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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 10 APRIL 2018

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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 10 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:  Social empowerment; Art and culture; Poverty and developmental issues

1) India has a rich tribal art, replete with exclusivity but their commercialization has not been realised upto the desired  extent. Discuss the impediments faced in their commercialization and measures needed to overcome them. (250 Words)

Livemint

Reference

 

Why this question

Tribal art offers huge scope for acting as an economic resource and a tool for socio-economic transformation of the tribals in India. The idea has been floated long ago but commercialization of these art forms has not been realised to the fullest potential. The erstwhile planning commission has also prepared a report over this issue. The question is indirectly related to GS-1 syllabus; Salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times. It is also related to GS-3 syllabus under the following heading; Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment. Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

Key demand of the question

The question simply wants us to highlight and elaborate reasons behind poor level of commercialization of tribal art products and then suggest ways to increase their commercialization.

Directive word

Discuss- we have to write in length about impediments faced in full scale exploitation of tribal art products as commercial resources and suggest measures to overcome those impediments.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- in the introduction, highlight in 1-2 lines, the potential of tribal art products as a commercial resource.

Body-  divide the body into two parts. In one part, discuss in points, impediments faced in full scale exploitation of tribal art products. In the other part, discuss the measures required to overcome the impediments.

Conclusion- in the conclusion part, mention the government initiatives undertaken in this regard and mention the need to strengthen them further by incorporating the suggestions provided in the answer.

 

Background:-

  • India is abundant with incredible art and platforms like tribal art forms are trying to exhibittribal art in India and abroad and act as a conduit between artists and the public.

Impediments faced in the commercialisation of tribal art are :-

  • Lack of awareness :-
    • Most Indians are not even aware of the diversity of Indian folk and tribal art and crafts other than a few styles like Madhubani paintings,Warli etc .
  • Dilution of authenticity:-
    • Authenticity of ethnic art forms was not being preserved in their modern adaptations. Often, the art forms are relegated to the status of showcase pieces in offices and homes. 
  • Earlier efforts were not very successful :-
    • A major push to promote the tribal and folk arts has come and gone, leaving an imprint in places such as France, which continues to have an annual showcase for folk art but still Indian market is lacklustre 
  • Many tribal art forms have died owing to lack of patronage. 
    • Tribal artists till sometime ago did not know that their work can be shown and sold at a price tag.
  • Tribal art largely remained a neglected child with the government not doing enough to promote them. 
  • Lack of presentation in sync with international standards:-
    • Tribal artists have a long way to go in terms of presenting and selling their work, but with time they are gaining confidence in their body of work.
  • People think that they too could replicate the work of tribal artists (jewellery or toys). 
  • The cost of running a gallery are high and to draw crowd towards tribal art is another tough task.
  • Folk and tribal arts have not been taken as serious art form, but dismissed as crafts tradition instead.
  • Priced much lower than works by mainstream artists
  • Buying folk art is considered not as a good financial investment by people.

Measures needed to improve commercialisation of tribal art :-

  • Platforms need to encouraged:-
    • Avenues like Tribal Art Forms, with an informed approach in curation, fostering relationships between indigenous artists and the public could help redefine tribal art .
    • Recently held Indian art fair  promoted vernacular and tribal art forms.
  • International examples:-
    • The Australian government, for example, has done a remarkable job in encouraging tribal art and preserving it.
  • Tribal art should be considered as preserving culture:-
    • Idea of owning a tribal art compared to modern artworks is to preserve it as a cultural embodiment. If this art form is not preserved then it will die a silent death like Singuli art from Maharashtra. Even for Kalighat painting, the actual painters have died or stopped working. 
  • Recently government has proposed setting up of a tribal cultural academy to promote the art and culture of Goa’s tribal community. This has to be undertaken seriously at a national scale.
  • TRIFED has entered into agreements with e-commerce platforms like Snapdeal and Amazon who will offer their customers various tribal products and produce. Tribal art can also be sold in a similar way.
  • At the local level community organisations and Panchayats role is important in identifying the artists and encouraging them .
  • At the larger level the artists need more coverage via media ,awareness in colleges and schools about tribal art.

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

2) One of the important aims of Swadeshi movement was the building up of a parallel and independent system of ‘national education’. Discuss the limitations of the system so created. (250 Words)

Bipan Chandra – India’a Struggle for Independence, Chapter 10

Reference

Reference

Key demand of the question

It is in the Static Topics List

The question is concerned with the system of national education, which was one of the chief aims of the movement. We have to focus on following things

  • What is meant by system of national education
  • Why was this move envisaged
  • Steps taken in this regard
  • Limitations

Directive word

Discuss – debate the merit of each step taken to realize the vision of national education and the efficacy of the steps

Structure of the answer

Introduction- Talk about the main aims of Swadeshi movement in general and education in particular.

