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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 09 January 2020

SECURE SYNOPSIS: 09 January 2020


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

1. What do you understand by Asian Century?Explain and discuss what are the opportunities for India amidst the  growing significance of Asia.(250 words)

The Hindu

Why this question:

The article highlights the fact that In the coming years, Asian economies will become larger than the rest of the world combined in PPP terms, for the first time since the 19th century. Thus the question on the importance of Asian century.

Key demand of the question:

Explain first the coming of the concept of Asian century and discuss the context of India and the prospects India has in such a century.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Define what Asian century is;The Asian Century is the projected 21st-century dominance of Asian politics and culture, assuming certain demographic and economic trends persist.

Body:

Highlight the fact that after a gap of 200 years, Asian economies are again larger than the rest of the world’s combined. As India and China resolve their border dispute, Asia is providing the multilateral alternative to a world divided by values, and no longer by ideology.

Use illustrations from the article to bring out the context of the question.

Explain the opportunities India has.

Discuss the possible challenges from the West and the Gulf crisis.

Conclusion:

Over the coming century, cooperation between China and India can play a crucial role in reviving multilateralism and building a more united Asia.

Introduction:

The Asian Century refers to the dominant role that Asia is expected to play in the 21st century due to its burgeoning economy and demographic trends. The concept of the Asian Century gained credence following the rapid economic growth of China and India since the 1980s, which propelled both of them to the ranks of the world’s largest economies. After a gap of 200 years, Asian economies are again larger than the rest of the world’s combined.

Body:

Growing significance of Asia:

  • China, in 2013, after attaining 15% of global wealth, announced the multilateral Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and in 2014, launched the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, challenging the global governance paradigm.
  • In 2015, emerging India established the International Solar Alliance, laying out a distinct global sustainable development framework, and seeking a triumvirate.
  • The United States has recognised the ‘Asian Century’ bypassing multilateralism; its direct dealings with China and India and the Indo-Pacific construct are examples

Opportunities for India:

  • Services: It accounts for 53% of India’s GDP
  • Young labour force: younger than China’s median age by around ten years
  • New markets for the rest of the region
  • Growth: despite the downturn, GDP in India is expected to grow at well above 5% for the coming period.
  • There is room for India to become a larger sourcing base for global supply chains.
  • India can benefit from the flows of capital and investment powering development.
  • East Asia has emerged as a leading hub that rivals the leading innovation hubs globally.
  • Nearly 65% of global patents stemmed from Asia between 2015 and 2017, derived from the 50 fastest-rising innovation cities in Asia.
  • This gives an opportunity for Indian firms to be a part of this Asia-wide innovation arc.
  • Rapidly growing Asia is catapulting its major cities into leading consumption centers.
  • This offers a market opportunity for Indian businesses ranging from IT services, tourism services, generic pharmaceuticals, automotive components, agrochemicals, and so forth.

Measures needed:

  • Improving infrastructure: Investments are needed to improve the logistical backbone supporting manufacturing.
  • R&D: Incentives are needed to encourage future investments in R&D.
  • Innovation: Large-scale innovation hubs need to be developed to move to manufacture to the next phase and help to capture the demand opportunity.
  • Attract investments: while India is beginning to attract investment from firms across Asia, more needs to be done to realize the potential opportunity of investment flows from other countries.

Conclusion:

The Asian century is truly underway. As globalization gives way to regionalism, Asia takes a leading position. India could look to many of the opportunities arising out of the region’s rapid integration and shifting networks and flows to help drive its next chapter of growth.

 

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

2. The Indian government should keep a cautious appreciation on developments in the Gulf, looming west Asian crisis and prepare its own groundwork. Elucidate. (250 words)

The Hindu

Why this question:

Once again, the West Asia – or the Middle East – is on the boil as Washington and Tehran ratchet up the aggression, thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

Discuss the recently being witnessed Gulf crisis and the effects that it will possibly have on India and what should India do in such a situation.

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 ongoing turmoil in the Gulf.

Body:

Explain the ongoing conflict between US and Iran.

