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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 24 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 : The Freedom Struggle —  its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.

1. The British rule has been often been described as the reason for drain of Indian wealth to Britain. In this light discuss constituent of economic drain and consequences of the same. (250 words)

Reference: India’s freedom struggle by Bipin Chandra

Why the question:

The question is premised on the events of drain of wealth during the British rule in our country.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the reasons causing drain of wealth in the British rule; explain the constituents of economic drain and its consequence in detail.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

The constant flow of wealth from India to England for which India did not get an adequate economic, commercial or material return has been described as drain of wealth from India. Dadabhai Naoroji gave ‘drain of wealth theory’ in his book ‘Poverty and Un-British Rule in India’. Scholarly, estimate drain of wealth to be around 9% of India’s GDP in 18th century and 6% of GDP in 19th century.

Body:

In the answer body explain the various constituents of drain of wealth.

Discuss specifically the economic component in particular – like it included movement of private funds to England, money paid to banks, insurance companies, shipping companies in England for the services they render in India, Company’s remittances to England (Home Charges) etc.

Explain then what the consequences were of such a drain of wealth on India and its economy.

Conclusion:

Conclude that thus, British methods of exploitation though less painful but resembled the blood-sucking leeches.

Introduction:

                A significant portion of India’s national wealth was transferred to England without any quid pro quo. The experts described such ‘Drain’ on India’s resources as the transfer of resources from India to England either by getting nothing in return or getting only disproportionately a smaller part of such transfer of resources.

Body:

Estimate of the Drain:

Although it was impossible to make a correct estimate of the extent of drain from India in the form of resources and gold bullion flowed from India to Great Britain, during the British rule, however some estimates were made on the extent of such drain.

  • Verelst estimated that during the period of five years just after Battle of Plassey, total volume of drain from India in terms of goods and bullion was 4, 94, 16, 11 pounds sterling.
  • B. Saul also made an estimate of such drain based on balance of payments alone and his figure for the year 1880 alone amounted to 4.14 per cent of India’s national income.
  • Dadabhai Naoroji also made an estimate of drain which was around Rs 8 million. Later on, the volume of drain estimated by Naoroji was Rs 12 million in 1870, Rs 25 crore in 1893. In 1897, Naoroji made another estimate of drain for the ten year period of 1883-92 and found the total drain at Rs 359 crore. In 1905, total amount of drain calculated by Naoroji was Rs 51.5 crore.
  • Another estimate was made by G.V. Joshi for the period 1834 to 1838 and total amount of drain from India during this period was estimated at nearly 600 million sterling.
  • E. Wacha’s estimate of drain in 1901 was to the extent of Rs 30 to Rs 40 crore per year.
  • N. Banarjee’s estimate of average annual drain for the last 30 years of 19th century was of the order of 30 million.
  • C. Dutta’s estimate of drain was found to be around 20 million per year during the early part of 20th century. 

Constituent of economic drain:

The person who first raised this issue of drain of resources from India to England was Dadabhai Naoroji in his book “Poverty and Un-British Rule in India” published in the year 1871. Dadabhai Naoroji tried to explain in his book the causes of drain, to measure the extent of such drain and to find the consequences of such drain.

Dadabhai Naoroji in his book observed, “The drain consists of two elements the first, arising from the remittances by European Officials of their savings, and for their expenditure in England for their various wants both there and in India ; from pensions and salaries paid in England; and the second that arising from remittances by non-official Europeans.

Dadabhai Naoroji observed that the following factors were responsible for the economic drain from India:

  • Remittances to England by European employees for supporting their families and education of their children—which may be considered a feature of colonial system of government.
  • Remittances of savings by the employees of the East India Company as they preferred to invest at home.
  • Remittances for purchasing British goods demanded by British employees as well as purchasing British goods in India.
  • Government purchase of stores manufactured in Great Britain.
  • Interest charges on public debt held in Britain (which excluded interest payment on railway loans and other debts incurred for productive works).
  • Home charges were consisting of interest on public debt raised from England, annuities on account of railways and irrigation works and payments to British employees, employed in India as well as pensions to retired employees worked in India

Consequence of the Drain:

The huge amount of drain of resources and bullions from India to England created a serious impact on the economy of India and a favourable effect on the economy of England.

Effects of the Drain on England:

  • A huge volume of drain of resources and capital from India to England resulted a better standard of living in Great Britain. The Drain also resulted huge investments in England agriculture and industry after 1750. These investments were partially responsible for agriculture revolution in England and the 18th Century and also for Industrial Revolution in England after 1750.
  • England attained the take-off stage of its growth by utilising the resources drained out of India. Huge amount of remittances from British officials in the form of saving and pensions after serving in India empowered those people to devote on construction of roads, railways and canals, new inventions and also for bringing rapid changes in all different sectors of its economy.

