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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 07 DECEMBER 2019

SECURE SYNOPSIS: 07 DECEMBER 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: Indian Constitution – features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure; basics of cyber security

1. Internet has emerged as a potent tool that can lead to socio- economic empowerment. In the light of this, is right to internet a good idea? Critically comment.

The Hindu

Livemint

Why this question:

With the Internet blackout stretching for more than 120 days in Jammu and Kashmir, start-ups which began with much fanfare are closing down. This has led to loss of livelihoods of many in the valley state.

Key demand of the question:

One must explain the multiplier effect in detail, discuss the effect with examples and explain its contributions in different sectors. Finally, one must argue the pros and cons of making right to internet as a part of the fundamental right.

Directive:

Critically comment – When asked to comment, 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 ‘comment’ is prefixed, we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

In brief highlight the significance of internet as a tool.

Body:

Explain using examples in what way Internet had led to development, but it had also been a platform for spreading hate and fake news. Internet had led to an exponential rise in “anti-national activities.”

Using the context of J&K in article, you can elaborate about the socio-economic injustice brought about in the society due to internet lockdown.

Now bring out both pros and cons of use of internet to make it as a right.

Discuss the need for effective, robust and comprehensive rules to govern the internet.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The Internet has revolutionized the computer and communications world like nothing before. The invention of the telegraph, telephone, radio, and computer set the stage for this unprecedented integration of capabilities. The Internet represents one of the most successful examples of the benefits of sustained investment and commitment to research and development of information infrastructure.

Body:

Last year, the UN issued a declaration which was widely interpreted as an affirmation of access to Internet as a basic human right.

Kerala this year. Promising to deliver a new optic fibre network, Wi-Fi transmission centres and free Internet facility to two million poor families, with this, the southern state joined a clutch of countries like Finland, Estonia, France, Spain, Greece and Costa Rica that have declared the Internet a basic human right—the precise legal commitments differ in each of these countries.

Right to Internet access:

The right to Internet access, also known as the right to broadband or freedom to connect, is the view that all people must be able to access the Internet in order to exercise and enjoy their rights to freedom of expression and opinion and other fundamental human rights, that states have a responsibility to ensure that Internet access is broadly available, and that states may not unreasonably restrict an individual’s access to the Internet.

Evolving Internet in India: 

  • Commercial Internet services in India were launched in August 1995.
  • The initial launch of Internet in 1995 was with dial-up access speeds of upto 9.6 kbps.
  • The initial launch of Internet services was with a rate of Rs25, 000 for a 250-hour TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) account applicable for commercial organizations (amounting to Rs100 per hour).
  • The number of Internet users in India was expected to reach 450-465 million by June, according to the Internet and Mobile Association of India (Iamai) and market researcher IMRB.
  • Around 72% of Internet users in India are less than 35 years of age,
  • 80% of all web traffic in India emanates from the mobile—second highest in the world, after Nigeria.
  • Total number of telephone subscribers were 1,210.84 million as of 17 June, according to Trai.
  • Wireless accounted for 1,186.84 million subscriptions.
  • Broadband subscribers stood at 301 million at the end of June, according to Trai.

 

Internet has emerged as a potent tool that can lead to socio- economic empowerment:

Internet has become quite useful in our daily public life as well. It is quite hard to ignore the need, importance and the value of internet in our daily life. Though there are countless uses of Internet in society, we have listed out here a few benefits of Internet for society.

