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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 18 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 : The Freedom Struggle —  its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.

1. Critically discuss the contributions of Indian capitalist class in the freedom struggle. (250 words)

Reference:  India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipin Chandra

Why the question:

The question is premised on the role played by the Indian capitalists in the freedom struggle of the country.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the detail critically the contributions of Indian capitalist class in the freedom struggle.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

The Indian capitalists’ class was gravely concerned about the drain of Indian wealth by British colonialism. The capitalists, mainly cotton industrialists, jute industrialists, steel manufacturers supported INC and peaceful freedom movements. Leading industrialists were closely associated with INC.

Body:

Explain that Indian capitalist class evolved a very complex strategy towards Indian national movement owing to very contradictory forces at play. The Indian capitalist class emerged in 19th century and developed its positive attitude towards national movement. Indian capitalist class was much concern about Drain of Wealth from India to Britain.

British capitalism did not permit Indian enterprise to compete with it. Indian capitalism was therefore weak. Indian cotton industries faced many challenges. However, Indian industrialists stood their ground through their ingenuity and cost reductions.

Discuss various phases in which the capitalists participated, draw attention to the various groups and organisations that were formed.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of their contributions.

Introduction:

Capitalist class were those that remained neutral or pro-British, one that gave financial support to the congress, one that came out in active support of the movement occasionally and the last group that completely identified with the movement and participated in the struggle and went to jail too. The capitalist class emerged in the end of 19th century and played some roles in freedom movement in one way or other. The modern capitalist class began to emerge in India in the second half of the nineteenth century.

Body:

Growth of the capitalist class:

  • Till about World War I, there were few Indian capitalists and the size of their investments was also not substantial.
  • The growth of Indian capital class was different and not seen in other colonial countries.
  • The Indian capitalist grew as independent from foreign capitalist and not as their junior partners or friends.
  • The capitalists weren’t tied up with pro imperial interests but a large section of them argued for comprehensive reforms, cooperatives of production, finance and marketing.
  • The capitalist grew during the period of 1914-1947 due to import substitution.
  • The Indian enterprises had captured round 70% of the domestic market.
  • This growth which was unusual for any industry in a colony wasn’t achieved by siding with colonialists but by wresting space from them.
  • The capitalists took anti-imperialism stands but were careful not to choose a path that would threaten capitalism itself.
  • FICCI was established by the capitalist class as a body for lobbying with the colonial government.
  • FICCI was treated as a guardian of trade, commerce and industry performing in the economic sphere functions of the national government. In this process the capitalists clearly saw the negative effects of imperialism on the home country.
  • FICCI wasn’t merely a body created as a trade union but was to be strong enough to intervene in the politics.

Contributions to the freedom struggle:

  • There were several individual capitalists or sections of the class who either remained neutral towards the Congress and the national movement or even actively opposed it.
  • The capitalists had their own ideas about how the anti-imperial struggle should be waged.
  • They were in favor of using constitutional reforms than civil disobedience.
  • They feared that if the movement became too revolutionary it could threaten capitalism itself.
  • Hence when the movement was getting out of hand they tried to bring it back to constitutional opposition.
  • They also weren’t in favor of all out hostility to the government as it hampered day to day interests.
  • They also joined the legislative forums but not because they were interested in being a part of the movement but because they wanted to prevent black elements from joining them.
  • However, they never accepted the government proposal blindly.
  • They refused to cooperate with the government behind the backs of the congress.

However, there were other set of capitalists

  • They fully identified with the movement, went to jails and accepted the hardships that were the lot of Congressmen in the colonial period.
  • The names of Jamnalal Bajaj, Vadilal Lallubhai Mehta, Samuel Aaron, Lala Shankar Lal, and others are well known in this regard. There were other individual capitalists who did not join the Congress but readily gave financial and other help to the movement.
  • People like G.D. Birla, Ambalal Sarabhai and Walchand Hirachand, fall into this category. There were also a large number of smaller traders and merchants who at various points came out in active support of the national movement.

Conclusion:

Thus, it is clear that the national struggle was never influenced in a decisive way by this class nor was it dependent on its support. The capitalist class became more involved in active politics due to its growing radicalization by the left and socialists. But at no point was it driven to the lap of imperialism by this. It refused support on public safety bill since it threatened nationalism even though the main aim was to stop communism.

