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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 04 APRIL 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 04 APRIL 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: Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian subcontinent); factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India).

1) Discuss the pattern in the distribution of agro based industry in India.(250 words)

 

Why this question:

The question is about discussing the pattern in the distribution of agro based industry in India .

Key demands of the question:

The answer must provide for a brief discussion on what are Agro based industries, factors that decide their distribution pattern – Natural and human factors and also discuss any recent trend in shift of these industries.

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

In a few introductory lines explain the significance of Agro based industries.

Body

Discuss the following aspects in the answer:

  • Which is an agro based industry? – includes industries related to textiles, sugar, paper and vegetable oil. These industries use agricultural products as their raw materials.
  • Why agro based industries are important?
  • Discuss the factors responsible for their distribution – Availability of raw materials, labour, access to domestic market, degree of interdependence with forward and backward activities, etc.
  • Then explain shifting trends of these industries from past to present on the basis of – coming of technology, automation, policies such as food parks etc.

Conclusion

Conclude with their significance for a country like India which is primarily an agricultural economy.

 

Introduction:

The agro-based industry depends on the raw material produced by the agricultural sector. It includes industries related to textiles, sugar, paper and vegetable oil. The products comprise mostly consumer goods. Agro- based industry is important from the point of view of contribution to industrial production and employment generation.

Body:

Various agro- based industries is given below

  • Textile Industry: The textile industry plays predominant presence in the Indian economy. It is the only industry which is self-reliant, from raw material to the highest value added products, viz., garments/made-ups.
    • Cotton Textiles: Since cotton industry is not a weight losing industry, it does not make much difference if either raw material or the finished product is transported. Hence, the industry tends to be located at sites with favourable transport links with the market. AP, Maharastra, Gujarat,TN, Karnataka are the major cotton textile centers and growers of Cotton.
    • Woollen Textiles: Most of the woollen textiles mills are situated in Punjab along the Amritsar-Gurdaspur-Ludhiana belt, and at Patiala and Dhariwal. The concentration in Punjab is due to its closeness to the sheep-rearing regions of Jammu and Kashmir (where the Bakerwals are associated with sheep-rearing) and Himachal Pradesh (where the Gaddis rear sheep).
    • Silk Textiles: Sericulture is a labour- intensive industry. It provides employment to nearly 55 lakh people, most of them being small and marginal farmers, or working in tiny and household industry mainly in the hand reeling and hand weaving sections. Karnataka produces most of the silk in the country. Major silk producing centres in the state are Tumkur, Dodballapur, Bengaluru and Mysore. Other areas include TN, AP, Assam, WB
    • Synthetic Textiles: With the growth of petrochemicals, more raw material is available and there is more scope for growth in production. Also, because of paucity of raw cotton, the mills are going in for blended materials. Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Surat, Kolkata, Amritsar and Gwalior are the centres of this industry.
    • Jute textiles: The jute sector has been playing an important role in the economy of the country in general and the eastern region in particular. Nearly 90 per cent of the manufacturing capacity is located in a narrow belt about 100 km long and 3 km wide along river Hooghly.
  • Sugar Industry: Indian sugar industry is the second largest agro- based industry in India. Since sugarcane is a weight-losing material and cannot be stored for long, the sugar industries need to be located in the vicinity of sugarcane growing areas. Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu account for about 70 per cent of the total production of sugar in the country. Other centers include Bihar, Punjab, Karnataka, TN etc.
  • Vegetable Oil Industry: Vegetable oil is a major source of fat in Indian diet and a widely used cooking medium. Vanaspati’ is hydrogenated vegetable oil. Different regions use different raw materials for oil, depending on the technology used. The vegetable oil industry is widely scattered and the sizes of the units differ from location to location. Maharashtra has the largest number of vanaspati units, followed by Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab. New emerging raw materials for edible oil include sunflower, safflower, soyabean, cottonseed, rice bran, etc.
  • Tea Industry: Tea cultivation in India first started in the mid- 19th century in Darjeeling, Assam and the Nilgiris. Nearly 98 per cent of the tea production comes from Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. Some tea is also grown in Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Tripura.
  • Coffee Industry: Coffee was first grown in Bababudan Hills in Karnataka during the 17th century, but on a plantation scale, it was cultivated in Chikmaglur (Karnataka) in 1826. More than half of the country’s coffee production comes from Karnataka, of which 80 per cent comes from Coorg and Chikmagalur. Hassan is the third largest producer in the state. In Kerala, coffee is produced in Wayanad (Palghat region), Kozhikode and Cannanore. In Tamil Nadu, coffee comes from the Nilgiris, Annamalai (Coimbatore region) Shevaroy hills (Salem district), Palani hills, Tirunelveli and Madurai. Small quantities come from Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and the north-eastern states.
  • Leather Goods Industry: The importance of this sector lies in wide dispersal, vast employment and export potential. Hides and skins are the basic raw materials which come from pelts of cattle and large animals and small ones like goat and sheep. India has a large livestock population.

