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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 26 NOVEMBER 2018


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 26 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 – Part of static series under the heading – “Modern Indian History”

1) Railway development in India provides an interesting instance of private enterprise at public risk. Comment.(250 words)

 

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to first explain explain the statement in question which is that risk was unevenly shared between private and public sector in railway construction. It also expects us to comment on the purpose for which railway construction was undertaken and whether railway construction was a part of policy of British to drain India of its wealth by allowing it to be constructed by private enterprise at public risk.

Directive word

Comment – When you are asked to comment, you have to pick main points and give your ‘opinion’ on them based on evidences or arguments stemming from your wide reading. Your opinion may be for or against, but you must back your argument with evidences.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain that Lord Dalhousie took the decision to construct railways in India.

Body

  • Explain what it meant by the statement in question
    • Cost borne by Indians and profit reaped by British
    • 5% guaranteed interest on British capital investment
    • Award of free land with 99 year’s lease etc
  • Highlight that the railways primarily served British needs through points such as no linkages of Indian markets, freight charges, transfer of technology remained limited to low technology areas etc
  • Discuss the unintended benefits of railways for India

Conclusion – Comment on whether the public investment made in railways did benefit the people of India or it benefitted British capitalist and was another form of economic drain.

Background:-

  • With the advent of Industrial Revolution industrial and finance capitalist phase of exploitation started in the India. The colonial government tried to develop India as supplier of raw material and market for its manufactured goods through railways.

Railway development of India as a private enterprise :-

  • The railway construction received the first decisive stimulus during Dalhousie’s administration. He recommended that railway construction should be entrusted to private companies under the supervision and control of the Government.
  • He rejected the idea of Government constructing the railways. So the British came up with the old guarantee system.
  • The system intended to assure a minimum rate of return on the capital to be invested. It was in the form of a system of subsidies. British investors promptly responded and put their capital to the private railway companies

How railways in India was a private enterprise at public risk:-

  • Cotton industry:-
    • British intentions were that larger supply of clean raw cotton could be drawn from India so that the English cotton industry could flourish.
    • This could be strengthened by the development of a railway network and railways were to be floated on a commercial basis. 
  • Assured returns:-
    • The private investment in railways was guaranteed an assured return of 5% from the government. Also the capital invested was to be returned after fixed years. Thus the private investment was assured risk free return at public risk.
    • The multiplier effect of railways due to import of steel  also benefited the British. 
  • Adverse impact on Indians:-
    • Due to focus on railways the agriculture sector saw no investment, which gradually turned unproductive to the point that it led to many famines.
    • The public was continued to be used as labour and also the income and taxes in their name were also used to meet the trade interests.
    • Mobilizing resources such as coal to meet the power requirements for industrial goods through railways only resulted in drain of wealth for India.

However there were certain unintended benefits of railways to the public at large:-

  • Connectivity:-
    • It provided for better connectivity for the masses. Various feeder roads were developed around the railways
    • They bound the country together. They allowed fast travel between one end of the country and the other and cemented relationships between the various provinces.
  • They enabled goods to be carried around the country far more cheaply than ever before.
  • They allowed the development of markets in foodstuffs and other agricultural produce that increased their availability and, eventually, did make famines less likely.
  • They created an infrastructure that in India was unprecedented in its sophistication and extent.
  • They gave the opportunity of secure jobs to millions of Indians and enabled many of them to acquire new skills.
  • They helped the development of the trade union movement.
  • They laid the foundations of the large Indian middle class. They brought sophisticated technology to the sub-continent.

Conclusion:-

  • The changes brought by the railways did not benefit the basic structure of the economy. Not until Independence when economic development became a conscious and pursued policy did the railways begin to realize their potential for assisting in the transformation of the Indian economy.