Discuss the west Asian crisis and India’s stand.

Explain the dependence of India on West Asia for Oil.

Explain how the economy gets nudged due to the crisis.

What are the strategic interests of various countries in the region?

Suggest what should India do in such a situation?

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Iranian forces fired missiles at military bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq on Wednesday in retaliation for the U.S. killing of an Iranian General. Tehran’s Foreign Minister said Iran took “proportionate measures” in self-defence and did not seek to escalate the confrontation. U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that no Americans were harmed in the Iranian missile attacks on military bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq, and urged world powers to forge a new nuclear deal with Tehran.

Body:

Relations between USA and Iran:

  • The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly known as the Iran deal, was signed on July 14, 2015 between Iran, the U.S., China, France, Russia, the U.K., Germany and the European Union.
  • It was considered a landmark deal which would eventually bring peace and harmony to the turmoil-stricken Middle East.
  • However, President Donald Trump recently decided to unilaterally pull the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal and to re-imposing nuclear sanctions against that country.
  • The recent conflagrations have further worsened the crisis in West Asia.

Implications for India:

  • Oil and Gas:
    • The impact on world oil prices will be the immediately visible impact of the U.S. decision.
    • Iran is presently India’s third biggest supplier (after Iraq and Saudi Arabia), and any increase in prices will hit both inflation levels as well as the Indian rupee.
    • The negotiations on the Farzad-B gas field remain stuck, with both sides blaming the other for shifting the goalposts. It was remained on paper because of Iranian unhappiness over India’s stand in the IAEA.
  • Chahbahar port:
    • India’s moves over the last few years to develop berths at the Shahid Beheshti port in Chahbahar was a key part of its plans to circumvent Pakistan’s blocks on trade with Afghanistan.
    • India has already committed about $85 million to Chabahar development with plans for a total of $500 million on the port, while a railway line to Afghanistan could cost as much as $1.6 billion.
  • INSTC:
    • Beyond Chahbahar, India has been a founder of the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) since it was ratified in 2002.
    • It starts from Iran and aims to cut right across Central Asia to Russia over a 7,200-km multi-mode network, cutting down transportation and time taken by trade by about 30%.
    • New U.S. sanctions will affect these plans immediately, especially if any of the countries along the route or banking and insurance companies dealing with the INSTC plan also decide to adhere to U.S. restrictions on trade with Iran.
  • Shanghai Cooperation Organisation:
    • India joined the SCO along with Pakistan last year, and both were formally admitted in June 2018, when Prime Minister travelled to the Chinese city of Qingdao for the SCO summit.
    • Chinese officials say they will consider inducting Iran into the 8-member Eurasian security organisation.
    • If the proposal is accepted by the SCO, which is led by China and Russia, India will become a member of a bloc that will be seen as anti-American, and will run counter to some of the government’s other initiatives like the Indo-Pacific quadrilateral with the U.S., Australia and Japan.
    • The move may also rile other adversaries of Iran, like Saudi Arabia, UAE and Israel, with whom the government has strengthened ties in an effort to balance its West Asia policy.
  • Rules-based order:
    • India has long been a proponent of a “rules-based order” that depends on multilateral consensus and an adherence to commitments made by countries on the international stage.
    • By walking out of the JCPOA, the U.S. government has overturned the precept that such international agreements are made by “States” not just with prevailing governments or regimes.

Way forward for India:

  • Allowing Indian investment in rupees and initiating new banking channels to go ahead with oil trade.
  • The near-term developments in its neighbourhood are a priority for Tehran even as India tries to find a balance with his stated preference to develop closer ties with both the U.S. and Israel.
  • India and Iran are looking to swiftly conclude a preferential trade agreement and a bilateral investment treaty.
  • Newly relaxed visa norms announced by Iran in addition to India’s proposal for Indian businesses to invest in rupees in Iran are all moves in the right direction.
  • Nonetheless, they may be insufficient to cement commercial ties if USA sanctions do return.
  • India should give its full support for the effective implementation of the JCPOA. Only successful implementation of the JCPOA over a period of time can create the political space for additional negotiations.
  • Both the nations can take leverage of their historical and civilizational relations to steer ties so much. The visit proved to be a much-needed reality check to the India-Iran partnership.

