SECURE SYNOPSIS: 25 MARCH 2019

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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 25 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: Effects of globalization on Indian society.

1) Are the world countries witnessing de-globalisation? Examine and explain the associated implications.(250 words)

 

Why this question:

The question is in the context of rising trends of de-globalization being witnessed across the world. Increased protectionism professed especially by countries like USA etc.

Key demands of the question:

The answer must first elaborate on what is deglobalization, what are the causes of it, its impact and implications on countries like India. Compare and contrast it with effects of globalization in the recent past.

Directive word

ExamineWhen 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:

Introduction

Briefly discuss the backdrop of the rising trends of protectionism.

Body

The body of the answer should address the following dimensions:

  • What do you understand by deglobalization.
  • Discuss the raising global fears of a possible slowing down of the global economic recovery, due to de-globalization.
  • Elaborate on “national interests first” attitude in trade and economic policies by the countries of the world.
  • What are the implications of it?
  • Its affects on India, discuss it with examples.

Conclusion

Conclude with way forward, what needs to be done to strike a balance between globalization and deglobalization.

Introduction:

Harvard Business School professor Geoffrey G. Jones says Brexit and Donald Trump’s rise show that the world is in the second wave of deglobalization. The present talk around ‘trade war’ and ‘de-globalisation’ cropped up after the US, in March 2018, imposed 25 per cent and 10 per cent duty on steel and aluminium imports, respectively, from certain countries, citing national security and job creation as the triggering factors.

Body:

The term de-globalisation is used by economic and market commentators to highlight the trend of several countries wanting to go back to economic and trade policies that put their national interests first. These policies often take the form of tariffs or quantitative barriers that impede free movement of people, products and services among countries. The idea behind all this protectionism is to shield local manufacturing by making imports costlier.

Implications of Deglobalization:

  • We still live in a highly globalised world, and these protectionist moves upend the fundamental premise on the basis of which global growth is estimated and organisations such as the WTO regulate global trade.
  • When large, industrialised and prosperous nations break ranks to erect new entry barriers for goods and services, this can drastically impact the fortunes of their many trade partners.
  • All calculations of global economic growth, inflation and interest rates then go haywire.
  • The US economy, for instance, imports a lot of inexpensive manufactured goods from China. If a tariff war increases costs of imports into the US, its domestic inflation may rocket and US interest rates may increase faster.
  • India may not be much affected by the recent rash of tariffs, given that the US derives only a little over one per cent of its steel and aluminium imports from India.
  • But de-globalisation with respect to the mobility of services and people can impact both the export of services, and the trend of Indians migrating abroad for higher education and jobs.
  • The recent global bull market is predicated on a global recovery and de-globalisation can puncture the optimism very quickly.
  • What starts with goods can also move to the people. The US and the UK have already made immigration norms very stringent for outsiders.
  • Deglobalization may hamper efforts towards gender equality.
  • Restrictions on the movement of people will limit women’s ability to move in search of greater opportunities.
  • Reduced capital flows, which make investment capital harder to come by, may encourage the return of old cultural myths against investing in women.
  • Internationalization weakens biases, but with economic fragmentation, these old biases kick back in.

Way forward:

  • In order to stifle nationalist and protectionist feelings, we must produce stability and security.
  • There is a need to bring emerging countries into closer association with world governance, implying that, in return, they share the responsibility and the costs of underpinning capitalism and an open society.
  • Promotion of new forms of international and regional integration that preserve and allow the multiple dimensions of life to flourish.
  • Cooperation is vital to make the world economy more predictable, to mitigate vulnerabilities and to strengthen the free trade system.
  • the culture of tolerance and understanding must be promoted which provides space for positive dialogue

Conclusion:

The spectre of protectionism is haunting the global economy, as politicians in many parts of the world cast doubt on the benefits of globalization and free trade. Deglobalization does not oppose trade nor the exchange of products or services, but proposes that trade is not done at the expense of the communities, the local and national economies and the diversity of its products whether agricultural or industrial.


Topic– Effects of globalization on Indian society

2) Discuss in detail the Socio-Cultural Impact of globalisation on Indian  Society.(250 words)

 

Why this question:

The question is about recognizing the specific impacts that globalization has made over the socio-cultural fabric of India.

