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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 27 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 : GS-1: Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

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

1. What is “Love Jihad”? critically analyse the issues associated with the law against love jihad. (250 words)

Reference: The Print

Why the question:

The article explains how the UP governments’ anti-‘love jihad’ ordinance can deprive women of their agency.

Key Demand of the question:

One has to explain what “Love Jihad” is and critically analyse the issues associated with the law against love jihad.

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 defining the context of the question, narrate the background briefly.

Body:

Start by discussing what is the whole controversy about. What is the uproar about and proposal by the government of UP and why it is facing criticism.

The proposal is a vicious mix of patriarchy and communalism. The idea was propounded by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister. It legitimizes a term that constitutes an obvious insult against inter-faith marriages and relationships in which one of the parties is a Muslim man. The reason for bringing in such a law is that the Hindu women are under the threat from Muslim youth seeking to win over girls for religious conversion in the name of marriage.

Explain what are the flaws in the concept? – There is no legal sanction to political terms such as ‘love jihad’. There can be no legislation based on an extra-legal concept. In any case, legislative intervention in marriages involving consenting adults will be clearly unconstitutional.

Discuss the court rulings in this direction.

Conclusion:

Conclude with fair and balanced opinion.

Introduction:

Uttar Pradesh have proposed to enact a law to curb ‘love jihad’ through ordinance ‘unlawful religious conversion’. Over the centuries, casteism and religionism has prevailed in India. Despite several laws, the social stigma for interfaith marriages still exists in the Indian Society. However, contemplating laws over interfaith marriage directly violates several rights of people such as right to freedom, personal liberty and right to life.

Body:

  • What is the proposal?
  • This proposal is a vicious mix of patriarchy and communalism.
  • It legitimizes a term that constitutes an obvious insult against inter-faith marriages and relationships in which one of the parties is a Muslim man.
  • The reason for bringing in such a law is that the Hindu women are under the threat from Muslim youth seeking to win over girls for religious conversion in the name of marriage.
  • ‘Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion Bill 2020’:
  • The upcoming law, called ‘Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion Bill 2020’, is worded to claim that it criminalizes only forced religious conversions, however, it has the effect of allowing the State to enter the private decisions of inter-faith couples of how they want to get married.
  • The UP law can have the effect of discouraging with punitive action the marriage between two consenting adults of different faiths, especially because the terms it uses are vague.
  • Any such law cannot hold ground because it is contrary to the basic values of the Constitution on multiple counts.
  • Flaws in the concept:
  • There is no legal sanction to political terms such as ‘love jihad’.
  • There can be no legislation based on an extra-legal concept.
  • In any case, legislative intervention in marriages involving consenting adults will be clearly unconstitutional.
  • Issues with Interfaith Marriages:
  • Interfaith marriages are believed to be a forced conversion of one of the spouses (mostly women).
  • As per the Muslim Personal law, in order to get married to a non-Muslim, conversion of religion is the only way.
  • Hindu religion allows only monogamy and those who want to marry second time take another course.
  • There is no provision regarding caste determination of children born out of such marriages.
  • The Special Marriage Act, 1954 is not compatible with backwardness of the society.
  • There is debate over the validity of Article 226 in context of annulling the interfaith marriage by high court.
  • Court’s Judgement:
  • The Allahabad High Court’s judgment glared upon religious conversion solely for the purpose of marriage.
  • It declined to intervene on a writ petition seeking police protection for a couple, noting that the bride had converted from Islam to Hinduism solely for the purpose of marriage.
  • It had found such an expedient conversion unacceptable, citing a similar 2014 verdict.
  • The 2014 verdict questioned the bonafides of conversions without change of heart or any conviction in the tenets of the new religion.
  • Judgement is useful as a principle that inter-faith couples retain their religious beliefs separately and opt for marriage under the Special Marriage Act.
  • SC noted that Marriage is an extremely personal affair. The right to marry a person of one’s choice or to choose one’s partner is an aspect of constitutional liberty as well as privacy.
  • In 2018, the Supreme Court reiterated this position of law in the Hadiya case, where it rejected the allegation that Hadiya had been forcefully converted to another religion for the purpose of marriage.
  • The Supreme Court has struck down laws restricting individual freedoms on the ground that such a law is “manifestly not only overboard and vague but also has a chilling effect on an individual’s freedom of choice”.
  • Way Forward
  • In order to avoid inclusion of any further laws, there should be acceptance of the special marriage act, 1954 at the mental and social level.
  • The rights should not be exploited; conversion of religion for marriage only is not at all wise.

