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[Mission 2023] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 20 June 2023

 

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

 


General Studies – 1


 

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

1.  The experiences of the World War-II and the subsequent political developments played a crucial role in shaping the path towards India’s independence. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Chapter 22- A Brief History of Modern India by Rajiv Ahir (Spectrum Publishers)

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1.

Key Demand of the question:

To write in detail about the nationalist response to the outbreak of world war-II.

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: 

Mention the how the colonial government involved Indian army and resources in the World War II without reaching out any leaders.

Body:

Talk about the response of various leaders as a strategy to achieve self-rule in the context of World War II wherein one faction supported the idea of supporting the British against Fascist parties so that in return, they could achieve self-rule whereas, another faction was of the opinion to make use of the situation wherein the British resources were thinned and have an attack on the British in order to achieve independence. Mention the views of INC leaders.

Also mention actions take such as Congress ministries resigning, Individual satyagraha and wait and watch approach.

Conclusion:

Conclude by mentioning the stage being setup for the launch of Quit India movement.

Introduction

On September 3, 1939, Britain declares war against Germany and declares India’s support for the war without consulting Indian opinion. Though Indian leaders and nationalists were thoroughly opposed to fascism and Nazism, the British response also exposed their hypocrisy. British were fighting for liberal values including democracy and at the same time denying it to Indians.

Body

Outbreak of World War II and events that followed

  • The Congress’ hostility to FascismNazism, militarism and imperialismhad been much more consistent than the British record. But the Indian offer to cooperate in the war effort had two basic conditions:
    • After the war, a constituent assembly should be convened to determine political structure of a free India.
    • Immediately, some form of a genuinely responsible government should be established at the centre.
    • The offer wasrejected by Linlithgow, the viceroy. The Congress argued that these conditions were necessary to win public opinion for war.

Responses to the War and British stance

  • Different opinions were voice during CWC Wardha Meeting in September 1939.
  • Gandhi advocated an unconditional supportto the Allied powers as he made a clear distinction between the democratic states of Western Europe and the totalitarian Nazis.
  • Subhash Bose and the socialistsargued that the war was an imperialist one since both sides were fighting for gaining or defending colonial territories.
    • Therefore, the question of supporting either of the two sides did not arise.
    • Instead, advantage should be taken of the situation to wrest freedom immediately starting acivil disobedience movement.
  • Nehru made a sharp distinctionbetween democracy and Fascism.
    • But he was also convinced that Britain and France were imperialist powers, and that the war was the result of the inner contradictions of capitalism maturing since the end of World War I.
    • He, therefore, advocated no Indian participation till India itself was free. However, at the, same time, no advantage was to be taken of Britain’s difficulty by starting an immediate struggle.
  • Government response: The Government’s response was entirely negative.Linlithgow, in his statement (October 17, 1939), tried to use the Muslim League and the princes against the Congress.
    • The Government refused to define British war aims beyond stating that Britain was resisting aggression;
    • It said it would, as part of future arrangement, consult “representatives of several communities, parties and interests in India, and the Indian princes” as to how the Act of 1935might be modified;
  • It became clear that the British Government had no intention of loosening its hold, during or after the war, and was willing to treat the Congress as an enemy.
  • Congress ministries resigned in October 1939 after the Second World War and government response.
  • Towards the end of 1940, the Congress once again asked Gandhi to take command.
  • Gandhi now began taking steps which would lead to a mass struggle within his broad strategic perspective.
  • He decided to initiate alimited satyagraha on an individual basis by a few selected individuals in every locality.

Conclusion

Even before the World War II began, the British had realised the futility of holding on to their reign in India. By the time the war ended, Great Britain was bankrupt, unable and unwilling to continue to maintain colonies of the British Empire. WWII acted as a catalyst to India’s fight for independence but not before the British almost lost India to Netaji’s Indian National Army.

 

Topic: poverty and developmental issues

2. Child labour continues to persist in India due to several interrelated factors. Universal social protection can play a crucial role in combating child labour in India. Examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Down to Earth

Why the question:

The article emphasizes the need for a united front in the battle against child labor. It highlights that child labor is a complex issue with various contributing factors, such as poverty, lack of education, weak enforcement of laws, and social norms.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the causes behind child labour menace and role of universal social protection in ending it.