Demand of the question:

This question seeks to examine the issues associated with identification of poor in the country and what measures are required to be taken to do away with.

Directive word:

DiscussThis 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

Start by explaining effects of globalization in general.

Body

One can start with the positives that globalization brought in for the socio-cultural aspects like Access to education, Growth of cities, global interconnectedness etc. Then move on to discuss the negative implications – Nuclear Families, Old Age Vulnerability, Pervasive Media, Walmartization, McDonaldization etc.

Then discuss how all these above factors impact the country’s socio-cultural fabric.

Conclusion

Conclude with importance of globalization yet reassert that it doesn’t come without a cost.

Introduction:

The term ‘Globalization’ is itself self-explanatory. It is an international platform for maintaining evenness in the living mode of the people all over the world. Globalization is the resultant of the interchange of worldly views, opinions and the various aspects of the culture everywhere around the world. This is the means for providing the international arena for intermingling of people from different sectors, culture and dialects and learns to move and approach socially without hurting and affecting each others’ prestige.

Body:

Globalization has both positive and negative impacts throughout the globe. Right from the environmental challenges from the climatic influence, the air, water soil pollution etc., to the cyber crime; globalization has a huge contribution to all the ill-effects of scientific advancements. May it be business, trade, and work exposure or the economic and financial status of the country; no field is left behind the reach of globalization.

  • Access to education:
    • On one hand globalisation has aided in the explosion of information on the web that has helped in greater awareness among people. It has also led to greater need for specialisation and promotion of higher education in the country.
    • On the flip side the advent of private education, coaching classes and paid study material has created a gap between the haves and have-nots. It has become increasingly difficult for an individual to obtain higher education.
  • Urbanization:
    • It has been estimated that by 2050 more than 50% of India’s population will live in cities. The boom of services sector and city centric job creation has led to increasing rural to urban migration.
  • Cuisine
    • Indian cuisine is one of the most popular cuisines across the globe. Historically, Indian spices and herbs were one of the most sought after trade commodities. Pizzas, burgers, Chinese foods and other Western foods have become quite popular.
  • Clothing:
    • Traditional Indian clothes for women are the saris, suits, etc. and for men, traditional clothes are the dhoti, kurta. Hindu married women also adorned the red bindi and sindhur, but now, it is no more a compulsion.
    • Rather, Indo-western clothing, the fusion of Western and Sub continental fashion is in trend. Wearing jeans, t-shirts, miniskirts have become common among Indian girls.
  • Language:
    • Even the Indians are not very much in favour of promoting their mother tongue or our national language.
    • Instead the youth today consider it to be a shameful condition to speak in their national language Hindi.
  • Indian Performing Arts:
    • The music of India includes multiples varieties of religious, folk, popular, pop, and classical music. India’s classical music includes two distinct styles: Carnatic and Hindustani music. It remains instrumental to the religious inspiration, cultural expression and pure entertainment. Indian dance too has diverse folk and classical forms.
    • Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Kathakali, Mohiniattam, Kuchipudi, Odissi are popular dance forms in India. Kalarippayattu is considered one of the world’s oldest martial art. There have been many great practitioners of Indian Martial Arts including Bodhidharma who supposedly brought Indian martial arts to China.
    • The Indian Classical music has gained worldwide recognition but recently, western music is too becoming very popular in our country. Fusing Indian music along with western music is encouraged among musicians. More Indian dance shows are held globally. The number of foreigners who are eager to learn Bharatanatyam is rising. Western dance forms such as Jazz, Hip hop, Salsa, Ballet have become common among Indian youngsters.
  • Family Structure
    • The increasing migration coupled with financial independence has led to the breaking of joint families into nuclear ones.
    • The western influence of individualism has led to an aspirational generation of youth. Concepts of national identity, family, job and tradition are changing rapidly and significantly.
    • The rise of nuclear families has reduced the social security that the joint family provided. This has led to greater economic, health and emotional vulnerability of old age individuals.
    • Children have started treating grandparents like guests or visitors, and such an upbringing is one of the main reasons of increasing old age homes, as those children consider their own parents as burden in their state of adulthood.
  • Marriage Values
    • Similarly, marriages have also lost their values.
    • It is very much evident from the increasing number of divorce cases and the extra-marital affairs reported every now and then.
    • Marriage used to be considered as bonding of the souls which will be linked even after the death; but today marriage is like a professional bond or a so-called commitment to share life without compromising their self-interests.
  • Adultery
    • Both the genders were kept at a distance, with lot many restrictions and limitations to the approach for ages in our culture.
    • With the emergence of globalization and western culture, youth have start mixing up well with each other.
    • The friendly approach and the socializing feature is worth appreciable.
    • But the total breakout of restrictions has adulterated the Indian mindset, playing up with the physical relationship.
  • Pervasive Media:
    • There is greater access to news, music, movies, videos from around the world. Foreign media houses have increased their presence in India. India is part of the global launch of Hollywood movies which is very well received here. It has a psychological, social and cultural influence on our society.
  • McDonaldization:
    • A term denoting the increasing rationalization of the routine tasks of everyday life. It becomes manifested when a culture adopts the characteristics of a fast-food restaurant. McDonaldization is a reconceptualization of rationalization, or moving from traditional to rational modes of thought, and scientific management.
  • Walmartization:
    • A term referring to profound transformations in regional and global economies through the sheer size, influence, and power of the big-box department store WalMart. It can be seen with the rise of big businesses which have nearly killed the small traditional businesses in our society.

