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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 10 MAY 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 10 MAY 2019


NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.


Topic: The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.

1) Discuss the contribution of Gopal Krishna Gokhale in the freedom movement of India.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tributes to Freedom Fighter and social reformer Gopal Krishna Gokhale on his birth anniversary yesterday, in this context it is important for us to analyse the contribution made by Gopal Krishna Gokhale.

Key demands of the question:

The answer must elaborate on the role played by Gopal Krishna Gokhale during freedom struggle.

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 the role played by him in the freedom struggle.

Body

The body of the answer has to capture the contributions made by him –

  • With respect to Indian National congress – He became a member of the Indian National Congress in 1889. He was the leader of the moderate faction of the Congress party.
  • In 1905, he was elected president of the Indian National Congress (Banaras Session).
  • He played a leading role in bringing about Morley-Minto Reforms, the beginning of constitutional reforms in India.
  • Member in British India Legislature: In 1899, Gokhale was elected to the Bombay Legislative Council and in 1901 he was elected to the Imperial Council of the Governor-General of India.
  • Servants of India Society: It was formed by him in Pune (Maharashtra) in 1905 to further the expansion of education in India. The Society organized mobile libraries, founded schools, and provided night classes for factory workers.
  • Ranade Institute of Economics: In 1908, he founded the ‘Ranade Institute of Economics’.
  • Mentor to Gandhi: In 1912, Gokhale visited South Africa at Gandhi’s invitation. He received personal guidance from Gokhale, including a knowledge and understanding of India and the issues confronting common Indians.
  • Hitavad: He launched the English weekly newspaper named The Hitavad (The people’s paper) in 1911.

Conclusion

Conclude with significance of the role played by him.

Introduction:

Gopal Krishna Gokhale was an Indian political leader, a social reformer during the Indian Independence Movement and Mahatma Gandhi’s political mentor. He was born on May 9th, 1866. Gokhale campaigned for Indian self-rule and also social reform. He was the leader of the moderate faction of the Congress party that advocated reforms by working with existing government institutions

Body:

Contributions of GK Gokhale in freedom movement of India:

  • The year 1886 saw the entry of Gopal Krishna Gokhale into public life. At only 20 years of age, he delivered a public address concerning “India under the British Rule” and was applauded for his expression and command of the English language.
  • Gokhale’s grasp of economics was evident in his famous budget speeches as a member of the Imperial Legislative Council, when he took the colonial government to task because its policies were damaging India; no less a person than John Maynard Keynes praised his mastery of economic logic.
  • While contributing articles to the English weekly Mahratta, he was seduced by the idea of using education as a means to awaken patriotism among the people of India.
  • Just as this idea was enveloping Gokhale was promoted to Secretary of the Deccan Education Society.
  • After being given charge of the Bombay Provincial Conference in 1893, he was elected to the Senate of the Bombay University.
  • He visited Ireland and arranged for Irish nationalist Alfred Webb to serve as the President of the Indian National Congress in 1894
  • In time, Gokhale came to devote all his spare time to the causes of the common man: famine, plague relief measures, local self- government, land reform, and communal harmony.
  • As a member of the Pune Municipality, twice elected its president, Gokhale continued to strive to solve the problems of the poor, and those who came to him with grievances concerning water supply, drainage, etc. were pleased with the practical manner in which he dealt with the problem.
  • Gokhale also published a daily newspaper entitled Jnanaprakash, which allowed him to voice his reformist views on politics and society.
  • He was later elected to the Council of India of the Governor-General of India in 1903.
  • He was appointed as the Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire in 1904 New Year’s Honours List.
  • In 1905, he founded the Servants of India Society, which trained people to be selfless workers so they could work for the common good of the people. He was also elected as the President of the Indian National Congress.
  • So strong was the desire to make a difference, that these kindred spirits vowed a simple life of dedication to these causes.
  • Among the many things the organization did, there were the commendable services of helping victims of floods and famines, and taking the time to educate women in society, so that they too may have a voice.
  • Many people influenced Gokhale and gave him the strength and discipline to bring his ideas to the realm of reality, but none more than Mahadev Govind Ranade, to whom he was apprenticed in 1887.
  • Ranade trained him for 15 years in all spheres of public life, and taught him sincerity, devotion to public service, and tolerance.
  • Gokhale visited England and voiced his concerns relating to the unfair treatment of the Indian people by the British government. In one span of 49 days, he spoke in front of 47 different audiences, captivating every one of them.
  • Before long, he was touted as the most effective pleader for India’s cause. While Gokhale pleaded for gradual reform to ultimately attain Swaraj, or self-government, in India, some of his contemporaries, comprising a radical element, wished to use force as a means of persuasion. Gokhale maintained his moderate political views and worked out some reforms for the betterment of India.
  • He was instrumental in the formation of the Minto-Morley Reforms of 1909, which eventually became law. Unfortunately, the Reforms Act became law in 1909 and it was disappointing to see that the people were not given a proper democratic system despite Gokhale’s efforts.
  • The communal harmony he had longed for was shattered when he realized that the Muslim community was steadfast in considering itself as a separate unit. On the bright side, however, Gokhale’s efforts were clearly not in vain.
  • Indians now had access to seats of the highest authority within the government, and their voices were more audible in matters of public interest.

