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.
Reference: Modern Indian history by Spectrum publications
The decisive phase of the Nationalist Movement [1917-1947] began when Gandhiji returned to India from South Africa in January 1915. This phase is also known as the Gandhian Era. During this period Mahatma Gandhi became the undisputed leader of the National Movement. His principles of non-violence and Satyagraha were employed against the British Government. Gandhi made the nationalist movement a mass movement.
Highlights of Gandhian Era:
- His non-violent satyagraha involved peaceful violation of specific laws.
- He resorted to mass courting arrest and occasional hartals and spectacular marches.
- He had readiness for negotiations and compromise.
- His struggle against foreign rule is popularly known as ‘struggle-truce-struggle’.
- The policy of Struggle-Truce-Struggle (STS) was a no-win situation for British, at the same time it gave people enough time to regroup and fight back British.
- Gandhi’s nationalism was inclusive, especially participation of women.
Gandhi’s Struggle-Truce-Struggle strategy was a sign of inherent weakness of Gandhian leadership:
- Gandhiji are quite well known for their mass movements and equally infamous for withdrawing them when they are at their peak.
- The only common thing about Non –Cooperation Movement (1920-22), Civil Disobedience (1930-33) and Quit India Movement (1940-42) is that they were withdrawn by Gandhiji against the wishes of other popular Congress leaders and masses.
- Criticizing the STS strategy, Nehru argued that the Indian National Movement had reached a stage, after the Lahore Congress call for Purna Swaraj programme, in which there should be a continuous confrontation and conflict with imperialism till it was overthrown.
- He advocated maintenance of a “continuous direct action” policy by the Congress and without the interposition of a constitutionalist phase.
- Real power, he said, cannot be won by two annas and four annas. Nehru suggested a Struggle-Victory strategy.
Gandhi’s Struggle-Truce-Struggle strategy was not a weakness or a failure:
- According to Gandhi’s Struggle-Truce-Struggle strategy (STS), mass movements have an inherent tendency to ebb after reaching a certain height, that the capacity of masses to withstand repression, endure suffering and make sacrifices is not unlimited, that a time comes when breathing space is required to consolidate, recuperate and gather strength for the next round of struggle.
- During their experience in South Africa, Gandhiji understood that people have limited capacity to withstand for a movement.
- A large number of Congressmen led by Gandhiji believed that a mass phase of movement (struggle phase) had to be followed by a phase of reprieve (truce phase) before the next stage of mass struggle could be taken up.
- The truce period, it was argued, would enable the masses to recoup their strength to fight and also give the Government a chance to respond to the demands of the nationalists. The masses could not go on sacrificing indefinitely.
- If the Government did not respond positively, the movement could be resumed again with the participation of the masses.
- The basic strategic perspective of the national movement was to wage a long-drawn out hegemonic struggle, or, in Gramscian terms, a war of position.
- By hegemonic struggle, we mean a struggle for the minds and hearts of men and women so that the nationalist influence would continuously grow among the people through different channels and through the different phases and stages of the national movement.
- The movement alternated between phases of extra-legal or law-breaking mass movements and phases of functioning within the four walls of the law. But both phases were geared to expanding the influence of the national movement among the people.
- One of the objectives of the nationalist strategy was to erode the hegemony or ideological influence of the colonial rulers inch by inch and in every area of life.
- The STS strategy proved to be a novel method of political action, a technique which revolutionized Indian politics and galvanised millions to action against the British Raj.
- Its success is clearly visible in various movements like Champaran Satyagraha, Ahmedabad Workers strike, Kheda Satyagraha where efforts of Gandhiji on the lines of Satyagraha yielded results in the form of passage of Acts and compromise between the parties involved.
- Martin Luther King used it in his battle against racism.
- Nelson Mandela used the Satyagraha technique in South Africa to end apartheid.
- Today legacy of Satyagraha continues in the form of protests employed in India and around the world.
Use of strategies of STS(Struggle-Truce-Struggle) and PCP(Pressure-Compromise-Pressure) was also a significant feature of Gandhian movement. It was highly successful because it was the pressure built by Gandhian movement only that the British had to leave India in 1947.
