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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 27 AUGUST 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 27 AUGUST 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: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

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

 1) Diversification of jobs from agriculture to other sectors is inevitable for the stability of rural economy in India. Discuss with suitable justifications.(250 words)

Reference

 

Why this question:

The question is about evaluating the need for diversification of Agri related jobs to bring stability in the rural economy of the country.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the need for diversifying the agricultural setup in the rural regions of India into other sectors for better stability 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: 

In short explain the current context of the question.

Body:

One must explain in detail the need for Diversification of jobs from agriculture to other sectors. First explain why should there be an encouragement to shift in the rural agrarian economy to other sectors.

Contrary to the common perception about predominance of

agriculture in rural economy, about two third of rural income is now generated in nonagricultural activities.

 Similarly, it looks amazing to find that more than half of the value

added in manufacturing sector in India is contributed by rural areas. However, the impressive growth of non-agricultural sector in rural India has not brought significant employment gains or reduction in disparity in worker productivity. This underlines the need for a new approach to direct the transition of rural economy.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way ahead.

Introduction:

Agriculture is the primary source of livelihood for about 58 per cent of India’s population. Gross Value Added by agriculture, forestry and fishing is estimated at Rs 17.67 trillion. Yet Indian agriculture faces multiple issues like small and marginal landholdings, lack of access to agricultural credit, environmental degradation, low value addition etc, which in turn affect the agricultural income.

Body:

Need for diversification of jobs:

  • Recent survey by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (All India Rural Financial Inclusion Survey) shows that the average monthly income of rural households is Rs. 8,059, with agricultural households deriving only 43% of their income from agriculture. Most of it is from providing daily wage labour and government jobs.
  • Reducing the dependence of rural masses on agriculture will help improve the overall income of the rural population
  • The government has sought to double farmer income by raising minimum support prices, but such initiatives would apply directly only to 48% of rural India, with non-agricultural households being left behind
  • Diversification, away from marginal farming, helps to overcome land constraint to income growth, while allowing farmers to cope with exogenous shocks through additional income.
  • It even allows them to reinvest in productivity enhancing agricultural technologies.
  • Conversation on raising farmer income needs to embrace non-farm diversification, an important pathway for empowering landless labourers and marginal farmers.
  • It helps overcome the disguised unemployment which has raised the labour cost in other sectors due to poor supply of labour.
  • According to the National Sample Survey Office’s (NSSO’s) periodic labour force survey (PLFS) report showed a collapse in agricultural jobs as a key reason behind rising unemployment, particularly in the rural parts of the country.
  • The proportion of people, in the working age group, employed in agriculture fell by 8 percentage points for rural men and 9.3 percentage points for rural women, an analysis of the NSSO’s PLFS report for 2017-18.
  • The share of agriculture in rural output is 39%, whereas the rest is contributed by the manufacturing, construction and services sectors.

Benefits of Rural Non-Farm sector:

  • When the economic base of the rural economy extends beyond agriculture, rural-urban economic gaps are bound to get narrower along with salutary effects in many other aspects associated with the life and aspirations of the people.
  • Rural industries are generally less capital-intensive and more labour absorbing.
  • Rural industrialization has significant spin-offs for agricultural development as well.
  • Rural income distribution is much less unequal in areas where a wide network of non-farm avenues of employment exists; the lower strata of rural societies participate much more intensely in non-farm activities, though their involvement is much less remunerative as compared with that of the upper strata.

Measures needed for diversification of jobs:

  • The livestock sector, which contributes around 4% to India’s gross domestic product (GDP), is particularly critical. India has a mixed crop livestock farming system, with livestock becoming an important secondary source of income.
  • There are immense possibilities for diversification in agricultural sector towards more value added activities such as food processing.
  • This is an area, which has by and large remained unexploited, because reforms in agriculture sector having been very slow, resources have not yet started flowing into food processing industries.
  • A strong push to sectors like food processing, warehousing and logistics will be very beneficial as it will help push up farmer incomes, reduce the wastage of perishable agriculture commodities and provide employment to rural workers.
  • Besides diversification of agriculture there is a strong need to restructure the rural economy by way of promotion of nonfarm activities in rural areas.
  • Whatever nonfarm activities are being carried out in the rural areas now are more out of desperation to eke out a living rather than an informed choice of a vocation, backed by infrastructural and institutional facilities.
  • A massive improvement in infrastructure is required to promote growth of rural industries on a sustainable basis.
  • This will go a long way in generating good quality employment and meeting many of the consumption requirements of rural people.
  • Many steps have been taken in regard to village connectivity, e.g., Prime Minister Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) and telecommunication.
  • Services sector growth in rural areas could also play a critical role in improving rural income. Sectors like transport and storage have recorded reasonable growth in the rural area.