Thus Drain of resources were responsible for laying foundation of economic prosperity in England. 

Effects of the Drain on India:

  • Huge drain of resources from India into England had resulted disastrous effects on Indian economy and its people. Huge amount of these resources which could be invested in India were snatched and siphoned off to England.
  • Huge public debt undertaken by the Government and its payment of interest necessitated increasing tax burden on the people of India, which were highly regressive in nature. As per Dadabhai Naoroji’s estimates, tax burden in India during 1886 was 14.3 per cent of its total income which was very high as compared to 6.93 per cent in England.
  • Moreover, these tax proceeds were mostly used for making payments to British creditors and not for the social services and welfare activities of Indians. This type of drain of tax proceeds from India impoverished the agriculture, industry and trading activities in India and was largely responsible for stagnant stage of its economy during the 18th and 19th centuries.
  • Although the British undertook responsibility of maintaining law and order, centralised political and judicial administration, roads, railways, educational set up etc. but the extent of draining out of resources was too excessive leading to stagnation of the economy and poor and miserable condition of Indian masses.
  • Nationalist leaders of India analysed the various harmful effects of Drain in different ways.
  • As per Dadabhai Naoroji’s opinion, the drain of resources was the major and sole cause of India’s poverty. Naoroji, R.C. Dutta and S.N. Banerjee were also of the opinion that the drain had created harmful effects on the level of income and employment of India. Drain had resulted loss of generation of income and employment in the country.
  • In this connection, R.C. Dutta observed, “For when taxes are raised and spent in a country, the money circulates among the people, fructifies trade, industries and agriculture, and in one shape or another reaches the mass of the people. But when the taxes in a country are remitted out of it, the money is lost to the country forever. It does not stimulate her trade or industries or reach the people in any form.”
  • The national leaders were of the opinion that drain of resources resulted loss of capital rather than loss of wealth. Drain resulted a huge depletion of productive capital leading to fall in the volume of investable resources in the country. This aspect of the loss of capital was considered as core issue of the Drain theory of Naoroji.
  • This drain of resources resulted industrial retardation in our country g.v. joshi, in this connection observed, “No nation can stand such a drain and yet hold its own in the industrial field.”
  • C. Dutta had also tried to establish a causal relationship between the drain of resources and the improvement of the peasantry. He argued that the drain was paid mainly out of land revenue realised from the peasants.

Conclusion:

                As a result, British industries established in India drained out further resources in the form of regular remittances of interests and profit from India into Britain. Thus such a large size of economic drain created a serious hurdle in the path of economic development of India till 1947 and was also largely responsible for growing poverty in the country but the drain also handed a potent weapon in the hands moderates to critique the British.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic : Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

2. What do you understand by Constitutionalism? Do you think the concept is still relevant in contemporary times? Explain. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Polity by Lakshmikant

Why the question:

With prelims fast approaching the aim of the question is to aid both mains and prelims preparation through such questions from the foundations of Indian polity.

Key Demand of the question:

The question is about the concept of constitutionalism and its relevance in the contemporary times.

Directive:

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by defining what you understand by “Constitutionalism”.

Body:

Constitutionalism is the doctrine often associated with the political theories of John Locke. It says that government powers should be legally limited and its authority or legitimacy depends on observing these limitations.

Briefly discuss the concept and highlight the provisions in the constitution that upholds the principal of constitutionalism example Separation of powers, Rule of Law, Supremacy of constitution, doctrine of checks and balances

In next section discuss the contemporary relevance of the doctrine w.r.t the above mentioned points.

Like threat to the concept of checks and balance by dilution of RTI act, usage of frequent ordinances to bypass legislature, Judicial overreach etc.

Conclusion:

Highlight the importance of the concept in today’s scenario and conclude.

Introduction:

                Constitutionalism is a political philosophy based on the idea that government authority is derived from the people and should be limited by a constitution that clearly expresses what the government can and can’t do. It’s the idea that the state is not free to do anything it wants, but is bound by laws limited its authority..

Body:

  • The roots of constitutionalism go way back. It evolved into what it is now. Way back in 1215, King John of England was forced by a group of wealthy nobles to sign a document called the Magna Carta. The Magna Carta set certain limits on the king’s power. The practical importance of the Magna Carta set a precedent for limited government.
  • In 1689, English Bill of Rights was signed by King William III of England. King William III. The English Bill of Rights outlined what rights English citizens possessed, and placed limits on the monarch and Parliament. The English Bill of Rights is a foundational constitutional document that helped inspire the American Bill of Rights.
  • Political theorist John Locke played a huge role in cementing the philosophy of constitutionalism. Locke was an English intellectual who helped develop the concept of social contract theory. According to this theory, government itself is a sort of contract between the people and the state, and if the state abuses its power or doesn’t hold up its end of the bargain, the people have the right to make the contract null and void. 

