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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 22 October 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 : Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

1. Give a comparative analysis of Buddhist and Jain literature as a source of ancient Indian history. (250 words)

Reference: Ancient Indian history NCERT by R S Sharma

Why the question:

The question is straightforward and aims to discuss the contributions of Buddhist and Jain literature as a source of ancient Indian history.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain in detail the contributions of the two literatures while giving a comparative analysis of the two.

Directive:

Compare– provide for a detailed comparison of the two types, their features that are similar as well as different. One must provide for detailed assessment of the two.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Both Buddhist and Jain literature are classified under Brahman literature.

Body:

Most ancient Buddhist texts are also Tripitaka. Buddha’s religious ideas and words are collected in Sutta Pitaka. It is called the Encyclopedia of Buddhism. Jain literature on the other hand is classified into two major categories Agam and Non‑agam sutras. Agam literature consists of many texts, which are the sacred books of the Jain religion. They are written in the Ardha-magadhi, a form of Prakrit language. Non-agam literature consists of commentary and explanation of Agam literature, and independent works, compiled by ascetics and scholars. They are written in many languages such as Prakrit, Sanskrit, Apabhramsa, Old Marathi, Rajasthani, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannad, Tamil, German, and English.

Provide for key features of the two literatures and explain in what way they prove to be one of the important sources of ancient Indian history.

Conclusion:

Conclude with the ideologies of the two sects that hold relevant even today through their literature.

Introduction:

Buddhism and Jainism are ancient religions that developed during the days of Ancient India. Buddhism is based on the teachings of Gautama Buddha, while Jainism is based on the teachings of Mahavira

Body:

Buddhist Literature:

Tripitaka: Tripitaka or Three Baskets is a traditional term used for various Buddhist scriptures.  The three pitakas are Sutta Pitaka, Vinaya Pitaka and Abhidhamma Pitaka.

  • Sutta Pitaka:
    • It contains over 10 thousand suttas or sutras related to Buddha and his close companions
  • Vinaya Pitaka
    • The subject matter of Vinay Pitaka is the monastic rules for monks and nuns. It can also be called as Book of Discipline.
    • Its three books are Suttavibhanga, Khandaka and Parivara.
  • Abhidhammapitaka:
    • Abhidhammapitaka deals with the philosophy and doctrine of Buddhism appearing in the suttas. However, it does not contain the systematic philosophical treatises.

Jatakas: Jatakas are very much close to folklore literature and they contain the tales of previous births of Buddha in poems.

Milinda Panha:

  • Milinda Panha means “Questions of Milinda”. It contains the dialogue of Indo-Greek King Meander and Buddhist monk Nagasena.
  • It has been written in second to first century BC and initially written in Sanskrit. There is only one copy in Sri Lankan Pali of this work. It was printed in the 6th Buddhist council in 1954.

Dipavamsa: The meaning of Dipavamsa is “Chronicle of Island”. It is the oldest historical record of Sri Lanka.

Mahavamsa: Mahavamsa is the most important Pali epic poem. Mahavamsa means “Great Chronicle”. It’s a historical poem in Pali Language which deals about the Kings of Sri Lanka.

 

Mahavastu: Mahavastu means the “Great Event”. It’s a work in prose and verse and is written in Sanskrit, Pali and Prakrit. It details the miracles & earlier lives of Buddha.

Buddha Charita: Buddha Charita is an epic style Sanskrit work by Ashavaghosa. It mainly deals with Buddha’s Life.

Lalitavistara: In Sanskrit Lalit is a Lotus. Lalitvistara is a Sanskrit text that deals with the biography of Buddha.

Jainese Literature:

The canonical literature of Jainism is claimed to have started from Adinatha, the first tirthankara. It is said that these teachings were forgotten and revived by the Tirthankaras from time to time.

The teachings of the Tirthankaras before Mahavir are known as Purva. There were total 14 Purvas which were memorized and passed on through the ages, but later lost into oblivion. Jain Scholar Bhadrabahu, who was also a Sutra Kevali could recite the 14 Purvas. Bhadrabahu is considered to be the last expert of fourteen Purvas. He later migrated to South India, where he would later become guru of Chandragupta Maurya.