Conclusion:

India’s rural development policies should increasingly focus on developing markets, infrastructure and institutions that can help sectors like manufacturing especially small scale industries. While India’s post-Independence rural policy has primarily been about driving people away from agriculture and towards cities, India must now incentivise job creation at their doorstep.


Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

2) Why despite India being a large agricultural country a large population is malnourished? Discuss in detail the reasons and challenges associated with malnutrition in India.(250 words)

deccanherald

Why this question:

The question is to evaluate the issue of malnutrition in the country.

Key demand of the question:

One must discuss in detail the causes and consequences of malnutrition across 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: 

In short explain the backdrop of the question that despite being an agrarian economy India is witnessing the problems of malnutrition.

Body:

First assert using suitable facts the prevalent scenario in the country – According to the ‘Food and Nutrition Security Analysis, India, 2019’ report authored by the Government of India and the United Nations World Food Programme malnutrition amongst children in India is projected to remain high, despite all the progress made in food security.

Discuss what is malnutrition? what are the causes? What needs to be done to address the challenge.

Conclusion:

Conclude with solutions as to what needs to be done to address the issue.

Introduction:

A new report, ‘Food and Nutrition Security Analysis, India, 2019’, authored by the Government of India and the United Nations World Food Programme, paints a picture of hunger and malnutrition amongst children in large pockets of India. Malnutrition in India also persists because of the age-old patterns of social and economic exclusion. Over 40% of children from Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes are stunted. Close to 40% of children from the Other Backward Classes are stunted.

Body:

Reasons for malnutrition in India:

  • Mother’s health:
    • Scientists say the initial 1,000 days of an individual’s lifespan, from the day of conception till he or she turns two, is crucial for physical and cognitive development.
    • But more than half the women of childbearing age are anaemic and 33 per cent are undernourished, according to NFHS 2006. A malnourished mother is more likely to give birth to malnourished children.
  • Social inequality:
    • For example, girl children are more likely to be malnourished than boys, and low-caste children than upper-caste children.
  • Sanitation:
    • Most children in rural areas and urban slums still lack sanitation. This makes them vulnerable to the kinds of chronic intestinal diseases that prevent bodies from making good use of nutrients in food, and they become malnourished.
    • Lack of sanitation and clean drinking water are the reasons high levels of malnutrition persists in India despite improvement in food availability.
  • Lack of diversified food:
    • With the increase in diversity in food intake malnutrition (stunted/underweight) status declines. Only 12% of children are likely to be stunted and underweight in areas where diversity in food intake is high, while around 50% children are stunted if they consume less than three food items.
  • Lack of food security:
    • The dismal health of Indian women and children is primarily due to lack of food security.
    • Nearly one-third of adults in the country have a body mass index (BMI) below normal just because they do not have enough food to eat.
  • Failure of government approaches:
    • India already has two robust national programmes addressing malnutrition the Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS) and the National Health Mission but these do not yet reach enough people.
    • The delivery system is also inadequate and plagued by inefficiency and corruption. Some analysts estimate that 40 per cent of the subsidised food never reaches the intended recipients
  • Disease spread:
    • Most child deaths in India occur from treatable diseases like pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria and complications at birth. The child may eventually die of a disease, but that disease becomes lethal because the child is malnourished and unable to put up resistance to it.
  • Poverty:
    • The staff of ICDS places part of the blame of malnutrition on parents being inattentive to the needs of their children, but crushing poverty forces most women to leave their young children at home and work in the fields during the agricultural seasons.
    • Regional disparities in the availability of food and varying food habits lead to the differential status of under-nutrition which is substantially higher in rural than in urban areas. This demands a region-specific action plan with significant investments in human resources with critical health investments at the local levels.
  • Lack of nutrition:
    • Significant cause of malnutrition is also the deliberate failure of malnourished people to choose nutritious food.
    • An international study found that the poor in developing countries had enough money to increase their food spending by as much as 30 per cent but that this money was spent on alcohol, tobacco and festivals instead.

