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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 31 DECEMBER 2019

SECURE SYNOPSIS: 31 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:  Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

To drive gender balance for economic progress, it is important that our ‘engines of growth’; our cities, become safer, more secure and comfortable for women. Explain. (250 words)

Indian Express

Why this question:

Thousands of women across cities and villages in Kerala took to the streets to drive home the importance of making public places safer for women. Thus the  question aims to analyse the role of planning and policy making in ensuring secure cities for women in the country.

Key demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the importance of an inclusive city planning and development to ensure safer cities for women in the country.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

One in three women has experienced some kind of physical or sexual violence, according to the World Health Organization. Considering the high rate of incidents globally, it is only natural for women to have suppressed and internalized deep emotional and psychological trauma.

Body:

Explain first the issue in detail.

Discuss the causes of concern, as to why places are still unsafe for women in the country.

Highlight how city planners can help address the situation.

In India, urban planning – a design and infrastructure prerogative – has traditionally never been associated with ‘safety’, which is largely a law-and-order issue. Yet, city planners play an important role in creating safer cities by incorporating and advocating safe designs.

Conclusion:

Conclude by highlighting the need for a gendered approach to public spaces to ensure they are safe for everyone.

Introduction:

Cities offer more diverse employment opportunities to increase financial independence; greater ease in accessing education at different levels, better access to healthcare; more opportunities to socialize outside the home; more prospects to take up community or political leadership roles and, most notably, more possibilities to redefine the traditional roles of men and women. However, in this process of fast urbanization, the failure to fully mainstream gender equality into urban planning, legislation and economic development is hindering the inclusiveness of cities and preventing the full integration of women and girls in the economic, social, political and cultural life of cities and therefore the realization of the just city.

Body:

Last June, The World’s Most Dangerous Countries for Women – 2018 – an annual survey by Thomson Reuters Foundation named India the most dangerous country in the world for sexual violence against women.

Challenges faced by women in urban spaces:

  • In the informal settlements, urban women face the most serious urban challenges: poverty; overcrowding, sexual harassment and assault and lack of access to security of tenure, water and sanitation, transport and sexual and reproductive health services.
  • Lack of secure tenure over housing and land affects millions of people across the world, but women face harsher deprivations.
  • Accessing, owning and controlling land and housing empowers women to take control of their lives and to drive sustainable development and disaster resilience in their communities.
  • Lack of safety and mobility is a serious obstacle to achieving gender equality in the city, as it limits the right of people to participate fully and freely as citizens in their communities.
  • Poor urban design choices, such as poor street lighting and secluded underground walkways can make women more at risk of violence and sexual attacks in public spaces.
  • Women’s safety involves strategies, practices and policies which aim to reduce gender-based violence, including women’s vulnerability to crime.
  • Women continue to earn less than men for their labor. This is due to their concentration in lower-paid jobs, as well as, cultural and traditional patterns that result in their labor being valued less than that of men.
  • Women living in poverty face immense challenges in accessing credit and financing for themselves and their organizations.
  • Lack of access to clean water, sanitation and other basic services poses risks to health.

Measures to make cities safer:

  • Identification of sensitive hot spots in each city.
  • Installation of CCTV surveillance covering the entire hot spot.
  • Automated number plate reading machines to be deployed in extremely sensitive areas.
  • Intensive patrolling in vulnerable areas beyond the identified hot spots.
  • Improving street lighting and public toilet facilities for women.
  • Others like setting up women help desks in police stations, augmentation of women support centres
  • The urban development ministry has issued fresh guidelines to all states to install preventive security apparatus in all modes of public transport — buses, taxis and auto rickshaws — for safe travel of women and children.
  • Public transport safety must be guaranteed during the whole length of the trip: on vehicles, during the waiting time, and on the routes of access to stations and stops.
  • Lighting, good design, visibility at stops and stations are an essential component in creating feelings of security.

Conclusion:

The need of the hour is a paradigm shift – from a male-centric urban development model to a gender inclusive one – wherein planners are involved in the process of designing an inclusive and safe city for all.

 

Topic:  Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

Atal Bhujal Yojana has been launched amid growing concerns over the country’s groundwater resources. Explain the scheme and how will it help solve the current water crisis of India? (250 words)

Indian Express

Why this question:

Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Atal Bhujal Yojana, or Atal Jal, a day after the Cabinet approved it.

