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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 10 November 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: Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India. Population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

1. Examine how Demographic Dividend is affected by the lack of investment in the human capital. (250 words)

Reference: researchgate.net

Why the question:

Question is based on the theme of demographic dividend.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail in what way demographic dividend is affected by the lack of investment in the human capital.

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:

Define first what demographic dividend is.

Body:

Explain the importance of DD; a demographic dividend is the accelerated economic growth that can result from improved reproductive health, a rapid decline in fertility, and the subsequent shift in population age structure. With fewer births each year, a country’s working-age population grows larger relative to the young dependent population.

Discuss the correlation of it with lack of investment in the human capital.

Give examples and present your opinion.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of demographic dividend to the economy and society in general.

Introduction:

Demographic dividend, as defined by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) means, “the economic growth potential that can result from shifts in a population’s age structure, mainly when the share of the working-age population (15 to 64) is larger than the non-working-age share of the population (14 and younger, and 65 and older).” India has one of the youngest populations in an aging world. By 2020, the median age in India will be just 28 years. Demographics can change the pace and pattern of economic growth.

 Body:

Relationship between the demographic dividend and the human capital quality:

  • Although the accumulation of physical capital is quite important in the process of economic growth of a country but with the passage of time, it is being increasingly realised that the growth of tangible capital stock depends extensively on the human capital formation.
  • In the absence of adequate investment in human capital, utilisation of physical capital will be at low pace, leading to retardation of development.
  • One of the important factors responsible for the rapid growth of the economy is increasing allocation on education resulting significant improvement in the level of human capital formation.
  • Human capital lack critical skills which are very much needed for the industrial sector and again have a surplus labour force. Thus human capital formation should solve these problems by creating necessary skills and also by providing gainful employment.
  • As the poor health and undernourishment adversely affect the quality of manpower, it is important to improve the quality of manpower to positively contribute to economic growth target.
  • Organisations across the world have recognized the importance of skilled manpower and the value it can provide despite being a little costlier. Skilled human capital provides high value for money and initiate a ripple effect in the growth of a country’s economy.

Way Forward:

  • To be able to harness the potential of this large working population, which is growing by leaps and bounds, new job generation is a must. The nation needs to create jobs to absorb the addition of young people into the workforce.
  • Improved infrastructure, skill development, access to easy finance, reducing barriers to entrepreneurship and forums for mentorship of emerging entrepreneurs in partnership with corporates are some of measures.
  • India has to invest more in human capital formation at all levels, from primary education to higher education, cutting-edge research and development as well as on vocational training to increase the skill sets of its growing working-age population.
  • The current situation calls for more and better schools, especially in rural areas. It also calls for better transportation links between rural areas and regional urban hubs.
  • Equally important focus on elderly people to make use of their wisdom and experience.
  • Increasing the number of formal jobs in labour intensive, export-oriented sectors such as textiles, leather and footwear, gems and jewellery These sectors also have a higher share of the female workforce.
  • The flagship schemes such as Skill India, Make in India, and Digital India have to be implemented to achieve convergence between skill training and employment generation.
  • Increased use of technology in all sectors.
  • The government must also ensure better quality of jobs with a focus on matching skill-sets and job opportunities.
  • There is a need to look into these qualitative issues of job satisfaction, job profile and skill matching, and the creation of opportunities for entrepreneurship in order to be able to harness the vast potential of human resources.

Conclusion:

A multi-pronged approach is imperative to reap the demographic dividend. Universal education, value-added skills accretion and massive growth in employment in the formal sectors should be the key focus areas. There is also a need to engage with the youth and create an enabling environment for entrepreneurship. The demographic dividend offers them a unique opportunity to boost living standards, but they must act now to manage their older populations in the near future by implementing policies that ensure a safe and efficient harnessing of the Demographic Dividend.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic : Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

2. Critically evaluate the problems associated with delegation of authority. Suggest guidelines for effective delegation.(250 words)

Reference: Indian polity by Lakshmikant/ Indian Governance by Lakshmikant

Why the question:

The question is based on the concept of delegation of authority and the problems associated with it.

Key Demand of the question:

Critically evaluate the problems associated with delegation of authority. Suggest guidelines for effective delegation.

Directive:

Critically evaluate – When asked to ‘Examine’, we have to look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgment.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Define what delegation of authority is.

Body:

Delegation of authority is the process of transferring responsibility for a task to another employee.

Discuss briefly the underlying principles of it. And then evaluate the problems associated with it.

Problems range from: Overlapping of Responsibilities, Free Flow of Information, Lack of Ability to Direct, absence of control etc.

