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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 5 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:  Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

1. Examine the significance of prehistoric paintings found in India. Also, trace the changes that occurred in the painting styles during this period.(250 words)

Reference: Indian art and culture by Nitin Singhania

Why this question:

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

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the significance of prehistoric paintings found in India and the changes that occurred in the painting styles during this period.

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 explain what constitute prehistoric paintings.

Body:

Discuss the following key aspects in the answer body viz. –

  • Enumerate some key characteristics of pre historic paintings.
  • Discuss significance: what these paintings tell about prehistoric life, help understand the social life of mankind.
  • Changes in painting: styles, themes techniques evolution.

Conclusion:

Conclude by highlighting how it influenced future art themes in the country.

Introduction

The distant past when there was no paper or language or the written word, and hence no books or written documents, is called prehistory, or, as we often say, prehistoric times.

In India Bhimbetka caves surrounded by the northern boundaries of Vindhya mountain ranges near Bhopal have more than 600 caves that have the oldest prehistoric paintings in India. A. These caves had been used as a shelter by people from the earliest periods. There are paintings of all periods starting from the Paleolithic era to the medieval era. The paintings turn out to be a mirror showing evolution of humanity through time.

Body

Significance of prehistoric paintings in India

  • The way people lived in those times is difficult to surmise. It was only until scholars began to discover the places where prehistoric people lived.
  • Excavation at these places brought to light old tools, pottery, habitats, bones of ancient human beings and animals, and drawings on cave walls.
  • By piecing together the information deduced from these objects and the cave drawings, scholars have constructed fairly accurate knowledge about what happened and how people lived in prehistoric times.
  • These prehistoric paintings help us to understand about early human beings, their lifestyle, their food habits, their daily activities and, above all, they help us understand their mind—the way they thought.
  • Prehistoric period remains are a great witness to the evolution of human civilization, through the numerous rock weapons, tools, ceramics and bones.

More than anything else, the rock paintings are the greatest wealth the primitive human beings of this period left behind.

Changes in painting styles

Upper Paleolithic

Prehistoric paintings have been found in many parts of the world. There is no proof if Lower Paleolithic people ever produced any art objects. But by the Upper Paleolithic times we see a proliferation of artistic activities.

  • Around the world, the walls of many caves of this time are full of finely carved and painted pictures of animals which the cave-dwellers hunted. The subjects of their drawings were human figures, human activities, geometric designs and symbols.
  • In India the earliest paintings have been reported from the Upper Paleolithic times.
  • The paintings of the Upper Palaeolithic phase are linear representations, in green and dark red, of huge animal figures, such as bisons, elephants, tigers, rhinos and boars besides stick-like human figures.
  • The rock shelters on banks of the River Suyal at Lakhudiyar, about twenty kilometers on the Almora– Barechina road, bear these prehistoric paintings.
  • The richest paintings are reported from the Vindhya ranges of Madhya Pradesh and their Kaimurean extensions into Uttar Pradesh. These hill ranges are full of Palaeolithic and Mesolithic remains, and they are also full of forests, wild plants, fruits, streams and creeks, thus a perfect place for Stone Age people to live.
  • Bhimbetka : The themes of paintings found here are of great variety, ranging from mundane events of daily life in those times to sacred and royal images. These include hunting, dancing, music, horse and elephant riders, animal fighting, honey collection, decoration of bodies, and other household scenes.

There is a superimposition of paintings in Bhimbetka from all the three periods.

Mesolithic Painting

  • The largest number of paintings belong to Period II that covers the Mesolithic paintings. During this period the themes multiply but the paintings are smaller in size.
  • Hunting scenes predominate during this period. The hunting scenes depict people hunting in groups, armed with barbed spears, pointed sticks, arrows and bows. In some paintings these primitive men are shown with traps and snares probably to catch animals. The hunters are shown wearing simple clothes and ornaments.
  • The hunting scenes depict people hunting in groups, armed with barbed spears, pointed sticks, arrows and bows.
    • In some paintings these primitive men are shown with traps and snares probably to catch animals. The hunters are shown wearing simple clothes and ornaments.
  • Sites: Langhnaj in Gujarat, Bhimbetka and Adamgarh in Madhya Pradesh, SanganaKallu in Karnataka.

Chalcolithic Painting

  • The paintings of this period reveal the association, contact, and mutual exchange of requirements of the cave dwellers of this area with settled agricultural communities of the Malwa plains.
  • Many a time Chalcolithic ceramics and rock paintings bear common motifs, g., cross-hatched squares, lattices.
  • The artists of Bhimbetka used many colours, including various shades of white, yellow, orange, red ochre, purple, brown, green and black.
  • The paintings, though from the remote past, do not lack pictorial quality. Despite various limitations such as acute working conditions, inadequate tools, materials, etc., there is a charm of simple rendering of scenes of the environment in which the artists lived.
  • The men shown in them appear adventurous and rejoicing in their lives. The animals are shown more youthful and majestic than perhaps they actually were. The primitive artists seem to possess an intrinsic passion for storytelling.
  • In one of the scenes, a group of people have been shown hunting a bison. In the process, some injured men are depicted lying scattered on the ground. In another scene, an animal is shown in the agony of death and the men are depicted dancing.

