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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 20 May 2020


NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.


 

Topic:  Salient features of world’s physical geography.

1. Discuss in detail the classification of tropical cyclones as suggested by IMD.(250 words)

Reference:  Hindustan Times 

Why this question:

According to the India Meteorological Department, the storm system in the Bay of Bengal, Amphan has developed into a super cyclone and is expected to make landfall along the West Bengal-Bangladesh coast. Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

Explain in detail the classification of tropical cyclones as suggested by IMD.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain what Tropical cyclones are.

Body:

The students must remember that the question is not about the concept of tropical cyclone but about the classification of tropical cyclones. Explain in detail the classification suggested by IMD, use diagrams and tabulations wherever relevant.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance.

Introduction:

 Tropical Cyclone is any large system of winds that circulates about a center of low atmospheric pressure in a counter-clockwise direction north of the Equator and in a clockwise direction to the south. Cyclonic winds move across nearly all regions of the Earth except the equatorial belt and are generally associated with rain or snow.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Amphan is expected to make landfall between Digha in West Bengal and Hatiya Island in Bangladesh, close to the Sundarbans and around Sagar Island, as a very severe cyclonic storm, bordering on an extremely severe cyclonic storm.

Body:

Cyclones are caused by atmospheric disturbances around a low-pressure area distinguished by swift and often destructive air circulation. Cyclones are usually accompanied by violent storms and bad weather. The air circulates inward in an anticlockwise direction in the Northern hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern hemisphere.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO, 1976) uses the term ‘Tropical Cyclone’ to cover weather systems in which winds exceed ‘Gale Force’ (minimum of 34 knots or 63 kph). Tropical cyclones are the progeny of ocean and atmosphere, powered by the heat from the sea; and driven by easterly trades and temperate westerlies, high planetary winds and their own fierce energy.

In India, cyclones are classified by:

  • Strength of associated winds,
  • Storm surges
  • Exceptional rainfall occurrences.

The criteria below have been formulated by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), which classifies the low pressure systems in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea on the basis of capacity to damage, which is adopted by the WMO.

Type of DisturbancesWind Speed in Km/hWind Speed in Knots
Low PressureLess than 31Less than 17
Depression31-4917-27
Deep Depression49-6127-33
Cyclonic Storm61-8833-47
Severe Cyclonic Storm88-11747-63
Very Severe Cyclonic Storm118–16663-89
Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm166–22189-120
Super CycloneMore than 221More than 120

1 knot – 1.85 km per hour

Cyclones are classified into five different levels on the basis of wind speed. They are further divided into the following categories according to their capacity to cause damage:

Cyclone CategoryWind Speed in Km/hDamage Capacity
1120-150Minimal
2150-180Moderate
3180-210Extensive
4210-250Extreme
5250 and aboveCatastrophic

Conclusion:

Tropical cyclones occur in the months of May-June and October-November. Cyclones of severe intensity and frequency in the North Indian Ocean are bi-modal in character, with their primary peak in November and secondary peak in May. The disaster potential is particularly high during landfall in the North Indian Ocean (Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea) due to the accompanying destructive wind, storm surges and torrential rainfall. Of these, storm surges cause the most damage as sea water inundates low lying areas of coastal regions and causes heavy floods, erodes beaches and embankments, destroys vegetation and reduces soil fertility.

 

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

2. Account on the issues being faced by the Power DISCOMS and elaborate on how the proposed Electricity Act 2020 will further aggravate their crisis and alter the power of states. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu 

Why this question:

The article discusses in what way the proposal to reform a power tariff policy and an amendment to the Electricity act-2003 will erode the concurrent status given to the electricity in the constitution.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the DISCOM troubles already present and how the newly proposed Electricity Act 2020 can further aggravate the crisis.

Directive:

Account – Weigh up to what extent something is true. Persuade the reader of your argument by citing relevant research but also remember to point out any flaws and counter- arguments as well. Conclude by stating clearly how far you are in agreement with the original proposition.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly highlight the troubles that the DISCOMS are facing in the recent past.

Body:

In the last 25 years there is an increasing cost of power purchases by the Discoms, making the costs almost 80% of the total costs of Discoms.  List down the issues faced by them in detail. Then, examine the proposals in the Electricity Act 2020. Explain that the amendment to the Electricity Bill and the reforms in power tariff policy by the centre takes the power of the states on a basic necessity “electricity”, and further burden the Discoms.

Conclusion:

Conclude with what should be the way forward.

