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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 5 July 2021

 

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.


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Introduction and Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy

1. What were the main features of India’s foreign policy? Elaborate on its main objectives. (250 words)

Reference:  mea.gov.in

Why the question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper II , part India’s foreign policy.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the key features of India’s foreign policy since its inception.

Directive:

Elaborate – Give 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:

From the late 1920s on, Jawaharlal Nehru, who had a long-standing interest in world affairs among independence leaders, formulated the Congress stance on international issues. As Prime Minister from 1947, Nehru articulated India’s approach to the world.

Body:

The guiding principles of India’s Foreign Policy have been founded on Panchsheel, pragmatism and pursuit of national interest. The five principles of peaceful coexistence or Panchsheel was evolved during talks between India and the People’s Republic of China in 1954.

Explain the principles in detail.

Highlight in what way they are still relevant.

Discuss the different phases of it.

Conclusion:

Conclude that in the current phase of geopolitical transformation, India needs to follow an approach of working with multiple partners on different agendas. Therefore, Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas is relevant in foreign policy.

Introduction

India’s foreign policy is shaped by several factors including its history, culture, geography and economy. Our first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, gave a definite shape to the country’s foreign policy. The thrust of foreign policy keeps on changing according to changing international conditions. Article 51 of the Indian Constitution also lays down some Directive Principles of State Policy on Promotion of International Peace and Security.

Body

foreign

The principles have stood the test of time and are ingrained in international law and India’s foreign policy practice. The principles of Indian foreign policy are as follows

  • Panchsheel
  • The policy of Non-Alignment
  • Policy of Resisting Colonialism, Imperialism, Racism
  • Peaceful settlement of International Disputes
  • Support to UN, International Law and a Just and Equal World Order

Fundamental objectives of India’s Foreign policy:

  • The preservation of India’s territorial integrity and independence of foreign policy.
    • The territorial   integrity   and   protection   of   national   boundaries   from   foreign aggression    is    the    core    interest    of    a        India    had    gained    a hard

Earned independence from foreign rule after long time. Thus, it was natural for her to give due emphasis on the independence of foreign policy.  India’s effort to strengthen Afro-Asian solidarity endorsement of principles of non-interference, in the internal affairs of other nations and finally the adoption of the policy of non-alignment should be seen in this light.

  • Promoting international peace and security.
    • India as a ‘newly independent and developing country rightly realized that international peace and development are correlated. Her emphasis on disarmament and the policy of keeping away from the military alliances is intended to promote global peace
  • Economic development of India.
    • Fast development of the country was the fundamental requirement of India at the time of independence. It was also required to strengthen the democracy and freedom in the country in order to gain financial resources and technology from both blocks and to concentrate her energy on the development, India opted away from the power block politics, which was the defining feature of cold war international politics.
  • The foreign policy practice of India also reveals its two other objectives:
    • Elimination of colonialism and racial discrimination.
    • Protection of the interests of people of Indian origin abroad.
  • An official statement of Ministry of External Affairs (2010) notes that India’s foreign policy seeks to safeguard her enlightened self-interest. Its primary objective is to promote and maintain a peaceful and stable external environment in which the domestic tasks of inclusive economic development and poverty alleviation can progress rapidly.
  • Thus, India seeks a peaceful periphery and works for good neighbourly relations in her extended neighbourhood.
  • India’s foreign policy also recognizes that the issues such as climate change, energy and food security are crucial for India’s transformation. Since these issues are global in nature, they require global solutions.

In short, our Foreign policy has at least four important goals:

  • To protect India from traditional and non-traditional threats;
  • To create an external environment which is conducive for an inclusive development of India so that the benefits of growth can reach the poorest of the poor in the country;
  • To ensure that India’s voice is heard on global forums and that India is able to influence world opinion on issues of global dimensions such as terrorism, climate change, disarmament, reforms of institutions of global governance;
  • To engage and protect Indian Diaspora.

Conclusion

We are living in a dynamic world. India’s foreign policy is therefore geared up to be proactive, flexible as well as pragmatic so as to make quick adjustments to respond to evolving situations. In the implementation of its foreign policy India, however, invariably adheres to a set of basic principles on which no compromise is made. In the light of the changing actualities of the international situation, India must cautiously play foreign policy, if it wants to emerge as a global rather than an aspirational player.

