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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 28 APRIL 2018

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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 28 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) Nehru report cemented the gulf between Congress and Muslim League. Evaluate.(250 words)

 

Why this question

Nehru report is an important document in the history of India. It tried to accommodate the concerns of Muslim League as well as Congress.the question is related to G1 syllabus under the following heading- The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.

Key demand of the question

The question makes a hypothesis that Nehru Report inadvertently cemented the seeds of partition. Thus the provision of the Nehru report which widened the gulf between Congress and Muslim League needs to be discussed. The causes of such provisions and the impact of these provisions need to be analysed in detail.

Directive word

Discuss – When you are asked to evaluate, you have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidences.  You have to appraise the worth of the statement in question. There is scope for forming a personal opinion here.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – The backdrop to bringing out the Nehru report needs to be mentioned. You also need to mention that it was the first attempt by all political factions to prepare a constitution for self government.

Body

  • The key provisions of the report over which tussle happened between Congress and Muslim league needs to be brought out.
  • We have to examine the causes behind conflict and whether controversy over Nehru report was a manifestation of earlier dissonance, or dissonance was created by the report
  • The implications of the provisions also needs to be brought out such as Jinnah deciding to join Shafi faction of ML

 

Conclusion – your own opinion needs to be provided whether or not it was Nehru report that cemented the seeds of partition .

 

 

 Background:-

  • When Simon commission was opposed by Indians, British challenged the Indian leaders to draft a constitution for India. Indians accepted this by forming a committee appointed with the task of drafting a constitution headed by Motilal Nehru. The draft constitution prepared by the committee was called the Nehru Committee Report or Nehru Report. 

Nehru report :-

  • The main points of the Nehru report were as follows:
    • India would be given Dominion status. This means independence within the British Commonwealth.
    • India will be a federation which shall have a bicameral legislature at the centre and Ministry would be responsible to the legislature.
    • Governor General of India would be the constitutional head of India and will have the same powers as that of British Crown.
    • There will be no separate electorate.
    • The draft report also defined the citizenship and fundamental rights.
    • Equal rights for men and women as citizens.
    • No state religion.
    • The provinces would be created along linguistic lines.

How it cemented the gulf between Congress and Muslim league :-

  • The Motilal Nehru Committee Report, published in 1928 recommended reservation of seats for Muslims only in provinces where they were in a minority.
  • The report proposed to abolish separate electorates, to discard reservation of seats for Muslim majorities in the Punjab and Bengal and to reject the principle of weightage for Muslim minorities. This was a reversal of the Lucknow Pact. 
  • It asked for a similar reservation for Hindus in North western frontier province. The provinces of Sindh and Karnataka shall be separate any further reorganization of proposed report was good but not practical. The joint and mixed concept was practically unacceptable for the Muslim league.
  • With few exceptions League leaders rejected the Nehru proposals.
  • Jinnah made three amendments to the report:
    • 1/3rd representation of Muslims in the Central Legislature.
    • Reservation to Muslims in Punjab and Bengal in proportion to their populations until adult suffrage was established.
    • Residual powers to be vested with the provinces and not the centre.
    • But these were not accepted by Congress
  • In reaction Mohammad Ali Jinnahdrafted his Fourteen Points in 1929 which became the core demands the Muslim community put forward as the price of their participating in an independent united India. 
  • A. Jinnah who supported Gandhian Ideology decided to Join Mohd. Shafi’s Faction in Muslim League

Conclusion:-

  • Even though it could not entirely satisfy the Muslim factions it became the first major attempt by Indians to draft a constitution for themselves.

General Studies – 2


Topic – Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of them

2) The proposed national policy for domestic workers fails to achieve the purpose it is designed for. Critically examine.(250 words)

Financial  express

 

Why this question

Domestic workers belong to the unorganised sector, for whom there hardly exists any social security, security of tenure and other good practices enjoyed by employees in the formal sector. Hence a policy was much required for their benefit. Thus, this becomes an important topic for mains.

Key demand of the question

The basic demand of the question is to analyze whether the proposed policy will alleviate the issues faced by domestic workers. Your own opinion, based in sound arguments is to be provided.

