SECURE SYNOPSIS: 09 MARCH 2019

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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 09 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– Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.

1) Critically examine the obligations which pressed India to play a pivotal role in the emergence of Bangladesh. (250 words)

Bipin Chandra-  India after Independence

 

Why this question:

The question is in the context of Carving Bangladesh out of Pakistan and the role played by India in it, the causes and consequences.

Directive word:

Critically examine – When asked to analyse, 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.

Key demands of the question:

The answer should provide for a close examination of India’s role in the liberation of Bangladesh. Main emphasis however needs to be on what pressure points forced India to take the lead role in this scenario.

 

Structure of the answer:

Introduction

Start by pointing out the hostile relations in the past between India and Pakistan that added to India’s decision to intervene in Pakistan’s civil war then, and thus how the Indian government decided to support the creation of a separate state for ethnic Bengalis by supporting the Mukti Bahini.

Body

Discuss the following important factors :

  • Backdrop of the Bangladesh War of Independence.
  • India’s Involvement in the liberation and the aftermath – most of the answer discussion should focus on this aspect.
  • Discuss in detail  how India played a crucial role in terms of political, social and humanitarian ground.

Keywords:

shimla agreement, mukti vahini sena, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto , Indira Gandhi etc.

Conclusion

Conclude with contemporary relevance of the NAM.

Introduction:

Pakistan was made of West and East Pakistan after August 14,1947. The eastern province gained its independence in March 1971 and Bangladesh was born. Bangladesh’s independence has been considered India’s most successful neighbourhood intervention.

Body:

India was compelled to intervene in the Bangladesh War of 1971 due to various strategic, domestic, economic and humanitarian factors.

  • Strategic:
    • Having a hostile West Pakistan and East Pakistan on both sides of its borders was a strategic concern for India.
    • This was compounded by the strain in Sino-Indian relations which culminated in the war of 1962.
    • Unprovoked military aggression by Pakistan on the North-West India in 1972 needed to be responded in a stringent manner.
    • Therefore, the intervention in 1971 was necessary to safeguard the long term strategic interests.
  • Domestic:
    • The constant influx of migrants from East Pakistan was creating various problems in the Border States.
    • The resources were limited and there was constant struggle between locals and refugees over the use of these resources.
    • Besides there were various other ethnic and social problems due to this inflow of migrants.
  • Economic:
    • The country was spending huge resources to absorb these refugees.
    • Being a closed economy, India was not in a position to continue spending resources for long and hence a long term solution to the problem was needed.
    • Beside, having a hostile East Pakistan was hindering the development of north-eastern part of the country due to limited connectivity.
  • Humanitarian:
    • Lastly the atrocities committed on the people of East Pakistan forced India to intervene in the conflict on humanitarian ground to prevent a large scale crisis.

India’s role in liberation of Bangladesh:

  • Indian government allowed Awami league leaders to form government in exile
  • Gave military training to Mukti Bahini Sena on Indian soil.
  • Provided food, shelter, clothing and medical aid to refugees in spite of tremendous strain on their resources.
  • In December 1971, Indian armed forces directly undertook the operation for liberation of Bangladesh which led to Indo-Pakistan war of 1971.
  • India observed international refugee law and allowed refugees regardless of religion or language. It internationalised their tragedy.

Aftermath of War:

Shimla agreement:

  • Shimla Agreement was signed between India (Indira Gandhi) and Pakistan (zulfikar Ali Bhutto)
  • Main agenda at Shimla was to deal with the aftermath of the 1971 War and usher in durable peace between India and Pakistan.
  • The following principles of the agreement also show that it was a peace treaty
    • A mutual commitment to the peaceful resolution of all issues through direct bilateral approaches
    • To build the foundations of a cooperative relationship with special focus on people to people contacts
    • To uphold the inviolability of the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, which is a most important CBM between India and Pakistan, and a key to durable peace.
  • Even though the agreement was in the interests of bringing peace in the relations of both the countries it adversely impacted the future of Kashmir and despite being in a winning position India could not use its diplomacy to the mark.

Conclusion:

India did not target Pakistan, it only worked closely with Bangladesh as per the principle of Non-Alignment to which India holds steadfast. India’s humanitarian intervention in Bangladesh has shaped South Asia ,made it a responsible power in the region.


Topic– Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.

2) In what way did Nehru’s plan for modernization make rapid tread during the decade 1951 – 61?(250 words)

Bipin Chandra – India after Independence

 

Why this question:

The question is about how Nehruvian Thought shaped the formative years of India as it emerged from 200 years of British colonialism, his plan of action for modernization for the decade of 1951 -61.

 

demand of the question:

The answer must bring out the pivotal role of Nehru in modernization ; Nehru as a hostage to the development economics consensus of his times, both in terms of its insights as well as its policies. His role as an economic modernist, his belief of rapid industrialization as the most effective way to win the battle against mass poverty.

 

Structure of the answer:

 

Introduction

Narrate the background of events under Nehru’s years of Indian modernization.

