SECURE SYNOPSIS: 17 JUNE 2019

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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 17 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: Indian society

1) From Kathua to Tappal, whatever has happened in the recent times shows that our inherent sense of social probity and decency in our society is waning. Critically analyse the statement in the backdrop of politicisation of recent rape incidents that have questioned the safety of our children in India.(250 words)

Hindustantimes

Why this question:

The question seeks to address the growing politicization of the rape incidences and the treatment meted out to the victims by the society in a insensitive manner with lacunae in compassion and empathy.

Key demand of the question:

One has to discuss the deteriorating conditions of our society with respect to treating the rape incidents and the victims of such heinous crimes.

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 recent incidents of Kathua and Tappal.

Body:

Discussion should include the following: Bring out the insensitivity that is prevalent in our society towards such untoward incidents.Explain the root cause behind such a mentality.Why and how such issues are politicized?What needs to be done?Suggest solutions – how can the society evolve out of such unwarranted behaviour towards the victim.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the alarming need for our societies to change and move forward.

Introduction:

The series of incidents of sexual assault of minor girls, from Kathua to Tappal has cast a doubt on the safety of the children. A look at the National Crime Record Bureau data is revealing. Within five years, the incidents of rapes of minor girl children have increased enormously. In 2012, the number of cases of molestations and rapes of the girls of 17 years and below was 8,541. This number increased to 19765 in 2016. In 2018, an ordinance was passed for providing death penalty for rape of children below 12 years, however this has not deterred the criminals nor reduced the incidents.

Body:

Reasons for rise in the rape cases:

  • A rise in reporting due to lowering of the stigma attached.
  • Rise of awareness mainly due to social media
  • Celebrities opening up about being abused in their childhood also motivated parents to report
  • POCSO in 2012 & Criminal Law (Amendment) Act in 2013 led to higher reporting of rape against children
  • Definition of rape now includes many more sexual actions than were earlier classified as sexual assault
  • Age of consent for girls has been raised from 16 to 18 years. This means boys who have consensual sex can be charged with rape.
  • Low conviction rate: it is only about 3 per cent of the total cases brought before courts as per the NCRB Report 2016. One of the main causes for the low rate of conviction under the Act is a lack of infrastructure and manpower in the criminal justice system.
  • Failure of previous acts: Despite the enactment of the POCSO Act in 2012, there has been no decline in the number of crimes against children. Inference – The new law was no deterrent.
  • Delay in justice: It is common for court cases to last years or even decades- one of the reasons is the serious shortage of judges. More than 6 million criminal cases that have been pending for more than 10 years. Timelines for completion of the investigation, for recording of evidence, and for completion of trial are almost never adhered to due to pendency of cases and the lack of facilities
  • Politicians’ attitude: Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav went on record in 2014 to say that crimes like rapes shouldn’t lead to death sentence because “boys are boys and they make mistakes”.
  • In a 2017 report, “Everyone Blames Me,” Human Rights Watch found that survivors (of the crime), particularly among marginalized communities, still find it difficult to register police complaints.
  • They often suffer humiliation at police stations and hospitals, are still subjected to degrading tests by medical professionals, and feel intimidated and scared when the case reaches the courts. They face significant barriers when trying to obtain critical support services such as health care, counselling, and legal aid.

Measures needed:

  • The Indian government has, in recent years, adopted significant legal reforms for sexual violence cases but major gaps remain in their implementation.
  • It is the certainty and uniformity of the punishment, rather than the nature of it, which actually deters an offender from committing a crime.
  • Deterrence of the crime and the victim’s access to justice require both better implementation of existing laws and systemic changes.
  • Many Indians – men and women – refuse to believe that sexual violence is a serious problem eating away at India’s vitals. It is essential to recognise that the crisis lies in the precise manner in which the existing criminal justice system unfolds.
  • India’s growing rape culture can be best reversed by enhancing conviction rates through reforms in the police and judicial systems, and by augmenting measures to rehabilitate and empower rape survivors.
  • Criminal justice system remains vulnerable to political pressures and allows many of the accused to go scot-free.
  • The re-training of police officers dealing with various aspects of sexual crimes.
  • Strict action must be taken against the police officer found guilty of obstructing the probe or colluding with perpetrators of such cases.

