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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 12 JUNE 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 12 JUNE 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: Role of women.

1) The recent proposal of Delhi government to make public transport free for women has opened a debate about the ways in which women access transport and the barriers they face, in such a context analyse how reforms in public transport affect women? (250 words)

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Why this question:

The article provides for a detailed analysis of how public transport reforms can be a boom to Women and their empowerment.

Demand of the question:

This answer must analyse in detail the reforms in public transport and their effect on Women.

Directive word:

AnalyseWhen 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

Start with brief introduction of importance of public transport.

Body

One can start by quoting facts like – Census data from 2011 showed that 45% of women do not even travel for work, meaning that they work out of their own houses. As a result, India has one of the world’s most lopsided ratios of male versus female commuting.

This gender commuting gap may be linked to the gender wage gap, which also really opens up after the arrival of children in the family. If women take work closer to home because of caring responsibilities, they may be less likely to find a job well matched to their skills or with a high-paying employer.Discuss the general challenges faced by women owing o lack of transport facilities.Then move on to explain the effect of policy reforms; explain the case study of Delhi.

Economic  Growth: A  good  transportation system  is an important selling  point to communities that desire to attract development that provides for employment and growth of a city. If transport costs due to congestion increase, goods and services produced within that city tend to increase in costs  thus losing  competitiveness  in international  markets. Efficient  transportation access  is therefore  a very important  consideration as it  has a direct impact on  sound and sustainable economic growth and productivity. The cost of congestion in the Western Province of Sri  Lanka is over Rs 20,000 million per year (around 2 percent of Regional GDP). This includes the cost of productive time and wastage of fuel.   

Quality-of-Life: To some people, congested highways are a symptom of deteriorating quality-of-life-in a community.  The amount of time that is spent on commuting to and from work is also in reality, time that is taken away from social interactions or pursuit of activities that have a personal value and satisfaction.

Conclusion

Conclude with significance of such steps.

Introduction:

The Delhi government has proposed to make travel by buses and metro rail free for all women in about 3 months. Few experts have criticised the Delhi government’s proposal to make buses and the Metro free for women. Under the proposal announced by the Delhi government, women will have the option to not pay for rides. The move, which is at the stage of feedback and planning, has drawn reactions ranging from enthusiastic approval to vehement rejection.

Body:

Rationale behind this move:

  • To tackle congestion on the roads, the free rides measure is meant to encourage more women to use public transport.
  • To make it easier for women to move from informal and more unsafe modes of transport such as shared autos and cabs to more formal and safer modes such as the Metro.
  • To help more women enter the workforce.

Barriers of public transport faced by women:

  • Census data from 2011 revealed that 45% of women do not even travel for work, meaning that they work out of their own houses.
  • India has one of the world’s most lopsided ratios of male versus female commuting, according to data aggregated by the Centre for Diet and Activity Research, a research unit at the University of Cambridge.
  • For both men and women across India, walking is the most common commute to work. For women, after walking, the bus is the most common mode of transport.
  • A 2005 study in Delhi slums found that women spend more time travelling on slower modes of transport to access work since faster modes are more expensive.
  • Similarly, women respondents in a 2011 World Bank study in Mumbai reported finding the bus pass prohibitively expensive and “pointed out that cheap bus travel would enable them to better access the local trains which in turn could connect them to better-paying jobs in South and Central Mumbai.”

Reforms in Public transport affect women:

Any change in public transport directly affects women as they are proportionately higher user of public transportation. The initiative of the Delhi government to make public transport free for women can affect women in the following ways:

  • Less Gender Commuting Gap: Subsidized public transport can help cash-constrained women get access to better-paying employment opportunities even if it takes longer commuting.
  • More Economic growth: As the women participation in the country increases with improved transportation, a vast untapped human resource in the economy can lead to better growth.
  • Better quality of life: Poor transport system affects the quality of life of women more. They can pursue their desired work if transportation improves.
  • Safety: In the case of unaffordable public transport, women tend to prefer taking cheaper and unsafe transport, e.g. overloaded auto. Sometimes they miss the ticket for trains due to long queue in late nights, which creates a big safety issues for them. A cheaper and affordable or free transport would enable them to commute safely.

