Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 11 APRIL 2018


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 11 APRIL 2018


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: The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country

1) Division in Congress between the moderates and the extremists was just faction fighting that plagued organized public life everywhere in India around that time. Examine. (250 Words)

From Plassey to Partition – Page 248 Section 5.3

 

Key demand of the question

The focus of the question is on understanding whether the conflict between the moderates and the extremists was a part of the broader trend of the conflict in public life at that time or whether it was due to some other deep rooted issues.

Directive word

ExamineWhen we are asked to examine, we have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any. Here we have to  get into the depth of the reason behind the conflict between moderates and extremists. We have to examine whether there were factions within Moderates and Extremists as well, or whether the reason of the conflict was more ideological/situational/political.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– In the introduction, discuss about the nature of relationship between the moderates and extremists and the overall public life back then.

Body– Analyze whether the conflict between the two was a part of overall public life. Explain about the factionalism present within the moderates and extremists as well. Talk about the fact that ideological consolidation was still underway as we were in the initial period of our freedom struggle.

Thereafter, analyze the other causes of conflict between the moderates and extremists – ideological/situational/political

Conclude with the statement that the conflict represented a difference in opinion, which was justified when a group of passionate individuals are fighting for a cause. Also mention that the split was utilized by Britishers to serve their interests.

 

 Background:-

  • By the end of the nineteenth century, it became quite apparent that moderate leadership of the Congress was unable to bring any significant change in the policies and administration of the British in India.
  • It created reaction and thinking grew among young leadership that no good would be served without struggle. They gradually lost faith in the moderate tactics- prayer, petition and peaceful procession and therefore, proceeded ahead towards the path of confrontation. It resulted in the rise of radicals within the Congress and that of revolutionary outside it.

It was just faction fighting which was part during that time :-

  • Bengal:-
    • In Bengal there was division within the Brahmo Samaj and bitter journalistic rivalry between the two newspaper groups, the Bengalee, edited by moderate leader and the Amrita Bazar Patrika, edited by the more radical Motilal Ghosh.
    • There was also faction fighting between Aurobindo on the one hand and Bipin Chandra Pal on the other over the editorship of Bandemataram.
  • In Maharashtra there was a competition between Gokhale and Tilak for controlling the Poona Sarvajanik Sabha .
  • In Madras three factions, the Mylapur clique, the Egmore clique and the suburban elites fought among each other. In Punjab the Arya Samaj was divided after the death of D.Saraswati, between the more moderate College group and the radical revivalist group.
  • So the division in Congress between the moderates and the extremist was just faction fighting that plagued organized public life everywhere in India around this time.

There were other issues as well.:-

  • But the rise of extremism cannot be explained by terms of factionalism alone. Frustration with moderate politics was definitely the major reason behind the rise of extremist reaction.
  • Social :-
    • The social reformism of the moderates inspired by western liberalism also went against popular orthodoxy.
    • The various social and religious movements which had revived the faith of Indians in their country and culture were increasing national awakening.
    • They brought awareness that a vast country like India had been colonized by a handful of foreigners because of internal weaknesses of Indian social structure and culture.
  • Political:-
    • Political strategy of the moderates was founded on the belief that British rule could reformed within. But the spread of knowledge regarding political and economic questions gradually undermined this belief
    • The Indian Council Act, 1892 failed to satisfy Indian public opinion. On the other hand, even the existing political rights of the people were attacked. 
    • The Curzonian administration magnified this nationalist angst further. Even socially and culturally, the British rule was no longer progressive. Thus an increasing number of Indians were getting convinced that self-government was essential for the sake of economic, political and cultural progress of the country and that political enslavement meant stunting the growth of the Indian people
    • The party was being governed by an undemocratic constitution. Although after repeated attempts by Tilak a new constitution was drafted and ratified in 1899, it was never given a proper trial.
  • Ideological:-
    • In the first twenty years of its existence the Congress remained an ‘elite club’ representing voices of educated middle class of India.
    • The Congress was also financially broke, as the capitalists did not contribute and the patronage of a few rajas and landed magnates was never sufficient. 
    • Further, aside from annual conferences of the Congress, which many termed as a ‘three-day tamasha’, there was hardly any other political activity for the rest of the year .Thus, the Congress under the leadership of moderates could not reach to the masses. 
  • International:-
    • Several events abroad during this period were another important factor that encouraged upsurge of radical politics in India. The rise of modern Japan after 1868 showed that a backward Asian country could develop itself without western control.

