SECURE SYNOPSIS: 25 JANUARY 2019

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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 25 JANUARY 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.


Topic – Social empowerment

1) New India can’t view empowerment of women merely as economic resource. Comment.(250 words)

Indian express

Why this question

The article examines the problems with the developmental narrative that sees improvement of status of women merely in terms of participation of women in labour force. There are several other issues faced by women which also need to be tackled to improve their overall status.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to first explain the statement given in the question. Thereafter, it expects us to bring out why thinking of development of women merely in terms of enhancing their contributions to GDP is not holistic. Bring out that there is a need to focus on other issues that confront women and the way forward.

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 the statement given in the question.

Body

  • Explain that Niti Aayog’s released ‘Strategy for New India @75’ document falls short of engaging gender equality in a meaningful way. This important, over 200-page document includes only a short, four-page section on gender which discusses just one theme: The need to enhance female labour force participation, while neglecting a whole gamut of other issues.
  • Explain why it is problematic to focus on empowerment of women as an economic resource. Bring out the other issues faced by women and how to address them.

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

 

Introduction:

                Niti Aayog’s latest report on state-level progress across various indicators under the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) reveals the comprehensive index score on gender equality (Goal 5) of all Indian states, except Kerala and Sikkim, fall in the red zone, signifying low performance.

Body:

                Niti Aayog’s ‘Strategy for New India @75’ document falls short of engaging gender equality in a meaningful way, despite its own worrisome findings. The strategy document section on gender which discusses just one theme: The need to enhance female labour force participation, while neglecting a whole gamut of other issues. The strategy document aims to achieve a female labour force participation of at least 30 per cent by 2022.

                The idea of women- empowerment just doesn’t imply economic empowerment by increasing their Labour force participation, job creation, entrepreneurship opportunities. There is a grave necessity of social and political empowerment due to.

  • Crimes:
    • Crimes against women are discussed merely as a barrier to women’s mobility, one that hampers their supply in the labour market.
    • NCRB data recording an 83 per cent increase in crimes against women between 2007 and 2016, and the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s global poll in 2018 naming India as the most dangerous country for women.
    • The MeToo movement tumbled out many skeletons from the drawers showing most women kept quiet about the sexual harassment due to fear of losing jobs and affecting their livelihoods and career.
  • Social barriers:
    • Married women are not allowed to work in some religions and culture. Further, the patriarchal mindset prevalent in Indian people forces such barriers on women.
    • According to recent research by Public Affairs Centre (PAC), a major metropolis like Delhi has only 196 female workers per 1,000 workers, and Mumbai has only 188. In contrast, a state like Nagaland, which has historically been matrilineal, has more than 500 women workers per 1,000 in most districts.
  • Unpaid care:
    • Unpaid work done by women in the household demonstrates no understanding of how it constrains women from entering the labour force.
    • The lack of basic facilities like drinking water, cooking gas in rural areas forces women into drudgery to arrange the basic stuff.
  • Fixed Gender Roles:
    • There are fixed gender roles in most families, again a consequence of patriarchal mindset.
    • The concept of paternity leave and mainstreaming of gender education in schools is still miles away in India.
    • Without the renegotiation of gender roles, most women will only juggle jobs and not enjoy fulfilling careers.
  • Gender-wage gap:
    • Unequal pay for equal work is a stark feature which directly violates the fundamental right to equality of women.
    • A government report in 2018 finding a 30 per cent wage gap even for men and women with the same qualifications.
    • Women also lack equal inheritance rights leading to Feminization of poverty.
    • There is absence of any discussion on over-representation of economically active women in the informal sector, which leaves them poor and vulnerable, deprived of many work benefits.

Way Forward:

  • Implementation of the laws viz. Protection of women from sexual harassment at workplace act, maternity benefit Act in true letter and spirit.
  • Breaking the social barriers by gender sensitization and education at families, schools and workplaces.
  • Incentivising companies to employ women and promoting safe work spaces are necessary.
  • Companies must compulsorily grant paternity leave so that the responsibility is shared.
  • Gender-wage gap should be reduced by bringing in stringent laws.
  • Formalization of jobs should be pushed to avail benefits to many women. Until then, social security benefits should be provided to women in unorganized sector.

Conclusion:

                The NITI Strategy document opted for a GDP-centric approach focusing only on capitalisable gender dividend. The strategy document should take into consideration the above lacunae and provide a holistic document rather than eyewash. The need of the hour to reap economic benefits is by addressing the issues of gender rights and justice.


       

Topic– Indian Diaspora

2) Highlight the role played by Indian diaspora in Act East policy?(250 words)

 

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to highlight the role played by diaspora in Act East policy.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight that India has widened it’s foreign policy perspective with reinvigorating arrangements with east by transforming ‘Look East Policy’ into ‘Act East Policy’. In this regards, Indian diaspora has an important role to make this policy a success.