 

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

3. Regardless of present challenges, the latent resources of the north eastern region can add to the development goals of the country. Elaborate.(250 words)

Financial Express

Why this question:

Article highlights the true potential of the North East region and in what way it can add to the development goals of the country.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must capture the significance of NER and the richness of resources it is endowed with and in what way this fact can truly contribute to the country’s development goals.

Directive:

Elaborate – 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 importance of NER in general.

Body:

Firstly, trace the developments from ‘Look East Policy’ of 1991 to to ‘Act East Policy’ of 2014.

Explain that the entire region with rich soil types, sufficient rainfall and diverse agro-climatic conditions is home to unique organic agri-produce with untapped export potential. This produce, its grading, packing, processing and marketing will be the dynamic key differentiators for NER someday.

Discuss various aspects of the NER and its actual potential.

Explain the challenges involved; discuss policies and schemes that have been chalked out to address these issues.

Conclusion:

Conclude that NER and its potential have a greater role to play in achieving the dream of $5 trillion economy by 2024.

Introduction:

The North-Eastern Indian region (NER) is abundant with rich soil types, sufficient rainfall and diverse agro-climatic conditions. Consequently, the region is home to unique organic agri-produce with untapped export potential. A smooth economic take-off by NER is central to India’s moving closer to the $5-trillion-dream.  A World Bank report has projected strong long-term potential for India’s Northeast, with a little handholding from the central government and viability-gap funding.

Body:

Potential of the NER:

  • Hydropower potential of nearly 50,000 MW, natural gas reserves of 190 billion cubic metres, coal reserves of over 900 million tonnes and oil reserves of over 500 million tonnes.
  • Surrounded by five countries, NER shares a phenomenal international border of 5,182 kilometres, a rare proximity with a sky full of heady economic rewards.
  • The North Eastern Region (NER) is surrounded by international borders, serving as India’s gateway to the east.
  • NER’s geographical position, vast land border, rich nature and agro-climatic conditions, access to growing ASEAN market and presence of mineral and agro-horticulture resources largely explain why NER continues to play an important role in the India’s Act East Policy.

However, the NER has a more than fair share of handicaps to overcome

  • The RBI’s “Report on State Finances: A Study of Budgets 2017-18 And 2018-19” shows that visible fiscal pressures are emerging for NER states on the expenditure side, particularly on account of pay revisions and interest payments.
  • Limited borrowing capacities and a limited supply of central funds raises bigger challenges.
  • On the credit front, the 40% CD ratio has confounded NER for decades and the real reasons are not simply limited to an indifferent banking sector.
  • Thousands of farmers still can’t access small ticket loans for poultry, dairy and piggery projects.
  • With a less than 1% share of the total credit flow in India, sustained gaps in credit to lakhs of small and marginal farmers has haunted the entire region for decades.
  • Of about 5,23,000 SHGs here just about 27,000 (5%) have been credit linked.
  • The NABARD All India Rural Financial Inclusion Survey 2016-17 (NAFIS) revealed that all NER states except Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur have lower indebtedness against a national average indebtedness of 47% reflecting high financial exclusion.
  • Revenue mobilisation remains the key to attaining the budgeted targets; but limited credit off-take and business opportunities mean that this is going to continue to haunt NER states for some time.
  • The north eastern region continues to be a net importer of food grains even for its own consumption.
  • Even with 33% of country’s water resources, the region reels from acute water distress. Infrastructure indices are at abysmal levels.
  • The complicated system of land ownership and its transfer impedes growth of enterprise.
  • They lie elsewhere: in hamlets with sparse populations located in deep valleys and mountains, patchy road network, poor governance, faulty network connectivity and power deficit.
  • The private sector driven growth model does not fit into the NER canvas because the Sixth Schedule makes it well-nigh impossible for ‘outsiders’ to come in and take a long-term position.
  • Over a million people in NER stand facing floods or landslides every year. The region is also very vulnerable to natural disasters such as earthquakes.
  • Northeast has been the land of thousand Insurgencies. The roots of insurgency in the North-Eastern region are embedded in its geography, history and a host of socio-economic factors. These insurgencies are due to various reasons social, cultural, ethnic and linguistic diversity, terrain, socio-economic development, politico-economic conditions, historical evolution and changes in the environment of the area

