Print Friendly, PDF & Email

SECURE SYNOPSIS: 17 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 : Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.

1. Explaining the concept of regionalism, elaborate on the different forms that regionalism has taken in India. (250 words)

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is premised on the concept of regionalism.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the concept of regionalism and elaborate on the different forms that regionalism has taken in India.

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.

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:

Give a brief explanation on the concept of regionalism.

Body:

Regionalism can be defined as a phenomenon in which people’s political loyalties become focused upon a region. In other words, it implies people’s love of a particular region in preference to the country and in certain cases in preference to the state of which the region is a part.

Explain that Regionalism in India is rooted in India’s diversity of languages, cultures, tribes, economic interests etc. It is also encouraged by the geographical concentration of these identity makers in particular regions, and fuelled by a sense of regional deprivation. Indian federalism has been a means of accommodating these regional sentiments such as by formation of new states such as Telangana.

Move on to discuss various forms of regionalism existing in India. Explain why regionalism is often seen to be opposed to national integration.

Conclusion:

Conclude that however, regionalism is not always opposed to national integration. It may also lead to higher intergroup solidarity and induce competition for betterment when certain genuine demands, especially developmental are conceded.

Introduction:

                Regionalism at national level refers to a process in which sub-state actors become increasingly powerful, power devolves from central level to regional governments. These are the regions within country, distinguished in culture, language and other socio-cultural factors.

Body:

The concept of regionalism:

  • To understand regionalism, we need to know various dimensions of the region. Region as a geographical unit, is delimited form each other. Region as a social system, reflects the relation between different human beings and groups. Regions are an organised cooperation in cultural, economic, political or military fields. Region acts as a subject with distinct identity, language, culture and tradition.
  • Regionalism is an ideology and political movement that seeks to advance the causes of regions. As a process it plays role within the nation as well as outside the nation i.e. at international level. Both types of regionalism have different meaning and have positive as well as negative impact on society, polity, diplomacy, economy, security, culture, development, negotiations, etc.
  • At the international level, regionalism refers to transnational cooperation to meet a common goal or to resolve a shared problem or it refers to a group of countries such as-Western Europe, or Southeast Asia, linked by geography, history or economic features. Used in this sense, regionalism refers to attempts to reinforce the links between these countries economic features.

Different forms that regionalism in India:

  • Linguistic Reorganization of States:
    • It was the demand of Potti Sriramulu, a freedom fighter and a devoted follower of Mahatma Gandhi, that led to the creation of Andhra Pradesh state and linguistic recognition of the states in India.
    • To achieve this end, he died in 1952 after not eating for 52 days in support of a Telugu-speaking state. Sriramulu’s death forced Jawahar Lal Nehru to agree to the various demands from other parts of the country with similar demands.
    • Consequently, in 1954, a States Reorganisation Committee was formed with Fazal Ali as its head, which recommended the formation of 16 new states and 3 Union Territories based on the language.
  • Demand for Dravida Nadu:
      • Going back to the journey of Regionalism in India, it is well noticeable that it emerged with Dravidian Movement, which started in Tamil Nadu in 1925. This movement, also known as ‘Self-Respect Movement’ initially focused on empowering Dalits, non-Brahmins, and poor people. Later it stood against imposition of Hindi as sole official language on non-Hindi speaking areas.
      • But it was the demand of carving out their own Dravidastan or Dravida Nadu, which made it a secessionist movement. As early as 1960s the DMK and the Nan Tamil organized a joint campaign throughout Madras state demanding its secession from India and making it an independent sovereign state of Tamiland.
      • DMK proposed that the states of Madras, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Mysore should secede from the Indian union and form an independent “Republic of Dravida Nadu”
  • Telangana Movement:
      • In the years after the formation of Andhra Pradesh state, people of Telangana expressed dissatisfaction over how the agreements and guarantees were implemented. Discontent with the 1956 Gentleman’s agreement intensified in January 1969, when the guarantees that had been agreed on were supposed to lapse/
      • Student agitation for the continuation of the agreement began at Osmania University in Hyderabad and spread to other parts of the region. Government employees and opposition members of the state legislative assembly threatened “direct action” in support of the students. This movement since then finally resulted last year one separate state of Telangana.
      • It should be noted that roots of disparity in two regions was in colonial rule. Andhra was under direct rule of crown while Telangana was ruled by Nizam of Hyderabad, who was not so efficient ruler. So over time Andhra got more developed in comparison to Telangana. 
  • Shiv Sena against Kannadigas:
    • In 1966, Shiv Sena, in Maharashtra, launched its agitation against Kannadigas in the name of Marathi pride. The first targets of its agitation were South Indians who were the workers of Udupi hotels in Mumbai. This agitation was labelled to be a retaliation of the lathi-charge on Marathi speaking people in the border areas. 
  • Bodoland Demand within Assam
    • The Bodo agitation is led by the Assam Bodo Students Union which is demanding a separate state and has resorted to wide scale violence and series of crippling bandhs to pursue their demand.
    • One of the basic reason Assam agitations is because of the expansion of education, particularly higher education, but not industrialization and other job creating institutions is increasing the army of educated youths in the backward regions. These frustrated young men are allured by the movements against the inflow of people from other countries and states.
    • On the other hand these unemployed youths are also attracted by the caste, communal and other sectional agitations fighting for the protection of rights on sectarian lines. 
  • Khalistan Movement:
    • It was during the era of 1980s that Khalistan movement with its aim to create a Sikh homeland, often called Khalistan, cropped up in the Punjab region of India and Pakistan. In fact this demand has also the colours of communalism, as there demand is only for Sikhs.
  • Attacks on Bihar Labourers by the ULFA
    • ULFA continues to attempt ambushes and sporadic attacks on government security forces. In 2003, the ULFA was accused of killing labourers from Bihar in response to molestation and raping of many Assamese girls in a train in Bihar. This incident sparked off anti-Bihar sentiment in Assam, which withered away after some months though.
    • On August 15, 2004, an explosion occurred in Assam in which 10-15 people died, including some school children. This explosion was reportedly carried out by ULFA. The ULFA has obliquely accepted responsibility for the blast. This appears to be the first instance of ULFA admitting to public killings with an incendiary device.
    • In January 2007, the ULFA once again struck in Assam killing approximately 62 Hindi speaking migrant workers mostly from Bihar. On March 15, 2007, ULFA triggered a blast in Guwahati, injuring six persons as it celebrated its ‘army day’.
  • The MNS Targeting North Indians:
    • It was in 2008 that Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers began their violent agitation against North Indians. Bhojpuri films were not allowed to run on theatres in Maharashtra. The targets were vendors and shopkeepers from North India in various parts of Maharashtra. 
  • Inter-State Disputes:
    • Another form of regionalism in India has found expression in the form of interstate disputes. There are disputes boundary disputes for example between Karnataka and Maharashtra on Belgaum where Marathi speaking population is surrounded by Kannada speaking people, between Kerala and Karnataka on Kasargod, between Assam and Nagaland on Rengma reserved forests. There is a dispute over Chandigarh in Punjab and Haryana.
    • The first important dispute regarding the use of water source was over the use of water resources of three rivers mainly Narmada, Krishna and Cauvery in which states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra were involved. Disputes also arose between use of Cauvery waters among the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. Another dispute arose among the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh over the use and distribution of waters of the Krishna River. Disputes between Punjab, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh overt the use of waters of Ravi River. The Electricity sharing issue between Punjab and Delhi is another example of this.
  • Creation of new States in 2000
    • In 2000, the Government of India, pursuant to legislation passed by Parliament during the summer, created three new states, Chhattisgarh, Uttaranchal, and Jharkhand, reconstituting Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, respectively. Both the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress party supported the formation of the states. The basis for creating the new states is socio-political and not linguistic.

