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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 04 NOVEMBER 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 04 NOVEMBER 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: Factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world.

1) Even after local coal-iron resources are depleted, the steel and heavy engineering industries do not frequently shift their location, why? Analyse.(250 words)

Class 8 NCERT – Resources and development geography

Why this question:

The question is based on the location factor of the raw material and its significance in deciding the location of the Steel and Heavy industry per say.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the :  Factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world in general and highlight the specific effect of location of raw material as a deciding factor on location of secondary industry and in what way recently there has been changes witnessed in the interlinkages between them.

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 highlight the locations of coal-iron resources in India.

Body:

Explain first why the steel and iron industries were initially located in and around the raw material regions and now there has been a shift from such a trend.

Discuss the causative factors of such a trend; transport factor, use of heavy machines to transport etc.

Explain that the capital, market and transport are the other factors influencing the localization of iron and steel industry.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of development in general that has led to such a trend.

Introduction:    

Many important geographical factors are involved in the location of individual industries which are of relative significance. But besides such purely geographical factors influencing industrial location, there are factors of historical, human, political and economic nature which are now tending to surpass the force of geographical advantages.

Body:

Despite the depletion of coal-iron resources, the steel and heavy engineering industries don’t frequently shift their location due to the following reasons:

  • Capital:
    • It takes a lot of time and money to build a factory and equip it with necessary machines. This discourages the entrepreneur from shifting to a new location, especially for steel industry, heavy engineering works, petrochemical refineries.
    • It is usually cheaper to modernize or expand an existing location rather than move to a new site.
    • For example, as cotton industry of Lakeshire declined, they converted textile mills into light engineering goods factories, rather than moving to a different location.
  • Labour:
    • As time progressed, area near coal fields developed into industrial cities. There is already a large pool of skilled and experienced workers, support services. New area may not have the same labour supply
  • Technology and alternative sources of fuel:
    • Today, coal is not the only source of energy. We’ve natural gas, hydel electricity even nuclear power.
    • With the introduction of new technologies in steel production, there is no need massive amount of coking coal.
  • Transportation:
    • The railroad, transport and communication infrastructure = well-developed in the old area. Therefore, even if local raw material supply is exhausted, they can be imported from other areas.
  • Market:
    • Iron and steel industries provide raw material to many secondary manufacturing industries such as automobile, heavy engineering etc.
    • If the primary industries moved to new location but the corresponding Customers like automobile / heavy engineering industries don’t change location, then it will affect profit levels
  • Government policies:
    • The industrialists in old area usually have deep pockets and political connections so they lobby to government for favourable protectionist policies and large labour population in old area which acts a vote bank.
    • For example, Pittsburgh is not a coastal city and nearby coal-iron ore reserves are getting depleted and it was becoming more expensive to produce steel using imported iron-ore.
    • But then Pittsburgh industrialists lobbied, and US government made steel-pricing policies like “Multiple Basing system”, “Pittsburgh plus” etc. (in the early 1900s).

Conclusion:

The other raw materials besides iron ore and coking coal, essential for iron and steel industry are limestone, dolomite, manganese and fire clay. All these raw materials are gross (weight losing), therefore, the best location for the iron and steel plants is near the source of raw materials.  In India, there is a crescent shaped   region   comprising   parts   of Chhattisgarh, Northern Odisha, Jharkhand and western West Bengal, which is extremely rich in high grade iron ore, good quality coking coal and other supplementing raw materials.


Topic:  Factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world.

2) Pharmaceutical industries that once had shifted from the states of Gujarat/Maharashtra towards northern Hill states, are now returning back to the original states, Discuss why.(250 words)

Reference

Indian Geography by Majid Hussain

Why this question:

The question is based on the static portions of GS paper – I portions.

Key demand of the question:

One must bring out the causative factors that have led to the shift in the pharmaceutical industries.

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 first explain the expanse of Pharma industries throughout the country.

Body:

One must explain the various factors that have caused the shift.

List down the reasons – economic, social and political; those have altered the pattern of pharmaceutical industries in India.

Analyse the effects of such a shift. discuss the associated advantages and disadvantages.