Body-  Answer the key demand of the question (as mentioned above). For each part, write 3-4 points and give examples. Make sure that examples are unique and you remember them well. It’s through good examples that you score well in GS. 

Conclusion- Mention how the focus on national education set the course for future movements

 

Background:-

  • Early nationalists had welcomed the spread of western education through English, initiated on a limited scale by the British government. However, the Swadeshi movement was more closely associated with an Extremist criticism of this system, because it neglected vernacular languages and ‘indigenous values’ in education. 
  • National Education  propagated a sense of pride in learning national traditions and culture in national languages.

Independent system of national education:-

  • National education means an education suited to thetemperament and needs of the people fitted to build up a nationunder modern conditions and absolutely controlled by Indians.
  • National education aimed at nation-building in a modern world.

It was effective  in many ways:-

  • The programme of ‘national education’ was also tied up with encouraging more radical forms of politics. 
  • Establishment of institutions:-
    • For propagating learning of Indian traditions and culture along with modern values and developments in own national languages, Tagore established a great education centre, named ‘Shanti Niketan’  Mukherjee started ‘Dawn Society’ and Bengal National College and School 1906, with Aurobindo Ghosh as principal.
  • Not all aspects of this programme were revivalist:-
    • A number of national institutions were set up to encourage technical education and this indicated an acknowledgement of the importance of western science and technical knowhow within education.
    • A National Council of Education was set up in Calcutta in 1906 which designed primary, secondary and collegiate courses, which would combine literary and scientific education with technical training. 
  • Proliferation of national schools in districts and mofussil areas:-
    • These schools were far more politically active than those of Calcutta and caused great anxiety to the government as well.
    • Among them, schools established at Momen Singh, Faridpur and Bakargunj of Bengal were very famous because large number of Muslims and women were enrolled there. Numbers of the lower castes students was also impressive.
  • The national education movement conditioned the later educational developments in the country.
  • It had sure impact on the development of primary education in the coun­try. It paved the way for making primary education free, universal and compulsory.
    • G. K. Gokhale introduced two bills on primary educa­tion in 1910 and 1911 in the Imperial Legislative Council. 
  • Secondary education was also not free from the far-reaching effects on the national education movement. It influenced the curricula of secon­dary schools in an effective manner. It gave secondary education voca­tional and technical bias.
  • One of the major demands of the advocates of national education was instruction through the mother-tongue. This demand has now complete­ly been fulfilled.
  • School atmosphere was also changed as a result of the national educa­tion movement. “Bandemataram” prayer was introduced in different schools which became patriotic. Portraits of national leaders were found on the walls of school buildings.
  • National education movement led to the development of national consciousness which in turn strengthened the national movement for libera­tion. 

Limitations:-

  • Most of the grants from the National Council was concentrated in Calcutta and didn’t find their way into the mofussil schools. 
  • The leaders in the council were also fearful of police repression and thus, curbed grants to institutions that were suspected of having links with samitis or revolutionary organizations.
    • For the similar reasons, the mofussil schools, which were politically active, also lost out on funding.
  • Since the knowledge of English determined employment opportunities, vernacular languages were used only in the early school years, and the use of English dominated higher education.
  • The Council busied itself with setting up a parallel university, which met with very little success as no Indian-owned national college broke ties with the Calcutta University.
  • Radical Nationalists of Bengal did not incorporate in their programme the item of mass education as they were unable to for see at that time the revolutionary potentiality in mass education.
  • Differ­ence of opinion among national leaders was also imminent:-
    • The national education movement failed to sustain the type of education it introduced.  It was the Moderates of Bengal who controlled the National Council of Education and the institutions affiliated to it in Bengal and other provinces.
    • Difference of opinion among national leaders with regard to the concept and pattern of national education gave a rude shock to the survival of the movement
  • Inspite of their management and control the national education movement failed after the annulment of partition as India lacked the power and resources to put through such a programme.
  • The scheme lacked a carefully drawn up blue-print. Public support was hesitant, as well as uncertain and inadequate.
  • Official administration was also liberalised. With repression some concessions also came. Students of na­tional schools were allowed to be admitted in the official schools.
  • Due to emphasis on revivalism, particularly in the 1st phase of the movement, the Muslims in general did not sympathise with the nation­al education movement. This sectarian character of the movement gave a death-blow to its permanency and made it partisan and communal.

