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[Mission 2024] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 25 October 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: Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.

1. Regionalism poses governance and administrative challenges as different regions seek to assert their distinct identities and interests within the broader Indian context. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a large gathering at a Dussehra event in New Delhi. During his speech, spoke about the importance of unity and the strength of the people in building a prosperous and self-reliant India.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about regionalism, the impact of regionalism and ways to overcome 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 regionalism.

Body:

In brief, write about the various forms of regionalism and its manifestation.

Next, write about the administrative and governance challenges posed by regionalism. Cite examples to substantiate your points.

Next, write about the steps needed to counter the above.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

Region as a geographical unit, is delimited form each other. Region as a social system, reflects the relation between different human beings and groups. Regions are an organised cooperation in cultural, economic, political or military fields. Region acts as a subject with distinct identity, language, culture and tradition.

Regionalism is an ideology and political movement that seeks to advance the causes of regions. As a process it plays role within the nation as well as outside the nation i.e. at international level. Both types of regionalism have different meaning and have positive as well as negative impact on society, polity, diplomacy, economy, security, culture, development, negotiations, etc.

At the international level, regionalism refers to transnational cooperation to meet a common goal or to resolve a shared problem or it refers to a group of countries such as-Western Europe, or Southeast Asia, linked by geography, history or economic features. Used in this sense, regionalism refers to attempts to reinforce the links between these countries economic features.

 

Body

Regionalism and its broad aspects

  • Diversity of Cultures and Languages: India is incredibly diverse in terms of languages, cultures, and traditions. There are 22 officially recognized languages and hundreds of dialects spoken across the country. Managing this linguistic diversity can be a significant administrative challenge.
  • Historical Context: Many regions in India have a long history of distinct cultural and linguistic identities. For example, states like Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and Maharashtra have rich cultural heritages that predate the formation of the Indian nation-state. Balancing these historical identities with the broader national identity can be complex.
  • Economic Disparities: Different regions of India have varying levels of economic development. Southern states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu tend to be more economically developed compared to some northern states like Bihar or Uttar Pradesh. Addressing these disparities while ensuring equitable growth is a critical governance challenge.
  • Political Representation: Regionalism often translates into political movements seeking to protect or advance the interests of a particular region. This can lead to regional political parties gaining prominence and sometimes complicating national-level politics.
  • Resource Allocation: Deciding how resources (such as funds, infrastructure projects, etc.) are allocated among different states and regions can be contentious. Striking a balance that ensures fair distribution while also addressing specific regional needs is a delicate task.
  • Policy Formulation and Implementation: Policies that work well in one region may not necessarily be effective in another due to differences in local needs, cultures, and economic structures. Tailoring policies to suit each region’s requirements is a challenge.
  • Security and Law Enforcement: Different regions may have distinct security concerns, ranging from separatist movements to communal tensions. Law enforcement agencies need to navigate these unique challenges while maintaining national integrity.
  • Infrastructure Development: Planning and executing infrastructure projects that benefit all regions, especially those that are geographically remote or economically disadvantaged, requires careful strategizing and resource allocation.
  • Cultural Sensitivities: Respecting and preserving the unique cultural identities of various regions while promoting a sense of national unity is a delicate balance.
  • Education and Language Policies: Choosing which languages to emphasize in education and government can be a sensitive issue, as it relates to cultural identity and access to opportunities.

 