West Bengal and Tamil Nadu are the largest producers of cattle hides and Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal of the goat skin. Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh also produce substantial quality hides. Major footwear production centres in the country include Kanpur, Agra, Lucknow, Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Jaipur.

 

Challenges:

  • Agribusiness is characterized by raw materials that are mostly perishable, variable in quality and not regularly available.
  • The sector is subject to stringent regulatory controls on consumer safety, product quality and environmental protection.
  • Traditional production and distribution methods are being replaced by more closely coordinated and better planned linkages between agribusiness firms, farmers, retailers and others in the supply chains.

Conclusion:

Agro-based industries have to set up at rural areas where raw material may be available in plenty – helps in the up-liftment of the rural economy. It provides rural population an opportunity for employment. Generates income and thereby improve economic condition of people – which in turn creates potential for demand based industries.


Topic: Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian subcontinent); factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India).

2) Demonstrate the strategically important locations of multiple countries present in Indian Ocean. Also discuss why Indian Ocean is becoming a zone of contest? (250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

The question is in the context of significance of Indian ocean from the resource perspective.

Demand of the question:

This question seeks to examine the prospects of Indian ocean as a resource and its strategic importance for countries around the region. And how this has led to it becoming a zone of contest in the present world.

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 with brief introduction on Indian ocean resources and its strategic importance.

Body

Discuss the following points in detail:

  • economic significance of the Indian ocean region for India – privileged location at the crossroads of global trade, connecting the major engines of the international economy in the Northern Atlantic and Asia-Pacific. This is particularly important in an era in which global shipping has burgeoned.
  • Resource perspective – oil resources, fishing, aquaculture, Polymetallic nodules, other mineral resources – nickel, cobalt, and iron, and massive sulphide deposits of manganese, copper, iron, zinc, silver, and gold present in sizeable quantities on the sea bed.
  • Strategic significance – India, china, US etc and their stakes.

Conclusion

Conclude with inevitableness of  global competition among resource hungry world countries and need for moderation and togetherness in sustainable management of IOR .

Introduction:

Indian Ocean has gained tremendous importance over the years and has now become the most concerted area where global economic activity conjoined political interests. The combination of economic growth and slowdown, military expansion, increasing demand for natural resources, demographics combined with the geo-political situation, increased presence of nuclear capable actors and variances in regional structures of governance, highlights the geo-political significance of this area.

Body:

Economic significance:

