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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 16 SEPTEMBER 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 16 SEPTEMBER 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: Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers

1) What is ZBNF? What are the benefits and how is it better than organic farming? Elucidate. (250 words)

The hindubusinessline

Why this question:

The article analyses in detail the effect of ZBNF and the effect of recent promotion of the concept in the annual Budget of the country.

Key demand of the question:

One must discuss the concept of ZBNF in detail and discuss its importance to Indian agriculture system.

Directive:

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: 

Define the concept in brief.

Body:

Explain what is ZBNF in detail – It involves the application of nature’s principles in farming, It practices no-till, no chemical use in farming. Alongside, dispersal of clay seed balls to propagate plants is done. Explain the key aspects of it.

Discuss the advantages it holds, benefits and in what way it is better than organic farming; with examples/case studies of some successful states.

Conclusion:

Conclude that the dominant paradigm of chemical-based agriculture has failed and regenerative agriculture is the emerging new science.

 

Ans:

Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF), which is a set of farming methods, and also a grassroots peasant movement, has spread to various states in India. It has attained wide success in southern India, especially the southern Indian state of Karnataka where it first evolved. ZBNF inspires a spirit of volunteerism among its peasant farmer members, who are the main protagonists of the movement.

The four pillars of ZNBF:

Microbial culture: It provides nutrients, but most importantly, acts as a catalytic agent that promotes the activity of microorganisms in the soil, as well as increases earthworm activity; During the 48 hour fermentation process, the aerobic and anaerobic bacteria present in the cow dung and urine multiply as they eat up organic ingredients (like pulse flour). A handful of undisturbed soil is also added to the preparation, as inoculate of native species of microbes and organisms. It also helps to prevent fungal and bacterial plant diseases.

Treatment of seeds, seedlings or any planting material: It is effective in protecting young roots from fungus as well as from soil-borne and seed borne diseases that commonly affect plants after the monsoon period.

Mulching: Soil Mulch: This protects topsoil during cultivation and does not destroy it by tilling. It promotes aeration and water retention in the soil. Straw Mulch: Straw material usually refers to the dried biomass waste of previous crops; it can be composed of the dead material of any living being.

Moisture: it is a necessary condition for the roots of the plants.

It is, basically, a natural farming technique that uses biological pesticides instead of chemical-based fertilizers. Farmers use earthworms, cow dung, urine, plants, human excreta and such biological fertilizers for crop protection. Intercropping and Contour Bunds are some of the techniques of ZBNF. It reduces farmers’ investment. It also protects the soil from degradation.

ZBNF works not just in agronomic terms, but also brings about a variety of social and economic benefits.  ZBNF brings improvements in yield, soil conservation, seed diversity, quality of produce, household food autonomy, income, and health.

Benefits:

  • In ZBNF, yields of various cash and food crops have been found to be significantly higher.
  • g. yields from ZBNF plots were found on average to be 11% higher for cotton than in non-ZBNF plots.
  • The yield for Guli ragi (ZBNF) was 40% higher than non-ZBNF.
  • Input costs are near zero as no fertilizers and pesticides are used.
  • Profits in most areas under ZBNF were from higher yield and lower inputs.
  • Model ZBNF farms were able to withstand drought and flooding.
  • Notably these are the serious emerging concerns with regard to climate change.
  • Planting multiple crops and border crops on same field provides varied income and nutrient sources.
  • Overall, there is
  • reduced use of water and electricity
  • improved health of farmers
  • flourishing of local ecosystems and biodiversity
  • no toxic chemical residues in the environment
  • improvements in soil, biodiversity, livelihoods, water
  • climate resilience
  • women’s empowerment and nutrition

How is ZBNF better than organic farming?

  • Organic agriculture often involves addition of materials required in bulk and has to be purchased.
  • These are large amounts of manure, vermicomposting and other materials.
  • These turn out to be expensive for most small farm holders.