Conclusion:

Society itself will have to take the responsibility of giving it the right direction. Without this, we cannot achieve all the promise that we had as a nation at the time of Independence. We must collectively rise to the occasion and create a safe India for our children.


Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

2) “Human health and animal health are interdependent and are bound to the health of the ecosystems in which they exist.” Analyse with suitable examples. (250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question:

The author of the article discusses in detail Why healthy animals mean healthy humans, and how to meet that goal.

Key demand of the question:

One has to explain in detail the interconnectedness between Human health and animal health as well as the effect of ecosystem on such an interdependence.

Directive:

AnalyzeWhen asked to analyze, you  have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin with brief introduction on the context of the question.

Body:

Discussion should include the following:

Explain how developing countries like India have much greater stake in strong One Health systems on account of agricultural systems resulting in uncomfortably close proximity of animals and humans. This calls for strict health surveillance to incorporate domestic animals, livestock and poultry too.

Explain how animal health is connected with human health, explain with examples of avian influenza, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome etc.Discuss what needs to be done?

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the need to balance the interlink and care for health of both humans and animals interconnected to the ecosystem.

 

Introduction:

As human populations expand, it results in greater contact with domestic and wild animals, providing more opportunities for diseases to pass from one to the other. Early detection at animal source can prevent disease transmission to humans and introduction of pathogens into the food chain. Climate change, deforestation and intensive farming further disrupt environment characteristics, while increased trade and travel result in closer and more frequent interaction, thus increasing the possibility of transmission of diseases.

Body:

The World Organization of Animal Health, commonly known as OIE (an abbreviation of its French title), summarises the One Health concept as “human health and animal health are interdependent and bound to the health of the ecosystems in which they exist”. The erstwhile pandemics of Avian Influenza and SARS brought to the fore the One health concept, that was forgotten, which recognises inter-connectivity among human health, the health of animals, and the environment.

Link between Animal and Human Health:

  • According to the OIE, 60% of existing human infectious diseases are zoonotic i.e. they are transmitted from animals to humans. E.g.: H1N1, H5N1, Nipah, rinderpest cattle disease etc.
  • 75% of emerging infectious human diseases have an animal origin. Of the five new human diseases appearing every year, three originate in animals.
  • If this is not scary enough, 80% biological agents with potential bio-terrorist use are zoonotic pathogens.
  • It is estimated that zoonotic diseases account for nearly two billion cases per year resulting in more than two million deaths — more than from HIV/AIDS and diarrhoea.
  • One-fifth of premature deaths in poor countries are attributed to diseases transmitted from animals to humans.

Developing countries like India are at a much higher risk due to:

  • Agricultural systems resulting in uncomfortably close proximity of animals and humans.
  • This calls for strict health surveillance to incorporate domestic animals, livestock and poultry too. Humans require a regular diet of animal protein.
  • Thus, loss of food animals on account of poor health or disease too becomes a public health issue even though there may be no disease transmission, and we lose 20% of our animals this way.
  • The size of India’s human and animal populations is almost the same; 121 crore people (2011 Census) and 125.5 crore livestock and poultry.
  • A network of 1.90 lakh health institutions in the government sector form the backbone of health governance, supported by a large number of private facilities.
  • On the other hand, only 65,000 veterinary institutions tend to the health needs of 125.5 crore animals; and this includes 28,000 mobile dispensaries and first aid centres with bare minimum facilities.
  • Private sector presence in veterinary services is close to being nonexistent.
  • Unlike a physician, a veterinarian is always on a house call on account of the logistic challenge of transporting livestock to the hospital, unless they are domestic pets.
  • There could not be a stronger case for reinventing the entire animal husbandry sector to be able to reach every livestock farmer, not only for disease treatment but for prevention and surveillance to minimise the threat to human health.

Way forward:

  • Early detection at animal source can prevent disease transmission to humans and introduction of pathogens into the food chain.
  • A robust animal health system is the first and a crucial step in human health.
  • There is a need to establish a collaborative mechanism for joint surveillance and monitoring, strengthening disease reporting and control programmes.
  • Disease surveillance has to go beyond humans and encompass preventive health and hygiene in livestock and poultry, improved standards of animal husbandry for greater food safety, and effective communication protocols between animal and public health systems.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

3) The growing disconnect between higher education and industry requirement in India is a matter of grave concern, Discuss the role played by private sector in scaling up skill development initiatives in such a scenario. (250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

Recently Directorate General of Training under the aegis of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Ministry has joined hands with Cisco and Accenture to skill the youth for the digital economy through its Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs).