Body

  • Discuss his methods and ideas;
  • how he advocated state-sponsored industrialisation, increasing the “wealth-producing capacity” and using atomic energy for civilian use and also the fact that he realised for industrialisation to be viable it needed a supportive agrarian economy and a small-scale industrial base.
  • His ideas on town planning — going beyond roads and parks to education, recreation, employment and business — were remarkably modern.
  • He proposed that every village should have a panchayat, a cooperative society, and a school etc.

 

Keywords:

principle of non-alignment, first-rate institutions”, models of economic development etc.

 

Conclusion

conclude with the significance of his contributions in modernization of Indian economy and society.

Introduction:

After independence in 1947, India was among the poorest countries in the world. India’s entire infrastructure, it’s economy, it’s bureaucracy, it was all designed and built solely to serve the needs of British industry and further Britain’s interests. As a final parting gift, the British co-engineered the Partition in 1947, leading to around 14 million refugees and mass killings all over the subcontinent.

Half the population of India now lived below the poverty line, and over 80 percent of the people were illiterate. The country was famine-ridden and life expectancy was around 30 years. The per capita income, the agricultural output, and the food grains output had all been continuously shrinking for the previous three decades. Around 1700, the Mughal Empire produced one-third of the global GDP. For the Indian republic in 1947, this was less than 10 percent.

Body:

Jawaharlal Nehru became responsible for continuing the Mahatma’s legacy and creating the India they together had dreamed of. Nehru’s idea of India’s modern nationhood consisted of four key dimensions: democracy, secularism, socialism, and non-alignment.

Nehruvian Philosophy of development:

  • Nehruvian socialism and planning were the centre-pieces of the Congress Party’s economic platform, going as far back as the Karachi Congress of 1931.
  • Nehru’s socialism was to be on the basis of democracy and non-violence, leading to the establishment of a cooperative, socialist commonwealth.
  • He advocated for the abolition of the zamindari system of feudal landownership, and the rapid acceleration of industrialisation through central planning.
  • Combining rapid industrial development with democracy was something none had tried before, and thus Nehru had to tread uncharted territory.
  • Unlike Bolshevism, Nehruvian Socialism did not allow for the forced acquisition and collectivisation of land, meaning that the necessary surplus for industrialisation could not be forcibly attained over the backs of the Indian working class and peasantry.
  • Unlike with the US or UK, India could also not force surplus out of labour through slavery, or by collecting tribune from colonies.

Modernization plan and action on ground:

  • Industry:
    • The nature of British colonialism meant that India had become completely dependent on the developed world for capital goods, technology, and investments.
    • In 1950, over 90 percent of India’s capital, machinery, and even basic tools, had to be imported from abroad.
    • This type of neo-colonialism forced Nehru to compromise on his non-alignment position, but it also motivated him to adopt a path of industrialisation, based on heavy industry and capital-goods industry.
    • Planning was another key ingredient of the Nehruvian Socialist economy, and the successive 5-year plans would see India’s GDP growth increase from a paltry 0.72 percent in 1947, to over 4 percent annually in the following years.
    • The government directed investment primarily into key public sector industries – steel, iron, coal, and power – promoting their development with subsidies and protectionist policies.
    • The policy of non-alignment during the Cold War meant that Nehru received financial and technical support from both power blocs in building India’s industrial base from scratch. Steel mill complexes were built at Bokaro and Rourkela with assistance from the Soviet Union and West Germany.
    • Besides cutting ties when it came to imports, India also made sure it would not be dependent on a few industrialised nations for its export.
  • Agriculture:
    • Nehru took upon himself the task of revolutionising agriculture.
    • Cooperative and institutional subsidies for farmers had freed them from the stranglehold of landowners and moneylenders.
    • Nehru understood that an agricultural revolution could not happen without innovation in its methods — e.g. without electricity, tractors, pumps, chemical fertilisers, etc.
    • This combination of public investment and cooperative land reforms saw agriculture grow annually by 3 percent from 1951 to 1965.
    • Even the Green Revolution, which for the first time in decades would give India a food surplus, would not have been possible in the ’70s, had it not been for the groundwork laid by Nehru.
  • Knowledge sector:
    • As with agriculture and industry, it was important that India would develop its own institutions for scientific education and research.
    • He oversaw the founding of the prestigious IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology), the CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research), the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, the National Physical and Chemical Laboratories, the AIIMS (All India Institutes for Medical Sciences), and many other such institutions all over India.
    • An atomic reactor was set up in Bombay, which would attain criticality in 1956. The national expenditure on scientific research also increased from Rs 10 million in 1949, to Rs 4.5 billion in 1977.
    • India’s scientific and technical manpower would increase from 190,000 to 2.32 million people.
    • Nehru had been committed to free, public, and compulsory basic education for everyone. Primary schools were set up all over India, and funding was provided to ensure they were properly staffed.
  • Town-planning:
    • The development of Chandigarh, Bhubaneswar and Gandhinagar, between 1949 and 1982, represents a fascinating study of practical politics, personal ambitions of politicians and Western planners, and the high ideals of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
    • The architect‐planner Le Corbusier, together with Nehru, provided the new planning model and architectural design that would overshadow imperial New Delhi.

