SECURE SYNOPSIS: 08 NOVEMBER 2018

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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 08 NOVEMBER 2018


NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.


General Studies – 1


Topic– Events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization.

1) Discuss the role of Indian soldiers in the first world war.(250 words)

The hindu

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 India’s response to first world war and the role played by Indian soldiers in thw war.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  first world war- the two opposing sides etc.

Body-

Discuss in detail the role played by Indian soldiers in the first world war. E.g In the early days of the War, troops of the Indian Army, backed by the political bourgeoisie, were enthusiastic in responding to the British government’s call for military support from India. This was because, although the swadeshi movement was underway, the freedom movement was in a fledgling stage. Even Mahatma Gandhi was open to Indians enlisting and learning to defend themselves using arms, as were leaders such as Bal Gangadhar Tilak; The Indian Army during World War I contributed a large number of divisions and independent brigades to the European, Mediterranean and the Middle East theatres of war in World War I.In total at least 74,187 Indian soldiers died during the war;In World War I the Indian Army fought against the German Empire in German East Africa and on the Western Front. At the First Battle of Ypres, Khudadad Khan became the first Indian to be awarded a Victoria Cross; Indian divisions were also sent to Egypt, Gallipoli and nearly 700,000 served in Mesopotamia against the Ottoman Empire.[1] While some divisions were sent overseas others had to remain in India guarding the North West Frontier and on internal security and training duties etc.

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

Background:-

  • The First World War (1914–18) was a momentous event in world history. It also left a deep impact on India, which was then under the British rule.

Contribution of Indian soldiers  to world war 1:-

  • Military:-
    • India contributed with more soldiers than Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa combined. In fact, every sixth soldier fighting for the Biritsh Empire was from the Indian subcontinent. Nearly 800,000 combatants took part in the war.
    • Indian troops of the 15th Cavalry Brigade formed the largest component of allied forces that fought and liberated Palestine from four centuries of despotic Turkish rule.
    • It was Indian jawans(junior soldiers) who stopped the German advance at Ypres in the autumn of 1914, soon after the war broke out, while the British were still recruiting and training their own forces. At the First Battle of Ypres, Khudadad Khan became the first Indian to be awarded a Victoria Cross.
    • While India remains wary of ‘treaty alliances’ and steers clear of combat involvement in third-party conflicts, it is the third-largest contributor of military and police personnel to UN peacekeeping missions. 
    • Over one million Indian troops served overseas, of whom 62,000 died and another 67,000 were wounded. In total at least 74,187 Indian soldiers died during the war.
    • In World War I the Indian Army fought against the German Empire in German East Africa and on the Western Front.
    • Indian divisions were also sent to Egypt, Gallipoli and nearly 700,000 served in Mesopotamia against the Ottoman Empire.
    • While some divisions were sent overseas others had to remain in India guarding the North West Frontier and on internal security and training duties.
    • In addition to the regular Indian Army, the armies of the Princely States and regiments of the Auxiliary Force (European volunteers) could also be called upon to assist in an emergency.
    • The end of World War I did not see the end of fighting for the Indian Army as they were involved in the Third Afghan War in 1919,and then the Waziristan Campaign in 1919–1920 and again in 1920–1924. Operations against the Afridis in 1930–1931 and finally just before the outbreak of World War II operations in Waziristan again in 1936–1939.
  • Lives lost:-
    • 53,486 Indian soldiers lost their lives, 64,350 were wounded and 3,762 went missing or were imprisoned
  • Labour:-
    • Not just combatants, there were 43,737 men who worked in the Indian Labour Corps.

·         Awards won:-

o    Indian soldiers won 11 Victoria Cross honours, Britain’s highest military honour. Overall 13,000 medals were won by the Indian Corps.

