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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 21 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 : population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

1. Up to what extent India’s rural region will play a crucial role in fuelling India’s economic growth? Critically analyse. (250 words)

Reference: Economic Times

Why the question:

The question is amidst the current pandemic situation and the possible role that extent India’s rural region will play in fuelling India’s economic growth.

Key Demand of the question:

Analyse in detail to what extent India’s rural region will play a crucial role in fuelling India’s economic growth.

Directive:

Critically analyze – When asked to analyse, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgment.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

       Start your intro briefly by giving data rural population in india.67% population in India is rural population.

Body:

Divide body in three parts under different subheads:

  1. Discuss what role India rural region can plays in India’s economic growth. Like, 70% of human resource is in rural region which can be converted into human capital, Food processing industries, tourism, prevent rural urban migration, etc.
  2. Discuss the present challenges faced by rural regions. For eg. Lack of basic infrastructure like connectivity, education, health, energy, etc., migration of human capital, weak administration in terms of khap panchayat, lack of policies, patriarchal mindset, etc. And link due to the above reasons India’s rural regions are not being able to fuel growth as much as they can.
  3. Give discussion on solutions such as strengthening infrastructure, emphasis on industries like food processing, tourism, and other labour intensive industries, skill development, employment opportunities, etc.

Conclusion:

In conclusion mention the initiatives and other steps taken by the government in this regard such as sabka sath sabka vikas, etc.

Introduction:

With rainfall comes hope, especially in rural areas and agriculture belts. And as the Covid-19 pandemic brutalises the country’s economy and paralyses its urban growth centres, a faint glimmer of light arises from rural India — often referred to as Bharat. Economists and corporate honchoes are on the same page: the panacea for the growth problem is likely to come from Bharat as India limps back to normalcy.

Body:

India’s rural economy, which went through a few tough years brought on by low food prices and anemic wage growth, is set to be the bright spot in an otherwise recessionary environment in 2020-21. While higher output and improved prices of food commodities will help, the outlook for rural wages remains uncertain.

Prospects of Agriculture:

  • High frequency indicators available for the rural economy are suggesting stable conditions with good rainfall likely to boost output.
  • Cumulative rainfall between June 1 and July 9 was 13% higher than the long period average, according to data by the Indian Meteorological Department.
  • Area sown under kharif crops rose by 88.2% to 432.97 lakh hectares as on July 3. To be sure, la: year sowing was delayed due to late rains.
  • All these factors bode well for output. In addition, farm prices have improved compared to previc years. Food and beverage inflation rose by 7.4% in May, according to government data.
  • Based on estimates of nominal agricultural GDP and the momentum of volume growth and inflation, farm income is estimated to grow by about 10-11% in the financial year ending March 2021.
  • Incremental agricultural GDP is estimated to increase by over Rs 3.4 lakh crore in FY21 and by Rs 3.3 lakh crore in FY20 compared to an increase of Rs 1.3 lakh crore in FY19.

Government Spending Support:

  • The rural economy is also likely to benefit from stronger support to employment and increased government spending. The flagship employment guarantee scheme is providing employment in rural areas even as this support is missing in urban areas. The budget for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme has been raised to Rs 1 lakh crore due to the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 crisis.
  • The government has front-loaded spending across other rural ministries too. According to a research note by Kotak Institutional Equities, the government expenditure for major rural-focused ministries rose by 109% year-on-year for the first two months of the ongoing financial year.
  • This trend to may continue for most of FY21 as the government aims at providing support to marginal sections and is reaffirmed through its extension of the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana for another five months at a cost of Rs 90,000 crore.
  • A stronger rabi output, likelihood of a normal monsoon and higher kharif output is expected to underpin rural spending.
  • Amending the Essential Commodities Act, formation of a central law for agricultural produce marketing to remove inter-state restrictions could also prove to be game-changers for the sector.