Conclusion:

Conclude with what should be the way ahead and suggest solutions

Introduction:    

The pharmaceutical industry in India is among the most highly organized sectors. This industry plays an important role in promoting and sustaining development in the field of global medicine. It ranks 3rd in the world terms of volume and 14th in terms of value.

Body:

Pharmaceutical Industry being a footloose industry, can be placed and located at any location without effect from factors of production such as Resources, Land, Labour, Capital and Enterprise. There is processing of products that are neither weight-gaining, nor weight-losing, and face significant transportation costs.

The preponderance of this industry in Western region may be explained due to a number of factors like

  • Government policies:
    • opening up of the FDI upto 100% in pharma has attracted a lot of investments from foreign countries.
    • The Supreme Court verdicts on Evergreening (Sec 3(d)) (Novartis v. Union of India.) and Compulsory licensing (Sec 84) (Bayer Pharma vs UoI) has strengthened the confidence of Indian Pharma industries against the foreign conglomerates.
    • The focus on Biotechnology in the last 25 years has grown leaps and bounds.
  • State Industrial Policies:
    • Favourable State policy like stable policies of state government, provision of infrastructure, easy land availability, SEZs, power etc. help in ease of doing business.
  • Raw Materials:
    • Proximity to petrochemical hubs which form the raw materials. Example: Jamnagar, Gujarat; Bombay high, Maharashtra.
  • Capital Availability:
    • The western part of India has traditionally been the hub of trade and Capital.
  • Proximity to ports:
    • It facilitates easy export to other nations in Africa, Europe etc. Example: Kandla, JNPT, Navasheva.
  • Proximity to markets:
    • The Indian domestic market is a huge market. Initiatives to promote generic medicines in India has further strengthened.
    • In global markets, Africa for long has been an important market for India’s Generic Drug Industry.

The recent trends have shown that the pharmaceutical industries have been returning back to original states of gujarat and Maharashtra. The reasons for the same are:

  • End of honeymoon period:
    • The pharma companies that have been enjoying their honeymoon phase in the hilly states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are now looking at Gujarat for their facilities.
    • With the period of tax incentives getting over, several companies from these tax havens are now returning home after putting their units on sale.
  • GST reforms:
    • The goods and services tax (GST) has proven to be a boon for the pharmaceutical industry in Gujarat, with a renewed interest among pharma companies to set up units here as the hilly states tax havens lose attractiveness.
    • The biggest change brought by GST is the creation of a level playing field for Gujarat by narrowing down the price and cost difference between tax havens and non-exempted states substantially.
    • now with tax incentives getting rolled back and with the anticipation of Goods and Services Tax being implemented next year, there is no difference between the home state and other states.
  • Other issues faced in hilly states:
    • End of tax benefits is not the only reason, the pharma units also faced problems in procuring raw material and packaging material in tax havens such as Himachal Pradesh.

 

  • Increasing Generic drug facilities:
    • There is an increase in the manufacturing of Generic drugs at facilities. E.g.: in NIMZ zones.

Conclusion:

Though the above factors explain the emergence of Pharmaceutical industries in western region, many of the factors may be found at other places across the country (Bangalore, NCR region etc.). So the Pharma industry is not just located at west but scattered across the country wherever economic considerations allow.


Topic:Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

3) In the context of the stated aim of doubling farmer’s income, discuss the challenges involved in realizing the same and also suggest suitable measures required to overcome them. (250 words)

Timesofindia

Why this question:

The question is straightforward and is based on the concept of doubling farmer’s income.

Key demand of the question:

One has to discuss the challenges involved in augmenting the methods to help farmers double their income and measures required to be taken.

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 what you understand by doubling farmer’s income. 

Body:

Explain what are the possible sources of doubling farmer’s income – increasing agricultural productivity, improvement in total factor productivity, crop diversification etc.