Conclusion:

It is difficult to say that the impact of globalization has been totally positive or totally negative. It has been both. Each impact mentioned above can be seen as both positive as well as negative. However, it becomes a point of concern when, an overwhelming impact of globalization can be observed on the Indian culture.


Topic: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

3) Fiscal federalism is the economic counterpart to political federalism. Discuss with suitable examples.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The article discusses in detail how Fiscal federalism is the economic counterpart to political federalism. It provides for a detailed assessment of Fiscal federalism in India , its link with political federalism and the challenges being faced by it in India.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must explain in detail what is fiscal federalism, explain how it is counterpart to political federalism, how are the two different? On is expected to explain with recent examples along with features of constitution that requires highlighting.

Directive word:

DiscussThis 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:

Begin with what you understand by Fiscal federalism.

Body:

  • What is fiscal federalism in India? context.
  • Present status
  • Link between Fiscal federalism and political federalism – the constitutional angle.
  • What are the associated concerns and challenges
  • Way forward.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of federalism and its role in Indian set up, take cues from the article.

Introduction:

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.    

Body:

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.

Link between Fiscal federalism and political federalism:

  • Fiscal federalism is concerned with the assignment on the one hand of functions to different levels of government, and with appropriate fiscal instruments for carrying out these functions on the other.
  • It is generally believed that the Central government must provide national public goods that render services to the entire population. A typical example cited is defence.
  • Sub-national governments are expected to provide goods and services whose consumption is limited to their own jurisdictions.
  • An equally important question in fiscal federalism is the determination of the specific fiscal instruments that would enable the different levels of government to carry out their functions. This is the ‘tax-assignment problem’.
  • It is generally argued that the de-centralised levels of government should avoid non-benefit taxes and taxes on mobile units.
  • In India, income tax is levied only by the Central government though shared with the States. Recognising the possibility of imbalance between resources and responsibilities, many countries have a system of inter-governmental transfers.
  • The Indian Constitution lays down the functions as well as taxing powers of the Centre and States.
  • It is against this background that the issues relating to the correction of vertical and horizontal imbalances have been addressed by every Finance Commission, taking into account the prevailing set of circumstances.
  • However, Central transfers to States are not confined to the recommendations of the Finance Commissions. There are other channels such as those through the Planning Commission until recently as well the discretionary grants of the Central government.

