Print Friendly, PDF & Email

SECURE SYNOPSIS: 01 NOVEMBER 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 01 NOVEMBER 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:   Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian subcontinent)

1) Discuss the pattern in the distribution of Livestock based industry in India. (250 words)

Vikaspedia

Why this question:

The question is based upon the contributions of Livestock based industry to the Indian economy.

Key demand of the question:

One must discuss the pattern in the distribution of Livestock based industry in India.

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 key facts like – India’s livestock sector is one of the largest in the world. It has 56.7% of world’s buffaloes, 12.5% cattle, 20.4% small ruminants, 2.4% camel, 1.4% equine, 1.5% pigs and 3.1% poultry.

Body:

In brief highlight the expanse of livestock industry in India.

Livestock plays an important role in Indian economy. 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.

Discuss the causative factors of it.

Highlight the pattern on the basis of other dependent factors.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:    

India’s livestock sector is one of the largest in the world. Livestock sector plays an important role in Indian economy. It is a source of subsidiary income for many families in India especially the poor. Animals provide nutrient-rich food products, draught power, dung as organic manure and domestic fuel, hides & skin, and are a regular source of cash income for rural households. They are a natural capital, which can be easily reproduced to act as a living bank with offspring as interest, and an insurance against income shocks of crop failure and natural calamities.

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.

Pattern in the distribution of Livestock based industry in India:

  • 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.

Measures needed to strengthen livestock industry:

  • 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: Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian subcontinent)

2) How does India see its place in the economic space of rising natural resource rich Africa? Discuss. (250 words)

 

Why this question:

For a resource-strapped nation like India, an entire continent in the nascent stages of development like Africa holds out innumerable possibilities. Thus it becomes important from exam point of view for us to analyse the significance.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the effect and benefits of rising natural resources of Africa to India. Explain in what way it is important for Indian economy.

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: 

Highlight that an alliance between a nation with a billion people, with increasing demand and in need of resources, and an underdeveloped continent that is rich in natural resources would be mutually beneficially to all concerned.

Body:

Explain first the richness of natural resource of African continent.

Discuss in what way it will benefit India, as well present a brief background of the resource richness of Indian subcontinent and highlight the resource pressure.

Provide for facts to justify your answer. One can draw maps and highlight Africa-India ties to enhance the quality of the answer.

Conclusion:

Conclude that Through diversification of trade opportunities, deepening of diplomatic ties and increased cooperation and collaboration with African nations, India seeks to establish a firm presence in Africa that can bring prosperity to both Africa and India.

Introduction:    

Africa is world’s second largest continent both in terms of land and population with 55 countries which account for about 15 percent of world’s population. India and Africa have a long and rich history of interaction marked by cultural, economic and political exchanges based on the principle of south cooperation

Body:

Importance of Africa for India:

  • Africa has turned from “The Hopeless Continent” to “A Hopeful Continent” given its demography, resources, market etc.
  • Geostrategic:
    • Africa is critical to India’s security, especially the Horn of Africa region, because of its proximity with India. The threat of radicalism, piracy, organized crime emerge from this region
  • Economic:
    • Africa can help us in diversifying our energy sources, which is one of the stated objective of our Integrated Energy Policy
    • Africa also contains rich reservoir of valuable minerals, metals including gold and diamond
    • Africa provides a space for Indian investment
    • Africa has ample agricultural land which cab address India’s food security. India is looking at leasing land in Africa to overcome the land deficit that we face in terms of arable land
  • Geopolitical:
    • Support of African countries is important for India’s aim of gaining a permanent seat in UNSC
    • Africa provides a space for displaying both India’s soft and hard power
    • India has been actively involved in peace and stability of African countries through UN Peace keeping operations. India is involved in capacity building of African countries. Africa is also the largest beneficiary of India’s ITEC programme
    • Maritime security – East coast countries are important for peace and prosperity of the Indian Ocean region.
    • trade relations across and beyond Africa and interests of Indian diaspora in Africa.
  • Since the rise of Asia and Africa, these continents are reconstituting the geographies of the eastern hemisphere and breaking down the artificial mental maps that emerged in the 20th century.
  • Thus, India must recognise the growing importance of Africa for the security and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific.