Body – Explain the role played by diaspora in look east policy by focussing on their role as a strategic asset as well as in soft power diplomacy. Explain about the role played by such diaspora in enhancing trade and commerce between the regions which has been aided by FTAs. Bring out their role in science and technology, cultural connectedness by focussing on their role in developing Nalanda etc. Bring out the issues such as lack of connectivity etc

Conclusion – Give your view and discuss way forward.

Introduction:

India places ASEAN at the heart of its ‘Act East Policy’ and centre of the dream of an Asian century. About a fifth, or six million, of the 31 million overseas Indians, comprising Indian citizens abroad and persons of Indian origin, live in ASEAN countries. The focus areas of cooperation between ASEAN member states and India for the future can be described in terms of 3Cs – commerce, connectivity and culture. Indian diaspora has an important role to make this policy a success.

Body:

In the case of Southeast Asia, ethnic Indians, as well as the Chinese, have long been an integral part of their societies. These communities have acted as a bridge between the two regions. However, the use of the ‘diaspora’ as a tool of Indian foreign policy is relatively a new phenomenon. The role played by diaspora in look east policy can be studied under the following heads.

Except for Myanmar,

Malaysia and Singapore, where Indians constitute 5.0 per cent, 8.0 per cent and

7.0 per cent, respectively, they are too miniscule numerically in the rest of the

countries to figure separately in the demographic data

Except for Myanmar,

Malaysia and Singapore, where Indians constitute 5.0 per cent, 8.0 per cent and

7.0 per cent, respectively, they are too miniscule numerically in the rest of the

countries to figure separately in the demographic data

Except for Myanmar,

Malaysia and Singapore, where Indians constitute 5.0 per cent, 8.0 per cent and

7.0 per cent, respectively, they are too miniscule numerically in the rest of the

countries to figure separately in the demographic data

Except  for  Myanmar,  Malaysia and Singapore, where Indians constitute 5 %,  8% and 7% respectively,  they  are  too  miniscule  numerically  in  the  rest  of  the  countries to figure separately in the demographic data.

Soft Power diplomacy:

  • India shares rich cultural and historical ties with the East and South East Asian countries.
  • Contrary to popular belief, younger generation in India and Southeast Asia are speaking more to each other through cultural space – music, arts, games and education. Social media has made most positive impact on cultural ties
  • While yoga is gaining popularity in the ASEAN region, the Buddhist links and Buddhist circuit in India are acting as a bridge to connect the two regions.
  • India’s soft power is reflected in Buddhism, yoga, revival of Nalanda University, chairs of Indian studies in universities (Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia), Indian cultural centres (Jakarta, Bali, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Suva, Lautoka), and joint restoration of monuments (Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos).
  • The various hindu temples, celebration of Hindu festivals are still continued even today.

Influential Positions:

  • A diaspora estimated at about 6 million people fills mainstream roles and responsibilities in their adopted countries, helping shape the destiny of these countries.
  • The ex-President of Singapore, current deputy prime minister, foreign minister of Malaysia is all of Indian descent.

Trade and Commerce:

  • Singapore is the largest FDI investor in India.
  • The lobbying for favourable trade policies is vital in India- ASEAN trade relations as well as forthcoming RCEP agreement.
  • The free-trade agreements signed with ASEAN and individual countries further strengthen the ties.

 Remittances:   

  • Many south Indians are working in skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled sectors across SE Asia.
  • Although the remittances are present, it is a small fraction vis-à-vis the western and middle-east countries.

Science & Technology:

  • ASEAN-India Science & Technology Collaboration formally started in 1996 with establishment of ASEAN India S&T working group (AIWGST).
  • Several projects and scientific activities have been supported and implemented under ASEAN India S&T program which includes- ASEAN-India Collaborative R&D on Thermally Sprayed Ceramic-Based Coatings, R&D project on Extent of Transfer of Alien Invasive Organisms (Nuisance) in South/SE Asia Region by Shipping etc.

However, there are several challenges that are hindering the active Diasporic interaction.

  • Connectivity:
    • Although located in the Indian ocean region and geographically contiguous, there is a very poor connectivity between the nations.
    • This has impacted the relations between the diaspora and India.
  • Indifferent treatment:
    • The focus before 1990’s was mostly on the western countries. For long years, India turned a blind eye to East Asia, Indo-Pacific or Asia-Pacific regions.
    • The long neglect of the diaspora is still taking time to get back to normalcy.
  • Ideological differences:
    • Diversity has led to many issues like the religious radicalism seen in Indonesia recently.
    • The religious persecution of Rohingyas is another sticky point on which a decisive action is to be taken.

