Print Friendly, PDF & Email

SECURE SYNOPSIS: 4 June 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: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

1. Discuss the possible intensive bilateral political and institutional engagements that can happen between Delhi and Canberra. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express 

Why the question:

The article brings to us a detailed narration of the possible relations that India and Australia can focus now amidst the Covid situation.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the prospects of India and Australia bilateral as well as possible multilateral relations.

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:

Start with the virtual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Australian premier, Scott Morrison which happened last week, is an important part of Delhi’s current diplomatic effort to plug that big gap in India’s diplomatic tradition.

Body:

Discuss first the possible prospects that Australia has to offer India – Australia is rich in natural resources that India’s growing economy needs. It also has huge reservoirs of strength in higher education, scientific and technological research. In the global diplomatic arena, Australia punches way above its weight. Its armed forces, hardened by international combat, are widely respected. Canberra’s intelligence establishment is valued in many parts of the world. Australia has deep economic, political and security connections with the ASEAN and a strategic partnership with one of the leading non-aligned nations, Indonesia. Discuss the role of India towards Australia; explain the prospects of bilateral engagements between the two.

Conclusion:

Conclude that it is only by building a series of overlapping bilateral and minilateral platforms for regional security cooperation that Delhi and Canberra can limit the dangers of the growing geopolitical imbalance in the Indo-Pacific.

Introduction:

India and Australia has shared a cordial relation with each other since a very long time and has witnessed an increased commitment in recent past. Multiple engagement in fields such as bilateral trade, strategic relations, student exchange programs, similar commitments towards sustainable development has made this relationship all the more dynamic. As the global momentum is markedly shifting towards the Indo-Pacific region it becomes imperative for both the nations to stand in unison and provide the stability the region desires owing to the over-indulging nature of China.

Recently, Prime Ministers of India and Australia held their first virtual bilateral summit and both concluded nine agreements including the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) and the Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA).

Body:

Extra Information: India-Australia bilateral relations:

Economic and trade relationship:

  • The India-Australia economic relationship has grown significantly in recent years. India’s growing economic profile and commercial relevance to the Australian economy is recognized, both at the federal and state level in Australia.
  • India’s exports to Australia stood approximately at US$ 4.6 billion (A$6.1 bn) in 2016 while India’s import from Australia during the same period stood at US$ 11 billion (A$14.6 bn).
  • India’s main exports to Australia are Passenger Motor Vehicle & machinery, Pearls, Gems and Jewellery, Medicaments and Refined Petroleum while India’s major imports are Coal, Non-monetary Gold, Copper, Wool, Fertilizers and Education related services.
  • India-Australia also has a Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) which was established in 1989 to enable interaction at a government and business level on a broad range of trade and investment related issues.
  • The two countries are currently discussing a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) which will provide greater market access to exporters of goods and services. The two sides have exchanged their goods and services offer lists.

Strategic:

The Quad:

  • The informal strategic Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD) that was initiated by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2007 was largely in response to China’s growing power and influence.
  • For Australia in 2007 therefore, to begin embroiling itself in any emerging military alliance with Japan against China, in the absence of any formal reconciliation between Tokyo and Beijing over the events of the Second World War (Nanking Massacre), was incompatible with our long-term national interests.
  • However, Australia later rejoined the dialogue in 2017 on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit, signalling a re-ignition in Australia’s interest in the dialogue.

Defence relation:

  • India–Australia both borders the Indian Ocean and has a shared interest in the maintenance of freedom of navigation and trade.
  • Australia recognizes India’s critical role in supporting security, stability and prosperity of the Indian Ocean region. Australia and India are committed to working together to enhance maritime cooperation and has a formal bilateral naval exercise (AUSINDEX) since 2015.
  • From 2016-18, the armies of the countries conducted a joint military exercise dubbed “AUSTRA HIND”.

Civil Nuclear Co-Operation:

  • A Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement was signed in September 2014 which came into force in November 2015 and provides the framework for substantial new trade in energy between Australia and India.
  • The deal ensures that Uranium mining companies of Australia can supply Australian uranium to India for civil use with confidence that exports would not be hindered by domestic legal action challenging the consistency of the safeguards applied by the IAEA in India and Australia’s international non-proliferation obligations.
  • It also ensures that any future bilateral trade in other nuclear-related material or items for civil use will also be protected.