Associated concerns and challenges:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Way forward:

  • Perhaps the time has come for the Constitution to be amended and the proportion of shareable taxes that should go to the States fixed at the desired level.
  • The shareable tax pool must also include cesses and surcharges as these have sharply increased in recent years. Fixing the ratio at 42% of shareable taxes, including cesses and surcharges, seems appropriate.
  • Another possible route is to follow the practice in the U.S. and Canada: of allowing the States to levy tax on personal income, with some limitations.
  • The freedom given to the States must be limited. It is important to note that the levy by the Centre and States together should be reasonable. Also once this power is given to the States, the transfers from the Centre need adjustment.
  • Horizontal Distribution: The ability of bringing about equalisation across States in India has limitations. Even the relatively richer States have their own problems and they feel ‘cheated’ because of the overuse of the equity criterion. An appropriate balancing of criteria is needed particularly in the context of the rise in unconditional transfers.

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

4) Discuss the potential of Blue economy in India. What are the issues associated and what needs to be done to harness the available potential?(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

Recently vice-president Venkaiah Naidu, cautioned against the further degradation of oceans and their ecosystem and harnessing the potential of blue economy in his visit to Goa. Thus it becomes important for us to ponder upon Blue economy in India and its significance.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the enormous potential of the blue economy  must necessarily be harnessed to achieve higher growth for the coastal regions, river regions etc of the country and initiate appropriate programmes for sustainable harnessing of ocean reserves.

Directive word:

DiscussThis 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:

Introduce by highlighting the significance of blue economy in India.

Body:

Answers must discuss the following aspects :

  • What do you understand by Blue economy.
  • potential linkages between blue economy, economic growth, port

development, international relations and security, and ocean resource conservation etc.

  • discuss the need to develop technologies that enable deep sea mining, underwater vehicles and robotics, and the extraction of minerals from the sea.
  • highlighting the opportunities and challenges for India etc.

Conclusion –

Emphasize the importance and suggest a way forward.

Introduction:

“Blue Economy” refers to strategic and sustainable use of Marine Resources for the development of Economy and the well-being of human. Gunter Pauli’s book, “The Blue Economy: 10 years, 100 innovations, 100 million jobs” (2010) brought the Blue Economy concept into prominence. It offers “Green Approach” to meet the aspirations of mankind. India is endowed with a vast coastline of approximately 7500 Km and hence better placed to harness the “potential of oceans” – with an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 2.02 mn. sq.km. It is an upcoming sunrise sector.

Body:

Potential of Blue economy in India:

  • Economy:
    • Blue economy, through sustainable use of oceans, has great potential for boosting the economic growth by providing opportunities for income generation and jobs etc.
    • It can support food security, and diversification to address new resources for energy, new drugs valuable chemicals, protein food, deep sea minerals, security etc.
    • At least 3-5% of global GDP is derived from oceans
  • Socio-Economic Development:
    • Blue economy presents India with an unprecedented opportunity to meet its national socio-economic objectives as well as strengthen connectivity with neighbours.
    • Blue Economy can help in focusing on livelihood generation, achieving energy security, building ecological resilience, and improving health and living standards of coastal communities.
    • Blue economy would reinforce and strengthen the efforts of the Indian government as it strives to achieve the SDGs of hunger and poverty eradication along with sustainable use of marine resources by 2030.
  • Environmental Benefits:
    • Mangroves and other vegetated ocean habitats sequester 25 percent of the extra CO2 from fossil fuels, i.e., Blue Carbon.
    • Protection of coastal communities from disasters like floods and storms.
    • A Sustainable Blue Economy can help to achieve commitments under UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 2030, Paris climate agreement 2015 and the UN Ocean Conference 2017
  • Renewable Energy:
    • Sustainable marine energy can play a vital role in social and economic development.
    • As energy sources on the surface are limited, in the near future the dependency on marine resources will increase, which will require more human resource to be deployed in the field of environment engineering and marine resource protection
  • Mineral Wealth:
    • According to ISA there are vast reserves of Poly-metallic Nodules, sulphides, cobalt rich ferro-mangenese crust( rich in cobalt, bismuth, iron, lead, platinum).
    • ISA has notified two major areas “clariton-clipperton fracture zone” and Central Indian Ocean Basin.
    • India has already signed a contract and entered in the league with Japan, USA, China
  • Fisheries:
    • Sustainable fisheries can generate more revenue, more fish and help restore fish stocks.
  • Maritime Transport:
    • Over 80% of international goods traded are transported by sea.
    • Marine services sector could serve as the backbone of its blue economy and help India become 10 trillion dollar economy by 2022.
    • Indian Ocean is a major conduit of trade with as much as 80% of global oil trade happening through it.
  • Tourism:
    • Ocean and coastal tourism can bring jobs and economic growth.
  • Climate Change and Bio-diversity:
    • Oceans are an important carbon sink (blue carbon) and help mitigate climate change.
    • Oceans protect biodiversity, keep the planet cool, and absorb about 30% of global CO2 emissions.
    • Oceans cover three-quarters of the Earth’s surface, contain 97% of the Earth’s water, and represent 99% of the living area on the planet.
  • Waste Management:
    • Better waste management on land can help oceans recover.