The programme can have a positive effect on many of the sustainable development goals. As ZBNF is applied in India’s various agro-ecological zones, making farmers the innovators is essential. Agricultural scientists in India have to rework their strategy so that farming is in consonance with nature. The dominant paradigm of chemical-based agriculture has failed and regenerative agriculture is the emerging new science.


Topic:Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

2) Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership is considered a mammoth trade deal currently being negotiated. Discuss the possible apprehensions of India with respect to joining the RCEP trade deal.(250 words)

businesstoday

Why this question:

India’s indecisive stance on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and agreement to review the free trade agreement, or FTA with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) indicates it has been evaluating options outside the larger regional group as well. Thus compelling us to analyse the apprehensions India has.

Key demand of the question:

One should discuss the relevant factors responsible for possible apprehensions of India with respect to joining the RCEP trade deal.

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 the RCEP.

Body:

Discuss first the relevance of the recent RCEP meet held. What are RCEP and its objective?

Then move onto discuss what has been the relationship of India and RCEP from the past to present.

What are the recent challenges and factors that are compelling India to rethink upon joining the partnership?

Conclusion:

Conclude with possible way forward and what should India do.

Ans:

RCEP is a proposed trade pact between 10 Asean countries and their six FTA partners, namely Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea and New Zealand. It accounts for 25% of global GDP, 30% of global trade, 26% of foreign direct investment (FDI) flows and 45% of the total population.

However there are set of apprehensions India has with respect to joining the trade deal of RCEP, which are as listed below:

  • Firstly India has to take into account geostrategic issues while moving ahead with the RCEP deal as it will mean opening up the market to its adversary China.
  • The NITI Aayog too recently noted that while trade agreements are a means to promote bilateral trade, with both parties benefiting as a result of trade complementarities, with China, India’s trade seems to be skewed and China’s capacity overhang in most sectors may lead to a surge of imports into India with very limited access for Indian exports to the Chinese market.
  • India already has bilateral FTAs with Asean, Korea and Japan and negotiations are underway with Australia and New Zealand.
  • Widening Trade Deficit: NITI Aayog held that India’s trade deficit with the ASEAN, Korea and Japan has widened post-FTAs.
  • Tariff elimination due to RCEP could worsen the trade deficit, at $105.2 billion in 2018-19.
  • Since import duties are also a source of revenue for India, it could experience a disproportionate loss of customs revenue.
  • Sensitive List: Most of the RCEP countries have very high tariffs on certain products sensitive to them, such as rice, footwear, dairy products and honey, which they can continue to shield through the sensitive lists.
  • Services Sector: India has demanded that the ASEAN countries should open up their services sector so that Indian professionals and workers can have easier entry into their market. However, ASEAN countries are very sensitive about protecting this sector and have not offered much liberalisation even within the bloc to each-other.
  • Almost every sector registered its apprehension that once the RCEP agreement was in place, China would harm the domestic market with its cheap exports and would also dump its products.
  • China already has a $70 billion (approx.) trade surplus with India.
  • Agriculture: It threatens farm livelihoods, autonomy over seeds and also endangers the country’s self-sufficient dairy sector.
  • So, in terms of enhanced market access, India would benefit relatively less from its RCEP partners than the benefits given to them by it.

 

Way forward –

India will need second-generation reforms of its domestic economic policies, including those that reform its factor markets, to make its trade more competitive and export-oriented.

These reforms will help India better access other markets and will mitigate some of the repercussions arising from the RCEP.

So, it is important to ensure that the recent stance of the Indian government regarding the RCEP must not dissipate after the Beijing meeting.

 

Conclusion –

The RCEP can be a stepping stone to India’s Act East Policy, but at a time of growing protectionism and the US-China trade war, opening our market to China (through RCEP) can prove to be disastrous, given the structural issues in the Indian market. Hence, it is important that India focuses on resolving the structural issues in the domestic market, before concluding the RCEP negotiations.


