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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 23 JANUARY 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 23 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– Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

1) In its present form, RCEP agreement, is good for the region but not for India. Critically analyze.(250 words)

Reference

Reference

Why this question

RCEP is an important trade agreement which will have significant implications for India. In this comment it is essential to analyze the agreement in detail and bring out why in its present form the agreement does not suit India’s interests.

Directive word

Critically analyze-here we  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.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to dig deep into the RCEP agreement and bring out why although the agreement may be good for the region/ bloc but is not in consonance with India’s interests in its present form.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  RCEP agreement- who are the members, status of India vis a vis RCEP and economy and population represented by the group.

Body-

  1. Discuss the size, power of the trade bloc and its significance. E.g
  • The agreement will cater to half of world’s GDP (half of the world’s population) and will be the next biggest trade pact after the agreement on Arthur Dankel’s draft to upgrade General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).
  • Apart from the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), other RCEP signatories include China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.
  • The progress of the partnership is being closely monitored by most trade observers globally, especially when considering the US-China trade war.
  1. Discuss why in present form the agreement is not good for India. E.g
  • The agreement in the present state of negotiations would mean forgoing a substantial part of the revenues.
  • This further implies that the government needs to be confident on the GST numbers so that it can compensate for the loss
  • The presence of China creates apprehensions, especially when it is well documented that the country enjoys manufacturing surplus and is already dumping its products across the world, including in India etc.

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

Introduction:

RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between ASEAN and six Indo-Pacific states. RCEP is the world’s largest economic bloc, covering nearly half of the global economy. The chief objectives include the spirit to strengthen economic linkages and to enhance trade and investment related activities as well as to contribute to minimising development gap among the parties.

Body:

                The grouping envisages regional economic integration, leading to the creation of the largest regional trading bloc in the world, accounting for nearly 45% of the world’s population with a combined gross domestic product of $21.3 trillion.

Significance of RCEP:

  • RCEP is the world’s largest economic bloc, covering nearly half of the global economy.
  • RCEP will provide a framework aimed at lowering trade barriers and securing improved market access for goods and services for businesses in the region.
  • RCEP’s share of the global economy could account for half of the estimated $0.5 quadrillion global GDP (PPP) by 2050.
  • The grouping envisages regional economic integration, leading to the creation of the largest regional trading bloc in the world.
  • RCEP recognises the importance of being inclusive, especially to enable SMEs leverage on the agreement and cope with challenges arising from globalisation and trade liberalisation.
  • Analysts suggest that there are enormous export gains that could accrue to India from RCEP under varying scenarios. This assumes even greater importance since our focus has been on products with favourable terms of trade for India.
  • India endeavours to integrate with a region, which has been the most successful region of the world in terms of thriving regional value chains (RVCs). These RVCs necessitate freer movement of professionals across countries in the region.
  • This is especially crucial in a scenario when the vector of India’s demographic dividend is concomitant to the vector of the “aging” population in most RCEP countries.

However, there are views that in present form the RCEP agreement is not good for India.

  • The current account deficit (CAD) touched 8 per cent of GDP, and the agreement in the present state of negotiations would mean forgoing a substantial part of the revenues.
  • Greater access to Chinese goods may have impact on the Indian manufacturing sector. India has got massive trade deficit with China. In fiscal year 2017-18, the trade deficit with China was $63 billion.
  • Under these circumstances, India proposed differential market access strategy for China.
  • Exports from ASEAN into India have grown far quicker than Indian exports to the bloc, which they attribute to the fact that India is a “services economy.”
  • There are demands by other RCEP countries for lowering customs duties on a number of products and greater access to the market than India has been willing to provide.
  • Apart from China, India is also losing out to financial and technological hub of Singapore, agriculture and dairy majors Australia and New Zealand, plantations of South East Asian countries, and pharmaceutical trade with China and the US.
  • With e-commerce as part of the discussion, the Indian resistance at WTO of not letting the discussion on digital trade will weaken.
  • The free movement of investments will benefit investors in the US, Singapore, Japan and China, but very few Indians will be taking advantage of this.
  • New Delhi is also worried that the RCEP will open backdoor negotiations and may lead to the country losing out on TRIPS agreements. This may result in giving way to global majors in agriculture seed and pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Conclusion:

                Bilateral talks between India and China are crucial for an early conclusion of RCEP negotaiations as agreed by other members. Indian policymakers need to be mindful of domestic sectors’ concerns before agreeing on terms of deal. Simultaneously, there is a necessity to improve our competitiveness in the economy. India must play its due role to get its due place in the regional economic configurations.