India’s role in Africa:

  • Africa has been the top priority of India’s Foreign Policy.
  • In recent years, India has reinforced its relations with Africa to reclaim lost ground.
  • India is focussing on lines of credit and capacity building, including skilling the local people.
  • India recently announced that it would be opening 18 new embassies in Africa between 2018 and 2021.
  • India’s new embassy in Kigali is expected to open shortly.
  • India’s policy has focused on job creation in the countries it has invested in, China has tended to bring in its own labour causing resentment among the locals.
  • India is rectifying past mistakes and re-engaging with Africa in a big way as the series of high profile visits in the last four years shows.
  • The Chinese model has often been criticised for creating huge debts for the nation in which it sets up projects, the Nairobi-Mombasa rail link being one example of this.
  • The $ 4 billion project has left Kenya with enormous debts.
  • Chinese Chequebook diplomacy has come under criticism.
  • Indian approach is seen as benign with mix of grants and loans offered at nominal interest rates.
  • The Chinese military base in Djibouti has raised fears that Beijing is abandoning its non-interference policy in the region.
  • Many African countries are wary of putting all their eggs in the Chinese basket. This is something India must exploit to its advantage.
  • India has been helping Rwanda in capacity building, infrastructure development and ICT.
  • It is a matter of pride that India is a trusted development partner of Rwanda.
  • Large presence of the Indian Diaspora and Mahatma Gandhi’s link with South Africa cements the ties.

Measures to strengthen India-Africa relations:

  • We need to take direct control of our development programme instead of handing our funds to intermediaries whose priorities are often different from India’s.
  • To make an impact, our aid should be disbursed bilaterally and aligned with national priorities of the recipient state, which should be a substantial stakeholder and co-investor in schemes and projects from initiation to operation.
  • India’s development assistance should prefer the countries with its substantial interests, both existing and potential.
  • For instance, Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Ghana, Angola and Algeria are India’s top six trading partners in Africa, accounting for nearly two-thirds of its trade and half its exports to the continent; yet, they do not figure commensurately in India’s developmental pecking order.
  • India’s own needs for raw materials, commodities and markets should be factored in its aid calculus.
  • We ought to prefer aiding countries which are willing to help us from access to their natural resources to using our generics.
  • The aided project selected should be compatible with local requirements. They should be cost-effective, scalable, future ready and commercially replicable.
  • For greater transparency, India should prefer its public sector to implement the aid projects.
  • The Indian Head of Mission in the recipient African state must be an integral part of the aid stream including project selection, co-ordination and implementation.
  • Apart from empowering our diplomacy, this would ensure better harmonisation between our aid and economic objectives.
  • Finally, the aforementioned should not distract us from our duty to provide the needed humanitarian assistance to Africa: to be rendered promptly and with sensitivity, but without noise.

Conclusion:

Indian foreign policy has always envisaged a rules-based order anchored upon international law, openness, transparency, inclusivity and commitment to advancing economic engagement in the region. In this regard India can focus on four areas of cooperation with Africa i.e. maritime cooperation; connectivity; UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030; and economic development.


Topic:  Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country. Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators.

3) Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel was a selfless leader, who had a vision for the unification of the country’s interest above all other, and shaped India’s fate with unwavering devotion. Discuss.(250 words)

Timesofindia

Why this question:

On 31 October 1875, ‘Iron Man of India’ Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was born in Nadiad village in present-day Gujarat. Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

One has to highlight the significant contributions made by SVP to the consolidation of post independent India.

Directive:

DiscussThis is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief narrate Write a few introductory lines about the Sardar Patel.

Body:

Vallabhbhai Patel, popularly known as Sardar Patel was an Indian politician. He served as the first Deputy Prime Minister of India.

He was an Indian barrister and statesman, a senior leader of the Indian National Congress and a founding father of the Republic of India who played a leading role in the country’s struggle for independence and guided its integration into a united, independent nation.

Patel was raised in the countryside of state of Gujarat. He was a successful lawyer. He subsequently organized peasants from Kheda, Borsad, and Bardoli in Gujarat in non-violent civil disobedience against the British Raj, becoming one of the most influential leaders in Gujarat. 