Conclusion:

The liberal constitutionalism that Gokhale stood for was swept aside by the rising tide of agitational politics after 1920. Gokhale was a mentor to both Mohammed Jinnah and Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi even wrote a book called, ‘Gokhale, My Political Guru’. His core beliefs about the importance of political liberty, social reform and economic progress for all Indians are still relevant to our times.


Topic:  Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

2) Discuss the nature of the powers of Election commission of India. What is the procedure of disposal of matters that come before ECI? Elaborate on the procedure when the Election commissioner dissents.(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question:

The article provides for clear insights on the working and functioning of ECI – how it has evolved over time and it pays a special focus on rules that it follows in case of a disagreement.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss clearly nature of the powers of Election commission of India, procedure of disposal of matters that come before ECI and the power of dissent of the chief election commissioner.

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 recent controversies surrounding the ECI.

Body:

  • Body of the answer should discuss the following aspects:
  • When and under what circumstances did the Election Commission of India (ECI) become a three-member body?  – discuss the coming of Article 324 and highlight its significance.
  • From being one – member body to multi- member – trace the evolution and respective changes.
  • What is the nature of the powers of the Election Commission of India?
  • What is the procedure for disposal of matters that come before the Election Commission of India?
  • What is the procedure for disposal of matters that come before the Election Commission of India? – discuss recent examples.
  • Suggest what needs to be done ?

Conclusion:

Conclude with way ahead.

Introduction:

The Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering election processes in India. The body administers elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, state legislatures, and the offices of the President and Vice President in the country.

While the Election Commission is supposed to transact its business unanimously as far as possible, Commissioner Ashok Lavasa has dissented with the opinion of his colleagues in some recent matters.

Body:

The nature of the powers of the Election Commission of India:

  • In Mohinder Singh Gill & Anr vs The Chief Election Commissioner and Others (1977), the Supreme Court ruled that “Article 324, on the face of it, vests vast functions in the Commission, which may be powers or duties, essentially administrative, and marginally, even judicative or legislative”.
  • This means the ECI mainly has administrative functions in the preparation of electoral rolls and conduct of elections.
  • The Commission has to exercise its powers and perform its functions under Article 324 in conformity with the provisions of Sections 9 to 11 of The Election Commission (Conditions of Service of Election Commissioners and Transaction of Business) Act, 1991.
  • The three Sections apply to all the items of business transacted by the Commission — whether administrative, judicative or legislative.

The procedure of disposal of matters that come before ECI:

  • Files are normally initiated at the level of the relevant sections/divisions in the Commission’s secretariat, and they move upwards, going up to the Deputy Election Commissioners (DECs) or Directors General (DGs) of the relevant divisions.
  • The DECs/DGs then mark the files needing the Commission’s decisions or directions to the ECs in order of their seniority. With the observations of the ECs, the file ultimately goes to the CEC.
  • In some cases, where any of the ECs or CEC desire a matter to be discussed in person, that matter is deliberated upon in the meetings of the full Commission, which are normally attended by the concerned DECs and DGs as well.
  • The decisions taken in those meetings are then formally recorded in the file concerned.

Status of Equality between CEC and ECs:

  • In S. Dhanoa vs Union of India (1991), the SC held: “The chief election commissioner does not appear to be primus inter pares, i.e. first among equals, but he is intended to be placed in a distinctly higher position”
  • In N. Seshan vs Union of India (1995), the SC held that the CEC and ECs are equal. CEC is given the power of recommending the removal of ECs with the intention of shielding them and not to use it against them. CEC cannot use its suo moto as he is an equal to them.

