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[Mission 2024] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 30 August 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 – 2


 

Topic: Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

1. Unlike Fundamental Rights, which are justiciable and can be enforced by the courts, DPSPs are non-justiciable, meaning that citizens cannot directly approach the courts to enforce them. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 2 and mentioned as part of Mission-2024 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the concept of DPSP and their classification while commenting on their criticism and making it justiciable.

Directive:

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: 

Start by explaining what DPSP’s are.

Body:

First, in detail, Discuss the Directive Principles of State Policy, its importance in the Indian Constitution and the history of its conflict with Fundamental Rights.

Next, classify them in detail; Socialistic Principles, Gandhian Principles and Liberal-Intellectual Principles.

Next, write in detail about the criticisms against it. Comment on making certain DPSPs as justiciable and scope for it.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising and giving a balanced view on DPSPs.

Introduction

Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) are the form of instructions/guidelines to the governments at the centre as well as states. Though these principles are non-justiciable, they are fundamental in the governance of the country. The Constitution of India aims to establish not only political democracy but also socio-economic justice to the people to establish a welfare state. With this purpose in mind, our Constitution lays down desirable principle and guidelines in Part IV known as the Directive Principle of State Policy.

Body:

The Constitution does not contain any classification of the Directive Principles. However, on the basis of their content and direction, they can be classified broadly into socialist, Gandhian and liberal-intellectual.

Socialistic:

  • to promote the welfare of the people by securing a social order permeated by social, economic and political justice and to minimise inequalities in income, status, facilities and opportunities. (Art 38)
  • to secure (a) the right to adequate means of livelihood for all citizens; (b) the equitable distribution of material resources of the community for common good; (c) prevention of concentration of wealth and means of production; (d) equal pay for equal work for men and women; (e) preservation of the health and strength of workers and children against forcible abuse; and (f) opportunities for healthy development of children. (Art 39)
  • to promote equal justice and to provide free legal aid to the poor. (Art 39A)
  • to secure the right to work, to education and to public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement. (Art 41)
  • to make provision for just and humane conditions for work and maternity relief. (Art 42)
  • to secure a living wage, a decent standard of life and social and cultural opportunities for all workers (Art 43)
  • to take steps to secure the participation of workers in the management of industries (Art 43A)
  • to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living of people and to improve public health. (Art 47)

Gandhian Principles:

  • to organize village Panchayats and endow them with necessary powers and authority to enable them to function as units of self-government. (Art 40)
  • to promote cottage industries on an individual or co-operation basis in rural areas. (Art 43)
  • to promote voluntary formation, autonomous functioning, democratic control, and professional management of co-operative societies. (Art 43B)
  • to promote the educational and economic interests of SCs, STs and other weaker sections of the society and to protect them from social injustice and exploitation. (Art 46)
  • to prohibit the consumption of intoxicating drinks and drugs which are injurious to health. (Art 47)
  • to prohibit slaughter of cows, calves and other milch and drought cattle and to improve their breeds. (Art 48)

Liberal-Intellectual Principles:

These principles represent the ideology of liberalism and direct the state to

  • to secure for all citizens a uniform civil code. (Art 44)
  • to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of 6 years. (Art 45)
  • to organise agricultural and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines. (Art 48)
  • to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard forests and wildlife. (Art 48A)
  • to protect monuments, places and objects of artistic or historic interest which are declared to be of national importance. (Art 49)
  • to separate the judiciary from the executive in the public services of the state. (Art 50)
  • to promote international peace and security and maintain just and honourable relations between nations; to foster respect for international law and treaty obligations, and to encourage settlement of international disputes by arbitration. (Art 51)

Additions by 42nd Amendment Act, 1976:

  • to secure opportunities for healthy development of children. (Art 39)
  • to promote equal justice and to provide free legal aid to the poor. (Art 39A)
  • to take steps to secure the participation of workers in the management of industries (Art 43A)
  • to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard forests and wildlife. (Art 48A)

Additions by 44th Amendment Act, 1978:

  • to minimise inequalities in income, status, facilities and opportunities. (Art 38)

Amendments in 86th Amendment Act, 2002:

  • It changed the subject matter of Art 45 and made elementary education a fundamental right under Art 21A. The amended directive requires the state to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of 6 years.

