SYNOPSIS: Insights Secure Q&A April 25, 2016
SYNOPSIS: Insights Secure Q&A April 25, 2016
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.
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General Studies – 1;
Topic: Social empowerment; Salient features of Indian society
1) Recently, the Maharashtra State Assembly enacted the Maharashtra Protection of People from Social Boycott (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act of 2016. Discuss the significance of this law. (200 Words)
Significance of the law:
- Maharashtra’s social boycott law is best understood as one front in a long struggle to effectuate the Constitution’s guarantee against social exclusion, as expressed in Articles 15(2) and 17.
- The Maharashtra law is an important first step, that carries forward the judicially-aborted goals of the 1949 Excommunication Act, and the rarely-used Protection of Civil Rights Act.
- It is directed against caste panchayats which often function as community-based parallel forums of justice, and whose diktats are invariably directed against recalcitrant individuals who have been deemed to transgress the bounds of caste or community morality.
- Therefore, the Act specifically penalises causing discrimination among the members of a community on the basis of “morality, social acceptance, political inclination, [or] sexuality.”
- The act sends a strong message that The atrocities inflicted by a handful of people in the name of ‘jaati panchayats’ or groups citing caste and community traditions will not be tolerated if it questions the dignity of a human being.
- The comprehensive new legislation defines terms of stringent punishment, including imprisonment and penalty against those indulging in social boycott, and this can help government to effectively tackle the menace.
However this is only the first step and some Areas left out :
- With its focus on caste-panchayat driven community boycotts, the Maharashtra law leaves a significant area of discrimination untouched.
- However, in recent years, religion-driven housing discrimination — which inevitably leads to segregation — has emerged as a serious problem, especially in urban areas.
A Comprehensive Anti-discrimination law is required, on the lines of the Civil Rights enactments in the United States and the United Kingdom to remove the exclusion that occurs along multiple axes: through boycott, through stigmatisation, and through segregation (the case of the school verandah).
Topic: Changes in critical geographical features (including waterbodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.
2) “The fact is that the severity and intensity of drought is not about lack of rainfall, it is about the lack of planning, foresight and criminal neglect. Drought is man-made.” What needs to be done to address drought problem that’s man-made? Discuss. (200 Words)
What needs to be done is as follows:
- Augmentation of water resources: –
- catch every drop of water; store it; recharge groundwater.
- To do this we need to build millions more structures. It also means giving people the right to plan where to locate the water body and the right to manage it for their need.
- Today, invariably, the land on which the water body is built belongs to one department and the land from where the water will be harvested and channels from where the water will be brought belong to another person or even another government department.These kind of confusions need to be solved
- Revise and update the drought code:
- governments need to respond by shutting off all non-essential water use from watering lawns to hosing down cars and much more as done in developed countries like US,Australia .
- Secure water:
- This means insisting on water codes for everyday India i.e.., reduce water usage in all sectors – from agriculture, urban to industry.
- This means benchmarking this use and setting targets for reduced consumption year on year.
- Short term measures:
- ways and means to curb misuse of water and non-essential consumption of electricity
- Local authorities should launch public awareness campaigns on ways to escape heat-related hazards.
- Setting up temporary day shelters on the lines of the night shelters in winters, and provision of potable drinking water can help alleviate human misery
- Cloud seeding – a form of intentional weather modification to induce rainfall.
- Drought monitoring – Continuous observation of rainfall levels and comparisons with current usage levels can prevent man made drought.
- Rainwater harvesting – Collection and storage of rainwater from roofs or other suitable catchments.
- Recycled water – Former wastewater (sewage) that has been treated and purified for reuse.
- Planting trees to fight against the effects of deforestrat
- Water intensive crops like sugarcane especially in drought prone areas like Maharashtra need to be controlled and crop insurance need to be strengthened
- Implementation of government schemes like NFSA ,MNREGA so that people are not distressed.
- Long term measures:
- well-judged measures would be needed to mitigate thermal stress on livestock and human beings.
- time is ripe for another revolution — this time in water-use efficiency.
- The Centre must take the lead in shifting the focus from high-cost large irrigation projects towards
- Desalination – of sea water for irrigation or consumption.
