SYNOPSIS: Insights Secure Q&A May 28, 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.
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General Studies – 1;
Topic: Factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India)
Factors responsible for the agglomeration of manufacturing industries in India :
- The most dominant factor of industrial location is the least cost.
- Cost of obtaining raw materials at site: Manufacturing activity tends to locate at the most appropriate place where all the raw materials of production are either available or can be arranged at lower cost.
- Cost of production at site: These are influenced by availability of labour, capital, power, etc. Thus industrial location is influenced by the costs of availability of these factors of production.
- Cost of distribution of production: The distance of industry from market influence the transportation costs. Transportation costs influence the cost of distribution of production.
- Raw materials:
- Indeed, the location of industrial enterprises is sometimes determined simply by location of the raw materials.
- finished product of one industry may well be the raw material of another. For example, pig iron, produced by smelting industry, serves as the raw material for steel making industry.
- Regular supply of power is a pre-requisite for the localisation of industries. Coal, mineral oil and hydro-electricity are the three important conventional sources of power.
- Most of the industries tend to concentrate at the source of power.
- The iron and steel industry which mainly depends on large quantities of coking coal as source of power are frequently tied to coal fields.
- Labour supply is important in two respects (a) workers in large numbers are often required; (b) people with skill or technical expertise are needed.
- Transport by land or water is necessary for the assembly of raw materials and for the marketing of the finished products.
- The development of railways in India, connecting the port towns with hinterland determined the location of many industries around Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai.
- The entire process of manufacturing is useless until the finished goods reach the market. Nearness to market is essential for quick disposal of manufactured goods.
- It helps in reducing the transport cost and enables the consumer to get things at cheaper rates.
- Water is another important requirement for industries. Many industries are established near rivers, canals and lakes, because of this reason.
- Iron and steel industry, textile industries and chemical industries require large quantities of water, for their proper functioning.
- Site requirements for industrial development are of considerable significance. Sites, generally, should be flat and well served by adequate transport facilities.
- Climate plays an important role in the establishment of industries at a place.
- Harsh climate is not much suitable for the establishment of industries. There can be no industrial development in extremely hot, humid, dry or cold climate.
- The extreme type of climate of north-west India hinders the development of industries.
- In contrast to this, the moderate climate of west coastal area is quite congenial to the development of industries.
- Because of this reason, about 24 per cent of India’s modem industries and 30 per cent of India’s industrial labour is concentrated in Maharashtra-Gujarat region alone.
- Modern industries are capital-intensive and require huge investments. Capitalists are available in urban centres.
- Big cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, and Chennai are big industrial centres, because the big capitalists live in these cities
- Additional capacities are being planned to be installed in all the major manufacturing units.
- Government Policy:
- Government activity in planning the future distribution of industries, for reducing regional disparities, elimination of pollution of air and water and for avoiding their heavy clustering in big cities, has become no less an important locational factor.
- A public procurement policy has been proposed incorporating technology along with common facility centres while the Khadi Mark steps has been launched to promote Micro Small and Medium Enterprises.
- Banking Facilities:
- Establishment of industries involves daily exchange of crores of rupees which is possible through banking facilities only. So the areas with better banking facilities are better suited to the establishment of industries.
- There is a constant fear of damage to machine and man in industries for which insurance facilities are badly needed.
The national manufacturing policy suggests raising the share of manufacturing in GDP to 25% in order to create 100 million jobs in the coming decades.
General Studies – 2
Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation
2) “There is an undeniable need to build a coherent policy framework to deal with geospatial data as indeed there is with all forms of online data flows. These must however be premised on an understanding of popular sovereignty over individual and collective data. These must also be premised on a technologically competent understanding of the nature of the data form and the way it is made use of.” In the light of recently released draft geospatial bill, discuss the statement. (200 Words)
- The GIRB appears to be another step in a multipronged attempt by the central government to achieve overarching regulatory and surveillance authority over data flows in Indian cyberspace.
- The draft appears to be beset by a lack of understanding of the technological basis of geolocation services and the markets in which the geospatial data generated by them are used.
