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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 31 MAY 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 31 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: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

2) “India has 20.6 health workers per 10,000 people, while it is less than the World health Organization’s minimum threshold of 22.8” does it reflect a healthcare crisis in India? Critically analyse.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The article provides for a detailed analysis of the mismatch between the numbers of health workers per chunk of population size. It brings out the health crisis India is acing due to such low numbers.

Demand of the question:

Answer must discuss in detail the effects of such mismatch on the health system of the country.

Directive word:

Critically analyzeWhen 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

Start with stating facts of the scenario.

Body

Discuss the following points in detail:

  • Bring out the current issue, discuss the following aspects:
  • India has 20.6 health workers per 10,000 people.
  • While it is less than the World health Organization’s minimum threshold of 22.8, the numbers have increased from 19 health workers per 10000 people in 2012.
  • The distribution of health workers is uneven between urban and rural areas. Rural areas with nearly 71% of India’s population have only 36% of health workers.
  • Delhi has the highest concentration of health workers followed by Kerala, Punjab, and Haryana.
  • The uneven distribution of health workers is seen in private and public health sector too — more than 80% of doctors and 70% of nurses and midwives are employed in the private sector.
  • Discuss its impact, challenges and way forward.

Conclusion

Conclude with significance and way forward.

Introduction:

Post Independence there has been a significant improvement, in the health status of people. Public health and health services have been synonymous in India. This integration has dwarfed the growth of a comprehensive public health system, which is critical to overcome some of the systemic challenges in healthcare. Poor strata of population have denied proper health care due to lack of universal healthcare. The above figures from a NSSO survey show the improving trend.

Body:

The major challenges faced by healthcare system in India are:

  • Finance: At about 1.3% of the national income, India’s public healthcare spending between 2008 and 2015, has virtually remained stagnant. This is way less than the global average of 6 per cent. It is a herculean task to implement a scheme that could potentially cost Rs 5 lakh per person and benefit 53.7 crore out of India’s 121 crore citizenry, or roughly about 44% of the country’s population. Over 70 per cent of the total healthcare expenditure is accounted for by the private sector.
  • Crumbling public health infrastructure: Given the country’s crumbling public healthcare infrastructure, most patients are forced to go to private clinics and hospitals. There is a shortage of PHCs (22%) and sub-health centres (20%), while only 7% sub-health centres and 12% primary health centres meet Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) norms.
  • High Out of Pocket Expenditure: Reports suggest that 70% of the medical spending is from the patient’s pockets leading to huge burden and pushing many into poverty. Most consumers complain of rising costs. Hundred days into the PMJAY, it remains to be seen if private hospitals provide knee replacement at Rs 80,000 (current charges Rs 3.5 lakh) bypass surgery at Rs 1.7 lakh (against Rs 4 lakh).
  • Insurance: India has one of the lowest per capita healthcare expenditures in the world. Government contribution to insurance stands at roughly 32 percent, as opposed to 83.5 percent in the UK. The high out-of-pocket expenses in India stem from the fact that 76 percent of Indians do not have health insurance.
  • Shortage of Medical Personnel: Data by IndiaSpend show that there is a staggering shortage of medical and paramedical staff at all levels of care: 10,907 auxiliary nurse midwives and 3,673 doctors are needed at sub-health and primary health centres, while for community health centres the figure is 18,422 specialists.
  • Rural-urban disparity: The rural healthcare infrastructure is three-tiered and includes a sub-center, primary health centre (PHC) and CHC. PHCs are short of more than 3,000 doctors, with the shortage up by 200 per cent over the last 10 years to 27,421. Private hospitals don’t have adequate presence in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities and there is a trend towards super specialisation in Tier-1 cities.
  • Social Inequality: The growth of health facilities has been highly imbalanced in India. Rural, hilly and remote areas of the country are under served while in urban areas and cities, health facility is well developed. The SC/ST and the poor people are far away from modern health service.
  • Poor healthcare ranking: India ranks as low as 145th among 195 countries in healthcare quality and accessibility, behind even Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
  • Commercial motive: lack of transparency and unethical practices in the private sector.
  • Lack of level playing field between the public and private hospitals: This has been a major concern as public hospitals would continue receiving budgetary support. This would dissuade the private players from actively participating in the scheme.
  • Scheme flaws: The overall situation with the National Health Mission, India’s flagship programme in primary health care, continues to be dismal. The NHM’s share in the health budget fell from 73% in 2006 to 50% in 2019 in the absence of uniform and substantial increases in health spending by States.

