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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 08 JANUARY 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 08 JANUARY 2019


NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.


Topic– Factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India)

1) India’s unprecedented economic growth during the last two decades has been spearheaded by lopsided spatial development, with clusters of economic activity concentrated in a few highly dense megacities. Examine. (250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

This article rues the fact that spatial development in India both in manufacturing and services has been uneven which has affected employment, inequality, growth etc. The article provides a good perspective on the issue and needs to be prepared.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to first shed light on the statement mentioned by explaining what is meant by uneven spatial development, and how it manifests. Thereafter, we need to explain the reasons behind such uneven spatial development, discuss its impact and suggest ways through which this trend can be reversed.

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 that uneven spatial development means that industries and services are concentrated in high density economically developed area and engines of growth have failed to spread to less dense secondary cities.

Body

  • Highlight that uneven spatial development can be seen both in manufacturing as well as services sector. Explain that unlike in China, Europe and the US, where the engines of growth and job creation have spread to the secondary cities, in India medium-sized cities remain mired in joblessness and poverty.
  • Highlight that India’s manufacturing sector is spatially spreading at a much faster pace than the services sector. The low-density manufacturing districts are growing at a much faster pace than high-density districts in India.
  • Discuss the reasons for such uneven spatial development
    • manufacturing sector has not spread to all districts. Only those districts that have improved their physical and human infrastructure have attracted manufacturing enterprises
    • While large manufacturing enterprises are moving away from more congested megacities into secondary cities, this is not happening at a faster pace to create more jobs.
    • High-density service clusters have continued to grow at a much faster pace than less dense areas and more dense locations have become more concentrated over time.
  • Examine the impact of such uneven spatial development such as poverty, joblessness, inequality, social disharmony etc
  • Discuss how this trend can be reversed

Conclusion – Highlight that the trend needs to change and discuss the way forward.

Introduction:

                Uneven spatial development refers to the concentration of industries and services in high density economically developed areas. In other words, the clusters of economic activity are concentrated in a few highly dense megacities and engines of growth have failed to spread to less dense secondary cities.

                India’s unprecedented economic growth during the last two decades has been spearheaded by lopsided spatial development.

Body:

Trends of Uneven Spatial Development in India:

  • Uneven spatial development is common in many countries, but it is much more pronounced in India.
  • A majority of the population in India still lives outside megacities, this has created huge spatial disparities.
  • Unlike in China, Europe and the US, where the engines of growth and job creation have spread to the secondary cities, in India medium-sized cities remain mired in joblessness and poverty.
  • India’s manufacturing sector is spatially spreading at a much faster pace than the services sector.
  • The low-density manufacturing districts are growing at a much faster pace than high-density districts in India.
  • High-density service clusters (Example: Bangalore, Mumbai) have continued to grow at a much faster pace than less dense areas (Example: Pune, Chandigarh) and more dense locations have become more concentrated over time.

The reasons for such uneven spatial development are

  • Infrastructure:
    • The manufacturing sector has not spread to all districts. Only those districts that have improved their physical and human infrastructure have attracted manufacturing enterprises.
  • Employment Density prioritised:
    • Spatial development in any location is determined by the trade-offs between the forces of agglomeration economies and congestion costs.
    • Usually, Agglomeration economies are concentrated in locations with employment density below 150 employees per sq. km. Example: USA
    • In India, the concentration is in regions having density around 1000 employees per sq. km, giving higher priority to availability of labour.
  • Knowledge Spillover Benefits:
    • India’s megacities suffer from severe congestion costs, they also benefit from huge agglomeration economies and knowledge spillovers.
    • This leads to growth of many ancillary industries, start-ups especially in the services industry. With the IR4.0 on the rise, the congestion costs are overlooked for knowledge spillovers.

 

  • Spatial development policies and frictions:
    • Poor developmental policies in secondary cities.
    • Poor access to telecommunication and post-secondary education in secondary cities.
    • Some states offer Tax-Holidays for companies which attract them over others.
    • Failure of models like SEZ in India vis-à-vis China.
  • Economic Opportunities:
    • Push and Pull Migration factors are still largely at play.
    • This leads to migration of a lot of people to Megacities, in search of job opportunities.

The impacts of uneven spatial development are

  • Congestion Costs:
    • Locations with employment density above 150 employees per sq. km have experienced reduced employment growth, indicating important congestion costs.
    • UN Population Fund predicts that by Urbanization in India will rise to 40% by 2030.
  • Environmental Costs:
    • Unsustainable development of cities has huge ramifications on the environment.
    • Example: India already hosts 14 out of 15 most polluted cities in the world.
    • Other impacts like depletion of groundwater, reduced green lung spaces.
  • Economic Costs:
    • Concentration of high demand in few megacities leads to high cost of rents and in turn high cost of living.
    • Real Estate Bubble leading to increased Black Money circulation.
  • Social Costs:
    • Lack of economic activity in smaller cities leads to inequality, poverty and conflicts.
    • The poor socio-economic development can lead to extremism, secessionism and other dangerous trends.