It is interesting to note that at many rock-art sites often a new painting is painted on top of an older painting. At Bhimbetka, in some places, there are as many as 20 layers of paintings, one on top of another.

Conclusion

Prehistoric paintings are a lens through which Archeologists have been able to predict the evolution of human kind with more accuracy. Various tools, objects and paintings tell us the type of social background of the people. It helps in verifying the social Darwinism as well as the growth trajectory of our ancestors. It is very important to preserve these sites, that have immense information stored through means of paintings.

 

Topic:  Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

2. Discuss the European influence on the architecture of Modern India with suitable examples. (250 words)

Reference: Indian art and culture by Nitin Singhania

Why this question:

The question is straightforward and is from the static portions of GS paper I.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the influence of Europeans on the art and architecture of Modern India.

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 why European influence came into picture in the Indian scenario.

Body:

  • Start discussing with the onset of Europeans in India.
  • The Europeans who came to India for trade established their settlements at various places. In these settlements they built European style houses, besides the factories. When their foothold became strong, they began to construct more durable structures such as strong fortresses and imposing churches.
  • Highlight that the Portuguese at Goa established impressive churches in the style of Iberian architecture, and the English, though in a less ambitious manner, built churches resembling the English village churches. A distinct type of building thus began to emerge in India. However, the Victorian style itself, being imitative rather than original, did not have a vitality of its own to inaugurate in India what could have been an Indo-British (like the Indo- Islamic) style of architecture.
  • Explain suitable examples and substantiate upon the influence.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the significance of such influence and its impact even as of today.

Introduction

Europeans who started coming from the sixteenth century AD constructed many churches and other buildings. Portuguese built many churches at Goa, the most famous of these are Basilica Bom Jesus and the chruch of Saint Francis. The British also built administrative and residential buildings which reflect their imperial glory. Some Greek and Roman influence can be observed in the colonnades or pillared buildings. Parliament House and Connaught Place in Delhi are good examples of this architecture.

Body

Like all other aspects of society, the colonization of India also had a great impact on architecture. Colonization marked a new chapter in Indian architecture. Though the Dutch, the Portuguese and the French made their presence felt through their buildings but it was the English who had a lasting impact on architecture of India. In the beginning of the colonial rule there were attempts at creating authority through classical prototypes. In its later phase the colonial architecture culminated into what is called the Indo-Saracenic architecture.

European influence in architecture of Modern India

  • British architecture
    • Kolkata: Its colonial capital Calcutta (now Kolkata) was embellished with edifices in the style of European Neo Classicism (the tendency to design new buildings in ancient Greco-Roman styles), such as the huge Government House.
      • Eg: Victoria memorial Hall
    • Bombay: On the other hand in Bombay (now Mumbai), in concert with the Gothic Revival movement in the suzerain, not only Christian churches but also commercial buildings were magnificently built in Gothic style, manifesting the opulent strength of the Empire. The Library and Convocation Hall of Bombay University designed by George Gilbert Scott are its best representatives.
    • However, recognizing that these unilateral compulsions of Western civilization helped engender the Indian Mutiny against the British army during 1857-59, the colonial government turned its cultural policy in the direction of adopting Indian traditional factors into colonial buildings. The result is the thriving of the ‘Indo-Saracenic style’, which made a compromise between Western and Mughal architectures, from the 1880s.
    • Delhi: The British leading architects Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944) and Herbert Baker (1862-1946) were invited to design the city of New Delhi and its important edifices such as the Viceroy’s House (Rashtrapati Bhavan) and the Secretariats.
      • A great demerit of that unique experiment to synthesize the different styles of Indian architecture within a broader European fabric was that simplicity, modernity and utility were considerably compromised for the purpose of so- called beauty and structural majesty.
    • French architecture
      • Pondicherry: French grid patterns, clear sectors and perpendicular streets are the three distinct features that comprise the plan of the town. The two clear sectors include French Quarter referred as ‘Ville Blanche’ or ‘White Town’ and the Indian quarter referred as ‘Ville Noire’ or ‘Black Town’.
        • The ‘Ville Blanche’ features traditional colonial style including stately walls and large compounds while in the ‘Ville Noire’ houses are lined with verandas and adorn large French doors and grills.
      • Portuguese architecture
        • The missionary spirit of Portuguese colonizers saw construction of several churches, cathedrals, seminaries and basilicas in Goa that showcases a mix of Indian, Islamic and Portuguese styles of architecture.
          • Among the many sites of Goa the ‘Basilica of Bom Jesus’ holds a special significance as an architectural wonder displaying one of the finest examples of baroque style of architecture.
          • Many Goan houses, display remarkable Portuguese architecture. Distinct features of these Portuguese – Catholic houses included facing the street with vibrantly painted exterior so as to get recognized from the sea by the owning sailors, distinctly large and decorated windows that open to the verandas, covered verandas and porches, false wooden interior ceilings, vividly colored interior walls compared to earthly colored furniture and exquisitely carved compound walls and gateposts.