Steps taken up currently:

  • The National Health Policy (NHP) 2017 advocated allocating resources of up to two-thirds or more to primary care as it enunciated the goal of achieving “the highest possible level of good health and well-being, through a preventive and promotive healthcare orientation”.
  • A 167% increase in allocation this year for the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) — the insurance programme which aims to cover 10 crore poor families for hospitalisation expenses of up to ₹5 lakh per family per annum.
  • The government’s recent steps to incentivise the private sector to open hospitals in Tier II and Tier III cities.
  • Individual states are adopting technology to support health-insurance schemes. For instance, Remedinet Technology (India’s first completely electronic cashless health insurance claims processing network) has been signed on as the technology partner for the Karnataka Government’s recently announced cashless health insurance schemes.

Measures needed to strengthen the existing state of Health infrastructure in the country are:

  • There is an immediate need to increase the public spending to 2.5% of GDP, despite that being lower than global average of 5.4%.
  • The achievement of a distress-free and comprehensive wellness system for all hinges on the performance of health and wellness centres as they will be instrumental in reducing the greater burden of out-of-pocket expenditure on health.
  • there is a need to depart from the current trend of erratic and insufficient increases in health spending and make substantial and sustained investments in public health over the next decade.
  • A National Health Regulatory and Development Framework needs to be made for improving the quality (for example registration of health practitioners), performance, equity, efficacy and accountability of healthcare delivery across the country.
  • Increase the Public-Private Partnerships to increase the last-mile reach of healthcare.
  • Generic drugs and Jan Aushadi Kendras should be increased to make medicines affordable and reduce the major component of Out of Pocket Expenditure.
  • The government’s National Innovation Council, which is mandated to provide a platform for collaboration amongst healthcare domain experts, stakeholders and key participants, should encourage a culture of innovation in India and help develop policy on innovations that will focus on an Indian model for inclusive growth.
  • India should take cue from other developing countries like Thailand to work towards providing Universal Health Coverage. UHC includes three components: Population coverage, disease coverage and cost coverage.
  • Leveraging the benefits of Information Technology like computer and mobile-phone based e-health and m-health initiatives to improve quality of healthcare service delivery. Start-ups are investing in healthcare sector from process automation to diagnostics to low-cost innovations. Policy and regulatory support should be provided to make healthcare accessible and affordable.

Conclusion:

India needs a holistic approach to tackle problems in healthcare industry. This includes the active collaboration of all stakeholders public, private sectors, and individuals. Amore dynamic and pro-active approach is needed to handle the dual disease burden. A universal access to health makes the nation fit and healthy, aiding better to achieve the demographic dividend.


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

3) Discuss the Role and significance of Asian Development Bank.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the role and significance of Asian development bank.

Directive:

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 explain the mandate of the Asian Development bank.

Body:

Body of the answer should discuss the following aspects:

  • Established in 1966, and is closely modeled on the World Bank; has a
  • similar weighted voting system where votes are distributed based on

member’s capital subscriptions.

  • ADB borrows from international capital markets with its capital as Guarantee.
  • Since the ADB’s early days, critics have charged that the two major
  • donors, Japan and the United States, have had extensive influence over
  • lending, policy and staffing decisions.
  • There has been criticism that ADB’s large scale projects cause social and environmental damage due to lack of oversight.
  • India has about 6% voting rights (4th highest; second highest is USA,

even here)

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The Asian Development Bank (MMG) is a regional development bank established in 1966, which is headquartered in the Manila, Philippines. The company also maintains 31 field offices around the world to promote social and economic development in Asia. The ADB was modelled closely on the World Bank, and has a similar weighted voting system where votes are distributed in proportion with members’ capital subscriptions. As of 31 December 2016, Japan and United States hold the largest proportion of shares at 15.607%. China holds 6.444%, India holds 6.331%, and Australia holds 5.786%.