Measures needed:

  • Innovative PPP models may be the solution with the state governments facilitating access to land on a long-term basis to the private sector, and village councils becoming a part of the partnerships from the very inception.
  • Big industry is not the solution, but small localised solutions leveraging the core unique strengths of NER can be viable options.
  • The rich and diverse organic agri produce, its grading, packing, processing and marketing will be the dynamic key differentiators for NER someday.
  • The immense potential of tourism can be boosted up by aggressive marketing campaigns, social media-based advertising campaigns and strategic tie-ups under CSR.
  • On the credit front, banks need to partner with other service providers to expand their reach through innovative tie-ups in this difficult region.
  • Small finance banks with their entire business model centred around financial technology can prove to be the connecting links.
  • It is imperative for state governments to use funds judiciously and build adequate road infrastructure to further the agenda of both bank credit, as well as, network connectivity.

The way forward for the development of the NER is through getting India, CLMV countries and ASEAN act together and supporting and complimenting each other for connectivity and human resource development, sustainability and inclusiveness.

Conclusion:

Mainstreaming NER into the $5 trillion economy and doing it all in an equitable manner will need not just political will but serious coordinated action by multiple stakeholders. The centre can only cover this much ground with policy framework and funds allocation. The state machinery, banks, corporates, civil society organisations, agriculture universities and extension agencies will all need to step in to drive the NER growth engine.

 

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

4. Mauritius was and is the “Star and Key of the Indian Ocean”. Examine the statement in the light of changing geopolitics of the Indian ocean.(250 words)

Indian Express

Why this question:

The article explains that As India prepares to host the prime minister of Mauritius, PravindJugnauth, who returned to power in the recent general elections, Delhi needs to change the lens through which it sees the small island republic in the western Indian Ocean.

Key demand of the question:

Discuss the importance of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean geopolitics.

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:

Discuss briefly the key aspects of Mauritius as a country of the Indian ocean.

Body:

Explain the history of Mauritius and the present day value.

Discuss why Mauritius should and can be made the pivot of Delhi’s island policy.

Explain the possible aspects that make the country unique and important.

Take hints from the article and explain the significance of building ties with Mauritius.

Conclusion:

Conclude what should be the approach of India in dealing with Mauritus.

Introduction:

Mauritius is a sovereign entity with a unique national culture and an international identity of its own. Indo-Mauritian relations refers to the historical, political, economic, military, social and cultural connections between the Republic of India and the Republic of Mauritius.

Body:

Evolution of Indo—Mauritian relations:

  • Connections between India and Mauritius date back to 1730, diplomatic relations were established in 1948, before Mauritius became independent state.
  • For far too long, Delhi has viewed Mauritius through the prism of diaspora. This was, perhaps, natural since communities of Indian origin constitute a significant majority in the island
  • More recently, Delhi has certainly begun to see the strategic significance of Mauritius thanks to the renewed great power contestation in the Indian Ocean.
  • In 2014, Prime Minister Modi saw Mauritius as part of India’s neighbourhood and invited its leadership to join his inauguration along with other South Asian leaders.
  • In 2015 that Modi unveiled an ambitious policy called the SAGAR (security and growth for all). It was India’s first significant policy statement on the Indian Ocean in many decades.

