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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 08 NOVEMBER 2017


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 08 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; World history

1) What did the Russian Revolution mean to India, Indian politics and Indian political leadership? And how did colonial authorities react to these influences and interpretations? Examine. (250 Words)

Livemint

Introduction :- Russian revolution was a great event in world politics which influenced entire world and Indians leaders, political systems were no exceptions.

  • The Russian Revolution was arguably the last in a series of three “Asian” events that energized nationalist leaders in India in the years just before and after World War I after two great events of Meiji restoration and defeat of Russia by Japan.
  • The Indian revolutionaries who had up till then been drawing inspiration from the Kaiserian Germany, turned towards the Soviet Union for succor.
  • Both the peacenik Mohandas Gandhi as well as firebrand revolutionaries found inspiration in the methods practiced by Russians to win freedom from tyranny.
  • Russian Revolution inspired Indians and panicked the colonial British administration, though Communism was not to be the force that swept the British out of India.
  • Floodgates of the colonial revolt were let loose by the new ideology emanating from north. From Indonesia to Egypt the colonial slaves were in revolt against the imperialist exploiters
  • Communism indeed gained a foothold in India, inspired numerous leaders, established communist and socialist political parties, and lead to trade union movements and labour mobilization.
  • The Russian revolution proved to be a catalyst to the ripening grounds of socialism. Soon after 1917, several socialist and communist groups sprouted all across the country
  • It led to an upsurge in workers’ movements in 1918 and 1919
  • In British India, the 1917 revolution not only inspired and influenced secular movements, it had a similar impact on faith-based movements and political organizations. Even before the Communist Party of India (CPI) could formally take roots, there were religious scholars like Maulana Hasrat Mohani and Maulana Obaidullah Sindhi publicly owing allegiance to the international socialist movement.
  • Russians were also taking note of Indian happenings. After the arrest of Bal Gangadhar Tilak Lenin had written an article

As Jawaharlal Nehru noted later: “The Soviet Revolution has advanced human society by a great leap and has lit a bright flame which could not be smothered, and it has laid the foundation for that new civilisation towards which the world could advance.”


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

2) Today the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the multilateral system faces a challenge to its very foundations. What are the threats being faced by GATT? Discuss if GATT remains  relevant today. (250 Words)

The Hindu

 

Introduction :- General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was a legal agreement between many countries, whose overall purpose was to promote international trade by reducing or eliminating trade barriers such as tariffs or quotas. According to its preamble, its purpose was the “substantial reduction of tariffs and other trade barriers and the elimination of preferences, on a reciprocal and mutually advantageous basis.”

For 47 years, GATT reduced tariffs. This boosted world trade 8 percent a year during the 1950s and 1960s. That was faster than world economic growth. Trade grew from $332 billion in 1970 to $3.7 trillion in 1993. 

It was seen as such a success that many more countries wanted to join. By 1995, there 128 members, generating at least 80 percent of world trade.

However the GATT today faces challenges to it’s very foundation :-

  • There has been a rapid proliferation of bilateral and regional free-trade agreements around the world, raising concerns over trade diversion rather than generation.
  • The erosion of the larger commitment to the post-war global liberal order has been accelerated with many developments in world like election of Trump as US president.
  • As a result this regression, there are populist tide against the opening of the U.S. market under the North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA), portraying trade liberalisation as a zero-sum game.
  • Similarly, the rhetoric on the surge in Chinese imports since Beijing’s 2001 accession to the WTO seeks to play down the benefits of cheaper consumer goods and the opportunities in outsourcing and exports.
  • Earlier this year, Washington quit the Trans-Pacific Partnership trading bloc, and continues to threaten taxes on overseas operations of domestic industries and astronomical import tariffs.

Relevance of GATT :-

  • WTO promotes the establishment of world trade liberalization and economy globalization. After WTO was established, the world market has experienced decline in tariff levels, WTO members experienced an average of 40% decline in tariff rate.
  • WTO system actually creating peace among countries. WTO created system that helps the trade process to go on smoothly and providing countries a constructive and fair outlet for dealing with disputes between countries over trade issues.
  • The possibility to decrease in cost of living is one of the benefits of WTO. It is because protectionism increases the cost of the goods, in terms of production, raw material, and so on.
  • Creation of WTO has provided several benefits to developing countries as well.
  • A rule-based system actually governs the international trade that these developing countries involved, and ensure that they would get the greatest benefits throughout the international trade.
  • The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) offers a benefit for developing countries by creating a policy framework that helps in promote technology transfer and foreign direct investment.(WTO). 
  • Most of the developing country relied on the special preferential access to larger developed country market under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). It’s purpose is to ensure developed countries offer non-reciprocal preferential treatment to developing countries.

