SYNOPSIS: Insights Secure Q&A March 11, 2016

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SYNOPSIS: Insights Secure Q&A March 11, 2016

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This is a new feature. As feedback from our side on your answers is missing, we thought of providing detailed synopsis of important Secure questions on daily basis so that you could revise our synopsis and compare it with your answers. We intend to post synopsis of Secure questions every next day of posting questions on website. 

You must write answers on your own and compare them with these synopses. If you depend on these synopses blindly, be sure of facing disaster in Mains. Until and unless you practice answer writing on your own, you will not improve in speed, content and writing skills. Keep separate notebooks for all GS papers and write your answers in them regularly. Now and then keep posting your answer on website too (Optional).  Some people have the tendency of copying content from others answers and pasting them in a document for each and every question. This might help in revision, but if you do not write on your own,  you can’t write a good answer in real exam. This is our experience at offline classes. We have seen many students who think they were regularly following Secure, yet fail to clear Mains. So, never give up writing. 

Also never give up reviewing others answers. You should review others answers to know different perspectives put forth by them, especially to opinion based questions. This effort by us should not lead to dependency on these synopses. This effort should be treated as complimentary to your ongoing writing practice and answer reviewing process. 

These synopses will be exhaustive – covering all the points demanded by question. We will not stick to word limit. You need to identify most important points and make sure these points are covered in your answer. Please remember that these are not ‘Model Answers’. These are just pointers for you to add extra points and to stick to demand of the question – which you might have missed while answering. 

As you might be aware of, this exercise requires lots of time and energy (10 Hours), that to do it on daily basis! Your cooperation is needed to sustain this feature.

Please provide your valuable feedback in the comment section to improve and sustain this initiative successfully. 


General Studies – 1;


 

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

1) “Sections 377 and 124A reflect the two prominent ways in which the British left their stamp upon India’s criminal law, in a manner that is entirely inconsistent with a democratic, constitutional republic.” Analyse. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Section 377, which foisted the completely alien term “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” – It was based on Victorian morality and Catholic Christian ideology which were existing during Colonial rule.

Inconsistency – Gross violation of Article 14, prohibition of discrimination under Article 15, violates Right to privacy, dignity and health under article 21, freedom of expression under article 19 of Indian constitution

Section 124A, the offence of sedition.

Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise,

  1. brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or
  2. excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards, the Government estab­lished by law in  shall be punished with 

Imprisonment for life + fine or imprisonment upto 3 years + fine.

Colonial legacy – Created to deal with the rising Wahhabi movement in the 1870s, used against Gandhi, Tilak, Besant and other freedom fighters.

Now, sometimes it has been invoked against sloganeering, university students, to suppress political opponents

 (Binayak Sen,Naxal ideologue Narayan Sanyal and Kolkata businessman Piyush Guha, guilty of sedition for helping the Maoists in their fight against the state. 

 Aseem Trivedii, a political cartoonist, on charges of sedition over a series of cartoons against corruption. 

JNU student union president Kanhaiya Kumar has been arrested on charges of sedition)

Supreme court in Kedarnath case: SC held that only “imminent incitement of violence” should be considered under it. Thus curbing its ambiguous interpretation.

Inconsistencies

Against freedom of speech and expression (if not involved in instigating violence, breach of public morality).

Activism of civil society and NGO is essential to put checks and balances on democratic government, but, 124A snatches this power from public


General Studies – 2


Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

2) A recent survey has revealed that private schools across India fill just 15% of the nearly 2.29 million seats available for students from poor families under the  Right to Education (RTE) Act. Critically  discuss the causes of poor implementation of this Act and measures needed to be taken by government to address this issue. (200 Words)

Livemint

Private schools across India fill just 15% of the nearly 2.29 million seats available for students from poor families,

