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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 3 September 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 : Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

1. Critically examine the motives behind British efforts towards the expansion of modern education system. (250 Words)

Reference: Indian Modern history by Spectrum publications

Why the question:

The question is from the static portions of Modern history portions of GS paper I.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the motives behind British efforts towards the expansion of modern education system and analyse them critically.

Directive:

Critically examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we have to look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications. 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:

Briefly explain the expansion of modern education system in the British times.

Body:

Critically analyse the development of modern education; The company wanted some educated Indians who could assist them in the administration of the land. Also, they wanted to understand the local customs and laws well.

Explain the events that classify the point that motives behind British efforts towards the expansion of modern education system were not merely to educate Indians but to have educated class of Indians for their benefit. British wanted to introduce modern western education to serve their economic interests as English education would convince Indians about the superiority of British goods which were machine made, it would make Indians recognize the advantages of trade and commerce.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of it to Indian system.

Introduction:

The history of modern education in India begins when the East India Company was compelled to accept responsibility for the education of Indian with the new act renewing the Company’s privileges for a further period of twenty years was passed on by charter act of 1813. The Provision of educational development in India under British rule was an important milestone for future development of western education in India.

Body:
A brief History of development of education in British India:

For the first 60 years of its dominion in India the East India Company— a trading, profit-making concern—took little interest in the education of its subjects.

  • In 1781, Warren Hastings set up the Calcutta Madrassa for the study and teaching of Muslim law and related subjects; and, in 1791, Jonathan Duncan started a Sanskrit College at Varanasi, where he was the Resident, for the study of Hindu law and philosophy. Both these institutions were designed to provide a regular supply of qualified Indians to help the administration of law in the courts of the Company.
  • Missionaries and their supporters and many humanitarians soon began to exert pressure on the Company to encourage and promote modern secular westernized education in India.
  • A humble beginning was made in 1813 when the Charter Act incorporated the principle of encouraging learned Indians and promoting the knowledge of modern sciences in the country The Act directed the Company to spend the sum of one lakh of rupees for the purpose. But even this petty amount was not made available by the Company authorities till 1823.
  • For years a great controversy raged in the country on the question of the direction that this expenditure should take. While one section of opinion wanted it to be spent exclusively for the promotion of modern Western studies(Anglicist), others desired that, while Western sciences and literature should be taught to prepare students to take up jobs, emphasis should be placed on the expansion of traditional(Oriental) Indian learning.
  • The two controversies were settled in 1835 when the Government of India decided to devote the limited resources it was willing to spare to the teaching of Western sciences and literature through the medium of English language alone by the famous minute of Lord Macaulay, who argued that “Oriental learning was completely inferior to European learning”.
  • This the government would not do as it was not willing to spend more than an insignificant sum on education. The officials had recourse to the so-called “downward filtration theory”. It was decided to spend the money in educating a few persons from the upper and middle classes who were expected to assume the task of educating the masses and spreading modern ideas among them.
  • The Wood’s Dispatch of 1854 was another important step in the development of education in India. The Dispatch asked the Government of India to assume responsibility for the education of the masses. It thus repudiated the “downward filtration” theory. As a result of the directions given by the Dispatch, Departments of Education were instituted in all provinces and affiliating universities were set up in 1857 at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras.

Motives behind expansion of modern education system in India:

The British imperial authorities favoured the Western system of education through the English medium. They were not inspired by any philanthropic motives and whatever limited efforts they made were in the larger interests of the colonial rule. The British did not harbour any bonafide intention to educate the people and bring about enlightenment- the basic goal of education.

The introduction of new system of education was primarily motivated by the politico-administrative. commercial and moral considerations of the British in India which would buttress and perpetuate colonial rule.

  • Administrative Considerations: The principle motive behind the introduction of Western education was to make administration at lower rung economical. As the British Empire in India expanded its territories, administrative structure too grew elaborate and extensive which necessitated staffing of low cadre posts. And as it was too expensive an affair and politically not advisable to import a huge number of people from England it became political expedient to recruit people from Indian strata after providing them a little bit of education and general working knowledge. For example: In the revenue and judicial department, the clerical and middle level of staff was required to have English language knowledge.
  • Generating a sense of belongings: British education policy was also shaped by their notion that Indians imbued with Western knowledge would prove to be help in manifold ways. Western education would dispel reactionary attitude and develop in Indians a reconciliatory attitude. This would create a sense of belongings.
  • Generating a sense of loyal loyalty: It would give birth to a class of people who would be English in attitude, approach and spirit and would act as a buffer, a powerful link between the vast population of the subject people and those who governed them. Politically, the newly-educated western educated class, unconsciously or consciously became supporters of British rule in India. Thus, Macaulay’s dream of creating a class of persons who would be “Indians in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinion, in morals and intellect“.
  • Economic considerations: The British commercial community became strong supporters of the cause of Anglicization of education in India. The English educated Indian middle class became the great consumers of British goods and would help expand markets in India for British goods.
  • Religious considerations: were linked with the spread of Christianity. The early missionaries, who entered in India before 1813, started their education propagation from lowest classes of the society, by adopting the native language as a medium of instruction and mainly worked in the field of primary education. However, after 1813 they shifted their attention from primary to secondary and higher education where they applied English language as a medium of instruction. While the main aim of the Christian missionaries was to propagate Christian doctrine in Indian soil and for this they adopt the modern system of education.
  • Moral Considerations: The first half of nineteenth century saw the rise of utilitarian ideas. In accordance with it, certain reforms were to be taken in the colonies. India was considered a land of savages and its education system outdated. According to Macaulay “A single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia“. So it was the moral obligation of British to uplift the masses from savagery to civilization.

