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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 30 JUNE 2018


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 30 JUNE 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 – Events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society.

 1)European nationalism, in its modern sense, was born out of the desire of a community to assert its unity and independence. Comment.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

The issue is related to GS- 1 syllabus under the following heading-

Events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to express our knowledge and understanding on the issue on the rise on nationalism in Europe and bring out whether it was born out of the desire of the community to assert its unity and independence.

Directive word

Comment- Here we have to form an opinion based on our knowledge and understanding and discuss the issue (give an account of history) vis a vis our stand. We have to necessarily justify our opinion.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – mention that Nationalism is the ideological basis for the development of the modern nation-state and it  was an important factor in the development of Europe.

Body-  Discuss how nationalism in Europe arose and spread. Give historical accounts of landmark events to support your answer.

E.g French revolution; unification of Italy- The Italians imbibed the revolutionary ideals of liberty and nationalism and became conscious of the need for their own national integration.; Unification of germany; series of revolutions spanning almost whole of Europe etc.

Conclusion– In the end, form a fair, concise and a balanced opinion on the rise and growth of nationalism in Europe.

Background:-

  • Nationalism has its basis in a sense of unity among a certain group of people; this is formed by a common identity based on a common language, history, culture, ethnicity, or religion.
  • Nationalism developed in different areas for a variety of different reasons that are unique to the aspirations of each nationalist group. Nationalist movements often led to violence because of their tendency to conflict with the views of ruling empires.

Factors leading to rise of European nationalism:

  • Sparked in part by the outcome of the American and French revolutions, populations throughout Europe began to unite in order to overthrow existing power structures and develop new ones based on liberty and national identity.
  • The French Revolution initiated the movement toward the modern nation-state and also played a key role in the birth of nationalism across Europe where radical intellectuals were influenced by Napoleon and the Napoleonic Code, an instrument for the political transformation of Europe.
  • In France, it rose from the need to find a different form of government from that of a monarchy.
  • Napolean conquests:-
    • Italy:-
      • During the reign of Napoleon, Italy was unified for a brief time.
      • However, The Congress of Vienna divided Italy into smaller states and territories that were controlled by Austria and Spain
      • Italians wanted to free themselves of foreign control and once again become a unified nation
  • The rise of the Enlightenment ideas helped to encouraged the nationalism and self-expression of the nation.
  • Romantic movements in art and culture beginning in the early 19th century led to the development of various national identities in Europe.
  • A strong resentment of what came to be regarded as foreign rule began to develop.
    • In Ireland, Italy, Belgium, Greece, Poland, Hungary, and Norway local hostility to alien dynastic authority started to take the form of nationalist agitation. The first revolt in the Ottoman Empire to acquire a national character was the Serbian Revolution (1804–17).
    • Nationalism was seen as a way to get rid of foreign rule or a form of government not liked by the people
  • Nationalism wasn’t about support for your ruler but rather support for your “fatherland”
  • Slowly nationalism developed a more powerful voice, spurred by nationalist writers championing the cause of self-determination. In 1848, revolutions broke out across Europe, sparked by severe famine and economic crisis and mounting popular demand for political change.

Some of the examples of the rise of European nationalism are:-

  • Serbia was the first national state after its movement in 1804-1817.
  • Greece followed Serbia after an 8 year war (1821-1829) with the Ottoman Empire.
  • Belgium gained its independence in 1830 from the Netherlands.
  • During the mid to late 19th century, nationalist “realpolitik” spurred the unification of two major European nations: Italy and Germany.
  • Germany:-
    • The Congress of Vienna in 1815 created the Germany Confederation, a loose organization of 39 separate states each having it’s own laws, currency, and ruler
    • King William I wanted Prussia to become a military power in Europe and wanted to unify the German states under one ruler.

However unity and independence were not the only factors which gave rise to European nationalism:-

  • The invention of a symbolic national identity became the concern of racial, ethnic or linguistic groups throughout Europe as they struggled to come to terms with the rise of mass politics, the decline of the traditional social elites, popular discrimination and xenophobia.
  • Within the Habsburg empire the different peoples developed a more mass-based, violent and exclusive form of nationalism. This developed even among the Germans and Magyars, who actually benefited from the power-structure of the empire.