 


General Studies – 2


Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

2) Existing nuclear arms control agreements need to be brought in line with today’s political realities. Comment in the context of the recent withdrawal of US from INF treaty.(250 words)

The hindu

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 dig deep into the recent US withdrawal from INF agreement and express our opinion as to why existing nuclear arms control agreements need to be brought in line with today’s political realities. However, we can also form an opinion against the statement. But our opinion has to be based on substantial and valid facts/ arguments.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  INF agreement (signed in 1987, Under the INF Treaty, the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. agreed to eliminate within three years all ground-launched-missiles of 500-5,500 km range and not to develop, produce or deploy these in future)  and recent withdrawal of US from INF agreement.

Body-

Discuss why the withdrawal of US from INF does not have much significance today. E.g The U.S.’s 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) reflects a harsher assessment of the security environment faced by the U.S. and envisages a more expansive role for nuclear weapons than in the past. Russia is blamed for seeking the break-up of NATO and a re-ordering of ‘European and Middle East security and economic structures in its favour’. China is identified for the first time as a strategic competitor seeking regional hegemony in the Indo-Pacific region in the near-term and ‘displacement of the U.S. to achieve global pre-eminence in the future’; Even more worrisome are developments that blur the line between nuclear and conventional weapons. In order to lessen its dependence on nuclear weapons, the U.S. developed layered missile defences and conventional Prompt Global Strike (PGS) capabilities that use conventional payloads against strategic targets. Other countries have responded with hypersonics and a shift to lower yield tactical warheads. With growing dependence on space-based and cyber systems, such asymmetric approaches only increase the risks of accidental and inadvertent nuclear escalation; The key difference with today’s return of major power rivalry is that it is no longer a bipolar world, and nuclear arms control is no longer governed by a single binary equation. There are multiple nuclear equations — U.S.-Russia, U.S.-China, U.S.-North Korea, India-Pakistan, India-China, but none is standalone. Therefore, neither nuclear stability nor strategic stability in today’s world can be ensured by the U.S. and Russia alone and this requires us to think afresh etc.

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

Background :-

  • Recently US president declared that the U.S. is quitting the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a bilateral agreement with Russia signed in 1987. 

INF treaty :-

  • Under the INF Treaty, the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. agreed to eliminate within three years all ground-launched-missiles of 500-5,500 km range and not to develop, produce or deploy these in future.
  • The U.S. destroyed 846 Pershing IIs and Ground Launched Cruise Missiles (GLCMs) and the U.S.S.R., 1,846 missiles (SS-4s, SS-5s and SS-20s), along with its support facilities.

The treaty was very significant because:-

  • The treaty played a major role in enabling and locking in the diminution of tensions that ended the Cold War.
  • In particular, it eliminated all of the Soviet Union’s SS-20 intermediate-range missiles, which posed a particularly pressing threat to NATO’s defenses in the 1970s and 1980s.
  • Leaving the INF treaty is tantamount to tearing down the late-Cold War arms-control architecture, thus bringing the world to the nuclear brink.
  • Having the treaty in place reduces tensions between the US and Moscow according to experts mostly because both countries destroyed about 2,600 ground-based cruise missilesin total along with their corresponding launchers as a result of the treaty. That was particularly important for Washington’s allies in Europe, who were directly threatened by Russia’s stockpile. 

However withdrawal is apt related to political realities at present :-

  • Cold war times:-
    • INF Treaty reflected the political reality of the Cold War of a bi-polar world with two nuclear superpowers  no longer consistent with today’s multi-polar nuclear world.
    • Since 2008, the U.S. has voiced suspicions that with the Novator 9M729 missile tests, Russia was in breach .in 2014, U.S. formally accused Russia of violating the INF Treaty.
  • Multipolar world:-
    • Key difference with today’s return of major power rivalry is that it is no longer a bi-polar world, and nuclear arms control is no longer governed by a single binary equation.
    • There are multiple nuclear equations like U.S.-Russia, U.S.-China, U.S.-North Korea, India-Pakistan, India-China, but none is standalone.
    • Therefore, neither nuclear stability nor strategic stability in today’s world can be ensured by the U.S. and Russia alone
  • China:-
    • China is identified for the first time as a strategic competitor seeking regional hegemony in the Indo-Pacific region in the near-term and displacement of the U.S. to achieve global pre-eminence in the future.
    • The United States no longer benefits from a ban on ground-based intermediate-range systems because of China.
    • China, which is not bound by the INF Treaty, has been rapidly expanding its intermediate-range rocket forces. It has recently begun deployment of the DF-26 ballistic missile.
  • Non proliferation treaty:-
    • India, Israel, Pakistan, North Korea are out of the ambit of the non-proliferation treaty (NPT) which has not succeeded in nuclear disarmament.