Relevance of constitutionalism:

  • It provides framework for governance, establishes the structure, procedures, powers and duties of government institutions and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles and the duties of citizens.
  • Last year, many parliamentarians debated widely on the constitution and spoke on it. They were engulfed on the issues of intolerance, secularism and freedom of expression mainly. However the gamut of the Constitutionalism is much wider and we need to analyze the relevance from multiple views.
  • As the country has faced multiple issues like demonetization, abrogation of article 370, Anti CAA/NRC protests etc in recent on the one hand while on the other we are facing constant firing from across the border in the west and the east and myriad issues affecting the day to day functioning of the governance and public administration.
  • The constitution has imparted right to equality where we have political equality but socio-economic equality is still a distant dream when our about 300 million population are still poor having very tough time to access basic facilities.
    • Almost 69 percent of India lives in villages and among them a majority doesn’t have good health, education, sanitation, etc. We are still striving to provide work, food and decent living to large mass.
  • Even on the parameter of justice system, the delayed processes and overloaded judicial structure is well. The long tussle between judiciary-executive especially after NJAC was declared as void hampers overall process of Governance.
  • While in the era of high internet penetration and information overflow, the Government has regularly censored the contents demeaning the freedom of expression. In the times of instability, insecurity and unsustainablity; the question that we need to ask is that how relevant is our supreme law which was framed decades ago in different times when population of country was lesser and problems were very different from the present times.
  • As the constitution has provided fundamental rights to people to live in a way which they want, it has also given us fundamental duties. These fundamental duties are guidelines to realize the dreams of a peaceful and prosperous country.
  • In the same way, the Governments are also provided with set of instructions known as Directive Principles which must guide their way to make society more inclusive having equal opportunity for all citizenry. It is totally upon the people of India, our representatives, our office-bearers, etc who are holding important posts how they take forward the legacy of our founding fathers.
  • Rise of populism across the world, growing conflicts, the Coivd-19 pandemic affecting the functioning of the parliament as well as federal structure of the country makes the constitutionalism more relevant than ever. 

Constitutionalism:

The beauty of our constitutionalism is that it provides for a platform where our representatives can make changes in it if required. It not only protects our rights but paves way for the socio-economic progress of the country.

 

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.

3. New bill on rehabilitating manual scavengers fails to learn from failures of past Acts, focuses only on safety gears, and ignores rights. Critically analyse. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express 

Why the question:

The article explains in what way The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation (Amendment) Bill, 2020, has been a “hidden” Bill.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain and bring about the lacunae present in the New bill on rehabilitating manual scavengers and suggest what needs to be done to overcome it.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by discussing some of the key features enshrined in the Bill.

Body:

The Bill based on Action Plan emphasizes on the eradication of manual scavenging in India through complete mechanization of sewer cleaning. This not only includes stricter measures for the protection of manual scavengers in terms of provision of safety gears but also stricter enforcement of compensation regulations in cases of sewer deaths.

Talk about the background of the coming of the Act. The 74th Amendment Act and consequent codification of municipal governance is another landmark in sanitation policy in India.

Discuss recent actions by the government in this direction. Highlight the loopholes and gaps present in the Bill.

Suggest what needs to be done.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Manual scavenging is the degrading practice of manually removing human excreta from “dry latrines”, i.e., latrines without the modern flush system. Manual scavenging as a practice got entrenched in the society under the British rule at the time when urbanisation began to thrive. This practice has continued till today is a ‘blot on our society.’ It is the worst form of violation of human rights despite protection against such practice is guaranteed by the supreme document of our land, i.e. the Constitution of India under Articles 17 , 21 and 23.

Body:

Penal provisions against manual scavenging:

  • The Untouchability Offences Act of 1955:
    • The first Act which sought to abolish this dehumanising practice was The Untouchability Offences Act of 1955 under Section 4.
    • However, the punishment under the Act was extremely lenient and it couldn’t successfully stop the practice of manual scavenging.
  • Protection of Civil Rights Act of 1977:
    • The Parliament then came up with the Protection of Civil Rights Act of 1977 (by amending the previous Untouchability Offences Act) which identified the practice of ‘scavenging’ on the ground of untouchability under Section 7A of the Act and made it punishable.
    • This Act too failed to provide stringent punishment resulting in no mitigation of the practice.
  • Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act of 1993:
    • As both the Acts failed to eradicate scavenging, the Parliament made another effort to curb manual scavenging by passing the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act of 1993.
    • Under Section 317 of the aforesaid Act it prohibited anyone from employing another to carry human excreta. The punishment under the Act was up to 1 year or imprisonment and/or fine.18
    • This Act also turned out to be inefficient primarily because of two reasons. It did not criminalize cleaning of gutters, septic tanks, manholes, etc. and also did not empower an aggrieved individual to file a complaint rather left it to certain authorities to do the same.
  • Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013: which penalises this practice and also provides measures for rehabilitation of the scavengers. Despite this this inhuma practice has continued.