Key demand of the question:

Discuss the details of the scheme ABY and its significance in helping resolve the current water crisis in the country.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Highlight the water crisis prevailing in India with some key facts and figures.

Body:

Give a brief background of the scheme; Atal Jal is a World Bank-funded, central scheme aimed at improving groundwater management. It was approved by the World Bank Board in June 2018.

The idea first came up in 2015, in view of depleting groundwater resources. The government announced its intention to start a programme for management of groundwater resources in the Budget of 2016-17, with an estimated cost of about Rs 6,000 crore.

Explain how scarce water in India is.

Discuss the case of ground water specifically.

Explain the role that the scheme can play to aid conservation and better management of water.

Conclusion:

Conclude that The focus should be on arresting the rate of decline of groundwater levels as well as water consumption. The scheme should focus on strengthening the institutional framework and bring about Behavioural changes at community level for sustainable groundwater resource management.

Introduction:

Atal Bhujal Yojana or Atal Jal is a World Bank-funded, central scheme aimed at improving groundwater management. It was approved by the World Bank Board in June 2018.  The government announced its intention to start a programme for management of groundwater resources in the Budget of 2016-17, with an estimated cost of about Rs 6,000 crore. The Government has selected seven states for this scheme according to the level of groundwater exploitation in these areas.

Body:

Depleting

Groundwater situation in India:

  •  According to ‘Water and Related Statistics 2019’, a report published by the CWC, the annual replenishable groundwater resources in India (2017) are 432 BCM, out of which 393 BCM is the annual “extractable” groundwater availability.
  • Fifteen states account for about 90 per cent of the groundwater potential in the country. Uttar Pradesh accounts for 16.2 per cent, followed by Madhya Pradesh (8.4%), Maharashtra (7.3%), Bihar (7.3%), West Bengal (6.8%), Assam (6.6%), Punjab (5.5%) and Gujarat (5.2%).
  • The current annual groundwater extraction is 249 BCM, the largest user being the irrigation sector. This is why the government has called for alternatives to water-intensive crops such as paddy and sugarcane.
  • Compared to the decadal average for 2009-18, there has been a decline in the groundwater level in 61% of wells monitored by the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB).
  • Among the states where at least 100 wells were monitored, the highest depletion has been in Karnataka (80%), Maharashtra (75%), Uttar Pradesh (73%), Andhra Pradesh (73%), Punjab (69%).

Atal Bhujal Yojana:

  •  This scheme has been launched with an aim to raise the groundwater level in those areas where it has significantly gone down.
  • The objective of the scheme is to increase the level of groundwater. Also, this scheme has been brought by the central government to provide benefits to the farmers.
  • The central government wants to ensure adequate water storage for farmers under this scheme.
  • It has formed to benefit seven states – Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh with an aim to bring community-level groundwater management.
  • This scheme is expected to benefit about 8350 Gram Panchayats in 78 districts of these states.
  • As per reports, out of the total outlay of Atal Bhujal Yojana, 50 percent will be in the form of a World Bank loan and be repaid by the Central Government.
  • The remaining 50 percent will be through Central Assistance from regular budgetary support. The entire World Bank’s loan component and Central Assistance will be passed on to the states as Grants.

ABY’s mechanism to solve groundwater crisis:

  • The focus will be on arresting the rate of decline of groundwater levels as well as water consumption.
  • The scheme will seek to strengthen the institutional framework and bring about behavioural changes at community level for sustainable groundwater resource management.
  • It envisages community-led Water Security Plans.
  • There has been a Groundwater Management and Regulation scheme to manage the country’s groundwater resources since 2013.
  • The new scheme is an updated and modified version.
  • Concepts such as ‘Water User Associations’ and Water Budgeting will be introduced. Better performing districts and panchayats will get more funds.

Conclusion:

 The Groundwater crisis is worrying for us as a family, as a citizen and as a country also it affects development. New India has to prepare us to deal with every situation of water crisis. There is a need to modernise the regulatory framework for accessing groundwater soon after massive expansion in mechanical pumping led to the realisation that recharge could not keep pace with use.

 

Topic:  Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

Do you think that states’ operational freedom to perform within their specified jurisdictions is highly truncated in the country? Examine in the backdrop of cooperative and competitive federalism  that India subscribes to.(250 words)

Financial Express

Why this question:

The article brings about India’s eroding cooperative federalism in detail.