Significance of Mauritius to India:

  • Geo-strategic significance:
    • In 2015, Indian Prime Minister signed an agreement to set up eight Indian-controlled coastal surveillance radar stations
    • Mauritius is part of India’s security grid including Coastal Surveillance Radar (CSR) station of Indian Navy’s National Command Control Communication Intelligence network
    • if Delhi takes an integrated view of its security cooperation in the south western Indian Ocean, Mauritius is the natural node for it.
  • Geo-economic significance:
    • India is Mauritius’s largest trading partner and has been the largest exporter of goods and services to the Indian Ocean island nation since 2007.
    • The French description of the island as a “central geographic point” holds equally true for commerce and connectivity in the Indian Ocean.
    • As a member of the African Union, Indian Ocean Rim Association and the Indian Ocean Commission, Mauritius is a stepping stone to multiple geographies.
    • If Delhi appreciates the value of Mauritius as a regional hub, a number of possibilities present themselves. One, as new investments pour into Africa, Mauritius is where a lot of it gets serviced. Mauritius can be the fulcrum for India’s own African economic outreach.
  • Mauritius as pivot of Delhi’s island policy:
    • until now India has tended to deal with the so-called Vanilla islands of the south western Indian Ocean — Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mayotte, Reunion and Seychelles — on a bilateral basis.
    • If the Indian establishment thinks of them as a collective, it could make Mauritius the pivot of Delhi’s island policy.
  • Economic opportunities:
    • the Mauritius pivot can facilitate a number of Indian commercial activities in the south western Indian ocean — as a banking gateway, the hub for flights to and from Indian cities and tourism.
    • India could also contribute to the evolution of Mauritius as a regional centre for technological innovation.
  • Common challenges:
    • climate change, sustainable development and the blue economy are existential challenges for Mauritius and the neighbouring island states.
    • Mauritius will be the right partner in promoting Indian initiatives in these areas.
    • It could also become a valuable place for regional and international maritime scientific research.

Way forward:

  • The urgent need for New Delhi is to discard the deep-rooted perception that Mauritius is simply an extension of India.
  • Delhi must take a fresh and more strategic look at Mauritius.
  • One way of getting there is to have an early Indian summit with the leaders of the Vanilla islands.
  • India, with its strong intelligence network, will also be helpful in maritime law enforcement by Mauritius and Seychelles.
  • While declaring support for India’s maritime security plans, there is need to pointed out that small nations are equally important in the contemporary world order and need to be taken seriously for the sake of preserving the security and order.
  • Companies registered in Mauritius are the largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI) into India, making it crucial for India to upgrade its bilateral tax treaty, adopting the latest international practices that prevent multinational companies from artificially shifting profits to low tax countries.

 

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

5. What is Pradhan Mantri LaghuVyapariMaan-dhan Yojana? Discuss the Significance of the scheme and its role in ensuring financial security of the citizens. (250 words)

Vikaspedia

Why this question:

The National Pension Scheme for Traders and Self-Employed Persons has failed to gain traction as only about 25,000 persons have opted for the scheme as against the government’s target to enroll 50 lakh by March-end. Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

Discuss the key features,Significance of the scheme and its role in ensuring financial security of the citizens.

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:

Start by bringing out the relevance of the scheme to the agricultural setup of the country.

Body:

Explain What is Pradhan Mantri LaghuVyapariMaan-dhan Yojana?It is a voluntary and contribution based central sector scheme.The government launched the scheme, entailing monthly minimum assured pension of ₹3,000 for the entry age group of 18-40 years after attaining the age of 60 years, with effect from July 22, 2019.

Explain in detail the significance, beneficiaries it caters to.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The National Pension Scheme for Traders and Self Employed Persons Yojana (Pradhan Mantri Laghu Vyapari Maan-dhan Yojana) is a pension scheme for shopkeeper’s/ retail traders and self-employed persons for providing monthly minimum assured pension of Rs 3000/- for the entry age group of 18-40 years. The scheme is an extension of the PM Shram Yogi Maan-dhan Yojana. It is a voluntary and contribution based central sector scheme. Under the scheme, the government makes matching contribution in the subscribers’ account. The scheme is based on self-declaration as no documents are required except bank account and Aadhaar Card.