Governance and administrative challenges posed by regionalism in India

  • Linguistic Reorganization of States: It was the demand of Potti Sriramulu, a freedom fighter and a devoted follower of Mahatma Gandhi, that led to the creation of Andhra Pradesh state and linguistic recognition of the states in India.
    • To achieve this end, he died in 1952 after not eating for 52 days in support of a Telugu-speaking state. Sriramulu’s death forced Jawahar Lal Nehru to agree to the various demands from other parts of the country with similar demands.
    • Consequently, in 1954, a States Reorganisation Committee was formed with Fazal Ali as its head, which recommended the formation of 16 new states and 3 Union Territories based on the language.
  • Demand for Dravida Nadu:Going back to the journey of Regionalism in India, it is well noticeable that it emerged with Dravidian Movement, which started in Tamil Nadu in 1925.
    • This movement, also known as ‘Self-Respect Movement’ initially focused on empowering Dalits, non-Brahmins, and poor people. Later it stood against imposition of Hindi as sole official language on non-Hindi speaking areas.
    • But it was the demand of carving out their own Dravidastan or Dravida Nadu, which made it a secessionist movement. As early as 1960s the DMK and the Nan Tamil organized a joint campaign throughout Madras state demanding its secession from India and making it an independent sovereign state of Tamiland.
    • DMK proposed that the states of Madras, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Mysore should secede from the Indian union and form an independent “Republic of Dravida Nadu”
  • Telangana Movement: In the years after the formation of Andhra Pradesh state, people of Telangana expressed dissatisfaction over how the agreements and guarantees were implemented. Discontent with the 1956 Gentleman’s agreement intensified in January 1969, when the guarantees that had been agreed on were supposed to lapse/
    • Student agitation for the continuation of the agreement began at Osmania University in Hyderabad and spread to other parts of the region. Government employees and opposition members of the state legislative assembly threatened “direct action” in support of the students. This movement since then finally resulted last year one separate state of Telangana.
    • It should be noted that roots of disparity in two regions was in colonial rule. Andhra was under direct rule of crown while Telangana was ruled by Nizam of Hyderabad, who was not so efficient ruler. So over time Andhra got more developed in comparison to Telangana.
  • Shiv Sena against Kannadigas: In 1966, Shiv Sena, in Maharashtra, launched its agitation against Kannadigas in the name of Marathi pride. The first targets of its agitation were South Indians who were the workers of Udupi hotels in Mumbai. This agitation was labelled to be a retaliation of the lathi-charge on Marathi speaking people in the border areas.
  • Bodoland Demand within Assam: The Bodo agitation is led by the Assam Bodo Students Union which is demanding a separate state and has resorted to wide scale violence and series of crippling bandhs to pursue their demand.
    • One of the basic reason Assam agitations is because of the expansion of education, particularly higher education, but not industrialization and other job creating institutions is increasing the army of educated youths in the backward regions. These frustrated young men are allured by the movements against the inflow of people from other countries and states.
    • On the other hand these unemployed youths are also attracted by the caste, communal and other sectional agitations fighting for the protection of rights on sectarian lines.
  • Khalistan Movement: It was during the era of 1980s that Khalistan movement with its aim to create a Sikh homeland, often called Khalistan, cropped up in the Punjab region of India and Pakistan. In fact this demand has also the colours of communalism, as there demand is only for Sikhs.
  • Inter-State Disputes: Another form of regionalism in India has found expression in the form of interstate disputes. There are disputes boundary disputes for example between Karnataka and Maharashtra on Belgaum where Marathi speaking population is surrounded by Kannada speaking people, between Kerala and Karnataka on Kasargod, between Assam and Nagaland on Rengma reserved forests. There is a dispute over Chandigarh in Punjab and Haryana.
    • The first important dispute regarding the use of water source was over the use of water resources of three rivers mainly Narmada, Krishna and Cauvery in which states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra were involved. Disputes also arose between use of Cauvery waters among the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka.
    • Another dispute arose among the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh over the use and distribution of waters of the Krishna River.
    • Disputes between Punjab, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh overt the use of waters of Ravi River. The Electricity sharing issue between Punjab and Delhi is another example of this.
  • Creation of new States in 2000: In 2000, the Government of India, pursuant to legislation passed by Parliament during the summer, created three new states, Chhattisgarh, Uttaranchal, and Jharkhand, reconstituting Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, respectively. Both the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress party supported the formation of the states. The basis for creating the new states is socio-political and not linguistic.

 

Conclusion

Indian is a melting pot of cultures and unity in diversity has been our strength. Regionalism can co-exist with Nationalism, but the former must not trump the latter. Schemes such as ‘Ek Bharat Shresht Bharat’ must be encouraged to bridge the fault lines in the Indian society.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Role of civil services in a democracy.

