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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 24 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. Account for the Mapilla rebellion of Malabar 1921; discuss the significant contributions of Kunahammad Haji to it. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express 

Why the question:

The year 2021 will mark the 100th year anniversary of the Malabar/Moplah uprising of 1921. Thus the context of the question.

Key Demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the Mapilla rebellion of Malabar 1921 and also discuss the significant contributions of Kunahammad Haji to it.

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:

The Moplah Rebellion or the Malabar Rebellion was an extended version of the Khilafat Movement in Kerala in 1921. The Government had declared the Congress and Khilafat meetings illegal. So, a reaction in Kerala began against the crackdown of the British in Eranad and Valluvanad taluks of Malabar.

Body:

Explain that the Moplah Rebellion, also known as the Moplah Riots of 1921 was the culmination of a series of riots by Moplahs (Muslims of Malabar) in the 19th and early 20th centuries against the British and the Hindu landlords in Malabar (Northern Kerala). The rebellion is sometimes seen as a class uprising although events show that the riots were communal in nature.

Discuss the course of Moplah Rebellion, explain the contributions of the key leader Kunahammad Haji.  

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of the revolt in the freedom struggle history of India.

Introduction:

The Mapilla rebellion or Moplah Rebellion (Moplah Riots) of 1921 was the culmination of a series of riots by Moplahs (Muslims of Malabar) in the 19th and early 20th centuries against the British and the Hindu landlords in Malabar (Northern Kerala). The rebellion is sometimes seen as a class uprising although events show that the riots were communal in nature. The year 2021 will mark the 100th year anniversary of the Malabar/Moplah uprising of 1921.

Body:

Mapilla rebellion of Malabar 1921:

  • The resistance which started against the British colonial rule and the feudal system later ended in communal violence between Hindus and Muslims.
  • It was an armed revolt staged by the Mappila Muslims of Kerala in 1921.
  • Gandhiji along with Shaukat Ali, the leader of the Khilafat movement in India, visited Calicut in August 1920 to spread the combined message of non-cooperation and Khilafat among the residents of Malabar.
  • In response to Gandhiji’s call, a Khilafat committee was formed in Malabar and the Mappilas, under their religious head Mahadum Tangal of Ponnani who pledged support to the non-cooperation movement.
  • During the same time, the agrarian situation in Malabar was worsening with the low-class tenants suffering under the oppressive measures of the landlords who were patronised by the British.
  • In this situation, the Indian National Congress reached out to the Mappila cultivators to actively support both the agrarian reforms and independence.
  • The Moplah tenants agitated against the Hindu landlords (jenmi) and the British government.
  • Most of their grievances were related to the security of tenure, high rents, renewal fees and other unfair exactions of the landlords.
  • The British government responded with much aggression, bringing in Gurkha regiments to suppress it and imposing martial law.
  • The six-month-long rebellion is often perceived to be one of the first cases of nationalist uprisings in Southern India.

Significant contributions of Kunahammad Haji:

  • The main leaders of this rebellion were Variyankunnath Kunjahammed Haji, Sithi Koya Thangal and Ali Musliyar among others.
  • Variyankunnath Kunjahammed Haji was born into an affluent Muslim family sometime in the 1870s (the exact date is not confirmed) and grew up hearing stories of the torture and injustice done by the British.
  • His father, Moideenkutty Haji, was deported and jailed in the Andaman Islands for his participation in a rebellion against the British.
  • He was very much fascinated by the traditional music-based art forms like Daffumutt and poems like ‘Malappuram Padappattu’ and ‘Badr Padappattu’ and he used them as an instrument to rally the locals against the British.
  • These poems were on the exploitation of the peasants by feudal lords under the British so these were banned later on by the British.
  • He simultaneously challenged the British and ignited sentiments against them among the local population.
  • Leaders of the Khilafat movement and the INC introduced him to the Khilafat cause and he promised to join them against the atrocities of the British and the landlords.
  • Haji decided to take arms against the British and took the leadership of the Khilafat and was mostly heard all over Calicut and south Malabar.
  • Haji ensured that the movement had a secular character as he was aware of the strength of Hindu-Muslim unity and ensured people of other faiths were given adequate security.
  • Britishers cast him as a religious fanatic to create divisions within the movement and there was a possibility of the movement losing direction and perhaps even resulting in a communal riot.
  • As the rebellion spread across the Ernad and Valluvanad taluks of erstwhile Malabar district, Britishers and their loyal escaped, leaving vast territory under the control of the local rebels.
  • The territory was declared an ‘independent state’ in August 1921 with Haji as its undisputed ruler.
  • For nearly six months, he ran a parallel Khilafat regime headquartered in Nilambur, with its own separate passport, currency and system of taxation.
  • An extensive army with the participation of Hindu men was built with the aim of thwarting any attempt by the British to overthrow the Khilafat rule.
  • Tenants were granted the power over the lands they cultivated along with tax incentives.
  • In January 1922, under the guise of a treaty, the British betrayed Haji through his close friend Unyan Musaliyar and arrested him.
  • He was sentenced to death along with his compatriots.
  • The bodies were cremated fearing that the grave may become an inspiration for the rebels and all the records connected with the Khilafat raj were burnt in order to make the people forget the Mappila khilafat rule of six months.