  • Trade and Commerce:
    • It enjoys a privileged location at the crossroads of global trade, connecting the major engines of the international economy in the Northern Atlantic and Asia-Pacific. This is particularly important in an era in which global shipping has burgeoned.
    • Today, the almost 90,000 vessels in the world’s commercial fleet transport 9.84 billion tonnes per year. This represents an almost four-fold increase in the volume of commercial shipping since 1970
    • The Indian Ocean has vital sea lanes of communication crisscrossing it and which feeds Asia’s largest economies. Around 80 per cent of the world’s seaborne oil trade passes through the choke points of this ocean and therefore it literally connects the east to the west with 40 percent passing through the Strait of Hormuz, 35 percent through the Strait of Malacca and 8 percent through the Bab el-Mandab Strait.
    • The Ocean’s vast drainage basin is important in its own right, home to some two billion people. This creates opportunities, especially given the high rates of economic growth around the Indian Ocean rim, including in India, Bangladesh, Southeast Asia, and Eastern and Southern Africa.
  • The Indian Ocean is rich in natural resources.
  • Oil and Natural Gas:
    • Forty per cent of the world’s offshore oil production takes place in the Indian Ocean basin.
    • Energy security and resources are absolutely critical. The Indian Ocean Region is immensely rich in that.
    • 28 million barrels per day—or nearly 80 per cent of India’s crude oil requirement—is imported by sea via the Indian Ocean. Taking into account India’s offshore oil production and petroleum exports, India’s sea dependence for oil is about 93 per cent, according to the Indian Navy.
  • Mineral wealth:
    • Mineral resources with nodules containing nickel, cobalt, and iron, and massive sulphide deposits of manganese, copper, iron, zinc, silver, and gold present in sizeable quantities on the sea bed.
    • Indian Ocean coastal sediments are also important sources of titanium, zirconium, tin, zinc, and copper.
    • Additionally, various rare earth elements are present, even if their extraction is not always commercially feasible.
    • Energy security and resources are absolutely critical. The Indian Ocean Region is immensely rich in that
  • Fisheries:
    • Fishing in the Indian Ocean now accounts for almost 15 per cent of the world’s total.
    • Aquaculture in the region has also grown 12-fold since 1980. Although global fishing is reaching its natural limitations, the Indian Ocean may be able to sustain increases in production.
    • The largely unregulated overexploitation of its fishery resources. The consequences of over fishing, which is actually largely a result of activity by countries outside the region, could eventually have serious consequences for littoral states that depend heavily on maritime resources to feed their populations and also provide valuable export revenues.
  • Indian trade:
    • 95 per cent of India’s trade by volume and 68 per cent of trade by value come via the Indian Ocean.
    • India captured 4.1 million tonnes of fish in 2008, placing it sixth in the world and its fishing and aquaculture industries employ some 14 million people.

Strategic Significance:

  • It is a home to world’s busiest waterways and chokepoints such as the Suez Canal, Bab al Mandeb, Strait of Hormuz and the Strait of Malacca. All these chokepoints and waterways are highly important for the rising nations of the world.
  • More than half the world’s armed conflicts are presently located in the Indian Ocean region.
  • It is also home to
    • Continually evolving strategic developments including the competing rises of China and India
    • Potential nuclear confrontation between India and Pakistan
    • The US interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan
    • Islamist terrorism
    • Growing incidence of piracy in and around the Horn of Africa
  • There has been a gradual to an accelerated expansion of maritime forces and their capabilities in the region.
  • The growing presence of extra regional powers and nuclear capable nations has further altered the existing security framework. This is affecting the existing military balance and the impending imbalance could create a new architecture that could affect the prevailing security scenario.
  • Naval bases:
    • US uses the island of Diego Garcia as a major air-naval base and logistics hub for its Indian Ocean operations.
    • France, meanwhile maintains significant presence in the north and southwest Indian Ocean quadrants, with naval bases in Djibouti, Reunion, and Abu Dhabi.
  • India:
    • India imports about 70 percent of its oil through the Indian Ocean Region to its various ports. As a consequence, it has been enhancing its strategic influence through the use of soft power, by becoming a major foreign investor in regional mining, oil, gas, and infrastructure projects.
    • In addition, India has aggressively expanded its naval presence reportedly to include the establishment of listening posts in the Seychelles, Madagascar and Mauritius
    • Its governance and security are under constant threat of being undermined, whether by non-state actors such as pirates, smugglers, and terrorists, or by furtive naval competition between states

Conclusion:

Indian Ocean is an “ocean of economic opportunities”. The growing interests of major powers (US, UK, Russia, France and Japan) in the region, and the many Chinese infrastructure projects in the region create an imperative for India to actively limit the military maritime activity of external powers in the region. India should use the multilateral route to create a consensus for peaceful and sustainable use of the Indian Ocean and its resources.


Topic: Issues relating to poverty and hunger.

3) Discuss the highlights of Global Report on Food Crises 2019 with special focus on Indian scenario.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

The question is in the light of the recently released Global Report on Food Crises 2019 jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP) and EU.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must  evaluate in detail the highlights of report and assess the global food crises associated concerns, causes and measures needed to tackle 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:

write a few introductory lines bring out the significant points of the report.

Body:

Answers must discuss the following aspects :

  • Key findings in the latest report published – Approximately 113 million people in 53 countries experienced high levels of food insecurity last year. These crises are primarily driven by conflict and climate-related disasters. The number going chronically-hungry has remained well over 100 million over the past three years, with the number of countries affected, rising. According to the report, nearly two-thirds of those facing acute hunger come from just eight countries: Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Climate and natural disasters pushed another 29 million people into acute food insecurity in 2018 and that number excludes 13 countries – including North Korea and Venezuela – because of data gaps.
  • Discuss the causative factors – wars, genocides, poverty, instability etc.
  • What are the associated concerns? – the figure is still way too high.
  • What needs to be done – policies, global coordination etc.

