SECURE SYNOPSIS : 03 July 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: Salient features of Indian society; Poverty and developmental issues
The real India live in villages this saying is true today. As more than the half (69%) of the population of the country lives in villages. Rural development is an important factor for the development of our economy. The important motivating factor for the development of the economy in today’s time is education.
Role being played by education in empowering rural society-
- Spread of education particularly higher education in rural areas, has opened the vast sea of new professional opportunities to the rural young. Education has helped them to occupy better positions not only in the government services but also in the corporate world.
- Education is bringing new and modern ideas of development to the rural areas. More and more women are scaling the ladders of higher education and exploring the new careers.
- Education is providing fantastic entrepreneurial opportunity to the bright minds from rural areas in areas like agro-industries, food processing industries etc. Government is helping them through schemes like MUDRA, Stand-up India, Skill India etc.
- In contemporary India, villages are playing an important role as segments of the national economy by producing agrarian, industrial and other goods, for national as well as international markets. But ultimately, it is the international price movement of different goods which regulates the required quantity of the commodities and their price. However our education in rural areas has failed to provide such insights to people. There is no focus on making farmers and peasants aware of the intricacies of the international market, new research that is being taking place in agriculture, best agricultural practices around the world etc.
- As such, it is quintessential to have an accurate understanding of the intricate structure of global economy and for that the rural masses need to be educated.
- The education is bringing better understanding of politics in rural India. People are being aware about their voting rights, political rights etc. Rural activists are increasingly using Right to Information act to secure rights of the people.
- Participation of women at local governments has increased significantly. Although low in proportion, education is bringing dimension of accountability to politics and administration.
- However the education is yet to break the caste loyalties and religious fanatism in rural areas. Caste politics is predominantly rules the political landscape of the rural hinterlands.
- Due to the existence of the Panchayati Raj, various political parties and universal adult franchise in the political system of rural India, it is important for rural people to have adequate education so that they can better understand the programs and principles of the ruling bodies and elect worthy representatives. In the modern times, members of the rural public also participate actively in the elections of panchayat and political parties. To work as a competent member of any political association, it is necessary for any individual to possess certain qualifications.
- Education is bringing plethora of social changes in rural areas. The historical relationship between caste and profession is tearing up and social status of historically marginalized classes is increasing.
- Educated women are no more looked down upon as earlier and they have occupied key positions in the public affairs. They are being accepted as the head member of the family in many key government welfare programs and schemes.
- There is increasing awareness about social rights and social discrimination is being fought with the help of legal machinery in the rural areas.
- Though the constitutional notion of equality is yet to achieve, education is acting as great tool to achieve it.
- The Indian Constitution provides for several rights and principles of citizens, of which the right to education is a major aspect. To understand the significance and functioning of these rights, modern education is a must.
- It is being argued that there is increasing cultural divide between Rural and Urban areas with the later adopting the modern practices and technologies faster. Even education is bereft of the new developments taking place outside. Though it is true that the spread of digitalization is slow in rural areas, it is not completely absent. However education is bridging the divide between the two wherever there is availability of better facilities.
- Today’s culture is advancing fast, with the introduction and availability of different kinds of modern gadgets, both in the urban and rural sectors of India. To handle and utilize the benefits of these advanced gadgets, education is a prerequisite. For example, a rural farmer who has access to modern agricultural tools like fertilizers, tractors, threshers and harvesters must be educated enough to understand the advantages of those tools. The progress of culture also necessitates liberty of individuals and social co-ordination. Education can affect the intellectual life of people.
Education is the most important instrument for bringing socio-economic, cultural and political changes in rural areas. Government has taken many steps to increase the spread and quality of education in rural areas. Programs like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Mid-day Meal, Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao etc are being implemented to increase the reach of the education. Though there are discrepancies in their implementation and expected output has not achieved, education holds the key for real transformation of rural India.
General Studies – 2
Topic: Poverty and hunger;
2) Write a brief note on the MPI (Multidimensional Poverty Index). Critically examine how will future climate change affect the poor and how does one address both poverty and climate change. (200 Words)
Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI)-
- The Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) was developed in 2010 by the Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative(OPHI) and the United Nations Development Programme and uses different factors to determine poverty beyond income-based lists. It replaced the previous Human Poverty Index. The global MPI is released annually by OPHI.
