SECURE SYNOPSIS: 25 January 2017
NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.
General Studies – 1;
Topic: The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.
1) Subhash Chandra Bose continues to be popular among Indian masses and is fondly remembered when compared to other national leaders. How did Bose’s vision differ other national leaders, especially from Nehru’s vision? Critically examine. Also examine what makes him more popular. (200 Words)
Subhash Chandra Bose remains the fascinating figure in the history of freedom struggle of India. He saw his efforts and INA as complementing the mainstream freedom struggle led by Gandhi and the Congress. This was most likely due to the deep seated conviction of all these leaders in the secular and liberal values and the criticality of those values not only in the fight for India’s independence but also for her future.
Similarities between Subhash Bose and Pandit Nehru-
- Nehru was a close ideological comrade of Bose in the Indian National Congress. The leftward radicalism of Nehru and Bose was counterbalanced in the Congress by the rightwing guard of Rajendra Prasad, C. Rajagopalachari and Vallabhbhai Patel. M.K. Gandhi was the tallest leader for both groups.
- Both were inclined towards leftward radicalism that supports social equality and egalitarianism which countered rightwing views of Rajendra Prasad, C. Rajagopalachari and Vallabhbhai Patel. Nehru and Bose also believed in having a strong centre with a higher degree of autonomy to minority provinces
- Bose’s views on the economy were almost identical to those of Nehru. It was under Bose’s Congress presidency that a national planning committee—the predecessor to the post-independence Planning Commission—was formed and Nehru took over as its first chairman.
- Both Nehru and Bose believed in dominant role of state in economy. The national reconstruction of India, in Bose’s vision, would be carried out with the primary role marked for the public sector and a planning commission at the helm.
Ideological differences between Subhash Chandra Bose and other nationalist leaders like Pandit Nehru-
- The difference between Nehru and Bose was the latter’s alacrity in departing from Gandhian ideals of non-violence to pursue the cause of Indian independence. Bose, as opposed to Nehru and Gandhi, was also ready to take the help of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy to dismantle the British Empire in India.
- During Subhash Bose’s stay in Germany and Japan, he tilted towards authoritarian. In a speech delivered at Tokyo University in November 1944, Bose said, “… modern progressive thought in India is in favour of a State of an authoritarian character, which will work as an organ, or as the servant of the masses, and not a clique or of a few rich individuals.” Other leaders like Nehru remain steadfast supporters of democratic values.
- Mahatma Gandhi believed in village led development and stressed on improving rural economy. An economic modernist, Bose believed in rapid industrialization, with a special emphasis on heavy industries. Bose was all for scientific advancement of agricultural practices but he saw a large-scale industrial revolution as the only solution to the problems of poverty and unemployment.
Reasons for popularity of Subhash Bose-
- Extreme nationalism –the freedom of India took the first priority in the mind of Subhash Bose and he was ready to take help of even enemy of British in this quest. His selfless love, passion and readiness to sacrifice life for mother nation ignited the spirits in youth and attracted them towards him.
- Subhash Bose was a great leader who led by example and hypnotized the masses with his oratory skills. This enhanced his popularity beyond limits.
- Reinvigorated freedom strugglewhen Congress was much inactive during WW-II years through his motivational speeches and gave slogans like “Give me blood and I will give you freedom”, Dilli Chalo, ‘Jai Hind’ (adopted by Govt of India and Armed forces later).
- He was secularist having a scientific outlook, was a devout Hindu but rejected the orthodox caste system and adopted ‘modernism’, and believed in gender equality (Rani Jhansi regiment).
Subhash Chandra Bose and Pandit Nehru were tallest personalities during the freedom struggle and contribution of both the leaders proved important for India. Though both the leaders adopted different stance for the fight against British, their love and integrity towards nations were unquestioned.
Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times
2) What began as an admirably peaceful protest against restrictions on jallikattu, the Tamil tradition of bull taming, these protests have mutated into violent hooliganism, police crackdowns and expression of Tamil chauvinism. Examine arguments made for and against jallikattu, and critically comment on implications of these protests turning out to be identity based movement. (200 Words)
Arguments in favor of Jallikattu-
- Innumerable references have found in the ancient Tamil literature and it is the symbolic of Tamil cultural identity.