Way Forward:

  • Quick need to increase connectivity and Infrastructure of the secondary cities. Initiatives like AMRUT, Smart cities, Digital India, BharatMala, PMGSY etc. can play a big role in spreading the manufacturing sector evenly.
  • Proper planning of peri-urban areas , increased connectivity to spread out the population evenly. Example: RURBAN scheme
  • Policymakers should improve access to telecommunication and post-secondary education in secondary cities. This will help in the spread of service sector to these cities.
  • Incentivisation for setting up manufacturing industries in underdeveloped areas. Example: National Industrial Manufacturing Zones can be set up.
  • Strengthening the allied activities like Food Processing through Food Parks. This will reduce the Push and Pull migration.
  • MSME’s are responsible for more than 14 crore jobs in India. Their growth must be boosted in smaller cities.

Conclusion:

                The flawed perception of Engines of Growth are tied to big cities must be shed. Secondary cities and the rural areas should be developed to reduce the lopsided spatial development currently happening in India.


 

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

2) J&K needs sustained coordinated efforts of public outreach from all stakeholders in order to establish long term peace in the state. Comment.(250 words)

Indianexpress

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  present situation in Kashmir. E.g Highest number of militants killed in a decade, governor’s rule followed by President’s rule etc.

Body-

Discuss the need for sustained and coordinated efforts of public outreach involving all the key stakeholders. E.g

  • While the army’s Operation Sadbhavna (a military civic action initiative of 20 years) has helped in extending marginal outreach, the lack of mass engagement has prevented the development of any perception change and the creation of alternative narratives to counter the propaganda from Pakistan and the separatists.
  • Need to engage the security personnel especially army and CRPF for public outreach and conduct of public meetings and include the politicians and the public officials along with.
  • Need to explore recruitment rallies, when youth are in a different state of mind.
  • Need to involve local clergy which has substantial hold on the local populace and seek its cooperation in messaging the youth and others on the uniqueness of the Indian system.
  • Exploitation of social media, as much as the countering of online propaganda.
  • Setting aside of the mutual fears of the people of Jammu and of Kashmir and bringing the people of Ladakh into this ambit as well.

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

Introduction:

        The insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir began in 1989 and has ebbed and flowed in the intervening years. In 2018, the death toll for militants and security forces in Kashmir touched the highest point in a decade, according to official figures, with more than 400 killed. The state of J&K is now under President’s rule owing to the failure of the coalition government, thereby wiping out of the people’s mandate. The absence of any meaningful political process to address Kashmiri grievances points to a more violent situation in the coming years.

Body:

                Outrage over the Shopian rape incident, invocation of collective conscience during Afzal Guru’s execution, the capture of the newsrooms in Delhi, the sanctimonious politics of rescue during the September 2014 floods, coalition government in 2015, pellet-gun-related mass blinding during the Burhan Wani agitation were some of the major provocations in last decade that pushed Kashmiris towards a suicidal upsurge against the Indian state. Thus, there is a shrinking democratic space and increased violence in the J&K.

There is a need for sustained and coordinated efforts of public outreach involving all the key stakeholders.

State:

  • Non-violent and democratic methods to achieve political aspirations.
  • The way out of the deadlock in Kashmir is to strengthen democracy.
  • Empowerment of Local Governments which involves people at the grassroots level.
  • Setting aside of the mutual fears of the people of Jammu and of Kashmir and bringing the people of Ladakh into this ambit as well.
  • Socio economic development through various governmental schemes.
  • Conducting recruitment rallies to employ the youth, who are in a different state of mind.

Security Forces:

  • While the army’s Operation Sadbhavna (a military civic action initiative of 20 years) has helped in extending marginal outreach, the lack of mass engagement has prevented the development of any perception change and the creation of alternative narratives to counter the propaganda from Pakistan and the separatists.
  • Direct outreach: conduct of public meetings or “awami sunwais” in the field in areas where the reach of the administration had become marginal. Example: Awami Sunwai’s of the past.
  • Maximum opportunity to the common citizens to speak, criticise and complain, so they can realise that there are enough people willing to listen rather than talk down to the common Kashmiri.
  • Need to engage the security personnel especially army and CRPF for public outreach and conduct of public meetings and include the politicians and the public officials along with.

