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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 31 JANUARY 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 31 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 – changes in critical geographical features (including water bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

1) What do you understand by tropospheric and stratospheric polar vortex? How is it related to deep freeze in USA?(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

Parts of USA are expected to remain colder than Antarctica in the days to come. It is important for us to understand what will cause this deep freeze.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to first explain what polar vortex is and examine the role that it would play in the deep freeze in USA.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight the news that weather reports have predicted deep freeze in USA .

Body

  • Explain what is a polar vortex. Thereafter, explain what are tropospheric and stratospheric polar vortex
    • One exists in the lowest layer of the atmosphere, the troposphere, which is where we live and where the weather happens. The other exists in the second-lowest, called the stratosphere, which is a shroud of thin air that gets warmer at higher altitudes.
    • The low-level vortex in the troposphere is a large mass of brutally cold air and swirling winds coiled around omnipresent polar low pressure. The year-round cold temperature causes air to condense and shrink in size, which creates a vacuum effect that draws air inward.
      The tropospheric polar vortex is the one that affects our weather. Most of the time, its harsh conditions are out of reach. But every so often, lobes of it pinch off from the main flow and crash south. This can lash the Lower 48 with piercing shots of cold, intense bouts of storminess and bitter wind chills well below zero.
    • stratospheric polar vortex lives above and separate from the troposphere. It is much more compact than its tropospheric cousin. It forms in a similar way but is smoother and maintains a much sharper edge. That is because there is very little mixing with the air below it. With lots of rotational energy, this counterclockwise gyre can speed with little to slow it down.
  • Explain their impact on weather – Most of the time, the stratospheric polar vortex has little impact on our weather. The two layers of the atmosphere remain largely disconnected. Once in a while, the stratospheric vortex gets disrupted – a sudden stratospheric warming event. When this happens, the vortex can split and affect the weather below it. It can cause kinks in the jet stream so that, instead of flowing west to east, there are a lot of dips and ridges. And the waves in the jet stream can disrupt the lower (tropospheric) polar vortex, break off a lobe and force it south causing extreme chill in parts of USA.

Conclusion – Summarize your answer by focussing on the impact of polar vortex.

 

Introduction:

        A record-breaking cold wave has swept through the US Midwest, with 22 states hitting sub-zero temperatures. The extreme cold has been caused by a blast of Arctic air, which in turn is a result of what is known as a “polar vortex” event. It has forced residents to huddle indoors, closed schools and businesses and cancelled flights.

Body:

Polar vortex:

  • Essentially a low-pressure area, it is a wide expanse of swirling cold air surrounding both polar regions.
  • The counter-clockwise flow of air helps keep the colder air near the poles.
  • In winter, the polar vortex sometimes becomes less stable and expands.
  • Many times during winter in the northern hemisphere, the [north] polar vortex will expand, sending cold air southward with the jet stream.
  • It is not confined to the US either. Portions of Europe and Asia also experience cold surges connected to the polar vortex.

There are two polar vortexes in each hemisphere, North and South.

Tropospheric Polar Vortex:

  • The one that exists in the lowest layer of the atmosphere, the troposphere, which is where we live and where the weather happens is the Tropospheric Polar Vortex.
  • The low-level vortex in the troposphere is a large mass of brutally cold air and swirling winds coiled around omnipresent polar low pressure.
  • The year-round cold temperature causes air to condense and shrink in size, which creates a vacuum effect that draws air inward.
  • The tropospheric polar vortex is the one that affects our weather.
  • Most of the time, its harsh conditions are out of reach.
  • But every so often, lobes of it pinch off from the main flow and crash south.

Stratospheric Polar Vortex:

  • The other exists in the second-lowest, called the stratosphere, which is a shroud of thin air that gets warmer at higher altitudes.
  • The stratospheric polar vortex lives above and separate from the troposphere.
  • It is much more compact than its tropospheric cousin.
  • It forms in a similar way but is smoother and maintains a much sharper edge. That is because there is very little mixing with the air below it.
  • With lots of rotational energy, this counter-clockwise gyre can speed with little to slow it down.
  • The stratospheric polar vortex does not stick around year-long: It disintegrates around March and starts to regenerate again in September; that is when the sun sets on the North Pole for the last time until spring.
  • By December and January, the stratospheric polar vortex is a full-fledged machine. But a strong polar vortex does not mean storms for us. In fact, it is the contrary.

Impact on weather:

  • Most of the time, the stratospheric polar vortex has little impact on our weather.
  • The two layers of the atmosphere remain largely disconnected.
  • Once in a while, the stratospheric vortex gets disrupted – a sudden stratospheric warming event.
  • When this happens, the vortex can split and affect the weather below it.
  • It can cause kinks in the jet stream so that, instead of flowing west to east, there are a lot of dips and ridges.
  • And the waves in the jet stream can disrupt the lower (tropospheric) polar vortex, break off a lobe and force it south causing extreme chill in parts of USA.