- In many applications, geospatial data is dynamic, for instance, in Google’s application that provides real-time traffic data. It is unclear under the GIRB how geospatial data that is continuously changing will be vetted by any authority. Under the bill, the authority can take up to three months to vet a data set, a condition that manifestly will not be able to synchronise with real-time dynamic data.
- Presently, Google enjoys a dominant position in the global geospatial market. In this context, it is not necessarily inappropriate to attempt to restore the sovereignty of the people of India over geospatial information pertaining to themselves. However, unlike a natural resource, the government is not the custodian of this information. It is outside its remit for it to appropriate for itself the right over information that is the property of the citizenry at large, individually and collectively.
- However, it is arguably just as much of a national security threat when multinational corporations such as Google dominate the market for geospatial data to the extent that it does. The GIRB fails to act effectively against this, instead providing a mechanism to institutionalise such dominance.
- Data needing an update:
- The draft bill’s definition of geospatial information has awide remit.Geospatial information, especially when so widely defined, keeps changing.
- Ex:Changing the name of a restaurant in such data would amount to tampering with watermarked data. Not propagating updates till security clearance is released may affect the business model of businesses premised on providing up-to-date information.
- Thebill promises a three-month turnaround on all clearances. This might not be quick enough
- India doesn’t have the bandwidth to handle all applications for this usage inside and outside India:
- It is hard to estimate how many different non-governmental services inside and outside India are currently using Indian geospatial data as there are a large number with significant impact.
- Lack of manpower:
- A government regulator that is yet to be set up will need hundreds of experts who can “vet” terabytes of data from each applicant.
- Lack of logistics:
- The logistics of getting these data across to the vetting authority is not enough.
- The complexity of the ecosystemand the trajectories such data can take are only limited by the imagination of developers and service creators working on different kinds of problems in a host of different sectors.
- such complexity emerges organically as different actors in theinnovation ecosystem work to create new efficiencies or leverage existing ones, and so it is something to be encouraged
- All this will further burden the vetting authority and stretch its capabilities.
- There is asuggestion of having a registration based system.
- However, even such a system is also fraught with danger in a framework that insists on scrutinising the credentials of every end user.
- A clear distinction is not made between the producers and consumers of geospatial data.
- In order to not constrict the innovation ecosystem, the definition of consumers must be as wide as possible.
- By shifting the onus onto the service India runs the risk of creating a significant roadblock for a major part of the innovation ecosystem. This is undesirable.
- The draft bill’s definition of geospatial information has awide remit.Geospatial information, especially when so widely defined, keeps changing.
- The military and national security concerns with regard to data are valid.
- The efforts to develop an indigenous capacity for generation of geospatial data as well as to evolve a policy framework for it have emerged from a military requirement which presented itself during the Kargil war, when the United States refused to share its geospatial data with India.
- The vetting authority can go through the data and raise an objection if it finds anything objectionable, and it can do this in its own time.
- There can be no debate that the country’s territorial integrity needs to be maintained, physically and in the digital world, and therefore, a stringent law against violators seems imperative.
- Moreover, geospatial information easily available from services like Google Earth, Google Maps etc,has been reportedly used by terror groups against India. In the run up to the Mumbai terror attacks, Lashkar jihadis were reportedly shown images of vital locations in Mumbai.
- Wrong depiction of the map of India could land the violators in jail with a maximum term of seven years and fine upto Rs 100 crore. This measure has been envisaged by the government against the backdrop of instances where certain social networking sites showed Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh as part of Pakistan and China respectively
- The government is proposing to set up a regulatory body that will comprise of digitally aware senior bureaucrats along with subject matter experts who will oversee the digital space for violations. Hopefully,this body will successfully fulfill its responsibility while ensuring a level-playing ground for all.
- It is hoped that the government will be able to mitigate all stakeholder concerns before putting it up for final passage in Parliament.
