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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 11 MAY 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 11 MAY 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: changes in critical geographical features.

1) Provide for a critical review of the physical effects of sand mining on hydraulic structures in the country. What can be done to better govern the resources of sand in the country? Discuss.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

Recently UNEP released a report, “Sand and Sustainability: Finding new solutions for environmental governance of global sand resources” highlighting the issue of Sand mining and offering solutions to the issue through governance.

Key demands of the question:

The answer must discuss the ill effects of sand mining on the hydraulic systems such as rivers, shores, sea beds etc. and what are the efforts that must be taken in the governance of these sand resources so as to overcome the issue.

Directive word

Critical review – When asked to review, 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

In a few introductory lines explain that the mechanical removal of sand directly from the active channel of rivers, streams and seashores has become sizeable source of course and fine aggregates in India. In the last few decades, the construction Industry in India has seen a rapid augmentation resulting in rise in the demand of construction raw materials, including aggregates.

Body

Discuss the following aspects in the answer:

  • What are the resources of sand available in the country? How is illegal sand mining physically affecting these resources and the physical environment around it?
  • Discuss the causes of concern.
  • Provide for a detailed discussion on how it effects the hydraulic system?
  • What steps should be taken to handle this critical situation?
  • Take hints from the report and suggest solutions.  

Conclusion

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) recently released a report, Sand and Sustainability: Finding new solutions for environmental governance of global sand resources, that highlights a problem that has largely stayed under the radar: sand consumption globally has been increasing and we are extracting it at rates exceeding natural replenishment rates.

Body:

Sand and gravel are the second largest natural resources extracted and traded by volume after water, but among the least regulated. Sand is created by slow geological processes, and its distribution is not even. Desert sand, available in plenty, is not suited for construction use because it is wind-smoothed, and therefore non-adherent. While 85% to 90% of global sand demand is met from quarries, and sand and gravel pits, the 10% to 15% extracted from rivers and sea shores is a severe concern due the environmental and social impacts.

Need for sand mining:

  • Infrastructure projects and construction activities.
  • To meet the rising need of housing construction.
  • Livelihood of sand miners.

Effects on the hydraulic structure due to rampant sand mining:

  • Their extraction often results in river and coastal erosion and threats to freshwater and marine fisheries and aquatic ecosystems, instability of river banks leading to increased flooding, and lowering of ground water levels.
  • The report notes that China and India head the list of critical hotspots for sand extraction impacts in rivers, lakes and on coastlines.
  • Most large rivers of the world have lost between half and 95% of their natural sand and gravel delivery to ocean the report says.
  • The damming of rivers for hydro-electricity production or irrigation is reducing the amount of sediment flowing downstream.
  • This broken replenishment system exacerbates pressures on beaches already threatened by sea level rise and intensity of storm-waves induced by climate change, as well as coastal developments.
  • There are also indirect consequences, like loss of local livelihoods — an ironic example is that construction in tourist destinations can lead to depletion of natural sand in the area, thereby making those very places unattractive — and safety risks for workers where the industry is not regulated
  • Mining which leads to the removal of channel substrate, resuspension of streambed sediment, clearance of vegetation, and stockpiling on the streambed, will have ecological impacts. These impacts may have an effect on the direct loss of stream reserve habitat, disturbances of species attached to streambed deposits, reduced light penetration, reduced primary production, and reduced feeding opportunities.

Measures needed:

  • The report suggests better spatial planning and reducing unnecessary construction — including speculative projects or those being done mainly for prestige — thereby making more efficient use of aggregates.
  • It calls for investing in infrastructure maintenance and retrofitting rather than the demolish and rebuild cycle, embracing alternative design and construction methods, even avoiding use of cement and concrete where possible, and using green infrastructure.
  • The report concludes with a call for large-scale multipronged actions from global to local levels, involving public, private and civil society organisations.
  • This will mean building consensus, defining what success would look like, and reconciling policies and standards with sand availability, development imperatives and standards and enforcement realities.
  • The alternative substitute materials the report points to, are several from India, including oil palm shell, waste foundry sand, crushed tiles, granite powder, mine waste, bottom ash, and discarded rubber.