Body:

Significance of the Pradhan Mantri Laghu Vyapari Maan-Dhan Yojana (PMLVM):

  • All shopkeeper, retail traders and the self-employed individual will receive a monthly pension of Rs.3000 after attaining the age of 60 years.
  • Under the PMLVM scheme, the eligible beneficiary will have to make a monthly contribution of Rs.55 to Rs.200 depending upon their age limit.
  • The Central/State Government will make an equal contribution to the beneficiary account. For example, if a person with the age of 30 years will have to contribute Rs.105 per month, then the Government also contributes the same amount as subsidy into the beneficiary account.
  • The Life Insurance Corporation of India, which acts as the pension fund manager, is responsible for the disbursement of pension amount.
  • In case of permanent disability of beneficiary before superannuation age, the spouse can continue in the scheme by remitting the balance amount until you reach the loan tenure. If there is no spouse, then the total contribution along with interest will be paid to the beneficiary.
  • In case of death occurs after the retirement date, the spouse will receive 50% of the pension as the family pension. After the loss of both the pensioner and the spouse, then the fund will be credited back to the nodal agency.

Role in ensuring financial security:

  • Each eligible subscriber under this Scheme shall receive assured minimum monthly pension of Rs 3000 after attaining the age of sixty years.
  • The Government of India will make matching contribution in the subscribers’ account. For example, if a person with age of 29 years contributes Rs. 100/- month, then the Central Government also contributes the equal amount as subsidy into subscriber’s pension account every month.
  • Benefits on disablement: If an eligible subscriber has given regular contributions and become permanently disabled due to any cause before attaining his age of 60 years, and is unable to continue to contribute under this Scheme, his spouse shall be entitled to continue with the Scheme subsequently by payment of regular contribution as applicable or exit the Scheme by receiving the share of contribution deposited by such subscriber, with interest as actually earned thereon by the Pension Fund or the interest at the savings bank interest rate thereon, whichever is higher.
  • Benefits to the family on death of an eligible subscriber: During the receipt of pension, if an eligible subscriber dies, his spouse shall be only entitled to receive fifty per cent. of the pension received by such eligible subscriber, as family pension and such family pension shall be applicable only to the spouse.

Conclusion:

In India, as of now, we do not have any Social Security System. So, this scheme can benefit, especially the low income group and individuals who are retail traders and shop keepers.

 

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

6. Do you agree that it is the It is the bounden duty of scientific community tofind long-term solutions to the problems faced byfarmers and improve crop productivity? Comment and discuss the significance of research and technology to Agriculture.(250 words)

Business-Standard

New Indian Express

Why this question:

The Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu called upon the scientific community to find long-term solutions to the problems faced by farmers and improve crop productivity and farmers’ income. Thus the context of the question.

Key demand of the question:

Explain how relevant it is to involve scientific community and research in developing long-term solutions to the problems faced byfarmers and improve crop productivity.

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 general discuss the importance of research and science in developing newer methods and discovering newer ways to address the challenges of Agriculture in the country.

Body:

Emphasis upon the critical role of technology in enhancing both the quality and quantity across the agriculture value chain from the use of inputs at the pre-production stage to post-production and marketing to improve the income of farmers.

Explain that It is the bounden duty of scientific community tofind long-term solutions to the problems faced byfarmers and improve crop productivity.Scientists need to explore ways to make cropsmore “climate-resilient, nutrition-efficient andless water consuming”.The role of technology is critical in enhancing

Both the quality and quantity across theagriculture value chain from the use of inputs atthe pre-production stage to post-production andmarketing to improve the income of farmers.

Conclusion:

Conclude that Science is significant in finding solutions and Technological innovation was a key driver inboosting economy, improving people’s lives and

Enabling better delivery of services.

Introduction:

Agriculture has always been a lifeline for India. Even though with age, India has made a mark in various spheres and has progressed in the manufacturing sector by leaps and bounds, but agriculture still remains one of the key drivers of the economy. Worldwide, India ranks second in farm output and accounts for about 50% of the country’s workforce.

