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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 10 July 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: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

1. Compare and contrast Hindustani classical music with Carnatic music. (250 words)

Reference: Indian art and culture by Nitin Singhania

Why the question:

The question is about comparing the two schools of music – Hindustani and Carnatic.

Key Demand of the question:

One has to present the key features of the two schools of the Music and provide for a detailed contrast and comparison between the two.

Directive:

Compare and contrast – provide for a detailed comparison of the two types, their features that are similar as well as different. One must provide for detailed assessment of the two.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Give a brief introduction about Indian music. One can state facts, historical genesis of Indian music.

Body:

Hindustani and Carnatic music are the two main sub-genres of Indian classical music. While

Hindustani music originated in the Vedic period, Carnatic music originated during the Bhakti

Movement.

Highlight similarities between Hindustani classical and Carnatic music.

Give the differences between the two.

Conclusion:

Conclude that both the music genres are associated with great personalities such as Tansen, Amir Khusrau in Hindustani music and Tyagaraja, Syama Sastri in Carnatic music. Thus, both the genres have contributed to the enrichment of Indian classical music.

Introduction:

During the medieval period, Indian classical music was generally based on two traditions, the Carnatic music prevalent in South India and the Hindustani classical music in the North India. Carnatic music is a system of music associated with the southern part of Indian sub-continent. Hindustani music is associated with North India and is deeply influenced by Persian and Islamic music system.

Body:

The history of Indian music can be derived from NatyaShastra, wrote by Bharatha Muni, a Musicologist. The Natyashastra deals with the basic theory of Music, dance and drama called “Natya Shastra’. Under this, there were 22 notes in an octave. The idea of ‘Sruti’ was presented to permit individuals to select a suitable reference ‘root’ pitch based on the musicians’ ease. A set of ‘Rasas’ and ‘Bhavas’ or expressions were recognized.

Similarities:

  • Although there are stylistic differences, the basic elements of swara, raga and tala as foundation of both Carnatic and Hindustani are same.
  • Hindustani music originated in the Vedic period, while Carnatic music originated during the Bhakti
  • Thus both are having great association with religion.
  • Carnatic is one of two main sub-genres of India classical music that evolved from ancient Hindu traditions, the other sub-genre being Hindustani music, which emerged as a distinct form due to Persian and Islamic influences in North India.
  • Both the music evolved with Sanskrit language scripts in itself and through Vedic traditions.
  • The central notions in both these system is that of a melodic mode or raga or tala.
  • Both the styles have a history dating back to 1000s of years and over this long period both have undergone various changes
  • The Ragas pertain to definite scales like in Western music, but they have a floating starting point or Sam etc
  • Both the Carnatic and Hindustani styles give principal prominence to the melody.
  • Both has one leading swara or Vadi swar in every Raga
  • Both use Sampoorna Scale (with all 7 notes) to describe Janak Thaat or Raga to make Janya Raga.
  • Both use a Tanpura or Drone with one or two notes to signify Pitch and base in Raga version.

Differences: 

  • Main emphasis in Carnatic music is on vocal music and most compositions are to be sung, involving gayaki style. In Hindustani music vocal- centric group is required. Many instruments are designed to accompany the singer
  • Rules of Practice: Carnatic is more rigid than Hindustani to practise. While Hindustani music has had a Persian influence in the vast Northern Geography of India, Carnatic music did not undergo much change. Hindustani music ended up creating Gharanas/Clubs based on Styles of Singing.
Areas of differencesCarnaticHindustani
Ragas72 ragas6 major ragas
InstrumentsVeena, Mridangam and MandolinTabla, Sarangi, Sitar and Santoor
InfluenceIndigenousAfghan Persian and Arab
Sub-stylesOnly one particular prescribed style of singingSeveral substyles
FreedomNo freedom to improviseScope to do variations and improvise
Vocal and instrumentsBoth have equal importanceMore importance to vocal
ExponentsCarnatic Music was evolved mainly by Shyama Shastri, Tyagraja, Muthuswamy Dikshitar, and Saint Purandardas.Tansen and his contemporary musicians mostly performed in Dhrupad sort and later Khayal singing was promoted by Sadarang and Adarang.

Conclusion:

Hindustani and Carnatic music played an important role in uniting Indians by generating the feeling of oneness and nationalism during national movement. Even today it is practiced during festivals, as a stage performance, in cinema’s and bringing fame for Indian culture by reaching wider in western world.