       


Topic-Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders

2) As India copes with the digital age, it will have to navigate between diverse competing interests. Analyze.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

The article discusses many of the competing interests and controversies that are bound to arise and strengthen in the wake of growing adoption of technology in day to day life and everyday governance.

Directive word

Analyze-here we  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.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to dig deep into the growing adoption and penetration of technology in Indian society and bring out the controversies, clashes and competing interests that could arise out of it.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  growing mobile penetration , internet adoption, online presence of citizens, Digital India etc to highlight the increasing role of technology in India.

Body-

Discuss in paragraphs what competing interests are being and will be generated on account of the advent of digital age in India. E.g

  • Privacy vs Efficiency
  • Govt control of data vs private and foreign control
  • Promoting global trade vs protecting local  industry

Discuss how each pair of conflict of interest is a significant and vital issue.

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

Introduction:

                Smartphone, Internet usages are on a high in India. It is expected that 374 million people will own a smartphone in India and by 2022, it’s expected to hit 442 million. IAMAI report predicts that by 2021, there will be about 635.8 million internet users in India. The Government’s Digital India project is further giving a push to the digital governance, thereby increasing the role of technology in India.

Body:

The Digital age has undoubtedly revolutionised several sectors like education, communication, business. However, there are many competing interests being generated on account of the advent of digital age in India.

 

  • Freedom of Expression vs. Obscenity: The slapping of sedition cases against people for expression of views on social media. Example: controversy over AIB roast video, pornography.
  • Privacy vs. Efficiency: The right to privacy of a person is upheld with measures like encryption of data. However, there have been instances where vital data for law and order is affected due to the privacy. Example: Tracking down the details of fake message generators or breaking open of a phone of a terrorist.
  • Government control of data vs. private and foreign control: The issue of data governance is still being debated upon hotly. The Nationalisation and localization of data mooted by the State and local players as against the globalization of data is at loggerheads. The issues of data theft, monetizing data without owner’s permission has led to issues. Example: Facebook analytica scam
  • Promoting global trade vs. protecting local industry: With Digitization, e-Commerce has boomed. The entry of global players with deep pockets has led to the issue of protectionism by countries to safeguard the small players. Example: Business models of Amazon and Walmart affecting the retailers and MSMEs.
  • Personal data vs. Surveillance: The fact that governance is turning out to be digitized and the government’s control over a large amount of personal data is another point of conflict. Example: Linking Aadhar to several public, private services;
  • Net Neutrality: The issue of owning the internet space by conglomerates and deciding on what the user of a service should access goes against the right to life of an individual.

 

Way forward:

  • Right to Privacy is a fundamental right as ruled by the Supreme Court. Thus, there is a need to give primacy to consent of individual.
  • Implementation of Justice BN SriKrishna committee recommendations on Data Privacy.
  • Equipping local police with Cyber laws and Anti-Cyber crime measures.
  • Onus on the MNC’s for user data protection as done in Germany.
  • Strengthening the IT Act and implementation of National Cybersecurity Policy as per global laws.
  • Independent regulator to be set up for fair trade practices in e-Commerce sector.
  • NGO’s, CSO and People’s involvement in drafting a holistic data protection law.

 

Conclusion:

        With Digital Penetration on the rise, it is imperative to look at various dimensions where interests can be affected. There is a need to balance the various interests of stakeholders without affecting their rights.


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

3) Comment on what would Brexit, and the form it takes, mean for India and how should India prepare for this eventuality?(250 words)

Reference

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to shed some light on the complications surrounding Brexit, the implication of the deal on India and evaluate the response of India so far as well as how should her response be.

Directive word

Comment – When you are asked to comment, you have to pick main points and give your ‘opinion’ on them based on evidences or arguments stemming from your wide reading. Your opinion may be for or against, but you must back your argument with evidences.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight why Brexit has been in news off late and discuss the complications.

Body

  • Comment on how and why would Brexit impact India
    • Brexit is an opportunity for India to reset the legal terms of its trade with the UK and EU, at the multilateral level, and through free trade agreements.
    • Indian businesses traditionally rely on the UK as their port of entry into the EU
    • international trade law assured Indian businesses that entry into the UK was an entry into the EU
    • Today, roughly 800 Indian companies operate in the UK, employing 104,932 people. India invests more in the UK than in the rest of the EU combined.
      The UK is taking itself out of that combination. As Indian companies search for new markets beyond the UK, they will be unable to rely on the “four freedoms” guarantee of the EU customs union: free movement of goods, services, capital, and labor.
  • Analyze how India’s response to Brexit has been and how it should be
    • India should re-negotiate with the UK and EU the World Trade Organization Schedules of Concessions, for both goods and services, should resume its FTA discussions with the EU, and should prepare to launch FTA talks with the UK
    • it needs to draw up a list of ‘substantially equivalent concessions’ it ‘initially negotiated’ with the UK and/or EU that it will ‘modify or withdraw’. On services, it needs to evaluate the prospect of WTO arbitration over ‘compensatory adjustments’ the UK and/or EU offers that India finds unacceptable, and thereafter modify or withdraw ‘substantially equivalent benefits’.