Directive word

Critically examine – When you are asked to critically examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any. Your opinion in the end is also required.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – mention the need for such a policy and that a policy for domestic workers is much needed

Body

  • Provide details on the status quo of domestic workers which should establish that indeed a policy is required.
  • Thereafter discuss what the policy tried to achieve and whether it is in line with what is required by domestic workers
  • Now, move to the points of the policy and examine the pros and cons of the policy and whether it helps mitigate the risk and enhances opportunities for domestic workers. Talk about issues such as social security benefits, employment security, overtime, holidays etc

 

Conclusion – provide a fair judgment at the end.

 

 Background:-

  • In a country where 93% of the workforce is in the unorganised sector and therefore beyond the purview of most labour laws, domestic workers represent a new low in terms of disempowerment: they are not even recognised as workers.
  • Though the 2011 NSSO data put the number of domestic workers at 3.9 million, trade unions estimate the number to be around 10 million.

Why there is a need for the policy :-

  • Employer-dominated, domestic work industry is characterised by low, stagnant wage rates.Wages are particularly low for Bengali and Adivasi workers.
  • Irregular payment of wages by employer
  • Extraction of more work than agreed upon at the start of employment
  • Practice of arbitrarily reducing wages
  • Private power of regulation enjoyed by the employer.
    • Private nature of regulation has allowed the employer to exercise quasi-magisterial powers over the domestic worker in India.
  • Workers’ attempts to renegotiate their terms of work or to leave such employment are outbid by verbal, and often, physical assaults by employers
  • Domestic workers are on an almost absolute risk of unemployment or criminalisation when they try to obtain their dues.

Proposed national policy for domestic workers :-

  • Its aim is to protect the domestic workers from abuse, harassment, violence and guarantee them rights in the matter of social security and minimum wages.
  • The policy also includes social security cover and provisions against sexual harassment and bonded labour.
  • It is a national policy for all kinds of household helps, under which payment of wages will be made to the board under fixed slab rates and the central board/trust will be managed by all stakeholders.

Positives:-

  • Institutional mechanism:-
    • A central board/trust will be set up where employers will register maids, drivers and all other household helps, who will be paid equally on the basis of the work they do.
    • This institutional mechanism will provide social security cover and fair terms of employment for domestic workers, address their grievances and resolve disputes
    • All employers as well as domestic helps will have to register on the board and payment of salaries will be made through this board, similar to the Mathadi board model prevalent in Maharashtra. This will ensure that equal wages are paid for equal work
  • This is expected to end the bargaining power of both employers and employees. About 5 million domestic workers in the country, including 3 million women, will benefit from the move.
  • This policy not only calls for promoting awareness of domestic work as a legitimate labour market activity but also recommends amending existing labour laws to ensure that domestic workers enjoy all the labour rights that other workers do.
  • National policy for domestic workers would clearly define part-time, full-time and live-in workers, employers and private placement agencies. This would give workers the right to register themselves with the state labour departments.
  • It will also clearly define various terms such as part time workers, full time workers, live in workers, employers and private placement agencies.
  • Policy envisages to make a provision for a minimum salary of Rs 9,000 per month, compulsory paid leave of 15 days in an year and maternity leave benefits to full-time domestic helps.
  • The policy aims to promote right to fair terms of employment relating to minimum wages, protection from abuse/harassment and violence, access to social security benefits such as health insurance, maternity benefits and old age pensions as provided by the existing and upcoming schemes of central and state government, which may include contribution from employer/workers.
  • The Policy provides that the domestic workers be given a right to pursue education, a safe working environment and a grievance redressal mechanism.
  • It also has a provision for mandatory contribution from the employer towards social security of the domestic workers.
  • Aim of the policy is to empower the domestic workers by making this large workforce a services industry in due course of time

Criticism:-

  • Needlessly complicated routing of payment
  • It ignores the fact that the wages are determined by many factors apart from nature and quantum of work, location ,skills etc matter. So, the “equal pay for equal work” principle the policy espouses does not work.
  • It will also hit low-skilled workers the hardest as employers would want to hire workers with some assurance of skill to get their money’s worth.
  • Also, mandatory social security contributions are an unfair imposition at the lower end of the wage spectrum as they drastically cut the “in-hand” income.
  • Because of unions  harassment, many formal sector companies have moved towards hiring more contract-workers in recent years.

