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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 12 JULY 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 12 JULY 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:  Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

1)  Inward-looking coalition with partners constantly at war with each other has often stalled governance in many states with recent one being Karnataka. In the light of the above statement critically evaluate the working of Coalition politics in India.(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question:

 The article highlights the recent controversy surrounding the coalition government in the state of Karnataka.

Key demand of the question:

One has to analyse in detail the working of coalition politics in India.

Directive:

Critically evaluateWhen asked to evaluate, 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 short discuss the background of the recent happenings in Karnataka’s state government machinery.

Body:

Body of the answer should cover the following aspects – 

What is a political party coalition?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of coalition government?

Trace the evolution of coalition politics in India.

Discuss in detail how coalition politics is an important tool in a democracy but yet with flaws that need to be worked upon.

Conclusion:

Conclude that Maintaining a successful partnership often requires more than just ideological alignment.

Introduction:

A coalition is an alliance of parties formed for the purpose of contesting elections jointly and/or forming a government and managing the governance by a process of sharing process. So coalition implies co-operation between political parties and this co-operation may take place may take place at Electoral, Parliamentary and Governmental levels. The recent episode of Karnataka where a coalition government is on the verge of collapse brings back the doubts on coalition politics.

Body:

Benefits of coalition governments:

  • The coalition government addresses the regional disparity more than the single party rule.
  • Coalition government is more democratic, and hence fairer, because it represents a much broader spectrum of public opinion than government by one party alone. In almost all coalitions, a majority of citizens voted for the parties which form the government and so their views and interests are represented in political decision making.
  • Coalition government creates a more honest and dynamic political system, allowing voters a clearer choice at election time. It is also easier for parties to split, or new ones to be formed, as new political issues divide opinion, because new parties still have a chance of a share in political power. The Desai government (1977-1979), for example, undid regressive laws enacted by the Indira Gandhi government during the Emergency.
  • Coalitions provide good government because their decisions are made in the interests of a majority of the people. A coalition government better reflects the popular opinion of the electorate within a country.
  • Coalition government provides more continuity in administration. Amore consensual style of politics also allows for a more gradual and constructive shift of policy between administrations.
  • Such government functions on principle of politics of consensus. Besides, states are given more powers, and the base of concept of federalism is strengthened.
  • Government will be more consensus based: resulting policies will be broadly approved of for the benefit of the nation. Eg: The coalition governments could take pluralistic opinions and could address issues such as lynching or sedition laws, these would be crucial interventions in India’s governance, especially consequential for citizens ranged against the perpetuation of majoritarianism.
  • Better representation of the electorate’s wishes. Better quality of policy: enhanced scrutiny and increased attention paid to each policy
  • Increased continuity: election does not lead to dramatic overhaul which can produce fragmented rule
  • Yet instability apart, coalition governments have been effective in enhancing democratic legitimacy, representativeness, and national unity.
  • Critics of one-party majority governments often cite the excessive abuse of President’s Rule during Indira Gandhi’s time as one of its shortcomings, a practice that the coalition era has effectively ended.

However, it has its own set of limitations:

  • Coalition government is actually less democratic as the balance of power is inevitably held by the small parties who can barter their support for concessions from the main groups within the coalition.
  • Coalition government is less transparent, because a party has no real chance of forming a government alone, the manifestos they present to the public become irrelevant and often wildly unrealistic.
  • Coalitions provide bad government because they are unable to take a long-term view.
  • Coalition governments are very unstable, often collapsing and reforming at frequent intervals – Italy, for example, averages more than one government per year since 1945. This greatly restricts the ability of governments to deal with major reforms and means that politicians seldom stay in any particular ministerial post for long enough to get to grips with its demands.
  • Coalition governments are definitely far less effective, not durable, and non-dependable as compared to the governments formed by any one party with a definite ideology and principles.
  • In coalition governments, MLAs and MPs from all the parties are given portfolios/ministries and appointed as Ministers. These ministers are appointed on the recommendations of the parent party, without taking the qualification, character and criminal /clean record of the MLAs and MPs.

Conclusion:

Since India is a diverse country with different ethnic, linguistic, and religious communities, it also has diverse ideologies. Due to this, the benefit that a coalition has is that it leads to more consensus based politics and reflects the popular opinion of the electorate. It is the competency of the government and not whether it is a coalition or an individual party that plays an important role in impacting the welfare of the people. Whether the right decisions come from a coalition or an individual ruling party, they will always be appreciated and rewarded by the public.      


      

Topic:  Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health

2) Despite being a low-cost tool, nutrition counselling has proven to be one of the best bets for India in attaining global goals more favourably. Discuss. (250 words)

The hindu

 

Why this question: 

A study was conducted by India Consensus, which is a partnership between Tata Trusts and Copenhagen Consensus. This study suggests that nutrition and health counselling delivered under the auspices of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme is one of the best possible investments that can be made by any government.

Demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the significance of nutrition counselling in attaining the Global goals for India.

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 by explaining what do you understand by nutrition counselling.

Body

In short first discuss the relevance of schemes that have been working to resolve the challenges of nutrition plaguing the Indian health system, then discuss the highlights of the study; The preliminary results of this analysis show that there are many policies that can achieve amazing outcomes. If India were to spend ₹50,000 crore more on achieving the Global Goals, focussing on the most phenomenal programmes identified so far by India Consensus would create extra benefits for India worth ₹20 lakh crore — more than the entire Indian public consumption. With returns like this at stake, there are compelling reasons to look favourably at approaches including nutrition counselling.

Conclusion 

Suggest way forward and reassert significance of such approaches.

Introduction:

Nutrition counselling is an ongoing process in which a health professional, usually a registered dietician, works with an individual to assess his or her usual dietary intake and identify areas where change is needed. The nutrition counsellor provides information, educational materials, support, and follow-up to help the individual make and maintain the needed dietary changes.

Body:

The Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme is one of the world’s largest programmes for early childhood care and development. A new study by India Consensus suggests that nutrition and health counselling delivered under the programme is one of the best possible investments that can be made by any government.

Role of Nutrition counselling in alleviation of malnutrition:

  • As a behavioural change intervention, nutrition and health counselling is relatively low cost for every person that is reached.
  • It’s important to note that this programme does not provide food, but instead provides information to the mother, making it more likely that the child will receive more and better food.
  • And that in turn leads to lifelong benefits.
  • Many studies have now demonstrated that these benefits can be large. Improving the nutrition and health outcomes of the children of mothers reached makes this a highly cost-effective intervention.
  • Two analyses in Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan, looking at a six-year campaign of nutrition counselling and hand-washing. It is estimated that counselling leads to a 12% reduction in stunting. This leads to better cognitive skills.
  • Quantifying the increase in earnings shows that the per unit benefit for Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan comes to ₹71,500 and ₹54,000.
  • What these figures mean is that the investment generates returns to society worth ₹61 and ₹43, respectively, for every rupee spent. While the analysis will differ for other States, these results show that nutritional counselling is a phenomenal investment.

Nutritional counselling can help prevent malnutrition and improve nutrition through following strategies:

Nutritional planning: This involves political commitment by the government. A well planned and well executed long term project can accelerate the developmental process and the benefits can be rewarding and permanent. Nutritional planning involves formulation of a nutrition policy and overall long term planning to improve production and supplies of food, ensure its equitable distribution and programs to increase the purchasing power of people.

Direct nutrition and health interventions: Improved health care system: Infections like malaria, measles and diarrhoea are prevalent in our society and they precipitate acute malnutrition among children and infants. A good health care system that provides immunisation, oral rehydration, periodic de-worming, early diagnosis and proper treatment of common illnesses can go a long way in preventing malnutrition in the society.

Nutrition education: People can be educated on-

  • The nutritional quality of common foods.
  • Importance and nutritional quality of various locally available and culturally accepted low cost foods.
  • Importance of exclusive breastfeeding for six months and continuing to breast feed up to two years or beyond.
  • Damage caused by irrational beliefs and cultural practices of feeding.
  • Recipes for preparing proper weaning foods and good supplementary food from locally available low cost foods.
  • Importance of including milk, eggs, meat or pulses in sufficient quantities in the diet to enhance the net dietary protein value.
  • Importance of feeding children and adults during illness.
  • Importance of immunising their children and following proper sanitation in their day to day life.

Early detection of malnutrition and intervention:

  • The longer the developmental delays remain uncorrected, the greater the chance of permanent effects and hence intervention must occur during pregnancy and first three years of life.
  • A well recorded growth chart can detect malnutrition very early. Velocity of growth is more important than the actual weight at a given time.
  • If growth of the child is slowed or is arrested, physician should be alerted and any hidden infection or any reason for nutritional deficiency must be evaluated and taken care of.

Nutrition supplementation: Usually, biologically vulnerable groups like pregnant women, infants, preschool going and school going children are targeted by various welfare measures conducted by the government. Calories, proteins and micronutrients like iron, vitamin A and zinc can be supplemented.

Conclusion:

With returns like this at stake, there are compelling reasons to look favourably at approaches including nutrition counselling.


Topic:Dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

3) What are the constitutional provisions related to interstate river water disputes? Why have river water disputes spun out for such long durations of time in our country? Can there be a fix? comment. (250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The Union Cabinet has approved the Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019 that will help adjudicate disputes relating to waters of inter-State rivers and river valleys.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must list down the constitutional provisions related to interstate water dispute and discuss in detail the reasons for the delayed/ unsettled nature of the issue.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Quote the recent controversies surrounding the bill and bring out the significance of the constitutional provisions of the bill.

