SECURE SYNOPSIS: 05 MARCH 2019

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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 05 MARCH 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 The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.

1) How did the movement for the emancipation of women receive a great impetus from the rise and growth of the nationalist movement in India? Elucidate.(250 words)

Bipin Chandra, India’s Struggle for Independence

 

Why this question:

The question is about how the movement for the liberation of women received a great stimulus from the rise of nationalist movement in the 20th century, the role women played in freedom struggle.

Directive word:

Elucidate – means to explain and clarify the topic with the aid of examples.

Key demands of the question:

The answer should highlight  the active role women played in Indian freedom struggle and how this gave a stimulus to liberation of Women in India.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction

Start with importance of women in general during the movement.

Body

Discuss the following aspects –

  • Factors that helped in arousing women consciousness during the period of struggle.
  • Role played by women in freedom struggle – one can trace chronologically the exponential rise in their participation.
  • Name some famous personalities; discuss their contributions.

Conclusion

Conclude  with how the image and magnitude of participation of the Indian women within the national movement was drawn from vivid sections of the society.

Introduction:

From the first struggle in 1857 to the last struggle in 1942, Women have played an instrumental role in India’s struggle for independence. Women’s consciousness around social and national question grew simultaneously. Both men and women were leading the social reform movements since the 1880s and among various debates ‘Personal is Political’ was the recurring theme.

Body:

Factors which helped in arousing women’s consciousness

  • Women caged in the traditional Indian construction of subordination were drawn into the political arena, motivated by many reasons which are related to both personal and national requirement as well.
  • Colonial domination and the traditional hierarchy equally had played a significant role in bringing out women in the public arena.
  • Gandhiji, during the freedom movement in 1920, successfully managed to evolve his discourse on the position of women both within and outside the domain of home.
  • Issues such as child marriage and widow remarriage were simultaneously addressed.
  • The late 19th century educational reforms produced a new variety of reading and writing public. Educational and political awareness through newspapers influenced the educated. They discussed about radical ideas for women empowerment. Example: In 1908, Rokeya Sekhawat wrote ‘Sultana’s Dream’ in which idea of women’s own governance system was introduced.
  • 19th century women’s own organisation mushroomed all over India. Sarala Debi Chaudhurani organised ‘Bharat Stree Mahamandal’ in 1910. She combined Hindu revivalism with political protest
  • The revolutionary women of the 20th century were mobilized to take up arms for the nation inspiring from the tradition of Razia Sultana and Jhansi
  • Evoking of symbols contributing to the mobilization of women is associated with politicizing the domestic sphere. For instance Gandhi politicized the ordinary items like salt which are associated with the daily lives of women. This had contributed to the larger participation of ordinary middle class women.

 

Role played by women in freedom struggle:

  • During Swadeshi campaign their activities were limited to boycott of foreign cloth and picketing of liquor shops. A nationalistic cult around Bharat Mata (mother India) started to emerge which further necessitated the role of women.
  • In the second phase of women participation, idea of Home Rule and constitutionalism became dominant. Some western women played significant role in this. Annie Besant, who became the first woman president of Indian National congress, launched Home Rule movement.
  • Margret Cousins drafted Indian women’s voting rights bill and launched Women’s India Association. Sarojini Naidu emerged as an important national leader who later became the President of INC.
  • In third phase, the women’s participation in Non Cooperation movement helped in incorporating women from all over India. Independent bodies of women such as Rashtriya Stree Sanghas were fused with District Congress Committees. It also saw inclusion of women from all sections – Hindu/ Muslim, widows, scheduled/marginalised sections.
  • Bi Amma, the mother of Ali brothers addressed 6000 women to join men in picketing. In Andhra Pradesh, a vibrant Durgabai collected over a thousand devadasi to hear Gandhi’s speech.
  • Gandhi’s vision tried to transform widow’s personal renunciation into a political ideology. It was this politicized and idealized Hindu widowhood which was used by Gandhi to motivate public consciousness towards a pacific but consistent struggle.
  • The next stage of national movement saw mounted levels of scale and space of women’s participation. In a book called Mother India, the writer Katherine Mayo criticised the Hindu men and slave like condition of women within the family. Nationalists and reformers were compelled to focus on families and making the domestic space non violent. Also this criticism bound Indian men and women together to national honour.
  • During Civil Disobedience, women volunteers participated in marches boycotts and prabhat pheris. Desh Sevika Sangh, patriotic groups within their association, was formed for passive resistance. Sarojini Naidu, Muthulaxmi Reddy, Margret Cousins were jailed.
  • In the event of men’s arrest, the women’s organisation took on the task of carrying on civil disobedience and organising meetings.
  • Once the women’s nationalist consciousness was awakened in varying degrees, they began exploring different methodologies of achieving political freedom.
  • Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) saw contribution by Durgavati Devi who helped Bhagat singh in his escape after the Saunders killing. Kalpana Dutta of Indian Republican Army led the armed resistance along with Surya Sen. She was joined with Pritilata Waddedar in 1931 in attacking the European club in Chittagong. Many like Jyotirmoyee Ganguli even left government jobs to boycott the British oppression.
  • Be it Sarojini Naidu in Salt March, Vijaya Laxmi in CDM, Kasturba in QIM, Madam Bhikaiji Cama among Indians in UK, Rehana Tyabjee as President of Youth Congress, Captain Laxmi Sahgal in INA or Rani Gaidinliu during Manipur rebellion.
  • Matangini Hajra, Durgabai Deshmukh and many others from poor and middle class families Begum Safia Wajid, Rehana Tyabjee and Rajkumari Amrita Kaur and many other from affluent Muslim families and royal lineage came out.