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

2) Discuss the impact of British rule on India in terms of commercialization of agriculture.(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 as to how the advent and continuance of British rule impacted commercialization of agriculture in India.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Write a few introductory lines about the  British rule in India. E.g The mass production of goods through machines that we witness today was pioneered through the Industrial Revolution which occurred first in England during the late 18th and the early 19th century. This led to a massive increase in the output of finished products

Body

Discuss in points the impact of British rule in India in terms of commercialization of agriculture. E.g  

  1. Different kinds of commercial crops such as tea, coffee, indigo, opium, cotton, jute, sugarcane and oilseed.  were introduced with different intentions. Indian opium was used to balance the trade of Chinese tea with Britain in the latter’s favor; The market for opium was strictly controlled by British traders which did not leave much scope for Indian producers to reap profit. Indians were forced to produce indigo and sell it on the conditions dictated by the Britishers; Commercialisation of agriculture further enhanced the speed of transfer of ownership of land thereby increasing the number of landless laborers. It also brought in a large number of merchants, traders and middlemen who further exploited the situation; There was an enormous drain of wealth from our country to Britain due to the various economic policies. Additional financial burden was placed on India due to expenditures on salaries, pensions and training of military and civilian staffs employed by the British to rule India; Because the peasants now shifted to commercial crops, food grain production went down. So, less food stock led to famines. It was therefore not surprising that the peasants revolted.

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

Background :-

  • The commercialization of agriculture means that the agricultural crops and goods are produced by the peasants for sale in the market and not for their own consumption. Commercialization of agriculture in India began during the British rule.
  • The commercialization of Indian agriculture was done primarily to feed the British industries and achieved only in cases-of those agricultural products which were either needed by the British industries or could fetch cash commercial gain to the British in the European or American market.

Commercialisation of agriculture :-

  • Positives:-
    • Introduction of a large number of commercial crops such as tea, coffee, indigo, opium, cotton, jute, sugarcane and oilseed.
    • Commercialization of Indian agriculture also partly benefited Indian traders and money lenders who made huge fortunes by working as middlemen for the British
    • It made possible the transformation of Indian economy in to capitalistic form
    • Integration of economy took place which also created for the growth of national economy
    • It also brought regional specialization of crops on efficient bases.
  • Negatives:-
    • It was beneficial to the British planters, traders and manufacturers, who were provided with opportunity to make huge profits by getting commercialized agricultural products at throwaway prices.
    • Indian opium was used to balance the trade of Chinese tea with Britain in the latter’s favor. The market for opium was strictly controlled by British traders which did not leave much scope for Indian producers to reap profit.
    • Indians were forced to produce indigo on 3/20th part of their land and sell it on the conditions dictated by the Britishers. Unfortunately cultivation of Indigo left the land infertile for some years. This made the farmers reluctant to grow it.
    • In the tea plantations ownership changed hands quite often. The workers on these plantations worked under a lot of hardships.
    • It also brought in a large number of merchants, traders and middlemen who further exploited the situatio The peasant now depended on them to sell their produce during harvest time.
    • It resulted in reduced area under cultivation of food crops. Because the peasants now shifted to commercial crops, food grain production went down. So, less food stock led to famines.
    • Commercialisation of agriculture further enhanced the speed of transfer of ownership of land thereby increasing the number of landless labourers.
      • By making agricultural land a tradable commodity, the peasant lost his security feeling. High land revenue demands forced him to take loan from the money lender at high interest rates. The failure to pay debts in time meant loss of land to the money lender at high interest rates. It led to land alienation and increase in the number of agricultural labourers
    • Another consequence was linking of agriculture to world market .Price movements and business fluctuations in the world markets began to affect the fortunes of the Indian farmer to a degree that it had never done before.
    • Also self sufficiency in village economy was adversely impacted.

Topic– Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

3) The early years of the 20th century marked important landmarks in the history of the Indian women’s movement. 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 women’s movement in India during the 20th century. It wants us to discuss at length about the landmarks witnessed during the early years of the 20th century and bring  out their significance.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  women’s movements in India. E.g

Body-

Discuss the important landmarks in women’s movements that marked the early 20th century India. E.g The early years of the 20th century marked two important landmarks in the history of the Indian women’s movement : the birth of nationwide women’s organizations and the beginning of women’s participation in the national movement. Certain core ideas surface repeatedly in the proceedings of women’s organizations such as the All-India Muslim Ladies’ Conference (Anjuman) 1914, the Women’s India Association (WIA) 1917, the National Council of Women in India (NCWI) 1925, and the All India Women’s Conference (AIWC) 1926. A key idea was a belief that advancement of a society hinges on the progress of women; To resist the cultural onslaughts of the West and articulate one’s own cultural identity it became all the more important to project an image of womanhood, which would symbolize both the strength and distinctiveness of Indian tradition. This search for unsullied symbols of tradition somewhere rested with purdah,as debates within the Anjuman would indicate, and elsewhere with “deification” of Hindu/Indian womanhood as discussed by the WIA,Hindu militants and Gandhi etc.