Conclusion

Thus we see aspects of European architecture mixed with the indigenous style that evolved over time. The significance of this architecture style in India is that we see a melting pot of cultures and diversity within India, that were influenced during the 16th to 20th centuries by the Europeans. These architectures attracts foreign footfall in India improving the tourism sector significantly.

 

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

3. The gap between jobs needs and knowledge, and the absence of role models, need to be urgently addressed to harness India’s demographic dividend into a reality. Analyse. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why this question:

The author presents a bleak picture of education system in the country as a disconnected pedagogy.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must critically analyse the gap between jobs needs and knowledge, and the absence of role models in the country and to what extent they have been influencing the India’s demographic dividend and how the country should address it.

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 explain the gaps that the question is referring to.

Body:

The question is pretty much straightforward and direct and there isn’t much to deliberate. Students must focus to cover the following dimensions in the answer body –

  • Highlight the gaps present in the education system.
  • Discuss the causes that have led to these gaps and explain why they have remained unaddressed.
  • Take hints from the article and cover the various issues associated crisply.
  • Suggest solutions to overcome these challenges.

Conclusion:

Conclude with efforts and policies of the government in this direction and suggest fixes to the existing and neglected aspects.

Introduction

One-nation-one-curriculum certainly has some advantages in enabling mobility of some jobs, especially in the national bureaucracy and a multinational economy. But it is at the cost of the developmental needs of the states and the emergence of good jobs there.

This asymmetry is behind the aspirational dysfunction in higher education. It is this disconnect between jobs, needs and knowledge and the absence of role models, which is slowly turning our demographic dividend into an inefficient human capital on the streets.

Body

India has one of the youngest populations in an aging world. By 2020, the median age in India will be just 28 years. Demographics can change the pace and pattern of economic growth.

Low pedagogy detrimental for India’s demographic dividend

  • The focus on rote learning and lack of creativity in education leads to inefficient workforce graduating from colleges which do not meet the requirements of the industry.
  • Many youngsters are clueless about their strengths and the career they should pursue. Inability to choose the right course impacts their career adversely.
  • India is a culture focused on academic learning and professional qualifications. But today, due to volatile nature of the business environment, formal educational qualifications are not enough.
  • India is home to the world’s largest concentration of illiterate people in the world. It has made gains in human development, but challenges remain, including big barriers to secondary schooling, low-quality public services, and gender discrimination.

Gaps present in the education system.

  • Engineering Stream: The national engineering curriculum fails in meeting regional needs. For instance, engineering for Himachal Pradesh needs to be different from that in Maharashtra or Kerala.
    • It must address the needs of core industries, local enterprises, the provisioning of basic amenities such as water and energy. None of this is in our national curricula or practiced at the IITs.
    • Moreover, there is no mechanism for engineering colleges to work with their communities at micro level.
  • Humanities: At the BA level, it is divided into several disciplines — for instance, political science, sociology etc.
    • This is unfortunate since much of life in India is interdisciplinary.
    • As a result, many activities such as preparing the balance sheet for a farmer, or analysing public transport needs, and development concerns such as drinking water or even city governance, are given a miss.
  • Economics: The study of sectors such as small enterprises or basic economic services such as transportation is absent. The District Economic Survey, an important document prepared regularly by every state for each district, is not even mentioned.
  • Social Sciences: It has detailed theory on different institutions of the society (family, marriage, social classes etc).
    • This categorization is to perpetuate a peculiar intellectualism which is divorced from the community in which these institutions are embedded.
    • Hardly any social science department bothers to translate key state government documents, articles or texts from the vernacular press to English, let alone study them. This shortage of facts leads to a peculiar ghetto mentality which privileges classroom discourse and critique as the primary way of generating knowledge and dissent as an important output of the university.
    • There is no mention of important data sets such as the census or developmental program including MGNREGA in the curricula.

All of this leads to gap between the job needs and knowledge and to come up with an effective plan for an ailing society or economy.

