Print Friendly, PDF & Email

SECURE SYNOPSIS: 16 March 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

1. What are the reasons for persistence of patriarchy in our society? What is the difference between public and private patriarchy? Explain. (250 words)

Reference: Shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in 

Why this question:

The question is from the static portions of the GS paper I and is based on the theme of salient feature of Indian society.

Key demand of the question:

One has to discuss the causative factors of the existence of the patriarchy in our society and throw light upon the difference between public and private patriarchy.

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:

Briefly define what Patriarchy is.

Body:

Patriarchy literally means “rule of the father”, today it is a term that refers to social systems where power is concentrated in the hands of adult men.

Explain why it is a phenomenon that is consistently witnessed in the Indian society historically.

Discuss the reasons in detail – historical milieu, power and cultural perception, e ideology of motherhood which restricts women’s mobility and burdens them with the responsibilities to nurture and rear children etc.

Also point out to debates of various sociologists to substantiate your points.

Differentiate and compare public and private patriarchy.(define, key features, relevance etc.)

Conclusion:

Conclude that over time mindsets are undergoing change and it’s time to change the approach of the society and enter a new era of equity and equitability in terms of gender and their roles.

Introduction:

Patriarchy refers to the dominance in society by male counterparts, intruding considerably in the autonomy of females. It is essentially a system of male domination in diverse aspects of life such as moral authority, social privilege, decision making, control of property, political leadership et al. It has hampered the position of the middle class working women in India in contemporary times owing to prolonged practices of the past and submissiveness of the females.

Body:

Reasons for persistence of patriarchy in our society:

  • The first lessons of patriarchy are learnt in the family where the head of the family is a man/ father. Man is considered the head of the family and controls women’s sexuality, labour or production, reproduction and mobility.
  • In a patriarchal family the birth of male child is preferred to that of a female.
  • Patriarchal societies propagate the ideology of motherhood which restricts women’s mobility and burdens them with the responsibilities to nurture and rear children.
  • Family is therefore important for socializing the next generation in patriarchal values. The boys learn to be dominating and aggressive and girls learn to be caring, loving and submissive. These stereotypes of masculinity and femininity are not only social constructs but also have been internalized by both men and
  • While the pressure to earn and look after the family is more on the man, the women are supposed to do the menial jobs and take care of their children and even other members of the family. It is because of these gender stereotypes that women are at a disadvantage and are vulnerable to violence and other kinds of discriminations and injustices.
  • Systemic deprivation and violence against women: rape, sexual harassment, sexual abuse, female feticide, infanticide, sati, dowry deaths, wife-beating, high level of female illiteracy, malnutrition, undernourishment and continued sense of insecurity keeps women bound to home, economically exploited, socially suppressed and politically passive
  • Patriarchal constructions of knowledge perpetuate patriarchal ideology and this is reflected in educational institutions, knowledge system and media which reinforce male dominance.
  • Patriarchal constructions of social practices are legitimized by religion and religious institutions as most religious practices regard male authority as superior and the laws and norms regarding family, marriage, divorce and inheritance are linked to patriarchal control over property biased against women
  • Male dominated institutions like church and state also lay down rules regarding women’s reproductive capacity

Difference between public and private patriarchy:

Private Patriarchy: This form of patriarchy can be found in the household. It sees one individual patriarch (the dominant male) dominate and oppress the subjugated female. This acts as an exclusionary tactic as women are prevented from taking part in public discourse.

Public Patriarchy: As inferred from its name, this patriarchy operates in the public world. Most often associated with the working world, public patriarchy is the existence of oppressive factors that still function. In public life, women are more collectively separated from power, wealth, and influence than men are

In the west, there has been a shift in patriarchies. It is believed that where private patriarchy was once far more common than its public counterpart, domination of women through a male-orientated world is now more prevalent in the public realm.

Conclusion:

Gender equality, which has already been realized as quintessential for inclusive development, is also one of the 17 SDGs. The goals notwithstanding, it is our ethical responsibility to provide equal opportunity to the neglected half of the world’s population, and for this, patriarchy must make way for more equitable social systems.

 

Topic:  Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India

2. Are families a Universal social institution in India? Analyse.(250 words)

Reference: http://ir.lib.seu.ac.lk/bitstream/handle/123456789/184/KALAM%201-26.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

Why this question:

The question aims to analyse the family as a social institution in India.

Key demand of the question:

Provide for a detailed analysis of how and why families function as social institutions in India.

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. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgment.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Generally the family is recognized as an element of a broader kinship network that links ancestors and descendants of a person.

Body:

Explain that it is the most permanent and most persistent of all social institutions which exerts constant influence in life of the members from the moment of birth to the moment of death.

Then briefly explain the main characteristics and functions of family.

Discuss why Indian families are more of a Universal social institution; provide for comparison with other countries.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of family system in the Indian context.