- Carefully planned crop rotation can help to minimize erosion and allow farmers to plant less water-
- Transvasement – Building canals or redirecting rivers as massive attempts at irrigation in drought-prone
General Studies – 2
Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources
3) During last few years, the number of private universities has increased manifold. What are the challenges these universities have posed to higher education in India? Should they be strictly regulated? Critically comment. (200 Words)
Challenges posed by them to higher education :
- Fake degrees, irregularities in finance and other operations– even some politicians have “apparently procured illegal degrees” from some of these institutions.
- a threefold increase in complaints in the last couple of years – In the last three years, the number of complaints received against such universities were nearly 750, as against 400 such complaints from deemed universities. And the nature of complaints were more serious from such state private universities
- . Growing levels of private higher education has resulted in a greater access but has made an alarming distress in the quality of the education.
- While there has been a lot of focus on deemed universities and their quality, private universities have grown faster.While the total number of universities has doubled in the last nine years, private universities have grown 14-fold in the same period.
- Except [for the] Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and IIT Delhi no other institute ranks in the top 200 universities of the world shows the standard of the private universities.
- Nowhere has the private sector done well in actually providing high-quality higher education, not even in the US, without a large role for the state sector.
- The large scale of unemployed and alienated youth whose education do not cater to the needs of the industry shows the failure of the private universities.
- It has made education a commodity where degrees can be bought.
The above explanation shows the need for proper regulation .However excessive regulation would only hamper the growth of private sector education.The points in this favour are:
- To achieve GER:
- Private education providers need support to grow and help achieve education missions of India. In every sector, there are bad apples. If the country wants to achieve 30% gross enrolment ratio in higher education (from 22% now) in the next few years, private investment in education is key.
- Sixty per cent of college-going students in the country today are enrolled in private institutions.
- Models of private institutions abroad:
- Brazil recognized that the public sector cannot meet its youth’s demand and therefore encouraged and supported private education.Currently, over 75% of Brazilian students go to private institutions and the largest higher education firm, Kroton, has over a million students.
- It has bridged the demand supply gap in Malaysia .. Even in developed countries most of the students are enrolled in private institutions in the light of growing demand for higher education and inadequate expenditure government can spend on it..
- Private sector provides the investment to fill that deficit .However, with rapid economic growth, the private sector has reacted to the needs of our workforce and set up a large number of professional colleges, especially in engineering and management.
- Private universities in higher education are also breaking conventional paradigms in education. Ashoka University offers a liberal education to students, allowing them to break down borders of arts and sciences, theory and practice, and take courses across to craft their own interdisciplinary major. Such institutions can serve as models for other institutions that focus on developing 21st century skills, critical thinking, communication and leadership.
- These initiatives point to the emergence of a new breed of private institutions in India that can complement elite public institutions and establish international standards of excellence in Indian higher education.
- The government should move beyond being the primary service provider in education and play a catalyzing role in improving quality of higher education in India. It can do so by tightening licensing standards and improving quality assurance, without impinging on the autonomy of private institutes.
- The government must invest in a regulatory architecture that can improve the standards of all institutions, public and private, dramatically. The National Assessment and Accreditation Council should be strengthened and the rating framework of institutes should shift focus from infrastructure and inputs to student learning outcomes.
- Expediting passage of the Innovation Universities Bill to encourage private players to invest significant amounts in setting up innovation universities which are independent of geographical constraints.
Topic:Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
4) Some Indian strategists warn against closer military cooperation with the US on the grounds that this might tie India into an informal military alliance with Washington and force New Delhi to accord basing rights at the very least or, worse, draw India into a US-led conflict with any third party. Is this argument unfounded? Critically comment. (200 W0rds)
No this argument is unfounded because of the following reasons:
1.Two recent instances expose their fallacy:-
- First, during the run-up to the 2003 US-UK-led invasion of Iraq, France, a close nuclear ally of both countries, not only opposed the war but actually threatened to exercise its veto in the UN Security Council, forcing its allies the US and UK to abandon efforts to seek UN approval. The US and the UK did not sever the alliance.
- Similarly, Turkey, another Nato (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) ally of the US, did not sign on to the 2003 Iraq war and also refused US troops the use of its territory, forcing Washington to change its invasion plan.
- Second, during the ill-conceived 2011 military intervention of Libya, which Washington led “from behind”, Germany, another US ally opposed the operation in the UN and withdrew its military assets from the Mediterranean. Clearly, if US allies can avoid being drawn into a war not in their interest, then India can certainly ensure the same.