 

Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

2. What is Green passport which has been in news recently? Do you think the initiative is discriminatory? analyse. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

Recently, The EU Digital Covid Certificate, or the “green pass” as it is popularly known, has been created to restore freedom of travel for the public and remove the barriers on entry placed due to the pandemic. Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the concept of Green passport and explain in what way it is discriminatory.

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:

Start with what is the ‘green pass’ which will ease travel restrictions across EU.

Body:

The EU Digital Covid Certificate, or the “green pass” as it is popularly known, has been created to restore freedom of travel for the public and remove the barriers on entry placed due to the pandemic.

It is a digital proof that a person has either been vaccinated against Covid-19, or received a negative test result, or recovered from the viral infection. The document is valid across all EU countries.

While the “green pass” is expected to make the experience of travel hassle-free for people by doing away with restrictions, it is not absolutely compulsory.

The ‘vaccine passport’ has been largely touted to be a ticket back to normalcy, but it has given rise to larger concerns over intrusion, privacy and a curb on the right to free movement.

Discuss the concerns in detail.

Conclusion:

Conclude that with vaccine coverage as a percentage of population in developing countries still low compared to developed countries, such an initiative could prove to be highly discriminatory.

Introduction

The EU Digital Covid Certificate, or the “green pass” as it is popularly known, has been created to restore freedom of travel for the public and remove the barriers on entry placed due to the pandemic. It is a digital proof that a person has either been vaccinated against Covid-19, or received a negative test result, or recovered from the viral infection. The document is valid across all EU countries. While the “green pass” is expected to make the experience of travel hassle-free for people by doing away with restrictions, it is not absolutely compulsory.

Body

Why in news?

  • Covishield, manufactured by Serum Institute of India, is not among the vaccines which have been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for its “vaccine passport” programme that allows free movement of people in and out of Europe.
  • The EMA list only includes four vaccines now Vaxzevria (Oxford-AstraZeneca), Comirnaty (Pfizer-BioNTech), Spikevax (Moderna) and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson).
  • Serum Institute of India has not applied for Covishield’s approval.
  • Though Vaxzevria has been among the vaccines approved by EMA, Covishield, which is derived from AstraZeneca’s shot, is not on the list.
  • This is because the EMA takes into consideration local manufacturing facilities. Even if the vaccine is the same, different manufacturers of the same product need to submit separate applications for approval from EMA.

Initiative discriminatory:

  • India feels vaccine passports will restrict passengers from countries that don’t have the same access to vaccines and will increase vaccine inequality.
  • Though the EU has made it clear that the “green pass” will not be compulsory, the issue has once again raked up the larger debate on concerns around privacy and ethics.
  • The ‘vaccine passport’ has been largely touted to be a ticket back to normalcy, but it has given rise to larger concerns over intrusion, privacy and a curb on the right to free movement.
  • At the recent meeting of G7 countries,Indian Health Minister said that India was “strongly opposed to a ‘vaccine passport’ at this juncture”.
  • The Larger concern is that with vaccine coverage as a percentage of population in developing countries still low compared to developed countries, such an initiative could prove to be highly discriminatory.
  • The Green Passport will impact Indians notionally at present, as only essential travel is allowed into EU countries and special permission has to be taken for those travelling from India.
  • With global concerns over the Delta variant, which was first detected in India, more restrictions are in place for Indians travelling abroad.
  • Officials point out that Covishield was distributed to 95 countries, mainly low- and middle-income countries of the global South, and the EU action discriminates against all of them.

EU’s stand for Green passport:

  • By bringing within the Green Passport, the ECU Union has made it clear that it intends to use these vaccine passports in some measure to differentiate between those that are vaccinated and people who aren’t or have taken ‘unrecognized’ vaccines.
  • While the “green pass” is expected to make the experience of travel hassle-free for people by doing away with restrictions, it is not absolutely compulsory.
  • The EU website states that the certificate will not be a “pre-condition to free movement, which is a fundamental right in the EU”
  • However, those who do not possess the certificate will be subject to the usual travel restrictions and quarantine rules which are in effect in every country.

Conclusion

WHO has held categorically that vaccine passports should not be made mandatory for travel and should be optional, stating that proof of COVID-19 vaccination should not be required as a condition of entry and exit from a country. With at least nine countries, including Austria, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland, agreeing to independently make exemptions for Covishield, and Estonia accepting both Covishield and Covaxin, there is hope that enough pressure will build on the EMA to include exemptions for Indian vaccines as well.