Way Forward:

  • Various initiatives like the Kaladan multimodal project, IMT trilateral highway are trying to reduce the connectivity issues.
  • Increase in the number of flights as well as better sea connectivity needs to be worked upon to improve people-to-people contact.
  • Addressing the common challenges in the region like creating skills for the digital age, generating jobs in the age of disruption, meeting the need of rapid urbanisation, protecting the bio-diversity and making the energy sources cleaner.
  • Regional groupings like ASEAN should empower its cultural wing to increase the people contact.
  • There is need to use the soft power of our diaspora to overcome the China’s hegemony in the south- east nations.
  • Using the Government initiatives like Pravasi Bharatiya program, Know India program to engage the diaspora youth to build better ties and inculcate the feeling of Indianness among them.

Conclusion:

                India’s goodwill in Southeast Asia is based on its benign approach, similar to its role in Africa, West Asia and Central Asia. The longstanding relations must be leveraged to build an extremely high-trust relationship between India and Asean using the Act-East policy.


Topic– Issues relating to poverty and hunger.

3) DAY-NRLM has played a significant role in reducing poverty in India, in the recent years. Discuss.(250 words)

Pib

Directive word

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

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about the DAY-NRLM and the role played by the programme in reducing poverty in India. We have to highlight the aim of the programme and the recent achievements which have helped in reducing poverty in India.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  DAY-NRLM. E.g DAY-NRLM is aimed at alleviation of rural poverty through building sustainable community institutions of the poor. It seeks to mobilize about 9 crore households into SHGs and link them to sustainable livelihood opportunities by building their skills and enabling them to access formal sources of finance, entitlements and services from both public and private sectors.

Body-

Discuss in points the achievements of the programme in recent years. E.g

  • Mission Footprint under which additional blocks have been covered under the “Intensive” strategy.
  • Community Institution Building under which Self Help Group (SHGs) across the country have been mobilized.
  • Financial Inclusion by giving loans to SHGs.
  • Financial Services in Remote Areas: steps have also been taken to promote alternate models for delivery of financial services. About 3050 SHG members have been deployed as Banking Correspondents Agents (BCAs) to provide last mile financial services including deposit, credit, remittance, disbursement of old age pensions and scholarships, payment of MGNREGA wages and enrolment under insurance and pension schemes.
  • Mahila Kisan Shashaktikaran Pariyojana and Value Chain Initiatives: In order to promote agro-ecological practices that increase women farmers’ income and reduce their input costs and risks etc.

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

 

Introduction:

  • Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) was launched by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) in June 2011.
  • The mission aims to reduce poverty by enabling the poor households to access gainful self-employment and skilled wage employment opportunities, resulting in appreciable improvement in their livelihoods on a sustainable basis, through building strong grassroots institutions of the poor.
  • NRLM seeks to reach out to 8-9 crore rural poor households and organize one woman member from each household into affinity-based women SHGs and federations at village level and at higher levels.
  • The poor would be facilitated to achieve increased access to their rights, entitlements and public services, diversified risk and better social indicators of empowerment.
  • It is envisaged that the intensive and continuous capacity building of rural poor women will ensure their social, economic and political empowerment and development.

 

Body:

 

        The pace of reduction of poverty in India has speeded up in recent years as per the Global Multi-dimensional Poverty Index 2018 as also the note published by the Brookings Institution.  The mission has taken up significant programmes in the previous years.

 

  1. Universality:
  • Mission Footprint: 2411 additional blocks have been covered under the “Intensive” strategy. Cumulatively, the Mission is being implemented in 5,123 blocks spread across 612 districts of 29 States and 5 Union Territories (UTs).

 

  • Community Institution Building: Between April 2014 and November 2018, more than 3 crore rural poor women have been mobilized into 9 lakh Self Help Group (SHGs) across the country. Cumulatively, more than 5.63 crore women have been mobilized into more than 49.7 lakh SHGs.

 

  1. Financial Services:
  • Financial Inclusion: Cumulatively, Rs.1.96 lakh crore worth of bank credit has been leveraged by the SHGs during the last five years. The quality of the portfolio has also shown a marked improvement with NPA declining to 2.64% in the current year. This is a result of sustained efforts made by the states to promote timely repayment of loans by the SHGs.

 

  • Financial Services in Remote Areas: During this period, steps have also been taken to promote alternate models for delivery of financial services. About 3050 SHG members have been deployed as Banking Correspondents Agents (BCAs) to provide last mile financial services.

 

  1. Inclusive Services:
  • Mahila Kisan Shashaktikaran Pariyojana and Value Chain Initiatives: In order to promote agro-ecological practices that increase women farmers’ income and reduce their input costs and risks, the Mission has been implementing MKSP.

 

  • Community Livelihood Professionals: Apropos to the directions given by NITI Aayog in 2016, profiles of more than 1.99 lakh community members have been digitised. The CRPs have been trained and deployed to provide support to the community institutions in a variety of themes, such as book keeping, training and capacity building, financial services

 

  1. Non-Farm Livelihoods:
  • Start-up Village Entrepreneurship Programme: DAY-NRLM has been promoting SVEP to promote and strengthen rural start-ups in the non-farm and off-farm sector. The strategy is to promote knowledge about business feasibility, management and to provide access to loan finance for start-up as well as scaling-up the existing enterprise.

