SECURE SYNOPSIS: 12 JANUARY 2018

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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 12 JANUARY 2018


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: Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

1) It makes no sense for India, which prides itself on its multilingualism, to make a case for Hindi at the UN. Comment. (150 Words)

The Hindu

 

Background:-

  • Indian government is considering a case to make Hindi the official language of India at UN. So there is a need to analyse the necessity of such a move by India .

 

Positives :-

  • According to the Constitution, Hindi is the official language of the Union of India for all official purposes, as also English .
  • Even though English was to be used for just 15 years from the adoption of the Constitution, but Parliament provided for continued use of English in 1963.
  • So, whether the head of state or the prime minister comes from a Hindi-speaking region or not, the official communication from him/her has to be in these two languages.
  • If Hindi gets adopted as an official language at the UN this is more about India’s soft power than anything else. 
  • For the Government of India, obtaining official language status for Hindi at the UN is an attractive way of enhancing its stature among languages and propagating the greater use of Hindi

 

Concerns:-

  • The process of making an addition to the UN’s official language list is an exacting one since it requires a two-thirds majority of the total of 193 member countries
  • Not only these countries need to vote in favour of India but also share expenditure. Economically weaker countries that support India shy away with this clause. 
  • Even if the funding part was taken care of, it will be a gross waste of resources to spend millions of dollars every year to fund the required translation and interpretation work.
  • The last General Assembly resolution on the status of multilingualism at the UN was concerned that the availability of official documents in all official languages was limited in some areas of Secretariat activity. So expecting UN to include one more language may not be practical.
  • Many of Indian representatives can use English very well then what is the need for the introduction of Hindi when it is not even the national language.
  • If Hindi becomes the official language India will give the impression on the global stage that it has one pre-eminent language and compromise its identity of linguistic pluralism.
  • The question is what purpose is being served by this as there is no choice for India’s future leaders who don’t know Hindi in a difficult position.
  • It goes against the spirit of inclusiveness propagated by the Constitution

Way ahead:-

  • Since there aren’t enough countries that have a Hindi-speaking population, intense diplomatic effort will be required to swing it for India.

 


General Studies – 2


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

2) The road to India’s prosperity may well run through Jerusalem, but the road to its leadership aspirations on the world stage cannot bypass Ramallah either. Critically comment on the implications of recent inconsistency in India’s policy towards Israel and Palestine for India’s regional and global aspirations.  (250 Words)

The Hindu

Livemint

 

Background:-

  • India’s relationship is associated with Israel in many fields like agriculture, water , technology ,defence exports etc as it is the second largest supplier of arms to India at the same time India’s support for Palestine and it’s cause is  upheld in it’s foreign policy aspirations even before independence .

 

Recent inconsistencies in the policies i.e.., how has the relationship changed  :-

  • Historically, India framed its relationship with Israel based on a priority accorded to Palestine. 
  • However over the years this changed India’s road to US and arms lay through Israel.
    • During the 1999 war with Pakistan, Israel supplied arms to India.
    • India under Indira Gandhi had already reached out  to Israel in 1971 for arms despite absent diplomatic ties. The Palestine issue started getting sidelined.
    • In 2009, following lobbying by US and Israeli governments, India diluted its stand on the Goldstone Report which showed the illegality of Israel’s blockade of Gaza and accused it of violating international law. 
    • In the past three years, barring a vote at the UNGA in 2014, India has turned from its traditional pro-Palestinian stance, to one of abstention
      • India’s altered voting behaviour in UN therefore caused speculation that India had changed its policies on Palestine which the government has denied.
    • Undoubtedly, there is markedly more visible warmth between the two countries since 2014. In July 2017 the first-ever visit by an Indian prime minister to Israel. Also, he did not visit Palestine on way back.
  • However  India mentioned it’s unwavering support to Palestine and for a two state solution. India also favours for a sovereign, independent, united and viable Palestine, co-existing peacefully with Israel.
  • India keeps assuring Palestine affirmed that India’s expanding relations in the Middle east region will only strengthen the Palestinian cause not weaken it.
  • India chose to vote for a resolution criticising the U.S. for recognising Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, and also called on Israel to end its “occupation that began in 1967”.
  • The scheduled visit of Indian PM to Palestine in 2018 shows its importance to India.