Conclusion:

To help states deal with the sand mining issues, including demand supply deficit and illegal extraction, the Union Government has launched a framework prepared after intensive consultations with all stakeholders. There is a need to reduce demand to responsible levels and stop environmentally damaging practices to protect sensitive ecosystems and meet biodiversity conservation goals.


Topic: Structure, organization and functioning of the Judiciary.

2) “Establishing the position of the SCs and STs as worthy participants in the affairs of governance is intrinsic to an equal citizenship”. Comment in the light of recent Supreme court judgment with respect to reservation in promotions. (250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

The article highlights the apex courts significant landmark judgment that was made yesterday with respect to reservation in promotions.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must evaluate the facility of promotions in jobs for SC’s and ST’s and in what wat establishing their position is intrinsic to equal citizenship.  

Directive:

Commenthere we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Brief upon the background of the scenario.

Body:

  • The Supreme Court on Friday upheld a Karnataka law which grants reservation in promotion and consequential seniority to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in government services in the State.
  • The judge said “administrative efficiency is an outcome of the actions taken by officials after they are appointed or promoted. It is not tied to the selection method itself.” The argument that one selection method produced officials capable of taking better actions than a second method must be empirically proven.
  • Discuss series of events – cases that have had inference on the judgement made yesterday.
  • Explain the constitutional nuances –
  • 77th Constitutional Amendment Act- Introduced Article 16(4A); It confers power on the state to reserve seats in favor of SC and ST in promotions in Public Services if the communities are not adequately represented in public employment. This law was given retrospective effect from 1992.
  • while the test of proportionality to the population is mandated by the Constitution in Article 330 (Reservation of seats for SCs & STs in the House of People), it does not do so in the provision of reservations in promotions (Article 16(4A)).
  • Suggest what should be the way forward

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of such judgement to favor the equality of citizens.

Introduction:

Supreme Court, in a landmark ruling, has upheld the constitutional validity of a 2018 Karnataka law granting consequential seniority to government servants promoted on the basis of reservation. Article 16(4A) of the Constitution permits reservation in promotion posts for the SCs and STs, but Supreme Court judgments over the years have imposed certain conditions for the state to exercise its power under this provision.

Body:

Background:

  • In its landmark 1992 decision in Indra Sawhney vs Union of India, the Supreme Court had held that reservations under Article 16(4) could only be provided at the time of entry into government service but not in matters of promotion.
  • It added that the principle would operate only prospectively and not affect promotions already made and that reservation already provided in promotions shall continue in operation for a period of five years from the date of the judgment. It also ruled that the creamy layer can be and must be excluded.
  • 77th Constitutional Amendment Act introduced Article 16(4A); It confers power on the state to reserve seats in favour of SC and ST in promotions in Public Services if the communities are not adequately represented in public employment. This law was given retrospective effect from 1992.
  • While the test of proportionality to the population is mandated by the Constitution in Article 330 (Reservation of seats for SCs & STs in the House of People), it does not do so in the provision of reservations in promotions (Article 16(4A)).
  • Karnataka’s 2018 law protects consequential seniority from April 24, 1978. The Karnataka legislature enacted the 2018 law after the Supreme Court invalidated the 2002 Act in B K Pavitra vs Union of India.
  • Striking down the 2002 law in 2017, the Supreme Court had said that Sections 3 and 4 of the Act were ultra vires of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution on the ground that the exercise mandated in the Nagaraj judgment had not been carried out.

Current verdict:

  • While upholding the validity of the Karnataka Extension of Consequential Seniority to Government Servants Promoted on the Basis of Reservation (to the Posts in the Civil Services of the State) Act, 2018, said it “has cured the deficiency” on account of which a 2002 law on reservation in promotions had been quashed in 2017.
  • The judgement of Supreme Court addresses two issues related to reservation in promotion for SCs and STs:
    • No need for quantifiable data: It relieved the states from collecting quantifiable data on backwardness for providing reservation in promotions for STs and STs.
    • Validity of creamy layer: It upheld the validity of application of creamy layer in reservations in promotions for STs and SCs.
  • The “deficiency” referred to was the lack of an exercise to determine and collect quantifiable data on inadequacy of representation, backwardness and the impact on overall efficiency before the law was enacted, as mandated by the Supreme Court’s 2006 judgment in M Nagaraj vs Union of India.
  • This Supreme Court order is significant because it underlines “a ‘meritorious’ candidate is not merely one who is ‘talented ‘or ‘successful’ but also one whose appointment fulfils the constitutional goals of uplifting members of the SCs and STs and ensuring a diverse and representative administration”.

