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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 04 FEBRUARY 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 04 FEBRUARY 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.


General Studies – 2


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

1) Analyze the schemes announced in the union Budget 2019-20 for improving the status of agricultural sector?(250 words)

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Financialexpress

Why this question

The budget is very important for mains and prelims, which goes without saying. The highlights of the budget with respect to different sectors of the economy needs to be prepared. In this question, we focus on the measures taken in the budget for agricultural sector and the likely impact it would have.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss the measures taken in the budget for addressing the issues faced by farming sector. Thereafter we need to evaluate the measures by discussing it’s likely impact. Finally we have to provide a fair and balanced opinion.

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 – Highlight that the farming sector has been plagued by issues and the union Budget has taken steps to address it.

Body

  • Highlight that India’s agriculture sector accounts for close to 16% of the economy and employs almost 50% of the labour force.
  • Discuss the measures in the Budget
    • Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, an assured income support programme, for 120 million small and marginalized farmers with an outlay of ₹75,000 crore per year.
    • Increased the allocation for Rashtriya Gokul Mission to Rs 750 crore in the current year itself. Announced setting up of “Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog” to upscale sustainable genetic up-gradation of cow resources and to enhance production and productivity of cows
    • Proposed to provide the benefit of 2% interest subvention to the farmers pursuing the activities of animal husbandry and fisheries, who avail loan through Kisan Credit Card. Further, in case of timely repayment of loan, they will also get an additional 3% interest subvention
  • Discuss the likely impact of these measures.

Conclusion – give a fair and balanced opinion of the measures introduced and discuss how can we maximize benefit.

Background:-

  • Agriculture has got an unprecedented 144 percent rise in allocation in the interim budget announced recently from Rs 57,600 crore in the 2018-19 budget estimates to Rs 1,40,764 crore in the interim budget. This took the share of the agriculture ministry in the total union budget to 5.2 percent

Schemes in the budget 2019-20 to improve the status of agricultural sector:-

  • Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi :-
    • To relieve farmer distress the budget unveiled the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, an assured income support programme, for 120 million small and marginalized farmers with an outlay of ₹75,000 crore per year.
    • It provides support to small and marginal farmers who are largely involved in subsistence farming and struggles to invest in agriculture inputs or technology,
    • It will boost the rural consumption and positive for agriculture and allied sectors.
    • Poverty reduction:-
      • Cash transfer programmes have become an important tool of social protection and poverty reduction
      • It has immediate impact on reducing hunger and rural poverty.
      • They can help households to overcome credit constraints and manage risk.
    • Better use :-
      • This can increase productive investment, increase access to markets and stimulate local economies.
      • Income support can be used to make a repayment or at least activate a bank account which can then receive a loan.
      • It can increase investment in agricultural inputs, including farm implements and livestock
    • Rural development:-
      • It can serve as an important complement to a broader rural development agenda, including a pro-poor growth strategy focusing on agriculture
    • Criticism:-
      • However, with an annual relief of only ₹6,000 per year, it may not make any meaningful impact.
      • Cash transfer scheme such as PMKSN cannot be substituted for subsidies and other institutional support systems such as the National Food Security Act-powered public distribution system. In fact, such cash transfer schemes could be counterproductive and may lead to more distress.
      • Regressive:-
        • Except for the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation scheme , which offers some relief to the sharecroppers and landless labourers most other schemes are regressive with amount of transfer proportional to the land owned.
      • Finding beneficiaries is tough :
        • In sugarcane and cotton, much of the ground-level work is organised and in the hands of cooperatives, where the person who has the operational holding of land is well identified. But in crops where the ownership holding is different from the operational holding, it might be
      • In the absence of proper tenancy records, it will also benefit the absentee landlords.
      • It is no substitute for the lack of investment in agriculture, which has declined at 2.3% per annum in real terms
      • By taking away precious fiscal resources, it makes the farmer more vulnerable to both market as well as non-market induced risks.
      • Fiscal constraints to states:-
        • The income transfer scheme will further erode the fiscal capacity of states.
      • Kisan Sanmaan Nidhi scheme does not provide any relief to many actual cultivators such as tenants and share croppers as the cash transfer would go to owners even if they are not actual tillers of the land.
      • It also offers less effective coveragethan the Odisha and Telangana income support schemes whose success inspired it.
    • The extension of 2% interest subvention to animal husbandry and fisheries farmers, using Kisan Credit Card for loan, will be beneficial.
    • Similarly, the extension of 2% interest subvention for the full loan term to farmers seeking loan rescheduling on account of natural calamities, will ease pressure faced by them. In case of timely repayment, they will get an additional 3% incentive for the entire period of reschedulement of loans.
      • These measures initiated by the government to revive the agricultural economy will help fertilisers companies in the medium-term through higher demand.
    • Payment for indigenous urea has been hiked, while for imports it has been maintained, which will be a positive for new urea projects,
    • Announcement of setting up a separate Department of Fisheries is positive for the aquaculture industry as it would lead to prioritisation and more focused follow up on the development of farmers.
    • Loans availed through the Kisan Credit Card would give the farmers benefit of 2 per cent interest subvention and will go some way towards easing the ongoing pricing pain for shrimp farmers.
    • A fund of Rs. 60,000 crore is also being allocated to the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Act (MNREGA), more funds will be given if needed.
    • Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog is also to be set up to upscale sustainable genetic up-gradation of cow resources and to enhance production and productivity of cows
    • Increased the allocation for Rashtriya Gokul Mission to Rs 750 crore in the current year itself.