Body:

Need for scientific community to find long-term solutions:

  • The lack of remunerative prices for the crops is one of the main reasons for Agrarian distress in India today.
  • The various options like Minimum Support Price for about 25 crops, Farm Loan Waiver schemes undertaken by various state governments have failed to alleviate the problem.
  • The NSSO Situation Assessment Survey of Agricultural Households (2013) shows that 52% of farming households are indebted, with rates as high as 89-92% in some States.
  • Climate change affects all the three aspects of food security: availability, access and absorption.
  • Agricultural productivity is sensitive to climate-induced effects like changes in temperature, precipitation and carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere
  • According to 2018 Economic Survey, India incurs losses of about $9-10 billion annually due to extreme weather events.
  • It also noted farmers’ income losses from climate change would be between 15 % and 18 % on an average.

Science and Technology has helped in Agriculture:

  • Modern agricultural technology allows a small number of people to grow vast quantities of food and fiber in a shortest period of time.
  • Modern transportation technology facilities help farmers easily transport fertilizers or other farm products to their farms, and it also speeds the supply of agricultural products from farms to the markets where consumers get them on a daily basis.
  • Cooling facilities help farmers to deliver perishable crops to keep them fresh as they transport them to the market. These cooling facilities are installed in food transportation trucks, so crops like tomatoes will stay fresh upon delivery.
  • Genetically produced plants like potatoes, can resist diseases and pests, which rewards the farmer with good yields and saves them time. These crops grow very fast they produce healthy yields.
  • Advanced water sprinklers are being used to irrigate big farms and this helps the crops get enough water which is essential in their growth.
  • Most of these genetically produced animals will produce more milk or fur compared to normal animals. This benefits the farmer because their production will be high.

Technology has played a big role in developing the agricultural industry. Today it is possible to grow crops in a desert by use of agricultural biotechnology. With this technology, plants have been engineered to survive in drought conditions. Through genetic engineering scientists have managed to introduce traits into existing genes with a goal of making crops resistant to droughts and pests. However, after nearly four decades into the post green revolution period, the country still grapples with crisis each year in trying to meet the increasing demand for food by its people. Structural reforms needed are:

  • Credit, finance and Insurance:
    • Raising the MSP, price deficiency payments or income support schemes can only be a partial solution to the problem of providing remunerative returns to farmers.
    • A functional institutional credit system which is accessible and accountable to all cultivators.
    • This covers not only land-owning farmers but also sharecroppers, tenants, adivasi and women farmers, and animal-rearers.
    • Credit products for agriculture need to be tailor-made based on cropping and rain cycle, specific to a particular region. The regional offices of commercial banks should contribute in this exercise. Registration of all cultivators and providing Kisan credit cards.
    • The period of crop loan should be extendable to four years, given that, on average, every second or third year the spatial distribution of rain pattern is erratic in India.
  • Land holdings:
  • The average size of farm holdings declined from 2.3 hectares in 1970-71 to 1.08 hectares in 2015-16.
  • Policies for land consolidation along with land development activities in order to tackle the challenge of the low average size of holdings.
  • Farmers can voluntarily come together and pool land to gain the benefits of size. Through consolidation, farmers can reap the economies of scale both in input procurement and output marketing.
  • Input Costs:
    • It is more important to make agriculture sustainable by reducing input costs of seeds, fertilizers and other inputs.
    • Investment in infrastructure and research and development are needed.
    • There is a need for collaboration of industry-academia for coming out with cost-effective solutions to agrarian distress.
    • There is a need to make a shift from rice and wheat-centric policies to millets, pulses, fruits, vegetables, livestock and fish.
  • Remunerative Prices:
    • Extending reach of minimum support price which has been dedicated to few crops and in a narrow geographical area is important.
    • Set up of Futures and Trade markets, tie up of farmer and private companies for procurement should be looked into as alternative methods against distress sale.
  • Agro- Produce Marketing and Processing:
    • The creation of a competitive, stable and unified national market is needed for farmers to get better prices.
    • For better price for farmers, agriculture has to go beyond farming and develop a value chain comprising farming, wholesaling, warehousing, logistics, processing and retailing.
    • The agro-processing industry and warehousing needs to expand so that agricultural produce can be stored when prices plunge.
    • Promoting viable farmer collectives to act as a “collective voice of marginal and small farmers”.
    • Legislations on the basis of NITI Aayog’s new model law — Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing (Promotion and Facilitating) Act (APLM) should be enacted in all states.
    • A sustainable solution is market reforms to enable better price discovery combined with long-term trade policies favourable to exports.
  • Technology:
    • Use water-use efficient technologies that can improve significantly the produce like drip irrigation and sprinkler irrigation.
    • Precision agriculture, GM Crops should be encouraged drought prone areas.
    • Space technology and Mobiles should act as “Eyes and Ears” of the farmers to assist in farming.
  • Distress Management:
    • Establish farmers’ distress and disaster relief commissions at the national and State levels, based on the model of Kerala Farmers’ Debt Relief Commission.