  • Online Banking: In the world we live today, the role of Internet has tremendously grown. In the field of online banking, the advantages of internet are of pivotal importance. Earlier, there used to be manual banking work. It was quite difficult to handle banking and transaction online. Now, with the help of Internet it has been made quite easier to send and receive payments anywhere in the world. It has brought many positive economic impacts on our society.
  • Online Trade & E commerce: E-commerce is gaining popularity across the world. It is only because of Internet that doing business has become quite easier. Online buying and selling has become quite flexible. Online trade has changed the fortunes of millions of people across the world. It has revolutionized the social life. Therefore, it is another important social impact of internet on our lives.
  • Faster Connectivity: Due to Internet, the connectivity has become much faster. The distances have disappeared. The world has become global. It is quite easy to connect with each other. The virtual world has made it possible for us to get in touch easily with each other. The world has become a global village where the knowledge, ideas, information and everything flows quite easily from one place to another. It has the great benefits for society.
  • Creation of More Jobs & More Income Opportunities: In Old times, the economy used to be limited and isolated. But with the advent of Internet the industries and world economies have come closer to each other. Thanks to Internet, millions of new jobs are being created. The economic advantages of internet for society have been witnessed. Millions of People are changing their lives with the help of Internet. This is one of the greatest benefit of Internet for society.
  • Spread of Education and Awareness: Internet has completely changed the system of education. Earlier there used to be the traditional and limited education system. Education has spread quickly via online learning. The online education system via internet has dramatically reduced the cost of education. It has become easily accessible and affordable. With the help of online videos platforms, teaching models and multiple audio, video and visual study material, the education and awareness has been spreading very fast. It is again one of the greatest social benefit of Internet for our lives.
  • The Role of Artificial Intelligence: Artificial Intelligence and machine learning has completely changed the scope and future of computer education. Artificial intelligence is proving quite beneficial for society. It is useful in every walk of life including in education, health, economy, trade, industry and in medial field. This great social benefit is again due to internet.
  • Role of Internet and Informational Technology in Medical and Health Field: We have studied that, in old times, millions of people suffered and died only because of disease that are commonly curable today. The diseases like Malaria, Typhoid and others had caused millions of people die in the past. Thanks to modern technology of today we have the cures of these diseases easily available. The medical field has greatly progressed because of Internet connectivity and information technology.

Cons of use of internet to make it as a right:

  • Social Isolation: The excessive use of Internet has brought the issue of isolation of individuals, especially the younger ones, from the mainstream society. The excessive use of Internet badly impacts the psyche and mental capability of individuals. The youths feel less interested in current society. They are becoming more interested in virtual world.
  • The Internet Addiction: The Internet addiction refers to the excessive use of Internet by individual especially the young people. The internet addiction creates the problems of social isolation and disturbance in relations. The young people have no respect for the society, social values and elders in society.
  • Online Gaming: Game addiction has become a global issue today. Through internet millions of people play online games together. Many of the games are reported to be very dangerous, like PubG, blue whale etc. Especially, the young adults and children are badly involved in it.
  • Cyber bullying & Frauds: Previously, it was unthinkable to commit a crime online. Nowadays, with the increasing use of Internet, cybercrime is increasing day by day. Online frauds and deception has badly hit our society. It is again with the misuse of Internet that we are facing these issues today.
  • E commerce and Frauds Associated with it: E commerce is relatively a new phenomenon in the developing world. Though in developed countries there are laws and regulations to prevent fraud and deception in e commerce business. Unfortunately, the developing countries are still struggling to find ways to prevent e commerce fraud.
  • Sexual Health Issues: The excessive use of Internet and porn addiction has been pushing our younger generation to the sexual health issues. This addiction has badly impacted the potency and capability of our younger generation.
  • Women Harassment: Internet has made it possible where people of different groups and different mindset come closer with each other. The instant and unrestricted online interaction has created the issue of harassment of individuals, especially, children, girls and women.
  • Privacy Issues: Privacy is the right of every individual. Unfortunately, in online world it has become quite hard rather impossible to safeguard one’s privacy. Our smart phones and various other internet services that we use, track down our movements.

Conclusion:

The usefulness of the Internet cannot be overstated and the government should do everything possible to bridge the digital divide among its constituents. But declaring access to the Internet as a citizen’s right is not a defensible proposition.

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

2. Despite its transformative potential, the mid-day meal scheme is perceived as charity, not a civic responsibility. Discuss.

The Hindu

PRS

Why this question:

Two decades have passed since the mid-day meal became a part of the daily routine in government schools nationwide. In this long passage of time, procedures have stabilised but accidents continue to occur. Funds from the Centre flow smoothly though procurement of food items faces hurdles of different kinds.

Key demand of the question:

One must assess the reasons for constant occurrence of issues in the mid-day meal scheme. One must also provide the measures to overcome the same.

Directive:

Discuss – This 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:

Briefly introduce the Midday Meal Scheme as a scheme which is a school meal programme of the Government of India designed to improve the nutritional status of school-age children nationwide. Ever since it was made compulsory under a Supreme Court order, the mid-day meal scheme has received considerable appreciation. It is the world’s biggest scheme of its kind.

