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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 18 OCTOBER 2019

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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 18 OCTOBER 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: Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

1) Urbanization is considered as an agent of socio-economic growth. Do you think Indian Urbanization has helped in India’s socio economic growth? Discuss.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

The question is based on the theme of urbanization and its impact on socio-economic growth.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss in detail the effect of urbanization as an agent of socio-economic growth.

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: 

Quote – Urbanization in India increased from 28.53% in 2001 census, to 31.16% as per 2011 census. In 2017, the numbers increased to 34%, according to The World Bank.

Body:

Discuss the following aspects:

  • Discuss why urbanization is considered as an agent of growth. Like increase in employment opportunities, poverty reduction, women empowerment, access to better basic amenities, modernization, etc. 
  • In next part, discuss in Indian context benefit of urbanization on socio economic growth. For eg. Poverty reduction, etc.
  • Discuss the challenges Indian urbanization is facing and that it has not led to the intended benefits. Can mention World banks report on urbanization. For eg. Messy and hidden urbanization( Messy urbanization is reflected in the almost 65.5 million Indians who, according to the country’s 2011 Census, live in urban slums, as well as the 13.7 percent of the urban population that lived below the national poverty line in 2011), unplanned and haphazard  urbanization leading to problems like water shortage, environmental problems, hazards(eg. Chennai floods), concretization, heat island effect, poor policy for migrants, etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by mentioning the steps taken by the government to deal with the same. Or conclude by mentioning strategies that should be put in place to leverage the benefit of urbanization and deal with the challenges.

Introduction:

Since historic times cities are engines of economic growth and innovation. It is said that, cities, not nation-states, are the main players in macroeconomics. According to The Economic Survey, from 1991 to 2011, the percentage of India’s population that lives in cities and towns has increased from a quarter to a third and this segment produces more than three-fifths of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). India will be the third-largest economy by 2025 (HSBC 2018). Powering that growth is the country’s urbanisation, which is accelerating rapidly in absolute numbers, although not as fast if considering decadal growth rates. Urbanization acts as a two-edged sword, as it brings prosperity but also new challenges along with it.

Body:

Urbanization and Socio-Economic Growth:

  • Over the last two decades, cities have emerged as the world’s economic platforms for production, innovation and trade.
  • The rapid economic growth usually associated with urbanisation can be partially attributed to structural transformation, as labour moves from the agricultural sector to industry and services.
  • Urban areas offer significant opportunities for both formal and informal employment, generating a sizeable share of new private sector jobs.
  • Urbanization has helped millions escape poverty through increased productivity, employment opportunities, improved quality of life and large-scale investment in infrastructure and services.
  • The transformative power of urbanization has in part, been facilitated by the rapid deployment of Information and Communications Technology.
  • It can also be attributed to agglomeration and scale economies, as proximity and density reduce the per capita costs of providing infrastructure and service.
  • Urbanization helps in creating knowledge spill-overs and specialisation that hugely enhance the productivity of urban residents.

On the other hand, Urbanization has also posed many Socio-Economic challenges:

  • The sheer magnitude of the urban population, haphazard and unplanned growth of urban areas, and a desperate lack of infrastructure are the main causes of such a situation.
  • Poverty, unemployment and under employment among the rural immigrants, beggary, thefts, dacoities, burglaries and other social evils are on rampage.
  • Urban sprawl is rapidly encroaching the precious agricultural land.
  • Overcrowding: The urban population of India had already crossed the 285 million mark by 2001. By 2030, more than 50 per cent of India’s population is expected to live in urban areas.
  • Migration: Migration will continue as urban areas act as a center of economic growth. Problem of slums is about to increase and thus leading to health challenges for public health system.
  • Unemployment: The problem of unemployment is no less serious than the problem of housing mentioned above. Urban unemployment in India is estimated at 15 to 25 per cent of the labour force. This percentage is even higher among the educated people.
  • Poverty: Urban poverty has a very peculiar charact Street vendors and people in other informal sector, women, children and old age population will suffer most from the deteriorating urban ecology.
  • The rapid growth of urban population both natural and through migration, has put heavy pressure on public utilities like housing, sanitation, transport, water, electricity, health, education and so on.
  • Housing: It has been already observed now the cost of living is too high in metropolitan areas. Crumbling infrastructure in public services has to be managed on far footings.
  • Slums and Squatter Settlements: The natural sequel of unchecked, unplanned and haphazard growth of urban areas is the growth and spread of slums and squatter settlements which present a striking feature in the ecological structure of Indian cities, especially of metropolitan centres.
  • Urban Crime: Growing materialism, consumerism, competition in everyday life, selfishness, lavishness, appalling socio-economic disparities and rising unemployment and feeling of loneliness in the crowd are some of the primary causes responsible for alarming trends in urban crime.
  • Not only the poor, deprived and slum dwellers take to crime; youngsters from well-to-do families also resort to crime in order to make fast buck and for meeting requirements of a lavish life. Occasional failures in life also drag youngsters to crime.
  • Environmental challenges: growth in man-made and natural disasters is another challenge because of unplanned cities. Urban island effects have already been observed in urban setup. Ex: Chennai flood in 2015.
  • Urban Pollution: With rapid pace of urbanisation, industries and transport systems grow rather out of proportion. These developments are primarily responsible for pollution of environment, particularly the urban environment.
  • Service delivery: Urban local government will have to do a gigantic task of timely service delivery as there is paradigm shift in public administration towards new public management.
  • Planning: The new challenge today is management of rural urban fringe as the expansion of urban fringes is taking place at rapid place. There is need of immediate long term planning for sustainable development of areas in fringes.
  • Solid waste management: In case of waste management issue, nuclear, cyber and plastic waste will create a big challenge for clean and pollution free urban environment.
  • Transport and communication: The future challenge will be linked with the urban transport facilities. Roads are congested; rail and metro network is inadequate resulting into movement within the city being slow and tiring.