The failure of the existing legislations:

  • According to the figures provided by the Houselisting and Housing Census of 2011, there were around 7.94 lakh latrines in India including urban and mofussil towns from which excreta was removed by manual scavengers.
  • The total number of manual scavengers employed in the business as per data provided by the The Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment was 6.76 lakhs in 2002-03.13 However, as per data provided by state governments, the total number of scavengers yet to be rehabilitated were over 3 lakhs by the end of the year 2005.
  • This speaks volumes about our failure towards striving for a classless society with dignity for all. It is appalling to note that so many people are forced into this business despite there being penal laws prohibiting this practice. The legislations have no doubt been half-hearted.

The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation (Amendment) Bill, 2020:

  • Proposes to completely mechanise sewer cleaning and provide better protection at work and compensation in case of accidents.
  • Currently, engaging any person for hazardous cleaning of sewers and septic tanks by any person or agency is punishable with imprisonment of up to five years or a fine up of to Rs 5 lakh or both.
  • The bill proposes to make the law banning manual scavenging more stringent by increasing the imprisonment term and the fine amount.
  • The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 prohibits construction or maintenance of insanitary latrines, and employment of any person for manual scavenging or hazardous cleaning of sewers and septic tanks.
  • The bill comes under the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry’s National Action Plan which aims at complete elimination of hazardous cleaning of sewers and septic tanks, a more serious, stringent and focused strategy framework.
  • The plan aims to modernise existing sewage system and coverage of non-sewered areas; setting up of faecal sludge and septage management system for mechanised cleaning of septic tanks, transportation and treatment of faecal sludge; equipping the municipalities, and setting up of Sanitation Response Units with help lines.
  • Measures for the protection of manual scavengers in terms of provision of safety gears.
  • Stricter enforcement of compensation regulations in cases of sewer deaths.

Issues with the bill:

  • The non-availability of a holistic draft for any form of public consultation through the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry’s National Action Plan is against established procedures.
  • The nature and type of mechanization is not clear.
  • The roadmap for complete eradication needs to be laid out in detail with measurable indicators of improvement.
  • Lacks measures to regulate the contractual system.

Way forward:

  • There is a need for integration between various ways of rehabilitation that is not tailored towards mere numbers. The focus on availing loans through different schemes of NSKFDC, in fact, increases the vulnerability of the manual scavengers. Therefore, the rehabilitation schemes totally fail in restoring the lives of workers.
  • Even, compensation varies after the death of a sewer worker without any concrete explanation of the estimation of the provided compensation. There is no provision of legal consultation, pension provisions or insurance cover in these schemes making the restoration and rehabilitation procedure more fractured than ever even after the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers Act, 2013 that focused more on rehabilitation than the previous Acts.
  • It is a sad commentary on the working conditions of these workers and their healthcare that they do not even reach the age of retirement. The important thing is these Acts and schemes should also focus on all other categorisation of sanitation workers like the faecal sludge handlers, sewage treatment plant sanitation workers, toilet sanitation workers (community, public, school, domestic household further classified into dry/wet handling), public transportation site sanitation Workers (railway, roads), sewer and drain sanitation workers, septic tank workers, waste recovery workers (household-community-landfill further classified into resource recovery sanitation workers), operational sanitation workers, sanitation-waste intersection workers. The mere inclusion of sanitation employees working on the railway platforms in the definition of manual scavengers is not enough.
  • The “contractual employment system” that perpetuates unregulated contractual hiring fails the existing Acts because unless there is a clear cut reassessment of this system, the number of cases of sewer deaths will keep increasing. This is why there is a sharp increase in sewer deaths as contractors force sanitation workers to enter septic tanks for manual cleaning.
  • The lack of licensing, accountability and enforcement of the punishment of the third parties make the movements to eradicate manual scavenging in India weak. Unless we revisit this system, no Act or Scheme will help in the absolute eradication of manual scavenging in India.
  • Moreover, the sanitation policies emphasise only on sanitation infrastructure which is in direct conflict with the rights of the workers employed in these infrastructures. The lack of mechanisms of maintenance and proper water supply within the Toilets force the sanitation workers to “manually scavenge” human excrements and throw piles of it on nearby dumping grounds. 

Conclusion:

Dignity is as important as food, water or air. For without it we are nothing but animals. The practice of manual scavenging has been an assault on human dignity. The practice has even got acquiescence from some segments of the society. We must admit that this practice is still prevalent because there has never been much opposition to it. The opposition has been rather shameful. Otherwise it would not have taken so many legislations to ban this practice. On one side India claims to be one of the fastest growing economies in the world and boasts of launching rockets to Mars, but on the other hand it practices the worst form of discrimination.