Key demand of the question:

One has to discuss and analyse the key role played by private sector in addressing the growing disconnect between higher education and industry requirement in India.

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:

Begin with brief introduction on need for focus on skill development in India.

Body:

Discussion should include the following: Discuss the current conditions of skill development in India.What are the lacunae associated with the policies trying to address the skill development programs? Role played by private players? And its significance.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the need to make skill development programs multi-pronged.

Introduction:

In India, youth unemployment and skills gaps are threatening the growth of economies, the stability of societies and the wellbeing and prospects of individuals. Despite improvements in average educational attainment, the youth unemployment situation is common to all nations in the world. According to India Skill report 2019, employability in the country is at 47%. When compared to the percentage of formally skilled work force globally, India scores the least at 2% against South Korea (96%), Japan (80%), Germany (75%), UK (68%) and China (40%).

Body:

On the one hand, India has a large number of educated unemployed, and on the other, industry is desperately short of skilled professionals. One of the biggest challenges HR managers face, today, is finding candidates with the right skill sets. Being qualified is one thing, being skilled for the job quite another.

Reasons for the disconnect between Higher education and industry requirement:

  • The targets allocated are very high and without regard to any sectoral requirement. Everybody was chasing numbers without providing employment to the youth or meeting sectoral industry needs.
  • The focus of PMKVY has been largely on the short-term skill courses, resulting in low placements. There has been an over emphasis on this scheme and hence it is seen as the answer to all skill-related issues.
  • The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has pointed out flaws in the design and operations of the NSDC and National Skill Development Fund which has resulted in falling short of skill development goals. Majority of them also could not achieve the placement targets for the trained persons.
  • The Sharada Prasad Committee, held the NSDC responsible for poor implementation of the Standard Training Assessment and Reward (STAR) programme. It highlighted that only 8.5 per cent of the persons trained were able to get employment. That is what has been claimed by NSDC.
  • The Report also cites “serious conflict of interests” in the functioning of the National Skill Development Corporation. NSDC has not been able to discharge its responsibilities for setting up sector skill councils (SSCs) owing to lots of instances of serious conflict of interest and unethical practices.
  • The skilling courses are not in line with the Industrial Revolution 4.0 which is round the corner.
  • Against 12.8 million new entrants to the country’s workforce every year, the capacity of skill development in India is only around 3.1 million.
  • Lack of awareness about vocational training programmes, absence of adaptability with changing market needs, and lack of vertical mobility are key challenges facing the skill development landscape in India.
  • Vocational education is regarded as non-academic training related to a specific trade route or occupation.

The private sector can help in the following ways:

  • Industry-ready talent:
    • Job training institutes can play a big role in picking up deserving candidates with industry tie-ups.
    • Smooth coordination between industry and placement institutes can help in tapping of the right potential and creating industry-ready talent.
    • Accreditations and certifications from the industry also add value to new entrants to the job market.
  • Perfect matching:
    • Training and placement institutes can match organisations’ and candidates’ requirement.
    • Perfect matching is key to good placement.
    • The idea is to get the right candidate for the right job.
  • Internship opportunities:
    • Internships provide students hands-on work opportunity and help them learn to apply their theoretical knowledge to real-life situations.
    • These are stepping stones to the job market.
    • Many companies give high-performing interns job offers, others give internship certificates which could help one land a good job.
    • Placement institutes that have tie-ups with MNCs and industry bodies can facilitate internships and jobs.
  • Soft skills:
    • Good communication and soft skills are part of the job requirement.
    • Placement training institutes can help students master soft skills to increase their market value.
  • Mock interviews:
    • Companies no longer just look for academic excellence; they lay great stress on a candidate’s suitability for the job.
    • Here, mock interviews and assessment tests can be great tools for preparing them for the day of reckoning.
    • These provide appropriate grooming and build confidence for campus placement interview.
  • Future skills
    • We are living in a fast-paced, technological world.
    • If India wants to move up in the comity of nations, we need to improve our educational infrastructure, and technology is the most important component for that improvement.
    • We need to integrate technology at the grass-roots level and introduce futuristic skills for students to learn.
    • The aim should be to empower schools and support the budding generation of change-makers and innovators to visualise, design and create.
  • Job fairs:
    • Job fairs aid in recruitment and networking.
    • The attempt should be to connect prospective employees with multiple employers.
    • Recruitment fairs give students industry exposure and the interactions held provide them real-time experience about the hiring process and methodologies.