 

Topic : Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure. Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

2. Discuss the idea of multiple state capitals. Explain in what way it may impact the governance of a state in the country? Substantiate with suitable example. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

Recently Under the three-capital concept, Amaravati would be the Legislative capital, Visakhapatnam the Executive capital and Kurnool the Judicial capital, said Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan.

Key Demand of the question:

One must discuss the idea of multiple state capitals. Explain in what way it may impact the governance of a state in the country. Give suitable examples to justify your answer.

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 explaining the concept of multiple state capitals.

Body:

One can present the case of – The Andhra Pradesh Assembly that has passed the Capital Region Development Authority Repeal Bill 2020 and the AP Decentralization and Inclusive Development of all Regions Bill 2020. Discuss in short the details of the Bill. Explain the concerns associated with the multiple capitals. Explain why it may not be suitable for the Indian system of governance. Suggest what other alternatives are available.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward that – Given the fact that the present proposal leads to more concerns than benefits, there is a need for reconsideration on the part of the government. All wings of the state involving the legislature, executive and judiciary need to sit together for effectiveness.

Introduction:

The Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly passed the AP Decentralization and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill, 2020 that intended to give shape to state government’s plan of having three-capital concept — executive capital in Visakhapatnam, legislative in Amaravati and judicial in Kurnool. Addressing the State Legislature through video conferencing from Raj Bhavan to formally mark the beginning of the Budget session of the Andhra Pradesh Assembly recently, the Governor said, under the three-capital concept, Decentralization of administration and inclusive development of all regions of the state was the key principle.

Body:

andra_pradesh

Rationale behind 3 capitals:

  • The government says it is against building one mega capital while neglecting other parts of the state. Three capitals ensure equal development of different regions of the state.
  • Decentralization has been the central theme in recommendations of all major committees that were set up to suggest a suitable location for the capital of Andhra Pradesh.
  • The other argument in favor is it sits in line with various reports like- Sribagh pact, which happened between Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra in 1937, where it was decided that if high court is in coastal Andhra, capital should be in Rayalaseema. but after the formation of Andhra Pradesh, it was left out and Hyderabad became the capital.
  • Even the Justice SriKrishna committee, which was set up to decide the capital region for AP recommended having high court and other institutions in different regions.
  • And a secretariat in Vizag can help in the development of regions like Vizianagaram and Srikakulam, which consists of most of the tribal and rural areas and are the most backward regions of the state.
  • This may bring health and educational access to the region and may prevent uddanam like incidents, where several people are suffering from chronic kidney disease.
  • Kurnool having a high court is like doing Justice to the district or even entire Rayalaseema, as it is the most backward region when compared with coastal Andhra and Telangana with Hyderabad at the time of bifurcation.
  • The concept of two capital cities is not uncommon: nearly 15 countries across the world have multiple capitals. For instance, Bolivia, Georgia and the Netherlands have two capitals! South Africa has three capitals — Bloemfontein, Cape Town, and Pretoria — that house it’s judicial, legislative and executive branches.
  • Examples of Indian States/UTs with ‘Second’ Capital:
    • Kerala: where high court is in Kochi and the legislature and Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram. And in Uttarakhand and Lucknow.
    • Maharashtra: The winter session of the state legislature is held in Nagpur. It doesn’t have any legal status as a capital.”
    • Himachal Pradesh: As of now, the winter session of the state legislature is held in Dharamshala.

Benefits of having multiple state capitals:

  • It widens the space for representative democracy.
  • The Upper house act as a check on hasty actions by Legislative Assembly.
  • They provide a forum for academicians and intellectuals to contribute to the legislative process.
  • Academicians and intellectuals may not be suitable for the nature of electoral politics in Legislative Assembly.
  • It provides a mechanism for a more serious appraisal of legislation.
  • It would allow for more debate and sharing of work between the Houses.
  • To act as a check on hasty actions by the popularly elected House.
  • To ensure that individuals who might not be cut out for the rough-and-tumble of direct elections too are able to contribute to the legislative process.
  • Having a second chamber would allow for more debate and sharing of work between the Houses.