Way forward and conclusion:

We have seen how regionalism could be good or bad for a nation as well for group of nations. Constitution of India under Article-19, gives every citizen a fundamental right to move around and settle down peacefully any part of the country.

The need of the hour is to develop each region of India, through devolution of power to local governments and empowering people for their participation in decision-making. The governments at state level need to find out the alternative resources of energy, source of employment for local people, use of technology in governance, planning and for agriculture development.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic : Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

2. Elaborate upon the major provisions of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 and suggest further measures for their empowerment. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

The question is based on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.

Key Demand of the question:

One is expected to explain the major provisions of the rights of persons with disabilities act 2016 and also suggest suitable measures to ensure their rights.

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:

The Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act, 2016 was passed by the Indian Parliament to fulfill its obligation to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), which India ratified in 2007.

Body:

In the answer body discuss the salient provisions:

  • The RPWD Act, 2016, has increased the list of scheduled disabilities to 21 conditions.
  • The Act provides that the appropriate government shall ensure that the PWD enjoys the right to equality, life with dignity, and respect for his or her own integrity equally with others.
  • It is stipulated in Section 3 that no PWD shall be discriminated against on the ground of disability unless it is shown that the impugned act or omission is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim and no person shall be deprived of his personal liberty only on the ground of disability.
  • The Government is to take steps to utilize the capacity of the PWD by providing an appropriate environment. The Act provides for access to inclusive education, vocational training, and self-employment of disabled persons.

Conclusion:

Conclude with suggestions to improvise.

Introduction:

                The World Bank estimates that 15% of the world’s population is affected by one disability or another. Exclusion of disabled persons from the labour market leads to an annual loss of approximately 3-7% of the GDP. According to Census 2011, India is home to 26.8 million people with disabilities and that is a huge underestimation.  