 

  • Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana (AGEY): was launched in August 2017 to provide safe, affordable and community monitored rural transport services to connect remote rural villages.

 

  1. Assessment:
  • Independent Assessment of DAY-NRLM: During January to March 2017, the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) carried out an independent assessment of design, strategy and impacts of DAY-NRLM.

Conclusion:

DAY-NRLM is a vital scheme which is imperative in the view of continuous monsoon failures and agrarian distress seen in recent years in Rural India. The scheme helps in sustainable development of the rural people with skilling, job creation and alternative livelihoods across genders. The key to success of DAY-NRLM lies at the core of its successful implementation at the grass-roots level.


Topic– Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Human Resources.

4) Frontline government workers such as Anganwadi workers, teachers, nurses etc face issues in their working conditions which need to be alleviated for better social sector indicators. Examine. (250 words)

Indianexpress

 Why this question

The article examines the issues faced by frontline government workers and the impact that such issues have on achievement of social developmental goals. The article provides filler material for aforementioned topic as well as provides an understanding as to government service delivery is found lacking at times.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to examine the issues faced by frontline service delivery workers and the impact it has on achievement of social development goals. Thereafter, we need to bring out how to change status quo and provide 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 the role that such frontline government workers play in government service delivery.

Body

  • Discuss the issues faced by such workers
    • Anganwadi workers – lack of infrastructure, poor training, interminable bureaucratic reporting responsibilities, no supportive supervision, absence of clear accountability structures (to the community they serve as well as to the higher-ups), poor grievance redress mechanisms and for a majority, less than commensurate remuneration. These concerns are usually covered up in the narrative of rampant absenteeism and poor attention to core responsibilities.
    • Teachers – low salary, poor infrastructure, temporary vs permanent status etc
  • Discuss the impact it has delivery of government services – India’s ability to achieve its SDGs or to have a healthy skilled workforce that contributes towards economic progress or social and human development depends to a large extent on the performance of teachers, nurses, anganwadi workers, panchayat secretaries and PWD staff. That is perhaps why they have been at the receiving end of the criticism for shortfalls in the country’s social indicators. Unfortunately, while the blame is easily apportioned, there is not enough attention paid to the conditions under which they work or the value that is attributed to their work.
  • Discuss how the situation can be improved

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

 

Introduction:

Frontline workers providing basic services through various government programmes form the backbone of the country’s social welfare system. The various frontline workers ensure health, nutrition, well-being, education and all round development of every child and her parent to ensure better human development.

        There is not enough attention paid to the conditions under which they work or the value that is attributed to their work.

 

Body:

                The frontline government workers are the true implementers of the various welfare schemes and public service delivery. They work at the grass-roots level, thus aware of needs of the citizens’ better, thereby acting as a primary feed-back collector.  

The issues faced by such workers are:

  • Low salary:
    • Anganwadi workers provide a long list of services, ranging from teaching pre-schoolers to visiting homes of young children for nutrition and health counselling. Despite that, these workers get about Rs 5,000 a month, which is less than the minimum wages.
    • Despite the importance of the work, their positions are considered “honorary” and their emoluments kept out of all norms of minimum wages and pay grades.
    • Government school teachers with salaries presumed at Rs 40-50,000 a month and upwards, their lack of commitment to teaching is seen as unpardonable.
  • Delay in funds allocation:
    • Salaries delayed: A study of six states by the Centre for Equity Studies in 2016 revealed that 35 per cent of the workers had not received their previous month’s salary.
    • Inadequate funds to run the program at ground-level: 50 per cent of the workers felt that the funds they received for running the day-to-day activities of the centre were inadequate.
    • Spending at Own Cost: 40 per cent reported spending their own money to keep the centre’s activities going.
  • Overburdened:
    • Low financial allocations to the education sector (about 3% of GDP) have meant that state governments cannot afford to hire teachers at the Pay Commission scales.
    • Over the years, they have hired fewer teachers, leading to huge vacancies and overburdening the hired teachers.
    • There are no fixed timings of work and this upsets their work-life balance.
    • The anganwadi, school teachers are saddled with a host of administrative work like election duties, census work etc.
  • Poor Infrastructure:
    • Infrastructure is a major concern. The lack of buildings or dilapidated buildings poses grave threats to workers as well as the children patients etc.
    • To add to this, basic facilities like electricity, drinking water, sanitation, internet connectivity is mostly absent.
    • Lack of adequate training facilities lead to poor-quality work, increased risk to the service- receivers.
  • Job Insecurity:
    • Most of them are hired as contractual
    • The RTE banned contract teachers; non-regular teachers were no longer referred to as contract or para teachers, but in fact continue to function as such.
    • Their contracts are “permanent”, but their terms are not that of a regular government employee.
    • The lack of safe work environment makes them vulnerable to sexual harassments.