Body:

Discuss how Inter-State River Water Disputes are one of the most contiguous issues in the Indian federalism today.

List the Constitutional provisions for River Water Dispute in India.

Explain the reasons for the lingering water disputes over long durations of time. quote examples – Cauvery Water Dispute etc.

Suggest what should be the way forward? – significance of Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, Disputes Resolution Committee (DRC) etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude that such disputes can hamper growth and development of the country and must be resolved amicably without much political opportunism.

Introduction:

The Inter-State River Water Disputes are one of the most contentious issues in the Indian federalism today. With increasing demand for water, inter-state river water disputes are on the rise but the present Inter State River Water Dispute Act, 1956 that provides the legal framework to address such disputes is seen to have many drawbacks. Cabinet recently approved Inter-State River Water disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The Bill seeks to amend the Inter State River Water Disputes Act, 1956 with a view to streamline the adjudication of inter-state river water disputes and make the present institutional architecture robust.

Body:

Constitutional provisions related to interstate river water disputes:

  • Entry 17 of State List deals with water i.e. water supply, irrigation, canal, drainage, embankments, water storage and water power.
  • Entry 56 of Union List empowers the Union Government for the regulation and development of inter-state rivers and river valleys to the extent declared by Parliament to be expedient in the public interest.
  • Article 262: In the case of disputes relating to waters, it provides
    • Clause 1: Parliament may by law provide for the adjudication of any dispute or complaint with respect to the use, distribution or control of the waters of, or in, any inter-State river or river valley.
    • Clause 2: Parliament may, by law provide that neither the Supreme Court nor any other court shall exercise jurisdiction in respect of any such dispute or complaint as mentioned above.
  • Parliament has enacted two laws according to Article 262:
    • River Board Act, 1956
    • Inter-State Water Dispute Act, 1956

Reasons for delay in resolving river water disputes:

  • The Inter State Water Dispute Act, 1956 which provides the legal framework to address such disputes suffers from many drawbacks as it does not fix any time limit for resolving river water disputes.
  • Under this Act, a separate Tribunal has to be established for each Inter State River Water Dispute.
  • Only three out of eight Tribunals have given awards accepted by the States, while Tribunals like Cauvery and Ravi Beas have been in existence for over 26 and 30 years respectively without any award.
  • Delays are on account of no time limit for adjudication by a Tribunal, no upper age limit for the Chairman or the Members, work getting stalled due to occurrence of any vacancy and no time limit for publishing the report of the Tribunal.
  • For instance, in the case of Godavari water dispute, the request was made in 1962, but the tribunal was constituted in 1968 and the award was given in 1979 which was published in the Gazette in 1980. The Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, constituted in 1990, gave its final award in 2007
  • Opacity in the institutional framework and guidelines that define these proceedings; and ensuring compliance.
  • The River Boards Act 1956, which is supposed to facilitate inter-state collaboration over water resource development, remained a ‘dead letter’ since its enactment.
  • Though award is final and beyond the jurisdiction of Courts, either States can approach Supreme Court under Article 136 (Special Leave Petition) under Article 32 linking issue with the violation of Article 21 (Right to Life).
  • The composition of the tribunal is not multidisciplinary and it consists of persons only from the judiciary.
  • The absence of authoritative water data that is acceptable to all parties currently makes it difficult to even set up a baseline for adjudication.
  • Surface water is controlled by Central Water Commission (CWC) and ground water by Central Ground Water Board of India (CGWB). Both bodies work independently and there is no common forum for common discussion with state governments on water management
  • The growing nexus between water and politics have transformed the disputes into turfs of vote bank politics.
    • This politicisation has also led to increasing defiance by states, extended litigations and subversion of resolution mechanisms.
    • For example, the Punjab government played truant in the case of the Ravi-Beas tribunal.
  • Too much discretion at too many stages of the process.
    • Partly because of procedural complexities involving multiple stakeholders across governments and agencies.
    • India’s complicated federal polity and its colonial legacy.

Way forward:

  • The Centre’s proposal to set up a single, permanent tribunal to adjudicate on inter-state river water disputes could be a major step towards streamlining the dispute redressal mechanism.
  • However, this alone will not be able to address the different kinds of problems—legal, administrative, constitutional and political—that plague the overall framework.
  • Centre’s proposal to set up an agency alongside the tribunal, which will collect and process data on river waters, can be a right step in this direction.
  • To strengthen the cooperative federalism, parochial mindset making regional issues superior to national issues should not be allowed.
  • So disputes must be resolved by dialogue and talks and the political opportunism must be avoided.
  • A robust and transparent institutional framework with cooperative approach is need of the hour.