Jain Literature is called Jain Agamas. They are canonical texts of Jainism based on Mahavira’s teachings.

Jain Religious Canon

  • 12 Upanga Agams: Upanga Agamas are explanations to Angas
  • 6 Chedasutras: These are texts related to behaviour of Monks and Nuns.
  • 4 Mulasutras: These are texts which provide a base in the earlier stages of the monkhood
  • 10 Prakirnaka sutras: These are texts on Independent or miscellaneous subjects
  • 2 Culikasutras: These are texts which further enhance or decorate the meaning of Angas.

Acharang Sutra (Acaranga Sutra)

  • Acharanga Sutra is the first of the eleven (or 12) Anga Agamas. It is the first text that was studied by the Jain monks.
  • This agam describes the conduct and behaviour of ascetic life and the description of the penance of Lord Mahavir. This is the oldest agam from a linguistic point of view. It was written in Ardhamagadhi Prakrit.

Kalpa Sutra:

  • Kalpa Sutra was written by Bhadrabahu.
  • It contains the biographies of the Jain Tirthankaras, most notably Parshvanath and Mahavira, including the latter’s Nirvana. It is Classic Sanskrit Literature

Conclusion:

The contribution by Buddhism and Jainism to the Indian society is enormous and has led to upliftment of many social castes and make people believe they are equal to others in the society as well.

 

Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times. Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

2. Discuss the starring role and influences of Basavanna as a social reformer. (250 words)

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is based on the theme of important social reformers and their contributions to the society.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain in detail about the personality of Basavanna and his role and contributions as a social reformer.

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:

Basavanna (1106–1167)) was a philosopher and a social reformer, who fought against social evils of his time such as caste system and the ritual practices of Hinduism.

Body:

Explain that his teachings and philosophy transcend all boundaries and address the universal and eternal. Basava was a great humanitarian, who advocated a new way of life, in which divine experience was at the center of life and where caste, gender and social distinctions carried no special importance.

Discuss in detail his contributions to the Indian society.

Explain the bringing of Lingayat faith by him, his contributions through Vachanas etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with his teachings that hold relevant even in today’s times.

Introduction:

Basavanna or Lord Basaveshwara was an Indian 12th-century statesman, philosopher, a poet and Lingayats saint in the Shiva-focussed Bhakti movement and a social reformer in Karnataka. He lived during the reign of the Kalyani Chalukya/Kalachuri dynasty. He was active during the rule of both dynasties but reached his peak of influence during the rule of King Bijjala II in Karnataka, India.

Body:

Role and influences of Basavanna as a social reformer:

  • Basavanna was a philosopher and a social reformer, who fought against social evils of his time such as caste system and the ritual practices of Hinduism.
  • His teachings and philosophy transcend all boundaries and address the universal and eternal.
  • Basava was a great humanitarian, who advocated a new way of life, in which divine experience was at the center of life and where caste, gender and social distinctions carried no special importance.
  • From socio-economic prejudices and untouchability to gender discrimination, he waged war against all ills.
  • Basava championed devotional worship that rejected temple worship and rituals led by Brahmins, and replaced it with personalized direct worship of Shiva through practices such as individually worn icons and symbols like a small linga.
  • Basavanna spread social awareness through his poetry, popularly known as Vachanas.

Lingayats community:

  • The Lingayats/Veerashaiva community, a politically dominant group in Karnataka, are devotees of Shiva.
  • The Lingayats follow 12th-century saint-philosopher Basavanna who had rejected ritualistic worship and pre-eminence of the Vedas.
  • The Veerashaivas sect of the community also worships Shiva idols and practises other Hindu customs.
  • The Lingayats consider the Veershaivas to be part of Hinduism as they follow Hindu customs while the Veerashaivas think the community was an ancient religion established by Shiva and Basavanna was one of its saints.

Anubhava Mantapa:

  • Basavanna staunchly believed in a caste-less society where each individual had equal opportunity to rise up in life.
  • To give force to the noble mission, he conceptualised Anubhava Mantapa– an academy of mystics, saints and philosophers of the Lingayata faith and acted as the fountainhead of thoughts on common human values and ethics.
  • Presided over another great mystic Allama Prabhu, the Anubhava Mantapa also had numerous Sharanas – people from the lower strata of society – as participants.
  • Basavanna himself joined as a participant in the Anubhava Mantapa with other greats like Akka Mahadevi and Allama Prabhu.

