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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 6 April 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:  events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawing of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.)

1.  “The answers to the questions of present are hidden in the experiences of the past”, in this context discuss the impacts of coronavirus pandemic in comparison to the great depression of 1929.(250 words)

Reference: Indian Express

Why this question:

 With the novel coronavirus pandemic severely affecting the global economy, some experts have begun comparing the current crisis with the Great Depression; the devastating economic decline of the 1930s that went on to shape countless world events. The article captures a detailed narration of the same.

Key demand of the question:

One has to present a detailed analysis of the current economic distress that will be of great concern in the coming future with that of the great depression of 1929.

Directive:

DiscussThis 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 the context of the question with relevant facts.

Body:

To start with, narrate the details of great depression; The Great Depression was a major economic crisis that began in the United States in 1929, and went to have a worldwide impact until 1939.  While the Wall Street crash was triggered by minor events, the extent of the decline was due to more deep-rooted factors such as a fall in aggregate demand, misplaced monetary policies, and an unintended rise in inventory levels. The havoc caused in the US spread to other countries mainly due to the gold standard, which linked most of the world’s currencies by fixed exchange rates. Etc. Discuss the impact of it on India, comment on the aspects of Corona crisis and draw a comparison on the impact of it on economy.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction

With the novel coronavirus pandemic severely affecting the global economy, experts have begun comparing the current crisis with the Great Depression 1929, the devastating economic decline of the 1930s that went on to shape countless world events.

Body

Events of the Great Depression 1929

The Great Depression was a major economic crisis that began in the United States in 1929, and went to have a worldwide impact until 1939. It began on October 24, 1929, a day that is referred to as “Black Thursday”, when a monumental crash occurred at the New York Stock Exchange as stock prices fell by 25 per cent.

  • While the Wall Street crash was triggered by minor events, the extent of the decline was due to more deep-rooted factors such as a fall in aggregate demand, misplaced monetary policies, and an unintended rise in inventory levels.
  • India: The Depression had an important impact on India’s freedom struggle. Due to the global crisis, there was a drastic fall in agricultural prices, the mainstay of India’s economy, and a severe credit contraction occurred as colonial policymakers refused to devalue the rupee.
  • In the United States, prices and real output fell dramatically. Industrial production fell 47 per cent, the wholesale price index by 33 per cent, and real GDP by 30 per cent.
  • The havoc caused in the US spread to other countries mainly due to the gold standard, which linked most of the world’s currencies by fixed exchange rates.
  • In almost every country of the world, there were massive job losses, deflation, and a drastic contraction in output.
  • Unemployment in the US increased from 3.2 per cent to 24.9 per cent between 1929 and 1933. In the UK, it rose from 7.2 per cent to 4 per cent between 1929 and 1932.
  • The Depression caused extreme human suffering, and many political upheavals took place around the world.
  • In Europe, economic stagnation that the Depression caused is believed to be the principal reason behind the rise of fascism, and consequently the Second World War.
  • It had a profound impact on institutions and policymaking globally, and led to the gold standard being abandoned.

Impact of Covid-19 on the world economy

IMF has said that the COVID19 pandemic has pushed the world into a recession. For 2020 it will be worse than the global financial crisis. The economic damage is mounting across all countries, tracking the sharp rise in new infections and containment measures put in place by governments.

  • The economic consequences of the pandemic are already impacting the United States with unprecedented speed and severity.
  • In the last two weeks in March almost 10 million people in USA applied for unemployment
  • The latest indices from purchasing manager surveys (PMIs) are pointing to sharp slowdowns in manufacturing output in many countries, reflecting drops in external demand and growing expectations of declining domestic demand.
  • Economic Shock: A classic transmission of exogenous shocks to the real economy is via financial markets (and more broadly financial conditions) — they become part of the problem. As markets fall and household wealth contracts, household savings rates move up and thus consumption must fall.
  • As the virus shuts down production and disables critical components of supply chains, gaps turn into problems, production could halt, furloughs and layoffs could occur. For eg, many Indians on H1-B visas are already stranded in the US, with recession there will be mass layoffs.
  • Covid-19 appears to be a potentially potent direct hit on confidence, keeping consumers at home, weary of discretionary spending, and perhaps pessimistic about the longer term. This will lead to acute slowdown in the economic investments, household consumption and thereby decreasing overall demand.

The above factors and consequences of the current slowdown shows a similar and more worrying trend than that of the Great Depression.

Impact on Indian economy

The impact of the pandemic came at a time when the economy was just at the turn of a recovery, but Covid-19 now “hangs over the future, like a spectre,” as per the RBI.