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

Background:-

  • By the end of the 19th century women from the reformed families began to start women’s organizations. After 1910, women experienced in organizing and working in local women’s associations, and convinced that women should take the leadership into their own hands, started provincial and national women’s association.

Important landmarks in the history of Indian women’s movement in early 20th century:-

  • The early 20th century saw the rise of many women’s organizations.
  • The birth of nationwide women’s organizations:-
    • The early national women’s organizations were confined to specific areas. In 1910, Sarala Devi Chaudhurani established the Bharat Stree Mandal (Great circle of India Women) with the objective of women of all castes, creeds and classes together
    • Annie Besant became the first woman president of INC in 1917.Her associate Margaret cousins drafted Indian women’s voting rights bill and launched Women’s Indian association. In a sense, WIA is the first all India women’s association with the objective of securing voting rights for women
    • In 1916 Begum of Bhopal founded the All-India Muslim Women’s conference. The conference passed a resolution in 1917 to abolish polygamy which enraged many traditionalists. Awareness created by these reformers made several Muslim women to take part in the freedom struggle and non-cooperation movement against the British.
    • The National Council of Women in India (NCWI) was formed in 1925, and the All India Women’s Conference (AIWC) in 1927.The AIWC, originally convened only to discuss women’s education, became a permanent body. Its emphasis was on unity and women’s upliftment through education, and social and legal reform.
      • It also emphasized women’s contribution to national development. By 1932, however, the AIWC had become involved with women’s political rights and all questions which affected women and children as well as with social problems such as untouchability.
      • Women’s organisations like the All India Women’s Conference (AIWC) and women within the national movement insisted on greater political and economic participation.
    • A key idea was a belief that advancement of a society hinges on the progress of women.
  • The beginning of women’s participation in the national movement:-
    • The Gandhian movement in 1920’s incorporated women in large numbers
    • During civil disobedience movement the women volunteers were physically trained to lead marches ,boycotts and Prabhat Pheris
    • Women formed patriotic groups within their associations called Desh Sevika Sanghs
  • To resist the cultural onslaughts of the West and articulate one’s own cultural identity it became all the more important to project an image of womanhood, which would symbolize both the strength and distinctiveness of Indian tradition.

Issues:-

  • Though, women’s participation in national movement helped to break several old barriers of tradition and custom, these organizations were dominated and run by women from urban middle and upper classes.
  • These organizations neither had their influence in rural areas nor did they take into account the problems of poor working class families.

General Studies – 2


Topic– Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

4) Proposals to pass an ordinance and then legislation in favour of construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya are extremely ill-advised. Do you agree. Comment. (250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

The article discusses the legal hurdles in legislation or implementation by ordinance, the construction of Ram Mandir. It also highlights the other reasons as to why Indian govt should not take the route of ordinance in this direction.

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 legal background of the issue of building Ram temple in Ayodhya, by ordinance or legislative route. It wants us to form an opinion as to whether such an endeavour would be ill advised or not.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  recent mulling of the idea of building Ram temple at Ayodhya via ordinance route.

