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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 06 NOVEMBER 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 06 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: Factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India).

1) With farm distress making headlines, discuss the potential that Indian poultry industry bears to absorb the distress and  emerges out as a modern , scientific industry driven by technology.(250 words)

Timesofindia

Why this question:

The question is in the context of the 84th birth anniversary of father of Indian poultry industry Dr B V Rao.

Key demand of the question:

One must discuss in detail the potential that Indian poultry industry bears to absorb the distress and emerges out as a modern, scientific industry driven by technology to double the farm income and contribute significantly to the 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: 

Provide for statistics related to poultry industry.

Body:

First explain briefly the historical background – The Indian Poultry industry suffered an unusual series of crises in early 1980s, as the selling price had become lower than the production cost. Many of the poultry farmers shut down their farm operations as a result of heavy losses. A group of farmers motivated by Dr. B. V. Rao and Ch. Jagapati Rao travelled across the country, organising over 300 meetings with groups, individuals, and traders. Their objective was to unite poultry farmers from all over India and take control of their own destiny. In May 1982, NECC was formally registered as a trust under the Indian Societies Registration Act and on May 14, 1982, NECC started declaring egg prices.

Discuss the significance of technology and scientific approach of developing poultry sector in the country.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of the same.

Introduction:    

India has the world’s largest population of livestock. The country produces approximately 5.3 million MT of meat and 75 billion eggs annually. India is also the largest producer of buffalo meat and second largest producer of goat meat.  In essence, poultry and meat are vertically integrated industries in India and have witnessed colossal growth over the past few years.

Body:

The poultry industry in India, in particular, represents a massive success story. It has undergone a paradigm shift in structure and operation and what was largely a backyard venture before the 1960s has been transformed into a vibrant agribusiness with an annual turnover of INR 30 000 crores. Presently, India is the third largest egg producer in the world following China and the USA.

Potential of the poultry sector:

  • The development goes beyond size – extending to efficiency, superiority and quality.
  • Labour: Poultry sector, besides providing direct or indirect employment to nearly 3 million people is a potent tool for subsidiary income generation for many landless and marginal farmers.
  • Nutritional security: For a distressed farmer’s family, food provided by livestock is the only source of nutrition required for survival and also provides nutritional security.
  • Reliable source of income: Further, landless labourers derive more than 50 per cent of their income from livestock especially from poultry.
  • Asset: Livestock are important asset for a distress farmer which can be encashed at any moment and may help him to come out of debt trap.
  • Undoubtedly, this remarkable growth is an outcome of several factors, such as active developmental support from the state and central government, research and development support from research institutes, application of new technologies, international collaboration and private sector participation.

Growth drivers for poultry industry:

  • In India, poultry sector growth may be attributed to many factors like rising incomes and a rapidly expanding middle class, together with the emergence of vertically integrated poultry producers that have reduced consumer prices by lowering production and marketing costs.
  • Integrated production, market transition from live birds to chilled and frozen products, and policies that ensure supplies of competitively priced corn and soybean are keys to future poultry industry growth in India. Further, disease surveillance, monitoring and control will also decide the fate of this sector.
  • Concurrently, India’s unorganized and backyard poultry sector is also one of the potent tool for subsidiary income generation for many landless/ marginal farmers and also provides nutritional security to the rural poor.
  • These achievements and growth rates are still being sustained despite the ingress of avian influenza which was a severe setback for the industry, showing the resilience of the subsector, perseverance of the private sector and timely intervention by the Government.
  • To assess the future trends, we have to review the past planning and present scenario to extrapolate the future. The externalities and variables are often unprecedented and sudden. Both empirical and statistical methods need to be accounted for while making any predictive assumptions

Way forward:

  • Measures should be taken to increase the meat production efficiency of different species of animals using the improved management practices.
  • Adoption of improved shelter management practices can reduce the environmental stress.
  • New breeds should be developed for meat production with higher feed conversion efficiency, faster growth and disease resistant.
  • Health management practices should be followed for prevention of diseases and economic loss to the farmers.
  • Regular prophetic health measures should be carried out against infectious diseases. Regular screening of animals should be carried out against disease such as tuberculosis, brucellosis, salmonellosis etc.
  • The livestock market yard should have basic facilities for feeding, watering and holding animals for days.
  • By vertical integration with meat processing industries the middle men can be eliminated, which will ultimately increase the profit of farmers.
  • There is need for modernizing the quality control laboratories of the State Government, apart from need for strict laboratory inspection of meat and meat products, training programs for meat workers regarding hygiene and sanitation need to be organized regularly.
  • Modernization of abattoirs, setting up of rural abattoirs and registration of all slaughter houses in cities/towns are essential for quality meat production.
  • The setting up of large commercial meat farms have been recommended to address the traceability issues necessary for stringent quality standards of CODEX.

Conclusion:

Poultry rearing has always been an integral component of livestock production system in India. The concept of composite farming production system with crop, livestock, fish and poultry production has been practiced for centuries in India. However, poultry production in India has taken a quantum leap in the last four decades, emerging from an entirely unorganized and unscientific farming practice to commercial production system with state-of-the-art technological interventions.


Topic: Factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world.

2) Describe and account for the shifts in the textile industries of the world with special focus on effect of the evolving digital technologies.(250 words)

Geography by Majid Hussain

Why this question:

The question is based on the themes of static portions.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must provide for an analysis of the shifts in the textile industries of the world with special focus on effect of the evolving digital technologies.

Directive:

Describe – Provide a detailed explanation as to how and why something happens.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Briefly explain the facts related to textile industry – its location, transport, capital and labor factor.

Body:

Explain how textile industries have been set up historically and what were the controlling factors; proximity to raw materials – water source, leather availability, cotton etc. and the labor factor, transport factor etc.

Then move on to discuss the role played by the coming of technologies and in what way they have changed the mindset of the entire sector. Illustrate using suitable examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude on a positive note stating the role and positive contributions of the technology.

Introduction:    

The textile industry is currently experiencing the effects of digitalization – increasing individualization, networking of devices and people as well as progressive automation of production and logistics processes are increasingly coming into focus. Technological innovations and changing customer expectations require new business models and organisational principles in the textile industry.

Body:

Textiles are one of the oldest trades, but the textiles industry has come a long way from the early days of handcrafting. Once considered a labour-intensive craft, textiles have now become a heavily technology-driven process. Thanks to advancements in predictive analytics, IoT, artificial intelligence and ERP, there is an extraordinary opportunity for textile players to achieve Industry 4.0 leadership and deliver automated control over the textile fabrication process from design and colouring to fibre construction, fabric creation, finishing and delivery.

Digitization is impacting textile industry and offers significant benefits in terms of introducing new and agile business models for apparel industries.

In the textile sector, digital advancements such as Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence and ERP, present favourable opportunities for automation, to spruce up the fabrication process, including the design, colouring, fibre construction, fabric creation, finishing and delivery. While there are several benefits from going digital, the biggest advantage for companies in the textile space will be to serve the ever-changing consumer behavior. Today, the tech-savvy consumer expects high-quality products, customized and value-added services, along with quick, subscription-based product delivery and consultation.

Furthermore, digital transformation in the textile industry will take care of finer aspects such as dye stock management, workforce co-ordination, and equipment monitoring. It will also enable players to exceed customer expectations, adopt a transparent, omni-channel value chain, and identify profit-generating customer relationships and business segments – all crucial requirements in an increasingly demand-driven economy.

Conclusion:

To be digital or not is no longer the debate. The question that is foremost in businesses today is how to go digital. So, the textile players need a cogent business strategy that incorporates and leverages digital vision, creating the right organization with digital skills, adopting newer implementation models and then broadbasing digital so that it becomes part of the organization DNA will bring to bear the dividends of digitisation. Textile businesses today are looking for help in stitching all these together to realize its full potential.


Topic:  Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

3) AYUSH, represent a pluralistic and integrative scheme of health services. Explain how AYUSH can play an important role in realizing the dream of ‘New India’ by providing quality healthcare and medical care for its citizens.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The Indian systems of medicine have been perennially neglected especially Ayurveda as an alternative medicine sector. However, that seems to be changing with the present government providing much-needed attention and resources towards this sector.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the Growing impetus to Indian systems of medicine, which comprises Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy (AYUSH).