Introduction:

Family   is   the   basic   unit   of   society.   Family   is   a   bio-social   group   which   is characterized by common residence, economic co-operation and reproduction.  The meaning of the family and its boundaries are differed widely from one society to another. Family is not an association only it is an institutional complex or system of institutions which bears primary importance in the socialization of the young. Thus, it consists of a man and a woman, permanently united, with one or more children.

Body:

Family – a Universal social institution in India:

  • The family, in Indian society, is an institution by itself and a typical symbol of the collectivist culture of India right from the ancient times.
  • The joint family system or an extended family has been an important feature of Indian culture, till a blend of urbanization and western influence, began to affect in home and hearth.
  • This is especially true of urban areas, where nuclear families have become the order of the day.
  • There is no denying the fact that socio-economic factors have played their role in the joint family system getting diluted.
  • Families play an important role in preserving and promoting the cultural and social values in a society.
  • Children who grow up in an extended family not only imbibe qualities of tolerance, patience, democratic attitude of accepting others’ viewpoints, but also develop sportsman’s spirit while playing with siblings and cousins.
  • Various age-old traditions, customs and ways of living are all products of family system. In fact, the family system lays the seeds for social cohesion and democratic thinking.
  • Family system creates a strong bond of unity at an early age, paves the way for social cohesion and in a broader sense promotes national unity.
  • The qualities of sharing and caring by senior family members automatically lead them to think of a secure future for their children by making savings. This is in turn helps in strengthening national economy.
  • Living with close family members rather than spending time in a crèche or play school will immensely contribute towards making the childhood memorable and happier, a crucial factor to the overall personality development of an individual.
  • Family can shape the world view, foster and reinforce the value system of the individuals and therefore, consequently, be the warp and weft of a sustainable, peaceful, inclusive, prosperous world.

Changes in universal quality of family system in India:

  • Decline of Extended Family System:
    • There is a worldwide movement towards small, nuclear family maintaining a separate and independent household and breaking down of the traditional extended (joint) family system and other types of kin groups.
    • Their influence is declining in every field of life. A modified extended family structure is emerging in which individual nuclear families retain considerable autonomy and yet maintain connections with other nuclear families or so-called ‘joint family’.
  • Changing Authority Pattern:
    • There is a change in the division of labour and authority in the family. Male authority is declining in the modern family. The authority is slipping from the hands of family elders because of new economic and political opportunities.
    • Young couples do not rely on family elders for job instructions or education of their children. Because of the dual-career marriages, there is a significant change in the attitude towards equality between married partners.
  • Changing Status of Women:
    • The rights of women are becoming more recognized in respect to both initi­ation of marriage and decision-making in the family.
  • Changing Economic Functions:
    • Modern family is no longer united by shared work on the farm. It is now a unit of consumption instead of a unit of production as it was in the agrarian society. It is now united by feelings of companionship, affection and recre­ation only.
  • Decline in Family Size:
    • Economic considerations force the young to have smaller family with one or two children.
  • Changing Attitudes towards Marriage:
    • There is an increase in male-female couples who choose to live together without marriage. This has given rise to the concepts of ‘living together,’ ‘living arrangements’ or ‘live-in relationships.
    • Also new types of families crop with where same gender couples also cohabitate.
  • As a part of the revolution, the nuclear family emphasizes the importance of the freedom of the individual to choose his/her own life and control his/her own destiny.
  • There’s no ‘ideal family’ defined by children or lineage. It comes in different shapes and sizes. And it has grown to embrace individual choices, and social realities: single children, divorce, double incomes, sexual freedom.
  • Accelerated rate of rural-urban migration, diversification of gainful economic activities and individual-friendly property laws, have had consequential impact in terms of drastic reductionin the size of family in the country.

Conclusion:

Man’s life from the cradle to the grave is spent in the family in general. The ascetics are the exception to this norm.  It gives a sense of continuity to life.  Though patterns of family life differ widely, all families have aims and functions.  All meet the basic needs of children and adults.  Moreover, all have certain common goals such as looking after the helpless child to grow and mature, socializing the child to suit the group life, providing them with the cultural frame work of obligations and relationship.

 

Topic:  Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

3. What do you understand by “OneHealth Sceince “? Discuss in detail the challenges involved in operationalizing it in the Indian context along with its significance. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

The article captures detailed insights of the One Health approach and brings out the significance of the same.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the system of “OneHealth apprach” and explain the challenges involved in operationalizing it in the Indian context.

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:

Explain what you understand by “OneHealth apprach”.

Body:

‘One Health’ is an approach to designing and implementing programs, policies, legislation, and research in which multiple sectors communicate and work together to achieve better public health outcomes.

Then discuss why we need such an approach.

Explain the challenges involved in operationalizing the concept.

Take hints from the article and justify your answer.

Conclusion:

Conclude that An opportunity now exists for India to leap-frog over the systemic and institutional barriers that prevent an integrated OneHealth framework from being operationalized.