 

Conclusion:-

  • Domestic workers are also subjected to exploitation and therefore the welfare and protection of domestic labour force is very important. So a social security bill including domestic workers need to be passed.
  • India has adopted the ILO convention on domestic workers and therefore India has to make a well drafted policy for this segment of the society.

TOPICIndia and its neighborhood- relations. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

 3) Individual piecemeal efforts of global and regional powers would not help in bringing peace in Afghanistan and only multilateral cooperation will help in defeating terrorism in the country. Examine.(250 words)

The Hindu

Why this question

Afghanistan is reeling from the notorious spring offensive- a phenomena in which terrorist attacks in the country spike up during the spring season. Although numerous efforts have been made by the world and regional powers, Afghanistan is again in the danger of being subjugated by the Taliban, which has been active and in control of large swathes of the country. The Afghanistan problem is very important for the regional as well as global powers, given the potential of its spillover effects, loss of democracy etc. The question is related to GS-2 syllabus under the following heading- India and its neighborhood- relations. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to find out why individual efforts by world and regional powers, even while being in similar direction have not been successful in solving the Afghanistan problem.

Directive word

Examine-  we have to probe deeper into the given issue, discuss the past and present situation and give explanation for the issue highlighted by the question i.e. why individual efforts by world and regional powers have not been successful in solving the Afghanistan problem.

 

Structure of the answer

Introduction- discuss the present situation in Afghanistan and mention about the spring offensive and rejection of peace talks by the Taliban.

Body- Divide the answer into parts and discuss;

  1. US- Russia rivalry and impact on Afghanistan.
  2. China’s role in the region
  3. Pakistan’s involvement in the region
  4. India’s contribution and involvement in Afghanistan.
  5. Growing Taliban and IS activity in Afghanistan.

Conclusion– present your conclusion in the form of suggestions on how to solve the given problem.

Background :-

  • Violence in Afghanistan had escalated dangerously over the years. According to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, the number of casualties in the first three months of 2018 was already 2,258 .
  • Taliban is rejecting Afghanistan’s offer of talks without preconditions and calling for the targeting of American forces in Afghanistan as part of a spring offensive signals the security challenge.
  • According to the U.S., Afghan forces control just a little over half the territory today, down from nearly three-fourths in 2015.

Individual efforts are not making much impact :-

  • US :-
    • The U.S. recently announced a new ‘South Asia policy’ for Afghanistan last year but now the policy itself seems uncertain.
    • Although the U.S. administration has taken some steps on Pakistani funding of terrorism across the Durand Line, it has clearly not yielded calm on the ground, as wave upon wave of terrorist violence has lashed Kabul and other cities
  • Growing U.S.-Russia tensions are creating space for proxies on Afghan soil.
  • Tensions between India and Pakistan cast a shadow over Afghanistan, with India’s development assistance under attack. This counterproductive relationship has rendered the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) ineffective.
  • China:-
    • In turn, driven by the desire to secure itself from Islamist groups, China is trying to build a rival military base in Afghanistan. But shared experience has demonstrated that confrontation has only bred violence and deepened hostility, preventing the two nations from unlocking and harnessing their shared potentials for bilateral and multilateral trade and investment.
  • Inter-state tensions among Afghanistan’s coastal neighbours or some of these countries hostility with countries outside of the region have undermined efforts at stabilising Afghanistan and giving its people a break from decades of non-stop conflict, displacement and continued impoverishment. 
  • Though the IS and the Taliban are opposed to each other in the complex conflict landscape, both share a goal: to destabilise the state that has been built since 2001, and throw the country into further chaos. The IS, which lost territory in Iraq and Syria, is trying to build networks elsewhere, particularly in war-torn Afghanistan.