 

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

2.  Focus the objectives of Home Rule Movement and its major contributions to the freedom struggle of India. Why did the movement fade out by 1919? Explain. (250 words)

Reference: Modern Indian history by Bipin Chandra

Why the question:

The question is premised on the theme of Home Rule Movement and its contributions to Indian freedom struggle.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the significance and relevance of the Home rule movement of 1919; also explain why the movement faded out soon.

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:

Give a brief introduction of the Home Rule Movement. The Indian Home Rule movement was a movement in British India on the lines of Irish Home Rule movement and other home rule movements.

Body:

Enumerate its major objectives and contributions to India’s freedom struggle.

Between the years 1916 and 1918, the Indian independence movement witnessed the growth and spread of the home rule movement spearheaded by leaders like Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Annie Besant. The aim of the home rule movement was the attainment of home rule or a dominion status for India under the British Empire along the lines of countries like Canada and Australia. This movement was carried out through the two home rule leagues.

Discuss in detail the objectives of the movement, activities associated with it. Then the significance of it.

Then move on to discuss the reasons that led to its decline.

Conclusion:

Conclude that the movement was not a mass movement. It was restricted to educated people and college students. The leagues did not find a lot of support among Muslims, Anglo-Indians and non-Brahmins from Southern India as they thought home rule would mean a rule of the upper caste Hindu majority. Many of the moderates were satisfied with the government’s assurance of reforms (as preluded in the Montague Declaration). They did not take the movement further.

Introduction:

The home rule movement was the Indian response to the First World War in a less charged but in a more effective way. With people already feeling the burden of war time miseries caused by high taxation and a rise in prices, Tilak and Annie Besant ready to assume the leadership the movement started with great vigour. Two Indian Home Rule Leagues were organised on the lines of the Irish Home Rule Leagues and they represented the emergence of a new trend of aggressive politics. The League campaign aimed to convey to the common man the message of home rule as self-government.

Body:

Objectives of Home Rule Movement:

  • To achieve self-government in India.
  • To promote political education and discussion to set up agitation for self-government.
  • To build confidence among Indians to speak against the government’s suppression.
  • To demand a larger political representation for Indians from the British government.
  • To revive political activity in India while maintaining the principles of the Congress Party.

Major contributions of Home Rule Movement to the freedom struggle of India:

  • The leagues organised demonstrations and agitations.
  • There were public meetings in which the leaders gave fiery speeches.
  • They were able to create a stir within the country and alarm the British to such an extent that Annie Besant was arrested in June 1917.
  • This move by the British created a nation-wide protest and now even moderate leaders joined the league. Besant was released in September 1917.
  • The Home Rule League functioned throughout the year as opposed to the Congress Party whose activities were confined to once a year.
  • The movement was able to garner huge support from a lot of educated Indians. In 1917, the two leagues combined had around 40,000 members.
  • Many members of the Congress and the Muslim League joined the league. Many prominent leaders like Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Joseph Baptista, G S Kharpade and Sir S Subramanya Iyer were among its members.
  • The moderates, extremists and the Muslim League were briefly united through this movement.
  • The movement was able to spread political consciousness to more regions in the country.
  • This movement led to the Montague Declaration of 1917 in which it was declared that there would be more Indians in the government leading to the development of self-governing institutions ultimately realising responsible governments in India.
  • This Declaration, also known as August Declaration, implied that the demand for home rule would no longer be considered seditious. This was the biggest significance of the movement.

Reasons for movement to fade out:

  • The movement was not a mass movement. It was restricted to educated people and college students.
  • The leagues did not find a lot of support among Muslims, Anglo-Indians and non-Brahmins from Southern India as they thought home rule would mean a rule of the upper caste Hindu majority.
  • Many of the moderates were satisfied with the government’s assurance of reforms (as preluded in the Montague Declaration). They did not take the movement further.
  • Annie Besant kept oscillating between being satisfied with the government talk of reforms and pushing the home rule movement forward. She was not able to provide firm leadership to her followers. Although ultimately she did call the reforms ‘unworthy of Indian acceptance’.
  • In September 1918, Tilak went to England to pursue a libel case against Sir Ignatius Valentine Chirol, British journalist and author of the book ‘Indian Unrest’. The book contained deprecatory comments and had called Tilak the ‘Father of Indian Unrest.’
  • The Government made use of Defence of India Act, 1915 to curb the activities of the agitators.
  • Students were prohibited from attending Home Rule meetings.
  • Tilak was prosecuted and his entry in Punjab and Delhi was banned.
  • Indian Press Act of 1910 was imposed on the press and restrictions were enforced.
  • Tilak’s absence and Besant’s inability to lead the people led to the movement’s fizzing out.
  • The movement was left leaderless with Tilak going abroad and Besant unable to give a positive lead.
  • After the war, Mahatma Gandhi gained prominence as a leader of the masses and the Home Rule Leagues merged with the Congress Party in 1920.