Conclusion – Give your view and discuss way forward.

Introduction:

        Despite 2 years of Brexit vote, Britain remains as divided as ever, over the issue of leaving the EU. Demonstrations demanding a reconsideration of the issue and a new referendum have been aplenty on the streets of U.K. Contrarily; there have also been mobilisations by pro-leave lobby albeit in smaller numbers as things are already moving in their favour.

       

Body:

        The Brexit is seen to have both positive and negative impacts.

 

Pros of Brexit:

  • Brexit might give a boost to trade ties between India and the UK.
  • Due to fall in the value of Pound sterling, those who import from the UK will gain. Indian export companies operating in the UK may also gain.
  • India being more of an importing country than an exporting nation, the overall effect may turn out positive for India provided dollar doesn’t appreciate much against rupee.
  • With lower pound value, Indian companies may be able to acquire many hi-tech assets.
  • As investors look around the world for safe havens in these turbulent times, India stands out both in terms of stability and of growth.
  • Brexit is an opportunity for India to reset the legal terms of its trade with the UK and EU, at the multilateral level, and through free trade agreements. Higher number of Indian tourists and student can afford to visit Britain.
  • Britain will need a steady inflow of talented labour, and India fits the bill perfectly due to its English-speaking population.
  • India might have some opportunities in the pharma sector of UK market due to rising health concerns there and larger government procurement of generic medicines from India if it positions itself properly.

 

Cons of Brexit:

  • Falling value of the pound could render several existing contracts loss making.
  • Due to fall in the value of Pound sterling, Indian exports to the UK will suffer. Cheaper rupee will make Indian exports, including IT and ITeS, competitive. Indian import companies operating in the UK may also report a loss. India exports more than what it imports from Britain.
  • Many Indian companies are listed on the London Stock Exchange and many have European headquarters in London. Brexit will take away this advantage.
  • Indian businesses traditionally rely on the UK as their port of entry into the EU.
  • International trade law assured Indian businesses that entry into the UK was an entry into the EU
  • Today, roughly 800 Indian companies operate in the UK, employing 104,932 people. India invests more in the UK than in the rest of the EU combined.
  • A no-deal Brexit will directly hit these companies forcing thousands out of jobs.
  • The UK is taking itself out of that combination. As Indian companies search for new markets beyond the UK, they will be unable to rely on the “four freedoms” guarantee of the EU customs union: free movement of goods, services, capital, and labour.
  • Rupee may depreciate because of the double effect of foreign fund outflow and dollar rise.
  • Brexit is a bad news for Indian outsourcers.
  • India’s Forex will be impacted, particular if the currency is stored in Euros or Pound (this comes around 20% of total forex).

 

India’s response to Brexit should be as follows:

  • For India, Brexit matters because London is the financial capital of the world and the bridgehead into Europe for many Indian companies.
  • India should re-negotiate with the UK and EU the World Trade Organization Schedules of Concessions, for both goods and services, should resume its FTA discussions with the EU, and should prepare to launch FTA talks with the UK.
  • The Indian government will have to figure out what’s the best outcome for Indian producer-exporters, and push for it.
  • India needs to draw up a list of ‘substantially equivalent concessions’ it ‘initially negotiated’ with the UK and/or EU that it will ‘modify or withdraw’.
  • On services, it needs to evaluate the prospect of WTO arbitration over ‘compensatory adjustments’ the UK and/or EU offers that India finds unacceptable, and thereafter modify or withdraw ‘substantially equivalent benefits’.

Conclusion:

The lack of clarity on Brexit-EU divorce deal has placed all stakeholders on tenterhooks. The need of the hour is to include all the stakeholders impacted by the deal and draw up a bilateral trade deal between India and Britain.


Topic:  Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests

4) India should not allow the RCEP trade deal to fail. Do you agree. Comment.(250 words)

Economictimes

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 RCEP agreement and express our opinion as to why/ why not India must allow the RCEP trade deal to fail. Whatever our opinion we have to substantiate it with valid arguments and facts.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- write a few introductory lines about the RCEP agreement highlighting its significance and importance.