Causes for poor implementation of the act,

  1. Poor awareness
  2. Lack of cooperation from Schools and unclear guidelines
  3. Provision of attention and tracking of school children is non existent
  4. Powerful lobby by private school owners (with influential persons like MPs, MLA, ministers cutting across party lines) – Not ready to sacrifice 25% seats for poor in lieu of nominal fee from government.
  5. Social stigma – Poor are discriminated even if they join school run for rich kids – Separatism due to class distinction, difference in lifestyles —– Harassment for poor –— Disincentive to join the private school
  6. Travel expenses, miscellaneous expenses due to school curriculum (cost for project preparation for kids, investment for extracurricular activities) — Poor unable to hold the burden, hence not attracted to them
  7. Complaint from the schools is that — Government is not sufficiently compensating the loss

Measures to be taken,

  1. Large scale awareness campaign – Through TV, radio, street plays, newspapers and at sites of public interface like PDS shops, Temples, Panchayat offices. Involvement of Civil society, NGOs, celebrities, local leaders, ASHA and anganawadi workers
  2. Sufficient compensation to the schools from the government – genuine concerns must be addressed
  3. Proper monitoring and evaluation – Provision to track students once they join the school, honest grievance redressal system
  4. Accountability mechanism – Strict legal action against defaulters
  5. Reimbursement of travel expenses to poor children – To reduce out of pocket expenditure
  6. Awareness campaign to overcome social stigma, treat poor children equally —

 

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

3) There have been frequent complaints about inadequacy of regulation of pharmaceutical industries in India. Critically examine why is there a need for strict regulation and the steps government has taken in this regard. (200 Words)

Business Standard

Need for strict regulation

  1. Large group of small pharma industrial lobby is holding back strict regulatory enforcement
  2. Spurious and substandard drugs are not properly monitored
  3. Recent Ranbaxy incident of falsification of report to USFDA for securing an approval to its drug – Needs strong regulatory architecture

(But, issue can be viewed as foreign MNCs effort to defame and weaken Indian generic industries)

  1. Even though we are leaders in Generic medicine industry, we also need quality produce to maintain health standards – Strict regulation is must
  2. Consolidating Indian pharma industry, huge scope for expansion to world markets, demands strict regulatory architecture to ensure delivery of quality produce and to maintain brand image

(Mergers and acquisions especially with MNCs – Great influence in policy and regulation (like Evergreening of patents in US)

  1. Public health – Unrestricted use of Antibiotics without proper tracking system and prescription, causing Multi drug resistance in TB, superbugs in Bacteria – Hence, regulation is essential
  2. Poor environmental standards – Improper disposal pharma waste, toxic waste creation
  3. Clinical trails – Lack of clarity in clinical trail regulation, inadequate safeguards and compensation in cases of death

Steps taken by the government

  1. CDSCO performs following regulatory functions – Regulatory control over the import of drugs, approval of new drugs and clinical trials, meetings of Drugs Consultative Committee (DCC) and Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB), approval of certain licences as Central Licence Approving Authority
  2. National list of essential medicine is maintained by NPPA through drug price control order – to prevent over pricing of essential medicines
  3. India is following Good clinical practices (GCP) guidelines (Helsink i Declaration and WHO guidelines for good clinical practices)
  4. Proposal to establish National drug authority – Move to integrate quality regulation and price control
  5. Setting up of Clinical Trails Registry of India
  6. Jan Aushadi scheme to supply low cost high quality generic medicine to public

General Studies – 3


Topic: Basics of cyber security

4) It is said that there is a serious need for a coherent national security architecture, with both defensive and offensive capacity as well as strong disaster-recovery mechanisms. Discuss. (200 Words)

Business Standard

India needs Coherent national security architecture encompassing defensive, offensive and strong disaster recovery mechanism. These are explained below,

Defensive mechanism

In Defence,

  1. India is located in a geopolitically unstable region and is surrounded by hostile countries like Pakistan and China

Hence, in case of any hostility, to protect the homeland from ballistic missiles, we are in the process of establishing Ballistic missile defense programme. It need to be supplemented by other defense strategies to protect the homeland

