SECURE SYNOPSIS: 21 AUGUST 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
Topic: The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country
- In line with the government policy contained in Montagu’s statement (August 1917), the Government announced further constitutional reforms in July 1918, known as Montagu- Chelmsford or Montford Reforms.
- The Montagu–Chelmsford Reforms were reforms introduced by the British Government in India to introduce self-governing institutions gradually to India. The reforms take their name from Edwin Samuel Montagu, the Secretary of State for India during the latter parts of World War I and Lord Chelmsford, Viceroy of India between 1916 and 1921.
- The reforms were outlined in the Montagu-Chelmsford Report prepared in 1918 and formed the basis of the Government of India Act 1919.
The main features of the Montford Reforms –
(1) Provincial Government—Introduction of Dyarchy:
- Dyarchy, i.e., rule of two—executive councillors and popular ministers—was introduced. The governor was to be the executive head in the province.
- Subjects were divided into two lists: “reserved” which included subjects such as law and order, finance, land revenue, irrigation, etc., and “transferred” subjects such as education, health, local government, industry, agriculture, excise, etc.
- The “reserved” subjects were to be administered by the governor through his executive council of bureaucrats, and the “transferred” subjects were to be administered by ministers nominated from among the elected members of the legislative council.
- The ministers were to be responsible to the legislature and had to resign if a no-confidence motion was passed against them by the legislature, while the executive councilors were not to be responsible to the legislature.
- In case of failure of constitutional machinery in the province the governor could take over the administration of “transferred” subjects also.
- The secretary of state and the governor-general could interfere in respect of “reserved” subjects while in respect of the “transferred” subjects; the scope for their interference was restricted.
- Provincial Legislative Councils were further expanded—70% of the members were to be elected.
- The system of communal and class electorates was further consolidated.
- Women were also given the right to vote.
- The Legislative Councils could initiate legislation but the governor’s assent was required. The governor could veto bills and issue ordinances.
- The Legislative Councils could reject the budget but the governor could restore it, if necessary.
- The legislators enjoyed freedom of speech.
(2) Central Government—Still Without Responsible Government:
- The governor-general was to be the chief executive authority.
- There were to be two lists for administration– central and provincial.
- In the viceroy’s executive council of 8, three were to be Indians.
- The governor-general retained full control over the “reserved” subjects in the provinces.
- The governor-general could restore cuts in grants, certify bills rejected by the Central Legislature,summon, prorogue, dissolve the Chambers, and issue ordinances.
- A bicameral arrangement was introduced. The lower house or Central Legislative Assembly would consist of 144 members (41 nominated and 103 elected—52 General, 30 Muslims, 2 Sikhs, 20 Special) and the upper house or Council of State would have 60 members (26 nominated and 34 elected—20 General, 10 Muslims, 3 Europeans and 1 Sikh).
- The Council of State had tenure of 5 years and had only male members, while the Central Legislative Assembly had tenure of 3 years.
- The legislators could ask questions and supplementaries pass adjournment motions and vote a part of the budget, but 75% of the budget was still not votable.
- Some Indians found their way into important committees including finance.
- The secretary of state would control affairs relating to Government of India
- In 1921 another change recommended by the report was carried out when elected local councils were set up in rural areas, and during the 1920s urban municipal corporations were made more democratic and “Indianized.
- The Montagu-Chelmsford report stated that there should be a review after 10 years.
- Sir John Simon headed the committee (Simon Commission) responsible for the review which recommended further constitutional change.
- Three round table conferences were held in London in 1930, 1931 and 1932 with representation of the major interests. Gandhi attended the 1931 round table after negotiations with the British Government. The major disagreement between Congress and the British was separate electorates for each community which Congress opposed but which were retained in Ramsay MacDonald’s Communal Award.
- A new Government of India Act 1935 was passed continuing the move towards self-government first made in the Montagu-Chelmsford Report.
- Franchise was very limited.
- At the centre, the legislature had no control over the governor-general and his executive council.
- Division of subjects was not satisfactory at the centre.
- Allocation of seats for Central Legislature to provinces was based on ‘importance’ of provinces for instance, Punjab’s military importance and Bombay’s commercial importance.