Impacts of such issues faced by the frontline workers result in

  • Rampant absenteeism.
  • Poor attention to core responsibilities.
  • Lack of commitment to work.
  • Corruption and bribery to satiate their needs.
  • Strikes, protest and unrest.
  • Poor Human Development Indicators like high IMR, MMR, wasting, stunting and underweight.
  • High levels of preventable diseases incidences like polio, TB etc.
  • Poor quality of education outcome as shown in ASER survey.

Way Forward:

  • Government spending on education and health must be increased to 6% and 4% respectively as recommended by many expert committees.
  • Timely allocation of funds must be done to reduce spending from frontline worker’ pockets.
  • Salaries must be uniform and fixed across the country based on pay commission recommendations. The salaries must be disbursed on fixed date of month.
  • Use of NSQF for Trainings and certifications must be mandated as per existing laws. Intermittent trainings must be provided for the frontline workers to keep themselves updated with new trends.
  • Measures like RTI, Social Audit, Citizens Charters can help keep a check on such delays as accountability of government increases.
  • Increase digital penetration to reduce administrative overhead and planning of activities to coincide with cultural calendar of the region.
  • Infrastructure can improved by collaborating with the NGO’s , using CSR funds of companies and philanthropists.
  • Grievance Redressal Mechanism to address the woes of the frontline workers.

Conclusion:

India’s ability to achieve its SDGs or to have a healthy skilled workforce that contributes towards economic progress or social and human development depends to a large extent on the performance of teachers, nurses, anganwadi workers, panchayat secretaries and PWD staff. Thus, a closer look at their governance architectures is necessary.


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

5) Critically examine whether the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration solve the migrant crisis facing the world currently?(250 words)

Reference

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain about the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and how it would help in resolving the migrant crisis including in North east India.

Directive word

Critically examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any . When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, all you need to do is look at the good and bad of something and give a fair judgement.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain that The ‘Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration’ is the first, intergovernmental agreement that covers all dimensions of global migration. The legally non-binding pact aims to promote efforts to strengthen regular migration pathways and protect the human rights of migrants. Its objectives and commitments provide states and international agencies a means to coordinate migration policies and ensure that migration works for all.

Body

  • Discuss details about the agreement and how it proves useful in dealing with the migrant crisis.
  • Explain about the migrant crisis caused by several factors such as climate change, political and social conflicts etc which are leading to this issue gaining prominence off late. Thereafter, also touch upon the nature of migrant crisis being faced in North east India.
  • Discuss how the above agreement can help in resolving such issues

Conclusion – Highlight the importance of the agreement and discuss way forward.

 

Introduction:

  • The ‘Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration’ is the first, intergovernmental agreement that covers all dimensions of global migration.
  • It is a legally non-binding pact aims to promote efforts to strengthen regular migration pathways and protect the human rights of migrants.
  • Its objectives and commitments provide states and international agencies a means to coordinate migration policies and ensure that migration works for all.
  • 164 nations adopted the pact in December 2018 at UN Conference to manage the global migration crisis.
  • The global migrant population constitutes 4 per cent of the world’s population.

                       

Body:

 

Rationale behind the pact:

 

  • Increasing persecutions: The conflicts in West Asia, Africa and South America, and the extreme violence associated with them have forced people to leave their homes and seek a haven in foreign countries.
  • Climate Change Refugees: climate change effects also contributed to the growing number of migrants and refugees. Example: Sudan, Libya
  • According to the United Nations, approximately 258 million migrants around the world are living outside their country of birth.
  • Around 68 million out of these are in the “forcibly displaced”
  • Since 2000, the number of global migrants has grown by 49 per cent, from 2.8 to 3.4 per cent of the global population.
  • The UN data also shows that, since then, more than 60,000 migrants have lost their lives while on the move.

 

The global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration was a recommendation of New York Declaration in September 2016 adopted for recognizing the need for enhanced international cooperation and a comprehensive approach to the issue of migrants.