Conclusion:

The real motive of the Moplah revolt still remains a highly debated topic among historians. There are some who call it a case of religious fanaticism, there are others who look at it as an instance of struggle against British authority and then there are others who perceive the Malabar rebellion to be a peasant revolt against unfair practices of the landlords. The brutal violence, widespread forceful conversions and destruction of property suggest that the motive went beyond what could have arisen from class conflict and took on religious colours.

 

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

2. The battle of Plassey marked the beginning of political hegemony of the British East India Company in India. Comment. (250 words) 

Reference:  The Times Of India

Why the question:

The Battle of Plassey was fought on June 23, 1757, the article brings to us glimpse of the same from the past.

Key Demand of the question:

The question aims to address in what way Battle of Plassey marked the beginning of political hegemony of the British East India Company in India.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Battle of Plassey was the major reason for the consolidation of the British rule in India. This battle was fought between the East India Company headed by Robert Clive and the Nawab of Bengal (Siraj-Ud-Daulah) and his French Troop. 

Body:

The answer should have the following dimensions addressed –

  • What is the Battle of Plassey?
  • Causes of the Battle of Plassey
  • Who Fought the Battle of Plassey?
  • Effects of Battle of Plassey

Then in detail explain in what way it established the political hegemony of the East India company in the country. Apart from British getting political power of Northern India but only after Nawabs, there were several other effects in many forms that came out as a result of Battle of Plassey. Explain both economic and political effects of the same.

Conclusion:

Conclude that Battle of Plassey was of immense historical importance. It paved the way for the British mastery of Bengal and eventually whole of India.

Introduction:

The Battle of Plassey was a war fought between the British East India Company and the Nawab of Bengal and his close allies, who were mainly the French troops. The battle was won on June 23, 1757, leading to the consolidation of the British in Bengal and later expanding other territories of India. It was fought at Palashi, on the banks of the Bhagirathi River near Calcutta and Murshidabad which was the public capital of Bengal. It was more of skirmishes than a battle according to some historians, who were part of the seven years’ war fought in India by the British.

Body:

Factors leading to the battle:

  • The Company had a strong presence in India and were located in three main stations; Fort St. George, Fort William, and Bombay Castle.
  • The British allied themselves with the Nawabs and princes in exchange for security against rebels and any form of external and internal attack.
  • The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle of 1748 stopped the direct hostility between the British and the French powers. The treaty did not last long before the two powers were again involved in indirect hostilities.
  • When Alvardi Khan who was the Nawab of Bengal died in April 1756, his son Siraj-Ud-daula succeeded him. The young Nawab immediately laid siege to Calcutta, capturing it and imprisoning several British officials in June 1756.
  • Clive concluded that the only way to secure the interest of the Company was to replace Siraj with a friendly Nawab. General Mir Jafar was found as a possible replacement. And a secret agreement was passed to Mir Jafar’s residence.