Conclusion:-

  • The ideals of European nationalism had been exported worldwide which developed, competed and threatened the empires ruled by colonial European nation-states.

Topic – Part of static series under the heading “DPSP lays the foundation of welfare polity”

2)Critically analyze whether the non enforceability of DPSPs make them subservient to Fundamental Rights?(250 words)

 

Key demand of the question

The question compares FR and DPSP and comments that since DPSPs are non enforceable in a court of law, it makes them inferior to FRs. We need to highlight the importance of DPSP, examine whether they lag behind FRs and provide a fair and balanced conclusion.

Directive word

Critically analyze – When asked to analyze, you  have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary. You need to conclude with  a fair judgement, after analyzing the nature of each component part and interrelationship between them.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Discuss the reason why this debate arises.

Body

  • Bring out points which highlight that FRS are superior to DPSP due to their sacrosanct nature and article 32.
  • Examine why the above statement is like comparing apples and oranges as FRs strive to provide civil and community rights whereas DPSPs deal with socio economic right which seeks to create a welfare state.
  • Examine the view of constitutional experts like br Ambedkar to bolster your arguments etc

Conclusion – Highlight that even supreme court gave the doctrine of harmonious construction to maintain a balance between part III and IV

Background:-

  • Since both the Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles were of common origin, it is clear that they both had the same objectives, namely to ensure the goal of a welfare society envisaged by the Preamble. 

 How non enforceability makes them subservient to fundamental rights:-

  • The chapters on the fundamental rights and DPSP were added in order of part III and part IV of the constitution. The Fundamental rights are justifiable and guaranteed by the constitution. The Directive principles were directives to the state and government machinery. But they are not enforceable, by the law.
  • The directive principles, though fundamental in the governance of the country, are not enforceable by any court in terms of the express provisions of Article 37 of the Constitution, while fundamental rights are enforceable by the Supreme Court and the High Court in terms of the express provisions of Article 32 and 226 of the Constitution. 
  • Supreme court judgments:-
    • In several early cases, the Supreme Court took the literal interpretive approach to Article 37 and ruled that Directive Principles could not over-ride a Fundamental Right, and in case of a conflict between the two, the Fundamental Right would prevail over the Directive Principles. This point was settled by the Supreme Court in State of Madras v. Champakam Dorairajan

Comparing both is not right:-

  • Fundamental rights strive to provide civil and community rights whereas DPSP’s deal with socio economic right which seeks to create a welfare state. So both cannot be compared.
  • The 42ndAmendment Act accorded the position of legal primacy and supremacy to the Directive Principles over the Fundamental Rights conferred by Articles 14, 19 and 31.
  • But, this extension was declared as unconstitutional and invalid by the Supreme Court in the Minerva Mills case (1980).
  • DPSP 39B and 39C has been given precedence over Fundamental Right 14 (Right to Equality) and Fundamental Right 19 (Freedom of Speech and Expression
  • Doctrine of harmonious construction :-
    • The courts came to realize that there should not be any conflicts between two sets of provisions of the Constitution which have a common origin and a common objective as would nullify either of them. The way out was found to lie in the doctrine of harmonious construction, arising out of the cannon of interpretation that parts of the same instrument must be read together in order to reconcile them with one another.
    • Applying this doctrine, the Supreme Court came to adopt the view that in determining the ambit the ambit of Fundamental Rights themselves, the court might look at relevant Directive Principles.

