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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 17 JULY 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 17 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) The office of the Speaker in India is a living and dynamic institution which deals with the actual needs and problems of Parliament in the performance of its functions. Discuss.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

 The question is based on the topic of office of speaker and the significance of the same.

Key demand of the question:

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: 

Discuss the constitutional features pertaining to office of speaker.

Body:

The answer must explain the office of the Speaker occupies a pivotal position in our parliamentary democracy. It has been said of the office of the Speaker that while the members of Parliament represent the individual constituencies, the Speaker represents the full authority of the House itself. She symbolizes the dignity and power of the House over which she is presiding. Therefore, it is expected that the holder of this office of high dignity has to be one who can represent the House in all its manifestations.

Quote the recent happenings across the states signifying the importance. 

Conclusion:

Conclude with why this office still remains one of the most crucial ones in the life of every upper house.

Introduction:

The Speaker is the presiding officer of the Lok Sabha (House of the People), the lower house of the Parliament of India. The speaker is elected generally in the very first meeting of the Lok Sabha following general elections. Serving for a term of five years, the speaker chosen from sitting members of the Lok Sabha (House of the People), and is by convention a member of the ruling party or alliance.

Body:

Importance of office of Speaker:

  • The office of the Speaker occupies a pivotal position in our parliamentary democracy.
  • It has been said of the office of the Speaker that while the members of Parliament represent the individual constituencies, the Speaker represents the full authority of the House itself.
  • She symbolises the dignity and power of the House over which she is presiding.
  • The responsibility entrusted to the Speaker is so onerous that she cannot afford to overlook any aspect of parliamentary life.
  • Her actions come under close scrutiny in the House and are also widely reported in the mass media.
  • With the televising of proceedings of Parliament, the small screen brings to millions of households in the country the day-to-day developments in the House making the Speaker’s task all the more important.
  • Even though the Speaker speaks rarely in the House, when she does, she speaks for the House as a whole.
  • The Speaker is looked upon as the true guardian of the traditions of parliamentary democracy.
  • Her unique position is illustrated by the fact that she is placed very high in the Warrant of Precedence in our country, standing next only to the President, the Vice-President and the Prime Minister.
  • In India, through the Constitution of the land, through the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha and through the practices and conventions, adequate powers are vested in the office of the Speaker to help her in the smooth conduct of the parliamentary proceedings and for protecting the independence and impartiality of the office.
  • The Constitution of India provides that the Speaker’s salary and allowances are not to be voted by Parliament and are to be charged on the Consolidated Fund of India.
  • Therefore, it is expected that the holder of this office of high dignity has to be one who can represent the House in all its manifestations.

However, there have been many instances when the Speaker’s office has been in the dock:

  • Appointment and tenure: The structural issues regarding the manner in which the Speaker is appointed and his tenure in office. Usually the speaker is from the ruling party and this makes it a more of a political liability on speaker to favour his party.
  • Anti-defection law: In recent times, there are number of instances where the role of speaker has been criticised for decision on membership of MLAs under the anti-defection law and their ruling have been challenged in courts. The Tenth Schedule says the Speaker’s/Chairperson’s decision on questions of disqualification on ground of defection shall be final and can’t be questioned in courts. It was anticipated that giving Speakers the power to expel legislators would prevent unnecessary delays by courts and make anti defection law more effective.
  • Discretionary power: There are various instances where the Rules vest the Speakers with unbridled powers such as in case of declaration of bill as money bill (Lok Sabha Speaker). This discretionary power comes under criticism when Aadhar bill was introduced in Lok Sabha as Money Bill.
  • Referral to DSRCs: The Speaker is also empowered to refer the Bill to a Standing Committee. As per prevailing practice house members or speaker usually refers all important bills to the concerned Departmentally Related Standing Committees for examination and report. But in recent time speaker uses its discretionary power to pass many important bills on day after introduction of bill without proper discussion and references.
  • Increased disruptions: Frequent disruptions reduced the time required for important discussions and compel speaker to allocate less time for discussion. This often questions the impartiality of speaker as he allegedly provides more time to ruling party. Also, it is alleged that speaker took harsh punishment against the disrupting member of opposition compared to government

Conclusion:

The office of the Speaker in India is a living and dynamic institution which deals with the actual needs and problems of Parliament in the performance of its functions. It is in her that the responsibility of conducting the business of the House in a manner befitting the place of the institution in a representative democracy is invested.

