SECURE SYNOPSIS: 16 NOVEMBER 2017

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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 16 NOVEMBER 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: Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country

1) Do you think there is a need to introduce  the wars the Indian military was compelled to engage in after August 1947 in school curriculum? Justify. (150 Words)

The Hindu

 

Introduction :- India has fought many wars since it’s independence. The major wars fought includes Indo-China war of 1962, India-Pakistan war of 1965 and 1971. Other skirmishes and minor confrontations involves 1999 Kargil war with Pakistan etc. This history many a times included in textbooks but they becomes centre of controversy owing to their politicisation etc.

The military history of India should be taught in school :-

  • They are the touchstones of history which reminds us about the sacrifices made, the lessons learnt and the valour shown by the Indians in the difficult days. This results in making Indian younger generations unite more responsibly and work for the future with more efforts.
  • The experience of 1947-48 clashes and history of partition need to be understood. India’s independence was a tumultuous event. Mass migration of populations was underway. Violence and massacre between communities was rampant. The subsequent accession of Jammu and Kashmir and wars with Pakistan if included in school curriculum then students will be aware about the actual happenings and facts and won’t be misled by others.
  • The younger generation in India, that is those born after 1980, may not even recall the border war with China except in a hazy manner. However, it merits recall that those responsible for national security at the highest level in government proved to be inept, ignorant and arrogant in the defence management of the country.

However including warfare and painting their glories can have negative impact on minds of students. They may think that war is the only option and peaceful ways are not effective. This may also create over patriotism and wrong patriotic concepts in them. This can be tacked with careful formulation of syllabus and balanced guidance, teachings from the mentor.

Independent India has faced many challenges to national security and territorial integrity, beginning with the war for Kashmir in October 1947 and through the Mumbai terror attacks of November 2008. The need to introduce an appropriate capsule in the school curriculum should need little reiteration, but it has remained elusive for more than half a century. 


 

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

2) “It would be unwise to rely on the US to counter China. India must build tools to protect its own interests.” Comment. (250 Words)

The Indian Express

 

Introduction :- With increasing economic power China becoming more aggressive on military, political and economic fronts. India has long standing borders disputes with China and also has fought wars in 1962. China is continuously increasing it’s powers on all fronts. To counter China India has been exploring many strategies and among them relying on United States is a prominent one.

Benefits of having United States on our side :-

  • Both countries share similar, liberal, democratic values and functioning systems.
  • It is the major economic and military power of the world who has tremendous potential to counter China and it’s rise more than any other country in world.
  • It shares many global stands on lines of Indian stands like the one against terrorism. It can also help India in many other issues like South China sea disputes, North Korea aggression, dumping of Chinese goods in India.

However relying on United States can be counter productive :-

  • It is not a reliable partner :- History points out that United Sates has always worked in it’s self interest. For ex US had backed away from direct conflict with China during it’s wars in Korea and Vietnam. US remained a passive supporter during recent Doklam issue irrupted between India and China where as Japan overtly supported India.
  • Geographical constraints :- India shares it’s border with China which is disputed. While US has no such territorial interest.
  • Increasing isolationist, protectionist trend :- With Trump’s government in power many decisions like abandoning the Trans Atlantic Partnership, Paris deal, America First policy in place India cant hope for any large scale ties with United States.
  • Robust economic relationship between United States and China :- This economic bonhomie can deter  US from taking any stern action and firm stands against China.

Tools that need to be explored by India :-

  • Strengthening it’s economy and infrastructure :- It will help India to counter China economically which is very much required considering it’s role in China’s rise and power. It will also help in tackling skirmishes and blockades by China in border areas like recent Doklam issues.
  • Building regional alliances and using diplomacy :- The institutions of BIMSTEC, ASEAN + 6, BBIN, SAARC, ASIA-AFRICA Growth corridor can help.
  • Preparing India militarily :- It is important to modernise the weaponry, skill the border forces with much needed techniques and tactics to counter the shrewd Chinese counterparts.

Topic: Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act

3) There is a widely held belief that voters in India, especially the poor, sell their votes in exchange for cash, liquor, saris, and many other such goodies. Do you agree with this belief? Substantiate. (250 Words)

The Hindu

 

Introduction :-  Elections in India are a hugely expensive affair. Large amounts of money are collected by political parties and spent during the elections. Though there is a prescribed ceiling for the candidates’ election expenditure, there is no limit on the expenditure political parties can incur. A large component of this money originates from dubious sources and most of funding is from unknown sources.

