SECURE SYNOPSIS: 04 MARCH 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– The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.
Bipin Chandra, India’s Struggle for Independence
Why this question:
The question is in the background of Civil disobedience movement and its impact on the provinces of India viz. Peshawar, Gujarat, Bihar, Bengal and others. One is expected to discuss nuances of how CDM lead to Peasant movement in India.
Explain – It means to bring out things clearly, by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.
Key demands of the question:
The answer should spotlight the main causes of the civil disobedience movement, its Spread and Methods, Government Response and End of it briefly and then move towards explaining how it affected the provinces, and most importantly how it gave a new dimension to the peasant movement.
Structure of the answer:
Testify how Civil Disobedience Movement was started with Gandhiji’s defiance of salt law in Dandi and in what way popular indignation gave it a self-sustained momentum throughout India.
Discuss the following aspects –
- Cause of the movement, its momentum in brief.
- Its affect on different provinces – Peshawar- Badshah Khan – Khudai Khidmatgar, Sholapur- textile workers- virtual parallel government, Gujarat- no tax movement, Eastern states etc.
- influence on Peasant movements; massive no rent campaign, Prabhat pheris etc.
Keywords: defiance of salt law, Khudai Khidmatgar, Cunningham Circular, Manjari Senas, Gandhi-Irwin Pact etc.
Conclude with enormity of the movement in the Indian freedom struggle.
Gandhi addressed an ultimatum to Viceroy Lord Irwin on 31 January 1930, asking him to remove the evils of the British rule and also informed of his decision to undertake Civil Disobedience Movement. The aim of this movement was a complete disobedience of the orders of the British Government.
There was agitation against land revenue, abolition of salt tax, cutting down military expenditure, levying duty on foreign cloth, among others, throughout India. A very important movement was that of Salt Satyagraha where Gandhi undertook the Dandi march as a protest against the Salt tax.
Causes for the civil disobedience movement in brief:
- Formation of the Simon Commission:
- Failure of Demand for Dominion Status:
- Protests against the arrest of social revolutionaries:
It became clear to the nationalist leaders that the British government was not sincere in meeting the demand for Dominion Status. The INC met at an emergency session at Lahore in December 1929 under the Presidentship of Jawaharlal Nehru and declared Complete Independence or ‘Purna Swaraj’ as the Congress goal. It also authorized Mahatma Gandhi to launch a comprehensive programme of civil disobedience at a time and place of his choosing.
Influence of Civil Disobedience Movement on different provinces of India:
With Gandhi’s symbolic breaking of salt laws at Dandi, defiance of salt laws started all over the country. Every section of society as Students, Women, Tribals, Merchants and Petty Traders, Workers & Peasants took active part in CDM.
The defiance of salt laws took place in different provinces too under leadership of various leaders. In Tamil Nadu, C Rajagopalachari led the Salt Satyagraha; K Kelappan headed in Malabar and in Dharasana Salt Works (Gujarat) by Sarojini Naidu and Manilal Gandhi.
The defiance of salt laws at Dharasana salt works deserves mention due to its sheer magnitude in which a band of 2000 volunteers offered non-violent resistance in the face of a strong police contingent armed with steel-tipped lathis and set upon the non-resisting Satyagrahis (protestors) till they fell down.
Apart from defiance of salt laws, the other forms of non-violent protests included the following:
- Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan raised the band of non-violent revolutionaries, the Khudai Khidmatgars, popularly knowns as the Red Shirts in the Peshawar region in the North West Frontier Province which played a crucial role in the Civil Disobedience Movement.
- Women, young mothers, widowed and unmarried girls, played an important role in the picketing of liquor shops and opium dens and stores selling foreign cloth. They used non-violent and persuasive means to convince the buyers and sellers to change their ways. They were ably supported by the students and youth in the boycott of foreign cloth and liquor.
- In Bihar, anti-Chowkidara tax campaign was initiated where villages refused to pay protection money to the local guards (chowkidars) who supplemented the meagre police forces in the rural areas. Rajendra Prasad took part in the anti-Chowkidara tax campaigns in Bihar.
- In Gujarat, a no-tax movement took place against payment of land revenue. This was most visible in Kheda, Surat and Broach districts. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel led the no-tax campaign in the Kheda district.
- Defiance of forest laws took place on a large scale in Maharashtra, Karnataka and the Central Provinces, especially in areas with large tribal populations.
- In Assam, a powerful agitation led by students was launched against the ‘Cunningham circular‘ which forced students and their guardians to furnish assurances of good behaviour.
- In United Provinces, a no-revenue, no-rent campaign was organized against the government which soon turned into a no-rent campaign against the zamindars. Jawaharlal Nehru played an important role in organizing the no-revenue, no-rent campaign and the districts of Agra and Rae Bareli were the important centers of this campaign.
- The movement also popularized a variety of forms of mobilization like Prabhat Pheris, Patrikas, and Magic Lanterns.