  1. Frequent cross border terrorist infiltration associated cross border firing need to be defended properly —- Need strategic doctrine to channelize the decision making
  2. Frequent incursion into our area by Chinese – Need to be defended
  3. Protection of strategic facilities like Nuclear installation, army, navy and air force bases, strategic research institutes (DRDO, ISRO, CFTRI) and infrastructure facilities from terrorist attack —- Needs robust Defense doctrine

In Cyber security areas,

  1. Defense against cyber attacks from hackers, covert operation by state agencies on strategic cyber architecture like power plants, UIDAI database, national payment gateways, core banking systems, smart traffic solutions etc
  2. Provision of secured line for transaction of business for government agencies
  3. Defense against ISIS and terrorist propaganda in social media – Counter ideology to fundamentalism with the help of liberal religious intellectuals, blocking of suspicious accounts etc
  4. Army of cyber professionals need to be established to defend the national cyber space from enemy attack.

Offensive capabilities

Military

  1. Strategic strike capabilities (Cold start doctrine) in case of state sponsored terrorism or aggression form Pakistan or other neighbors for strategic advantage
  2. To foil the terrorist attack – Covert operation to destroy the terrorist hideout before making damage is essential — Need SOP, clear decision making channel to ease the implementation and response

Disaster recovery options

  1. Strategies to recover from attacks – Immediate response team to respond to terrorist attack
  2. Social media cell to control the damage done by false propaganda form terrorist organization
  3. Cyber emergency response team to fix the problems of cyber attack without collateral damage due to delay in operation
  4. NDRF to respond to natural and manmade disasters – Needed to reduce the damage and increase the chances of reconstruction at an early stage

 

Topic: Resource mobilization

5) Recently the union government announced new hydrocarbon exploration and pricing policy. Examine the merits and demerits of this policy. (200 Words)

Business Standard

Livemint

As announced in the Union Budget 2016-17 the Government came up with  a new Hydrocarbon exploration and pricing policy.It Replaced the existing profit-sharing arrangement in hydrocarbon exploration with a revenue-sharing formula.

Merits:

  • In the earlier method contracts based on  production sharing after cost recovery between the Government and the private sector contractor were difficult to monitor and led to disputes.Operators had an incentive to exaggerate their costs and reduce the amount provided to the government.It has beenreplaced by revenue sharing formula which is easy to administer.
  • It put in place a transparent single licence and policy frameworkfor oil, gas and coal-bed methane exploration in the country. earlier there was different policy for different hydrocarbons.
  • new contractual regime for energy exploration is in line with the principle of “minimum government and maximum governance”. This is because until now, at every stage, the government has had to sign off on the costs claimed by the developer. This often triggered disputes and delay in the project.The revenue-sharing formula may help prevent future disputes over pricing and cost recovery of the kind the government has been embroiled in with Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL).
  • The new hydrocarbon licensing regime allows pricing and marketing freedom for all forms of hydrocarbons to be produced from a field and for earnings to be shared with the government under an upfront revenue sharing formula.Thisreplaces the current system of allowing producers to first recover most of their costs and then start sharing revenues with the government.In the future, blocks will be licensed out to explorers on the basis of who offers the highest share of upfront revenue to the government
  • The governmentalso freed gas pricing from the new blocks and existing discoveries which are yet to commence production.However, to protect user industries from any unexpected spikes in gas prices, the government is imposing a price cap linked to the opportunity cost of imported fuels.
  • simplifies the exploration process for future auctions of blocks, the new pricing formula for difficult-to-extract gas will benefit companies such as Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd, RIL and Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation that have deep sea discoveries in already licensed blocks which are yet to be brought into production.The new formula will encourage them to develop their deep sea discoveries and realize a price higher than what gas from other fields fetches now ($3.8 per unit).The decision to deregulate gas prices could unlock production from new developments in deep, ultra-deep water and high-pressure, high-temperature areas.
  • It will also lead to the development of a competitive gas market in the country.the decision paves the way for a level-playing field between domestic and imported gas.
  • under the new regime, there will not be yearly auction of a cluster of identified blocks.”Open acreage”is also promised, so that companies can bid to explore certain blocks and then the hydrocarbons regulator will subsequently examine their geological findings.This will improve ease of doing business in India.