  1. The impact on India is felt through supply chain disruptions from China as well as regional players, who in turn are net importers from China.
  2. India’s annual trade with China is ~$90 billion–India imports goods worth $75 billion and exports goods worth $15 billion.
  3. These include ‘electrical and telecom machinery,’ ‘organic chemicals,’ ‘nuclear reactors,’ ‘plastics’ and ‘pharmaceuticals.’ The first four of these five groups also make up India’s top imports in 2019 fiscal year.
  4. On account of factory closures in China, supply chains would get disrupted and this could result in shortages, especially of electronic goods and medicines.
  5. A key supplier of generic drugs to the global market, Indian companies procure almost 70 percent of their active pharmaceutical ingredients for their medicines from China.
  6. Trade deficit prints may be lower for the next couple of months. We may see the price of consumer durables inch higher. This would drive core inflation higher, which is showing signs of bottoming out.
  7. This, in turn, could make it more difficult for the MPC to provide further monetary policy stimulus. January’s core inflation print came in at 4.2 percent compared to December’s 3.8 percent.
    • RBI cut Repo rate by 75bps making it 4.4%.
  8. Fall in global crude prices on account of an anticipated slowdown in demand would also result in a lower import bill. The sectors that are likely to be impacted on the export front are diamonds, leather and petrochemicals
  9. Imports are likely to contract more than exports and therefore, from a current account perspective, the outbreak could actually be rupee-supportive.
  10. Offshore fundraising by Indian corporates is also likely to slow down, as raising money onshore has become cheaper after the LTRO announcement by the RBI
  11. The retail mobile trade, for instance, is almost entirely dependent upon China. While every month, old models of mobile phones would see a drop in prices as new models are supplied, in the current month, no such drop in prices has taken place and the supply of goods is being rationed by companies
  12. The toy market sees nearly 80% of its demand met by products made in China, while only 20% is met by Indian manufacturers.
  13. The travel and tourism sector will be affected badly. Several overseas airlines have stopped flights to China and international hotel chains have also been offering refunds. Most of the Chinese citizens are avid travelers, hence the tourism in other countries might feel the ripple effect.

Conclusion

To overcome this pandemic, we need a global, coordinated health and economic policy effort. For India, the finance ministry announced a Rs 1.7lakh crore stimulus to help the economy tide over the crisis. The stimulus includes food security measures and direct cash transfers targeted at lower income groups. The efforts must be concerted globally, so that the most vulnerable do not further grapple under poverty and hunger as was seen during the Great Depression and the global financial crisis.

 

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 Government strives to have a workforce which reflects gender balance and women.

2. Examine the reasons that have led to skewed figures for women in the country’s workforce. Discuss the measures being taken by the Government to address it.(250 words)

Reference: Insights On India

Why this question:

The Television show captures a detailed debate and discussion on the sad picture of skewed women workforce and the effect of it on the society and economy of the country.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the reasons that have led to skewed figures for women in the country’s workforce. Discuss the measures being taken by the Government to address it.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with some key facts like – Women workforce in the country fell to 18 percent in 2019 from 37 percent in 2006, non- government organization Azad Foundation reported on International Women’s Day (Celebrated on 8th of March every year). The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2020 ranks India at 112th position out of 153 countries on economic participation and opportunity.

Body:

To start with, Discuss what are the reasons behind the skewed figures for women in the workforce? – The declining women’s labor force participation, gender pay gap, high rates of informal work with lack of social security are seen as impediments to the goal of gender equality and empowerment of women in India. Stereotypes, lower wage rate, decline in the number of women in the workforce is accounted for mainly by rural women, which can be attributed to the dwindling agricultural sector etc. List down the measures being taken by the govt. to address these challenges.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction

Women workforce in the country fell to 18 per cent in 2019 from 37 per cent in 2006, non- government organization Azad Foundation said on the International Women’s Day. The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report this year ranks India at 149th position out of 153 countries on economic participation and opportunity. According to the Foundation, the Global Gender Gap Report estimates that raising women’s participation in the labour force can increase India’s GDP significantly.

The declining women’s labour force participation, gender pay gap, high rates of informal work with lack of social security are seen as impediments to the goal of gender equality and empowerment of women in India

Body

Skewed proportion of women in the country’s workforce

  • Lack of Economic Empowerment:
    • Women’s Labor force participation globally is 51% while it is 80% for men as per World Development Report 2012. In India it is 23% as per the latest PLFS Survey.
    • Women are underrepresented in senior managerial position and overrepresented in low paying jobs. Oxford Survey shows that globally only 19% firms have a female senior manager.
    • Wage Gap: Globally women still earn 20% less than men. In a recent ILO report, India was among the bottom five countries, with a gender pay gap of 34 per cent.
  • Access to productive capital: It is harder for women to access funds and capital for farming, starting a business or for other developmental works.
  • Secondary Education for women is lower than man in majority of countries while this stands at less than 80% in India.
  • Social norms and stereotypes: Classifying men as “bread winners” and women pursuing jobs as “career women” was reported by Oxford University Survey. It also highlighted that most of the unpaid work is seen as a women’s job.
  • Deeply ingrained bias: Ironically it exists among both men and women – against genuine equality. According PISA test data, the notion that “boys fare better at maths” is unfounded. Yet this belief still exists.
  • Corporates: Women still earn on average 79 percent of what men earn, hold only 5 percent of Fortune 500 CEO positions, and represent on average 17 percent of global Board positions.
  • Women tend to lack access to informal networks that provide opportunities to work in high-profile projects, which include attending conferences abroad or on-the-job opportunities.
  • When it comes to peer recognition, women are at loss as they muster less support.
  • As per Mckinsey report women were overlooked for promotion even in companies like Google for their reproductive choices.
  • Women continue to face the same kind of discrimination at work as they face in society.
  • According to a recent Accenture research report, the gender pay gap in India is as high as 67 percent in corporates.