Body:

The answer should cover the following:

About: Launched in the year 1995 as a centrally sponsored scheme, it provides that every child within the age group of six to fourteen years studying in classes I to VIII who enrolls and attends the school, shall be provided hot cooked meal having nutritional standards of 450 calories and 12 gm of protein for primary (I- V class) and 700 calories and 20 gm protein for upper primary (VI-VIII class), free of charge every day except on school holidays.

The scheme covers all government and government aided schools and also Madarsa and Maqtabs supported under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).

Objectives: The key objectives of the MDMS are to address the issues of hunger and education in schools by serving hot cooked meals; improve the nutritional status of children and improve enrollment, attendance and retention rates in schools and other education centres.

Benefits of the scheme.

Key issues with the implementation of the scheme.

What needs to be done to address these issues and challenges?

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction:

Two decades have passed since the mid-day meal became a part of the daily routine in government schools nationwide. In this long passage of time, procedures have stabilized but accidents continue to occur. Funds from the Centre flow smoothly though procurement of food items faces hurdles of different kinds. The MDMS is the world’s largest school meal programme and reaches an estimated 12 crore children across 12 lakh schools in India.

Body:

Provisions: 

  • The MDMS emerged out of the National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (NP – NSPE), a centrally sponsored scheme formulated in 1995 to improve enrollment, attendance and retention by providing free food grains to government run primary schools.
  • In 2002, the Supreme Court directed the government to provide cooked mid-day meals (as opposed to providing dry rations) in all government and government aided primary schools.
  • Calorie norms for the meals have been regularly revised starting from 300 calories in 2004, when the scheme was relaunched as the Mid-Day Meal Scheme.
  • At present the MDMS provides children in government aided schools and education centres a cooked meal for a minimum of 200 days

Objectives: The key objectives of the MDMS are to address the issues of hunger and education in schools by serving hot cooked meals; improve the nutritional status of children and improve enrollment, attendance and retention rates in schools and other education centres

Implementation of the scheme:

Implementation_Of_The_Scheme

Key issues with the implementation of the scheme:

  • Irregularity in serving meals
  • Irregularity in supply of food grains to schools
  • Caste based discrimination in serving of food
  • Poor quality of food
  • Poor coverage under School Health Programme
  • Poor infrastructure (kitchen sheds in particular)
  • Poor hygiene
  • Poor community participation

The mid-day meal scheme is perceived as charity, not a civic responsibility:

  • The scheme is perceived as charity, not a civic responsibility because with the growing shift of the better-off parents to private schools, government schools are viewed as places for the poor.
  • Therefore, the mid-day meal is associated — both in public perception and state policies — with poverty.
  • Like other schemes that serve the poor, this scheme is also covered by norms that insist on the cheapest.
  • The menu, the money, the cook’s remuneration, the infrastructure — they all show the value India places upon its children. Nor is the scheme conceived as a pedagogic resource.
  • Otherwise, it would have been implemented at private schools as well. No one can argue that health and nutrition pose no problem in private schools.
  • There are regional variations. While the northern States strictly depend on the Central grant, the southern States augment it significantly. That is why horror stories from the south are less frequent than those from the north.

Way forward:

  • Instead of the school teachers being involved with every aspect of Mid-Day Meal, from shopping to tasting, a separate person should be engaged as Mid-Day Meal incharge at cluster level under the scheme for maintaining records and making purchases.
  • Supply of Mid-Day Meal should be substantially managed by local NGOs or SHGs which may help in relieving the teachers from the additional assignment. This way the teachers can focus on the teaching learning process in the schools.
  • To make Mid-Day Meal Scheme more effective and successful, it is urgently required to ensure timely transfer of funds and food grains in schools.
  • CA&PD department can play an effective role in supplying food grains from CA& PD outlets to the schools. It would save precious time of teachers in collecting food grains and ensure its timely supply.
  • Funds should be given at regular interval to the schools to avoid discontinuation of Mid-Day Meal Scheme or financial burden over teachers. Provision of advance payment should be made.
  • Utilization certificate to the centre by the state should be timely submitted.
  • The provision for cooking cost per child per day under the mid-day meal scheme should be increased in order to be able to provide a nutritious meal to the child. Further this norm should be inflation-linked and reviewed regularly in relation to price index.
  • Mechanism should be evolved to monitor the schools in far-flung and mountainous areas so that the benefits of the scheme can reach really to the needy population.
  • The quality of food grains delivered to schools and cooked meal must be checked regularly. Monitoring of the scheme is essential requirement for quality assurance.
  • There should be random checking of cooked food by a team of health and sanitary experts or forensic laboratories.
  • School Health Programme need to be systematized in terms of regular health checkup, follow up, nutrient supplement and maintenance of health cards.