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

3) Critically comment on proposed amendments to the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments Act and reasons why doctors across state are protesting against these amendments. (150 Words)

The Wire

Introduction :- The doctors are opposing the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (Amendment) Bill, 2017, provides to regulate functioning of private hospitals by prescribing treatment costs and punitive action for violations. The Act mandates registration of all private medical establishments, charts out the obligations like maintaining records, prescribes minimum standards of facilities and services provided in the private medical establishment and mandates displaying rates of various procedures.

It is being amended for fixing Increased liability on doctors for medical negligence. The government is now trying to strengthen the law to include prices caps for medical treatments and procedures and to strengthen grievance redressal systems.

Why doctors across Karnataka are protesting against these amendments :-

  • Private doctors are demanding that the state focus on lifting the standards of care at government hospitals before attempting to regulate private medical establishments and their doctors.
  • The IMA also said that the Bill was discriminatory because it does not bring public sector hospitals into its ambit.
  • The punishment — ranging from six month to three-year jail terms and fines of between Rs 25,000 and Rs 5 lakh — for violators of the fee and a condition that hospitals must hand over bodies to family members soon after a death, instead of holding on to them for payment of dues, are among the key clauses causing concern in the private medical community. 

The bill has been conceived after due consultation with the hospitals by the Justice Vikramajit Sen commission. Kumar has also stated that the state government has paid the 250-odd private hospitals in Karnataka over Rs 1,000 crore through various health schemes since 2003

The proposed amendments to the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments Act – including regulating fee and service charges at private hospitals – are not against doctors. Rather, they will facilitate a better doctor-patient relationship.


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

4) Should India support the inclusion of Britain and France in the quadrilateral dialogue? Comment. (150 Words)

Livemint

Introduction :- It is a closed group consisting of India, Australia, Japan & USA. Japan pioneered the initiative about a decade ago. It perceives this forum as a coalition of maritime democracies. Securing a rules-based global order, liberal trading system and freedom of navigation are believed to the guiding principles of quadrilateral dialogue.

India should support inclusion of Britain and France in the quadrilateral dialogue :-

  • Nod to their entry will help India with financial benefits, their support to India in other multilateral forums.
  • Their entry will give a strategic angle to quadrilateral group.
  • These countries are strong naval powers hence it’s very much in interest of quadrilateral group to add them.
  • The growing power imbalance in Asia due to the rapid rise of China needs a robust alliance to counter balance. 

India should not support inclusion of Britain and France in the quadrilateral dialogue :-

  • It is like India is needlessly dragging itself into the US-China rivalry. 
  • Enlargement of such groups often results into their malfunctioning later.
  • They are the extra regional members. Their involvement in this dialogue will unnecessarily complicate the matter.

Taking into consideration the various dimensions it can be conceived that quad is a good idea but not quad plus hence inclusion of members into existing quadrilateral group must be done very carefully.

 


 

Topic: Environmental pollution; Conservation

5) No country can remain an island when it comes to climate action. In the light of ongoing COP23 climate negotiations, discuss the new challenges and responsibilities that countries are facing in striking a deal at COP23 to save earth from climate change. (250 Words) 

The Hindu

The Wire

Introduction :- The United Nations Climate Change Conferences are yearly conferences held in the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 

  • The UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn is the next step for governments to implement the Paris Climate Change Agreement and accelerate the transformation to sustainable, resilient and climate-safe development.
  • The Paris Agreement entered into force last November and the era of implementation has begun. This conference will further clarify the enabling frameworks that will make the agreement fully operational and the support needed for all nations to achieve their climate change goals.
  • COP 23 – which will be presided over by the Government of Fiji with support by Germany – is also an excellent example of the cooperation and collaboration between nations that will truly meet the global climate change challenge. This meeting is incredibly important.