The procedure when the Election commissioner dissents:

  • If some difference of opinion persists even after oral deliberations and discussions, such dissent is recorded in the file.
  • The Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Conditions of Service) Act, 1991, as amended, provides that in case of difference of opinion on any matter, such matter shall be decided by the opinion of the majority.
  • All opinions carry equal weight, which means the CEC can be overruled by the two ECs.
  • In normal practice, while communicating the decision of the Commission in executive matters, the majority view is conveyed to the parties concerned.
  • The dissent remains recorded in the file.
  • In case dissent is to be recorded in a case of judicative nature:
  • for example, in references by the President under Article 103 of the Constitution or by the Governors under Article 192, or in matters relating to splits in recognised national or state political parties under the Symbols Order — the dissenting member may like to record a separate opinion/order.
  • For example, separate opinions were recorded by the two ECs (S Y Quraishi and Navin Chawla) and the CEC (N Gopalaswami) in 2009 in the matter of alleged disqualification of Sonia Gandhi on the conferment of an honour by the government of Belgium.

Conclusion:

However, despite the existence of the provision to take decisions by majority since 1993, very rarely has dissent been recorded. When a matter is deliberated upon by the three Commissioners in a Commission meeting, they normally agree to a common course of action. This does not, however, mean that there is no disagreement between the Commissioners — there are certain instances in the past where a consensus could not be arrived at even at the meeting.


Topic:  Issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development, Agriculture.

3) Despite farm productivity rising in the country, severe distress in the Agriculture sector is still a cause of concern. How grave is the situation? Discuss with respect to small and marginal farmers.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The article highlights the need for interventions that are required on demand and supply side to alleviate farm distress in the country.

In the current times of elections and their manifesto aiming at votes  in the name of loan waivers , the author brings out causes and consequences facing the farm sector in the country.

Demand of the question:

This question seeks to examine

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 – quote some facts to highlight the situation of farm distress in the country.

Body

Discuss the following points in detail:

  • What are the factors causing farm distress in the country?
  • Public investment in the sector as a percentage of GDP is also stagnant.
  • Declining size of land holdings.
  • prices are much lower than the MSP [minimum support price] in the market.
  • long-term problems such as low capital formation in agriculture persist. Etc.
  • Present a case of small and marginal farmers, why is their case different?  – take hints from the article and provide for suitable points.
  • What needs to be done? – suggest measures to overcome the distress.

Conclusion

Conclude with what needs to be done – suggest holistic approach required to address the problem.

Introduction:

Farm incomes have been squeezed by slower output growth, higher costs and increased vulnerability to a changing climate. Economists said that the GDP deflator for agriculture is negative for the first time in many years.  The NSSO Situation Assessment Survey of Agricultural Households (2013) shows that 52% of farming households are indebted, with rates as high as 89-92% in some States.

                And there are a slew of new problems resulting directly from government policies. The recent marches to New Delhi, Mumbai by thousands of farmers are any indication, the farm sector has already sent up emergency flares.

Body:

Factors causing farm distress in the country:

  • High Input costs:
    • Land degradation has become a major challenge and cost of farming is constantly rising with usage of fertilizer, pesticides, expensive seed varieties, machinery, labour cost, rise in fuel prices, vagaries of monsoon. This further complicates the livelihood of farmers
    • In India, farmers are poor due to low productivity (yield per hectare) of all major crops.
    • Growth in rural lending has decreased and indeed most of the rural lending is indirect rather than direct.
  • Farmers income remained low:
    • India had record food production in 2017-18, but farmers’ income remained low and stagnant.
    • According to Ashok Dalwai committee, farmer’s income remained about 15-40% of consumer’s price.
    • Studies conducted by the International Food Policy Research Institute and World Bank have confirmed this.
  • Government Policies:
    • India has excessively dependent on MSP to drive crop planning by farmers. MSP is restricted only to few crops.
    • In good harvest years, neither are MSP increased to ensure a floor price that covers costs and offers a remunerative return, nor is enough procured to ensure that even the MSP offered serves as a floor for market prices.
    • The government continues to use old draconian measures, including stocking restrictions and bans on exports and futures trading, to even small increase in food prices. Such steps may bring temporary relief to consumers, but end up hurting farmers.
    • Fiscal conservatism has adversely affected public investment in irrigation, drainage and flood control.
    • Liberalised imports of agricultural commodities including foodgrains and cotton have dampened domestic prices
  • Middlemen troubles:
    • As pointed out by Ramesh Chand, in Punjab, there are as many as 22,000 commission agents and innumerable middlemen in each market.
    • According to Ashok Gulati, former chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, commission agents in Delhi charge exorbitant fees ranging from 6 per cent to 15 per cent.
  • Rigid Market Structure:
    • Prevalence of APMC markers, trader cartels due to which low price for agri produce is offered specially due to bumper crop production.
  • Poor Infrastructure and Logistics:
    • Lack of diffusion of adequate storage facilities lead to wastage. For instance farmers dump truckloads of vegetables on road.
    • Food Parks projects concentrated near to cities and poor maintenance leads to spoilage of the crops.
    • Cold storage units exist in less than one-tenth of the markets and grading facilities in less than one-third; electronic weigh-bridges are available only in a few markets.
  • Aggressive cultivation led to plunge in demand:
    • Once prices have increased farmers cultivated the crop aggressively leading to plunging of prices.
    • Two years ago, garlic fetched an average Rs 60 per kg rate in Rajasthan’s Kota mandi. Enthused by it, farmers in the Hadoti region planted more area, only to see prices halve last May.
    • Similar was the case for other vegetables. Example: Tomato, Toor Dal etc.
  • Pro-Consumer bias:
    • In most years, for the majority of agri-products, the policymakers used restrictive export policies to keep domestic prices low. This showed the pro-consumer bias in the policy complex.
  • Information Asymmetry:
    • A bumper crop can pull down prices in wholesale markets. Price spikes after a poor crop are inevitably dealt with through cheap imports in a bid to protect consumers. The opposite is done less frequently. This is due to lack of information.
    • The bountiful rains of 2016 resulted in record farm output. Prices crashed. Farmers are reported to have not been able to even recover the cost for some crops.
    • The prospects of a good monsoon pushed up rural wages. The reality of rock bottom prices then destroyed profit margins.

Measures needed:

  • Credit, finance and Insurance:
    • A functional institutional credit system which is accessible and accountable to all cultivators.
    • This covers not only land-owning farmers but also sharecroppers, tenants, adivasi and women farmers, and animal-rearers.
    • Credit products for agriculture need to be tailor-made based on cropping and rain cycle, specific to a particular region. The regional offices of commercial banks should contribute in this exercise. Registration of all cultivators and providing Kisan credit cards.
    • The period of crop loan should be extendable to four years, given that, on average, every second or third year the spatial distribution of rain pattern is erratic in India.
    • Strengthen agricultural insurance, reforming agricultural marketing and introduction of model contract farming act
  • Input Costs:
    • It is more important to make agriculture sustainable by reducing input costs of seeds, fertilizers and other inputs.
  • Remunerative Prices:
    • Extending reach of minimum support price which has been dedicated to few crops and in a narrow geographical area is important.
    • Set up of Futures and Trade markets, tie up of farmer and private companies for procurement should be looked into as alternative methods against distress sale.
  • Agro- Produce Marketing and Processing:
    • The agro-processing industry and warehousing needs to expand so that agricultural produce can be stored when prices plunge.
    • Promoting viable farmer collectives to act as a “collective voice of marginal and small farmers”.
    • Legislations on the basis of NITI Aayog’snew model law — Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing (Promotion and Facilitating) Act (APLM) should be enacted in all states.
  • Technology:
    • Use of technology to aid farmers like drip and sprinkler irrigation.
    • Precision agriculture, GM Crops should be encouraged drought prone areas.
    • Space technology and Mobiles should act as “Eyes and Ears” of the farmers to assist in farming.
  • Distress Management:
    • Establish farmers’ distress and disaster relief commissions at the national and State levels, based on the model of Kerala Farmers’ Debt Relief Commission.

Conclusion:

Farmers’ distress is due to low prices and low productivity. Limited procurement, measures to improve low productivity, and consolidation of land holdings to gain the benefits of size, can help in reducing agrarian distress. The challenge before government is to deliver on the institutional solutions backed by a long term policy demanded by farmers as against temporary solutions of loan waivers


Topic : Government Budgeting.