 

Topic: Development processes and the development industry —the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.

3. Women SHGs have emerged as vibrant community institutions of the poor. Examine.

Hindustan Times

Why this question:

The question is based on the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM), which is a programme for social and economic empowerment of women through community institutions of the poor.

Key demand of the question:

One must discuss the importance of the Self Help Groups in women empowerment, poverty alleviation and how they have emerged as vibrant community institutions of the poor..

Directive:

Examine – When 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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

What do you understand by Self-help Groups? Then talk about how the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM) touches the lives of over 6.47 crore women who have, to date, formed 59 lakh Self Help Groups (SHGs)

Body:

Discuss about the importance of SHGs in women and rural empowerment

Then highlight the various learnings in the last 5 years of DAY-NRLM and SHG scheme

Discuss the challenges faced to realise its full potential across India.

What are the measures needed to tackle it?

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

A self-help group (SHG) is a village-based financial intermediary committee normally consist of 10–20 local women or men.  When the formal financial system fails to help the needy, then small groups volunteer to cater to the needs of the financially weak by collecting, saving and lending the money on a micro scale.  SHGs have gained wide recognition in most developing countries in Asia where their presence is quite pervasive

Body:

The Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM) is a programme for social and economic empowerment of women through community institutions of the poor. It touches the lives of over 6.47 crore women who have, to date, formed 59 lakh Self Help Groups (SHGs). In the last five years, there have been many learnings from this transformation of lives and livelihoods under the programme.

SHG Movement in India:

  • The concept evolved over decades and was pioneered by Noble laureate Mohammad Yunus as Self Help Groups (SHGs) in 1970s.
  • SHG movement in India gained momentum after 1992, when NABARD realised its potential and started promoting it.
  • NABARD’s SHG-Bank Linkage Program (SBLP) connected group members to formal financial services.
  • Over the last two decades, the SBLP has proven to be a great medium for social and economic empowerment for rural women.
  • India has witnessed state-led promotion of SHGs through a three-tiered architecture of community institutions at group, village and cluster le
  • In 1999, Government of India, introduced Swarn Jayanti Gram Swarojgaar Yojana (SGSY) to promote self-employment in rural areas through formation and skilling of SHGs.
  • The programme evolved as a national movement in 2011 and became National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM).
  • The programme was renamed in November 2015 as Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana (DAY –NRLM).
  • DAY –NRLM now covers 100 million families through 8.5 million SHGs with savings deposit of approx. INR 161 billion.
  • State government initiatives such Kudumbasree in Kerala and Jeevika in Bihar.

Role of SHGs in India:

  • SHGs have played an important role in enabling financial inclusion in rural areas.
  • It has financially empowered women within the family and in local community.
  • SHGs have the required social and financial capital to expedite India’s economic growth.
  • The Social capital of SHGs could be an asset for solving various social issues in India e.g. gender based discrimination, dowry system, casteism etc.
  • There are many successful cases where SHG women have come together to close liquor shops in their village.
  • They also act as a delivery mechanism for various services like entrepreneurial training, livelihood promotion activity and community development programs.
  • Study shows that women in SHGs are more likely to save on a regular basis, have formal loans and scored more on average on the empowerment index.
  • They can act as an intermediary to provide financial services in their community

Women SHGs have emerged as vibrant community institutions of the poor:

In the last five years, there have been many learnings from this transformation of lives and livelihoods under the programme.

