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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 01 NOVEMBER 2017


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 01 NOVEMBER 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:   Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

1) India is extremely rich in terms of linguistic diversity. Discuss the relationship between linguistic diversity and social justice. (200 Words)

Livemint

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Introduction :- India has become a land of many tongues and has been called “as a tower of veritable languages” or a “Museum of languages”. India has also been called a “Tower of Babel”. This multilingual nature of the country affects every aspect of her national life.

Linguistic diversity of India :-

  • The Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution lists the 22 official languages of India. These are the languages that the government of India officially promotes.
  • Originally 14 when the list was prepared in 1950, eight more languages have been included in the last 50 years in response to the demands of different language groups.
  • Sindhi, Konkani, Maithili and Santhal were among the languages that were included. Individual states too have their own list of official languages; those that are in the Eighth Schedule and also others that aren’t.
  • But a wealth of linguistic richness exists outside these portals of state patronage as every state is home to several languages, besides the two or three official ones.
  • For ex in Kashmir Kashmiri, Hindi, Dogri, Gojri, Ladakhi, Pahari, Balti, Shina and Urdu are the various languages spoken in the state. Uttarakhand is home to Hindi and many Pahari languages like Garhwali, Kumaoni and Jaunsari. Sanskrit has been given the status of second official language in the state. But besides these languages, many Tibeto-Burman languages are also spoken in this region, including Bhoti, Jad, Rangkas, Darmiya, Byangsi, and Chaudangsi. 

Relationship between linguistic diversity and social justice :-

Social Justice is the idea that all members of society deserve an equal footing in terms of opportunities, political rights, and distribution of wealth and privilege so that they can lead fulfilling lives and realize their potential in the community.

Linguistic diversity enhances as well as hampers this notion of social justice in following ways :-

  • Barring the majority languages like Hindi, Telugu other thousands of linguistic minority groups are granted rights, protections and provisions for development, conservation and promotion of their linguistic diversity like art 29(1), art 30(1) of Indian Constitution. Hence enhancing the prospects of social justice.
  • However majority of linguistic minority communities face disadvantages of being extinct owing to the size of their group leading to social injustice. for ex Chaimal, a tribal language spoken in Tripura, is on its way out. Barely four to five speakers exist and the Chaimal tribe (population: 226) is opting for Kokborokin preference to their own language. G. N. Devy estimates that another 150 languages are headed the Chaimal way, as the younger generation opts for languages other than the ancestral tongues.
  • Lack of awareness and sensitivity towards the linguistic diversity has made the educational, administrative systems bilingual giving more weight to only languages like English, Hindi. This renders the regional students, youth and people at disadvantage and out of competition for jobs, demanding their rights and education etc
  • The revolutionary changes in 21st century like digitalization, increased use of social media are creating a divide between haves and have not’s owing to the fact that their medium of use is not diverse accommodating linguistic varieties. In India hardly 2% rural population knows English where 70% of India’s population resides. Of India’s 1.27 billion people, more than 30% are illiterate, and only 10-30%understand English, which is predominantly the language of the Internet. A recent Google-KPMG report states that more than 70% of the India’s Internet users trust content in their native language over English.
  • The other problems like linguistic chauvinism faced by people of majoritarian language speaking groups as seen in decades of 1950s and 60s instills fear, disillusionment and psychological subjugating feelings in people belonging to diverse regional language categories.
  • Due to multiplicity and for sake of simplicity many adopts the most common languages like English Hindi as a medium for profession, education which shows the forceful imposition of majority languages on diversity hence creates a sense of cultural loss, dilemmas for next generation, loss of attachment with own language, migration, sometimes mass exodus due to political issues like Marathi protests in Maharashtra

Diversity is inherent in India and linguistic diversity is one of the beautiful aspect of it. Though it sometimes become a hindrance in achieving socio economic cultural and political goals it has promoted the cause of social welfare, justice and integration. It keeps we all the people, government, democratic institutions in a conscious frame of mind about being tolerant, respectful for it. For this government has taken many steps like In 1969, the Indian government had established the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL) in Mysore to further research and documentation of Indian languages, and a scheme called “Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages of India” was introduced in 2014. Mobile app like BHIM are to be available in multiple regional languages soon, the need to digitalize languages being on verge of extinction is also being considered. 


