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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 03 NOVEMBER 2017


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 03 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:   Political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society.  

1) Why did communism fail? Does modern world need communism? In the light of 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, critically comment. (250 Words)

Livemint

Introduction :- Communism is the philosophical, social, political and economic ideology and movement whose ultimate goal is the establishment of the communist society, which is a socioeconomic order structured upon the common ownership of the means of production and the absence of social classes, money and the state.

It revolutionized the world political systems with it’s advent in 1917 Russian Revolution. But it failed owing to some inherent contradiction in it’s composition and it’s performance in public sphere :-

  • Creativity was not a priority in the communist society:- Communist party used utilitarian approach. This meant that every action performed within the state had to have a palpable ending. This restricted the individual and states diversity.
  • Collectivization :-It denied right to property, private farming. The produce was to be distributed equally.
  • Lack of Rights :- In communism, individualism makes room for the collective.Ideals like freedom of speech were considered dangerous to the Communist party. Hence all civil rights were negated in the hope of establishing a society what functioned without any deviation 
  • Adaptation was overrated :- One of the main reasons why the communist ideology ceased to exist is because it was not able to adapt to outside conditions. Certain forms of communism, like the one practiced in China, managed to survive this long because it was able to react to outside stimuli such as the global economy and social changes.
  • Lack of innovation:- Innovation is one of the most important aspects that offers cohesion to society. Without change, society will fall prey to archaic practices. As a closed society, the Soviet Union focused more on production than actual innovation, an action that led to its early demise.
  • Poor economic calculation :- Economy dictates that the price of a product is formed when the offer meets demand.Also, there are other financial mechanisms used to determine prices and to regulate competitiveness on the global market.

On the other hand, the communist doctrine thought that the only way of distributing wealth was to form a so-called command economy, an organism that would determine how the resources should be spent.

Naturally, this type of economy will substantially increase the disparity between those who were in charge and the layman.

Need of Communism in modern world :-

Communism believes in equal distribution of resources which is hardly seen today as richest 1%  in India has wealth of bottom 56% of population, it gives welfare orientation to State as State is actively involved in economic, political and social life of people, also it is result and reaction of evil results, consequences of Capitalism hence it is very much appealing to modern world but there are some hurdles.

Why communism is not needed in modern world :-

  • Any modern society needs a left to articulate the needs of the poorest. But the progress made by liberal political systems since 1990s negate this notion as they have achieved spectacular reduction in poverty incidences.
  • The working class in these countries has seen its incomes stagnate as industrial jobs were shipped abroad or lost to automation. This working class has veered towards nationalist parties rather than the traditional left to articulate its grievances.
  • The experience over the decades show that free economy and mixed economies are producing better results. China modified it’s economic system which proved beneficial compared to it’s earlier communist economy.
  • In the era of globalization, digitalization and increased awareness about individual rights a totalitarian system will not appeal to majority of the people which controls minute activities of individual.

Communism though a revolutionary development in existing political systems of world could not remain adaptable and hence declined. Other political systems both communist and other learn important lessons and modified themselves. Some has even been able to adopt good elements of communism hence need of pure communism stands negated.


Topic:  Issues relating to poverty and hunger. 

2) What are the features of the Government of India’s National Nutrition Strategy announced in September 2017? Does excess emphasis on sanitation help address India’s malnutrition problem? Critically comment. (250 Words)

The Indian Express

Introduction :- The rationale for investing in Nutrition is globally well recognized – both as a critical development imperative, as well as crucial for the fulfillment of human rights- especially of the most vulnerable children, girls and women.

It constitutes the foundation for human development, by reducing susceptibility to infections, related morbidity, disability and mortality burden, enhancing cumulative lifelong learning capacities and adult productivity.

Nutrition is acknowledged as one of the most effective entry points for human development, poverty reduction and economic development, with high economic returns. The Global Nutrition Report 2015 estimates that for investment in nutrition, there is a benefit cost ratio of 16:1 for 40 low and middle-income countries.