Causes of these gaps

  • Indian universities are lagging in their research
  • Governments have interfered so much with the so-called autonomous Indian institutions that they no more remain academic but have become political battle-fields for different parties.
  • Characteristic of world-class universities is the enormous thrust laid on collaboration, openness and no impermeable hard boundaries between the various disciplines.
    • Contrary to this Indian education, system and Institutions nurtured a rigid culture of secretive and isolated work and too hard boundaries between different institutions and even between disciplines in the same Institution.
  • Sharing resources, open laboratories to all, is yet to be seen even in premier institutions and by well-known scientists and professors. This is major handicap preventing Indian Institutions from making headway in innovations and inventions.
  • It is very important to keep updating the curriculum as per the changing advancements in the field. At the same time, it must be ensured that the skill sets of students are used for solving real world challenges.
  • The Indian education institutions are bogged up into intertwined regulations and levels of controls that always end up at the doors of bureaucracy.

Solutions

  • Centrally-funded institutions like the IITs, IIMs, and IISERs must devote 20 per cent of their curricula, faculty time and funding in solving regional problems.
    • They should do this through innovative multidisciplinary field-work based curricula, in partnerships with state agencies and regional universities.
    • These institutions and their partners will create a state-level knowledge network which implements a “Right to Know” — a right to an analysis of failures of public services and problems of small enterprises.
  • Unnat Bharat Abhiyan: The government’s Unnat Bharat Abhiyan deems to create a new learning model for the youth by utilizing the raw intelligence of learners in esteemed institutions of higher learning towards the development of communities that surround them, in particular rural communities.
  • Institutions like IISc, IITs and JNU must administer a journal of development research as an avenue for reporting such work.
  • School curricula will include a substantial component of local and regional relevance — local maps, village handbooks, measurement of local produce, field trips to facilities such as bus depots or rice mills, and visits by local functionaries.
  • Colleges and educational institutions at the district level will have an important role in studying the outcomes of development programmes and providing professional support to state agencies.
    • This will be done by students, faculty members and fresh graduates through innovative curricula and mechanisms.

Conclusion

The above agenda will establish a new balance between science, social sciences, the state and the community, and a social understanding to sustain it. Only when this emerges, will we see Vikas and jobs which deliver value. It is also the only way to approach more vexing problems of sustainability, equity and culture. The gaps as highlighted must be addressed urgently to ensure that India can reap it’s demographic dividend.

 

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

4. Evaluate the performance of India’s soft power holistically at the global level. (250 words)

Reference:  Business Standard 

Why this question:

The article brings out the fact that – for first time India has broken into the top 30, in the Brand Finance Global Soft-Power Index 2020, which highlighted that India punches well below its weight.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must evaluate the performance of India’s soft power holistically at the global level.

Directive:

Evaluate – When you are asked to evaluate, you have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidences.  You have to appraise the worth of the statement in question. There is scope for forming a personal opinion here.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain what constitutes soft power.

Body:

  • Explain how India has managed to build a powerful, culturally acceptable, image abroad over the last half-century.
  • Deliberate upon what comprises soft power – the soft power of a country rests primarily on three resources: its culture in places where it is attractive to others; its political value when it lives up to them at home and abroad; and its foreign politics when they are seen as legitimate and having moral authority.
  • Highlight the facts related to ranking, discuss the performance of India, and explain the concerns, challenges involved.
  • Quote examples to highlight the issues.

Conclusion:

Conclude by suggesting way forward as to how India can improvise on its ranking and champion the art of soft power.

Introduction

The term soft power was coined by Joseph Nye and captured the important and (at the time) poorly studied phenomenon in international affairs of “getting others to want the outcomes that you want,” predicated on the attractiveness of one’s culture, political values and foreign policy. Though slower to yield results, soft power is a less expensive means than military force or economic inducements to get others to do what we want.

This is the first time India has broken into the top 30, in the Brand Finance Global Soft-Power Index 2020, which  highlighted that India punches well below its weight.

Body

Background

  • India, over the past decade has begun to play its soft power cards more systematically.
  • It has set up, a public diplomacy division within the Ministry of External Affairs in 2006 and is expanding the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) worldwide.
  • It has roped in the Ministry of Tourism, which is behind the “Incredible India” campaign, and the external affairs division “to showcase its social, political, and cultural assets abroad.