Conclusion:

The bill is a step towards the cooperative federalism and will promote a prompt decision making in case of the various interstate water disputes. The solutions on water disputes will help in the socio economic development of stakeholder states. The implementation of the proposed steps in the bill in its true spirit will develop an integrated regime of river water utilisation.


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

4) “Economic growth and human development need to go hand in hand, without it a $5 trillion economy seems a distant dream”. Critically examine.(250 words) 

Livemint

Why this question:

The author in the article discusses in detail how a $5 trillion economy seems a distant dream unless the country revives aggregate demand and healthcare.

Key demand of the question:

Students are expected to elucidate on how economic growth is linked to human development and one can not be achieved without the other.

Directive:

Critically analyzeWhen 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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Discuss the dream of $5 trillion economy in short.

Body:

One has to explain that the country still has not overcome the challenges related to human development such as health aspects, ageing population, employment, lack of investments in agriculture etc.

Then explain how the above problems have consequences on economic growth of the country.

Take cues from the article and explain in what way it is essential for the country to focus on human development to achieve greater goals of economic growth.

Conclusion:

Conclude by emphasizing need to work on human development front to ensure continuous economic growth and development.

Introduction:

The President of India spoke of India becoming a “Five Trillion Dollar” economy, last month. It was reiterated by the Prime Minister and was even discussed in the NITI Aayog Governing Council meet. India is, currently, a $2.8 trillion economy; to reach the $5 trillion mark by 2024, the economy would require nominal growth in dollar terms of over 12% a year. To reach $ 5 Trillion, we need to shift our perspective from policy to projects

Body:

Challenges towards realising the $5 trillion economy goal:

  • Health aspects:
    • Huge losses of output inherent in the incapacity of the aged increasingly vulnerable to non-communicable diseases (e.g. diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer).
    • Only 54.9 % of infants aged between 0-5 months are exclusively breastfed which is very essential for a child’s optimal growth, development and health at least till 6 months of age.
    • Female mortality rate in India is 139 and 212 for male per thousand respectively.
    • India being a tropical country is always under a constant threat of climate related epidemics such as dengue, malaria etc. Incidence of malaria is 18.8 people per thousand at 2016 levels.
    • India remains to be the highest TB burden country according to WHO, with as many as 211 people per lakh suffering from either newly contacted or relapsed TB.
    • India spends 3.9% of its GDP on health expenditure
    • Relative to those who were not afflicted with NCDs, those who did display higher probabilities of being not employed and just employed, had much lower probabilities of part-time and full-time employment.
  • Education:
    • The ASER report by Pratham shows poor arithmetic and reading skills among primary school children.
    • Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in pre-primary was 13% of pre-primary school age children showing acute under admission and lack of importance given to early years of schooling in India during 2012-17.
    • Primary school dropout rate in India during 2007-2016 was 9.8%.
    • Survival rate to the last grade of lower secondary general education during 2016-16 was 97%.
    • Total government expenditure on education is a paltry 3.8% of total GDP.
  • Social constraints:
    • Brahmins and other “forward” castes showed notably lower probabilities of being not employed, or just employed, but higher probabilities of being employed part-time and full-time, compared to Other Backward Classes (OBCs).
    • Dalits and tribals displayed patterns similar to OBCs’.
    • India has a huge gender disparity leading to poor women labour force participation.
  • Ageing population:
    • Indian population is estimated at 1339.2 million in 2017 and is estimated to reach 1513 million by 2030.
    • The aged (60 years and above), with their growing vulnerability to NCDs and disabilities (such as the inability to walk and dress, apart from speech and vision impairment), and caste and education barriers impeding their employment.
    • Old age acts as a barrier to part-time and full-time employment.
    • This can impede the growth and even fail the benefits of demographic dividend.
  • Unemployment:
    • Unemployment touched a 45-year high of 6.1% in 2017-18 according to the recently released first periodic labour force survey (PLFS) report.
    • This has resulted in slowing of gross domestic product growth.
    • Deepening crisis in agriculture, the paralysis of the informal sector, sputtering manufacturing growth and slowing exports are all causes for high unemployment rate in India.
  • Lack of investments in agriculture:
    • There is neither renewed emphasis on investment-driven growth, nor higher outlays on agriculture, are likely to substantially boost employment

Measures needed:

Agricultural sector:

  • Encouraging public and private investments to develop infrastructure like cold chains;
  • Special attention for north-eastern, eastern and rain-fed states for augmenting scope of access to institutional credit;
  • Rationalisation and targeting of input subsidies towards small and marginal farmers.

