Print Friendly, PDF & Email

SECURE SYNOPSIS: 20 JULY 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 20 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:Urbanization and its problems

1) India’s urban water crisis calls for an integrated approach. Discuss the importance of wetland conservation in urban areas? Write a note on importance of involvement of local communities in water conservation efforts.(250 words)

Deccanherald

Reference

Introduction:

The NITI Aayog report on Composite Water Management Index(CWMI) said that India is facing its ‘worst’ water crisis in history. Taps in Shimla went dry in summer of 2018, posing an unprecedented water crisis in the hill town. According to a forecast by the Asian Development Bank, India will have a water deficit of 50% by 2030. Recent studies also ranked Chennai and Delhi at the top of the 27 most vulnerable Asian cities in terms of low per-day water availability Mumbai and Kolkata follow close.

Body:

Through the ages, urban wetlands have been the lifeline of most cities in India. They were preserved and looked after by the people as their main source of water supply for drinking and irrigation. These wetlands are found all over the country and are either natural or built by people.

Importance of wetland conservation in Urban Areas:

  • Wetlands are indispensable for the countless benefits or “ecosystem services” that they provide humanity, ranging from freshwater supply, food and building materials, and biodiversity, to flood control, groundwater recharge, and climate change mitigation.
  • Wetlands are habitat to aquatic flora and fauna, numerous species of native and migratory birds.
  • Wetlands are an important resource for sustainable tourism.
  • They carry out water purification, filtration of sediments and nutrients from surface water.
  • They help in nutrients recycling, groundwater recharging and stabilisation of local climate.
  • Play an important role in flood mitigation by controlling the rate of runoff.
  • Buffer (act as a riparian buffer) shorelines against erosion and pollutants.
  • They act as a genetic reservoir for various species of plants (especially rice).

Importance of involvement of local communities in water conservation efforts:

  • Local communities are important stakeholders in using resources. Wetlands have many stakeholders at community level with diverse interests, the major ethnic groups dependent on wetlands in the kingdom are small fractions of the population and are scattered over regions and these are the major wetland users.
  • Many of  them  have  their  own  language,  culture,  physical  features  and  way  of  life  they  may  live  along  the  river  basins  and  wetland   
  • People depended  on  wetlands resources  own  very  little  and  they  are  shy  and  provincial  in    They  have  remained  unchanged  in  their  traditional  culture  despite  the  changes  taking  place  around  them
  • Local people  provide  information  required  for  making  wetland  inventory,  necessary  data and socioeconomic condition of resources.
  • They can  utilize  their  knowledge,  skill  to  produce  wetlands  products  and  take  benefits from them.
  • They can  disseminate  the  information  regarding  threats  and  dangers  to  different 
  • They help   in   maintaining   ecological   balances   by   wise   utilization   of   wetland  
  • Active participation  of  local  people  in  plan  development  process  is  essential  for  efficient planning phase. 
  • They are more attached to wetlands hence should provide any conservation issues to handle them.
  • They should   prohibit   the   dumping   of   chemical   pollutants,   domestic   garbage,   industrial waste, toxic substances, and the use of electric current and explosives in the wetland sites. 
  • They must  not  allowed  any  project  to  take  over  community  land  or  any  unwanted  service  they  are  not  willing  to  do  or  any  illegal  use  of  resources  such  as  wetland 
  • They must have the sense of distinguishing problem and prioritizing the conservation activities.
  • They should  not  overexploit  the  wetlands  and  work  under  safe  standards  set  for  regeneration capacity of wetland resources. 
  • They must  cooperate  in  environment  management  program  that  secures  their  right  and gains. 
  • Rural communities must cooperate with project to prioritize the problem that seeks the immediate solution.

Conclusion:

local  community  dependence  on  wetland  resources  with  low  involvement  in  their  management,  weak,  un-diversified,  and  insecure livelihoods based on the direct exploitation of natural resources causes hindrance in conservation. Community can play pioneering role in many functions that are necessary for sustainability and equitability; merely the conservation programs should represent local communities for the consultation in plan development phase.

Case study:

The rejuvenation of Argan Lake (Belagavi district in Karnataka) is a story of collective efforts by hundreds of soldiers of the Maratha Light Infantry. Once decided, it took around three to four months to study and plan the restoration work. Interestingly, they utilised the money collected in the Military Vinayak temple’s donation boxes, which is generally used for public welfare works.