Body

  1. Discuss the legal background of the case which would entail several challenges and delay in getting a judicial nod for building the Ram temple. E.g Even if passed, any such statute would have to cross many hurdles. First, there is the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act of 1991. In this Act, the cut-off date for freezing the religious character of a place of worship is August 15, 1947 and all suits regarding their status would abate. But Section 5 of the Act said: “Nothing contained in this Act shall apply to the place or place of worship commonly known as Ram Janma-Bhumi -Babri Masjid situated in Ayodhya in the State of Uttar Pradesh and to any suit, appeal or other proceeding relating to the said place or place of worship.” This, however, does not pave the way for simply repealing the section, for that would give further protection to the Muslim case;  Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya Act, 1993, which acquired the site to put an end to the litigation, and vested the property in Central government.; Third, the Act of 1993 was interpreted in Ismail Faruqui v. Union of India (1994) so that the property would remain with the Central government as a “statutory receiver”, a concept invented by the court. According to the SC judgement the Central government has the responsibility to wait for the result of the suit. No ordinance or statute can sit in appeal on the Ismail Faruqui judgment of 1994 etc
  2. Discuss the social reasons as to why the step would be ill advised. E.g as elections are near it may flare up communal tensions across the country; such an adventure would degrade India’ secular image internationally etc.

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

 

Background:-

  • Recently there has been demand made to bring in an ordinance to start construction on the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. 

Why proposal to pass an ordinance and legislation in favour of construction of temple at Ayodhya are ill advised :-

  • Even if passed, any such statute would have to cross many hurdles.
  • Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act of 1991:-
    • In this Act, the cut-off date for freezing the religious character of a place of worship is August 15, 1947 and all suits regarding their status would abate. Section 5 of the Act said: Nothing contained in this Act shall apply to the place or place of worship commonly known as Ram Janma Bhumi-Babri Masjid situated in Ayodhya in the State of Uttar Pradesh and to any suit, appeal or other proceeding relating to the said place or place of worship.
    • This, however, does not pave the way for simply repealing the section, for that would give further protection to the Muslim case.
  • The Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya Act, 1993 acquired the site to put an end to the litigation, and vested the property in Central government.
  • The Act of 1993 was interpreted in Ismail Faruqui v. Union of India (1994) so that the property would remain with the Central government as a “statutory receiver”, a concept invented by the court.
    • The best solution in the circumstances, on revival of suits is, therefore, to maintain status quo as on 7th January, 1993 when the law came into force.” Any action taken now (i.e. 2018 onwards) would violate this status quo.
    • As the “statutory receiver”, the Central government has the responsibility to wait for the result of the suit. No ordinance or statute can sit in appeal on the Ismail Faruqui judgment of 1994.
  • There is a well-known principle, emanating from the doctrine of separation of powers in the Constitution, that the legislative power of Parliament cannot usurp the judicial power to sit in appeal over the judicial decision-making still less where the case is pending as a suit or in appeal.
  • As soon as the ordinance or Act is passed, it might be challenged in the Supreme Court because it is of national importance and affects the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court
  • As elections are near this issue may flare up communal tensions across the country.
  • Experts suggest that the demand for the state to intervene to allow the Ram temple is part of an aggressive Hindu fundamentalism which seeks to suborn the state to its wishes. To yield to a demand of one faith against another not only condones the destruction of the Masjid, but abandons the very basis of India’s multi-religious and cultural ethos which it is bound to protect.

Topic-   Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies

5) CBI has come under the scanner in recent days. Discuss the issues faced by India’s premier investigative agency and the role of judiciary in ensuring that CBI no longer functions as a “caged parrot”?(250 words)

Epw

Why this question

CBI has been caught in a den of controversies with allegations and counter allegations being thrown left, right and centre. The issue of interest for us is understanding the reasons behind the current state of affairs and the role judiciary has played in ensuring some semblance of independence in CBI.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain in detail the issues faced by CBI and the role played by judiciary in reforming CBI and the impact of such measures. We need to finally provide a forward looking view explaining the nature of reforms required by CBI.

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 appraise the worth of the statement in question. There is scope for forming a personal opinion here.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain about CBI as an organization , about DSPE Act etc