Conclusion:

Scientists say higher temperatures in the Arctic have led to historically low levels of ice there. That, in turn, has led changes in the jet stream, causing the polar vortex to buckle. Adaptation and mitigation strategies need to be relooked at global platforms for such extreme weather events arising out of Global warming. Need of the hour is consensus among nations to tackle global warming.


Topic– struggle for independence : significant personalities.

2) Discuss Mahatma Gandhi’s view on representative democracy?(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question

The article explains Gandhi’s view on representative democracy and would enable us to understand his views on democracy and hind swaraj more deeply.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out Gandhi’s views on representative democracy while explaining about his own idea of hind swaraj. Finally, we can discuss how democracy in current time can be made more representative using Gandhi’s ideas.

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 idea of representative democracy

Body

  • Discuss Gandhi’s view on representative democracy
    • Gandhi’s view of British style parliamentary democracy can be guaged from his view that parliamentary form of democracy was ill-suited for India, when he wrote in the Hind Swaraj, “I pray to God that India may never be in that plight”.
    • Gandhi supported the idea of direct democracy instead of representative democracy.
    • dislike for representative democracy sprang from his conviction that it would in no time degenerate into an anti-people institution in a multicultural and multi-religious context like India.
  • Explain about the form of direct democracy that Gandhi advocated – talk about the idea of village republics and Hind swaraj
    • Gandhi envisaged the creation of interrelated self-sufficient non-hierarchical socialist village communities called “swaraj”, with each of them functioning as a direct democracy.
    • Gandhi devised his constructive programme for the implementation of “swaraj”. He believed that “swaraj”, if implemented through the constructive programme, would help people conceive development as freedoms instead of economic advancement.
    • He also needed, a non-violent interim arrangement during the transition from a capitalist state to a stateless socialist society. Gandhi’s idea of trusteeship, like Marx’s idea of dictatorship of the proletariat, was intended for that purpose. He believed that this was the only way India could escape the threat of becoming a nation state and being forced to choose between the two evils.
  • Give your views in Gandhi’s ideas

Conclusion – Explain how third tier of government can be strengthened in line with Gandhi’s vision.

Introduction:

        Representative democracy is the system of government where citizens elect a representative to represent them. It is limited in the sense that participation in government is infrequent and brief, being restricted to the  act  of  voting  every  few  years. The elected representative communicates the views of his constituents and secures their interests. In a representative democracy, government is the expression of the will of people. Discussion, debates, deliberations and dissents are the ways in which people exchange ideas and take decisions.

Body:

Gandhiji’s view on representative democracy are

  • Gandhiji’s disdain for the institution of parliament was evident when in 1909. With reference to British parliament of the day, he described it “a costly toy of the nation”.
  • He believed that the parliamentary form of democracy was ill-suited for India was clearly evident when he wrote in the Hind Swaraj, “I pray to God that India may never be in that plight”.
  • The democracy that Gandhi supported wholeheartedly was the direct form of democracy as opposed to the representative one.
  • Representative democracy is a product of an idea of a nation state that developed after the French Revolution.
  • The idea of a nation state was itself a trap and he feared that once India adopted it, it would forever be forced to run a representative form of government in order to avoid the menace of a possible dictatorship.
  • This dislike for representative democracy sprang from his conviction that it would in no time degenerate into an anti-people institution in a multicultural and multi-religious context like India.

The form of direct democracy that Gandhi advocated

  • Gandhi envisaged the creation of interrelated self-sufficient non-hierarchical socialist village communities called “swaraj”, with each of them functioning as a direct democracy.
  • He believed that “swaraj”, if implemented through the constructive programme, would help people conceive development as freedoms instead of economic advancement.
  • Gandhi’s idea of trusteeship, like Marx’s idea of dictatorship of the proletariat believed this was the only way India could escape the threat of becoming a nation state and being forced to choose between the two evils.

Current state of representative democracy of India:

  • In the democracy index of 2017, India has been categorised as a flawed democracy.
  • Money, other incentives and the presence of criminals play a significant role in the elections.
  • Except for the left parties, all other political groups are either owned by an individual, a family or an institution for all practical purposes.
  • Intra party democracy thus stands seriously compromised.
  • The ‘Vote Banks’ are exploited by all the political parties.
  • The Hindutva movement and its ascendency, is now threatening to convert Indian representative democracy into a majoritarian democracy.

Conclusion:

Direct democracy introduced through deliberative polling, we should simultaneously convert the parliament and the legislative assemblies into institutions of deliberative democracy. Giving true autonomy to the third tier of democracy, free and fair elections, intra-party democracy will help get the swaraj that Gandhiji’s idea of direct democracy had.