- In particular, the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) captures the multiple deprivations that each poor person faces at the same time with respect to education, health and living standards. The MPI reflects both the incidence of multidimensional poverty (the proportion of people in a population who are multidimensionally poor), and its intensity (the average percentage of deprivations each poor person experiences at the same time).
- It can be used to create a comprehensive picture of people living in poverty, and permits comparisons across countries and regions and the world, and within countries by ethnic group, urban/rural location, as well as other key household and community characteristics.
- The Global MPI implemented on measure of the Alkire and Foster methodology to present the first global measure of its kind. It offers a valuable complement to traditional income-based poverty measures such as $1.90/day.
- The MPI identifies overlapping deprivations at the household level across the same three dimensions as the Human Development Index (living standards, health, and education). It shows the incidence of poor people in a population and the intensity of deprivations with which poor households contend.
Why is MPI better than the Human Poverty Index (HPI) previously used in the Human Development Report?
The MPI replaced the HPI, which appeared in the HDR from 1997-2009. Pioneering in its day, the HPI used country averages to reflect aggregate deprivations in health, education, and standards of living. It could not identify which specific individuals, households or larger groups of people were poor. The Global MPI addresses this shortcoming by identifying each person as poor-or non-poor based on how many deprivations they face, then aggregates this information into an overall set of intuitive statistics such as the percentage of people who are MPI poor. The MPI can be broken down by indicator to show how the composition of multidimensional poverty differs across regions, ethnic groups and so on—with useful implications for policy.
How future Climate change will affect the poor?
- Unpredictable weather-
Climate change has been linked to increased frequency and intensity of destructive weather events, such as floods and hurricanes. But the effects of a warming planet on crops may pose an even greater danger, especially for the world’s poor, according to the World Bank.
- Impact on agriculture-
Agriculture is one of the most important economic sectors in many developing countries like and India where more than half of population is dependent on agriculture for their income and unfortunately it is also one of the most sensitive to climate change given its dependence on weather conditions, both directly and through climate-dependent stressors (pests, epidemics, and sea level rise).
- Increase in Out-of-Pocket expenditure-
Poor people already spend more income on food and health than other classes. Climate change along with rising prices of food, will also increase the diseases that could drive the households into the poverty again.
- Unpredictable weather-
Climate change is leading to the frequent droughts and floods, famines and other disaster hazards. Such natural phenomenon’s have more adverse impact on the poor people as their livelihood gets affected easily.
- Water scarcity-
With climate change, availability of fresh water will reduce dramatically along areas with large coastal populations, especially those that are less economically stable, like some regions of South Asia, Latin America etc. Approximately 22 million people faced water scarcity at the end of the twentieth century, and according to projections configured by the IPCC, the number of people likely to endure issues in water sanitation by 2050 is 79 to 178 million.
- More strain on poor for mitigation strategies-
High levels of poverty and low levels of human development limit capacity of poor households to manage climate risks. With limited access to formal insurance, low incomes, and meager assets, poor households has to cope with climate-related shocks under highly constrained conditions.
Climate change hits the poorest people the hardest, those living in vulnerable areas with the fewest resources to help them adapt or recover quickly from shocks. As the effects of climate change worsen, escaping poverty becomes more difficult.
- Climate change a threat to poverty reduction-
Climate change also hampers the efforts and initiatives to reduce the poverty. It has been observed that climate change is pushing people who have just came out of poverty.
A 25-year survey of households in India’s Andhra Pradesh found that 14 percent of households were able to escape poverty while 12 percent of households became impoverished; of those who slid into poverty, 44 percent cited weather events as a cause.
How should address the both poverty and climate change?
- Climate policies-
- Climate policies benefit the poor over the long-term and can benefit the poor in the short-term when accompanied by appropriate social policies.
- Climate policies designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions can increase the cost of energy, but they can also generate or free up public finances to help the poor in more targeted ways.
- Carbon pricing, for example, puts a price on carbon to help lower emissions and can create a revenue stream from polluters that can be used to help the poor offset any rise in fuel or energy prices. When British Columbia created its carbon tax, it used the revenue to lower income and business taxes and to create a low-income climate action tax credit that provides quarterly support to the poor to help with energy costs.
- Adaptation programmes ought to be designed so that challenges faced by people living in poverty are recognised and reduced.
- If we learn for example that a district with severe nutritional deficiency might anticipate extended periods of drought from climate change, then the focus ought to be on improving local food access and to combine this with managing water efficiently to prepare for future water shortages.
