SECURE SYNOPSIS: 14 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
The #metoo campaign bringing to the surface a new name every week, thousands of women all over the world are openly sharing experiences of the harassment they have faced in society and in the workplace.
Effects of Sexual Harassment at workplace
- Careers of women affected
- Careers of the women that were stunted or destroyed by such behaviour.
- Mental health impacts of being a victim, from depression to loss in confidence.
- Loss of talent
- The loss of talent is real.
- A woman’s career stagnates after she experiences harassment at the workplace.
- These women often choose to work in an environment perceived to be safer, but perhaps disconnected from their field of interest.
- Policymakers frequently lament the dismal number of women students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
- Girls formed only 8% of the total students enrolled in the Indian Institutes of Technology in 2016.
- But Indian girls consistently outperform their male peers in the higher secondary examination.
- Effects on employers
- And it’s not just the employee that suffers.
- In the US, employers paid about $125 million in the past two years to settle claims through the equal employment opportunity commission (EEOC).
- Data on Indian companies is also starting to emerge. The figures don’t include the loss of productivity and morale that such behaviour imposes on the company.
- Unlike the US, India doesn’t have a body overseeing workplace equality.
- The sexual harassment law, while welcome, is fairly recent, with little or no oversight. It’s not easy to bring class-action suits to hold powerful men accountable.
- The increasing number of women in leadership positions has a direct effect in preventing harassment.
- In male-dominated industries such as mining or construction, far more women report sexual harassment than in other fields. In comparison, female-dominated and gender-balanced fields, such as education, harbour less tolerance of hostile behaviour.
- Male-dominated management teams are more likely to tolerate, sanction or even expect, aggressive behaviour from peers.
General Studies – 2
Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Education, Human Resources.
2) Karnataka, with the sixth largest number of undergraduate engineering seats (1,00,565) in the country, is the state with the least vacancies among the top 10 states that together account for 80 per cent of the total seats. Examine why Karnataka fares better compared to other states. (250 Words)
- As engineering seats go unfilled across the country, as desperate colleges lower the bar to get students, as the poor quality of graduates and their lack of employability threaten to undermine India’s demographic dividend
- Karnataka’s relative success is an exception.
Factors responsible for Karnatka’s success
- Right ecosystem
- The engineering boom first arrived in Karnataka.
- In fact, the first private engineering colleges in the country — BMS College of Engineering in Bengaluru and National Institute of Engineering in Mysore — were set up here in 1946.
- Industrial and services base to absorb
- Much before the IT industry came up in 1991, Karnataka had an ecosystem of engineering excellence.
- The state had institutions such as the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
- Currently, Bengaluru is the fourth largest technology cluster in the world after Silicon Valley, Boston and London. It also has the largest number of R&D centres in the country.
- In short, a ready market for those who graduated from its engineering colleges.
- Karnataka did well to ensure that its colleges were “clustered near urban centres
- Almost 100 of the state’s 192 engineering colleges are either in or around Bengaluru.
- Controlled intake
- There has been a fairly controlled enhancement of intake (in Karnataka) because the market here responds very ably.
- Because the state had a head start in engineering education, it meant they had a much larger pool of qualified faculty to choose from.
- Quality of education, as a result, has always been better in the state.
- In fact, when other states went through their respective boom periods, Karnataka even provided them faculty.
- Check on expansion
- Despite the early start and though Karnataka continues to retain its position as a premier software export hub, the expansion in the number of engineering institutes in the state hasn’t been as unbridled as in the rest of the country.
- State had 192 institutes in 2016 as opposed to 527 in Tamil Nadu, 372 in Maharashtra, 329 in Andhra Pradesh, 283 in Telangana and 296 in Uttar Pradesh. Even Kerala, a state one-fifth the size of Karnataka, had 164 colleges, with 42% of its BE/BTech seats vacant in 2016-17.
- The state’s success story has a curious religious angle — the involvement in education of mutts or monasteries that are usually caste-based and wield immense political and social clout.
- Almost all of the state’s mutts have set up educational institutions as part of their ‘social service’, many of them engineering colleges.
- This association has helped put the brakes on the unbridled expansion of engineering education since, unlike in other states, the increase was based on “real and not speculative demand”.
- A religious organisation usually doesn’t treat education as a business. It sees it as a social obligation.
Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to health.
