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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 04 SEPTEMBER 2018


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 04 SEPTEMBER 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 – 2


Topic: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

1) In its recent judgement on hate crimes, the Supreme  Court has put forward a comprehensive set of measures to deal with the issue. Discuss.(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question

Recent spurt in incidents of hate crimes and violence has prompted the highest court of the country to put forward several measures in the form of instructions to the executive, police, administration. These measure need to be thoroughly discussed.

Directive word

Discuss- This is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. We also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about the recent SC judgment on hate crime and write in detail about the measures it has put forward to deal with the issue.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few lines about the history of hate-crimes in India and mention their increased frequency observed in recent years which has prompted the SC to intervene in the issue.

Body-

Discuss in detail about the SC judgement on hate-crimes. E.g the trial court must ordinarily award maximum sentence as provided for various offences under the provisions of the IPC; concerned governments to file appeals forthwith to the superior courts against judgments of acquittals and/or granting of bail in all such cases; bail ought not to be granted in such cases except in the rarest of rare cases and that too for the cogent reasons provided in the order; direct disciplinary action against concerned police and administration officials for their failure to prevent hate crimes within their territorial jurisdiction after holding an enquiry by an independent commission of enquiry; hold registered political parties and other registered entities accountable for the acts of commission or omission by their members involved in hate crimes and direct suitable penal action against them; prohibit those holding constitutional and public offices including as ministers, members of Parliament or state assemblies, panchayat and municipal office bearers from identifying themselves with lynch-mob accused publicly in any manner and in case of any infraction hold them responsible and subject to immediate disqualification from such offices; sensitise subordinate judiciary and higher judiciary dealing with such hate crimes so as to protect the vulnerable sections of the society including those belonging to minority communities as well as women, children and Dalits by holding seminars and workshops at regular intervals involving social activists, psychologists, other activists, lawyers and responsible citizens from all communities etc.

Conclusion– Based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.

Background:-

 

  • There is growing evidence of hate crimes which are criminal acts against people based on their real or perceived membership of a particular group, such as caste, religion or ethnicity across India.
  • Recently the Supreme Court recommended the formulation of adequate laws to tackle the problem of hate crimes and mob lynching.

Why Supreme court had to put forward comprehensive set of measures to deal with hate crimes:-

  • Mob lynching is already criminalised under the existing laws. The Indian Penal Code holds people liable for cooperating in the commission of a criminal act with a shared intention. These provisions cover all acts of mob violence, whatever their motivation or pretext be.
  • The current crisis of mob violence is not the absence of substantive provisions but their lack of implementation
  • Failure of police machinery:-
    • They consistently fail to lodge FIRs or charge sheets on time. In many cases, allegations of collusion have been made against them. Poor investigation and reluctance of public prosecutors to pursue cases have resulted in bails for alleged culprits. 

Supreme court directions :-

  • Supreme court recently stated that act of lynching is unlawfulsince it has become a sweeping phenomenon with a far-reaching impact. 
  • No citizen can assault the human dignity of another, for such an action would comatose the majesty of law. 
  • To set a stern example in cases of mob violence and lynching, upon conviction of the accused person(s), the trial court must ordinarily award maximum sentence as provided for various offences under the provisions of the IPC.
  • In its judgment, the Supreme Court focuses on the victims by providing guidelines on victim compensation and witness protection.
  • Supreme Court made a series of preventive directions like appointing a nodal officer at SP level to take measures to prevent lynching. 
  • It suggested identification of districts, areas and villages with a history of lynching and mob violence, ramping up of intelligence networks, identification of local communal issues, regular police patrolling, awareness campaigning, strict action including FIRs against mobs that show violent tendencies,  and registering FIRs against those who send messages that provoke communal tensions and incite violence.
  • The remedial directions include prompt investigation, a victim compensation scheme, free legal aid, fast-track trial, maximum punishment for convicts, and hearing families of victims in all matters related to the case like bail, discharge, etc. 
  • As far as police officers are concerned, the court says police need to comply with the aforesaid directions in order to prevent and/or investigate and/or facilitate expeditious trial of any crime of mob violence and lynching.
    • If the directions are not followed it shall be considered as an act of deliberate negligence  and/or misconduct for which appropriate action must be taken against him/her and not limited to departmental action under the service rules.