Measures needed:

  • The first and foremost importance has to be given to the providing human face to urban development. Playgrounds, green belts, open spaces, footpaths, public gardens have to be deliberately created in order to create an environment of sustainability.
  • Digital India program and Information technology solutions must be made available at affordable cost to all segments of society. Bridging the existing digital divide is priority for true democratic setup of urban areas. Harnessing the power of ICT, NeGP, NOFN etc.
  • The recent policy proposal by government to focus on fringe areas is a welcoming step.
  • Waste management has to be addressed at point of generation only. The case of Pune can provide some guideline in this case as it has a unique model of contractual system for efficient and segregation of urban waste.
  • Infrastructure has to follow the green norms. Revival of tradition water structure can provide best solutions for water need of urban areas.
  • The flagship schemes like the Smart Cities, AMRUT, Housing for All, HRIDAY and Swachh Bharat are aimed at not only addressing various deficits to provide better urban governance, but also seek to make Indian cities and towns hubs of growth and sustainable development.
  • A series of reforms through incentives and disincentives have been put in place to achieve these goals. Incentives for universal housing, giving infrastructure status to affordable housing, allowing FDI and providing income tax exemption are among the important measures taken.
  • Also, the government is promoting innovative measures like waste-to-energy, waste-to-compost and the reuse of construction and demolition waste as part of sustainable urbanisation.

Way forward:

  • ‘Housing for All’ policy should be pursued with a vigorous annual review that ranks States on the basis of performance. The Centre should also take its own National Urban Transport Policy on developing cities around mobility networks seriously.
  • Urban governance policies, although mainly in the domain of the States, must be aligned with national commitments on reduction of carbon emissions under the Paris Agreement, and to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 11.
  • There is a need for a plan of action to achieve sustainable human settlements. It should ensure adequate shelter, water, energy, sanitation and solid waste management, along with other elements.
  • There is a need for proper planning and various deficits relating to infrastructure, housing, slum upgradation, reduce pollution, employment, education and health in urban areas need to be through public and private participation.

Conclusion:

Cities are living ecosystems. They need to be managed accordingly. Rather than going by populist measures or sticking to the original master plans, local solutions to local problems, innovative, in situ and tailor made solutions should be evolved, adapted and adhered to. Authorities need to be willing to learn, evolve and discard if necessary.

 


Topic:Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

2)  “In India’s developmental journey, tribals have been left behind”. Critically analyse. (250 words) 

Downtoearth

Why this question:

The question seeks to study the impact of development process on the tribal communities in India.

Key demand of the question:

One has to critically present in what way tribal communities have been on the rear end of receiving benefits of the development stratergy.

Directive:

Critically analyzeWhen asked to analyse, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgment.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Start introduction by giving some data justifying the statement. Like, overall poverty in India is 21.9%, whereas for tribal population it stands at 46%.

You may even start by briefly describing the distribution of tribal population in India, supported by data.

Body:

  • Start by explaining how development has had negative impact on tribals overall socio economic development. For eg. Forced migration, loss of livelihood, displacement, acculturation issues, etc.
  • Refer report by Virginius Xaxa committee.
  • Add case study and maps to support your discussions above. For eg. Niyamgiri hills-Vedanta group case, Sardar sarovar dam case, Can also add datas  on development indicators like MMR,IMR ,Literacy rate ,etc .of the tribal populations on mineral rich regions.
  • Have a discussion on the positive impacts of development on tribal population. For eg. Under khanij kshetra kalyan yojana 60% funds of District mineral funds will be spend on areas like health, sanitation etc.
  • In way forward show the different measures and recent schemes by Govt. for tribal development such as FRA, PESA, Tribal sub plan approach, Van bandhu scheme, Eklavya  scheme,etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way ahead.