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 statistic relating to child labour in India. 

Body:

First, write about the various measures to curb child labour and reasons for its continuance despite it – Poverty, inequality, lack of educational opportunities, slow demographic transition, traditions and cultural expectations etc.

Next, write about universal social protection – what it is, how it can help in curbing child labour. Cite examples and facts. Also, mention its shortcomings and how that can be addressed.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward and importance of ending child labour in achieving SDG’s.

Introduction

Child labour typically means the employment of children in any manual work with or without payment. It is a deep rooted social ill in India. As per the 2011 Census, in the age group 5-14 years, 10.1 million of 259.6 million constituted working children. The true extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on child labour is yet to be measured but all indications show that it would be significant as children are unable to attend school and parents are unable to find work. However, not all the factors that contribute to child labour were created by the pandemic; most of them were pre-existing and have been exposed or amplified by it.

The United Nations observes June 12 each year as the ‘World Day Against Child Labour’ to bring attention to the evil practices of child labour across the world. The theme of this year’s labour day is “Week of Action against Child Labour” with an objective to raise awareness about child Labour and to make a pledge to end it.

Body

Factors behind continuance of child labour in India

  • Poverty
    • The main reason for child labour is poverty.
    • Poverty forces families to push their children to work for a living.
  • Lack of educational resources
    • There are instances where children are deprived of their fundamental right to education.
    • There are areas with no proper facilities of education.
    • Lack of affordable school for poor children leaves them illiterate and helpless which push them into the trap of child labour.
  • Social and economic backwardness
    • Due to illiteracy, many times parents are not aware of various information and schemes for child education.
    • Lack of education, illiteracy and lack of awareness of their rights have encouraged child labour.
    • Also, uneducated parents do not know about the impact of child labour on their children.
  • Disease or Disability
    • In many families, due to disease or disability, there is no earning, and the child’s wages are the sole means of family’s sustenance.
  • Poor compliance of laws
    • In the absence of proper compliance of the laws, child labour is continuing.
    • It can be prohibited only by strict adherence to the related laws.
  • Lure of cheap labour
    • Some shopkeepers, companies and factory owners employ children so that they have to pay less to them.
    • With the development of globalization, privatization, and consumerist culture, the need for cheap labour and its linkage with economic needs of poor families have encouraged child labour.
  • Discrimination between boys and girls
    • Even today some believe that girls are weaker and there is no equal comparison between boys and girls.
    • Considering girls weaker than boys deprives them of school and education.
    • In labourer families, girls are found to be engaged in labour along with their parents.

Does universal social protection help end the menace of child labour

  • By reducing family poverty risks and vulnerability, supporting livelihoods and school enrolment amongst other things, government social protection systems are essential in the fight to eradicate and prevent child labour.
  • The good news is that in recent years many countries have significantly improved social protection coverage, by strengthening their social protection systems, and establishing effective social protection floors.
  • However, global coverage is still too low: as of 2020, less than half of the global population were effectively covered by at least one social protection benefit, leaving more than four billion people wholly unprotected.
  • Social protection coverage varies widely by region, broadly aligned with income levels.
  • Measures to reduce the income insecurity of adults, including unemployment protection, employment guarantee schemes, disability benefits, maternity benefits and social pensions, also contribute to mitigating vulnerability for poor households, and can contribute to preventing and reducing child labour.
  • Within any broader social security system, building a national social protection floor is particularly relevant to addressing vulnerabilities associated with child labour.
  • Social protection floors provide a set of basic social security guarantees, including a basic level of income security throughout the life cycle and access to essential health care.
  • These basic guarantees, in turn, are essential in addressing the multifaceted economic and social vulnerabilities which give rise to and perpetuate child labour.
  • Where children and their families enjoy basic income security and access to essential health care, and where the necessary education and other services are in place, child labour can be effectively prevented.