Religious heads:

  • Involvement of local clergies who has substantial hold on the local populace and seek its cooperation in messaging the youth and others on the uniqueness of the Indian system.
  • Exploitation of social media, as much as the countering of online propaganda of radicalisation.

Non-State Actors:

  • The other major determinant is J&K is the part of Non-State Actors like Separatists, Neighbouring Pakistan and the state sponsored terrorists.
  • They have a considerable hold on the people and their opinions.
  • Engaging the non-state actors through interlocutors, Tier-2 diplomacy should help alleviate the fears and misunderstandings that have cropped up.

Media:

  • Media described as the fourth pillar of democracy plays a very vital role.
  • They are responsible for reporting of the incidents in a true and unvitiated manner. However, the political patronage and ownership by big media houses has made more one sided views.
  • With internet on the surge and ease of access of information at tips, they help in shaping the views and opinions of people.
  • Media should be ethical and democratic in its approach. It should spread the message of peace and harmony across people.

Conclusion:

                The spirit of accommodation and tolerance should be inculcated and must be practiced from lowest to top echelons of State to alleviate the mistrust of people in latter. Isolated efforts by different organisations prevent the emergence of a cogent strategy. As our ex-PM Vajpayee had once said: ‘Insaniyat, Jamhuriyat, Kashmiriyat’, which means humanity, peace, and keeping the sanctity of the people is the foundation for peace in J&K.


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

3) Explain the provisions of fugitive economic offenders act, 2018 and critically examine its impact?(250 words)

The hindu

prsindia

Why this question

Vijay Mallya is the first person to be declared a fugitive economic offender and thus we need to be aware of this development as well as the law behind it and it’s impact.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to first explain the key provisions of the bill and thereafter bring out why the Bill is significant and what will be it’s likely impact.

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 – Highlight that Vijay Mallya is the first person to be declared a fugitive economic offender.

Body

  • Discuss the key provisions of the Bill
    • applicable in cases where value exceeds 1000cr,
    • gives power for confiscation of property irrespective of whether the proceeds are on account of crime or not,
    • prohibits fugitives from pursuing civil cases in India
    • provides for confiscation of benami properties.
    • The Enforcement Directorate (ED) will be the apex agency to implement the law etc
  • Highlight that off late a number of economic offenders such as Nirav modi, Vijay Mallya etc who were supposed to face trial have escaped the clutches of law and this law is an attempt to bring them to book. The bill has been brought because existing civil and criminal provisions in law are inadequate to deal with the severity of the problems. The bill provides teeth to the powers enjoyed by law enforcement agencies to book such culprits.
  • Also highlight the cons of the law
    • Under the Bill, any court or tribunal may bar an FEO or an associated company from filing or defending civil claims before it.  Barring these persons from filing or defending civil claims may violate Article 21 of the Constitution i.e. the right to life. Article 21 has been interpreted to include the right to access justice
    • The Bill does not require the authorities to obtain a search warrant or ensure the presence of witnesses before a search.  This differs from other laws, such as the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973, which contain such safeguards. These safeguards protect against harassment and planting of evidence.

Conclusion – give your view on the need of this law and discuss way forward.

 

Introduction:

        Economic offences are on the rise with many scams surfacing recently. The Government enacted the fugitive economic offenders’ law in August 2018. Vijay Mallya became the first Indian to be declared a fugitive economic offender under the provisions of law. The decision comes against an application by the Enforcement Directorate before the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court to classify Mallya as a fugitive economic offender.

                       

Body:

        The key provisions of the Act are

 

  • The Act allows for a person to be declared as a fugitive economic offender (FEO) if: (i) an arrest warrant has been issued against him for any specified offences where the value involved is over Rs 100 crore, and (ii) he has left the country and refuses to return to face prosecution.
  • The Act makes provisions for a Court, ‘Special Court’ under the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002. A Director, appointed by the central government, will have to file an application to a Special Court.
  • The Act allows authorities to provisionally attach properties of an accused, while the application is pending before the Special Court.
  • Upon declaration as an FEO, properties including benami properties of a person may be confiscated and vested in the central government, free of encumbrances (rights and claims in the property).
  • The FEO or any company associated with him may be barred from filing or defending civil claims.

 

There have been several instances of economic offenders fleeing the jurisdiction of Indian courts. Vijay Mallya fled the country to avoid being arrested for economic fraud, recent Nirav Modi–PNB fraud. The existing civil and criminal provisions in law are not entirely adequate to deal with the severity of the problem. The Act comes as an effective, expeditious and constitutionally permissible deterrent against fugitive economic offenders. It also helps banks and other financial institutions to achieve higher recovery from financial defaults. The act provides teeth to the powers enjoyed by law enforcement agencies to book such culprits.