Conclusion:

From 1947 to 1964, Nehru was the leading figure of India, and his vision of India would shape the country’s initial development and lay the foundations upon which it still builds today. Having escaped the trap of neo-colonialism many newly-independent countries fell into, India is now rapidly becoming one of the ruling super powers of the world, only outdone by China and the US.


Topic: Communalism and secularism.

3) Critically analyze the Ayodhya dispute and its costs on national harmony. Can mediation talks demonstrate to be a leeway for healing relationships? discuss with respect to doctrine of essentiality.(250 words)

Indianexpress

The hindu

Why this question:

The article is in the backdrop of the apex court’s order of mediation to settle the long running Ayodhya Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid dispute. The SC has constituted a three-member mediation panel headed by former SC judge Justice F M Kalifullah to resolve the issue. The other members of the panel include spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Senior Advocate Sriram Panchu.

 

Key demand of the question

The answer must critically analyze the nuances of the case; What is the case about , historical ill doings from Both Hindus and Muslims in the context, the unity angle, what is doctrine of essentiality, and most importantly the role of Mediation talks.

 

Directive word

Critically analyse – When asked to analyse, 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.

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:

Briefly narrate the background of the issue.

Body:

The answer should cover the following :

  • Discuss  first the dimensions of the issue; what is the issue, its effect on unity of the nation etc
  • What is Dr M Ismail Faruqui case?
  • What is ‘doctrine of essentiality’?
  • Role of supreme court : past to present .
  • Importance of Mediation

Keywords:

Dr M Ismail Faruqui case, doctrine of essentiality, freedom of religion, Mediation etc

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance resolving such issues impartially and unbiased for the betterment of the country’s harmony and peace.

Introduction:

The Supreme Court recently referred the decades-old Ayodhya-Babri Masjid title dispute case for mediation. The five-judge bench headed by CJI Gogoi constituted a three-member mediation panel headed by former SC judge Justice F M Kalifullah to resolve the issue. The other members of the panel include spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Senior Advocate Sriram Panchu.

Body:

The Ayodhya dispute:

  • At the core of the nearly 70-year-old Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute is the belief that Lord Ram was born 9,00,000 years ago in the Treta Yuga, in a room located under what was the central dome of the Babri Masjid.
  • The masjid was built on the orders of Mughal emperor Babur in the 16th century and occupied 1,482.5 square yards before its demolition by kar sevaks on December 6, 1992.
  • In 1993, the Centre took over 67 acres around the area and sought the Supreme Court’s opinion on whether there existed a Hindu place of worship before the structure was built.
  • After the demolition of the Babri Masjid, the President referred to the Supreme Court the question whether there was a temple to Lord Ram before the mosque was built at the site.
  • The court, in a landmark decision in 1994 (Dr M Ismail Faruqui case), declined to go into that question.
  • In 1994, the litigation reached the Lucknow Bench. The suits were heard from 1996 till September 2010.
  • On September 30, 2010, a three-judge Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court upheld the Hindu belief, reasoning that the “world knows” where Ram’s birthplace is.
  • It ordered a partition of the site occupied by the Babri Masjid equally among the U.P. Sunni Central Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla, the deity.
  • In May 2011, on appeals by the Sunni Waqf Board and other parties, the Supreme Court stayed the judgment, calling it a “leap of faith.”
  • The stay ensured status quo, which meant that a lone priest would continue to worship in the makeshift temple built at the site — a custom legitimised in the Ayodhya Act of 1993.
  • The ban continued on any mode of activity on the 67 acres acquired by the Centre following the Supreme Court orders of March 13 and 14, 2002.
  • The case banks mostly on documents written in languages as varied as Persian and Arabic, dating back to the 16th century.

Ayodhya Dispute’s cost on National harmony:-

  • The Ramjanmabhoomi movement was more political than religious in nature was evident from its very beginnings in communal frenzy and bigotry.
  • The spirit of secularism can be torn apart.
  • Communal Riots of a high scale may follow which will deteriorate the peace, unity and integrity of the nation.
  • Religion is a very sensitive matter, sentiments of the people are attached so the dispute can create a deep valley between Hindu and Muslims.
  • Building up a temple may radicalize the two communities, which will divide India into 2 major groups Hindus and Muslims.
  • This will create fear, distrust and suspicion in the minds of the Minority community which will not allow them to integrate with nationhood.

Extra Information:

Dr M Ismail Faruqui case

  • Ismail Faruqui case was a ruling on petitions challenging the validity of a Central law that acquired the land on which the Babri Masjid stood.
  • Instead of settling the issue in favour of the state by relying on the principle of eminent domain, the court chose Doctrine of essentiality.
  • Principle of eminent domain means that the government can acquire any land.
  • Based upon doctrine of essentiality court went into the question of whether praying in a mosque is an essential practice of Islam.
  • The court held that while offering of prayers is an essential practice, the offering of such prayers in the mosque is not, unless the place has a particular religious significance in itself.
  • The apex court in this case didn’t look at Islamic sources before deciding the essentiality of the mosque.
  • The judgement in this case upheld the Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya Act, 1993.
  • Under this act the Centre acquired the disputed land in Ayodhya on which the Babri Masjid had stood.

