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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 14 February 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:  Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

2. Is the concept of marriage less exclusionary in our country? In the context of same-sex marriage, discuss the need for a multi-pronged approach to deal with issue of prejudice and discrimination prevalent in society against them. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

A petition recently filed in the Kerala High Court by a male same-sex couple challenges the constitutionality of the Special Marriage Act on the ground that it discriminates against same-sex couples who want to formalize their relationship through marriage. Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the concept of marriage in the Indian society, the lacunae it has on the aspects of inclusion – for the LGBT community. Discuss in what way the discriminations prevalent in our society over the institution of marriage can be overcome.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain current context – highlight the case before Kerala high court.

Body:

Discuss the features of Special Marriage Act first. Explain in what way it discriminates against same-sex couples who want to formalize their relationship through marriage. Analyse the aspects of the rights of same-sex couples. Discuss the social purpose of marriage in general and in what way Indian society is yet to relook at the old and outdated ractices. Suggest measures that need to be taken to make marriage more inclusive in the country.

Conclusion:

Conclude that it’s high time for our society to put an end to the homophobic tradition and make marriage, as an institution, as a legal concept, more accessible and egalitarian, less arbitrary and exclusionary.

Introduction:

A petition recently filed in the Kerala High Court by a male same-sex couple challenges the constitutionality of the Special Marriage Act on the ground that it discriminates against same-sex couples who want to formalize their relationship through marriage. In their plea, the couple stated that they were aggrieved by the provisions of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 whereby the law only permits a heterosexual (opposite sex) couple to get married and a homosexual couple like them is denied equal access to the institution of marriage.

Body:

Special Marriage Act of 1954:

  • This Act covers marriages among Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists.
  • This Act applies not only to Indian citizens who belong to different castes and religions but also to Indian nationals who live abroad.

Challenges posed to SMA 1954:

  • The Supreme Court in Navtej Johar had recognised the right of same-sex couples to express their sexual identity, right to privacy and non-interference in the conduct of their personal affairs, and the right to be recognized as full members of society.
  • To refuse their plea under the Special Marriage Act would cause them very real, tangible damage.
  • Considering that marriage carries a range of legal rights and protections, available during the marriage as well as on its dissolution by divorce or death.

Need for a multi-pronged approach to deal with issue of prejudice and discrimination prevalent in society:

  • Recognition of same-sex marriages will reduce their marginalisation and lead to wider acceptance in society
  • The social purpose of marriage is to provide stability; financial, physical or emotional care and support; sexual intimacy and love to individuals; and to facilitate procreation and child-rearing.
  • Marriage, commitment and family are not abstract legal concepts, but stages of human development, aspiration and give meaning to their personal lives.
  • Same-sex marriage is recognised in nearly 30 countries across the world. Recognition of same in India will enrich the Democratic culture in India whereby every citizen is treated equally irrespective of their sexual orientation
  • Marriage carries a range of legal rights and protections, available during the marriage as well as on its dissolution by divorce (the right to seek maintenance) or death (the right to inherit property).

Conclusion:

The petition before the Kerala High Court represents a unique opportunity — a potential first step towards making marriage, as an institution, as a legal concept, more accessible and egalitarian, less arbitrary and exclusionary. It gives the High Court the chance to prioritize the fundamental and human rights of the petitioners over the abstract heteronormative tendency of the majority to deny legitimacy to relationships that challenge oppressive social structures and established hierarchies.

 

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

3. What is a privilege motion? Discuss the rules related to it and the authority of the Speaker/ Chairperson vis-a-vis privilege motion. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

Recently, Privilege motion was submitted by the Congress party member against Social Justice Minister Gehlot for his statement on the Supreme Court order on the issue of reservation in promotion for the SCs/STs.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss what a privilege motion is, explain the rules related to it and the authority of the Speaker/ Chairperson vis-a-vis privilege motion.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain What is a privilege motion?

Parliamentary privileges are certain rights and immunities enjoyed by members of Parliament, individually and collectively, so that they can “effectively discharge their functions”. When any of these rights and immunities are disregarded, the offence is called a breach of privilege and is punishable under law of Parliament.