Discuss each of these problems with suitable examples and then suggest solutions to address them.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of effective delegation of authority.

Introduction:

According to Mooney, delegation means conferring of specified authority by a higher to a lower authority. It means that delegation is the devolution of authority by a superior person to his agent or subordinate subject to his supervision and control. Legally, the delegated authority still belongs to the principal, but in practice, its exercise is allowed to the subordinate or agent.

Terry, however, does not agree with Mooney’s interpretation of delegation. To him, “delegation means conferring authority from one executive or organization unit to another.” Thus delegation is not essentially devolution from a higher to a lower authority. It can as well be from a lower to a higher authority and between equal authorities.

For instance, Delegated legislation (secondary legislation or subordinate legislation) is law made by an executive authority under powers given to them by primary legislation in order to implement and administer the requirements of that primary legislation\Delegated legislation is the name given to legislation or law that is passed otherwise than in an Act of Parliament.

Body:

The following characteristics of delegation may be noted:

  • Delegation is the authorization to act in a certain way independently but within the limits prescribed by the delegation.
  • Delegation has a dual character. As Terry has observed, “it is something like imparting knowledge you share with others, who then possess the knowledge, you still retain the knowl­edge too.”
  • Authority once delegated can be enhanced, reduced or withdrawn according to the changing circumstances.
  • One cannot delegate the authority which he himself does not possess. However, he does not delegate the entire authority, because if he delegates all his authority he cannot work.
  • Delegation may be specific or general. It is specific when courses of action for spe­cific objectives are specified; it is general when these are not specified, though objectives are specified
  • Delegation is an art. It has to be related with duties and responsibilities, personal factors in superior and subordinate, organisational objectives and policies and environment.

Advantages of Delegation of Authority:

  • Effective Leadership:
    • It helps the chief executive to devote his time and energy to more important decisions of the organization. Much of routine work is done at the lower levels and only important business is passed on to the leader. Effective leadership is made possible only through the process of delegation.
  • Immense Educative Value:
    • One of the duties of a manager is to build up his subor­dinates, to train them in the art of sharing responsibility and making decisions which is possible only through delegation. Delegation of authority has, therefore, much educative value.
  • Flexibility in Rigidities:
    • Delegation provides the necessary flexibility to the other­wise rigid procedures. Delegation helps to adjust procedures according to the needs of situa­tions.
  • Economy and Efficiency:
    • Proper delegation of authority minimizes delay, makes ser­vice more effective, economical and efficient. These are the virtues of division of labour and delegation of authority.

Problems associated with the Delegation of authority:

It may be mentioned that no leader can render himself superfluous by delegating all his authority to his subordinates. The degree to which delegation is possible varies from case to case depending upon the nature of the case, the circumstances and the responsibilities involved. Generally speaking, the following powers cannot be delegated:

  • The supervision of the work of the first line or immediate subordinates;
  • General financial supervision and the power to sanction expenditure above a specified amount;
  • Power to sanction new policies and plans and departures from established policy or precedents;
  • Rule-making power where it is vested in the delegating officer;
  • Making of the specified higher appointments;
  • Hearing of appeals from the decisions of at least the immediate subordinates.
  • Through constitution, laws and political institutions authority to be delegated is re­stricted.
  • Delegation to incompetent staff is avoided. However, this is not to be an excuse to keep authority concentrated in the hands of an Administrator.
  • Smaller organisation and its narrower geographical coverage prevent delegation of authority.
  • Delegation is not possible if conditions of work are unstable and change frequently.
  • Delegation is not done if organization concerned is new or if it faces or is likely to face crisis.
  • Lack of effective procedural system in internal communications and work controls make delegation difficult.
  • Power of effecting co-ordination in the organisation vests with the manager. It can­not be delegated.
  • It may also be mentioned that in Indian administration there is lack of adequate delega­tion of authority to various executive levels.
  • The result is that work piles up at the top causing delay in disposal.

Guidelines for effective delegation of authority:

  • Delegation should be written and specific.
  • Authority and responsibility for each position in the management group should be spelled out and delegation should be made to a position rather than to an individual. Authority delegated should be proportionate to the task.
  • Only that much of authority should be delegated as it is within the competence of subordinates to exercise safely.
  • Delegation should be properly planned and be systematic.
  • Systematic reporting system should be established with those to whom the authority has been delegated to ascertain that authority is being used properly.
  • Policies, regulations and procedures should be well defined as to give no misunder­standing to the employees using discretionary powers.
  • There should be free and open lines of communication between the delegators and delegates. This brings the superior and subordinates closer and can help solving many problems which come in the way of delegation.