Impediments to rural growth:

  • While a number of rural economic indicators have improved, uncertainty remains about rural wage growth, which has been depressed for some time.
  • The outlook for rural wage growth could be dimmer than in the pre-pandemic world. Rural wage growth was already feeble and an influx of migrants back to rural areas could push down wage growth once again.
  • Notwithstanding a temporary uptick, rural wages may not rise sustainably – increased MGNREGA outlays don’t seem enough, construction-led employment may remain weak, and rising rural indebtedness could hurt.
  • Both rural and urban wages are driven by economic growth. HSBC expects India’s post-pandemic potential growth to fall by 1 percentage point to 5%. This does not bode well for wage growth.
  • It is possible that rural wages could tick up a shade temporarily. Sowing in the current season has been strong, requiring more hands on the ground. But our deeper investigation above suggests that rural wages may not rise sustainably once the current agricultural season is over, meaning ‘aspirational’ labourers will want to return to their urban jobs.
  • The Union government has announced measures to improve agricultural marketing.But the results of those depend on implementation by states. There has to be more rural reforms, including land. Rural India can provide a growth stimulus, but not as a substitute for urban, which will revive in due course.
  • An economic resurgence in rural India can have a downside too. If farmers end up producing plenty, it thereby disrupt the demand-supply equilibrium. Prices of agriculture products will fall sharply, impacting the farmers themselves.

Way forward and conclusion:

  • About half of the national income and more than two third of the total employment is generated in rural areas. Apart from producing almost all agricultural output, rural areas contributes about half of the manufacturing and construction sectors output and one quarter of the services sectors output in the country. The rural areas are characterized with the low level and wide disparity in worker productivity.
  • The lack of required skills and technical knowledge are the main barrier for rural workers to enter manufacturing sector. Setting up of industries and improvement in infrastructure are the necessary but not sufficient conditions for increasing rural employment which require effective human resources development programmes to impart necessary skills and training to rural youth to match the job requirement in manufacturing sector.
  • Services sector has played a major role in structural transformation of Indian economy but its achievements during the recent years were mainly concentrated towards urban areas. This sector in rural areas witnessed deceleration in output as well as employment after 2004-05. An important reason for this is increased reliance of rural consumers on service providers located in urban areas. Rural areas have comparative advantage in services like post-harvest value addition, on farm storage, primary processing, grading etc.
  • Linking processing to production through efficient value chain, contract farming and direct linkage between factory and farm offers considerable scope for rural employment generation as well as raising farmers income. Overall, transformation of rural economy must include strong measures for employment generation and shifting workers out of conventional agricultural activities.
  • In the wake of capital intensive production preferred by manufacturing sector and anticipated threats to jobs posed by emerging technological innovations like new automation, artificial intelligence, IOT, robotics etc. there is a need for a rethink on pursuing traditional development approach of shifting workforce from agriculture to manufacturing and services.
  • India should explore possibilities of creating blue collar jobs in and around agriculture. This also looks desirable as withdrawal of labour from agriculture has already started affecting some farm activities and farmers income adversely and there is serious shortage of skilled workers in agriculture needed for specialised operations and adoption of modern technology.

   

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

2. Examine the salient features of the Indian independence act (1947) relating to the transfer of power. (250 words)

Reference: Struggle for India’s Independence by Bipin Chandra

Why the question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper I and aims to analyse the Indian independence act (1947) relating to the transfer of power.

Key Demand of the question:

Answer should direct provisions which explain transfer of power.

Directive:

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must 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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Write introductory lines on why and what led to passage of act.

Body:

Write important provisions which are related to transfer of power. For instance it ended the British rule in India and declared India as an independent and sovereign state from August 15, 1947. It abolished the office of viceroy, abolished the office of the secretary of state for India etc.

It aimed to empower India to legislate for the territory till the new constitutions were drafted and enforced.

Conclusion:

Conclude with optimistic lines that Independence Act of 1947 represents sacrifice and struggle of national leaders, peasants, women and children. It was a hard earned gift given to us by our freedom forefathers.

Introduction:

The Indian Independence Act, 1947, crucial because it enabled the transfer of power from the Crown to India in an amicable manner, was passed in British Parliament on July 5 that year, and received royal assent on July 18. A plan was formulated to split the British Indian colonies into India and Pakistan by Viceroy of India Lord Louis Mountbatten and Prime Minister of Britain Clement Attlee on June 3, 1947, after consultations with the main stakeholders — Indian National Congress, the Muslim League and representatives of the Sikh community.