Conclusion:-

  • Despite its narrow reach ,the movement paved a way for future movements and education increasingly came into focus.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections;  Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation

3) The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 in its current form has many procedural and legal infirmities. Examine the statement in light of the Supreme Court verdict in Shayara Bano case. (250 Words)

The Hindu

The Hindu

The Hindustan Times

 

Why this question

  • Triple Talaq has been in the news for the longest time. The Bill has caused some controversy. WIth the recent tumultuous session of the Parliament coming to a close, it is important to be critically examine the important bills that were discussed/passed/not passed.

Key demand of the question

  • The question is asking us to examine the procedural and legal aspects of the bill in light of the SC verdict in Triple Talaq verdict. Essentially we have to contrast the legal and procedural aspects of the bill with the SC judgment on Triple Talaq. We also need to examine whether these aspects of the Bill are in line with the principles enshrined in Constitution and SC’s verdicts in the past. Legal here means the validity of law (principles therein) and procedural refers to the validity of the procedures to implement the law.

Directive word

    • Examine – In this case we have to probe deeper into the legal and procedural aspects of the Bill and examine it in light of the SC verdict in Shayara Bano case. The SC verdict has to be contrasted/compared with the provisions of the Bill, it has to be seen if the guiding principles of the verdict is carried forward in the Bill. We also need to bring out whether these provisions of the Bill are in sync with the Constitution and past SC judgments.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- Mention about the Triple Talaq issue and the overall debates that are being discussed about the Bill.

Body–  Can divide into 2 parts – Legal and Procedural

Legal

  1. Comparison with SC verdict (major portion)
  2. Examine against constitutional principles and past verdicts

Procedural

  1. Whether procedures in line with PNJ
  2. Whether procedures in line with those specified in the Triple Talaq verdict

Conclusion- Mention that the Bill needs to be refined through debates and discussions in Parliament.

 

Background:-

  • The recent Supreme Court’s judgment in the Shayara Bano case held that the practice of talaq-e-biddat (or triple talaq) unconstitutional. This was hailed as a step towards the emancipation of Muslim women and a win in the war against institutional remnants of gender inequality.
  • After the judgement government passed Muslim protection Bill in Lok Sabha but there have been criticism about the legal and procedural aspects of the bill.

Muslim women bill 2017 failed to be in sync with supreme court judgement :-

  • Legal provisions:-
    • The Supreme Court had set aside the validity of instant talaq (talaq-e-biddat), thus rendering its pronouncement ineffective in dissolving a marriage  under Article 141. But the bill makes the pronouncement punishable with a three-year imprisonment such an arbitrary exercise of legislative power is liable to be judicially reviewed and struck down for violating the principles of natural justice and rule of law.
    • The question arises of how after rendering talaq-e-biddat inoperative in Section 3, its  pronouncement can be considered a cognisable and non-bailable offence in Sections 4 and 7.
    • Another contradiction is found in Sections 5 and 6 which discuss post-divorce issues such as a “subsistence allowance” for the woman upon whom instant talaq “is pronounced” and the “custody of her minor children” as if her marriage is dissolved by the mere pronouncement of talaq-e-biddat. 
    • It negates the recent Supreme Court ruling by unwittingly favouring a sense of medieval view that the pronouncement of talaq-e-biddat breaks the marriage, and, therefore, needs to criminalised.
    • The pronouncement of talaq-e-biddat cannot be brought under the definition of emotional abuse mentioned in Section 3 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (PWDVA).This view is as legally untenable.
    • That part of the Bill which re-declares triple talaq to be illegal and void is largely surplus since the apex court has already done so under articles 141 and 142.
    • The present Bill does not provide her any additional benefits in terms of her rights in marriage and divorce which were already promised under Crpc and PWDVA.
    • The Bill does not add anything new  to the already existing maintenance responsibilities of the husband covered under various Acts. 
    • No country has criminalised triple talaq. It has been made illegal and void. For instance, in Algeria, talaq pronounced outside court is not considered legal.
    • The most significant ground on which the triple talaq Bill fails the test of constitutionality is found in Article 21 which states that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.
    • The Bill does not uphold previous supreme court judgements like  Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India(1978),Puttaswamy v. Union of India(2017) . the procedure imposing penal imprisonment for talaq-e-biddat in the proposed Bill is  just unfair and unreasonable.
    • Bill also constitutes unwarranted punitive deprivation of personal liberty of Article 19, especially clauses 19(1)d and 19(1)g. Thus, if a man is unjustifiably jailed under the proposed law even for a few weeks, he will be denied of these rights for that period.
  • Procedural infirmities:-
    • Furthermore, since the present Bill says that triple talaq is cognizable and non-bailable, married Muslim man become vulnerable target as  policemen  can arrest and investigate the accused with or without the complaint from wife or any other person. 
    • It would be difficult for a woman to prove that the man has given her triple talaq in one sitting.
    • Divorce is not a crime. Not fulfilling monetary responsibilities as the law obligates  of divorced wife and children or dependents, in case they are unable to maintain themselves is considered as an offence only after due process of law. The fact is there are existing laws that have already covered the issue. 
    • Arresting a man for triple talaq in one instance can actually destroy families. As triple talaq in one instance is illegal, the marriage subsists and it would be the responsibility of the man to maintain his family while utterance of triple talaq will land him in jail for upto 3 years.
      • The dependents would be left to fend for themselves as the man behind the bars won’t be in a position to pay for the family expenses.
    • Because of the bill  innocent men could be forced to undergo the aforementioned humiliating punishments reserved for cognisable and non-bailable offences.

