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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 23 June 2017

 


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 23 June 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:  political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society

1) What do you understand by globalism and nationalism? It is said that today the dominant dichotomy has become globalism versus nationalism. Discuss. (200 Words)

The New York Times

Introduction-

Globalization implies the opening of local and nationalistic perspectives to a broader outlook of an interconnected and interdependent world with free transfer of capital, goods, and services across national frontier. It is the worldwide movement toward economic, financial, trade, and communications integration.

Globalization/Globalism-

  • Globalization is the only way to enhance the trade relations between any two countries. It is the medium to eliminate the global trade barriers.
  • Globalization is about the open communication not within the country but across the world. It is uniting the world into a single entity.
  • Globalization is not about the cultural imperialism but about the cultural exchange where the different ethnic groups from various companies try to know each other’s culture.
  • People can change their perception and habits. It is the impact of globalization. It doesn’t teach them to forgo their patriotism for the country.

Nationalism-

  • Nationalism is a multidimensional social construction reflected in the communal identification with one’s nation. It is a political ideology oriented towards gaining and maintaining self-governance, or full sovereignty, over a territory of historical significance to the group (such as its homeland).
  • Nationalism therefore holds that a nation should govern itself, free from unwanted outside interference, and is linked to the concept of self-determination. Nationalism is further oriented towards developing and maintaining a national identity based on shared characteristics such as culture, language, race, religion, political goals or a belief in a common ancestry.
  • Economic Nationalism gives birth to protectionism that is really harmful for the overall global economy. And if globally economy declines, it will even have the same impact on our country.

Globalism Vs Nationalism-

  • Globalization is said to destroying the culture and heritage of a number of countries and the ethnic groups surviving in it.
  • The greatest negative impact of globalization is seen on the national language. The people who communicate in regional languages are thought to be backward and illiterate.
  • Western world is clearly dominating the entire world. It is killing the nationalism under the shadow of globalization.
  • Cultural Imperialism is the drawback arising from the globalization that in a way forces the developing or under-developed countries to follow the ideas and use the products set by the West.
  • Globalization leads to a higher percentage if immigration that can have a negative impact on the social structure of the country.

Globalization and Nationalism are said to be the two different parts of the same coin. In a way, both are connected with each other, and still are very different from each other. In the changing world, where world is shrinking with the use of latest technology, people are finding it tough to stay in touch with their own sense of nationalism.

In current context the globalization versus nationalism has become an important dichotomy and issue of controversies. The issues have mainly become a crucial discourse in developed countries through a political channel. If we see at deeper level, we can find out that:

  • The new nationalists seek to reassert control over their own countries. Their targets are global structures such as the European Union, the World Trade Organization (WTO), NATO, the United Nations and the North American Free Trade Agreement. However, the new nationalists posit no credible plans for replacing the institutions of globalization they seek to tear down.
  • The globalists have underestimated the collateral damage globalization has inflicted upon workers. They placed too much weight on the strategic advantages of trade and dismissed too readily the value that many ordinary citizens still attach to national borders and cultural cohesion.
  • Intense backlash against immigration (and globalism) is cultural, not fundamentally economic. The voters for Brexit and for Trump were bothered less by competition from immigrants than by their perceived effect on the country’s linguistic, religious and cultural norms. This is perhaps the most troubling aspect of this new nationalism.

The great question for the world  may be this: How do we reap the gains of global cooperation in trade, culture, education, human rights, and environmental protection while respecting—rather than diluting or crushing—the world’s many local, national, and other parochial identities, each with its own traditions and moral order? In what kind of world can globalists and nationalists live together in peace is the solution that we need to find out.

 


General Studies – 2


Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes;

2) “..farm loan waiver undermines an honest credit culture, it impacts credit discipline, it blunts incentives for future borrowers to repay, in other words, waivers engender moral hazard.” Do you agree critically comment. (200 Words)

Livemint

Context-

The UP government’s waiver of farmer loans, dramatic protests by Tamil Nadu farmers in Delhi and a warning from the RBI Governor against loan waivers — have once again brought farm loan write-offs under public glare.

What is farm credit?

Farm credit, as defined by the Reserve Bank of India, includes short term, medium term and long term credits to farmers. Short term credit, as the name itself suggests are loans by farmers for a period of 6 months or at best one year to help them raise money before and after the harvest. The banks distribute loans to farmers for a variety of activities such as purchasing fertilisers, harvesting, spraying, grading and transporting their produce to the nearest market. These farmers could be into traditional forms of farming, which means crops such as sugarcane, pulses and various plantations like tea, coffee and horticulture. For other activities such as irrigation, development of farms and purchase of equipment, the lenders provide loans for a longer period of time.

Points in support of farm loan waiving

  • Agriculture in India has been facing many issues — fragmented land holding, depleting water table levels, deteriorating soil quality, rising input costs, low productivity. Add to these vagaries of the monsoon. Output prices may not be remunerative. Farmers are often forced to borrow to manage expenses. Also, many small farmers not eligible for bank credit borrow at exorbitant interest rates from private sources.
  • When nature rides roughshod over debt-ridden farmers in the form of erratic monsoon and crop failures, they face grim options. Indebtedness is a key reason for the many farmer suicides in the country. Loan waivers provide some relief to farmers in such situations for sure.
  • As much as 67 per cent of India’s farmland is held by marginal farmers, with holdings below one hectare, against less than one per cent in large holdings of 10 hectares and above, the latest agriculture census shows. The average size of the holding has been estimated as 1.15 hectare. There is a steady declining trend as the size of these holdings denotes various agriculture censuses since 1970-71.
  • Waiving the farm loan supports the food security indirectly. As India is agriculture based economy, Majority of the workforce is still dependent on the primary sector for their livelihood.