Conclusion:

The home rule movement lent a new dimension and a sense of urgency to the national movement.

 

Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests. Effects of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

3.  What can be the geopolitical and geo-economic consequences of COVID-19? Discuss. (250 words)

Reference: weforum.org 

Why the question:

The question is amidst the current pandemic the entire world is witnessing and its effect on the geopolitics and geo-economics of the world.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain in detail with relevant examples the effect of covid-19 on the geopolitics and geo-economics of the world.

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:

As the COVID-19 corona virus outbreak continues to accelerate its spread worldwide, the international community is facing a global crisis with public health geopolitical changes/shifts and global economic repressions.

Body:

Discuss in detail the possible impacts of coivd-19 on the geopolitics and geo-economics.

COVID-19’s geopolitical impact depends heavily on the nature of the public response and the effectiveness of international cooperation. Discuss the tensions between US-China, India-China etc. Discuss how it will impact the politics around the world. Suggest solutions to address these issues.  Explain how a coordinated global environment response would reinvigorate internal institutions such as WHO etc.

Discuss the impact of COVID-19 on geo-economics; economic slump, impact on markets, falling oil demands etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The COVID-19 epidemic is now growing exponentially. Its economic impact is already more severe than SARS or MERS. The political consequences are harder to predict, but could be significant and long-lasting. The COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed human misery, social disruption and economic devastation on the world.

Body:

The geopolitical consequences of COVID-19:

  • Threat of Deglobalization: Globalization could face strong criticism.
    • The pandemic will impact human values and conduct.
    • The diminution in human values could have a negative impact on the concept of an international community. Each nation would tend to look inwards, concentrating on its narrowly defined national interests rather than looking for cooperation and collaboration with other countries.
  • International Institutions under fire:
    • Existing international institutions such as the United Nations, the United Nations Security Council and the World Health Organization (WHO) are being blamed of having failed to measure up to the challenge posed by the pandemic.
    • The UN Security Council has not been able to take any concrete action in dealing with the situation.
    • WHO has been blamed of being China-centric. WHO’s underestimation and inaction during the initial phase could have amplified the pandemic to such large scales.
    • The UN and other global organizations have not been able to ensure a common vision or approach among the many nations. They have failed to ensure cooperation and collaboration among its members.
    • That prestigious global institutions are under attack, even in such critical times, speaks about the mood prevailing across the world.
  • Economic shock:
    • Given the disruption in the global economy, the World Bank has predicted negative growth for most nations. India’s growth forecast for the current fiscal year has been estimated at 1.5% to 2.8%.
    • Globalization, global trade and global value chains have been a major cohesive force in integrating the world. Contraction of the economy and the loss of millions of jobs across all segments will complicate the situation.
  • China’s dominance:
    • Far-reaching changes due to the pandemic can be anticipated in the realm of geo-economics and geopolitics.
    • By offering medical aid and other essential supplies to several Asian and African countries during the current pandemic threat, China would gain a geopolitical advantage by its action.
    • China with its Belt and Road Initiative, which seeks to combine regional connectivity alongside gaining a virtual economic and substantial stranglehold across Asia, is ostensibly preparing the way for a China-centric multilateral globalisation framework.
  • A faltering West:
    • COVID-19 would effectively change the existing global order that has existed since the late 1940s. The geopolitical fallout of this pandemic could be the decreased dominance of the west.
    • The U.S. has been weakened economically and politically due to COVID-19. The U.S.’s capacity to play a critical role in world affairs seems to have diminished. The United States will be compelled to cede ground to the rising Chinese power.
    • The Brexit came as a body blow to the EU. Europe too has been badly affected by the pandemic. Germany which has played a major role in promoting EU is turning inwards. Both France and a post-Brexit United Kingdom will also be focusing more on domestic issues. Europe, in the short and medium term, will prove incapable of defining and defending its common interests, leaving it with very little influence in world affairs.
  • West Asia:
    • In West Asia, both Saudi Arabia and Iran are set to face difficult times.
    • The oil price meltdown will aggravate an already difficult situation across the region.
    • Given Israel’s non-dependency on oil and it being relatively less impacted due to the pandemic, it might emerge stronger out of the pandemic.