Conclusion:

The image and magnitude of participation of the Indian women within the national movement was drawn from the multilayered nations of Mother India and Victorian morality. From liberal homes to conservative families, urban centers to rural hamlets, Hindu and Muslim, single and married, young and old, mothers and daughters, wives and sisters- all women came forward to help India attain its independence. The history of women and independence movement is not an end in itself but has roots extended to this day.


Topic– The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.

2) Discuss the salient features of the Gandhi-lrwin Pact. Also discuss why was it signed and what were its consequences.(250 words)

Bipin Chandra, modern India – NCERT

Why this question:

The question is in the context Gandhi-lrwin Pact signed on 5th March 1931.

demand of the question:

you should discuss the salient features of the pact, the background in which it was signed , the causes and consequences.

Directive word

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction

One can narrate the background of events briefly that were preceded to the pact.

Body

Discuss the Salient features of the act viz. The Congress would participate in the Round Table Conference,  The Congress would discontinue the Civil Disobedience Movement, The Government would withdraw all ordinances issued to curb the Congress etc. Then discuss the pressing congress due to which the pact was signed.

Conclusion

conclude with the outcome and its effect on Freedom struggle.

Introduction:

In 1930, the Salt Satyagraha was conducted and India and Gandhi received worldwide attention. The British government in India was criticised for its unjust treatment of Indians. Gandhi and many other leaders were imprisoned along with thousands of Indians. Lord Irwin wanted the issue to come to an end. So, Gandhi was released from prison in January 1931.

Gandhiji was authorised by the then President of the Congress, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, to negotiate with Lord Irwin. Gandhi-Irwin Pact (Delhi Pact) is the name of a political agreement concluded by Mahatma Gandhi and Lord Irwin, the then Viceroy of India, signed on 5th March 1931.

Body:

The proposed terms of the “Gandhi-Irwin Pact”:

  • Gandhiji was impressed with Irwin’s sincerity and on behalf of the Indian National Congress agreed to discontinue the Civil Disobedience movement.
  • The INC agreed to join the second Round Table Conference to chalk out constitutional reforms.
  • Withdrawal of all ordinances issued by the Government of India imposing curbs on the activities of the Indian National Congress
  • Withdrawal of all prosecutions relating to several types of offenses except those involving violence
  • Release of prisoners arrested for participating in the Civil disobedience movement.
  • Removal of the tax on salt, which allowed the Indians to produce, trade, and sell salt legally and for their own private use

The Government agreed to the following:

  • They also agreed to withdraw trials relating to several offences except those involving violence and release of prisoners arrested for participating in the civil disobedience movement.
  • It was also agreed that the British would remove the tax on salt, which allowed Indians to produce, trade, and sell salt legally and for their own use.
  • Villages that were located along the coast were given the right to make salt for their consumption.
  • Confiscated properties of the satyagrahis was to be restored.
  • Peaceful picketing of foreign clothes and liquor shops was to be permitted.
  • All ordinances were to be withdrawn and prosecutions ended. British would withdraw all orders imposing curbs on the activities of the Indian National Congress.
  • It agreed to the lenient treatment of all government servants who had resigned from service in the wake of the civil disobedience movement.
  • It agreed to forego fines not yet collected.

However, the pact failed on the following accounts:

  • The pact, however, failed to garner major concessions from the British Raj as it was glaringly lacking many terms proposed by Gandhi as the minimum ones required for a peaceful accord.
  • A public inquiry into police excesses during its suppression of the movement.
  • Commuting the death sentences of Bhagat Singh and his associates to life sentences.
  • Many felt unhappy that Gandhi stopped his movement when the people were in high spirit of victory and while the Government stood demoralized. Gandhi gave his logic that the nation had suffered to a great extent and needed an interval to fight the next phase of the struggle with more vigour and vitality.
  • The Second Round Table Conference in London which Gandhiji attended with Sarojini Naidu, proved to be futile as the British did not honour their demands.
  • Lord Irwin was succeeded by Willington who was unlike Irwin very rigid and ignored many provisions of the Gandhi-Irwin Pact.

Conclusion:

The Gandhi-Irwin Pact had far reaching implications for the Congress as well as India. British acceptance of the Congress as the sole representative of the people of India brought the INC on an equal footing with the British government. Even though the Congress had suspended the Civil Disobedience movement, the status and prestige of the Congress were significantly increased after the signing of the pact.


Topic-urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

3) “Smart Cities are the incubators of the New Urban India” . Evaluate(250 words)

Pib

Reference

Why this question:

The article provides for an assessment of Multi -Pronged Approach to Urban Transformation in India.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must evaluate the significance of Smart Cities in the development of new urban India. Smart cities are virtue with efficient use of resources; cooperative and competitive federalism; integration, innovation and sustainability; technology and inclusiveness.

Directive word:

Evaluate – When you are asked to evaluate, you have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidences.  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:

Begin with what are smart cities, the critical components such as livability, economic ability and sustainability.

Body:

Discuss the following :

  • How  smart cities help achieve the objective of promoting cities that provide core infrastructure and give a decent quality of life to its citizens, a clean and sustainable environment and application of ‘Smart’ Solutions”.
  • Discuss the concept of New urban India, link it to the development of Smart cities.
  • what needs to be done to overcome the present challenges.