Introduction:

Tribal people constitute 8.6% of the nation’s total population, over 104 million people according to the 2011 census. The forest occupiers a central position in tribal culture and economy. The tribal way of life is very much dictated by the forest right from birth to death. Despite protection given to the tribal population by the constitution of India, tribals still remain the most backward ethnic group in India. Globalization has various dimensions which sometimes affect tribal communities positively and sometimes negatively.

Body:

Negative impacts of the India’s developmental journey on the tribes:

  • Resource exploitation:
    • The policy of liberalization and the new state perceptions of utilization of resources are diametrically opposed to the adivasi worldview of resource exploitation and this divide has only widened further with the intrusion of globalization’s market oriented philosophy of development.
    • The recent rapid technological advancement and unrivalled economic and political strength of world capitalism have created favourable conditions for the evasion and extraction of natural resources from the ecologically fragile territories of tribal people.
    • All available laws those relating to lands, forests, minor forest produce, water resources, etc. restrain people from using forests.
    • Primary resources such as fuel, fodder and minor forest produce which were available free to villagers are today either non-existent or have to be brought commercially.
    • For the Tribals, globalization is associated with rising prices, loss of job security and lack of health care.
  • Displacement:
    • Since the emergence of liberalization, privatization and globalization (LPG), the areas inhabited by tribal population have been subject to various protests due to involuntary displacement.
    • Thus, forced evictions of tribals make way for mammoth capital-intensive development projects have become a distressing routine and ever-increasing phenomenon.
  • Vested interests:
    • In the name of upgradation of lifestyle of poor indigenous tribal people, the market forces have created wealth for their interests at the cost of livelihood and security of these tribes in the areas.
  • Unemployment:
    • There is a heavy concentration of industrial and mining activities in the central belt. Despite intense industrial activity in the central Indian tribal belt, the tribal employment in modern enterprises is negligible.
    • Apart from the provisions of Apprenticeship Act, there is no stipulation for private or joint sector enterprises to recruit certain percentage of dispossessed tribal workforce.
    • They are forced onto the ever-expanding low paid, insecure, transient and destitute labour market.
    • About 40 per cent of the tribals of central India supplement their income by participating in this distorted and over exploitative capitalist sector.
  • Affecting social life:
    • Many more are slowly crushed into oblivion in their homeland or in urban slums. Their economic and cultural survival is at stake.
    • The globalization behemoth has added new dimensions to the vulnerability of India’s downtrodden by exacerbating their social exclusion, and making large segments of tribal groups also vulnerable and excluded.
  • Leading to subnational movements:
    • Inadequate social and economic infrastructure in areas that have insufficient resources for participation in mainstream development also has been at the root of various “sub-national movements” such as the Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Bodoland.
  • Tribal women:
    • Tribal forest economy is primarily a women’s economy, and it is women who are most directly affected by the corporate exploitation of their traditional lands.
    • In poverty stricken tribal areas large scale migration has revealed the increasing movement of young women towards urban centres in search of work.
    • Their living conditions are unhygienic, the salary is poor and tribal women are vulnerable to
    • exploitation by unscrupulous agents.
    • They have become the prime targets of sexual violation by managers, supervisors and even fellow male workers in the plantation industrial sectors.
  • Informal jobs:
    • Construction sites, such as mines and quarries, and industrial complexes spelt doom for the local adivasi communities with the influx of immigrant labourers.
  • Cultural Defacement:
    • Tribals are being forcefully integrated in to the society leading to them losing their unique cultural features and their habitat threatened.

Way forward:

  • The High-Level Committee (Virginius Xaxa committee) has made numerous recommendations such as exclusive mining rights for tribals, greater freedom for tribals to make decisions on land acquisition and other common property resources and, strict implementation of the new land law, Forest Rights Act and strengthening of the PESA.
  • It has also proposed a complete overhaul of the legal constitutional regime by recommending that laws and policies enacted by the Parliament and state legislatures shouldn’t be applied automatically in the Fifth Schedule areas.
  • State government should be made to obtain permissions from owners and occupiers of land for major minerals, and consult with gram Sabha in 5th and 6th schedule areas for minor minerals.
  • It should be mandated that all clearances (forest and environment) under forest conservation act and wildlife protection act should be taken before a lease was given.
  • Tribal cooperatives should be made eligible for grant of license of minor minerals in 5th and 6th schedule areas.

Conclusion:

Although, these recommendations are progressive, the lack of political will to implement them, especially in the wake of greater push for industrialization by the present government, may become a major stumbling block. The government should ensure the distorted and over-exploitative capitalist sector doesn’t end up in committing ethnocide by putting their economic and cultural survival at stake.


Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

3) India slipped to the 102nd spot in the Global Hunger Index which features 117 countries, in this context discuss the reasons for which India’s improvements have been slow while suggesting way forward for further improvement. (250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question:

Recently India slipped to the 102nd spot in the Global Hunger Index which features 117 countries. Thus important to evaluate the findings from the exam perspective for GS paper II.

Key demand of the question:

One has to brief upon the findings of GHI and India’s position in it and evaluate the factors responsible for such a situation and what needs to be done.