There are some cons of the law:

  • Against Right to Life: Any court or tribunal may bar an FEO or an associated company from filing or defending civil claims before it. Barring these persons from filing or defending civil claims may violate Article 21 of the Constitution i.e. the right to life. Article 21 has been interpreted to include the right to access justice.

 

  • Higher Threshold: The threshold level of Rs 100 Cr will let many offenders with lower credits go scot free. This is also against Right to Equality.

 

  • Possibilities of Witch-hunt: The Bill does not require the authorities to obtain a search warrant or ensure the presence of witnesses before a search. This differs from other laws, such as the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973, which contain such safeguards. These safeguards protect against harassment and planting of evidence.

 

  • Procedural Delays: Proceedings for forfeiture of property have been marked by shortcomings and procedural delays. Disposal of confiscated assets has not been easy, especially at a price sufficient to recoup losses or pay off all creditors. The uncertainty of deterrence due to threat of confiscation of property looms large.
    • Example: A case in point is Sahara’s Amby Valley, which despite efforts by Bombay high court’s official liquidator has been unable to find suitable buyers for almost a year.

 

  • Legal challenges: The confiscation is not limited to the proceeds of crime. It further extends to any asset owned by an offender, including benami property. Such clauses are liable for legal challenge, especially if there are third party interests and doubts about real ownership.

 

Way Forward:

  • To avoid failed attempts at sale the bill should provide for time limits for disposal and encashment of property, separate limits for movable-immovable property and running business. Any property which would be subject to valuation loss over a period of time must be disposed of quickly.
  • To further strengthen it, the bill should separately provide for dealing with siphoning off of funds, round-tripping, and employing any scheme or edifice to cause loss.
  • India has presented a nine-point programme to take action against fugitive economic offenders at the ongoing G20 Summit in Argentina.

Topic – Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian
Diaspora.

4) Critically analyze the significance of Asia Reassurance Initiative Act for India?(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

America recently enacted the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA), which promises to bring back fresh focus to American priorities in the Indo-Pacific. This is going to have a sizeable impact on India’s interests in the region and needs to be analyzed.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain India’s interest in Asia Pacific and explain the pros and cons of the said act on India’s interests in the region. Finally we need to provide a fair and balanced opinion and discuss the way forward.

Directive word

Critically analyze – When asked to analyze, you  have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary. 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 America recently enacted the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA), which promises to bring back fresh focus to American priorities in the Indo-Pacific.

Body

  • Explain in detail about the Act. It spells out a long-term strategy for the Indo-Pacific. It conveys willingness of the Congress to support financial appropriations for initiatives the US Administration may bring before it in realising various components of the strategy.
  • Discuss India’s interest in the region
    • India is worried about the prospect of American withdrawal from Afghanistan as well as about the inroads that China is making in India’s neighborhood.
    • A third concern is more broadly the challenge that China poses to India, both militarily and politically.
    • So, New Delhi is likely to judge this Act on how it will address these three challenges.
  • Explain the positives of this act for India.
    • reiterates India’s significance in the U.S. strategy in the region. The Act notes India as a Major Defense Partner, a “unique” status for India, which would ease defense trade and sharing of technology, including “license-free access to a wide range of dual-use technologies” as well as promote greater coordination on security policies and strategies and increased military-to-military engagements
    • congressional action comes immediately after Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Whether the congressional action will slow down or alter American withdrawal remains to be seen. Trump is reportedly considering changes to his approach to Syria, including slowing down a reduced presence.
    • represents a relatively greater level of commitment to the region than the earlier ‘Pivot to Asia’ declared by President Obama in 2013 that turned out to be mainly a rhetorical flourish
    • ARIA is important because it manifests a change in US perception of China from it being a competitor to now an adversary. The Act expresses ‘grave concerns with Chinese actions
    • ARIA embraces the concept of Indo-Pacific in place of the earlier focus on Asia-Pacific. The difference between the two concepts is the inclusion of India as an integral part of the geostrategic space that the US sees as the main theatre of contestation with China.
  • Discuss the limitations in the act in altering the status quo
    • The amount indicated is modest, a mere $1.5 billion per year for the next five years, hardly commensurate with the scale of ambition ARIA manifests. Etc

Conclusion – Give a fair and balanced opinion, based on arguments made, on the significance of the Act for India and discuss way forward.