Conclusion:

Conclude with optimism, that smart cities are stepping stones to New urban India, they would aid to achieve sustainable growth, make cities more livable & safer with clean air, adequate infrastructure, reliable utilities & opportunities for learning .

Introduction:

A smart city is a designation given to a city that incorporates information and communication technologies (ICT) to develop city infrastructure and enhance the quality and performance of urban services such as energy, transportation and utilities in order to reduce resource consumption, wastage and overall costs. The overarching aim of a smart city is to enhance the quality of living for its citizens through smart technology.

Body:

The importance of Smart Cities mission:

  • The Smart Cities Mission aimed at promoting cities that provide core infrastructure and give a decent quality of life to its citizens, a clean and sustainable environment and application of ‘Smart’ Solutions.
  • citizens are at the core of Smart City Mission and it has the largest level of citizen engagement.
  • With 70% of India’s built environment for 2030 yet to take shape, its impending urban transformation also represents significant opportunities for domestic and international investments.
  • to achieve sustainable growth, the cities will have to become more liveable and safer with clean air; adequate infrastructure; reliable utilities; and opportunities for learning and employment.
  • All 100 Smart Cities have established their SPVs, constituted their City Level Advisory Forum (CLAF) and all cities have appointed PMCs, indicating that all these Smart Cities are in Mission mode
  • Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCCs) becoming operational in 15 cities has resulted in enhanced efficiency in governance, management of traffic, law enforcement, improved citizen grievance redressal and reduced criminal incidents on city streets and public spaces.
  • Smart Cities and AMRUT programmes have opened up avenues for local industry and global players to participate in the development of cities across such sectors as utilities, housing, mobility, telecommunications, information technology, healthcare, education and recreational facilities.

New urban India

  • Urbanization in India is happening at a rapid pace. However, it is haphazard and unsustainable.
  • Cities in India have become a centre of focus for business and are a means to enhance livelihoods.
  • India must rejuvenate its cities promptly to address the increasing aspirations of urban dwellers and attract the investment that will further drive growth and development.
  • However, Cities in India face a range of challenges to meet demand and supply gaps in urban regions, in such areas as water, waste management, energy, mobility, the built environment, education, healthcare and safety.
  • The high costs involved in increasing urbanization, issues of governance, land acquisition issues, environmental concerns have all added to the woes of New Urban India.

Way ahead:

  • the solution lies in inclusive urbanization processes that prioritize quality of life for all, focusing especially on the needs of vulnerable urban groups for employment, housing, sanitation, healthcare and education.
  • Planning must incorporate long-term resource sensitivity and community involvement at every step, while benchmarking smart and measurable outcomes for all stakeholders.
  • Making cities ‘Data Smart’ is key in realizing the full potential of technology interventions and innovation ecosystems in cities.
  • other parameters for Smart Cities must have efficient use of resources; cooperative and competitive federalism; integration, innovation and sustainability; technology and inclusiveness.
  • ICCCs have also reduced traffic violations, improved efficiency in solid/liquid waste management, water and wastewater management as well as air quality management. More such ICCCs should come up.

Conclusion:

The Smart Cities Mission is an innovative initiative by the Government to drive economic growth and improve the quality of life of people by enabling local development and harnessing technology as a means to create smart outcomes for citizens.


Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. Issues related to farm subsidies.

4) Loan waivers are often argued to vitiate credit culture and stress the budgets of the waiving state or central government. In this context discuss how the recently enacted Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) proves to be  method of providing relief for the distressed Indian farmer?(250 words)

Economictimes

Why this question:

The article provides for a detailed analysis of How the recently enacted bankruptcy code can help fix India’s agrarian crisis and provides for a  fresh start’ process in a systematic manner of waiving debts overseen by a judicial body.

Key demand of the question:

The main demand of the question is to explain the importance of private participants in the Indian space industry. What are the Challenges, Opportunities, and Strategic Concerns associated with it.

Directive word:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Narrate  as to how historically, farm loan waivers have been used as a quick-fix solution to agrarian distress in India.

Body:

In such questions it is important to ensure one doesn’t ignore the statement , you are expected to first justify the statement – “Loan waivers are often argued to vitiate credit culture and stress the budgets of the waiving state or central government” with suitable examples or illustrations and then move on discuss the role of IBC as a sure method of providing relief for the distressed Indian farmer.

Conclusion:

Conclude that the problem cannot be fixed with a solution that is  one size fits all but rather with a multi – integrated approach.

Introduction:

Farm loan waiver is the practice of writing off the loans given to farmers owing to their inability to pay them back due to reasons like calamity, disaster, political policies etc. Since 2014, there have been similar moves in Telangana, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh which are States run by various parties.