Conclusion –

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Global Report on Food Crises 2019 report was released jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP) and EU.

Body:

Key findings in the latest report:

  • More than 113 million people across 53 countries experienced “acute hunger” last year because of wars and climate disasters, with Africa the worst-hit region.
  • Yemen, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan and Syria were among the eight nations accounting for two-thirds of the total number of people worldwide exposed to the risk of famine.
  • African Nations were “disproportionally” affected as close to 72 million people on the continent suffered acute hunger.
  • The key factors which drove the hunger were Conflict and insecurity along with economic turbulence and climate-related shocks like drought and floods.
  • In countries on the verge of famine, up to 80 per cent of the populations were dependent on agriculture. They need both emergency humanitarian aid for food and measures to help boost agriculture.
  • The strain put on countries hosting a large number of refugees, including war-torn Syria as well as Bangladesh, which has received more than a million Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar has been highlighted in the report.
  • The overall situation slightly improved in 2018 compared to 2017 when 124 million people suffered acute hunger. This reduction in numbers was partially owed to the fact that some countries in Latin America and the Asia Pacific region, for instance, were less affected by weather disasters that had struck in previous years.
  • The year-on-year trend of more than 100 million people facing famine was unlikely to change in the face of continued crises.
  • High levels of acute and chronic malnutrition in children living in emergency conditions remained of grave concern.

Challenges of Food Security in India:

  • The crux of India’s food problem today pertains not so much on increasing food availability or production but with the distribution of food.
  • Meeting the demand for food to feed this growing population from scarce land resources is one of the major challenges of the new century—a fact that was highlighted in World Food Day.
  • Estimates show that each one degree rise in temperature will cause grain yields to decline by 5%, posing a serious threat to food security.
  • Rising levels of atmospheric carbon can influence the growth and productivity of agricultural crops.
  • The soil-plant/crop-atmosphere continuum poses serious challenges under changing climate scenarios with reference to scale, scope and magnitude.
  • According to the IPCC, reduction in the quality of soil, compounded by climate change, will lead to a worldwide decline in agricultural production, thereby threatening food security
  • In the next 25 years, land degradation and desertification may lead to a decline in global food production by up to 12 per cent, which might trigger a rise in food price by 30 per cent.

Food security in India can be achieved by

  • Guarantee coverage of farmlands with crop insurance
  • Ensure procurement of produce at the right time with minimum support price (MSP) for rice and wheat
  • Include minor millets and promote the same through the public distribution system
  • Restructure the entire Food Corporation of India by efficient management and enlarged storage capacity so that precious food grains are not left to rot in the open and sold as cattle feed at half the price
  • Encourage urban agriculture using biodegradable municipal solid waste to grow rice and vegetables near urban centres to reduce transportation cost.
  • Example: Produce from East Kolkata Wastelands covering 1,200 hectares provides 25-35 per cent of fish and vegetables at affordable prices
  • Promote salt-tolerant rice varieties in coastal regions
  • Promote sustainable agriculture under the National Action Plan on Climate Change through organic farming using farmers’ seeds

Conclusion:

The Global Food Crises Report is an annual study launched three years ago which takes stock of the countries facing the greatest difficulties in tackling hunger. Ending conflicts, empowering women, nourishing and educating children, improving rural infrastructure and reinforcing social safety-nets are essential for a hunger-free world.


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

4) Do you think India’s participation in  WTO rules on e-commerce will boost the interests of its small businesses? Analyse the effect of international trade negotiations in the context of new e-commerce policy of India. (250 words)

Livemint

 

Why this question:

The article discusses in detail in the run-up to the participation in WTO on the discussions of e-commerce policies and the effects it will have on India’s MSME sector and small businesses in particular.

Key demand of the question:

The question expects us to evaluate the potential of international trade negotiations in the context of e- commerce policy of India and significance of WTO participation for Indian economy.

Directive word:

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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin with brief on e-commerce industry across the world.

Body:

Discussion should have the following dimensions :

  • The highlights of Indian e-commerce policy
  • Role of WTO negotiations in promoting fair trade with respect to e-commerce policy.
  • Relevance of small scale businesses, MSME sector in e-commerce for India.
  • Importance of International negotiations in this context for India.
  • How can India benefit by participating in the WTO Talks? Give recent examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of such negotiations.