 

Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

3. The America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan has spun the balance of power in favour of the Taliban. Critically analyse. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

As part of the U.S.’s plan to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan by September 11, the U.S. troops departed from the Bagram Air Base that had helped coordinate its long drawn war in Afghanistan. This effectively marks the end of their military operations in the country.

Key Demand of the question:

Critically analyse the impact of withdrawal of American troops from the Afghan region.

Directive:

Critically analyze – When 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:

Start with brief background of the question.

Body:

In a bid to end its war in Afghanistan, the US reached a deal with the Taliban in February 2020. The deal dealt with four aspects of the conflict — violence, foreign troops, intra-Afghan peace talks and the use of Afghan soil by terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.

Discuss the associated concerns in detail; Stalemate between Taliban and Afghan government, continued violence etc.

Throw light on India’s stakes as well.

Conclusion:

Conclude with the impact and its effect on India.

Introduction

American troops are set to withdraw from the country by September 11 this year, but the shadow of re-engagement looms, raising security concerns beyond South Asia. The resurgence of Taliban is a huge concern not only for Kabul but for regions in South Asia and beyond.

Body

Background

  • The US signed the Doha agreement in February 2020, dangling a “carrot” of full withdrawal, hoping the Taliban would agree to be part of an interim government.
  • The flawed peace process, which offered a clear, early edge to the Taliban, caused a deadlock in the Doha process.
  • Unlike Iraq, there was clear political support for the US forces to remain in Afghanistan.
  • But the US chose to shed the “occupier” tag and distance itself from grievances against governance and harm to civilians over the past 20 years.

 Security concerns post troop withdrawal

  • The US has announced that the Afghan War will end by September 11, having seized the Doha agreement as an opportunity.
  • While its withdrawal will exacerbate chaos and violence in Afghanistan and impact the wider region.
  • Due to the easing of UN restrictions for a few leaders and the freedom to operate from its Doha office, the Taliban continues to attend high-profile meetings in swanky hotels in Doha, while deadly attacks ravage Afghanistan.
  • Vicious attacks on civilians, such as the killing of schoolgirls in Kabul on May 8, are conveniently blamed on Islamic State Khurasan Province (ISKP) by the Taliban.
  • It is widely believed that the Pakistan army has infiltrated and is running the ISKP to “market” the Taliban as a “nationalist insurgent” group willing to fight “extremist” ISKP.
  • Groups like ISKP and al-Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and their variants will be used for high-profile attacks in Afghanistan and in the region, including against Western targets, to deter deeper re-engagement in Afghanistan.
  • The chaos would create more ungoverned spaces strengthening the terror infrastructure. Hence, the developments in Afghanistan will continue to raise security concerns, far beyond South Asia.

Conclusion

Despite the withdrawal, the looming shadow of US-NATO will remain with a focus on preventing Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven. US-NATO have chosen Afghan forces, under a democratic government, as their local allies and have assured funding up to 2024. While US-NATO may focus on their specific objectives in Afghanistan 2.0, it is certain that the Taliban-ISKP-Pakistan combine will unleash much more violence.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

4. What is the middle-income trap and why it matters for India? Discuss some measures to overcome it. (250 words)

Reference:  Live Mint

Why the question:

The article suggests focusing on improving productivity and thereby the manufacturing sector to avoid the middle-income trap. Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the concept of Middle income trap and explain how India can avoid the middle income trap.

Directive:

Discuss – This 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 with what you understand by Middle income trap.

Body:

This trap was first conceived by World Bank economists. They found that of the 101 developing economies that could be classified as ‘middle income’ in 1960, only 13 managed to become rich nations by 2008. There is little consensus on why some countries succeed in making the transition to high-income status.

But a distinctive attribute of those that succeed in the transition to high income is productivity improvement.

Suggest how India can avoid middle-income trap.

Conclusion:

Conclude with solutions.

Introduction

The middle-income trap refers to a situation whereby a middle-income country is failing to transition to a high-income economy due to rising costs and declining competitiveness. Few countries successfully manage the transition from low to middle to high income. The concept of a middle-income trap was first coined by Indermit Gill and Homi Kharas, the term refers to a sustained economic slowdown following a period of strong growth.