2. When civil servants are perceived as neutral and free from political influence, it enhances public trust in government institutions. Neutrality enables them to focus on the merit of policies and programs, making decisions based on their professional expertise rather than political considerations. Discuss.

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

The article discusses the “Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra” roadshow and its implications. It addresses concerns about the roadshow crossing ethical and legal boundaries, with a particular focus on its potential impact on the democratic process.

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.

Key Demand of the question: To write about importance of political neutrality in civil services.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Start with what you understand by political neutrality.

Body:

Elaborate upon as to how civil service should give free and frank advice to the government impartially and without any political consideration. It also means the implementation of the decisions of the government by the civil service faithfully whether such decisions were in consonance with their advice or not. Substantiate with examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude by mentioning as to how the above will lead integrity and efficiency in the administration.

Introduction

Civil service neutrality refers to political impartiality. Neutrality is not being biased in providing facts, feedback, opinions, etc. to the political executive or diligently carrying out tasks ordered by the government, irrespective of which political party’s government is in power.

Body:

A civil servant is needed to be politically neutral

  • Neutrality depicts that public officials are not slaves to either the politicians or any other authority other than the moral authority of the Constitution.
  • It shows that the principle of neutrality implies a measure of independence both from the partisan interests of the government of the day and the exogenous agenda that prompts certain social groups to cow others down to humiliating vulnerability.
  • Bureaucracy should be neutral in terms of ideology and politics. So that there will not be an affinity to a particular class or ideology.
  • For a genuine public official, commitment to constitutional principles is not only a lifelong project but, more importantly, it can be carried out without any political or ideological mediation.
  • If bureaucracy won’t be neutral then it cannot lend its whole-hearted support to the existing political system, and to the economic and political system if any radical changes are introduced.
  • Without neutrality, there can be a close nexus between bureaucracy and large-scale enterprises which could further lead to crony capitalism.
  • By and large, the spirit of neutrality imbedded by civil servants enables them to perform their duties in a detached and impartial manner.

Way forward

  • As a civil servant, one has the responsibility towards public and must adhere to constitutional principles keeping his conscience intact. His primary job is to perform Nishkama Karma (selfless and desire less duty).
  • Independent Civil Services Board should be set up, as it directed by the Supreme Court to take care of all service matters with objectivity and independently of political consideration.
  • Earnestly implementing RTI Act, especially the pro-active disclosure clause so as to bring transparency in official functioning, breaking the unholy nexus.
  • Effective performance appraisal of civil servants by independent body and aligning it with their promotions, incentives and other service conditions.

Conclusion

Impartiality forms an essential foundational values for civil services. Impartiality ensures equality without any bias and prejudices in the general.

 

Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential;

3. Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) in India has undergone substantial growth and development, forming a robust foundation for digital governance. Discuss (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:

The article discusses India’s Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI), consisting of key components like Aadhaar, UPI, and others, has grown in recent years and can significantly impact the global digital landscape.

Key Demand of the question: To write about Dpi, its components and their growth and opportunities it offers.

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 defining DPI

Body:

First, write about the key components of DPI in India – Aadhaar, Digital Locker, Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS), Unified Payments Interface (UPI), and National Knowledge Network (NKN) and its their usage.

Next, write about the growth of DPI and their applications in the various sectors.

Next, write about the opportunities in DPI for the future and how India can harness it towards digital governance – integration, innovation, and enhanced services, with a focus on inclusivity and data security.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

Digital public infrastructure (DPI) refers to blocks or platforms such as digital identification, payment infrastructure and data exchange solutions that help countries deliver essential services to their people, empowering citizens and improving lives by enabling digital inclusion.

India, through India Stack, became the first country to develop all three foundational DPIs, Digital identity (Aadhar), Real-time fast payment (UPI) and Account Aggregator built on the Data Empowerment Protection Architecture (DEPA).