The Vote for Cash phenomenon is being increasingly used and exploited by the candidates owing to the increasing tendencies of valuing their votes in terms of a win ability factor for elections.

The Association for Democratic Reforms’ (ADR) research on these aspects clearly brings out the influence of money which manifests itself in the rising cost of elections, increase in number of crorepatis MPs/MLAs, assets growth of the re-elected MPs/MLAs and chances of winning for crorepati candidates. 

Factors responsible for this relationship :-

  • Cash is an important grease to run a smooth campaign machinery for a number of reasons. First, parties have weak organisations at the local level and face heavy institutional constraints. Most parties do not have enough committed volunteers to mobilise votes. Money acts as a substitute for the organisation as cash is used to engage vote mobilisers or local individuals who will seek votes for a party and/or candidate.
  • Institutional constraints also make money extremely critical. The Election Commission (EC) allows only 14 days of official campaigning, which ends 48 hours before the scheduled close of polling. 
  • Given the size of constituencies (both in area and the number of voters), a candidate requires an army of workers during the campaign period. Even if a campaign decides to pay the current minimum wage for agricultural labourers to each of its workers during the entire campaign period the candidate would end up exceeding the expenditure limit. To avoid this, candidates spend huge sums of money on cash, liquor and gifts that they hand out to their middlemen.
  • money signals resources and power, or access to powerful networks. It allows candidates to mobilise supporters who in turn can pull a crowd together. The role of money as a symbol of power is especially important in a hierarchical society such as India, with the state wielding enormous power.

Competitive populism in Indian politics has led to the development of an “ante-up quid pro quo” system, with politicians and parties forced to put money and goods into the pot before they could play a hand. And this is amplified by weak party organisations, limited campaigning periods and the humongous size of constituencies. Thus, campaign finance reforms should begin by increasing the number of constituencies and the duration of the official campaign period. Smaller constituencies with longer campaigning period are more likely to curb the negative influence of money in politics in comparison to putting a cap on the expenditure limit.


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

4) Examine the issues and concerns that are associated with using technology as learning tool for kids. (150 Words)

The Indian Express

Introduction :- Technology is the backbone of 21st century generation. It has many roles, benefits and it’s use as a learning tool for kids is no exception. It is important to use technology in terms of internet use, devises like mobile, laptops, informative apps in order to enhance the learnability and grasping capacity of kids in today’s generation. Use of technology is also crucial for providing an edge to kids in this competitive world. However it is creating many issues and concerns :-

  • Health issues :- Unchecked and unfiltered, screen-time can be dangerous for kids. It has clear health implications, in that it can affect sleep, or prevent kids from engaging in physical activity, thereby contributing to India’s rising childhood obesity rates. It can exacerbate mental health issues, and perpetuate social isolation. And studies have shown that young children who are screen users exhibit higher rates of aggression.
  • Addictive tendencies generation :- Online apps and games, which are created with the specific intent to attract and hook their users, are particularly addictive for kids.
  • Issues of mental churning and psychological impact of technology on kids :- Young children don’t have the ability to spot the differences between advertisements, or sponsored content, and real content. They lack the cognitive sophistication and experience to think critically about what they’re seeing and evaluate its veracity. And they are keenly observing and rapidly absorbing the social and moral messages they are seeing on those screens, leaving them vulnerable to picking up and perpetuating stereotypes and biases.
  • Issues of parenting with advanced generation :- Kids’ content is most beneficial when it’s accompanied by an active discussion or when it is supporting an activity offline. In other words, when there is a level of parental explanation and mentorship around what kids are seeing and hearing.
  • Distractions, misuse and exploitation of technology :- smartphones and tablets, with internet connectivity and text messaging services, can merely be a source of distraction for students as opposed to a learning tool. It may be difficult for a teacher to monitor her students so closely in class as to determine whether they are utilizing educational apps on their tablets or browsing Facebook. The teacher must decide whether or not to use filtered browsing on the devices to cut down on distractions, which might not be an option if the child owns the device.

Devices and digital media are a godsend for busy parents who need a bit of a break from parenting. But let’s not call it educational. Devices, alone, are not going to teach our children empathy, compassion, morals, values, manners, or even math. We are lucky to live in a time when we have these tools, now we just have to learn how to use them.


