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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 13 JULY 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 13 JULY 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: urbanization, their problems and their remedies. Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

1) What do you understand by Integrated urban infrastructure? Do you think Integrated cities can provide for an answer to India’s urban planning woes? Analyse.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

The question intends to examine the Integrated urban infrastructure concept applied to the Indian urban scenario.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the concept of Integrated urban infrastructure and in what way the concept is a solution to the urban planning woes of India.

Directive:

AnalyzeWhen asked to analyse, 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: 

In brief write about Indian infrastructure sector scenario. One can quote relevant facts here.

Body:

Explain what you understand by integrated approach. Provide example of city which has adopted such an approach.

Then move on to discuss how and why india needs to adopt such an approach in planning.

Explain the high potential India bears in the development of new cities and in what way such approach in city planning will make Indian cities more sustainable.

Conclusion:

In conclusion provide for a way forward suggesting other such approaches to make Indian cities sustainable and resilient.

Introduction:

In India urban areas are considered as “engines of inclusive economic growth”. The pressure of population growth on urbanisation is increasing day by day. About 17.4% of India’s urban population lives in slums where housing conditions are inhuman, 5.49 million urban households in India do not have access to safe drinking water,13% of the households have no bathing facilities within the home, and 2.9% of urban houses are in a dilapidated condition according to Census 2011.

Body:

Urban  infrastructure  consists  of drinking  water,  sanitation,  sewage  systems, electricity and gas distribution, urban transport, primary  health  services,  and  environmental regulation. Many of these services are in the nature of ‘local’ public goods with the benefits from improved urban infrastructure in a given city limited to the citizens living in that city.

An integrated urban infrastructure replaces technocratic planning approaches, focuses on “learning systems”, including numerous feedback loops between “top-down” requirements and “bottom-up” responses. A sectoral and inter-departmental approach within administrations involves a broad spectrum of actors from government, civil society and the private sector in the development and implementation of strategies. This urban development concept is designed along the goals, strategies and measures of actual local problems.

Infrastructural challenges in Urban India:

  • Housing: with increasing cost of houses lower income groups are forced to reside in congested places which are devoid of proper ventilation, lighting, water, sewage, etc.
  • Safe Drinking Water: The sources of drinking water are getting contaminated and future generation will face huge water crises without a drastic improvement in the water availability.
  • Sanitation: Many urban areas like slums and unauthorized colonies have bad sanitation and drainage facilities. This unhygienic condition leads to many diseases such as diarrhoea and malaria. Unsafe garbage disposal and management facilities.
  • Health conditions: condition of health in some urban poor areas is worst compared to rural areas. There is huge loss of life due to basic amenities like drinking water, clean air etc.
  • Urban public transport: due to less penetration of public transport high income individual are buying more private vehicle causing more traffic jam and air pollution.

Major Infrastructure Bottlenecks in India

  • Financing: Infrastructure projects are highly capital intensive and funding is considered as a major impediment in achieving the infrastructure goals.
  • Land Acquisition: Another significant challenge in achieving the infrastructure goal is the way land acquisition is done for infrastructure projects.
  • Clearances from numerous agencies: Most of the infrastructure projects in India suffer from delays in completion. This is mainly due to an inadequate regulatory framework and inefficiency in the approval process.
  • Poor pre-construction planning: Due to the already adverse effect of various impediments like land acquisition, statutory approvals, delayed financial closure etc.
  • Centralization of power: The lack of devolution of powers to the local level of governments who are well aware of the issues is another major impediment.

Reforms needed:

State level:

  • Repeal of Urban Land Ceiling and Regulation Act
  • Reform of Rent Control Laws so as to stimulate private investment in rental housing schemes.
  • Introduction of independent regulators for urban services.

