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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 01 FEBRUARY 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 01 FEBRUARY 2019


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 – changes in critical geographical features (including water bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

1) What is a polar vortex? Examine whether the extreme chill seen in USA is related to climate change?(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

The extreme chill seen in USA has been in the news. Also the tweets of a famous president has questioned the link between such extreme chill and global warming. We need to be aware of the reasons and how global warming is cooling the planet.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain what polar vortex is and thereafter bring out its impact on weather and how is it related to climate change.

Directive word

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

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight the extreme cold weather in USA and explain that they have been caused due to polar vortex.

Body

  • Explain that polar vortex is found around the north pole. It’s a band of strong winds, high up in the atmosphere that keeps bitterly cold air locked around the Arctic region. This circulation isn’t considered a single storm, or even a weather pattern as such.
  • Explain that Occasionally, the vortex can become distorted and meander far further south than normal. The phenomenon became widely known to Americans during a particularly frigid spell in 2014, when the media first started using the term “polar vortex”. It was also a factor in the “bomb cyclone” that battered the US east coast last year. This time, the polar vortex has broken in two, bringing the coldest conditions in decades to the midwest US. On Wednesday, Chicago was 10 degrees F colder than Antarctica.
  • Discuss how is it related to climate change – Scientists also point to a complex sequence of events involving sea ice, which is rapidly diminishing in the Arctic. As the ice retreats, summertime heat is absorbed by the dark ocean that lies underneath. This heat is released into the atmosphere during winter, spurring winds that can disrupt the polar vortex.

Conclusion – Give your view and discuss way forward

Background:-

  • The polar vortex, a swirl of low-pressure air six miles up in the atmosphere, blasted much of the American Midwest and Northeast in late January 2019 with temperatures cold enough to bring on frostbite within minutes. 

Polar vortex :-

  • The polar vortex is a great gyre of air that forms each winter and circulates above the North Pole, way up in the stratosphere.
  • The polar vortex forms every winter because of the temperature difference between the equator and the poles.
  • In the polar stratosphere, sunlight basically gets cut off during the late fall and early winter and that makes it really cold, while the equator remains quite warm.
  • A jet forms to balance this temperature difference. This jet is what is called the polar vortex or the polar night jet. It flows in a complete circle around the pole, 10 kilometers or a little over six miles above the Earth’s surface. 
  • Impact :-
    • The polar vortex hitting the U.S. led severely cold temperatures that cancelled flights, closed schools and left dangerous conditions around the country .

Polar vortex is due to climate change :-

  • The term “polar vortex” has been around since the late 1940s. It forms every winter and breaks up in the spring. But for the last 20 years or so, the polar vortex has been very, very disturbed in the middle of winter.
  • Increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere cools the polar stratosphere, which could increase the temperature difference between the pole and the equator and strengthen the polar vortex.
  • There’s also some model evidence that the waves that are propagating upwards in the troposphere are getting more energetic as the planet warms, leading to a more perturbed polar stratosphere.
  • There’s some evidencethat the jet stream, a meandering air current that flows over North America and Europe, is slowing and becoming wavier as the planet warms. The jet stream interacts with the polar vortex, helping bring numbing temperatures further south.
  • Scientists also point to a complex sequence of events involving sea ice, which is rapidly diminishing in the Arctic.
    • As the ice retreats, summertime heat is absorbed by the dark ocean that lies underneath. This heat is released into the atmosphere during winter, spurring winds that can disrupt the polar vortex.
    • Scientists have observed that more and more Arctic sea iceis melting during the summer months. As the ice melts, the Arctic Ocean warms, and radiates that excess heat back to the atmosphere in winter. Because that heat somewhat reduces the contrast between the Arctic air and the atmosphere in regions farther south, it reduces

  • the intensity of the winds that form the barrier between the two areas. That, in turn, weakens and disrupts the polar vortex.