Introduction:

E-commerce is expected to become the largest retail channel in the world by 2021.The fast growing e-commerce market in India will touch USD 84 billion in 2021 from USD 24 billion in 2017 on account of a healthy growth in organised retail sector. A fast growing economy and robust demographics provide a positive outlook to the consumer businesses in India, the report by Deloitte India and Retail Association of India said. A group of 75 countries has launched negotiations on the trade-related aspects of e-commerce at the WTO

Body:

 

Draft national e-Commerce policy of India:

  • The Department For Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has released the draft National e-Commerce Policy for public comments.
  • It lays down strategies to address issues pertinent to the sector-Consumer protection, data privacy, and maintenance of a level playing field.
  • A regulatory environment is necessary to ensure that there is genuine competition in the market, which encourages entrepreneurship and innovation.
  • To address a few challenges arising out of e-Commerce of law and order, revenue-base erosion, privacy, anti-competitive behavior, consumer protection, etc without harming the of growth in the e-Commerce sector.
  • Individual Right: An Individual owns the right to his data. Therefore, data of an individual is must be used with his/ her express consent.
  • Indian Control Over Data: There should be a restriction on cross-border data flow. The policy bats for data localization and states that the data generated within India must be stored within India.
  • It stressed on developing physical infrastructure for a robust digital economy and suggested steps for developing the capacity for data storage in India.
  • The policy mentions that foreign direct investment (FDI) is allowed only in the marketplace model, not in inventory based model. This is in line with the e-Commerce guidelines given by the government in December.
  • To promote export it is necessary to lower the cost of transport, reducing paperwork, reducing delays at ports and airports etc

Agenda of WTO negotiations in promoting fair trade with respect to e-commerce policy

  • Free flow of data located on computer servers without data localization requirements
  • Permanent moratorium on customs duties over existing temporary moratorium
  • Non-disclosure of source code
  • Prohibition of forced technology transfer.

Possible impacts of the WTO negotiations on Indian MSME, small business and e-Commerce:

  • India would lose out as its domestic suppliers cannot gain from cross-border e-commerce due to adoption of a guarded stance in the country’s draft e-commerce policy.
  • According to its domestic e-commerce policy, India is endeavouring to give an advantage to domestic platforms, but without distinguishing between small and big domestic firms.
  • The draft e-commerce policy doesn’t disallow large domestic firms from adopting an inventory-based model for e-platforms, which is out of bounds to foreign platforms.

Importance of International negotiations in this context for India:

  • The key underlying narratives of having WTO rules on e-commerce is that it would help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs, or small businesses) in enhancing their opportunities to do cross-border trade.
  • In theory, it would be cost-effective for small businesses to use e-platforms and their logistical facilities to sell their products in wider geographical areas.
  • The vision of the draft e-commerce policy of India includes “providing a level-playing field to all stakeholders, including the individual consumers and MSMEs and start-ups”.
  • MSMEs, considered engine for “inclusive” growth, not only provide large employment opportunities, but also make a significant contribution to exports; on a per capita basis, it is more than that of large enterprises.

Way forward:

  • Many experts in India view that, by staying out of the negotiations on e-commerce, India is missing out an opportunity to influence the rules that may get finalised.
  • But this view totally ignores the reality and past experience, at the negotiating table.
  • This is because the developed countries inevitably write the core rules and the influence of developing countries has been limited to fighting for some exceptions.
  • Further, there is hardly any issue in e-commerce negotiations, on which India may stand to gain.
  • Instead, its participation would be more about limiting the damage that might arise from binding rules in this area.
  • Thus, India is unlikely to wield any meaningful influence on the final rules.
  • There is also a view that prospects of exports of IT and IT-enabled services would improve on account of e-commerce negotiation at the WTO.

Conclusion:

To push the interests of its small businesses at the multilateral level, it will be good for India to join the international negotiations and participate actively. This does not necessarily mean that India should agree to all the terms and conditions proposed.


Topic: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions./ Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

5) With Supreme Court quashing the circular issued by the RBI on resolution of bad loans recently, is the debt resolution mechanism of RBI compromised? Also discuss how these concerns can be addressed by the RBI?(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The recent controversy surrounding the RBI related to the February circular and its quashing by Supreme court as attracted attention, the article discusses in detail the repercussions for the economy by such a move.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must provide for an assessment of the circular, under what circumstances it came to be criticized by the apex court, what were the benefits it was trying to bring. Special emphasis should be to comment on the credit discipline and debt resolution mechanism of RBI.