Another successful initiative in this region is the rejuvenation the Bailwad lake in Bailhongal, a hot and arid zone which is prone to drought. The lake bed is made up of hard rocks and rubbles. Around two months ago, Pyaas foundation began desilting and added a layer of compressed black soil to prevent the loss of water. For two months, the volunteers worked hard to remove the rocks and bring the water body to shape.


Topic: Indian Polity

2) Discuss the controversies surrounding the office of speaker in India. Suggest measures to make the office of speaker impartial and independent. Should it be modeled on the lines of office of British speaker?(250 words)

Laxmikant: Indian Polity

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:

Controversies surrounding the office of Speaker in India:

  • 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.
  • Lack of Tenure security: With no security in the continuity of office, the Speaker is dependent on his or her political party for re-election. This makes the Speaker susceptible to pulls and pressures from her/his political party in the conduct of the proceedings of the Lok Sabha.
  • 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
  • Elections: The position of the Indian Speaker is paradoxical. They contest the election for the post on a party ticket. Yet they are expected to conduct themselves in a non-partisan manner, while being beholden to the party for a ticket for the next election.
  • Political Aspirations: The position is often used to woo the political parties by favouring them to harbour political ambitions. The need for re-election also skews incentives for the Speaker. The fear of losing the position in case of not favouring their political parties also pushes them to compromise neutrality.

Some instances of controversies:

  • In 1988, Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P.H. Pandian disqualified six senior AIADMK ministers for giving up their party membership, along with 27 other MLAs , identified with the pro-Jayalalithaa faction.
  • Sixteen MLAs in the Arunachal Pradesh Assembly were disqualified by the Speaker, Nabam Rebia, in 2016 despite not officially leaving the party or defying its directives.
  • Uttarakhand Assembly Speaker, Govind Singh Kunjwal, disqualified nine MLAs from the ruling party in 2016, despite the MLAs not leaving the Congress or voting against it in the Assembly.

Convention in British Parliament:

  • The Westminster system considers it a taboo to induct a Speaker into the cabinet.
  • No sitting Speaker of the House of Commons in Britain has lost his or her seat. This is because of the convention of not fielding candidates in the Speaker’s constituency.
  • In comparison, in India, there are many Speakers who have lost their seats in general elections.
  • The promise of continuity in office for many terms is used to ensure the Speaker’s impartiality.
  • Also, Indian Speakers are not made members of the Rajya Sabha after they demit office.
  • But the British Parliament automatically elevates the Speaker to the House of Lords.
  • By convention, political parties (usually) do not field a candidate against the Speaker at the time of general elections.
  • And the Speaker can continue in office, until deciding otherwise. By convention, the Speaker also gives up the membership of his/her political party.

Measures needed:

  • The page Committee, headed by V.S. Page, suggested that if the Speaker had conducted himself or herself in an impartial and efficient manner during the tenure of his or her office, he or she should be allowed to continue in the next Parliament.
  • Anyone seeking the office of the Speaker might be asked to run for election on an independent ticket.
  • Any Speaker should be barred from future political office, except for the post of President, while being given a pension for life.
  • Following the UK model of Speaker where the Speaker elect compulsorily resigns from the party membership. This will ensure neutrality of the office.
  • The Speaker should be allowed to recommend a range of disciplinary actions like cuts in salary, reduction in speaking time for the member based on the recommendation of the parliamentary committee.
  • The Speaker can arrange informal sessions with the members who frequently disrupt the house. He can try to resolve their grievances if any with respect to the conduct of the house.
  • A code of ethics for MPs must be formed to clearly define cases for suspension and dismissals.
  • Power must be given to speaker to form a parliamentary committee to recommend removal of MPs regularly disrupting the house. The decision of the committee must be subject to judicial review.
  • Ethics committee of Lok Sabha need to be given more mandate like other mature democracies

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.


Topic: Government policies

3) “Draft NEP wants critical thinking and Creativity to be treated as the cornerstone of intellectual development”. In this light, what are the recommendations made by Kasturirangan committee. What measures have been taken by government to ensure critical thinking and creativity.(250 words)

The hindu

 

Introduction:

The Draft National Education Policy, 2019 prepared by a committee chaired by Dr K. Kasturirangan has been shared by the Ministry of Human Resource and Development for public comments. The policy aims at making India a knowledge superpower by equipping students with the necessary skills and knowledge. It also focuses on eliminating the shortage of manpower in Science and Technology, academics and industry. The Draft Policy is built on foundational pillars of Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability and Accountability. The draft Policy is right in emphasising what it calls “liberal” higher education but the manner in which it redefines the term robs it of its very essence.