Body:

Salient features of Indian Independence Act 1947 are:

  • The Indian Independence Act was based upon the Mountbatten plan of 3rd June 1947 and was passed by the British parliament in 1947.
  • It provided for two dominion states : India and Pakistan
  • The boundaries between the two dominion states were to be determined by a Boundary Commission which was headed by Sir Cyril Radcliff.
  • It provided for partition of Punjab & Bengal and separate boundary commissions to demarcate the boundaries between them.
  • Pakistan was to comprise the West Punjab, East Bengal, Territories of the Sind, North West frontier provinces, Sylhet divisions of Assam, Bhawalpur, khairpur, Baluchistan and 8 other princely states of Baluchistan.
  • The authority of the British Crown over the princely states ceased and they were free to join either India or Pakistan or remain independent.
  • Both the dominions of India and Pakistan were to have Governor Generals to be appointed by the British King. The act also provided for a common Governor General if both of them agreed.
  • The constituent assemblies of both the states were free to make constitutions of their respective countries.
  • For the time being till the constitution was made, both of them would be governed in accordance with the Government of India act 1935.
  • British Government would not continue any control on any dominion.
  • The Governor general was invested with adequate powers until March 1948 to issue orders for effective implementation of the provisions of the Indian independence act 1947
  • Those civil servants who had been appointed before the August 15, 1947, will continue in service with same privileges.
  • The Constituent Assemblies also had the power to repeal any Act of the British Parliament

Evaluation of the features of act:

  • Hastened act:the lack of clarity on the border still has its repercussions today with constant tussle between India and Pakistan. The same is the case with border on Chinese side.
  • Jammu and Kashmir question:Jammu and Kashmir has been the bone of contention even today.
  • Rise in communal feeling:Another unforeseen consequence of Partition was that Pakistan’s population ended up more religiously homogeneous than originally anticipated.
  • Suspicion: Indian Muslims are frequently suspected of harbouring loyalties towards Pakistan; non-Muslim minorities in Pakistan are increasingly vulnerable thanks to the so-called Islamisation of life there since the 1980s.

Conclusion:

Seven decades on, well over a billion people still live in the shadow of Partition. Thus, post-partition fragmented identities strengthened and much celebrated value of tolerance and acceptance appears to have weakened disturbing social harmony in the country. Exploitation of religious sentiments for political gains has further polarized the society.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic : federalism

3.  India’s response to Covid-19 reflects the power, problems, potential of federalism”, do you agree? Analyse. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express 

Why the question:

The article presents to us in detail the challenges that the current covid-19 pandemic has posed on Indian federalism.

Key Demand of the question:

Analyse in detail the statement in question, discuss the concerns involved and suggest solutions to address the same.

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:

Briefly present the background of the question.

Body:

One has to explain in the answer body as to how the experience offers an opportunity to revisit the recent debate around the federal organisation of powers under the Constitution’s Seventh Schedule.

Discuss how response to Covid-19 shows carving out roles through consensus can address challenges to federal governance.

Explain with examples as to what can be done.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

India’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the balance of its federal structure. The pandemic has enabled the central government to implement far-reaching reforms in areas, such as agriculture, traditionally considered to be the domain of states. This exercise by the central government is indicative of its willingness to take advantage of a global crisis and use the levers of federal power to implement significant reforms. It also indicates that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the constitutional structure of India’s federalism is less relevant to the actual relationship between India’s national and state governments.

Body:

India’s constitution lays out a detailed scheme for the separation of powers between the centre and the states, albeit with a unitary bias. The constitutionally mandated Finance Commission recommends the division of revenues between the centre and the states, with the centre traditionally retaining a significant majority of the pool. But the specific contours of this relationship have changed over time — for example, with the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax.

These changes have sometimes come as a function of the raw assertion of political power from the centre. At other times there has been broad agreement on the need for change. The pandemic and its economic impact on state governments has presented the central government with another opportunity to alter this balance to its advantage.