The following measures can also be considered by the Supreme court :-

  • Direct concerned governments to file appeals forthwith to the superior courts against judgments of acquittals and/or granting of bail in all such cases.
  • Bail ought not to be granted in such cases except in the rarest of rare cases and that too for the cogent reasons provided in the order.
  • Direct disciplinary action against concerned police and administration officials for their failure to prevent hate crimes within their territorial jurisdiction after holding an enquiry by an independent commission of enquiry
  • Hold registered political parties and other registered entities accountable for the acts of commission or omission by their members involved in hate crimes and direct suitable penal action against them
  • Prohibit those holding constitutional and public offices from identifying themselves with lynch-mob accused publicly in any manner and in case of any infraction hold them responsible and subject to immediate disqualification from such offices.
  • Sensitise subordinate judiciary and higher judiciary dealing with such hate crimes so as to protect the vulnerable sections of the society including those belonging to minority communities as well as women, children and Dalits by holding seminars and workshops at regular intervals involving social activists, psychologists, other activists, lawyers and responsible citizens from all communities.

Topic– Disaster Management

2) With the likelihood of extreme weather patterns increasing because of global warming, operational management of dams deserves equal importance. Analyze. (250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

Kerala floods is one of the most important topic to be prepared for disaster management section of paper 3. This article highlights the reasons why the floods in Kerala were so destructive. One of the key role was played by dams and understanding their role in floods would pave the way for enhancing our readiness.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain how operational management of floods is critical in mitigation of impact of floods. We need to explain why this is so, along with lacunae in our dam management. Finally we need to discuss the way forward for improving the status of dam management.

Directive word

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.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Mention that the recent Kerala floods, Chennai floods etc have shown the devastating impact of poor operational management of dams.

Body

  • Discuss the role played by operational management of dams in catalysing the devastating impact of floods. Cite illustrations from the recent Kerala floods and Chennai floods before that to show that release of water by dams enhances the destructive impact of floods. Highlight the other associated problems caused by dams in accentuating the destruction caused by floods – silting of rivers, problems in hilly areas etc
  • Discuss the issues with dam management in India – dam management is engineering oriented in its approach, detailed holistic study determining the impact of dams is not done, impact on community not ascertained, evaluation of spillway capacity not done etc
  • Suggest ways in which the same can be improved

Conclusion – Give your view on how important operational management of dams is in mitigating the devastating impact of disasters and discuss the way forward.

Background:-

  • In the monsoon season, there is an increase in frequency of heavy rainfall.
  • Global warming and lack of scientific flood management hold clues to the frequent floods witnessed in recent years.
  • Dam management has been very engineering-oriented in its approach, with dam safety and reservoir heights emphasized over a more holistic and integrated approach that would include weather simulation, land use on the flood plain and community preparedness.

Why operational management of dams deserves equal importance :-

  • Dam safety is of course paramount as India has had 33 dam failures since independence and 80% of the dams are more than 25 years old.
  • Spillway capacity may need to be re-evaluated for several dams if they are to do the job in normal and extreme conditions. 
  • Dams have also induced floods when water released from a dam reservoir is beyond the carrying  capacity of channels downstream.
  • Authorities always look to store the maximum amount of water in reservoirs during the monsoon season, which is then used for irrigation and generation of electricity during the summer months.
  • In India, most of the flood-management systems are not supported by science
  • Dam proponents are ignoring crucial decision-making data now available on patterns of rainfall, geology and climate change.
  • Dams can trigger seismic events.
    • The reservoir-induced seismicity (RIS) from the weight of the reservoir has resulted in earthquakes in various parts of the country
  • Kerala is home to 53 large dams with a collective capacity of nearly 7 trillion litres. As rain poured and rivers overflowed, these dams should have served as a bulwark.
    • But for dams to truly tame floods, experts say dam reservoirs need to be relatively empty before the onset of rain. This was not the case in Kerala.
    • None of the dams in Kerala had a dream disaster action plan
  • When the downpours arrived in August, the near full-capacity Idukki was forced to release water into already flooded areas.
  • Also state did not gradually release water from about 30 dams in anticipation of rains.
  • Local officials have been blamed for exacerbating the situation by failing to gradually open the dams dotting the state’s complex river network, waiting instead until they were already full before unleashing the excess water. 
  • Inter-state dam management:-
    • Like many dams in India, the Mullaperiyar is located in one state (Kerala), but operated by another (Tamil Nadu). Both state governments have been in constant conflict over the dam’s water level in the current crisis, the Supreme Court had to intervene.
  • CAG report:-
    • As per the 2017 CAG report, Kerala had not conducted a dam-break analysis or prepared an Emergency Action Plan. Neither has the state prepared the Operation and Maintenance (O&M) Manuals for any of its dams.
    • The audit also observed that prescribed quality checks were not conducted by monitoring agencies in all four projects in Kerala.