Topic – Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the
performance of these schemes

3) Direct income support has been cast as a panacea for ending mass poverty. Critically examine in this context the idea presented by Arvind Subramaniam and others regarding direct income support. (250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

With elections round the corner, the issue of Direct income support has again come into the political limelight. This article examines the pros and cons of such a measure and will help you in building a perspective on the issue.

Key demand of the question

The question expects you to explain the contours of such a measure and thereafter, highlight the pros and cons of it. In the end, we need to provide a fair and balanced opinion about the utility of guaranteed basic income and discuss the way forward.

Directive word

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

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain that Direct income support  has become a major talking point and explain what it means.

Body

  • Explain the form that direct income support might take in the country. Explain the idea put forth by Arvind Subramaniam and others
    • direct cash transfer to 60-80% of the rural poor that will work as an effective cushion against rural distress. Using an illustrative calculation, the article argues that annual transfer of ₹18,000 or ₹1,500 a month to three-fourths of the rural population can be covered at a fiscal cost of about 1.3% of gross domestic product (GDP), or ₹2.64 trillion in 2019-20 prices.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of the idea of direct basic income. Highlight that the idea has been toyed around by members of Planning commission earlier.

Conclusion – Based on your discussion, give your opinion and discuss way forward.

 

Introduction:

Direct income support is a form of social security in which all citizens or residents of a country regularly receive an unconditional sum of money, either from a government or some other public institution, in addition to any income received from elsewhere. The payment is enough to cover the cost of living. The goal is to provide financial security.

        The state of Sikkim recently announced that UBI will be implemented in state by 2022. States like AP, Odisha have come up with Direct income support to farmers to end agrarian distress.

       

Body:

Previous attempts at DIS:

  • A group of economists at the Planning Commission in 1962, led by Pitambar Pant, wrote about how every citizen could be guaranteed a minimum standard of living by 1977, or 15 years later.
  • They said that families in the top eight income deciles would benefit from accelerating growth, while those in the bottom two deciles would need some form of direct income support to maintain a minimum standard of living.
  • So, the idea of an income transfer was basically meant for the poorest fifth of the population, which was not in a position to take advantage of the opportunities that would become available from economic expansion.

Recent proposal:

The recent proposal is by four economists—Josh Felman, Boban Paul, M.R. Sharan and Arvind Subramanian. They have recommended an income support scheme in which the bottom eight deciles in rural India (or the bottom four deciles in the country as a whole) will need income support.

The pros of DIS include:

  • Progressive: more progressive than a farm loan waiver or the Rythu Bandhu scheme in Telangana, which benefit landowners rather than tenants or farm workers.
  • Fights Poverty and vulnerability: Poverty and vulnerability will be reduced in one fell swoop. It increases equality among citizens as envisaged in our DPSP.
  • Fiscally prudent: the fiscal cost will be manageable, since the income transfers will be funded by money released from the scrapping of schemes such as the Fasal Bima Yojana and the fertilizer subsidy.
  • Choice: A UBI treats beneficiaries as agents and entrusts citizens with the responsibility of using welfare spending as they see best; this may not be the case with in-kind transfers. Nobel laureate Amartya Sen had also propounded that choice should be given to people, which will lead to development.
  • Better targeting of poor: As all individuals are targeted, exclusion error (poor being left out) is zero though inclusion error (rich gaining access to the scheme) is 60 percent.
  • Fighting technological unemployment: With IR4.0 on the rise, there is an increase in the automation leading to loss of many white and blue collared jobs. UBI can act as a sort of security net for the millions of people who will be left jobless by the tech revolution.
  • Insurance against shocks: This income floor will provide a safety net against health, income and other shocks.
  • Administrative efficiency: A UBI in place of a plethora of separate government schemes will reduce the administrative burden on the state.

The cons of DIS:

  • Lack of Political will: moving budgetary allocations from the fertilizer subsidy to direct income support is affecting political equilibrium. This in effect would entail a shift of spending from large farmers to the rural poor. The political parties fear backlash from the voters.
  • Rising Economy of India: The growing support for a basic income in developed countries comes against the backdrop of stagnant median incomes over several decades. The current Indian context is quite different. Incomes have been rising across the spectrum even after taking into account higher levels of inequality.
  • Definition of Poor: The last official data comes from the NSSO Consumer Expenditure Survey for 2011-12. The latest survey for 2017-18 is done, but it will take some time for the numbers to be made public. There may thus be a need to reassess what constitutes the minimum consumption basket used to define poverty in India. Much of the subsequent basic income calculations will have to be rejigged.
  • Poor fiscal capacity: India doesn’t have the fiscal capacity to implement Universal Basic Income. Economic Survey calculations showed that a 75% universality rate with an annual Universal Basic Income of Rs 7,620 per year at 2016-17 prices will cost about 5% of the GDP. Economist Pranab Bardhan showed that an inflation- indexed Universal Basic Income of Rs 10,000 at 2014-15 prices—about three-quarters of that year’s poverty line—will cost about 10% of the GDP.
  • Distort labour Market: Universal Basic Income can create distortions in the labour market. A steady, permanent and guaranteed income without any work is likely to affect labour mobility and participation. It can cause a rise in the wages too.
  • Exposure to market risks (cash vs. food): Unlike food subsidies that are not subject to fluctuating market prices, a cash transfer’s purchasing power may severely be curtailed by market fluctuations.