Topic: Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of vulnerable sections
3) Recently, the Maharashtra state legislative assembly passed the Maharashtra Protection of People from Social Boycott (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2016. Examine the objectives, constitutional validity of this Act and challenges in its implementation. (200 Words)
- Seeks to criminalise a panchayat or any person who imposes or enforces a social boycott.
- Tries to take measures to prevent such social boycotts and give relief to the victims with compensation.
- It also places an obligation on the district administration to take proactive steps to prevent panchayats and other such bodies from issuing calls for social boycotts.
- It creates the post of a “social boycott prohibition officer,” who is supposed to help the district administration and other officers in discharge of their duties.
- Because of all this the discrimination levied on the socio backward communities like scheduled castes, women can be checked.
- 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.
- The Maharashtra social boycott law, therefore, is an important step in the long-standing struggle for social inclusion
Constitutional validity of the act :-
- Apart from the prohibition of untouchability, the Constitution guarantees non-discriminatory access to “shops, public restaurants, hotels, and places of public entertainment” (Article 15(2)). The Constitution grants individuals rights not merely against the State, but also against other individuals.
- 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.
Challenges in implementation :-
- addressing social evils through criminal law does not take into account the massive problems its enforcement will run into, given the weaknesses in the police machinery at the state level.
- The law’s effectiveness hinges on the ability of the police to necessarily take the side of the individual, the weaker and oppressed sections of the society, over their oppressors; something that they have not had much success doing in the context of laws protecting women and Dalits.
- With its focus on caste-panchayat driven community boycotts, the Maharashtra law leaves a significant area of discrimination untouched.
- In the rural hinterlands, the decrees of village elders, who are often members of these groups, are taken more seriously than court rulings.This might not change even after the law enforcement.
- The Act requires the appointment special officers who will detect social boycott, and help the police bring the culprits to justice. Activists, however, are worried that the power-wielding village elders are likely to influence or bribe state officials, which is usually the way things go.
- For this reason, social boycott is a bailable offense under the Act.
- Convincing victims and survivors of a boycott to speak out is a challenging task.This can be an incredibly dangerous proposition which requires activists to build trust before someone agrees to open up.
- Another big challenge will be proving social boycott in a court of law because many of these situations involve oral directions nothing is written down or recorded.
- The police could find it incredibly hard to find evidence of premeditated boycott unless a member from inside the community speak out.
- They wield immense power in communities which are governed by social codes rather than the law of the land.
Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests; Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.
- Ministers from WTO member-countries decided at the 1996 Singapore Ministerial Conference to set up three new working groups: on trade and investment, on competition policy, and on transparency in government procurement.
- They also instructed the WTO Goods Council to look at possible ways of simplifying trade procedures, an issue sometimes known as “trade facilitation”. Because the Singapore conference kicked off work in these four subjects, they are sometimes called the “Singapore issues”.
- While three of the four Singapore issues were dropped in the 2004 July package, the fourth issue was sealed with the trade facilitation agreement at the Bali Ministerial Meeting in 2013.
No,they should not be brought under multilateral trade negotiations :-
- Threatening sovereignity:
- On issues like investment and competition policy, India feels that having a multilateral agreement would be a serious impingement on the sovereign rights of countries.
- Investment is seen as an area in which ceding sovereign rights would leave governments, particularly developing country governments, with too little room for maneuver in directing investments into areas of national priority.
- The principles of “non-discrimination, MFN and national treatment” were created in the context of trade in goods. They are inappropriate when applied to investment.
- If the “scope and definition” of an agreement goes beyond foreign direct investment then there are even more serious implications for financial stability as the road is opened for more volatile and potentially damaging forms of investments and investors to enter and operate with reduced regulation. This may include portfolio investment, loans and investment funds.
- It would also weaken the bargaining position of government vis-a-vis foreign investors (including portfolio investors) and creditors.
- Competition policy:
- In addition, on the specific issue of competition policy India has pointed out that there is no clarity on whether these would include export cartels.
- The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is perhaps the best known example of an export cartel that rigs prices by fixing production ceilings.