Key demand of the question:

Discuss the provisions of constitution with respect to cooperative federalism and analyse in what way the operational freedom of states is being curtailed by the centre against the concept of federalism that India subscribes to.

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 highlight the principles of federalism that India subscribes to.

Body:

Discuss and highlight the issues concerning the federal aspects in the country.

Discuss few recent examples wherein the States have been controlled by the centre and the idea of cooperative federalism has been threatened and curtailed.

Take hints from the article and explain.

Suggest what needs to be done to overcome the issue.

Conclusion:

Conclude with suitable solutions and highlight the importance of upholding the constitutional values pertaining to federalism in the country.

Introduction:

India is quasi-federal, with powers and resources being highly tilted in favour of the Union. The Constitution provided for institutions like inter-state councils to serve as a platform for consultation between the centre and the states, and these have laid the foundation for cooperative federalism. Institutions such as the National Development Council, set up along with the Planning Commission, now replaced by NITI Aayog served to promote cooperative federalism.

Body:

Reduced autonomy of the states vis-à-vis the Centre:

  • In the Union’s actual functioning, states’ autonomy within their assigned jurisdictions, instead of being enlarged, has, in fact, been curbed.
  • Over the years, states have come to function more as agents of the Union than as autonomous units.
  • Jammu and Kashmir, a full-fledged state, was split into two union territories at the time when there was Governor’s rule and the state assembly was in suspension. This was done without ascertaining the views of the State Legislature in contravention of Article 3 of the Constitution.
  • The 14th FC hiked the states’ share in the Centre’s tax revenues by 10 ppt at one go—from the 13th FC’s 32% recommendation to 42%—to promote states’ autonomy in resource allocation.
  • But, the Centre mobilised revenues by levying cesses and surcharges, not included in the divisible pool. Hence, cesses and surcharges’ share in the Centre’s gross tax revenues shot up to 15.7% in FY18 from 9.43% in FY12, shrinking the divisible pool of resources available for transfers to states.
  • Despite the 14th FC recommending an increase in devolution, devolution during its award period as a percentage of gross tax revenue of the Union was 34.26% as compared to 27.88% during the award period of the 13th FC.
  • The CAG, in its reports, has highlighted the issue of underutilization of the proceeds from cesses. It has also pointed out that the monies raised for specific purposes through some of the cesses have been diverted for other purposes by the Centre.
  • Following the restructuring and rationalization of the Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) in FY16, the burden on states’ resources has increased considerably. Its implication is that states now have to spend more on schemes that they merely implement.
  • The states have to contribute a larger chunk of resources to finance CSS, they lose the freedom to allocate resources on their need-based schemes.
  • the additional terms of reference (AToR) given to the 15th FC. Specifically, towards the end of its tenure, the Commission was asked “to examine whether a separate mechanism for funding of defence and internal security ought to be set up and if so, how such a mechanism could be operationalized”.
  • Defence is in the Union list and, therefore, the responsibility of the Union government, while internal security is largely the states’ responsibility. If states requisition paramilitary forces, they bear the expenses. It is not, therefore, an issue that should legitimately come under the domain of the Finance Commission.
  • the recent drastic cut in corporate tax, with its adverse impact on the divisible pool, and not releasing GST compensation to states falling short of the stipulated growth on time, as agreed upon, would deter the promotion of cooperative federalism.

However, the recent implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) can be cited as a remarkable act of cooperation between the states and the Union. After all, the states have agreed to give up their autonomy with respect to nine state taxes.

Way forward:

  • Greater devolution of power to states. Ideally union should have only those powers which state can’t handle and requires national unity like in the form of matters like defence, communication, foreign policy etc. This has been iterated by Sarkaria as well as Punchi commissions
  • Union government consulting states before legislating over the matters of state list.
  • Improved and efficient use of inter-state and zonal councils. It should inquire and advise on disputes, discuss subjects common to all states and make recommendations for better policy coordination.
  • Increased fund devolution to states by the centre by taking in concerns of states wrt to the Terms of Reference of 15th Finance Commission.
  • Using NITI Aayog efficiently with increased participation of states and making it functioning more democratic. Mistakes of its predecessor should not be repeated.
  • Legislations related to contentious issues like land, labour and natural resources should be left to the states, as the state will promote best practices. This will also enable greater investment and economic activity in states with a favourable regulatory framework.
  • States having a say in appointment and removal of governor.
  • Healthy competition between the states should be encouraged.
  • To deal with issues related to international treaties, WTO obligations, or the environment, an institutional mechanism must be evolved where important decisions are appropriately discussed with states.