- It provides financial support to the rural poor whose livelihood depends on it.
- Jallikattu bulls are considered to be the fertile breed therefore helps in preserving indigenous breed of milch animals.
- Participation in warrior sport of Jallikattu has been considered as evidence of their masculinity.
Arguments against Jallikattu-
- The evidences of cruelty during the sport has provided by the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI).
- It is being played in only some of the territories of Tamil Nadu so it cannot be called as representation of Tamilian culture as a whole.
- It has been distorted from its earlier form where only one person per bull was involved but now a hoard of people chase a single bull.
- There are other possible ways to preserve the native breed.
- Supreme Court has extended Art. 21 to cover the life of animals, so constitutionally invalid.
Implications of protest turning identity based movement-
- This can set wrong precedent as Jallikattu was reinstated by nullifying the order of Supreme Court. Further it can initiate similar identity based protest in other parts of country. For eg Maharashtra government is thinking to start bull racing with the similar process.
- Excessive emphasis of one’s culture may alienate that community from rest of the country.
- This shows thevulnerability of even peaceful apolitical protests to political tinkering and the violent nature it can take for political ends.
- Political parties support such movements to gain political advantage. In this case both the prominent political parties in Tamil Nadu gave unequivocal support rather than discussing the real issues surrounded to Jallikattu.
Though sub-national identities are important and integral part of Indian society, they should not be made to stand against constitutional values and principles. The political leaders should stand up to any protest turning violent and must seek amicable solutions without resorting to appeasement.
General Studies – 2
Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora
The new American president Donald Trump has got elected with the slogan of ‘America First’ ‘Making America great again’ etc and may sideline interests of other nations for that of America’s. He has shown different policy aptitude than his predecessor and could change the direction of America’s foreign relations.
Some of the major changes that could take place under Mr Trump are-
- Decreasing the animosity between Russia and US which might seem as a positive drift from the prevalent bipolar power politics between the two countries.
- His critical views about the importance of multilateral organizations like UN and NATO and also the climatic deals being done at global levels and therefore his persistent effort to minimize US’s involvement in such organizations and efforts.
- His aim of blocking of US-Mexican border in an effort to put a control on illegal movement of people might not be a good approach in the long run of regional cooperation.
- In an effort to bring down the whooping defence spending for protection of its allies like japan, S.korea, and Australia, he has pledged to make these countries pay for the security provided by the US’s military. This again will harm the solidarity between nations as few nations can afford to pay for such huge pending.
- Curbing the migration from countries like India, China in a bid to restore employment to native Americans may actually harm the America’s talent in areas like R&D.
- His stringent measures against radical islamist groups will be helpful in curbing the menace of terrorism around the world. Decreasing monetary aid to Pakistan which was given in the name of fighting terrorism will raise an alarm in Islamabad and force its govt for a strong action against the terrorist in order to gain US’s trust.
Implication on China-
- Trump has been particularly critical of China’s trade policies. His policies will include measures that will put a check on rising exports of Chinese goods across the world, especially in US.
- He claims that the climatic deterioration scenario has been a China’s hoax and therefore need not be adhered to.
However with his policy of decreasing US’s interference in Asian countries of Japan and Australia it would be hard for trump to keep a strong check on the activities of China is South china sea and the pacific.
- Also his protectionist attitude of preserving the jobs for US citizens will further give a window for Chinese markets to expand in Europe and Asian markets. This might prove to be a counter for US’s diplomatic and strategic partnerships.
Implications on India-
- With growing friendly ties between US-Russia, India can gain its interests by keeping a balance with both the nations as both Putin and Trump have claimed India to be an important ally of their respective agendas in Asia.
- Trump’s critical attitude towards China will help India to be in a better position to counter Chinese interest in the region with better diplomatic support.
- This will provide an edge for India’s economic and military ties with the western power.
- It will also help to counter terrorism being generated in India’s neighborhood.
- His protectionist policies by decreasing the H1B visas to Employees from other countries will certainly hurt India’s service and IT sector, leading to increase stress on employability and social issues in India.
