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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 4 January 2021


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:  Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues;

1. Out of all the major European powers that came to India, the British were able to establish a long-lasting pan Indian Empire. Examine the factors responsible for it. (250 words)

Reference: A Brief History of Modern India by Spectrum Publishers.

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1.

Key Demand of the question:

To explain the factors responsible for the creation of a British Indian empire amongst the competition from the other colonial powers.

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:

Begin by giving the context to the question regarding the presence of various European powers present in India. Highlight the most important Anglo-French Rivalry.

Body:

Explain in detail as to why British emerged victorious among other rival powers. Firstly, the British were able to draw on some remarkable administrators, such as Warren Hastings and soldiers like Clive of India.

The British were also able to draw on more resources than their competitors in India ships and sailors, which allowed them to isolate their rivals in India. The East India Company was also able to draw on the Royal Navy’s support, the largest maritime force in the world, in the period. The British also had many more financial resources, and they could assemble larger armies, often composed of native soldiers, which gave them a decisive military advantage. Also, mention about the impact of Plassey.

Conclusion:

Summarize as how these factors all meant that by at least the 1760’s that the British were not to have any serious European rival for two centuries and paved way for the creation of British Indian Empire.

Introduction:

British raj, period of direct British rule over the Indian subcontinent from 1858 until the independence of India and Pakistan in 1947. British almost took a century to expand and consolidate their power to become a trader to ruler with help of diplomatic and military tactics. The English had imposed every possible means of war and administrative policies to consolidate their own rule over entire India.

Body:

REASONS FOR BRITISH SUPREMACY IN INDIA:

  • Superior Arms and Military strategy
    • The British had modern muskets and cannon were well equipped with a speed of firing and range which were better than Indian arms.
    • For that matter, many Indian rulers imported European arms and employed European as military officers, but they never think about military strategy which was made them mere imitators.
  • Loyalty, Military discipline and regular salary
    • The British were very particular about regular salary and a strict regime of discipline which ensure that officers and the soldiers were loyal.
    • On the other hand, Indian rulers did not have sufficient funds to pay salaries on a regular basis.
    • Some of the rulers were dependent on personal retinues or a rabble of mercenary elements that were not disciplined and loyal.
  • Procedure for the Selection of officers
    • The British select their officers and soldiers on the basis of reliability and skills not on the basis of heredity, caste and clan.
    • They were very strict on the subject of discipline and objectives of their campaign.
    • On the other hand, Indian rulers select their administrator and military officers on the basis of caste and personal relations that sometimes disregarding the merit and ability.
  • Quality of leadership
    • Robert Clive, Warren Hastings, Elphinstone, Munro etc. shows their high quality of leadership.
    • The British had also advantage of second line of leadership such as Sir Eyre Coote, Lord Lake, Arthur Wellesley etc. who fight for the cause and glory of their countrymen.
    • Although, Indian side had also brilliant leadership like Haider Ali, Tipu Sultan, Madhu Rao, Sindhia, Jaswant Rao Holkar but lacked by second line of leadership.
    • It is noteworthy that Indian rulers were not united and their enmities were immensely used by British to each other’s.
  • Strong Financial Backup
    • The British had enough funds to pay its shareholders with good dividends that compel them to finance the English wars in India.
    • Moreover, the British trade added enormous wealth to England that makes their government to help them indirectly or directly through money, material and money.
  • Lack of National Pride and unity
    • The Indian rulers were not well-versed in a materialistic vision of diplomacy whereas British believe in material advancement. Indian rulers were lacking by unified political nationalism, which was masterly used by British to engage them into fight among themselves.
    • Political faction and lack of unity among the Indian rulers forced the British to aspire from trader to ruler. The British officers started acquiring territory just to promote and protect their trade interest, but political hostility in India compelled them to establish an empire.
    • A number of powerful kingdoms such as Bengal, Avadh, Hyderabad, and Mysore arose and became virtually independent from the Mughal Empire.
    • The weakened Mughal Empire was challenged by Marathas time and again. Marathas captured vast swathes of territory in northern and central India.
    • The remaining illusion of continued domination of Mughal power was shattered by Nadir Shah’s (Shah of Persia) invasion of India in 1739.