Shift in balance of power and problems due to it:

  • The initial stages of the COVID-19 response highlighted the unitary tilt in the Indian federal structure. The central government implemented a national lockdown using its powers under a central disaster management law, and its Ministry of Home Affairs issued extensive guidelines to states for controlling the pandemic. This law empowers the central government to commandeer state and local authorities if necessary. State governments acquiesced even though they have independent powers under a more specific law, the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.
  • This arrangement persisted even though the central administration of the lockdown resulted in significant confusion and friction. In fact, state governments requested the central government continue with its administration of the national lockdown during its initial phase. In doing so, states ceded considerable decision-making power and political capital to the central government.
  • .Subsequent phases of the lockdown have seen their autonomy restored, but Indian states now have less functional power relative to the centre. Since the national lockdown required shutting down almost all economic activity, there was a drastic reduction in revenue for state governments. Even prior to the lockdown, many states in India had already breached — or came close to breaching — their mandated fiscal deficit limits. The lockdown has further increased their financial dependence on the centre.
  • This erosion of political and financial capital has enabled the centre to benefit at the expense of states. In May 2020, India’s finance minister announced a series of reforms to facilitate India’s post-lockdown economic recovery. Many of these measures impinge on the autonomy of state governments and have only been accepted due to the unprecedented situation presented by the pandemic.
  • One such measure has been a conditional increase in the borrowing limit for states. The central government enhanced the borrowing limit of state governments from 3 per cent to 5 per cent of their gross state domestic product. But only the first 0.5 per cent of this increase is unconditional — a further 1 per cent will be permitted only if the borrowing is linked to specific reforms such as debt sustainability, job creation, power sector reforms and urban development. A final 0.5 per cent will be permitted only if states achieve key milestones in these areas.
  • Reforms in the agricultural sector impinge even more on state autonomy. Agriculture is a state matter in India, and states tend to oppose even modest reforms suggested by the central government. The recent reforms completely dismantle the long-standing agricultural marketing system, which monopolised trade in agriculture within states and prevented the growth of a more efficient agricultural marketing system. Ordinances passed by the central government side-step the powers of states in this regard. Instead, the central government has pointed to other constitutional entries to justify its own powers to legislate on this subject.
  • In addition to its other effects, the pandemic may have consolidated a new phase of federal relations, where states increasingly accept the reform priorities of the centre in a manner not seen in a generation.

Key takeaways on Potential of federalism from Coivd-19 response:

  • The manner and the content of reconciliation and repositioning between the Centre and states in the course of the response to the pandemic. The Centre’s efforts are now primarily focused on achieving economies of scale in vaccine procurement, knowledge production for setting standards and guidelines for the states, and mitigating inter-state externalities.
  • States continue to play the dominant role in the execution of the actual response to the health crisis. In other words, the fundamental principles of comparative advantage prevailed, but they were organised on the basis of certain functional roles and responses.
  • In spite of health being a state subject, the response to collective threats linked to the subject required some kind of organisation of federal responsibilities on a functional basis.
  • This extended role of ensuring security against threats to sustainability of resources forms a new layer of considerations. This should define the contours of a coordinated response between the Centre and States — as it happened during the pandemic. In fact, such threats and challenges require the states to play a dominant role.
  • At the same time, the Centre must expand its role beyond the mitigation of inter-state externalities and address the challenges of security and sustainability.
  • The GST reforms is the most recent instance of such reworking of the Centre-state roles for a greater and collective goal. It involved a tortuous, but a new consensus building approach to implement the reforms.
  • Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who spearheaded its implementation, suggested a similar consensus-building for sectors like health, rural development and agriculture. The country’s response to the pandemic has shown that carving out roles through consensus can address new challenges to federal governance.
  • The ongoing friction between the Centre and the states over GST reforms tells us that consensus-building is not a one-time exercise. It has to allow sustained dialogue and deliberation. There is an institutional space that offers the necessary resilience and credibility. Perhaps it is time to revisit the proposal for an elevated and empowered Inter-State Council.