Consular Cooperation

  • India and Australia signed The Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) and the Extradition Treaty in June 2008, which has been ratified by both the Governments, and has come into force since January 2011.

Possible intensive bilateral political and institutional engagements:

  • there are a host of emerging issues — from reforming the World Health Organization to 5G technology and from strengthening the international solar alliance to building resilience against climate change and disasters — that lend themselves to intensive bilateral political and institutional engagement.
  • The two leaders must order their security establishments to develop strategic coordination in the various sub-regions of the Indo-Pacific littoral.
  • The eastern Indian Ocean that lies between the shores of peninsular India and the west coast of Australia ought to be the top priority.
  • Eastern Indian Ocean, connecting the two oceans, is at the heart of the Indo-Pacific.
  • This is where Delhi and Canberra can initiate a full range of joint activities, including on maritime domain awareness, development of strategically located islands and marine scientific research.
  • The sea lines of communication between the Indian and Pacific oceans run through the Indonesian archipelago.
  • Given the shared political commitment to the Indo-Pacific idea between Delhi, Jakarta and Canberra and the growing pressures on them to secure their shared waters, India and Australia must seek trilateral maritime and naval cooperation with Indonesia.
  • The current trilateral dialogue between Japan, Australia and India (JAI) can be expanded from the diplomatic level to practical maritime cooperation on the ground.
  • Paris and Canberra are eager to develop a trilateral arrangement with Delhi that will supplement the bilateral cooperation among the three nations. Delhi must endorse the initiative.
  • India and Australia must explore the possibilities for engagement between India and the Five Power Defence Arrangement (FPDA).
  • FPDA was set up back in 1971, after Britain pulled back most of its forces from the East of Suez. The FPDA brings together the armed forces of the UK, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.

Other possible areas of Cooperation

  • Water: Australia and India face some similar challenges in water resources management, particularly in managing over-allocation and water quality, while balancing the water needs of the community, industry and maintaining system flows. Both the nations can come together in finding a novel solution to this common problem.
  • Energy: Meeting the energy needs of 240 million people, which currently lack access to electricity, is a key priority for India. Australia is a natural partner for India in the energy sector as it is a world leader in energy and the sector contributes around 10% to Australia’s GDP.
  • Science and Technology: India and Australia have a strong track record of collaborating in research and innovation. The $84 million Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF) is Australia’s largest.

Challenges:

  • The region faces a range of traditional security challenges that relate to issues of trust in the form of China which has emerged as a regional power and has little faith in rule based order.
  • There are also a growing number of non-traditional and trans-boundary security challenges, including terrorism, natural disasters and pandemics.
  • Also, India faces unfavourable trade with Australia and despite opening talks for a comprehensive economic cooperation agreement in 2011, the agreement which would have significantly lowered the trade balance in favour of India, has remained elusive.

Way Forward:

  • Shared values, shared interests, shared geography and shared objectives are the bedrock of deepening India-Australia ties and the cooperation and coordination between the two countries have picked up momentum in recent years.
  • India no longer sees Australia at the periphery of India’s vision but at the centre of its thoughts.
  • Both India and Australia share a vision of a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific region and cooperative use of the seas by adherence to international law including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and peaceful resolution of disputes rather than through unilateral or coercive actions.
  • The opportunity as well as challenge is that the two nations are at very different levels of development. There can be converging and diverging interests.
  • It is only by building a series of overlapping bilateral and minilateral platforms for regional security cooperation that Delhi and Canberra can limit the dangers of the growing geopolitical imbalance in the Indo-Pacific.
  • Therefore, the future must be woven around the three pillars, which are economic relationship, geostrategic congruence and people-to-people ties, and the glue that can bind this is a sustained momentum.

 

Topic : Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources. Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

2. Examine the need and prospects of making research in health sector self-reliant in the country. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express 

Why the question:

The article talks about the need and prospects of investments and adherence to the policy of self-reliance in the health sector.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the need and prospects of making research in health sector self-reliant in the country.

Directive:

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Explain the current Covid situation and highlight in what all possible aspects it has put heavy pressure on the present healthcare system.

Body:

Explain first in what way the pandemic has transformed the global health landscape. Discuss then the importance of vaccines; explain why we need self-reliance in this domain.