Conclusion:

The British who came to India for trade eventually became the political master of India. From Battle of Plassey to annexation of Punjab in 1849, the entire Indian sub-continent had been brought under British control. Apart from outright wars they employed methods like Subsidiary Alliance and Doctrine of Lapse to expand and consolidate their empire in India.

 

Topic:  Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues;

2. The rise of Indian Nationalism was a reaction against the despotic, discriminatory and devious policies and nature of the British rule. Critically Analyze. (250 words)

Reference: A Brief History of Modern India by Spectrum Publishers.

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1.

Key Demand of the question:

To analyze the nature of Rise of nationalism in India. Was it a reaction against the policies of British? Or was it born on its own?

Directive:

Critically analyze – When asked to analyze, 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 the answer by describing the genesis of Indian nationalism in the late nineteenth century.

Body:

In the first part of the body, analyze as to how the Indian nationalism was a reaction against polices of the British. Mention about the Despotic nature of the rule, the racial discrimination, the lack of proper administration, lack of Indian in administration, alien rule, the loot and the plunder, indiscriminate taxation, ruining of Industries etc.

In the next part, analyze how the Indian nationalism was a product of its own maturity. Introduction of modern education, influx of ideas of liberalism and constitutionalism, rise of an educated middle class, impact of press, impact of socio-religious reform movements etc.

Conclusion:

Pass a balanced judgement as to how the Indian Nationalism took birth.

Introduction:

The rise and growth of Indian nationalism was the response generated by the British government through the creation of a new institution, new opportunities and new style allocation of resources as well as a worldwide upsurge of the concepts of nationalism initiated by the French Revolution.

Body:

The various factors which were responsible for the growth of Modern Nationalism during British rule are:

  • Political and administrative divide: Partition of Bengal in 1905, carried out by the British viceroy, Lord Curzon.
  • Political Unity:For the first time, most of the regions in India were united politically and administratively under a single power (the British rule). It introduced a uniform system of law and government.
  • Development of Communication and Transport:The introduction of railways, telegraphs and postal services and the construction of roads and canals facilitated communication among the people. All these brought Indians nearer to each other and provided the facility to organise the national movement on an all India basis.
  • English Language and Western Education:The English language played an important role in the growth of nationalism in the country. The English educated Indians, who led the national movement, developed Indian nationalism and organised it. Western education facilitated the spread of the concepts of liberty, equality, freedom and nationalism and sowed the seeds of nationalism.
  • The Role of the Press:The Indian Press, both English and vernacular, had also aroused the national consciousness.
  • Social and Religious Movements of the Nineteenth Century:The leaders of various organisations like the Brahmo Samaj, Ramakrishna Mission, Arya Samaj, and Theosophical Society generated a feeling of regard for and pride in the motherland.
  • Economic Exploitation by the British:A good deal of anti-British feeling was created by the economic policy pursued by the British government in India. The English systematically ruined the Indian trade and native industries. Therefore, economic exploitation by the British was one of the most important causes for the rise of Indian nationalism.
  • Revolt of 1857:The Revolt of 1857 created a kind of permanent bitterness and suspicion between the British and the Indians. The English feeling of racial superiority grew. India as a nation and Indians as individuals were subjected to insults, humiliation and contemptuous treatment.
  • Administration of Lytton:Lord Lytton arranged the Delhi Durbar at a time when the larger part of India was in the grip of famine. He passed the Vernacular Press Act which curbed the liberty of the Indian Press. His Arms Act was a means to prevent the Indians from keeping arms. All these measures created widespread discontent among the Indians.
  • The Ilbert Bill controversy:The Ilbert Bill was presented in the Central Legislature during the Viceroyalty of Lord Ripon. The Bill tried to remove racial inequality between Indian and European judges in courts. This Bill was opposed by the British residents in India. Ultimately the Bill was modified.
  • Role of Western Thought and Education: The modern education played an important role in awakening of Indian political thinking because it assimilates the modern western ideas. The British introduces modern education to educate a small section of upper and middle classes to create a class “Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste” who would act as interpreters between the Government and the masses.
  • Racial Antagonism: The Englishmen considered themselves as superior in all respects than the Indians. They never wanted to offer the Indians higher jobs even though they were qualified and intelligent. The age limit for Indian Civil Service Examination was kept at twenty-one and the examination was held at England.

Conclusion:

Hence the British rule was largely responsible for a new awakening among the Indians. The collective impact of British rule and enlightenment of Indians led to increased nationalist feeling.

