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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 21 OCTOBER 2017


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 21 OCTOBER 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:   Factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India) 

1) Affordability and cleanliness are the twin pillars of Responsible Tourism. Analyse the impact of these focus areas on Tourism suggesting additional priority areas. (200 Words)

The Hindu

 

Tourism plays a pivotal role for the economic growth of a country, leisure time with family members,relief from stress and break from monotonous life. 

 

Importance of tourism

  • Domestic tourism is one of the major engines of economic growth and development for many regions and states of India. 
  • Not only does it contribute to income generation (6.77% of gross domestic product or GDP) but also is the source of large-scale employment (43.8 million [mn] or 8.2%) in both formal and informal activities
  • Domestic tourism can also act as one of the channels to reduce interregional inequality through the spending pattern and multiplier effect generated across regions. For example, low income and growth regions can get the spillover effect of high-growth regions through development of domestic tourism. 
  • Further, with the growing economy and increasing income and spending of Indians, domestic tourism is considered a booming activity  with the potential to create large-scale employment opportunities, and contribute to regional development.

 

In order to promote responsible tourism, affordability and cleanliness need to be prioritised in the following manner

 

Affordability

  • Affordable tourism will attract more tourists every year thus generating more revenue from tourism sector.
  • Afordable packages will be an incentive for the people to travel within the country itself with all sorts of diversity. It will not only prevent foreign exchange, but also distribute wealth across states.
  • Facilities like visas on arrival, e-visas etc can bring down costs.

 

Cleanliness

  • Cleanliness alongwith functional toilets, hygienic foods etc will attract more tourists thus generating employment opportunities, fillip to local industries and local cuisine.
  • Cleanliness is also important protect monuments, statues etc from damage. For eg Taj Mahal got damaged due to refineries in the region which caused acid rain.
  • The development and maintainence of infrastructure such as street lights, railways, roadways, hotels are highly required for easy tourism

 

Government efforts such as Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan, PRASAD, HRIDAY etc are steps in the right direction for promoting tourism and to promote India as tourism hub.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure 

2) Interlinking of river waters is a complex process influenced by Centre State Coordination and technical sign offs. Comment. (200 Words)

The Hindu

 

Introduction:

 

Interlinking of rivers is an ambitious project which seeks to link Himalayan and Peninsular river via series of channels. The government is set to begin work on an estimated $87 billion plan to connect around 60 of India’s largest rivers; this includes the Ganga. The resultant reservoir is expected to end farmers dependence on fickle monsoon, bring million of hectares of cultivable land under irrigation and generate huge megawatts of electricity. 

 

However its success hugely depends on following factors – 

 

Centre-State Coordination

  • The river-linking plan was first proposed in 2002 by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government. 
  • However, it was stalled as States failed to end differences over water sharing contracts and clearances.
  • Water is listed as entry 17 in List II of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution. 
  • While the government has initiated discussions to bring the subject under the concurrent list, it may not be an easy task to achieve. 
  • The government in a State that is upstream, for example, may refuse to share water with downstream States. When there has been a deficient monsoon, we have seen conflicts arise among States over water access.
  • Riversharing sharing of Kaveri Water dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnatka carried over 4 decade with no resolute solution till now.
  • Thus, without having a full-fledged architecture to solve disputes, it would not be prudent to embark on a mammoth project like this.

 

Technical issues

 

  1. Economic feasibility
  • Some Economists question the economic feasibility of the project

     2.Environmental conundrum

  • Diversion of west-flowing rivers of Western Ghats would affecst bio-diversity of the Sahyadris, which is also a hot-spot
  • Construction work in bio-diversity hot-spots would further create environmental and social crises
  • Water ecosystem may be damaged with river diversion 

    3.Displacement of people

  • Anthropologists cite the submergence of tribal land and villages, plus poor record of govt in rehabilitation and resettlement processes in almost every such project in the past

    4.Diplomatic 

  • Rivers like the Ganga-Brahmputra and Teesta are international rivers and projects on them might raise diplomatic issues with the neighbors

    5.Geological 

  • Geologists even fear issues like : impact on rain-pattern, local wildlife and riverlife, migratory patterns, among others.