The beginnings of British political sway over India may be traced back to the battle of Plassey in 1757, when the English East India Company’s forces defeated Siraj-ud-Daulah, the Nawab of Bengal. The significance of battle of Plassey can be studied under the following consequences:

Position of British after the Battle

  • The battle of Plassey was of immense historical importance. It paved way for British Mastery of Bengal and eventually the whole of India.
  • It boosted British prestige and at a single stroke raised them to the status of major contender for the Indian Empire. Before the battle, it was only just another European company trading in Bengal. But after Plassey they monopolized trade of Bengal.
  • Plassey had brought about a gradual transformation in the character of the Company. In the context of the then politics, military control was synonymous with political body. Thus, the Company played a role of commercial-cum-military-cum- political body.
  • The rich revenues of Bengal enabled them to organize a strong army and meet the cost of conquest of the rest of the country.
  • Control over Bengal played a decisive role in the Anglo French struggle where British were finally victorious.
  • The victory of Plassey enabled the Company with its servants to amass untold wealth at the cost of helpless people of Bengal.
  • The conflict at Plassey was also crucial for the East India company’s triumph over its French rivals.

Financial and Political control of the British after the battle:

  • The Company was granted undisputed right to free trade in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.
  • It also received the Zamindari of the 24 Parganas near Calcutta.
  • The new Nawab, Mir Jaffar, was dependent on the British for the maintenance of his position in Bengal. An English army of 6000 troops was maintained in Bengal.
  • The wealth paid to British immediately after Plassey was a sum of £800,000
  • Mir Jaffar regretted the deal that he struck with British later when he was reduced to a puppet leader only.
  • Prior to 1757 the English trade in Bengal was largely financed through import of bullion from England; but after that year not only bullion import stopped, but bullion was exported from Bengal to China and other parts of India, which gave a competitive advantage to the English Company over its European rivals.

Conclusion:

Robert Clive became the Baron of Plassey. Affairs that occurred after the victory at the Battle of Plassey had changed the British East India Company from a trading company to a central power. Thus, the Battle of Plassey marked the beginning of political supremacy of the English East India Company in India.

 

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

3. Do you think time is ripe for India to develop a comprehensive Underwater Domain Awareness strategy to not lose sight of her surrounding seas? Analyse. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express 

Why the question:

The article talks about comprehensive Underwater Domain Awareness strategy and its importance.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the need and importance of comprehensive underwater domain awareness strategy.

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 that at a time when China’s pre-meditated military moves along our northern boundary are drawing the nation’s attention, it is important that we don’t lose sight of our surrounding seas.

Body:

Explain what you understand by comprehensive underwater domain awareness strategy.

Discuss why it is essential to Build Maritime Domain Awareness, and especially Underwater Domain Awareness (UDA) capabilities and technology, both domestically and with like-minded partners, and explain how it should be given the highest priority.

Take hints from the article and list down the need for the same.

Conclusion:

Conclude with the existing efforts of the government of India in this direction, suggest what more needs to be done.

Introduction:

India in the 21st century is no more satisfied with merely managing its own issues; it aspires to manage global affairs. The recent pre-meditated movement of China’s People Liberation Army (PLA) along the northern boundary of India has drawn the nation’s attention towards it. The Underwater Domain has remained rather unexplored in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), it poses significant challenges with the geo-strategic and geo-political realities. While the attention is important during the current situation but still we should not lose our sight on our surrounding seas. This calls for a nuanced approach and could offer substantial opportunities for India’s youth to shape their future.

Body:

Need to develop a comprehensive Underwater Domain Awareness strategy:

  • The Chinese claim that they are serving the interests of global scientific research but it is well-known that China uses civilian research vessels to gather crucial oceanographic data, such as sub-sea and sea-bed conditions, for military purposes.
  • According to a recent survey by Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (CSIS), between April 2019 and March 2020, China deployed 25 maritime survey missions in the Indo-Pacific.
  • The Australians voiced concern over the activities of the Chinese vessel Xiang Yang Hong No. 1 in international waters between the Australian mainland and Christmas Island as they were suspected that aside from marine science research, the ship was also studying submarine routes from Australia into the South China Sea.
  • China follows a “pattern of denial and obfuscation” in its military expansion overseas as initially it denied its intention to militarise the Spratly Islands but eventually acknowledged that they serve a military purpose.
  • It is also believed that PLA Navy (PLAN) intelligence-gathering ships have sailed India’s coast-line to gather information on naval facilities and ships.
  • The recent Chinese behaviour in the South China Sea does not give reason for optimism that it will respect the laws of other coastal states like India.
  • It is a reasonable presumption that the completion of Gwadar and the use of Ream (Cambodia) will make it easier for China to sustain naval deployments, including submarines in the Indian Ocean.
  • It should be presumed that in the coming years, the Chinese could raise their efforts to secure significantly improved data in the seas between the Malacca Straits and Djibouti, especially in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea.
  • The rapidly evolving Blue Economy resulting in increasing noise levels in the oceans that get further amplified by anti-piracy operations, has led to unnatural migration patterns and constant stranding of marine mammals