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 quote the findings of the report.

Body:

Explain first significance of GHI in short.

Then move on to list down the findings of the report and the reasons of India have deteriorated position in the ranking. 

India is ranked 102 of 117 countries in the Global Hunger Index 2019, behind its neighbors Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Explain What are the reasons for which India’s improvements have been slow?

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

In the recently released Global Hunger Index (GHI) Report-2019, India was ranked at 102nd position out of 117 countries. The report is an annual publication that is jointly prepared by the Concern Worldwide (an Irish agency) and the Welt Hunger Hilfe (a German organization). The report is based on four GHI indicators namely, undernourishment, child stunting, child wasting, and child mortality.

Body:

              

Key findings:

  • India’s rank has slipped from 95th position (in 2010) to 102nd (in 2019). Over a longer-term duration, the fall in India’s rank is sharper, i.e, from 83rd out of 113 countries in 2000 to 102nd out of 117 in 2019.
  • According to the report, India’s child wasting rate was extremely high at 20.8% – the highest for any country.
  • Child wasting refers to the share of children under the age of five who are wasted, i.e, they have low weight with respect to their height, reflecting acute undernutrition.
  • The share of wasting among children in India marked a steep rise from 16.5% in the 2008-2012 to 20.8% in 2014-2018.
  • According to United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), child wasting is a strong predictor of mortality among children (under 5 yrs. of age).
  • India has demonstrated an improvement in other indicators that includes, under-5 mortality rate, prevalence of stunting among children, and prevalence of undernourishment owing to inadequate food.
  • The report also took note of open defecation in India as an impacting factor for health. It pointed out that as of 2015–2016, 90% of Indian households used an improved drinking water source while 39% of households had no sanitation facilities.
  • Open defecation jeopardizes the population’s health and severely impacts children’s growth and their ability to absorb nutrients.

Reasons for rising hunger:

  • Issues with agriculture:
    • The change from multi to mono cropping systems limits the diversity of agricultural products.
    • Inclination towards cash crops and changing food habits result in malnutrition, undernutrition and even micro-nutrient deficiencies.
  • Food wastage:
    • Food wastage is also an emerging challenge that undermines the efforts to end hunger and malnutrition.
    • According to the FAO, the global volume of food wastage is estimated at 1.6 billion tonnes of primary product equivalents.
  • Unstable markets:
    • Rising food prices make it difficult for the poorest people to get nutritious food consistently which is exactly what they need to do.
  • Natural disasters:
    • Natural disasters such as floods, tropical storms and long periods of drought are on the increase with calamitous consequences for the hungry poor in developing countries.
  • Societal Issues:
    • In many parts women’s nutritional requirements are often unmet as they consume whatever is left after everyone else has eaten.
    • Low agricultural investments and poor health, sanitation and childcare practices are other hindrances in achieving zero hunger.
    • Conflict, economic slowdown and rapidly increasing overweight and obesity levels are reversing progress made in the fight against hunger and malnutrition.
  • Climate change impact:
    • Erratic rainfall and increasing frequency of extreme events have impacted agricultural activities everywhere creating unfavourable conditions for food production.
    • Climate variability affecting rainfall patterns and agricultural seasons, and climate extremes such as droughts and floods, are among the key drivers behind the rise in hunger, together with conflict and economic slowdowns
    • Changes in climate are already undermining production of major crops such as wheat, rice and maize in tropical and temperate regions and, without building climate resilience, this is expected to worsen as temperatures increase and become more extreme.
    • Analysis in the UN report the prevalence and number of undernourished people tend to be higher in countries highly exposed to climate extremes.

Measures needed:

In India, to combat the malnutrition levels both immediate and long term interventions are needed.

  • Around 85 to 90% of wasting can be managed at the community level.
  • Now, the nutritional rehabilitation centres are coming up across the country. It can help in taking care of the institutional needs of the children who are already malnourished.
  • But to prevent it from happening, mothers need to be educated about nutrition at anganwadis, access to clean drinking water and sanitation has to be ensured, and livelihood security is needed.
  • However, for immediate intervention, nutritional formulation needs to be made available at community level.
  • The government can utilise the existing network of public distribution system, have the self-help groups prepare packaged, portioned nutritional formulations to help the moderately malnourished before wasting happens.
  • A section of policymakers have also advocated the use of Ready To Use Therapeutic Food (RTUF).
  • long-term investments in health, sanitation and nutrition are far more effective in preventing deaths due to severe acute malnutrition.
  • The NNM would do well to keep such studies in mind

Way forward:

  • Achieving zero hunger requires agriculture and food systems to become more efficient, sustainable, climate-smart and nutrition-sensitive.
  • There is a need for synchronisation among malnutrition, dietary diversity and production diversity.
  • Policies must pay special attention to groups who are the most vulnerable to the harmful consequences of poor food access: infants, children aged under five, school-aged children, adolescent girls, and women.
  • A sustainable shift must be made towards nutrition-sensitive agriculture and food systems that can provide safe and high-quality food for all.
  • The UN report also calls for greater efforts to build climate resilience through policies that promote climate change adaptation and mitigation, and disaster risk reduction.