Features of National Nutrition Strategy :-

  • The Strategy aims to reduce all forms of malnutrition by 2030, with a focus on the most vulnerable and critical age groups.
  • The Strategy aims to launch a National Nutrition Mission, similar to the National Health Mission. This is to enable integration of nutrition-related interventions cutting across sectors like women and child development, health, food and public distribution, sanitation, drinking water, and rural development.
  • Adecentralised approach will be promoted with greater flexibility and decision making at the state, district and local levels.
  • The Strategy proposes to launch interventions with a focus on improving healthcare and nutritionamong children. These interventions will include: (i) promotion of breastfeeding for the first six months after birth, (ii) universal access to infant and young child care (including ICDS and crèches), (iii) enhanced care, referrals and management of severely undernourished and sick children, (iv) bi-annual vitamin A supplements for children in the age group of 9 months to 5 years, and (v) micro-nutrient supplements and bi-annual de-worming for children.
  • Measures to improve maternal careand nutrition include: (i) supplementary nutritional support during pregnancy and lactation, (ii) health and nutrition counselling, (iii) adequate consumption of iodised salt and screening of severe anaemia, and (iv) institutional childbirth, lactation management and improved post-natal care.
  • Governance reformsenvisaged in the Strategy include: (i) convergence of state and district implementation plans for ICDS, NHM and Swachh Bharat, (ii) focus on the most vulnerable communities in districts with the highest levels of child malnutrition, and (iii) service delivery models based on evidence of impact.

 

Linkages of sanitation and eradication of malnutrition :-

  • 6 billion people in the world lack adequate sanitation—the safe disposal of human excreta. Lack of sanitation contributes to about 10% of the global disease burden, causing mainly diarrhoeal diseases.
  • In the past, government agencies have typically built sanitation infrastructure, but sanitation professionals are now concentrating on helping people to improve their own sanitation and to change their behaviour.
  • Improved sanitation has significant impacts not only on health, but on social and economic development, particularly in developing countries.

However excessive emphasis on sanitation is inadequate to address problems of malnutrition as the problem of malnutrition stems from plethora of reasons.

Nutrition is a challenge full of complexity. There is plenty of evidence globally and in India suggesting that poor nutrition affects early childhood development, learning and earning potential with life-cycle effects on national health and economic growth. For an emerging country with one of the fastest economic growth rates, India needs to implement its announced strategy with a focus on evidence, results and learning hence only excessive emphasis on sanitation will not serve the purpose.

Other measures like Integrated Child Development Services, National Health Mission- including RMNCH + A, Janani Suraksha Yojana, Swachh Bharat including Sanitation and the National Rural Drinking Water Programme, Matritva Sahyog Yojana, SABLA for adolescent girls, Mid Day Meals Scheme, Targeted Public Distribution System, National Food Security Mission, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and the National Rural Livelihood Mission are also playing important role in reducing malnourishment.

Additional information :-

http://niti.gov.in/writereaddata/files/document_publication/Nutrition_Strategy_Booklet.pdf


 

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

3) The Prime Minister has recently constituted the economic advisory council (PMEAC) to provide sound policy advice in key areas such as reviving economic growth and creating enabling conditions for gainful employment. Do you think PMEAC was needed when the NITI Aayog and the office of the chief economic adviser (CEA) are fully functional with similar policy agendas? Discuss. (200 Words)

Livemint

Introduction :-  NITI Aayog (Hindi for Policy Commission), also known as the backronym for the National Institution for Transforming India, is a Government of India policy think-tank established by the NDA government to replace the Planning Commission which followed the top-down model. The stated aim for NITI Aayog’s creation is to foster involvement and participation in the economic policy-making process by the State Governments of India. The emphasis is on bottom-up approach and make the country to move towards cooperative federalism. 

While The Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) is the economic advisor to the Government of India. The CEA is the ex-officio cadre controlling authority of the Indian Economic Service. The CEA is under the direct charge of the Minister of Finance.

Apart from NITI Aayog and CEA the government receives policy-related suggestions from stakeholders such as bureaucrats, industry, consumer groups, think tanks, academia, media, experts, among others through both structured and non-structured processes. However a closer look at the functions of the CEA and NITI Aayog points to a niche which the PMEAC can create for itself.