Measures taken by the Government

  • Behavioral Nudge: India is encouraging women and girls to enter traditionally male-dominated sectors such as the armed forces and information technology.
    • Eg: Supreme Court in India declared that women could now hold commanding positions in Army.
  • Gender Justice at Work
    • Bridging the wage gap for equal work, India has statutorily mandated this.
    • Making work places safer through strong laws. India has enacted Sexual Harassment at workplaces act. Penalty provisions are made for non-compliance and companies must disclose details in their annual filings regarding the same.
    • Every company with 10 or more employees must follow the mandate and constitute an Internal Complaints Committee.
  • Social security and financial literacy: Formalization of jobs should be pushed to avail benefits to many women. Until then, social security benefits should be provided to women in unorganized sector. Eg: Self Help Group-Bank Linkage Programme in India
  • Embedding financial literacy in programmes where women have significant representation could be a good starting point.
  • Niti Aayog has started Women Entrepreneurship Portal, for hand holding programs for women and proving business models for their work. This will encourage more women to take up Entrepreneurial projects and increase their economic footprint.
  • Gender sensitization: Breaking the social barriers by gender sensitization and education at families, schools and workplaces. Eg: In the NCERT Books, gender roles, bias and prejudice inducing writings were removed.
  • Strong laws and policies wrt wages and maternity benefits are being provided to promote women’s representation in economy. Recently India increased the maternity leave to 26 weeks from 12 weeks. Creche facilities have been made mandatory to encourage women to take up job after pregnancy and delivery.
  • Political Representation: India has provided 33% reservation for women in the Panchayats and Local Bodies. Capacity Building and training can increase their capabilities further.

Conclusion

India has committed to gender equality under SDG Goal 5 i.e. eliminate all forms of discrimination and violence against women in the public and private spheres and to undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources and access to ownership of property. Gender equality is also a precondition for development and reducing of poverty. Gender shouldn’t be an unreasonable determining factor curbing the potential of women. India must realize this goal starting from ensuring good education to women to providing safe work environment with equal remuneration.

 

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 Government strives to have a workforce which reflects gender balance and women.

3. What is the rationale behind decentralisation? Comment on the framework that exists for bringing decentralisation in India and the role of financial commissions in strengthening this process.(250 words)

Reference: Indian polity by Lakshmikant

Why this question:

The question is based on the premise of decentralisation in India, its rationale and the role played by finance commission.

Key demand of the question:

Explain in detail the rationale behind decentralization, comment on the framework that exists in India and the role played by Finance commission in strengthening the same.

Directive:

Commenthere we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly define what decentralisation implies.

Body:

To start with, explain the rationale behind decentralisation – Effective people participation in the decision making, Greater accountability, and effective service delivery are essential for proper functioning of democracy. Decentralisation brings these from grass root levels and strengthens the democracy. Discuss in detail the framework that existed before decentralisation. Explain that Economic independence is vital for the proper functioning of a country; role of finance commissions is paramount here, suggest the importance.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting significance.

Introduction

Decentralization can be defined as transfer or dispersal of decision-making powers, accompanied by delegation of required authority to individuals or units at all levels of organization even if they are located far away from the Power Centre. In the context of the present discussion, decentralization signifies the devolution of powers and authority of governance of the Union Government and State Governments to the sub-state level organizations i.e. Panchayats in India.

Body

Rationale behind Decentralization

  • Decentralization is necessary to strengthen participatory democracy, facilitate responsive governance, ensure greater accountability and enable public service delivery according to diversified preferences of the people.
  • It is also seen as a means to strengthen the democratic fabric through participatory governance and responsive public service delivery. Village Panchayats can prioritize and execute the development plan curated as per the needs of the people.
  • People led Development: Moving away from one size fits all approach and a top-down developmental model will go a long way in addressing region specific issue.
  • India can truly become Ram-Rajya by following the Gram-Swaraj model as envisioned by Gandhi where every village is self-sufficient to feed and clothe it people.