Body

About DPI

  • DPIs mediate the flow of people, money and information. First, the flow of people through a digital ID System. Second, the flow of money through a real-time fast payment system. And third, theflow of personal information through a consent-based data sharing system to actualize the benefits of DPIs and to empower the citizen with a real ability to control data.
  • These three sets become the foundation for developingan effective DPI ecosystem.
  • Each DPI layer fillsa clear need and generates considerable value across sectors.
  • India, through India Stack, became the first country to develop all three foundational DPIs,Digital identity (Aadhar), Real-time fast payment (UPI) and Account Aggregator built on the Data Empowerment Protection Architecture (DEPA).
  • DEPA creates a digital framework that allows users to share their dataon their own terms through a third-party entity, who are known as Consent Mangers.

Growth of DPI

  • Digital Infrastructure Development: Over the past decade, India has invested in the creation of robust digital infrastructure, including high-speed internet connectivity, data centres, and improved telecommunications networks. Initiatives like Digital India and Bharat Net have played a crucial role in expanding internet access to rural and remote areas, bridging the digital divide and empowering citizens with digital services.
  • Digital Governance: The Indian government has made efforts to digitize various public services, enabling citizens to access government services online easily. This move has increased efficiency, reduced bureaucracy, and enhanced transparency in governance. Initiatives like Aadhaar, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), have provided a secure digital identity to millions of Indians, enabling easy access to various services and benefits.
  • E-Governance and Service Delivery:DPI has facilitated the delivery of essential services like education, healthcare, financial inclusion, and social welfare schemes to remote and underserved regions. Initiatives like e-governance portals, telemedicine, and direct benefit transfer (DBT) have positively impacted the lives of millions by reducing inefficiencies and leakages in the system.
  • Digital Payments and Financial Inclusion: India has seen a remarkable rise in digital payment platforms and fintech solutions, promoting financial inclusion. Government-led initiatives like Jan Dhan Yojana, Unified Payments Interface (UPI), and BHIM have made digital payments accessible to the unbanked and underbanked population, fostering greater economic participation.
  • Digital Entrepreneurship and Startups:The DPI has contributed to the growth of India’s startup ecosystem. The availability of digital infrastructure and ease of doing business has encouraged entrepreneurs to create innovative solutions, fostering economic growth and employment opportunities.
  • Data Privacy and Security Concerns: As DPI continues to expand, data privacy and security challenges have emerged. With the increasing digital footprint, there is a need to strengthen cybersecurity measures and ensure responsible data handling to protect citizens’ personal information.
  • Internet Penetration and Digital Literacy:While India has made strides in improving internet penetration, there is still a need to enhance digital literacy, especially in rural areas. Promoting digital literacy will empower citizens to leverage digital services effectively.
  • Leveraging Emerging Technologies:As DPI evolves, India has the opportunity to leverage emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT) to further enhance service delivery and governance.

Conclusion

Overall, India’s progress in developing its Digital Public Infrastructure has laid a strong foundation for a digital economy. However, to realize the vision of inclusive and sustainable growth, continuous efforts are needed to address challenges related to data privacy, security, and digital literacy. Additionally, adapting to emerging technologies and fostering innovation will be crucial for India to maintain its momentum towards becoming a digital-first nation.

Value addition

  • Aadhaar:
    • Aadhaar is a strategic policy tool for social and financial inclusion, public sector delivery reforms, managing fiscal budgets, increasing convenience and promoting hassle-free people-centric governance.
    • Aadhaar holders can voluntarily use their Aadhaar for private sector purposes, and private sector entities need not seek special permission for such usage.
  • DigiYatra:
    • DigiYatrais a Biometric Enabled Seamless Travel (BEST) experience based on a Facial Recognition System (FRS).
    • Air passenger traffic in India was estimated to be over 188 million in airports across India in the financial year 2022, out of whom over 22 million were international passengers.
  • DigiLocker:
    • DigiLockerhas 150 million users, six billion stored documents, and done with a tiny budget of RS 50 crore over seven years.
    • The users can store their documents such as insurance, medical reports, PAN card, passport, marriage certificate, school certificate and other documents in the digital format.
  • UPI:
    • UPI (Unified Payment Interface)has crossed eight billion transactions per month and transacts a value of USD 180 billion a month, or about a staggering 65% of India’s GDP per annum.
    • UPI is currently the biggest among the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)operated systems including National Automated Clearing House (NACH), Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), Aadhaar enabled Payment System (AePS), Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS), RuPay etc.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

4. Privatisation of Public Sector Enterprises (PSE) is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and its success depends on various factors, including the specific industry, market conditions, and the government’s goals. Comment. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 3 and mentioned as part of Mission-2024 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about strategic privatisation of PSE’s and objective utilisation of their funds.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Start the answer by defining privatisation and give recent examples of privatisation.