Way forward:

  • Discounted fares for certain classes of commuters, including students and seniors could be introduced.
  • This, along with, daily and weekly cap on fares might encourage greater use of buses and metros.
  • That requires widespread adoption of smart payment cards that are valid across various modes of public transport.
  • Cities such as London and Sydney are among the many that have such a system in place.
  • g. the Oyster card is valid for travel through all 6 zones of London and has a daily cap of £12.80
  • So, the government could do well to start free e-rickshaw rides for women and children and thus address both their safety and local commute concerns.
  • It can work with the central government to train the police force in gender sensitivity to make the national capital safer for women in overall terms.
  • Proper security measures like (CCTV, Floor marshals etc) to deal with the misbehaviour and other such alike cases
  • Collaborating with the private sector (like encouraging their women employees to travel via public transport, provision of buses etc).
  • Protection to activists in sensitive cases must be provided.
  • Besides, the real demands in light of the safety concerns are enlightened education campaigns and a heightened investment on security and vigilance.
  • Instead of subsidies, the government can augment Delhi’s bus service in terms of quantity and security.

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation.

2) “Fixing India’s water crisis will need saner policies, meticulous strategy and a massive amount of public participation”. Critically analyse. (250 words)

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Why this question:

The article discusses in detail the water woes that are unraveling in many parts of the country.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must address the methods and ways in terms of policies that are must required for addressing the water crisis across the country. One must discuss the need for systematic solutions.

Directive:

Critically analyzeWhen asked to analyze, you  have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgement.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin with brief introduction on the current water crisis situation of the country.

Body:

  • One must quote facts to depict the current water crisis situation facing the country. Studies warn that a seasonal drought is, in fact, a full-blown water crisis, accentuated by poor planning. Groundwater and sand extraction from river beds and basins has turned unsustainable, say many government and independent studies.
  • Discuss the causative factors of such drought like conditions.
  • What needs to be done at the planning and policy level?
  • Take hints from the article, suggest solutions using case studies.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The NITI Aayog report on Composite Water Management Index (CWMI) said that India is facing its ‘worst’ water crisis in history. Taps in Shimla went dry in summer of 2018, posing an unprecedented water crisis in the hill town. Maharashtra and nearly half the country is facing drought and crippling water scarcity. Rains in 2018 in many parts were below normal with long gaps between rainy days. Our water crisis is turning more structural and stems from mostly man-made factors.

Body:

Current water crisis in India:

  • The annual per capita availability of water continues to decline sharply from about 5,177 cubic metres in 1951 to about 1,720 cubic metres in 2019.
  • The NITI Aayog in its report on Composite Water Management Index (2018) has underlined that currently 600 million people face high to extreme water stress.
  • Twenty-one cities, including Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad will run out of groundwater by 2020, affecting 100 million people.
  • The rate of groundwater extraction is so severe that NASA’s findings suggest that India’s water table is declining alarmingly at a rate of about 0.3 metres per year.
  • At this rate of depletion, India will have only 22 per cent of the present daily per capita water available in 2050, possibly forcing the country to import water.
  • Dug-wells and borewells are constructed with alarming impunity to slide deeper and deeper to suck water from greater depths.
  • Water is being diverted from food-crops to cash-crops; livelihoods to lifestyles; rural to urban—mismanagement is a bigger reason for the drought.
  • Water shortages are hurting India’s ability to produce power and 40% thermal power plants are in areas facing high water stress, a recent World Resources Institute report says.
  • Not only farmers, urban dwellers in cities and towns across India are also staring at a never seen before drinking water scarcity
  • Residents in the arid Thar Desert of Rajasthan are spending Rs 2,500 to buy 2,500 litres of water which they share with their cattle.