Balance is necessary:-

  • After the Minerva Mills Case, the supreme court came to the view that there is no conflict between the Fundamental Rights and the DPSP and they were complimentary of each other. There was no need to sacrifice one for the sake of the other. If there is a conflict it should be avoided as far as possible.
  • The Parliament can amend the Fundamental Rights for implementing the Directive Principles, so long as the amendment does not damage or destroy the basic structure of the Constitution.
  • According to Ambhedkar, the Directives were like “Instruments of Instructions’, and were hailed as the essence of the Constitution. According to him it was the most cardinal and important provision of the Constitution.
  • It has now become a judicial strategy to read the Fundamental Rights along with the Directive Principles with a view to define the scope and ambit of the former. Mostly the Directive Principles have been used to broaden, and give depth to some Fundamental Rights, and to imply more rights therefrom for the people over and above what are expressly stated in the Fundamental Rights.
    • Biggest beneficiary of this approach has been Article 21. By reading Article 21 with the Directive Principles, a bundle of rights has been read into Article 21.
    • Accordingly it has been held that Article 21 includes the right to live with human dignity , the right to enjoy pollution free water, air and environment , the right to health and social justice , the right to education , the right to shelter , the right to privacy etc.

General Studies – 2


Topic:  Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

3)Discuss the organizational structure, vision and functioning of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). (250 words)

ndtv

Reference

Wikipedia

WHY THIS QUESTION

There have been several incident of chemical attacks e.g in Syria and recently the OPCW, the organization related to Chemical weapons convention (CWC) has got some new powers in this regard. The issue is related to gs- 2 syllabus under the following heading

Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

Key demand of the question.

the question wants us to simply write in detail about the organisational structure of OPCW, its vision and key activities/ mandate.

Directive word

Discuss- this is an all-encompassing directive. We have to write in detail about the key demand of the question- organisational structure,  vision and mandate of OPCW

Structure of the answer

Introduction– mention that OPCW is the implementing agency of chemical Weapons convention, which entered into force on 29 April 1997.

Body

  1. Mention the vision of OPCW ( to implement the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention in order to achieve the vision for a world that is free of chemical weapons and of the threat of their use, and in which cooperation in chemistry for peaceful purposes for all is fostered).
  2. Briefly discuss the organisational structure of OPCW- 193 member states, the organisational structure described in the Chemical Weapons Convention (whose members are all in OPCW); Conference of the States Parties; Executive Council; Technical Secretariat etc.
  3. Discuss the mandate/ activities of OPCW. e.g Elimination of the chemical weapons stockpiles and chemical weapons production facilities subject to the verification measures established in the Convention; Non-proliferation of Chemical Weapons, through the application of verification and implementation measures.; Assistance and Protection against Chemical Weapons, their use, or threat of use, in accordance with the Convention;

International Cooperation; National Implementation etc.

Conclusion– Form a fair, balanced and a concise opinion on the overall issue along with highlighting India’s concerns regarding the new powers of OPCW-holding an entity responsible for the chemical attack.

 

 

Organisation for the prohibition of chemical weapons:-

  • The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is the implementing body of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which entered into force in 1997. As of today OPCW has 193 Member States, who are working together to achieve a world free of chemical weapons.

Vision:-

  • The OPCW Member States share the collective goal of preventing chemistry from ever again being used for warfare, thereby strengthening international security. To this end, the Convention contains four key provision
    • Destroying all existing chemical weapons under international verification by the OPCW
    • Monitoring chemical industry to prevent new weapons from re-emerging
    • Providing assistance and protection to States Parties against chemical threats
    • Fostering international cooperation to strengthen implementation of the Convention and promote the peaceful use of chemistry.

 

Organisational structure:-

  • The activities of the OPCW and its core organisational structure are described in the Chemical Weapons Convention (whose members are all in OPCW).
  • Conference of state of parties:-
    • The principal body is the Conference of the States Parties (CSP), which normally is convened yearly, and in which all countries participate and have equal voting rights.
    • Countries are generally represented in the Conference by a permanent representative to the organisation, which in most cases is also the ambassador to the Netherlands.
    • The conference decides on all main topics regarding the organisation (for example, taking retaliation measures) and the convention (approving guidelines, imposing retaliating measures against members).
  • Executive council:-
    • The Executive Council (EC)is the executive organ of the organisation and consists of 41 States Parties, which are appointed by the Conference on a 2-year term.
    • The Council amongst others oversees the budget and cooperates with the General Secretariat on all matters related to the convention
  • Technical secretariat:-
    • The Technical Secretariat (TS)applies most of the activities mandated by the Council and is the body where most of the employees of the organisation work.
  • The main activities of the OPCW are performed by the inspection and the verification divisions.
  • All States Parties make contributions to the OPCW budget, based on a modified UN scale of assessments.