- On the issue of transparency in government procurement, the Indian position is that while the principle is entirely acceptable, there cannot be a universal determination of what constitutes transparent procedures.
- Trade facilitation:-
- On trade facilitation,India has argued that once again while the idea is unexceptionable, developing countries may not have the resources by way of technology, or otherwise to bring their procedures in line with those in the developed world over the short to medium term.
- The common theme of three of the issues (investment, competition, government procurement) is
- to maximise the rights of foreign enterprises to have market access to developing countries through their products and investment
- to reduce to a minimum the rights of the host government to regulate foreign investors and
- to prohibit government from measures that support or encourage local enterprises.
- If these agreements come into the WTO, developing countries will find it increasingly difficult to devise their own policies for development and for the building up of their local enterprises to be competitive.
- The rich country governments will press for the principle of “national treatment” to be applied to these new areas. Developing countries would no longer be allowed to support their local industries.
- Many local companies may not survive, and millions of workers would lose their jobs.
- Actually, these issues do not belong to the WTO as they are not directly trade issues. The developed countries want to place them in the WTO so that they can use the trade sanctions mechanism to enforce rules that suit their interests. This is why the WTO has become a favourite vehicle for their global economic governance. But the results would be very damaging.
- With weaker legal and institutional frameworks and wide interpretations of investment treaty provisions this could open the floodgates of litigations for developing countries and make policymaking more complex.
- Further, developing countries sometimes lack the data and skills to determine the quantitative impact of activities of transnational corporations on their local economy. Defending cases can therefore be quite challenging.
- Mere adoption of rules without implementation can in fact result in increasing the vulnerability of the developing countries to international disputes and severely restrict their policy space in the area of investments.
- In addition, on the specific issue of competition policy India has pointed out that there is no clarity on whether these would include export cartels.
Yes,these issues should be part of multilateral negotiations:
- Open, transparent and non-discriminatory procurement is generally considered to be the best tool to achieve this goal as it optimises competition among suppliers.
- Government procurement accounts for 10-15 per cent of the GDP of an economy on average. It constitutes a significant market and an important aspect of international trade. The WTO’s work on government procurement aims to promote transparency, integrity and competition in this market.
- If a multilateral approach is needed, there are other venues that are more suitable, for example, UNCTAD already has a Set of Principles on Restrictive Business Practices.
- Moreover, if the objective is to arrange for cooperation among competition authorities of countries, then it is unnecessary and inappropriate for the WTO to be the venue.
- Improvements in trade facilitation should be made through national efforts aided by technical assistance, rather than through imposing additional obligations in the WTO.
Topic: Functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
Laws and mechanisms governing illegal money during elections :
- The E.C announced guidelines to bring transparency and accountability in the funding of political parties.
- Proviso (a) to Section 13A of the Income Tax Act, 1961, requires every political party to maintain books of accounts and other documents to enable proper deduction of its income.
- Sections 80GGB and 80GGC of the IT Act, 1961:
- state that no deduction shall be allowed on the contributions made in cash by any person or company to a political party.
- Therefore, political parties are required to maintain the names and addresses of all individuals, companies or entities making donations to them during their rallies.
- Further, any donation received in cash should be duly accounted in the relevant account books and deposited in the party’s bank account within a week of its receipt.
- However, a party is allowed to retain a reasonable amount required for its day-to-day functioning and for defraying cash expenses.
- Section 40 A (3) of the IT Act, 1961, stipulates that all payments exceeding Rs.20,000 made by a business entity to a person in a day are required to be made by account payee cheque/draft, except the exempted category as provided in Rule 6 DD of Income Tax Rules, 1962.
- For monitoring day-to-day election expenditure incurred by a candidate, an election expenditure mechanism is put in place in each constituency.
- Maintenance of the day-to-day account of election expenditure by a candidate is mandatory. Though an account of election expenditure is required to be submitted within 30 days from the date of the declaration of the result, the monitoring has to be done on a regular basis during the campaign period for it to be of any use.
- Expenditure Observers (E.O.s) are appointed by the E.C. for specified constituencies.