Other measures:

  • Sharada Prasad committee recommendations:
    • Create a sound and well defined National Vocational Education and Training System of the country which should ensure the following::-
      • At the secondary school level, the children should be sensitized about the dignity of labour, world of work and career options but vocational education and training should start only after 10 years of schooling which is the case in most of the developed world.
      • Every child should be given an option to go for higher vocational education and training.
    • Create National Labour Market Information System, National Occupational Standards, National Competency Standards, National Training Standards, National Accreditation Standards, National Assessment Standards and National Certification Standards and align them to the International Standards.
    • Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship should become the owner of all National Vocational Education and Training Standards and get them developed though intense industry involvement.
    • Set up state of the art Vocational Education and Training Colleges to impart vocational education and training with a clear objective of meeting the skills needs of the industry and providing employment to youth.
    • In-plant apprenticeship training should be made an integral part of the Vocational Education and Training for all trainees.
    • The industry must come together to contribute towards a National Skill Development Fund.
    • All diploma colleges and ITIs should be renamed as VETCs and their capacities should be enhanced to about 500 trainees per annum.
    • There should be one Skill Development Centre (SDC) in a cluster of about 10-12 villages, which would provide skills to the youth so that they can access employment opportunities in the local economy.
    • The state of Gujarat has already set up a good number of such SDCs called Kaushal Vardhan Kendras which are doing excellent work.
    • The two existing Acts i.e. Apprentices Act, 1961 and The Employment Exchanges (Compulsory Notification of Vacancies) Act, 1959 should be repealed and a new Vocational Education and Training Act (VETA) should be enacted.

Conclusion:

India is one of the youngest nations. Its median age is 27.3. As India aims to have one of the strongest economic growth stories in the 21st century, it becomes vital for it ensure it growing workforce is capable to handle the incoming disruptions and find suitable jobs. Skill development holds the key to India’s future as a globally competitive economy and the demographic dividend it hopes to reap.

Case Study: India could learn a lesson from Germany, which imparts skills in just 340 occupation groups. Vocational education must be imparted in broadly defined occupational skills, so that if job descriptions change over a youth’s career, she is able to adapt to changing technologies and changing job roles.


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

4) What do you understand by cryptocurrency? Do you think legalising the crypto market can help beneficiaries emerge from the shadows and make productive investments in an economy witnessing a digital transformation? Critically analyse.(250 words)

The hindubuisnessline

Why this question:

The article discusses the current conditions of crypto market world across and the pros and cons associated, it analyses how cryptocurrency is something that can not be rejected as an idea in whole, rather world has to move forward and see it as a possibility with advantages in the ongoing digital transformation.

Key demand of the question:

Explain what you understand by cryptocurrencies; there advantages, disadvantages, debate upon whether they should be allowed.

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 what you understand by

Body:

Discussion should include the following: cryptocurrencies – It is a digital currency which allows transacting parties to remain anonymous while confirming that the transaction is a valid one. It is not owned or controlled by any institution – governments or private.

There are multiple such currencies bitcoin, ethereum, ripple are some of the popular ones. Currently, they are neither illegal nor legal in India.

Debate whether they should be used or banned?Discuss the Indian scenario.Weigh the pros and cons, take clues from the article, relate it to the current digital transformation era.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a fair and balanced opinion.

Introduction:

A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security. Cryptocurrencies use decentralized technology to let users make secure payments and store money without the need to use their name or go through a bank. They run on a distributed public ledger called blockchain, which is a record of all transactions updated and held by currency holders. The most common cryptocurrencies are Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin.

Facebook has announced a digital currency called Libra that will roll out for use in 2020 and allow the platform’s billions of users across the globe to make financial transactions online.