Constitutional Mandate

  • 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments (11th and 12th Schedule), by constitutionally establishing Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) in India, mandated the establishment of panchayats and municipalities as elected local governments.
  • They devolved a range of powers and responsibilities to the local governments and made them accountable to the people for their implementation.
  • The Constitution assigns decentralization including funding entirely to the discretion of State governments. The constitutional framework does not prescribe any pattern, standard or model of decentralization which is left to the discretion of State governments.
  • The States are required to appoint a Finance Commissions every five years and their reports are required to be placed in the legislatures with the action taken reports.

Role of Finance Commission

  • The finance commission is constituted to define financial relations between the centre and states. It is established by the president of India under the provision of Article 280 of the Indian constitution for five years. It decides the share of states in the total tax collection of the central government.
  • Three major functions of Finance commission include:
    • The distribution of the net proceeds of the taxes to be shared between the union and states and allocation of such proceeds among the states.
    • The principles which should govern the payments of grants- in aid by the centre to the states.
    • Any other matter concerning financial relations between the centre and the states.
    • The commission also lays down rules by which the centre should provide grants-in-aid to states out of the Consolidated Fund of India.
    • It is also required to suggest measures to augment the resources of states and ways to supplement the resources of Panchayats and Municipalities.
  • Article 280 was seeded with an additional term of reference (TOR) to the Union Finance Commission to take cognizance of the resource requirements of local bodies.
  • Balancing Wheel of fiscal federalism: Finance commission maintains fiscal federalism with the help of proper allocation of resources among the different states on the basis of population of the state, fiscal condition of the state, forest cover of the states, income distance and area of the states. So, by this proper bifurcation the finance commission avoids the confrontation between the states and centre.
  • There is a strong precedent that governments generally go by the suggestions as far as sharing of revenues is concerned.
  • State finance commission: Article 243I and Y mandated the appointment of the State Finance Commission by the Governor every five years to balance their functions with funds.
  • However certain gaps exist in the State Finance commission’s role as below: –
    • States have not been setting up their State Finance Commissions every five years as mandated by 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act. Therefore, there is a necessity of SFCs to rationalize and systematize State/sub-state fiscal relations in India.
    • Moreover, the nature of advice being non-binding, often these suggestions are not implemented by states.
    • Insufficient Funding: The money given to the local governments is inadequate to meet their basic requirements.
    • Expenditure codes: Expenditure norms vary from state to state; therefore, there is a need of uniform standard expenditure codes across the country.
    • State Finance Commissions: They are not submitting the reports in time, lacking the proficiency.
      • They have huge task of considering large number of local governments.
      • They face a crucial problem of reliable data.
      • FCs and local governments are seen to be of inferior constitutional status than the Union FC.

Steps needed for effective decentralization

It is widely recognized that effective decentralization is dependent on existence of the following necessary conditions:

  • Strong political commitment from higher level authorities within the Government.
    • Activity mapping which was supposed to be done by states as per resolution of the State Panchayat Ministers’ round table has been done by quite a few states, but implementation has often remained incomplete.
    • Transfer of functionaries, functions, and funds must happen effectively.
  • Autonomy of the local bodies in decision making and implementation of local schemes:
    • In the absence of Panchayats’ own financial resources they can hardly undertake programmes on their own in line with local requirements.
    • It is here that decentralization of political decision making needs to be complimented by measures to ensure fiscal autonomy for PRIs so that such institutions can muster necessary financial resources on their own to be truly self-reliant in local decision-making and its implementation.
  • Availability of the internally generated resources at the local level:
    • In the federal system of governance that is existent in India, almost all the sources of tax or non-tax revenue come under the jurisdictions of the State and Union Governments.
    • In view of this the constitution mandated for setting up of the State Finance Commissions that would help determine the devolution of state’s revenue to the local governments.
    • In this connection a few experiments towards effective decentralization in India can be recalled. Eg : In the mid-1980s the West Bengal Government initiated decentralized planning process. The districts were asked to prepare district plans which were later integrated for preparing the state plan. The objective of this effort of the State Planning Board was to involve Panchayats in the planning process.
    • People’s plan initiative of Kerala during 1990s generated lot of enthusiasm. It was possible to garner support of all political parties, educated citizens and government officials. Personalities like EMS Namboodiripad, AK Antony were involved in it.
    • West Bengal undertook another experiment of village level planning, in mid 1990s under the programme, Community Convergent Action, later followed by the Strengthening Rural Decentralization programmes. This met with moderate success and has become of the model of village level planning in the state involving villagers in the Gram Sansad meeting.
  • Central Government has started the Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyaan. The campaign is undertaken under the name of “Sabka Sath, Sabka Gaon, Sabka Vikas”.
    • It aims to draw up Gram Panchayat Development Plans (GPDPs) in the country and place them on a website where anyone can see the status of the various government’s flagship schemes.
    • Gram Panchayats have been mandated for the preparation of GPDP for economic development and social justice utilizing the resources available to them.

Conclusion

Decentralization leads to ease of governance and accountability to the people in implementation of schemes. This must be done in true faith and spirit, with adequate devolution of power and resources to the lowest level. Social Audit can strengthen the development programs at the ground level and ca help restructure the execution plans.