Take hints from the article and explain the relevance of having an enabling ecosystem for development of vaccines, studies on new diseases etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude that  It is time the government, technical experts and private companies ensure that these researchers have access to the resources and tools that can make India truly atmanirbhar.

Introduction:

The term “health research,” sometimes also called “medical research” or “clinical research,” refers to research that is done to learn more about human health. Health research also aims to find better ways to prevent and treat disease. Health research is an important way to help improve the care and treatment of people worldwide.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of vaccines. Vaccines have always been the frontrunners in saving lives: With their help, we are able to prevent the death of two to three million children globally every year.

Body:

Need for Self-reliant Health Research in India:

  • India still faces a huge economic burden due to Non – Communicable Diseases, struggles to balance accessibility, affordability and quality and is unable to hike public health budgets.
  • The high population of India with poor living conditions and lack of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities lead to spread of many diseases.
  • Rising incidents of zoonotic diseases like Nipah, Ebola, COVID etc.
  • Advances in information-based medical research could also facilitate the movement toward personalized medicine, which will make health research more meaningful to individuals.

Prospects of Self-reliant Health Research in India:

  • Helped fight off many diseases:
    • It is because of vaccines that we managed to eradicate highly contagious diseases such as smallpox, which used to kill millions only a few decades ago.
    • In India, vaccines have helped us defeat polio — the country was certified polio-free by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2014.
    • In 2015, the country also eliminated maternal and neonatal tetanus.
  • Export potential: India is one of the largest producers and exporters of vaccines in the world. In fact, many vaccines in the national immunization programme are produced in India and manufactured by Indian companies.
  • Boosts Make in India: This has been made possible through regular investments in ramping up our manufacturing capacity through programmes like Make in India.
  • Addresses Neglected diseases: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has made great strides in that direction — it has developed effective vaccines against Japanese encephalitis (JENVAC), shigella (technology transfer to Hillman Labs) and the Kyasanur forest disease.
  • ICMR has also provided research funding for initial and validation studies for the rotavirus and polio vaccines.
  • Helps reduce the inequality in accessibility, affordability and availability of quality healthcare.

Challenges faced:

  • Lack of finance for R&D facilities: Though the expenditure in R&D has increased over the years, the ratio has remained stagnant
  • Private investments in R&D have severely lagged public investments in India.
  • Universities in India play an insignificant role in research activities. Research has been concentrated in specialized research institutes under different government departments. Role of universities has mainly been restricted to teaching.
  • Further, there is no collaboration between the industry-academia leading to a huge gap in inter-transfer of ideas and technology /infrastructure between each other.
  • No One Health approach towards diseases.
  • Innovation and research in vaccines have not been adequately prioritized.
  • Though India has improved its IPR regime, the protection of intellectual property remains weak in some areas owing to inadequate laws and ineffective enforcement.

Way forward:

  • To make India a global leader, there should be concerted efforts to activate the triple-helix model of innovation that involves intensifying collaboration between research institutes, industry, and the government.
  • We need to approach research and innovation from the bottom-up — this means increasing research in biotechnology, medical innovation, and public health at the university level.
  • India needs early-stage financial investment to propel a research and innovation ecosystem for the development of new vaccines.
  • The ICMR is in the process of setting up the National Institute of One Health to study zoonotic diseases, enabled by the Rs 20-lakh-crore package recently announced by the government.
  • The government and academia must come together to prioritise the development of cost-effective tools of public health importance like vaccines.
  • The country needs a comprehensive approach to mobilize resources for this purpose. Indian researchers, and the country’s public health community at large, have stood up to the various public health challenges faced by the country.
  • It is time the government, technical experts and private companies ensure that these researchers have access to the resources and tools that can make India truly self-reliant.

 

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

3. Discuss the challenge of law enforcement post-COVID-19 across the world and in India specifically. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu 

Why the question:

The article talks about the challenge of law enforcement post-COVID-19 across the world and in India specifically.

Key Demand of the question:

The question is straightforward and aims to discuss the challenge of law enforcement post-COVID-19 across the world and in India specifically.

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:

Start by suggesting facts that COVID-19 has turned the world upside down. There is hardly any aspect of our life that has been left untouched by the pandemic. In a society struck by a deadly virus, strict maintenance of public order is most essential. Only then can those affected by the disease be looked after and given the best medical care.