Conclusion

Eliminating child labour is firmly placed within Goal 8 of the SDGs. A stronger nexus between the discourse on SDGs and the discourse on eliminating child labour can take the advantage of complementarities and synergies of a wide range of actors engaged in both areas of work. The fight against child labour is not just the responsibility of one, it is the responsibility of all. Social protection instruments can play an important role in reducing child labour by mitigating poverty and economic vulnerabilities and enhancing poor families’ resilience.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

3. Local body elections play a crucial role in the democratic governance of India. However, these elections are plagued by several issues that hinder their effectiveness and inclusivity. In light of this, critically examine the challenges faced during local body elections in India and propose comprehensive strategies to address them. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

The article discusses the significance of local body elections in West Bengal and highlights the need for peaceful and fair elections at the grassroots level.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the issues with local body election in India and ways to resolve them.

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: 

Briefly explain the significance of local body elections in India.

Body:

First, write about the Issues in Local Body Elections in India -Lack of awareness and voter education, Low voter turnout, Limited knowledge about candidates and inadequate representation and inclusivity etc.

Next, write about the steps to counter issues in local body elections.

Conclusion:

Suggest a way forward.

Introduction

Local Self Government is the management of local affairs by such local bodies who have been elected by the local people. The local self-Government includes both rural and urban government. It is the third level of the government. There are 2 types of local government in operation – panchayatas in rural areas and Municipalities in urban areas.

Body

Local body elections plagued by issues

  • Lack of voter awareness: Many citizens, especially in rural areas, lack awareness about the importance of local body elections, the roles and responsibilities of local representatives, and the impact of their votes. This leads to low voter turnout and undermines the democratic process.
  • Political violence: Local body elections often suffer from significant political interference, with political parties attempting to influence the outcomes by promoting their candidates or engaging in unethical practices. This can result in unfair competition and undermine the principles of free and fair elections.
    • Eg: In West Bengal Opposition parties have not been able to file nominations in about 50 of the 341 blocks of the State amid reports of the intimidation of candidates.
  • Money power and corruption: Local body elections in India are notorious for the influence of money power. Candidates, especially those backed by major political parties, often engage in bribery and other corrupt practices to secure votes. This marginalizes genuine candidates who lack financial resources and hampers the representation of the people’s true choice.
  • Caste and identity politics: Local body elections frequently witness the exploitation of caste and identity-based divisions. Candidates often leverage these divisions to secure votes along caste or religious lines, leading to polarization and a distortion of the democratic process. This undermines the focus on development and governance issues.
  • Inadequate infrastructure and logistics: Elections require substantial infrastructure and logistical support, such as polling booths, ballot papers, electronic voting machines, and adequate security measures. In many cases, these arrangements are inadequate or poorly managed, leading to confusion, delays, and voter disenfranchisement.
    • Eg: The State government and the SEC do not have enough resources at their disposal to conduct the mammoth exercise across the State on a single day
  • Women’s underrepresentation: Local body elections often witness low representation of women candidates and elected representatives. Despite reservation quotas for women, there are challenges in implementing them effectively, and deep-rooted patriarchal norms and social barriers still limit women’s participation and influence in local governance.
    • Pati Panchayat is rampant all over India where women are only the mouthpiece of their male counterparts.
  • Lack of accountability: Once elected, local body representatives may lack mechanisms for accountability to their constituents. This can result in poor governance, corruption, and neglect of local issues. Inadequate oversight and monitoring mechanisms exacerbate this problem.
    • The elected candidates are often illiterate and there is no substantial outcome.

 

Strategies to address the issues

  • Increasing voter awareness through civic education and outreach programs.
  • Strengthening regulatory bodies to curb political interference and ensure fair elections.
  • Implementing effective measures to reduce money power and corruption, such as transparent campaign financing and stricter enforcement of election expenditure limits.
  • Promoting social inclusion and discouraging identity-based politics through public discourse and awareness campaigns.
  • Enhancing infrastructure and logistical arrangements to ensure smooth and efficient elections.
  • Encouraging greater participation of women through affirmative action, awareness campaigns, and capacity-building programs.
  • Establishing robust mechanisms for monitoring and holding local body representatives accountable for their actions and performance.

Conclusion

It is important for government bodies, civil society organizations, and citizens to collaborate in addressing these challenges and strengthening the democratic fabric of local body elections in India.