 

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

4.  “A decentralized public health system that socializes the cost of healthcare is the need of the hour”, Elucidate.(250 words)

Reference: epw.in

Why this question:

The article plaints a bleak picture of the public health system in the country.

Key demand of the question:

One has to present the point of having a decentralized public health system for the country to socialize the cost of healthcare.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly present the facts related to the public health system in India.

Body:

Bring out the lacunae in the healthcare sector first. Explain how and why Primary healthcare is one of the most neglected segments. Discuss with facts the gaps such as – Total personnel in all human health activities working in institutions with some inpatient facility is around 26.3 lakh, of which 72% works in urban areas that account for a little less than one-third of the population. Explain why we need a people-centred, decentralised public health system that socialises the cost of healthcare. Suggest benefits of adopting such a system. Present the case of Kerala and its administration and methods of handling the Nipah situation.

Conclusion:

Conclude with suitable solutions to address the challenges.

Introduction

India’s expenditure on the health sector has risen meagerly from 1.2 per cent of the GDP in 2013-14 to 1.4 per cent in 2017-18. The National Health Policy 2017 had aimed for this to be 2.5% of GDP.

According to the latest National Health Accounts (NHA) estimates released on Wednesday, patients bear a big chunk of health expenses, as high as 61 per cent of the total health expenditure, by themselves.

Body

Lacunae in the health sector

  • There is a massive shortage of medical staff, infrastructure and last mile connectivity in rural areas. Eg: Doctor: Population 1:1800 and 78% doctors cater to urban India (population of 30%).
  • Massive shortages in the supply of services (human resources, hospitals and diagnostic centres in the private/public sector) which are made worse by grossly inequitable availability between and within States.
    • For example, even a well-placed State such as Tamil Nadu has an over 30% shortage of medical and non-medical professionals in government facilities.
  • Health budget: The health budget has neither increased nor is there any policy to strengthen the public/private sector in deficit areas. While the Ayushmaan Bharat provides portability, one must not forget that it will take time for hospitals to be established in deficit areas.
    • This in turn could cause patients to gravitate toward the southern States that have a comparatively better health infrastructure than the rest of India.
  • Infrastructure constraints: There are doubts on the capacity of India’s infrastructure to take on the additional load of patients during pandemics like Covid-19 as seen recently.
    • There is a growing medical tourism (foreign tourists/patients) as a policy being promoted by the government, and also domestic patients, both insured and uninsured.
  • Absence of primary care: In the northern States there are hardly any sub-centres and primary health centres are practically non-existent. First mile connectivity to a primary healthcare centre is broken. For eg, in Uttar Pradesh there is one PHC for every 28 villages.
  • Out of pocket expenditure high: Even the poor are forced to opt for private healthcare, and, hence, pay from their own pockets. As a result, an estimated 63 million people fall into poverty due to health expenditure, annually.
    • Inequities in the health sector exist due to many factors like geography, socio-economic status and income groups among others. Compared with countries like Sri Lanka, Thailand and China, which started at almost similar levels, India lags behind peers on healthcare outcomes.
  • Rural medical practitioners (RMPs), who provide 80% of outpatient care, have no formal qualifications for it. People fall prey for quacks, often leading to grave disabilities and loss of life.
  • Numerous Schemes: The Government has launched many policies and health programmes but success has been partial at best. The National Health Policy(NHP) 2002 proposed to increase Government spending on health by two to three per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) by 2010 which has not happened yet. Now, the NHP 2017, has proposed to take it to 2.5 per cent of the GDP by 2025.
  • Healthcare without holistic approach: There are a lot of determinants for better health like improved drinking water supply and sanitation; better nutritional outcomes, health and education for women and girls; improved air quality and safer roads which are outside the purview of the Health Ministry.
  • While private sector healthcare providers play an important role in the overall delivery of health services, any engagement of Government hospitals with private sector is seen with suspicion.
  • A number of health institutions, established since independence, seem to have outlived their utility, for instance institutions solely focus on family welfare.
  • Finally, universal health coverage (UHC) is a widely accepted and agreed health goal at the global level and has been included in the broader Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda as well.