 

Yes, the global compact has the potential solve the migrant crisis facing the world currently

  • The Global Compact aims to minimize the global resentments against migration.
    • The significant case against migration has been the perceived negative economic impact on host countries. However, migrants spend 85 per cent of their earnings in their host communities.
    • Migrants across the globe sent approximately USD 600 billion in remittances in 2017, which is three times higher than the global Overseas Development Assistance (ODA).
    • In this way, migrants contribute to the development of both the country of origin and host states.
  • The Compact also states that it is rooted in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • The Compact has two guiding principles that articulate the need for ‘gender-responsive’ and ‘child-sensitive’ migration policies.
    • It puts the rights of migrant women and children at its heart by mainstreaming a gender perspective.
    • Among the 258 million migrants around the world, more than 50 per cent are women and girls.
    • Moreover, women constitute 74 per cent of international migrant domestic workers.
  • The Compact aims to enhance global cooperation to reduce migration-related deaths, and in combating smuggling and trafficking, all of which are priorities for any government.
  • The Compact proposes building a Platform on Disaster Displacement” and developing an ‘Agenda for the Protection of Cross-Border Displaced Persons in the Context of Disasters and Climate Change’ to address the issue.
    • The Global Compact recognizes climate change as a driver for migration and lays out a framework for dealing with it.
    • According to the World Bank, around 143 million people, especially in the developing world, could be forced to relocate within their countries by 2050.
    • Another study shows that about 2 billion people may become climate change refugees by 2100.

 

However, the global compact faces many challenges

  • Many see the non-binding nature of the Global Compact as a challenge and the most significant limitation.
  • The non-participation of some important countries including the United States, Australia and Hungary, raises questions about the future of the pact.
  • The most significant challenges before the Compact lie in its implementation against the rise of populism and anti-immigrant sentiments across the globe.
  • Countries view the adoption of the Compact as an instance of surrender of sovereignty.
  • Addressing the gap between reality and perception about migration and migrants will be a great challenge before the Compact in the coming years.
  • The Compact does not talk about who will coordinate, monitor and fund its implementation. Since member states are responsible for implementation, they will have to do much more than mere reviews and occasional follow up in order to achieve the goals of the Compact.

Conclusion:

        The developing world hosts more than half of the global migrant population putting undue pressure on the limited resources. The need of the hour is enhanced international cooperation and a comprehensive approach to the issue of migrants. Protection of the ‘safety, dignity human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants, regardless of their migratory status’ should be at the core of such agreements.


Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors

6) Discuss the recently released guidelines to re-energize and reinvigorate the Jan Shikshan Sansthans. (250 words)

Pib

Why this question

Jan Shikshan Sansthans is an important institution related to skill development in India and the government has released guidelines to further strengthen and reinvigorate the Jan Shikshan Sansthans. In this context it is important to discuss those guidelines in detail.

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 recently released guidelines to re-energize and reinvigorate the Jan Shikshan Sansthans.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- write a few introductory lines about the  JSS. e.g JSSs can play an important role in bridging information asymmetry between skill training and market opportunities thereby giving an impetus to the creation of a workforce equipped in technology-driven skills, including in areas like health & wellness, tourism, e-commerce, retail and trade.

Body-

Discuss in detail the related guidelines. E.g

  • Alignment of JSS course and curriculum to National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) to standardize training
  • Decentralization of powers for JSSs- giving more accountability and independence to district administration
  • To identify and promote traditional skills in the district through skilling / upskilling;
  • Evidence based assessment system
  • Easy Online certification
  • Linking JSS to PFMS (Public Finance Management system) maintaining transparency and accountability of the ecosystem
  • Creating livelihood linkages etc.

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

 

Introduction:

  • Jan Shikshan Sansthan (formerly known as Shramik Vidyapeeth) have a challenging mandate of providing vocational skills to non-literate, neo-literates as well as school drop-outs by identifying skills that have a market in the region of their establishment.
  • The JSSs are unique, they link literacy with vocational skills and provide large doses of Life Enrichment Education (LEE) to the people.
  • They aim for convergence with other stakeholders in society. It is their endeavour to shape their beneficiaries into self reliant and self-assured employees and entrepreneurs.

 

Body:

        Recently, comprehensive reforms for Jan Shikshan Sansthan (JSS) were released, to further strengthen the skills ecosystem benefiting those in the underprivileged sections of society. The new norms are expected to help identify and promote traditional skills in the district through skilling / upskilling; create livelihood linkages and boost training of trainers to develop the capacity through National Skills Training Institutes.

 

Key highlights of the guidelines are:

 

  • Alignment of JSS course and curriculum to National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) to standardize training.
  • Decentralization of powers for JSSs- giving more accountability and independence to district administration.
  • To identify and promote traditional skills in the district through skilling / upskilling;
  • Evidence based assessment system.
  • Easy Online certification.
  • Linking JSS to PFMS (Public Finance Management system) maintaining transparency and accountability of the ecosystem
  • Creating livelihood linkages.

         

The new guidelines re-energize and reinvigorate the JSS as

 

  • They have been reformed keeping in mind the diverse stake-holders engaged in running these institutions.
  • The JSS can play an important role in bridging information asymmetry between skill training and market opportunities thereby giving an impetus to the creation of a workforce equipped in technology-driven skills, including in areas like health & wellness, tourism, e-commerce, retail and trade.
  • By aligning JSSs to the National Skill Framework, the government aims to provide standardised training across sectors.
  • This is an important step towards the convergence of all skilling activities under the aegis of one ministry, bringing in transparency and accountability to the entire skilling ecosystem.
  • Out of the 247 active JSSs, we already have 43 JSSs established across 42 Aspirational Districts identified by NITI Aayog.
  • A few more in the LWE (left-wing extremism affected) regions will be soon introduced to promote skill development of the youth in the region and help them connect back into mainstream economy.