ULBs level:

  • Double entry system of accounting for Urban Local Bodies
  • Adoption of  public  disclosure  law  –disclosure  of  medium-term  fiscal  plan and quarterly performance reports.
  • Passage of community participation law
  • All special agencies currently involved in delivering urban civic services to be brought under the supervision of ULBs, thus creating a uniform accountability platform.
  • A Bangalore Action Task Force (BATF) kind of citizens technical advisory group should be  constituted  for  each  city  to guide the process of urban reforms
  • Introduction of  e-governance,  Global Information System (GIS) and Monitoring Information System ( MIS)
  • Reform of Property Tax laws
  • Levy of reasonable user charges

Measures:

  • Cities need favourable conditions and governmental financial support, accompanied by the according applicable regulations of task distribution and financing models in a multi-level governmental system.
  • Expanding the respective scope of action and/or decision-making powers as well as the financial and human resources to initiate moderate and implement the necessary processes in organizational networks and decision-making structures.
  • It is necessary to reinvent urban areas and adapt existing infrastructure to the changed needs. This can be achieved if urban land-use planning by informal instruments and cooperation is complemented by involving citizens to generate lead concepts and visions, serving as a model to individual suburbs and whole cities.
  • A participatory approach to an integrated development strategy helps to enhance the quality of living in neighbourhoods and gives young people a perspective.
  • Especially in cities and metropolitan areas mobility is equivalent to the opportunity to participate in social life. With advanced integrated mobility concepts, the use of new technologies, but also through modern management, this sector has great potential for innovation.
  • The use of renewable energies and energy efficient construction methods reduces emissions and prevents serious consequences of climate change.
  • The city is required to take protective measures and adapt in many areas of urban development to cope with climate change.

Conclusion:

Targeting low-hanging fruits, such as Metro projects, inland waterways, natural gas grids and airport privatisation, to give a fillip to private sector investment should be prioritized. A significant requirement of integrated urban development is to shape a city, socially and inclusively. This means to counteract segregation of neighbourhoods and enable people – regardless of social background, age, gender, religion, skin colour – to participation in civic life.


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

2) In 2050, India’s population is projected to be 1.69 billion, which will be higher than that of China. Do you think with Population Control Bill, India be able to handle its overpopulation crisis? Critically analyse. (250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question:

Recently the Population Regulation Bill, 2019, was introduced by Rakesh Sinha in the Upper House, suggests that people with more than two living children should be “disqualified” from being chosen as an MP, MLA or a member of any body of the local self-government after the commencement of the Act.

Key demand of the question:

The answer has to analyse the desirability and feasibility of Two-child policy propounded through the Population Control Bill.

Directive:

Critically analyzeWhen asked to analyse, 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 short discuss the reason behind the Population Control Bill.

Body:

One is expected to deal with the following aspects in the answer body:

Key features of the Population Control Bill.

What are the merits and demerits associated?

What is a two-child policy?

Compare and contrast Indian population scenario with that of China and suggest if there are any learnings from China for India.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a fair and balanced opinion.

Introduction:

In 2050, India’s population is projected to be 1.69 billion, which will be higher than that of China. The population of China is estimated to be 1.31 billion in the same year. A nominated MP has introduced a private member’s Bill- Population Regulation Bill, 2019- in the Rajya Sabha, seeking to enforce a two-child norm by giving incentives for those adopting the small family practice and penalties for those contravening it.

Body:

Highlights of the Bill:

  • It suggests that people with more than two living children should be “disqualified” from being chosen as an MP, MLA or a member of any body of the local self government after the commencement of the Act.
  • Similarly, it suggests that government employees should give an undertaking that she or he will not procreate more than two children.
  • It says those government employees who have more than two children on or before the commencement of the Act should be exempted.
  • Other penalties include reduction in subsidies on loans and interest rates on savings instruments, reduction in benefits under the public distribution system, and higher than normal interest rates for availing loans from banks and financial institutions.
  • The provisions of the Bill also list out several benefits for Central and public sector enterprise employees who adopt the two-child norm “by undergoing sterilization operation himself or of the spouse”.