Causative factors for water crisis:

  • A combination of population explosion, unplanned growth of the city and its expansion to some traditional catchment areas (a region from which rainfall flows into a river, lake, or reservoir) have led to a reduction in the natural flow of water, and large-scale deforestation.
  • Climate change, leading to much lower precipitation during the winter months. As a result, the natural flow and recharge of water in the region has fallen sharply
  • Failure of State governments to check unplanned development and exploitation of water resources. There is no attempt at the central or state levels to manage water quantity and quality
  • The vegetation pattern has changed, tree cover is shrinking and unscientific dumping of debris in water streams is rampant.
  • The debris blocks the natural course of water bodies.
  • Increasing number of tube wells resulting in depletion of groundwater.
  • Changes in farming patterns lead to consumption of more water for irrigation and also change the soil profile because of the use of fertilizers
  • The states ranked lowest like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Jharkhand – are home to almost half of India’s population along with the majority of its agricultural produce.
  • There is also a lack of interest in maintaining India’s traditional water harvesting structures.

Measures needed to strengthen water Governance:

  • India’s priority must be:
    • To make our irrigation and water systems amenable to modern concepts.
    • To complete irrigation and water sector reforms.
    • To implement improved water management, governance and regulation practices.
    • Pricing system for water: For making people use water efficiently
  • Deepen our understanding of our water resources and usage and put in place interventions that make our water use efficient and sustainable.
  • Augmentation of watersheds that can store more good water, for use in agriculture and to serve habitations.
  • Strict pollution control enforcement.
  • Decentralisation of irrigation commands, offering higher financial flows to well-performing States through a National Irrigation Management Fund.
  • Groundwater extraction patterns need to be better understood through robust data collection.
  • Pollution can be curbed by levying suitable costs.
  • Poor maintenance of pipelines, consistent leakage and illegal tapping of water are some of the issues that need to be addressed on a war-footing.
  • Adopting rainwater harvesting techniques is the need of the hour.
  • A legal mandate will work better than just competition and cooperation; it would make governments accountable.
  • These forward-looking changes would need revamped national and State institutions, and updated laws.
  • Urban India needs to focus on recycling and harvesting water, having better testing and purification facilities and increase public awareness on the need to conserve water.
  • Large catchment areas need to be developed around water bodies so that natural recharge of groundwater takes place. A good example is the Seog catchment area which has been denoted as a wildlife sanctuary and where no construction is allowed.
  • Greywater recycling, a method of recycling wastewater from kitchen sinks, showers and laundry fixtures.
  • Greywater recycling helps reduce household water usage by about 50% .
  • Comprehensive restructuring of India’s Central Ground Water Board and the Central Water Commission in order to create a new 21st Century management authority.
  • Right to water should mean a high priority to drinking water.
  • This year’s World Water Development Report makes it clear that nature-based solutions which are also aligned with the principles and aims of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development can offer answers to our most pressing water-related challenges.

Conclusion:

There is a need for credible environmental and cumulative impact assessments, genuine public consultation process at multiple stages of planning and project implementation, confidence-inspiring appraisal, which includes the appointment of independent experts, and most crucially, achieving some real monitoring and compliance. The water governance ought to be made transparent, accountable and participatory in every sub-sector, including management of rivers, groundwater, floods, and biodiversity, among others.


Topic:  Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

3) Discuss what you understand by the three-language formula. What are the concerns associated over imposition of Hindi? suggest reforms required in this direction.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

A 50-year-old controversy got a new lease of life recently when a paragraph in the Draft New Education Policy 2019 referred to the mandatory teaching of Hindi in States where Hindi is not spoken. This was a reiteration of the Central government’s three-language formula, but it set off a storm in Tamil Nadu, which stoutly opposes any attempt to impose Hindi and adheres to a two-language formula. The Union government sought to neutralise the hostile reaction by dropping the controversial reference to Hindi.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss in detail the three-language formula, need, concerns associated over imposition of Hindi and the need for reforms.