    Conclusion:

                  The modern education policy was designed and implemented in a way in order to serve the interests of the colonial empire and maintain the white supremacy. But however, the modern education brought in modern ideas. The ideals of constitutionalism, liberty, equality etc were brought in from the west. These new ideas inspired Indian intellectual class as it sowed the seeds of nationalism by the late nineteenth century. The nationalism spread and modern Indian education was a main conduit for it. While the British wanted to create a loyal class of citizenry with modern western education but the in the long run the exact opposite happened. These inspired and educated intelligentsia become a brand of nationalists who became torch bearers of freedom struggle in the long run.

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

2. “Transition from teacher-class based teaching to digital-education will need multi-pronged efforts over time” comment in the current conditions of Indian education system. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express 

Why the question:

The author brings to us a detailed narration of the transition that the teaching system in the country is going through.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain in what way transition from teacher-class based teaching to digital-education will need multi-pronged efforts over time.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Discuss the context of the education system and the transition it is undergoing right now.

Body:

Start by suggesting first the importance of education. Education is empowering and redefining. For hundreds of millions of the young in India, education is also about discipline, development, curiosity, creativity and a path to breaking the cycle of ignorance and poverty leading to employment and prosperity.

Discuss in detail the Covid-19 effects on education and how the system was forced to transition from real time to digital platforms. Our answer to the education crisis during the pandemic has been to offer online education. However, there are serious issues related to access, devices, content, curation, teachers, training, testing, exams, grades, funding, facilities, salaries, parents and fees. Explain how we would address them and need for multipronged approach.

Conclusion:

Conclude with suitable solutions.


Introduction:

Education is empowering and redefining. For hundreds of millions of the young in India, education is also about discipline, development, curiosity, creativity and a path to breaking the cycle of ignorance and poverty leading to employment and prosperity.

The shift to digital education is a profound transition in how human beings learn, digital learning is empowering, that are changing the opportunity set for teachers as well as students.

Body:

Advantages of digital education:

  • Personalized learning: The opportunity to help every student learn at the best pace and path for them is the most important benefit of digital learning.
  • Expanded learning opportunities: Digital learning is extending learning opportunities worldwide. Education Reimagined celebrates open-walled learning and acknowledges that, learning happens at many times and in many places and intentionally leverages its expansive nature in the learner’s development of competencies. learners with authentic, rich, and diverse learning opportunities.
  • High engagement learning: The shift to digital can boost student motivation. Anyone who has witnessed the engagement of game-based learning can appreciate the potential to create learning experiences that boost persistence.
  • Assessment for learning: Digital learning powers continuous feedback from content-embedded assessment, games, simulations, and adaptive learning. When students can track their own progress it can improve motivation and agency.
  • Sharing economy: There has been an explosion of free and open content and tools. Schools can save money while ensuring equitable access. Common standards and sharing platforms have made it possible for millions of educators to share tools and resources across state lines.
  • Relevant and Regularly Updated Content: Regardless of age or content, students have more access to relevant and regularly updated content. Next generation instructional systems that includes print and digital options with online adaptive skill building allow teachers and students to personalize in new and exciting ways.
  • Next-gen learning for educators: Blended, personalized and competency-based learning is for educators too. It prepares teachers for Deeper Learning, preparation and development. Teachers can also join online professional learning communities to ask questions and share tips and stay connected with a global community.

