SECURE SYNOPSIS: 12 DECEMBER 2019

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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 12 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 Culture will cover the salient aspects of Art forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

1. While discussing the salient features of the Bhakti movement in the medieval period, elucidate on its role in the growth of regional languages in India. (250 Words).

Ancient India Old NCERT History by R S Sharma class XI.

Why this question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper I and aims to examine the salient features of the popular Bhakti movement of the medieval period and its impact on the growth of regional languages in India.

Key demand of the question:

One must in detail explain the salient features of the Bhakti movement in the medieval period and discuss its role in the growth of regional languages in India.

Directive:

Elucidate – Give 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:

Give a brief introduction of the Bhakti movement.

Body:

Mention the salient features of the movement; explain the underlying philosophy, methods of propagation, role played by the various gurus etc.

Discuss its role in the growth of regional languages in India; The Bhakti movement promoted the growth of vernacular languages and literature in different

Parts of the country. Quote examples to substantiate better.

Conclusion:

Conclude that Bhakti movement represented a break from the earlier devotional literature, which was mostly written in Sanskrit and Bhakti literature in regional languages played a crucial role in the popularization of the Bhakti movement and espoused spirituality among the common people.

Introduction:

Bhakti was accepted as a means to attain moksha along with jnana and karma. The Bhakti Movement originated in the seventh-century in Tamil, South India (now parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala), and spread northwards. It swept over east and north India from the 15th century onwards, reached its peak between the 15th and 17th century CE. The Bhakti Saints moved against the austerities propagated by the Buddhist and Jain schools and professed that ultimate devotion to god was the means to salvation.

Body:

Salient features of the Bhakti movement:

  • The Bhakti movement in many ways broke barriers of gender, class and caste.
  • At the same time, it shattered stereotypes associated with the perception of spiritualism; denounced orthodoxy and the rigid ritualistic practices of worship, and established a more personal and informal connection between the devotee and the divine.
  • During the Bhakti movement, the lower classes rose to a position of great importance.
  • The Bhakti movement gave equal importance to men and women which gave way to the importance of women in society.
  • The Alvars and Nayanars initiated a movement of protest against the caste system and the dominance of Brahmanas or at least attempted to reform the system. This is supported by the fact that bhaktas or disciples hailed from diverse social backgrounds ranging from Brahmanas to artisans and cultivators and even from castes considered “untouchable”
  • Ramananda opposed the caste system and chose his disciples from all sections of society irrespective of caste. His disciples included Kabir, a weaver; Ravidasa, he was a cobbler; Sena, he was a barber; thus, emphasizing the equality among people of all occupations and caste.
  • Sant Kabir aided the common people to shed age-old superstitions and attain salvation through Bhakti or pure devotion. He criticized all forms of worship of idols.
  • Guru Nanak condemned caste difference and rituals like bathing in holy rivers. His idea of religion was highly practical and strictly moral.
  • Nathpanthis, Siddhars and Yogis condemned the ritual and other aspects of orthodox religion and the social order, using simple, logical arguments. These groups became particularly popular among “low” castes.

Impetus for growth of vernacular literature:

  • The Bhakti reformers adopted the common language of the people and preached in it instead of preaching either in Sanskrit or in Persian. In this way a great impetus was given to the development of the vernaculars.
  • Tamil:
    • the poetry of the Bhakti movement some of the first being the Nalayira Divya Prabandham (4,000 songs) of the Alwars (Vaishnavite) and the Twelve Thirumurais (comprising 18,426 songs) of the Saivite saints have as their main theme religion and god.
  • Kannada:
    • Veerashaivism greatly contributed to the Bhakti cult in Karnataka region.
    • Basavanna and Akka Mahadevi wrote several Vachanas in Kannada language.
    • The Vira-Saivas contributed the most for the development of Kannada literature.
    • Showing a predominant preference for the prose medium, this sect had over two hundred writers.
  • Telugu:
    • Vaishnavism and Shaivism were the major movements in Telugu literature from the 12th to 15th century.
    • Mallikajurna Pandit’s Siva-Tattva-Saram is an important exposition of this faith.
    • Similarly, Pallukari Somantha wrote important Saiva texts such as the Panditaradhyacharita and Dvipada Basava Purana.
  • Marathi:
    • Gnaneshwar who wrote “Gnaneshwari”, a book on Marathi grammar. Jnanadeva’s literary skills and philosophical depth are aptly reflected in his Bhavartha-Dipika, popularly known as Jnaneshvari, and the Amritanubhava.
    • The poetic compositions of other saints Eknath and Tukarama reached to common people in their own language and left deep imprint onto their thoughts and minds.
  • Assamese and Bengali:
    • Amongst the eastern group of languages. Bengali was used by Chaitanya and by the poet Chandidas, who wrote extensively on the theme of the love of Radha and Krishna.
    • Ballads on events of contemporary interest composed by wandering ministers were equally popular.
    • The whole of Assam passed under the sway of the strong Vaishnava movement during the fifteenth and sixteenth century D. Sankaradeva and Madhavadeva were the key architects of the Assamese Vaishnava movement.
    • They made rich contributions to the development of the Assamese literature.
    • The Kirtana-Ghosha of Sankaradeva is known as the Bible of the Assamese Vaishnava literature.
  • Hindi:
  • The phase (1318-1643), namely the Bhaktikala, witnessed wholesome composition of Hindi verses on religious, moral and mystical themes on the lines of two dominant schools of Bhakti saints, viz., the Nirguna and Saguna schools.
  • The Hindi literature during the Bhakti Kala had saint poets of both Nirguna and Saguna schools and Sufi mystics. They composed their verses on religious, mystical and social themes. Kabir composed a number of songs and Verses (Sakhis), which are noted for their literary excellence.
  • Tulsidasa’s Ramacharita Manasa is an epitome of the medieval Hindu culture. Of the Krishna worshipping Saguna group, Surdasa was the most prominent saint poet, whose Sura-Sagra is one of the masterpieces of medieval Hindi literature.
  • Vidyapati, Nandadasa, Hita Harivansa, Mirabai and Rasakhana etc., were some of the other prominent saint poets of this school, whose poetic compositions also made rich contributions to the contemporary Hindi literature.

Conclusion:

Bhakti cult was out-of-the-box thoughts on religion. It was mainly against the common religious views, and most importantly, it was strongly against the caste system.


Topic:  Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

2. In the conditions of the current political crisis in Iraq, remark on India’s stakes in Iraq and comment on what should be India’s role in invigorating its bilateral connections with Iraq. (250 Words).

The Hindu

Why this question:

The question is amidst the Political crisis currently witnessing Iraq.

Key demand of the question:

One must explain the situation in Iraq currently and discuss the associated concerns, explain the stakes India holds in Iraq and the role it should play.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

In brief give a background of the political crisis the country is witnessing.

Body:

Trace the events over the timeline.

In the late 1970s, Iraq which was endowed with both oil and water, and a relatively modern citizenry, was doing well compared to other countries in the neighborhood.

Ironically, since then, Iraq has endured four decades of near-ceaseless depredations with three ‘Mother of All Battles’, economic sanctions, occupation, and existential duels with al Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS).

Recently, it has been crippled by agitations led by youth railing against the lack of employment, decaying state of civic amenities, and foreign domination.

On December 1, the Iraqi Parliament accepted the resignation of the Prime minister throwing the country into a fresh bout of political instability.

Comment on the stakes that India holds in the region.

Conclusion:

Conclude with what can be done to overcome the crisis in the country while emphasizing on the role of India in it.

Introduction:   

Iraq has been facing a political crisis since the last 2 decades and it has further degraded. This has led to protest movements by the citizens. The redeeming features of the protest movement have been its non-violence and inclusivity, despite Iraq being a sectarian, tribal society awash with weapons.

Body:

India-Iraq historical ties:

  • India and Iraq have historical and civilizational ties. Iraqi port of Basra was not only the market par excellence of the Indian merchandise including textiles, spices, food-grains and other commodities for the Arab world but also of the famous pearl trade that flourished mainly through the Indian traders and jewellers.
  • Indian soldiers and railway workers from British India had played major role in ensuring the security in this region during the colonial era and have left an imprint in the region that many Iraqis still proudly claim their Indian ethnic descent.
  • India and Iraq have even shared agricultural practices.