Value Addition

  • Rural Local Governments:
    • Panchayati Raj Institution (PRI) is a system of rural local self-government in India.
    • PRI was constitutionalized through the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992 to build democracy at the grass roots level and was entrusted with the task of rural development in the country.
      • This act has added a new Part-IX to the Constitution of India. This part is entitled as ‘The Panchayats’ and consists of provisions from Articles 243 to 243 O.
      • In addition, the act has also added a new Eleventh Schedule to the Constitution. This schedule contains 29 functional items of the panchayats. It deals with Article 243-G.
    • In its present form and structure PRI has completed 30 years of existence. However, a lot remains to be done in order to further decentralization and strengthen democracy at the grass root level.
  • Urban Local Governments:
    • Urban Local Governments were established with the purpose of democratic decentralisation.
    • There are eight types of urban local governments in India – Municipal Corporation, Municipality, Notified Area Committee, Town Area Committee, Cantonment Board, township, port trust, special purpose agency.
    • At the Central level the subject of ‘urban local government’ is dealt with by the following three Ministries.
      • The Ministry of Urban Development was created as a separate ministry in 1985 (now Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs).
      • Ministry of Defense in the case of cantonment boards.
      • Ministry of Home Affairs in the case of Union Territories.
    • The 74th Amendment Act pertaining to urban local government was passed during the regime of P.V. Narsimha Rao’s government in 1992. It came into force on 1st June, 1993.
      • Added Part IX -A and consists of provisions from articles 243-P to 243-ZG.
      • Added 12th Schedule to the Constitution. It contains 18 functional items of Municipalities and deals with Article 243 W.

 

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

4. India and the United States share certain common interests and have been strategic partners in various areas. However, it is important to recognize that their interests may not always align perfectly. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

The article explores the evolving relationship between India and the United States. It suggests that while India’s interests may align with those of the United States, they are not necessarily identical.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the scope of India–United States (US) relations – in spheres of defence, technology, etc. Alignment of the above relations and their divergence.

Directive word: 

Analyse – When asked to analyse, you must examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context regarding the growth of the India-U.S relationship in the recent past.

Body:

In the first part, write about the US as India’s most comprehensive strategic partner, and cooperation between the two extends across multiple areas such as trade, defense, multilateralism, intelligence, cyberspace, civil nuclear energy, education, and healthcare.

Next, write about how even though in all these spheres they cooperate and are parallel in ideologies but not the same as both have diverged aspirations, and are based on different ideologies. Cite examples to substantiate.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a balanced opinion.

Introduction

India USA have seen ascendance of relationship in the 21st century, which was crystalised by 2008 India Nuclear Civil Nuclear Agreement. Various factors, including LPG reforms, rise of China, increasing influence of Indian community in USA are the factors behind this. Also, the shared values of democracy, rule of law, human rights, religious freedom bind the countries together.

The Prime Minister of India is on an official state visit to the USA, where he will lead the 9th International Day of Yoga celebrations from the auspices of UN Headquarters in New York.

Body

India and USA relations aligned with each other

  • Security: Combat terrorism and weapons of mass destruction Protect global commons like sea routes and sea lanes of communication.
    • Eg: India has mentioned Taiwan issue in public for the first time while USA has been passing through South China sea and Taiwan straits to protect freedom of navigation in high seas.
  • Global cooperation: International Cooperation through platforms like UN, ASEAN, G-20, IMF, Quad. Quad security dialogue has been initiated to reign in China’s dominance in the region.
  •  Defence cooperation: Defence agreements Iike LEMOA, COMCASA, Industrial Security Agreement and BECA; Bilateral military exercises like Yudh Abhyaas, Vajra prahar, etc have been taking place every year.
  • Space cooperation: Indo-US science and technology cooperation agreement; Joint Microwave remote sensing satellite named NISAR.
  • Diaspora and people to people ties: Strength of Indian diaspora in US is around 4.5 million which is around 1% of its population. Indian diaspora is a source and agent of soft power, an effective public diplomacy tool and is acknowledged for its work ethos, discipline, non-interference and peaceful living with the locals.

