making the extraction of the ore easier. It allowed riverine tug boats to carry more load and transport goods faster. 
    • Railroad served Germany well in its Industrial Revolution and also in its Unification. 
  • Factors that led to Germany’s boom in the Second Industrial Revolution included its education and government support. 
    • Germany imposed new high tariffs against imports and protected local industries and allowed them to flourish. It also stated government subsidies towards businesses.
    • For decades Prussia and many German States invested in education. Technical schools produced great minds and inventors.
    • Eventually, by the time of the Second Industrial Revolution, Germany had a huge supply of talented and skilled population.

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

2) Maternity benefit Act has increased the entry barrier for women in Labour Force. Discuss. (250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

This article highlights that one of the criticism of the maternity benefits act when it was introduced, was that it would increase entry barrier for females. The same has happened and we need to think of ways through which the act can be amended to ensure that it’s purposes are met.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to first explain how amendments to maternity benefits act have increased entry barrier for women. Post that, we need to discuss changes through which the Act can be made more beneficial for women and discuss the way forward.

Directive word

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain that there is a need to enhance female participation in LFPR, and for the same purpose India brought in well intentioned amendments to maternity benefits act.

Body

  • Explain the benefits accorded to women under the act and highlight how it has increased entry barriers for women under the Act. India offers one of the world’s most generous maternity leave policies. But India is also probably the only country where the entire financial burden of the maternity leave is supposed to be borne by the employer. In most countries, the cost of maternity leave is shared across the government, employer, insurance and other social security programmes (Singapore—eight weeks employer and eight weeks public funds; Australia and Canada—100% public funds; France—social insurance scheme; Brazil—mixed contribution from the employer, employee and government).
  • Discuss the changes required in the act and the impact it would have. Cost sharing between employer and government by way of reimbursement once the employer furnishes the proof of payment of maternity leave wage, slab-based tax rebates offered by the government on actual maternity wages paid, setting up a government insurance scheme to pay for maternity wages, and leave sharing in the form of 13 months maternity and 13 months paternity to negate any possibility of gender bias.

Conclusion – Highlight that there is a need to enhance female participation in LFPR for which changes in the Act have to be brought in and discuss the way forward.

Background:-

  • There is significant relation between poverty and women’s labour force participation as India will never put poverty  unless the latter is raised.
  • The Maternity Benefit bill last year had its heart in the right place but unintentionally led to higher caution on the part of the employers, leading to lower levels of hiring of women.

Some benefits from the act are :-

  • The act had been praised for “making India proud around the world” and “bringing women in workforce closer to workplace equality”. This is because the Act, among other things, increased the paid maternity leave available for women workers from the then-existing 12 weeks to 26 weeks
  • It made it mandatory for every establishment with at least 50 employees to provide crèche facility for working mothers among its employees.

 

Maternity benefit act acted as entry barrier:-

  • Loss of jobs :-
    • According to the latest study regarding the implementation of the amendments of maternity benefits  act it was found there could be significant job losses for women in India in the short to medium term.
  • India is also probably the only country where the entire financial burden of the maternity leave is supposed to be borne by the employer. 
  • Recent changes proposed in the act are criticised due to :-
    • Wages equivalent to only seven weeks shall be reimbursed by the government of India to employers who employ female workers and provide maternity benefits of 26 weeks paid leave.
    • To enable an entity to avail the incentive, the female employees working in the entity concerned should be earning wages less than Rs. 15,000.The Employees State Insurance (ESIC) Act mandates that all employees earning wages of 21,000 or less shall be covered under the Act. But the proposal to consider employees earning wages of Rs. 15,000 or less, with the conditions attached to it, does not seem justifiable
    • Women earning wages of Rs. 21,000 or less but are employed in non-implemented areas are not entitled to the benefits and the employer is forced to bear the entire cost. 
    • Large number of female employees, especially in information technology, information technology-enabled services, pharmaceutical, logistics, banking, financial services and insurance, and service sectors, are paid wages of Rs. 15,000 or Rs. 21,000 or higher per month.
    • The female worker has to be a member of Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) for at least one year and must not be covered under ESIC. The conditions set forth above lack reasoning considering
      • a) entitlement to maternity benefits kicks in once an employee completes 80 days (less than three months) of continuous service
      • b) an employee is entitled to the benefits under the proposed incentive only if she has been a contributing member of EPFO for at least a year and is not covered under ESIC.
    • Anti women bias crept in :-
      • Clear anti-women bias crept into the actual hiring practice of well over half of all respondents ever since the Act came into place.
      • 66 per cent disclose that the maternity benefit law adversely impacts their hiring against women candidates in some way.  
    • By imposing a uniform mandate on all businesses, what this Act does is rob both businesses and women workers of choice: businesses, of their choice of maternity leave policies that are reasonable to them; and by extension, women, of their choice to work with workplaces that provide paid maternity leave for less than 26 weeks.