- In Manipur and Nagaland, at the young age of thirteen, Rani Gaidinliu of Nagaland raised the banner of revolt against foreign rule. She was captured in 1932 and sentenced to life imprisonment
- In Chittagong, Surya Sen’s Chittagong Revolt Group carried out a raid on two armouries. It declared the establishment of a provisional government.
- Provisional Governments were established in Ballia in UP by Chittu Pandey, Satara in Maharashtra.
- Significantly, for Indian women, the movement was the most liberating experience to date and the can be said to have marked their entry into public space.
CDM and peasant movements:
- The great depression had affected the price of the produce which was reduced by nearly 50% but other factors like taxes and rent were still the same. This caused lot of stress on the farmer.
- The CDM was launched and the farmers were asked to not pay rent or only pay 50% of it. The government repression was harsh on them. The young militant people were developed here.
- Anti- tax and no rent campaigns were also in full pace. Peasants were enthusiastic due to the recent success of the Bardoli Satyagraha.
- This led to a series of peasant movement in the country. A drive against chowkidara tax was launched in Bengal and Bihar, Kisan sabhas were initiated in Punjab and forest satyagraha was also taken up by the peasants by which they protested unscrupulous use of forest resources for commercial purposes.
- They were influenced by the leftist ideology by Nehru and Bose and the communist, socialist group. After the movement was withdrawn these people were looking for an outlet to their anger. The kisan leaders then formed All India Kisan Sabha as an answer. The kisan manifesto was made and given to the congress.
- Kisan sabhas also pushed for land reforms in the form of abolition of zamindari system in Bengal and Bihar.
- Faizpur session was the first session of INC in a rural area. It was presided over by Jawaharlal Nehru. Sane guruji worked hard to make in a success. The resolutions passed were related to peasant welfare, minimum wage for landless agriculture labour.
- It also led to the rise of the leftist parties in the country, starting with the Congress Socialist party in 1934, which held the motive of introducing radical reforms in the society, with the involvement of peasants and leading the awareness drive in the country.
- Seeing such an uproar in the peasant activities, the government also passed a number of reforms for debt relief, restoration of lands lost due to acquisition and non repayment of revenues during famines, which further encouraged the peasants to push for more reforms.
- the tebhanga agitation was the most popular. The share cropper of Bengal demanded that the share of jotedar of the produce should be reduced from half to one third. Also the cultivators wanted to store the produce in their godown’s and not of the jotedar’s.
The civil disobedience movement of 1930-31, then marked a critically important stage in the progress of the anti-imperialist struggle. It also gave rise to a host of peasant movements to improve the conditions of peasants in India.
Topic– The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.
Bipin Chandra, modern India – NCERT
Why this question:
The question is in the context Gandhiji’s support to Khilafat movement during the Indian freedom struggle.
demand of the question:
one is expected to evaluate whether Gandhiji’s secular credentials got diluted with Khilafat; by discussing the critiques and providing for the arguments that prove it otherwise.
Evaluate – you must look into close details and establish the key facts and important issues surrounding the topic. You should try and offer reasons as to why the facts and issues you identified are the most important.
Structure of the answer:
Introduce by stating the backdrop of Khilafat movement and how Gandhiji came to support the cause of it.
Such questions should be addressed through a narration, the body of the answer should preferably first discuss as to why his support to the Khilafat movement seemed to have unsecular colors to it, why was he criticized by some under this pretext. Then move on to explain though the movement was based on religious issue, for Gandhiji was neither communal nor pro-Muslim nor an opportunistic leader but was a pragmatic statesman who had to make best use of the opportunities and resources available to him to attain independence from the British rule.
conclude with his purity of means, how the Chauri chaura incidence made him call off the movement depicting his only true religion was humanity.
Post World war 1, the allied powers had imposed harsh terms on the Sultan of Turkey who was revered by the Muslims across the world as ‘Khalifa’- the religious head of Islam. Therefore, the Indian Muslims led by Ali brothers launched the khilafat movement. Gandhiji saw this as an opportune event to forge unity between the Hindus and Muslims who were drifting apart due to a volley of previous events.
The history of Indian national movement can be studied under three important phases
- 1885-1905: Moderate Nationalism
- 1906-1916: Swadeshi and Home-Rule Movement, Militant Nationalism
- 1917-1947: Gandhian Era.
Muslims were apprehensive of INC’s freedom Struggle:
- During the second phase, the extremists who were members of INC like Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Lala Lajpat Rai started off with Hindu Revivalism events.
- Tilak used Ganesh chathurthi, Shivaji Jayanthi festivals as a medium to attract the citizens towards nationalism which estranged the Muslim brothers.
- Lajpat Rai was associated with the Shuddhi movement which involved reforms in the Hindu religion as well as wooing back the Hindus who had converted to Islam and Christianity.
- The setting up of Muslim League in 1906 was a watershed event which lead to partition ultimately.
- The Morley Minto reforms of 1909 provided the separate electorates for Muslims paving the way for strengthened Communalism.
- However, in the Lucknow Pact of 1916, a truce was made between the INC and Muslim league. They took part together in Home rule league movement in 1917. But, this honeymoon period didn’t last long.