2. It’s not the reputation alone, but the ability to deal with the challenges in a unique manner in an uncertain world will make India more significant placing it next to permanent members in influence. Do you agree? Comment. (250 words)
Reference: The Hindu
India has been elected to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as a non-permanent member from the Asia-Pacific category. India has been elected with an overwhelming majority of 184 votes out of 192, where the minimum requirement was 128. This was for the eighth time that India has been elected to UNSC. India had last assumed the role of a non-permanent member at the UNSC in 2011-12. India’s membership of the UNSC comes at a critical time in the history of the UN. By 2021, it is likely that COVID-19 would have subsided and the contours of a new world order may have emerged. India should work with all member countries to promote global peace, security, resilience and equity.
Current significance of being elected as non-permanent member of UNSC for India:
- India will have a higher profile at the UN for the next two years as the non-permanent members have a collective veto over every resolution in the Council.
- Permanent members can prevent the adoption of resolutions by themselves, but they need at least nine votes to get a resolution passed.
- India will also have a rare peep into the consultations chamber of the UNSC, which is closed to non-members of the Council.
- India’s election as a non-permanent member has ignited the hope that its quest for permanent membership of the Council may succeed.
Significance for UNSC:
- India has a record of contributing to some of the seminal resolutions of the UNSC.
- India’s reputation for taking balanced positions and consensus building will be welcomed by the other members.
India’s new approach towards UNSC as non-permanent member:
- Keeping in the mind the massive changes brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic both geopolitically as well as economically, External Affairs Minister said India has plans for a ‘Five S’ approach to the world from the UNSC seat — Samman (respect), samvad (dialogue), sahayog (cooperation), shanti (peace) and Samriddhi (prosperity).
- External Affairs Minister asserted that India’s overall objective during the fresh tenure in the UN Security Council will be the achievement of O.R.M.S. – New Orientation for a Reformed Multilateral System.
- India will strive to achieve a “concrete and result-oriented action at the security council for an effective response to international terrorism”.
- In the COVID and the post-COVID world, India will work towards a new orientation for a reformed multilateral system.
- There is a need to reform multilateralism to reflect contemporary realities and make a comprehensive approach to peace and security guided by dialogue, mutual respect and commitment to international law.
- As a rule-abiding democracy and as a positive contributor to the security of the global commons, India will work constructively with partners to overcome old and new fault-lines.
- New opportunities for progress, an effective response to international terrorism, reforming the multilateral system, comprehensive approach to international peace and security and promoting technology with a human touch as a driver of solutions have been underlined as the key priorities for the country in its stance at the UN Security Council.
- Strategic aspects:
- India will get involved in many issues in which it may not have any direct interest.
- Since India does not have a veto, it shall have to proceed cautiously not to offend anyone, lest they should go against it when a matter of vital interest for the country comes up in the Council.
- Permanent membership:
- The debate on extending the permanent membership has thrown up many ideas, but till today, none of the proposals has the possibility of securing a two-thirds majority of the General Assembly and the votes of the five permanent members.
- The permanent members are being adamant about protecting their privileged positions and also a majority of the UN members are against the privileges of the permanent members, particularly the veto being extended to new members. The opposition to the expansion is not India-specific.
- India should once again become a consensus-builder, instead of being detached as it has become to be.
- India’s singular objective as a non-permanent member should be to help build a stable and secure external environment.
- In doing so, India will promote its own people’s prosperity, regional and global security and growth, and a rule-based world order.
- It could emerge a partner of choice for developing and developed countries alike.
- There is a deficit of international leadership on global issues, especially on security, migrant movement, poverty, and climate change.
- Given this, India has an opportunity to promote well-balanced, common solutions.
In recent times the credibility of UNSC has suffered a severe blow as it has been ineffective and inefficient in tackling the conflicts in different parts of the world such as Syria, Ukraine etc. in most of these situations UNSC has remained mere a mute spectator. Therefore, the demand for reforms in the council has become a necessity to restore its credibility and effectiveness in maintaining international peace and security.