Conclusion:-

  • In the initial phases of national movement ideological differences would be common which were taken by British for their advantage but both the groups came together and fought for the cause of independence later.

Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations.

2)Chinese charm offensive has cast a dark shadow over India Nepal relations. Analyze the statement in light of recent developments in India Nepal relations. (250 Words)

The Indian Express

The Hindu

The Hindustan Times

Why this question

India’s relations with its neighbouring countries is an important topic. Post any high profile visit, it becomes important to keep track of the new developments and the overall course of bilateral relationship.

Key demand of the question

The question is asking us to analyse India Nepal relationship through the China prism. The impact of China lurking around on India Nepal bilateral relationship as well as their relationship at multilateral forums. We also need to examine the other irritants in the relationship and whether they are all linked to China. The question demands us to answer

  • The impact China has on our bilateral relationship
  • The other irritants in the relationship and whether they are all China related
  • The positives in the relationship and why the health of relationship is independent of China

Directive word

Analyze – .In this question, we have to probe in detail two aspects(Parts): one, China’s impact on India Nepal bilateral relations . Second, how India and Nepal’s relations set their own course and is independent of third party.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– In the introduction, talk about the recent development in India Nepal relationship and relate it to China’s cloud over the relationship.

Body– Answer the question in parts. In the first part, talk about the China factor on India Nepal relations. Cover various aspects such as political, economic, multilateral forum like BRI, SAARC etc. Explain how China has a huge role to play in the relationship.

In the second part, explain how India and Nepal relations are independent of any third party. Show that the issues are independent of China (water issues, treaty issue, boundary issue etc) and the relationship is also progressing well, Here, underscore the Agreements signed or declarations made during the visit of PM KP Oli.

Present the synthesis of your thesis and antithesis. You can talk about the Treaty of Friendship, of cultural similarity and historical togetherness and say that minor hiccups may come but the relationship is time tested. Mention some suggestions for further bolstering ties – Sagarmala extension etc

Conclusion–  In the conclusion, can provide the overall sense of India Nepal relations by quoting PM Modi when he said that the relationship is taller than the Everest

Background:-

  • India has age old unique, time tested ties of friendship with Nepal. The relationship between the two countries is deeply and intricately intertwined by geography, civilisational bonds, and cultural and social enmeshing. However the role of China is Nepal is raising multiple questions

 

Recent issues between India Nepal which led China into the picture:-

  • There is a persistent perception among a large section of Nepalis that India was primarily responsible for the five month “blockade” of the Indo-Nepal border in 2015-16 which caused such hardship for common Nepalis.
  • Above Kalapani, there is no demarcation (of the boundary) between India and Nepal till China border. This could lead to problems in the coming time. After Doklam, Bharat is very concerned about Kalapani dispute. It may provide an opportunity for China to flare up the issue along with a Communist government in Nepal.
  • China, meanwhile, in a departure from its strictly hands-off approach in Nepal, started lobbying in Kathmandu for the continuation of the Oli government, with whom Beijing had signed a slew of bilateral agreements in March 2016.
  • Military:-
    • China invested heavily in Nepal’s security forces, particularly in its police and paramilitary forces. It even opened up a police academy to train the APF, the Nepali paramilitary force deployed to guard the Nepal-Tibet border, in order to check the possible infiltration of “Free Tibet” activists into Nepal.
    • China rethinking its Nepal policy was the recently announced military drills between the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and Nepal Army, the first ever between the two countries. Before this, Nepal Army had conducted such drills only with the U.S. and Indian armies.
    • After the Doklam crisis, China is getting more aggressive in creating strategic challenges for India in Nepal.
    • Nepal has opened flood gates for the Chinese to operate in all sensitive areas, including Kathmandu, Pokhara and down up to Lumbini, which is just 25 km from the Indian border.
    • China’s activities have been steadily expanding in Nepal after Kathmandu’s support for OBOR materialized.
  • Economic:-
    • Nepal and China also signed a bilateral assistance agreement worth 1 billion RMB ($145 million). Most of this money will go into post-earthquake reconstruction and upgrading Nepal-China road links.
    • Last year Nepal played host to the first-ever “Nepal-China Think Tank Conference,” where experts from various fields in China listed the great benefits Nepal would be entitled to if it embraced the “One Belt, One Road” idea.
    • When New Delhi imposed an undeclared border blockade against Nepal in 2015-16, Oli signed watershed trade and transit framework agreements with China. For the first time, Nepal could now import its oil from China and use Chinese roads, railways and ports for third-country trade.
    • Recently 10 agreements were signed between the two countries.The one related to trade and transit and the other on connectivity have attracted international attention for their security implication in the South Asian region.
    • As per the transit treaty with China, Nepal has now secured transit rights for trade with third countries through the Chinese territory
    • China decided to supply petroleum products to Nepal, apart from building petroleum storage facilities in this country.
  • Cultural diplomacy:-
    • Since the blockade, besides stepping up security cooperation, the Chinese government has ramped up its cultural diplomacy with Nepal as well. For instance it has recently started teaching Chinese to Nepali tourism professionals. China is also encouraging more of its citizens to visit Nepal and has announced that 2017 will be “Nepal Tourism Promotion Year.”