Need for the bill:

  • It is indeed a fact that population of India is growing and will continue to grow for the next couple of decades. This is because, as compared to the past, there are a higher proportion of people in the marriageable age group who will produce children, and people are now living longer.
  • In India, the global demand for water in 2050 is projected to be more than 50 per cent of what it was in 2000.
  • The demand for food will double in the year 2050 and even if India manages to feed its expanding population, its growth may not be ecologically sustainable.
  • Women empowerment as people will not favour for sons because of cap of 2 child policy
  • Though China’s one-child policy has been criticized as against human dignity and rights, it has improved and controlled the nation’s population by a possible 400 million people as per the report of East India Forum.
  • If Population control won’t happen, there will be no resources left, and the growing population’s demand will increase to the next level, resulting in increasing death rates increasing in the country.

The shortcomings or limitations of the bill:

  • India is a country with a booming technology industry, one that relies on young people. There is fear that, by restricting the number of children that can be born, there will not be enough educated young people in the next generation to carry on India’s technological revolution.
  • Critics also argue that the population growth of India will slow down naturally as the country grows richer and becomes more educated.
  • There are already well-documented problems with China’s one-child policy, namely the gender imbalance resulting from a strong preference for boys and millions of undocumented children who were born to parents that already had their one child. These problems risk being replicated in India with the implementation of their two-child policy.
  • By interfering with the birth rate, India faces a future with severe negative population growth, a serious problem that most developed countries are trying to reverse. With negative population growth, the number of old people receiving social services is larger than the young tax base that is paying for the social services. In this case, taxes must be increased and young people risk contributing way more than they will receive in the future.
  • The law related may also be anti-women. Human rights activists argue that, not only does the law discriminate against women right from birth (through abortion or infanticide of female foetuses and babies), but divorce and familial abandonment are at risk of increasing if a man with a large family wants to run for political office. In addition, women in India are, by and large, uneducated and illiterate and, as such, are often unaware of the two-child policy.
  • A legal restriction to two children could force couples to go for sex-selective abortions as there are only two ‘attempts’. A significant proportion of such women, especially those from lower socio-economic strata, would be forced to go for unsafe abortions because of issues of access and affordability. Besides being inhumane, this is bound to create gender imbalances.

Conclusion:

As per National Family Health Survey data, the country-level TFR in India is 2.23, which is not hugely above the desired level of 2.1. Twenty states/UTs have achieved the replacement-level TFR, another five have got it below 2.2, with the remaining 11 states (including Bihar, UP, MP, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh) having a higher rate. Thus, the need of the hour is better education and awareness rather than an iron hand policy to control the population. Government should improve the implementation of poverty alleviation measures which can also help control population.


Topic:Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests,  Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

3) “The confrontation between the U.S. and Iran in West Asia could snowball with damaging economic consequences”. Comment. (250 words)

The hindu

Why this question: 

 Iran recently announced that it would begin enriching uranium above a concentration of 3.67% permitted under the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA); the steps come in the wake of increasing tensions between the U.S. and Iran following the shooting down of an unmanned U.S. drone over the Strait of Hormuz in June.

Demand of the question:

The answer must evaluate in what way the increasing tensions between the two countries may lead to damaging economic consequences.

Directive word: 

Commenthere we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction

Draw a sketch of the background of the ongoing conflict between Iran and the US.

Body

The answer should discuss the following facets:

  • What is the Iran Nuclear deal about? Why did Iran agree to the deal? Why has US pulled out of the deal?
  • What are the implications of US sanctions on Iran?
  • Global Implications of the ongoing conflict in the economic domain.
  • Discuss specific impact it would have on India.

Conclusion 

Conclude with need for urgent resolution of the conflict for the global good.