As in current context the farm loan waiving has become politically motivated activity, there are many concern linked with the very idea of loan waiving in Agriculture sector.

  • The main challenge is the identification of the needy farmers. It has been found that the benefits of the scheme has not been reached to most needy section , while the rich farmers has taken the ill advantage of the waiver schemes by government over the period.
  • Loan waiver has not helped the farmers as it has become moreover a temporary solution. It is a relief only for one season with the farmers going back to grind in the next.
  • Undermining the honest credit: The banks apprehend that such waivers might see a spurt in their non-performing assets as even those, who have been making regular repayments, would stop paying their dues, hoping for another waiver.
  • There is a financial fall-out as well. The waiver is to be funded by the State Government, without a direct central aid. The loan waiver will increase the debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio for states that threatens the financial viability of state economics.
  • Loan waivers are both “bad politics” and “bad economics”. Indebtedness is the most acute problem faced by small and marginal farmers. However, their borrowings are primarily from moneylenders and hence a loan waiver is not going to make any sense for them. It is the richer farmers who are the real beneficiaries of such populist policies.
  • Specific problem of small and marginal farmers: The problems faced by small farmers are complex and require a ruthless political will to address them. Their landholdings are below the economically viable threshold – the result is the cyclical appearance of bad loans and poor rainfall. Loan waivers have little to do with ending the conditions that lead to such problems.
  • A moral hazard: Loan waiver schemes vitiate the credit culture and make it tougher for banks to continue lending to these segments. They create moral hazards in the financial system by rewarding those farmers who default on their loans, offering nothing to those who pay.

The farmers need support and the society has to evolve a sustainable method. It should keep prices and wages in check and also spur economic growth. Benevolent farm policy is accepted as the best way to spur demand and industrial growth.

 


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

3) Do you think the F-16 deal between India and the US would be a game changer for India? Critically comment. (200 Words)

Livemint

Details on F 16 Falcon fighter:

  • The United States Air Force (USAF), some of its NATO partners, and Pakistan, a major non-NATO ally, are the primary operators of General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon. With the evolution of sales under Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contracts, many other air forces have also acquired F-16s. Most nations that have bought F-16s continue to use them as now.
  • The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon is a single-engine supersonic multirole fighter aircraft originally developed by General Dynamics (now Lockheed Martin) for the United States Air Force (USAF). Designed as an air superiority day fighter, it evolved into a successful all-weather multirole aircraft. Over 4,500 aircraft have been built since production was approved in 1976.
  • The Fighting Falcon’s key features include a frameless bubble canopy for better visibility, side-mounted control stick to ease control while maneuvering, a seat reclined 30 degrees to reduce the effect of g-forces on the pilot, and the first use of a relaxed static stability/fly-by-wire flight control system which helps to make it a nimble aircraft. The F-16 has an internal M61 Vulcan cannon and 11 locations for mounting weapons and other mission equipment.

Details on F 16 deal:

  • The deal between Tata Advanced Systems Ltd and US aircraft major Lockheed Martin for the manufacture of the F-16 fighter jet is not a firm agreement to manufacture the F-16 in India, but only a letter of intent to assemble the plane in India if and when the Indian Air Force (IAF) chooses that platform.
  • 40% of F-16 is Lockheed technology and 60% is proprietary technology owned by many sub system spread across the globe, which implies 60% of F-16 technology will be unavailable to India unless its signs deals with each of the hundreds and possibly thousands of sub-component manufacturers, some of whom are based in countries like Turkey that are less than enthusiastic about India.
  • The core crystal blade technology of General Electric, a US based company is off limits to even the closest US allies and is impossible to India.
  • This technology comes under International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) which restricts the technology of US crown jewels to other countries.
  • F-16s, developed in the ’70s have already reached the optimum level of modernization.

Silent features of this deal:

  • The beneficial part of the deal is the addition of effective fighter jet to our aircraft inventory and the creation of employment opportunities.
  • Though India may not have ‘technology transfer’ through the deal, it would establish strong platform for the participation of the private sector for the defence manufacturing in near future.
  • The deal is endeavor to diversify India’s military import and reduce the over-dependence on the Russian import.

Concerns over the deal:

  • India is already operating more advance fighters like – MIG -29, Sukhoi MKI-30, Mirage 2000(Upgraded), even Tejas is 4th generation. Diversifying technology makes absorption tougher and maintenance costlier.
  • F-16 being owned by global manufactures, hence, Indian competitors may also gain access to it anytime. Therefore, India does not gain any strategic advantage with this deal
  • It’s unclear at this stage if the US government is willing to part with crucial technology – a key Indian demand. Since the Pakistan also flies the F-16, it’s unclear whether India would exercise control on future orders.
  • F-16s will become more obsolete by the time the first India-made ones roll out.
  • The concerns have also been raised over the capabilities of India to absorb the technology that the deal will provide. Being an anti-monopoly product it may not be considered as a game changer for India. Moreover there will always be an issue about the diplomatic cost the country may need to pay after bilateral military deals.
  • One of the arguments given for the support of F-16 is that purchasing the plane will mean India can effectively cripple the Pakistani F-16 fleet by controlling the supply of spare parts. The F-16 block 70 being sold to India is a vastly different beast from the F-16 block 50 sold to Pakistan. This means that the supplier chain India will get will be different from the supplier chain that Pakistan has access to. Indeed, the globalized supplier and manufacturer chain means that Pakistan’s tap can never be turned off.

Conclusion-

Although it is welcome change as private partners are increasing participating in the defence deal, the deal would be truly advantageous only when India receives critical technology from the foreign players. Thus government needs to ensure that India does not end up setting just assembly plant in India but gets true impetus to the Make-in-India program.