- Similarly, proposed improvements in sanitation and housing ought to factor in the increased likelihood of future flooding events in low-lying areas and use appropriate design strategies that are resilient to water-logging.
- Phasing out subsidies for rich-
- Phasing out fossil fuel subsidies can also help lower emissions and free up government spending for more targeted support for the poor. The world spent almost $550 billion on direct subsidies for the consumption of fossil fuels in 2013, with the greatest benefit going to the wealthy who typically use more fuel.
- Through other programs, government support can be more precisely directed to reach the people who need it.
- Creating strong, flexible social safety nets can catch the poor before they fall into poverty.
- One clear message from the research across climate change and poverty is that reducing the impact of climate change on poverty requires strengthening the social protection system to make programs scalable and targeted to those in need.
- An effective social protection system is one flexible enough to be scaled up quickly in times of crisis. One study in East Africa found that the cost of a drought to households increases from $0 to $50 per household if support is delayed by four months after harvest and to $1,300 if support is delayed by six months or more due to the impact on children and distress sales of livestock and other property.
- Beyond emergency support, effective social protection systems help increase access to basic services for the poor, to health care, and to financial services such as loans to help rebuild or build businesses.
As the impacts of climate change worsen, it will become harder to eliminate poverty. That leaves a narrow window for ending extreme poverty and putting in place the safety nets that can keep poverty at bay while countries also work to lower their emissions toward net zero. The work underway right now, with a goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030, can help governments lead the way on combating climate change while also working to improve the lives and futures of the least well-off in their countries.
Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
China is attempting to build a motorable road in an area claimed by Bhutan. Chinese attempt has resulted in a face-off between the forces of the two countries. India and China have beefed up deployment of forces at the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction as part of the ongoing stand-off between the armies of the three countries.
India’s Defence Minister said that after having been pushed back by the Chinese soldiers, the Bhutan Army sought help from its Indian counterpart. India is in a security arrangement with Bhutan to provide protection to its borders. The Indian Army entered the area to honour the bilateral arrangement.
Doko La plateau is strategically significant. It overlooks the Chumbi valley which has two important passes – Nathu La and Jelep La – to connect India and China. The plateau is contested by both Bhutan and China. Doko La plateau makes survey of Indian territory up to the Siliguri corridor easy. This also brings the security of Sikkim under threat.
How should India resolve the boundary dispute with China at Doka La tri-junction?
- Unlike Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim is not a disputed territory as both countries agree on the delineation of boundary which is based on a 1890’s treaty between Quing Empire and Britain. Thus these issues have to be addressed through sustained dialogue and negotiations.
- India should make Bhutan an integral part of the negotiations and at the same time ensuring the China does not pressurize the small Himalayan kingdom on the terms of dialogue.
- In the immediate term, however, talks must focus on defusing the tensions at the tri-junction. China has made the withdrawal of Indian troops a precondition for dialogue. This would be unacceptable to India. Thus both the countries must withdraw its troops and road-building teams by China.
- Apart from its own commitments to the status-quo, New Delhi must convey Beijing that the later recognize the special relationship of India and Bhutan that have shared since 1947 and the friendship treaty of 2007 that commits India to protecting Bhutan’s interests, and the close coordination between the two militaries.
- For its part, India would be keen to show that it recognizes that the face-off is in Bhutanese territory, and the rules of engagement could be different from those of previous India-China bilateral clashes — at Depsang and Demchok in the western sector, for example.
Bhutan’s sovereignty must be maintained as that is the basis for the “exemplary” ties between New Delhi and Thimphu. The Indian government has been wise to avoid escalation in the face of China’s aggressive barrage, but that should not stop it from communicating its position in more discreet ways.
Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
4) It is said that the Prime Minister of India’s visit to Israel should build on the partnership between the two countries in water management. Examine what lessons should India learn from Israel in water management. (200 Words)
India’s annual per capita availability of water is less than 1,500 cubic meters (cum) and that scenario is likely to worsen. Currently, about 78 per cent of fresh water in India is used for agriculture. But Israel has per capita water availability of less than 200 cum. It is an extremely water scarce region. Yet, the country exports high-value agri-produce to Europe and many other parts of the world. If India has to learn about augmenting water supplies and using water efficiently, there is nothing better than learning from Israel’s experience.
Israel is known as the land of innovations in water management, be it drip irrigation, recycling of urban wastewater for use in agriculture or desalinization of seawater for drinking purposes.