What changes are needed in the act :-

  • Government can bear the burden:-
  • Cost sharing between employer and government by way of reimbursement once the employer furnishes the proof of payment of maternity leave wage, slab-based tax rebates offered by the government on actual maternity wages paid, setting up a government insurance scheme to pay for maternity wages, and leave sharing in the form of 13 months maternity and 13 months paternity to negate any possibility of gender bias.
  • Lessons from other countries :-
    • In most countries, the cost of maternity leave is shared across the government, employer, insurance and other social security programmes
    • For instance in Singapore – eight weeks employer and eight weeks public funds, France- social insurance scheme ,Brazil – mixed contribution from the employer, employee and government etc.
  • Other measures needed are:-
    • The seven weeks reimbursement limit must be extended to a minimum of 13 weeks. The period of wages of 13 weeks could also stand to be extended to all female employees who are not covered under ESIC, without any preconditions on wage ceiling or membership of the provident fund organization for one year, etc.
    • Further, the government must set up crèches with all the attendant facilities proposed in the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017, and allow employees eligible for such benefits to use these crèches at a very nominal cost.
    • Bringing the Maternity Benefit Act under central legislation will also help maintain uniformity.

Conclusion:-

  • With such active steps, India has genuine hope of raising India’s overall female labour force participation from the present 26% to a competitive level like China’s 60%.

Topic-  social empowerment

3) Our understanding of disability must expand to include people with invisible disabilities. Examine.(250 words)

Indian express

Why this question

The article highlights that our understanding of disability remains limited to visual markers of disability and in the process we end up ignoring the needs and aspirations of a sizeable section. Hence there is a need to broaden our understanding.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain what invisible disability is, explain the current provisions for taking care of persons with special needs and how it fails those with invisible disabilities. Next, we need to discuss changes which needs to be brought in and discuss the way forward.

Directive word

Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain what is meant by invisible disabilities.

Body

  • Highlight the protections in place for securing the rights of persons with disability – The United Nations Convention on the rights of persons with disability tells us that persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full participation in society on an equal basis with others. The Rights of persons with Disability Act of India, 2016, also clarifies that disability includes people with mental illness, epilepsy, intellectual impairment and other disabilities which are not evident to a casual observer.
  • Highlight the problem in the current regime – Many people with disabilities cannot be identified by a casual observer as they don’t have the identity ‘badges’ of a wheelchair, or a crutch, or a hearing aid and thus their needs are often ignored
  • Discuss ways in which the situation can be improved – inclusion and empowerment of people with visible and invisible disabilities must include policy action by the Ministry of Social Empowerment and Justice. The criteria and process for identifying people and certifying people with disability must find processes to recognise the disability of people with fluctuating disability such as that experienced by many with severe mental illness. It must also include active responses to include people with invisible disabilities from agencies working in Inclusive sports, inclusive sanitation and inclusive community-based development are the catch-cries of organisations working in disability.

Conclusion – Give your opinion and discuss the way forward.