Effect on India’s regional and global aspirations :-

  • India and Israel have been cooperating in a range of areas including agriculture, water conservation, science and technology, defence trade and investment. India and Israel also view each other as victims of Islamist terror.
  • Israel’s defence industry bagged its biggest security contractin April 2017 with the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries being awarded contracts worth $2 billion for providing medium range surface to air missile systems to the Indian Army. 
  • India’s position can be explained by a desire to reassert its leadership role on the multilateral stage
  •  India wants to regain its leverage on the Israel-Palestine issue

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

3) It is said that there are clauses in the RTE Act which have enormous catalytic potential but that have gone largely untouched and unnoticed. Discuss the features of these provisions which can radically transform school education in India. (250 Words)

The Hindu

 

Background :-

  • Right to education act has played an important role in enabling the goal of universal primary education but at the same time its provisions are inadequately implemented.

Important RTE provisions which were neglected :-

  • RTE Act establishes that the onus to ensure free and compulsory education lies on the state. However, the compulsory and state liability part needs to be imbibed by the educational bureaucracy, which is now lacking.
  • Tracking dropouts and mainstreaming them into age-appropriate classes has been subsumed into existing scheme activities.
    • Even seven years after its enactment, there are still children on the streets.
  • The RTE Act prescribes basic minimum standards for a school such as provision for toilets, drinking water and classrooms.
    • Despite this provision there are still lack of toilet facilities and necessary infrastructure in the school system.
  • Pupil-teacher ratio (PTR):-
    • It is impractical to expect quality education without this. 
    • 33% of the schools in the country did not have the requisite number of teachers, as prescribed in the RTE norms
  • All other forward-looking provisions of the Act such as continuous assessment, a child learning at her own pace, and ‘no detention’ policy are contingent on a school with an adequate number of teachers.
    • No meaningful teaching-learning is possible unless trained teachers are physically present at school.
  • In States with an adequate overall number of teachers, their positioning or posting requires rationalisation according to the number of students.
    • However, teacher transfers remain a grey area in most States.
  • The academic calendar will be decided by the local authority. This provision recognises the vast cultural and regional diversities within the country. So if panchayats, perhaps at the district level, decide the working days and holidays, this would not only exponentially increase attendance and teaching-learning but also strengthen local panchayats to take ownership of their schools
    • However the educational bureaucracy has not allowed the decentralisation of academic schedules even in districts.
  • The excellent push towards school management committees that were to support governance at the school level had implementation issues since they had no powers, no funds and no support to train their members in governance. 
  • It was an excellent idea to include local parents to watch over the schools their children attended but parents especially if less educated than teachers are often patronised or find it difficult to be heard. SO the school management structures were doomed .
  • Act claims to stand for all children but does not actually apply to all.
    • The intent of the Act may have been to acknowledge this principle by excluding madrasas, Vedic pathshalas and educational institutions providing primarily religious instruction in adherence to the articles 29 and 30 of the constitution.
  • There is much about inclusion for the disabled, but nothing for those whose schedules and abilities do not match with a traditional school timing regime like schools for children of construction workers that were run on-site were made illegal by this legislation

Suggestions:-

  • Strategies to ensure retention need to change from the earlier approach of enrolling the un-enrolled. 
  • Teacher provisioning should be the first option to fund as no educationally developed country has built up a sound schooling foundation without a professionally-motivated teaching cadre in place.
  • Allow schools to admit students if there are no applicants in the 25% EWS category. As it stands, schools are forced to keep the place vacant and lose both fee revenues and compensation if they cannot find a poor student in their area.
  • The government has a responsibility to govern the administration of all schools to ensure quality education is being delivered to all. This does not need to impinge upon the content of teaching, while it does call to account the process of teaching and learning and its outcomes even regarding minority schools .