- Thus, when Gandhiji took up the leadership of Indian National movement, he felt a moral responsibility to forge a unity between the Hindus and Muslims.
Central Khilafat Committee in India (1919-1920) started by Muslim leaders like Abdul Bari, Maulana Azad and the Ali Brothers had the objectives of boycotting the titles, civil services, police and army and non-payment of taxes. Gandhiji’s Non-Cooperation Movement also had similar objectives. Hence, he saw an opportunity to merge the movements and approached the leaders. The latter were already impressed by Gandhiji’s efforts in South Africa and immediately agreed to make Gandhiji a member of Khilafat committee as his arrival gave a new strength to the agitation. Consequently, they merged the movements .
Yes, Gandhiji’s secular credentials were diluted to an extent due to
- Gandhiji validated the demand for partition by agreeing to support a religious cause of Khilafat movement.
- According to the Khilafat hardcore members, the NCM was a fight against the Britishers as well as Hindu Landlords. This helped in further vitiating the relation between Muslims and hindus and led to rebellions like Moplah and riots against Hindu Jenmis in Aug 1921.
- The Khilafat movement didn’t succeed for long as the ruler of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Pasha declared Turkey as a Republic and no more Monarchy in 1923. He further went on to abolish Caliphate in 1924 making Gandhiji fight for a lost cause.
No, his secular credentials were intact because
- The seeds of Communalism was already sown in 1909 by granting communal electorates in Morley- Minto reforms and further bolstered in Lucknow Pact of 1916.
- The merging of Khilafat with NCM in 1920 led to strength of mass movement which left the British high and dry, thinking of the future. Thus, it was a net gain of funds and followers for Indian National Movement.
- Gandhiji abruptly called off the NCM in 1922 following Chauri-Chaura incident which shows that his ideals of non-violence was more important to him.
- His equal respect for all cultures and religions implied the idea of mutual learning and inter-faith dialogue.
- Gandhi did not privilege any one religion over another, not even Hinduism. Religion for him was a matter of soft spirituality, rather than hard rituals and hard institutions.
- Gandhi knew that independence could not come about by the efforts of the Hindus alone. He, therefore, involved the Indian Muslims in the struggle.
- He never accepted the argument that Hindus and Muslims constituted two separate elements in Indian society. That is why Gandhi’s willingness to go out of his way to win over Muslims to the Congress won him many friends and admirers among the Muslims.
- Gandhi’s deliberate attachment to the Muslims and the Khilafat movement had helped him in reaching broader groups in Indian society and rising as a non-elitist leader in the Congress.
For Gandhi the power of the nation was vested with the people, rather than religion. Till his last breath, Gandhiji fought to keep Hindus and Muslims united. He was neither communal nor pro Muslim but a pragmatic leader. Gandhiji was a statesman who made best use of the opportunities and resources available to him to attain independence from the British rule.
Topic-Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
Why this question:
The article is in the context of recently published report of World Bank – “Women, business and the law 2019” that measured gender discrimination in 187 countries. It provides for facts justifying role of women in economic growth of a country.
Key demand of the question
The answer must highlight the interrelationship between Gender equality and the economic growth by appreciating the key findings of the report.
Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we have to look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.
Structure of the answer
Start with multidimensionality of gender equality and their correlation with economic growth.
The answer must address the following aspects –
- Start by explaining how Gender equality is a multidimensional term assuming economic, cultural and social dimensions.
- Details and assessment of the report.
- Indian scenario
- Justify by relating Gender equality to economic growth by providing examples of successful countries.
- Conclude with importance of gender equality for better future of the societies.
Gender equality is when women and men enjoy the same rights and opportunities across all sectors of society, including economic participation and decision-making, and when the different behaviours, aspirations and needs of women and men are equally valued and favoured.
The World bank’s Women, business and the law 2019 report, published recently, measured gender discrimination in 187 countries and found only six countries in the world give women and men equal legal work rights.
Gender Equality implies equal enjoyment of rights & opportunities by human beings (be it male or female) in all spheres be it social, economic or political. Women are half of the world’s population and they have their role to play in creating a more prosperous world.
Findings of the Report:
- The index explores how the economic decisions women make are affected by the law.
- The data show there has been great progress towards legal gender equality over the past decade.
- In 131 economies there have been 274 reforms to laws and regulations, leading to an increase in gender equality.
- This includes the 35 economies that implemented laws on workplace sexual harassment, protecting nearly two billion more women than a decade ago.
- The average global score is 74.71, indicating that a typical economy gives women only three-fourths the legal rights of men in the measured areas.
- However, the average score in the Middle East and North Africa is 47.37, meaning the typical economy in that region gives women less than half the legal rights of men in the measured areas.
- Many laws and regulations continue to prevent women from entering the workforce or starting a business.
- Discrimination that can have lasting effects on women’s economic inclusion and labour force participation.
- Economies that failed to implement reforms towards gender equality over the past ten years, for example, saw a smaller increase in the percentage of women working overall and in the percentage of women working relative to men.
- India has a score of 71.25 among the 187 countries.