Body:

Loan waivers have often vitiated the credit culture and stressed budgets of state and central governments:

  • The loan waivers has become a big political tool in hands of political parties that has ruined capital status of Indian agriculture economics.
  • The NSSO Situation Assessment Survey of Agricultural Households (2013) shows that 52% of farming households are indebted, with rates as high as 89-92% in some States.
  • In August 2017, RBI’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) noted that the implementation of farm loan waivers could hurt the finances of states, undermine the quality of public spending, and stoke inflation.
  • Farm loan waiver does not cater to the vast small and marginal farmers who don’t have access to formal credit and are indebted to local money lenders. A study by RythuSwarajyaVedika in June 2018 showed that 75% of farmer suicides in Telangana are by tenant farmers, who have no or least access to formal credit.
  • In December 2018, NITI Aayog pointed out that farm loans waivers essentially only benefit 10-15% of farmers, since the rest don’t have access to institutional loans. Further, the process of selection of beneficiary farmers may not be objective, making the system susceptible to leakages.
  • Farm loan waivers are at best a temporary solution and entail a moral hazard even those who can afford to pay may not, in the expectation of a waiver.
  • States with farm loan waivers has led to increased burden on states which are already deviating from FRBM targets.
  • Such measures can erode credit discipline and may make banks wary of lending to farmers in the future. It also makes a sharp dent in the finances of the government that finances the write-off. Ex- RBI chiefs like Urjit Patel and Raghuram Rajan have also expressed similar views of ‘Moral Hazard’
  • Also a recent study by the International Food Policy Research Institute reveals that at the national level, 48% of agricultural households do not avail a loan from any formal source. Among the borrowing households, 36% take credit from informal sources.

The role of IBC as a sure method of providing relief for the distressed Indian farmer

  • IBC provides three insolvency procedures for individuals.
  • While the insolvency resolution and bankruptcy processes are available to all, IBC provides a ‘fresh start’ process for individuals who fall below certain asset and income-based thresholds.
  • The aim is to enable certain debtors to get their debts waived — after adjudication under a time-bound process and taking the creditors’ views into account. A debtor who qualifies the threshold limits can file for a ‘fresh start’ order.
  • If her application is admitted, a resolution professional is appointed to her case to examine objections that any creditor may have to discharge of the debtor’s debts. Based on this, the resolution professional submits a final list of debts to the adjudicating authority (AA).
  • The AA can then write off these debts, giving the debtor a ‘fresh start’. However, the AA can refuse this waiver if there is any change in financial circumstances of the debtor, or any noncompliance by the debtor.
  • Instead of being plagued with political motivations and uncertainty in implementation of farm loan waivers, the IBC’s ‘fresh start’ process provides a systematic manner of waiving debts overseen by a judicial body.
  • It places the opportunity to access the system with an individual farmer, instead of placing it with the government. This will provide a farmer autonomy to choose the effect a debt waiver will have on his credit history.
  • the ‘fresh start’ process only excludes some kinds of debts from being capable of discharge. These include any fine imposed on the debtor by courts, student loans, maintenance to be paid under any law, and secured debt.
  • So, unlike farm loan waivers, a ‘fresh start’ process may actually provide the debtor relief from most of her debts and not just bank loans

Way forward:

  • To make the provisions operate effectively, GoI may consider setting up designated benches for the ‘fresh start’ process, or vesting jurisdiction with other judicial or quasi-judicial authority with local presence.
  • GoI can consider recognising a special category of resolution professionals (who understand the microfinance and agricultural credit sectors) and develop a system that encourages them to take up ‘fresh start’ cases.
  • The debt, credit and asset thresholds in IBC may have to be reviewed to ensure proper coverage.

Conclusion:

Unlike farm loan waivers, a ‘fresh start’ process may actually provide the debtor relief from most of her debts and not just bank loans. It places the opportunity to access the system with an individual farmer, instead of placing it with the government. This will provide a farmer autonomy to choose the effect a debt waiver will have on his credit history. Additionally, the effect on creditors will also be considered when the resolution professional examines creditor objections to the debt waiver.


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

5) In the backdrop of Indo-Pacific Regional Dialogue to be held this year, the stakes India has in the Indo-Pacific region are optimally high. Critically analyze.  Also examine whether India is on the right course to play a significant role in the region.(250 words)

epw

Why this question:

In continuation of the process of engaging the global strategic community in an annual review of India’s opportunities and challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, the second edition of Indo-Pacific Regional Dialogue (IPRD) – 2019 is to be held on 05 and 06 March 2019 at New Delhi and this event is significant with respect to India’s role in the Indo- Pacific region.

Key demand of the question:

The question expects one to  appreciate the India’s opportunities in the Indo- Pacific region, the challenges and the emerging role of India in the regional grouping as the United States administration fervently promotes the “Indo–Pacific” as an alternative geopolitical construct to mobilize a large number of countries in the Asia–Pacific region to contain Chinese and Russian influence.

Directive word

Critically analyze – When asked to analyze, you  have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgement.

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we have to look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer

Introduction:  

Start with how the geopolitical construct of “Indo–Pacific” has gained considerable significance in international relations recently and India’s role is significant at this point.

Body:  

Body should discuss the following broad aspects in detail –

  • About the of Indo-Pacific Regional Dialogue.
  • Role that India is playing in the Indo – pacific region.
  • What are the implications for India and others?
  • Geopolitical significance. Etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with India’s strength at the Dialogue, how India is already on the right path and further continued engagements is beneficial to it.

Introduction:

The idea of an Indo-Pacific Regional Dialogue (IPRD) was first conceptualised and conducted in 2018, as the apex level conference of the Indian Navy, organised by the National Maritime Foundation as the Navy’s Knowledge Partner. The permanent theme of this annual dialogue is a review of India’s opportunities and challenges in the Indo-Pacific region. The aim is to focus attention on the Indo-Pacific, as a maritime geographical-entity, while deliberating aspects of great relevance to regional geopolitics.