Conclusion:

The case to reshuffle government spending from non-merit subsidies to cash transfers to the poor is a compelling one. But, as the Planning Commission economists pointed out in 1962, there can be no frontal attack on mass poverty without accelerating economic growth. Let economic growth work for the top eight deciles, while the focus of government welfare spending should be on the bottom two deciles that are denied opportunities for various social or geographical reasons.

 The more important task over the long term is to create fiscal space to boost spending on rural public goods, as well as basic services such as health and education.

          


                     

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

4) A simple UBI will not solve the fundamental problems of the economy. analyze.(250 words)

The hindu

 

Why this question

The article discusses the other side of UBI as a tool of the capitalists in the wake of growing inequality. It is important to analyze the UBI for its cons and limitations.

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 UBI as a simplified version and bring out why it will not help in solving the fundamental problems afflicting Indian state.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  UBI. E.g mention the growing popularity and support for the scheme among academic and political circles and also mention about the Sikkim.

Body-

Discuss in points, the cons of UBI and also why it would not help in solving the fundamental problems afflicting India.

  • It side-steps the challenge of actually providing the services required: education, health, food, etc. Just give the people cash: let them buy what they need.
  • However, if the cash will not provide citizens with good quality and affordable education and health, because neither the government nor the private sector is able or willing to, this will not solve the basic human development problems that must be solved.
  • UBI fails to strengthen institutions of the state to deliver the services the state must (public safety, justice, and basic education and health), which should be available to all citizens regardless of their ability to pay for them.
  • Fails to strengthen institutions of the state also to regulate delivery of services by the private sector and ensure fair competition in the market.

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

 

Introduction:

Universal basic income is a form of social security in which all citizens or residents of a country regularly receive an unconditional sum of money, either from a government or some other public institution, in addition to any income received from elsewhere. The payment is enough to cover the cost of living. The goal is to provide financial security.

The state of Sikkim recently announced that UBI will be implemented in state by 2022.

               

Body:

The cons of UBI:

  • Quality of Services: However, if the cash will not provide citizens with good quality and affordable education and health, because neither the government nor the private sector is able or willing to, this will not solve the basic human development problems that must be solved.
  • Status Quo of public institutions: UBI fails to strengthen institutions of the state to deliver the services the state must (public safety, justice, and basic education and health), which should be available to all citizens regardless of their ability to pay for them.
  • Extreme privatization: Fails to strengthen institutions of the state also to regulate delivery of services by the private sector and ensure fair competition in the market.
  • Rising Economy of India: The growing support for a basic income in developed countries comes against the backdrop of stagnant median incomes over several decades. The current Indian context is quite different. Incomes have been rising across the spectrum even after taking into account higher levels of inequality.
  • Definition of Poor: The last official data comes from the NSSO Consumer Expenditure Survey for 2011-12. The latest survey for 2017-18 is done, but it will take some time for the numbers to be made public. There may thus be a need to reassess what constitutes the minimum consumption basket used to define poverty in India. Much of the subsequent basic income calculations will have to be re-jigged.
  • Conspicuous spending: Households, especially male members, may spend this additional income on wasteful activities.
  • Moral hazard: A minimum guaranteed income might make people lazy and opt out of the labour market.
  • Gender disparity induced by cash Gender norms may regulate the sharing of UBI within a household – men are likely to exercise control over spending of the UBI. This may not always be the case with other in-kind transfer
  • Implementation: Given the current status of financial access among the poor, a UBI may put too much stress on the banking system.
  • Poor fiscal capacity: India doesn’t have the fiscal capacity to implement Universal Basic Income. Economic Survey calculations showed that a 75% universality rate with an annual Universal Basic Income of Rs 7,620 per year at 2016-17 prices will cost about 5% of the GDP. Economist Pranab Bardhan showed that an inflation- indexed Universal Basic Income of Rs 10,000 at 2014-15 prices—about three-quarters of that year’s poverty line—will cost about 10% of the GDP.
  • Distort labour Market: Universal Basic Income can create distortions in the labour market. A steady, permanent and guaranteed income without any work is likely to affect labour mobility and participation. It can cause a rise in the wages too.
  • Political economy of universality: ideas for self-exclusion Opposition may arise from the provision of the transfer to rich individuals as it might seem to trump the idea of equity and state welfare for the poor.
  • Exposure to market risks (cash vs. food): Unlike food subsidies that are not subject to fluctuating market prices, a cash transfer’s purchasing power may severely be curtailed by market fluctuations.