Additions by 97th Amendment Act, 2011:

  • to promote voluntary formation, autonomous functioning, democratic control, and professional management of co-operative societies. (Art 43B)

Yes, the DPSPs should be made enforceable

  • A foremost argument in favour of making the Directives enforceable is that their justifiability will keep the autocratic tendencies of the ruling governments in check.
  • Also, most of the provisions contained in the DPSPs are promises made by the contesting parties during the time of elections.
  • These promises, as is common knowledge, are seldom kept.
  • But if these DPSPs are justiciable in a court of law, the government becomes answerable to the people.
  • Their actions will also be controlled by through these Directives. An example would be the provision contained in Article 44, relating to the implementation of a Uniform Civil Code.
  • This provision aims for a uniform civil law (much like the criminal law in force) for all citizens regardless of their religion, and other beliefs.
  • If implemented, it could play a critical role in uniting India, and making divisive policies a thing of the past.

No, DPSPs need not be made enforceable

  • But it is also argued that making the Directives enforceable is futile, since a large number of laws and policies are already in place for the implementation of these DPSPs. For example, the provision of Panchayati Raj (Article 40) was introduced through an Amendment to the Constitution in 1992. Today, there are 2,27,698 Gram Panchayats, 5906 Intermediate Tiers, and 474 Zila Panchayats in the country.
  • Another argument against enforcing the DPSPs is that their provisions are not very secular. Though it calls for the implementation of a Uniform Civil Code, it also directs the state to ban the slaughter of cows, a cause that is primarily Hindu.
  • The Directive Principles also try to impose morals on the citizens, something that is inarguably outside the scope of law. The Directives contain a provision that calls for the ban on alcohol. Though it has never been enforced on a national level, this provision certainly tries to impose certain morals on the people.

Conclusion:

The directive principles play an ideal before the legislator of India which shows that light while they frame the policies & laws. They are basically a code of conduct for the legislature and administrators of the country. They show the path to the leaders of the country which takes the country to achieve the ideal of the constitution embodied in the Preamble “Justice, Social, Economic, Political; liberty, equality and fraternity”.

Topic: Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

2. The Fundamental Duties serve as a reminder of the responsibilities citizens have towards the nation and society, balancing the rights provided by the Constitution. Whether these duties should be enforced is a subject of debate. State your opinion on the debate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 2 and mentioned as part of Mission-2024 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about whether or not fundamental duties should be enforced.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving brief about Article 51 and Part IV-A of the constitution.

Body:

In the first part, write about the rationale behind enactment of article 51, its aims and objectives that it strives to achieve.

Next, write about the advantages of enforcing certain fundamental duties – greater unity, spirit of fraternity etc

Next, wite about drawbacks of enforcing fundamental duties – lack of enforcing mechanism, additional burden on governance etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a balanced opinion on the issue.

Introduction

In 1976, the Congress Party set up the Sardar Swaran Singh Committee to make recommendations about fundamental duties, the need and necessity of which was felt during the operation of the internal emergency (1975–1977). The committee recommended the inclusion of a separate chapter on fundamental duties in the Constitution.

Government enacted the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act in 1976. This amendment added a new part, namely, Part IVA to the Constitution. This new part consists of only one Article, that is, Article 51A which for the first time specified a code of ten fundamental duties of the citizens.