Body:

Explain the following factors in detail –

  • Law enforcement is as important as healthcare during the current crisis.
  • The police have been endowed with the task of ensuring strict observance of guidelines; include physical distancing during the lockdown phase.
  • COVID-19 will affect future law enforcement, which will require the management of new patterns of crime.
  • Explain the change in the numbers (of the crimes), highlight the new trends in the crime.
  • The pandemic and the lockdown have ensured that many crimes have gone down. However, many other crimes have gone up or will assume new forms in the near future.

As India enters the unlock mode, it is critical that law-enforcement officials think of ways of dealing with new challenges in maintaining law and order.

Conclusion:

Conclude that the COVID experience provides an important lesson for the law enforcement agencies. An active police-public relation can be a critical building block for future.

Introduction:

COVID-19 has turned the world upside down. There is hardly any aspect of our life that has been left untouched by the pandemic. In a society struck by a deadly virus, strict maintenance of public order is most essential. Only then can those affected by the disease be looked after and given the best medical care. Law enforcement agencies have a key role to play in both supporting the implementation of public health measures to contain the outbreak and in preventing specific criminal activities arising from this context.

Body:

Law and Order situation during the COVID-19 lockdown period:

  • Overall drop in crime:
    • As the roads were deserted and there was nearly zero traffic on major highways, it ensured a sharp reduction in traffic accidents and fatalities caused by such accidents.
    • Antisocial elements could be kept at bay because of which trespass and burglary also became more difficult crimes to commit.
    • Major cities that generally report a high number of crimes found a drop in crime levels during the lockdown period.
    • Delhi Police reported a 70% fall in heinous crimes (murders and rapes) between April 1 and 15 compared to the same period last year.
    • Similarly, in Chennai, the total number of crimes dropped by 79% in the March 25-April 15 period over the February 25-March 15 period.
  • Uptick in domestic violence:
    • On the other hand, the lockdown period saw a worrying surge in domestic violence cases.
    • For example, the Tamil Nadu Police has reportedly received 2,963 calls on domestic violence in April alone.
    • There are two major factors for this rise. Most men are at home, either without work or in fear of losing their job.
    • Data show that domestic violence increases when there is greater unemployment. The fear and insecurity of these men cause tension at home and unfortunately, women become the victims of this tension.
    • The non-availability of liquor during the lockdown period, which caused frustration among those men who are habituated to drinking daily is considered as the second reason for the rise in domestic violence.
    • Also as health workers are busy combating the pandemic, there is little help for domestic violence victims during times such as the current times. This shows that epidemics leave women and girls more vulnerable to violence.

Challenges of law enforcement post-COVID-19 across the world and in India:

  • A further significant challenge in some countries is to retain public trust through and beyond the crisis.
  • A global recession may also exacerbate preexisting and intensifying rural crime and conflict, such as between farmers and herders that is playing out across Africa and often is very deadly, even deadlier than local militancy and terrorism.
  • Increased cyber-crimes:
    • As huge numbers of people move to digital platforms for work and social interaction, we are also seeing a shift in cybercrime.
    • For instance, in Norway multiple public and non-public mobile health apps are being rapidly launched to track COVID-19 in society, sparking concerns over safety and privacy matters.
    • In the UK, bogus ‘coronavirus tracker’ apps have been identified, which threaten to infect devices with malware, while new scams impersonate government departments, health organizations and videoconferencing services.
    • New portals in India have been launched to get people to donate money for the cause of combating COVID-19.
    • These fraudulent sites have been able to cheat a large number of people.
  • Prevention of probable rise in organized crime:
    • The pandemic is both a threat to and an opportunity for, organized crime, especially illicit drug trade.
    • The organized gangs may infiltrate health services and make profits through the sale of prescription drugs that are not otherwise easily available to the public.
    • some forms of criminal activity have also declined — for example, stricter border controls and less international mobility has brought the unintended benefit of hindering the international drug trade, although trade in illicit fake COVID-19 medicine has become a new challenge.
  • Prison management:
    • A major challenge would be keeping prisons free of the virus.
    • Many prisons have taken steps to insulate prisoners who reported positive for the virus from the rest of the inmates.
  • Increasing technology-use in policing:
    • CCTV systems, facial recognition technologies, crowd sourcing, artificial intelligence, and big-data mining have been an increasing feature of both the anti-crime world and the authoritarian world.
    • Sometimes, such virtual and/or remote technologies can play a vital, positive role for enforcing domains where direct physical policing is scant or impossible, such as in the dangerous case of water theft.
    • Other times, they are a tool of unprecedented spying on society and repression.