Topic: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary; Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

3) In recent times, despite its judicial pronouncements in cases such as the entry of women into Sabarimala and Triple Talaq, the Supreme Court has not exactly covered itself with glory in cases of women on its own administrative side. Critically analyse with suitable examples. (250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The transfer of Chief Justice Vijaya K. Tahilramani from the Madras High Court to Meghalaya is shocking and disconcerting. She had presided over a court of 75 judges and administered a subordinate judiciary in 32 districts in addition to the Union Territory of Pondicherry. In contrast, the Meghalaya High Court has only three judges and a subordinate judiciary in just seven districts.

Key demand of the question:

Discuss the recent incidence of transfer of female judge and her resignation against the transfer made by the collegium.

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 brief discuss the context of the question.

Body:

Explain Supreme Court’s jurisdiction over transfer of judge, what are the provisions and how is it done?

Discuss what can be done – explain that the Supreme Court cannot function as a sentinel of justice unless it puts its own house in order. Its functions, both judicial and administrative, have to be transparent and accountable. The collegium is not a creation of the Constitution, but of the court itself. 

Yet, when the collegium’s decisions are called into question for having been influenced by extraneous considerations, there is no institutional check.

Conclusion:

Conclude that any arbitrary transfer by the Supreme Court collegium reduces the High Court judges to a subordinate status. Further, the collegium system, by its opacity, has failed to build a fearless and strong judiciary and serve the public interest.

Ans:

The transfer of Chief Justice Vijaya K. Tahilramani from the Madras High Court to Meghalaya is shocking and disconcerting. She had presided over a court of 75 judges and administered a subordinate judiciary in 32 districts in addition to the Union Territory of Puducherry. In contrast, the Meghalaya High Court has only three judges and a subordinate judiciary in just seven districts.

The transfer of a Chief Justice from one of the bigger High Courts to one of the smallest High Courts in the country is an obvious case of downgrading and amounts to public humiliation of the highest judicial officer in a State. Her response to this humiliation has been graceful but resolute — resignation.

Supreme Court’s jurisdiction over transfer of judge-

  • The Supreme Court derives its power to select, appoint and transfer judges from its verdicts in Three Judges Cases.
  • After a spate of “punishment transfers” of upright judges by the Central government during the Emergency in 1975, the judiciary arrogated to itself the power in order to preserve judicial independence.
  • Thus, the collegium system consisting of the Chief Justice of India and four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court was put in place.
  • However, the apex court’s power to transfer is not unfettered and absolute and can only be carried out in public interest for better administration of justice.
  • The Supreme Court can order a judge’s transfer to improve the functioning of either of the High Courts or if there are close relatives of the judge practicing in the same Court.
  • The apex court can also do so if the judge has litigation or property interest in the State or has become controversial and so her continuance in the same High Court is not conducive.

What can be done-

  • The Supreme Court cannot function as a sentinel of justice unless it puts its own house in order. Its functions, both judicial and administrative, have to be transparent and accountable.
  • The collegium is not a creation of the Constitution, but of the court itself.
  • Yet, when the collegium’s decisions are called into question for having been influenced by extraneous considerations, there is no institutional check.
  • The government’s attempt to have a National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) was rejected by the Supreme Court in 2015 and the system of collegium has continued with its opaqueness and inconsistencies.
  • A proper mechanism needs to be placed whereby the selection and transfer of judges needs to be carried on in public scrutiny.

Conclusion-

In recent times, despite its judicial pronouncements in cases such as the entry of women into Sabarimala and triple talaq, the Supreme Court has not exactly covered itself with glory in cases of women on its own administrative side.

 Any arbitrary transfer by the Supreme Court collegium reduces the High Court judges to a subordinate status. Further, the collegium system, by its opacity, has failed to build a fearless and strong judiciary and serve the public interest.