 

Introduction:

        Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA) was recently signed by the President of the US. The Act promises to bring back fresh focus to American priorities in the Indo-Pacific. It specifically calls for America’s increased engagement in the Indo-Pacific region and strengthened support, including arms sales, for U.S. allies in the region.

 

Body:

 

Importance of ARIA:

  • The Act assumes particular importance in the context of China’s expanding and aggressive footprint across Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania.
  • The responses by the United States as well as its allies, partners, and friends in the region.
  • The act develops a long-term strategic vision and a comprehensive, multifaceted, and principled United States policy for the Indo-Pacific region.
  • India has a lot of strategic interests at stake with the geopolitical dynamics in a constant flux.
  • India’s worries about the prospect of American withdrawal from Afghanistan.
  • China is making inroads in India’s neighbourhood.
  • The challenge that China poses to India, both militarily and politically.

 

With growing strategic partnership and increasing trade with the USA, the policies are imperative. The positives of ARIA for India:

 

  • Special importance:
  • ARIA reiterates India’s significance in the U.S. strategy in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • The Act notes India as a Major Defence Partner, a “unique” status for India, which would ease defence trade and sharing of technology. Example: license-free access to a wide range of dual-use technologies
  • It promotes greater coordination on security policies and strategies and increased military-to-military engagements.
  • US Policies in West Asia and Afghanistan:
  • The decision of Withdrawal of the troops from Afghanistan has implied security concerns from India.
  • Similar moves in the Syria approach including slowing down a reduced presence.
  • Countering China’s hegemony:
  • ARIA manifests a change in US perception of China from it being a competitor to now an adversary.
  • The Act expresses ‘grave concerns with Chinese actions that seek (i) to further constrain space for civil society and religion within China; and (ii) to undermine a rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific region’.
  • It demonstrates a broad consensus in the US that China is a threat not only to its security interests, but also an economic and even ideological rival.
  • This is also reflected in the explicit commitment to helping Taiwan maintain ‘asymmetric’ military capabilities vis-à-vis China.

 

The Limitations of the ARIA:              

  • The special importance in practical terms, this doesn’t change very much. It is more of a symbolic element.
  • India is considered a partner in Indo-Pacific region, however India’s action in Afghanistan is not taken into consideration by the USA.
  • The Act does talk about countering China’s coercive economic policies. This is a tactic used by China to trap the Indian neighbour with debt and then use them as leverage against India. India’s limited capacity to provide an alternative has been an issue.
  • The financial support indicated is modest, a mere $1.5 billion per year for the next five years, hardly commensurate with the scale of ambition ARIA manifests.
  • US pressure on China is helpful, but a confrontation, which forces countries to take sides, may not be welcome.
  • India, like other American partners in Asia, has had concerns about Washington’s commitment to the region. This Act is not likely to remove those concerns.

Conclusion:

The law calls for developing a diplomatic strategy that includes working with United States allies and partners to conduct joint maritime training and freedom of navigation operations in the Indo-Pacific region, including the East China Sea and the South China Sea, in support of a rules-based international system benefiting all countries.


Topic-   Storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related
constraints.

5) Among several options being contemplated to address agricultural distress in the country, direct income/ investment support is the most prudent option. Critically analyze.(250 words)

Indianexpress

Structure of the answer

Introduction- write a few introductory lines about the  various options being discussed in political and media circles about addressing farmers’ distress. E.g Loan waiver schemes, Increased MSPs and Direct Cash/ Investment support.

Body-

  1. DIscuss the cons of first two options briefly-
  • Loan waiver schemes- Only helps large farmers who are able to take institutional credit; it is a band aid solution not a comprehensive one; It enforces and strengthens uneconomical populism and abjures the government from its responsibilities etc.
  • Increased MSPs – Only helps a fraction of farmers especially those growing Wheat< Rice and Sugarcane; Higher Chances of corruption in this model; Also it helps mainly large farmers who are able to have sufficient surplus etc.
  1. Discuss the pros of the direct income/ investment support. E.g
  • It can be enforced to include almost all the farmers who have access to formal banking channels (Jan-Dhan Accounts)
  • Provides financial help at proper time/ season.
  • Helps large as well as small farmers and can even be capped to limit unwarrantedly huge transfers to rich farmers.
  • No corruption issue.

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

 

 

Introduction:

The lack of remunerative prices for the crops is one of the main reasons for Agrarian distress in India today. The various options like Minimum Support Price for about 25 crops, Farm Loan Waiver schemes undertaken by various state governments have failed to alleviate the problem. The Direct Cash/Investment scheme has however fared better and is a prudent scheme.

                       

Body:

 

        Farm Loan- waiver schemes are a band-aid solution as Agriculture in India has been facing many issues over a period of time. Many small farmers aren’t eligible for bank credit, making them borrow at exorbitant interest rates from private sources.