Importance of Underwater Domain Awareness Framework:

  • The collection of vital hydrographical data is critical to China’s understanding of the sub-surface environment, particularly around the Andaman Islands, which is a choke-point from the Chinese perspective, as well as to monitor our own submarine movements.
  • It transcends the security discourse and integrates all key stakeholders including the security apparatus, blue economic entities, environmental regulators and disaster management authorities, and science and technology providers) to facilitate pooling of resources and synergising efforts for ensuring safe, secure, sustainable growth for all in the region.
  • It will help in monitoring developments and predicting the events before they occur rather than record them as they happen.
  • Nearly 80 percent of the population lives within 20 nautical miles from the coast which highlights the need of high preparedness to deal with any unforeseen contingency.
  • It assumes great significance, given the disruptions in international waters and surrounding seas, to the marine ecology and the growing dependence of the world on sea for food security in the face of a declining fish stock.
  • UDA infrastructure and systems collect and interpret data which can be used in multidimensional manner by multiple stakeholders.
  • In order to map 20 lakh square kilometer of India’s Exclusive Economic Zone, India needs to build unconventional data collection tools and methods.
  • It is a concept that attempts to facilitate pooling of resources and seamless exchange of information for a cogent maritime strategy, particularly for optimum management of the undersea domain.

Challenges associated with Underwater Domain Awareness Framework:

  • The lack of focus on UDA capacity building has also resulted in avoidable expenditure on importing western systems that may not work optimally given the different nature of the waters across the world’s oceans.
  • While the Underwater Domain has remained rather unexplored in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), it poses significant challenges with the geo-strategic and geo-political realities.
  • Sea blindness impacts the academia and there is hardly any maritimerelated course in the academic or research institutes, given the maritime potential that we possess as a nation.
  • The lack of awareness is a major cause of concern and we have failed as a nation to recognize the maritime potential right from policy, to technology and innovation and also human resource development

Way forward:

  • The creation of Maritime Domain Awareness and especially Underwater Domain Awareness (UDA) capabilities and technology, both domestically and with like-minded partners, should be given the highest priority in order to counter future Chinese intrusion in India’s Coastal Waters.
  • The policymakers need to look at India’s position in the 21st century from a very different prism and navigate through the current realities with respect to Underwater Domain Awareness (UDA).
  • India is well-poised in the Indian Ocean Region to take a leadership role because of its strategic location, but this cannot happen unless it upgrades its acoustic infrastructure.
  • India’s ambitions to expand its footprint in the maritime domain both for inland waterways development as well as outward thrust with initiatives such as Sagarmala and Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) and the national Maritime Agenda-2020 but it is imperative to develop internal UDA capacities and capabilities.

 

Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures. Role of media and social networking sites, Disaster and disaster management.

4. Discuss how government of India is using social media as a force multiplier in the times of occurrence of disasters and their management. (250 words)

Reference: Yojana June 2020

Why the question:

The question aims to discuss in what way the government of India is using social media as a force multiplier.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the possible role that social media is playing in acting as a force multiplier to the GOI in the times of occurrence of disasters and their management.

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 briefly the context of the question.

Body:

Whenever there is a big, unexpected crisis, citizens tend to panic and look for directions and advisories from their elected representatives.  What adds to the heat of the moment is the possibility of (panic induced) Rumours that may lead citizens astray.  Social media is now increasingly being used by governments to reach out to citizens during such crisis.

Present the examples of COIVD-19, the cyclone Amphan etc. and explain how effective were the digital media(Social media) tools  to the government’s aid in addressing such situations.

List down efforts of the government through social media like – Indian Government‘s MyGov platform has proven to be popular with citizens in this regard, other social media channels used by the Indian Government (Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram) also promote citizen engagement, participation, and transparency in this important relationship etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of social media tools.

Introduction:

The term “social media” refers to internet-based applications that enable people to communicate and share resources and information. While they have enabled faster communication, there are many challenges, of which information hygiene is the most important. The social media forges a direct link between the public and emergency organizations and plays a very important role in disseminating vital information to the public before, during and after disasters.