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 define the idea of three language formula

Body:

Answers must discuss the following aspects –

  • Start by discussing the issue and its backdrop.
  • Discuss the origin of the concept of the three-language formula.
  • What is the entire controversy around Hindi language?
  • What are the challenges involved?
  • What needs to be done?

Conclusion –

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The three-language formula has its roots back in the year 1961 and it was implemented as a result of a consensus during the meeting of various CMs of the Indian states. The Three-Language Formula was supposed to be not a goal or a limiting factor in language acquisition, but rather a convenient launching pad for the exploration of the expanding horizon of knowledge and the emotional integration of the country. Following the submission of the draft National Education Policy 2019, there were protests against the three language formula.

Body:

Three language policy:

  • According to the National Education Policy of 1968, the three-language formula means that a third language (apart from Hindi and English), which should belong to Modern India, should be used for education in Hindi-speaking states. In the states where Hindi is not the primary language, regional languages and English, along with Hindi shall be used.
  • This formula was altered and amended by Kothari Commission (1964–66) so as to accommodate regional languages and mother tongues of the group identities. Also Hindi and English remained at the two ends of the line.
  • The First Language that students should study- Mother tongue or the regional language
  • The Second Language:
    • In Hindi-speaking states, this would be English or some other language belonging to Modern India.
    • In Non-Hindi states, this will be English or Hindi
  • The Third Language:
    • In Hindi-speaking states, this would be English or some other language belonging to Modern India, but the one that is not chosen as the second language.
    • In Non-Hindi states, this will be English or some other language belonging to Modern India, but the one that is not chosen as the second language.

Concerns associated over imposition of Hindi:

  • Though TLF provides scope for mother tongue language education, the emphasis is lost due to varied implementation.
  • Amidst asserting political rights of dominant ethnic groups, this policy fails to protect various mother tongues from becoming extinct.
  • Students have to face increased burden of subjects because of the three language formula.
  • In some areas, students are forced to learn Sanskrit.
  • The draft policy’s push for Hindi seems to be based on the premise that 54% of Indians speak Hindi.
  • But according to the 2001 Census, 52 crore out of 121 crore people identified Hindi as their language.
  • About 32 crore people declared Hindi as their mother tongue.
  • This means that Hindi is the language of less than 44% Indians and mother tongue of only little over 25% people in India.
  • But there has been greater push for making Hindi a pan-India language, which is seen as imposition of Hindi by many states, especially that of the South.
  • The states like Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Tripura were not ready to teach Hindi and Hindi-speaking states did not include any south Indian language in their school curriculum.
  • State governments often do not have adequate resources to implement the three –language formula.
  • The inadequacy of resources is perhaps the most important aspect of the challenge. For resource strapped state governments, it will be an extraordinarily difficult task to invest in so many language teachers in a short span of time.

Way forward:

  • Language is primarily a utilitarian tool.
  • While acquisition of additional tools can indeed be beneficial, compulsory learning should be limited to one’s mother tongue.
  • Besides, English, as the language that provides access to global knowledge and as a link language within India, could be a supportive language.
  • Given this, not everyone is satisfied by the changes, and the three-language formula itself is seen as an unnecessary imposition.
  • Even if there is intent all around, implementing the three-language formula is not really doable in the current situation. Moreover, the two-language formula, or a shoddy version of the three-language formula has not undermined national harmony.

Topic: population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues. Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

4) Discuss in detail the efforts taken by India in fighting the social ill of child labour.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

On World Day Against Child Labour (June 12) in 2017, India ratified two core conventions of the International Labour Organization on child labour. It now has to double its efforts to ensure that the benefit of those conventions reach the most vulnerable children.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss in detail efforts taken by India in eliminating child labour which is a prevalent social evil even today.

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:

In a few lines discuss the state of child labour in the country.