Doctrine of essentiality

  • A seven-judge Bench of the Supreme Court invented the doctrine of “essentiality” in the Shirur Mutt case in 1954.
  • The court held that the term “religion” will cover all rituals and practices “integral” to a religion.
  • It took upon itself the responsibility of determining the essential and non-essential practices of a religion.
  • The essentiality/integrality doctrine has tended to lead the court into an area that is beyond its competence.
  • It has also given judges the power to decide purely religious questions.

In 2018, The Supreme Court had by a majority of 2-1 refused to refer for reconsideration by a larger Bench the five-judge Constitution Bench judgment in Dr M Ismail Faruqui and Ors vs Union Of India and Ors (October 24, 1994), which upheld the law under which the Centre acquired the disputed land in Ayodhya on which the Babri Masjid had stood. SC refused to refer some questions of law in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute to a larger seven-judge Bench.

By refusing review, SC refused to examine whether essentiality of any practice of any religion can be decided without examining the religious texts of that religion. It also refused to consider the question of whether the freedom of religion protects only practices of particular significance, and not all religious practices. The question of comparative significance of religious practices also remained untouched.

Mediation process:

  • In 2019, SC appointed a 3 member mediation group to resolve the Ayodhya dispute.
  • During the hearing, the court observed that the issue is primarily not about the disputed 2.77 acres of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya, but about religious sentiments.
  • The bench said it could only decide on the property and what it was looking at was “a possibility of healing relationships.”
  • A welcome feature of the court-mandated mediation attempt is that it will not consume much time.
  • The confidentiality rule will be helpful as none would want the atmosphere to be vitiated by premature disclosures when the country is in election mode.
  • However, it is questionable whether this principle can be applied to all disputes and in all situations, especially given that all such previous attempts have ended in failure.

Conclusion:

Mediation, especially when it is at the instance of a court, is a welcome option for those embroiled in protracted civil disputes. A compromise could indeed be preferable to an order that may leave one side aggrieved. Further, the festering wound on the body politic is to render complete justice not only in the civil case, but also for the criminal act of the demolition. The need of the hour is resolving such issues impartially and unbiased for the betterment of the country’s harmony and peace.


Topic: Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian subcontinent); factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India)/ Bio diversity, Environment.

4) In the light of recent Forest Survey report, discuss the significance of Forest Survey in India. What are the issues and challenges involved? Elucidate.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The article is in the background of  the recent recommendations made by the high-power committee constituted by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) that forest surveys — the biennial exercise by the government to estimate forest cover —should explicitly demarcate trees grown in forests from those grown outside, that is, in plantations and private lands.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the significance of the forest surveys in India; importance, issues and challenges involved and how do we address such challenges.

 

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 the importance of forests as a key natural resource, forest surveys as a prime most step in conservation efforts to save forests .

 

Body:

Discuss the importance of forests, bring out the role of forest surveys – in terms of assessment, analysis of the status of the natural resources. Bring out ow they highlight the conditions of forests effectively, what are the issues involved in these surveys, what needs to be done, government’s role in dealing with these challenges.

 

Conclusion:

Conclude with the importance of the survey and suggest way forward.

Introduction:

Forests  provide  renewable  raw  material;  and    energy,    maintain    biological    diversity,    mitigate   climate   change,   protect   land   and water  resources,  provide  recreation  facilities,  improve  air  quality  and  help  alleviate  poverty.  At  the  same  time  forests  are  affected  by  fire,  grazing,  pest  and  invasive  species  and  are  also  the  primary  targets  for  agricultural  and  urban  expansion

India is among top ten nations in the World in Terms of Forest Area. As per the latest FAO report, India is placed 8th in the list of Top Ten nations reporting the greatest annual net gain in forest area. 24.4% of land area under forest and tree cover.

Body:

Forest Survey of India, an organization under Ministry of Environment Forests & Climate Change recently published ‘India State of Forest Report 2017’ based on satellite imagery.

Significance of Forest Survey in India:

  • The Report provides state/district wise forest cover of the country and change thereon with the previous assessment.
  • It also provides the estimates of growing stock within and outside the forest areas, forest cover in hill, tribal and north eastern states.
  • Survey serves as an important tool to monitor the country’s forest resources and plan suitable scientific and policy interventions for their management.
  • The Tree cover is estimated by using sampling based exercise and estimated partly through high resolution satellite data (Resourcesat-II with a spatial resolution of 23.5 meters) and partly through field level inventory data.
  • In the recent survey report, along with Tree cover, information on Carbon stock in India’s forest and Bamboo resources have been incorporated.
  • Forests play an important role in mitigation and adaptation of climate change. Carbon data by FSI was reflected in India’s initial National communication submitted to UNFCCC.
  • Carbon stock information has been used for deciding the target for India’s INDC (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions).
  • FSI has been carrying out real time forest fire monitoring at national level since 2004 using Remote Sensing and GIS Technology. The objective is to detect and inform state forest departments about active forest fires on near real time basis.

