SECURE SYNOPSIS: 07 February 2017

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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 07 February 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: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues

1)  Robert Clive, Warren Hastings and Dalhousie contributed immensely in helping the British expand and hold on to power in India. Compare and contrast their role in making India a victim of colonial atrocities. (200 Words) 

NCERT Class VIII Our Pasts III – Part I

NCERT Class XII Themes in Indian History III

Introduction-

All the three Governor Generals worked towards increasing British hold over India and their policies were directed at using Indian resources for the benefit of Britain. However their policies differed from each other in achieving this objective.

Comparing and contrasting the three on different parameters-

Annexations-

All the three governor generals were great imperialists and tried to bring maximum territory under direct rule of British. The tendencies of imperialism went on increasing from Robert Clive to Dalhousie.

  • Robert Clive, though by treachery won the battle of Plassey (1757) against Siraj-ud-daula and set the foundation of British rule in India. He transformed a mere trading body that the East India Company was into a territorial power with the role of king-maker in India.
  • Warren Hastings walked on the path set by his predecessor and fought different wars like Rohilla war 1774, First Anglo-Maratha war 1776-82, Second Anglo-Mysore war 1780-84. Although there were no largescale immediate gains, these battles set the aggressive tone for his successors.
  • Dalhousie is considered one of the greatest imperialists in the history of British conquest of India. He added almost 40-45% territory to British India over the size of 1848 within short span of 8 years.

His annexations were 2nd Sikh war and annexation of Punjab 1849; the annexation of Lower Burma 1852; Annexation of states like Satara (1848), Jaitpur and Sambalpur (1849); Bhagat (1850), Udaipur (1852), Jhansi (1853), Nagpur (1854) under the doctrine of lapse; the annexation of Outh (1856) under the pretext of misgovernance.

Administration-

All of them tried to make Indian administration efficient and effective but from the British point of view. Strong centralised tendencies were clearly visible in their administration. Interests of Indians were completely neglected and they were left to the whims and wishes of the servants of company who oppressed them at their will.

  • Robert Clive effected a dual system of govt in Bengal in 1765 with the paramount considerations of British power and not for the welfare of people. System of dual govt led to evil consequences like administrative breakdown, decline in agriculture, disruption of trade and commerce, ruination of industry and skill and moral degradation of the Bengal society.
  • In 1772 Warren Hastings made a 5 yrs. settlement of land revenue by the crude method of farming out estates to highest bidder. The quinquennial settlement was a miserable failure and peasants suffered greatly. His only steadfast principle was that might is right. He left behind a dark trail of misery, desolation and famines in Bengal, Banaras and Outh.
  • Lord Dalhousie laid down the foundations of modern India by developing Railway, postal and telegraph network. However all these steps were taken primarily to exploit India effectively. This communication and transport network helped British greatly to curb revolt of 1857.

Personal weaknesses-

Even all of them are considered as great conquerors and ruthless administrators, they also shared some personal weaknesses. While Clive and Hasting were blinded by wealth of India, Dalhousie lacked ethical perspective.

  • Robert Clive exacted illegal presents and set a bad precedent for his successors who in order to enrich themselves engineered revolutions in Bengal (1760 & 1764). Clive joined in the general plunder of Bengal by organising the society of trade. The whole Bengal was reduced to the position of an estate of the East India Company.
  • Warren Hastings weakness for money was perhaps as great as Clive’s. He accepted bribes from various Nawabs and Rajas which is said to be about Rs 30 lacs.
  • Dalhousie cared little for moral values and plighted word. While dealing with Punjab he cared more for the ends than the means. He also paid no attention to the feelings and prejudices of Indians while dealing with Indian states.

Conclusion-

When one imperialist nation rules over other, there are little hopes of expecting welfare approach and good governance for the latter. These three governor generals were part of such imperialist nation and India had misfortune of being ruled by them. 


Topic: The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country. 

2) How different would have been the nature and direction of Indian independence movement without Lord Curzon? Discuss. (200 Words)

Bipan Chandra, Struggle for India’s Independence

Introduction-

Lord Curzon was a true successor of Lord Dalhousie. He was great imperialist, authoritarian in temperament, ruthless in his ways and wanted to achieve too much at too great pace.

The time of his governorship (1899-1905), was the formative phase of Indian national movement. Thus he tried to strangulate Indian nationalism and freedom movement by all fair and foul means.