Patient Centric laws
- Reinvigorate Clinical Establishments Act of 2010
- While the Central government needs to relook at the Clinical Establishments Act of 2010, (that though adopted by 14 states stands unimplemented)
- State governments must seize the moment and bring in regulations along the lines of, or bettering upon, what West Bengal and Karnataka have recently done.
- Karnataka example
- constitution of empowered grievance redressal mechanisms at district levels
- mandated hospitals to display prices for procedures
- ensure observance of a patient’s charter.
- There is an equal urgency to building the institutional capacity to enforce them.
- Setting of protocols
- Computerisation of every patient interaction and supervision on real time basis
- An uncompromising approach to non-adherence of conditions need to go along with legal frameworks.
- Such an environment protects both doctors — of whom a majority want to do good — and patients, from the greed of hospital investors and managers.
Topic: Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these
Anti defection law
- Under Tenth Schedule to the Constitution, member of Parliament or the State legislature incurs disqualification if he either voluntarily gives up the membership of the party or votes or abstains from voting in his legislature, contrary to the direction (whip) of the party.
- The objective of the landmark anti-defection law of 1985 was to enhance the credibility of the country’s polity by addressing rampant party-hopping by elected representatives for personal and political considerations.
- While this enactment brought about some order in the system, some politicians found ways of circumventing it over the years.
Disqualification in Rajya Sabha
- In the present cases, that of Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar Ansari, the allegation against the members was that by indulging in anti-party activities they had “voluntarily” given up the membership of their party, namely the JD(U).
- According to a Supreme Court judgment, “voluntarily giving up the membership of the party” is not synonymous with “resignation”.
- It could be “implied” in participation of the member in anti-party activities.
Role of presiding officer
- Further, Rule 7(3) of the Members of Rajya Sabha (Disqualification on Grounds of Defection) Rules clearly stipulates that a member against whom the petition has been made, has to forward his comments to the chairman within seven days of the receipt of copy of the petition.
- Rules prescribed by the Rajya Sabha show that the Chairman is required either to proceed to determine the question himself or refer it to the committee of privileges for a preliminary inquiry.
- But reference to the committee is contingent upon the Chairman satisfying himself that it is necessary or expedient to do so; it is not mandatory.
- As a matter of fact, in several cases in the past, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, whenever “the circumstances of the case” so warranted, have “determined the question” themselves, without referring it to the committee.
- The orders of the Chairman have established a benchmark, both in terms of speedy disposal (about three months) as well as the quality of the decisions.
- VP made it clear that while dissent is a political right, it should be articulated appropriately without striking at the roots of the functioning of the party-based democratic system.
General Studies – 3
Topic: Investment models
- The Prime Minister inaugurated a 30 km section of the 72-kilometre-long Hyderabad Metro Rail Project.
- It is a state-of-the-art metro system, superior to any other in India.
- Its technology is the latest, the stations and structures are innovative and elegant, the trains are driver-less and sleek.
Features of the investment model
- Private enterprise
- Hyderabad Metro is primarily financed through private investment, unlike other metro projects that are entirely funded by the public exchequer.
- It is also the largest PPP (public-private partnership) investment in India, and one of the largest in the world. The total investment could well be about Rs. 20,000 crore, if around 10% is assigned for real estate development.
- Real estate devlopment
- Besides assigning the right of way for the elevated metro tracks and stations, the State government is only required to provide the land for three maintenance depots where real estate development can be undertaken above the ground floor.
- Some small plots of land have also been added for parking and shopping purposes.
- Fares affordable
- The fare structure laid down in the Concession Agreement will always remain affordable on account of greater efficiencies as well as the cross-subsidisation from real estate development.
- Accountability framework
- There will surely be some problems, especially on account of the scant regard for sanctity of contracts.
- However, the accountability framework laid down in the Concession Agreement is clear and precise as it can identify and address any defaults or malfeasance.
Importance of entrepreneurship
- Absorbtion of huge labour by creating jobs
- A million people join the labour force every month. This amounts to 12 millionIndians joining the labour force every year, which is more than the entire population of Sweden.
State of India’s entrepreneurship
- Low development of entrepreneurship
- Contrary to popular belief, India produces too few entrepreneurs for its stage of development. The pace of creation of new businesses and new start-ups in India is low compared to the rest of the world – World Bank.