For instance, in the case of delegated legislation:

  • The Jurisdiction of the courts should not be curtailed.
  • The departments should consult outside interests, which are directly affected by the proposed exercise of rule-making powers.
  • Explanatory notes should be attached to all regulations so that the layman may know why a particular regulation is needed, and how it would be exercised. Besides, there should be an excel memorandum in the Bill indicating what types of regulations are to be made undue the Bill when it is enacted.
  • Uniform procedures should be adopted in regard to all regulations they should be numbered, printed, published, and cited.
  • Rules and regulations should be published; their publication should be a condition precedent to their coming into force.
  • Parliamentary control and supervision should be strengthened.
  • Rule-making power should be delegated to a trustworthy authority, which is approved of by Parliament.

Conclusion:

Delegation of Authority is necessary, and is likely to increase in volume, in view of the complex social organization and vast developmental and promotional activities that a modern government undertakes. Therefore, some safeguards and controls are necessary and desirable. Delegation of authority is inevitable, more so in a society like ours, which is engaged in the transforming itself.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

3. Discuss the concept of Carbon Neutrality? Explain its significance.  Also evaluate the feasibility of such a principle for a developing country like India. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

The article written by former Union Minister for Environment, Jairam Ramesh argues for India to pursue the carbon neutrality principle.

Key Demand of the question:

The question is based on the concept of carbon neutrality. One is expected to discuss its significance and evaluate the feasibility of such a principle for a developing country like India.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Define what carbon neutrality is.

Body:

Carbon neutrality means having a balance between emitting carbon and absorbing carbon from the atmosphere in carbon sinks. In order to achieve net zero emissions, all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions will have to be counterbalanced by carbon sequestration.

Then move onto explain why carbon neutrality is important; to solve the problem of climate change, we all need to take account of our personal carbon emissions and make continued efforts to reduce them ourselves, Going carbon neutral by purchasing carbon offsets is a practical and affordable way to do something about those remaining emissions.

Explain how carbon neutrality can be achieved; explain its feasibility for India.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The theory of carbon neutrality is based on the aim that the sum of all the greenhouse gases any entity puts into and takes from the atmosphere will balance out to zero. For example, for a company to be carbon neutral, any emissions they create must be offset by emissions they reduce elsewhere. It refers to that situation when carbon emissions are equal to absorptions in carbon sinks, of which forests are one. Carbon neutrality, is a far bolder and worthwhile goal, the attainment of which has to be consciously engineered. It will involve massive scientific invention and technological innovation especially when it comes to removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

Body:

Significance:

  • This practice provides a planet-friendly alternative to whatever is being used, whether that’s airplanes, livestock, construction tools or cosmetics.
  • It is often put into place through the use of carbon offsets, which use various systems to measure and value activities that are either greenhouse gas-emitting or offsetting.
  • Essentially, it’s balancing the two sides of the scale for our emissions and what the atmosphere can handle, which is currently overweight on our side of the scale.

Challenges for a developing country like India in achieving Carbon Neutrality in these times:

  • Priority of Public Health:
    • The COVID-19 pandemic is an enormous challenge to societies and economies across the world. The first immediate priority for governments has been to deal with the health crisis and save lives.
  • Acerbating climate change events:
    • Climate change is an existential threat, posing severe risks to individuals, society and to the economy, as exemplified by the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events.
    • The economic losses incurred from weather-related disasters amounted to an estimated USD 337 billion in 2017 and these numbers are expected to grow substantially in the near future.
  • Vulnerability of societies to high-impact global shocks:
    • The COVID-19 crisis can provide lessons about the vulnerability of our societies to high-impact global shocks and on the important role of public policies in mitigating the risks by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Lack of Coordinated international actions:
    • The global nature of COVID-19 is a reminder that global shocks such pandemics, economic crises and climate-related disasters, are best tackled through co-ordinated international action and by following scientific advice.
  • Reduced investments on low-carbon initiatives:
    • There is a risk that the crisis might actually make things worse from the climate mitigation point of view.
    • The reduction in emissions in the long run requires large investments, from both the public and private sector, in low-carbon technologies i.e. both on the innovation and the diffusion side.
  • Lockdown impacted only emissions but not behavioural changes of people:
    • The lockdowns imposed across the globe and the associated collapse of economic activity has caused large reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from transportation and industrial activity.
    • The COVID-19 pandemic could well trigger permanent behavioural changes in the way people work, travel and trade, which may or may not support climate change mitigation.