Way forward:

  • To maintain the public trust, policing requires to be sensitive to the local context, with greater situational awareness by police officers on the ground and more effective communications campaigns and dialogue with the public and businesses regionally and nationally.
  • The pandemic has strengthened, if not accelerated, the need for more collaborative ways of working and partnerships within and across the public and private sectors, moving towards a more inclusive approach that embeds societal responsibility.
  • Police have already shown skillful use of social media to disseminate all relevant information to a majority of the population, both in urban and rural areas.
  • Apart from policymakers, the police leadership will have to introspect on its recent experience and draft a comprehensive Standard Operating Procedure that will educate all police persons in the country.
  • This move will eventually take care of future virus waves, if any.
  • The Supreme Court recently directed the States and Union Territories to constitute high-powered committees to consider releasing convicts who have been jailed up to seven years on parole, in order to decongest prisons.
  • Strengthening the digital infrastructure to track the digital frauds and crimes.

 

Topic : Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

4. Analyze the detrimental effect of the new cold war on multilateralism and elucidate on India’s role and opportunity in such a scenario. (250 words)

Reference : The Hindu 

Why the question:

The article analyzes the detrimental effect of the new cold war on multilateralism and articulates India’s role and opportunity in such a scenario.

Key Demand of the question:

One must discuss the nuances of the new cold war, in what way it is a threat to multilateralism and what are the opportunities for India amidst such a situation and what should India do.

Directive:

AnalyzeWhen asked to analyse, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by explaining the current situation facing the world.

Body:

Explain the nuances of new cold war, role of China, US and the other key countries. Discuss why the clashes between these countries are leading to cold war and how that in turn is becoming a threat to multilateralism. Explain if the clash between the U.S. and China marks a seismic shift within the UN system. Discuss what should India’s role be, the world is questioning both the U.S.’ and China’s exceptionalism. Hence, for India, the strategic issue is neither adjustment to China’s power nor deference to U.S. leadership. In the new cold war, defined by technology and trade, not territory, non-alignment is an uncertain option; India should craft a global triumvirate. By proposing an alternative structure, India would not have to choose between the emerging power centres.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward for multilateralism.

Introduction:

The clash between USA and China during World health assembly in WHO has highlighted how west and US led global order is changing. China is using technology, trade to balance the military superiority of the USA. COVID 19 has accelerated this clash by lowering trust in values central to the west like free markets. The coronavirus pandemic has made a fresh demand for a revived multilateralism. In this backdrop, India could play a pivotal role, given the deficit of trust existing with China in many countries.

Body:

Challenges faced by world:

  • The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the varying nature of the challenges faced by the world.
  • First, these challenges are cross-national in character. They respect no national boundaries and are not amenable to national solutions only.
  • Second, these challenges are cross-domain in nature, with strong feedback loops. A disruption in one domain often cascades into parallel disruptions in other domains.
  • The intersection of cross-national and cross-domain challenges demand multilateral approaches to reach out any solution.
  • However, there has been an upsurge in narrow nationalism, an assertion of parochial interests over the pursuit of global (shared) interests, and a fostering of competition among states rather than embracing collaboration.
  • Thus, multilateralism is possibly at its weakest today.

Detrimental effect of the new cold war on multilateralism:

  • The clash between China and the U.S. at the just concluded World Health Assembly in May marks the end of the multilateralism of the past 70 years.
  • The donor-recipient relationship between developed and developing countries has ended with China’s pledge of $2-billion.
  • The agenda-setting role of the G7 over UN institutions and global rules has also been effectively challenged by WHO ignoring the reform diktat of the U.S. leading to its withdrawal, and characterization of the G7 as “outdated”.
  • The U.S. has also implicitly rejected the G20 and UN Security Council, for an expanded G7 “to discuss the future of China”.
  • Important shift in the UN: After World War II, the newly independent states were not consulted when the U.S. imposed global institutions fostering trade, capital and technology dependence.
  • This was done ignoring the socio-economic development of these countries.
  • But social and economic rights have emerged to be as important as political and procedural rights.
  • Against this backdrop, China’s President Xi Jinping deftly endorsed the UN Resolution on equitable access to any new vaccine.
  • China has come out with alternative governance mechanisms to the U.S.-dominated International Monetary Fund, World Bank and World Trade Organization with its all-encompassing Belt and Road Initiative.
  • The U.S., European Union and Japan are re-evaluating globalization as it pertains to China and the U.S. is unabashedly “America First”.
  • The world is questioning both U.S. and China’s exceptionalism.
  • For India, the strategic issue is neither adjustment to China’s power nor deference to U.S. leadership.

