Print Friendly, PDF & Email

SECURE SYNOPSIS: 18 August 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.


General Studies – 1


 

Topic : Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.

1. What is the Radcliffe Line? Discuss the main motive with which it was drawn and explain its final outcome. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express  ,Times Now News 

Why the question:

On 17 August 1947, the borderline that separated India from Pakistan, known as the Radcliffe Line was revealed. Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain in detail the formation of Radcliff line, its main objective and its final outcome in detail.

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:

Define the context of the question in brief.

Body:

The Radcliffe line is spread through the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat till international border in Jammu in Jammu & Kashmir, dividing India and Pakistan into two different countries. Radcliffe divided India into three halves: West Pakistan, East Pakistan and India. On this day, the line demarcating India from the newly formed Pakistan after partition was published.

It was named after the chairman of the Border Commissions, Sir Cyril Radcliffe. He was a lawyer from England who had no previous knowledge or experience with cartography.

This border line is today the international boundary between India and Pakistan on the western side and between India and Bangladesh on the eastern side.

Discuss its objective and outcome in detail.

Conclusion:

Conclude that dividing the two countries was a very tough job because the division was done on the basis of religious majority and a fair decision had to made while drawing a boundary between the two countries.

Introduction:

Radcliffe line is a British-government approved (17th August 1947) borderline that separated India from newly created Pakistan. It divided India into East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), West Pakistan, and India. Entire Sindh, parts of Punjab and Bengal were given to Pakistan with Radcliffe Line marking the division. It spread through the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat till international border in Jammu in Jammu & Kashmir, dividing India and Pakistan into two different countries.

The task of demarcating the boundary between India and Pakistan was given to a British lawyer, Sir Cyril Radcliffe, who had in fact never been to India, or anywhere else in Asia, and was not familiar with the demographics of India. At the time, this was seen as a positive, because the assumption was that Radcliffe would be an impartial figure.

Body:

The basic principle underlying the border, and the decision to partition India itself, was the two nation theory, the main proponent of which was the All-India Muslim League, a movement that represented the Muslims of British India.

British_indian_empire1947

Main motive:

  • The main motive of giving Radcliffe a target to work on the borderline was that both the parties were keen in getting a finalised boundary line by 15th August 1947 but due to political reasons.
  • The Radcliffe line was officially revealed on 17th August 1947, two days after the Independence.
  • Apart from the Radcliffe line, there are a few other boundaries that divide India from Pakistan.
  • Dividing the two countries was a very tough job because the division was done on the basis of religious majority and a fair decision had to made while drawing a boundary between the two countries.

Final outcomes:

  • Not a cartographical expert, Radcliffe’s final map was declared on 17 August 1947 with devastating results.
  • Millions of people were rendered refugees within their own country and a million died while fleeing from either side to the country of their choice.
  • Hapless citizens suffered huge losses of life and property.
  • The partition of the country saw more than a million deaths and about 12 million people were displaced.
  • He had zero ideas about cartography and division of land, diaspora etc., ended up drawing the Radcliffe Line – the borderline between India & Pakistan. He cut through these provinces of Bengal and Punjab to give portions to both countries.
  • Pakistan arbitrarily grabbed Balochistan (90% Muslims), against the wishes of the Baloch people and their leaders. However, the provinces of Punjab and Bengal only had a marginal majority of Muslims.
  • Punjab had 55.7% of Muslims and Bengal had 54.4% Muslims and Jinnah wanted these provinces to go to Pakistan in their entirety.
  • The Congress fought back citing that the Hindu and Sikh populations in these regions should get a section of their own in the state’s bifurcation.
  • Today, there are few ethno-religious conflicts among the population living on both sides of the Radcliffe Line (the Kashmir dispute being of an alternative origin).

Conclusion:

Ultimately, there was no easy way to partition India. Any line would have been somewhat arbitrary and caused difficulties for the people living in Bengal and Punjab. If anything, a delay could have made things much worse, due to escalating violence. Despite the great violence of the partition, it could have been much worse. A clear and simple line was what was needed in August 1947 should have been more well thought out and should have done in an amicable manner.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic : Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

3. Why Indian women are generally malnourished compared to their global counterparts? Enlist the reasons. What are the consequences? What measures need to be taken to tackle the problem of malnutrition in the country? Explain.  (250 words)

Reference: motherchildnutrition.org

Why the question:

The question aims to analyse the severity of malnutrition being faced by Indian women and its consequences and how it needs to be handled.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the reasons of why Indian women are generally malnourished compared to their global counterparts and its consequence and explain the measures that need to be taken.