Discuss how he prevented balkanization of the country.

Briefly discuss about the integration process of Hyderabad, Junagardh, and Jammu Kashmir.

Conclusion:

Give a fair and balanced conclusion on the above.

 

Introduction:    

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the Iron Man of India, also considered to be the architect of modern India. India’s first deputy prime minister and home minister is remembered perhaps most for the manner in which he united the country by integrating 562 princely states soon after Independence. Modern Indian history is incomplete without Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. His vision, his work, and his principles were highly remarkable in Independent India

Body:

Contribution of Sardar Patel:

Integrating India:

  • When India became independent in 1947, Sardar Patel took over the role as a deputy PM at a time when Indian history was in a very critical stage.
  • In a truly masterful display of statesmanship, Sardar Patel ensured a smooth integration of the troubled domains by not allowing the situation to deteriorate into civil unrest. There was neither bloodshed nor any kind of rebellion as he went about the task of building a strong India with a missionary zeal.
  • He played an important role in bringing the 565 self-governing princely states and territories into the Indian federation.
  • Adopting different approaches as warranted by the situation, he gave friendly advice in some cases, persuaded the rulers to see reason in others and even used force as in the case of Hyderabad
  • He drew a new map of India with every princely State being a part of the Indian union and thus, paved the way for cultural unity and harmony.
  • Sardar Patel worked with astonishing speed to dismantle the history of imperialism and create the geography of unity with the spirit of nationalism. He saved India from Balkanization and integrated even the weakest of limbs into the national framework.

Civil services in Independent India:

  • According to many, the actual acknowledgment for the formation of the Indian Civil Service in free India goes to Sardar Patel.
  • His argument led to form a groundwork for Unified National Administration.
  • Patel had the vision to create a strong and vibrant administrative system

Concern about border security:

  • Patel conceptualized some of the greatest policies to keep India secured from border countries’ attack. He wanted India to focus on:
    • The need for strengthening defence force.
    • Examining and reshuffling the military position in various borders.
    • Strengthening Northern and North-Eastern frontier.
    • Improvement of transport and communication in these border areas.
  • The roots of Amul can be traced back to his vision for empowering local communities, particularly women. It was Sardar Patel who also popularized the idea of cooperative housing societies, thus ensuring dignity and shelter for man.
  • Patel’s lasting contribution was protecting the Indian constitution from the ogre of communal electorates.
  • He was a major driving force behind the liberal industrial policy resolution of 1948.
  • Patel was among the few to see the dangers from China’s imminent takeover of Tibet.

Conclusion:

With this it can be safely concluded that, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s contribution to the Integration of India, his vision of a newly born state was unmatched and none of the contemporaries could have lived up to the requirements of the time better than him.


Topic:Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests. Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

4) In the veneer of free trade, India should not loose fair trade. Critically analyse the statement in the light of on-going Regional Comprehensive Economic Cooperation agreement (RCEP). (250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The article highlights the fact that India will not sign any free-trade agreement (FTA) in a “rush” but will engage without compromising the interest of domestic industry.

Key demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the ongoing negotiations of India with RCEP. Provide for a critical analysis.

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: 

Give a brief introduction about RCEP and its importance to the participating nations especially to India.

Body:

Mention the benefits and losses that India will bear due to the agreement.

Explain the areas that India need to negotiate with other RCEP nations.

Suggest suitable solutions to address such situations in the best interest of the country.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way ahead.

Introduction:    

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a trade deal that is currently under negotiation among 16 countries — the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the six countries with which the ASEAN bloc has free trade agreements (FTA). It accounts for 25% of global GDP, 30% of global trade, 26% of FDI flows, and 45% of the world’s population.