Discuss what measures and strategies are to be focused to achieve the set goal.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:    

Government presented the vision of doubling farmer incomes by 2022-23 however there was no assessment of the base (2015-16) aggregate income levels. Germany has told India it can play key role in doubling farmers’ income as the European nation has the expertise in in farm mechanisation and post-harvest management

Body:

Challenges involved in realizing the aim of doubling farmer’s income:

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

Government has set up many committees like Swaminathan committee and the recent Ashok Dalwai committee to give solutions to agrarian distress in India. The measures that can help agrarian distress in the country are as follows:

  • 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:

To achieve government’s goal of doubling farmers’ incomes by 2022-23, the Dalwai Committee points out that farmers real incomes need to grow at 10.4 per annum, that is 2.8 times the growth rate achieved historically. To secure future of agriculture and to improve livelihood of half of India’s population, adequate attention needs to be given to improve the welfare of farmers and raise agricultural income. It is essential to mobilize States and UTs to own and achieve the goal of doubling farmers’ income with active focus on capacity building (technology adoption and awareness) of farmers that will be the catalyst to boost farmers’ income.


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

4) The internationalisation of the Kashmir issue points to troubling diversions from India’s traditional foreign policy. Critically analyse.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

In the weeks following the government’s decision to amend Article 370 and divide Jammu and Kashmir into two separate Union Territories, the government sent out a number of diplomatic missions worldwide to try and contain the international fallout of the move. 

Key demand of the question:

The question aims to analyse the Kashmir issue and the factors of internationalization amidst changing trends of foreign policy being witnessed to address the issue.

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 judgment.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In first explain the issue and involvement of other countries in addressing the issue of Kashmir.

Body:

Explain what has been our stand on the Kashmir issue.

Discuss the role being played by China, US and other neighboring countries.

Comment on the points of Diversion from India’s traditional foreign policy.

Elucidate upon the possible spillover effect it can have.

Conclusion:

Conclude that the biggest worry pertains not so much to the change in traditional policy as it does to lasting or permanent damage to “Brand India” as a democratic and pluralistic country, respected for decades as a rational power.

Introduction:    

The government recently amended Article 370 and divided Jammu and Kashmir into two separate Union Territories. With rise in the concerns worldwide, the government sent out a number of diplomatic missions worldwide to try and contain the international fallout of the move.

Body:

Stand on the Kashmir issue by Indian Government:

  • External Affairs Minister travelled to China, Europe and the United States where he addressed a record “7 think tanks in 7 days” and met a number of officials and lawmakers during an extended stay.
  • National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Petroleum Minister went to the West Asian countries: the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
  • Prime Minister personally spoke to U.S. President Donald Trump and other leaders to explain his move.
  • On a visit to Switzerland, even President found that the “situation in Kashmir” had been put on the agenda by his hosts.
  • Foreign Secretary marshalled diplomats at all Indian missions worldwide and cancelled a planned Heads of Missions meet in India to ensure that each embassy was able to fully disseminate the talking points sent out by South Block.

Perception of the Kashmir issue by other nations and bodies:

  • The UN Security Council held a “closed meeting” on the issue at China’s request — the first time Kashmir was formally on the agenda in 50 years — but to India’s relief, the meeting resulted in no public statement.
  • The European Parliament too met and debated the situation in Kashmir, which it had last referred to more than a decade ago, but did not push for a resolution.
  • After a visit to Srinagar, 23 right-wing Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) appeared to endorse India’s actions.
  • German Chancellor Merkel’s characterisation of the situation of Kashmiris being “unsustainable”, during her Delhi trip on Friday will be more worrying for the government.
  • At the UN Human Rights Council, Pakistan was unable to secure the numbers to bring a resolution to the table.
  • At the UN General Assembly in September, only three countries other than Pakistan, referred to the post-370 fallout in J&K: China, Malaysia and Turkey.
  • A scathing statement by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) contact group on the government’s actions in Kashmir has been blunted by the Prime Minister’s visit to Riyadh.
  • In the U.S., Mr. Modi scored a big public relations win when he spoke of the 370-move at a Houston stadium with Mr. Trump in the audience.

Diversion from India’s traditional foreign policy:

  • The issue of Kashmir has been “internationalised” in a manner not seen in decades, at least since the early 1990s when violence in the State was at a peak.
  • Hyphenation with Pakistan: A tenet that New Delhi has always sought to avoid. Under this policy, India managed to separate its policies in J&K from its relationship with Pakistan and dealing with terror emanating from there.
  • India’s traditional rejection of “mediation by third parties”: In February, Mr. Trump claimed success in mediating the release of Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman.
  • Trump’s effort with repeated mentions of wanting to mediate on Kashmir between India and Pakistan, including in September during his bilateral media interaction with Mr. Modi.
  • Others including everyone from the UAE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to Norway, Russia and China have made similar offers.