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:

Briefly introduce severity of malnourishment among India women.

Body:

Indian women despite upliftment over the decades are still largely behind in the human development indicators like maternal mortality, micronutrient deficiencies etc. A third of women of reproductive age in India are undernourished, with a body mass index (BMI) of less than 18.5 kg/m2.

Highlight the reasons for malnourishment of women such as child marriages, early pregnancies, low gap between the children, focus of nutrition programmes for Indian children has largely been post-birth, food distribution in households is not based on need, poverty, illiteracy, ignorance, socioeconomic

And environmental factors and poor water/sanitation and health services etc.

Discuss the consequences of it in detail.

Conclusion:

Conclude with solutions; hint at the efforts of the government in this direction.

Introduction:

Malnutrition, defined as ill health caused by deficiencies of calories, protein, vitamins, and minerals interacting with infections and other poor health and social conditions, saps the strength and well-being of millions of women and adolescent girls around the world. The gender gaps in nutritional status of women in India are due to preferential changes in availability of diets to girl child against a boy in their adolescence.

Body:

Malnutrition situation in India:

  • An average girl child aged less than 5 years is healthier than her male peers. However, over a period of time they grow into undernourished women in India.
  • Malnutrition and anaemia are common among Indian adults.
  • A quarter of women of reproductive age in India are undernourished, with a body mass index (BMI) of less than 18.5 kg/m (Source: NFHS 4 2015-16).
  • Both malnutrition and anaemia have increased among women since 1998-99.
  • 33% of married women and 28% of men are too thin, according to the body mass index (BMI), an indicator derived from height and weight measurements.
  • Underweight is most common among the poor, the rural population, adults who have no education and scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.
  • 2% of women and 24.3% of men suffer from anaemia, and have lower than normal levels of blood haemoglobin.
  • Anaemia has increased in ever-married women from 1998-99. Among pregnant women, anaemia has increased from 50% to almost 58%

Poor Nutrition Throughout the Life Cycle of woman:

nutrition

The various causes for gender gaps in nutritional status are:

  • Patriarchal mindset: Despite social progress, women largely continue to navigate through systems that are defined by masculinity. Class and caste hierarchies further sharpen the patriarchal grip, making it difficult for women to escape discrimination.
  • Early Marriage: Which make them deprived of iron reach diet and also leads to early sex and child bearing.
  • low social status: Preference of male child over the girl child affecting the girl health the most.
  • Low diet diversity: The diets of women in India are often too poor to meet their nutritional needs. Iron deficient and other micronutrient diet affects the most.
  • Poverty: Low income lead to less availability of food to people.
  • Low literacy: Low literacy among the mother’s and girl child make them vulnerable to less nutritious diet and physical changes in body.
  • Lack of awareness: Lack of awareness among the people about the importance of particular nutrition and vitamins make the situation worst.
  • Women’s reproductive biology and lack of access to healthcare & proper medicines: When mothers take only short intervals between pregnancies and have many children, this can exacerbate nutrition deficits, which are then passed on to their children.
  • Sociocultural traditions and disparities in household work patterns can also increase women’s chances of being malnourished.

Consequences:

  • an undernourished mother inevitably gives birth to an undernourished baby, perpetuating an intergenerational cycle of undernutrition.
  • Undernourished girls have a greater likelihood of becoming undernourished mothers who in turn have a greater chance of giving birth to low birth weight babies, perpetuating an intergenerational cycle.
  • This cycle can be compounded further in young mothers, especially adolescent girls who begin childbearing before they have grown and developed enough.

Importance of improving women’s nutrition:

  • Addressing women’s malnutrition has a range of positive effects because healthy women can fulfil their multiple roles — generating income, ensuring their families’ nutrition, and having healthy children — more effectively and thereby help advance countries’ socioeconomic development.
  • Women are often responsible for producing and preparing food for the household, so their knowledge — or lack thereof — about nutrition can affect the health and nutritional status of the entire family.
  • Promoting greater gender equality, including increasing women’s control over resources and their ability to make decisions, is crucial.
  • Improving women’s nutrition can also help nations achieve three of the Millennium Development Goals, which are commonly accepted as a framework for measuring development progress.