The Special Features of current FSI report (ISFR-2017) report are:

  • Forest cover in the country is assessed irrespective of ownership, legal status and land use.
  • This information provides qualitative and quantitative attributes for effective forest management and devising appropriate strategies.
  • FSI has given information on forest cover in and outside green wash area for those states from where digitized records are not present. Green wash areas are represented by forests by Survey of India during its survey.
  • Information has been given for 633 districts by using new and updated district boundaries.
  • State wise information on Carbon stock in the country’s forests has been provided.
  • FSI fire alerts issued to State Forest departments during last five years has been provided.
  • For the first time, the report contains information on the decadal change in water bodies in forests.

The various issues and challenges involved in the Forest Survey are:

  • No explicit demarcation of trees grown in forests from those grown outside, that is, in plantations and private lands.
  • The ecosystem services performed by plantations that have a lot of trees grown for commercial purposes cannot be equated with those of an undisturbed assemblage of plants, trees and animals.
  • Currently, the government counts both towards estimating the portion of India’s geographical area covered by forest. This gives a wrong estimate of forest cover in India.
  • Forest cover is different from ‘recorded forest area’ which the ISFR defines as legally notified forests
  • Independent critics have for long pointed out that including both isn’t an ecologically sound principle.
  • The government also includes substantial patches of trees outside areas designated as forests, such as plantations or greenlands, in its assessment.
  • An estimate listing very dense, moderately dense, open and scrub forests mapped through remote sensing does not really provide deep insights into the integrity of the green areas.
  • A cumulative loss of forests is recorded in Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal of nearly 1,200 sq km. The impact of such a loss must be seen against the backdrop of the Northeast representing a global biodiversity hotspot.
  • Any gains achieved through remediation programmes in Odisha, Assam, Telangana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Manipur cannot compensate for it adequately.
  • There is an ongoing debate on the resolution of satellite imagery the government uses to conduct the forest survey.
  • The scientific reports are based on a mix of satellite data, ground vegetation observations and historical maps. This is at odds with the latest Forest Survey of India report that assesses India’s forest cover.

Way forward:

  • FSI should consider reporting India’s green cover under more explicit categories, including plantations, orchards etc.
  • It could also help to make the GPS data for each forest unit available for public audits.
  • Expanding forest cover should be prioritised in the years to come and non-conventional green cover such as home gardens and urban forests should also be considered.

Conclusion:

India’s forests are critical for its ecosystem because they absorb 11.25 percent of the country’s greenhouse gases. The value of what is technically called an “ecosystem service” would amount to Rs 6 lakh crore ($120 billion) or 4.2 percent of India’s gross domestic product. The increase in forests is important to improving biodiversity and reducing damage caused by natural disasters like floods. States that have reported damage by floods had fewer forests compared to states that had reported less damage. Forest Survey helps in assessment of the forests and take up the necessary actions by the State.


Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

5) The recent incident of wrong medicines post vaccination at the Primary health Centre of Hyderabad point to a looming public health emergency that necessitates a renewed focus on mitigating the hazards of poor health infrastructure . Discuss and critically analyze government policies for dealing with the crisis? (250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question:

Recently one infant died and 22 others were in a critical condition after the staff of an urban primary health centre in Hyderabad allegedly administered them the wrong medicine – tramadol instead of paracetamol – after vaccination. The alleged mistake took place because of the similar packaging on the two drugs available at the health centre.

 

Key demand of the question:

The question is in the backdrop of the complacent and irresponsible behavior of the primary health care Centre in Hyderabad that lead to innocent loss of life. In this answer you must bring out the issues associated with the Healthcare industry and what needs to be done to address these issues.

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.

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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin with the importance of the primary healthcare centers in the Indian model of health infrastructure.

Body:

The answer should mainly focus upon:

  • the challenges, issues and concerns associated with such incidents in the health industry.
  • What needs to be done ?
  • Redressal?

Conclusion:

Conclude with how the Industry needs to gear up , strict action needs to be taken against the irresponsible and wrong doers, stringent policies should be put in place to keep a check on such issues.

Introduction:

Primary Health Centre (PHCs) (public health centres) are state-owned rural health care facilities in India. They are essentially single-physician clinics usually with facilities for minor surgeries, too. They are part of the government-funded public health system in India and are the most basic units of this system. Presently there are 28,863 PHCs in India.

In a recent incident at Nampally primary health center, two infants died and 32 others were admitted to further treatment after the staff allegedly gave the wrong medicine

Body:

India has made reasonable progress in improving access to last-mile healthcare over the last decade. However, the improved access has not reached the 29 states equally.

The various challenges concerning the healthcare industry in India are: India’s healthcare suffers from quality, quantity, footprint, access and affordability issues.