        However, Loan-Waivers is not a comprehensive solution because

  • It entails a moral hazard even those who can afford to pay may not, in the expectation of a waiver.
  • According to NABARD’s Financial Inclusion Survey (NAFIS), only about 30.3 % of Indian agri-households took loans from institutions.
  • It enforces and strengthens uneconomical populism and abjures the government from its responsibilities.
  • Further, studies have revealed that the small and marginal farmers constituting about 85% of all farmers are mostly not benefitting from waivers.
  • A study by RythuSwarajyaVedika in June 2018 showed that 75% of farmer suicides in Telangana are by tenant farmers, who have no or least access to formal credit.

 

Minimum Support Prices: Price volatility makes life difficult for farmers. MSPs ensure that farmers get a minimum price for their produce in adverse markets.

However, MSPs also have many cons

  • Most of the small farmers have failed to get MSP as they don’t produce marketable surplus.
  • As per NSSO 2012-13, less than 10 per cent of the country’s farmers sold their produce at MSPs — the percentage though is a little higher for sugarcane, wheat and rice farmers.
  • MSP has failed to keep pace with the input costs (as per CACP Data).
  • Only about 6% of the farmers were aware of MSP.
  • High leakages and wastage in procurement have failed MSP.
  • Large-scale corruption also left farmers high and dry.
  • MSPs have lead to promotion of cultivation of water intensive crops like Paddy and Sugarcane.
  • The criticism of Economists, MSPs leading to Inflation, market distortion and mono-crop culture is also a grave matter of concern.

Direct Cash/Intervention Scheme:  This involves the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) of the cash to the farmers.

  • It can be enforced to include almost all the farmers who have access to formal banking channels (Jan-Dhan Accounts).
  • Provides financial help at proper time/ season and would also spur the investment cycle in the farm economy.
  • Helps large as well as small farmers and can even be capped to limit unwarrantedly huge transfers to rich farmers.
  • The corruption issue can be eliminated as farmers directly get the cash in their accounts.

Case Study: The Telangana government’s income/investment support through the Rythu Bandhu Scheme (RBS). Telangana started RBS in May 2018, whereby it gave Rs 4,000 per acre to every farmer. This transfer is made twice a year, coinciding with the two cropping seasons. By directly giving cash, the government aims to support the input purchases of farmers. The scheme is said to have reached almost 93 per cent of landowners.

In terms of costs, estimates show that a national farm-loan waiver is likely to cost about Rs 4 to 5 trillion. An RBS-style income transfer is likely to cost about Rs 2 trillion.

  • Odisha has launched the KALIA scheme that will provide Rs. 10,000 to about 3 million small and marginal farmers for the Rabi and kharif crops.
  • Jharkhand has announced a Rs. 5,000-per-acre payment to 2.3 m medium and marginal farmers from the next financial year.
  • West Bengal has announced two new schemes for farmers and farm labourers in the state that entail a payment of Rs.5,000 per acre every year in two instalments besides Rs.2 lakh to the kin of farmers who die due to any reason, including suicide.

 

Other reforms along with the direct intervention scheme include

  • Breaking the stranglehold of the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees (APMC).
  • The Essential Commodities Act (ECA of 1955) requires reforms.
  • The negotiable warehouse receipt (NWR) system has to be scaled up.
  • Value-chains — based on the Amul model — are needed for most crops.
  • Land laws need to be less restrictive.
  • Contract farming should be promoted
  • Agro-exports are in need of a conducive environment to grow.

Conclusion:

Through higher MSPs or through loan-waivers, one cannot reach more than 20 to 30 % of Indian farmers. This limited reach, therefore, cannot redress the widespread grievances of Indian farmers. An income transfer scheme for poor farmers based on the Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) that has already mapped household deprivation may be the best answer.


Topic -Accountability and ethical governance;

6) What do you understand by the concept of accountability and why is accountability important for good governance. Discuss.(250 words)

Reference

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Write a few introductory lines about the increased stress placed on accountability of organizations, leaders, politicians, civil servants etc.

Body-

  1. DIscuss the concept of accountability in detail. E.g Bring out the meaning of accountability and mention that  Accountability consists of three vital components
  • Transparency:
  • Answerability:
  • Enforceability:

        Mention that  accountability involves both a horizontal and a vertical dimensions. The horizontal dimension is the system of checks and balances among the executive, the legislative and the judicial branches. Vertical accountability entails the relationships between citizens and decision makers, including the ability of citizens to influence political decision-making processes.