Conclusion:-

  • In the light of additional suggestions given government needs to consult multiple stakeholders and then pass the bill

Topic:Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Education, Human Resources; Paper-3 (Awareness in IT)

4) Incidents of mass copying and question paper leaks represent the deep rooted malaise that affects our education system. Discuss how technology can be exploited to prevent such incidents. (250 Words)

The Indian Express

 

Why this question

Ranging from mass copying in Bihar to incidents of paper leaks of various exams, portray the deep rooted malaise in our education system. However, rather than improving the education system, present technology offers us various solutions to manage examinations. This can be asked in UPSC mains examination 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 related to GS-2 syllabus; Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health,Education, Human Resources.

Key demand of the question

The question simply wants us to describe various technologies available today which can be used to manage such kind of examinations in our country.

Directive word

What- We have to simply describe those technologies one by one and also discuss their economic and operational feasibility.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- you can introduce your answer by briefly discuss the prevalence of mass copying and paper leaks and the effects of lack of integrity in the examination process.

Body- write in points about the technologies that could be used to avoid such incidents. Also discuss their economic and operational feasibility.

Conclusion- in the conclusion you can mention some more measures which could help avoid mass copying and paper leaks.

 

 Background:-

  • The challenge of preserving the sanctity of major public examinations is acquiring gargantuan proportions as  leak of examination papers has become a recurrent phenomena and  is a sign of a growing malaise in society. 

Challenges with technology:-

  • Technology will require significant investments by both government and the private sectors and it may take a few years to implement the same across the country
  • Other issues like
    • Setting up of servers
    • Installation of software
    • Usage of network connectivity in the colleges etc need to be looked into.
  • With lakhs of students taking examinations every year implementing the online option would not be easy and  the costs would also be a concern.

But Technology use is the right decision to being transparency in the examination system:-

  • Paper leaks can happen at three stages – paper setting, paper printing and paper distribution. 
    • For paper setting itself, there should be multiple question papers which are finalised by a computerised programme selecting from a database of questions contributed by teachers.
    • For the second stage of printing, the work should be handed over to only a few trustworthy people and the punishment should be severe.
  • When examination centres are properly embedded with IT-based equipment it will translate into high bandwidth and internet-linked video cameras that transmit live images to a central monitoring centre and also store recordings on remote and secure servers. 
  • It will instill a sense of fear for the potentially errant examinee that his/her examination may be declared null and void at any time in the future based on the video recordings. 
  • These monitoring systems should also be linked with proctoring teams that can be dispatched at short notice. 
  • Well-crafted artificial intelligence-based computer systems can be put in place to produce effortlessly an intelligent and balanced question paper just a few hours before an examination. It can then be transmitted in an encrypted format by email to individual examination centres. Each of these centres must have high-speed printers to produce the physical papers.This will overcome the leakage of question paper during transportation and printing.
  • There should be a well-defined time duration for question paper upload, secret key delivery and question paper printing.
  • Another alternative to eliminate printing is to have a large screen in each room on which the entire question paper can be projected.. 
  • The Automated Integrated Examination System (AIES) is need of the hour with appropriate security measures:-
    • If effective measures and architecture are introduced in the Indian University examination system, it will go a long way to instill efficiency in the examination system and will be able to check the examination malpractices and fraudulent acts associated with the management of examination system.
    • Centralised database will help in reducing the redundancy in database in addition to maintaining consistency, integrity and security of data. 
  • Remote Proctoring
    • Remote Proctoring process is the method to invigilate remote candidate with the help of technology. Technology can simplify the process with the help of remote invigilation and proctoring.
  • To keep the paper leaks in check, CBSE officials should be deployed at every centre under CCTV camera surveillance

Other initiatives that can help in having effective examination system :-

  • Making more sets of question papers restructuring the pattern of papers to make them more applied knowledge-based rather than rote memory-based, being proactive and taking action instantly.
  • Man educational institutions with highly competent individuals of integrity, and to provide institutions with a degree of freedom and autonomy. .
  • Responsibility and accountability should be fixed. Preventive measures will help restore the faith of innocent students.
  • There  must be some control of the government over private coaching centres. There is a need to break the nexus between officials and coaching centres.