Introduction:

The power distribution companies (or DISCOMS) have been under financial stress and there have been repeated attempts at improving their condition through various initiatives and schemes from the governments. Part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat package announced by Finance Minister was a Rs 90,000-crore liquidity injection into DISCOMS. The move is aimed at helping the DISCOMS clear their dues with GENCOS (or electricity generation companies), who in turn can clear their outstanding dues with suppliers, such as coal miners, easing some of the working capital woes of Coal India Ltd and contract miners.

Body:

discom

Issues faced by DISCOMs:

  • Poor financial situation of DISCOMs:
    • The key issue with the power sector currently is the continuing problem of the poor financial situation of state DISCOMS.
    • This has been affecting their ability to buy power for supply, and the ability to invest in improving the distribution infrastructure. Consequently, this impacts the quality of electricity that consumers receive.
  • High costs of Power purchase:
    • The cost of power purchase has risen to 80% of the total costs of State DISCOMs. The two-part tariff policy has been mandated by the Ministry of Power since the 1990s.
    • DISCOMS essentially purchase power from generation companies through power purchase agreements (PPAs), and then supply it to their consumers in their area of distribution.
    • As more private developers came forward to invest in generation, DISCOMs were required to sign long-term power purchase agreements (PPA), committing to pay a fixed cost to the power generator, irrespective of whether the State draws the power or not, and a variable charge for fuel when it does.
  • Over-optimistic projections:
    • The PPAs signed by DISCOMs were based on over-optimistic projection of power demand estimated by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA).
    • Due to this, DISCOMs locked into long-term contracts end up servicing perpetual fixed costs for power not drawn.
    • Due to the CEA’s overestimates, the all-India plant load factor of coal power plants is only 56%. This leads to underutilization of available capacity and increases the operating cost of the generation plants which invariably leads to higher costs for the electricity.
  • Shortfall of cash collection:
    • Due to the perennial cash collection shortfall, often due to payment delays from consumers, DISCOMS are unable to make timely payments for their energy purchases from the generators. This gap/shortfall is met by borrowings (debt), government subsidies, and possibly, through reduced expenditure.
    • This increases the DISCOMS cost of borrowing (interest), which is inevitably borne by the consumer.
  • Renewable energy factor:
    • From 2010, solar and wind power plants were declared as “must-run”, requiring DISCOMs to absorb all renewable power, even in excess of mandatory renewable purchase obligations. The decrease in thermal generation to accommodate all available green power, entailed further idle fixed costs payable on account of two-part tariff PPAs.
    • DISCOMs are having to integrate large volumes of solar and wind energy power at relatively high tariffs (5 Rs./kwh in Karnataka and 6 Rs./kwh in Tamil Nadu for solar power).
    • In 2015 the Centre announced an ambitious target of 175 gigawatts of renewable power by 2022, offering a slew of concessions to renewable energy developers, and aggravating the burden of DISCOMs.

Significant changes proposed in the Electricity Act, 2020 are:

  • Sub-franchisees under the DISCOM service areas:
    • This in an attempt to usher in markets in the sector which the government hopes will be more efficient and accountable.
  • Greater concessions to renewable power developers:
    • This is in line with India’s climate action initiatives and to increase India’s energy security by making use of the renewable energy potential of India.
  • Eliminate the cross-subsidies in retail power tariff:
    • It means that each consumer category would be charged what it costs to service that category.
    • This would help reduce the steep cross-subsidies in electricity being borne by the industries which make their goods and services costly in the global market.
    • The elimination of cross subsidy would entail more efficient usage of electricity.
    • The provision for direct transfer of subsidies would reduce leakage losses.
  • Appointment by a central selection committee:
    • State regulators will henceforth be appointed by a central selection committee.
    • This is meant to ensure uniformity in appointment processes across states and also ensure the availability of a larger talent pool from across the country for appointments.
  • Establishment of a centralised Electricity Contract Enforcement Authority:
    • This would help ensure faster resolution of disputes and entail lower pendency and associated costs.

Measures needed:

  • Discom business needs to be fundamentally restructured.
  • Governance needs to be improved with greater resilience to political influence.
  • Robust mechanisms need to be put in place to ensure tariff rationalization and follow-through on subsequent increases.
  • Market-friendly electricity reforms need to be introduced and enforced. This includes expanding the role of short-term markets, as well as strict enforcement of PPAs to assure investors and developers of the legal sanctity of contracts signed with discoms.
  • Streamlining the open access process, with the fair application of additional surcharges will boost the demand for renewable energy from the commercial and industrial sectors.
  • Discoms will have to be pushed harder to invest in technical solutions and infrastructure upgrade such as feeder separation, installing smart meters and undertaking detailed data collection and analysis.
  • Strict Actions to curb Electricity theft and other actions those lead to Losses to DISCOMs.
  • Integrating UDAY scheme with Make in India and Startup India to ensure overall Development.
  • Integrating UDAY with KUSUM to increase amount of electricity to DISCOMS.