Multilateral Cooperation is necessary and can work :-

  • The UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (Strategy), and in particular, the Joint Plan of Action of Central Asian States. The Strategy was unanimously adopted by the UN member states in 2006 and is a unique tool that, for the first time, enabled all states to agree on a common strategy to combat terrorism. To make multilateral cooperation more successful effective coordination among countries involved is necessary.
  • Afghanistan and its six neighbours signed the Kabul Declaration on Good Neighbourly Relations. The signatories included China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan each of which determined that the people of Afghanistan should enjoy security, stability, prosperity, territorial integrity, democracy and human rights after so many years of conflict, suffering, and deprivation.
  • The Heart of Asia–Istanbul Process (HOA-IP) and the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan. These Afghanistan-led processes were established to help secure regional cooperation for the country’s stabilization and sustainable development, thereby ensuring stability and prosperity throughout its surrounding regions.
  • China-Pakistan- Tajikistan :-
    • China confirmed its support to peace building and the mediation process between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Engaging in several multilateral and regional efforts towards Afghanistan, China has additionally played an active role in the Heart of Asia process.
    • China has taken many steps, including increasing its anti-terrorism cooperation with Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Tajikistan. The quartet have agreed to establish a ‘four-country mechanism’ to share intelligence and training
    • Joint patrols with the Afghan authorities looking to fill the vacuum which the complete draw-down of US forces from Afghanistan will herald.
  • Integrating counter-terrorism strategy to political, economic and social development policies is another part of the comprehensive approach.

TOPIC India and its neighborhood- relations. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

 

4) India and China have more to lose than to gain, out of the posture of hostility that the two countries have assumed against each other. Critically analyse.(250 words)

The Hindu

Why this question

India and China both are the aspiring world powers and destined to play a critical role in the coming Asian age. However, mutual differences and contentions have led to hostility and soaring of relations between the two nations. In recent years the hostility has been quiet extensive and explicit. This has created a negative atmosphere and led to unnecessary rivalry and reduction of scope of cooperation between the two nations. Recently, both the countries have implicitly accepted the futility of such hostility. The question is related to GS-2 syllabus- India and its neighborhood- relations. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements

involving India and/or affecting India’s interests Effect of policies and politics of developed and

developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to discuss what is the scope of India-China cooperation and what are all the associated issues which hinder this cooperation.

Directive word

Critically analyse- we have  to form a personal opinion on the issue. However the opinion is to be substantiated with facts/ arguments. Also we have to identify all the related and important issues which hinder such cooperation.

 

Structure of the answer

Introduction- briefly describe the coming Asian age and highlight the importance of India- China cooperation for both the countries for Asia and for the world in general.

Body- Divide the body into two main parts.

In one part, discuss the impediments in India-China cooperation. E.g boundary disputes, trade imbalance, China’s reluctance in admitting India among Nuclear Suppliers Group, strategic disposition of China’s OBOR initiative, CPEC, support to Pakistan and Pakistan based terrorists.

In the other part, discuss how the rivalry between the two nations has negative consequences/ implications. E.g amplification of security problem for both the countries, giving Pakistan the space to maneuver India-China relationship, lack of hydrological cooperation between India and China, reduced bargaining leverage of India vis a vis US and Japan because of economic dependance and interaction between US, Japan and China etc.

Conclusion– bring out a balanced opinion over the given issue and present it as conclusion. Also add some suggestions/ way-forward.

 

Background:-

  • India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border. But more than half a century after the 1962 war, China is positioning to send its troops across the border in Doklam. This shows the evolution of the relation between the two countries over the years and when Asia is being in focus the regional powers are having a complex relationship.

Reasons for contention between India and China which is increasing hostility are:-

  • The main reason has been a systematic build up of negative images of how each side viewed the other’s foreign policies along with a collapse in geopolitical trust.
  • For India, China’s attempt to raise its economic and political profile in the subcontinent was seen as an encroachment on, and an affront to, Indian authority in the neighbourhood.
  • For China, India’s pursuit of deeper military engagement with the former’s main strategic rivals the U.S. and Japan  was viewed as a serious challenge to its future security.
  • Geopolitical:-
    • India being part of Quad 
    • China aggressive approach in South China sea and push for OBOR initiative. Along with that the growing proximity between China and Pakistan and Chinese investment in CPEC corridor.
    • China’s growing affinity with India’s neighbours like Srilanka, Maldives, Nepal caused insecurity for India.
  • International:-
    • China’s reluctance in helping India be a part of Nuclear suppliers group.
    • China has rejected India’s assertion at the UN to make Masood Azhar a global terrorist
  • Economic:-
    • India recently slapped an anti-dumping import duty on 93 Chinese imports, mostly in the steel sector. It is considering further restrictions in telecom and power. These are seen by some as a sign of an impending trade war between China and India.
    • Huge trade imbalance of almost $50 billion in favour of China reflects India’s lack of competitiveness and, to some extent, passive trade and wrong exchange rate policies.
    • Unfair tariffs imposed on Indian goods in China.