Body:

The answer must discuss the following:

  • Provide for data/facts to highlight the conditions of child labour in India.
  • as per the 2011 Census, in the age group 5-14 years, 10.1 million of 259.6 million constituted working children.
  • Move on to discuss the significance of the ratification of the core conventions.
  • Explain what needs to be done?
  • What should be the approach?

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Child labour typically means the employment of children in any manual work with or without payment. It is a deep rooted social ill in India. As per the 2011 Census, in the age group 5-14 years, 10.1 million of 259.6 million constituted working children. Even though there was a decline in the number of working children to 3.9% in 2011 from 5% in 2001, the decline rate is grossly insufficient to meet target 8.7 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which is to end child labour in all forms by 2025.

Body:

Current state of Child Labour in India:

Efforts taken to eradicate child labour in India:

  • Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act(1986) to prohibit the engagement of children in certain employments and to regulate the conditions of work of children in certain other employments
  • Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016 : The Amendment Act completely prohibits the employment of children below 14 years.
  • The amendment also prohibits the employment of adolescents in the age group of 14 to 18 years in hazardous occupations and processes and regulates their working conditions where they are not prohibited.
  • On World Day Against Child Labour (June 12) in 2017, India ratified two core conventions of the International Labour Organization on child labour.
  • National Policy on Child Labour (1987), with a focus more on rehabilitation of children working in hazardous occupations and processes, rather than on prevention.
  • Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act2000 and amendment of the JJ Act in 2006: includes the working child in the category of children in need of care and protection, without any limitation of age or type of occupation.
  • Section 23 (cruelty to Juvenile) and Section 26 (exploitation of juvenile employee) specifically deal with child labour under children in need of care and protection.
  • Pencil: The government has launched a dedicated platform viz. pencil.gov.in to ensure effective enforcement of child labour laws and end child labour.
  • The Right to Education Act 2009 has made it mandatory for the state to ensure that all children aged six to 14 years are in school and receive free education. Along with Article 21A of the Constitution of India recognizing education as a fundamental right, this constitutes a timely opportunity to use education to combat child labour in India.
  • Amendments made to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act prescribes severe punishment for people found guilty of retaining bonded labour.
  • The amendment stipulates rigorous imprisonment for those who force children to beg, handle or carry human waste and animal carcasses.
  • The draft National Policy for Domestic Workers, when goes into force, will ensure minimum Rs.9,000 salary for household helpers.
  • Every police station in the country has a separate cell for juvenile, women and child protection.
  • Many NGOs like Bachpan Bachao Andolan, CARE India, Child Rights and You, Global march against child labour, RIDE India, Child line etc. have been working to eradicate child labour in India.

Gaps still persist:

  • Multiple forms exist: Child labour is not uniform. It takes many forms depending upon the type of work that children are made to do, the age and sex of the child and whether they work independently or with families.
  • Due to this complex nature of child labour, there is no one strategy that can be used to eliminate it.
  • The absence of national legislation to give effect to global conventions on the employment of children in hazardous industries, as well as on the minimum age of work.
  • The lack of harmony between global commitments and domestic priorities.
  • Incoherency between laws that prescribe a minimum age for employment and those for completion of compulsory school education. It also means that the expansion of quality universal basic education has to extend beyond the fulfilment of statutory provisions.
  • Lack of effective labour inspections in the informal economy. Around 71% of working children are concentrated in the agriculture sector, with 69% of them undertaking unpaid work in family units.

Way forward:

  • Abolition of child trafficking, elimination of poverty, free and compulsory education, and basic standards of living can reduce the problem to a great extent.
  • Strict implementation of labour laws is also essential in order to prevent exploitation by parties or multinational companies
  • Strengthening policy and legislative enforcement, and building the capacities of government, workers’ and employers’ organisations as well as other partners at national, State and community levels should be prioritized.
  • Education:
    • Spreading literacy and education is a potent weapon against the practice of child labour, because illiterate persons do not understand the implications of child labour
    • The single most effective way to stem the flow of school-aged children into child labour is to improve access to and quality of schooling.
  • Eradicate Unemployment:
    • Another way to stop child labour is to eliminate or rein in unemployment. Because of inadequate employment, many families cannot afford to meet all their expenses. If employment opportunities are increased, they will be able to let their children read and write and become worthy citizens
  • Continued progress against child labour requires policies that help mitigate the economic vulnerability of households. Accelerating progress towards universal social protection is key, as social protection helps prevent poor households from having to rely on child labour as a coping mechanism.
  • Attitude change:
    • It is important that the attitudes and mindsets of people are changed to instead employ adults and allow all children to go to school and have the chance to learn, play and socialize as they should.
    • A sector-wide culture of child labour-free businesses has to be nurtured.