Body:

Major provisions of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016:

  • Disabilities covered:
    • Disability has been defined based on an evolving and dynamic concept.
    • The types of disabilities have been increased from existing 7 to 21 and the Central Government will have the power to add more types of disabilities.
    • Persons with “benchmark disabilities” are defined as those certified to have at least 40 per cent of the disabilities specified above.
  • Rights and entitlements
    • Responsibility has been cast upon the appropriate governments to take effective measures to ensure that the persons with disabilities enjoy their rights equally with others.
    • Additional benefits such as reservation in higher education (not less than 5%), government jobs (not less than 4 %), reservation in allocation of land, poverty alleviation schemes (5% allotment) etc. have been provided for persons with benchmark disabilities and those with high support needs.
    • Every child with benchmark disability between the age group of 6 and 18 years shall have the right to free education.
    • Government funded educational institutions as well as the government recognized institutions will have to provide inclusive education to the children with disabilities.
    • For strengthening the Prime Minister’s Accessible India Campaign, stress has been given to ensure accessibility in public buildings (both Government and private) in a prescribed time-frame.
  • Guardianship
    • The Act provides for grant of guardianship by District Court under which there will be joint decision – making between the guardian and the persons with disabilities.
  • Establishment of Authorities
    • Broad based Central & State Advisory Boards on Disability are to be set up to serve as apex policy making bodies at the Central and State level.
    • Office of Chief Commissioner of Persons with Disabilities has been strengthened who will now be assisted by 2 Commissioners and an Advisory Committee comprising of not more than 11 members drawn from experts in various disabilities.
    • Similarly, the office of State Commissioners of Disabilities has been strengthened who will be assisted by an Advisory Committee comprising of not more than 5 members drawn from experts in various disabilities.
    • The Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities and the State Commissioners will act as regulatory bodies and Grievance Redressal agencies and also monitor implementation of the Act.
    • District level committees will be constituted by the State Governments to address local concerns of PwDs. Details of their constitution and the functions of such committees would be prescribed by the State Governments in the rules.
    • Creation of National and State Fund will be created to provide financial support to the persons with disabilities. The existing National Fund for Persons with Disabilities and the Trust Fund for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities will be subsumed with the National Fund.
  • Penalties for offences
    • The Act provides for penalties for offences committed against persons with disabilities and also violation of the provisions of the new law.
    • Any person who violates provisions of the Act, or any rule or regulation made under it, shall be punishable with imprisonment up to six months and/ or a fine of Rs 10,000, or both. For any subsequent violation, imprisonment of up to two years and/or a fine of Rs 50,000 to Rs five lakh can be awarded.
    • Whoever intentionally insults or intimidates a person with disability, or sexually exploits a woman or child with disability, shall be punishable with imprisonment between six months to five years and fine.
    • Special Courts will be designated in each district to handle cases concerning violation of rights of PwDs.

Shortcomings of the act:

  • The Bill strangely makes the clauses on non-discrimination in employment mandatory only in government establishments.
  • The Bill continues with the 1995 act’s provision of having a chief commissioner and state commissioners. Neither the commissioners nor any of the members of their advisory committees are required to be Persons with Disabilities.
  • Despite a Supreme Court judgment in 2013 that reservations should be decided on the basis of the total number of vacancies in a particular cadre, rather than the posts identified by the government to be filled by persons with benchmark disabilities, the bill has stuck to the latter.
  • Also, like it does for the institutions wanting to be registered as ones for PWDs, the bill does not specify the time frame for a certificate of disability to be issued. This gives PWDs no way to address the trials and tribulations they face when tackling the bureaucracy in receiving what has been their right for years now.
  • The amended bill does define public buildings and public facilities and services towards making such infrastructure accessible to PWDs in a “barrier-free” manner. However, for all the benefits that this bill strives to provide, basic issues of accessibility, including to information and communication technology, and certification of disability remain a distant unfulfilled dream in the absence of any political will.

Way ahead:

  • Although RPWD Act, 2016 is a rights-based legislation, the success of the statute will largely depend on the proactive measures taken by the respective state governments on its implementation.
  • It is time to leverage this vast human capital. It is hoped that the proposed new law, a robust rights-based legislation with a strong institutional mechanism, shall ensure enjoyment of rights by persons with disabilities on an equal basis with the non-disabled citizens of India.
  • Many disability certificates can now be issued by primary health care doctors after specific training, which will be a boon to many disabled patients in rural areas. However, the disability guidelines should have also given the power of certification to the private practising doctors, so that the shortage of human resources could have been taken care of, with adequate checks and balances.
  • Considering the sociocultural prejudices against them, and the inability, rather the refusal, to keep in mind the needs of PWDs, this bill, as was the fate of the 1995 act, will go only so far to ensure for them the rights that should have been a given. Till they are treated as second-class citizens, and not recognised as capable individuals in their own right, India will continue to be an unjust and inequitable society.

Conclusion:

                Until each of us is firmly committed to the idea of implementing the two fundamental changes sketched above, we will continue to live in an environment in which, even as we sing praises of the disabled who achieve success despite the obstacles placed on their path, we do not pause to reflect on what it is that makes it so hard for them to succeed in the first place and what we can do to reverse this state of affairs.

 

Topic : GS-1: Social empowerment,,

GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

3. Industry must use its position to work with all stakeholders in championing and “empowering the greater 50%”. For it is only where women work that economies grow rapidly and countries prosper. Do you agree? Comment. (250 words)

Reference: Hindustan Times 

Why the question:

The article presents to us the correlation between boosting women’s entrepreneurship and economic leadership.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the need to recognise and engage Women leadership more actively to ensure rapid economic growth and sustainable growth of countries.

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:

Women’s representation in leadership positions has been on a rise in recent years, but not enough to close the economic opportunity gap.