Body-

Discuss why India should not let the agreement fail. E.g

  • The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, is not a “competitor” to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
  • But, unlike the former, the RCEP is a more traditional sort of trade deal, in which tariff cuts on tradeable goods — rather than high standards for labor, environmental and intellectual-property protections — are at the center of the discussion.
  • The truth is that those officials have it backwards. India has largely failed to develop a manufacturing sector because its factories aren’t competitive and aren’t plugged into global supply chains. Over the past few years, tariffs have started rising as well — often in an ad hoc and arbitrary manner — which means that becoming part of spread-out value chains will be even tougher.
  • Given the difficulty of getting Indian negotiators to the table for bilateral trade deals, the RCEP remains the best chance to incorporate India into a genuinely open trading bloc etc.

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

 

Introduction:

                RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between ASEAN and six Indo-Pacific states. RCEP is the world’s largest economic bloc, covering nearly half of the global economy. The chief objectives include the spirit to strengthen economic linkages and to enhance trade and investment related activities as well as to contribute to minimising development gap among the parties.

 

Body:

Negotiations on the RCEP, among 16 Asian and Pacific Ocean countries, have entered a decisive phase. However, a “substantive agreement” on the trade deal is yet to see the light of the day. India should not let the agreement fail due to the following reasons.

  • Own Niche:
    • The RCEP is not a “competitor” to the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
    • RCEP is a more traditional sort of trade deal vis-à-vis CPTPP.
  • Strengthens the strategic position of India:
    • India is neither a member of APEC nor CPTPP.
    • India cannot sustain an expanding political and security role in the Indo-pacific with a shrinking economic role.
    • Regional economic integration is an active component of our Act East Policy.
  • Focus on trade than other parameters:
    • The tariff cuts on tradable goods, rather than high standards for labour, environmental and intellectual-property protections, are at the center of the discussion.
    • The free movement of professionals across countries in the region is imperative for India. In a scenario when the vector of India’s demographic dividend is concomitant to the vector of the “aging” population in most RCEP countries.
  • Fillip to ‘Make In India’:
    • India’s grand plan to expand its manufacturing horizon will bode well with the RCEP.
    • Over the past few years, tariffs have started rising as well, often in an ad hoc and arbitrary manner, which means that becoming part of spread-out value chains will be even tougher.
    • This will help reduce our trade-deficits with China and other ASEAN countries too.
  • Huge potential for trade:
    • The grouping envisages regional economic integration, leading to the creation of the largest regional trading bloc in the world, accounting for nearly 45% of the world’s population with a combined gross domestic product of $21.3 trillion.
    • Some of the sectors that have been identified as potential sources of India’s export growth impulses under RCEP to the tune of approximately $200 billion.
    • Exports include processed food, gems and jewellery, metal manufactures, refined petroleum, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, leather goods; textiles and clothing, automobiles and parts, electrical machinery, and parts of aircraft and spacecraft, etc.
  • Bilateral treaties are time consuming:
    • Given the difficulty of getting Indian negotiators to the table for bilateral trade deals, the RCEP remains the best chance to incorporate India into a genuinely open trading bloc.
    • The India-EU bilateral treaty which has not been agreed upon despite years of negotiations is an example.

However, India has concerns with member countries because of which it is leery of finalizing the RCEP.

  • Greater access to Chinese goods may have impact on the Indian manufacturing sector.
  • India has got massive trade deficit with China.
  • Under these circumstances, India proposed differential market access strategy for China.
  • Exports from ASEAN into India have grown far quicker than Indian exports to the bloc, which they attribute to the fact that India is a “services economy.”
  • There are demands by other RCEP countries for lowering customs duties on a number of products and greater access to the market than India has been willing to provide.
  • More developed countries such as Australia and Singapore are unwilling to accommodate India’s demands to liberalise their services regime and allow freer mobility of Indian workers.
  • Some of the RCEP countries, including India, are headed for elections this year, a point where governments traditionally turn protectionist.

Conclusion:

                There are more compelling trade and economic reasons for RCEP to become India-led in future, than otherwise. India would get greater market access in other countries not only in terms of goods, but in services and investments too. India must play its due role to get its due place in the regional economic configurations.


Topic Indian polity : issues

5) The parliamentary developments in UK has led to utter confusion in UK but has important lessons that liberal democracies around the world can learn. Discuss in context of India whose parliamentary system borrows heavily from UK?(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question

The article discusses the voting patterns in UK parliament regarding the passage of the deal and No confidence motion against the government. The article delves deep into the lessons we can learn which can also deepen our understanding of Indian democracy.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the developments in UK and highlight what lessons it offers to liberal democracies around the world. Thereafter, we need to specifically discuss the lessons for India and how we should ingrain it in our democracy.