2.There are many reasons which show India and US are not military allied:they are:
- The LSA will not allow US troops to operate from Indian bases without the consent of New Delhi. The possibility of India being ensnared into effecting regime changes in the war zones of the Middle East is out of the question.The signing of these agreements should be strictly made contingent on US assurance on transfer of technology..
- Pakistan factor:
- The Americans have made it clear through their actions that they value Islamabad as a military ally.
- Handing over f16 to Pakistan ensures that
- Indias foreign policy doesnt support it forming military alliances with any country.As a country dedicated to non alignment movement India and us being military alliances is only a farce .
- China factor –
- India hedges by deepening relations with the US and status quo middle powers such as Australia.
- Both sides feel that they have much to gain from each other than from the others. Even as India is irritated by the US-Pakistan ties, so is it by the China Pakistan relations.
- But India, China and the US know that they have to deal with each other and that it is the economic equations among themselves that are crucial, more even than the military calculations.
- Russia factor:
- India has one true strategic partner – Russia. That relationship is deep,PM recently called Russia is a pillar of strength and India’s most important defence partner.
- India may not be able to let itself be drawn into the US-led global military c
- It is for the simple reason that India is much too large a country to play second fiddle to the Americans
- The rejection by India of the offer of US to participate in joint patrols in the South China Sea also shows that they r not a military alliance
- bilateral relations between India and the US. Protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), which remains a concern with US pharma companies, has the potential to become a headache.
However International experts claim the way the two countries are moving it looks like an military alliance .The US-India partnership needs to continue apace to ensure that India can build up its capacity to deter potential conflicts with China (and Pakistan) as well as become a net security provider (in partnership with the US) in its area of primary interest. This is vital for India and global security.
Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation
5) Few foreign nuclear vendors and governments are still worried about India’s nuclear liability law. Examine why and comment if India should amend the law to suit demands of these vendors and governments. (200 Words)
The issues in respect of nuclear liability law related to:
- the conformity of the law with the provisions of the Convention on Supplementary Convention (CSC), signed – but not yet ratified – by India;
- 17(b) of act, which allowed for Right of Recourse against the supplier
- Section 17 stands for “right to recourse” in which operator can sue the supplier for faulty equipment delivery in case of nuclear accident.
- 46, which allowed for legal cases against the operator under Acts other than the act.:
- The suppliers’ concern about Sec. 46 arose from the possibility of their facing an unspecified, and potentially unlimited, liability on account of an action brought against them under the provisions of Sec. 46.
- In most other countries, if there is a nuclear accident, the damages are borne only by the company which runs the nuclear plant, not companies which supplied equipment to the plant.In India the law empowers the operator to claim compensation from the supplier of nuclear equipment, if the accident happens due to defective equipment or sub-standard service.
There is no need to amend the law instead India has made some adjustments like:
- The provisions of the nuclear liability Act are broadly in conformity with the CSC.The Act is compliant with the Annex to the Convention.
- The idea of the India Nuclear Insurance Pool as a part of the overall risk-management scheme for liability was also presented to the U.S. side.The India Nuclear Insurance Pool is a risk transfer mechanism formed by GIC Re and 4 other PSUs who will together contribute a capacity of Rs 750 crores out of a total of Rs 1500 crores.
- One recent example of progress is the signing of a preliminary agreement between Westinghouse Electric Company and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India. (Under this, Westinghouse will explore the possibility of selling equipment to Nuclear Power Corp for its proposed plant in Gujarat). The preliminary pact will keep the momentum going towards the signing of a future supply contract.
But India cannot go beyond limits because of the following reasons:
- Bhopal gas tragedy-the injustice meted to citizens for generations remind Indians about the destruction chemical accidents can cause.
So there are some reforms India can make .they are:-
- Regular IAEA inspections
- Make AERB independent:
- The inherent risks of nuclear power are made greater in India by the structure of the country’s nuclear establishment. The organisation in charge of safety in all nuclear facilities, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, shares staff and is provided funds with the organisations it is supposed to be regulating. This compromises its ability to act independently and enforce vigorous safety regulations.
- In addition, there is little distinction between military and civilian nuclear affairs, and all matters of atomic energy come directly under the Prime Minister, not parliament. This means the nuclear establishment is under no obligation to disclose information on the nuclear power sector to citizens. There’s no excuse for this opacity in a country with an ambition to use nuclear energy for electricity.