And how AYUSH can play an important role in realizing the dream of ‘New India’ by providing quality healthcare and medical care for its citizens.

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 narrate the significance of AYUSH.

Body:

Discuss the potential of AYUSH.

With statistics repeatedly indicating that there is a severe shortage of doctors in India with a mere 80 doctors per lakh population. AYUSH provides a way to increase healthcare access

AYUSH presents an opportunity to realize the potential of medical pluralism in the current environment where prevention is emphasized along with curative aspects.

AYUSH industry may create 26 mn jobs by 2020 according to Government reports.

Given the rising popularity of AYUSH and alternative medicine, AYUSH could help boost medical tourism in India.

Discuss challenges involved if any.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:    

AYUSH is the acronym of the medical systems that are being practiced in India such as Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy. These systems are based on definite medical philosophies and represent a way of healthy living with established concepts on prevention of diseases and promotion of health. The basic approach of all these systems on health, disease and treatment are holistic.

Body:

Role of AYUSH in realizing the dream of ‘New India’:

  • A number of initiatives to promote AYUSH have been recently announced.
    • Creation of AYUSH wings in defence and railway hospitals.
    • Providing soft loans and subsidies for the establishment of private AYUSH hospitals and clinics.
    • Establishing institutes of excellence in teaching and research in AYUSH.
    • 12,500 dedicated AYUSH health and wellness centers are planned to be set up under the Ayushman Bharat mission.
  • AYUSH, represent a pluralistic and integrative scheme of health services. AYUSH can play an important role in realizing the dream of ‘New India’ by providing quality healthcare and medical care for its citizens. The ‘New India’ also needs to be a ‘Healthy India’ where its own traditional systems can play a significant role.
  • With statistics repeatedly indicating that there is a severe shortage of doctors in India with a mere 80 doctors per lakh population. AYUSH provides a way to increase healthcare access
  • AYUSH presents an opportunity to realize the potential of medical pluralism in the current environment where prevention is emphasized along with curative aspects.
  • AYUSH industry may create 26 mn jobs by 2020 according to Government reports.
  • Given the rising popularity of AYUSH and alternative medicine, AYUSH could help boost medical tourism in India.

Challenges faced:

  • Non-integration into mainstream medicine: Our efforts to mainstream AYUSH medicine has been to regard that the major problem lies in the fact that there is a very less proportion of AYUSH in the present mix. Hence, the integration of AYUSH into the health-care system has been focused on having more AYUSH facilities or having them in the place where there aren’t any without worrying about the actual effectiveness of such a move.
  • Status gap: The subservient status of AYUSH has been the major hurdle. AYUSH has been fraught with multiple issues like including dishonest practices and claims by some AYUSH practitioners leading to the ridicule of AYUSH treatments and procedures by sceptics. The mindless cosmeticisation and export promotion of AYUSH products has led to a bad perception of AYUSH.
  • Historically, attempts at integration have been foiled by parties from both within and outside the AYUSH sector. In keeping with the recommendations of the Chopra Committee (1948), baby steps were taken to integrate the teaching of traditional and modern systems of medicines, proposals that were later scrapped.
  • The isolationist approach goes against the cherished ideal of modern medicine to embrace concepts that are backed by evidence. In the case of traditional medicine, an isolationist attitude could deter scientific scrutiny and block some potential value addition.
  • Quality standards of Medicines: Scientific validation of AYUSH has not progressed in spite of dedicated expenditure in past.
  • Lack of human resources: Practitioners are moving away from traditional system for better opportunities
  • The existing infrastructure remains under-utilized.
  • The 2013 Shailaja Chandra report on the status of Indian medicine and folk healing, commissioned by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, noted several instances in States where National Rural Health Mission-recruited AYUSH physicians were the sole care providers in PHCs and called for the appropriate skilling of this cadre to meet the demand for acute and emergency care at the primary level.