Introduction:

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly known as the Iran deal, was signed on July 14, 2015 between Iran, the U.S., China, France, Russia, the U.K., Germany and the European Union. It was considered a landmark deal which would eventually bring peace and harmony to the turmoil-stricken Middle East. However, President Donald Trump recently decided to unilaterally pull the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal and to re-imposing nuclear sanctions against that country.

Body:

Details of the deal:

  • Under this deal, Iran agreed not to build any more heavy water facilities, eliminate its stockpile or medium-enriched uranium, cut its stockpile of low-enriched uranium, and reduce the number of its gas centrifuges.
  • Other nuclear facilities in Iran would have to be converted into non-nuclear facilities.
  • In return, Iran will recover assets worth $100 billion frozen in overseas banks, and sanctions on the country by the U.S., the U.N. and the E.U. will be lifted.

Impact on geopolitics of world:

  • The United States pulling out does create more than a few uncertainties for regional security, for non-proliferation, and for American credibility more generally.
  • Undermining it despite no clear evidence of Iranian violations could hasten an arms race or outright regional conflict.
  • The JCPOA is a model for what diplomacy can accomplish its inspections and verification regime is precisely what the United States should be working to put in place with North Korea.
  • Indeed, at a time when world is rooting for diplomacy with North Korea to succeed, walking away from the JCPOA risks losing a deal that accomplishes with Iran the very outcome that world is pursuing with the North Koreans.
  • Keeping the deal’s constraints on Iran’s nuclear program will also help counter Tehran’s aggressive regional behaviour.
  • A number of French firms have signed billion dollar agreements with Iran since the nuclear accord was signed in 2015.
  • Aside from Airbus, they include French oil giant Total and the car makers Renault and Peugeot. Companies would have to wind up investments by November or face US sanctions.

Implications for India:

  • Oil and Gas:
    • The impact on world oil prices will be the immediately visible impact of the U.S. decision.
    • Iran is presently India’s third biggest supplier (after Iraq and Saudi Arabia), and any increase in prices will hit both inflation levels as well as the Indian rupee.
    • The negotiations on the Farzad-B gas field remain stuck, with both sides blaming the other for shifting the goalposts. It was remained on paper because of Iranian unhappiness over India’s stand in the IAEA.
  • Chahbahar port:
    • India’s moves over the last few years to develop berths at the Shahid Beheshti port in Chahbahar was a key part of its plans to circumvent Pakistan’s blocks on trade with Afghanistan.
    • India has already committed about $85 million to Chabahar development with plans for a total of $500 million on the port, while a railway line to Afghanistan could cost as much as $1.6 billion.
  • INSTC:
    • Beyond Chahbahar, India has been a founder of the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) since it was ratified in 2002.
    • It starts from Iran and aims to cut right across Central Asia to Russia over a 7,200-km multi-mode network, cutting down transportation and time taken by trade by about 30%.
    • New U.S. sanctions will affect these plans immediately, especially if any of the countries along the route or banking and insurance companies dealing with the INSTC plan also decide to adhere to U.S. restrictions on trade with Iran.
  • Shanghai Cooperation Organisation:
    • India joined the SCO along with Pakistan last year, and both were formally admitted in June 2018, when Prime Minister travelled to the Chinese city of Qingdao for the SCO summit.
    • Chinese officials say they will consider inducting Iran into the 8-member Eurasian security organisation.
    • If the proposal is accepted by the SCO, which is led by China and Russia, India will become a member of a bloc that will be seen as anti-American, and will run counter to some of the government’s other initiatives like the Indo-Pacific quadrilateral with the U.S., Australia and Japan.
    • The move may also rile other adversaries of Iran, like Saudi Arabia, UAE and Israel, with whom the government has strengthened ties in an effort to balance its West Asia policy.
  • Rules-based order:
    • India has long been a proponent of a “rules-based order” that depends on multilateral consensus and an adherence to commitments made by countries on the international stage.
    • By walking out of the JCPOA, the U.S. government has overturned the precept that such international agreements are made by “States” not just with prevailing governments or regimes.