  • All those stakeholders giving advices to government directly or indirectly represent a specific interest group, such as the Central government, state governments, foreign investors, domestic industry, intermediaries, consumers, among others, and, by design, may not be able to adopt a holistic approach.
  • This is where role of PMEC becomes crucial as it can provide independent astute understanding of the interlinkages between the interests of different stakeholder groups, including stakeholders who have not been able to effectively communicate their perspectives.
  • The chairman and member secretary of the PMEAC remain associated with NITI Aayog in their old capacities, thus providing critical synergy between the two organizations.
  • The CEA reports to the Union finance minister and is tasked with preparing the economic survey, involving rigorous ex-post analysis of economic realities. It lays the ground for predicting forthcoming opportunities and challenges to the economy. The NITI Aayog, on the other hand, provides expert advice to different government departments and state governments on policy formulation, monitoring and supervision.
  • Armed with data analysis from the CEA, and an understanding of the implementation capabilities of government departments and state governments from NITI Aayog, the PMEAC will be in a position to adopt a whole-of-government approach to provide policy advice to the Prime Minister.

The members of the PMEAC have the necessary skill set and experience to make the most of this opportunity and contribute to the country’s economic growth revival story. This unique opportunity must not be missed.


Topic: Indian economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment. 

4) Despite two key measures – demonetisation and GST, India has made very slow progress towards becoming a formal economy. Discuss the reasons and measures needed to formalise economy. (250 Words)

The Indian Express

Livemint

Introduction :- Sector which encompasses all jobs with normal hours and regular wages, and are recognized as income sources on which income taxes must be paid is formal sector of Economy.

According to NSSO data, there have been more jobs created in the informal sector than the formal and more than 90% of the population  is employed in informal jobs. 

 

Reasons for formalizing economy :-

  • At present, only 10% of India’s over 470 million workforce is in the formal sector.
  • Formalizing the informal sector will lead to fair representation/measurement of economy.
  • It will lead to enhanced tax collection through improved tax base and tax consolidation
  • The daily labours and others will be subject to workers regulations hence probability will be higher to curb illegal practices like child labours, bonded laboures and social security of workers will be enhanced.
  • Skills and education will be more emphasized when formalized.
  • Formal businesses (informal businesses formalized) have better access to bank loans. This will end the money mafias who charge high rates of interest.

 

One-time initiatives like currency swap and some reformation in taxation system might signal intent, but increasing the size of India’s formal economy will require a sustained effort

 

Following steps must be taken by government in order to increase the scope of formal sector:-

  • Financial Inclusion- Access to formal credit, banking facilities and impart financial knowledge. The recent push for promoting digital cashless economy, Scehems such as Jan Dhan Yoajana, Bank Mitras, Lead Bank Scheme, Priority Sector Lending are good steps by the government towards promoting formal economy
  • Improve quality of human capital- Boosting education and skill levels will provide necessary foundation for the formalization of economy. The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Mid Day Meal Schemes, SWAYAM, Skill Inida Mission are some good initiatives by the government.
  • Providing robust infrastructure: Improving connectivity through better roads and railways, improving access to cheap electricity would act as an incentive for setting up of formal companies.
  • Labour laws :- In India there are multiple labour laws and many outdated laws. Easy to understand and coherent set of law is necessary to enable formal sector to comply with it. Focus on increasing Ease of Doing business is also important.

 

According to the Arjun Sengupta committee report 92.4% of the population is engaged in informal sector ,which is a paradox to the inverse relationship between economic growth and informal sector numbers , in Indian economy. Hence enhanced efforts to increase the size of formal sector must be taken.


 

Topic:  Infrastructure; Economic growth

5) Critically examine the features of Bharatmala Pariyojana (BMP) initiative and its likely impact on economic growth of India. (150 Words)

Livemint

Introduction :- The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has decided to develop around 1,900 km of roads as green-field expressways out of which 800 km will be taken up in the Bharatmala Pariyojana Phase-I.