Body:

Discuss the disparity function that is evidently seen in the case of India. The disparity is particularly striking in India. It ranks 112 out of 153 countries on the overall Global Gender Gap Index. The Covid-19 pandemic seems to have applied brakes in several areas where workplaces were becoming more diverse as well as areas where access to resources across gender had become more equitable. The pandemic has hit the most vulnerable the hardest, making these disparities worse. Oxfam India has estimated the economic loss from women losing their jobs during this pandemic at nearly $216 billion.

Explain why there is a need to transform challenges into opportunities and accelerate the shift towards both greater inclusion of women in the workforce and women-led entrepreneurship. Give suitable examples.

Quote the efforts of the government in this direction.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Women’s representation in leadership positions has been on a rise in recent years, but not enough to close the economic opportunity gap. The World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Global Gender Gap Report 2020 reveals that it will take almost a century to achieve full parity at the current pace.

Body:

Women work that economies grow rapidly and countries prosper:

  • Closing the gender gap in the workforce could add a staggering $28 trillion to the global GDP.
  • Investment in women’s education and health, and attention to their employment opportunities and empowerment, pays big dividends in terms of economic development.+
  • Global GDP could increase 26 percent by closing the gaps between women and men in the workforce, which would benefit both advanced and developing countries. Even without full parity, countries can increase their economic growth by matching the rate of progress of their region’s fastest-improving country.
  • Women contribute to economic growth and development directly and indirectly. The most direct route is via workforce participation, which boosts production—and thus income, savings, and tax contributions at the household, community, and national levels. The extent of the contribution depends on how many women enter the paid workforce, how many hours they work, and how productive they are. And productivity depends on education, training, and health.
  • A bigger boost to growth: Because women bring new skills to the workplace, the productivity and growth gains from adding women to the labor force (by reducing barriers to women’s participation in the labor force) are larger than previously thought. Indeed, our calibration exercise suggests that, for the bottom half of the countries in our sample in terms of gender inequality, closing the gender gap could increase GDP by an average of 35 percent. Four fifths of these gains come from adding workers to the labor force, but fully one fifth of the gains are due to the gender diversity effect on productivity.
  • Higher productivity: When interpreting past data in situations where the gender gap has been narrowing over time, the contribution to growth from improved efficiency (or total factor productivity gains) is overstated. A portion of the gain attributed to productivity is actually due to the increased participation of women over time.
  • Higher male incomes: Our results suggest that men’s wages will also increase as a result of greater inclusion of women in the labor force since productivity will increase. This is important because these higher wages should strengthen support for removing barriers that hold women back from decent work.

Pandemic and inequalities:

  • COVID-19 is depressing global economic growth and causing mass unemployment, especially among women.
  • Women are more vulnerable, not only because of their jobs, but also because of gender inequalities within housework division, education, and healthcare.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has killed more than 400,000 people worldwide and has generated a massive global economic crisis. The world economy is projected to contract sharply by 3% in 2020 (IMF 2020) and poverty is set to rise for the first time since 1998, bringing 40-60 million people into extreme poverty (World Bank 2020).
  • However, unlike previous economic crises, this crisis will negatively affect women more than men, creating a significant blow for gender equality. Policymakers should step up their efforts to reestablish the path towards a more equal society for men and women.
  • Women are disproportionately represented in poorly paid jobs without benefits, as domestic workers, casual labourers, street vendors, and in small-scale services like hairdressing. The International Labour Organization estimates that nearly 200 million jobs will be lost in the next three months alone – many of them in exactly these sectors.

Way forward:

  • Accelerate women’s entrepreneurship. Currently, women constitute around 14% of the total entrepreneur base in India. We must accelerate both the quantity and quality of entrepreneurship through capacity- building in areas such as branding and marketing as well as facilitate financial and institutional linkages for business support.
  • Increase women in the workforce at all levels of management and leadership. Women account just 14% of leadership roles and 30% of professional and technical workers. We have not made much progress in terms of leadership roles at the chief executive officer (CEO) level. India has the third-lowest rank in the Asia-Pacific in CEO representation (2%), the second-lowest rank for female chief financial officer (CFO) representation (1%). Ranked 23 globally, India’s female representation on boards increased by 4.3% over the past five years to 15.2% in 2019. The global average is 20.6%.
  • Empowerment of women at the micro-enterprise and grassroots levels. Women-owned enterprises can generate over 50–60 million jobs by 2030. Financial reforms must come with a gender lens as micro-enterprises led by women face specific issues that require interventions such as digital and financial literacy programmes, handholding for reliable market access, and a greater network of Self Help Groups (SHGs).
  • In the 2019 Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs, India ranked 52 among the 58 countries. We must aim to be in the top 10 over the next few years. There are some developing economies which are already are outperforming their more developed counterparts. Women business-owners as a percentage of all businesses account for 38.2%, 37.9% and 36% respectively in Uganda, Ghana and Botswana. With equal access to education, health and financial resources, there is no reason why India cannot reach one of the highest levels of women’s entrepreneurship.