Body:

IPRD will build upon the foundation laid by the inaugural edition and will examine five fresh themes:

  • Practical solutions for achieving cohesion in the region through maritime connectivity;
  • Measures to attain and maintain a free-and-open indo-pacific;
  • A regional approach to the region’s transition from a ‘brown’ to a ‘blue’ economy;
  • Opportunities and challenges arising from the maritime impact of ‘industry 4.0’; and
  • How the twin conceptualisations of ‘sagar’ and ‘sagarmala’ might best be made mutually-reinforcing on a regional level.

Role and Implications for India in the Indo – pacific region:

  • Indo-Pacific is a multi-polar region that is contributing more than half of world GDP and population.
  • India appears to have set a long-term plan during which it will build its capabilities—economic and military strength, network of military facilities and agreements to access military facilities in countries across the Indo-Pacific, expanding economic and military ties.
  • The Indo-Pacific, as described in the National security strategy, represents the most populous and economically dynamic part of the world and stretches from the west coast of India to the western shores of the United States.
  • India has always been a country with great national ambitions and is one of the most important advocates of the concept of ” Indo-Pacific Strategy“.
  • With opening of economy, India has been connecting with its Indian Ocean neighbours and major maritime powers of the world.
  • With impetus to Blue Economy, there has been a new reliance on the sea for energy and mineral resources.
  • India has been engaging with regional actors on bilateral as well as multilateral framework.
  • From Look East policy, there has been a graduation towards engage East policy with growing economic relations with the ASEAN, China, Japan and Australia.
  • India is also in the mode of enhancing its maritime presence throughout the Indian Ocean Region.
  • The proponents of the concept among the Indian policy makers defend India’s role in ‘Indo-Pacific’ by stating that it preserves the ‘strategic autonomy’.
  • Strategic autonomy is a step ahead from the Non Alignment idea as it talks about giving “maximum options (to India) in its relations with the outside world”.
  • It is believed that the Indo-Pacific construct seeks to establish a plural, inclusive and open security architecture.
  • This allows India to create a web of cooperative relations with all the stakeholders based on mutual interest and benefit.
  • China is the main security threat to U.S. primacy in Asia. It also has a long-standing border dispute with India. That gives India and the U.S. a shared interest in countering China’s growing military power and territorial revisionist tendencies etc.
  • India can take this opportunity to promote the justification and rationalization of its interests in Southeast Asia, expand its presence in East Asia, strengthen its political, economic and military cooperation with the United States and its allies, and comprehensively increase India’s influence in international affairs.

Challenges in the Indo-Pacific:

  • China’s aggression and debt trap diplomacy, which impinge sovereignty, is going to test Indian diplomacy. The various consultation groups will help India develop common strategies to keep the seas open and secure and preserve a rules-based order.
  • Maritime security would include the vital responsibility of safeguarding the sea lanes of communication in the Indian Ocean whose geo-strategic importance cannot be over-emphasised. Its four key choke-points- the Strait of Hormuz, the Straits of Malacca, and Bab-el-Mandeb Strait and the Suez Canal- if closed for any reason can play havoc with global trade and energy flows.
  • India’s enormous responsibilities for safeguarding its long coast line, its island territories, its off-shore economic assets and its EEZ. The two vital choke points in the Indian Ocean region- the Straits of Hormuz and Malacca- which are critical for unimpeded international energy and trade flows are of operational concern to the Indian Navy.
  • China is very active in India’s maritime space but takes a different view when it comes to the South China Sea considered as “Beijing’s Lake”. India, as well as the international community in general, would not want it to become a Chinese lake either.
  • The rule-based global order is also coming under tremendous pressure in the region with countries violating established norms with impunity.
  • Multilateral institutions seem utterly helpless while countries continue with activities detrimental to regional peace.
  • North Korea’s nuclear programme, developments in the South China Sea and increasing cyber violations are examples of this trend.

Way Forward for India:

  • Economically and strategically, the global centre of gravity is shifting to the Indo-Pacific. If the region’s stakeholders don’t act now to fortify an open, rules-based order, the security situation will continue to deteriorate—with consequences that are likely to reverberate worldwide.
  • With joint military exercises, India will develop interoperability and standard operating procedures, which will help in any joint military operation or even possibly a military alliance in the future.
  • The Quad Security cooperation among Japan, India, the US and Australia is increasingly plausible. The time has come to proactively further this cooperation to ensure prosperity and stability in the whole of Indo-Pacific.
  • Groups like ASEAN and APEC will have to collectively approach China. Standing up to it and physically stopping illegal Chinese construction will gain international attention and the sympathy and backing of major powers.

Conclusion:

India is already assuming her responsibilities in securing the Indo-Pacific region. A strong India-US partnership can anchor peace, prosperity and stability from Asia to Africa and from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific. It can also help ensure security of the sea-links of commerce and freedom of navigation on seas.


Topic: Union and State Legislatures (structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges; issues therein). Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

6) Should India opt for ‘One Nation, One Election’? Analyze the feasibility of simultaneous elections in India while assessing the pros and cons. (250 words)

Indianexpress

Economictimes

Why this question:

The article is in the backdrop of the demand by the political parties for Simultaneous elections in Kashmir the valley.

Key demand of the question:

The answer should discuss and reveal the need for simultaneous elections in India and the fact that the Election Commission of India (EC) has  always favored simultaneous elections for Lok Sabha and Assembly polls, But considering the situations in the country there is an array of argument as to whether elections are to be conducted simultaneously or not.