Introduction:

The World Organization of Animal Health, commonly known as OIE (an abbreviation of its French title), summarizes the One Health concept as “human health and animal health are interdependent and bound to the health of the ecosystems in which they exist”. It is gaining importance as most of the contagious diseases affecting humans are zoonotic (animal to man origin) in nature. The concept of One Health can be effectively implemented for reducing incidence of emerging zoonotic threats like COVID-19.

Body:

The Government of India has recently launched the National Mission on Biodiversity and Human Well-being. The mission aims to explore the neglected links between biodiversity science and human well-being across the sectors of health, economic development, agricultural production and livelihood generation, in combination with efforts to mitigate climate change and related disasters. One of the components of the mission explicitly links biodiversity to human health through the OneHealth framework.

Key facts:

  • According to The World Organization of Animal Health, 60% of existing human infectious diseases are zoonotic i.e. they are transmitted from animals to humans; 75% of emerging infectious human diseases have an animal origin.
  • Of the five new human diseases appearing every year, three originate in animals.
  • 80% biological agents with potential bio-terrorist use are zoonotic pathogens.
  • It is estimated that zoonotic diseases account for nearly two billion cases per year resulting in more than two million deaths — more than from HIV/AIDS and diarrhea.
  • One-fifth of premature deaths in poor countries are attributed to diseases transmitted from animals to humans.

one_health

Significance:

  • One Health is the collaborative efforts of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, and globally, to attain optimal health for people, animals and our environment, as defined by the One Health Initiative Task Force.
  • One Health model facilitates interdisciplinary approach in disease control so as to control emerging and existing zoonotic threats.
  • One Health model is a globally accepted model for research on epidemiology, diagnosis and control of zoonotic diseases.
  • The WHO is very effectively addressing emerging issues of antimicrobial resistance through One Health research.
  • All the developing countries are in the process of promoting One Health research for developing a sustainable disease control system.

Challenges faced: 

  • Developing countries like India have much greater stake in strong One Health systems on account of agricultural systems resulting in uncomfortably close proximity of animals and humans.
  • The size of India’s human and animal populations is almost the same; 121 crore people (2011 Census) and 125.5 crore livestock and poultry.
  • A network of 1.90 lakh health institutions in the government sector form the backbone of health governance, supported by a large number of private facilities.
  • On the other hand, only 65,000 veterinary institutions tend to the health needs of 125.5 crore animals; and this includes 28,000 mobile dispensaries and first aid centres with bare minimum facilities.
  • Private sector presence in veterinary services is close to being nonexistent.

Way forward:

  • There is need for strengthening veterinary institutions and services.
  • The most effective and economical approach is to control zoonotic pathogens at their animal source.
  • It calls not only for close collaboration at local, regional and global levels among veterinary, health and environmental governance, but also for greater investment in animal health infrastructure.
  • This calls for strict health surveillance to incorporate domestic animals, livestock and poultry too.
  • Humans require a regular diet of animal protein. Thus, loss of food animals on account of poor health or disease too becomes a public health issue even though there may be no disease transmission, and we lose 20% of our animals this way.
  • There could not be a stronger case for reinventing the entire animal husbandry sector to be able to reach every livestock farmer, not only for disease treatment but for prevention and surveillance to minimise the threat to human health.
  • Early detection at animal source can prevent disease transmission to humans and introduction of pathogens into the food chain.
  • So a robust animal health system is the first and a crucial step in human health.
  • Disease surveillance has to go beyond humans and encompass preventive health and hygiene in livestock and poultry, improved standards of animal husbandry for greater food safety, and effective communication protocols between animal and public health systems.

Conclusion:

The frequency with which new pathogens are emerging or old ones are re-emerging across the world are alarm calls for greater transparency, cross-country collaborations, and enhanced national infrastructure and capacity for integrated OneHealth science. The cause of mitigating large-scale human suffering justifies making such a hitherto unprecedented effort.

 

Topic:  Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

4. To be among the best in the world, Indian universities must be freed from excessive interference and politicisation”, Examine.(250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

In the recent subject-wise ranking of world universities by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), Indian institutions improved with 26 departments or schools placed in the top 100 of their respective disciplines. Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

The question expects us to bring out the current challenges that the Indian universities are facing owing to political interferences and control.

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:

Briefly highlight the fact pointed out by the study, highlight where India stands.

Body:

Explain that While this is a reason to celebrate, not even a single Indian university features in the QS ranking of the world’s top 150 in overall parameters.

Discuss how these universities have been major centres of innovation in teaching and research thanks to independence from bureaucratic or corporate meddling and political intervention by parties of the day.

They could remain centres of extraordinary excellence in a sustained way by according primacy to matters of the mind, i.e. intellectual ideas and solutions to problems, and avoiding becoming hostage to dogmatic thought.

List down the challenges they are facing.

Suggest solutions to address such concerns.

Highlight efforts of the government in this direction.

Conclusion:

Conclude that India has miles to go in higher education. Unlike in authoritarian and top-down China, there is little likelihood of a meteoric breakout of multiple Indian universities into the top 100 of the worlds at a rapid clip. To be among the best in the world, Indian universities must be freed from excessive interference and politicisation.