Way Forward:

A comprehensive piece of legislature that would deal with ambiguity related to reservation in promotions is needed. The Act should try to rectify the current issues such as

  • Undefined parameters of efficiency.
  • Absence of transparency in evaluating backwardness and efficiency of STs/SCs
  • Presence of ambiguity regarding whole process of promotions in government services.

Topic:  Structure, organization and functioning of the Judiciary.

3) Discuss in detail the appointment procedure of Judges as enshrined in the Indian constitution.(250 words)

The hindu.

Why this question:

Pushing for a ‘full court’, the Supreme Court Collegium, led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, recommended the names of two judges to the court and rejected the government’s disapproval of the elevation of two others yesterday. Thus, it is important for us to ponder upon the appointment procedure of the judges.

Key demand of the question:

The question expects

Directive word:

DiscussThis 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 state the importance of the appointment of Judges.

Body:

  • Discussion should include the complete procedure of appointment as per the constitution.
  • Appointment Procedure?  -Article 124(3) of the constitution mentions the following people as eligible to become a Supreme Court (SC) Judge:

           – A High Court (HC) judge who has held that post for 5 years or more.

–  An advocate who has practiced in the HC/SC for 10 years or more.

–  A distinguished Jurist.

  • Article 124(2) says that the President of India Shall appoint the judges after consultation with such number of Judges of the SC/HC as he deems necessary. For appointment of any Judge of SC (other than CJI), the CJI must be consulted.
  • The three Judges case of 1981, 1993 & 1998 has formalized the collegium system for the purpose of consultation.
  • The collegium for appointing SC judge consists of the CJI and 4 senior-most judges of SC.
  • Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) was set up after the Third Judge Case of 1998 to provide the process of how the Collegium would recommend names to the Executive.
  • The President of India can either accept the recommendation or send it back for reconsideration. The reconsidered advice must be accepted by the President.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a reassertion that appointment of Judges is a significant procedure in the Judicial system of the country.

Introduction:

The judges of the Supreme Court and High Court in India are appointed by President as per article 124(2) and 217 of the constitution. In such appointment, the President is required to hold consultation with such of the Judges of the Supreme Court and of the High Courts in the States as he may deem necessary for the purpose.

Body:

Eligibility to become a Supreme Court judge:

  • To become a judge of the Supreme Court, an individual should be an Indian citizen.
  • The norms relating to the eligibility has been envisaged in the Article 124 of the Indian Constitution. In terms of age, a person should not exceed 65 years of age.
  • The person should serve as a judge of one high court or more (continuously), for at least five years or the person should be an advocate in the High court for at least 10 years or a distinguished jurist.

The collegium system of appointment of judges:

  • The collegium system was commissioned by two judgments of the Supreme Court in 1990s. It has no mention in the original Constitution of India or its successive amendments.
  • The three Judges case of 1981, 1993 & 1998 has formalized the collegium system for the purpose of consultation.
  • The collegium for appointing SC judge consists of the CJI and 4 senior-most judges of SC.
  • The collegium sends its final recommendation to the President of India for approval. The President can either accept it or reject it. In the case it is rejected, the recommendation comes back to the collegium. If the collegium reiterates its recommendation to the President, then he/she is bound by that recommendation.

For appointment of High court judges:

  • President appoints judges in consultation with: Chief Justice of India, Governor of the State, Chief Justice of the High Court.

Need for reforms:

  • Collegium system has its concerns as absolute power is not desirable in any branch of the State.
  • Diversity in consideration such as geography, gender and ethnicity should all “legitimately weigh in the balance” when appointing judges from a pool of potentially meritorious candidates. The Collegium system is unable to cater to this need of diversity in the judicial system.
  • It is seen as a closed-door affair without a formal and transparent system. Judges, hopeful of going higher, have to please the members of the collegium.
  • This system overlooks several talented junior judges and advocates.
  • Sometimes, collegium gets obstructed, when old rivalries between its members see each other’s favourites getting vetoed.
  • Sometimes collegium meetings become examples of bargaining within the collective, and consensus emerging from a division of the spoils.