Challenges to fight malnutrition:

  • Lack of coordination between various ministries affects the programme’s implementation.
  • The scheme also suffers from under-utilisation of allocated funds.
  • Till now, State and Union Territory governments have only used 16% of the funds allocated to them.
  • Lack of real-time data monitoring, sustainability and accountability also impact the National Nutrition Mission (NNM).
  • Anganwadis are key to the distribution of services to mothers and children. But many States, including Bihar and Odisha, which have large vulnerable populations, are struggling to set up functioning anganwadis, and recruit staff.
  • The Mission does not have differential approach to the issue of malnutrition, more focus is needed on the areas where malnutrition levels are comparatively high.
  • For example- the highest levels of stunted and underweight children are found in Jharkhand, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

Measures needed:

  • Availability:
    • Farmers should be encouraged and incentivised for agricultural diversification.
    • Innovative and low-cost farming technologies, increase in the irrigation coverage and enhancing knowledge of farmers in areas such as appropriate use of land and water should be encouraged to improve the sustainability of food productivity.
    • The government should improve policy support for improving agricultural produce of traditional crops in the country.
  • Accessibility:
    • The targeting efficiency of all food safety nets should be improved, especially that of the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), to ensure that the poorest are included.
    • In addition, fortification of government-approved commodities within the social safety net programmes can improve nutritional outcomes.
    • Child feeding practices should be improved in the country, especially at the critical ages when solid foods are introduced to the diet.
    • Fortification, diversification and supplementation may be used as simultaneous strategies to address micro and macronutrient deficiencies.
  • Utilisation:
    • Storage capacity should be improved to prevent post-harvest losses.
    • There is a need for more robust measures that can take cognizance of all aspects of SDG 2.
    • All the major welfare programmes need to be gender sensitive.
    • The inherited dehumanising poverty explains the persistence of malnutrition on a large scale.
    • Children born in impecunious circumstances suffer the most from malnutrition. It is all the more reason for governments to intervene to provide adequate nutrition to all.
    • Funds for food to all yield great returns and help in unlocking the full potential of citizens besides strengthening the workforce.

Conclusion:

As Amartya Sen noted, famines are caused not by shortages of food, but by inadequate access to food. For the poor and marginalised, access to food is impeded by social, administrative and economic barriers. If India wants to be malnutrition free, it will not be achieved only through government intervention, but through a Cultural Revolution or Jan Andolan like Kuposhan Mukth Bharat (Malnutrition Free India).


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

3) Write a note on Bimal Jalan committee that was put in place to review the economic capital framework of the Reserve Bank of India.(250 words) 

Indianexpress

Why this question:

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in consultation with the government, had set up a six-member committee headed by the former RBI Governor Bimal Jalan to review the economic capital framework of the Reserve Bank of India.

Key demand of the question:

One must discuss in detail the recommendations made by the committee.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In short provide for the background that The RBI Board, which met recently decided to accept the Jalan Committee report and decided to transfer Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the government.

Body:

Explain the key recommendations of the Bimal Jamal committee – 

While giving a clearer distinction between the two components of economic capital — realized equity and revaluation balances — the committee recommended that realised equity could be used for meeting all risks/ losses as they were primarily built up from retained earnings, while revaluation balances could be reckoned only as risk buffers against market risks as they represented unrealised valuation gains and hence were not distributable.

As proposed by the panel and approved by the RBI, the entire net income can be transferable to the government only if realised equity is above its requirement. If it is below the lower bound of requirement, risk provisioning will be made to the extent necessary and only the residual net income (if any) transferred to the Government.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of the recommendations made.

Introduction:

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved the transfer of record Rs 1.76 lakh crore dividend and surplus reserves to the government. The excess reserve transfer is in line with the recommendation of former RBI governor Bimal Jalan-led panel constituted to decide size of capital reserves that the central bank should hold.

Body:

The Bimal Jalan panel, which was set up to examine the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) economic capital framework (ECF), would recommend the transfer of the central bank’s excess reserves to the government over a period of three-five years

RBI economic capital framework:

  • Economic capital framework refers to the risk capital required by the central bank while taking into account different risks.
  • The economic capital framework reflects the capital that an institution requires or needs to hold as a counter against unforeseen risks or events or losses in the future.
  • The framework the government is talking about is basically about how much capital RBI needs for its operations and how much of the surplus it should pass on to the government.