India’s opportunity in promoting multilateralism:

India will be involved in global institutions as:

  • Chair of executive board of WHO’s World Health Assembly
  • In 2021, India will become UN Security council’s non-permanent member
  • BRICS chairmanship in 2021 will be with India
  • G20 summit of 2022 will be hosted by India

India’s role in promoting multilateralism:

  • Peaceful coexistence is a crucial condition for realizing Asian century. Freezing sovereignty and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs should be agreed to by all.
  • US interventions in Afghanistan, West Asia, Africa show how interference is counterproductive.
  • Countering expansionism, India can provide an alternative vision of a multipolar world with multipolar Asia with coexistence.
  • New P5(Permanent 5) of UNSC that is not based on G7 but new realities of the world to be established.
  • Moulding global digital economy: National security will depend on digital technologies like cyber security, Artificial intelligence(AI) etc. India must enhance its own capabilities and set the rules for global framework by balancing state led(China) – market led (USA) mechanisms through a public centric model.
  • New principles of trade which prevent IPR monopolies and ensure public goods are shared in a fair and humane manner, should be formulated.
  • Global public goods should include public health, crop research, renewable energy and batteries, even AI as its value comes from shared data. We have the scientific capacity to support these platforms as part of foreign policy.
  • Sustainable development to be pursued based on ancient civilizational values of Asian countries. Restructuring of society and economy must be done based on these values. This promotes alternatives to materialism and excessive exploitation which are prevalent due to unchecked market liberalism.
  • Ties with regional institutions like ASEAN, SAARC, BIMSTEC, EU need to be enhanced to bring out this vision of non-coercive multilateralism. Such multilateralism will counter unilateralism as seen with both the US and China.

Conclusion:

It is in this changed context that India should look upon its own reemergence, China losing influence and the dynamics in its relations with the United States as Asia again becomes central to global prosperity, with global governance, economy, scientific research and society in need of being re-invented. We should use this opportunity to recover our global thought leadership, think Nalanda, astronomical computation, the zero, Ayurveda, Buddhism, yoga and Ahimsa as well as clothing the world for millennia.

 

Topic : Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

5. Analyse the big picture of India’s Strategic Oil Reserves and Energy Security. (250 words)

Reference: live mint 

Why the question:

The question is straightforward and is about analyzing the current conditions of India’s Strategic Oil Reserves and Energy Security.

Key Demand of the question:

Present detailed analysis of India’s Strategic Oil Reserves and Energy Security.

Directive:

AnalyzeWhen asked to analyse, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

India, the world’s third largest crude oil importer has an existing storage capacity of 5.3 million tonnes at Visakhapatnam, Mangaluru and Paadoor, built at an investment of $600 million in the first phase.

Body:

This is operational and can support 9.5 days of net imports. In addition, the government has approved the construction of an additional 6.5 million tonnes of strategic crude oil reserves. Strategic crude oil reserves, which are typically state-funded and meant to tackle emergency situations, allow a country to tide over short-term supply disruptions.

The rout of crude oil to multi-year lows presents India with a great opportunity to fill up its storage and strategic petroleum reserves (SPRs). Storing oil now at low prices will enhance the country’s energy security, given its high import dependency.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance.

Introduction: 

Strategic petroleum reserves are essentially huge stockpiles of crude oil to keep the wheels of the country running in crunch situations. This is because the government has to stay prepared with emergency stores of crude oil to tide over severe supply shocks of this critical fuel. Many major global oil consumers such as the US, China and Japan have built massive strategic reserves of oil over the years, and India too embarked on the path in the last decade. Taking advantage of low crude prices due to the COVID-19 situation, India filled its strategic reserves to full capacity.