Topic-  Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health

3) Ayushman Bharat in its present state is problematic to implement as it would increase the gap between good and poor performing states in terms of provisioning of healthcare. Critically analyze.(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

The article discusses the issues that would arise out of Ayushman Bharat because of the gap it would create in the good and relatively worse off performing states in terms of healthcare. Ayushman Bharat is one of the flagship schemes of the government and needs to analyzed from various aspects.

Key demand of the question

The question makes an assertion that the design of Ayushman Bharat scheme is such that it would increase the gap between good and bad performing states. We need to analyze the statement, give reasons for why it would happen and the. Counter arguments stating why this might not happen. Finally, we need to give a fair and balanced conclusion and discuss way forward.

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 – Explain about Ayushman Bharat scheme.

Body

  • Explain the mechanism of Ayushman Bharat such as sharing of expenditure by centre and state, portability of healthcare etc
  • Highlight the financing structure of Ayushman Bharat and discuss the problems that it would cause
    • Reduce incentive for poor performing states to invest in improving healthcare infrastructure
    • Increase burden on better performing states
    • Dilution of state responsibility
  • Give points counter to the above – improve health access for the people, reduce out of pocket expenditure etc

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

Background:-

  • India is concerned with many health issues be it malnutrition, infant mortality, rising non communicable diseases, growing number of deaths due to cancer etc. The national health protection scheme or the Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme is the step in the right direction which can give impetus to healthcare in India.

Ayushman Bharat:-

  • Ayushman Bharat is National Health Protection Scheme, which will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) providing coverage upto 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.
  • Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission will subsume the on-going centrally sponsored schemes – Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) and the Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme (SCHIS).
  • Benefits of the scheme are portable across the country and a beneficiary covered under the scheme will be allowed to take cashless benefits from any public/private empanelled hospitals across the country.

Benefits :-

  • Ideation of the scheme needs to be lauded for addressing one of the primary issues of healthcare system which is the rising out-of-pocket expenditure.
  • This mission enables increased access to in-patient health care for the poor and lower middle class. The access to health care is cashless and nationally portable.
  • It spurs increased investment in health and generate lakhs of jobs, especially for women, and will be a driver of development and growth. It is a turning point for the health sector.
  • The scheme will replace Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana under which, the government provided Rs.30,000 annually for healthcare. Under NHPS, Rs.30,000 is increased to Rs. 5 lakhs.
  • Will bring healthcare system closer to the homes of people.
  • The new program would be a vast expansion of health coverage, allowing people to visit the country’s many private hospitals for needs as varied as cancer treatment and knee replacements. 

Issues for states :-

  • Under the 7th schedule of the Indian Constitution, health is a state subject:-
    • Apart from central institutions such as the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, a major chunk of the hospitals/ medical centres is state-owned and -operated.
    • Therefore, the accountability of these also falls with the state. In such a scenario, a nationwide scheme of health insurance to supply healthcare facilities at the state level leads to a dilution of the state responsibility in the provisioning of the same.
  • Additionally, the states participation in the scheme mandates them to contribute funds for insurance, which naturally diverts funds allocated to building healthcare infrastructure within the state.
    • This issue could be exacerbated by the provision of portable healthcare services in-built into the scheme. Portability of healthcare allows the beneficiaries to avail cashless benefits at any empanelled hospital across the country.
    • This move, while increasing access, is also expected to cause pooling of patients in hospitals or states where the health infrastructure is relatively well developed.
  • The relatively better infrastructure for health in the top-performing states is expected to cause an influx of patients there.
    • So the burden on the infrastructure in these states would increase and may negatively affect their service-providing capability.
    • Also even if the developed states are able to develop infrastructure commensurate to demand, the expenditure would be borne by the lower-performing states. This implies a transfer of wealth or policy premium from the states down in the ladder to the ones at the top.
  • The above scenarios could create a disincentive for the poorer states by reducing their responsibility towards investing in health infrastructure.
    • They may become comfortable in disbursing fewer resources towards actual infrastructure development, and rely increasingly on the private sector as well as other states for providing healthcare facilities to their citizens.
    • This would cause a diversion of resources from preventive measures of disease management which are the backbone of public health, towards curative measures which would not be efficient in the long run.
  • Massive shortages in the supply of services(human resources, hospitals and diagnostic centres in the private/public sector) which are made worse by grossly inequitable availability between and within States.
    • For example, even a well-placed State such as Tamil Nadu has an over 30% shortage of medical and non-medical professionals in government facilities.