Body:

Advantages for India:

  • Act East Policy:
    • For India, the RCEP provides a decisive platform to influence its strategic and economic status in the Asia-Pacific region and realise the goals of its “Act East Policy”.
  • Complement existing FTAs:
    • The RCEP agreement would complement India’s current FTAs with the ASEAN+6 countries = address challenges of implementation issues, overlapping agreements etc.
    • Thus RCEP will make rules and regulations for doing trade more efficient = reduce trade costs.
  • Unlock the true potential of the Indian economy:
    • RCEP is expected to harmonize trade-related rules, investment and competition regimes of India with those other countries in the group = Indian companies could enter the regional and global value chains and unlock the true potential of Indian economy.
    • It will give a boost to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in India.
    • RCEP will especially boost textile and pharma industries as it will facilitate the removal of trade barriers such as sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures of these products.
  • Services sector growth:
    • India has been seeking a more balanced outcome of the RCEP deal with a strong agreement on services trade, including a deal on easier movement of skilled manpower.
    • Besides facilitating Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), the RCEP will create opportunities for Indian Service Sector companies to access new markets.
    • It is because the manufacturing structure in many of these countries is becoming more and more service oriented. This phenomenon is known as Servicification of manufacturing.
  • Make in India:
    • Make in India will become a global success if India becomes a part of the Asian Value and Supply Chain.
  • MSMEs:
    • RCEP will also facilitate MSMEs to effectively integrate into the regional value and supply chains, thus promoting their growth.

India’s concerns with RCEP:

  • Trade deficit:
    • India’s trade deficit (Imports > Exports) with various countries have always widened after signing FTAs with them. Example – ASEAN, Japan, Korea, and Singapore, most of which are RCEP nations.
  • Vulnerable sectors:
    • India’s vulnerable agriculture and dairy sectors will be exposed to vagaries of global trade as India is not in a position to compete with Australia and New Zealand, the top performers in these sectors.
  • The China factor:
    • India fears that the RCEP pact will enable China to dump its products at lower prices and finally capture the market.
    • India’s trade deficit with China is already at $63 billion which will further rise if India joins RCEP.
    • Security concerns have also arisen over Chinese companies influencing market trends in sectors like telecommunication.
  • Make in India:
    • Indian manufacturing is not competitive enough to face the consequences of a free trade regime.
    • Rationalisation of multiple GST rates is still a work-in-progress.
    • The compliance with the complex GST norms adds to the transaction costs.
    • Labour productivity in manufacturing in India is still one of the lowest in the world with regionally fragmented labour laws increase the cost of doing business.
    • Make in India seeks to create enabling conditions not only for domestic industries but also for foreign industries = more competition.
    • Considering the above issues, the Indian industry is hardly in a position to compete in a free trade region.
  • Skewed sectorial growth:
    • The issue of trade liberalisation in services is still a bone of contention among RCEP Nations.
    • India wants to capitalise on its pool of skilled labour from improved access to these economies.
    • Thus it sought binding commitments to simplify services trade.
    • India is even willing to trade up its remaining tariff policy powers in the manufacturing sector to get these concessions for services sector in RCEP.
    • However, given the situation of the manufacturing and agriculture sectors in India, it is definitely not a good idea to sacrifice them for the services sector. It will promote the skewed nature of sectorial growth.
  • Raising trade barriers with non-members:
    • A preferential trade agreement such as RCEP provides preferential access to certain products by reducing trade barriers such as tariffs for member countries and not for others.
    • Hence, a preferential reduction of trade barriers = rise in relative trade barrier against non-members countries of RCEP.
  • Affect economic sovereignty:
    • Harmonisation of foreign investment rules and IPR laws = take away India’s ability to calibrate trade policies according to its needs.
  • Rigid tariff regime:
    • India needs a tariff regime that must be flexible enough to allow tariffs to be calibrated.
    • Such flexibilities are provided by WTO’s tariff regime, but not in other FTAs like RCEP.
  • IPR provisions:
    • Japan and South Korea are proposing intellectual property provisions referred to as TRIPS-plus, which go far beyond the obligations under the WTO’s agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
    • The proposed provisions seek to extend pharma firms’ patent terms beyond the usual 20 years (patent term extensions) and also require data exclusivity that limits competition by encouraging monopoly. These will hit our access to affordable medicines.
    • Issues related to Intellectual Property Chapter, particularly pacts that constrain our farmers’ ability to produce, preserve, exchange and sell seeds need to be rejected.
    • If India makes any agreement like the International Union of New Plant Varieties (UPOV) 1991 (that favours multinationals and is against farmers’ interests), it will kill the livelihood of our farmers.