Other Constraints:-

  • Increasing milk production, without its pricing being competitive and remunerative for farmers, may not do much benefit.
  • Phosphate and potassic (P&K) fertiliser manufacturers will face pressure on margins, as the rise in raw material prices and rupee depreciation will necessitate higher pass through to the farmers.
  • Amount provisioned for various agricultural schemes, such as the critical irrigation mission, is inadequate.
  • Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana has always been underfunded, its allocation has seen no rise since its implementation in 2014-15. The budget estimate for 2019-20 for the scheme shows just a Rs 100-crore rise over last year’s budget.

Way forward :-

  • For a long-term solution, the government should first implement existing schemes, like it should give assured procurement and marketing of all commodities having MSP.
  • The Swaminathan Committee in 2004 had recommended farmers be allowed to fix the price for their produce on their own (cost of production plus 50% as profit), keeping local factors in mind.
  • Greater focus is required on enhancing farmer loan repayment capacity via smooth supply and value chains, and better price realisations.
  • The government must focus on three things: crop insurance, better irrigation and subsidised seed and fertilisers.
  • Real need is to expand the reach of farmers to institutional credit.

Topic– Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

2) It may well be the case that the basic structure doctrine is derived from the abstract. But that scarcely means it doesn’t exist within the Constitution. Comment.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

The doctrine of basic constitution is a novel and a landmark concept developed by the Indian judiciary. The doctrine has been invoked in many high profile cases in the SC. In this context it is important to discuss the relevance and place of the doctrine in the constitution.

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 about the doctrine of basic structure of the constitution and express our opinion as to whether the doctrine is implicit in the constitutional document or not.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  case which led to the birth of the basic structure doctrine. E.g mention the Kesavananda Bharati case which superseded the judgement in Gopalan Case and introduced the term.

Body-

  1. Discuss what the term broadly means. E.g discuss how the term has been defined by various courts and what are the provisions related to the basic structure- democracy, socialist state, secularism, right to life etc.
  2. Discuss whether the term is implicitly implied in the constitutional document. E.g
  • The phrase has no mention anywhere in the Constitution.
  • Not only is the basic structure canon legally legitimate, in that it is deeply rooted in the Constitution’s text and history, but it also possesses substantial moral value, in that it strengthens democracy by limiting the power of a majoritarian government to undermine the Constitution’s central ideals.
  • not only is the basic structure canon legally legitimate, in that it is deeply rooted in the Constitution’s text and history, but it also possesses substantial moral value, in that it strengthens democracy by limiting the power of a majoritarian government to undermine the Constitution’s central ideals.
  • Any amending body organized within the statutory scheme, howsoever verbally unlimited its power, cannot by its very structure change the fundamental pillars supporting its Constitutional authority. Etc.

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

Background:-

  • The case of Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala is perhaps the most well-known constitutional decision of the Supreme Court of India (Supreme Court). While ruling that there is no implied limitation on the powers of Parliament to amend the Constitution, it held that no amendment can do violence to its basic structure (the “Basic Structure Doctrine“.

Doctrine of basic structure:-

  • Doctrine of basic structure says that
    • The parliament’s unlimited power to amend the constitution is subject to only one restriction i.e it should not dilute or violate the basic structure of the constitution.
    • Or the effects of the amendment should not be abrogating or disturbing in nature towards the basic structure.
  • The doctrine of basic structure though is not exactly defined but through its contents which have been provided by the judicature clarifies a scope defining the frame or the structure of the constitution. From time to time basic structure is enhanced with some new contents and hence the Supreme Court is yet to define the exact basic structure of the constitution.
    • Supremacy of the constitution
    • Rule of law
    • Sovereignty, liberty and republic nature of Indian polity.
    • Judicial review
    • Harmony and Balance between fundamental rights and directive principles.
    • Separation of power.
    • Federal character.
    • Parliamentary system.
    • Rule of equality.
    • Unity and integrity of the nation.
    • Free and fair elections.
    • Powers of SC under Article 32,136,142,147
    • Power of HC under Article 226 and 227.
    • Limited power of parliament to amend the constitution.
    • Welfare state.
    • Freedom and dignity of an individual.
  • The Basic Structure concept got highlighted in various judgements of Supreme Court such as Indira Nehru Gandhi,Minerva Mills,Waman Rao and I.R.Coelho etc.