State of Indian education in the present times:

  • Education is in crisis at the moment. Most probably, schools and colleges campuses will be closed through 2020 due to an increasing number of COVID cases. This could even extend to 2021. But every crisis has an opportunity. This crisis can be made in to an opportunity for transition from teacher-class based teaching to digital-education.
  • Today, the growing aspirations of children and parents in India are reflected in an increasing demand for education, which has far exceeded the supply.
  • Our answer to the education crisis during the pandemic has been to offer online education. However, there are serious issues related to access, devices, content, curation, teachers, training, testing, exams, grades, funding, facilities, salaries, parents and fees.
  • It is estimated that only about 25 per cent of Indian households have an internet facility.
  • For rural households, that number drops to 15 per cent. The worst affected, as always, will be the marginalised, rural and poor populations.
  • Digital education is not just about videos of lectures on blackboards by teachers on the internet. It is about appropriate platforms, technology, tools, interactivity, curation, content and a lot more.
  • Government schools and colleges do not have the resources to provide digital education. Private schools and colleges are no different. However, they all want parents to pay full fees to be able to pay their staff and maintain facilities.
  • The financial model for education is falling apart everywhere during this pandemic. In India, the situation is even more complex because of the lack of a proper policy on digital education, infrastructure and multiple languages.

    Multi-pronged approach towards digital education:

  • The States will establish state of the art, appropriate, cost effective and adequate ICT and other enabling infrastructure in all secondary schools.
  • Each school  will  be  equipped  with  at  least  one  computer  laboratory  with  at  least  10 networked computer access points to begin with. The  ratio  of total  number  of access points  to  the  population  of  the  school  will be  regulated  to  ensure  optimal  access  to  all students and teachers.
  • Classrooms should be equipped with appropriate audio-visual facilities to support an ICT enabled teaching-learning. Appropriate  hardware  for  Satellite  terminals  will  be  provided  to  selected  schools  in  a progressive manner.
  • Computer access points with internet connectivity will be provided at the library, teachers’ common room and the school head’s office to realize the proposed objectives of automated school management and professional development activities.
  • Capacity building of teachers will be the key to the widespread  infusion of  ICT enabled practices in the school system. A phased programme of capacity building will be planned. In service training of teachers will comprise of Induction Training as well as Refresher Courses.
  • States / Districts Education Department personnel at all levels will be oriented to infuse ICT into their work. They will also be oriented to various aspects related to the ICT implementation at the school level, SEMIS and sustenance of the ICT infrastructure.
  • National and State level  agencies, like the  National Council of  Educational Research and Training, the  Central  Institute of  Educational Technology,  the National  Institute of Open Schooling, the State Councils of Educational Research and Training, the State Institutes of Educational Technology or any other public educational agency designated by the State will develop  curriculum,  resources,  and  undertake  capacity  building  programmes,  which  will serve as models for adaptation and implementation across the system.
  • Leveraging National Knowledge network which connects all knowledge-creating organisations comprising IITs, IIMs, universities, research labs and other e-governance institutions up to the district level.

Conclusion:

         National Education Policy, 2020 calls for investment in digital infrastructure, development of online teaching platforms and tools, creation of virtual labs and digital repositories, training teachers to become high quality online content creators, designing and implementing of online assessments, establishing standards for content, technology and pedagogy for online teaching-learning.

The Policy envisages the creation of a dedicated unit for the purpose of devising the development of digital infrastructure, digital content and capacity building to supervise the e-education needs of both school and higher education. These must be implemented in both letter and spirit in order to reap the rich dividends of digital education.


Topic : Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

3. In view of the pandemic and a truncated Monsoon Session, Parliament has said no to Question Hour and curtailed Zero Hour.  Explain in detail the importance of these two parliamentary tools. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express 

Why the question:

In view of the pandemic and a truncated Monsoon Session, Parliament has said no to Question Hour and curtailed Zero Hour. Thus the context of the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail what the tools are; the Question hour and the zero hour and there significance to the country.

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:

Start with importance of parliamentary tools in general.

Body:

Question Hour is the liveliest hour in Parliament. It is during this one hour that Members of Parliament ask questions of ministers and hold them accountable for the functioning of their ministries. The questions that MPs ask are designed to elicit information and trigger suitable action by ministries.

While Question Hour is strictly regulated, Zero Hour is an Indian parliamentary innovation. The phrase does not find mention in the rules of procedure. The concept of Zero Hour started organically in the first decade of Indian Parliament, when MPs felt the need for raising important constituency and national issues.

Conclusion:

Conclude with their importance.


Introduction:
 Our democracy a parliamentary form of government in which the executive is accountable to the electorate through a legislature which in turn is periodically elected by the electorate. This accountability lies at the heart of democratic government and is implemented through procedures put in place by the legislature whose functions include law making, controlling the national finances and approving taxation proposals, and having discussions on matters of public interest and concern.

Each of these functions is discharged, daily or periodically, during sittings of the legislature and cover questions, Question hour, Zero hour, adjournment motion, calling attention, half-an-hour discussion, motion of no confidence, questions of privilege, etc.

During the current Monsoon session, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats notified that there will be no Question Hour during the Monsoon Session of Parliament, which has been truncated to September 14-October 1 in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, and that Zero Hour will be restricted in both Houses. Opposition MPs have criticised the move, saying they will lose the right to question the government.