Measures undertaken by Government to tackle Malnutrition:

  • Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme.
  • National Health Mission.
  • Mid-Day Meal Scheme.
  • Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojna (IGMSY).
  • Mother’s Absolute Affection.
  • National Nutrition Mission (POSHAN Abhiyaan) seeks to ensure a “malnutrition free India” by 2022.
  • Strengthen MGNREGA to ensure better food security.

Measures needed:

  • Improving the quantity and nutrient level of food consumed in the household: improving access to generalized household food ration through public distribution system. Also providing access to supplementary foods under the integrated child development services scheme.
  • To impart knowledge to improve the local diet, production and household behaviours through nutrition and health education.
  • Preventing micronutrient deficiencies and anaemia: This through providing the Iron Folic Acid Supplementation deworming, Pre and peri-conceptual folic acid supplementation, Universal access to iodized salt, Malaria prevention and treatment in malaria-endemic areas, Access to knowledge and support to stop use of tobacco products during pregnancy, Maternal calcium supplementation, Maternal vitamin A supplementation.
  • Increasing women’s access to basic nutrition and health services: By providing early registration of pregnancy and quality of antenatal check-up, with emphasis on pregnancy weight gain monitoring, screening and special care of at-risk mothers.
  • Improving access to water and sanitation health (WASH) education and facilities: By providing sanitation and hygiene education, including menstrual hygiene.
  • Empowering women to prevent pregnancies too early, too often and too close together: By ensuring marriage at/after legal age of 18 through awareness and ensuring a girl completes secondary education. Also preventing maternal depletion by delaying first pregnancy and repeated pregnancies through family planning, reproductive health information, incentives and services.
  • Expanding the maternity entitlement: Promoting community support system for women, skill development, economic empowerment as part of maternity entitlement. Providing community support system for women to support decision making, confidence building, skill development and economic empowerment.

Conclusion:

Adequate nutrition is important for women not only because it helps them be productive members of society but also because of the direct effect maternal nutrition has on the health and development of the next generation. There is also increasing concern about the possibility that maternal malnutrition may contribute to the growing burden of cardiovascular and other non-communicable diseases of adults in less developed countries. Finally, maternal malnutrition’s toll on maternal and infant survival stands in the way of countries’ work toward key global development goals.

 

Topic : Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources. Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

4. Critically analyse the discontinuation of the unequal system of contract teachers/Para-teachers at all levels in the NEP 2020. (250 words)

Reference: Hindustan Times 

Why the question:

The draft National Education Policy (NEP) of 2019 made an unequivocal statement on the discontinuation of the unequal system of contract teachers/para-teachers at all levels, from primary right up to colleges and universities. Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain in what way NEP 2020 is silent on the contract teacher system and thus such a system erodes the quality of education, affects motivation, and goes against the spirit of the Constitution.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by highlighting the relevant point mentioned in the NEP 2020 with respect to contract teachers.

Body:

The draft National Education Policy (NEP) of 2019 made an unequivocal statement on the discontinuation of the unequal system of contract teachers/Para-teachers at all levels, from primary right up to colleges and universities.

 It recognized the need to relieve teachers of non-educational duties, facilitate vibrant professional communities and give more autonomy in the classroom. It recognized that none of the ideas discussed in the draft policy would be possible without a road map to transform the way teachers are positioned in the system.

Discuss the past practices of hiring contract teachers/para-teachers. Take hints from the article and present your points.

Conclusion:

Conclude with what needs to be done to ensure the wrongs in the policy are rectified and made right.

Introduction:

Contract teachers are those teachers who are hired on contractual basis. They are relieved of their services once the contract is completed. NEP 2020 does not make any unequivocal statement on discontinuing the practice of hiring contract teachers. The policy is notable for its silence on equal service conditions for all teachers. The idea of locally-recruited teachers, without clarifying their service conditions, is worrisome.