- At the level of provinces, division of subjects and parallel administration of two parts i.e. Dyarchy was irrational and hence unworkable.
- The provincial ministers had no control over finances and over the bureaucrats, leading to constant friction between the two. Ministers were often not consulted on important matters too; in fact, they could be overruled by the governor on any matter that the latter considered special.
- On the home government (in Britain) front, the Government of India Act, 1919 made an important change the secretary of state was henceforth to be paid out of the British exchequer.
- While, on the one hand, the Government dangled the carrot of constitutional reforms, on the other hand, it decided to arm itself with extraordinary powers to suppress any discordant voices against the reforms. In March 1919, it passed the Rowlatt Act even though every single Indian member of the Central Legislative Council opposed it. This Act authorised the Government to imprison any person without trial and conviction in a court of law, thus enabling the Government to suspend the right of habeas corpus which had been the foundation of civil liberties in Britain.
Reception in India –
- The Congress met in a special session in August 1918 at Bombay under Hasan Imam’s presidency and declared the reforms to be “disappointing” and “unsatisfactory” and demanded effective self-government instead.
- The 1919 reforms did not satisfy political demands in India. The British repressed opposition, and restrictions on the press and on movement were re-enacted in the Rowlatt Acts introduced in 1919. These measures were rammed through the Legislative Council with the unanimous opposition of the Indian members. Several members of the council including Jinnah resigned in protest. These measures were widely seen throughout India of the betrayal of strong support given by the population for the British war effort.
- Gandhi launched a nationwide protest against the Rowlatt Acts with the strongest level of protest in the Punjab. An apparently unwitting example of violation of rules against the gathering of people led to the massacre at Jalianwala Bagh in Amritsar in April 1919. This tragedy galvanised such political leaders as Nehru and Gandhi and the masses who followed them to press for further action.Montagu ordered an inquiry into the events at Amritsar by Lord Hunter. The Hunter Inquiry recommended that General Dyer, who commanded the troops, be dismissed, leading to Dyer’s sacking. Many British citizens supported Dyer, whom they considered had not received fair treatment from the Hunter Inquiry.
Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
World Economic Forum’s Chairman Klaus Schwab comments that we have entered Fourth industrial revolution which is marked by velocity, innovation, digitisation which will alter the very way we live. In this era, data has emerged as the new currency and thus needs to be regulated.
The reasons for needing new technology and creating policy framework are –
- Old Legislation: The current IT Act, which seeks to protect data is 17 year old legislation passed in 2000. It fails to recognise the increasing importance of data in the new world.
- Greater Reliance on Digitisation: With policies like Digital India, linking Aadhar and Pan card, new Payment gateways like BHIM and UPI, we are relying more and more on digitisation. Thus we need to protect data for ensuring integrity of transactions.
- Increased Internet Penetration: The increasing internet penetration is making more people vulnerable to data theft.
- Threat to Intellectual Property: The repeated instances of theft of data by Hackers show that data has become more insecure and is a threat to the intellectual property of innovators.
- The issue of data-ownership right – has undergone a fundamental shift in the digital world. The big data and Artificial Intelligence has made our personal data vulnerable to public exposure, leakage and use, selling and that too without permission and for free.
Its not yet decided who will be the owner of the data. Claim of each stakeholder in the process of generation, collection and processing complicates the question of ownership. The challenges that we face due to this –
1) privacy of personal data is hampered
2) security issue in case of data leakage
3) right to choice of sharing is violated
4) national security can be at stake
All the above points show that we need to over haul both Technology and Policy framework to address ownership and protection of data in the digital world. B.N Srikrishna committee which has been established to formulate data protection draft is a step in the right direction. Also, many banks are turning towards Block chain technology. But this formulation of both needs to be a dynamic process as every solution can stand only till a way for hackers is not found.
Topic: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
What is article 35 A?
