SECURE SYNOPSIS: 17 NOVEMBER 2017

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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 17 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: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues

1) Why did India wait till early 1990s to introduce structural economic reforms but not in 1970 as did by China? Critically examine. (150 Words)

Livemint

Introduction :- The economic liberalisation in India refers to the economic liberalisation, initiated in 1991, of the country’s economic policies, with the goal of making the economy more market and service-oriented and expanding the role of private and foreign investment.

 

Attempts were made to liberalise the economy in 1966 and 1985. The first attempt was reversed in 1967. Thereafter, a stronger version of socialism was adopted. The second major attempt was in 1985 by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. The process came to a halt in 1987, though 1967 style reversal did not take place. However the full fledged structural reforms were adopted only in 1990s.

 

There are many reasons for the late introduction of full fledged economic reforms in Indian Economy :-

  • The Indian state has been more penetrated by social actors than many East and Southeast Asian states. Unlike China, India could neither abolish private enterprise nor could it embrace globalization with the same speed and ferocity.
  • Both complete state-driven nationalization and state-driven globalization would demand a state, which would have much greater command over interest groups like industrialists, farmers and trade unions. Policies favouring economic growth and development in India needed to evolve gradually after building a social consensus on those policies.
  • This is a model of development driven by a relationship between the state and society, where the power of the state, even in its commanding moments, was moderated by the power of social actors.
  • India’s growth rates began looking more like China’s after 2003. India has risen as a vibrant economy only in starting decades of 21st century while China had shown these symptoms much earlier. India’s democratic complexity and the chaotic nature of development policies increased the delays further.
  • The decade of 1960s and 70s were not favourable for introduction of such reforms. An economic crisis was looming large over the nation’s horizon. The droughts of 1964/65 and 1965/66 and the war with Pakistan in 1965 created a financial situation where India became dependent on shipments of US PL 480 wheat.

All these factors made India to adopt for economic structural reforms only in 1990s.

 


Topic:  Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections. 

2) Making registration of marriages compulsory, like births and deaths, is an effective antidote to social evils like child marriage, bigamy and gender violence. Discuss. (250 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction :- The Law Commission of India suggested amendments in the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969 to make registration of marriages compulsory. It is a visionary suggestion if we see the marriages practices in India and the social evils associated with it.

  • Indian society is deeply patriarchal. Women are already targeted as the weaker sex in society. On the top of that marriages under age becomes the tool to exaggerate the sufferings of the girls and women.
  • India has the highest number of child brides in the world. It is estimated that 47% of girls in India are married before their 18th The rates of child marriage vary between states and are as high as 69% and 65% in Bihar and Rajasthan.
  • Practice of bigamy is followed in much families in India though not openly but secretly. This has resulted in extreme partiality and rejection of women’s right. It has also resulted in women’s economic and social subjugation.
  • According to a National Family and Health Survey in 2005, total lifetime prevalence of domestic violence was 33.5% and 8.5% for sexual violence among women aged 15–49.

 

Registration of a marriage will not only deter people from openly practising child marriage, bigamy and curbing domestic violence but also punishing the culprits involved. Registration of this provides it a legal backup  which will enhance the law adhering nature in people. It will help to prevent early pregnancy of girls, decreased MMR, decreased IMR etc this reduced gender violence. It helps to increase enrolment ratio of girls in schools as parents will be marrying their daughters at the right age.

Hence though it is a huge task in society like India owing to it’s illiteracy, lack of awareness and complexities. Implementing the already run government programs like Beti bachao Beti Padhao, SABALA, Sukanya samruddhi yojana etc along with help of civil society organisations is helpful to strengthen women’s position and spreading awareness regarding the practices of child marriages, bigamy etc.


Topic: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions. 