World Bank defines The middle-income trap as a development stage that characterizes countries that are squeezed between low-wage producers and highly skilled and fast-moving innovators for a variety of reasons—especially a failure to build institutional, human and technological capital.

Body

The Economic Survey 2018 (volume I) made a theoretical examination of India facing a Late Convergence Stall and the risk of falling into the Middle-Income Trap. However, India could use its demographic dividend to avoid this predicament and achieve the critical velocity needed to move into the high-income bracket.

Middle Income Trap and India:

  • The economic reforms that India unleashed in 1991 led to a period of strong growth lifting millions out of poverty and increasing the size of the economy by almost nine times in about 30 years.
  • However, unlike China and other prosperous East Asian nations, there was no mass shift from farm to factories.
  • India failed to create a robust manufacturing sector, which today accounts for less than 17% of the economic output.
  • In late convergers like India, ‘premature deindustrialization’ (tendency for manufacturing to peak at lower levels of activity and earlier in the development process) is a major cause of concern.
  • Service led economic growth lead to a jobless growth. Consequently, India’s economic growth has been powered by investments in the services sector, which could only create a few million high-skilled jobs, thereby forcing a staggering 81% of the workforce to be employed in the informal sector.
  • The Asian Development Bank has found that unequal income distribution
  • India has very low levels of human capital growth for an ambitious and fast-growing major economy. The World Bank ranked India at a lowly 115th out of 157 countries in its Global Human Capital Index rankings released last year.
  • The new advances in technology not only require skilled human capital, but also demands them to learn continually. As opposed to these requirements, there is a wider educational attainment gap between lower income countries and advanced economies.
  • Agricultural productivity is crucial both for feeding people and for ensuring human capital moves from agriculture to modern sectors. With climate change, ambient temperature has increased and weather extremities have become a recurrent phenomenon. This is, in particular, a threat to India where agriculture is heavily dependent on precipitation.
  • Fall in private consumption, muted rise in fixed investment and sluggish exports have led to slowdown in the economy and increase India’s vulnerability to the middle income trap.

Measures to overcome the Middle income trap:

Transitioning from diversification to specialization in production:

  • Specialization allowed the middle-income Asian countries to reap economies of scale and offset the cost of disadvantages associated with higher wages. E.g. Electronics industry in South Korea.
  • High levels of investment in new technologies and innovation-conducive policies are 2 overarching requirements to ensure specialized production.
  • Developing good social-safety nets and skill-retraining programs can ease the restructuring process that accompanies specialization.

Improve productivity

  • Re-allocation of labour from low-productivity agriculture to high-productivity sectors, such as manufacturing, has been a primary channel through which today’s advanced economies raised their living standards.
  • In 2020-21, it accounted for only 14.5% of India’s gross value added, down from 17.4% in 2011-12.
  • An essential first step in improving productivity would be strengthening this sector.

Strengthen manufacturing sector

  • Industrial labour relations is among the most critical elements to revitalize India’s manufacturing sector especially in the context of labour productivity.
  • These labour laws created incentives for firms to remain small and uncompetitive, thereby affecting productivity.
  • The new code, once implemented, would increase the threshold relating to layoffs and retrenchment in industrial establishments to 300 workers.
  • Other countries, such as China, Vietnam and Bangladesh, with whom India competes for foreign investment and export markets do not require the approval of administrative or judicial bodies for dismissals.
  • Therefore, in spite of recent reforms, India’s labour laws stay rigid in comparison with those of its competitor countries.

Technology intensive manufacturing

  • Engendering innovation in higher value-added, tech-intensive activities is important for economies before they reach that juncture.
  • If exports are taken as a proxy for the manufacturing capabilities and competitiveness of an economy, the present status of tech-intensive manufacturing in India leaves a lot to be desired.
  • As per World Bank data, high-tech exports accounted for only 10.3% of India’s manufacturing exports in 2019.
  • Rival countries had a much higher share of the same: 31% in China, 13% in Brazil, 40% in Vietnam and 24% in Thailand.
  • Low R&D spending in India, ranging from a mere 0.64% to 0.86% of gross domestic product over the past two decades, has held the country back.

Addressing barriers to effective competition

  • There is a need to address rigidities that can arise from bankruptcy laws, stringent tax regulations, limited enforcement of IP regulations, imperfect information, discrimination etc.