Introduction:

India is a rapidly changing country in which inclusive, high-quality education is of utmost importance for its future prosperity. The country is currently in a youth bulge phase. It has the largest youth population in the world—a veritable army of 600 million young people under the age of 25.

In the recent subject-wise ranking of world universities by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), Indian institutions improved with 26 departments or schools placed in the top 100 of their respective disciplines. However, not even a single Indian university features in the QS ranking of the world’s top 150 in overall parameters.

Body:

where_it_stands_globally

Challenges facing Indian higher education:

  • Politicization and interference in universities:
    • Politicization, ideological rigidity and nepotism, and excessive interference and over-regulation, are some of the major challenges faced today.
    • Insularity and self-congratulatory frog-in-the-well attitudes have held us back for long.
    • Most importantly, our universities must have the drive to excel and compete with Chinese or Western universities.
    • Ingrained mediocrity and laid-back culture which result in inadequate training of students in theories and methodologies have to be overcome.
  • Gross Enrolment Rate issues:
    • India’s higher education system, does not have the capacity to achieve enrolment ratios anywhere close to those of other middle-income economies.
    • The country’s tertiary gross enrolment rate is growing fast, but remains more than 20 percentage points below that of China or Brazil, despite the creation of large numbers of higher education institutions (HEIs) in recent years.
  • Brain-Drain:
    • Educational attainment in present-day India is also not directly correlated to employment prospects—a fact that raises doubts about the quality and relevance of Indian education.
    • Such bottlenecks have caused a large-scale outflow of labour migrants and international students from India.
    • The number of Indian students enrolled in degree programs abroad has grown almost fivefold since 1998, while hundreds of thousands of labour migrants leave the country each year.
    • Many of these migrants are low-skilled workers, but there is also a pronounced brain drain of skilled professionals of 950,000 Indian scientists and engineers lived in the U.S. alone in 2013 (a steep increase of 85 percent since 2003).
  • Regulation:
    • High control and low on support and facilitation
    • UGC has been accused of biased granting of funds
    • Undermining independence of autonomous universities
    • UGC’s flawed method of determining recruitment and career advancement of faculty: Academic Performance Indicator (API).
  • Private colleges and Deemed Universities:
    • Arbitrary nature of fees; “capitation fees”
    • Admissions manipulated- Management quotas
    • Ill equipped to organize courses
    • De facto management—the trustees of the sponsoring societies or trusts

Measures needed to improve status of Indian Universities:

  • The best Indian universities would require a kind of “cultural revolution” to join the ranks of global world-class universities and to be able to lure top faculty.
  • It is virtually impossible for India to attract large numbers of international professors of high standing and ability without dramatic changes in many aspects of the existing governance structure in higher education. Dramatically enhanced funding would also be required.
  • The Ministry of Human Resource Development should be working closely with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to have a road map that incentivizes CSR funding to be made available for universities.
  • There need to be an immediate move to attract more candidates, such as the faculty recruitment drive in the US, and monetary incentives like the Young Faculty Incentive Fellowship Scheme.
  • Parallel development in infrastructure is necessary to accommodate the research needs of incoming faculty.
  • The structural and practical realities of Indian universities make them generally unattractive to academic talent from abroad, this must be rectified at the earliest.
  • The key motivation for hiring foreign faculty must be to improve international competitiveness and secure positions in global rankings, which in turn would also attract more motivated students.
  • Attracting foreign nationals, Indians who studied at prestigious foreign universities by offering higher salaries and other benefits.
  • The moral and motivation of the academics have to be maintained. Not only attract the quality but also retain the quality of teachers. For this, the recruitment and the promotion policy has to be looked into. Recruitment policy on merit, kind of promotion on merit and in intervals would retain good teachers.

Way forward:

  • There is much for India to learn from those who are miles ahead of us.
  • One common factor behind the success of the topmost universities is the freedom with which they operate. They have been major centres of innovation in teaching and research thanks to independence from bureaucratic or corporate meddling and political intervention by parties of the day.
  • They could remain centres of extraordinary excellence in a sustained way by according primacy to matters of the mind, i.e. intellectual ideas and solutions to problems, and avoiding becoming hostage to dogmatic thought.
  • All the great universities of the world are ideologically pluralistic, with a mix of right, left and center among their faculty and students. There is no institutional line or official position on any issue.
  • The world’s best universities are known for involving their own alumni in governance and reforms.
  • The government’s decision to identify 20 Institutes of Eminence (IOEs) which will get maximum autonomy from bureaucracy in order to climb up the world rankings is a step in the right direction.
  • The selected IOEs must innovate with new degree programmers, expanded variety of faculty members and digital learning platforms.
  • India has miles to go in higher education. Unlike in authoritarian and top-down China, there is little likelihood of a meteoric breakout of multiple Indian universities into the top 100 of the world at a rapid clip.
  • India’s democratic and contested character renders change evolutionary and cumulative. Still, with long-term vision and selfless leadership, our universities can eventually make it.