Body:

In the first part, write about the reasons due to which the government undertakes privatisation.

Next, write about the need to privatise strategically and factors that must be considered before going ahead for privatisation.

Next, talk about the objective utilisation of the proceeds from privatisation to be invested in creation of more assets rather than engaging in populist measures.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

Due to the poor performance of several PSEs and the consequent huge fiscal deficits, the issue of privatisation has come to the forefront. Privatisation is ought to infuse efficiency by bringing PSEs to the competition in the market.

The term ‘privatisation’ is used in different ways, ranging from transition to private legal forms’ to ‘partial or complete denationalization of assets.’ 

Body

In India, privatisation is sought to be achieved through two measures:

  • The disinvestment of the government’s equity in public sector undertakings.
  • The opening up of hitherto closed areas to private participation

Categories of public sector enterprises

  • Sick for long time and beyond redemption
  • Financially troubled but can be turned around
  • Profitable enterprises

Challenges in Privatisation

  • First, the number of Indian private firms which can buy out public sector firms are very few.
  • Their limited financial and managerial resources would be better utilised in taking over the large number of private firms up for sale through the bankruptcy process.
  • Then, these successful large corporates need to be encouraged to invest and grow both in brownfield and Greenfield modes in the domestic as well as international markets.
  • Sale at fair or lower than fair valuations to foreign entities, firms as well as funds, has adverse implications from the perspective of being ‘Atma Nirbhar’.
  • Again, Greenfield foreign investment is what India needs and not takeovers.
  • Public sector enterprises provide for reservations in recruitment.
  • With privatisation, this would end and unnecessarily generate social unrest.

Way Forward

For Sick for long time and beyond redemption

  • The Government should close these in a time-bound manner with a generous handshake for labour.
  • After selling machinery as scrap, there would be valuable land left.
  • Prudent disposal of these plots of lands in small amounts would yield large incomes in the coming years.
  • All this would need the creation of dedicated efficient capacity as the task is huge and challenging.
  • These enterprises may be taken away from their parent line Ministries and brought under one holding company.
  • This holding company should have the sole mandate of speedy liquidation and asset sale.

For financially troubled but can be turned around

  • Air India should ideally be made debt free and a new management should have freedom permitted under the law in personnel management to get investor interest.
  • As valuation rises, the Government could reduce its stake further and get more money.
  • If well handled, significant revenues would flow to the Government.

For Profitable enterprises

  • The Government can continue to reduce its shareholding by offloading shares and even reducing its stake to less than 51% while remaining the promoter and being in control.
  • Calibrated divestment to get maximum value should be the goal instead of being target driven to get a lower fiscal deficit number to please rating agencies.
  • In parallel, managements may be given longer and stable tenuresgreater flexibility to achieve outcomes, and more confidence to take well-considered commercial risks.

Conclusion

The time has come to take a relook at privatisation. Simply pursuing this path, while utilising such proceeds for loan write-offs or populist giveaways in the election cycle will not do. A hunt for immediate revenue should not overshadow the long-term interest of the ordinary Indian.

 

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

5. The transition from the Planning Commission to NITI Aayog reflects a more cooperative and flexible approach to economic planning and development. 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 and mentioned as part of Mission-2024 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the role of NITI Aayog in cooperative federalism, challenges it faces and steps needed to overcome them.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Start by briefly mentioning aims and objectives of NITI Aayog,

Body:

First, write about the limitations of the erstwhile planning commission and transition to NITI Aayog for better cooperative federalism and to good governance in India.

Next, write about the various challenges facing NITI Aayog in the present times.