The founding fathers of our Constitution had recognised the importance of this office in our democratic set-up and it was this recognition that guided them in establishing this office as one of the prominent and dignified ones in the scheme of governance of the country. smoothly.


Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate

2) Discuss the mandate of National Investigation Agency (NIA), What are the impediments in its operative functioning? How can these concerns be addressed? Elucidate.(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question:

Lok Sabha recently passed the NIA Act Amendment Bill, which gives more powers to the National Investigation Agency and extends its jurisdiction beyond India’s borders. The Bill was hotly debated, with the Opposition accusing the government of misusing the agency for political vendetta and turning India into a police state.

Key demand of the question:

Answer must discuss the key mandate of NIA, impediments in its operative functioning and in what way these impediments can be overcome. 

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 brief narrate the background of the question, why was NIA in news etc.

Body:

Discuss the following aspects in the answer:

Explain the proposed amendment to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act-2008 that were passed – aims to provide the probe agency with powers to investigate scheduled offences such as human trafficking; circulation of fake currency; manufacture and sale of prohibited arms; and cyber-terrorism. It also allows for the creation of special courts for adjudicating such crimes.

The bill also seeks to allow the NIA jurisdiction over scheduled offences committed outside India, subject to international treaties and the domestic laws of other countries. A special court in New Delhi will preside over such cases etc.

Then discuss what are the issues involved and how they need to be addressed.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward, signifying its importance.

Introduction:

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) was set up in 2009 under the NIA Act, 2008. It was set up in the wake of the Mumbai terror attack. At present, NIA is functioning as the Central Counter Terrorism Law Enforcement Agency in India. The Lok Sabha recently passed the National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2019 which enhances the jurisdiction and powers of NIA. The amendments will allow NIA to probe cybercrimes and cases of human trafficking.

Body:

Mandate of NIA:

  • It aims to be a thoroughly professional investigative agency matching the best international standards at the national level, by developing into a highly trained, partnership-oriented workforce.
  • It aims to discourage the existing and potential terrorist groups/individuals.
  • It aims to develop as a storehouse of terrorist related information
  • The agency aims to match the best international standards in counter terrorism and other national security related investigations at the national level by developing into a highly trained, partnership oriented workforce.

Impediments in its operative functioning:

  • As most of terror attacks originate outside India, NIA faces hindrance in that regard.
  • Due to law and order being state subject, NIA has faced coordination issues with regards to state police.
  • Quality manpower is a constant challenge, especially with regards cyber attack capabilities.
  • With regards to tech, it is dependent of foreign imports.
  • There are no dedicated officers; the officers are recruited from Central State police, Central armed police forces on deputation.
  • Lack of coordination mechanism with other specialised agencies like RAW, IB, State police etc. E.g.: Confusion during Pathankot attacks
  • Lack of experts to deal with the cybercrimes.
  • Lack of financial autonomy.

Measures needed:

  • Granting of financial autonomy similar to CAPF.
  • Although special courts will speed up judgments but filling up the vacancies of judiciary is a challenge in present times.
  • To investigate cyber-crimes, need skilled manpower and ethical hackers.
  • As many experts recommend, it is time for India to have a documented national security doctrine
  • The doctrine should be accompanied by a security strategy that should spell out the state response to various kinds of security challenges.

Conclusion:

Dealing with the menace of terrorism would require a comprehensive strategy with involvement of different stakeholders, the Government, political parties, security agencies, civil society and media. There is a need for National Counter Terrorism Centre. A centrally co-ordained Terrorism Watch Centre, which could also operate as a think tank with sufficient inputs from academic and private experts.