 

Topic: Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.  

2) Kashmir and Kashmiri’s need autonomy, not azaadi. Comment. (250 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction :- The autonomy of Kashmir has always been a boiling issues in India. The integration of Kashmir and the subsequent agreements on autonomy of states need to be understood in order to distinguish between autonomy and azaadi and not to label Kasmir’s problem as a separatist one. 

  • Article 370, as it stands, assures Jammu & Kashmir a very special autonomous status in the Indian constitutional scheme. Owing to the special circumstances in which the former princely State was able to negotiate its accession to India, severe limitations were placed by the Constitution itself on the Centre’s powers vis-à-vis Jammu & Kashmir.
  • Article 35A of the constitution is a derivative of Article 370, which allows the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly to define who is a permanent resident, who is eligible to vote and work for the state, who can own land and get admission in colleges.

Due to various interpretations like art 35 is a set of laws those are discriminatory in nature and in conflict with Article 14, 15 and 16 of the Indian constitution and Art 370 is a stumbling block in unity and integrity of India also the role of Separatists who want that people of Jammu and Kashmir should be given a right to choose whether they want to live in India, Pakistan or remain sovereign people at large view the protest and demands of Kashmir people as a demand for Azaadi.

However a closer analysis will point out that it’s the States encroaching steps and other measures which has created a feeling of fear and sense of losing out autonomy in Kashmir like

  • Over the years, a series of undemocratic measures and practices beginning with the 1954 Constitution Order eroded the rights and vital powers devolved by Article 370 on the State.
  • Presidential orders reduced the state’s autonomy like extending the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of India and Election Commission of India. Presidents rule has been used numerous times in Kashmir.
  • The central laws were implemented and state’s powers were subsequently reduced to what was called the “state list’’. 
  • Supreme court is recently hearing a petition by NGO We the Citizen on repeal of Art 35.
  • The draconian laws like AFSPA haunts the Kashmir badly etc

There is a need to understand the deep fear about the autonomy in Kashmir and measures should be taken to strengthen it and restore the confidence shown by Sheikh Abdullah in India Kashmir relationship at that time, in order to ensure Azaadi in the form of Autonomy following steps are required :-

  • Problems in Kashmir must be handled with dialogue more than the use of force as this is taken by people as encroachment on their rights recent cases like tying up of Farukh Ahmad Dar to jeep front by Army must be avoided.
  • Any changes if necessary to be made in existing constitutional arrangements must be consulted with State of Kashmir first and also with all major stakeholders involved rather than proclaiming unilateral statements and creating unnecessary controversies.
  • The trust deficit must be breached between the government and people through financial and political devolutions, schemes like Nai Roshini, USTAAD, opening more IITs NITs and AIIMs in State in order to negate the efforts of separatists, states and non states actors to radicalize Kashmir youth.
  • Role of draconian laws like AFSPA, frequency of curfew situations, atrocities by army must be reduced and needs to be made more human respecting the rights of Kashmir people as recently stated by Supreme Court in many verdicts.

India will have to grant real autonomy to all her states, including Kashmir. The restoration of autonomy to Kashmir within the framework of the Delhi Agreement of 1952 would give a sense of fulfillment to the people of Kashmir. The people must be assured that no erosion of the state’s autonomy in terms of Article 370 will take place.


 

Topic: Issues relating to poverty and hunger.  

3) What is ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF)? Discuss its benefits and government of India’s policy on RUTF. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

 

Introduction :- Therapeutic foods are foods designed for specific, usually nutritional, therapeutic purposes as a form of dietary supplement. The primary examples of therapeutic foods are used for emergency feeding of malnourished children or to supplement the diets of persons with special nutrition requirements, such as the elderly.

Therapeutic foods are usually made of a mixture of protein, carbohydrate, lipid and vitamins and minerals. Therapeutic foods are usually produced by grinding all ingredients together and mixing them. RUTFs are a “homogeneous mixture of lipid-rich and water-soluble foods.” The most common RUTFs are made of four ingredients: sugar, dried skimmed milk, oil, and vitamin and mineral supplement (CMV).