Issues associated:

  • Threat of sea borne terror:
    • Piracy and armed robbery, maritime terrorism, illicit trade in crude oil, arms, drug and human trafficking and smuggling of contraband etc.
  • Natural Disasters:
    • Every year tsunamis, cyclones, hurricanes typhoons etc leave thousands of people stranded and property worth millions destroyed.
  • Man-Made disasters:
    • Oil spills, climate change continue to risk the stability of the maritime domain.
  • Impact of climate change:
    • Threats of both slow-onset events like sea-level rise and more intense and frequent weather events like cyclones.
    • Long-term climate change impacts on ocean systems like changes in sea temperature, acidity, and major oceanic currents.
  • Marine pollution:
    • In form of excess nutrients from untreated sewerage, agricultural runoff, and marine debris such as plastics.
    • Deep sea mining can cause long term irreversible ecological damage to marine ecosystem.
  • Geopolitical issues:
    • Geopolitical tussle between in various regions like South China Sea, Indian Ocean Region etc. and undermining International Laws like UNCLOS limits the countries from achieving the full potential of Blue Economy.
  • Overexploitation of marine resources:
    • Illegal, unreported, and unregulated extraction of marine resources.
    • FAO estimates that approximately 57 percent of fish stocks are fully exploited and another 30 percent are over-exploited, depleted, or recovering.
  • Unsustainable development near marine areas:
    • Physical alterations and destruction of marine and coastal habitats & landscapes largely due to coastal development, deforestation, & mining

Way Forward:

  • India should look to adopt the sustainable approach of balancing economic benefits with sustainability for meeting the broader goals of growth, employment generation, equity and protection of environment.
  • We need to come up with technology to explore the minerals deep down at seabed.
  • India must focus on marine ICTs, and transport (shipping) and communication services, and the creation of a knowledge hub for marine research and development.
  • An effective response mechanism to address humanitarian crises and natural disasters should be made for the evolving Indian Ocean security strategy.
  • India should not look at its oceans as just water bodies, but as global stage for continued economic, social, and cultural dialogue.
  • Ever increasing marine pollution must be abated and India’s vow to curb plastic pollution must be pursued relentlessly.
  • Tackling the Global warming and submergence of low lying islands as part of Paris Climate deal agreement and initiatives like FIPIC.

Topic :  Role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security/ Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

5) Discuss  Fake news problem in India. Is it a policy issue or is it due to the lackadaisical approach by the social media companies or is it a combination of both?(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The article captures in detail how fake news has pervaded all spheres of life, political, economic and social – with negative implications. What measures need to be taken by various stakeholders to combat fake news menace. Thus it is important topic from the point of view of paper III and IV.

Key demand of the question:

Discuss the causes and spread of fake news, Why is the spread of fake news on rise these days – causes and consequences. Most importantly discuss role of social media in it.

Directive word:

DiscussThis 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:

Introduce by stating the current conditions of the high prevalence of fake news in India.

Body:

In brief discuss – What do you understand by fake news – a type of yellow journalism that consists of deliberate misinformation or hoaxes spread via the traditional print, broadcasting news media, or via Internet-based social media., Why is the spread of fake news on rise these days – role of social media, main driving force behind fake news , how to contain it, legislative measures necessary, challenges and need for multi- stakeholder approach, how it affects society in general.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward – suggest steps to overcome.

Introduction:

Fake news is a deliberate lie or a half-truth circulated with the intention to mislead or cause harm to a section of people. It is a type of yellow journalism that consists of deliberate misinformation or hoaxes spread via the traditional print, broadcasting news media, or via Internet-based social media. Fake news is written and published with the intent to mislead in order to gain financially or politically, often with sensationalist, exaggerated, or patently false headlines that grab attention.