Body

Need for enforcing fundamental duties

  • Fills legal vacuum making them obligatory: If the existing laws are inadequate to enforce the needed discipline and behavioural change among citizens, the legislative vacuum needs to be filled. This could call for strategies such as making fundamental duties enforceable.
    • In M.C. Mehta v. Union of India, the Supreme Court introduced compulsory learning of lessons on protection and improvement of the natural environment in all the educational institutions of the country as a part of Fundamental duty under Article 51-A (g).
  • Promote patriotism: The Fundamental Duties are defined as the moral obligations of all citizens to help promote a spirit of patriotism and to uphold the unity of India.
    • For instance, to uphold and protect sovereignty, unity and integrity of India, to defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so and to disseminate a sense of nationalism and to promote the spirit of patriotism to uphold the unity of India.
    • These fundamental duties assume significance after the emergence of China as a superpower.
  • Legislative potentials like DPSP: At times, Directive Principles Of State Policy (DPSP) has taken precedence over Fundamental Rights and some of them have found their way into statute books
  • Guide the elected representatives: The fundamental duties enjoined on citizens under Article 51-A should also guide the legislative and executive actions of elected or non-elected institutions and organisations of the citizens including the municipal bodies.
  • Enables judiciary to examine legislative reasonableness: There have been certain situations, where the Courts have been called upon to examine the reasonableness of any legislative restriction on the exercise of a freedom, the fundamental duties are of relevant consideration.

Drawbacks of enforcing fundamental duties

  • Provides opportunity to implant political propaganda: To attain vested interests under the garb of fundamental duty like protecting the culture, tampering with curriculum is facilitated.
    • For example, omitting and tampering with school curriculum.
  • Redundant when suitable legislative actions are available: For example fundamental duty to protect and improve the natural environment including forests and wildlife only repeat what the existing environment protection laws prescribe for.
  • Futility of legal enforcement without will and aspirations of citizens: Out of the ten clauses in Article 51A, five are positive duties and the other five are negative duties.
    • Clauses (b), (d), (f), (h) and (j) require the citizens to perform these Fundamental Duties actively. It is said that by their nature, it is not practicable to enforce the Fundamental Duties and they must be left to the will and aspiration of the citizens.
  • Difficulty in determining scope: Fundamental duty such as ‘to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture’ leaves the scope of such duties open ended.
    • Such ambiguity enables unscrupulous elements for moral policing.
    • Example recent lyching by cow vigilantes.
  • Voluntary obedience more suitable: Making fundamental duties may facilitate compulsory allegiance of citizenry obligations but that’s not democratic. Even Gandhiji always believed in moral persuasion rather than forceful adherence.
  • Lack of adequate awareness: For the proper enforcement of duties, it is necessary that it should be known to all. This should be done by a systematic and intensive education of people that is by publicity or by making it a part of education.

Conclusion

The inclusion of fundamental duties has helped to strengthen democracy. The moral value of fundamental duties would be not to smother rights but to establish a democratic balance by making the people conscious of their duties equally as they are conscious of their rights’. The provisions for enforcement of fundamental duties should be made considering the multiculturalism and pluralism of India.

 

Topic: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

3.Interference in the functioning of Election Commission of India (ECI) or even the perception of bias on its behalf can erode its credibility and weaken democratic institutions. Hence, ECI’s independence is vital to ensuring the integrity of India’s democratic processes. Comment.  (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

The article discusses the issue of autonomy of the Election Commission of India (ECI). It highlights recent events that have raised concerns about the commission’s independence and decision-making process.

Directive:

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

Key Demand of the question: To write about the issues in the functioning of ECI and suggest measures to overcome the same.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by writing about the aims and objectives of ECI.

Body:

First, write about the challenges and issues in the functioning of the ECI – Appointment issues, security of tenure, post-retirement appointment, financial autonomy, conflict between constitutional and legal powers and upholding its credibility etc.

Next, write about the reforms that are needed in order to resolve the above-mentioned issues and challenges.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

The Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering Union and State election processes in India. Article 324 of the Constitution provides that the power of superintendence, direction and control of elections to parliament, state legislatures, the office of president of India and the office of vice-president of India shall be vested in the election commission. However, many criticisms have been levelled against the EC alleging partisan behaviour.

Body

Background

Recently, the government introduced a Bill that seeks to replace the Chief Justice of India with a cabinet minister nominated by the Prime Minister in the committee of selection for the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners in India.