3) The Supreme Court is definitely facing an institutional crisis of the kind that it has never faced before, mainly, but not exclusively, on account of the most ferocious attack ever on the judiciary by the executive. Comment. (250 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction :- The Supreme Court of India is facing its worst crisis of credibility since the Emergency. With an occasional exception, the quality of the court’s reasoning, the inconstancy of its judgment, the abdication of its constitutional role in some cases, and its overreach in others, are already denting its authority.

  • The most telling indicator of this assault on the judiciary is the non-appointment of judges. This defiance — and this kind of defiance has never happened, where the collegiums sends a list of judges to be appointed and the government does not appoint them — is defiance of the highest order. 
  • The executive wants a judiciary that is beholden to it. Politicians and governments try their best to influence judges. Earlier, there used to be fear in approaching judges today it is not so.
  • There are issues of corruption in the courts. The judiciary has failed to find a mechanism to deal with allegations of corruption within its ranks. Every justice in the court needs to be above suspicion.
  • The acts by executives like passing ordinances to circumvent judiciary, not following the directives given by judiciary even in critical cases like sharing of water disputes between states etc shows the increased tendencies of attacking court by executives.

From the expansion of fundamental rights, to the invention of the basic structure of the constitution, there has been one constant about the judiciary – its credibility. However it is being diluted on many accounts as mentioned above. The institutional crisis that the Supreme Court has now created for itself will puncture more holes in the authority that it so valiantly tried to exert. It will also create the conditions under which it will be easier to legitimise diluting judicial independence.

 Hence need of the hour is to take some concrete steps.

  • If benches are being constituted on triple talaq and liquor, surely a Bench can be constituted on the appointment of judges, judges’ salaries, and to inquire about political interference in the judiciary
  • The judiciary should not remain quiet in the face of such intimidation by the executive. It can evolve an enforceable code of conduct so that if any politician or party tries to influence a judge, this will be immediately reported and punishment be meted.
  • The people and lawyers support the judiciary and expect judges to be resolute.

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

4) Do you think private schools deliver better learning outcomes than public schools? In the light of the recent World Development Report, discuss the issues associated with private education and the need for upgradation of public education in India. (250 Words)

Livemint

Introduction :- The World Bank’s recent flagship World Development Report, 2018 has studied the comparison of  learning outcomes in private and public schooling systems.

There is a popular perception that private school deliver better learning outcomes due to advantages they share like

  • Private schools have better infrastructure required for the physical and mental development of the child. They can help with the required facilities for the students to learn their lessons in a better way. The infrastructure can help them to have a practical approach to education.
  • The private institutes are better in their approach towards the psychological development of the children.
  • Private schools maintain better hygiene and environment which could safeguard the health of the students.
  • The education imparted in the private schools are more of audio-visual now-a-days with the emergence of computers into the learning.
  • Private schools can also provide better sport activities and equipments for the physical development of the children.
  • Students can learn the civilized and modern approach which is of demand in the MNC culture which is feeding many of us in present era.

But the Findings of the report shows another side which negated this perceptions and discussed issues in private educational system :-

  • The World Bank report thus challenges a popular perception in India and finds no consistent evidence that private schools deliver better learning outcomes than public schools.
  • Indeed, of the 1.27 million untrained teachers teaching in India, 925,000 are in private schools, pointing to the massive historic neglect of quality.
  • It advocated that States’ capacities to fully monitor and enforce adherence to quality standards, mitigate against negative equity impact and ensure contract compliance must be enhanced if justice is to be done to those who already study in private schools.
  • The report warned that some private schools’ quest for profit “can lead them to advocate policy choices that are not in the interests of students”. 
  • There are also clear risks as private schools skim off higher-income students that are easiest and most profitable to teach, leaving the most disadvantaged within the public system.
  • The reliance on private schools risks segregating the education system on family income and deepening existing social cleavages; it also undermines the political constituency for effective public schooling in the long run. This has particularly dangerous outcomes in India where caste, gender and class inequalities dominate.

