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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 03 March 2017


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 03 March 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.

STATIC Syllabus Timetable


General Studies – 1;


Topic: Political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society

1) What’s Alt-Right movement? Critically comment on its views and its impact on the US polity and society. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction:-

  • The alt-right — short for “alternative right” — is a movement that bucks mainstream conservatism. It is a loose movement, mostly online, that includes people who are dedicated to “white identity,” but because there is no formal structure, there are a lot of different types of people and ideas within the group.
  • Thealt-right, or alternative right, is a loose group of people with far-right ideologies who reject mainstream conservatism in the United States. White supremacist Richard Spencer coined the term in 2010 to define a movement centered on white nationalism, and has been accused of doing so to whitewash overt racismwhite supremacism, and neo-Nazism.
  • Thealt-right includes white nationalists, but it also includes those who believe in libertarianism, men’s rights, cultural conservatism and populism. Nonetheless, its origins can be traced to various American white nationalist movements that have endured for decades.

The views of Alt Rights includes:-

  • The conservative approach in many aspects of polity and society.
  • Anti immigrant policies going to extend of breaking and making walls against globalsiation.
  • America for Americans: The alt right movement find its origin from this rhetoric and thus find its reverberation all through the society.

Positive impact of Alt Right ideology:
a) It displays the feeling of proud and devotion towards ones culture.
b) It emphasizes on preserving the culture and emphasizing its superiority.
c) Democracy needs differing views, hence, it gives an option for the US public to select what suits the best for them.

 d) The movement also complains about ills like radicalism and terrorism spreading to their country and the need for being protective.

Negative impact of the ideology:
a) Its an extremist ideology. It often tends the followers to go against the other race like what followed in Germany due to Nazi Party.
b) This ideology has divided the public into polarization. Since its an extreme ideology the other ideologies and socially the central one take a back seat.                                                                                     

c) If any of the extreme side comes to power (Alt-Left or Alt-Right), the pillars of democracy (JUDICIARY, Legislature) in US has a tendency to become biased.
d) Isolationist policies can fuel every other country to adopt the same and globalization may suffer.

Conclusion:-

A society and polity thrives with ideological differences. But extreme of any ideology can lead to wars. Everyone has the right to opine, but without considering the other being inferior. Democracy is held on the bedrock of different ideologies, and for that to remains intact, everyone should respect different ideologies.


General Studies – 2


Topic: Pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity; Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability

2) It is argued that political funding is the nodal centre of unaccounted and illicit money transfers, and is the primary cause of corruption of the body politic. Do you agree? Discuss short term and long term solutions to address this problem. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction:-

Indian body politic is plagued by the corruption problem. Political funding is one of the key node of unaccounted black money generation and utilization. This is because of following reasons –

  • Political funding is being seen as an area of dumping the unaccounted money with some possible future gains if the funded party comes to power subsequently. The vested interest involved in it in a way result into corruption.
  • The identity in political funding is hidden hence it becomes a favorable destination for hawala route, black money and tax evasions etc
  • Various legal provisions:-Sec 13 A of IT Act provides exemptions to Political Parties due to which there accounts are outside scrutiny.
    Sec 29 of RPA Act and recent Budget caps minimum Rs 2000 contributions through unaccounted means however there is no cap on the number of voluntary donations. 69% donations have been coming through this route which was earlier Rs 20,000
  • The criminalization of politics have also promoted the corruption problem to grow in the country. It is mostly practiced by Government officials and politicians who lead to the accumulation of black money which in turn spoils the moral of the people.CBI has registered over 1,450 cases of alleged corruption during the years 2010, 2011 and 2012 (till March 31, 2012), it has registered 1,451 cases under the prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
  • The very process of election has become corrupt in India. the proceeds of corruption worms its way into funding election campaigns. So much so, that the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution, 2001 noted that “electoral compulsions for funds become the foundation of the whole superstructure of corruption”.

SHORT TERM MEASURES:-

  • Capping of the amount spent per election per candidate and strictly adhering to the limits with punitive measures for its violations and vigilant watch by Election commission
  • Promoting the digital donations, online discloser of names of doners and accounts of political party.
  • Effective law formulation to check the chrony capitalism.
  • Keeping a watch and constantly derecognizing the fake political parties who collect the donations with help of loopholes in existing laws, rules.
  • Increasing public awareness and corruption literacy measures in them to help them to act as a watchdogs.