Conclusion:

                To sum up, for a large federal country of a mind-boggling diversity, India’s ability to fight Covid-19 pandemic largely rests on how well it manages its Centre-state relation. When compared with other large federal countries such as the US, the country has done very well to minimize the frictions and provide a sense of direction to the states. However, tackling Covid-19 as seen from the experience of other countries would require a differential and agile response across states and the Centre has at best to play the role of a mentor in providing leadership and resource support. The rigid approach as evident in lockdown phase would prove a major hurdle. States must be allowed to lead in terms of reviving economy, generating income support, jobs while contain the virus at the same time. In short, the real cooperative federalism which Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been espousing for many years is now put on test and the Centre must walk the talk on this.

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

GS-3: Food processing and related industries in India- scope’ and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.

4. Discuss the concerns raised by the farmers and the states on the reform measures announced recently by the government to deal with the issues in the agricultural marketing. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

The question is amidst the current agrarian reforms the government is trying to bring in.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the concerns raised by the farmers and the states on the reform measures announced recently by the government to deal with the issues in the agricultural marketing.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

The ambitious initiative government to bring about far-reaching reform in agriculture has drawn criticisms on a large scale, mainly over fears that the free market philosophy at its core could spell the end of Minimum Support Price (MSP) for produce that has so far been centrally procured by the government.

Body:

Amendments have been proposed to the Essential Commodities Act. It is opined that the amendments to the Essential Commodities Act remove all cereals, pulses, oilseeds, potato and onion from trade restrictions and price control — which would ultimately benefit only the middlemen and traders.

Lok Sabha passed the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and the Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020.

Discuss the primary concerns that have been raised.

Present relevant suggestions to address the issue.

Conclusion:

Conclude that Small farmers have been remarkably productive and shored up the economy even during a pandemic. Without strong institutional arrangements, laissez-faire (no economic interventionism) policy may harm lakhs of unorganized small farmers.

Introduction:

                President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to three farm bills, which opposition parties say are anti-farmer and corporate-friendly, after they were recently passed by Parliament during its monsoon session amid vehement protests. The bill are:

  1. The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill,
  2. The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill (commonly referred to as the APMC Bypass Bill), and
  3. The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill were cleared by Parliament amid protests from the Opposition.

Body:

Concerns about these Bills:

MSP issues:

  • AAPMCs were set up with the objective of ensuring fair trade between buyers and sellers for effective price discovery of farmers’ produce.
  • APMCs can regulate the trade of farmers’ produce by providing licences to buyers, commission agents, and private markets; levy market fees or any other charges on such trade; and provide necessary infrastructure within their markets to facilitate the trade.
  • The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance aims at opening up agricultural sale and marketing outside the notified Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) mandis for farmers, removes barriers to inter-State trade and provides a framework for electronic trading of agricultural produce.
  • Agriculture falls in the State list, and hence many argue that the Centre should not be making legislation on this subject at all, as that will compromise on the state’s ability to Tax and Regulate agriculture sector.
  • The APMC bypass Bill is the most controversial. This Bill actually assumes that private players don’t exist today and the APMC is a monopoly.
  • That is a flawed assumption. Private players actually look to the APMC for a reference price to conduct their own transactions.
  • Now through these bills, trying to create an alternative that’s outside the APMC, which is on advantageous terms where you don’t have to pay mandi fees or taxes.
  • A system of arthiyas or commission agents facilitates procurement, and link roads connecting most villages to the notified markets and allowing farmers to easily bring their produce for procurement.
  • Farmers fear that encouraging tax-free private trade outside the APMC mandis will make these notified markets unviable, which could lead to a reduction in government procurement itself.
  • It prohibits State governments from collecting market fee, cess or levy for trade outside the APMC markets.
  • Activists and farmers are worried that if they have to conduct trade outside of the APMC marketplace, they won’t even make this much. Thus rendering MSP ineffective.

No mechanism for price fixation: Contract farming:

  • Contract farming is not a new concept to the country’s farmers – informal contracts for food grains, formal contracts in sugarcane and poultry sectors are common.
  • The Price Assurance Bill, while offering protection to farmers against price exploitation, does not prescribe the mechanism for price fixation.
  • There is apprehension that the free hand given to private corporate houses could lead to farmer exploitation.
  • Critics are apprehensive about formal contractual obligations owing to the unorganised nature of the farm sector and lack of resources for a legal battle with private corporate entities.