The geo-economic consequences of COVID-19:

  • The 2003 SARS outbreak, which infected about 8,000 people and killed 774, cost the global economy an estimated US$50 billion.
  • The 2015 MERS outbreak in South Korea, meanwhile, infected 200 people and killed 38, but led to estimated costs of US$8.5 billion.
  • Already the coronavirus epidemic has had a greater economic effect than either of their predecessors. Wall Street has joined a global sell-off; the S&P 500 index of US companies fell by 11.5% the week commencing on February 24, the worst week since the 2008 crisis.
  • The supply chain consequences are real, however, and affect some sectors and assets more than others, from commodities such as oil to supply chains vulnerable to such interruptions as those that cause problems for just-in-time auto manufacturing.
  • The fragility of the global economy, which has high levels of indebtedness and asset bubbles, is a legacy of the way in which the 2008 global credit crisis was managed rather than solved.
  • As pointed out in the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2020, there are a number of tipping points in the economic system and the economic consequence of a shock to the global system is likely to be a correction.
  • China, which is already one of the most prominent nations of the world and an important player in international institutions, could grow even stronger.
  • China is considered indispensable as the world’s supplier of manufactured goods.
  • China now seeks to benefit from its early recovery from the pandemic to take advantage of the problems of the rest of the world, by using its manufacturing capability to its geo-economic advantage.
  • The current pandemic could hollow out the financial viability of many companies, institutions and banks across the world. There are reports of China’s intentions to acquire financial assets and stakes in banks and companies across the world, taking advantage of the scaled-down value of their assets.

Impacts on India:

  • The economic downturn might reduce India’s room for manoeuvring in global affairs.
  • The increasing Chinese investment in South Asia could see its influence grow in the South Asian region and diminish India’s influence in the region.
  • India’s leverage in West Asia will suffer due to the declining oil prices.
  • The large Indian expatriate community in West Asia would be severely affected and may seek repatriation back to India. This would substantially reduce the inflow of foreign funds to India from the region.

Conclusion:

The relative ability of nations to recognize and respond to the geopolitical risks and opportunities created by the COVID-19 pandemic—especially the relative economic, political, and social outcomes between the U.S. and China—may prove critical to defining an emergent global equilibrium. Because the pandemic is still evolving, its final impact will remain unknown for months, if not years, in terms of how resulting changes may fundamentally transform the balance of global influence and resulting equilibrium. The responses by major and regional powers to the pandemic and how they are interpreted domestically and internationally are already having and will continue to have significant geopolitical and geo-economic implications. Those responses will prove to be highly consequential in the long term, especially when it comes to how nations manage the central levers of geopolitical power—credibility, economic performance, social cohesion, military capability, diplomatic engagement, and global leadership—and great powers’ relative global influence.

 

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.

4. The average size of holdings has shown a steady declining trend over the last three decades. What are the challenges faced by farmers due to fragmentation of land? What needs to be done in this regard? Analyse.  (250 words)

Reference: FAO

Why the question:

The question is amidst the declining land holding size in India and the challenges posed thereafter.

Key Demand of the question:

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:

Introduce briefly declining trend of land holding size as well as current scenario in this regards.

Body:

As per Agriculture Census 2015-16, the average size of operational holding has declined to 1.08 hectare in 2015-16 as compared to 1.15 hectare in 2010-11. The small and marginal holdings (<2 ha) now constitute 86%, while the large holdings (>10 ha) are merely 0.57% of the total land holdings.

Mention the challenges faced by farmers due to fragmentation of land.

Provide some suggestions to resolve the given challenges.

Conclusion:

Discuss some steps taken by government in conclusion.

Introduction:

The term land holding or ‘agricultural holding’ indicates average size of agricultural land held by the farmers in India. The number of small and marginal agricultural land holdings in the country (known as operational holdings) has registered a marginal increase in 2015-16 compared to 2010-11, according to the Tenth agricultural census. This means that there are more people who now own smaller parcels of agricultural land.