Body:

Question Hour:

  • The first hour of every parliamentary sitting is slotted for the Question Hour where Members of Parliament raise questions about any aspect of administrative activity.
  • In a starred question, a member seeks an oral answer from the concerned minister and this can be followed by supplementary questions, whereas in the case of unstarred questions, a written answer is provided, and no supplementary question can be asked.
  • Short notice question is one that is asked by giving a notice of less than ten days. It is answered orally.
  • Ministries receive the questions 15 days in advance so that they can prepare their ministers for Question Hour.
  • The presiding officers of the both Houses (Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha) are the final authority with respect to the conduct of Question Hour.
  • Question Hour is regulated according to parliamentary rules. Question Hour in both Houses is held on all days of the session. But there are two days when an exception is made (Day of President’s address & During Budget presentation).
    Zero Hour:
  • Unlike the question hour, the zero hour is not mentioned in the Rules of Procedure. Thus it is an informal device available to the members of the Parliament to raise matters without any prior notice.
  • The zero hour starts immediately after the question hour and lasts until the agenda for the day (regular business of the House) is taken up.
  • In other words, the time gap between the question hour and the agenda is known as zero hour. It is an Indian innovation in the field of parliamentary procedures and has been in existence since 1962.
  • The concept of Zero Hour started when MPs felt the need for raising important constituency and national issues.

During the current Monsoon session, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats notified that there will be no Question Hour during the Monsoon Session of Parliament, which has been truncated to September 14-October 1 in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, and that Zero Hour will be restricted in both Houses. Opposition MPs have criticised the move, saying they will lose the right to question the government.

This will be the seventh time that question hour will be curtailed. Previously, it was curtailed in 1962 during the Indo-China War, in 1975 and 1976 during the Emergency, and reportedly in 1991, 2004 and 2009.

The importance of Question Hour and Zero Hour:

  • Among these instruments of accountability, the daily ‘Question Hour’ has an unmatched criticality on account of its regularity and its availability on a basis of equality to every Member of the House, Rajya Sabha or Lok Sabha.
  • Question Hour is the liveliest hour in Parliament. It is during this one hour that Members of Parliament ask questions of ministers and hold them accountable for the functioning of their ministries. The questions that MPs ask are designed to elicit information and trigger suitable action by ministries.
  • Over the last 70 years, MPs have successfully used this parliamentary device to shine a light on government functioning. Their questions have exposed financial irregularities and brought data and information regarding government functioning to the public domain. With the broadcasting of Question Hour since 1991, Question Hour has become one the most visible aspects of parliamentary functioning
  • Question Hour and Zero Hour were one of the the cornerstone of democracy and were essential for the existence of parliamentary democracy.
  • It has a special significance in the proceedings of Parliament since it covers every aspect of government activity, domestic and foreign.
  • The government of the day is thus helped to feel the pulse of the nation and give the public a view of the performance of both of its elected representatives and of the Ministers.
  • The Rules of Procedure in both Houses prescribe the operational details. These include, inter alia, the notice period, conditions of admissibility, balloting, and a host of other procedural or regulatory prescriptions.
  • Since questions are generally ‘pointed, specific and confined to one issue only’, they tend to elicit specific information from the government
  • Questions are addressed to a specific Minister of the government and can seek oral answers marked by an asterisk or a written one.
  • The veracity of the answers given are matters of utmost importance and rules permit correction of inaccuracies by the Minister concerned.
  • Copies of answers given are available to Members at the Notice Office before the start of the day’s proceedings as also on the websites.

Way forward:

  • In subsequent sessions, provisions should be made to include the question hour, though albeit in a curtailed manner. But starred questions must be encouraged as the purpose of a Starred Question is to explore the intent and the alleged illegality or procedural lacuna that the government decision in question has sought to camouflage in the form of words and expressions used in the answer.
  • Greater sensitivity to parliamentary and public sentiments could have been displayed by exploring procedural options that would retain the substance if not the complete form of a question hour.
  • To adjust to the circumstances caused by the pandemic, several changes have been made. Parliament is slated to meet for fewer hours – down to four from the earlier six or seven. Immediately when the normalcy returns, the normalcy must be restored to the functioning of parliament including Question Hour Zero Hour.

Conclusion:

The test of a functioning democracy is its ability to face crises — social, economic, political — and seek correctives premised on institutions of democracy. A resort to what has been called ‘the politics of avoidance’ does not help the process. Executive accountability upfront cannot be allowed to become a thing of the past.

 


General Studies – 4


 

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

4. In the backdrop of the recent estimates of growth rates for India, there are concerns that the economic contraction may not be just a transient phenomenon but of an extended slowdown and a slow turnaround. Analyse.  (250 words)

Reference: Financial Express 

Why the question:

According to data released by the National Statistical Office, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of India has shrunk by a record 23.9% in the April to June 2020 quarter in comparison to the same period in 2019.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the nuances of the economic slowdown.