Current political scenario in Iraq:

  • Iraq was considered the luckiest Arab country as it had both oil and water, a relatively modern citizenry, and a Ba’athist regime which, though authoritarian, was progressive and less corrupt.
  • Ironically, since then, Iraq has endured four decades of near ceaseless depredations with three ‘Mother of All Battles’, economic sanctions, occupation, and existential duels with al Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS).
  • Recently, it has been crippled by agitations led by youth railing against an inapt and corrupt leadership.
  • They are frustrated because of unemployment, decaying civic amenities, and foreign domination.
  • On December 1, the Iraqi Parliament accepted the resignation of the Prime Minister throwing the country into a fresh bout of political instability.
  • In 2018, Iraq’s oil exports were $91 billion, or over $6 a day for each citizen. Yet, over 41% of population lived below the poverty line of $3.2/day. Two years after the defeat of the IS, millions of internally displaced Iraqis still await rehabilitation.

India’s stakes in Iraq:

  • Energy Security: Iraq is India’s largest source of crude. A protracted instability in Iraq would result in oil price rise.
  • The direct bilateral trade of over $24 billion in 2018-19, Iraq is already a large market for India’s exports with sizeable potential for growth.
  • In the 1975-85 decade, Iraq was the biggest market for India’s project exports; its post-conflict reconstruction requirement would be huge.
  • Additionally, India can also help Iraq in MSMEs, skill development, healthcare, education, and improved governance.
  • In terms of capacity building, India has annually been providing assistance to Iraq under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme to train officials of the Government of Iraq.
  • The Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOC) has provided training to the Iraqi oil officials in India in various subjects related to downstream oil sector.

Way forward for India in the bilateral relations:

  • India would need to help Iraq avoid the worst-case scenario.
  • India needs to hold Iraq’s hand to foster political reforms and help create credible and effective socio-political institutions.
  • Over the past 70 years, India has created such institutions suited for a multi-ethnic developing society. This makes it compatible to partner with Iraq.
  • India’s millennia-long civilisational ties with Mesopotamia give it a tradition of goodwill with all sections of Iraqi society.
  • This legacy needs to be leveraged not only to help transform Iraq, but also revitalise India’s bilateral ties with this friendly country in the extended neighbourhood.

Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

3. While there is reason to be concerned about delays in rape trials, a Hyderabad like solution is out of the question. Critically examine. (250 Words).

The Hindu

 

Why this question:

The article captures how the Indian criminal justice system increasingly reflects the idea of “power” rather than “justice”.

Key demand of the question:

One must highlight the need for better justice delivery in the country and suggest solutions for the same.

Directive:

Critically 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. 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:

First explain the case.

Body:

Explain that the deaths, in an encounter last Friday, of the four accused in the rape and murder of a young veterinarian in Hyderabad (it happened on Wednesday) has revived the debate on the “right to kill”, or “extra-judicial killings” or “fake encounters”, which is the ugly reality of our country.

Earlier, these encounters used to be criticized by the public and media. But in the new and “resurgent” India, we have started celebrating this instant and brutal form of justice.

Explain what actually needs to be done and in what way the changing direction of people’s mindset can be altered onto the right path.

Conclusion:

Conclude with suitable solutions.

 

Introduction:     

The deaths, in an encounter last Friday, of the four accused in the rape and murder of a young veterinarian in Hyderabad has revived the debate on the “right to kill”, or “extra-judicial killings” or “fake encounters”, which is the ugly reality of our country. There are instances where the police, of late, have become the judge and the media, especially electronic, has started behaving like a court. This has cast an aspersion on the Criminal Justice system in India.

Body:

Status of Criminal justice system in India:

  • The Criminal Justice System (CJS) includes the institutions/agencies and processes established by a government to control crime in the country. This includes components like police and courts.
  • The aim of the Criminal Justice System (CJS) is to protect the rights and personal liberty of individuals and the society against its invasion by others.
  • The Criminal law in India is contained in a number of sources – The Indian Penal Code of 1860, the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955, Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
  • CJS can impose penalties on those who violate the established laws.
  • The criminal law and criminal procedure are in the concurrent list of the seventh schedule of the constitution.

Need for reforms:

  • India has one of the world’s largest number of undertrial prisoners. According to NCRB -Prison Statistics India (2015), 67.2% of our total prison population comprises of under trial prisoners.
  • In the new and “resurgent” India, we have started celebrating this instant and brutal form of justice. Blood lust has become the norm in preference to due process and constitutional norms.
  • For example, there were many in Hyderabad who were seen showering flower petals on the police officers involved in Friday’s encounter. Even the father of the Unnao rape victim has demanded “Hyderabad-like justice”.
  • The UN Human Rights Committee, in many reports, has said that “encounters are murders”. Encounter killings are probably the greatest violation of the most precious of all fundamental rights — the right to live with human dignity.
  • Many a time these killings are fake and are so orchestrated that it is difficult to conclusively prove them wrong.
  • These killings always take place with the prior consent of the highest authority, be it either administrative or ministerial.
  • Encounters have indeed become the common phenomenon of our criminal justice system and there are police officers who covet the title “encounter specialists
  • According to Economic Survey 2018-19, there are about 3.5 crore cases pending in the judicial system, especially in district and subordinate courts, which leads to actualisation of the maxim “Justice delayed is justice denied.”