- Advocacy has also proved critical in India, including in the Supreme Court case of Vishakha v State of Rajasthan where women’s groups filed public interest litigation to enforce the rights of women in the workplace under the Indian constitution.
- India was one of the economies which introduced a legislation – Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act to protect women.
- The recent Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act 2017 also has helped women to work better during maternity as well as take care of child.
- However, in India, the women labour force participation rate is about 25% and most of them are in the unorganized sector where the above legislations don’t apply.
- The lack of decision making and no ownership of economic resources hinder women from economic growth.
- The World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report 2018 ranked India at 142 out of 149 countries on the economic participation and opportunity gap.
- According to Global Wage Report 2018-19 published by ILO, on an average, women are paid 34% less than men in India. Inequality is higher in monthly wages, with a gap of 22%.
- Rather than business regulations, it is often discriminatory provisions in family codes, labour codes, constitutions, property laws, and domestic violence laws that suppress women’s labour force participation.
Gender equality leads to economic growth
- Six economies—Belgium, Denmark, France, Latvia, Luxembourg and Sweden—score 100 in the Women, Business and the Law index, meaning they give women and men equal legal rights in the measured
- France had the biggest improvement among the top performers, going from a score of 88 in the index ten years ago to 100 now by implementing a domestic violence law, providing criminal penalties for workplace sexual harassment and introducing paid parental leave.
Economies grow faster when more women work. If governments want to capitalise on this kind of growth, they must not only remove these impediments but also incentivise women’s entry into the workforce. The law influences what happens on the ground. In countries with higher scores, there are more women employees and entrepreneurs, showing us that when societies get to equal, economies become more resilient. There is a need to recognise women’s unique role as drivers of progress and powerful agents of change.
Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
4) “Nuclear weapons offer us nothing but a balance of terror, and a balance of terror is still terror”. Critically analyse the statement in the backdrop of recent failure of denuclearization talks between the US and the North Korea.(250 words)
Why this question:
The article brings out the failure of talks held at Hanoi recently between US and North Korea, the recent conflicts between US and North Korea are being tried to be turned into a diplomatic opportunity, but the failure of talks hint at the arms race both the States are engaging in.
Key demand of the question:
The question expects the appreciation of arms race between the two countries in terms of Nuclear power.
Critically analyze – When asked to analyze, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgement.
Structure of the answer
Start by bringing out the recent tensions between North Korea and the U.S. that have escalated to the point where any military action on either side would likely lead to another all-out war between the two.
Body should discuss the following broad aspects in detail –
- Nuclear power; balance of power or terror? Explain through background and associated facts.
- Recent escalations between the two countries.
- North Korea’s Nuclear complex – its impact on Asian countries and specifically with respect to India.
- Need for courageous diplomacy to denuclearize.
Conclude with how priority should be to normalize ties between North Korea and important countries so as to move towards a non – nuclearized world.
A tense period in 2017 arised when the US and North Korean leaders exchanged insults and threats as latter carried out a series of missile and nuclear tests. US President Trump called Kim “rocket man” and warned that the U.S. would “totally destroy North Korea” if it had to defend itself or its allies.
In 2018, North Korea announced that it would suspend nuclear and missile testing, and shut down the site where its six previous nuclear tests were carried out. A meeting between the two leaders was held at Singapore. The recent Two-day meeting between leaders ended abruptly without a deal on denuclearisation.
- Balance of Power:
- The theory in international relations suggests that national security is enhanced when military capability is distributed so that no one state is strong enough to dominate all others.
- If one state becomes much stronger than others, the theory predicts that it will take advantage of its strength and attack weaker neighbours, thereby providing an incentive for those threatened to unite in a defensive coalition.
- Some realists maintain that this would be more stable as aggression would appear unattractive and would be averted if there was equilibrium of power between the rival coalitions.
- Balance of Terror:
- The possession of credible nuclear capability by both sides created fear and the possibility of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) produced deterrence that none of the parties ever attempted to use its nuclear weapons against the other.
- Balance of Terror provided the world with a very precious gift, the gift of peace, security and international stability. It acts as a deterrent against usage of nuclear weapons.
- With the possession of nuclear weapons by several nations today’ the challenge of national security becomes very precarious in the present globalized world.
Nuclear Power: Balance of Terror or terror?
- balance of terror is similar to balance of power in that both policies are aimed at increasing the capability and consequently the security of a state by creating deterrence and the fear of attack in the mind of the adversar
- BoP and BoT policies are different in that while the former relies on conventional weapons and alliances, the latter is solely based on the nuclear strategy.
- The balance of terror is quite distinct from the balance of power. All major powers have the wherewithal to obtain a second-strike capability. Unless a state attains nuclear primacy, the balance of terror is remarkably egalitarian.
- Example: USA may grow a hundred times as powerful as North Korea but the balance of terror will hold regardless. This will not prevent the relationship from becoming ever more asymmetric. North Korea will not be able to deter unilateral USA actions that violate its sovereignty.
- However, the control of the nuclear power in a nation imperatively decides whether it acts as a balance of terror or terror itself.
- In the scenario of USA and NorthKorea, both are headed by reactive Presidents who may take decisions to use the nuclear weapons leading to global damage.