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:

Explain in brief the current situation.

Body:

The contraction reflects the severe impact of the COVID-19 lockdown, as well as the slowdown trend of the economy even pre-COVID-19.

Agriculture was the only sector which recorded a modest growth of 3.4% in year-on-year terms. All other sectors saw a contraction, with the steepest fall of 50% in construction, and the trade, hotels, transport and communication services category shrinking 47%. On the expenditure side, private consumption fell 26.7%, while investments, as reflected by gross fixed capital formation plunged 47%, and exports contracted almost 20%. Government final consumption expenditure grew 16.4%.

Present the associated concerns.

Conclusion:

Conclude with what should be the way forward. 

Introduction:

The economic impact of Covid-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented damage to the global and India is no exception. It is clear that, for the first time in many decades, India’s economy will contract significantly. Moreover, India being a developing economy, the deleterious impact of an economic contraction is long and deep, especially on the poor. There will be a significant impact on the social sphere as well, as much of weaker sections of Indian society may slip back into poverty and unemployment.

Recent observations of impact of Covid-19 on growth rates for India:

According to State Bank of India’s research report – Ecowrap, the following observations were made:

  • All the four quarters of FY21 will exhibit negative real GDP growth and the fall of full-year contraction in growth will likely be in double digits.
  • India’s GDP crashed 9 per cent in Q1 FY21 due to the nationwide lockdown.
  • The contraction will likely be in double digits, which may be around 9 per cent. Q2 real GDP fall will be up to 15 per cent, while the GDP in Q3 will fall up to 10 per cent.
  • It had earlier estimated real gross domestic product (GDP) at (-) 6.8% for the current fiscal.
  • As anticipated private final consumption expenditure (PFCE) growth collapsed as COVID-19 containment measures reduced consumption to mostly essential items. Assuming that it remains at 57% of GDP in nominal terms, India will see at least around 14% decline in PFCE growth in FY21, as against an average of 12% growth for the nine-year period ended FY20
  • The FY21 consolidated fiscal deficit of the Centre and state governments might touch 13 per cent of GDP.

Implications of the above observations:

  • The global economy is expected to experience one of its worst years in history and the Indian economy is expected to contract significantly for the first time in many decades.
  • Economic contraction does not just imply a decrease in GDP numbers but marks a reversal of years of progress.
  • The economic contraction will lead to a significant number among the weaker sections of the society slipping back into poverty.
  • Many enterprises may be forced to shut down.
  • Severe unemployment may lead to wastage of the human resource of an entire generation.
  • The economic contraction and the subsequent shortage of financial resources will adversely impact the state’s ability to feed and educate the children.
  • The impact of an economic contraction would be especially severe on the poor and the vulnerable sections.
  • There is also the underlying sentiment of fear, uncertainty and insecurity prevalent in people, firms and institutions.

Way forward and conclusion:

Policy measures to address this challenge:

  • Direct cash assistance for the poor. Money in the hands of people can provide an immediate sense of security and confidence for the poor.
  • Universalization on ration cards must be priority, so that migrants can return back without fear of food security.

Restoring confidence in the financial system:

  • COVID-19 assistance measures undertaken by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the government such as interest rate reductions, credit guarantee and liquidity enhancement schemes, though are welcome steps but may prove to be ineffective since banks are not confident of lending.
  • The revival of the health of the banking sector must, apart from involving steps such as capital infusion and disinvestment of public sector banks, also involve allowing institutions such as the RBI, public sector banks, bankruptcy boards, securities and insurance regulators to function freely and professionally.

Restoring confidence among investors:

  • Entrepreneurs must feel confident about reopening and making investments.
  • The confidence among people to spend and among bankers to lend will induce confidence in the private sector to reopen and invest.
  • Restoring confidence among businesses with greater access to capital will help them invest and create jobs.
  • Providing credit guarantee schemes for corporates would prove helpful in this direction.

Guarding against hasty decisions:

  • The article argues against knee-jerk reactions such as protection of Indian industry through trade restrictions.
  • This would not be able to catalyse economic activity immediately and also would mark a dangerous reversal of established industrial policy that has generated enormous economic gains over the last three decades.

Ensuring financial resources:

  • Improving capital adequacy of banks and providing credit guarantee schemes for corporates would require significant financial resources.
  • Given that the government is facing a major shortfall in revenues and that new avenues for tax revenues are not feasible in the short term, higher borrowing by the government is inevitable.