Way forward:-

  • International Practice
    • The Colorado River in the US runs through seven states. They do very good reservoir system management. They look at weather forecasts to understand how much water to expect. They start releasing water, based on the predictions, even before something serious happens. India can follow this scientific approach
  • It is time for the government and the public to formulate water management policies for reservoirs in such a manner that dams are used to control floods.
  • It is important that at least 30% of the storage capacity of dams be kept free before the monsoon. 
  • Non conventional sources:-
    • It is time to think of non-conventional sources for electricity generation such as solar, wind and tidal power, rather than over-dependence on hydel projects.
    • The practice of solar power generation in Kochi airport can be copied in similar large-scale projects  by other government agencies.
  • Administration:-
    • The State government, the State Dam Security Authority and the National Water Commission should all be prepared to take bold decisions together on water management so that there are no devastating floods in the future.
    • At present, the task of dam and water management is vested with the Public Works Department, the Electricity Board, and the Irrigation Department. Even in normal conditions, given contradictory opinions from various departments, it is difficult to implement decisions. Hence, the State Dam Security Authority, if competent, should be entrusted with the task of water management in reservoirs and with taking decisions in emergency situations etc.
  • Regular desiltation of dams should be done
  • India needs full-fledged flood management systems using scientific methods to understand when the time is right to open the gates.
  • Decentralised alternatives involve water recycling and reuse.
  • The immediate task is to critically review every dam in the country, decommission those that are at end-of-life, and establish sound safety protocols.
  • Kerala should set up a State Flood Commission to evolve a comprehensive approach to manage extreme rainfall in the state.
    • This commission should examine the impact of major land use changes on the hydrology of the state.
    • It should also look at the dam management systems.
    • Besides this, district-level sub-commissions should be set up to identify the areas where roads, railways, hydropower, embankments and other infrastructure projects aggravated flood problems and suggest mitigation measures.

Topic–  Disaster and disaster management.

3) There has to be a change from focussing only on managing natural disasters to improving resilience. Comment in the context of India’s preparedness for disasters and its disaster policy. (250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

India is highly vulnerable to various kinds of natural disasters. Climate change, environmental degradation and increasing stress on natural resources exacerbates the hazard potential of these disasters. In this light, it is important to know the focus of our country’s disaster management  and its preparedness, and deliberate on its shortfalls so that we could be better prepared.

Directive word

Comment- here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to express our opinion on the need to change our focus from disaster management to building resilience. It wants us to highlight India’s disaster preparedness and use it build our opinion.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few lines about India and its vulnerabilities to disaster- e.g India is prone to disasters. About 70% of its coastal areas are prone to tsunamis and cyclones, about 60% of its landmass vulnerable to earthquakes, and 12% of its land to floods.

Body-

  • Discuss India’s disaster preparedness. E.g There are few guidelines on construction in flood-prone regions, or even a map of safe zones; lack of forecast and alert systems infrastructure; risk management is still in its infancy; Few States have prepared emergency action plans for the over 5,000 large dams in India, with reports of just 200 dams having been covered so far; Mitigation projects for upgradation of the observatory network have barely commenced. The effectiveness of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has been hampered by a shortage of trained manpower, training, infrastructure and equipment etc.
  • Discuss the need to revise our disaster policy- e.g Disaster norms are also skewed more towards rural areas, focussing on agriculture, fisheries, livestock and handicrafts from a relief perspective. Typically, after a disaster, revenue officials are responsible for visiting affected areas and identifying people for relief, in turn offering scope for misuse and corruption. In addition, any disaster relief will typically exclude anyone living in an unauthorised area. Such norms also exclude sharecroppers and agricultural labourers, while focussing only on small and big farmers. The former are also the ones excluded from the rural credit market, while facing significant risk from agricultural uncertainty; unlisted disasters which are not neatly bucketed in the specifications under the Calamity Relief Fund are restricted to a relief of 10% of the fund’s annual allocation etc.