India Nepal relationship is strong :-

  • China role is only minimal because:-
  • Trade through China to Nepal has many technical as well practical problems. First, building such a railway track across the tallest mountains of the world would be a very costly affair. This is over and above the steep environmental and socio-economic challenges to be faced especially by Nepal.
  • Bharat has always stood up with Nepal in the moment of crisis. India was the first responder after the devastating earthquake in Nepal with the Indian government mobilising resources and manpower to ensure relief reached the spot within hours.
  • Besides, India and Nepal are seen to share a special relationship, with an open border and Nepalese nationals living and working in India, besides being welcome to serve in the Indian Army.
  • Twelve-point joint statement was issued recently highlighting the resolve of the countries to take their bilateral relations to newer heightson the basis of equality, mutual trust, respect and benefit.
    • Three agreements, on a rail project connecting an Indian border town with Kathmandu, on inland waterways connectivity and on agricultural development in Nepal, were signed.

How to strengthen the relationship:-

  • Completion of the ongoing process of updating the 1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship:-
    • India must recognise that as in all other developing economies, Nepal’s aspirational young population is also looking beyond the open Indian border for opportunities, and its  desire to turn his “land-locked” country into a “land-linked” country with a merchant navy must be considered positively. 
  • People-to-people inter-dependence must lead the relationship along with civil society and business-commercial level interactions.
  • India’s major foray should be in innovation and technology transfer, multidisciplinary dialogues, educational and technical institutions, local and global migration management and skills and capacity-building.
  • India needs to finish the infrastructure projects on time for instance Pancheswar project has been pending for over 20 years now. 
  • Nepal could be the fountainhead of climate change knowledge and connect to India’s larger dynamics of the management of the ecology of hills and mountains.

General Studies – 3


TopicRole of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security; Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention

3) Discuss the role of media in spreading extremism in Kashmir. Also discuss some peace-building measures that can be taken to tackle the problem of radicalization of youth in such areas. (250 Words) 

Reference

 

Why this question

Violent extremism is one of the fundamental concerns of much of the world and India is one of the those countries that faces different forms of violent extremism, ranging from riots to insurgency. Media plays a key role and is often exploited for spread of extremism. In Kashmir, media has played a critical role in the rise and spread of extremism. The question is hence important for UPSC exam. The other part, deals with solution to one of the basic factors responsible for extremism. The question is related to the GS-3 syllabus;

Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security; Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to explain how media helps spread extremism in Kashmir. The other part wants us to suggest peace-building measures that could be taken, to prevent radicalization of youth through different mediums.

Directive word

Discuss- we have to find how media helps spread extremism in Kashmir. We have to discuss in detail about all forms of media involved and how they help in the process.

In the other part we have to enumerate peace-building measures required to prevent radicalization and then briefly describe each measure.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- In the introduction, highlight the role of media in spreading any form of extremism e.g riots.