 

Topic: Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues,

3. There exists a very wide gender gap in agriculture of India, the new farm laws does very little to address it, in fact it may widen the gap. Analyze. Suggest measures to bridge the gender gap in Agriculture of India. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

Mahila Kisan Adhikaar Manch (MAKAAM), has highlighted several issues with the farm laws. Women farmers fear that the farm laws will further deepen gender inequality in the sector.

Key Demand of the question:

To analyze the impact of new farm laws on the ever widening gender gap in agriculture and to suggest solutions to reduce the gap.

Directive:

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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by giving the context of gender gap in agriculture. According the NSSO 68th round data, women constitute 63% of workforce in agriculture.

Body:

Elaborate on the disparities prevalent in Indian agriculture. The India Human Development Survey reports that 83% of agricultural land in the country is inherited by male members of the family and less than 2% by their female counterparts.

Bring out its impact. Women are mostly left without any title of land in their names and are excluded from the definition of farmers. Besides, 81% of women agricultural labourers belong to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Classes, so they also contribute to the largest share of casual and landless labourers.

Mention the impact of recently enacted farm laws on the existing gender Gap.

Suggest measures so as to reduce the gender gap in farming. Such as, Operationalize the definition of ‘Farmer’: Recognise women farmers, Mainstream women farmers in all government programmes, Creating a gender-disaggregated database, Prioritising landless women in public land distribution, Clear and inalienable including succession rights etc.

Conclusion:

Complete the answer by underscoring the need to reduce the gender gap so as to achieve SDG 5 (a) Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land.

Introduction:

Economic survey 2017-18 recognized and spoke of the need for women farmers to get access to land, water, credit, technology and training. According the NSSO 68th round data, women constitute 63% of workforce in agriculture. The Food and Agriculture Organization says that if women farmers had the same access to resources as men, they would increase output by 20-30% which would mean a dramatic reduction in hunger. This could raise total the agricultural output in developing countries by up to 4%.

Body:

Impact of increasing role of women in agriculture:

  • FAO estimates that if women had the same access to productive resources as men, they could increase yields on their farms by 20-30%. This could raise total agricultural output in developing countries by up to 4% which would mean a dramatic reduction in hunger.
  • Research worldwide shows that women with access to secure land, formal credit and access to market have greater propensity to invest in improving harvest, increasing productivity, and improving household food security and nutrition.
  • Women are more likely than men to hold low-wage, part-time, seasonal employment and they tend to be paid less even when their qualifications are higher than men’s, but new jobs in high-value, export-oriented agro-industries offer much better opportunities for women.

Challenges faced by women in Agriculture:

  • Lack of Institutional Credit: Lack of ownership of land does not allow women farmers to approach banks for institutional loans as banks usually consider land as collateral.
  • Non-recognition: According to Oxfam India, women are responsible for about 60-80% of food and 90% of dairy production, respectively. But the work by women farmers, in crop cultivation, livestock management or at home, often goes unnoticed.
  • Lack of Property Rights- Women are generally not given the land rights in their name. Because of this, women lack bargaining power in the family as against the property holding male member. India Human Development Survey reports that 83% of agricultural land in the country is inherited by male members of the family and less than 2% by their female counterparts.
  • Contract farming: Female farmers are largely excluded from modern contract-farming arrangements because they lack secure control over land, family labour and other resources required to guarantee delivery of a reliable flow of produce.
  • Innovation in Agriculture: When a new technology is introduced to automate specific manual labour, women may lose their jobs because they are often responsible for the manual duties and also due to low skill level.
  • Lack of Training: Attempts by the government to impart them training in poultry, apiculture and rural handicrafts is trivial given their large numbers.
  • Gender discrimination: The 17-country study by Corteva Agri science revealed that almost 78% women farmers in India face gender discrimination.
  • 81% of women agricultural labourers belong to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Classes, so they also contribute to the largest share of casual and landless labourers.
  • Poor Representation: As of now, women farmers have hardly any representation in society and are nowhere discernible in farmers’ organizations or in occasional protests.
  • Access to resource and inputs: When compared to men, women generally have less access to resources and modern inputs (seeds, fertilizers, pesticides) to make farming more productive.

Mahila Kisan Adhikaar Manch (MAKAAM), has highlighted several issues with the laws.