Body:

The shrinking size of farms is a major factor responsible for low incomes and farmers distress. The average size of farm holdings declined from 2.3 hectares in 1970-71 to 1.08 hectares in 2015-16. The share of small and marginal farmers increased from 70% in 1980-81 to 86% in 2015-16. The average size of marginal holdings is only 0.38 hectares (less than one acre) in 2015-16. The monthly income of small and marginal farmers from all sources is only around ₹4,000 and ₹5,000 as compared to ₹41,000 for large farmers. The viability of marginal and small farmers is a major challenge for Indian agriculture.

Trends in land holding (Agricultural Census 2015-16):

ClassificationRange (ha)2010-11 (mn.)2015-16 (mn.)% change
Small<1117.25125.867.34%
Medium1-419.7219.3-2.13%
Large4-100.980.83-15.31%
  • The percentage of land holders who are women has increased from 12.79% in 2010-11 to 13.87% in 2015-16, with a corresponding increase of 1.2 percentage points in the operated area.
  • This shows that more and more females are participating in the management and operation of agricultural lands.
  • Marginal, small and medium land holdings constitute the lion’s share of operated area – large land holdings account for only 9% of the total operational area.
  • The average size of operational holdings is highest in Nagaland (5 hectares) and lowest in Kerala (0.18 hectares).
  • The total number of land units used for agricultural production has shown a 5% increase in 2015-16 compared to 2010-11.
  • The total number of operational holdings in the country has increased from 138 million in 2010-11 to 146 million in 2015-16.
  • Uttar Pradesh is home to the largest number of land holders, constituting 16% of the total number.

Land fragmentation

  • It refers to the breakdown of the landholdings to smaller, unviable tracts of lands due to inheritance laws.
  • The land belonging to the father is equally distributed among his sons. This distribution of land does not entail a collection or consolidated one, but its nature is fragmented.
  • Demographic pressure has pushed down the land: man ratio to less than 0.2 hectares of cultivable land per head of rural population.
  • It has also progressively pushed down the size structure of landholdings.
  • The problem of small and fragmented holdings is more serious in densely populated and intensively cultivated states like Kerala, West Bengal, Bihar and eastern part of Uttar Pradesh where the average size of land holdings is less than one hectare and in certain parts it is less than even 0.5 hectare.
  • About 92% of holdings operated by SC groups comprised small and marginal holdings.

Challenges posed by Land fragmentation:

  • Sub-division and fragmentation of the holdings is one of the main causes of our low agricultural productivity and backward state of our agriculture.
  • A lot of time and labour is wasted in moving seeds, manure, implements and cattle from one piece of land to another.
  • Irrigation becomes difficult on such small and fragmented fields.
  • Further, a lot of fertile agricultural land is wasted in providing boundaries. Under such circumstances, the farmer cannot concentrate on improvement.
  • The farm mechanization cannot be applied in small land holdings.
  • Although legislation for consolidation of holdings has been enacted by almost all the states, it has been implemented only in Punjab, Haryana and in some parts of Uttar Pradesh.
  • The shrinking of productive agricultural land and land base being utilized for non-agricultural purposes also makes the crises of fragmented land holdings multi-dimensional.
  • Research suggests that only 14% of marginal and 27% of small holdings were able to get credit from institutional sources whereas about 33% of medium and 29% of large farmers could avail institutional credit in India.
  • Producers with small holdings also often face problems due to inefficiencies in transporting their produce leading to increased dependence on middlemen. Therefore, there is loss of income which becomes the middleman’s commission.

Measures needed:

  • To ensure farmer-centric agricultural development, land consolidation efforts for good quality and efficient farming needs to be undertaken.
  • Cooperative farming: Cooperative farming is a method wherein farmers pool their resources in certain areas of agricultural activity for mutual benefit.
  • Contract Farming and Collaborative Farming initiatives: Though contract farming does not directly help in preventing fragmentation, the need of contractual requirements can be a tool for farmers to collaborate for joint cultivation.
  • Corporate farming: Large corporate and MNCs that are into agricultural supply chain often try to integrate and consolidate their product supply chains to have better control on costs and ensure supply security.
  • NGOs, farmer associations and the extension wing of the agricultural ministry at the grass root level should educate small and marginal farmers on the benefits of land consolidation which will reap benefits in scaling up of their operations and increasing profitability.
  • India has a robust and effective Panchayati Raj system that is an institutional forum for undertaking developmental projects. Pilot studies of collective farming, structured and monitored by the Panchayats can be undertaken at various gram and zila parishad levels.

Conclusion:

While Indian agriculture has shown resilience to many shocks that penetrated into the world in the last decade, the farmers are successfully producing crops in spite of many hardships. However, all this will change in the coming decades as growing population, further fragmentation, land conversion will lead to lower productivity, shortage of labour and dwindling natural resources.