Most recent status of relations between USA and North Korea
- North Korea-US relations are hostile till date that developed primarily during the Korean War. The two nations are separated by the Pacific Ocean. Since the Korean War, US has maintained a strong military presence in South Korea.
- North Korea warned it faced a food shortfall of around 1.4 million tonnes this year, highlighting the importance that lifting the economic sanctions would have on the country.
- In the most recent talks, the American president said Kim wanted all sanctions on North Korea lifted, but didn’t offer sufficient dismantling of the country’s nuclear program in exchange.
- However, A statement from a North Korean official after the summit said the North wanted only “partial” relief from sanctions in exchange for dismantling “all the nuclear material production facilities” at the country’s main nuclear site at Yongbyon.
North Korea’s Nuclear complex and its impact on India
- India has had longstanding diplomatic ties with North Korea and even under pressure from the United States, it refused to reduce its diplomatic engagement with Pyongyang.
- India has been North Korea’s second largest trading partner after China, bilateral trade came down to around $130 million in 2016-17 from around $209 million in 2014-15.
- India considers the nuclear proliferation in North Korea as a threat to its “own national security”. A stable and peaceful Korean peninsula is in India’s interest.
- New Delhi holds China and Pakistan—both nuclear power nations—responsible for the rise of North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes and wants the linkages between North Korea and China and Pakistan to be probed by the international community.
- The matter of deep concern is that DPRK has acted in violation of its international commitments which goes against the objective of the denuclearization of Korean peninsula.
Diplomatic solutions are the best solution any day instead of this continued “frozen war” involving both show of words and missile tests comes up. Also, China which supplies a lot of different supplies and aid to DPRK and is also its largest trading partner should take some steps which help towards controlling these tests of the totalitarian North Korea.
Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
5) The Health care system in India requires major improvements to make it universal. Discuss the major challenges being faced by the Healthcare system in India? What steps should be taken to strengthen the existing state of Health infrastructure in the country?(250 words)
Why this question:
The article provides for a close examination of the challenges being faced by the Healthcare system in India. It highlights the need of strengthening primary health care system.
Key demand of the question:
The question wants us to bring out the overall importance of a strong and efficient health infrastructure in the country. It wants us to highlight the status of health infrastructure in India , the challenges it is facing and the suggestive measures to improve the same.
Structure of the answer
Discuss the significance of healthcare infrastructure in India. Relate it to development aspect of the country.
Discuss the challenges specific to Indian healthcare system on multiple dimensions – policy level, finances, infrastructure, schemes and their failures etc. Then move onto discuss what needs to be done to improve the existing scenario – strengthening of primary healthcare system, increased finances, infrastructure development, dedicated delivery of schemes etc.
Conclude with how the system of healthcare is crucial for the development of the country thus it is very important for the government to focus on augmenting the current system marred with loopholes.
Post Independence there has been a significant improvement, in the health status of people. Public health and health services have been synonymous in India. This integration has dwarfed the growth of a comprehensive public health system, which is critical to overcome some of the systemic challenges in healthcare. Poor strata of population have denied proper health care due to lack of universal healthcare.
The major challenges faced by healthcare system in India are:
- Finance: At about 1.3% of the national income, India’s public healthcare spending between 2008 and 2015, has virtually remained stagnant. This is way less than the global average of 6 per cent. It is a herculean task to implement a scheme that could potentially cost Rs 5 lakh per person and benefit 53.7 crore out of India’s 121 crore citizenry, or roughly about 44% of the country’s population. Over 70 per cent of the total healthcare expenditure is accounted for by the private sector.
- Crumbling public health infrastructure: Given the country’s crumbling public healthcare infrastructure, most patients are forced to go to private clinics and hospitals. There is a shortage of PHCs (22%) and sub-health centres (20%), while only 7% sub-health centres and 12% primary health centres meet Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) norms.
- High Out of Pocket Expenditure: Reports suggest that 70% of the medical spending is from the patient’s pockets leading to huge burden and pushing many into poverty. Most consumers complain of rising costs. Hundred days into the PMJAY, it remains to be seen if private hospitals provide knee replacement at Rs 80,000 (current charges Rs 3.5 lakh) bypass surgery at Rs 1.7 lakh (against Rs 4 lakh).
- Insurance: India has one of the lowest per capita healthcare expenditures in the world. Government contribution to insurance stands at roughly 32 percent, as opposed to 83.5 percent in the UK. The high out-of-pocket expenses in India stem from the fact that 76 percent of Indians do not have health insurance.
- Doctor-Density Ratio: The WHO reports the doctor-density ratio in India at 8 per 10,000 people as against one doctor for a population of 1,000.To achieve such access, merely increasing the number of primary and secondary healthcare centres is not enough.
- Shortage of Medical Personnel: Data by IndiaSpend show that there is a staggering shortage of medical and paramedical staff at all levels of care: 10,907 auxiliary nurse midwives and 3,673 doctors are needed at sub-health and primary health centres, while for community health centres the figure is 18,422 specialists.