Possible spill-over effects:

  • Most of that criticism is over the treatment of citizens in J&K, the prolonged detention of mainstream Kashmiri leaders, the communications shutdown, and the lack of access to independent observers.
  • New Delhi still faces the risk of a U.S. Congress resolution after the subcommittee on Human Rights in South Asia hearing last month, and critical language on Kashmir detentions and the lockdown introduced into the Senate Appropriations bill.
  • In the U.S., for example, concerns over the government’s actions post-370 are now often clubbed with questions about a changing nuclear stance (No First Use, or NFU, amendments), and the repeated threat from Cabinet ministers that India will seek to “take back” Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) by military means if necessary.
  • Those concerns are bleeding into other issues like the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam as well, which both the U.S. Congress and the UN discussed in tandem with Kashmir this past month.

Way forward:

  • India needs to control the international messaging over Kashmir with more tactical diplomacy.
  • it is necessary for the government to carefully consider the larger impact on Indian foreign policy that has resulted from its actions leading up to, and subsequent to the amendment of Article 370 of the Constitution

Topic:   Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

5) As highlighted by the All India Survey on Higher Education 2018-19, share of enrolled minorities still continue to be under-represented with respect to their share of the total population, discuss various factors responsible for such under-representation. Also suggest some measures to improve the same.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The question is based on the study provided for by All India Survey on Higher Education 2018-19. It questions the under representation of minorities as suggested by the study in the education domain.

Key demand of the question:

One has to provide for what causes such under-representation of minorities in education and what can be done to attain full equity and inclusion in higher education.

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 quote the details and facts of the report.

Body:

First explain the reasons for such a trend – lack of access, poverty, social prejudices etc.

Discuss what can be done to attain full equity and inclusion in higher education.

Explain the significance of need for multiple stakeholder approach to overcome such a negative trend.

Conclusion:

Conclude by suggesting solutions to address the issue

Introduction:    

All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) report for 2018-19 was recently released by the HRD ministry. The survey, undertaken as an annual, web-based, pan-India exercise on the status of Higher Education since 2010-11, covers all the Higher Educational Institutions in the country. The survey collects data on several parameters like teachers, student enrolment, programmes, examination results, education finance, infrastructure, etc.

Body:

Key findings related to minorities:

  • According to All India Survey on Higher Education 2018-19, south India has a higher per capita proportion of colleges compared to the rest of the country.
  • The share of enrolled minorities aged 18-24 has improved, but these communities continue to be underrepresented given their share of the total population in that age group.
  • 9% students belong to Muslim Minority and 2.2% from other Minority Community.
  • Muslim Minority has more male students than females where as other Minority has more females than males.

Various factors responsible for under-representation of enrolled minorities:

  • Poverty:
    • Poverty plays a major role in both exclusion and discrimination.
    • Poor families struggle to send their children to school and to provide support for their schooling when they do.
    • Children from poorer homes often also suffer nutritional deficiencies that have a direct impact on learning.
  • Inaccessibility:
    • A first basic cause for the exclusion is that children from minorities often suffer from a lack of access to schools, especially quality schools.
    • Despite the dramatic leap in access to schooling over the past decade, there remain very serious barriers to access to education, especially for areas with large populations from educationally underrepresented groups.
  • Poor Infrastructure:
    • The lack of quality infrastructure, functional and secure toilets, and safe drinking water in schools in poorer areas represents a severe form of discrimination in education for children from socio-economically disadvantaged communities.
    • The lack of good libraries, laboratories, and learning supplies at school hits children from disadvantaged communities the hardest, as they generally will not have as many educational resources at home.
  • Social bias:
    • Social mores and biases also contribute in a serious way to discriminatory practices. For example, many communities believe that girls need not go through formal schooling.
  • Poor curriculum:
    • Curriculum and textbooks often also play a role. An analysis of the existing curricula, pedagogy or textbooks exhibits a biased picture of life where the view of the “powerful” prevails.
    • For example, the earning member of a family is almost always male in our textbooks; there are almost no references to people that are differently-abled.
    • Thus many of our classroom processes do not welcome or encourage children from disadvantaged or underrepresented communities.