Body:

Role of Asian Development Bank:

  • It was formed to foster economic growth and co-operation in the region of Asia and the Pacific and to contribute to the acceleration of economic development of the developing countries of the region.
  • The basic objective of the Bank is to encourage economic and financial co-operation among the regional members.
  • Members enjoy the right to construct projects supported by Bank loans.
  • In 28 years of operation, the Bank has become a major catalyst in promot­ing the development of the most populous and fastest-growing region in the world today.

The Bank’s principal functions are:

  • To make loans and equity investments for the economic and social advancement of developing member countries;
  • To provide technical assistance for the preparation and execution of development projects and programmes and advisory services
  • To promote investment of public and private capital for development purposes; and
  • To respond to requests for assistance in coordinating development policies and plans of member countries.

Significance of ADB:

  • Economic and Social Advancement: This bank has a membership program under which there are various benefits available for the members’ countries. It helps them in poverty reduction and country development.
  • Technical Assistance: Most of the countries require a lot of services like advisory services. Moreover, they while operating at the international level, most of the countries require technical support too.
  • Investment Promotion: the Asian Development Bank provides a lot of services to the member countries in the form of investments. At the same time, they also provide some specific sort of investment facilities for development purposes.
  • Support in Policies and Plans: Plans and policies play an important role in any country. There are various domestic agencies providing help to the authorities while framing various policies.
  • Inclusive Development: ADB works towards empowering women and improving their status in society.
  • Sustainable Development: ADB believes in preserving and protecting the environment.

Conclusion:

The Bank’s operations cover the entire spectrum of economic develop­ment with particular emphasis on agriculture, energy, capital market de­velopment transport and communication and social infrastructure. The ADB aims for an Asia and Pacific free from poverty. Its mission is to help developing member countries reduce poverty and improve the quality of life of their people. ADB releases an annual report that summarizes its operations, budget and other materials for review by the public. Asian Development Bank plays an important role at a wide level.


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

4) Discuss the mandate of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).(250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

Question is straightforward and is about discussing role played by Food and agriculture organization.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the detailed objectives of FAO and its mandate.

Directive:

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:

write a few introductory lines on what is FAO.

Body:

Answers must discuss in detail the objectives of the FAO.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Their goal is to achieve food security for all and make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives.

Conclusion –

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. With over 194 member states, FAO works in over 130 countries worldwide. Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate arguments and debate policy.

Body:

Mandate of Food and Agriculture Organization:

FAO’s  mandate  is  to  build  a  world  without  hunger  through  technical  cooperation  and assistance and its Members have agreed on five strategic objectives:

  • Help eliminate hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition:
    • Our mandate is to support members in their efforts to ensure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food.
    • We can help by supporting policies and political commitments that promote food security and good nutrition and by making sure that up-to-date information about hunger and malnutrition challenges and solutions is available and accessible.
  • Make agriculture, forestry and fisheries more productive and sustainable:
    • Growth in the agriculture sector is one of the most effective means of reducing poverty and achieving food security.
    • We must ensure that increased productivity does not only benefit the few, and that the natural resource base can provide services (pollination, nutrient cycling in soils, quality water, etc.) that enhance sustainability.
  • Reduce rural poverty:
    • FAO strives to help smallholders improve farm productivity whilst aiming to also increase off-farm employment opportunities and, through social protection, find better ways for rural populations to manage and cope with risks in their environments.
  • Enable inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems:
    • Increasing smallholder farmers’ participation in food and agricultural systems is critical to achieving FAO’s goal of a world without hunger.
  • Increase the resilience of livelihoods to threats and crises:
    • FAO’s mission is to help countries govern, prevent and mitigate risks and crises and support them in preparing and responding to disasters.

Conclusion:

FAO provides an umbrella under which countries can identify strategic priorities and coordinate their efforts to find solutions and plans of actions to pressing problems affecting food and agricultural production. FAO organizes high-level summits to mobilize political action and establish specific targets to be met in the fight to eliminate hunger.


Topic:  Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

5) Discuss the need for a robust and transparent securitisation framework in Indian financial systems also discuss measures to develop the market further. (250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) constituted a committee to review the existing state of mortgage securitization in India and suggest measures to deepen it.

Key demands of the question:

The answer must analyse the need for robust and transparent securitization framework in Indian financial systems. Discuss the present issues, causes etc.  

Directive:

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 define need for securitization framework.