Reference: Indian Express
India stands alone amongst leading constitutional democracies in not maintaining audio or video recordings or even a transcript of court proceedings. Court hearings can be turning points in the life of a nation. As the lockdown began, the Court had to quickly find the technology and create protocols for virtual courts and e-hearings. Before this, the judicial system assumed that litigants, judges, lawyers, and court staff could come together in a physical place for the administration of justice. Indian legal system is built on the concept of open courts, which means the proceedings are open to all members of the public. But in reality only a handful of people can be physically present and are allowed in the courtroom.
A PIL was sought in 2018 in the Supreme Court for live streaming and/or video recording of Supreme Court cases of national importance that impact the public at large.
Need for Live Streaming:
- Most citizens have no idea how some of the biggest decisions that impact them are taken.
- Judicial process plays a crucial role in our lives.
- Recent controversies surrounding the judiciary have fueled interest in the common people for live streaming.
- Justice should not only be done, it should also be seen to be done.
- The possible manner to achieve this goal is to live stream the proceedings in important cases.
- International examples show that this exercise is not so difficult.
- Streaming of Parliamentary proceedings has generated awareness amongst the people about the work of their elected representatives, as well as enhanced transparency.
- Now technology is the game changer and India should utilise it to the maximum extent.
- It promotes transparency as live-streaming is allowed for both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha proceedings since 2004.
- Right to receive information under Article 19(1)(a) and the principle of open courts and access to justice as protected under Article 21.
- Such an exercise would inspire confidence in the functioning of the judiciary as an institution and help in maintaining the respect that it deserves as a co-equal organ of the state.
- It educates common people on how the judiciary functions.
- The access to justice, the need to build the right perception, along with the need to educate common people on how the judiciary functions are all strong reasons in favour of allowing live-streaming of court proceedings.
- This leads to avoiding multiple versions or wrong projections of facts, or the menace of fake news or faulty reporting.
- We can avoid wrong projections of facts, or the menace of fake news or faulty reporting.
- The Indian legal system can deliver on its promise to empower the masses.
- It helps to build the right perception among the public.
- When people understand how the judiciary functions it gives them more power, it gives them the tools to protect their rights, it gives them more respect and confidence in the judiciary.
- It could be an important educational resource as well.
- It will empower and provide access to citizens who cannot personally come to the court due to socio-economic constraints.
- The role of Judiciary cannot be equated to the role of executive and legislature.
- Judiciary is not accountable to the general public. They are accountable only to the rule of law and to the constitution.
- Live streaming will make judges subject to popular public opinion.
- The individuality of judges is likely to become a subject of public debate. Whereas the focus should be on judgement delivered and not on judges.
- The objectivity may be lost as the lawyers will now address not only judges but also the public.
- Constitutional debates are technical and ordinary citizens cannot be expected to understand the legal proceedings.
- India has digital divide and technical glitches can lead to poor quality of the streaming hampering the purpose itself.
- Some experts criticise the move they fear with this the court will be reduced to a spectacle
- There is the lack of infrastructure needed to initiate this process.
- Indian judiciary is already overburdened and it is very difficult to implement this.
- Live-streaming need not be called for in all types of matters nor in all courts. Therefore, matters which have a privacy dimension can be kept out of its scope. But matters which have a bearing on important public interest issues such as entry of women to the Sabarimala temple, or the constitutionality of the Aadhaar scheme etc can be available for all to watch.
- If live streaming of top court’s proceedings is not possible, then alternately the video recording should be allowed.
- It can be used at the time of review or appeal of a case.
- The judiciary must employ a press officer and issue summaries of its judgements to the media to facilitate greater public understanding.
Technology promises to be the game changer if those in power understand its importance and use it right. It also presents a hope for the Indian legal system to finally deliver on its promise to empower the masses.
“Food Security” is one of crucial factors of development and poverty alleviation around the globe The right to food is a principle of international human rights law. Food security, as defined by the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security(CFS), is the condition in which all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. Our current understanding of food security includes the four dimensions of access, availability, utilisation and stability.
As a state party to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, India has the obligation to ensure the right to be free from hunger and the right to adequate food.
Food security has been a major concern in India.
- According to UN-India, there are nearly 195 million undernourished people in India, which is a quarter of the world’s hunger burden.
- Roughly 43% children in India are chronically undernourished.