Body- divide the body into two parts. In one part, discuss different forms of media involved in spreading extremism and explain how they are involved. In the other part, discuss in points, what peace-building measures could be taken to prevent radicalization of youth. You should stick to the most important ones and briefly describe each.

Conclusion-  In the conclusion, mention a few complementary measures that could taken to fight extremism in India

Background:-

  • Many countries have suffered for decades from groups, both internal and external 
    and including both State and non-State actors, wielding violence against civilians as political strategy. In this context, the media is critical in providing verifiable information and informed opinion.
  • During the tense environment of a crisis, with populations on edge and tempers flared, this becomes all the more important. However the relationship between extremism and media is becoming a perverse symbiotic relationship  

Role of media in spreading extremism :-

  • Terrorist and militant groups devise spectacles of violence to continue drawing the world’s attention, and the media incentivized to provide wall-to-wall coverage due to huge audience interest.
  • Research has found that sensationalist media coverage of acts of militancy results in more such acts being committed.
  • At the same time, militant and extremist groups have increasingly sought to use the media to promote their agendas ,create fear and recruit followers.
  • The Coverage of extremist leaders ideas and speeches in newspapers and televisions raise the chances of youth with socio economically poor background to indulge in these activities.
  • Media in light of gaining maximum viewership and TRPs, do not consider the stereotyping impact being spread across the nation as they portray stone pelting in Kashmir.
  • Channels select staunch anti-national figures to represent hardliners from the Valley and nationalists who strongly oppose them on the other.
    • A recent press release, post the visit of the central home secretary to J&K revealed that only students of four colleges were involved in agitations, other institutions ran normally. The attendance in state board exams was almost hundred percent.
  • Role of social media:-
    • Social media enables antisocial people to become social. It helps lone wolves find the pack. More than a means to perform socially deviant roles collectively, social media offers a platform to do it anonymously. The Spreading of fake news further degraded the condition.
    • Social media is used by Pakistan to project fake atrocities and anti-religious behaviour by security forces to incite youth to take to the streets. 
    • Viral videos that capture militants at play and leisure, shocking videos of alleged rights excesses committed by security forces on Kashmiri civilians, the alleged use of instant messaging platforms to mobilise stone pelters and recruit foot soldiers for militants and the frequent gags on internet are bringing a paradigm shift in the narrative of the Valley’s conflict

Peace building measures to be taken :-

  • Army has shown that sporting events bring everyone together, hence these must be increased across the state.
  • Only 16% of Kashmir’s population is under its fold. Bulk of its 8 million Muslim-population is still not radicalised. To prevent any further erosion, the government needs to address the socio-political and economic concerns of the Kashmiris
    • Simultaneously opening avenues for employment, within and outside would open doors to those seeking a better life. 
  • The same social media which militant groups used  to glamourize militancy and draw local youth into their ranks should now be deployed by the families and the state to bring them back.
  • Closer surveillance by security agencies of what is being said on social media so that radicalisation can be detected and prevented at a much earlier stage.
  • Arresting the problem by counselling and reforming, instead of arresting the potential recruits of the global terror network.
  • Counter-radicalisation law:-
    • This law must criminalise glorification of jihad in peaceful ways by editors and Islamic clerics. It must protect security agents and provide them legal cove
  • Some suggested measures are:
    • Creation and promotion of inter-faith tourist circuits
    • Restoration of mutual trust, job creation
    • Modernisation of Madrasas
  • Media:-
    • Journalists must resist the urge to sensationalise matters
    • They must keep a global perspective, and pay attention to the words they use, 
      the examples they cite, and the images they display. 
    • They must avoid speculation and finger-pointing in the immediate confusion 
      following an attack when nothing is known, yet the demand for information is 
      perhaps the strongest of all.
    • They must consider carefully the fact that there is something inherent in terrorism as a violent act that provokes a fear in many that is far disproportionate to 
      the actual level of risk.
    • And most of all, they must avoid fostering division and hatred and radicalisation at both margins of society.

Topic: Issues relating to intellectual property rights.