Borrow from International Institutions or deficit monetisation by RBI:

  • India must make full use of loan programmes of international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
  • Deficit monetisation by the RBI, which involves printing money, must only be used as the last resort when all other options are exhausted.
  • Our long track record as an impeccable borrower with no default, timely repayments and full transparency make us an ideal borrower for these institutions.

Conclusion:

It is thus imperative to act with utmost urgency to nurse the economy back to good health. The slowdown in economic activity is both a function of external factors such as the lockdown and behavioural changes of people and enterprises, driven by fear. The foundation for reviving our economy is to inject confidence back in the entire ecosystem. People must feel confident about their lives and livelihoods. Entrepreneurs must feel confident of reopening and making investments. Bankers must feel confident about providing capital. Multilateral organisations must feel confident enough to provide funding to India. Sovereign ratings agencies must feel confident about India’s ability to fulfil its financial obligations and restore economic growth.

 

Topic: Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

5. What is Internet Telephony? Discuss its scope in near future in India and challenges related to its increment in India? What is in principle quantum communication? Discuss how its use can be path changing and its misuse may pose greater threats to security? (250 words)

Reference: The Daily Chronicle 

Why the question:

The question is premised on the theme of Internet Telephony.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss what Internet Telephony is and its scope in near future in India and challenges related to its increment in India.

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 understand by Internet Telephony.

Body:

Internet telephony is a type of communications technology that allows voice calls and other telephony services like fax, SMS and other voice-messaging applications to be transmitted using the Internet as a connection medium. Software under this technology is cost-effective and convenient because it allows the user to communicate through fax, voice and video calls anywhere in the world as long as there is an Internet connection.

Then move on to discuss its scope in near future in India and challenges related to its increment in India.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of such technologies in the development of the country.

Introduction:

Internet telephony is a type of communications technology that allows voice calls and other telephony services like fax, SMS and other voice-messaging applications to be transmitted using the Internet as a connection medium.

Scope of Internet Telephony in India:

Cost saving:

  • Internet telephony services offer large cost savings over traditional long-distance and international telephone services. Some Internet telephony companies allow users to make computer-to-computer calls for free to other users of the software, making Internet service the only associated cost.
  • For PC-to-Phone calling, Internet telephony companies generally charge a flat rate well below the costs for similar services using traditional phone service providers. Some companies also provide flat-fee, unlimited calling options for specific regions of the world, which can significantly reduce phone costs for businesses with international branches or for families with a member overseas.
  • Internet telephony services offer large cost savings over traditional long-distance and international telephone services.
  • For PC-to-Phone calling, Internet telephony companies generally charge a flat rate well below the costs for similar services using traditional phone service providers.
  • The above features means considerable cost cutting and considerable in short as well as long distance calling including overseas calling.

Conference Calling:

  • The majority of Internet telephony providers offer a conference calling feature, though the particulars of this feature, such as the total number of participants allowed, vary among providers.
  • This option typically comes as part of the service package for no additional fee, giving it an advantage over traditional phone services.
  • This can be useful for meetings, general meet and greet, educational purposes which have increased considerably during the pandemic.

Portable:

  • Landlines lock the user into a single location to reap the benefits of traditional telephone services. Internet telephony services work anywhere the user finds available broadband access.
  • Rather than assigning service to a specific location, Internet telephony assigns service to a specific account. Whether in Los Angeles or Southeast Asia, the software provides the user with access to the same service features.

Challenges related to Internet Telephony in India:

Reliability:

  • Like mobile phones, Internet telephony suffers from problems like dropped calls and audio distortion.
  • The functionality of Internet telephony hinges on the quality of the broadband connection it uses. Sudden losses in bandwidth availability lead to voice distortion, lag time and abrupt disconnections.
  • Older computers with slower processors and limited RAM (random access memory) may not be able to support Internet telephony calls or may yield substandard call quality.

Limited Emergency Call Support:

  • Emergency services cannot trace Internet telephony calls since the calls do not originate at a physical location. This makes Internet telephony problematic in emergency situations.

Infrastructure and installation costs:

  • Phone service will be only as reliable as your Internet connection. If you have frequent Net outages, one should consider improving your connectivity before using VoIP.
  • Traditional fax machines don’t play well with VoIP, so you might need to keep your existing fax line. Alternatively, one can use a digital fax service to view and print faxes at your computers.
  • There might be a need to upgrade your router. Some routers have QoS (quality of service) features to make sure that voice calls sound clear and undistorted even when there’s a lot of other traffic on the network.

Department of Telecommunications, Government of India (DoT) finally provided its nod to several key recommendations (Recommendations) made by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on the Regulatory Framework for Internet Telephony, The proliferation of internet telephony will help DoT attain its policy objectives of taking telecom services to all corners of the country through deployment of public Wi-Fi hotspots, which will play an important role in the rendition of internet telephony services.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic : Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.