Conclusion:

Eliminating child labour is firmly placed within Goal 8 of the SDGs. A stronger nexus between the discourse on SDGs and the discourse on eliminating child labour can take the advantage of complementarities and synergies of a wide range of actors engaged in both areas of work. The fight against child labour is not just the responsibility of one, it is the responsibility of all.


Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

5) What do you understand by Open data? In what way open data is heralded as a game-changer for transparency and government accountability? Analyse. (250 words)

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Why this question:

The article discusses in detail the concept of open data and in what way it addresses the issues of transparency and accountability.

Key demands of the question:

Answer should discuss the concept of open data, its significance, utility to achieve better transparency and accountability.

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. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgement.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction

In a few introductory lines explain what you understand by Open data.

Body

Discuss the following aspects in the body of the answer:

What is open data? – refers to publicly available data that can be freely reused and redistributed.

Proponents of open data argue that it allows citizens to hold governments accountable and thus drive better service delivery.

In a new World Bank study, Michael Jelenic suggests that this type of open government data could improve both government accountability and service delivery.

Discuss what are the What are the benefits of open data?

Why open data is important?

Conclusion

Reassert the significance of using open data to aid transparency and accountability in the system.

Introduction:

Open data, broadly refers to publicly available data that can be freely reused and redistributed, argue that open data allows citizens to hold governments accountable and thereby drive better service delivery. It is often heralded as a game-changer for transparency and government accountability. Research by PwC in Australia estimated that open data can add an additional 1.5% to the country’s GDP. In the Indian context, this could conservatively translate to about $22 billion.

Body:

Open data and Government accountability and transparency:

  • Governments across the world are increasingly sharing data with the public. For instance, the government of India’s open data initiative, data.gov.in, regularly publishes data released by different government ministries.
  • In a new World Bank study, Michael Jelenic suggests that this type of open government data could improve both government accountability and service delivery.
  • Such data collected by governments are for citizen welfare; hence they have an implicit right to benefit from the information
  • Data sets such as government budget usage, welfare schemes and subsidies increase transparency and thereby build trust
  • It paves the way to develop technology-led innovations which can unlock massive economic value, thereby benefitting even the poorest of poor, the under-represented and the marginalised
  • Countries with more open data have higher levels of accountability (which includes less corruption and greater transparency in government work).
  • Though Open government data is only associated with greater accountability when there is political agency for citizens to act on the data (e.g. free and fair elections).

Benefits of Open Data:

  • Availability of data on yearly produce of crops, soil data health cards and meteorological data sets can help companies develop customised crop insurance solutions with specific risk-based pricing
  • Data points around progress in literacy rates, demographic data and density of educators can help develop customised solutions for villages
  • Information on the availability of facilities in public hospitals, current occupancy rates, hospital and demographic data can pave the way for curated health-care applications

Conclusion:

Since open data is a relatively new phenomenon, more research is needed as open data expands to explore its effects on service delivery. The time is now ripe for the government to create a data-driven governance architecture by building digital trust in the economy and its intent.


Topic:Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships. Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration

6) Discuss the institutions in India that promote ethical accountability in civil services and what are the challenges in ensuring the same.(250 words)

Ethics by Lexicon

Why this question:

The question is straightforward and is about discussing the role of institutions in ensuring and promoting ethical accountability in civil services.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the role of institutions in promoting ethical accountability.