However countries are facing new challenges and responsibilities in striking deal at COP23 :-

  • Although 169 countries have ratified the accord, and there is tremendous support for greener, low-risk pathways to growth worldwide, the Trump administration in the U.S., one of the top emitters of greenhouse gases (GHGs), has announced it will withdraw from the pact. 
  • For small island countries like Fiji the future is deeply worrying because of the fear that sea levels may rise sharply due to climate change. 
  • The recent Emissions Gap Report from the UN underscores the terrible mismatch between the voluntary pledges made by countries for the Paris Agreement and what is necessary to keep a rise in global average temperature below 2º C, preferably 1.5º C. 
  • Getting developing countries to raise their climate pledges will not be easy if developed countries don’t step up.
  • Bonhomie between like-minded negotiating groups inside the arena aside, faith in governments remained at an all-time low on the out as Bonn witnessed its biggest protest ever as 25,000 people marched against fossil fuels, government inaction and Germany’s reliance on coal.

If countries of world are all truly in the same canoe, it’s time to row harder than ever before. Developed countries must lift their share of the weight so the developing world can lift its ambitions. Tide and time are both against planet earth but we must strive for a better, sustainable future.


Topic:  Environmental pollution

6) What is smog? What are its effects on health, especially of children? Critically examine the root causes of air pollution in Delhi and reasons why various initiatives have failed to have any impact on its reduction. (250 Words) 

The Hindu

 

Introduction :- Smog is a type of air pollutant. The word “smog” was coined in the early 20th century as a portmanteau of the words smoke and fog to refer to smoky fog, its opacity, and odour.[1] The word was then intended to refer to what was sometimes known as pea soup fog, a familiar and serious problem in London from the 19th century to the mid 20th century.

Health impacts of Smog :-

  • Smog which contains Ground-level ozonesulfur dioxidenitrogen dioxideand carbon monoxideare especially harmful for senior citizens, children, and people with heart and lung conditions such as emphysemabronchitis, and asthma.
  • It can inflame breathing passages, decrease the lungs’ working capacity, cause shortness of breath, pain when inhaling deeply, wheezing, and coughing.
  • It can cause eye and nose irritation and it dries out the protective membranes of the nose and throat and interferes with the body’s ability to fight infection, increasing susceptibility to illness. Hospital admissions and respiratory deaths often increase during periods when ozone levels are high.
  • There is a lack of knowledge on the long-term effects of air pollution exposure and the origin of asthma. An experiment was carried out using intense air pollution similar to that of the 1952 Great Smog of London.
  • The results from this experiment concluded that there is a link between early-life pollution exposure that leads to the development of asthma, Proposing the ongoing effect of the Great Smog

Root Causes of smog and air pollution in Delhi  :-

  • One of the main reasons of increasing air pollution levels in Delhi is crop burning by the farmers in these states. Farmers burn rice stubbles in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
  • Pollution caused by the traffic menace in Delhi is another reason contributing to this air pollution and smog. The air quality index has reached ‘severe’ levels. 
  • As the winter season sets in, dust particles and pollutants in the air become unable to move. Due to stagnant winds, these pollutants get locked in the air and affect weather conditions, resulting in smog.
  • Another reason of air-pollution is over-population in the capital. Over-population only adds up to the various types of pollution, whether it is air pollution or noise pollution.
  • Industrial pollution and garbage dumps are also increasing air pollution and building-up smog in the air.

Why various initiatives have failed to have any impact on reduction of smog :-

  • The initiatives are not targeting the root causes of Smog. The Odd even policy, ban on construction in Delhi can’t reduce the smog level as the main reasons for smog stem from stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana, industries in Delhi etc.
  • Burning of coal, wood, kerosene, waste, crop residue, and other biomass, dust from roads, exposed soil, and construction sites are also major sources of Delhi pollution and hardly any steps are being taken for it. The options like vacuum cleaning of road are not sustainable in long run.