Previously, The Supreme Court gave a unanimous judgment on March 2 and directed that the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and Election Commissioners (ECs) should be appointed by the President based on a committee’s advice. This committee would include the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha or the largest Opposition party leader, and the Chief Justice of India (CJI).

Criticisms against Election commission

  • The Election Commission is not only responsible for conducting free and fair elections, but it also renders a quasi-judicial function between the various political parties including the ruling government and other parties.
  • In such circumstances, the Executive cannot be the sole participant in the appointment of members of the Election Commission as it gives unfettered discretion to the ruling party to choose someone whose loyalty to it is ensured and thereby renders the selection process vulnerable to manipulation.
  • Article 324(2) as stated above states that the President shall, with aid and advice of Council of Ministers, appoint CEC and ECs, till Parliament enacts a law fixing the criteria for selection, conditions of service and tenure. But a law has not been enacted for the purpose so far.
  • The appointment of members of the Election Commission on the whims and fancies of the Executive violates the very foundation on which it was created, thus, making the Commission a branch of the Executive.
  • The recommendation to have a neutral collegium to fill up vacancies in the Election Commission have been given by several expert committees, commissions from 1975.
  • The Election Commissioners don’t have the same constitutional protection (of removal by impeachment) as is accorded to the Chief Election Commissioner.
  • ECI came under heavy criticism in 2019 Loksabha elections, for its delayed action against the ruling party candidates on account of violation of MCC such as use of Indian Army in political rallies.
  • In the West Bengal elections, EC came under fire for 8 phase elections that also contributed to blow out of the pandemic.
  • The Election Commission is vested with absolute powers under Article 324, but still has to act according to laws made by Parliament and it cannot transgress the same.
  • Despite being the registering authority for political parties under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, it has no power to de-register them even for the gravest of violations. Money power needs to be curbed.
  • Opposition leaders also accused EC of being a caged parrot due to its meek response to violations in recent state elections.

Way forward

  • In 1990, the Dinesh Goswami Committee recommended effective consultation with neutral authorities like the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of the Opposition for the appointment in the Election Commission.
  • In 1975, the Justice Tarkunde Committee recommended that the members of the Election Commission should be appointed by the President on the advice of a committee consisting of the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India.
  • 2nd ARC report recommended that collegium headed by the Prime Minister with the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, the Law Minister and the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha as members should make recommendations for the consideration of the President for appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and the Election Commissioners
  • Law Commission 255thReport on Electoral Reforms: Strengthening the office of the Election Commission of India recommended Making the appointment process of the Election Commissioners and the CEC consultative
  • Similar election and removal procedure for CEC and Ecs.
  • Expenses of ECI must be charged expenditure on Consolidated Fund of India.
  • While the Chief Election Commissioner should be appointed by a collegium, this must apply equally to the Election Commissioners. The collegium should be wide based.
  • Strengthened now by a broad-based selection by the top constitutional luminaries of the country, the Election Commission must now equally be protected from arbitrary removal by a constitutional amendment that would ensure a removal process that currently applies only to the Chief Election Commissioner.

Conclusion

Deficiencies in the present system of appointment process needs to be removed. And adequate safeguards must be put into place to ensure that ethical and capable people head the concerned positions. There is a need for debate and discussions in the Parliament on the issue of independence of ECI and consequently passing of required legislation.

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

4.  Fostering an enabling environment for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) can further enhance their contributions to India’s economic and social development. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

The editorial discusses the significance of supporting small enterprises in India. It emphasizes that small businesses play a crucial role in generating employment, promoting economic growth, and fostering innovation.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about contribution of MSME in India’s growth and development.

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 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.

Next, Mention about the challenges faced by MSMES – challenges faced by small enterprises, including limited access to credit, regulatory hurdles, and competition from larger players etc.

Next, mention the steps that are required to overcome the above hurdles.

Conclusion:

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

Introduction

The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs) sector is an important pillar of the Indian economy as it contributes greatly to growth of the Indian economy with a vast network contributing about 45% to manufacturing output. It is termed as “engine of growth “for India, has played a prominent role in the development of the country in terms of creating employment opportunities.