Body:

Social media as a force multiplier during times of disaster:

  • Crisis and Disaster Management:
    • Whenever there is a big, unexpected crisis, citizens tend to panic and look for directions and advisories from their elected representatives.
    • What adds to the heat of the moment is the possibility of (panic induced) rumours that may lead citizens astray.
    • Social media is now increasingly being used by governments to reach out to citizens during such crisis.
    • Two recent examples bear out this trend the first one is a cyclone alert from the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) on India’s eastern coasts, while the other one is an advisory from PIB to citizens for the lockdown imposed due to COVID19.
  • Citizen Engagement:
    • One of the best roles social media can play is to act as a medium for continuous engagement between governments and its citizens.
    • Citizens should feel their governments are participatory and welcoming, and be able to contribute their ideas, comments and suggestions in policy formulation and program implementation.
    • The Indian Government’s MyGov platform has proven to be popular with citizens in this regard.
    • Apart from MyGov, other social media channels used by the Indian Government (Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram) also promote citizen engagement, participation, and transparency in this important relationship.
  • Citizen Grievances & Support:
    • Social media has emerged as a very impactful, real-time channel for citizen grievances and support.
    • Most citizen services (specially the public facing ones) maintain active accounts on social media and encourage citizens to directly reach out with their grievances.
    • Sometimes when the query gets resolved quickly, citizens express their gratitude and elation immediately.
    • This expression can act as an authentic validation or testimonial for the service.
    • The two examples below are common on social media these days–the first one is about a traffic complaint to Mumbai Police, while the other one is a real-time grievance filed by a traveler on Indian Railways to the Railways Bengaluru Division.
  • Law & Order maintenance:
    • Amongst governmental agencies, police departments are arguably one of the most active users of social media channels.
    • This is because their jobs hover around real-time, public facing situations, which are frequently subject to rumours, false alerts etc.
    • They are required to display trust in their public dealings and communicate unequivocally.
    • The Police frequently needs to make public announcements– something that social media is well-suited for.

However, social media poses challenges too during disasters:

  • Threat of infodemic:
    • In a country such as India, where 400 million turn to a single messaging app for sharing news and stories about any and everything, more than 240 million are on Facebook and, often, using it as the predominant source of news, a critical mass of misinformation leads to misdirected behaviours.
    • In times of crises, cybersecurity is critically important, he stressed, adding that a huge number of people under lockdown or movement restrictions are now working and studying remotely, making them susceptible to cybercrime.
    • Some instances are hard to ignore some dominant narratives: Bioweapons origins of the coronavirus (false); Bill Gates was behind it (false); UNICEF’s recommendations for warding off infection (unauthorised).
  • Spread hatred and mistrust:
    • False information propagated through fake news have helped people developing racist and xenophobic sentiments against people of Asian origin around the world, as we saw in the case of Corona epidemic. Such messages can often be a means of reinforcing existing prejudices.
  • Anonymity:
    • Police officers have expressed concern over multiplicity of fake profiles. There is no accountability of a crime.

Way-Forward

  • Promoting the culture of authenticity: The people who consume the data on an everyday basis educate themselves and acquire the skills to tackle it.
    • There is a need to shift towards a system where self- verification of information is an ‘internet skill’ and an important duty.
    • This can be done simply by a quick search on Google, or checking for that information or visiting the official websites to verify the accuracy of the data.
  • Responsible citizenry: Consumers who play the central role in the spread of misinformation, are also the most efficient and effective in debunking the various myths and fake news. This skill can be taught via:
    • Creating awareness on television and social media, or
    • Innovative initiatives like ‘Fake News Classes’ introduced in government schools in Kerala, where they teach students how to identify and spot misinformation.
    • By asking questions like “What is the source of that (post/forward)?” before sending it to other people.
  • Proactive web monitoring: The Mumbai Police has launched a project called “Social Media Lab” to check explosive content on various platforms and quell fake news.
    • Initiatives such as ‘WhatsApp’s Checkpoint Tipline’, ‘The Logical Indian’ should create user awareness regarding fake news.
  • Crisis Protocols: Creating a crisis protocol for responding to emerging or active events, on an urgent basis, so relevant information can be quickly and efficiently shared, processed, and acted upon by all stakeholders with minimal delay.