Topic:  Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

4) ISRO’s role has been immaculate in making India a global space power; however, there are many challenges and prospects in the new space age that ISRO needs to focus on. Discuss.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The article discusses the role played by ISRO in making India a global power in the domain of space and the challenges and prospects it has for India’s future space.

Key demand of the question:

One should bring out the potential of ISRO in the global space race and the challenges and prospects associated.

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 context of the question.

Body:

Explain ‘new space age’ and mention the challenges and opportunities for ISRO. There is emergence of ‘new space age’ which is used to refer to a global sector of new aerospace companies and ventures working independently of governments to develop faster, better, and cheaper access to space for commercial purposes.

Discuss the opportunities in the new space age.

Conclusion:

With increasing competition, complexity and demand for space-related activities, there is a growing realization that national legislation is needed to ensure overall growth of the space sector. A New Space law for India should aim at facilitating growing India’s share of the global space economy to 10% in the coming decade.

 

Ans:

Today, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)’s success has made India to be inducted in an elite group of countries, where India is rightfully acknowledged as a space power in the world. Space technology is dual-use technology, in this feat, apart from space research; ISRO has delivered many projects serving military as well as socio-economic needs of India.

However, demand for space-based services in India is far greater than what ISRO can supply. Therefore private sector investment is critical, for which a suitable policy environment needs to be created.

 

What are the potential areas and challenges for ISRO?

  • Today, the value of the global space industry is estimated to be $350 billion and is likely to exceed $550 billion by 2025.
  • Despite ISRO’s impressive capabilities, India’s share is estimated at $7 billion (just 2% of the global market) covering broadband and Direct-to-Home television (accounting for two-thirds of the share), satellite imagery and navigation.
  • Already, over a third of transponders used for Indian services are leased from foreign satellites and this proportion will rise as the demand grows.
  • Developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and big data analytics have led to the emergence of ‘New Space’.
  • New Space entrepreneurship has emerged in India with many start-ups which seek value in exploring end-to-end services in the Business-to-Business and Business-to-Consumer segments using new space. However, these startups have yet to take off in the absence of regulatory clarity.
  • So they need an enabling ecosystem, a culture of accelerators, incubators, venture capitalists and mentors that exists in cities like Bengaluru which is where most New Space start-ups have mushroomed.
  • Also, the New Space start-ups discern a synergy with government’s flagship programmes like Digital India, Startup India, Skill India and schemes like Smart Cities Mission.
  • Another revolution underway is the small satellite revolution.
  • Globally, 17,000 small satellites are expected to be launched between now and 2030.
  • ISRO is developing a small satellite launch vehicle (SSLV) expected to be ready in 2019.
  • It is a prime candidate, along with the proven PSLV, to be farmed out to the private sector.
  • In this context, The Assembly, Integration and Testing (AIT) role, which is restricted to ISRO, must now be outsourced.
  • Also years ago, ISRO launched the idea of Village Resource Centres to work in collaboration with local panchayats and NGOs but only 460 pilots have begun. Expanding this for rural areas is a formidable challenge but has the potential to transform rural India if properly conceived as a part of the India Stack and the Jan Dhan Yojana.

Further, with the Ministry of Defence now setting up a Defence Space Agency and a Defence Space Research Organization, ISRO should now actively embrace an exclusively civilian identity.

  • So with increasing competition, complexity and demand for space-related activities, there is a growing realization that national legislation is needed to ensure overall growth of the space sector. A New Space law for India should aim at facilitating growing India’s share of the global space economy to 10% in the coming decade.

 

The government now has an opportunity to give priority to a new Bill that can be welcomed by the private sector, both the larger players and the start-ups alike. In any case, ISRO’s hands are full with new missions—deep space, scientific, human flight, commercial and strategic. However, to develop an aerospace industry with private investments and startups, India needs to develop a clear blueprint and also put in place a space regulatory system.