 Basic structure is derived from the abstract:-

  • The common criticism is that the doctrine has no basis in the Constitution’s language. The doctrine does not have a textual basis. There is no provision stipulating that this Constitution has a basic structure and that this structure is beyond the competence of amending power.
  • Its detractors also believe the doctrine accords the judiciary a power to impose its philosophy over a democratically formed government.

Basic structure exists within the constitution:-

  • It is deeply rooted in the Constitution’s text and history, but it also possesses substantial moral value, in that it strengthens democracy by limiting the power of a majoritarian government to undermine the Constitution’s central ideals.
  • Constitution authorises court to quash orders as well as legislations which violate fundamental rights of people except in case where the state is backed by law.
  • Fundamental Rights are the main source of basic structure of constitution. There are fundamental rights to ensure freedom of speech and expression , to maintain a secular state and protect citizens from arbitrary action of state .
  • Preamble specifically marks the thoughts of makers of constitution and the aspirations of people and defines the boundary upto which state can go . It tells that republic of India is constituted into a democratic, socialist , secular state .
  • Basic structure has implicit acceptance in constitutional debates where some values like democracy, secularism , federalism were discussed vigorously and thus attracted more importance .

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

3) USA’s withdrawal from the intermediate range nuclear forces treaty brings back the worrisome echo of the cold war. Examine(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

The article discusses the recent decision of USA to withdraw from the INF treaty and examines it’s implications. It is important to understand the contents of the treaty and what it means for arms control and strategic relations around the world.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain the treaty and discuss the decision of USA to withdraw from the treaty. We need to examine the implications of such a decision and discuss what it portends for the future of arms control.

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 – discuss why this issue is in news.

Body

  • Explain about the INF Treaty – Signed in 1987 by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, it barred both countries from deploying land-launched cruise missiles in the 500- to 5,500-km range.
  • Discuss the rationale behind USA’s decision to withdraw from the treaty
  • Discuss the strategic impact it is likely to have – bring out the point of view of European nations, what it means for the strategic security in indo Pacific.

Conclusion – Give your view and discuss what should India’s view be on this development.

Background:-

  • Recently US administration declared a suspension of U.S. obligations under the INF Treaty and formally announced its intention to withdraw from the treaty in six months. Shortly thereafter, Russia also announced that Russia will be officially suspending its treaty obligations as well. 

Intermediate range nuclear forces treaty :-

  • After several years of negotiations, the United States and the Soviet Union agreed to sign the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in 1987.
  • Under the Treaty, the two parties agreed that a whole important class of nuclear weapons would be removed from Europe, and only tactical nuclear weapons (TNW) or short-range missiles – mostly deployed on the territory of Germany – would remain.
  • The INF Treaty for years served to mitigate fears of both parties in relation to possibility of military escalation, operational miscalculation, and helping to shift the logic of MAD [mutually assured destruction] to the higher “more sensitive” political level.
  • It barred both countries from deploying land-launched cruise missiles in the 500- to 5,500-km range. 

 Rationale behind USA’s decision to withdraw from the treaty:-

  • Russia:-
    • What concerns Washington most is a Russian cruise missile designated SSC-8 associated with the Russian designation 9M729.
    • The SSC-8 has a range of 2,000 km, and is likely capable of being armed with conventional or nuclear warheads. Russia has also developed a shorter range version  ̶   the 9M728 (SSC-7) cruise missile that is a part of the Russian Iskander-M tactical missile system.
    • In July 2014, the U.S. State Department found Russia to be in violation of the agreement by producing and testing an illegal ground-launched cruise missile.
  • China:-
    • China is not bound by the INF Treaty and has deployed intermediate-range missiles in significant numbers .
    • For many years China not limited by the INF Treaty has made striking military progress and developed and deployed a numerous arsenal of high-end cruise missiles, both land attack and anti-ship (ASBM), capable to carry conventional or nuclear warheads. 
    • As analysts have noted intermediate-range systems make up approximately 95 percent of the People’s Liberation Army missile force.
  • Observers have argued that the INF Treaty is anachronistically Eurocentric, failing to take into account the U.S.-Chinese military balance, which is becoming increasingly central to Washington’s strategic calculations. 

 