India’s Performance

  • India’s spiritualism, yoga, movies and television, classical and popular dance and music, its principles of non-violence, democratic institutions, plural society, and cuisine have all attracted people across the world.
    • International Day of Yoga reflects yoga’s immense popularity worldwide, underscoring its richness as a soft power resource
  • India’s soft power is being leveraged alongside larger foreign policy initiatives such as the Look East Policy (now Act East).
    • For example, the 4th edition of International Dharma Dhamma conference (IDDC-2018) was on January 11, 2018 in Rajgir, Bihar. This 3-day conference was jointly organized by India Foundation, Nalanda University, Ministry of External Affairs, ASEAN-India and Vietnamese Buddhist Sangha.
    • It aimed at increasing, people to people contact through the Buddhist roots in India. The conference aimed to facilitate cross pollination of ideas and foster harmony at the global level.
  • India’s soft power diplomacy, particularly in Afghanistan involves winning “hearts and minds” and strengthening its cultural as well as political relations with Afghanistan, backed with the ideas of nation building and political stability.
    • India has constructed the Parliament building, Salma(Friendship) dam and a hospital in Afghanistan.
    • India is currently building and upgrading the Habibia High School, a project that is worth more than 1 million USD.
    • Through educational development, India has also tried to build ties with the ethnic communities of Afghanistan, specially the Pashtun community that is present on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and serves as a buffer between Pakistan and India.
    • India was ranked higher than China in a survey wrt trust and development initiatives in Africa.
  • India’s track record of democracy, liberty and culture are main reason why nations like USA, France and Sweden have given advanced military equipment to India.
  • India is also expanding its development assistance to African countries beyond its traditional relationships within the Commonwealth in an effort to secure access to natural resources as well as serve its broader strategic aims.
    • Eg: Currently, India’s forte in the continent has been developmental initiatives such as Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC), Team 9, and Pan Africa e-network among others are aimed at building institutional and human capacity as well as enabling skills and knowledge transfer.
  • Diaspora Diplomacy on the rise, who increase India’s soft power abroad. India has been celebrating Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (since 2015). Initiatives like Know India Program, have garnered lot of response, helping Indians connect to their ancestral roots in India and knowing about the contemporary India.
    • Indian American have established several advocacy organisation and political action committees on a wide range of issues of importance to India like Kashmir.
  • Humanitarian Assistance: India’s foreign aid activities have now also extended to humanitarian assistance, such as when its Navy participated in an ad hoc coalition with the United States, Japan, Australia, and Singapore to disburse blankets and tents in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
    • As recently as in 2019, India was the first responder to the Cyclone Idai crisis in Mozambique.
    • This has immense potential in the backdrop of China’s String of pearls in the Indian Ocean Region. India’s Tsunami warning centre and information sharing (IFC, Gurugram) with littoral states of Indian Ocean can prove strategic in geopolitical expansion.

Challenges

  • Poor cultural diffusion: Second, India rates badly on any measure of state-driven cultural diffusion rather than the more organic and natural private sector and citizen-led efforts.
    • Though most Indian cultural diffusion to overseas audiences—from yoga to Bollywood—has occurred.
    • The Indian government has is also promoting the study of Hindi abroad in large part because of its linguistic diversity at home.
  • Poor tourism story: India has a high number of UNESCO World Heritage sites, but still fares poorly on tourism and education on a per capita basis.
  • Lack of infrastructure for cultural development: India was plagued by impoverishment, missing out on positive associations, coupled with lack of investment in cultural diplomacy and a reputation of deep-rooted corruption.
  • Brain drain: There are Indian contributions that are not necessarily associated with the country. For example, many NASA scientists and engineers are of Indian-origin with rich ancestral roots.

Is Soft Power Enough?

  • India is still having difficulties in changing its neighbors’ behaviors by using soft power. For instance countries like Nepal and Maldives have used the China card against India. They still view India as a Big Brother or the proverbial “298 pound gorilla”.
  • The soft power has not helped India deal with terrorism and radicalism. Along with soft power, hard power is equally important. In the 21st century it is the smart power (Hard and Soft power combined) along with speed and agility to adapt, that are the necessary tools for diplomacy.
  • Despite India’s growing soft power many countries are not supporting India’s permanent membership in UNSC.
  • It has not helped India in WTO negotiations and not fetched FTA with EU or RCEP to it’s requirements.
  • Soft power cannot used as and when required and it takes very long time to become significant. Whereas hard power can be used instantaneously and the results are also immediately seen.
  • Soft Power has not stopped China opposing India’s membership to NSG.

Conclusion

Without soft power, hard power lacks its intellectual and cultural edge. While soft power provides the ideas and motivation, hard power gives the tools and weapons for the soft power to expand. A good balance of both makes a nation stronger militarily, economically and culturally. India must continue to expand it’s soft power investments while building hard power capabilities. This augurs well with the neighborhood reality where it faces two hostile nuclear powers.

 

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

5. Discuss the concept of “Limited liability partnership” while bringing out the benefits and concerns associated with a special reference to Indian economy. (250 words)

Reference:  Financial Express 

Why this question:

The government is set to introduce an amnesty scheme for Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) firms for delays in mandatory filings which could benefit 20-25 per cent of the 1.25 lakh LLPs registered in the country. Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the significance concept of “Limited liability partnership” while bringing out the benefits and concerns associated with a special reference to Indian economy.

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 what LLP is.

Body:

Start with the recent decisions made with respect to the move – it is aimed at bringing non-compliant LLPs into the legal fold. Explain – LLP is an alternative corporate business firm that gives the benefits of limited liability of a company and the flexibility of a partnership. Highlight the key features of LLP.

