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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 30 OCTOBER 2018


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 30 OCTOBER 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


TopicModern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues

1) Sardar Patel was a selfless leader, who placed the country’s interests above everything else and shaped India’s destiny with single-minded devotion. Discuss.(250 words)

Pib

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 role of Sardar Patel in building and shaping the modern India.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Write a few introductory lines about the  Sardar Patel- his birth and overall role in Indian society.

Body-

Discuss in paragraphs the contribution of Sardar Patel. E.g He fashioned the country’s political integration with the swiftness of a military commander and deftness of a visionary leader; Displaying the vision of a statesman, tact, diplomacy and pragmatic approach, he prevented the balkanization of the country and ensured the merger of more than 560 princely States with the Union of India at a critical and most turbulent period in the history of the country. What makes this stupendous integration most remarkable is that it was achieved without any bloodshed.

Adopting different approaches as warranted by the situation, he gave friendly advice in some cases, persuaded the rulers to see reason in others and even used force as in the case of Hyderabad; Acknowledging the monumental contribution of Patel in nation building, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had this to say: ‘History will call him the builder and consolidator of new India’ etc.

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

Background :-

  • Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the Iron Man of India, also considered to be the architect of modern India, has been in news recently with the recent inaugaration of his statue named “ statue of unity “in Gujarat.
  • Modern Indian history is incomplete without Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. His vision, his work, and his principles were highly remarkable in Independent India

Contribution of Sardar patel:

  • Integrating India:
    • When India  became independent in 1947, Sardar Patel took over the role as a deputy PM at a time when Indian history was in a very critical stage.
    • In a truly masterful display of statesmanship, Sardar Patel ensured a smooth integration of the troubled domains by not allowing the situation to deteriorate into civil unrest. There was neither bloodshed nor any kind of rebellion as he went about the task of building a strong India with a missionary zeal.
    • He played an important role in bringing the 565 self-governing princely states and territories into the Indian federation.
    • Adopting different approaches as warranted by the situation, he gave friendly advice in some cases, persuaded the rulers to see reason in others and even used force as in the case of Hyderabad 
    •  He drew a new map of India with every princely State being a part of the Indian union and thus, paved the way for cultural unity and harmony.
    • Sardar Patel worked with astonishing speed to dismantle the history of imperialism and create the geography of unity with the spirit of nationalism. He saved India from Balkanization and integrated even the weakest of limbs into the national framework.
  • Civil services in Independent India:
    • According to many, the actual acknowledgment for the formation of the Indian Civil Service in free India goes to Sardar Patel. His argument led to form a groundwork for Unified National Administration. Patel had the vision to create a strong and vibrant administrative system
  • Concern about border security:
    • Patel conceptualized some of the greatest policies to keep India secured from border countries’ attack. He wanted India to focus on :-
      • The need for strengthening defense force.
      • Examining and reshuffling the military position in various borders.
      • Strengthening Northern and North-Eastern frontier.
      • Improvement of transport and communication in these border areas.
  • The roots of Amul can be traced back to his vision for empowering local communities, particularly women. It was Sardar Patel who also popularized the idea of cooperative housing societies, thus ensuring dignity and shelter for man
  • Patel’s lasting contribution was protecting the Indian constitution from the ogre of communal electorates.
  • He was a major driving force behind the liberal industrial policy resolution of 1948.
  • Patel was among the few to see the dangers from China’s imminent takeover of Tibet.

Conclusion:-

  • With this it can be safely concluded that, Sardar Vallabhai Patel’s contribution to the Integration of India, his vision of a newly born state was unmatched and none of the contemporaries could have lived up to the requirements of the time better than him.

Topic– Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.

2) What do you understand by communalism, in the Indian context. Discuss its evolution in Indian society. (250 words)

Insightsonindia

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 meaning of the term communalism, in the Indian historical, social and political context. It then wants us to write in detail about the evolution of communalism in India.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- define communalism in a simple way- e.g Communalism is a political philosophy, which proposes that market and money be abolished and that land and enterprises to be placed in the custody of community. But in the Indian sub-continent context, communalism has come to be associated  with tensions and clashes between different religious communities in various regions.