Topic: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

4) It is an irony of Indian democracy that citizens have more faith often in unelected institutions than elected representatives. Comment.(250 words)

Hindustantimes

Why this question:

The article covers a detailed narration of the citizenry behaviour as to how they have more faith often in unelected institutions than elected representatives.

Key demand of the question:

One has to explain the irony in the question statement with suitable illustrations and explain what needs to be done to restore such faith in the elected representatives.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

State that Surveys have shown that faith in the armed forces and institutions such as the Election Commission often surpasses the faith citizens have in the legislature or the executive.

Body:

Such a question can be best explained through suitable examples like – Judiciary; explain that our founders carefully constructed a system of checks and balances, and separation of powers. Aware of the dangers of populism, and of the temptation of the political leadership to bypass the law, India’s constitution designed a judiciary meant to be truly independent. The institution, to its credit, has lived up to this faith. Even at the most difficult of times, such as the Emergency, during which the role of the Supreme Court (SC) has been legitimately questioned as having aided the subversion of fundamental rights, it is instructive to remember that at least some within the institution sought to uphold the law.

Another example could be of CBI.

Conclusion:

Conclude by suggesting solutions as to what needs to be done.

Introduction:

Democracy is a form of government in which power ultimately comes from the people who are governed, either through direct voting or through elected representatives. India is today the largest functioning democracy in the world. The “State of Democracy in the World in 2018” index report titled “Me Too? Political participation, protest and democracy” was published recently by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). India was ranked 41, a mid-range country among flawed democracies.

Body:

Surveys have shown that faith in the armed forces and institutions such as the Election Commission often surpasses the faith citizens have in the legislature or the executive. But if there is one institution that has a special place, in both constitutional design as well as popular sentiment, it is the judiciary.

Reasons for such perspective:

  • Illiteracy, Poverty, Gender Discrimination, Casteism, Communalism, Religious Fundamentalism, Regionalism, Corruption, and Criminalization of Politics are still plaguing Indian Democracy.
  • According to the last two reports, there is a rise of “conservative religious ideologies” in the country.
  • Vigilantism, violence, narrowing scope for dissent, threat to minorities and marginalised groups has affected India’s democratic values.
  • Important issues like horse-trading in politics, the anti-defection law, pros and cons of post-poll alliances and discretionary powers of the governor has brought to light the various challenges facing Indian democracy.
  • Journalists are increasingly under attack, with murders taking place in several areas.
  • As a result of limited scope for fair reportage, the Indian media is classified as only “partially free”. This is a fact which is also supported by the “Freedom in the World Report, 2018”.
  • Unlike pre-poll alliances, where the voters are aware of whom they are voting for, post-poll alliances present a new set of challenges.
  • Anti-Defection law does not seem to be doing much to stop MLAs from defecting.
  • Dynastic politics, lack of strong opposition at the centre and Religion based politics. Ex: Government’s decision to classify Lingayats as a religious minority in Karnataka.
  • The delay in disposal of cases by the courts is a concern to people.
  • Misuse of data on social media sites, privacy of users and the power of social media to influence important political outcomes.

Way Forward:

  • Universal literacye. education for all, poverty alleviation, elimination of gender discrimination, removal of regional imbalances, administrative and judicial reforms and sustained economic, social and environmental development.
  • A set of rules which would curb the menace of defection as well as the misuse of powers of the governor’s office is required.
  • A defecting MLA must be disqualified from contesting or becoming a minister for at least six years.
  • A distinction needs to be drawn whether a member is leaving a party for ideological differences or for money and power.
  • In case of hung assembly, whether the governor must call the single largest party first, or a post-poll alliance, the process must be uniform across the country.
  • The governors’ discretionary powers must be abolished and replaced with clear guidelines based on the Sarkaria Commission.
  • The Judiciary must attend to urgent cases on an urgent basis; drop the practice of sealed envelopes except in the rarest cases; be independent and be seen as independent in appointments; and set a strong benchmark on issues related to rights in particular.
  • Stricter data protection laws are required to ensure that political parties do not indulge in practices that involve undue influencing of voting behaviour.
  • Voter education, electoral reforms and periodical highlighting of the performance (or non-performance) of elected representatives should be high priority.
  • People must exercise their right to vote, participate in democracy and contribute towards the development of the country.
  • The youth must be aware of the problems that the country is facing and choose the candidate who is most likely to bring about a change
  • Democracy cannot survive without both citizens’ participation and politicians’ accountability.
  • The promises of democracy can only be realised through collective action in civil society.
  • The state must respect the articulation of the politics of voice and not just the politics of the vote

Topic:Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

5) With the Global Politics changing at a fast pace, India stands at the crossroads in terms of its foreign policy approach, do you agree? Give your opinion with suitable justifications.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The article explains that in a setting where there was a chariot of peace, joint co-operation, multilateralism and liberalism whose strings were controlled by institutions such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Court of Justice has now become one of warhorses pulling in different directions to embrace unilateralism, protectionism and isolationism.