Conclusion:

BR Ambedkar: “social endosmosis”, which implied that India’s diverse social groups are so mixed that it isn’t easy to separate one from the other. Social endosmosis can occur only when we generate the social emotions of love and fraternity that transcend caste, religion, gender, sexuality, class, and language boundaries.

If a couple wants to get married irrespective of their faith, it is the duty of the State to enable and facilitate them to exercise their freedom, and not restrict it. Instead of bringing an anti- ‘love jihad’ law, the State must relax the vague procedure under the Special Marriage Act to facilitate and promote interfaith marriages.

 

Topic: population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

2. “To make cities women-friendly, urban planners must focus on two core issues —greater safety from violence and adequate childcare support.” comment. (250 words)

Reference: Hindustan Times

Why the question:

The article analyses redesigning urban spaces for women in the country and their importance.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain in detail the need to make cities women-friendly and that urban planning has key role in achieving it.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with statistics and data that show – Urban planning in India does not factor in gender perspectives. The 2019 Safe City Index, prepared by the Economist Intelligence Unit, ranks Mumbai and Delhi as one of the worst cities where women’s safety is concerned.

Body:

Explain that Cities need to be redesigned to address the concerns of women; so that women can work, look after their families easily, and without having to expend more energy, time and money than men do.

Discuss what needs to be done? – To make cities women-friendly, urban planners must focus on two core issues —greater safety from violence and adequate childcare support. Much of the current discourse focuses on improving street lighting and providing safe toilets. These are important but even more critical to making public spaces safer is mixed land-use planning. The segregation of commercial and residential areas automatically increases the commute from work to home and creates entry barriers to mobility for women. Mixed land-use, by encouraging office space and commercial areas in residential localities, makes for regular use of streets, better lighting and encourages women to use public spaces.

Give examples/case studies to justify your answer.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The 2019 Safe City Index, prepared by the Economist Intelligence Unit, ranks Mumbai and Delhi as one of the worst cities where women’s safety is concerned. The Index ranked cities on indicators of personal security, digital security and infrastructure security, among other things.

Body:

Urban planning in India does not factor in gender perspectives. Cities need to be redesigned to address the concerns of women.