Manual scavenging has perpetuated inequality which already exists in our class-conscious country. The workers have been the most exploited individuals. This practice is tantamount to slavery in today’s world. It makes a mockery of human rights. It must be stopped at once. The scourge of manual scavenging has been forced upon individuals belonging to lower strata of the society who have not been able to fully realize their rights. They have been victims of social and cultural abuse and alienation since time immemorial. Every effort therefore must be made to eradicate this practice – the first being proper implementation of the law.

 

Topic : Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

4. Discuss the needs for reforms that are needed in the United Nations to strengthen its legitimacy, representativeness and relevance in order to address the realities of the contemporary times. (250 words)

Reference: Hindustan Times 

Why the question:

At a special session marking 75 years of the United Nations, the Prime Minister of India called for reform of its outdated structures, pointing out that in the absence of comprehensive changes, the world body today faces a crisis of confidence.

Key Demand of the question:

The question is about discussing the need for UNSC reforms to ensure strengthening of its legitimacy, representativeness and relevance in order to address the realities of the contemporary times.

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:

Discuss in short the context of the question.

Body:

The question is pretty much straightforward and there isn’t much to deliberate, one has to discuss the need to reform the UN to ensure legitimacy, representativeness and relevance in order to address the realities of the contemporary times.

UN represents a larger world and the irony is that it has only 5 permanent members in its an important body. Current composition of the Security Council represents the post-World War II realities and thus is not in pace with the changing balance of power in the world.

At the time of the formation of UNSC, big powers were given privileges to make them part of the council. This was necessary for its proper functioning as well as to avoid the failure like that of the organization ‘League of Nations’.

The regions like Far East Asia, South America, and Africa have no representation in the permanent membership of the council.

Rise of fora like G4 (India, Brazil, Germany, and Japan) as important economies and emerging world powers are pushing after quick UN Security Council reforms etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward and bring out its relevance to India.

Introduction:

                The United Nations marked its 75th anniversary with a one-day high-level event at the General Assembly (UNGA 75), under the theme: ‘The Future we Want, the UN we Need: Reaffirming our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism’. This year’s General Assembly has a strong focus on the topics of sustainability and climate change.

The declaration recalls the UN’s successes and failures over more than seven decades and vows to build a post-pandemic world that is more equal, works together and protects the planet, in a spirit of inclusive multilateralism.

Body:

Need for Reform at UN:

  • At present, the UNSC comprises five permanent members and 10 non-permanent member countries which are elected for a two-year term by the General Assembly of the United Nations.
  • The five permanent members are Russia, the U.K., China, France and the United States and these countries can veto any substantive resolution. There has been growing demand to increase the number of permanent members to reflect the contemporary global reality.
  • India, Brazil, South Africa, Germany and Japan are strong contenders for permanent membership of the UNSC which has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.
  • At a special session marking 75 years of the United Nations on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for reform of its “outdated structures”, pointing out that in the absence of comprehensive changes, the world body today faces a “crisis of confidence”.
  • India has been at the forefront of demanding reform in the UN, particularly its principal organ, the Security Council, for decades, staking its claim as one of the world’s largest economies and most populous countries, with a track record in promoting a rules-based international order, and contributing to peacekeeping through UN forces.
  • The UNSC does not include a permanent member from the African, Australian and South American continents, and the pillars of the multilateral order, such as the G-4 group of Brazil, India, Germany and Japan, have been ignored for long.
  • Frequent divisions within the UNSC P-5 end up blocking key decisions. These issues are underlined in a year where the coronavirus pandemic has brought the world to a standstill; yet, the UN, the UNSC, and WHO have failed to play an effective role in helping nations deal with the spread.
  • For India, what has been most frustrating is that despite the dysfunctional power balance that prevails, the UN’s reform process, held through Inter Governmental Negotiations (IGN) has not made progress over decades, despite commitments.
  • The UN has chosen to “rollover” the discussions of the IGN, which are looking at five major issues: enlarging the Security Council, categories of membership, the question of the veto that five Permanent members of the UNSC wield, regional representation, and redistributing the Security Council-General Assembly power balance.
  • The grouping of India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA) expressed “frustration” over the “slow” pace of progress on reform of the UN Security Council and said the time has come to move towards a result-oriented process to expand the key global body.