Functioning:-

  • The OPCW has the power to say whether chemical weapons were used in an attack it has investigated. In June 2018, it granted itself new powers to assign blame for attacks.
  • The main function of the Organisation is to ensure the implementations of the provisions established in the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).
    • The OPCW’s international cooperation programmes focus on capacity building for the peaceful applications of the chemistry.
    • National Implementation
      • Support to States Parties in implementing national requirements of the Convention.
    • Chemical weapons destruction facilities
      • At all operational chemical weapons destruction facilities, 24/7 inspections by the OPCW take place on site to verify the success of the destruction as well as the amounts of weapons being destroyed. 
    • Industry inspections
      • Inspections are designed to verify compliance of States Parties with the requirements imposed on production and use of scheduled chemicals and to verify that industrial activities of member states have been correctly declared according to the obligation set by the CWC.
      • The intensity and frequency of the inspections is dependent on the type of chemical produced 
    • Challenge inspections and investigations of alleged use
      • In case of allegation of use of chemical weapons or the prohibited production, a fact-finding inspection can be employed according to the convention.
      • None of those activities have taken place, although the OPCW contributed to investigations of alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria as part of a United Nations mission.
      • The OPCW only undertakes these inspections on request of another member state, after verification of the presented proof. Furthermore, the OPCW can only be involved after bilateral diplomatic solutions have failed.

General Studies – 3


Topic – Indian agriculture – issues

4) Every year we see that Indian farmers suffer both during surplus production and deficit production. Examine the reasons why and evaluate whether increasing MSP for crops would address the issue?(250 words)

The hindu

 

Why this question

The article discusses a significant problem being faced by the Indian farmers – low prices for their farm produce both during deficit and surplus production. The inadequacy of the MSP regime is evident whose purpose is to protect farmers against this very risk. Looking at ways to ensure that farmers get the right price and inflation in check is the focus here.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the reasons behind low farmer income irrespective of production. Post explaining the fundamental issues at work here, we need to evaluate whether increasing MSP would help solve farmers woes.

Directive word

Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any .

Evaluate – 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 – Highlight the objective of doubling farmer’s income by 2022 and the significant challenge posed by the problem highlighted in the question.

Body

  • Highlight some of the incidents such as the glut in sugar prices , the rise of farmers protects such as in Maharashtra etc which proves that the farmer is suffering from a double whammy of climate change and low price for their produce.
  • Examine the reasons behind it – low penetration of procurement agencies in several pockets of India and for , reactive import export policy for agricultural goods, lack of agricultural infrastructure etc
  • Discuss whether increasing MSP beyond current level would help address the issue of low prices being fetched by farmers.

Conclusion – Emphasize on the severity of the issue and discuss way forward.

Background:-

  • Last year, around 184 farmer groups came together from Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Telangana to take part in a ‘protest walk’, demanding higher prices for agricultural produce.  The protest once again highlighted the plight of farmers and the extent of agrarian distress.
  • Farmers protests have become a common phenomenon hence necessary actions are required.