MSMEs provide about 110 million jobs which is 22-23% of the total employment in India. It is next highest to Agriculture. However, this sector still faces several challenges. Barely 15% of MSME units have registered with the UDYAM Platform. Heterogeneity, fragmentation and informalization highlight the need for reforms in this sector.

 

 

Body

MSMEs and socio-economic development

  • 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.
  • Boon for Rural Development:Compared with large-scale companies, MSMEs aided in the industrialisation of rural areas at minimal capital cost. The sector has made significant contributions to the country’s rural socio-economic growth and complemented major industries as well.
  • Front Runner in Make in India Mission:As India aims that the products that are ‘Make in India’ are also ‘Made for the World,’ adhering to global standards of quality. MSME is acquiring the centre stage in the mission. It is taken as a backbone in making this dream a possibility.
  • Simple Management Structure for Enterprises:Considering India’s middle-class economy, MSME offers a flexibility that it can start with limited resources within the control of the owner. From this decision making gets easy and efficient.
    • On the contrary, a large corporation requires a specialist for every departmental functioning as it has a complex organisational structure.
  • Economic Growth and Leverage Exports:It is the most significant driver in India contributing to the tune of 8% to GDP.
  • Nowadays, Multi National Companiesare buying semi-finished, and auxiliary products from small enterprises. It offers immense potential in creating a linkage between India’s MSME base and big companies.

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: inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

5. A well-designed Universal Basic Income (UBI) could be an effective way to address poverty and inequality. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:

The article discusses the concept of Jan Dhan 2.0, a potential evolution of the Jan Dhan Yojana scheme in India, and suggests considering the implementation of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) in the country.

Key Demand of the question:

To discuss the concept of Universal Basic Income (UBI) as a social welfare policy and assess its potential implications for poverty reduction and economic development in India.

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 giving context and defining the concept of Universal Basic Income (UBI)

Body:

First, write about Universal Basic Income (UBI) and its key features. Discuss the rationale behind implementing UBI, including its potential to alleviate poverty and provide a safety net to citizens.

Next, write about the challenges of UBI implementation in India and potential implications of UBI on economic growth and development, including its impact on the labor market and government finances.

Conclusion:

Conclude by presenting a balanced view on the feasibility and desirability of implementing UBI in India.

Introduction

Universal basic income is a form of social security in which all citizens or residents of a country regularly receive an unconditional sum of money, either from a government or some other public institution, in addition to any income received from elsewhere. The payment is enough to cover the cost of living. The goal is to provide financial security.

The Rajasthan Minimum Guaranteed Income Bill 2023 has been recently tabled by the Rajasthan government.  In order to provide individuals or households with a minimal additional guaranteed income in the form of a guaranteed wage/pension, the bill would establish entitlement-based social security.

Body

Features of the Bill

  • Minimum guaranteed income:
    • Each adult citizen of the state has been guaranteed a minimum income for 125 days a year.
    • This will be provided through two schemes,
      • In the urban areas through the Rajasthan government’s flagship Indira Gandhi Shahri Rozgar Guarantee Yojana.
      • In the rural areasthrough the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).
    • Guaranteed employment:
      • The minimum wages should be paid weekly or in any case not later than a fortnight to ensure the right to employment.
      • The Program Officers(BDO in rural and an Executive Officer of the local body in urban areas) shall ensure that the work site is within a radius of 5 Km of where the job card is registered.
      • The applicant is entitled to an unemployment allowanceif the program officer fails to offer work within 15 days of receiving the application.
    • Guaranteed social security pension: The government will provide eligible categories (aged, disabled, widows, and single women) witha minimum pension of Rs 1,000, which will be increased at the rate of 15% each year.