However, hard conflict between US and China will prove to against the regional stability and peace efforts in Asia.
- It might disrupt Chinese trade with India, with the former having 28% trade exchange with India. Also his anti-climactic echo and US’s non-involvement in such agreements will hamper India’s effort rising global consensus towards mitigating climatic hazards.
- US being the superpower for majority of the last 5 decades have seen a downfall in its stature in recent times owing to multiple reasons. Trump’s rule might be seen as a shift from US increasing influence on other countries to its effort to preserve its own economic and military stability, especially in such a time when China is being seen as a major superpower. Here comes the importance of India’s position in Asia with Russia-US- India forming a trident in counter of Chinese growing influence.
The coherence in the words and deeds of Mr Trump would surely change the rules of the geo-politics and economics of the world. The countries like Russia, China and India would be facing different situation in Trump administration that would decide the new global order.
Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
4) “India is well positioned to emerge as a credible security and economic partner of the UAE and the larger Gulf region at a time when the West is looking inwards and China’s rise is getting hobbled by its aggressive rhetoric on territorial issues.” Elaborate. (200 Words)
The Comprehensive strategic partnership agreement, Inviting Abu Dhabi’s crown prince as Republic day Guest and parade will be leading by a contingent of 179 UAE soldiers have indications of boosting ties between India and UAE. India though shared historic relations with the region recently it is emerging as credible security and economic partner:-
INDIA AS ECONOMIC PARTENER:-
- The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is India’s second-largest trading partner, the largest single origin of imports into the country, and the second largest destination for exports from India. The GCC countries supply 45 per cent of India’s petroleum, with the UAE being the sixth largest source of imports of crude oil.
- The region remains a major destination for Indian investment. India hopes that major GCC states such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Oman will participate in its planned infrastructure expansion. MoUs have been signed for investing sovereign wealth fund of countries like UAE, Qatar, etc. in India’s infrastructure and developmental projects like Smart City Mission.
- Meanwhile, the Gulf States are interested in human resources from India in order to develop sectors as varied as information technology, construction, transportation and services.
- Indians are the largest expatriate community in the GCC states, numbering around 7 million. There are an estimated 2.6 million Indians in the UAE alone.
- Remittances: India receives more than 50% of remittances from gulf expatriates which are crucial for economic development of India. The issues of labor in those UAE are worked upon by the India and UAE government.
INDIA AS SECURITY PARTENER:-
- India’s continuance on condemning terrorism in all form and manifestation is backed by UAE and the combined efforts can bring the stability in Afghanistan which is essential for both India and UAE own security.
- India’s navy regular visits and deployment can be used to protect the maritime security unlike China which itself follows the policy of violating UNCLOS and aggressive rhetoric on territorial issues in South China Sea. Indian Navy also conducting major relief operations like operation Rahat.
- India and gulf countries are conducting military training exercise over there in recent years and frequent deployment of a warship by India to check the security of strait of Hormuz and bab el Mandeb and to carry out anti-piracy patrol. India and UAE conducted joint military exercise Desert Eagle. Comprehensive Strategic Partnership was signed with UAE recently to enhance defence and strategic cooperation
- India’s bid for UNSC which is being supported by several countries and few members of UNSC itself proves India is a credible country.
In this context, convergence of India’s ‘Look West policy’ and GCC’s ‘Look East policy’ is clearly visible and this augurs well for India’s bonding with West Asia. At the same time, India must be wary of bureaucratic hurdles, protecting the diaspora in the Gulf and rising Islamic extremism.
Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability,
5) “There are two aspects of demonetisation on which clarity is required. One is the status of political funds, and the other the status of donations/offerings made to temples and religious institutions, through the so-called temple hundis.” Discuss critically. (200 Words)
The 8th November 2016 demonetisation decision had few purposes like:
1) To tackle black money in the economy.
2) To lower the cash circulation in the country which “is directly related to corruption in our country” according to PM Modi.
3) To eliminate fake currency and dodgy funds which have been used by terror groups to fund terrorism in India.