Structure of the answer

Introduction:

Discuss the context of one nation, one election briefly.

Body:

Discuss – why is the need, what are the advantages of implementing simultaneous elections in terms of massive expenditure;, diversion of security and civil staff from primary duties,  impact on governance due to the model code of conduct, and disruption to normal public life etc.

Then bring out the challenges in implementing it along with some demerits of it.

Conclusion –

Conclude with its feasibility as to whether India is ready to embrace such changes.

Introduction:

Simultaneous elections refer to holding elections to Lok Sabha, State Legislative Assemblies, Panchayats and Urban local bodies simultaneously, once in five year. The idea of holding elections simultaneously is in news after it got a push from Prime Minister and ex-President of India. However, political parties are divided on the issue of holding simultaneous elections

The political parties of Kashmir recently impressed upon the Election Commission of India (ECI) to hold the assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir simultaneously with the upcoming Lok Sabha elections

Body:

The Law Commission of India has also proposed holding simultaneous state and general elections and has sought public opinion on its recommendations regarding the same. Simultaneous elections were held in India during the first two decades of independence.

Merits of Simultaneous elections:

  • Governance and consistency:
    • The ruling parties will be able to focus on legislation and governance rather than having to be in campaign mode forever.
    • Parties and workers spending too much time and money in electioneering, can make use of the time for social work and to take people-oriented programmes to the grassroots.
    • To overcome the “policy paralysis and governance deficit” associated with imposition of the Model Code of Conduct at election time which leads to putting on hold all developmental activities on that area and also affects the bureaucracy’s functioning.
  • Reduced Expenditure of Money and Administration:
    • The entire State and District level administrative and security machinery will be busy with the conduct of elections twice in a period of five years as per the current practice.
    • Expenditure can be reduced by conducting simultaneous elections.
    • It is felt that crucial manpower is often deployed on election duties for a prolonged period of time. If simultaneous elections are held, then this manpower would be made available for other important tasks.
    • For instance for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, which was held along with 4 state assemblies saw the deployment of 1077 in situ companies and 1349 mobile companies of Central Armed Police Force (CAPF).
  • Continuity in policies and programmes:
    • Will limit the disruption to normal public life associated with elections, such as increased traffic and noise pollution.
    • Large numbers of teachers are involved in the electoral process which causes maximum harm to the education sector.
  • Efficiency of Governance:
    • Simultaneous elections can bring the much-needed operational efficiency in this exercise.
    • Populist measures by governments will reduce.
  • Curbs Vices:
    • During frequent elections there is increase in “vices” such as communalism, casteism, corruption and crony capitalism.
    • Simultaneous elections can also be a means to curb corruption and build a more conducive socio-economic ecosystem.
    • The impact of black money on the voters will be reduced as all elections are held at a time.

Challenges to simultaneous elections:

  • Illiteracy:
    • Not all voters are highly educated to know who to vote for. They may get confused and may not know whether they are voting for candidates contesting assembly or parliament elections.
    • IDFC study says that there is 77% chance that the Indian voter will vote for the same party for both the state and centre, when elections are held simultaneously.
    • Evidence from Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Germany, the US and Europe supports the idea that elections that are held simultaneously produce greater alignment between national and regional election outcomes.
  • Functional issues:
    • Frequent elections bring the politicians back to the voters, create jobs and prevent the mixing of local and national issues in the minds of the voters.
    • There is a dearth of enough security and administrative officials to conduct simultaneous free and fair elections throughout the country in one go.
  • Changes in Constitution and Legislations:
    • The following constitutional changes need to be made:-
    • Amendments needed in the following articles:-
      • Article 83 which deals with the duration of Houses of Parliament need an amendment
      • Article 85 (on dissolution of Lok Sabha by the president)
      • Article 172 (relating to the duration of state legislatures)
      • Article 174 (relating to dissolution of state assemblies)
      • Article 356 (on President’s Rule).
    • The Representation of People Act, 1951 Act would have to be amended to build in provisions for stability of tenure for both parliament and assemblies. This should include the following crucial elements:
    • Restructuring the powers and functions of the ECI to facilitate procedures required for simultaneous elections
    • A definition of simultaneous election can be added to section 2 of the 1951 act
    • Articles 83 and 172 along with articles with articles 14 and 15 of the 1951 act be appropriately amended to incorporate the provision regarding remainder of the term i.e.., post mid elections ,the new loksabha/assembly so constituted shall be only for the remainder of the term of the previous loksabha or assembly and not for a fresh term of five years.
  • Constructive vote of no confidence:
    • The 170th law commission report suggested a new rule i.e., rule 198-A has to be added to rules of procedure and conduct of business in Lok Sabha and similar amendment to such rules in the state legislatures.
    • The report suggested introduction of motion of no confidence in the incumbent government along with a motion of confidence in the alternative government.
    • To avoid premature dissolution of the house/state assemble in case of Hung parliament /assembly and to advance simultaneous elections the rigour of anti defection law laid under in tenth schedule be removed as an exception.
  • Local and national issues will get mixed up distorting priorities.
  • The terms of different state governments are ending on separate dates and years.
  • Spirit of Constitution:
    • One nation, one election” would make sense if India were a unitary state. So “one nation, one election” is anti-democratic.
    • Simultaneous elections threaten the federal character of our democracy.
    • Frequent elections act as checks and balances on the functioning of elected representatives.