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

3) “Our communities present us with a lot of untapped potential, unleashing it is the key to gaining the momentum we need to make faster progress towards reaching the target of an AIDS free India”. Comment.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question: 

The article talks about the significance of communities in achieving the goal of AIDS free India.

Demand of the question:

One has to explain that success is being achieved where policies and programmes focus on people, not diseases, and where communities are fully engaged from the outset in designing, shaping and implementing health policies. This is how real and lasting change is achieved and this is what will reduce the devastating impact of AIDS.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction

In brief discuss the scenario of prevalence of AIDS in India.

Body

The answer must emphasize on the role that community participation plays in addressing issues like that of AIDS and in what way All over the world, communities are demonstrating time and again that they can, and do, deliver results. Since the beginning of the epidemic in India until now, communities have been the most trusted and reliable partners for the National AIDS Control Organization and the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS. They are fully engaged in many aspects of the National AIDS Response, including prevention, care, support and treatment programmes. There are over 1,500 community-based organizations reaching out to key populations. In India, there are around 300 district-level networks of people living with HIV which are supporting treatment programmes through psychosocial support, treatment literacy and adherence counselling.

Conclusion 

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

As per studies conducted in 2015, India has 2.1 million people affected by HIV, making it the third largest country in terms of population affected by the disease. To safeguard the rights of people living with and affected by HIV, the Union Health Ministry had enacted the Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention and Control) Act, 2017.

Body:

The UN Sustainable Development Goals include ensuring good health and well-being for all by 2030. This includes the commitment to end the AIDS epidemic. In many countries, continued access to HIV treatment and prevention options are reducing AIDS-related deaths and new HIV infections. However, there are still too many countries where AIDS-related deaths and new infections are not decreasing fast.

Role of the community in controlling AIDS:

 

  • Success is being achieved where policies and programmes focus on people, not diseases, and where communities are fully engaged from the outset in designing, shaping and implementing health policies.
  • This is how real and lasting change is achieved and this is what will reduce the devastating impact of AIDS.
  • Adopting the latest scientific research and medical knowledge, strong political leadership, and proactively fighting and reducing stigma and discrimination are all crucial.
  • However, without sustained investment in community responses led by people living with HIV and those most affected, countries will not gain the traction necessary to reach the most vulnerable. It is only by doing that can one end the AIDS epidemic.
  • It is also important to note that community services play varying roles depending on the context. They often support fragile public health systems by filling critical gaps. They come from — and connect effectively with — key populations such as gay men, sex workers, people who use drugs, and transgenders.
  • They provide services that bolster clinic-based care and they extend the reach of health services to the community at large. They also hold decision-makers to account.
  • It is important to note that by signing the 2016 UN Political Declaration on Ending AIDS, countries affirmed the critical role that communities play in advocacy, coordination of AIDS responses and service delivery.
  • Moreover, they recognised that community responses to HIV must be scaled up.
  • They committed to at least 30% of services being community-led by 2030. However, most countries are nowhere near reaching that commitment. And where investment in communities is most lacking, there is often weaker progress being made against HIV and other health threats.

Indian scenario:

  • There are over 1,500 community-based organisations reaching out to key populations.
  • In India, there are around 300 district-level networks of people living with HIV which are supporting treatment programmes through psychosocial support, treatment literacy and adherence counselling.

Other measures needed:

  • Emphasis on both prevention & control as well as care and support
  • There is a need to invest in research to find cure for this epidemic
  • Focus on areas that have received little attention so far from government and other NGOs
  • Government must sensitize about the repeal of colonial laws like IPC section 377 to reach to transgender and sex workers
  • Targeted intervention should be adopted. As in Karnataka sensitizing police personnel and educating female sex workers help to reduce HIV infection
  • More awareness should be generated to reduce stigma attached with the HIV infected people.

Conclusion:

Our communities present us with a lot of untapped potential. Unleashing this is the key to gaining the momentum we need to make faster progress towards reaching UNAIDS Fast-Track targets. The more we invest in communities, the closer we get to ending the AIDS epidemic.