Way forward:-

  • There is a need for multi-sectoral planning and ‘health in all policies’ approach,where initiative of different departments and Ministries is developed and planned coordination, accountability  assigned and progress monitored jointly. It has to be coordinated at the level of Prime Minister or the Chief Minister’s office, as the case may be.
  • PPP in India needs a nuanced approach and systematic mechanisms, includinglegislation and regulatory aspects. The process requires wider stakeholder engagement and deliberations and oversight from top leadership.
  • There is a need to reform and re-design institutions to broader health system goals to contribute achieve sustainable development goals.
  • Policy proposals, such as setting up of Indian Medical Service, establishing public health cadre as well as mid-level healthcare providers and exploring lateral entry of technical experts in academic and health policy institutions, including in the health Ministry (up to the levels Joint Secretary and Additional Secretary levels) should be deliberated and given due priority.
  • A competitive price must be charged for services provided at public facilities as well. The government should invest in public facilities only in hard to reach regions where private providers may not emerge.
  • The government must introduce up to one-year long training courses for practitioners engaged in treating routine illnesses. This would be in line with the National Health Policy 2002, which envisages a role for paramedics along the lines of nurse practitioners in the United States.
  • There is urgent need for accelerating the growth of MBBS graduates to replace unqualified “doctors” who operate in both urban and rural areas. 
  • The government needs to provide adequate funding to improve the quality of services as well.
  • In a federal polity with multiple political parties sharing governance, an all-India alignment around the NHPS requires a high level of cooperative federalism, both to make the scheme viable and to ensure portability of coverage as people cross State borders.
  • State governments, which will administer it through their own agency, will have to purchase care from a variety of players, including in the private sector, at predetermined rates. Reaching a consensus on treatment costs through a transparent consultative process is vital for a smooth and steady rollout.
  • A large-scale Information Technology network for cashless treatment should be set up and validated. State governments need to  upgrade the health administrative systems. The NHPM has a problem with the distribution of hospitals, the capacity of human resources, and the finances available for cost-sharing.

Topic – Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation

4) What are Renewable Purchase Obligations and examine issues in effectively meeting RPO targets?(250 words)

Financialexpress

Why this question

This article discusses what RPOs are and the issues arising in fulfilment of RPOs. In the present context, when climate change is such a big concern, and there is a significant push towards renewables, RPOs are an effective means of ensuring growth of renewables. Hence this question.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain what RPOs are, their purpose, the issues being faced in fulfilment of RPOs and how to address those issues.

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 the current context where global warming is such a huge threat, and there is a need to push renewables.

Body

  • Explain what RPOs are – provide a fillip to the ambitious renewable energy targets, obligations have been imposed on certain entitles to purchase energy from renewable sources by various state electricity regulatory commissions (SERCs) based on each state’s varying renewable energy potentials. Known as renewable purchase obligations (RPOs), power distribution companies, captive power plants and other large electricity consumers are bound to meet them by purchasing a certain percentage of their requirements from renewable energy sources.
  • Discuss the issues in RPO fulfilment – restriction in trading of RPOs etc
  • Discuss how can we resolve these issues

Conclusion – emphasize on the importance of RPO and the need for ensuring compliance.