 

Conclusion:-

  • It is time to reform it in line with the key goal of a quality education for each and every child.

 General Studies – 3 


Topic:  Employment

4) The World Bank’s latest “Global Economic Prospects” report shows that the second wave of change in the global labour market will play out over the next two decades, with developing economies contributing to all of the addition in the global skilled labour force, as the number of skilled workers in advanced economies is expected to decline. How should India gain from this employment shift? Analyse. (250 Words)

Livemint

 

Background:-

  • Post economic crisis in 2009 developing countries started to play a very important role by being fastest growing economics when developed countries were suffering to main financial stability and economic growth

Second wave of change in the global labour market :-

  • The rising level of skill and education in developing economies will also lift potential global growth and continue to reduce global inequality.
  • Additional workers will get employed in multiple industries. With adequate demographic dividend this might play in favour of developing countries. This will be a big challenge for India. It has not been able to create enough employment opportunities for people moving out of agriculture. 
  • Impact would be
    • Improvement in the level of education and skill tends to increase income
    • Rising income in the developing world will lead to a reduction in inequality
    • The global Gini coefficient is estimated to decline from 65.8 in 2012 to 62.6 by 2030

How should India gain :-

  • Since improvement in the level of education and skill tends to increase income, rising income in the developing world will lead to a reduction in inequality.
  • Policymakers will need to work on different levels to be able to create a competitive labour force and make India benefit from the emerging global situation.
  • India urgently needs to focus on education and skill development.
    • The skills and employability of the 250 million young people joining the workforce over the next decade will be crucial. It is estimated that six out of 10 young people entering the workforce by 2025 will be in professions that do not exist today.
    • Improvement in vocational training programmes as at present only 5% of young people aged 20-24 have obtained vocational skills through a formal training system.
    • The Indian government and businesses need to work together to develop apprenticeship models able to provide the employable skills markets require.
    • India should invest more in talent development, starting with formal higher education, where courses should align more closely with real world business needs, including more focus on soft skills.
  • To be able to absorb its rising workforce, India needs to remove impediments in the manufacturing sector by removing land and labour issues.
  • India will need to protect its interest in environment of protectionism and look for opportunities to increase trade at both bilateral and multilateral forums.
  • Also, adequate attention should be paid to currency management in the world of volatile capital flows.
  • Exports are an important driver of growth and job creation.
  • Self employment needs to be promoted with initiatives like start up and stand up need to be implemented effectively.
  • Promote women labour participation 
  • Health and nutrition as part of human capital needs improvement 
  • Digital literacy need to increase especially in the light of recent technologies like block chain, big data etc.
    • Given the speed of progress, lifelong learning is essential. And an emphasis on digital skills is required across the board, with digitalization increasingly affecting every sphere of work.

Topic:  e-technology in the aid of farmers 

5) For India, among the largest food producers globally, the challenge is to counter the effects of erratic rainfall, raise productivity and use water efficiently. Examine how Indo-Israeli Agriculture Project (IIAP) seeks to address these challenges through technological interventions. (250 Words)

Livemint

 

Background:-

  • Agriculture, the backbone of Indian economy has been facing various challenges in recent years – lower productivity, resource crunch and erratic weather, all of these translating into lower returns, water crisis with agriculture accounting for nearly 84-85 percent of water withdrawal in India
  • India and Israel have had a very strong partnership in Agriculture. Under the India-Israel Agriculture Project, Centre of Excellences were established in various states which are helping the farming fraternity in India to adopt the latest technologies such as micro irrigation systems.