Conclusion:

                The road ahead is not easy, and the pandemic has not been gender-neutral. Long -existing inequalities and social disparities have sharpened on gender lines and in access to resources including food, education and health care. Industry must use its position to work with all stakeholders in championing and “empowering the greater 50%”. For it is only where women work that economies grow rapidly and countries prosper.

 

Topic : GS-2: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

GS-3: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

4. Explaining the importance of skill development for India, highlight the challenges related to it. What steps have been taken by the government in this regard? (250 words)

Reference: Hindustan Times 

Why the question:

The article highlights the distress that India witnessed amidst this pandemic with respect to jobs and economy.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the importance of skill development in India and bring out the challenges associated to it. Also, highlight the efforts of the government in this direction.

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:

Introduce by highlighting the current situation of skill development in India.

Body:

India is facing a paradoxical situation where on the one hand, young men and women entering the labour market are looking for employment, while on the other hand, industries are complaining about unavailability of appropriately skilled manpower. This makes skill development in India imperative to impart marketable skills to labour force.

Explain the importance of skill development for India.

Discuss the challenges related to skill development.

Mention the steps taken by the government in this regard.

Conclusion:

Conclude that as India seeks to become a leading global economy, it needs to equip its workforce with employable skills and knowledge matching international standards to make India a developed economy.

Introduction:

Skill Development can be defined as proficiency that is acquired or developed through training or experience. It strengthens the ability of individuals to adapt to changing market demands and help benefit from innovation and entrepreneurial activities. Skill building could also be seen as an instrument to empower the individual and improve his/her social acceptance or value. At national level, the future prosperity of any country depends ultimately on the number of persons in employment and how productive they are at work.  Skilled human resource is essential for inclusive growth. Hence, skill development can be connected to a broader growth, employment and development mandating government interventions.

Body:

Current scenario in India:

  • According to the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) 2018, the unemployment rate among the urban 15-29-years-old was 23.7%.
  • This pervasive joblessness is mainly due to the poor training of the youth as only 7% of the people surveyed in the framework of the PLFS declared any formal or informal training.
  • The current data suggest that only 2.3% of the workforce in India has undergone formal skill training as compared to 68% in the UK, 75% in Germany, 52% in the USA, 80% in Japan and 96% in South Korea.
  • On the other hand, according to a recent survey, 48% of Indian employers reported difficulties filling job vacancies due to skill shortage.
  • The CMIE reports show that the more educated Indians are, the more likely they are to remain unemployed too. The last PLFS for 2018 revealed that 33% of the formally trained 15-29-year-olds were jobless.

Importance of Skill development for India:

  • The skilled workforce is crucial for the success of recently launched missions –Make in India, Digital India, and Smart Cities.
  • Demographic Dividend: With most of the major economies of world having sizeable ageing population, India has huge opportunity of serving the booming market. The ‘demographic window’ is only a span of few decades. The skilled youth is required to save demographic dividend from becoming demographic disaster.
  • Slowdown in China – an opportunity: With China gradually vacating its factories, with rising Chinese wages and an appreciating Yuan, and also with internal demographic challenge of too few young people, India has an opportunity to become a factory of the world.
  • Sectoral mobilization: Less number of people will be required to work in farming as productivity improves. This would result in sectoral mobilization   of   workforce   from   agriculture   to secondary and tertiary activities.
  • Better Employment: Skills are needed to those currently in colleges for them to be better employed.
  • Skill Capital of World: To convert this vision into reality, India needs to create a skilled and productive workforce matching international standards of quality and productivity through integration of skills and training along with education.

Initiatives undertaken to strengthen skill development:

  • “Skill India” programme, that aims to train a minimum of 300 million skilled people by the year 2022.
  • The National Skill Development Mission was launched to provide strong institutional framework at the Centre and States for implementation of skilling activities in the country.
  • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), a dimension of skill India, under which the training fees were paid by the government.
  • A ‘Skill Loan’ initiative was launched in which loans from Rest 5,000-1.5 lakhs will be available to whom who seek to attend skill development programmes, over the next five years. The idea is to remove financial constraints as a hindrance to accessing skill training programmes
  • National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, 2015: The Policy acknowledges the need for an effective roadmap for promotion of entrepreneurship as the key to a successful skills strategy. The Vision of the Policy is “to create an ecosystem of empowerment by Skilling on a large Scale at Speed with high Standards and to promote a culture of innovation based entrepreneurship which can generate wealth and employment so as to ensure Sustainable livelihoods for all citizens in the country”.
  • In 2014, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship was created to harmonise training processes, assessments, certification and outcomes and, crucially, to develop Industrial Training Institutions (ITIs) — the building blocks of this endeavour.
  • Apprenticeship Protsahan Yojana: It is a major initiative to revamp the Apprenticeship Scheme in India.
  • Deen Dayal Upadhyaya –Grameen Kaushal Yojana: The Ministry of Rural Development implements DDU-GKY to drive the national agenda for inclusive growth, by developing skills and productive capacity of the rural youth from poor families.
  • Nia Manzil for education and skill development of dropouts;
  • USTTAD (Upgrading Skills and Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development) to conserve traditional arts/crafts and build capacity of traditional artisans and craftsmen belonging to minority communities.
  • Nai Roshni, a leadership training   programme   for minority
  • MANAS for   upgrading entrepreneurial skills of minority youth.