6. Discuss the importance of capacity building in civil services while highlighting the features of newly launched Mission Karma yogi by the government. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express 

Why the question:

Dubbed as the biggest bureaucratic reform initiative, the Union Cabinet Wednesday approved ‘Mission Karmayogi’, a new capacity-building scheme for civil servants aimed at upgrading the post-recruitment training mechanism of the officers and employees at all levels.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the newly launched bureaucratic reform initiative and imply the importance of the capacity building in civil services.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by explaining what you understand by capacity building in civil services.

Body:

Explain why capacity building at every level in civil services is of prime importance.

Talk about the mission – Mission Karmayogi programme will be delivered by setting up a digital platform called iGOTKarmayogi. Empowered with specific role-competencies, a civil servant will be able to ensure efficient service delivery of the highest quality standards, the government said.

The platform will act as a launchpad for the National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building (NPCSCB), which will enable a comprehensive reform of the capacity building apparatus at the individual, institutional and process levels.

Conclusion:

Conclude by highlighting the importance of capacity building to civil services.

Introduction:

The administrative adequacies in a national government have a leading influence on economic and social development. The capacity development of Public administrate remains an essential pre-requisite for successful economic development of the country.

Importance of capacity building in civil services:

  • People first approach.
  • Strategic Thinking in tough circumstances.
  • Team-working, Consultation and Consensus Building.
  • Organizational Awareness about their roles and responsibilities.
  • Improvement of Communication Skills
  • Commitment to the Organization/department.
  • Enhancing one’s own Integrity as well as of the institution.
  • Enhanced Decision Making with Attention to Detail
  • Broad-based professional development of officers across sector to empower them to perform better.
  • Capacity enhancement in key ministries/agencies which are in the forefront of design.
  • Improvement in the overall quality of policy formulation, reform implementation, service delivery
  • Optimal and efficient human resource management of the public sector.
  • Development of high quality advanced and specialized training with international and local expertise and advisory services for capacity building
  • Innovative Thinking, Analytical Thinking and Results Orientation
    In order to achieve the above, to give better service delivery to the citizens of the country with greater efficiency, transparency and accountability, the government has launched Mission Karmyaogi.

Features Mission Karma yogi government:

                It is aimed at building a future-ready civil service with the right attitude, skills and knowledge, aligned to the vision of New India. It aims to prepare Indian civil servants for the future by making them more creative, constructive, imaginative, proactive, innovative, progressive, professional, energetic, transparent, and technology-enabled. Comprehensive reform of the capacity building apparatus at the individual, institutional and process levels for efficient public service delivery.

Mission Karmayogi programme will be delivered by setting up a digital platform called iGOTKarmayogi. Empowered with specific role-competencies, a civil servant will be able to ensure efficient service delivery of the highest quality standards.

The platform will act as a launchpad for the National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building (NPCSCB), which will enable a comprehensive reform of the capacity building apparatus at the individual, institutional and process levels.

NPCSCB will be governed by the Prime Minister’s Human Resource Council, which will also include state Chief Ministers, Union Cabinet ministers and experts. This council will approve and review civil service capacity building programmes.

There will be a Capacity Building Commission, which will include experts in related fields and global professionals. This commission will prepare and monitor annual capacity building plans and audit human resources available in the government.

Conclusion:

                The role of bureaucracy has been very crucial in develop countries. They are directed towards nation building and economic growth, establishment of democracy maintaining the framework of a unified policy as well as the capacity to absorb varied demands, regulate them efficiently and perform the function of efficient delivery of service. Mission Karmayogi tries to further augment the capacity of civil servants while maintaining highest standards of service and ethical values.

 

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. Describe the following terms in your own words:

  1. Confession,
  2. Commitment and.
  3. Rationality

with suitable examples. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics by Lexicon Publications

Why the question:

The question is straightforward and aims to discuss the above mentioned values with suitable examples.

Key Demand of the question:

Describe the above mentioned values with suitable explanation.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Define each of the words.

Body:

Confession:

Confession is when I accept the mistake/wrong I have done. It is the starting point of penance. It is the act that follows after the realization that I have one something immoral. It helps to purify my mind and strengthens my  conscience.

E.g., I confessed to my mother when I had used the money given by her towards the wrong Things.

Commitment:

Commitment is the consistency and strength of a decision concerning something/someone. It depicts clarity and certainty in behaviour with respect to a thing I am committed to. It strengthens my confidence with respect to that thing. E.g. Bhagat Singh’s commitment to independence.

Rationality:

Rationality is a faculty of thinking wherein the prejudices, emotions and other outside influences have no place. It is a scientific approach to things. It helps us see things as it is and not adulterated by subjective opinions. It is the tool to bring objectivity in decision making. This instrument helps us discriminate between right and wrong, good and bad by their merits, E.g., If we think rationally we will never believe in gender bias traditions.