General Studies – 3


TopicConservation; EIA

5) We need ecologically robust and socially just solutions to cope with decreasing forest cover and increasing development pressures. Critical analyse the draft Forest Policy,2018 in the light of the above statement. (250 Words) 

The Hindu

MoEF

 

Why this question

Recently released draft forest policy accepts the fact that in order to achieve the national goal for eco-security, the country should have a minimum of one-third of the total land area under forest and tree cover. However, the strategies envisaged under the draft plan have been subjected to criticism on various accounts. The issue is related to GS-3 syllabus under the following heading; Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment, Disaster and disaster management.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to analyse the draft forest policy, 2018 and discuss how it aims to achieve sustainable development of forests and whether its strategies are ecologically robust as well as socially just. We have to form an opinion based on our analysis.

Directive word

Critically analyse-  We have to analyse both the aspects of the draft forest policy and examine its strengths as well as limitations, in terms of being ecologically robust as well as socially just.

Structure of the answer

Introduction-  in the introduction, mention India’s present forest cover and goals envisaged by draft Forest Policy, 2018.

Body- Divide the body into two parts. In one part the importance of a ecologically robust as well as socially just approach towards our forests. In the second part, analyse the draft policy and examine whether it  incorporates ecologically robust and socially just approaches in its strategy. Divide the second part into subparts and discuss each issue (ecological and social) separately.

Conclusion-  in the conclusion, briefly suggest some further measures/changes that should be made in our approach towards forest ecology and governance.

 

Background:-

  • Forests are among the first casualties as human populations explode. It is estimated that between 1950 and 1980, around 50 lakh hectares of forestland was diverted for non-forestry activities and India is unable to reach the national goal of 33 per cent. Yet forestlands continue to be diverted for non-forestry purposes in an ad hoc manner.
  • In the light of the contemporary challenges like climate change, human-wildlife conflict, intensifying water crisis, increasing air and water pollution and deteriorating environment a new policy is necessary.

Draft forest policy 2018:-

  • The overall objective and goal of the present policy is to safeguard the ecological and livelihood security of people, of the present and future generations, based on sustainable management of the forests for the flow of ecosystem services.
  • Features:-
    • Public private participation for afforestation in degraded forest areas
    • Public-private participation models will be developed for undertaking afforestation and reforestation activities in degraded forest areas and forest areas available with forest development corporations and outside forests
  • Promoting urban greens
    • It says the management plans for urban green will be prepared and implemented in consonance with the development plan of cities.
  • Measures to safeguard ecosystems from forest fire (map the vulnerable areas; develop and strengthen early warning systems)
    • It proposes to restrict schemes and projects which interfere with forests that cover steep slopes, catchments of rivers, lakes, and reservoirs, geologically unstable terrain and such other ecologically sensitive areas
  • The draft calls for state boards of forestry headed by state ministers in charge of forests to be established for ensuring inter-sectoral convergence, simplification of procedures, conflict resolution, among other things
  • Afforestation in catchment areas for river rejuvenation and water recycling
    • The ecologically sensitive catchment areas shall be stabilized with suitable soil and water conservation measures, and also by planting suitable trees and grass like bamboo
  • Economic valuation of forests
  • Forest certification to provide premium on forest produce
  • Integration of climate change concerns in forest management
  • Promote agro-forestry and farm forestry
  • Management of north-eastern forests
  • Besides, it had suggested launching a national forest streams revival programme in mission mode to tackle the water crisis.