Reforms needed:

  • Criminal law is considered to be the most apparent expression of the relationship between a state and its citizens. Therefore, any revision to the existing system needs to be done while keeping several principles in mind, which are described below:
  • The reason for victimization ought to be given a major thrust in reforming laws to identify the rights of crime victims.
  • g.: Launch of victim and witness protection schemes, use of victim impact statements, increased victim participation in criminal trials, enhanced access of victims to compensation and restitution.
  • The construction of new offences and reworking of the existing classification of offences must be guided by the principles of criminal jurisprudence which have substantially altered in the past four decades.
  • Criminal liability could be graded better to assign the degree of punishments. New types of punishments like community service orders, restitution orders, and other aspects of restorative and reformative justice could also be brought in its fold.
  • The classification of offences must be done in a manner conducive to management of crimes in the future.
  • Many chapters of the IPC are overloaded at several places. The chapters on offences against public servants, contempt of authority, public tranquillity, and trespass can be redefined and narrowed.
  • Guiding principles need to be developed after sufficient debate before criminalising an act as a crime.
  • Unprincipled criminalisation not only leads to the creation of new offences on unscientific grounds, but also arbitrariness in the criminal justice system.
  • The discretion of judges in deciding the quantum and nature of sentence differently for crimes of the same nature should be based on principles of judicial precedence.

Way forward for rape cases:

  • The right thing to do in rape cases is to appoint senior judges in fast track courts.
  • No adjournments should be permitted, and rape courts should be put under the direct control of High Courts.
  • The district judge should not have any power to interfere, and the trial must be completed within three months
  • The state needs to avoid unprincipled criminalisation and rather focus on developing a guiding principle for re-classification of offences.
  • This is because unprincipled criminalisation often leads to not only the creation of new offences on unscientific grounds, but also arbitrariness in the criminal justice system.
  • The Supreme Court has repeatedly admonished trigger-happy police personnel who liquidate criminals and project the incident as an encounter.

Conclusion:

It is not a bad idea to revisit old committee reports with a view to considering their possible implementation. However, such an exercise must be pursued with care and caution. Therefore, the proposed amendments must be done in a principled way based on identification of old laws which needs to be removed.

Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

4. The Citizens’ Charter is an ideal tool of administrative transparency and accountability, yet it has its own limitations. Classify the limitations and suggest measures for greater effectiveness of the Citizens’ Charter. (250 Words).

Governance in India by Lakshmikant

 

Why this question:

The question is from the static portions of the GS paper II.

Key demand of the question:

One must explain the significance of Citizens’ Charter in ensuring the administrative transparency and accountability and also comment upon the limitations that come along with it.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

In brief define what you understand by Citizen’s charter.

Body:

Explain first what is the objective of our citizen charter?

Why is a Citizen Charter important?

Citizens’ Charter is a voluntary declaration by a Government agency about its mandate, what to expect by way of services and how to seek a remedy if something goes wrong. In doing so, it aims to realize the principles of transparency, accountability and responsiveness of good governance.

Explain that however, its effectiveness has been limited due to reasons mentioned below-

Devoid of Participatory Approach in consulting stakeholders,  Absence of critical information and Lack of Public Awareness etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by suggesting measures to make citizen’s charter effective.

Introduction:     

A Citizens’ Charter represents the commitment of the Organisation 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.

 Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances in Government of India (DARPG) initiated the task of coordinating, formulating and operationalising Citizen’s Charters.

Body:

The basic objective of the Citizens Charter is to empower the citizen in relation to public service delivery.