Vira-Shaiva movement:

  • Basavanna was a reformer. He became the leader of the Vira Saiva movement. He established a cult that is accepted today by many people.
  • It developed a school of poor priests. It abolished the old priestly class. It adopted the vernacular as the medium for inculcating the supreme truth into the people. It gave to women an important place in religious and social life.
  • It prescribed one ideal of realisation for every individual, high or low.

Conclusion:

Basavanna gave rise to a system of ethics and education at once simple and exalted. But the spirit soon disappeared after the intermarriage that Basava facilitated came to an abrupt end when the couple were punished for the same by the King. The dream of the classless society was shaken and Basava soon realised the meek picture and left for Kudala Sangama and a year later died. Many believe that it was through self-annihilation, because of the agony caused by the failure.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

3. Discuss the current prevailing innovation ecosystem in India and government measures to promote it. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

The article, authored by Amitabh Kant, CEO of the NITI Aayog, discusses the innovation ecosystem in India and government measures to promote it.

Key Demand of the question:

One has to explain in detail the current prevailing innovation ecosystem in India and government measures to promote it.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by explaining what you understand by an innovation system.

Body:

Firstly, highlight the significance of Innovation system; Innovation is important to the advancement of society. Innovation helps solve problems, especially as the world’s problems continue to evolve. New and innovative products/technologies have increased the standard of living and provided people with opportunities to improve their lives. Give examples to justify their significance.

Then move onto explain the measures taken by the government in this direction. The Indian government is putting in place a framework of collaboration, facilitation and responsible regulation. Give examples of each to justify better.

Conclusion:

Conclude on a positive note that is India is on the right path.

Introduction:

India has climbed 4 spots and has been ranked 48th by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in the Global Innovation Index 2020 rankings. GII is an annual ranking of countries by their capacity for, and success in, innovation. It was started in 2007 by INSEAD and World Business a British magazine. It is published by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the WIPO, in partnership with other organisations and institutions.

Body:

India’s performance this year

  • In midst of the COVID -19 pandemic, it comes as uplifting news for India and is a testament of its robust R&D Ecosystem.
  • India was at the 52nd position in 2019 and was ranked 81st in the year 2015.
  • The WIPO had also accepted India as one of the leading innovation achievers of 2019 in the central and southern Asian region, as it has shown a consistent improvement in its innovation ranking for the last 5 years.

REALISTIC POTENTIAL:

  • FERTILE GROUND: India is a fertile ground to be a technology-led innovation garage.
  • INTERNET USAGE: It is the fastest growing country in terms of Internet usage, with over 700 million users and the number projected to rise to 974 million by 2025.
  • FINANCIAL INCLUSION: The JAM trinity (Jan Dhan, Aadhaar, and Mobile) trinity has 404 million Jan Dhan bank accounts with 1.2 billion Aadhaar and 1.2 billion mobile subscribers.
  • There is a potential to add over $957 billion to India’s GDP by 2035 with artificial intelligence (AI), -Report by Accenture.

POSSIBILITIES: Innovation in India is being structured around the triad of collaboration, facilitation and responsible regulation.

  • CROSS-DISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION: In his famous essay, ‘I Pencil’, Leonard Read brings forward the wonder of collaboration between people cutting trees, mining graphite, working in factories, marketing, designing and managing, just toproduce a single pencil.
  • EXPONENTIAL GROWTH: Innovation is a recombinant and brings tangential benefits through products and servicesthat may not even have been its initial purpose.
  • POTENTIAL OF TECHNOLOGY: People tend to overestimate the impact of a new technologyin the short run, but to underestimate it in the long run.

Recent Events:

  • VAISHVIK BHARATIYA VAIGYANIK (VAIBHAV) SUMMIT: It was inaugurated on October 2, more than 3,000 overseas Indian-origin academicians and scientists from 55 countries participated to ideate on innovative solutions to our challenges.
  • RAISE 2020 SUMMIT: This has been concomitant to the Responsible AI for Social Empowerment (RAISE) 2020 summit, which was from October 5-9.