Manufacturing Sector:

  • A three-pillar strategy to achieve required expansion of output — focus on existing high impact and emerging sectors as well as MSMEs.
  • In the defence sector, there is a need to identify key components and systems and encourage global leaders to set up manufacturing base in India by offering limited period incentives.
  • Ensure incentives result in technology/process transfer.
  • Measures to boost manufacturing in other areas including aeronautical, space, garments, organic/ayurvedic products besides emerging areas such as biotechnology, electric mobility, unmanned aerial vehicles, medical devices, robotics and chemicals.
  • For micro, small and medium enterprises, there is a need to improve access to funding by way of development of SME credit risk databases, SME credit rating, and creation of community-based funds

Services sector:

  • There is a need for focus on champion services sectors like IT, tourism, medical value travel and legal would be required to achieve the expansion of the services sector output and concerted efforts need to be made to increase exports.
  • Improving rail connectivity and seamless connectivity to major attractions.
  • E-commerce policy and regulatory framework for logistics segment.
  • To promote growth of accounting and financial services, there is a need to pitch for promoting FDI in domestic accounting and auditing sector, transparent regulatory framework, and easing restriction on client base in the accounting and auditing sector

Way forward:

  • India needs to carry out the crucial internal reforms that will allow it to be a productive international player and to take on the leadership roles that so many people across the world hope that it will.
  • Reorganization of the health system with much greater emphasis on primary medical centres or PMCs
  • Any improvement in the life of the majority would require a re-alignment of the growth process so that it is less damaging.
  • This would very likely require that we have slower growth but the process can be configured to channel more of it towards poorer groups.
  • India could and should aspire to double-digit growth. Without sustained growth at that all levels it has little hope of employing the roughly one million young people who join its workforce every month.
  • And unless it takes advantage of its current, favourable demographics it is never likely to emerge as an upper-middle-income economy with a prosperous and thriving middle class.

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

5) Discuss the prospects for ports in India. What are the issues and challenges with Indian Ports? Examine. (250 words)

 Indian geography by Majid Hussain

Why this question:

The question is based on the policy perspective with respect to the investments in the defense sector and in what way FDI brings in self- reliance and Indigenization.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the importance of FDI in defense, trace its evolution 

And analyse in detail its implications.

Directive:

AnalyzeWhen 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. 

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Discuss first the importance of  investments in defense sector in general.

Body:

The body of the answer to have the following aspects covered in detail : 

Explain the evolution of FDI in Defence Sector.

Then discuss the associated advantages (Transparency, Quality Products, Reduction of Reserves, Positive Performance Pressure on Public Sector Enterprises, Employment Opportunities etc.) and disadvantages (Security Concerns, Competition for Domestic Private Industry, Overbearing Presence of Foreign Companies etc.)

Then focus on to explaining the Implications of FDI in Defense on Self-Reliance and Indigenization. 

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

India by virtue of being a peninsular country with a long coastline has the natural advantage of developing ports. There are 13 major ports in the country; 6 on the Eastern coast and 6 on the Western coast. Further there are about 200 non-major ports. The 12 major ports in the country have a combined total capacity of 1,065 million metric tonnes (MMT), while the capacity at non-major ports is roughly 700MMT. Currently 95% of India’s trade by value and 70 % by volume take place through maritime transport.

Body:

Major Ports of India:

Issues and challenges with Indian Ports:

  • High turnaround times: Ports in India suffer from high turnaround times for ships. For example, in Singapore, average ship turnaround time is less than a day. However, in India, it is over two days.
  • Port congestion: Port congestion due to container volume, shortage of handling equipment and inefficient operations is a major concern. Example: In Nhava Sheva port
  • Sub-optimal Transport Modal Mix: Lack of requisite infrastructure for evacuation from major and non-major ports leads to sub-optimal transport modal mix
  • Limited Hinterland Linkages: There is inefficiency due to poor hinterland connectivity through rail, road, highways, coastal shipping and inland waterways. This in turn increases the cost of transportation and cargo movement
  • Lengthy inspection and scrutiny: Though customs operations in India are rapidly going paperless and converting to digital, inspections and scrutiny continue to be lengthy for cargo and other shipping operations.
  • Inadequate infrastructure and Technology Issues:
    • Lack of adequate berthing facility, number of berths, sufficient length for proper berthing of the vessels at the Non-Major Ports is another problem.
    • Most Non-Major Ports do not have proper material handling equipment in place which could facilitate a quick turnaround
    • Most Indian ports lack of equipment for handling large volume
    • Further many ports also lack adequate navigational aids, facilities and IT systems
  • Issues with Regulations:
    • The major problem with regulation is that major and non-major ports fall under different jurisdictions. Further, the regulatory framework is rigid.
    • Foreign-flagged vessels are not allowed to ship cargo from one Indian port to another as that remains a protected turf for domestic shippers
    • Land acquisition and environmental clearances are some specific challenges for non-major ports.
  • Issues with PPP Model:
    • Most port PPPs impose strict limits on what private operators are allowed to do, usually in terms of the types of cargo they are allowed to handle.
    • Until recently, Other problems were related to tariff regulation and absence of dispute resolution mechanism
  • Environmental impact:
    • During the operation of ports, spillage or leakages from the loading and unloading of cargo and pollution from oil spills are common due to poor adherence to environmental laws and standards.
    • The water discharged during the cleaning of a ship and the discharge of ballast water is a threat to marine ecosystems
    • Dredging causes environmental problems (increased sedimentation) affecting local productivity of the local waters and its fisheries.
  • Social impacts of Port Development:
    • Most port projects and development results in displacement (such as Gangavaram Port in Andhra and Mundra in Gujarat).
    • Besides displacement, the other important concern expressed by fishing communities is the restriction of access to fishing grounds around a port.
  • Manpower and Labour Issues: Lack of adequate training, falling manpower quality, opposition to reform are major issues
  • Unhealthy Competition: Analysts have cited the concerns over development of multiple ports in close vicinity handling similar cargo as it might lead to ports competing for the same cargo arrivals.