Suggestions of Bimal Jalan committee:

  • The panel recommended a clear distinction between the two components of the economic capital of RBI i.e. Realized equity and Revaluation balances.
  • Revaluation reserves comprise of periodic marked-to-market unrealized/notional gains/losses in values of foreign currencies and gold, foreign securities and rupee securities, and a contingency fund.
  • Realized equity, which is a form of a contingency fund for meeting all risks/losses primarily built up from retained earnings. It is also called the Contingent Risk Buffer (CBR).
  • The Jalan committee has given a range of 5.5-6.5% of RBI’s balance sheet for Contingent Risk Buffer.
  • Adhering to the recommendations, the RBI has decided to set the CBR level at 5.5% of the balance sheet, while transferring the remaining excess reserves worth ₹52,637 crore to the government.
  • If CBR is below the lower bound of requirement, risk provisioning will be made to the extent necessary and only the residual net income (if any) transferred to the Government.
  • However keeping CBR at a lower range of 5.5% will reduce RBI’s space to manoeuvre monetary policy.

Conclusion:

The committee’s recommendations were based on the consideration of the role of central banks’ financial resilience, cross-country practices, statutory provisions and the impact of the RBI’s public policy mandate and operating environment on its balance sheet and the risks involved.


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

4) Do you think a cooperative federalism framework can provide the required impetus to the civil aviation sector in the country? Examine.(250 words)

The hindu

 

Why this question:

The article discusses the significance of cooperative federalism to Indian civil aviation industry.

Key demand of the question:

One must discuss in detail the current problems facing civil aviation industry in India and in what way cooperative federalism framework can bring impetus to it.

Directive:

ExamineWhen asked to ‘Examine’, we must 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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In short define what is cooperative federalism. 

Body:

Explain that civil aviation is a Central subject and one that barely got significant attention from the States until recently. It is evident from the fact that very few States in India have active civil aviation departments. This is also due to the reason that States have had a passive role, invariably, having had to look up to the Central government for the development of airports and enhancing air connectivity. However, in the last four years, the situation has changed considerably.

The cooperation of States is seen as a major factor in the growth of the civil aviation sector. The Regional Connectivity Scheme, UdeDeshkaAamNaagrik (UDAN), has become a game changer as this flagship programme has a built-in mechanism to develop stakes of State governments in the growth of the sector.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of cooperative federalism and the impetus that it can bring.

Introduction:

Cooperative federalism, also known as marble-cake federalism, is a concept of federalism in which federal, state, and local governments interact cooperatively and collectively to solve common problems, rather than making policies separately but more or less equally. It reflects the relationship between centre and state where they both come together and resolve the common problems with each other’s’ cooperation.

Body:

Current status of Civil Aviation in India:

  • Civil Aviation, being a central subject, gets little attention from states.
  • It is evident from the fact that very few States in India have active civil aviation departments.
  • The Regional Connectivity Scheme, Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN), has become a game changer as this flagship programme has a built-in mechanism to develop stakes of State governments in the growth of the sector.
  • The penetration of aviation market in India stands at 7%. There is potential to be among the global top three nations in terms of domestic and international passenger traffic.

Challenges faced by civil aviation sector:

  • High VAT on ATF: States have very high rates of value-added tax (VAT) on Aviation Turbine Fuel , sometimes as high as 25%, which has dampened the growth trajectory of civil aviation. For any airline in India, the cost of Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) forms about 40% of the total operational cost.
  • Acquisition of land: Land involves huge capital and is a scarce resource.
  • Policy reluctance due to financial non-viability of the models to connect remote areas.
  • Capital intensive nature of airline industry disincentivises the airlines to start operations in such areas where there is lack of enough passenger traffic to make them profitable.
  • Fundraising for Viability Gap Funding (VGF) poses a major challenge.

Key policy interventions necessary to jump-start the aviation market:

  • Relief on ATF: The airline industry is capital-intensive and works on very thin profit margins. Therefore, relief on ATF is a major incentive for airlines to augment their operations.
  • For States, it would be a notional revenue loss which can be offset by enhanced economic activities as a result of increased air connectivity to the region.
  • Development and management of airports: There are many regional airports which can be developed by States on their own or in collaboration with the Airports Authority of India (AAI).
  • PPP model: There have been different models of public-private-partnership which can be leveraged to develop infrastructures.
  • Create ‘no-frill airports’: Innovative models can be explored to create viable ‘no-frill airports’. These functional airports can open up regions and change the way people travel.
  • Linking the hinterland: States and the Central government can play a crucial role in supporting airlines to develop air services in the remote regions.
  • Considering the infrastructural constraints and difficult terrain, small aircraft operators need to be encouraged.
  • Areas which cannot be connected meaningfully by road or rail have to be linked by air.
  • States can converge their relevant schemes relating to tourism, health, and insurance for supporting air connectivity to supplement the objectives of regional connectivity.
  • For this States need to create a conducive business environment to facilitate the strong aspirations of a burgeoning Indian middle class to fly at least once a year.