Decentralized economic management

  • Greater powers should be vested in local governments to ensure speedier decision making

Sustaining macroeconomic stability

  • through flexible fiscal framework that limited deficits and debt, and a flexible exchange rate mechanism backed up by a credible inflation-targeting monetary policy could help sustain long periods of growth.
  • Effective restructuring, regulating, and supervising of the financial sector must be ensured so that the present NPA crisis can be effectively handled.

Changing orientation of social programmes

  • that targets middle class besides poorer sections of the society which would propel the demand driven growth.
  • g. low-cost housing for first-time home buyers in cities, programs to ensure that recent graduates get suitable employment opportunities, paying more attention to public goods like safety, urban transport, and green spaces etc.

Way forward:

  • India has to do much more work in terms of revamping its education system, enhancement of the skill sets of its workforce, availability of abundant quantity of different manufacturing skills at identified locations, better logistics connectivity, a simplified and friendly tax regime, land and labour reforms, etc., to escape the middle income trap.
  • Long-term structural reforms and provision of better social security to people who have not benefited from India’s growth.
  • Without a demand push, economic recovery is not plausible. Measures to stimulate demand, like reduction in GST rates, higher employment creation, universal basic income, lower personal Income Tax rates etc., should be the government’s attention.

Conclusion

The status of our country is a multi-aspect problem that needs deep structural reforms. The concern is not just limited to only increasing demand and GDP but environmental aspects too. Almost every sector requires a policy change. India has fewer natural resources left along with a low GDP growth rate as compared to other middle-income countries. This calls for a policy that has a wider perspective than only focusing on the economic aspect. There is a need to redistribute the collective resources based on the equity principle.

 

Topic: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.

5. The milk cooperatives played a crucial role in ‘Operation Flood’, but the contributions of private sector holds good even in today’s times and can’t be ignored. Comment. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

The article brings to us the significant role that the private sector holds in developing the dairy sector in the country.

Key Demand of the question:

By highlighting the role of milk cooperatives explain the significant role that the private sector can play in improving the growth of Dairy sector.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with some key facts on Dairy sector in the country.

Body:

Briefly present the backdrop of Operation floods and in what way private sector played a key role therein.

Explain why Private players are essential to Dairy sector. Take hints from the article and explain in what way it supports the Dairy ecosystem.

Give examples and highlight the significance.

Conclusion:

Conclude with suitable solutions.

Introduction

Milk production is a very important element of the whole dairy chain. Dairy cooperatives, helped to create strong network and linkages in millions of rural households scattered across the country. Milk contributes close to the 1/3rd of gross income of rural households.

Body

Significance of Dairy Sector

  • Livelihood: In the farm-dependent population comprising cultivators and agricultural labourers, those involved in dairying and livestock constitute 70 million.
  • Women Empowerment: Moreover, in the total workforce of 7.7 million engaged exclusively in raising of cattle and buffalo, 69 per cent of them are female workers, which is 5.72 per cent of the total female workforce in the country, of which 93 per cent live in rural areas.
  • Economic Growth: In the Gross Value Added (GVA) from agriculture, the livestock sector contributed 28 per cent in 2019-20.
  • Provides Safety Net: A growth rate of 6 per cent per annum in milk production provides a great support to farmers, especially during drought and flood. Milk production rises during crop failures due to natural calamities because farmers bank more on animal husbandry then.

“Operation Flood” (OF) that started in the 1970s transformed this sector. The institutional innovation of a cooperative model, steered by Verghese Kurien, changed the structure of this sector. However, even after five decades, cooperatives processed only 10 per cent of the overall milk production.