Body-

  • Discuss about communalism in India in detail. E.g It is basically an ideology which consists of three elements. Discuss each element briefly.
  • Discuss the evolution of communalism in India. E.g ancient India was united and no such communal feelings were there. People lived peacefully together, there was acceptance for each other’s culture and tradition. For example, Ashoka followed religious tolerance and focussed mainly on Dhamma; In Medieval period, we have examples such as- Akbar, who was epitome of secular practises and believed in propagating such values; Communalism in India is result of the emergence of modern politics, which has its roots in British policy of divide and rule and the partition of Bengal in 1905 and feature of separate electorate under Government of India Act, 1909; Such acts were done by the British government to appease Muslims and other communities, and dividing the Indian public opinion for their own political needs. This feeling of communalism has deepened since then, fragmenting the Indian society and being a cause of unrest etc.

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

Communalism in Indian context:-

 

  • Communalism is basically an ideology which consists of three elements:-
    • A belief that people who follow the same religion have common secular interests i.e. they have same political, economic and social interests. So, here socio- political communalities arises.
    • A notion that, in a multi-religious society like India, these common secular interests of one religion are dissimilar and divergent from the interests of the follower of another religion.
    • The interests of the follower of the different religion or of different ‘communities’ are seen to be completely incompatible, antagonist and hostile.

 

Evolution of communalism in Indian society :-

  • Ancient India :-
    • Ancient India was united and no such communal feelings were there. People lived peacefully together, there was acceptance for each other’s culture and tradition. For example, Ashoka followed religious tolerance and focused mainly on Dhamma.
  • Medieval period:-
    • In Medieval period, there are examples such as- Akbar, who was epitome of secular practices and believed in propagating such values by abolishing Jajhiya tax and starting of Din-I- ilahi and Ibadat Khana.
    • Same acceptance for different cultures and tradition was practised in several kingdoms throughout India, because of which there was peace and harmony, barring few sectarian rulers like Aurangzeb, who was least tolerant for other religious practises.
    • Such rulers and actions by them like- imposing taxes on religious practises of other community, destructing temples, forced conversions, killing of Sikh guru, etc. were instrumental in deepening and establishing the feeling of communal differences in India.
    • But, these incidents were not common as, huge majority of Indians were rural and were aloof from such influences and so people coexisted peacefully. Overall, the Hindus and Muslims in those days, had common economic and political interests.
  • Modern India:-
    • Communalism in India is result of the emergence of modern politics, which has its roots in partition of Bengal in 1905and feature of separate electorate under Government of India Act, 1909.
    • Later, British government also appeased various communities through Communal award in 1932
    • All these acts were done by the British government to appease Muslims and other communities, for their own political needs. This feeling of communalism has deepened since then, fragmenting the Indian society and being a cause of unrest.