Conclusion:

Developing airports, incentivising airlines and pooling resources of both the Union and State governments can accelerate the harmonised growth of the Indian civil aviation sector which would be equitable and inclusive.


Topic:  Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment. Disaster and disaster management.

5) In your opinion do you agree that grass-roots governance is the urgent call for safeguarding the bio-diversity of the Western Ghats region? Discuss.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The article highlights the significant arguments that were made by the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP) to preserve and conserve the ecology of the region.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must envisage upon the significance that grass root governance would hold in bringing in conservation and preservation of the ecology of the western Ghats to the forefront.

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 must give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In short explain the significance of western Ghats and its ecology in general.

Body:

Explain first the importance of democratic devolution.

Discuss the need for full advantage of powers and responsibilities conferred on citizens under provisions such as the 73rd and 74th Amendments to the Constitution, and the Biological Diversity Act, 2002. Discuss the need to assert that conservation prescriptions should not be merely regulatory, but include positive incentives such as conservation service charges. 

Explain that we must hand over economic activities like quarrying to agencies like the Kudumbashree groups that are accountable to local communities.

Conclude with significance of grass root empowerment.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of grass root empowerment.

Introduction:

In 2018, many people thought that the floods and landslides in Kerala that caused huge financial losses and manifold human tragedies marked a once-in-a-century calamity. But again, in 2019, a repeat of the shocking trail of intense floods, landslides, financial losses and manifold human tragedies has not just left the same set of people stunned but also made them realise that it is unwise to continue business as usual, and that we must think afresh of the options before us.

Body:

The Western Ghats is a biological treasure trove that is endangered, and it needs to be “protected and regenerated, indeed celebrated for its enormous wealth of endemic species and natural beauty”.

Democratic devolution and Western Ghats:

  • Decentralized water management plans to be developed at least for the next 20 years. Water resource management plans with suitable watershed measures, afforestation, eco-restoration of catchments, rainwater recharging and harvesting, recycling and reuse should be built into the plans.
  • Basin level management plans: These water management plans should integrate into basin level management plans. The objective is to reduce the dependence on rivers and external sources and to improve recharge.
  • Encourage use of organic manures: Self-help groups/ local entrepreneurs should be supported to set up units for the manufacture of organic farming material such as good quality organic manure, oil cakes, and bio-fertilizers so that good quality manure can be assured on time and reduces ground water pollution
  • Agro-biodiversity conservation with local participation: A participatory plant breeding and crop improvement programme needs to be launched at the Panchayat level with farmers, including women, to restore traditional varieties and develop good varieties suitable for each locality. Conserving locally adaptive varieties may also become extremely relevant in the context of climate change
  • Legislations: Joint Forest Management (JFM), Extension of Panchayat Raj to Scheduled Areas (PESA), Protection of Plant Variety and Farmers’ Rights Act (PPVRFA), Biological Diversity Act (BDA) and the Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Rights over the Forest) Act (FRA) have conferred substantial rights over natural resources to local communities and governments should devolve the powers as mentioned in these acts.
  • Environmental Impact Assessment: For mining within the Western Ghats, cumulative EIAs must be made mandatory rather than entertaining EIAs for individual leases in the same areas.
  • Sustainable energy generation: Micro and mini hydel projects in eco sensitive areas in the Ghats should be designed more to meet local power demand and not to feed to the grids as power lines are needed to evacuate power from these plants
  • Transportation: All future proposals for railway lines and roads should undergo a thorough environmental and wildlife impact assessment. There should be a subcommittee (comprising all relevant stakeholders and local communities and tribes) to assess the environmental and ecological impacts of constructing any transport infrastructure through rich forests, wildlife habitats and wildlife corridors.