  • Six issue areas: New World Bank Handbook is a ‘how-to’ on gender-inclusive urban planning and design
    • Access – using services and spaces in the public realm, free from constraints and barriers
    • Mobility – moving around the city safely, easily, and affordably
    • Safety and freedom from violence – being free from real and perceived danger in public and private spheres
    • Health and hygiene – leading an active lifestyle that is free from health risks in the built environment
    • Climate resilience – being able to prepare for, respond to, and cope with the immediate and long-term effects of disaster
    • Security of tenure – accessing and owning land and housing to live, work, and build wealth and agency
  • Cities women-friendly: Greater safety from violence:
    • Much of the current discourse focusses on improving street lighting and providing safe toilets.
    • Need of mixed land-use planning. The segregation of commercial and residential areas automatically increases the commute from work to home and creates entry barriers to mobility for women.
    • Mixed land-use, by encouraging office space and commercial areas in residential localities, makes for regular use of streets, better lighting and encourages women to use public spaces.
      • Ex: Planned city of Chandigarh, one of the safest for women in India. This city factored in local markets, commercial offices, schools, public parks, post offices, police posts and medical clinics into the design of each small locality or sector.
      • Shaded footpaths were created for walking such that it was possible to cover the city on foot and remain in the shade.
      • And, yet, extensive mixed-use was simply not replicated in other Indian cities. Chandigarh remained an isolated example.
    • A 2019 Ola Mobility Institute study, which surveyed men and women in 11 cities in India, said that while 80% respondents lived within a 15-minute walking distance of a bus stop, only 47% either walked or cycled to the bus stop.
    • The others used shared transport, two-wheelers and cars.
    • Shared transport has been found to be generally unsafe.
    • But in the absence of dedicated footpaths or cycle tracks, women commuters have little option.
    • In reimagining urban spaces, we must not focus on somewhat vacuous efforts such as creating special transport services for women.
    • It would, instead, be far more beneficial to sensitise men to be more civil.
    • The 2015-16 National Family Health Survey indicated that 58% husbands disapproved of wife-beating.
    • In a UN Women-sponsored household survey on sexual violence in public spaces in Delhi in 2012, 94% men said that people should intervene if they see sexual harassment in public spaces.
    • This needs to be built upon and civility inculcated.
    • Cities women-friendly: adequate childcare support:
      • The other priority must be reliable childcare facilities, which are necessary if we expect women to enter the job market, sustain jobs and also pursue leisure activities.
    • Ensuring that enough creches are available throughout the city is important to set women free and support them in discharging their parental duties.
    • For construction sites, mobile creches could be the answer.
    • Recent research by economist Ashwini Deshpande shows that in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, those with children below five years suffered the most in the job market.
    • In April 2019, the average employment of women in this category was 7.8%. This dropped sharply to 2.9% in April 2020.
    • In August 2020, it recovered slightly to 3.5%. What is noteworthy is that it was the most highly-educated women who suffered the maximum job losses.
    • For those with qualifications higher than post-graduate and children below five years of age, the average employment shrank drastically in April 2020, as per the report.
    • With work-from-home becoming the norm, it is the aspirational group of women who lost out the most.
    • An institutional support structure that can take care of this responsibility would improve female participation in the labour force.
    • Way forward:
    • It is entirely possible to address such gaps through pilot projects in smaller townships.
    • If well executed, such projects will draw the population away from the mega-cities.
    • The safety of women is a major concern in any household location decision. Undertaking such projects does not require much by way of capital.
    • Various projects for upgrading city infrastructure are already in execution throughout India.
    • Those can easily be tweaked to incorporate gender perspectives.
    • To make cities women-empowering, we need more imagination and will.

Conclusion:

Finally, there needs to be a real change in the mindsets of those who are at the helm of decision making on matters of policy and design. Currently, these are still men, and this means we are going to get a built environment designed by men, for men.  Only when more women sit at the table, the perspective, the needs and the talents of women can start showing up in the built environment. Otherwise, we will continue to live in environments that are dangerous and inaccessible for half of our population.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

3. What are desalination plants and what is their feasibility? Discuss their application in addressing Indian water woes.(250 words)

Reference: The Print

Why the question:

The explained page of Indian express presents to us insights on the concept of desalinization plants and their feasibility.

Key Demand of the question:

One has to explain what desalinization plants are , their feasibility and their application prospects in addressing water woes of the country.

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:

Worldwide, desalination is seen as one possible answer to stave off water crisis. Recently, Maharashtra announced the setting up of a desalination plant in Mumbai, becoming the fourth state in the country to experiment with the idea.

Body:

Discuss the concept involved in the working of desalinization plants; A desalination plant turns salt water into water that is fit to drink. The most commonly used technology used for the process is reverse osmosis where an external pressure is applied to push solvents from an area of high-solute concentration to an area of low-solute concentration through a membrane.

Explain its applications in the Indian context. Bring out the pros and cons.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of such technologies.

Introduction:

A desalination plant turns salt water into water that is fit to drink. Recently, Maharashtra announced the setting up of a desalination plant in Mumbai. The plant will process 200 million liters of water daily (MLD), and will help in overcoming the water shortage faced by Mumbai in the months of May and June. Maharashtra will be the fourth state to experiment with Desalination Plants.