Reactionary policies of Lord Curzon-

  • Through Calcutta Corporation act 1899 he reduced the number of elected legislatures to deprive Indians from self-governance.
  • He brought Indian universities act 1904 mainly to increase official control over universities and to stop the spread of nationalism among youths.
  • He looked at Indians with contempt and insulted and injured their feelings. He described Bengalis as cowards, windbags, impracticable talkers and mere frothy patriots. He even refused to meet to president of Indian national congress.
  • The biggest blunder he committed was the partition of Bengal. Although it was a political masterstroke to break growing Indian nationalism among Bengalis, it proved disastrous for British in longer term.

Impact of Curzon’s reactionary policies-

Curzon by his impolitic utterances and imperialist designs brought political unrest in India to a bursting point. Curzon’s imperialistic policies provoked reaction which in turn stung political life in India. Out of his tyranny was born a stronger sense of nationhood. Taken in this light Curzon proved to be a benefactor of India without intending to do so.

Nature and direction of Indian freedom movement without Curzon-

It was only after the decision of partition of Bengal that India’s first mass movement emerged in the form Swadeshi movement in 1905. It intensified the nationalism in whole of India and marked the beginning of modern politics. The social base of movement got widened to include students and women. Had the Curzon not taken such a step Indian freedom movement might have to wait for another few years for witnessing first mass movement and beginning of modern politics. Also without such mass movement nationalism would have got limited to educated sections of society as earlier was the case.

The debate over the swadeshi movement led to split between moderates and extremists. This weakened the vigour and strength of freedom movement for next few year. However Indian leaders learnt an important lesson from it and future divides were successfully avoided.

Curzon’s reactionary policies stirred the Indian consciousness and provided impetus to the Indian nationalism. Therefore when leaders like Lokmanya Tilak and Mahatma Gandhi emerged on the scene people readily followed them.

Conclusion-

Although Curzon’s policies played important role in stirring nationalism among Indians it should be taken into account that British rule as a whole was exploitative, insensitive, unethical and racist and Lord Curzon was just small part of it. Even without lord Curzon Indian movement would have got flourished. As the sense of nationalism and people’s sovereignty was spreading, British rule was bound to end. Curzon just intensified this sense and unintentionally helped in this cause.


(Above two questions are part of our New Initiative, for Details and Timetable, Click Here)

Topic: Effects of globalization on Indian society

3) It is said that the opposition to women’s participation in decision-making bodies and processes is centuries-old in Naga society. Critically examine how economics and globalization have exacerbated this attitude against women. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

Nagas customary laws are deeply rooted in patriarchy. Naga culture and customs debar women from land ownership; hence their customary laws preclude women from inheriting land. Only males can participate in the village parliament.

 

Reference:-There is vehement opposition to 33 per cent women’s reservation in urban local bodies (ULBs) in Nagaland by male-dominated/all-male Naga tribal bodies.

Naga Customary laws and women:-The general perception that in Naga Customary laws women enjoy equal status stands misleading.Naga women have no right to inheritance,land and property.Over 40 years of statehood and there has been no woman in the Nagaland Legislative Assembly.Article 317 (A) has been the biggest stumbling block in empowering women.Due to the unwritten customary laws we have had varied interpretations and with village judiciary comprising only of men, it is very difficult for women to get sincere judgment.

 

Impact of economics and globalization:-

The most important factor in opposition to women”s reservation is linked to economic connotations.Its because economics spawns,dictates culture and customs and also political and marital expediencies.With political powers come economic powers, and with economic powers, political power is reinforced and consolidated, all of which has the potential to disrupt the status quo in Naga society that has marginalized women politically and economically.

Today, Naga women excel in the public and private spheres academically, intellectually and to a certain extent economically — this is frightening to the Naga male, who continues to expect the woman to be dependent on him.Naga women are  generally more open, willing and able to adapt to new ideas and change and generally to global culture, politically, economically and socially. 

Naga male also fears about the Indian governments attempt to introduce alien political and economic system which further leads to dilution of Naga Nationalism.

Conclusion:-

With the changing societal,political and economic scenario in Nagaland the time is ripe that Naga men must accept the reality and become a force in women empowerment rather than an obstacle to it.


General Studies – 2


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

4) Do you think, at this juncture,  e-commerce and investment issues should be included under WTO agenda? Should developing countries welcome these issues under WTO? Critically comment. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction:-The Doha Development Round or Doha Development Agenda (DDA) is the latest trade-negotiation round of the World Trade Organization (WTO) which commenced in November 2001 under then director-general Mike Moore. Its objective was to lower trade barriers around the world, and thus facilitate increased global trade.

 

e-commerce and investment issues:-

Electronic commerce or e-commerce, involves the digital transfer of goods and services. It is the sale or purchase of goods or services conducted over the internet or other computer networks. An e-commerce transaction can be between individuals, households, enterprises, governments and other organizations.