Way forward:

  • It is important to gather scientific evidence for the safety and efficacy of AYUSH medicines and practices.
  • Work towards capacity building and developing a critical mass of competent professionals in the AYUSH sector through quality education and training at national and international levels.
  • True integration of traditional and modern systems is the need of the hour. This would require a concerted strategy for facilitating meaningful cross-learning and collaboration between the modern and traditional systems on equal terms.
  • The Chinese experience of integrating Traditional Chinese Medicine with Western medicine makes for a good example.
  • An Indian parallel could envision the integration of education, research, and practice of both systems at all levels. This can include training of AYUSH practitioners in modern medicine through curriculum changes and vice versa.
  • Need to ensure substantial groundwork with respect to the prerequisites of an effective integration.
  • Building a strong traditional medicine evidence corpus.
  • Standardizing and regulating AYUSH practices and qualifications.
  • Delineating the relative strengths, weaknesses, and role of each system in an integrated framework.
  • Negotiating the philosophical and conceptual divergences between systems.
  • Addressing the unique issues associated with research into AYUSH techniques.
  • An integrated framework should create a middle path — fusing the two systems, while still permitting some autonomy for each.
  • Accordingly, a medium- and long-term plan for seamless integration should be developed expeditiously in view of the massive drive for achieving universal health care already underway in the country and considering the vast potential of AYUSH to contribute to this cause.

Topic:Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary; Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

4) Explain the principle of “moulding of relief” in Indian jurisprudence. Illustrate with suitable examples in what way Judgments that impact society must be holistic.(250 words)

Hindustantimes

Why this question:

The question throws light on the fact that the judgments passed by judiciary have greater impact on lives of people and at times justice comes at a cost that is often missed to be factored into.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the concept of moulding of relief in the Indian judicial system and its impact on the society.

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: 

Define the concept of “moulding of relief”.

Body:

First The term “moulding of relief”, which means courts can pass orders in the interest of justice even if it is not strictly as per the relief prayed for, is an established concept in Indian jurisprudence. However, such an order should not be contrary to the law.

Explain with recent examples, take hints from article and illustrate the cases.

Conclusion:

Conclude with what needs to be done.

Introduction:    

The term “moulding of relief” means courts can pass orders in the interest of justice even if it is not strictly as per the relief prayed for, is an established concept in Indian jurisprudence. However, such an order should not be contrary to the law.

Body:

Some of the landmark judgements based on the principle of jurisprudence are:

  • Cancellation of 122 telecom licences in the 2G scam in February, 2012.
  • Cancellation of 214 coal licences in August, 2014.
  • ban on sale of liquor by all outlets, including hotel and establishments falling within 500 metres of the highway in December, 2016
  • the cancellation of 88 leases for iron ore mining in Goa in February, 2018

The above mentioned landmark judicial interventions had a fundamental economic impact. But these were also decisions where the principle of moulding of relief was critical for complete justice.

The after-effects of the judgement:

  • In the enthusiasm to set certain wrongs right, a vital factor of the livelihood of the people working in these industries for years together was lost sight of.
  • If we are to take the combined effect of the loss of livelihood of all the four landmark decisions of the SC, the number is significant though an actual figure is difficult to arrive at.
  • In this context, moulding of relief becomes critical. Striking down illegality should involve circumspection to prevent business disruption.

Measures needed:

  • As dispensers of final justice, the SC has to balance two conflicting issues: Interpretation of the law, which seeks to simplify and clarify issues in order to bring about a degree of certainty and predictability in the commercial world, and the economic cost of the loss of livelihood.
  • As dispensers of final justice, the SC does need to take into consideration and mould reliefs.
  • The way the government handled the smooth transfer of ownership of Satyam Computers to Tech Mahindra, when the founder was caught in a scam, without disrupting business, is noteworthy.
  • Such learnings can be resorted to under the guidance of the courts for the larger public benefit.
  • After all, in the case of the liquor sale ban on the highways, the court did show the responsibility of clarifying the ban, giving relief to approved establishments in municipal limits, even if they fell under 500 metres to sell liquor.
  • The SC in the Goa Foundation judgment emphasised that issues impacting society are required to be looked at holistically.