 

The above question needs to addressed before embarking on this mamooth project with long gestation period of about 50 years. Simultaneously focus can be given on “more crops , less drop” mission , water-shed management Nerranchal scheme which are good viable alternatives.

 


Topic: Structure, organization and functioning of the Judiciary  

3) What is an ‘open court’ system of justice administration? Audibility and access to court proceedings necessarily impact tangible transparency. Comment. (200 Words)

The Hindu

 

Introduction:

  • Open court system of justice administration requires that Court proceedings must be open and accessible to public and the media. 

 

Open accessible justice

  • It is necessary to maintain trust of public in judicial system of a nation as Supreme Court stated in Vineet Narain writ petition or Jain Hawala Diary case ,1997 “Justice should not only be done but also seen to be done ” 
  • Supreme Court’s judgment in Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Limited v Securities Exchange Board of India (2012) had pointed out that courts had to keep proportionality and necessity in mind while passing such orders postponing publication of proceedings by the media.
  • In India Section 153 B, Civil procedure code and section 327, Criminal Procedure Code mandate public access to court proceedings. 
  • Open justice is the cornerstone of the judicial system in India.
  • In theory, hearings in courts are open to all members of the public to witness and for members of the mass media to report from.
  • In practice, however, the small and cramped courtrooms and the need to prevent any impediment to the proceedings, mean that entry is restricted and the general public relies on journalists to provide a fair and accurate summary of proceedings on the court.
  • The greater the stakes in a case, the higher the interest of the public and consequently, the more pressure on the court to ensure that its conduct of a case is beyond reproach.
  • Recently gag orders” by the court on media reporting of two high-profile cases, the criminal trial of multiple police officers for the murder of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and others, and the writ petition in the Allahabad High Court in the context of sanction for prosecution of Uttar Pradesh(UP) Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath, for hate speech were issued.

 

Issues

 

Audibility and access to court proceedings are complementary to each other and absence of either one reduces practice of justice to travesty of justice in following aspects.

  • Inaudible judgements made by a judge lead to confusion in audience that may include lawyers litigants and even media present in courtroom it may lead to rife propaganda
  • Such misrecorded judgements may entail unnecessary further court proceedings increasing burden on judicial system.
  • Inaudibility deprives citizens from Right to Information as guaranteed by article 19 c 
  • A proper use of microphone ensures better legal awareness not only for law practitioners but also for legislators and general public and non judicial members in tribunals
  • It also improves accountability of judges towards administration of justice.Higher courts must must act as role models to lower judiciary.

 

Way forward

  • Before limiting reporting of the cases, courts are required to satisfy themselves that no other measures were possible to protect the sanctity of the trial and that the postponement of reporting was only as long as was necessary to ensure that trial took place without interference.
  • Unless microphones are put to practice transparency virtue is but a caged parrot .However prejudice must be exercised where privacy of an individual or security of nation and other sensitive matters are vulnerable.

 Topic: Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections. 

4) Despite a dedicated law penalising sexual harassment at workplace, deeper yet fundamental issues plague the reporting of incidents across private and government sectors. Comment. (200 Words)

EPW

 

Introduction:

 

The #metoo campaign recently motivated the world at lage to support women facing Sexual harassment at workplace. India has placed immense importance on the safety of women evident in IPC, Visakha Guidelines, Saksham Report etc.

 

Sexual Harassment faced by women exists due to the following factors

 

  1. Urbanization
  • With the incentivisation of public and private Sector in recent times, with schemes like MGNREGA, Cottage Industries, MSME’s more women have started to venture out for work and are subjected to Sexual Advances by employers, late timings leading to wariness on returning home alone, stalking etc.