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 about the recent developments in Brexit.

Body

  • Discuss the lessons that can be drawn from parliamentary proceedings in UK related to Brexit
    • the drama has foregrounded the quirks and strengths of parliamentary democracy. They have foregrounded the fact that in a parliamentary system, legislators are supreme as they represent popular sovereignty.
    • formal and informal coalition building among the ruling party, its allies and the opposition has ensured that every political group has played a role in this crucial process. This has produced delay and chaos, but it has also deepened the legitimacy of the political system
  • Discuss what lessons can be drawn from these developments for the indian political system. Here you can discuss points like relevance of anti detection law, the art of consensus building across the opposition etc

Conclusion – give your view and discuss the way forward.

 

Introduction:

        The final deal to exit the European Commission was put out to vote in the Parliament. Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal was rejected by 230 votes, the largest defeat for a sitting government in history. With this, she had to face a no-confidence motion, which she survived.

                       

Body:

        The happenings in the Britain parliament have lessons for liberal democracies across the world.

  • Every democracy has various views about an issue. The clashes between the majoritarian and minoritarian views are bound to happen. In this context, Britain can’t seem to get its exit right from EU.
  • May’s success in overseeing Brexit under some kind of a deal is crucial to the ongoing struggle for acceptance of women in high politics.
  • The drama has put in the fore the quirks and strengths of parliamentary democracy. Misjudged decisions by former PM led to resignation of two PM’s in a quick succession leading to instability in executive.
  • MPs of the governing party have voted against their prime minister’s policy but voted for their government. They have fore-grounded the fact that in a parliamentary system, legislators are supreme as they represent popular sovereignty.
  • The formal and informal coalition building among the ruling party, its allies and the opposition has ensured that every political group has played a role in this crucial process. This has produced delay and chaos, but it has also deepened the legitimacy of the political system.

 

The lessons that can be drawn from these developments for the Indian political system are as follows.

  • India has borrowed many of its constitutional features from Britain like the Parliamentary Government, Rule of Law, Legislative procedure, Cabinet System and parliamentary privileges to name a few.
  • Anti-defection law present under the 10th schedule of constitution abstains legislators from voting against the whip issued. The legislators will be disqualified if they detract and thereby goes against the principles of Liberal democracy where they can’t voice their honest views.
  • It also exposes the chinks in the parliamentary system of India where although legislators are supreme as they represent popular sovereignty, they are bound by party ideologies. Independence of legislators is curbed.
  • The co-operation and consensus building among legislators cutting across party lines can be learnt from the above scenario in UK.
  • The coalition governments formed just to get hold of power, increased horse-trading to defeat the coalition government, policy paralysis due to varying ideologies of coalition partners are some of the issues in coalition politics found in India.
  • The executive is to be held responsible to the legislative which is the core of parliamentary democracy.
  • Instances of passing many legislations through money bill evading scrutinies of upper house, repeated usage of ordinance to overpower the legislative, non-formation of committees to scrutinize the laws, non-passage of private member’s bill are some of the crucial issues plaguing Indian parliamentary democracy.
  • The British media has extensively criticized May and her supporters for Brexit. But they have not misused any of their legislative privileges to harass the journalists. This upholds the plurality of views and voice of dissent.

Conclusion:

                In a parliamentary democracy, the Parliament represents the people and therefore, it is expected to have an upper hand over both Executive and Judiciary. Democracy is also about developing institutions and working through these institutions.


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

6) India needs to raise and sustain its growth rate at 8%. Discuss what measures need to be taken in this regard.(250 words)

Economictimes

Why this question

India’s growth is poised to increase this year but has not been at the desired level for quite some time. In order for India to achieve most of its socio economic goals. The article discusses some of the essential steps that need to be taken in order to achieve a sustained growth rate of 8%.

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 bring out in detail about the measures that you think need to be taken in order to achieve and sustain a growth rate of 8%.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  recent growth rate figures for India- past few years and anticipated growth rate. E.g growth rate projected by IMF etc.

Body-

Write in points as to what should be done to enhance India’s growth rate to 8% and sustain it for the medium future. E.g

  • a shift in agriculture to convert farmers into ‘agripreneurs’ by expanding e-National Agriculture Markets and replacing the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee Act with Agricultural Produce & Livestock Marketing Act.
  • A unified national market, a freer export regime and abolition of the Essential Commodities Act are essential to boost agricultural growth,
  • further improve the policy environment in which private investors and other stakeholders can contribute their fullest
  • bring innovation, technology, enterprise and efficient management together at the core of policy formulation and implementation etc.