Body:

Benefits of legalizing the crypto market:

  • Proper regulation of these currencies will “promote” a formal tax base, while keeping a tab on their use for illegal activities such as money laundering, terror funding and drug trafficking.
  • Trading of bitcoins would be brought under the stock market regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
  • Bitcoins can be traded on registered exchanges which will promote a formal tax base. Returns from investment in Bitcoins would be taxed.
  • Use of bitcoins for illegal activities such as money laundering, terror funding and drug trafficking can be checked.
  • If any foreign payment is made through Bitcoins, it would fall under the purview of Foreign Exchange Management Act,
  • Cryptocurrencies have gained popularity in the last few years. Currently, they are neither illegal nor legal in many countries including India. The market cap for all crypto-currencies has just crossed $100 billion, with most of the increase coming in the past few months.
  • Banning will give a clear message that all related activities are illegal and will disincentivise those interested in taking speculative risks.
  • Regulating the currency instead would signal a boost to blockchain technology, encourage the development of a supervision ecosystem (that tracks legal activities and may also assist in tracking illegal activities) and promote a formal tax base.

However, challenges remain:

  • The government is wary that regulation will provide legitimacy to “what is currently ambiguous,” and may lead to further rise in its valuation and end up contributing “to the investment bubble”.
  • A currency that is not based on any real economic activity, unlike a sovereign currency whose value is based on the relative value of a tradeable basket of goods and services, cannot prima facie inspire much comfort.
  • Bitcoin’s value, astronomical even now at about $8,300 but much below January 2018’s stratospheric levels, is based on demand for a fixed supply of Bitcoins in the future it cannot exceed 21 million in number, of which 18 million has already been mined.
  • Cryptos are feared not just for their sheer speculative propensities, but also for their capacity to undermine sovereign currencies (the latter is an exaggerated apprehension).
  • Virtual currency is being traded anonymously over the Internet and used for a host of anti-national and illegal activities, from terror funding to illicit trade of arms and drugs and so on.
  • The online use of this currency, was without any border restrictions or geographical constraints, resulting in danger to the integrity and sovereignty of the nation.
  • However, it does not make sense to go overboard and criminalise merely adventurous crypto speculators. There are no official or other data available that point towards misuse of cryptocurrencies for illegal ends

Measures needed:

  • Governments the world over have banned cryptocurrencies as a medium of exchange, and India is no exception.
  • Yet in India, an estimated 30 lakh Bitcoins are reportedly in circulation. From a value of a little over ₹60,000 at the start of 2017, the Bitcoin now commands a value of nearly ₹6 lakh, with a global market cap of $10.2 trillion. Cryptos are recognised in the US as an asset class.
  • Firms like Paypal, Uber, Visa and Mastercard have all signed up as part of the consortium to control it. Each has invested $10 million.
  • Criminalising possession of cryptocurrencies will impact such investments.
  • Bankers and investors now consider the cryptocurrency market at par with derivatives. The NYSE plans Bitcoin futures through a platform called Bakkt.

Conclusion:

Underlying the crypto movement is a libertarian belief: Cryptos are an alternative asset to fiat currencies; controlled by none, they cannot be manipulated by governments with vested interests. Legalising the cryptomarket can help beneficiaries emerge from the shadows and make productive investments in an economy witnessing a digital transformation. Crypto conduct calls for regulation, but not outright criminalisation.


Topic: Agriculture; marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers

5) Discuss How has science improved agriculture in India? With the farm sector facing headwinds what structural reforms do you think Indian agriculture requires? Elucidate.(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question:

The question is straightforward and is about discussing the role played by science in improving agriculture and the need for structural reforms in Indian agriculture system.

Demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the role of science and technology in agricultural improvement along with need for structural reforms to move into Agriculture 2.0.

Directive word:

ElucidateGive a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction

Start with facts/data depicting significance of agriculture to Indian economy.

Body

One can have the following points in the answer:

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.

First explain the conditions of Indian agriculture, the problems associated, issues and concerns related to structural reforms such as – market, farm incentives, diversification etc.Then move on to explain how the issues can be addressed.Suggest way forward, take hints from the article.

Conclusion

Conclude with significance of structural reforms required and the role played by science in improvising agriculture systems of India.