Steps needed

  • The current approach requires re-emphasizing the missing priority on PHCs and CHCs for developing comprehensive primary care. Achieving comprehensive primary care requires a paradigm shift from disease-control vertical programmes to community-led, people-oriented primary care.
  • Sharper focus in the resource-starved states should be on improving efficiency in spending without compromising equity, and this can be attained by designing programmes that would cover a large number of people and a wide range of diseases.
    • For example, POSHAN Abhiyan to be strictly rolled out in BIMARU
  • Since the states have higher responsibility than the Centre in matters related to health, the blueprints of primary care can further be redefined in view of the local needs. This should be the policy agenda for the low-performing and resource-constrained states.
  • It is relevant to develop low-cost primary care service delivery models involving nurses and allied health professionals which can lower the burden on the public health system marked by the stress of a low doctor-strength.
  • India needs to design health services to meet local needs with the opposite referral mechanism to secondary- and tertiary-care, and this can produce better health outcomes with a considerable cost-advantage.
    • In this context, the role of public health professionals, those who can help design outreach and preventive programmes and implement the continuing health programme effectively, assumes paramount importance. Eg: Telemedicine
  • India lacks the required number of public health professionals. The shortage is severe in many parts of the country, especially poorer states like Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.
    • The focus should be to train a pool of social workers, psychiatrists, counsellors with public health orientation who could then transform the primary healthcare delivery system in the country.
    • Ayush doctors can prescribe Allopathy medicines after a bridge course.
  • Along with Ayushmaan Bharat (PMJAY), focus must be laid on strengthening the primary health centres with basic diagnostics and services, with district hospitals equipped with multi-specialty capabilities and services to people. Especially for the poor who cannot afford quality health care in private hospitals.
  • Access to medicines through Jan Aushadhi Kendra Scheme. It is mandated to offer 2000 medicines and 300 surgicals in all districts by 2024.

Conclusion

The neo-liberal solution of lopsided and unregulated growth of private healthcare is not a panacea for India’s massive health needs. It calls for a people-centred, decentralized public health system that socializes the cost of healthcare. Especially in times of Pandemics like Covid-19, the significance and loopholes of Indian public health sector are led bare. It gives an opportunity to reform and rehaul the healthcare sector to be better equipped for future emergencies.

 

Topic:   Money laundering and its prevention.

5. What do you understand by round tripping? Discuss the concerns associated and suggest ways to address them. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

 In a major relief for New Delhi Television Limited (NDTV), the Supreme Court has quashed an income tax re-assessment notice issued by revenue authorities against the premier news broadcasting company. Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the concept of round tripping and discuss the concerns associated and suggest ways to address them.

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 round tripping. Discuss the concerns associated and suggest ways to address them.

Body:

Round tripping refers to money that leaves the country though various channels and makes its way back into the country often as foreign investment. This mostly involves black money and is allegedly often used for stock price manipulation. Round tripping is often done through a series of transactions that don’t have any substantial commercial purposes, which makes it fall within the trappings of GAAR. List down the concerns associated with round tripping. Detail upon the efforts being taken the government in this direction.

Conclusion:

Conclude by suggesting measures to tackle them.

Introduction

Round tripping refers to money that leaves the country though various channels and makes its way back into the country often as foreign investment. This mostly involves black money and is allegedly often used for stock price manipulation. It is also a money laundering and tax evasion technique.

Round tripping is often done through a series of transactions that don’t have any substantial commercial purposes, which makes it fall within the trappings of GAAR.

Body

Round Tripping: Concerns

  • Round-tripping is a method used to show an increase in volume in a thinly traded stock.
  • It is also known as round-trip transactions or ‘Lazy Susans’ and is a characteristic of the New Economy companies.
  • It is a market-manipulation practice used to misrepresent the number of transactions occurring on any given day. This leads to loss of tax-revenue to the governments.
  • Companies used round-tripping to distort the market by establishing false revenue benchmarks, aiming to meet or beat the numbers.
  • Round-trip trading artificially inflates volume and revenues, but in reality, it adds no profit.
  • It is a form of barter that involves a company selling “an unused asset to another company, while at the same time agreeing to buy back the same or similar assets at about the same price.
  • This process is sometimes used as a means of increasing the apparent amount of sales and revenue generated by the seller during a specific financial period.
  • Round trip stock trading is one method that companies use to deceptively increase income. It is also a method used to show an increase in volume in a thinly traded stock. Most of the time, round trips occur when the person is a day trader.
  • SEBI had recently issued a notice against listed firms including United Spirits, GMR, Unitech and Sterlite for investing in group companies through a foreign account held with UBS. The companies are alleged to have indulged in stock price manipulation and insider trading through this route.
  • Stakeholder interest: If a company is under the regulator’s radar for round-tripping allegations, it implies the possibility of poor corporate governance. Putting money into such stocks may contain high risk of unravelling and eventual collapse.

Addressing problems of Round Tripping

  • The government amended the tax treaty with Mauritius in 2016, removing the tax arbitrage on capital gains. Under POEM (place of effective management) rules, overseas subsidiaries are treated as domestic entities for tax purposes if they are controlled and managed from India.
  • As per RBI notification, Indian company can’t acquire stakes in an offshore firm which has already invested in an Indian entity “under the automatic route”.
  • The data under Foreign Exchange Management Act of 1999 (FEMA) indicates non-reporting or delayed reporting by many, including large companies, for both FDI and OFDI. It must be amended for monitoring and reporting by the companies.
  • India must sign information disclosure agreements with tax havens such as Mauritius, Cyprus and such other countries to monitor round-tripping of funds.
  • Information exchange will help with monitoring the investments especially post the extension of the automatic route to OFDI (Outward foreign direct investment).
  • More powers to RBI and SEBI regulators for probing cases of round-tripping.
  • Agreement on stringent KYC norms by the countries involved can help in tracking the route of investments and impose taxes accordingly.