4) There is an urgent need to revise Form 27 and patent working disclosure under Section 146(2) of Patents Act, in the interest of  state’s sovereign right and duty to preserve public health. Critically analyse.(250 Words)

The Hindu

Reference

Why this question

Shamnad Basheer, a prominent legal scholar and activist has  filed a public interest litigation before the Delhi High Court over the issue of form 27 and patent working disclosure. The judgement will have a vital impact on India’s public health. Hence the issue is important for mains exam and is related to GS-3 syllabus under the following heading- Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nanotechnology, biotechnology and issues relating to intellectual property rights. It is also indirectly related to GS-2 syllabus under the following heading- Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to analyse the need for revision of Form 27 and patent working disclosure and also discuss what are the associated issues involved. We have to form a personal opinion on the issue.

Directive word

Critically analyse- here we have to discuss why there is need for revision of the given provisions and also examine what are the other issues involved, which hinder or don’t warrant the revision. Remember to divide each part into sub-parts (Analyse).

Structure of the answer

Introduction- In the introduction briefly introduce form 27 and patent working disclosure.

Body- divide the body into two parts. In one part, discuss in points, why these provisions should be revised in the interest of  state’s sovereign right and duty to preserve public health. In the other part, discuss impediments/ counter interests/ other commitments which oppose revision.

Conclusion- in the conclusion, present your opinion about the need for revision and accordingly suggest measures that need to be taken to secure the state’s sovereign right and duty to preserve public health.

 

Background:-

  • Patent experts have made a representation to the central government to amend Form 27 under Section 146(2) of Patents Act, 1970 to bring in uniformity in the method of calculation of value of a drug, whether it is imported or manufactured in the country.

Provisions explanation:-

  • Form 27 seeks information to ensure that the patented material is adequately supplied in India. If the supply of the patented invention does not cater to the demands, statutorily the reasonable requirement of the public with regard to the patented invention is deemed as not met. This will be a ground to seek compulsory licensing of the product within India. The underlying rationale is to protect public health.
  • Indian Patents Act (Section 146) empowers the Controller to require a patentee or a licensee to furnish statements of how the invention has been commercially worked in India. It also requires the patentees and every licensee to furnish the prescribed statements regarding the invention. The Controller also has the right to publish the information received.

Why form 27 needs urgent revision:-

  • The current Form 27 does not mention any specific valuation guidelines.
    • Taking advantage of it, patentees employ different methods to calculate product value.
    • Some patentees declare value of product taking into account taxes and import duties, while some declare the value of product minus all the taxes and sales margins of intermediaries.
  • It is observed that patentees declare certain value and quantity of the product in Form 27, but they declare different value and quantity of the product while filing infringement suit in the court.
  • A discrepancy has been noticed in most of the patentees  country wise import declaration.
    • They do not specify how the value of product has been arrived at, whether the value of product arrived at landed cost is gross or exclusive of handling charges such as free on board (FOB) or cost insurance and freight (CIF) value 
    • Some patentees declare over invoicing of value of imported product, while some declare product MRP containing taxes.
  • Form 27 is totally outdated and the concept of “One Patent – One Product” has lost its relevance in the present context in business practices and business strategies in India and the globalised world. 
  • Patented product should be available to people at reasonable price to ensure working of patent but Form 27 fails to do so.
    • Paragraph  3(i)(b) of Form 27 which requires patentees to state the quantum and value of the patented product manufactured in India or imported from other countries, fails to capture the actual sale of  the patented invention in India.”
  • Form 27 should be amended to make sure that patentees should submit details such as
    • Estimated demand of the patented invention or product
    • Extent to which the demand has been met (i.e. availability)
    • Details of any special schemes or steps undertaken by the patentee to satisfy the demand.
  • Rectification of E-Filing version of Form 27 should be done to enable patentees and licencees to submit full and complete working information.
  • Vague requirement on disclosing licensing information
    • Lack of emphatic specificity in paragraph 3(ii) of the Form which requires patentees to disclose licenses and sub-licenses granted during the year so they do not disclose it. The amendment to Form 27 be done to remove it.
  • Quantum of product should also be indicated in clear terms. Lack of precision on this count has meant that patentees such as Bayer have used conflicting and confusing terminology to indicate quantum (packs vs boxes etc).
    • Where there are patient assistance programmes, quantity and price must again be clearly indicated in Form 27. Here again there are various gaps in the Form 27 filings by Bayer in relation to the Nexavar patent .
  • Vague wording
    • Form 27 requires patentees and licenees to “give whatever details are available” without mandating such disclosure in stronger terms, given that it is a statutory mandate under section 146 .
    • Naturally, as the Writ Petition rightly argues, the patentees and licensees had taken advantage of this ‘loose’ provision and provided virtually insignificant, incomplete information.
  • Insufficient information pertaining to working of patent

Why revision need not be done:-.