Stages of communalism in India:-

  • First stage was rise of nationalistHindu, Muslim, Sikh, etc. .Roots of this were led in later part of 19th century with Hindu revivalist movement like Shuddhi movement of Arya Samaj and Cow protection riots of 1892.
    • On the other hand movements like Faraizi movement started Haji Shariatullah in Bengal to bring the Bengali Muslims back on the true path of Islam, was one of the religious reform movement which had bearing on communalism in 19th
  • Second stage was of Liberal communalism.
    • It believed in communal politics but liberal in democratic, humanist and nationalist values. It was basically before 1937. For example organisations like Hindu Mahasabha, Muslim League and personalities like M.A. Jinnah, M M Malviya, Lala Lajpat Rai after 1920s
  • Third was the stage of Extreme Communalism
    • It demanded for separate nation, based on fear and hatred. There was tendency to use violence of language, deed and behaviour. For example Muslim League and Hindu Mahasabha after 1937.
    • Itspread as a by-product of colonialism, economic stagnations and absence of modern institutions of education and health. These factors caused competition, people started using nepotism .
    • Short term benefits from communalism started giving validity to communal politics.
  • Later on, spread of education to peasant and small landlords gave rise to new middle class, as agriculture was becoming stagnant. So, these people started demanding communal representation and this way, social base for communalism widened.. Communalism, started rooting deeply, as it was an expression of aspiration and interest of middle class for less opportunity.
  • Further, from very beginning upper caste Hindus dominated colonial services as they adapted early to colonial structure.
    • This resulted in resentment in Muslims in late 19thcentury and they then formed a pressure group under Sir Sayed Ahmed Kahn to bargain as a separate community. In contrast Congress standpoint was always focused on ‘rights and freedom of individual’ not on a particular community
  • Communalism represented a struggle between two upper classes / strata for power, privileges and economic gain. For Example- In western Punjab at that time, Muslim landlord opposed Hindu moneylenders. In eastern Bengal, Muslim jotedarsopposed Hindu  Later on, communalism developed as weapon of economically and politically reactionary social classes and political forces.

Topic– Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.

3) Communalism in India was born, nurtured and promoted by the British imperialism, as a deliberative design to sow dissensions. Comment.(250 words)

Reference

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 knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an opinion as to whether or not, communalism in India was born, nurtured and promoted by the British imperialism as a deliberative design to sow dissensions.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  meaning of communalism in the Indian context.

Body-

Discuss how communalism in India was born, nurtured and promoted by the British imperialism. E.g communalism served the colonial administration to ‘divide and rule’ and therefore the prevailing religions differences were first used to project the social and cultural variations and then to promote political divisions by treating Indian but as members of religious communities; The British India was divided into the feudal principalities and religious communities. The British administrators created division and tensions between these communities. The communal politics was encouraged by them. A voter was classified as a Hindu  or a Muslim etc. and so was a candidate and representative. It is in this historical context that communalism came to acquire the meaning of being opposed to national identity, of being against the secularization process, of being too narrowly and negatively attached to one’s own religious etc.

Briefly discuss the partition of Bengal; separate seats for muslim and other candidates and Separate Electorate for muslims and other such communal policies and tactics of the Britishers.

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

 

Background :-

  • Not much communal feelings or events have been documented in ancient history of India. Though there were frequent fights between the sovereign kings and rulers, they accepted each others’ religion and culture.
  • The invasion of Muslims resulted in general massacre Hindus and Buddhists in early medieval India but at the same time, Sultanate era also saw rise of Bhakti and Sufi Movement which bounded several religions together.
  • In Mughal period, secular practices were adopted mainly during Akbar’s regime yet, sectarianism and theocracy was common during entire Sultanate and Mughal era.
  • These actions were largely instrumental in deepening and establishing the feeling of communal differences amongst the minds of people in India but communalism was still not relevant then .

Communalism was deliberately promoted by British :-

  • Communalism in modern India is a 20th century concept which has its genesis in the modern politics. In India, the communalism has its roots in 1905 when partition of Bengal on religious lines took place. Further, the British provided for separate electorates for Muslims and Hindus under Government of India Act, 1909.
  • Religious Revivalism in 1924
    • The Shuddhi and Sangathan movements among the Hindus and the Tabligh and Tanzim religious movement among the Muslims had invoked religious revivalism. These movements tried to glorify the past and tried to compare them with their present state in order to consolidate their own gains. All these paved ways for Hindu nationalism and Islamic nationalism.
    • The British took advantage of this situation and began to lay the foundations for a two-nation theory. The British instead of trying to maintain communal harmony used the cultural and religious differences between the Hindus and Muslims to achieve political gains. The official patronage was very strong than the appeal of nascent nationalism.
  • Communal Violence (1923-30)
    • The period between 1923 and 1930 witnessed intense communal violence in India. The violence began with the Moplah Rebellion which intensified hatred among the Hindus and Muslims in the Malabar region. The period also witnessed more communal riots than any other period in history.
  • Communal Award, 1932
    • Further, the Communal Award by the British in the third roundtable conference further fuelled the communal hatred among the religious communities.
    • To fuel communalism and appease various communities, the British provided separate representation for Muslims, Sikhs, the Anglo-Indians, the Indian Christians, the Europeans, the Landlords, the depressed classes and the commerce and industry.
    • The Award of the third roundtable conference had serious ramifications as it further aggravated the communal sentiments among different religious communities.
    • The award with the main aim to appease Muslim and other communities largely resulted in fragmenting the Indian society and disturbing the communal harmony.