Article 35A of the Indian Constitution is an article that empowers the Jammu and Kashmir state’s legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state and provide special rights and privileges to those permanent residents. It is added to the Constitution through a Presidential Order, i.e., The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954 – issued by the President of India, “in exercise of the powers conferred by” clause (1) of Article 370 of the Constitution, with the concurrence of the Government of the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
Text of the Article
“Saving of laws with respect to permanent residents and their rights — Notwithstanding anything contained in this Constitution, no existing law in force in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, and no law hereafter enacted by the Legislature of the State:
(a) Defining the classes of persons who are, or shall be, permanent residents of the State of Jammu and Kashmir; or
(b) Conferring on such permanent residents any special rights and privileges or imposing upon other persons any restrictions as respects—
(i) Employment under the State Government;
(ii) Acquisition of immovable property in the State;
(iii) Settlement in the State; or
(iv) Right to scholarships and such other forms of aid as the State Government may provide,
Shall be void on the ground that it is inconsistent with or takes away or abridges any rights conferred on the other citizens of India by any provision of this part
The legality issues pointed are:
- This order ‘added’ a new “Article 35A” to the Constitution of India. Addition or deletion of an Article amounted to an amendment to the Constitution which could be done only by Parliament as per procedure laid down in Article 368. But, Article 35A was never presented before Parliament. This meant the President had bypassed Parliament in this order to add Article 35A.
- The Permanent resident certificate (PRC) classification created by Article 35A suffers from the violation of Article 14, Equality before the Law. The non-resident Indian citizens cannot have the rights and privileges, same as permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
The main objections raised are:
- It facilitates the violation of the right of women to ‘marry a man of their choice’ by not giving the heirs any right to property, if the woman marries a man not holding PRC. Therefore, her children are not given Permanent Resident Certificate and thereby considering them unfit for inheritance – not given any right to such a woman’s property even if she is a permanent resident.
- It facilitates the free and unrestrained violation of fundamental rights of those workers and settlers like Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe people who have lived there for generations. The Valmikis who were brought to the state during 1957 were given Permanent Resident Certificates on the condition that they and their future generations could stay in the state only if they continued to be safai-karmacharis (scavengers).
- Children of non-state subjects do not get admission to state colleges.
- It ruins the status of West Pakistani refugees. Being citizens of India they are not stateless persons, but being non-permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir, they cannot enjoy the basic rights and privileges as being enjoyed by permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
- It gives a free hand to the state government and politicians to discriminate between citizens of India, on an unfair basis and give preferential treatment to some by trampling over others, since the non-residents of the state are debarred from buying properties, getting a government job or voting in the local elections.
Arguments in Support of this article:
- According to constitutional expert A G Noorani, the provisions in this article are not ultra vires and he refers to the various Articles in the Constitution, that similarly provide special rights to other Indian states like Nagaland (Article 371A) and Mizoram (Article 371G) and notes that there are various provisions in the Indian Constitution which confer “special status” to several other states also, in varying degrees based on historical reasons, and remarks that no objections were raised on them.
- The major political parties of the Kashmir Valley, NC and PDP have remained in support to the preservation and safeguarding of Article 370 and Article 35A. In defense of Article 35-A, the Jammu and Kashmir state Government in November 2015, prepared a report which read, “though Article 368 has been applied to State of Jammu and Kashmir, that would not curtail power of President under Article 370 to amend any provision of Constitution of India in its application to Jammu and Kashmir”.
- The constitutional validity of Article 35A is, therefore, well established as it protects legislation passed by the J&K legislature relating to benefits to Permanent Residents from challenge on the ground of violation of Fundamental Rights, while extending the chapter on Fundamental Rights of the Indian Constitution to J&K. Thus this provision is in the nature of a proviso to the extension of the chapter on Fundamental Rights in the Indian Constitution to J&K. In fact, the Fundamental Rights were extended to J&K through the 1954 Presidential Order.
The autonomy of state and fundamental rights of residence of Jammu and Kashmir are far more important than political arguments in case of article 35A and article 370. The central government holds the moral responsibility to protect the above mentioned.
Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability
Crowdfunding is a method of raising capital through the collective effort of friends, family, customers, and individual investors. This approach taps into the collective efforts of a large pool of individuals—primarily online via social media and Crowdfunding platforms—and leverages their networks for greater reach and exposure.