 

Conclusion:

JSS has the potential to boost skill training and entrepreneurship in the remotest corners of the country. It can further strengthen the skills ecosystem benefiting those in the underprivileged sections of society.


Topic-  Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

7) Upscaling solar power in India requires tighter land regulations. Examine.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

India has placed huge stress on the solar power and has also made significant strides in capacity addition in this regard. However further upscaling has been difficult on account of land acquisition problems. Therefore it is necessary to discuss the need for tighter land regulations in this regard.

Directive word

Examine- here we have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any.  

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to bring out the reasons as to why upscaling solar power in India requires tighter land regulations.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about India’s stress on solar power. E.g present a few statistics related to addition of installed capacity of solar power under National Solar Mission.

Body-

DIscuss why there is a need for tighter land regulations in order to further upscale solar energy in India. E.g

  1. solar developers still reportedly face hurdles in converting agricultural land to industrial.
  2. It has become problematic even in the fringes of the Thar Desert.
  3. Most parks, developed by nodal government agencies, identify low-yield land and lease it from the farmers on 25-to 28-year-agreements, a win-win situation for everyone involved as the farmer has a steady flow of income.
  4. But in practice, the land acquired by developers isn’t always “barren”.
  5. With no clear penalties and regulations that draw the line on land quality, fertile cultivable land is often procured to build solar power plants.
  6. “While ideally there is the desire to use barren land, factors such as availability, distance from the substation and other acquisition challenges come into play.
  7. “To develop decentralised and rooftop solar, and more solar pump capacity, a much more concerted, deep, invasive policy effort is needed to provide the right information to the consumers and enable the right kind of business model etc.

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

Introduction:

National Solar Mission envisages establishing India as a global leader in solar energy.The Mission has set the ambitious target of deploying 100GW of grid connected solar power by 2022. (40 GW Rooftop and 60 GW through Large and Medium Scale Grid Connected Solar Power Projects). The country’s solar installed capacity reached 25.21 GW as of 31 December 2018.

Body:

        The availability of land is a big impediment for this sector. In India generally land is segmented and records might not be available. This has led to irregularities in land acquisition for Solar farms. There is a need for tighter land regulations in order to further upscale solar energy in India.

  • Solar developers still face hurdles in converting agricultural land to industrial land. It has become problematic even in the fringes of the Thar Desert.
  • Solar farms are usually developed on lands that are barren and uncultivable terrain.
  • But in practice, the land acquired by developers isn’t always “barren”. With no clear penalties and regulations that draw the line on land quality, fertile cultivable land is often procured to build solar power plants.
  • While ideally there is the desire to use barren land, factors such as availability, distance from the substation and other acquisition challenges come into play.
  • Developers pay extra money for the lands if the location factors are feasible for the project. This can lead to real-estate bubble and can affect food security.
  • The lack of proper regulations on land leasing leaves farmers with uncertainty regarding the future of their land, even as the lease expires.
  • Land-grabbers and real- estate mafia is on the rise to grab arable lands from farmer, leave it fallow and then sell it to solar projects.

 

Way Forward:

  • The government should impose penalties or other enforcement regulations to limit solar panels to the truly barren, uncultivable terrain.
  • Strengthen the land-records by digitizing and constant updation.
  • Solar projects should identify lands that are low-yielding and lease it from the farmers on 25-to 28-year-agreements, a win-win situation for everyone involved as the farmer has a steady flow of income. Example: Karnataka’s Pavagada solar plant – Shakti Sthala.
  • There is a need to develop decentralised and rooftop solar and more solar pump capacity rather than just large-scale solar farms.
  • A much more concerted, deep, invasive policy effort is needed to provide the right information to the consumers and enable the right kind of business model.
  • Tighter land regulations would also enable faster dispute resolutions in case of any disputes.
  • Alternative spaces like floating solar plants (example: Kerala’s Banasura Sagar Dam), solar roads (France and China), solar trees (developed by CSIR-CMERI), coverings on canals should be looked into.
  • Increasing the height of solar panels so that cultivation could be done in tandem as done in Wind Farms.

Conclusion:

The need of the hour is to make use of the renewable solar energy to satiate the power hunger and developmental needs of India. But the process of solar farm set up should take into consideration the other impacts like food-security, bio-diversity damage, farmers’ livelihoods before acquisition or leasing of lands.

   


    

Topic Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation

8) E-waste is a looming crisis for humanity and calls for immediate action. Discuss.(250 words)

Reference

 

Why this question

The UN has recently released a report highlighting the huge problem of e-waste across the world. In this context it is important to discuss the problem in detail.

