SECURE SYNOPSIS: 04 OCTOBER 2017

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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 04 OCTOBER 2017


NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.


Topic:   Political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society.

1) Plutocracy is the antithesis of democracy. Do you think India treats different classes in Indian society differently when it comes to an development agenda? Comment. (200 Words)

Livemint

Introduction :- Plutocracy or plutarchy, is a form of oligarchy and defines a society ruled or controlled by the small minority of the wealthiest citizens. Unlike systems such as democracy, capitalism, socialism or anarchism, plutocracy is not rooted in an established political philosophy. The term plutocracy is generally used as a pejorative to describe or warn against an undesirable condition.

  • The National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) says that monthly per capita expenditure above Rs 4,610 in the year 2011-12 puts you in the top 10% bracket of urban consumers. The Oxfam report states that the riches 1%in India own 56% of country’s wealth.
  • India has adult franchise. Political democracy makes sense only when there is economic equality i.e., when citizens can find contesting in elections affordable to an extent. Here only those who have money power and muscle power can make it to contest and win the elections. There is a limit of Rs.20 lakh to Rs.28 Lakh per candidate per constituency in the parliamentary election under Representation of People’s Act. This amount is far beyond the reach of many citizens to spend on elections, the money spent with hope to enter into the Parliament or the Legislative assembly is light years ahead of it. This shows India is rules by plutarchy.

Treatment to different classes in Indian Society and exercise of plutarchy :-

  • Plutocracy is also characterized by suborning of national institutions. Public-private partnerships (PPPs) are perhaps the best examples of how this financing mode was used to reward private sector partners with state resources.
  • India’s largest commercial bank, the State Bank of India (SBI), decided to step outside its sandbox and experiment with new revenue sources: it decided to penalize customers who failed to maintain the monthly average balance in their savings bank account.
  • RBI example shows how policy moves when it does not take into account customer profile, feasibility options or its impact on various income groups. Demonetization is another example of how an autarchic policy decision affected livelihoods for a wide spectrum of the population. 
  • The Supreme Court recently upbraided the Centre for the rapid—and, in some cases, inexplicable—rise in politicians’ assets

However few examples of misplacement and policy paralysis cant paint India as a whole as plutarchy. India has a rule of law, government has initiated many reforms and regulations like regional development through MSME promotion, green, white revolutions, setting ambitious targets like doubling farmers income by 2022. Government time and again initiate many welfare programs for weaker section of society like reservation for backward classes, protection to women, SC ST etc. Indian judiciary and legislations make it sure that here the law prevails over personalization of power. Indian constitutions guarantees the equality to it’s citizens. Hence portraying India a plutarchy is not justified.


Topic:  Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Education 

2) Quality of educators is the cornerstone for quality education. What measures can be undertaken to improve teacher quality at all levels of education?  Discuss. (200 Words)

The Hindu

 

Introduction :- Fifteen lakh untrained school teachers have enrolled for a training course with the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, to get themselves trained by 2019 to be able to retain their jobs.

This shows the condition of India’s education system in terms of quality of it’s educator. Economic Survey of 2016 has also observed that increasing investment in human capital is a key requirement to improve productivity of the population, adding that there is a need for professionally qualified and trained teachers.

Measures needed to improve teacher quality at all levels :-

  • Emphasis on teachers education and testing the capabilities of teachers through TET, compulsory assessments on various fronts like communication skill, capacity to get involved with students etc. before recruitment.
  • Though this sound mammoth task if the 600 odd District Institutes of Education and Training used for this purpose then this vibrant system can be the basis for a transformation of our in-service teacher education.
  • Teachers must be incentivized to do a better job, punishment for lack of improvement in learning levels of children or better pay for clear improvements. This can be seen in  “No Child Left Behind” in the US.
  • Reasonable compensation, good recruitment practices, conditions to support professional satisfaction—are important in order to attract better talent in Indian education system.
  • Developing the capacity of teachers currently serving in the system is needed in order to keep the ongoing education system on track. This can be done to mid-career reviews, tests and skilling, training of teachers.

Countries like Canada and Finland, which already have excellent school systems, are still trying to improve

To improve the quality of teacher Government of India has adopted a three-pronged strategy, which includes

  • The strengthening of Teacher Education Institutions
  • The revision of curriculum for teacher education in accordance with the National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education 2009 and
  • The laying down of minimum qualifications for Teacher Educators and their continuous professional development.

John Dewey’s wise and pithy comment: “Education is, and forever will be, in the hands of ordinary men and women.” To improve education we have to invest in teacher education and professional development of teachers. There are no shortcuts for improving education.