Background :-

  • People with invisible disabilities continue to be excluded from participation and inclusion by the general public, the media and even the disability movement.
  • India has more than 10 million children with autism, 10 million people with epilepsy, more than 150 million people with a need of intervention for mental illness, and many more with varied physical disabilities

Invisible disabilities :-

  • Invisible disability, or hidden disability, are defined as disabilitiesthat are not immediately apparent. Some people with visual or auditory disabilities who do not wear glasses or hearing aids, or discreet hearing aids, may not be obviously disabled
  • People who cannot participate fully in society include those with problems such as renal failure, chronic back pain, epilepsy, mental illness and intellectual disability. They are a large proportion of the millions of Indian people who live with a disability. They are disabled as much by the structures that limit their ability to participate such as schooling that relies exclusively on literacy and thus limits learning opportunities for learning for young people with intellectual disability. 
  • Many people with disabilities cannot be identified by a casual observer as they don’t have the identity ‘badges’ of a wheelchair, or a crutch, or a hearing aid and thus their needs are often ignored

Why disability should include invisible disabilities :-

  • The United Nations Convention on the rights of persons with disability tells that persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full participation in society on an equal basis with others.
  • The Rights of persons with Disability Act of India, 2016, also clarifies that disability includes people with mental illness, epilepsy, intellectual impairment and other disabilities which are not evident to a casual observer.
  • People with invisible and psycho-social disabilities are not equally included, represented or given equal voice or resources.

What needs to be done?

  • Inclusion and empowerment of people with visible and invisible disabilities must include policy action by the Ministry of Social Empowerment and Justice.
  • The criteria and process for identifying people and certifying people with disability must find processes to recognise the disability of people with fluctuating disability such as that experienced by many with severe mental illness.
    • It must also include active responses to include people with invisible disabilities from agencies working in Inclusive sports, inclusive sanitation and inclusive community-based development are the catch-cries of organisations working in disability.
  • There is still a lack of specialists to deal with mental and physical disorders.India just has one psychiatristfor every 400,000 people.this needs to change.
  • There needs to be online and offline awareness and intervention programmes for physical and mental disabilities.
  • There is a need to provide parents with professional counselling when their child is diagnosed with a disability. The sooner we help a parent bridge the gap between denial and acceptance of a child’s disability, the better they will be able to help their child in the future.
  • People living with disorders and disabilities need to be encouraged to share their story with those around them so that people can better understand how to support them. 

Topic: Part of static series under the heading – “World History”

4) “New imperialism was a nationalistic, not an economic phenomenon.” Critically examine.(250 words)

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain what new imperialism is and post that, examine the factors that led to its rise and continuation. We have to debate whether there were only nationalistic imperatives or whether economic imperatives led to its rise. Finally we need to provide our fair and balanced opinion.

Directive word

Critically examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, all you need to do is look at the good and bad of something and give a fair judgement.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain that new imperialism was a period of colonial expansion and its accompanying ideology by the European powers, USA, Japan etc during the late 19th and early 20th century.

Body

  • First, explain why new imperialism can be considered as a nationalistic phenomenan. The later part of the 19th century was a period of intense Nationalism. Nationalism came to be also created with Chauvinism. Many nations developed myths of their superiority over other people. Each one felt that it too, must have colonies to add to its prestige and power. Imperialism became the fashion of the age.  Writers and speakers in England, France and Germany opened institutions to promote the idea of imperialism, and took great pride in calling their territories empires. Imperialist countries took over some places in Asia and Africa because of their military or strategic importance. The imperialist nations established naval bases and coaling stations to strengthen her overseas empire. Rival nations got similar base elsewhere. Acquiring a colony also had a chain reaction. If a country needed a colony, it needed another to protect it and so on. Overseas possessions were also useful because they added to an imperialist country’s manpower. Some of the people of the colonized countries were taken into the enemy, for use in wars and conquests.
  • Discuss the economic imperatives of new imperialism – New Imperialism was as economic as it was nationalistic. The imperial countries acquired colonies because the colonies served their economic referents. The industrial Revolution resulted in a very great increase in the production of goods. It also created the capitates system of production. The production of goods was far in excess of the demand at home. So capitalist countries had to find new markets and buyers for the goods their industries were producing. The possibilities of one industrialized country were also limited. European countries could find markets for their surplus goods in Asia and Africa. In addition to the markets, the imperial powers needed new sources of raw-materials to feed over growing number of industries. For attaining this objective, the imperial powers established their colonial stronghold over parts of Asia and Africa and patrolled the areas among themselves.