Way forward in contemporary times:

  • The reform of Security Council will stop it from becoming obsolete.
  • Broader membership of the Security Council, with increased and enhanced representation of countries with the capacity and willingness to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security, including from Africa, will allow it to preserve its credibility and create the political backing needed for the peaceful resolution of today’s international crises.
  • Given the capacity and willingness to take on major responsibilities with regard to the maintenance of international peace and security, there is a clear need for an enhanced role of developing countries and of major contributors to the United Nations to make the Council more legitimate, effective and representative.
  • On the one hand, the world is experiencing unparalleled levels of prosperity and connectivity,. Yet these advances are associated with ever greater complexity and systemic risks, increasing the liberal order’s vulnerability to collapse. The world’s global and national institutions are increasingly incapable of managing stresses to the system.
  • Faced with threats ranging from climate change to massive technological advancement, the world is in desperate need of stable and able global governance. And yet there is surging opposition to liberal governance due to rising inequalities and frustration with the perceived failures of the liberal order.
  • Populism and the rise of parochial economic nationalism as among the gravest threats to future stability. The risk of a disorderly collapse of the old system is more real than ever.

Conclusion:

The world is shifting to a new multi-polar order with the US and China at its centre. We need to restore and rebuild stable institutions and rules that acknowledge the changed context. They will need to be more inclusive, representative and legitimate. The role of international mechanisms of cooperation such as the UN, G20, regional organizations, non-state actors – especially financial and philanthropic actors – will also need to be elevated. It should start with reform of UNSC.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

5. Agriculture loan waivers, apart from creating fiscal burden will have other effects too. Explain its consequences, provide measures to deal with Agri-stress.(250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

The question is amidst recent uproar related to farm bills and loan waivers as a solution to address the agri-distress in the country.

Key Demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the negative effect of loan wavier on economy and on agriculture sector itself.

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:

Loan waiver has become populist measure for vote bank politics. provide examples of states which have gone in this venture.

Body:

Explain the consequences of loan waiver on fiscal burden and on credit repaying behaviour of farmer. Explain how it will divert finance from productive venture like constructing canals, cold storage etc. to unproductive sector. Discuss how it will till to dearth of finance. Explain how it leads to stagnation in agriculture.

Provide suggestions by citing Swaminathan committee report and Ashok Dalwai committee.

Conclusion:

Conclude on lines that loan waivers are short term measures but in the long run for sustainable development such measure are not conducive.

Introduction:

Rural agrarian distress is firmly at the centre of the national discourse today, Farm loan waiver is the practice of writing off the loans given to farmers owing to their inability to pay them back due to reasons like calamity, disaster, political policies etc.

Body:

Mounting debt burden is pushing farmers to despair and suicides. Indebtedness became the elephant in the room that cannot be ignored. NSSO Situational Assessment Survey of Agricultural Households shows that 52% of farming households are indebted, the rates are as high as 89-92% in some States.
Eight state governments have given farm loan waivers worth ₹1.9 trillion since April 2017.

Effects of agriculture loan waivers:

  • Enormous fiscal burden: Eight state governments have given farm loan waivers worth ₹1.9 trillion since April 2017.
  • The extreme case of 50% farm debt waiver should raise concerns as it will worsen states’ debt-to-GDP ratio by 4 percentage points on average.
  • This will jeopardize India’s stated aim to reduce its total public debt, Centre and states combined, to 60% of the GDP.
  • Past empirical research analysing the 2008 nationwide Agricultural Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme (ADWDRS) found that it led to:
  • Delay in loan repayment,
  • Increase in defaults
  • No significant productivity gains.
  • In spite of the evidence against the effectiveness of the ADWDRS programme, many states continue to announce their own state-level debt-waiver schemes.
  • It is possible that state-level debt-waiver schemes could address state-specific indebtedness problems that a generic national-level programme like ADWDRS could miss.

Other Implications for design of loan waiver programmes:

  • Various Research provides evidence that a blanket waiver scheme is detrimental to the development of credit markets.
  • Repeated debt-waiver programmes distort households incentive structures, away from productive investments and towards unproductive consumption and wilful defaults.
  • These wilful defaults, in turn, are likely to disrupt the functioning of the entire credit system. It is important to note, however, that our findings do not speak against debt-waiver programmes altogether.
  • Rather, they warn against implementation of loan-waiver programmes based on simplistic eligibility rules that do not account for the actual needs of the farmers and the agricultural shocks they have faced.
  • The monetary policy committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) pointed out that the implementation of farm loan waivers across states could hurt the finances of states and make them throw good money after bad, and stoke inflation.
  • Such measures can erode credit discipline and may make banks wary of lending to farmers in the future. It also makes a sharp dent in the finances of the government that finances the write-off. Ex- RBI chiefs like Urjit Patel and Raghuram Rajan have also expressed similar views of ‘Moral Hazard’

Solutions beyond farm loan waivers:

  • Tenant farmers who lease land from other land owners are especially vulnerable. A study by Rythu Swarajya Vedika in June 2018 showed that 75% of farmer suicides in Telangana are by tenant farmers.
  • The Reserve Bank of India did issue guidelines in 2014 for extending loans to Bhoomi Heen Kisan (landless farmers) and for a debt-swapping scheme to convert informal loans of farmers into bank loans, but they have remained on paper.
  • Establishing farmers’ distress and disaster relief commissions at the national and State levels, based on the model of Kerala’s Farmers’ Debt Relief Commission.
  • Based on incidences of natural disasters, extensive pest attack and such calamities, the commission maybe set up which can recommend declaration of certain areas or crops as distress-affected in any particular year.
  • The principle is that farmers who suffer losses due to circumstances entirely out of their control deserve to be protected.
  • Given that agriculture is a key national enterprise, the concepts of limited liability and bankruptcy protection need to be adapted to the farming sector.
  • This approach provides targeted protection to distressed farmers when they require it, rather than allowing debt, distress and suicides to accumulate until an election year.
  • At present, crop insurance with its inadequate coverage and payout is unable to fulfil that role, but distress relief would include any payout from crop insurance.

Conclusion:

Analysis suggests that such waivers are unlikely to help the cause of either distressed farmers or troubled banks over the long run. And they may well impair the quality of public spending by states, as the central bank fears. Another option is to explore alternative policy interventions like agricultural insurance. The desired intervention could then be the one, which nudges households into investing more now and increase long-term productivity.

 

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

6. Define the concept of carrying capacity of an ecosystem as relevant to an environment. Explain how understanding this concept is vital while planning for sustainable development of a region. (250 words)

Reference: Previous year UPSC CSE paper GS-3 2017

Why the question:

The question is intended to help students revise the concept of carrying capacity of an ecosystem and its relevance in sustainable development.

Key Demand of the question:

One must explain the concept of carrying capacity of an ecosystem as relevant to an environment. Explain how understanding this concept is vital while planning for sustainable development of a region.

Directive:

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by defining what you understand by carrying capacity of an ecosystem.

Body:

Explain the concept of carrying capacity in detail.

In the body explain why taking into account the carrying capacity of the ecosystems matters. It can warn us about the impending crisis in the ecosystem, it can help in efforts to reduce the degradation of the environment, and it also helps reduce the risk of natural disasters if it is taken into account while planning in the area for development work.

Give examples/case studies in support of your answer.

Conclusion:

State what needs to be done to reduce the damage to the environment.

Introduction:

The carrying capacity of an ecosystem is defined as the largest population size that an ecosystem can sustainably support with available resources and without degrading the ecosystem. It also includes a limit of resources and pollution levels that can be maintained without experiencing high levels of change.

Body:

The carrying capacity of an ecosystem depends on following factors

  • Amount of resources available in the ecosystem.
  • Size of the population.
  • Amount of resources each individual is consuming.

Importance of carrying capacity in sustainable development:

  • Carrying capacity is the basis for sustainable development policies that emphasise on balancing the needs of present against the resources that will be needed in the future.
  • The key objectives of sustainable development are eradicating poverty, protecting natural resources and changing unsustainable production and consumption patterns.
  • Sustainable development is the coordinated development of nature and social system with four key elements: population, resources, environment and economy.
  • Carrying capacity concept enables planners to determine the optimum population that can be supported within a given area with adequate infrastructure facilities so that development is environmentally hazard free and sustainable.
  • Carrying capacity focuses on optimum utilisation of resources in an ecosystem which can be used for planning. As the resources are fixed and limited, this can help in development of society in a sustainable way.
  • Carrying capacity determines the supportive and assimilative capabilities of an area to withstand the population load and ensures this limit is not crossed. Carrying capacity helps to keep a check on population size by determining the population size that can be supported by an ecosystem which is essential for sustainable development.
  • Carrying capacity gives an idea of the amount of biologically productive land and water area required to produce all the resources needed by the population for its consumption and developmental activities as well as to absorb the wastes generated. This helps in sustainable development of the region.
  • Carrying capacity also helps to avoid overconsumption of resources by an individual, achieve effective and efficient use of resources and prevention of degradable spatial quality which are essential in sustainable development.

Conclusion:

Carrying capacity can be used to promote economic activities which are consistent with a sustainable social and physical environment. The concept of carrying capacity provides a framework for integrating physical, socio-economic and environmental systems into planning for a sustainable environment.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic : Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.

7. What do you understand by Emotional Intelligence (EI)? Highlight its significance; discuss the ways to develop EI among civil servants. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications.

Why the question:

The question is based on the concept of EI and its importance to civil servants.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the concept of Emotional Intelligence (EI) and discuss its components and bring out its importance to civil servants.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Define first what you understand by EI.

Body:

Emotional Intelligence (EI) refers to the capability of a person to recognize, understand and manage own emotions, as well as to understand, manage and influence emotions of others. It is not always virtuous and can be used as a tool for positive and negative ends.