- People Below Poverty Line in India decreased to around 22% in 2011-12. The Poverty percentage was calculated using Tendulkar methodology.
- India ranked 76th in 113 countries assessed by The Global Food Security Index (GFSI) in the year 2018, based on four parameters—affordability, availability and quality and safety.
- As per the Global Hunger Index, 2018, India was ranked 103rd out of 119 qualifying countries.
- According to FAO estimates in ‘The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, 2018” report, about 14.8% of the population is undernourished in India.
- NFSA issues:
- The NSFA does not guarantee universal right to food: Targeted –Restricts the right to food to only 75% of rural and 50% of urban population in India
- Act would not apply in times of “war, flood, drought, fire, cyclone or earthquake”. This a highly problematic clause given that food is becomes utmost necessary during these circumstances
- The Act focuses primarily on distribution of rice and wheat and fails to address the ‘utilization’ dimension of food security. Given that a major reason for micronutrient deficiency in India is because of a cereal-based diet; the NSFA does not address the issue of malnutrition and nutritional deficiency adequately
- Under the National Food Security Act, the identification of beneficiaries is to be completed by State Governments. As per findings of Comptroller and Auditor General in 2016, a massive 49 % of the beneficiaries were yet to be identified by the State Governments.
- Quality issues:
- Inadequate distribution of food through public distribution mechanism, food adulterations in distributed food
- Beneficiaries have complained of receiving poor quality food grains.
- Issues with procurement:
- Open-ended Procurement: All incoming grains accepted even if buffer stock is filled creating a shortage in the open market.
- The recent implementation of Nation food security act would only increase the quantum of procurement resulting in higher prices for grains.
- The gap between required and existing storage capacity.
- The open market operations (OMO) are much less compared to what is needed to liquidate the excessive stocks.
- Issues with storage:
- Inadequate storage capacity with FCI.
- Food grains rotting or damaging on the CAP or Cover & Plinth storage.
- The money locked in these excessive stocks (beyond the buffer norm) is more than Rs 1 lakh crore.
- Issues with allocation of food grains:
- Inaccurate identification of beneficiaries.
- Illicit Fair Price shops: The shop owners have created a large number of bogus cards or ghost cards (cards for non-existent people) to sell food grains in the open market.
- Issues with transportation:
- Leakages in food grains distribution to be reduced as most leakages in PDS takes place in initial stages.
- Climate Change:
- Higher temperatures and unreliable rainfall makes farming difficult. Climate change not only impacts crop but also livestock, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture, and can cause grave social and economic consequences in the form of reduced incomes, eroded livelihoods, trade disruption and adverse health impacts.
- Lack of access to remote areas:
- For the tribal communities, habitation in remote difficult terrains and practice of subsistence farming has led to significant economic backwardness.
- Increase in rural-to-urban migration, large proportion of informal workforce resulting in unplanned growth of slums which lack in the basic health and hygiene facilities, insufficient housing and increased food insecurity.
- Overpopulation, poverty, lack of education and gender inequality.
- Diverting the grains to open market to get better margin, selling poor quality grains at ration shops, irregular opening of the shops adds to the issue of food insecurity.
Important recommendations made by Shanta Kumar Committee.:
- Reduce the number of beneficiaries under the Food Security Act—from the current 67 per cent to 40 per cent.
- While the poor under the Antyodaya category should keep getting the maximum food subsidy, for others, the issue price should be fixed at, say, 50 per cent of the procurement price (as was done under Atal Bihari Vajpayee for the BPL category)
- Allow private players to procure and store food grains.
- Stop bonuses on minimum support price (MSP) paid by states to farmers, and adopt cash transfer system so that MSP and food subsidy amounts can be directly transferred to the accounts of farmers and food security beneficiaries.
- Limit the procurement of rice particularly in the north-western states of Punjab and Haryana where the groundwater table is depleting fast, and invite private sector participation in grain management
- FCI should involve itself in full-fledged grains procurement only in those states which are poor in procurement. In the case of those states which are performing well, like Haryana, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha, the states should do the procurement.
- Abolishing levy rice: Under levy rice policy, government buys certain percentage of rice (varies from 25 to 75 per cent in states) from the mills compulsorily, which is called levy rice. Mills are allowed to sell only the remainder in the open market.