Divergences and friction areas

  • Tariffs war: Since 2018 both countries were engaged in tariffs war. E.g. In 2018, the US imposed additional tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium imports from various countries, including India. India’s refusal to remove the 20% tariffs on ICT products caused the trade deal between India and USA to delay which remains still pending.
  • WTO disputes: India USA are involved in WTO disputes on issues like, Capping prices of medical devices by India, greater Indian market access for American agriculture and dairy products etc.
  •  IPR: India is also on U.S.’s “Priority Watch List” which identifies countries posing challenges to American intellectual property rights. Also, The US wants India to strengthen patent regulations, and to ease the limitations American companies investing in India face.
  • USA tensions with Iran, Russia: Putting unilateral curbs on Russian and Iranian imports into India through CAATSA would impinge on India’s relations with Iran, Russia, both relations in which India has strong stakes.
  • Divergence of interests in Afghanistan: In the backdrop of Afghan Peace deal, U.S. left Afghanistan. Decades of work was scrapped as Taliban took over and freedom of people and the developmental work India did is hampered.

Conclusion

Despite the differences in some areas, the upward trajectory in India USA relations indicates a sense of greater nuance to the need for institutionalisation of bilateral ties — towards not only graduating the bilateral dynamic away from over-dependence on chemistry between the top political leadership, but also design frameworks in a manner that maximise convergences between the two countries.

The changing geopolitics, and increased Chinese aggression necessitates closer cooperation between India USA. Thus, the relationship is two-sided. Just as India benefited from US inputs during Doklam and recent India China standoff, the US has benefited from Indian defence spending.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Food processing and related industries in India- scope’ and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.

5. By investing in necessary infrastructure, the food processing industry in India can meet the growing demand for processed food items, create employment opportunities, contribute to economic growth, and ensure the availability of safe and nutritious food options for the expanding urban and young population. Examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 3.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the steps that are needed to harness India’s food processing potential.

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 a statistic about current status of food processing industry in India.

Body:

First, in detail, write about the scope for food processing in India – youth population, growing demand, its suitability, sustained agricultural production etc.

Next, write about the steps that must be taken by the food processing industry to step up to realise its potential.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

Food processing generally includes the basic preparation of foods, the alteration of a food product (usually raw) into another form (as in making preserves from fruit), and preservation and packaging techniques. Food processing typically takes harvested crops or animal products and uses these to produce long shelf-life food products.

Body

Scope of FPIs

  • India is the world’s second largest producer of fruits & vegetables after China but hardly 2% of the produce is processed.
  • India is among the top 5 countries in the production of coffee, tobacco, spices, seeds etc. With such a huge raw material base, we can easily become the leading supplier of food items in the world.
  • In spite of a large production base, the level of processing is low (less than 10%). Approximately 2% of fruits and vegetables, 8% marine, 35% milk, 6% poultry are processed. Lack of adequate processable varieties continues to pose a significant challenge to this sector.
  • Economic Survey 2020: During the last 6 years ending 2017-18, Food Processing Industries sector has been growing at an average annual growth rate of around 5.06 per cent.

Significance of the food processing industries:

The Food Processing Industry (FPI) is of enormous significance as it provides vital linkages and synergies that it promotes between the two pillars of the economy, i.e. agriculture and industry.

  • Employment Opportunities:Food processing industries can absorb a major share of workers from the agriculture sector, who face disguised unemployment. It can lead to better productivity and GDP growth.
  • Doubling of farmers’ income: With contract farming, farmers can get better technological inputs from industries as well. There is income security and proportionate value for produce. They are also protected against price shocks.
  • Crop-diversification:Food processing will require different types of inputs thus creating an incentive for the farmer to grow and diversify crops.
  • Farmer Beneficiaries:The SAMPADA scheme is estimated to benefit about 37 lakh farmers and generate about 6 lakh direct/ indirect employment (ES 2020 data).
  • Curbing Distress Migration:Provides employment in rural areas, hence reduces migration from rural to urban. Resolves issues of urbanization.
  • Prevents Wastage: Nearly one-third of the food that is produced each year goes uneaten, costing the global economy over $940 billion as per report by World Resources Institute (WRI)
    • India is biggest producer of numerous fruits and vegetable. Most of these are perishable and have very low shelf life. This is the major reason for high percentage of wastage. Their shelf life can be increased through food processing.
  • Value Addition: Products such as tomato sauce, roasted nuts, de-hydrated fruits are in high demand.
  • Reduce malnutrition:Processed foods when fortified with vitamins and minerals can reduce the nutritional gap in the population.
  • Boosts Trade and Earns Foreign exchange:It is an important source of foreign exchange. For e.g. Indian Basmati rice is in great demand in Middle Eastern countries.
  • Make in India: Food processing is one of the six superstar sectors under the GoI’s, Make in India initiative and has the potential to transform India as a leading food processing destination of the World.
  • Curbing Food Inflation:Processing increases the shelf life of the food thus keeping supplies in tune with the demand thereby controlling food-inflation.
    • For e.g. Frozen peas/ corn are available throughout the year.
    • Similarly, canned onions under Operation Greens can achieve price stability.