Conclusion– Based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.

Background:-

  • India is prone to disasters. About 70% of its coastal areas are prone to tsunamis and cyclones, about 60% of its landmass vulnerable to earthquakes, and 12% of its land to floods.

Disaster policy of India:-

  • Disaster management Act, 2005 defines Disaster Management as, a continuous cycle and integrated process of planning, organizing, coordinating and implementing, coordinating and implementing measures
    • The act provides for three tier mechanism for Disaster Management that includes National Disaster Management Authority, State Disaster Management Authority and District Disaster Management Authority.
    • The Central Government lays down policies and guidelines and provides technical, financial and logistic support while the district administration carries out most of the operations in collaboration with central and state level agencies.

  • The National Policy on Disaster Management was approved by the Government in November 2009. This comprehensive policy document lays down policies on every aspect of holistic management of disasters in the country.

 

Why there is a need to improve resilience :-

  • Most Indian houses are made of brick masonry walls, with fire/unfired bricks and stones, and yet few if any undergraduate civil engineering courses consider these materials, focussing instead on reinforced cement and concrete.
  • Earthquake engineering is taught as a specialisation at just a few universities, leading to a serious shortage of retrofitting-trained civil engineering manpower
  • Risk management is still in its infancy:-
    • In the case of Kerala, in 2003, the Home Ministry had proposed the formation of specialist teams to manage disasters using four battalions from the Central Industrial Security Force and Indo Tibetan Border Police. Kerala was required ‘to identify a State-level training institution’ for the purpose. The project has been forgotten. 
  • India is far behind even in forecasting disasters that occur annually.
    • Even now, after the floods in 2013 in  Uttarakhand still has few if any Doppler radars to provide early alerts about cloudbursts and heavy rain. There are few guidelines on construction in flood-prone regions, or even a map of safe zones.
  • Few States have prepared emergency action plans for the over 5,000 large dams in India, with reports of just 200 dams having been covered so far.
  • Mitigation projects for upgradation of the observatory network have barely commenced.
  • The effectiveness of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has been hampered by a shortage of trained manpower, training, infrastructure and equipment
    • Comptroller and Auditor General highlighted the National Disaster Management Authority’s performance in projects such as vulnerability assessment and mitigation projects of major cities as “abysmal”.
  • Each State and district has different costs for labour and construction, making the idea of a uniform amount for relief redundant.
    • Current disaster norms do not differentiate between States, offering, for example, the same amount per unit for disaster relief in Bundelkhand as in Goa. Such practices are bound to lead to an inadequate recovery.
  • Disaster norms are also skewed more towards rural areas, focussing on agriculture, fisheries, livestock and handicrafts from a relief perspective.
    • Typically, after a disaster, revenue officials are responsible for visiting affected areas and identifying people for relief, in turn offering scope for misuse and corruption.
  • In addition, any disaster relief will typically exclude anyone living in an unauthorised area. Such norms also exclude share-croppers and agricultural labourers, while focussing only on small and big farmers. 
  • Unlisted disasters which are not neatly bucketed in the specifications under the Calamity Relief Fund are restricted to a relief of 10% of the fund’s annual allocation.
  • No adequate standards:-
    • The qualification of what makes infrastructure climate resilient is not codified. The 2018 budget allocated a significant amount of funding to create standards, but there hasn’t been any progress. Without these standards, any labelling of infrastructure projects as climate resilient will be ad hoc.