Directive:

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:

Brief upon the scenario of the circular and highlight the apex court’s verdict.

Body:

  • The answer must first discuss in detail the salient features of the Feb circular of RBI on resolution of bad loans. How it could have helped manage debts of the Banking system ? what were the outcomes?
  • Then move on to discuss how the circular aimed at undoing the credit discipline in the banking system- It had forced banks to recognize defaults by large borrowers with dues of over ₹2,000 crore within a day after an instalment fell due; and if not resolved within six months after that, they had no choice but to refer these accounts for resolution under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.
  • Why the verdict ?
  • What needs to be done now ? – The RBI should study the judgment closely, and quickly reframe its guidelines so that they are within the framework of the powers available to it under the law.

Conclusion:

Conclude with necessity of reforms in RBI within the law limits.

Introduction:

The Supreme Court order quashing a circular issued by the RBI on resolution of bad loans is a setback to the evolving process for debt resolution. According to data from the ratings agency ICRA, the voiding of the February 12, 2018 circular could slow down and complicate the resolution process for loans aggregating to as much as Rs.3.80 lakh crore across 70 large borrowers, including Rs 2 lakh crore across 34 borrowers was in the power sector.

Body:

Reserve Bank of India’s “February 12 circular”:

  • Through a notification issued on February 12, 2018, the RBI laid down a revised framework for the resolution of stressed assets, which replaced all its earlier instructions on the subject.
  • The circular introduced a new one-day default norm, as soon as there is a default in the borrower entity’s account with any lender, all lenders singly or jointly shall initiate steps to cure the default.
  • Banks were required to immediately start working on a resolution plan for accounts over Rs 2,000 crore, which was to be finalised within 180 days.
  • In the case of non-implementation, lenders were required to file an insolvency application.
  • This is basically to harmonise the framework for resolution of stressed assets.

RBI’s rationale behind the introduction of the Circular:

  • Indian banks’ NPA as a percentage of advances is expected to be at 10.3 per cent as of March 2019, from 11.5 per cent in March 2018, according to RBI’s financial stability report.
  • Mounting bad loans, which crossed 10% of all advances at that point, and the failure of existing schemes such as corporate debt restructuring, stressed asset resolution and the Scheme for Sustainable Structuring of Stressed Assets (S4A) to make a dent in resolving them formed the backdrop to this directive.
  • The circular was aimed at breaking the nexus between banks and defaulters, both of whom were content to evergreen loans under available schemes.
  • It introduced a certain credit discipline — banks had to recognise defaults immediately and attempt resolution within a six-month timeframe.
  • While borrowers risked being dragged into the insolvency process and losing control of their enterprises if they did not regularise their accounts.
  • RBI data prove the circular had begun to impact resolution positively.

Impact of Supreme Court order of quashing Feb 12 circular:

  • The order provides immediate relief to companies that have defaulted in repayments, especially those in the power, shipping and sugar sectors.
  • However, many financial sector experts argued that the verdict could delay the process of stressed assets resolution, which had of late picked up pace.
  • Since banks will have the choice of devising resolution plans or going to the National Company Law Tribunal under the IBC, the urgency that the RBI’s rules had introduced in the system could be impacted.
  • Voiding of the February 12 circular is credit negative for Indian banks. The circular had significantly tightened stressed loan recognition and resolution for large borrowers.
  • The resolution of stressed loans impacted by the circular will be further delayed as the process may have to be started afresh.
  • The Indian Banks Association had sought a relaxation in the RBI’s norms for infrastructure and power companies.
  • Banks will continue to have the option of referring a defaulting borrower under the IBC, in case the resolution plan fails. However, the resolution process, which was expected to be expedited, may get delayed.

Way forward:

  • The RBI’s good work done in debt resolution in the last one year should not be go in vain.
  • It is true that the circular failed to take into account the peculiarities of specific industries or borrowers and came up with a one-size-fits-all approach.
  • It is also true that not all borrowers were deliberate defaulters, and sectors such as power were laid low by externalities beyond the control of borrowers.
  • The RBI could have addressed these concerns when banks and borrowers from these sectors brought these issues to its notice.
  • It is now important for the central bank to ensure that the discipline in the system does not slacken.
  • The RBI should study the judgment closely, and quickly reframe its guidelines so that they are within the framework of the powers available to it under the law.