Implications:-

  • US:-
    • Intermediate-range missile systems and cruise missiles would considerably enrich U.S. capabilities .
    • Returning to intermediate-range systems would equip American forces with the capability to strike targets that are highly difficult to penetrate for conventional weapons at present.
  • China:-
    • Nevertheless, any additional U.S. conventional military superiority gives China considerable incentive to increase reliance on an escalatory and possibly deterrence strategy.
    • There will be vectoral enhancement of political relations with states all over the world, particularly those that are economically and politically affiliated to China, with possible shows of economic might and deeper engagement on the field of security.
  • Europe:-
    • Washington and Moscow walking away from the INF Treaty will legitimate deployment of intermediate missiles in Europe – at the Russian and the European side.
    • Within the range of 500 – 2,000 km, Poland could stand for a missile launchpad and the first rank target, at the same time.
  • Russia:-
    • Washington’s decision will ignite wide policy polemics in the Alliance, protracted debate on relations with Russia, the prospect of stronger nuclear deterrence, and if miscalculated, even war.
    • In harmony with the Limited Test Ban Treaty of the 1960s, SALT [Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty] and START [Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty], the INF has had a codifying effect on the two superpowers’ strategic relations. The INF Treaty bound Russia, but also offered a hedge against worst-case scenarios, like a redeployment of U.S. missiles in Europe. 
    • The number of operational 9M729 missiles has been quite limited, but released from its official obligations under the treaty, Moscow could deploy more units rapidly.
    • US’s move is also likely to undermine the 2010 New START treaty governing U.S. and Russian long-range nuclear systems. The INF Treaty’s demise will undercut New START by reopening questions on the relationship between intermediate and strategic systems that have been resolved for 30 years by the elimination of ground-based, intermediate-range missiles
  • Washington’s leaving the ABM [Anti-Ballistic Missile] and INF Treaty creates a formal agreement to vertical proliferation of WMD and gives higher status to the concept of power in international politics
  • Withdrawal is likely to be controversial with U.S. allies in NATO, further splitting the alliance at a difficult time for transatlantic relations. Many Western European NATO states favour retaining the INF, in conjunction with previous U.S. policy designed to push Moscow back into compliance. This raises concerns that divisions within NATO may worsen when the United States officially withdraws from the INF.

 


General Studies – 3


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

4) The recent developments in the Indian economy call for a unified regulator for NBFCs. Analyze.(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

The article examines the need for an independent and unified regulatory regime for NBFCs. In the context of several crisis hitting Indian NBFCs, it is important to examine the issue in detail.

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 recent developments in the NBFCs sector in the Indian economy and bring out as to why there is a need for a unified regulator.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- write a few introductory lines about the  recent crisis being faced by the NBFC sector in India. E.g Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) crisis of last October and the DHFL crisis.

Body-

Discuss in points as to why there is a need for a unified NBFC regulator in India. E.g

  • India has 10,000 active NBFCs that are regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), of which some 275 are systemically important (SI).
  • Non-deposit taking systemically important entities, tagged with the alphabet soup acronym NBFC ND-SI, are those with a threshold asset size greater than ₹500 crore—asset finance companies, asset reconstruction companies, infrastructure finance companies, and microfinance companies are among the various types that make up the broad group of NBFCs.
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending companies are the newest set to join this group.
  • Indian non-banks are governed by a regulatory hodgepodge of RBI, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda), NHB, the ministry of corporate affairs (for nidhi companies) and state governments (for chit funds).
  • Cooperation is on an ad hoc basis and often post-event.
  • The commission chaired by former justice B.N. Srikrishna recommended that Sebi, Irda, the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority and the Forward Markets Commission (since merged with Sebi) be merged under one regulator to be called the Unified Financial Authority.
  • The FSLRC recommended that micro-prudential regulation (health of individual firms) be conducted through a non-sector specific approach.

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

Background:-

  • Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFC) are establishments that provide financial services and banking facilities without meeting the legal definition of a Bank. They are covered under the Banking regulations laid down by the Reserve Bank of India and provide banking services like loans, credit facilities, TFCs, retirement planning, investing and stocking in money market.
  • The recent troubles with non-banking financial companies IL & FS Crisis and the latest reports on DHFL crisis  have generated a lot of discussions, with calls for tighter regulation.

Why there is need for unified regulator of NBFC:-

  • NBFC is passing through a turbulent period following a series of defaults by Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS)and the subsequent liquidity crunch. . 
  • Rapid growth and continued dependence on bank funding meant that the risks to the banking system from NBFC also became larger during this period
  • The IL&FS episode and its aftermath have resurfaced deeper issues about NBFC regulation. For one, it reaffirmed the concern of NBFC risks impacting the banking system.
    • With very large borrowing, questions were immediately raised on the impact of IL&FS default on banks, and also on funds and even corporates that were holding debt paper issued by the company.
    • Essentially this episode highlighted the risks that the regulator has always perceived in letting NBFCs grow on the back of bank funding.
  • NBFCs have no liquidity requirements such as statutory liquidity ratio or liquidity coverage ratio, except for SLR for deposit-taking NBFCs. When a bank borrows from another, it has to maintain a 19.5 percent SLR on such a borrowing. When an NBFC borrows from a bank, it has to maintain no SLR.
  • International experience:-
    • To mitigate a huge crisis and to protect consumers, China dramatically tightened its regulation related to P2P firms beginning in 2016.
  • Cooperation is on an ad hoc basis and often post-event.
    • Indian non-banks are governed by a regulatory hodgepodge of RBI, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda), NHB, the ministry of corporate affairs (for nidhi companies) and state governments (for chit funds).
    • Today NBFCs are regulated on a sector specific basis like IRDA,NHB,SEBI etc.In an economy which is complex and things are interconnected unified regulations would make more sense.
  • Unified regulator would enhance cooperation and enable to identify systemic risks at much before. This would increase the potential to combat such risks before its too late.
  • It has also been recommended by FSLRC committee headed by B.N Srikrishna.
  • NBFCs are India’s shadow banks. When they were a relatively small part of the system, we could let them grow with light regulation. This is no longer the case. Recent events should be treated as a wake-up call and result in the tightening of regulations.