Measures needed:

  • Environmental clearances, Tariff norms, land acquisition etc. need to be standardized and implemented for the port sector so as to boost foreign investments
  • It is important to provide rail and road connectivity to major and minor ports in order to ensure seamless multimodal transport and improve efficiency
  • Priority should be given on expanding capacity and improving operational efficiency. Emphasis should be placed on installing advanced cargo handling processes, scalability in processes and mechanisation of port operations.
  • Technologies like big data and advanced GPS navigation systems should be optimally used for better functioning of ports
  • The regulatory regime should be made less complex and less rigid. Further, there should be vertical integration of all stakeholders (for example: environment, rail/road transport etc.) for holistic development of ports in India
  • With regards to ports, Vijay Kelkar committee on PPP recommended review of role and need of Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP), review of MCA, quicker clearances, rationalized leases and stamp duties
  • Port modernisation and new port development, port connectivity enhancement, port-linked industrialisation and coastal community development under the Sagarmala project has an immense scope for reduction in transportation and logistics costs and boosting export competitiveness.
  • Niti Aayog in its Three Year Acton Agenda (2017-2018), recommended the following:
    • Increase competition through easing cabotage
    • Increase the capacity of and eliminate discriminatory provisions for Indian vessels
    • Explore creating deep-water ports or barges for ports with low drafts
    • Facilitate minor/non-major port connectivity to hinterland areas

Conclusion:

Sagarmala project has to be devised to reduce logistics cost and strengthen India’s EXIM industry. Thus, in order to achieve higher economic growth and higher efficiency levels, the trade-GDP ratio needs to increase substantially. Improvement in the efficiency of ports and expansion of their capacity is essential for promoting the growth of trade and export competitiveness.


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

6) Despite proper implementation to providing access to clean cooking fuel, the Ujjwala Yojana seems to have hit a roadblock with respect to affordability. Analyse the issue and provide for an assessment on the feasibility of further expansion of this programme.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

The question is about analysing the success of the Ujjwala Yojana.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss in detail the progress made by Ujjwala yojana in achieving access to the cleaner cooking fuel and to what extent it will be right to proceed with the program further.

Directive:

AnalyzeWhen 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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin with brief intro on the program intent – Ujjwala Yojana aims at providing clean cooking fuel to BPL families. The scheme aims at providing access to the under privileged sections of the society.

Body:

Discussion should include the following: 

Explain why there are doubts about the question of affordability with respect to the program.

List the various causes like – cost involved, Black marketing, Lack of door delivery of cylinders is also adversely impacting refilling of cylinders in rural areas. Thus, one must detail on the aspects of the logistics hinderances and lack of penetration of the scheme and suggest solutions to overcome the same.

Conclusion:

Conclude that one aspect alone should not decide success or failure and that with suitable corrections and fixes the program can still achieve its mandate.

Introduction:

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) is a scheme of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas for providing LPG connections to women from Below Poverty Line (BPL) households. India is home to more than 24 Crore households out of which about 10 Crore households are still deprived of LPG as cooking fuel and have to rely on firewood, coal, dung – cakes etc. as primary source of cooking.

 

The PMUY has helped the spread of LPG cylinders predominantly in the urban and semi-urban areas with the coverage mostly in middle class and affluent households. It aims to safeguard the health of women & children by providing them with a clean cooking fuel – LPG, so that they don’t have to compromise their health in smoky kitchens or wander in unsafe areas collecting firewood.