- Concentration in few places
- There is huge heterogeneity in entrepreneurship within India, with new establishments concentrated in a few places. There is extensive evidence of agglomeration economies.
- Supportive incumbent industrial structures for input and output markets are strongly linked to higher establishment entry rates.
- For a city, start-ups are more frequent in industries that share common labour needs or have customer-supplier relationships with the city’s incumbent businesses.
- However, strong agglomeration economies and supportive incumbent industrial structures still do not explain why heterogeneity in entrepreneurship within India should be much bigger than what other countries have experienced.
Factors important for enhancing entrepreneurship
- Quality of local physical infrastructure
- Good physical infrastructure is essential to supporting entrepreneurship, economic growth and job creation.
- Goods and services cannot be produced, or jobs created, without access to roads, electricity, telecommunication, water, education and health.
- Local education levels
- The link between education and entrepreneurship has strong roots.
- Education improves skill and spreads ideas more quickly.
- Programmes that promote education in poorer districts can increase the supply of potential entrepreneurs, provide broader benefits to the communities, and enhance equity.
- There are limits to the pace at which India can accumulate physical capital and invest in physical infrastructure, but there is no limit to the speed with which India can close the gap in knowledge.
- There is no one magic formula, or one size fits all, for making all districts more enterprising.
- Effective use of market
- The market should be used to determine its comparative advantage.
- Physical and knowledge infrastructure at local levels
- Policymakers have the responsibility of providing infrastructure.
- Districts become more competitive when they are livable, have good infrastructure, are well-governed, invest more in urban knowledge generation and capacity- building and work through strengthened public and private partnerships at the local, national, and international levels.
- They will attract more entrepreneurs and create more jobs.
- Digital infrastructure
- The jobs challenge faced by India will be shaped not just by how India invests in physical and human infrastructure, but by global trends towards increasing use of digital technologies.
- Heavy manufacturing is likely to start shedding jobs first. Light manufacturing still has the potential to create some jobs.
- Innovation in content and delivery of education
- Many more new jobs will be created in modern services.
- The future of jobs will be driven more by education and skills than in the past. Policymakers will need to introduce innovations in the content and delivery of education.
- The potential of technology-enabled solutions, supported by a stronger foundation of digital literacy,will go a long way in putting the future of jobs on a stronger footing.
- Small enterprises
- The future of jobs remains positive, given that India is starting from a low base in entrepreneurship.
- India’s strength in entrepreneurship lies in its small enterprises. They are now well integrated in global supply chains.
- Last but not least, women-headed entrepreneurship will become the new driver of job growth in the future.
- Local governments wanting to promote pro-entrepreneurial growth should focus less on firm-casing —attracting large mature firms from somewhere else—and focusmore on encouraging entrepreneurship in their community.
General Studies – 4
Topic: Human Values
The epic of Mahabharata teaches various principles & techniques regarding warfare like skilled warfare (Chakravuha system), role of leader, role of advisors, various technologies & weapons used. but this interpretation is a narrow one, in a broader sense, Mahabharata delves into deeper values of life who strict adherence will strengthen modern concept of ‘rule of law’. some important values are –
- Duty is sacrosanct – perform your duty even if it means going against your beloved ones is the message of Krishna to Arjuna
- Respect inherent dignity of every human being – A kingdom/society which violates human dignity is bound to decimate. Kaurvas act of tampering with the dignity of Draupadi decimated the whole Kaurvas
- Uphold Dharma & Truth – life of Yudhistira is an epitome of truth & Dharma. it symbolises that Dharma needs to be upholded even if it means loosing the war
- War is bound to cause misery & destruction for millions of years to come– Even fought for a just cause,war is full of destruction & thus, in a way Mahabharata teaches the importance of diplomacy
- Teacher is equivalent to Good – even standing on the opposite side of battle, Arjuna first payed respect to his teacher.
- Immoral means like corruption, cheating only provides momentary gains, in long-terms truth always becomes victorious as exemplified by victory of Pandavas over Kauravas
- Kurushetra’s warfare has many things to learn not in arena of warfare but in the area of establishing peace, prosperity & growth. above all, even if a cardinal principle that ‘duty is sacrosanct’ can be learnt, we can be able to eliminate all kinds of administrative inefficiency & be able to establish ‘effective, efficient & participatory administration’