  • In case, the patentee refuses to license or exercise unreasonable conditions for issuing the license, then that 3rdparty can approach the Patent Office for issuance of compulsory license. This is in line with trips and Doha Declaration as well.

Way forward:-

  • The government need to introduce uniformity in the method of calculation of value of a product, to rule out discrepancy.
  • Form – 27 should mandatorily capture
    • The potential manifestations of the patent
    • Related multiple patents covering the same product
  • Knowledge of related patents and potential manifestations of the patent is crucial for de-bottlenecking especially when patents go haywire.

Topic:Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices ; 

5) Despite a number of on-going schemes for agriculture, doubling farmers’ income remains a distant dream. Discuss the steps taken by government for doubling farmers’ income and furthermore what needs to be done to realize the vision. (250 Words)

The Financial Express

 

Why this question

Recent farmers’ agitation in Maharashtra has again brought the plight of farmers to the forefront. It is thus prudent to analyze whether the vision of doubling farmers’ income will come to fruition or not.

Key demand of the question

The question is quite straightforward in its demand. It expects is to answer the steps taken to double farmers’ income. More marks in this question is contingent on writing the names of quite a lot of schemes and quoting from documents of Niti Ayog and Economic Survey. The second part expects us to plot a way forward where we can take help of recommendations (or sense) of Ashok Dalwai Committee and Niti Ayog papers.

Directive word

Discuss – .Mention in detail along with the names of schemes the steps taken. Quote from reports and policy papers on steps required

Structure of the answer

Introduction- In the introduction, talk about the need of the vision and what it represents.

Body- Discuss the steps taken to double farmers’ income and write the way forward. Before writing about the additional steps required, talk in brief about the issues with the steps taken so far. You can write in points by dividing into subparts like irrigation related, insurance related, infra related etc

Conclude by giving the issue a bigger picture – of food security and human rights and highlight the urgency in the situation.

Background:-

  • Indian agriculture is undergoing a tough time with farmer suicides still taking place .So tackling farm distress is essential to government’s target of doubling farmers income by 2022

Steps taken  to double the income of farmers in the recent years:-

  • Assurance of purchase of all crops for which MSP is declared is a positive step.
  • The Agri-Market Infrastructure Fund, with a corpus of Rs 2,000 crore, is to be set up for developing and upgrading agricultural marketing infrastructure in the Gramin Agricultural Markets and Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs). This will enable farmers in remote locations who are devoid of any institutional mechanism to connect to markets.
  • Operation Greenon the lines of  Operation Flood to tackle the volatility of tomato, onion and potato prices is a positive development.
    • reduce price volatility in these commodities, thereby helping farmers augment incomes on a sustainable basis. It also aims to provide these vegetables to consumers at affordable prices.
  • The long-standing demand of income tax exemption for farmer producer organisationshas been fulfilled
  • Rs 10,000 crore fund to finance the infrastructure requirements of fisheries, aquaculture and animal husbandry will generate rural employment and supplement farmer incomes.
  • Government proposed to raise the minimum support price (MSP) of all crops to 1.5 times that of the production cost.
  • GobarDhan‘ scheme launched for galvanising organic bio agro resources , management and conversion of cattle waste to compost fertilizers, bio-gas and bio-CNG
  • Amendments to NABARD act:-
    • Role of Nabard is critical to achieve the objective of doubling farmers’ income and increasing the infrastructure in the rural areas.
    • This bill will enable Nabard to fulfill its commitment. Farmers, rural artisans and labourers would benefit and their income will increase.