Conclusion:

If universities become center of fresh knowledge production, then things change. Complete freedom of thought in direction and ideas is need of the hour. There is a prevailing culture that knowledge is finite and job of student is to master pre-existing knowledge. This has a limiting problem in educational culture which needs to be challenged.

 

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

5.  What is diaspora diplomacy? Discuss the range and boundaries of it in the Indian context.(250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

The article narrates in detail upon the concept of Diaspora diplomacy while bringing the case of India and US.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the philosophy of Diaspora diplomacy, its ambit and limitations.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Define Diaspora diplomacy.

Body:

Explain that It increasingly adds a political component to the continual general expectation that diaspora members and migrants contribute to the economic development of their home country, for instance by transferring money. Home countries use foreign policy strategies which can be summarized using the term “diaspora diplomacy”.

Present few key points related to Indian diaspora –

  • The Diaspora encompasses a group of people who can either trace their origins to India or who are Indian citizens living abroad, either temporarily or permanently.
  • It includes Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) and Overseas Citizens of India (OCI).
  • PIO and OCI card holders were merged under OCI category in 2015.

Explain the importance, highlight the limitations(in terms of challenges such as rising hate crimes in the country, Increasing anti-globalization, Sectarian crisis etc.) of it.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Diaspora diplomacy could be defined as “engaging a country’s overseas community to contribute to building relationships with foreign countries”. Today, the Indian diaspora is more prosperous than before and its involvement in India’s development is increasing. It contributes by way of remittances, investment, lobbying for India, promoting Indian culture abroad and for building a good image of India by their intelligence and industry.

Body:

Indian diaspora:

  • The Indian diaspora around the world now stands at 31.2 million, of which PIOs were 17 million and NRIs were 13 million, spread across 146 countries in the world.
  • The US, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Myanmar, the UK, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Canada host an Indian diasporic population of at least one million each.
  • According to Global Migration Report 2020, India continues to be the largest country of origin of international migrants with a 17.5 million-strong diaspora across the world, and it received the highest remittance of $78.6 billion (this amounts to a whopping 3.4% of India’s GDP) from Indians living abroad.

The opportunities that Indian diaspora brings for India are as follows.

  • They serve as an important ‘bridge’ to access knowledge, expertise, resources and markets for the development of the country of origin with the rest of the world.
  • Indian Diaspora is an important part of India’s “soft diplomacy” or “diaspora diplomacy”. For example, Indian Diaspora played a critical in the fructification of Indo-US Nuclear deal.
  • They have also contributed to the growth and development of the country of their residence. For example, Silicon Valley represents the success of Indians.
  • The Indian Diaspora has played an important role in the field of Science & Technology.
  • Trans-national entrepreneurship: They are a significant source of trade and investment in India.
  • Source of large inflows of remittances, which has been helping balance the current account. It further aids in socio-economic development and poverty reduction. According to the World Bank, Indian Diaspora is the largest earner of remittances in the world currently.
  • Diffusion of experience and exposure: They spread the Indian Culture and traditions abroad benefitting India in general. Example: Yoga, Ayurveda, Indian Cuisine etc.
  • NRI’s also finance educational institutions or businesses, which again adds to the economy’s sectors. Reports suggest that these NRI’s are a major source of Foreign Direct Investment, Market Development (Outsourcing) and technology transfer, that boost the assets of the fiscal system, every day.

However, there are many challenges posed by the diaspora:

  • West Asia
    • Low oil prices owing to Shale gas boom and slower global growth is resulting in job cuts for Indians.
    • Rising instability due to Shia -Sunni conflicts and radical Islamism is a direct threat to security of Indians.
    • Fierce competition from skilled labour from Philippines and cheap labour from Nepal.
    • Regressive and medieval policies like employer seizing the travel documents upon arrival known as Kafala labour system is exploitative.
  • US, Canada & UK:
    • Discriminative practices owing to a racist, colonial mindset still persists. This makes it difficult to secure jobs and work visas.
    • Support of the diaspora is neither automatic nor continuous, and their interests need not be India’s priorities. Example: the Indian community in the US was not vocal enough in criticising President Donald Trump’s proposal to restrict the H-1B visa programme that has benefited many Indians. Revision of visa norms in UK post Brexit might hit the Indian Diaspora hard, specially the IT professionals
    • Disparity in jobs and racial abuse of Sikh and Muslim community due to terrorist branding Cultural integration due to various eating preferences (beef eating), consumerism and nuclear society
  • Dual Citizenship and Voting Rights:
    • Majority of Indian Diaspora want to retain their Indian citizenship along with the citizenship of the country of their residence.
    • Wealthier diaspora from the US, Canada and the UK want dual citizenship and voting rights.
  • Misutilization of Remittances:
    • Another challenge is that remittances may not always be used for beneficial purposes. Example: India faced problems due to foreign funding for extremist 29 movements like the Khalistan movement.
  • Brain-Drain:
    • Indians prefer to do higher studies abroad and work as scientists and economists abroad causing India loss of talent in areas of research and development.
  • Evacuation Issues:
    • With increasing political volatile situation in the West Asia and few African countries, there are imminent challenges involved in rescuing the Diaspora in distress.
    • The recent instances of Operation Raahat in Yemen, Operation Sankat Mochan in South Sudan show the high risks involved in such rescue operations.
    • The rehabilitation of such rescued people is also a challenge back in India.
  • Reducing trends:
    • Reports suggest that the e-Migrate system and the Minimum Referral Wages policy have been detrimental to India as companies now find it easier to hire labour from countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan.
    • It was found that in 2016 the number of Indian workers who went to work fell by half in Saudi Arabia and by 33 percent in other Gulf countries, while the number of expats in the regional actually increased by 12.17 percent