Importance of Citizen’s charter in the Governance of developing nation like India:

  • 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 implementation of Citizen’s charter:

  • One size fits all: Tendency to have a uniform CC for all offices under the parent organization. CC have still not been adopted by all Ministries/Departments. This overlooks local issues.
  • Silo operations: Devoid of participative mechanisms in a majority of cases, not formulated through a consultative process with cutting edge staff who will finally implement it.
  • Non-Dynamic: Charters are rarely updated making it a one-time exercise, frozen in time.
  • Poor design and content: lack of meaningful and succinct CC, absence of critical information that end-users need to hold agencies accountable.
  • Lack of public awareness: only a small percentage of end-users are aware of the commitments made in the CC since effective efforts of communicating and educating the public about the standards of delivery promise have not been undertaken.
  • Stakeholders not consulted: End-users, Civil society organizations and NGOs are not consulted when CCs are drafted. Since a CC’s primary purpose is to make public service delivery more citizen-centric, consultation with stakeholders is a must.
  • Measurable standards of delivery are rarely defined: making it difficult to assess whether the desired level of service has been achieved or not.
  • Poor adherence: Little interest shown by the organizations in adhering to their CC. since there is no citizen friendly mechanism to compensate the citizen if the organization defaults.

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.

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

5. Imports from China have curbed capacity creation and utilization over time. Do you think India’s bane is its non-competitiveness? Analyse with relevant illustrations. (250 words).

Business Line

Why this question:

The question seeks to examine the levels of competitiveness India stands at owing to competition from China.

Key demand of the question:

One must examine closely the effects of Chinese market flooding Indian markets and in what way it has curbed capacity creation and utilization over time.

Directive:

Analyze – When 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:

Explain the context of the question in brief.

Body:

Discuss the following aspects in the answer body:

Explain the relevance of competitiveness in general to an economy of a country.

Highlight the current trends in the world; discuss how the strategies of one country affect the other.

Discuss the case of India and China.

Take hints from the article and illustrate relevantly the context of the answer.

Conclusion:

Conclude with solutions as to what should India do to overcome these challenges.

Introduction:     

Bilateral trade between India and China increased from USD 38 billion in 2007-08 to USD 89.6 billion in 2017-18.  While imports from China increased by USD 50 billion, exports increased by USD 2.5 billion during the same period.  This has widened India’s trade deficit.  Trade with China constitutes more than 40% of India’s total trade deficit. Government of India has been taking continuous and sustained steps to bridge trade deficit by lowering the trade barriers for Indian exports to China.

Body:

Relevance of competitiveness to an economy of a country:

  • Foreign Trade is the important factor in economic development in any nation.
  • International trade is a crucial part of development strategy and it can be an effective mechanism of financial growth, job opportunities and poverty reduction in an economy.
  • According to Traditional Pattern of development, resources are transferred forms the agricultural to the manufacturing sector and then into services.

Case study of India’s non-competitiveness:

Why is India lagging behind in ready-made garment exports? This is one sector where India has had a traditional advantage, and should have raced ahead, due to the low-cost space vacated by China. India is capable of investing in modern machinery and automation, as also in skilling its personnel, just like its competitors. But Bangladesh and Vietnam have now outpaced India even in absolute, not just relative, terms. Of course, a country like Bangladesh has greater labour flexibility, and allows three shifts even with women, who now dominate the garment sector in that country. It may be argued that Bangladesh has special duty-free access to the US and EU, accorded to low-income countries. Even then, however, it does not explain India’s lacklustre performance.

India’s bane is its non-competitiveness:

  • India’s competitiveness in the labour intensive export sectors has been on a declining path in the last decade and needs significant structural reforms that need to be addressed
  • The rigidity in labour laws, challenges associated with land acquisition, inadequate physical infrastructure (roads, ports and electricity), and poorly skilled manpower have held back manufacturing sector growth
  • The limited diversification of India’s export basket, with the top 10 principal exports in terms of commodity groups accounting for as much as 78 per cent of total merchandise exports.
  • In recent times the export performance of some of these goods has either deteriorated or been characterised by a lack of dynamism.
  • Thus, for example, four of India’s lead exports (Engineering goods, Gems and jewellery, chemicals and readymade garments) registered negative or near zero growth rates during 2015-16.
  • The absence of product patents till the revision of the patent law in 2005 had helped India build the capability to manufacture of generic drugs that are substitutes for more expensive branded products.
  • the industry had found a foothold in the patent-expired, generic drug market that accounts for around a third of the $1 trillion plus global market for pharmaceutical products. This was reflected in high export growth figures, but those growth rates have collapsed more recently.
  • in recent years, special circumstances have not only affected exports of some commodities, but because of the low value on average of India’s export trade, allowed these ‘special category’ goods to find a slot among India’s principal exports for a brief period. Typical examples are iron ore, rice and petroleum products