Features of Bharatmala Pariyojana (BMP) initiative :-

  • It’s an umbrella project with the objective of optimal resource allocation for a holistic highway development initiative. 
  • The components of the Phase-I are Economic corridor development, Inter-corridor and feeder roads, National corridor efficiency, Border and international connectivity roads, Coastal and port connectivity roads and Expressways.
  • Bharatmala Pariyojana has been designed to bridge the gaps in the existing highways infrastructure so as to make the movement of man and material more efficient.
  • It is aimed to solve issues related to traffic congestion, seamless cargo movement across ports and border area connectivity.
  • Special attention has been paid to fulfil the connectivity needs of backward and tribal areas, areas of economic activity, places of religious and tourist interest, border areas, coastal areas, port areas and trade routes with neighbouring countries under the programme.

 

Impact on economy :-

  • Bharatmala project will include economic corridors (9,000 km), inter-corridor and feeder route (6,000 km), national corridors efficiency improvement (5,000 km), border roads and international connectivity (2,000 km), coastal roads and port connectivity (2,000 km) and Greenfield expressways (800 km)
  • Bharatmala will provide NH linkage to 550 districts, as against around 300 Districts currently and be a major driver for economic growth in the country.
  • Bharatmala Pariyojana will also help generate a large number of direct and indirect employments in the construction activity, the development of highways amenities and also as part of the enhanced economic activity in different parts of the country that will result from better road connectivity.
  • Bharatmala will also have a positive impact on the Logistic Performance Index (LPI) of the country.

 

However the road-building initiative was sorely needed but it does not represent acceleration in road-building, and is unlikely to provide a big boost to the capital expenditure cycle.

  • The outlays of Rs6.92 trillion though sound optimistic if accounted with inflation does not appear to be a big jump.
  • Even when viewed in terms of road length, the proposals do not amount to a significant increase. The central government aims to build around 35,000km of new highways over the next five years however this is not an ambitious target given that around 27,000km of national highways were added in the last five years.

 


 

 

Topic:  Security challenges and their management 

6) ‘Lone wolf’ attacks are a security and political challenge. How should governments and other stakeholders deal with such attacks? Discuss. (150 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction :- A lone wolf, lone-wolf terrorist, or lone actor, is someone who prepares and commits violent acts alone, outside of any command structure and without material assistance from any group. He or she may be influenced or motivated by the ideology and beliefs of an external group and may act in support of such a group. In its original sense, a “lone wolf” is an animal or person that generally lives or spends time alone instead of with a group.

There have been a series of lone wolf terrorist strikes across the world. The 2014 Sydney hostage crisis, Boston Marathon bombing, US church bombing, London pop show attacks are among the prominent incidents. 

In India people like Mehdi Masroor Biswas, a techie based in Bangalore who was ISIS tweeter handler, Areeb Majeed, Salman Mohiuddin of Hyderabad shows the increased threat of Lone Wolf in India.

They are a security and political challenge :-

  • The political challenge is to find the root causes of radicalisation and address them. This cannot be done without support from community members and leaders.
  • The security challenge is to be more efficient when it comes to preventive measures. For ex in the case of Saipov, officials say he had been planning for a year to strike civilians.

How should governments and other stakeholders deal with such attacks :-

  • The approach must follow the sequence of awareness of the contagion, detection of potential and existing recruitsand finally remedial action.
  • The recent attacks in France and the large scale recruitment to IS has contributed to raising awareness regarding radicalisation the world over. However, there is a need to focus attention on potential target groups through monitoring and infiltration of social media sites that are the principle source of radical propaganda.
  • Big data analytics must be used to discern the level of radicalisation of potential recruits, their networks and sources of information, funding and leadership in order to help unravel the roots of radicalisation.
  • The police and intelligence services are neither trained nor equipped to handle the vital aspect of rolling back radicalisation in society. Helplines should be created and manned by professional counsellors and psychologists who can help reverse the process as part of the efforts of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) supported by the state.
  • While the above is a suitable course of action for potential and raw recruits, the hardened ideologues must be prosecuted under the counter terrorism laws of the state.
  • The example of the IS suggests that their legal advisors carefully exploited existing loopholes and gaps in legal mechanisms to continue with propagation of radical ideologies in Europe. This raises the need for regular revision and tightening of laws to ensure that the same cannot be attempted in India.
  • The formation of National Security Guard regional hubs in the aftermath of 26/11 is a welcome step to neutralise future terrorist strikes. However, recent attacks indicate that the reaction time to a terror strike is likely to be of the utmost essence in minimising casualties. There is, therefore, a need for specialised police teams to be trained and organised in every state to act as first-responders.
  • The nature of threat that groups like the IS represent is transnational in nature. Therefore, the momentum created in the aftermath of the Paris attacks must be carried forward to strengthen the “coalition of willing” to improve intelligence sharing mechanisms, reduce time for processing information requests, strengthen countering the finance of terrorism measures, and facilitate the extradition of hate mongers from their chosen place of immigration. The example of Sikh and Kashmiri groups in Europe and Canada is a case in point.