- Deregulate fertiliser sector and provide cash fertiliser subsidy of Rs 7,000 per hectare to farmers.
- Outsource of stocking of grains: The committee calls for setting up of negotiable warehouse receipt (NWR) system. In the new system, farmers can deposit their produce in these registered warehouses and get 80 per cent of the advance from bank against their produce on the basis of MSP.
- Clear and transparent liquidation policy for buffer stock: FCI should be given greater flexibility in doing business; it should offload surplus stock in open market or export, as per need.
- Cooperative societies play an important role in food security in India especially in the southern and western parts of the country. The cooperative societies set up shops to sell low priced goods to poor people. The cooperatives should be encouraged.
- Fostering rural-urban economic linkages can be an important step towards ensuring food security by-
- enhancing and diversifying rural employment opportunities, especially for women and youth,
- enabling the poor to better manage risks through social protection,
- leveraging remittances for investments in the rural sector as a viable means for improving livelihoods
- Food security of a nation is ensured if all of its citizens have enough nutritious food available, all persons have the capacity to buy food of acceptable quality and there is no barrier on access to food.
- The right to food is a well-established principle of international human rights law. It has evolved to include an obligation for state parties to respect, protect, and fulfil their citizens’ right to food security.
- As a state party to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, India has the obligation to ensure the right to be free from hunger and the right to adequate food.
- India needs to adopt a policy that brings together diverse issues such as inequality, food diversity, indigenous rights and environmental justice to ensure sustainable food security.
Integrated farming system (IFS) refers to agricultural system that integrates livestock and crop production to deliver more sustainable agriculture. IFS utilizes the crop- livestock interaction as shown below in the cyclic diagram, according to Economic Survey 2018-19.
IFS and sustaining agricultural production:
- Higher food production to equate the demand of the exploding population of our nation
- Increased farm income through proper residue recycling and allied components
- Sustainable soil fertility and productivity through organic waste recycling
- Integration of allied activities will result in the availability of nutritious food enriched with protein, carbohydrate, fat, minerals and vitamins
- Integrated farming will help in environmental protection through effective recycling of waste from animal activities like piggery, poultry and pigeon rearing
- Reduced production cost of components through input recycling from the byproducts of allied enterprises
- IFS components are known to control the weed and regarded as an important element of integrated pest management and thus minimize the use of weed killers as well as pesticides and thereby protect the environment.
- Regular stable income through the products like egg, milk, mushroom, vegetables, honey and silkworm cocoons from the linked activities in integrated farming
- Inclusion of biogas & agro forestry in integrated farming system will solve the prognosticated energy crisis
- Cultivation of fodder crops as intercropping and as border cropping will result in the availability of adequate nutritious fodder for animal components like milch cow, goat / sheep, pig and rabbit
- Firewood and construction wood requirements could be met from the agroforestry system without affecting the natural forest
- Avoidance of soil loss through erosion by agro-forestry and proper cultivation of each part of land by integrated farming
- Generation of regular employment for the farm family members of small and marginal farmers.
- IFS promote the efficient management of resources. This enhances the productivity of the farming.
- The IFS promotes for rejuvenation of systems productivity and to achieve agro-ecological equilibrium.
IFS in Indian perspective:
- Some IFS features like Organic farming, and developing a judicious mix of income-generating activities such as dairy, poultry, fishery, goat-rearing, vermicomposting and others, and community-led local systems for water conservation etc help in reducing farmers’ distress.
- Integrated Farming Systems suitable particularly for hilly regions of the North Eastern Region can be adopted.
- Some are as – Integrated Fish cum Pig farming, Integrated Fish cum Duck Farming, Integrated Fish Farming-Chicken, Integrated Fish farming-cum-Cattle farming, Integrated Fish farming-cum-Rabbit farming, Integrated Fish farming-cum-Agriculture.
- Sikkim being an organic state is a good example.
- Integrated Fish Cum Pig farming in North east- Pig sites are constructed on pond embankment. Pig manure (feaces and urine) are directly drained into the pond which acts as pond fertilizer and increases the biological productivity of [pond water, thus increasing the fish production. Also, fish feed directly on pig excreta, which cuts down the cost of feed as well. This system has helped to improve the status of weaker rural communities, especially tribals in North eastern states.