Conclusion:

India can only achieve its ambitious growth targets by enhancing competitiveness at all levels of government. Instituting a system of cooperative and competitive federalism has been a hallmark of India’s policy-making in the past five years and has achieved considerable results. Cooperative and competitive federalism are complementary ideas that will drive India’s growth story in the coming decades.

 

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

The recent post-poll developments in Maharashtra and the hastily passed CAA have been in conflict with constitutional values. Elucidate.(250 words)

The Hindu

Why this question:

On the occasion of Constitution Day, at a joint sitting of Parliament to mark the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution, President Ram Nath Kovind, (quoting B.R.Ambedkar) made a significant observation that all three organs of the state, persons occupying constitutional posts, civil society members, and citizens should abide by ‘constitutional morality’.

Key demand of the question:

Critically analyse the recent happenings at the Maharashtra polls and the CAA that have been in conflict with constitutional values.

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:

Discuss the current case.

Body:

Highlight that the Concerns about the future of democracy and democratic traditions are, no doubt, growing across the world.

India was hitherto perceived to be an exception to this, being protected by safeguards found in its Constitution — the product of a Constituent Assembly that consisted of not only the best legal minds, but also of compassionate individuals who espoused the finest human values.

Explain the case of Maharashtra, highlight the case of CAA.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stating the fact that whatever are the merits or demerits of the CAA, given India’s many-layered democracy and the existence of different religious communities spread across different regions of the country, a more detailed and in-depth study was called for before pushing through such a key measure.

Introduction:

Constitutional morality means adherence to the core principles of the constitutional democracy. In Dr. Ambedkar’s perspective, Constitutional morality would mean an effective coordination between conflicting interests of different people and the administrative cooperation to resolve the amicably without any confrontation amongst the various groups working for the realization of their ends at any cost.

Body:

Post poll dilemma in Maharashtra:

  •  The drama enacted after the Maharashtra State Assembly results were announced could have been avoided if constitutional proprieties were adhered to.
  • The pre-election alliance of the BJP-Shiv Sena had secured a majority. But the inability of the two allies to resolve issues relating to sharing of power led to a breakdown.
  • President’s rule had to be invoked. After a compromise was reached between the Shiv Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress to form a government, the President’s rule was revoked using the Prime Minister’s ‘special powers’, and a BJP-led government was sworn in.
  • The State also witnessed incidents such as sequestering of MLAs who were taken to safe havens to avoid poaching in the event of a trial of strength.
  • The provisions of the Constitution and the position of constitutional functionaries had been compromised.

Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA):

  • The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill passed through both the Houses without any detailed debate or discussion thereafter is, hence, unfortunate, giving an impression that a majority in Parliament is adequate to push through Acts which may or may not be in tune with the Constitution.
  • The CAA only makes it easier for refugees from countries such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan to gain Indian citizenship.
  • However, it excludes certain categories, such as Muslims. This denies people belonging to one particular religion recourse to the new law.
  • The critics argue that this act violates the Constitution’s Article 14 and 15 which guarantees the fundamental right to equality to all persons.
  • While the CAA implicitly violates India’s liberal traditions, when combined with the move to compile a National Register of Citizens, it carries an ominous ring.
  • Many experts had apparently warned that the proposals were in violation of the Constitution

Conclusion:

 Constitution has been the guarantor of equal treatment to people of all religions and regions irrespective of geography and history. Thus, Constitutional morality is important for constitutional laws to be effective.

 

Topic:  Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

“It is important not only to know how to counter the economic stagnation but also how not to counter it”. Deliberate upon  the statement in the context of rapidly increasing fiscal deficit of Centre and states in the country.(250 words)

The Hindu

Why this question:

The Centre and the States are so short of resources that their fiscal deficit is burgeoning. The Prime Minister, at a function of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India recently, was optimistic but the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor was less positive, admitting that the country’s economic problems are also structural. Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

Discuss the current economic conditions of the country. Explain in detail the causes and concerns of the fiscal deficit of the states and the country. Suggest methods and measures to overcome it.

Directive:

Deliberate – Weigh up to what extent something is true. Persuade the reader of your argument by citing relevant research but also remember to point out any flaws and counter- arguments as well. Conclude by stating clearly how far you agree with the original proposition.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Explain what economic stagnation is.