  • The first is the lack of any mention of MSP (minimum support price) that protects farmers from exploitation.
  • Women are barely in a position as empowered agents who can either understand or negotiate (written) agreements with traders and corporate entities who are seeking to enter into agreements with the farmers to purchase their produce or for other services.
  • It is clear that farmers will have no bargaining power in the corporatization of agriculture, where corporates will decide the price with no safety net or adequate redressal mechanism for the farmers.
  • Consequently, the small marginal and medium farmers will be forced to do sell their land to big agro-businesses and become wage labourers.

Steps taken by Government to improve women’s role in Agriculture:

  • The government is earmarking at least 30% of the budget allocation for women beneficiaries in all ongoing schemes-programmes and development activities.
  • Government is also giving preference to women under various policies such as organic farming, self-employment scheme, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana etc.
  • Cooperative education programs of women are organized through State Cooperative Societies to ensure women participation in various activities in the field of cooperatives.
  • Under Agriculture policies there are provisions of issuing Kisan Credit Card to women and creating livelihood opportunities through livestock practices, agricultural processing.
  • Focusing on women self-help groups (SHG) to connect them to microcredit through capacity building activities and also ensuring their representation in different decision-making bodies.
  • Special importance is being given to the role of women in achieving the goal of doubling farmers’ income by 2022.

Way Forward:

  • Provision of credit without collateral under the micro-finance initiative of NABARD should be encouraged. Better access to credit, technology, and provision of entrepreneurship abilities will further boost women’s confidence and help them gain recognition as farmers.
  • A declining size of land holdings may act as a deterrent due to lower net returns earned and technology adoption. The possibility of collective farming can be encouraged to make women self-reliant.
  • Training and skills imparted to women as has been done by some self-help groups and cooperative-based dairy activities (Saras in Rajasthan and Amul in Gujarat). These can be explored further through farmer producer organizations.
  • Government flagship schemes such as the National Food Security Mission, Sub-mission on Seed and Planting Material and the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana must include women-centric strategies and dedicated expenditure.
  • Most of the farm machineries are difficult for women to operate, so it is important to have gender-friendly tools and machinery for various farm operations. Farm machinery banks and custom hiring centres can be roped in to provide subsidized rental services to women farmers.
  • Krishi Vigyan Kendras in every district can be assigned an additional task to educate and train women farmers about innovative technology along with extension services.
  • According to Food and Agriculture Organization, equalizing access to productive resources for female and male farmers could increase agricultural output in developing countries by as much as 2.5% to 4%.
  • An ‘inclusive transformative agricultural policy’ should aim at gender-specific intervention to raise productivity of small farm holdings and integrate women as active agents in rural transformation.
  • Operationalize the definition of ‘Farmer’: Recognize women farmers, Mainstream women farmers in all government programmes, creating a gender-disaggregated database, prioritizing landless women in public land distribution, Clear and inalienable including succession rights.

Conclusion:

There is a need to reduce the gender gap so as to achieve SDG 5 (a) Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential;

4. The principal challenge for Public Policy and Governance is that we are constrained to find solutions for 21st-century challenges using 19th-century government structures. Examine. (250 words) 

Reference: Live Mint 

Why the question:

The outdated structures or namesake convergence has made the public policy ineffective in reaping the benefits of technological revolution. This article makes a case of effective and optimal utilization of convergence.

Key Demand of the question:

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 defining the convergence of technology with public policy so as to address the modern challenges posed by healthy, society and geopolitics.

Body:

Elaborate on how Governing convergence has been a challenge because ministries and departments are turf-conscious, statute-bound vertical silos and examine its negative impact and opportunity cost of not achieving convergence.

Public policy and governance must evolve to address the modern challenges using technology convergence. Suggest ways to achieve convergence.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction:

Technological Convergence, or Convergence of Technology is when two or more different entities, originally unrelated, come together in a single system to save space, time and power. There is a need for convergence of technology with public policy so as to address the modern challenges posed by healthy, society and geopolitics.