However there have been arguments against unified regulation due to the following reasons:-

  • there are strong inter-linkages between banks and NBFCs and a unified regulation by the same regulator is essential for financial stability.
  • For monetary policy to be effective, credit creation (that is, by banks and credit institutions like NBFCs) should be regulated by the central bank.

 

Way forward:-

  • The systemic risks should be managed by Financial stability and development council.This could be done by giving Statutory status to FSDC as recommended by FSLRC committee.
  • Given the growing size and dominance of the NBFC sector, it is important that the threshold capital levels for entry be substantially increased. It may be prudent for RBI to evaluate the need to shore up minimum capital requirements for various NBFCs.
  • While RBI has identified systemically important NBFCs, it needs to step up the monitoring of NBFCs which belong to large, diversified groups. Checks and balances are needed to ensure that risks do not build up in the sector due to structures which are too-complex-to-manage. 
  • RBI could consider re-visiting some of the unimplemented recommendations of the Working Group on Issues and Concerns in the NBFC Sector chaired by Usha Thorat in 2011.
    • One such recommendation was the introduction of a liquidity coverage ratio for NBFCs. The objective was to ensure that NBFCs have cash balances and holdings of government securities which may fully cover gaps between cumulative outflows and cumulative inflows for the first 30 days. This would be the buffer in times of stress.
  • The regulatory oversight on NBFC hitherto can be summarised as ‘much lighter on the assets, and absent on the liabilities’. This must change. Liabilities side regulations must be imposed, at least for the systemically important NBFCs.

Topic– Indian economy and issues related to employment.

5) The Indian economy is floundering on many economic parameters related to employment. Analyze.(250 words)

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Why this question

The article highlights the broader questions highlighted by the recent NSSO report on jobless growth in Indian economy. The article provides several relevant data and ends with a poignant question which needs reflection to improve the state of our economy.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss the status quo of Indian economy with respect to employment and issues related to employment such as jobless growth, LFPR, labour productivity etc. The question expects us to flag off the major issues and suggest a way forward.

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 – Highlight that the demographic dividend of the country makes the question of employment pertinent for our economy. In this backdrop, the recent NSSO report (as per media reports) paint a sorry picture of employment scenario in the country.

Body

  • Discuss the issue of jobless growth in general country . Use data to buttress your argument.
  • Discuss the fall in LFPR and examine the causes. Focus on the fall in female LFPR.
  • Discuss the issue of labour productivity and highlight what it suggests about the Indian economy
  • Discuss the status of job creation in the economy in formal vs informal sector

Conclusion – give your opinion on the state of employment in Indian economy based on discussion and suggest way forward.

Background:-

  • India has one of the youngest populations in an aging world. By 2020, the median age in India will be just 28. Demographics can change the pace and pattern of economic growth. However recent reports raise concerns about the job situation in India.

Indian economy is floundering on many economic parameters:-

  • Labour force participation:-
    • According to the data published in the Business Standard, the labour force participation rate has declined systematically. It was 43% in 2004-05, 40% in 2009-10, 39.5% in 2011-12 and 36.9% in 2017-18.
  • Jobless growth:-
    • According to the latest NSSO report, the joblessness situation had worsened since the results of the last survey in 2011-12. and, this, despite growth in gross domestic product (GDP) continuing to average over 7%. This shows that there is jobless growth taking place .
  • Women :-
    • Almost the entire decline in the labour participation is triggered due to a sharp reduction of women in the workforce. The labour force participation rate of women was 29.4% in 2004-05, 23.5% in 2009-10, 22.5% in 2011-12 and 17.5% in 2017-18. While women make up nearly half of the population, they account for less than one-fifth of the workforce. 
  • Quality of jobs:-
    • Growth in the economy is accelerating, which could, given that jobs are not growing commensurately, only mean that Indian workers
    • Anecdotal data suggests that this is very unlikely, especially since employment in the formal economy, which is where productivity gains accrue the most, is shrinking.
    • Bulk of the new generation of jobs—like delivery personnel, beauticians, Ola/Uber drivers and so on—are coming up in the informal economy and, here again, the impetus comes from the consumer economy. 
  • As open unemployment rates increase, more and more people got disheartened, and fall out of the labour force. In other words, they stopped looking for work, even though they were in the working age (15+). The result is that labour force participation rates (LFPR), for all ages, have fallen sharply from 43% in 2004-5 to 39.5% in 2011-12, to 36.9% in 2017-18.
  • Disguised employment,poor skill set etc hit economic productivity negatively.
  • According to the National Sample Survey, out of the 470 million people of working age in India, only 10% receive any kind of training or access to skilled employment opportunities.
  • There’s a huge mismatch between demand and supply when it comes to skilled workforce and employment opportunities, which could place a strain on the economy in the long run.