 

Way Forward:

 

  • QUBRI (quasi-universal basic rural income):
  • It is targeted only at poorer people in the rural areas.
  • The scheme is no longer universal.
  • It excludes the not-so-poor in rural areas as morally it should.
  • All the schemes, rural and urban, could be cash transfer schemes, which Aadhar and the digitisation of financial services will facilitate.

 

  • Strengthening of institutions of the state to deliver the services the state must (public safety, justice, and basic education and health), which should be available to all citizens regardless of their ability to pay for them.

 

  • The institutions of the state must be strengthened also to regulate delivery of services by the private sector and ensure fair competition in the market.

 

  • The terms of trade remain unfair for small enterprises, and terms of employment unfair for unorganised workers. The solution is aggregation of the small into larger associations, cooperatives, and unions. Aggregations of small producers, and unions of workers, can negotiate for more fair terms.

 

  • A better solution to structural inequality is universal basic capital (UBC). People own the wealth they generate as shareholders of their collective enterprises. Amul, SEWA, Grameen, and others have shown a way.

 

  • To create more equitable growth than the ones on offer are:
  • One, focus on building state capacity beginning with implementation of the recommendations of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission.
  • Two, strengthen the missing middle-level institutions for aggregation of tiny enterprises and representation of workers.
  • Three, the creativity of economists could be better applied to developing ideas for UBC than UBI.

Topic-  Indigenization of technology and developing new technology

5) If ‘Make in India’ is to succeed, it needs to encompass ‘Make it the Indian Way’. Examine in context of popularity of additive manufacturing technology.(250 words)

 

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain what additive manufacturing is and the opportunities that it presents for India. We need to highlight why India needs to adapt to this paradigm shift in manufacturing to ensure that make in India is a success.

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 – Highlight the emphasis of make in India on transforming domestic manufacturing.

Body

  • Explain the focus of make in India scheme – to boost domestic manufacturing in India.
  • Explain what do you understand my additive manufacturing and how is it disrupting the traditional manufacturing models.
  • Highlight the opportunities and challenges for India and what exactly is meant by make it the indian way

Conclusion – discuss the importance of adapting to the changed needs while highlighting the early movers advantage that India might enjoy.

Introduction:

Under the Make in India initiative, the Government of India aims to increase the share of the manufacturing sector to the gross domestic product (GDP) to 25 per cent by 2022, from 16 per cent, and to create 100 million new jobs by 2022.

Body:

Additive manufacturing which was defined by the industry as “making objects from 3D data, usually layer upon layer”.

  • In additive manufacturing, the physical object to be built is first designed in software. This design is fed to computerised machines, which build that object layer by layer.
  • In practice the phrases 3D printing and additive manufacturing may be used interchangeably by some sources so it’s important to understand the process which is actually being discussed.
  • Additive manufacturing is the industrial version of 3-D printing that is already used to make some niche items, such as medical implants, and to produce plastic prototypes for engineers and designers.
  • And while 3-D printing for consumers and small entrepreneurs has received a great deal of publicity, it is in manufacturing where the technology could have its most significant commercial impact.
  • There are in fact a number of different subtypes of additive manufacturing including 3D printing, but also rapid prototyping and direct digital manufacturing (DDM). Recent advances in this technology have seen its use become far more widespread and it offers exciting possibilities for future development.
  • Additive manufacturing machines work directly from a computer model, so people can devise completely new shapes without regard for existing manufacturing limitations.
  • Breaking with traditional manufacturing techniques, such as casting and machining material, Additive Manufacturing product gives designers far greater flexibility.

Fortunately, this manufacturing paradigm has several features that play to the strengths of the Indian ecosystem. It will help India’s manufacturing sector:-

  • It eliminates large capital outlays:
    • Machines are cheaper, inventories can be small and space requirements are not large. Thus, India will not face the massive hurdle of large capital requirement
    • Even the traditional small and medium enterprises can easily be adapted and retooled towards high technology manufacturing.
  • The Indian software industry is well-established, and plans to increase connectivity are well under way as part of ‘Digital India’.
    • This would allow for the creation of manufacturing facilities in small towns and foster industrial development outside of major cities.
  • It is possible to build products that are better suited for use in harsh environmental conditions.
    • Products that required assembly of fewer parts also implies that they may be better able to withstand dust and moisture prevalent in our tropical environment and be more durable.
  • Maintaining old products is far easier because parts can be manufactured as needed and product life-cycles can be expanded.
  • Maintaining uniform product quality is far easier because the entire system is built at the same time and assembly is not required.