Key demand of the question:

The answer should detail upon the changing geopolitics of the world and India’s foreign policy approach with recent examples.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Start by stating that the global order is now dipping into a vortex of disruptions largely caused by the United States, China and Brexit.

Body:

Discuss first the current issues of geopolitics.

Explain the aspects of – table policy of non-alignment and strategic autonomy; the idea to join the bandwagon of unilateralism and be a permanent treaty ally of one of the superpowers, and, finally, embark upon a calculated trip with the objective of expansion in terms of forging new relations and exploring fresh territories by adopting a strategy of “multi-alignment and transactional autonomy”.

Discuss what opportunities India has ahead.

Conclusion:

Conclude that despite these contradictions and challenges, a number of opportunities in the new world order await India.

Introduction:

National interest has been the governing principle of India’ foreign policy even at the time, of Nehru who was inspired by the ideal of world peace, toleration and mutual respect among nations. Foreign policy is not a fixed concept as it keeps on changing according to changing domestic and international conditions. In operational terms, the idea of national interest takes the form of concrete objectives of foreign policy. The secondary national interest may change with time but the primary national interest endures.

Body:

India’s core foreign policy objectives are:

The geopolitical scenario of the world is changing, and this has brought up new global issues for India deal with. Therefore, various aspects of India’s foreign policy also are required to be changed to fit the changing geopolitics of the world.

Changing geopolitics of the world:

South Asian concerns and realities to India:

  • In this backdrop, India needs to rework many of its policies in the coming five years.
  • South Asia, in particular, and the region of our highest priority, needs close attention.
  • The region is one of the most disturbed in the world and India has little or no say in any of the outcomes taking place.
  • India-Pakistan relations are perhaps at their lowest point. Tarring Pakistan with the terror brush is hardly policy, and stable relations continue to be elusive.
  • India has no role in Afghan affairs and is also excluded from current talks involving the Taliban, the Afghan government, Pakistan, the U.S. and even Russia and China.
  • India might have recouped its position more recently in the Maldives, but its position in Nepal and Sri Lanka remains tenuous. In West Asia again, India is no longer a player to reckon with.

China, US, Eurasia Challenges:

  • China is the major challenge that India has to contend with. Smaller countries in the region are being inveigled to participate in China’s programmes such as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
  • India and Bhutan are the only two countries in this region that have opted out of the BRI, and they seem like the odd men out.
  • Deepening India-U.S. relations today again carry the danger of India becoming involved in a new kind of Cold War.
  • India must ensure that it does not become a party to the conflicts and rivalries between the U.S. and a rising China, the heightened tensions between the U.S. and Russia, and also avoid becoming a pawn in the U.S.-Iran conflict.
  • Closer relations with the U.S. also carries the risk of aggravating tensions between India and China, even as China and the U.S.
  • The U.S.-China-Russia conflict has another dimension which could affect India
  • The strategic axis forged between the Mr. Putin’s Russia and Mr. Xi’s China will impact not only the U.S. but also India’s position in both Asia and Eurasia, with India being seen as increasingly aligned to the U.S.
  • Hence, India needs to devise a policy that does not leave it isolated in the region.
  • The challenge in the coming years for India is to check the slide, especially in Asia, and try and restore India to the position it held previously. India cannot afford to wait too long to rectify the situation.

Need to focus on newer threats as well:

  • As India intensifies its search for state-of-the-art military equipment from different sources, it may be worthwhile for India to step back and reconsider some of its options.
  • Military power is but one aspect of the conflicts that rage today. Experts point out that outright war, insurgencies and terror attacks are fast becoming passé.
  • Nations confront many other and newer threats at present. Today, disruptive technologies have tremendous danger potential and nations that possess these technologies have the ability to become the dominant powers in the 21st and 22nd Centuries.
  • A major challenge for India will hence be how to overcome our current inadequacies in the realm of disruptive technologies rather than remaining confined to the purely military domain.
  • The U.S., China, Russia, Israel and few other countries dominate these spheres as also cyberspace and cyber methodologies.

Way forward:

  • Despite a plethora of official statements, the state of the economy remains a matter of increasing concern. India needs to pays greater heed to its economy.
  • Notwithstanding India’s ambition to become a $5-trillion economy by 2024-25, the reality today is that the economy appears to be in a state of decline.
  • New policy parameters will need to be drawn up by India, and our capabilities enhanced in areas such as artificial intelligence, biotechnology and cyber methodology, all of which constitute critical elements of the disruptive technology matrix.
  • Neither the Economic Survey nor the Budget contain useful pointers to a more robust economy, one that is capable of providing a higher rate of growth, more opportunities for skilled labour, and greater potential for investments.
  • The looming challenge for India in the coming five years, therefore, would be how to build a strong economic foundation, one that is capable of providing the kind of power structure needed for an emerging power, and also one possessing the best liberal credentials.