Discuss that ; LLP form is a form of business model which –

  • is organized and operates on the basis of an agreement.
  • Provides flexibility without imposing detailed legal and procedural requirements.
  • enables professional/technical expertise and initiative to combine with financial risk taking capacity in an innovative and efficient manner.

List down the concerns associated while suggesting way forward.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the significance of such concepts applied to the economy.

Introduction

Limited liability Partnership, is an alternative corporate business vehicle that provides the benefits of limited liability of a company, but allows its members the flexibility of organizing their internal management on the basis of a mutually arrived agreement, as is the case in a partnership firm.

Body

The LLP as a separate legal entity, is fully liable of its assets but liability of the partners is limited to their agreed contribution in the LLP.

  • It limits the liability of partners as far as civil cases are concerned.
  • In such a partnership, partners can’t be held liable for another’s misconduct or negligence.
  • It is governed by the provisions of the Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008. The LLP Act 2008 confers powers on the Central Government to apply provisions of the Companies Act, 1956 as appropriate.
  • Central Government also has powers to investigate the affairs of an LLP, if required, by appointment of competent Inspector for the purpose.
  • Registrars of Companies (ROC) is appointed under Companies Act and is under Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
    • Its primary duty is to register companies and LLPs under respective states and UTs and ensure their compliance with statutory requirements.

Benefits of LLP

  • Convenience: It is easy to start and manage a business, like entrepreneurs. LLP agreements are customized in according to meet the needs of partners concerned. There is fewer formalities in areas of legal compilation, annual meeting, resolution as compared to any other Private Limited Company.
  • No minimum capital requirement: LLP can be started with the minimum amount of capital money. Capital may be in the form of tangible, movable asset like Land, machinery or intangible form.
  • Lower Registration cost: This requirement in the case of a Private company (Requirements for Registration of a Private Company) and Public Company (Requirements for the registration of a Public Company) is Rs. 1, 00,000 and Rs. 5,00,000 respectively whereas no such mandatory capital requirement specified under the LLP.
  • Number of owners: LLP may have partners varying from 2 to many. There is no limit for partners in LLP. An LLP requires a minimum 2 partners while there is no limit on the maximum number of partners in contrast to a private company wherein there is a restriction of not having more than 200 members.
  • No compulsory audit: LLPs are not required to audit the accounts. Any other company (Public, Private) are mandated to get their accounts audited by the auditing firm. LLP is required to audit their account in the following situation: When the contributions of the LLP exceeds Rs. 25 Lakhs, or When annual turnover of the LLP exceeds Rs. 40 Lakhs
  • Low tax burden: LLPs are also tax efficient as they are exempt from dividend distribution tax and minimum alternative tax.
  • Low compliance burden: LLP have to face less compliance burden as they have to submit only two statements i.e. the Annual Return & Statement of Accounts and Solvency. Whereas in the case of private company, at Least 8 to 10 regulatory formalities and compliances are required to be duly completed. Read Annual Cost Comparison of Private Limited and LLP.
  • Easy Transferable Ownership: It is easy to become a Partner or leave the LLP or otherwise it is easier to transfer the ownership in accordance with the terms of the LLP Agreement.

Concerns Regarding LLP

  • Penalty for non-compliance: Even if an LLP does not have any activity, it is required to file an income tax return and MCA annual return each year.
    • In case an LLP fails to file Form 8 or Form 11 (LLP Annual Filing), a penalty of Rs.100 per day, per form is applicable.
    • There is no cap on the penalty and it could run into lakhs if an LLP has not filed its annual return for a few years.
  • No equity investment: An LLP does not have the concept of equity or shareholding like a company. Hence, angel investors, HNIs, venture capital and private equity funds cannot invest in an LLP as shareholders. Thus, most LLPs would have to rely on funding from promoters and debt funding.
  • Blanket tax rate: The income tax rate for a company with a turnover of upto Rs.250 crores is 25%. (Further reduced in 2019 for new companies involved in manufacturing).
    • However, LLPs are taxed at a 30% rate irrespective of the turnover.

Conclusion

India has around 1.25 lakh active LLPs, of which a majority are in business services, followed by trading, manufacturing and real estate & renting. Ease of doing business and making regulations easier for LLP’s can go a long way in increasing efficacy of various sectors of Indian Economy.

 

Topic:  Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

6.Present a detailed view on the current state of cooperative federalism in India. (250 words)

Reference:  Live Mint

Why this question:

The author examines the current state of cooperative federalism in India in detail.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must present a detailed view on the current state of cooperative federalism in India.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Define what cooperative federalism is.

Body:

Federalism is the division of power between center and its various constituents, like provinces, states, cantons and so on. Cooperative federalism is a concept or subset of federalism where national, state and local governments interact cooperatively and collectively to solve common problems. Explain why India follows the cooperative federalism concept, discuss its evolution. Discuss the current dynamics of cooperative federalism in India. Take cues from the article and present a fair and balanced opinion.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of cooperative federalism to India.