Challenges facing food processing industry in India

  • Demand of processed food is mainly restricted to urban areas of India.
  • Major problems are listed below:
    • Small and dispersed marketable surplus due to fragmented holdings
    • Low farm productivity due to lack of mechanization,
    • High seasonality of raw materials
    • Perishability and lack of proper intermediation (supply chain) result in lack of availability of raw material.
    • This in turn, impedes food processing and its exports.
  • More than 30% of the produce from farm gate is lost due to inadequate cold chain infrastructure.
  • The NITI Aayog cited a study that estimated annual post-harvest losses close to Rs 90,000 crore.
  • Lack of all-weather roads and connectivity make supply erratic.
  • The food processing industry has a high concentration of unorganised segments, representing almost 75% across all product categories. Thus, causes the inefficiencies in the existing production system.
  • Further, most processing in India can be classified as primary processing, which has lower value-addition compared to secondary processing.
  • Due to this, despite India being one of the largest producers of agricultural commodities in the world, agricultural exports as a share of GDP are fairly low in India relative to the rest of the world.

Solutions to address the challenges

  • The Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) is implementing PMKSY (Pradhan Mantri Kisan SAMPADA Yojana). The objective of PMKSY is to supplement agriculture, modernize processing and decrease agri-waste.
    • Mega Food Parks.
    • Integrated Cold Chain, Value Addition and Preservation Infrastructure.
    • Creation/Expansion of Food Processing/Preservation Capacities.
    • Infrastructure for Agro Processing Clusters.
    • Scheme for Creation of Backward and Forward Linkages.
  • Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy: FDI up to 100%, under the automatic route is allowed in food processing industries.
  • Agri Export Zones: To give thrust to export of agro products, new concept of Agri Export Zones was brought in 2001. APEDA has been nominated as the Nodal Agency to coordinate the efforts
    • cluster approach of identifying the potential products;
    • the geographical region in which these products are grown;
    • Adopting an end-to-end approach of integrating the entire process right from the stage of production till it reaches the market (farm to market).

Conclusion

Food processing has a promising future, provided adequate government support is there. Food is the biggest expense for an urban Indian household. About 35 % of the total consumption expenditure of households is generally spent on food. As mentioned, food processing has numerous advantages which are specific to Indian context. It has the capacity to lift millions out of undernutrition. Government has its work cut out to develop industry in a way which takes care of small scale industry along with attracting big ticket domestic and foreign investments.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity;

6. It requires sustained political will and public participation, if India has to make significant strides in combating collusive corruption and breaking the vicious cycle that perpetuates it. Analyse. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the factors behind collusive corruption and measures need to prevent it.

Directive word: 

Analyse – When asked to analyse, you must examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by defining collusive corruption.

Body:

First, write about the factors that aid collusive corruption – opportunity costs, quid pro quo, acceptance of corruption etc. Write about its impact.

Next, suggest various measures to break the cycle of collusive corruption. Give examples to substantiate.

Conclusion:

Conclude by Summarising,

Introduction

Collusive Corruption is a form of corruption in which bribe giver and bribe taker together fleece society for personal gains creating a win-win situation for themselves. There are two dimensions of corruption. One is the exploitative corruption where the public servant exploits the helpless poor citizen. The other is collusive corruption where the citizen corrupts the public servant by a bribe because he gets financially better benefits.