 


General Studies – 2


Topic – Indian polity – Issues

2) What do you understand by online curated content providers? Do you think adoption of self regulation amounts to unnecessary censorship? (250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

The article highlights the decision of OCCs to start self regulating themselves to curate their content instead of waiting for government to make regulations. We are expected to examine whether self regulation amounts to censorship and its impact on free speech.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – highlight that digital media is on the rise and is fast becoming the staple way through which we consume our entertainment leading to worries about lack of censorship on such platforms.

Body

  • Explain about what online curated content providers are – clutch of over-the-top (OTT) video streaming platforms adopted a self-regulatory content code to avoid probable government censorship. Among the signatories are streaming platforms of big broadcasting companies such as Hotstar, Voot, Zee5 and SonyLIV as well as independent firms such as Arre, ALT Balaji, Netflix and Eros Now. In the self-regulatory Code of Best Practices signed under the aegis of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), the streaming platforms have been referred to as Online Curated Content Providers.
  • Highlight the issues that lack of censorship in digital media space were causing in terms of impact on impressionable minds. Also explain that the stakeholders thought it wise to adopt best practices before a government department stepped in and imposed unnecessary censorship. The pressure mounted as public interest litigations (PILs) and complaints against the OTT platforms started emerging.
  • Highlight about similar measures taken in related industries such as advertising which follows self-regulation through the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) and Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) for non-news channels respectively etc. Discuss the impact such self regulations have had on freedom of speech and government censorship.

Conclusion – Give your view and discuss way forward.

 Background :-

  • According to recent BCG report, the online video content is expected to reach a market size of $5 billion by 2023.In the light of such huge market there were calls for regulation on streaming platforms.

Content curation: (extra)

  • Content curation is the process of finding and collecting online content and presenting the best pieces in a structured way. Unlike content marketing, curation does not involve creating your own content.

Online curated content providers :-

  • In the self-regulatory Code of Best Practices signed under the aegis of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), the streaming platforms have been referred to as Online Curated Content Providers.
  • Major platforms, such as Netflix, Hotstar, Voot, Zee5, Arre, SonyLIV, ALTBalaji and Eros Now, have signed the code.
  • The code has been in the works for over a year. The primary objective is to ensure that the consumer interests are protected, and at the same time, the creativity of content providers stays intact.
    • It also aims to empower consumers to make informed choices on age-appropriate content.
    • The code advocates a complaint and redressal mechanism as well, in relation to the content made available by respective OCCPs, according to the report released by the IAMAI.

Why Self regulation is necessary  :-

  • Other experiences :-
    • Mature industries like advertising and television follow self-regulation through the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) and Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) for non-news channels respectively.
    • While newspapers (and journalists) are governed by self-regulatory codes devised by statutory bodies such as the Press Council of India, non-statutory bodies such as the Indian Broadcasting Foundation and News Broadcasters Association have adopted self-regulatory codes vis-à-vis non-news/non-current affairs and news broadcasts on television .
  • Self-regulation encourages creativity and makes content creators more responsive to their viewers. It worked for broadcast media and there is no reason for it not to do so for curated video content.
  • Lack of censorship in digital media space were causing in terms of impact on impressionable minds.
    • The stakeholders thought it wise to adopt best practices before a government department stepped in and imposed unnecessary censorship.
    • The pressure mounted as public interest litigations (PILs) and complaints against the OTT platforms started emerging.

Self regulation leads to unnecessary censorship :-

  • According to some experts these platforms are acting out of self-preservation: In the process, they are also restricting pushing at the boundaries of what is considered moral and immoral in India .
  • The only way that these platforms can be expected to protect free speech is if there is transparency to consumers: a listing with details of the complaint filed, decisions made and action taken. The self-regulatory code has no such provisions for transparency .
  • By creating a self-regulatory code, these providers have created a situation where the government and courts can treat this code as a standard industry practice and force others to conform to it, even if the content may not be illegal.