Body:

Give a brief introduction about the increase of Centre and state’s fiscal deficit in the recent times.

Explain the recent steps to contain the situation.

Give the defects in taking such steps.

Suggest requires ways to be taken in this regard.

Give a futuristic way forward for the same.

Conclusion:

Conclude with solutions and way forward.

Introduction:

A fiscal deficit occurs when a government’s total expenditures exceed the revenue that it generates, excluding money from borrowings. The difference between total revenue and total expenditure of the government is termed as fiscal deficit. It is an indication of the total borrowings needed by the government. Generally fiscal deficit takes place either due to revenue deficit or a major hike in capital expenditure. The Centre and the States are so short of resources that their fiscal deficit is burgeoning. The fiscal deficit at all levels of government is already high so a policy decision is needed on how much more it can be.

Body:

 Fiscal Deficit of Centre:

  • The government calculated tax revenues on the assumption of a 12% nominal growth. But, it has been around 9%, both last and this year. So, in 2018-19, tax revenue was short by about ₹1.5 lakh crore.
  • Given that the base for calculating tax revenue this year was wrong and the rate of growth is incorrect, the revenue shortfall for the Centre will be even larger than last year — around ₹2 lakh crore

Increasing fiscal deficit of states:

  • The States get 42% of this revenue so they will get ₹84,000 crore less.
  • Further, the concessions in corporate taxation of ₹1.45 lakh crore will also mean ₹58,000 crore less revenue for the States.
  • While the Centre has obtained ₹1.76 lakh crore from the RBI’s reserves, no such succour is available to the States.
  • The Centre will also get the proceeds of disinvestment but that is not shared with the States.
  • In brief, the States will have a larger shortfall in resources than the Centre.
  • The States have also been complaining that they are not getting the funds that are due to them from the Centre.
  • The Centre has partly responded to this by transferring more, but that raises its deficit.
  • One of the big contributors to GST has been the auto sector, but with sales falling over the last 10 months collections have declined.
  • The Centre is apparently holding back the States’ share of IGST and arguing that the cess collection is inadequate to compensate the States for their shortfall.

However, Economic stagnation cannot be countered by the following:

  • Income-tax rates cannot be raised now since that would be seen as inequitable — rich corporates will pay a lower tax rate than the middle classes, who pay income-tax.
  • There is pressure to reduce income-tax rates to boost demand in the economy.
  • But a cut in income-tax rates will largely benefit less than 2% of the citizens who pay a significant amount of income-tax.
  • They are well-to-do and unlikely to increase consumption.
  • Similarly, the cut in corporate tax rates will not boost demand since neither investment nor consumption will rise.

Challenges posed by Fiscal Deficit:

  • It can mean that the Government is spending money on unproductive programmes which do not increase economic productivity. (For example MNREGA, most of the money is eaten midway by the Sarpanch and Local officers.)
  • As government borrows from RBI which meets this demand by printing of more currency notes (called deficit financing), it results in circulation of more money. This may cause inflationary pressure in the economy.
  • When Government keeps borrowing and borrowing to fill up the fiscal deficit pothole, then bond yield will increase. It is not good because more and more of taxpayers’ money (i.e. Government ‘s incoming money) will go in repaying that bond interest rate rather than going into education or healthcare.
  • State finances become important because of state governments increased reliance on market borrowings.
  • The widening of state fiscal deficit now has more direct implications for interest rates in the economy.
  • Fiscal deficits may cause macroeconomic instability by inflating the economy as money supply rises.
  • Government may be compelled to borrow to finance even interest payment leading to emergence of a vicious circle and debt trap.
  • Fiscal deficit “Crowds out” investment from private sector as Government borrows most of the cash.
  • Borrowing is in fact financial burden on future generation to pay loan and interest amount which retards growth of economy.
  • Large deficits even if they do not spill over into macroeconomic instability in the short run will require higher taxes in the long term to cover the heavy burden of internal debt.