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:

Explain in brief about ‘Accountability’ in the beginning.

Body:

In brief discuss –

Accountability: Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.

It helps achievement of ethical standard in the governance system.

What are the challenges in ensuring accountability?

Conclusion:

Conclude with what more needs to be done.

Introduction:

Accountability in ethics is taking ownership for outcomes (successes or failures) while addressing performance issues fairly and promptly. The ability of citizens to demand accountability and more open government is fundamental to good governance. Ethics and accountability are important elements for modern government as in majority of the countries, there is a severe crisis of legitimacy.

Body:

Institutions in India that promote ethical accountability in civil services:

  • Head of department review at institutional level
  • Concerned ministry at ministerial level.
  • Parliamentary proceedings at national level.
  • Lokayukta and Lokpal.
  • CAG
  • CVC and CBI.
  • RTI act
  • citizens charter
  • Social audit by people
  • Media and civil society.
  • Grievance redressal mechanism.

Challenges to Accountability:

  • There is a more nuanced understanding that multiple actors – state and non-state, national and transnational – are heavily involved in the production of public goods, in all stages – from policy influencing to delivery.
  • Immense protection enjoyed by civil servant by Article 311 of the Constitution.
  • The influence of corporate interests in the provision of public goods as well as the entry of a large number of unregulated providers poses a big threat to both accountability and inclusion.
  • Current political ideologies and religion are increasingly fracturing shared moral norms.
  • Monitoring and surveillance of citizens and organizations including on the Internet and the use of nationalistic arguments to censor and silence people is a real problem as accountability work is basically about social actors challenging governments.
  • Information is a core part of any accountability efforts. And evidence-based policy-making has gained credibility within a range of development actors.
  • Powerful actors employ the “4D strategy – deny, distort, distract and dismay”.
  • Inactive media and civil society considered more with populist measures.
  • Delay in appointment of Lokayukta and Lokpal and restrictions on powers such as necessity to get prior approval.

Way Forward:

  • To Ensure effective accountability, the following steps can be taken
  • Protection of whistleblowers through legislation.
  • Social Audits by local communities, NGOs. Example: As done in MGNREGA.
  • Use of ICT in service delivery and maintenance of records
  • Encouraging Citizens’ Participation through RTI in local languages.
  • Promoting Competition and discouraging monopolistic attitude among the public service sectors

Conclusion:

Accountability is intended to make public officials answerable for their behaviour and responsive to the entity from which they derive their authority. Accountability also indicates establishing criteria to measure the performance of public officials, as well as oversight mechanisms to ensure that standards are met.


Topic :  Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships. Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

7) Discuss Gandhi’s doctrine of Trusteeship. In what way can one relate the doctrine to the present day corporate social responsibility (CSR)? Elucidate.(250 words)

Ethics by Lexicon

Why this question:

Mahatma Gandhi discussed corporate social responsibility (CSR) over several decades of the 20th century. His views are still influential in modern India. The question intends to evaluate the concept of trusteeship.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the concept of trusteeship and relate it to CSR.

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:

In a few introductory lines appreciate the concept.

Body:

Trusteeship is Gandhi’s conceptualization of the contribution of business houses towards social well-being. Trusteeship is a theoretical construct seeking to redefine the relationship between indigenous business houses and the nationalist movement. That Gandhi succeeded in persuading the business men to participate in the freedom struggle, despite adverse consequences, suggests the extent to which Trusteeship was an effective mechanism in political mobilization.

Discuss its importance in today’s life.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting significance of it and provide for ethical aspects associated with it.