What more needs to be done :-

  • While the prescription of the redressal mechanism is commendable yet the mechanism seems to lack ‘teeth’. An ideal self-regulatory mechanism should consist of self-regulation at two levels- entity level and the industry level.
    • For instance, under the Press Council of India’s Norms of Journalistic Conduct, a complainant may approach the Editor of the concerned newspaper and also the Secretary of the Press council of India.  
    • For mechanism by the Code prescribed does not allow for a route an aggrieved user may follow if his/her complaint is not acknowledged or if he/she is unsatisfied with the response provided by the concerned department, as prescribed in self-regulatory codes pertaining to other media.

Topic– Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability.

3) There is a need to stifle investigative adventurism on part of investigation agencies and hold accountable for their judgements in order to promote businesses in India. Comment.(250 words) 

Indianexpress

Why this question

The high rate of litigation is a serious problem in India and government is the biggest litigant in the country in this context it is essential to examine the need for investigative agencies to shun investigative adventurism and improve their accountability

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 about the hefty litigation and adventuristic attitude of our investigation agencies and form an opinion as to why such attitude needs to be stifled and their accountability increased.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – write a few introductory lines about the high incidence of tax litigation in India and mention that government is the biggest litigant in the country.

Body –

  1. Discuss the issue of investigative adventurism as shown by the investigating agencies in India. E.g
  • For long there has been a fear-induced inertia, especially in the higher echelons of the bureaucracy. Important decisions are invariably deferred, especially by officials due to fear of investigations, with the attendant risk of incarceration.
  • The lack of judiciousness in investigations also invariably clogs judicial pipelines. The government is already the biggest litigant at all levels of the judicial system.
  • It is averse to business interests and increases compliance costs
  • n this, it is small and medium businesses with scarce capital and resources who are the worst sufferers. Not only are professionals to be hired and paid to defend unreasonable demands, but delays in adjudication and appeals, all due to crawling government machinery, leads to a burden of interest which could lead to bankruptcy etc.
  1. Bring out the need to increase their accountability and alter their attitude. E.g
  • This attitude  feeds on irresponsibility, for there is little in form of punishment to the offending officers for harassing businesses, sometimes in order to achieve imposed targets and sometimes for self-enrichment.
  • Each adjudicating officer’s record should be perused and ascertained how many such orders result in recoveries, penalties or prosecution and how many do not stand the test of law and rules.
  • According to these metrics, promotions and other incentives should be denied.

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

Background:-

  • India has improved it’s ease of doing business rank but the litigation be it tax, investigative agencies targeting businesses recently can be ruinous for the ease of doing business.

Investigative adventurism is criticised:-

  • Flaws show up in many cases :-
    • Notably, in the 2G telecom spectrum case where a special court judge was critical of CBI’s efforts.
    • In another case, the Aarushi Talwar murder, Allahabad high court found fault with CBI and went on to acquit the accused.
    • In many cases, reputations are irreversibly damaged during the course of investigative agencies drawn out.
  • Businesses cannot exist and flourish in a state of constant apprehension and dread of the capriciousness of the arms of law and regulatory agencies. This discourages investment and entrepreneurship, which has the cascading effect of low growth and poor job creation.
    • It is averse to business interests and increases compliance costs.
  • Investigative ‘adventurism’ ravages reputations and incurs financial costs, profession .
  • For long there has been a fear-induced inertia, especially in the higher echelons of the bureaucracy. Important decisions are invariably deferred.
  • The lack of judiciousness in investigations also invariably clogs judicial pipelines. The government is already the biggest litigant at all levels of the judicial system. 
  • It is small and medium businesses with scarce capital and resources who are the worst sufferers. Not only are professionals to be hired and paid to defend unreasonable demands, but delays in adjudication and appeals, leads to a burden of interest which could lead to bankruptcy.
  • There is a serious need to curb the adventurism of the investigating and adjudicating officers for both the high economic and emotional costs they inflict.
  • This adventurism feeds on irresponsibility, for there is little in form of punishment to the offending officers for harassing businesses, sometimes in order to achieve imposed targets and sometimes for self-enrichment.

