SECURE SYNOPSIS: 02 DECEMBER 2017
NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.
General Studies – 1
Topic: Role of women; Resources
1) It is said that the larger questions of water rights of women, both in terms of access and control over decision-making, remain unaddressed in India. Examine why. Also discuss why is it important to involve them in issues around water. (250 Words)
Despite the International recognition to the key role of women in issues around water, India’s National water policies (NWP) fall short in addressing the issues of incorporation of woman in the planning, provisioning and management of water resources
Why women have been ignored in framing of water policies?
- Policies focused on other “important” issues
- In NWP 2012, the focus was on multiple uses of water and increasing water use efficiency. It fails to explicitly prioritise women’s differential needs and uses of water
- NWP 2002 emphasized ecological and environmental aspects of water allocation rather than women needs
- NWP 2012 promotes PPP model by stating that water should be subjected to application and pricing on economic principle to avoid wastage after drinking and sanitation.
- Both NWP 2002 and 2012 call upon active participation of farmers, voluntary agencies in planning and management of water resources.
- NWP 2012 emphasizes the formulation of a water framework law and climate change. So no space for gender sensitivity.
2.Relegated to use of water domestically only
- There is a belief that women are just supposed to take care of the households and show concerns about domestic uses of water and they don’t really need to be a part in water-related development efforts..
Why is it important to involve women in water policies?
- Primary users of water
- Women carry the water burden as water providers. They have a better control over water right from the household level.
2.Role in sustainable use of water
- Since they can manage water for their homes, they can also manage for the sustainability of the ecosystem, their families and villages.
3.Transfer the value of water efficiently to younger generations
- They are better teachers for the children that can assure water sustainability for our future generations. They can communicate the value of water very well.
Topic: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues
- In more ways than one, 6 December 1992 marked a shift in the journey of contemporary India and its democracy.
- Societies do experience tumultuous controversies over identities and founding principles. In that sense, what we experienced in December 1992 is not exactly exceptional, less so given the complex history of India and the audacious challenge that we undertook on the eve of independence.
- Therefore, 6 December should be remembered for the threat it posed before the project of democracy. But, the challenge—and therefore the problem—is often posed in terms of secularism.
- The demolition was all in stark contrast to two distinct things for which independent India had been aiming: democracy and nation.
A Majoritarian Democracy
- In either case, India had embarked upon its own path without necessarily adopting the models that had emerged in the West.
- A steadfast refusal to follow the majoritarian path has informed this experimentation.
- The majority would ordinarily not depend on crude mobilisation of the majority community in order to govern.
- Likewise, the idea of nation was distinctly non-sectarian and was open to the coexistence of multiple faiths. In fact, diversity was seen as the constitutive feature of both democracy and nation.
- Ayodhya–Babri challenged this and brought forward sensibilities that deeply distrusted diversity.
General Studies – 2
Topic: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.
3) The latest constitutional amendment to the Goods and Services Tax allows the GST Council to establish a dispute resolution mechanism that overlaps with the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. Examine the implications of this amendment. (150 Words)
- GST Council is a new body created under Article 279A of the amendment; members include the union finance minister, the union minister of state for finance/revenue, and the finance ministers of each state (including union territories).
- Articles 269A and 279A(4) confer the GST Council with the power to make recommendations on several issues like the apportionment of revenue from interstate trade, taxes to be subsumed, exempted goods and services, model GST laws, etc.
Article 131 vs GST Council
- The GST Council has the power to adjudicate intergovernmental disputes inter se states, between states and the centre, or between the centre and a few states versus the remaining states. These powers of the GST Council are worded similarly to Article 131—which deals with the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
- Article 131
- Article 131 is used only when there is an intergovernmental dispute in the context of the constitutional relationship that exists between governments and the legal rights flowing therefrom (Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi and Ors v Union of India, 2016).
- The original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under Article 131 may be invoked only after satisfying certain preconditions incorporated into it—the first is that the disputants must be state(s) and the union, and second, the dispute must pertain to a legal right.