No ,working is not good:
- There is enough reason to believe that the cash-for-votes phenomenon has taken deep roots in all constituencies.
- deferment means little inthe long run if recovery of cash is not followed up with the implementation of strategies to stamp out this perversion.
- The expenditure spent by the political parties is not a transparent informationgiven to the Election Commission (EC) because of the entire amount spent by the parties only 20% of the expenditure is recorded and submitted to the EC and no one is aware about the rest 80% of the money spent in times of elections.
- EC is not able to locate the actual source of this illegal That`sthe reason why the EC of India has failed to curb the flow of illegal money during elections.
- Campaign finance remains anachronistically opaque, and the distortions include not just “money power” at election time, but also corruption in administration and in, say, the use of local area development funds
- While concerted efforts by the EC have dampened a candidate’s ability to spend freely, a limited focus on candidates without concurrent efforts to limit party expenditure is re-channelling campaign finance through the coffers of political parties and, in effect, leaving intact the primary source of exorbitant spending
- The Election Commission classifies lawful campaign spending as either candidate or party expenditure.While candidate expenditure is capped at ₹70 lakh in most parliamentary constituencies, party expenditure remains unconstrained
- The Commission operates with a procedural distinction between candidate and general party canvassing. For instance, even though a candidate may feature prominently on the dais at a public rally, as long as his or her name, constituency and photograph are not mentioned or displayed, the political party absorbs the entire cost of the event
- While video surveillance prevents a gross under-declaration of expenses incurred through public rallies,it leaves quotidian aspects of campaign finance easily manipulated. For example, spending often begins well before filing nomination papers, which is when the Commission officially begins tallying candidate expenditure
- Then there’s the matter of print advertisements.Batches printed in the tens of thousands or even lakhs are formally declared as 1,000 or even 500. sometimes even disassembling side-door panels, pockets are often ignored, enabling a single individual to smuggle up to ₹4 lakh in 1,000-rupee notes.
- Candidates remain one step ahead of the Commission by exploiting lapses in finance regulation. The recent election witnessed an unprecedented level of digital canvassing that go beyond the purview of regulation.Assocham estimates that expenditure on digital media may have exceeded ₹500 crore in the recent election.
- Expenditure that the Election Commission thinks is electoral expenditure is actually a tiny fraction of the total election expenditure.Publicity material, pamphlets, leaflets now constitute a tiny fraction of the expenditure of parties.”
- Rural constituencies,which are vast have little EC staff to monitor spend. Also since a team is managing these activities, in a ‘supporters’ stronghold, nothing much comes to the EC’s notice. Out of a total of 11 million people working in election management, less than 10 cent check on spend.
- Nothing can be done in cases where money moves through couriers.Experts point out that since a majority of this money is black; the movement is through the hawala channel and not accounted for in the banks. As per industry insiders, angadias (a long existent, unofficial courier channel) from Delhi and Mumbai are charging Rs 3 per Rs 1000 transfer to state capitals and Rs 5 per Rs 1000 transfer to district centres. The usual rate is Rs 1-1.50 per Rs 1000 transfer. Everyday crores worth of cash is being routed through the hawala channel.
- Despite the fact that the EC has set up monitoring cells, not a single candidate has been disqualified on grounds of excessive spending. This creates a culture of complacency where everyone knows that nothing will happen.
What needs to be done?
- Based on past history, the profile of a constituency and other developments, the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) should identify constituencies which are prone to high expenditure and corrupt practices by candidates. Such constituencies are to be termed “Expenditure Sensitive Constituency”.
- For such constituencies, there should be two AEOs, an additional number of flying squads, static surveillance teams and video surveillance teams as required, over and above those deployed in the remaining constituencies.
- The EC cannot wage this battle alone efforts to curb the flow of cash in election campaigns need to be embedded in a wider cleaning up of the account books of political parties
- Strict media supervision:
- During election season, media outlets often carry reports of roving flying squads intercepting troves of cash, liquor and gift-for-vote commodities, and travellers routinely encounter mobile checkpoints conducting impromptu stop-and-search procedures along national highways.