How India Israel partnership address this challenges :-

  • Success of the 10-year-old Indo-Israeli Agriculture Project (IIAP) include growing cherry tomatoes in Haryana, rejuvenating mango orchards in Maharashtra and demonstrating to Indian farmers the effectiveness of state-of-the-art irrigation technologies.
  • Lot of focus on drip irrigation and how to design better farms by using canopy management and use of improved irrigation and fertigation technologies.
  • A unique focus is to teach farmers the language of irrigation – when to irrigate and by how much – to increase water use efficiency.
  • Further, the plan is to establish a partnership on water conservation that includes waste-water treatment and its reuse for agriculture, desalination, water utility reforms, and the cleaning of the Ganga and other rivers using advanced water technologies.
  • According to a MASHAV document, vegetable intervention in Haryana showed how crop productivity could be increased 5-10 times under protected cultivation of tomato, capsicum and cucumber, coupled with 65% decrease in water use and substantial reduction in fertiliser and pesticide costs.
  • Key ways to boost overall agricultural production is to implement better soil-water management techniques that would provide the arid and semi-arid lands better access to irrigation water, without actually increasing the stress on available water resources.
  • A new action plan for the years 2018-2020 envisages joint development of new crop varieties and sharing of post harvest technologies
  • Micro irrigation has proven to be a technology which has the potential to change the face of Indian agriculture.
  • The collaboration with Israel technologies helped in bringing the most advanced innovations to the India farmers at affordable prices by adopting the concept of Technology transfers leading to “Make in India” combined with extension support by Agronomists from Israel.

Concerns :-

  • The centre and state governments also need to push these technologies with more funding. Last year’s budget announced a Rs5,000 crore micro-irrigation fund, but it took almost a year to operationalise it.
  • States which are water-stressed such as Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and Gujarat, adoption of drip irrigation has been faster but so far, adoption of these technologies among north Indian farmers has been lower due to easy water availability.

Suggestions:-

  • The cost effective adaptation of Israeli technology to India’s needs could create new solutions that we could use to help address the water challenges of other developing nations across the globe.

Topic:  Achievements of Indians in science & technology

6) Critically evaluate features and performance of the Department of Science and Technology’s (DST’s) ‘Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research’ (INSPIRE) programme. (250 Words)

The Wire

 

INSPIRE program:-

  • It was launched in 2008 and aims to attract people to the study of science at an early age and pursuing career in research and help to build the required critical human resource pool for strengthening and expanding the S & T and R & D base in the country.
  • It provides an “assured opportunity for research” through two types of 1,000 fellowships every year.
    • INSPIRE fellowship for PhD students
    • INSPIRE Faculty Scheme for post docs through contractual and tenure-track positions for five years.
  • Inspired Research (INSPIRE) was approved by Government of India for implementation through Department of Science & Technology to promote science and attract talents for pursuing career in research.

Features:-

  • The program has three components
    • Scheme for early Attraction of Talent (SEATS) for Science
    • Scholarship for Higher Education (SHE)
    • Assured Opportunity for Research Careers (AORC) covering an age-group of 10-32 years of students. 
  • Each INSPIRE Faculty Awardee receives an amount of Rs. 80,000 per month with an annual increment of 3.3% along with Rs. 7 lakh per year as Research Grant for 5 years. 

Performance:-

  • Data released by the department show that 65% of initial INSPIRE fellows have found permanent positions. 
  • The scheme on the whole has been well designed with the good objective of supporting talented youth in science

Concerns :-

  • The term “assured opportunity” has led to expectations by the fellows that they would eventually be absorbed by the institute or department.
    • But about 35% of the initial batches of INSPIRE faculty fellows now find themselves with neither a job in hand nor any encouraging prospects.
  • Problems with delayed research grant disbursal and salary payments
  • Negative attitude of host institutes:-
    • There could be a miscommunication between “INSPIRE Fellows who seem to be expecting a permanent faculty position” and institutes “offering only a fixed period postdoc position
    • Many complaints by fellows -Host institutions are not considering these fellows as assets even after they perform well, which is an utter violation of the undertaking they endorsed during the fellows joining.
  • Their developed research facilities will either be used by other permanent faculties or will be wasted.
  • In some cases, a university may be willing to absorb an INSPIRE faculty fellow permanently but a ban by the University Grants Commission on hiring new faculty instituted in 2015 comes in the way. 
  • Failure of reverse brain drain:-
    • One of INSPIRE’s aims is to retain young scientific talent or get them back to India if they travelled abroad for studies but this has not happened because :-
    • There is a mismatch between the interests and expectations of the returning scientists and the institutes
    • There is a huge misfit between the researchers who are returning and the way institutions respond to and handle their applications and research interests.
  • Also the funding is not what it was promised in the beginning,

Suggestions :-

  • Since the DST is a central government body that has the opportunity to work with other departments, it can further help INSPIRE faculty fellows get a job with their host institutions.
  • There are large faculty shortages in several IITs, with no new staff being hired. So these fellows should be given a chance.