What needs to be done :-

  • There is a need for a review mechanism to be instituted and implemented, if not already in place.
    • Each adjudicating officer’s record should be perused and ascertained how many such orders result in recoveries, penalties or prosecution and how many do not stand the test of law and rules.
    • According to these metrics, promotions and other incentives should be denied.

General Studies – 3


Topic– Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

4) By recognising unpaid labour as genuine work, India will not only benefit in terms of its GDP figures but also empower its women. Analyze.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

The women constitute half of our population and play a huge yet unrecognised role in our economy. In this context it is important to discuss how Indian economy can benefit form recognising unpaid labour of women as genuine work.

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 issue and highlight the unpaid work performed by Indian women and bring out how formal recognition of such work can benefit Indian economy and empower its women.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- write a few introductory lines about the  unpaid work done by women in India. E.g These tasks can include domestic upkeep, cooking, cleaning and childcare, while a broader definition would also include the hours of emotional labour that goes into holding families together and putting up with patriarchal constructions of what women are expected to tolerate and expect.

Body-

  1. Discuss in detail about such work. E.g
  • The fact that 49 per cent of women in a country of 1.3 billion people don’t have their work accounted for in the annual GDP, throws up several problems.
  • According to the Census in 2011, people engaged in household duties have been treated as non-workers, even when 159.9 million women stated that “household work” was their main occupation.
  • While the global value of unpaid domestic labour by women hovers around 13 per cent, in India, the number is almost 40 per cent of its current GDP.
  1. Discuss how formal recognition of such work can help Indian economy as well as the women. E.g
  • In a report, the International Monetary Fund also suggested that if women’s participation in the economy was raised to that of men, then India could grow its GDP by 27 per cent.
  • Recognition is one of the most central processes in empowerment, and the recognition of their primary occupation as genuine work, that contributes not only to the family but to the welfare of the nation state as a whole, is such that it gives them a claim to equality within the patriarchal Indian household that only recognises the work done by men.
  • It moves us towards a more holistic understanding of labour that isn’t purely tied to the exchange value of a service on the market.

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

Background:-

  • Unpaid labour does not only affect women, but it affects them the most. A large part of their work, from working for the household farm or business to domestic and caregiving work is delegitimised as women’s work and is not considered ‘real’ work. 
  • The proportion of unpaid work per day is far higher for women than men globally, while in case of India on average 66 per cent of women’s work is unpaid according to the WEF.
  • According to the Census in 2011, people engaged in household duties have been treated as non-workers, even when 159.9 million women stated that household work was their main occupation.
  • 49 per cent of women in India don’t have their work accounted for in the annual GDP.
  • The work done at home doesn’t necessarily generate products and services for the market, economists often ignore it in their calculations and the result is that a massive portion of the work done by women in India goes unrecognised as labour and is treated as a duty
  • UN report shows that over 51% of the work done by women is unpaid, and is not counted in the nation’s GDP and other statistics.

How  recognising unpaid labour benefits India :-

  • The value of unpaid domestic and care work done by women is estimatedto be 13% of the global GDP. 
  • In a report, the International Monetary Fund also suggested that if women’s participation in the economy was raised to that of men, then India could grow its GDP by 27 per cent.

How recognising unpaid labour empowers women :-

  • Recognition is one of the most central processes in empowerment, and for more than 150 million women in the country, the recognition of their primary occupation as genuine work, that contributes not only to the family but to the welfare of the nation state as a whole, is such that it gives them a claim to equality within the patriarchal Indian household that only recognises the work done by men.
  • It moves India towards a more holistic understanding of labour that isn’t purely tied to the exchange value of a service on the market, and recognises an extremely intimate form of labour that has proved essential to keeping the unit of the family intact and functional.
  • Gender justice :-
    • Once recognised as work, this arena of unpaid domestic labour that is dominated almost entirely by women can become one where women can demand some degree of parity in terms of the time and energy expended on it.
  • Women could do more paid work and get more education if men did more unpaid work, or if both did fewer

What needs to be done :-

  • Redistributing more unpaid work to men can happen through policies, like paid family leave.
    • Women are more likely to return to workafter having a baby when they have paid leave, and men who take paternity leave spend more time on child care later.