     2.Lack of awareness about laws

  • Indian Penal Code now punishes a variety of forms of sexual harrasment like stalking(Section 354D), sending lewd messages or pictures (Section 294), demanding sexual favors, threats, capturing obscene pictures etc. 
  • Unaware of such laws, women workforce are often subjected to harassment at the hands of employers or seniors.

    3.Non responsive Police administration

  • Police stations at times are reluctant to file an FIR against a complaint, either due to prejudices set against harrassment at workplace like “inviting herself”.

     4.Societal and peer pressure

  • Women are discouraged into retracting complaints by peers due to fear of society or loosing job etc.

     5.Lackadaisical attitude of companies

  • Private Companies with 10 or more employees are required to have a Complaint Mechanism for sexual harassment  which is not present in most instances, fear of tarnishing of public image

 

Provisions and laws in place

  • The Indian Penal Code, Sexual Harassement Act, 2013 extensively punishes sexual harassement at workplace and awards fines and jail terms upto 5 years depending on crime.
  • Extensive guidelines set out by SC in Vishaka vs State of Rajasthan (1997) case against Sexual harrasement at workplace.
  • Redressal mechanisms such as She-box for sexual Harassement Complaints or National Commission for Women online portals exist.

 

Conclusion

 

With the number of laws and Redressal mechanisms in place, the need is for proper Implementation like proper monitoring of complaints, employer compelled to record and provide knowledge on laws about sexual harassment especially in Rural and Semi Urban areas through publication.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Economics of animal rearing

6) Discuss the contours of the economics of milk production in India.(200 Words)

EPW

 

Dairy and agriculture interlinked

  • Livestock farming in India is part of a composite farming system characterised by crop–livestock interactions 
  • The by-products from several of the crops (crop residues, hay and straw) are used as input for dairy production, in addition to other inputs for which they have to directly incur costs (cattle feed, veterinary medicines, and artificial insemination). 
  • Animal dung and urine are used as inputs (bio-fertilisers and biopesticides) by farmers for improving soil fertility.
  • Many times, paddy straw and wheat hay, pod of groundnut and shell of different types of bean are used as dry fodder and feed for the animals. 
  • In such cases, part of the cost of production of these crops will have to be allocated to the by-products based on what proportion of the market value of the total produce these by-products account for. 

 

Regional variation in growth rate

  • The growth rate has been one of the highest in eastern India, with an annual compounded growth rate of 4.67%, in spite of low per capita arable land availability. 
  • The highest growth rate was recorded in central India (Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh). 
  • The second highest growth rate was in western India, which included Gujarat, a state known for White Revolution. As a matter of fact, Gujarat and Rajasthan accounted for most of the growth in milk production in western India 

 

  1.  Western India
  • In some parts of western India (especially Gujarat), dairy farming is intensive with farmers growing irrigated fodder crops such as alfalfa
  • Under intensive dairy farming, milk yield and revenue are high, but the input costs are also high as farmers have to grow green fodder, use expensive cattle feed to increase the milk yield, and so on. 

    2.Northern India

  • It is semi-intensive in northern India, with farmers mostly dependent on crop by-products from their own farm for feeding the livestock. 

    3.Eastern India

  • It is mostly traditional in eastern India, including eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal.
  • In traditional dairy farming (practised in high rainfall, humid, and sub-humid regions of India), milk yield and revenue are low, but the input costs are also low, with animals grazing in the wild, and farmers depending on natural grasses and crop residues as fodder for animals, using small amounts of cattle feed. 
  • The low land availability also creates surplus family labour that can be gainfully employed for animal rearing; for this the market value of labour should not be considered.
  • While the arable land availability is low, biomass is available round the year. The opportunity cost and the direct cost of using these inputs for dairy farming are negligible  
  • But a sizeable portion of total produce was retained by the dairy farmers—37% in Bihar, 27% in West Bengal, and 21% in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi .
  • Also, it is quite common for dairy farmers in India to convert part of the milk produced into value added dairy products such as curd, butter milk and ghee, and sell in the local market. 
  • This means that for traditional dairy farming by smallholders, it is all the more important to get the real economic value of the milk consumed by the household, and the actual economic cost of all inputs, including labour. This real economic value of the milk consumed domestically is often not considered in estimating the gross revenue from dairy production