Issues

  • High Susceptibility:Milk producers are highly susceptible to even minor shocks as the demand for milk and milk products are sensitive to changes in the employment and income of consumers.
  • Lacks Political Clout:Unlike sugarcane, wheat, and rice-producing farmers, cattle raisers are unorganised and do not have the political clout to advocate for their rights.
  • No MSP: There is no official and periodical estimate of the cost of production and Minimum Support Price for milk.
  • The Indian Grassland and Fodder Research Institute — Vision 2050 estimates that India will have a green fodder deficit of about 30 per cent by 2030.
  • Low Prices offered by Cooperatives:Even though dairy cooperatives handle about 40% of the total marketable surplus of the milk in the country, they are not a preferred option of landless or small farmers. This is because, on average, fat-based pricing in dairy cooperatives is 20 to 30% less than the price in the open market.
  • Shortage manpower:In August 2020, the Animal Husbandry and Dairying department reported a requirement of 2.02 lakh artificial insemination (AI) technicians in India whereas the availability is only 1.16 lakh.
  • Hatsun Agro Products Ltd (HAP), based in Tamil Nadu, is the largest private sector dairy company in India. The doors for the private sector are opened only partially.
  • Slow disbursal of Loans:Out of the total 1.5 crore farmers in 230 milk unions in India, not even one-fourth of the dairy farmers’ loan applications had been forwarded to banks as of October 3, 2020.
  • Inadequate measures by government: Dairying was brought under MGNREGA to compensate farmers for the income loss due to Covid-19. However, the budgetary allocation for 2021-22 was curtailed by 34.5 per cent in relation to the revised estimates for 2020-21.
  • COVID-19 impacts
  • Increased Cost & Reduced demand: The closure of shops had cut down the demand for milk and milk products while severe shortage of fodder and cattle feed has pushed up the input cost.
  • Reduced Buyers: During the pandemic, there has been a self-imposed ban on door-to-door sale of liquid milk by households both in urban and rural areas, forcing farmers to sell the entire produce to dairy cooperatives at a much lower price.
  • Reduced access to Veterinary service: Further, private veterinary services have almost stopped due to Covid-19, which has led to the death of milch animals

Way Forward

  • A stable market and remunerative price (ignoring fat content or giving more weightage to the quantity of milk) for liquid milk;
  • Uninterrupted supply of fodder and cattle feed at a reasonable price; and
  • Regular supply of veterinary services and medicines.
  • Let prices be determined by market forces, with marginal support from the government or cooperatives in times of extreme.
  • New techniques, trainingshould be provided to workers in the dairy industry so that they can work better and look for new innovations.
  • “Hydrogreens”, an agri-tech startup provides solutions to the green fodder deficit through their “Kambala”, a hydroponic green fodder unit. It allows farmers to grow fresh green fodder year-round without soil in a controlled environment and with limited water resources.

Conclusion

India is the biggest producer as well as the consumer of milk and the solution lies within the ecosystem only by making improvement in the quality and quantity of the milk produced and by adding value to it so that both farmers and consumers can benefit.

 

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

6. Deliberate how Rooftop rainwater harvesting methods can ease India’s water woes. (250 words)

Reference:  Down to Earth

Why the question:

The article brings to us the importance of Rooftop rainwater harvesting methods.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in what way Rooftop rainwater harvesting methods can ease India’s water woes.

Directive:

Deliberate – Weigh up to what extent something is true. Persuade the reader of your argument by citing relevant research but also remember to point out any flaws and counter- arguments as well. Conclude by stating clearly how far you agree with the original proposition.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by explaining that India’s rapid urban growth is expected to stress its already crumbling base of public service arrangements — especially its management of water and sanitation services, whose safe and reliable availability proved to be the first line of defence against this covid pandemic.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Discuss the concept of Rooftop Rainwater harvesting; It is the technique through which rainwater is captured from the roof catchments and stored in reservoirs. Harvested rainwater can be stored in sub-surface groundwater reservoirs by adopting artificial recharge techniques to meet the household needs through storage in tanks.

Present the water stress issues in the country.

Discuss the importance of rooftop harvesting.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance.

Introduction

Rooftop Rainwater harvesting is the simple process or technology used to conserve rainwater by collecting, storing, conveying and purifying of rainwater that runs off from rooftops, parks, roads, open grounds, etc. for later use. The scarcity of good quality water has become a significant cause of concern in recent days. However, Rainwater, which is pure and of good quality, can be used for irrigation, washing, cleaning, bathing, cooking and also for other livestock requirements.

The Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs has issued the Model Building Bye Laws, 2016 for guidance of the States/UTs and has a chapter on ‘Rainwater Harvesting’.