Body:

  • Desalination Plants: Process is reverse osmosis
  • An external pressure is applied to push solvents from an area of high-solute concentration to an area of low-solute concentration through a semi-permeable membrane.
  • The microscopic pores in the membranes allow water molecules through but leave salt and most other impurities behind, releasing clean water from the other side.
  • These plants are mostly set up in areas that have access to sea water.

reverse_osmosis

  • What is the need to set up a desalination plant in Mumbai?
  • According to the BMC’s projection, the population of Mumbai is anticipated to touch 1.72 crore by 2041 and accordingly, the projected water demand would be 6424 MLD by then.
  • Currently, BMC supplies 3850 MLD as against the requirement of 4200 MLD each day.
  • In 2007, a state government-appointed high-level committee had suggested setting up desalination plants in Mumbai, however, over the years the authorities have avoided building the project claiming that the cost is prohibitive.
  • Desalination plants: Feasibility
  • Costly to build and operate desalination plants as the plants require huge amounts of energy.
  • Energy costs account for one-third to one-half of the total cost of producing desalinated water.
  • The environmental impact is another non-feasible issue to water desalination plants. Disposal of the salt removed from the water is a major issue.
  • This discharge, known as brine, can change the salinity and lower the amount of oxygen (Hypoxia) in the water at the disposal site, stressing or killing animals not used to the higher levels of salt.
  • In addition, the desalination process uses or produces numerous chemicals including chlorine, carbon dioxide, hydrochloric acid and anti-scalents that can be harmful in high concentrations.
  • Desalination Plants: application in addressing Indian water woes
  • Between 2001 and 2011, there has been a significant decrease in use of wells (22.0 %), as a major drinking water source, indicating fall in ground water tables.
  • Per capita annual availability of water in the country is expected to fall from 1860-meter cube a year in 2001-to-1140-meter cube a year by 2050.
  • Niti Aayog report warns that 21 cities are likely to run out of groundwater by 2020. Report estimates that demand will be twice the availability by 2030 and water scarcity would account for a 6% loss in India’s gross domestic product (GDP).
  • Rural areas also cannot rely on groundwater due to erratic rains and the fact that the groundwater is increasingly used for farming when monsoon rains are delayed or insufficient.
  • It can extend water supplies beyond what is available from the hydrological cycle, providing an “unlimited”, climate-independent and steady supply of high-quality water.
  • It can provide drinking water in areas where no natural supply of potable water exists.
  • As it generally meets or exceeds standards for water quality, water desalination plants can also reduce pressure on freshwater supplies that come from areas (over exploited water resources) that need protecting.
  • Opportunities:
  • The environmental problem can be changed into an economic opportunity as:
    • The discharge (brine) can also contain precious elements like uranium, strontium as well as sodium and magnesium which have the potential to be mined.
    • Brine has been used for aquaculture, with increases in fish biomass of 300%. It has also been successfully used to cultivate the dietary supplement Spirulina, and to irrigate forage shrubs and crops.
  • Use of Desalination Plants in India:
  • It has largely been limited to countries in the Middle East and has recently started being used in parts of the United States and Australia.
  • In India, Tamil Nadu has been the pioneer in using this technology, setting up two desalination plants near Chennai in 2010 and then 2013.
  • The other states that have proposed these plants are Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.

Way Forward

  • There is a need to make desalination technologies more affordable, i.e., increasing the viability of desalination for addressing Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG-6: Ensure Access to water and Sanitation for All).
  • To do this, technological refinement for low environmental impacts and economic costs, along with innovative financial mechanisms to support the sustainability of desalination schemes, will likely be required.

 

Topic : GS-2: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

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

4. As per the figures presented by the Reserve Bank of India recently, India is in an economic recession for the first time in its independent history. In this context discuss the need for India to shed its exaggerated fears of trade agreements to create new jobs. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

As per the figures presented by the Reserve Bank of India, India is in an economic recession for the first time in its independent history. Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

discuss the need for India to shed its exaggerated fears of trade agreements to create new jobs

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 upon the issues at hand related to Jobs, exports and trade pacts in the country.

Body:

Jobs are the first casualty during a recession. Thousands of people lost their jobs due to the slowing economy in 2018-19 and 2019-20. Unemployment had reached a 45-year high. More than 2 crore people lost their jobs and incomes during the lockdown.

Exports – Despite the “Make in India”, export volumes have decreased in the last six years. The reason for this is seen as the complete reversal in the direction of India’s foreign trade policy with higher tariffs, non-tariff barriers, quantitative limits, the return of licensing, border country restrictions and the appreciating value of the rupee.