 

Topic : Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life. Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.  Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, biotechnology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

5. What is meant by Industry 4.0? What will be the impact of it post Covid – 19? Elucidate. (250 words)

Reference: Yojana June 2020 edition

Why the question:

 Industry 4.0 is signaling a change in the traditional manufacturing landscape. Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the concept of Industry 4.0 and discuss its impact post COVID-19.

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:

Industry 4.0 encompasses three technological trends driving this transformation connectivity, intelligence and flexible automation.

Body:

Industry 4.0 describes the growing trend towards automation and data exchange in technology and processes within the manufacturing industry, including- The Internet of Things (IoT), The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Cyber-physical Systems (CPS), Smart Manufacturing, Smart Factories, Cloud Computing, Additive Manufacturing, Big Data, Robotics, Cognitive Computing, Artificial Intelligence & Blockchain etc.

Discuss then briefly the evolution of Industrial evolution.

Then move onto explain what will be the possible impact of Industry 4.0 post Covid – 19? Present both positives and negatives.

Conclusion:

Conclude that Many manufacturers are increasing efforts to equip their human workers with digital connected-worker tools that incorporate safety checks into workflows, ensure collaboration with colleagues when physical contact is off the cards, and other such processes that ultimately balance business continuity and employee health, Manufacturers who understand and act on this new normal will have ample opportunities for growth in this era of Industry 4.0.

Introduction:

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0) is a term that describes present technological age. It is the fourth industrial era since the inception of the initial Industrial Revolution of the 18th century. The key elements of the fourth revolution are the fusion of technologies ranging from the physical, digital to biological spheres. Prime Minister gave an institutional shape to the expression by launching the Centre for Fourth Industrial Revolution in India.

Body:

IR_4

As described by the founder and executive chairman of World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab, “the fourth industrial revolution is a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work and relate to one another”.

Characteristics of IR 4.0:

  • It is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.
  • It brings together digital technology and the physical world to create a new range of products and services.
  • The possibilities of billions of people connected by mobile devices, with unprecedented processing power, storage capacity, and access to knowledge, are unlimited.
  • And these possibilities will be multiplied by emerging technology breakthroughs in fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage, and quantum computing.
  • The revolution is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace and it is disrupting almost every industry in every country.

Impact of IR4.0 in the post Covid situation:

  • Industry 4.0 is not only as relevant as it was before the global COVID19 emergency; it is actually far more relevant moving forward.
  • The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the value of IT and digital transformation across industries and businesses and they must utilize this time to speed up the transition.
  • COVID-19 is causing radical shifts in workflow across the globe as millions practice social distancing and comply with self-quarantine recommendations.
  • The pandemic’s dramatic appearance has accelerated numerous trends while slowing others.  Although businesses have had reason to embrace digital workflows in the past, COVID-19 has provided another strong incentive to move towards a smart factory, complete with smart manufacturing or smart printing processes.
  • While conventional wisdom says that a dedicated office space is required to maximise productivity but this theory is being put to the ultimate test during COVID-19.
  • The integration of digital infrastructure to streamline public health to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic is very crucial in the context of epidemic forecasting and decision-making, one such example in India is the Aarogya Setu app by Government of India.
  • The fastest scalable solution to India’s COVID-19 challenge was to employ digital technology for diagnosis and for contact tracing. For instance, the Aarogya Setu app can also be tapped for providing telemedicine, especially in remote parts, during this moment of crisis.
  • This digital infrastructure implementation increasingly fuels the digital transformation initiatives within an organisation as well.
  • In the present situation, we are seeing major occurrences worldwide, including soaring adoption of online services, an enormous requirement for internet services, and enhanced connectivity among industries, regardless of their sizes.
  • It has been demonstrated in the enhanced corporate ability of long-distance collaborative work, wide recognition of the value of digital transformation and information technology among all employees, and the ability to market online and business development.
  • Manufacturers who understand and act on this new normal will have ample opportunities for growth in this era of Industry 4.0.
  • Many manufacturers are increasing efforts to equip their human workers with digital connected-worker tools that incorporate safety checks into workflows, ensure collaboration with colleagues when physical contact is off the cards, and other such processes that ultimately balance business continuity and employee health.