Conclusion:

The Centre should also look at altering the incentive structures of states in order to ensure compliance. Stiff penalties need to be imposed for not meeting the targets laid out in the new scheme. DISCOMS must therefore, buy cost-efficient power for consumers, ensure supply reliability with quality by minimizing losses/leakages, accurately meter, bill, and collect payments from the consumers, and thereby, enable timely payments to the generators. Measures for improving viability of distribution companies, including tariff rationalization and timely release of subsidies along with improved governance should also be looked into.

 

Topic:  Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora. Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

3. What are “Travel Bubbles”? With the pandemic throwing both international and domestic trade and travel out of gear how can the concept help parts of the global economy afloat? Explain.(250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express 

Why this question:

The Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania on Friday started what is being referred to as a ‘travel bubble’ to help put their economies back on track post-Covid lockdowns. Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the concept of travel Bubbles and then discuss how it would help the global economies.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly define what Travel Bubbles are.

Body:

Creating a travel bubble involves reconnecting countries or states that have shown a good level of success in containing the novel coronavirus pandemic domestically. Such a bubble would allow the members of the group to rekindle trade ties with each other, and kick start sectors such as travel and tourism. In the Estonia-Latvia-Lithuania travel bubble, residents would be able to travel freely by rail, air, and sea without quarantine measures. Explain that to keep some parts of the global economy afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic, travel bubbles are now being recommended. Discuss the pros and cons of such a concept. Discuss its significance to India.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

A travel bubble involves reconnecting countries or states that have shown a good level of success in containing the novel coronavirus pandemic domestically. Such a bubble would allow the members of the group to rekindle trade ties with each other, and kickstart sectors such as travel and tourism. The Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania on Friday started what is being referred to as a ‘travel bubble’ to help put their economies back on track post-Covid lockdowns. To keep some parts of the global economy afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic, travel bubbles are now being recommended.

Body:

Challenges posed to travel and tourism industry by pandemic:

  • The virtual halt to travel has exacerbated the global economy’s woes, complicating trade ties, upending business and devastating the tourism industry.
  • The global travel and tourism industry was estimated to be worth over $700 billion in 2020 – and it’s now forecast to be $447 billion as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Potential of travel bubbles:

  • With the pandemic throwing both international and domestic trade and travel out of gear since earlier this year, such ‘travel bubbles’ are now being recommended to keep at least parts of the global economy afloat.
  • In countries that are at a similar stage of pandemic recovery, governments are fast adopting travel bubbles – allowing intra-regional travel even as they remain closed to the rest of the world.
  • Analysts say country-to-country bubbles would jumpstart aviation, tourism and conferencing, all of which have taken hits since the global pandemic started.
  • It would help to speed the recovery of economic activity.
  • According to a report in The Economist, potential travel bubbles among better-performing countries around the world would account for around 35 per cent of the global GDP.
  • Such arrangements are especially being favoured by smaller countries, who are likely to benefit after being able to trade again with larger partners.
  • In the Estonia-Latvia-Lithuania travel bubble, residents would be able to travel freely by rail, air, and sea without quarantine measures. All three are sparsely populated (Lithuania- 28 lakh, Latvia- 19.2 lakh, Estonia- 13.3 lakh people) and have been fairly successful at managing the outbreak.
  • Australia and New Zealand reached an agreement to form a travel bubble between the two countries once it becomes safe to operate flights between them.
  • China and South Korea, who have also enjoyed success in containing the outbreak, have launched a fast track channel for business travelers.
  • In the US, travel bubbles are being suggested to group states who are faring well against the pandemic, but constitutional challenges are also being cited as a possible roadblock for such plans.

Potential for India:

  •  The raging Covid-19 pandemic and the idea of travel bubbles have provided India with a unique opportunity to fulfil its long-held dream of becoming South Asia’s benevolent hegemon.
  • If India were to initiate such a travel bubble, it would affirm its position as a regional elder, patroller of the seas and borders, and an economy ready to trade during desperate times.
  • The travel bubble will be India’s moment to make a political statement that unleashes its drive to reimagine South Asian integration.
  • Although, a South Asian bubble as proposed by New Delhi is just the first in a series of steps required to imagine the new South Asian regional order.