Way forward:

  • The need of the hour is to revisit the existing system through a transparent and participatory procedure, preferably by an independent broad-based constitutional body guaranteeing judicial primacy but not judicial exclusivity.
  • The new system should ensure independence, reflect diversity, and demonstrate professional competence and integrity.
  • The system needs to establish a body which is independent and objective in the selection process.
  • Setting up a constitutional body accommodating the federal concept of diversity and independence of judiciary for appointment of judges to the higher judiciary can also be thought of as an alternate measure.
  • As of now, instead of selecting the number of judges required against a certain number of vacancies, the collegium must provide a panel of possible names to the President to appointment in order of preference and other valid criteria.
  • Meanwhile the centre should hasten its process of finalising the MoP on judicial appointments.

Topic:  Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

4) Discuss the role of World customs organization in global market and analyse what are the emerging challenges that it must deal with.(250 words)

pib

Why this question:

Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), under Ministry of Finance recently organised a meeting of Regional Heads of Customs Administration of Asia Pacific Region of World Customs Organisation (WCO) in Kochi (in Kerala). India currently holds seat of Vice Chairperson of Asia Pacific region.

Demand of the question:

This question seeks to examine role of World customs organization in global market along with the challenges being faced by the world countries with respect to customs and how should WCO resolve it.

Directive word:

DiscussThis 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

Start with brief introduction on WCO.

Body

The answer is straightforward and there is nothing much to deliberate upon. One must define the coming of World customs organization into existence, its roles, functions and responsibilities.

  • As a forum for dialogue and exchange of experiences between national Customs delegates, the WCO offers its Members a range of Conventions and other international instruments, as well as technical assistance and training services.
  • Besides the vital role played by the WCO in stimulating the growth of legitimate international trade, its efforts to combat fraudulent activities are also recognized internationally.
  • WCO has also been responsible for administering the World Trade Organization’s Agreements on Customs Valuation, which provide a system for placing values on imported goods, and the Rules of Origin, which are used to determine the origin of a given commodity.
  • Discuss the challenges that it needs to tackle with.

Conclusion

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The World Customs Organization (WCO), established in 1952 as the Customs Co-operation Council (CCC) is an independent intergovernmental body whose mission is to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of Customs administrations. It represents 182 Customs administrations across the globe that collectively process approximately 98% of world trade. It is the only international organization with competence in Customs matters and is considered as voice of international Customs community.

Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), under Ministry of Finance organized a meeting of Regional Heads of Customs Administration of Asia Pacific Region of World Customs Organisation (WCO) in Kochi. India currently holds seat of Vice Chairperson of Asia Pacific region.

Body:

Roles and functions:

  • As the global centre of Customs expertise, the WCO is the only international organization with competence in Customs matters and can rightly call itself the voice of the international Customs community.
  • The WCO has divided its Membership into six Regions. Each of the six Regions is represented by a regionally elected Vice-Chairperson to the WCO Council.
  • As a forum for dialogue and exchange of experiences between national Customs delegates, the WCO offers its Members a range of Conventions and other international instruments, as well as technical assistance and training services.
  • Besides the vital role played by the WCO in stimulating the growth of legitimate international trade, its efforts to combat fraudulent activities are also recognized internationally.
  • WCO has also been responsible for administering the World Trade Organization’s Agreements on Customs Valuation, which provide a system for placing values on imported goods, and the Rules of Origin, which are used to determine the origin of a given commodity.
  • It also promotes emergence of honest, transparent and predictable Customs environment, thus directly contributing to economic and social well-being of its members.
  • It also actively supports its members in their endeavours to modernize and build capacity within their national Customs administrations

Challenges faced:

Trade facilitation and security

  • Ensuring speed and efficiency in the clearance process for an increasing volume of transactions
  • Managing change from a few large/bulk shipments into a large number of low-value and small shipments
  • Managing risks posed by limited knowledge on importers and the e-commerce supply chain (new class of sellers and buyers/occasional shippers and buyers)
  • Ensuring data quality (accuracy and adequacy of the data received)
  • Defining the role and responsibility (liability) of e-commerce operators to assist governments (e-vendors/intermediaries)

Fair and efficient collection of duties and taxes

  • Identifying abuse or misuse of ‘de minimus’ for illicit trade purposes (splitting of consignments/undervaluation)
  • Ensuring compliance with classification and origin rules
  • Integration of e-commerce vs traditional trade