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

 3) Does Aadhar assure unique identity and other benefits better than its predecessors? Comment. (200 Words)

The Wire

Introduction :- Aadhaar, which means ‘ foundation’ is a 12 digit unique-identity number issued to all Indian residents based on their biometric and demographic data. The data is collected by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), a statutory authority established in January 2009 by the Government of India, under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, under the provisions of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, benefits and services) Act, 2016.

Aadhaar was conceived to solve the problem of fake and ghost identities. All the present uses of Aadhaar profess to leverage this purported capability of it. Adhaar doesn not shows dramatic improvements over the other identification programs because following criterias shows it’s vulnerability.

To correctly understand how far Aadhaar can go towards achieving its goals, it may be pertinent to list out the key features that we should look for in an “identity proof” and then see how Aadhaar stacks up against each of these.

  • It should be difficult to create fake identities:- In the case of Aadhaar, the shield of invincibility was built on the promise of biometric technology, i.e. biometric deduplication would instantly throw out anyone trying to enroll more than once. This indeed is an undeniable truth.
  • A genuine person should not face difficulties in proving his identity:- The founding fathers of Aadhaar have placed the identity of all Indians on the thin ice of biometrics. Biometrics is not an exact science. It is suitable for forensic and surveillance purposes, where it is applied on a best-effort basis. But it would be perilous to leave the identity of an individual to the mercy of circumstances. For ex people with leprosy faced many difficulties in proving their fingerprints.
  • It should be difficult to misappropriate the identity :- The strength of an identity system is determined by how difficult it is to misappropriate someone else’s identity. The key to unlocking Aadhaar identity is biometrics, which is neither secret nor changeable, hence not the least suited to serve as a password.

In order to strengthen Aadhaar steps like advancing Aadhaar with technological security, multiple layer of cyber security, codification, strengthening linkages of data protection and restricting biometric misuse, up gradation and improvement in infrastructure along with robust data laws, privacy protection laws are needed.


Topic:  Role of civil services in a democracy.

4) What are the directions given by the Supreme Court on police reforms in the Prakash Singh v. Union of India case? In the light of lack of political will to implement these directions, what role you think the public should play in pushing political class to heed to Supreme Court directions? Comment. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction :-

The police force is far from efficient, it is defective in training and organization, it is inadequately supervised, it is generally regarded as  corrupt and oppressive, and it has utterly failed to secure the confidence and cordial cooperation of the people’

                 – A.H.L.Fraser, Chairman of the Second Police Commission(1902)

Police reforms in India are much needed owing to the crumbling status of police system in India.

Supreme Court on police reforms in the Prakash Singh v. Union of India case :-

Eleven years have passed, but States have taken only some grudging steps to implement the reforms. September 22 is observed every year by the Police Foundation as Police Reform Day to create awareness for the much-needed reforms but the reality of implanting the reforms is shaky. Hence In the light of lack of political will to implement the reforms role of people becomes increasingly important.

It’s the people who finally can generate trust among the stakeholders and pressurize the politicians, corrupt elements in place to implement the reform in later and spirit.

People can check the accountability and efficiency in implementing the reforms and can approach judiciary to check the arbitrariness, slackness in government in implementing the directives. Only strong public opinion can move the political class to implement the 2006 Supreme Court directives. Hence they must strive to achieve police reforms through mounting public opinion from below if it is not being implemented by will from above.


Topic: Investment models

5) Public Private Partnerships not only aid in sharing burden but also tend to be more qualitative. Critically analyse the PPP developmental model. (200 Words)

Livemint

Introduction :- A public–private partnership (PPP or 3P) is a commercial legal relationship defined by the Government of India in 2011 as “an arrangement between a government / statutory entity / government owned entity on one side and a private sector entity on the other, for the provision of public assets and/or public services, through investments being made and/or management being undertaken by the private sector entity, for a specified period of time, where there is well defined allocation of risk between the private sector and the public entity and the private entity receives performance linked payments that conform (or are benchmarked) to specified and pre-determined performance standards, measurable by the public entity or its representative”.

India has systematically rolled out a PPP program for the delivery of high-priority public utilities and infrastructure and, over the last decade or so, developed what is perhaps one of the largest PPP Programs in the world. With close to 1300 PPP projects in various stages of implementation, according to the World Bank, India is one of the leading countries in terms of readiness for PPPs.

The Government of India recognizes several types of PPPs, including: User-fee based BOT model, Performance based management/maintenance contracts and Modified design-build (turnkey) contracts.