Way forward for India:

  • Allowing Indian investment in rupees and initiating new banking channels to go ahead with oil trade.
  • The near-term developments in its neighbourhood are a priority for Tehran even as India tries to find a balance with his stated preference to develop closer ties with both the U.S. and Israel.
  • India and Iran are looking to swiftly conclude a preferential trade agreement and a bilateral investment treaty.
  • Newly relaxed visa norms announced by Iran in addition to India’s proposal for Indian businesses to invest in rupees in Iran are all moves in the right direction.
  • Nonetheless, they may be insufficient to cement commercial ties if USA sanctions do return.
  • India should give its full support for the effective implementation of the JCPOA. Only successful implementation of the JCPOA over a period of time can create the political space for additional negotiations.
  • Both the nations can take leverage of their historical and civilizational relations to steer ties so much. The visit proved to be a much-needed reality check to the India-Iran partnership.

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

4) The issue of paused infrastructure projects in India, is an indicator of market and regulatory failure. Discuss.(250 words) 

Reference

Why this question:

The question is pertaining to the hurdles infrastructure in India are facing due to market failures and regulatory failures.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss what are the issues with respect to infrastructure projects in India, what are the causes of such issues and what needs to be done.

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 intro on infrastructure projects and their significant contribution in the growth and development of the country.

Body:

Discussion should include the following: 

Explain that India has an enormous infrastructure gap, but it can be bridged by cooperation between the public and private sectors.

Discuss the challenges infrastructure projects are facing due to market and regulatory failures like corruption, political and regulatory risk, access to financing and macroeconomic instability.

Suggest what needs to be done to overcome these bottlenecks.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Infrastructure is a key driver of the overall development of Indian economy. It is seen that investments in infrastructure equal to 1% of GDP will result in GDP growth of at least 2% as infrastructure has a “multiplier effect” on economic growth across sectors. The recent headway made in developing transport infrastructure will prove to be the biggest enabler for growth.

Body:

The critical role of finance in economic growth is widely acknowledged and developing well-functioning financial markets has become a central focus of economic policies across the world. A new World Bank study suggests that investing in infrastructure in regions with basic financial development can help these regions overcome barriers to economic growth. According to Economic Survey 2018, India will need about USD 4.5 trillion in the next 25 years for infrastructure development.

Challenges faced by infrastructure projects in India:

  • Political and regulatory risk: it has many facets. There are various categories of approvals required across the project cycle at every stage, right from the pre-tendering stage to post-construction. They include community opposition on an investment, changes to asset-specific regulations and breach of contract terms. In the case of India, denial of payments from the government that go against contractual agreements seem to be perceived as highly likely to influence future investment decisions.
  • Land acquisition: Several projects  have  been  stalled  or  delayed  due  to  land  acquisition    There are multiple reasons that lead to delays in land acquisition.  One  primary  reason  has  been resistance  from  farmers  or  local  communities  whose  land  is  being  acquired. Large road and energy projects can take several months to be awarded and if processes are not clear and impartial enough, investors hardly mobilize resources to bid.
  • Environmental Impact Assessment: Environmental safeguards and guidelines are evolving, which are similar to the scale and complexity of infrastructure projects. While new projects need to comply with these regulations, even a project under construction may sometimes need to comply with revised standards midway through the execution stage.
  • Access to financing: It touches upon the core feature of infrastructure: its long-term payback period. It affects financiers and investors who are looking for long-term and steady returns. After the global financial crisis though, long-term lending is not easy to get, India not being an exception.
  • Capacity of private players: another emerging challenge for the achievement of large infrastructure projects is the capacity of the private sector to undertake or implement such projects.