Benefits of RUTF :-

  • Ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) is recommended by the World Health Organization for community-based management of uncomplicated forms of severe acute malnutrition. 
  • It’s effectiveness in tacking acute malnutrition is seen in 2013 Plumpy’nuthad been used to relieve malnutrition in thousands of African children. A small scale study in Mumbai’s Sion Hospital put RUTF’s efficacy at 65-70 per cent. 
  • The Global Hunger Index report 2017 put India at number 100 in a list of 119 countries, and the National Family Health Survey-4 (2015-16) found 35.7% children aged less than five years were underweight, and 38.4% were stunted. Hence solutions like this need to be implemented.
  • It provides solution at instant and hence curb long term weakness or death in children.
  • Its also effective for elderly people as they become incapable to digest regular food. India’s old age population is estimated to be 20% by 2050.

Though it have many benefits it’s not a cost effective and sustainable solution to address nutritional imbalances as seen from experiences of Maharashtra and Rajasthan states.  Government Of India has declared it’s stand as “Enough evidence is not available for use of RUTF vis-à-vis other interventions for the management of SAM. Concerns have also been raised that the use of RUTF may replace nutritional best practices and family foods that children would normally be eating, impacting negatively on continued breastfeeding in children older than six months”

Hence other steps like policy to encourage use of local solutions to malnutrition among children instead of promoting the use of packaged ready-to-use food in government programmes and projects. Policies and schemes like Mother’s absolute affection (MAA) Maternity benefit act, SABALA,

There is a need to rope in The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), SUN Business Network, which includes other players such as Pepsi, Cargill, Nutriset, Britannia, Unilever, Edesia, General Mills, Glaxo SKB, Mars, Indofood, Nutrifood, DSM, Amul, and Valid Nutrition under Corporate Social responsibilities norms to use their resources effectively.


 

Topic:  Pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity 

4) Opacity in political financing, fear of party fragmentation, dynastic succession, and lack of intra-party democracy are all mutually reinforcing variables. Analyse. (250 Words)

Livemint

Introduction :- The recent comment by Prime Minister Narendra Modi about debate over intra party democracy requires a holistic overview of India’s existing political system and their issues.

Opacity in political funding :-

In June, 2013, the Central Information Commission held that political parties are under the Right to Information Act. But this was subsequently rejected. Non transparent display by parties has led to menace of corruption, growth of black money

Fear of party fragmentation :-

Owing to this many parties centralize the power and again become functionally less efficient and less dynamic, less democratic. Even if a leader disillusioned with the centralized control in her party goes on to establish a new party, the results are not very different. 

Dynastic succession :-

The logic of dynastic politics is the logic of patronage. The dynast trades economic largesse and access to the machinery of the state for long-term fealty. Economist Mancur Olson has described it as stationary bandits versus roving bandits. While the stationary bandits means dynast has advantages of already establishes set up the roving bandits means non dynast face mismatch between efforts and pay off hence it discourages their faith in fairness in democracy.

Philippines is a classical example where dynastic politics created problems in national developments. Since the restoration of democracy in 1987, more than 60% of the country’s House of Representatives has been made up of dynastic clans. 

In Indian case a recent Harvard paper, Understanding The Economic Impacts Of Political Dynasties: Evidence From India, by Siddharth George and Dominic Ponattu, analysed night-time luminosity as a measure of economic growth to find that constituencies where dynasts won grew 6.5 percentage points slower annually than constituencies where dynasts lost.

Intra party democracy :

Quality of a democracy ultimately depends on internal democracy (or the lack of it) in political parties. In its 170th report in 1999, the Law Commission of India underscored the importance of intra-party democracy by arguing that a political party cannot be a “dictatorship internally and democratic in its functioning outside”.

Politics is inseparable from political parties as they are the prime instruments for the execution of democracy in the country. The selection of candidates, the mobilisation of the electorate, the formulation of agendas and the passing of legislation are all conducted through political parties. Hence there is a inherent need to make it more democratic.

Hence it’s important that efforts and reforms should be initiated from within the party in order to make then suitable, relevant and more effective in present time.


Topic:  Functioning of judiciary

5) Discuss the steps taken by the Supreme Court to reform collegium system. Do you think these measures are adequate? What more reforms are needed to address concerns regarding collegium system? (250 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction :- The Supreme Court of India’s collegium system, which appoints judges to the nation’s constitutional courts, has its genesis in, and continued basis resting on, three of its own judgments which are collectively known as the Three Judges Cases. A formula was invented to appoint judges in higher judiciary.