Body

  • Highlight that the current controversies associated with CBI is symptomatic of larger problems.
  • Discuss the issues plaguing CBI –
    • CBI is Vulnerable to political pressure.
    • Less than 10 per cent of the cases handed over to the CBI have political overtones, and this is what gives the organization a bad name.
    • CBI is facing the staff shortage, which is required to deal with the daily dealings of the CBI office.
    • Supreme Court and High Courts are handing over a large number of sensitive cases to the CBI for investigation without additional manpower
    • The CBI is facing an acute shortage of manpower in the ranks of Constable, Head Constable, Inspector and Superintendent of Police.
    • Enormous delays in concluding investigations.
    • In majority of the cases of corruption and financial irregularities probed by the CBI, the accused goes unpunished.
    • Biased and casual course of action in the cases where its own official is under suspicion
    • Agency often fails to establish the money trail involved in the corruption
    • situations like withdrawal of notification of empowerment by the state with hidden motives.
  • Discuss the role judiciary has played in reforming CBI as discussed in the article with respect to reforming the appointment process etc
  • Give suggestions as to what can be done to improve the functioning of CBI. Can mention that in the past, CBI directors have given the suggestions to tackle this problem of coordination with state governments. Like:- Promulgation of the CBI act on par with the customs act or income tax act.
    It would provide CBI officers with independence outside CrPC without any state government interference. Suggest other measures of reforms in the CBI

Conclusion – Explain the importance of an independent and effective investigative agency and discuss way forward.

 Background:-

  • Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)is India’s premier investigating agency that handles all high-profile cases. Its job is to ensure a fair and an impartial probe. But, recently in October 2018, two of the top officials of the agency have been reported to be involved in a major feud. This has led the Government of India to intervene in order to restore the institutional integrity and credibility of CBI.

Issues faced by CBI:-

  • Real problem for the CBI lies in its charter of duties:-
    • These are not protected by legislation. Instead, its functions are based merely on a government resolution that draws its powers from the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, which makes the CBI the premier investigative arm of the Union government.
    • The controversies very origin is hidden in bureaucratic obscurity (as the Gauhati High Court pointed out in Navendra Kumar v Union of Indiain 2013) and it has been governed by a skeletal framework law dating back to 1946. 
  • Myriad of responsibilities over categories like Corruption & fraud , economic crimes , special crimes including terrorist attacks has overburdened it and reduced its efficienc
    • Less than 10 per cent of the cases handed over to the CBI have political overtones, and this is what gives the organization a bad name.
  • Delayed Case Solving :
    • For instance in Aarushi Murder Case even though the investigations underwent for over an decade there was no concrete conclusion.
  • The size of the organisation has expanded. Also the pattern and incidence of crime which it is required to investigate have altered.
  • Its charter of functions has enlarged considerably, the political environment in which it is functioning has been transformed.
  • The CBI has no independent cadre of officers to staff it and it depends on police officers from state cadres to serve on deputation.
  • It is still woefully lacking in the necessary forensic capabilities and subject matter expertise required to crack the kinds of cases that are referred to it.
  • In majority of the cases of corruption and financial irregularities probed by the CBI, the accused goes unpunished.

Role played by judiciary to reform CBI:-

  • Supreme court:-
    • Supreme Court has over the years been trying to insulate the CBI from political pressures and, in the process, give it a measure of autonomy.
    • In Vineet Narayan vs. Union of India (1998), the apex court laid down that the director, CBI shall be appointed on the recommendation of a committee comprising the Central Vigilance Commissioner, vigilance commissioners, secretary (home) and secretary (personnel), and that he shall have a minimum tenure of two years.
    • The CVC was given statutory status and authorised to exercise superintendence over the CBI in the investigation of offences committed under the Prevention of Corruption Act. 

What institutional reforms are needed ?

 