  • The quantity issue:
    • The WHO estimates that India spent about $267 per capita on health care in PPP adjusted terms in 2014—China spent three times that amount, Brazil five times, European nations 10 times and the US 20 times.
    • India spends only about 5% of GDP on public healthcare. Most countries spend two or more times that number.
    • This allocation impacts infrastructure, supply of critical equipments, the number of hospitals and doctors, specialists, nurses and assistants.
    • There aren’t enough skilled healthcare professionals in India despite recent increases in MBBS programmes and nursing courses. Shortage is compounded by inequitable distribution of these resources.
  • The quality issue:
    • India suffers from an acute shortage of secondary and tertiary hospitals
    • Significant shortfall in specialists and specialized equipment
    • Rigid regulatory framework combined with corrupt enforcement.
    • Inadequate feeder system from preventive health to primary care to secondary and tertiary referral, acute shortage of post-graduate seats for medical education.
    • India does not have an overarching national policy for human resources for health.
    • The dominance of medical lobbies such as the Medical Council of India
    • Medical Negligence as seen in the Nampally incident.
  • Access and affordability issues:
    • Primary health centres (PHCs) are not present in many villages and wherever present they are severely undermanned.
    • This deeply impacts prevention and early detection.
    • High Out of Pocket Expenditure: Costs of medical treatment have increased so much that they are one of the primary reasons driving people into poverty
    • Recent incidence of the cut in the supply of oxygen cylinders to the hospital in Gorakhpur highlights the failure of procurement management in the Indian public health system.
    • The inefficiency in the procurement process results in both shortages and wastage.
    • Research showed that the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) has failed to cover an adequate number of poor house
    • There is lack of all things important to human settlements—sanitation, disease surveillance, primary healthcare, tertiary hospitals, life-saving equipment, political will and public health response.

Measures needed:

  • A prevention and early detection system is a must if costs of the whole system for the country are to be contained. Implementation of preventive and promotive health activities in an integrated and comprehensive manner
  • Increasing the number of drugs under price control. The government must consider bringing more medical devices under price control with the aim of making healthcare more accessible.
  • The health ministry could also look at standardising the cost of certain treatments, so the prices don’t vary across hospitals.
  • Progressively raising public health expenditure to 5% of GDP.
  • Location of health services and facilities should be such that these are easily accessible and available to people, especially the under-privileged sections.
  • Human resource planning, human resource development would ensure a motivated workforce. The ANM’s and ASHA workers who form the ground-force of public healthcare should be paid at timely intervals and taken care of.
  • Identification and specification of the role of public and private sectors in health should be encouraged.
  • Effective involvement of the indigenous systems of medicine in provision of health care services
  • Developing and using an appropriate health technology so as to have locally relevant health technologies which fit into the local socio-cultural milieu.
  • Strengthening of international partnership in health by integrated involvement of international organisations. Sharing experiences and expertise in health among various countries especially in the South East Asian countries
  • Public procurement policy experts say that there is a dire need to have procurement specialists in government hospitals. Introduce e-tendering and direct payment into the bank account of the vendor or service provider of medical equipments to maintain transparency.
  • Technology like Telemedicine, the E-health initiative should be deployed for human health development, an iterative, data-driven and user-centric approach is required.
  • Enactment of public health Acts to provide the basic legislative underpinning for public health action.
  • The Swachh Bharat campaign could also use such technical expertise to maximize its impact in reducing exposure to diseases.

Conclusion:

The National Health Policy (2017) calls for upgradation for all 150,000 sub-centres in the country as ‘Health and Wellness Centres’ to provide improved primary care, with basic preventive, diagnostic, curative and referral facilities. As the required policies come through, it is time we define the right models to empower nurses and paramedics to deliver more at the last mile.


Topic  Disaster and disaster management.

6) Discuss the objectives of recently launched Flood Management and Border Areas Programme (FMBAP) and analyze the need for a comprehensive policy and coordinated approach for flood management and border area programmes.(250 words)

pib

 

Why this question:

The Union Cabinet has approved the “Flood Management and Border Areas Programme (FMBAP)” for Flood Management Works in entire country and River Management Activities and works related to Border Areas (RMBA).

 

Key demand of the question:

The answer should discuss the salient features of the programme, the objectives of it.

you must also detail and emphasis on the need for a comprehensive policy and coordinated approach for flood management and border area programmes.

 

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:

Briefly narrate the background of the programme.

 

Body:

Discussion of the answer should capture the following points :

  • Importance of the programme.
  • Salient features and objectives.
  • Benefits of the scheme, challenges and issues faced in implementation.
  • Need for such schemes , suggest a way forward.

 

Keywords:

effective flood management, erosion control , anti-sea erosion, Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project, Sapta Kosi-Sun Kosi Projects in Nepal,

Conclusion –

Conclude with need for holistic approach to address the requirements of border areas and river regions.

Introduction:

While 40 million hectares of land were “prone to floods” till 1978 as per the Rashtriya Barh Ayog (RBA) that studied figures since 1953, the 12th Plan working group on flood and management subsequently increased the area to 49.815 million hectares in 2011. An assessment by India’s Union home ministry has found that India’s most flood-prone states are Punjab, West Bengal, Bihar, UP, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Kerala, Assam, Gujarat and Odisha.

Body:

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister recently approved the “Flood Management and Border Areas Programme (FMBAP)” for Flood Management Works in entire country and River Management Activities and works related to Border Areas for the period 2017-18 to 2019-20 with a total outlay of Rs.3342.00 crores.