Conclusion – give a fair and balanced conclusion on following lines – New Imperialism thus was fed on as much as nationalism as on economic forces. It was not either Nationalism or economic considerations alone but the two acting in tandem that drove New Imperialism.

New imperialism:-

  • New Imperialism refers to the wave of colonial expansion that began in the late nineteenth century and continued until World War I. During this period, many European countries, the United States, and Japan snatched up an unprecedented amount of land around the globe.

Why is it a nationalistic phenomenon:

  • Many nations developed myths of their superiority over other people. Each one felt that it too, must have colonies to add to its prestige and power. Imperialism became the fashion of the age.
  • Writers and speakers in England, France and Germany opened institutions to promote the idea of imperialism, and took great pride in calling their territories empires.
  • Imperialist countries took over some places in Asia and Africa because of their military or strategic importance.
  • The establishment of nation-states of Germany and Italy resolved territorial issues. The years till 1914 would be marked by an extremely unstable peace and fierce competition for colonies among European powers.
  • Colonies were a source of international prestige for colonial powers.

Economic phenomena:-

  • There was great demand for natural resources not found in western countries like rubber,oil and tin. Instead of trading European powers preferred direct control over the areas where raw materials were found.
  • The growing of European industry , the increase in production capacity and the surplus of capital created the necessity of finding new markets.
  • Also economic expansion made it necessary for cheap labour ,access to or control of markets to sell or buy products. Thus people living in western countries supported colonial policies.
  • The existence of competition between the nation states contributed to growth of new imperialism.
  • Imperial countries acquired colonies because the colonies served their economic referents
    • The production of goods was far in excess of the demand at home. So capitalist countries had to find new markets and buyers for the goods their industries were producing. 
    • The possibilities of one industrialized country were also limited. European countries could find markets for their surplus goods in Asia and Africa.
    • In addition to the markets, the imperial powers needed new sources of raw-materials to feed over growing number of industries. For attaining this objective, the imperial powers established their colonial stronghold over parts of Asia and Africa and patrolled the areas among themselves.

Conclusion:-

  • The New Imperialism thus was fed on as much as nationalism as on economic forces. It was not either Nationalism or economic considerations alone but the two acting in tandem that drove the New Imperialism.

 


General Studies – 2


Topic: Issues related to health

5) Health and Wellness centres as envisaged in Ayushman Bharat will play a key role in strengthening primary health care in India. Discuss. (250 words) 

Financial express

Why this question

The article discusses the importance of strengthening primary health care, highlights why PHC is important and the ways through which Health and wellness centre can be a vital step towards improving primary health outcomes. In light of Ayushman Bharat scheme and the fact that health and wellness centre form an important component of the scheme, the question becomes important.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to first briefly focus upon why improving PHC is critical. Thereafter, we need to explain what health and wellness centres seek to achieve and how they focus on strengthening primary health care. Next, we need to bring out the obstacles going forward and discuss what needs to be done.

Directive word

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight that the Union government’s policy push for developing health and wellness centres is a well thought out step for renewing focus on comprehensive primary care.

Body

  • Discuss why focussing on PHC is critical – to reduce out of pocket expenditure, most developed nations have a strong PHC network etc
  • Explain the objective of creating Health and wellness centres – National Health Mission too has planned to strengthen sub centres as Health & Wellness Centers (H&WCs) for implementing public health programmes better and to enable comprehensive primary health care service delivery, including disease prevention and health promotion. The policy expresses the specific need of providing healthcare in the farflung corners of the country through upgraded sub centers by converting them into Health & Wellness Centres.
  • Discuss the advantages of Health and Wellness centres – These centres are intended to provide outpatient care, immunisation, maternal and child health services, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and other services. These centres will be linked to secondary and tertiary care and will be supplied with adequate drugs and diagnostic services. Once developed, these centres will help ameliorating basic health problems including early diagnosis and treatment of NCDs, avoiding complications in the latter stage and thereby, lessening costs of treatments. This would translate into reduction of costs at the secondary- and tertiary-care levels.
  • Discuss the advantages offered by this approach over the current approach.