Measures needed towards achieving Carbon Neutrality:

  • Low-carbon transition goal:
    • As both fossil fuel and low-carbon investments are under considerable stress, policies have a particular opportunity to tilt the balance towards more sustainable energy sources.
    • The recovery from the crisis can be harnessed to speed up the low-carbon transition, taking into account lessons learnt from previous green recovery packages adopted following the Global Financial Crisis.
  • Sustaining the climate policies at previous levels:
    • The lifeline support to firms and industries should not be combined with the dismantling or watering down of environmental policies.
    • The backtracking on environmental policies, such as weakening environmental rule enforcement, dismantling carbon markets or lowering vehicle fuel efficiency standards must be avoided.
  • Direct support to firms contingent on environmental improvements:
    • The bailouts of ailing companies provide an opportunity for governments to steer investment toward low-carbon production modes and emissions reductions once they are afloat again, and support workers through re-training in low-carbon technologies.
  • Investing in low-carbon infrastructure:
    • The investment opportunities that could support a low-carbon transition such as investments in power system flexibility, public transport infrastructure, charging stations for electric or hybrid vehicles, energy efficient retrofitting of buildings, carbon capture facilities, and renewable energy deployment.
  • Continuing government support for innovation and start-ups:
    • The efforts of the government should be maintained in order to continue the development of low-carbon technologies.
    • In addition to basic research, this includes support for deployment and commercial demonstration to help achieving market scale through risk-sharing between public and private sectors.

Way forward:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic reinforces the need to pay far greater attention to the biosciences that underpin agriculture, health and the environment that are going to be profoundly impacted by the current pandemic.
  • The report of the Ministry of Earth Sciences called ‘Assessment of climate change over the Indian region’ points to the need for making our future science and technology strategy in different areas anchored in an understanding of the impacts of climate change caused by continued emissions of greenhouse gases.
  • The careful preparation of recovery policies presents opportunities to simultaneously address recovery and climate objectives, which critically depend on actions and investments over the next decade.
  • The recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity to move forward along a more sustainable path towards resilience and adaptation in the light of anthropogenic climate change.

Conclusion:

Going carbon neutral is absolutely a step in the right direction, but reducing carbon emissions is only the first step in reducing the harm humans do to the environment. Many businesses are purchasing carbon credits to compensate for the CO2 they emit, planting trees and investing in wind farms and solar panels.

While this is undoubtedly an excellent idea in theory, it has received criticism because unless it is monitored correctly, it may simply be a practice of “passing the carbon buck.” In other words, doing one positive thing in one area does not entirely compensate for the damage done elsewhere: it only really mitigates for it.

Ultimately, such acts as planting trees and funding renewable energy plants and farms must be our priority, alongside actively seeking less harmful transport, food and energy alternatives.

 

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

4. Account for the need of Mountain- specific policies for sustainable development of Himalayan region of India. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

The article of The Hindu explains to us the need of sustainable development for the Himalayan region of India.

Key Demand of the question:

One must account for the need of Mountain- specific policies for sustainable development of Himalayan region of India.

Directive:

Account – Weigh up to what extent something is true. Persuade the reader of your argument by citing relevant research but also remember to point out any flaws and counter- arguments as well. Conclude by stating clearly how far you are in agreement with the original proposition.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

One can start by describing the importance of these mountain ecosystems in general.

Body:

The significance of Himalayas lies in the fact that they are one of the youngest chains of mountains in the world harboring a diverse ecosystem, with intriguing complexity. The region is among the 36 world biodiversity hotspots. According to a report by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, the region encompassing the Hindu Kush Himalaya encompasses 240 million people.

Discuss why these mountains need specific targeted policies; The Mountains are the most resilient; yet, ironically, their inhabitants are vulnerable. With few livelihood options, forests form an essential life support system for the locals. However, dwindling natural resources, unsustainable agricultural practices, lack of basic amenities and so on create a challenge for local sustenance. Demographic shifts, weak institutional capacity, poor infrastructure, and a paucity of adequate information on mountain-specific climate change pose challenges to capacity-building in the region.

Discuss the efforts of the government in this direction.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The Himalayas are one of the youngest chains of mountains in the world harbouring a diverse ecosystem and lies in its intriguing complexity. The region is among the 36 world biodiversity hotspots. According to a report by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, the region encompassing the Hindu Kush Himalaya encompasses 240 million people. With few livelihood options, forests form an essential life support system for the locals.

Body:

Indian Himalayan Region:

  • The IHR covers ten states and and four hill districts of India, viz. Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, among the states and the hill districts of Dima Hasao, Karbi Anglong in Assam and Darjeeling, Kalimpong in West Bengal.
  • The uncontrolled demand-driven economic growth has led to haphazard urbanization, environmental degradation and increased risks and vulnerabilities, seriously compromising the unique values of Himalayan ecosystems.
  • In addition to a focus on economic growth, the roadmap for sustainable development of the Indian Himalayas needs to be in sync with the relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Therefore, the development in the Himalayas must be fully embedded in the environmental, socio-cultural and sacred tenets of the region.