Other measures which needs to be taken:

  • Improving the labour market information system where emerging demand for skills are spotted quickly and the necessary training and certifications for the same are created.
  • Quick improvements in public-private partnership in capturing demand for skills and following through with quick investments in skill-building to match demand with supply.
  • Jobs and skills planning should be decentralized and it has to be done at state and district levels, where there is granular information on education, skills and job options.
  • Implementing a new model of manufacturing which is high-skilled, and where high-end cottage manufacturing can create employment at the small scale level.
  • If urbanization is good and well planned, then job growth will be positive. Government should concentrate on the development of towns and narrow areas and service it with good infrastructure to generate employment alongside development.
  • If government starts spending on public goods (schools, hospitals, dams, roads etc.) instead of spending on freebies (deep subsidies on food, farm loan waivers etc.) the capacity of government to create employment increases.

Conclusion:

India needs a new strategy to counter the phenomena of jobless growth. This requires manufacturing sector to play a dominant role. The focus of economic policy must be the creation of jobs and creating an enabling policy for youth to take up entrepreneurship and create more jobs in the market. India does not need five companies worth 5000 crores turnover but needs 5000 companies of 5 crore turnover.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic : Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

5. ” Conservation of soil biodiversity, soil organic carbon through sustainable farming practices should be deemed essential to improve agricultural land health and productivity” Discuss. (250 words)

Reference: Down to Earth 

Why the question:

The article brings to us special highlights of the correlation between enhanced food security and soil biodiversity in the country.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the significance of conservation of soil biodiversity soil organic carbon through sustainable farming practices and how their essential to improve agricultural land health and productivity.

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 with some key facts that justify the question statement and bring to us the ground picture of agricultural systems currently in the country.             

Body:

Explain that Soil needs to be considered as an ecological system and a finite resource. Conservation of soil biodiversity and soil organic carbon (SOC) through sustainable farming practices should be deemed essential to improve upon agricultural land health and productivity.

Improved soil biodiversity is closely correlated with an increase in carbon stored in soil, for it sequesters organic carbon and is a natural carbon sink. It is, therefore, imperative in reducing GHG emissions.

The global carbon (C) cycle includes a significant C stock in terrestrial soils, including agricultural soils. Global land and soil degradation is strongly linked to the depletion of this stock.

Establish the link between conservation of soil with food security. Discuss the efforts of the government in this direction.

Conclusion:

It is hoped that future policy will support the farming and conservation community to work together in feeding the world whilst at the same time promoting sustainable, viable and applicable agro ecological practices towards sequestering carbon and conserving the rich diversity of life on the planet.

Introduction:

Soil organic carbon (SOC) comes from plants, animals, microbes, leaves and wood, mostly found in the first metre or so. There are many conditions and processes that determine changes to SOC content including temperature, rainfall, vegetation, soil management and land-use change.

In the presence of climate change, land degradation and biodiversity loss, soils have become one of the most vulnerable resources in the world. Soils are a major carbon reservoir containing more carbon than the atmosphere and terrestrial vegetation combined.

Body:

Soil organic carbon (SOC) is dynamic, however, and anthropogenic impacts on soil can turn it into either a net sink or a net source of GHGs. After carbon enters the soil in the form of organic material from soil fauna and flora, it can persist in the soil for decades, centuries or even millennia. Eventually, SOC can be lost as CO2 or CH4 emitted back into the atmosphere, eroded soil material, or dissolved organic carbon washed into rivers and oceans.

The dynamics of these processes highlight the importance of quantifying global carbon fluxes to ensure maximum benefits of SOC to human well-being, food production, and water and climate regulation. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) provides guidelines for measuring, reporting and verifying national SOC stock inventories.

  • Significant carbon pools on earth are found in the earth’s crust, oceans, atmosphere and land-based ecosystems. Soils contain roughly 2,344 Gt (1 gigatonne = 1 billion tonnes) of organic carbon, making this the largest terrestrial pool.
  • Organic matter makes up just 2–10% of the soils mass but has a critical role in the physical, chemical and biological function of agricultural soils. Carbon is a measureable component of soil organic matter.
  • Soil organic matter (SOM) is mainly composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen but also has small amounts of nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorous, sulphur, potassium, calcium and magnesium contained within organic residues.
  • Organic matter contributes to nutrient turnover, soil structure, moisture retention and availability, degradation of pollutants, greenhouse gas emissions and soil buffering.
  • It is divided into ‘living’ and ‘dead’ components and can range from very recent inputs such as stubble to largely decayed materials that are thousands of years old.
  • Storing the carbon contained in organic matter within the soil is seen as one way to mitigate climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions (in this case carbon dioxide) but to do this an increase in the more stable or resistant fractions of organic matter is required.