Deregulation of food items:

  • The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance removes cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onion and potatoes from the list of essential commodities.
  • The amendment will deregulate the production, storage, movement and distribution of these food commodities.
  • The central government is allowed regulation of supply during war, famine, extraordinary price rise and natural calamity, while providing exemptions for exporters and processors at such times as well.

Food security issues:

  • Critics anticipate that on the easing of regulation of food items said, it would lead to exporters, processors and traders hoarding farm produce during the harvest season, when prices are generally lower, and releasing it later when prices increase. He said it could undermine food security since the States would have no information about the availability of stocks within the State.
  • Critics anticipate irrational volatility in the prices of essentials and increased black marketing.
  • Thus, critics say are anti-farmer and corporate-friendly.
  • Supporting arguments regarding the farm acts:
    • They have the power to sell their fruits or vegetables to anyone, and anywhere.
    • It is this power which is the foundation of their growth, now the same power has been given to farmers across the country.
    • They have got the freedom to sell not only fruits and vegetables but grains, sugarcane, mustard and anything that they grow, they can now sell to anyone and anywhere they like.
    • The Centre has taken the steps to ensure that farmers get the right price for their produce.
    • Government has taken steps to ensure that the farmers get the right price for their produce. The farmers will benefit from it. But some people are trying to mislead the farmers.
    • The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, seeks to give freedom to farmers to sell their produce outside the notified APMC market yards (mandis).
  • The government says this is aimed at facilitating remunerative prices through competitive alternative trading channels.
  • The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, seeks to give farmers the right to enter into a contract with agribusiness firms, processors, wholesalers, exporters, or large retailers for the sale of future farming produce at a pre-agreed price.
  • The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020, seeks to remove commodities like cereals, pulses, oilseeds, onion, and potato from the list of essential commodities and will do away with the imposition of stock holding limits.

Way forward:

  • Agriculture lies at the backbone of Indian economy. Therefore, more sustainable solutions lie in augmenting productivity, diversifying to high-value crops, and shifting people out of agriculture to the high productivity sector.
  • With the changes brought the recent farm legislation, it is expected that many companies will be encouraged to build efficient supply lines somewhat on the lines of milk.
  • However, there is a genuine demand for protection of farmers from ruthless market orientation for Profit.
  • Thus, there is a need for strengthening of Farmers Producer Organisations (FPOs), this will increase bargaining power of farmers on one hand and provide a suitable investment climate on the other.
  • Government must come up with a suitable transition to agricultural pricing policy, whereby partial agricultural pricing should be state-supported and partially market-driven.

Conclusion:

The way to liberalise agricultural marketing is to create more accessible markets and choice for the farmer. There will be rules to regulate such markets. We need to enlarge the market for agriculture produce while preserving the ‘safety net’ principle through MSP and public procurement.

 


General Studies – 3


 

 Topic : Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

5. India must rejig its trade policy; make SMEs integral to export policy in the current testing times of the economy. Comment. (250 words)

Reference: Financial Express 

Why the question:

The article presents a detailed narration of the need to rejig the current Trade policy amidst corona times.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the importance of making SMEs integral to export policy of the country.

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:

Start by highlighting the fact that everywhere, the struggle to get over the unprecedented scenario arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic continues. As economies of the world are integrated and intertwined through global value-chains, none of the economies has remained unaffected; India is no exception.

Body:

India’s exports and imports (both merchandise and services), estimated at $141.82 billion and $127.76 billion, respectively, during April-July FY21, have contracted by 21.9% and 40.7% when compared to the same period last year. This unequivocally points to the saga of how badly the pandemic has impacted India’s global trade.

Explain why a broader trade policy review is what India needs at this juncture, for speedy recovery amidst changing dynamics of trade policies globally.

Discuss the need to make SMEs integral to India’s trade policy.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

                The importance of SMEs in any economy cannot be overlooked as they form a major chunk in the economic activity of nations. India has nearly three million SMEs, which account for almost 50 per cent of industrial output. However, SMEs which form the backbone of industrial development in India are not export competitive and contribute only about 34 percent of exports. It is this feature of the SMEs that make it an ideal target to realize its potential export competitive.