Lessons for India from Israel in water management-
Water price reforms-
- India has about nine million hectares under micro-irrigation. However it is small compared to the overall need of micro-irrigation. India can scale this up several times. But it needs to do so quickly. Israel can offer lessons to India in this respect. Any scaling up of technologies needs the right policy environment. Water is not a free good. It needs to be priced to reflect its scarcity.
- As per Israel’s water law, all water in the country is common property resource. The government does accounting for every drop of water, ensuring good water governance. As a result, in 2013, of the total water available in Israel almost 16 per cent came from desalinating seawater and another 22 percent came from recycling wastewater.
Recycling of water and use of technologies-
- Interestingly, almost 62 per cent of the irrigation water used in Israel comes from recycled and brackish water, thus saving potable water for domestic use. Such recycling endeavours of course with proper treatment that make wastewater safe, has relevance in India.
- India does have the technology for this purpose. In fact, the municipality-owned sewage treatment plants in Surat and Nagpur supply treated wastewater to textile factories and thermal power stations, respectively.
- Desalination technology can benefit India which has a long coastline of about 7,500 km. The Nemmeli desalination plant in Tamil Nadu, a source of potable water for people in Chennai, and the Jamnagar desalination plant in Gujarat are some of the joint Indo-Israeli initiatives in desalinating sea waters.
- Adoption of desalination technologies is at a nascent stage in India, owing to the high capital cost involved. The key issue for India is who bears the cost of such technologies — the government and/or the beneficiaries? This is an issue of public policy that needs to be sorted out.
Cleaning of rivers-
- Another area of potential cooperation is cleaning polluted rivers. As per government reports, between 2009 and 2015, the number of polluted rivers and river stretches in India has almost doubled. Almost 63 per cent of the total sewage generated in the country is discharged into water bodies without any treatment resulting in acute river pollution.
- Recently, the Delhi Government has roped in the Israeli firm, Ayala Water and Ecology Limited, to clean up an eight km stretch of the Yamuna. Depending upon the success of this venture, the country can scale up the role of Israeli firms in cleaning up other rivers.
An integrated approach to solving India’s emerging water crisis, involving government to government, governance to business and business to business interactions between Indians and Israeli agencies has much to offer not only to the two countries but also to several countries in Africa which are starved of water.
General Studies – 3
Topic: Government Budgeting
5) In the light of GST being hailed as a reformatory step, it’s also demanded that India’s budget process be reformed too. In your opinion, how the budget can be updated for a post-GST India? Discuss. (200 Words)
Introduction :- The goods and services tax (GST) is finally being implemented, so perhaps now is the time to reflect on how the budget can be updated for a post-GST India. Just as the GST aims to create national uniformity in taxation, rethinking budgets can also push efficiency.
- A bold step the government can take is doing away with narrow ministerial distinctions when schemes or programmes have intersecting stakeholders and benefits.
- Instead of top-down, government spending could be rethought bottom-up.
- One could even allow ministries to compete for budgetary support if the ultimate service or benefit is similar or the same.
- Restructuring of budget is also required in the light that, the finance ministry told that it has gradually abolished various cesses on goods and services in the last three Budgets, and 13 more through the Taxation Laws Amendment Act 2017, in the run up to the July 1 roll out of GST.
- Allocating budget for a particular project in general, would simplify the multidimensional on ground work that a project requires. For example the project to get rid of kerosene as a domestic agent, requires Environmental Ministry’s evaluation, Power Ministry’s infrastructure, Petroleum Ministry’s LPG sources and more. Hence, every policy can be implemented step wise. Implementation steps can be better realised because one ministers funds and operation would effect all other ministries’ operation, adding pressure of responsibility and efficiency.
But, there are some bad outcomes too. Combining ministerial budget, is essentially promoting dictatorship of the cabinet. The ministries will have no freedom to form their own policies. They will have no fund at their disposal to moot innovative ideas and act on them.
Conclusion :- With such historic reformative steps of GST other things aligned to it must also be reformed in order to get benefitted from it in a broad manner. Also reforming aligned process and things will make the GST a long lasting solid reform.
Topic: Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth
6) Three of India’s most prominent challenges are: a crisis in the agricultural/rural economy, a need for much faster and more widespread generation of jobs and livelihoods, and rapid degradation of the environment. Do you think more localisation and empowerment of local bodies would address these challenges effectively? Discuss. (200 Words)
Introduction :- India is facing many challenges, as are countries all around the world. India has always followed a top down approach to planning and implementation of policies since independence which has not yielded any significant result so now emphasis is being put on local bodies to solve the problems at their roots.