It must also be ensured that investigation must not lead to harassment despite following the law of the land. Proper guidelines and clear laws can ensure Ease of Doing Business in India as well as attract investments from foreign companies and investors.

Conclusion

Round Tripping makes the government lose large amount of revenue. Round tripping is not regarded to serve any purpose apart from aiding in the evasion of tax in India. Round tripping is not prohibited under Indian laws as of now. It is, however, argued that such a practice severely impacts revenues from capital gains tax. India must go for taking the course of law, to ensure there is no evasion of tax.

 

Topic:  Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

6. While discussing the seaweed distribution and resource potential in India bring out the challenges of rising seaweed tides.(250 words)

Reference: Geography and YouResearch Gate

Why this question:

The question is straightforward and is based on the theme of Seaweed; its utility as a resource and possible concerns associated with it.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the seaweed distribution and resource potential in India; also bring out the challenges of rising seaweed tides.

Directive:

DiscussThis 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 define what Seaweed is – Seaweed or sea vegetables are forms of algae that grow in the sea. They’re a food source for ocean life and range in color from red to green to brown to black. Seaweed grows along rocky shorelines around the world, but it’s most commonly eaten in Asian countries such as Japan, Korea and China

Body:

To start with, discuss the distribution and resource potential of it in India – According to a report from the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), only 30 million tonnes of seaweeds, valuing €8 billion, are being harvested every year. In India, seaweeds grow abundantly along the Tamil Nadu and Gujarat coasts and around Lakshadweep and the Andaman and Nicobar islands. Discuss the importance of seaweed cultivation to India. Then move onto explain the challenges – highlight the issue of coastal eutrophication, disruption to coastal tourism, negative impact on the health of coasts etc.

 Conclusion:

Conclude by suggesting solutions to address the issues associated.

Introduction

Seaweeds are a group of primitive non-flowering marine plants with no distinguishable root, stem and leaves. They are valuable renewable marine living resource and distributed in the intertidal, shallow and deep waters of the sea up to 150m depth. They also occur in estuaries and backwaters. Seaweeds grow on rocks, dead coral stones, pebbles, solid substrates and other plants as epiphytes. Based on the type of pigments, morphological and anatomical characters, seaweeds are broadly classified in to green, brown, red and blue-green algae.

Body

Distribution in India

seaweed

  • In India, several species of green, brown, red and blue-green algae with luxuriant growth occur along the southeast coast of Tamil Nadu from Rameswaram to Kanyakumari covering 21 islands in Gulf of Mannar.
  • In Gujarat coast, seaweeds occur abundantly at Okha, Dwarka, Porbandar, Veraval, Diu and Gopnath.
  • Rich seaweeds are present in Lakshadweep, Andaman -Nicobar Islands and also in and around Mumbai, Ratnagiri, Goa, Karwar, Varkala, Vizhinjiam, Visakhapatnam and coastal lakes such as Pulicat and Chilka.
  • In Indian waters so far 271 genera and 844 species of marine algae have been reported.
  • Apart from the commonly available 200 species of seaweeds, about 680 species of marine algae belonging to Rhodophyta, Phaeophyta, Chlorophyta commonly known as red, brown and green seaweeds have also been identified in both inter-tidal and deep water regions. Among these seaweeds green algae are rare. Brown algae are widely distributed. Red algae are small and delicate, with a feathery appearance.

Advantages for India

  • Export Potential: According to a report from the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), only 30 million tonnes of seaweeds, valuing €8 billion, are being harvested every year.
    • India can cultivate more and harvest more with its vast 7500km coastline.
  • Economic/Commercial usage: Seaweeds new renewable source of food, energy, chemicals and medicines. Provides valuable source of raw material for industries like health food, medicines, pharmaceuticals, textiles, fertilizers, animal feed etc.
    • Seaweeds used for production of Agar, Alginates & Carrageenan.
    • Chemicals from brown seaweeds such as alginic acid, mannitol, laminarin, fucoidin and iodine have been extracted successfully on a commercial basis.
    • As the alginates can absorb many times their own weight of water, have a wide range of viscosity, can readily form gels and are non-toxic, they have countless uses in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, cosmetic creams, paper and cardboard, and processed foods.
  • Social benefits: Provide occupation for the coastal people.
    • Provide continues supply of raw material for seaweed based industry.
    • Provide seaweeds of uniform quality for use in industry.
    • Conserve natural populations of concerned seaweeds.
    • Seaweed farming is an ecofriendly activity.
    • Major tool to treat coastal pollution in the sea and reduce CO2 in global warming
  • Challenges in cultivation
    • The major problems in the seaweed industry include over exploitation leading to a scarcity of raw material, poor quality raw material and also water scarcity.
    • There are labor shortages during the paddy harvesting and transplanting season.
    • The lack of technology to improve processed product quality, and a lack of information on new and alternative sources of raw materials.
    • Despite the great number of sheltered bays and lagoons suitable for mariculture, not many large-scale (eg: Pepsico) attempts to grow seaweed have been made in India so far.
    • The culture period of Porphyra Indica is only 4 months during winter season, as it cannot grow in rest of the year due to high temperatures. Moreover, the yield is not economical.
      • The same is true for Enteromorpha intestinalis as these are the 2 algae which are directly edible in India.
    • Efforts are needed to increase production through improving harvesting techniques, removal of competing species, creation of artificial habitats and seeding of cleared areas.
    • Eutrophication is one of the harmful effects of seaweed cultivation if done unscientifically. This will decrease the dissolved oxygen and lead to mass kill of marine species near the shore.