Background:-

  • Renewable power purchase obligation (RPO) is the single most important policy driving renewable energyinstallations and achievement of an aggressive goal of installing 175 GW by 2022 including 100GW of solar power capacity.

Renewable purchase obligations:-

  • To provide a fillip to the ambitious renewable energy targets, obligations have been imposed on certain entitles to purchase energy from renewable sources by various state electricity regulatory commissions (SERCs) based on each state’s varying renewable energy potentials.
  • Known as renewable purchase obligations (RPOs), power distribution companies, captive power plants and other large electricity consumers are bound to meet them by purchasing a certain percentage of their requirements from renewable energy sources. 
  • RPOs make it compulsory for all large consumers of energy to ensure that a certain percentage of that energy mix is from renewable sources such as wind and solar. The compulsion is like an implicit subsidy boost to the renewable sector. It generates demand for a sector in its infancy.
  • Under the RPO, states are suppose to achieve certain targets by ensuring that their power-share comes from green or renewable sources. In case the states are unable to produce enough renewable due to any-reasons, they buy Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) to compensate for the lag in the target.

Issues with meeting RPO targets :-

  • Lack of uniformity in the enforcement of RPOs as can be seen from recent decisions of the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) further compounds the problem.
  • Enforcement of RPOs is made difficult due to restrictions on trading of RECs.
  • State regulatory commissions allowing DISCOMs to carry the unfulfilled RPO burden to the next year
    • More effort is needed to improve financial health of DISCOMs, which is one of the other reasons behind state’s failure in reaching RPO targets.
  • The absence of penalties when obligations are not met, many of the distribution companies are not complying fully with their RPO targets.
  • Lower targets:-
    • Low RE potential States continued to set substantially lower RPO targets. This indicated that the REC mechanism which was meant to address the issue of disparity in geographical dispersal of RE resources and enable inter-State RE transactions for further promotion and development of RE sources, had failed to instill confidence in the low RE potential States to set higher RPO targets.
  • RE projects are capital intensive, long duration investments which ideally should provide relatively steady returns over the life cycle of the project with minimum variability. The lack of long term RPO targets, weak enforcement by SERC coupled with issues related to liquidity and lifetime of RECs creates uncertainty, which is detrimental to the development of the RE sector.
  • Twenty-five states and union territories are failed on their specified solar RPO targets for 2017.

Way forward:-

  • While there are a few instances of state electricity regulatory commissions imposing penalties, a uniform enforcement of this mechanism by imposing specific penalties on non-complying entities can be recommended.
  • MNRE needs to pursue with the State Electricity Regulatory Commissions for the adoption of Renewable Purchase Obligation targets in alignment with National Action Plan on Climate Change targets. These targets should be enforced, with due monitoring and collection of penalties for default in compliance.
  • MNRE, being the nodal Ministry should ensure firming up of clear guidelines on the life of Renewable Energy Certificates and management of unredeemed Certificates, in a time bound manner
  • For stricter RPO enforcement, the financial liquidity of DISCOMs is a key consideration given that many DISCOMs are cash strapped and financially unsound. 

General Studies – 3


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

Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

5) In a milieu of impressive growth, India has developed some serious fractures that show no signs of cure. Analyze.(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question

The article discusses in detail about the most important social and economical problems faced by India, despite a sustained high growth rate.

Directive word

Analyze-here we  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.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to dig deep into the current socio-economic reality of India and bring out the most important problems faced by India.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about India’s economic progress since economic reforms.

Body- Discuss in paras the problems faced by India, which otherwise should have been resolved by economic growth. E.g

  1. Female infanticide and low sex ratio in northern and western states of India.
  2. Failure of education: In a rapidly digitising world, India is wholly unequipped to supply quality education.
  3. Rise in income inequalities
  4. Rise in regional disparities.

Discuss each heading briefly.

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

 

Background:-

  • India is now among the fastest-growing large economies of the world. Despite this some serious fractures have emerged and show no signs of healing.