Way forward:

  • Governments, businesses and civil society organisations should put together an ecosystem for massive upskilling of the workforce.
  • India needs to prepare itself for a period of information and digital abundance, adapt itself to the scorching pace of innovation and learn to collaborate on scale, quickly transform the idea into a breakthrough innovation, shift from a system of time-bound education to a mode of continuous learning and create more employment opportunities than what new and disruptive technologies take away.
  • There is a need for good quality education to make India’s youth a productive asset.
  • Access to finance commensurate with maturity of the business model and beginning stage of the start-up lifecycle is extremely important to scale innovations.
  • Corporates will have a key role in championing this on-going movement, leveraging the ART Model – Alliances, Relationships enabled through Technology.

Conclusion:

Going forward, many organisations may adopt remote working agreements as strategies to reduce costs, improve productivity, and increase worker satisfaction.

 

Topic : corporate governance.

6. Explain the concept of corporate governance, discuss why it is important. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon publications

Why the question:

The question is premised on the theme of Corporate Governance.

Key Demand of the question:

The question is straightforward and aims to address the concept of corporate governance and its significance in general.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Corporate governance is the structures and processes for the direction and control of companies. To avoid mismanagement, good corporate governance is necessary to enable companies operate more efficiently, to improve access to capital, mitigate risk and safeguard stakeholders.

Body:

Explain that corporate governance is about enabling organisations to achieve their goals, control risks and assuring compliance. Good corporate governance incorporates a set of rules that define the relationship between stakeholders, management and the board of directors of a company and influence how the company is operating.

Then discuss in detail role of corporate governance in business.

Conclusion:

One can conclude with its importance and relevance even to administrative services apart from the corporate companies.

Introduction:

Corporate governance concerns an organization’s system of management and control. Specifically, it covers the proper management including the relationships between: board members; the board and the company’s shareholders; and the company and other stakeholders such as employees, creditors and customers; and internal controls and processes. A good corporate governance framework will lead to internal discipline, accountability and transparency.

Ethics is at the core of corporate governance, and management must reflect accountability for their actions on the global community scale.

Body:

corporate_governance

Importance of Corporate Governance:

  • Good corporate governance increases the long term value of an organization and its potential for growth. It reduces risk, and strengthens reputation.
  • Open to public Information disclosure, high transparency and accountability are basic important elements of best corporate governance that strives the sustainability of corporations and society.
  • To avoid mismanagement, good corporate governance is necessary to enable companies operate more efficiently, to improve access to capital, mitigate risk and safeguard stakeholders.
  • It also makes companies more accountable and transparent to investors so as to minimize expropriation and unfairness for shareholders.
  • Corporate governance makes companies more accountable and transparent to investors and gives them the tools to respond to legitimate stakeholder concerns such as sustainable environmental and social development.
  • It contributes to development and increased access to capital encourages new investments, boosts economic growth, and provides employment opportunities.
  • A lack of corporate governance can lead to profit loss, corruption and a tarnished image, not only to the corporation, but to the society, or even worse will influence global as a whole.
  • This form of corporate governance management is also designed to limit risk and eliminate corrosive elements within an organization.

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:

  • Ensure a balanced, competent and diverse Board: Business should strive for directors who are qualified, understand the business and can offer a fresh perspective. Studies show Boards with greater gender diversity result in improved financial performance.
  • Review your Board composition on a regular basis to identify any shortcomings and make timely improvements.
  • Build solid foundations for oversight: Establish, monitor and evaluate the roles and responsibilities of the Board and management. The Board needs to have visibility of management actions and key decision making.
  • Gear key performance indicators towards long term value creation not just in the short term.
  • Prioritize risk management: Establish an effective risk management and internal control framework and periodically review its effectiveness. Developing a disaster recovery plan is essential.
  • Ensure integrity in corporate reporting including safeguards such as conducting external audits of the business.
  • Provide timely and balanced information: Providing transparency to key stakeholders both in the good and bad times promotes stakeholders’ confidence in the business.
  • Emphasise integrity, promote ethical behaviours and consult different categories of stakeholders on their interests.
  • Treat shareholders equitably and respect their rights.
  • Ensure adequate disclosures around related parties’ transactions and director’s other interests. This is especially important where a director may have external financial interests that could influence his decision.

Conclusion:

Currently, India accounts nearly 3% of world GDP and 2.5% of global stock market capitalisation – with 5,000 listed companies and more than 50 companies in the global Fortune list. Uday Kotak committee recommendations hold importance in growing concerns for corporate governance. The recommendations of the Kotak committee will enhance transparency and effectiveness in the way boards of listed companies function.

