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[Mission 2022] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 24 August 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: The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.

1. Discuss the nature of the Khilafat movement and bring out its role in formation of the Non-cooperation movement. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Chapter-16 – A Brief History of Modern India by Rajiv Ahir (Spectrum Publishers), Chapter 15 – India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipin Chandra.

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1 as mentioned in Mission-2022 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the nature of the Khilafat movement and how its carved out the space for the emergence of Non-cooperation movement.

Directive word: 

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: 

Give the context for the launch of Khilafat movement

Body:

Describe the features of Khilafat movement such as its pan-Islamic nature across the world, as well as it trying to align its goals towards Indian Nationalism, rise of two streams of education among Indian Muslims, rise of political organisations such as All-India Khilafat Committee and the Jamiat al-Ulama-e-Hind, important leaders  and the rising anti- British sentiments.

Mention the role of Gandhi in Khilafat movement, that through Gandhi’s interlinking of the demands of the Khilafat leaders and leaders of INC and the disappointment of the Khilafat leaders  with the Peace treaty of 1920,and various grievances of Congress, Sins of Jallianwala Bagh led to the rise of the Non-cooperation movement.

Conclusion:

Write about how the movement functioned jointly and its achievements.

Introduction

Khilafat and Non-cooperation movements were important milestones in the history of modern India. Both these movements ushered in a new era of mass mobilisation and shaped the future of Indian polity in important ways. Although their trajectories were somewhat different, both were anti-imperialist movements. They emerged from separate issues. The Khilafat issue was not directly linked to Indian politics but it was deeply anti-imperialist and nationalist in its impulse. These two movements were brought together during 1920-22, under the leadership of Gandhiji.

Body

Nature of Khilafat Movement:

  • The Khilafat movement in India arose out of the sentiments of the Indian Muslims to protect the institution of the Khalifa in Turkey.
  • The Khalifa in Islamic tradition was considered as the successor to the Prophet Muhammad, religious leader and the custodian and protector of the Muslim holy places.
  • As Turkey was defeated in the First World War, the Allies imposed strict terms on it. Turkey was dismembered and the Khalifa removed from power.
  • The Muslims in India launched the Khilafat movement to pressurise the British to be lenient and preserve the territorial integrity of the Ottoman Empire and the institution of Khalifa.
  • In early 1919, a Khilafat Committee was formed under the leadership of the Ali brothers (Shaukat Ali and Muhammad Ali), Maulana Azad, Ajmal Khan and Hasrat Mohani.
  • The Khilafat may be seen as the attempt on the part of the Indian Muslim leadership to bring their pan-Islamic and Indian nationalist sentiments together.

Role of Khilafat movement in formation of Non Cooperation movement:

  • On 20 March 1919, a Khilafat Committee was formed in Bombay under the leadership of prominent Muslim leaders
  • Initially, they took a moderate stand, and their activities were restricted to meetings, petitions and deputations
  • The advocates of a militant movement wanted to launch a non-cooperation movement against the colonial government.
  • An all-India Khilafat Conference was organised in Delhi on 23-24 November 1919. A call for boycott of British goods was made in the conference.
  • They also threatened to stop all cooperation with the government in case unjust treatment was meted out to Turkey during the peace settlement
  • Gandhiji was declared as the leader under whose guidance the movement would be carried forward
  • Gandhiji saw an opportunity to bring together Hindus and Muslims on a common platform for nationalist movement
  • It was his leadership that made the convergence of the two anti-imperialist streams – nationalist and the Khilafat – possible during this period.

Evaluation of Khilafat and Non Cooperation movement:

  • The Khilafat and non-cooperation movements played extremely important role in generating and spreading anti-imperialist consciousness among the Indian people.
  • The Hindus and Muslims together participated in the movement throughout the country and often it was difficult to point out the difference between khilafat and non-cooperation movement
  • Despite the Malabar happenings, in which the Muslim peasants revolted against their largely Hindu landlords and killed many of them, the Hindu-Muslim unity remained intact throughout the period.
  • An important issue which the non-cooperation movement brought to the fore was the need to fight against caste discrimination and untouchability.
  • The need for social justice was clearly acknowledged, pushed forward and was later enshrined in the Constitution of independent India.
  • Strong anti-colonial movements were afoot among various sections of population.
  • Peasants and workers were particularly active during this period, besides the middle classes in both the urban and rural areas.
  • Moreover, Gandhiji’s insistence on non-violence brought a large number of women into the movement.
  • Thus, these movements under the leadership of Gandhiji revolutionised the structure of Indian politics in several ways.
  • The most significant success of the movement should be located in its mobilisation of various sections of people across the country and the creation of political and social consciousness in them.

Conclusion:

The movement brought the urban Muslims into the national movement. With the Non-Cooperation Movement, nationalist sentiments reached every nook and corner of the country and politicised every strata of population—the artisans, peasants, students, urban poor, women, traders etc. It was this politicisation and activisation of millions of men and women which imparted a revolutionary character to the national movement. Colonial rule was based on two myths one, that such a rule was in the interest of Indians and two, that it was invincible. The first myth had been exploded by the economic critique by Moderate nationalists. The second myth had been challenged by Satyagraha through mass struggle. Now, the masses lost the hitherto all-pervasive fear of the colonial rule and its mighty repressive organs.