Conclusion

There is a huge potential in India for seaweed cultivation, which in turn will provide alternate livelihood and income to the local fishermen community. Food processing industries must divulge into this sector to leverage our ample resources and improve exports in seaweed products.

 

Topic:  emotional intelligence

7. Discuss the Skills that are required to become emotionally intelligent while highlighting the advantages of developing emotional intelligence for administration.(250 words)

Reference: Ethics by Lexicon publications

Why this question:

The question is based on the concept of emotional intelligence from GS paper IV.

Key demand of the question:

One has to elucidate upon the skill that are required to become emotionally intelligent and bring out the advantages of developing emotional intelligence for administration.

Directive:

DiscussThis 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 what EI is.

Body:

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and express our emotions to meet the requirements of day-to-day living, learning, and relating to others. Briefly narrate the importance of EI. Discuss the skills required – self-awareness, social skills, optimism etc. Highlighting the advantages of developing emotional intelligence for administration.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting importance of EI.

Introduction

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to identify, use, understand, and manage one’s emotions as well as emotions of others in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict.

Studies have shown that a part of emotional intelligence ability is innate while another part can be changed through learning and experience; this later part dominated by culture provides the structures, guidelines, expectations, and rules to interpret behaviors.

Body

Skills needed to be emotionally intelligent

  • Self-Awareness: Emotionally intelligent people are aware of how they feel, what motivates and demotivates them, and how they affect others.
  • Social Skills: Emotionally intelligent people communicate and relate well with others. They listen intently and adapt their communications to others’ unique needs, including diverse backgrounds. They show compassion.
  • Optimism: Emotionally intelligent people have a positive and optimistic outlook on life. Their mental attitude energizes them to work steadily towards goals despite setbacks.
  • Emotional Control: Emotionally intelligent people handle stress evenly. They deal calmly with emotionally stressful situations, such as change and interpersonal conflicts.
  • Flexibility: Emotionally intelligent people adapt to changes. They use problem-solving to develop options.

Advantages of Emotional Intelligence in administration

The chances of succeeding are skewed towards people who are better able to manage themselves and others emotionally, one’s who are likeable and trustworthy. Research shows that more than 80% percent of success is due to skills in “human engineering,” personality and ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead. Only 15 percent is due to technical knowledge. Additionally, Nobel Prize winning psychologist, Daniel Kahneman, found that people would rather do business with a person they like and trust rather than someone they don’t, even if the likeable person is offering a lower quality product or service at a higher price.

  • For instance, empathy is one such emotion which enables an administrator to understand the pain and suffering of the people. It motivates them to work harder to provide respite to such people and expedite the solutions.
  • Impetus to act: Success requires a team and leaders, by definition, require followers. Leaders can empower others in a variety of ways. They enable others by fostering collaboration and building trust. Successful leaders share power, delegate well, and do what’s necessary to help others perform.
  • Inspire by words: In terms of emotional intelligence, there is a need of self-regard and interpersonal skills to enable others to act. In order to build successful relationships, you need the skills to engage and relate to others in a meaningful way.
  • Composure: Good leaders don’t flare up or lose control under difficult circumstances.
  • Encouragement: A key component of this practice involves recognizing the contributions of others. Rewarding people for their participation goes a long way in motivating them to be part of our team. Leaders who encourage others not only need to know how those people feel but need to be capable of building relationships with them, as well.

It was Gandhiji’s compassion for the downtrodden and the oppresses in the African Colony that motivated him to fight for their rights. He was receptive of their pain and suffering. It was his empathetic view of their conditions which inspired him to open Tolstoy farm to house the satyagrahis.

Conclusion

Emotional Intelligence is the key factor that spurs administrators into action and evaluate the effectiveness of the measures on the people and providing them relief. Appropriate level of EI demands capacity for appreciation of ‘interconnections’ of matters which are seemingly unrelated but together influence the outcome of a public policy or project. Emotional Intelligence, thus, has to be factored in administrative justice.