- Election commission role:
- Monitor discrepancies between declared and actual expenses, the EC has to maintain a near ubiquitous presence on the campaign trail and regularly videotapes public rallies and processions.
- EC has set up flying squads, risk surveillance teams, video surveillance teams, parallel accounting teams to monitor spending and movement of money. The latest initiative by the EC is that of setting up of a Multi Departmental Committee on election intelligence involving the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, the Coast Guard, and the Financial Intelligence Unit among other. This has to be strengthened.
- To stop the flow of illegal money it is necessary for the government to provide election funds to the parties in times of election
- Such that it can provide at a maximum of 100/Voter such that the entire expenditure spent by the party will be Rs.5500 Crore to the maximum which is much lesser than the expenditure spent when there is crony-capitalism present in the funding.
Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations
- It is the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, a highway which is to run from Kashgar in China to Gwadar in Balochistan, on the edge of the Persian Gulf, in Pakistan.
How will this corridor transform Pakistan ?
- Pakistan experts feel unprecedented Chinese investment over the next decade-and-a-half will make Pakistan the next Asian Tiger.
- Clearly, all provincial governments (with their own particular ethnic and regional alliances), political parties and interests realise the huge externalities which are expected to accrue to the infrastructure and road building along the corridor, and hence their interest in acquiring political and economic returns from it.
- There is an expectation, well-founded no doubt, that such projects will give rise to jobs (particularly unskilled ones), will allow local businesses to benefit, and might open the way to development.
- An important indicator of the work in progress is the huge Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) which has come into Pakistan over the last year.
- Pakistan has been an FDI-starved country for a host of reasons, but the first 10 months of the current fiscal year (Pakistan’s fiscal year runs from July to end June) saw FDI increase by 5 per cent on a year-on-year basis, to $1 billion, of which 55 per cent came from China alone.
- prospects for Pakistani development, and many business and investment interests are waiting in the wings to cash in once the corridor and its ancillary investments take off.
- The Pakistani military is an obvious beneficiary with its role in security and with its fingers in numerous infrastructure and economic projects around the corridor.
- Perhaps some underdeveloped regions in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will also benefit.
- The project would link China’s far-western region to Pakistan’s Gwadar port (built with Chinese investment and technical expertise) and would provide 14,000 MW of electricity to the energy-starved Pakistan.
- Confusion prevailing :
- Even a year after the initiation of the CPEC project, there continues to be much ambiguity about what the $46 billion project entails.
- There is little public information and disclosure as to what will be built, how it will be financed and who will implement the various parts of the corridor, which includes roads, railway lines, pipelines and other infrastructure.
Effect of CPEC on India China relations :
- Gilgit Baltistan:
- The corridor will run through India’s periphery, more significantly, Gilgit Baltistan, claimed by India as part of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).
- In due course, this geographical reality of the CPEC could potentially impinge upon India’s geopolitical calculations and pose a strategic challenge.
- In the Gilgit Baltistan segment, the CPEC project design includes a major expansion of the Karakoram Highway, establishing industrial parks in special economic zones, constructing hydropower projects, railway line and road building. The project also entails building hydropower projects and motorways/highways in the so-called.
- The CPEC poses a policy challenge to India on how best to strike a precarious balance between securing its strategic/territorial interests without at the same time being confrontational.
- Considering the fact that the Pakistan-China strategic partnership is coinciding with Pakistan’s fast-increasing strategic ties with Russia, a Pakistan-China-Russia axis is on the anvil. This is bad news for the Indian strategic establishment.
- Once completed, the CPEC project would enlarge China’s strategic footprints in the Indian Ocean and would change the regional power matrix forever.One of the fallouts would be that China would then wield a much more powerful influence in the Indian Ocean even though geographically speaking China is not an Indian Ocean power.