If India and China are hostile complications would arise :-

  • Neither side has been able to extract any concessions or improve the terms of their bilateral interactions.
  • On a range of issues the Nuclear Suppliers Group membership, Pakistan-sponsored terror and hydrological cooperation being the most prominent India failed to receive any give from China.
  • With India’s boycott of the BRI, China too found itself confronting not only the only major holdout against its flagship international initiative but also its most suspicious and non-cooperative neighbour in Asia.
  • An adversarial relationship with China brings no advantages and amplifies security problems that India can neither solve on its own nor address with the assistance of external powers who have shown little inclination to deflect Chinese influence in the subcontinent and its littoral.
  • India-China friction enhances Pakistan’s ability to shape Beijing’s South Asia hand .
  • A contentious India-China relationship also reduces India’s bargaining leverage vis-à-vis the U.S. and Japan
  • Few economic actors will enter the fray if the forecast for bilateral ties is one of uncertainty and turbulence.

Why these countries  need to cooperate with each other and benefits there of:-

  • Despite their differences with China both the U.S. and Japan truly value their interdependence with China. Sino-American cooperation on the Korean nuclear question and efforts to transform North East Asian geopolitics is just one example.
    • Japan, with a $300 billion trading relationship with China, too wants to ensure it remains engaged with the world’s second largest economy. Recently, Japan has even endorsed the prospect of a case-by-case cooperation with the BRI.
  • Finally, India is also recognising that the promise of economic cooperation with China can only translate into meaningful outcomes if there is overall geopolitical stability.
  • AIIB and BRICS bank:-
    • India joined the $100-billion Chinese led Asia Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB) as the second-largest shareholder. India and China are also equal shareholders of the Shanghai-based $50-billion BRICS Bank and a $100-billion contingency reserve arrangement (CRA). India recently joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a gathering of China, Russia and Central Asian countries.
  • Connectivity:-
    • India has given positive signals on the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) road corridor that links Kolkata to Kunming through Bangladesh and Myanmar.
  • Trade and economy:-
    • As of the end of 2017, China had invested $8 billion in India, and India has become one of the most important overseas infrastructure cooperation markets and investment destinations for Chinese companies.
    • One way to reduce the trade imbalance would be to get more Chinese firms to invest and manufacture in India. This would also support the ‘Make in India’ campaign.

Conclusion:-

  • History shows that when these two giants maintained understanding and peace, both gained enormously. When they are in confrontation, that created a very pessimistic environment in regional peace and order. 

General Studies –3


TOPIC : Transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers

 

5)Glitch free working of e-NAM platform is crucial to achieve the dream of doubling farmers’s income by 2022. Examine(250 words)

Financial Express

Why this question

Off late, upsc has been focussing on questions related to agriculture. e-NAM is an important tool to improve the status of farmers in india by freeing them from the constricting grip of APMCs. Hence this topic becomes important.

Key demand of the question

The first part says glitch free working. We have to examine what is meant by glitch free working which includes the problems being faced as well those being anticipated, the reasons why those problems are being faced. In the second part, the question expects us to answer how e-NAM woulf help farmers achieve doubling of income.

Directive word

Examine – We have to do an in-depth analysis of the issue by discussing the topic under heads as mentioned above.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Describe e-NAM and its objectives

Body

  • First describe the importance of e-NAM for farmers and how it is helpful in ensuring better prices for the farmers by freeing them from the clutches of commission agents etc.
  • Thereafter, move to the issues faced by e-NAM.
  • Also mention the anticipated problems of e-NAM
  • Mention the suggestions of the committee which will help improve the performance of e-NAM

Conclusion

Highlight the importance of doubling farmers income and mention that smooth functioning of e-NAM should be a priority for the government.