Body

The body of the answer has to capture the following aspects:

Discuss the Committee on the Development of Housing Finance Securitization Market. Explain the details why the committee had to come in place, need for restructuring etc. Discuss that The mortgage securitization market in India is primarily dominated by direct assignments among a limited set of market participants on account of various structural factors impacting both the demand and the supply side, as well as certain prudential, legal, tax and accounting issues. For a vibrant securitisation market to develop, it is imperative that the market moves to a broader issuance model with suitable structuring of the instruments for diverse investor classes. At the same time, as the international experience shows, it is critical to address the issues of misaligned incentives and agency problems resulting from information asymmetry problems between the originators and investors in the market, which can exacerbate systemic risk. Thus, a careful design of a robust and transparent securitization framework assumes paramount significance.

Conclusion

Conclude with significance of the same.

Introduction:

Securitization is the process of taking an illiquid asset, or group of assets, and through financial engineering, transforming it (or them) into a security. It is a risk management tool used to reduce idiosyncratic risk associated with the default of individual assets. Banks and other financial institutions use securitization to lower their exposure to risk and reduce the size of their overall balance sheet. RBI recently set up committee for development of housing finance securitisation market.

Body:

The move is aimed at bringing in standardisation of asset securitisation practices to enable better management of credit and liquidity risks.

Terms of reference:

  • To review the existing state of mortgage backed securitisation in India and suggest measures to deepen it.
  • To assess the role of various counterparties, including servicers, trustees, rating agencies, in the securitisation process and suggest steps to address the key risks.
  • The committee will also study the best international practices, and lessons learnt from the global financial crisis.
  • It will propose measures to further develop these markets in India by identifying critical steps required, such as definition of conforming mortgages, mortgage documentation standards, digital registry for ease of due diligence and verification by investors, and avenues for trading in securitised assets.

Need of committee:

  • The mortgage securitisation market in India is primarily dominated by direct assignments among a limited set of market participants on account of various structural factors impacting the demand and the supply side, as well as certain prudential, legal, tax and accounting issues.
  • The move comes at a time when housing finance companies and NBFCs have been facing higher borrowing costs and slowdown in funding after a liquidity squeeze in the market.
  • The RBI noted that globally, residential and commercial mortgages are supported by well-lubricated securitisation markets, under which mortgage originators package portfolios of mortgages and resell them in capital markets as mortgage-backed securities or covered bonds.
  • Thus, a careful design of a robust and transparent securitisation framework assumes paramount significance.

Measures needed:

  • For a vibrant securitisation market to develop, it is imperative that the market moves to a broader issuance model with suitable structuring of the instruments for diverse investor classes.
  • It is critical to address the issues of misaligned incentives and agency problems resulting from information asymmetry problems between the originators and investors in the market, which can exacerbate systemic risk.

Conclusion:

A well-functioning securitisation markets can enable better management of credit and liquidity risks on the balance sheets of banks as well as non-bank mortgage originators and, in turn, help lower the costs of mortgage finance in the economy. The move is a positive impetus for the sector and will help on the liquidity front.


Topic : Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

6) Discuss the major objectives of Mission Gaganyaan – India’s maiden human spaceflight programme.(250 words)

Timesofindia

 

Why this question:

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for astronaut selection and training for ambitious Gaganyaan Programme, scheduled for 2022.

Key demands of the question:

The answer is straightforward and must discuss the mission in detail – objectives, significance and way forward.

Directive:

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:

One can start by bringing out the highlights of the mission.

Body:

Answer to the question the straightforward, In brief discuss the detailed objectives of Gaganyaan Mission, Gaganyaan Mission is India’s maiden human spaceflight programme, scheduled for 2022.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of the mission and state its importance.

Introduction:

Mission Gaganyaan is India’s first Human Space Flight Programme to be launched by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) by 2022. The programme will make India the fourth nation in the world to launch a Human Spaceflight Mission. So far, only the USA, Russia and China have launched human spaceflight missions.