- The CPEC project would mean that the Chinese presence in entire Pakistan, including Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, becomes all pervasive and powerful.This is a nightmarish scenario for the Indian strategic establishment
- CPEC heightens the threat China poses to India’s defense. In the event of a military confrontation with India or if China decides to come to Islamabad’s aid in an India-Pakistan war, CPEC’s infrastructure will facilitate Chinese deployment of troops rapidly to India’s western front, as well.
- India has no worry over the construction of Pakistan-China Economic Corridor as an economically strong Pakistan would bring stability in the region.
- Genuine concerns for China:-
- In monetary terms, the $46 billion Chinese funding for an ambitious 3,000-km-long China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which will shorten the route for Chinese energy imports from the Middle East by 12,000 km, is the biggest overseas investment by China announced yet.
- India could also benefit from CPEC if it were to be extended to connect with Indian markets,India has been eyeing an overland route to Central Asian markets, which CPEC’s infrastructure would provide.
- Beijing is dependent on Pakistan to ensure the security of its citizens and investments, if the economic corridor project is to materialise. For this, Pakistan has to contain home-grown jihadi groups. In turn, India will benefit because time and again, it has called on the international community to pressurise Pakistan for reining in jihadists and curbing their activities. Now pushed by its ally, Pakistan is compelled to undertake such measures.
- These are plain commercial ventures likely to expand the India-Pakistan trade, especially in the energy sector. India is an energy-deficient economy and with a stabilised Afghanistan, energy trade is far more likely to happen.
- For the Chinese, economic expansion is high on agenda and it is highly unlikely that through Pakistan, it wants to encircle India. Their concerns are more economic given the goal to develop poorer regions in the west and containing extremism in the Xinjiang province of China.
General Studies – 3
Topic: Issues relating to intellectual property rights.
- Policy might tilt the country’s approach to IP towards a maximalist position, undermining its social and economic development needs,notably the goal of providing access to affordable medicines.
- The pharmaceutical TNCs used the opportunity to influence the policy in their favour to undermine public interest safeguards in the Patents Act.
- certain actions of the DIPP and the Indian Patents Office led to speculation about the extent of US influence in shaping India’s new IP regime.
- First, the patent office proposed amendments to the Guidelines for Examination of Computer Related Inventions (CRIs), which sought to effectively bypass the explicit exclusion of patenting of software. The intervention of public interest groups forced the DIPP to cancel the amendment.
- Second, the rejection of the compulsory licence application by Lee Pharma on AstraZeneca’s diabetes medicine Saxagliptin, without assigning adequate reasons, casts doubts on the role and the autonomy of the patent office as an independent quasi-judicial body.
- Third, the office rejected the pre-grant opposition on Sofosbuvir, an anti-hepatitis drug, without taking note of the rejection of the same patent in other countries like Egypt.
- Fourth, the office amended rules to introduce fast-track patent examination for foreign applications.
- The main thrust of the policy is its unquestioning faith in the potential of IP as a development tool. The policy does not, however, provide an analysis of the role of IP in addressing the development needs of India. The policy neither explains the reasons for the measures suggested nor provides any evidence to back the policy measures.
- There is no information as to whether the IPR think tank, which drafted the initial version of the policy, carried out a study to identify India’s experiences after the implementation of the TRIPS regime.
- The policy also ignores the fact that at present, a large number of patents are owned by foreigners and, therefore, any easing of rules for patent protection would benefit them much more than domestic applicants.
- In many developing countries, including India, IP protection acts as a tool to manage competition rather than incentivise research and development (R&D), innovation and creativity
- The overall social benefits of innovation are reduced while an imbalance emerges between those able to cope with the resulting insecurities and related costs, such as multinational enterprises with their own patent departments, and those who cannot, such as small and medium sized enterprises or individual inventors.
- The policy, in many places, stresses the need for a “balanced approach” towards IP as well as the need to protect public interest.
- Objective 3 of the policy states it is necessary “to have strong and effective IPR laws, which balance the interests of rights owners with (the) larger public interest.
General Studies – 4
Topic: Moral thinkers
8) “If we could read the secret history of our enemies we should find in each person’s life, sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.” Comment on relevance of meaning of this quote to present times. (150 Words)