  • P singh committeehas recommended the enactment of comprehensive central legislation for self sufficient statutory charter of duties and functions.
  • The Second Administrative Reforms Commission (2007) also suggested that a new law should be enacted to govern the working of the CBI.
  • Parliamentary standing committee (2007)recommended that a separate act should be promulgated in tune with requirement with time to ensure credibility and impartiality
    • The 19th and 24th reports of the parliamentary standing committees (2007 and 2008) recommended that the need of the hour is to strengthen the CBI in terms of legal mandate, infrastructure and resources.
  • Elements needed in the new legislation:-
    • The new legislation must define the word superintendence, and establish institutional and other arrangements to insulate the organisation from undesirable and illegitimate external control, pressures and influences.
    • It must ensure that the central government’s control over the agency is so exercised as to ensure that its performance is in strict accordance with the law.
    • The Act must make it a statutory responsibility of the government to establish an efficient and impartial system of investigation.
    • It should set objectives, define performance standards and establish monitoring instrument, prescribe procedures for appointment and removal of officers
    • It should delineate the CBI’s powers as well as functions, outline the philosophy and practices expected of the agency, and, prescribe mechanisms to ensure their accountability. 
    • new CBI Actshould be promulgated that ensures the autonomy of CBI while at the same time improving the quality of supervision. The new Act must specify criminal culpability for government interference.
  • It is high time that the CBI is vested with the required legal mandate and is given pan-India jurisdiction. It must have inherent powers to investigate corruption cases against officers of All India Services irrespective of the assignments they are holding or the state they are serving in.
  • Besides appointing the head of the CBI through a collegium, as recommended by the Lokpal Act, the government must ensure financial autonomy for the outfit. Some experts have even suggested that the CBI should be given statutory status through legislation equivalent to that provided to the Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG) and the Election Commission (EC).
    • It is also possible to consider granting the CBIand other federal investigation agencies the kind of autonomy that the Comptroller and Auditor General enjoys as he is only accountable to Parliament.
  • One of the demands that has been before Supreme Court, and in line with international best practices, is for the CBI to develop its own dedicated cadre of officers who are not bothered about deputation and abrupt transfers.
  • more efficient parliamentary oversightover the federal criminal and intelligence agencies could be a way forward to ensure better accountability, despite concerns regarding political misuse of the oversight.

Conclusion :-

  • CBI is an agency of Central Government that has wide range of investigating areas and powers.It was formed with a goal to check corruption and other crimes in the nation and so it shall maintain a clean image of itself. Any agency shall have a system of checks and balances and so, intervention of Government, CVC, Courts, etc shall be done if needed.

 


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

6) Vietnam is crucial to India’s Look East Policy and bilateral ties must build on common concerns among the two nations. Analyze.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

Vietnam is an important regional player in SE Asia and its growing economic clout demands increased engagement with the country. Besides there are several common concerns among India and Vietnam which need to be used as foundations to build the bilateral relationship.    

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 India-Vietnam relationship and bring out the importance of Vietnam in India’s look East policy. It wants us to discuss the concerns common to the two countries which demand closer cooperation.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- write a few introductory lines about the  Look East (or Act East) policy of India. E.g briefly mention the main purpose of the policy.

Body-

  1. Discuss the growing importance of Vietnam in India’s look East policy. E.g A close ‘ally’ of India for over 70 years, and not limited to official diplomatic ties, Vietnam is critical for India’s foreign policy at the regional and systemic levels;  Vietnam ratified the CPTPP, asserting its growing economic impact globally, with exports increasing to approximately $240 billion for the year 2018. Membership to the CPTPP, which accounts for nearly 14% of the global GDP, will boost Vietnam’s economic growth, from 6.8 % in 2017-18, by a further 1.1% to 3.5% by 2030 etc.
  2. Discuss the common concerns among the two countries which can be used to further strengthen the relationship. E.g An area of potential convergence for both Vietnam and India is health care. Vietnam has highlighted the importance of linking economic growth to universal health care, whereby 80% population would be covered by health insurance. India too, since 2011, has been focussing on the need to deliver accessible and affordable health insurance to weaker sections of society; A potential area of convergence in the realm of health care through joint public-private partnership agreements can be explored by the two countries; Internationally, Vietnam’s foreign policy is characterised by ‘multi-directionalism’, which addresses regional asymmetries of the power balance by engaging across a broad spectrum of states to achieve its interests. Increasingly, this asymmetrical power structure in the region, offset by the rise of China, is bringing regional and extra-regional states together to address the shifts in the normative order; Today there is increasing commonality of security concerns between Vietnam India particularly in the areas of maritime security and adherence to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea etc.

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

Background:-

  • Recently Indian President held a three day visit to Vietnam. India and Vietnam agreed to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in defence, peaceful uses of atomic energy and outer space, science and technology, oil and gas, infrastructure development, agriculture and innovation-based sectors.
  • A close ‘ally’ of India for over 70 years, and not limited to official diplomatic ties, Vietnam is critical for India’s foreign policy at the regional and systemic levels. 