The three above mentioned problems can be looked in holistic way as follows :
- Crisis in the agricultural/rural economy :-
- Cries for attention to the rural/agricultural crisis are becoming louder, with suicides of farmers in many parts of the country. It was thought that this was largely a monsoon problem—too little rain or too much—which interfered with the production of crops. However, farmers’ demands for relief have become more loud this year, despite good rains last year and, consequently, higher production. This makes it clear that the problem is in the pattern of the rural economy, not in nature.
- How more localisation and empowerment of local bodies would address this :-
- Local bodies are best placed to understand the ground level scenario. They can address the agrarian crisis even on family basis segregating causes may it be crop failure, lack of finances for better fertilisers, weedicides, pesticides etc.
- Farmers have been hurt by centralized decision making. This is reflected in APMC Acts of states which are one of the major reasons for farmers distress. Farmers are not free to make decisions regarding sale of their produce. This can change by empowering farmers. This means that decision making for agricultural issues must be devolved to local governments.
- A need for much faster and more widespread generation of jobs and livelihoods :-
- The problem of “jobless growth” has begun to receive the attention of policymakers who seemed to be fixated, so far, on higher gross domestic product (GDP) as a panacea for all problems. India’s GDP growth has been quite good for some years, but not enough good jobs and sustainable livelihoods have been generated. Indeed, the agriculture/rural crisis is a consequence.
- How more localisation and empowerment of local bodies would address this :-
- Local bodies have better knowledge of local economy, sectors of job opportunity, skill level of youth, their requirements etc.
- They can also check the indiscriminate migration of youth towards cities with help from government schemes like Deen Dayal Upadhyay Swaniyojan Yojana, National rural livelihood mission etc.
- Rapid degradation of the environment :-
- India is staring at an enormous environmental crisis. Cities are getting choked with solid waste. Air pollution in Indian cities is the highest in the world. Groundwater levels are reducing very fast in urban and rural areas. The health of the soil has been degrading for decades. These problems are created by the pattern of growth. More growth will not reduce them. In fact, if the pattern of growth is not changed, the environmental crisis will become worse with more growth. Therefore, one must consider fundamental changes in the prevalent approach to economic growth.
- How more localisation and empowerment of local bodies would address this :-
- Our experience shows most of the mitigation and adaptation strategies have to be implemented locally. For example: social forestry, rainwater harvesting.
- The famous Chipako movement in Himalayan states and Appiko Movement in Karnataka are legendary examples of local communities engagements with environment protection . Local bodies can become means to channelize this relationship.
Illustrative example :- Irrigation through the centralized planning of the dams and canal for agriculture failed to serve need ( On other hand) we have tradition to build local ponds , kunds , ground tanks etc. This helped to save environment, as it do not pose any ecological destruction what dam construction pose while it also help to prevent forest fires, better water availability for crops, also generated employment opportunities for local people.
Conclusion :- The economy, society and ecology are integrated in a system. Changes in any one of these components will affect the others. Components of systems must coordinate with each other for the system to remain healthy. Moreover, there must be harmony amongst the components wherever they come together for the whole system to remain healthy. It can be best done at local level as their complexity band problems goes on increasing at higher levels hence local bodies role become crucial.
Topic: Energy; Planning
7) It is said that developments on the energy front in Australia and Qatar highlight India’s need to diversify sources and develop an integrated systems approach to planning. Do you agree? Examine. (200 Words)
Developments on energy front in Qatar :-
- Qatar has been sanctioned by Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and a few other countries. The proximate reason is Qatar’s alleged support to al Qaeda, Iran and the pro-Assad groupings in the Syrian civil war. India is the third largest export destination for gas from Qatar (behind Japan and South Korea).
- Qatar is the largest supplier of LNG to India, accounting for over 65 per cent of India’s global import and 15 per cent of Qatar’s export of LNG. If tensions were to rise in the Persian Gulf, shipments of LNG could become risky.
- This could also affect remittances. A prolonged crisis could result in increased insecurity, reduced economic activity and stress on the 50 per cent or so of the total inward remittances that India receives from the Gulf.
- Any confrontation or uncertainty in Qatar or the wider Gulf region can have serious adverse implications for India. Beyond a point, India cannot stay aloof.