Conclusion:-

  • For real equality, unpaid domestic work needs to be legitimised and given due recognition. Only then can we expect equal participation in the workforce, and in the household.

Topic-  Awareness in the field of space

5) Gaganyaan mission of ISRO is an indication that there is a marked strategic shift in India’s approach to space. Examine. (250 words)

Reference

Why this question

ISRO has announced about its manned space mission which highlights the progress made by ISRO. The article delves into the strategic shift in India’s approach to space and point to the process of maturing of ISRO as a global player in the space arena. The question would help you prepare on Indian achievements in space arena.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain about the Gaganyaan mission and how this mission marks a strategic shift. We need to discuss the purpose for which ISRO was formed and how the space agency has taken small steps so far and is on the cusp of something big now. We need to provide our opinion on the strategic shift and discuss way forward .

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 about Gaganyaan mission .

Body

  • Discuss what the Gaganyaan mission signifies – strategic shift in India’s approach to space and point to the process of maturing of ISRO as a global player in the space arena.
  • Highlight about the role of ISRO as per Vikram sarabhai’s mission and how ISRO has worked hard so far to realise that.
  • Discuss about the bigger ambitions of ISRO and examine what it means for India and ISRO.

Conclusion – finally, we need to provide a fair and balanced opinion and discuss way forward.

Background :-

  • India’s first Indian human mission Gaganyaan will be launched by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) by 2022.

Gaganyaan mission :-

  • Two unmanned Gaganyaan missions will be undertaken prior to sending humans. The total programme is expected to be completed before 2022 with first unmanned flight within 30 months.
  • The mission is estimated at 9000 crore.
  • It would raise scientific and technological temper across the country and inspire youngsters.

ISRO approach so far :-

  • Through out ISRO’s journey, it has upheld its mission of bringing space to the service of the common man, to the service of the nation. 
  • In this process,ISRO has become one of the six largest space agencies in the world
  • It has improvised and developed technology, launched several indigenously-created vehicles into space.

How it shows a strategic shift in approach :-

  • The mission points to the process of maturing of ISRO as a global player in the space arena. Clearly, the agency has recognised the need for human missions as a worthwhile goal to pursue over the long-term as a logical extension of its activities till now. 
  • After having followed Sarabhai’s vision of using space technology  for solving nations problems for decades during which ISRO contributed immensely to nation’s development, the agency has finally decided to turn the “fantasy” of a manned space flight into reality.
  • This will be the first human mission indigenously developed by ISRO, though there have been Indian astronauts who have been to space earlier.
  • If ISRO executes Gaganyaan perfectly, then there would be a paradigm shift in the way the world looks at India’s capabilities in terms of space exploration. The success of Gaganyaan can prove India’s ability to develop complex technologies and would establish ISRO as a major space power.
  • All the missions so far, including the Mars and the Moon missions, did not involve bringing back the spacecraft into earth’s atmosphere which is not the case with gaganyaan mission
  • With Aditya mission ,Mars and Venus missions in future ISRO is moving towards greater glory in the space race.
  • When it achieves the mission, India would be the fourth nation to circle Earth after the Soviets, the Americans and the Chinese.
  • Employment:-
    • The mission would create 15,000 new employment opportunities, 13,000 of them in private industry.

Topic-   Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

6) Tax incentives are a significant of revenue foregone and the govt should prevent private companies from rent-seeking through tax incentives. Comment.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

The article discusses the issue of revenue foregone by the government on account of various tax incentives provided to the companies and industries. It is therefore necessary to read the article in detail and discuss why there is a need to and rent seeking on account of such fiscal structure and policy.