4) What do you understand by Outcome budget? How is it different from performance budget? Explain.(250 words)

Indian polity by Lakshmikanth

 

Why this question:

The question is to evaluate – outcome budget, performance budget.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must provide for a detailed discussion on the two type of the budget namely – outcome budget and performance budget, provide for a comparison and contrast the two.

Directive word:

Explain – 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:

write a few introductory lines about the significance of a Budget.

Body:

Answers must discuss the following aspects :

  • What is an Outcome Budget? – It is a progress card on what various Ministries and Departments have done with the outlays in the previous annual budget. It measures the development outcomes of all government programs and whether the money has been spent for the purpose it was sanctioned including the outcome of the fund usage.
  • It is a means to develop a linkage between the money spent by a government and the results which follow.
  • An interesting feature of outcome based budgeting is that the outcomes of programmes are measured not just in terms of Rupees but also in terms of physical units like Kilowatt of energy produced or tonnes of steel produced. Also outcomes are expressed in terms of qualitative targets and achievements to make the technique more comprehensive.
  • Then move on to discuss the procedure for outcome-based budgeting.
  • Then explain what is a performance budget? – A performance budget is a budget that reflects the input of resources and the output of services for each unit of the government. This type of budget is commonly used by government bodies to show the link between taxpayer funds and the outcome of services provided by federal, state, or local governments.
  • Provide for merits and demerits of the two.

Conclusion –

Conclude by reasserting their significance.

Introduction:

Outcome based budgeting is a practice of suggesting and listing of estimated outcomes of each programmes or schemes designed. Outcomes are the end products and results of various Government initiatives and interventions, including those involving partnership with the State Governments, Public Sector Undertakings, autonomous bodies and the community. Outcome Budget was first introduced in India by the UPA in 2005-06 by stating that “the people of the country are concerned with outcomes, not outlays”.

Body:

Advantages of Outcome Budget:

  • Public administration in India has been plagued by a lack of focus on results and outcomes that matter most to citizens.
  • Annual planning and monitoring revolves largely around the allocation of the government’s budget to its departments and programmes and periodically checking if the money is being spent and activities completed.
  • But such an approach, however, completely misses the difference between doing the job, and doing it well.
  • An outcome-based approach shifts the perspective to the short and long-term outcomes of governance.
  • For example rather than asking did they build enough toilets or did they open schools and hospitals, the questions will be like whether the toilets built are clean and functional and did open defecation reduce.
  • An outcome budget seeks to enshrine this approach within governments by linking budgetary outlays to specific outputs (tangible services or infrastructure provided) and outcomes (short or long-term benefits to the people).
  • It arms citizens with data to hold governments accountable, and in turn empowers the governments to better orient the bureaucracy towards results.
  • The Centre has since 2005-06 continued to release annual Outcome Budget reports with incremental changes and without any reference to the previous year’s performance.

Disadvantages:

  • It is resource intensive. It takes a lot more time and effort to closely review and justify every budget element rather than modify an existing budget and review only new elements.
  • Difficulty in matching expenditure with results & performance
  • Focusing on process and input utilization, resulted in wasteful expenditure
  • Lack of trained staff and those trained are transferred to unrelated jobs

Performance budget:

A performance budget is a budget that reflects the input of resources and the output of services for each unit of an organization. This type of budget is commonly used by government bodies to show the link between taxpayer funds and the outcome of services provided by federal, state, or local governments.

Advantages:

  • An increase in accountability of the local authorities to the taxpayers, communication to the public about priorities, and quantifying particular goals.
  • Taxpayers want to know where and how their money is being spent and to what end.
  • Performance-based budgeting helps in bringing the transparency in the budget preparation. The performance budget helps in taking better financial decisions for the allocation of resources.

Disadvantages:

  • A potential for disagreement on where spending priorities should lie, in the case of a government with multiple agencies
  • Lack of unified cost standards across multiple agencies
  • The potential for a department to manipulate data in order to reach a target, which could lead to a need to spend funds on an independent party to verify results
  • A lack of flexibility once the inputs/outputs have been set

Conclusion:

In India, most of the Central Government Ministries are following outcome budgeting. Delhi Government has presented two outcome budgets till now. The document acts as a progress report of government projects and aims to ensure ‘greater transparency’ in governance.