Way forward:-

  • Planned urbanisation can withstand disasters, a shining example being Japan which faces earthquakes at regular intervals.
  • The India Disaster Resource Network should be institutionalised as a repository for organised information and equipment gathering.
  • It is critical to invest in climate-smart infrastructure like water management, transport, and energy because they provide critical social and economic services not only to the city but also to regions beyond that. These need to be done now because changing them requires a significant amount of lead time to design and implement
  • There is a need to build the principles of climate resilience into coastal infrastructure development. This would mean incorporating them into already-existing urban infrastructure. For future infrastructure development, climate resilience will need to be built in right from the planning stage.
  • Main challenges for incorporating climate resilience into coastal infrastructure starts with the non-availability of fine-resolution data such as sea level measurement and variation in precipitation. Such location-specific information within the larger picture of how climate change is affecting or will affect the Indian coast can help planners and administrators to build in climate resilience.
  • India needs a strong disaster management agency. Disaster preparedness should be focussed on meeting the immediate contingency, implementing a conceptual, long-term rehabilitation strategy
    • It must be built on anticipatory governance, emphasising studies that embed foresight and foster citizen awareness.
  • The NDRF must fill its vacant specialist positions while being given better control over transfers and deployment of its personnel.
  • Subject of Disaster management is not mentioned specifically, in any of the three lists of the Seventh Schedule of the constitution. National Commission of the Constitution (NCRWC) suggested its inclusion in Concurrent List
  • Meaning of Disaster in National Disaster Management Act, 2005 is narrow it should be broadened. Capacity building in local government is needed. In Japan local governments have a role to play in such matters.
  • Second ARC recommends that in larger cities the Mayor, assisted by the Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation and the Police Commissioner should be directly responsible for Crisis management.
  • Planning for climate resilience would need to start from the time of locating the infrastructure facilities. For instance, infrastructure for solid waste management, especially landfills, have to be located keeping in mind the projected sea level rise. Similarly, planning for climate resilience would mean ensuring water supply channels have back-ups for extreme weather events.

General Studies – 3


TopicIssues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices

4) Critically examine whether the MSP formula of 50 per cent over cost A2+FL is ill-advised?(250 words)

Indian express

 

Why this question

The article evaluates the merit of focussing on MSP for improving the status of farmers, and highlights the issues involved therein. The article then discusses the overzealousness of states like Maharashtra in implementing norms wrt MSP and the challenges that it might create. The government has recently come out with the new MSP formula and thus issues related to MSP need to be prepared in detail.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to highlight the pros and cons of the new MSP formula and examine the challenges, if any, posed by the decision of Maharashtra government to make procurement of wheat at MSP compulsory for traders. Finally, we need to provide our point of view and suggest alternatives to MSP for improving the status of farmers.

Directive word

Critically 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 . When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, all you need to do is look at the good and bad of something and give a fair judgement.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight the recent decision of the government with respect to fixing of MSP and the steps taken by states like Maharashtra etc to improve the status of their farmers by focussing on MSP.

Body

  • Highlight the pros and cons of focussing primarily on MSP for improving the economic status of farmers. Discuss whether fixing the MSP through new formula would ensure that the economic status of farmers improves.
  • Examine whether the step taken by Maharashtra government in making procurement at MSP for wheat would ensure that farmers get fair price for their produce.
  • Evaluate other alternatives to MSP for improving farmers welfare and economic condition

Conclusion – Give a fair and balanced view on the MSP formula and role of MSP and suggest way forward.

Background:-

  • The Union Cabinet cleared 2018-19 kharif Minimum Support Prices (MSP), with increases in line with the earlier Budget commitment to set MSPs at 1.5 times the cost of production. It decided to keep MSPs at least 50 per cent above the sum of cost of production (A2) and imputed wages for the time spent by the farmer and his/her family (FL) in crop production.
  • The new MSPs announced by the government for kharif crops meet the spirit the Swaminathan Committee recommendation of 50 per cent net return over Cost C2.

Impact of recently announced MSP:-

  • Inflation:-
    • Hike will prima facie likely have significant food inflation effects, reversing the trend of food inflation having fallen steadily from 11.8% in FY13 to 1.8% in FY18. 
  • 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.
    • Support price does not come with a commitment to buy whatever farmers offer. Actual procurement will be limited by the fiscal room available, especially at a time when a significantly higher fiscal deficit could lead to further pressure on the rupee.
  • 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.

Why MSP increase will help?