Challenges posed by Additive manufacturing:

  • Affects labour:
    • It decreases reliance on assembly workers and bypasses the global supply chain that has allowed countries like China to become prosperous through export of mass-produced items.
    • It will transfer value creation towards software and design and away from physical manufacturing. This would imply that labour intensive manufacturing exports may be less profitable.
    • For countries that have already invested in heavy manufacturing, this shift to adaptive manufacturing will be difficult and expensive.
  • Discontinuous production process :
    • To prevent economies of scale, parts can only be printed one at a time.
  • Requires post-processing:
    • The surface finish and dimensional accuracy are of low quality than other manufacturing methods.

Way forward:

  • India needs to accelerate research at its premier engineering schools on manufacturing machines and methods and encourage formation of product design centres so that the products built suit the Indian environment and consumers.
  • India also would need government support to provide incentives for distributed manufacturing in smaller towns, and for the IT industry to work on creating platforms and marketplaces that connect consumer demands, product designers and manufacturers in a seamless way.

Conclusion:

Therefore a pinch of Indian entrepreneurship thrown in, will allow India to develop a manufacturing ecosystem that will not only allow India to compete with global manufacturing, it will also create products that are uniquely suited to Indian conditions.

   


    

Topic-   Indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

6) India is uniquely positioned to create a vibrant defence manufacturing ecosystem that can help us achieve self-reliance. Discuss.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

India is the world’s largest arms importer and given our economic size and talent pool, this is a matter of grave concern for us. In this context it is important to discuss how India can achieve indigenisation of defence technology.

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 as to how India can achieve indigenisation of defence technology- what are its strengths and potential vis a vis this aim.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  Indian defence imports. E.g mention that India is the world’s largest defence importer etc.

Body-

Discuss in points as to how India could achieve indigenisation of defence technology vis a vis its potential and strengths. E.g

  1. a) India harbours an immense amount of potential that can be tapped into by way of key strategic partnerships that add value across the entire length and breadth of R&D, manufacturing and supply chain.
  2. b) As per government estimates, a reduction in 20-25 percent in defence related imports could directly create an additional 100,000 to 120,000 highly skilled jobs in India.
  3. c) Government’s offset policies, procurement policies and regulatory incentives spurring the growth of a domestic defence industry, the SMEs need to play a more active role in developing a robust supply chain.
  4. d) Lack of adequate infrastructure drives India’s logistics costs upwards thus reducing the country’s cost competitiveness and efficiency. While the government is investing in this area the pace of development needs to pick up considerably and public-private participation can go a long way in hastening this process.

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

 

Introduction:

India remains the world’s largest importer of major arms, accounting for 13 per cent of the global total sales, according to a new data released by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), an independent institute that tracks arms proliferation among other issues in conflict studies. Currently, India allocates about 1.8 percent of its GDP to defence spending and imports about 70 percent of defence equipment.

       

Body:

                       

 

India could achieve indigenisation of defence technology vis-à-vis its potential and strengths.

  • Policy Initiatives:
    • The government’s agenda to reduce import dependence in defence by 35-40 percent it is actively promoting indigenous defence manufacturing with initiatives like Make in India and policy reforms including allowing 100 percent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
    • Defence Procurement Policy (DPP) is seen as a game changer to ensure faster pace in procurement, especially through newly introduced categories under indigenously designed, developed and manufactured (IDDM) provisions.
    • Several states are also offering incentives and concessions in the form of aerospace clusters or Special Economic Zones (SEZs) for developing an ecosystem where all core and ancillary activities related to defence manufacturing can co-exist.

 

  • Redefined Roles:
    • Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) as well as Small & Medium Enterprises (SME) in the defence manufacturing sector are focussing on moving from a buyer-seller to a co-developer and co-manufacturer relationship.
    • They have come together and formed strategic partnerships to support the development of a sustainable supplier base for the defence sector. Also, moulded themselves quickly to foster a culture of innovation and R&D.

 

  • Partnering for success:
    • India harbours an immense amount of potential that can be tapped into by way of key strategic partnerships that add value across the entire length and breadth of R&D, manufacturing and supply chain.
    • Foreign OEM’s are encouraging Indian industry to adopt best practices for global quality standards in their manufacturing processes to lead to the creation of a gold standard supply chain and defence manufacturing ecosystem in India.

 

  • Skilled talent pool:
    • As per government estimates, a reduction in 20-25 percent in defence related imports could directly create an additional 100,000 to 120,000 highly skilled jobs in India.
    • The academia and industry needs to forge partnerships to encourage research and technological advancements and create a talent pool that is industry ready.
    • Innovation for Defence Excellence: The scheme envisions setting up innovation hubs particularly for the defence sector across the country.

 

  • Robust supply chain:
    • A strong supply chain is critical for a defence manufacturer looking to optimize costs. Gradually, a handful of Indian SMEs are playing a key role in the global supply chain of OEMs.
    • With the government’s offset policies, procurement policies and regulatory incentives spurring the growth of a domestic defence industry, the SMEs need to play a more active role in developing a robust supply chain.