 

Burgeoning dairy sector

  • First of all, dairy production is the only subsector of farm sector in India that has been growing steadily over the past couple of decades, whereas the cash crop sector, though growing, shows high degree of erraticism.
  • During the past three and a half decades (1985–86 to 2010–11), the lowest five-year average annual growth rate in dairy production was 4.1% and the highest was 7.1%.

 


Topic: Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth. 

7) Discuss the key constraints facing the information technology sector in a highly competitive global market scenario and the role of state and union governments in the growth of IT sector in India. (200 Words)

EPW

 

Constraints faced by IT sector in the global competitive market

  • Strict import facilities in some countries like in China for Indian technologies
  • Lack of FDI policies & lack of ease of doing business which act as impediments in IT investment in India
  • Labour & Land reforms come in way in the establishment of IT parks 
  • Competition with the world technological giants like Japan, US, South Korea 
  • Lack of special package to promote export of IT products 
  • Meager funds spent on R&D(only 0.8% Of GDP) is not helpful to compete with the global market

 

What is needed?

 

At national level

  • National IT policy is required 
  • Special packages for the exports of IT products
  • Signing MOUs with countries to promote R&D in IT sector- MOUs signed with Japan, US etc are in good direction.
  • Establishing IT industry – College coordination so that the IT graduates get jobs easily 
  • Promoting start-ups in IT sector
  • Negotiations with US, UK etc to provide hassle-free visa policy for IT guys so that they can get expertise working there
  • Taking measures to stop “brain drain” – providing incentives to the IT trained labour

 

At state level

  • Domestic policy to promote export of IT products
  • States like Karnataka can collaborate with the foreign countries for cooperation in IT sector at their own level
  • Infrastructure development – education, training, envisaging more state level IT institutions, speedy land acquisition for SEZs, IITS etc

 

India is known for its IT hub in Bangalore. More such hubs need to be established through domestic policies and public interventions. The schemes like START UP INDIA, SEZ etc are good direction.


Topic:  Storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints

8) Based on Karnataka’s pioneering agricultural output marketing reforms, discuss challenges and prospects of agricultural market reforms in India. (200 Words)

EPW

 

Introduction:

 

Karnataka has been a forerunner among states in reforming agricultural output markets. It has amended APMC Act based on the Model Act 2003 and established an electronic platform to support trading and combines more substantive legal-institutional reform with automation and unification.

As the annual income of a farmer depends upon both yield and the price that his produce fetches, the Government has rolled out large number of programmes to improve agriculture market such as Model APMC Act, e-NAM

 

E Nam

  • E nam is supposed to create an all India market, in order to ensure better prices to farmers.
  • Government launched the electronic national agricultural market or e-nam, a portal which would link 585 mandis by March 2018 and create a trading forum to encourage transparency in transactions and allow farmers to command competitive prices.
  • E-nam would challenge trade cartels who control prices and charge large commission fees. These cartels came into being through the misuse of the Agriculture Produce Market Committees Act, 2016.

 

But it faces many challenges such as:

 

  1. Different regulations in every state
  • Different states have their own agriculture market regulations and thus “one nation one market” is far fetched goal.

     2.Brokers disinterest

  • The brokers are intentionally not trading through the e-nam platform as it would affect their profit margins.