Way Forward:

  • All trade is based on comparative advance and we have it in services sector which we need to look properly.
  • Indian policymakers need to be mindful of domestic industry’s concerns before getting into a deal with respect to the RCEP.
  • We need to focus on improving the competitiveness of the Indian economy.
  • India must play its due role to get its due place in the regional economic configurations.

Conclusion:

Bilateral talks between India and China are crucial for an early conclusion of RCEP negotiations as agreed by other members. Indian policymakers need to be mindful of domestic sectors’ concerns before agreeing on terms of deal. Simultaneously, there is a necessity to improve our competitiveness in the economy. India must play its due role to get its due place in the regional economic configurations.


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

5) Present an analysis of why India still defends its “developing country” status at the WTO? Explain this dichotomy in India’s development status.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The article highlights that India might face challenges in the future to its status as a developing country in the multilateral forum of World Trade Organization (WTO).

Key demand of the question:

Explain that India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. It has made giant strides in recent times in various fields. However, India prefers to be labeled as a developing country.

Directive:

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief explain how and why countries are labeled developing or developed by the WTO.

Body:

Explain why India prefers ‘developing country status’? – countries self-designate themselves as ‘developing country’ to take advantage of

Provisions like Article XVIII of GATT and other special and differential treatment (S&DT) provisions in the WTO agreements.

Discuss the recent developments.

Highlight the Principles proposed by USA on what does not constitute developing country.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

A group of 45 nations including India and China has insisted that countries must be allowed to make their own assessments regarding their developing country status. South Korea has said that it will no longer seek special treatment reserved for developing countries by the World Trade Organization in future negotiations given its enhanced global economic status.

Body:

There are no WTO definitions of “developed” and “developing” countries. Members announce for themselves whether they are “developed” or “developing” countries. However, other members can challenge the decision of a member to make use of provisions available to developing countries.

While on the one hand, the official narrative in India is that of a country making rapid developmental strides since 2014, on the other, when it comes to developmental status at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), India is trying hard to prove that it is a poor country.

Developing country status:

  • The “developing country” status allows a member of the WTO to seek temporary exception from the commitments under various multilateral trade agreements ratified by the organisation.
  • Countries self-designate themselves as ‘developing country’ to take advantage of provisions like Article XVIII of GATT.
  • It was introduced during the initial days of the WTO as a mechanism to offer some respite to poor countries while they try to adjust to a new global trade order marked by lower barriers to trade.
  • Developing country status ensures special and differential treatment (S&DT) or provisions which allow them more time to implement agreements and commitments,
  • It includes measures to increase trading opportunities, safeguard their trade interests, and support to build capacity to handle disputes and implement technical standards.
  • These provisions are aimed at ensuring longer transitional periods to comply with WTO obligations, and affording technical assistance to countries, among other things.
  • Countries such as India and China, while seeking exception from various WTO agreements, have argued that their economic backwardness should be considered when it comes to the timeline of implementation of these agreements.
  • The issue of farm subsidies, for instance, is one over which rich and poor countries have had major disagreements.
  • The WTO, however, does not formally classify any of its members as a developing country.
  • Individual countries are allowed to unilaterally classify themselves as developing economies.
  • So, as many as two-thirds of the 164 members of the WTO have classified themselves as developing countries.

India still defends its “developing country” status at the WTO:

  • India is a member of the G20 and its share in world exports is around 1.7% as of early 2019. So, as per these criteria, India will not qualify as a developing country.
  • While graduating to a ‘developed country’ status would have been a matter of joy, the ground reality is very different. India rightly countered the U.S.’s argument.
  • In a paper submitted to the WTO, it gave several numbers to show that it is still a poor country and thus requires S&DT provisions.
  • For example, the paper showed that India’s GDP per capita is very low; India has 364 million people living in multidimensional poverty; the domestic subsidies provided to per farmer is a meagre $227; and India has a very low research and development capacity.

Demands by developed countries:

  • For some time now, developed countries, mainly the US, have been asking the WTO to end the benefits being given to developing countries.
  • Nearly two-thirds of the members of the World Trade Organization(WTO) have been able to avail themselves of special treatment and to take on weaker commitments under the WTO framework by designating themselves as developing countries.