LONG TERM SOLUTIONS:-

  • State funding of elections as suggested by A P Shah commission report
  • Bringing political parties under the RTI act
  • Aiming at 100% digital transactions by political party in funding, donations etc
  • Simultaneous holding of elections if feasible in order to reduce the possible amount of money spent in election.
  • Formulating a law to regulate the lobbying done in foreign and corporate contribution in politics.
  • Encouraging the internal party democracy by strengthening the rules and regulations regarding political funding.
  • More teeth to ECI in intiating and punishing electoral offence(mainly money power) complimented by stringent implementation of MCC and RPI act ex EC wants to insert section 53B in MCC to deal with money power in elections along with muscle power.
  • Breaking the pattern of patronage system of funding- elected MLA try to seek ministerial portfolio and thus try to lure the high command authority with various offers or incentives.

 


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

3) In your opinion, what’s the role of Universities? In the light of recent violent fights in college and university campuses, critically examine the threat faced by universities in India and role of civil society in addressing these threats. (200 Words)

The Hindu 

Universities are not only the places of education and skill development but also the institutions of nurturing critical understanding of society and centers for revolutionary consciousness. Universities are important for de-classing societies.

THE ROLE PLAYED –

They develop rational thinking , critical understanding of surroundings as well as scientific temper and values such as secularism, tolerance, democracy, etc. among students.

They are the places of independent thought, fearless expression and constructive debates and dialogues.

In Central and State-funded universities, a large number of students who take admission belong to the marginal sections of society and the middle-lower class. If they undergo the process of cultural understanding about the relationship between state and society, they can be effectively used for institutionalising an alternative polity of the working class in which the working class, peasantry and women along with SCs, STs and minorities play instrumental roles in the decision-making process.

But recently universities are seeing unprecedented rise in clashes in campus between students & diminishing productivity .

Universities are facing threats in following domains:

  1. Autonomy : Appointments of directors , principals and other higher posts are done by executive which involves political patronage and Favoritism.

Decisions regarding curriculum are also ideologically driven. Example- inclusion of Sanskrit.

  1. Politicization : Universities have become stage for entry into center stage politics using student politics as a base. Thus national parties impose their agenda on student unions.

External political interference is hampering the independent , neutral and tolerant thinking among students.

As a result, extremism is shadowing the democratic values.

  1. Declining academic Productivity : non-productive activities ,Protests hamper the productivity as these affect day to day education process.
  1. Curtailment of freedom of expression : Universities find themselves unable to nourish fundamental rights of freedom of expression, equality ,social justice,etc. because of interference from external agents and vested interests. Political Parties implement rules fulfilling their own agenda thus affecting independent thought process.

Civil society can play a significant role in addressing these challenges by –

NGOs –
1) Think Tanks to keep track on key discussion topics and add valuable inputs
2) Provide feedback to government on reforms and regulations to neutralize unrest 

Media –
1) Ensure valid and neutral transmission of information
2) Fight post truth and false information menace
3) try to address the problem by mobilizing opinion to favor reworking the rules of universities delineating autonomy and political neutrality.

Citizens-
1) Raising voice against indifference by executive 
2) promote healthy debate , Dispute resolution through active discussion
3) Citizen Forum with help of media to vent political anger and put forward viewpoints and Help inculcate moral & ethical values in society

4) Civil society can oversee elections of students of these university , which is the source of intense politicization.
5) Civil society can mobilize students to divert energy into developmental exercises of voluntary assistance.
CONCLUSION –

University-autonomy, political neutrality and external non-interference is essential for university of today’s to emulate the success of Nalanda and Taxila in comprehensive development of a student towards cognitive and societal needs. THUS, students will be transformed into responsible and informed citizens of our democracy.

 

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health

4) Examine various judgements delivered by the Supreme Court (SC) related to the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1971. Do you think there is a need to enact the draft Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill of 2014 into law? In the light of the SC judgements, justify. (200 Words)

The Hindu

 Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 provides for the –

  • eligibility criteria for legal MTP.
  • Circumstances and time ceiling for legal MTP (20 wks).
  • authorized institutes and professionals to carry out MTPs. 

S.C. JUDGEMENTS –

2015 – 14 year old rape victim from Gujarat received permission from S.C. to abort after the deadline of 20 weeks was passed. Her petition was treated as special case meaning could not be used as a precedent.

2016 – allowed a woman to undergo abortion in her 24 th week of pregnancy to prevent violation of her right to dignity and sexual and reproductive freedom.

Jan,2017 – relaxed the 20 week ceiling to permit a woman to terminate her 24 week pregnancy where foetus was diagnosed with anencephaly endangering mother’s life. 

Feb,2017 – now, S.C. declined the plea of 26 weeks pregnant woman to abort foetus with Down’s syndrome , calling a foetus life and it posed no danger to mother’s life. 