Challenges of multiple state capitals concept:

  • In a parliamentary system of government, executive and legislature are 2 sides of a coin.
  • One should realize that these 3 organs, most of the time have to work in resonance as most of their work is interlinked.
  • For example, a policy or a bill is made by the cabinet in Secretariat in Vizag and the bill has to be passed in the legislature in Amaravati and if any conflict arises it has to be given judgment in the high court situated in Kurnool. It will result in the traveling cost not only for the public authorities but also for a common person, for example, a person in Kurnool has to travel about 700 km to get work done in Secretariat in Vizag. So a single capital not only reduces the cost but also time is taken to get the work done.
  • Coordinating between seats of legislature and executive in separate cities will be easier said than done, and with the government offering no specifics of a plan, officers and common people alike fear a logistics nightmare.
  • The proposal to have the legislature and executive at different places will lead to an unnecessary drain of resources for the state given that the ministers who perform both executive, as well as, legislative functions will need to constantly move between the two capitals at the expense of the state resources.
  • Another counter-argument is strengthening the local bodies, both in urban and rural areas. If the government’s goal is to decentralize development, the best way possible is the financial strengthening of the local bodies, granting more money to execute their functions in the 11th and 12th schedule of the Indian constitution. This not only results in the development of even remote areas but also improve governance, as it increases the participation of common people in the development process.
  • People mostly farmers of 29 villages, who gave farmland in and around previously selected Amaravati region, to the previous government in land pooling, where they are expecting to get in return land and commercial building. Now they feel cheated after backing out of the previously proposed single capital.
  • This may result in people from other regions being skeptical (doubt) of the government’s Promises in the future, making it very difficult in the land acquisition or pooling for any development process.

Way forward:

  • Given the advances in communications technology, it is not important to locate everyone in the same place. We also have multiple judiciary benches in some states for the sake of efficiency.
  • Decentralization in the State should take place by empowering the local governments i.e. the Panchayats and Municipal Corporations which were constituted after the enactment of the 73rd and the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act.
  • Multiple capitals should not be used as an instrument for the development of the region.
  • The development of the region can be brought by making an investment in the manufacturing and service sectors, bringing different policies benefiting the farmers and ease of doing business, development of the infrastructure, development of the social-cultural institutions such as universities, hospitals, etc.

 

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

3. In what way can humanity’s relentless production and consumption be addressed? Do you think it’s possible to change public attitudes to the leading driver of land degradation? Elucidate. (250 words)

Reference : un.org

Why the question:

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is being observed on June 17, 2020 with the theme “Food. Feed. Fibre. – the links between consumption and land.” Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

One must discuss the possible changes that can be made in public attitudes towards land degradation wherein the population is the key driver through its relentless production and consumption.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by quoting some key facts about land degradation; explain with some key facts in what way the people are the major contributors to it.

Body:

Explain what is land degradation, what is its impact on the overall health of the world.  Desertification is the degradation of land in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas. It is caused primarily by human activities and climatic variations. Desertification does not refer to the expansion of existing deserts. It occurs because dryland ecosystems, which cover over one third of the world’s land area, are extremely vulnerable to overexploitation and inappropriate land use. Poverty, political instability, deforestation, overgrazing and bad irrigation practices can all undermine the productivity of the land.

As populations become larger, wealthier and more urban, there is far greater demand for land to provide food, animal feed and fibre for clothing. Meanwhile, the health and productivity of existing arable land is declining, worsened by climate change. Clothing and footwear production causes 8 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, a figure predicted to rise almost 50 per cent by 2030.

Suggest measures that can aid in changing the political attitudes of people towards land degradation.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Land degradation is reduction or loss of biological or economic productivity of the land resulting from land uses or from a process or combination of processes, including human activities and climatic variations. Desertification is the degradation of land in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas. Desertification does not refer to the expansion of existing deserts. It occurs because dryland ecosystems, which cover over one-third of the world‘s land area, are extremely vulnerable to overexploitation and inappropriate land use. Poverty, political instability, deforestation, overgrazing and bad irrigation practices can all undermine the productivity of the land.

Body:

In India, the main reason for desertification is loss of soil cover, mainly due to rainfall and surface runoff. It is responsible for 10.98 per cent of desertification in the country followed by vegetation degradation (8.91 percent) and wind erosion (5.55 percent).