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

 

Introduction:

        International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its update of flagship World Economic Outlook was released in Davos.  It said that India’s GDP is forecast to expand 7.5% in FY20 and 7.7% in FY21.

However, Niti Aayog, the government’s think tank, has pitched for an average 8% growth over the next five years to lift India to a $4-trillion economy in its 75th year of independence, proposing a strategy for a New India by 2022.

       

Body:

 

The need for consistent 8% growth rate is needed for

 

  • To alleviate poverty: India’s 21.9% of citizens live below poverty line despite 70 years of Independence.
  • Doubling the farmer’s income by 2022: A goal set for warding off the agrarian distress and ensure remunerative incomes to farmers.
  • Increase the employment generation: This will help leverage the demographic potential and reap demographic dividend.
  • To empower the weaker sections of society: The SC’s, ST’s, women who still remain backward due to poor empowerment.
  • To invest in social and economic infrastructure: Education, health, infrastructure & logistics still need a lot of improvement.

 

India needs to undertake more substantive economic reforms if it wants to push its economic growth rate to its long-held target range of 8 to 10 percent a year.

 

Agriculture Sector:

  • Implementing Ashok Dalwai committee recommendations
  • Focus on policy to create favourable investment climate in agriculture.
  • Placing agricultural marketing in the Concurrent list.
  • Greater private sector participation in agri-marketing and logistics.
  • Market reforms and investment in infrastructure for cold-chain integration to reduce wastages.
  • Forming FPOs/VPOs as collectives to give unified voice to small and marginal farmers.
  • The committee strongly recommends stepping up of institutional credit on a large scale.
  • Increase focus on export to raise agricultural export by a minimum of three times by 2022-2
  • Implementing the Model Land Leasing Act and encouraging Contract Farming to make the most out of available lands.
  • A strong push would be given to ‘Zero Budget Natural Farming’ techniques that reduce costs, improve land quality and increase farmers’ incomes.
  • A shift in agriculture to convert farmers into ‘agripreneurs by expanding e-National Agriculture Markets.
  • Replacing the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee Act with Agricultural Produce & Livestock Marketing Act.

       

Manufacturing Sector:

  • The Indian MSME sector provides maximum opportunities for both self-employment and wage employment outside the agricultural sector.
  • Five key aspects of facilitating the MSME sector: Access to credit; Access to market; Technology upgradation; Ease of doing business; social security for employees.
  • Loans offered to small businesses in the unorganized sector are now covered by a credit guarantee scheme. Ease of credit availability within 59 minutes
  • eCommerce platform reforms like Barring e-commerce marketplaces from selling products of firms in which they own stakes. ban deep discounts for selective products which earlier disturbed the level playing field.
  • Setting up an export promotion cell within the MSME.
  • TreDs platform to facilitate finance of trade receivables.
  • Schemes like SFURTI, ASPIRE have been introduced to strengthen the Khadi and Agro MSMEs.
  • ‘Make in India’ scheme: improve competitiveness, increase investments and increasing skills of workers in accordance to changing needs of market.
  • Adopting global quality standards to products to enter markets of developed economies.
  • Better labour codes to ensure ease of hiring and firing of employees.
  • Development of SEZ’s , NIMZ to boost manufacturing sector.

 

Services Sector:

  • The Indian service sector is the fastest growing service sector in the world. It contributes more than 60% to India’s economy and accounts for 28% of employment.
  • The opportunities in this fast-growing, employment-oriented, FDI attracting sector, with vast export-potential are striking.
  • There is an urgent need to increase access to higher education and vocational training at affordable prices. Implementation of Sharda Prasad committee
  • Focus on other sub-sectors like education, health than financial and business services which have grown at a faster rate than the services sector overall.
  • Increasing Labour productivity by skill training and continuous upgradation.
  • The large working age population of India should focus on developing as a knowledge-based economy.
  • Focusing on other aspects of Ease of Doing business like reducing the litigation time, ease of setting up industries.
  • Increasing the PPP ventures in Infrastructure projects by Government being responsible for land acquisition while private players are taking care of rest.
  • Easing the FDI norms in sectors like Accounting, Retail, legal services etc. which have huge potential of investments and job generation.
  • Focusing on R&D in the latest technologies like BigData, AI, Machine Learning and training people for the impending Industrial Revolution 4.0.

 

Conclusion:

        Thus, an overall growth in all the three sectors with collaboration from the governments, private players and citizens can help India achieve the 8% growth target in a sustained manner.