Crowdfunding is essentially the opposite of the mainstream approach to business finance. These funding sources included banks, angel investors, and venture capital firms, really limiting options to a few key players.
The Benefits of Crowdfunding
From tapping into a wider investor pool to enjoying more flexible fundraising options, there are a number of benefits to crowdfunding over traditional methods:
- Reach – By using a crowdfunding platform like Fundable, one may access to thousands of accredited investors who can see, interact with, and share fundraising campaign.
- Presentation – By creating a crowdfunding campaign, investor go through the invaluable process of looking at business from the top level—its history, traction, offerings, addressable market, value proposition, and more—and boiling it down into a polished, easily digestible package.
- PR & Marketing – From launch to close, one can share and promote campaign through social media, email newsletters, and other online marketing tactics.
- Validation of Concept – Presenting concept or business to the masses affords an excellent opportunity to validate and refine your offering. As potential investors begin to express interest and ask questions, one may quickly see if there’s something missing that would make them more likely to buy in.
- Efficiency – One of the best things about online crowdfunding is its ability to centralize and streamline fundraising efforts.
Models of Crowdfunding
Just like there are many different kinds of capital round raises for businesses in all stages of growth, there are a variety of crowdfunding types. The 3 primary types are donation-based, rewards-based, and equity crowdfunding.
- Donation model – In this model, individuals make a financial contribution to a project without any expectations of financial benefits.
- Lending model – In this, the investor will loan money to the project with the expectation of being repaid under the terms and conditions agreed.
- Investment model – The investor receives an equity stake in the project.
Issues linked with crowdfunding in India:
The idea of crowdfunding is not new in India. Places of worship, for example, are built overnight using a large number of donations. However, the concept of online crowdfunding is new to the country.
The industry is also not very investor-friendly. It seems people are still not ready for this concept.
Low trust levels of doing the things online are also a challenge. India’s ecommerce space needs to really mature before anything substantial can happen in this space. People need to be spending more and more online for them to even start thinking about backing online projects online.
As long as the crowdfunding platforms are not making any financial promises to the contributors, they should be theoretically safe to operate. However to build a credible case for the industry to grow in India, it would do help if these platforms proactively approach the regulators and work with them to processes so as to build long-term credibility and transparency.
Ecommerce in India only got a boost when they initiated the concept of cash on delivery. Similarly, crowdfunding will have to look at building an offline base to finally induce mass awareness and encouraging larger participation.
Measure for regulation:
SEBI has taken cautious steps that lean towards investor protection. The rising need for the safeguard is indisputable. In light of this positive trend, in 2014, SEBI released a ‘Consultation Paper on Crowdfunding in India’.
On June 23, 2015, SEBI made it easier for entrepreneur-driven new companies to list on stock exchange platforms with an easier listing, shareholding and disclosure norms.Later in 2016, SEBI declared over twenty equity crowdfunding platforms as illegal.
or crowdfunding based on lending, authorization from RBI is required as it comes under its regulations. There is a need for documentation of formalities and disclosures related to utilization of funds and other relevant details.
There is no doubt that crowdfunding is rapidly being looked upon as a serious way of raising funds for startups and new businesses. The US and European agencies have started implementing laws for this to function. There are serious concerns, which make it mandatory to bring this method under the laws of the land. India may soon bring in the requisite laws to support this in a big way, as efficient crowdfunding system can really play the role of catalyst in bringing the startup ideas into reality.
Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
Introduction :- The Trade Facilitation Agreement TFA is a part of a broader reform to boost international trade designed at the ministerial conference of WTO in Bali, Indonesia in December, 2013, continued from Doha meet.
- The TFA, which aims at simplifying customs procedure, increasing transparency and reducing transactions cost, is being pushed by the US and other developed nations as they seek to bolster their sagging economies through an unhindered international trade by way of a uniform and easy procedures at customs.
- The TFA, through a worldwide reform of duties and tariffs, and a reduction in red tape at international borders, aims to ease trade relations between countries.