Role of SOC in Human Well-being:

  • Achieving the SDGs:
    • As an indicator for soil health, SOC is important for its contributions to food production, mitigation and adaptation to climate change. Maintaining SOC storage at equilibrium or increasing SOC content towards the optimal level for the local environment can contribute to achieving the SDGs.
  • SOC and biodiversity:
    • SOC improves soil structural stability by promoting aggregate formation which, together with porosity, ensures sufficient aeration and water infiltration to support plant growth.
    • The amount and quality of SOM (and consequently SOC) determines the number and activity of soil biota that interact with plant roots.
    • SOC influences water holding capacity and porosity of the soil.
    • With an optimal amount of SOC, the water filtration capacity of soils further supports the supply of clean water.
    • Through accelerated SOC mineralization, soils can be a substantial source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions into the atmosphere.

Climate change effects on SOC:

  • Temperature and precipitation are the most significant factors controlling SOC dynamics.
  • Although the overall impact of climate change on SOC stocks is very variable according to the region and soil type, rising temperatures and increased frequency of extreme events are likely to lead to increased SOC losses.
  • SOC hot-spots, which are respectively areas of high SOC, content (e.g. peatlands , black soils, permafrost lands, grasslands and forest soils) and large surface areas of low SOC content (e.g. drylands) constitute major zones of concern. With climate change and unsustainable management, these areas are likely to become net sources of GHG emissions.
  • However, if managed wisely, they have the potential to sequester large amounts of carbon in their soils, thus contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation.

SOC management to improve agricultural land health and productivity:

  • Climate change mitigation refers to efforts aimed at restraining, halting and/or reversing climate change through management strategies, behavioural changes and technological innovations that reduce the emission of GHGs.
  • Climate change adaptation, on the other hand, refers to efforts aimed at achieving higher resilience towards unprecedented climatic events and conditions. It implies the anticipation of climate change and its adverse effects, and strives to manage them through appropriate actions that minimize the associated risks and negative impacts.

Way forward:

  • Given that the Local techniques can contribute to relieving a range of challenges, State-level policy makers need to understand better the successes on the ground in India’s different agro-climatic zones.
  • They also need to identify what kinds of support are needed by farmers with small holdings to transition from existing practices.
  • Not paying attention to the successes of our own farmers has partly contributed to the agrarian crisis the country now faces.
  • India’s population will continue to increase through at least the middle of the century and we need to be able to grow more food, grown in less land and in more severe weather conditions. We should not ignore our own farmers’ successes at our own peril.
  • The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture in its 2016 report in fact recommended “revision of the existing fertiliser subsidy policy and promotion of organic fertilizers”.
  • The government has been promoting a Soil Health Card scheme to measure the health of the soils in different parts of the country and in each farm. There is little policy support for natural farming and the alternatives.
  • The ability of soils to sequester carbon is a win-win strategy for farmers, people and for climate change and it is time we stopped ignoring these at the policy levels. 

Conclusion:

It is hoped that future policy will support the farming and conservation community to work together in feeding the world whilst at the same time promoting sustainable, viable and applicable agroecological practices towards sequestering carbon and conserving the rich diversity of life on the planet.

 


General Studies – 4


 

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.

6. Discuss the differences and similarities between values and virtues. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon publications

Why the question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper IV.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the differences and similarities between values and virtues.

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 defining what you understand by values and virtues.

Body:

Values are the principles and fundamental convictions which act as general guides to behavior, the standards by which particular actions are judged as good or desirable. A value is something related to a particular culture that is known as culturally accepted norms.

Individual cultures emphasize values their members share extensively. Public values are defined as those values that provide normative consensus about:

(1)  The rights, benefits, and prerogatives to which citizens should (and should not) be entitled;

(2) The obligations of citizens to society, the state, and one another; and

 (3) The principles upon which governments and policies must be based.

Explain in detail how each of them is shaped by a variety of factors that influence them.

Conclusion:

Conclude that thus values and virtues are distinctly different in terms of what they reflect: values reflect what is accepted by cultures while virtues reflect characteristics of a human being in terms of his/her morals.

Introduction:

Virtues and values are commonly treated as synonyms, but there is a distinction — virtues are lived values, values in action, values which are achieved on a dependably regular basis, while values by themselves are ideals or goals which tend to be more aspirational and not uncommonly fail to be achieved on as regular a basis as desired.

Body:

Values are primarily aspirational and that the real goal is to realize values, to make them virtues, by living them in our daily lives on a consistently regular basis.

As but one example, honesty is a cherished value, but not everyone is as honest as might be desired. Many people and indeed all of society may claim honesty as one of their values even as they themselves and others may too frequently find themselves being less than fully honest. Meanwhile, particular individuals or groups may be notable for their possession of the virtue of honesty — the much-repeated experience people have had with them where they were by and large honest far more often than not.

We can all value honesty, but not all of us will possess the virtue of honesty, to be honest consistently over time with everyone we interact with.

Value and virtue both refer to the same thing — beliefs, principles, ideals, qualities, traits, properties, attributes, expectations, or characteristics of individuals or groups that are highly-valued, desired, admired, and prized in society, but the key distinction is that values are aspirational expectations, ideals or goals that are not always achieved, while virtues are those principles or qualities that have actually been achieved and can be directly observed and experienced in the here and now.
The words virtue and value both tend to relate to ethics and morals however both words relate to morals and ethics in two different ways. Virtue is defined as a type of moral excellence or beneficial quality while value is defined as the standard of conduct. The ethics of virtue primary focuses on the inherent character of a person instead of focusing on the specific actions that the person performs.