Potential pitfalls:

  • Safe zones might fray if one or more members push to open travel with a third country whose virus risk is higher — especially China, whose vast market exerts a powerful pull.
  • Creating “bubbles” of rich countries risks exacerbating inequalities with poorer countries that are excluded.
  • The sooner wealthier nations can restore economies to health, however, including by re-establishing trade links, the faster they can help the emerging world.

Measures needed:

  • The success of travel bubble will depend much on how the governments handle themselves with the information they share, how much clarity there is, and the structure they create for visitors and the industry.
  • Restrictions on travel should first be lifted in areas with a comparable epidemiological situation and where sufficient capabilities are in place in terms of hospitals, testing, surveillance and contact tracing capacities.

Conclusion:

A travel bubble would be “mutually beneficial, assisting our trade and economic recovery, helping kick-start the tourism and transport sectors, enhancing sporting contacts, and reuniting families and friends”. With most economies frozen due to coronavirus pandemic, India not only has a chance to reignite animal spirits but also make South Asia genuinely integrated.

 

Topic:  Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth

4. Discuss the role of Public Sector Enterprises in the Indian Economy.(250 words)

 Reference:   Indian economy by Dutta and Sundaram

Why this question:

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

Key demand of the question:

Explain the role of public sector enterprises in India and their contributions 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 explain the scenario of public sector enterprise in India.

Body:

Explain that the public sector in India is composed of a number of segments; the govt., departmental and non-departmental enterprises. Then move on to discuss the importance/presence of the Public Sector in the Indian Economy. Discuss elaborately role of the Public Sector in the Indian Economy. Highlight the Problems Associated with Public Sector while suggesting solutions to the same.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

In India, a public sector company is that company in which the Union Government or State Government or any Territorial Government owns a share of 51 % or more. Currently there are just three sectors left reserved only for the government i.e. Railways, Atomic energy and explosive material. Private sectors/players are not allowed to operate in these sectors.

 Body:

The public sector aims at achieving the following objectives:

  • To promote rapid economic development through creation and expansion of infrastructure
  • To generate financial resources for development
  • To promote redistribution of income and wealth
  • To create employment opportunities
  • To promote balanced regional growth
  • To encourage the development of small-scale and ancillary industries, and
  • To accelerate export promotion and import substitution

Role of Public Sector Enterprises in the Indian Economy:

  • Public Sector and Capital Formation:
    • The role of public sector in collecting saving and investing them during the planning ear has been very important.
    • During the first and second five year plan it was 54% of the total investment, which declined to 24.6 % in the 2010-11.
  • Employment Generation:
    • Public sector has created millions of jobs to tackle the unemployment problem in the country.
    • The number of persons employed in the as on march 2011 was 150 lakh.
    • Public sector has also contributed a lot towards the improvement of working and living conditions of workers by serving as a model employer.
  • Balanced Regional Development:
    • Public sector undertakings have located their plants in backward parts of the county. These areas lacked basic industrial and civic facilities like electricity, water supply, township and manpower.
    • Public enterprises have developed these facilities thereby bringing about complete transformation in the socio-economic life of the people in these regions.
    • Steel plants of Bhilai, Rourkela and Durgapur; fertilizer factory at Sindri, are few examples of the development of backward regions by the public sector.
  • Contribution to Public Exchequer:
    • Apart from generation of internal resources and payment of dividend, public enterprises have been making substantial contribution to the Government exchequer through payment of corporate taxes, excise duty, custom duty etc. gross internal resource generation in 1990- 2000 was 36000 cr which rose to 1, 11,000 cr in 2008-09, while net profit was 92,077 cr in 2010-11.
  • Export Promotion and Foreign Exchange Earnings:
    • Some public enterprises have done much to promote India’s export. The State Trading Corporation (STC), the Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation (MMTC), Hindustan Steel Ltd., the Bharat Electronics Ltd., the Hindustan Machine Tools, etc., have done very well in export promotion.
  • Import Substitution:
    • Some public sector enterprises were started specifically to produce goods which were formerly imported and thus to save foreign exchange.
    • The Hindustan Antibiotics Ltd., the Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (IDPL), the Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC), the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd., the Bharat Electronics Ltd., etc., have saved foreign exchange by way of import substitution.
  • Promotion of Research and Development:
    • As most of the public enterprises are engaged in high technology and heavy industries, they have undertaken research and development programmes in a big way.
    • Public sector has laid strong and wide base for self-reliance in the field of technical know-how, maintenance and operation of sophisticated industrial plants, machinery and equipment in the country.
    • Expenditure on research and development reduces the cost of production.