Body:

The question is direct and covers the static portions of the GS paper II syllabus. Thus there isn’t much to deliberate. Discuss the rules governing a privilege motion in detail.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the significance of such constitutional tools.

Introduction:

Members of Parliament (MPs) enjoy certain parliamentary privileges which are bestowed on them collectively and individually so that they can discharge their duties and functions effectively. In the case that any of these immunities or rights are disregarded by any MP, the act is regarded as a ‘breach of privilege’ and is a punishable offence under Laws of Parliament.

When a breach of privilege is found, then an MP can move a privilege motion against those being held guilty of breach. Both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha reserve the right to punish any action of contempt (not necessarily breach of privilege) which is against its authority and dignity.

Body:

A notice is moved in the form of a motion by any member of either House against those being held guilty of breach of privilege. Each House also claims the right to punish as contempt actions which, while not breach of any specific privilege, are offences against its authority and dignity.

Rules:

  • The rules governing privilege motion are mentioned as Rule 222 in Chapter 20 of the Lok Sabha Rule Book and as Rule 187 in Chapter 16 of the Rajya Sabha Rule Book.
  • According to the rules, an MP may raise a question of breach of privilege with the Speaker or the Chairperson, notices for which have to be sent to them before 10am.
  • The breach of privilege could be of another MP, a committee or of the House. However, the rules mandate the notice should be regarding an incident which has occurred recently and that it needs the intervention of the House.

Authority of speaker:

  • The first level of scrutiny that a privilege motion has to go through is that of the Speaker, in case the motion is moved in the Lok Sabha, and that of the Chairperson when a motion is moved in the Rajya Sabha.
  • The Speaker/Chairperson may decide on the privilege motion at their own discretion or they may refer it to a parliamentary committee.
  • If the Speaker/Chairperson admits the motion, then the concerned member is given an opportunity to explain themselves by making a short statement.

The Speaker/Chairperson refers the motion to a parliamentary committee:

  • In the Lok Sabha, the Speaker nominates a committee of privileges which consists of 15 members proportionate to the strengths of various political parties in the Lower House of Parliament.
  • They prepare a report which is then presented before the House for its consideration. The Speaker may allow a half-an-hour debate on the report before she/he passed the final orders.
  • The Speaker can also direct that the report be tabled before the House and a resolution may be unanimously passed on the breach of privilege.
  • Currently, Congress MP PC Chacko is the chairperson of the privilege committee.
  • The process is similar in the Upper House, except that the privilege committee consists of 10 members and is headed by the deputy chairperson of the Rajya Sabha.

Conclusion:

A large number of notices are rejected, with penal action recommended in only a few. Unlike the no confidence motion, the privilege motion is applicable to both the Rajya-Sabha and the Lok Sabha.

 

Topic:  E- technology in the aid of farmers, Technology Missions

4.Discuss the prospects of transforming Indian Agriculture through farm Mechanization. Highlight the steps taken so far by the government of India in recent times in this direction. (250 words)

Reference: PIB

Why this question:

The article highlights the significance of transforming agriculture through farm mechanization.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the significance of farm mechanization applied to Indian context to transform the Indian agriculture scenario to the next level.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly highlight steps Indian Government has been taking to achieve Doubling of Farmer’s Income by 2022 and emphasis on the aspects of farm mechanization.

Body:

  • Explain what you understand by farm mechanization.
  • Highlight the steps that have been taken by the government of India in this direction.
  • Discuss the significance of mechanization as applied to Indian setup of agriculture.
  • Indian Government appointed Ashok Dalwai Committee to recommend measures to achieve farm mechanization targets.

One of the most important recommendations of the committee is to fast track the mechanization of farm implements in all areas of the country as improved agricultural implements and machinery are essential inputs for modern agriculture.

Conclusion:

Conclude by highlighting schemes and policies being taken by the government in this direction.

Introduction:

Agriculture involves 65% of the population and out of this 55% are directly dependent for their livelihood. With huge population growth and land transfer it has led to the problem of fragmentation which has deteriorated the condition of land and has limited the scope for mechanization. Farm Mechanization deploys Machineries in Farming activities, has a potential to transform Agri productivity & Farm Income & meeting the rising food demand challenges by boosting food security efforts.