Conclusion – Discuss in your opinion the balance of advantages and limitations of the said approach and highlight way forward.

Background:-

  • Experiences of several countries show that investing in primary healthcare leads to allocative efficiency by bringing a range of preventive, curative, promotive and rehabilitative services closer to the people. Countries with greater primary care orientation have lower rate of mortality and better health outcomes.
  • The Union government’s policy push for developing health and wellness centres is a well thought out step for renewing focus on comprehensive primary care

How will health and wellness centres promote primary healthcare:-

  • These centres are intended to provide outpatient care, immunisation, maternal and child health services, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and other services.
  • These centres will be linked to secondary and tertiary care and will be supplied with adequate drugs and diagnostic services.
    • Once developed, these centres will help ameliorating basic health problems including early diagnosis and treatment of NCDs, avoiding complications in the latter stage and thereby, lessening costs of treatments. This would translate into reduction of costs at the secondary- and tertiary-care levels.
  • Ayushman Bharat – a component of which intends to provide insurance coverage of 5 lakh to 500 million people is envisaged to alleviate household out-of-pocket expenditure to a large extent. This, along with wellness centres will provide ample impetus to achieve universal healthcare. This can contribute to realising India’s SDG commitments that aim to provide appropriate and high-quality healthcare to all with adequate financial protection.
  • Proposed centres are supposed to be the main points of contact for communities with the public health system and better versions of existing health sub-centres and primary health centres. The centres will provide primary, outpatient care and referral access to secondary and tertiary health care when needed.
  • Services will not be limited as they are now to pregnancy care, immunisation and some communicable diseases that represent less than 10% of morbidity. A Health and Wellness Center will handle more than 70% of all outpatient care including non-communicable diseases and mental illnesses.
  • These centres will also provide free essential drugs and diagnostic services.
    • The role of the doctor and specialist will be extended from making a diagnosis and treatment plan to ensuring medication compliance for chronic illness and follow up care delivered close to home.
    • The centre will have a much wider range of free drugs and diagnostics, including many that need to be prescribed but can be made available  locally by the health workers.
  • Case study:-
    • Recently released pilot study from Tamil Nadu of some 67 health centres upgraded to Health and Wellness Centres shows that out-of-pocket expenditure has been reduced dramatically and has become almost negligible. At the same time people’s access and utilisation of healthcare has greatly improved within just one year.

Some issues need to be dealt with :-

  • India’s health and wellness centres borrows from these international examples of more comprehensive primary healthcare. India’s health and wellness centres are currently designed to cater to 3,000 to 5,000 people with three nurses or paramedical workers.

What needs to be done :-

  • The current approach requires re-emphasising the missing priority on PHCs and CHCs for developing comprehensive primary care. Achieving comprehensive primary care requires a paradigm shift from disease-control vertical programmes to community-led, people-oriented primary care.
  • Sharper focus in the resource-starved states should be on improving efficiency in spending without compromising equity, and this can be attained by designing programmes that would cover a large number of people and a wide range of diseases
    • Since the states have higher responsibility than the Centre in matters related to health, the blueprints of primary care can further be redefined in view of the local needs. This should be the policy agenda for the low-performing and resource-constrained states.
  • It is relevant to develop low-cost primary care service delivery models involving nurses and allied health professionals which can lower the burden on the public health system marked by the stress of a low doctor-strength.
  • India needs to design health services to meet local needs with opposite referral mechanism to secondary- and tertiary-care, and this can produce better health outcomes with a considerable cost-advantage. In this context, the role of public health professionals, those who can help design outreach and preventive programmes and implement the continuing health programme effectively, assumes paramount importance.
  • India lacks the required number of public health professionals. The shortage is severe in many parts of the country, especially poorer states like Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. The focus should be to train a pool of social workers, psychiatrists, counsellors with public health orientation who could then transform the primary healthcare delivery system in the country.
  • Approximately, 51% of total government expenditure on health is spent on primary care. This needs to be stepped up to at least two-third of the government expenditure as suggested in the health policy document of India.
  • Reorienting resources towards population-based preventive programmes will help set the allocation of scare resources for larger social benefits right.