Why do farmers suffer:-

  • Good rains, excessive sowing and the bumper harvest last year produced gluts in the market that sent the prices of many crops, and therefore farm incomes, crashing.
  • None of the economic tools available for protecting farm incomes the price support scheme, the price stabilisation fund and the market intervention scheme was employed to the best advantage. 
  • Although MSPs are announced for more than 20 crops, noteworthy procurement is conducted for three: paddy, wheat and sugarcane 
  • Procurement frequently takes places at prices below the MSP, as is happening this year, according to reports. Finally, small and vulnerable farmers usually do not get paid MSPs at all, as they sell their produce to aggregators, not directly in mandis.
  • Gluts, depressed market prices and mounting farmer losses are a direct consequence of the malfunction in agri-pricing policies.
  • Despite a bumper crop last year, farmers are not satisfied with the procurement price.They are, therefore, unable to repay loans they have taken, both from institutional sources and private moneylenders. 
  • The small and marginal land holdings (less than 2 hectares) account for 72% of land holdings, and this predominance of small operational holdings is a major limitation to reaping the benefits of economies of scale.
    • Since small and marginal farmers have little marketable surplus, they are left with low bargaining power and no say over prices.
  • Risk because of pests, diseases, shortage of inputs like seeds and irrigation, which could result in low productivity and declining yield; the lower remunerative price; the absence of marketing infrastructure and profiteering by middlemen adds to the financial distress of farmers.
  • Also, the predominance of informal sources of credit, mainly through moneylenders, and lack of capital for short term and long term loans have resulted in the absence of stable incomes and profits.
  • Farmers face price uncertainties due to fluctuations in demand and supply owing to bumper or poor crop production and speculation and hoarding by traders.
  • The costs of farm inputs have increased faster than farm produce prices
  • The absence of a robust market for buying and selling forward-looking contracts
  • Uncertain policies and regulations such as those of the Agricultural Produce Market Committee, besides low irrigation coverage, drought, flooding and unseasonal rains, are some other factors that hit farmers hard.

Increasing MSP alone does not help:-

  • Imposition of MSP beyond some point is market distortingas it severs the link between prices and demand-supply. This can also be inflationary and out of sync with the physical market dynamics.
  • RBI has highlighted the announcement of higher MSPs as being one of the major risk factors this year for inflation. This is significant as the government has spoken of providing a mark-up of 50% on cost for all products when deciding on the MSPs for FY19.
  • Farmers have got negative returns in several crops prompting many economists to question the usefulness of MSP’s.
  • Input costs:-
    • The cost of cultivation varies across states while MSP’s are based on a weighted all India average so farmers don’t get guaranteed profits.
    • MSP’s have failed to keep pace with input costs.
  • Only a selected few states such as Punjab, MP, Haryana etc have well developed procurement infrastructure
  • Government procurement at MSP is benefiting the large traders than farmers.
    • More than three fourths of farming households don’t produce any marketable surplus and hence cannot really benefit from price support.
  • There is no provision in the budget to increase the ambit of farmerswho are covered by MSP and that is a problem in addition to how the MSP is calculated
  • Farmers also argue that MSP is only announced for 25 crops, while for other crops they have to deal with market volatility. There is no MSP for fruits and vegetables. 
  • Only a fraction of the farmers actually have access to MSP.
    • MSP often does not reach farmersas the government does not procure on time and the farmer has to make distress sales at rates lower than the MSP.
  • In the recent budget ,government has decided to keep MSP for all the unannounced crops of kharif at least at one and half times of their production cost .There is no clarity on how the implementation takes place.
    • There are concerns whether all states would agree with that cost
    • Also as MSP and Inflation highly co-related and any increase in MSP will eventually resulted into price hike of many agricultural products.
  • India’s price support programme is also promoting cultivation of water intensive crops like paddy and sugarcane even in water deficit regions such as Punjab ,Haryana and Maharashtra
  • Farmers keep producing the same varieties as cropping pattern is hardly changed in some regions.
  • Higher MSP’s over incentivize production leading to supply glut.
  • Hikes in MSP’s also adversely affect exports by making Indian farm goods uncompetitive especially when international market prices are lower.

 

Increasing MSP has its advantages:-

  • Incentivise production of a specific food crop which is in short supply.
  • Protects farmers from any sharp fall in the market price of a commodity.
  • Ensures that the country’s agricultural output responds to the changing needs of its consumers.
    • Ex: The government hiked the MSP of pulses to expand sowing of pulses.
  • Higher farm profits will encourage farmers to spend more on inputs, technology etc
  • Protect farmers from the unwarranted fluctuation in prices, provoked by the international level price variations.