The Work Program (1998) on e-commerce declared at Second MC gives basic guidelines and is emerging as the future regulations for the fast-growing global e-commerce sector. It covers all issues related to trade arising from global e-commerce, including enhancing internet connectivity and access to information and telecommunications technologies and public internet sites, the growth of mobile commerce, electronically delivered software, cloud computing, the protection of confidential data, privacy and consumer protection.

 

Yes they should be included at this juncture:-

  • Its inclusion is in accordance with the changing consumer behavior pattern. It will lead to flow of goods and services across the borders seamlessly. The consumers will be exposed to diverse choices.
  • The internet mode of implementation give space for large impact area.
  • It will create a level playing field for MSME in terms of better returns and improved financial viability. It will also diversify the WTO negotiations.
  • Its inclusion has the ability to strengthen investors confidence for dispute resolutions. It will also have a positive impact on GDP of countries.

 

No they should not be included at this juncture:-

  • The basic infrastructure required for e-commerce is not ready. The internet penetration level is still only at 9-12%.
  • The Doha Development Agenda and food security issues are already pending. The unfair competition and disruption creation will not be beneficial. Low income countries are not getting benefited.
  • The existing social divide will proliferate into other social-economic divisions. Introduction of e-commerce and investment issues will benefit big companies and can diminish the profit of MSME. It might also cause constant friction between foreign companies.

 

Should developing countries welcome this:-

The average internet penetration of 43% worldwide provides an opportunity for such step. It will also strengthened the notion of globalization in a phased manner. Though all these the supportive infrastructure is not present in the form of internet penetration, broadband instabilities and affordability of internet which is cause of concern or developing countries.


Topic:India and neighbours

5) What are the likely consequences of recent change of policy on Iran by the United States? Critically comment. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction:-

A set of new sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States over a missile test has taken ties between the two countries, which saw incremental improvement over a couple of years, back to the pre-Obama era. 

 

Consequences of recent change of policy:-

 

  • Geopolitical Consequences:-Iran is a strong regional power.Negative policy with Iran can impact the whole region negatively including Iraq,Lebanon and Yemen.Military exercise by Iran with China in response to new sanctions, and inclusion of China in MENA politics would further complicate the Geopolitics in the region and lead to arms race 
  • West Asia De stabilization:-The tensions in West Asia are on account of rivalries with Saudi Arabia.The cooperation of Iran is needed to bring all countries on table.
  • ISIS Resurgence:-US needs Iran’s support to restrict ISIS influence particularly in Iraq, where Shia-militants have been instrumental in liberation of cities. As Iran is backing the Bashar -al Assad Regime of Syria and even providing logistic support to militias fighting along with Syrian Military against the ISIS.
  • Stumbles in US Russia relations:-Moscow considers Tehran as its critical ally, and sidelining of Iran by US may be seen as an effort to increase US influence in Middle East, which might negatively affect improving US-Russia relations
  • Decline in Iran Economy:-Business investments would further decrease, increase in trade deficit, coupled with low oil prices in short-term would further lead to deteriorating socio-economic indicators (High inflation, employment)
  • Energy Crisis:-Lead to further supply shocks with respect to oil and push its prices up in medium-long term, which would act as detrimental to India’s BoP and also its investments in Iran
  • Remittances:-As Iran provides employment to many nationals the US policy of immigration ban can affect it very severely.
  • International Implication : Iran would move closer to china and this can impact India’s strategic interest in Iran as it may find chabhar port and the highway road to Afghanistan less attractive to the One Belt One Road Initiative of the Chinese.
  • Security Implication : The recent meeting of Taliban and Iranian officials would gain strength and it can negatively impact the Afghanistan peace process which is yet to recover from the destruction caused due to the ongoing civil war.

Conclusion:-The need of hour is to follow liberal policies in order to help Iran to grow regionally.The way forward is to follow precedence set by Obama administration and not to abruptly change it.

 

Topic: mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections

6) How do various forms of violence  affect disabled people? Critically analyse. (200 Words)

The Hindu

WHO definitionDisabilities is an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. An impairment is a problem in body function or structure; an activity limitation is a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action; while a participation restriction is a problem experienced by an individual in involvement in life situations.

Disability is thus not just a health problem. It is a complex phenomenon, reflecting the interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which he or she lives. It limits the potential of a person either for a short term or for a long term. This potential is purely biological at first, where a part of the body loses its usual ability to function properly. But afterwards it transforms into the loss of ‘social potential’ where a person due to his/her disability is not accepted in the mainstream society and hence the real potential of the person is not realized.