Body:

contract_teachers

Current situation of the contract/para teachers in India:

  • Since the mid-1990s, several state governments across the country have appointed ‘regular teachers’ and ‘contract or para teachers’. Since the 1990s, the number of teachers appointed on fixed term contracts for a fraction of the salary of regular government school teachers has steadily gone up.
  • A study in 2018 by Vimala Ramachandran et al. states that the percentage of ‘para’ or ‘contract’ teachers, which was around 7.1 per cent in 2003-04, reached its peak of 12.2 per cent in 2011-12, before plummeting to about 7.3 per cent in 2014.
  • In absolute numbers, there were 0.5 million para or contract teachers in 2012-13 besides 6.8 million regular teachers.
  • The total number of contract teachers was about 600,000 in 2017-18, according to the Unified District Information System for Education.
  • Across India, in percentage terms, 12.7% of teachers are hired on contract today, with 13.8% being in the primary sector and 8.4% in secondary. States such as Jharkhand (57.05%), Mizoram (29%), Himachal Pradesh (28.16%), Delhi (25.28%), and West Bengal (21.48%) have more than 25% of the teacher workforce on contract.

Why contract/para teacher system needs to be removed:

  • Teachers argue that hiring teachers on contract is a blow to the profession.
  • They also point out that the dual system (different pay for equal work) goes against the spirit of the constitutional guarantee of equal pay for equal work.
  • Evidence from several countries reveals that short-term contractual appointments have a negative effect on the motivation and social status of teachers.
  • Contract teachers are typically posted in the most-disadvantaged or poor areas and poorly-resourced schools.
  • Regular teachers get postings in well-connected, big schools. As a result, small schools have more contract teachers, many with basic qualifications and almost no in-service training opportunities.
  • contract teachers are not provided with regular in-service teacher training, especially when they are under a contract that is renewed every year.
  • contract teachers are not eligible for leave and other service benefits. Such unfavourable leave policies are particularly harsh on teachers who fall ill or need to take maternity leave. Teachers say that such rules go against the constitutionally guaranteed right to equality and non-discrimination.
  • the appointment of contract teachers is highly politicised. An important aspect of recruiting contract teachers instead of regular teachers was the expectation that locally appointed teachers could be held accountable by the local government and local community more easily, relative to a distant bureaucrat sitting in the state capital or district headquarter.
  • There have been several reports about teachers being hired in states such as Bihar Punjab and Haryana without verification of their qualifications or those with false degrees.

Need for the contract/Para teachers in Indian Education system:

  • Contract teachers are needed in schools where there are less number of admissions and the schools need to run. This is usually seen in areas of disadvantages like tribal areas, remote rural areas etc.
  • Across India, 79.1% of teachers on contract are working in “small schools” with an enrolment of 90 or less.
  • In 2017-18, 68,445 schools functioned exclusively with contract teachers.
  • Even after making allowance for enrolment in private unaided and unregistered private schools, the teacher shortages are very significant. It is on this account that the recruitment of para teachers has to be considered a priority if all vacancies have to be filled up in shortest period of time.
  • The economic argument for para teachers is that provision of teachers as per requirement is possible within the financial resources available with the states.
  • The non-economic argument is that a locally selected youth, accountable to the local community, undertakes the duties of teaching children with much greater interest.

Views of the draft NEP 2019 on contract teachers:

  • The draft National Education Policy (NEP) of 2019 made an unequivocal statement on the discontinuation of the unequal system of contract teachers/para-teachers at all levels, from primary right up to colleges and universities.
  • It recognised the need to relieve teachers of non-educational duties, facilitate vibrant professional communities and give more autonomy in the classroom.

Measures needed:

  • Regularization of the jobs subject to the conditionalities of completing the requisite teacher training by certified institutes.
  • Strict qualification criteria and standard recruitment exams for hiring the contract teachers and performance based conversion into regular teachers over a fixed period of time.

Conclusion:

Quality of education and student learning remains an important concern in India today. Although there is no clear policy on hiring contract teachers; the practice was adopted to ensure that there are enough teachers to improve access to education.  The practice may have been financially reasonable and in some cases led to expansion of educational access; it would be hard to say if the model is sustainable in the provision of quality education given the challenges faced by contract teachers. We cannot dream of turning the system around unless ‘we as a country’ focus on our teachers.

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

5. Indian agri markets not only need to be integrated spatially but also temporally for a better future of Agri-Markets. Elaborate. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express 

Why the question:

The author of the article explains in what way the new agriculture infrastructure fund is a major step forward. Policymakers must have stable policies for them.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the idea of getting the agri-markets right to ensure better functioning of Indian Markets.  

Directive:

Elaborate – 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:

Briefly present the current scenario of Agri markets in India and how they function.

Body:

Markets play an important role in rural development, income generation, food security, and developing rural-market linkages thus its importance to ensure their optimum functioning.