Measures needed:

  • Affirmative action and programmes are needed to increase enrolment of students who may have faced race, caste, gender, or geographical discrimination.
  • In addition, policies and schemes such as targeted scholarships, conditional cash transfers etc. can significantly increase participation of minorities in the higher education.
  • Reservations in higher education to minorities should be accompanied by structural changes like land reforms and an inclusive educational support systems.
  • The poor should get special weightage but a watchdog body should keep an eye on their progress.
  • More freedom to universities could help higher education
  • Course correction would be in the form of a regulatory body that has a vision for higher education, monitors quality, but allows universities to operate freely, instead of controlling them

Conclusion:

To ensure socio-economic-educational empowerment of minorities especially girls through ‘3Es- Education, Employment and Empowerment’, various scholarships including pre-matric, post-matric, merit-cum-means etc. should be provided.


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

6) Discuss some of the recent measures taken by GOI for reforming governance that can potentially transform India.(250 words)

Yojana September 2019 edition – REFORMING GOVERNANCE

Why this question:

The question is based on the article from Yojana that highlights the measures taken by the GOI for reforming governance.

Key demand of the question:

Straight away list down the reforms taken by the GOI to ensure better governance to transform 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 importance of Governance in general.

Body:

Take hints from the article and cover various aspects of Governance under which the government has taken steps to reform – Cooperative and Competitive Federalism, Direct Benefit Transfer and Use of Aadhaar, Outcome Based Monitoring, E – Governance etc.

Explain any challenges if any involved.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of such reforms.

Introduction:    

Governance relates to management of all such processes that, in any society, define the environment which permits and enables individuals to their raise their capability levels, on one hand, and provide opportunities to realise their potential and enlarge the set of available choices, on the other.

Body:

  • Cooperative and Competitive Federalism:
    • Ever since the inception of NITI Aayog replacing Planning Commission from January 1, 2015, there has been a renewed thrust on Centre State relations through cooperative federalism    recognising that   strong   States   make   a   strong Nation.
    • A number   of   initiatives   have   been taken to foster cooperative federalism through structured support initiatives and mechanisms of engagement with the States/Union Territories (UTs) on a continuous basis.
    • These include    meetings    between Prime Minister/Cabinet Ministers with all   Chief   Ministers;   sub-groups   of Chief Ministers on subjects of national importance;  sharing  of  best  practices; policy support and capacity development of State/UT functionaries;   Aspirational   Districts Program  for  development  of  115  most backward    districts;    theme    based extensive    engagements    in    various sectors;  framing  model  laws  for  land leasing   and   agriculture   marketing reforms: and area specific interventions    for    North    Eastern, Himalayan States, and Island development.
  • Direct Benefit Transfer and Use of Aadhaar:
    • With Aadhaar now firmly in place especially in targeted delivery of subsidies.
    • Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) continues to make major inroads into policy and service delivery framework of the country.
    • Currently about 439 schemes across 55 Ministries are covered by DBT.
    • Cumulatively about      7.66   lakh crore     has     been     transferred     to beneficiaries through DBT mode with estimated gains of Rs. 1.42 lakh crore.
  • Outcome Based Monitoring:
    • Over the last few years, there has been a structural change    in    the    budget making process with removal of Plan, Non-Plan distinction and rationalization of Centrally Sponsored and Central Sector schemes.
    • A major   step   in   this   direction   is introduction     of     Outcome     Based Budgets since Union Budget 2017-18. This    is    in    contrast    to    earlier mechanism   of   merely   focusing   on financial   outlays, expenditures   and outputs.
    • This is a major step in improving governance as    the thrust   is   on meeting the expectations of the people by   focusing   on   outcomes   and   not merely on how much expenditure has been incurred under the respective schemes.
    • The Outcome Budget 2019-20 presented in the Parliament covers 163 major   central   sector/centrally sponsored schemes covering 95% of the   outlays   of   the   total   of   591 schemes for which outcome budgets have been prepared by NITI Aayog and Ministry of Finance in consultation with the Ministries / Departments.
  • E -Governance:
    • With advancements in Information   and   Communication Technology (ICT) coupled with penetration of Aadhaar and mobile phones, it   has   been   possible   to provide many public services through online modes.
    • Starting from biometric attendance of Government employees, digitizing database of beneficiaries across all schemes, seeding with     Aadhaar numbers, using   PoS   machines   for beneficiary authentication and finally transferring   the   funds   to   Aadhaar linked bank accounts, various initiatives have made marked improvements in the way services are delivered to the public.
  • Law and Order:
    • Legal and judicial reforms would need to be attended on priority so   as   to   ensure   safety   of people and ensure access to justice in a timely and effective manner.
    • Though Law and Order is a state subject, Government would need to continue engaging states    to    reform    their policing.
    • The focus    needs    to    move    from litigation   driven   to   creation   of   law abiding     society     by     sensitising citizens right from school level.