Some of these fractures are :-

  • Female foeticide and infanticide:-
    • At 918 girls per 1,000 boys in 2011, India’s 0-6 sex ratio is among the poorest in the world. Haryana is the vilest state, with every district faring poorer than the poor all-India average.
    • Much of north India, western UP, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and the northern part of Madhya Pradesh rampantly engage in ultrasonography to detect and then illegally abort female foetuses.
    • Despite tough laws against sex-determination and female foeticide, there is no police action to speak of. For instance, during 2001-2015, Haryana registered only 139 police cases which is a very low in a state which is unparalleled in this crime.
  • Failure of education:-
    • According to the 2011 Census, 14 per cent of men aged 25-34 years hadn’t studied beyond class 10, 11.5 per cent hadn’t progressed beyond Class 12 and only 14.6 per cent were graduates. For women, these numbers were poorer
    • According to the Annual Status of Education Report for 2017, 25 per cent of rural students of 14-18 years could not read basic text fluently in their own language. 
    • Education is considered as a mode of gaining marks and in turn employment rather than developing one’s personality and character
  • Rising inequalities:-
    • India doesn’t have good estimates of either wealth or income inequality.
  • Huge economic differences between regions of the country:-
    • BIMARU states are still lagging behind than other Indian states on the basis of literacy, education, urbanization and income.
    • Lack of involvement of local people in the planning process of these states is another reason for its limited development. 
  • Lack of healthcare:-
    • India faces the double burden of infectious diseases and a dramatic rise in non-communicable diseases, now estimated to account for more than half of all deaths.
  • Sanitation:-
    •  Many health challenges are linked to sanitation. Linking a clean environment to human capital productivity is an issue that should be looked at as an investment and not a cost. The challenge is to identify and implement the right way to provide 1.2 billion Indians with a clean environment.
  • Neglecting environment:-
    • More than one-third of Indians live in cities. It is estimated that, by 2050, as many as 900 million people will be living in urban centres. Meeting their needs while safeguarding the environment will require innovative models of urban development.
  • Poverty:-
    • The multidimensional poverty index uses 10 indicators to measure poverty in three dimensions: education, health and living standards. In its 2018 update, India’s MPI index in 2018 was 0.121, placing it 53rd out of 105 developing countries for which data was available.
  • Gender :-
    • There is a need for India to closely examine the norms that allow violence and a broader pattern of gender discrimination to continue. The gender gap holds back economies all around the world. Any society that does not value women as much as men is not reaching its full potential.
  • Water scarcity:-
    • India’s large population places a severe strain on its natural resources, and most of its water sources are contaminated by sewage and agricultural run-off.
    • While progress has been made, gross disparities in access to safe water remain. The World Bank estimates that 21% of communicable diseases in India are related to unsafe water, and diarrhoea alone causes more than 1,600 deaths daily.

What needs to be done ?

  • Need to tackle high fertility, government can work in a Bangladesh family planning approach model with collaboration of united nation population group and NGOs. 
  • Reduce poverty by a community approach by using the self help group formula.
  • Government needs to take crude action against the female foeticide and abortion cases that affect these states.
  • There is a need for effective implementation of government schemes in these states like aspirational districts initiative, Ayushmann Bharat, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bhima Yojana etc.
  • Inclusive education is necessary with better outcomes .
  • Sanitation needs to be strictly taken care of to avoid diseases.

Topic – Indigenisation of technology

6) It is time for India to realise the potential of Blockchain and possess regulatory foresight to insure development of Blockchain. Discuss.(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

The application and advantages of Blockchain for a country like India is immense, yet we do not have favourable environment in which Blockchain and its application can be researched and developed well. The advantages of Blockchain for India and the regulatory architecture around it needs to be discussed for SnT section of mains.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to provide two answers

  • The advantages of Blockchain for India
  • The issues with the regulatory architecture and how to impedes research and development of Blockchain

Directive word

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – explain what is Blockchain and highlight it’s applications.