Next, suggest ways to overcome them.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

The evolution of India’s economic planning landscape witnessed a transformative shift with the transition from the venerable Planning Commission to the dynamic institution known as NITI Aayog. This transition marked a pivotal moment in India’s approach to economic development, signaling a departure from centralized planning towards a more collaborative and adaptable framework. NITI Aayog, an acronym for the National Institution for Transforming India, embodies a paradigm that embraces cooperative federalism, outcome-centric policies, and a heightened focus on inclusivity.

Body

Transition to Niti Aayog: Cooperative and flexible approach to economic planning

  • Shift from Centralized Planning to Cooperative Federalism:
    • The Planning Commission, established in 1950, played a central role in formulating and implementing Five-Year Plans. It followed a top-down, centralized planning approach where the central government played a                dominant role in resource allocation and policy formulation.
    • NITI Aayog, established in 2015, promotes cooperative federalism. It emphasizes active participation and collaboration between the central government, state governments, and union territories. It acts as a platform for states to have a greater say in the planning process.
    • Example: Under NITI Aayog, initiatives like the “Aspirational Districts Programme” have been launched. This program identifies districts that are lagging behind in key development indicators and works closely with the states to formulate customized strategies for improvement.
  • Decentralization of Decision-Making:
    • The Planning Commission had a significant role in making decisions about resource allocation and policy priorities. States had limited influence in the planning process.
    • NITI Aayog facilitates a bottom-up approach to planning. It encourages states to take the lead in identifying their development priorities and tailoring policies to suit their specific needs.
      • Eg: GST Council with 2/3rd vote share to states
    • Outcome-Oriented Approach:
      • The Planning Commission focused on achieving specific targets and goals outlined in Five-Year Plans. The emphasis was on achieving growth in key sectors.
      • NITI Aayog places a stronger emphasis on outcomes and results. It promotes the use of data and evidence-based policy making to ensure that development efforts translate into tangible improvements in areas such as healthcare, education, and poverty alleviation.
      • Example: The NITI Aayog’s Health Index is a good example of this outcome-oriented approach. It ranks states based on various health indicators, providing a clear picture of where improvements are needed. This encourages states to focus on achieving concrete results in healthcare
    • Inclusivity and Participation: NITI Aayog includes representation from various states and union territories, along with experts and specialists. It seeks to incorporate a wide range of perspectives and expertise in its decision-making process.
      • Example: NITI Aayog’s Governing Council meetings provide a platform for all states and union territories to discuss and deliberate on key policy issues. This inclusivity ensures that a wide range of perspectives are considered in the decision-making process.
    • Fostering Innovation and Entrepreneurship:
      • NITI Aayog: NITI Aayog places a greater emphasis on promoting innovation and entrepreneurship as drivers of economic growth. It supports initiatives like Atal Innovation Mission and other programs to foster a culture of innovation.
    • Flexibility and Adaptability: NITI Aayog is designed to be more adaptable and flexible in responding to emerging challenges and changing economic conditions. It has the ability to adjust policies and priorities in a more dynamic manner compared to the rigid Five-Year Plan framework.
      • Example: During the COVID-19 pandemic, NITI Aayog played a crucial role in formulating policies and strategies to address the healthcare and economic challenges
    • Focus on Sub-National Planning: NITI Aayog encourages states to develop their own development agendas and plans. It provides a platform for states to exchange best practices and learn from each other’s experiences.

 

Conclusion

The transition from the Planning Commission to NITI Aayog signifies a shift towards a more collaborative, adaptable, and outcome-focused approach to economic planning and development in India. It reflects a recognition of the importance of active participation from states and a willingness to adapt to the evolving economic and social landscape of the country.

 

 


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)

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” ― Leo Tolstoy

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:

Write about how everyone desires change in politics, society and economy but nobody wants to change their own ways or their life. Cite examples to substantiate.

Next, write about how change has to begin from an individual.

Conclusion:

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

Introduction

It was the American author and speaker John C. Maxwell who wrote: “Most people want to change the world to improve their lives, but the world they need to change first is the one inside themselves.”

The truth is, it is possible to change the world. But to change the world, you have to change yourself first. Many of us criticise the world for many things. We curse and blame the things in our surroundings and never understand that we need a change in us. Changes are inevitable in the world, and the changes should emanate from us.