Despite their impressive role, Public enterprises in India suffer from several problems and shortcomings. It includes Poor Project Planning, Over-capitalization, excessive overheads, overstaffing, under-utilization of the capacity, lack of proper price policy and inefficient management.

Conclusion:

The public sector in India has its set of several drawbacks and failures, but that does not underestimate the crucial role it plays in the economy as it acts as an essential catalyst to propel the economy forward regarding overall growth and development, along with the general welfare of the citizens.

 

Topic:  Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth

5. Discuss the effects of Liberalization on various aspects of Indian economy and Society. (250 words)

Reference:   Indian economy by Dutta and Sundaram

Why this question:

The question is again from the static portions of GS paper III.

Key demand of the question:

The question aims to discuss the effects of Liberalization on various aspects of Indian economy and Society. 

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 the coming of liberalisation and its application to Indian economy.

Body:

To start with, explain the impact of liberalisation on Indian economy in general. Explain that we have seen landmark shift in Indian Economy since the adoption of new economic policy in 1991. This had far reaching impacts on all spheres of life in India. There can be no concrete conclusions about their impact on Indian people. Economic liberalization is the lessening of government regulations and restrictions in an economy in exchange for greater participation by private entities; the doctrine is associated with classical liberalism. Thus, liberalization in short is “the removal of controls” in order to encourage economic development. Discuss its impact on various sectors of economy – agriculture, industry, health, education, IT etc. Explain how it impacted the fabric of Indian society; highlight both positives and negatives.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance.

Introduction:

 Economic liberalization is the lessening of government regulations and restrictions in an economy in exchange for greater participation by private entities; the doctrine is associated with classical liberalism. Thus, liberalization in short is “the removal of controls” in order to encourage economic development.

After suffering a huge financial and economic crisis our previous Government brought a new policy which is known as Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization Policy (LPG Policy) also known as New Economic Policy,1991 as it was a measure to come out of the crisis that was going on at that time.

Body:

Impact on Indian Economy:

  • India’s annual average growth rate from 1990 – 2010 has been 6.6 % which is almost double than pre reforms era.
  • Free flow of capital: Liberalisation has improved flow of capital into the country which makes it inexpensive for the companies to access capital from investors. Lower cost of capital enables to undertake lucrative projects which they may not have been possible with a higher cost of capital pre-liberalisation, leading to higher growth rates.
  • Stock Market Performance: Generally, when a country relaxes its laws, taxes, the stock market values also rise. Stock Markets are platforms on which Corporate Securities can be traded in real time.
  • Political Risks Reduced: Liberalisation policies in the country lessens political risks to investors. The government can attract more foreign investment through liberalisation of economic policies. These are the areas that support and foster a readiness to do business in the country such as a strong legal foundation to settle disputes, fair and enforceable laws.
  • Diversification for Investors: In a liberalised economy, Investors gets benefit by being able to invest a portion of their portfolio into a diversifying asset class.

Impact on Agriculture:

  • In the area of agriculture, the cropping patterns has undergone a huge modification, but the impact of liberalisation cannot be properly measured. It is observed that there are still all-pervasive government controls and interventions starting from production to distribution for the produce.
  • Global agricultural economy is highly distorted. This is mainly because imbalance in economic and political power in hands of farmers of developed and developing countries. In developed countries, commercial and capitalistic agriculture is in place which is owned by influential Agri corporations. They easily influence policies of WTO and extract a better deal for themselves at cost of farmers of developing world.
  • Farming in developing world is subsistence and supports large number of poor people. With globalization there has been high fluctuation in commodity prices which put them in massive risk. This is particularly true for cash crops like Cotton and Sugarcane. Recent crises in both crops indicate towards this conclusively.
  • Another global debate born out of globalization is one of GM crops. Here too powerful MNCs like Monsanto hold the key. USA allows unhindered use of GM crops, but EU bans it. In India only non-food GM crops are grown.
  • Apart from these, Farm Mechanization i.e. use of electronic/solar pumps, Tractors, combines etc. all are fruits of globalization. Now moving a step further, Information technology is being incorporated into agriculture to facilitate farming.

Impact on Small scale industry

  • SSIs however exists and still remains backbone of Indian Economy. It contributes to major portion of exports and private sector employment.
  • Results are mixed, many erstwhile Small scale industries got bigger and better.
  • But overall value addition, product innovation and technology adoption remains dismal and they exist only on back of government support.
  • Their products are contested by cheaper imports from China.