 


Topic:  Achievements of Indians in science & technology

7) Why is Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)  one of the world’s most reliable space launch vehicles? How is it helping India commercially and technologically? Examine. (250 Words)

The Hindu

 

Background:-

  • Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) is the third generation launch vehicle of India. It is the first Indian launch vehicle to be equipped with liquid stages. In the light of the launch of PSLC-C 40 the capabilities of this launch vehicle needs analysis.

Why is it most reliable:-

  • Over the years, the PSLV has played a pivotal role in ISRO’s programme, and this February it set a world record by launching 104 satellites in one go.
  • During 1994-2017 period, the vehicle has launched 48 Indian satellites and 209 satellites for customers from abroad.
  • 39 consecutive successful launches
  • Due to its unmatched reliability, PSLV has also been used to launch various satellites into Geosynchronous and Geostationary orbits, like satellites from the IRNSS constellation.

 

How it helps India:-

  • The 4-stage craft has also launched 209 foreign satellites since 1999. Between 2013-15, these foreign satellite launches fetched ISRO $101 million.
  • PSLV has successfully carried India’s high-prestige payloads including its first lunar probe, Chandrayaan-I (2008), the Mars Orbiter Mission (2014) and Astrosat (2015), India’s first space observatory.
  • It launched a record number of 104 satellites in one go in
  • PSLV further met with a remarkable success in 2017, when it launched 30 nano-satellites along with military surveillance satellite, Cartosat-2.
  • Marketed as the world’s cheapest launch vehicle, PSLV has seen a boost in orders through the past decade, especially after the Mars-orbiter Mission. Compared to European Union’s Ariane and SpaceX’s Falcon 9, PSLV launches cost far less.
  • As ISRO is engaging in frequent launches and have the capacity to carry small foreign satellites along with the primary satellite, PSLV is the best choice available in the market. By carrying small foreign satellites, India is also able to cut the cost of launches.
  • Today, the four-stage PSLV operates in three variants, the PSLV Core Alone, PSLV Generic, and PSLV XL. The latter two come with an additional set of strap-on boosters, which allow the PSLV to carry a bigger payload.

Concerns :-

  • The PSLV-C39 mission carrying the replacement navigation satellite IRNSS-1H failed .This was the PSLV’s first failure after 39 continuously successful launches and only the second such instance since 1993.
  • The failure may somewhat dent the image that the PSLV commands in the global small-to-medium launchers market.

 


General  Studies – 4


Topic:  Ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions;
a) Would you move to foreign country and work there? Justify.
b) What are the ethical issues that needs to be addressed in this case? How will you address them?
General

 

 

  1. When the cities are urbanised there is a high chances of witnessing pollution like Beijing city pollution so just by going to a foreign country there is no guarantee of a pure environment.

Abandoning my parents in this country and moving is irresponsible and selfish on my part.

Also the pain of living away from my parents and the pain they feel would cause mental distress.

 

  1. Ethical issues involved are :-
  • Lack of responsibility 
  • Lack of respect for environment 
  • Conflict of interest where I think about myself Vs my duty and responsibility towards society.
  • Ethical dilemma whether to go according to my opinion or heed to father’s advice.

 

How to address them?

  • Try to use my knowledge and innovate products for daily use to reduce the harmful effects of pollution.
  • Encourage my father and other family members to wear air filter masks to avoid the impact.
  • Workwith civil society and other NGO ‘s to create awareness about the importance of environment 
  • Encourage people to use public transport and use electric vehicle.