Positives:-

  • It addressed the issue of forest fires, stating that adequate measures would be taken to safeguard ecosystems from forest fires, map the vulnerable areas and develop and strengthen early warning systems and methods to control fire, based on remote sensing technology and community participation.”
  • The latest draft of National Forest Policy has omitted any reference to a green tax or a national stream revival programme.
  • It emphasized on integrating climate change concerns into forest managementwhile noting that forests acts as a natural sink of carbon dioxide thereby assisting in climate change mitigation.
  • To tackle rising human-wildlife conflict, the draft outlined short-term and long-term actions.
  • The draft policy document also talks about degraded landand how it can be improved by undertaking afforestation activities using public private partnership models. 
  • It seeks to sync it with the country’s forestry-related ‘Nationally Determined Contribution’ targets under the Paris Agreement where India has promised to rapidly increase its forest cover so that an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent is created by the year 2030.
  • The draft policy also talks about the need to stimulate growth in the forest based industry sector. This sector being labour intensive can help in increasing green jobs. Forest corporations and industrial units need to step up growing of industrial plantations for meeting the demand of raw materials

Negatives:-

  • The draft NFP 2018 mentions major forestry issues ailing the forest sector, but it doesn’t provide answers to them as to how these objectives will be achieved considering the competitive demands for forestlands.
  • New draft also says efforts will be made to achieve harmonization between policies and laws like Forest Rights Act (FRA) 2006 . People may see it as an attempt to weaken role of gram sabhas (village councils)
  • While the role of forests as climate change mitigation factor has been recognised, the draft NFP is vague on the issue of forests rights for forest dwelling communities
  • Continues to speak about private participation in forest management, which was criticized in 2016.

Conclusion:-

  • There is a need for a comprehensive approach for successful forest management like ensuring proper funding, filling the vacancies (the necessity of which was very visible in the recent Theni forest fire incident),effective implementation of provisions etc
  • Government must heed scientific advice on this crucial issue. The funds lying with CAMPA present a great prospect to de-fragment the last remaining patches of old-growth natural forests

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

6) Evaluate the role Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) has played in improving Ease of Doing Business. Discuss the changes required in IBC in light of Injeti Srinivas Committee recommendations. (250 Words)

Financial Express

Livemint

The Economic Times

Why this question

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) is an important measure of the government in dealing with the problem of NPA in general and the insolvency and bankruptcy resolution mechanism in particular. EODB is a very important policy objective of the current government and India’s success in EODB to a certain extent hinges on success of IBC. Economic Survey has also pointed towards the low success rate of IBC. The Committee’s recommendations are thus a merely a new addition in the ongoing saga that is IBC. Hence this topic needs to be prepared.

Key demand of the question

The question has two aspects that need answering. First of all, we need to evaluate the success IBC has had in improving India’s rank on the Resolving Insolvency metric of EODB rankings. We also need to evaluate the on ground realities as experiences by all sectors of economy with special emphasis on MSME sector. In the second part, we need to write about the reforms required quoting from the Committee’s recommendations.

Directive word

Evaluate – Here we have to pass a sound judgment on the success of IBC quoting from various sources to bolster our argument.

Discuss – The shortcomings have to be discussed along with the way forward based on the committee’s recommendations..

Structure of the answer

Introduction-Write about the IBC and its relation with EODB.

Body-  The first part of the question should be answered in subparts. Impact of IBC on Resolving insolvency metric, on MSME, business houses etc needs to be evaluated. We need to come to a sound judgment here based on our arguments.

Discuss the problems with IBC under broader heads such as easing regulations, simplifying procedures, encouraging creditors along with way forward based on your understanding of the committee’s recommendations.

Conclusion- Highlight the importance of IBC for Indian Economy and how essential it is to bring reforms.

 

Background:-

  • In India, lack of resolutionof insolvency is one of the significant factors for the failure of credit market in the country. The present legislations governing insolvency are fragmented, multi-layered and the adjudication of insolvency matters take place in multiple forum, resulting in an unpredictable regime.
  • The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code has been hailed as an excellent reformfor India that will pay a critical role in improving the ease of doing business.

IBC and ease  of doing business :-

  • Speedy closurewill help firms on the verge of brink in two ways, i.e. either restructure the firm or sell-off the assets to recover the money.
  • It will promote efficient allocationand greater availability of credits for businesses, as it frees up capital.
  • Development of financial marketssuch as bond market, due to clarity on repayment for debtors.
  • Other country experience:-
    • US Bankruptcy Codeprovides for fairly quick liquidation or reorganisation of the company.
  • Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) would boost entrepreneurship and promote ease of doing business.
  • The code would facilitate insolvency of corporates in a timely manner to maximise value of their assets.
  • The code was meant to prevent insolvency, if possible, and allow stakeholders to take a call by providing a market-driven, time-bound mechanism for resolution of insolvency
  • Wherever the resolution of insolvency is not possible, the code promotes ease of exit as required and provides facilitators for quick resolution.
  • The code also ensures optimum utilisation of resources within a firm or releasing unutilised resources for efficient users for closure of firms.
  • The code provides economic freedom to exit and a mechanism to address failures. It enables an honest firm to come in, get out and realise potential of every person.
  • Creditor rights as one set of stakeholders in conduct of corporations are weak in India. Bankruptcy code strengthens creditor rights dramatically. This  also changes the balance of powers between equity holders and debt holders in a corporation. This will have a big impact on corporate governance.
  • The Code seeks to consolidate and amend laws relating to reorganisation and insolvency resolution of corporate persons, partnership firms and individuals in a time-bound manner.
  • This will improve the ease of doing business, promote entrepreneurship, develop debt market and consequently, develop the economy.