  • First, thanks to the intensive processes of developing social capital under the DAY-NRLM, women’s SHGs and their federations have emerged as vibrant community institutions of the poor. They have expanded their mandate from following only the Panchasutra of good savings and borrowing to Dasasutra that encompasses access to public services, education, health and well-being of poor households.
  • Second, the community resource persons (CRPs) are the biggest strength of this movement. Over 2.5 lakh women CRPs, who have come out of poverty, have been setting up women’s collectives across the country, and enabling the last-mile delivery of livelihoods extension and financial services to rural poor households.
  • Third, women SHGs and panchayat leaders are trying to find more meaningful solutions to the challenges of development. The women SHGs are involved in gram sabha meetings and in developing gram panchayat development plans. Over one lakh SHG women have been trained to conduct social audit of programmes to improve accountability to the community.
  • Fourth, financial resources from all ongoing programmes in rural areas are now focused on villages with social capital of the DAY-NRLM women SHGs on a priority basis.
  • Fifth, opportunities for skilling and diversification of livelihoods are being provided through the skills programmes of the ministry of rural development and community-training institutions.
  • Sixth, credit linkage for these women SHGs are a priority, and a series of confidence-building measures have been undertaken to give banks the comfort that these women will not only borrow, but also return on time. The setting up of the community-based recovery mechanism (CBRM), positioning community resource persons (bank sakhis) to act as a bridge between community and the bank as well as positioning of more than 4,000 bank sakhis as Business Correspondent Agents (BCAs) has generated confidence for the DAY-NRLM system. The training of bank managers and efforts at financial literacy and skills also helped.
  • Seventh, pro-poor public welfare programmes have improved the asset base of many women SHGs. The DAY-NRLM women played a very important role in building a movement for better public services at the local level. This was seen most during the Gram Swaraj Abhiyan in 65,000 villages to guarantee seven very basic services for the deprived and in the POSHAN Abhiyan.
  • Eighth, the efforts at promoting innovative interventions in farm and non-farm livelihoods broke new grounds in leveraging social capital of the SHGs for sustained economic activity. The setting up of 11,426 custom hiring centres and 760 rural transport centres, managed by the SHGs, is an indication of the diversity of livelihood development and opportunities.

Conclusion:

The poor women have come out of chronic poverty, and are now poised for higher order credit support. Now, nano enterprises of SHG women have to be formalized to develop them into micro and small enterprises with a proper value chain, and link them to markets. The DAY-NRLM programme and its women now have the social capital and the ability to make transformational changes in lives and livelihoods. Social capital is not only good social justice, it is also the best foundation for a shared sustained economic progress

 

Topic:India and its neighborhood- relations.

4.Indian and Palestine relations are old and time tested. India’s development assistance for Palestine has been consistent and has grown over the years. Discuss. What are the irritants in the relations? What are the measures needed to strengthen ties?

The Indian Express

Why this question:

Directive word

Discuss – This 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

Briefly speak about The Palestine-India techno park which is meant to create a national business environment and culture “that will enable knowledge-based and creative enterprises as well as technology clusters to successfully operate locally, regionally and globally”..

Body

Highlight the implications of technopark

Discuss the bilateral ties between New Delhi and Ramallah.

Historically, India’s ties with Israel and Palestine have been more or less balanced. India fully established diplomatic relations with Israel in 1992. Defence and agriculture have formed the main pillars of their relationship.

Discuss the irritants in the ties between India-Palestine – talk about the Israel Palestine issue

Provide measures to tackle the challenges posed.

Conclusion

Give a fair and balanced conclusion and discuss the way forward.

Introduction:

India’s support for the Palestinian cause is an integral part of the nation’s foreign policy. In 1974, India became the first Non-Arab State to recognize Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. India has played an active role in extending support for the Palestinian cause across various multilateral fora.

Body:

Evolution of the relations:

  • 1974: India became the first non-Arab state to recognize Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
  • 1988: India was one of the first countries to recognize the State of Palestine.
  • 1996: India opened its Representative Office to the State of Palestine in Gaza. 2003: It was shifted to Ramallah. Unlike in Israel, India does not have an embassy in Palestine.
  • October 2011: India voted in favour of Palestine for its acceptance as a full member of UNESCO.
  • November 29, 2012: India co-sponsored the resolution that made Palestine a ‘non-member state’ of United Nations General Assembly.
  • April 2015: India supported the Bandung Declaration on Palestine at Asian African Commemorative Conference
  • September 2015: India supported installation of Palestine flag at UN premises.

Indian and Palestine Relations

  • Indian and Palestine relations are old and time tested. India’s development assistance for Palestine has been consistent and has grown over the years.
  • India has always supported the cause of Palestine and since 1988 India has recognized Palestine. India is engaged in the nation building efforts of Palestine in several sectors like IT, Education, Rural development and capacity building. India is providing aid and financial assistance to Palestine. Recently at the UNGA resolution, India voted against US President Donald Trump decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

India’s focus to Link West:

After the Act East policy, the government is shifting the focus to Link West. West Asia has always been India’s extended neighborhood. But India has not paid much attention to West Asia considering the importance of this area in terms of political and economic affairs. Most of India’s energy requirements come from West Asia. 6 million Indian origin works in the gulf and the West Asia who send huge remittances to India. The new dimension to the relationship is in terms of security and counter terrorism where the countries are facing the problem of terrorism. There are many areas of convergence between India and West Asia.