START-UP DISRUPTIONS:

  • DISRUPTING START UPS: This focus on celebrating innovation has led to several start-ups disrupting the Indian market.
  • THE RECENT WINNERS: ‘Digital India Aatmanirbhar Bharat Innovate Challenge’ – Chingariwith its video communication tools and MapMyIndia with its elaborative maps, ‘Logically’ are becoming household names.
  • NEO-BANKINGYelo is offering neo-banking paymentand money transfer services online for workers in the gig economy.
  • NIRAMAINon-Invasive Risk Assessment with Machine Intelligenceuses an AI-based thermal imaging portable tool that carries out non-invasive breast cancer screening for women for early detection.
  • RISK CAPITAL: Innovation needs risk capitalin terms of resources and psychological security for researchers.
  • CONDUCIVE ENVIRONMENT: It needs an environment where it is safe to fail.

A COMPREHENSIVE FRAMEWORK: Government of India is incentivising research and development with several schemes such as:

  • Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) scholarships
  • The Ramanujan Fellowship, the Knowledge Involvement in Research Advancement through Nurturing (KIRAN) scheme
  • Smart India Hackathons (SIH)
  • Atal Innovation Mission (AIM)
  • Biotechnology Ignition Grant (BIG) scheme
  • Future Skills PRIME (Programme for Reskilling/Upskilling of IT Manpower for Employability) capacity building platform.
  • Scheme for Transformational and Advanced Research in Sciences (STARS)
  • Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC)
  • Impactful Policy Research in Social Science (IMPRESS)
  • REGULATORY SANDBOXES: The Reserve Bank of India, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) allow for regulatory sandboxes for piloting new ideas.
  • CLOUD SERVICES: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recently introduced recommendations for regulating cloud services in India, suggesting a light-touch regulation in collaboration with industry.

Conclusion:

Offset policy can play a vital role in the growth of a vibrant domestic defence sector, if it is designed and executed correctly, as is evident from the experience in the aerospace sector.

 

Topic: GS-2: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

 GS-3: Disaster and disaster management.

4. Indian cities are progressively witnessing the disaster of  urban flooding. What are the key causes for their increase? Also discuss foremost mitigation measures for urban flooding. (250 words)

Reference: wr i-india.org

Why the question:

The article brings to us the grave concerns of urban flooding in the country.

Key Demand of the question:

One must discuss the main reasons responsible for increase in the number of urban floods every year in the country and discuss mitigation measures to resolve the same.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by talking about the urban flood management in India.

Body:

First, discuss the issue facing the urban areas in the case of floods. Explain the underlying reasons ranging from lack of urban water and sanitation infrastructure, lack of urban governance in this field etc.

Explain that with multiple, recurring failure of grey infrastructure globally, alternatives are now being sought. Natural ecosystems such as lakes, floodplains or parks, forests -are nature-based solutions (blue-green infrastructure) and offer flexible, low-cost solutions for flood mitigation and management and offer multiple co-benefits.

Suggest more mitigation measures to address the issue. Discuss a case study of any one city in the country to substantiate better.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Recently, torrential rains that took place in Hyderabad have caused massive urban floods. In many Indian cities, the urban floods have become a frequent phenomenon in recent years. Overburdened drainage, unregulated construction, no regard to the natural topography and hydro-geomorphology all make urban floods a man-made disaster.

As the incidence of climate variability and extreme weather events increases, urban flooding becomes more and more common. While the untimely heavy rains can be attributed to climate variability, the urban flooding is largely due to an unplanned urbanisation.