Body

All intelligent social beings have an opinion on how the world must run. Everyone has an opinion on what is wrong with the world, yet few will do the work to improve their own lives.

It is easy to draw attention to what is wrong in the world because on one level it is frustrating to observe these conditions and stand back while they take place.

The world has existed for 4.54 billion years and is much older and wiser than us.  We have existed for a minor part in that timeline and conditions weren’t always ideal, in fact history shows conditions were less than idyllic.

If we want to change reality start with ourselves first and attend to our own personal development. In doing so, problems give way to solutions and no longer affect us. It is futile trying to change conditions out there because life is constantly changing. It is like trying to keep plates spinning on a stick while more plates are added. One cannot keep up and they will eventually come crashing down.

It makes sense to work on ourself so that outside conditions no longer affect us as they once did. This is the key to enlightenment, raising our level of consciousness so you transcend problems with a higher awareness.

Conclusion

To change the world, you have to change yourself first. You have to change your mentality, your habits, and your actions. Albert Einstein recognised this principle when he said: “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

 

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)

“Freedom without socialism is privilege and injustice; socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality” ― Bakunin

Difficulty level: Moderate

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:

First, write about how freedom without socialism can lead to injustice and inequalities in the society. Cite examples.

Next, write about the counter view that how socialism without freedom can lead to slavery and despotism and slavery. Cite examples.

Conclusion:

Summarise by giving an opinion on balancing social justice and freedom.

Introduction

World over the debate of socialism, freedom, justice and liberty has been rampant post World War II. he realm of freedom begins when the realm of necessity is left behind. Socialism says “To each according to his need” and emancipates man from poverty. But without freedom socialism in all its flavors became dictatorship. But capitalism is not ideal in its truest sense. Today, everywhere there is a version of economy and society.

Body

Freedom without socialism

Complete freedom without restrictions and free hand of market leads to reinforcement of poverty to poor and rich become richer. Some people are privileged by virtue of birth and how we are born is not something we can choose. But the world works in such a way that, it becomes cumulative and reinforcing. This leads to equality without anybody’s intervention.

For instance, one aspect of capitalism is that private property can be passed on from one generation to another. Therefore, those who inherit capital can enjoy high income even without any effort. They have access to the best private education and jobs. This creates inequality of opportunity as well as inequality of outcome. This is gross injustice.

These types of inequality mean that there isn’t a level playing field; some in society get an unfair advantage, and there isn’t equality of opportunity.

It is hard to argue that capitalism won’t inevitably lead to inequality. A principle of capitalism is to allow income and wages to be distributed by the free market. The only way to ensure wage equality would be through government intervention.

There are forms of freedom. There are good forms of freedom and bad forms of freedom.’ Among the bad forms of freedom that he listed were: ‘The freedom to exploit one’s fellows or the freedom to make inordinate gains without commensal service to the community; the freedom to keep technological inventions from being used for public benefit or the freedom to profit from public calamities or naturally induced calamities, some of which are secretly engineered for private advantage

Socialism without freedom

The realm of freedom begins when the realm of necessity is left behind;’ that freedom means nothing if you don’t have enough to eat, if you are denied access to adequate healthcare and education, and the role of socialism is to provide those basic necessities, to fulfill those basic human needs so that then people are free to do exactly what they want. So you could, in fact, argue that the endpoint of a socialist transition, and even the endpoint of the construction of a communist society, is a world in which individual capacities and powers are liberated entirely from wants, needs, and the constraints, and that therefore, rather than saying that the right wing has a monopoly over the notion of individual freedom, that we should reclaim that idea for socialism itself.

But socialism as was tried in Soviet Russia and elsewhere was exploitative; Man became a cog in the wheel just like in capitalist society and was exploited. There was no individuality, no freedom to pursue interests rather work as dictated.

Conclusion

Real freedom is a world in which we have free time to do whatever we want. That emancipatory message about freedom is crucial to the idea of a society, and it’s something that we can all work towards. The middle path of freedom with intervention like India works the best as it takes care of those in need and provides opportunity for everyone to thrive.


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