Measures needed:

  • Land acquisition: by relaxing transfer regulations for land it owns, the government has taken a positive step. This  should  resolve  the  delay  of  projects  by  procedural  issues,  and complement the guidelines to resolve land issues. The government is expected to follow up with land acquisition policies or guidelines for project authorities and sponsoring agencies
  • Fast-track policy and regulation reforms for enhanced implementation: Sponsoring agencies  need  to  make  a  concerted  effort  to  develop  strong  performance management  systems  to  drive  timely  execution  of  This includes defining performance standards for nodal agencies and creating a transparent and accurate tracking mechanism as well as performance-linked incentives and penalties.
  • Dispute resolution: Given the extremely slow pace of Indian courts, this can be a long-drawn process. The government may also consider setting up single quasi-judicial authority for all the infrastructure sectors. This authority would have statutory powers to resolve disputes between the authorities and private developers.
  • Eliminate Regulatory Cholesterol: A large  number  of  projects  are  delayed  due  to  delayed  regulatory  approvals  or clearances from different agencies. Government agencies often function independently, and there is no incentive or obligation to cooperate with project authorities to expedite the approval process. To eliminate this issue, a Performance Review Unit should be given powers to gather information from nodal agencies on clearances and incentivise or regulate this.
  • Facilitating funds: Setting up of Infrastructure Debt Funds(IDFs) and reduction in ‘withholding tax’ on the interest paid on these bonds are some other positive measures that are expected to facilitate the flow of long-term debt into infrastructure projects
  • Private-Public Partnerships: Allowing the private sector into some former fully government-owned infrastructure sectors, such as telecommunications and domestic civil aviation, has produced exemplary results. Early experience with private involvement in these areas is generally positive, but outcomes under contracts need careful monitoring.
  • Independent authorities and facilitators: The government has set up a Project Monitoring Group (PMG) to track frozen projects and remove bottlenecks. Any project in infrastructure can be referred to the group for resolution. The PMG has already been successful in resolving more than 200 of the projects referred to it, worth nearly 30% of the value of all projects, according to the World Bank.

Conclusion:

If  proper  effort  is  made  in  expanding  education,  health  facilities,  and  physical infrastructure and improving their quality by increasing budgetary allocation and improving governance, it will go a long way in reducing poverty, improving human development, and reviving and sustaining high rates of economic growth in India.


Topic: Issues relating to intellectual property rights.

5) Do you agree instituting a framework which would enable full utilization of new ideas and innovation towards achieving self-reliance in defence sector is the need of the hour? Discuss the key features of Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti (MRGS) aimed in this direction.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

 In a major boost to Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti, a MOU was signed between the Intellectual Property Facilitation Cell (IPFC), Department of Defense Production, Ministry of Defense and National Research Development Corporation (NRDC), Ministry of Science and Technology.

Key demand of the question:

The question intends to analyse the importance of instituting a framework which enables full utilization of new ideas and innovation towards achieving self-reliance in defense sector.

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 brief discuss the significance of intellectual property rights and their importance for Defense sector.

Body:

Discussion should have the following aspects:

Key features of Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti- it was launched with the aim to inculcate IP culture in Indian defense manufacturing ecosystem.

Explain the significance of IPR in defense domain and in what way it helps in achieving self-reliance.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The Department of Defence Production had instituted a framework titled ‘Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti’ which aims to provide a boost to the Intellectual Property Rights culture in indigenous defence industry. In a major boost to Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti, a MOU was signed between the Intellectual Property Facilitation Cell (IPFC), Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence and National Research Development Corporation (NRDC), Ministry of Science and Technology.

Body:

Key features of MRGS:

  • As part of the ongoing initiatives to enhance self-reliance in defence, the Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti aims to provide a boost to the IPR culture in indigenous defence industry.
  • It aims to achieve the goal of self-reliance in defence sector to generate Intellectual Property in India and marks a departure from the culture of seeking Transfer of Technology (ToT) from foreign sources.
  • Design or IP accounts for over 50% of the cost. In some cases it is 70-80%. Indigenisation can result in cost savings of about 50-70%.
  • To achieve ambitious targets of training 10,000 personnel of Ordnance Factories (OFs) and Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) on IPR.
  • To facilitate filing of at least 1,000 new IPR applications.
  • The Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA) has been entrusted with the responsibility of coordinating and implementing the programme.