Conclusion:

As noted writer Ayn Rand says “We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality”. The consequence of loss of livelihood is not just economic but is also institutional, inasmuch as the shock and pain of loss of livelihood would inevitably undermine the faith of those affected by the nature of justice being meted out.

Extra information: The case study of Goa mining case where Principle of Moulding the relief was used:

Let us take the Goa case — The Goa Foundation v. M/s Sesa Sterlite Ltd, (2018). Under the Portuguese rule, mineral concession rights were granted to parties in perpetuity. In 1961, after the liberation of Goa, the concessioners were covered under the Indian Mines & Minerals (Development and Regulation) Control Act, 1957. In 1987, the government of India, by way of an Act converted the concessions into leases with retrospective effect from 1961. The state government started charging rent and royalty from the parties, which was the case earlier.

The said Act was challenged in the Bombay High Court, which struck down the provisions of the abolition act and held that royalty can be charged only prospectively. A petition was also pending for the last 20 years, challenging the application of the Abolition Act of 1987 to Goa. In 2018, the Supreme Court (SC) cancelled the mining lease en masse without adjudicating a pending case establishing the legality of the abolition act itself.

The court justified its judgment in the Goa Foundation Case on the grounds that there was rampant violation of environment-related and mining-related law/legal requirements. It was based on the sound and salutary principle that a person cannot enjoy the fruits of illegality. There can be no argument with this position. It was also premised on the observation that no social or public purpose is attached to the mining operation and the only objective behind mining activity was profit maximisation. However, the court neither considered the impact on the livelihoods of people nor did it attempt to balance the illegality committed. It did not take into account the right to livelihood of those who lost their jobs.


Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

5) Compared to other BRICS nations, India today has the lowest deposit insurance cover to per capita income ratio, at 0.9 times.Discuss the significance of deposit insurance coverage of bank accounts and also, comment on the lacunae in the current deposit insurance cover provided by the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC) and suggest suitable cure. (250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

With the Non-Performing Assets (NPA) situation not improving in most banks, the advent of another major crisis brought into focus, once again, the deposit insurance cover provided by the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC), a subsidiary of the RBI.

 Key demand of the question:

One has to bring in a detailed analysis of how the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank crisis and subsequent RBI restrictions on withdrawal have brought the focus on the need for deposit insurance coverage.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief discuss that compared to other BRICS nations, India today has the lowest deposit insurance cover to per capita income ratio, at 0.9 times.

Body:

Explain first what the issue is.

Discuss the concerns associated; An SBI report states that 93% of the premium collected by the DICGC in 2018-19 came from commercial banks (public sector: 75%, private sector: 18%), but over 94% of the claims settled (ever since the inception of the DICGC) have been those of cooperative banks. Clearly, poor governance in cooperative banks has been cross-subsidized by the better-performing commercial banks.

Suggest what needs to be done.

Conclusion:

Conclude that necessary steps in expanding and rectifying the deposit insurance scheme as a safety net of the financial system is the need of the hour.

Introduction:    

Deposit insurance is a measure to protect bank depositors, in full or in part, from losses caused by a bank’s inability to pay its debts when due. The Centre has set up Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation under RBI to protect depositors if a bank fails.

The deposit insurance scheme is mandatory for all banks and no bank can voluntarily withdraw from it. Compared to other BRICS nations, India today has the lowest deposit insurance cover to per capita income ratio.

The RBI recently capped withdrawals from the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank at Rs. 1,000. In this context, here is an overview at the nature of deposit insurance in India and the working of Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC).

Body:

Significance of deposit insurance coverage:

  • Protecting the deposits made by people in banks is very important to ensure confidence in the banking system.
  • The recent incident of HDIL’s inability to repay its debt to PMC bank could lead to shutting down of the lender. This has placed thousands of depositors’ money at risk.
  • Denying people the right over their hard-earned money is a fatal hazard for the financial system, which runs on the trust of depositors.
  • When the bank fails, the depositors will get back their money. Insurance to deposits will be provided up to a limit. For getting the deposit insurance protection, the depositors should pay an insurance premium.
  • DICGC in India covers depositors of all commercial banks and foreign banks operating in India, state, central and urban co-operative banks, local area banks and regional rural banks provided the bank with which the deposit is made has bought the cover from DICGC.