Introduction

Article 1 of the Constitution states, “India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States”. While the Constitution doesn’t mention the term “federal”, it does provide for a governance structure primarily federal in nature. India is a federal state where the Centre and the State are the Cooperating units of the polity. Yet India is an asymmetrical federalism, with the balance of power tilting in the favour of the Centre. Changing dynamics of the party system is increasingly determining the kind of federalism in India.

Body

Cooperative Federalism

Cooperative federalism is the concept which reflects the relationship between centre and state where they both come together and resolve the common problems with each other’s’ cooperation.

  • With the collaborative efforts and cooperation, different level of governments in an amicable manner, contributes towards the growth of the country.
  • It shows the horizontal relationship between union and states and shows neither is above the other.
  • To ensure this relationship between centre and state, Indian constitution has incorporated certain instruments like inter-state council, Zonal council, 7th schedule etc.

State of Cooperative Federalism in India

Legislative/Administrative

  • Separation of Power: Schedule 7 of Constitution provides strict delineation of powers between center and state. (Except during emergencies which comes under judicial review)
  • Article 131 of the Constitution, which gives the Supreme Court exclusive jurisdiction to hear cases between states and the Centre. Eg: Chhattisgarh moved SC against NIA Act in Jan 2020.
  • Coalition governments: It has increased states’ bargaining power.

Political

  • In relation to the imposition of President’s rule under Article 356 of the Constitution, federalism is far more mature.

Financial

  • GST Council: Passing of GST is a shining example of cooperative federalism where States and Centre have ceded their power to tax and come up with a single tax system to realize the dream of one Economic India with ‘One Nation, One Market’.
    • Majority decisions have been based on consensus till now, while states gave 2/3rd of votes.
  • Since 10th FC, state’s share has been continuously increasing till 14th FC by devolving 42%.

Other Areas

  • NITI Aayog: Replacing the erstwhile Planning Commission, the Aayog is promoting bottom-up approach to development planning.
  • Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas involves State’s as equal partners of development. There is a move towards competitive and cooperative

Challenges to cooperative federalism

  • Several issues such as trust deficit and shrinkage of divisible pools plague Centre-State relations. Together, they make total cooperation difficult.
  • On one hand the Centre has increased the States’ share of the divisible pool but in reality States are getting a lesser share.
    • For instance, as per the 16th FC recommendations, many south states are on the losing side of their share of tax resources.
    • The allocation towards various social welfare schemes has also come down, affecting the States’ health in turn.
  • Inter-State water disputes like the Mahadayi issue between Goa and Karnataka, Mahanadi water disputes (Odisha and Chhattisgarh) requires cooperation from all quarters (centre and riparian states).

Strengthening Federalism

  • Strengthening of Inter-State Council: Over the year multiple committees have recommended strengthening of Interstate Council where the concurrent list subjects can be debated and discussed, balancing Centre state powers. There is far less institutional space to settle inter-state frictions therefore a constitutional institution like ISC can be a way forward.
  • Autonomy to states: Centre should form model laws with enough space for states to maneuver. Centre should give enough budgetary support to states so as to avoid budgetary burden. There should be least interference in the state subjects.
  • Democratic Decentralization of administration and strengthening governments at all levels in true spirit. Power should be decentralized based on the principle of subsidiarity.

Conclusion

While in certain areas, it might warrant greater powers to the Union(defence, currency etc), on the development front (education, health etc.) the Centre should respect the autonomy of the other two levels of government and consciously avoid the tendency to centralize powers and functions. Its role should be limited in laying down policies, devolving funds and facilitating co-ordination leaving implementation entirely to States and Local Bodies. Implementation of Punchii Commission recommendations at the earliest is needed for unity of Centre and States

 

Topic:  Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life. Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

7. AI and robotics for public health is a real need and has demonstrated great value in addressing pandemics like Covid-19. Do you agree? Comment. (250 words)

Reference:  Business Standard

Why this question:

The article presents a view that while Robots have been pressed into service for isolated patients the hopes are high that artificial intelligence can help find a counter to Covid- 19.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the role that AI and robotics can possibly play in addressing public health concerns such as that of Covid-19.

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:

Start with any fascinating fact about robotics and AI applications.

Body:

First, bring out the challenges the public health sector is facing amidst such pandemics. Explain that the coronavirus is putting a lot of new tech, including robots and artificial intelligence, on display. Mention facts such as – New technology like infrared thermometers — potentially unreliable devices known as “thermometer guns” — are becoming increasingly commonplace in China. Robots are being used to disinfect rooms, communicate with isolated people, take vital information, and deliver medications. AI is being used to study the outbreak’s spread and is powering the search for treatments. Suggest the possible utility of the two to the public health sector, discuss concerns and challenges if any. Suggest solutions.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the significance of such technologies in such grave situations.