  • This hike in MSPs was required, given the current adverse conditions of prices and operating conditions of the farm sector, and is a key component of the prime minister’s goal of doubling farm incomes by 2022
  • 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:-

  • NITI Aayog has recommended reforms in the APMC Act and tenancy laws and tweaks to the eNAM (electronic National Agriculture Market).
    • It has also suggested ‘Price Deficiency Payment’ system to address the gaps in Minimum Support Price (MSP) based procurement of crops. Under Price Deficiency Payment, farmers are proposed to be compensated for the difference between the government-announced MSPs for select crops and their actual market prices. For crops such as rice and wheat where it is effective now, MSP announcements will continue. For other targeted crops, price deficiency payments will be made.
    • The key benefit from the price deficiency payment is that it will reduce the need for the government to actually procure food crops, transport and store them and then dispose of them under PDS.
    • The difference between the support and market prices can instead simply be paid in cash to the farmer.
    • Price deficiency payment can also keep India’s bill on food subsidies under check, believes Niti Aayog
  • Government needs to allow agro trading companies to buy more in the Indian market, especially given the limitations of the Food Corporation of India.
  • Procurement system of the government needs to be streamlined.
    • There need to be reforms in APMC acts to ensure farmer selling directly to farmers
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Best way to double the real incomes of Indian farmers would be to halve their numbers through job creation in other parts of the economy.

Topic – Indigenization of technology and developing new technology

5) What are biosimilars? Analyze why focussing on biosimilars will be advantageous for Indian pharma industry?(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

The article highlights the challenges faced by pharma manufacturers in India and how biosimilars provide a good opportunity for them. Biosimilars have gained in importance in recent years and our ability  to indigenise this technology would play a key role in the future of pharma sector in India.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to first explain what biosimilars are along with its properties. Next, we need to bring out the challenges faced by pharma industries in India. Thereafter, we need to highlight the opportunities and challenges presented by biosimilars for the pharma industry in India. We need to conclude with the way forward.

Directive word

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.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Give the overall impact of pharma industry on Indian economy and mention that it is one of the pillars of Indian economy both on account of its contribution to India as well as it’s role in making India the pharmacy of the world.

Body

  • Explain what biosimilars are.
  • Discuss the issues plaguing pharma sector in India – consolidation in the industry, competition from Chinese manufacturer, decreasing price of medicines requirement of Indian pharma manufacturers to create new market.
  • Discuss the opportunities and challenges presented by biosimilars to the pharma manufacturers. In opportunities, one can highlight the huge application, advantages offered by biosimilars etc. In challenges, one needs to bring out the lack of regulations, need for forming new partnerships to make it commercially viable etc

Conclusion – Summarize the advantages offered by biosimilars to Indian pharma manufacturers and discuss the way forward.

Background:-

  • While the previous century belonged to drugs made by pharma companies that created chemical entities which were easy to reverse engineer, advancements made in the field of biotechnology in the form of biosimilars is changing the pharmaceutical landscape at a rapid pace.
  • Now, there are more than 600 biosimilar products in development around the world,

Biosimilars:-

  • biosimilar is a product which is approved by a national regulator after demonstrating that it is highly similar to a biological product called as reference product which had been previously approved by the regulator.
  • Biosimilars are the generic versions of biologics medicines made from animal or plant proteins as opposed to chemicals.
  • Furthermore a biosimilar should have no clinically meaningful differences in terms of safety and effectiveness from the reference product. 
  • Biosimilars currently account for just $5 billion of the $240 billion global marketin biologics.

Why focussing on biosimilar is beneficial to pharma industry:-

 

  • The growth of the biologics market for the treatment of cancer (monoclonal antibodies), diabetes (insulin) and many other auto-immune diseases has in turn resulted in creating a global opportunity for biosimilars also.
  • Many Indian pharma companies are now making substantial investments into biosimilar development and production for gaining the first mover advantage.
    • In 2014, Zydus Cadila became the first company in the world to launch the biosimilar of Adalimumab patented by the US drug major AbbVie, which is being used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other auto immune disorders. 
  • As the biologics are priced very high, it is necessary for countries to reduce prices through biosimilars.
    • The growth in the biosimilars market is welcome from a human development standpoint because they are more affordable than biologics, the high cost of which often puts them out of reach of many patients.
  • In recent times, patents of some biologics have expired and more will expire before 2020. So moving towards biosimilars can fill the gap.
  • Targeted towards Non-communicable diseases (cancer, asthma, and arthritis):
    • There is an alarming spike across developing countriesin the prevalence of non-communicable diseases.
    • Therefore, promoting the production of complex generics and biosimilarscan have a positive development impact given how targeted they are toward treating non-communicable diseases such as cancer, asthma, and arthritis.
  • Biosimilars industry can act as a springboard for the pharma companies to innovate, excel and earn profit

Challenges exist:-

  • The development is itself lengthy and expensive, and could cost more than Rs 100 crore and take up to six or seven years. 
  • It is hard to generate investor interest if a product hits the market only after seven years. So, India is unlikely to see startups in biosimilars, which could also drive consolidation of some players.
  • Expertise in biology is essential, and this subject does not yet have critical massin India. India has fewer research labs in biology than a big state in Europe or the US. And, yet, things have improved in the last ten years, as experience has built up in technology and regulation.