Body

Factors that aid collusive corruption in India

  • Collusive corruption depends on black money. There is more than 5 lakh crores of black money in circulation in India even after demonetisation.
  • There is a lot of discretionary powers to civil servants which lead to corruption. Even petty corruption is aided by bribe givers.
  • Due to non-transparency in working of a government office and non-implementation of citizen charter, collusive corruption is rampant. This is especially true in RTO’s, check posts etc where public interaction is high.
  • Places of collusive corruption: Awarding of contracts for public works and procurement of goods and services, recruitment of employees, evasion of taxes, substandard projects, collusive violation of regulations, adulteration of foods and drugs, obstruction of justice and concealing or doctoring evidence in investigation are all examples of such dangerous forms of collusive corruption.
  • As the economy is freed from state controls, extortionary corruption declines and collusive corruption tends to increase.
  • We need to fashion strong and effective instruments to deal with this growing menace of collusive corruption, which is undermining the very foundations of our democracy and endangering society.

Measures suggested by Second ARC to put an end to collusive corruption

  • Collusive Bribery: Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act needs to be amended to provide for a special offence of ‘collusive bribery’.
    • An Offence could be classified as ‘collusive bribery’ if the outcome or intended outcome of the transaction leads to a loss to the state, public or public interest;
    • In all such cases if it is established that the interest of the state or public has suffered because of an act of a public servant, then the court shall presume that the public servant and the beneficiary of the decision committed an offence of ‘collusive bribery’;
  • Punishment: The punishment for all such cases of collusive bribery should be double that of other cases of bribery. The law may be suitably amended in this regard.
  • Burden of Proof: The Commission is of the view that ‘collusive’ corruption needs to be dealt with by effective legal measures so that both the bribe-giver and the bribe-taker do not escape punishment.
  • Sanction for Prosecution: Prior sanction should not be necessary for prosecuting a public servant who has been trapped red-handed or in cases of possessing assets disproportionate to the known sources of income.
    • The Prevention of Corruption Act should be amended to ensure that sanctioning authorities are not summoned and instead the documents can be obtained and produced before the courts by the appropriate authority.
    • The Presiding Officer of a House of Legislature should be designated as the sanctioning authority for MPs and MLAs respectively.
    • The requirement of prior sanction for prosecution now applicable to serving public servants should also apply to retired public servants for acts performed while in service.
  • Speeding up Trials under the Prevention of Corruption Act: A legal provision needs to be introduced fixing a time limit for various stages of trial. This could be done by amendments to the CrPC.
  • Confiscation of Properties Illegally Acquired by Corrupt Means: The Corrupt Public Servants (Forfeiture of Property) Bill as suggested by the Law Commission should be enacted without further delay.
  • Protection to Whistle-blowers: Legislation should be enacted immediately to provide protection to whistle-blowers on the following lines proposed by the Law Commission:
    • Whistle-blowers exposing false claims, fraud or corruption should be protected by ensuring confidentiality and anonymity, protection from victimization in career, and other administrative measures to prevent bodily harm and harassment.

Conclusion

The Mahatma’s vision of a strong and prosperous India – Purna Swaraj – can never become a reality if we do not address the issue of the stranglehold of corruption on our polity, economy and society in general. Governance is admittedly the weak link in our quest for prosperity and equity. Elimination of corruption is not only a moral imperative but an economic necessity for a nation aspiring to catch up with the rest of the world.

 

Topic: Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.

7. While private sector practices can provide valuable insights to improve efficiency of bureaucrats, the civil service operates in a unique context, with its own set of challenges, responsibilities, and constraints. Therefore, any reforms should be tailored to suit the specific needs and requirements of the civil service while incorporating relevant lessons from the private sector. Examine. (150 Words)

Difficulty Level: Tough

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4.

Key Demand of the question:

To write how private sector meritocracy can be used as a yardstick for civil service reforms and its limitations.

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 context regarding private sector’s achievements in meritocracy with examples.

Body:

Next, mention the valuable lessons that can be emulated in civil services from private sector’s achievements in meritocracy. Argue as to how these will help improve the performance and effectiveness of civil services.

Next, mention the limitations and hindrances of such emulations.