Way forward:

  • It is necessary to use this vast experience and existing policies to formulate and implement appropriate policies, including transfer of financial powers, and institutions to promote sustainable and participatory forestry under the emerging programmes and mechanisms.
  • We should assert that conservation prescriptions should not be merely regulatory, but include positive incentives such as conservation service charges.
  • We must hand over economic activities like quarrying to agencies like the Kudumbasree groups that are accountable to local communities.
  • We must take full advantage of powers and responsibilities conferred on citizens under provisions such as the 73rd and 74th Amendments to the Constitution, and the Biological Diversity Act, 2002.
  • We, the sovereign people, are the real rulers of India and must engage ourselves more actively in the governance of the country and lead it on to a path of people-friendly and nature-friendly development.

Case study: Kerala – A leader in devolution:

  • Kerala leads the country in democratic devolution.
  • The Kerala High Court had ruled in favour of Plachimada Panchayat that cancelled Coca-Cola’s licence because the company polluted and depleted groundwater reserves, drying up wells and adversely impacting agriculture and livelihoods.
  • While doing so, the panchayat invoked its constitutional rights, arguing that it had the duty to protect the well-being of its citizens and had the right to cancel — or refuse permission for — anything that affected its citizens adversely.
  • The company’s counterargument was that the panchayat was subordinate to the State government, which had granted it the licence.
  • The Kerala High Court rejected this contention, affirming that grass-roots institutions have the authority to decide on the course of development in their own locality.
  • Furthermore, the Kerala legislature unanimously passed a law asking Coca-Cola to pay Plachimada Panchayat due compensation for losses inflicted on them.
  • Kerala had also been at the forefront of the country’s Literacy Mission of the late 1980s; it pioneered Panchayat Level Resource Mapping involving neo-literates and followed it up with the People’s Planning campaign that attempted to involve every panchayat in the preparation of a Panchayat Development Report

Topic: Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

6) Can public ethics separate from private ethics for a public servant? Analyse with suitable illustrations.(250 words)

Ethics by Lexicon publications

Why this question:

The question is straightforward and based on the concept of public and private ethics.

Key demand of the question:

Explain in detail the relevance of private and public ethics to the lives of civil servants and in what way the two cannot be separated.

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: 

Define what you understand by public ethics and private ethics.

Body:

Briefly explain the principles of public and private ethics.

Explain with examples how private ethics diverges from public ethics. While private ethics is largely based on personal beliefs and sense of morality, public ethics is formed on the principles like selflessness, leadership, integrity, objectivity, accountability, transparency, and honesty.

One must illustrate with examples as to how while the two remain in synchronization most of the times, there may emerge circumstances where the two can diverge for a civil servant.

Conclusion:

Conclude by suggesting importance of the two in public services.

Introduction:

Although related, public and private moralities are not identical. They may come from the same source, but are distinct. This point has been noted in the Western tradition since at least Machiavelli. But its lineage in India is ancient.

Body:

Public servants play conflicting role due to conflict in private life and public life. Conflict between ethics in both relations may lead to unrest, guilt, dissonance and confusion in the mind of the concerned person.

The public servant needs to cope with several roles altogether. This includes role in private life, role in personal and family sphere, role as a professional, role for job, role towards his / her area of jurisdiction, role towards seniors and society / humanity at large.

The public service role invokes legal and constitutional obligations, which when violated invite legal sanctions and penalties. Thus, a public servant needs to cope with these different roles which many a times conflict with each other.

Most ethical challenges in public life stem from social responsibilities issues or from relationships issues with the news media, a client or employer, colleagues or stakeholders. They usually result from poor relationships, inadequate corporate standards and conflicting obligations in certain situations where the values of a client, employer and society may not easily be reconcilable with a practitioner’s own values.

Sometimes laws conflict with individuals morals and values for instance stealing is a crime but a child might be stealing food because he/she is hungry. So internal conflict arises.

For example, in India, the Dharmashastras provide moral codes to regulate the private relations. However, in public relationships, the public servant needs to cope with several roles altogether. This includes – role in private life, role in personal and family sphere, role as a professional, role for job, role towards his / her area of jurisdiction, role towards seniors and society / humanity at large.

Conclusion:

Thus, a public servant needs to cope with these different roles which many a times conflict with each other. The question is – how to survive while playing such conflicting roles. The key to this is “personal integrity”. Personal integrity is simply taking a sincere and ethical stand.