Topic: Employment 

5) Examine the impact of demonetisation on employment in India. (250 Words)

Livemint

Introduction :- India underwent an experience of demonetisation by stripping the legal tenders of Rs. 500 and 1000 notes in November 2016. This has impacted every sector of country and it’s impact on employment can be gauged from following :-

  •  According to CMIE data, the estimated total employment during January-April 2017 was 405 million compared to 406.5 million during the preceding four months, September-December 2016.
  • The biggest hit from demonetisation has been on the unskilled labour. For instance, withdrawal of high-value currency notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 denominations and the resultant cash crunch seem to have crippled India’s largest ceramic cluster in Morbi, Gujarat. More than 50,000 migrant workers from Bihar were estimated to have returned to their home state after losing their jobs due to the currency crisis. Most of them-labourers, masons, cycle factory workers, textile mill employees and jewellery artisans-were forced to return home because their employers were unable to pay their wages due to restrictions on bank withdrawals. Economist Gurcharan Das estimated that for every percentage point drop in GDP, the economy would lose around 6 million jobs.
  • For employment growth, economic growth is one of the important factors. In a situation, when the recession phase caused by global crisis of 2009 had hardly dimmed away, the recent move of ‘demonetization’ will push growth downward as predicted by most economic agencies including RBI and IMF.
  • According to CMIE data, the estimated total employment during January-April 2017 was 405 million compared to 406.5 million during the preceding four months, September-December 2016.
  • According to a Labour Bureau report in May this year, the Indian economy was growing at around 7% per year while the jobs market grew by just 1.1% last year

In a country, when 79 percent of non-agricultural wage workers have no written contract and only one fourth are eligible for any social security, the decision is certainly a cause of concern. India has the world largest youth population, so for any developing country like India, it is the time to harness the population dividend by providing them gainful employment. No doubt, impact of ICT on growth and direct employment is well documented, but its indirect negative employment impact ICT using manufacturing sectors can-not be ignored. Given this, the decision of ‘demonetization’ will further destabilize the already volatile labour market in India.

 


Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning – growth and development

6) Discuss in detail the features of Tripura model of development which has resulted in better human development outcomes for the state. (250 Words)

The Hindu 

 

Introduction :- Tripura is a state in Northeast India. The third-smallest state in the country. Tripura is a landlocked state in North East India. The physiography is characterised by hill ranges, valleys and plains. All this coupled with insurgencies, instabilities had rendered. Tripura on sloppy path of development and progress. But now the Tripura models of developments are being considered as the hallmark. The detailed features of this model of development are as follows :-

  • Investment in human development and people’s participation in the implementation of socio-political and economic policy was the base idea of Tripura model of development.
  • Targeting illiteracy :- illiteracy was one of the basic problem of the state owing to the problem of separatist militancy but with the growing time, there has been rapid increase in the literacy rate as evident from the Census report which reflected the increase of literacy rate from 735 to 87% between 2001 -2011. 
  • Emphasis and efforts on economic growth :- With reference to the performance of the State, which is reflected in the form of growth rate of per capita State Domestic Product (SDP), Tripura stands at the rate of 9%-10% p.a wherein per capita Net Domestic Product of India is growing only at around 5% p.a. 
  • Improved status of labourers and employment :- There has been an increase in the labour force participation and work force participation in the state, especially among women. Tripura has also been continuously ranked first among the States of India in last 5-6 years with respect to the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). 
  • Enhances social measures :- The state had put much efforts in terms of health facilities, sanitation and social security measures, making it a pioneer on the human development index (HDI). Besides, Tripura’s rural road connectivity is apparently one of the best in the country.
  • This model has adopted focussed programmes and clear objectives with proper review and feedback system at place and region suited tailored program like agricultural program are being followed.

The landmark repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, or AFSPA, in 2015 in the State was an outstanding symbol of the success of this policy. Tripura continues to achieve new milestones due to adoption if this model of development.


Topic: Awareness in internet and computers

7) What are bots? How are they shaping internet today? Examine. (150 Words)

The Hindu

 

Introduction :- An Internet bot, also known as web robot, WWW robot or simply bot, is a software application that runs automated tasks (scripts) over the Internet. Typically, bots perform tasks that are both simple and structurally repetitive, at a much higher rate than would be possible for a human alone. The largest use of bots is in web spidering (web crawler), in which an automated script fetches, analyses and files information from web servers at many times the speed of a human. More than half of all web traffic is made up of bots.