 

Salient features of the Program:

  • The Scheme “FMBAP” has been framed by merging the components of two continuing XII Plan schemes titled “Flood Management Programme (FMP)” and “River Management Activities and Works related to Border Areas (RMBA)”.
  • The aim of the Scheme is to assist the State Governments to provide reasonable degree of protection against floods in critical areas by adopting optimum combination of structural and non-structural measures and enhancing capabilities of State /Central Government officials in related fields.
  • The works under the scheme will protect valuable land from erosion and flooding and help in maintaining peace along the border.
  • The Scheme aims at completion of the on-going projects already approved under FMP.
  • Further, the scheme also caters to Hydro-meteorological observations and Flood Forecasting on common rivers with the neighbouring countries.
  • The Scheme also includes survey and investigations, preparation of DPR etc. of water resources projects on the common rivers with neighbouring countries like Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project, Sapta Kosi-Sun Kosi Projects in Nepal which would benefit both countries.

Funding pattern:

  • General category States: The funding pattern for FM Component for works in general category States will continue to be 50% (Centre): 50% (State)
  • Special Category states: for projects of North Eastern States, Sikkim, J&K, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the funding pattern will continue to be 70% (Centre): 30% (State).
  • Border States: RMBA component being specific to activities in border areas with neighbouring countries and in accordance with bilateral mechanisms, the projects / works will continue to be funded as 100% grant-in-aid / central assistance.

Benefits of the scheme:

  • The FMBAP Scheme will be implemented throughout the country for effective flood management, erosion control and anti-sea erosion.
  • The proposal will benefit towns, villages, industrial establishments, communication links, agricultural fields, infrastructure etc. from floods and erosion in the country.
  • The catchment area treatment works will help in reduction of sediment load into rivers.

Challenges and issues faced in implementation:

  • Despite various steps taken over the last 5 decades, the trend of increasing damage and devastation caused by floods pose challenge to Government and people.
  • Floods in some part of India are as regular as the monsoon itself. But human-made factors have compounded this annual problem.
  • Agencies which should be working together to keep the floods in check, have operated along different lines.
  • States do not take the problem seriously since the constitution does not mention flood management under union, state or concurrent list.
  • Earlier floods were mainly a rural problem. Now floods hit urban areas and last for months.
  • The coverage of rain-gauge stations in hilly areas is still inadequate.
  • Wild animals tend to move to high grounds at the time of floods. Many animals are not killed by nature but by the opportunistic killing of those, mainly for their meat.

Way Forward

  • Structural Measures:
    • In view of climate change and varying precipitation and river flow patterns, the embankments and reservoirs must be designed to accommodate worst case scenarios.
    • Watershed management should be prioritised. It include measures for developing and conserving the vegetative and soil covers and also construction of structural works like check-dams, detention.
    • Improvement of river channels and surface drainage and most importantly checking erosion of land on river banks.
    • The tree plantation drives at all levels are steps in the right direction.
    • River-basin specific flood inundation modelling with climate change simulations is a necessary first step to understand the full impact of potential unprecedented flooding. This includes worst-case scenarios such as twice the maximum historical rainfall, as was recently done by a Department for International Development, U.K.-supported project for the Mahanadi in Chhattisgarh.
    • Flood control can be effected through an Integrated Dam Management System, which is totally computerised and automated, the only exception being lifting and lowering of shutters which has to be done manually. This system which can be called IDMS, has to be evolved and developed independently.
    • Diversion of flood waters: This method can be used in case of unusual floods around cities. Important projects under construction or under planning are the supplementary drain in Delhi, the Thottapally Spillway diversion in Kerala, the Kolleru lake diversion into the sea in Andhra Pradesh, etc.
    • Detention basins: They are formed by improving the capacity of natural depressions/ swamps and lakes. The Ghaggar detention basin in Rajasthan is a good example. This method is relatively inexpensive as the land under marshes may hardly require much compensation.

 

  • Non-Structural measures:
    • Causes for annual floods are well-known. It’s now time to put lessons from research on the rivers into practice.
    • The Centre-states mechanism needs to be further strengthen with focus on greater coordination.
    • Integrated approach to managing floods requires a sound understanding of the patterns that rivers such as the Ganga and its tributaries display during the monsoon. Governmental understanding of the problem generally relies not so much on advanced techniques such as mapping based on satellite imagery and Geographic Information Systems, but on ground-level surveys and anecdotal reporting. This needs to change.
    • Flood forecasting has been recognized as one of the most important, reliable and cost-effective non-structural measures for flood management.
    • Advance town planning and yearly preparations should be done to mitigate the effects of urban planning. Flood proofing measures involve raising villages above the pre-determined floods levels.
    • Discouraging creation of valuable assets /settlement of people in the areas subject to frequent flooding.
    • Facilitating timely evacuation of people and shifting of their moveable property to safer grounds by having advanced warning of incoming floods.
    • The local community should be encouraged to co-manage water resources with the government (by planning intermediate storage, drainage and emergency responses).
    • There must be massive awareness generation, to ensure that airports are not extended into river floodplains ,that road culverts let storm water through without hindrance, and that excess water is not blocked but allowed to saturate the soil strata so that it does not cause mudslides.