Conclusion:-

  • The seeds sowed by the British turned into fruits during the post-independence period where competition for jobs, land, economic benefits have become the primary cause for communal clashes. The communalization of Indian politics and the creation of communal ‘Vote Banks’ have an important bearing on communal conflicts in our society.

Topic – Part of static series under the heading – “Social empowerment”

4) We still have much to do to ensure an inclusive, barrier-free and rights based society for persons with disabilities through empowering them. Discuss the steps taken by government in this regard and examine how far have we been successful in empowering the differently abled?(250 words)

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the status of differently abled in the country and society, the steps taken by the government in improving their condition and how effective have those steps been.

Directive word

Discuss – In your discussion, bring out the steps taken by the government for empowerment of differently abled and its effectiveness.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Throw light on the status of disabled in the country and the nature of challenges they face.

Body – Discuss the steps taken by the government such as a separate department of empowerment of persons with disabilities, accessible India campaign, Implementation of Persons with Disabilities Act (SIPDA), awareness generation etc. Also give details of these steps. Discuss how effective these steps have been in tackling the challenges faced by the disabled.

Conclusion – give your view on the efficacy of governmental action and the way forward.

 

Background:-

  • India is home to one of the largest disabled populations in the world. In India, according to the 2011 Census, 2.21% of the population has one or multiple types of disabilities

Disabled rights over the time in India :-

  • After a series of petitions and protests, the government passed the Persons With Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 (or PWD Act), which reserved three percent of government posts for those in the PWD category. With this people suffering from disability found visibility in educational institutions and government services.
  • In the new millennium, the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2006. India signed and ratified this convention in 2007.
    • The Act fixes responsibility of the Central and State Governments, local bodies to provide services, facilities to people with disabilities to provide equal opportunities for participating as productive citizens of the country
  • Community linkage:-
    • THE NATIONAL TRUST FOR WELFARE OF PERSONS WITH AUTISM, CEREBRAL PALSY, MENTAL RETARDATION AND MULTIPLE DISABILITIES ACT, 1999 empowered persons with disabilities to live their life freely and independently and to bring them close to the community they belong
  • NATIONAL POLICY ON DISABILITY, 2006-A comprehensive national policy was enacted by the government of India on disability covering major areas like education, employment, access, support services, social services etc. however, this policy also needs to be modified in the light of the convention.
  • Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan was a major initiative taken by the government to provide basic education to all the children including the disabled section.
  • There are 42 special employment exchanges constituted in India for providing job opportunities to the disabled persons.
  • Rights for disabilities act 2016:
    • The 2016 Act which replaces the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995 recognises 21 kinds of disabilities compared to the previous seven, including dwarfism, speech and language disability, and three blood disorders.
    • 21 kinds of disabilities compared to the previous seven, including dwarfism, speech and language disability, and three blood disorders.
    • The new Act also increased the quota for disability reservation in higher educational institutions from 3% to 5% and in government jobs from 3% to 4%, for a more inclusive society.. The 2016 Act is expected to give full effect to the United Nations Convention.
    • Act emphasises the creation of special courts, and speedy trials and special public prosecutors for offences committed against disabled persons under the Act. The law also makes private companies equally liable for violating the Act.
    • The 2016 Act is noticeably a sea change in perception and marches ahead with regard to (rights of) persons with disabilities and the role of the States, local authorities, educational institutions and companies. The statute operates in a broad spectrum and the stress is laid to protect the rights and provide punishment for its violation.
  • Accessible India Campaign which will focus on making India a disabled-friendly country.
    • In order  to enable  persons with disabilities to gain universal access and independent living the government  launched  its ambitious  “Accessible India Campaign” (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan) which seeks to make at least 50 percent of all government buildings in the national capital and all state capitals “fully accessible”.
  • Government launches ‘Inclusiveness and Accessibility Index’ to mark the next chapter of its flagship Campaign, the ‘Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan’. The ‘Inclusiveness and Accessibility Index’ helps the industries and corporates to participate in the Accessible India Campaign (AIC) by voluntarily evaluating their readiness for making the workplace accessible for Persons with Disabilities.
  • Sugamaya Pustakalaya is   an online platform that makes accessible content available to print-disabled people was also launched .The library houses publications across diverse subjects and languages and multiple accessible formats. Books are available in Accessible formats for people with visual impairment and other print disabilities. 
  • A lot of emphasis was laid on education of the students suffering from disabilities.
    • As many as 2,747 Students with Disabilities (SwD) were benefited so far under the Pre-Matric Scholarship scheme, which was launched during 2014-15. 
  • Skilling India is one of the priority areas of the government, so also for persons with disabilities. As many as 62,232 Persons with Disabilities have been helped under the National Action Plan for Skill Development of PwDs scheme launched in 2015. Providing vocational training and creating employment opportunities are aimed at improving quality of life of the persons with disabilities.
  • Mental health care act 2017 :
    • The right to mental healthcare is the core of the Act and represents the government’s attempt to address the neglect of this aspect of healthcare for decades
    • The law also requires the government to make provisions for persons with mental illness to live in the community and not be segregated in large institutions. The government must now make provisions for half-way homes, group homes and other such facilities for rehabilitating persons with mental health problems.