Issues:-

  • Government should have simultaneously announced acceptance of the Ramesh Chand Committee’srecommendations on the calculation of MSP, which it has not.
    • Debates stared thereafter whether it is ‘real’ or ‘nominal’ income, and whether it will be done in five years or six years.
  • Many of last year’s budget announcements  have not  been materialised due to lack of allocations.
  • Climate change worries have not been addressed
  • Agriculture R&D has been ignored.
  • There is no mention of the balanced use of fertilisers.
  • The subsidy allocated in Budget 2018 may provide a temporary solution to the crop burning issue, but it may do nothing to help address the larger water crisis.

 

What more needs to be done :-

  • Focusing too much on increase in production can be detrimental to farmers’ prices, as is being witnessed now.
  • The focus should be on multiple allied sectors like dairy, fisheries, poultry, horticulture or skill-based earning to his portfolio, depending on the farmer and the geography.
  • Make doubling farmer’s income the central theme of all schemes, programmes and institutions of the agriculture ministry
  • Rewrite the mandate of the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) and all associated institutions, including the State Agricultural Universities (SAUs) to focus research on increasing net farm returns of farmers
  • Make Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) responsible for providing technical assistance to farmers to continuously increase their income.
  • Merge most of the schemes of the agriculture ministry into one Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana- (RKVY) type scheme and ask district plans to be made clearly focused on farmers’ incomes.
  • Act immediately on the market:-
    • E-National Agriculture Market(e-NAM) has not delivered for most of the farmers. So address information asymmetry and the weaknesses in marketing infrastructure, particularly in procurement.
  • Take a close look at the existing schemes and provide for innovation and convergence to achieve the single desired objective of increasing farmers’ income
  • Danger of discouraging mixed cropping and crop diversification
    • A limited number of crops are notified by states under PMFBY. This can act as an impediment to crop diversification.
    • PMFBY will have to make insurance relevant to farmers by including more and more crops under notification and by allowing insurance for mixed cropping.

General Studies – 4


Why this question

Corruption is an endemic problem in India despite a plethora of laws and mechanisms put in place to check it.  CVC, which is the apex vigilance institution, free of control from any executive authority, monitoring all vigilance activity under the Central Government and advising various authorities in Central Government organizations in planning, executing, reviewing and reforming their vigilance work, recently witnessed a sharp decline in corruption related complaints. This is a paradox in itself, given the level of corruption in our country. Thus it is important for UPSC exam and the issue is related to GS- 4 syllabus;

Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption. Case Studies on above issues.

 

Key demand of the question

  • The question wants us to analyse the reasons behind sharp decline in number or corruption related complaints received by CVC. Then we have to form an opinion on whether public disenchantment with anti-corruption mechanisms is its main cause.

Directive word

Critically analyse- We have to form a personal opinion based on an in-depth discussion of possible causes behind drop in number of complaints received.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- in the introduction, mention the role of CVC in tackling corruption in India.

Body- Divide the body into two parts. In one part, describe in points, possible causes behind decline in number of complaints received by CVC. in the other part, analyse the role of public disenchantment with anti-corruption mechanisms vis a vis other causes and then form a personal opinion.

In the conclusion you can mention a few innovative solutions to prevent corruption in public services.

Answer:

 

The main purpose for which CVC had been established was to ensure all sorts of corruptions in government sector could be well prevented and addressed minutely.The 23,609 complaints received in 2017 by the CVC was less than half of almost 50,000 complaints received in 2016, and the lowest in the previous five years.

 

Reasons why dramatic in the total number of complaints received by CVC in 2017:-

  • Explained by the improved system for weeding out duplication of complaints and a few other streamlining exercises undertaken in recent years. 