 

Topic : Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics – in private and public relationships. Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of Family society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

7. Discuss the role of conscience in decision making with suitable examples. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by G Subba Rao and P N Chowdhary

Why the question:

One has to discuss the significance of conscience in decision making with examples.

Key Demand of the question:

The question is straightforward and there isn’t much to deliberate about it.

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:

The moral conscience is considered the proximate norm of conduct because it is the immediate source of information guiding human actions. It directs human actions so that a person can transcend his animal instincts and human inclinations. A person’s conscience is rightly considered sacred because conscience allows man to exercise reason, which is a spark of divine intelligence.

Body:

Firstly discuss the aspects of the development of conscience. Explain in what way conscience can act as a moral principle. Discus the aspects of conscience as a source of ethical guidance; at political level,  bureaucratic level and at citizen level. Present a case study demonstrating importance of conscience in decision making.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of conscience in decision making.

Introduction:

Conscience is the inner voice of a person which guides the right and wrong. Conscience aims to make moral decisions in ‘overwhelming forces of inescapable situations’ despite the risk of adverse consequences. If conscience goes, then everything collapses, conscience is central to our identity and it is as component in the moral decisions making process. The concept of Enlightenment, Nirvana etc. are associated with highest stage of development of human Conscience. Gandhiji’s civil disobedience movement was true to his conscience although it broke the law.

Body:

Example: Concept of Enlightenment, Nirvana etc. are associated with highest stage of development of human Conscience. Gandhiji’s civil disobedience movement was true to his conscience although it broke the law.

Conscience is the intrinsic intuitive capacity to discriminate between right and wrong. “Inner Voice” is important especially in democracy as it has various participants such as citizens, NGOs, corporates to be administered by the politicians who are elected by them only.

Conscience is our inner guide and it helps you figure out how to make good choices. As we grow up, we learn right from wrong. Our conscience is the thought and feeling we have that tells us whether something is a right or wrong thing to do or say. Conscience is a consistent guide to ethical decision making:

  • A human being always comes across ethical dilemmas in the decision making the process. Conscience acts as the guide for taking correct decisions when we have to choose between competing sets of principles in a given, usually undesirable or perplexing, situation.
  • For instance, helping an accident victim during the golden hour.
  • The conscience of an individual helps in analyzing the situation from different perspectives and help in taking the right decision.
  • For instance, one will not turn away genuine people in times of distress, like an old destitute woman who has lost all her documents and is trying to register for a government scheme.
  • Conscience helps in avoiding Conflicts of interest for better decision making.
  • For e.g. deciding between personal gains and public welfare.
  • Conscience is our ability to make a practical decision in light of ethical values and principles. Example:  Follow the orders from superior vis-à-vis to follow the right path.
  • Conscience indicates ‘a person’s moral sense of right and wrong’ as well as the consciousness of one’s actions. Expressions such as ‘gut feeling’ and ‘guilt’ are often applied in conjunction with a conscience. In this sense, the conscience is not essentially a product of a rational deduction but is something that can be influenced by the indoctrination of one’s parentage, social class, religion or culture.

On the other hand, it is an arguable topic whether or not the conscience is the most reliable form of decision making or not. The concept of conscience may not bear any connection with any particular substantial moral view. The good ethical decision and conscience are not always in sync; it depends on the situation, stakeholders and perceiving the issue. For Example, a radicalised youth may agree to be a suicide bomber, or take up gun violence, riots or Lynching in the blindfold of religion, considering it to be right.

The voice of conscience might suggest different principles and different behaviours to different people. For example, while some health practitioners raise “conscientious” objection to abortion and refuse to provide the service, someone’s conscience might demand the exact opposite, i.e., to perform abortions to respect what is conscientiously believed to be a woman’s right.

Conclusion:

A conscience which is both well-formed which is shaped by education and experience and well informed due to awareness of facts, evidence. This enables us to know ourselves and our world and act accordingly. Voice of conscience is the source of ethical decision making.

Swami Vivekananda once said “Whenever there is a conflict between the heart and the brain, follow your heart”, hence conscience is the voice of heart and it is often right which helps us to sail through ocean of dilemmas and help us to find the direction.


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