Conclusion:

Any unilateral action by the U.S. would be a violation of international law and yet another onslaught on trade multilateralism. At the same time, the Indian political leadership also needs to refrain from being on a publicity overdrive about India’s development. At times, its own rhetoric can come back to bite India.


Topic:  Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora. Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

6) Use of trade barriers in the name of Fair trade is often just an excuse to raise more protectionist barriers to serve domestic special interest groups, Do you agree? Justify your opinion with suitable examples.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

Free trade which has driven the global economy since several decades has come under attacks in recent times.

Key demand of the question:

One has to express opinion about free trade with suitable justifications.

Directive:

JustifyWhen you are asked to justify, you have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidences.  You have to appraise the worth of the statement in question using suitable case studies or/ and examples.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief define first what free trade is.

Body:

What is Free trade?-  It is a trade policy that does not restrict imports or exports; it can also be understood as the free market idea applied to international trade.

Highlight the recent issues and stands taken by different countries like US and China.

Explain then, how a country should reciprocate if barriers are imposed for its trade.

Conclusion:

Conclude with the fact that Use of trade barriers in the name of Fair trade is often just an excuse to raise more protectionist barriers to serve domestic special interest groups.

 

Introduction:    

Free trade focuses on the reduction of barriers and policies that favour certain countries or industries. Fair trade, however, favours the rights of workers, improved working conditions and seeks to eliminate pay discrepancies from country to country. Free trade, which enjoys almost unanimous support among economists, has come under severe attack from politicians across the world.

Body:

Free trade policy is a trade policy that does not restrict imports or exports; it can also be understood as the free market idea applied to international trade.

Trade barriers raised in name of fair trade:

  • Tariffs and other trade barriers are extremely popular among politicians. This can be attributed to the misconception that trade policy must be judged based on what good it does to a country’s producers rather than consumers.
  • The protectionist politician’s argument is that increasing tariffs on foreign goods protects domestic industries from unfair trade practices adopted by foreign governments.
  • S. President Donald Trump has accused China of ripping off the U.S. by, among other things, imposing high tariffs on American goods that are imported into China.
  • China has artificially lowering the value of the yuan against the U.S. dollar in order to encourage Chinese exports.
  • China has adopted domestic policies that favour local Chinese companies over American ones. Retaliatory tariffs, it is believed, will help level the playing field and ensure “fair trade”.
  • Another economic statistic that is misused to gather support for protectionist trade policies is the trade deficit.
  • A trade deficit is seen as a bad thing since it indicates that the value of a country’s imports is greater than the value of its exports.
  • But economists such as Milton Friedman have argued against the view that a country loses wealth when it experiences a trade deficit.
  • A trade deficit or surplus merely shows that people in different countries prefer to buy different things from one another.

Benefits of free trade and removal of trade barriers:

  • The case for free trade does not depend simply on the condition that all countries must engage in “fair trade” practices.
  • Trade does not have to be “fair” for countries to benefit from it.
  • Competition between producers is usually considered good because, even though it could cause some of them to lose out, it benefits consumers who can buy cheaper and better goods.
  • In fact, a country that drops all trade barriers on its side can benefit from such trade liberalisation even when other countries refuse to do the same.
  • As the economist Paul Krugman wrote, “The economist’s case for free trade is essentially a unilateral case: A country serves its own interests by pursuing free trade regardless of what other countries may do”.
  • This is because countries that remove trade barriers unilaterally, like Hong Kong and Singapore did, benefit their consumers, whose standard of living is improved greatly by access to foreign goods.
  • By the same token, a country that raises trade barriers works against the interests of its own consumers.
  • Of course, if all countries tore down their respective trade barriers, the world would be a richer place as goods can freely move around.
  • But in the meantime, unilateral free trade can at least benefit consumers in countries that decide to fully adopt it.

Conclusion:

Fair trade is often just an excuse to raise more protectionist barriers to serve domestic special interest groups. The world would be a richer place if leaders chose free trade over “fair trade”.


Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

7) What are Spywares? Discuss the problems created by ‘Pegasus’ spyware in snooping the phones of Indian users recently and also discuss the ways to tackle the same. (250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The question is amidst the incidence of the Govt. questioning WhatsApp after spyware was detected for alleged snooping of Indians.