Protection of society – criminal exploitation of e-commerce

  • Setting up a specialized unit to trawl the Web for information which might be of use in preventing, detecting, investigating and prosecuting a Customs-related offence (drug trafficking/counterfeited and pirated goods/illicit financial flows/money laundering)
  • Enhancing international cooperation and ensuring that agreements on mutual legal assistance are in place to allow for investigations or prosecutions when websites are hosted outside a national territory
  • Making the most of existing technologies, especially those related to data analysis

Other challenges include globalization of business and trade complex new governance rules, international terrorism, environmental protection and poverty reduction.

Conclusion:

In an international environment characterized by instability and the ever-present threat of terrorist activity, the WCO’s mission to enhance the protection of society and the national territory, and to secure and facilitate international trade, takes on its full meaning.


Topic : Health.

5) Discuss the Objectives of recently unveiled Global Health Security Strategy by the US. Also discuss its significance.(250 words)

Reference

 

Why this question:

The United States government recently unveiled the Global Health Security Strategy, a first of its kind strategy to prevent, detect and respond to threats from infectious diseases occurring naturally or accidentally.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must provide for a detailed narration of Global Health Security Strategy as unveiled by the US. Discuss its significance in detail.

Directive word:

DiscussThis 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:

In a few introductory lines discuss the importance of Global Health Security Strategy.

Body:

Answers must discuss the following aspects:

  • What are the objectives of Global Health Security Strategy? – It is a first of its kind strategy to prevent, detect and respond to biological threats from infectious diseases occurring naturally or accidentally, in an effort to help improve the world’s ability to stop deadly outbreaks before they spread between countries.
  • Goals of the strategy?
  • strengthen partner country global health security capacities,
  • increase international support for global health security and
  • a homeland prepared and resilient against global health threats.
  • Significance of such a step.
  • What should be India’s role?

Conclusion –

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The Global Health Security Strategy defines the actions the US administration will take by adopting a whole-of-government approach to health security and leveraging the strengths of different federal departments, agencies and funding streams

Body:

Objectives:

  • The United States government has come up with a first of its kind strategy to prevent, detect and respond to threats from infectious diseases occurring naturally or accidentally.
  • An effort to help improve the world’s ability to stop and contain deadly outbreaks before they spread between countries.
  • It defines the actions that US administration will undertake by adopting a whole-of-government approach to health security.

The strategy will pursue three interrelated goals:

  • Strengthened capacity in developing nations to implement obligations under the International Health Regulations (2005)
  • Increased international support for The Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA)
  • A Homeland prepared and resilient against global health threats.

Need:

  • The increase in the number of infectious-diseases outbreaks (e.g., Ebola, Zika, and yellow fever) around the world and the risk posed by an accidental or deliberate release of dangerous pathogens highlight the need for a sustained, multi-sectoral, and coordinated
  • Outbreaks can spread rapidly to jeopardize the health, security, and prosperity of all countries, including the United States.
  • With this new Strategy, the United States reaffirms its steadfast support for building global and country-level health-security capacities so we are all better protected against existing and emerging infectious disease threats.
  • The GHSS highlights the need for establishing preparedness and response capabilities that extend beyond a single country’s borders as well as the importance of incorporating a One Health approach when addressing existing and emerging biosecurity threats.

Conclusion:

The US Global Health Security Strategy outlines the continued evolution of the US governments’ involvement in the broader effort to establish and maintain global health security capacity to protect populations from an array of infectious disease and other health threats. While this document does not explicitly outline programs or allocate funding to global health or health security priorities, it will undoubtedly have an impact on global and domestic preparedness, detection, and response capabilities.


Topic: Government Budgeting

6) Explain the concepts of budgetary deficit and fiscal deficit. (250 words)

Indian economy by Dutta and Sundaram

Why this question:

The question is from the static portions of GS – III paper and is intended to evaluate the concepts of budgetary deficit and fiscal deficit.

Key demand of the question:

Analyse in detail the concepts of budgetary deficit and fiscal deficit.

Directive word:

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the  particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Provide for a brief introduction of the two concepts or highlight their significance.