 

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

5. What is liquidity trap? Discuss its implications on the economy. (250 words)

Reference: Financial Express 

Why the question:

The question is based on the concept of Liquidity trap and its effects on the economy in the current times.

Key Demand of the question:

Define the concept of liquidity trap in detail and explain the implications of it on the economy.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

A liquidity trap is a situation in which prevailing market interest rates are so low that an increase in

money supply has no effect on interest rates and people will hold this money in the form of money

balance instead of investing or spending it. In this situation, people avoid bonds under the

assumption that interest rates will soon rise, which would push bond prices down causing a capital

loss to them. This, in turn, further lowers the interest rate.

Body:

Discuss in detail, the implications of liquidity trap on the economy. Major implication of liquidity trap is that it renders expansionary monetary policy ineffective as a tool to boost economic growth. It may push the economy into recession, wages remain stagnant, Consumer prices remain low etc.

Suggest measures to overcome it; raising the interest rates, Decline in general price level, increased government spending etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

A liquidity trap is an economic situation where people hoard financial capital instead of investing or spending it. As a result, the nation’s central bank can’t use expansionary monetary policy to boost economic growth. It often occurs when short-term interest rates are zero. It is a is a contradictory economic situation in which interest rates are very low and savings rates are high, rendering monetary policy ineffective.

Body:

Liquidity trap:

  • It is a situation in which an increase in the money supply does not result in a fall in the interest rate but merely in an addition to idle balances: the interest elasticity of demand for money becomes infinite.
  • Under normal conditions an increase in money supply, resulting in excess cash balances, would cause an increase in bond prices, as individuals sought to acquire assets in exchange for money, and a corresponding fall in interest rates.
  • In such a situation, described by Keynes as liquidity trap, individuals believe that bond prices are too high and will therefore fall, and correspondingly that interest rates are too low and must rise.
  • They, therefore, believe that to buy bonds would be to incur a capital loss and as a result they hold only money.
  • This means that an increase in the money supply merely increases idle balances and leaves the interest rate unaffected.

Liquidity traps again appeared in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and ensuing Great Recession, especially in the Eurozone. Interest rates were set to 0%, but investing, consumption, and inflation all remained subdued for several years following the height of the crisis. The European Central Bank resorted to quantitative easing (QE) and a negative interest rate policy (NIRP) in some areas in order to free themselves from the liquidity trap.

Implications on the economy:

  • No one wants to own bonds. A bond bought today that pays low rates won’t be as valuable after interest rates rise. Everyone will want the bonds issued then because it pays a higher return. The low-rate bond will be worth less in comparison.
  • Businesses don’t invest in expansion. Instead of buying new capital equipment, they make do with the old. They take advantage of low interest rates and borrow money, but they use it to buy back shares and artificially boost stock prices. They might also purchase new companies in mergers and acquisitions or leveraged buy-outs. These activities boost the stock market but not the economy.
  • Companies don’t hire as they should, so wages remain stagnant. Without rising incomes, families only buy what they need and save the rest. Low wages aggravate income inequality.
  • Consumer prices remain low. Without inflation, there’s no incentive for families to buy now before prices go up. You might even get deflation instead of inflation. People will put off buying things because they know prices will be lower later. For example, people delay making big purchases until the Black Friday sales.
  • Banks don’t increase lending. They are supposed to take the extra money the Fed pumps into the economy and lend it out in mortgages, small business loans, and credit cards. But if people aren’t confident, they won’t borrow. When banks aren’t confident, they will keep the extra cash the Fed gives them. They’ll either write down bad debt or increase their capital to protect against future bad debt. They might raise their lending requirements, as well.

Measures to come out of Liquidity trap:

  • There are a number of ways to help the economy come out of a liquidity trap. None of these may work on their own, but may help induce confidence in consumers to start spending/investing again instead of saving.
  • The Federal Reserve can raise interest rates, which may lead people to invest more of their money, rather than hoard it. This may not work, but it is one possible solution.
  • A (big) drop in prices. When this happens, people just can’t help themselves from spending money. The lure of lower prices becomes too attractive, and savings are used to take advantage of those low prices.
  • Increasing government spending. When the government does so, it implies that the government is committed and confident in the national economy. This tactic also fuels job growth.

Conclusion:

However, in practice, there is no statistical evidence to support the existence of a liquidity trap. Furthermore, while the hypothesis rests on the view that expectations are regressive it offers no theory of precisely how these are formed.