Impact on Services Sector:

  • In service sector, globalization has changed the scene of developing countries and misery for developed ones.
  • Due to historic economic inequality between two groups, human resources have been much cheaper in developing economies.
  • This was further aided by information technology revolution and this all culminated in migration of numerous jobs from developed countries to developing countries.
  • Best part is that export of services result in export of high value. There is almost no material exported which consume some natural resource. Only thing exported is labour of Professionals, which does not reduce, instead grows with time.
  • Now India is better positioned to become actually Knowledge Economy. Exports of these services generate huge revenue for India’s foreign Exchange.

Impact on Education and Health Sectors:

  • It should be noted that food (Agriculture), Health and education (and to lesser extent banking) are among basic necessities, which every human being deserves and can’t do without.
  • Unfortunately, in developing countries there is market failure in all these sectors and majority of people can’t afford beyond a certain limit (or can’t afford at all).
  • Concept of free markets, globalization, liberalization etc. fails here miserably.
  • Free markets provide goods and services to people who can afford paying for them, not to those who deserve and need these.
  • Now if we consider these sectors from angle of our inclination towards free markets, certainly there has been lot of progress.
  • There has been world class education available in India and Deregulation has resulted in Mushrooming of private engineering and Medical Colleges.
  • But in reality, this had far reaching devastating effect on society. These new colleges accommodate only a miniscule proportion of aspirants at very high costs.
  • Reality is that after deregulation and liberalization, government along with other sectors, pulled its hand from social sectors too. Now there is Mediocre to high quality options are available in private sector which can be availed as per one’s budget.

Overall negative impacts of liberalization:

  • Impact of FDI in Banking sector: Foreign direct investment allowed in the banking and insurance sectors resulted in decline of government’s stake in banks and insurance firms.
  • Destabilization of the economy: Tremendous redistribution of economic power and political power leads to Destabilizing effects on the entire Indian economy.
  • Threat from Multinationals: Prior to 1991 MNC’s did not play much role in the Indian economy. In the pre-reform period, there was domination of public enterprises in the economy. On account of liberalisation, competition has increased for the Indian firms. Multinationals are quite big and operate in several countries which has turned out a threat to local Indian Firms.
  • Technological Impact: Rapid increase in technology forces many enterprises and small scale industries in India to either adapt to changes or close their businesses.
  • Mergers and Acquisitions: Acquisitions and mergers are increasing day-by-day. In cases where small companies are being merged by big companies, the employees of the small companies may require exhaustive re-skilling. Re-skilling duration will lead to non-productivity and would cast a burden on the capital of the company.

Conclusion:

It is well recognized that liberalization has major impact on the Indian economy and made it a huge consumer market. Currently, most of the economic changes in the country are based on the demand supply cycle and other economic factors. Today, India has made good status in economy in terms of market exchange rate and 5th largest in terms of the purchasing power parity. Economic liberalization is generally thought of as a useful and necessary process for developing nations. The fundamental goal is to have clear capital flowing into and out of the country in order to increase growth and efficiencies within the domestic country. The effects following liberalization are what should interest investors as it can provide new opportunities for diversification and profit.

 

Topic:  Quotation based

6.  “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” bring out what the quote means to you in the present context.(250 words)

Reference:  quote based question

Why this question:

The question is based on a quotation by a moral thinker.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the inherent message that is being conveyed by the quote and its relevance to ethics and morality principles in general.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain the quote; it’s meaning.

Body:

The statement puts forth a situation that represents two acts, one of child who represents innocence, unaware of the consequences of his act and the other of man who represents mature, well-developed human minds with full knowledge of consequences. Child does not know the consequence of his act; his act is all performed in innocence and hence could be forgiven. On the other hand, men are well educated, capable of making educated and well informed decisions for their act, however they are lacking valor and courage to face the light of the truth. They are afraid of the consequences of representing the truth in its absolute form. Hence they take the shade of the dark and misrepresent the truth which is unpardonable.

Conclusion:

Conclude that only when a man understands his very nature of existence he can spend a joyful life with full human potential. True nature of existence means to accept the basic realities of life and live accordingly. In order to live a joyful life one must raise his inner conciseness. An ignorant man spends full life with greed and desire which remains unfulfilled while a realized men spends life with full appreciation of its existence.

Introduction:

The above quote was made by Plato. The given quote, brings to the fore, the present worldwide situation, where even the mature and educated citizens are not ready to accept the truth of the situation and refuse to acknowledge their duty to make something better. The former part of the quote tells us about the innocence of a child’s mind, who is afraid to plunge into the unknown. The latter about a learned person’s ignorance of the truth.