Some of the facts depicting the peculiar condition of education in India are;

  • As per the global education report-2004, India was positioned at 106 out of 127 countries in the education sphere.
  • India has the largest number of illiterates by far, contributing around 34% to the total number of illiterates in the world.
  • It is among the ten fastest growing economies in the world, but still has one-third of the world’s illiterates.

Government schools do hold a significant position in making education available to the masses.  They have several benefits over private schools which cannot be denied; such as,

  • Government schools are affordable.
  • These schools provide education without any discrimination.
  • Policies like ‘Free and Compulsory Education’ and ‘Education to The Girl Child’ are made possible only in the government schools.
  • Salaries of government school teachers are considerably high.

Hence there is a need to upgrade the public education system :-

  • The quality of education can only be improved if steps are taken to ensure children come to school prepared to learn, teachers have the skills and motivation to teach effectively, inputs reach classrooms and management and governance systems are strengthened in schools that serve the poorest.
  • Lack of basic facilities adds to the plight of education system in India. The situation worsens as we move from urban to sub-urban and rural areas. So ensuring the availability of facilities like sanitation, drinking water, laboratories, libraries, sports etc is crucial.
  • Quality of teachers and teachings need attention. The National Education Policy (NEP) draftprepared by the TSR Subramanian committee proposed independent Teacher Recruitment Commissions, and formulation of transparent and merit-based norms and guidelines for recruitment of teachers and principals. It suggests teacher training, recruitment, school management, and improved pedagogic techniques.
  • Increasing the budgetary allocation is important. India is committed to the global and domestic benchmark of allotting 6% of gross domestic product to education, but has never crossed the 4% threshold. Failing to invest in the best education for the poor will only widen the social inequalities that exist in India today

The road to reform is fraught with challenges but the cost of inaction will be much higher. Hence upgardation of public system is the need of hour.

 

 


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

5) What do you understand by the rules-based regional security architecture ? Examine how can India and ASEAN be partners in the rules-based regional security architecture. (150 Words)

The Hindu

Background :-Prime Minister Narendra Modi has addressed the 15th ASEAN India summit at Manilla, Philippines

  • India’s relationship with ASEAN is a key pillar of it’s foreign policy.
  • Centrality of ‘Act East Policy’ in the regional security architecture of Indo-Pacific region.
  • It’s time that we jointly address challenge of terrorism by intensifying Co-operation.
  • All 10 ASEAN heads of state have invited to be guests of honour for next years republic day function (Though a symbolic move, is a good step)
  • Assured ASEAN of “steady support towards achieving a rules-based region security architecture that best attests to the region’s interests and it’s peaceful development”

 

Rule based regional security architecture :-

 

  • This refers to “an arrangement of regional security where every step taken by any nation with regard to regional security falls in line with the rules and regulations agreed upon by the member countries through agreements, laws or international organisation’s rules and laws”
  • Indo-Pacific region has become the centre of global politics and economics while China being the most important player in the region.
  • The present time is ‘Period of transition’ as US is unable to communicate it’s priorities in the region effectively while China is.
  • This time is significant for nations like India and ASEAN countries that have a stake in the region in the long term stability of region.
  • For this to attain, India rightfully asserting for ‘rule based regional security architecture’ along with US and Japan.

 

Need for reassertion :-

 

  • China is following aggressive expansionist posturing. It is adopting every means and method to expand it’s boundaries in neighbourhood countries.
  • China also violates the UNCLOS in South China Sea by acting against the universal laws of freedom and navigation.

 

Partnership with India and ASEAN :-

To attain the rule based security architecture in the region ‘balance of power is the key’. For this India and ASEAN partnership is very critical.

 

Favourable factors for the same :-

 

  • Together they constitute the 1.8 bn population of the world and are part of one of the largest economic regions.
  • ASEAN is India’s fourth largest trading partner and India ASEAN’S seventh largest partner.
  • India’s service oriented economy perfectly complements the manufacturing based economy of ASEAN. Nations.
  • Similar security challenges like extremism, terrorism, piracy etc. and need of Co-Operation is felt by all.
  • The two shares common heritage and cultural ties since ancient historical time.