Way forward:-

  • Procurement system of the government needs to be streamlined.
    • There need to be reforms in APMC acts to ensure farmer selling directly to farmers
  • Government needs to analyse the recommendation of the M.S Swaminathan Report which suggested MSP over C2.
  • India should now explore alternate models to boost farmer’s income and stop relying on MSP’s alone.
  • A non inflationary way to resolve the agricultural crisis is to raise farm productivity through increased investment in irrigation and post harvest infrastructure
  • Based on Telangana experience it is time to consider a transparent ,crop neutral and easier to implement income support programme.
    • The state government gives a payment of Rs.10000 per hectare of cultivable land to all farmers irrespective of the crops they raise.
  • Recommendations by NITI aayog:-
    • The awareness to farmers and timely dissemination of information till the lowest level so that it would increase the bargaining power of the farmers.
    • Timely payment should be ensured.
    • MSP should be announced well in advance of the sowing season so as to enable the farmers to plan their cropping.
    • Improved facilities at procurement centres, such as drying yards, weighing bridges, toilets, etc.
    • More godowns should be set up and maintained properly for better storage and reduction of wastage.
    • The criteria for fixing MSP should be current year’s data and based on more meaningful criteria rather than the historical costs
  • The monitoring at every phase for the efficiency of the process and accountability of the people involved in its implementation.
  • The ambitious projects like e-NAM, doubling farmer’s income by 2022, price stabilisation fund, implementation of Swaminathan and Shanta Kumar committee is required.

Topic– Challenges to internal security

5) India’s defence production is closely linked to DRDO’s fate. Discuss and critically examine the recent steps taken by government to bolster DRDO’s performance?(250 words)

Financial express

Why this question

The article talks about the challenges being faced by DRDO, summarising the report of Parliamentary Committee regarding the functioning of DRDO. One of the focus areas of the current government is the emphasis on enhancing defence production and hence this article is important.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to assess the status of defence production in India and the performance of DRDO in this regard. We need to point out the achievements of DRDO on how it has helped India develop defence equipments and also evaluate its weaknesses. It asks us to critically examine whether giving financial autonomy to DRDO would address the lacuna in its functioning.

Directive word

Discuss – Highlight the debate with respect to the performance of DRDO

Critically examine – Highlight the pros and cons of granting greater financial autonomy to DRDO.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Bring out the focus of government on enhancing defence production and the role of DRDO in the same.

Body

  • Bring out the achievement and weaknesses of DRDO which have an impact on the defence production of India.
  • To bolster your arguments, take help of reports like the recent parliamentary committee findings, Rama Rao committee etc
  • Thereafter examine whether financial autonomy would address the weaknesses highlighted above. Highlight both pros and cons

Conclusion – Discuss the importance of being holistic reforms in functioning of DRDO and the way forward.

Background:-

  • Today India is the largest arms importer in the world and spends annually on an average about $3.6 billion, which is more than the combined imports of both Pakistan and China. 
  • Role of DRDO:-
    • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) comes across as formidable. It is currently engaged in about 70 projects that include making almost every major conventional weapon system and platform that major military powers are already manufacturing. From rifles and machine guns to tanks, fighter aircraft, airborne warning and control system, aircraft carrier and a wide array of missiles—surface-to-air, surface-to-surface and sub surface.
    • DRDO has 52 labs across all domains of defence for R&D in defence related requirements and has played an important part in new technology development in the country.

Success of DRDO:-

  • Successful flight trials of indigenously developed first long range sub-sonic cruise missile Nirbhay, Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile (QRSAM) and supersonic cruise missile BrahMos from fighter jet Sukhoi-30 MKI besides dedicating Naval submarine INS Kalvari to the Nation were highlights of the last year.
  • Nirbhay, country’s first indigenously designed and developed cruise missile, achieved grand success during fifth trial saving the project from being scrapped after three failures and one partial success.
  • DRDO also conducted three successful flight tests of its newly developed short range QRSAM. QRSAM is a highly mobile air defence system which can destroy multiple targets at a distance of 25 km. 
  • The third generation ‘fire and forget’ Anti Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) Nag has also completed developmental trials paving the way for its induction in the armed forces.