Introduction:

Agriculture has always been a lifeline for India. Even though with age, India has made a mark in various spheres and has progressed in the manufacturing sector by leaps and bounds, but agriculture still remains one of the key drivers of the economy. Worldwide, India ranks second in farm output and accounts for about 50% of the country’s workforce. Federal policy think tank Niti Aayog, chaired by Prime Minister recently decided to set up a task force of state chief ministers and central ministers to prepare a blueprint for structural reforms in agriculture

Body:

Science and Agriculture:

  • The real success of scientific farming and use of various technologies in agriculture can be attributed to the Green Revolution. In 1960s when India was grappling with frequent droughts, Green Revolution came as a God’s blessing.
  • The golden period in the agriculture sector, facilitated in increasing crop yields by manifolds. Improved agronomic technology allowed India to overcome poor agricultural productivity.
  • A crucial aspect to the success of the Green Revolution in India was the various scientific technologies developed to facilitate more yields. New farming irrigation methods such as drip irrigation, stronger and more resistant pesticides, more efficient fertilizers, and newly developed seeds helped in proficient crop growth.
  • Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) are the frontline agricultural extension center funded by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). The KVKs focus on training and education of farmers, rural youth, on field demonstration of new and improved farming techniques etc.
  • The term “evergreen revolution”, coined by agricultural scientist Dr. M. S. Swaminathan, kept India away from large scale import of food. At that time, technology, basically digital in character, like Remote Sensing, Geographical Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning System (GPS) and Geo-infomatics were not available.
  • With the country developing the indigenous Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellite program, the technology started to support the national economy in the areas of agriculture, water resources, forestry and ecology, geology, watersheds, marine fisheries and coastal management.
  • In 2000’s, the concept of e-farming or e-agriculture also referred as ICT in agriculture. E-agriculture focused on the enhancement of agricultural and rural development through improved information and communication processes.
  • This involved conceptualizing, designing, developing, evaluating and application of innovative ways to use information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the rural domain, with a primary focus on agriculture.
  • During this time India had also started to realise the worth of geospatial technology in boosting its economic growth by using the technology in various fields.

However, after nearly four decades into the post green revolution period, the country still grapples with crisis each year in trying to meet the increasing demand for food by its people. Structural reforms needed are:

  • Credit, finance and Insurance:
    • Raising the MSP, price deficiency payments or income support schemes can only be a partial solution to the problem of providing remunerative returns to farmers.
    • 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.
  • Land holdings:
  • The average size of farm holdings declined from 2.3 hectares in 1970-71 to 1.08 hectares in 2015-16.
  • Policies for land consolidation along with land development activities in order to tackle the challenge of the low average size of holdings.
  • Farmers can voluntarily come together and pool land to gain the benefits of size. Through consolidation, farmers can reap the economies of scale both in input procurement and output marketing.
  • Input Costs:
    • It is more important to make agriculture sustainable by reducing input costs of seeds, fertilizers and other inputs.
    • Investment in infrastructure and research and development are needed.
    • There is a need for collaboration of industry-academia for coming out with cost-effective solutions to agrarian distress.
    • There is a need to make a shift from rice and wheat-centric policies to millets, pulses, fruits, vegetables, livestock and fish.
  • 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 creation of a competitive, stable and unified national market is needed for farmers to get better prices.
    • For better price for farmers, agriculture has to go beyond farming and develop a value chain comprising farming, wholesaling, warehousing, logistics, processing and retailing.
    • 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’s new model law — Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing (Promotion and Facilitating) Act (APLM) should be enacted in all states.
    • A sustainable solution is market reforms to enable better price discovery combined with long-term trade policies favourable to exports.
  • Technology:
    • Use water-use efficient technologies that can improve significantly the produce like drip irrigation 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:

Although Science and Technology did help improve the situation of Agriculture but the farmer income dropped consistently due to a variety of reasons. There is a need for implementation of the structural reforms and recommendations of various commissions to realise the goal of doubling of farmer’s income by 2022.


Topic: Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration.

6) Discuss the following concepts:

  1. Persuasion
  2. Perseverance
  3. Fortitude(250 words)

Ethics by Lexicon publications

Why this question:

One has to discuss the three terms in detail with relevant examples.

Key demand of the question:

The answer is straightforward and is about discussing the concepts in detail.

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:

Begin with brief introduction on the need for these virtues in one’s ethical behaviour.

Body:

Discussion should include the following:

  • persuasion is a process aimed at changing a person’s (or a group’s) attitude or behaviour toward some event, idea, object, or other person(s), by using written, spoken words or visual tools to convey information, feelings, or reasoning, or a combination thereof.
  • Perseverance: Perseverance is showing persistence and courage towards achieving a goal despite several challenges and difficulties. For example E Sreedharan, the metro man, displayed perseverance while completing the Delhi metro project before the stipulated time. Similarly, it was the perseverance of Mahatma Gandhi and other freedom fighters that helped India achieve independence.
  • When someone has fortitude it means that they have emotional power or reserves and the ability to withstand adversity. People who have fortitude are described in an admiring way for their courage and this word comes from the Latin word fortitudo, meaning “strength.”