Need for framework to achieve self-reliance:

  • The IPR has emerged as a key ingredient of an ecosystem which stimulates innovation and ingenuity.
  • Our knowledge and creativity have often not been utilized to its full potential due to lack of awareness on modern legal framework for protection of IP rights so it is need of the time to aware about IPR (Intellectual Property Rights).
  • India has accumulated several technologies gained through Transfer of technology (ToT) agreements but for any design adjustments in the platforms, the original manufacturer has to be consulted.
  • Further, it helps in safeguarding the national security secrets.
  • India is the second largest arms importer in the world. It helps reduce the national spending on imports of arms and defence technology.
  • It would also help earn some forex by selling the indigenously designed and developed defence equipments.
  • India’s aim to generate 2-3 million additional jobs in manufacturing industry and a boost to MSMEs can be achieved.

Measures needed:

  • To boost indigenization, DRDO needs to be given more autonomy like space and atomic energy departments
  • With opening up of 100% FDI in defence sector, giving private players an opportunity would bring in the money as well as competition to the Defence PSUs.
  • Setting up of the planned defence industrial corridors.
  • Robust Defence Diplomacy, for which a cadre of defence diplomats should be created so that new co-ordination with world can bring new idea and innovations.
  • Setting up of a Defence Export Organization to promote export of defence equipments.
  • Instituting an Independent Audit addressing issues of inefficiency and accountability, this shall help in keeping the flow of ideas and innovation.
  • Setting up an aerospace university, can help in bringing new ideas and innovations

Conclusion:

With recent trends such as globalization, emergence of new technologies, and emerging economies have elevated the importance of IPR protection, both politically and commercially, and has become a global commerce issue. IPRs are critical to incentivizing innovation, which, in turn, is key to sustaining economic growth and increasing living standards. IPRs in defence sector will give a natural advantage to a nation. MRGS is a step in the right direction.


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

6) Public investment, especially in the railways, can play an important role to revive growth and promote Make in India. Discuss.(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question:

The question intends to examine the role of Railways as a transport system in reviving the growth scenario.

Key demand of the question:

The question is about discussing the role of public investments in Railways to revive growth and promote the flagship program of Make 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: 

In brief explain the role played by railways in the economic growth and development.

Body:

The answer should explain the significance of public investments in Railways, in what way such investments will boost modernization of Indian railways.

The crux of the answer should focus on significance of Railways as a transport system in aiding the economic growth of the country.

Conclusion:

Conclude by suggesting way forward.

Introduction:

Indian Railways (IR) has been the prime movers of the nation. IR is the second largest railway system in the world under single management. IR has historically played an important integrating role in the socio-economic development of the country. Despite reforms, the efficiency of service delivery is stumbling block in overall progress.  Railway Minister recently rejected opposition’s allegation that the government is working to privatise the national transporter, but said the ministry will invite investments for new technology, lines and projects in national interest.

Body:

Potential areas where private participation can be done:

  • Indian railway is suffering from low investments, poor capacity, congestion, low speeds, and poor conditions of railway stations.
  • The budgetary resources are not sufficient to make up for the investments required.
  • PPP approach can be used to transform the railway in different areas comprising from ticketing, station construction and upkeep, rolling stock manufacturing, signalling etc.
  • The Bibek Debroy Committee, which was set up to suggest ways to mobilise resources for the Indian Railways and restructure the Railway Board, has favoured privatisation of rolling stock: wagons and coaches.