Concerns:-

  • PSU banks have not been able to achieve significant improvement in recoveries even post the enactment of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). 
  • The companies in the race to acquire sick companies have to declare the remainder of the debt as profit and pay income tax on it.

Changes recommended by the committee:-

  • The committee called for sweeping changes in the law aimed at easing insolvency rules for small enterprises and providing relief to home buyersby treating them as financial creditors while deeming the amount raised from them for real estate projects as financial debt.
  • MSME’s:-
    • The committee proposed that promoters of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) who are not wilful defaulters should be allowed to bid during the insolvency process.
    • If adopted, that would vastly improve the prospects of such companies being acquired and revived, thus saving jobs, instead of going into liquidation.
    • It said the government should make exemptions and modifications in the IBC for MSMEs. It suggested that operational creditors of important MSMEs should get paid more than the liquidation value due to their indispensability.
  • Committee has also proposed that complete exclusion from the insolvency process under Section 29A (d) for being convicted of certain crimes as stipulated in the IBC be pegged instead at six years from the date of release from imprisonment.
  • The committee also suggested providing for an adequate period of time for obtaining necessary clearances after the approval of resolution plans by the National Company Law Tribunal(NCLT).
    • It said timelines should be specified, with a maximum of one year to obtain approvals. Currently, lenders have 270 days to get a resolution plan approved, after which a company goes into liquidation.
  • On the issue of home buyers, the committee said, it may be prudent to explicitly clarify that  creditors fall within the definition of financial creditor.
  • In order to make the IBC process more robust, the committee has suggested barring persons who enter into any backdoor arrangement with corporate debtors formally or informally, directly or indirectly, from bidding for insolvent company by bringing them within the scope of the definition for connected persons.
    • This reinforces the law’s provisions aimed at keeping out willful defaulters from bidding unless they have paid their dues.
  • The committee also addressed the issue of representation of a large number of lenders in the committee of creditors and suggested an amendment to allow voting by email to speed up the process.
  • The committee felt that since many guarantees for loans of corporates are given by promoters, any stay on the actions against their assets can lead to the filing of frivolous applications intended at creating delays and protecting their assets.

Topic:Developments and their applications and effects in everyday life; Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

7)What is Green Technology? Discuss India’s progress in transitioning to Green Technology. (250 Words)

The Financial Express

 

Why this question

Mix of SnT and Environment where a new technology has the potential to significantly alter the quality of life. Hence important.

Key demand of the question

Explaining green technology is the first part. Thereafter, focus on the status quo of India, her strength, weakness and the opportunities for India in the field of Green Technology

Directive word

What – Explain Green Technology

Discuss – Deep analysis (SWOT) of India’s progress in Green Technology

Structure of the answer

Introduction-Explain Green Tech and its application. Why is it important to develop it should also be explained.

The next part should be divided into subsections

  • Status quo
  • Strength of India
    • Innovation
    • HR
    • Labour cost
    • Market etc
  • Challenges
    • Finance
    • Tech Transfer and IPR issues etc

Write all parts in point format. 

Way forward should form part of the conclusion. Or write a cautionary message something like how India might become an outlier if it doesn’t make progress in creation and adoption of green technology. 

 

Background:-

  • Air pollution, the collapse of natural food systems and extreme weather events have demonstrated the urgency to find cleaner forms of growth in India and the world.

Green technology:-

  • The term green tech refers to: technology that is considered environmentally friendly based on its production process or supply chain; a means of energy production that is less harmful to the environment than more traditional ways of generating energy, such as burning fossil fuels.