Conclusion:

Conclude with their importance.

  1. Confession:

                A formal statement admitting that one is guilty of a wrong doing or a crime. It involved admission of guilt, feeling sorry towards it and a person desires absolution from the act and make sure that act is not repeated.
Confession can lead to reconciliation which leads to a community that walks and serves together. It can improve inter personal relationships and build trust between individuals and societies.  

A confession is the starting point of ‘let bygones be bygones’ as well as the process of forgiveness which is one of the important virtue which is need to heal and achieve internal peace as well as peace in our world.

Confession requires immense courage. It can be done only the brave and those who to right the wrongs. It is a virtue which cause temporary pain to the person who is wronged but in the long run, it acts as a bridge to improve relations.

A teenage Mohandas was stealing from home. He was overcome with guilt and he resolved never to steal again. But this was not sufficient. He made up his mind to confess his guilt to his father. But he did not dare to speak to him. Not that he was afraid of his father beating him. But he was afraid of the pain that he should cause him. But he felt that there could not be a cleansing without a clean confession.

He wrote a note in which, not only did he confess his guilt, but also asked for adequate punishment for it. He pleaded his father not to punish himself for his offence. In the same note Mohan also pledged never to steal in future. He was trembling as he handed over the note to his father. He read it through and the pearl-drops from his eyes trickled down his cheeks, wetting the paper. For a moment he closed his eyes and then he tore away the note. He forgave Mohan and he never stole again. This is the sort of virtue where to accept a mistake, confess, repent and to resolve not to commit the act again made him Mahatma Gandhi.

Be truly sorry for your sins. The essential act of Penance, on the part of the penitent, is contrition, a clear and decisive rejection of the sin committed, together with a resolution not to commit it again. The resolution to avoid committing these sins in the future (amendment) is a sure sign that your sorrow is genuine and authentic. It all starts with confession.

  1. Commitment:

“Whatever it takes.” Those are words of commitment. Words said by a person with the drive to reach a goal by doing what needs to be done until it is achievedCommitment ethic is a deeply held belief that, once you have agreed to do something, you must do it until it is finished or completed. A strong commitment ethic leads to success. Whether you are a student, an employee or a stay at home mom—you’ve probably set personal goals for yourself. These goals can be reached only when a high enough level of commitment has been made.

During the reign of Madakari Nayaka, the city of Chitradurga was besieged by the troops of Hyder Ali. A chance sighting of a man entering the Chitradurga fort through a hole in the rocks led to a plan by Hyder Ali to send his soldiers through that hole. The Guard had gone home to have his lunch. During his meal he needed some water to drink, so his wife Obavva went to collect water in a pot from a pond which was near the hole in the rocks, halfway up the hill. She noticed the army trying to enter the fort through the hole. She used the Onake or pestle (a wooden long club meant for pounding paddy grains) to kill the soldiers one by one by hitting them on the head and then quietly moving the dead without raising the suspicions of the rest of the troops. Mudda Hanuma, Obavva’s husband, returned from lunch, was shocked to see Obavva standing with a blood stained Onake and several of the enemies’ dead bodies around her. She was later killed in the ensuing battle.

Her commitment to her land and duty is unparalleled, which made her the epitome of courage, dedicate and commitment. Without commitment ethic, what’s to keep us from giving up at the first sign of resistance? Commitment ethic gives us the push we need to power through when all hope seems lost. It’s an inner drive to succeed, even when everything else is seeing to it that we fail.

  1. Rationality: Rationality is the habit of acting by reason, which means in accordance with the facts of reality. The only alternative is acting by whim, which because reality is absolute, will result in undesired consequences. This is because an action based on a belief in a particular cause-effect relationship will not occur if that relationship is invalid.

A second consequence to acting irrationally is that it undermines one’s ability to act rationally in the future. By choosing to act irrationally, you are confessing your lack of trust in your own mind. The more often you do this, the more you will believe what you are practicing. You will accept that the mind is impotent, and that you cannot make the right decisions. This undercuts your ability to live, since reason is man’s means of survival.

Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov was a lieutenant colonel of the Soviet Air Defence Forces who played a key role in the 1983 Soviet nuclear false alarm incident. On 26 September 1983, three weeks after the Soviet military had shot down Korean Air Lines Flight 007, Petrov was the duty officer at the command center for the Oko nuclear early-warning system when the system reported that a missile had been launched from the United States, followed by up to five more. Petrov judged the reports to be a false alarm, and his decision to disobey orders, against Soviet military protocol, is credited with having prevented an erroneous retaliatory nuclear attack on the United States and its NATO allies that could have resulted in a large-scale nuclear war. Investigation later confirmed that the Soviet satellite warning system had indeed malfunctioned. Petrov’s rationality save the world from a global catastrophe.


 

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