Body:

Prospects of transforming Indian Agriculture through farm Mechanization:

  • It will lead to increased productivity in the yields, thereby leading to better remuneration and decreased distress migration and related problems.
  • Leads to increased land coverage
  • It would reduce the disguised unemployment.
  • Sprinkler and Drip irrigation can save huge water as well as prevent soil erosion.
  • Deep ploughing increases the soil fertility and it also help in controlling weeds also we make use of fallow land with the help of new machines.
  • Better transportation and supply change management of agri-produce to reduce post-harvest loss.

Steps taken up by Government of India:

  • Sub Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM): a special dedicated scheme has been introduced by Government, under which subsidy is provided for purchase of various types of Agricultural implements and machinery used for tillage, sowing, planting, harvesting, reaping, threshing, plant protection, inter cultivation and residue management.
  • A special Scheme to support the efforts of the Governments of Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and the NCT of Delhi to address air pollution due to stubble burning and to subsidize machinery for the farmers for in-situ management of crop residue.
  • a new Central Sector Scheme on ‘‘Promotion of Agricultural Mechanization for In-Situ Management of Crop Residue in the States of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and NCT of Delhi” (CRM) for the period from 2018-19 to 2019-20 has been also launched.
  • Some of the State Governments like Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh are providing farm machineries to the farmers at a concessional rate through their Agricultural Departments.
  • to make available costly and bigger advance farm machinery at the door steps of the farmers on rent basis, Government is promoting Custom Hiring Centres (CHC) through a SMAM scheme.
  • A special consideration for the farmers of North Eastern Region (NER) is available, 95% subsidy upto a project cost of Rs. 10 lakh is provided to group of NER farmers for establishment of Custom Hiring Centres.
  • The Government has also developed and launched Multi lingual Mobile App “CHC- Farm Machinery” which helps the farmers for getting rented farm machinery and implements through Custom Hiring Service Centers (CHC) in their area.
  • The Government has introduced the Kisan Credit Card (KCC) Scheme, which enables farmers to purchase agricultural inputs and draw cash to satisfy their agricultural and consumption needs.
  • With a view to ensure availability of agriculture credit at a reduced interest rate of 7% p.a. to the farmers, an interest subvention scheme for short term crop loans upto Rs.3.00 lakh is implemented.

Conclusion:

Improved agricultural implements and machinery are essential inputs for modern agriculture. It enhances productivity besides reducing human drudgery and cost of cultivation. It also helps in improving utilization efficiency of other inputs. Thus, Farm Mechanization is the need to ensure Farmers’ welfare through increased farm incomes, improving their livelihoods, strengthening both food & income security & boosting gov ambitions to double farm income by 2022.

 

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

5. Account for the role that microfinance institutions can play in poverty alleviation in India. (250 words)

Reference: Economic Survey 2019-20 – Chapter 7

Why this question:

The question is based on the analysis provided by the recently released economic survey upon the role that microfinance institutions can play in poverty alleviation in India

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the role that microfinance institutions can play in poverty alleviation in India

Directive:

Account – 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 are in agreement with the original proposition.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain what Microfinance institutions are.

Body:

  • Explain the importance of microfinance institutions in poverty alleviation.
  • Microfinance services help the poor to lift out poverty, provide them self- employment and empower the women. In this way, microfinance services made poor people start their own business through they can increase income and be bankable which contribute the overall economic growth and poverty reduction.
  • Discuss about the future prospects these institutions have in India.
  • Suggest suitable measures to be taken in this regard.

Conclusion:

Conclude by suggesting way forward.

Introduction:

Micro financing is the delivery of financial services to poor and low income households with limited access to formal financial institutions. It can also be described as banking for the underprivileged. Microfinance institutions (MFIs) came into being in the 90s as banks’ reluctance to lend to those without credit history provided an opportunity to those willing to take risk and organize rural communities.  According to Mohammed Yunus (founder of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh) access to credit was a human right, essential for the poor to create self-employment and income.