 

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources. Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

6. It has been argued that private sector reduces education to the status of a commodity. In this context, discuss why education should be seen as a necessary public good. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu   researchgate.net

Why the question:

The question is based on the importance of education to the country and in what way it should necessarily been seen as a public good.

Key Demand of the question:

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 private sector in the education domain has supplemented the state’s efforts in India’s progress towards universal education. Private sector has brought various positive aspects in the education sector such as more funding, better infrastructure, curriculum flexibility, increased focus on teaching quality among others.

Body:

Give a brief background of privatization of education in India.

 Briefly state how private sector reduces education to the status of a commodity.

Discuss arguments in favour of education as a necessary public good.  Explain the efforts of the government in this direction.

Conclusion:

All the stakeholders working in the sector should treat education as a public good, as also discussed by the draft New Education Policy. The private sector should work in tandem with the public sector in achieving the goal of universalization of education.

Introduction:

Education is one of the vital services that a modern state is expected to provide to its people. It is a service that every welfare democracy is obliged to give in the most accessible form. In simple terms, privatization of education refers to the state’s policy of allowing educational institutions, both higher and lower, to be run by non-state or private parties for monetary benefits. In contemporary times, many liberal democratic countries across the world are increasingly trying to privatize this basic service.

However, education as a public good benefits spread across society in terms of employment, economic prosperity, health and social cohesion.

Body:

The education system has been commercialised where the buyers purchase the ‘education’ at prices. Economist Prabhat Patnaik termed the process as ‘commoditization of education’. According to him, “the privatization of education which means handing the education sector to profit making entities. It is a desire to attract direct foreign investment. Likewise, in India, policy makers in education sector often talk about ‘the striving for excellence, which is nothing other than making ‘education’ as a commodity.”

Importance of Education as a necessary public good:

  • Education, for most of us, is a necessary public good central to the task of nation building and, like fresh air, is necessary to make our communities come alive.
  • It should not be driven solely by market demand for certain skills, or be distracted by the admittedly disruptive impact, for instance, of Artificial Intelligence.
  • This form of education should be unshackled from the chains of deprivation, and “affordable” education is vital to ensure access to even the most marginalized sections of our country.
  • Education is a basic fundamental right. If we want to see the world as a fair place where everyone is given equal opportunities, education is what we require. Education should be free to all – both in elementary and secondary stages. It is essential for the development of human personality and moral living. If education is restricted to only a privileged section, it will be a huge injustice to the rest of the society.
  • Education, in essence, must aim to produce sensitive, creative and upright citizens who are willing to take the less-travelled path and whose professional “skills” will endure revolutions in thinking and technology.
  • There is no developed country where the public sector was not in the vanguard of school and higher education expansion, in ensuring its inclusiveness, and in setting standards.
  • Increasing literacy rates, for example, leads to improved health outcomes, broader participation in democratic processes, reduced crime and poverty rates, environmental sustainability and social equality.
  • In a recent report, UNESCO outlined how education performs much more than an economic function, by enabling individuals, especially women, to live and aspire to healthy, meaningful, creative and resilient lives. It strengthens their voices in community, national and global affairs. It opens up new work opportunities and sources of social mobility.
  • Affirmative action is required for quality of opportunity. It is an action that helps the underprivileged people to compete with others with respect and dignity. Reservation in educational institutions is an affirmative action. It helps the backward communities and section of people to come to acquire education and compete with the privileged classes.

Conclusion:

An education that privileges one child over another is giving the privileged child a corrupted education, even as it gives him or her a social or economic advantage. India’s past, and its unique, culturally diverse matrix provide a rich framework, but delivering on a holistic liberal education programme requires much more than just proclamations.

 

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.The continuous and intensified contact with the Western culture has had an erosional impact on the Indian value system. Discuss. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu  hindawi.com

Why the question:

The question is about the possible erosional impact that the western culture has had on the Indian value system.

Key Demand of the question:

Critically analyse the possible erosional impact that the western culture has had on the Indian value system and what needs to be done to overcome 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:

Explain that in present times, people around the globe are more connected with faster means of travel and communication, exchange of ideas through literature and cinema, rise of social networking etc. This aggravated contact amongst countries extends to the sphere of culture, wherein different cultures intermingle and evolve in process.

Body:

Briefly describe how westernization has led to increased exposure to the Western culture through various means.