Attacks by home grown terrorists is a threat that has proved its nefariousness in the recent past. This is likely to be expanded through volunteers encouraged to undertake lone wolf attacks. It is therefore important to undertake suitable proactive measures to limit the potential damage that can be caused by such attacks.


 

TopicEthics in human actions

Introduction :- Torture is inflicting pain or injury to a living entity mentally, physically or emotionally. It is practiced as a deterrence, punishment or revenge etc. Torture can be formal or informal. The prisoners, anti social elements like terrorists experience formal torture inflicted by authorities but in day to day life one can experience torture like in patriarchal society a wife has to bear torture or a in case of bonded labour he/she has to face torture in heinous conditions of work.

On international front efforts are being made in order to regulate, minimize this torture inflicted on criminals, prisoners of war, illegal migrants. United Nations Convention against Torture (UNCAT)) is an international human rights treaty, under the review of the United Nations, that aims to prevent torture and other acts of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment around the world.

Efforts are being taken in that directions as torture is unethical in many ways :-

  • In words of Supreme Court in D. K. Basu case torture is a wound in the soul so painful that sometimes you can almost touch it, but it is also such intangible that there is no way to heal it.
  • Torture as an instrument of “human degradation” used by the state. It results into devastation of life of the person on whose it was inflicted.
  • Torture treats the victim as a means to an end and not an end in themselves. It treats the victim as a ‘thing’, not as a person with all the value that we associate with persons.
  • Imposition of torture and the severity depends mainly on the authorities who enjoys discretion hence torturers often explicitly dehumanise their victims to make it easier to torture them
  • The person under torture gets double jeopardy with assuming the torture as a right of authority by inflicting it the way they want and also the person live in fear, pain and uncertainty about life.
  • Torture is sometimes used to destroy the autonomy of the victim.
  • Torture violates the rights and human dignity of the victim, including the legal right to remain silent when questioned.
  • Torture many a times results into custodial deaths which is against human laws.

 

 Torture is held necessary by public many times. It enjoys more than twice the public support in the US that it does in France, Spain, and the UK. However torture is a slippery slope – each act of torture makes it easier to accept the use of torture in the future

 hence opinion across the glob must be mobilized to eradicate it.


Topic:  Ethics in human actions

Introduction :- Naming And Shaming campaigns are used in order to punish the rule breakers and to deter others from following the same path. Many a times campaign like MeToo for university teachers, people going for open defecation or not having toilets in home, bank defaulters are named and shamed in order to fast track the process of law implementation etc.

Campaigns like naming and shaming of sexual offenders is considered ethical on basis of notions spreading awareness, stopping further crime, doing justice with the accused but there are many ethical issues involved in this and other such campaigns :-

  • It attacks directly on personal dignity and reputation of the named person which makes the person difficult to lead normal social life.
  • It denies the accused a chance to get reformed as once the reputation is gone no act of improvements or correcting behaviour on accused side will be effective to regain what he/she lost.
  • The established legal routes are not followed and due process of law is kept at bay in such campaigns which largely involves tendency of mob justice.
  • It is discriminatory tool to punish the offender as though he/she committed economic, social crime the only punishment under this is shaming in public
  • Sometimes unavoidable situations, genuine mistakes are also make the accused to commit that crime like farmers defaulting on bank hence for larger socio politico and natural circumstances only the said person is held responsible and shamed.

 

Hence a rational analysis of intent, consequences of such campaigns must be evaluated before their implementation.