Criticism:-

  • Delay in completion of projects:-
    • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the country’s premiere defence research body, has come under fire of a parliamentary panel recently over delay in completion of key military projects (including the Light Combat Aircraft Tejas programme and Airborne Early Warning and Control System programme) which has posed a major challenge to the Indian armed forces modernisation.
    • The panel criticized that delays in completion of projects is a part and parcel of DRDOs functioning
  • High defence imports:-
    • India continues to be the world’s largest defence equipment importer while DRDO has been pumping resources into less critical projects or not core technologies like developing dental implants and mosquito repellents.
  • LCA project was originally supposed to be completed by 2008, but, the date of completion has now been revised to June 2019. Similarly, the Kaveri aero engine project was supposed to be completed by 1996, but was only completed by 2009. Such delays not only have a cost implication, but also keep the armed forces waiting for critical capabilities.
  • Lack of funding:-
    • It is also hobbled by lack of adequate funding as it receives just 5-6% of the defence budget, while the comparable figure for China is 20%. 
  • No innovation:-
    • DRDO works on projects such as the Tejas fighter, unmanned aerial vehicles, warship systems, artillery guns, the Arjun tank etc all constitute equipment that has been in service worldwide for decades.
    • It is yet to graduate to making complete weapon systems or highly sophisticated technologies as is the case with major defence companies in the US and Europe.
  • Exports:-
    • India’s record of producing and exporting weapon systems is extremely modest. For example, India’s defence exports averaged a meagre US$88 million a year between 2006-07 and 2008-09, which marginally rose to $174 million in 2013-14 and $330 million in 2016.
    • None of the technologies India export are critical technologies or anywhere close to a complete weapon system or a weapon platform.
  • Internal criticism against the military-industrial complex range from :-
    • The way the DRDO is conceptualised and structured, its tendency to over reach, technological limitations and incapability; coordination problems with, and changing specifications by, the users, the myriad responsibilities of the head of the DRDO.
    • The continuing limited involvement of the private sector and the predominant role of generalist bureaucrats with no expertise in defence.
  • Moreover, the bureaucratisation of Indian science has created a scientific-work environment with features comprising caution, rules, reviews, screenings, scrutinies, committees, controls, centralisation, delays, doubts, indecision, inaction, suspicion, friction, and less communication.

Recent steps taken by the government:-

  • In 2014, centre had suggested DRDO empower younger scientists, starting with manning five of its 52 laboratories exclusively with scientists under 35 years of age.
  • To enhance its (DRDO’s) efficiency and effectiveness, the defence ministry has reposed greater decision-making powers with the members of DRDO.
    • The DRDO chief can now sanction projects/procurements up to Rs 150 crore while the DGs can sanction projects up to Rs 75 crore
  • Government has reserved projects under 3 crores for MSMEs where DRDO can mentor.
  • Two unprecedented decisions that were specifically aimed at facilitating the self-reliance process
    • (a) opening of the military-industrial complex to Indian private sector participation up to hundred per cent
    • (b) opening up to foreign direct investment (FDI) permissible up to 26%, which was subsequently increased to 49% in 2014 and 100% in 2016.

Pros:-

  • Centre devolving greater financial power to the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will perhaps give the body some much-needed autonomy.
  • Ministry of defence has to be lauded for its proposed move not to make any further investments in the state-owned defence production sector which has, over the years, become a drag on the economy

Cons:-

  • India’s self-reliance continues to hover at 30% to 35% despite a series of measures taken by the government that has resulted in India continuing to remain overly import dependent for its defence requirements. 
  • The procurement process continues to be time consuming and the private industry remains mired in bureaucratic processes. Most of the private industry’s involvement currently is low scale and focused on making sub systems.
  • The defence ministry has now shifted its deadline to attain about 70% self-reliance by over two decades to 2027.
  • Till now the Government has lacked the political will to restructure and reform the defence industry and thereby incurs a huge defence bill which affects both armament modernisation and maintenance of its military inventory. 