Discuss the negative impact of increased cultural contact with the west on Indian value system. Highlight some of the key positives resulting from this contact. Explain how  on the other hand, contact with the West has added to the Indian culture by both popularising and empowering it.

Conclusion:

Conclude with the point that it can be argued aggravated contact with the West has had a two-fold impact. The west has impacted India, as well as got influenced from Indian culture.

Introduction:

The Indian culture is one of the oldest and richest cultures, it has a long shaped history and an ancient heritage. There are many festivals and celebrations which happen in India every year. This country has a population of more than 1 billion and is a culture in which there are more than 700 languages spoken. This culture however, is now being impacted by westernization due to globalization.

Body:

Erosional impact of western culture on the Indian value system:

  • Families:
    • The institution of joint family has received very rude shock.
    • The concept of joint families is decreasing, Indians who are living in metropolitan cities in the small flat culture for them the joint families have become a strange surprise.
    • Everyone wants to remain aloof from others and given rise to single families.
    • Today people easily lost their patience to get adjusted into the joint family, imbibing the values of the elders and getting the young ones brought up under the shadow of their grandparents.
  • Social Values:
    • The younger generation has accepted the individualistic view point that has tended to loosen our social bonds.
    • Our culture treat guests as God abiding by the saying ‘Athithi Devo Bhava’.
    • Elders have the incorporated values of treating the guests as God, warm-hearted welcoming, greeting elders with due respect.
    • The celebration of every small festival with togetherness and lots of enjoyment, such a wide gathering with full hue and light can hardly be seen today.
    • People lost the value of festivals    and    cheerful    blessing    of togetherness.
    • The interaction in present generation is highly diplomatic considering the financial status and wealth.
    • Indian culture which teaches to be a part of each other Joys and Sorrows to celebrate the moments together and share the grief together.
    • But slowly all our value for which India has the pride is vanishing & western culture is taking its place.
  • Marriage Values:
    • Similarly, marriages have also lost their values.
    • Marriages are breaking & our tolerance and patience has given the answer.
    • It is very much evident from the increasing number of divorce cases and the extra-marital affairs reported every now and then.
    • Marriage used to be considered as bonding of the souls which will be linked even after the death; but today marriage is like a professional bond or a so-called commitment to share life without compromising their self-interests.
    • The most affected are our new blooms, which have sprouted they find themselves stressed and isolated in this new atmosphere as there is no one to take care of them.
    • The ego factor into the Indian youth is again a product of westernization.
  • Food and Clothing:
    • In India different state have their own tradition in which food and clothes shows various variety and importance.
    • The food varies in its taste, but the importance of its own nutrient value and every region is    specified    and   rich    in    its   medicinal preparations with the home remedies.
    • But still the popularity of junk food is too high which cause the health disorder in country.
    • On the other side the variety of beautiful clothes which varies in different states and very much particular in maintaining the dignity of woman.
    • On other side the dressing like the suiting’s for the males are an inappropriate match for the Indian type of climate.

However, there are positives too:

  • A silent revolution occurred in the Indian society. There started conflict between the conservatives and reactionaries and the progressive Indians.
  • The conservatives were in favour of the old traditional way of life and shouted against the encroachment of the Western culture.
  • On the other hand, the progressive groups of the Indian society focused the attention of the people on the major social evils like the untouchability, un-equality, backwardness of the women, child marriage, Pardha system, illiteracy, polygamy and Devadasi system etc. and influenced the people to accept good things of the West.
  • This has aroused the social consciousness and helped the growth of middle classes. They were liberally conferred on the aristocracy and princely order.
  • By these methods the conservative aristocracy rallied round the British. With their effort many social evils could disappear quickly.
  • The liberation of womanhood from the bonds of social tyranny became a possible due to the impact of western way of social life.
  • The Western culture and civilization introduced radical changes in the field of religion. Power of reasoning replaced superstitions.

Conclusion:

We live in a global world with the borders becoming hazier. Goods and cultural aspects travel across geographies. The current upward growth of India in the world economy makes the osmosis of cultural aspects inevitable. There are many aspects of India that the western worlds are adapting. Similarly, Indians are taking from many foreign countries.

Anything that is proven by time thus, definitely has intrinsic values that are appreciated and cherished by Indians. Moreover, it has sustained since it has been able to take many things foreign and make them its own. External winds are blowing and will blow – they’ll bring in some things of value and probably blow away some of lesser value. But Indian Culture can surely take care of itself.


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