 

Topic:  The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.

2. Gandhi’s decision to withdraw the Non-cooperation movement in response to the violence at Chauri Chaura raised a controversy, created confusion and questioned Gandhian leadership. Critically examine the decision to withdraw the movement at its peak. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Chapter 15 – India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipin Chandra.

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1 as mentioned in Mission-2022 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To examine the reasoning behind calling off the non-cooperation movement at its peak.

Directive word: 

Critically examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we have to look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications. 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: 

Begin by mentioning the violence in Chauri-Chaura, which was against the ideas of ahimsa and satyagraha that lead to the suspension of NCM.

Body:

Write about Gandhi’s response to the violent incidents and recall of most widespread mass struggle, Non-Cooperation movement.

Write about how people questioned the motives of Gandhi. The confusion regarding its withdrawal as to why such a huge movement be suspended for a small incident and doubts that were expressed in Gandhi’s ability to lead the freedom struggle.

Next, mention as to why the withdrawal was the strategic retreat by Gandhi and save the satyagrahis from severe repression of the government.

Conclusion:

Conclude by mentioning Gandhi’s strict adherence to the principles of non-violence even at the cost of doubts among his followers or taking a step back in the arena of the Indian national freedom struggle.

Introduction

On 1st August, 1920, Gandhiji had launched the Non-Cooperation Movement against the government. It involved using swadeshi and boycott of foreign goods, especially machine made cloth, and legal, educational and administrative institutions, “refusing to assist a ruler who misrules”.

Body

Chauri Chaura Incident:

  • On 4thFebruary, volunteers congregated in the town, and after the meeting, proceeded in a procession to the local police station, and to picket the nearby Mundera bazaar.
    The police fired into the crowd killing some people and injuring many volunteers.
  • In retaliation, the crowd proceeded to set the police station on fire. Some of the policemen who tried to escape were caught and battered to death. A lot of police property, including weapons, was destroyed.

Justification for the Suspension of the Movement:

  • Gandhijion his part, justified himself on grounds of his unshakeable faith in non-violence.
  • He felt that the movement was turning violent in many places and the satyagrahis need to be trained properly for mass movement.
  • Gandhiji felt that people had not learnt or fully understood the method of non-violence.
  • The Government of India Act of 1919, had set up elections in Provincial Councils. Some leaders wanted to participate in elections
  • Violent activities could easily be suppressed by the British through more violent and brutal means.
  • The movement showed signs of fatigue, because it is not possible to sustain any movement at a high pitch for very long.
  • Gandhian strategy of non-violence was based on the premise that the use of repressive force against non-violent protesters would expose the real character of the colonial stateand ultimately put moral pressure on them, but incidents such as Chauri Chaura defeated that strategy.
  • Withdrawal or shift to a phase of non-confrontationis an inherent part of a strategy of political action that is based on the masses.
  • The Khilafat question had lost its relevance as Turkey became secular
  • To gain full independence, leaders like Subash Chandra Bose and Nehru wanted radical mass agitations.
  • Poor people could not afford Khadi clotheswhich were very expensive compared to mass produced mill cloth. Hence people could no longer afford to boycott mill cloth for too long.

Negative response to the suspension

  • The disillusionment resulting from the suspension of the Non-Cooperation Movement nudged many of the younger Indian nationalists towards the conclusion that India would not be able to throw off colonial rule through non-violence.
  • It was from the ranks of these impatient patriots that some of India’s most of the revolutionaries came into picture like Jogesh Chatterjee, Ramprasad Bismil, Sachin Sanyal, Ashfaqulla Khan, Jatin Das, Bhagat Singh, Bhagwati Charan Vohra, Masterda Surya Sen, and many others.
  • Besides, sudden termination of the Non-Cooperation Movement disillusioned the Khilafat movement leadersthat created a rift between Congress and the muslim leaders.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru and other leadersleading the Non-Cooperation movement were shocked that Gandhiji had stopped the struggle when the civil resistance had consolidated their position in the freedom movement.
  • Other leaders like Motilal Nehru and CR Das recorded their dismay at Gandhiji’s decision and decided to establish the Swaraj Party.
  • Many felt that the movement, which was at its peak, should not have been withdrawn because of one incident in one part of the country.
  • The euphoria of Hindu-Muslim unity was over.

Conclusion

Though withdrawn abruptly, with the Non-Cooperation Movement, nationalist sentiments reached every nook and corner of the country and politicised every strata of population: the artisans, peasants, students, urban poor, women, traders etc. it was this politicisation and activation of millions of men and women which imparted a revolutionary character to the national movement.