Importance of Himalayas:

  • Strategic position: The Himalayan ecosystem is vital to the ecological security of the Indian landmass and occupies the strategic position of the entire northern boundary (NorthWest to North-East) of the country.
  • A reliable source of clean energy: The immense hydropower potential of the Himalayas which could make it a reliable source of clean energy thus reducing the carbon emissions.
  • Maintaining weather: These mountain ranges guard our country against the cold and dry winds coming from Central Asia the absence of these mountains, India would have been a dry desert.
  • They also cause most of the rainfall in northern India by acting as a barrier for the monsoon winds.
  • Source of water and Forest: These mountains are the source for 10 major river systems in Asia, a lifeline for almost half of humanity.
  • This is important not only for Himalayan states but for the future of all North Indian states dependent on rivers originating from there.
  • Local communities are dependent on forests for their agriculture and basic needs.
  • Cultural Importance: From the story of Lord Shiva and Parvati to Bhagavad Gita and almost all Indian cultural and traditional books, there is mention of the importance of Himalayas.

Challenges faced by the people in the Himalayan region:

  • Dwindling natural resources, unsustainable agricultural practices, lack of basic amenities and so on create a challenge for local sustenance.
  • Demographic shifts, weak institutional capacity, poor infrastructure, and a paucity of adequate information on mountain-specific climate change pose challenges to capacity-building in the region.
  • Studies have revealed low food availability and decreased self-sufficiency owing to the combined pressures of increasing wildlife attacks on crops and livestock and persistent youth out-migration.
  • An increase in male out-migration has put the brunt of household responsibility on the women and the elderly, who tend to focus more labour on livestock production, often to the neglect of crop agriculture, further rendering the land unproductive and prone to wildlife foraging.
  • Lack of irrigation sources and drying up of local gadhera (small river tributaries), dhara (spring), naula (aquifer) etc., amidst uneven precipitation and erratic rainfall have added to the water woes of the hills.
  • With traditional crops being replaced by cash crops, agro-biodiversity of the region has declined and dietary patterns have altered.
  • This has increased nutritional insecurity, and undermined long-term agricultural sustainability in the region.

Measures needed for sustainable development of Himalayan region of India:

  • Mountain-specific policies to strengthen livelihood opportunities based on both farm and non-farm activities should be developed.
  • Organic farming methods like use of biopesticides and botanicals and bio-composting should be promoted.
  • Local food systems need to be revived and niche products of the mountain need to be developed.
  • Marketing systems and infrastructure need to be strengthened.
  • Healthy livestock management practices should be explored and the potential of medicinal plants harnessed.
  • Region-specific water security and cleaner energy solutions should be sought by bringing key stakeholders in a synergistic partnership.
  • In all this, people’s role, especially that of the women, should not be ignored.
  • As custodians of important traditional knowledge on preparation of seeds, harvesting, the medicinal use of plant species, etc., their inclusion in policymaking and the decision-making process becomes all the more crucial.

Measures undertaken:

  • National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Eco-system: It aims to understand scientifically the complex processes affecting this eco-system and evolve suitable management and policy measures for sustaining and safeguarding the Himalayan eco-system including Himalayan glaciers.
  • SECURE Himalaya project: SECURE Himalayas project is spread over 6 years. The objective of the project is to secure people’s livelihood, restore, conserve and use sustainably the high range ecosystems of the Himalayas.
  • The key focus of the project is on improving the enforcement to ensure the reduction in wildlife crime, protection of snow leopard and other endangered species and ensuring a secure livelihood to the people in the region.

Way forward:

  • The fragile situation of the Himalayan regions calls for countries in the region and donor governments and the private sector to step up financial commitments for conservation.
  • Greater regional cooperation is a must to take up such a region with great bio-diversity and cultural diversity.
  • The NGOs, self-help groups, environmentalists, and conservationists should to come together at one platform and start a movement and campaign aimed at the conservation of the Himalayas.
  • There should be a ‘Swachh Himalaya Mission’ on the lines of Swachh Bharat Mission.
  • Mountain-specific policies required to strengthen livelihood opportunities based on both farm and non-farm activities should be developed.
  • Making tourism sustainable by adopting an ecotourism model where pressure on natural resources would be the least.