- Integrated fish farming cum Horticulture – Embankments of fish ponds provide area for planting fruits and vegetable. When Banana and Coconut is cultivated in rows in wetlands, the ditches made between such rows act as supply canal. These canals serve as fish culture system due to regular supply of water rand rich insect populations. In turn it naturally boosts the productivity of soil and yield of fruits and vegetables.
Keeping in mind the benefits of crop- livestock interaction, Economic Survey (2018-19) has suggested to improve Resource Efficiency for Small holder agriculture (as 85 % of agriculture is dominated by small and marginal farmers), where organic farming (ZBNF, Cow Farming, Vedic Farming, Homa farming) and increasing water productivity should be given a thrust. Economic survey (2018-19) has also suggested to capitalize Small ruminants (Sheep and Goats), especially in water stressed regions for additional source income for farmers.
- Compliance and Adherence
- Personality and Character
Reference: Ethics, integrity and aptitude by Lexicon Publications
1. Compliance and Adherence:
- Compliance merely means following laws, rules or policies to the letter of the law.
- The government requires corporate compliance, and it’s up to boards and corporate directors to get all employees to comply.
- Compliance is a reactive word that forces people to make a conscious choice.
- Compliance implies one-sided directives in which responsibilities and failures would belong only to individuals.
- It generally refers to the overt response given by a person to the request of the other person.
- It does not change the personal beliefs unlike Conformity.
- Compliance is many a times under social pressure. It has both positive & negative effect.
- g.: A restaurant complying with the waste management rules of a particular city; or Complying to the traffic rules by a person etc.
- Adherence is the fact of adhering to a particular rule, agreement, or belief.
- It is a faithful support for some cause.
- It is the extent to which a person’s behaviour corresponds to the recommendations of a particular rule, agreement, or belief.
- It is a forced compliance.
- g.: Civil servants must have a strict adherence to the constitution and respect for our laws; or patients taking medication, following a diet, and/or executing lifestyle changes or Political parties and leaders have become irresponsible in as far as adherence to the rule of law is concerned due to political corruption.
Ethics means doing what is right regardless of what the law says. It’s also a conscious choice that is a personal one. It’s entirely possible to be ethical without being compliant. Ethics is proactive, rather than reactive as compliance is. Our personal values system, including our character, values and core principles, guide us when we make decisions. Most people feel a sense of deep personal satisfaction when they make ethical actions and decisions.
2. Personality and Character:
- Personality can be defined as a combination of mental behaviour and traits or qualities like thinking pattern, feeling and acting.
- It is a range of enduring tendencies of an individual to think, feel and behave in a specific manner in diverse situations.
- It refers to the systematic arrangement of all your dispositions like attitude, thoughts, feelings, emotions, etc.
- Personality implies “Who we seem to be?”
- Personality, does not need validation and support of the society.
- Personality is subjective.
- Personality is the outer appearance and behaviour of a person.
- Personality of an individual may change with time.
- An example of personality is charismatic. Some positive personality traits include being honest and taking responsibility for your actions, openness, Adaptability and compatibility, compassion, Patience etc. Negative personality traits involve a propensity for lying, being rigid and selfish, an inability to empathize with others etc.
- Character is an enduring and distinguishing mental and moral characteristics in an individual.
- It is the only factor which determines our reaction or response to the given event or situation.
- It defines a person’s behaviour pattern, thinking style, controls feelings.
- It is based on the environment that surrounds us, mental ability, moral principles and similar other factors.
- It is the most precious thing possessed by a person, evidenced by the limits he/she never crossed.
- Character represents “Who we actually are?”
- Character requires validation and support of society.
- Character is objective.
- Character indicates the traits of a person which are hidden from sight.
- The character lasts longer.
- Consider the example of finding a wallet on the ground that has money in it. Regardless of your personality, your character will control what your next step is. Positive character traits include honesty, kindness, tolerance, fairness, loyalty, and patience. Dishonesty, greed, meanness, pettiness, selfishness, and disloyalty are examples of negative character traits.