  1. Discuss the importance of accountability in good governance. E.g
  • Accountability ensures rule of law and respect for institutions
  • It ensures commitment to promises, manifestos and citizen’s charters.
  • It empowers citizens and aids their development.
  • It reduces corruption and builds trust among the governors and the governed.

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

 

Introduction:

        Accountability is taking ownership for outcomes (successes or failures) while addressing performance issues fairly and promptly. The ability of citizens to demand accountability and more open government is fundamental to good governance.

 

Body:

 

        Accountability involves three key concepts: 

  • Transparency: citizens have access to information about commitments that the state has made and whether it has met them.  Example: Right to Information Act.
  • Answerability: citizens  are  able  to  demand  that  the  state  justifies  its 
  • Enforceability: citizens  are  able  to  sanction  the  state  if  it  fails  to  meet  certain standards.         

Accountability involves both a horizontal and a vertical dimension. 

Horizontal Accountability: It  is  the  system  of  checks  and  balances  among  the  executive, the legislative and the judicial branches.  Example: Judicial reviews, Parliamentary Committees, question hour etc.

Vertical accountability: It entails the  relationships  between  citizens  and  decision  makers,  including  the  ability  of  citizens to influence political decision-making processes. Example: RTI, Social Audits

Importance of Accountability in Good Governance:

  • Accountability ensures rule of law and respect for institutions.
  • It ensures transparency in operations by having checks and balances and time-bound service delivery.
  • It ensures commitment to promises, manifestos and citizen’s charters.
  • It empowers citizens and aids their development through citizen-centric policies.
  • It ensures judicious use of public funds and resources and hence, infuses the efficiency in governance.
  • It reduces corruption and builds trust among the governors and the governed.
  • Ensures that the grass roots level problems are effectively addressed.
  • Improves last mile outreach and helps bring in a change in attitude of bureaucracy.

 

Way Forward:

 

  • To Ensure effective accountability, the following steps can be taken
  • Protection of whistleblowers through legislation.
  • Social Audits by local communities, NGOs. Example: As done in MGNREGA.
  • Use of ICT in service delivery and maintenance of records
  • Encouraging Citizens’ Participation through RTI in local languages.
  • Promoting Competition and discouraging monopolistic attitude among the public service sectors.

Topic– part of static series under the heading – “; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance”

7) Discuss some of the measures taken to strengthen ethical values in governance and what more should be done in this regard?(250 words)

 

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the various measures in the form of laws, rules, regulations, code of ethics etc that the government has brought in order to ensure that ethical values are practiced and reinforced in governance. Moreover, we also need to give suggestions regarding what more can be done to strengthen ethics in governance.

Directive word

Discuss – Here your discussion should focus on bringing out the steps taken by the government to improve ethical values in governance and what more can be done in this regard. We also need to discuss the impact of such steps.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain what do you mean by ethical values in governance.

Body

  • Discuss the steps taken by the government to improve ethical values in governance and the impact of such steps
    • eGovernance and Digitisation to increase transparency and accountability along with easing paper work
    • RTI to allow for citizen’s right to know which enhances probity in governance
    • Civil service codes and various Service Rules to ensure honesty and integrity
    • Citizen charters and citizen oriented governance to better address feedback, grievances
    • In 2006 the department Of Personnel drafted a Public Service Bill which enumerated fundamental values of Public Services, a Code of Ethics, a Management Code etc. with the objective of developing public services. The bill didn’t make much headway and is in cold storage etc
  • Discuss what more can be done
    • Effective implementation of charter
    • Removing political interference in administration and politicisation of administration
    • You can take more suggestions from the 2nd arc report on ethics in governance

Conclusion – Emphasize on why ethics in governance is important and the way forward.

Introduction:

Ethical values in governance show how well the ethical values are followed in governance and its structure. This includes legality of government action, rationality in policy and decision making, evolving a sense of responsibility, ensuring accountability, strengthening work commitment, creating excellence, facilitating spirit of individual and organizational goals, developing responsiveness, showing compassion, protecting the national interests, protecting the spirit of justice, bringing transparency and elevating integrity.

Body:

        The steps taken by the government to improve ethical values in governance and the impact of such steps

  • eGovernance and Digitisation to increase transparency and accountability along with easing paper work and reducing red-tapism. Example: PRAGATI, MyGov portal
  • RTI to allow for citizen’s right to know which enhances probity in governance.
  • Stringent laws like Prevention of Corruption Act, presence of CVC to ensure there is no corruption.
  • Civil service codes and various Service Rules to ensure honesty and integrity. Example: Civil Service Conduct Rules.
  • Citizen charters and citizen oriented governance to better address feedback, grievances. Example: CPGRAMS, Jan Sunwai.
  • In 2006, the department Of Personnel drafted a Public Service Bill which enumerated fundamental values of Public Services, a Code of Ethics, a Management Code etc. with the objective of developing public services. The bill didn’t make much headway and is in cold storage etc
  • Witness protection scheme to safeguard the witness from victimization.