Way forward:

  • Any changes must require both a constitutional amendment and judicial approval that they do not violate the “basic structure” of the Constitution.
  • A focused group of constitutional experts, think tanks, government officials and representatives of political parties should be formed to work out appropriate implementation related details.
  • Other alternatives should be explored to reduce election related expenses like
    • State funding of elections
    • Decriminalisation of politics
    • Bringing in transparency in political funding
    • Setting up National Electoral Fund to which all donors can contribute.
  • One year one election as suggested by Election Commission can be executed by amending Section 15 of the RP Act 1951. If the six-month stipulation is extended to nine or 10 months, elections to all states, whose term is expiring in one year, can be held together.
  • The Law Commission of India in its report of 1999 has dealt with the problem of premature and frequent elections. It had recommended an amendment of this rule on the lines of the German Constitution, which provides that the leader of the party who wants to replace the chancellor has to move the no-confidence motion along with the confidence motion. If the motions succeed, the president appoints him as the chancellor.
    • If such an amendment to Rule 198 is made, the Lok Sabha would avoid premature dissolution without diluting the cardinal principle of democracy that is a government with the consent of the peoples’ representatives with periodical elections.
    • It will also be consistent with the notion of collective responsibility of the government to the House as mentioned in Article 75 (3) of the Constitution.

Conclusion:

Election Commission’s idea of “one year one election” will better suited as it will require fewer amendments to the constitution, it will respect the essence of the exercise of popular will, unlike one nation one election which prioritizes economic costs of elections over the exercise itself, it will avoid clubbing of national and state issues, it will not disturb federalism much, not much issues generated by emergencies like need to hold by-election etc will be addressed by this option.


Topic-Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints.

7) Discuss in what way the recently released agriculture export policy is an opportune step in the direction of doubling  farmers’ income by 2022. (250 words)

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Why this question:

The article discusses the salient features of the agriculture export policy which has been recently released in line with the government’s commitment to double the farmers’ income by 2022.

Key demand of the question

The answer must elaborate in detail about the recently released agriculture export policy, its salient provisions and how it is a positive step in the direction of doubling  farmers’ income by 2022.

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.

Structure of the answer

Introduction:

One can start with some facts that justify the importance of doubling farmer’s income.

Body:

Discuss – the salient provisions of the policy and how it will help in doubling farmers’ income by 2022. Viz.  the aspects of agricultural exports including modernizing infrastructure, standardization of products, streamlining regulations, curtailing knee-jerk decisions, and focusing on research and development activities; also how it seeks to remove all kinds of export restrictions on organic products etc.

Conclusion:

Based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced justification of the topic.

Introduction:

India produces about 280 million tonnes of food grain every year. India leads the world in the production of basmati rice, millets, pulses, chickpea, ginger, chilli, okra, banana, mango and papaya. For dairy, marine, poultry and meat products, India is a significant player in the global market. Despite such riches, farmers’ income are miserly and suffer from poor remunerative prices for their products. Government presented the vision of doubling farmer incomes by 2022-23. To achieve government’s goal by 2022-23, the Ashok Dalwai Committee points out that farmers real incomes need to grow at 10.4 % per annum that is 2.8 times the growth rate achieved historically.

Body:

India’s Agri Export Status:

  • India’s share in global exports of agriculture products was merely 2 % in 2016.
  • India has remained at the lower end of the global agriculture export value chain given that the majority of its exports are low value, semi-processed and marketed in bulk.
  • The share of India’s high value and value-added agriculture produce in its agri-export basket is less than 15% compared to 25% in the US and 49% in China.
  • India is unable to export its vast horticultural produce due to lack of uniformity in quality, standardization and its inability to curtail losses across the value chain.

A small step in the right direction was taken with the recent cabinet approval of an Agriculture Export Policy (AEP).

The objectives of the AEP are:

  • Establishment of Monitoring Framework at Centre with Commerce as the nodal Department to oversee the implementation of Agriculture Export Policy.
  • To double agricultural exports from present ~US$ 30+ Billion to ~US$ 60+ Billion by 2022 and reach US$ 100 Billion in the next few years thereafter, with a stable trade policy regime.
  • To diversify our export basket, destinations and boost high value and value added agricultural exports including focus on perishables.
  • To promote novel, indigenous, organic, ethnic, traditional and non-traditional Agri products
  • To provide an institutional mechanism for pursuing market access, tackling barriers and deal with sanitary and phyto-sanitary issues.
  • To strive to double India’s share in world agri exports by integrating with global value chain at the earliest.
  • Enable farmers to get benefit of export opportunities in overseas market.

The recommendations in the Agriculture Export Policy have been organised in two categories .

  • Strategic : Policy measures; Infrastructure and logistics support; Holistic approach to boost exports; Greater involvement of State Governments in agri exports; Focus on Clusters; Promoting value-added export; Marketing and promotion of “Brand India”
  • Operational: Attract private investments into production and processing; Establishment of strong quality regimen; Research & Development; Miscellaneous

The AEP is a welcome development for several reasons:

  • First, the policy has been developed in close consultation with states recognizing the geographic diversity of production and states’ constitutional role in nurturing agricultural development.
  • Second, it is a nuanced approach by geography and products rather than the previous approach of simply increasing inputs.
  • Finally, it tackles the entire ecosystem related to enabling market access and acceptability based on the introduction of agricultural clusters.
  • The states have agreed to remove a lot of restrictions, including mandi taxes, and APMC (Agricultural Produce Market Committee)-related conditions.
  • Policy for sensitive farm goods such as onions will be reviewed from time to time.
  • Clustering is at the root of branding agricultural commodities (like coffee and beef) and value-added products (like wine).
  • For the average farmer who holds a small plot in India, clustering is a very good idea and can bring great benefits.
  • Examples: The most famous example of a successful cluster in India is that of the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (branded Amul).
  • The grape cluster in Maharashtra situated in the Pune area is a lesser known success. Mahagrapes was formed specifically to reduce the transaction costs of marginal farmers and to increase their incomes.
  • Focus on Export centric Clusters for pre- and post-harvest management of the production as well as in upgrading the supply chain to attain much higher levels of export from those clusters.
  • It used transparent standards of quality, a mutually-owned insurance system provides risk mitigation to all members.
  • The policy can address challenges to exporting agricultural products from India like low farm productivity, poor infrastructure, global price volatility to market access.
  • The policy has recommended setting up of an agri-startup fund.
  • Promoting Value Added Exports of indigenous and tribal products through the National Programme on Organic Production (NPOP), organic food parks and by the uniform quality and packaging standards India can tap the potential for increasing organic exports.
  • Research and Development led by private industry along with higher infrastructure spend by the government will be the key to boosting agricultural exports.
  • Infrastructure and Logistics Boost by identifying ports for the export of agricultural products. Development in port infrastructure like dedicated perishable berths.
  • Post-Harvest Infrastructure that can support the smooth logistical movement of agri-produce exports. This will have a direct co-relationship in increasing export volumes, assuring quality & ensuring better price realization per unit.

Conclusion:

The vision of doubling farmers’ income by 2022 will require a series of interventions to improve production and productivity along with economizing the cost of production. This would also require India to augment its exports to the global market. The AEP brings a comprehensive yet nuanced approach to agricultural product development by involving the states.   


      

Topic: Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance.

8) What do you understand by conflict of interest ? As a future administrator how do you resolve such situations through conflict management? Discuss.(250 words)

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Why this question:

The article provides for a detailed analysis of – what are conflicts and  how should they ideally be managed.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss  the basic premise of what is conflict of interest, examples to explain it clearly , what ways can an administrator manage  conflicts. Suggest methods.

Directive word:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin with what you understand by Conflict of interest with examples.

Body:

Discuss the following :

  • Definition of a conflict; situations that lead to conflicts, causes, consequences.
  • Quote examples
  • Methods of conflict management as an administrator.
  • Discuss the specific challenges associated.

Conclusion:

Conclude with the importance of conflict management in public services. Explain how it leads to doing the right thing—pursuing the principle of fairness.

Introduction:

A “conflict  of  interest”  involves  a  conflict  between  the  public  duty  and  private  interests  of  a  public  official,  in  which  the  public  official  has  private-capacity  interests which could improperly influence the performance of their official duties and responsibilities.

Body:

In such a situation, judgement of an individual could be impaired. A conflict of interest can exist in many different situations. Conflict of interest is seen  as a moral issue and not strictly a legal one accompanied by criminal culpability in India so it is hardly surprising that blatant violations are virtually seen every day.

Example: a public official whose personal interests conflict with his/her professional position. Instances of the largest shareholder appointing himself as CEO, deciding his salary and then appointing his son to a key post and higher royalties to the parent company are some of the serious conflict of interest issues in India which don’t  receive necessary attention.

A judge giving judgement in a case involving his own family member is a case of conflict of interest.

Public servants faces Conflict of Interest due to the nature of their work-

  • Personal vs Professional
    • This is the most common type of conflict of interest arising due to the conflict between personal and professional life.
    • Say, if a public servant is incharge of giving out contracts for a certain project and one of the applicant is relative or friend.
  • Conflicting Responsibility
    • Sometimes public servants are given additional charge, which might sometimes create a conflict of interest with the original line of duty.
  • Conflicting Organisations
    • Sometimes public servants are part of two separate organisations with apparently conflicting objectives and this might put them in certain conflict of interest.
    • Many public servants also volunteer for NGOs during their service. NGOs and govermental organisation sometimes come at odds with each other.

 Getting into a situation of conflict of interest is sometimes unavoidable and not a crime in itself if properly handled:

  • Transparency
    • Declaring one’s conflict of interest to the concerned authorities is the best way.
    • It helps civil servant to come clean and concerned authorities can decide further.
  • Assure integrity
    • The concerned authority should be assured of integrity and willingness to serve no matter what the decision is made on the declaration.
  • Maintain objectivity
    • If given the chance to continue working on that case, work with objectivity.
  • Reduce discretion and codify procedure
    • There is a need for legislation to make non-disclosure of a conflict of interest punishable.
    • A private member’s bill (The Prevention and Management of Conflict of Interest Bill, introduced in 2012), the legislation ought to cover all arms of governance, including the judiciary, the legislature and the executive.
    • The recommendation of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Department of Personnel and Training, calling for early retirement if interested in post-retirement private service is established, needs to be implemented, besides increasing the mandatory cooling period to five years so that no undue influence can be exerted by the retired bureaucrat.
    • Also, the reasons for declining their requests for joining such firms need to be laid out clearly, to limit political concerns.
    • An open, public data platform enlisting all post-retirement appointments of civil servants will increase transparency

Conclusion:

The priority must be to frame a modern law relating to conflict of interest, along the lines of what exists in the statute of the other countries like the United States and also ensure them to their work ensures ethical governance.