 

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. Examine the relevance of agricultural growth in development of Indian economy. (250 words)

Reference: Indian economy by Dutta and Sundaram

Why the question:

The question is from GS paper III and aims to ascertain the relevance of agricultural growth in development of Indian economy.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the relevance of agricultural growth in development of Indian economy.

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:

Start by explaining how Indian economy has primarily been an agriculture driven economy.

Body:

Agriculture is the mainstay of the Indian economy. Agriculture and allied sectors, contribute nearly 22 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP of India). About 65-70 per cent of the population is dependent on agriculture for their livelihood.

The answer must not focus on just the importance of agricultural growth but must focus on relevance of agri growth factor and its development.

Present the interlinkages; explain how and why growth in agriculture can be promising to development of the economy.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance.

Introduction:

Agriculture plays a vital role in the Indian economy.  Over 70 per cent of the rural households depend on agriculture. Agriculture is an important sector of Indian economy as it contributes about 17% to the total GDP and provides employment to around 58% of the population. Indian agriculture has registered impressive growth over last few decades.  The foodgrains production has increased from 51 million tonnes (MT) in 1950-51 to 250MT during 2011-12 highest ever since independence

Body:

The relevance of agricultural growth in development of Indian economy:

Though industry has been playing an important role in Indian economy, still the contribution of agriculture in the development of Indian economy cannot be denied. This can be measured and gauged by the following facts and figures:

  • Agricultural influence on national income:
    • The contribution of agriculture during the first two decades towards the gross domestic product ranged between 48 and 60%. In the year 2001-2002, this contribution declined to only about 26%.
  • Agriculture plays vital role in generating employment:
    • In India at least two-thirds of the working population earn their living through agricultural works. In India other sectors have failed generate much of employment opportunity the growing working populations.
  • Agriculture makes provision for food for the ever increasing population:
    • Due to the excessive pressure of population labour surplus economies like India and rapid increase in the demand for food, food production increases at a fast rate. The existing levels of food consumption in these countries are very low and with a little increase in the capita income, the demand for food rise steeply (in other words it can be stated that the income elasticity of demand for food is very high in developing countries).
    • Therefore, unless agriculture is able to continuously increase it marketed surplus of food grains, a crisis is like to emerge. Many developing countries are passing through this phase and in a bid to ma the increasing food requirements agriculture has been developed.
  • Contribution to capital formation:
    • There is general agreement on the necessity capital formation. Since agriculture happens be the largest industry in developing country like India, it can and must play an important role in pushing up the rate of capital formation. If it fails to do so, the whole process economic development will suffer a setback.
  • Supply of raw material to agro-based industries:
    • Agriculture supplies raw materials to various agro-based industries like sugar, jute, cotton textile and Vanaspati industries. Food processing industries are similarly dependent on agriculture. Therefore, the development of these industries entirely is dependent on agriculture.
  • Market for industrial products:
    • Increase in rural purchasing power is very necessary for industrial development as two- thirds of Indian population live in villages. After green revolution the purchasing power of the large farmers increased due to their enhanced income and negligible tax burden.
  • Influence on internal and external trade and commerce:
    • Indian agriculture plays a vital role in internal and external trade of the country. Internal trade in food-grains and other agricultural products helps in the expansion of service sector.
  • Contribution in government budget:
    • Right from the First Five Year Plan agriculture is considered as the prime revenue collecting sector for the both central and state budgets. However, the governments earn huge revenue from agriculture and its allied activities like cattle rearing, animal husbandry, poultry farming, fishing etc. Indian railway along with the state transport system also earn a handsome revenue as freight charges for agricultural products, both-semi finished and finished ones.
  • Need of labour force:
    • A large number of skilled and unskilled labourers are required for the construction works and in other fields. This labour is supplied by Indian agriculture.
  • Greater competitive advantages:
    • Indian agriculture has a cost advantage in several agricultural commodities in the export sector because of low labour costs and self- sufficiency in input supply.

Recent contribution of Agriculture to Indian Economy:

  • In 2019-20 total production of horticultural products in India was about 310 million tonnes.
  • In 2019-20, India produced about 24 million tonnes of onion and exported about 2 million tonnes from it.
  • The potato production in 2019-20 was about 51 million tonnes and tomato production stood at about 19 million tonnes.
  • As per estimates, total fresh vegetables production was about 97 million tonnes and about 16 lakh tonnes of it was exported.
  • Grapes production in 2019-20 was about 1.9 lakh million tonnes, mangoes stood at about 49 thousand million tonnes (besides processed mango pulp adding another 85 thousand tonnes).
  • As of 2019, India’s livestock population rose to around 530 million including cattle, buffaloes, goats, sheep, pigs and poultry.
  • India is world’s largest milk producer and exports milk to countries like Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, the UAE, and Afghanistan etc.
  • In 2019-20 about 190 million tonnes of milk was produced. In 2019-20, poultry meat in India accounted for about 4 million tonnes and buffalo meat for about 1.5 million metric tonnes.
  • India’s fish production in 2019-20 was approximately 13 thousand tonnes.
  • In terms of export, India exported about 11 lakh million tonnes of buffalo meat, 14 thousand million tonnes of sheep/goat meat and 3.5 lakh million tonnes of poultry products in 2019-20.