The increased co-operation and strategic engagement between India and ASEAN for a favourable balance of power will ensure regional stability. Balance of power will also help in reducing Chinese economic influence and supremacy in region. It will also complement the other alliances like Indo-Pacific Quadrilateral consisting of India, Japan, US and Australia.

 

What needs to be done :-

 

India must convince the ASEAN as it’s strategic partner by boosting domestic economic reform agenda, by enhancing connectivity within the region and by increasing it’s presence in regional institutions. ASEAN should be clearer and more specific in their demands from Delhi and must adopt a deeper and more broad based engagement with India.

 


Topic: Environmental pollution 

6) Discuss the causal relationship between indoor and outdoor air pollution with the rise of disease burden in India. (150 Words)

Livemint

 

Introduction :– On 14th November the Health ministry had published a report called “Study of health of nation’s states ” which is a study of how the burden of disease has changed in Indian states from 1990 to 2016.

Findings of the report :-

  • India’s health gap :- India faced double whammy of increase in the burden of both lifestyle diseases associated with sedentary lifestyle, wealth and infectious diseases.
  • Alarming rise in disease burden due to Air pollution which shows more than 10% of total disease burden in 2016 second only to child and maternal malnourishment.
  • Nationally indoor air pollution since 1990 has seen a drastic decrease and the outdoor air pollution has seen an increase.
  • Disproportionate burden on poor :- States with higher risk of air pollution were identified as eight Empowered Action Group states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajsthan, Odisha etc.
  • The indoor air pollution disease burden was high in EAG states
  • The outdoor sir pollution disease burden was high in Northern states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab etc.
  • Reasons for increased risk from outdoor air pollution can be gauged from various sources like power production units, industry, vehicles, waste burnings, constructions etc.
  • Substantial contribution has been caused to Cardiovascular and respiratory disease burden which has affected children for ex. Many children in Delhi fails in their lungs test and have small lungs compared with other areas children.

 


Topic: S&T; Security challenges

7) Is global instability from proliferation and weaponisation of nuclear weapons imminent? Examine the measures taken and the challenges that exist to ban nuclear weapons. (250 Words)

The Hindu 

Introduction :– Nuclear proliferation is the spread of nuclear weapons, fissionable material, and weapons-applicable nuclear technology and information to nations not recognized as “Nuclear Weapon States” by the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, commonly known as the Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT. Proliferation has been opposed by many nations with and without nuclear weapons, the governments of which fear that more countries with nuclear weapons may increase the possibility of nuclear warfare (up to and including the so-called “counter value” targeting of civilians with nuclear weapons), de-stabilize international or regional relations, or infringe upon the national sovereignty of states.

Nuclear proliferation and global instability :-

States with nuclear weapons are now engaged in efforts to modernize their arsenals to be useful for decades to come. Many other states are being increasingly indulged in brinkmanship policies as can be seen from the policies of North Korea.

  • The U.S. is considering building smaller nuclear weapons to target buried facilities.
  • Pakistan has tested nuclear weapons that could be deployed on the battlefield.
  • Russia may be developing new, intermediate-range missiles in contravention of an arms control treaty with the U.S.
  • India has been deploying nuclear weapons on new submarines.
  • China is fielding new long-range missiles with multiple nuclear warheads. 
  • North Korea is racing to test and field a scary array of nuclear missiles.

All this suggest an increased risk and threat to global stability.