Way forward:

  • India needs to take a hard look at its choices. India must move fast to renew its stalled trade negotiations with the European Union, RCEP etc.
  • There is a need to focus on labour-intensive exports such as agriculture, textiles, footwear and tourism
  • The revealed comparative advantage (RCA), a measure of international competitiveness, for some of India’s key export items has declined in the past decade should be increased as Most of these sectors have large employment multipliers.
  • Creating global competitiveness and doing all that it takes to do so, including abandoning conventional ways of thinking, cannot be delayed.
  • Better-functioning factor markets and reducing costs for businesses are overdue.
  • Smarter, creative policies for developing and nurturing the nation’s industrial and technological capacities need to be crafted.
  • We must shun product- and market-specific incentives (which run afoul of World Trade Organization rules), but focus on regional or cluster subsidies, which benefit all producers, small or large, domestic or export oriented.
  • steps including improving purchasing power across the board, bringing out favourable tax policies for the middle class, increasing investment and attracting FDI as well as maintaining global competitiveness.
  • Economic nationalism and greater ambition is the need of the hour.
  • Lastly, we should be committed to open borders, notwithstanding the pressure to raise trade barriers. It is not by protection that domestic industry will become world leaders in competitiveness. And that’s an absolute prerequisite to winning in world markets.

Topic: Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

6. Embracing the new dogma of globalization without a cost-benefit analysis is equally dangerous, examine in the backdrop of India not joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). (250 Words).

The Hindu

 

Why this question:

The question is in the backdrop of India not joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Key demand of the question:

One must examine the relevance of globalisation and the limitations it comes with.

Directive:

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

In short explain the concept of globalisation, trace the history of its coming.

Body:

Explain what has been the issue with RCEP and India.

Discuss the pros and cons of globalisation.

Explain the effects of trade with China and its implications on Indian economy.

Highlight that India needs to take a hard look at its choices. Creating global competitiveness and doing all that it takes to do so, including abandoning conventional ways of thinking, cannot be delayed. Better-functioning factor markets and reducing costs for businesses are overdue.

Conclusion:

Conclude that Smarter, creative policies for developing and nurturing the nation’s industrial and technological capacities need to be crafted. Economic nationalism and greater ambition is the need of the hour.

Introduction:

Prime Minister recently announced that India would not sign on to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement. The agreement, which is dubbed as the world’s biggest trade agreement, is expected to proceed with the 15 other members of the agreement, including Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, and the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Body:

In defending India’s withdrawal from the RCEP, the government has articulated three key concerns:

  • The first is the negative impact of joining the agreement in key constituencies in India, particularly farmers and small business owners.
  • The second is the lack of concessions within the final agreement on key demands for India such as work visas and liberalisation in services.
  • The final is regarding India’s trade deficit, and how those deficits would expand under the RCEP, given that India currently runs deficits with 11 of the 15 other member states.
  • This concern is particularly acute when it relates to China, with India fearing an influx of cheap Chinese imports into India.
  • These concerns, particularly on the fears of Chinese imports and its impact on Indian domestic manufacturers, are legitimate and well-founded.

However, the answer to these concerns is not India’s withdrawal from the agreement.

  • India’s absence in both of Asia’s two key economic architectures (the RCEP and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)) will take away from India’s goals as a regional and Indo-Pacific power, as well as a prospective global power.
  • Given India’s own ambitions to generate growth and jobs through spurring manufacturing within India, and becoming a key player and rule-maker on the world stage, India’s decision to withdraw from the RCEP is not ideal.
  • As academician James Crabtree has noted: “India had already won concessions, including implementation delays stretching into decades and safeguards to protect sensitive sectors like agriculture.”
  • Moreover, as Arvind Panagariya, former Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog, stated that existing WTO rules “allow us to impose safeguard duties and anti-dumping,” which India has used and can continue to use against China when it comes to unfair trade practices.
  • Value Chain Integration with Global Markets will yield Sustained Economic Growth.
  • Returning to India’s articulation of its national interest, this delay in integrating with global value chains will impact India’s internal and external ambitions.
  • The World Bank found that when coupled with domestic reforms, joining such global value chains can “boost growth, create better jobs, and reduce poverty”.
  • India’s own evidence shows that jobs linked to global value chains earn one-third more than those jobs focused on the domestic market.
  • The inability to accede to the RCEP and ensure India’s integration into these emerging global value chains means India will lose out on a key opportunity to create such high-quality, high-paying jobs.