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 problem of e-waste generation and disposal across the world. We have to highlight the magnitude and extent of the problem as well as highlight the deficiencies in the present management and regulation.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  recent UN report on e-waste. E.g It notes that the waste stream has already reached 48.5 million tonnes (MT) in 2018 and the figure is expected to double if nothing changes. Moreover, only 20 percent of global e-waste is recycled.

Body-

  1. Discuss in detail about the problem of e-waste. E.g
  • E-waste comprises not just electronic items, but also all electrical equipment that involves anything with a plug, electric cord or battery.
  • It may represent only 2 percent of the solid waste stream, yet it can represent 70 per cent of the hazardous waste that ends up in landfills.
  • One-half of all e-waste is personal devices such as computers, screens, smart phones, tablets and TVS, and the rest is larger household appliances, as well as heating and cooling equipment.
  • by 2021, the annual total volume is expected to surpass 52 MT, considering the fact that the number of devices connected to the internet is going to be between 25-50 billion by 2020, which is nearly triple the number of people on the planet today.
  • By 2050, the volume of e-waste in the worst-case scenario, could top 120 MT annually etc.
  1. Discuss what has been/ should be done to handle the problem. E.g
  • E-waste export, though, is regulated under the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, the regulatory environment is complex and fragmented.
  • As many as 67 countries have legislation in place, including India, to deal with the e-waste they generate which involves the ‘extended producer responsibility’ (EPR) aspect.
  • India notified the E-waste (Management) Rules, 2016, on October 1, 2016, which made EPR mandatory.
  • Also, there is an acute lack of awareness among people as they simply don’t know that there exist collection centres that collect items for recycling. The law will fail to serve the purpose unless these changes are made on the ground etc.

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

 

Introduction:

A recent UN report titled ‘A new circular vision for electronics’ warned that ‘Tsunami of e-waste’ was to hit the world soon. The report notes that the waste stream has already reached 48.5 million tonnes (MT) in 2018 and the figure is expected to double if nothing changes. In India, e-Waste accounts for 70% of the landfills. (2011 Rajya Sabha Secretariat Study).

Body:

e-Waste is a behemoth-sized problem that is making the world sicker and adding to environmental degradation. It lies in the fact that globally, only up to 20% of e-waste is recycled. The rest is undocumented and experts predict that it gets buried under the ground in landfills for centuries as it is not biodegradable.

  • e- Waste is technically all waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) discarded without the intent of use.
  • It comprises not just electronic items, but also all electrical equipment that involves anything with a plug, electric cord or battery.
  • In recent years, e-waste has grown faster than earlier anticipated. By 2021, the annual total volume is expected to surpass 52 MT, considering the fact that the number of devices connected to the internet is going to be between 25-50 billion by 2020. By 2050, the volume of e-waste in the worst-case scenario, could top 120 MT annually.
  • In India, e waste accounts for 4% of global e-waste and 2.5% of global GDP (2014 figures) – so it has a higher share of e-waste than its share of gross domestic product (GDP).
  • The informal sector manages about 95% of the e-Waste in India. Due to the informal and crude processing techniques, the soil, water and air are polluted to a beyond-repairable level. Example: Moradabad and Seelampur.
  • The hard-to-recover substances from e-waste like mercury, arsenic make their home in landfills and keep leaching into ground water.
  • Incineration is one of the most practiced method of recycling leading to high carbon emissions and poisoning of air with toxic gases.
  • The poor implementation of Extended Producer Responsibility as mandated under e-Waste Management Rules, 2016 is another challenge.
  • The export of e-Waste from developed countries is another growing problem despite regulations under Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal.

Measures to control the e-Waste growth:

  • Unified effort: The report calls for systematic collaboration with major brands, small and medium-sized enterprises, academia, trade unions, civil society and associations in a deliberative process to reorient the system and reduce the waste of resources each year with a value greater than the GDP of most countries.
  • Holistic management: To capture the global value of materials in e-waste and create global circular value chains, use new technology to create service business models, better product tracking and manufacturer or retailer take-back programmes.
  • Scaling up recycling: The report notes that material efficiency, recycling infrastructure and scaling up the volume and quality of recycled materials to meet the needs of electronics supply chains will all be essential for future production.
  • Incentiviztion: The producers should also have buy-back or return offers for old equipment, and plans to incentivise the consumer financially. The report also advocates a system of ‘urban mining’ by strengthening the extended producer responsibility provision.
  • Job potential: If the electronics sector is supported with the right policy mix and managed in the right way, it could lead to the creation of millions of decent jobs worldwide.
  • Awareness & Education: there is an acute lack of awareness among people as they simply don’t know that there exist collection centres that collect items for recycling. The law will fail to serve the purpose unless these changes are made on the ground.