Conclusion:

India is an agrarian country with about 50% of the population depending on it for livelihood. It has significant contribution in country’s overall economic development as well. The agriculture sector has certain issues like lack of proper infrastructure, complex marketing framework, lack of proper irrigation facilities, lack of proper credit facilities etc. These issues are being addressed by the government through its various schemes and policies. However, more effort is needed in order to develop the sector and the existing issues. It has also been noticed that the contribution of agriculture in economy has been declining in the last few years. This poses serious threat to a significant portion of the population and needs to be addressed at the earliest. On comparing the percentage contribution of agriculture in GDP with its share in total employment, it can be clearly noticed that issue of disguised unemployment exists in the sector. This overabundance of labour force in agriculture reduces the per capita income which leads to poverty. This issue also needs to be addressed as it has significant impact on the economy and the livelihood of the farmers.

 

Topic : Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics – in private and public relationships. Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of Family society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

6. State reasons why war is not considered as the first option rather is taken as the last resort? (250 words)

Reference: bbc.co.uk

Why the question:

The question is based on the theme of war ethics.

Key Demand of the question:

One must substantiate with suitable justifications as to why war is not considered as the first option and is often rather taken as the last resort.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly talk about war; usual causes and the ethical dimensions involved.

Body:

War is a state of armed conflict between different countries or different groups within a country. It involves manifestation of violence, hatred, anger, lack of trust etc. It leads to destruction, death, pain and miseries to lot of people.

Explain reasons why war is not considered as the first option rather is taken as the last resort. But sometimes war becomes essential.

Discuss the concept of war ethics in detail.

Then explain why War is not considered as the first option rather taken as last resort; give suitable justifications.

Have a passing reference in the Indian context.

Conclusion:

Conclude by asserting that India has given the world Buddha (peace), not war. Indian values promote peace, harmony and respect for each other. It is evident from the fact that India has never imposed war on any country.

Introduction:

The Ethics of War starts by assuming that war is a bad thing, and should be avoided if possible, but it recognises that there can be situations when war may be the lesser evil of several bad choices. The purpose of war ethics is to help decide what is right or wrong, both for individuals and countries, and to contribute to debates on public policy, and ultimately to government and individual action.

Body:

War ethics also leads to the creation of formal codes of war (e.g. The Hague and Geneva conventions), the drafting and implementation of rules of engagement for soldiers, and in the punishment of soldiers and others for war crimes.

War is not considered as the first option rather is taken as the last resort:

The traditional view:

  • A state should only go to war if it has tried every sensible, non-violent alternative first.
  • This is because a state should not put lives at risk unless it’s tried other remedies first.
  • The alternatives might include diplomacy, economic sanctions, political pressure from other nations, withdrawal of financial aid, condemnation in the United Nations, and so on.
  • These alternatives should be tried exhaustively and sincerely before violence is used.

Alternative view:

  • Some writers don’t think that ‘last’ in last resort refers to the sequence of time. They argue that last resort means that the use of force is ethical only when it is really necessary and when no reasonable alternative is left.
  • They say that that war should be the least preferred course of action, but not necessarily the course of action that isn’t tried until after every other course of action has failed.
  • They argue that sometimes it will be morally better to go to war sooner rather than later.
  • This might be because waiting too long would allow the enemy to do much more damage, or kill more people than an early war would have done; or may allow the enemy to become so established in another country’s territory than far greater force will have to be used to remove him than would have been needed earlier.

However, many would argue that there are times when war is morally permissible, and even obligatory. The most famous way of ethically assessing war is to use ‘Just War Theory’; a tradition going back to St. Augustine in the 5th Century and St. Thomas in the 13th Century. Just War theory considers the reasons for going to war (Jus ad bellum) and the conduct of war (Jus in bello). This distinction is important. A war might be ethical but the means unethical, for instance, using landmines, torture, chemicals and current debate is concerned with drones.