Body:

  • CAUSES FOR THE INCREASE
  • Inadequate Drainage Infrastructure: Cities like Hyderabad, Mumbai rely on a century-old drainage system, covering only a small part of the core city.
    • In the last 20 years, the Indian cities have grown manifold with its original built-up area.
    • As the city grew beyond its original limits, not much was done to address the absence of adequate drainage systems.
  • Terrain Alteration: Lasting irreversible damage has been done to the city by property builders, property owners, and public agencies by flattening terrain and altering natural drainage routes.
  • Reducing Seepage: Indian cities are becoming increasingly impervious to water, not just because of increasing built up but also because of the nature of materials used (hard, non-porous construction material that makes the soil impervious).
  • Lax Implementation: Even with provisions of rainwater harvesting, sustainable urban drainage systems, etc, in regulatory mechanisms like the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), adoption at user end as well as enforcement agencies remains weak.
  • Encroaching Natural Spaces: The number of wetlands has reduced to 123 in 2018 from 644 in 1956.
    • Green cover is only 9 per cent, which ideally should have been at least 33 per cent.
  • WAY FORWARD
  • Need for Holistic Engagement: Urban floods of this scale cannot be contained by the municipal authorities alone. Floods cannot be managed without concerted and focused investments of energy and resources.
    • The Metropolitan Development Authorities, National Disaster Management Authority, State revenue and irrigation departments along with municipal corporations should be involved in such work together.
    • Such investments can only be done in a mission mode organisation with active participation of civil society organisations at the metropolitan scale.
  • Developing Sponge Cities: The idea of a sponge city is to make cities more permeable so as to hold and use the water which falls upon it.
    • Sponge cities absorb the rain water, which is then naturally filtered by the soil and allowed to reach urban aquifers.
    • This allows for the extraction of water from the ground through urban or peri-urban wells.
    • This water can be treated easily and used for city water supply.
  • Wetland Policy: There is a need to start paying attention to the management of wetlands by involving local communities.
    • Without doubt, terrain alteration needs to be strictly regulated and a ban on any further alteration of terrain needs to be introduced.
    • To improve the city’s capacity to absorb water, new porous materials and technologies must be encouraged or mandated across scales.
    • Examples of these technologies are bioswales and retention systems, permeable material for roads and pavement, drainage systems which allow storm water to trickle into the ground, green roofs and harvesting systems in buildings.
  • Drainage Planning: Watershed management and emergency drainage plan should be clearly enunciated in policy and law.
    • Urban watersheds are micro ecological drainage systems, shaped by contours of terrain.
    • Detailed documentation of these must be held by agencies which are not bound by municipal jurisdictions; instead, there is a need to consider natural boundaries such as watersheds instead of governance boundaries like electoral wards for shaping a drainage plan.
  • Water Sensitive Urban Design: These methods take into consideration the topography, types of surfaces (permeable or impervious), natural drainage and leave very less impact on the environment.
    • Vulnerability analyses and risk assessments should form part and parcel of city master plans.
    • In a changing climate, the drainage infrastructure (especially storm water drainage) has to be built considering the new ‘normals’.
    • Tools such as predictive precipitation modelling can help do that and are also able to link it with the adaptive capacity of urban land use.

Conclusion:

These can all be delivered effectively through an urban mission along the lines of the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT)National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) and Smart Cities Mission. Urban Flood management will not just help control recurring floods but also respond to other fault lines, provide for water security, more green spaces, and will make the city resilient and sustainable

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic : Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment. Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

5. Explain the prominence of defence offset policy in India and also assess the effect of the recent amendments on the policy objectives. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

The article highlights the government’s dilution of the “offset” policy in defence procurement.

Key Demand of the question:

One must explain the significance of Defence offset policy in India and discuss the effect of recent amendments of it on the policy objectives.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by explaining what an offset policy implies.

Body:

The offset policy, introduced in 2005, mandates foreign suppliers to spend at least 30% of the contract value in India. The policy was adopted on the recommendations of the Vijay Kelkar Committee.

List down the objective of defence offset policy in detail. The key objective of the defence offset policy is to leverage capital acquisitions to develop Indian defence industry by fostering the development of internationally competitive enterprises domestically, augmenting capacity for research, design and development related to defence products and services and partially compensating for a significant outflow of the country’s resources in the large purchase of foreign goods.

Then explain the significance of it. Give examples.  

Hint at the possible challenges involved in practicing such a policy.

Conclusion:

Conclude that the offset policy can play a vital role in the growth of a vibrant domestic defence sector, if it is designed and executed correctly, as is evident from the experience in the aerospace sector.