Body:

Convergence of technology with public policy:

  • For public policy, as for investors and value creators, the opportunities and risks lie at the intersection of technology, health, society and geopolitics.
  • Back in the early 2000s, we witnessed “convergence” of telecom, information technology and broadcasting.
  • At the time, we did not know what form it would take, but by 2010, we were already witnessing the growth of social media, driven by high-speed broadband delivered largely on smartphones.
  • Convergence is a meta-process that is extending to ever more domains, and in this decade, we can expect it to include consumer appliances, transportation and perhaps most dramatically, health.
  • We see the beginnings of this in people wearing smart wrist-bands that take electrocardiogram (ECG) and blood oxygen readings, using robotic vacuum cleaners at home, and driving various kinds of electric vehicles.
  • Genetic testing and synthetic biology have received a massive boost after the pandemic.
  • Convergence will almost certainly bring these trends together and enmesh them with what we know as “tech” today.
  • But just like in 2000, we do not know how this convergence will manifest itself.
  • For business, there are three types of opportunities at different levels of the food chain:
    • Global one of creating the winning configuration of this convergence.
    • Indian investors and entrepreneurs are familiar with, is to use tech to disrupt traditional industries.
    • There will always be the good old business of selling shovels to those looking for gold.
  • If the global economy is open, and India doesn’t lock itself behind self-erected barriers, our entrepreneurs do have a shot at creating the next generation of global technology firms.
  • Indeed, retreating from globalization might not be politically sustainable in the 2020s as people will demand access to products and services available abroad.

Governing convergence

  • It has been a challenge because ministries and departments are turf-conscious, statute-bound vertical silos.
  • India has merged or renamed ministries and departments in response, but like everywhere else in the world, government is always trying to catch up with the convergence.
  • We are likely to continue to struggle with this in the coming decade, given how transport, health and science are under different ministries but will demand an increasingly holistic policy perspective.
  • The tussle for political power, where we see sovereign states fending off the threat from trans-national technology platforms, is bound to intensify with new actors likely to join the fray.
  • Foremost among them will be transnational networked communities organized around values, ideologies or icons.
  • Some of the groups that were organized around particular political parties or leaders in the past decade are likely to dissociate and decouple into more autonomous forms, and their loyalties and votes will be up for grabs.
  • As long as the global information space is open, the political market cannot be closed for too long.
  • In response, authoritarian states and autocrats will seek to dominate the political market by trying to close the information space, which is a losing battle over the longer term.
  • Over the past decade, we have seen how moral panics triggered on social media and amplified by television can become global in scope.
  • We have also seen how outrage cycles can rise and fall without actually changing anything, and how they can be manufactured.
  • Yet, underlying both these phenomena lies a deeper one involving the expansion of what rationalist Michael Shermer calls the moral arc of the universe.
  • We can already see that millennials in the workforce have both material and moral expectations of their employers.
  • A world of connected youthful idealisms is bound to change.
  • That change will continue to manifest itself through fits, fads and false starts, but parts of the moral environment of 2030 will be unrecognizable to a Rip Van Winkle who sleeps this decade out.

Benefits:

  • Convergence trend will intensify the competition among companies, and those companies that exploit the greatest technological potential with innovative services will gain a competitive advantage in the era of technological convergence.
  • Innovative services launched by companies, and part of them are bound to meet some consumers’ needs
  • Lower costs, higher competition, and more inherent proclivity towards innovativeness

Drawbacks:

  • Antitrust Issues: dominant player’s bundled services can also damage the fair competition, in that it misuses its monopoly power in one industry to other industry, limiting the freedom of choice among its customers.
  • Excessive Investment: To deliver various services in one single network, a faster broadband network should be established, which requires a huge amount of financial investment. Since it is still not clear whether new services based on such broadband network add more value than the costs, some argues these excessive investments are socially undesirable.

Conclusion:

All of this means that it is crucial that the productive energies of the Indian people and the mental bandwidths of its policymakers be focused on negotiating the present and shaping the future. So much is unprecedented. So much is at stake. Every minute spent finding brilliant solutions to the problems of past centuries is more than a minute lost in carving out a better space for India in the 21st.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic:  issues relating to intellectual property rights;

5. The purpose of granting patents itself is to not only encourage innovation but also ensure that the inventions are worked in India and are made available to the public in sufficient quantity at reasonable prices. Comment in the light of newly published Patent (Amendment) Rules, 2020. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

The central government recently published the Patent (Amendment) Rules, 2020, amending the format of a statement that patentees and licensees are required to annually submit to the Patent Office. The amendment has significantly watered down the disclosure format, and this could hamper the effectiveness of India’s compulsory licensing regime.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about how patents protects the rights of the innovators as well balances making the patented materials at reasonable costs for urgent needs. To explain as to how the

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:

Begin by describing the importance of patents in protecting the intellectual property of innovators as to ensure that its benefits reach the public.