 

 


General Studies – 2


  

Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes;

3. Ujjwala 2.0 (Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana) is certainly a step in the right direction to improve access to LPG over its earlier version but unless the structural impediments are addressed the poor cannot properly benefit from it. Evaluate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the second phase of the Ujjwala gas connection scheme for the poor and said it would provide the biggest relief to lakhs of migrant worker families in the country.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about aims of Ujjwala 2.0, the bottlenecks that the poor face in accessing LPG and to suggest measures to overcome those.

Directive word: 

Evaluate – When you are asked to evaluate, you must pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidence.  You must appraise the worth of the statement in question. There is scope for forming an opinion here.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by explaining the aims and objectives of Ujjwala 2.0 (Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana).

Body:

Write a brief comparison with its earlier version, its successes and limitations and how Ujjwala 2.0 is an improvement over its previous version.

Next, write about the various impediments like affordability, administrative issues, low value for women’s labour etc poor face while accessing LPG which causes them to continue to use firewood and cow dung as fuel.

Write the measures that need to be taken to enhance and promote the usage of LPG. Mention the aspect of integrating other forms clean energy apart from LPG which is accessible and affordable.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

Prime Minister recently launched the second phase of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) or Ujjwala 2.0 Scheme. It is aimed to provide maximum benefit to the migrants who live in other states and find it difficult to submit address proof. Now they will only have to give “Self-Declaration” to avail the benefit. Ujjwala is part of the ambitious agenda for behavioural change that will help India transit to a $5 trillion economy by 2024.

The PMUY has helped the spread of LPG cylinders predominantly in the urban and semi-urban areas with the coverage mostly in middle class and affluent households. It aims to safeguard the health of women & children by providing them with a clean cooking fuel – LPG, so that they don’t have to compromise their health in smoky kitchens or wander in unsafe areas collecting firewood.

Body

Features of Ujjwala 2.0:

  • Under Ujjwala 2.0, an additional 10 million LPG connections will be provided to the beneficiaries.
  • Government has also fixed a target of providing piped gas to 21 lakh homes in 50 districts.
  • Under Ujjwala 2.0, migrant workers can avail a free cooking gas connection on the basis of a self-declaration without any need for documents like address proof.
  • Ujjwala 2.0 aims to provide deposit-free LPG connections to low-income families who could not be covered under the first phase of PMUY.
  • Along with deposit-free access to LPG supplies, the beneficiaries will also be provided with a stove (hotplate) free of cost. Under the scheme, the first gas cylinder is free worth over Rs 800, but consumers need to pay for subsequent cylinders.
  • Cash assistance worth Rs 1,600 for a PMUY connection is provided by the government. The cash assistance covers a security deposit of cylinder, pressure regulator, LPG hose, domestic gas consumer card, and inspection/installation/demonstration charges.

 

Evaluation of Ujjwala 1.0:

  • In the first phase of the PMUY, 8 crore poor families,including from the Dalit and tribal communities, were given free cooking gas connections.
  • The LPG infrastructure has expandedmanifold in the country. In the last six years, more than 11,000 new LPG distribution centres have opened across the country.
  • According to the Government figures, LPG coverage has increased from 55% to 97.4%. The scheme has acted as one of the biggest catalyst of socio-economic change in the status of women in the country.
  • LPG Panchayats are being observed to promote learning through peer group interaction – Kuch Seekhein, Kuch Sikhayein, where apart from experience sharing, it also aims at safe and sustained usage of LPG.
  • To make LPG affordable to poor families, OMCs have introduced 5 Kg refill option to Ujjwala beneficiaries where in Ujjwala beneficiary can swap 14.2 Kg cylinder with 5 Kg refill and vice versa.
  • PMUY implementation has been appreciated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and termed it as a decisive intervention to check the indoor health pollution being faced by the women of the country.

Structural impediments faced in Ujjwala 1.0:

Cost issues:

  • In a Performance Audit Report, the government’s audit watchdog said that encouraging the sustained usage of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) remains a big challenge as the annual average refill consumption of PMUY consumers on 31 December 2018 was only 3.21.
  • Low consumption of refills by 0.92 crore consumers who had availed loans, hindered recovery of outstanding loan of Rs1234.71 crore.
  • Consumers were paying market price for refills till the loan repayment for stove and first refill was made. This led to some consumers not going in for such refills.
  • Economic Burden: The increased monthly expenditure has shied many consumers away from LPG and lured them back to firewood and cow-dung cakes.

Administrative issues:

  • laxity in identification of beneficiaries was noticed as 9,897 LPG connections were issued against Abridged Household List Temporary Identification Numbers (AHL TINs) where names of all family members and the beneficiary were blank in the Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC)-2011 list.
  • Lack of input validation check in the IOCL software allowed issue of 0.80 lakh connections to beneficiaries aged below 18 years.
  • issuance of connections to unintended beneficiaries.
  • inadequacies in the de-duplication process: Out of 3.78 crore LPG connections, 1.60 crore (42%) connections were issued only on the basis of beneficiary Aadhaar which remained a discouragement in de-duplication.
  • 59 lakh connections were released to beneficiaries who were minor as per the SECC-2011 data, which was in violation of PMUY guidelines and LPG Control Order, 2000.