Conclusion:

The approach to flood management need to have a relook to have an integrated strategy for policy and management related to floods. A flood management strategy will need to cover flood warnings, flood mitigation, any necessary evacuation and post-flood recovery.


TopicPublic/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; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

7) “After a time, civil servants tend to become no longer servants and no longer civil”. Evaluate . (250 words)

 

Why this question:

The question is in the light of the statement made by Winston Churchill, that highlights the importance of values and ethics in Civil servants .

 

Key demand of the question:

The answer must  provide for a comprehensive analogy of the statement, highlighting the importance of values and ethics amongst civil servants.

 

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:

Explain briefly the meaning of the quote; what it implies by – “no longer civil” and “no longer servant” .

Body:

Discuss how the role of ethics and moral values is significant in bringing good governance through honest civil servants. Discuss the numerous ways to strengthen the moral values in governance through Principle of Selflessness, high integrity, objectivity, accountability etc. demonstrated by civil servants. Substantiate with relevant examples and case studies.

 

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of values and ethics in civil servants for effective working of governance.

Introduction:

The statement made by Winston Churchill, which highlights the importance of values and ethics in Civil servants . In the recent times, there is a decline in the levels of integrity among civil servants, significant erosion of esprit de corps within the higher civil services. Many civil servants suffer from intellectual sluggishness, which is manifested in the flattening of their learning curves. Most civil servants have the attitude that they are repositories of the wisdom and knowledge needed to deal with matters that lie within their spheres of authority

Body:

Importance of ethics and moral values is significant in bringing good governance through honest civil servants:

  • The popular perception members of the civil services have a “ruler mindset”, show no signs of courteous and humane behaviour, are totally devoid of transparency in decision-making, and seem to be preoccupied with their own survival and vested interests.
  • This mindset becomes apparent when they are called upon to take care of the needs of the weaker sections of society, especially while implementing policies that can lead to a clash with the interests of influential persons in society.
  • As a result, the objectives of justice, fair play, development and welfare vis-à-vis the weaker sections tend to suffer by default.
  • A negative orientation, declining professionalism, intellectual sluggishness and a lack of ability to acquire new knowledge, undynamic outlook and, at times, a complete lack of intellectual honesty are some of the other weaknesses
  • Some members of the civil service have maintained a firm commitment to high standards of ethics and to the service of the nation.
  • The lack of integrity has led many others have breached the codes of professional conduct and entered into unethical, symbiotic pacts of convenience and mutual accommodation with influential politicians and business interests.
  • The lack of inquisitiveness and humility makes civil servants unreceptive to new ideas and impervious to innovations that are essential in a dynamic administrative environment.
  • The tendency to favour colleagues belonging to one’s own caste, regional or linguistic group implies that those not belonging to any such group will suffer inequitable treatment shows the lack of impartiality and objectivity.

Ways to strengthen the moral values in governance:

  • High Integrity:
    • Civil servants should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organizations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties.
  • Objectivity:
    • In conducting public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, Civil servants should make choices only on merit.
  • Accountability:
    • Civil servants should be as open as possible on all the decisions and actions that they take.
    • They should record reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interests clearly demand.
  • Honesty:
    • Civil servants have a duty to declare any private interest relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interests.
    • At the time of recruitment it has to be checked whether the aspirants are aware of the direction in which the country is moving and the strengths and weaknesses of civil society.
  • Leadership:
    • Civil servants should promote and support these principles by way of leadership and examples.
  • Principle of Selflessness:
    • Civil servants should take decision solely in terms of public interest.
    • They should not do anything to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family or their friends.
  • Sense of belongingness with the Public:
    • In order to implement ethics in governance, the elected representative like should develop a sense of belongingness with voters of their constituencies; and listen and redress their grievances by visiting them periodically .
    • There should not be any communication gap between the two.
  • Responsible and Responsive Civil Servants:
    • Each Ministry is headed by a senior level bureaucrat who is a link between the public and the government.
    • These high level officers should give proper feed-back on the problems faced by the public to the concerned Minister and suggest the feasible measure which can be taken to solve the problem within the ambit of law.
    • If possible they can also suggest to amend the law to address the problem properly.
  • Friendly relation with people:
    • If there are cordial relations between the government and the people at different levels, then governance will transform into good governance.
    • People will feel that they are part of the administration, and they shall better understand the position of the government if any of their critical demand is not met with, due to any technical reason.
  • Insulation of the civil service:
    • From the vagaries and arbitrariness of the political executive.
    • This can be done by vesting the authority to post and transfer civil servants in independent boards consisting of service professionals.

Conclusion:

Civil servants  have  a  special  responsibility  because  they  are  entrusted  with  managing  resources on  behalf  of  the  community,  delivering  services  to  the  community  and  taking  decisions  that affect a citizen’s life. There is a need for the Public Service Bill which can guide and regulate the behaviour of Civil servants as recommended by 2nd ARC too.