Conclusion:

In international community every country has to interact with other countries. This interaction is not haphazard but takes place with definite orientations and objectives. These orientations and objectives form the core of foreign policy. National security is an example of primary interest. No country can compromise with her national security for the sake of most beloved principles of foreign policy. Thus, the foreign policy is the instrument to realize the national interest of a country. A foreign policy bereft of national interest is a purposeless exercise.


TOPIC: Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.

6) The recently released 20th Livestock Census report census shows that the Centre’s drive to increase indigenous breeds of cattle seems to have had little impact among cattle kept for dairy purposes, in the backdrop of it analyse the success of such missions and suggest ways for improvement.( 250 words)

The hindubusinessline

Why this question:

Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying have released the 20th Livestock Census report. The release contains some key results reflecting the aggregate counts of various species as well as its comparison with previous census. 

Key demand of the question:

Explain in detail the findings of the report and evaluate the efforts of centre in this direction, present your opinion as to how far the government has been successful in achieving its defined targets.

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: 

In short highlight the importance of such a census.

Body:

The Livestock Census has been conducted in the country periodically since 1919-20.

Then discuss the findings of the report. Thereafter explain the efforts of Centre to increase indigenous breeds of cattle that seem to have had little impact among cows kept for dairy purposes. There are 4.85 crore desi (native) milch cows in the country, less than 1% increase than in the last census in 2012.

Discuss Rashtriya Gokul Mission; its objectives.

Conclusion:

Conclude with what needs to be done.

Introduction:

India’s livestock sector is one of the largest in the world. About 20.5 million people depend upon livestock for their livelihood. Livestock contributed 16% to the income of small farm households as against an average of 14% for all rural households. Livestock provides livelihood to two-third of rural community. It also provides employment to about 8.8 % of the population in India. India has vast livestock resources. Livestock sector contributes 4.11% GDP and 25.6% of total Agriculture GDP.

Body:

Trends in livestock population: (Source: 20th Livestock Census)

  • Total Livestock population is 535.78 million- an increase of 4.6% over Livestock Census-2012.
  • Total Bovine population (Cattle, Buffalo, Mithun and Yak)-79 Million in 2019- an increase of about 1% over the previous census.
  • A decline of 6 % in the total Indigenous/ Non-descript cattle population over the previous census.
  • The population of cows in the country has risen by 18 per cent in the last seven years, while that of oxen dipped by 30 per cent, according to the latest census of livestock.
  • there was a spectacular 16.8 per cent increase in the poultry population in the country to 851.81 million, mainly on account of a 46 per cent rise in backyard poultry birds, whose numbers have gone up to 317 million.
  • The number of female cattle is 145.12 million, which is 18 per cent over the 122.98 million in 2012. The number of male cattle, on the other hand, dropped to 47.4 million as against 67.92 million in 2012.
  • While cattle accounted for 35.94 per cent of total livestock in the country, goats accounted for 27.80 per cent, buffaloes: 20.45 per cent, sheep: 13.87 per cent and pigs: 1.69 per cent.

Challenges faced by Livestock sector in India:

  • Livestock sector did not receive the policy and financial attention it deserved. The sector received only about 12% of the total public expenditure on agriculture and allied sectors, which is disproportionately lesser than its contribution to agricultural GDP.
  • The sector has been neglected by the financial institutions.
    • The share of livestock in the total agricultural credit has hardly ever exceeded 4% in the total (short-term, medium-term and long-term). The institutional mechanisms to protect animals against risk are not strong enough.
  • Insurance:
    • Currently, only 6% of the animal heads (excluding poultry) are provided insurance cover. Livestock extension has remained grossly neglected in the past.
    • Only about 5% of the farm households in India access information on livestock technology. These indicate an apathetic outreach of the financial and information delivery systems.
  • Lack of access to markets may act as a disincentive to farmers to adopt improved technologies and quality inputs.
  • Productivity:
    • Improving productivity of farm animals is one of the major challenges. The average annual milk yield of Indian cattle is 1172 kg which is only about 50% of the global average.
  • Diseases:
    • The Frequent outbreaks of diseases like Food and Mouth Diseases, Black Quarter infection, Influenza etc. continue to affect Livestock health and lower the productivity.
  • Environment:
    • India’s huge population of ruminants contributes to greenhouse gases emission adding to global warming. Reducing greenhouse gases through mitigation and adaptation strategies will be a major challenge.
  • Crossbreeding of indigenous species with exotic stocks to enhance genetic potential of different species has been successful only to a limited extent.
  • Limited Artificial Insemination services owing to a deficiency in quality germplasm, infrastructure and technical manpower coupled with poor conception rate following artificial insemination have been the major impediments.
  • Livestock derives a major part of their energy requirement from agricultural by-products and residues. Hardly 5% of the cropped area is utilized to grow fodder. India is deficit in dry fodder by 11%, green fodder by 35% and concentrates feed by 28%. The common grazing lands too have been deteriorating quantitatively and qualitatively.
  • Except for poultry products and to some extent for milk, markets for livestock and livestock products are underdeveloped, irregular, uncertain and lack transparency. Further, these are often dominated by informal market intermediaries who exploit the producers.
  • Likewise, slaughtering facilities are too inadequate. About half of the total meat production comes from un-registered, make-shift slaughterhouses. Marketing and transaction costs of livestock products are high taking 15-20% of the sale price.