 


General Studies – 3


Topic – Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

6) The conversation on raising farmer income needs to embrace non-farm diversification. Examine, with examples. (250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

The government has an objective of doubling farmers’ income by 2022. However farming distress is worsening and there are not much hopes in this regard. Therefore it is vital to discuss as to how farmers’ income can be doubled by analyzing the role of non-farm diversification.

Directive word

Examine- here we have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any.  

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to delve deeper into the agricultural crisis in India and bring out the need for non-farm diversification so as to increase the farmers’ income.

Structure of the answer

Introduction-

Write a few introductory lines about the  issues plaguing the agricultural sector- small and marginal landholdings, lack of access to agricultural credit, environmental degradation, low value addition etc, which in turn affect the agricultural income.

Body-

  1. Bring out the need for non-farm diversification. E.g A recent survey by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (All India Rural Financial Inclusion Survey) shows that the average monthly income of rural households is ₹8,059, with agricultural households deriving only 43% of their income from agriculture; most of it is from providing daily wage labour and government jobs; The government has sought to double farmer income by raising minimum support prices, but such initiatives would apply directly only to 48% of rural India, with non-agricultural households being left behind; Diversification, away from marginal farming, helps to overcome land constraint to income growth, while allowing farmers to cope with exogenous shocks through additional income. In some cases, it ‘even allows them to reinvest in productivity enhancing agricultural technologies’ etc.
  2. Discuss the examples of non farm diversification. E.g discuss the importance of livestock and improving the conditions of construction workers, the two areas which employ agricultural families/ workers on a large scale.

Conclusion- based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.

Background:-

  • Agriculture is the primary source of livelihood for about 58 per cent of India’s population. Gross Value Added by agriculture, forestry and fishing is estimated at Rs 17.67 trillion. Yet Indian agriculture faces multiple issues like small and marginal landholdings, lack of access to agricultural credit, environmental degradation, low value addition etc, which in turn affect the agricultural income.

Why there is a need for non form diversification:-

  • Recent survey by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (All India Rural Financial Inclusion Survey) shows that the average monthly income of rural households is Rs. 8,059, with agricultural households deriving only 43% of their income from agriculture. Most of it is from providing daily wage labour and government jobs.
  • The government has sought to double farmer income by raising minimum support prices, but such initiatives would apply directly only to 48% of rural India, with non-agricultural households being left behind
  • Diversification, away from marginal farming, helps to overcome land constraint to income growth, while allowing farmers to cope with exogenous shocks through additional income.
  • It even allows them to reinvest in productivity enhancing agricultural technologies
  • Conversation on raising farmer income needs to embrace non-farm diversification, an important pathway for empowering landless labourers and marginal farmers.

How farmers income can be doubled by analyzing the role of non-farm diversification :-