Way out :-

  • Increase public awareness of air pollution. Educate and inform people about what they can do to reduce air pollution. Put out public health messages on the metro, buses, billboards, and radio to help change public behaviour. 
  • Raise and enforce emission standards. India is still on Bharat III and IV emission standards for our vehicles and fuels. This is 10-15 years behind the West, where vehicles spew one-tenth of our emissions or less.
  • Improve public transportation and traffic management. Expand the fleet of CNG buses. Implement BRT the right way. Build, repair, and reclaim the sidewalks for pedestrians – not for parking and vending – so people can walk more often, including to nearby bus stops and metro stations. 
  • Discourage vehicle use: Driving is not a right but a privilege; it has a social cost. Impose – as many countries do – an annual vehicle use fee. Penalise ownership of multiple cars in a household.
  • Penalise big and non-compliant polluters. Like Beijing, ban the sale and registration of all new private diesel vehicles in Delhi. Provide 24×7 power across the NCR to minimise genset use; ban diesel gensets and promote CNG gensets. Spot-check fuel pumps for adulteration. Move coal-firedbrick/pottery kilns out of the NCR. 
  • Reduce road and construction dust. The problem of dust plagues the entire Indo-Gangetic plain. It can be mitigated by changing how our urban surface infrastructure is built.
  • Reduce domestic sources of pollution, improve waste management. According to the 2011 census, over ten percent of Delhi’s households still use biomass for cooking. Remove the address proof requirement for LPG Make LPG more affordable. 

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

7) What do you understand by helicopter money? Examine how demonetisation affected helicopter money in India. (150 Words)

Livemint

Introduction :- Helicopter money is a tool of unconventional monetary policy that has been proposed as an alternative to quantitative easing (QE) when interest rates are close to zero and the economy remains weak or enters recession. It is a hypothetical, unconventional tool of monetary policy that involves printing large sums of money and distributing it to the public in order to stimulate the economy. Helicopter drop is largely a metaphor for unconventional measures to jumpstart the economy during deflationary periods.

Impact of demonetization on helicopter money :-

  • Though demonetization was a surgical strike against tax cheats and counterfeit currency it became an attack on a large informal economy that ran almost entirely on cash.
  • 86% of total currency was wiped out of market with a single stroke. The decrease in liquidity of market was the immediate result of demonetization.
  • since the central bank spent resources on both mopping up the deluge of liquidity in the banking system and printing of new currency notes, its dividend payment to the government fell by more than half
  • It created a situation of cash starvation, killed aggregate demand particularly in light of heavy cash reliance of our economy.
  • The more enduring effects of the demonetization experiment were felt in asset prices and in supply chains.
  • The cash that the rich would otherwise have used to finance property or jewellery purchases, or deployed in lengthy working-capital cycles of informal businesses, has gotten corralled into equities.

Like in the West, where a decade of monetary adventurism has altered people’s portfolio choices and made risky assets frothy, India has reached the same end point, though by flying the money helicopter in reverse. Moreover, unlike quantitative easing, which is a reversible stimulus for the demand side of the economy, India’s cash ban—and now the GST—are seeking to permanently alter the supply side. 


Topic:  Ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; 

Introduction :- India is a welfare nation. Though it is growing at much higher rate and is identified as bright spot in world economy redistribution of increased national wealth has remained a distant dream. The Oxfam International’s global income inequality report says 57 billionaires in India have the same amount of wealth as the bottom 70%.

This condition of disparity is a result of many ethical crisis and public servants apathy in performance of duty :-

  • Narrow conception of development results in Progress for few and neglect of many :- The developmental policies when get oriented towards industrial development rather than agricultural then the benefits of growth are enjoyed by minority leaving behind the majority in poverty. Ex India’s policies after independence relied on trickle down effect and became more industry oriented hence even today over 70 households depends on agriculture
  • Imitating others without introspecting owns realities :- The notion of modernity varies from nation to nation. Our country when trying to import the west’s ideas of development is not able to adjust with own realities and creating the regional disparities. Ex developing Smart cities but what India really needs is Smart villages.
  • Poor governance, lack of administration, bureaucracy inefficiency :- The backbone of countries development is it’s governance. Indian bureaucracy is marred with many problems like lack of accountability, transparency, lack of motivation to work hence the welfare, service orientation of it decreases which results in poor development.

However the increased awareness on part of government and people has changed the situation. Efforts are being taken to redistribute the fruits of development equally through measures like up gradation of bureaucratic governance, reforming policy making and implementation, progressive taxations, experiments like demonetization etc.