Topic: Infrastructure

5) Elaborate upon the key features  of Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME-II) scheme , what is the potential it carries for India in the renewable energy sector? (250 words)

Livemint

Why this question:

The article discusses in detail in the coming of FAME -II , its impact on the energy sector of the country. The Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee of the National Mission for Transformative Mobility has recently decided to incorporate localization conditions to avail benefits under the FAME-II Scheme. Thus it is necessary for us to evaluate the scheme from exam point of view.

Key demand of the question:

The question expects

Directive word:

Elaborate – Give 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:

Begin with brief on the significance of the scheme.

Body:

  • Discussion should include the following aspects –
  • salient features of FAME II scheme –
  • aims to boost electric mobility and increase the number of electric vehicles in commercial fleets.
  • Target: The outlay of ₹10,000 crore has been made for three years till 2022 for FAME 2 scheme.
  • The government will offer the incentives for electric buses, three-wheelers and four-wheelers to be used for commercial purposes.
  • Plug-in hybrid vehicles and those with a sizeable lithium-ion battery and electric motor will also be included in the scheme and fiscal support offered depending on the size of the battery.
  • Discuss its potential – how FAME II scheme will help improve charging infrastructure.
  • What are the issues and associated concerns?
  • Discuss what can be done to overcome the concerns associated.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

FAME India is a part of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan. To promote manufacturing of electric and hybrid vehicle technology and to ensure sustainable growth of the same, Department of Heavy Industry is implementing FAME-India Scheme Phase – I [Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India] from 1st April 2015 till 31st March 2019.

FAME-II proposes to give a push to electric vehicles (EVs) in public transport and seeks to encourage adoption of EVs by way of market creation and demand aggregation.

Body:

‘Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India Phase II (FAME India Phase II)’ scheme:

  • The scheme with total outlay of Rs 10000 Crores over the period of three years (2019-20 to 2021-22) will be implemented with effect from 1st April 2019.
  • This scheme is the expanded version of the present scheme titled ‘FAME India1’ which was launched on 1st April 2015, with total outlay of Rs. 895 crores.

Key Features:

  • Emphasis on electrification of the public transportation that includes shared transport.
  • In 3-Wheel (W) and 4-Wheel (W) segment incentives will be applicable mainly to vehicles used for public transport or registered for commercial purposes.
  • In the 2-Wheel (W) segment, the focus will be on the private vehicles.
  • To encourage advance technologies, the benefits of incentives, will be extended to only those vehicles which are fitted with advance battery like a Lithium Ion battery and other new technology batteries.
  • The scheme proposes for establishment of charging infrastructure, whereby about 2700 charging stations will be established in metros, other million plus cities, smart cities and cities of Hilly states across the country so that there will be availability of at least one charging station in a grid of 3 km x 3 km.
  • Establishment of Charging stations are also proposed on major highways connecting major city clusters.
  • On such highways, charging stations will be established on both sides of the road at an interval of about 25 km each.

Potential of FAME-II scheme:

Automobile Sector:

  • 100% FDI by automatic route is permitted in the automobile sector.
  • Further, the sector is deregulated, both private sector and public sector are free to carry out investment in the automobile sector, including for manufacturing of Electric Vehicles and E-Buses.

Charging Infrastructure:

  • The centre will invest in setting up charging stations, with the active participation of public sector units and private players.
  • It has also been proposed to provide one slow-charging unit for every electric bus and one fast-charging station for 10 electric buses.
  • Projects for charging infrastructure will include those needed to extend electrification for running vehicles such as pantograph charging and flash charging.
  • FAME 2 will also encourage interlinking of renewable energy sources with charging infrastructure.

Challenges involved:

  • Coordination among various stakeholders:
    • EVs, unlike ICE vehicles, involve several actors at the national, State and city levels, respectively
    • Multiple ministries such as Road Transport and Highways, Housing and Urban Affairs, Heavy Industries, Power, New and Renewable Energy, External Affairs as well as national institutes such as NITI Aayog should work together.
    • State and city-level players need to be involved so as to address several technical and infrastructural needs.
  • EV battery production:
    • India does not produce lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries currently, and companies making battery packs are dependent exclusively on imports from China.
    • This is a cost-saving strategy as setting up a cell manufacturing unit in India would be expensive.
    • But, accelerating EV use in India should be linked to the “Make in India” goal and domestic battery production.
  • Charging infrastructure:
    • Charging infrastructure for electric vehicles in India has not been fully developed yet.
  • Jobs and the economic impact:
    • India is one of the largest producers of motor vehicles and the sector is estimated to provide direct and indirect employment to 3 crore people. And it is estimated to grow further.
    • EVs have the potential to disrupt the mobility ecosystem, and, if implemented well, could have a positive impact on the economy as well as the urban environment.