- Rural-urban disparity: The rural healthcare infrastructure is three-tiered and includes a sub-center, primary health centre (PHC) and CHC. PHCs are short of more than 3,000 doctors, with the shortage up by 200 per cent over the last 10 years to 27,421. Private hospitals don’t have adequate presence in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities and there is a trend towards super specialisation in Tier-1 cities.
- Social Inequality: The growth of health facilities has been highly imbalanced in India. Rural, hilly and remote areas of the country are under served while in urban areas and cities, health facility is well developed. The SC/ST and the poor people are far away from modern health service.
- Poor healthcare ranking: India ranks as low as 145th among 195 countries in healthcare quality and accessibility, behind even Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
- Commercial motive: lack of transparency and unethical practices in the private sector.
- Lack of level playing field between the public and private hospitals: This has been a major concern as public hospitals would continue receiving budgetary support. This would dissuade the private players from actively participating in the scheme.
- Scheme flaws: The overall situation with the National Health Mission, India’s flagship programme in primary health care, continues to be dismal. The NHM’s share in the health budget fell from 73% in 2006 to 50% in 2019 in the absence of uniform and substantial increases in health spending by States.
Steps taken up currently:
- The National Health Policy (NHP) 2017 advocated allocating resources of up to two-thirds or more to primary care as it enunciated the goal of achieving “the highest possible level of good health and well-being, through a preventive and promotive healthcare orientation”.
- A 167% increase in allocation this year for the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) — the insurance programme which aims to cover 10 crore poor families for hospitalisation expenses of up to ₹5 lakh per family per annum.
- The government’s recent steps to incentivise the private sector to open hospitals in Tier II and Tier III cities.
- Individual states are adopting technology to support health-insurance schemes. For instance, Remedinet Technology (India’s first completely electronic cashless health insurance claims processing network) has been signed on as the technology partner for the Karnataka Government’s recently announced cashless health insurance schemes.
Measures needed to strengthen the existing state of Health infrastructure in the country are:
- There is an immediate need to increase the public spending to 2.5% of GDP, despite that being lower than global average of 5.4%.
- The achievement of a distress-free and comprehensive wellness system for all hinges on the performance of health and wellness centres as they will be instrumental in reducing the greater burden of out-of-pocket expenditure on health.
- there is a need to depart from the current trend of erratic and insufficient increases in health spending and make substantial and sustained investments in public health over the next decade.
- A National Health Regulatory and Development Framework needs to be made for improving the quality (for example registration of health practitioners), performance, equity, efficacy and accountability of healthcare delivery across the country.
- Increase the Public-Private Partnerships to increase the last-mile reach of healthcare.
- Generic drugs and Jan Aushadi Kendras should be increased to make medicines affordable and reduce the major component of Out of Pocket Expenditure.
- The government’s National Innovation Council, which is mandated to provide a platform for collaboration amongst healthcare domain experts, stakeholders and key participants, should encourage a culture of innovation in India and help develop policy on innovations that will focus on an Indian model for inclusive growth.
- India should take cue from other developing countries like Thailand to work towards providing Universal Health Coverage. UHC includes three components: Population coverage, disease coverage and cost coverage.
- Leveraging the benefits of Information Technology like computer and mobile-phone based e-health and m-health initiatives to improve quality of healthcare service delivery. Start-ups are investing in healthcare sector from process automation to diagnostics to low-cost innovations. Policy and regulatory support should be provided to make healthcare accessible and affordable.
India needs a holistic approach to tackle problems in healthcare industry. This includes the active collaboration of all stakeholders public, private sectors, and individuals. Amore dynamic and pro-active approach is needed to handle the dual disease burden. A universal access to health makes the nation fit and healthy, aiding better to achieve the demographic dividend.
Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
Why this question:
The article provides for an assessment of Fiscal federalism in India , its link with cooperative federalism and the challenges being faced by Fiscal federalism in India.
Key demand of the question:
The answer must discuss how the state of cooperative federalism in India is analyzed by focusing on the trends in vertical fiscal imbalances between the Centre and the states, the impact of Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management acts on the fiscal space of the states, the implications of the Terms of Reference of the Fifteenth Finance Commission, and the need for empowering local governments in the context of Centre–state relations.
Structure of the answer:
Begin with what you understand by Fiscal federalism.
Discuss the following :
- How fiscal federalism is linked to cooperative federalism.
- Discuss trends in central and state taxes, the issues in sharing taxes and distribution of grants, the vertical fiscal imbalances, the impact of FRBM legislations, Fifteenth Finance Commission and empowering local governments (LGs), in the context of Centre–state relations.
- Discuss the specific challenges.
Conclude with what needs to be done to overcome the challenges.
Fiscal federalism is the financial relations between units of governments in a federal government system. It is part of broader public finance discipline. The term was introduced by the German-born American economist Richard Musgrave in 1959. Fiscal federalism deals with the division of governmental functions and financial relations among levels of government.
India has a federal form of government, and hence a federal fiscal system. For successful operation of federal form of government, financial independence and adequacy forms the backbone. The Economic Survey 2017-18 highlighted the need for fiscal federalism.