Body:

Fake news problem in India:

  • Social media in campaign:
    • used to promote electoral programme and encourage anti-liberal sentiments as seen in Trump campaign. They offer a quick way to convey one-sided information or opinion, without the option or capability to verify the authenticity of this information or to present the opposite opinion for the sake of balance.
  • Fake news creating Bubble phenomenon
    • Users with matching political views exchange one-sided information and opinions that suit their own convictions, reinforcing them even further, even if those were based on false information.
  • Social media distancing people
    • It deprives people of human contact and the accompanying intimacy and exchange of opinions, which could lead to changing a wrong impression or correcting an inaccurate belief.
  • Evergreening of fake news websites
    • Tens of thousands of “fake news” websites have emerged, offering false information to an audience that is used to traditional media doing the fact-checking for it and that believes anything that appears on a presentable webpage.
  • Igniting extremist sentiments
    • ‘Fake news’ perpetuates, previously locally found, extremist ideas and groups together dangerously minded people e.g. – Neo-Nazis in Germany, Separatists in Kashmir.

Reasons for rise of fake news:

It is an amalgamation of policy issue as well as lackadaisical approach of social media companies:

  • The Centre has adopted a flawed approach in resolving the ongoing security crisis due to fake news being circulated on WhatsApp.
  • It is unfair to put the onus on the social media platforms alone for providing a solution to the menace of fake news.
  • Security requirements must also take into account the privacy rights of millions of genuine users.
  • Data leaks at Facebook and Uber in the recent past have proven that the encryption has to be so high.
  • Blocking mobile applications such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and Telegram on security grounds would be even more dangerous.
  • Rather than to force a solution on technology providers alone, the Centre needs to address the consumer end as well and adopt a collaborative way to tackle the menace of fake news.

Challenges in curbing fake news:

  • Messaging platforms act as mere conduits for encrypted information.
  • They deny decrypting or intercepting messages sent through their platforms.
  • Traceability would undermine end-to-end encryption, weaken consumer privacy and cybersecurity.
  • Since WhatsApp users converse outside Indian boundaries, the storage of a foreign user’s data could come with its own jurisdiction issues.
  • Asking a foreign company to establish an entity in India is only asking for greater control without clearly identifying the potential harm.
  • WhatsApp’s recent decision to restrict forwarding of messages to five users may only have limited impact in curtailing rumours

Way forward:

  • Platform companies have much to do to improve their content moderation and contain disinformation.
  • Facebook has announced that it currently has over 500 full-time employees and at least 3,500 external contractors who focus on election work, on top of the 30,000 people across the company focused on safety and security issues.
  • Coordinated attempts to amplify and spread misleading and false information sometimes seem to emanate from major political parties and activists who support them. This ought to stop, and if it does not, has to be continuously and critically covered by independent journalists to ensure that people are aware of what is going on.
  • Indian news media has a lot of work to do if it wants to gain the trust of the Indian public. Many express high levels of trust in some individual brands, most notably major newspapers and some broadcasters. But many news media are not trusted.
  • A better and more effective approach to limit the influence of hoaxes on WhatsApp and other platforms is to increase media literacy.
  • The government should bring out a policy framework on the possible harm due to the internet messaging platforms to engage at a deeper level.
  • Government of India could partner with local news groups to further educate citizens on how to identify real news from fake news.
  • Imposing hefty fines, like in Germany the Social media companies face fines of up to €50m if they persistently fail to remove illegal content from their sites.

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

6) Critically analyse the issues plaguing aviation sector in India. What needs to be done to overcome these issues and concerns? Discuss.(250 words)

Businesstoday

NewIndianexpress

Why this question:

The question is in the context of recent issues being faced by Indian aviation industry.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must explain with necessary justification the issues and concerns that the aviation sector of India is facing ranging from finances to safety of Passengers. You must also suggest measures – in terms of policies, legislations, schemes required to overcome these challenges.

Directive word:

Critically analyzeWhen 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:

Introduction:

Use some suitable facts to express the current crisis situation in the Aviation industry in India.