Development on energy front in Australia :-
- The politics of energy in Australia is not of relevance to us. The Australian government is under pressure to do something about high domestic electricity prices.
- An increasing number of Australians believe that prices have risen because of the lack of a systems integrated approach to energy sector planning They say that the left hand of the market is working in opposition to the right hand of public welfare and that the government has not deployed its authority to strike the right balance.
- Like with the Saudi/Qatar crisis, the Australian situation does not bear on India. Unless the Australian government puts the squeeze on gas exports and that impacts supplies into India.
- Australian experience highlights the importance of an integrated systems based, approach to energy sector planning with complementary institutional and governing structures.
Need to diversify the sources and develop and integrated approach to planning :-
- India’s dependence on import is increasing day by day. Which puts India at risk of global uncertainties affecting India energy security.
- India’s energy import destinations are concentrated hugely in west Asia. The previous experiences have shown that the turmoil in thus region are very interlinking and has adverse impact on India’s energy security. Hence India must diversify it’s energy import sources to African, Russian and Central Asian countries in various forms.
- Also the energy generation is still heavily dependent on traditional and non renewable sources like coal, gas which shows lack of integrated approach in India’s planning for energy generation. India enjoys tropical geography, India generates around 960 mn tonnes solid waste annually, it has abundant of thorium still proportion of renewable energy is not satisfactory.
- Australian case study of lack of integrated planning has much to teach India :-
Australia is indeed confronting the consequences of siloed energy sector planning. Three separate developments have led to the present situation. The gas producers committed the bulk of their production to the export market through LNG. Second, under pressure from the “greens” and in the expectation that renewables (solar and wind) would pick up the slack, the government encouraged the closure or mothballing of a number of base load thermal power plants. And third, the transmission and distribution system was not able to absorb and handle the surge and variability of electrons from renewable sources.
- What the Australian experience highlights is the importance of an integrated systems based, approach to energy sector planning with complementary institutional and governing structures. Else we may have created the capacity but still left parts of India in blackness and/or smothered by pollution.
- Hence India must look for an integrated approach. The rapid generation of renewable energy must be integrated with grids at earliest. Our energy sector is also in a transitional phase. The government has indicated that India will reduce its dependence on thermal coal from the current 69 per cent of capacity to around 50 per cent and increase the share of renewables to 40 per cent by 2035. They made this commitment at the climate change summit in Paris almost two years ago. This is an ambitious commitment and may be difficult to attain. Irrespective, we have to ensure that our energy system is able to cope with this transition.
General Studies – 4
Topic: Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.
Introduction :- When we talk about Gandhiji, automatically certain ideals come to our mind i.e. truth, nonviolence, simplicity, love for all, leadership, dignity of labour and implementation or practicing ideas rather than just propagating them. These ideals or qualities reflected to educational philosophy of Gandhiji.
- Definition: “By education I mean all-around development, drawing out of the best in the child-man body, mind and spirit.”
- Literacy according to him is neither the end of education nor even the beginning. It is one of the means whereby man and woman can be educated. Literacy in itself is not education.”
- Gandhiji gave the concept of 3 r’s and 3 HE’s :- Hand-psychomotor domain/skills, Heart-spiritual domain/skills, Head-Cognitive domain/skills
- 3r’s :Read, write and arithmetic
- Gandhiji emphasized certain ideals, practical work and the potentiality of students in education. It is education through which we can find out the potential of the students and teach them certain ideals which will help them to be a good citizen and through practical activities students will be in a position to think practically and they will be attentive and active, this will help them to mould their character.
- Thus Gadhian education has been characterized as encompassing the head, the heart and the hands that means the all-around development of child. According to him education is that which draws out and stimulates the spiritual, intellectual and physical faculties of children. Thus Gandhiji’s purpose of education is to raise man to a higher order through full development of the individual and the evolution of a “new man.”
Aims of Education :-
- Bread and Butter aim: Bread and Butter aim refers to utilitarian aim which is an immediate requirement. Gandhiji focused on education that provides learning while learning. This has to be a tool with each and every learner. S/he can remove unemployment keeping in mind the poverty and unemployment of India. Gandhiji focused and suggested industrial training and development of manual skills and handicraft as subject of education which will give satisfaction to the educand of his earning and self reliance but also it will be proved as a support to his/her family and nation at large.