Rationale behind UBI:

  • The average Indian family’s monthly income in 1938 was Rs 25.
  • Today, the average Indian family’s monthly income is roughly Rs 50,000, a 2,000 times increase since 1938.
  • The poorest 10% of Indian families earn a mere Rs 5,000 a month.
  • 25 million Indian families earn just a tenth of what the average Indian family earns.
  • And, 50 million households earn just a fifth of the average Indian family.
  • While the Indian economy continues to grow, the much touted trickle down impact of economic development seems elusive to the poorer sections of our society.
  • There is a real risk of the bottom quarter of Indian families being left behind completely.
  • The plan to ensure a basic minimum standard of living for every Indian family that was envisaged by Nehru and Bose in 1938 is applicable even today.

The pros of UBI include:

  • Fights Poverty and vulnerability: Poverty and vulnerability will be reduced in one fell swoop. It increases equality among citizens as envisaged in our DPSP.
  • new social contract: A social contract that will empower citizens with the freedom of choice. UBI treats beneficiaries as agents and entrusts citizens with the responsibility of using welfare spending as they see best; this may not be the case with in-kind transfers. Nobel laureate Amartya Sen had also propounded that choice should be given to people, which will lead to development.
  • Better targeting of poor: As all individuals are targeted, exclusion error (poor being left out) is zero though inclusion error (rich gaining access to the scheme) is 60 percent.
    • Example: The India Human Development Survey found that in 2011-12 about half of the officially poor did not have the BPL card, while about one-third of the non-poor had it.
  • Fighting technological unemployment: With IR4.0 on the rise, there is an increase in the automation leading to loss of many white and blue collared jobs. UBI can act as a sort of security net for the millions of people who will be left jobless by the tech revolution.
  • Supporting unpaid care workers: Those with ill or differently abled relatives are often forced to quit their jobs and look after them full-time. UBI would allow care-workers to support themselves, encouraging care work and taking pressure off public services that provide care to the sick and elderly.
  • Expanding the middle class: The economic growth of high-income countries is making the rich richer, but having very little effect on the working classes. The research of economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty showed that “the bottom half of earners went from making 20 percent of overall income in 1979 to just 13 percent in 2014. The top 1 percent, on the other hand, have gone from making 11 percent to 20 percent. The pie has gotten vastly bigger, and the richest families have reaped bigger and bigger pieces from it.” UBI would help balance this inequality and expand the ever-shrinking middle class.
  • Insurance against shocks: This income floor will provide a safety net against health, income and other shocks.
  • Improvement in financial inclusion Payment: transfers will encourage greater usage of bank accounts, leading to higher profits for banking correspondents (BC) and an endogenous improvement in financial inclusion. Credit – increased income will release the constraints on access to credit for those with low income levels.
  • Psychological benefits: A guaranteed income will reduce the pressures of finding a basic living on a daily basis.
  • Ending abuse: Those who suffer domestic abuse, mainly women, become trapped in violent situations because they don’t have the means to leave them. UBI would make leaving an abusive partner easy, and would unleash the potential of countless people trapped by domestic violence.
  • Administrative efficiency: A UBI in place of a plethora of separate government schemes will reduce the administrative burden on the state.

The cons of UBI:

  • Conspicuous spending: Households, especially male members, may spend this additional income on wasteful activities.
  • Disincentive to work: A minimum guaranteed income might make people lazy and opt out of the labour market.
  • Gender disparity induced by cash Gender norms may regulate the sharing of UBI within a household – men are likely to exercise control over spending of the UBI. This may not always be the case with other in-kind transfer
  • Implementation: Given the current status of financial access among the poor, a UBI may put too much stress on the banking system.
  • Poor fiscal capacity: India doesn’t have the fiscal capacity to implement Universal Basic Income. Economic Survey calculations showed that a 75% universality rate with an annual Universal Basic Income of Rs 7,620 per year at 2016-17 prices will cost about 5% of the GDP. Economist Pranab Bardhan showed that inflation– indexed Universal Basic Income of Rs 10,000 at 2014-15 prices—about three-quarters of that year’s poverty line—will cost about 10% of the GDP.
  • Distort labour Market: Universal Basic Income can create distortions in the labour market. A steady, permanent and guaranteed income without any work is likely to affect labour mobility and participation. It can cause a rise in the wages too.
  • Political economy of universality: ideas for self-exclusion Opposition may arise from the provision of the transfer to rich individuals as it might seem to trump the idea of equity and state welfare for the poor.
  • Exposure to market risks (cash vs. food): Unlike food subsidies that are not subject to fluctuating market prices, a cash transfer’s purchasing power may severely be curtailed by market fluctuations.