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 as to how various forms of tax incentives promote rent seeking behaviour and add to the revenue foregone by the government. It wants us to express our opinion as to why there is a need to revise such policies and incentives.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  tax incentives given by the government to the businesses. E.g India provides a large number of tax incentives for different objectives — to promote exports, tax rebate on inputs are provided; to promote R&D etc.

Body-

  1. Discuss the nature of revenue foregone due to those incentives. E.g
  • Due to a prevalence of a large number of incentives, there is a difference between the statutory rate of tax and the effective rate of tax.
  • The largest source of revenue foregone from incentives offered to businesses is accelerated depreciation.
  • SEZ-related incentives form the next biggest component of revenue foregone from corporate taxes.
  • There are a number of incentives related to SEZs; however, close to 90 percent of SEZ-related revenue foregone comes from export-promoting incentives etc
  1. Discuss how it affects the economy and why it should not be encouraged. E.g
  • Tax incentives work when their use is properly justified, when they deliver intended short- and long-term results (i.e. attract the right investments and generate social benefits), and when associated costs, both expected and unintended, are economically and socially acceptable.
  • There must be rules setting clear criteria for determining which investments and firms are qualified to avail of tax incentives.
  • Given the high economic, political and social costs associated with tax incentives, it is essential that tax incentives are underpinned by clear, transparent and credible legal, technical and political processes to deter rent-seeking behaviour etc.

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

 Background:-

  • Tax incentives essentially constitute a set of fiscal policy tools that governments use to achieve desired economic and social policy outcomes. 
  • Rough estimate by Action Aid (2013) pegs the incentives granted by developing countries from corporate income tax (CIT) at $138 billion.

Tax incentives in India :-

  • India provides a large number of tax incentives for different objectives :-
    • To promote exports, tax rebate on inputs are provided
    • To promote R&D, a super deduction of R&D expenditure is deductible in tax calculation.
    • For employment generation, a specified proportion of salaries of new employees can be additionally deducted.
    • Units operating in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) get tax refund for indirect taxes and to promote capital investment, accelerated depreciation is allowed. Some sectors, such as agriculture, infrastructure, green field manufacturing, warehousing, oil and gas, and renewable energy also benefit from tax incentives.

Why are tax incentives given :-

  • The most common use of tax incentives is to promote investments.
  • They serve to attract flow of capital in preferred locations and sectors of the economy or to undertake specific investment activities (e.g. financing infrastructure projects, research and development).
  • Empirical research on tax incentives shows that they sometimes help in attracting FDI

Revenue forgone due to tax incentives :-

  • Due to a prevalence of a large number of incentives, there is a difference between the statutory rate of tax and the effective rate of tax.
  • The largest source of revenue foregone from incentives offered to businesses is accelerated depreciation.
  • SEZ-related incentives form the next biggest component of revenue foregone from corporate taxes.
  • There are a number of incentives related to SEZs however, close to 90 percent of SEZ-related revenue foregone comes from export-promoting incentives etc
  • The large amount of revenue forgone related to R&D can be explained by MNCs establishing R&D centres in India, and development of niche industries which are R&D intensive, such as pharmaceutical and information technology.

Disadvantages of tax incentives :-

  • The immediate and direct effect of tax incentives is loss of potential revenues for governments, and a significant burden to developing countries.
  • Tax incentives undermine government’s efforts to raise adequate domestic resources to finance the delivery of essential services and social protection at the scale and quality necessary to ensure that their citizens are able to fulfil unrealized rights, address inequality and meet sustainable development goals for all.
  • Widespread use of tax incentives is also linked to problems of corruption and poor governance.
  • Granting tax incentives involves calibrating the design and scope of the tax system to favour certain groups by partially waiving the collection of taxes otherwise due to encourage undertaking of certain behaviours, decisions or activities.
  • Common reasons for failure of tax incentives are inappropriate justification for its use and faulty design, making them unnecessary, ineffective and not worth the foregone revenue by government.