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

4) Examine the developments of Waterways in India through Joint Ventures under private participation. What are the challenges faced by the authorities in this regard? Discuss.(250 words) 

Ethics by Lexicon publications

Why this question:

The question is direct and intends to evaluate the conditions of waterway transport and its contribution to the economy and transport sector of the country.

Key demand of the question:

Explain in detail the nuances of developments of Waterways in India, associated challenges, prospects and way ahead.

Directive:

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

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 brief list down facts related to waterways in India, its prospects. India with a extensive network of rivers, canals, lakes has approximately 14500 km of navigable waterways.

Body:

Explain the following aspects – 

First list down the prospects of waterways in India.

Discuss the possible challenges the sector can face – geographical, political, investments etc.

Explain the significance of public-private partnership in realizing the true potential of it.

Conclusion:

Conclude by suggesting way ahead.

Introduction:

Rivers, lakes, canals, backwaters and reservoirs primarily constitute the source for inland waterways. A stretch of water, not part of the sea, over which craft of a carrying capacity not less than 50 tonnes can navigate when normally loaded is called navigable inland waterway.

As per the National Waterways Act, 2016, 111 have been declared as National Waterways (NW). These waterways pass through 24 states and two union territories, with an approximate total length of 20274 km. These proposed waterways will pass through nearly 138 river systems, creeks, estuaries and related canal systems of India.

Body:

Potential of IWT in India:

  • Cost savings:
    • Fuel and Energy Efficient: It is fuel-efficient compared to the other modes of transport, rail and road. For example, the Integrated National Waterways Transportation Grid Study states that one litre of fuel will move 24 tons through one kilometre on road, 85 on rail and 105 km on inland water transport. Further, 1 HP can 150 kg on road, 500 kg on rail and 4000 kg on water.
    • Cost of developing waterways is much lower than rail & road.
    • Reduces transportation and transition losses
  • Environment Friendly:
    • Least fuel consumption per tonne‐km
    • Carbon dioxide emission is 50% of trucks
    • Negligible land requirement as compared to rail and road transport
  • Supplementary Mode:
    • Reduces pressure on road and rail
    • Reduces congestion and accidents on road
  • Optimal Modal Mix: It will provide optimal modal mix by converging river transport with other modes
  • Better connectivity: It helps create seamless interconnectivity connecting hinterlands along navigable river coasts and coastal routes. Further, riverine routes are likely to play a crucial role in connecting the north-eastern states to the mainland
  • Inland Waterways hold huge potential for domestic cargo transport, cruise, tourism and passenger traffic.
  • Development of inland waterways will help in the generation of job opportunities

Need for Private partnership in development of Waterways in India:

  • Achieving infrastructure investment of 5% of GDP requires considerably more private sector contribution.
  • Private sector participation in infrastructure delivery helps deliver tangible benefits.
  • The private sector has also delivered efficiently—both on project execution as well as
  • Private participation enhances public accountability.
  • Public private partnership (PPPs) brings back trust in public utilities that execute them, improve service delivery and bridge resource gaps.
  • Reviving the stalling private sector investments is crucial to accelerate the infrastructure build-up that India needs, aspires for, and deserves.

Challenges faced:

  • Regulatory challenges
    • There is lack of modal integration of and detailed mapping of waterways and industrial clusters and also lack of integration of hinterland coastal shipping with international maritime traffic.
    • Lack of level playing policy (waterways were not on the national horizon for planning and connectivity for long time) among different modes of transport.
    • Lack of uniformity in legal and administrative issues as inland waterways move through more than one state.
  • Political challenges
    • Inter-linking of rivers is a major issue, which is yet to materialize.
  • Financial challenges
    • Under investment by the government.
    • Private sector participation in MRO is dismal.
    • Construction of dams/barrage to increase depth of navigation faces challenges of economic viability.
  • Geographical challenges:
    • Increased siltation: Reduced navigability due to siltation, as in the Bhagirathi-Hooghly and in the Buckingham Canal.
    • Reduced waterflow: Reduced flow due to diversion of water for irrigation, for instance, in the Ganga which makes it difficult even for steamers to ply.
    • Geographical constraints: There are problems in smooth navigation because of waterfalls and cataracts, as in Narmada and Tapti.
  • Technical challenges:
    • Inadequate depth: Lack of inadequate depth of waterways for commercial movement of cargo is a major concern. Also quality of water flow is becoming poorer progressively.
    • Inadequate air draft: Multiple bridges with low vertical clearance obstruct the passage of bigger vessels. E.g.: It is faced in NW3.
    • Shortage of IWT vessels: Due to its capital incentive nature India lacks in vessel building
    • Lack of terminals: It inhibits door-door connectivity to end users.
    • Lack of navigation infrastructure: Rudimentary infrastructure coupled with non-availability of water round the year is an impediment for operation of waterways.
    • Shortage of MRO facilities: There is severe shortage of Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul facilities for inland water transport vessels.