Way forward:-

  • Besides promoting technical education, the government needs to focus more on creation of jobs and demand for workers since industries are unable to create sufficient job opportunities for all the technically educated people
  • Private sector leaders should build capacity among unskilled and semi-skilled workers to ensure sustainability of renewable energy projects and provide opportunities to rural communities. Government officials should create public training programmes to prepare the poor and less educated people especially semi-skilled and unskilled for employment in the clean-energy sector.
  • People need to be made self employed by providing training in skills and latest technologies for agriculture and other avenues especially in rural areas.
  • Women in rural areas who are left behind by men due to migration need to look into other sources of livelihood other than agriculture like animal husbandry etc.

Topic – Challenges to internal security through social networking sites

6) Social media has emerged as a major threat to nation’s internal security. Discuss.(250 words)

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss the nature of threat to internal security caused by social media. Thereafter, it expects us to discuss why it is difficult to negate this threat and highlight way forward.

Directive word

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

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain that threat due to social media is on the rise as seen in elections in Phillipines, USA etc

Body

  • Discuss the nature of threat due to social media
    • The rapid spread of false information through social media is among the emerging risks identified by the World Economic Forum in its Global Risks 2013 Report.
    • Cyber terrorism
    • Recruitment drives
    • Spreading fake news etc
  • Discuss challenges in monitoring social media
    • Server Location and Laws of Different Countries: Lack of Geographical Boundaries makes social media regulation an arduous task. Major Complicating Factors to secure the networks and Media Much of the hardware and software that make up the communications ecosystem is sourced externally.
    • Encrypted Message: Use of phones/whatsapp to send and receive messages, concerns the government because the communications sent via such devices and applications are encrypted and could not be monitored and consequently hinders the country’s efforts to fight terrorism and crime.
    • Complicated Networks: The task of securing the networks is also complicated by the fact that much of the infrastructure is in the hands of private companies who see measures such as security auditing and other regulations and frameworks as adding to their costs. source of Origin is difficult to find out.
  • Highlight the steps India has taken so far – discuss measures such as – National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID), Central Monitoring System (CMS), Internet Spy System Network and Traffic Analysis System (NETRA) of India, National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIPC) of India, National Cyber Coordination Centre (NCCC) of India, Tri Service Cyber Command for Armed Forces of India

Conclusion – Give your view and discuss way forward

Background:-

  • In the internet of things, ideas take a gigantic leap every day and disruption (both good and bad) is the norm. One such disruption which has revolutionised the way information is exchanged in real time has been the advent of Social media.
  • It has triggered an information revolution the world over that has forced people, governments and organisations, both public and private, to rethink strategies on how they manage their information and engage in an increasingly interconnected world

Why is social media threat to nation’s internal security :-

  • The advantages of Social media are so many but they are posing threat to Internal Security in various forms like Cyber Terrorism, Fraud, crime, spreading violence, etc.
  • According to the Cisco 2013 Annual Security Report, the highest concentration of online security threats are on mass audience sites, including social media. The rapid spread of false information through social media is among the emerging risks identified by the World Economic Forum in its Global Risks 2013 Report.
  • With limited government oversight, industry standards or incentives to educate users on security, privacy and identity protection, users are exposed to identity theft and fr
  • Additionally, these platforms have huge confidential user information, and are likely vulnerable to outside or inside attack which is detrimental to Internal Security. 
  • Cyber Terrorism:
    • The biggest challenge for internal security of nation through social networking site is cyber terrorism. 
    • Today terrorists select Social Media as a practical alternative to disturb the function of nations and other business activities because this technique has potential to cause huge damage. It poses enormous threat in international system and attracts the mass media, the security community, and the information technology corporation. 
    • At the same time, due to the convenience, affordability and broad reach of social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, terrorist groups have increasingly used social media to further their goals and spread their message. 
    • Social Media became a platform for coordination of plans of attack, communication with cells, or propaganda and information and spread of hate campaign or messages that can hurt the sentiments of people.
    • Chat rooms and electronic forums enable the insurgent and extremists groups to communicate with members and supporters all over the world, to recruit new followers and to share information at little risk of identification by authorities.
  • Fraud: 
    • Social networking sites also invite fraudsters to take excellent opportunity to become wealthy by applying deceiver schemes. 
  • Criminal Activity and Money laundering:
    • Social networking sites also pose major challenge in financial and organized crime which destabilizes the system. It creates threat to a company’s security because of what employees might disclose and they are on prime target for cyber criminals.
  • International users:
    • The other national and international users such as the political parties, NGO’s, hackers pose a serious threat using the social media. For example, during the civil turmoil in the Arab Spring Uprising, the various governments were threatened through the social media. 
  • To Bring Revolution: 
    • Some countries in the world feel threatened by the fact that social media can bring the people together and thus, create a revolution. This in turn can cause political instability
  • Communal Violence and Fanning Tensions: 
    • Importantly, social media also seems to be playing a significant role in polarising different communities in India and compounding India’s Security challenges. The viral videos and false updates of communal clashes, riots and terrorists attack have created a massive impact in the life of public.
    • Mobile and social network interface was used to send offensive clips and hate messages that triggered panic and mass exodus of north east Indians from large parts of India in the aftermath of the ethnic clashes in Assam in 2012.
    • In September 2013, a morphed video on YouTube was used to fan communal riots in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh and led to mass panic.
  • Virtual Community: 
    • Popular social networking websites are another means of attracting potential members and followers. These types of virtual communities are growing increasingly popular all over the world, especially among younger demographics. This can build Anti-national Sentiments among Society.