       


Topic – Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

7) The onset of digital age requires careful considerations in policy making to balance the interests of state and citizen, capital and consumer, public good and private hain. Discuss in context of the recent developments in how to govern data?(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question

This article establishes the need for a global policy regulating data, highlights the various strains of thoughts regarding this and the global developments as well. The article provides relevant and contemporary issue which will become very significant in the days to come.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the various strains of thoughts regarding how data should be governed and bring out the interests of the various stakeholders as mentioned in the question. Thereafter, we need to give a fair and balanced view on what the way forward needs to be.

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 about the growing importance of data in the digital age.

Body

  • Explain what the issue is – the fact that data generated by the people’s digital footprint is being monetized without the approval or knowledge of people whose data it is
  • Give the various strains of thoughts regarding how this must be protected
    • Nationalization of data as suggested by Ambani
    • Jack Ma’s suggestion of greater liberalisation to make it easier for small producers in one country to sell to consumers across the world.
    • Gathering data and monetising is what Google and Facebook do.
    • Cook is mobilising support for a comprehensive privacy law in the US that will protect the consumer from the companies that collect personal data. One of Cook’s key proposals is the establishment of a “data-broker clearinghouse” that will register all data brokers, enable consumers to track the transactions that have bundled and sold their data from place to place, and give users the power to delete their data if they chose.
  • Discuss why this is important and interests of the various stakeholders like government, corporates, public etc
  • Give your view on what the way forward should be

Conclusion – Highlight that in the days and years to come, this is doing to be a major issue and discuss the way forward.

 

Introduction:

        The digital economy spurred a move from a system of records to a system of intelligence. Every interaction that a human or machine has with the digital world leaves behind a trace. This digital footprint carries significant information embedded in the data that provides a fertile ground to build systems of intelligence.

Body:

        With the IR4.0 in progress, data is today so precious that it is metaphorised as “New Oil”.  The misuse of data has increased for political gains as seen in Facebook Analytica episode, economic gains like theft of data of credit cards, bank details and for societal gains like polarizing the vote base, radicalising people, spreading fake news etc.

 

With such huge impacts, the data governance is imperative. The data generated by the people’s digital footprint is being monetized without the approval or knowledge of people whose data it is. This has led to a debate on how data governance should be done. The various strains of thoughts regarding how this must be protected are

  • Nationalization of data: The idea of nationalization of data is proposed by Indian corporate heads and in particular Mukesh Ambani. The core idea here is India’s data must be controlled and owned by Indian people — and not by corporates, especially global corporations.  This essentially is against Data colonization by foreign entities.
    • However, the idea of data nationalism might be criticised for erecting barriers against cross-border data flows.
  • Greater liberalisation of Data: Jack Ma’s suggestion is to make it easier for small producers in one country to sell to consumers across the world. Ma’s Electronic World Platform (eWTP) hopes the government and businesses could work together to remove multiple obstacles to the flow of e-commerce across national borders. As a logical complement to the eWTP, Ma has plans to disrupt the international logistics market and shorten the global supply chains.
    • But, Sceptics might say the eWTP might actually consolidate Beijing’s dominance of the global trading system, founded as it is on a tight domestic nexus between capital and the Chinese Communist Party.
  • Comprehensive privacy law: Tim Cook’s idea is to protect the consumer from the companies that collect personal data. One of Cook’s key proposals is the establishment of a “data-broker clearinghouse” that will register all data brokers, enable consumers to track the transactions that have bundled and sold their data from place to place, and give users the power to delete their data if they chose.
  • Cyber Technology Accord: The accord’s objective is to empower individuals online and promote stability, security and resilience of the cyberspace. It is modelled after the Geneva Conventions — negotiated at the turn of the 20th century — that sought to protect civilians during armed conflict. The initiative has had some impact, for example on the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace that was unveiled by the French President Emmanuel Macron last November. The call has already been endorsed by a large number of governments and corporations.

Way forward

  • In the future, the data governance and privacy issues are going to increase with huge increase in the data churned out every minute.
  • Governments should frame a strong data policy which can utilise economic benefits and which can uphold its citizens rights and national security interests.
  • Inclusive law which encompasses all the stake holders from state and the citizen, capital and the consumer, public good and private gain and between competing interests within capital — both domestic and foreign is needed.

Topic– Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

8) Analyze the debate between lithium-ion batteries and hydrogen fuel cells?(250 words) 

Livemint

Why this question

The article provides deep insight into battery technology used in electric vehicles which are going to become the preferred mode of transportation in the days and years to come. Hence this question

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain how Li Ion battery and hydrogen fuel cells battery work. Thereafter, we need to highlight the pros and cons of each technology and give a fair and balanced view regarding the future of these technologies.