- According to some estimates, the TFA could add $1 trillion in new trade globally and create 20 million new jobs worldwide.
- Trade facilitation agreement (TFA) is a trade protocol aiming to give a spur and do away with the stumbling blocks in doing international trade between various countries.
- A WTO study indicated that when the Trade Facilitation Agreement is fully implemented, trade costs for member countries will decrease by an average of 14.3%. It is also estimated that the time taken to export and import will come down drastically.
Essentially, everyone stands to gain from making the process of trade easier. Governments gain because efficient border procedures make them able to process more goods and improve control of fraud, thus increasing government revenue. Businesses gain because if they can deliver goods more quickly to their customers they are more competitive. And consumers gain because they are not paying the costs of lengthy border delays. If a truck waits at the border for a week, ultimately the customer is paying for its being off the road and unproductive during that time. But there are some costs associated with it as well
Impact of trade facilitation agreements :-
- One reason is that for developing countries in particular, improving an inefficient customs system may place multiple demands on limited resources. Another is that governments will have to fund some of the reforms before they see any benefit in terms of increased revenue and trade, although initial benefits can then be used to pursue further reform.
- A particular cause for concern is the fact that it is difficult to say how much effective trade facilitation would cost, or how much reform governments would have to undertake before they started reaping the benefit.
- Governments generally do not undertake trade facilitation by itself; it is mostly part of a wider reform effort, often driven by elements such as the transition to a market economy or accession to a regional grouping or trade agreement. As a result there is often no specific allocation of funding to trade facilitation per se, making it all the more difficult to assess specific costs. However, although customs reforms will be more complex in countries with the least efficient systems, even modest improvements will bring considerable relative gains.
- Costs incurred in introducing trade facilitation measures basically involve introducing new regulations; institutional changes; training; equipment; and infrastructure.
- Regulatory costs arise because trade facilitation measures may require new legislation or amendments to existing laws, requiring time and staff specialized in regulatory work. But reforms that do not require legislative changes mostly seem to be handled at the operational level and thus entail little additional cost.
- Institutional costs arise because some trade facilitation measures require setting up new units, such as a risk management team or a central enquiry point, which may require additional staff. This involves cost even if existing staff are redeployed, mainly because of training requirements.
- Training is probably the most important element of trade facilitation since the whole process is primarily about changing border agencies’ ways of doing business. Countries may choose to recruit new expert staff, train existing staff or import trained staff through exchanges with other ministries and agencies. Recruiting new expert staff is the most costly option. Most countries that have undertaken reforms have chosen to train existing staff on the job. Although the financial costs are lower, this will be a lengthy process as staff need to simultaneously perform their normal duties.
- Equipment and infrastructure are often the most costly elements although their role in trade facilitation should not be overstated. Most equipment and infrastructure should be viewed as implementation tools that should be carefully combined and sequenced with regulatory, institutional or human resource changes.
Topic: Indigenization of technology and developing new technology
Introduction :- The Indian defence industry suffers from major policy, structural, and cultural challenges that beset a military-industrial complex that continues to struggle in terms of delivering modern defence hardware that could have added to the greater Indian defence indigenisation and production.
Problems plaguing defence manufacturing in India :-
- India’s defence industry, however, has failed to manage India’s defence requirements as of today. India is one of the largest arms importers in the world as the indigenous production of technology is one area where India continues to struggle.
- Lack of infrastructure and finance for defence sector :- Indian defence sector not only lack basic logistic, backward linkages to manufacturing units but also falter on government financial support to the sector.
- Lack of private sector involvement and skilled manpower in manufacturing :- As defence is considered strategically important sector private sectors participation is considered with much resistance also the collaboration with other firms, universities and colleges is lacking to train the sufficient manpower needed.
- Weak strategic collaborations on international level also becomes hindrance in achieving the desired capabilities, state of the art technologies etc.
- Lack of in house capabilities in armed forces and Air forces on lines of navy’s design units.
- Lack of comprehensive and visionary policies, modernisation of existing industries, bureaucratic inefficiency, corruption, lack of transparency, ambiguity over private sector partnership and foreign partnerships plague the defence sector.