Although social media has the potential to be a threat to national security, it also has the opportunity to strengthen National Security and to be used to benefit the Government:-

  • One of the fastest growing ways that Governments are using social media is as a warning or trend prevention tool. As a monitoring tool, the government is able to recognize the first signs of any hostile or potentially dangerous activity by collecting and analyzing messages in order to try to predict events that could be a danger to National Security. 
  • Another important use of social media by the government is as an institutional Communication Tool. Social Media provides a medium that creates cohesion between federal agencies by increasing both communication and transparency.

Way forward:-

 

  • Institutionalise the blueprint for a National Social Media Policy:
    • The Indian establishment needs to recognise the medium and grant it a legal status if it needs to deal with the multitude of challenges that rise out of it effectively.
    • The National Cyber Security Policy needs to be revised to include social media challenges which are distinct from the cyber security threats.
  • Replicate “Social Media Labs” across the country.
  • serious and clear headed debate on the issue of freedom of expression, social responsibility, anonymity and data security is the need of the hour.

Topic- Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention

7) What do you understand by  cyber terrorism. Discuss. Also discuss the forms of cyber terrorism.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

There has been an increase in incidents of Cyber terrorism  across the world, including India. In this context it is important for us to understand the term in detail.

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 write in detail about the meaning of the term, cyber terrorism. It also wants us to discuss in detail about the forms of cyber terrorism.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- write a few introductory lines about the  term cyber terrorism. E.g Cyber terrorism can be defined as electronic attacks from cyberspace from both the internal and external networks, particularly from the Internet that emanate from various terrorist sources with different set of motivations and are directed at a particular target.

Body-

  1. Discuss about the term in detail. E.g
  • Cyber terrorism is the convergence of cyberspace and terrorism and it is different from cyber crimes, such as data theft, bank fraud etc.
  • It is executed via cyberspace by individuals, groups or organizations who are directly influenced by some terrorist movements or/and its leaders; and motivated by a desire to effect political or ideological change;  
  • leading to violence that reaches physical and psychological repercussions beyond the immediate victim or target.
  1. Discuss the forms of cyber terrorism. E.g
  • Hybrid Cyber Terrorism- use of the Internet for terrorist activities such as propaganda, recruitment, radicalization, fundraising, data mining, communication, training, and planning for actual terrorist attacks.
  • Pure Cyber Terrorism

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

 

Cyber terrorism:-

  • Cyber terrorism is the convergence of cyberspace and terrorism and it is different from cybercrimes, such as data theft, bank fraud etc.
  • It is generally understood as an act that is
    • executed via cyberspace by individuals, groups or organizations who are directly influenced by some terrorist movements or/and its leaders
    • motivated by a desire to effect political or ideological change leading to violence that reaches physical and psychological repercussions beyond the immediate victim or target.

Forms of cyber terrorism:-

  • Hybrid Cyber Terrorism
    • Hybrid cyber terrorism is the use of the Internet for terrorist activities such as propaganda, recruitment, radicalization, fundraising, data mining, communication, training, and planning for actual terrorist attacks.
    • Propaganda and Psychological Warfare:
      • The Internet is being used by terrorists and terrorist organizations to spread and manage their propaganda through information warfare, to impart their ideology, to conduct psychological warfare as well as to radicalize and recruit new members from all over the world, through terrorist websites, online magazines, and various social media platforms.
    • Communication and Networking:
      • Terrorists groups have used social media platforms and encrypted messaging system applications , online gaming chat rooms, coded messages or steganography for covert discussions.
      • For instance, VoIP phone services were used during the Mumbai attacks in 2008.
    • Fundraising:
      • Funding for terrorist related activities is also being done by donation through social media platforms and blogs, and the use of the bitcoin digital currency.
    • Data Mining, Recruitment and Training:
      • Terrorists are using the Internet for data mining to collect information of particular places and individuals as potential targets for attacks as well as recruitment.
    • Pure Cyber Terrorism
      • Pure cyber terrorism refers to direct attacks on a victim’s cyber infrastructure to achieve the political, religious and ideological objectives.
    • Destructive and disruptive cyber terrorism can be further differentiated:
      • Destructive cyber terrorism is the manipulation and corruption of information system functions to damage or destroy virtual and physical assets. The most popular weapon is the use of computer viruses and worms; Trojans and ransomware.
      • Disruptive cyber terrorism is described as hacking designed to take down websites and disrupt the normal lifestyle, which relies on Critical infrastructure supporting medical utility, transportation, and financial systems.