Body:

In brief discuss –

  • Definition of the two – budgetary deficit and fiscal deficit.
  • What is difference between fiscal deficit and budget deficit? – Budgetary deficit is the difference between all receipts and expenses in both revenue and capital account of the government.
  • A fiscal deficit occurs when a government’s total expenditures exceed the revenue that it generates, excluding money from borrowings. Deficit differs from debt, which is an accumulation of yearly deficits.
  • Discuss the significance of the two in the economy.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting their significance.

Introduction:

Budgetary deficit is the difference between all receipts and expenses in both revenue and capital account of the government and indicate the financial health of a country. A fiscal deficit occurs when a government’s total expenditures exceed the revenue that it generates, excluding money from borrowings.

Body:

Budgetary deficit:

  • The government generally uses the term budget deficit when referring to spending rather than businesses or individuals. Accrued deficits form national debt.
  • A budget deficit happens when current expenses exceed the amount of income received through standard operations.
  • Certain unanticipated events and policies may cause budget deficits.
  • Countries can counter budget deficits by raising taxes and cutting spending.

Danger of Budget Deficits

  • One of the primary dangers of a budget deficit is inflation, which is the continuous increase of price levels.
  • Ultimately, a recession will occur, which represents a decline in economic activity that lasts for at least six months.
  • Continued budget deficits can lead to inflationary monetary policies, year after year.

Strategies to Reduce Budget Deficits

  • Countries can counter budget deficits by promoting economic growth through fiscal policies, such as reducing government spending and increasing taxes.
  • For example, one strategy is to reduce regulations and lower corporate taxes to improve business confidence and increase Treasury inflows from taxes.
  • A nation can print additional currency to cover payments on debts issuing securities, such as Treasury bills and bonds. While this provides a mechanism to make payments, it does carry the risk of devaluing the nation’s currency, which can lead to hyperinflation.

Fiscal Deficit:

  • The difference between total revenue and total expenditure of the government is termed as fiscal deficit.
  • It is an indication of the total borrowings needed by the government.
  • Generally fiscal deficit takes place either due to revenue deficit or a major hike in capital expenditure.
  • Capital expenditure is incurred to create long-term assets such as factories, buildings and other development.

Challenges posed by Fiscal Deficit:

  • It can mean that the Government is spending money on unproductive programmes which do not increase economic productivity. (For example MNREGA, most of the money is eaten midway by the Sarpanch and Local officers.)
  • As government borrows from RBI which meets this demand by printing of more currency notes (called deficit financing), it results in circulation of more money. This may cause inflationary pressure in the economy.
  • When Government keeps borrowing and borrowing to fill up the fiscal deficit pothole, then bond yield will increase. It is not good because more and more of taxpayers’ money (i.e. Government ‘s incoming money) will go in repaying that bond interest rate rather than going into education or healthcare.
  • Government may be compelled to borrow to finance even interest payment leading to emergence of a vicious circle and debt trap.
  • Fiscal deficit “Crowds out” investment from private sector as Government borrows most of the cash.
  • Borrowing is in fact financial burden on future generation to pay loan and interest amount which retards growth of economy.

Strategies to Reduce Fiscal Deficit:

  • A deficit is usually financed through borrowing from either the central bank of the country or raising money from capital markets by issuing different instruments like treasury bills and bonds.
  • A drastic reduction in expenditure on major subsidies. Reduction in expenditure on bonus, LTC, leaves encashment, etc. Austerity steps to curtail non-plan expenditure.
  • Tax base should be broadened and concessions and reduction in taxes should be curtailed. Tax evasion should be effectively checked. More emphasis on direct taxes to increase revenue. Restructuring and sale of shares in public sector units.
  • Famous economist John Maynard Keynes opined that deficits actually assist nations in climbing out of economic recessions.
  • However, fiscal conservatives believe that deficits should be avoided by the government which should be inclined towards a balanced budget policy.

Conclusion:

Thus, both the measures gives an indication of the health of the economy. It helps to guide the macro-economic policies of the Government for better usage of the public finances.


Topic:  Government Budgeting

7) Discuss the concept of ‘Gender budgeting’ and analyse its significance in the Indian context.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

The question is intended to evaluate the concept of Gender budgeting.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the importance of Gender Budgeting in the Indian economy, one must narrate in detail the significance of it.

Directive word:

DiscussThis 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:

In a few introductory lines appreciate the concept of Gender- Budgeting.