Body:

Objectives of the Mission:

  • Enhancement of science and technology levels in the country
  • A national project involving several institutes, academia and industry
  • Improvement of industrial growth
  • Inspiring youth
  • Development of technology for social benefits
  • Improving international collaboration

Relevance of a Manned Space Mission for India:

  • Boost to industries: The Indian industry will find large opportunities through participation in the highly demanding Space missions. Gaganyaan Mission is expected will source nearly 60% of its equipment from the Indian private sector.
  • Employment: According to the ISRO chief, the Gaganyaan mission would create 15,000 new employment opportunities, 13,000 of them in private industry and the space organisation would need an additional manpower of 900.
  • Technological development: Human Space flights are frontier field in the science and technology. The challenges the Human Space Flights provide to India, and the benefits accruing from taking up those missions will be very high and will lead to further thrust for technological developments in India
  • Spurs research and development: It will boost good research and technology development. With a large number of researchers with proper equipment involved, HSF will thrust significant research in areas such as materials processing, astro-biology, resources mining, planetary chemistry, planetary orbital calculus and many other areas
  • Motivation: Human space flight will provide that inspiration to the youth and also the national public mainstream. It would inspire young generation into notable achievements and enable them to play their legitimate role in challenging future activities
  • Prestige: India will be the fourth country to launch human space mission. The Gaganyaan will not only bring about prestige to the nation but also establish India’s role as a key player in the space industry

Way forward:

  • It is important to ensure engagements at political level to obtain long term commitment for India’s human space flight missions
  • Financial implications of a long-term human space-flight programme development should be assessed and the returns and benefits should be clearly articulated
  • It is important to overcome the technological challenges to ensure a safe, successful manned space mission. International collaboration in this domain can help India ensure a robust technology for its HSF programme.
  • Selection of Indians for astronauts will be an important step. Procedures and specifications for astronauts and a rigorous selection process is suggested.

Topic: Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.

7) Gandhi always advocated the purity of means- with respect to that, do you think it is unethical for a military officer to mislead the enemy? Yes/No/Why? (250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question:

The question is about discussing the concept of Purity of means propounded by Mahatma Gandhi.

Key demand of the question:

Discussion should be based on the case of a military officer deciding to disguise the enemy, you must give a fair and balanced opinion.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

In a few introductory lines explain the concept of purity of means.

Body:

One must cover the following aspects in the answer –

Elucidate upon the idea of “Purity of means” as propounded by Mahatma Gandhi; that ‘means are as important as end’. The purity of means is to achieve an end result which tells us about our values and attitude. For instance Gandhiji adhered to the path of non-violence for achieving independence for India. But Gandhiji himself justified violence in Quit India movement when he saw no other alternative has been left. Thus  ethics is contextual and situational.

Discuss how for a military officer, his highest moral duty would be to safeguard the national interest and ensure the survival of the state. As failing in the war would mean subordination of the country which would take away the people’s fundamental rights and push them towards impoverishment, therefore for a military officer winning a battle is more necessary even if he has to mislead the enemy.

Conclusion:

Conclude with what should be the way forward.

Introduction:

Gandhi seems to stand almost alone among social and political thinkers in his firm rejection of the rigid dichotomy between ends and means and in his extreme moral preoccupation with the means to the extent that they rather than the ends provide the standard of reference. He was led to this position by his early acceptance of satya and ahimsa, truth and nonviolence, as twin moral absolutes and his consistent view of their relationship. But Gandhiji himself justified violence in Quit India movement when he saw no other alternative has been left. Thus, ethics is contextual and situational.

The means may be likened to a seed, the end to a tree; and there is just the same inviolable connection between the means and the end as there is between the seed and the tree.”

Body:

For a military officer, his highest moral duty would be to safeguard the national interest and ensure the survival of the state. As failing in the war would mean subordination of the country which would take away the people’s fundamental rights and push them towards impoverishment, therefore for a military officer winning a battle is more necessary even if he has to mislead the enemy.

The recent airstrikes on Balakot terror camps which are located in the PoK region was bombed. Although it is against the international relation ethics to attack regions in the areas of other country, India had to take the pre-emptive strikes to safeguard herself from the repeating terror attacks.

So, when national interest is at stake in situations as above, end becomes more important. But in military aggression and adventurism like by Russian in Crimea or Israel in Palestine end and long term interest of the nation must be seen.

Conclusion:

According to Gandhiji, If we are sure of the “purity” of the means we employ, we shall be led on by faith, before which “all fear and trembling melt away”. Unconcern with results does not mean that we need not have a clear conception of the end in view.