Demerits:

  • Consumer Consumption: Increase in the gas prices, which are hitherto capped artificially low, would affect consumer expenditure adversely resulting in low domestic demand
  • Fertiliser Industry: Rise in prices of gas would affect the Fertiliser industry disproportionately as gas is the major raw material used in the Industry (almost 60%).
  • this regime will be applicable only when previous legal proceedings are settled and withdrawn as it may lead to delays of the projects or in attempt to settle the scores grave injustices may be committed. However,the move is justified on the grounds of making the process more feasible.
  • more risk for investors: as cost recovery will take longer and explorers will require higher capex
  • Since royalty rates over land is uniform,regions like NE may be ignored by companies
  • Since the government would have to be paid royalty irrespective of costs, oil companies may incur heavy losses if gas prices crash due to innovations in renewable energy
  • Since companies would be allowed to bid at their convenience instead of on an annual basis competition may be lowered

It is too early to judge anything regarding this policy.But experts suggest that it has covered the long pending issues hounding the oil and gas exploration and is a welcome step for energy security in India.


 

TopicEffects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth. 

6) Recently, Rajya Sabha passed the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2013. Discuss its features and the Bill’s likely implications for realtors and consumers. (200 Words)

Livemint

The Hindu

Real estate is the second largest employer in the country and contributes 9% to the gross domestic product (GDP). Yet, the sector has been marked by a lack of trust and confidence between consumers and developers, which has had an adverse impact on investments in the sector.So the bill passage was seen as crucial to ensuring better regulatory oversight and orderly growth in the industry.

Features of the bill:-

The key features of the bill include:

  • Mandatory registrationin each state with real estate regulatory authorities of projects of at least 500 sq m area, or those comprising eight flats, which would enable registration of more projects with the regulatory authority and will protect more consumers.
  • Project developers will now berequired to deposit at least 70% of their funds, including land cost, in a separate third party bank account to meet the cost of construction.
  • A provision forimprisonmentup to three years in case of promoters and up to one year in case of real estate agents and buyers for violation of orders of appellate tribunals or monetary penalties or both.
  • Aclear definition of carpet areaand a system that would require the consent of two-thirds of the buyers in case there are changes in project plans.
  • Appellate tribunalswill be required to adjudicate caseswithin 60 days and regulatory authorities will have to dispose of complaints in 60 days.
  • Regulatory authorities can also register projects to be developed beyond urban areas, promote a single-window system of clearances, and grade projects and promoters besides ensuring digitization of land records. They will also have to draft regulationswithin three monthsof formation.
  • Commercial real estate also comes under the purview of the bill.
  • Bill prohibits developers from changing the plans unless two thirds of the allottees have agrred to it.
  • Builders to be responsible for fixing structural defects for five years after transferring the property to buyer.

Implications on realtors and consumers:-

  • The information pertaining to the real estate sector will be available in a systematic manner, leading toeasy accessibility and transparency.
  • It could bring in a change in the landscape of real estate in the country, attracting new investors and customers,which the industry has been missing so long,
  • will bringcredibility to the industry and comfort to homebuyers
  • can push India’s rank in global real estate transparency index from ‘semi-transparent’ category to transparent category.
  • It will create a much-neededconsumer right protectionumbrella for buyers of real estate, thereby increasing consumer confidence as well as creating lasting developer brands strong onquality and timely delivery of their projects.
  • Helps in government’s urban makeoverplan along with initiatives to boost affordable housing through Housing for All By 2022 and Smart Cities schemes
  • It can rectify the earlier situation as in there are about 17,526 projects launched in 27 cities in the last five years and delay in implementation of these housing projects due to lack of transparency and accountability has been the bane of the sector. Delays have resulted in huge time and cost overruns, resulting in increased costs of houses.This can be overturned.
  • negative implication: To bring ongoing projects under the legislation would mean stopping the work and ensuring the compliance of such projects with the new legislation which is practically impossible.ongoing projects are suggested to be kept outside the legislation.