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting their importance.

  1. a) Persuasion: Persuasion is symbolic process in which communicators try to convince other people through transmission of a message to change their attitudes or behaviours. Persuasion is the process of changing or reinforcing attitudes, beliefs or behaviour of a person. People respond to persuasive messages in two ways: thoughtfully and mindlessly. When people are in thoughtful mode, the persuasiveness of the message is determined by merits of the message. When people respond to messages mindlessly, their brains are locked on automatic. Persuasion is mainly dependent upon the attractiveness of the speakers and reaction of the listeners. Persuasion is exclusively related with communication, learning, awareness and thought.

E.g.: The advertisements for polio drops for children are a form of persuasion. 

  1. b) Perseverance: Perseverance corresponds to persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. It is the quality that allows someone to continue trying to do something even though it is difficult. It is the relentless and constant effort for achieving something. This quality in public service has its own importance as changes in societies or communities are very slow and require continuous efforts on the part of system.

E.g.: Gandhiji’s adherence to the values of non-violence and truth; Fight against corruption in our society.

  1. c) Fortitude: It refers to the strength of mind that gives one the capacity to endure adversity with courage. Any individual engaged in public service will face multiple challenges in the fulfilment of their goals. A person with fortitude will not give up easily, and despite disappointing results or setbacks, will continually fight to improve the system. adversities could be in form of “dilemmas”, “conflicts of interests”, “ sound decision making”, “ to face fake cases against an honest officer”, “ time management”, “striking a balance between personal and professional life”, “ to fight corruption”

E.g.: A situation where a disaster like an earthquake has taken place requires immense fortitude. This attitude ensures peace and attracts positivity. It leads to courageous people coming out to face the truth


Topic : Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration.

7) In what way are social values different from economic values? Discuss with suitable examples. (250 words)

Ethics by Lexicon

Why this question:

The question is to compare and contrast social values with that of economic values.

Key demand of the question:

One has to discuss in detail how social values are different from economic values.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin with brief introduction on importance of values.

Body:

Discussion should include the following:

What do you understand by social values and what are economic values? – Social values form an important part of the society, account for the stability of social order. The values such as fundamental rights, democracy, equality, rationality, patriotism, human dignity are examples.

Economic values mostly deal with values related to monetary conditions.

Then move on to explain why Social values are important than economic values?

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting importance of social values over economic values.

Introduction:

Social Value is created when resources, inputs, processes or policies are combined to generate improvements in the lives of individuals or society as a whole. Economic value on the other hand, can be described as a measure of the benefit from a good or service to an economic agent. It is typically measured in units of currency.

Body:

Social value:

It is in this arena that most nonprofits justify their existence, and unfortunately it is at this level that one has the most difficulty measuring the true value created. Examples of Social Value creation may include such “products” as cultural arts performances, the pleasure of enjoying a hike in the woods or the benefit of living in a more just society.

Social Value is about inclusion and access. Social Value can be found in anti-racism efforts, some aspects of community organizing, animal rights advocacy and folk art. It has intrinsic value, but can be difficult to agree upon or quantify.

Economic Value:

An entity creates Economic Value by making use of resources, inputs, or processes; increasing the value of these inputs, and by then generating cost savings for the public system or environment of which the entity is a part.

An example of the practical application of economic value is the weighing of the merits of college degrees in different disciplines. There is a consensus that a college degree has more economic value than a high school diploma and that some college degrees have a higher economic value than others.

There can be no inclusive growth if the nation is lacking in social values like gender equality, non-discrimination, brotherhood/sisterhood, cooperation, respect of rights of all, etc. For any nation imbibing social values must precede economic values to unleash the potential of masses and hence achieve the “inclusive growth”.

Conclusion:

There can be no peace without social values and hence they are more important than economic values. What makes India far better as a nation than Bangladesh or Pakistan is our social values, the way we appreciate our diversity and live together despite having frequent clashes. Whatever people might say about the existence of intolerance in India, the fact continues to remain that we still continue to peacefully coexist at large