Land degradation is a global problem largely related to agricultural use.  The major causes include:

  • Land clearance, such as clearcutting and deforestation
  • Agricultural depletion of soil nutrients through poor farming practices
  • Livestock including overgrazing and over drafting
  • Inappropriate irrigation and over drafting
  • Urban sprawl and commercial development
  • Vehicle off-roading
  • Quarrying of stone, sand, ore and minerals
  • Increase in field size due to economies of scale, reducing shelter for wildlife, as hedgerows and copses disappear
  • Exposure of naked soil after harvesting by heavy equipment
  • Monoculture, destabilizing the local ecosystem
  • Dumping of non-biodegradable trash, such as plastics
  • Invasive Species
  • Soil degradation which includes Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Soil acidification and Loss of soil carbon

Land restoration includes

  • Restoration of vegetation – vegetation cove prevent soil erosion, it increases water run-off time thus giving time for water to percolate into earth=> improves ground water level. Forest is considered as lakhs off check dams.
  • Restoration of soil – this in turn enhances the life support capability of the land, hence helps in restoration of vegetation.
  • Restoration of water bodies – this includes restoring wetlands, lake, river etc.
  • In reality vegetation, soil and water bodies all are inter dependent. Ultimately results in enhancement in water availability.
  • Thus in India where 67% of land is dry land and 30% of land is under degradation, reversing the degradation will also have potential to solve problem of water scarcity.
  • Mostly in southern states there in acute shortage of water example Chennai in 2019 has declared emptying of ground water. Restoring of ground water table by using traditional and scientific water harvesting technique and conserving wetland like Pallikarinai wetland will certainly bring back life to water bodies.
  • Example – Revival of Alwari river in Alwar dist. Of Rajasthan by Rajendra Singh (water man of India). He helped to build around 9000 Johads, Check dams.
  • India had joined “Bonn Challenge” a global effort to bring 150 million hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded land into restoration by 2020, and 350 million hectares by 2030.
  • India pledged to bring into restoration 13 million hectares of degraded and deforested land by 2020, and an additional 8 million hectares by 2030.
  • At COP 14 of UNCCD India raised the Target of 21 million hectares to 26 million hectares between now and 2030 to be restored.

Other steps taken by India:

  • Desert Development Programme.
  • Integrated Watershed Management Programme which is now subsumed under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana.
  • National agriculture policy 2000
  • National Mission on Green India which is a part of National Action Plan on Climate Change.
  • National Afforestation Programme.
  • Soil Conservation in the Catchment of River Valley Projects and Flood Prone Rivers.
  • National Watershed Development Project for Rain fed Areas.
  • Fodder and Feed Development Scheme – a component of Grassland Development including Grass Reserves
  • Command Area Development and Management Programme.
  • National water policy 2012
  • National forest Policy 1988

Conclusion:

It is land over which humans are surviving with the help of ecosystem services provided by Flora and Fauna. Degradation of land would mean degradation of human life. Water is becoming scar resource and land degradation is fueling it. Restoration of land provide us the chance to handle water scarcity problem with ease. Hence conservation efforts are necessary along with fast development and urbanisation. It is also enshrined in SDG 15. Development without sustainability is worse than on development at all.

 

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

4. Discuss the impact of recent change in definition of MSME as a part of Atmanirbhar package on the growth of the industries. (250 words)

Reference: Live Mint 

Why the question:

As part of its Atmanirbhar Bharat package, the Indian government announced several far-reaching reforms. One of them was a change in definition of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME).

Key Demand of the question:

The question is straightforward and one has to discuss the impact of recent change in definition of MSME as a part of Atmanirbhar package on the growth of the industries.

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:

Introduce by quoting key facts of the MSME industry. One can present facts.

Body:

Start by explaining the importance of MSMEs for Indian Economy; MSME is 2nd largest employment provider after agriculture sector. It provides 80% of jobs in the industry with just 20% of the investment. They also check rural-urban migration by providing people living in isolated areas with a sustainable source of employment.

Then move onto explain the impact of the recent change in the definition of the MSME. Highlight both positives and negatives.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a fair and balanced opinion.

Introduction:

The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister officially revised the MSME definition. The recent changes in the definition of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises made as a part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan relief package were approved. The investment and turnover figures were changed to larger values, thereby resulting in a larger number of medium-sized enterprises.