Introduction:

The government’s dilution of the “offset” policy in defence procurement. The offset policy, introduced in 2005, mandates foreign suppliers to spend at least 30% of the contract value in India. The policy was adopted on the recommendations of the Vijay Kelkar Committee. This could involve sourcing a certain percentage of the value of the contract domestically. Additionally, there could also be provisions like indigenization of production in a strict time frame, and training Indian professionals in high-tech skills, for promoting domestic R&D.

Body:

Objective of defence offset policy:

  • The key objective of the defence offset policy is to leverage capital acquisitions to develop Indian defence industry by fostering the development of internationally competitive enterprises domestically, augmenting capacity for research, design and development related to defence products and services and partially compensating for a significant outflow of the country’s resources in the large purchase of foreign goods.

Significance of offset policy:

  • Developing country buyers who often lack an industrial base and research and development (R&D) facilities are reliant on the import of critical defence platforms and technologies. The offset clause allows such developing countries like India an opportunity to acquire the technology to upgrade domestic production and build R&D capabilities.
  • The offset policy would hence help boost domestic defence manufacturing capabilities. Successful example of offset policy:
  •  The experience in India’s aerospace industry is a successful example of the offset policy in India.
  • India had been a relatively smaller player in the global civilian aircraft manufacturing, despite the presence of big players like the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
  •  The introduction of the offset policy in 2005 had a positive impact on the aerospace industry in India.
  • Aerospace exports rose exponentially. The offset clause enabled India to join the league of the world’s top 10 aerospace exporters; the only country without a major domestic aerospace firm.
  • The policy helped promote a vibrant aerospace cluster, mostly micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in India.
  • The exports, however, plummeted after the offset clause was relaxed, when the threshold for the policy was raised from the hitherto Rs. 300 crore to Rs. 2000 crore, in 2016. Lacunae in implementation:
  • The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India’s report tabled in Parliament recently has brought to light severe lacunae in the implementation of the defence offset policy.
  • Despite the relatively large number of offset contracts having been signed via Indian offset partners, or domestic firms, the actual realised investments have been meagre.
  • The technology transfer agreements in the offsets have not been implemented.
  •  The defence offset policy has been diluted.

The offset clause will not be applicable to bilateral deals and deals with a single (monopoly) seller, implying that inter-governmental agreements (IGA) will not have offset clauses anymore.

  • For example, the deal to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets, signed between the Indian and French governments in 2016, was an IGA. Government’s stand:
  •  The government’s argument for the removal of the clause has been that vendors would “load” extra cost in the contract to balance the costs, and doing away with the offsets can bring down the costs in such contracts.
  • The government has also taken note of the recent CAG criticism of the defence offset policy. The report laments the low proportion of realized investments from the offset contracts and the lack of transfer of high technology to the Indian industry. Concerns:

Negative impact on domestic capabilities:

  • Given that most defence deals are bilateral or a single supplier deal (given the monopoly over the technology), the proposed changes in defence offset policy would practically amount to giving up the offset clause.
  • This would have a detrimental impact on India’s prospects for augmenting domestic capabilities and technological self-reliance and realising the goal of self-reliance in defence manufacturing.
  • The government defending the decision by claiming a cost advantage does not seem reasonable given that price is but one of many factors in such deals.
  • The higher (upfront) cost of the agreement due to the offset clause would pay for itself by reducing costs in the long term by indigenisation of production and the potential technology spill overs for domestic industry.

Conclusion:

The offset policy can play a vital role in the growth of a vibrant domestic defence sector, if it is designed and executed correctly, as is evident from the experience in the aerospace sector. India needs to re-conceive or re-imagine the offset clause in defence contracts with stricter enforcement of the deals.

 

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.

6. Write a note about ethical dilemmas in government and private institutions. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications

Why the question:

The question is based on the theme of ethical dilemma.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss about the ethical dilemmas in government and private institutions.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Ethical Dilemma refers to a situation where decision/Choice has to be made between two undesirable/Desirable situations.

Body:

Ethical dilemmas are situations in which there is a choice to be made between two options, neither of which resolves the situation in morally satisfactory manner. In such circumstances, social and personal ethical guidelines can provide no satisfactory outcome for the selector.