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

5) Government has hiked ethanol procurement price for blending with petrol, allowed conversion of old sugar into ethanol. How is the move expected to address problems of the Sugarcane growers in the country? Discuss.(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question:

The government approved an increase in the price of ethanol to be procured by public sector oil marketing companies (OMCs) from sugar mills for blending with petrol for the 2019-20. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) also allowed conversion of old sugar into ethanol, which again is expected to help mills deal with the current overproduction in the sweetener and make timely payments to farmers for the cane delivered by them.

Key demand of the question:

The answer should explain the effect of recent initiative taken by the govt. to address the sugar woes of the country.

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 recent initiatives taken by the govt. to address the sugarcane woes of the country.

Body:

What is ethanol and how do mills produce it?

How is using ethanol becoming a solution? Given the surplus sugar production in the country, the government has allowed mills to produce ethanol from molasses and directly from sugarcane juice. Explain that since the country is producing too much sugar and is importing oil, the ethanol-blending programme is beneficial both for mills and for the country’s balance of payments.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way ahead.

Ans:

The government approved an increase in the price of ethanol to be procured by public sector oil marketing companies (OMCs) from sugar mills for blending with petrol for the 2019-20.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) also allowed conversion of old sugar into ethanol, which again is expected to help mills deal with the current overproduction in the sweetener and make timely payments to farmers for the cane delivered by them.

What is ethanol and how do mills produce it?

  • Ethanol is basically alcohol of 99%-plus purity, which can be used for blending with petrol.
  • The normal rectified spirit used for potable purposes has only 95% alcohol content.
  • Both ethanol (also called anhydrous alcohol) and rectified spirit are produced mainly from molasses, a byproduct of sugar manufacture.
  • From one ton of cane, mills can produce 115 kg of sugar (at 11.5% recovery) and 45 kg of molasses (18 kg TFS) that gives 10.8 litres of ethanol.
  • But rather than produce sugar, mills can also ferment the entire cane. In that event, they would end up making 84 litres of ethanol and zero kg of sugar.

How is using ethanol becoming a solution?

  • Given the surplus sugar production in the country, the government has allowed mills to produce ethanol from molasses and directly from sugarcane juice.
  • CCEA approved even use of sugar and sugar syrup for production of ethanol; mills can simply add these to the molasses mother liquor for further fermentation.
  • Currently, ex-factory prices of sugar are ruling at around Rs 32 per kg.
  • But if it were to convert the entire cane juice into 84 liters of ethanol, the gross prices will be at around 48/litre.
  • This is a huge incentive to produce ethanol. This has been additionally facilitated by the government mandating 10% blending of petrol with ethanol.
  • If mills are able to divert more of cane juice for ethanol, it would mean producing less sugar.
  • Since the country is producing too much sugar and is importing oil, the ethanol-blending programme is beneficial both for mills and for the country’s balance of payments.

Way ahead-

  • Mills are expected to close the 2018-19 sugar season (October-September) with all-time-high stocks of 136 lakh tonnes (lt), which is equivalent to six months of domestic consumption.
  • As of now, the sugar mills have outstanding cane dues of over Rs 10,000 crore, of which Rs 7,000 crore-plus is in UP alone.
  • These will mount further as crushing for the 2019-20 season begins in a month’s time.

Ethanol is the only real savior under the circumstances — both for mills and cane growers.

 


 

Topic: Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.

6) Comment on the role of behavioural economics in India to bring social change and achieve the policy objectives of welfare programmes with suitable illustrations.(250 words)

Insightsonindia

Why this question:

The Economic Survey 2019 has drawn on Nobel Laureate Richard Thaler’s Behavioural Economics Theory to lay out what it describes as an “ambitious agenda” for behaviour change that will bring in social change, which in turn, will help India transit to a $5 trillion economy by 2024-25. Programmes such as Swachh Bharat Mission, Jan Dhan Yojana and Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, provide testimony to the potential for behavioural change in India. 

Key demand of the question:

One must explain the role of behavioural economics in India to bring social change and in what way recent policies and initiatives have followed the model to address various issues in the country.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief define what behavioral change is.