- Over the years, the Supreme Court has reaffirmed the position that when a state, as party to a litigation, affirms a legal right of its own which the Government of India has denied, or is interested in denying, Article 131 exists to provide constitutional solace (State of Rajasthan v Union of India 1977).
- The same intergovernmental disputes over which the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction under Article 131 appear in the text of Article 279A.
2.GST: A Legal or Political Question?
- During the debate on the dispute resolution provisions of the GST Act, the opposition demanded that a specific forum like the GST Dispute Settlement Authority, manned by retired judges, should resolve GST-related disputes.
- The finance minister opined that if dispute settlement is left to a judicial body, it would mean that the power of taxation is subject to the control of the judiciary; he added that tax disputes under GST are political issues that need political solutions.
- Thus, this raises the question as to whether a dispute on taxation under GST is a political issue, and this will decide the veracity of the finance minister’s statement.
- The Supreme Court has reiterated that a dispute with political characteristics is not outside the jurisdiction of the Court if it raises issues of constitutional determination (State of Rajasthan v Union of India 1977)
- The power to impose taxes is a constitutional right granted under Article 246A, which empowers the union and states to make laws pertaining to levying GST; any dispute over the exercise of this power is likely to be a legal question.
Judicial Review and Fiscal Autonomy
- If the states or the centre are aggrieved by any decision of any mechanism of the GST Council, they can move the Supreme Court or high courts to have it overturned.
- The possibility of judicial overruling decisions made by dispute resolution mechanisms questions the fiscal sovereignty of the legislature.
- And a s power of judicial review over legislative action vested in the High Courts under Article 226 and in the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution is an integral and essential feature of the Constitution, constituting part of its basic structure. (L Chandra Kumar v Union of India 1997)
- The most important limitation of any mechanism established by the GST Council will be its inability to declare any legislation that violates the harmonious structure of GST as unconstitutional or ultra vires the Constitution, or strike out such statutes.
- If the GST Council constitutes an ad hoc arbitral tribunal or panel of experts, they cannot question the vires of any legislation passed by state or central governments.
- The decision in the L Chandra Kumar case would have helped if the GST Council had established a dispute resolution mechanism under Articles 323A or 323B
Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health,
4) In the last two decades, there has been rapid commercialisation of medical services which has led to cut-throat competition among doctors to attract patients for higher revenue generation. What do is cut practice in medical field? Examine the aspects of cut practice, such as its prevalence, trends and the ways to stop it.(250 Words)
- The cut practises is commissioning system which have come into prominence in Medical profession where docters get commission from testing Labs by sending patients.
- Corporate labs appoint personal relation managers to maintain relation with doctors and bring more and more patients.
- In Medical tourism, agents bring patient to corporate hospital for commission.
- Even Medical stores give commission to doctors by selling medicines to patients.
- This raises serious ethical issues.
- It creates unethical practises among doctors.
- It increases out of pocket expanses of patients and hamper quality of care.
- The patients have to suffer physiological trauma when unnecessary tests are done like eg- Cancer, Heart disease etc
- Prevention of Cut Practice in Healthcare Services Act should be brought by central government.
- Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) [CERR] Act should be passed to regulate private hospitals.
- Universal Health Care (UHC) should be provided to all as there is no transaction of money at the time of service delivery, the medical service is bought and financed by an independent agency, standard treatment protocols, regulation of rates, gatekeeping mechanisms, and prescription and procedure audits could be enforced.
- The government, the society, the civil society organisations, policymakers, politicians, and elected representatives need to think over the matter seriously.
- Awareness should be brought among citizens through campaign n mobilisation of public opinion.
- Healthcare is not commodity to trade with, a patient comes with trust in the doctor n consider him as God but if that trust is broken then there there are incidents like attacks on doctors will increase.
Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
Nuclear Disarmament movement
- The very first resolution of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) First Committee on international security from 1946 called for proposals for “the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and of all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction”.
- Nevertheless, there has not been an international treaty that legally prohibits nuclear weapons.
- That changed in July 2017, when 122 countries voted at the United Nations (UN) to adopt the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (or the Ban Treaty)
- Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, in recognition of its work over the past decade to make this treaty possible.