Positive role of bots :-

One of the typical good bot uses is to gather information. Bots in such guises are called web crawlers. Another good use is automatic interaction with instant messaging, instant relay chat, or assorted other web interfaces. Dynamic interaction with websites is yet another way bots are used for positive purposes.

Negative role of bots:-

Malicious bots are defined as self-propagating malware that infects its host and connects back to a central server(s). The server functions as a command and control center for a botnet, or a network of compromised computers and similar devices. Malicious bots have the worm-like ability to self-propagate and can also:

  • Gather passwords
  • Log keystrokes
  • Obtain financial information
  • Relay spam
  • Capture and analyze packets
  • Launch DoS attacks
  • Open back doors on the infected computer
  • Exploit back doors opened by viruses and worms

Bots are usually used to infect large numbers of computers. These computers form a botnet or a bot network.

Their role in shaping internet today:-

  • Last year was the first time in history that bots outnumbered people on the web. According to research from Distil Networks, almost 60% of 2014’s web traffic consisted of automated bits of code, 23% of which exist to do dirty work for fraudsters and hackers.
  • Facebook uses bots to grab the headline, first paragraph, and image from a story when you share it on your news feed. Meanwhile, Google uses bots to crawl and catalog the web so when you run a search, the site can deliver appropriate results.
  • But hackers also use bots for all sorts of nefarious reasons, from lifting credit card numbers from an online store to scraping the text off an article and posting it on some random blog. 
  • Bad bots make up 78% of the traffic put out by Amazon, whose simple-to-setup cloud services power much of the web. T-Mobile, China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom are being overrun by bad bots on the mobile web. 

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has said, “Bots are the new apps.” Interestingly, according to technology research and advisory firm Gartner, by 2021 more than 50% of enterprises will be spending more per annum on bots and chatbot creations than traditional mobile app developments. Hence their proper regulation and use is necessary. Simple steps like not jailbreaking devices, making sure to research apps before one install them and closing programs that one is not running. On the desktop, it means never using the same username and password combination twice, only entering the credit card information on secure sites, keeping the software (including browser plugins) up to date, and actually installing virus software will help.


Topic:  Ethical concerns and dilemmas in public and private institutions

Introduction :- The late political scientist and historian Benedict Anderson called the nation an imagined community, which brings together people who find common cause to forge a new identity. That entity functions because of its institutions.  India opted for a vibrant democracy at independence for which institutions like Free and fair periodical elections, a free Press, an independent judiciary and a non-political civil service are the essential ingredients.

The strength of such institutors is required in terms of their structure and functions because only strong democratic institutions and practices, based on principles of pluralism, inclusion and the rule of law, can provide the foundation for societies in which the rights and interests of all can be promoted and protected.

According to Prof Amaratya Sen, the Nobel laureate, what India has achieved under the democratic framework in the past over five decades since independence is far more impressive and it overwhelms some of the shortcomings and failures and in this the leaders have played a crucial role right from Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel to till today.

This strength and weakness depends on many factors in which the role of individual in charge is most crucial. It is the individual who defines and determines the credibility, utility and functionality of an institution.

The great rulers of India like Samrat Ashok, Akbar built strong institutions and acted with vision, strong rule so they could build one of the greatest empires of world. The credibility of Indian judiciary is very high in eyes of people because the leadership and actions taken by the judges however it also gets lowered down with their overrule and encroachment.

What can be done :

  • Visions strengthen democratic institutions. It is vision that suppresses nepotism to pitch enduring tents that can withstand socio-political and economic tremors. Without foresight, no leader will envisage the need for a viable democratic institution. Looking ahead of the immediate and discouraging psychoanalysis are major determinants in erecting admirable democratic institutions.
  • No democratic institution can thrive without a strong independent law enforcement department. Hence maintaining an independent agency for their watch, periodic upgradation is also important in order to save them from being personalised under rule of a person.
  • Civil society actors should watch how state officials use their powers.  They should raise public concern about any abuse of power.  They should lobby for access to information, including freedom of information laws, and rules and institutions to control corruption. They can promote political participation. 

 

If institutions are the pillars of society and political systems their leaders are the inherent and important ingredients of the materials of that pillars. Without their quality the quality of institutions and consequently their impact remains elusive.