Discuss then the key 5 components of it.

Explain why it is so valuable in the context of civil servants; bring out its advantages.

The most effective civil servants tend to exhibit a high degree of emotional intelligence. Explain with examples how EI can help the civil servants.

Conclusion:

Conclude that Emotional intelligence is the single best predictor of performance in the workplace and the strongest driver of leadership and personal excellence.

Introduction:

Emotional intelligence or EI is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, and those of the people around you. Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth.

Body:

According to Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist who helped to popularize emotional intelligence, there are five key elements to it:

Self-awareness:

  • The ability to recognize and understand personal moods and emotions and drives, as well as their effect on others.
  • Hallmarks of self-awareness include self-confidence, realistic self-assessment, and a self-deprecating sense of humour.
  • Emotional awareness: This deals with knowledge of one’s emotions and their effects. People having this competency are more aware of their feelings and performance.
  • Accurate self-assessment: This involves being aware of one’s strengths and weaknesses. One is open to feedbacks, new viewpoints, etc.
  • Self-confidence: This relates to complete affirmation of one’s worth and abilities. They are usually more confident and are able to make sound decisions despite any uncertainties or pressures

Self-management:

  • Ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods, and the propensity to suspend judgment and to think before acting. Hallmarks include trustworthiness and integrity; comfort with ambiguity; and openness to change.
  • Adaptability: This involves flexible attitude towards change. People with this competency find it easy to handle changing routines, multiple roles and even shifting priorities.
  • Innovativeness: This involves getting easy with and open to new information and ideas. People who possess this are able to gather new ideas from multiple sources, set challenging roles and are able to take calculated risks. They evolve original solutions to various problems.

Social Awareness:

  • The ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people. A skill in treating people according to their emotional reactions.
  • Empathy does not necessarily imply compassion. Empathy can be ‘used’ for compassionate or cruel behaviour. Serial killers who marry and kill many partners in a row tend to have great emphatic skills.
  • A passion to work for internal reasons that go beyond money and status -which are external rewards, – such as an inner vision of what is important in life, a joy in doing something, curiosity in learning, a flow that comes with being immersed in an activity

Relationship management:

  • Proficiency in managing relationships and building networks, and an ability to find common ground and build rapport.
  • Hallmarks of social skills include effectiveness in leading change, persuasiveness, and expertise building and leading teams.
  • Application of emotional intelligence in administrative practices:

Significance of Emotional intelligence:

  • Appraising emotions arising from situations:
    • Using emotions for reason based decisions and policy making.
    • Identifying emotions in faces, voices, postures, and other content during public management activities.
  • Recruitment:
    • EQ measurement is invaluable in selecting and recruiting high performance workers.
  • Predicting performance:
    • Some companies are blending IQ testing with scientific measurement of EQ to predict job performance and direct workers to jobs where they are most likely to succeed.
  • Negotiation:
    • Whether you’re dealing with a trading partner, competitor, customer or colleague, being able to empathize and be creative in finding win-win solutions will consistently pay off.
  • Performance management:
    • 360-degree feedback is a common tool for assessing EQ. Knowing how your self-perception compares with others’ views about your performance provides focus for career development and positive behavioural changes.
  • Peer relationships:
    • Good networking skills are a staple of job effectiveness for the average worker. Networking has too often been associated with “using” other people, but a heightened EQ ensures a mutually beneficial approach to others.
  • Social responsibility:
    • When a leader cares about others, he is not a centre of attention and keeps everyone in the loop by making their intentions known.
  • Stress tolerance:
    • To stay focused, stress should be managed and it involves own reactions to stress or the reactions of others to the stress.
  • Impulse control:
    • Independent people evaluate the alternatives and initiate the work by taking appropriate action by executing the right options. People who manage their impulses avoid being distracted and losing control of the situation.
  • Optimism:
    • Optimistic people have a target that they’re aiming toward. These people are confident in their ability to carry out the required actions and meet the target by looking for successful solutions to problems.

Ways to develop emotional intelligence in civil servants:

  • Assessing personal strengths and limitations
  • Providing feedback with care
  • Maximizing learner choice
  • Encouraging participation
  • Linking learning goals to personal values
  • Adjusting expectations
  • Gauging readiness
  • Training:
  • Fostering a positive relationship between the trainer and the learner
  • Maximizing self-directed change
  • Setting clear goal
  • Maximizing opportunities to practice emotional intelligence
  • Providing frequent feedback on that practice
  • Enhancing insight into emotions and thought patterns

Conclusion:

The Center for Creative Leadership even draws on research to suggest that 75% of careers are negatively impacted by emotional competency-related themes. These include the inability to respond adaptively to change, nurture trust, lead teams during tough times, and deal effectively with interpersonal problems. So developing your EI skills will help civils servants perform better in the workplace.


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