Concerns:-

  • Implementation remains abysmal. For instance, data from the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People show that 84% of seats for persons with disabilities lie vacant in top universities.
  • One-size-fits-all approach is unhelpful for disabled persons. Levels and types of disabilities differ and so do needs.
  • Most buildings are not disabled friendly despite under accessible India campaign all ministries are instructed to make their buildings accessible
  • India still lags behind in removing infrastructural ,institutional and attitudinal barriers
  • The absence of disabled people from most mainstream development programmes has increased inequality, led to missed international targets, and is slowing economic and social progress in communities across the world. 
  • Technology failure:-
    • Websites, software and mobile apps from vendors and service providers do not comply with accessibility guidelines. This makes them inaccessible for visually impaired persons who make use of assistive technologies like screen reading software, braille displays, etc.
  • Policies lack budgeting support
    • Most policies are simple guidelines and often lack appropriate budgetary or funding support for implementation and penalty for non-adherence. This leads to lesser efforts towards compliance
    • There is an absence of periodic stakeholder coordination; lack of harmony between policies and the regulation across the world to adhere to uniform standards; lack of research and development, lack of aggressive campaigning for accessible ICTs, lack of direct involvement of PwDs in product development; high cost of specialised assistive technology.

Way forward:-

  • Inclusion of people with disabilities into everyday activities involves practices and policies designed to identify and remove barriers such as physical, communication, and attitudinal, that hamper individuals’ ability to have full participation in society, the same as people without disabilities. Inclusion involves:
  • Getting fair treatment from others (non-discrimination)
  • Making products, communications, and the physical environment more usable by as many people as possible (universal design)
  • Modifying items, procedures, or systems to enable a person with a disability to use them to the maximum extent possible (reasonable accommodations)
  • Eliminating the belief that people with disabilities are unhealthy or less capable of doing things (stigma, stereotypes).
  • For achieving a truly inclusive information society, persons with disabilities must be able to use information and communication technologies (ICTs) with equal ease.
    • This can be made possible only if the accessibility of ICTs is on the top of the agenda of manufacturers and service providers.
  • While programmes such as ‘Digital India’ envisage inclusive growth and a digitally empowered society, the benefits of ICT have not reached all the sections so far. 
  • Disability inclusion involves input from people with disabilities, generally through disability-focused and independent living organizations, in program or structural design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation.
  • There is a massive lack of awareness among the stakeholders as well as credible research on ICT for persons with disabilities. Non-inclusion of user groups in research and product development is another issue which should be addressed.
  • Care must be taken to ensure disability inclusive development