 

Background :-

  • India  launched an online national agricultural products market platform that will integrate 585 wholesale markets across India. The launching of e-platform for marketing of agriculture products is being done with the aim to provide more options to farmers to sell their produce. This initiative is part of implementation of the roadmap for doubling income of the farmers by 2022.

NAM platform has been successful and moving towards doubling of farmers income:-

  • For the farmers, NAM promises more options for sale. It would increase his access to markets through warehouse based sales and thus obviate the need to transport his produce to the mandi.
  • For the local trader in the mandi / market, NAM offers the opportunity to access a larger national market for secondary trading.
  • Bulk buyers, processors, exporters etc. benefit from being able to participate directly in trading at the local mandi / market level through the NAM platform, thereby reducing their intermediation costs.
  • The gradual integration of all the major mandis in the States into NAM will ensure common procedures for issue of licences, levy of fee and movement of produce. In a period of 5-7 years Union Cabinet expects significant benefits through higher returns to farmers, lower transaction costs to buyers and stable prices and availability to consumers.
  • The NAM will also facilitate the emergence of value chains in major agricultural commodities across the country and help to promote scientific storage and movement of agri goods.
    • Better storage and transportation facilities would allow buyers to participate in electronic purchases irrespective of their location. This would boost volumes, making the exchange a liquid one, and facilitate transparent price discovery.
  • e-NAM automatically addresses the problem of asymmetry in information flows, which is a problem currently because there is no data on secondary transactions between traders. A well-functioning spot exchange will pave the way for a thriving derivatives platform, given the larger objective is to have a seamless and integrated market for agri- commodities.
  • It will address the following challenges:
    • Fragmentation of state into multiple market areas.
    • Poor quality of infrastructure and low use of technology.
    • In the traditional mandi system, farmers generally procured very less price for their crops as they had to pass through various intermediaries at the physical marketplace. This not only adds costs but also handling costs.
    • In addition, the farmer has to face obstacles in form of multiple tax levies and licenses and weak logistics and infrastructure in India

Constraints:-

  • eNAM portal, launched by the Centre in April 2016, has 45.4 lakh farmers and 417 mandis across the country registered with it. This number is disappointing, given that there are more than 13 crore farmers in India
  • To implement it, each State has to first amend its APMC Act to make a provision for electronic auction as a mode of price discovery, allow a single licence across the State and have market fees levied at a single point.Currently, only 13 States have enacted the necessary amendments.
  • There are no scientific sorting/grading facilities or quality testing machines. Testing labs are yet to be set up both in Gujarat and Maharashtra,
  • Lack of internet connectivity is another issue impeding progress. In Maharashtra, the infrastructure is in the development stage, internet connectivity and computers are being provided
  • No grading/assaying infrastructure in most mandis.
  • Market remains isolated, with traders from outside the APMC not being able to buy farmers produce from the mandi and buyers having to physically inspect quality of turmeric.
  • State agricultural departments have been finding it difficult to convince all stakeholders farmers, traders and commission agents  to move to the online platform. While traders fear the taxman, farmers fear lower prices if the produce is assayed.
  • Lack of technical expertise at the State Agricultural Departments has also delayed the setting up of grading/assaying facilities, say officials from the mandis.
    • It requires someone with technical expertise to assess the kind of equipment needed for the crops in the mandi, but currently, not many understand.
  • Currently, the platform suffers from basic flaws such as data being fed into the system post the auction.