Measures needed:

  • Private Partnership:
    • The government should focus on developing navigation, channel operation and maintenance, and external connectivity infrastructure.
    • Private players can undertake terminal development, cargo and passenger handling, and building low-draft vessels and related repair facilities.
    • Capable creditworthy public institutions are an essential prerequisite to attract private investment.
    • Expediting creation of a PPP think-tank institution as recommended by the Kelkar committee could help.
    • Create supply-side enablers to deepen the infrastructure financing ecosystem
    • Stalled projects need to be dealt with steadfastly to nurse private developers and financial institutions to health. Building certainty and capacity to implement the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code will be crucial.
    • Allied guarantee instruments to strengthen bond markets and expeditious deployment of capital under the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund are facilitations that can help.
    • Transparency and effective policies will be crucial. Project-wise analysis is required to determine as to who is better placed to take care of the three essential components of each project, i.e., Build, Operate and Finance.
  • Industrial Incentives:
    • The Government can mandate/incentivise industries in the proximity of national waterways to use this mode for a portion of their shipments.
    • Public sector entities such as Food Corporation of India, power plants and refineries can be similarly mandated.
  • Sustainable transport model:
    • For synergy, the government can promote industrial corridors along riverbanks and foster waterways-based industrialisation.
    • This will not only ensure captive IWT cargo, but also tackle erosion of riverbanks as industries will tend to protect the land allotted to them.
  • Promoting tourism:
    • Along with passenger terminal development, the government needs to offer financial support to ferry operators to improve safety, and facilitate insurance coverage.
    • The Centre and States need to join hands to package and market river tourism in a big way to trigger a virtuous cycle.

Conclusion:

Thoughtful policies and infrastructure development using the PPP model can give a boost to the cheapest transport mode. A holistic and concerted effort can change India’s transportation landscape, de-congest arterial roads, and even improve quality of life across geographies.


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

5) National urban transport policy highlights on moving people instead of moving vehicles. Discuss critically the success of various policies of the government in this regard. (250 words)

 

Why this question:

The question intends to evaluate the policies of the government with respect to urban transport and in what way such policies have been successful in achieving the mandate of moving people and not just vehicles.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the vision of the National Urban Transport Policy (NUTP) and in what way its ambitions are in the right direction. Discuss various government policies in this direction.

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: 

Begin with brief introduction of the National Urban Transport Policy .

Body:

Discussion should include the following: 

The policy is to be critically analyzed vis-a-vis its achievement, challenges and various plans of the government.

Provide for a detailed perspective of public transport, explain that the need of the hour is to emphasize more on the movement of public transport and its facilitation; whereas, the government makes attempt for smoothening the roads and facilitation of vehicles, not necessarily the public transports.

List down government policies and programmes in this direction with recent examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The Government formulated a National Urban Transport Policy (NUTP) in April, 2006 which envisages safe, affordable, quick, comfortable, reliable and sustainable urban transport systems, establishment of quality focused multi-modal public transport systems that are well integrated, providing seamless travel across modes, land use transport integration, introducing intelligent transport systems for traffic management etc.