Bilateral Visits:

  • There have been regular high level bilateral visits between India and Palestine.
  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi paid a historic first-ever visit to Palestine on February 10, 2018. Former President Shri Pranab Mukherjee paid a historic first-ever visit to Palestine in October 2015.
  • The first ever Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) between India and Palestine was held in Ramallah in November 2016.
  • The first ever Foreign Office Consultation (FOC) between India and Palestine was held in Ramallah in May, 2015.
  • The second round of FOC was held in New Delhi in April 2017.

IBSA Cooperation:

India, Brazil, South Africa (IBSA) Fund has also financed five projects in Palestine, namely Indoor Multipurpose Sports Complex in Ramallah, Phase I and Phase II of Setting Up of Cardiothoracic Unit of Palestinian Red Crescent Society’s Al Quds hospital in Gaza, Atta Habib Medical Center in Gaza and Rehabilitation Centre for People with Mental Disabilities in Nablus.

Bilateral Trade:

  • Trade between India and Palestine is conducted through Israel and therefore, comprehensive trade statistics are not available.
  • Limited data suggests that India-Palestine annual bilateral trade is worth about US$ 40 million
  • Indian exports include marble, granite and other stones, Basmati Rice, raw material for making vaccines, coffee, cashew nuts, sugar, sweet biscuits, sacks and bags for the packing of goods, etc.
  • Palestinian exports are mainly virgin olive oil and its fractions, dates, etc. In terms of sectors- automotive spare parts, medical tourism, agro-products, textiles, fabrics, readymade garments, household appliances, stationery products, leather and leather products, agrochemicals, plastic products, pharmaceuticals and engineering goods could be the target sectors for Indian manufacturers and exporters.

Culture & People to People relations:

  • Indian arts and culture, especially Indian movies are very popular in Palestine.
  • Several cultural activities, including film shows and photo exhibitions have been organized by the Representative Office of India in various Palestinian cities in addition to screening of documentaries prepared by Public Diplomacy division, MEA in local TV channels, schools and youth clubs.
  • The first Indian restaurant in Ramallah was opened in January 2018.
  • India-Palestine Youth Exchange Programme was started in 2017.

The Palestine-India Techno Park:

  • The park will be located next to the Birzeit University Academic Campus.
  • The Representative of India to Palestine, Sunil Kumar, released third tranche of funding, worth $3 million, for the construction of a Palestine-India Techno Park.
  • In total, India has made a commitment of investing over $12 million, part of India’s broader framework of capacity building in Palestine. The Indian government pays $3 million on a half-yearly basis.
  • The Techno Park is meant to create a national business environment and culture “that will enable knowledge-based and creative enterprises as well as technology clusters to successfully operate locally, regionally and globally”.
  • Its objectives include establishing an environment that is accessible to industry, supporting the process of commercialization and industrialization, supporting entrepreneurship and bridging the knowledge gap between the private sector and academia.
  • India’s investment towards the park is part of India’s support to the Palestinian cause.
  • Once completed, the Technopark will serve as an IT hub in Palestine with complete IT facilities offering a one-stop solution to all IT-related service requirements, providing state-of-the-art technology, hosting IT companies and foreign companies benefitting local business, Universities and other institutions.

Israel-Palestine Issue:

  • Israel-Palestine relations are not just a serious issue but a very complicated issue. India has always talked about peaceful solution. India believes in a two-state solution in which both Israel and a future Palestinian state coexist peacefully.
  • In West Asia the political and strategic scenario is changing very quickly. India wants to de-hyphenate its relationship with Israel and Palestine and see them as mutually independent and exclusive. These are two standalone relationships and they should not be hyphenated together. It shows the maturity on part of the Israel also as it has recognized this aspect of Indian diplomacy and is confident of their relationship with India.
  • This allows India to maintain the image of its historical moral support for Palestinian self-determination, and at the same time to engage in military, economic, and other strategic relations with Israel.

India’s Position on Palestine:

  • India’s position on Palestine is independent and consistent. It is shaped by our views and interests, and not determined by any third country.
  • Along with political support, India has been contributing material and technical assistance to the Palestinian people.
  • In 2016 India pledged a USD 1.25 million to the UN relief agency for Palestinian refugees
  • India has always been a leading partner in educational support and capacity building process
  • The recent visit of India’s President to Palestine manifests India’s support to Palestine cause is still intact.
  • The critics view is that Indian policy is certainly affected by US in recent times.