Body:

Strategic_Petroleum

India’s Plan on strategic Petroleum reserve:

  • Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd (ISPRL), has constructed three strategic petroleum reserves in huge underground rock caverns at Visakhapatnam (1.33 MMT) on the East Coast, and at Mangaluru (1.5MMT) and Padur (2.5 MMT) on the West Coast.
  • ISPRL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Oil Industry Development Board (OIDB) under the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.
  • These facilities, with total capacity of 5.33 million metric tonnes (MMT), can meet about 10 days of India’s crude oil requirements.
  • The new facilities approved recently can provide additional supply for about 12 days.
  • The government of India is planning to set up two more such caverns at Chandikhole (Odisha) and Udupi (Karnataka) as per phase II through Public-Private Partnership.
  • This will give an additional 6.5 million metric tons of the oil reserves.
  • Thus, a total of 22 days (10+12) of oil consumption will be made available by ISPR.
  • Crude oil from underground rock caverns (considered safest for storage of Hydrocarbons) can be supplied to refineries through pipelines and ships.
  • Indian refiners also maintain crude oil storage (industrial stock) of 65 days.
  • Thus, a total of 87 days (22 by ISPL + 65 by Indian refiners) of oil consumption will be made available in India after completion of Phase II by ISPR. This will be very close to 90 days mandate by the IEA.

Importance of strategic Petroleum reserve for India:

  • India still needs to import 83% crude oil of its requirement which increase import bill of India which further widens the Current Account Deficit (CAD) of the country.
  • The fluctuations in the price of the crude oil in the international market create an atmosphere of uncertainty in the country.
  • India is the world’s third largest energy consumer after the US and China.
  • The trouble is India produce very little oil of its own and are dependent on imports for more than 80 per cent of its needs.
  • The chunk of this is from West Asia which is often in the midst some geopolitical face-off or the other.
  • Added to this, there’s always the risk of supply disruption from natural disasters, war or other calamities.
  • India has saved ₹5,000 crore in foreign exchange after it capitalized on the global low oil prices to fill its underground strategic oil storage to shore up insurance against any supply or price disruption.
  • The current petroleum reserves of India are sufficient to fulfill just 13 days oil requirement of the country. But this is not sufficient to tackle any unpredicted event that occurs in the international crude market. So India wants to have petroleum reserves of 90 days. In order to ensure energy security for 90 days, India needs to build up additional petroleum reserves of 13.32 metric tons.
  • Thus strategic petroleum reserves add much-needed heft to the country’s energy security.

Way forward:

  • As a summary, it can be said that construction of strategic petroleum reserves by India is a great way to secure country’s energy security.
  • These reserves would act like piggy bank for India in the event of war like situation in the gulf countries or other oil importers of India.
  • India wants to develop a transparent market for natural gas where the price is determined on an exchange. The aim is to increase the use of natural gas in India’s total energy mix from 6.5 percent to 15 percent between 2028 and 2030.
  • India must safeguard its renewable energy sector and redouble its efforts to gasify its economy.
  • These continue to be the best bets to power India into a more secure and green future. The present instability in the global oil market further underlines the need to move away from the energy sources of yesterday.

 

Topic : Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of Family society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

6. Discuss the philosophical and moral issues thrown by the Covid-19 pandemic and the way life needs to be lived henceforth. (250 words)

Reference:  you tube 

Why the question:

Recently Vice President Venkaiah Naidu has underlined the need to adopt new ways of living in the times of coronavirus and suggested a framework for this “new normal” to deal with the virus. Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

In detail discuss the philosophical and moral issues thrown by the Covid-19 pandemic and the way life needs to be lived henceforth.

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:

Start by bringing out the fact that corona has exposed the entire world to newer challenges.

Body:

The answer body must analyse in depth the life after corona and its social impact. Explain and elucidate upon the fact that life cannot be lived in isolation and the virus outbreak highlighted the inter-connectedness of lives. Discuss the significance of moral issues that have aroused due to the current situation, suggest what needs to be done to address them.

Conclusion:

Conclude with possible solutions.

Introduction:

Man has emerged a loner in his quest for happiness and material advancement reducing the family and the society to being mere adjuncts and his confidence bordering on arrogance made him believe that he can live alone and all by himself, unmindful of the lives of others. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the fundamentals of living by oneself and highlighted the need for living in harmony with nature and fellow humans. The pandemic has raised questions about the meaning and purpose of life including the nature of relationships with fellow beings and moral issues connected with the current pathways of development given their impacts on nature and equity.