Body:

The objective of this policy is to ensure safe, affordable, quick, comfortable, reliable and sustainable access for the growing number of city residents to jobs, education, recreation and such other needs within our cities.

The positive impact of the policy can be seen in more number of people using public transport.

  • Encouraging integrated land use and transport planning in all cities so that travel distances are minimized and access to livelihoods, education, and other social needs, especially for the marginal segments of the urban population is improved, however the interest of every section and region of the society should be addressed.
  • Bringing about a more equitable allocation of road space with people, rather than vehicles, as its main focus.
  • Establishing effective regulatory and enforcement mechanisms that allow a level playing field for all operators of transport services and enhanced safety for the transport system users.
  • Building capacity (institutional and manpower) to plan for sustainable urban transport and establishing knowledge management system that would service the needs of all urban transport professionals, such as planners, researchers, teachers, students,

Challenges to the policies:

  • However, various strategies of the Government like BRT, JNNURM, etc have not solved many of the problems.
  • Unprecedented Transport Growth: According to Niti Aayog, the number of registered motor vehicles has increased from 5.4 million in 1981, to 210 million in 2015. This rapid growth in demand in the absence of widespread public transport system has caused a rapid increase of private car ownership in India.
  • Inadequate Public Transport: According to government data, there are about 19 lakh buses in the country and only 2.8 lakh of them are run either by state transport undertaking or under stage carriage permits.
  • Further, a CSE study points out that the share of public transport is expected to decrease from 75.5% in 2000-01, to 44.7 per cent in 2030-31, while the share of personal transport will be more than 50%
  • Urban Pollution: According to a WHO study 14 out of the top 15 most polluted cities in the world belong to India. Vehicular pollution has been one of the major contributors to rising urban air pollution in Indian cities along with other factors such as construction activity, road dust and industrial activity.
  • Urban Congestion: Major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru are ranked among world’s most congested cities. For example: Average speed for vehicles in Bengaluru is reported as 17 km/h. These high levels of congestion have huge economic implications in the form of reduced productivity, fuel waste, and accidents. Further, there is an acute shortage of parking spaces both on and off the streets in the urban centres.
  • Road safety: Traffic injuries and fatality: According to the Report ‘Road Accidents in India-2016’, road accidents in India have decreased by around 4.1% in 2016 from 2015. However, fatalities resulting from these accidents have risen by about 3.2%. The major reasons for traffic crashes include poor quality of roads, poor traffic management, unsafe and overcrowded vehicles and unsafe driving behaviour.
  • Equity Issues: Unplanned urbanization in India has led to gentrification (as per upper and middle socio-economic class) of city centres and lower income groups are forced to live in peripheral suburbs which have increased their cost and time they allocate to commute. Most of the lower income groups and urban poor fail to afford private transport and even public transport are high for them. For example, a CSE study ranks Delhi Metro as the second most unaffordable metro (after Hanoi in Vietnam) with lower income group people spending nearly 22% of their monthly transport on Delhi Metro fares.
  • Mobility for women: Safety or the lack thereof, is the single biggest factor constraining women’s mobility. According to Action Aid UK, 79% of women in major Indian cities reported being harassed on streets.

Way forward:

  • To address the institutional challenges there is a need for better cooperation among different transport agencies, departments, and ministries as well as better coordination of transport and land-use policies. Further, there should be adequate funding to address various issues plaguing public transport infrastructure
  • To address the issues of urban congestion and urban air pollution, it is important to augment mass and share transit capacity and discourage use of private cars by enforcing restraint measures through parking policy, low emissions zones approach, tax measures and congestion pricing.
  • Further, policies toward enhancing public transport should promote inclusive access to mobility.
  • Well engineered, safe infrastructure for travel should be ensured. Further, there is an urgent need to address the issue of low woman mobility by ensuring women safety through gender-sensitive transport policies, dedicated seats/ coaches and emergency helplines.
  • There should be focus on enhancing non-motorised transport. Focus should be to encourage use of non-motorised transport for short distances. Further, Pedestrian zones, bike lanes should be made to ensure safety to commuters. For example, well designated Bike-lanes and bike-sharing solutions have promoted use of bicycles as a mean of transport in cities like Amsterdam and Paris.
  • Commuters should be provided with multiple modes of connectivity. To ease out travelling, a single smart card can be provided. For example, London’s Oyster “smart” card enables a commuter to change from one mode to another with minimal loss of time or effort.