What needs to be done :-

  • Need for electronic payments across the mandis or APMCs so that payments are prompt.
  • Even as the Centre works with States to persuade them, infrastructure such as reliable third-party certification for the produce in every mandi and robust computer systems, including uninterrupted web connectivity, need to be put in place.
  • Alongside, farmers must be counselled about the advantages of the e-NAM and its features explained to them.
  • Importantly, the hold of the middleman, who often is also the financier of the farmer against a pledge of the produce, needs to be broken. That can be done only by bringing the farmer into the formal financial system.
  • Experts say that as long as fruits and vegetables are kept outside the purview of NAM, the volatility in prices would continue, thus depriving farmers from getting better prices.
  • Barriers hampering interstate transfer of agricultural commodities also have to be removed. High taxes and levies imposed by states such as Punjab, Haryana and Andhra Pradesh on agricultural commodities trade have to be brought down; this would boost interstate trade and farmers income.
  • With very few big buyers likely to be interested in buying the small lots that farmers will have to offer, aggregators will be needed and the trick will lie in ensuring it is not the same aggregators who control the mandis that get to dominate NAM.
  • Care will have to be taken, similarly, to ensure markets do not get cornered by speculators or cartels that drive prices up or down.
  • Considerable effort will also be needed for the clearance mechanism to work.
  • Moreover, it must try to organise farmers into formal collectives so that they have better bargaining power in the spot markets and also the wherewithal to mobilise bigger lot sizes, which can be used to make deliveries in the derivatives market.
  • While the state governments need to do the heavy lifting, a common regulator for the spot and futures markets might help
  • Expert panel:-
    • The expert panel had noted the need for a dispute resolution mechanism critical, if e-NAM is to work.
    • Believes farmers should not be restricted to selling their produce only at recognised APMCs, they should be allowed to sell even outside the APMC premises, such as an electronic platform or in regulated private markets, without a fee being charged.

 

Conclusion:

  • Eventually, the success of NAM will depend upon whether farmers get a higher price for their produce or not and whether this reduces price volatility. Since most state governments have a history of blocking supplies when local prices go up, it will be critical to ensure the states on the platform don’t resort to their old tricks in times of supply shortage.

General Studies – 4


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.

 

6) Morality is the basis of things and truth is the substance of all morality. Comment.(250 words)

Reference

Spectacle

Why this question

In ethics paper UPSC usually asks questions in which the candidate has to comment on a specific quote. The question is related to GS-4 syllabus under the following heading- 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 explain the meaning of the above quote ,as interpreted by us. We have to answer both the parts of the question viz. how is morality the basis of things and how truth is the substance of all morality.

Directive word

Comment- we have to present our personal opinion and interpretation, of the given quote.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– introduce your answer by briefly defining morality.

Body- divide the body into two main parts.

In one part, discuss why/ how morality is the basis of things. E.g man is a social animal and without morality no cooperation would be possible rendering humans as wild and uncivilized as any other animal etc. Give examples from everyday life to support your answer.

In the other part, discuss how truth is the basis of morality. E.g not being true in any sense/ any situation is a sign of weak morals of a person, no morality can be based on lies (briefly discuss why), etc. Give examples to support your answer; eg. A person who lies to help someone is not moral and so on.

Conclusion– present a balanced, fair and concise conclusion based on the above discussion.

 

 

 

Morality is a particular system of values and principles of conduct concerning with the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behaviour. Moral values are important in life because: If a person has never learned about moral values then how can he/she decide between the good and the bad. Moral values reflect an individual’s character and spirituality. They help in building good relationships in personal as well as professional lives.

For instance morality in the form of respecting parents and elders, showing love and affection towards family members is visible in families. Morality in the form of public welfare is visible in political arena. So it has multifaceted utility

Morality describes the principles that govern our behaviour. Without these principles in place, societies cannot survive for long. Everyone adheres to a moral doctrine of some kind. So it is basis of all things.

Without morality humans would never had the following ethical traits like compassion, empathy ,kindness etc. Lack of morality in one’s dealings impact the working of the society, nation and the world. At times leading to chaos, anarchy and injustice.

Truthfulness is very much important as it is directly related to a person’s moral character. A truthful person is respected, trusted, regarded by people everywhere. Truth gives morality the strength to face the world For instance Martin Luther king was truthful to his mission against racial discrimination which was moral quality.

By not being truthful a person’s morality comes under question. If a person is cheating in the exam he is not being truthful to himself so his integrity comes under question which is a moral trait. The society judges that some person is a criminal the basis on which evidence is found is the truth. A civil servant can be moral only when he/she can see the truth of the conditions of the society. So truth guides people to be moral and gives an ethical dimension to life.