Conclusion:

The above set of recommendations is laudable and make up the crux of good governance in a developing country like India where poverty and inequality plague the society. Electoral reforms, administrative reforms and civil service reforms are necessary in equal measure for good governance.


Topic:  Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

7) Explain what is ‘IndiGen’ project? Discuss how CSIR’s ‘IndiGen’ project will lead to precision medicine and develop its commercial gene testing services?(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) recently announced the conclusion of a six-month exercise (from April 2019) of conducting a “whole-genome sequence” of a 1,008 Indians. 

Key demand of the question:

The question is straightforward; one must explain the concept of what is ‘IndiGen’ project and in what way it will help in precision medicine and commercial gene testing services.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief explain the context of the question.

Body:

Explain first what is whole genome sequencing? 

Discuss How the CSIR enterprise work on the project – Under “IndiGen”, the CSIR drafted about 1,000 youth from across India by organizing camps in several colleges and educating attendees on genomics and the role of genes in disease. Some students and participants donated blood samples from where their DNA sequences were collected.

Explain the challenges involved.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of such a project.

 

Introduction:    

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) recently announced the conclusion of a six-month exercise (from April 2019) of conducting a “whole-genome sequence” of a 1,008 Indians. The project is part of a programme called “IndiGen” and is also seen as a precursor to a much larger exercise involving other government departments to map a larger swathe of the population in the country.

Body:

IndiGen project:

  • The aim of the exercise was twofold:
    • To test if it’s possible to rapidly and reliably scan several genomes and advise people on health risks that are manifest in their gene
    • Understand the variation and frequency of certain genes that are known to be linked to disease.
  • The project is an adjunct to a much larger government-led program, still in the works, to sequence at least 10,000 Indian genomes.
  • Typically, those recruited as part of genome-sample collections are representative of the country’s population diversity. In this case, the bulk of them will be college students, both men and women, and pursuing degrees in the life sciences or biology.
  • The project aims to reach out to a lot of collegians, educating them about genomics and putting a system in place that allows them to access information revealed by their genome.

Methodology:

  • Genomes will be sequenced based on a blood sample and the scientists plan to hold at least 30 camps covering most States.
  • Genome sequencing is the process of determining the complete DNA sequence of an organism’s genome at a single time. This entails sequencing all of an organism’s chromosomal DNA as well as DNA contained in the mitochondria (and, for plants, in the chloroplast).
  • Every person whose genomes are sequenced will be given a report.
  • The participants would be told if they carry gene variants that make them less responsive to certain classes of medicines.
  • For instance, having a certain gene makes some people less responsive to clopidogrel, a key drug that prevents strokes and heart attacks.

IndiGen benefits for precision medicine:

  • The whole genome data will be important for building the knowhow, baseline data and indigenous capacity in the emerging area of Precision Medicine.
  • The benefits include epidemiology of genetic diseases to enable cost effective genetic tests, carrier screening applications for expectant couples, enabling efficient diagnosis of heritable cancers and pharmacogenetic tests to prevent adverse drug reactions.
  • The outcomes will have applications in a number of areas including predictive and preventive medicine with faster and efficient diagnosis of rare genetic diseases.
  • The outcomes will be utilized towards understanding the genetic diversity on a population scale, make available genetic variant frequencies for clinical applications and enable genetic epidemiology of diseases.

 

Conclusion:

The CSIR exercise ties into a larger program coordinated by the Department of Biotechnology, which plans to scan nearly 20,000 Indian genomes over the next five years, in a two-phase exercise, and develop diagnostic tests that can be used to test for cancer.