Topic-Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention

8) What are the statutory and the institutional framework for dealing with money laundering in India. Discuss.(250 words)

Reference

 

Why this question

There has been a spate of money laundering cases in India in recent years. India has also been successful in seeking extradition of several high profile economic offenders from foreign countries. In this context it is essential to understand the framework for dealing with money laundering in India.

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 write in detail about the  statutory and the institutional framework for dealing with money laundering in India.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Write a few introductory lines about the  money laundering. E.g describe the meaning and process of money laundering in brief lines.

Body-

  1. Discuss the statutory framework for dealing with money laundering in India. E.g
  • PMLA Act
  • It prescribes obligation of banking companies, financial institutions and intermediaries for verification and maintenance of records of the identity of all its clients and also of all transactions and for furnishing information of such transactions in prescribed form to the Financial Intelligence Unit-India (FIU-IND).
  • It empowers the Director of FIU-IND to impose fine on banking company, financial institution or intermediary if they or any of its officers fails to comply with the provisions of the Act as indicated above.
  • PMLA envisages setting up of an Adjudicating Authority to exercise jurisdiction, power and authority conferred by it essentially to confirm attachment or order confiscation of attached properties.
  1. Discuss the regulatory framework. E.g
  • ED and FIU
  • PMLA empowers certain officers of the Directorate of Enforcement to carry out investigations in cases involving offence of money laundering and also to attach the property involved in money laundering.
  • Financial Intelligence Unit – India in 2004 as the central national agency responsible for receiving, processing, analyzing and disseminating information relating to suspect financial transactions.
  • FIU-IND is also responsible for coordinating and strengthening efforts of national and international intelligence, investigation and enforcement agencies in pursuing the global efforts against money laundering and related crimes. FIU-IND is an independent body reporting directly to the Economic Intelligence Council (EIC) headed by the Finance Minister.

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

Background:-

  • Money laundering is a process where the proceeds of crime are transformed into apparently legitimate money or other assets. It is the processing of criminal proceeds to disguise its illegal origin.
  • In simple words, it can be defined as the act of making money that comes from one source to look like it comes from another source.
  • Money laundering is a single process however, its cycle can be broken down into three distinct stages namely, placement stage, layering stage and integration stage.

International framework:

  • THE VIENNA CONVENTION
    • It was the first major initiative in the prevention of money laundering held in December 1988.
    • This convention laid down the groundwork for efforts to combat money laundering by obliging the member states to criminalize the laundering of money from drug trafficking.
    • It promotes international cooperation in investigations and makes extradition between member states applicable to money laundering.
    • . The convention also establishes the principle that domestic bank secrecy provisions should not interfere with international criminal investigations.
  • The FINANCIAL ACTION TASK FORCE (FATF):-
    • The FATF is an inter-governmental body established at the G7 summit at Paris in 1989 with the objective to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system

Statutory framework:-

  • In India, before the enactment of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) the major statutes that incorporated measures to address the problem of money laundering were:
    • The Income Tax Act, 1961
    • The Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act, 1974 (COFEPOSA)
    • The Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators Act, 1976 (SAFEMA)
    • The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPSA)
    • The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988
    • The Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1988
    • The Foreign Exchange Management Act, 2000, (FEMA)

 

  • PMLA Act:-
    • It prescribes obligation of banking companies, financial institutions and intermediaries for verification and maintenance of records of the identity of all its clients and also of all transactions and for furnishing information of such transactions in prescribed form to the Financial Intelligence Unit-India (FIU-IND).
    • It empowers the Director of FIU-IND to impose fine on banking company, financial institution or intermediary if they or any of its officers fails to comply with the provisions of the Act as indicated above.
    • PMLA envisages setting up of an Adjudicating Authority to exercise jurisdiction, power and authority conferred by it essentially to confirm attachment or order confiscation of attached properties.

Institutional framework:-

  • Enforcement directorate:-
    • PMLA empowers certain officers of the Directorate of Enforcement to carry out investigations in cases involving offence of money laundering and also to attach the property involved in money laundering.
  • Financial Intelligence Unit :-
    • It was established in India in 2004 as the central national agency responsible for receiving, processing, analyzing and disseminating information relating to suspect financial transactions.
    • FIU-IND is also responsible for coordinating and strengthening efforts of national and international intelligence, investigation and enforcement agencies in pursuing the global efforts against money laundering and related crimes.
    • FIU-IND is an independent body reporting directly to the Economic Intelligence Council (EIC) headed by the Finance Minister.