Vietnam is important for India’s look east policy:-

  • Vietnam is a strategic pillar of India’s Act East Policy, and key interlocutor in ASEAN.
  • Over the years, political contacts have strengthened as reflected in several high-level visits by leaders from both sides.
  • India’s thrust under the ‘Act East’ policy combined with Vietnam’s growing engagement within the region and with India has paid rich dividends.
  • India and Vietnam closely cooperate in various regional forums such as ASEAN, East Asia Summit, Mekong Ganga Cooperation, Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) besides UN and WTO.
  • Both India and Vietnam possess the capacity to find compatibility in areas promoting defence cooperation and infrastructure simultaneously
  • Vietnam, which is under maritime pressure from China’s activities in the South China Sea (SCS), wants India to deepen its military engagement further.
  • The India-Vietnam Joint Statement of March 2018 reiterates the focus given to sub-regionalism.
  • India’s proposal to improve humanitarian and disaster relief and maritime transportation links found the eager backing of Vietnam, which also supported India’s proposed anti-terrorism measures. 
  • Mutual trust, threats emerging from a rising China and a convergence of strategic interests have contributed to the deepening of ties between the two nations to an extent that Vietnam now engages India at the level of a ‘comprehensive strategic partner’,  which is a clear indication of importance both the nations put in this critical partnership.
  • Vietnam ratified the CPTPP, asserting its growing economic impact globally, with exports increasing to approximately $240 billion for the year 2018.
    • Membership to the CPTPP, which accounts for nearly 14% of the global GDP, will boost Vietnam’s economic growth, from 6.8 % in 2017-18, by a further 1.1% to 3.5% by 2030 etc.

Common Concerns between the two nations:-

  • An area of potential convergence for both Vietnam and India is health care.
    • Vietnam has highlighted the importance of linking economic growth to universal health care, whereby 80% population would be covered by health insurance.
    • India too, since 2011, has been focussing on the need to deliver accessible and affordable health insurance to weaker sections of society.
    • A potential area of convergence in the realm of health care through joint public-private partnership agreements can be explored by the two countries.
  • Today there is increasing security concerns in the areas of maritime security and adherence to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
  • Amid a rapid build-up of Chinese military presence and massive reclamation of submerged features in Southeast Asia, both Vietnam and India are concerned about the balance of power in nautical Asia.

Other concerns:-

  • Vietnam opposed the “Quad” or quadrilateral coalition among India, the US, Japan and Australia.
  • The proposed sale of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile has taken a back seat as there has been no response from Hanoi.
  • The $ 500 mn line of credit offered in 2016 has yet to be operationalised for facilitating deeper defence cooperation.

Conclusion:-

Based on the three legs of regional security, defence and trade engagements, India and Vietnam have managed to build a strong partnership over the last few years. Given their mutual convergence, it is likely that this relationship will only grow stronger in the coming years as well.


General Studies – 3


Topic – environmental pollution and degradation.

7) The problem of air pollution can not be tackled by judiciary alone. Comment.(250 words)

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Why this question

The article highlights that courts have taken a lead in matters related to pollution and examines the effectiveness of judicial intervention. At a time when pollution has become a huge issue, and courts are taking a lead in ensuring that we enjoy the right to live in a safe environment, we need to critically analyze the role of courts.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the seriousness of the problem of air pollution and explain that courts have taken a lead in taking steps to ensure that the problem is contained. Give examples of the measures taken by the court and explain the impact of judgements of the court. Discuss the role of executive and legislature in tackling this problem. Finally, give a fair and balanced view on whether judicial intervention to tackle pollution would suffice and suggestion about what must be done.

Directive word

Comment – When you are asked to comment, you have to pick main points and give your ‘opinion’ on them based on evidences or arguments stemming from your wide reading. Your opinion may be for or against, but you must back your argument with evidences.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain that air pollution has become a big issue.