 

  • Infrastructure development:
    • Lack of adequate infrastructure drives India’s logistics costs upwards thus reducing the country’s cost competitiveness and efficiency.
    • While the government is investing in this area the pace of development needs to pick up considerably and public-private participation can go a long way in hastening this process.
    • Establishment of two defence industrial corridors in the country. Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh to develop defence manufacturing ecosystems in the region.

 

Way Forward:

  • Defence offset policies need better monitoring, removing unnecessary restrictions and linking defence offsets with offset in civil sector. That should be encouraged.
  • To boost indigenization, the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) needs to be given more autonomy like space and atomic energy departments.
  • Even playing field should be created between the Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) and the private sector companies.
  • Indian defence PSUs and ordnance factories have a lot of potential, they need to be “revived, revitalised and made a lot more dynamic”.
  • Establishing courses on defence production across universities and creating job opportunities for the graduates.
  • The government needs to expedite the setting up a professional defence procurement agency.
  • Meeting the objectives of defence exports, encouraging innovation, streaming lining procurements will require robust defence diplomacy. A cadre of defence diplomats should be created to address these issues.
  • The country needs an elaborate ecosystem of innovation of which defence innovation can be a part.

 

Conclusion:

        Self-reliance is a major corner-stone on which the military capability of any nation rests. Indigenous defence production is an essential capability to provide strategic independence to a nation, thus making exponential additions to national security through round-the-clock defence preparedness.


Topic– Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

7) “The Future of Rail Opportunities for energy” report, released by the International Energy Agency, has painted a bright future for indian railways. Discuss the report and the efforts made by the government in recent years to modernize Indian railways.(250 words)

Pib

Timesofindia

Why this question

The report highlights the future of Indian railways and its potential in terms of its size, scope and economy. It is therefore important to discuss the excerpts from the report related to India’s lifeline and largest employer.

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 achievements of Indian railways in recent years and also write in detail about the key findings/ predictions of the report titled, The Future of Rail Opportunities for energy.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  Indian railways. E.g mention the size, no of passengers catered to, no of persons employed etc.

Body-

  1. Discuss about the reforms and achievements of Indian railways in recent years and the future plans. E.g  
  • The investment Railways has achieved in the last 5 years has helped country improve safety, complete long-delayed projects and introduce modern & unprecedented technology in services.
  • the indigenously produced Vande Bharat Express is an engineering marvel that will change approach to train manufacturing as well as revolutionise train travel in India.
  • Indian Railways’ successful effort to convert diesel locomotives to electric locomotives as truly innovative and added that it will be a game-changer in the way forward as we move towards 100% electrification for the Indian Railways.
  • 5 years ago, Railways had electrified about 600 km of tracks across the country. Last year alone, 4,000 km was electrified, and in the coming year  over 6,000 Km are planned to be electrified.
  1. Discuss about the key findings/ predictions of the report. E.g
  • “The Future of Rail” analyses the current and future importance of rail around the world through the perspective of its energy and environmental implications.
  • The report reviews the impact of existing plans and regulations on the future of rail, and explores the key policies that could help to realise an enhanced future rail.
  • This first ever global report has a focus on India, elaborating on the unique social and economic role of rail in India, together with its great enduring potential, to show how India can extend and update its networks to harness rail at a scope and scale that is unparalleled.

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

Introduction:

Indian Railways (IR) has been the prime movers of the nation. IR is the second largest railway system in the world under single management. IR has historically played an important integrating role in the socio-economic development of the country.  

It manages the fourth-largest railway network in the world by size, with 121,407 kilometres of total track over a 67,368-kilometre route. IR runs more than 20,000 passenger trains daily, on both long-distance and suburban routes, from 7,349 stations across India. In the freight segment, IR runs more than 9,200 trains daily. It employs about 1.31million people.

Body:

The reforms and achievements of Indian railways in recent years are:

  • The indigenously produced Vande Bharat Express (Train 18) is an engineering marvel that will change our approach to train manufacturing as well as revolutionise train travel in India. It is currently India’s fastest train, which breached the speed limit of 180 kmph during trials.
  • It also managed to bring down accidents across its network of 60,000 kms in 2018.
  • Setubharatam: elimination of unmanned railway crossings.
  • Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh (RRSK) fund of Rs. 1 Lakh Cr to be spent on safety over five years created with  focus  on asset  renewal and  elimination of Unmanned Level Crossings to improve safety on Indian Railways
  • commissioning of dedicated freight corridors (DFCs)
  • Striving towards a ‘Zero Accident’ railway system: 63% reduction in fatalities from 152 in 2013-14 to 57 in 2017-18
  • Speedy execution  of  track  renewals  to  prevent  accidents:  50%  increase  in  track renewal from 2,926 kms in 2013-14 to 4,405 kms in 2017-18online monitoring of rolling stock.
  • Connectivity to the north east states, rapid installation of bio toilets, Improvement in coaches and trains.
  • Mission Raftaar.
  • Commencement of first session of India’s first Rail and Transportation University.
  • CCTV/Video Surveillance systems being installed at all trains and stations.
  • As a result of these investments, in 2050 fuel expenditures are reduced by around USD 450 billion, relative to the base scenario. India could save as much as USD 64 billion on fuel expenditures by mid-century.
  • The pace of infrastructure build is fastest in urban rail. The length of metro lines under construction or slated for construction over the coming five years is twice the length of those built over any five-year period between 1970 and 2015.