The court evolved the principle of judicial independence to mean that no other branch of the state – including the legislature and the executive – would have any say in the appointment of judges. The court then created the collegium system, which has been in use since the judgment in the Second Judges Case was issued in 1993. There is no mention of the collegium either in the original Constitution of India or in successive amendments. The creation of the collegium system was viewed as controversial by legal scholars and jurists outside India.

Recently Supreme Court quashed the 99th amendment to the constitution and National Judicial Appointment Commission. It has agreed on implementing the Memorandum Of Procedure (MoP) for appointments, uploading collegium decisions on website etc

These measures are appreciable but not sufficient.

  • Other measures, such as making the collegium’s deliberations publicly available
  • Annual reporting of vacancies, appointments, number of candidates interviewed, time taken for appointments, and so on, are also important.
  • This requires data management skills and administrative and logistical capacity, for which a secretariat could be established, to ensure that the appointments calendar and processes are strictly followed, and records are maintained and placed in the public domain in timely fashion.

Individuals come and go but institutions have to survive and gain the confidence of the people. As R K Merton said “Functionality of an institution depends on how it changes with time” Supreme court must take necessary steps to make the collegium system more appealing, transperant.


 

Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers ; Employment

6) “If we don’t have a system that gives everyone a chance to gain the necessary skills, differences in education and family background will lead to even greater inequality.” Discuss in the context of fears being expressed about computers replacing humans in workplaces. (250 Words)

Livemint

 

Introduction :- The IT services industry alone is set to lose 6.4 lakh low-skilled positions to automation by 2021. Automation threatens 69% of the jobs in India, while it’s 77% in China, according to a World Bank research.

In India fear of automation and computerization becomes still difficult situation owing to fact that we have 22% BPL people and we are experiencing demographic dividend. We are requiring 1.5 crore non agricultural job per year.

Skilling is as low as less than 3% in India and difference between the education and family backgrounds leads to greater inequality if we don’t have a system that gives everyone a chance to gain necessary skills all these inequalities are bound to take horrible form.

Efforts needs to be taken like :-

  • Implementing the current schemes and policies of government like Skill India, Start Up India and Stand Up India, MUDRA etc
  • Bridging the divide created on basis of education and family background. Providing English medium education, spreading software skilling since school through computer labs.
  • Implementing reservation policy with suitable modifications and making it more inclusive to advance the weaker sections of society.
  • Making the higher educational institutions more relevant to present market and industry needs is important by linking academia, vocational centers and corporates. Currently only 18% engineers are employable.
  • Tying up with international countries like Singapore to make India skill capital of the world. Opening Global Skill centers in four main cities of states to have regionally balanced skilling.
  • Roping in NGO and Civil Society like Udyogini, Swayam Shikshan Prayog in order to create chains of rural entrepreneurs

 


Topic:  Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life 

7) Discuss the role of technology, especially data, in tackling modern slavery. (150 Words)

Livemint

Introduction :- Slavery was abolished by most countries 150 years ago, but bonded and forced labour, trafficking and exploitation persist. A September report by the International Labour Organization estimated that in 2016, 40 million people were victims of modern slavery, every fourth of whom was a child. The United Nations estimates that roughly 27 to 30 million individuals are currently caught in the slave trade industry.

Contemporary slavery takes many forms, from women forced into prostitution, to child slavery in agriculture supply chains or whole families working for nothing to pay off generational debts.

Role of technology in tackling modern slavery :-

  • Different digital capabilities can be used like cyber trafficking curbed by creating a systematic local database and sharing it at local level it will help in recognizing irregularities and law enforcement agencies can be more efficient. The prosecution and conviction of Ross Ulbricht, founder of Silk Road website, is evidence of the success of such a systematic approach.
  • The initial steps in combating trafficking are the receipt of information of perpetration, investigation and prosecution. Victims are often smuggled using public transport and this can be made into an effective tool in identifying plausible instances. Such physical crackdown will help in developing comprehensive database.
  • Co operation among all stakeholders like transportation modes of flights, ships, border security forces on international borders, victims themselves involved in crime can be very useful in creating frequent routes, timings, ways used for slave trafficking and identification of hotspots for future crackdowns.