Body:

Role played by MFIs:

  • The two key systems for the release of financial services to such customers include ‘relationship-based banking’ for individual entrepreneurs and small businesses along with ‘group-based models’ where several entrepreneurs come together to apply for loans and other services as a group
  • Be a viable financial institution developing sustainable communities.
  • Mobilize resources to provide financial and support services to the poor, particularly women, for viable productive income generation enterprises enabling them to reduce their poverty.
  • Learn and evaluate what helps people to move out of poverty faster.
  • Create opportunities for self-employment for the underprivileged.
  • Train rural poor in simple skills and enable them to utilize the available resources and contribute to employment and income generation in rural areas.

Benefits from MFIs:

  • It allows people to provide for their families. Through microfinance, more households are able to expand their current opportunities so that more income accumulation may occur.
  • It gives people access to credit. “By extending microfinance opportunities, people have access to small amounts of credit, which can then stop poverty at a rapid pace,”
  • It serves those who are often overlooked in society. About 95 percent of some loan products extended by microfinance institutions are given to women, as well as those with disabilities, those who are unemployed, and even those who simply beg to meet their basic needs.
  • It creates the possibility of future investments. Microfinance disrupts the cycle of poverty by making more money available.
  • It can create jobs. Microfinance is also able to let entrepreneurs in impoverished communities and developing countries create new employment opportunities for others.
  • It encourages people to save. “When people have their basic needs met, the natural inclination is for them to save the leftover earnings for a future emergency,”

However, off-late the main goals of MFIs are deviated:

  • MFIs have strayed away from their original purpose of poverty alleviation and social empowerment to short-term profit-making.
  • Many have begun to replicate the behaviour of mainstream financial institutions, setting financial targets which loan officers are under tremendous pressure to deliver.
  • MFIs are harassing their clients who are usually too desperate to turn away from the credit being offered. This is true even when credit comes with the catch of high repayment rates.
  • Several large MFIs that transformed into small finance banks (SFBs) are looking to diversify into inclusion adjacencies such as micro, small and medium enterprise loans and affordable housing loans.
  • The demand potential in these segments also remains buoyant over the medium term given the untapped potential.

Way forward:

  • There is a need for MFIs to consider adopting more flexible operating models, providing skills training and offering services such as portability of accounts to provide greater access for a longer duration of time.
  • A diversified menu of micro loan products linked to sustainable income generation activities via micro enterprises or a creation of community-based pooled enterprise could possibly make it more attractive and compatible with the requirements of women.
  • In addition, linking such developmental initiatives to an institution to nurture, monitor and handhold those activities in the formative stages is crucial for sustainability.

Conclusion:

As per the World Bank estimates, more than 500 million people have improved their economic conditions via microfinance-related entities. Strengthening the credit check and debt collection processes and educating the villagers about products and consequences is important. A model to retain and recycle within the target population could possibly lead to a sustained route for poverty alleviation.

 

Topic:  Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.

6. What is the difference between probity, honesty and integrity? Discuss their relevance to civil services. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics by Lexicon Publications

Why this question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper IV on the topics of probity, honesty and integrity.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the key difference between probity, honesty and integrity and their relevance to civil services.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly define the three elements – probity, honesty and integrity.

Body:

Start by differentiating the three concepts. Integrity implies a consistent behavior, whether honest or not. Honesty implies being truthful (even if it is incorrect) about a subject at hand. Honesty, by definition, is to tell the truth and being true. Integrity is having strong moral principles based on honesty and to follow those principles religiously.

Explain all the 3 concepts and differentiate them. One must use the help of illustrations/examples to substantiate the answer better. For example – Sir M Visvesvaraya, used to use separate candle at home for doing official work and doing personal work. This is integrity. You make yourself the witness. Probity is more from the professional point of view, being non corrupt, fair, upright etc. Discuss their importance to civil services.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the significance of the three to civil servants.