Body

  • Discuss the importance of blockchain for a country like India eg. Help in job creation, capital, solutions to India’s problems and global strategic positioning.
  • Discuss the policy architecture and issues in it – The current debate in India has, unfortunately, focused too heavily on trading and speculation, looking at cryptocurrencies as an investment tool, rather than understanding the potential of core blockchain technology and the basic role of cryptocurrencies as an incentive mechanism to secure decentralized transactions
  • Discuss the pros and cons of this approach

Conclusion – Give your view on what needs to be done and discuss way forward.

Background:-

  • Blockchain essentially is a database of record stored, linked and secured by cryptography. While it can be distributed (accessed by many), it cannot be copied or duplicated. It has timestamps that allows each user to understand edits in the various versions of the document.

Potential of blockchain:-

  • Blockchain technology is considered revolutionary for its ability to enable the secure movement of assets, without intermediaries, with its economic impact projected to exceed $3 trillion in the next decade.
  • Sectors such as financial services, agriculture, healthcare, real estate and utilities all crucial for an emerging economy like India can see tremendous benefits from the application of blockchain technology.
  • Blockchainhas numerous emerging applications- banking and financial services, insurance, electronic governance, cybersecurity, real estate, education, health care sectors, etc. Thus, it has the ability to transform the way nations and individuals work in their day-to-day applications.
  • India:-
    • Public blockchains offer tremendous opportunity for India across four dimensions, jobs, capital, solutions to India’s problems and global strategic positioning.
    • Blockchain-based initial coin offerings (ICOs), when done correctly, open up a whole new channel for startup funding and tap into more than $20 billion raised through the ICO route. With its strong IT ecosystem, India can become a leading blockchain development hub and a major net beneficiary of global capital inflows.
    • Decentralized applications on public blockchains can solve myriad Indian problems, such as eliminating middlemen, providing data security, reducing corruption and tampering of financial ledgers, and improving the speed of service delivery by governments and corporations.
    • Blockchain could play a crucial part in health insurance claims management by reducing the risk of insurance claim frauds.
    • The technology can also be used to prevent the sale of spurious drugs in the country by tracking every step of the supply chain network.
    • Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things (IoT) can gain immensely from blockchain applications
    • Critical citizen information like land records, census data, birth and death records, business licenses, criminal records, intellectual property registry, electoral rolls could all be maintained as blockchain powered, tamper-proof public ledgers.

  • Uses and possibilitiesof blockchain are:
    • Confidential communication of cryptocurrency.
    • Safe, cost effective and fast bank transactions.
    • Secure legal documents, health data, notaries and personal documents.
    • Distribution of land records and government financial assistance.
    • Cloudstorage, digital identification, smart communication and digital voting.
    • Blockchain removes the need for using a trusted third party such as a bank to make a transaction by directly connecting the customers and suppliers.
    • Transaction time is reduced.
    • Blockchain’s ability to enhance real-time visibility in the functioning of the supply chain will prevent leakages, and thereby increase efficiency.
    • It provides an opportunity for technology start-ups for developing and using the technology for diverse applications.

 

Regulatory oversight needed for blockchain:-

  • Regulation in India:
    • The current debate in India has, unfortunately, focused too heavily on trading and speculation, looking at cryptocurrencies as an investment tool, rather than understanding the potential of core blockchain technologyand the basic role of cryptocurrencies as an incentive mechanism to secure decentralized transactions.
    • Prevailing cyber laws in India touch almost all aspects of transactions and activities involving the internet, www and cyber space (IT Act 2000 and amended in 2008, section 463 of IPC, and section 420). But in today’s techno-savvy environment the world is becoming more and more digitally sophisticated and so are the crimesIndia’s cyber laws are lacking in this respect.
  • There are sufficient global examples of countries that have taken nuanced and cautious steps in regulating the technology, and are focusing on stopping illegal activity without hurting innovation.