Directive word

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.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain that electric vehicles are the way forward because of threats of climate change

Body

  • Explain how Li Ion and fuel cell batteries work
    • Li ion – All lithium-ion batteries work in broadly the same way. When the battery is charging up, the lithium-cobalt oxide, positive electrode gives up some of its lithium ions, which move through the electrolyte to the negative, graphite electrode and remain there. The battery takes in and stores energy during this process. When the battery is discharging, the lithium ions move back across the electrolyte to the positive electrode, producing the energy that powers the battery. In both cases, electrons flow in the opposite direction to the ions around the outer circuit. Electrons do not flow through the electrolyte: it’s effectively an insulating barrier, so far as electrons are concerned.
    • Fuel cell – Fuel cells use an electrochemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen, catalysed by platinum, to produce energy. The only exhaust is the combination product—water. The challenge is to produce hydrogen in an energy-efficient manner, transport it to distribution points and store it in gaseous or liquid form in a car.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of both technology for the purpose of usage in electric vehicles

Conclusion – Give your opinion on which technology is the future and what should India do.

 

Introduction:

The recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that predicted serious consequences if temperatures were allowed to rise just 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Transport emission accounts for a quarter of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Ending the hegemony of the internal combustion (IC) engine and replacing it with electric Vehicles is thus gaining importance. Lithium Ion batteries and Hydrogen fuels are the two options to power the e-Vehicles.

 

Body:

Lithium Ion Battery:

  • It is type of rechargeable battery that contains several cells.
  • Each cell consists of cathode, anode and electrolyte, separator between electrodes and current collectors. Li-ion battery use intercalated lithium compound as one electrode material.
  • When the battery is charging up, the lithium-cobalt oxide, positive electrode gives up some of its lithium ions, which move through the electrolyte to the negative, graphite electrode and remain there.
  • When the battery is discharging, the lithium ions move back across the electrolyte to the positive electrode, producing the energy that powers the battery.

Advantages:

  • Li-ion batteries are rechargeable (lifecycle of 5000 recharges), highly space efficient, light-weight and low-maintenance vis-à-vis lead acid batteries.
  • High energy density: The much higher power density offered by lithium ion batteries is a distinct advantage.
  • Rate of self-discharge is much lower than that of other rechargeable cells such as Ni-Cad and NiMH forms.
  • It can provide instant torque to the electric motor and maintain constant voltage throughout entire discharge cycle.
  • Clean and safe technology vis-à-vis fossil fuels.

 

Challenges:

  • Raw materials are concentrated only in few places on earth. Example: Afghanistan, China etc.
  • They are not as robust as some other rechargeable technologies and requires long durations for charging.
  • They require protection circuitry incorporated to ensure they are kept within their safe operating limits.
  • Typically they are around 40% more costly to manufacture than Nickel cadmium cells.

Hydrogen-Fuel Cells:

  • Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that convert chemical energy in fuels into electrical energy directly.
  • A fuel cell produces electricity, water, and heat using fuel and oxygen in the air.
  • An electrochemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen, catalysed by platinum, to produce energy.
  • Water is the only emission when hydrogen is the fuel.

Advantages:

  • A fuel cell operating on pure hydrogen emits zero emissions at the source.
  • Fuel cells provide a much longer operating life than a battery, and since fuel cells have a higher energy density, they are lighter than an equivalent battery system.
  • Fuel cells create energy electrochemically, and do not burn fuel, they are fundamentally more efficient than combustion systems.
  • They do not require recharging and is a renewable source of energy.
  • Hydrogen can be produced from domestic resources, eliminating the need to import foreign oil. It gives energy security.
  • Fuel cells are modular, and can be scaled up depending on the power needs of a facility. Larger fuel cells can be linked together to achieve multi-megawatt outputs

 

Challenges:

  • While widely available, hydrogen is expensive. it takes a lot of time to separate the hydrogen element from others.
  • The transport and storage of hydrogen is deemed impractical.
  • Since it is a very powerful source of fuel, hydrogen can be highly inflammable.
  • Other non-renewable sources such as coal, oil and natural gas are needed to separate hydrogen from oxygen. As a result, carbon dioxide is also emitted in the air and makes global warming worse.

Conclusion:

India is one of the largest importers and in 2017, it imported nearly 150 Million US Dollar worth Li-Ion batteries. Indian manufacturers source Lithium Ion Battery from China, Japan and South Korea among some other countries. Hydrogen fuel cell technology is expensive and commercial usage is still very minimal.

The Lithium Ion batteries currently score over the Hydrogen Fuel cells due the former’s wide applications from mobile phones to wearable devices to e-Vehicles. The FAME India is a part of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan whose main thrust is to encourage electric vehicles by providing subsidies. India must however make a concerted attempt to incentivize both EVs and FCEVs.