Introduction:

Probity is “the quality or condition of having strong moral principles, integrity, good character, honesty, decency”. It is the act of adhering to the highest principles and ideals rather than avoiding corrupt or dishonest conduct. It balances service to the community against the self-interest of individuals. Honesty is not just about telling the truth. It’s about being real with yourself and others about who you are, what you want and what you need to live your most authentic life. Honesty promotes openness, empowers us and enables us to develop consistency in how we present the facts. Honesty sharpens our perception and allows us to observe everything around us with clarity. Integrity is the practice of synchronization of thought, words and actions. It can be correlated to honesty but unlike honesty it’s more a professional value. It’s related to institution. It advocates sacrifice of personal gains in favour of organisational objectives.

Body:

Difference between Probity, honesty and Integrity:

  • Probity entails integrity, uprightness and honesty.
  • For Government workers and agencies, maintaining probity involves more than simply avoiding dishonest conduct.
  • Probity is also considered as being incorruptible.
  • Probity in Governance also elucidates that apart from the traditional civil service values of efficiency, integrity, accountability and patriotism, it is essential for civil officers to instruct and adopt ethical and moral values.
  • It includes probity in public life, respect for human rights and compassion for the downtrodden and commitment to their welfare.

Relevance to Civil services:

  • To prevent unethical practices like misconduct, fraud, favouritism, criminalization of governance, self-centred functionaries and corruption in governance.
  • To ensure public interest and cooperation in governance for participatory governance. It will bring the lost public trust back.
  • To cater to the needs of all sections of society. So that inclusive growth is achieved.
  • To bring in good governance (Accountability, transparency, integrity, Confidentiality etc.)
  • To ensure the equitable and just distribution of resources.
  • To ensure compliance of civil servants with laws, processes and codes.

Conclusion:

Present day civil servants need to perform multiple functions of giving suggestions to political representatives, addressing public grievances, institutionalization of the socio economic changes, delivering goods and services. Hence a value committed bureaucracy is need of hour

 

Topic:   Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.

7. Why should impartiality and nonpartisanship be considered as foundational values? Analyse and Give reasons. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics by Lexicon Publications

Why this question:

The question is based on the importance that impartiality and nonpartisanship carry in general and more specific to the civil services and administration.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the significance.

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:

Briefly define the two terms – impartiality and non-partisanship.

Body:

Explain that Impartiality and Non-partisanship both form essential foundational values for civil services. While impartiality ensures equality without any bias and prejudices in the general, non-partisanship ensures a neutral approach in politics and a solid commitment to the government. Discuss their relevance to public services and administration.

Conclusion:

Conclude by with their importance.

Introduction:

Impartiality (also called even handedness or fair-mindedness) is a principle of justice holding that decisions should be based on objective criteria, rather than on the basis of bias, prejudice, or preferring the benefit to one person over another for improper reasons. Non-partisanship is the absence of any feelings arising due to a possible connection/affiliation with someone/something.

Body:

Importance of impartiality and non-partisanship:

  • To uphold constitutional values – soul of our constitution lies in equality, justice, secularism etc. Without the Civil Servant showing in partial behaviour equality justice and secularism can never be issued to the citizen of India as promised by constitution.
  • To establish rule of law – everyone regardless of their position are equal under law therefore prerequisite for establishing it is impartial behaviour of all in law and justice system (from police to judge).
  • Build public confidence and trust for the government – impartial behaviour insurance no undue discrimination towards any section of the community. This results in improve confidence towards policymaker and implementer. It makes sure that justice will always be served no matter who is the perpetrator. Example- in IMX media case even former finance minister is being tried under Court of law.
  • Deepening of democracy – with improve confidence in government machinery the public feels more enthusiastic to take part indecision making.
  • Efficient use of resources – an impartial officer will never divert any of the available resources at his or her disposal in favour of anyone hence he or she will always try to use the resource in best possible manner to bring out maximum benefit to the nation.
  • Bringing down inequality – impartial behaviour insurance equitable distribution of resources and help in bringing down the inequality present in the society and throughout the nation.

Conclusion

Without impartiality, first the law and justice system will break, then the whole governance system will get inclined towards any one section of the community. In extreme cases the absence of impartiality leads to fascism example – governance under Hitler was far too partial against Jews. Both impartiality and non-partisanship help civil servants to take rational and objective decisions and avoid nepotism and favoritism. The 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission and the Nolan Committee have upheld the two as foundational values for civil servants.