The ethics of value are known as the standard of worth that we measure the goodness in our lives. The relation between the two words can be seen because you can not have one without the other. Virtues are merely abstract means to concrete ends” and the concrete ends they are taking about are values. The relationship between means and ends as well as the principles and practice is most times a difficult relationship to understand. The problem is that many people have a hard time trying t the connection between abstract principles and what has value.

Conclusion:

Values are more the theory, while virtues are more the reality. Values are in principle, while virtues are conformity with principle. That said, traditionally what we consider values today were commonly referred to as virtues in past centuries (and millennia.) As in the proverbial cardinal virtues.

 

Topic : Case Study

7. You are a doctor in a government hospital. One of your lady friends got married in very rich and influential family. However, with passage of time you came to know that the family is very conservative as she visited you to seek your help in determining sex of the child at fetus stage. As her in-laws want a boy child to act as inheritor of the family. They have also ordered to abort the child if it is girl. Later her in-laws insisted hard and connected the doctor with the health minister on mobile phone. The minister said the doctor to help them in all possible manners without saying anything about the issue at hand. Thus reporting about the issue to police is waste.

Answer the following questions:

(a) What are the ethical dilemmas in the above case?

(b) Do you think that your moral obligation also demands to help your friend? (250 words)

Why the question:

Case study based.

Key Demand of the question:

The question is based on the ethical issue concerning the determination of sex of the fetus.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Discuss about the context of the question first.

Body:

Sex ratio, an important social indicator measuring extent of prevailing equity between males and females in a society, is defined as number of females per 1000 males. Changes in sex ratio reflect underlying socio-economic and cultural patterns of a society. The family is well educated and affluent and then also they are moving for this test in lieu for male child. Also in the above case doctor is being persuaded or ordered to go for sex selective test by the Health Minister.

The ethical dilemma will be whether to follow the medical and moral duty of saving a fetus or saving the friend in need from the pressure of her in-laws by accepting their demands or follow the orders of the seniors.

Discuss the case involved – ethical dilemma and how as an ethical doctor you would do your duty.

Conclusion:

Conclude by justifying your stand.

Introduction:

                The challenge of gender is long-standing, probably going back millennia, so all stakeholders are collectively responsible for its resolution. India must confront the societal preference, even meta-preference for a son, which appears inoculated to development. The skewed sex ratio in favor of males led to the identification of “missing” women. But there may be a meta-preference manifesting itself in fertility stopping rules contingent on the sex of the last child, which notionally creates “unwanted” girls, estimated at about 21 million.

Stakeholders involved:

  • My friend as person who is being forced to undergo abortion
  • The family of my friend who is forcing her
  • The doctor in-charge of the procedure
  • Health minister who is complicit on the act
  • The law. As going through with it is violation of PC-PNDT act, 1994.
  • Myself as a doctor and as well as friend
  1. What are the ethical dilemmas in the above case:
  • The conflict of Professional duty as a doctor and personal friendship.
  • The dilemma of preventing going through the sex determination test.
  • The dilemma on the part of the other doctor in preventing an illegal and unethical act of abortion or coming in disobeying the diktat of health minister.
  • Conflict between keeping the matter under wraps and reporting it to the relevant authorities if they family insist of doing something illegal.

  (b)        When we look at the facts of the case closely, the lady is a friend who is under considerable familial pressure to do an illegal act. That act will not only put her in legal trouble but also may put her life in danger. Also, it involves coercion of the doctor from the health minister which the abuse of authority to do something inhumane, unethical and act which will result in the loss of an unborn life.

I am definitely in moral obligation to help my friend but I am also under legal obligation to report such act as well ethical obligation under medical ethics to prevent such act from happening.

Firstly, I would counsel my friend that her agreement with her in-laws will get them all under legal trouble and moreover it is a sin to take the life of an unborn fetus. If they do not agree to abandon their immoral pursuit, I would tell them I would be reporting the matter of the police.

Next, I would talk to the duty doctor not to cave in to the pressure of the health minister as he would be the one accountable if any inquiry happens. We would apprise of the matter to District Health Officer and tell him the action we took. If the minister further tries to put pressure on us, I would remind him he would be contravening the PC-PNDT act 1994 and he could also be in trouble if the word gets out in the media as he is the health minister.

After that, I would follow up on the matter. I would like to keep in touch with my friend to see that they are employing any other ways to circumvent the law especially in any illegal clinics for sex determination and abortion.

Finally, the root of this problem is prevailing patriarchal mindset and lack of awareness. I would refer my friend and her husband to family counselling so that they can understand the importance of girl child and the bad effects of breaking the law. I would encourage them to spread the message to her in-laws as well.

Conclusion:

                The girls in this country have been victims in the womb as well as outside it. It is been going since time immemorial. It is vital for us to remaining vigilant, follow and respect the law of the land. We have no right to terminate the life of fetus on account that it is a girl. It is a sin – morally, It is crime – legally and an absolute wrong act – ethically. It time to go beyond “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” and celebrate the birth of girl child, because they can do wonders to our society, country and the world.


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