Body

Water woes in India:

  • According to the Composite Water Management Index (CWMI) report released by the NITI Aayog in 2018, 21 major cities (Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and others) are racing to reach zero groundwater levels by 2020, affecting access for 100 million people.
  • However, 12 per cent of India’s population is already living the ‘Day Zero’ scenario, thanks to excessive groundwater pumping, an inefficient and wasteful water management system and years of deficient rains.
  • While the supply-demand gap is expected to widen by 50 per cent by 2030, many are still left without access to safe and sustainable water and sanitation services.
  • At least five Indian cities are already reported to have joined the list of world’s 20 largest water-stressed cities.
  • A case in point is the metropolitan regions of Bangalore and Chennai, which source their waters from a distance of 95 kilometres and 200 km, respectively.
  • Water availability in India remains on the mercy of erratic patterns of precipitation. The southwest monsoon alone accounts for 70-75 per cent of the total precipitation falling in India, especially in regions along the west coast, the north-eastern states, West Bengal and Odisha, which are characterised by patterns of heavy rainfall events within limited time duration.
  • It is estimated that India receives its total precipitation within a limited time duration of 100 hours out of 8,760 annual hours in total.
  • With temperatures postulated to rise owing to changing climate, precipitation patterns can only be expected to become more capricious in their operation. Nowhere will these uncertainties and incidental challenges be more pronounced than in our burgeoning towns and cities, which are already facing water shortages during the summer months and at time, experiencing floods during monsoon.
  • A World Bank (2018) study expounded that by 2050, annual average precipitation will increase to 1-20C under climate-sensitive scenario and 1.5-30C under carbon-intensive scenario.
  • Such changes are expected to increase precipitation, which will come in the form of reduced rainy days but more days of extreme precipitation events.
  • Combined with this peculiarity in the evolving unpredictability of precipitation patterns over the Indian subcontinent, the way Indian cities have sprung and continues to develop also pose a risk to their future sustainability.
  • Concretisation of urban landscapes, symbolic of modern town planning imaginaries as to what an exercise in urban development should produce, is found to be increasing flood peaks from 1.8-8 times and volume of flood by up to six times.
  • Storm water drainage systems, installed to allay the threats of urban deluge, are still designed for rainfall intensity of 20-25 millimetre per hour duration. It is, therefore, not unnatural that the carrying capacities of these drains easily get overwhelmed during the incidences of heavy precipitation.
  • Illegal encroachment along storm water drains and urban rivers also aggravates the situation, not least by opening up spaces of active political contestation and negotiations.

Importance of Rain water harvesting:

  • Over 85 percent of the cultivated area in India is either directly dependent on rain or depends on rain to recharge its groundwater. Seasonal rain provides water for irrigation, drinking, and household needs. It provides water to livestock and is necessary to grow fodder for animals.
  • Harvesting rainwater is a great way of lessening your carbon footprint and becoming self-sufficient in your water needs. Harvested water can tide you through dry periods and can be used for a variety of household needs.
  • Rainwater harvesting is a viable and affordable technology in an urban setting to ensure water self-sufficiency
  • It helps meet the ever-increasing demand for water.
  • Rain water harvesting improves the quality and quantity of groundwater.
  • Reduces urban flooding.

Way forward:

  • Rooftop rainwater structures are perfectly poised to engender a transformative wave of public engagement in water management, thus, as a corollary, making water management an exercise in nurturing democratic routines.
  • To ensure that public enthusiastically purchases this concept, a country-wide behavior change campaign can be launched along the lines of Swachh Bharat Mission that can improve people’s ‘ability’ and ‘motivation’ to romantically welcome these structures in their private premises.
  • Local authorities should accord explicit attention to the designing and management criteria in their respective byelaws and work to strengthen the enforcement thereof.
  • Local non-profits and private stakeholders can be roped in to build area specific water conservation plans in partnership with local residents outlining what can work and what cannot according to the area based hydrogeological and prevailing social conditions.
  • There are several people who have been fervently advocating for the cause of water harvesting. They should be supported to build an arsenal of local champions who can then effectively mobilise the mood of communities in and around their regions for installing roof top rainwater harvesting systems. They will be a key to promote a ‘do-it-yourself’ model of engagement.
  • Adoption of rooftop rainwater harvesting practice provides just the right opportunity for our water managers to leverage this wave of change that is effectively about breaking the boundaries between experts and non-experts.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

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. Determination of ethics in state policies and actions is not stress-free because every policy and action has both positive and negative aspects seen from different stakeholders’ perspectives. Discuss with suitable examples. (250 words)

Reference:  Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications

Why the question:

The question is based on the aspects of determining Ethics in State policies and its actions.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain in what way the determination of ethics in state policies and actions is not stress-free because every policy and action has both positive and negative aspects seen from different stakeholders’ perspectives.