Logistic issues:

  • Lack of LPG cylinder bottling plants near rural areas and connectivity issues especially in the tribal areas.
  • Last-mile connectivity and delivery still poses a great challenge.
  • Delay of more than 365 days was noticed in installation of 4.35 lakh connections against stipulated time period of seven days.
  • Adequate efforts were not made in distributing the small 5-kg cylinders for encouraging usage.

Safety and Behavioural issues:

  • Safety has been another concern about distribution of LPG connection, especially to BPL families. Lack of awareness and safety amenities in beneficiary households have increased the likelihood of accidents.
  • Cow-dung cakes lying around the house all the time. Hence, LPG cylinders are used on special occasions or during some kind of emergency or when it’s entirely too hot to burn wood.
  • The CRISIL report also noted that 37% of households in rural areas procure cooking fuel or free.
  • Agency: Most rural women do not have a say in determining when a refill is ordered, even though the connection is in their name.

Way Forward:

  • Larger reach: The scheme should be extended to poor households in urban and semi-urban slum areas.
  • Higher Coverage: There is a need for achieving a higher LPG coverage of the population by providing connections to households that do not have LPG.
  • Targeting true beneficiaries: Entering Aadhaar numbers of all adult family members of existing as well as new beneficiaries to make deduplication effective and appropriate measures in distributors’ software to restrict issuance to ineligible beneficiaries.
  • Curb diversion: Cases of high consumption of refills should be regularly reviewed to curb diversion.
  • Increase Affordability: A case in point is state-run fuel retailers introducing a 5kg refill option to make purchases affordable.
  • Increase Accessibility: Gas Agencies should be set up within 10km radius, especially in the rural and remote areas to increase accessibility.
  • Increase Availability: Alternatives like Gas-grid and piped connections in cities and areas near the bottling plants can free up the cylinders for other areas.
  • Promote ‘Give it up’: The initiative of the government to persuade the well-off to give up the LPG subsidies has added to the corpus of PMUY. Similar initiatives can be promoted.
    • The Economic Survey, 2019 had also suggested a strategy tweak for improving the scheme’s efficacy by maintaining a centralized list of names of those who had given up their subsidies, independent of the gas company, and displaying their photographs.
  • Encourage Private Players to set up LPG franchises at rural areas.
  • Sensitization and Education of safe use of LPG though LPG Panchayats, NGO’s etc.

Conclusion:

PMUY is a novel scheme having twin benefits of women empowerment as well as environmental conservation. Ironing out the implementation issues can reap the envisioned benefits and lead to a sustainable future in energy consumption. Behavioural change, further strengthening of the supply chain, the shift towards cleaner energy should be the key priorities, going forward.

 

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

4. As experts ring the alarm bells of an imminent third wave, there is a definite need to ramp up vaccinations across the country. A dilemma however pertains regarding the vaccination strategy for children. Discuss the deliberations that must be considered to vaccinate children in India. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:

An expert panel, set up by an institute under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), has predicted a third wave of COVID-19 hitting the country anytime between September and October and suggested significantly ramping up vaccination pace.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the consideration that must be taken in to account regarding the vaccination strategy for Children.

Directive word: 

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you must debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You must give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context of the recent report of expert panel about the third wave and its recommendations to prepare for it.

Body:

Mention the importance of ramping vaccinations in order to prevent a third wave or minimise its impact.

Next, write about areas of concern with respect handling of covid-19. Pseudo standard treatment guidelines (STG), Use of unproven medicines, over-treating leading to major side effects etc.

Mention about countries that have already started vaccinating children. Bring out the considerations to have a fool proof vaccination policy for Children. Evidence based policy making, robust trials, considering comorbid children, negating popular or influential calls to vaccinate in haste.

Conclusion:

Conclude by underling that a proper vaccination strategy must go hand in hand with other preventative strategies to reduce the impact of the third wave.

Introduction

As India’s vaccination drive chugs along with sporadic bursts of frenetic inoculation. Also, there are possibilities of administering vaccines to children soon, as early as next month with Zydus being given the approval for trials.

Body

Need for ramping up vaccination

  • In India, only around 10% of all adults have been fully vaccinated. India already has a challenging target of fully inoculating all adults — 94.4 crore — by the end of the year.
  • A third wave could be significantly buffered by expanding vaccination.
  • Were vaccines to be rolled out in a way to cover 40% of the population, with two doses until August, it could reduce symptomatic incidence by around 55%.
  • Less than 20% of Indians have got at least one dose of the vaccine and only 4% fully vaccinated.
  • A key constraint has been Covaxin; its manufacturer has been unable to ramp up monthly production to its stated nearly six crore doses.
  • There is also the vexing matter of breakthrough infections, that is those contracting the infection in spite of being vaccinated.
  • Sporadic studies in India suggest that this percentage of infection is small, though there is still no clarity on the real-world effectiveness of vaccines in the light of variants such as Delta and Delta Plus.
  • There is also, so far, no theoretical limit on how infectious the coronavirus can become.