Body:

Recommendations made by Kasturirangan committee:

  • “A liberal arts education, as so beautifully described and practiced in India’s past,” says the NEP, “enables one to truly develop both sides of the brain—both the creative and the analytical side”
  • The draft NEP 2019 advocates building new institutions of higher education which are essentially multidisciplinary in nature, in addition to ones focusing on the study of Pali, Prakrit, Persian and Sanskrit.
  • It further departs from existing policy in the way it seamlessly weaves the professionalization of higher education with a redefined notion of what ‘liberal’ education entails.
  • It effects a shift in the meaning of the term ‘liberal’ across the neo-liberal universe by giving a clarion call to return to the great Indian traditions of the Lalitavistara Sutra, Bhavbhuti’s Kadambari and Yashodhara’s Jayamangala, all of which define an educated person as a master of a number of kalas.
  • Kalas include everything from carpentry and engineering to music, painting and dance.

Shortcomings:

  • The end goal of liberal education has a free thinking individual at the centre – free to think, question and critique.
  • The ‘liberal’ in liberal education has, therefore, remained a contested term, debated across feudal, industrial, capitalist, and neo-liberal societies because of its inbuilt ambiguity.
  • The case for liberal education is made in the name of employability and choice, or flexibility in designing a study plan.
  • The development of the individual is seen in terms of her productive engagement with the economic progress of her society that now requires a certain flexible disposition.
  • The increased privatisation of higher education and the handing over of its vision, provision and delivery largely to private hands are features that have been seen in earlier policy documents.
  • An education in languages and the humanities as being antithetical to a professional education – considered to be the sole responsibility of private stakeholders.
  • If an education in humanities had to be offered, it was the task of the government.

Measures taken by Government to ensure critical thinking and creativity:

  • Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan (RAA) – a convergent framework that aims at nurturing a spirit of inquiry and creativity, love for Science and Mathematics and effective use of technology amongst children and encourage those who show an inclination and talent for these subjects to be encouraged and supported to heights of academic excellence and research.
  • Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) – This is dedicated to promoting a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship among Indian students.
  • AIM’s Atal Tinkering Labs – where students are encouraged to develop innovation skills and ideas to transform the country.
  • IMPRINT provides the overarching vision that guides research into areas that are predominantly socially relevant.
  • Creative India; Innovative India – Scheme for IPR Awareness
  • Skill initiatives, including Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), Vocational Training Institutes for Women, Advanced Training Institutes run by the Directorate of General Training (DGT) and Basic Training Centres and Related Instructions Centres by private firms or the government. Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) of the Central Government
  • Jigyasa, a student- scientist connect programme. Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has joined hands with Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) to implement this programme.
  • USTTAD: Upgrading the Skills and Training in Traditional Arts/ Crafts for Development of the minorities.

Conclusion:

A policy for education that wants to embrace liberal education cannot afford to blank out the complexities involved in such an education for the teacher, the taught, and the content of what is taught. Choice and flexibility are inherent in the idea of liberal education but they in themselves do not make liberal education. In and of themselves they do not hold the liberating, democratic, dissenting potential which is at the heart of liberal education.


Topic:Indian Economy; Agriculture.

4) Discuss the role and contributions from agriculture towards India’s goal of $5 trillion economy. What measures need to be taken in agriculture to reach its goal.(250 words) 

The hindu

 

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. However, unless there are adequate investments reforms in primary sectors, steps taken to augment growth in other sectors would be futile.

Body:

Role and contributions from agriculture towards India’s goal of $5 trillion economy:

  • Agri-tourism: The segments such as agro-processing, and exports, agri-startups and agri-tourism, where the potential for job creation and capacity utilisation is far less. Integrating the existing tourism circuit with a relatively new area of agri-tourism (as a hub-and-spoke model), where glimpses of farm staff and farm operations are displayed to attract tourists, would help in boosting the investment cycle and generate in-situ employment.
  • Education and research in agriculture: It would serve as a stage to demonstrate resource conservation and sustainable use through organic, natural and green methods, and also zero budget natural farming.
  • Food processing: according to united nations food and agriculture organisation (FAO), India is home to more than 190 million Indians going hunger daily and at the same time around $ 14 billion (Rs 96,000 crore) food wastage in India due to lack of proper food storage facilities.
  • Live stock: In India livestock considered as a supplement to farm income to farmer. But at present day livestock contribution to agriculture GDP is nearly 30%. And many of the livestock farmers earning more than traditional agriculture farmers. India is home to highest number of livestock population in the world, investment should make to utilise this surplus.
  • Foreign direct investment: according to Invest India report, around 1.5 billion USD foreign investment came to food processing sector. So there is a huge potential to tap in Indian food processing industry.
  • Renewable energy: investment in renewable energy generation on fallow farmland and in hilly terrain would help reduce the burden of debt-ridden electricity distribution companies and state governments and farmers no need to rely on Discom companies for power supply.
  • Private entities: Farm business organisation is another source of routing private investment to agriculture. Linking these organisations with commodity exchanges would provide agriculture commodities more space on international trading platforms and reduce the burden of markets in a glut season, with certain policy/procedural modifications.

Global Experiences:

An earlier experience of BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) nations has shown that a 1% growth in agriculture is at least two to three times more effective in reducing poverty than similar growth in non-agricultural sectors.

Public investment in agriculture research and development in terms of percentage share in agri GVA stands at 0.37%, which is fairly low in comparison to between 3% and 5% in developed countries.

Measures needed:

  • 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.
  • Reform in land leasing laws to promote land consolidation and contract farming.
  • Accelerating the pace of public investment in agriculture and ensure greater efficiency in capital use.
  • Loans available through KCC are very low, so the government and RBI should work together to increase the loan amount.
  • PPPs could help spur the development of the food processing industry, one of the newest sectors in Indian agriculture.
  • present agriculture growth is in declining phase, to revive the agriculture growth need patient capital (as financial returns to investment are unlikely to materialize in the initial years.) like rural infrastructure development fund (RIDF)

Conclusion:

Agriculture and its allied sectors are believed to be one of the most fertile grounds to help achieve the ambitious Sustainable Developmental Goals (SDGs). However, with the current pace of agriculture growth, India requires ‘patient capital’, as financial returns to investment are unlikely to materialise in the initial years. An inclusive business model facilitating strong investor-farmer relations should be created, with a legal and institutional framework for governance. Expanding institutions is essential to accommodate the developmental impacts of foreign agricultural investment.


Topic:Science and Technology; Space Technology

5) India’s own manned space mission, Gaganyaan, is scheduled to be launched by 2022. In this light, discuss the achievements of previous global space missions. What are the possible spin-offs for India through Gaganyaan.(250 words)

Indianexpress

Indianexpress

Introduction:

July 20, 2019 marked the fiftieth anniversary of man’s first landing on the Moon, “a giant leap for mankind”, as Neil Armstrong described it. Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were taken to the Moon by the Apollo-11 mission in 1969. They were the first of the six two-astronaut teams that landed on the Moon over the next three years. The moon mission holds significance for India as she prepares for her first manned space mission – Mission Gaganyaan. It is being launched by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) by 2022. The programme will make India the fourth nation in the world to launch a Human Spaceflight Mission. So far, only the USA, Russia and China have launched human spaceflight missions.

Body:

Achievements of previous global space missions:

date accomplishedeventdetailscountry or agency
Oct. 4, 1957first artificial Earth satelliteSputnik 1U.S.S.R.
Nov. 3, 1957first animal launched into spacedog Laika aboard Sputnik 2U.S.S.R.
Sept. 14, 1959first spacecraft to hard-land on another celestial object (the Moon)Luna 2U.S.S.R.
April 1, 1960first applications satellite launchedTIROS 1 (weather observation)U.S.
April 12, 1961first human to orbit EarthYury Gagarin on Vostok 1U.S.S.R.
June 16, 1963first woman in spaceValentina Tereshkovaon Vostok 6U.S.S.R.
March 18, 1965first space walkAleksey Leonov on Voskhod 2U.S.S.R.
July 20, 1969first human to walk on the MoonNeil Armstrong on Apollo 11U.S.
April 19, 1971first space station launchedSalyut 1U.S.S.R.
Dec. 3, 1973first spacecraft to fly by JupiterPioneer 10U.S.
April 25, 1990first large optical space telescope launchedHubble Space TelescopeU.S., European Space Agency
June 21, 2004first privately funded manned spacecraft to achieve suborbital flight above 100 km (62 miles)Mike Melvill on SpaceShipOneMojave Aerospace Ventures (commercial joint venture)
July 1, 2004first spacecraft to orbit SaturnCassini-HuygensU.S., European Space Agency, Italy
Jan. 14, 2005first spacecraft to land on the moon of a planet other than Earth (Saturn’s moon Titan)Huygens probe of the Cassini-Huygens spacecraftU.S., European Space Agency, Italy
June 13, 2010first spacecraft to return to Earth with samples from an asteroidHayabusaJapan
March 17, 2011first spacecraft to orbit MercuryMessengerU.S.