Conclusion:-

  • Hopefully, the rights based legislation with more Rights and Entitlements and strong monitoring agencies at the National and State Levels and the various schemes and campaigns  launched by the government will  go a long way in achieving  empowerment  and mainstreaming of the  Persons with Disabilities in the society.

General Studies – 2


TopicStatutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies

5) An independent central bank augurs well for a democratic politico-economy. Critically analyze in light of the alleged tussle between RBI and Central Govt?(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

The independence of institutions in a democracy is critical, and in recent days, the number of institutions such as CBI, RBI etc which have been having issues with interference in their functioning. Several reports and committees have suggested the need to maintain independence of central bank and the question expects you to discuss this.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the reasons why independence of RBI is important, how far should RBI remain accountable to the Parliament and the people and how to resolve the dichotomy.

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. 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 turn of events that has raised question marks over RBI’s independence.

Body

  • Discuss the role of Central Bank in economy and highlight the reasons why independence of central bank is critical for a country because of the major roles that it plays in countering inflation, preventing overheating of the economy, ensuring that the economy chugs along on a sustainable growth path etc
  • Discuss whether RBI or any central bank needs to be more accountable to the Parliament because RBI by nature will ignore the short term effects of their policies on the economy, the brunt of which has to be borne by the Parliament etc
  • Discuss how can this dichotomy be resolved . Highlight steps already taken such as MPC etc. Bring out some other suggestions as well.

Conclusion – Give a fair and balanced opinion and discuss way forward.

Background:-

  • Reserve Bank of India has worked as efficiently as any top central bank of the world right from its inception. It was blessed with absolute independence to control or manage monetary liquidity, price stability, exchange rate stability, and later on financial stability also.
  • However recently simmering differences between the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Central government over issues of public sector bank regulation, resolution of distressed assets and the central bank’s reserves, independent payments bank regulator, easing credit to small firms have raised questions about the independence of RBI.

Why an independent RBI is necessary :-

  • Governments sometimes tend to make poor decisions about monetary policy. In particular, they tended to be influenced by short-term political considerations.
  • Before an election, the temptation is for a government to cut interest rates, making boom and bust economic cycles more likely. Therefore arguably, it is better to take monetary policy out of the government’s hands and place it in the central bank’s purview.
  • An independent Central Bank may have more credibility. If people have more confidence in the Central Bank, this helps to reduce inflationary expectations. In turn, this makes inflation easier to keep low.
  • In a central bank dominated by the government, the temptation to tamper with various instruments of monetary policy in order to achieve the government’s objectives would be hard to resist. For instance, the ministry of finance could want to reduce interest rate to push up demand, without considering the impact of rate cut on foreign inflows, depreciation of the rupee and increase in domestic money stock and inflation. There could be many more such examples .To avoid this an independent central bank is necessary.
  • An independent central bank is essential for ensuring stable and sustainable growth in any economy.
  • There are always government entities that are seeking oversight over various aspects of the RBI’s activities. Multiple layers of scrutiny, especially by entities that do not have the technical understanding, will only hamper decision making.

Why central bank needs to be more accountable to the parliament:-

  • The progressive widening and deepening of the activities of the RBI in different sectors of the economy affect the lives of millions. 
  • Nature will ignore the short term effects of their policies on the economy, the brunt of which has to be borne by the Parliament.