- Cultural Aim:- According to Gandhiji cultural aspect of education is more important than the literacy. Culture is the foundation, the primary thing which the girls ought to get from here. It should show in the smallest detail of your conduct and personal behaviour, how to sit , how to walk, how to dress etc. it is the education through which students or everyone learn the glorious culture of the country-India, its incredible arts, religions and so on. Education is the device which makes them familiar with our great culture and it is to be taught that how do they adopt and what is the importance of value of our culture. Thus Gandhiji laid much emphasis on cultural aim of education and recommended that Geeta and Ramayana to be taught as a means of introducing students to their rich cultural and spiritual heritage.
- Harmonious development:- Education should develop all the three levels i. e. 3RS- read, write and arithmetic. The education should help in feeling what is taught and what happens to him and to express, what he feels and also what he wants to do. So all the faculties of person should be developed. Writing and reading will make him literate and arithmetic will help in calculating day-to-day expenses and more importantly it will help in logical thinking and analyzing things.
- Moral Aim:- Education should make person aware of what is right & wrong. It inculcates in us values and manners and moulds our character. Gandhiji focused more on character building than on literacy. According to him development of personality was more significant than accumulation of intellectual tools and academic knowledge. And we also believed that an educand should be taught non-violence, truth, and importance of thoughts, word and deed.
- Social and individual Aim:- The aim of education of Gandhiji is both social and individual. He wanted individual perfection and a new social order based on “Truth” & “Non-violence”. Education trains an individual and makes him an ideal citizen who will help his nation. An individual learns so many things from surrounding, culture, society and so on and he progresses simultaneously society progresses because the individuals’ growth is nothing but the growth of the society and nation.
- Ultimate Aim:- Self-realization is the ultimate aim of life as well as of education. Through education everyone understands about themselves and get answer of the universal question who am I? It is the education which helps them to understand their existence and its purpose. It is the spiritual education which provides knowledge of God and self-realization. The individuals recognize their potentials or abilities and prove them as ideal citizens of their nation via education. It is the education which makes them familiar with spirituality and different religious and finally every individual realize what they are? This is the self-realization- the ultimate aim of education. In the words of Gandhiji- “true education should result not in material power but in spiritual force. It must strengthen man’s faith in God and not awaken It.” he further adds “Development of the whole-all were directed towards the realization of the ultimate reality –the merger of the finite being in to infinite.”
Gandhian Philosophy: Twenty-first Century Relevance
- After having stipulated fundamentals of the Gandhian philosophy of education, its time to see their relevance in modern context of the twenty-first century. Despite perceptible differences between the present-day societal / developmental needs of edification vis-à-vis Gandhian philosophy of education, there are so many features of timelessness in the Gandhi’s principles of education and its relevance today.
What is the relationship between the rising expectations and emerging globalisation on the one hand and the Gandhian philosophy of education on the other hand?
- This relationship is easy to grasp when a distinction is made between technical / technological / professional training vis-à-vis ‘education’. This difference between the two is necessary to understand for Gandhi as well. Technical, technological and professional training is primarily job and profession specific. ‘Education’, however, is more fundamental in nature.
- It involves carving out a fulsome human being from the basic live resource of a man and woman coming to this world like a tabula rasa. Education does not mean merely obtaining of various Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, certificates and diplomas. Education prepares a man and woman for a life truly human in nature – full of an independent, interdependent, self-sufficient, fearless, mutually cooperating and highly cultured existence with a deep sense of social commitment and urge for public welfare.
- This type of education is possible in the twenty-first century only when individuals and nations alike keep away from absolute personal aggrandizement of political and economic power in the interest of public welfare oriented political will, proper intention and societal commitment.
Specific points :-
- Character building through education was emphasised by him which is the need of the present hour.
- He used to urge to decrease distance between home and school teaching. A child learns his first lesson from home before going to school, so school should be seen as an extension of home. In today’s world it would decrease growing alienation between school and home teaching and will provide a holistic path for education.
- Gandhiji’s education philosophy also emphasised on environment, conservation, kindness for animal, focus on villages hence which brings out concept of all round development of individual and society which is required in todays world.
- His emphasis on vocational training in education is dedicatedly being pursued in present time to convert demographic dividend into fruitful asset.
- Today, the world is suffering from immense crisis from many sides. Crimes, conflict, hatred and distrust between one community and another, insecure environment among minorities, hunger, unemployment, poverty and literacy, refugee crisis, ethnic violence, terrorism, etc., all these altogether make a grave danger to peace. If we align our education as per Gandhiji’s values ,then we may be able to resolve these crises.