- During the 1990s, there had been some developments aimed at furthering nuclear disarmament, most notably the negotiation of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), the international agreement banning explosive nuclear weapons tests, which was originally proposed in 1954 by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
- But, since the CTBT was negotiated in 1996, there had not been a single multilateral nuclear treaty for nearly a decade when ICAN was initiated.
- Lack of action on disarmament by the five nuclear weapon states recognised by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was also an important driver for frustration amongst those seeking the elimination of nuclear weapons.
- The Ban Treaty provides various mechanisms for increasing pressure on the nuclear weapon states to get rid of their means of mass destruction. How successful this pressure will be remains to be seen.
- To start with, the treaty creates the obligation, under Article 12, for signatories to practise disarmament diplomacy by mandating that “each State Party shall encourage States not party to this Treaty to ratify, accept, approve or accede to the Treaty, with the goal of universal adherence of all States to the Treaty”.
- If Ban Treaty states follow this injunction, they must seek new kinds of official and public engagement with peace movements and civil society and governments in weapons states.
General Studies – 3
Topic: Indian economy – growth
Household expenditure provides an idea about the level of consumption of goods and services at the household level. It thus indicates the following
- Averge household savings
- Willingnesss as well as capacity to spend
- Diversity of market ( from where they buy due to factors like accessibility and affordability)
Relationship with service sector
- A significant portion of demand for services comes from poor households.
- Since 2004–05, a new trend emerged in which the difference is shrinking in the share of monthly expenditure spent on services between rich and poor households. It is important in the context of service tax which are applied uniformly on all irrespective of their economic status.
- Since economic reforms, service sector has grown due to expanded market and increased per capita income.
- However household expenditure in India is still very small in comparison to developed nations.
- Restaurants, hotels
- Recreation – tourism, multiplaxes, airservices, rails etc
- Education – Tution etc
- Clothing has diversified. Cosmetic use has also increased.
- Internet services
- Communication services
Topic: Basics of cybersecurity
7) India must establish a concrete cybersecurity strategy that takes into account the views of central government departments, universities, industries, international allies and partners, and state and local governments. Discuss. (250 Words)
Indian cybersecurity efforts
- Currently, cybersecurity relies mainly on new and innovative tools.
- These tools need to be integrated into the existing framework of governmental structures and the private sector.
- The NCSP suggests creating a national nodal agency to coordinate all matters relating to cybersecurity.
- National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre
- GoI established the National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) to safeguard critical infrastructure and key resources in 2014.
- The NCIIPC acts as a nodal agency for all measures to protect critical information infrastructure (CII), defined in the IT Act (2000) as “the computer resource, the incapacitation or destruction of which, shall have debilitating impact on national security, economy, public health, or safety.”
- Meanwhile, to handle emergency situations and ensure crisis management, another institution—the Computer Emergency Response Team-India (CERT-In)—has been created.
- It operates 24/7 to help users respond to cybersecurity incidents.
- CERT-In has established links with international CERTs and security agencies to facilitate the exchange of information on the latest cybersecurity threats and international best practices.
- An increase in the volume and scale of cyberattacks on defence infrastructure has heightened the need for cybersecurity.
- A proposal is already pending before the Ministry of Defence to set up a dedicated tri-service command with the Indian Air Force, army and navy for cybersecurity.
- It is time to enhance cyber capabilities so that the defence forces can deploy both defensive and offensive cyber operations to protect vital national interests.
4.National Cybersecurity Policy, 2013
- Cyber-policies provide an overview of the measures required to effectively protect information, information systems, and networks.
- They also provide insight into the government’s strategy for protecting cyberspace and outline how key players can work collaboratively in public and private to safeguard the country’s information and information systems.
- This policy aims to ensure a secure and resilient cyberspace for citizens, businesses, and the government. Its mission envisions a multipronged strategy to “protect information as well as information infrastructure, reduce vulnerabilities, build capabilities to prevent and respond to cyber threats and minimise damage from cyber incidents”
- The NCSP offers a 14-point strategy to establish a secure cyber-ecosystem and assurance framework.