Strategies to Reduce Fiscal Deficit:

  • There is a need to implement NK Singh committee recommendations with respect to Fiscal deficit for a stable economy.
    • Suggested a fiscal deviation band of 0.5%.
    • This means that the government can deviate by 0.5% from the fiscal Deficit target if the economy is in slowdown.
    • The flexibility has been allowed for the government to create space for stimulus to pump-prime the economy.
  • On the other hand, when the economy is doing well, the deficit can be compressed by 0.5%.
  • A deficit is usually financed through borrowing from either the central bank of the country or raising money from capital markets by issuing different instruments like treasury bills and bonds.
  • A drastic reduction in expenditure on major subsidies. Reduction in expenditure on bonus, LTC, leaves encashment, etc. Austerity steps to curtail non-plan expenditure.
  • Tax base should be broadened and concessions and reduction in taxes should be curtailed. Tax evasion should be effectively checked. More emphasis on direct taxes to increase revenue. Restructuring and sale of shares in public sector units.
  • Famous economist John Maynard Keynes opined that deficits actually assist nations in climbing out of economic recessions.
  • However, fiscal conservatives believe that deficits should be avoided by the government which should be inclined towards a balanced budget policy.

 

Topic:  Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

Inclusive growth is expected to reduce poverty faster in the sense that it has to have a higher elasticity of poverty reduction. Do you agree? Analyse. (250 words)

Indian economy by Dutta and Sundaram.

Why this question:

The question is based on the Inclusive growth and its relations to Poverty reduction.

Key demand of the question:

Discuss the importance of inclusive growth and its relations with Poverty reduction and in what way it has links with higher elasticity of poverty reduction.

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:

Discuss what inclusive growth is.

Body:

Highlight the features of inclusive growth. The growth is inclusive growth when it is socially inclusive, regionally balanced, which enables every state to do better than in the past, which narrows the gap between different communities, which also brings in our concern for gender equality, upliftment of women, improving their educational condition and social status.

Discuss its relations with higher elasticity of poverty reduction.

Conclusion:

Conclude with detailed analysis and its effects and significance.

Introduction:

The concept of inclusive growth focuses on equitable growth for all sections of society. This involves ensuring that fruits of growth and development reach the poor and marginalized sections as well. Inclusiveness is a multi-dimensional concept. Inequalities that include, social exclusion, discrimination, restrictions on migration, constraints on human development, lack of access to finance and insurance, corruption – are sources of inequality and limit the prospect for economic advancement among certain segments of the population, thereby perpetuating poverty.

Body:

Elements

Inclusive Growth leads to Poverty Reduction:

  • Growth elasticity of poverty (GEP) is the percentage reduction in poverty rates associated with a percentage change in mean (per capita) income.
  • Countries with a more equal distribution of income experience a greater reduction in the poverty rate for a given increase in per capita income.
  • Economic growth has to be inclusive to ensure the wellbeing of the entire population. Inclusive growth requires full respect for human rights.
  • Rapid and sustained poverty reduction requires inclusive growth that permits people to contribute to and benefit from economic growth.
  • The main instrument for a sustainable and inclusive growth is assumed to be productive employment.
  • Employment growth generates new jobs and income for the individual – from wages in all types of firms, or from self- employment, usually in micro firms – while productivity growth has the potential to lift the wages of those employed and the returns to the self-employed.
  • The ability of individuals to be productively employed depends on the opportunities to make full use of available resources as the economy evolves over time.
  • Inclusive growth generates decent jobs, gives opportunities for all segments of society, especially the most disadvantaged, and distributes the gains from prosperity more equally.
  • Inclusive Growth lessens the fast growth rate of poverty in a country and upsurges the participation of people into the development of the country.

 Measures needed:

  • Lowering the incidence of poverty and inequality requires a comprehensive strategy.
  • Important steps need to be taken like framing policies to improve health, nutrition and education.
  • Labour market reforms and reforms of direct taxation will have redistributive effects on the system.
  • Schemes like National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), provide 100 days or more of employment at a wage determined by government are already in progress but there is a need to check the cost effectiveness of these schemes
  • Reforms to plug the leakages in the PDS, introduction of GPS tracking, activating vigilance committees, must be undertaken across the country.
  • Research needs to be carried out by government agencies to document the ‘best practices’ in the implementation of government schemes.
  • Minorities and other excluded groups, including the poor in upper castes, also need special programmes to bring them into the mainstream.

Conclusion:

To achieve inclusiveness, all these dimensions need to be looked into. Institutional and attitudinal changes should be brought about though this will take time. Awareness about inclusiveness and empowerment is required to be created. Reducing poverty is to be taken as key element in our inclusive growth strategy and there has been some progress in that regard.

 

Topic:  Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources. Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

The slowdown in combating HIV calls for a renewal of political commitment, finances and engagement. Discuss.(250 words)

The Hindu

Why this question:

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), adopted by member countries of the United Nations in 2015, set a target of ending the epidemics of AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria by 2030.