Way forward:

  • India should formulate a new NRI policy, the government must immediately work with developed countries to ask that they kick back a portion of the income tax revenues they collect from the Indian diaspora.
  • This is fair because these countries did not invest anything in creating this talent but benefit immediately when the immigrant pays taxes abroad.
  • There is a need for a strategic diaspora evacuation policy from conflict zones in a world where crises materialise without warnings and give very little reaction time for governments.
  • India’s foreign policy aims to translate partnerships to benefits for key projects like Swachh Bharat, Clean Ganga, Make in India, Digital India, and Skill India, the diaspora has plenty of scopes to contribute.
  • VAJRA (Visiting Advanced Joint Research Faculty) scheme which seeks to formalise a rotation program wherein top NRI scientists, engineers, doctors, managers and professionals serve Indian public sector organizations for a brief period, lending their expertise- is a step in the right direction.
  • Improvement in ease of doing business will go long, in enabling investments from the Indian diaspora.

Conclusion:

The diasporic populations have become an increasingly important factor in international politics. The Indian diaspora, for their part, have many of the elements required for success — they are a “model minority”, they are affluent, and they are growing in number. Many of them are willing to exert their influence in electoral politics and are engaged in multinational businesses, and are thus highly visible. This makes for a ripe environment for India to aggressively tap on their potential.

 

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

6. Should distressed private banks be saved by PSBs? Do you agree to the fact that larger PSBs are being made more fragile by involving them in bailouts of their public sector or private peers? Discuss. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

A day after the government imposed a moratorium on the financially troubled Yes Bank last week; the Reserve Bank of India announced a draft restructuring plan that entails the State Bank of India acquiring a 49% stake in the private lender. Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

The answer needs to explain why the private banks need to be saved by the public sector banks, what are the issues and challenges involved and what an optimal solution to address such a situation is.

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:

In short present the background of the context in question.

Body:

First explain why such banks should be saved; list the reasons. As per the Financial Stability Report of the RBI, the level of inter-connectedness within the financial services ecosystem is deep. While after the global financial crisis, the idea was always to have no bank which is too big to fail.

The systemically important banks are banks which are tracked more carefully and which are also subject to higher capital requirements under Basel III. But that is not to say that banks which are relatively smaller in size, such as Yes Bank, do not pose systemic risk and therefore, should not be rescued.

Then explain what should be done –

  • The first option should always be to have a private investor come in and infuse his capital into the private bank.
  • The next option then, the straightforward option, would be for the government to simply nationalize the stressed bank. It happened during the global financial crisis with innumerable private banks all over the world.

Suggest other solutions.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The government recently imposed a moratorium on the financially troubled Yes Bank last week, the Reserve Bank of India announced a draft restructuring plan that entails the State Bank of India acquiring a 49% stake in the private lender.

Body:

Yes_Bank

The distressed banks need to be saved as they have the following implications:

  • Impact on stakeholders:
    • There are many depositors both big and small who have their deposits in Yes Bank. They would lose hugely if Yes Bank is allowed to collapse, given the fact that the account holders are insured for up to Rs 5 lakh only by the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC).
    • Firms and agents dependent on Yes Bank for credit to keep them in business may find their operations disrupted and new credit lines difficult to find.
    • Though the scheme ensures that the employees would retain their enumeration and service conditions for a year, the employees may lose their jobs in the future if there are efforts to cut down on the operating costs of the bank.
  • Impact on the larger economy:
    • The Yes Bank crisis can have a profound impact on the larger economy. Similar observations have also been made by SBI chairman claiming that Yes Bank cannot be allowed to fail since that would have consequences for the Indian economy.
  • Decreased trust in the financial system:
    • The investors choose private lenders like Yes Bank, mainly attracted by the higher interest rate offered by them. The collapse of Yes Bank would most likely set off a chain of withdrawals from other private banks as well as some weaker public banks. This could pose a systemic threat to the country’s financial system.
    • There would also be adverse spin-off effects on investors in bonds and instruments issued by Yes Bank, triggering turmoil in other parts of the financial system.
  • Spin-off effects:
    • Firms and agents dependent on Yes Bank for credit to keep them in business may find their operations disrupted and new credit lines difficult to find. That could lead to their defaulting on debt they owe other creditors. This could increase the overall NPA in the financial systems.
    • Ancillary businesses downstream may collapse or turn sick, leading to job losses and loss of livelihoods.
    • Assets and machinery may lie idle and the ripple effect may grind other well-performing businesses to a halt as the cycle of debtors and creditors freeze.
  • Ineffectiveness of regulatory framework:
    • In spite of the many laws and regulations imposed by the Companies Act and those stipulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India and compliance requirements under the oversight of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Yes bank failed.
    • This calls into question the effectiveness of the present regulatory framework.