- It centres on product, process/technology, and the personnel that form the basic building blocks of any cybersecurity system.
- It seeks to promote global best practices in information security (IS) and compliance through standards and guidelines—the International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) 2001 is the best known standard in the family providing requirements for an information security management system (ISMS)—it includes IS system audits, penetration testing and vulnerability assessments, formal risk assessments and risk management processes, as well as a cyber-crisis management plan for all entities within the government and critical sectors.
- The document envisioned the creation of a 5,00,000-person workforce (cyber-warriors) skilled in cybersecurity within five years. However, there appears to be a glaring skill gap in the cybersecurity industry, and to compound the problem, cybersecurity professionals are in great demand in the public as well as private sectors.
- Moreover, there are very few academic programmes on cybersecurity at the university level, and existing curricula do not address emerging trends and challenges.
- The NCSP needs an overhaul to grapple with new technological innovations and, in turn, challenges in the field.
5.Information Technology Act, 2000
- The IT Act, 2000 was designed in response to the increasing risk of cyberattacks.
- It seeks to reduce the digital divide to bring about societal transformation.
- The IT Act is an umbrella legislation that primarily aims to regulate electronic commerce as well as to gradually promote a culture of e-governance in India.
- It seeks to effectuate the 1997 United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Model Law on E-Commerce and refers to it in its preamble.
- An amendment in 2008 to the act widened the definition of cybersecurity to include “protecting information, equipment, devices, computer, computer resources, communication device, and information stored therein from unauthorised access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction”
- The law seems to make a reasonable effort to tackle two areas of policy in need of reform: cybersecurity and data privacy.
- However, it lacks detailed architecture to establish an effective cybersecurity system.
- As such, it calls for a comprehensive cybersecurity legislation to address growing threats to information infrastructure systems and networks and suggests a new specialised professional institutional structure to meet the cybersecurity challenge.
General Studies – 4
Topic: Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.
This quote is by Aristotle
Mahatma Gandhi asserted that HAPPINESS IS WHEN WHAT YOU THINK, WHAT YOU SAY AND WHAT YOU DO ARE IN HARMONY.
Happiness is physical, mental or emotional state of well-being. It can be defined by some positive emotions ranging from pleasant feeling to intense joy. It is the happiness of one & one’s loved ones which matters & drives the actions of a person.
Happiness comes from within and can’t be imbibe from external sources. A happy mind always has attributes of empathy, love, compassion, benevolence, solidarity etc for the fellow human beings which serve as the purpose of life.
Happiness is both a journey & the destination. A person who covers his journey of life happily, his end is also full of happiness. A person & his actions themselves are responsible for one’s happiness. Humans, being the superior & most Intelligent’ among the animals needs to think about the ways to be happy & make others happy.Its his responsibility to provide happiness to other animals by their protection.
Happy citizens will propel nation towards prosperity, economic growth, sustainable development,inclusive growth etc. Even Bhutan has recognised happineess as a critical component of its nation progress.
Contrary to it absence of happiness leads to stress,anxiety, downward spiral in economic growth, increase in vulnerability of weak groups, hatred, intolerance,pain etc.
A person should not give preference to materialistic happiness and always strive towards serving human needs to be happy.
Happiness though an important ingredient to live happily is not the only attribute other attributes such as emotional intelligence, rationalism, transparency, accountability,probity,integrity etc to lead a happy life.
It should be understood that happiness is a positive feeling. If somebody finds happiness in cruelty against animals, in outraging modesty of women or in any kind of violence except in defence, that happiness is not true & can not provide satisfaction & inner peace to the particular person.
True happiness lies in doing something in welfare of others, helping & protecting others & showing compassion & sympathy & doing one’s duties in an honest, morally upright & responsible way. Then only happiness can become part & parcel of one’s life & can give life its true meaning & objective
HAPPINESS IS NOT SOMETHING WHICH IS READY MADE. IT COMES FROM YOUR OWN ACTIONS– DALAI LAMA