Conclusion:

There is a need for more equitable allocation of road space with people, rather than vehicles. Besides intelligent transport systems should be introduced and institutional mechanism for enhanced coordination between agencies and between agencies and people should be established. There is a need for 3C Framework (Clean, Convenient and Congestion free) for transforming mobility in India


Topic:  Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

6) What do you understand by a low carbon transport system? Discuss the prospects India holds in transitioning to a low carbon transport system.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The question is based on the theme of low carbon transport system and significance of the same.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss in detail the prospects of having a low carbon transport system and the positive effects of it on the economy, environment and other aspects of the country.

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: 

Define what is low carbon transport system.

Body:

Explain the following dimensions in detail:

What is low carbon transport?

What can humans do to be sustainable in transportation?

Is public transport sustainable?

Why is sustainable transport important?

Explain how all of it rests on accessing public service, choosing rapid transit over car driving and supporting electric vehicle transition etc. 

Discuss Indian scenario and what needs to be done.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Low carbon transport system can be defined as mobility that results in substantially lower levels of carbon emissions and can be considered as the ultimate goal for transport policy, planning as well as research. The idea of low carbon transport system rests on accessing public service, choosing rapid transit over car driving and supporting electric vehicle transition. Global Carbon Project reports that India’s carbon emissions are rising more than two times as fast as the global rise in 2018.

Body:

Need for low-carbon transport system in India:

  • Urbanisation: With the exponential growth of the population, need for transportation arises, where present transportation is mostly relying on fossil fuels, so the need for low-carbon transportation is imminent.
  • Economic growth: Cities are referred to as the “engines of economic growth”. Despite having only about 30% of the total population, nearly 62-63%, of India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) comes from the urban areas. With increasing growth in future, there is a need for low-carbon growth.
  • Pollution: As per a WHO study, fourteen out of the top fifteen most polluted cities in the world belong to India. Polluted air significantly reduces the quality of life and increases the risk of diseases such as lung cancer, stroke, heart disease, and chronic bronchitis.
  • Losses: As per the World Bank, India’s welfare losses due to air pollution are currently estimated at 7.7% of GDP (PPP adjusted). By going low carbon emission vehicles huge amount of expenditure will be saved on pollution related health problems.
  • Congestion: As per a WEF study, the number of Million-plus urban agglomerations has increased from 35 (2001) to 53 (2011). By 2030, the number is expected to grow to 87. Major Indian cities are now consistently ranked amongst the world’s most congested cities. These high levels of congestion have huge cost in the form of reduced productivity, fuel waste, and accidents.
  • Two-wheelers: The two-wheeler sales in India have grown at a CAGR of ~8% during FY14-18 period with FY18 witnessing a 14.8% Year-on-Year growth. The faster growth in two-wheeler sales is mainly due to rising income levels, growing infrastructure in rural areas and rising trend of scooterization.
  • Discretionary spending: As Indian economy continues to grow at fastest pace the disposable income in India is also witnessing rapid improvement, which in turn is leading to faster rise in discretionary spending. This led to increase in purchase of premium vehicles. Premium vehicles run on more fuel per kilometer, so there is need to improve the fuel efficiency in this segment.

Prospects for India:

  • Reducing the CO2 emissions of road transport leverages multiple co-benefits, for example improving air quality and increasing physical activity, which are critical for well-being, particularly in urban areas.
  • Prevent Premature Deaths.
  • The economic cost associated with mortality from air pollution is large, amounting to several % of GDP for many countries which can be addressed through a low carbon transport system.
  • It provides strong economic development.
  • Decreased Local Environment Damages.
  • Low-carbon transport can improve energy security for individuals, businesses and national economies.