Body:

India’s exports and imports (both merchandise and services), estimated at $141.82 billion and $127.76 billion, respectively, during April-July FY21, have contracted by 21.9% and 40.7% when compared to the same period last year. This unequivocally points to the saga of how badly the pandemic has impacted India’s global trade.

Realignment of trade policy to harness potential of SMEs:

  • The weakening of WTO is a clear signal that multilateralism is being overtaken by unilateralism, bilateralism and economic nationalism. Besides, stronger involvement of the state in the economy and weaponisation of trade policy to achieve economic and geopolitical objectives are weakening the global trade order—especially the multi-lateral rules-based order.
  • With this backdrop, a broad review of trade policy in India could be of immense value in reviving trade. The review may, inter alia, consider certain measures to catalyse global trade growth.
  • The trade policy framework could be made more resilient and strategic to strengthen internal and external dimensions. Dependence on imports for supply of fuels, electronic goods, cell phones, machinery, telecom equipment, pharma ingredients, chemicals, vehicles, etc, should be analysed to explore the possibility of import substitution through domestic production. Whatever India imports may not be produced domestically; however, self-sufficiency can be achieved for commodities of critical importance.
  • The clarion call for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ requires strategic engagement with trading partners to create synergy and reducing dependencies and vulnerabilities for critical supplies. To achieve this, supply-chains need to be robust and resilient.
  • With WTO’s weak trade governance, India may look for bilateral and plurilateral trade alliances by carefully analysing the pros and cons.
  • SMEs in India are contributing significantly to employment generation, exports, innovation and inclusive economic growth. SMEs account for 45% of industrial production, 40% of total exports and also significantly contribute to GDP.
  • Therefore, it is of utmost importance that market access and better trade facilitation for SMEs are provided in the partner countries. Further, higher costs of trade be reduced by ensuring access to information on potential suppliers and overseas business partners, sectoral export promotion through export promotion schemes of the foreign trade policy.
  • The Covid crisis has turned a boon in disguise as it has accelerated the digital revolution. With no other option available, businesses are proactively using e-commerce, e-services, etc, for their functioning.
  • Digital trade has taken a prominent position, and these trade practices will likely continue. Notably, the contribution of digital trade in facilitating global value chain and developing innovative products and services cannot be undermined.
  • India has provided a robust policy framework for effective data privacy and protection and regulating digital services. Besides, new technologies involving artificial intelligence, block-chain, 3D printing, etc, are rapidly influencing the way trade has been done.
  • While e-commerce negotiations are on in WTO, India has chosen to stay away. Nevertheless, India is formulating a revised e-commerce policy. Therefore, harmonising e-commerce policy for integration with a larger group of countries will mitigate the risk of isolation and promote e-commerce trade.

Conclusion:

Fairness is one of the cornerstones that supports the edifice of trade. However, India has to be wary of possible abuse by unfair, hostile and uncompetitive trade practices. The post-Covid-19 times may likely witness some countries resorting to unfair trade practices through state intervention. This will require a careful assessment of how they can impair our trade interest and what appropriate measures can neutralise such practices.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion. Work culture.

6. Discuss the following:

  • Grit
  • Fortitude
  • Work culture (250 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by G SubbaRao and P N Chowdhary

Why the question:

The question is straightforward and aims to discuss certain virtues in association with ethics.

Key Demand of the question:

Question is direct, explain each term in detail; its meaning, relevance and ethical aspect associated.

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 your intro by definition of the keyword. For eg .Grit means to have the passion and perseverance to achieve long term goals.

You may also start your intro by giving example of great personality and their quality .For eg. Nelson Mandela, leader from South Africa changed the world for the better through his passion and perseverance. His lifelong goal, similar to Martin Luther King, Jr., was to achieve equal rights for non-white people in his country.

Body:

In first Part, explain the importance of the word in real life and more importantly public administration.

Support your explanation with help of examples.

You can give some real life example where you have shown such quality or give examples related to administration.

Conclusion:

Conclude by suggesting how we can strengthen these qualities .