Way forward:-

  • The Rama Rao Committee, in 2008, had asked the government to limit the DRDO’s research focus to just core technologies of strategic importance.
  • Parliamentary committee:-
    • Defence Research and Development Organisation needs to undertake research oriented programmes with great concern and care. The Committee desires that at the initial stage itself, before the project is sanctioned, all the possible constraints and bottlenecks that are likely to arise need to be assessed with care.
    • The panel, in fact, suggested that independent agencies be brought in to conduct scientific, technical and concurrent audit(s) of every ongoing project.
    • The Committee also strongly feel that the Ministry should re-evaluate the reasons and also seek expert advice before taking a decision towards closing down any project of DRDO in future so as to avoid wastage of public funds and to help in sustaining the project(s), which can possibly prove to be beneficial to the country.
  • International lessons:-
    • The Government needs to look at two successful global models for a winning formula.
    • The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has a team of only 240 scientists who run all its R&D activities through funds provided to academic institutions and private industry.
    • In Israel there are wholly state-owned ordnance factories, public-private partnership defence companies and completely private defence companies that undertake both R&D and defence production.

Conclusion:-

  • It is both an economic necessity as well as a national security imperative to reduce India’s annual average defence import bill and become self-reliant in defence technologies. This will benefit the country’s economy especially its manufacturing industry.

General Studies – 4


Topic: case studies

6)Meena, an employee of Great American Market, was warned about her excessive absenteeism several times, both verbally and in writing. The written warning included notice that “further violations will result in disciplinary actions,” including suspension or discharge.

A short time after the written warning was issued, Meena called work to say she was not going to be in because her babysitter had called in sick and she had to stay home and care for her young child. Meena’s supervisor, Sylvia, told her that she had already exceeded the allowed number of absences and warned that if she did not report to work, she could be suspended. When Meena did not report for her shift, Sylvia suspended her for fifteen days.

In a subsequent hearing, Meena argued that it was not her fault that the babysitter had canceled, and protested that she had no other choice but to stay home. Sylvia pointed out that Meena had not made a good faith effort to find an alternate babysitter, nor had she tried to swap shifts with a co-worker. Furthermore, Sylvia said that the lack of a babysitter was not a justifiable excuse for being absent.

Questions:

 

 

  • Should Meena be fired?
  • Should the babysitter be fired?
  • Was Sylvia fair in her actions?

 

 

(250 words)

 

The above case study highlights the conflict a mother faces in upholding her professional and personal duties.

  1. Was the suspension fair?

Meena has already exceeded the allowed number of absences and was warned adequately before itself. Also she could have asked her supervisor to accommodate some  one else in her shift and she would work in their shift if possible but she has not requested that. She could have even asked supervisor for some time to come to work so that she can make alternate arrangements for the safety of her child and then attend office. In strictly administrative sense the suspension is fair as the supervisor followed the rules. Even the suspension meted out is not extremely harsh as she has not lost her job.

  1. Did Sylvia act responsibly?

As Meena was adequately warned earlier of the consequences of her actions Sylvia only followed her company’s rules by suspending Meena for a few days. Being in a responsible position she has adhered to her job requirements as she is answerable to her superiors for her actions as well.

  1. Should Meena be fired?

Meena made an effort to contact the supervisor and inform that she would not be able to attend the work that shows her dedication towards her job. Firing is an extremely harsh step in this case as her reason was very genuine as for any mother child is the first priority. She is already facing suspension so firing is not an apt decision in this case.

  1. Should the babysitter be fired?

Babysitter had a genuine reason to skip the work as she was sick and even if cared for the child being sick there is a chance that the child might be sick as well. So firing her is not right as compassion is necessary to understand why she could not attend the job. As she could not come only for one day Meena could have given some responsibility to her husband as it is equal right of father to take care of his child.

  1. Was Sylvia fair in her actions?

Even though Sylvia acted as per her work requirements, being a woman it would have been better if she had acted in a more empathetic way by understanding the agony of a mother .Also the company should have had a maternal leave policy along with creches in office as well.