Benefits of private investment in Railways:

  • Opens opportunity for returns from investment in Rail Projects.
  • Augmentation of railway infrastructure and decongestion of the railways.
  • Ensure timely availability of Rail Infrastructure to the beneficiaries viz. Port, Industry and States.
  • Better maintenance and efficiency in implementation of projects.
  • The PPP projects in case of airports have shown that this mode greatly helps in improving quality of services.
  • It leads to simplification of cost recovery for the money spent by the government in setting up the infrastructure. It would be profitable as the government would charge the operator
  • The move would foster competition and hence lead to overall betterment in the quality of services.

Challenges:

  • Coverage Limited to Lucrative Sectors: An advantage of Indian Railways being government- owned is that it provides nation-wide connectivity irrespective of profit. This would not be possible with privatisation since routes which are less popular will be eliminated, thus having a negative impact on connectivity. It will also render some parts of the country virtually inaccessible and omit them from the process of development.
  • Fares: Given that a private enterprise runs on profit, it is but natural to assume that the easiest way of accruing profits in Indian Railways would be to hike fares, thus rendering the service out of reach for lower income groups.
  • Affects socio-economic development: This will defeat the entire purpose of the system which is meant to serve the entire population of the country irrespective of the level of income
  • Accountability: Private companies are unpredictable in their dealings and do not share their governance secrets with the world at large. In such a scenario it would be difficult to pin the accountability on a particular entity, should there be a discrepancy.

Way forward:

  • Link increase in passenger fares to better passenger services
  • Create a separate company for railway infrastructure
  • Open access for any new operator who wishes to enter the market for operating trains
  • Separate suburban services and run them as joint ventures with state governments.
  • Private entry into running both freight and passenger trains in competition with Indian Railways
  • Separation of rail track from rolling stock

Conclusion:

High costs and lower returns, policy uncertainty, absence of a regulator to create a level playing field, the lack of incentives for investors and procedural or operational issues have significantly restricted private sector participation.


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

7) Discuss the following terms in detail:

(a)Grit

(b)Fortitude

(c)Work culture (250 words)

 Ethics by Lexicon publications

 

Key demand of the question:

Explain the terms in detail and suggest their relevance in one’s personal and public life.

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

Start your intro by your understanding of the word. For eg. Grit means to have the passion and perseverance to achieve long term goals.

You may also start your intro by giving example of great personality and their quality. For eg. Nelson Mandela, leader from South Africa changed the world for the better through his passion and perseverance. His lifelong goal, similar to Martin Luther King, Jr., was to achieve equal rights for non-white people in his country.

Body of the answer

First explain the importance of the word in real life and more importantly public administration.

Support your explanation with help of examples. You can give some real-life example where you have shown such quality or give examples related to administration.

Conclusion: 

Conclude by suggesting how one can strengthen these qualities.

Grit: is a positive, non-cognitive trait based on an individual’s perseverance of effort combined with the passion for a particular long-term goal or end state. It is the firmness of character; indomitable spirit which cannot be crushed so easily. It is a powerful motivation to achieve an objective. This perseverance of effort promotes the overcoming of obstacles or challenges that lie on the path to accomplishment and serves as a driving force in achievement realization.

E.g.: In 2015, a humble security guard’s sweat and grit paid off, when after his third attempt, his son cleared the country’s most coveted UPSC exam. With an All India Rank of 242, Kuldeep Dwivedi is an officer with the Indian Revenue Services.

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.

Work Culture: Work Culture or Organization Culture is set of collective beliefs, values, rules and behaviour which organisation as whole conforms to. In a layman approach it is culture that a group as an organisation follows. Culture varies with family, region, social class and hence in work environment. Its constituents include Management style, business values, physical environment, dress code etc. It is imperative important for every organization irrespective of country and it differs from country to country and sometimes within a country. It helps in employee satisfaction and increase the productivity of the companies.

The reputation and profits of any organisation rests on the ethics and values of its employees. Promoting ethics in the workplace creates a positive culture for managers and employees, as well as a successful business. So developing an ethical culture is imperative.

 

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