Body:

Mention about the section 146(2), Patents Act, 1970 a unique provision not found in patent laws of most other countries. Talk about its needs for India as a developing country and mention the example of Compulsory license for the production of Bayer Corporation’s Nexavar.

Talk about the recent amendment to the Patent Rules, 2020 and form 27 which has caused dilution of section 146(2).

Comment on the possible impact the recent amendment can cause. Such as, Dilution of disclosure, weakening of compulsory licensing, Impact on public interest etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarizing that patent working data is critical for triggering the compulsory licensing and revocation provisions. If the data is secret and opaque, it will ultimately affect consumers by denying them potentially more affordable technologies and goods, a concern most starkly felt in the area of lifesaving/extending medicines.

Introduction:

The Central Government, in exercise of the powers conferred upon it under the Patents Act, 1970 has passed the Patents (Amendment) Rules of 2020.The Rules amend Form 27 of the Act through which statements regarding the working of the patented invention on a commercial scale in India have to be filed by Patentees or Licensees.

Body:

Details of the amendments:

  • The amendment to Rule 131(2) means that the statement with respect to the workings of the Patent has to be filed every financial year, within six months from the expiry of such financial year.
  • A single Form 27 can now be filed for multiple patents, but this provision is applicable only when all the patents are inter-related and all such patents are under the same patentee or licensee.
  • The amendment has eliminated the need to publicly disclose under Form 27 the nature of commercial usage of the patented inventions in the country.

Disclosure of information

  • India’s patent legislation grants an exclusive privilege of a 20-year patent monopoly to an inventor.
  • India’s patent law imposes an obligation on the patentee to commercially work the invention in India to ensure that its benefits reach the public.
  • The central idea behind granting patents itself is to ensure innovation and public interests are well balanced.
  • In an event of failing to comply by the patent rules, a compulsory licensing is issued or revocation of the patent under the Patents Act, 1970 is possible.
  • Further, courts have routinely rebuffed interim injunction in cases alleging infringement of a patent which has not been worked in India.
  • The information about the extent of the working of the invention in India is important for checking abuse of patent monopoly (Ex: excessive pricing or scare supply of the invention) and to serve the public interest.
  • Section 146(2), a provision not common among patent legislations of other countries, requires every patentee and licensee to submit to the Patent Office an annual statement explaining the extent to which they have worked the invention in India.
  • The disclosure is to be made in the Form 27 format as per the Patent Rules, 2003.
  • This statement will help the Patent Office, potential competitors, etc. to determine whether the patentee has worked the invention in India and made it sufficiently available to the public at reasonable prices.
  • However, the patentees and licensees along with the Patent Office have overtly ignored this statutory requirement and to add to this, there has been considerable persuasion from the multinational corporations and the United States government to quash the requirement.

The PIL in Delhi HC:

  • The recent amendment to the form was made in pursuance to a PIL filed in the Delhi High Court in 2015.
  • The PIL revealed the rampant non-filing and defective filing of Form 27 by patentees/licensees and sought a direction to the government to strictly enforce the patent working disclosure rules and take action against the violators.
  • The PIL also called for a reform of Form 27, arguing that the information it sought was not adequate to examine the extent of the working of the patent.

Dilution of disclosure

  • The inadequacies of Form 27 as pointed out by the PIL was acknowledged by the government and the government was directed to bring about necessary changes in Form 27.
  • However, the government not only took longer to come up with a new Form 27 format but instead chose to water down the disclosure format, thereby disregarding the Delhi High Court directions and the public interest.
  • The government’s stance of choosing to weaken Form 27 by removing the requirement of submitting important information, thus damaging the essence of the patent working requirement defies logic.
  • The form now requires the patentees and licensees to provide only the following information:
  • whether the patent has been worked or not; if the invention has been worked, the revenue or value accrued in India from manufacturing and importing the invention into India; and if it has not been worked, reasons for the same and the steps being taken towards working.
  • They are no longer required to provide any information in respect of the quantum of the invention manufactured/imported into India, the licenses and sub-licenses granted during the year and the meeting of public requirement at a reasonable price.