Then talk about the trade agreements; Exports are linked to trade agreements. The member-countries of a trade agreement promote trade among themselves with easy rules but restrict trade with non-members with hard rules. Unfortunately, India has turned towards what seems like an anti-FTA policy.

Explain what needs to be done.

Conclusion:

Conclude that India must re-learn to engage with other countries and negotiate favorable trade agreements through the bilateral and multilateral routes. The art of survival in a fiercely competitive world is engagement and negotiation.

Introduction:

India’s economy contracted by 23.9% in the first quarter of 2020-21. According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Indian economy will further contract by 10% in the July-September quarter. This is technically defined as a recession by economists. India is in an economic recession for the first time in its independent history.

Body:

  • Economic recession: Loss of Jobs:
  • Thousands of people lost their jobs due to the slowing economy in 2018-19 and 2019-20.
  • Unemployment had reached a 45-year high. By one estimate, more than 2 crore people lost their jobs during the lockdown.
  • The single biggest challenge confronting India today is jobs.
  • When people are poor, hungry and desperate, any job will be a blessing.
  • The job that requires hard, manual work and pays the lowest daily wage is the work provided under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme.
  • During the seven-month lockdown period, there were 11 crore people who asked for work under MGNREGA. That is 20 times more than the total number of persons employed by all the companies listed on the stock exchange.
  • Let us suppose that the government makes available ₹10 lakh as a loan to four companies for capital investment. The first company, a steel manufacturing company, will create one new job with this amount. The second, an automobile manufacturer, will create three new jobs. The third, a producer of leather goods, will create 70 new jobs. And the fourth, an apparel and garment maker, will create 240 new jobs including 80 for women (Economic Survey 2016-17).
  • An estimated 12.2 crore Indians lost their jobs during the coronavirus lockdown in April: CMIE
  • Jobs: Creation
  • Large numbers of good quality jobs can be created only in sectors that are labour intensive, and where India has a comparative advantage, such as apparel, leather goods, value-added agriculture and so on.
  • These job-creating sectors depend not only on the domestic market but, significantly, on export markets.
  • More than one-half of the leather goods and one-third of the apparel produced in India are exported to other countries.
  • India, therefore, needs to find more export markets, nurture them, and sustain them amid intense global competition.
  • Merchandise exports also create supporting jobs in warehousing, transport, stevedoring, container stations, shipping, ship chandling, ports and export financing.
  • It is therefore very important to encourage and incentivise exports to be able to create many new jobs in the country.
  • A recent research study by Arvind Subramanian and Prof. Shoumitro Chatterjee shows how exports were the most significant factor that drove the Indian economy in the ‘boom years’ of 2003-2012.
  • Contrary to popular perception, Subramanian and Chatterjee have shown that during the period since 1995, India did exceptionally well not only in exports of services such as information technology but also in the exports of manufactured goods and other merchandise.
  • India was the third fastest growing exporter of manufactured goods in this period with 12% annual growth, after Vietnam and China.
  • There is irrefutable evidence that India’s new trade policy, unveiled first in 1991-92, and taken forward by every subsequent government until 2014, has paid rich economic dividends in generating jobs, incomes and consumption.
  • Exports and agreements
  • Unfortunately, despite the “Make in India” hype, export volumes have languished in the last six years. Merchandise goods exports were $314 billion in 2013-14 and remained stagnant for the next five years touching $313 billion in 2018-19.
  • The reason for this (other than the disruption of export supply chains due to demonetization and Goods and Services Tax) is the complete reversal in the direction of India’s foreign trade policy with higher tariffs, non-tariff barriers, quantitative limits, the return of licensing, border country restrictions and the appreciating value of the rupee.
  • There were more winners than losers because of trade agreements. Some historic trade agreements were the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR). Half-hearted and hesitant agreements like the South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) failed.
  • Exports are linked to trade agreements. The member-countries of a trade agreement promote trade among themselves with easy rules but restrict trade with non-members with hard rules.
  • Many countries rushed to conclude bilateral agreements (free trade agreements or FTA) because they realized the benefits to members. Non-members suffered.
  • Shed exaggerated fears of trade agreements.
  • It is true that FTA provisions were also misused by some countries to question the foreign investment policies and tax policies of other countries, usually recipients of foreign direct investment (FDI) like India.
  • Purely trade and commercial disputes were dragged to international arbitral tribunals on the pretext of violating FTA provisions.
  • India cannot ‘protect’ its domestic industry with high trade barriers while aspiring for bilateral trade treaties to promote exports.
  • This ‘have the cake and eat it too’ approach is naive and detrimental.
  • Most manufacturing today has a long supply chain that cuts across many countries.
  • To be able to export goods, India must import raw materials or equipment or technology from other countries in the supply chain.
  • Way forward:
  • We must re-learn to engage with other countries and negotiate favourable trade agreements through the bilateral and multilateral routes. Otherwise, countries bound by trade agreements among themselves will shut the doors on India’s exports. The art of survival in a fiercely competitive world is engagement and negotiation.
  • India’s economy is in a shamble. Exports are one of the main engines to revive economic growth and create many new jobs.
  • Subramanian and Chatterjee estimate that India has the immediate opportunity to export goods worth $60 billion in labor intensive sectors which can then create lakhs of new jobs.
  • To revive exports, India needs greater and frictionless access to global markets. Protectionism and autarky will take us back several decades.