Grit: is a positive, non-cognitive trait based on an individual’s perseverance of effort combined with the passion for a particular long-term goal or end state. It is the firmness of character; indomitable spirit which cannot be crushed so easily. It is a powerful motivation to achieve an objective. This perseverance of effort promotes the overcoming of obstacles or challenges that lie on the path to accomplishment and serves as a driving force in achievement realization.

E.g.: In 2015, a humble security guard’s sweat and grit paid off, when after his third attempt, his son cleared the country’s most coveted UPSC exam. With an All India Rank of 242, Kuldeep Dwivedi is an officer with the Indian Revenue Services.

Fortitude: It refers to the strength of mind that gives one the capacity to endure adversity with courage. Any individual engaged in public service will face multiple challenges in the fulfilment of their goals. A person with fortitude will not give up easily, and despite disappointing results or setbacks, will continually fight to improve the system.  adversities could be in form of “dilemmas”, “conflicts of interests”, “ sound decision making”, “ to face fake cases against an honest officer”, “ time management”, “striking a balance between personal and professional life”, “ to fight corruption”

E.g.: A situation where a disaster like an earthquake has taken place requires immense fortitude. This attitude ensures peace and attracts positivity. It leads to courageous people coming out to face the truth.

Work Culture: Work Culture or Organization Culture is set of collective beliefs, values, rules and behaviour which organisation as whole conforms to. In a layman approach it is culture that a group as an organisation follows. Culture varies with family, region, social class and hence in work environment. Its constituents include Management style, business values, physical environment, dress code etc. It is imperative important for every organization irrespective of country and it differs from country to country and sometimes within a country. It helps in employee satisfaction and increase the productivity of the companies.

The reputation and profits of any organisation rests on the ethics and values of its employees. Promoting ethics in the workplace creates a positive culture for managers and employees, as well as a successful business. So developing an ethical culture is imperative.

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. “Ethics are less a goal than a pathway, less a destination than a trip, less an inoculation than a process.” Analyse. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by G SubbaRao and P N Chowdhary

Why the question:

Quote based ethics question.

Key Demand of the question:

This is a quotation-based question, such questions need deeper and to the point analysis on the statement.

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:

Students must try to open/expand the quote by explaining the hidden meaning in the quote.

Body:

The answer needs to be an account of examples qualifying that ethics doesn’t just mean the final end but the process that takes one to the end. Bring in philosophies of moral thinkers; ideologies that justify means are equally important as that of ends. Students must appreciate the answer mainly through a good set of examples in such questions.

Conclusion:

Conclude with how ethics play a vital role in one’s life and in society.

Introduction:

Ethics is the study of what is right or wrong in human conduct. This is a branch of Philosophy which studies moral principles.

Body:

Ethics is considered as a set of principles by which to live; a code of conduct for our relationships with all whom we come in contact. Ethics encompasses social mores, usually expressed today as good manners; our behaviour towards our fellow humans and fellow creatures; and trust.

Ethics should be a process and not mere end in itself. For instance, in case of administration, if only achieving the result becomes important, then process might take a backseat thereby giving more discretion to bureaucrats resulting in abuse of power or corruption to tweak the process.

Similarly, if just following rules becomes end in itself, then results will not be achieved resulting in inefficiency. Thus, ethics should be not just of following rules and sticking to process, but achieving goals by following process. Example: Determining eligibility of a poor old woman for pension despite lack of documents

Ethics is a requirement for human life. It is our means of deciding a course of action. Without it, our actions would be random and aimless. There would be no way to work towards a goal because there would be no way to pick between a limitless number of goals.

Another instance can be a student should be ethical in facing examination like not cheating, sticking to the time limits etc. however, it should not be an end in itself. He/she should also try to give their best and top the exam.

The process where the duty or actions matter and as important as ends itself is in the branch of Deontological ethics. Even Gandhiji always emphasized on how the means are as important as the ends. He always followed the path of truth and non-violence as evident through his decision to immediately call of Non-Cooperation Movement in 1922 soon after the Chauri-Chaura incident.

Conclusion:

Thus, we can conclude that Ethics is a means of life and following the means will help us achieve the end in itself. Ethics is not a burden to bear, but a prudent and effective guide which furthers life and success. Any flaw in our ethics will reduce our ability to be successful in our endeavours.


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