Unless there is a conscious attempt at building organic capability for design and development within the armed forces, the problems that have plagued defence manufacturing in India will persist.
- Navy’s organic capability for design can be successfully seen and hence developing the same capabilities in other forces is the need of hour.
- Collaborating with the lead nations and their armed forces to replicate, innovate and develop the capabilities.
Some extra strategies :-
The following strategies related to the above mentioned aspects could be implemented to yield rich dividends-
- Given the peculiarities of the sector, the government should consider permitting 100% under the automatic route, subject to certain conditions. This is necessary because even after raising the ceiling to 49%, the inflow in 2015 under the head “defence industries” was only $0.08 million. Profit is not the main issue here; it is the absence of the desired level of control that investing entities will have over their technologies with 49% ownership that acts as the dampener.
- Use the mandatory offset(compensations that buyers obtain from sellers) to bolster the ‘Make in India’ programme. When using this strategy, it would be wise to remember that offsets do not come free. They are indeed paid for by the buyer. It should also be noted that offsets are trade distorting. As offsets come at a substantial cost, they would need to be steered. For fulfilling offset obligations, identify equipment from a shelf of projects carefully created to fill identified gaps in Indian defence technology. Make it compulsory for companies to locally produce such equipment with predetermined levels of indigenisation to be achieved over the years. For such projects, permit up to 76% FDI under the automatic route, thereby giving foreign investors sufficient control over the established entity.
- Complement the above strategy by employing multipliers(assigning higher value) where foreign companies manufacture defence wares identified to be of critical need for the services. In such cases, allow 100% FDI, mandating only a reporting requirement to the Ministry of Defence.
- Establish a separate Department of Overseas Acquisitions in the Ministry of Defencefor establishing Special Purpose Vehicles with identified private sector entities to take over foreign companies. The department should in effect function as a Defence Sovereign Wealth Fund.
- Finance and support R&D/production in the private sectoras the U.S. does (the development and production of U-2, the highly successful reconnaissance aircraft, in the 1950s is a good model).
- Create a body in the Ministry of Deferenceconsisting of civilian officers, defence personnel and industry leaders to evaluate FDI flows, steer these flows and offsets, identify foreign companies for acquisition, etc. The mandate of this body should be to achieve convergence of various strategies being implemented by multiple bodies.
Topic: Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.
a) Applied ethics
b) Meta ethics
c) Virtue ethics
f) Role ethics
- a) Applied ethics :- Applied ethicsis the branch of ethicsconcerned with the analysis of particular moral issues in private and public life. For example, business ethics is a field of applied ethics, and so too is bioethics.
- b) Meta ethics :- Metaethicsis a branch of analytic philosophy that explores the status, foundations, and scope of moral values, properties, and words. Whereas the fields of applied ethicsand normative theory focus on what is moral, metaethics focuses on what morality itself is.
- c) Virtue ethics :- Virtue Ethics(or Virtue Theory) is an approach to Ethicsthat emphasizes an individual’s character as the key element of ethical thinking, rather than rules about the acts themselves (Deontology) or their consequences (Consequentialism). For example it is virtuous to be courageous when faced with physical confrontation.
- d) Hedonism :- Hedonismis a school of thought that argues that pleasure and happiness are the primary or most important intrinsic goods and the proper aim of human life. An example of hedonismis a constant quest for pleasure and satisfaction.
- e) Stoicism :- Stoicismis a school of Hellenistic philosophy that flourished throughout the Roman and Greek world until the 3rd century AD. Stoicismis predominantly a philosophy of personal ethics which is informed by its system of logic and its views on the natural world. Example Think of the emotions as wind, and Stoic discipline as a set of strong sails. Without discipline, we will be blown off course and probably wrecked; we will have no way of dealing with the emotional storms that blow in. But with good strong sails, we can harness the wind and make it useful.
- f) Role ethics :- Role ethicsis an ethicaltheory based on family roles. Unlike virtue ethics, role ethics is not individualistic. Morality is derived from a person’s relationship with their community. The ethics of Confucianism is an example of role ethics. The ethics of Confucianism is an example of role ethics.