Body:

The philosophical and moral issues thrown by the Covid-19 pandemic:

  • Our society is based on human relations, for everything we need people to justify our actions and this is going to change in future.
  • Lockdown brought on by the Covid pandemic have struck people as a painfully long period of isolation. Social distancing seems to be hitting people even more than the scare of the deadly virus.
  • People are getting highly restive and agitated in spite of social media connectivity.
  • Cases of domestic violence have more than doubled in the country during this period.
  • Humans have evolved to be social creatures and are wired to live in interactive groups. Being isolated from family, friends and colleagues can be unbalancing and traumatic for most people and can result in short or even long-term psychological and physical health problems.
  • An increase in levels of anxiety, aggression, depression, forgetfulness and hallucinations are possible psychological effects of isolation.
  • Mental conditions may be precipitated for those with underlying pre-existing susceptibilities and also show up in many others without any pre-condition. Personal relationships help us cope with stress, and if we lose this outlet for letting off steam, it results in a huge emotional void which, for an average person, is difficult to deal with.
  • Just a few days of isolation can cause increased levels of anxiety and depression. Add to it the looming threat of a dreadful disease being repeatedly hammered in through the media and you have a recipe for many shades of mental and physical distress.
  • Prisoners in solitary confinement and patients in isolated hospital units have often shown adverse psychological effects, including increased anxiety, panic attacks and increased levels of paranoia.
  • Social isolation has been found to have a correlation with higher alcoholism.
  • The Covid lockdown has brought forced isolation to many. There are youngsters living away from their families, trapped in small apartments with abysmal cooking skills. Many senior citizens living by themselves found companionship by meeting up with age mates in neighbourhood parks. They find themselves marooned, deprived of social interaction and also the occasional visits by their children.
  • Lack of playtime with peers is making children irritable and edgy.
  • It can be extremely oppressive and claustrophobic for large low-income families huddled together in small single-room houses. Children here are not lucky enough to have many board/electronic games or books to keep them occupied. Add to it the deep insecurity of running out of funds for food and basic necessities.
  • On the other hand, there are people with dysfunctional family dynamics, such as domineering, abusive or alcoholic partners, siblings or parents which makes staying home a period of trial.
  • Incidence of suicide and physical abuse against women has shown a worldwide increase.
  • Heightened anxiety and depression also affect a person’s immune system, making them more susceptible to illness.
  • Long-term lockdowns bring along a series of social, economic and religious upheavals in societies.
  • Lower classes were worse off for living in closely packed, unhealthy environments. A large workforce had been destroyed; farms and factories were abandoned. Wages for labour shot up as did the cost of manufactured goods. There were some positive outcomes too, though at a huge price of death and destruction.

Life in the Post-Covid world:

  • We need to adopt new ways of living in the times of coronavirus
  • There is a need for new attitudes towards life and humanity amidst indications of the virus likely to stay for longer than earlier expected

The Vice President of India shared a few points on how to live in the post-covid world:

  • Living in harmony with the nature and fellow beings,
  • Knowing that safety and security of lives are interconnected,
  • Rationally analyzing the impact of every movement or action on the spread of virus,
  • Not responding impulsively to the situation and instead living in confidence keeping faith in science which can come up with a solution to the problem,
  • Strict adherence to the behavioral changes ushered in so far like wearing mask,
  • Maintaining physical distance and ensuring hygiene,
  • Preventing stigmatization so that the infected volunteer for treatment,
  • Checking disinformation and prejudices against fellow citizens as carriers of the virus
  • Replacing the sense of collective helplessness by the spirit of the virtue of living interconnected with shared destiny

Way Forward:

  • Our country is very diverse both in terms of population composition, culture and expectation of each other, needs are different, we must try and change our thought process.
  • Everyone should work together. Planning tends to become tentative and short-term. People cultivate moments of joy when danger recedes, knowing it might not last.
  • Basic behavioral change should be done. The greatest psychological shift amid widespread crisis may be toward simple social tasks, like checking in on neighbors, caring for the needy, cooking for friends.
  • Due regards should be given for sanitation and disciplined life.