Conclusion:

Wisdom lies in learning from the past, being smart and resilient in the present and securing our prosperity in the future.

 

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

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

5. With recently introduced labour reforms aimed at changing industrial relations, trade unions must include operative social dialogue to get their grievances redressed. Elaborate. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

Ten central trade unions (CTUs) have called for a nation-wide strike to condemn what they consider to be the anti-people and anti-labour economic policies of the government. Thus the question context.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain why the trade unions in the country must include operative social dialogue to get their grievances redressed.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by providing for a brief timeline of trade unions and their concerns in the country.

Body:

With the introduction of economic reforms since 1991, employers and the global financial institutions have been lobbying for labour market and structural reforms.

Explain that the recently introduced Codes are based on the fundamental unproven premise that labour laws and inspection system are obstacles in attracting investment, and, hence the government must promote a cheaper and flexible labour market. Discuss the flaws in the codes in detail.

Discuss the impact of Covid-19 and the repercussion of migration on the labour.  Explain what the options available before the trade union are.

Conclusion:

Suggest way forward and conclude.

Introduction:

Ten central trade unions (CTUs) have called for a nation-wide strike to condemn what they consider to be the anti-people and anti-labor economic policies of the government.

Body:

  • Nation-wide strike: Reason
  • Codes and flaws:
  • With the introduction of economic reforms since 1991, employers and the global financial institutions have been lobbying for labour market and structural reforms.
  • The recently introduced Codes are based on the fundamental unproven premise that labour laws and inspection system are obstacles in attracting investment, and, hence the government must promote a cheaper and flexible labour market.
  • While the Codes extend some labour rights such as universal minimum wage, statutory recognition of trade unions, formalisation of employment contracts, and social security to gig and platform economy workers, they also afford substantial flexibility to the employers in terms of easy hire and fire, freedom to hire contract labour and unregulated fixed-term-employment, etc.
  • The Codes have created tremendous insecurity among workers.
  • Trade unions also have contended that many of their suggestions have not been incorporated in the Codes and the COVID-19 relief measures.
  • COVID-19 and migration:
  • Migrant and informal workers underwent woeful experiences during the COVID-19 period.
  • The COVID-19 period has witnessed a maximum amount of legal and extra-legal measures issued by the state.
  • What are the demands?
  • In this context, the central trade unions have these demands:
  • Direct cash transfer of ₹7,500 per month for all non-income tax-paying families.
  • 10 kg of free ration per person per month to all the needy.
  • Expansion of MGNREGA to provide 200 days of work in a year in rural areas at enhanced wages.
  • Extension of employment guarantee to urban areas.
  • Withdrawal of all anti-farmer laws and anti-worker labour codes.
  • A halt to privatisation.
  • Protection of government employment
  • Restoration of old pension schemes, etc.
  • The demands reflect disappointment, hurt and anger experienced by the working class not only during the time of COVID-19 but also for events of the last three decades.
  • Options before the Trade Unions:
  • The central government, as per trade unions, did not conduct an effective and sustaining social dialogue, though it held a few symbolic parleys with them.
  • At the State level, social dialogue institutions are largely absent or weak. The trade unions have six options to confront or soften these measures:
  • Social dialogue: All the parties in the industrial relations system must make effective use of social dialogue, which is a better alternative in a pluralistic democracy.
  • Political lobbying
  • Political confrontation through Opposition parties
  • Legal action by approaching the judiciary
  • Seek the International Labour Organization’s intervention
  • Direct industrial action
  • Way forward:
  • Approaching the judiciary seems to be a suitable option, in the current scenario, provided they have strong legal grounds to challenge reforms introduced by Central or State governments.
  • Though the Supreme Court of India did not respond quickly to provide relief to migrant workers, it has struck down the Gujarat government’s amendment of the Factories Act.
  • Trade unions must explore other avenues such as seeking the ILO’s intervention, judicial action and social dialogue.
  • The ILO’s intervention in May 2020 only provided a temporary respite to trade unions.
  • The labor unions have now resorted to the final option i.e., demonstrative industrial action followed by sustained protest actions.