The differences between fiscal federalism and Co-operative federalism are:
- Fiscal federalism says that the functions of macroeconomic stabilisation and distribution are considered to be in the domain of the federal government and that of allocation in the realm of the tier of government closest to the beneficiaries whereas Cooperative federalism is a system in which there is joint decision-making between several jurisdictions of government based on consensus.
- Fiscal federalism refers to the division of responsibilities with regard to public expenditure and taxation where as cooperative federalism ensures that government at various levels work in synergy for the development by passing their differences.
- Fiscal federalism deals with allocation of resources in an effective way where as cooperative federalism mandates cooperation in the developmental sphere.
- Fiscal federalism ensures economic stability of the nation at all levels of federalism where is cooperative federalism ensures equitable growth across regions.
- Fiscal federalism is an integral part of cooperative federalism. The spirit of cooperative federalism requires both the Union and the State governments to sacrifice their fiscal autonomy in favour of a collective decision-making process.
The challenges to Indian fiscal federalism are:
- Trends in Tax Revenue:
- A look at the composition of central and states’ own taxes and expenditure reveal that the share of the own tax revenue and expenditure of the states is 38% and 58% respectively.
- This reflects the more than proportionate expenditure obligations of the states and also the lesser revenue raising powers vis-à-vis the centre.
- The centre has buoyant sources of revenue like personal income tax, corporation tax, excise duty, customs duty and service tax. However, the tax–gross domestic product (GDP) ratio of the centre has stagnated by 11% on an average, during the period 1970–71 to 2016–17.
- Trends in Transfer of Central Resources:
- The transfer of resources to states comprises taxes collected by the Union, statutory grants under Article 275 based on the recommendations of the finance commissions, grants given as central share in centrally sponsored schemes (CSS), other discretionary grants, and until 2015–16, formula-based grants for state plans under the Gadgil formula.
- The transfer of central resources can be broadly classified into tied and flexible grants. The former is a conditional grant which comes with a scheme and has conditionalities. The state has no flexibility in deciding how to spend it. The CSS grants fall under this category.
- Trends in Tax Devolution:
- Under Article 270 of the Constitution, the net proceeds of all taxes levied by the union, except surcharges and cesses are shareable with the states after the 80th Constitutional Amendment.
- Net proceeds are defined in Article 279 of the Constitution as gross tax revenue of the centre less surcharges and cesses, and cost of collection. However, the amount of net proceeds is not published in the budget documents of the union. But, the proportion of surcharges and cesses to gross tax revenue of the centre is rising, and this is neutralising the higher shares recommended by the successive finance commissions.
- Surcharges and cesses are levied for the purpose of the union and are not shareable with the states, according to the provisions of Article 271 of the Constitution.
- the lack of transparency in computation of net proceeds has also caused losses to the states.
- FRBM Acts and Asymmetric Impacts:
- The FRBM acts were passed at the level of the centre and the states in the beginning of the 2000s.
- It laid emphasis only on achieving targets. In the bargain, if revenues could not be raised, expenditure (even essential) would be cut.
- the states have been forced to limit their deficits due to sanctions by the finance commissions, whereas the centre is not bound by any such conditionalities.
- The FRBM review committee recommendations have been unilaterally accepted by the centre without consulting the states. This is against the basic tenets of cooperative federalism.
- Inefficient Cash Management by States:
- The states do not spend essentially due to the fear of the consequences of non-adherence to deficit targets, which are not only a legislative constraint but also a conditionality imposed by the finance commissions.
- The perversity of this is such that states are not only forced to adhere to deficit targets, but also to provide cheap financing to the centre, which has not adhered to deficit targets noted in the FRBM acts.
- Post-GST Scenario
- The voting rights in the GST Council is in the provisions of Article 279A of the Constitution. The states have two-thirds and the centre one-third voting rights. But to pass a resolution, three-fourths majority is required. This in effect confers a veto power for the centre, even when states jointly propose a change. The states should be able to adopt a change in their tax structure without the centre’s consent. The voting rights envisaged under Article 279A has made this impossible.
- The committee on revenue neutral rates (RNR) of the central government had suggested the apportionment between the states and the centre at 60:40 ratio, as almost 44% of states’ own tax revenue was subsumed under the GST as against 28% for the centre. It still retains the power to levy additional excise duty on tobacco products, even though it has been brought under the GST. States do not have such a right.
- The centre also took a long time in implementing the anti-profiteering clause of the GST.
- ToR of the Fifteenth Finance Commission:
- There is an apprehension that it will reduce the states’ capacity to intervene in social and economic sectors.
- ToR suggests whether there should be revenue deficit grants at all. This is ToR is a bolt from the blue with regard to the state finances that are already stressed by the impending pay commission award implementations, the obligation to bear the future interest burden from floating UDAY bonds and stagnation in the GST revenues.
- The proposed enlargement of restrictive conditions is a move towards fiscal centralisation and acts counter to cooperative federalism.