Public dischantment against corruption mechanisms in India :-

  • Public was losing its trust in anti-corruption bodies because of their perceived inefficiency, quality of investigations and possible manipulations at various levels.
  • A recent survey by Transparency International (TI) organization, states that India has the highest bribery rate among the 16 Asia Pacific countries surveyed.Nearly seven in 10 people who accessed public services in India had paid a bribe. 
  • When CVC receives a complaint, the CVC calls for inquiry reports from the appropriate agencies
  • As per the laid down procedure, the inquiry/ investigation reports are required to be sent to the Commission within a period of three months. However, it is observed that in a majority of cases, there is considerable delay in finalising and submitting reports to the Commission.
  • Consistent drop in the quality of investigation:-
    • While the early steps such as raids and Preliminary Enquiry are well publicised, the follow-ups, including investigation and charge sheet are weak.
    • According to the CVC’s annual report, based on the CBI’s investigations, the CVC provided the first stage of advice in 171 investigation reports of CBI. Of them, only 30% resulted in criminal proceedings.
    • Similar drop in the number of punishments given out by the CVC, too, is visible.
  • CVC’s annual report has stated that it has observed that during the year 2017, there were some significant deviations from the Commission’s advice by various Ministries.
    • The Ministry of Railways refused to follow its recommendation in six investigations against senior officials.
  • Low civil service salaries coupled by systems that allows little or no access redress mechanisms are main reasons behind corruption. In other words people with limited resources are further disempowered by an additional hurdle in accessing public services through having to pay bribes. This cycle continues when redress mechanisms are inaccessible,
  • Lack of enforcement capacity and regulatory complexity are deep causes, or foundational characteristics of India’s institutions. Inadequate regulation of political finance and shortcomings in public sector recruitment and postings are more proximate offshoots of India’s institutional infirmities.
    • These four drivers give rise to three distinct types of malfeasance: facilitative, collusive and extractive corruption. 

What more can be done :-

  • Government should
    • Notify the original Whistle Blowers Protection Act, 2011
    • Appoint a Lokpal
    • Initiate other steps for strengthening anti-corruption mechanisms.
  • Continuous exchanges between stakeholders: govt/citizens/business/media
    • Increasing the level of transparency about government performance produces the greatest returns when it is accompanied by reforms that enhance the bargaining power of ordinary citizens, improve coordination and collective action, or strengthen the State’s ability to punish impunity.
  • Technology-based solutions work best with concerted institutional support, and when they decentralise enforcement, circumvent middlemen bureaucrats, and empower ordinary citizens.
    • For example, a technologically innovative programme in Andhra Pradesh used biometrically authenticated smartcards to decentralise payment-making authority for the rural jobs guarantee scheme and social security pensions, resulting in a more than 40% reduction in leakage.

Topic: Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values; Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration

7) “Courage is knowing what not to fear”. Critically analyse. (150 Words)

Reference

Reference

Why this question

Courage is a vital public service value. Its absence or presence in the public servant has a huge impact on his attitude towards work and life as well. Productivity and  integrity of a person/ public servant are intricately linked to the courage. The question is related to GS-4 syllabus; Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values; Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to analyse the given statement and discuss points in favour as well as against it.  On the basis of that discussion we have to form our own interpretation of the given quotation

Directive word

Critically analyse- we have to identify the key ethical issues involved in the given quotation and present them in the form of points in favour and points against. We have to give our opinion in the end.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- briefly mention the importance of courage in public service and in personal life.

Body-  Divide the body into two parts. In one point discuss points/ arguments in favour of and in other part, discuss points/arguments against the given statement.

Conclusion- In the conclusion, articulate your opinion in the form of conclusion of the above made arguments.

 

Maya Angelou said that “Courage is the most important of all the virtuesbecause without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage “. To uphold one’s self respect, stand for the right ,justice even in simple scenarios for instance when a person commits the mistake owning his/her mistake needs courage.

 

Especially in public administration the role of courage is immense as brave decisions for the larger benefit of the society need to be taken everyday. Courage is a value that is prerequisite for integrity of public servants. It is also essential to stand up for one’s beliefs conviction and attitude. Due to unpredictable nature of the work a civil servant carries out ,only courage can guide to face the future challenges and yet maintain integrity.

 

However some argue that a courageous person is not one who is not afraid of anything, but rather one who is able to overcome those fears. Despite the force of fear, there have been many people throughout history who have been capable of confronting their most intimate fears and demonstrating the courage it takes to move forward. There are stories of those who showed that courage, despite having a lot to lose, and risking their own life in the process for instance role of Nelson Mandela fighting apartheid, social activists fighting for social causes like Medha Patkar, Malala etc.

Therefore people need to understand that success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.