Key demand of the question:

Discuss in

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:

The key indicator chosen to track progress in achieving the target for HIV-AIDS is “the number of new HIV infections per 1,000 uninfected population, by sex, age and key populations”.

Body:

In the terminology of HIV prevention and control, the phrase “key populations” refers to: men who have sex with men; people who use injected drugs; people in prisons and other closed settings; sex workers and their clients, and transgender persons.

Discuss about bridging gaps.

Provide statistics about HIV related deaths.

Discuss the concerns associated and in what way they can be dealt.

Conclusion:

Conclude that the Indian experience has been more positive but still calls for continued vigilance and committed action.

Introduction:

While much success has been achieved in the past 20 years in the global battle against AIDS, there has been a slowdown in progress which seems to place the targets out of reach. At the end of 2018, while 79% of all persons identified as being infected by HIV were aware of the fact, 62% were on treatment and only 53% had achieved viral suppression — falling short of the 90-90-90 target set for 2020.

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Current scenario of HIV-affected in India:

  • India has the third largest HIV epidemic in the world.
  • In 2017, HIV prevalence among adults (aged 15-49) was an estimated 0.2%.
  • This figure is small compared to most other middle-income countries but because of India’s huge population (1.3 billion people) this equates to 2.1 million people living with HIV.
  • HIV-related deaths declined by 71% between 2005 and 2017. HIV infection now affects 22 out of 10,000 Indians, compared to 38 out of 10,000 in 2001-03.
  • India has an estimated 2.14 million persons living with HIV and records 87,000 estimated new infections and 69,000 AIDS-related deaths annually.
  • Nine States have rates higher than the national prevalence figure. Mizoram leads with 204 out of 10,000 persons affected.
  • The total number of persons affected in India is estimated to be 21.40 lakh, with females accounting for 8.79 lakh. Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Uttarakhand showed an increase in numbers of annual new infections.

Reasons for the slowdown in progress:

  • The success achieved in the early part of this century, through a determined global thrust against the global threat, led to a complacent assumption of a conclusive victory.
  • The expanded health agenda in the SDGs stretched the resources of national health systems, even as global funding streams started identifying other priorities.
  • Improved survival rates reduced the fear of what was seen earlier as dreaded death and pushed the disease out of the headlines.
  • The information dissemination blitz that successfully elevated public awareness on HIV prevention did not continue to pass on the risk-related knowledge and strong messaging on prevention-oriented behaviors to a new generation of young persons.
  • Vulnerability of adolescent girls to sexual exploitation by older men and domineering male behaviors inflicting HIV infection on unprotected women have been seen as factors contributing to new infections in Africa.
  • Risk factors for cardiovascular disease are high among survivors as they age, with anti-retroviral drugs increasing the risk of atherosclerosis.
  • Other infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis can co-exist and cannot be addressed by a siloed programme.
  • Mental health disorders are a challenge in persons who are on lifelong therapy for a serious disease that requires constant monitoring and often carries stigma.
  • There are worryingly high rates of new infection in several parts of the World. Only 19 countries are on track to reach the 2030 target.

Way forward:

  • As per the recommendation of the WHO, this can be achieved by making the tests available that can diagnose HIV rapidly which can be then readily linked with prevention and/or treatment services.
  • it is important to comprehensively map key populations and their partners and urgently need to act on priority to reach and cater to these populations who are at the greatest risk of contraction of the virus.
  • The future vision towards ending the incidence of HIV will require looking beyond care and bringing institutions, industries, non-governmental organizations and different partners to a common point with the help of government and health policymakers to ensure that the disease response is embedded within the universal health coverage.
  • It is unlikely that elimination of HIV/AIDS is possible without putting in place strategic partnerships in bringing and rolling out comprehensive prevention and treatment through universal integrated health system that will provide HIV prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
  • This should also offer services to cater to combat other co-morbidities associated with HIV/AIDS.
  • Finally, in line with the sustainable development goals as recommended by the United Nations in 2015, it is important to put in place a comprehensive algorithm to integrate indicators to map the ongoing monitoring efforts to comprehensively assess the state of their national response and their progress in achieving national HIV targets in real time.

Conclusion:

 Success in our efforts to reach the 2030 target calls for resurrecting the combination of political will, professional skill and wide ranging pan-society partnerships that characterized the high tide of the global response in the early part of this century.