Way forward:-

  • As core developers/shapers of this technology in India, all citizens should fully cognizant and sympatheticto government concerns of money laundering, tax evasion, investor protection and capital flight.
  • There should be an independent cybersecurity auditing structure
  • There needs to be a minimum set of universally accepted and recognized data protection and data privacy norms.
  • In case of failure to comply, there should be a heavy penalty and punishment otherwise who will ensure the safety of citizens in cyberspace.
  • Blockchain, with all its possibilities, needs a serious look at its vulnerabilities and commerciality.
  • Before introducing blockchain into the public sector data-handling system, we need a robust and informative data repository
  • Proper regulations for the use of blockchain technology in the country are needed.
  • Identifying and resolving key issues and challenges in implementing this technology, the prime amongst those being data privacy.
  • India should effectively channel its technical human capital surplus to position itself as one of the pioneers during this upcoming wave of innovation.

 


General Studies – 4


Topic– Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators;

7) Mahatma Gandhi’s vision and voice have a rare resonance in numerous hearts around the world because it springs from the timeless humanistic vision. Comment.(250 words)

Indian express

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 Gandhi’s values of humanism and his contribution towards the same endeavour.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  role of Mahatma Gandhi towards the freedom struggle and in eradicating/ fighting against various social evils in the society.

Body-

Discuss in detail about the Gandhian values of humanism. E.g His experience with truth and his commitment to serve those in need are inspirational; As he himself had said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”; This vision of service and humanism, and transforming noble thoughts to tangible action, has inspired several generations of world leaders; Gandhiji was an inspiration to all mankind. He truly believed that cleansing our inner being of all evils is as important as cleansing our countries of colonialism. His deep sense of compassion and inclusiveness permeated his outlook on humanity — this included his opponents as well. Mahatma Gandhi said: “I am endeavouring to see God through service of humanity for I know that God is neither in heaven, nor down below, but in everyone.” etc.

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

Answer:-

The main pillars of Gandhi’s philosophy were non-violence, tolerance of others, respect for all religions and a simple life.

Compassion:-

Gandhi believes that the true core of a person is the part that is not selfish and which works for others.  He is saying that the essence of what we really are (the thing that we have to find) is caring for others. 

Truth:-

Gandhi, in short, was a leader looking for a spiritual cause. He found it, of course, in his non-violence and, ultimately, in independence for India. Truth, Satya, was the central axis of the Gandhian system of thought and practice. For Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, everything turned on Truth – satyagraha, swaraj, ahimsa, ashram, brahmacharya, yajna, charkha, khadi, and finally, moksha itself. Gandhi’s life and ideas arranged around the axial principle of Truth.

Secular:-

Gandhi made great use of the Bible in his prayers, teachings, writings and Ashram liturgies. He was often accused of being a crypto-Christian. Gandhi considered interculturalism as a call for simultaneous awareness of commonalities, acceptance of differences, and recognition of shared values.

Honesty:-

Gandhi had the blend of sincerity and efficiency bringing forth the most positive strength .Gandhi accomplished any given task with honesty and diligence. Once a decision was made he gave his all to it.

He used to follow up till the end of the task .He used to be positive even under all difficult circumstances and had an optimistic view about life and never lost hope.He maintained impeccable integrity in individual life and public conduct

Dignity:-

He looked at life holistically and worked with utmost concentration .He treated all work as God given gift and all jobs were of equal importance. He had a keen desire to restore the dignity of all human beings. Advanced on the path of  morality, spirituality and his ethical progress was by being firm on Truth 
Impacted the world leaders:-

He firmly believed that the spirit of genuine reciprocity and solidarity is not just a moral requirement, but also a geopolitical necessity. Gandhian technique of mobilising people has been successfully employed by many oppressed societies around the world under the leadership of people like Martin Luther King in the United States, Nelson Mandela in South Africa which is an eloquent testimony to the continuing relevance of Mahatma Gandhi.

 

Conclusion:-

  • There are ample events and incidents insisting that we can continue to consult Gandhi on all manner of issues that may trouble our individual or collective conscience.
  • Truth is the key to Gandhi’s philosophy, and we rely on Gandhi even decades after his death and long after his supposed lapse into political irrelevance. To be sure, Gandhi certainly deserves the honour as a courageous fighter, a deep thinker, and a great leader of men and ideas.