 India has 26.8 million disabled people as per the 2011 Census. Here the disabled population is one of the most marginalized sections of the country and also one of the largest minority groups, though disability is yet to be formally recognized as a ‘minority group’ in the country. 

VIOLENCE – With special reference to disabled people, Violence is that which increases the distance between the potential and the actual and that which impedes the decrease of this distance. This idea broadens the understanding of our everyday notions of violence — i.e. the direct, deliberate physical harm by one actor towards another.

 The meaning of violence has evolved from just being physical victimization to suppression at various  levels like social stigma, economic inequality, unequal opportunities of developing oneself, inequality coming out of development itself.

FORMS OF THE VIOLENCE AFFECTING DISABLED PEOPLE –

Direct or Personal violence- Disabled people are disproportionately more vulnerable to this kind of violence. This is especially true for women, children and people with mental disabilities.

 There are nine distinct forms of violence and abuse:

Physical violence;

Sexual violence;

Emotional violence;

Psychological violence;

Spiritual violence;

Cultural violence;

Verbal Abuse;

Financial Abuse;

Neglect

Structural violence- A form of violence wherein some social structure or social institution may harm people by preventing them from meeting their basic needs.  Although structural violence is said to be invisible, it has a number of influences which shape it. These include the higher rate of disease and death, unemployment, homelessness, lack of education, powerlessness, and shared fate of miseries.

Cultural violence- This refers to aspects of a culture that can be used to justify or legitimize direct or structural violence. Cultural violence makes direct and structural violence look or feel “right”, or at least not wrong and thus the act of direct violence and the fact of structural violence are legitimized and thus made acceptable in society.

For example – The logic of previous birth sin leads to the legitimisation of discrimination and hatred towards persons with disabilities across cultures. Hence, a ‘culture of violence’ is born and is legitimised further.

EFFECTS OF THE VIOLENCE –

  1. Physical violence – Factors which place people with disabilities at higher risk of physical violence include stigma, discrimination, and ignorance about disability, as well as a lack of social support for those who care for them. Placement of people with disabilities in institutions also increases their vulnerability to violence. In these settings and elsewhere, people with communication impairments are hampered in their ability to disclose abusive experiences.

The effects can be summarized as-

  1. Increased crimes against disabled people.
  2. Alienation of these people from society.
  3. Non-realization of potential within.

 

  1. Structural violence – It impacts everyone but so more so to persons with disabilities because their ‘physical potential’ is construed for life and hence the gap between what the potential of an able-bodied person and a differently-abled person is widened. The more the gap, the more is the violence.
    It affects the disabled people in the following forms –
  • Social stigma and denigration- There is a perception that disability is a result of past bad karma. Although the perception is flawed and irrational but still leads to inequality, suppression for them.
  • STRESS AND SHAME- The biased social attitude, lack of support and alienation makes them helpless.
  • DISCRIMINATION-they are discriminated in every field viz. for jobs, work and as political candidates resulting in unemployment.
  • Unequal opportunities- lack of infrastructure and adequate facilities like braille enabled school, disability equipments, speciality hospitals etc. This reduces their access and availability to various services and in turn chances of growth in future.
  • Disabled insensitive Development – Lack of disable-friendly environment.

 For example, lack of ramps in hospitals, schools, stations, etc.; lack of automatic lifting in buildings and transportation makes their life tough.

EFFECTS OF THE STRUCTURAL VIOLENCE –

  • Non-realization of the potential within :- Because of the lack of opportunities and the discrimination faced in day to day life.
  • Alienation :- Associated stigmatization and lack of disable-friendly environment distance them from mainstream.
  • Marginalization :- Discrimination, lack of support and unemployment results in poverty.

 

EFFORTS FOR DISABLED PEOPLE –

However, welfare Governments & civil societies around the world are working for betterment of disabled. Some initiatives-

  • DEPwD – Separate department for empowerment of persons with disabilities, special budgetary allocation ex: announcement ₹833 cr in 2017-18 budget.
  • ADIP scheme – Monetary assistance to purchase/fitting of aids & appliances.
  • Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS) intend to address a whole range of services necessary for rehabilitation of persons with disabilities including early intervention, development of daily living skills, education, skill-development oriented towards employability, training and awareness generation.
  • Statutory provisions – Social-security ,health , rehabilitation & recreation laws/schemes such as “rights of persons with disability act 2016”, Sugamya bharat abhiyan, 2015 etc.
  • Rechristening “disabled” with “differently abled” or DIVYANG has ended the connotation of discrimination or shame.
  • Apart from India’s initiative to uplift the disable theUnited Nation Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) provides a framework for countries to follow the standards that needs to be adopted for their welfare.
  • Marrakesh treaty – Its for the blind and visually impaired persons.