Body:

  • Explain – Gender Budgeting initiatives aim to integrate gender concerns into fiscal policies and administration to address disparities.
  • India formally adopted gender budgeting in 2005 and since then it is listing out ‘Women specific schemes’ and ‘Pro women schemes’ in budget.
  • Explain what are the challenges involved in Gender – Budgeting? –
  • Women must be given adequate representation and opportunity to voice their concerns in pre-budget consultation.
  • Center should encourage states to include gender budgeting in their respective budgets, it is imperative because states get 42% tax devolution.
  • According to census 2011 sex ratio is 940 women per 1000 men and women literacy rate is 64%
  • Women constitute only 15% highest wage earner in India.
  • Global Gender Gap report ranked India 87 in terms of inequality in economy, education, health and political representation.
  • Discuss how Gender budgeting plays a significant role in addressing these inequalities and empowering women to achieve equality with men in all spheres of life.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of Gender budgeting and how Along with gender budgeting better implementation and planning are needed to ensure that these policies percolate right down to the last woman in the most remote parts of the country.

Introduction:

Gender budgeting (GB) is a practice that accounts budgetary measures to support gender commitments. It is not just an accounting exercise but an ongoing process of keeping a gender perspective in policy/ programme formulation, its implementation and review. GB entails dissection of the Government budgets to establish its gender differential impacts and to ensure that gender commitments are translated in to budgetary commitments.

Body:

Since 2005-06, the Expenditure Division of the Ministry of Finance has been issuing a note on Gender Budgeting as a part of the Budget Circular every year. This GB Statement comprises two parts- Part A and Part B.

Part A reflects Women Specific Schemes, i.e. those which have 100% allocation for women.

Part B reflects Pro Women Schemes, i.e. those where at least 30% of the allocation is for women.

Significance in the Indian context:

  • Global Gender Gap report 2018 ranked India 108 in terms of inequality in economy, education, health and political representation.
  • The rationale for gender budgeting arises from recognition of the fact that national budgets impact men and women differently through the pattern of resource allocation.
  • Women, constitute 48% of India’s population, but they lag behind men on many social indicators like health, education, economic opportunities, etc.
  • All measures across the globe taken towards development, poverty alleviation and improvement of social indicators like health, education and gender equality are worthless unless policies are implemented specifically for women and girls.
  • Women face disparities in access to and control over services and resources.
  • Bulk of the public expenditure and policy concerns are in ‘‘gender neutral sectors”.

Challenges involved in Gender – Budgeting:

  • First, there is limited availability of disaggregated gender-specific data sets for all schemes and programmes under various ministries. In the absence of this data, it is difficult to study the impact of budgetary allocations on gender equality.
  • Second, the budgeting exercise is linked to schemes instead of outcomes. For example, in the Budget for 2015-16 there are funds allocated for infrastructure maintenance under the ministry of health and family welfare. However, there is very little data available on the impact these funds made in reducing female mortality rates.
  • Third, there is an immediate need to conduct an assessment of gender-specific parameters and set goals accordingly. For example, it is important to understand time-bound goals for parameters such as female school enrolment, gender-based violence, health, labour force participation.
  • Fourth, authority should be created for gender auditing, to conduct an annual impact assessment of budgetary allocations for all schemes, thus bringing accountability to the process.

Way forward:

  • There is also a critical need for capacity building across government, corporates, public sector undertakings, NGOs and all involved agencies.
  • While steps have been taken to mainstream the gender budgeting process at central and state government level, there is a definite need to deepen this process.
  • A national-level reporting platform should be created under the ministry of statistics and programme implementation, which will collect the disaggregated data by sex for understanding the impact and outcome of the gender budgeting initiative.
  • The Central Statistics Office should also be engaged for better data collection and analysis techniques.
  • Shared responsibility between the central and state governments would accelerate this process.
  • There needs to be shift from mere “reporting” of gender allocations to “purposive planning” with wider participation of women.
  • The adoption of the GB should be accompanied by multifaceted and interrelated improvements to budgets in general and the gender sensitivity of budgets.

Conclusion:

Gender Budgeting is a powerful tool for achieving gender mainstreaming so as to ensure that benefits of development reach women as much as men. The way Government budgets allocate resources, has the potential to transform these gender inequalities.