“The Future of Rail” the first-of-a-kind report analyses the current and future importance of rail around the world through the perspective of its energy and environmental implications. The report reviews the impact of existing plans and regulations on the future of rail, and explores the key policies that could help to realise an enhanced future rail. The key findings/ predictions of the report:

  • India to account for 40 per cent of global rail travel by 2050.
  • Rail is among the most energy efficient modes of transport for freight and passengers – while the rail sector carries 8% of the world’s passengers and 7% of global freight transport, it represents only 2% of total transport energy demand.
  • Today, three-quarters of passenger rail transport activity takes place on electric trains, which is an increase from 60% in 2000 – the rail sector is the only mode of transport that is widely electrified today. This reliance on electricity means that the rail sector is the most energy diverse mode of transport.
  • The regions with the highest share of electric train activity are Europe, Japan and Russia, while North and South America still rely heavily on diesel.
  • Passenger rail is significantly more electrified than freight in almost all regions and regions with higher reliance on urban rail and high-speed rail are those with the largest share of passenger-kilometres served by electricity.
  • Most conventional rail networks today are located in North America, Europe, China, Russia, India, and Japan. These regions make up about 90% of global passenger movements on conventional rail with India leading at 39%, followed by China at 27%.
  • In contrast, significant investments have been made in high-speed rail and metros. High-speed rail provides an important alternative to aviation while urban rail provides a solution to cities impacted by congestion and air pollution. Growth has been most notable in China, which has overtaken all other countries in terms of network length of both types within a single decade.

Conclusion:

This first ever global report has a focus on India, elaborating on the unique social and economic role of rail in India, together with its great enduring potential, to show how India can extend and update its networks to harness rail at a scope and scale that is unparalleled.

     


  

Topic: Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators.

8) There is a process of learning in the Gandhian act of self-suffering. Discuss.(250 words)

The hindu

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 Gandhi and his acts of self- suffering and bring out how that was used by him as a tool for self learning.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  Gandhi and his self-suffering. E.g mention his fasts and giving up of luxuries and even clothes etc.

Body-

Discuss in points as to how those acts of self- suffering evoked self-learning. E.g

  • In the Gandhian philosophy of resistance, we can find the intertwining of non-violence and exemplary suffering.
  • Perhaps, self-sacrifice is the closest we come to ethical dying, in the sense that it is a principled leave-taking from life; an abandonment of one’s petty preoccupations in order to see things more clearly.
  • As such, there is a process of learning in the Gandhian act of self-suffering. For Socrates, to philosophise was to learn how to die.
  • In the same way, for Gandhi, the practice of non-violence began with an act of self-sacrifice and the courage of dying for truth.
  • for Gandhi, there was a close link between the use of non-violence and the art of dying, in the same manner that cowardice was sharply related to the practice of violence etc.

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

 

Introduction:

        Gandhiji tread the path of truth and non-violence in Indian freedom struggle. He used the tools of Satyagraha, non-cooperation and civil disobedience to appeal to the minds of the Britishers. He believed in the philosophy of self-suffering rather than harming others to reach the goal.

 

Body:

The acts of self- suffering evoke self-learning by:

 

  • In the Gandhian philosophy of resistance, we can find the intertwining of non-violence and exemplary suffering.
  • Self- sacrifice is an abandonment of one’s petty preoccupations in order to see things more clearly. Self-suffering helps in increasing a person’s objectivity and rationality.
  • The practice of non-violence began with an act of self-sacrifice and the courage of dying for truth.
  • Self-suffering leads one to question himself and others on the moral grounds leading to rationality and moral behaviour.
  • Self-suffering helps an individual in affirmation of the courage and audacity of a non-violent warrior in the face of life-threatening danger. It helps an individual to be fearless for a moral cause.
  • Self-suffering helps an individual to understand the pain the others are going through. It develops compassion and empathy in an individual.
  • The patience to endure the suffering leads to development of tolerance in an individual.
  • Self-suffering is also a way of repentance for all the wrong and immoral deeds committed knowingly or unknowingly. It helps in correction of one’s life path and reform himself.
  • Self-suffering increases the conviction in an individual to attain a goal. For Gandhiji, satyagraha implied the willingness to accept not only suffering but also death for the sake of a principle

 

Conclusion:

In totality, self-suffering helps in developing better moral values of an individual. It acts as a teacher of many moral values provided it is channelled in the right path.