 

WAY FORWARD –

Mainstreaming the differently abled and Bridging the potential gap between able-bodied and disabled is necessary to prevent disabled people from falling prey to the structural violence .

To address this problem-

1) Empowerment – Education and skill development and availability of suitable jobs  are powerful empowerment tool that can help them use their abilities in a constructive manner. For example- persons with hearing-impairment are more suitable for working in manufacturing industries as well as meticulous jobs where distractions should not be there.

2) Disability-sensitive development- The use of technology and disable friendly models in buildings and other infrastructure should be made imperative so as to make them more independent.

3) Access to basic needs -The disability kits and other medical services should be made more accessible and easily available.

4) Social and Behavioral Changes- Efforts in full vigor should be made to de-stigmatize the society about them and making them more confident of themselves with awareness programs.


General Studies – 3


Topic:  Prevention of money laundering

7) “The Indian tax system—rates, laws and enforcement—remains one of the principal sources of black-money generation.” Critically comment. (200 Words)

Livemint

Black money (BM) is generated at the rate of 1/4th of our country’s GDP. This leads to mis-representation of country’s economy, negative impact on fiscal and monetary system, high GINI coefficient, and thus restricting tapping of economy’s full potential (leading to one of lowest Tax/GDP ratio). It is argued that the complexity and loopholes in the Indian tax system is one of the principal sources of black money.

Tax system as source of black money generation –

  1. Tax rates –

Excessive taxation – India continues to be one of most heavily taxed country in the world.  If all direct and indirect levies are taken into account, which is eating into citizen’s share and this coupled with being ‘economy of shortages’ – high inflation; motivates tax-evasion.

Complexity – Multiple rates, cascading effect, differential taxation , complex accounting and exemptions discourage small vendors from paying taxes.

Inappropriate taxation – agricultural income out of the tax net – source of black money.

  1. Laws –

Complexity –  Complex laws hinder administrative efficiency to check evasion.

Worsens the country’s economic fragmentation and leads to more companies establishing base outside India Eg-> Flipkart;

Also, innumerable tax-exemption net provides an opportunity for round-tripping of money and conversion of black money into white;

Different rate of excise duty within similar products, Price control policy of govt. in selecting commodities,
 Import quota , export quota, foreign exchange quota are generally misused by selling them at a premium.

Uncertainty – Pushing forward for GAAR, GST implementation debacle, additional undue cess (KKC, SBC), non-clarity in treatment of STT-Capital gains taxation with respect to ‘alternative instruments’, and undesirable retrospective tax demands.

 DTAA – with tax havens lead to BM being stashed abroad

Litigations – poor judicial capacity in such matters, subject specialization and complex laws.

  1. Implementation –

Poor execution – As per economists/technical experts, several prosecution provisions in the income tax, central excise and customs laws are virtually defunct, and favorism occurs which leads to low number of major offenders (high tax evasors) and more conviction among small-time offenders.
Counter argument –

Tax rate reduction – The recent steps taken by the government in the Budget to reduce income tax rate for the low income groups is a welcome step, which would encourage the low income groups to declare their tax voluntarily. This would help increase the tax base of the country. 

Uniformity and simplification – through GST implementation.

IT return procedures Streamlined – Single-page tax form, online return filing, decrease in time for completion of scrutiny assessments to 12 months till 2019.

Reformatory measures – Boost for 96% of India’s companies (MSME) with reduction of tax rates from 30% to 25%, extension of MAT credit to 15 years would lead to increase in tax compliance (Lowering the costs of formalization a bit). The government’s decision to omit Section 197 (c) of the Finance Act 2016 that empowered tax authorities to reopen assessments going back to the Stone Age.

WAY FORWARD-

Thus, despite various measures and amendments by the Govt. the Indian tax-system remains source of the black money. It requires comprehensive and multipronged strategy to curb the menace. India’s large number of people are still employed in unorganized sector and majority of the transactions are done using cash without any bill and making it easier to generate unaccounted money in the process .So, simplifying the Indirect Tax regime and government’s active promotions of “cashless transactions” after demonetization is also seen as a mechanism to reduce Black money generation.

Also, very small proportion of black money (~ 6%) is in cash. Most black money is in the form of precious metals and other assets in foreign accounts. Thus overhaul in the tax system especially monitoring the investments in and out of the country is much needed.