Challenges involved towards transition to LCTS:

  • The way cities are built and the design of public transit are critical for low-carbon mobility systems.
  • Unprecedented Transport Growth, i.e. rapid growth in demand in the absence of widespread public transport system has caused a rapid increase of private car ownership in India.
  • Gaps in government Laws and regulations.
  • Poor Institutional Framework.
  • Human Resource Challenges which is Lack of urban transport skills amongst city and state officials is a major challenge in effectively implementing transport project.

Measures needed:

  • Mayors and Town planners should organise cities around public transport and cycling, thereby improving mobility for many, while limiting car use.
  • Uptake of non-motorised transport which can be a sweet spot of sustainable development, resulting in both lower emissions and better public health.
  • The expansion of public transport in the form of large capacity buses, light rail transit, and suburban rail or metro is a feasible option for transport sector.
  • India should double down on its strategy to transition to electric two and three-wheelers.
  • Use of communication and information technologies can help avoid or reduce the need to travel.
  • City managers should ensure that existing urban areas provide short routes and fast access to schools, hospitals and jobs.
  • NITI Aayog Recommendations which calls for a 3C Framework (Clean, Convenient and Congestion free) for transforming mobility in India.

Conclusion:

India is one of the world’s largest producers and consumers in two- and three-wheelers and Indian companies can take a leading role in switching to electric vehicles. This will also help in transforming India’s vision of ‘Make in India’. Providing access to public service, choosing rapid transit over a car driving in cities and supporting the rise of electric two and three-wheelers will help drive India to a modern and low-carbon transport system fit for the 21st century.


Topic: Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration

7) Discuss the Public Services Code as recommended by the 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission. (250 words)

 Ethics by Lexicon publications, CSE Mains 2016 – GS IV

Why this question:

The question is based on the concept of public service code.

Key demand of the question:

Explain in detail the essence of public service code, relevance and importance.

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 brief discuss the significance of public service code.

Body:

One has to explain that second arc recommended public service code as such codes will help to imbibe values of honesty, objectivity, impartiality, probity etc. among public servants.

such codes will act as a deterrence to avoid misuse of official position or using public office for one’s self interest.

since public services/ public servants are considered as instruments of good governance such codes will help to ensure empathy, love, compassion for the vulnerable without discrimination on the basis of caste, sex, religion and provide betterment of public at large to foster socio economic development and ensuring egalitarian society.

Conclusion:

therefore, conclude that the recommendations of ARC should be implemented in order to ensure effective management, professional growth and leadership development.

Introduction:

The 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) had proposed the inclusion of a Public Service Code in the draft Public Service Bill, 2007. The commission had drawn inspiration from the inclusion of such provisions in the constitution of other countries like Australia, Poland, etc.

Body:

It conceptualizes a comprehensive civil service code at three levels.

  • Apex Level: Clear and concise statement of the values and ethical Standards that civil servant should imbibe.
  • Second Level: Broad principles which should govern the behavior of civil Servants should be outlined.
  • Third Level: A specific code of conduct stipulating in a precise and unambiguous manner a list of acceptable and unacceptable behavior and actions.

The key highlights of the Public Services Code include:

  • Allegiance to the various ideals enshrined in the preamble to the Constitution
  • Apolitical functioning
  • Good governance for betterment of the people to be the primary goal of civil service.
  • Duty to act objectively and impartially
  • Accountability and transparency in decision-making
  • Maintenance of highest ethical standards
  • Merit to be the criteria in selection of civil servants consistent, however, with the cultural, ethnic and other diversities of the nation
  • Ensuring economy and avoidance of wastage in expenditure
  • Provision of healthy and congenial work environment
  • Communication, consultation and cooperation in performance of functions i.e. participation of all levels of personnel in management.

The commission recognizes the difficulties in enforcement of these values per se. But the commission has highlighted that efforts made by individuals in leadership positions in organization to inculcate these values in within the organization can make a difference.

Conclusion:

The commission believed that the statutory backing through Civil Services bill to the Code of Ethics would guide the civil servants towards behaviours, choices and actions that benefit the community.