What needs to be done?

  • Given the high economic, political and social costs associated with tax incentives, it is essential that tax incentives are underpinned by clear, transparent and credible legal, technical and political processes to deter rent-seeking behaviour.
  • Tax incentives must be justified by their clear link to national development strategy and positive contribution to specific economic and social policy outcomes .
  • Laws should specify the scope and limitations of tax incentives.
  • There must be rules setting clear criteria for determining which investments and firms are qualified to avail of tax incentives.
  • There should be complete transparency on tax expenditures due to tax incentives at all levels of governance, and not just by the Union government
  • Tax incentives must be subjected to  review and monitoring by government. Right to Information must extend to firms availing of tax incentives.

General Studies – 4


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

7) Plato’s life and teachings provide us with many valuable lessons for life. 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 was asked to dig deep into the life and teachings of one of the great philosophers of history – Plato. It wants us to write in detail as to what life lessons can be deduced from his life and teachings.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – write a few introductory lines about the  Plato. E.g mention his relation with Socrates and his pivotal role in western philosophy.

Body-

Discuss what lessons – moral, ethical and practical, can we learn from the life and teachings of Plato. E.g

  • We can easily see the reflections of Plato’s classification of regimes in today’s political climate.
  • We may deem democracy to be the best regime for all people, but we must question the character of men that it produces.
  • If we are more aware of the link between the character of the city and the character of the soul, we are able to make an immense difference in the world around us.
  • Plato’s aristocracy is by far the most influential of these characters. We can learn so much by noticing the relationship between our desires, our logical reasoning and our spirituality.
  • Plato believes that, much like a city, the soul is composed of parts, and that a healthy or just soul will maintain a harmonious relationship between its parts, namely, the appetite, spirit, and reason.
  • Plato demonstrates that it’s not just the desire for possessions that causes our decay, but also the desire for more recognition (what the Greeks meant by ‘honor’), more success, more status, more power, more comfort and pleasure etc.

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

 Background:-

  • One of the most famous philosophers in all of history, the ancient Greek thinker Plato helped to create our ideas about life, government, language, science, and human nature.

Lessons to be learnt from Plato’s life and teachings  :-

  • Social :-
    • Plato encourages us to look past that exterior motive and be kind anyway.
    • With the statement wise men talk because they have something to say Plato reminds us that we should only speak when it is of benefit.
  • Moral:-
    • Plato demonstrates that it’s not just the desire for possessions that causes our decay, but also the desire for more recognition ,more success, more status, more power, more comfort and pleasure etc.
  • Education:-
    • Plato considered Education as the fundamental method to achieve individual as well as social justice. He advises individuals to strive for excellence i.e. to realize the full potential of themselves by acquiring the required knowledge to be just.
    • This view of education is still largely neglected as excellence and values are largely considered secondary.
  • Ethical:-
    • Learn to prioritise the right things
      • The key lesson we should learn is that we must find a balance in what is important to usand what is important for us.
    • Knowledge is key
      • Never stop pursuing knowledge. Just because we may no longer be in education does not mean that our learning must come to an end.
    • Connect with the world around you
      • Although spirituality is not deemed of high importance in day to day life, it can bring significant changes to our way of life. 
    • Family:-
      • Particular relevance today is the role of the father and son. He seemed to insinuate that the son’s life success is dependent on the father’s influence, interaction, and interest in the boy. This makes great sense because so many children look for their self worth in the parents.
    • Polity:-
      • Plato can be seen arguably as the “father” of democracy in his outline for society and the way it should be run.
      • Plato’s concept of justice
        • It is not to be decided by the few or the strong, and it is always good for the whole. 
      • What we learn in the Republicis that the nature of justice depends on the nature of the city and that there are strong parallels between the city and the soul.
      • Plato believes that, much like a city, the soul is composed of parts, and that a healthy or just soul will maintain a harmonious relationship between its parts, namely, the appetite, spirit, and reason.