Concerns with the resolution plan:

  • Lack of confidence:
    • A major aspect of the restructuring plan is based on the following principles.
    • Yes Bank will not be merged with the SBI, but become a standalone subsidiary of SBI. SBI’s equity could be sold off in a future date if that proves feasible.
    • Investors other than the SBI must play an important role in the revival of Yes Bank, since the equity of the bank is expected to rise, with the SBI holding only 49% of the total.
    • Yes Bank’s troubles with non-performing assets are an indication of the troubles in the borrower industries as well, ranging from real estate to power and non-banking financial companies. With the economy facing a persistent slowdown, the prospects of banks’ burden of bad loans easing soon are limited.
    • Given the gloomy economic climate, investors may not be willing to outlay large sums on equity of Yes Bank. Lack of confidence and the absence of investor support may render the whole exercise ineffective.
    • If the RBI’s scheme does not work and the investment is not recovered, the SBI’s stakeholders which consist of the government and taxpayers will have to bear the burden.
  • Timing of the intervention:
    • There have been reports of governance failures, accounting irregularities and balance sheet weaknesses at Yes Bank for more than two years.
    • The fact that Yes Bank had not been placed under the Prompt Corrective Framework of the RBI seems to suggest that the current intervention has been much delayed. It is because of the delay that escalated intervention is unavoidable.
  • Effectiveness of the intervention:
    • There are doubts regarding the effectiveness of such a resolution. There are risks associated with the restructuring plan.
  • Estimates on the necessary capital:
    • The estimations from SBI places notes that Yes Bank would need about ₹20,000 crores for its reconstruction plan.
    • However, the fact that Yes Bank had ramped up its lending in recent years and had large exposure to bankrupt or heavily indebted corporate groups, casts doubts over the adequacy over the ₹20,000 crore estimate.
  • Provisions regarding AT1 bonds:
    • The scheme had exclusive provisions regarding the additional tier 1 bonds (AT1 bonds) issued by the bank. The scheme stated that the AT1 bonds totaling close to ₹11,000 crores, would be written down permanently, as part of the restructuring plan.
    • AT1 bonds offer investors a higher return because of the higher risk associated with them, including the possibility of being written down when a bank’s equity base is under threat.
    • Investors in the AT1 bonds are likely to approach the courts, hampering the restructuring process.

Way forward:

  • Legislative and administrative changes:
    • Given the fact that boards are responsible to the shareholders and also ultimately accountable to the statutory authorities and the fact that the independent directors serve at the discretion and pleasure of the promoter-CEO, one cannot expect the directors to remain truly ‘independent’ in their duties.
    • Necessary changes in the Companies Act and rules issued by RBI and SEBI must address these issues.
  • Improving regulatory checks:
    • The market regulators, the RBI and other statutory authorities must consider reviewing the guidelines and rules and incorporating necessary changes.
    • Given the pattern in the failure of promoter-driven entities, the regulators need to focus on addressing related issues.
    • There is a need for reforms to strengthen the autonomy of various regulatory institutions.
  • Punish corporate transgressions:
    • Though corporate transgressions happen in the West too, the regulators do not spare the promoter, despite his or her credentials.
    • Elon Musk was recently penalized for issues related to insider trading. Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg, have often been reined in, investigated and heavily fined.
    • India needs to learn from these examples and improve regulatory checks and balances.
  • Protecting the interests of the employees and customers:
    • Regulators through the restructuring plan should not punish the company for the sins of its promoters. All efforts must be made to save the company and jobs.

 

Topic:  role of social media.

7. Discuss the role of social media in influencing political opinions and social attitudes in the country.(250 words)

Reference: Research Gate

Why this question:

The question is straightforward and aims to analyse the role of social media in influencing political opinions and social attitudes in the country.

Key demand of the question:

One has to explain the role played by social media in affecting the political opinions and social attitudes in the country.

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:

First explain what constitutes social media.

Body:

Social Media has rapidly grown in importance as a forum for political activism in its different forms. Social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube provide new ways to stimulate citizen engagement in political life, where elections and electoral campaigns have a central role.

Present the positives and negatives such as Social media has reshaped structures and methods of contemporary political communication by influencing the way politicians interact with citizens and each other. However, the role of this phenomenon in increasing political engagement and electoral participation is neither clear nor simple.

Discuss its overall impact.

Conclusion:

Conclude with solutions.