Body:

It means that as a child, an individual doesn’t not know many things so it’s easy for them to turn a blind eye almost and forgive a child for not knowing certain things, whereas when ‘adults’ choose not to see the things it’s a tragedy. It describes that when adults do not want to move out if darkness of knowledge gets stick to old prejudices and norms then that’s unfortunate for the society. Everyone aspires for a good life but place it to a narrow angle of personal gain rather than good to society.

This can be related to the present situation where people refuse to take initiative for what is right. They refuse to take a stand and pretend to not see the obvious atrocities being inflicted upon the fellow humans around them. There is a lack of self confidence among people and this fear stops them from stepping out of the crowd and taking responsibility. Lack of such courage is the real tragedy of life today, where no one cares about any other person’s sorrow, until unless they themselves are in a similar situation, when they blame the society for not being helped in times of need.

For example: the social evils as dowry system, child marriage, caste discrimination, increasing incidents of the rapes committed by the known persons are present in the society and done by grown up adults. Prejudices against person having particular socio/cultural/economic/ background, cases of youths joining terror groups. This is unfortunate for the society and act as obstacle in development process.

Another instance would be of a scene of road accident. People ought to help an accident victim. However, if he/she chooses to ignore his duties & leave aside a dying man, it shows the crisis of a self-centered society, which is perhaps beyond repair.

It is here the role of education, awareness and maturity comes up. Education enriches peoples’ understanding of themselves and world. It improves the quality of their lives and leads to broad social benefits to individuals and society. Education raises peoples’ productivity and creativity and promotes entrepreneurship and technological advances.

Conclusion:

“Knowledge as light” removes the “darkness of ignorance” , but putting that knowledge into positive actions makes your “character”.

 

Topic:  Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.

7. Today we find that in spite of various measures like prescribing codes of conduct, setting up vigilance cells/commissions, RTI, active media and strengthening of legal mechanisms, corrupt practices are not coming under control, Evaluate the effectiveness of these measures with justifications.(250 words)

Reference:  Ethics by Lexicon Publications

Why this question:

The question is based on the theme of corruption.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss why despite several measures corrupt practices in the country are still not coming under control. One must evaluate the effectiveness of such policy measures, institutions and other mechanisms and suggest measures that are required to ensure they function more effectively.

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 the context of the question.

Body:

 Measures against corruption are not entirely ineffective. Codes of conduct are partially effective because their breach leads to punishment. For this reason, officers fear getting into bad books of vigilance commissions. RTI mainly aims at transparency and making government information public; reducing corruption is incidental to RTI. Press investigations can unearth malpractices. But they often lack factual and Legal validity, and may be silenced. Tightening laws can help; but these get mired in procedures and in courts. Explain that many anti-corruption steps have been taken by government and then suggest what reforms can be made to make them perform better.

Introduction:

Corruption eats into the innards of a country. It is a debilitating social cancer which spares no one. The biggest consequences of corruption are the generation of vast amounts of black money, the flight of capital, bad governance and abysmal backwardness in areas where corruption remains high and undetected.

Corruption continues to be a major problem in the world’s largest democracy and a substantial risk for the businesses operating there. India slipped further down the rankings of the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for 2019, an annual assessment by Transparency International that ranks 180 countries and territories worldwide on perceived public sector corruption.

Body:

India has also enacted a slew of anti-corruption legislation, including the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act 16 of 2018 (criminalizes bribe giving, creates corporate criminal liability, extends the definition of criminal conduct) and the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016 (provides for expedited procedures to deal with property held for a beneficial owner where the same is fictitious or untraceable). These bring the Indian law closer to UN Convention on Corruption 2003.

Reasons why corruption is still persisting:

Effectiveness of anti-corruption laws:

  • An area where India still lags is in building appropriate enforcement institutions, or” anti-corruption infrastructure “.
  • This weakness can be seen in recent events that further damaged the credibility of the country’s premier investigative agency, the Central Bureau Investigations.
  • The CBI Director and his Deputy brought complaints of corruption against each other before the Chief Vigilance Commissioner, leading to the Director’s sacking and the Deputy’s transfer, and bringing enormous bad publicity to the agency.
  • In India, multiple agencies with similar powers are often competent to investigate a single set of facts from different angles, but all in relation to a single underlying act. For example, the use of company funds to bribe an official of the central government may constitute related but distinct offences under the PCA, the PMLA and the Companies Act.
  • RTI act: Less than 5% of the million applications for information have been denied information under various exemption categories
  • India does not have a law to protect whistleblowers. However, following the murder in 2003 of Sri Satyendra Dubey, who exposed corruption in the National Highway Authority is an example of lacuna in the law.
  • since the C & AG has no authority to ensure compliance with its recommendations, the government often fails to implement the reports’ proposals.
  • CIC: A state report card one year on complimented the quality of the law, but criticized the apathy and lack of awareness of many citizens.
  • Key anti-corruption institutions lack the staff and resources to fulfil their mandate adequately and struggle to protect themselves from political interference.