Body:

Explain the following aspects in detail – 

  • What is Behavioural Economics?

  • What are the learnings of the economic survey on Behavioral Economics?

  • How Behavioural Economics can be applied in the Indian context?

  • What are the limitations of Behavioural Economics?

Conclusion:

Conclude that the government regulation, taxes and free-market policies should be clubbed with a nudge effect to increase the efficacy of policymaking. If it is implemented diligently than Indian policymaking will be transformed.

Ans:

Behavioural economics is a method of analysis that applies psychological insights into human behaviour to explain economic decision-making. It became more popular after the Nobel Prize for economics in 2017 was awarded to Richard Thaler for his works on behavioural economics.

Businesses across the sectors use behavioural economics to attract customers. For example, Google Ads track online behaviour of consumers to know the likes and dislikes of person and float the ads accordingly.

According to the Economic Survey 2018-19, the key principles of behavioural economics are ‘emphasizing the beneficial social norm’, ‘changing the default option’ and ‘repeated reinforcements’.

 

Application of behavioural economics can prove to be a valuable instrument of change in a country like India where social and religious norms play a dominant role in influencing behaviour.

 

Behavioural economics affecting social change in India

  • Given India’s rich cultural and spiritual heritage, social norms (that play a very important role in shaping the behaviour), can be utilized to effect behavioural change. Mahatma Gandhi proposed Seven Sins theory to influence people’s behaviour towards positive social change.
  • Programmes such as Swachh Bharat Mission, Jan Dhan Yojana, GiveItUp Campaign for LPG subsidy, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Khelo India Campaign provide testimony to the potential for behavioural change in India.
  • It can help in enhancing public participation in policies such as gender equality, reducing crime and corruption, waste management, environmental concerns, animal welfare, road safety, building human capital, enhancing health and education parameters, etc.

Achievements of behavioural economics to achieve policy objective of welfare programmes

  • Swachh Bharat mission: Bringing behavioural change towards sanitation. The Open Defecation Free Campaign has led towards a desired outcome.
  • National Annual Rural Sanitation Survey (NARSS) 2018-19 found that 96.5% of the rural households that had access to a toilet, used them. The NARSS also re-confirmed the ODF status of 90.7% of villages.
  • Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) to raise awareness about increading Child sex ratio and educating Girl Child. BBBP have brought positive results leading to improvement in the child sex ratio in Haryana, a state known for skewed sex ratio.
  • It used ‘social norm’ in its ‘Selfie with Daughter’ initiative to celebrate the birth of girl child.
  • GiveItUp Campaign lead to voluntarily giving up of LPG subsidy by the affluent class and thus large savings to the public money that could be utilised for providing free LPG connections to the poor under Ujjwala Yojana.
  • Success of Jan Dhan Yojana (JDY) through dedicated government efforts and mass media campaign to increase financial inclusion and thus influencing people to increase their savings.
  • Use of socially and culturally identifiable names for various recent schemes like Namami Gange, Ujjawala, Poshan Abhiyan among others has helped to build the affinity of the people for the scheme.

 

Limitations:

  • Lack of sustained efforts: The ultimate success of objectives such as gender equality, reducing corruption, honesty in tax compliance, waste management and prudent use of resources such as water for sustainable development needs sustained efforts for a long time period.
  • Lack of careful targeting: Advertising campaigns such as the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme did not target other specific states where child sex ratios were already skewed (although it was effective in Haryana, which also has a very poor sex ratio.)
  • The applications of behavioural insights appeared to be a result of confirmation bias (to the extent that past policies were viewed with a behavioural lens).

 

Conclusion

While several Indian programmes have applied the principles of behavioural economics, there is still ample scope for leveraging these insights to enhance the efficacy of programmes in India.

Accordingly, the Economic Survey recommends setting up of a behavioural economic unit in the NITI Aayog.