Inadequate criteria

  • The data on merely the revenue/value accrued from manufacturing/importing the invention is not sufficient to ascertain the extent to which the patent has been worked and to verify if the all-important public interest is being served.
  • The key data that is required for assessing the working of the invention in the country is the total units of the invention manufactured/imported in India. It is the disclosure of this data by Bayer in Form 27 that played a pivotal role in the grant of India’s first compulsory license to Natco for the anti-cancer drug Sorafenib/Nexavar.
  • The doing away with the disclosure requirement overrides the very purpose of this Form.
  • The removal of the requirement of submitting any licensing information, including the disclosure of even the existence of licenses (instead of seeking further details such as names of licensees/sub-licensees and the broad terms of the licenses as suggested in the PIL), means that the patentees/licensees can just self-certify that they’ve worked the patent without having to support the claim with the data on how they’ve done so, including through licensing/sub-licensing the patent.
  • The exclusion of data regarding the disclosure of details such as the price of the invention, its estimated demand, the extent to which the demand has been met, details of any special schemes or steps undertaken by the patentee to satisfy the demand, etc., as recommended in the PIL, makes it extremely difficult to ascertain whether the invention has been made available to the public in sufficient quantity and at an affordable price.

Conclusion

Government has significantly weakened the critical duty imposed by the law on patentees/licensees to disclose patent working information, so much so that it has defeated the very purpose of it.

If the data is secret and opaque, it will ultimately affect consumers by denying them potentially more affordable technologies and goods, a concern most starkly felt in the area of lifesaving/extending medicines.

The lack of this information could prevent invocation of compulsory licensing and other public interest measures in cases of patent abuse and make certain inventions inaccessible to the public.

Such lack of accessibility in case of patented medicines could in turn have adverse consequences for public health of the country. Therefore, the government must reconsider its amendments to the form taking into account the PIL recommendations and re-amend it to restore as well as strengthen its spirit.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic:  Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics;

6. Virtue is a state that lies between two vices, one of excess and the other of deficiency. State your opinion. (150 words)

Reference: plato.stanford.edu

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4.

Key Demand of the question:

To explain how the middle path between two extremes is the right and the virtuous path as given by Aristotle.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by mentioning there are three kinds of disposition, two of them vices, involving excess and deficiency respectively, and one a virtue, viz. the mean, and all are in a sense opposed to all.

Body:

Explain the theory – very virtue or excellence has the effect of producing a good condition of that of which it is a virtue or excellence, and of enabling it to perform its function well. Emphasize that one must find a moderate position between those two extremes, and thus one will be acting morally.

Substantiate the above with examples.

Give a brief criticism of the theory.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of the theory and its relevance.

Introduction:

Aristotle sees the good life as the fulfilment of the human potential to live well. To live well means to live in accordance with virtue. Aristotle makes a distinction between intellectual virtue and moral virtue. Moral virtue is formed by habit; one becomes good by doing well.

Virtue ethics is an approach that deemphasizes rules, consequences and particular acts and places the focus on the kind of person who is acting.

Body:

An act or choice is morally right if, in carrying out the act, one exercises, exhibits or develops a morally virtuous character. It is morally wrong to the extent that by making the choice or doing the act one exercises, exhibits or develops a morally vicious character.

Virtue is more exact and better than any art, as nature also is, then virtue must have the quality of aiming at the intermediate. Moral virtue; for it is this that is concerned with passions and actions, and in these there is excess, defect, and the intermediate.

For instance, both fear and confidence and appetite and anger and pity and in general pleasure and pain may be felt both too much and too little, and in both cases not well; but to feel them at the right times, with reference to the right objects, towards the right people, with the right motive, and in the right way, is what is both intermediate and best, and this is characteristic of virtue.

EXCESSMEAN (VIRTUE)DEFICIENCY
RashnessCourageCowardice
Licentiousness/Self-indulgenceTemperanceInsensibility

 

ProdigalityLiberalityIlliberality/Meanness
Vulgarity/TastelessnessMagnificencePettiness/Stinginess
VanityMagnanimityPusillanimity
BoastfulnessTruthfulnessUnderstatement/mock modesty
ShynessModestyShamelessness
EnvyRighteous indignationMalicious enjoyment/Spitefulness

 

 

Similarly, with regard to actions also there is excess, defect, and the intermediate. Now virtue is concerned with passions and actions, in which excess is a form of failure, and so is defect, while the intermediate is praised and is a form of success; and being praised and being successful are both characteristics of virtue. Therefore, virtue is a kind of mean, since it aims at what is intermediate.