An ethical dilemma is an intricate situation that often involves an apparent mental skirmish between moral imperatives, in which to obey one would result in disobeying another.

Discuss the types of ethical dilemma that can be witnessed in public administration such as

  • Personal Cost Ethical Dilemmas: It rises from situations in which compliance with ethical conduct results in a substantial personal cost to the decision maker in a problematic situation.
  • Right-versus-Right Ethical Dilemmas: It arises from situations of two or more conflicting sets of bonafide moral values.
  • Conjoint Ethical Dilemmas: It develops when a careful decision-maker is exposed to an amalgamation of the above-indicated ethical dilemmas in searching for the “right-thing-to do”.

Give examples to explain and substantiate better.

Conclusion:

Conclude with solutions to address such situations.

Introduction:

Reputation and success of governance in public institutions and private organisations depends upon the conduct of functionaries and the trust of citizens believe on conduct of functionaries. It is therefore of fundamental importance for both public and private functionaries to act justly and fairly to all, not only paying lip service to ethical conduct but also ensuring that these are manifestly and undoubtedly seen to be done.

Body:

Ethical dilemmas in Public institutions:

  • Administrative dilemma: The promotion of general welfare depends on the use or exploitation of administrative discretion.
  • For ex: Public servants given a responsibility to approve a project to build a dam which would provide irrigation water to lakhs of acres. However, such approval could displace thousands of tribes.
  • Public accountability and administrative secrecy: Not having enough transparency in all processes due to confidentiality.
  • Ex: whether the cost and process of Rafael deal should be put in public domain or secrecy for national security must be maintained.
  • Upholding Rule of Law:
  • For Eg: A traffic policeman’s integrity in penalising only those who genuinely break traffic rules, and not take bribery.
  • Compassion of Civil Servants:
  • For ex: A needy person who does not fulfil the one or two criteria of a welfare scheme but due to empathy and compassion, a public servant may want to help him/her. A dilemma here is between empathy, compassion and following the prescribed law.
  • Policy dilemmas: Working towards the best interest of the community versus being responsive to the government.

For ex: a favour of capitalism/liberal economy to sustain economic growth versus state ownership to maintain fair distribution of resources.

  • Personal morals: When the directives are in contrast with own personal values of public officials.
  • Personal interest and duty: For ex: When an Army officer is in a critical location handling key duties and his mother is sick or wife is pregnant and needs his presence at home.

Ethical dilemmas in Private institutions:

  • Personal job security over wrong dismissal of colleague: For ex: When an employee knows his/her colleague has not done the mistake he/she has been blamed for by the upper level management, but does not speak up because of fear of losing job. Another scenario is where the person knows the upper level employee is guilty but he/she does not complain because of fear of being fired.
  • Company rules over personal morals: For ex: An honest person facing dilemma over carrying out a dishonest company pitching knowing that it is not as beneficial as exhibited.
  • Societal dilemmas: For ex: When you know someone is being unfairly treated but continue staying silent over the matter because of societal impression and acceptance.
  • Professional duty and personal life: When you have to honour confidentiality of patients, clients etc. but know a controversy or crisis is going to be caused.

Conclusion:

Assessing the ethical concern of both government and private organization, it can be understood that the challenges posed by ethical dilemma sometimes make a person to be at a lost with no solution in sight. Proper training, code of conduct, emotional intelligence, keeping the public interest above and adherence to the values of integrity, objectivity, honesty in one’s own private life etc. will ensure a just and ethical conduct.

 

Topic : Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics – in private and public relationships.

7. Critically analyse the essence, determinants and consequences of human action with reference to J. S. Mill act utilitarianism Charvaka and Karmayoga. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications

Why the question:

The question aims to analyse the essence, determinants and consequences of human actions.

Key Demand of the question:

One has to analyse the essence, determinants and consequences of human action with reference to J. S. Mill act utilitarianism Charvaka and Karmayoga.

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 explaining the fact that in the determinants and consequences of ethics in human action ‘Human action’ is the starting point of ethics. One of the very first points of consideration in judging the morality or immorality of any act of a person is that it must be a conscious human act, before it can have any moral quality whatsoever.