Introduction:  

Trusteeship is a socio-economic philosophy that was propounded by Mahatma Gandhi. It provides a means by which the wealthy people would be the trustees of trusts that looked after the welfare of the people in general. Gandhi believed that the wealthy people could be persuaded to part with their wealth to help the poor. Trusteeship is not merely a principle not even a philosophy. His idea of trusteeship needs to be revisited in times of growing inequality

Body:

Gandhiji’s doctrine of Trusteeship:

  • To Promote Relationship: Trusteeship is the very stuff of life, the material of which life is made because life ultimately consists of relationships. There is no life without relationship.
  • Neighbourliness in all walks of life: That’s the basic idea on which the scheme of trusteeship has been based. It is not merely neighbourliness in certain walks of life, because in Gandhiji’s concept, life could not be divided into water-tight compartments. Life has been conceived as whole, which cannot be divided into compartments. So trusteeship is not merely for business relations, but for all relationships of men as they go in everyday affairs of life.
  • A means of Radical Social Change: Trusteeship is a means of revolution or radical social change. In the economic field there is the idea of description, which has been propagated by Marxist revolutionaries. There is the method of confiscation of all property by the state. Then there is the accepted method of taxation which has been universally accepted even in the democratic countries.
  • Change of heart: Trusteeship was Gandhiji’s peculiar contribution to the technique of social change. He called it “the technique of change of heart.” Expropriation, confiscation and taxation are not calculated to conduct to this change of heart. Gandhiji is often quoted as saying that in the Ramarajya of his dream the status of the prince and the pauper will be the same.
  • Human Dignity and Charity: Human dignity cannot be preserved on charity. If those who live in perpetual misery are condemned to live on the sufferance of those who are well to do, then no human dignity could be preserved and civilisation will come to an end sooner than later. This social change must in the main come through the efforts of those who are in misery and who need social change immediately.
  • Mutuality and Well-being: Trusteeship does not conceive of a society in which the poor shall remain poor and the rich shall remain rich. Both poverty and affluence for a few shall be eliminated. Mutuality and well-being shall be the rule of the society, in which men learn to live together in goodwill for one-another.
  • Promote Relationship: Relationship is the oxygen of life. Trusteeship is calculated to promote relationship. That is why trusteeship is the vital breath of all our social relationships, more particularly our industrial relationships.

Trusteeship and Corporate Social Responsibility:

  • Gandhian economics is essentially the collection of Gandhi’s thoughts on various economic systems.
  • Gandhi’s thoughts on economic systems evolved over time and they incorporated the good of both Capitalism and Socialism.
  • “Corporate Social Responsibility”, which can be traced to Gandhi’s concept of “Trusteeship”.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility links Corporate Sector to Social Sector.
  • The Gandhian Model of Trusteeship, while being uniquely Indian, provides a means of transforming the present unequal order of society into an egalitarian one.
  • Under this principle surplus wealth needs to be kept in trust for the common good and welfare of others.
  • It also specifies that everything we do must be economically viable as well as ethical – at the same time making sure we build sustainable livelihoods for all.
  • It is becoming more relevant in our society plagued by increasing inequalities between haves and have-nots.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility means that the corporate sector, which earns profit through the sale of its goods and services in the society also, has some responsibility towards it. This is essential to promote growth with equity and to achieve an inclusive society.
  • Increasing number of industrial houses are taking active interest in the welfare of the employees, their families and society at large. Starting from the provision of basic necessities like drinking water, primary education, health facilities to the development of environment friendly technologies on regional/national or even international scale, they are working in various spheres.
  • In taking up few initiatives, some of them also have enlightened self-interest in mind. They are not only able to advertise their products but are also selling them to the beneficiaries of their activities.
  • Some of them are involved in the charity work like provision of mid day meals to school children. Many of them have their own NGOs operating at ground level, and in other cases they are involving the civil society in their activities
  • Gandhiji, thus, wanted capitalists to act as trustees (not owners) of their property and conduct themselves in a socially responsible way.

Conclusion:

The philosophy of Trusteeship believes in inherent goodness of human beings. The Gandhian perspective is more relevant today than it was ever before. Gandhi wanted to ensure distributive justice by ensuring that business acts as a trustee to its many stakeholders, and specified that economic activities cannot be separated from humanitarian activities. Economics is part of the way of life which is related to collective values.