On the whole the government has initiated the crucial first step to protect consumers from the prevalent  fraudulent practices that have so far characterised this sector in India.


General Studies – 4


Topic: Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct

7) Examine the differences between codes of ethics and codes of conduct. Also examine why an organization needs these codes. (200 Words)

OECD

Differences between codes of ethics and codes of conduct:-

  • Code of ethics is designed to govern decision making. It has wider implication on organisation and it’s surrounding environment.e.g- To avoid any process which affect the environment, or to prefer local public to give employment opportunity,On the other hand, code of conduct are designed to regulate action of employees and stake holders. e.g- Better front line office management, greetings for women employees etc.
  • Code of ethics help the organisation to maintain it sustainability and good will for longer duration of time, code of conduct helps the organisation to keep out from short term conflict, and help to maintain fraternity between employees.
  • Code of Ethics contains the general principles and values (social, moral etc.)that the organisation must strive to achieve. Code of conduct on the other hand are specific rules/guidelines that the organisation must follow.
  • Code of conduct explicitly mentions the ways by which the values and principles mentioned in Code of Ethics can be achieved and what actions would be taken in case of their violation.
  • “Code of Ethics” are a set of doctrines that is looked upon by the organisation while framing a policy while ” Code of Conduct ” are the set of rules that have to be adhered to the situations arising out while managing the daily proceedings .
  • “Code of ethics” are an outcome of the codifying of Universal values like Integrity , Honesty , Selflessness , Accountability, leadership that can have positive outcome on the growth of the organisation but on the other hand “Code of conduct” are formed out to deal with the day to day issues arising in an organization like safety of women , awarding contracts , behavior of the employees and so on
  • Code of ethics guides decision-making while Code of conduct regulates employees behavior.
  • A violation of Code of ethics may or may not attract punitive action, while a violation of Code of conduct almost always involves a punitive action.
  • Codes of ethics are symbolic that is how we want to form our reputation and code of conduct is institutional i.e. they articulate boundaries and expectations of behaviour

why does an organisation need these codes?

  • they can provide the framework that public servants – political and civil service – use to carry out their public responsibilities. Codes can clearly articulate unacceptable behaviors as well as providing a vision for which the government official is striving. Therefore, inducing monetary reform, creating democratic institutions or funding economic improvement programs without a professional government workforce can be frustrating, if not counterproductive. A fundamental mechanism for ensuring professionalism is a code of ethics.
  • Codes acts as a guide to remind the organisation the core values each time there is a danger to such values like in case of situation of dilemma, conflict of interest, etc.
  • A clearly laid out codes will attract candidates that already adhere to the said values and behaviours, leading to better harmony in the workplace and lesser employee turnover.
  • These codes are a form of self-regulation by the organization and help in maintaining business sustainability in the long run. Their proper use avoids any unnecessary external regulation of the organization.
  • A clearly laid out codes along with a Citizens Charter or an Article of Association form an integral part of an organization’s work environment and leads to higher productivity and employee satisfaction.
  • Codes will help persons to act fairly, impartially, judiciously and avoid conflict of interest.They play crucial role in articulating the mission of the public service and good governance
  • For organisations, it is complex to manage issues occurring due to diversity in people in terms of their behaviors, cultures and value systems. The code of condect helps in making sure that the members resort to some basic terms of conduct while working. The code of ethics is vital for the reason that the decision-makers are clear about what the values are and what they must give priority to. It imparts clarity in the minds of decision-makers about some basic priorities and helps in taking ethical decision avoiding any temptations in a general sense.