     3.Lack of technology

  • Shortage of computer terminals at the entry gates, lack of trained personnel and slow internet speed are some of the major impediments of e-nam.
  • Software is still being installed in mandis to enable them to switch auctions from the shouting platform to the electronic ones

     4.Interstate trade not viable in current system

  • Despite the platform being touted as a mechanism to encourage inter-state trade, there are no specifications as to how farmers can access multiple markets to obtain the best price for their produce.
  • In contrast, buyers are at an advantage as they access market information from multiple states, and accordingly, make the lowest bids.

    5.APMC amendments

  • Even the amendments to the apmc Act are biased towards the buyers. The amendments require that there should be a single licence that would be valid across the state and a single point levy of market fee.
  • But neither a licence nor a market fee was a requirement for farmers to trade at a local market earlier, thus creating new liabilities for farmers.
  • Without ironing out the discrepancies in e-nam or pushing for the effective implementation of the new model law—Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing (Promotion and Facilitating) Act (aplm), 2017—the Union government has taken a decision which could add fuel to the existing crisis.

    6.Foreign investment

  • Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (dipp) approved US e-commerce giant Amazon’s proposal to invest about US $500 million in the food retail business in India.
  • Similar investment proposals to the tune of US $195 million by companies such as Grofers and Big Basket are being considered by dipp.
  • Therefore, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries needs to evaluate if the approval granted to Amazon is in the best interest of farmers and whether there are enough safeguards to protect farmers from predatory practices.

    7.Middlemen prevalent

  • The government needs to also launch a campaign to eliminate brokers and corrupt officials in the system.

 

Way forward

  • Measures such as expanding the network of apmc mandis and linking them to a network of warehouses would aid modernisation.
  • More importantly, the government needs to overhaul the infrastructure facilities such as cold storage and warehouses to ease the food supply chain and help small farmers get a fair price and profit for their produce through direct procurement.
  • However, an easier way to improve farmers’ profitability is to open up exports of all agri-products, without any restrictions, and allowing private trade to build global value chains, keeping the ECA in abeyance.
  • This would require a change from the current pro-consumer approach to one that is focussed on farmers.

 

For achieving the goal of doubling the farmer income the reform in agriculture marketing ,and providing forward and backward linkages is need of the hour. 

As agriculture is in the state list and the agricultural marketing have huge potential in solving many issue but it success depend on the states initiatives and Karnataka model of agricultural markets reforms should be seen as a similar case a state innovation that can guide the whole country.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic:  Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions

9) The greater good principle is not necessarily an ethical one. Giving suitable examples, elucidate the limitations of utilitarianism. (150 Words)

General

 

Introduction:

  • Utilitarianism is an ethical theory often credited to Jeremy Bentham. This method argues that best course of action is always the one which maximises utility of maximum number of people. In simple terms it is referred to be as greater good of greater number of people.
  • Sardar Sarovar Dam which displaced and submerged lands of many farmers but will bring water to a huge population of people will be dubbed as a right decision in utilitarian theory.

 

Though many thinkers argue that utilitarianism is not always the best course of action.

 

Compromise human integrity

  • Kant argues about Categorical Imperative
  • He argues that certain values are so important that they cant be compromised even to maximise utility like human decency and worth of human life.
  • Similarly Rawls argued against utilitariansm that liberty and justice cannot be compromised.

 

Majoritarianism

  • Critics often argue that utilitarianism often gives rise to majoritarianism or the appeasemet of the majority which may not be just, but merely popular opinion. Hence it is undemocratic.
  • For example, most people advocate death as justice, while modern democratic principle stipulates to avert the state from using such a power on human beings.
  • Some even argue that such arguments like utilitarianism are used to justify genocides or cleansing of a race or community.

 

All in all utilitarianism is a good theory but it cannot be called as the absolute theory. Its use is not justified in all situations. Sometimes worth of an individual can not be measured against society as every human being is an end in itself than being a means for any notion. There should be fair balance between individual rights and societal rights therefore. Utilitarianism is a two edged sword hence other ethical attributes such as emotional intelligence, rational thinking etc needs to be considered before applying it.