Lacunae in the deposit insurance coverage:

  • Low Insurance limit: Most people agree that the insurance limit of Rs.1 lakh, set in 1993, needs to be raised to a higher amount.
  • Coverage: Customers who want more coverage than the statutory cover on their deposits should be able to purchase it by paying additional premium.
  • NBFCs: The lack of DICGC coverage for deposits at NBFCs, a few of which are regulated by RBI and primary cooperative societies is one such aspect.
  • Withdrawal: Another deficiency in the current DICGC cover is that the Rs.1 lakh insurance amount only needs to be released if there is a bankrupt.
  • Without liquidation of the bank, no liability accrues on the insurance company to pay such a claim. The flaw in this scheme is obvious as the ‘freezes’ in withdrawal directed by the RBI essentially cut the depositor’s access to his/her money.
  • Premium: Currently the DICGC charges a flat 0.1% insurance premium on the deposits of banks.
  • Cross-subsidization: An SBI report states that 93% of the premium collected by the DICGC in 2018-19 came from commercial banks (public sector: 75%, private sector: 18%). But, over 94% of the claims settled (ever since the inception of the DICGC) have been those of cooperative banks. Clearly, poor governance in cooperative banks has been cross-subsidised by the better-performing commercial banks.

 Measures needed:

  • Suggestions are being made to raise insurance limit to Rs. 15 lakh, which will cover 90% of the accounts completely.
  • Coverage option should be extended directly to banks that wish to increase the coverage of deposits to above the statutory requirements.
  • As suggested by an RBI panel in 2015, insurance premium should be based on differential risk based on the lending practices of the bank, among other things.
  • Another possibility to be analysed is that of bringing private sector insurers and re-insurers into the deposit insurance segment. This could drive down the premium prices.
  • Hence, during such periods (freezes), at least the statutory amount should be released. This will go a long way in preventing bank runs, which could be triggered when customers get alarmed about the ability of banks to repay their deposits.
  • DICGC must draw inspiration from standard insurance practices. It should charge higher premiums from banks with a past history of higher claims. This will also provide a level-playing field for PSBs which are often disadvantaged due to tight government control and inflexibility.
  • This revision in DICGC coverage becomes all the more desirable in the Indian context, where senior citizens /retired people have no social security in place and mostly keep fixed deposits for earning interest income.
  • Apart from this, it is also suggested that depositors should get an incentive to spare a part of their total deposits to buy Bank Bonds that provide guaranteed coupon rates on a half yearly basis and are tax free.

Conclusion:

Given all these, the government must take purposeful steps in expanding and rectifying the deposit insurance scheme as a safety net of the financial system.


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

6) The pollution problem in NCR is more complex than it seems on the outside. Critically Analyse.(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question:

Beginning Monday, the odd-even scheme for automobiles plying in Delhi will kick in. Coincidentally, the weekend preceding it saw a steep deterioration in the air quality index or AQI in the city; forcing Environmental Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) to declare a public health emergency on Friday as a desperate measure to contain the silent killer. 

Key demand of the question:

One must bring out the concerns of air pollution problem facing the capital and provide for a critical analysis of what needs to be done to contain the situation.

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: 

In brief narrate scenario in the capital with respect to pollution problem.

Body:

Explain the problem in detail – The NCR pollution problem is partly because of the nature of its topography.

Suggest solutions to the issue – Experts have long been making a case for public transport. The assumption among policy planners is that the Metro Rail, has been critical in addressing transport woes of NCR’s working population, especially women and is the best solution.

Conclusion:

The only freebie that matters is clear air; and our politicians who always aver the cause of the poor should remember that like income inequality pollution is hardest on those at the bottom of the pyramid.

Introduction:    

Delhi Chief Minister tweeted that the city ‘has become a gas chamber’. If serious steps are not taken, Delhi may soon face an “air pollution disaster” which London saw 65 years ago. The odd-even scheme for automobiles plying in Delhi has kicked in. Coincidentally, the weekend preceding it saw a steep deterioration in the air quality index or AQI in the city; forcing Environmental Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) to declare a public health emergency on Friday as a desperate measure to contain the silent killer.