  • Livestock sector:-
    • Livestock sector can offer significant opportunities for bolstering non-farm income. The current breeding policy needs to be revamped.
    • A national breeding policy is also needed to upgrade the best performing indigenous breeds. Buffalo breeding ought to be given more attention, while poultry breeding should be focussed on conservation.
    • State governments should be encouraged to participate in national breeding policy implementation, creating an environment for competition among alternative suppliers of artificial insemination.
    • Consensus must be built among breeders to develop indigenous breeds.
    • Geographical information system-based analysis must be utilised to map production systems. Private investment must also be encouraged.
    • The government needs to create better incentive structures for investment in livestock in the States that are lagging while harmonising rules, regulations and regulatory authorities across States.
    • State governments should sponsor research and assessment of the market, along with highlighting investment potential.
  • Improving the conditions of migrant workers in the construction sector requires a multi-pronged approach.
    • India has to enable migrant workers to get deserved access to various government (Central and State) schemes, despite the lack of identity proof.
    • Access to Anganwadi facilities should be provided regardless of their identity documents.
    • While multiple laws exist for the welfare of construction workers, compliance is abysmal. The penalties for non-compliance have to be increased to a significant fraction of the construction cost, payable by the builder.
    • Registration of workers with the Welfare Board should be made mandatory and be the responsibility of the contractor and the builder.
    • The registration cards should be linked to their Jan-Dhan accounts, and transfer of payments on a periodic basis be made directly to their accounts.
    • In order to improve the condition of women, strict anti-harassment laws should be implemented. Creche facilities at construction sites should be provided to also ensure that children are not neglected
  • India’s rural development policies should increasingly focus on developing markets, infrastructure and institutions that can help sectors such as livestock and construction growth. While India’s post-Independence rural policy has primarily been about driving people away from agriculture and towards cities, India must now incentivise job creation at their doorstep.

Topic – Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

7) In the wake of the recent scientific reports on Climate change, it is imperative to finalise the rule book by 2018. Comment.(250 words) 

Indian express

Why this question

The IPCC has recently released its report on climate change and the future prospects. Rule book under the Paris Climate pact is also being prepared in Katowice, Poland and is an important document as far as our endeavours against climate change are concerned.

Directive word

Comment- here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to express our knowledge and understanding of the recently released scientific reports in relation to climate change. It also wants us to express our opinion as to why framing the rule book under the Paris Climate pact is to be done at earnest.

Structure of the answer

Introduction-

write a few introductory lines about the  recently released report of IPCC. E.g The report presented last month has said that to attain the 1.5°C target, the world needs to bring down its greenhouse gas emissions to about half of its 2010 levels by 2030, and to net zero by about 2050.

Body-

  1. Discuss about the other reports in brief detail. E.g This week’s Emissions Gap report, released by the UN Environment Program, has said if the countries do not substantially enhance their actions before 2030, the 1.5° target would get out of reach. Calling for “unprecedented and urgent action”, it has reported that total annual global greenhouse gas emissions in 2017, at 53.5 billion tonnes carbon dioxide-equivalent, was 0.7 billion tonnes higher than the previous year. This is the first time in four years that the total emission has shown an increase; Last week, the World Meteorological Organization reported that global average surface temperatures in 2018 was all set to be the fourth highest ever recorded. The 20 warmest years have all been in the last 22 years, with the top four being the last four years etc.
  2. Discuss the meaning and importance of the rule book to be formed as per the Paris Climate pact. E.g rule book will consist of rules, procedures, guidelines, and institutional mechanisms through which the provisions of the Paris Agreement would be implemented. These include such things as agreeing on accounting standards to measure emissions, processes for monitoring, reporting and verification (commonly referred to as MRV in climate negotiation circles) of actions being taken by individual countries, mechanisms to raise financial resources and ensure the flow of funds for climate projects, and institutions to facilitate the diffusion of appropriate technologies to countries and regions that need them.

Conclusion- based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.

Background:-

  • The current measures announced by countries, some already under way and others to be implemented in the coming years, were hugely inadequate for achieving the agreed objective of keeping the rise in global temperatures within 2°C from pre-industrial times.

Other reports :-

  • Emissions Gap report, released by the UN Environment Program, has said if the countries do not substantially enhance their actions before 2030, the 1.5° target would get out of reach.
    • Calling for unprecedented and urgent action, it has reported that total annual global greenhouse gas emissions in 2017, at 53.5 billion tonnes carbon dioxide-equivalent, was 0.7 billion tonnes higher than the previous year. This is the first time in four years that the total emission has shown an increase.
  • The World Meteorological Organization reported that global average surface temperatures in 2018 was all set to be the fourth highest ever recorded. The 20 warmest years have all been in the last 22 years, with the top four being the last four years etc.
  • Recently published IPCC report states that to reach the target of global temperature to 1.5°C below pre-industrial levels, countries need to reduce to half of 2010 by 2030 and to net zero by 2050.