Measures taken in order to ban nuclear weapons :-

  • The U.N. General Assembly’s very first resolution on Jan. 24, 1946, discussed how to abolish weapons of mass destruction. Ever since, activists, NGOs, governments and the U.N. have been relentless in putting in place planks of an increasingly sophisticated normative architecture to limit the spread of nuclear weapon technology, materials and arsenals.
  • At the centre of the effort lies the NPT itself. But additional planks include the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) following earlier successes in proscribing atmospheric and underground testing; the Nuclear Suppliers Group set up after India’s testing breakout in 1974; various regional nuclear weapon-free zones that cover the southern hemisphere and extend to a limited extent into the northern hemisphere in Central Asia and Mongolia; the Proliferation Security Initiative; etc.
  • In addition, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) acts as the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog to ensure compliance with non proliferation obligations.

Challenges which exist in banning nuclear weapons :-

  • One hundred and twenty-seven states have signed the NPT and said with common voice that their security is directly threatened by the 15,000 nuclear weapons that exist in the arsenals of nine countries, and they are demanding that these weapons be prohibited and abolished. However many of the nations have not signed and opting out of it.
  • Treaties will close only a legal gap with regard to nuclear weapons by making it unequivocal that no state has a legitimate claim to possess, build, test, deploy, use, or threaten to use them. However their implementation and actual adhering needs a strict regulation. Many countries violates the treaties secretly.

Way forward/ steps required :-

  • The nuclear-weapon States possessing the largest nuclear arsenals bear special responsibility for nuclear disarmament. They should continue to reduce drastically their respective nuclear arsenals on the principle of irreversibility.
  • All the nuclear-weapon States should renounce the nuclear deterrence policy based on the first use of nuclear weapons, undertake unconditionally not to be the first to use nuclear weapons and conclude an international legal instrument to such effect.
  • All the nuclear-weapon States should commit themselves unconditionally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States or nuclear-weapon- free zones, and a relevant international legal instrument should be concluded.
  • The nuclear-weapon States concerned should undertake to withdraw all the nuclear weapons deployed outside their territories.
  • All the nuclear-weapon States should support the efforts to establish nuclear-weapon-free zones, respect the status of those zones and assume the relevant obligations.
  • The nuclear-weapon States and the non-nuclear-weapon States concerned should forego the “nuclear umbrella” policy and the practice of “nuclear sharing”.
  • The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) should be observed in full and in good faith. Those countries which have not yet acceded to the NPT should do so without delay and without conditions, so as to make the treaty truly universal.
  • The states which have not yet signed and ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) should do so as soon as possible, so as to promote the early entry into force of the CTBT according to the treaty provisions.
  • A universal and verifiable fissile material cut-off treaty (FMCT) should be negotiated and concluded.
  • On the basis of the above-mentioned efforts, a convention on the complete prohibition of nuclear weapons should be negotiated and concluded.

 


Topic:  Ethics in human actions

Introduction :- Padmavati is the latest Bollywood film about the Rajput Queen Rani Padmavati. It has been involved in various controversies since it’s shooting. There are many ethical issues involved :-

·         Issues of freedom of speech and expression:- It is one of the fundamental rights granted by Indian constitution and such protest encroach it under name of hurting the sentiments of related community.

·         Manipulation and twisting of the historical facts :- The Padmavati story, like many others, has undergone several mutations. Playing with the historical facts will prove to be harmful and derogatory not only for the history but for the people related to this glorious past as well. If the protest is based on such sound understanding and if the movies has done such manipulation then it must be taken into account.

·         Disrespect to the legends and to emotions of community :- If fixing the stories are being done in a much artificial manner and according to one’s own comfort for the sake of grand visuals and stories may disrespect the legends and their decedents. India takes pride in preserving and propagating it’s rich heritage and such attempts may malign the image of society and country.

·         Issues related to respect for women and their dignity :- The films showcase the Rani Padmavati’s life in much details and if the shoots are not real facts and are being exaggerated then it is the disrespect to a woman’s dignity.

Movies are the reflection of society as much as societies are the reflection of movies. They need to be very sensitive in checking what they are producing. On the other side public also must understand that they only protest only if there is substantial issue and not on every aspect which will encroach on the freedom of speech and expression.