Advantages of PPP :-

Public private partnerships offer several benefits:

  • They provide better infrastructure solutions than an initiative that is wholly public or wholly private. Each participant does what it does best. 
  • They result in faster project completions and reduced delays on infrastructure projects by including time-to-completion as a measure of performance and therefore of profit.A public private partnership’s ​return on investment or ROI might be greater than traditional, entirely private or government methods. Innovative design and financing approaches become available when the two entities work together.
  • Risks are fully appraised early on to determine project feasibility. In this sense, the private partner can offer a brake on unrealistic government promises or expectations. 
  • The operational and project execution risks are transferred from the government to the private participant, which usually has more experience in cost containment.  
  • Public private partnerships may include early completionbonuses that further increase efficiency. They can sometimes reduce change order costs as well.
  • By increasing the efficiency of the government’s investment, it allows government funds to be redirected to other important socioeconomic areas.
  • The greater efficiency of P3s reduces government budgets and budget deficits.
  • High quality standards are better obtained and maintained throughout the life cycle of the project.
  • Public private partnerships that reduce costs also allow lower taxes.

Public Private Partnership Disadvantages

P3s also have some drawbacks:

  • Every public private partnership involves risks for the private participant, which reasonably expects to be compensated for accepting those risks. This can increase government costs.
  • When there are only a limited number of private entities that can perform these tasks, such as with the development of a jet fighter, the limited number of private participants that are big enough to take these tasks on might limit the competitiveness required for cost effective partnering. 
  • Profits of the projects can vary depending on the assumed risk, competitive level, complexity, and the volume of the project being performed.
  • If the expertise in the partnership lies heavily on the private side, the government is at an inherent disadvantage. For example, it might be unable to accurately assess the proposed costs.

Topic: Indian economy issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources

6) Consumption expenditure without investment increase leads to a credit cycle. Comment on the rising consumption expenditure in India. (200 Words)

Livemint

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Introduction :- India is set to become the third largest consumer economy by 2025, trailing only the US and China, fuelled by an increase in consumption levels, changes in consumer behaviour and spending patterns, according to a report released by consulting firm The Boston Consulting Group.

Consumption across the country is expected to almost triple over the next decade from the current $1.4 trillion to $4 trillion, according to the report titled The New Indian: The Many Facets of a Changing Consumer. India is now the sixth largest consumer economy, after the US, China, Japan, the UK and Germany.

Consumption expenditure without investment has deteriorating impacts :-

  • Only consumption booms that are accompanied by an increase in investments tend to be sustainable as more investments result in higher job creation.
  • India’s ongoing consumption growth has been accompanied by a drastic fall in the investment to GDP ratio.
  • Besides the absence of strong fundamental underpinnings to India’s consumption growth, it is worth noting that consumer confidence in India dipped quite comprehensively in 1QFY18 as per the Reserve Bank of India’s consumer confidence survey.
  • Indian households’ overall savings ratio ebbed to an 18-year low in FY16 and India’s consumption-to-GDP ratio has consequently edged up.
  • This rise of consumption growth appears to be the result of the rise of retail credit. As corporate credit demand waned, banks and NBFCs aggressively pushed retail credit, resulting in India’s retail credit-to-GDP ratio rising from 13% in FY12 to 16% in FY17.

Hence it is required that the consumer spending must be accompanied with the investment increase. For this steps like creating awareness about prudential consumer spending and enhancing households, institutional savings to invest in economy is important. A well directed consumer expenditure can boost the economy’s efficiency in utilizing it’s financial resources.


Topic: Ethics in public administration; Foundational values – civil services

7) What do you mean by Intellectual integrity? Do you think it is an indispensable quality for a civil servant? Give reasons.(150 Words)

Introduction :- Intellectual integrity is defined as recognition of the need to be true to one’s own thinking and to hold oneself to the same standards one expects others to meet. . The early Greek philosophers (e.g., Socrates, Plato and Aristotle) changed the world because they forged a new path toward intellectual integrity.

Intellectual integrity is required in a person in order to lead one’s life with principles, dignity, respect and proud. It will help an individual to enhance his/her credibility in eyes of themselves and people. It if positively conceived will contribute in betterment of society.

For a civil servant it is an indispensable quality :-

  • Intellectual integrity will help him in leadership, team work, professionalism, prudency and in exercise of public ethos in service.
  • It will help him to become more welfare oriented and transparent, accountable like an intellectually oriented person will think twice before indulging in anti social activity.
  • The intellectual integrity of the person will guide the person in path of right, keep him away from getting involved in corrupt practices and will enhance the institutions efficacy in long term.

Mitchell Friedman had said “Success in public relations demands strict intellectual honesty and integrity in all aspects of one’s professional demeanor” hence it must be practiced by every civil servant at utmost level.