Present the case of newly launched Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF), The fund is a major step towards getting agri-markets right.

Then move on to explain what the gaps in the current agri market system are, take cues from the article and list them down. Suggest solutions to the same and explain why it is essential to have markets temporally as well as spatially to ensure their perfect functioning.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Agricultural marketing is a method that includes gathering, storage, preparation, shipping, and delivery of different farming materials across the country. In agriculture marketing, the selling of an agriculture product depends on various components like the demand for the product at that time, availability of storage, etc.

Body:

Importance of integrating agricultural markets spatially and temporally:

  • The agricultural sector in India is progressively opening up to external trade, leading to interdependency between commodity prices across diverse markets.
  • The country’s food production has increased tremendously from just 51 million tonnes in 1950-51 to about 252 million tonnes in 2014-15. However, farm income did not grow much. This was also highlighted by the National Commission on Farmers (NCF) headed by MS Swaminathan.
  • Recent incidents of farmers reportedly dumping their bumper produce of tomatoes and onions and emptying cans of milk into drains is evidence of it. Had the markets been integrated, the surplus produce would have been transferred to deficit regions.
  • The seasonal spike in prices of perishable commodities that pushes up the food inflation cannot be addressed without market reforms.
  • Production and marketing should march together in order to benefit farmers and consumers. Farmers need to be empowered to decide when, where, to whom and at what price to sell.
  • Indian agricultural prices are not co-integrated with global agricultural prices in short run.
  • Existing literature shows that our markets are not efficient, and thus they cannot respond to sudden shocks.
  • Degree of openness data suggests that Indian agriculture sector has started opening up, but this is not visible in market integration for agricultural commodities.
  • The correlation between global and domestic prices of agricultural commodities and changes therein depend upon many factors in accordance with the demand and supply conditions.

Current issues faced in the agri-markets by farmers:

  • Monopoly of APMC: Monopoly of any trade (barring few exceptions) is bad, whether it is by some MNC corporation by government or by any APMC. It deprives farmers from better customers, and consumers from original suppliers.
  • Cartelization: It is quite often seen that agents in an APMC get together to form a cartel and deliberately restraint from higher bidding. Produce is procured at manipulatively discovered price and sold at higher price. Spoils are then shared by participants, leaving farmers in lurch.
  • Entry Barriers: License fee in these markets are highly prohibitive. In many markets farmers were not allowed to operate. Further, over and above license fee, rent/value for shops is quite high which keeps away competition. At most places only a group of village/urban elite operates in APMC.
  • Conflict of Interest: APMC play dual role of regulator and Market. Consequently, its role as regulator is undermined by vested interest in lucrative trade. They despite of inefficiency won’t let go any control. Generally, member and chairman are nominated/elected out of the agents operating in that market.
  • High commission, taxes and levies: Farmers have to pay commission, marketing fee, APMC cess which pushes up costs. Apart from this many states impose Value Added Tax.
  • Other Manipulations: Agents have tendency to block a part of payment for unexplained or fictitious reasons. Farmer is sometimes refused payment slip (which acknowledges sale and payment) which is essential for him to get loan.

Government efforts towards strengthening Agri markets in recent times:

  • Government had earlier issued three ordinances related to the legal framework of agri-markets with a view to bringing about some degree of liberalisation.
  • These ordinances relate to amendments in the Essential Commodities Act, allowing farmers to sell their produce outside the APMC mandis and encouraging farming contracts between farmers, processors, exporters and retailers.
  • Changes in the legal framework are a necessary condition, though not a sufficient one, for getting agri-markets right.
  • Government recently launched the Rs 1 lakh crore Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF) to be used over the next four years.
  • This fund will be used to build post-harvest storage and processing facilities, largely anchored at the Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs), but can also be availed by individual entrepreneurs.
  • The fund will also be used to provide loans, at concessional rates, to FPOs and other entrepreneurs through primary agriculture credit societies (PACs).
  • NABARD will steer this initiative in association with the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.