Conclusion:

This strike is a signal to the larger society of the concerns of workers. Hence, it is legitimate but such action alone will not change the Codes.

There is no alternative to social dialogue in a pluralistic democracy which all the parties in the industrial relations system must make effective use of.

Suitable amendments must be made to the Codes to aid both ease of doing business and to promote labor rights.

This strike must be seen as a reminder of potential, positive reconstruction of laws.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

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

6. India’s democracy, as envisaged by the makers of the constitution, thrived essentially because of the respect of the leaders for the ethical constitutionalism and moral activism of the grassroots activists. Do you agree? Comment. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express 

Why the question:

The article explains the fact that the elected must protect all the unelected instruments of democracy- – judiciary, media and civic organizations.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the significance of ethical constitutionalism and moral activism of the grassroots activists in carving out the Indian Democracy envisages through the constitution.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Present the background of the question.

Body:

Start by defining what you understand by ethical constitutionalism and moral activism and discuss their importance.

Explain how having faith in the above principles have led us to the idea of ethical democracy.

Take cues from the article and explain the views of great leaders and thinkers such as – Mahatma Gandhi, Aristotle, Ambedkar etc.

Elaborate on the concept of ethical democracy and suggest upon its advantages.

Conclusion:

Conclude that Indian democracy has been immensely benefitted from such diverging viewpoints. The core values which our freedom fighters stood for are still the basic structure on which our constitution proudly stands.

Introduction:

The ‘democracy’ that a major part of our world swears by comprises free and fair, multi-party, fixed-term elections based on universal adult franchise in its ideal state. A contestant party winning the majority of votes represents the will of the electorate and gets to form the government; others sit in the opposition until the next election.

Body:

  • India’s Democracy: ethical constitutionalism and moral activism of the grassroots activists
  • World’s successful democracies like the US, UK and India, there is a fine balance between the elected and non-elected institutions with enough safeguards.
  • There was much doubt about the idea of universal adult franchise during the making of the Indian Constitution.
  • But Rajendra Prasad, assured the Assembly’s members about the raw political wisdom of the average Indian as also the strength of the other institutions to safeguard the chairman of the Constituent Assembly, who democratic process.
  • Seven decades of India’s democratic experience bear testimony to the political maturity of the Indian people.
  • However, India has had its own bruises during this period. The infamous Emergency taught an important lesson that Parliament, the elected branch of democracy often described as the “temple of democracy”, can become a circus and democracies can be imperiled if the rulers succeed in jeopardizing the other pillars like the judiciary and free press.
  • Mahatma Gandhi was not a big admirer of the parliamentary system. He never uttered a harsh word against anybody but used words such as “sterile woman” and “prostitute” for the British parliamentary system.
  • Gandhi’s view was that in the British system, the parliament works only for partisan interest – and not for the national interest.
  • “By political independence I do not mean an imitation to the British House of Commons, or the Soviet rule of Russia or the Fascist rule of Italy or the Nazi rule of Germany. They have systems suited to their genius. We must have ours suited to ours… I have described it as Ram Rajya — sovereignty of the people based on pure moral authority,” he wrote in Harijan in January 1937.
  • B R Ambedkar too described democracy in India as “only a top-dressing” on an Indian soil “which is essentially undemocratic”.
  • In his famous “Three Warnings” speech, Ambedkar warned that only constitutional means and institutions should be used hereafter instead of the means used during the freedom movement.
  • He also underscored the importance of social democracy for the success of political democracy.
  • Both were responding to the experiences of their times – Gandhi was referring to the tyranny of the British rule and Ambedkar was responding to the oppressive caste system.
  • Neither was against democracy, but both were against the idea of “majoritarian rule”. For Gandhi, democracy meant the weak getting the same chance as the strong. For Ambedkar, it was about giving voice to the voiceless.
  • For democracies to succeed, both Gandhi and Ambedkar believed that the parliamentary majorities need to be restrained through constitutional ethics and public morality.
  • Constitutional ethics is about leaders respecting constitutional order, conventions and institutions.
  • The elected must protect all the unelected instruments of democracy – judiciary, media and civic organizations.
  • Gandhi’s greater emphasis was on public morality. He insisted that for India’s democracy to succeed, the Congress should convert itself into a lok sevak sangh and work at the grassroots for social, economic and moral independence of the people.
  • True Gandhians chose syndication at the grassroots rather than election to Parliament or legislative assemblies.

Conclusion:

India’s democracy, as envisaged by the makers of its Constitution, thrived essentially because of the respect of the leaders for ethical constitutionalism and moral activism of the grassroots activists. Neither should see the other as an enemy and try to bring them down.

 

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

7. “What really matters for success, character, happiness and life-long achievements is a definite set of emotional skills— not just purely cognitive abilities.” — Daniel Goleman. Elucidate. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications

Why the question:

The question is based on the importance of emotional intelligence.

Key Demand of the question:

One must explain the importance of emotional skills over mere cognitive abilities.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Introduction should briefly explain about cognitive abilities.

Body:

Cognitive abilities are those skills, which are present by birth or innate abilities. E.g. some people are week in calculations which their poor cognitive ability. In general, such cognitive abilities are considered important for professional success, profit and personal growth in career.

Explain what emotional skills are and why they are important for long term success, happiness and strong character.

Emotional skills refer to emotional quotient or emotional intelligence of a person. To achieve long term success in life, eternal happiness and strong character person needs to have high emotional intelligence and not just cognitive abilities.

Conclusion:

According to research by Daniel Goleman, 80% of success at work is because of EI while only 20% is because of cognitive abilities (IQ).

Introduction:

Cognitive ability may be defined as a “mental capability that involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience”

Body:

  • Cognitive abilities are those skills, which are present by birth or innate abilities. Example some people are week in calculations which their poor cognitive ability.
  • In general, such cognitive abilities are considered important for professional success, profit and personal growth in career.
  • Emotional skills refer to emotional quotient or emotional intelligence of a person. To achieve long term success in life, eternal happiness and strong character person needs to have high emotional intelligence and not just cognitive abilities.
  • org defines social emotional skills as “the set of abilities that regulate our thoughts, emotions, and behavior.”
  • Those skills are generally categorized differently from other cognitive abilities such as verbal or mathematical skills that indicate our ability to process information.
  • However, as cognitive abilities, social emotional skills are also responsive to change, dependent on situational or environmental factors and can be developed through a series of learning experiences.
  • They affect how we manage our emotions and engage with the outside world. They also have serious personal and social outcomes.
  • Big Five Theory on personality traits
  • Openness to experience (open-mindedness)
  • Conscientiousness (task performance)
  • Emotional stability (emotional regulation)
  • Extraversion (engaging with others)
  • Agreeableness (collaboration)

five_domains

Conclusion:

According to research by Daniel Goleman, 80% of success at work is because of EI while only 20% is because of cognitive abilities (IQ).


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