Way forward:

  • India needs auto industry’s active participation to ease electric mobility transition.
  • The auto and battery industries could collaborate to enhance customer awareness, promote domestic manufacturing, promote new business models, conduct R&D for EVs and components, consider new business models to promote EVs.
  • Government should focus on a phased manufacturing plan to promote EVs, provide fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for phased manufacturing of EVs and batteries.
  • Different government departments can consider a bouquet of potential policies, such as congestion pricing, ZEV credits, low emission/exclusion zones, parking policies, etc. to drive adoption of EVs
  • Both Central and State Governments should support clean energy research in general. That way, the government does its part in steering the policy ship

Conclusion:

Environment-friendly EVs will reduce air pollution and thus contribute to the fight against climate change. As per NITI Aayog’s report EVs will help in cutting down as much as 1 Gigatonne (GT) of carbon emissions by 2030.The government should have a role. Instead of trying to pick winners, the government should focus on building an enabling business environment that supports research and innovation.


Topic: Government Budgeting

6) Why cannot an outgoing government present a full budget? Discuss the issues involved and need for clear guidelines on this also elaborate on the utility of an Interim budget in such a scenario. (250 words)

Indian Polity by Lakshmikant

Why this question:

The question is to evaluate the method of Interim budget – its need, functionality and procedure. Also, one has to discuss the utility of Interim budget.

Key demand of the question:

Analyse in detail the features of an Interim budget, ow is it different from a  full budget ? what are the nuances of 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 explain that Conventionally, a government at the end of its term goes in for a vote on account rather than a full Budget. Therefore, the debate on the issue. While few favor the full budget, others oppose it on the ground that this is an election year and the government has already presented 5 full budgets.

Body:

In brief discuss –

  • Discuss the procedure of budget – role of Article 266, 114 of the constitution.
  • What is vote on account? Why is it presented?
  • Interim budget?  – An Interim Budget is not the same as a ‘Vote on Account’. While a ‘Vote on Account’ deals only with the expenditure side of the government’s budget, an Interim Budget is a complete set of accounts, including both expenditure and receipts. An Interim Budget gives the complete financial statement, very similar to a full Budget.
  • Compare and contrast the full budget with that of an interim budget.
  • Discuss measures/ solutions required in direction to resolve and overcome the present controversies.

Conclusion:

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

Introduction:

Traditionally, in an election year, the outgoing government presents an interim budget or so-called vote on account. The interim budget, or Vote on Account, is only for three/four months before the new government presents a full-fledged budget in July. The outgoing government cannot present an economic survey, bring a finance Bill or introduce new services during in the interim budget and doing so will be unconstitutional. Although, several governments, including the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance in 2009, haven’t shied away from making policy pronouncements in interim budgets.

Body:

Issues involved in Budget during election year:

  • The budget involves altering both taxes and outlays on schemes, this could influence the voters in an election year and goes against the principle of free and fair elections.
  • Constitutionally, the government can make tax changes in the interim budget. However, the 12 interim budgets since Independence have respected the fact that the government is a custodian for a few months and have refrained from announcing big-ticket changes or new schemes
  • With the general elections due, the ruling government would look at making available cheap loans and free accidental insurance to small businesses.
  • While an incoming government has the freedom to change the estimates in the interim budget when it presents the final budget after taking office, outgoing governments in India have generally followed the convention of avoiding major policy announcements or taxation proposals in the interim budget.
  • Going by recent history, however, interim budgets have been passed thrice since 2000.
  • There is also the matter of the Presidential address to the Budget Session whereby the government makes its vision statement.
  • If the budget proposes populist schemes, it will become difficult for the new government if it is led by another political party to withdraw these.