Rule book is necessary:-

  • Rule book will consist of rules, procedures, guidelines, and institutional mechanisms through which the provisions of the Paris Agreement would be implemented.
    • These include such things as agreeing on accounting standards to measure emissions, processes for monitoring, reporting and verification (commonly referred to as MRV in climate negotiation circles) of actions being taken by individual countries, mechanisms to raise financial resources and ensure the flow of funds for climate projects, and institutions to facilitate the diffusion of appropriate technologies to countries and regions that need them.
  • Most of the issues to be dealt with and agreed upon, notably those relating to finance, technology, and MRV, are highly contentious, and the negotiators face an uphill task. These can be resolved if a clear rule book is available.
  • Financial irregularities in form of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) can be easily tracked.

Conclusion:-

  • Rule book will give impetus to the collective efforts made by the countries in mitigating climate change and lead to early implementation of targets intended.

 


General Studies – 4


Topic– Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s

8) What do you understand by a code of conduct. What purpose does it serve. Discuss.(250 words)

Reference

Directive word

Discuss- this is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. we also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to give a detailed description of the code of conduct and also bring out in detail, the purpose and advantages of having a code of conduct in place.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  Code of Conduct. E.g give a simple but complete definition of code of conduct.

Body

Discuss the purposes a code of conduct serves. E.g it clarifies an organization’s mission, values and principles, linking them with standards of professional conduct. The code articulates the values the organization wishes to foster in leaders and employees and, in doing so, defines desired behavior. As a result, written codes of conduct or ethics can become benchmarks against which individual and organizational performance can be measured; it is a central guide and reference for employees to support day-to-day decision making. A code encourages discussions of ethics and compliance, empowering employees to handle ethical dilemmas they encounter in everyday work; encourages compliance with law etc.

Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.

Answer:-

Codes of conduct represents the set of enforceable rules that should be followed by a person in an organisation. Codes, along with other measures, have helped some companies dig themselves out of scandals, and have helped many companies build a healthier work climate and reputation.

A Code of Conduct applies the Code of Ethics to a host of relevant situations. A particular rule in the Code of Ethics might state that all employees will obey the law, a Code of Conduct might list several specific laws relevant to different areas of organizational operations, or industry, that employees need to obey.

Purposes it serves are :-

  • The Code of Conduct outlines specific behaviours that are required or prohibited as a condition of ongoing employment. It might forbid sexual harassment, racial intimidation or viewing inappropriate or unauthorized content on company computers.
  • It is used in an attempt to regulate behavior in very different ways.
  • Code of conductis a set of guidelines that influence employee’s actions.
  • Code of Conduct are originated from the code of ethics, and it converts the rules into specific guidelines, that must be followed by the members of the organisation.
  • Code of Conduct is addressed to employees only.
  • Code of Conduct is focused on compliance and rules
  • The organization’s desire is to obtain a narrow range of acceptable behaviors from employees
    • Conduct regulations assert that some specific actions are appropriate, others inappropriate. 
  • Code of conduct consists of provisions general to all employees so some acts which are not mentioned might be considered ethical despite their unethical nature.It  becomes a legal impediment in governance due to its rigidity which can affect the public servant leading to policy paralysis.
  • A well-written code of conduct clarifies an organization’s mission, values and principles, linking them with standards of professional conduct. The code articulates the values the organization wishes to foster in leaders and employees and, in doing so, defines desired behavior. As a result, written codes of conduct or ethics can become benchmarksagainst which individual and organizational performance can be measured.
  • Additionally, a code is a central guide and reference for employeesto support day-to-day decision making. A code encourages discussions of ethics and compliance, empowering employees to handle ethical dilemmas they encounter in everyday .
  • Strict code of conduct in financial sector would ensure ethics in the employeesand would have avoided  and punished instances like recent Nirav Modi scam where ethics of the bank employees was under question.

Conclusion:-

  • Code of Conduct is actually extracted from the Code of Ethics. Codes are beneficial for businesses of any size and nature as the codes lays down direction which is helpful for employees, to behave in a particular manner and also making a public image of ethical behaviour.