Body:

Explain the following –

  • Current Market size of the industry , Factors contributing to the growth of the aviation sector.
  • challenges – global economic slowdown negatively impacts leisure, optional and business travel, rise in the price of fuel, Government interventions,  High operational costs, High cost of aviation turbine fuel, High service tax and other charges, Shortage of maintenance facilities, High foreign exchange rate, Competition from foreign airlines, Congestion at airports, Lack of qualified pilots and technical manpower etc.
  • suggest measures – liberalize foreign direct investment in the sector, more bilateral treaties for international routes, ore consolidation in the sector to lower down the cut throat competition in the sector etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Of the 638 aircraft in Indian skies, all the 18 Boeing 737 Max’s are grounded. Even if this crisis isn’t grave enough and may blow over in a few months, India’s aviation sector still has too many air pockets ahead to revive any time soon. From being one of the most preferred airlines, Jet Airways is now fighting for its survival.

Despite the fact that the Indian civil aviation industry in currently considered the third largest domestic civil aviation market in the world, the industry is suffering from several problems.

Body:

Granted, the airline business is a risky one around the world with high capex and low profit margins. But India is a special case even so.The issues plaguing aviation sector in India:

  • Increase in fuel prices
    • Aviation turbine fuel (ATF) is one of the important sections of the industry.
    • The Centre charges 14% excise duty on ATF. The states pile on their own sales tax that can go as high as 29%.
    • ATF charges, vulnerable to currency movements, comprise a large chunk of Indian airlines’ operating expenses—some 40% compared to 20% for foreign carriers.
    • As the price for oil has shot up, it had led to difficulties for airlines as they have not been able to absorb in the short term due to their business model.
  • Rupee depreciation:
    • The rupee’s depreciation is hitting carriers hard as it did a few years ago.
    • About 25-30% of their costs, excluding fuel, are dollar denominated—from aircraft lease rents and maintenance costs to ground handling and parking charges abroad.
  • Excessive parking and landing charges:
    • High Airport (aeronautical) Charges levied by Airport Authority of India.
    • These charges payable at the International airports are higher than those payable at the airports designated as Domestic airports.
    • As a result, the domestic airlines in India are incurring additional costs at the international designated airports without deriving any extra facilities.
  • Fare wars:
    • There is a cut throat competition faced by the top airline due to ticket pricing.
    • Established Airlines are threatened by low cost carriers, which are eating up their market share.
    • In order to consolidate their market share, top premium airlines were forced to reduce their ticket fares to around 15- 20 per cent.
    • Such a slash down in price will lead to a price war in the long run amongst the airlines with the only goal of increasing their market share.
    • A growing market for low-cost carriers (SpiceJet, IndiGo and GoAir) that affected the profitability of a full-service carrier like Jet
  • Loads of debt:
    • To keep the operations afloat, the carriers take loans.
    • But poor operational efficiency, steady losses in the wake of higher fuel costs and a weaker rupee leads to non-payment of debts.
    • No airlines company has been able to devise a credible currency policy to protect them against sharp currency movements.
  • Lack of Managerial Expertise:
    • Indian aviation sector is struggling due to lack of managerial expert and expertise in the sector and lack of a regulator to monitor the industry
  • Government policies limitations:
    • The new civil aviation policy (NCAP) 2016’s regional connectivity scheme doesn’t help.
    • Its goal is laudable and it may well benefit potential flyers in smaller towns.
    • But the ticket price caps it imposes under the scheme, the fact that the viability gap funding will last only for three years and various operational issues, such as the lack of slots for connecting flights at major airports, mean that carriers are, by and large, left holding the can.

However, there are many positives too

  • According to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, India’s air passenger traffic has grown by at least 16% annually over the past decade.
  • In 2000-01, it stood at a paltry 14 million passengers. In 2017, Indian airlines flew nearly 140 million passengers, most of them domestic.
  • It is now the third largest aviation market in the world with growth rates that leave the US and China in the dust. There is no slowdown in sight.
  • Airbus forecasts that domestic traffic will grow five and a half times over the next two decades.