Utility of Interim Budget:

  • The budget for the year approved by Parliament gives the government spending rights only till the end of the financial year ending March 31.
  • If for any reason the government is not able to present a full budget before the financial year ends, it will need parliamentary authority for incurring expenditure in the new fiscal year until a full Budget is presented.
  • Through the interim Budget, Parliament passes a vote-on-account that allows the government to meet the expenses of the administration until the new Parliament considers and passes the Budget for the whole year.
  • In an election situation, the vote-on-account is usually for a four-month period.
  • In an interim Budget, the vote-on-account seeks parliament’s nod for incurring expenditure for part of a fiscal year.
  • However, the estimates are presented for the entire year, as is the case with the regular Budget.
  • However, the incoming government has full freedom to change the estimates completely when the final Budget is presented.

Conclusion:

Thus, there needs to be proper codes laid down in the constitution regarding the kind of budget and the extent to which the government of the day use its power in the interim budget.


Topic: corporate governance.

7) What do you understand by corporate governance? How can ethics make corporate governance more meaningful? Explain. (250 words)

Ethics by Lexicon

Livemint

Why this question:

The question is intended to evaluate the role of corporate governance in successful and ethical management of companies and corporations.

Key demand of the question:

The answer is straightforward – one has to discuss the concept of corporate governance, its role, significance etc.

Directive word:

Explain – 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:

In a few introductory lines define what is corporate governance.

Body:

  • Explain – Corporate governance is meant to run companies ethically in a manner such that all stakeholders—creditors, distributors, customers, employees, and even competitors, the society at large and governments—are dealt with in a fair manner.
  • Discuss the aspects of Good corporate governance – that it should look at all stakeholders and not just shareholders alone.
  • Discuss the need for understanding ethical behavior in the context of corporate governance.
  • Justify the above points using a suitable case study to highlight the need for ethics in corporate governance to make the governance more and more meaningful.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of ethics and its significance to the corporate governance.

Introduction:

Corporate governance is the system of rules, practices and processes by which a firm is directed and controlled. It essentially involves balancing the interests of a company’s many stakeholders, such as shareholders, management, customers, suppliers, financiers, government and the community.

Body:

In the light of Tata, Infosys, ICICI & PNB bank corporate governance episodes lately, the debate around transparency, role of Independent Directors, promoters etc among others got wide attention to further enhance corporate governance in India

Ethics can make corporate governance more meaningful:

  • Transparency in Board’s processes and independence in the functioning of Boards. The Board should provide effective leadership to the company and management to realize sustained prosperity for all stakeholders. It should provide independent judgment for achieving company’s objectives.
  • Accountability to stakeholders with a view to serve the stakeholders and account to them at regular intervals for actions taken, through strong and sustained communication processes.
  • Impartiality to all stakeholders.
  • Social, regulatory and environmental concerns.
  • Clear and explicit legislation and regulations are fundamentals to effective corporate governance.
  • Good management environment that includes setting up of clear objectives and suitable ethical framework, establishing due processes, clear enunciation of responsibility and accountability, sound business planning, establishing clear boundaries for acceptable behaviour, establishing performance evaluation measures.
  • Explicitly approved norms of ethical practices and code of conduct are communicated to all the stakeholders, which should be clearly understood and followed by each member of the organization.
  • The objectives of the corporation must be clearly recognized in a long-term corporate strategy including an annual business plan along with achievable and measurable performance targets and milestones.
  • A well composed Audit Committee to work as liaison with the management, internal and statutory auditors, reviewing the adequacy of internal control and compliance with significant policies and procedures, reporting to the Board on the key issues.
  • Risk is an important component of corporate functioning and governance, which should be clearly acknowledged, analysed for taking appropriate corrective measures. In order to deal with such situation, Board should formulate a mechanism for periodic reviews of internal and external risks.
  • A clear Whistle Blower Policy whereby the employees may without fear report to the management about unprincipled behaviour, actual or suspected frauds or violation of company’s code of conduct. There should be some mechanism for adequate safeguard to personnel against victimization that serves as whistle-blowers.

Conclusion:

Currently, India accounts nearly 3% of world GDP and 2.5% of global stock market capitalisation – with 5,000 listed companies and more than 50 companies in the global Fortune list. Uday Kotak committee recommendations hold importance in growing concerns for corporate governance. The recommendations of the Kotak committee will enhance transparency and effectiveness in the way boards of listed companies function.