India progressed:-

  • India has a sizable industry in low-carbon environmental goods and services (LCEGS) and the third-highest LCEGS sales in Asia (second highest in terms of proportion of GDP) .
  • India engages in frugal innovation, which is immensely useful, but not captured by patent data.
  • About 13% of the country’s high-value patents are related to green tech in line with the world average.
  • India Green  technologies include green buildings, carbon capture and storage, climate change mitigation technologies related to production and processing goods, and water-related adaptation technologies.
  • In trade, India specialises in smart grids, wind energy, hydel and biofuels .
    • In India’ export basket, the share of wind energy is 1.7 times the world average and the share of smart grid technologies is over double the world average. 
    • Wind energy is a strategic opportunity. India enjoys 10 GW of wind turbine manufacturing capacity, which is three times higher than domestic demand, providing an export-growth window..
  • India’s low-carbon exports have tripled in the period between 2001 and 2013. 
  • India’s lower labour costs give it an additional competitive edge.
  • Smart grids also present a significant economic opportunity. India can capitalise on its comparative advantage in smart-grid technologies to boost exports.
  • India initiating measures like international solar alliance, moving towards electric vehicles, BS VI standard show that India is effectively transitioning to green technology.

 

Concerns :-

  • Transmission and distribution losses are very high: over 20% is lost in distribution nationally, some states report losses in excess of 40%.
  • There are intellectual property issues with respect to technology transfer.
  • India’s renewable energy especially is still costly to produce . 

Conclusion:-

  • Evidence shows that pricing carbon or phasing out fossil fuel subsidies can boost green innovation, making India more competitive in the industries of tomorrow.

General Studies – 4


Topic: Role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

8) Science brings society to the next level, ethics keep us there. Critically analyse. (150 Words)

Reference

Reference

Why this question

Conflict between science and ethics has broadened in the wake of rise of new technologies like AI, genetic engineering etc. However, there is  a need to integrate ethics with science, particularly when values of life and humanity become so vulnerable to cutting edge technologies. The question is an integral part of science-ethics discussions. It is related to the 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.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to analyse the given quotation and then form an opinion on its credibility, particularly in present times.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- You can introduce your answer with an example that corroborates or negates the essence of the given quotation. You can also mention some science-ethics dilemmas and connect them with the quotation.

Body- divide the body into two parts. In one part analyse different aspects of the given quotation. In the other part form an opinion on the given quotation by and then justify your opinion in points/examples. Compulsorily illustrate with minimum two examples. 

Conclusion- In the conclusion you can quote a related thought or give a few more examples which support your stand. Or you may give a futuristic view where ethics would become indispensable due to over reliance on technology in future. 

Answer:-

Ethics, according to the definition quoted above, would depend on beliefs held by individuals or a group of individuals whereas, science is a search for truth  which may contradict even the most popular beliefs. Society, more or less, defines the ethics  of work, of politics, of business. Therefore, the relationship between science and the ethics is close to that between science and the society.

 

Having produced something ,science goes back to the society in search of audience  the consumers. This cycle enables new things to be created. If science were not separated from the society and ethics , we would have still believed earth the centre and everything else going around it. There would have been no Galileo’s if science could not withdraw from the society  in effect from the religion.

 

What is commonly thought today is that scientists and philosophers are two kinds that never meet. However, this has not always been the case. For instance, in Ancient Greece, the Cradle of Civilization, knowledge was not split into different branches. Not until recent times, has science diverged from ethics. 

 

Science transformed the way of life in the world for instance Japan is one of the world’s heaviest consumers of nuclear power despite having faced the horror of the atomic bomb. So Nuclear power is just one of the outcomes of scientific research which can be used in both a ruinous way or a fruitful way.

 

Within the last 10 years, the creation of fast, low-cost genetic sequencing has given the public direct access to genome sequencing and analysis, There are so many advances made in science that humans are able to live longer, use driverless cars,3D printing, initiatives towards sustainability etc.

 

However when science is advancing ethical values and principles are neglected like for instance in genetics very sensitive information is collected  with little or no guidance from physicians or genetic counselors on how to process the information. At the same time it is due to advancements in science that vulnerabilities have increased be it climate change, intrusion of privacy by hacking etc leading to inequity, poverty, violence, neglecting human dignity  etc..

 

Artificial intelligence is creating new implications as these systems operate without human control and are designed to function and make decisions on their own, the ethical, legal, social and policy implications have grown exponentially. 

 

In the recent Cambridge analytica incident with technology social media platforms started buzzing but identities were lost and personal space is intruded .Similarly ISIS using technology for violent ends shows that science if used in a good ay can create wonders and if its in wrong hands can destroy the world.

 

When a society is strictly ethical people might perceive that development is not taking place for instance

So there is a need to strike a balance between what we can do and what we should do so science and ethics need to be balanced .If science overpowers ethics humans will become part of lab experiments like during holocaust.