Topic: Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

7) Discuss the various issues associated with Corporate governance in India, also suggest what measures can be taken to overcome these issues.(250 words)

Ethics by Lexicon publications

 

Why this question:

The question is based on the theme of corporate governance.

Key demand of the question:

One must discuss the significance of corporate ethics, the issues associated with it and way forward to tackle the same.

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: 

Explain what do you understand by corporate ethics?

Body:

In recent times various issues regarding corporate governance have been witnessed in India.

Issues associated are as followed – 

Board of directors’ appointments in India are still by way of “word of mouth” or fellow board member recommendations. Lack of effective Performance Evaluation of Directors, lack of true Independence of Directors – Independent directors’ appointment is biggest concern in the corporate governance. The independence of promoter appointed independent directors is questionable as it is unlikely that they will stand-up for minority interests against the promoter. Removal of Independent Directors, Accountability to Stakeholders – Various general duties have been imposed on all directors, directors including independent directors have been complacent due to lack of enforcement action, Executive Compensation, Risk Management – As a key aspect of risk management, privacy and data protection is an important governance issue, but it has been always neglected.

Suggest what can be done to overcome the issue?

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Corporate governance is the system of rules, practices and processes by which a firm is directed and controlled. It includes the rules relating to the power relations between owners, the board of directors, management and the stakeholders such as employees, suppliers, customers as well as the public at large. It essentially involves balancing the interests of a company’s many stakeholders, such as shareholders, management, customers, suppliers, financiers, government and the community. Ethics is at the core of corporate governance, and management must reflect accountability for their actions on the global community scale.

Body:

The ethical issues with Corporate Governance in India:

  • It is common for friends and family of promoters and management to be appointed as board members.
  • In India, founders’ ability to control the affairs of the company has the potential of derailing the entire corporate governance system. Unlike developed economies, in India, identity of the founder and the company is often merged.
  • Women director appointed are primarily from family in most of the companies which negates the whole reform.
  • Appointed independent directors are questionable as it is unlikely that Independent Directors will stand-up for minority interests against the promoter. In the Tata case, these directors normally toe the promoter’s line.
  • An independent director can be easily removed by promoters or majority shareholders. This inherent conflict has a direct impact on independence.
  • Data protection is an important governance issue. In this era of digitalisation, a sound understanding of the fundamentals of cyber security must be expected from every director.
  • Board’s Approach to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is often found unsupportive.
  • Conflict of Interest – The ICICI Bank Ltd fiasco demonstrates the challenge of managers potentially enriching themselves at the cost of shareholders in the absence of a promoter.

Measures to improve Corporate Governance in India:

  • For the good corporate governance focus should be shift from independent director to limiting the power of promoters.
  • Promote women from diverse background rather than from family as board of director.
  • A well composed Audit Committee to work as liaison with the management, internal and statutory auditors, reviewing the adequacy of internal control and compliance with significant policies and procedures, reporting to the Board on the key issues.
  • Risk is an important component of corporate functioning and governance, which should be clearly acknowledged, analysed for taking appropriate corrective measures. In order to deal with such situation, Board should formulate a mechanism for periodic reviews of internal and external risks.
  • A clear Whistle Blower Policy whereby the employees may without fear report to the management about unprincipled behaviour, actual or suspected frauds or violation of company’s code of conduct. There should be some mechanism for adequate safeguard to personnel against victimization that serves as whistle-blowers.
  • Strengthening the power of SEBI, ICAI, and ICSI to handle the corporate failure. As for example in Sahara case, court has to intervene to bring justice.
  • CSR projects should be managed with much interest and vigour.
  • The board must invest a reasonable amount of time and money in order ensures the goal of data protection is achieved.
  • A robust mechanism should be developed to mitigate risk. A better management of risk may avoid Kingfisher like debacle.
  • Explicitly approved norms of ethical practices and code of conduct are communicated to all the stakeholders, which should be clearly understood and followed by each member of the organization.
  • The objectives of the corporation must be clearly recognized in a long-term corporate strategy including an annual business plan along with achievable and measurable performance targets and milestones.

Conclusion:

Currently, India accounts nearly 3% of world GDP and 2.5% of global stock market capitalisation – with 5,000 listed companies and more than 50 companies in the global Fortune list. Uday Kotak committee recommendations hold importance in growing concerns for corporate governance. The recommendations of the Kotak committee will enhance transparency and effectiveness in the way boards of listed companies function.