Introduction:

Social media plays an integral role in our lives today and has a huge bearing on society and individuals. Social media has revolutionized the way people communicate and socialize on the web. There is a positive effect on business, politics, socialization as well as some negative effects such as cyberbullying, privacy, and fake news. After legislature, executive, Judiciary, Media and Common Man, the sixth pillar of the democracy is touted to be ‘Social Media’. All these pillars have the capacity to change the status-quo and undone wrongdoing.

Body:

Role of social media in influencing political opinions and social attitudes

Given the tremendous growth of social media, in particular Twitter and Facebook, social media are increasingly used in political context recently—both by citizens and political institutions.

News Around the Clock: One of the ways that social media has transformed politics is the sheer speed at which news, poll results and rumors are shared. Whereas in the pre-internet days, people had to wait for the next newspaper or TV news show to get the latest information, online news is a 24/7 phenomenon. While you can access news on many websites at any hour, most people spend more time on sites such as Facebook and Twitter than they do on serious news or political websites.

The Impact of Polls: Political polls are an important part of every campaign. They are often confusing, because you can often find multiple polls with contradictory results posted on the very same day. As with other types of political news, the internet has greatly increased the number of poll results we see each day. Social media has accelerated this even more. Not only do social media sites report the results of polls, you can actually participate in Facebook polls. E.g.: The recent US presidential campaign in 2016 has shown that social media technologies   have   become   increasingly   important   for political   communication   and   persuasion

Direct Interaction with Politicians: One of the positive effects that social media has on politics is the opportunity for voters to interact more easily with candidates and elected officials. Traditionally, if you wanted to meet a politician or candidate, you’d have to attend a live event. Not everyone is able to do this. With modern technology, it’s now possible to attend virtual events where you can participate in live streaming events and interact with politicians and candidates.

Demographics and Targeting: Targeting is used throughout the advertising industry to make sure that ads and messages reach the right audience. Politicians do this as well. In the age of social media, politicians and people running for office are able to target their campaigns. If a candidate wants to address the concerns of women, college students, retired people, Latinos or any other group of voters, they can now tailor their messages. Just as advertisers on Facebook are able to use analytics and targeted advertising, so can candidates and politicians. Thus, if you notice that political messages seem to be talking to you personally, this is no accident.

Rumors, Fake News and Conspiracies: Political campaigns are now influenced by every story, whether true or not, that gets spread around social media. It’s getting more and more difficult to separate actual news from fake news online. Social media makes this distinction especially confusing. The constant stream of memes, links and rumors about political leaders and candidates is a mixture of truth, lies, satire and speculation.

The Power of Confirmation Bias: One of the hidden forces that operates on social media is confirmation bias. This is especially powerful when it comes to controversial topics, including politics. If you’re like most people, the majority of your friends and followers on social media probably share your outlook. This means that the vast majority of tweets, Facebook posts, pins or other content you read on these sites tend to express the same point of view, one that you already hold.

Social Media and the Future of Politics: Because social media is relatively new, we’re just starting to see its impact on society. There are sure to be many political changes that come about due to social media. There are now proposals for internet voting, which could lead to more people participating in elections. This could make social media even more influential, as people could literally vote moments after reading the latest comments or links they found on Facebook or Twitter.

Pros:

  • The hashtag activism empowers people to speak up injustice without fear. Some recent examples are #not in my name, #MeToo.
  • Social media provide solidarity and sense of companionship to those unable to reach government or raise their voice.
  • It has long been observed that when people discuss the news, they’re more likely to be involved in their community, whether by volunteering or reaching out to elected officials. There is growing evidence that this is also true for social media — especially among young people.
  • Social media platforms are driving people not just to learn about issues but to take action. For e.g.: During the 2016 US election alone, the voter registration efforts on Facebook led more than 2 million people to register to vote.

Cons:

  • Online abuse, hate speech and harassment is perpetuating with anonymity. Policing the content at a global scale is an open research problem since it is hard for machines to understand the cultural nuances of political intimidation.
  • The unbridled exercise of power on online platform is out of government regulation.
  • It has become a medium to influence youth by the terror outfits
  • The spreading of fake news which hampers peace and tranquility of a nation is rapid and complete.
  • One of the most common criticisms of social media is that it creates echo chambers where people only see viewpoints they agree with — further driving us apart.
  • While foreign meddling, misinformation, echo chambers and hate speech get the headlines, it is also worrisome that how social media can distort policymakers’ perception of public opinion.
  • The 2016 US presidential election brought to the fore the risks of foreign meddling, “fake news” and political polarization. The effect of social media on politics has never been so crucial to examine.
  • If politicians mistake the views of a few with the views of many, that can make for bad public policy. Vulnerable populations could end up ignored, and fringe groups could appear mainstream.

Conclusion:

The use of social media for political activities influences peoples’ political efficacy, political knowledge, and political participation. Social media must be submitted to the same rules that are established for other media such as clear accountability and transparency. This would probably require new international laws. Moreover, the big companies should continue looking for ways to prevent the abuse of their media.