Measures needed:

  • A national breeding policy is needed to upgrade the best performing indigenous breeds.
  • Buffalo breeding ought to be given more attention, while poultry breeding should be focused on conservation.
  • State governments should be encouraged to participate in national breeding policy implementation. Geographical information system-based analysis must be utilised to map production systems.
  • Animal health care should become a priority, with greater investment in preventive health care.
  • Private investment must also be encouraged. The government needs to create better incentive structures for investment in livestock.
  • State governments should sponsor research and assessment of the market, along with highlighting investment potential.

Conclusion:

With increasing population, persistent rise in food inflation, unfortunate rise in farmer’s suicide and majority of the Indian population having agriculture as the primary occupation, the practice of animal husbandry is no more a choice, but a need in contemporary scenario. Its successful, sustainable and skilful implementation will go a long way in ameliorating the socio-economic condition of lower strata of our society.  Linking the animal husbandry with food processing industry, agriculture, researches & patents has all the possible potential to make India a nutritional power house of the world. Animal husbandry is the imperative hope, definite desire and urgent panacea for India as well as the world.


Topic: case study 

7) “A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food and on the contrary if he eats meat, he participates in killing animal merely for the sake of his appetite and to act so is immoral.” Do you agree with this view? Critically examine. (250 words)

case study

Why this question:

The question is a case study and tends to evaluate opinion on the point of moral question.

Key demand of the question:

One has to present their opinion on the question with suitable justifications.

Directive:

Critically 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. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgment.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief narrate the case study.

Body:

Discuss the context of the case study first.

Present points, may be taking both the sides; one – the act as an immoral one and the other as a moral one.

Discuss in what way it is unjust to kill animals to fulfill our needs or just to kill animals.

Present your opinion with a balanced approach.

Conclusion:

Conclude with some philosophy by thinkers justifying your stand.

Introduction:

The above quote by Leo Tolstoy talks about the animal rights to live and survive. The debate about non-vegetarianism and vegetarianism is always at loggerheads. Since time immemorial, primitive man has depended on animals for food. It is law of nature which formed the food chain. However, the greed of humans has led to mistreatment of animals in the form of raising like poor breeding techniques, injecting with antibiotics to increase their weight, culling in inhumane ways have all led to immoral acts towards animals.

Body:

Justifying Meat Eating:

Comparative Justification

It is hard to give a proper name to this oft-cited justification for the consumption of animal meat. When questioned as to why meat-eating is morally acceptable, a fairly common reply relates to the comparison between humans as meat-eaters and other animals as meat-eaters. So, just as lions eat gazelles, bears eat salmon and foxes eat chickens (if they can get their paws on them), so humans eat pigs/cows/sheep etc. Given that it would be odd, even for the most ardent vegetarian, for us to morally criticise the lion, the bear or the fox, then it might seem to follow that there is a moral equivalence between the actions of these different species that extends to the actions of non-vegetarian human beings, such that we too should be free from moral criticism in our consumption of meat.

Not justifying meat eating:

The ethical issues surrounding meat-eating from the perspective of Utilitarianism, Kantian Ethics and Aristotelian Virtue Ethics. The fact that man has gone more and more wild than these wild animals by hunting and poaching, destroying the food chain and the basic ecosystem. Not only animals, but trees are also being cut off to satisfy the basic needs of man. We have seen the current scenario which is the cause of mans greed towards nature more and more exploitation. Therefore, to save the ecosystems of life that has caused destruction by man many conventions and protocols at national and international level have been initiated.

In my view killing of animals which are separately bred for consuming cannot be said immoral but killing of wild animals which are part of ecosystems and the one where the international organisations and governments are naming endangered or vulnerable species is highly immoral and unethical.

Conclusion:

Few moral theorists will claim that eating animals is absolutely and completely acceptable in all circumstances and at all times. Even Kant recoiled at the idea of cruelty to animals in spite of his expressed denial that humans possess any duty towards animals. This fact suggests that conclusions regarding the ethical acceptability of eating animals may often be determined by empirical and real-world data regarding the preferences, pains or pleasures of animals and the impact of the processes of rearing and then slaughtering animals for human consumption.