Dilemma of vaccination for children and deliberations to be considered

  • There are children among the 23 crore Indians who have been pushed into poverty and will never return to class. Prolonged school closures have reversed decades of gains in education
  • Young children are at the least risk of hospitalisation and death from COVID-19 but are capable of being infection carriers and putting older caregivers at risk.
  • This undergirds the difficult decision by governments to continue with school closures that has brought forth unprecedented challenges such as denying many Indian children access to quality education.
  • Government and independent experts have advised that schools can open in a staggered fashion.
  • This again underlines that reopening should not be contingent on vaccination alone.
  • There is also the worry that prioritising vaccines for children would mean diverting already limited stocks.
  • Rather than blindly emulate the West, India must decide on what policy works best for its entire population, including children.

Conclusion

India’s major goal should be to fast-track vaccination and also ramp up production at the earliest. The focus must be on getting the children back in schools in a safe and orderly manner and ensure that third wave does not lead to another rounds of lockdown, which otherwise will spell a doom for the slowly picking up economy.

 

 


General Studies – 3


  

Topic: changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

5. The micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are indispensable to economic and social development of the country. MSME sector is required to be empowered to face the existing challenges for it to be truly a strategic asset for the economy of the country. Examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:

As per the MSME Ministry data, India has approximately 6.3 crore MSMEs. A policy realignment is needed to get the best of them to achieve its aims and objectives.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about contribution of MSME in India’s growth, the issues affecting MSMEs and changes that are needed to Revamp them.

Directive word: 

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must investigate the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving factual status of proportion of MSME vis-à-vis the population dependent on it also adding the dimension of the demographic demand of India.

Body:

Elaborate upon the importance of MSMEs in socio-economic development of the country. GDP growth, Job creation, exports and entrepreneurship etc.

Mention about the challenges of the MSMEs such as skilling, linkage with the e commerce industries, upgrading of marketing skills and meeting new market needs.

Mention the steps that are needed to address the above issues.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward and summarising the overall impact of MSMEs in socio-economic development of India.

Introduction

Micro, Small & Medium enterprises (MSME) termed as “engine of growth “for India, has played a prominent role in the development of the country in terms of creating employment opportunities. The Covid-19 pandemic has left its impact on all sectors of the economy but nowhere is the hurt as much as the Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises (MSMEs) of India.

The government, in conjunction with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has now launched a series of measures to alleviate their distress.

Body:

Impact of COVID on MSME sector:

  • A recently conducted survey finds that production in SMEs has fallen from an average of 75% to 13%.
  • With 110 million employed by Indian SMEs, it is crucial to ensure adequate institutional support, failing which we might see an even larger impact on livelihoods.
  • SMEs also account for a third of India’s GDP, 45% of manufacturing output and 48% of exports and hence are crucial to manufacturing and export competitiveness.
  • With SMEs’ operational challenges exacerbated by Covid-19, it is all the more important to focus on this sector.
  • SMEs will be vital in absorbing a significant proportion of the 600 million entrants to the labour market in EMEs by 2030.
  • With a large proportion of these entrants bound to be from India, it is imperative that the Union and state governments ensure financial and institutional support for SMEs.
  • In terms of location, SMEs are relatively evenly distributed in comparison to larger organisations.
  • Rural areas account for 45%, while the remaining are in urban areas. Hence, SMEs are well-poised to address poverty in both the cities and villages.
  • Although the proportion of urban poverty has declined over the years, it has increased in absolute terms.
  • In 2018, Kolkata, Delhi, and Mumbai had anywhere between 42-55% of their population living in slums. This number is certain to have increased in the pandemic.

Potential of India’s MSME sector:

  • Contribution to GDP: The share of MSMEs in the country’s gross value added is estimated to be about 32%.
  • Leveraging Exports: It also contributes about 40% to total exports and 45% to manufacturing output.
  • Employment Opportunities: It employs 60 million people, creates 1.3 million jobs every year and produces more than 8000 quality products for the Indian and international markets.
  • Diversity: There are approximately 30 million MSME Units in India and is quite diverse in terms of its size, level of technology employed, range of products and services provided and target markets.
  • Fostering Inclusive Growth: MSME is constructing inclusive growth in numerous ways through promoting non- agricultural livelihood at least cost, unbiased regional development, large female participation, and providing a protection against deflation.

The challenges and concerns associated with the growth of MSME sector:

  • Access to Credit:
    • According to Economic Survey (2017-18), MSME sector faces a major problem in terms of getting adequate credit for expansion of business activities.
    • The Survey had pointed out that the MSME received only 17.4 per cent of the total credit outstanding.
    • Most banks are reluctant to lend to MSMEs because from the perspective of bankers, inexperience of these enterprises, poor financials, lack of collaterals and infrastructure.
    • According to a 2018 report by the International Finance Corporation, the formal banking system supplies less than one-third (or about Rs 11 lakh crore) of the credit MSME credit need that it can potentially fund
    • most of the MSME funding comes from informal sources and this fact is crucial because it explains why the Reserve Bank of India’s efforts to push more liquidity towards the MSMEs have had a limited impact.
  • Poor Infrastructure:
    • With poor infrastructure, MSMEs’ production capacity is very low while production cost is very high.
  • Access to modern Technology:
    • The lack of technological know-how and financial constraints limits the access to modern technology and consequently the technological adoption remains low.
  • Access to markets:
    • MSMEs have poor access to markets. Their advertisement and sales promotion are comparatively weaker than that of the multinational companies and other big companies.
    • The ineffective advertisement and poor marketing channels makes it difficult for them to compete with large companies.
  • Legal hurdles:
    • Getting statutory clearances related to power, environment, labour are major hurdles.
    • Laws related to the all aspects of manufacturing and service concern are very complex and compliance with these laws are difficult.
  • Lack of skilled manpower:
    • The training and development programs in respect of MSME`S development has been. Thus, there has been a constant crunch of skilled manpower in MSMEs

Other issues:

  • Low ICT usage.
  • Low market penetration.
  • Quality assurance/certification.
  • IPR related issues.
  • Quality assurance/certification.
  • Standardization of products and proper marketing channels to penetrate new markets.

Measures needed:

  • Government of India and banks should design plans and measures to widen easy, hassle-free access to credit.
  • The RBI should bring stringent norms for Non-Performing Assets (NPA) and it will help curbing loan defaulters and motivate potential good debts. Further, according to critics, the Credit Guarantee Scheme for MSME (CGTMSE) run by SIDBI is a growing contingent liability and needs to be examined with urgency
  • Government should provide enhanced development and upgradation of existing rail & road network and other infrastructure facilities in less developed and rural areas to boost growth and development of MSMEs
  • There should proper research and development in respect of innovative method of production and service rendering. Further, the government should promote and subsidise the technical know-how to Micro and small enterprises.
  • Government should encourage procurement programme, credit and performance ratings and extensive marketing support to revive the growth of sick units.
  • Skill development and imparting training to MSME workers is a crucial step to increase the productivity of the sector. The government should emphasise predominantly on skill development and training programs
  • With Aatmanirbhar Bharat, the Centre has taken several steps redefining MSMEs, credit access, subordinate debt, preference in government tenders towards ‘energising the MSME sector’.
  • It has also launched the MSME Udyam portal for registration, though this is not mandatory. Information asymmetry on government schemes and incentives on registration must be addressed.
  • MSMEs need to be better integrated into the digital economy to expand their market access, diversify their customer base and solidify their supply chain.
  • Industry and the Indian economy along with MSMEs would reap the benefits of leveraging technology, that will have positive ripple effects on the nation’s GDP and the creation of more jobs.

Way forward:

  • The traditional concept of apprenticeship, which involves part-time work and is a widely accepted skilling practice, especially in weaving, handicraft and manufacturing units, does not find mention in India’s wage-protection rule-books. This oversight can be fixed via coverage by either the wage code or social security code rules, or perhaps the Shops and Establishments Act rules, as deemed appropriate
  • Efforts need to focus on quality manufacturing, with the use of automation to enhance operations, and the exploration of new markets through e-commerce.
  • This would require a holistic approach of hand-holding existing manufacturers in the sector, equipping both managers and their workforces with appropriate skills, and educating them on new technologies and standardization norms, even as we expose them to new market avenues and instil confidence in them that the country’s ecosystem would assist them in their expansion plans.
  • New MSMEs, especially, should be encouraged to start off with this advantage.
  • Skilling plans in accordance with sector-wise requirements will enable us to create appropriate job opportunities not just in India but also across the globe, as various developed economies need skilled manpower in a swathe of industries that cover manufacturing, software and healthcare.
  • Indian policies need to be revisited so that discrepancies are removed and we encourage small units to take advantage of e-com platforms.

Conclusion:       

Thus, Indian MSME sector is the backbone of the national economic structure and acts as a bulwark for Indian economy, providing resilience to ward off global economic shocks and adversities. Given the important role played by the sector in the economy, issues faced by it must be addressed on an urgent basis to revive the economy battered by the pandemic. Apart from the fiscal stimulus, the sector requires a political-economy approach that prioritizes MSME interests. India needs to ease the regulatory burden of small units and aid their survival through fiscal support. Above all, they need a level-playing field vis-à-vis big businesses.

 

Topic: Disaster and disaster management.

6. Account for the increased frequency of cyclones in India over the years, which are much severe and devastating than before. Suggest short term and long-term measures to mitigate the human and economic costs arising from them. (250 words) 

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

Two severe cyclones, Tauktae and Yaas, made landfall in India in May. They killed 199 people and wreaked havoc on millions. As cyclones become more frequent, putting further measures in place to mitigate the effects of such disasters is increasingly urgent.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about reasons for increased frequency of devastating cyclones in India and suggest measures to mitigate them.

Directive word: 

Account – 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: 

Begin by providing context, the two severe cyclones, Tauktae and Yaas and how the frequency of cyclones has been increasing.

Body:

In first part, cite the data and write the reasons for increasing frequency of cyclones on both the eastern and western coast of India. Increasing sea surface temperatures in the northern Indian Ocean and the changing geo-climatic conditions in India etc.