- The ToR 7 also mandates the Fifteenth Finance Commission to assess and monitor performance of several aspects, including GST implementation, and other governance and achievement indicators. The finance commissions becoming a monitoring agency of states’ performance does not befit its constitutional role.
- Empowering Local Governments:
- the LGs in India are still a shadow of “institutions of self-government” envisaged in the Constitution.
- A major impediment for substantial progress in decentralisation to LGs is the lack of any initiative to restructure centre–state relations in India.
- the vast differences in the decentralisation experience across the states, which is the consequence of the varying degrees of political will.
There is an urgent need to tackle the above challenges in fiscal federalism by using the co-operative federalism to ensure socio-economic development of India.
Topic– Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
7) Recently SpaceX’s new Dragon capsule was successfully docked on the International Space Station (ISS), the launch proved to be a key step towards resuming manned space flights. In this context discuss the challenges of private participation in India’s space program and what are its potentials? (250 words)
Why this question:
The question is in the backdrop of launch of SpaceX’s new Dragon capsule that was docked on the International Space Station (ISS), the launch proved to be a key step towards resuming manned space flights. The Indian space program has changed in the last decade with renewed focus on military applications of space, thus the question becomes important with respect to GS paper III.
Key demand of the question:
The main demand of the question is to explain the importance of private participants in the Indian space industry. What are the Challenges, Opportunities, and Strategic Concerns associated with it.
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:
Narrate the background of the SpaceX’s success with respect to launch of Dragon capsule – a step towards resuming manned space flights.
Discuss how an important development in the U.S. space program over the last decade has been the emergence of private sector partners, What role does the private sector play in the Indian space program, and what challenges to further private sector development exist for India. Discuss the most important foreign partners for India in the history of its space program; the relative importance of these partnerships changing, and what opportunities for collaboration has India identified.
Conclude with optimism as India can achieve greater heights in Space given its current capabilities.
Dragon is a partially reusable spacecraft developed by SpaceX, an American private space transportation company based in Hawthorne, California. Dragon is launched into space by the SpaceX Falcon 9 two-stage-to-orbit launch vehicle, and is capable of both manned and robotic operation.
SpaceX’s new crew capsule “Dragon” arrived at the International Space Station on Sunday, 2nd March 2019. Dragon will remain at the space station until Friday, when it undocks and aims for a splashdown in the Atlantic, a couple hundred miles off the Florida coast.
Importance of Dragon capsule:
- The test mission is rigged with sensors to measure noise, vibration and stresses, and to monitor the life-support, propulsion and other critical systems throughout the flight.
- It docked autonomously under the ISS astronauts’ watchful eyes, instead of relying on the station’s robot arm for berthing.
- No one was aboard the Dragon capsule launched Saturday on its first test flight, only an instrumented dummy.
- But the three ISS astronauts had front-row seats as the sleek, white vessel neatly docked and became the first American-made, designed-for-crew spacecraft to pull up in eight years.
- If the six-day demo goes well, SpaceX could launch two astronauts this summer under NASA’s commercial crew program.
- While SpaceX has sent plenty of cargo Dragons to the space station, crew Dragon is a different beast.
- NASA is paying the two private companies (SpaceX and Boeing) $8 billion to build and operate the capsules for ferrying astronauts to and from the space station.
- Astronauts have been stuck riding Russian rockets ever since NASA’s space shuttle program ended in 2011. Russian Soyuz seats go for up to $82 million apiece.
India’s space program
- Monopoly: In India ‘Space’ means Indian Space Research Organisation. Globally the technology is highly protected because of its dual use capability. Even if it was not, it would be prohibitively expensive.
- Funding: A major challenge in setting up a space business in India is funding. Space industry is capital intensive and upstream activities come with a long gestation period.
- Investor’s Dilemma: The lack of clarity among the investors and lack of the ecosystem required for significant contribution is a challenge for the investors.
- Lack of Regulation: India is a party to the Outer Space Treaty, where one of the fundamental requirements laid upon states is the supervision of space activities within its borders, the country did not have any formally legislated laws. This is a potential roadblock for commercialization.
- Growth Challenges: Scaling up, international marketing and funding are challenges.
- Lack of Support: the Indian ecosystem has neither incubation support nor pointers to seek support of leaders such as ISRO for space start-ups.
- Political and bureaucratic hurdles limits private space operations in India.
- Low in-house capacity of ISRO restricts them to very few launches in a year. Privatization can offload 30-40% of the work and help them work more efficiently.
- India should have national space activities legislation which takes on board all stakeholders.
- A public-private partnership (PPP) model can be looked into to realise ISRO’s workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), with a joint venture between ISRO and the private sector.
- In the UK, space ventures are treated as a complement to big organizations and not a competitor. This should be encouraged in India too.
- A supportive international partner and likeminded local partners helps to set up a space business.
- The idea should be to let the private industry build their own facilities after gaining enough expertise.
- ISRO has built a space technology park spread over 25 acres in Bengaluru where the entire range of facilities have been set up for use by the industry.
The private sector already supplies majority of the sub-systems in satellite manufacturing. This can be further scaled up into other activities with proper regulation and partnership of the ISRO and private sector.