Key demand of the question:

The Centre has sought an explanation from messaging platform WhatsApp after the Facebook-owned company confirmed that some Indian users of its app came under surveillance using an Israeli spyware. One has to explain what are spywares and how should they be handled as a cyber-security threat.

Directive:

DiscussThis is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief narrate the recent attack by the spyware.

Body:

Explain the recent incidence of spyware Pegasus.

Discuss the threats such cyber-attacks pose to the national security of the country.

What issues do they pose with respect to privacy safeguards?

Explain the associated risk factors in detail and methods to tackle them.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:    

Spyware is software that is installed on a computing device without the end user’s knowledge. Any software can be classified as spyware if it is downloaded without the user’s authorization. Spyware is controversial because even when it is installed for relatively innocuous reasons, it can violate the end user’s privacy and has the potential to be abused.

WhatsApp sued an Israeli firm, the NSO Group in a court for using its platform to spy on journalists and human rights activists worldwide. The surveillance was carried out using a spyware tool called Pegasus, which has been developed by the NSO Group.

Body:

Spyware can be difficult to detect; often, the first indication a user has that a computing device has been infected with spyware is a noticeable reduction in processor or network connection speeds and in the case of mobile devices — data usage and battery life.

Pegasus is spyware that can be installed on mobile devices. It is regarded as one of the “most sophisticated” smartphone spyware. In May 2019, the Pegasus was being used to exploit WhatsApp and spy on potential targets. The spyware named ‘Pegasus’ is developed by the Israeli cyber arms firm NSO in 2016.

Working of Pegasus:

  • Pegasus exploited a weakness in WhatsApp’s video-call feature that allowed attackers to inject the spyware on to phones simply by ringing the number of targets’ device. It enters the phone even if the call is not answered.
  • Once Pegasus is installed, it can access the targeted users’ private data, including passwords, contact lists, calendar events, text messages, and live voice calls from popular mobile messaging apps.
  • It can work on BlackBerry, Android, iOS and Symbian-based devices.
  • It can send back the target’s private data, including passwords, messages, live voice calls, etc., from popular mobile messaging apps.
  • The target’s phone camera and microphone can be turned on to capture all activity in the phone’s vicinity, expanding the scope of the surveillance.
  • Pegasus has the ability to access password-protected devices, being totally transparent to the target, leaving no trace on the device without arousing suspicion in more alert users.
  • It has a self-destruct mechanism in case of risk of exposure, and ability to retrieve any file for deeper analysis.

Measures to tackle spywares:

  • Regular Data Backup: This helps restore the last saved data and minimise data loss. Ransomware also attacks servers; hence it is important to have a backup on a disconnected hard drive or external device on the pre-defined regular basis.
  • To prevent infiltration of malware, having password protected tools to identify and filter certain file extensions like “.exe” or “. Zip”, are essential. Emails that appear suspicious should also be filtered at the exchange level.
  • User awareness: Awareness among users needs to be created to avoid opening the unsolicited attachment. Malware is typically designed to mimic identities of people that users interact with on a regular basis either on a personal or professional level.
  • Regular patch and upgrades: To prevent leaks or vulnerabilities in software, ensure to regularly update the software versions and apply patches released by the vendor. These patches and version are often released to wrestle with known or newly discovered exploits and can prevent known signatures of these malware, Trojans or ransomware to enter the system.
  • Install and run anti-malware and firewall software. When selecting software, choose a program that offers tools for detecting, quarantining, and removing multiple types of malware.
  • The combination of anti-malware software and a firewall will ensure that all incoming and existing data gets scanned for malware and that malware can be safely removed once detected.
  • Keep software and operating systems up to date with current vulnerability patches. These patches are often released to patch bugs or other security flaws that could be exploited by attackers.
  • Be vigilant when downloading files, programs, attachments, etc. Downloads that seem strange or are from an unfamiliar source often contain malware.

Conclusion:

                The Government of India has come up with initiatives like National Cybersecurity policy 2013, CERT-In, Cyber Swachhata Kendra  to fight against such cyber threats. Cybersecurity becomes imperative in the wake of Government’s push for Digital India.