Body:

Air pollution in NCR is due to

Natural factors:

  • Low temperature in winter leads to low wind velocity, which reduces the dust dispersal process
  • Landlocked cities, no moderate sea effect

Anthropogenic factors:

  • Vehicular emissions: Increased number of diesel vehicles, huge commuters, absence of integrated transport public infrastructure adds the problem
  • The extreme use of crackers during the celebrations has raised the level of pollution in the city.
  • Road dust: Dust emanating from unpaved roads and peak construction activities causes silicosis.
  • Construction activities:
  • Industrial vehicles: Dirty power plants, coal usage in hotels, diesel generators contributes SO2 and NOX which can cause major respiratory ailments
  • Waste burning: Crop residue (stubble) burning in neighbouring states – Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh transfers pollutants to Delhi.
  • Improper waste management: Burning of waste at landfills and lack of waste segregation at source adds particulate matter into the atmosphere

Consequences:

  • As the Air Quality Index increases, large percentage of the population is likely to experience severe adverse health effects.
  • The alarming level of pollution in the city is detrimental for not only people suffering from respiratory illnesses but also for the normal population.
  • There is an increase in the number of people who get a recurrent irritative cough, recurrent episodes of sinusitis and more frequent attacks of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Apart from smoke, crackers also release toxic metals in environment which are going to come back to use through food chain.
  • According to a new report from UNICEF, about a third of the 2 billion children in the world, who are breathing toxic air, live in northern India risking serious health effects including damage to their lungs, brains and other organs.
  • The value of work time lost due to the illness by the patient or the caregiver, or both
  • Exposure to vehicular emission or air pollution result in a greatly increased probability of lung cancer

Measures needed:

  • Create awareness among the masses by installing LED panels displaying pollution levels
  • Preventive measures like hike in parking fees and slashing of metro fares.
  • Need for implementing long-term measures as the use of nasal filters or air purifiers can provide short-term relief only.
  • Residents must avoid stepping out or doing outdoor activities during the early morning and evening hours.
  • Doctors must address school children about air pollution and its hazards.
  • CPCB should direct local bodies to check open burning of solid waste and strictly enforce rules related to prevention of emission from construction activities.
  • Mechanical sweeping with water wash and vacuum-assisted sweeping of roads to reduce road dust emission.
  • There is great potential for making investments in paddy straw-based power plants which can help avoid stubble burning and create employment opportunities.
  • The efforts of the MoEFCC, ministry of power, MNRE, MoRTH, MoHUA, MOHFW and a variety of non-governmental partners must come together for dealing with air pollution
  • There must be political will for political parties and governments to firstly acknowledge the scale of this health emergency and then work together
  • To regulate automobiles –stringent measures are needed. For example, Singapore has decided to stop registration of all new vehicles.

Conclusion:

The only freebie that matters is clear air; and our politicians who always aver the cause of the poor should remember that like income inequality pollution is hardest on those at the bottom of the pyramid.


Topic: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.

7) Do you think reviewing open-ended procurement and shifting towards private procurement to correct market inefficiencies is worth serious consideration as suggested by CACP? Analyse. (250 words)

Financialexpress

 

Why this question:

CACP, in its latest report for rabi season, has batted for direct procurement by private players, as envisaged under the Private Procurement Stockist Scheme. Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

One has to provide for a detailed analysis of the benefits of using open-ended procurement and shifting towards private procurement to correct market inefficiencies.

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 explain the role played by CACP to handle market inefficiencies.

Body:

The article very well explains why the govt. should opt for an open-ended grain procurement policy.

Discuss the role played by the policy of MSP and the DBT experiment etc.

Analyse in what way the open-ended grain procurement policy may benefit the agriculture sector and discuss the associated challenges.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of such policies and need for a balanced approach.

.

Introduction:    

The Commission for Agricultural Costs & Prices (CACP since 1985, earlier named as Agricultural Prices Commission) came into existence in January 1965. CACP, in its latest report for rabi season, has batted for direct procurement by private players, as envisaged under the Private Procurement Stockist Scheme.