Conclusion:

Conclude by giving a balanced opinion on civil service reforms.

Introduction

While the private sector and bureaucracy in India operate in distinct contexts, there are certain private sector practices that can provide valuable insights to improve the functioning and efficiency of the bureaucracy.

However, it comes with its own set of challenges, responsibilities, and constraints. Therefore, any reforms should be tailored to suit the specific needs and requirements of the civil service while incorporating relevant lessons from the private sector in Indian context

Body

Private sector practices that bureaucracy needs

  • Performance management and goal-setting: The private sector often employs performance management systems that set clear goals and expectations for employees and evaluate their performance against these objectives. Implementing similar systems in the bureaucracy can help align individual and organizational goals, promote accountability, and improve overall performance.
  • Streamlining processes and reducing bureaucracy: Private sector organizations often emphasize streamlining processes, reducing unnecessary bureaucracy, and eliminating inefficiencies. Applying these principles within the bureaucracy can help simplify procedures, reduce red tape, and enhance service delivery to citizens.
  • Embracing technology and digitization: The private sector has been at the forefront of leveraging technology to improve efficiency and productivity. Adopting similar approaches within the bureaucracy can involve digitizing processes, implementing e-governance solutions, and using technology for data management, automation, and citizen engagement. This can lead to faster and more accurate service delivery, reduced paperwork, and enhanced transparency.
  • Customer-centric approach: Private sector organizations prioritize customer satisfaction and tailor their products and services to meet customer needs. Similarly, the bureaucracy can benefit from adopting a customer-centric approach, where citizens are treated as valued clients. This involves focusing on citizen feedback, designing user-friendly interfaces, and providing timely and efficient services.
  • Result-oriented decision-making: Private sector organizations often make decisions based on data, market research, and cost-benefit analysis. In the bureaucracy, adopting evidence-based decision-making can lead to more informed policy choices, effective resource allocation, and improved outcomes.

Measures needed to strengthen bureaucracy

  • Training and capacity building: Enhancing the skills and capabilities of civil servants is crucial. This includes providing specialized training programs to develop expertise in areas such as project management, data analysis, communication, and leadership. The training should focus on the unique challenges and responsibilities faced by civil servants.
  • Performance evaluation and accountability: Implementing robust performance evaluation systems can incentivize civil servants to perform better. However, it is important to consider the unique nature of public service and incorporate appropriate metrics that reflect the diverse roles and objectives of civil servants. Performance evaluations should be tied to specific goals and outcomes aligned with public service delivery and citizen welfare.
  • Flexibility and agility: The civil service can benefit from adopting more flexible and agile approaches to decision-making and implementation. This includes streamlining bureaucratic processes, reducing unnecessary red tape, and promoting a culture of innovation and risk-taking within the boundaries of the public sector’s legal and ethical framework.
  • Collaboration and partnerships: Encouraging collaboration between the civil service and external stakeholders, such as the private sector, civil society organizations, and academia, can foster knowledge sharing, innovation, and efficiency. Public-private partnerships and collaborations can be explored to leverage the strengths of both sectors in areas like infrastructure development, healthcare, and education.
  • Technology adoption: Embracing technology can significantly improve efficiency and service delivery in the civil service. This includes digitizing processes, implementing e-governance solutions, utilizing data analytics for evidence-based decision-making, and leveraging emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and blockchain where applicable.
  • Ethical considerations: While incorporating private sector practices, it is crucial to uphold the principles of integrity, transparency, and accountability within the civil service. Efforts should be made to strengthen ethical frameworks, promote anti-corruption measures, and enforce strict disciplinary actions against misconduct or malpractice.
  • Contextual adaptation: Reforms should be sensitive to the cultural, social, and economic realities of India. Simply adopting private sector practices without considering the unique challenges and requirements of the civil service may not yield the desired results. Contextual adaptation of reforms is crucial for their effective implementation and success.

 

Conclusion

To ensure successful reforms, it is important to involve civil servants, professional associations, and relevant stakeholders in the process. Consultations, feedback mechanisms, and pilot projects can help gather insights and ensure that reforms are tailored appropriately to suit the Indian civil service’s specific needs and context.


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