Way forward:-

  • Governments can support growth in this segment by clarifying the regulatory framework for them, which is still evolving in many countries. China is a recent example, where the government has identified biopharma, including biosimilars, as a priority area for the country.
  • India has to expand the biology research ecosystem by investing in education and fundamental research.
  • At the same time, a regulatory mechanismneeds to be put in place and appropriate monitoring needs to be done to ensure that unfair and unethical practices are abstained from in preparation of biosimilars.

Topic–  Part of static series under the heading – “climate change”

6) What do you understand by heat budget of the earth? Examine how anthropogenic factors are impacting the heat budget of the earth? (250 words)

NCERT class XI Physical Geography Pg 81

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain what is meant by heat budget of the Earth. Next, we need to bring out human actions impact the heat budget and how it results in climate change.

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 .

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain what is meant by heat budget of the Earth. Discuss how much insolation is received and how much is reflected back and absorbed.

Body -Explain how human actions impact the heat budget. discuss the impact of the altered heat budget and how it leads to climate change and associated impacts.

Conclusion – Discuss the ways in which we can restore the heat budget of the Earth.

Heat budget:-

  • Incoming heat being absorbed by the Earth, and outgoing heat escaping the Earth in the form of radiation are both perfectly balanced. If they were not balanced, then Earth would be getting either progressively warmer or progressively cooler with each passing year. This balance between incoming and outgoing heat is known as Earth’s heat budget.
  • Almost all of the heat on Earth was originally created by the Sun. This electromagnetic energy travels towards the Earth at light speed in the form of ultraviolet radiation, visible light, and infrared radiation. When this energy reaches the Earth, immediately 30% of it bounces off, being reflected back out into space. The ability to reflect the light and radiation of the Sun is known as an object’s albedo. 
  • Because 30% of the electromagnetic energy from the Sun has been reflected away, only 70% remains to interact with the Earth and warm it up. 20% of the energy from the Sun is absorbed by the atmosphere as a whole heating it up. This leaves 50% of the Sun’s energy to heat both the surface of the Earth as well as the oceans, lakes and streams.

How anthropological factors affect heat budget :-

  • Any changes to the Earth’s climate system that affect how much energy enters or leaves the system alters Earth’s radiative equilibrium and can force temperatures to rise or fall. These destabilizing influences are called climate forcings.
    • Natural climate forcings include changes in the Sun’s brightness, Milankovitch cycles (small variations in the shape of Earth’s orbit and its axis of rotation that occur over thousands of years), and large volcanic eruptions that inject light-reflecting particles as high as the stratosphere.
  • Manmade forcings include particle pollution (aerosols), which absorb and reflect incoming sunlight, deforestation, which changes how the surface reflects and absorbs sunlight and the rising concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, which decrease heat radiated to space.
    • A forcing can trigger feedbacks that intensify or weaken the original forcing. The loss of ice at the poles, which makes them less reflective, is an example of a feedback.
  • Deforestation and changes to vegetative cover:-
    • Humanpopulations have altered land surface albedos and heat budgets most obviously by deforestation and other changes to vegetation cover.
    • Vegetation is a key player as solar energy interacts with Earth’s surface. Transpiration consumes energy (latent heat) and consequently has somewhat of a cooling effect.
    • When vegetation is removed from a surface the localized radiation budget changes. Though the surface albedo usually increases and hence relatively more insolation is reflected and less absorbed, the localized area may become hotter overall due to less shading and less evaporative cooling as a result of reduced transpiration. These dynamics lead to a hotter and drier climate in which crops are harder to grow.
  • With the greenhouse effect being enhanced by humans, the energy budget of the Earth is shifted to an imbalance.
  • Absorption of outgoing thermal infrared by carbon dioxide means that Earth still absorbs about 70 percent of the incoming solar energy, but an equivalent amount of heat is no longer leaving.
  • As long as greenhouse gas concentrations continue to rise, the amount of absorbed solar energy will continue to exceed the amount of thermal infrared energy that can escape to space. The energy imbalance will continue to grow, and surface temperatures will continue to rise.