Topic:  Agriculture/ Conservation, climate change.

6) Discuss the necessity of sustainable agriculture in India to build resilience against threats of climate vagaries.(250 words)

Hindustantimes

Why this question:

The article discusses that Agriculture in India needs to become more sustainable even as small and marginal farmers struggle to build resilience against many threats varying from climatic vagaries to lack of financial support, conducive environment etc.

Key demand of the question:

Climate change could hurt farmers’ income by up to 20-25% in the medium term, according to the recent reports. Extreme weather events, temperature rise and lower rainfall all threaten to derail the Indian government’s agenda of doubling farmers’ income across the country. In such a scenario the need of the hour is to move towards sustainable agriculture. Thus the answer must analyse the need, concerns and way forward associated with 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:

In a few introductory lines highlight the need for sustainable agriculture ,support it with facts and recent reports.

Body:

In brief discuss –

  • Discuss the significance of Agriculture and how it is central to the Indian economy – It accounts for 50% of the country’s employment and 18% of its GDP.
  • Concerns – number of risks, including adverse weather, competition from larger landowners or food corporations and price surges. Small farmers are a vulnerable population where social, market and economic pressures are huge, often leading to considerable distress.
  • Take hints from the article and present a case study on community led solid waste management efforts.
  • Role of climate vagaries – rise in the number of days with extremely high temperatures and a corresponding decline in the number of days with low temperatures. Extreme temperature shocks, when a district is significantly hotter than usual, results in a 4.7% decline in agricultural yields. Similarly, when it rains significantly less than usual there is a 12.8% decline.
  • Need for sustainable and climate resilient agriculture and how it can be achieved?

Conclusion:

Conclude with what needs to be done, suggest way forward.  

Introduction:

Agriculture is the most important sector of Indian Economy. It accounts for 18 per cent of India’s gross domestic product (GDP) and provides employment of around 50% of the countries workforce. India is the world’s largest producer of pulses, rice, wheat, spices and spice products. India has many areas to choose for business such as dairy, meat, poultry, fisheries and food grains etc. India has emerged as the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world. Climate change challenge and dependence of our population on agriculture necessitates a look at the options of sustainable agriculture.

Body:

Concerns:

  • Land degradation:
    • According to ICAR’s reports, 37% of India’s total geographical area is affected with degradation.
    • This is despite the big amount of fiscal budget being spent on defending soil even as we lose it to rain and wind.
    • India has over 120 million hectares suffering from some form of degradation.
  • Monsoon dependency:
    • India is fortunate to have the monsoon, but it is also uniquely vulnerable to rising temperatures.
    • India is ranked 14th on the Global Climate Risk Index 2019.
    • With rain-fed agriculture practised in over 67% of our total crop area, weather variability can lead to heavy costs, especially for coarse grains (which are mostly grown in rain-fed areas).
  • Water degradation:
    • Only about 47.6% of the net sown area is irrigated.
    • Groundwater, which accounts for almost 60% of the irrigated area, is under severe strain with depletion of the water table and deterioration of water quality.
    • Subsidies for electricity consumed in agriculture have led to wasteful use of both energy and groundwater.
    • Due to increasing population growth and industrialisation, the availability of water to agriculture is expected to fall in the coming decades.
  • Climate Change Risks:
    • Adverse climate change could lead to drop in yield and lower quality produce.
    • It also poses a risk of increasing incidence of attacks by pests and insects.
    • Any significant decline in summer rains would devastate Indian agriculture. Climate change related phenomena have consequences, especially for marginal farmers.
    • Rise in average temperatures would significantly impact our kharif crops.
  • Declining income:
    • According to one estimate, they may face a 24-58% decline in household income and 12-33% rise in household poverty through exacerbated droughts.
    • They potentially face a huge decline in household income and rise in household poverty through exacerbated droughts.