Just War theory sets out principles for a war to be ethical. The war must be:

  • Waged by a legitimate authority (usually interpreted as states)
  • In a just cause
  • Waged with right intention
  • Have a strong probability of success
  • Be a last resort
  • Be proportional

Conclusion:

War is not the only way to bring peace. There are many alternative ways such as negotiating to terms which are reasonable for both the countries and hence resolving the problem. There shall always be a win-win situation. Some terms shall be accepted by one party and some by the others.

We might be divided by religion, sex, color and the boundaries between our countries but we all belong to the human race. One should treat the other like a brother and help each other out. There will be differences for sure, which should be sorted out in a peaceful manner.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic : Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

7. Discuss the importance of Gandhi’s Talisman for a public servant in pursuit of administrative justice. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications

Why the question:

Based on the concept of Gandhi’s Talisman, the question aims to ascertain the importance of it to public servants in the pursuit of administrative justice.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the importance of Gandhi’s Talisman for a public servant in pursuit of administrative justice.

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:

Brief about the Gandhi’s Talisman in the introduction.

Body:

Gandhi said “Whenever you are in doubt, or when the self becomes too much, recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man/woman whom you may have seen, and ask yourself, if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him/her. Will it lead to swaraj for the hungry and spiritually starving millions? Then your self will melt away.”

Explain in what different ways the principle is applicable in to public services such as; framing inclusive policies, judicious utilization of resources, provisions for the marginalized etc.

Present real life examples to justify the same.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of the Talisman and its importance to the entire world. 

Introduction:

The Talisman of Gandhiji says “Whenever you are in doubt, or when the self becomes too much, Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man/woman whom you may have seen, and ask yourself, if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him/her. Will it lead to Swaraj for the hungry and spiritually starving millions? Then your self will melt away.”

This talisman given by Gandhiji to Babu Jagjivan Ram, first Labour Minister of Independent India, hold immense values and provide search light in darkest hour of moral dilemma.

Body:

Significance of Gandhiji’s Talisman:

  • Liberation of poorest of poor: Antodaya philosophy of Pandit Deen Dayal upadhyay finds root in this value premise.
  • Removing poverty destitution and hunger from every face: It is philosophy of “Sarv Jan Hitay, Sarv Jan Sukhay” in contrast to Utilitarian philosophy of Jeremy Bentham.
  • Spiritual awakening: It call for not only liberation of body but also for liberation of mind. It promotes Vedanta philosophy of Swami Vivekananda.
  • The whole value system of Gandhiji rotates around upliftment of society as a whole and it strikes a fine chord with the ancient Eastern philosophy promoted and lead by Indian philosophers.

Gandhiji’s talisman can act as a guiding light for a civil servant in pursuit of administrative justice. One must always use it as a moral compass to guide his/her actions in the following ways:

  • Framing inclusive policies: A civil servant must make sure that the benefits of government policies reach the most needful person. Gandhi’s vision of ‘Sarvodaya through Antyodaya’ can only be achieved when welfare policies are inclusive and well-directed. For eg: Public servants should ensure transparency and integrity in implementation of welfare provisions like PDS, MGNREGA, Old Age Pension Scheme etc. so that their steps lead to swaraj in true sense.
  • Judicious utilization of resources: All public resources must be utilized in a fair and transparent manner. It is the duty of civil servants to check underutilization and misappropriation of public funds. For ex: public money spent on building unnecessary statues and parks can be better utilized for the welfare of the poor.
  • Special provisions for the marginalized: A civil servant should think about how his actions will benefit the marginalized sections of the society. For ex: a civil servant must ensure that the government offices are accessible for the differently-abled citizens. He/she can make sure that there are separate and clean toilets for school girls.
  • Motivating the staff: Civil servants may face the problem of the unskilled and demotivated workforce in government offices. It is his duty to make them realize that efficiency in their work is critical for delivering public services to the last man standing.
  • Handling continuous public criticism: Civil servants are constantly under public scrutiny for their actions. A civil servant must not stop taking decisions which will benefit the poor and downtrodden, even though he/she has to face criticism for that.
  • Managing political interference in work: Political interference must be handled deftly without offending the public representative for the larger public interest. Unnecessary transfers due to political vendetta may deprive the public of the intended benefits of an officer’s proposed policies.
  • Managing personal life: The family of civil servants may face several challenges due to frequent transfers to remote places lacking even the basic infrastructure. Hence, a civil servant should be motivated to work even in remote places and see it as an opportunity to develop better schools, hospitals and public places in such areas.

Conclusion:

Hence, just as the Preamble acts as a key to our constitution, the Gandhian Talisman acts as a key to the soul of humanity. It holds immense value and provides searchlight in the darkest hour of moral dilemma for any civil servant.


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