Topic-Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance

7) Discuss the exit, voice and loyalty theory as put forward by Albert Hirschman.(250 words)

Lexicon- Ethics book; Values and ethics in public administration

Wikipedia

Directive word

Discuss- This is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. We also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to write in detail about the exit,voice and loyalty theory proposed by Albert Hirschman. We have to bring out our understanding of the theory, its applicability etc.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the theory in question. E.g

Exit, Voice, and Loyalty is a treatise written by Albert O. Hirschman. The work hinges on a conceptual ultimatum that confronts consumers in the face of deteriorating quality of goods: either exit or voice.

Body-

Discuss the theory further in detail. E.g As per the theory, members of an organization, whether a business, a nation or any other form of human grouping, have essentially two possible responses when they perceive that the organization is demonstrating a decrease in quality or benefit to the member: they can exit(withdraw from the relationship); or, they can voice (attempt to repair or improve the relationship through communication of the complaint, grievance or proposal for change). For example, the citizens of a country may respond to increasing political repression in two ways: emigrate or protest. Similarly, employees can choose to quit their unpleasant job, or express their concerns in an effort to improve the situation etc.

While both exit and voice can be used to measure a decline in an organization, voice is by nature more informative in that it also provides reasons for the decline. Exit, taken alone, only provides the warning sign of decline. Exit and voice also interact in unique and sometimes unexpected ways; by providing greater opportunity for feedback and criticism, exit can be reduced; conversely, stifling of dissent leads to increased pressure for members of the organization to use the only other means available to express discontent, departure. The general principle, therefore, is that the greater the availability of exit, the less likely voice will be used. However, the interplay of loyalty can affect the cost-benefit analysis of whether to use exit or voice. Where there is loyalty to the organization (as evidenced by strong patriotism politically, or brand loyalty for consumers), exit may be reduced, especially where options to exit are not so appealing (small job market, political or financial hurdles to emigration or moving). Loyal members become especially devoted to the organization’s success when their voice will be heard and that they can reform it.

Conclusion- sum up your discussion in a few lines and form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the above issue.

Answer:-

Exit, Voice, and Loyalty is a treatise written by Albert O. Hirschman .The work hinges on a conceptual ultimatum that confronts consumers in the face of deteriorating quality of goods: either exit or voice.

The basic concept is that members of an organization, whether a business, a nation or any other form of human grouping, have essentially two possible responses when they perceive that the organization is demonstrating a decrease in quality or benefit to the member

  1. They can exit(withdraw from the relationship)
  2. They can voice(attempt to repair or improve the relationship through communication of the complaint, grievance or proposal for change). 

For example, the citizens of a country may respond to increasing political repression in two ways: emigrate or protest. Similarly, employees can choose to quit their unpleasant job, or express their concerns in an effort to improve the situation. Disgruntled customers can choose to shop elsewhere, or they ask for the manager.

Exit and voice themselves represent a union between economic and political action. While both exit and voice can be used to measure a decline in an organization, voice is by nature more informative in that it also provides reasons for the decline. Exit, taken alone, only provides the warning sign of decline.

 General principle, therefore, is that the greater the availability of exit, the less likely voice will be used. However, the interplay of loyalty can affect the cost-benefit analysis of whether to use exit or voice. Where there is loyalty to the organization  exit may be reduced, especially where options to exit are not so appealing .Loyal members become especially devoted to the organization’s success when their voice will be heard and when they can reform it.

By understanding the relationship between exit and voice, and the interplay that loyalty has with these choices, organizations can craft the means to better address their members concerns and issues, and thereby effect improvement. Failure to understand these competing pressures can lead to organizational decline and possible failure.

Political situations:-

  • Exit, Voice, and Loyalty are three general responses citizens employ to negatively construed state policy changes.
  • Exit is seen as acceptance that change has occurred as semi-permanent and the citizen response follows a negation of the change through the alteration of the citizen’s behavior.
  • Voice is seen as a citizen response exemplified through complaints, protests, lobbying, and other forms of direct action taken to change the environment.
  • Loyalty is presented as an acceptance of current change produced by the state policy and no behavioral change to it. All responses are political even when citizens do not deliberately choose a response