Next, bring out the economic costs and human costs as a result of devastation caused by the severe cyclones.

Mention short term measures – installing a disaster warning system in the coastal districts, and construction of evacuation shelters in cyclone-prone districts etc.

Mention long term measures – Embankments that are resilient to storm surges, improved prevention of flooding from swollen rivers and coastal mangrove habitats regeneration etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

A cyclone is a large-scale air mass that rotates around a strong center of low atmospheric pressure. Cyclones are characterized by inward spiraling winds that rotate about a zone of low pressure. Tropical cyclones are intense low-pressure areas confined to the area lying between 30° N and 30° S latitudes, in the atmosphere around which high velocity winds blow. Horizontally, it extends up to 500-1,000 km and vertically from surface to 12-14 km.

IPCC research shows that the frequency and severity of cyclones will increase due to the warming of oceans and melting glaciers. Of India’s 7,500 kilometre coastline, almost 5,700 kilometres are highly vulnerable to the impacts of tropical cyclones and related hydro-meteorological hazards and consequently to recurrent loss of life and properties. Approximately 40 percent of the total population in the maritime states, lives within 100 kms of coastlines.

Body

Recent cyclones and its human and economic costs:

  • The severe cyclones, Tauktae and Yaas, which battered India earlier this year, made landfalls on the country’s western coast, Gujarat, and the eastern coast, Odisha, on May 17 and May 26, 2021, respectively.
  • Both storms caused massive damage to infrastructure, the agricultural sector, and houses.
  • Government of India reports are that, put together, an estimated 199 people died, 37 million people were affected, and economic losses stood at ₹320 billion (U.S.$4.3 billion). In addition, crop area of 0.24 million hectares was affected, and around 0.45 million houses were damaged.
  • Moreover, 2.5 million people were evacuated to cyclone shelters and relief camps in these two States.
  • The large-scale uprooting of trees in the urban areas affected already depleting green cover.
  • Thus, during the COVID-19 pandemic, these cyclones caused additional financial responsibility for State governments.

Other impacts on Coastal cities in India

  • Economic costs: India lost around 2% of GDP and 15% of total revenue over 1999-2020. According to the Global Climate Risk Index report 2021, India ranks the seventh worst-hit country globally in 2019 due to the frequent occurrence of extreme weather-related events. Moreover, the report showed that India lost around 2,267 human lives, while damages stood at $68,812 million in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) terms in 2019. In the same year, India ranked first concerning human deaths and economic losses due to extreme weather-related events.
  • Coastal Flooding:It is likely to reshape the coastlines and potentially inundate or even submerge many low-lying areas. Cities like Mumbai, Chennai, and Hyderabad are endangered by cyclone storms.
  • Destruction of Coastal Biodiversity: Frequent storms can cause destructive erosion, wetland flooding, aquifer and agricultural soil contamination with salt, and lost habitat for biodiversity.
  • Dangerous Storm Surges:Higher sea levels are coinciding with more dangerous hurricanes and typhoons leading to loss of life and property.
  • Regional Climate: Tropical cyclones can quickly change the environment of the affected areas. They can bring warmer air into hot places. This makes the atmosphere feel very sticky and muggy and rises the temperature dramatically. This can cause heat strokes and other heat related illness to children and the elderly after the storm which is not good.
  • Fishing and livelihood: Loss of habitat and Loss of juveniles and brood fishes. Loss of livelihoods of farmers and fishermen: Statistics show that the global average annual losses from cyclones and storm surges are estimated at US$ 80 billion. Small fishermen with no state-of-the-art technology are usually advised to stay off the seas before and during the cyclones.
  • Lateral and Inland Migration:Flooding in low-lying coastal areas is forcing people to migrate to the higher ground causing displacement and dispossession and in turn a refugee crisis
  • Effect on Communications Infrastructure:The prospect of higher coastal water levels threatens basic services such as internet access.
  • Threat to Inland Life:Rising seas can contaminate soil and groundwater with salt threatening life farther away from coasts.
  • Tourism and Military Preparedness:Tourism to coastal areas and military preparedness will also be negatively affected by an increase in cyclone storms

The interesting thing is that the frequency of tropical cyclones has decreased ever so slightly over the last 70 years. Instead, we are getting a much higher frequency of high-intensity storms. The reasons for the same are:

  • Climate change is affecting a number of factors in the background that are contributing to making the impact of these storms worse.
  • Climate change makes the rainfall intensities higher, increased influences of warming on specific events.
  • Warmer seas mean there is more energy available for cyclones, which only form when the water reaches 26 degrees Centigrade.
  • Global warming causes a sea-level rise, the resulting flooding is more intense than it would be without human-induced climate change.
  • In previous decades, the further away you were from the Equator meant the cooler the seas became and so any tropical cyclones that formed didn’t have the energy to keep going. Now climate change is impacting that relationship.
  • Under increasing sea-surface temperatures, we are seeing the line of constant temperature required for these storms to form moving further and further towards the South Pole

Measures needed to tackle such incidences:

Short term measures:

  • provide cyclone forecasting, tracking and warning systems
  • Construction of cyclone shelters, cyclone resistant buildings, road links, bridges, canals, drains etc.
  • Establishing Early Warning Dissemination System (EWDS), and Capacity building for coastal communities.
  • Mock drills, and training of local population and police by NDRF and SDRF
  • Plantations of strong rooted trees, canopies, mangroves and proper vegetation cover which act as first line of defence.
  • Proper drainage system throughout the city to discharge the water as soon as possible to avoid flood like conditions
  • Use of NAVIC and RESOURCESAT-2 for disseminating coastal information and helping in disaster management.
  • Implementation of National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project

Long term measures:

  • The National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NCRMP), to be implemented with financial assistance from the World Bank, is envisaged to have four major components:
    • Component A: Improvement of early warning dissemination system by strengthening the Last Mile Connectivity (LMC) of cyclone warnings and advisories.
    • Component B: Cyclone risk mitigation investments.
    • Component C: Technical assistance for hazard risk management and capacity-building.
    • Component D: Project management and institutional support.
  • These components are highly interdependent and have to be implemented in a coherent manner.
  • The NDMA had come up with its National Guidelines of Management of Cyclones in 2008. The basic premise of these guidelines is that the mitigation has to be multi-sectoral.
  • Developing Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) frameworks for addressing the sustainability and optimal utilisation of coastal resources as also cyclone impact minimisation plans.
  • Ensuring cyclone resistant design standards are incorporated in the rural/ urban housing schemes in coastal areas
  • Implementing coastal flood zoning, flood plain development and flood inundation management and regulatory plans.
  • Coastal bio-shields spread, preservation and restoration/ regeneration plans.
  • There is a need for private sector participation in designing and implementing policies, plans, and standards.
  • Need of Disaster Management program to be inclusive including women, civil society, and academia.

Conclusion:

India should prepare to mitigate and deflect the destruction caused by Cyclones. We need to employ technology, strict following of command structure and most importantly the participation and cooperation of local communities in the affected area.

 

 


General Studies – 4


  

Topic: dimensions of ethics;

7. What is your understanding of Moral Relativism? Explain various dimensions in which moralities differ. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: plato.stanford.edu

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4 and part of ‘Conceptual Tuesdays’ in Mission-2022 Secure.

Key Demand of the question:

To explain the concept of Moral Relativism using examples.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin the answer by defining moral relativism and its aspects

Body:

Write the core argument on which moral relativism is based on, the existing differences in the moralities that people accept and live by. Mention various factors that give rise to Moral relativism.

Give few illustrations in the context of capital punishment, euthanasia, eating meat etc. and the varied constraints and dimensions based on which the morality of a situation or action is judged.

Conclusion:

Conclude by saying often, morality is more relative than absolute.

Introduction

Moral relativism is the idea that there is no universal or absolute set of moral principles. According to moral relativism, there is not a single true morality. There are a variety of possible moralities or moral frames of reference, and whether something is morally right or wrong, good or bad, just or unjust, etc. is a relative matter—relative to one or another morality or moral frame of reference. Something can be morally right relative to one moral frame of reference and morally wrong relative to another.

Body

Moral relativism can be captured in two following points

  • Moral judgments are true or false and actions are right or wrong only relative to some particular standpoint (usually the moral framework of a specific community).
  •  No standpoint can be proved objectively superior to any other.

Different groups of people may play different versions of football. Different societies may have different legal systems. Different people speak different languages. And different people may have different moralities. Moralities accepted at one time may fail to be accepted at another time. Individuals within any given group may have different moralities. A particular person may accept different mutually incompatible moralities at different times and even at the same time.

Various dimensions in which moralities differ

  • Moralities differ in what they imply about abortion, capital punishment, euthanasia, religion, etiquette, slavery, caste systems, cannibalism, eating meat, what sorts of experiments on animals are permitted, and what sorts of experiments on human beings are permitted.
  • They may differ concerning the relative importance of chastity in men and women, how many wives or husbands people can have, homosexuality, incest, and whether people in their twenties have special obligations toward their parents.
  • They differ about whether there is an obligation not to lie to strangers and whether there is an obligation to help strangers who need help.
  • They differ concerning the relative importance of equality versus liberty, who gets what, preserving natural beauty, and the acceptability of littering.

Over the years moral relativism has attracted a great deal of criticism, and not just from professional philosophers. One reason for this, of course, is that it is widely perceived to be a way of thinking that is on the rise. Another reason for so much trenchant criticism is that a relativistic view of morality is thought by many to have pernicious consequences.

Conclusion

Moral relativism is on the opposite end of the continuum from moral absolutism, which says that there is always one right answer to any ethical question. As relativists see it, they are not countenancing immorality, injustice, or moral nihilism; rather, they are trying to say something about the nature of moral claims and the justifications given for them.  The main problem they face is to show how the denial of objective moral truth need not entail a subjectivism that drains the rationality out of moral discourse.   Their critics, on the other hand, face the possibly even more challenging task of justifying the claim that there is such a thing as objective moral truth.


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