How can the dichotomy be resolved:

  • International examples:-
    • There has to be a forum within the democratic structure where the RBI is obligated to explain and defend its position.
    • Different countries have taken different routes and by and large each model is appropriately tuned to their specific contexts.
    • US example is a good model to work upon. Presentation by the chairman of the Federal Reserve to the Congress makes for public exposure and transparency but does not take away the chairman’s autonomy.
  • The governor should be responsible and accountable to Parliament and not to a particular government or the ministry of finance, or ministe He can testify to Parliament twice a year. In separate testimony in both houses of Parliament, the lawmakers can ask questions of the RBI Governor and the latter can respond.
  • A better way to sort out these differences and to come to a conclusion is to have a larger debate with technical experts weighing in.
  • On issues of operational autonomy, the central government needs to lay off its pressure on the RBI.
  • On macro issues such as exchange rate management and RBI’s dividend policy, written agreements that clearly demarcate roles and responsibilities can be thrashed out.
  • The Monetary Policy Framework Agreement and the FRBM Act are good illustrations of how a mutually agreed rule-based framework can broker peace between the central bank and the executive arm of government.
  • If the issues are not resolved, the tussle will undermine investor confidence and strengthens fears about institutional erosion when India is already experiencing economic turmoil.

General Studies – 3


Topic Indian economy and issues related to employment

6) What do you understand by gig economy? Discuss the advantages and challenges offered by gig economy?(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

The article discusses the meaning, opportunities and challenges provided by a new trend in the job market which is gig economy. In the digital age it is gaining popularity and thus the meaning, opportunities and challenges of gig economy needs to be discussed.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the meaning of gig economy, highlight the pace at which it is growing and discuss the opportunities and challenges provided by gig economy.

Directive word

Discuss – Here in your discussion, the meaning, opportunities and challenges provided by gig economy are to be brought out.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Mention that one of the big trends we have seen over the last decade is the rise of the “gig economy”—where, instead of full-time employment, organisations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements.

Body – Discuss the McKinsey report which highlighted the growing trend of gig economy and the reasons why it is in vogue – in the digital age, the worker need not sit at a fixed location—the job can be done from anywhere, so employers can select the best talent available for a project without being bound by geography; Digitization has also led to staff reductions in many businesses. ; And very importantly, the millennial generation seems to have quite a different attitude to careers than their parents did. Discuss challenges in gig economy such as the lack of social security benefits etc. Discuss how can this dichotomy be resolved.

Conclusion – Give your view on the future of gig economy in India and the way forward.

Background :-

  • The ‘gig economy’, also described as the ‘sharing economy’, ‘collaborative economy’ or ‘on-demand economy’, has been growing rapidly around the world.
  • A 2016 McKinsey report found that up to 162 million people in Europe and the US 20-30% of the working-age population engage in some form of independent work, whether out of choice or necessity.

Gig economy :-

  • This is the economy where instead of full-time employment, organisations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements.
  • In a gig economy, temporary, flexible jobs are commonplace and companies tend toward hiring independent contractorsand freelancers instead of full-time employees. A gig economy undermines the traditional economy of full-time workers who rarely change positions and instead focus on a lifetime career.
  • Some of the examples of gig economy comprises enterprises are Uber, the driver hire app, Airbnb, the accommodation-sharing platform, and Deliveroo, the online food delivery company.

Advantages :-

  • Best talent:-
    • In the digital age, the worker need not sit at a fixed location the job can be done from anywhere, so employers can select the best talent available for a project without being bound by geography.
  • Flexible work:-
    • Supporters of the gig economy argue that it enables more people to participate in the labour market by providing flexible working, provides opportunities for the unemployed and could increase productivity.
    • Indeed, flexible working has proven very popular among the working population as more seek to achieve the perfect work-life balance. 
  • Both consumers and organisations can benefit through greater availability and accessibility of services and improved matching that better fulfils their needs.
  • There is also the benefit of minimal cost:-
    • Digital business models have lower transaction costs for consumers, and organisations can keep costs down by using independent service providers only when they need them.
  • Profitability
    • A clear advantage was profitability for businesses where employers who used these workers reported that they were important to the company’s overall profitability and efficiency. 
  • Skill development:-
    • The people who want to learn new skills and explore new avenues can find great new opportunities in the gig economy. Apart from independence, the gig economy provides variety where you find options to try new jobs and juggle between several roles.