PROVISIONS AMENDED AND JUSTIFICATIONS –

  1. time ceiling raised from 20 wks to 24 wks.
  2. Inapplication of this limit in case of foetus diagnosed with substantial foetal abnormalities.

JUSTIFICATIONS –

  • With medical and diagnostic advances , many genetic abnormalities are diagnosed after 20 wks.
  • The second provision gives parents the choice – whether they can afford raising disabled child economically,emotionally or socially.
  • 20 wks limit was borrowed from western countries, which is not suitable for Indian women where diagnosis of pregnancy and registration for pre-natal care is often late. They are denied of choice of abortion despite valid grounds.
  1. provision of Independent decision by woman in consultation with RMP –

JUSTIFICATIONS –

  • MTP Act-1971 denied the abortion to rape victims after the ceiling of 20 wks, compelling them to move court. New provision will provide due chance to take proper decisions forsuch women.
  • PRO-CHOICE ARGUMENT – foetus is part of woman’s body and she should have full authority over decision regarding abortion.
  1. permitting AYUSH practitioners to perform MTP –

JUSTIFICATIONS –

  • Due to shortage of qualified doctors and staff , many a times abortions are carried out in unhyegenic and unsafe conditions. Hence to counter this, raising no. Of authorized personnel and train them is necessary. New bill broadens criteria for abortions, so new burden should be dealt with enhanced resources.

 

CONCLUSION –

New bill seeks to balance foetus’ right to life and mothers right of choice. It broadens ambit of her reproductive rights through abortion choices made available in case of disabled foetus. So, it should be enacted as soon as possible.

But, at the same time precautions should be taken that new law is not misused foe selection and social control.


General Studies – 3


Topic: Resource mobilisation; Infrastructure

5) It is argued that the Goods and Services Tax will be truly transformational when domains like real estate are brought in its ambit. Examine why. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

About GST

Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a proposed system of indirect taxation in India merging most of the existing taxes into single system of taxation. It was introduced as The Constitution (One Hundred and First Amendment) Act 2016. The GST is administered & governed by GST Council. GST would be a comprehensive indirect tax on manufacture, sale and consumption of goods and services throughout India, to replace taxes levied by the central and state governments. The GST is consumption based tax levied on the supply of Goods and Services which means it would be levied and collected at each stage of sale or purchase of goods or services.

GST shall subsume the following taxes in the times to come once the law is in force

March3

The proposed GST regime shall have the following features:

  • It shall be a destination based taxation
  • It shall have a Dual Administration – Centre and state
  • State wise determination of taxable person – no more centralized registration
  • Seamless credit amongst goods and services

Some items are still excluded from the ambit of GST like real estate and liquor for consumption.

For GST to be truly transformative real estate should be bought under it because:

  • Tackling with corruption: As mentioned in Real estate bill 2016, real estate in one of the big source of black money in the market. Coverage under GST will bring input credit of steel cement under tax net which escapes tax net due to largely informal transaction in business. Hoarding, unrecorded cash transactions during transfer and sale will be reduced as the seller will be encouraged to disclose correct transaction value to get input tax credit. True Value of the property will be reflected due to identification of various value adding stages for which input tax credit would be taken.
  • Land development: As builders will be provided tax credits, it will encourage them to start construction instead of land hoarding. True Value of the property will be reflected due to identification of various value adding stages for which input tax credit would be taken.
  • Increased tax base: To get input tax credit on construction material like steel, cement etc. its disclosure will be encouraged and hence they will also come under GST. More land under digital records will bring wealth tax to urban local bodies.
  • Formalization of land and property records: Poor land records has always been a problem in India. In order to get benefits from input tax credit builders will declare their property under legal system followed by its digital recording. Proper recording of land in digital manner will curb benami transactions, fraudulent sale of property etc.
  • Consumer protection: High housing prices is one of the main problems in Indian cities due to floating of housing value by existing parallel black market of real estate agencies. Over the period of time land records information and monitoring of real estate sector will bring down the housing prices for many people in middle class strata.
  • Urban planning: Land information will help in proper urban planning activities for local institutes. Land allocation and efficient usage for various urban needs will be possible due to bringing real estate industry in GST tax net.

Conclusion-

However there are some challenges in bringing real estate under GST, such as fear from some states regarding loss of revenue in the form of stamp duties, rise in the cost of real estate (especially affordable housing) etc. The vague provision in the constitution regarding sale and transfer of Land and property, which is not defined as “GOODs” is also a challenge.

The way forward is to build consensus among states by addressing their concerns and fears and to use the wider scope of GST definition which is the “sale of goods and services”, to bring real estate in GST. The time is to learn from global experiences like Australia, Singapore etc. which has bought real estate under.