Introduction

The emergence of the novel coronavirus has left the world in turmoil. COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, has reached virtually every corner of the world, with the number of cases exceeding a million and the number of deaths more than 50,000 worldwide. It is a situation that will affect us all in one way or another.

In response to this growing crisis, many of these agencies and entities are turning to AI (Artificial Intelligence) and related technologies like robotics combined with AI for support in unique and innovative ways. Enhancing surveillance, monitoring and detection capabilities is high on the priority list.

Body

Application of Artificial Intelligence in Pandemics

  • Disease surveillance: Human activity -especially migration- has been responsible for the spread of the virus around the world.
    • In the near and distant future, technology like this may be used to predict zoonotic infection risk to humans considering variables such as climate change and human activity.
    • The combined analysis of personal, clinical, travel and social data including family history and lifestyle habits obtained from sources like social media would enable more accurate and precise predictions of individual risk profiles and healthcare results.
  • Predicting Outbreaks: On December 30, an artificial-intelligence company called BlueDot, which uses machine learning to monitor outbreaks of infectious diseases around the world, alerted clients—including various governments, hospitals, and businesses—to an unusual bump in pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China.
    • An automated service called HealthMap at Boston Children’s Hospital also caught those first signs. As did a model run by Metabiota, based in San Francisco. That AI could spot an outbreak on the other side of the world is significant, and early warnings save lives.
    • It would be another nine days before the World Health Organization officially flagged what we’ve all come to know as Covid-19.
  • Early Diagnosis: AI has a proven track record here. Machine-learning models for examining medical images can catch early signs of disease that human doctors miss, from eye disease to heart conditions to cancer. But these models typically require a lot of data to learn from.
  • Automatic temperature measurement: Automated camera systems used in conjunction with thermal sensors and vision algorithms on autonomous or remotely operated robots could be used to monitor temperatures of patients in hospitals.
    • Example: In the United States, a surveillance company announced that its AI-enhanced thermal cameras can detect fevers, while in Thailand, border officers at airports are already piloting a biometric screening system using fever-detecting cameras.
  • Virtual healthcare assistants: The number of COVID-19 cases has shown that healthcare systems and response measures can be overwhelmed. Canada-based Stallion.
    • AI has leveraged its natural language processing capabilities to build a multi-lingual virtual healthcare agent that can answer questions related to COVID-19, provide reliable information and clear guidelines, recommend protection measures, check and monitor symptoms, and advise individuals whether they need hospital screening or self-isolation at their homes.
  • Intelligent drones and robots: The public deployment of drones and robots has been accelerated due to the strict social distancing measures required to contain the virus’ spread.
    • To ensure compliance, some drones are used to track individuals not using facemasks in public, while others are used to broadcast information to larger audiences and also disinfect public spaces.
  • Curative reasearch: Part of what has troubled the scientific community is the absence of a definitive cure for the virus.
    • AI can lead the charge for the development of antibodies and vaccines for the novel coronavirus, either entirely designed from scratch or through drug repurposing.
    • For instance, using its AlphaFold system, Google’s AI company, DeepMind, is creating structure models of proteins that have been linked with the virus in a bid to aid the science world’s comprehension of the virus.
    • Although the results have not been experimentally verified, it represents a step in the right direction.

Application of Robotics in Pandemics

  • Disinfecting surfaces: Large and small autonomous or remote-controlled robots could be developed to locate and constantly sterilize frequently touched surfaces with ultraviolet light.
  • Contract Tracing: The roboticists say combining existing security systems with facial recognition software could allow authorities to retrace the steps of patients who tested positive for COVID-19 and contact others who might be at risk, which is known as contact tracing.
  • Nasal swabs: Testing for coronavirus involves inserting a swab fairly deep into a patient’s nasal cavity.
    • There are parts of the process that puts humans at risk of contracting the virus, including collecting the sample, handling the sample, transferring the sample to the test location and the test itself.
    • Automated or robot-assisted nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabbing may speed up the process, reduce the risk of infection, and free up staff for other tasks.
  • Medicine Delivery: Autonomous drones and ground robots can be used to deliver medicine to patients who have the coronavirus.
    • In the field hospital in Wuhan, China, CloudMinds robots were used to deliver food, drink and medicine to patients.
  • Social Robots: In the time of isolation and quarantine, social robots can help people provide social stimulation and interactions, in addition to providing reminders to follow treatment regimens (to the elderly).

Conclusion

The advantage of technology can be leveraged to tackle pandemics, especially those like covid-19 which has overwhelmed the nations of the world. Cooperation and technology sharing for the benefit of mankind can go a long way in combatting the consequences of the disease outbreak. It will also help in the prediction of future outbreaks and be better prepared for such situations.