Conclusion:

India’s decision to withdraw at this stage, particularly in light of India’s own articulation of its national interest and its ambitions internally and on the world stage, reflects an inability to translate ambitions into action.

Way Forward:

  • The government must focus on the mechanisms through which India can create globally competitive sectors that can demand market access in India’s partner countries.
  • India will have to accelerate reforms to make exports more competitive.
  • Making available round-the-clock good quality electricity, cheap and efficient logistics, and access to cheaper and quality capital.

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

7. Explain how Big data can play a significant role in enhancing our capabilities to manage disasters. (250 Words).

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Why this question:

The question is pertaining to the role of Big data in managing disasters.

Key demand of the question:

The question wants us to write at length about the role big data technologies can play in disaster management. What are the areas of application and hurdles if any involved.

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:

write a few lines about the increased incidences of disasters, their relevance for all the nations etc. Also mention that technologies like Big data, AI etc. can play a huge role in helping us manage the disasters in a better way.

Body:

Define disaster management- e.g. Disaster management is a systematic process with primary aim to reduce the negative consequences and effect of disasters, hence safeguarding people and social infrastructure.

Discuss in points, how big data can play a role in disaster management. E.g Big data generated from geo-informatics and remote sensing platforms can contribute to early warning systems for disasters. Geographical Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and environmental monitoring sensors with cloud services have a potential to predict disasters; Geoinformatics information along with transportation network data can benefit to understand human mobility patterns during disasters; social data sets; financial data sets etc.

Discuss the challenges involved in the process. E.g.   Understanding how to link different datasets with different kinds of disasters, early phase of research and application of big data; protection of personal privacy and information etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:     

Disaster management is a systematic process with primary aim to reduce the negative consequences and effect of disasters, hence safeguarding people and social infrastructure. Effective management as well as monitoring of disasters is a global challenge.

As the number and access to different datasets is expanding rapidly, the potential and utility of big data is growing for disaster management. Big Data has already saved lives and proven effective within the emergency management field

Body:

Need for Big Data in Disaster Management:

  • The storage and processing of large volumes of disaster data are the biggest challenges faced by civil defence, police, fire departments, public health and other government organizations.
  • It is very crucial for these organizations to get processed real-time disaster data as quick as possible in order to react and coordinate efficiently.
  • Big data tools and techniques can assist disaster management officials to optimize decision-making procedures.
  • Effective planning and management hugely depends on the quality as well as quantity of the data available.
  • Emergency personnel can minimize their search time and maximize their recovery time when they have access to real-time information

Role of Big Data in Disaster management:

  • Empower decision-makers to make accurate assessment during a disaster.
  • Big data generated from geo-informatics and remote sensing platforms can contribute to early warning systems for disasters.
  • Integration of different data streams, along with data processing and storage is effective for disaster preparedness.
  • Help in the development of effective strategies and contribute to minimize the potential effects of disasters.
  • Significance of big data analytics to predict occurrences of the floods and for flood management.
  • It will help for timely humanitarian response to different disasters.
  • Using geospatial datasets along with big data paradigm can provide location based services to avoid hazardous situations.
  • It will also benefit in the identification of regions which need the most urgent attention.
  • Enhance disaster recovery by utilizing community information and connecting victims with emergency responders and family.
  • Connecting Missing People with Their Families
  • With big data, safety professionals can better prepare disaster simulations for more accurate implementations.
  • Big Data opens up new career opportunities for those who want to find innovative ways to help others.

Limitations:

  • Understanding how to link different datasets with different kinds of disasters.
  • The potential of big data technology has not been fully explored for disaster management.
  • Not all big data is public and freely available.
  • Network security threats and vulnerabilities.
  • Challenges related to protection of personal information and privacy.

Way Forward:

  • Integration of datasets along with providing access to information to agencies managing disasters is crucial to enable effective decision making.
  • It’s important to protect individuals’ identifications and efforts should be put to anonymize the collected datasets.
  • Leverage techniques from artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to understand, correlate and draw findings from the disaster related data.
  • Analysis from processed disasters information can help to identify the most effective strategies to respond future disasters.
  • Ensure data consistency, accuracy and completeness for decision making processes.
  • Need to investigate data mining challenges as well for disaster management.
  • Security as well as privacy issues in data transmission and storage also need to be under constant investigation.