General Studies – 3
Topic: Land reforms in India
Need for reforms:-
- agricultural development in India could be achieved only with the reform of India’s rural institutional structure.
- As many as two-thirds of civil cases in district courts relate to land and property matters. That’s why reforms of land laws—such as the titling law passed by Rajasthan or other laws relating to transfer, inheritance and Hindu Undivided Families—are much needed.
- to enhance the productivity of land by improving the economic conditions of farmers and tenants so that they may have the interest to invest in and improve agriculture
- the agrarian structure that India inherited from the past (Zamindari, landlessness etc.) obstructs increase in agricultural production. Land reforms will remove these obstructions.
- Social justice:
- Zamindari abolition also eliminates Begari (forced labour)
- Land ceiling reduces the inequality of income and land ownership among villagers. Provides land to landless labourers.
- Tenancy reforms reduces rents. Landowner cannot evict a tenant farmer as per his whims and fancies.
- With all these three Rural power structure changed. Upper caste domination is decreased. Empowerment of SC/ST/OBC farmers, agricultural labourers is done.Thus land reform gives rise to social justice with an egalitarian society.
- to create a system of peasant proprietorship with the motto of land to the tiller
- to transfer the incomes of the few to many so that the demand for consumer goods would be created.
- Land ownership/ tenure security will motivate farmers to work harder, invest more and thus produce more income leading to improved standard of life improved and poverty decrease in poverty.
- Economic development:-
- Abolishing intermediaries (Zamindar, Talukdar, Jagirdar etc) leads to the State coming directly in contact with farmers. This direct relation will help in rural Development and agricultural Development as per five year plans.
- One of the major negative features of agrarian transition in India is the continued concentration of land in the hands of the upper strata of the rural society. This has not undergone any change in the past five decades, despite the reforms. In fact, leasing in by the affluent farmer is common place.
Topic: Employment; Industrial policy
7) It is argued that an important solution to India’s challenges of education, employment and employability lies in state governments adopting apprenticeships on a large scale. Examine its importance and how it can be done. (200 Words)
Importance of apprenticeship:
- Apprenticeships and other hands-on post-secondary programs provide an optimum balance between theory and hands-on experience.
- However, many traditional programs often fail to teach the specific skills and techniques required on the job. Employers provide about 90% of apprenticeship training in the workplace. This is complemented with classroom instruction on theory. This combination of training creates a highly skilled workforce
- The natural learning-by-doing and learning-while-earning make apprenticeship more sustainable, scalable and self-healing than other skill programmes.
- Apprentices can make the system self-healing – the global experience in this regard is positive. Germany has Europe’s lowest unemployment rate because of apprenticeships and UK has found that employers gain 26 times their investments on apprenticeship stipends.
- With rising tuition in colleges and universities, the concept of hands-on learning and “earning while learning” is very attractive to many young people
- In 2016, only 35 per cent of India’s graduates are employable without repair, only 11 per cent of India’s labour force works in manufacturing and India has only 300,000 apprentices.
How can it be done?
- Recent amendments to the Apprenticeship Act of 1961 create the space for innovation, scale and higher education linkages for state governments.
- fixing schools is an important skill agenda.
- Second, exploding the number of employers offering apprenticeships -today, India has only 25,000 versus more than 200,000 for Germany – will ensure skills keep up with work.
- More focus on job creation and skill development because there is no such thing as India’s labour market. Active state government apprenticeship programmes could take India’s numbers to the same proportion of the labour force as Germany’s (this would take India’s current 300,000 apprentices to 15 million).
- each state set up a State Apprenticeship Corporation (SAC) as a public-private partnership co-chaired by the chief secretary and the chairman of one of the state’s largest private employer.
- SACs will anchor programmes on state strengths such as tourism in Rajasthan, information technology in Karnataka and manufacturing in Tamil Nadu; target employers with different strategies for companies headquartered and those operating in the state
- make employers volunteers by simplifying procedures and recognising performance
- create matching infrastructure, and enable higher education linkages.
- SACs would facilitate academic credit for apprentices by partnering with universities within and outside the state.
- Over time, SACs could work with school dropouts by mobilising subsidy money (NREGS, etc) to subsidise apprenticeship stipends but this should be done in phase two and only after putting in place appropriate processes and plumbing to avoid fraud.
General Studies – 4
Topic: Ethics in public life; Ethical dilemma in administration