Body:

Need for a shift towards private procurement:

  • The open procurement policy has led to mounting food stocks and adversely affected crop diversification.
  • These excess stocks create storage problems and also high storage and financing costs, leading to high subsidy.
  • As of October 1, against a buffer requirement of 30.8 million tonnes (mt) of wheat and rice, the total central pool stock, including stock in transit, stood at 64.2 mt—109% more than the requirement.
  • With paddy procurement yet to happen, this quantity will shoot up.
  • The government has taken steps to liquidate 15 mt of stocks, but hasn’t met much success here.
  • The purpose of open-ended procurement was to provide support to farmers, given the MSP hikes, this seriously weighed down the government’s finances.
  • The Centre has made the Food Corporation of India shoulder this burden. Even as the economic cost of wheat increased 31.3% between FY14 and FY19, despite a 10-15% fall in the sale of subsidised grains, with no change in selling price via ration shops, the subsidy bill doubled from Rs 92,000 crore in FY14 to Rs 1,71,298 crore in FY19.
  • This is the reason why long-term debt levels for FCI stand at Rs 200,000 crore, with an additional Rs 80,000 crore of short-term debt.

But private procurement alone will not suffice due to:

  • As long as the government continues with MSP as its primary tool for farm support, kindling private players’ interest in procurement of grains will prove difficult since no private trader will be willing to procure grains at a price higher than the market price, which is usually the case with MSP.
  • Apart from quality issues with grains, the MSP regime also hinders liquidation of stocks through export since it will trigger violations of WTO norms.
  • Given how MSP benefits only a small pool of farmers from a handful of states while distorting agricultural production in favour of a few crops, the government will be meaningfully supporting farmers if it were to give per-acre support.
  • Farmers prefer to grow rice and wheat because the prices received are getting better by the day. Therefore, they are reluctant to migrate to other crops such as oilseeds and pulses, where typically the nation runs an import bill. This has skewed the cropping pattern in the country.

Measures needed:

  • While MSP guarantees that farmers grow only certain kinds of crops, and subsidies on fertiliser and electricity mean indiscriminate use of these resources, a fixed per-acre support scheme will help cut down wastage.
  • FCI can still maintain its buffer stock, but the PDS can be disbanded, as a NITI Aayog study shows that people tend to graduate to a higher quality of grains once they are allowed freedom and flexibility to choose.
  • the procurement system has to be made closed-ended where FCI can go up to a certain margin over the buffer norms. While this can be based on a first-come-first-served basis, the unique ID can be used for bringing about a quota system where FCI purchases only up to a certain level from every farmer.
  • Alternatively, farmers can be provided cash transfers which will be the price difference between the market price and MSP. This can be achieved in a transparent manner, if they can be made to sell on electronic commodity exchanges where there is an audit trail and one can eschew adverse selection.
  • On the cropping side, the government should aim at providing incentives to farmers growing other alternative crops such as pulses and oilseeds. A cash bonus could be considered, based again on the unique ID.

Conclusion:

We certainly need to move away from open-ended schemes while retaining the ethos of not diluting the present benefits to farmers in a smarter manner. Or else the skewed farm matrix will continue to dominate our farm topography, which is not desirable.

Extra information: Functions of CACP:

  • It is mandated to recommend minimum support prices (MSPs) to incentivize the cultivators to adopt modern technology, and raise productivity and overall grain production in line with the emerging demand patterns in the country.
  • Assurance of a remunerative and stable price environment is considered very important for increasing agricultural production and productivity since the market place for agricultural produce tends to be inherently unstable, which often inflict undue losses on the growers, even when they adopt the best available technology package and produce efficiently.
  • Towards this end, MSP for major agricultural products are fixed by the government, each year, after taking into account the recommendations of the Commission.
  • As of now, CACP recommends MSPs of 23 commodities, which comprise 7 cereals (paddy, wheat, maize, sorghum, pearl millet, barley and ragi), 5 pulses (gram, tur, moong, urad, lentil), 7 oilseeds (groundnut, rapeseed-mustard, soyabean, seasmum, sunflower, safflower, nigerseed), and 4 commercial crops (copra, sugarcane, cotton and raw jute).