4) To promote the cashless economy
However two aspects required some clarifications:-
- Political party funds are exempted from income tax, though parties are required to maintain books of accounts, and file income returns. Moreover, they are not required to keep any details of the source of funds if the individual contributions are Rs. 20,000 or less. It is well known that almost 90% of the funds of major political parties are of this nature.
- The Union Revenue Secretary reportedly said on December 16 that political parties can accept cash donations even after November 8. The Finance Minister, however, said a couple of days later that political parties cannot accept donations in old Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes.
- The question, thus, is whether parties did accept cash donations in demonetised bills after November 8. If so, it could have been a great device for converting black money into white in the hands of unethical political parties by breaking down huge contributions into a number of small ones of Rs. 20,000 or less; an unethical political party could even receive cash contributions after November 8, but show in its books that the money was received before that date.
Donations/Offerings to the temples:-
- It would also be useful to find out the amount of cash deposited by temples after November 8 purportedly received as donations to know how funds so received will be dealt with (so as not to enable conversion of black money into white), and whether any part of such collections would be taxed.
The implementations of stringent policies in both of cases have serious caveats as the policies can harm the interest of policy makers themselves, inadequate staff and tribunals of tax department, and possibility of chaos when the policies related to religious sentiments.The strong political will, priority to national interest and institutional capacity are required to make this move successful rather than another unfortunate event.
General Studies – 3
Topic: Land reforms; Agriculture issues
6) More than half of India’s labour force is still connected directly or indirectly to agriculture for its livelihood. Policymakers face the the dual challenge is of increasing income share of labour force, and increasing the rate of employment absorption into industry and services. Examine how these two challenges can be addressed. (200 Words)
Agriculture sector receives around one seventh of national income. But due to the unique disguised unemployment phenomenon of Indian agriculture and low capacity of jobs in industry, service sector following steps are required to address this challenge:-
- Diversification: Farmers should be encouraged to invest in allied activities like horticulture, bee keeping , which would augment their income.
- Rain fed farming: Agriculture needs to climate resilient through initiatives like national missions for sustainable agriculture
- Cropping pattern:-The more market oriented farming focusing on best cultivation of crops, choosing the crops in demands can boost income rather than practicing only the subsistence agriculture.
- Scientific farming methods- Training farmers in scientific cultivation practices such as inter-cropping, organic farming, use of HYV/GM seeds and fertilizers.
- Extension of Minimum Support Prize: One of the drawbacks of MSP is that it is provided on crops like wheat, rice ignoring other crops, hence a diversification is required .
- Addressing loopholes in credit: Restructuring of loans and access to financial institution would help farmers in increasing their share.
- Strengthen agriculture-industry linkage- Enable corporates to directly procure from farmers, eliminating middlemen.
- Implementation of social security schemes: Initiatives like Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana needs to implement in a transparent manner.
- Public private partnership:-PPP should be encouraged for building infrastructures such as warehouses, grain stores, financing agriculture sector through Corporate Social Responsibility.
- Sustainable agriculture:- by using micro irrigation techniques, water harvesting, sprinkler method, promoting organic farming etc
HOW TO INCREASE RATE OF EMPLOYMENT:
- Skill development- under Skill India mission, training of rural youth for employability in all the sectors of the economy.
- Security exchange for agriculture markets- training farmers to trade in agricultural securities, forward contracts, futures trading.
- Credit facilities:- by encouraging entrepreneurship spirit among young people. Schemes like MUDRA can be a game changer
- Vocational training :-at the school level and more focus on skill based education
- Attracting FDI to support rural infrastructure such as constructing BPOs for rural youth
- Creating awareness:-Awareness about of different government policies like Make in India, Start up India, Satnd up India and programs through DIGITAL INDIA
- Rural entrepreneurship- integrating Startup India, Skill India, Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana etc. to support rural population in setting up startups in rural areas.
According to the PM, agriculture has to stand on three pillars — paramparagat kheti (traditional agriculture), diversification into agro-forestry by planting trees on the boundaries of farmers’ fields, and encouraging livestock and bee-keeping, duly supported by food processing. These pillars would help in increasing farm income, on the other hand efforts are laid for absorption in manufacturing. Though a herculean task, but once implemented would help farm sector in big way.