Conclusion:

Although Science and Technology did help improve the situation of Agriculture but the farmer income dropped consistently due to a variety of reasons. There is a need for implementation of the structural reforms and recommendations of various commissions to realise the goal of doubling of farmer’s income by 2022.

 

Topic:  Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships. Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

7. Discuss in detail the three primary schools of Ethics with suitable illustrations.(250 words)

Ethics by Lexicon Publications

Why this question:

The question is directly from the static portions of GS paper IV.

Key demand of the question:

Discuss the three primary schools of Ethics with suitable illustrations.

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:

One can start briefly by highlighting significance of Ethics in general.

Body:

Explain that the Ethical theories provide a basis for decision-making when ethical issues are involved. These theories represent the viewpoints from which individuals or organizations seek guidance from, as they make decisions.

Then move onto discuss the three principle schools in detail.

  • Consequentialism- based on the outcome of an action
  • Deontological- based on duty or obligation to act
  • Virtue- based on moral characteristics of performer e.g. honesty, integrity etc.

Discuss in depth each school with suitable example.

Conclusion:

Conclude that Ethical theory is a mechanism for assessing whether a particular action or rule is ethically justified and they aid in resolving ethical dilemmas at the individual and organizational level.

Introduction:

Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that involves questions about morality and the perception of good and evil, of right and wrong, of justice, virtue, and vice.

Body:

Deontology is also referred to as duty-based ethics. It is an approach to ethics that addresses whether the motives behind certain actions are right or wrong instead of focusing on whether the results of the action are right or wrong. It is based on each individual’s duty or obligation towards each other, all living things, and the environment based on moral beliefs and values. It teaches about always acting in good faith and adheres to the Golden Rule to treat others the way you want to be treated by them.

The Ten Commandments are examples of deontology. They are moral duties that we have been taught since we were children, and we are moulded by them in the way that we should treat others, to be fair and not using them to serve selfish intentions.

Teleology or consequentialism is referred to as results-oriented ethics. It focuses on the purpose of each action and whether there is an intention or meaning for the action. It deals with the consequences of an action. It involves examining past experiences in order to figure out the results of present actions. The most common forms of Consequentialism are the various versions of utilitarianism, which favour actions that produce the greatest amount of happiness.

An example of which is utilitarianism which is also referred to as the greatest happiness principle. It measures how much overall pleasure can be derived from a certain action and how much pain is averted.

Virtue Ethics (or Virtue Theory) are normative ethical theories which emphasize virtues of mind, character and sense of honesty. It focuses on the virtue or moral character of the person rather than the action, ethical duties and rules, or the consequences of the particular actions. So virtue ethics is concerned with the whole of a person’s life rather than a particular instance. As per virtue ethics people should behave in a particular situation in the way a good person would behave. It helps an individual in assessing and maintaining one’s character. It helps a person to become good and contribute to the society without the requirement of laws and punishments.

Example: A virtuous person is honest, loyal, patient and courageous whereas an unethical person will lack these qualities.

Conclusion:

While deontology is based on man’s absolute duty towards mankind and how it is given priority over results, teleology is based on the results of an action and on whether an action produces greater happiness and less pain.