Sustainable agriculture includes:

 

Climate-smart agriculture:

  • Promotion of conservation farming and dryland agriculture
  • Providing each village with timely rainfall forecasts, along with weather-based forewarnings regarding crop pests and epidemics in various seasons
  • Refocusing our agricultural research programmes on dryland research, with adoption of drought-tolerant breeds that could reduce production risks by up to 50%.
  • A mandate to change planting dates, particularly for wheat, should be considered, which could reduce climate change induced damage by 60-75%.
  • Organic agriculture enhances natural nutrient cycling and builds soil organic matter, which can also support resilience to climate change and sequester carbon in soils
  • Mitigation of the adverse effects of climate change
  • Watershed development and management
  • Promoting precision irrigation and better on farm water management practices to optimize the use of available water resources, the component also supports micro level water storage or water conservation /management activities to supplement source creation.
  • Integrated Farming System for enhancing productivity and minimizing risks associated with climatic variability to enable farmers maximising farm returns for sustained livelihood and mitigate the impacts of drought, flood or other extreme weather events with the income opportunity from allied activities
  • Soil Health Card will provide information to farmers on soil nutrients status of their soil and recommendation on appropriate dosage of nutrients to be applied for improving soil health and its fertility.

Conclusion:

National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) has been made operational which aims at making agriculture more productive, sustainable, remunerative and climate resilient by promoting location specific  integrated /composite farming systems; soil and moisture conservation measures; comprehensive soil health management; efficient water management practices and mainstreaming rainfed technologies.


Topic:  Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service , integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker sections.

7) Aptitude and fundamental rules are most essential concepts of civil service Critically evaluate.(250 words)

Ethics by Lexicon

 

Why this question:

The question is intended to evaluate the importance of aptitude and fundamental rules as essential tenets in public services.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the importance of Aptitude and fundamental rules in the public services.

Directive word:

EvaluateWhen you are asked to evaluate, you have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidences.  You have to appraise the worth of the statement in question. There is scope for forming a personal opinion here.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

In a few introductory lines appreciate the need for values of aptitude – skill, talent, ability and capacity to accomplish along with the fundamental rules necessary for the public services.

Body:

Discuss Why aptitude more important for civil servant –

  • Todays world is all about learning. Fast changes, dynamic scenarios, destabilizing situations, new emerging problems, quick decision making pressure situations aptitude helps as a strong vale.
  • Role of a civil servant constantly changes especially considering the diverse country like India. Civil servants act as a connecting link between government and citizen and hence need better aptitude to convey government policy, goal and to deliver better results.
  • On daily basis and at personal level a civil servant has to face many problems like 24 hours duty alert, emergencies, physical and mental stress and in theses situation they need to handle public at large. Hence values like emotional intelligence, compassion, sympathy, integrity, non-partisanship, innovative mindset plays important role.
  • Explain role of fundamental rules – how they define and shape the civil services.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of such traits and their necessity in Civil service.

Introduction:

Aptitudes are our potential to learn skills which we develop and hone through time. Aptitude deals with competence of a person which decides whether he can perform the task in an efficient way. It may be physical or mental competence. Aptitude can be developed easily and quickly in many cases than attitude. Civil servants like O P Gupta, E shreedharan, Armstrong Pame have displayed great aptitude in their respective works.

Body:

Importance of Aptitude and fundamental rules:

  • Civil servants need a certain aptitude which is the amalgamation of these three aptitudes: intellectual, emotional and moral aptitude.
  • A civil servant who has the aptitude of having good negotiation skill set, ability to take quick and quality decisions ,logical ability, reasoning etc would be efficient .
  • Today’s world is all about learning. Fast changes, dynamic scenarios, destabilising situations, new emerging problems, quick decision making pressure situations aptitude helps as a strong value
  • Values such as emotional intelligence, Impartiality are imperative to build an aptitude for civil servants.
  • Role of a civil servant constantly changes specially considering the diverse country like India. Civil servants act as a connecting link between government and citizen and hence need better aptitude to convey government policy, goal and to deliver better results

However, presence of aptitude alone may not suffice. Aptitude needs to be conditioned, and often reinforced by the right attitude (of compassion, honesty, public mindedness etc).

On daily basis and at personal level a civil servant has to face many problems like 24 hours duty alert, emergencies, physical and mental stress and in theses situation they need to handle public at large. Hence values like emotional intelligence, compassion, sympathy, integrity, non partisanship, innovative mindset plays important role

A technically brilliant civil servant who lacks the right attitude may turn out to be self serving and apathetic (absence of compassion), or even corrupt (weak attitude towards integrity and honesty).

Conclusion:

Attitude and aptitude often reinforce each other. A person lacking one is often driven to supplement the other. A civil servant should be high on both of these vital parameters in order to fulfill his mandate of public welfare.