International commitment to fight slavery is evident from Target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals, which seeks to end human trafficking, modern slavery and forced labour. Indian governments steps like PENCIL portal, Khoya Paya portal and TRACKCHILD portal, resistration of Adhaar cards etc are steps in right direction.

Additional information :-

Other measures to be taken :-

  • Verifying the legal standing of the suppliers with which an organization works. This includes reviewing registration documents, audited financial statements, shareholder and director lists and former trading names.
  • Conducting a media audit on the company to find any news coverage that indicates a negative third-party track record.
  • Reviewing regulatory, litigation and bankruptcy databases in the jurisdictions where the supplier is registered and operates.

Efforts worldwide to eradicate modern day slavery :-

The governments credited with the strongest response to modern slavery are the Netherlands, the United States, the United Kingdom,  Sweden,  Australia, Portugal, Croatia, Spain, Belgium, Germany and Norway. U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, U.S. California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010, UK Modern Slavery Act of 2015 and the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2016

Indian states, however, are making commendable strides and innovating in their crackdown methods. Maharashtra, for instance, has 12 special cells for tracking illicit trade and a Crime And Criminal Tracking Network to connect police stations across the state. The mandatory registration of placement agencies in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh adds an impediment to forced outmigration and gives law enforcement agencies more backing to shut an illicit operation.

 

 


Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources

8) What do you understand by moral hazard? It is said that recapitalisation of banks adds to the risk of moral hazard. Elaborate. (150 Words)

The Hindu

 

Introduction :-In pure economic terms Moral hazard is a situation in which one party gets involved in a risky event knowing that it is protected against the risk and the other party will incur the cost.  With recapitalization of banks the debtor enjoys a situation of semi write off of loans which is hazardous to their disciplined behaviour and also to the honest loan payers gets feel that their efforts are in vein. Banks also have hazard. They are now allowed to do bad lending again. It also distort the level playing field between government banks and private sector banks with government helping.

Linkages between recapitalization and risk of moral hazard :-

  • As was observed in case of IDBI recapitalization by FITCH-Such bailouts create “moral hazard” by weakening incentives for state-run lenders which are struggling to meet bond payments to recapitalise by raising equity on a more timely and pro-active basis.
  • In the case of public sector banks, the implicit guarantee of their books by the government only worsens this cyclical problem by adding to it the risk of moral hazard.
  • As nationalised banks are allowed to tap into taxpayer money whenever they are in deep financial trouble, they have very little reason to be careful while lending and more reason to take huge risks with their balance sheets.
  • The same moral hazard problem happens whenever the government protects private sector banks from the negative consequences of their actions.

As stated by Arvind Subramaniyam “To some extent, moral hazard is unavoidable. In the real world there are no costless actions, policy makers have to balance the perverse incentives created against the necessity of reviving the economy and creating growth and jobs. But moral hazard must be minimized and that is where reforms come in”

Government is supplementing the recapitalization with other steps like Indradhanush scheme, Bank Board Bureau establishment, S4A scheme, restructuring ARCs, consolidating banks like SBI mergers etc.


Topic:  Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration

Introduction :- Integrity is the consistency between one’s thoughts, words and actions. It is required in personal life and for a civil servant in order to be aligned to the core principles in life. Being integrated with principles of truth, efficiency, service and putting Organisational, public interests above personal interests is required.

As Alan Simpson had said “If you have integrity nothing else matters and if you don’t have integrity nothing else matters”

Integrity is about complete refusal to be compromised. Even if a small element of compromise is involved the person/ organisation can’t be assumed to be integrated as they compromised on the base of integrity. Conducting integrated behaviour in real sense requires utmost dedication, courage of conviction, desire to do welfare of maximum people and readiness to face hardships for principles.

Gandhiji said “It’s very difficult to have honest behaviour but not impossible to do it.” This can be further illustrated with real life examples.

For a student integrity is complete refusal to cheat in examination while for a Railway TTE it is not taking even 50-100 rs for adjusting passengers.

Civil servants like S R Shankaran showed complete integrity with the public service and refused to compromise it. He remained unmarried for lifetime in order to dedicate his whole time and life for uplifting the weaker sections of society. He works zealously for Schedules Castes people, bonded labourers etc.