Body

  • Discuss the role played by judiciary in tackling the problem of pollution. Explain the role of NGT and Supreme court in this regard. Give examples of cracker ban in Delhi and several judgments of NGT through which they have tried to tackle the problem of air pollution
  • Examine the effective of those measures as discussed in the article. Also, analyze the role of NGT and issues faced by NGT in tackling air pollution
  • Discuss the lack of initiative shown by executive and legislature and why their support is crucial
  • Give suggestions as to what needs to be done to tackle air pollution

Conclusion – Give your view and discuss the way forward.

Background :-

  • The WHO global air pollution database report that ranked 14 Indian cities among the 15 of the world’s most polluted, in terms of particulate matter (PM) 2.5 concentration, received great attention in India
  • India’s urban pollution as measured by PM 2.5 level is already about 40 per cent above the global safe limits across major Indian cities. 70 per cent to 80 per cent of air pollution (as measured by PM 2.5) comes from vehicular emissions, domestic activity, construction activity, industry activity and road dust. 

How judiciary is ensuring India reduces air pollution :-

  • In Arjun Gopal v Union of India (2018),the Supreme Court attempted to regulate the bursting of firecrackers while refusing to impose an outright ban on such firecrackers across the nation. However judgment had no serious impact on improving the air quality. 
  • It did also direct the Central Pollution Control Boards and equivalent state-level bodies to monitor the air quality in the short term to assess the impact of the use of firecrackers on it.
  • NGT in Ganga Lalwani v Union of India(2018) directed the state governments of Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Punjab, and Haryana to come up with a scheme to penalise farmers, who set fire to their fields to clear it of plant residue, by not paying them minimum support price (MSP). 

Short term solutions don’t work :-

  • Banning the use of private vehicles from November 1 onwards, although drastic, will definitely not be enough to curb pollution.
  • Odd-even schemes and, recently, the allowance by the Supreme Court (SC) for only green or zero-emission firecrackers, are the episodic measures that have been used, and still continue to be, to combat this methodical pollution. 
  • These solutions don’t work :-
    • Odd-even didn’t work because, while vehicles accounted for around 9% of the city’s pollution, just a tenth was due to 4-wheelers that were affected by odd-even.
    • Pollution due to the bursting of firecrackers is relatively small, compared to road dust that contributes 56% and 38% of Delhi’s PM10 and PM2.5 pollution, respectively, and crop stubble burning according to a Harvard study, is responsible for 50% of the pollution in October and November in the NCR.
    • Though both Punjab and Haryana governments have introduced renting of machines, and subsidies for the same, that are part of the mechanised alternative, as per Down to Earth, the available lot can cover just a fifth of the acreage under paddy in Haryana in the short period farmers have between the harvest and sowing period.
    • Public transport system might not be capable of handling these numbers, especially if the Delhi government continues to overlook the establishment of dedicated bus corridors, despite increased metro coverage.
  • Failure of the union and state governments in curbing crop residue burning in the areas around the National Capital Territory.

Long term measures needed:-

  • Short term measures should be accompanied by measures that increase the forest cover of the land and provide farmers with an alternative to burning the remains of their crops.
  • Need to speed up the journey towards LPG and solar-powered stoves.
  • Addressing vehicular emissions is within India’s grasp but requires a multi-pronged approach. It needs to combine the already-proposed tighter emission norms (in form of BS VI), with a push for shared mobility and public transport and adoption of alternate mobility technologies. While shared mobility can moderate the demand for individual vehicle ownership and usage, technology solutions today can allow for a sharp reduction in emissions per vehicle. 
  • Incentives for adoption of alternate mobility technologies:-
    • India might need to consider pushing for battery localisation. Cell investments would need a long lead-time to materialize.
  • Restrictions on elements that contribute negatively to strategic objectives (such as congestion charges on polluting technologies):-
    • London imposes congestion charges during working hours on weekdays to vehicles entering the city centre.
    • All these disincentives to traditional cars help in the push for electric vehicles.
  • Enabling infrastructure.:-
    • There is an early need to standardise charging infrastructure/equipment to ensure interoperability and make it widespread. 
  • Stubble burning issue in North India need to be looked into seriously.
  • Attention to non-technological aspects such as urban planning, to reduce driving, and to increase cycling, walking, and use of public transport are needed.