Way forward:

The measures needed in the Agricultural Marketing in India are

  • It is imperative to bring agriculture marketing into the Concurrent or Union list to benefit farmers. This will guarantee remunerative prices to farmers.
  • The Committee on Doubling Farmers’ Income under the chairmanship of Ashok Dalwai justifies the recommendation saying marketing has no boundaries; this necessitates a pan-India operation to meet the demand across the country.
  • as NABARD forms 10,000 FPOs and creates basic storage facilities through the AIF, it should devise a compulsory module that trains FPOs to use the negotiable warehouse receipt system and navigate the realm of agri-futures to hedge their market risks.
  • Government agencies dabbling in commodity markets — the Food Corporation of India (FCI), National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED), State Trading Corporation (STC) — should increase their participation in agri-futures. That is how China deepened its agri-futures markets.
  • The banks that give loans to FPOs and traders should also participate in commodity futures as “re-insurers” of sorts for the healthy growth of agri-markets. Finally, government policy has to be more stable and market friendly.
  • NITI Aayog’s model Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing Act should be implemented by the states. Further the provisions like facilitating single-point levy of taxes, promoting direct interface between farmers and end-users, and give freedom to farmers to sell their produce to whomsoever and wherever they get better prices.
  • e-NAM is a good step in this way. Budget 2018 announced developed GRAMS which would be integrated to the e-NAM Structure.
  • Promoting warehouse receipts, agro-processing and exports. Warehouse receipts will help framers defer their sale immediately post harvest, when prices are at their lowest level.
  • This will require a consolidation of farm produce, which can be successfully done through farmer-producer organisations.
  • Agro-processing and trade will require investment in developing infrastructure.
  • Existing agri-export zones need to be revisited and strengthened in this changing scenario.
  • States alone cannot revamp the agricultural marketing sector, primarily due to paucity of funds and technology.
  • Private investment on a massive scale needs to be invited to upgrade and build large storage and warehousing systems that are climate resilient.

Conclusion:

It is time to concede that production and marketing should march together in order to benefit farmers and consumers. Farmers need to be empowered to decide when, where, to whom and at what price to sell. India needs to not only spatially integrate its agri-markets (one nation, one market) but also integrate them temporally — spot and futures markets have to converge. Only then will Indian farmers realise the best price for their produce and hedge market risks.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic : Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and nonpartisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.

6. “When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property”. Illustrate the essence of the statement. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics by Lexicon Publications

Why the question:

The question is based on the fact that Public employment carries with it a unique obligation to uphold the public trust.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the essence of the statement as to in what way Public employment carries with it a unique obligation to uphold the public trust.

Directive:

Illustrate – A similar instruction to ‘explain’ whereby you are asked to show the workings of something, making use of definite examples and statistics if appropriate to add weight to your explanation.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Define what is public employment and trust associated with it.

Body:

Explain that Public employment carries with it a unique obligation to uphold the public trust. It is the confidence of the people that directs and empowers authorities to perform their duties and obligations in accordance to what they ought to deliver to the people who put them in position.

Further trust can only be maintained through open, honest, accountable and transparent government, fundamentally through good governance. This requires healthy public and private relationships. The national interest should overpower self-interest and conduct of the civil servant should be in tune to the professional values.

He should work selflessly to demonstrate the highest standards of professional competence, efficiency and effectiveness, upholding the Constitution and the laws, and seeking to advance the public good at all times and should put possibilities for personal advantage to one side.

Public servants should work for betterment of society by sticking to their duties as prescribed according to law along with integrity and honesty.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance.

Introduction:

The above statement was made by Thomas Jefferson. Although it was said centuries ago, yet the statement holds true even today. The above statement emphasises the importance of public life and the trust that the public servants ought to maintain. Public life is a constant job, and the persona of a public man becomes a public property.

Body:

Importance of Public Trust:

  • A decline in trust can lead to lower rates of compliance with rules and regulations.
  • Citizens and businesses can also become more risk-averse, delaying investment, innovation and employment decisions that are essential to regain competitiveness and jumpstart growth.
  • Nurturing trust represents an investment in economic recovery and social well-being for the future.
  • Trust is both an input to public sector reforms – necessary for the implementation of reforms – and, at the same time, an outcome of reforms, as they influence people’s and organisations’ attitudes and decisions relevant for economic and social well-being.
  • As a result, trust in government by citizens and businesses are essential for the effective and efficient policy making both in good times and bad.
  • Investing in trust should be considered as a new and central approach to restoring economic growth and reinforcing social cohesion, as well as a sign that governments are learning the lessons of the crisis

Responsibilities of a public servant:

  • Maintain highest integrity at work.
  • Accessible to people to hear their problems and quick grievance redressal.
  • Impartial in service delivery.
  • Objective, Transparent and accountable in decision making.