Way forward:

  • The government can lower the excise duty on jet fuel further to bring down the operational costs of the airlines.
  • NCAP’s liberalization of foreign direct investment in the sector needs to be ironed out to attract investors.
  • Bilateral treaties for international routes that Indian carriers are unable to take full advantage need to be looked into at the earliest.
  • Insolvency and Bankruptcy code can be used to quickly resolve the issues in case of defaults and bankruptcy by airline companies.
  • Aviation sector should have been better prepared to handle such an unforeseen situation, learning from the past situations – as fuel prices and rupee volatility were among the top reasons for one of the biggest aviation disasters of recent times.
  • There is a need to set up simulators to develop the skills of unemployed pilots
  • A clear long-term policy roadmap which is aligned to the industry’s requirements is yet to emerge. One method could be opening up international routes faster for our airlines that are successful.
  • The industry stakeholders should engage and collaborate with policy makers to implement efficient and rational decisions that would boost India’s civil aviation industry.
  • With the right policies and relentless focus on quality, cost and passenger interest, India would be well placed to achieve its vision of becoming the third-largest aviation market by 2025

Conclusion:

Above all, the industry experts and the government should be mindful of the fact that India’s aviation industry is largely untapped with huge growth opportunities, considering that air transport is still expensive for majority of the country’s population, of which nearly 40 per cent is the upwardly mobile middle class.


Topic:  Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

7) What do you understand by bioethics? Deliberate issues related to bioethics in India. (250 words)

Ethics by Lexicon publications.

Why this question:

The question is based on the concept of Bio- ethics and the associated issues in India.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must first elaborate what do you understand by Bio-ethics, issues associate with it in India ranging from Euthanasia to stem cell research. Such questions are best answered with aid of suitable examples.

Directive:

Deliberate – Clarify the topic 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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with importance of ethics in general, and bio ethics in specific.

Body:

Discuss how  bio ethics is equally essential as any other variant.

Quote examples from India where bioethics comes in conflict – Euthanasia, Stem cell research, Relaxed norms for clinical trials, Abortion etc.

Discuss each of it with suitable and recent case study and elaborate on importance of Bio- ethics.

Conclusion:

Conclude that each situation has a derived prospect of bio-ethics attached to it and we have to negotiate with many factors. Before we really come with a final solution. There are Scientific, Technological, Economic, Political, Social, Religious, Cultural factors.The Bioethicist in the modern age should be sensitive to all these factors that play important roles in shaping Ethical values and principles in modern societies.

Introduction:

Bioethics is the study of typically controversial ethics brought about by advances in biology and medicine. Bioethicists are concerned with the ethical questions that arise in the relationships among life sciences, biotechnology, medicine, politics, law, and philosophy.

Body:

The field of bioethics has addressed a broad swathe of human inquiry, ranging from debates over the boundaries of life (e.g. abortion, euthanasia), surrogacy, the allocation of scarce health care resources (e.g. organ donation, health care rationing) to the right to refuse medical care for religious or cultural reasons.

Bioethicists often disagree among themselves over the precise limits of their discipline, debating whether the field should concern itself with the ethical evaluation of all questions involving biology and medicine, or only a subset of these questions.

New medicines, biomedical procedures, and ways of altering plants and animals are bringing benefits to millions of people. However, these same innovations also have the potential to bring harms or to raise other kinds of ethical questions about their appropriate use.

Some bioethicists would narrow ethical evaluation only to the morality of medical treatments or technological innovations, and the timing of medical treatment of humans.

Others would broaden the scope of ethical evaluation to include the morality of all actions that might help or harm organisms capable of feeling fear.

The scope of bioethics can expand with biotechnology, including cloning, gene therapy, life extension, human genetic engineering, astroethics and life in space, and manipulation of basic biology through altered DNA, RNA and proteins.

These developments will affect future evolution, and may require new principles that address life at its core, such as biotic ethics that values life itself at its basic biological processes and structures, and seeks their propagation.

Conclusion:

The Four principles of Bioethics – Non-malfeasance (One should avoid causing harm), Justice (Benefits and risks should be fairly distributed), Beneficence (One should take positive steps to help others) and Autonomy (One should respect the right of individuals to make their own decisions) should be kept in mind.