Body:

Importance of MSME in India:

  • According to a RBI report, the MSMEs are amongst the strongest drivers of economic development, innovation and employment.
  • Looking back at data since 2000-01, MSME sector growth has almost every year outstripped overall industrial growth in the country.
  • The MSME sector also contributes in a significant way to the growth of the Indian economy with a vast network of about 63.38 million enterprises.
  • Of these, nearly 14% are women-led enterprises, and close to 60% are based in rural areas.
  • The sector contributes about 8% of India’s GDP, 45% to manufacturing output, more than 40% of exports, over 28% of the GDP while creating employment for about 111 million people, which in terms of volume stands next to agricultural sector.
  • However, the RBI report also noted that at present the sector is “exceedingly heterogeneous in terms of size of the enterprises and variety of products and services, and levels of technology employed” .
  • It has the potential to grow at a much faster rate. One of the key attractions of this sector is that it huge employment generation potential at relatively lower capital investment.

New definition of MSME:

Defination_MSMES

Impact of changes of definition:

  • The definition has been widened in line with industry suggestions.
  • The new definition will bring about many benefits that will aid MSMEs to grow in size.
  • This was made under Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan Economic Package to assuage India’s economic predicament amidst the pandemic.
  • It will help a wider section of companies to avail various sops announced for the sector.
  • The enhanced turnover limit brings relief to many companies that were worried that they would not be eligible for MSME status.
  • Moreover, MSMEs, thanks to their small scale of operations and informal organisation, MSMEs don’t always maintain proper books of accounts. This essentially results in their not being classified as MSMEs.
  • The change of definition is likely to improve the ease of doing business for MSMEs, and in the process, make it easier for them to pay taxes, attract investments and create more jobs.
  • The clear and unambiguous definition – that is also in consonance with global norms and learns from the best practices across countries – is the starting point to reforming this crucial sector of the economy.

Conclusion:

Having created 11 crore job opportunities in India while contributing to the GDP by 29%, we can say that MSMEs are the heart of the Indian economy. And the change in the definition will enable Indian enterprises to carry out their businesses better.

 

Topic : Major crops-cropping patterns in various parts of the country, – different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.

5. Account for the use of chemical pesticides, insecticides and fertilizers in Indian agriculture and its impact on human health. (250 words)

Reference: Indian geography by Majid Hussain

Why the question:

The question is straightforward and aims to analyse the impact of chemical fertilizers and chemical agri inputs on the Indian agriculture and the human health.

Key Demand of the question:

One must Account in detail for the use of chemical pesticides, insecticides and fertilizers in Indian agriculture and its impact on human health.

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:

Start by explaining the fact that chemical inputs are key infrastructure to the agriculture production.

Body:

Best way to Account for the use of chemical pesticides, insecticides and fertilizers in Indian agriculture and its impact on human health is to present the case of Green revolution program in India.

One can also present the case of GM Cotton, explain how intensive chemical fertilizers, pesticide usage led to degradation of the land fit for agriculture.

Discuss what the other options available are to address the ill impacts of heavy usage of chemicals, suggest alternatives to it.

Conclusion:

Conclude with solutions to address such concerns and issues.

Introduction:

The “Green Revolution” in the 1970s, ushered in an era of rapid agricultural production, foodgrains in particular. One of the catalytic agents for the revolution was chemical fertilizers. India was gravely short of foodgrains, and this agricultural shift came in handy. With massive inputs of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and water, high crop yields were achieved. The ‘Green’ Revolution may have saved the day but it was far from safeguarding the future.

Body:

The 29th report, called “Impact of chemical fertilizers and Pesticides on agriculture and allied sectors in the country”, was tabled in Parliament by the parliamentary standing committee on agriculture in 2016. Some of the key findings are:

  • Consumption of fertilizers:
    • consumption of chemical fertilizers in the country has been increasing along with the level of agricultural production.
    • Agricultural production increased from 83 million tonnes in the 1960s to 252 million tonnes in 2014-15.
    • Use of chemical fertilizers (such as those containing nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) increased from one million tonnes to 25.6 million tonnes in the same period.
  • Availability of fertilizers:
    • While the consumption of chemical fertilizers in the country has increased from 17.4 million tonnes in 2001-02 to 25.5 million tonnes in 2012-13, the domestic availability has only increased from 14.5 million tonnes to 16.1 million tonnes.
    • This indicates that there has been an increase in the import of fertilizers.
  • Imbalance in use of fertilizers:
    • The Committee observed that currently, 292 out of the 525 districts (56%) in the country account for 85% of its fertilizer use.
    • In addition, the ratio of consumption of fertilizer has been skewed towards nitrogen.
    • The ratio of usage of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium fertilizers is 6.7:2.4:1, as compared to the recommended usage ratio of 4:2:1.
  • Excessive use of pesticides:
    • The Committee observed that the consumption of chemical pesticides in the country increased from 55,540 tonnes in 2010-11 to 57,353 tonnes in 2014-15, while their imports increased from 53,996 tonnes to 77,376 tonnes in the same period.
    • The Committee noted that excessive use of pesticides may have a deteriorating effect on the health of both humans and animals.

Impacts on human health:

  • Agrochemicals are considered as a powerful weapon or magic bullets in the developing countries in order to enhance the agriculture productivity.
  • However, it has been observed that agrochemicals are causing serious hazards and certain pesticides may affect the human endocrine and immune systems and may promote the development of cancer.
  • It has been administered that farmers do not use the safety masks, gloves and other protective gears during the spraying of pesticides which results into the access of pesticides in the blood stream through inhalation and dermal exposure which can adversely affect their eyes, skin and the respiratory system.
  • Pesticide poisoning has been a consistent killer with the state reporting as many as 272 deaths in the last four years.
  • The exposed spray farmers usually report maximum acute signs and symptoms like burning/stinging of eyes, blurred vision, skin redness/itching, excessive sweating/shortness of breath, dry sore throat and burning of nose.
  • As pesticides are applied over the vegetable which are directly entered into human or livestock bodies.
  • Excessive use of fertilizers may pollute the underground water with nitrate and it is so much hazardous to humans or livestock.
  • Nitrate concentrated water can immobilize some of hemoglobin in blood.
  • Organophosphate pesticides have increased in application, because they are both less persistent and harmful for environment than organochlorine pesticides.
  • But, they are associated with acute health problems, such as abdominal pain, dizziness, headaches, nausea, vomiting, as well as skin and eye problems. There have been many studies intending to establish cancer – pesticides association.
  • Organophosphate pesticides used in the vegetables gradually get deposit into human body and has a link with cancer.
  • Contamination of soil and water with toxic agrochemicals (e.g., phosphate fertilizer contaminated with heavy metals, pesticides and herbicides etc.) are a particular concern.
  • These pollutants in water generally are in small quantities, and thus, cannot be seen or tasted.
  • Therefore, their harmful effects do not manifest in humans for several years but led to the escalation of deadly disease like chronic kidney disease.
  • In term of human health, DDT is the cause of many kinds of cancer, acute and persistent injury to the nervous system, lung damage, injury to the reproductive organs, dysfunction of the immune and endocrine systems, birth defects
  • Way forward:
  • A comprehensive study should be undertaken to measure the impact of chemical fertilizers and pesticides on soil fertility and general health.
  • The existing fertilizer subsidy policy should be revised, and a new policy which is more favourable to Indian conditions should be formulated.
  • Promotion of organic fertilizers.
  • A Policy should be put in place to incentivize the use of bio-fertilizers. Farmers should be provided with financial and technical support to enable them to switch to organic farming on a large scale.
  • Legal action for using banned pesticides like DDT for agriculture.
  • A Fertilizer Development and Regulating Authority should be established to streamline the process of certification, quality checks, innovations, and fixing prices of fertilizers.
  • A Pesticides Development and Regulation Authority should also be created to regulate the manufacturing, import and sale of pesticides in the country.
  • Balanced use will also reflect in reduced water consumption, while at the same time protecting water bodies from run-off pollution.
  • Farmer awareness about balanced fertilization should be stepped up through the coordinated efforts of the departments of agriculture, cooperation & farmers’ welfare and fertilizers, besides the network of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research’s Krishi Vigyan Kendras.