Conclusion:

Historically, India’s ties with Israel and Palestine have been more or less balanced. India fully established diplomatic relations with Israel in 1992. Defense and agriculture have formed the main pillars of their relationship.

 

Topic:  Various Security Forces, Agencies & Their Mandates.

5. What is Blue Water Force? Discuss the significance for India as she aspires to be a net security provider in the Indian Ocean region.

The Indian Express

Why this question:

Mankind’s progress has had unintended consequences on the environment. These include climate change, extreme weather events and the reduced availability of potable water.

Key demand of the question:

One has to find the reasons for reduced availability of potable water due to human actions, climate change and extreme weather events.

Directive:

Discuss – This 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:

Define what is blue water force and explain the context of our defence minister declaring it.

Body:

Discuss what is blue water navy.

Discuss the need and significance to Develop ‘Blue Water’ Capabilities for India?

What are the challenges faced in the quest?

       How can this be overcome?

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction:

On December 4, Navy Day, the office of Defense Minister stated that “Indian Navy is the Formidable Blue Water Force.” Blue Water Navy is one that has the capacity to project itself over a much bigger maritime area than its maritime borders. Simply put, it is a Navy that can go into the vast, deep oceans of the world. However, while most navies have the capacity to send ships into the deep oceans, a Blue Water Force is able to carry out operations far from its borders, without being required to return to its home port to refuel or re-stock.

Body:

How does a nation become a part of this?

  • A blue-water navy implies force protection from sub-surface, surface and airborne threats and a sustainable logistic reach, allowing a persistent presence at the range.
  • A hallmark of a true blue-water navy is the ability to conduct a replenishment at sea (RAS), i.e. transfer of fuel and ammunition underwater and the commissioning of underway replenishment ships is a definite sign of a navy’s blue-water ambitions.
  • These are some of the attributes to be maintained by the country to be called as a blue water navy.

Indian Navy – the quest to be a blue water navy:

  • Indian Navy has the designation of “leading power projection capability” in the region” and is, therefore, a blue water navy.
  • India initially outlined its intentions of developing blue-water capabilities under the 2007 Maritime Capabilities Perspective Plan, with the navy’s priority being the projection of “power in India’s area of strategic interest”, the Indian Ocean Region.
  • Since 2007 the navy has increased its presence in the Persian Gulf and the Horn of Africa to the Strait of Malacca, and routinely conducts anti-piracy operations and partnership building with other navies in the region.
  • It also conducts routine two to three-month-long deployments in the South and East China seas as well as the western Mediterranean simultaneously. The navy has a listening post in Madagascar.
  • All these power projection capabilities make Indian navy a blue water navy.

Significance of Blue Water Navy for India:

  • While it is evident that Blue Water navies belong to the most powerful nations, there is no one internationally agreed upon definition.
  • Owning one or more aircraft carriers is sometimes seen as a marker.
  • The ability to undertake distant operations distinguishes a blue-water navy from a brown-water force. It requires strong integral capacity, including logistics, surveillance, networked operations, etc., and enabling capability, including equipment design, training, doctrine and organization.
  • A blue-water navy is a maritime force capable of operating in the deep waters of the open oceans.
  • The Most navies agree that a blue-water navy is capable of prolonged and sustained operations across the open oceans, and has a capacity to project “credible power” in the distant seas.

Challenges:

  • The country has an aging naval fleet and replacement is often fraught with major delays. For instance, the INS Vikramaditya was delayed by five years, and an Indian Comptroller and Auditor General report criticized the navy’s operational readiness, given 74 percent of its refits between 2005 and 2010 were completed with a total delay of more than 23 years.
  • The Indian Navy is currently weak on submarine capabilities. Most of India’s defense equipment is imported (mostly from Russia) and the country needs to develop its indigenous manufacturing capabilities.
  • The navy’s allocation in the defense budget would force it to make crucial tradeoffs between developing one capability versus the other. Added to this is the strategic disconnect between the defense forces and the Ministry of Defense.
  • Cost effective and timely modernization would be critical to fully realize India’s blue water dreams.
  • India has the allocated funds, locational advantage, time and the opportunity to form strategic alliances on its side. But it needs to avoid getting this agenda mired in bureaucracy, inefficiency and a lack of strategic focus.
  • And as acknowledged by its policy thinkers, India does have a window of opportunity to forge ahead on building its naval capabilities while China is still preoccupied with the Pacific Ocean.