Spin-off benefits of ISRO’s space programs:

  • Distress Alert Transmitter (DAT)
    • INSAT based Distress Alert Transmitter (DAT) is used to transmit emergency conditions and for rescue operation. It can be easily installed in boats or other vehicles. Intended for emergency message communication transmission for all type of sea going vessels especially useful for fisherman.
  • Artificial Polyurethane Foot
    • Polyurethane (PU) technology was developed for insulation, damping, acoustic protection and other lightweight structural applications in launch vehicles. The development of PU foams for rocket motor applications has resulted in an important spin off in the form of artificial foot prosthesis. Amputees especially among the poor and needy in the country will benefit from free prostheses replacement.
  • Fire Extinguishing Powders
    • One of the widely used ISRO products is the fire extinguishing powder – ‘OLFEX’ for flammable liquid, gas fires and Ternary Eutectic Chloride (TEC) powder for metal fires. OLFEX is a reaction product of urea and potassium bicarbonate and is used for extinguishing oil fires.
  • Automatic Weather Station
    • The state of the art Automatic Weather Station (AWS) developed by ISRO is designed as a very compact, modular, rugged, powerful, low cost system and housed in a portable, self contained package. The AWS can immediately provide information on weather and an anomaly from normal/expected weather.
  • Silica Cloth (ISROSIL)
    • ISRO developed High Silica Cloth – ISROSIL is being used by industries for insulation and thermal protection for non metallic bellows, wrapping for pipes, cables and hoses, vertical strip furnace curtains, seals and gaskets etc.
  • DTH Based Disaster Warning system (DWS)
    • ISRO developed a DTH based Disaster Warning Dissemination System which will find wide applications for disaster warning dissemination during flood, earthquake, tsunami, cyclone, landslides, civil disturbances etc. Function(s) of each warning receiver deployed at different places can be controlled from transmit end. The system can disseminate data Direct to Home (DTH) or to community centres and public places.
  • Pedclean
    • ISRO developed a hand cleansing formulation, PEDCLEAN-A. This cleansing system was very useful for industrial and laboratory personnel working with polymers, adhesives, oils and greases and other materials which are sticky in nature. PEDCLEAN was evaluated and certified by Industrial Toxicological Research Institute, Lucknow who certified it safe for human use as a skin barrier cream.

Conclusion:

Space research always has been fascinating and India has not lagged behind. Future challenges related to space exploration, space travel, tourism application programmes based on space assets spin off technology benefits etc are going to provide lot of opportunity to the new generation.


Topic Investment models

6) What are social stock exchanges? Discuss its need and potential in India.(250 words)

Indianexpress

Introduction:

A social stock exchange (SSE) is a platform on which social enterprises, volunteer groups and welfare organisations will be listed so that they can raise capital. It will bring together social enterprises and impact investors on a common platform. Finance Minister announced that the government plans to create a social stock exchange (SSE) in the budget 2019.The SSE in India will be under the ambit of SEBI.

Body:

Need:

  • Social enterprises are playing a very significant role in solving real problems in education, healthcare and financial inclusion.
  • The Electronic Fundraising Platform acknowledges the problem of investment fundraising for such organizations
  • It sends a positive signal that the government is bothered about the sector.
  • It will help companies to have greater visibility and raise capital. For instance, if an entrepreneur can go to a single platform which he knows will be touched by a hundred investors, it becomes easier for him
  • Listing on an exchange can be a viable alternative for impact startups to raise funding
  • In India, the social impact startups are growing at 20 per cent annual rate while there are more than 400 such startups

Potential:

  • The proposal has attracted much attention, and social entrepreneurs, among others, have said that the move can have a revolutionary effect on how they tap investors for capital.
  • The exchange would help social and voluntary organisations which work for social causes to raise capital as equity, debt or a unit of mutual fund.
  • It’s good for the government to put in some resources in the creation of what should be viewed as a facilitating institution
  • With the government distrustful of foreign donations to nonprofits, the exchange might help the sector generate more capital
  • The proposal would be a radical experiment in a country characterised by stark inequality and rapid economic growth.
  • If created, the exchange could provide new and cheaper sources of financing for social welfare projects, while showcasing India’s independence from foreign aid as it seeks to enhance its position on the world stage.
  • SSEs exist in several countries in various forms but there is no clarity about the Indian version yet on trading, tax benefit transferability and accountability of third parties

Social enterprises:

  • A social enterprise is a revenue-generating business.
  • Its primary objective is to achieve a social objective, for example, providing healthcare or clean energy.
  • This in no way means that a social enterprise can’t be highly profitable. In fact, most social enterprises look and operate like traditional businesses.
  • The only catch is that the profit these entities generate is not necessarily used for payouts to stakeholders, but reinvested into their social programmes.
  • Forus Health, a social enterprise manufacturing medical devices, with the larger vision of eliminating preventable blindness
  • ImpactGuru is a donation-based crowdfunding startup serving NGOs, social enterprises, startups and individuals.

Global examples:

  • UK: The Social Stock Exchange in London functions more as a directory connecting social enterprises and potential investors. Launched in 2013, it only accepts companies that pass its independent assessment on social impact.
  • Kenya: The Kenya Social Investment Exchange, launched in 2011, connects vetted social enterprises with impact investors, both foreign and domestic. A listed social enterprise has to demonstrate social impact as well as financial sustainability beyond the funding period.
  • Canada: Backed by the Ontario government, the SVX is an online platform that allows investments in Canadian companies and funds that have “a positive social or environmental impact”. Retail investors are also allowed to participate.
  • Singapore: The Impact Investment Exchange runs a social stock exchange in partnership with the Stock Exchange of Mauritius, which is open to limited accredited investors who want to invest.

Challenges:

  • In a survey of Indian social enterprises by Brookings India, 57% identified access to debt or equity as a barrier to growth and sustainability.
  • Lack of clarity of Social Enterprise in India.
  • There is less clarity about how a stock exchange will help raise capital for “voluntary organisations”.
  • Social startups possibly lack the flexibility in raising capital from angel or venture capital investors, unlike a regular technology startup.

Way forward:

  • The first thing the government needs to decide is how to distinguish between a social enterprise and a normal enterprise.
  • It would be innovative if corporate social responsibility funds could be routed to social enterprises through the exchange
  • This can help reduce misuse of CSR funds and help companies route funds through a more viable route

Conclusion:

The Social stock exchange is a step in the right direction to help the cash starved social startups. This will further the cause of socio-economic development with much transparency and accountability.


Topic: Ethics

7) Young people with ethical conduct are not willing to come forward to join active politics. Suggest steps to motivate them to come forward. (250 words)

Introduction:

In India, the word politics over time has come to be associated with corruption, political manipulation, opportunism, nepotism, along with weak moral integrity and character of political leaders. The flexing of muscle and money power in politics has made young people with ethical conduct wary of joining politics.

Body:

Following steps can be taken to motivate them to come forward:

  • Youth parliament: can  be  conducted  to  instil  interest  in  political  issues  and  desire  to  become political leader.
  • Role modelling: highlighting the stature and role of important leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri etc in nation building.
  • Use of Emotional intelligence: to rouse the feeling of patriotism and projecting politics and a mean to express the value of the love for nation.
  • Healthy political debates: to involve more intellectual and rational youths.
  • Electoral reforms which must include steps to curb corruption and criminalization in politics
  • End of dynastic politics: and merit based party position will attract more talent in politics. Students with specific  knowledge  on  society,  economy,  and  political  science  etc  must  be  given  preferences and respect within the parties.
  • Annual meeting of young M.P’s and MLA’s can be organized across the country by Election Commission to attract young talent in politics.
  • Voters must   also   demand   person   of   strong   ethical   conduct   and   integrity   to   become   their representative. NOTA can be used in this regard.
  • Examples of foreign nation with young leaders heading their countries must be highlighted.
  • Politics over religion, caste, reservation, language etc must be replaced by politics over development and justice.
  • University elections need reforms like non-involvement of political parties and strict vigilance over use of money and muscle power.

Conclusion:

Youth has always driven various segments of our society. Their energy must be channelized towards the right ends.