Conclusion:

The need of the hour is to switch priorities and subsidies from chemical to organic farming as shown by the State of Sikkim. Andhra Pradesh launched a ‘Zero Budget Natural Farming‘ Project to phase out chemicals by 2024.The government should divert the undeserved subsidies from the chemical farming sector to the organic farming sector and assist/train farmers across the country to make the transition to organic farming practices and thereby enhance their livelihoods, and protect their lives.

 

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.

6. It takes more than corporate governance policies to inspire ethical behaviors and sustain a truly ethical workplace. Discuss. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by P N Chowdhary and G Subbarao.

Why the question:

The question is based on the theme of ethics at workplace. 

Key Demand of the question:

One has to explain in what way corporate governance policies are not the only factors responsible for better ethical behaviors and better ethical workplaces.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Explain what makes a workplace ethical.

Body:

First discuss the role that corporate governance policies play in ensuring ethical behavior of people and good ethical practices at the workplace. 

Briefly explain the constituents of ethical governance policies, explain in what way they aid in bringing ethical behavior at workplace.

However explain that an ethical workplace is based on aspects beyond corporate governance policies such as social responsibilities, environmental concerns, progressive work culture attitude, team spirit, principles of morality etc. have their role to play.

Conclusion:

Conclude with fair and balanced opinion and suggest that an ethical workplace and behaviour of people to be ethical is much beyond corporate governance policies.

Introduction:

Work Culture or Organization Culture is set of collective beliefs, values, rules and behaviour which organisation as whole conforms to. In a layman approach it is culture that a group as an organisation follows. Culture varies with family, region, social class and hence in work environment.

Corporate governance is the system of rules, practices and processes by which a firm is directed and controlled. It includes the rules relating to the power relations between owners, the board of directors, management and the stakeholders such as employees, suppliers, customers as well as the public at large.

Body:

Corporate governance essentially involves balancing the interests of a company’s many stakeholders, such as shareholders, management, customers, suppliers, financiers, government and the community. Ethics is at the core of corporate governance, and management must reflect accountability for their actions on the global community scale

The ethical issues with Corporate Governance in India:

  • It is common for friends and family of promoters and management to be appointed as board members.
  • In India, founders’ ability to control the affairs of the company has the potential of derailing the entire corporate governance system. Unlike developed economies, in India, identity of the founder and the company is often merged.
  • Women director appointed are primarily from family in most of the companies which negates the whole reform.
  • Appointed independent directors are questionable as it is unlikely that Independent Directors will stand-up for minority interests against the promoter. In the Tata case, these directors normally toe the promoter’s line.
  • An independent director can be easily removed by promoters or majority shareholders. This inherent conflict has a direct impact on independence.
  • Data protection is an important governance issue. In this era of digitalisation, a sound understanding of the fundamentals of cyber security must be expected from every director.
  • Board’s Approach to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is often found unsupportive.
  • Conflict of Interest – The ICICI Bank Ltd fiasco demonstrates the challenge of managers potentially enriching themselves at the cost of shareholders in the absence of a promoter.

Measures to improve Corporate Governance in India:

  • For the good corporate governance focus should be shift from independent director to limiting the power of promoters.
  • Promote women from diverse background rather than from family as board of director.
  • A well composed Audit Committee to work as liaison with the management, internal and statutory auditors, reviewing the adequacy of internal control and compliance with significant policies and procedures, reporting to the Board on the key issues.
  • Risk is an important component of corporate functioning and governance, which should be clearly acknowledged, analysed for taking appropriate corrective measures. In order to deal with such situation, Board should formulate a mechanism for periodic reviews of internal and external risks.
  • A clear Whistle Blower Policy whereby the employees may without fear report to the management about unprincipled behaviour, actual or suspected frauds or violation of company’s code of conduct. There should be some mechanism for adequate safeguard to personnel against victimization that serves as whistle-blowers.
  • Strengthening the power of SEBI, ICAI, and ICSI to handle the corporate failure. As for example in Sahara case, court has to intervene to bring justice.
  • CSR projects should be managed with much interest and vigour.
  • The board must invest a reasonable amount of time and money in order ensures the goal of data protection is achieved.
  • A robust mechanism should be developed to mitigate risk. A better management of risk may avoid Kingfisher like debacle.
  • Explicitly approved norms of ethical practices and code of conduct are communicated to all the stakeholders, which should be clearly understood and followed by each member of the organization.
  • The objectives of the corporation must be clearly recognized in a long-term corporate strategy including an annual business plan along with achievable and measurable performance targets and milestones.