Politico- administrative issue:

  • Lack of Political will: Many politicians owe their careers and status to corruption and few of them, if any, will take a stand against it, either for fear of upsetting their own careers or the political status quo generally.
  • Use of black money in elections: According to various studies, a Lok Sabha election candidate ends up spending at least 30 Cr. as against the legal limit of only Rs. 70 lakh. In the last 10 year the declared expenditure has increased by more than 400% for the LS elections while 69% of their income came from unknown sources.
  • Criminalization of politics: More than 30% of the legislators in the country have pending criminal cases against them. When law breakers become the law makers, rule of law is the first casualty.
  • Excessive regulations: Rules and regulations which hinder the smooth functioning of the system.
  • Complicated tax and licensing systems: Taxation system which doesn’t follow the cannons of taxation lead to non-compliance. Opacity in the licensing system bolstered with crony capitalism and nepotism.
  • Numerous government departments with opaque bureaucracy and discretionary powers: Public administration in developing countries is often bureaucratic and inefficient.
  • Monopoly of government controlled institutions on certain goods and services delivery. Example: Railways, PDS
  • Lack of transparent laws and processes: Complex laws, delayed judicial processes adds to the woes.
  • Poor salaries to Bureaucrats: low wages in the civil service encourage petty corruption, and the imbalance between the supply of, and demand for, public services likewise creates opportunities for corruption.
  • Colonial bureaucracy: The bureaucracy essentially remains colonial in nature characterized by 19th century laws e.g. Police Act 1861, complex rules, wide discretion, secrecy, moral responsibility devoid of legal accountability and the ivory tower attitude

Ignorance of the citizens:

  • Poverty and Indebtedness: High levels of poverty and indebtedness breeds corruption as they will be forced to pay bribes to get the basic services of education, health, food supply etc.
  • Failure of education system: The value education has failed miserably in India to inculcate the value of empathy, compassion, integrity, equity etc. in the young generation. The lifestyle changes induced by the globalization have further degraded the moral fabric of the society. The low level of education found in underdeveloped countries maintains citizens in a state of ignorance of their rights, barring them from participating in political life.
  • Social discrimination: The poor and marginalized due to their lack of awareness and high dependence on the state become the easy target of exploitation by corrupt officials
  • Changes in lifestyle: Increasing shift towards individualization and materialism has led to increased penchant for a luxurious lifestyle. To earn more money people are willing to adopt even the unethical means with no consideration of others.

Way forward:

  • Strengthening the institutional and legislative framework including the Prevention of Corruption Act, an independent Central Vigilance Commission, the Comptroller and Auditor General, the Judges (Inquiry) Act, the Lok Pal and Lok Ayukta Act 2013, Whistle Blowers Protection Act 2011, Prevention of Money /Laundering Act, Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act which cover a number of areas of criminalization and bribery.
  • Accurate, publicly available information is essential. Example: Implementation of Right to Information Act in its true letter and spirit.
  • E-governance initiatives: e-gov apart from advancing the good governance objectives of accountability and transparency also seeks to reduce the manual interface between state and citizen thus preventing the incidences of bribery.
  • Citizen Charters and Public Service delivery and Grievance Redress Acts in states: Many states like Karnataka (SAKALA initiative) and Rajasthan have enacted such acts to make bureaucracy legally accountable for delivering quality service within stipulate time periods. Bihar is the only state to have a Grievance Redress Act covering all departments.
  • Electoral reforms: Banning the cash donation to political party and imposing limits on the overall expenditure of the political parties. Empowering ECI by giving legal force to MCC and making paid news a criminal offence
  • Bottom-up coalitions work, and work better than individual resistance. Example: Anna Hazare movement – India against Corruption.
  • Social sanctions and economic incentives work better than legal action. Example: Rewarding those who report corruption.

Conclusion:

India needs strong, independent institutions across the board which will not buckle under pressure from politicians. It is only when key institutions such as the Lok Pal, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Enforcement Directorate (ED), Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACBs), Comptroller and Auditor Generals (CAGs) and police departments live up to their promise and are empowered against manipulation by politicians and other vested interests that the country will begin to see better governance and greater respect for the law.