Body:

Discuss in detail what you understand by essence, determinants and consequences of human action in general.

Explain then each of the three concepts – J. S. Mill act utilitarianism, Charvaka and Karmayoga.

Mill can be characterized as an act utilitarian in regard to the theory of objective rightness, but as a rule utilitarian in regard to the theory of moral obligation. He defines morality as a system of rules that is protected by sanctions.

Charvaka holds direct perception, empiricism, and conditional inference as proper sources of knowledge, embraces philosophical skepticism and rejects ritualism and supernaturalism.

Karma yoga, also called Karma marga, is one of the three spiritual paths in Hinduism, one based on the “yoga of action”. To a karma yogi, right action is a form of prayer.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of such philosophies.

Introduction:

Ethics is elaborated as the systematic study of human actions from the perspective of their rightfulness or wrongfulness, as means for the attainment of the definitive happiness. It is the reflective understanding of good or bad in that part of human conduct for which human has some personal responsibility.

ethics is a process of moral principles. These principles have significant effect on people to make decisions and lead good quality lives. Ethics is concerned with what is ‘good for individuals and society’ and is also defined as moral beliefs. Ethics is stemmed from the Greek word ‘ethos’ which means custom, habit, character or disposition.

Body:

Theory of Utilitarianism:

Utilitarianism is an ethical doctrine pioneered by Jeremy Bentham and J.S. Mill.

It is defined as the doctrine of ethics which advocates that actions are right if they are useful for the benefit of the majority and that an action is right so far as it promotes happiness.

Utilitarian ideas are fundamental to modern ethical theory and remain firmly ensconced in contemporary intellectual life.

Utilitarianism is based on:

  • Whether an action is right or wrong is determined solely by its consequences.
  • The value of the consequences of an action is assessed in terms of the amount of happiness or well-being caused.
  • In assessing the total happiness caused to a number of people, equal amounts of happiness are to have equal value, no one person’s happiness having greater value than that of another’s.

Charvaka Ethics:

Charvaka is a materialistic, sceptical and atheistic school of thought.

  • According to Charvaka there is no other world. Hence, death is the end of humans & pleasure is the ultimate object in life.
  • It is also known as the Lokayata Philosophy-the philosophy of masses.

Charvaka ethics was one of hedonism. They believed in sensual pleasures as the only true purpose of human existence and denied any obligations for an afterlife, or karma. There was, however, a sense of subjective moral principle of avoiding pain and suffering in the process of pleasure. Death was considered an eventuality and therefore, to live one’s life to the fullest was the only wise act.

Need for Charvaka’s ethics:

In a world filled with hatred born out of differences in firmly established and seemingly unquestionable beliefs, the Charvakas teach us that scepticism is the way to liberation. To observe, to think, and to act only as per the rational argument is what science too has been telling us. The legacy of the Lokayata is one of a liberal approach to faith. It holds us responsible for our actions rather than comforting us with the utopia of dharma and karma.

Perhaps a saner world is possible only when people are not afraid of questioning dogmatic belief systems and instead work tirelessly to build a life that creates happiness for all.

Nishkam Karma is a central theme in the Bhagavad Gita. An important philosophical concept in Karma yoga, it means to act unselfishly, or without personal gain in mind. When acting out of Nishkam Karma, an individual is acting without any expectation that good will be returned to him/her. In Sanskrit, nishkam means “action without motive,” “work without desire” or “desire-less.”

Importance of Nishkam Karma:

  • Nishkam Karma is the opposite of Sakam Karma and is considered to be selfless action without even the subtle internal hope for a “thank you” or goodness returned.
  • Karma Yoga focuses on the perfect alignment of thought, word and deed.
  • A subtle ideal is embedded in this concept that encourages an individual towards an overall perfection through the path of action
  • Nishkam Karma is considered non-attachment to the result of personal actions in life, but with selfless and loving motives.

Conclusion:

Since prehistoric period, man has always sought to know how to lead a good life and to draw up rules of conduct. Philosopher of all cultures tried to explain in what this ‘good’ life consisted and, especially, why precisely it was ‘good’, hence we must develop ethical values and live accordingly.+


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