It also strongly recommends that every programme must go through a ‘behavioural economics audit’ before its implementation.

 

Many incentive and mandate- based policies may be clubbed with a nudge effect to increase their efficacy. If it is implemented diligently then Indian policymaking will be transformed from BBBP to BADLAV (Beti Aapki Dhan Lakshmi Aur Vijay Lakshmi), from Swachh Bharat to Sundar Bharat, from “GiveItUp” for the LPG subsidy to “Think about the Subsidy”, from tax evasion to tax compliance and the dream of New India can be realised.


 

Topic:  Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

7) What do you understand by conscience? Discuss the different conceptions of conscience given by moral thinkers.(250 words)

Why this question:

The question is based on the concept of Conscience.

Key demand of the question:

One should brief upon the theme of conscience and different theories proposed by various moral thinkers.

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: 

Give a brief idea of conscience

Body:

Bring out the different approaches of philosophers on the concept of conscience.

Greek and Roman thought emphasized reason and knowledge in making moral decisions, a tradition beginning with Aristotle’s ideas about the development of virtuous character and wisdom through reason and practice.

Immanuel Kant also regarded critical reasoning as an important element of conscience, believing that moral truth could be evaluated objectively in light of his ‘categorical imperative.’

Also discuss the contributions of John Locke ,Sigmund Freud, St. Bonaventure and St. Aquinas etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of the concept.

Ans:  

 

The conscience refers to a person’s sense of right and wrong. Having a conscience involves being aware of the moral rightness or wrongness of one’s actions, or the goodness or badness of one’s intentions.

Conscience refers to a person’s sense of right and wrong. Having a conscience involves being aware of the moral rightness or wrongness of one’s actions, or the goodness or badness of one’s intentions. In philosophical, religious, and everyday senses, the notion of conscience may include the following separable elements.

Conscience is the voice of the inner-self which says “yes” or “no” when we are involved in a moral struggle. It is an internal monitor. As Gandhi Ji famously said, “there is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supersedes all other courts.“

Principles on the other hand are set of rule, designed on the basis of past experience, human reason and calculations. While principles are more easy to understand, and involves a degree of subjectivity, conscience is difficult to predict and feel. Conscience may or may not be in-line with principles. For e.g. As a Police Officer your principles are to treat every criminal as equal. However, your treatment may change for a criminal who have stolen something because he needed money for his mother’s treatment. You may leave him and even help him because of your conscience’s voice.

Consider another example – principle says we shall respect our teachers and obey him, but when we find a teacher harassing a girl student, our conscience asks us immediately disregarding the teacher and saving the girl from his act. We may get affected by other considerations of the teacher giving bad marks, teacher’s ignorance or other factors; it is our conscience which will show us moral path.

In our stressed and self-centrist lives, we are progressively moving away from inner conscience and its voice is fading day by day. We are becoming more and more negligent and this ignorance is causing us more stress and guilt. Conscience is basic guide to us. Spiritual practices such as yoga, meditation, company of nature etc. may bring us closer to our inner true and his voice can be heard clearly and our life may become more moral, less stressful and free from guilt.

 

Thomas Aquinas argued that the most basic principle of human conduct that good is to be pursued and evil to be avoided.

 

As per medieval philosophers there are two aspects of conscience viz. “conscientia” and “synderesis.” While “synderesis” refers to the ineradicable and infallible basis of conscience in human nature, “conscientia” refers to the more particular judgments we make about our actions. As per modern philosophers the two aspects of conscience are “sentimentalist” and “rationalist”. Rationalist refers to conscience that is based on the voice of reason for judging one’s action, while sentimentalist is based on one’s feeling to decide whether a course of action is correct or incorrect.

 

Raja Ram Mohan Roy the first social reformer of India stood the test of time and firmly opposed Sati. It was his empirical conscience which strengthened his resolve to firmly deal with the opposition he encountered and finally take the fight against sati to logical end.