The following steps can be taken to strengthen the ethical values

  • Effective implementation of citizen charters.
  • Removing political interference in administration and politicisation of administration.
  • Introduction of Public Service bill and Code of Ethics.
  • The Second Administrative reforms commission has suggested the following methods
  • Codification of ethics will ensure the minimum standards that public servants must follow.
  • Strong vigilance systems to ensure that corruption is eliminated at the root. Example: CVC, whistle blowers act, Lokpal etc.
  • Social audit mechanisms must be strengthened and be made a norm.
  • Digitization and e-governance is the way forward to ensure citizen centric governance. Example: UMANG- one stop for customers to pay all their bills.
  • Values such as selflessness, honesty, integrity and objectivity if inculcated at early age through education will lead to Ethical leadership in the future.
  • Sensitivity trainings, Value oriented training of public servants.
  • Ethical auditing should be done.
  • Delegation of work and responsibility in every organisation should be ensured similarly the standard protocols must be codified vide citizen charters.

Conclusion:

        Strengthening ethical and moral values in Governance is imperative to ensure the best service delivery and citizen-centric administration.

      


 

Topic: strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international
relations and funding; corporate governance.

8) What are the ethical issues related to conditional funding in the international sphere. Discuss.(250 words)

LEXICON FOR ETHICS< INTEGRITY AND APTITUDE: VALUES AND ETHICS IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION

Directive word

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  term conditionality. E.g Conditionality is a concept which describes the use of conditions attached to a loan, debt relief, bilateral aid or membership of international organizations, typically by the international financial institutions, regional organizations or donor countries.

Body-

Discuss the ethical issues raised by conditional funding in international arena. E.g

  • The donors shape the policy framework and strategies through impositions, seriously undermining the rights, choices and decisions of the people to determine their own demands and actions needed for their own development.
  • Local societal diversities and local ownership are ignored.
  • Policy conditions can interfere with the formation of an independent and mature democracy and political framework.
  • Democratic ownership implies mutual accountability, transparency, and participation in policies and programmes, where both donors and governments feel equal, sharing.
  • Domination by the government or the donors in the process undermines the basic principles of democratic ownership etc.

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

 

Introduction:

        Conditional funding is a concept which describes the use of conditions attached to a loan, debt relief, bilateral aid or membership of international organizations, typically by the international financial institutions, regional organizations or donor countries. Example: IMF’s loan to India during the financial crisis of 1991.

Body:

The various ethical issues that are related to International funding are:

  • “Me First” Attitude: The developed countries are moving towards protectionism and an attitude of self-centrism. This goes against the moral responsibility of humanity to help other humans. Example: USA’s moving out of Paris Climate deal has now cast an aspersion on Global Climate Fund.
  • Harsh terms and conditions: The donors shape the policy framework and strategies through impositions, seriously undermining the rights, choices and decisions of the people to determine their own demands and actions needed for their own development. Example: China’s vulture capitalism policies of sucking countries into debt.
  • Ethnocentrism: Local societal diversities and local ownership are ignored by conditionality. Example: Global Gag Rule by USA
  • Against Democratic values: Aid conditionality infringes on countries democracy and sovereignty. Policy conditions can interfere with the formation of independent and mature democracy and political framework. Example: Neo-colonial policies followed by few developed Countries.
  • Economic policy decisions, such as whether to privatize essential services or liberalize trade barriers within any given country developing or developed should be made by national governments and not influenced by leverage of increased external funding. Example: The IB report revealed that certain foreign funded NGO’s were trying to stall developmental process in India and in turn affect its Growth.
  • Human rights: Issue of government funding for international NGO’s as many of these do accept funds from developed countries. Their independence and legitimacy is therefore suspected by the government of host countries especially by the less than democratic governments.

Way Forward:

  • International funding should be based on the principles of Utilitarianism.
  • Emulate the global best practices. Example: Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria works, as one important example. It’s a model of success.
  • The concept of Global Social Justice should be upheld.
  • Humanitarian Aid should be the motive of International Funding. Example: Building houses in war-torn Jaffna region by India, Parliament house and schools in Afghanistan.

Conclusion:

        According to John Rawls, it is our duty as help others living “under unfavourable conditions that prevent their having a just or decent political and social regime”. This should be the mantra for International Funding.