Economic Survey 2016-17 views:

  • Universal Basic Income should replace the welfare scheme. The Economic survey wants UBI to replace and NOT supplement the existing social welfare, anti-poverty schemes like MGNREGA, PMJSY etc
  • Economic Survey has suggested replacing all current cash transfers with universal basic income.
  • Survey in a bold step ensured that universal basic income will not be distributive in nature. The burden to distribute the income will not be shared by the rich.
  • The Survey points out that the two prerequisites for a successful UBI are: functional JAM (Jan Dhan, Aadhar and Mobile) system as it ensures that the cash transfer goes directly into the account of a beneficiary and Centre-State negotiations on cost sharing for the programme.

Conclusion:

UBI holds a lot of potential as a welfare scheme, however in its present form needs to be re-evaluated. There is a need for a 10-fold increase in resource mobilisation combined with increasing the tax base for funding. However, the alternatives to UBI can be explored like direct benefits transfers, conditional cash transfers and other income support schemes which also hold the potential to yield the above mentioned benefits.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators;

6. What does this quote means to you? (150 words)

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” ― Aristotle

Difficulty level: Tough

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4 and part of ‘Quotes Wednesdays’ in Mission-2024 Secure.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by explaining the literal meaning of the quote.

Body:

Write about being knowing oneself, self-awareness and its importance in developing character. Elaborate upon how being honest with oneself results so many benefits for individual morality. Substantiate with examples.

Conclusion:

Summarise by highlighting the importance of the honesty in the present day.

Introduction

Aristotle’s timeless wisdom in the quote, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom,” underscores the profound significance of self-awareness in the pursuit of knowledge and personal growth. To me, this quote serves as a reminder that understanding one’s own thoughts, emotions, strengths, and weaknesses is the foundational step toward living a meaningful and fulfilled life.

Body

Self-awareness allows us to recognize our biases, motivations, and values, helping us make informed decisions and navigate life’s complexities. It empowers us to embrace our strengths, work on our weaknesses, and cultivate empathy for others by recognizing our shared human experiences. Without self-awareness, our pursuit of knowledge and wisdom may be hindered, as we may lack the clarity needed to learn from our experiences and engage with the world in a meaningful way.

 

The quote tries to capture the below significant essential values.

  • Self-Reflection: Knowing oneself implies a deep and honest introspection. It involves understanding your values, beliefs, strengths, weaknesses, desires, and motivations. This self-reflection allows you to gain clarity about who you are and what matters to you.
  • Informed Decision-Making: With self-awareness, you can make better decisions. You’re more likely to make choices that align with your values and aspirations, leading to a more fulfilling life. It helps you avoid decisions driven by external pressures or societal expectations.
  • Learning and Growth: Self-awareness enables you to recognize your areas for improvement. It opens the door to personal growth by acknowledging your weaknesses and actively working to develop and refine your skills and character.
  • Empathy and Relationships: Understanding your own emotions and experiences enhances your capacity for empathy. It allows you to relate to others on a deeper level, fostering healthier relationships and better communication.
  • Wisdom and Perspective: As you delve into self-discovery, you gain a broader perspective on life. You start to see the interconnectedness of your experiences with the world around you. This expanded worldview contributes to the development of wisdom.

 

Conclusion

In essence, this quote underscores that wisdom isn’t just about acquiring knowledge; it’s about understanding yourself in the context of that knowledge. It’s about making decisions that align with your true self, fostering personal growth, nurturing relationships, and ultimately contributing positively to the world. By knowing yourself, you embark on a journey that lays the foundation for a more purposeful and enlightened life.