Body:

Achievements:

  • The oil ministry’s Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) estimates that LPG coverage in India (the proportion of households with an LPG connection) has increased from 56% in 2015 to 90% in 2019. There is a significant increase in eastern states, with 48% of the beneficiaries being SC/STs.
  • The government reports show that around 80% of the beneficiaries have been refilling cylinders, with average per capita consumption being 3.28 cylinders.
  • PMUY has resulted in an additional employment of around 1 Lakh and provide business opportunity of at least Rs. 10,000 Crore in last 3 Years to the Indian Industry.
  • The scheme has also provided a boost to the ‘Make in India’ campaign as all the manufacturers of cylinders, gas stoves, regulators, and gas hose are domestic.
  • PMUY reduces these ill-effects by providing clean fuel and cutting out on drudgery. Increased use of cooking gas will shrink the incidence of tuberculosis in India, based on the statistics from the latest National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) on TB prevalence.
  • PMUY has helped in reducing the drudgery for women. The time saved can be used in socio- economically productive activities like Self-Help Group activities.
  • The World Health Organisation hailed PMUY as decisive intervention by the government to facilitate the switch to clean household energy use, thereby addressing the problems associated with Indoor Household Pollution.

However, given the scale of the scheme there are some implementation shortcomings of the scheme

Cost issues:

  • Consumers were paying market price for refills till the loan repayment for stove and first refill was made. This led to some consumers not going in for such refills.
  • Economic Burden: The increased monthly expenditure has shied many consumers away from LPG and lured them back to firewood and cow-dung cakes.
  • The CEEW study across Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal and Odisha found people were unwilling to pay upfront Rs.900-1,000 for a 14 kg refill.
  • A CRISIL Study shows that of those surveyed, 86% said they had not shifted from biomass to LPG because the price of installing a connection was too high. Almost the same number – 83% – said the price of refills was too high.

Administrative issues:

  • The government claims that around 80% of the beneficiaries have been refilling cylinders, with average per capita consumption being 3.28 cylinders. But there are implementation issues with the scheme in Madhya Pradesh, for instance.
  • Aadhar seeding also faces issues caused by data discrepancies, especially where the spelling of names is concerned as a result of which applicants can find themselves unable to register for the scheme.

Logistic issues:

  • Lack of LPG cylinder bottling plants near rural areas and connectivity issues especially in the tribal areas.
  • Last-mile connectivity and delivery still poses a great challenge.

Safety and Behavioural issues:

  • Safety has been another concern about distribution of LPG connection, especially to BPL families. Lack of awareness and safety amenities in beneficiary households have increased the likelihood of accidents.
  • Cow-dung cakes lying around the house all the time. Hence, LPG cylinders are used on special occasions or during some kind of emergency or when it’s entirely too hot to burn wood.
  • The CRISIL report also noted that 37% of households in rural areas procure cooking fuel or free.
  • Agency: Most rural women do not have a say in determining when a refill is ordered, even though the connection is in their name.

Way Forward:

  • Increase Affordability: A case in point is state-run fuel retailers introducing a 5kg refill option to make purchases affordable.
  • Increase Accessibility: Gas Agencies should be set up within 10km radius, especially in the rural and remote areas to increase accessibility.
  • Increase Availability: Alternatives like Gas-grid and piped connections in cities and areas near the bottling plants can free up the cylinders for other areas.
  • Promote ‘Give it up’: The initiative of the government to persuade the well-off to give up the LPG subsidies has added to the corpus of PMUY. Similar initiatives can be promoted.
  • Encourage Private Players to set up LPG franchises at rural areas.
  • Sensitization and Education of safe use of LPG though LPG Panchayats, NGO’s etc.

Conclusion:

                PMUY is a novel scheme having twin benefits of women empowerment as well as environmental conservation. Ironing out the implementation issues can reap the envisioned benefits and lead to a sustainable future in energy consumption.


Topic:Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions.

7) Medical field is losing its ethics and values nowadays. Elaborate upon the factors that have caused corrupt practices to thrive in this noble field. (250 words)

 Ethics by Lexicon publications

Reference

Why this question:

The question is based on the corruption marring the medical profession in the country.

Key demand of the question:

One has to discuss the loss of ethics and values that is being witnessed in Medical filed off late and the factors responsible for it.

Directive:

Elaborate – Give 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: 

In brief suggest the importance and relevance of ethics and values to the field of medical practice.

Body:

Explain that Corruption, an undeniable reality in the health sector, is arguably the most serious ethical crisis in medicine today. Then discuss how it is complex because of its deep roots in the social, cultural, economic, political, legal, and ethical value systems of individuals, communities, cultures, and countries. 

Discuss what are the forms of corruption in healthcare and medicine? – Bribes and kickbacks, Theft and embezzlement, absenteeism (not attending work but claiming salary), Use of human subjects for financial gain, institutionalized potential corruption, unethical clinical trials etc.