Conclusion:

Just like the sea, naval maneuvers seem deceptively quiet for the most part, but in fact conceal deep underlying currents. The outcomes of India’s blue water quest will subtly but surely impact the region’s long-term strategic calculus.

 

Topic: Citizen’s Charters

6. The concept of Citizens’ Charter enshrines the trust between the service provider and its users. What aspects should be covered by an ideal Citizen’s Charter? Do you think Citizen’s Charter should also be made compulsory for government organizations? (250 words)

Why this question:

The question is about discussing the need for Ideal citizen’s charter in governmental organization and its significance.

Key demand of the question:

The question is about analyzing the significance of citizen’s charter and its need in governmental organisation.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

In a few introductory lines define citizen’s charter.

Body:

The question is straightforward, thus doesn’t require much deliberation, one must discuss the concept of Citizen’s charter  in detail, its importance and relevance to public organizations.

What are the components of a Citizen’s Charter?

road map to be adopted to formulate the Citizen’s Charter.

Students can quote best principles adopted by public organizations to make the charter ideal.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of such tools in good governance..

Introduction:

A Citizens’ Charter represents the commitment of the Organization towards standard, quality and time frame of service delivery, grievance redress mechanism, transparency and accountability. The concept of Citizens Charter enshrines the trust between the service provider and its users.

Body:

Following should be covered by an ideal Citizen’s Charter:

  • Vision and Mission Statement;
  • Details of Business transacted by the Organization;
  • Details of clients;
  • Details of services provided to each client group;
  • Details of grievance redress mechanism and how to access it;
  • Expectations from the clients
  • Additional commitments such as compensation in the event of failure of service delivery.

Citizen’s Charter should also be made compulsory for government organizations because:

  • To make administration accountable and citizen friendly.
  • To ensure transparency.
  • To take measures to improve customer service.
  • To adopt a stakeholder approach.
  • To save time of both Administration and the citizen

Problems faced in implementing the Charters:

  • The general perception of organizations which formulated Citizens’ Charters was that the exercise was to be carried out because there was a direction from the top. The consultation process was minimal or largely absent. It thus became one of the routine activities of the organization and had no focus.
  • For any Charter to succeed, the employees responsible for its implementation should have proper training and orientation, as commitments of the Charter cannot be expected to be delivered by a workforce that is unaware of the spirit and content of the Charter. However, in many cases, the concerned staff were not adequately trained and sensitized.
  • Sometimes, transfers and reshuffles of concerned officers at the crucial stages of formulation/implementation of a Citizens’ Charter in an organization severely undermined the strategic processes which were put in place and hampered the progress of the initiative.
  • Awareness campaigns to educate clients about the Charter were not conducted systematically.
  • In some cases, the standards/time norms of services mentioned in Citizens’ Charter were either too lax or too tight and were, therefore, unrealistic and created an unfavorable impression on the clients of the Charter.
  • The concept behind the Citizens’ Charter was not properly understood. Information brochures, publicity materials, pamphlets produced earlier by the organizations were mistaken for Citizens’ Charters.

Way forward:

  • Wide consultation process: CC be formulated after extensive consultations within the organization followed by a meaningful dialogue with civil society.
  • Participatory process: Include Civil Society in the process: to assist in improvement in the contents of the Charter, its adherence as well as educating the citizens about the importance of this vital mechanism.
  • Firm commitments to be made: CC must be precise and make firm commitments of service delivery standards to the citizens/consumers in quantifiable terms wherever possible.
  • Redressal mechanism in case of default: clearly lay down the relief which the organization is bound to provide if it has defaulted on the promised standards of delivery.
  • One size does not fit all: formulation of CC should be a decentralized activity with the head office providing only broad guidelines.
  • Periodic updation of CC: preferably through an external agency.
  • Fix responsibility: Hold officers accountable for results: fix specific responsibility in cases where there is a default in adhering to the CC.

Conclusion:

Citizen’s Charter is playing a prominent part in ensuring “minimum government & maximum governance”, changing the nature of charters from non-justiciable to justiciable & adopting penalty measures that will make it more efficient & citizen friendly.