The above responsibilities make him a public property who acts as a trustee between the citizens and the state. Public office can be of any type like it can be ministerial post, Administrator, defence personnel etc. So each individual requires to perform his duty by putting his self interest as less important. It requires a person of considerable character to rise above the petty things and consider the wholeness of his existence in the scheme of things.

Conclusion:

Thus, Core levels of trust in government are necessary for the fair and effective functioning of government institutions– such as adherence to the rule of law, or the delivery of basic public services and the provision of infrastructure. Alexander Dumas had put it presciently “An officer doesn’t have friends”. That sentence shows that the level of dedication required for the role of a public servant precludes even the existence of friendship, a basic private need. Unless we acknowledge this, we cannot run institutions, cannot stand true to modern ideas and cannot in short form a nation.

 

Topic : dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.  Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

7. How can a public servant empathize with public? Discuss with suitable examples. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics by Lexicon Publications

Why the question:

The question is based on the virtue of empathy and its importance to Public servants.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the methods and means by which public servant should and can empathize the public with suitable examples.

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:

Define what you understand by Empathy.

Body:

Every public servant is an individual who is to some extent endowed with natural ability to empathize with people he is serving. However, with the information and knowledge at her disposal, a public servant has the opportunity to empathize at a greater degree.

The official data can give the public servant a detailed idea of the situation the people are living in. She can conduct surveys and seek feedback from the people about the issue concerning the activities taken up by the officials. This way, the public servant is in a good position to understand the situation, feelings, and motives of the people at a higher level.

Give suitable examples/present case study to substantiate your answer.

Conclusion:

Conclude with its significance.

Introduction:

Empathy is the ability to be aware of, understand, and appreciate the feelings and thoughts of others. Empathy is “tuning in” (being sensitive) to what, how, and why people feel and think the way they do. Being empathic means being able to “emotionally read” other people.

Body:

Empathy helps in the following:

  • Understands Unspoken content:
  • Demonstrates active listening skills (such as asking probing questions, not interrupting)
  • Picks up signals when others are not feeling comfortable and displays consideration.
  • Has concern for others:
    • Open to diversity of opinion.
    • Probes to understand people’s issues, unspoken thoughts, and feelings
  • Expresses concern for Others:
    • Demonstrates empathy by correctly understanding reactions or emotions of others.
    • Builds trust by demonstrating respect for other’s point of view.
  • Acts as a Role-model:
    • Makes a balanced assessment of a person’s strengths and weaknesses based on a deeper understanding of the individual
  • Creates and provides an environment of Respect:
    • Creates a culture of mutual trust and respect

Public Servants are the glue between the State and the people. Empathy is important for public services and a public servant can empathize with the people by the following:

  • Practice active listening: This means actively trying to understand what the other person is saying and mirroring it back to them to be sure you heard it correctly, rather than focusing part of your attention on what your next point will be.
  • For instance, to make the person in front of you the most important thing in your world while they speak, just as you would want to be if you were them. By this half of the problems of the people is solved.
  • Understand yourself: Don’t pretend your feelings don’t affect you. How you feel will affect how well you can hear someone or put yourself in their shoes. It takes energy and emotional strength to do that, so monitor and manage those reserves. Also, no one comes to the table without biases. Know your own so you can be sure you are controlling them and they’re not controlling you.
  • Be patient: Showing empathy takes time, so you won’t be able to move as quickly through meetings, conversations and tasks as you might have done before. The extra time now will be balanced by having more satisfied customers, better relationships and better results. And be patient with yourself as you learn how to do this. Empathy is a skill and a habit like any other that takes time to master.
  • Step into their shoes: Find ways to see things from the perspective of others, especially the citizens you serve. A key principle of human-centred design is to approach the system or product being created from the standpoint of the person who will use it. One way to do this is to form connections with the people you serve as equals by reaching out to them and their communities, which has the added benefit of helping to address the loneliness crisis.

Conclusion:

Empathy is a vital skill for the public sector. Seeing the government work through a lens of empathy makes them better at their jobs and helps fulfil the purpose. Civil servants must be cool-headed, but must be warm-hearted too.


  • Join our Official Telegram Channel HERE for Motivation and Fast Updates
  • Subscribe to our YouTube Channel HERE to watch Motivational and New analysis videos