Provide for case studies if possible, to justify better and suggest the need for inculcating ethics and values in the medical industry.

Conclusion:

Conclude that it is time to acknowledge that corruption in healthcare entails crimes against humanity. There is no room for complacency- history will not forgive physicians and bioethicists if they fail in their moral duty to safeguard the cause of ethics in medicine when it is necessary.

Introduction:

In India, the doctors are considered as equivalent to gods (“Vaidyo Narayano Hari”). Medical profession which was once a respected line of work but today is corrupted at every level, from medical education to medical practice, and in both the private and government sectors. It calls for doctors, the government and the public to act against dishonest doctors, restore the dignity of the profession and work for the benefit of society.

Body:

Factors that have caused this pathetic situation:

  • The situation has become so bad that patients today approach the doctor with mixed feelings – of faith and fear, of hope and hostility. This leads to a distorted doctor-patient relationship, with high chances of exploitation both ways – doctors may fleece patients and, if some lacunae are exposed in treatment, patients or their relatives may blackmail doctors.
  • Such unethical practices may no longer be cause for comment. But there are many reports of doctors actually committing crimes – distorting medical reports in medico-legal cases, providing false certificates to protect criminals, sexually assaulting their patients, and even trading in human organs
  • It goes without saying that such criminal doctors are in a minority. Unfortunately their number seems to be increasing
  • There are reports of doctors amputating the limbs of poor people at the bidding of the begging mafia. Poor people who resisted the extraction of their kidneys have reportedly been operated upon at gunpoint. The list of such practices is endless. It starts in medical college as MBBS seats are sold for lakhs of rupees. This is merely the tip of the iceberg.
  • Rampant corruption exists at every level, from medical college admissions, getting a degree, to registration with the medical council. Question papers have been leaked and “jockeys” have written medical examinations on behalf of students.
  • Medical college managements are known to charge unofficial “donations” in addition to official fees. Students have been reported to bribe faculty to get good reports, and doctors have been reported to pay bribes to get registered with the state medical council
  • Sex determination tests are performed though they are illegal. Doctors are known to prescribe unnecessary diagnostic tests, hazardous drugs and inappropriate surgical procedures, all for the kickbacks they receive from the healthcare industry
  • Against the recommendations of the WHO that the total health expenditure should be 6.5% of the gross national product (GDP), India spends only 4.8% of GDP on health. Further, public health expenditure is just 1.2% of GDP, or barely 25% of the total health expenditure; the rest of the money is paid by patients directly to private doctors and hospitals
  • The dubious functioning of regulatory bodies of the medical profession, namely the Medical Council of India (MCI) and the Indian Medical Association (IMA), has helped spread corruption in the profession.

Way forward:

For doctors:

  • Refuse to take bribes.
  • Collectively publicly oppose outside interference – political, bureaucratic or otherwise.
  • Make a commitment to rational drug use, referral and evidence-based interventions.
  • Shun erring colleagues.
  • Refuse to accept any favours from pharmaceutical companies.
  • Follow medical ethics and treat poor patients the same as rich ones.

For Government:

  • Evolve a transparent system for the allocation of funds, for deciding the location of medical facilities and for the posting of medical personnel; this system must be insulated from political and other interference.
  • Have people of integrity conduct prompt enquiries into reports of medical corruption, and take prompt action on the basis of these reports.
  • Let doctors know that transgressions will be met with punishment. Medical corruption is not a crime committed in the heat of the moment. It is calculated and based on greed, and the punishment must be severe and deterrent.
  • Plug the loopholes in the law on human organ transplants that enable transplant tourism and marriages for the purposes of kidney “donation”. A campaign must be started to dispel myths on cadaveric donations. The transplant programme must include a computerised national database, efficient transportation and a network of state-of-the-art transplantation centres with expert surgeons.
  • Reward upright doctors to encourage role models for new entrants in the profession.
  • Tackle the problem of doctors shunning government service.
  • Support and protect whistleblowers who report medical corruption.
  • Form a task force to defend high ethical standards in the medical profession and to fight corruption in public healthcare.

Public:

  • acting as a watchdog reporting corruption or wrong doing;
  • checking unscrupulous elements who blackmail doctors in cases of inadvertent lapses in medical treatment;
  • being more responsive to the stress that doctors have to deal with, and
  • Running awareness groups to educate people on the necessity of organ donation and to encourage the framing of laws that would empower medical authorities to extract organs of unidentified and unclaimed dead bodies within the stipulated time for organ revival.

Conclusion:

Corruption is spreading its tentacles far and wide in the medical system. To restore its noble and distinct status, all sections of society must work together to stamp out the biggest killer in the medical system – corruption.