Conclusion:

For in everything it is no easy task to find the middle, e.g. to find the middle of a circle is not for everyone but for him who knows; so, too, anyone can get angry — that is easy — or give or spend money; but to do this to the right person, to the right extent, at the right time, with the right motive, and in the right way, that is not for everyone, nor is it easy; wherefore goodness is both rare and laudable and noble.

 

Topic: Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.

7.  ‘Good can exist without evil, whereas evil cannot exist without good’  -Thomas Aquinas  (150 words)

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4.

Key Demand of the question:

To analyze the inherent relationship between the good and evil in manner of their existence. As the goodness is the norm and evil is divergence from the good path.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin the answer by explaining the quote.

Body:

Elaborate the quite by citing relevant examples. For example, as per the Indian philosophy of the Upanishads, A person, who visualizes himself independent of others, tries to guard or please himself at the cost of others. Evil is thus the tendency of a person to live a life that is not ‘in harmony’ with the rest of the world, but ‘in opposition’ to it or at best ‘in indifference’ to it. The good is to discover the unity in the diversity of ‘all selves’ and beings. Once unity in diversity is realized, every being becomes our own self and good deeds follow automatically.

Conclusion:

Surmise as to how Goodness can be independently exist whereas the evil is always divergent behavior from the normal.

Introduction:

Many people will tell that evil is a necessary part of the world. It’s just a matter of asking and one can get many people to agree to a claim such as; “There cannot be good without bad.” This is a metaphysical idea about the structure of reality. Part of that idea is that everything in existence must co-exist in a sort of balance or symmetry.

Body:

The existence of evil poses a problem for the picture of reality as based on necessary being. Evil is typically associated with destruction and nothingness. If we allow that the evil of the world on the same level as the good of the world, then we understand the dual-natured idea that being and non-being (existence and nothingness) coexist.

For E.g.: dual side of a coin being head and tail. When both come together, value of coin is complete.

All of nature, is good, since the Creator of all nature is supremely good. But nature is not supremely and immutably good as is the Creator of it. Thus the good in created things can be diminished and augmented. For good to be diminished is evil; still, however much it is diminished, something must remain of its original nature as long as it exists at all. For no matter what kind or however insignificant a thing may be, the good which is its “nature” cannot be destroyed without the thing itself being destroyed.

For E.g.: The spark remains in embers and as long as it is not fully extinguished, that has potential to cause wildfires.

When, however, a thing is corrupted, its corruption is an evil because it is, by just so much, a privation of the good. Where there is no privation of the good, there is no evil. Where there is evil, there is a corresponding diminution of the good.

For E.g.: True nature of man being honest and selfless, gets corrupted in fierce competition for survival. But when there is no competition, man knowing his/her true nature is possible.

As long, then, as a thing is being corrupted, there is good in it of which it is being deprived; and in this process, if something of its being remains that cannot be further corrupted, this will then be an incorruptible entity.

But even if the corruption is not arrested, it still does not cease having some good of which it cannot be further deprived. If, however, the corruption comes to be total and entire, there is no good left either, because it is no longer an entity at all. Wherefore corruption cannot consume the good without also consuming the thing itself. Every actual entity is therefore good; a greater good if it cannot be corrupted, a lesser good if it can be.

For E.g.: Even darkest of criminals have humane side, and like Angulimala who was transformed into a saint, there is always scope to kindle the humane side of criminals and change them.

From this it follows that there is nothing to be called evil if there is nothing good. A good that wholly lacks an evil aspect is entirely good. Where there is some evil in a thing, it’s good is defective or defectible. Thus there can be no evil where there is no good.

For E.g.: Like the shadow that follows light, and existence of shadow is due to obstruction of light, without light shadow can’t be formed.

Conclusion:

Every actual entity is good. Nothing evil exists in itself, but only as an evil aspect of some actual entity. Therefore, there can be nothing evil except something good. Evils, therefore, have their source in the good, and unless they are parasitic on something good, they are not anything at all. There is no other source whence an evil thing can come to be.


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