 

 

Topic: Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators;

7. What does this quote means to you? (150 words)

“Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.” ― C.S. Lewis

Difficulty level: Easy

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4 and part of ‘Quotes Wednesdays’ in Mission-2024 Secure.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by explaining the literal meaning of the quote.

Body:

Elaborate upon the quote and mention the role of value education in making a person ethical. Mention the ways in which education shapes up ethics. Cite examples to substantiate.

Next, write about the counter view that education can also be devoid of ethics and its consequences. Substantiate with examples.

Conclusion:

Summarise by highlighting the importance of the quote in the present day.

Introduction

Education gives us knowledge and awareness. Knowledge gwes us skill and makes us prepare for our career, livelihood. Education has multiple roles to play. Education is the proet!is of imbibing external progressive ideas, thoughts and belief into our internal thinking, which eventually gets reflected in our action. Role of education is immense towards a moral, ethical and just society. The knowledge which are supposed to guide students to success may be abused or even misused for malicious acts. In order to prevent this, a set of values is necessary to guide the use of these knowledge. Values are principles or standards of behaviour and it is someone’s judgement of what is important in life. Values are essential in education to prevent students from developing into a manipulative individual.

Body:

In the Vedic period, in Ashram education, the Guru (Teacher) instruct his Sishya (student) to follow certain values throughout the life. In modern education system, value oriented-education gets priority over others. It helps to develop scientific temper of mind, large heartedness, co-operation, tolerance, respect for the culture of other groups etc. Value education can take place at home, as well as in schools, colleges, universities, jails and voluntary youth organisations.

The Ministry of Human Resource Development has taken strong steps to introduce values among schools and teachers training centres. Value Based Education and has now been made an integral part of the New Education Policy 2020. The 5 universal values specifically mentioned in NEP 2020, are “Truth, Peace, Non-violence, Love, Righteous conduct

Value based education is the only means which can give the young generation the right direction. In modern time people are extremely focused in the pursuit of their own success and self interest with killer instincts. They need success at any cost In this process, they do not remain human and become robots. Their activities become heartless and value free. Success may come to us but at the end we are not having a sense or feeling of fulfillment It happens due to the lack of values. Swami Vivekananda pinpointed value education as a total upliftment of society. Martin Luther King Jr said that the function of education is to teach one to think intensively and critically. Intelligence plus character is the goal of true education. All scams and episodes of corruption in the recent times in our country and the world are evidence to failure of human being, not because of lack of education, but because of immoral character Good character never allows one to perform under pressure or greed.

Osama bin Laden, a dreaded terrorist was a civil engineer, whose higher education could not help him to follow virtuous path. Education without values tends to make man a clever devil. It is important to have an intelligent mind, but it is far more important to have a good heart. Nelson Mandela rightly said that a good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination Gandhiji took the path of non-violence and taught us to follow value-based right path in our life.

If we analyse the activities of a soldier and a terrorists, we can find that a solider gives life for his people and his country, whereas a terrorist takes the lives of innocent people either in the name of religmn or in the name of politics. A soldier has both brain and heart but the terrorist has got only the brain. Now-a-clays many educated youth take the path of terrorism. This highlights that how education can be used to propagate ideas which are not only irrational but against peace, harmony and progress of human society. Values help us to differentiate between good and bad acts, while education only teaches us about the various acts.

The real education should come with moral values and character. Only the education with values can lead a man to path of virtue. Thus, our education system should adopt value-based education at all levels. The value-oriented educational programme should not be led only during the school level, but should be carried on further up to the level of higher education too, as 1t is from there that the nation’s bureaucrats, army personnel and future leaders would emerge.

Conclusion

Only the value-laden education can bring developments in form of eradication of poverty. generation of employment, removal of social ills, empowerment of women, problem-solving skills, decision making power and an inclusive society. With the value-based education we can achieve a society, “where the mmd is without fear and the head is held high, where the knowledge is free.”


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