Directive:

Discuss – This 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 the introduction first talk about the determination of ethics in state policies and actions in general.

Body:

Explain first that, state as the highest executive authority is required to perform administrative, legal and regulatory functions. Broadly, state actions and policies need to be in confirmation with the constitution, laws, judicial pronouncements, international conventions and treaties. However, there isn’t a necessary positive correlation between the legality of an outcome and its ethicality.

Discuss with examples in what way depending upon the circumstances and requirements, views of different stakeholders may not be in consonance with each other.

Give arguments to support the statement along with suitable examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude that State policies and actions must only be assessed in context of the requirements of the time and in light of them falling within the legal and constitutional framework.

Introduction

Public administration is a profession that offers and unusually array of opportunities to make moral or immoral decisions, to make ethical or unethical choices, to do good or evil things to people. Ethics provide a framework for accountability between the public and administration. Ethics and values have key role in smooth functioning of public administration system.

Body

The civil service, being a profession in the modern state, has developed a code of morality for its members. This code consists of traditions, precedence, and standards which have to be kept up by the civil servants.  The civil servants are expected to set up high moral standards not only for themselves but also for the community at large. This is more so in the context of the growing size and role of administration and its impact on the society.

But striking a balance between the pros and cons of any policy or initiative could be challenging, as what seems right and positive for one section of the population might be detrimental to the other

E.g.: Urbanization and development vs. Displacement of people and Environment degradation

To address any problem or executing any policy a bureaucrat should answer the following questions:

  • Which are the main factors influencing the decision?
  • What are its consequences?
  • Who does the action benefit?
  • Would the action embarrass the department or the society at large?
  • Is the problem really what it appears to be?
  • Is the action fully legal and ethical?

These guidelines help to clarify whether the action is socially responsible. Though sometimes there is no clear answer to all questions. All ethical and moral issues along with the public policies, laws, rules and regulations are to be kept in mind while resolving a dilemma.

Ethics in public administration:

  • Public resource utilization: ethical use of resources ensures the efficient and effective development of society without corruption. It makes the one holding public office accountable for his/her actions.
  • E.g. RTI, social audits to involve public and enhance transparency in resource utilization.
  • The ethical standards of Impartiality and objectivity bring merit into organization. Thereby, increasing predictability, which improves economic efficiency.
  • E.g. e-filing of tax returns, online tenders etc.,
  • Outcomes for society are better when the decisions of public office holders are made fairly and on merit and not influenced by personal and private interests. Commitment and dedication to work improves the administration.
  • E.g. Ramkumar IAS brought in new ideas to develop dadenggre district of Meghalaya though personally it was difficult.
  • Public trust and assurance: every section of public irrespective of race, religion, caste must be treated equitably and ethics ensures just and fair administration.
  • E.g. protection of minority rights.
  • Social capital: a just and ethical administration will have credibility and ensures citizen participation in administration. The trust thus generated makes the administration easier and synergetic.
  • E.g. With the credibility he garnered, Officer Armstrong Pame was able to raise funds and labour from public and build a 100km road without the central government help.
  • Curb corruption: improving efficiency and break the unholy nexus between the administration and the anti-social elements.
  • E.g. Vohra commission mentioned that corruption is the biggest problem deteriorating the law and order.
  • Adding the component of compassion to day to day works makes a lot of difference to the lives of vulnerable sections.
  • For instance, collector S. Shankaran IAS addressing the plight of bonded labourers, Reforms brought by Kiran Bedi in Tihar jail.
  • The administration becomes responsive to the needs and aspirations of the public.
  • For instance, creation of a separate public market for road side vendors before their evacuation in west Bengal.
  • International relations: ethical administration also helps in building rapport in international relations and economy.

Absence of ethics results in authoritarianism, suppression of minority rights, high corruption and impoverishment of the poor and the vulnerable. Historically it has only been disastrous whether it is the colonial administration or the authoritarian governments like that of Hitler/Stalin. The atrocities on Rohingyas in Myanmar, persecution of Palestinians etc., are a direct consequence of absence of ethics in public administration.

Conclusion

Ethics guide human conduct and it help people to lead good life by applying moral principles. The same when applied to public administration will not only bring efficiency but also helps in developing an egalitarian, just and fair society.


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