 

Disadvantages:-

  • Concerns over job insecurity and low income.
  • Security
    • A big drawback for a gig economy system was the lack of security for workers. 
    • Those working in the gig economy do not enjoy the same rights and protections as employed workers, such as health benefits, overtime pay and sick leave pay.
  • Motivation
    • Many businesses were concerned that a gig economy would decrease productivity as employers thought it make workers less dedicated and said that they would create a less motivated workforce.
  • Compliance issues:
    • Gig economy has created jobs that do not fall in the traditional category and it is why it has also given rise to controversies and legal tussles. The rights of the gig workers are not as well defined as the traditional employees. 
  • Lack of training and skill development opportunities:
    • Inside the organizations, training and skill development models are available only to the regular employees. The gig workers do not have such resources available to them. 
  • Career management issues:
    • The gig workers are in short term relationships with the employers and therefore do not have a definite career. While the highly skilled workers may find better security because of high demand and low availability, the less skilled workers may often find it difficult to obtain suitable gigs and consistent employment.

Conclusion:-

  • The gig workers are also an important part of the workforce and therefore their integration must also be a focus of the companies. However, the gig workers themselves must also remain cautious because the definitions of success in the gig economy have also changed. They need to find a balance between flexibility and availability.

 


General Studies – 4


Topic- Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service , integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker sections.

7) What is the role of Ethos and Ethics in the context of public services. Discuss.(250 words)

Reference

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 meaning and role of the ethos and ethics in the context of public services.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Define ethos and ethics means. E.g Ethos is the character or fundamental values of a person, people, culture, or movement while ethic is a set of principles of right and wrong behaviour guiding, or representative of, a specific culture, society, group, or individual.

Discuss their importance and role in public services. E.g

  • Ethos- Discuss how ethos helps in public services. E.g Passion for serving people with special care for the marginalised and disadvantaged. Being approachable, welcoming, caring and rising above bias while interacting with people.Understands the needs of the people and constantly strives to improve the services; Strategic Thinking; Organisational Awareness;wee Commitment to the organisation; Leading Others.
  • Ethics- e.g discuss the role of Integrity; Self-Confidence;  Attention to Detail; assuming responsibility and fostering and practicing accountability etc.

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

Background :-

Ethos is a term with Greek origins, and it refers to the morals, values and beliefs of a person, or even an entire culture. Ethos is also one of the three rhetorical appeals identified by Aristotle.

Where as Ethics is the evaluation of behavior on the basis of the good, the right, or of what makes for happiness. Ethos is applied within a culture and presupposes community, whereas ethics operate on the basis of principles and are rooted in systems of thought.

Role of ethos and ethics in the context of public service :-

  • Public servants with ethos will have the following priorities People first, strategic thinking, organizational awareness, commitment to the organization and leading others.
    • They understand the needs of the marginalised and disadvantaged, along with the needs of the wider public, strive to respond quickly to meet their needs in a respectful, helpful and responsive manner, report issues that affect service delivery, where necessary,
    • They have the ability to understand dynamic internal and external environment and its impact. They respond to the opportunities and challenges for the betterment of the society.
    • They understand the organisation’s mandate, structure, policies, processes, norms and its interface with other organisations. It also includes an understanding of the organisation’s informal structures, power dynamics, and constraints.
    • They align behaviour and interests with the needs and goals of the organisation.
  • Similarly public servants with ethics will have the following priorities integrity, self confidence, attention to detail, they take accountability etc.
    • People consistently behaves in an open, fair, and transparent manner; honour one’s commitments and works to uphold the Public Service Values.
    • They believe in own capability to accomplish a task and being able to express confidence in dealing with challenging circumstances, without being arrogant or boastful.
    • They have an underlying drive to being thorough and meticulous and to comply with procedures, rules, guidelines, and standards.
    • They take ownership for outcomes (successes or failures) while addressing performance issues fairly and promptly.