However, Corporate Governance alone is not sufficient:

  • A clear expectation for behaviour among all members of an organization is the first step towards a more ethical organizational culture.
  • Organizational leaders must be mindful of their actions as others in the organization will likely follow their lead when it comes to ethical behaviour and attitudes.
  • Offering opportunities for recognition, awards, and social reinforcements for desirable ethical behaviors’ can go a long way to promote the types of ethical culture desired in any organization.
  • Workshops, easy to use reference materials, ongoing and readily available consultation from peers or mentors are just some of the many ways institutions can assist in training students and staff to best use the tools that are available to them to participate in better and more thoughtful ethical decision making.
  • Ethical ambiguities can be reduced by creating and disseminating an organizational code of ethics. It should state the organization’s primary values and the ethical rules that employees are expected to follow.
  • The organization needs to provide formal mechanisms so that employees can discuss ethical dilemmas and report unethical behaviour without fear of reprimand. This might include creation of ethical counsellors, ombudsmen, or ethical officers.

 

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. “Sharper socio-economic disparities often harbor greater incentives to corruption”, do you agree? Analyse. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics by lexicon Publications

Why the question:

The question is based on the topic of corruption and its interlinkages with socio-economic disparities in the country.

Key Demand of the question:

One has to analyse in what way sharper socio-economic disparities often harbor greater incentives to corruption.

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:

In brief present the levels of corruption prevalent in the country in various dimensions and areas.

Body:

Start by explaining what are socio-economic disparities; explain how they lead to deprivation, lead to social comparison and ultimately to administrative apathy.

Explain the underlying reasons as to why the sharper socio-economic disparities often harbor greater incentives to corruption.

Quote examples to justify your answer stand better.  Suggest what needs to be done.

Conclusion:

Conclude by suggesting solutions to ensure the interlinkages between the two are weakened and the socio-economic gaps are narrowed down.

Introduction:

Corruption is a systemic disease and the existing social relationships permit it to grow and flourish. It takes different forms and is imbibed as a part of the prevalent culture. corruption is directly proportionate to the socioeconomic gap in a nation. Cultural and historical factors add to this or subtract from this, but the greater the socioeconomic disparities, the greater the incentive towards corruption.

Body:

Inequality helps to promote corrupt behaviour by elite capture of political processes or unintentionally through the vulnerability of the poorer classes to engage in clientelistic relationships or to be asked for bribes

According to a report of Oxfam, one per cent of Indians own 51 per cent of the income and wealth of the society. Such a disparity in income levels, coupled with conspicuous consumption on the part of the super-rich, bring to the fore the distorted position of the social structure. Money becomes the common denominator for buying the services, unethically and illegally. The system breeds within itself the maladies that come to the forefront a few months later.

Corruption happens in many ways, both among the rich and poor. For instance, in country where, say, Rs. 10,000 is nothing for the rich, it is easy for the rich to offer a bribe of that sum. But it, in the same country, Rs. 10,000 is what a poor man may earn in an entire month, it is difficult for him to refuse a bribe of that amount. This leads to the gradual erosion of morality and ethics on both sides. Some find it easy to spend money to get things done; others find it difficult to refuse to accept that money. On both sides, there builds up a disrespect for the system and for each other. The system itself is seen as thoroughly corrupt because of such individual acts of corruption. This further ‘justifies’ the corruption on both sides.

Moreover, the poor look at the affluence of the rich as basically a consequence of corruption, which is by no means the case all the time. The rich look at the vulnerability of the poor as the sequence of a corrupt morality, which is again by no means the case all the time. Such a nexus saps the entire social fabric of a country, also creating apathy towards a demand for greater transparency in the corridors of power. This further leads to the spread of corruption.

Conclusion:

On the other hand, Corruption also drives inequality. It is thus a vicious cycle between the two and both must be targeted at the grass roots level. The “way out” of the inequality trap, then, is to free ordinary people from having to depend upon corrupt leaders for their livelihood. Universalistic social welfare programs, as practiced in the Nordic countries, are the most likely to reduce inequality and make the lives of all citizens better as well as to increase social trust. And the universal social welfare program that works best to reduce inequality is universal free public education.


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